Day: June 14, 2010

Steve King: Obama Has ‘Default Mechanism’ That ‘Favors The Black Person’

What can I say about Rep. King?  He’s either extremely stupid or he’s a classic bigot. 

TPMDC

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said today that President Obama “favors the black person” by default in an argument.

Media Matters reports that King made the remarks this morning in an appearance on the G. Gordon Liddy radio show, during a discussion of the Obama administration’s criticism of the new Arizona anti-illegal immigration law:

King: When you look at this administration, I’m offended by Eric Holder and the President also, their posture. It looks like Eric Holder said that white people in America are cowards when it comes to race. And I don’t know what the basis of that is but I’m not a coward when it comes to that and I’m happy to talk about these things and I think we should. But the President has demonstrated that he has a default mechanism in him that breaks down the side of race – on the side that favors the black person.

Sirhan Sirhan, man who assassinated Robert Kennedy, plotted to kill Ted Kennedy, too: FBI

The New York Daily News

Sirhan Sirhan, the man who assassinated Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, may have tried to take out his brother Ted, too.

A fellow inmate at the federal prison in Soledad, Calif., told the FBI that Sirhan offered him “a million dollars and a car” to kill Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy in 1977, according to a report in Kennedy’s newly-released FBI file (read PDF of report).

The Mexican-American inmate, whose name is redacted, told agents he didn’t know Ted Kennedy was a senator, but recognized that he was the brother of slain President John Kennedy and New York Sen. Bobby Kennedy.

The inmate, who was in the cell next to Sirhan’s for 18 months and befriended the assassin, said Sirhan told him to contact his mother for more details if he decided to take on the hit.

“He advised he declined the contract,” the report states.

The inmate said he didn’t think Sirhan made the offer to anyone else at the prison.

The FBI alerted Kennedy’s office, the Secret Service, the Boston Police Department and the police chief in Barnstable, Mass, near the Kennedy compound on Cape Cod.

The seriousness of the threat, and the reliability of the inmate informant, were never determined.

Sirhan, a mentally unbalanced Palestinian Christian, shot Bobby Kennedy the night he won the California primary – sealing the Democratic nomination – because the senator had promised military support for Israel if elected President.

Sirhan is serving life in prison in California.

Bob Etheridge apologizes for reaction to students with camera

Dave Weigel – Washington Post

Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.) has issued an apology for his behavior on a much-circulated video in which two young people with a video camera who identify themselves as “students” elicited an angry reaction from him — including grabbing the right arm and then the full body of one student. [Original Etheridge post below.]

“I have seen the video posted on several blogs,” says Etheridge. “I deeply and profoundly regret my reaction, and I apologize to all involved. Throughout my many years of service to the people of North Carolina, I have always tried to treat people from all viewpoints with respect. No matter how intrusive and partisan our politics can become, this does not justify a poor response. I have and I will always work to promote a civil public discourse.”

I’m still trying to find out who the students were.

So, who were the young men hassled by Bob Etheridge?

Dave Weigel – Washington Post

We still don’t know. I have asked program managers at several conservative organizations whether they know the identities of the two people in this video who say they are “students … working on a project” and who are rewarded for their inquisitiveness by being manhandled by Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.).

And since I’m getting a ton of e-mail on this: I don’t condone what Etheridge did at all, in any way. It was disgraceful. If he had a problem with fielding a simple question from a young man who didn’t want to identify himself, he should have walked away, not grabbed his arm.

That said, we can’t determine what will happen to Etheridge – whether, for example, the young man will file a complaint against him — because we don’t know who these “students” are. (I use the quotes because the people in the video use that word to identify themselves, and we can’t confirm whether it’s accurate.) Robert Stacy McCain talks to a conservative operative who explains who or what kind of activists the “students” might be.

