Archive for the ‘Outrageous!’ Category

Obama and Libya – the outrage grows as the cover-up unravels

October 24, 2012

The White House story and ongoing cover-up are unraveling.

We already know that Candy Crowley had to walk back her “fact-checking” during the 2nd debate. The White House and State Dept insisted for days that the attacks on the Embassy were prompted by a video no one saw and were a result of a spontaneous demonstration.

Not so.

Even before the debates, the New York Times ran a story on how “The Shifting Reports on Libya Killings May Cost Obama”

“The Obama administration’s shifting accounts of the fatal attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, have left President Obama suddenly exposed on national security and foreign policy…After first describing the attack as a spontaneous demonstration run amok, administration officials now describe it as a terrorist act with possible involvement by Al Qaeda. The changing accounts prompted the spokesman for the nation’s top intelligence official, James R. Clapper Jr., to issue a statement on Friday acknowledging that American intelligence agencies ‘revised our initial assessment to reflect new information indicating that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists.”

In the ensuing weeks, the American public has found out a more about what actually happened, piece by painful piece.

Now, we have emails that show CLEARLY that the State Department and the White House knew it was a terrorist attack within 2 hours of the initial assault.

From Reuters:

The first email, timed at 4:05 p.m. Washington time – or 10:05 p.m. Benghazi time, 20-30 minutes after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission allegedly began – carried the subject line “U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack” and the notation “SBU”, meaning “Sensitive But Unclassified.”

The text said the State Department’s regional security office had reported that the diplomatic mission in Benghazi was “under attack. Embassy in Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well.”

The message continued: “Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four … personnel are in the compound safe haven. The 17th of February militia is providing security support.”

A second email, headed “Update 1: U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi” and timed 4:54 p.m. Washington time, said that the Embassy in Tripoli had reported that “the firing at the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi had stopped and the compound had been cleared.” It said a “response team” was at the site attempting to locate missing personnel.

A third email, also marked SBU and sent at 6:07 p.m. Washington time, carried the subject line: “Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack.

The message reported: “Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli.”

Despite this, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney backed up Rice on Sept. 18. He said: “Based on information that we — our initial information … we saw no evidence to back up claims by others that this was a preplanned or premeditated attack; that we saw evidence that it was sparked by the reaction to this video.” Carney went on to say “that is what we know” based on “concrete evidence, not supposition.”

I guess the “not optimal” outcome didn’t fit the narrative that Al Qaeda was dead or on the run – and besides – it interfered with a Las Vegas fundraiser and being eye candy on “The View.”



USDA intern program spent $2 M, hired ONE intern

August 10, 2012

The USDA released a report this morning of an audit done by the Office of Inspector General.

One of their findings? An intern program that got two million bucks – and hired one intern.

From their executive summary:

We continue to find that OCIO’s efforts should have been strategically planned, prioritized, and managed in order to be more effective. First, we found that several of OCIO’s projects did not meet the purposes outlined in the Congressional request for funding or address the Department’s most critical IT security concerns. For example, OCIO funded an intern program for a total of $2 million which, while funded as a security enhancement project, only resulted in one intern being hired full-time…

Sounds like a job for Frugal Dougall!

(h/t Liberty News)

California math – borrow $1, repay $10

August 10, 2012

This story should be in the “urban legend” category – but it’s not. It’s in the “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” category. Borrow a dollar, repay ten – or in this case, borrow $100 million, repay a billion. Now there’s a deal!

Poway school district just north of San Diego bonded for $105 million to finish revamping older schools. The deal they made, though, is mind-boggling in its insanity and breath-taking in its audacity. The loan will be repaid at an unbelievable 10-to-1 margin – but hey – don’t worry! The billion dollars in repayment doesn’t start for 20 years.

2008 was the year Poway bonded – with promises not to increase taxes. Instead, they asked voters if they would be willing to extend the life of their existing property taxes by 11 to 14 years. Voters agreed. But – they didn’t read the fine print. Oh wait – there was no fine print. The 2200-word statement on the ballot doesn’t mention the details of the bond repayment. The details they left off include: no payments for 2 decades – woohoo! When they start, however, the payments are about $50 million a year, meaning that every two years, they’ll repay the original amount of the loan. Times ten. Oh, and no chance of renegotiating the terms or early repayment. The first inkling of what it really meant came earlier this year and now, finally, news stories are picking it up. (Fox, NBC, Bloomberg, and more)

Taxpayers are outraged – rightly so. But Poway officials say it’s important to look at the big picture. What they really mean is “we want to get re-elected so we’ll kick the can down the road to some future generation while we pretend we can afford this.” Todd Gutschow, Poway Unified board member, said “We could have authorized more taxes, it would just have been breaking the promises we made to the community.” Like paying $900 million in interest is keeping that promise?…. Oh, and that $900 million? Well, that “no new taxes” thing was really just a suggestion, not a promise….

