Archive for the ‘Congress’ Category

When did ethnicity become race?

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

When liberals want you in the minority plantation:

They’d be attacking him no matter what just because he’s a rising star from the other party, but yes, of course it’s true that a rising star who’s Latino complicates Democratic plans for a permanent majority in a way that some other Republican wouldn’t.

Listen to this incoherent rant, calling Rubio “brownface” for liking Tupac,

The motive for the attacks on Rubio is the threat he may pose as a rising star. The Dems would attack him regardless of why he appears to be a rising star. But there’s no doubt that Rubio’s ethnicity is a factor in the perception that he’s someone whose momentum needs to be slowed.”

It gets more interesting, as Ted Cruz is also under fire:

Cruz is under attack because he’s outdebating Democrats and making the likes of Chuck Hagel look bad. The Dems are used to dealing with Republicans who don’t forcefully take them on in debate or who, though willing to engage, have difficulty making well thought-out arguments (e.g., John McCain, the ipse dixit king).

However, I disagree with Paul Mirengoff when he says that

Cruz is something new in town, and the Dems don’t like it. But their problem with Cruz has no relation, not even an indirect one, to his ethnicity.

I know from experience that liberals will not accept a “minority” that doesn’t toe the victimization line.

After all, that’s their main industry.


SOTU day!

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

The President will give his annual State of the Union address tonight. Expect two things:
1. Bogus promises:

(click on image for more)

2. An ‘extremely aggressive and partisan’ speech:

If it weren’t for Woodrow Wilson, I’d be able to watch ‘Vegas’ on Tuesday night. Citizen Kane‘s on TCM tonight, though.

The real scandal in the Menendez story…

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

is the relationship between Miami ophthalmologist Solomon Melgen and New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez:

Melgen had reportedly received help from Menendez is the matter of a port-security contract between a company owned by Melgen and the Dominican government. That contract could be worth as much as $50 million a year for 20 years — that is, a total of one billion dollars — except that Dominican officials refuse to honor what they have condemned as the “exorbitant” terms of the contract. Melgen’s financial situation looks shady; he reportedly owes the IRS $11.1 million. But if he could get the U.S. government to pressure the Dominican Republic into honoring that billion-dollar contract, Melgen’s money worries would be over.

Unfortunately for Melgen, however, Matthew Boyle broke the story less than a week before Election Day last fall and, while the mainstream media ignored Boyle’s exclusive at the time, now the potential political ramifications are quite serious. Even if it cannot be proven that Menendez consorted with hookers, underaged or otherwise, during his visits to Melgen’s Caribbean luxury resort, the New Jersey Democrat’s connection to his Florida benefactor is sure to be subjected to intense scrutiny now.

Let’s hope so.

In Santo Domingo, Vinicio Castillo, Melgen’s and Menendez’s Dominican lawyer – who also happens to be Melgen’s cousin – said the accusations are aimed at discrediting Salomon Melgen and U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and stopping a contract to X-ray shipments moving through ports in the Dominican Republic.

Castillo called the allegations part of a “diabolical plot” orchestrated to discredit Melgen, who owns a company with a lucrative contract with the Dominican government to provide X-ray machines at ports. The machines would be used to scan shipping containers to look for contraband and illegal drugs.

The contract was originally signed with the Dominican government a decade ago. Two years ago, Melgen bought out the company that had signed the contract.

That contract has raised controversy due to its cost — an estimated $500 million to $1 billion over 20 years. And the machines have not been installed.

Menendez, who has received healthy campaign contributions from the doctor, in a July Senate hearing peppered Obama officials about what they were doing to help U.S. business interests in the Dominican Republic. He specifically mentioned the contract for X-ray equipment at the ports.

Castillo’s father, Vinicio “Vincho” Castillo, the government’s drug czar and Melgen’s uncle, has also spoken about the need for the machines.

Menendez would rather have you believe this is a story that “anonymous, nameless, faceless individuals on a Web site” concocted.


Robert Menendez and the missing ho’s UPDATED

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

Now that Senator Robert Menendez’s friend and major campaign donor Dr. Salomon Melgen is under investigation for Medicare fraud, two of the prostitutes they hired have been missing for several months:
Following the trail of Sen. Robert Menendez scandal leads to dead end in Dominican Republic
Women named by tipster exist and were there — but not anymore
.

Maybe they’re hiding at the Doll Palace, maybe not.

As you can see from the article, at least one tipster is not anonymous.

