Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

From Breitbart:

When Siskiyou County, CA Sheriff John Lopey tried to buy an M1 Garand rifle through the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), he was denied and told he failed to pass the background check conducted via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Lopey is a sheriff: he carries a gun and enforces the law for a living. Prior to being a sheriff, he spent 33 years with the California Highway Patrol and is a retired Army Colonel. He had Top Secret clearance in the Army.

The FBI handles NICS background checks for firearms purchases. Ironically, Lopey recently went through and passed a background check to attend the FBI national academy.

Very interesting, since he’d bought guns within the past year and had no problems.  But then there’s the fact that he’s not very politically popular with the left and the Obama administration, mostly for opposing tyrannical environmental regulations that are destroying his county and region.

He holds ideas that are very unpopular with the current regime and has openly stated them at Support Rural America town hall meetings:

RED BLUFF — Sheriffs from nine Northern California counties on Saturday blasted government regulations and public agencies that, they said, have devastated their counties.

We were sworn to defend America against all enemies, foreign and domestic. It seems we have more enemies that are domestic these days,” said Jon Lopey, Siskiyou County sheriff. “There is a movement to destroy rural America as we know it.”

His pro-rural America, anti-fedgov-leviathan stance is one he holds pretty consistently:

Standing tall and trim in a dark suit and tie, Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey grimly delivers his message of resistance, warning of state and federal regulators moving to usurp control of local resources and constitutional rights.

“We’re in a fight to preserve our heritage, way of life, economy, public safety, health and the welfare of the citizens and the freedoms we hold dear,” he tells meeting rooms packed with his law enforcement peers and their constituents. “This is serious business folks.”

That specific statement went out to an audience of about 300 at a September gathering of sheriffs in Josephine County, Ore., one of more than a half-dozen such public meetings during the past year where Lopey’s remarks have been greeted with approving applause.

“We sheriffs have recognized that some agencies and several special interest groups are using money, influence, politics, regulations and sometimes lies to push an extremist agenda which threatens to literally destroy rural America and our way of life,” he said.

This Huffpo piece names Lopey as one of the left’s most-hated sheriffs in the nation (right next to Joe Arpaio), but the comments are much more informative about the condition of northern California than the Huffpo propaganda.

You can also just consider what Lopey has to say about the Second Amendment and consider if that might make him unpopular with the fedgov.

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Now, it’s just speculation that he’d be targeted, hence the “tin foil” tag… but given that the IRS, the ATF, and numerous other fedgov agencies have specifically targeted Obama administration opponents and continue to do so all lends credence to the idea.

Heard it on the radio this morning.  Then saw it across the web today.  At Jawa Report & Gateway Pundit, they note that Amber Alert was down, but Michelle Obama’s website for kids eating is up.

I’m posting now at 1139 CST, and the DOJ’s Amber Alert is back up, only after scrutiny and pressure… and “bad press and confusion“.

After being taken down, officially because of the government shutdown, the federal website dealing with alerts about abducted children – AmberAlert.gov – was restored Monday morning.

Even lying Democrats can’t get away with saying they’re the party of compassion when Harry Reid justifies specifically denying kids medical treatment and Eric Holder’s DOJ kills the Amber Alert system for missing children out of spite.

From NBC in DC:

Like the hundreds of World War II veterans who came to National Mall to pay their respects this week, a group of Vietnam veterans found a barricade blocking the way to their memorial Friday. News4’s Mark Segraves said two U.S. Park Service Rangers manning the gate asked that the group respect the government’s shutdown but moved aside.

Segraves described the exchange as pleasant and respectful.

The veterans then moved the barricade and walked down to the wall to pay their respects. But a flood of tourists followed even though the memorial is closed to the general public.

“The consensus among the group of Vietnam veterans was we’re going to go anyway. We’ll go through the barricade,” North Carolina resident Reid Mendenhall said.

U.S. Park Police arrive to the scene, asked everyone to leave and put the barricade back into place.

First the WW2 Memorial, now The Wall That Heals is being used by Obama to inflict the most pain possible during the shutdown.  As the Park Service official quoted before said: “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can.  It’s disgusting.”

vietnam wall

Barack Obama

vietnam wall park police

obama smiling

Update: Drudge just picked up the story from Weekly Standard, who got it from Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection, who picked it up from us here.  Thanks for helping get the story out and thanks for the link, Professor!

