For the last several years US government has not only attempted to cover-up the death toll of drone strikes, but often has no idea who is being killed. This may not come as a surprise to some, given that NBC News reported in 2013 that, “[a]bout one of every four of those killed by drones in Pakistan between Sept. 3, 2010, and Oct. 30, 2011, were classified as ‘other militants’… The ‘other militants’ label was used when the CIA could not determine the affiliation of those killed.” That figure does not include those killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, or any other country in which the US military, or CIA might feel the urge to kill people with unmanned aircraft. see more…
Tag Archives: Barack Obama
For the second consecutive year, Edward Snowden appeared at South by South West in Austin, Texas, and once again, he was not able to attend in person.
Snowden, again, appeared via internet stream, this time to a select group of people from the technology and policy world.
The Verge reports, “Sunday Yokubaitis, president of online privacy company Golden Frog, described as a ‘call to arms’ for tech companies to foil spying with better privacy tools.”
Adding that “Snowden said that as policy reform lagged, companies should adopt more secure technology that could block surveillance altogether or make it too difficult to pursue en masse. A big focus was end-to-end encryption, which would mean no one (including companies) could see the contents of communications except the sender and recipient.”
One topic not discussed was in regards to the former NSA contractor: the possibility of a fair trial. see more…
Legal murmurs and threats against President Obama grew louder and then quickly fell silent over the weekend after Republicans fell into the incumbency fundraising trap known as impeachment.
“Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding…” —Thomas Jefferson (edit)
What Thomas Jefferson is telling us in this one line is that all laws must be written so the layman can understand them.
As with the Supreme Court decision on Hobby Lobby a whole diatribe about birth control mandate not being enforceable over businesses with religious views and blah, blah, blah.
At the end of the day, so-called judges used their foreign language of legalese to rule: covering employees benefits that may violate the employers religious views are okay, but the illegal law that authorized this all in the first place is still okay. see more…
We see a great happening in the Ukraine and Venezuela right now. Revolts to leadership the people believe to be endangering their way of life are massive right now. And in the wake of this event the world is talking of these people and their push for freedom and liberty.
But are they revolts for liberty, against oppressive government, or really just against useless government? see more…
Republican turned Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson announced that he will respond to President Barack Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address via a reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything).
Here’s the announcement on facebook:
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 3 p.m. PST / 6 p.m EST, Gov. Gary Johnson will host a Reddit AMA or “Ask Me Anything.”
The 60-minute on-line event will give participants a chance to ask the former New Mexico Governor and Honorary Chairman of the Our America Initiative questions via the popular website, Reddit.com.
Reddit is a source for what’s new and popular on the web. Users like you provide all of the content and decide, through voting, what’s good and what’s junk.
Links that receive community approval bubble up towards #1, so the front page is constantly in motion and (hopefully) filled with fresh, interesting links.
To ask a question, visit www.reddit.com at 3 p.m. PST / 6 p.m EST, Tuesday, and just search “Gov. Gary Johnson”. Governor Johnson is anxious to hear from you!
Please join us!
Our America Team
When: Tuesday Feb 12, 2013
Time: 3 p.m. PST | 4 p.m. MST | 5 p.m CST | 6 p.m EST
Where: Online www.reddit.com just search “Gov. Gary Johnson.”
You can easily track Johnson through his account GovGaryJohnson.
One of the questions we expect will be asked is whether he is formally announcing his candidacy for 2016. Considering the official Johnson store has been selling 2016 merchandise for several weeks now, that answer will undoubtedly be “yes”.
Another issue sure to come up is Johnson’s enormous $1.1 million campaign debt that looms over a future bid. It could easily be problematic for Johnson’s finger-wagging at Obama’s loose spending habits.
Oddly enough, when checking out Johnson’s pre 2016/post 2012 campaign site ouramericaninitiative.com, we discovered (using NoScript) that there was a serious technical issue with spam. We hope Governor Johnson’s web team will quickly patch that glaring exploit.
On the 2016 question he responds, “Yes, 2016 is far off, and we will see what it brings. Right now, I am determined to be a voice of sanity re spending, civil liberties, and putting an end to unnecessary and costly foreign interventions.”
Sounds like the politician way of saying “yes” to me.
For the question of “Where did the money go?” (to paraphrase), Johnson seemed to deflect the issue by drawing distinct comparisons to the millions thrown around by Obama and Romney.
“There are several questions along this line. Let me be clear. We raised and spend 1/1000th of the amount spent by Obama and Romney, and financed substantial travel, grassroots development, social media presence and an aggressive email campaign. We put as many resources as possible on the air in advertising, but appropriately spent much on developing the base that will be able to go forward.”
