Saturday, January 30, 2010

Winter Storm

This is what it was like about 4 days ago... Missy and Simon sharing a chair on the deck.


We had a nice little winter storm blow through last night and today.  When I got up I went out and measured the accumulation... 7" at my house.  Missy tried to go out and landed in snow about as tall as her.  Talk about an about face and back through her door.  *LOL*  Simon didn't even bother to make an attempt.  I took some pics... through my windows.

My Back Deck

The Main Road (Hwy 96)

Birdfeeders In Backyard

My Car In The Driveway

My Street (and neighbors house)
You can barely see some tracks on the road.

My Front Steps

The Subdivision Entrance From Hwy 96

Missy checking things out from her new found vantage point.

Simon decided to spend the day napping on his chair.

And a side note... It was one year ago that I got laid off, January 30th, 2009 was my last day of work.  I'm still looking... still applying... still waiting!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

America Rising: An Open Letter To The Democrats

A friend sent me the link to this video... I think it is a powerful message that is being sent.  The same message we are seeing time and time again in many ways... tea parties, town hall meetings, videos, websites, songs, and most importantly... in elections.  And let me be clear here... this is NOT just a message for Far-Left Liberals or Democrats... there are some liberal and moderate Republicans/Independents that need to take heed!

Joe Seales' Website (to download video):

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Republican Victory... WOOHOO!

An epic win by Republican Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race.  The people are speaking... hopefully the politicians will finally listen.

excerpts from the Associated Press
In epic upset, GOP's Brown wins Mass. Senate race

"I voted for Obama because I wanted change. ... I thought he'd bring it to us, but I just don't like the direction that he's heading," said John Triolo, 38, a registered independent who voted in Fitchburg.

Fears about spending drove Karla Bunch, 49, to vote for Brown. "It's time for the country, for the taxpayers, to take back their money," she said. And Elizabeth Reddin, 65, voted for Brown because she said she was turned off by the Democrat's negative advertisements, saying: "The Coakley stuff was disgusting."

excerpts from the Associated Press
In epic upset, GOP's Brown wins Mass. Senate race

The loss by the once-favored Democrat Martha Coakley in the Democratic stronghold was a stunning embarrassment for the White House after Obama rushed to Boston on Sunday to try to save the foundering candidate. Her defeat on Tuesday signaled big political problems for the president's party this fall when House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates are on the ballot nationwide.

Brown's victory was the third major loss for Democrats in statewide elections since Obama became president. Republicans won governors' seats in Virginia and New Jersey in November.

Brown will be the first Republican senator from Massachusetts in 30 years.

Even before the first results were announced, administration officials were privately accusing Coakley of a poorly run campaign and playing down the notion that Obama or a toxic political landscape had much to do with the outcome.

Coakley's supporters, in turn, blamed that very environment, saying her lead dropped significantly after the Senate passed health care reform shortly before Christmas and after the Christmas Day attempted airliner bombing that Obama himself said showed a failure of his administration.

Days before the polls closed, Democrats were fingerpointing and laying blame.

GOP chairman Michael Steele said Brown's "message of lower taxes, smaller government and fiscal responsibility clearly resonated with independent-minded voters in Massachusetts who were looking for a solution to decades of failed Democrat leadership."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

STIMULUS WATCH: White House changes job-count rule

By: Brett J. Blackledge, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The White House has abandoned its controversial method of counting jobs under President Barack Obama's economic stimulus, making it impossible to track the number of jobs saved or created with the $787 billion in recovery money.

Despite mounting a vigorous defense of its earlier count of more than 640,000 jobs credited to the stimulus, even after numerous errors were identified, the Obama administration now is making it easier to give the stimulus credit for hiring. It's no longer about counting a job as saved or created; now it's a matter of counting jobs funded by the stimulus.

That means that any stimulus money used to cover payroll will be included in the jobs credited to the program, including pay raises for existing employees and pay for people who never were in jeopardy of losing their positions.

The new rules, quietly published last month in a memorandum to federal agencies, mark the White House's latest response to criticism about the way it counts jobs credited to the stimulus. When The Associated Press first reported flaws in the job counts in October, the White House said errors were being corrected and future counts would provide a full and correct accounting of just how many stimulus jobs were saved or created.

Numbers published last month identified more than 640,000 jobs linked to stimulus projects around the country. The White House said the public could have confidence in those new numbers, which officials argued proved the administration was on track to keep Obama's promise that the stimulus would save or create 3.5 million jobs by the end of this year.

But more errors were found, with tens of thousands of problems documented in corrected counts, from the substantive to the clerical. Republicans have used those flaws to attack what so far is the signature domestic policy approved during Obama's presidency.

The new rules are intended to streamline the process, said Tom Gavin, spokesman for the White House's Office of Management and Budget. They came in response to grant recipients who complained the reporting was too complicated, from lawmakers who complained the job counts were inconsistent and from watchdog groups who complained the information was unreliable, Gavin said.

