Tuesday, 25 November 2008
STRETCHING THE LIMITS OF HUBRIS
- Pronunciation: \ˈhy-brəs\
- Function: noun
- Etymology: Greek hybris
- exaggerated pride or self-confidence
Did you ever hear of "The Office of the President-Elect"? I didn't either.
But suddenly there is Barack Obama, standing in front of podiums
with a seal and those words underneath (see picture below, followed by the
story from www.foxnews.com).
Despite Bells and Whistles, 'Office of
President-Elect' Holds No Authority
The props that decorate the stage for the Office
of the President-elect serve as just that, since Barack Obama will hold no
actual authority in the Executive Branch until Jan. 20.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
President-elect Barack Obama is looking very
presidential these days. When he makes an announcement, he is ringed by American
flags and stands behind a lectern that has a very presidential-looking placard
announcing "The Office of the President-Elect."
But the props are merely that. Under the
Constitution, there is no such thing as the Office of the President-elect.
Technically, Obama will not even become the president-elect until the Electoral
College convenes after the second Wednesday in December and elects him based on
the results of the Nov. 4 general election, as stated in the
So what is Obama's executive authority in the
weeks leading to Jan. 20?
In the 11 weeks between Election Day and
Inauguration Day, the next president must ensure a smooth transition by
selecting political appointees to manage key agencies and offices within the
Executive Branch, and by creating the policies that will define the new
administration -- all while respecting the authority held by the current
The Presidential Transition Act -- created in 1963
and amended in 2000 -- establishes formal provisions for the transition period
by outlining training and other assistance that the president-elect and his team
of advisers can receive as they prepare to assume office.
The amended bill -- co-sponsored by lawmakers
including former Sen. Fred Thompson, Sen. Joe Lieberman, and Sen. Dick Durbin --
calls for the "training and orientation of high-level presidential appointees,"
among other things, as well as more efficient background checks to ensure
individuals are properly vetted and confirmed for office.
"New administrations face a series of hurdles they
must overcome to accomplish this essential task before they can begin to
govern," Lieberman told Congress in 1999 while arguing in favor of the amended
The original bill also allowed the president-elect
and vice president-elect certain "services and facilities," like suitable office
space to conduct transition operations, public funds to pay their staff's
salaries and money to transport workers to and from Washington.
Obama has employed over 500 staffers to assist in
his transition operations -- working from a nondescript office building in
downtown Washington and from locations in his hometown of Chicago.
His transition team has received a budget of $12
million -- $5.2 million of which was allocated by Congress, and the rest from
private donations of under $5,000.
As president-elect, Obama is also given the same
highly classified intelligence briefings that President Bush receives on a daily
basis. And Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden get full Secret Service
protection, which Obama also received during the Democratic primaries and
general election campaign.
But the "Office of the President-Elect," while
critical in building the future government, has no official power -- which Obama
himself acknowledged during his victory speech in Chicago on Election
"It is an office -- it's just a quasi-government
office for planning the takeover of the government," said Stephen J. Wayne, a
professor at Georgetown University's department of government.
"Obama has no formal power as far as the existing
government is concerned, but he has a lot of informal influence, which President
Bush has encouraged," he added.
Wayne compared the function of the "Office of the
President-Elect" to spring training in baseball.
"It doesn't count in the
standings, but it does contribute to a team's ability to do well from day one,"
The extensive operations and considerable funding
for Obama's transition office are not unique. President Bush received $8.5
million to fund his transition team -- a sum that was "unprecedented at the
time," according to Georgetown University government professor Chris
"The Bush administration built their transition
team a month before the election was over to make sure it would be a
fully-functioning office on November 5," he said.
Despite its lack of formal power, some argue that
the "Office of the President-Elect" must maintain an official and authoritative
front -- even if just for show. This transition comes at a particularly
vulnerable time for the U.S. government in protecting against terrorism -- as
evidenced in 1993 when terrorists bombed the World Trade Center as former
President Bill Clinton prepared to take office.
"President Bush and President-Elect Obama have
stressed together that the times of transition are particularly perilous in
terms of terrorist strikes," said Hull. "The President-Elect and his team must
appear to maintain confidence."
Ok, let's get two things straight:
-There is no such thing as an "Office of the President
Elect". It doesn't exist;
-Even if it did exist, contrary to popular opinion and the ignorance of
countless journalists, Barack Obama is not the President elect yet. He
achieves that status only after the electoral college meets and a
majority of electors vote for him.
First we had that ridiculous "presidential seal" with
his name on it during the campaign. Then we had him remove an American Flag
from the tail fin of his campaign plane and replace it with that same phony
"presidential seal". Now we have an idiotic invented "office".
