Thursday, June 21, 2012

Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi would remember better than I.

But, from what I recall, there were no investigations or significant oversight of any kind of the Bush Administration with the exception of The Valerie Plame outing. That investigation was begun in 2003 with an investigation by the FBI. The case wasn't sent to indictment until 2005 after the re-election of Bush/Cheney. The trial was in 2007. 

As I recall there was poor oversight during six years under Bush until Democrats took the majority in the House in 2006.

So, basically, Darrell Issa, elected to the House in 2000 never questioned the gun walking programs under the Bush White House. 

The US Justice Department is having success in arresting, trying and sentencing straw purchasers. Just a point of interest. These arrests and prosecution were under existing laws. There were no new laws asked for to prosecute these people.

Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 2:00 pm

McALLEN – Taisa Garcia, 21, and Marco Antonio Villalobos, 20, (click here) both of San Juan, have been sentenced to federal prison for their roles in straw purchasing firearms, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced Tuesday.

Chief United States District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa sentenced to Garcia and Villalobos to 33 and 46 months of imprisonment, respectively, each to be followed by a two-year-term of supervised release. They both pleaded guilty June 5, 2011, to making a false statement in the acquisition of a firearm from a federally licensed firearms dealer, commonly referred to as straw purchasing, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 924(a)(1)(A).

According to court documents, Villalobos offered to pay Garcia to find straw purchasers. In February 2010, Garcia then asked a cooperating source to purchase two firearms in exchange for payment. That person met with Garcia and Villalobos, was provided U.S. currency and directed to purchase two firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer. The source then delivered the firearms to a location in San Juan, Texas, and to Garcia....

The law involved is 1968 Gun Control Act provisions on straw purchasing (Title 18 United States Code, Section 924(a)(1)(A)),

For Immediate Release
March 1, 2012
Kenneth Magidson, United States Attorney
Contact: Angela Dodge, Public Affairs Officer
(713) 567-9388


McALLEN, Texas – Ten people have been sentenced today for their roles in making false statement on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) forms 4473 in the acquisition of firearms from federal firearms licensees (FFL) and exporting those firearms to Mexico, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
Chief United States District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa handed down sentences today for Jose Alberto Rios, 43, Daisy Yesenia Santos, 24, Roxana Perez, 31, and Jose Alberto Trevino, 27, all of Roma, Texas; Josefina Guzman, 36, a Mexican national illegally residing in the United States; Juan Antonio Avalos, 25, Siboney Hinojosa Navarro, 34, and Jose Angel Celedon, 27, all of Rio Grande City, Texas; and Jeniffer Lopez, 30, of Garciasville, Texas.
Rios, Guzman, Avalos, Trevino, Perez and Celedon will serve 51, 30, 33, 36, 25 and 24 months, respectively, while Santos, Navarro and Lopez will all serve five months in prison. The prison terms will each be followed by either a two or three-year-term of supervised release. Santos and Hinojosa will also have to serve an additional five months of home confinement after they are released from prison. Navarro Eluid Saenz, 25, of Roma, Texas, was sentenced to three years probation with six months of home confinement as he played the smallest of the roles and purchased only two firearms.
The defendants each pleaded guilty to making, or aiding and abetting the making of, false statements in the acquisition of firearms from FFLs, commonly referred to as straw purchasing....
So, Darrell Issa is lying about gun laws. The gun laws on the books are being used to prosecute criminals. If Darrel Issa and Republican Speaker Boner are going to lie for political fodder regarding this topic, it discredits their intent and sincerity to the outcome.

AG Holder cannot disclose information regarding ongoing investigations and prosecutions. It is classified and involves an area of the country, ie: McAllen, Texas, entrenched in potential violence. It isn't prudent to put people's lives in danger.

There is a US Border Patrol page at the Officer Down Memorial (click here)

"When a police officer is killed, it's not an agency that loses an officer, it's an entire nation." -Chris Cosgriff, ODMP Founder

What is Bernanke up to now?

..."Low rates should make it even more attractive to banks to look for borrowers and to earn the spread between the safer rate and what they can earn lending to households and businesses," he said....

He is trying to shake everyone lose. It would appear as though he was successful. No one is hiding anymore. Ben may have improved his social rating score with this one. Oil and gold are down. That is amazing. Maybe they'll actually start lending money again. I hesitate to say "Well done." yet. This might be interesting.

June 21, 2012, 5:00 p.m. EDT

U.S. stocks suffer second worst day of 2012 (click here)

By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks on Thursday took their second hardest knock so far this year as economic reports indicating a slowdown in global manufacturing increased investor anxiety.
Data illustrating a slowdown in euro-area manufacturing and Chinese output also contracting pummeled commodities, with oil falling below $80 a barrel gold prices below $1,600 an ounce.
“We are seeing general weakness, not just here, but around the world. It’s going to be very difficult for us to be an island of prosperity while the global economy is slowing,” said Paul Nolte, managing director at Dearborn Partners in Chicago.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 250.82 points, or 2%, to 12,573.57....