"We're trying to make this as consistent and as uniform as we possibly can," he said.

The new stimulus job reports will continue to offer details about jobs and projects. But they were never expected to be the public accounting of Obama's goal to save or create 3.5 million jobs, Gavin said.

The quarterly job reports posted on the Web site for the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board reflect only a fraction of the jobs created under the program and can't account for job creation stemming from other stimulus programs such as tax rebates and other federal aid, the spokesman said.

But the result of the new rules will be that future claims of job creation from the stimulus will be even more misleading, said Rep. Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

"It is troubling that the administration is changing the rules and further inflating the Recovery Act's impact and masking the failure of the stimulus to produce sustainable economic growth or real job creation," Issa said in a letter sent last week to the government board monitoring stimulus spending.

Recipients of recovery money no longer have to show that a job would have been lost without the stimulus help, and they no longer are required to keep an ongoing tally of jobs saved or created. The new rules allow stimulus recipients to limit the job tally to quarterly reports, making it impossible to avoid double-counting a job that was created in one quarter and continued into the next.

Issa wants the Recovery Board, the government's independent oversight panel, to change how it identifies the count of stimulus jobs and to add a note on its Web site explaining that there is now a different definition for what constitutes a job under the stimulus.

Monday, January 11, 2010

God And Dog: by Wendy Francisco

A friend emailed this to me and I thought it was just awesome. Thanks Pat.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Global Warming? Don’t Tell the Brits

The headline in Britain’s Daily Express on Wednesday said it all: “Snow Chaos: And They Still Claim It’s Global Warming.”

As many regions of the U.S. battled bone-chilling temperatures and ferocious snowstorms this past week, Britain was also socked with horrendous winter weather.

Unusually heavy snowfall — up to 16 inches in some places — closed highways, stranded hundreds of motorists, disrupted trains, and shut down schools and airports across Britain as the country suffered through its longest cold snap since 1981.

Temperatures at mid-week were well below freezing as far south as London.

“British winters are typically mild, and cities and towns are generally ill-equipped to deal with heavy snowfall,” according to The Associated Press.

But the Daily Express observed that climate experts say “blizzards, ice, and sub-zero temperatures that have gripped the U.K. for almost a month in a record deep freeze are not ‘robust’ indicators of global weather patterns.”

Unusually bad winter weather wasn’t limited to Northern Europe, however. Temperatures plunged to 10 degrees in parts of China and Beijing experienced its biggest snowstorm in 60 years on Jan. 3.

The cold claimed at least 157 lives in India during the week, and 30 died in Bangladesh.

Back in the U.S., a meteorologist with said in some areas this will be the “coldest winter in many people’s memory.”

Climate experts’ claims about global warming “come despite the fact that the rest of the northern hemisphere, from America to Europe and Asia, is suffering some of the worst winters in living memory,” the Daily Express noted.

Christopher Booker, author of “The Real Global Warming Disaster,” said, “It is amazing how this scaremongering from climate change lobbyists keeps arising even though they are constantly being proved wrong.

“Last year there was snow in Saudi Arabia and still they persist in saying the temperature is going up.”


Rep. Steve King: Televise Healthcare Talks

Rep. Steve King has issued a statement supporting C-SPAN’s request to broadcast congressional negotiations on healthcare reform, comparing the current closed-door talks to “Chicago-style gangster government.”

President Obama pledged during a presidential debate in January 2008 that he would be “bringing all parties together, and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN so that the American people can see what the choices are.”

In a letter to House and Senate leaders released on Tuesday, C-SPAN Chief Executive Brian Lamb asked for negotiations on a compromise bill to be televised, as Democrats work to reconcile differences between legislation passed by the two chambers.

“We respectfully request that you allow the public full access, through television, to legislation that will affect the lives of every single America,” the letter read in part.

Rep. King, an Iowa Republican and member of the Subcommittee on Regulations, Healthcare and Trade, said in his statement issued on Wednesday: “In January 2008, candidate Obama pledged not to negotiate healthcare legislation ‘behind closed doors.’ Instead he committed to ‘broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN.’ There are serious differences between candidate Obama’s statements in 2008 and President Obama’s actions in 2010.

“Today, the healthcare legislation is being negotiated behind closed doors, and C-SPAN’s request to broadcast these negotiations is being rebuffed. Tuesday night President Obama and liberals in Congress decided to bypass conference committee debate to craft government-run healthcare legislation in secret in an effort to expedite its passage into law.

“These closed-door, back room dealings may be the norm in a Chicago-style gangster government, but they are not acceptable in our constitutional republic. Americans have a right to know what is going on so they can make their voices heard.

