TheObamaFile reports on what readers here have seen me promulgate all along regarding the FactCheck.org blog’s credentials on making any sort of forensic document determination RE: Mr. Obama’s Hawaiian Certification of Live Birth — they don’t have the right background (update: see bios here):
FactCheck.org identifies their anal-ists as Jess Henig and Joe Miller. OK, that’s fine, but who and what are Jess Henig and Joe Miller? Are they qualified to perform an analysis of ANY document, or are they just a couple of guys hanging around FactCheck.org’s office, or are they political operators? What are their bona fides? FactCheck.org doesn’t say. Wonder why?
Well, I found out. The two FactCheck.org employees who were granted access to Obama’s bogus Certification of Live Birth (COLB) are NOT document examiners or experts. Joe Miller has a Ph. D. in Political Philosophy — so he’s a political operative — while Jess Henig has an M.A. in English Literature — I’m not sure her dye-job is a political or esthetic statement.
They are a couple of partisan Obots — just what you’d expect — Jess took the photos presented on their webpage and did all of the writing, while Bob basically held the COLB open for Jess to photograph — suitable work for a Ph. D.
Those two are completely unqualified to perform any kind of forensic examination of any document, and FactCheck.org knows it — and so do Henig and Miller.
FactCheck does say their, “representatives got a chance to spend some time with the ‘birth certificate,’ and we can attest to the fact that it is real and three-dimensional and resides at the Obama headquarters in Chicago.” In my mind, that clearly shows they were working with and for the Obama Campaign and that Obama and his people are involved in this lie.
Again, as I’ve said before, these individuals may be very well credentialed in their chosen fields, but it hardly seems fitting that individuals who are not trained in the science of document forensics — like four otherwise credentialed examiners have been — could possibly have a trained opinion of the document’s legitimacy.
Further, as certain opposition commenters have pointed out many times over, the page that allegedly speaks to the authenticity of the document can lead the casual observer to believe that quotes from the HI Department of Health are directly related to the certification allegedly on hand with FactCheck.org. This is very much of a conclusory lead, as the HI DoH has never made any direct connection between what they have on file versus what FactCheck.org claims to have on hand. There is no receipt of any such transaction ever having occurred back in 2007 and nobody but the above two individuals have come forward to actually physically handle the document (regardless of FactCheck.org’s supposed willingness to allow such an inspection).
Remember — this is the only direct evidence that has ever been claimed to be originally sourced to speak on anything regarding Mr. Obama’s background. And even this is hardly a direct source; it is a “short-form” version of a “long-form” birth certificate that could very well indicate a birth registration of an immigrant (see Sun Yat-sen for such an example).
Following up on a story concerning New Hampshire State Rep. Lawrence Rappaport inquiring with the Secretary of State regarding Mr. Obama’s legitimate candidacy on the ballot in the State, The Post & Emailreports on some additional details:
In an email to supporters, Rappaport reports what transpired:
“Well, here’s the sad news. Representative Vita, her husband and I met with New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney and his assistant yesterday
(Friday) at 10 am. We wanted an investigation for potential fraud on either Obama or the Democratic Partly based mostly on our contention that since Obama ran for President in New Hampshire when we believe he was not eligible, we believe fraud was committed on the citizens of New Hampshire.
We based our suspicions and allegations on:
1. The Supreme Court’s definition of “natural born citizen” and subsequent affirmation of that definition by the US Congress last year, along with his admission that his father was Kenyan.
2. Questionable birth certificates, and an affadavit by a doctor that he delivered Mr. Obama as a baby in Kenya.
3. Multiple use of different Social Security numbers and a signed affidavit to that effect.
4. Attending a school in Indonesia which claimed to accept no foreign students.
Mr. Delaney still declined to prosecute saying that he thought this was a federal matter and that we should complain to the Federal Election Commission. (I most certainly will).
Disappointed, New Hampshire State Representative Laurence M. Rappaport issued this statement:
“Since I have presented evidence to both Mr. William Gardner, the New Hampshire Secretary of State, and Mr. Michael Delaney, the New Hampshire Attorney General, and neither has investigated, I am left to conclude that New Hampshire does not concern itself with the validity of candidates running for public office. Since it is too late for legislation in this session, I plan to introduce legislation next term forcing the Secretary of State’s office to confirm eligibility of all candidates running for office.
Needless to say, I am disappointed.
Another State Representative is, however, taking legislative action, according to Rappaport:
I have since learned that Representative Lars Christiansen will introduce legislation requiring the Secretary of State to verify the birth certificates of anyone running for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency in federal elections. While it is too late to sign on as a co-sponsor, I will certainly vote for that and urge my fellow Representatives to vote for it as well.
This legislation does not, however, address the natural-born-citizenship requirement, though, since that necessitates not only birth in the U.S.A., but also that the parents were citizens at time of the birth. The proposed legislation would merely confirm Obama’s legitimacy, if he can produce the semblance of an American birth certificate.
The truth of the matter is (and as I’ve been saying all along) that not only is there no defined-in-law enforcement mechanism for Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 in the Constitution nor anywhere else, there is also no law that says what must be used nor to what extent such enforcement is to be manifested.
And, really, this is the reason why it continues to mystify me that individuals such as myself continue to be castigated for questioning this President’s eligibility. After all — what’s not specifically spelled out in the Constitution necessarily flows down to the States and/or the People via the 10th Amendment. That means that the People, no matter how few or many, have every right to bring such questions to the fore and to speak out against those who effectively wish to silence voices such as my own via such cleverly-used politically-correct tactics as claiming that individuals such as myself are racists or bigots, merely because of the melanin in Mr. Obama’s skin.
And from the Telegraph.co.uk, Neil Sankey, a former British policeman, continues his quest to determine Mr. Obama’s eligibility:
Neil Sankey, who has almost 20 years experience serving in Special Branch and the Bomb Squad, is now devoting his energies to proving that Mr Obama is not a natural born US citizen. …
Over the past year, Mr Sankey has been integral in some of the most aggressive efforts to remove him from office by claiming that his presidency is illegitimate. …
Mr Sankey, who moved to California in the 1980s to set up his own private detective agency, told the Guardian: “The objection is not Obama’s colour but his politics.
“I like him as a person, I just wish he was genuine.
“It’s quite obvious to me — America is heading towards a socialised state just as has happened in Europe. Socialised medicine, everyone on the dole, and when everything collapses you tip the scales into Marxism.” …
He told the Guardian that his fascination with Mr Obama’s heritage began with the realisation “that this man wasn’t what he said he was. He wasn’t an ordinary Democrat — he was far more extreme than that.”
See the following links regarding the eligibility saga:
Via RightSoup.com, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) took Attorney General Eric Holder to task over KSM and the “criminal theory” versus the “enemy combatant” theory.
As you watch the video, ask yourself this question: If Mr. Holder and the Administration’s policy is to survey the evidence before deciding whether or not an enemy combatant will be tried in a military tribunal or civilian Court, what does that do to our assets on the ground? How do you take into custody someone who may or may not need to be read their Miranda rights? And what if they are told that they have the right to be silent? So much for information-gathering, eh?
With regards to these nine accusations that you are putting us on trial for; to us, they are not accusations. To us they are badges of honor, which we carry with pride….
We ask you; who initiated the attacks on civilians? Who is attacking civilian objects? And who is causing grave bodily harm against civilians? Is it us, or is it you?
…. was it not you that attacked an entire population in Iraq, destroying civilian targets and its infrastructure? Was it not you that has killed one million Iraqi children caused by your oppressed economic sanctions, which you imposed after the first Gulf War?
In fact, it was you who had wiped out two entire cities off the face of the earth and killed roughly half a million people in a few minutes and caused grave bodily harm by nuclear radiation? Did you forget about your nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
You are the last nation that has the right to speak about civilians and killing civilians. You are professional criminals, with all the meaning the words carry. Therefore, we kill treat you the same. We will attack you, just like you have attacked us, and whomever initiated the attacks is the guilty party.
Legally worthless. Eerily similar to political rhetoric we hear in this country. Possibly music to the ears of a secretly sympathic juror.
But to KSM, the chance to give such a lecture in the shadows of the former Twin Towers, a short distance from where thousands of infidels died, in a room face to face with the loved ones who still mourn …. to him, it will be priceless.
NEW YORK (CBS) — Gov. David Paterson openly criticized the White House on Monday, saying he thought it was a terrible idea to move alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other suspected terrorists to New York for trial.
“This is not a decision that I would have made. I think terrorism isn’t just attack, it’s anxiety and I think you feel the anxiety and frustration of New Yorkers who took the bullet for the rest of the country,” he said.
Paterson’s comments break with Democrats, who generally support the President’s decision.
“Our country was attacked on its own soil on September 11, 2001 and New York was very much the epicenter of that attack. Over 2,700 lives were lost,” he said. “It’s very painful. We’re still having trouble getting over it. We still have been unable to rebuild that site and having those terrorists so close to the attack is gonna be an encumbrance on all New Yorkers.”
Documents from that discovery production [ in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing case ], which were never supposed to be provided to anyone outside the defense team, were later found in an al-Qaeda hideout.
Further, let’s be honest — we know that no President of the United States would chance a man like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed going free. Barack Obama would not risk a civilian trial without being sure of a conviction. This then amounts to a show trial, but one where the prosecutors will have to comply with discovery requirements that will potentially put classified material into the hands of Al Qaeda.
It has happened before.
And for any who are still stuck on the rush to judgment, AllAmericanBlogger posts a fine comparison between Major Hasan’s actions and those of Abdul Walid Hamid.
Sunday, November 15, 2009 update:
Semantics or stupidity? You can only choose one and there’s no in-between as Mr. Obama said the following back in 2006 RE: KSM (h/t HotAirPundit):
Obama: “I think there are alot of dangerous people, particularly dangerous are people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, ironically those are the guy who are gonna get real military procedures…The irony of the underlying bill as it’s written is someone like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is gonna get basically a full military trial” [emphases from site]
And apparently a group of individuals have come together to form a group making an attempt to block the trial from happening in NYC (yesterday via FreeRepublic):
As you know by now, President Obama and Eric Holder are planning on bringing the 9/11 masterminds toNYC for trial. There is a massive grassroots movement to block this – retired members of the FDNY, theBravest.com, have partnered with 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong and America and Keep America Safe to bring attention to this travesty. They are recruiting the families & friends of the FDNY to combat this ill-conceived policy of the current administration. They are asking that all of America join in with them by signing their petition at the following link:
Over the past 48 hours, 60,000 people have signed the petition. l heard the founder of thebravest.com on a NYC talk show tonight – he was in the WTC when it was hit, he is passionate about this, he is ready to go to the wall over this – he needs us to stand with him.
The Obama Administration is preparing to bring 5 of the terrorists behind the 9/11 attack to New York city to undergo a civilian, criminal trial, where the chief murder is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (IWatchObama has a run-down on the terrorists involved).
That is correct. Not a military tribunal, though HotAir.com reports that other Gitmo prisoners — such as USS Cole attacker Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri — will face a military tribunal. They also note that while some may be justifying the Cole attack as purely military, the 9/11 attackers also hit the Pentagon, so why not bring all of these individuals under the jurisdiction of a tribunal?
What’s more, since a civilian Court would be given jurisdiction, that means that KSM shall have all of the Constitutional rights at trial that any other American citizen has. The really scary part? KSM has already admitted that he’s guilty. So exactly what would he be defending against except the “evil” American government?
And it gets even weirder still. By trying KSM as a criminal in civilian Court, so many things could potentially occur — individuals associated with the Court could get threatened, New York city becomes a “live” target (once again), and, God forbid, the case could actually get thrown out on a technicality — something that readers of this site are all too familiar with concerning the Judiciary! That certainly wouldn’t make some 9/11 victims’ families too happy.
Ask yourself this question: Suppose that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s trial results in an acquittal or a hung jury. Would the Obama administration really let him go? If so, they are crazy. If not, why are they holding the trial?