Meanwhile, blame Cuba

The bigger issue, which I pointed out months ago, is whether he violated Senate rules by accepting two round-trip flights to the Dominican Republican from Melgen. Menendez goes back a long way,

Menendez, who scaled the political ladder in Hudson County, a Democratic bastion long known for its flexible ethics, is no stranger to controversy.

In 2007, Chris Christie, who at the time was the U.S. attorney for New Jersey, began a federal investigation of Menendez over potential conflicts of interests with recipients of government financing.

The Star-Ledger reported then that Menendez had collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent for a building he owned in Union City from the North Hudson Community Action Corp., an antipoverty group. Menendez had helped the group win millions of dollars in federal funding.

But no charges were filed, and Menendez ultimately received a rare clearance letter from the U.S. attorney’s office informing him that the case was being closed.

Last May, Joseph Bigica, a major supporter of Menendez, pleaded guilty to using straw donors to funnel nearly $100,000 in illegal contributions to the senator’s campaign, which was not accused of any wrongdoing. It acknowledged having received the donation, but said it had been a victim in the case.

A campaign official said they planned to give the money to charity.

Bigica, of Franklin Lakes, admitted that from April 2005 to May 2009 he had conspired to make the illegal contributions to the campaign committee of an unidentified candidate for federal office. Officials did not identify the candidate, but campaign finance records show the donations went to Menendez.

Ah, the scent of New Jersey politics…and now he’s chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

UPDATE:
Stacy checks out the facts, and also points out (emphasis added)

This is highly interesting, because on Jan. 4, Menendez paid back Dr. Melgen $58,500 for three flights, but this (alleged) Easter weekend trip wasn’t one of those, and it was during the Easter weekend trip that one of the sex parties (allegedly) took place.

And this:

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Billion With a ‘B’: Did Menendez Provide Special Favors to HookerGate Donor? “Follow the money – if Melgen had a billion-dollar contract at stake, his ‘friendship’ with Senator Menendez was obviously more than a mere social acquaintance, which doesn’t necessarily mean that it was illegal for Menendez to pressure the administration to help Melgen enforce his Dominican port security contract. But how and why does a Florida opthamologist become an international port-security mogul?”


Video starts below the fold:
(more…)

“What difference does it make?”

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

The histrionic, hysterical Secretary of State, wearing men’s eyeglass frames yesterday:

What a disgrace:

Hillary Clinton is ending her tenure as secretary of state in fiery fashion. “You really get the sense that [Mrs.] Clinton barely managed to restrain herself from dropping an F-bomb there,” remarks New York magazine’s Dan Amira. He refers to an exchange between the secretary and Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin at a Foreign Relations Committee hearing this morning.

Johnson pressed her about the administration’s conflicting explanations for the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed the ambassador and three other Americans. “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans,” said the secretary snappishly to the senator. “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.”

So it’s “our job to figure out what happened” but it doesn’t make a difference what happened? Huh? What would we do without rhetorical questions? We suppose we’d answer them, as Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin does:

The answer to her question is clear. An administration that sought, for political purposes, to give the American people the idea that al-Qaeda had been “decimated” and was effectively out of commission had a clear motive during a presidential campaign to mislead the public about Benghazi. The fact that questions are still unanswered about this crime and that Clinton and President Obama seem more interested in burying this story along with the four Americans that died is an outrage that won’t be forgotten.

“What difference does it make?” if there were no protests in Benghazi,

Well, gosh, I can think of a few reasons why it matters. First, it mattered enough for the Obama administration to send Susan Rice to five different Sunday talk shows to insist that the sacking was a spontaneous demonstration of anger over a months-old YouTube video, while saying that there was “no evidence” that it was a terrorist attack. On one of those appearances, the president of Libya told US audiences the exact opposite — that it was the work of terrorists and that they had a pretty good idea of who they were. If it didn’t matter, what was Susan Rice doing when she tried pushing that meme, which the White House had to abandon within days as leaks within State and CIA made plain that there was no demonstration?

It also matters because Barack Obama at the time had been bragging about crippling al-Qaeda while on the campaign trail. That false narrative made it seem as though State and our intel community couldn’t have possibly known that the sacking would have occurred, and got blindsided by a grassroots reaction to the video. Instead, it turned out to be a planned terrorist action about which the US embassy in Libya had warned State for months, repeatedly requesting more security.