The National Park Service website (www.nps.gov) greets you with this:

shutdown nps message

NASA (www.nasa.gov) doesn’t even have a department-specific shutdown notice, it’s just gone:

shutdown nasa message

The blank USA.gov message covers a lot of other government websites as well.  NASA sites beyond the main page are also redirected to the shutdown message.

The Forest Service ( http://www.fs.fed.us/ ) greets you with this:

shutdown usfs message

The USGS ( http://www.usgs.gov/ ) greets you with this:

shutdown usgs messageNOAA ( www.noaa.gov ) greets you with this:

shutdown noaa messageWhat a whiny, bitter thing to order done.

This is intentional, just like closing the WW2 Memorial.  This also insults the citizenry, who are still paying taxes for services no longer being received.  You’re not going to get back a few day’s worth of taxes at the end of the year because the government was “shut down”.  The taxpayers are still paying for the services that government is intentionally denying just to score political points.

At least with the websites, the act of shutting them down is merely spiteful and vindictive in nature, but inexpensive, unlike the barrycades erected at taxpayer expense.

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What’s also noteworthy is that sites for the TSA:

shutdown tsa message

Dept of Energy:

shutdown doe message

Dept of Education:

shutdown ed message

And HUD:

shutdown hud message

…were all up, but simply noted that they might not be up to date.

So it’s not the cost involved, it’s that people use sites like NOAA for weather, and (almost) everybody loves NASA.  Visible parts of government that people like are shut down, less visible and/or useless parts or those that people don’t like stay up.

Obama has no desire for negotation in the budget debate, only capitulation by the House Republicans. In not so many words, blaming the House, he spells it all out as the Republican’s fault to government employees in this government-wide email:

Shutdown Message 1a

Shutdown Message 2a

PDF Version here: Message_from_the_President_to_U.S._Government_Employees

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Interpreted/translated:

Lip service.

Big government is big.

…Congress has failed to meet its responsibility to pass a budget before the fiscal year that begins today.

I want you to know that I will keep working to get Congress to reopen the Government, restart vital services that the American people depend on, and allow public servants who have been sent home to return to work.  At my direction, your agencies should have reached out to you by now about what a shutdown means for you and your families.

It’s all Congress’s fault.  I will do everything good, they do everything bad.  The services shut down are all their fault.  I will protect you and your family.

Lip service lip service.

You do all this in a political climate that, too often in recent years, has treated you like a punching bag.  You have endured three years of a Federal pay freeze, harmful sequester cuts, and now, a shutdown of our Government.  …

None of this is fair to you.  …

Blame blame blame, you’re a victim of Congress.  Blame blame blame, sequester was mine and Jack Lew’s idea, but I’ll blame Congress again; shutdown is because I won’t negotiate and accept individual spending bills, but I’ll blame them.

Lip service lip service, big government good!  Lip service.

Quoting another president to seem non-partisan, setting up for the next “House Republicans are to blame”.

This shutdown was completely preventable.  It should not have happened.  And the House of Representatives can end it as soon as it follows the Senate’s lead, and funds your work in the United States Government without trying to attach highly controversial and partisan measures in the process.

It’s Congress’ and the Republicans’ fault.  Senate good, Congress bad.  It’s partisan to represent your constituents.  People who oppose any part of government oppose all of government.

Lip service.

And I will continue to do everything in my power to get the House of Representatives to allow the Government to reopen as quickly as possible, and make sure you receive the pay that you have earned.

Me I me I me I.  I will do this for you.  Trust in me.  Republicans in Congress did this to you, I will save you.

Lip service for your service.

Drudge already made the comparison, as have several other people.  It’s immediate, and immediately understandable.

Obama will negotiate with Iran, but not with Republicans in congress.

Iran is funding terrorism, is a state sponsor of terrorism, and yet the Obama administration calls Republicans terrorists.

Republicans are pushing through bills that will fund all of government except Obamacare – a wholly transformative, unconstitutional mandate that demands that every living citizen pay a tax in order to exist, that changes the nature of the citizen to the government and ignores that the Constitution limits the government (something even ignored by SCOTUS).