Naturally, GOP leaders in Washington are all-outfurious over the Administration’s decision. And the Woman Who Would Be President ™ has quite forthrightly weighed in on this story as well, especially the following:
Criminal defense attorneys will now enter into delaying tactics and other methods in the hope of securing some kind of win for their “clients.” The trial will afford Mohammed the opportunity to grandstand and make use of his time in front of the world media to rally his disgusting terrorist cohorts. It will also be an insult to the victims of 9/11, as Mohammed will no doubt use the opportunity to spew his hateful rhetoric in the same neighborhood in which he ruthlessly cut down the lives of so many Americans.
It is crucially important that Americans be made aware that the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks may walk away from this trial without receiving just punishment because of a “hung jury” or from any variety of court room technicalities. If we are stuck with this terrible Obama Administration decision, I, like most Americans, hope that Mohammed and his co-conspirators are convicted. Hang ‘em high.
A site that tracks Gov. Palin’s Facebook postings and her goings-on posted the following stark verbiage regarding Attorney General Eric Holder and the rest of the Administration:
This doesn’t just lay at the feet of Barack Obama though. Every single member of the United States Senate who voted in favor of confirming this man as Attorney General is guilty as well. Holder’s radical bent was well known, and well discussed before he was confirmed. It would have been very easy for the Republicans to have blocked Holder’s confirmation from ever coming to a vote. Instead, many actually voted to confirm this traitor.
I promise you, the democrats have blocked more than a few Republican nominees over the years, with no good reason, except petty politics. Allowing Eric Holder to be confirmed was a serious lack of judgment, and yet another reason there needs to be a mass turn over in Congress. We need to throw a bunch of these lifetime “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” politicians out of this office, and replace them with commons sense leaders.
It’s bad enough to have a Congress full of inept, corrupt, hangers on, but this latest act of stupidity has the potential to bring great harm to our nation. The act of confirming Eric Holder proves these Republican Senators in incapable of using good judgment.
To see a full list of who voted to confirm Holder, those who needs to start looking for a new job, look here. …
This is simply outrageous. Either Obama knew this guy, and his terrorist ways, or he has the most incompetent vetting staff in the world. Either way, our nation’s security has been compromised at the very highest level.
But still not as outrageous as bringing the 9/11 terrorists to American soil and civilian court.
Will this finally be the straw that breaks the camels back? Will this finally be the act of treachery that will cause the American people to demand that Barack Obama resign and take the rest of his insane administration with him?
So, why is this occurring? That is, why is it that the federal government is wanting a trial in civilian court? As Michelle Malkin recently tweeted, it may literally be as simple as political payback (via NRO):
This summer, I theorized that Attorney General Eric Holder — and his boss — had a hidden agenda in ordering a re-investigation of the CIA for six-year-old alleged interrogation excesses that had already been scrutinized by non-partisan DOJ prosecutors who had found no basis for prosecution. The continuing investigations of Bush-era counterterrorism policies (i.e., the policies that kept us safe from more domestic terror attacks), coupled with the Holder Justice Department’s obsession to disclose classified national-defense information from that period, enable Holder to give the hard Left the “reckoning” that he and Obama promised during the 2008 campaign. It would be too politically explosive for Obama/Holder to do the dirty work of charging Bush administration officials; but as new revelations from investigations and declassifications are churned out, Leftist lawyers use them to urge European and international tribunals to bring “torture” and “war crimes” indictments. Thus, administration cooperation gives Obama’s base the reckoning it demands but Obama gets to deny responsibility for any actual prosecutions.
Today’s announcement that KSM and other top al-Qaeda terrorists will be transferred to Manhattan federal court for civilian trials neatly fits this hidden agenda. Nothing results in more disclosures of government intelligence than civilian trials. They are a banquet of information, not just at the discovery stage but in the trial process itself, where witnesses — intelligence sources — must expose themselves and their secrets. …
So: We are now going to have a trial that never had to happen for defendants who have no defense. And when defendants have no defense for their own actions, there is only one thing for their lawyers to do: put the government on trial in hopes of getting the jury (and the media) spun up over government errors, abuses and incompetence. That is what is going to happen in the trial of KSM et al. It will be a soapbox for al-Qaeda’s case against America. Since that will be their “defense,” the defendants will demand every bit of information they can get about interrogations, renditions, secret prisons, undercover operations targeting Muslims and mosques, etc., and — depending on what judge catches the case — they are likely to be given a lot of it. The administration will be able to claim that the judge, not the administration, is responsible for the exposure of our defense secrets. And the circus will be played out for all to see — in the middle of the war. It will provide endless fodder for the transnational Left to press its case that actions taken in America’s defense are violations of international law that must be addressed by foreign courts. And the intelligence bounty will make our enemies more efficient at killing us.
On top of all of this, as Atlanta’s AM750WSB’s Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree points out on his blog, the 2010 Defense Authorization Act (HR2647) appears to spell out rather specific conditions regarding transferring Gitmo detainees to American soil:
SEC. 1041. LIMITATION ON USE OF FUNDS FOR THE TRANSFER OR RELEASE OF INDIVIDUALS DETAINED AT UNITED STATES NAVAL STATION, GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA.
(a) Release Prohibition- During the period beginning on October 1, 2009, and ending on December 31, 2010, the Secretary of Defense may not use any of the amounts authorized to be appropriated in this Act or otherwise available to the Department of Defense to release into the United States, its territories, or possessions, any individual described in subsection (e).
(b) Transfer Limitation- During the period beginning on October 1, 2009, and ending on December 31, 2010, the Secretary of Defense may not use any of the amounts authorized to be appropriated in this Act or otherwise available to the Department of Defense to transfer any individual described in subsection (e) to the United States, its territories, or possessions, until 45 days after the President has submitted to the congressional defense committees the plan described in subsection (c).
(c) Comprehensive Plan Required- The President shall submit to the congressional defense committees a plan for the disposition of each individual described in subsection (e) who is proposed to be transferred to the United States, its territories, or possessions. Such plan for each individual shall include, at a minimum–
(1) an assessment of the risk that the individual described in subsection (e) poses to the national security of the United States, its territories, or possessions;
(2) a proposal for the disposition of each such individual;
(3) the measures to be taken to mitigate any risks described in paragraph (1);
(4) the location or locations at which the individual will be held under the proposal for disposition required by paragraph (2);
(5) the costs associated with executing the plan, including technical and financial assistance required to be provided to State and local law enforcement agencies, if necessary, to carry out the plan;
(6) a summary of the consultation required in subsection (d); and
(7) a certification by the Attorney General that under the plan the individual poses little or no security risk to the United States, its territories, or possessions.
(d) Consultation Required- The President shall consult with the chief executive of the State, the District of Columbia, or the territory or possession of the United States to which the disposition in subsection (c)(2) includes transfer to that State, District of Columbia, or territory or possession.
(e) Detainees Described- An individual described in this subsection is any individual who is located at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as of October 1, 2009, who–
(1) is not a citizen of the United States; and
(A) in the custody or under the effective control of the Department of Defense; or
(B) otherwise under detention at the United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Some may say that, within context, this has to do with actually shutting down Gitmo (a totally unrelated issue) versus merely transferring detainees from Gitmo to some holding facility in the US with the understanding that they may be brought back to Gitmo. Yet, per another tweet:
From what Senate staffers are telling us, if the White House has a new GTMO plan, then they can transfer detainees
I think that former New York city Mayor Rudy Giuliani provides the best commentary in the following two videos:
WASHINGTON – Authorities have been examining whether Fort Hood massacre suspect Nidal Malik Hasanwired money to Pakistan in recent months, an action that one senior lawmaker said would raise serious questions about Hasan’s possible connections to militant Islamic groups. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., said sources “outside of the [intelligence] community” learned about Hasan’s possible connections to the Asian country, which faces a massive Islamist insurgency and is widely believed to be Osama bin Laden’s hiding place.
Hoekstra, the ranking Republicanon the House Intelligence Committee, would not identify the sources. But he said “they are trying to follow up on it because they recognize that if there are communications – phone or money transfers with somebody in Pakistan – it just raises a whole other level of questions.”
Much remains unknown about the 39-year-old Hasan, born in Virginia to Palestinian immigrants. He lived alone near the Army base in Killeen, Texas, and would sometimes use a neighbor’s computer even though he had his own.
“With what I know about Hasan to date … I would expect we will learn more about him that will make us concerned,” Hoekstra said, “rather than information that says, ‘Oh man, we got that all wrong and this had nothing to do with terrorism.’ ”
Mystery of money
Hasan’s finances have been a mystery since last week, when the Army major and psychiatrist allegedly shot and killed 13 colleagues at the sprawling Central Texas military base. Hasan earned more than $90,000 a year and had no dependents, yet lived in an aging one-bedroom apartment that rented for about $300 a month.
“You can bet there is an ongoing, extensive investigation into every single financial transaction he made,” said Matt Orwig, a former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas who has no direct knowledge of the Hasan case. “Federal investigative agencies are very good at tracing the flow of money, both to him and from him.”
Authorities know that Hasan sent repeated e-mails, starting some time in December 2008, to a radical Muslim cleric in Yemen. That cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, formerly served as imam of a large northern Virginia mosque where Hasan worshipped. The U.S.-born cleric praised Hasan after the massacre as “a hero.”
In January, al-Awlaki told readers of his blog about “44 ways to support jihad” – a term often translated as “holy war.” Many of his points dealt with ways to fund such efforts.
“Probably the most important contribution the Muslims of the West could do for Jihad is making Jihad with their wealth,” al-Awlaki wrote. “In many cases the mujahideen are in need of money more than they are in need of men.”
He also stressed the importance of “avoiding the life of luxury.” [emphases original]
Hmmm. So now we have the possibility of overseas money transfers to Pakistan at about the same time the FBI was made aware of repeated communication between Hasan and a 9/11 figure in Yemen. Meanwhile, Hasan — a well-paid medical professional — lived a lifestyle of near-poverty despite living by himself. And no one in the intelligence community thought this required further investigation?
Now, regarding potential congressional investigation into this matter, Ms. Geller once again makes a very salient point on the part of the opposition (I do wonder how there could be opposition to fully investigating this matter post haste?):
More: Chatter from the left wing blogosphere is smearing Hoekstra. That’s what the vicious left does to effective voices and leaders. Destroy truth tellers. The left machine is revving up and going after Hoekstra.
The left blogs’ fallacious charge that Congressman Pete Hoekstra leaked classified information related to the Fort Hood shooting is starting to reach the mainstream media. Rachel Maddow made this charge last night on her show – here at Think Progress. Hoekstra didn’t leak anything – he has called attention to a seriousintelligence failure that he wants answers about. Hoekstra asked for a classified briefing on this last week, but the administration wouldn’t give him one. He also wanted the House intelligence committee to get a briefing, but House Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes refused to request one, even though House members were here until late Saturday night. This is shaping up to be a major intelligence failure that the Obama administration and congressional Democrats do not want to seriously investigate. [emphases original]
And here is Rep. Hoekstra’s letter requesting a preservation order:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) Wednesday called the Fort Hood killings an “act of terror” and joined a parade of GOP critics in suggesting that “political correctness” might have been a factor in not preventing the shootings.
“We ought to make sure ‘political correctness’ never impedes national security,” McCain said in a speech at the University of Louisville.
McCain’s comments echoed those of a variety of Republican politicians and commentators — as well as Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn) — over the past few days as information about the background of the alleged shooter has surfaced in the media. The criticisms, which initially focused on the failure of the administration and the Army to use the word “terrorism” or “jihadism” in connection with Fort Hood, are now being merged with a larger Republican portrayal of the Obama administration’s approach toward terrorism generally.
“It’s very important what we call” the Fort Hood tragedy, said former Bush White House press secretary Dana Perino. “The failure of the connecting of the dots may indicate that in some areas we still have a law enforcement approach to domestic terror threats,” Perino said in a post in POLITICO’s Arena forum. “That approach doesn’t stop the attack before it happens — it waits, and then, if the attacker survives, prosecutes ‘to the full extent of the law’! We can’t relax on terror threats or revert back to that approach — we need to be proactive to prevent attacks using intelligence gathering. That might mean there are gray lines of political correctness that might make any of us uncomfortable. But look at the price that’s paid.”