There’s also the matter of Barack Obama’s intervention in Libya and his undeclared war against Moammar Qaddafi. His actions, and that of NATO in following his initial lead, decapitated the ruthless regime that at least was keeping a lid on terrorist networks in eastern Libya. The rise of those networks in the Benghazi region should have been a predictable outcome from the power vacuum the US/NATO campaign left in the region, which resulted in the ability to conduct this attack. That also reflects on the decision to remove the military security at the consulate even with the deteriorating environment very clear to anyone paying attention. That also matters because of how the transfer of weapons to the militias in that US/NATO effort and the resultant power vacuum has destabilized Mali and potentially a wide swath of North Africa.

So it matters because of credibility.

And yes, “What difference does it make?” is the attitude of someone who feels entitled to their high place.

“If it weren’t for low integrity they’d have no integrity at all.”

And,
Let the 2016 campaign begin,

Do you think there’s any coincidence in the fact that her campaign debt was paid off and her appearance before the joint committee today to talk about the guy in Benghazi?


America’s crazy uncle welcomes the 113th Congress

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

From the Vice-President and Court Jester in One, the inappropriate comment fest,

“You are so pretty. God love you, holy mackerel.”
This aside was to a brunette in a red dress, apparently there with bachelor Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).

“Spread your legs — you’re gonna be frisked!”


Our taxes just went up; O heads to Hawaii

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Feel the squeeze,

According to the bill, Americans at all income levels would see a two-percentage-point jump in the employee portion of the Social Security tax. It will return to 6.2% in 2013 after a stimulus rate of 4.2% expires.

And then there are the Obamacare tax increases,

As for small business, the overall tax increase this year is substantial. The new listed top rate of 39.6% doesn’t include the phaseout of deductions that will take the actual rate to 41% or so for many taxpayers. Add the ObamaCare surtaxes on investment income (3.8%) and Medicare (0.9%), as well as the current Medicare tax of 1.45% (employee share), and the real top marginal tax rate on a dollar of investment income from a bank savings or money-market account will be about 46%. Throw in state taxes, and the marginal rates in many places will be in the mid-50%-or-higher-range.

Meanwhile, even as Democrats claim these tax rates won’t matter to investment, Senators stuffed their bill full of tax subsidies for special business interests. The wind tax credit survived (cost: $12.1 billion), and so did the tax breaks for cellulosic ethanol ($59 million) and the impoverished producers of Hollywood ($248 million).

But I digress. The fiscal cliff carries $4 trillion price tag over next decade. Here are 6 Things You Won’t Believe That Are In The Fiscal Cliff Bill That The Senate Passed At 2 AM While Most Americans Were Drunk. So you’re OK if you’re in the Puerto Rican rum, asparagus, or biodiesel businesses.

The rest of us can rejoice in the fact that we’re paying for Obama’s $7million Hawaiian vacation, to which he returned less than an hour after Congress and the White House resolved the fiscal cliff.

Budgets are for little people.

Related:
HERE IT IS: Full Text Of The 157 Page Bill To Avert The Fiscal Cliff

UPDATE,
FISCAL CLIFF DEAL: $1 IN SPENDING CUTS FOR EVERY $41 IN TAX INCREASES


Mexico: No Iran or Hezbollah here

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Last week the US House of Representatives Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management issued a report updating its 2006 A Line in the Sand findings.

The new report (pdf file), A LINE IN THE SAND: COUNTERING CRIME,
VIOLENCE AND TERROR AT THE SOUTHWEST BORDER
found (emphasis added):

 Although the United States tightened security at airports and land ports of entry in thewake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the U.S.-Mexico border remains an obvious weak link in the chain.

 Despite the near doubling of Border Patrol personnel, the Government Accountability Office found that only 44 percent of the Southwest border was under operational control.

 In 2012, National Guard presence on the Southwest border was reduced to 300 soldiers.

 Since October 2008, 138 Customs and Border Protection officers or agents have been arrested or indicted on corruption related charges.

 The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) reports that there have been 58 incidents of shots fired at Texas lawmen by Mexican cartel operatives since 2009.

 Experts believe the Southwest border has become the great threat of terrorist infiltration into the United States.

 Iran and Hezbollah have a growing presence in Latin America.

 Hezbollah has a significant presence in the United States that could be utilized in terror attacks intended to deter U.S. efforts to curtail Iran’s nuclear program.

 Latin America has become a money laundering and major fundraising center for Hezbollah.

Hezbollah’s relationship with Mexican drug cartels, which control secured smuggling routes into the United States, is documented as early as 2005.

If Iran’s assassination plot against the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington, D.C. had been successful, Iran’s Qods Force intended to use the Los Zetas drug cartel for other attacks in the future.