For me personally, a government shutdown will be a huge hassle.  I’d very much like for the Democrats to do the jobs their offices demand and pass budgets that fund necessary functions of government.  Then they can bicker over Obamacare.  But since Democrats refuse to allow for passage of those bills as they’re about their agenda and single-payer socialism, and are instead saying “give us Obamacare or we’ll shut it all down and blame you”, I guess a government shutdown is the next best option.  I’ll take the hassle in my own life that comes with a government shutdown for the knowledge that a government health care system is being stopped.  And it can be stopped.

Anyone who’s dealt with government health care (I know people with broken bones that healed wrong while waiting on government paperwork, and had to be rebroken and set by private doctors because government-related injuries were never treated by government) knows it’s a pathetic system of rationing.  Without the ability to use personal resources to move things along, or to benefit from charity, or from experimental treatment, or even the basic efficiency of the private sector, it’s nothing but a failure all the way around.  But don’t take my word for it.

Here’s hoping the government is funded, but not Obamacare.  And if we can’t get that, here’s hoping for a shutdown until the Democrats finally listen to what the American people want… which isn’t a 22,000 page bill and regulations they read after they pass it.

red tape tower obamacare

I started this as a minor post a few days back, but in the span of a few days, the story has changed.

First Putin called Obama out:

“I would like to address Obama as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate: Before using force in Syria, it would be good to think about future casualties,” Putin told Russian news agencies in Vladivostok during a tour of the country’s flood-stricken Far East.  …

Putin said he was sure the attack was the work of rebels trying to provoke international — and especially American — involvement in the Syrian conflict. The government of Bashar al-Assad, he said, would have had no reason to use chemical weapons at a time when it had gained the upper hand in the fighting.

Doing so, he said, would have been “utter nonsense’’ – with the clear implication that that is how he would characterize the American allegations.

On top of that, he said, the Obama administration’s “claims that proof exists, but is classified and cannot be presented to anybody, are below criticism. This is plain disrespect for their partners.”

Putin’s comments were soon underlined by a stern statement from the Foreign Ministry. After U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul had finished a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Saturday, the ministry declared, “Russia has expressed its conviction that any forceful action against Syria that the U.S. could carry out in circumvention of the U.N. Security Council would be an act of aggression and a gross violation of international law.”

Pretty harsh, and some biting digs there at Obama, using Obama’s own words and line of attack against Bush against him.  Putin even used Obama’s own hatred of American exceptionalism against him in his NYT op-ed:

And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy.

Remember that Obama has the same opinion that Putin states there.

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Mark Steyn summed up the accidental war brewing here:

(the US)… is going to war because Obama wandered off prompter and accidentally made a threat. So he has to make good on it, or America will lose its credibility. But he only wants to make good on it in a perfunctory and ineffectual way. So America will lose its credibility anyway.

While he was expecting a military response in the bare minimum as the quote by an unnamed official went: “just muscular enough not to get mocked”, what’s happened was an even weaker response – empty posturing and nothingness.

The president has backed away from a military strike in Syria. But he can’t acknowledge this or act as if it is true. He is acting and talking as if he’s coolly, analytically, even warily contemplating the Russian proposal and the Syrian response. The proposal, he must know, is absurd. Bashar Assad isn’t going to give up all his hidden weapons in wartime, in the middle of a conflict so bitter and severe that his forces this morning reportedly bombed parts of Damascus, the city in which he lives. In such conditions his weapons could not be fully accounted for, packed up, transported or relinquished, even if he wanted to. But it will take time—weeks, months—for the absurdity to become obvious. And it is time the president wants. Because with time, with a series of statements, negotiations, ultimatums, promises and proposals, the Syria crisis can pass. It can dissipate into the air, like gas.

The president will keep the possibility of force on the table, but really he’s lunging for a lifeline he was lucky to be thrown.  …

All this, if it is roughly correct, is going to make the president’s speech tonight quite remarkable. It will be a White House address in which a president argues for an endeavor he is abandoning. It will be a president appealing for public support for an action he intends not to take.

And that’s exactly what the speech was.

What happened was Vladimir Putin proved, as has been stated across a million blogs and talk radio shows now, that the Russians are playing chess, while Obama is playing tiddly winks.  Maybe we should’ve expected that.

putin vs obamaPutin won.