Unfortunately, the AMA was not so much a SOTU response as just another chance for Johnson to stay relevant to the hivemind of reddit. And Johnson picked probably the worst timing, because all eyes for the past few hours have been focused on the Chris Dorner situation. That’s not to say there weren’t plenty of questions on the subject of Dorner, Johnson simply elected to answer none of them.
Johnson’s media folks ought to be slapping themselves on the forehead over this.
UPDATE III: A pointed question about the campaign finance (using the same link to ParaPolitical cited in this post) has hit the most upvoted spot in after-hours discussions. Libertarians have a tendency to publicly piss all over each other for sport, so this AMA derailing certainly won’t bode well for Johnson putting the issue to bed.
Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warned that the Drone Strikes were going to be an issue and “[Obama]’s getting hit from libertarians and the left.” Well IMAGINE THAT. You’d almost think that big-L Libertarians were SOCIALLY LIBERAL.
“Every member of Congress needs to get on board,” Graham said. “It’s not fair to the president to let him, leave him out there alone quite frankly. He’s getting hit from libertarians and the left.
“I think the middle of America understands why you would want a drone program to go after a person like Anwar al-Awlaki,” Graham added.
“The process of being targeted I think is legal, quite frankly laborious and should reside in the commander in chief to determine who an enemy combatant is and what kind of force to use.”
“If this ever goes to court I guarantee you it will be a slam dunk support of what the administration is doing. I think one of the highlights of President Obama’s first time and the beginning of his second term is the way he’s been able to use drones against terrorists.”
So, basically, Obama’s in the unique position of being supported by the people who he never once promised anything to and pretty much hate him, and being opposed by every one that had even a small chance of supporting him (once Bob-freaking-Barr was the LP nominee, a LOT of the LP jumped to supporting Obama, as Paul was a non-issue before the LP convention, and there were many hurt feelings about the treatment of Paul by the GOP that year).
If this shouldn’t be a wake up call to Obama, I really don’t know what will be, get rid of the freaking drones already!
Those in the know of the liberty movement have probably heard of TMOT (The Minister of Truth) a.k.a. Derrick E. Grayson of Atlanta Georgia. You may, at one point or another, come across a drive time anger session on YouTube.
Today — on the double whammy auspicious date of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Obama’s Inauguration to a second presidential term — we high-five our brother in truth for this facebook rant:
May God damn all support given to Obama by brain dead Negroes and Blind arsed White Folk. White Liberals called Bush a War criminal. Yet Obama has killed an American without a trail and continues to kill innocent non-combatants overseas under the guise of fighting terrorism. That’s just for starters. Bush was no better.
Negroes support this NON-BLACK rooted devil while ignoring the fact that this man has not even addressed the issues of disparaging criminal prosecutions and sentencing of Negroes for the same crime committed by Whites who receive lesser sentences. He could have issued a simple Executive Order like he always does calling for a moratorium on these sentences and had the Justice Department investigate why the States behave as they do. Do you think Negroes give a damn? Hell no. What’s he gonna do for me is all most give a darn about. To hell with their sons and daughters getting life sentences for non-violent crimes.
You God Damn right, I’m pissed that Obama won and so to would MLK, Jr be as well. MLK spoke out against the Vietnam War. Do you think for one damn minute he would have supported Obama or Bush.
King also told the Negros who wanted him to sit down, “Hell no!” Separate but equal is crap without Justice, equal Justice for all. He once refused to press charges against a racist stating, “I want to address the system that caused him to be a racist.”
Likewise, he would have told Obama or any President, address the issues that creates poverty, crime, joblessness and such as opposed to supporting a system that feeds it. That system is the complicit cooperation Liberal God Damned Democrats and so called Republican Bastard Conservatives who are so damned crooked, they’ll need corkscrews to bury their arses.
You want to know why I’m so mad? Because I’m surrounded by a Nation of Idiots who won’t wake, politicians who think they are Little “g” gods and self serving Slick Daddy Pimp Pastors who lead their flocks to the wolves for slaughter.
TMOT continues to be a rising star in libertarian and constitutional patriot circles. He breezily bridges the racial divide — emulating Samuel L. Jackson’s righteous anger (and by gosh, voice), and combining it with Bill Cosby’s rational criticism of immorality in black society. More important though, he’s adept at addressing audiences as simply… American.
From us here at Hammer of Truth, we just wanted to say: Preach on minister, preach on.
