Tea Party Nation President Says It ‘Makes A Lot Of Sense’ To Restrict Voting Only To Property Owners

November 30, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Every week, the Tea Party Nation hosts a weekly radio program, calling itself a “home for conservatives.” Two weeks ago, Tea Party Nation President Judson Phillips hosted the program and discussed changes that he felt should be made to voting rights in the United States. He explained that the founders of the country originally put “certain restrictions on who gets the right to vote.” He continued, “One of those was you had to be a property owner. And that makes a lot of sense, because if you’re a property owner you actually have a vested stake in the community. If you’re not a property owner, you know, I’m sorry but property owners have a little bit more of a vested interest in the community than non-property owners”:

PHILLIPS: The Founding Fathers originally said, they put certain restrictions on who gets the right to vote. It wasn’t you were just a citizen and you got to vote. Some of the restrictions, you know, you obviously would not think about today. But one of those was you had to be a property owner. And that makes a lot of sense, because if you’re a property owner you actually have a vested stake in the community. If you’re not a property owner, you know, I’m sorry but property owners have a little bit more of a vested interest in the community than non-property owners.

Listen to it:

Phillips is advocating a policy of voter disenfranchisement that has its roots in the 18th century. When the United States was first founded, ownership of property was one of the requirements to vote in most elections. Many of these restrictions were phased out by the 1820s and replaced with requirements that the voter pays taxes. By 1850, these requirements, too, were phased out. Nashville Scene blogger Betsy Phillips calls the Tea Party Nation president’s idea a “frivolous proposal designed to stoke intergenerational antagonism — as if the people who are older and can afford a home are somehow better citizens than the 18-year-olds who are going off to war to die for our country.”

Unfortunately, numerous major conservatives have advocated for rolling back the voting rights of Americans. Supreme Court justice Anthony Scalia, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), and Sen.-elect Mike Lee (R-UT) have all advocated for repealing the 17th Amendment, which would end direct election of U.S. Senators and return Senate elections to the purview of state legislatures. (H/T: Tea Party Nationalism)

ThinkProgress

Partial Federal Pay Freeze Only the First Step

November 30, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

President Obama just announced a partial two-year pay freeze for civilian federal workers.

Under the President’s plan, federal employees will not receive cost-of-living increases in their pay in 2011 and 2012. However, most federal employees will still receive seniority-based pay increases over the next two years.

The President’s decision is an important symbolic step. President Obama has brought federal pay closer to market rates—which is progress, considering that many liberals insist that federal workers do not get paid enough. However, a partial pay freeze does not fix the underlying problems distorting federal compensation.

As The Heritage Foundation has reported, the federal pay system serves taxpayers poorly. It gives the average federal employee 30–40 percent greater total compensation (wages and benefits) than a comparable private sector worker. However, not all federal employees receive premium pay. The federal pay system does little to recognize or reward performance. As a result, the federal government manages to both overpay underperforming workers and underpay the most skilled federal employees.

A partial pay freeze fixes does nothing to address these problems. It will still leave the typical federal employee earning substantially more than he or she would in the private sector. Neither will it differentiate between those who deserve a pay cut and those who do not.

The broken federal pay system needs a complete overhaul. Congress should replace the General Schedule and its automatic promotions with a pay-for-performance system tied to market rates. Federal benefits should be brought in line with private sector norms. The federal retirement age should be raised from 56 to the Social Security retirement age. A partial pay freeze does none of these things.

The President deserves credit for partially freezing federal pay. Obama’s decision will save taxpayers $ 2 billion next year, but fundamental reform would save $ 47 billion. This is only a small first step.

The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

Irish bailout only adds to fears in the Euro zone

November 27, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The move to bail out Ireland was supposed to calm the markets. It didn’t.
American Thinker Blog

The Reality of 24/7 Home Care of a Loved One With Alzheimer’s: The Family Caregivers who are front line soldiers doing all the work, are seen by government as only ‘informal support…’

November 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

During this holiday, we can be thankful for those who labor 24/7 to care for our elderly and our broken mind ones. This is a Guest Contributor on The Reality of 24/7 Home Care of a Loved One With Alzheimer’s: The Family Caregivers who are front line soldiers doing all the work, are seen by government as only ‘informal support…’

by Carol Wright
Far from the purple banners of the recent “Alzheimer’s awareness” events sit an estimated 6.6 million family caregivers for an estimated 5.5 Alzheimer’s sufferers (nobody really knows the exact figures for either group.) Compare that with 300 million people in the US total +/-. It’s a lot of disabled people, a lot of caregivers who cannot work outside the home while caregiving in the home.

