Sunday, July 27, 2014

Nigeria: Boko Haram militants bomb another church; suicide bomber blows herself up outside university; Wife of Cameroon's Vice PM kidnapped by Boko Haram

At least five people were killed and eight were injured Sunday in a bomb attack on a church in Kano, northern Nigeria's largest city. The attack came shortly after the end of mass.

Boko Haram militants have a strong presence in northern Nigeria, and they have attacked Christian churches in the past.

Earlier this year, Boko Haram kidnapped over 200 Nigerian school girls. The terrorist group later released a video claiming that the girls had converted to Islam.

Also on Sunday, five Nigerian police officers were injured when a female suicide bomber blew herself up outside a university in Kano after police prevented her from carrying out an attack.

A police spokesman said that suicide bomber had hidden the bomb under her "long black hijab". Police noticed the woman acting strangely, and they were about to ask a female officer to frisk the woman when she detonated the bomb, he said.

The latest attacks follow two previous attacks in Kano, including a bomb attack last month at a university which left at least eight people dead.

Elsewhere, Boko Haram militants abducted the wife of Cameroon's vice Prime Minister in the north Cameroon town of Kolofata, which is situated near the country's border with Nigeria. The terrorists also kidnapped a local religious leader - who also serves as the Town's mayor - and five members of his family. At least three people were killed in the cross-border attack.

Boko Haram recently stepped up its cross-border attacks into Cameroon after Cameroon signed an agreement with several West African nations to organize a joint force to combat Boko Haram.

Taliban Making Military Gains in Afghanistan as Obama consummates his 'exit strategy'

From the New York Times via the Tampa Bay Times:
Taliban fighters are scoring early gains in several strategic areas near the capital this summer, inflicting heavy casualties and casting new doubt on the ability of Afghan forces to contain the insurgency as the United States moves to complete its withdrawal of combat troops, according to Afghan officials and local elders.

The Taliban have found success beyond their traditional strongholds in the rural south and are now dominating territory near crucial highways and cities that surround Kabul, the capital, in strategic provinces like Kapisa and Nangarhar.

Their advance has gone unreported because most American forces have left the field and officials in Kabul have largely refused to talk about it...

[But the] Taliban’s increasingly aggressive campaign is threatening... the American withdrawal plan [i.e. Obama's withdrawal plan]: full security by Afghan forces this year.

“They are running a series of tests right now at the military level, seeing how people respond,” one Western official said, describing a Taliban effort to gauge how quickly they could advance. “They are trying to figure out: Can they do it now, or will it have to wait” until after the American withdrawal, the official added, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the coalition has officially ceded security control.

Interviews with local officials and residents in several strategic areas around the country suggest that, given the success of their attacks, the Taliban are growing bolder just two months into the fighting season, at great cost to Afghan military and police forces.

In Kapisa, a verdant province just north of Kabul that includes a vital highway to northern Afghanistan, insurgents are openly challenging and even driving away the security forces in several districts. Security forces in Tagab District take fire daily from the Taliban, who control everything but the district center.

Insurgents in Alasay District, northeast of Kabul, recently laid siege to an entire valley for more than a week, forcing hundreds of residents and 45 police officers to flee. At least some of the local police in a neighboring district have cut deals with the Taliban to save themselves.

In the past month, a once-safe district beside the major city of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, has fallen under Taliban control, and a district along a crucial highway nearby is under constant threat from the Taliban. South of Kabul, police forces in significant parts of Logar and Wardak provinces have been under frequent attack, to deadly effect...

The Taliban have [also] made strides in Nangarhar Province, home to one of the most economically vibrant cities in the country and a strategically important region. Surkh Rod, a district that borders the provincial capital Jalalabad and was safe to visit just three months ago, has become dangerous to enter.

“The difference is that five months ago there were more government forces here; now it is the Taliban,” said Nawab, a resident of Shamshapor village.

Bati Kot District, too, has become more dangerous. Outside the district center, residents say, the Taliban dominate a crucial swath of territory that straddles the main highway leading from Kabul to the eastern border with Pakistan. Villagers living in the district say the Taliban force them to feed and house insurgents, and threaten to kill them if they refuse.

Much like Nangarhar, Kapisa is connected directly to Kabul, presenting a troubling threat for the government as it struggles to safeguard the security corridor around the capital...

An estimated 60 insurgents surrounded Askin Valley and engaged in a gunfight with... police officers in the area

Two police officials in the area, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, relayed the account. One, a local police officer, said the Taliban’s reach permeated the entire district, and the security forces were consigned to their bases, trying to stay alive.

“The Afghan security forces are controlling the bazaar for one in every 24 hours,” the commander said. “From 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., the police, army and local police come out of their outposts and buy what they need, then they go back to their bases.”