“When asked about President Obama’s pledge to allow C-SPAN access to healthcare debates, Speaker Pelosi dismissively said, ‘there are a number of things he was for on the campaign trail.’ Apparently the speaker of the House doesn’t mind the idea of the president breaking his promises to the American people. But the American people do mind, and they expect President Obama to follow through on the promise he made to them on the campaign trail.”


‘Hillary Was Right’ About Obama and Terror

During the 2008 presidential race Hillary Clinton’s campaign warned that if a national security crisis arose with Barack Obama in the White House and the “red phone” alerting him rang at 3 a.m., he could not be trusted to adequately respond.

“Turns out Hillary Rodham Clinton was right all along,” declared Charles Hurt, Washington, D.C. bureau chief for the New York Post.

Hillary’s warning in a campaign ad suggested that an Obama White House would so downplay the threat posed by terrorism that “the government’s focus would shift away from the harsh and determined tactics used to protect the homeland,” Hurt wrote on Friday, adding, “Instead, Obama would turn his attention to becoming more popular in the world and stress negotiations over hardball tactics.”

That attitude has trickled down to all levels of the government responsible for national security, according to Hurt.

On Thursday, President Obama sought to calm Americans’ fears about the terror threat following the attempted bombing of a plane on Christmas Day. But “there wasn’t much to see in the White House other than bungling of previous bungling,” according to Hurt, as the administration rescheduled Obama’s address to the country several times.

At 8 a.m., the White House said the president would speak at 1 p.m. Then at 1 p.m., the announcement came that he would deliver his address at 3 p.m. At 3 p.m., the White House said Obama would speak at 4:30 p.m. He took the podium at 4:34 p.m.

Hurt cited Obama’s trip to Cairo last year to address the Muslim world, when he said it is “part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear,” and opined, “If you have time for such nonsense, then you are not spending enough time thinking about how to thwart this enemy.

“But it is not like we weren’t warned by Hillary Clinton.”

Another 2008 presidential candidate, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, declared Friday morning that the Fort Hood shootings and the Christmas Day bombing incident show Obama and his advisers have been “fundamentally wrong” in their approach to the war on terror.

Giuliani, who was New York's mayor when terrorists struck on Sept. 11, 2001, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” viewers that the president has tried to let “political correctness trump reality.”

Giuliani said the Obama administration came into power with the belief that President George W. Bush’s response to the 9/11 attacks was unnecessarily severe, and had alienated America’s potential allies abroad.

“They’d gone too far, Bush had overreacted, we make the war on terror worse if we emphasize it too much — this is what they truly believed,” Giuliani said. “But they were fundamentally wrong.”


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2009

Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2009

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released its 2009 list of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians." The list, in alphabetical order, includes:

1. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT): This marks two years in a row for Senator Dodd, who made the 2008 "Ten Most Corrupt" list for his corrupt relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for accepting preferential treatment and loan terms from Countrywide Financial, a scandal which still dogs him. In 2009, the scandals kept coming for the Connecticut Democrat. In 2009, Judicial Watch filed a Senate ethics complaint against Dodd for undervaluing a property he owns in Ireland on his Senate Financial Disclosure forms. Judicial Watch's complaint forced Dodd to amend the forms. However, press reports suggest the property to this day remains undervalued. Judicial Watch also alleges in the complaint that Dodd obtained a sweetheart deal for the property in exchange for his assistance in obtaining a presidential pardon (during the Clinton administration) and other favors for a long-time friend and business associate. The false financial disclosure forms were part of the cover-up. Dodd remains the head the Senate Banking Committee.

2. Senator John Ensign (R-NV): A number of scandals popped up in 2009 involving public officials who conducted illicit affairs, and then attempted to cover them up with hush payments and favors, an obvious abuse of power. The year's worst offender might just be Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign. Ensign admitted in June to an extramarital affair with the wife of one of his staff members, who then allegedly obtained special favors from the Nevada Republican in exchange for his silence. According to The New York Times: "The Justice Department and the Senate Ethics Committee are expected to conduct preliminary inquiries into whether Senator John Ensign violated federal law or ethics rules as part of an effort to conceal an affair with the wife of an aide…" The former staffer, Douglas Hampton, began to lobby Mr. Ensign's office immediately upon leaving his congressional job, despite the fact that he was subject to a one-year lobbying ban. Ensign seems to have ignored the law and allowed Hampton lobbying access to his office as a payment for his silence about the affair. (These are potentially criminal offenses.) It looks as if Ensign misused his public office (and taxpayer resources) to cover up his sexual shenanigans.

3. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): Judicial Watch is investigating a $12 million TARP cash injection provided to the Boston-based OneUnited Bank at the urging of Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank. As reported in the January 22, 2009, edition of the Wall Street Journal, the Treasury Department indicated it would only provide funds to healthy banks to jump-start lending. Not only was OneUnited Bank in massive financial turmoil, but it was also "under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses, including owning a Porsche for its executives' use." Rep. Frank admitted he spoke to a "federal regulator," and Treasury granted the funds. (The bank continues to flounder despite Frank's intervention for federal dollars.) Moreover, Judicial Watch uncovered documents in 2009 that showed that members of Congress for years were aware that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were playing fast and loose with accounting issues, risk assessment issues and executive compensation issues, even as liberals led by Rep. Frank continued to block attempts to rein in the two Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs). For example, during a hearing on September 10, 2003, before the House Committee on Financial Services considering a Bush administration proposal to further regulate Fannie and Freddie, Rep. Frank stated: "I want to begin by saying that I am glad to consider the legislation, but I do not think we are facing any kind of a crisis. That is, in my view, the two Government Sponsored Enterprises we are talking about here, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not in a crisis. We have recently had an accounting problem with Freddie Mac that has led to people being dismissed, as appears to be appropriate. I do not think at this point there is a problem with a threat to the Treasury." Frank received $42,350 in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 1989 and 2008. Frank also engaged in a relationship with a Fannie Mae Executive while serving on the House Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

4. Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner: In 2009, Obama Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner admitted that he failed to pay $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes from 2001-2004 on his lucrative salary at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an organization with 185 member countries that oversees the global financial system. (Did we mention Geithner now runs the IRS?) It wasn't until President Obama tapped Geithner to head the Treasury Department that he paid back most of the money, although the IRS kindly waived the hefty penalties. In March 2009, Geithner also came under fire for his handling of the AIG bonus scandal, where the company used $165 million of its bailout funds to pay out executive bonuses, resulting in a massive public backlash. Of course as head of the New York Federal Reserve, Geithner helped craft the AIG deal in September 2008. However, when the AIG scandal broke, Geithner claimed he knew nothing of the bonuses until March 10, 2009. The timing is important. According to CNN: "Although Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told congressional leaders on Tuesday that he learned of AIG's impending $160 million bonus payments to members of its troubled financial-products unit on March 10, sources tell TIME that the New York Federal Reserve informed Treasury staff that the payments were imminent on Feb. 28. That is ten days before Treasury staffers say they first learned 'full details' of the bonus plan, and three days before the [Obama] Administration launched a new $30 billion infusion of cash for AIG." Throw in another embarrassing disclosure in 2009 that Geithner employed "household help" ineligible to work in the United States, and it becomes clear why the Treasury Secretary has earned a spot on the "Ten Most Corrupt Politicians in Washington" list.

5. Attorney General Eric Holder: Tim Geithner can be sure he won't be hounded about his tax-dodging by his colleague Eric Holder, US Attorney General. Judicial Watch strongly opposed Holder because of his terrible ethics record, which includes: obstructing an FBI investigation of the theft of nuclear secrets from Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory; rejecting multiple requests for an independent counsel to investigate alleged fundraising abuses by then-Vice President Al Gore in the Clinton White House; undermining the criminal investigation of President Clinton by Kenneth Starr in the midst of the Lewinsky investigation; and planning the violent raid to seize then-six-year-old Elian Gonzalez at gunpoint in order to return him to Castro's Cuba. Moreover, there is his soft record on terrorism. Holder bypassed Justice Department procedures to push through Bill Clinton's scandalous presidential pardons and commutations, including for 16 members of FALN, a violent Puerto Rican terrorist group that orchestrated approximately 120 bombings in the United States, killing at least six people and permanently maiming dozens of others, including law enforcement officers. His record in the current administration is no better. As he did during the Clinton administration, Holder continues to ignore serious incidents of corruption that could impact his political bosses at the White House. For example, Holder has refused to investigate charges that the Obama political machine traded VIP access to the White House in exchange for campaign contributions – a scheme eerily similar to one hatched by Holder's former boss, Bill Clinton in the 1990s. The Holder Justice Department also came under fire for dropping a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party. On Election Day 2008, Black Panthers dressed in paramilitary garb threatened voters as they approached polling stations. Holder has also failed to initiate a comprehensive Justice investigation of the notorious organization ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), which is closely tied to President Obama. There were allegedly more than 400,000 fraudulent ACORN voter registrations in the 2008 campaign. And then there were the journalist videos catching ACORN Housing workers advising undercover reporters on how to evade tax, immigration, and child prostitution laws. Holder's controversial decisions on new rights for terrorists and his attacks on previous efforts to combat terrorism remind many of the fact that his former law firm has provided and continues to provide pro bono representation to terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. Holder's politicization of the Justice Department makes one long for the days of Alberto Gonzales.

6. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)/ Senator Roland Burris (D-IL): One of the most serious scandals of 2009 involved a scheme by former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to sell President Obama's then-vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. Two men caught smack dab in the middle of the scandal: Senator Roland Burris, who ultimately got the job, and Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, emissaries for Jesse Jackson Jr., named "Senate Candidate A" in the Blagojevich indictment, reportedly offered $1.5 million to Blagojevich during a fundraiser if he named Jackson Jr. to Obama's seat. Three days later federal authorities arrested Blagojevich. Burris, for his part, apparently lied about his contacts with Blagojevich, who was arrested in December 2008 for trying to sell Obama's Senate seat. According to Reuters: "Roland Burris came under fresh scrutiny…after disclosing he tried to raise money for the disgraced former Illinois governor who named him to the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama…In the latest of those admissions, Burris said he looked into mounting a fundraiser for Rod Blagojevich -- later charged with trying to sell Obama's Senate seat -- at the same time he was expressing interest to the then-governor's aides about his desire to be appointed." Burris changed his story five times regarding his contacts with Blagojevich prior to the Illinois governor appointing him to the U.S. Senate. Three of those changing explanations came under oath.

7. President Barack Obama: During his presidential campaign, President Obama promised to run an ethical and transparent administration. However, in his first year in office, the President has delivered corruption and secrecy, bringing Chicago-style political corruption to the White House. Consider just a few Obama administration "lowlights" from year one: Even before President Obama was sworn into office, he was interviewed by the FBI for a criminal investigation of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's scheme to sell the President's former Senate seat to the highest bidder. (Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and slumlord Valerie Jarrett, both from Chicago, are also tangled up in the Blagojevich scandal.) Moreover, the Obama administration made the startling claim that the Privacy Act does not apply to the White House. The Obama White House believes it can violate the privacy rights of American citizens without any legal consequences or accountability. President Obama boldly proclaimed that "transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency," but his administration is addicted to secrecy, stonewalling far too many of Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act requests and is refusing to make public White House visitor logs as federal law requires. The Obama administration turned the National Endowment of the Arts (as well as the agency that runs the AmeriCorps program) into propaganda machines, using tax dollars to persuade "artists" to promote the Obama agenda. According to documents uncovered by Judicial Watch, the idea emerged as a direct result of the Obama campaign and enjoyed White House approval and participation. President Obama has installed a record number of "czars" in positions of power. Too many of these individuals are leftist radicals who answer to no one but the president. And too many of the czars are not subject to Senate confirmation (which raises serious constitutional questions). Under the President's bailout schemes, the federal government continues to appropriate or control -- through fiat and threats -- large sectors of the private economy, prompting conservative columnist George Will to write: "The administration's central activity -- the political allocation of wealth and opportunity -- is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption." Government-run healthcare and car companies, White House coercion, uninvestigated ACORN corruption, debasing his office to help Chicago cronies, attacks on conservative media and the private sector, unprecedented and dangerous new rights for terrorists, perks for campaign donors – this is Obama's "ethics" record -- and we haven't even gotten through the first year of his presidency.

8. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): At the heart of the corruption problem in Washington is a sense of entitlement. Politicians believe laws and rules (even the U.S. Constitution) apply to the rest of us but not to them. Case in point: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her excessive and boorish demands for military travel. Judicial Watch obtained documents from the Pentagon in 2008 that suggest Pelosi has been treating the Air Force like her own personal airline. These documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, include internal Pentagon email correspondence detailing attempts by Pentagon staff to accommodate Pelosi's numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft as well as the speaker's 11th hour cancellations and changes. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also came under fire in April 2009, when she claimed she was never briefed about the CIA's use of the waterboarding technique during terrorism investigations. The CIA produced a report documenting a briefing with Pelosi on September 4, 2002, that suggests otherwise. Judicial Watch also obtained documents, including a CIA Inspector General report, which further confirmed that Congress was fully briefed on the enhanced interrogation techniques. Aside from her own personal transgressions, Nancy Pelosi has ignored serious incidents of corruption within her own party, including many of the individuals on this list. (See Rangel, Murtha, Jesse Jackson, Jr., etc.)

9. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and the rest of the PMA Seven: Rep. John Murtha made headlines in 2009 for all the wrong reasons. The Pennsylvania congressman is under federal investigation for his corrupt relationship with the now-defunct defense lobbyist PMA Group. PMA, founded by a former Murtha associate, has been the congressman's largest campaign contributor. Since 2002, Murtha has raised $1.7 million from PMA and its clients. And what did PMA and its clients receive from Murtha in return for their generosity? Earmarks -- tens of millions of dollars in earmarks. In fact, even with all of the attention surrounding his alleged influence peddling, Murtha kept at it. Following an FBI raid of PMA's offices earlier in 2009, Murtha continued to seek congressional earmarks for PMA clients, while also hitting them up for campaign contributions. According to The Hill, in April, "Murtha reported receiving contributions from three former PMA clients for whom he requested earmarks in the pending appropriations bills." When it comes to the PMA scandal, Murtha is not alone. As many as six other Members of Congress are currently under scrutiny according to The Washington Post. They include: Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN.), James P. Moran Jr. (D-VA), Norm Dicks (D-WA.), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), C.W. Bill Young (R-FL.) and Todd Tiahrt (R-KS.). Of course rather than investigate this serious scandal, according to Roll Call House Democrats circled the wagons, "cobbling together a defense to offer political cover to their rank and file." The Washington Post also reported in 2009 that Murtha's nephew received $4 million in Defense Department no-bid contracts: "Newly obtained documents…show Robert Murtha mentioning his influential family connection as leverage in his business dealings and holding unusual power with the military."

10. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY): Rangel, the man in charge of writing tax policy for the entire country, has yet to adequately explain how he could possibly "forget" to pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income he earned from his off-shore rental property. He also faces allegations that he improperly used his influence to maintain ownership of highly coveted rent-controlled apartments in Harlem, and misused his congressional office to fundraise for his private Rangel Center by preserving a tax loophole for an oil drilling company in exchange for funding. On top of all that, Rangel recently amended his financial disclosure reports, which doubled his reported wealth. (He somehow "forgot" about $1 million in assets.) And what did he do when the House Ethics Committee started looking into all of this? He apparently resorted to making "campaign contributions" to dig his way out of trouble. According to WCBS TV, a New York CBS affiliate: "The reigning member of Congress' top tax committee is apparently 'wrangling' other politicos to get him out of his own financial and tax troubles...Since ethics probes began last year the 79-year-old congressman has given campaign donations to 119 members of Congress, including three of the five Democrats on the House Ethics Committee who are charged with investigating him." Charlie Rangel should not be allowed to remain in Congress, let alone serve as Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, and he knows it. That's why he felt the need to disburse campaign contributions to Ethics Committee members and other congressional colleagues.

Consequence of Obama: Terrorism Is Back

Consequence of Obama: Terrorism Is Back

Tuesday, 05 Jan 2010 02:33 PM
By: Dick Morris &Eileen McGann

Rev. Jeremiah Wright said that the “chickens came home to roost” on 9/11. He was wrong. But they have now, indeed, come home to roost as we witness the results of the unilateral disarmament President Obama has practiced in the war on terror.

Beset once more by terrorism on our soil and in our airspace, we find ourselves suddenly overmatched by those who the Bush administration kept away from our shores for seven years.

This new onset of terrorism is not the product of any change in the international environment or some new “systemic” flaw in our intelligence operations. It is due to the policy of President Obama in letting down our guard and inhibiting those charged with our protection.

Under Obama, the hunters have become the hunted as America inverted her priorities. Those who have been working to keep us safe have, themselves, come under scrutiny for profiling, harsh interrogation techniques, and a failure to give terrorists constitutional rights they don’t have.

The result is predictable: Timidity and caution have become the order of the day in our intelligence community. In a world where hunch, guesswork, and a willingness to leap to conclusions by imagining the worst are vital to success, a "cover your butt" mentality has taken over. If you come to the wrong conclusion, if you profile without adequate justification, if you accuse incorrectly, you are finished. Your career and your pension will be gone. Guess right and you are accorded anonymity. Guess wrong and you’re through.

The failure of the intelligence operatives to pass along the information about the Ft. Hood shooter or the airline bomber did not flow from a blind spot or a lack of coordination, they stemmed from terrorism of a different sort — the terror of making a mistake and falling on the harsh mercies of Eric Holder.

Now Nigerian terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab sits, lawyered up, in a federal prison. His interrogation will proceed, if at all, under the watchful eye of his counsel. He will not finger other operatives nor warn us of other impending attacks. He will receive the full panoply of constitutional rights, none of which he is entitled to.

Barack Obama does not seem to understand that these terrorists come here to use our laws and our system, not to protect us, not even to shelter themselves, but to destroy us.

Abdulmutallab should be interrogated by the military, without benefit of counsel. The evidence we obtain should not be admissible in a court of law nor used as the basis for his sentencing. But it must be used to ward off future threats and attacks.

But Obama is a true believer. His persistence in downgrading the war on terror to a criminal investigation will continue. And we will experience more and more attacks. Because pessimism is the bodyguard of liberalism, he will explain to us that the world has become more threatening and that he is doing all he can to keep us safe. But the truth will be that it will have been his policies and priorities that are leaving us exposed.

And the attacks will continue.

War? What War? - By Charles Krauthammer

This is a two-part entry.  The first part is an article I read from Charles Krauthammer, the second is an article by Ed Koch referring to the article by Charles.

War? What War?
January 1, 2010
From the NRO (National Review Online)
The Obama administration refuses to admit that we are at war.