Long-term readers of my blog are certainly not surprised by this information, as I have been blogging on the subject for years. Neither would the readers of Jon Perdue’s excellent book, The War of All the People: The Nexus of Latin American Radicalism and Middle Eastern Terrorism.

The Mexican government, however, strongly denies the report’s findings: Mexico disputes House GOP report alleging Iran, Hezbollah are using Mexican drug cartels

A spokesman for Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhán, told The Daily Caller his country’s government disputes a recent House GOP report alleging that Iranian and Hezbollah terror operatives are using Mexican drug cartels as a conduit to infiltrate the United States.

As Matthew Boyle points out, on October 11 last year, two men were arrested in New York and charged with taking part in an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US. You can read the full details of the plot in the Department of Justice’s report.

While its government denies these findings, Mexico is the deadliest country on earth for journalists.

Also last week, the head of Mexico’s organized crime unit stepped down on Thursday, just weeks after announcing that members of his team had been charged with having links to the Sinaloa drug cartel.

Cross-posted at Liberty Unyielding.


Benghazi: Focus, focus, focus

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012


Back in the olden days García Marquez managed to annoy Fidel Castro by writing a story called No One Writes to the Colonel. Today we can amuse ourselves by reading about the General’s 30,000 emails; General John Allen, that is, not Gen. Petraeus.

Are You Effing Kidding Me With This Right Now?

Jill Kelley, the woman who was (allegedly) threatened by Gen. Petraeus’s squeeze Paula Broadwell and who (apparently) started the FBI investigation that led to Petraeus’ ouster, who went to the FBI for help after the threats and then (allegedly) had a relationship with the FBI agent in charge of her own case, who (allegedly) sent her shirtless pics of himself, also (apparently, allegedly) had “compromising” communications with Gen. John Allen, the Big Damn Commander of our war effort in Afghanistan.

Good grief. America’s national security has been entrusted to the pledge committee at Delta Tau Chi.

But wait, the farcical plot thickens,

if you were thinking that what the story of the under-the-desk CIA director, the bunny-boiling biographer, the email-crazed Afghanistan commander, the CentCom socialite, and the shirtless FBI agent lacked was a “psychologically unstable twin sister” . . .

Your wish has been granted.


What’s with the beads?

Yes, after all this it may be hard to focus, focus, focus on the real questions,

The Petraeus scandal is a sideshow. Those of us who want to know what happened and why in Benghazi need to focus. Keep asking the basic questions. I have provided some of them and you can peruse the archive log for the many pieces on Benghazi.

Why was it Rice and not Clinton who appeared before the press? Who wrote the talking points for Ambassador Rice? What was the facility in Benghazi? If it was important, why wasn’t it protected? Why was the Ambassador there on 9/11? What was the meeting with the Turkish official about? Were we “walking guns” to Syria’s rebels? If so, is there any indication of Iranian or Syrian involvement in the attack? What did Secretary Clinton know and when? What did she do about it? What did Petraeus know and when? What did he do about it? What did Panetta know and when? What did he do about it? What did President Obama know and when? What did he tell the military, et al, to do? What did they do?

And THAT’s the real story.

Eric Holder Knew About Petraeus Probe Months Ago.

Petraeus Personally Investigated Benghazi Attack

In late October, Petraeus traveled to Libya to conduct his own review of the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

While in Tripoli, he personally questioned the CIA station chief and other CIA personnel who were in Benghazi on Sept. 11 when the attack occurred.

The Libya stop was part of a six nation trip to the region. Petraeus intended the review as a way to prepare for his upcoming testimony before Congress on Benghazi.

“He was looking forward to testifying,” a Petraeus friend told ABC News. “He wanted to be fully prepared.”

He’s ready; have him testify before Congress.

UPDATE,
Oh, fer cryin’ out loud, Why in God’s name does Angelina Jolie get photographed on the seventh-floor office of the CIA?

Linked by The Other McCain. Thank you!

Bipartisan!

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Obama budget defeated 99-0 in Senate

President Obama’s budget suffered a second embarrassing defeat Wednesday, when senators voted 99-0 to reject it.

Coupled with the House’s rejection in March, 414-0, that means Mr. Obama’s budget has failed to win a single vote in support this year.

Not one Democrat vote for it.

The Democrats have not passed a budget in 3 years.

But Jay Carney calls it “a Republican gimmick”,

Unanimous rejection, Jay. No gimmick.