Patterico's Pontifications

3/31/2011

This Update On the Progress of Obamacare the Litigation…

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:29 pm

…Is Brought to You by The Other McCain’s Rule 5.

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Legal news is always better when it is easy on the eyes.

Joking aside, we need expedited review before the Supreme Court on this one.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

ATF Defies Issa Request for Gunrunner Documents; Next Step: Subpoenas

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:53 pm

Last night I linked this letter from Darrell Issa to the Acting Director of BATFE, demanding the production of documents regarding Project Gunrunner. The deadline was last night, and I said:

Assuming that BATFE has given Issa the finger — as I very much expect they have — the next logical step is issuing subpoenas.

Always trust content from Patterico.

Kenneth E. Melson, acting director of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has “blown past” yesterday’s deadline for the delivery of key documents relating to the Project Gunrunner inquiry that was launched recently by Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

According to committee spokesman Seamus Kraft, there was no response from Melson, who has also been dodging a separate inquiry by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea is also reporting this new development here..


Above: Patterico

It looks like they’re running scared:

As this column reported yesterday, Melson’s name was also withdrawn from a roster of officials, including former Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, now the Obama administration’s Drug czar, before a subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chaired by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ). That hearing, which began this morning at 10 a.m., concerns “counternarcotics and citizen security” in this country.

Sources familiar with the Issa inquiry indicated that because Melson was not forthcoming with documents requested by Issa in a March 16 letter obtained by CBS News, further steps may be taken.

Further steps? What might those be? Carnac already told you: subpoenas.

The real question is, what will be Obama’s response? I’m thinking something like this:

Or this:

Or this:

One thing is for sure: issuing subpoenas ought to get this guy’s attention.

We don’t yet know how far up the ladder the decision to implement Operation Gunrunner went. But if Obama defies the subpoenas that are sure to issue soon, we’ll all know that the decision to cover it up went straight to the top.

Scalia the Speed Demon and Oyez’s Upgrade (Update: An Iphone App)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 2:30 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Update: Check it out, an Iphone App. I don’t have an Iphone myself, so how about telling me in the comments what you think?

I admit I only found this story moderately amusing.  Having been in auto-accident-type situations which are scary at the time, but genuinely funny in hindsight (it’s a special moment when your insurance company asks you about an accident on a certain date and you have to say, “which one?”), I can appreciate that this story might be a little funny for us, but not so much for justice Scalia:

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia seemed unusually subdued at the beginning of arguments Tuesday in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, waiting until the second half-hour – page 29 of the 56-page transcript — to ask his first question of the day. He is usually dominating the discussion well before that point.

Now a possible explanation has emerged: he had been in a car accident in Virginia just over an hour earlier while driving into work. News accounts called it minor, but it must have been unsettling; it involved four cars, and Scalia’s own car was towed away, according to a Washington Post account. The accident occurred just before 9 a.m., and he was on the bench by 10.

Scalia was given a ticket for following too closely behind the car in front of him. When that car stopped, Scalia rear-ended it, pushing it ahead into a chain reaction crash that dinged the two cars ahead of it. No one was injured.

At the Court, few were surprised to hear about the episode. Scalia, who turned 75 on March 11, has a reputation for having a lead foot that activates when he is running late getting to Court from his home in suburban Virginia. A skit by Court clerks once mocked his driving habits. And colleague Justice David Souter even joked during an oral argument about Scalia’s fast driving.

And a few years ago, apparently Justice Souter made a joke about Scalia’s speeding in oral argument.

Souter wanted to explore whether a passenger in these circumstances was free to leave or was effectively seized under the Fourth Amendment. He asked the lawyer for the defendant, Byron Warnken, “Let’s assume that the bright line rule allowed nothing more than requiring the passenger to get out of the car so that if the passenger then said, ‘I’ve had enough of this, I’m leaving,’ the passenger, so far as the bright line rule is concerned, would be allowed to go. Assume that.”

Scalia interrupted to add a humorous twist to the hypothetical: “In fact, the passenger says, ‘Thank goodness. This guy was speeding. I am so glad to get out of this car. Let me catch the nearest cab and go.”

At that point, Souter could not resist this retort: “You can see what Justice Scalia’s passengers tend to feel like.” Amid laughter, Souter reformulated the hypothetical. “Assuming that Justice Scalia is the one who has been stopped and it’s his passenger who is then free to go.”