Some of these caregivers include supportive extended family, but all too many caregivers are toiling alone and unpaid, caring for a frail senior suffering from dementia. This often means, an aging woman caring for her elderly parents, a senior spouse struggling to keep their loved one home, out of the nursing home just one more month.

The recent “Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s,” emphasizes that it’s the women who overwhelmingly take on caregiving duties.

But some light should fall in the corners too: More than a few families have forsaken their own. Often just a single brave, compassionate soul steps forward for that end of life walk with the afflicted one. Their other relatives, their own children, their own sisters, brothers, former friends, even spouses, turn away or come around only once in a very long while for a very few minutes.

“Informal support.” This is what we 24/7 caregivers are most recently called by government and parroted by media, we who tend to our loved ones day in and day out.

“Informal.” Inferring not serious work, when in fact each day caring at home for an Alzheimer’s patient is deadly serious work of lifting, hauling, hefting, guiding, feeding, issues of urine, feces, medicine, cooking, cleaning, bathing, laundry and so much more.

Sole caregivers are especially brutalized by this burden, and they catch the flack, the very bulldozing brunt impact of frontline dementia care. The hours can be 24 on and zero off. Days are seven on and on and on.

Perhaps a neighbor comes for a few hours to seniorsit so the caregiver can get a break that is not a break. It’s scramble to shop for groceries, medicines. To rake up the leaves so the grass doesn’t die. Take dying cat to the vet and have put to sleep. Get back before patience of friend wears thin, or person with dementia gets out of control. Hope for no sudden feces situation, or friend will not return again.

“Informal support.” Caregiverscannot snag a full night’s sleep. Often their charges are up half the night, pulling out drawers and emptying on the floor. There is assistance needed always with trips to the commode and changing protective pads on the bed. Start first load of laundry for the day at 3 am. In our house, my mother wakes up screaming about something “out there…out THERE!…oh gawd gawd!” Last night it was a fire she saw, which was really a shiny birthday hat. I spent hours extinguishing a birthday hat, reassuring my mother, and even after removing such and other items from environs, my mother continues to no longer be able to tell the real from the imagined.

“Informal support.” Communicating with someone who has dementia is often like herding cats, and one has to, in order to help with the most simple actions, give repetitive instructions for every phase of aid. “Put foot through here, no through …. the pant leg…this here. Put your foot through here. Your FOOT. Point your TOE, now foot…”

“Informal support.” Often the day comes when the outbursts need more meds (some will say). This happened to my mother. She had unexplained nausea after a fall, and I took her for many tests in the ER. No answers, and not better. Finally a four-day stay in the hospital. She had a few delusional/puzzled episodes while there, and she pushed away prodding, hurtful hands. She was labeled “combative; they said, We’ll try Seroquel.”

Two months later, my mother slumped to the side her chair so much I had to tie her in to keep her from falling. I stood guard so she wouldn’t be hurt while she thrashed in bed, now padded everywhere. Sometimes she stiffened, slid from her chair like a 2×6 board. Now on the floor, face contorted, tongue choking, eyes rolling.

I see a Seroquel TV ad with voice-over droning “Not for use by elderly dementia patients.” I see Mom writhing on floor. Is this advancing Alzheimer’s demanding a larger dose or ?? Who will tell us? I plead. Doctors don’t know. Or different docs give different answers. I research online. So many of the bad side effects -she has them! Her doctors have made my mother straightjacket insane. We stop the Seroquel, but Mom is switched then to Ativan to stop paranoia. The Ativan leads to chilling paranoia as Mom channels cold eyes up from the DeadZone.

“Informal support.” Each family caregiver is front line to strong daily challenges like these, often complicated by illnesses anyone might come down with. Deafness and dementia. Leukemia and diabetes…and dementia. Colon cancer…and dementia. Congested nasal passages and dementia.
“Informal support.” Caregivers carry the brunt of the work at great personal sacrifice on every level, their health and dental go downhill, they are not able to earn income, a certain amount of sanity that one has charge of one’s own life goes out the window. A social life; there is none. An eroded future occurs because a dedicated caregiver has no idea when this vigil might draw to a close, and can only plan to remain in situ.

