President Obama took office in January 2009 with grand promises of "creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government," but with the Anwar al-Awlaki killing and an administration assassination program for American citizens, the Obama administration has taken government secrecy to new depths.
U.S. citizen and alleged al Qaeda terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki was killed by a drone strike in Yemen September 30, but the Obama administration has decided to keep his assassination program secret. Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic magazine summarized the situation as follows:
[T]he actual legal reasoning the Department of Justice used to authorize the strike? It's secret. Classified. Information that the public isn't permitted to read, mull over, or challenge.... Obama hasn't just set a new precedent about killing Americans without due process. He has done so in a way that deliberately shields from public view the precise nature of the important precedent he has set.
“Carol Swain is an apologist for white supremacists.” That was the jarring headline of a front-page article that greeted Dr. Swain in her local paper on October 17, 2009. The headline was a quote from Mark Potok, a top spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center, the self-anointed “watchdog” that presumes to be the preeminent monitor of “hate groups and racial extremists throughout the United States.”
Carol Swain, then, must be a very bad person, no? Probably joined at the hip to the neo-Nazis, KKK, and Aryan Nations, right? After all, the folks at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and especially the organization’s founder, Morris Dees, have acquired sainted reputations as heroic crusaders against these nefarious groups and other purveyors of hatred, bigotry, and violence. Dees, Potok, and their colleagues at SPLC are regularly paraded as the go-to “experts” on all the various extremists that threaten the realm. Surely, they must know something dark and sinister about Dr. Swain’s collaboration with these forces.
Undoubtedly, Professor Swain was not the only one shocked by the SPLC allegation; many of her academic peers and students, as well as the many fans of her books and published columns, would have considered her to be one of the last persons to fall under such loathsome accusations.
“Law enforcement professionals are more likely to encounter dangerous extremists than virtually any other segment of American society — and those confrontations are, tragically, sometimes fatal,” says the SPLC’s “Law Enforcement Resources” web page. “With that in mind,” the web page continues, “the SPLC has undertaken a number of initiatives to equip officers with information and other resources that may help them carry out their duties with a minimum of danger to themselves.”
Over the past four decades, Morris Dees and the SPLC have parlayed their political and media connections into close ties with law-enforcement agencies. These ties are more troubling — and potentially far more dangerous — than their often-criticized fundraising scandals. During the administration of President Bill Clinton and his Attorney General, Janet Reno, the SPLC developed a continuing tight relationship with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI that has since expanded to include the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and many state and local police agencies. The SPLC sends its Intelligence Reports to thousands of police departments, and its so-called experts frequently provide seminars for law enforcement regarding conservative, constitutionalist, or pro-life groups that the SPLC smears by falsely associating them with the Ku Klux Klan or neo-Nazi groups.
By fiat of the Fourth Estate, all current GOP presidential candidates but two have already been been effectively eliminated in the year preceding the first vote in any caucus or primary. Heck, they were probably eliminated before the first straw poll. A recent article by the Associated Press informs us, not for the first time, that the competition for next year's Republican presidential nomination is a two-way race between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. Gee, and it seems like only yesterday when much of the major “mainstream” media were preparing us for a general election between nominees Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. Time flies when they're crowning presidents, I guess. Heck, I can barely remember the Howard Dean administration.
So I guess the others who've been out there campaigning all these weeks and months should just fold their tents and go home. Say good night, Newt. Get along, Gary. Bye Bye, Bachmann. So long, Santorum. Take a hike, Huntsman. Can it, Cain. That's all, Paul.
The AP story was about the latest Hamlet on the hustings, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and how he might jump into the presidential waters, after all, and what a big splash that would make. Of course, Christie has said about 10,000 times that he won't be a candidate and has even said the only thing he could do to make it more clear and emphatic that he is not going to run is to commit suicide, a thought that may have been pleasing to some of his enemies in the New Jersey legislature. But lately he has been having second thought and is reconsidering his Shermanesque stand. Or at least that's what the professional readers of the political tea leaves have been telling us.
Though his campaign has been largely ignored by the mainstream media, Rep. Ron Paul has been making some gains over the course of the last few months. In fact, the longtime Texas Congressman's momentum has prompted The Blaze to report:
Paul is having such a big impact on the race that some Republican operatives are convinced that he will play spoiler in important states, siphoning votes and attention from his rivals for months to come and helping determine the nominee.
According to that same article, Paul could prove particularly problematic for current GOP frontrunners Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
In New Hampshire recently, Paul commented regarding claims that he could “spoil” the frontrunners’ campaigns,
I have no idea what exactly "spoiler" means. If you’re a participant and you have an influence and you win or come close and you influence the debate, I think that’s pretty important. So I don’t put a negative term on that as spoiling anything. Spoiling their fun? Maybe they need a little spoiling.