But now here, is the tangentially cool part.  Go to the transcript, here.  Now first just press the play button under the transcript window and watch as the computer automatically follows the text as the words are said.  Then go down into the search box and search for the words “in fact, the passenger” just like that.  That should bring you right to the exchange mentioned in that story.  Now here’s where it gets cool.  Bring your mouse over those words and click on them.  If your browser works like mine, a “play” command will pop up.  Now, click on it, and the audio jumps to the exact moment in the transcript.

And, you can hear the whole joking exchange, which is made more ironic in hindsight.

That is all given to the public, for free, by Oyez.org.  Which is very cool.  Not every transcript can do that, yet, but they seem to be working on it.  Yes, I have heard of (but not interacted with) these kinds of luxuries before, but this is being offered to the public, for free.

I would be surprised if the Supreme Court ever actually puts cameras in its courtrooms, and as a rule I tend to think that is wrong.  If the public has a right to see something, the cameras should, too.  But this is a pretty good substitute.

And of course they also have regular audio—including downloadable mp3’s—of many oral arguments.  Which is good for the aspiring lawyer, the law geek, or just the concerned citizen who wants to at least listen to the third branch in action.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

The Obama Administration in Contempt of Congress on Libya and the Underpants Gnome Theory of War

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 9:28 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

I know Ben Quayle suggested Politico was the worst media outlet in history, but truthfully they break a lot of interesting stories, which puts me in a bind because I want to respect Patrick’s boycott of the site, but I often want to talk about their stories.  So they had an excellent article about the briefing that Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates gave, and thus the workaround today is provided by Hot Air:

[Congressional sources] said one dynamic was very clear: The administration doesn’t much care what Congress thinks about the actions it’s taken so far.

Challenged on whether Obama overstepped his constitutional authority in attacking Libya without congressional approval, Clinton told lawmakers that White House lawyers were OK with it and that Obama has no plans to seek an endorsement from Congress, attendees told POLITICO…

“If they didn’t need congressional authorization here in these circumstances, can you tell me under what circumstances you’d ever need congressional authorization if we’re going into a war? Nobody answered [that] question,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.). “The administration and its lawyers believed they had the authority under the War Powers Act.

(emphasis added)  If that claim is accurate, that means that the White House’s conduct is unreal.  I am honestly not sure if they are absolutely incompetent in the law, or utterly contemptuous of it.

Let me pull that apart.  First, their lawyers supposedly said that this was legal, under the War Powers Act. Seriously have they read the thing?  Let me quote it to you:

The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to

(1) a declaration of war,

(2) specific statutory authorization, or

(3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

If you are going to argue that the President can do this under his inherent powers under the Constitution, that is fine.  I will disagree with you, but you are within the realm of reasoned debate.  But you can’t pretend that the War Powers Act covers this—you can argue that this power is inherent in the office of Commander-in-Chief, but you can’t honestly and competently claim that the War Powers Act covers this.  This isn’t a foreign language.  Hell, this isn’t even lawyer-code-talk.  We were not in an emergency created by an attack on the United States, its territories or its armed forces when Obama started bombing Libya.  It is, simply put, a lie to say it lawful under this act.

And what the President argued the other day was that this was born out of extreme necessity:

At this point, the United States and the world faced a choice. Gaddafi declared that he would show “no mercy” to his own people. He compared them to rats, and threatened to go door to door to inflict punishment. In the past, we had seen him hang civilians in the streets, and kill over a thousand people in a single day. Now, we saw regime forces on the outskirts of the city. We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi – a city nearly the size of Charlotte – could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.

Never mind that he also didn’t get Congress’ consent as things crept in that direction.  I mean can’t he walk and chew gum at the same time?  It took days to secure the UN resolution he thought was worth waiting for, but he couldn’t have also taken the same time to get a Congressional approval, too, as he waited for UN approval?  But okay, let’s just say that Obama is a really poor planner.  So then shouldn’t he get approval now?

Well, no, the story says.  To quote them again, because I can’t get over it, it is so unreal:

Clinton told lawmakers that White House lawyers were OK with it and that Obama has no plans to seek an endorsement from Congress[.]

What the hell?!

Indeed, the contempt of Congress—meaning the sentiment, not the crime—is laced throughout the Politico piece.  Normally I would just recommend reading the whole thing, but, well, we are trying to boycott them so let me pick out a few choice quotes.  For one the vaunted briefing sucked:

Lawmakers said they weren’t told much by Secretary of State Clinton, Secretary of Defense Gates, Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen or Director of National Intelligence James Clapper that they couldn’t read in the newspaper or see on television.