For caregivers, there is little outside direct assistance available. We’re not even in the system noted as having a need. No cash grants, no benefits, no medical or dental coverage for us in any quarter; there are no unemployment checks. Some benefits overshoot the caregiver; the patient is qualified (vets qualify for some home caregiving hours) but payments go to licensed caregivers only, not to family members. Government sees the home caregiver as a resource until worn out, then tossed aside when parent dies or is placed in a nursing home. The governments, state, local, federal…the corporations… call it “informal support.”
I cannot quite tell you what it is like to be surrounded on almost all sides by government ‘officials,’ people who say do this or that with what meagher resources are left to us, medical personnel of many different and often opposing ideas, deadbeat relatives, drug companies… too often many wear a smug face of impunity. Something goes wrong, say a bad drug reaction, or financial abuse by a government employee who is supposed to have squeaky clean and timely oversight… it is only the sole caregiver who is cornered, totally responsible for others’ errors, lateness, underperformance. It’s the caretaker who has to scrounge, beg, step up threadbare. Everyone else walks free.

The Shriver Report and Alzheimer’s Association step up their action plans. I poked around the Alzheimer’s Association website to see if there was a hint of direct aid to family caregivers. In the report at http://www.alz.org/documents/national/World_Alzheimer_Report_2010_Summary%281%29.pdf
I read the summary report and recommendations. There I could finally see myself. Twice was I, the unpaid family caregiver, mentioned as “informal support.” Unpaid family caregiver. Excuse me, INFORMAL?? Recommendations to help us, even informally? There was nothing written to help us. Nothing. Big report, but nothing’s changed. Things are stable and predictable according to report writers. No support will be given to ‘informal support’ that is, human beings who nearly single-handedly are giving all they’ve got, now, again or it seems ever.
I wondered: Was this moniker “informal support” commonly used in studies, theses, and legislation. I Googled the term, and found this to be true. Basically, it means our caregiving is a “contribution.” Not a life and death necessity to keep a loved one as safe as possible, clean and fed and helped in whatever way we can… and without leave.
And as Maria Shriver points out in “The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s,” three-fifths of the US caregivers are women. “The truth is,” she writes, “it’s women who are the ones who generally do the hands-on grunt work of caregiving—cleaning their parents or spouses and changing their diapers, feeding them, babysitting them, dispensing medicine to them. While men do represent about a third of family caregivers, they tend to arrange or supervise outside services.”

http://www.shriverreport.com/shriver.html

The time is now for direct support for the family caregiver.
Researching the cause and treatments for Alzheimer’s or other diseases tends to draw the most attention and official funding.
But please, it is now time to actively support the real FORMAL caregivers on the front lines of eldercare, the family caregiver. Caregivers need assistance with respite care (typically the only aid offered), and though there is now some protection for caregivers to some day, perhaps, return to a job they may have left to take on caregiving duties… that assumes a short duration and no pay throughout. But, Alzheimers disease, is not a killer like cancer per se. It is a disorder that makes a person eventually as helpless to care for themselves as a new born infant, though often combative as well but with the body of an adult. And a person with dementia and no other illness can live to be in their nineties, as my mother is presently, and beyond.
What about people like me with so far over eight years sacrificed of sole caregiving? We need help with medical and dental, and with reentry into the work force.
I suggest a few simple approaches to help the formal family caregiver continue in their important duties and caregiving. One idea is to give the family caregiver payments in a “like amount” in a kind of disability pay. If their loved one is fully disabled from dementia, then the caregiver is also “disabled from being able to earn a living”—which is so true—anyone who has ever cared for a person with dementia, in home, knows one has to stop even a home business, for the loved one needs constant aid and supervision.
Another solution is to make the family caregiver eligible for welfare, full Medicare and Social Security benefits while care giving. If the caregiver returns to the workforce, then benefits are stopped until normally eligible at x age. This kind of approach does not add a whole layer of bureaucracy, no new programs; it just extends eligibility to a new level, to a new recipient.
But, how to replace the phrase “informal support” that so covers over the often desperate reality? I note a visible name change in the daily news is the change from “illegal alien” to “undocumented immigrant.” However, the immigrant issue is always hot news, where family caregiver headlines (until last month’s of Maria Shriver’s media appearances) are nonexistent. The term “Informal support” generally shows up in studies, scholarly theses, and reports; and these reports and studies are often the basis for legislation and grant requests, and carry the profound bias of naming THE essential caregiver as some seeming ‘nice but not necessary’ support. But what an impact this diminuizing term has had on the real front line for PFCG? That’s me, primary female caregiver.)
My next article will deal with what is called the Beers Criteria, a list of medications and protocols for weaning elderly patients off some of their prescription drugs. This drug free approach has resulted in a dramatic improvement in my mother’s mental and physical condition for periods of time. Three months ago, she was slumped over and headed for hospice. Most recently, she is attentively watching a DVD about a Cuban jazz musician while reading “National Enquirer.” This past week, we had to go to the ER, however. It is as they say, a roller coaster ride, of needs and aid to the one who has Alzheimers. It does not have an ending point.
_____________
Guest columnist Carol Wright was 54 when she left her home where she’d lived for the past eighteen years, to travel across three states to care for her mother in her final few months of life. That was 8.5 years ago. Carol has been primary, sole caregiver for her mother all this time, and has had some respite caregiver assistance only for the past year. She recently was honored as Caregiver of the Month by the Caregiver’s Voice here.