At the beginning of this blog, I put up the word "hubris", along
with its etymology and meaning. After seeing Barack Obama in action, I
think maybe Merriam-Webster should insert Mr. Obama's picture next to
AT LONG LAST A GLIMMER OF HOPE?
Is it an earthquake, or simply a
Is it the good turtle soup, or is it merely the mock?
Is it a
cocktail, this feeling of joy?
Or is what I feel the real
Is it for all time or simply a lark?
Is it Granada I see or
only Asbury Park?
Is it a fancy, not worth thinking of?
it at long last love?
From "At Long Last Love", written by the
great Cole Porter
So I'm checking the St. Paul (MN) Pioneer-Press, and I come across this
ground to Coleman on DFL turf - Minneapolis
Updated: 11/25/2008 07:30:05 AM CST
As Minnesota's recount in the U.S. Senate race
marches on, campaign operatives have focused on the color of the ballots being
Are the piles of recounted ballots from red
counties, where Republican Sen. Norm Colman might be expected to pick up a few
stray votes? Or blue counties, where DFL challenger Al Franken might have the
But Minneapolis the biggest, bluest pile of all
is turning that logic on its head. With nearly half of its ballots recounted,
the city Franken calls home isn't doing the candidate any favors. And that could
be dimming Franken's hopes of catching Coleman before the state canvassing board
meets Dec. 16.
"Things are clearly moving in the wrong direction
for Franken," said Larry Jacobs, director of the University of Minnesota's
Center for the Study of Politics and Governance.
With fewer than half of the ballots counted in
Minneapolis, Franken has lost 86 votes, while Coleman has lost just 37. In other
words, the city could be blunting any recount advantage Franken might have in
the rest of the state as the recount rolls toward its Dec. 5 deadline.
Once the dust settled from Election Day, Coleman
had a 215-vote advantage. After the statewide hand recount began Wednesday,
Franken closed the gap to double digits before Coleman's lead grew again. It now
stands at 172, with 74 percent of the ballots recounted.
More than 200,000 people voted in Minneapolis, a
DFL stronghold. By contrast, fewer than
120,000 ballots were counted in St. Louis County, another DFL stronghold and one
where Franken has picked up votes during the recount.
One big question mark is the challenged ballots.
The state canvassing board will decide whether each of those ballots
now numbering 2,801 statewide goes to Coleman or Franken or is rejected
altogether. But the challenged ballots are not included in the
current recount totals.
Consequently, a campaign could generate a perceived advantage by challenging votes for the
opponent. In Minneapolis, Coleman has issued more challenges than Franken, 110
Another lingering issue is absentee ballots that
were rejected by local elections officials. The Franken campaign wants those
ballots reviewed, with any improperly rejected ballots then counted, and Jacobs
said it looks increasingly likely that that is Franken's only path to victory.
"The Franken campaign is going to win or lose
based on what happens with the absentees," Jacobs said.
Minneapolis Election Director Cindy Reichert said
Minneapolis will continue counting today before taking a five-day holiday
While Ramsey County finished counting all St. Paul
precincts Monday, Minneapolis ballot counters will restart Monday with more
counting tables to meet the Dec. 5 deadline, Reichert said.
The Franken campaign has tried to point out that
more Democratic votes so-called "blue piles" remain to be counted than red
piles, presumably giving their candidate an advantage. Franken campaign attorney
Marc Elias dismissed the argument that the recount in Minneapolis seems to be
working against Franken.
Elias pointed out that Franken has picked up votes
in red counties such as Stearns County and that voters anywhere can make a
mistake on their ballots though their intent to vote for a candidate is clear.
"The thing about random error is, it's random,"
Elias also predicted Franken will see gains in
Minneapolis once the challenged ballots are resolved. Asked whether he indeed
thought so, Elias said: "I know so."
Fritz Knaak, Coleman's lead recount attorney, said
Franken isn't seeing the gains he would expect in strongly Democratic parts of
"As Hennepin, Ramsey and St. Louis (counties) come
to the conclusion of their recounts, the amount of votes the Franken campaign
had hoped to gain have not materialized," Knaak said.
Knaak said the number of votes he feared Coleman
would lose in the three counties also has not materialized.
"It was at least a possibility that we'd get
through the Hennepin, Ramsey and St. Louis count down in the count," Knaak said.
"That has not occurred."
The Franken campaign on Monday raised another
issue with the recount, releasing a letter it sent urging Secretary of State
Mark Ritchie to ask local elections officials to search for what the campaign
called "missing" ballots.
"In an election this close, we cannot (allow) any
lawful vote to go uncounted," Elias said.
In a handful of precincts around the state, the
hand-counted totals have been slightly lower than the number of people recorded
as having voted on Election Day.
