Saturday, March 22, 2014

Errata: Apologies To Eli Emmanuel

Sometimes when I give the editor the day off and I rush to post I make mistakes that I later cannot believe I made.  In an earlier post I referred to Eli Emmanuel when I was thinking about Ezekiel Emanuel.

Ezekiel Emanuel is Rahm Emanuel's brother and is also a so-called bioethicist. In other words, he is fixated on who should live and who should die. He has served as an adviser and policy maker in various capacities.

Eli Emmanuel is a reggae artist who emphasizes religious themes. As far as I know, he does not shape public policy.

My apologies.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Florida will release report on the shooting of Ibragim Todashev

According to the Boston Globe the Florida prosecutor who investigated the shooting of Ibragim Todashev will release the results of that investigation next Tuesday. It is the only outside investigation of the shooting. The FBI has yet to release its internal investigation 10 months after the shooting. In a January 9 AP story FBI Director James Comey said he was eagerly awaiting publication which suggests he is only a figurehead of a director or has a unique personal definition of the word eagerly. Supposedly the FBI report must be reviewed by the DOJ's infamously politicized Civil Rights Division so that Obama campaign donors have an opportunity to impart their political spin.
Critics will cite the FBI's slow response in this instance without acknowledging the bureau's rapid response in the case of Tea Party activist and True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht whom it managed to interview 6 times in the space of only a few months.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Run Sarah Run

Senator Palin has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? If Sarah were Senator, her sound bites would annoy the political class to no end. The Mike Barnicles would be subjected to condemnations of hopey changey stuff on a nightly basis. Ahhh, is there a symphony so sweet?

Larry Sabato has the Alaska Senate election as a toss-up. How the hell does that happen? The Democrats used extreme prosecutorial misconduct to run Ted Stevens out of office. This scandal makes other abuses of power look tame by comparison. Won't the citizens of Alaska remember the villainous manner in which Mark Begich assumed office?

The citizenry probably would remember if they were not once more presented with weak GOP alternatives. Sarah Palin would change all of that. Run Sarah, run!

If Scott Brown Wants To Once More Be A Senator, Let Him Unseat Edward Markey

If Scott Brown runs for the Senate in New Hampshire, he will be inducted into the Carpetbagger Hall Of Fame on the first round.

Brown can beat Markey in Massachusetts. It's a long shot but it can be done. Brown lost to fake Indian Elizabeth Warren by eight points down ticket from Obama in a blue state. This is an off-year election and as absurd as this might sound, Markey is a weaker candidate than the fake Indian. Markey has been caught red-handed in what could be a huge scandal.

Brown would be coupled with a strong Republican gubernatorial candidate in Charlie Baker in Massachusetts. Baker gave incumbent Deval Patrick a run for his money in 2010. Patrick was assisted by lifelong Democrat State Treasurer and fiscal conservative, Tim Cahill, who declared himself an Independent and ran in the general election. (Even though the pundits mostly thought Cahill's candidacy benefited Patrick, Cahill would later be repaid with a corruption indictment that still makes absolutely no sense to me.) Baker has already announced his candidacy and he might just have coattails.

Meantime, Brown ponders his political future. If he defeats Bob Smith in the primaries, he will succeed in dividing the New Hampshire Republican Party that has been fractured for over a decade (starting with a feud involving Bob Smith of all people.) He will succeed in denying New Hampshire a genuine conservative choice.

For what? Shaheen is a strong candidate. Brown has a better chance of unseating Markey who is rightly perceived as a joke, even in Massachusetts. If it's all about Scott, and that seems to be the case, Markey might be the course of lesser resistance.

Stay in Massachusetts, Senator. You have a brighter future there.

Male On Male Sexual Assaults In The Military

I have sympathy for those who have served nobly but were court martialed for something they might have done far away from one's deployment. Discretion is always the better part of valor. Don't ask, don't tell. Keep your mouth shut.

Having said that, it seems that our forefathers had reasons for doing what they did. They were not always motivated by hate or prejudice or small-mindedness.  Sometimes common sense entered the picture. If you place men and women together in close quarters...

By the same token, if you place men and men in close quarters certain rules of the road apply. Why? Read below.

There is a raging epidemic of sexual assault in the U.S. military. A report released by the U.S. Department of Defense says that an astounding 12,000 women serving in the U.S. military were sexually assaulted in 2012. This is a national disgrace, and any U.S. service member that rapes a woman deserves the death penalty in my opinion. It has gotten so bad that a female service member serving in Afghanistan is more likely to be raped by a male service member than she is to be killed by the Taliban. But that is only half the story. Sexual assault against males is at an epidemic level in the U.S. military as well. In fact, according to the same report that I just mentioned, there were 14,000 sexual assaults against men serving in the U.S. military during 2012. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Obama brat burns her Obama T-shirt

Finally the youth begins to see the light but one might grouse that this young lady did not draw the correct conclusions from her bygone infatuation with leftist politics just the politician. She has determined that government is corrupt but this viewer is somewhat convinced that she, rather than believing that all governments are inherently corrupt, thinks the present US government could be reformed if only she and her good friends were running it. It's hard to imagine her or her age peers jumping on the Hillary bandwagon and they may be jaded enough to sit out the mid terms and even the 2016 election.