What HotAir.com — via NPR — reports absolutely takes the cake. Walter Reed Medical Center knew that something was going on with Major Hasan, but they had absolutely no hard evidence that he was anything but he continually proclaimed himself to be — a Muslim jihadist.
First, the takeaway from NPR:
When a group of key officials gathered in the spring of 2008 for their monthly meeting in a Bethesda, Md., office, one of the leading — and most perplexing — items on their agenda was: What should we do about Hasan?…
Both fellow students and faculty were deeply troubled by Hasan’s behavior — which they variously called disconnected, aloof, paranoid, belligerent, and schizoid. The officials say he antagonized some students and faculty by espousing what they perceived to be extremist Islamic views. His supervisors at Walter Reed had even reprimanded him for telling at least one patient that “Islam can save your soul.”…
One official involved in the conversations had reportedly told colleagues that he worried that if Hasan deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, he might leak secret military information to Islamic extremists. Another official reportedly wondered aloud to colleagues whether Hasan might be capable of committing fratricide, like the Muslim U.S. Army sergeant who, in 2003, killed two fellow soldiers and injured 14 others by setting off grenades at a base in Kuwait. [emphases added by HotAir]
As HotAir goes on to opine:
Their chitchat about this guy continued into this year, with one official summing it up this way for NPR: “Everybody felt that if you were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, you would not want Nidal Hasan in your foxhole.” And yet — they were planning to deploy him anyway. In fact, here’s the amazing thing about the NPR piece, which you absolutely must read in its entirety: For all the speculation kicked around about Hasan possibly being schizoid or paranoid or having some other diagnosable condition, no hard evidence — aside from his jihadist sympathies — is offered. In fact, NPR flatly states that “they didn’t have clear evidence that he was unstable.” Which makes me wonder if this is less a case of a guy in the grip of mental illness than a case of psychiatrists trying, and failing, to relate to radical ideology in the idiom of their profession.
The million-dollar question: Why didn’t they do something about it? Four reasons, per NPR: (1) Thanks to military bureaucracy, it’s hard to get a doctor fired; (2) he was being transferred to Fort Hood, so he’d be their problem soon; (3) they didn’t know about his e-mails to jihadbot preacher Anwar al-Aulaqi, thanks to the joint terrorism task force’s moronic rules barring information-sharing with other government agencies by its members without task force approval; and (4) ye olde reliable “we didn’t want to be seen as discriminating” fear of political incorrectness. Which, of course, is also what led the feds to look the other way at his e-mail correspondence. As one investigator put it, “(Hasan) appeared to be at a moral impasse, a moral dilemma who was reaching out for advice. Had we launched an investigation of Hasan we’d have been crucified.”
A senior government official tells ABC News that investigators have found that alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan had “more unexplained connections to people being tracked by the FBI” than just radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki. The official declined to name the individuals but Congressional sources said their names and countries of origin were likely to emerge soon.
Questions already surround Major Hasan’s contact with Awlaki, a radical cleric based in Yemen whom authorities consider a recruiter for al Qaeda. U.S. officials now confirm Hasan sent as many as 20 e-mails to Awlaki. Authorities intercepted the e-mails but later deemed them innocent or protected by the first amendment.
The FBI said it turned over the information to the Army, but Defense Department officials today denied that. One military investigator on a joint terror task force with the FBI was shown the e-mails, but they were never forwarded in a formal way to more senior officials at the Pentagon, and the Army did not learn of the contacts until after the shootings.
Awlaki (or in the 9/11 Commission report, Aulaqi) was bad enough. And the FBI knew about Aulaqi, unlike the Army, which was kept in the dark about Hasan’s correspondence. If they knew that Hasan had communicated with Aulaqi and other people on their terrorism watch lists, why didn’t they connect the dots? Why didn’t they at least inform Hasan’s chain of command?
It should probably be obvious by now that we’re getting a lot of this material via leaks:
All good questions — and apparently, people in the intel community want some answers. American media outlets have been getting a deluge of leaks, all pointing to dropped balls in the counterterrorism effort as one reason Hasan still had access to Fort Hood and orders to deploy to a war zone. Those leaks do not occur by accident. They come from people who are either angry at the failure of the system to stop Hasan, or people looking to cover their own asses in the wake of earlier revelations. A “senior government official” could be either, but it’s almost certainly one or the other.
As the scope of this failure becomes known, the big question will be this: how many more Hasans do we have, communicating with known terrorists and 9/11 attack suspects? If counterterrorism officials had this much information about Hasan and still didn’t act, it doesn’t leave any confidence at all that Hasan was just an anomaly.
And did you see Rasmussen’s new poll today that says that 60% of Americans want the shootings at Fort Hood to be treated as a terrorist attack?
Sixty percent (60%) of likely voters nationwide say last week’s shootings at Fort Hood should be investigated by military authorities as a terrorist act.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 27% want the incident investigated by civilian authorities as a criminal act. Another 13% are not sure.
Those following the story Very Closely are even more likely to want the shooting investigated as an act of terrorism.
Sixty-five percent (65%) of all voters say Major Nidal Malik Hasan should receive the death penalty if convicted. Nineteen percent (19%) disagree, and 16% aren’t sure. …
Seventy-six percent (76%) believe the army should remove from duty all officers like Hasan who attempt to contact radical terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda. Only seven percent (7%) disagree. This general view was articulated by Senator Joseph Lieberman, who said, “If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamist extremist, the U.S. Army has to have a zero tolerance.”
“There were definitely clear indications that Hasan’s loyalties were not with America,” Lt. Col. Val Finnell, a classmate of Hasan’s for two years at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., said in news reports.
I agree with HotAir’s conclusion regarding these numbers:
If more jihadist links start rising to the surface, you can bet that these numbers will grow significantly into a mandate.
As if all of the above weren’t enough, JihadWatch reports on the following FoxNews transcript between Greta van Susteren and an unidentified former classmate (more at the FoxNews link):
This is a rush transcript from “On the Record,” November 9, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.[...]
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, we already (INAUDIBLE) Sir, tell me, how did you — how did you know the suspect? When did you first meet him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (FORMER CLASSMATE): Well, I met him as part of a master’s of public health program at the Uniformed Services University (INAUDIBLE) health sciences at Bethesda, Maryland, in 2007 and 2008.
VAN SUSTEREN: How much contact did you have with him in 2007 and 2008?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (FORMER CLASSMATE): Just about every day for several classes that we had together for about four or five months.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did he ever say anything peculiar, red flag-ish, that drew your attention?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (FORMER CLASSMATE): Lots. Lots. The first thing that raised a red flag was one of our first courses together was an environmental health class. We had to do a project or actually a presentation at the end of that class, and we were supposed to do some kind of environmental health project. Now, people were talking about mold. People were talking about water quality.
Well, Hasan gave a presentation on whether the war on terror was a war on Islam. I raised my hand immediately. I questioned why that type of topic was being presented at because it was so off-base, and it was allowed to continue. His radicalism grow throughout the year. He would make frequent comments that he was a Muslim first and an American or an officer second, and also that, you know, Islamic law, Sharia law took precedence over the Constitution. And we all became concerned because he’s a sworn officer of the United States and he’s supposed to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. Yet his loyalties lied elsewhere.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did you make any complaints or any — note it to anybody else, or did anyone — did anyone else do that, or did the professor or teacher do anything, if you know?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (FORMER CLASSMATE): Well, I made that particular complaint at that point in time. I have a very close colleague who engaged senior leadership at the university, a number of people, regarding this matter, regarding his concerns over these statements that he made.
It’s time to face a simple set of facts — the shootings that occurred on Thursday, November 5 were terroristic in nature, as I’m about to show. There is no amount of political correctness or the wanting to not offend the “wrong” individuals that will ever cover this up. Yet, there is another another fact — while not all Muslims are terrorists, some terrorists are Muslims, and — like it or not — we in America did not stop fighting the global war against Islamic terrorism just because we have a different President in office.
Let’s start by appropriately setting up what’s really going on here (h/t BigGovernment and Pamela Geller):
Barack Hussein Obama has advised us not to rush to judgment about the massacre at Fort Hood. “We don’t know all the answers yet. And I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts,” said the President in a statement he delivered from the Rose Garden (while George W. Bush was in Fort Hood).
Obama doesn’t want us to jump to the conclusion that the shootings at Fort Hood were a terrorist attack by an Islamic jihadist, Major Nidal Hasan. Obama would rather we forgot that Nidal Hasan screamed “Allah akbar” before he mowed down scores of patriotic Americans and gave away Qurans with his business card before his act of jihad. Hasan also gave his landlord two week’s notice – showing that he planned this for a long time. He didn’t just snap.
Obama wants us to ignore that Hasan went to a mosque where a jihadist imam preached hatred of America. The same imam was “spiritual adviser” for three of the 9/11 hijackers who attacked America on Sept 11, 2001. Obama would rather we didn’t know that when Hasan was asked his nationality, he didn’t identify himself as an American, but as a Palestinian. Obama doesn’t want us to rush to judgment about how Hasan spoke approvingly of the shooting death by an Islamic jihad terrorist of a Little Rock Army recruiter in June. Obama doesn’t us to draw any conclusions from how Hasan reportedly was heard saying, “maybe people should strap bombs on themselves and go to Times Square.”
But Obama says, don’t rush to judgment. …
This was not the act of a crazy person. This was not the random act of a nutcase. Hasan committed murder execution style, at close range. He shot 44 to 50 rounds – that’s a lot of ammunition to come out of those two guns in such a short period of time. This was premeditated. …
Everyone was too scared to be called a bigot for saying Nidal Hasan was dangerous. Or they just assumed he was a “moderate.”
Like Obama, they rushed to judgment.
There were many, many signs that premeditation was involved with Major Hasan was involved in this first attack on American soil since September 11, 2001. Let’s start — via AmericanPower — with the following ABCNews video:
As officials advance the investigation into the Army Major who allegedly perpetrated last week’s massacre at Fort Hood , attention is turning to Anwar al Awlaki, a top al Qaeda recruiter who was in contact with Major Nidal Malik Hasan before last week’s shootings.
Awlaki, a charismatic American Muslimimam, now operates a jihadist web site out of Yemen that calls on all Muslims to wage war against the U.S. Officials say Hasan had between 10 and 20 contacts with Awlaki beginning late last year.
U.S. intelligence agencies were aware months ago that Hasan was attempting to make contact with Awlaki, two American officials briefed on classified material in the case told ABC News.
According to the officials, the Army was informed of Hasan’s contact, but it is unclear what, if anything, the Army did in response.
“Awlaki is known as a senior recruiter for al Qaeda,” former FBI agent Brad Garrett, now an ABC News consultant, told Nightline. “He would be the spiritual motivator. Almost like someone you would go to and say, ‘this is what I’m thinking about doing.’ And they join in and encourage you and basically help you rationalize your behavior.”
On Wednesday, a new blog entry on Awlaki’s site praised Hasan as a “hero” and a “man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people.”
Before moving to Yemen, Awlaki was the imam of a Falls Church, Virginia mosque that was attended by Hasan and two of the 9/11 hijackers.
Federal law enforcement officials said that Maj. Hasan, who is recovering in a Texas hospital, communicated 10 to 20 times by email with Mr. Awlaki, the onetime spiritual leader of a mosque in Virginia that Maj. Hasan attended with several of his relatives. Mr. Awlaki now lives in Yemen.
Maj. Hasan’s emails to Mr. Awlaki were intercepted as part of an effort National Security Agency effort to monitor the electronic communications of suspected Islamic extremists world-wide.
A federal investigator said the FBI contacted Maj. Hasan’s then-employers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington to find out more about his background and professional occupation, but acknowledged that such background checks were fairly routine and that the emails in question appeared benign.
Army officials declined to comment about whether officials at Walter Reed conducted a follow-up investigation into Maj. Hasan or alerted others within the Army hierarchy after they had received the FBI inquiry.
