Following the release of the Justice Department's Inspector General's report on the failed ATF gunwalking program known as "Fast and Furious", the Obama administration response to GOP calls for Attorney General Eric Holder's resignation was to call off anymore "witch hunts." One top DOJ official resigned while another announced his retirement as a result of the IG report. AG Holder was not ultimately held responsible in the IG’s report.
However, the Justice Department may not be breathing too easily just yet. On Sunday evening the Spanish Network Univision (above video) aired programming that investigated the deaths that occurred south of the U.S. border as a result of fast and furious weapons which got into the hands of drug cartel members. According to an ABC report:
On January 30, 2010, a commando of at least 20 hit men parked themselves outside a birthday party of high school and college students in Villas de Salvarcar, Ciudad Juarez. Near midnight, the assassins, later identified as hired guns for the Mexican cartel La Linea, broke into a one-story house and opened fire on a gathering of nearly 60 teenagers. Outside, lookouts gunned down a screaming neighbor and several students who had managed to escape. Fourteen young men and women were killed, and 12 more were wounded before the hit men finally fled.
THIS IS HOW THE OBAMA ATF GUN-SUPPLIED SLAUGHTER WAS ORIGINALLY REPORTED:
THIS IS HOW THE OBAMA ATF GUN-SUPPLIED SLAUGHTER WAS ORIGINALLY REPORTED:
Indirectly, the United States government played a role in the massacre by supplying some of the firearms used by the cartel murderers. Three of the high caliber weapons fired that night in Villas de Salvarcar were linked to a gun tracing operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), according to a Mexican army document obtained exclusively by Univision News.
Univision News identified a total of 57 more previously unreported firearms that were bought by straw purchasers monitored by ATF during Operation Fast and Furious, and then recovered in Mexico in sites related to murders, kidnappings, and at least one other massacre.
QUICK REFERENCE TO FEDERAL FIREARMS LAWS
I. POSSESSION OF A FIREARM OR AMMUNITION BY A PROHIBITED PERSON:
18 USC § 922(g) & (n). Punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. May receive minimum sentence of 15 years without parole if offender has three or more prior convictions for a felony crime of violence (e.g. burglary, robbery, assault, possession of offensive weapons) and/or drug trafficking felony.
- Possession or receipt of a firearm or ammunition;
- By a subject who falls within one of the following categories:Felon - (Additionally, persons awaiting trial on felony charges are prohibited from receiving firearms.);Drug user or addict - (Often shown where paraphernalia seized, subject tests positive for drugs and/or subject claims drugs were possessed for personal use.);Alien - (Includes illegal aliens and aliens lawfully admitted under non-immigrant visas, i.e., those aliens not admitted for permanent residence. This provision does not prohibit aliens who lawfully possess a so-called “green card” from possessing guns or ammunition.);Is subject to a domestic restraining order - (The order must prohibit contact with an intimate partner, or child of the subject, and must have been issued only after a hearing of which the subject was notified and at which the subject had an opportunity to participate. The order must also find the subject poses a threat to the physical safety of the intimate partner or child or must prohibit the use, threatened use or attempted use of physical force.);Has a prior conviction for domestic assault - (Includes a prior conviction for any assault or threatened use of a deadly weapon against a present or former spouse or partner or child or guardian of any such person. The subject must have been entitled to a jury trial and been represented by counsel in the prior proceeding or be shown to have waived those rights.);Fugitive from justice - (Fled any state to avoid being prosecuted or to avoid testifying in any criminal proceeding.); orDishonorably discharged from the military; AND
The firearm or ammunition was transported across a state line at any time.