Are the voters really that stupid? (Wait – don’t answer that…..)

Retire, collect $500,000 in pension, go back to work

January 2, 2012

Taxpayers in Philadelphia are stuck with hefty bills because of sky-high pension benefits for people who retire for a weekend, then come right back to work.  City Councilwoman Marian Tasco retired Friday, collected almost a half a million dollars in pension benefits and returns to work today, when she will be sworn in to serve a seventh term.  She will be joined by  Ronald Donatucci, who will collect $366,797 when he returns to work after a week-long retirement and they both join colleagues who have previously done the same thing.

The city offers a “Deferred Retirement Option Plan” that allows workers to collect a salary AND build up pension money during the last four years of their employment. Touted as revenue-neutral when it originally passed, Philly’s DROP program has cost the city a quarter of a billion dollars in just 10 years. Mayor Nutter has vowed to “work tirelessly” to abolish the program but right now, just shy of 400 people have signed up for it, declaring they are within their last 4 years of work.

This fall, the Philadelphia city council voted to override the mayor’s veto of a bill that preserves the program – a bill sponsored by none other than Marian Tasco. The city council has also raised taxes two years in a row and now the best solution they appear to have come up with is simply stall for time while more and more people move through the system, collect 6-figure payouts and go right back to work.

Citizens are starting to catch on. Four retiring council members are DROP participants while one incumbent lost his re-election bid in part because of his participation in this giant albatross of a program.   What were they thinking?!

US laundering drug money

December 6, 2011

US agents, primarily from the Drug Enforcement Agency, have laundered millions of dollars in Mexican drug money the New York Times said this week. It would appear that every time Congressmen Darrell Issa, Jason Chaffetz and others try to peel back the lid on the Fast and Furious scandal, there is even more to discover.

Apparently “our” plan is to send guns and money to Mexican drug lords. The Times then understates the obvious:

“The high-risk activities raise delicate questions about the agency’s effectiveness in bringing down drug kingpins, underscore diplomatic concerns about Mexican sovereignty, and blur the line between surveillance and facilitating crime.”

Um. Delicate questions? Really? I’m thinking more along the lines of a Chris Christie questioning……

Let me say again – this is not pocket change.

One D.E.A. official said it was not unusual for American agents to pick up two or three loads of Mexican drug money each week. A second official said that as Mexican cartels extended their operations from Latin America to Africa, Europe and the Middle East, the reach of the operations had grown as well. When asked how much money had been laundered as a part of the operations, the official would only say, “A lot.”

“If you’re going to get into the business of laundering money,” the official added, “then you have to be able to launder money.”

Congressman Issa announced that he is expanding his probe into the gun-running debacle. 52 congressmen, three U.S. senators, four presidential candidates, two sitting governors and one potential US Senate candidate from Utah are demanding Holder’s immediate resignation over Fast and Furious.

Beware of 95 yo terrorists!

June 27, 2011

If you had any question about TSA being completely out-of-control, last week’s event in Florida should be the last time you ever question that. It’s bad enough that babies’ diapers are searched, that kids are patted down but this – this is unconscionable. A 95-year old woman, dying of leukemia and headed to be with her family in her final days was patted down and forced to remove her adult diaper because it was “in the way.”

Are you freaking kidding me? I’d like to know when the last time was that a 95-year old great-grandma was secretly a terrorist. Or when “dirty diapers” became a euphemism for “dirty bomb.” Or when explosives were in bottles of breast milk.

Her daughter, Jean Weber, burst into tears when she was forced to help remove her mother’s diaper. Her tears then triggered a pat-down of her own because of her “suspicious” behavior.

Meanwhile, the Israeli airport has never had a terrorist incident. They use profiling (yes, it actually works!) and bomb-sniffing dogs, saving advanced screening for those individuals who actually warrant it (unlike great-grandmas). Here in the US, though, we are so afraid of offending someone, we don’t actually employ the tools that work. Instead, we suspect everyone, the TSA never backs down and doggedly stands by their “procedures.”

This is one more example of what happens with slavish devotion to “the law.” Trading freedom for (the illusion of) security never works. Congressman Jason Chaffetz has spent a considerable amount of time pointing out the problems with TSA – and now he chairs the committee that oversees them. Sweet. This latest incident will be one more arrow in his quiver as proposes legislation to trim TSA’s wings – and none too soon. This is ridiculous.