“That’s all part of the investigation,” said Col. Catherine Abbott, an Army spokeswoman.
WASHINGTON – Finger-pointing erupted between federal agencies Tuesday over Fort Hood shooting suspect Nidal Hasan. Government officials said a Defense Department terrorism investigator looked intoHasan‘s contacts with a radical imam months ago, but a military official denied prior knowledge of the Army psychiatrist’s contacts with any Muslim extremists.
The two government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case on the record, said the Washington-based joint terrorism task force overseen by theFBI was notified of communications between Hasan and a radical imam overseas, and the information was turned over to a Defense Criminal Investigative Service employee assigned to the task force. The communications were gathered by investigators beginning in December 2008 and continuing into early this year.
That Defense investigator wrote up an assessment of Hasan after reviewing the communications and the Army major’s personnel file, according to these officials. The assessment concluded Hasan did not merit further investigation — in large part because his communications with the imam were centered on a research paper about the effects of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan and the investigator determined that Hasan was in fact working on such a paper, the officials said. …
The disclosure Tuesday of the defense investigator’s role indicated that the U.S. military was aware of worrisome behavior by the massacre suspect long before the attack. Just hours later, a senior defense official, also demanding anonymity, directly contradicted that notion.
The senior defense official said neither the Army nor any other part of the Defense Department knew of Hasan’s contacts with any Muslim extremists. But the defense official carefully conceded this view was based upon what the Pentagon knows now.
The FBI has launched its own internal review of how it handled the early information about Hasan. Military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies also are defending themselves against tough questions about what each of them knew about Hasan before he allegedly opened fire in a crowded room at the huge military basein Texas.
— In the days and weeks before the shooting, Hasan voiced his objections to Muslims fighting the war on terror to members of his mosque, the Islamic Community of Greater Killeen. Congregants at the mosque said he voiced his objections to Muslims serving in the U.S. military and to his impending deployment to Afghanistan.
— Over the summer, Hasan’s comments led Osman Danquah, co-founder of the mosque, to recommend that it deny Hasan’s request to become a lay Muslim leader at Fort Hood, the Associated Press reported.
— In the months before Thursday’s shooting Hasan tried reaching out to people associated with Al Qaeda — and did so under the watchful eye of at least one U.S. intelligence agency. An intelligence official told FOXNews.com that “Hasan was on our radar for months.”
Much of the above could theoretically be explainable under a number of circumstances, but for the next major pieces of evidence that support Major Hasan’s radical beliefs.
According to The Washington Post, Major Hasan gave the following presentation, lecturing on Islam instead of a medical topic:
Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the Army psychiatrist believed to have killed 13 people at Fort Hood, was supposed to discuss a medical topic during a presentation to senior Army doctors in June 2007. Instead, he lectured on Islam, suicide bombers and threats the military could encounter from Muslims conflicted about fighting wars in Muslim countries.
While the entire presentation is quite eye-popping, the last page is especially direct:
Department of Defense should allow Muslim Soldiers the option of being released as “Conscientious objectors” to increase troop morale and decrease adverse events.
No, really — look at page 50, it’s right there. It’s as if, somehow, if anyone who is voluntarily serving in the military (which, of course, is precisely how our professional, all-volunteer force is comprised) has some semblance of a problem with any action with which the American government gets involved, they should be allowed to pick and choose when, if and to what extent they’re going to serve.
I certainly hope I’m not the only one that sees a problem with this kind of attitude. And if you’d like further reaction (or lack thereof) from those who have been associated with Major Hasan, the previously-linked FoxNews article goes into those further details. Also, Ms. Geller reports on further reaction on the above:
UPDATE: Other classmates who participated in a 2007-2008 master’s program at a military college said they, too, had complained to superiors about Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s anti-American views, which included his giving a presentation that justified suicide bombing and telling classmates that Islamic law trumped the U.S. Constitution. (more here)
And as RightSoup reports, check out the Major’s business card:
So, what’s up with the acronyms?
Ft. Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan’s Islamic extremism was no secret to his colleagues and superiors. No, Nidal’s carrying-card, shown above– has it spelled out for all to see. After the traditional “M.D.”, Hasan added “SOA.” and “SWT.” “SOA” stands for “Soldiers Of Allah”, “SWT” used when writing the name Allah; Muslims often follow it with the abbreviation “SWT.” These letters stand for the Arabic words “Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala,” or “Glory to Him, the Exalted.” Muslims use these or similar words to glorify God when mentioning His name.
Yet, with all of the above, the thing that could be the most damning piece of evidence for this Administration is the fact that Major Hasan was a Task Force Event Participant for the transitional Homeland Security Presidential Transition Task Force (please see report page 29):
Meanwhile, a lot of very important material is now coming out about the Ft. Hood Jihadist-killer.
A Report from the Dept. of Homeland Security Policy Institute, dated April 2008 – Jan. 2009, titled “Thinking Anew: Security Priorities for the Next Administration,” lists Hassan as a Task Force Participant (Source: Examiner):
Homeland Security Institute
Uniformed Services University School of Medicine
What did Obama and Napolitano know . . . and when did they know . . . that Hasan was a terrorist? If Obama knew and protected Hasan, then he has committed impeachable offenses.
Yes, you read that correctly, too. In other words, what did he [the President] know, and when did he know it? Of course, isn’t this kind of situation so familiar with this man, Mr. Obama?
The Taliban claimed there would be more attacks like the Fort Hood shootings unless Washington ends it policies in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a report.
It also described the US army psychiatrist who carried out the massacre in Texas as a “hero”.
The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist websites, said it had picked up a Taliban message praising the attack.
The message said: “The recent attack on the military base in Texas warns that if the occupation policy of the American rulers continues in this way, without them folding the carpets of occupation and transgression in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is natural then that incidents and attacks similar to Texas will spread to the Pentagon and other American military centres.
“According to media reports, the hero of the attack is a Muslim psychiatrist and major in the American army, of Palestinian origin.”
So, what is Congress doing about it? According to CNSNews.com, Rep. Hoekstra is going on the offense:
Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), the ranking Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said Monday that the Obama administration has been withholding “critical information” on the Fort Hood murders allegedly committed by Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan.
Hoekstra is demanding that the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency and the Director of National Intelligence preserve documents relating to the incident for use in possible future congressional investigation.
“President Obama said people should not jump to conclusions about what happened at Fort Hood, but the administration is in possession of critical information related to the attack that they are refusing to release to Congress or the American people,” Hoekstra said in a statement. “I intend to push for intense review of this and other issues related to the performance of the intelligence community and whether or not information necessary for military, state and local officials to provide for the security of the post was provided to them.”
The Michigan lawmaker sent a letter Saturday to the top administration intelligence officials, saying he saw “serious issues” with their performance related to the Fort Hood murders, and indicating that the intelligence community had refused to comply with his request to review certain information related to the case.
As the ranking member on the House intelligence committee, Hoekstra is one of the so-called Gang of Eight–a group of lawmakers that included the leaders of the House and Senate and the leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees–who are briefed on intelligence activities deemed too sensitive to share with the full intelligence committees.
Don’t forget: Jonah Goldberg at TownHall.com implores us to connect the “Unconnected Dots,” especially in light of the following graphic showing recent, known locations of the Islamic terrorist network in America (via standeyo.com):
Last but certainly by no means least, Jeff Schreiber at AmericasRight has a great posting with a further listing of more reporting being done by the excellent blogs AtlasShrugs and JihadWatch.
Terrorists and terrorism are on American soil and in full force. If we continue to proceed down the rhetorical road of putting our collective heads in the proverbial sand of political correctness, that sand will turn out to be quicksand and will swallow us whole.
As the saying goes: “If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.”
Evil is real and is manifested by such atrocities as what we saw not only on the morning of September 11th, but also in the attack at Fort Hood. Instead of dismissing the concept of terrorism simply because someone is in the military or because they have an Islamic-sounding name, let’s deal with the issue head-on and bring true justice to the victims.
After all, the truth is always the best policy to pursue.
Last night, not too long after 10:00pm et, the House passed HR3962, the “Affordable Health Care for America Act,” 220 – 215, with a lone Republican, Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA), voting for it. There is much at stake for both sides in this debate, and I’ll attempt to flesh the main points out in this posting.
There have been two main issues brought up during the course of debate on the PelosiCare bill: the “public option” (whereby Americans — except for Congress, of course — will be mandated to pay for public health insurance if they don’t already have private insurance, at least for as long as private insurers remain in business) and the abortion issue.
I’ll touch on the public option further down in the posting; on the abortion front, Jeff Schreiber at AmericasRight.com perfectly summed up what might have been the perfect “Shell Game” by the Democrats regarding federal funds for this horrific concept:
The provision providing federal funding of abortion was in there only so it would draw the ire of Republicans and constituents, setting up a situation where its being stricken from the bill in one way or another would assuage Republicans like Louisiana Rep. Joseph Cao and Blue Dog Democrats enough to think that they could vote in favor of the monstrosity. And doing just that, perceiving the bill to be somehow toothless without the abortion provisions, shows that those of us on the beltway just weren’t being listened to.
Don’t you get it, you fools on Capitol Hill? The use of federal funds for abortions is already illegal, thanks to the Hyde Amendment [my added link]. Those of you who expressed misgivings about the bill and voted for it only after the Stupak-Pitts Amendment [my added link] was adopted got played by Democrats who simply were upholding current law by adopting the measure that would prevent federal funding of abortions.
In other words, the Democrats used the amendment as a face-saving maneuver for those in their own caucus to show that, somehow, they were going to limit federal funds for abortions, even though federal funds to this day cannot be directly used for abortions. And now my dear readers now know the truth behind this charade, and as more concerned citizens learn of this truth, its effectiveness will continue to be diminished.
Nevertheless, the Stupak Amendment was important to garner sympathy for the lone GOP Representative who actually voted for the bill, Mr. Cao, who apparently continues to reel from the effects of hurricane Katrina (h/t TheHill):
“If the Stupak amendment hadn’t passed he would have voted ‘no,’ if it did pass it’d serve his main problem with the bill. He did the right thing,” [Arkansas Rep. Don] Young told The Hill.
As soon as the House started the final vote for the day, Cao voted and dashed out the side of the chamber, plugging his ears in jest when reporters approached to find out what happened.
According to a written statement released later that night, Cao explained that Obama had promised to help out the lawmaker’s district still devastated from Hurricane Katrina.
“Today, I obtained a commitment from President Obama that he and I will work together to address the critical health care issues of Louisiana including the FMAP crisis and community disaster loan forgiveness, as well as issues related to Charity and Methodist Hospitals,” Cao wrote.
So, how is all of this going to play out, going forward?
From a parliamentary standpoint, the process has only begun in terms of actually shaping this legislation. It must now go to the Senate, where it will have to meet up with the Senate’s own, distinctly separate version of a healthcare bill (or the House version be offered as a substitute), voted on, and then that version will likely have to be reconciled with a Conference between the House and Senate versions. And then both Houses will have to vote on it at least one more time.
However, politically speaking and, as usual, for most pieces of legislation that are as all-encompassing as this bill is, the path to a presidential signature is going to be long, rough, and completely uphill. As HotAir.com explains:
So what does this 220-215 vote tell us? Capitol Hill Democrats know that this bill is an albatross. It’s true that Pelosi was able at the end to negotiate votes to allow a few at-risk Democrats that supported the bill to oppose it in the final vote, but even that tells a tale of fear and consciousness of unpopularity. The razor-thin vote, as well as a number of earlier, more sincere defections, show that this bill was a radical and expensive approach to fix a 13% problem — and even most of the Democrats know it.
Now the focus swings to the Senate, where Harry Reid will have to gain supermajorities at least twice to allow the bill to proceed to a final vote. That seems unlikely, although not impossible. The process will slow down considerably from the jam-down Pelosi conducted in the lower chamber, perhaps even to a crawl if Tom Coburn makes good on his threat to have the bill read in its entirety on the Senate floor. That will leave plenty of time for ObamaCare opponents to find all of the taxes, mandates, and government intrusions that will make it even less popular as it sits in the Senate. Even before Coburn’s threat, Democrats had pushed expectations for the bill out to late January — which makes the politics of the bill even more fraught for Democrats, at the start of an election year.