II. KNOWINGLY SELL, GIVE OR OTHERWISE DISPOSE OF ANY FIREARM OR AMMUNITION TO ANY PERSON WHO FALLS WITHIN ONE OF THE ABOVE CATEGORIES:
18 USC § 922(d). Punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.
"Either Mr. Holder himself should resign, or the president should ask for his resignation or remove him," Romney said in December 2011. "It's unacceptable for him to continue in that position now given the fact that he has misled Congress and entirely botched the investigation of the Fast and Furious program."ReplyDelete
Ryan's call for Holder's ouster over Fast and Furious comes a day after he told a sportsmen's group that gun owners should be worried about Obama trying to infringe on their Second Amendment rights if he is re-elected. Speaking about Fast and Furious specifically, Ryan said at the Saturday event that such an operation "would never occur under a Romney-Ryan administration," according to CBS News,
Ryan now becomes the 131st House GOP member to demand Holder's resignation over the scandal.
Obama is the most incompetent, dishonest and corrupt politician to sit in the White House since Lyndon Johnson.ReplyDelete
Listen to the tone in Obama’s voice.ReplyDelete
Watch his eyes.
Watch his head movements.
Listen to his stammer.
Tell me he is not squirming and lying.
This is the point I have made about Obama in other situations. An example was his original (not the scripted revision where he came back to explain himself) speech on you "didn't build that".
I agree that the GOP jumped on the words and ignored context. That's to be expected. However, in viewing the speech, I could see by his tone and gesture the contempt with which he viewed small business and the entrepreneurs, the disdain as he talks about people who think they are "so smart". He was in his southern preacher mode and on a role, always dangerous for him since the true Obama often surfaces in these situations.
Contrast the video, with the follow-up speech where he is calmly explaining 'what he really meant'.
He is not only wrong on the message but also wrong on tone and attitude.
You Didn't Build That
KNOWINGLY SELL, GIVE OR OTHERWISE DISPOSE OF ANY FIREARM OR AMMUNITION TO ANY PERSON WHO FALLS WITHIN ONE OF THE ABOVE CATEGORIES:ReplyDelete
18 USC § 922(d). Punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.
2. Drug user or addict
4. Fugitive from justice
It ain't the first time Unk has got caught running guns south of the border.Delete
To, maybe, some sort of extra-legal, paramilitary/vigilante group, or somesuch?Delete
Sounds almost like the kinda scheme the CIA, and the DEA could cook up - with a little hep from their friends at the ATF.
Yep, they're all lying like dogs. That was a strange program. Some day the truth will come out. I'm looking forward to it.ReplyDelete
...thousands of weapons used in murder of hundreds of Mexicans...ReplyDelete
Must not be very good weapons, if it took an average of ten weapons to murder each Mexican.
Iran Contra pales in comparison to this. This was Holder's effort to undermine the 2nd Amendment. Pure and simple. Hillary Clinton was in on it, too.ReplyDelete
The whole 2nd amendment thing is conjecture; Iran-Contra, on the other hand, was run out of the basement of the Reagan White House.ReplyDelete
And where do you think this was ran from? You blindly defend Obama and his minions on all fronts. Besides this ain't about Reagan. Do you want to bring Bush into it too?Delete
Well, maybe, after all, Bush did have a similar program.Delete
I did say it was a strange program (maybe an idiot program;) I just don't know.
They did just catch a Cartel Boss down there with one (some?) of these weapons in his possession. Was the tracking, somehow, successful?
As for "defending Obama" - well, hell, someone has to take the "other" side.Delete
“Bernanke warns congress to butt out of interest-rate policy discussions . . .” is the headline up on the Drudge Report following the speech today by the Federal Reserve’s chairman at Indiana. It sounds to us like the chairman is warning Congress against passing Congressman Ron Paul’s audit-the-Fed legislation and Congressman Kevin Brady’s Sound Dollar Act, both of which would open up Fed policies to inspection. The chairman’s speech marks another step in the Fed and the Congress moving into what might be called open, if polite, confrontation.