That has spurred local officials to search for
what could be missing ballots, with some turning up in voting machines or in
boxes marked as containing unused ballots.
In Burnsville, for example, 120 ballots with
write-in votes for a City Council race were left in a voting machine and
discovered during the recount when the overall vote totals didn't match.
But local officials also say the ballots may not
be missing, with the differing totals likely the result of Election Day machine
errors in which elections workers mistakenly believe a ballot hasn't been
counted and feed it back through the machine, thereby counting it twice.
In a Coon Rapids precinct, for example, the number
of recounted ballots fell a few votes short of the Election Day total, but Anoka
County Elections Manager Rachel Smith said she believes there are no missing
Several metro counties are nearing the end of
their recounts. Anoka County will finish its last precinct this morning, and
officials in Dakota County say they will stay late tonight to finish.
I don't know what to think about this. Is it possible that al franken will
not steal Norm Coleman's senate seat? Or is it that this movement in Coleman's favor
is meant to lull us into complacency, so the franken people to be able to say "see, it
worked both ways" after the magical new votes materialize that give him a
Is it Granada I see, or only Asbury Park?
Let me end by apologizing to Asbury Park, New Jersey for the comparison to al franken. Neither Asbury
nor franken is Granada, of course. But even though al franken sounds more like the Alhambra, Asbury
Park is classier.
ONE MORE BLOG ABOUT OBAMA'S BIRTH CERTIFICATE
Here is part of a larger
article by Jane Porter of www.worldnetdaily.com, enumerating
specific issues regarding whether Barack Obama's facsimile birth
certificate is legitimate.
Within it, there is a link to a 6 1/2 minute video in which someone named Ron
Polarik, who claims to be an expert on this subject, details
the discrepancies he imputes to Mr. Obama's facsimile document:
Certification of Live Birth a clear forgery
Posted: November 25, 2008
1:00 am Eastern
The media bought it. The voters bought it. And now
some in Congress are resisting the idea of congressional hearings because they
believe that Barack Obama's "birth certificate" has been posted online.
What was posted was not a birth certificate, but
something that resembles a "Certification of Live Birth" or COLB, which, even if
authentic, does not prove "natural born" U.S. citizenship. You see, in Hawaii, a Certification of Live Birth is issued within a year of
a child's birth to those who register a birth abroad or one that takes
place outside a hospital.
It's Rathergate all over again with more amiss
than a 1970s Selectric typewriter. But before I tell you what the experts found,
let me ask you a few questions:
- If you were a natural born American
citizen and had it within your means to quiet all the lawsuits and questions
with proof, would you do it?
- If you were a natural born American citizen,
would you spend thousands of dollars to fight the legal cases against you, or
would you simply answer the legitimate question of whether you meet the
constitutional requirements for office?
- If you were a natural born American citizen,
would you forge a document called a "Certification of Live Birth" and tell the
public it was a real "birth certificate"?
If someone were to violate the law by
manufacturing a forgery in order trick the public, would that be enough evidence
for members of Congress to conduct hearings and for a court to issue an order
for the critical records, including the original long-form birth certificate
(signed by the doctor) to ensure that the U.S. constitutional requirements for
office were not violated? After all, Congress is sworn to uphold and defend that
Constitution, and the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court are "guardians" of the
Constitution. That's their job, isn't it?
Ron Polarik, who holds a Ph.D. in Instructional
Media and specializes in computer graphics with over 20 years experience with
computers, printers and typewriters, has come forth with more definitive
evidence than the word processor that tried to simulate a 1970s Selectric
Polarik has submitted a signed affidavit and has
now released his findings on video at www.ObamaForgery.com with his
identity masked and voice altered to guard against the carrying out of threats,
which he has already received.
The Summary: The Certificate of Live Birth
documents posted on Mr. Obama's website www.fightthesmears.com, Daily Kos
(a pro-Obama blog) and factcheck.org, (a pro-Obama political research group),
were found to be altered and forged.
- The problem of the
pixels: When you have a green patterned document such as this, there
should be a lot of green pixels from the background showing up between the
letters that appear on the certification. But in this case, instead of green
pixels, there are white and grey pixels between the letters, which result when
you replace existing text with other text.
- There is no second fold
line. The pictures show two folds necessary to fit any COLB into an
envelope for mailing, but the document itself shows only one fold. This is
another indication of document alteration.
- There's a blurred
border. The border has a lower resolution than the rest of the
document, which is another indication that it has been altered.
- The border is one that is used in
2007 COLBs. As a security measure, Hawaii changes their borders every
year. This is when the Obama campaign claims the certificate was obtained.
That is fine except for the problem that
- The seal and signature stamp are
from a 2008 COLB. As revealed by a process called edging, the
Hawaiian seal and signature stamp on the back of the document are revealed to
be from the wrong year!