Democrats have another problem, even in the House. The Senate is not considering the Pelosi plan, but one they wrote themselves. Unless Reid pulls his own bill out of consideration and substitutes Pelosi’s — which is a possibility — that sets up a conference committee and second vote in each chamber, assuming that the Senate passes anything at all. If that happens, a conference committee will have to meet to produce another bill that would then go for a full floor vote in each chamber. If abortion funding makes its way back into the bill, or if mandates or taxes increase, or if conscience protections get stripped, then all of the hurdles that Pelosi barely cleared the first time return, and without the ability to amend the bill (conference reports get straight up-or-down votes without amendments in order to have both chambers pass identical legislation for the President to sign.) That means another shot at a filibuster and a lengthy bill reading in the Senate, and at least a chance to hold Bart Stupak’s pro-life coalition in the House under the spotlight to find out whether they will vote their conscience or bow to Pelosi.
In fact, not only is Sen. Coburn on the warpath, but so is Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT; h/t GatewayPundit), going to the point of promising a filibuster of a bill containing a public option:
The takeaway moment:
Wallace: So, at this point, I take it you’re a “no” vote in the Senate?
Lieberman: If the public option plan is in there, as a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote because I believe the debt can break America and send us into a recession that’s worse than the one we’re fighting our way out of today. I don’t want to do that to our children and grandchildren.
Further, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also promises to fight for a filibuster alongside Sen. Lieberman against a public option bill (CBSNews):
“Just look at how it passed; it passed 220 to 215. It passed by two votes. You had  Democrats vote against the bill,” Graham told “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer Sunday.
He also admitted that if it were to come down to it, he would join his independent colleague Senator Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., in filibustering a bill including the so-called public option should it come to the Senate floor.
“The House bill is a non-starter in the Senate,” he added. “I just think the construct out of the House and what exists in the Senate is not going to pass, and I hope and pray it doesn’t because it would be a disaster for the economy and health care,” Graham concluded.
Graham believed a public option would “destroy” private health care, saying that insurance companies could not compete against the lower premiums of a government-backed plan. “It will be a death blow to private choice,” he said.
In the same article, Mr. Schieffer asked Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) about his views from the majority’s perspective:
“I believe we are going to pass health care reform,” Reed responded. “I believe we must do this because it’s essential to not just the quality of life here but our economic success in the future.
“Senator Reid, Harry Reid has introduced the public option and there is strong support there. but we are far from the end of the debate in the Senate. It will take time. It will be careful, thorough and deliberate.
“I hope that a public option is in the final bill,” he added.
Notice the continued non-committal to a public option by the Democrats? I, too, found the silence to be deafening, and I think that’s part of the reason why this debate is truly only now getting underway.
Everyone needs to be aware that, in America, there is a difference between “healthcare” and “health insurance.” Everyone already has access to healthcare in this country; yes, that is the proverbial elephant in the room. By law, if you cannot be seen for whatever reason in a private doctor’s office, any hospital — any hospital — in America is required to see you. Therefore, is it simply a lie to say that not everyone has access to healthcare.
On the other hand, health insurance isn’t presently available to everyone, because either (1) it’s too expensive, (2) an employer doesn’t offer it, or (3) some individuals simply do not want it. However, let’s not put the proverbial cart before the horse on this concept, either. The key question for point number one (which would subsequently take care of point number two) is: why is insurance “too” expensive?
While I don’t claim to be an expert on this issue, I do know some closely-associated individuals who work in the medical industry, close enough to insurance companies to know what happens on a day-to-day basis. From what I gather, here are some currently outstanding issues that really ought to be addressed in any reasonable health insurance legislation:
Make the insurance plan portable and individual. Don’t restrict plans on a State-to-State basis. If the interested individual wishes to participate in a plan offered by another State, why not allow that individual to so participate? Furthermore, why restrict insurance coverage to that person while at a particular company? Why not allow the individual to take advantage of a favorable tax situation that would come from maintaining their own plan, thereby being able to “port” it from employer to employer?
Form a co-op that would mitigate “pre-existing conditions.” Realistically, insurance companies don’t like dealing with individuals who carry a higher chance of requiring massive amounts of monies to cover their health issues than the “average” insured individual; face it — the company is there to make money, and a higher degree of risk potentially puts the company at higher risk for bigger payouts. How to deal? Simply put, the States and the People ought to have a “high-risk” pool that would help to offset these costs.
Diminish malpractice lawsuits. This one’s a toughy, but I think it must be dealt with as a part of an overall health insurance package. In my view, we ought to leave it up to the States to deal with punitive damage caps to jury awards (while nobody likes a bad doctor who permanently alters your body over a botched procedure, it’s also not good that every doctor must operate under the auspices that their practice, too, could be summarily shut down over a sue-happy patient population).
Naturally, the biggest issue I have with this entire federal concept of mandated insurance coverage is just that — I have to be covered whether I choose to be covered or not. Unfortunately, it should not be too surprising — especially with what I typically cover on my blog and congressional responses thereto — that Speaker Pelosi appears to not care less whether or not such a mandate is constitutional (CNSNews.com):
CNSNews.com has asked a number of lawmakers as well as White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs about this issue in recent days, receiving varying answers, including statements expressing the belief that it is not a serious question. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.), for example, said to CNSNews.com, “Are you serious? Are you serious?,” when she was asked where specifically the Constitution authorizes Congress to force Americans to buy health insurance. In response to the same question, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D.-Vt.), said, “I mean, there’s no question there’s authority. Nobody questions that.”
…nor does the White House:
When White House Spokesman Gibbs was asked about critics who are questioning the constitutionality of forcing Americans to buy health insurance, he said, “I won’t be confused as a constitutional scholar, but I don’t believe there’s a lot of–I don’t believe there’s a lot of case law that would demonstrate the veracity of what they’re commentating on.” Later, Gibbs said he did not know if the White House had done any legal analysis to determine if there was a constitutional basis for mandating that Americans buy insurance.
…not even Mr. Obama’s replacement in the Senate could get it right:
Sen. Roland Burris (D.-Ill.) cited the part of the Constitution that he said tells Congress ”to provide for the health, welfare and the defense of the country” as justification for forcing Americans to buy health insurance. The word “health” appears nowhere in the Constitution, however, and Burris’s spokesman later told CNSNews.com that what Burris meant is that the Preamble to the Constitution authorizes Congress to mandate that individuals buy health care. The preamble says: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Bottom line: If you think that healthcare is a right, while you are certainly entitled to your opinion, it’s not a constitutional one and is better left up to the States or the People. If you think that healthcare is a service that is rendered unto you by professionals who honestly care about helping you to provide yourself with better well-being, then you’re probably closer to the truth on this issue.
Nobody is saying that the healthcare industry in America is perfect or not in need of reform; in fact, as I’ve just outlined, I do believe it does. I simply don’t think it’s the federal government’s responsibility to provide a resultant nanny state for that coverage. Much could be done that would cost next to nothing to implement.
What’s next? Never stop contacting your House Members and Senators regarding this bill. The Majority knows this issue is a close one, and it is only by grassroots pressure that the Minority is going to get anything accomplished at this point.
So, let’s start with the obvious — the listing of the Blue Dogs who voted for the bill (h/t JumpingInPools):
Congressman Arcuri – New York’s 24th congressional district – R+2.
Congressman Baca – California’s 43rd congressional district – D+13.
Congressman Berry – Arkansas 1st congressional district – R+8.
Congressman Bishop – Georgia’s 2nd congressional district – D+1.
Congressman Boswell – Iowa’s 3rd congressional district – D+1.
Congressman Cardoza – California’s 18th congressional district – D+4.
Congressman Carney – Pennsylvania’s 10th congressional district – R+8.
Congressman Cooper – Tennessee’s 5th congressional district – D+3.
Congressman Costa – California’s 20th congressional district – D+5.
Congressman Cuellar – Texas’ 28th congressional district. – EVEN.
Congresswoman Dahlkemper – Pennsylvania’s 3rd congressional district – R+3.
Congressman Donnelly – Indiana’s 2nd congressional district – R+2.
Congressman Ellsworth – Indiana’s 8th congressional district – R+8.
Congresswoman Giffords – Arizona’s 8th congressional district – R+4.
Congresswoman Harman – California’s 36th congressional district – D+12.
Congressman Hill – Indiana’s 9th congressional district – R+6.
Congressman Mechaud – Maine’s 2nd congressional district – D+3.
Congressman Mitchell – Arizona’s 5th congressional district – R+5.
Congressman Moore – Kansas 3rd congressional district – R+3.
Congressman Murphy – Pennsylvania’s 8th congressional district – D+2.
Congressman Pomeroy – North Dakota’s at-large congressional district – R+10.
Congressman Salazar – Colorado’s 3rd congressional district – R+5.
Congresswoman Sanchez – California’s 47th congressional district – D+4.
Congressman Schiff – California’s 29th congressional district – D+14.
Congressman Scott – Georgia’s 13th congressional district – D+15.
Congressman Space – Ohio’s 18th congressional district – R+7.
Congressman Thompson – California’s 1st congressional district – D+13.
Congressman Wilson – Ohio’s 6th congressional district – R+2.
Along with this listing, much yeoman’s work is being performed by TaxDayTeaParty.com; Eric Odom and the team there have been accomplishing incredible things on the grassroots front. The organization is presently in the process of putting together some very big things. If you’re interested in what’s going on, and to help out, click on the link and go from there.
While the bill has a long way to go before it hits the President’s desk, concerned citizens have been and will continue to speak up now about their interests in this debate. Remember: the President already thinks you’re an extremist if you side against this bill. That’s OK. Per the Constitution, he only has certain powers and authority; we, the People, retain all rights. Also remember that nobody has the Constitutional right to be offended, either.
So, go ahead and be an “extremist;” it’s your right and privilege. If the opposition gets offended by that, then simply remind them that if this government takeover of healthcare passes anywhere close to its present form, their personal insurance coverage will ultimately be decided by Republicans in Congress as well!
Duane Lester at AllAmericanBlogger has posted even more links on this story here.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama, who has never made his original birth certificate available for public scrutiny, hired Perkins Coie to defend him in court cases challenging his status as a “natural born” U.S. citizen — a status upon which Obama’s eligibility to hold the office of President is contingent. According to Federal Election Commission records, OFA has alreadypaid Perkins Coie $1,352,378.95 for its legal services in these cases.
…will now be the White House Chief Counsel. As FrontPageMag goes on (from their lengthy article):
A highly placed Washington attorney (who has served as counsel in the Senate and in previous presidential administrations) characterizes Bauer’s sudden appointment as “pretty damn weird.” “I’m surprised not only that the press seems to be ignoring the fact that two presidential lawyers have left at about the same time,” adds the attorney, “but that no one seems to care that for the first time, I think ever, we have a President’s personal attorney also serving as White House counsel. I don’t care if Bob [Bauer] recuses himself from future personal legal business, this should be troubling to anyone who cares about the Executive Office of the President.”
Ultimately, Anita Dunn’s affinity for Chairman Mao may prove to be far less significant than her husband’s unrivaled familiarity with the skeletons in President Obama’s closet.
Perkins Coie is the group responsible for boosting the intensity of one of the most persistent ethics attacks against former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
In an e-mail dated July 14, 2009 Kim Chatman, filed an ethics complaint against Sarah Palin, making the allegation that the governor established a trust fund for the purpose of soliciting donations from members of the public. The original report on this complaint was published in the Anchorage Daily News. Chatman was a co-plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against Palin and filed a complaint regarding Palin’s use of per-diem monies. In all, Chatman leveled
The Alaska Personnel Board asked Perkins Coie to review the complaint. Their nine- page report to the Alaska Personnel Board found essentially nothing, but combined with the pressure of 17 other complaints against the Governor and former candidate for Vice President, may have contributed to her finally leaving office. This complaint was number 13 in that long list.