Lupe Fiasco kicked off stage after performing “Words I Never Said” for 30 minutes at Obama Inauguration bash
“Gaza strip was getting bombed, Obama didn’t say shit. That’s why I ain’t vote for him, next one neither”
Move over Big Boi, Lupe Fiasco is the latest Hip Hop artist to steal the limelight with dissent against the status quo. For thirty minute straight, the rapper held court at The Hamilton Live, regaling the audience with an extremely extended version of his song “Words I Never Said” — a political rap aimed squarely at President Obama’s Inauguration event in which he was invited to perform.
Here’s just one verse of the lyrics:
I really think the war on terror is a bunch of bullshit
Just a poor excuse for you to use up all your bullets
How much money does it take to really make a full clip?
9/11, building 7, did they really pull it?
Uh, And a bunch of other coverups
Your child’s future was the first to go with budget cuts
If you think that hurts, then wait, here comes the uppercut
The school was garbage in the first place, that’s on the up and up
Keep you at the bottom but tease you with the upper crust
You get it, then they move it, so you never keeping up enough
If you turn on TV, all you see’s a bunch of “what the fucks”
Dude is dating so and so, blabbering ’bout such and such
And that ain’t Jersey Shore, homey, that’s the news
And these the same people supposedly telling us the truth
Limbaugh is a racist, Glenn Beck is a racist
Gaza strip was getting bombed, Obama didn’t say shit
That’s why I ain’t vote for him, next one either
I’m a part of the problem, my problem is I’m peaceful
And I believe in the people, yeah
The LUPEND blog has what appears to be the first-hand account:
So Lupe just performed the first verse of Words I never Said for 30 minutes straight. He had to be removed from the stage…. for performing. Im at a loss for words…
20 min straight… **they cut his mic off**. Raps with no mic for 5-10 more minutes, People booing and everything. They cut the power to the stage. All those people… stunned! Security had to remove the homie from the stage.
He did the entire set, all the music from all the songs he was going to play were played… but he only did that verse. He stopped and had water once, and then he started the verse again…and again… and again… and again… No arrests… they just removed him from the stage. Nothing violent or negative was done. Just an #EpicShow!
Take this Day serious. #MLKDay – @LupeFiascoStore
A lot of people (*cough* some reddit liberal douchebags *cough*) are already speculating that the stunt will harm his music career and sales. I beg to differ, HoT fans will remember Kelly Clarkson had a similar prediction made about her by liberal fans when she came out in support of Ron Paul at the end of 2011. Only instead of watching her album sales dip, they skyrocketed in the following weeks as fans lined up to support her decision.
It’s hilarious that Lupe willingly went into enemy territory to make his political point in person (beliefs that somehow escaped the talent bookers). But it’s pathetic that some thugs (Secret Service by the looks of it) would manhandle an internationally acclaimed artist for peacefully protesting with a microphone.
UPDATE: StartUp Rock On, the concert’s organizers, issued a press release early Monday morning that Lupe “left the stage earlier than we had planned. But Lupe Fiasco was not ‘kicked off stage’ for an ‘anti-Obama rant.'”
“We are staunch supporters of free speech, and free political speech,” the organizers said. “This was not about his opinions. Instead, after a bizarrely repetitive, jarring performance that left the crowd vocally dissatisfied, organizers decided to move on to the next act.”
However, careful examination of the video will reveal the truth: Lupe had fans in the crowd, and they were cheering him. Maybe a good jarring of bizarrely repetitive truth is exactly what this country needs right now.
Well, the petitions site has its place, and I for one applaud it, but can we please just set a target for the number of required petition signatures and go with it?!
In what seems to be an effort to curb time spent on outrageous petitions, the White House late Tuesday quadrupled the signature threshold for “We the People” petitions to 100,000.
Thank goodness we got an answer on the Death Star before the new rule took effect.
Previously, 25,000 signatures were required to garner an official response from the White House on a petition posted at the “We the People” website.
Right now, given the target is on its third move upwards, it looks as if the White House is only listening for what it wants to hear. If they wanted that, all they had to do is add a disclaimer at the top “ONLY SYCOPHANTS AND YES-MEN NEED APPLY”.
Liberty is tough, people, it’s giving those you don’t want to listen to equal time and equal chance to air their views. I’d hope that here at HoT we all “get it” — that liberty isn’t a one-sided coin — maybe we need a Libertarian in the White House a lot more than we originally thought. :)
President Barack Obama today was seen signing 23 executive orders on gun control in front of a group of children ignorant about their rights (the orders have yet to be published on the White House website for us to properly ridicule, so we’ll ridicule the whole affair).