Like with Rathergate, when you're creating
documents, make sure you use only a typewriter that was invented at the time you
report the document was manufactured. When posting a "Certification of Live
Birth," make sure you "borrow" only from documents used in the same year!
Be sure to sign the petition demanding evidence of Barack Obama's
But beyond the birth certificate issue, there's
the matter that Obama traveled to Indonesia, Pakistan, Southern India and
Kenya in 1981. He said he went to Indonesia to see his mother.
This seemed plausible, except for the fact that his mother returned to Hawaii in
August of 1980 to file for a divorce from her second husband, Lolo
Soetoro. Unless she went back to pal around with the man she divorced, she
wasn't there at the time of Obama's visit.
There's another problem. No record of Obama
holding an American passport prior to the one he received once becoming a U.S. senator
has been found. If he traveled to Pakistan with an American passport, he
wouldn't have been allowed in since Pakistan was in turmoil in 1981 and under
martial law. It was also on the State Department's travel ban list for U.S. citizens.
If he couldn't get into Pakistan with a U.S.
passport, perhaps he went there with an Indonesian passport. But the only way
you can get one of those is if you are an Indonesian citizen.
That's quite possible since under Indonesian law,
when a male acknowledges a child as his son, it deems the son in this case
Obama to be an Indonesian state citizen, which was also recorded by Obama's
So, if he didn't go to Indonesia in 1981 to visit
mom (who had returned to Hawaii by then), might it have something to do with the
fact that Indonesian passports expire every five years and it was time for
Why does that matter?
If Obama would have been a U.S. citizen, 8 USC
1481(a)(2) provides loss of nationality by native born citizens upon "taking an
oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a
foreign state ... after having attained the age of eighteen years," in violation
of 8 U.S.C. 1401(a)(1). Simply put, since Indonesia did not allow for dual
citizenship, if Obama got that passport in 1981, when he was 20 years old, he
effectively renounced any U.S. citizenship he may have had.
So, if the experts are right, Obama forged a
Certification of Live Birth to fool America. In addition to the automatic
Indonesian citizenship granted to a child acknowledged as a "son" by an
Indonesian male citizen, and the Indonesian citizenship listed in Obama's school
records, Obama then traveled to a place where Americans weren't allowed to go,
but citizens of Indonesia were. If he obtained an Indonesian passport on his
in 1981, he
effectively renounced any American citizenship he may have had and cannot serve
as president (or "rule" as president, as members of his campaign have stated).
These are serious questions that must have answers.
Does this prove to my satisfaction that the document is a forgery and Barack
Obama is ineligible for the presidency?
No it does not.
I don't know who Ron Polarik is, and I am no expert on this stuff so I don't
know if the claims which are made here actually prove a thing.
But it does convince me that, to be sure, we need more than Mr. Obama's
smiling face and a questionable non-original document.
The people have a right to know if they have been defrauded into
electing a man ineligible for the office he ran for.
The people have a right to demand in no uncertain terms that the original
"vault copy" of Barack Obama's birth certificate be produced and reviewed.
THE IRAQ NEWS YOU DON'T SEE
I just looked at the invaluable web site www.littlegreenfootballs.com, and
it referenced a story from Michael Ledeen of National Review. It
is about a major military success in Iraq. It has drama, it has valor
and it has plenty of blood (though not USA blood). In short, it is perfect
for a lead story, even in the "if it bleeds, it leads" world of contemporary
The problem? It is good news for the USA, not bad. And therefore
I'm betting that, unless you're a subscriber to National Review, this is the
first you'll be seeing of it -- despite the fact that it was originally written
up by Corporal James. M. Mercure for the Marine Corps News, and published a week
Monday, November 24,
Hero of the Day [Michael Ledeen]
by Cpl. James M. Mercure
FARAH PROVINCE, Afghanistan - In the city of
Shewan, approximately 250 insurgents ambushed 30 Marines and paid a heavy
price for it.
Shewan has historically been a safe haven for
insurgents, who used to plan and stage attacks against Coalition Forces in the
Bala Baluk district.
The city is home to several major insurgent
leaders. Reports indicate that more than 250 full time fighters reside in the
city and in the surrounding villages.
Shewan had been a thorn in the side of Task
Force 2d Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground
Task Force Afghanistan throughout the Marines' deployment here in support of
Operation Enduring Freedom, because it controls an important supply route into
the Bala Baluk district. Opening the route was key to continuing combat
operations in the area.