And did you know that Pastor Dr. James David Manning of Harlem, New York, says that he could potentially be arrested based on the verbiage he’s using “against” the President (h/t SiouxFallsConservativeExaminer)?
GOUVERNEUR, NY – The computerized voting machines used by many voters in the 23rd district had a computer virus – tainting the results, not just from those machines known to have been infected, but casting doubt on the accuracy of counts retrieved from any of the machines.
There is significantly more at the link, and John Charlton’s The Post & Email performs a run-down of his interpretation regarding the story, including the following tid-bit:
The manufacturer of the machines, Dominion/Sequoia Voting Systems is the same company that Dan Rather accused of causing over 50,000 votes to go uncounted in the 2000 Presidential Election in Florida due to intentional oversight. Rather’s report claimed that Sequoia was well aware of the issues but proceeded into the election utilizing an inferior product and told election workers and technicians to “ignore the problems.
New York election officials are in a corner. While there is significant evidence of malfunction with the new voting machines that were in use in the 23rd District and the accuracy of the recorded votes, the State had no choice but to use them. A Federal Court order demanded that New York have the machines in place and use them or be found in violation of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 which requires that all polling locations have handicapped-accessible voting machines with a variety of options available so that anyone may use the machine to vote.
GOUVERNEUR, NY – The Dominion ImageCast voting machines used in this year’s Nov. 3rd election, both in the 23rd Congressional Special Election and in the local elections around the state have not been certified for use by the State Board of Elections.
Reports of bugs in the programming code, known security flaws, outright failures, and concerns over the potential for tampering have not prevented the State from calling the pilot program “very successful.” …
Computerized voting machines were not used in the City of New York this election as the Board of Elections there refused to use machines that had not been certified by the State.
More than 20 counties in the State have passed resolutions banning the computerized vote-scanning machines.
Is global warming really not an issue after all? HotAir reports that after an email account of high-profile (in the industry) individuals had been hacked, there were apparently a number of embarrassing admissions made. What’s more, as AtlasShrugs reports, the founder of The Weather Channel and “30,000″ other scientists are looking at suing Al Gore on the issue:
Recently, Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Elaine Brown affirmed the lower Court’s decision regarding Ankeny v. Daniels and set off some interesting dissent regarding the natural born citizenship issue.
Attorney Leo Donofrio posted the following in response to the Judge’s opinion:
Also, the Chester Arthur analysis in Footnote 16 reeks. This Indiana decision is pure evil. They have rewritten history to make it appear as if the whole world knew Chester Arthur was a British citizen at birth while history records this blog discovered that fact and first published it to the world in December 2008. Before that time, it was not known. The propaganda has spread from the press to the courts.]
The Indiana Court of Appeals in the Arkeny and Kruse case has just issued a lame judicial attempt at defining the “natural born citizen” clause. The errors of fact and law incorporated into the decision serve as a beacon outlining the desperation certain government factions now face. Obviously, the British birth issue is getting on their nerves and this was clearly an attempt to derail further national discussion on this issue. …
Their main argument is to state that citizens are only born or naturalized. That fails to take into account the framers (and other original citizens) who themselves were neither born citizens nor were they naturalized. So the Court proves itself a bit wonky on that point. Still, I certainly do not dispute that today all US citizens are either born or naturalized. But that’s not the point. The necessary evaluation requires consideration of the various types of born citizenship. And on this important issue, the Indiana Court of Appeals has failed.
Born citizens can be broken up into three groups:
1. natural born
2. citizens by statute
3. 14th amendment citizens
- All three classes were born as US citizens, but not all three are the same. Persons born abroad are citizens by federal statute.
- A person born on US soil to alien parents who were domiciled here, according to Wong Kim Ark, is a 14th Amendment citizen.
- Natural born citizens are born on US soil to parents who are citizens.
All of the above are citizens, but each reaches their citizenship through different circumstances.
To be “natural born” is a circumstance of citizenship. It is not a separate level of citizenship. All citizens have equal rights. But naturalized citizens aren’t eligible for the office of President. This is because the natural born citizen clause is a national security measure, not a right of citizenship. The Indiana Court conveniently ignores this point.
Born citizens are not necessarily bestowed with citizenship in the same way. Some require a statute. Some require the 14th Amendment. Some were natural born and their citizenship was self-evident. …
…Something I uncovered a few months ago that has been overlooked by all of the parties is that the certification filed with Indiana’s Election Division by the DNC and Indiana’s Democratic Party omitted language certifying that Barack Obama was a natural born citizen. That’s not a problem though for Judge Brown, who then went on to offer her constitutional interpretation of what “natural born citizen” means, something our U.S. Supreme Court has never done and something she had no obligation to do since there were already sufficient grounds to affirm Judge Dreyer’s dismissal of the badly flawed lawsuit.
The only thing I believe the plaintiffs got right in their lawsuit was their contention that a “natural born citizen” is a person born within the U.S. to two U.S. citizen parents. Obama’s father was at all times during his life a citizen of Kenya, which at the time of Obama’s birth was a British commonwealth. By virtue of his father’s citizenship, Obama was indisputably a dual citizen at birth. A person owing allegiance to two countries cannot be described as a natural born citizen in my opinion. The fact that Obama says he never affirmed his British citizenship before the age he was legally required to do so is irrelevant. A fact conveniently overlooked in Judge Brown’s decision is that Obama immigrated to Indonesia at age 6 with his mother and became a citizen in that country as well after his step-father adopted him. Sen. John McCain also arguably was not a natural born citizen because he was born in a Panamanian hospital while his father was stationed at a Navy base in the Panama Canal Zone. Both Obama and McCain are U.S. citizens for different reasons, but the term “natural born citizen” is a unique term used in the U.S. Constitution only to define a person’s eligibility to serve as president. …
It is worth noting that of the dozens of cases that have been brought forth over the past year challenging whether Obama is a natural born citizen, this is the only opinion that has been decided on the merits of the claim that he is not a natural born citizen. Every other decision refrained from making any determination on the actual merit; instead, the courts dismissed the complaints for lack of standing on the part of the plaintiffs to bring the constitutional eligibility challenge. There’s a reason other courts failed to reach a conclusion Judge Brown reached in this opinion. It is based upon the long-held rule of constitutional interpretation that a court should refrain from deciding a case on constitutional grounds when the case can be disposed of on other non-constitutional grounds. Procedurally, this case had to be dismissed because the plaintiffs sued the wrong defendant and lacked standing to sue. There was no reason for the court to decide a constitutional question as it did in this case, and that’s what makes it so disturbing. Judge Terry Crone and Melissa May signed on to Judge Brown’s decision. Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed Judge Brown to the Court of Appeals last year. I bet we won’t hear Gov. Daniels complaining about the judicial activism of his own appointees like he did the judges who ruled Indiana’s voter I.D. law unconstitutional.
The truth of all the above can be summed up in the following two points:
The Judiciary has never made a ruling on the definition of natural born citizenship eligibility with respect to the presidency. For any Judge to attempt to opine on the subject, as has been done before when there is no legitimate reason to do so, shows further anecdotal evidence that the Judiciary needs to be restrained;
Since even this Judge won’t touch the fact that Mr. Obama was a British citizen at birth, this bigger issue of his background will continue until the evidence is shown that otherwise contradicts what is already admitted about this man.
Is the birther movement bad for the Republican Party?
I don’t think its a reflection of the Republican Party. I think that people trying to connect the two are exaggerating and trying to make a point.
Do you think President Obama was born in this country?
Absolutely. I have no question about Obama’s citizenship. [emphases original]
In response, commenter “MGB” pretty much sums up my response to this questioning:
Better questions would be: Do you KNOW that Obama was born in this country? If so, HOW do you know?
No, “because I saw an image of a document on the Internet” doesn’t cut it, because nobody’s been able to authenticate the document to which the image points. To date, any such official relationship is purely — how did Judge Brown put it? — ah, yes: conclusory.
Plaintiff Charles Kerchner of the case currently in appeal, Kerchner v. Obama, has submitted the following ad to The Washington Times Weekly:
And John Charlton at The Post & Email posts that the Director of Hawaii’s Office of Information Practices has resigned:
(Nov. 16, 2009: 7:30 PM ET) — The Director of the Office of Information Practices (OIP) in Hawaii resigned quietly from his position on Nov. 6th and where he went is unclear, according to Hawaii government personnel. …
Don Shimabukuro of that office, in passing, mentioned to me that the director, Mr. Paul Tsukiyama took another position with the state, and had resigned from his position of Director of the Office of Information Practices on Nov. 6th. Since Nov. 9th the acting director is Cathy Takase. When asked what position Mr. Tsukiyama had taken, Mrs. Shimabukuro was unclear where he had gone.
I contacted the Office of Governor Lingle, on the hunch that it was the governor who nominated or promoted the former Director. That office too was unclear what position he had taken, saying that they had never heard of Paul Tsukiyama. Mrs. Queenie, at the Office of Constituent Affairs, expressed surprise at Shimabukuro’s lack of awareness of her former Director’s new position, saying, “And that office wouldn’t tell you where he went?” [emphases original]
See the following links regarding the eligibility saga:
I would typically post a “States’ Rights Update” for something like this, but enough stories broke out concerning a plethora of issues that are affected by the balance of power RE: federalism that I thought it best to put this under “#iamthemob,” a Twitter “hash tag” the speaks to the elites in DC calling tea partyers mobsters.
And, especially for this posting, the label works.
We’ll start out with a short snippet of a monologue by Judge Andrew Napolitano who happened to sub for Glenn Beck’s FoxNews show (h/t MediaMatters). If you’re a “Tenther” like me, you’re gonna love this:
In states around the country, there’s a growing movement to address and resist two of the most abused parts of the Constitution – the Commerce Clause and the 2nd Amendment. Already being considered in a number of state legislatures, and passed as law in Montana and Tennessee this year, the Firearms Freedom Act (FFA) is a state law that seeks to do just that.
The latest to join the FFA movement? Kentucky. Pre-filed for the 2010 legislative session, HB87 seeks to “Create new sections of KRS Chapter 237, relating to firearms, firearm accessories and ammunition that are made in Kentucky, marked made in Kentucky, and used in Kentucky, to specify that these items are exempt from federal law”
While the FFA’s title focuses on federal gun regulations, it has far more to do with the 10th Amendment’s limit on the power of the federal government. The bills in state houses contain language such as the following:
“federal laws and regulations do not apply to personal firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition that is manufactured in [this state] and remains in [state]. The limitation on federal law and regulation stated in this bill applies to a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured using basic materials and that can be manufactured without the inclusion of any significant parts imported into this state.”
So, what’s the principle behind nullification?
Some supporters of the legislation say that a successful application of such a state-law would set a strong precedent and open the door for states to take their own positions on a wide range of activities that they see as not being authorized to the Federal Government by the Constitution.
The principle behind such legislation is nullification, which has a long history in the American tradition. When a state ‘nullifies’ a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or ‘non-effective,’ within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as the state is concerned.
All across the country, activists and state-legislators are pressing for similar legislation, to nullify specific federal laws within their states.
As far as the Second Amendment is concerned, there is already a lawsuit in effect in Montana based on their legislation that is now law that exempts any firearms or munitions specifically made and sold within the State from being subject to federal gun laws.
You can see much more concerning the movement to nullify federal gun laws here.
On the healthcare front, things are similarly brewing at the State level. As 73Wire generally reports:
With the House of Representatives passage of H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, and the Senate currently reviewing at least two different versions of their own Health Care reform bills, States are beginning to prepare for the possibility that the Federal government will require, by law, that they spend (millions or billions) of dollars they do not have to provide insurance to their populations. …
The Individual Mandate portion of any bill would require State Medicare operations to accept an influx of new enrollees onto their books at levels never before seen in America. California, for example, already battling record high unemployment and budgetary problems would have to accommodate upwards of 1.6 million people required by law to have coverage. …
Most states are facing similar problems, according to a new Pew Research report released today finding: 10 states face looming budget disastersand that’s just one part… these bills would also require States to set up and operate a network of state-operated healthcare exchanges …
Although some stimulus money was slotted to boost Medicaid in States across America to help alleviate the burden, those funds will run out well before States recover form high unemployment and a down economy.