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Benghazi: Ansar al-Sharia moved in next door to US consulate in 2011, but State Dept. ignored warnings, rebuffed security requests

From Fox News:
Members of the Islamist extremist militia blamed for the Benghazi terror attack had moved in next door to the U.S. Consulate months before the strike but “nothing was done” despite concerns about the dangerous neighbors, sources tell Fox News.

Sources say members of Ansar al-Sharia moved to the house just outside the east wall of the compound within three weeks of American personnel renting the facility, and later used the location to help plan and take part in the attack on the American Consulate on Sept. 11, 2012. [It is worthwhile to note the US personnel moved into the facility in mid-2011, which means the Ansar al-Sharia thugs moved in next door well over a year before the attacks occurred.]

The neighbors prompted multiple security requests -- including repeated requests up until the day of the attack -- for more weapons and personnel.

“We warned D.C. about the guys who moved in next door, but nobody knew what to do and nothing was done,” a U.S. intelligence source said.

According to one intelligence source, American security personnel specifically asked for an M240 machine gun to mount on the roof at the consulate for added protection, but were turned down repeatedly.

A State Department source also confirmed to Fox News that “they asked for a belt-fed mounted machine gun, but were specifically denied by the State Department because they said it would upset the locals.”...

Fox News is told that American personnel also requested sandbags to help fortify positions at the compound because "the only thing in between us and the neighbors was grass and a couple of trees and a wall.”

“The State Department knew it. Everyone on the ground knew it,” one source with direct knowledge of the attack said.

Another source said the sandbags were denied because “making shooting positions was too aesthetically unpleasing."

The threat was so well-known that on the night of the attack, as rescuers from the nearby annex were facing heavy fire while leaving the consulate, they "made sure to make a left turn out of the consulate and not a right turn” where the Ansar al-Sharia house was located.

The revelations continue to raise questions about the State Department response and training of agents, ahead of the attack which killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, as well as Americans Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. Others were injured.

Further, leaders of the local Libyan militia known as "'The February 17 Martyrs Brigade” -- which was tapped to provide security at the U.S. compound in Benghazi -- not only didn’t respond to help save American lives, but may have directly participated in the 2012 attack on Americans. This has prompted criticism of the State Department for its original decision to contract with the powerful militia.

According to multiple sources, the department selected the militia over multiple other militia groups, private companies and even U.S. Marines to protect and secure the American consulate in Benghazi, despite the fact that those on the ground questioned the decision....

Sources also say militia leaders may have helped orchestrate and directly participated in the attack -- even though they were being paid, being fed, given automobiles and even allowed to swim in the consulate pool by the U.S. State Department....

“It is truly one of the worst outsourcing decisions of all time,” said another source with direct knowledge of the attack.
The AFP reported in May of this year that the February 17 Martyrs "Brigade is made up of Islamist ex-rebels, including radicals, and is suspected of links with Ansar Al-Sharia, a group classified as a terrorist group by Washington."

However, as I noted back in May: Although Ansar Al-Sharia has been classified as a terrorist group by the Obama administration, "the February 17 Islamist brigade - which is linked to Ansar Al-Sharia - and which was tasked by the Obama administration to provide security at the US consulate in Benghazi - which later came under attack - apparently, has not been classified as a terrorist group by the administration - because, after all, how would it look if Obama and company labeled the very group it had hired to protect the consulate as a terrorist group?"

In May of 2013, I noted: "Eric Nordstrom - the State Department's former regional security officer in Libya - testified at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing earlier this month that the [February 17 brigade] militia - which was hired to guard the U.S. consulate in Benghazi - issued threats, in July of 2012, against former U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens and Senator John McCain.

"Moreover, Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission in Libya, testified that the aforementioned militia was complicit in the Benghazi attacks - which begs the question: Why did the Obama administration allow these terrorist thugs to guard the consulate?"

Additionally, I noted in my May 2014 post as follows:
Newsmax reported last year that the February 17th Martyrs Brigade "had clear al-Qaida sympathies, and had prominently displayed the al-Qaida flag on a Facebook page some months before the deadly attack."
Several entries on the militia’s Facebook page openly profess sympathy for Ansar al-Sharia...

The State Department did not respond to a Newsmax request for an explanation as to why the February 17th Martyrs Brigade was hired to protect the mission.

On April 23, House Republicans released an interim progress report on their investigation into the Benghazi killings. It cited “numerous reports” that “the Brigade had extremist connections, and it had been implicated in the kidnapping of American citizens as well as in the threats against U.S. military assets.”...

On June 28..., the Brigade posted a... graphic [which featured] two rows of pictures... The images include some of the leading figures of modern-day jihadism, including al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden and the founder of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
I also noted in my May 14 post as follows:
Earlier this month four Libyan protesters were killed while demonstrating against the February 17 Martyrs Brigade.