You can read and see more about her caregiving experience at her blogs here and here, and at and at YouTube

The Shriver Report’s book, written with the Alzheimer’s Association, is titled “A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s”; it is available in ebook format for $ 9.99. You can read excerpts here.
Government report from 1998 showing expectation that women shoulder the burden and take on the sacrifices of eldercare, and that their growing preference to stay in the workplace will rock the boat. Basically, the government assumes women will/should contribute this service, and their choice to now stay at their careers is a troublesome trend. Read more here.
There are a few programs to help pay family caregivers, and resources will vary from state to state. Read this article from the Alzheimer’s Association website.


The Moderate Voice

Media Mostly Ignore Gore Admitting He Only Supported Ethanol Mandates to Help His Presidential Ambitions

November 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

On Monday, NewsBusters was the first American media outlet to report Nobel laureate Al Gore's admission that he only supported ethanol mandates in the '90s because he thought it would help his presidential ambitions.

As it turns out, with very few exceptions, no major news divisions thought this was at all important:

read more

NewsBusters.org – Exposing Liberal Media Bias

Only one Chinese activist RSVPs for Nobel Prize ceremony

November 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Of the 140 Chinese activists and dissidents invited by Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo to attend next month’s cerermony in Oslo, it appears that only one is planning to attend, and he’s not even in China:

Wan Yanhai, who fled to the United States in May after increasing
official harassment of his AIDS advocacy group, is the only person on
that list to confirm his attendance.

"I heard many people on the list were put on a blacklist and were
not allowed, or their family members not even allowed, to leave China.
It’s a horrible situation," Yanhai told AP by phone from Philadelphia,
where he lives.

"It could be like I become the only person from that list who will be there," Wan said. "That will be interesting."

FP Passport

The IMF vs. the ECB: There Can Be Only One

November 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

I’m a bit nervous about getting into a fight with the Vreelander (his decapitation move has to be seen to be believed). But this claim:

There are a lot of folks in Ireland who were not so keen on joining the eurozone to begin with, so there is going to be a backlash in popular sentiment for Europe in Ireland. By bringing in the IMF to crack the whip, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the rest of Europe can allow the Fund to do the dirty work. It will be the IMF that officially monitors the Irish government and deems whether its fiscal adjustment is sufficient to warrant continued disbursements of the loan package. While the Managing Director of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, may come from the Socialist Party of France and talk a good pro-stimulus game, in the end, the IMF Executive Board will have the final say. And when it comes to Europe, the Board is likely to take its lead from prominent members like Germany, the United Kingdom, and France. Behind the closed doors of the IMF Executive Board, these countries can make the tough calls for austerity in Ireland.

seems to be at odds with how the early stages of the bailout are proceeding. See this Financial Times piece:

One small consolation for the Irish is that, if it had been up to the European Central Bank, the measures would have been even more severe. According to people familiar with recent discussions between the IMF, European experts and the Irish government, the ECB wanted an austerity programme several billion euros bigger than €15bn. It was the IMF that argued for a lower figure in the name of promoting economic growth, they said.