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Blanket Apology To Anyone Who Has Ever Traded On Inside Information

Re the prior post: . I referred to Senate Markey's brutish, avaricious, unethical and possibly criminal activity as insider trading. This description greatly understates the gravity of the wrongdoing and as such, I apologize to everyone else who has ever been accused of trading on inside information.

If the actions of Markey-Ackman are as they appear on the surface, the gang conspired (yes that is the correct word) to damage Nutralife's stock to the immediate benefit of Mr. Ackman. I know of no other trader who has used the full force of a US Senate seat and its subservient bureaucracies to benefit an allied short seller. This sort of (crime?) might have been done in the past but if so, it was done with some discretion. To his credit, I would like to say that Senator Markey has done his part to promote transparency in the Senate.

This event, whatever we want to call it, goes far beyond trading on privileged knowledge. For that reason, I apologize for categorizing all other inside traders with these ruthless thugs.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Insider Trading By Any Other Name...


SENATOR EDWARD J. Markey insists his staff knew — but he didn’t — that a Wall Street investor stood to make a fortune if Markey and other politicians urged federal regulators to open a fraud investigation into a company the investor wants to destroy.
In Washington, they call that deniability. In the real world, it’s called hard to believe.

WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission will investigate the controversial vitamin company Herbalife, the company disclosed Wednesday, an action that Senator Edward J. Markey had urged in a letter to the FTC in January.
Markey was the only member of the Senate who said yes to entreaties by hedge fund executive William A. Ackman to seek an investigation of the company, which were relayed to the senator through his staff.

Ackman, who has a $1 billion bet against Herbalife and lobbied Markey and other members of Congress to take action against the company, has said most lawmakers rebuffed him because they knew he would reap a windfall if the company’s stock declined significantly.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is giving “every consideration” to concerns raised by Senator Edward Markey that Herbalife Ltd. may be a pyramid scheme, the agency’s chairman said in a letter dated today.


Markey Calls for Investigation into Herbalife Business Practices

Lawmaker concerned nutritional supplement company could be operating outside securities law as a pyramid scheme

Washington (January 23, 2014)  After hearing serious complaints of improper pressure and financial hardship, including from a constituent in Massachusetts who lost her entire retirement savings, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) is calling for more information about the business practices of Herbalife Ltd. In letters sent today to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and to the company itself, Senator Markey queried each for more information about Herbalife’s operation

Will Impeachment Be A Primary Issue?

First, we need to distinguish between the impeachment of Eric Holder and Barack Obama. Eric Holder is in contempt of Congress. He is a lawless man who should have been impeached long ago.

The president is a separate matter. There are those who believe he has already established grounds for impeachment. When I did a search I was surprised at how worn this well-trod path happened to be. Tom Tancredo called for the 44th president's impeachment in 2010.

Congressman Steve Stockman advocated impeachment in 2013.

And this from an Esquire portrait of Chuck Hagel.

The conversation beaches itself for a moment on that word — impeachment— spoken by a conservative Republican from a safe Senate seat in a reddish state. It's barely even whispered among the serious set in Washington, and it rings like a gong in the middle of the sentence, even though it flowed quite naturally out of the conversation he was having about how everybody had abandoned their responsibility to the country, and now there was a war going bad because of it.

Did you catch that? "It's barely even whispered among the serious set in Washington."  Is that how the insiders now refer to themselves? The political class uses the same term that Vito Corleone uses to refer to the Turk? "Solazzo is a serious man..." But the I word now appears on the Beltway radar.

We have to respect "the serious set." Impeachment is not like marriage. You don't want to enter into this institution lightly. In the words of Joe Biden, oh let's just skip JB's most memorable quote.

Impeachment is not a frivolous matter. We are not one of those countries defined by its regimes. In those places, former leaders do not gracefully retire to the lecture circuit. They are imprisoned or tortured or killed. There was a lot of chatter about impeaching George Bush but even "the serious set" rejected that nonsense. But George Bush did not use the IRS to crush political opposition or use DOJ to intimidate donors or NSA to spy on reporter's families and on and on and on.

Attempting to use the IRS as a political weapon helped get Nixon impeached. Someone--quite possibly the White House--succeeded and succeeded big in using the IRS to stifle and silence Tea Party/Conservative/Religious groups. Nixon was an amateur compared to these tyrants.

Nixon was also impeached for obstructing justice. If it can be demonstrated that the White House obstructed/impeded/mislead investigators in Fast and Furious, Benghazi, MF Global, and of course, the IRS conspiracy, the I word would infiltrate serious set cocktail hours.

How does this become a campaign issue? I am not sure if Cantor or Ryan or Boehner would impeach even if the trails all lead back to you know who. They might look to the opinion polls that tell us that any rebuke of the pampered one is perceived as racist in nature. It would be good to hear from their own lips that they are committed to judging others based on "...the content of their character."

Karl Rove says the GOP has to find an issue beyond Obamacare. The serious set might not find that cause. The conservative power base on the other hand? They might have already found it.