It’s an important story. The fear the Fed chairman is trying to instill is that by conducting an audit of the Fed that includes its interest rate policy discussions, the Congress would open the Fed up to political interference. It strikes us as an illogical reach. The Fed, after all, is running one of the most radical interest rate programs in the history of the central bank. It’s been many an election since we’ve seen the Fed so close to the center of the presidential campaign...
Audit the FED
Ben Bernanke, reverse Robin Hood, more FED largesse for the poor banks.
Although the average rate on a fixed 30-year mortgage reached 3.4 percent this week – a record low – mortgage rates could be lower if banks passed on the full drop in their funding costs.
“For banks which are mortgage originators this [QE3] was some of the best news they could possibly have heard,” said Steven Abrahams, mortgage strategist at Deutsche. “They will continue originating loans and selling them into the market at a significant premium.”
The interest banks pay on mortgage bonds has dropped from 2.36 percent on September 12, the day before the Fed announced its program, to as low as 1.65 percent last week. It edged up to 1.85 percent on Monday.
That means the profit, or spread, banks earn from creating new mortgages for homeowners paying around 3.4 percent and selling the loans into the secondary market has risen to around 1.6 percent. That is higher than the 1.44 percent spread they pocketed before QE3 and significantly greater than the 0.5 percent they earned on average in the decade between 2000 and 2010...
Bankster Ben and QE3
If Ben has any hope of staying on as FED chair he better hope Obama wins. He seems to be doing his best to assure that happens.
He's saying the Fed will do anything to keep equity prices elevated. That means we're looking at the third bubble. What dot-coms were in 1999, what housing was in 2008, equity prices will be in 2015. So yeah, we better get Benny and the Inkjets out of there.Delete
No, I don't think he is 'saying' that at all. His goal is to get and keep interest rates low. The equity bubble is just a by-product of that goal, not the goal itself.Delete
and, of course, not all agree there is an equity bubble.Delete
and another by-product of that goal is that the Big US banks are sitting on piles and piles of 'electronic credits' that they can't/aren't getting into the system, some of which they use to buy Treasuries and what-not earning them a tidy risk free profit.Delete
the 'system' being into the real world of yours, mine, and companies pockets.Delete
No, I don't think he is 'saying' that at all. His goal is to get and keep interest rates low. The equity bubble is just a by-product of that goal, not the goal itself.
Not so. It may not be the primary goal, but a few months back, Ben mentioned he was trying to boost the stock market, in the unfounded hope (IMO), that it would boost consumer confidence and spur them to spend more freely thus helping growth, GDP, business investment and eventually jobs. The virtuous circle.
At the time and since, I objected that Ben was giving the FED a third objective in addition to their two mandated ones.
I certainly didn't see him say that in the reports of the speech in Indiana but I would be interested to see where he said that his goal was to support the stock market in other venues.Delete
The market has risen dramatically. Everything else? Not so much.
People continue to save and pay down debt. Reasonable, given that average income continues to drop and that the average American investor (other than for his 401k which were pummeled in '08) has been out of the market for a long time.
...I would be interested to see where he said that his goal was to support the stock market in other venues...
From an interview with Bernanke at Jackson Hole regarding the inflation of assets including stocks,
We've seen this before
The problem for the FED, the best I can see, is that they don't have the tools to inject money into the economy other than through the banks. The other methods are up to the POLS. Bernanke appears to me to be in a real tough spot because of this and his only real option appears to be to pump the cash into the banks and cross his fingers that the ensuing bubbles won't be worse than the mess of 'not enough cash' with, most probably, big bank failures.
Unfortunately, in my humble option, the real economy will eventually rule the day and all the QE's are just kicking the can down the road. Crash now or, maybe, crash later. Lots of fingers crossed on the maybe part I think.
Bernanke is an academic and a supply-sider. He has shot his bullets and now doesn't know what to do but continue to go all-in.
He did some good and necessary work early on but I won't be sad to see him go.