And you know that story about secretly sending in covert forces on a mission that is not so secret anymore?  Well…

And, as if to add insult to injury, news broke during the House briefing that Obama had already signed an order authorizing covert action in support of the rebels. When asked about it after the first briefing, House members were unaware the president had taken that action….

Clinton, approached by reporters in a Capitol hallway, refused to say why the order was not discussed in the briefing[.]

Nice, so Jake Tapper knew before Congress.

And indeed, this “pound sand” attitude toward Congress is not even consistent with the President’s asserted authority under the War Powers Act, because even if the initial start of hostilities was legal, the President can’t keep the war going for more than 62 days.  Again, from the statute:

Within sixty calendar days after a report is submitted or is required to be submitted pursuant to section 1543 (a)(1) of this title, whichever is earlier, the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed Forces with respect to which such report was submitted (or required to be submitted), unless the Congress

(1) has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization for such use of United States Armed Forces,

(2) has extended by law such sixty-day period, or

(3) is physically unable to meet as a result of an armed attack upon the United States. Such sixty-day period shall be extended for not more than an additional thirty days if the President determines and certifies to the Congress in writing that unavoidable military necessity respecting the safety of United States Armed Forces requires the continued use of such armed forces in the course of bringing about a prompt removal of such forces.

That report referenced above is required to be submitted within the first 48 hours, so he can extend himself at most for 92 days, max.  But that 30 day extension only applies to attacks on “the United States.” Since the provision involving the initiation of hostilities differentiates between attacks on “the United States,” and attacks on “its territories or possessions, or its armed forces” that means literally nothing less than an attack on one of the 57 50 states allows for that 30 day extension. So does the President believe that this war will be done in 60 days?

Ah, well, here’s one reason to think it will be over soon (H/t Geraghty):

During “In the Arena,” Jon Lee Anderson, staff writer for The New Yorker reporting from Benghazi, Libya, tells Eliot Spitzer that the number of opposition fighters on the front lines are fewer than anyone would think and that they are poorly armed and badly trained. Anderson says, “Effective number of fighting men, well under 1,000. Actual soldiers, who are now in the fight, possibly in the very low hundreds on the opposition side.”

Now during the Revolution our military force was pretty pitiful, too, but usually the underdog loses.  That is why we call them the underdog, and why it is an inspiring movie cliché when they win.  Because they usually don’t win.  So we might end up blowing another hole in our deficit, with little to show for it.  Nice.

I have supported the idea of intervening from the beginning.  I think McCain was right to ask for intervention when he asked for it.  But if in our dithering the rebels have dwindled down to a force that cannot win, then we have to fish or cut bait.  We either do a full scale invasion—which I oppose—or we shouldn’t even bother.

But just having a no-fly zone (which apparently does include blowing up some tanks—huh?), is just half-assed.  It’s like the great Mr. Miyagi said:

Either you karate do “yes” or karate do “no.” You karate do “guess so,” [makes squish gesture] just like grape. Understand?

Or to put it in a more Southern way, sometimes the worst place to be is in the middle of the road.

But I had been trying to put words to my concern about how this war has been run for days, and I think I finally found the best metaphor.  It’s the Underpants Gnomes theory of warfare.  Of course I explain the Underpants Gnome metaphor here, but this is Obama’s theory of how to win the war:

Step 1: Enforce a No-Fly Zone

Step 2: ?

Step 3: Regime Change!

So his second step is a question mark, because he is just hoping the Rebels do something to take down Qdaffy, but he has no idea what it would be, or apparently even if they are capable of doing it, with our help.  I support regime change and so on, but I am against half-assing it.

Anyway, Congress has to put its foot down.  At the very least he has to be censured.  That should be step one.  And if Obama continues to show this contempt of the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution, it would be impeachment time.  And some would say it was overdue.

—————–

Previously I wrote on the legality of the war (herehereherehere and here).

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Three Short Films About Media Matters

Filed under: Abortion,Media Bias — Stranahan @ 6:07 am

[Guest Post by Lee Stranahan]

(Thanks to Hot Air for the link. Also — Media Matters is on the attack against me — read their response here.)