Here’s the relevant portion of the accompanying proclamation from WhiteHouse.gov:
Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following:
Section 1. Research. The Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary), through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other scientific agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, shall conduct or sponsor research into the causes of gun violence and the ways to prevent it. The Secretary shall begin by identifying the most pressing research questions with the greatest potential public health impact, and by assessing existing public health interventions being implemented across the Nation to prevent gun violence.
Sec. 2. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Sec. 3. Publication. You are hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
His game of “Let’s play take away the guns from law-abiding Americans because a few assholes can’t act responsibly” has yet to be officially recognized by anyone with half a brain. Millions of Americans continue to wave loaded AR-15s and handguns with high-capacity lips and a copy of the Constitution in defiance of the latest effort to destroy liberties.
However, many are now anxious about how the government will try to enforce such ludicrous orders and bans being swiftly implemented (with New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s legislation being called “draconian” by the NRA). The flurry of legislation and imperial decrees now contrast to gun sales have hitting astronomical rates since 2008, and exploding in November/December of 2012.
One way in which Obama is flexing unConstitutional executive powers has been to direct doctors and mental health professionals to ask patients whether they own guns (and how many).
The answer to that line of questioning is obvious to liberty-lovers: NONE OF YOUR DAMNED BUSINESS.
UPDATE: Interesting statistic of the day: the DEA has a budget of $2.415 billion (2010) and employs 10,784 (2009), while the BATF has a budget of $1.12 billion (2010) and employs 4,559 (2006). Obama has just budgeted another
$500 million for gun control activities.
The War on Drugs has been an epic failure even though it has twice as many federal enforcers and funding. Does anyone seriously doubt the latest “War on Guns” will be any different?
UPDATE II: Scratch that previous update number, the apparent amount being budgeted for the attempt at a gun controlling police state is over $4.5 billion. The biggest expenditure is $4 billion “to help keep 15,000 cops on the streets in cities and towns across the country.”
That’s just over $260 thousand dollars per cop.
Last month Antwan Andre Patton, aka Big Boi of the Outkast crew, left radio hosts shocked and speechless after telling them he voted for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson during a segment on racism. Now, in an interview with the Huffington Post (LIVE!), Patton not only confirmed that “hey ya” he’s a libertarian voter… but went even further and stood up as an ardent supporter of libertarian views.
ALYONA MINKOVSKI, HUFFPOST LIVE: There was a radio interview that you did where you recounted a story of a woman coming up to you after Barack Obama’s election saying, “We won.” And then you said, “I voted for Gary Johnson.” What’s the story behind that? Did you really vote for Gary Johnson?
ANTWAN ANDRE PATTON AKA BIG BOI: Well, I was, you know, leaving to go out of town, and it was a lady — a Caucasian lady — and she was like, “Oh yeah, congratulations on y’all win last night,” you know, with like an attitude. And, you know, just to let her know I was on my P’s and Q’s, I was like, “I don’t know what you talkin’ bout, I voted for Gary Johnson.” And she looked shocked to even know that I knew there were other candidates on the ballot, you know what I’m saying? So, you can’t judge a book by its cover.
MINKOVSKI: Did you vote for Gary Johnson?
PATTON: Yes, I’m a Libertarian. I’m liberty, justice for all, liberty for all. I’m really pro-people, pro-freedom, and, you know, this is all about positivity. Like, you know, I have nothing against the president at all, you know, he’s a nice guy, but, it’s just, you know, the things that they’re standing on right now just didn’t agree with me. Anything that benefits the public and not just big banking, that’s what I’m with.
Not in the transcript but definitely in that interview: his outspoken support of the second amendment for use against tyranny… including whatever guns you want, just so long as you’re responsible (sounds libertarian to me).
Patton, we like the way you move with that positivity (hit him up on twitter to say hi). Libertarians, you can chalk another famous name on the boards.
President Obama has already tapped John Kerry as his next Secretary of State, a pick that should pass the Senate without issue. However, the “leading candidate” for Secretary of Defense is facing an uphill battle. John Glaser of Antiwar.com writes, “Hagel is an outsider when it comes to his own party in the realm of foreign policy. Hawks have harshly criticized him as unworthy of the position because of his record of opposition to interventionism, military quagmires, sanctions, and for not toeing the line demanded by the pro-Israel lobby.”
While in the Senate, Hagel defended his position by saying, “I’m a United States senator. I’m not an Israeli senator.”
Glaser adds that Hagel has been brought through the gauntlet by the GOP and conservative pundits because they refuse to forgive him for departing from their interventionist doctrine.