I don't think which man it is is much of an issue but what policy they follow. Do you think that they should ratchet back on the easy money? I am afraid if they do then we may have some serious problems - like in Europe. If the FED doesn't buy US treasuries who will? If they should stop buying them then, well, the US government will have to seriously take a look at their spending problems because interest rates will have to rise for others to buy them in the quantities they need to sell them. And if interest rates rise significantly the Federal Gov (and all else) will have to spend a heck of alot more on interest payments. If folk like rufus quake in their boots at the money spent on fuel, well, that will pale in comparison to what they will spend on interest.Delete
Do you think that they should ratchet back on the easy money?
Yes, for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, it will take a while to lay them out and my wife is downstairs waiting for me to go look at new refrigerators. I'll lay out the reasons later. You can check it out then if you are interested.
I will check back... Enjoy the refrig shoppin :pDelete
Reasons I think Bernanke should ratchet back on the easy money.
1. It is not working. Any number of analysts have pointed out (and it seems obvious to me) that with each new round of QE, we experience diminishing returns. As I mentioned before, Ben did some good work early on but there are limits to what monetary policy can achieve.
2. Ben has the reputation of being a, or even 'the', expert on the great depression. He indicates his fixes are what were needed back then. However, this is merely a theory and the proof is in the pudding. Unfortunately, we have had four years of QE and it is all Ben knows. It is unlikely he will change positions. He has too much invested in the current policy right now. That's unfortunate because he has failed to move the dime. People speculate that things would have been much worse without Ben's monetary policies and Obama's fiscal policies. Perhaps they are right; however, that opinion is still mere speculation since there is no way to prove it. I personally am ready for a change.
3. I disagree with the reasons Bernanke offers for QE. HE says it will stimulate the economy but we have seen it hasn't. He says it will stimulate the markets and drive up asset prices. While it has done that, it hasn't resulted in growth or an increase in jobs. He says that he is not worried about QE's effects on the inflation rate; however, IMO, the tame inflation is the result of a weak economy, weak demand, and the propensity of consumers to save right now rather than spend. Even in those months where consumer confidence has risen significantly we have not seem the overall growth Ben has predicted.
4. Mere speculation on my part, but I see Ben’s actions as perversely doing the exact opposite of what he intended. QE3 is designed to encourage people to spend, banks to lend, and businesses to hire. In fact, the previous QE’s didn’t do this and there is no indication QE3 is doing it. The players aren’t playing according to Bernanke’s playbook.
People in general, having been burnt badly in ’08, are still unwilling to take risks. They see unemployment is still high, median income is falling, and GDP growth is falling. There are also geopolitical and macroeconomic reasons to be nervous.
Businesses are sitting on record profits but are still reluctant to spend or hire in the absence of increased demand. But it’s a catch 22 because there won’t be more demand while so many people lack full time jobs.
The only ones really happy are the big banks. The lower borrowing costs from the FED roll right to their bottom line. They may offer lower interest rates to customers ‘eventually’ but not right away. And when and if it does happen, it won’t be for the full difference provided by the FED. The banks are enjoying QE 3 like pigs eating shit.
6. Bernanke says that his programs will help the poor and the middle class in the long run. However, in the long run we will all be dead. Right now QE is only hurting those Bernanke says he’s trying to help. He says higher asset prices like the stock market and home prices will make people feel wealthier and encourage them to spend more. The problem is the individual investor hasn’t yet returned to the stock market. Likewise, even his indirect participation through retirement plans is less due to losses taken in ’08. And while housing prices have been rising in some areas, banks are still unwilling to take on risk in mortgage lending. Two-thirds of the mortgages out there don’t qualify for re-financing regardless of what the interest rate is.
The negative side of increasing asset prices is that it drives up costs for key items that people need; food, gas, etc. and causes them to cut back on discretionary spending even more. A weaker dollar doesn’t help.