Media Matters for America is a well funded, well organized and effective truth killing machine. Here are three short films I’ve made in the past few days to expose their techniques.

Yesterday, I did a film showing how Media Matters used deceptive editing techniques on the Fox / Bill Sammon story. This story has been all over the left wing blogosphere – if you haven’t seen the original piece that MMfA did, it’s here. Gotcha journalism at its worst. Here’s my video on it.

The next video shows how Media Matters used the ‘straw man’ fallacy to attempt to discredit the piece published by Lila Rose yesterday on the Mammosham story. As I say in the video, your position on the controversial issue of abortion doesn’t really matter here – Media Matters are contemptible news twisters.

But – who cares? So Media Matters lies. You know that so why does it matter? That’s what my second video is about. It matter because they have influence on the media narrative today and through the effective use of SEO techniques, they are also writing tomorrow’s ‘history book’. Watch and see what I mean.

- Lee Stranahan

3/30/2011

More Bites From the Bread-Based Waste Containment Operation… (Update: A Defection)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:38 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

The title of this post is a PG version of a joke Stewart makes at the very end of this clip:

And he is in turn borrowing from this longer clip, where they are explaining that the President is calling Libya a “turd sandwich,” although she was not certain whether Obama personally felt this way or was merely repeating what an advisor called it.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

And of course the man most eager to bite into it was Fast Eddie Schultz.  Seriously, I have come to believe Schultz is performance art, creating a leftward parody of what the left believes Rush Limbaugh does.  In the latest example of this idiot’s dishonesty, he asserts that if we are opposed to the war in Libya, we are standing with the terrorists and are generally unpatriotic. Yes, really:

(Via: Mediaite.)  Now, while I have said this war is unlawful because it has not received congressional approval (herehere, herehere and here), I have always believed that Congress should approve of the mission and we should go kick Gdaffy’s ass.  But I don’t think anyone is being unpatriotic to say, “no, we shouldn’t.”  For one thing, we are already in two wars.  And for another Obama has blown a hole in our deficit, which is another change from 2003.  I mean Bush was bad on the deficit, but comparing Bush’s suckitude on the deficit to Obama’s is like comparing a dog that barks all night to a zombie apocalypse.  Not to mention the fact that the President himself called it a Turd Sandwich.  I mean its hard to call it unpatriotic to criticize a war that the President himself personally called that, even if he was merely repeating the words of his advisor.

Oh, and there is the little matter of the fact that we might be helping terrorists:

Eastern Libya, where the rebels are based, has long been suspected of supplying recruits for terrorist organizations. “Al Qaeda in that part of the country is obviously an issue,” a senior official told the New York Times. At a Senate hearing on Tuesday, NATO military commander Admiral James Stavridis said intelligence reports showed “flickers” of Al Qaeda’s and Hezbollah’s presence among rebel forces. Eastern Libya was the center of Islamist protests in the late nineties, but it’s unclear whether groups here are still tied to Al Qaeda.

Now the truth is we don’t know very much about these rebels, but that didn’t stop Obama from providing covert aid to them:

Sources tells ABC News that President Obama has signed a secret presidential finding authorizing covert operations to “aid the effort” in Libya, where the US is working with NATO, and Arab partners to enforce a no-fly zone, protect civilians, and encourage Col. Moammar Gadhafi to step down from power.

The finding discusses a number of ways to help the opposition in Libya, authorizing some assistance now and setting up a legal framework for more robust activities in the future.

The finding does NOT direct covert operatives to provide arms to the rebels right now, though it does prepare for such a contingency and other contingencies should the president decide to go down that road in the future.

So, um, it’s a secret order authorizing a covert mission, reported all around the world on ABC News.  Great.  So, let me ask a few questions. First, is this really supposed to be secret, or are they just pretending it is supposed to be?  Second, is the secrecy really important?  I mean I assume that the actual locations and nature of the covert ops needs to be secret, but is the fact they even exist supposed to be secret?  I am frankly skeptical of that, because I had in fact assumed we were already doing that as would anyone with a few years of experience and more than two brain cells to rub together.  But at the same time if it was really supposed to be secret, and it really prejudices our efforts to have it outted, will there be any investigation into this leak?

And for that matter, should Jake Tapper have reported it in the first place?   I tweeted him a question on the subject, but he has yet to reply, and probably won’t.  But then again, if this was a disclosure that he believed to be authorized by the White House, that exonerates him in my book.