USDA fines family $90K for selling rabbits without a license

May 27, 2011

Selling produce out of your backyard garden is now regulated by the FDA. Apparently the USDA didn’t want to be left out of the ridiculous regulation department so they went after a family raising rabbits, claiming a “paperwork violation” of the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 and charging them $90,643. In spite of the name of the act they supposedly violated, they are not being charged with animal cruelty or neglect. In fact, local experts heralded the Dollarhite family for the quality of the rabbits and the pristine conditions in which they were kept.

Started as a project to teach a teenage son responsibility, the Dollarhite’s sold approximately 600 rabbits in 56 transactions over a 2 year period. Their nightmare began in late 2009 when a USDA inspector arrived unannounced at the Dollarhite home, getting their address from a pet store they sold their rabbits to. In spite of the fact that there are NO written USDA standards for what constitutes proper care of a rabbit by a “wholesale breeder”, the inspector told Judy Dollarhite that their cage was a quarter-inch too small and must be replaced.

Smacking of political vendetta, the USDA stated they would “make an example” of the family and slapped them with a fine of over $90,000 – when the average fine is $333. According to Yahoo news,

One Washington lobbyist for the industrial farming sector said the penalty was ludicrous. The rabbit sales “are on the scale of a high school 4-H project,” the source said.

USDA spokesman Sacks said the $90,643 fine “looks curious to say the least.” But he insisted it was necessary for USDA to punish violators to ensure businesses across the country register, putting them on the USDA’s radar screen for inspections and possible enforcement.

I wonder if the USDA thought the rabbits were this kind:

Ken Salazar’s power grab, just in time for Christmas

December 23, 2010

In an 11th hour move one day after Congress adjourned for the year, Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken Salazar and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials announced a new policy allowing the BLM to designate public lands as de facto wilderness without the approval of states or Congress. The new policy – which overturns the Utah Wilderness Settlement Agreement – will allow the BLM to do an end-run around Congress by designating public lands as “Wild Lands” areas. These new areas would be subject to similar regulations and restrictions as that of wilderness areas.

“Secretary Salazar’s decision to change the existing policy is a blatant attempt to usurp Congress’ role over public land management. The Constitution gives exclusive control of the public lands to Congress, and the only authority that the Executive branch agencies exercise over the federal lands is that which is delegated by Congress,” said Western Caucus Chairman Rob Bishop. “Make no mistake about it, this decision will seriously hinder domestic energy development and further contributes to the uncertainty and economic distress that continues to prevent the creation of new jobs in a region that has unduly suffered from this Administration’s radical policies. This is little more than an early Christmas present to the far left extremists who oppose the multiple use of our nation’s public lands.”

Today’s announcement directly contradicts previous assurances Secretary Salazar gave to Congress that the Utah Wilderness Settlement Agreement is consistent with federal law, thus validating that agencies do not have the authority to create de facto wilderness.

“It was only yesterday that President Obama spoke about the importance of cooperation. Yet today his administration has turned around and deliberately slapped western communities in the face. It has become commonplace that this Administration attempts to arbitrarily regulate that which they cannot successfully legislate. Unfortunately, this is the kind of doublespeak we have come to expect from this administration,” Bishop added.

“In order to work cooperatively, we need to trust one another. The announcement today calls into question whether Secretary Salazar’s word can be trusted,” Bishop concluded. “I am concerned that today’s decision puts the prospects of future congressional designation of wilderness at serious risk.”

Perhaps they looked at the census numbers and the migration west and decided that the best response was a great big in-your-face. Thanks so much for one last Christmas present from DC.

House invokes martial law!

December 8, 2010

Not with the National Guard but with the lame duck session, which is almost as concerning and perhaps more dangerous. Rep. Louise Slaughter introduced martial law this morning, effective through December 18th. Under “martial law“, the rules that require at least one day between the unveiling of significant legislation and the House floor vote on that legislation is tossed out the door.

Now, the lame-duck, Democrat majority leadership can file legislation with tens, hundreds or even thousands of pages of fine print and move immediately to debate and subsequent voting. We’ve seen something like this before. Earlier this year, it was called the “Slaughter” rule or “deem-and-pass“. No need for Representatives to know what they are passing – or “we the people.”

Another new set of bills we’ll have to pass to find out what’s in them.

And, you want another real kicker? The “continuing resolution” that allows the government to keep operating in the absence of a budget now has incorporated the language of the Food Safety Bill. That means if we fund government, S510 becomes law. Doncha just love the lame-duck???

GOP Representative Buyer Blasts Acting Dem Speaker

November 30, 2010

“This is why the people have thrown you out!”

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