7. The FED is engaged in trying to manipulate the market. At a time when people want to reduce debt and risk, the FED is trying, through monetary policy, to drive them into riskier investments, the same thing that got us into this situation in the first place. The reward for taking on less risky investments is pretty much zero. This especially hurts the elderly and those on fixed incomes.
8. The FED is working under the assumption that interest rates are what are driving people’s unwillingness to take on risk right now. I think they are mistaken. People are unwilling to take on risk in the market because of what they see as fraud. I don’t need to cite all the recent examples. They feel it is a rigged game. With regard to housing, two thirds of existing mortgages can’t be refinanced so the lower interest rates are unlikely to spur additional growth there. As such, QE is just a thinly veiled handout to the already rich. The policy is redistributive and regressive.
9. The trouble with trying to manipulate the markets is that at some point the market always wins. At some point in the future there will likely come a time to pay the piper. There are significant risks out there worldwide. Natural disasters, geopolitical risks, a slowing world economy, and right now the FED has pretty much used up all its bullets. It’s time to reload. If interest rates are allowed to rise it might provide a buffer if the FED is forced to respond to some future bubble or catastrophe.
Bernanke is an odd bird, both a Keynesian and a supply-sider. He has bemoaned the growing income divide; yet, he is one who has contributed most to it. To date, his policies have benefitted the 1%, the banks, businesses, and traders, much more that the middle class he purports he be helping; yet, he assures us things will eventually work out (trickle-down?) for the middle class.
His policies are Keynesian but I suspect this is an insult to Keynes. From what I have read, Keynes was an ardent advocate of whatever view he was currently espousing. However, as Milton Friedman a friend of his said, he had no problem changing his mind when facts proved him wrong. I don’t know if we can expect the same from Ben. I suspect that Bernanke will not recognize any errors in what he is doing or will ignore the facts and double down since he has espoused his current positions for so long.
It’s been four years. We are seeing continued diminishing returns from the FED’s QE policies. IMO it’s time to try something else. Just my opinion.
What this country don't need no more of is lesbian settlers.ReplyDelete
We probably have our quota of idiot Lesbophobes, and Racists, also (not to mention, Swedes.)Delete
According to Survey USA conducted for KING5-TV in Seattle of 524 Likely Voters from Sept. 7 through Sept. 9, 56% of those surveyed would vote to approve Referendum 74 while 38% would vote to reject. The poll has a margin of error of 4.3%.Delete
Same thing happened when white folk couldn't marry black folk before 1967. Time marches on.
The Two most accurate polling companies over the last several cycles have been Quinnipiac, and Survey USA.Delete
The oft-hyped Rasmussen has had a couple of Very Good Cycles and a couple of God-Awful Cycles. They came in just about Dead Last in accuracy in 2010.
Time marches on. It sure does. I can hardly wait for homosexual pedophile priests to marry their altar boys.ReplyDelete
The oft-hyped Rasmussen has had a couple of Very Good Cycles and a couple of God-Awful Cycles. They came in just about Dead Last in accuracy in 2010.ReplyDelete
Ah, but Rassmussen was the most accurate poll in 1996, which is the election that most resembles 2012.
Yeah, granted; I'm not saying they're not the most accurate "this" year. We'll have to wait and see on that one.Delete
I was just making the point that Survey USA has a very good track record.Delete
The Courts blocked another Republican Vote-Suppression effort, today, this time in Pennsylvania.ReplyDelete
The ATF did not SUPPLY the weapons.Delete
The headline is a lie.
The ATF allowed others to supply the miscreants the weapons.
Whether Mr Holder should go. Or not, will be decided in a month or so. With the PA decision, looks like he will stay
A distinction w/o a difference.Delete
Holder truly is a man of distinction to you two morons, tho, cheering for four more years for the traitor in chief.
Yeah suppression of illegal voting violates our rights, fer sure.Delete
Everyone of the 16 million Obamaphone Recipients should get TWO votes!