New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte said, “If he is nominated and comes before the Senate Armed Services Committee, I plan to vigorously question him on his prior statements, and [his positions on Israel and Iran], in particular.”
In 2006, when asked about Iran, Hagel replied, “I do not expect any kind of military solution on the Iran issue…. I think to further comment on it would be complete speculation, but I would say that a military strike against Iran, a military option, is not a viable, feasible, responsible option. Iran is a complicated issue.”
Too many elected officials in DC wish to continue the policies of endless war and wish to continue funding foreign governments. They support these policies so much that when someone speak out against them, instead of defending their position, they attack the person speaking out.
Former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft says, “He got two Purple Hearts on the front line. That’s about the best recommendation you can get from somebody whose job would be to advise on the use of troops around the world.”
I think it’s about time the Secretary of Defense wasn’t a war-monger seeking to continue the growth of the American Empire. Maybe, just maybe, Chuck Hagel will be able to convince President Obama to halt to drone wars and actually begin bringing troops home from around the globe!
Atlanta rapper Big Boi (of Outkast fame) was interviewed by Pitchfork, and he’s mighty unimpressed by Obama:
Pitchfork: You had a few things to say about Obama on Sir Lucious, but it was recorded before he became president. And there was your song “Sumthin’s Gotta Give” with Mary J. Blige where she sang about cheering for Obama…
BB: I didn’t tell her to do that.
Pitchfork: No? She just did it?
BB: On my damn record. I had a problem with it. I’m not pro-government at all, I’m pro-people. Our freedoms are getting taken away every day with things that people aren’t aware of, like the [National Defense Authorization Act]. I don’t care who the president is– it ain’t just all about who’s black or who’s white or who’s Republican or Democrat, it’s about who is for the betterment of people, period.
Pitchfork: Do you have any feelings about Obama’s first term now that he’s been re-elected?
BB: Nope. What did he do? They say he’s trying to clean up a mess, right? Well, he needs a big-ass broom, and he gotta keep on sweeping. I ain’t on nobody’s team, you feel me? I’m about the American people.
And last month, he was on Hot 97 in NYC where he claims it was racist of some people to assume he (or other black people) voted for Obama, when in fact he says he voted for Gary Johnson:
Is Obama’s allure with the hip hop greats coming to an end? We’ll let you know when Jay Z gets his act together.
Erick Erickson writes at Red State:
Over the next couple of years, Barack Obama wants to raise the national debt to $18.9 trillion or so.
John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and the congressional Republicans want to raise the national debt to $18.4 trillion or so.
The present leadership of the Republican Party has gone from making the case that government is the problem and the American people are the solution to making the case that Democratic controlled government is the problem and Republican controlled government is the solution.
By giving up on making the case that government is the problem and pivoting to “Democrats are the problem,” the Republican Party has failed the American people. Historically, when parties lost, their leadership went and hid for an appropriate amount of time under a rock after an acceptance of blame and a resignation.
The present Republican leaders in Washington, instead of hiding under a rock, have taken to standing on the rock and demanding conservatives self flagellate. Neither John Boehner nor Mitch McConnell are visionaries. They are survivors. They survive by recognizing the biggest threat to them and trying to befriend it or neutralize it.
Right now, both see conservatives as their biggest threat, not Barack Obama. Why? Because while Barack Obama maintains the White House, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell maintain their positions of power. They exist for power, not for vision. The visions they articulate are routinely backpedaled. Remember the pledge to nowhere the House Republicans concocted in 2010 as a second coming of the Contract With America? Within two months of returning to the majority they’d already ditched their pledge faster than a frat boy fleeing a one night stand. Only conservatives wish to hold them accountable for their breach of trust, thus conservatives are the threat.
The very same Republican leadership who paved the way for the rise of the Democrats in 2006 through moral opaqueness on the role of government in the lives of Americans now seek to shut up and shut out the conservatives who continue to loudly point out that the size and scope of the federal leviathan has grown too unwieldy.
I joined the Republican Party in 1964 and voted for Barry Goldwater, a man ahead of his times. The Republican Party was not what it should have been for years after the Goldwater nomination for President and his loss.
Finally it appeared the Republican Party got its act together with Ronald Reagan. We had eight very good years. The economy was so strong even Clinton could not undo it during his eight years. Then it was downhill again.
In 2005 I quit the Republican Party and became unaffiliated and dabbled with the Libertarian Party. After Obama was elected I was convinced to rejoin in 2008, shortly after his inauguration, and really got involved, close to a full time unpaid volunteer for the tea party grassroots movement and the Republican Party internal politics.