More can be found at the link.
More specifically, Virginia’s new Governor-Elect is saying no to federally-ran healthcare (h/t CNSNews), instead wanting the States to take more control over exactly how programs are run:
Virginia’s Governor-elect Bob McDonnell (R) said that his administration would not participate in a government-run health insurance plan, if one is passed by Congress and signed into law. He also urged other governors to “stand up” against federal proposals if they are not good for their states.
McDonnell, who won election on Nov. 3 with 59 percent of the vote, said on the Nov. 8 edition of CNN’s “State of the Union” that a government-run public option would be bad for his recently red state. McDonnell also said that during the campaign he heard concerns from Virginia voters about the negative consequences of the congressional Democrats’ health care overhauls.
“My concern is just from hearing from Virginians over the last couple of months, is the increase in cost, less choices, perhaps longer waiting lines, and more government control,” McDonnell said on CNN.
“Families and businesses in Virginia told me they’re very concerned about those [issues], taking money from Medicare, maybe $400 billion,” he said. …
“Well, either way, my preference would be not to have Virginia participate,” McDonnell told CNN. “We’ve outlined a number of things I think we can do at our state level, John [King, host of “State of the Union”], that will help our people have more access at lower cost, but I’m very concerned about turning this significant section of the American economy over to the federal government.”
McDonnell said that other state governors needed to “stand up” to Washington when federal policies are bad for individual states.
“I believe that a governor should stand up to Washington,” he said. “If they do things that are bad for Virginia, that are going to kill jobs or raise taxes or create new bureaucracy or hurt small business, I will be a governor that will stand up and say, that’s not good for Virginia.”
McDonnell added that he and his fellow governors, both Republicans and Democrats, knew their states best and were well-positioned to make decisions on which health reforms work – not Washington bureaucrats.
“I believe in our federal system,” he said, “that the governors, Republican and Democrat around the country, [are] closer to the people [and] can make some of these decisions better.”
A general synopsis of how the proposed healthcare legislation would be mandated upon the States can be found at the link.
Switching gears somewhat, yesterday, South Carolina GOP Senator Jim DeMint introduced what he calls the “Term Limits for All” constitutional amendment:
November 10, 2009 – WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) introduced an amendment to the United States Constitution that would apply term limits to all members of Congress, limiting U.S. Representatives to three terms and U.S. Senators to two terms in office. The amendment is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), and Sam Brownback (R-Kansas). As an amendment to the Constitution, it would require a two-thirds majority vote approval in the House and Senate and must be ratified by three-fourths of the states.
“Americans know real change in Washington will never happen until we end the era of permanent politicians,” said Senator DeMint. “As long as members have the chance to spend their lives in Washington, their interests will always skew toward spending taxpayer dollars to buyoff special interests, covering over corruption in the bureaucracy, fundraising, relationship building among lobbyists, and trading favors for pork – in short, amassing their own power. I have come to realize that if we want to change the policies coming out of Congress, we must change the process itself. Over the last 20 years, Washington politicians have been reelected about 90% of the time because the system is heavily tilted in favor of incumbents. If we really want to put an end to business as usual, we’ve got to have new leaders coming to Washington instead of rearranging the deck chairs as the ship goes down.”
Senator Coburn added, “The best way to ensure we are truly a government of the people, for the people, and by the people, is to replace the career politicians in Washington with citizen legislators who care more about the next generation than their next election. The power of incumbency has created an almost insurmountable advantage for Washington politicians. Incumbency allows politicians to raise millions of dollars in campaign funds in exchange for earmarks. Incumbency gives Congress the power to raise money for itself – Congress just approved itself an increase of nearly $250 million from the U.S. Treasury that members will spend to promote themselves. Finally, with redistricting incumbents can choose their voters rather than voters choosing their representatives. Term limits is the best way to break this cycle.”
“Some say only long-serving, seasoned elites have the skills to lead the people, but that’s exactly what we have today and how do you think it’s working out for us?” said Senator DeMint. “It wasn’t the ‘people’ who gave us a $12 trillion debt, an IRS tax code seven times longer than the Bible, over 1,700 departments of the federal government, trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, $100 trillion long-term shortfall in Social Security and Medicare, the Wall Street and auto bailouts, and the pending health care takeover.
“This nation can no longer afford these entrenched men and women who enjoy lives of luxury wholly insulated from the consequences of their major policy failures.
“I want to be clear: demanding that reformers adopt self-imposed term limits is a recipe for self-defeat on this issue. We lost the battle for term limits after the 1994 Republican Contract with America because we forced our best advocates for reform to go home, while the big-spending career politicians waited them out. We must have term limits for all or term limits will never succeed. Only when we apply the same rules to all will we be able to enact vital bipartisan reforms.
“Term limits will increase legislative turnover, expand the field of candidates who run for office, and instill transparency and accountability in our public officials. By ratifying this amendment, we can end the tremendous advantage enjoyed by incumbents in Washington, break long-lasting ties to special interests and lobbyists, and transform Congress from the body of career politicians that it has become, to a chamber of true citizen legislators,” said Senator DeMint.
However, as The Washington Timesnotes, don’t expect the Democrats to be too thrilled with the proposal:
<”It’s a great issue to talk about, but it’s not going to happen,” said Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Democratic majority’s second-highest ranking leader.
Mr. Durbin said he didn’t know whether the bill would even get a vote.
Though, Sen. DeMint’s spokesman Wesley Denton said that the bill would succeed if enough people got behind it and forced Congress to bring it to a vote.
I whole-heartedly support this action. The problem is that for the Constitution to be amended, the proposed amendment must pass by two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate and then be ratified by three-fourths of the states. Thus, Congress has to first pass an amendment that would bring to an end their perks and power.
As noted in the Washington Times, “Senate leaders and longtime Washington watchdogs said Mr. DeMint’s bill had a zero chance of becoming law, mostly because of a general lack of interest and the high hurdles to amending the Constitution.”
Thus, the only way such a measure could pass is if the public got behind it. We have seen what can happen with the Tea Party movement and the 9/12 Project. Americans are more than frustrated with the federal government. Enough is enough!
It’s time to put an end to career politicians in Washington, DC. Go there, do your job, and come back home!
As I had posted back on January 20, 2009, the Supreme Court has already essentially ruled that any restrictions that go beyond the Constitution regarding the length of federal office tenure cannot be settled at the State level (from a discussion showing that States could enforce things like the presidential eligibility clause, but cannot add to what’s already laid out):
Also, a state cannot impose additional requirements on elections to federal offices–which is why Congressional term limits can only come from Congress (fat chance). In U.S. TERM LIMITS, INC. v. THORNTON(1995) the Supreme Court ruled (in the usual 5-4 split, with Kennedy in the majority) that
“. . . the Constitution prohibits States from imposing congressional qualifications additional to those specifically enumerated in its text. Petitioners’ argument that States possess control over qualifications as part of the original powers reserved to them by the Tenth Amendment is rejected for two reasons. First, the power to add qualifications is not within the States’ pre-Tenth-Amendment “original powers,” but is a new right arising from the Constitution itself, and thus is not reserved. Second, even if the States possessed some original power in this area, it must be concluded that the Framers intended the Constitution to be the exclusive source of qualifications for Members of Congress, and that the Framers thereby “divested” States of any power to add qualifications.”Nor can the Court agree with petitioners’ related argument that (term limits are) a permissible exercise of state power under the Elections Clause, Art. I, 4, cl. 1, to regulate the “Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections.” A necessary consequence of that argument is that Congress itself would have the power under the Elections Clause to “make or alter” a measure such as (term limits), a result that is unfathomable under Powell v. McCormick. Moreover, petitioners’ broad construction is fundamentally inconsistent with the Framers’ view of the Elections Clause, which was intended to grant States authority to protect the integrity and regularity of the election process by regulating election procedures, see, e.g., Storer v. Brown, 415 U.S. 724, 730 , 733, not to provide them with license to impose substantive qualifications that would exclude classes of candidates from federal office.
While this case dealt with term limits, there really is no distinguishing facts that would allow a different decision regarding presidential primaries. The Constitution does not provide for state enforcement of the “natural-born citizen” clause, so any enforcement will have to come from Congress.
As I had previously reported, Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA), also a 2010 Republican Georgia gubernatorial candidate, is seeking Mr. Obama’s birth certificate. Today, SavannahNow.com posted a story concerning Rep. Deal’s foray into eligibility with a number of editorial fallacies that I shall now correct:
“My office, and I’m sure many other offices,” the Gainesville lawmaker said, “continue to get inquiries. … The president has the ability to put this to rest completely, and I think he should do that. …
“It takes up my staff’s time. We are constantly required to answer these kinds of inquiries. … I’m willing to take his word for it, but I think he needs to convince those who still have doubts.”
Under the U.S. Constitution, only native-born citizens may serve as president. Hawaii became a state in 1959.
“Native-born citizens?” Someone needs to show Larry Peterson, the post writer, Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution! It’s “natural born,” not “native-born!”
Early in the campaign for the 2008 presidential election, critics of Obama argued he was born in another country.
Obama’s presidential campaign posted online what it said was a copy of the document.
FactCheck.org said its staffers have “seen, touched and photographed” the certificate and concluded it’s genuine.
Good for the FactCheck.org blog. However, they’re still a blog, and regardless of their credentialed histories, nobody — to date — has been able to determine that the folks behind the blog have the forensic abilities to make any sort of document substantiation with respect to the certification of live birth (not a long-form birth certificate that would otherwise contain, for examples, the name of the hospital, doctor or mid-wife involved in the birth).
Further, even though those who promote FactCheck.org as being a promulgator of truth (though even that’s been in question) say that the organization has made itself available for any reporters or third parties to inspect the document, no such visits have actually been made.
Therefore, a “conclu[sion] it’s genuine” is, clearly, in the eye of the beholder.
PolitiFact said it sent an online copy to Hawaii’s Department of Health and that the department responded the document is authentic.
And this means what, exactly? Did the Department of Health confirm that the document actually originated from their offices? (No, they didn’t).
The Associated Press has reported it received the same response from the department.
Both fact-checking groups have posted online rebuttals of contentions by Obama critics that the document is a fake.
The point is that everyone sees an image of an alleged document. The legitimacy of the certification of live birth could be severely put to rest if it could be shown (1) who, exactly, requested it back in 2007; (2) the receipt procuring the document; and (3) an individual with professional credentials being able to examine the actual, in-hand document.
And FactCheck.org has posted online a copy of a birth announcement it said was published Aug. 13, 1961, in the Honolulu Advertiser.
The announcement says a son was born to “Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama” on Aug. 4.
Newspaper announcements are fine and all, but this is clearly circumstantial and anecdotal at best. In other words, try presenting that in Court and see how far you get.
In July, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed such claims as “made-up fictional nonsense.”
Asked why the issue keeps surfacing, Gibbs responded, “Because, for $15, you can get an Internet address and say whatever you want.”
“This question has been asked and answered, and I have no additional comment,” White House Spokeswoman Gannet Tseggai said Tuesday.
It’s very simple. There’s nothing wrong with anyone questioning the legitimacy of the President.
Deal, due to continue campaigning in Savannah today, said he and other House members will sign a letter to Obama asking him to provide the birth certificate.
“They just want to get it off their plate,” he said. “… It just needs to be put to rest.”
But he did not appear eager to press the matter.
“I did not think that was an appropriate question to be asking in regard to a governor’s race,” he said, referring to the initial inquiry.
A reporter posed the question during what was billed as an online chat between Deal and supporters.
If Obama will “simply tell us where we should refer … inquiries that come to our offices,” he added Tuesday, “we’ll do that. And we’ll be satisfied.”