Janet Napolitano — former Arizona governor, now overmatched secretary of homeland security — will forever be remembered for having said of the attempt to bring down an airliner over Detroit: “The system worked.” The attacker’s concerned father had warned U.S. authorities about his son’s jihadist tendencies. The would-be bomber paid cash and checked no luggage on a transoceanic flight. He was nonetheless allowed to fly, and would have killed 288 people in the air alone, save for a faulty detonator and quick actions by a few passengers.

Heck of a job, Brownie.

The reason the country is uneasy about the Obama administration’s response to this attack is a distinct sense of not just incompetence but incomprehension. From the very beginning, President Obama has relentlessly tried to downplay and deny the nature of the terrorist threat we continue to face. Napolitano renames terrorism “man-caused disasters.” Obama goes abroad and pledges to cleanse America of its post-9/11 counterterrorist sins. Hence, Guantanamo will close, CIA interrogators will face a special prosecutor, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will bask in a civilian trial in New York — a trifecta of political correctness and image management.

And just to make sure even the dimmest understand, Obama banishes the term “war on terror.” It’s over — that is, if it ever existed.
Obama may have declared the war over. Unfortunately, al-Qaeda has not. Which gives new meaning to the term “asymmetric warfare.”

And produces linguistic — and logical — oddities that littered Obama’s public pronouncements following the Christmas Day attack. In his first statement, Obama referred to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as “an isolated extremist.” This is the same president who, after the Ford Hood shooting, warned us “against jumping to conclusions” — code for daring to associate Nidal Hasan’s mass murder with his Islamist ideology. Yet, with Abdulmutallab, Obama jumped immediately to the conclusion, against all existing evidence, that the bomber acted alone.

More jarring still were Obama’s references to the terrorist as a “suspect” who “allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device.” You can hear the echo of FDR: “Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — Japanese naval and air force suspects allegedly bombed Pearl Harbor.”

Obama reassured the nation that this “suspect” had been charged. Reassurance? The president should be saying: We have captured an enemy combatant — an illegal combatant under the laws of war: no uniform, direct attack on civilians — and now to prevent future attacks, he is being interrogated regarding information he may have about al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Instead, Abdulmutallab is dispatched to some Detroit-area jail and immediately lawyered up. At which point — surprise! — he stops talking.

This absurdity renders hollow Obama’s declaration that “we will not rest until we find all who were involved.” Once we’ve given Abdulmutallab the right to remain silent, we have gratuitously forfeited our right to find out from him precisely who else was involved, namely those who trained, instructed, armed, and sent him.

This is all quite mad even in Obama’s terms. He sends 30,000 troops to fight terror overseas, yet if any terrorists come to attack us here, they are magically transformed from enemy into defendant.

The logic is perverse. If we find Abdulmutallab in an al-Qaeda training camp in Yemen, where he is merely preparing for a terror attack, we snuff him out with a Predator — no judge, no jury, no qualms. But if we catch him in the United States in the very act of mass murder, he instantly acquires protection not just from execution by drone but even from interrogation.

The president said that this incident highlights “the nature of those who threaten our homeland.” But the president is constantly denying the nature of those who threaten our homeland. On Tuesday, he referred five times to Abdulmutallab (and his terrorist ilk) as “extremist(s).”

A man who shoots abortion doctors is an extremist. An eco-fanatic who torches logging sites is an extremist. Abdulmutallab is not one of these. He is a jihadist. And unlike the guys who shoot abortion doctors, jihadists have cells all over the world; they blow up trains in London, nightclubs in Bali, and airplanes over Detroit (if they can); and they are openly pledged to wage war on America.

Any government can through laxity let someone slip through the cracks. But a government that refuses to admit that we are at war, indeed, refuses even to name the enemy — jihadist is a word banished from the Obama lexicon — turns laxity into a governing philosophy.

Charles Krauthammer is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2010, The Washington Post Writers Group

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Krauthammer Is Right on Terror
Tuesday, 05 Jan 2010
by: Edward I. Koch
From Newsmax

Recently I read what I believe to be the very best column I've seen criticizing President Obama's attitude and strategy in the war against Islamic terrorism. The column was written by Charles Krauthammer and entitled "War? What War?" I will be making references to his arguments.

In 2004, I supported George W. Bush for a second term as president because I believed that the most important issue facing the United States was the threat posed by Islamic terrorism, a life or death issue. Even though I did not agree with President Bush on a single domestic issue, I nevertheless supported him because I believed the Democratic candidate, John Kerry, took positions that were not adequate for the struggle ahead.

Moreover, I believed the Democratic Party was not up to the responsibility to protect America and its allies from those in al-Qaida and the Taliban who had made clear they were committed to murdering every Christian, Jew, and Hindu who refused to convert to Islam or pay tribute. I have no regrets in having taken that position.

When the choices for President were presented in 2008, the candidates being Barack Obama and John McCain, I chose to support Barack Obama, who called me on the telephone to say that if I had any questions on his positions on different issues, he was ready to answer them.