The operative, who has been responsible for numerous undercover (“black ops”) political projects, compared the two students to a military “hunter-killer team” — the tandem of a sniper and a spotter. The operative did not want to disclose the tactics and strategy of such projects, but said that we can expect to see more video confrontations during what Mike Flynn of BigGovernment.com predicts will be a “long hot summer.” … It is unlikely that the students involved in the Etheridge incident will claim responsibility, my conservative operative source suggests, because doing so would expose them to reprisals by staffers for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

This is actually a bit unusual in Washington. Politicians can expect journalists or political operatives, some armed with cameras, to occasionally lie in wait for them outside fundraisers. Sometimes they strike gold, as when Republican trackers captured video of Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley exiting a lobbyist fundraiser (damaging enough on its own) and one of the then-Senate candidate’s aides accidentally pushing reporter John McCormack over a railing. (The aide apologized to McCormack.) But it’s something else to ask the people with the cameras who they are and get nonanswers about “students” and “projects.” This is why I originally asked who “TMZ’d” Etheridge, as that gossip site often posts videos from people who identify themselves, to celebrities, as “fans,” without revealing their names or their plans to post the videos they take.

Operator At BP Call Center Says Company Never Does Anything With The Calls: We’re Just A ‘Diversion’

Is anybody really surprised at this development?

Think Progress

To demonstrate that it’s responsibly taking care of the oil spill and listening to public complaints, BP has touted the fact that it has set up call centers to handle the response. However, one of the operators at the BP Call Center in West Houston has revealed that she and the other 100 employees are just PR props; BP isn’t actually doing anything with the thousands of calls it receives:

“We take all your information and then we have nothing to give them, nothing to give them,” said Janice.

Janice said calls about the oil disaster are non-stop and that operators are just warm bodies on the other end of the phone.

“We’re a diversion to stop them from really getting to the corporate office, to the big people,” said Janice. … Because the operators believe the calls never get past them, some don’t even bother taking notes.

BP told KHOU in Houston that it has received “more than 200,000 phone messages from the Call Center in Houston,” but it couldn’t “say just what percentage of calls is returned.”

CAP Senior Fellow Tom Kenworthy and the Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson have written that “[f]ederal agencies, not BP, should handle spill response hotlines for volunteers, technology ideas, affected wildlife, and others. Full call records need to be logged with incident reports and technology ideas presented publicly on dynamic websites.” (HT: Raw Story)

Dave Weigel: Who TMZ’d Rep. Bob Etheridge?

 

Was this guy drunk?  This Democrat from North Carolina looks a bit paranoid and a lot…under the influence of something!

Dave Weigel – Washington Post

Last week Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.), who’s seen as a safe bet for re-election this year despite representing a somewhat conservative (Cook R+2) district, ran into two self-described students with video cameras outside of a fundraiser.

“Do you fully support the Obama agenda?” asked one of the students

“Who are you?” asked Etheridge, grabbing one of the cameras and pointing it down — a move more typically seen from Hollywood bodyguards than congressmen. The second camera rolled as Etheridge, irritated, held the wrist of the first cameraman, then pulled the student to his side and grabbed him in a hug.

“We’re just here for a project, sir,” said one of the students.

“I have a right to know who you are,” Etheridge said.

“I’m just a student, sir,” said one of the students.

It went on and on like that until Etheridge left. The videos were under a minute long. On June 11, a new YouTube user named “DCCameraGuy” posted two videos, one from each camera.

Part 1

Part 2

 

No one noticed, though, until today, when Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government posted the video — an edited version posted at another YouTube account — with a commentary from editor Mike Flynn.

So who are the students? I don’t know. The National Republican Congressional Committee tells me they didn’t send them, and “DCCameraGuy” has yet to respond to my e-mail. But without any name or organizational support, just by riling up a member of Congress, the students have created the first conservative meme of the week. They seem to have learned from organizations such as ThinkProgress that any video of a member acting strangely, no matter how grainy, is grist for the Web.

Bush’s daughter Barbara ‘glad’ ObamaCare passed: Health care ‘should be a right for everyone.’

Yesterday, President Bush’s 28-year old daughter Barbara was named Fox News Sunday’s “Power Player of the Week” for her work as co-founder of Global Health Corps, a group of young professionals promoting global health equality. During the interview with Fox, Barbara Bush’s comments on health care sounded like, as host Chris Wallace put it, “a mission statement from the Obama White House”:

BARBARA BUSH: Why do basically people with money have good health care and why do people that live on lower salaries not have good health care? You know, health should be a right for everyone. [...]

WALLACE: What do you think of Obama health care reform?

BUSH: That is a good question. And obviously, the health care reform bill, you know, was highly debated by a lot of people. And I guess I’m glad that, you know, a bill was passed.