And from commenter “Geir (Gerhardt) Smith,” the WashingtonIndependent’s David Weigel uncovered a YouTube video where Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) was confronted by an eligibility questioner:
Again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with questioning the legitimacy of the President. In fact, it continues to fascinate me that there are those who continually castigate individuals such as myself for pursuing the matter. And while I realize that the issue may be settled for them, for me, it’s an issue that I simply don’t know for a fact that he is eligible.
Following up on my previous eligibility update, as John Charlton at The Post & Email originally reported, it appears that November 6, 2009 was quite the day of resignations for this Administration; the question is, why?
In an editorial by The Washington Prowler, “Obama goes to the Matresses”, we are told that Cassandra Butts, “a Harvard classmate of Obama’s and one of the administration’s highest-ranking African Americans . . . quietly resigned on Friday, November 6 . . .” .
This resignation preceded that of her immediate superior, Gregory Craig, who left the position of White House Counsel only days ago.
However, what The Washington Prowler writes is more telling in the intrigue and politics behind the Craig resignation and the ascendency of Robert Bauer, whose appointment to Craig’s old position was made last Friday:
“[Bauer] knows where all the bodies are buried, and this indicates that there is something amiss with this White House, or at least someone is nervous about what is going on,” says a former Obama transition team adviser. “You don’t just make these kinds of changes for the sake of rearranging the deck chairs, and not at this time with at least three legislative and policy decisions looming that the Counsel’s office would have been deeply involved in.”
“This doesn’t come close to the ‘Saturday Night Massacre’ in the Nixon days, but it’s pretty damn weird,” says Washington, D.C.-based Democrat lawyer, who has held counsel positions both in the Senate and in previous presidential administrations. “I’m surprised not only that the press seems to be ignoring the fact that two presidential lawyers have left at about the same time, but that no one seems to care that for the first time, I think ever, we have a President’s personal attorney also serving as White House counsel. I don’t care if Bob [Bauer] recuses himself from future personal legal business, this should be troubling to anyone who cares about the Executive Office of the President.” [emphases original]
See the following links regarding the eligibility saga:
Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman has “unconceded” in New York’s special House election after reports that the vote margin between him and Rep. Bill Owens (D) has narrowed.
Hoffman conceded the race on Election Night after learning he trailed Owens by 5,335 votes. But the Syracuse Post-Standard reported last week that the margin had shrunk to 3,026 votes after recanvassing.
Hoffman appeared on conservative commenatator Glenn Beck’s radio show this afternoon. Beck asked the him if he would “unconcede.”
“Yes, if I knew this information at the election night, I would not have conceded,” Hoffman said. Beck asked him again if he was “uncondeding” and Hoffman replied “If that’s possible, yes.”
HotAir featured the sound bite from Glenn Beck’s radio program:
Friday, November 13, 2009 Update:
The Gouverneur Times presents an updated view of the context of the 23rd CD’s vote:
The letter that was sent to the Clerk of the House of Representatives by the Board of Elections and entered into House record on Nov. 6th shows that only 3,026 votes separated the candidates according to the unofficial results submitted. Rep. Charles B. Rangel, as the most senior member of New York’s Congressional Delegation, put forth Bill Owens for swearing-in to the 111th Congress. In doing so, he indicated that “His Certificate of Election has not arrived, but there is no contest, and no question has been raised with regard to his election.”
This statement, however, was not entirely true. Representatives for Bill Owens’ campaign had contested the election results on November 2nd, 2009 and ordered the vote impounded according to officials.
The move, regardless of Owens’ standing with respect to the results, was a clear indicator to the Board of Elections that the election result was contested. The votes were impounded and the official result delayed until sometime in mid-December when the final counts will be certified.
The article goes on to say that since Mr. Hoffman erroneously decided to concede the election, the impound order was removed, allowing the officials to report the unofficial results to the House.
[Communications Director for the Board of Elections John] Conklin indicates that all of the ballots in this race will be counted and that the NYS Board of Elections will declare a winner when that vote count is completed, sometime in December.
Bill Owens’ campaign was aware of how close this race would be and had pre-emptively ordered the votes impounded to prevent Doug Hoffman being sworn-in immediately if the preliminary results went Hoffman’s way.
If the vote goes to Hoffman, the Board of Elections says that Owens “will have to be removed.” …
By placing an unofficial winner in the House, the Speaker is removing that decision from the hands of the people.
This evening, Mr. Hoffman sent out the following email to supporters:
A Recount is underway! It’s not over…
Our Campaign Is Not Over Yet!
You have stood by us through this challenging campaign, one that took many unexpected twists and turns. First two liberals were running against one conservative. Then the liberal Republican dropped out of the race and, showing her true colors, endorsed the real Pelosi Democrat. On Election Day the votes were close, and we thought we had lost.
Yet now, a little more than a week after Election Day, our fight takes another turn as reports surface that the election was far closer than we had originally thought. There is only a 3,000-vote difference and final tally will be decided by a count of10,000 absentee ballots.
Our fight continues as we keep a close eye on the recount. See below:
Michelle Malkin » Did Doug Hoffman concede too early?
By Michelle Malkin
You’ll remember on election night a few weeks ago, upstate New York was reporting all sorts of ballot-counting glitches even as NY-23 conservative candidate Doug Hoffman conceded the race. Now, the Syracuse Post-Standard reports that …
Michelle Malkin – http://michellemalkin.com/ http://michellemalkin.com/2009/11/12/did-doug-hoffman-concede-too-early/
Did you know that the House race in New York’s 23rd Congressional District isn’t over yet? According to Syracuse.com, the margin between the Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman and currently-sworn-in (more on this below) Democrat Rep. Bill Owens has shrunk to just over 3,000 votes:
Washington — Conservative Doug Hoffman conceded the race in the 23rd Congressional District last week after receiving two pieces of grim news for his campaign: He was down 5,335 votes with 93 percent of the vote counted on election night, and he had barely won his stronghold in Oswego County.
As it turns out, neither was true.
But Hoffman’s concession — based on snafus in Oswego County and elsewhere that left his vote undercounted — set off a chain of events that echoed all the way to Washington, D.C., and helped secure passage of a historic health care reform bill.
There’s more to the background of the story at the link, but I wanted to lead through to the main point of this.
Right now, there are over 10,000 absentee ballots left to count. And while one may hope that Hoffman has a chance of actually pulling a win in this race, it would likely be exceptionally difficult to do, as when some of the ballots went out, then-Republican DeDe Scozzafava was still in the race.
Several errors were made during the initial vote counts. Over 2,000 votes for contender Doug Hoffman were not counted in the preliminary results, narrowing the current vote gap to less than 3,000 votes between Democrat Bill Owens and Conservative Doug Hoffman.
The errors were discovered during the standard vote recanvas that has been underway since November 4th. The largest error occurred in Oswego County where the vote recanvas found a discrepancy of more than 1,200 votes in Doug Hoffman’s favor. Another error, in Jefferson County contributed an additional 700 votes in Hoffman’s favor during the recount.
The election was close enough even on election night that the New York State Board of Elections was unable to present a “clear decision” in the race according to John Conklin, Communications Director for the department. He said that the Board sent a letter to the Clerk of the House of Representatives in Washington indicating that they could not yet determine a winner and could therefore not certify the election until after the recanvas and absentee ballot count. Those final numbers will not be available until at least mid-December.
Nancy Pelosi was only able to legally swear-in Bill Owens because Doug Hoffman had conceded the election, indicating that he did not contest the initial, and now shown erroneous, results, something he may not have done if he had been aware of how close the election was.
According to the rest of the article, Mr. Hoffman was attempting to be a “good sport” by conceding the race when he did. However, such oral concessions aren’t legally binding even if it were true that Mr. Hoffman could pull a win.
Do I think that Speaker Pelosi committed election fraud in this instance? Unless there is evidence to show it, no. However, it looks very, very bad and highly suspicious at the very least to essentially “hurry up” and swear in a guy you know will vote for your signature piece of legislation before the State from whence he comes actually certifies him as an elected official, especially when there is a potential for another candidate to legitimately oust Rep. Owens from the post.
So, what would happen if Rep. Owens were not legitimately holding office? He would have to be removed by the House, and his vote on healthcare would be highly suspicious. Then again, having passed 220-215, that would theoretically bring the vote to 219-215, and net nothing changes.
Of course, there are reports that say that Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA) only voted for the legislation because the Dems got the vote to 218.
Friday, November 13, 2009 update:
Pamela Geller at AtlasShrugs cross-posted John Charlton’s The Post & Email piece here.
While there have been three filibuster threats made so far regarding the “public option” aspect of healthcare legislation as the process moves to the Senate (Oops! Per TheHill, now Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont — like Lieberman, another Independent — is fighting for a stronger public option), abortion has now stepped up to become the current lightning rod on both sides of the political spectrum.
The real news is the Stupak abortion amendment that was tacked onto the bill by conservative Democrats to block anyone using government subsidies to buy insurance from buying a plan that covers abortions, even if the abortion coverage is paid for completely with private premiums. Pro-choice activists are calling it a monumental setback for abortion access. …
The Stupak amendment’s best chance for inclusion in the Senate bill is for it to be added to the merged bill that will be brought to the floor by Senate Democratic leaders for debate. If it were presented as a floor amendment, it would be filibustered by the Democrats and would require 20 Democrats to break from their party and vote with the Republicans to get it passed. There almost certainly are not 20 Democrats in the Senate who support amendment. If it’s included in the underlying bill, it likely would not cause any liberal Democrats to vote “no” on passing the whole bill. It didn’t lose any Democratic votes for the bill in the House.
Despite all the signs that the Stupak amendment will be included in the health care bills that pass both the Senate and the House bill, there are also signs that it could be stripped in the final blended bill. House chief deputy whip Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz [D, FL-20] said today that she was “confident” it would be taken out by the conference committee. The final blended version that is produced by the conference committee will need to be approved once again by both the Senate and the House.
As Members of Congress we believe that women should have access to a full range of reproductive health care. Health care reform must not be misused as an opportunity to restrict women’s access to reproductive health services.
The Stupak-Pitts amendment to H.R. 3962, The Affordable Healthcare for America Act, represents an unprecedented and unacceptable restriction on women’s ability to access the full range of reproductive health services to which they are lawfully entitled. We will not vote for a conference report that contains language that restricts women’s right to choose any further than current law. [emphasis added; actual signatures still being garnered]
To top it off, HotAir.com reports that not only is the President hinting that the amendment will have to go, but Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards proclaims that she has “great faith in the leader [Speaker Pelosi]:”
However, as FrontloadingHQ reports, when push comes to shove,there may not be too many “passes” left out of the caucus to get the bill through without making a faction very disgruntled:
Knowing that it had the votes, the Democratic leadership allocated its passes to freshmen, those in Republican leaning districts or a combination of the two. Could the leadership have run up the score?* Sure, but it likely would have cost them. They’d either have to water the bill down now or likely watch as Democrats in close or Republican-leaning districts lose in 2010. As I see it, that’s not a winning strategy. If you’ve got — as a majority party — some votes to spare, you have some wiggle room and an opportunity to provide some cover for at most 40 of your more electorally vulnerable members. On a high salience issue like health care reform, why not use those passes?
Well, Pelosi, Hoyer and the others among the Democratic leadership did. But they didn’t use them all (by design, some have speculated — FHQ agrees). They only used 39 (and actually ended up having two to spare because of Joseph Cao’s late defection from the right side of the aisle). So sure, Democrats can be upset that they lost 39 votes, or they could be happy that the leadership didn’t have to use their full allotment of passes and gave cover to some of their members at the same time.
What’s wrong with that?
*Winning 218-217 is the same as winning 258-177: the bill passes. A wider margin would not have affected anything in the Senate. It would have been/will be close in the upper chamber regardless.
There is nothing wrong with this play at all, for the moment. However, I think we all know that the House is going to have to vote on the bill at least one more time, and anyone who knows anything about politics knows that “political capital” has to be collected before it can be spent.
So, if the Speaker has just spent the vast majority of her capital to get a basic vote out of the House, from whence will the next round of willingness come?