I told candidate Obama that he did not have to worry about me and the decision I would be announcing. He immediately asked if I would go to Florida and campaign for him in the large Jewish community in that state. I said I would, and I did.

I also campaigned for Obama in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The Jewish vote for Barack Obama was 75 percent of the votes cast by U.S. Jews, the second highest ethnic and racial vote cast, the first being that of African-Americans.

I hasten to add the size of the Jewish support had nothing to do with me. The Jewish community is overwhelmingly liberal and could not abide the thought of domestic issues being ill-served by another Republican administration.

I discovered when I went to Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey that those Jewish communities had already made up their mind and needed no sales pitch from me.

I told this to Sen. Obama at the Alfred E. Smith dinner where he appeared with Sen. John McCain shortly before the election. He was generous in his praise of my efforts on his behalf, but I knew those efforts were not needed to secure his victory.

Parenthetically, I should note the last time I spoke with the president was when he called me at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital where I stayed for five weeks in the intensive care unit recovering from the effects of a quadruple bypass and complications.

I appreciated the president's call, as I did a similar call from former President Bill Clinton. Former President George W. Bush did not call. I told President Obama that his call would undoubtedly result in an upgrading of my room. We did not discuss affairs of state.

Now to the Krauthammer column. He opens with a knockout punch, quoting Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano saying "the system worked" when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian Muslim terrorist, was apparently used by al-Qaida in an attempt to bring down an American airliner with 288 people on board, over Detroit.

I won't cite all of the facts as to why the system, in fact, did not work and how lucky we were that a Dutch passenger tackled and restrained the terrorist. Why haven't we honored that brave civilian? And why haven’t we publicly shown appreciation to the two police officers who risked their lives to take down the Fort Hood Muslim terrorist, Major Nidal Hasan, before he could kill and maim others?

Krauthammer makes a telling point when he writes, "The reason the country is uneasy about the Obama administration's response to this attack is a distinct sense of not just incompetence but incomprehension.

From the very beginning, President Obama has relentlessly tried to downplay and deny the nature of the terrorist threat we continue to face. Napolitano renames terrorism "man-caused disasters." Obama goes abroad and pledges to cleanse America of its post-9/11 counterterrorist sins. Hence, Guantanamo will close. CIA interrogators will face a special prosecutor, and Khalid Sheik Mohammed will bask in a civilian trial in New York — a trifecta of political correctness and image management."

Krauthammer goes on to point out that the president has made a point of banishing the phrase "war on terror." The President's initial statements following the act of terrorism over Detroit were tepid, referring, as Krauthammer notes, to Abdulmutallab as "an isolated extremist."

On the third day, apparently recognizing the inadequacy of his earlier comments, he referred to the incident as potentially "catastrophic," and the lack of adequate security measures as "systemic." In my opinion, after the president finally recognized the gravity of the situation he should have flown home from his vacation in Hawaii.

Krauthammer ended his column with another knockout punch, writing, "Any government can, through laxity, let someone slip through the cracks. But a government that refuses to admit that we are at war, indeed, refuses even to name the enemy — jihadist is a word banished from the Obama lexicon — turns laxity into a governing philosophy."

Mr. President, I hope you read the Krauthammer column. It is not too late for you to recover from the setbacks you suffered in the year just ended. Your commitment to battling Islamic terrorism led by al-Qaida, which has a presence in an estimated 62 countries, must be believably reaffirmed with both words and deeds.

You should not hesitate to denounce and take appropriate diplomatic, economic, and military action to punish those states that permit jihadists to flourish and train on their soil and ultimately attack the United States.

Also, reverse your position on Guantanamo and try enemy combatants in military courts.

Moreover, it is not enough to talk about energy independence. We should be told by your energy secretary what progress has been made on a quarterly basis with a press conference for follow-up questions.

Democrats have been seen as inadequate in the area of national security. If that perception continues or grows, we will see not only the normal loss expected in a bi-annual congressional election, but a rout with the Republicans taking both Houses in November of this year.

Mr. President, there is a war on, not a police action. Tell the American people and the world that we are at war so we can muster all our resources to fight it and win.

Monday, January 4, 2010

It Was My Birthday!

My birthday is over now. I waited all day and my 'dear' sister did not bother to pick up the phone and call me... thank you very much!  Nor did I hear or get any messages from her children... my nieces and nephews.  A little acknowledgement would have been nice... that's all I'm saying!

I did get a couple of very nice gifts from mom & dad.  Thank you very much.

The knife block I've been wanting for a while.

A Keurig Coffee Brewer

Dad got a Keurig for his place at work, then he got mom one for the house.  When I was over there I fell in love with it.  It was out of my budget range and never expected to get one for my birthday.  It is AWESOME!  I love that I can get hot water for hot chocolate or my chai tea without having to boil a pan of water.