Jim is right to point to the differences between the Strauss-Kahn/Blanchard crowd and the IMF’s Executive Board. And it may be that the dynamics he points to are going to come into play during the monitoring process. But if the IMF is going up mano a mano against the ECB in a fight to see who can out-austere the other, I’d put my money on the ECB. The IMF may be indirectly responsible to Germany, the United Kingdom and France, but the US – which has been quietly expressing its displeasure with the EU’s hairshirts-for-everyone approach to fiscal retrenchment will have some say too, even if it is going to be reluctant to wade too obviously into intra-European fights. And the ECB, whatever the nominal voting system might suggest, is in practice beholden only to Germany, Germany and Germany. The German government is not keen on spending tax-payer money on bailing out perceived profligates. And its lack of enthusiasm is sharply reinforced by the German Constitutional Court at Karlsruhe, which has been hinting strongly that any ‘transfer union’ without stark penalties will be deemed unconstitutional. My prediction is that the IMF is – and will continue to be – a leavening influence on the preference of the ECB and Germany for rigid enforced austerity. We’ll see what happens.

The Monkey Cage

Tax Loopholes Are Corrupt and Inefficient, but They Should only Be Eliminated if Every Penny of New Revenue Is Used to Lower Tax Rates

November 23, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

By Daniel J. Mitchell

There’s been a lot of heated discussion about various preferences, deductions, credits, shelters, and other loopholes in the tax code. Some of this debate has revolved around whether it is legitimate to refer to these provisions as “tax expenditures” or “subsidies.”

Michael Cannon vociferously argues that subsidies and expenditures only occur when the government takes money from person A and gives it to person B. On the other side of the debate are people like Josh Barro of the Manhattan Institute, who argues that tax preferences are akin to subsidies or expenditures since they can be just as damaging as government spending programs when looking at whether resources are efficiently allocated.

Since I’m a can’t-we-all-get-along, uniter-not-divider kind of person [Editor’s note: ???], allow me to suggest that this debate should be set aside. After all, we all agree that tax preferences can lead to inefficient outcomes. So let’s call them “tax distortions” and focus on the real issue, which is how best to eliminate them.

This is an important issue because both the Domenici-Rivlin Task Force and the Chairmen of the Simpson-Bowles Commission have unveiled plans that would reduce or eliminate many of these tax distortions and also lower marginal tax rates. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that their plans result in more revenue going to Washington. In other words, the tax increase resulting from fewer tax distortions is larger than the tax decrease resulting from lower tax rates. To put it bluntly, the plans would increase the overall tax burden.

Some argue that this is an acceptable price to pay. They point out, quite correctly, that lower tax rates will help the economy by improving incentives for productive behavior. And they also are right in arguing that fewer tax distortions will help the economy by improving efficiency. Seems like a win-win situation. What’s not to like?

The problem is on the spending side of the fiscal ledger. The Simpson-Bowles Commission and the Domenici-Rivlin Task Force were charged with figuring out how to reduce red ink. We already know from Congressional Budget Office data, however, that we can balance the budget fairly quickly by limiting the growth of government spending. As the chart illustrates, the deficit disappears by 2016-2017 with a hard freeze and goes away by 2019-2020 if spending increases by two percent each year (and this assumes all the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts are made permanent).

If tax revenue is increased, that simply means that the budget gets balanced at a higher level of spending. And since government spending, at current levels and composition, hinders economic growth by diverting labor and capital to less productive (or unproductive) uses, any proposal that enables higher levels of government spending will further undermine economic performance.

It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyhow) that this analysis is overly optimistic since it assumes that politicians actually will balance the budget. In all likelihood, as explained in today’s Wall Street Journal, any tax increase would probably be followed by even more spending. So if politicians raise the tax burden, we might still have a deficit of $ 685 billion in 2020 (CBO’s most-recent estimate assuming  all programs are left on auto-pilot), but the overall levels of both spending and taxes would be higher. This modified cartoon captures this real-world effect.

This is why revenue-neutral tax reform, like the flat tax, is the only pro-growth way of eliminating tax distortions.

Tax Loopholes Are Corrupt and Inefficient, but They Should only Be Eliminated if Every Penny of New Revenue Is Used to Lower Tax Rates is a post from Cato @ Liberty – Cato Institute Blog


Cato @ Liberty

Backlash! Anti-Muslim hate crimes only eight percent of hate crimes, far less than those against Jews

November 22, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has claimed that “anti-Muslim hate crimes” have risen sharply in the U.S. since 9/11. In fact, the rate of such crimes has actually dropped, and as this new study shows, it is quite low compared to hate crimes against other groups. CAIR exaggerates the number and seriousness of hate crimes against Muslims because it knows that victimhood is big business: insofar as it can claim protected victim status for Muslims in the U.S., it can deflect unwanted scrutiny and any critical examination of how jihadists use Islamic texts and teachings to justify violence and supremacism.