"The day started out with a 10-kilometer
patrol with elements mounted and dismounted, so by the time we got to Shewan,
we were pretty beat," said a designated marksman who requested to remain
unidentified. "Our vehicles came under a barrage of enemy RPGs (rocket
propelled grenades) and machine gun fire. One of our 'humvees' was disabled
from RPG fire, and the Marines inside dismounted and laid down suppression
fire so they could evacuate a Marine who was knocked unconscious from the
The vicious attack that left the humvee
destroyed and several of the Marines pinned down in the kill zone sparked an
intense eight-hour battle as the platoon desperately fought to recover their
comrades. After recovering the Marines trapped in the kill zone, another
platoon sergeant personally led numerous attacks on enemy fortified positions
while the platoon fought house to house and trench to trench in order to clear
through the enemy ambush site.
"The biggest thing to take from that day is
what Marines can accomplish when they're given the opportunity to fight," the
sniper said. "A small group of Marines met a numerically superior force and
embarrassed them in their own backyard. The insurgents told the townspeople
that they were stronger than the Americans, and that day we showed them they
During the battle, the designated marksman
single handedly thwarted a company-sized enemy RPG and machinegun ambush by
reportedly killing 20 enemy fighters with his devastatingly accurate precision
fire. He selflessly exposed himself time and again to intense enemy fire
during a critical point in the eight-hour battle for Shewan in
order to kill any enemy combatants who attempted to engage or maneuver on the
Marines in the kill zone. What made his actions even more impressive was the
fact that he didn't miss any shots, despite the enemies' rounds impacting
within a foot of his fighting position.
"I was in my own little world," the young
corporal said. "I wasn't even aware of a lot of the rounds impacting near my
position, because I was concentrating so hard on making sure my rounds were on
After calling for close-air support, the small
group of Marines pushed forward and broke the enemies' spirit as many of them
dropped their weapons and fled the battlefield. At the end of the battle, the
Marines had reduced an enemy stronghold, killed more than 50 insurgents and
wounded several more.
"I didn't realize how many bad guys there were
until we had broken through the enemies' lines and forced them to retreat. It
was roughly 250 insurgents against 30 of us," the corporal said. "It was a
good day for the Marine Corps. We killed a lot of bad guys, and none of our
guys were seriously injured."
During World War II, they made movies about incidents
like this. There would be actors like William Bendix, Robert Ryan
and Barton MacLane. People would leave theaters proud of the bravery and heroics
of our men in uniform.
But don't expect to see a movie about this
incident coming to your local theaters any time soon.
Today, our successes in Iraq (and
they have been legion over the past year) are an untidy
inconvenience for mainstream media, whether print, broadcast or motion picture. They
are something to look away from, while waiting for and hoping that soon
a car bomb might go off in a Baghdad market. Then they'd have a story to
How sad and dispiriting that we are denied information like this by the same
people who claim to keep us informed.
But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them
GUEST COMMENTARY: JOSEPH FARAH
Joseph Farah either runs, or is instrumental in running, www.worldnetdaily.com . He
is as troubled as I am by the stonewalling of Barack Obama's birth
certificate (the REAL one, not the facsimile foisted on a public which Mr.
Obama evidently hopes is gullible enough to just accept it and move on).
Maybe even more so.
Here is his columm, complete with a petition you can sign if you wish:
Posted: November 24, 2008
Another lawsuit attempting to obtain a copy of
Barack Obama's Hawaiian birth certificate was thrown out Friday by a judge who
said there was "insufficient evidence to indicate that the public interest
supports" the document's release.
Judge Bert Ayabe upheld arguments from Republican
Gov. Linda Lingle's office, which, inexplicably, has fought tooth and nail to
protect the birth certificate from public scrutiny even though it remains the
key to establishing whether the man elected to be the next president is actually
eligible under the Constitution.
Ayabe ruled that Andy Martin, the man who filed
the suit, did not have standing under state law because he did "not have a
direct and tangible interest in the vital statistic records being sought, namely
the birth certificate of President Obama."
Yes, you read that right. The judge in the case
not only denied the motion, he also elevated Obama to the presidency before the
Electoral College votes and before the Inauguration takes place Jan. 20. Is it
any wonder he didn't understand the constitutional issues at stake?
But it is that other excuse for not releasing the
document that really has me bugged "insufficient evidence to indicate that the
public interest supports" the release.
Let me point you to Exhibit A in the evidence-of-public-interest department: It
is a petition I launched Friday to all controlling legal authorities Congress,
Supreme Court, Federal Elections Commission, Electoral College, etc. urging
scrutiny of the original birth certificate and release of facsimile to the
Within 24 hours, 24,000 people had signed up.
Within 48 hours, 48,000 people had signed up.
Do you see a pattern here?
It appears to me that about 1,000 people per hour
are signing this petition. I would say that is evidence indicating public
interest, wouldn't you?