We appeared to have momentum in our favor with our wins in 2010. We, a bunch of amateurs, did not have the Republican institutional establishment professional politicians and operatives as allies. They were our enemies and we had an uneasy alliance with them and yet I did not realize how much they rejected us as part of the process until now.
Now, here we are, could not get a grassroots candidate nominated for President, lost ground at the state and local levels, lost the Colorado House, failed to get some grassroots Congressmen re-elected, and had to live with a presidential candidate many of us did not support in the primaries but choked it down anyway and worked hard on his behalf.
In two years the odds of keeping the Colorado State Attorney General’s office, the Colorado Secretary of State and the Colorado State Treasurer may be dismal. If the Democrats succeed in taking those three offices the transition of Colorado to a socialist state (think California) will be complete and nearly perfect.
Look what we have. The big dogs in the Republican Party are having a discussion on moving to the left of center, far left, not just a tad. NO, NO, UNACCEPTABLE. If they do, that will for sure end any alliances we grassroots common, hardworking citizens have with them.
I do not blame myself or any grassroots Constitutional conservative libertarian Republicans. I blame the institutional establishment old line Republicans for being ready, willing and able to destroy the Republican Party so they could destroy us and teach us a lesson. It was a political suicide bombing of the Republican Party by Republicans with them destroying themselves to destroy us.
Now what? Quit? Never, ever quit, just figure out another strategy even if it does not include the Republican Party or mainstream politics. I predict many of us who placed everything political in working within the Republican Party are going to transition and morph into something different, what that is I do not know but it will not be the same old politics. It may be peaceful, it may not. We will see. I know I will not again make the same mistakes twice.
President Obama became the first President since FDR to win re-election by a smaller margin than his initial election (Obama receive 8 million fewer votes and 33 fewer Electoral Votes in 2012 than 2008). I was not surprised by his reelection or the fact that he was reelected by a smaller margin than his 2008 victory. I did find it surprising that within days of his reelection, the White House received a letter of resignation from CIA Director David Petraeus.
Jason Ditz of AntiWar.com writes, “The timing of the resignation is also telling, as indications are this FBI investigation has been ongoing for quite some time, but the resignation waited until immediately after the presidential election. President Obama has been a vocal supporter of Petraeus in numerous roles, and the revelation that he appointed a leader of the nation’s most visible spy agency who couldn’t even keep an affair under wraps would certainly have been politically damaging if it came out before the vote.”
In addition to Petraeus, Hillary Clinton announced that she will be stepping down as Secretary of State. Even though Clinton has been upfront about her intentions to only serve as Secretary of State for one term, the timing of this latest announcement seems rather convenient. In mid-October, she took responsibility for the deadly assault on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya on September 11 of this year. Military officials insist Petraeus’ resignation has nothing to do with Benghazi, his sudden resignation means that he will no longer be required to testify before Congress about the debacle.
Regarding the Benghazi attack, Clinton said, “I take this very personally. So we’re going to get to the bottom of it, and then we’re going to do everything we can to work to prevent it from happening again, and then we’re going to work to bring whoever did this to us to justice.”
Based on information obtained by AntiWar.com, local police were seen taking pictures inside the embassy, a small British security firm was hired to guard the consulate and some of the “security team” team assigned to guard the compound showed the rioters where the Americans were located. Blue Mountain Security told their unarmed guards “to sound the alarm over the radio and then run for cover if there was an attack.”
Justin Raimondo asks, “Unarmed ‘security’ guards — who ever heard of that? How the heck did Blue Mountain get this contract?” After going into detail on how Blue Mountain got the contract, Raimondo concludes, “The whole arrangement screams setup.”
I’m not saying that war-criminal David Petraeus was involved in this debacle, but it is very “coincidental” that he resigned days after the election and just days before being required to testify before Congress.
I’ll be away from the blog this evening, but I encourage everyone to use the Google elections map, just because it’s probably the best tool out there created by some incredibly smart coders.
And just for giggles, here’s my predictions, cross-posted from IPR:
Johnson breaks 1M, barely. Gets credit for handing wins to Romney in Colorado and possibly Ohio. Time for democrats to hate libertarians.
Amendment 64 passes in Colorado with surprisingly strong republican support. Battle lines drawn for 10th amendment showdown with federal government.
I’m basing my judgement on the Romney/Obama matchup on an apparent gaffe by the president during the Town Hall debate when he (mis)stated “when I was president.”
I am rather certain he was being prophetic in that utterance.
Update: You can track Colorado’s Amendment 64 / marijuana legalization issue here, on the very last page (use the dropdown). Colorado polls close at 7PM MST / 9PM EST.