That’s most likely why CAIR and others have not hesitated to stoop even to fabricating “hate crimes.” They want and need hate crimes against Muslims, because they can use them for political points and as weapons to intimidate people into remaining silent about the jihad threat.

Reality, however, is a consistent witness against CAIR.

“Blacks, Jews most likely victim of US hate crimes: FBI,” from AFP, November 22 (thanks to JCB):

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Blacks and Jews were the most likely victims of hate crimes driven by racial or religious intolerance in the United States last year, the FBI said Monday in an annual report.

Out of 6,604 hate crimes committed in the United States in 2009, some 4,000 were racially motivated and nearly 1,600 were driven by hatred for a particular religion, the FBI said.

Blacks made up around three-quarters of victims of the racially motivated hate crimes and Jews made up the same percentage of victims of anti-religious hate crimes, the report said.

Anti-Muslim crimes were a distant second to crimes against Jews, making up just eight percent of the hate crimes driven by religious intolerance….

Jihad Watch

White House: Only 170,000 People Have Had Genitalia Groped by Complete Stranger in Last Week

November 22, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The White House has started a pushback campaign on gate rape that is reminiscent of “Recovery Summer” or “Mission Accomplished” for its credibility.

It consists of a number of things, in addition to the inevitable army of talking-point-people using the word “enhanced” the same way Cheney did.

First, there are statistics. Such as their claim that only 1% of people undergo pat-downs.

In airports where body screening technology is available, about one in every 100 passengers are given pat-downs, according to another official, Sean Smith, the DHS spokesperson.

Which may or may not contradict their other claim, that less than half of one percent of all people have undergone “enhanced pat-downs.”

For instance, the administration noted that fewer than one half of one percent of the 34 million passengers who traveled on airplanes in or to the U.S. last week were subjected to crotch-area pat-downs.

So the White House’s idea of effective pushback against objections to this invasive scrutiny? “Only 170,000 people have had their genitalia groped by a complete stranger employed by the federal government in the last week. Big. Fucking. Deal.”

That sort of seems like a lot of junk-touching in just one week.

They’re also citing the polls and the numbers of complaints from before the junk-touching started in earnest so as to claim that no one much cares about being groped.

But here’s the thing I find most offensive.

The president said this weekend that while he understands the “frustrations” that the policies seem to have caused, “at this point, TSA in consultation with counterterrorism experts have indicated to me that the procedures that they have been putting in place are the only ones right now that they consider to be effective against the kind of threat that we saw in the Christmas Day bombing.” [my emphasis]

Um, no. You see, after the underwear bombing, we had a whole bunch of studies that examined what went wrong and what might have been effective against the underwear bomber. And the answer-in the face of clear fuck-ups by the NCTC and CIA (and to a much lesser degree, the FBI for which John Pistole then served as second-in-command)-the answer was to stop fucking up and start sharing information. To claim that junk-touching is the only thing that would be effective at stopping the undie bomber, when we know that the intelligence community had already identified Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab but failed to stop him, is an out and out lie.

Mind you, crotch groping might be effective if al Qaeda or another terrorist organization decided to launch the same type of attack, this time from within the United States. Or it might be effective against another sort of attack we haven’t yet thought up. Then again, it pointedly wouldn’t be effective against an attack by an organization that has proven itself capable of adjusting and exploiting new weaknesses-that is, the organization we’re fighting.

But to claim crotch-groping in the United States is the only procedure that would have been effective against an attack launched by an identified terrorist flying from another country, which is, after all “the kind of threat we saw in the Christmas Day bombing,” when we know the procedure that would have been effective is in fact simply sharing the information we had already collected?

That’s a pretty brutal pinch of the ‘nads.

Related posts:

  1. House Committee on Homeland Security Expressed Concerns about “Gate Rape” on September 22
  2. John Pistole Wants Us to Be Afraid of His Shadow
  3. CIA and DOJ’s Different Ideas of Accountability on Khost


Emptywheel

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