The race is definitely tightening up - Nationally, anyway. However, The "Swing" States, maybe, Not so much.ReplyDelete
It looks like the "Old Folks" in Fla are finally starting to catch on, and the One seems to be breaking through with the "White Women" in Ohio, and Iowa.
And, that, as the man said, "is the ballgame."
It matters not whether the Mittster picks up another 5% in Alabama, Mississippi, and Idaho, or if Obammie's California lead drops to + 21 from + 28. It's Ohio, Ohio, and Ohio - and, Ohio doesn't even matter if Obama wins Florida. And, it's starting to look like Obammie's going to win Florida.
That idiot "Ambassador" should have listened to limp-wristed "Jen" and found out who he really was working for.ReplyDelete
Instead, he mails the frigging State Dept!!!
Too stupid to live...
Email Shows State Department Rejecting Request of Security Team at US Embassy in Libya
ABC News has obtained an internal State Department email from May 3, 2012, indicating that the State Department denied a request from the security team at the Embassy of Libya to retain a DC-3 airplane in the country to better conduct their duties.
Copied on the email was U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in a terrorist attack on the diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, Sept. 11, 2012, along with three other Americans. That attack has prompted questions about whether the diplomatic personnel in that country were provided with adequate security support.
No one has yet to argue that the DC-3 would have definitively made a difference for the four Americans killed that night. The security team in question, after all, left Libya in August.
But the question – both for the State Department, which is conducting an internal investigation, and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is holding hearings next week – is whether officials in Washington, D.C., specifically at the State Department, were as aware as they should have been about the deteriorating security situation in Libya, and whether officials were doing everything they could to protect Americans in that country.
Earlier this week, the chair of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and another member of the committee wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listing 13 incidents leading up to the attack, ranging from IED and RPG attacks to a “posting on a pro-Gaddafi Facebook page” publicizing early morning runs taken by the late Ambassador Stevens and his security detail around Tripoli.
“Was State Department headquarters in Washington aware of all the above incidents?” they asked Secretary Clinton, requesting written responses by Oct. 8. “If not, why not? If so, what measures did the State Department take to match the level of security provided to the U.S. Mission in Libya to the level of threat?”
The subject line of the email, from Miki Rankin, the post management officer for Libya and Saudi Arabia, reads “Termination of Tripoli DC-3 Support.”
Rankin informs Stevens and the others on the email, whose names have been redacted, that Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy “has determined that support for Embassy Tripoli using the DC-3 will be terminated immediately. Post’s request to continue use of the plane in support of the SST was considered. However, it was decided that, if needed, NEA will charter a special flight for their departure.”
You can read the email HERE.
An “SST” is a Security Support Team, about 16 Special Forces troops assigned to protect officials from the U.S. State Department. This particular SST was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.
Shown the email uncovered by ABC News, a spokesman for the committee said the “document is consistent with what the Oversight Committee has been told by individuals who worked in Libya. Ambassador Stevens and the diplomatic mission in Libya made multiple security related requests that were turned down by Washington based officials. Security related transportation has been identified as one of the particular items where embassy personnel did not receive the support they sought.”ReplyDelete
Provided with a copy of the e-mail, a senior State Department official downplayed the importance of the denied request. The official told ABC News that “the DC-3 was pulled from Iraq and moved to support Libya early on when there was no commercial airline service into Libya. When commercial service was re-established in Libya, the aircraft was reassigned to other State Department business. We use our aircraft when no commercial flights exist.”
The U.S. government official who provided the email to ABC News – and wanted to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the matter – described the small DC-3 plane as an asset for a security team to more freely and safely move throughout the country, and to more easily transport arms and other security equipment. In short, having the plane allowed the security team to better perform its duties, the official said.
...The State Department official acknowledged that the plane was used to get around Libya, not just to get in and out of the country. But once commercial air service was re-established, the State Department decided that the SST didn’t need the plane anymore. The security team, it would seem, disagreed...
Jake goes on...
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