I tell you this because there are other judges who
will be ruling in the days ahead. Even the U.S. Supreme Court is going to review
this issue soon. That's why it is imperative that the public makes its voice
You now have that opportunity on this petition.
I urge you to e-mail it to all your friends.
Do you know people concerned about this
Do you know Americans who still care about
little matters like constitutional eligibility for presidents?
Do you know others who will put their names to
this petition and pass it along?
Then put your name to it and e-mail it to your entire
Christmas card list.
I'm not asking you to march in the streets of
I'm not asking you to send money for a courtroom
I'm not asking you to write to your congressman.
I'm asking you to take about 90 seconds to put your name
and e-mail address on the petition and send it to others.
I believe it can make a profound difference.
At the current rate, before the end of December,
we'll have 1 million signed up on this petition. We can get there faster if you
can help me circulate it beyond WND readers.
I would think a petition of 1 million names would
be sufficient evidence of public interest for nearly any judge.
Keep in mind, this has been achieved with no
coverage outside WND. If we get some help from talk radio and some of my eminent
colleagues in the news media, who knows where it can go.
But they'll take notice more quickly if you get
involved. I need this miracle petition to continue to grow at the current pace
or faster. Can you help me?
Show them you are watching. Show them you are
awake. Show them you do care. Show them you read the Constitution. Show them
this is still America, the land of the free, the home of the brave, where the
rule of law reigns supreme and the will of the people prevails. Sign the petition.
Spread the word.
Frankly, Mr. Farah isn't getting any million signatures. The way things
like this work is that the true believers immediately sign up and then there
usually is a rapid dropoff. But he could get six figures' worth. And
that is pretty impressive too.
Continuing my frankness, let me also say that I could live without
the reference to Christmas card lists (as if the only people interested in
Mr. Obama's eligibility are exclusively Christians). And I am, to say the least, no fan of
"Andy Martin", who has, over the years, made a number of dumb, ignorant
However, neither of these things change what is necessary from Barack Obama.
It is entirely appropriate that he be made to prove conclusively he is legally
eligible to hold the office of President.
If anyone, even Andy Martin, can force him to do so, that is fine with
Here's an unpleasant reminder, from Connecticut's
Hartford Courant, that racism can come from just about anywhere:
Probe Sought Against Judge Who Allegedly Used
- November 25, 2008
of the state legislature's judiciary committee wants a full review of
allegations that a judge charged with drunken driving last month angrily hurled
epithets at police officers during her arrest, called a black state police
sergeant nigger and told officers she was a state judge.
Curtissa R. Cofield, 59, who is black, also referred to state police Sgt. Dwight
Washington as "Negro Washington" during her Oct. 9 arrest which was captured
by police video recorders Courant columnist Kevin Rennie, a lawyer and former
state legislator, wrote in his column in Sunday's Courant.
true that she made those extremely racist comments, that can't be tolerated
from a judge, of all people," state Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, said
Nothing was said of Cofield's alleged conduct during her
appearance Monday in Superior Court in Manchester, where Judge William Bright
Jr. delayed a decision on her application to a pretrial alcohol-education
program until Dec. 8. Those who are admitted to and successfully complete the
program, open only to first-time offenders, will have their record of arrest
Judge E. Curtissa R. Cofield
Bright said he wanted to give the
prosecutor a chance to talk to Trooper Michael Kowal, whose patrol car Cofield
reportedly struck as she drove her BMW east on Route 2 about 10:50 p.m. on Oct.
9. Bright said he received an objection to Cofield's application from
State police initially reported that Kowal was not injured, but he
is seeing a doctor as a result of the crash, said Lt. J. Paul Vance, a state
police spokesman. Vance wouldn't comment on the allegations that Cofield made
racist comments. Cofield, her attorney, James Sulick, and the prosecutor
handling the case, John Whalen of the chief state's attorney's office, also
declined to comment.
Bright said he has received letters of support for
Cofield about 40, according to Cofield's lawyer and then heard glowing
statements from a prominent defense attorney and a clergyman in favor of
approving Cofield's application.
"Despite all the letters, I don't
believe she should be treated differently in this situation because she is a
judge, whether it's positive or negative," Bright said.
Bright should see the video of Cofield's arrest. "At minimum, I would certainly
expect that under the circumstances the judge would review the videotape before
deciding whether Judge Cofield should be admitted to the program," Lawlor
It's appropriate, Lawlor said, for the judge to consider an
applicant's demeanor during arrest and the injuries anyone suffered. "In this
particular case, the comments are troubling," he said. "Beneath the surface
there's more to the story than just someone who had too much to
Lawlor said he is exploring whether his committee, which oversees
the judicial branch and has the power to impeach a judge, will be able to view
"Our first preference would be to have the judicial branch
do the oversight," Lawlor said. "We have been in communication with them to see
what, if anything, will happen. We have received assurances there will be some
type of action taken at some point. Obviously, it's still a pending case in
court. We want to know the whole story."