There is a reason why The Standard Club does not insure vessels carrying munitions.

The Foreign Minister to Russia is wrong about the international laws governing such issues.

The Standard Club does not have to insure ships with the potential of being the focus of a retaliative attack. The government of Great Britain does not necessarily want munitions floating past its sovereign borders. I know Russia and China would not accept such activity near its borders. As a matter of fact, Russia was very upset about a satellite near their border. So, the argument seems academic. If Great Britain has sanctions against Syria, it does not have to tolerate activity in its shipping lanes that support that activity, including the insurance companies that operate within their borders.

Russia's Foreign Minister is incorrect regarding this topic. Human rights seems to be left out of his dialogue as well.

...The U.K.-based insurer (click here) Standard Club said it removed insurance coverage for the ship owner when it became aware it was carrying munitions, a clear breach of its rules. The move forced the ship, the MV Alaed, to turn back toward Russia.
"This is a very slipperly slope," Lavrov said in a separate interview with Russia Today television. "This means that anyone — any country or any company — who is not violating any international rules, who is not violating any U.N. Security Council resolutions, might be subject to extra-territorial application of somebody else's unilateral sanctions."...
Russia, along with China, has twice shielded Syria from proposed international sanctions over Assad's crackdown on protests. It also has continued to provide Damascus, its last remaining Mideast ally, with weapons....

Karen Klein is a hero. It is impressive.

With the impending July 1 deadline the House is chasing a go nowhere meaningless legislation on oil and gas amounting to nothing more than a political stunt.

Congress in standoff over how to pay for keeping current level

July 20, 2012

by Kaukab Jhumra Smith

WASHINGTON - With only 10 days (click here) to go before interest rates on some government-subsidized student loans are to double, Democrats and Republicans in Congress continue their stand-off over how the government should pay for the billions it would cost to keep rates at their current level for another year.
Despite the numerous versions of student-loan bills floating around the House and Senate, the prevailing belief on Capitol Hill is that the financing proposal raised by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in a June 7 letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-Ky.) appears the likeliest to garner bipartisan support....

President Obama was very successful at the G20 Summit

The White House was releasing photos of the President while engaging other leaders during the G20. This is one of the candid photos released. The White House did well in keeping people up to  date on what the Prez was doing. Thank you.

G-20 leaders tell Europe to handle crisis (click here)

June 20, 2012

LOS CABOS, Mexico -- World leaders told Europe to pull together to overcome its debt crisis, endorsing a road map fortighter integration to cut borrowing costs and prevent further damage to the global economy.

With Spain readying a request within days for as much as 100 billion euros ($127 billion) for its banks, euro-area leaders at a Group of 20 summit in Mexico pledged to take "all necessary policy measures" to defend the currency union. The U.S. committed to cut spending while avoiding a "sharp fiscal contraction" in 2013.…
Zimmerman is making videos of re-enactment. It is like OJ all over again. This is outrageous. If a film was made by his attorney to show the jury at trial that would be understandable. What is this, fund raising for Zimmerman? He is using the Republican methodology for a better trial outcome? Defendants in Florida are now trying to raise money to saturate media with fantasy to win an outcome? Florida is going to allow this while proceedings are continuing? Maybe the State of Florida, whom is representing the PEOPLE, should be releasing their own videos. I mean let's get this over with, I believe in a speedy trial.

To put this into context, a gunman enters a peaceful scene, alarms the peaceful citizen into action of self defense after being aggravated in a stalking incident by the gunman and the gunman then contents his killing of the peaceful citizen is in self defense. Sure and my name is the Tooth Fairy.

"I didn't want him to keep slamming my head on the concrete so I kind of shifted. (click here) But when I shifted my jacket came up…and it exposed my firearm. That's when he said you are going to die tonight. He took one hand off my mouth, and slid it down my chest. I took my gun aimed it at him and fired."

Then Zimmerman should have followed the directions of the police and not stalked an innocent young black man in the first place. Zimmerman continues to believe he was correct in his actions before the assault against Trayvon Martin. When Zimmerman approached Mr. Martin HE WAS ASSAULTING HIM.

Assault is an act that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent, harmful, or offensive contact. 

Trayvon Martin was defending himself but was defeated from doing so by the gunman. Trayvon Martin did not initiate the assault which alarmed him into action, Zimmerman did. After Zimmerman assaulted Trayvon Martin he was breaking the law both in effect of his own actions and in moving against the orders of police. George Zimmerman is guilty as hell and all his dramatics and whining won't change his own actions that day.