Meanwhile, Matt Lauer thinks it is just dandy to intervene in Libya, even if it results in helping al Qaeda, because we will show AQ how compassionate we are:

(Via Newsbusters.)  Remember folks, Michele Bachmann is the stupid one.

Update: As if that isn’t fun enough we have recently seen the defection of Moussa Kousa, the Libyan Foreign Minister, to the British.  There is a positive side to this in that he is very likely to be able to tell our forces where to drop the bombs.  But there is a downside, too:

He was expelled from London in 1980 after giving an extraordinary newspaper interview when he was the head of the embassy in which he said two Libyan dissidents living in London would be killed.

Speaking outside the Libyan embassy in St James’s Square, Mr Koussa told The Times: “The revolutionary committees have decided last night to kill two more people in the United Kingdom. I approve of this.”

He returned to Libya after being given 48 hours to leave the UK, where he was accused of funding terrorist groups.

Mr Kousa was named by intelligence sources in the mid-1990s as the possible architect of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people, and the blowing up the following year of a French airliner in central Africa in which 170 people died

So it looks like neither side in this fight will be terrorist-free.  And look, grown-ups understand that sometimes you have to ally with Stalin to defeat Hitler, without liking either man.  But contrary to what Fast Eddie thinks, or pretends to think, it is not an inherently unpatriotic to say, “yes, sometimes you have to ally with Stalin to defeat Hitler, but not this time.”

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Deadline for Production of Project Gunrunner Documents Arrives

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:46 pm

Today Mike Vanderboegh of the blog Sipsey Street Irregulars — who, along with David Cordea, broke the Project Gunrunner story — put up a post you need to bookmark: a collection of links to all letters written by Charles Grassley and Darrell Issa regarding this program.

There is one letter I would like to draw your attention to specifically: this letter from Issa to the Acting Director of BATFE, demanding the production of documents regarding Project Gunrunner. The part that makes this interesting: the deadline for production of the documents is 5:00 p.m., March 30, 2011. That is today. A few hours ago, actually.

Assuming that BATFE has given Issa the finger — as I very much expect they have — the next logical step is issuing subpoenas.

This is about to get interesting.

P.S. One more letter that is worth noting: this letter sent by Issa to Hillary Cllinton yesterday. The deadline is April 12. I bet Hillary gives Issa the finger too. Meaning, I would assume, more subpoenas.

Isn’t it nice to be in the majority?

P.P.S. Michelle Malkin knocked it out of the park on Hannity tonight discussing Project Gunrunner, and had a wonderful post and column about it here.

Bangladeshi Girl, 14, Raped by Cousin and then Beaten to Death For Adultery Under Sharia Law

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 12:42 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

In some barbaric interpretations of Islam, a woman cannot prove she is raped without four witnesses to back her up (which, in cases of rape, are typically hard to come by), so it is common for such a woman to assert she was raped and then be punished for adultery when she can’t sufficiently prove the rape.  But this case is more outrageous than most:

Hena Akhter’s last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl.

Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh’s Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public.

Hena dropped after 70.

Bloodied and bruised, she was taken to hospital, where she died a week later.

Amazingly, an initial autopsy report cited no injuries and deemed her death a suicide. Hena’s family insisted her body be exhumed. They wanted the world to know what really happened to their daughter.

Read the whole thing, although it will raise your blood pressure as you do.  For instance, the attacker was her cousin, more than three times her age.  She alleged forcible rape.  And even if she was making that part up, we are talking about a girl so young that her consent was meaningless.  In other words, contrary to what Roman Polanski and his defenders say, even if she said yes, it was still rape.  As Patrick wrote in a different context: “she was just a little girl.”  And heartbreakingly, her parents were forced to watch as their daughter was murdered.

If there is any silver lining, here, it is that this was unlawful under Bangladeshi law and it seems that authorities might be reacting appropriately:

Hena might have quietly become another one of those statistics had it not been for the outcry and media attention that followed her death on January 31….

Monday, the doctors responsible for Hena’s first autopsy faced prosecution for what a court called a “false post-mortem report to hide the real cause of Hena’s death.”

Public outrage sparked by that autopsy report prompted the high court to order the exhumation of Hena’s body in February. A second autopsy performed at Dhaka Medical College Hospital revealed Hena had died of internal bleeding and her body bore the marks of severe injuries.

Police are now conducting an investigation and have arrested several people, including Mahbub Khan, in connection with Hena’s death.