The state Judicial Review
Council should also open an investigation, if it hasn't already, Lawlor
The executive director and the chairman of the council said Monday
that they cannot say whether an investigation of Cofield has begun. Such
investigations remain secret unless the commission finds sufficient reason to
air them publicly.
According to a state police incident report, Cofield
drove her 2003 BMW X5 into Kowal's state cruiser, which was parked in the right
shoulder protecting a construction zone. Cofield was taken to the Glastonbury
police station for processing and was charged with driving under the influence
and failure to drive in the proper lane. Her comments were captured on a video
and audio monitoring system at the Glastonbury police station.
Courant filed a Freedom of Information request with Glastonbury police for a
copy of the video of Cofield's booking. Glastonbury Police Chief Thomas J.
Sweeney denied the request, and the newspaper is appealing to the state FOI
Well, I didn't see the video so I don't know 100% for
certain. But it sure seems that the only person who would gain from lying
would be Judge Cofield.
Now the big question: Assuming she made those comments, is the fact
both she and the officer are Black a mitigating circumstance?
The answer is that while the circumstances are obviously different - i.e. it
seems clear to me that Judge Cofield's comments were meant as demeaning insults
rather than racial epithets - the fact remains that they are
racial epithets. Even if you eliminate the racial component
you're left with the demeaning insults. Sgt. Washington should no more be expected to
take that kind of abuse from a Black person as he should from a White
If the video bears out this account of what happened,
Ms. Cofield should immediately apologize to Sgt. Washington - and be impeached for the purpose
of removing her as a judge.
A WORD FROM THE ENABLERS....
The ex-President of Mexico is miffed.
He feels that it is an affront to his country that the United States built a
border fence (and, presumably may build additional fences and take other actions
to minimize the tidal wave of illegal aliens into our country).
Here, courtesy of Penny Starr writing for www.cnsnews.com, are the
particulars. The bold print is mine:
Former Mexican President Calls Border
Tuesday, November 25,
By Penny Starr, Senior Staff
(CNSNews.com) Former Mexican
President Ernesto Zedillo said he and his countrymen regret and resent the
construction of a security fence on the border between the United States and
Mexico and called for more intelligent security between the two countries on
Zedillo also blamed drug violence largely on Americans
use of illegal drugs
I personally find (the fence) profoundly
offensive, said Zedillo, co-chairman of the Brookings Institutions Partnership
for the Americas Commission, which released its report Rethinking U.S.-Latin
American Relations on Monday.
Zedillo told CNSNews.com that the
United States needs to have a frank discussion about the role domestic drug
consumption plays in the ongoing violence on both sides of the
The point we are making in this report is that the present
strategy to combat drug trafficking is failing, said Zedillo, who appeared at
the panel discussion with the co-chairman of the commission, former U.S.
Undersecretary of State Thomas R. Pickering.
Pickering noted that
90 percent of the guns seized in drug law enforcement operations in Mexico can
be traced back to the United States, a statistic also cited by officials from
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in testimony
before the House Foreign Affair Committees subcommittee on the Western
Hemisphere in February 2008.
In a report issued in April by the National Drug Intelligence Center,
federal, state, and local law enforcement data revealed that major Mexican drug
trafficking operations, or DTOs, operate in at least 195 cities in the United
States and that 129 of those cities have DTOs that are linked to four of the
principal Mexican drug cartels that supply illicit drugs in the United
In its National Drug Threat Assessment for 2008,
the National Drug Intelligence Center described drug distribution from Mexico
into the United States.
The Southwest Border Region is the most
significant national-level storage, transportation, and transshipment area for
illicit drug shipments that are destined for drug markets throughout the United
States, the report said.
DTOs have developed sophisticated and expansive drug transportation networks
extending from the Southwest Border to all regions of the United States, it
It also cited the flow of weapons between the two
Mexican DTOs and their associated enforcement
groups generally rely on firearms trafficking from the United States to Mexico
to obtain weapons for their smuggling and enforcement operations, the report
Drug traffickers, firearms smugglers, and
independent criminals smuggle large quantities of firearms and ammunition from
the United States to Mexico on behalf of Mexican DTOs, who then use these
weapons to defend territory, eliminate rivals, enforce business dealings,
control members, and challenge law enforcement, the report
The ATF estimates that thousands of weapons are
smuggled into Mexico every year, reads the Drug Threat Assessment report.
