Home » June 27th, 2010
Entries posted on “June, 2010”
New video of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan praising an activist Israeli Supreme court judge as “my judicial hero” has Republican senators and conservative groups doubting administration claims that the former Clinton aide has an open mind and isn’t interested in changing the Constitution. [Read 10 Things You Didn't Know about Kagan.]
Coming on the eve of Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings, the video provided to Whispers by Americans United for Life shows Kagan in 2006 praising retired Judge Aharon Barak during a ceremony at Harvard when she was dean of the Harvard Law School. At the event, he was presented the Peter Gruber Foundation 2006 Justice Prize. According to the group, the $500,000 award “acknowledges individual efforts and encourages further advancements toward bringing about a fundamentally just world.” [See a slide show of the members of the Supreme Court.]
In a call with reporters today, failed Reagan court pick Robert Bork called Barak dangerous to those who are worried about activist judges. “Barak may be the worst judge on the planet,” said Bork. Barak’s court, added Bork, was “the most activist court I have ever seen.”
- FCC’s Stealth Plan to Censor Internet Content. Read the article here.
- Police Taze 86 Year Old Disabled Grandmother in Bed. Read the article here.
- Congressman Rohrabacher: Almost All house Republicans Think Iraq War Illegal, Immoral. Read the article here.
- California Welfare Recipients Withdrew $1.8 Million at Casino ATM’s in Eight Months. Read the article here.
Music: “Liberty” by Jordan Page.
Please leave a comments and let me know what you think about our new podcasting format!
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issues an executive order requiring recipients to promise they will use cash benefits only to meet basic subsistence needs. GOP legislators call for the cash to be returned.
Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times
California welfare recipients using state-issued debit cards withdrew more than $1.8 million in taxpayer cash on casino floors between October 2009 and last month, state officials said Thursday.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an executive order requiring welfare recipients to promise they will use cash benefits only to “meet the basic subsistence needs” of their families. The order also gave the state Department of Social Services seven days to produce a plan to reduce other types of “waste, fraud and abuse” in the welfare program.
The moves came after The Times reported Wednesday that officials at the department failed to notice for years that welfare recipients could use the state-issued cards to withdraw taxpayer cash at more than half of the tribal casinos and state-licensed poker rooms in California. The state initiated the debit card program in 2002.
Casino withdrawals, which represented far less than 1% of total welfare spending during the eight months for which the department released data, averaged just over $227,392 a month.
Schwarzenegger has already ordered the vendor that runs the state welfare system’s ATM network to prohibit the cards from working at casino machines. Republican lawmakers are now calling on the administration to track down the people who withdrew cash at gaming centers and recover the money.
“I’d say that $227,000 per month is an astounding waste of taxpayer dollars,” said Seth Unger, spokesman for Assembly Republican Leader Martin Garrick of Solana Beach. “To me it is absolutely clear that the department failed in its duty to provide oversight. We should explore all options to get the money back.”
By RUSS BAKER
Hat Tip: lewrockwell.com
Last August, the presidential press corps followed Barack Obama and his family to Martha’s Vineyard for their brief vacation. The coverage focused on summery fare—a visit to an ice cream parlor, the books the president had brought along. Nearly everyone mentioned his few rounds of golf, including his swing, and the enthusiasm of onlookers. What caught my eye, though, was the makeup of his foursome. The president was joined by an old friend from Chicago; a young aide; and Robert Wolf, Chairman and CEO, UBS Group Americas. In a decidedly incurious piece, a New York Times reporter made light of Wolf’s presence:
“The president has told friends that to truly relax he prefers golfing with young aides…But he departed from that pattern Monday when he invited a top campaign contributor, Robert Wolf, president of UBS Investment Bank, to join him for 18 holes. Call it donor maintenance.”
Wolf, however, is hardly—as the Times suggested— just another donor. For one thing, he is a leading figure in an industry that almost brought down the entire financial system—and then was the recipient of astonishing government largesse. UBS, along with other banks, benefited directly from the backdoor bailout of the insurance giant AIG.
But UBS stands alone in one rather formidable respect—it was the defendant in the largest offshore tax evasion case in U.S. history, accused of helping wealthy Americans hide their income in secret offshore accounts. To settle a massive investigation, UBS forked over $780 million to the US treasury. This settlement came shortly before Wolf rounded out Obama’s golfing party. Given this rather problematical situation, why then would the President choose UBS’s Wolf of all people for this honor?
By Paul Joseph Watson
Judge Andrew Napolitano’s new Saturday show on the Fox Business Network is set to send shock waves through the political establishment this weekend when his guest – Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher – reveals that almost all House Republicans now believe that the invasion of Iraq was not only a mistake, but also illegal and immoral.
“This morning when we taped our show for this weekend, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a right down the middle conservative Republican from southern California, former speech writer for Ronald Reagan, looked at me and said ‘almost all Republicans in the House of Representatives now believe that the war in Iraq was a mistake, that it was unlawful, that it was immoral, that it wasn’t worth the lives lost or the trillions that will be spent’,” Napolitano told The Alex Jones Show.
“That is newsworthy that he would say it, it is newsworthy that so many Republicans would change their mind,” added Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court Judge.