As the 2012 presidential race surges forward, President Obama’s past Wall Street financiers are abandoning him and steadily migrating to the Right, pursuing candidates more supportive of the financial sector and a leader who is more apt to rekindle the country’s economic spirit. One GOP candidate who many financial moguls are tracking is former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
Obama raised a record-breaking $745 million during the 2008 election — more than twice what Republican rival John McCain raised — with some of his top campaign dollars streaming from prominent leaders in the financial industry, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley. But Obama’s 2012 campaign efforts have hit a lull, as his fundraising appeals are being met with more resistance and less enthusiasm.
In mid-September the President blasted an e-mail to his reelection mailing list, with the subject line reading, "Sometime soon, can we meet for dinner?" The body of the e-mail read, "Today, I want to ask if you’ll join me and three other supporters for a meal and conversation sometime soon." "Please donate $5 or more to be automatically entered for a chance to join me for dinner."
President Obama touted the killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki in a drone strike in Yemen September 30, raising constitutional questions of whether the President has become judge, jury, and executioner for alleged criminals. Obama noted that Awlaki was a longtime video propagandist for al-Qaeda, and claimed that "the death of Awlaki is a major blow to al Qaeda's most active operational affiliate. Awlaki was the leader of external operations for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. In that role, he took the lead in planning and directing efforts to murder innocent Americans."
Awlaki wasn't the only American targeted in the drone strike. "The strike also killed a second U.S. citizen — Samir Khan, the co-editor of an al-Qaeda magazine — and two other unidentified al-Qaeda operatives," the Yemeni government told the Washington Post. The New American reported back in June that dozens of other American citizens are apparently on Obama's assassination list.
President Obama alleged that Awlaki "directed the failed attempt to blow up an airplane on Christmas Day in 2009. He directed the failed attempt to blow up U.S. cargo planes in 2010." Awlaki denied directing these attacks in a February 2010 interview with Al Jazeera, though he admitted he liked the idea of attacks on U.S. military targets.
Who talked Rick Perry into grabbing the third rail of American politics? In case you don’t recognize the phrase, “the third rail” refers to any criticism of the Social Security system or any suggestions on ways to improve it by anyone running for public office anywhere in the United States.
It’s called the third rail because, just like a subway line, touching it usually proves fatal.
In the book Perry published last year, which he called Fed Up!, the Texas Governor referred to Social Security as “a Ponzi scheme.” Nobody made much of a fuss about it at the time. Outside of Texas, who cares what the Governor there says?
But now that Perry has taken the top spot in the Republican race for the White House, the poor guy is really getting pounded for it — and for a bunch of other “crazy, right-wing” sentiments he expressed there as well. Or at least so saith the New York Times and Washington Post.
Paul Derangement Syndrome (PDS) is a mental condition that, though it was first detected during the 2008 Republican presidential primaries, has only now been identified for the dangerous disorder that it is. Also known as “Paulophobia,” those suffering from it find themselves tortured by their fear of Texas Congressman and three time presidential candidate Ron Paul.
PDS is peculiar in that in spite of its being a contagion, there is but one segment of the general population that it is known to afflict. Even more curious is the fact that this segment consists of Ron Paul’s fellow partisans in the Republican Party. More specifically, it is neoconservative men and women, especially those with a particularly powerful proclivity for “conservative” talk radio and Fox News, who are most susceptible to contracting PDS.
PDS is known to ravage the rationality of its hosts. While this disorder indeed promises to reduce its victims’ thoughts on Congressman Paul to textbook cases of illogic, it would be a mistake to infer from this that every Paulophobe was a clear thinker prior to falling prey to PDS:
Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) plans to introduce a controversial bill that would abolish every federal regulation enacted in the past two decades, including restrictions on banking, oil drilling, healthcare, and food and drug safety. "My bill is very simple, I just null and void any regulations passed in the last 20 years," Young announced to a crowd at the Anchorage Downtown Rotary Club. "I picked 20 years ago because it crossed party lines and also we were prosperous at that time. And no new regulations until they can justify them."
Rep. Young’s legislation is still in development, but the premise of the bill is to dissolve burdensome regulations that hamper American businesses from growing and prospering in the sluggish U.S. economy. "The main thing is if an agency can’t justify a regulation, it shouldn’t be on the board," he contended. "The overall idea behind the legislation is to make sure an agency justifies these regulations." The Alaskan congressman did however cede to the likely fate that his proposal would be barricaded by the Democratic-led Senate or stamped with a veto by President Obama.