Firearms are typically purchased or stolen from gun stores,
pawnshops, gun shows, and private residences prior to being smuggled into
Mexico, where they are often sold for a markup of 300 to 400 percent. Moreover,
large caches of firearms often are stored on both sides of the Southwest Border
for use by Mexican DTOs and their enforcement groups, it
At the Brookings Institution event, organizers
billed the commissions report as part of the new direction the United States
will take in foreign policy and other areas under a Barack Obama administration.
Its recommendations included a path to legal status for illegal
immigrants; the lifting of all restrictions on travel to Cuba; taking communist
Cuba off the U.S. State Departments State Sponsors of Terrorism List; and
establishing a Renewable Energy Laboratory of the Americas to promote
hemispheric cooperation on developing solar, wind and cellulosic-biomass
The report is about identifying those
issues that we believe require a collective work, Zedillo said.
Unbelievable. Zedilla's point seems to be that Mexican drug
smugglers illegally transport their wares to the USA because there are buyers
here and, by the way, firearms are smuggled back from the USA to Mexico.
Is it just me or do both of these facts argue FOR a security fence rather
than against it?
In any event, a few other points to be made here:
-The Mexican government literally publishes and
distributes pamphlets for illegals trying to cross the border, helping them to do
so. The pamphlets tell them, among other things, what to do and say if they're
caught. Mr. Zedillo doesn't appear to have a problem with that, only
with the fact that we try to prevent them from breaching our sovereign borders. For that
reason alone I couldn't care less what he thinks;
-Mexico has an illegal immigration problem too - on its southern
border. But Mexico heavily guards its border and when illegals are
caught coming in from Guatemala or Belize, they are immediately detained and
tossed back. No human rights issues, no health care services, no
drivers' licenses and no free college. To say there is a hypocrisy
problem here is to grossly understate;
-Finally, take a good look at that summary of immigration policy which we
might have for the next four years, if the Brookings Institute and others have
their way. How do you like it?
Barack Obama has spent years mesmerizing people into thinking he is what he
isn't. I can only hope that the geniuses over at Brookings are among the
ones who will be disappointed by his reality.
THE HAIL HUGO PASS
It's all falling apart for hugo chavez (or, as I usually refer to him, yugo
chavez, since his performance so closely resembles the car of that name).
Now that oil prices have fallen back from the ionosphere, suddenly he can't buy
off the poor people of Venezuela with as many giveaways. And quite
possibly because those goodies are not dropping out of the sky anymore, he just
sustained a major loss in national elections.
What to do, what to do........
Well, here is what he's trying, courtesy of www.rigzone.com. Please pay special
attention to the paragraph I put in bold print:
Venezuela's Chavez Eyes OPEC Oil Price
AFX News Limited
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
President Hugo Chavez said he is proposing
that OPEC countries consider setting a price range for oil of $80 to $100
a barrel to stabilize the global market.
Chavez raised his
proposal for an oil price band Monday night, along with other proposals
Venezuela is promoting among fellow oil exporters.
"Let's look for
a band between $80 and $100; we're thinking about that," Chavez said. "We
think that price would be a fair price for oil."
He called it a "stabilization band to avoid those jumps to
$150, suddenly to $50 -- a terrible uncertainty."
suggested in September that oil producers should look to keep prices
between $90 and $l00 a barrel.
Venezuela has said it will urge the
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut production by 1
million barrels per day at its informal meeting in Cairo Saturday, and
carry out those cuts before the end of the year.
Last month, the
oil cartel cut output by 1.5 million barrels a day to boost prices.
Venezuela depends on oil for 94 percent of exports and roughly
half the government's budget.
The socialist leader said Venezuela
is evaluating the effects of falling oil prices, but has plenty of
international reserves and other funds to weather the financial storm.
Venezuela will not cut high levels of social spending, he said.
But Chavez said Venezuela could make some unspecified changes if
prices stay at their current levels or lower throughout next year.
By mid-afternoon in Europe on Tuesday, light, sweet crude for
January delivery was down $1.70 to $52.80 a barrel in electronic trading
on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices were trading in a range
between $50.79 and $54.66.
How touching. yugo chavez is worried about oil spiking higher.
I'm sure he loses lots of sleep over that prospect.....
And all the money he claims he has for social programs --
money that the rest of his comment suggests has a year or less before it runs out
(which he's probably lying about)? Not good for someone who stays in
power through pacifying poor people by giving things away to them (in
addition to rigging elections, of course. Even that didn't help him
To me, this looks like the "hugo" variety of a hail
mary pass. His desperate attempt to bluff the world markets into higher prices.
To look those markets in the eye and tell them to act out of synch with reality.
I can almost hear Don Ameche's voice from Trading Places (with a Venezuelan
accent, of course) yelling into the empty stock market floor. "Turn those
machines back on! Turn those machines back on!
It ain't gonna work.