I ask myself why everyone hearing the calls for help went to the phone to call police rather than entering the scene themselves? The residents hearing the calls for help were frantic at the other end of the phone for police to come to help. When people act in the same manner in numbers greater than one at the same time that PROVES something. 

Zimmerman was on a mission he created in his own mind. A mission no one else in the neighborhood would consent to in their own lives. It is called being cautious of eminent/imminent danger. Those calling the police were being rational and compassionate at the same time. In reality they were acting as only a reasonable person could have not knowing the danger involved. Citizens aren't trained, nor should they be, to discern whether or not they can act to stop danger. They expect the people they hire in their police, fire and emergency (first responders) departments to do that. It is why 'arming the streets' is so very, very wrong. Arming the streets victimizes the innocent.

Bill Lee didn't even back up his own officers when Zimmerman was told not to follow Trayvon Martin. I mean, hello? A man was dead.

Sanford’s city manager ended Police Chief Bill Lee’s employment, citing the adverse impact the chief’s handling of the Trayvon Martin case has had on the city. (click here)


The Sanford police chief who failed to arrest George Zimmerman immediately after the fatal shooting of Miami-Dade teen Trayvon Martin four months ago — and brought national attention and derision to the Central Florida city — has been terminated.
The announcement was made late Wednesday night by Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte, who said in a news release that Police Chief Bill Lee “has been relieved of his duties” effective immediately. The chief had been on paid leave....

It looks like a degree of concussion to me.

The picture of a building in Homs, Syria has evidence of concussion and fire. I believe this is an area that has received shelling. I mean we saw it occurring at a distance. We know the shelling was happening. 

The building to the left was hit directly and fire erupted.   The concussion was evident by the pile of rubble falling from the brick facade. There is a hole in the brick where more rubble appears. The building to the right shows rubble falling away from the hole in the brick building. The fallen rubble does not show any scorching from fire. The shingles are intact and the rubble of that kind is settled in one spot where concussion ended. The building on the right was on fire, so why was the rubble in the foreground saved from scorching? 

The physics of the picture dictate the buildings to the left were hit with a concussive force disrupting the construction of the buildings and igniting them. The rubble is all moving in one direction toward the photographer.

Unfortunately, the picture does not reveal the number of people dead due to the shelling of these buildings or why they were targeted. The accusation by the Syrian government that these were places of where rebels lived is now mute to investigation. There are no Homs citizens in this area of the city to report that reality.

When I think of what the people want in the way of democracy and whether or not there were rebels to be contended with I would expect reports from the people leaving for refuge that they were being attacked by rebels and not the government. No one, including the refugees in Lebanon have reported rebels were killing them.

I believe Assad was seeking to close the borders of Syria to corral people into areas within Syria where he could carry out shelling to kill them. It doesn't make sense a benevolent national leader would close the borders to refugees to trap them into being killed by rebels when he could not control those rebels in causing the deaths of citizens. 

I believe Assad knows if he went after the refugees outside the borders of Syria would result in attacks on him by NATO and very justified for it. I sincerely believe Assad is a very real danger to the region for many reasons and the attack helicopters were to only be the beginning of an escalation to any whom questioned him. 

That is why the United Nation's efforts are problematic. While appearing to be willing to cooperate, Assad always retreats to the power of annihilation available to him. He wants control. He doesn't care how he gets it or how far the reach is. I appreciate President Putin's intervention with helicopters to circumstances with potential to escalate to the entire region if assistance was supplied to the Syrian government to do so. I would hate to think Assad was the impetus to an international confrontation. No one really needs that, do they? 

Mission creep is a terrible problem The West has as a means to an end with a political system entrenched with Neocons. Sometimes Russia and China does not appreciate those dynamics as much as they should. Syria's war is best contained with limited munitions and deaths. Seriously. Whoever expected Iraq to light up knowing Osama bin Laden was between Afghanistan and Pakistan? Containment. It is the best outcome to ambitious dictators.

Syrian authorities approve ICRC evacuation of civilians from rebel-held areas of Homs and distribution of humanitarian aid (click here)

Associated Press in Beirut Thursday 21 June 2012 06.20 EDT

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said it will try on Thursday to evacuate civilians from the Syrian city of Homs.
ICRC spokesman Rabab al-Rifai said that in addition to the planned evacuations of the wounded, the ill and others wanting to leave rebel-held areas, the organisation would also distribute humanitarian aid including medical kits in the neighbourhoods that have endured shelling and clashes for the past 10 days.
Activists said the shelling of Homs continued on Thursday, killing two people.
Homs, Syria's third largest city, has been one of the hardest-hit areas since the uprising against Bashar al-Assad's regime began 15 months ago. Rebels control several neighbourhoods, which government troops have attacked intensely over the past two weeks....