The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (still known as ATF) has come under fire for promoting three supervisors of a sting operation that led to the illegal sales of firearms to drug cartels in Mexico. At least 2,000 guns were reported lost in Operation Fast and Furious, many of them later found at crime scenes in Mexico.
Two were recovered at the site where U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed in Arizona last year.
The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that the three supervisors of the operation — William McMahon, William Newell, and David Roth — have been promoted to management positions at ATF headquarters in Washington. McMahon was the agency's Deputy Director of Operations in the West when the sting operation was carried out. Newell and Roth were field supervisors out of the ATF's Phoenix office. The news brought a quick response from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who last week sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder demanding to know about other alleged ATF operations similar to Fast and Furious.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack claims food stamps and other forms of government welfare are camouflaged stimulus programs that stir job growth by pumping money into the economy. After questioned about the cancerous issue of unemployment and the growing number of impoverished Americans forced to live on food stamps, Vilsack responded that the reason so many Americans are on food stamps — 46 million, or one in seven people — is because the Obama administration has helped states get "the word out" about the program.
During an interview on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe," Vilsack asserted that though the food stamps program dates back to 1939, large states such as Texas and California have "underperformed" in bridging eligible participants to the program. "The reason why these numbers have gone up is that we’ve done a pretty good job of working with states that had done a poor job in the past in getting the word out about this program," he alleged. "We’re now working with them to make sure that people who are eligible get the benefits."
Now that Texas Governor Rick Perry has announced his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination, there has been heightened scrutiny of his record and his rhetoric by the very organizations he likely counted on for support in the primary elections.
For example, Rick Perry’s hard-talking (“it takes balls to execute an innocent man”), don’t-mess-with-Texas, socially conservative image has been polished eagerly by many of the coterie of Tea Party organizations anxious to impact the contest to take the White House in 2012.
While his appeal to many Tea Partiers is unquestioned (particularly by Perry himself), more than a few discordant notes have sounded in the Tea Party chorus of praise. Some in the anti-tax band of the Tea Party spectrum have begun questioning Perry’s anti-tax bona fides in light of his record as Governor of the Lone Star State.
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has been riding the promotion circuit since his latest book, On China, was released on May 17 by Penguin Press. The release was timed to precede the 40th anniversary (July 9, 1971) of his secret trip to China that is credited with opening relations between the United States and the Communist regime of Mao Zedong (which was then assisting the Communist forces that were killing American troops in Southeast Asia).
The book's release also, coincidentally, was well timed for exploitation by the Chinese Politburo for the 90th Anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (July 1, 1921). As to be expected, the 608-page tome has been showered with adulatory reviews from the Kissinger-adoring mainstream media. Some examples: "Nobody living can claim greater credit than Mr. Kissinger for America's 1971 opening to Beijing ... a fluent, fascinating...book," — the Wall Street Journal. "Fascinating, shrewd..." — the New York Times. "From the eminent elder statesman, an astute appraisal on Chinese diplomacy ... Sage words and critical perspective ..." — Kirkus Reviews.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is being heavily criticized for civilian casualties and a series of bombings apparently targeting essential non-military infrastructure in Libya, with some observers calling the actions war crimes. The Libyan rebels being supported by coalition forces have also been accused of wanton savagery and even crimes against humanity.
Most recently, a NATO bombing campaign near the Libyan city of Zlitan earlier this month reportedly killed almost 100 civilians — more than half of them women and children. The attack sparked a new wave of outrage worldwide as journalists and activists called for investigations.
Representatives of the Gaddafi regime took a large group of foreign reporters to the site. They were reportedly shown bodies of women and children, including the remains of a baby. Multiple bombed out homes were also presented to international journalists.
Mark Levin is a talk radio show host who, like his colleague and friend Sean Hannity, prides himself on being a “Reagan conservative.” From as far as I can determine, it is with justice that he describes himself as such. The problem, however, is that a “Reagan conservative” isn’t a real conservative at all; for all practical purposes, “Reagan conservatism” is just another name for neoconservatism. This is an attack against neither Ronald Reagan, “Reagan conservatives,” nor neoconservatives. That Reagan never succeeded in eliminating a single government program, much less an agency, and that federal spending increased exponentially under his watch are just a couple of the considerations that some have invoked to argue, quite persuasively, that Reagan was not a real conservative. At the very least, if he was a conservative, his presidency didn’t prove to be all that successful as far as his conservatism was concerned.
But Reagan aside, judging from the policy prescriptions endorsed by Levin and all self-avowed “Reagan conservatives,” the verdict that “Reagan conservatism” is evidently synonymous with neoconservatism is inescapable.
The optimism and patience of the Congressional Black Caucus, after two and a half years of Obama-rule, has finally given out. They are now accusing the Obama administration of failing to adequately address a veritable epidemic of African-American unemployment.
"Can you imagine a situation where any other group of workers, if 34 percent of white women were out there looking for work and couldn't find it?" asked Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Missouri Democrat and chairman of the caucus, in July 2011. "You would see congressional hearings and community gatherings. There would be rallies and protest marches. There is no way that this would be allowed to stand.”
Unfortunately for them, the first black American president has no credible answer for the caucus. The trouble is that for decades black leadership in and out of Congress has done nothing to tackle the problem of what might be termed "the black underclass."
A recent Gallup poll reveals that many “pro-choice” Americans hold beliefs about abortion that are sharply at odds with the abortion industry — and are, in fact, more closely aligned with pro-life views on a number of crucial issues. According to Gallup senior editor Lydia Saad, the survey found that self-described pro-choice and pro-life Americans “agree about nine major areas of abortion policy,” including requiring informed consent for women (86 percent for pro-choice, 87 percent for pro-life respondents), and banning partial-birth abortion (63 percent for pro-choice, 68 percent for pro-life respondents).
According to the Gallup poll, majorities of both pro-choice and pro-life Americans also believe that:
The Reality Church in Olympia, Washington is considering filing suit against the state government for denying its request to perform a baptism in a public park.
Over the weekend, the church had hoped to use Heritage Park, a public park near the state Capitol, for a baptism ceremony and a barbecue. So as not to use the park's 260-acre manmade lake to conduct the baptisms, they planned to use a portable baptistry; but their request was denied. The church is now examining its legal options to determine whether the state has violated its own constitution.
The University of North Carolina at Wilmington has put out a list of “gay friendly” churches in the area to assist students and faculty in choosing a politically correct place of worship. According to FOX News, the list is part of a “broader guide to gay-friendly businesses, nonprofits, health centers and other services in the area.”
But one professor has questioned why the university should be making recommendations to anyone about where they should go to church. “It’s just amazing,” criminology professor Mike Adams told FOX. “It appears to me to be the height of not just silliness, but government waste.”
The university’s LGBTQIA (that’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex and allied) Office described the list as a “local resource guide [for] lgbt staff and faculty.”