Lee Smith at Weekly Standard makes the case solidly.

The Syrian government has accepted the proposal because they understand it is an empty formalism.  As everyone knows, as even all but the most obtuse White House officials must also understand, Assad will not give up his unconventional arsenal because he cannot.  …  …. plan B is to withdraw from Damascus and head to the coastal mountains that make up the historical Alawite homeland. The question for Assad then is, how to ensure the safety of that retreat? Further, once there how are the Alawites to defend their redoubt from a Sunni community galvanized by a shared vendetta against Assad and his community? From Assad’s perspective, without chemical weapons the Alawites might fall off the face of the earth.

Who knows what the Russians told Assad? For God’s sake, just say it’s your chemical weapons arsenal you’re turning over for safekeeping. Send them canisters of perfume, or cat urine. The Americans just want a deal, the president thinks he’s saving face. If the Americans are smart, they’ll let the whole thing drop and call it a win, but knowing them they’ll come back later and complain that you’re not keeping your end of the bargain. No problem. We’ll stall them. And then every time Obama whines it will remind your adversaries and U.S. allies around the world that the Americans are empty suits, a bunch of legalistic bureaucrats who are incapable of standing with their friends.

But Putin showed shrewdness and defeated Obama handily by appealing to Obama’s weakness.  He can’t let himself look bad.  The only “credibility” question was a corner Obama painted himself into that he expected to paint his way out of at the cost of US military power, Syrian lives, and a war that would escalate.

The president’s supporters and publicists in the press know how to package Obama’s weakness. The fear that everyone else in the world smells emanating from him like a wounded animal is really just humility and modesty—fitting attributes for the leader of a superpower that needs to make amends for having meddled so long in the affairs of others. And besides, this talk of strength and weakness is juvenile—the world is not a schoolyard. And so Obama ignored Putin’s slights and held his head high. This revealed to Putin Obama’s real liability, his vanity. Obama always needs to look good. He will embrace defeat so long as he can still imagine himself a handsome princeling. After pushing Obama around for five years, now Putin escorts him out of the Middle East. Here, friend, take my hand. Let me help you to the sidelines.

As David Samuels wrote last week, Putin’s goal is to replace the United States as the regional power broker. Sure, Russia is less a state than a criminal enterprise with lots of energy to sell, while the United States drives the global economy, but so what? What good are American aircraft carriers if you don’t have the will to use them? Putin will use anything he has to win, while Obama is looking for a reason not to fire a few cruise missiles into the Syrian desert. There is absolutely no chance Obama would risk a shooting war with Iran.

Part of the reason for a Western European demand for action is because Russian Gazprom controls the heat in Europe in the winter, and a pipeline through Syria could be built if the Assad regime (backed by Russia) goes away.  Russian Gazprom wouldn’t be controlling Europe’s thermostat, and with it would go a lot of economic and political power.  So losing Syria would could also harm Russian interests in the future.

And the reason Britain might’ve been interested in getting into Syria?  Britain sent Syria a lot of components for chemical weapons, and they may want to go clean up the mess they helped make.

The Russian proposal not only saves Obama from having to do something about Syria, it also, and much more important, shows the way forward with Iran. From the White House’s point of view, its credible threat of force made Syria buckle and will similarly bring Iran to the negotiating table. Putin has shown his bona fides as a credible interlocutor with Damascus and will do the same with Iran. Obama can relax now and imagine that he has finally earned his Nobel Peace Prize and that that sound he hears is the tide of war receding.

In fact, it is the sound of American allies around the world—the Poles and Czechs, the Japanese and the South Koreans, the Saudis, Jordanians and Israelis, among others—gnashing their teeth. They now see that they are on their own, and that  the word of the United States means nothing.

There’s all that talk of credibility, and all it proves is that Obama won’t stand up to anyone on the global stage except US allies.  It’s marvelously consistent with Dinesh D’souza’s theory that Obama’s anti-colonialist roots drive him to harm the US and its allies at every turn and weaken the power of both.

The only thing credible was Obama’s threat to take unilateral military action over the orders of Congress and his triangulating to blame Congress for failure if he went to war or if he didn’t.

Putin just gave him a more convenient exit, and took another step towards his own expansion of power, and at American expense.

putin glasses flag