While his daughter appears to value the passage of health reform, former President Bush hasn’t been nearly as complimentary. Before the passage of the new law, he told the Washington Times last year, “I worry about encouraging the government to replace the private sector when it comes to providing insurance for health care.”

Arizona targets ‘anchor baby’ citizenship

Politico

The author of Arizona’s controversial immigration law is considering a new proposal that would block the children of illegal immigrants from becoming citizens if they are born in the United States.

 Critics of the bill Republican state Sen. Russell Pearce is weighing say it would fly in the face of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which grants citizenship to anyone born within the country.

Pearce has been hinting for months that he may introduce legislation targeting so-called “anchor babies” but had not detailed his plan until an interview last week with Time magazine.

 “This is an orchestrated effort by them to come here and have children to gain access to the great welfare state we’ve created,” Pearce said of Hispanic immigrants.

 Pearce contended that the bill would not violate the 14th Amendment, saying only that “we would write it right.”

 Previous efforts to get around the citizenship provisions in the amendment, including one in the late 19th century challenging the citizenship of the children of Chinese immigrants, have been unsuccessful.

 Still, Arizona Republicans — including Gov. Jan Brewer — have indicated support for the bill.

 “It is illegal to trespass into our country. It has always been illegal, and people have determined that they want to take that chance,” Brewer said during a recent interview with Tucson ABC affiliate KGUN. “They can take their children back with them.”

 One Phoenix-area school district is suing the state over the immigration law, contending that families with mixed immigration status would be split up — a concern opponents would continue to highlight if Pearce’s bill were brought for a vote.

 In response to the suit, Brewer said during the interview that “we are a nation of laws. That is why we are American. And there are consequences, unfortunately.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38489.html#ixzz0qqCJMnz5

Iranian aid ships set sail for Gaza

This is a little disconcerting, to put it mildly.  Iran, of all countries should not be involved in the Gaza Flotilla Aid movement.  Iran’s history of adversarial political relations with Israel is a catalyst for an armed conflict on the high seas that could actually provoke a war between the two countries.  I am not sure how or why this has slipped under the radar of the United States media.  This is like some kid game of “dare” that could actually get out of hand. 

One can understand the “humanitarian effort” that Iran is putting forth…IF that is their legitimate motive.  The Gaza Blockade is inhumane, in my opinion.  But Iran could have sent a surrogate country to ship their aid packages.  At this point and time in our history, the two countries, Iran and Israel are perhaps the most volatile of adversaries in the world.

I have to question Iran’s motive to “pick a fight” with Israel at this time.  It appears that “provocation” might in fact be their true motive here.

Haaretz.com

Iran is sending aid ships to blockaded Gaza, state radio said on Monday – a move likely to be considered provocative by Israel which accuses Tehran of arming the Palestinian enclave’s Islamist rulers, Hamas.

One ship left port on Sunday and another will depart by Friday, loaded with food, construction material and toys, the report said. The boats would be part of international efforts to break Israel’s isolation of the Gaza Strip.

“Until the end of the Gaza blockade, Iran will continue to ship aid,” said an official at Iran’s Society for the Defense of the Palestinian Nation.

While Israel has long suspected Iran, which rejects the Israel’s right to exist, of supplying weapons to Hamas, Tehran says it only provides moral support to the group.

Israeli troops two weeks ago boarded a flotilla of Turkish aid ships heading to Gaza on May 31 and killed nine pro-Palestinian activists, most of them Turks.

Public opinion in Muslim countries was outraged by the killings. An official of the Iranian Red Crescent Society’s youth organization said some 100,000 Iranians had volunteered as potential crew for aid ships, Iran daily reported.

A senior Iranian official said earlier Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards were ready to provide a military escort to aid ships heading to Gaza if Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei so commands.

But the Guards’ deputy head, Hossein Salami, said there were no plans to do so. “Such a thing is not on our agenda,” he was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency on Monday.

Any such military mobilization would risk a major confrontation with Israel, which fears Iran’s nuclear enrichment program is aimed at developing atomic bombs.

Israel regards Iran’s nuclear ambitions as a mortal threat. Iran says its nuclear program is meant solely to yield electricity or isotopes for medicine and agriculture.