Here’s to “the entire country getting on airplanes to go to Denver for the weekend to chill out.” Good call GJ.
Update 11/7: Obama gets another four years, GJ got over 1M (yep, barely) and Amendment 64 passed (1,027,893 Yes to 898,317 No with 23 of 64 Colorado counties reporting)… two out of three predictions ain’t so bad, all things considered. I really should have stuck with my original assessment I told a few people (not on any record) that Obama would get re-elected if he convinced people the economy was rebounding by June, but I guess my time hanging out with Republicans had tinted my view. C’est la vie.
From the video description:
Homeless Uncle Sam tells us how the voting process REALLY works. Spoiler Alert: It has something to do with masturbation, the electoral college and Tupac.
MMMMM… horse head cheese. Makes me want to work hard building shitty products for ungrateful foreigners.
Astute readers will remember back when Saturday Night Live took a swipe at media conspiracy theories with their Schoolhouse Rock parody, which aired only once.
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie should probably realize soon enough they’ve mistakenly hitched their wagons to the perpetual campaigner in chief, not the savior of Sandy-monium:
“when disaster strikes, we see America at its best.”
“All the petty differences that consume us in normal times somehow melt away,” the president told 4,500 Nevadans at a rally in Las Vegas. “There are no Democrats or Republicans during a storm, just fellow Americans, leaders of different parties working to fix what’s broken, neighbors helping neighbors cope with tragedy, communities rallying to rebuild, a spirit that says, In the end we’re all in this together, that we rise or fall as one nation.”
That end of course, comes after Obama’s latest campaign stop in Las Vegas, which has taken priority over the plight of Americans mired in a growing crisis of shortages across the flood-devastated East Coast.
Meanwhile, things are reaching thunder dome levels as a gasoline shortage has people going completely nuts, and an ancillary food crisis begins to bloom.
Remember when Bush was caught in similar circumstances after Katrina? Las Vegas will become Obama’s Coronado.
Libertarians and assorted “kooky survivalists” across the country — always wary of big government promises and now muttering “told you so” — are left to watch helplessly as the federal assistance once again arrives days late and several braincells short.
Yesterday, the devastating Hurricane Sandy made landfall along a swath of the Northeastern seaboard of the United States, sending surging tides across coastal areas of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. At a stunningly low 943 millibars, it broke the previous record low barometric pressure set in 1938 by the Long Island Express Hurricane (946 millibars).
Already fires are beginning to erupt in the wake of the storm, with 80 homes destroyed in a Queens, New York neighborhood.
But while millions are reeling from widespread electrical blackouts and loss of utilities in the stricken areas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency — head by Craig Fugate — has said it remains in response mode, while merely hinting at the political fallout that may ride along with a disaster so close to election day:
“We are anticipating that, based on the storm, there could be impacts that would linger into next week and have impacts on the federal election,” Fugate said on a conference call with reporters.
But any potential tinkering with Election Day would bring a bevy of legal issues.
“Our chief counsel’s been working on making sure that we have the proper guidance,” he added. “We’re going through the regulatory policy and making sure all that’s in place and we can support it.”
Fugate did not address whether the election could be delayed — a question that federal officials said last week is up for states to decide.
President Barack Obama has responded by cancelling several campaign trips to key swing states. Included in the cancellations was a flight to Orlando, Florida where the president decided against being seen campaigning — Air Force One ended up landing, Obama ate some pizza with campaign volunteers and then returned to Washington (dubbed the most expensive pizza delivery in history).
Mitt Romney for his part has also remained low-key, cancelling several campaign appearances and adopting a wait-and-see approach to gauge whether FEMA will be able to manage a disaster without too much embarrassment.
So far the only major hiccup has been in insisting on sending people without power to the internet:
When President Barack Obama urged Americans under siege from Hurricane Sandy to stay inside and keep watch on ready.gov for the latest, he left out something pretty important — where to turn if the electricity goes out.
Despite the heightened expectation of widespread power and cable television failures, everyone from the president to local newscasters seem to expect the public to rely entirely on the Internet and their TVs for vital news and instructions.
[…] “With these types of storms, you get a lot of this is going to be carried out through the traditional TV and radio media,” Fugate told reporters on a conference call. “But we’re using a lot more social media, we’re using everything from Facebook to Twitter. I think there’s a higher degree of awareness that people have of the storm is coming and what the impacts are going to be.”
Fugate also talked up battery-operated or hand-cranked radios during interviews on morning news shows.