“I’ve nothing to demand but justice,” said Darbesh Khan [the victim’s father], leading a reporter to the place where his daughter was abducted the night she was raped.

He stood in silence and took a deep breath. She wasn’t even old enough to be married, he said, testament to Hena’s tenderness in a part of the world where many girls are married before adulthood. “She was so small.”

Hena’s mother, Aklima, stared vacantly as she spoke of her daughter’s last hours. She could barely get out her words. “She was innocent,” Aklima said, recalling Hena’s last words.

Police were guarding Hena’s family earlier this month. Darbesh and Aklima feared reprisal for having spoken out against the imam and the village elders.

They had meted out the most severe punishment for their youngest daughter. They could put nothing past them.

Decades ago Martin Luther King stood by the graves of three little girls murdered by the forces of evil and told us that “God still has a way of wringing good out of evil. And history has proven over and over again that unmerited suffering is redemptive.”  And like him, we can hope that the blood of this innocent girl will prove a redemptive force in that nation.

And we might remember this the next time someone pretends that Sharia is just another legal system, no better or worse than any other.

Finally, I have to really give it to Cnn and particularly Farid Ahmed and Moni Basu for this no-holds-barred story on the subject.

Hat tip: Instapundit.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

In Which I Admit that Obama Was Pretty Cool About Something…

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 11:18 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

I remember well over a year ago when it was announced that Obama won a Nobel Prize, and my immediate thought was “for what?”  Obama was barely president, and I was still in the “I hope he won’t be as I think he will be” stage (as opposed to now where I am in the “I hate being right” stage).  And even a year later, when the next Nobel Peace Prize was awarded, I wrote:

Last year, the Nobel Peace Prize was given to an empty suit, harming the prestige of the award.  This year represents a bit of a redemption, as they awarded it to an empty chair.

(The empty chair was symbolic of the man who was still in captivity in China, as was any relatives who might have been able to pick it up in his stead.)

So I was pretty hard on Obama and especially the Nobel Committee, for this award.

But I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised to hear the President apparently mocking it, too:

It comes around the 50 second mark, when he praises his Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, saying: “Chu’s the right guy to do this, he’s got a Nobel Prize in physics — he actually deserved his Nobel Prize.”  I think that there can be little doubt that he was mocking himself, especially if you watch the video.  And I have to admit that was really surprisingly cool of him to do that.

Of course if he was really humble and self-aware, he would resign or at least decide not to run for re-election.  But hey, baby steps…

H/T: The Blaze.

P.S.: Does it benefit Politico when I embed their video? I am genuinely wondering.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

How Big Was Operation Gunrunner? And Did One of the Gunrunner Guns Kill an ICE Agent?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:32 am

Multiple agencies are involved, and there are signs that Alabama and Oregon are involved. We also see more tie-ins with Texas, including another group of gun smugglers arrested.

By the way, my post last night set forth evidence indicating that the gun used to kill ICE Agent Jaime Zapata may have been part of Operation Gunrunner. Add this point to the list of evidence: the indictment of the straw purchasers lists 38 guns they bought between July and November 2010. (One, purchased in October 2010, was one of the Zapata murder weapons.) An affidavit in the case says they gave 40 guns to a CI in November 2010 for the purpose of running them to Mexico.

We don’t know whether the murder weapon was one of those guns, but those numbers (38 and 40) are pretty close, making it seem likely that the Zapata murder weapon was in that shipment. And why didn’t they arrest the straw purchasers the day this transaction was made? Clearly because, at that point, they wanted the operation to remain covert.

And part of keeping it covert would be to allow the CI to deliver the guns to the recipients. Right?

I think the feds had Zapata’s murder weapon in their hands, and let it go. I think that, in February 2011, Zapata was murdered with a gun that literally slipped through the fingers of ATF agents.

Doesn’t it seem that way?

ANOTHER REASON TO DOUBT THE GOVERNMENT COVER STORY: According to the affidavit, the CI was requested on November 5, and took possession of the 40 guns from the straw purchasers on November 9.

So these guys spend months buying these 40 guns, and then turn them all over to a guy they just met??

No. That is ridiculous. The CI mentioned in the affidavit was clearly known to the purchasers well before November 9, 2010, when they gave him the guns to run to Mexico. Meaning the CI had been used before, with these straw purchasers. And the straw purchasers trusted him to deliver the goods . . . because he had before.

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