As far back as three years ago, GOP support for the war in Iraq was beginning to waver, with a CNN poll finding that 38 percent of Republicans opposed the war. The recent primary success of anti-incumbent candidates like Rand Paul, a vocal critic of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, shows that the tide has rapidly turned.
Napolitano pointed out that when he attacked the Bush administration for abusing the constitution, Republicans were upset, but that they are now starting to realize how government is supposed to operate as it was intended by the founding fathers.
The recent tasing of an 86 year old bedridden grandmother is another in a long line of questionable usage of a weapon that has proven to be anything but non-lethal. In fact, less than 10% of the people who die from taser related deaths have any form of weapon on them. Missing from the account below is the allegation that the grandmother had a knife in her hand and was threatening the police if they did not leave her apartment. Regardless, police are now equipped with a weapon that they are trained to use in situations that otherwise may not call for force. It is hard to imagine a situation where 20 years ago, before the widespread usage of tasers in law enforcement, that 10 police officers could find any rationale to beat or shoot a grandmother in her bed. However, now the taser makes police brutality clean.
A situation that once called for an officer to actually asses the threat or attempt to resolve a problem without brutality can now be handled with a touch of a button. The police work has been taken out of the equation. Police these days are trained less like the constables from whom they originated and more like jackbooted paramilitary units. Every day we see more armored vehicles in metropolitan P.D.s, more “special weapons and tactics” and more “turtle men” in full black battle regalia rejecting their roles as public servants and acting more like slave masters. The only thing that may be missing is the whip, but in its place they have the high tech version called a taser.
In order to control the internet and do so without much notice, the FCC has rolled a censorship plan into its Net Neutrality scheme. Under the fallacious rubric of “consumer protection,” the FCC is calling for the regulation of television and internet broadband.
Kelly William Cobb, writing for Americans for Tax Reform, says “the FCC would begin regulating Internet access for the first time under a completely new regulatory scheme (even though they lack the authority to create it). Meanwhile, the FCC would push regulations – cloaked in the heart-warming language of competition and innovation – mandating that your cable box (known as a set-top box) become a ‘broadband gateway device’ controlling access to your Internet, TV, and phone. The FCC has already started looking at set-top box regulations in their National Broadband Plan.”
- Man Arrested for Taking Picture of Cop in His Own Home . Read the article here.
- Police Officers are Courting Disaster for Themselves. Read the article here.
- 14 Reasons Why the U.S. Government Will never Have a Balanced Budget Ever Again. Read the article here.
Music: “Liberty” by Jordan Page.
Please leave a comments and let me know what you think about our new podcasting format!
by Mark R. Crovelli
Hat Tip: Lewrockwell.com
Whenever revolutionary change appears in the world, whether for good or for ill, there always exist certain groups of people who fail or refuse to recognize how much things have truly changed until it is too late for them. One can find many examples of this phenomenon in the business world, where entrepreneurs who fail to appreciate new market conditions get tossed aside by their competitors before they even know what hit them. By the time they realize that they have made serious forecasting errors, it is often far too late for them to catch up. Similar examples abound in the academic and athletic worlds, where scholars and coaches who fail to appreciate radically new conditions in their disciplines or sports find themselves quickly surpassed by their rivals and colleagues.
A similar situation appears to be currently occurring in the realm of law enforcement in the United States, because police officers and their political bosses seem to be completely oblivious to the fact that the American economic and political landscape has profoundly changed over the last three years. They continue to humiliate, bully, assault, taser, jail, and shoot Americans (and their dogs) as though the American populace will forever tolerate such abuses. Police officers strut around cities and towns barking orders at people as though nothing in the world could ever take away their ability to intimidate and demean. Similarly, politicians and police chiefs continue to defend their officers’ actions, no matter how barbarically or blatantly they may have misbehaved.
Hat Tip: www.opednews.com
They let McChrystal fold his tent in the night and steal silently away from the disaster he leaves behind. White House advisers then brainstormed the idea of replacing McChrystal in Kabul with the straight-arrow Petraeus whose is known for running a tight command. Done!
Master Political Stroke?
Since the announcement Wednesday, the Stanley-out/David-in move has been hailed by Official Washington as a political masterstroke. We shall see. There is, to be sure, some short-term cosmetic cleverness.In my view, however, future pitfalls and pratfalls are likely to far outweigh any political points Obama might score in the near term.
The conventional wisdom holds that Petraeus is the military genius who can still prevail in Afghanistan.But by now even the densest of Obama’s advisers know there will be no prevailing.They see a silver lining, though, in the fact that the choice of Petraeus as successor to McChrystal dumps into Petraeus’s lap a mess that he also helped create, along with McChrystal and Obama (not to mention, Bush, Cheney, et al).
Petraeus is given a mission that virtually everyone but Sens. John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and Lindsey Graham realizes is an impossible assignment. But it gets Petraeus out of the country and–the Obama folks hope–out of contention for the 2012 Republican nomination. In the view of the White House, Petraeus is now in direct charge of the mess in Afghanistan and will find it difficult to pin primary responsibility on Obama.This seems to me largely wishful thinking.
It is far too soon to count Petraeus out.He is politically astute, has powerful friends in Washington, and in testifying to Congress, he has collapsed only once, as far as we know.I believe Petraeus commands wider respect than Obama does–and surely more credibility and respect than the President’ national security adviser, James Jones, branded a “clown” by one of McChrystal’s aides.