A call to FEMA’s news desk, however, found even they didn’t have any non-Internet information readily available beyond suggestions that people call 911 in an emergency. When asked where folks should turn for information if they have no power, a FEMA worker said, “Well, those people who have a laptop with a little battery life on it can try that way. Otherwise, you’re right.”
Back in 2006 we pointed out FEMA’s fraud and waste in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina’s disaster in New Orleans (or at least cited the Government Accounting Office):
The GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, found at least $1 billion in disaster relief payments by the Federal Emergency Management Agency were improper and potentially fraudulent because the recipients provided incomplete or incorrect information when they registered for assistance. (GAO report)
Oddly enough, our least favorite former FEMA chief Michael “heck of a job” Brown was quick to weigh in with political advice:
“Right now,” Brown maintains, “both campaigns need to let the first responders and governors do what they need to do. Basically say, ‘If we can help in any way, let us know.'”
Since Hurricane Sandy has dominated headlines in recent days, 2011 comments from Romney saying that FEMA should be shut down and power should be given to the states have resurfaced. His campaign has clarified that Romney believes states should have more authority, but he does not think FEMA should be abolished.
Brown agrees. “It’s more of a statement of fact…. This has always been my theory. The stronger you make the federal government, the weaker you make local governments…. State and local responders need to be as robust as they possibly can…. What FEMA should be doing right now is coordinating, [telling governors and mayors], ‘What do you need? How can we help?'”
He adds, “Everything that really needs to be done is a state and local issue…. The feds are more about helping financially.”
But some refugees wary of FEMA’s checkered history may have some hope when dealing with the federal aid-givers. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of marching into a designated “FEMA camp” that has been rightly or wrongly maligned, you can actually bring your guns and ammo with you.
Gun rights groups had sought the change, saying the original policy violated Second Amendment protections for gun ownership. Kinerny said FEMA made the change after consulting with lawyers.
FEMA said it has been general policy for several years to prohibit guns at such parks anywhere in the country. But two gun rights groups — the National Rifle Association and Second Amendment Foundation — said they found out about it only this month as a 600-trailer encampment opened near Baton Rouge.
Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president, praised the change. ”It is wrong to force citizens to give up their constitutional rights in order for them to get a needed federal benefit,” he said in a news release.
We here at Hammer of Truth wish the victims of Hurricane Sandy a speedy recovery, and we certainly hope FEMA won’t get in the way of their recovery and rebuilding this time.
The Presidential election is just days away and the pundits are speculating about who will win and by what margin. Some talking heads are even saying that one candidate or another will act as a “spoiler” for one of the major party candidates in one or more States.
Some people have event speculated at the possibility of a tied electoral vote, in which Obama and Romney each receive 269 Electoral Votes. This scenario is extremely unlikely and has only happened three times in American history (1800, 1824 & 1836), with one more extremely unusual situation in 1876. What would happen in such an unlikely scenario?
First, allow me to explain how the Presidential election works. One election day, voters cast a ballot for a slate of electors that are pledged to the various Presidential candidates. The winning slates of electors are usually certified in mid-November and under federal law must be certified by December 11. The fifty-one slates of electors (one slate from each State, plus Washington, D.C.) meet and cast the official votes on December 17. The official vote by the electors is sealed and sent to the President of the Senate by December 26 and the electoral votes are officially counted on January 6 before a joint session of the newly sworn-in Congress.
The Office of the Federal Register states, “If a State submits conflicting sets of electoral votes to Congress, the two Houses acting concurrently may accept or reject the votes. If they do not concur, the votes of the electors certified by the Governor of the State on the Certificate of Ascertainment would be counted in Congress.”
Further, “If no Presidential candidate wins 270 or more electoral votes, a majority, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution provides for the House of Representatives to decide the Presidential election. If necessary the House would elect the President by majority vote, choosing from the three candidates who received the greatest number of electoral votes. The vote would be taken by state, with each state having one vote.” The Senate would decide the Vice President, with each Senator having one vote.
This is where things get interesting, especially since the House votes per State delegation. Under the current Congress, the Republican Party has a majority in 33 State Congressional delegations (3 States have the same number of Republican and Democrat Congressmen). The Republican’s will likely maintain control of 34 State Congressional delegations after the election. This means that if there is a tie for Electoral Votes, then Mitt Romney will likely be elected by the House. If the Democrats retain the Senate, then Joe Biden would likely be elected Vice-President. However, there is a very slim possibility that the Republican’s will control the Senate after the election.
Since the 2000 Presidential election, there have been calls for changing or abolishing the Electoral College. If there were an tie vote, I’m fairly certain that the Electoral College would be modified in some manner, and probably in a way that further discourages voting for a “minor party” candidate.