All Africa reported:
Protestors... moved to the February 17th Brigade locale and demanded its disbandment, blaming it for assassinations in Benghazi.

If the Brigade is not removed from Libya, "it will spread" [like a disease] "and kill all Libyans; we'll become like Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan and Pakistan," a Libyan teacher proclaimed.

On Saturday, Justice Minister Salah Marghani told reporters that the brigade was ordered to leave the city within 72 hours...

Computer engineer Faraj Ali confirmed that the "February 17th brigade camp is one of the biggest military camps in Libya with all of its weapons, but all such weapons are hidden in farms..."

"Col. Wanis Bukhamada has raided their farms more than once, and has even raided al-Nayrouz resort, and directly after that, they kidnapped his son," Ali added.

Abu Omar al-Manfi, a car electrician, said, "The so-called February 17th brigade is engaged in the most horrific forms of torture and is sponsoring terrorists and those exploiting religion... They must be arrested and brought to trial."
However, I noted at the time that the State Department did not respond to a Newsmax request for an explanation as to why the February 17th Martyrs Brigade was hired to protect the mission because, after all, as Hillary Clinton is wont to say, "What difference does it make?"

I also noted that it's safe to assume that the February 17th Martyrs Brigade will not be designated a terrorist group by the Obama administration anytime soon, because, after all, how would it look?


Related Videos:

Benghazi hearing: Consulate guards' militia [the February 17th Martyrs Brigade] threatened Stevens & McCain - was complicit in attacks:

Benghazi: Obama administration receives 3:00 AM call from Gregory Hicks:

Obama Greeted in LA with "Scandals" posters as he arrives for fundraiser at "Scandal" producer's home

From ABC News Los Angeles:
President Barack Obama arrived in San Francisco Tuesday evening, beginning the first leg of a West Coast swing that will bring him to Los Angeles Wednesday.

The president is set to attend a [$32,000 per plate] fundraiser at the home of Shonda Rhimes, creator and executive producer of the hit show, "Scandal."

Posters have popped up in Rhimes' Hancock Park neighborhood featuring the president's face under a headline reading "SCANDALS."

Kerry Washington stars in the television show as the head of a Washington public relations firm that manages scandals. The artwork is also plastered across bus benches. It appears to be the work of a street artist making a statement about political scandals involving the White House.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fake applicants sign up for Obamacare in undercover GAO Probe

The House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday issued a press release summarizing the preliminary results of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) undercover probe of enrollment controls in the ObamaCare health care exchanges.

Seto Bagdoyan, acting director of audit services for the GAO's Forensic Audits and Investigative Service will further discuss the agency's findings at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Wednesday.

House Ways and Means Committee Press Release:
As part of a “secret shopper” investigation, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) created 18 fictitious identities to apply for premium subsidies through the federal Exchange by telephone, online and in-person. With only one exception, GAO was able to get premium tax credits and health insurance with fake information through telephone and online applications. The results of their investigation are as follows:

11 out of 12 Fake Applications Approved: Out of 12 applications with fake information for the Federal exchanges, 11 were approved. The total amount of these credits was $2,500 per month or $30,000 per year and is currently being paid out for insurance policies for these fictitious individuals.

Applications with Fake Documents of Citizenship and Income Approved: Investigators provided fake documents, such as Social Security Numbers and proof of income and citizenship, which proved to be no barrier to getting taxpayer-funded credits. Additionally, investigators found that federal contractors made no effort to authenticate documents applicants provided.

In-Person Assisters Nowhere to be Found: GAO made six in-person attempts to sign up for federal subsidies. GAO was unable to obtain assistance in five of those attempts for a range of reasons including one navigator stating assistance was not available because was down and another declining to provide assistance. These assisters have received tens of millions of dollars in federal grants to provide services to applicants.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp noted on Tuesday that, “We are seeing a trend with ObamaCare information systems: under every rock, there is incompetence, waste, and the potential for fraud.

"Last month, we found that the Administration was unable to verify income or eligibility for insurance subsidies. Now, we learn that in many cases, the Exchange is unable to screen out fake identities or documents. This law is already hitting Americans where it hurts the most – their pocketbooks. Now, this Administration is forcing the American taxpayer to foot the bill for ObamaCare’s waste and fraud.”

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) said Tuesday that the “GAO’s early results of its audit of are astounding."

"Fictitious people have used fictitious documents to gain tens of thousands of dollars in real subsidies," Coburn said. "Yet, before subsidies were paid in January, the former secretary ‘certified’ the proper controls were in place to prevent these kinds of improper payments."

"Given GAO’s evidence and the OIG’s findings earlier this month," Coburn said, "we have seen consistent problems in how HHS has implemented Far from fictitious, this kind of incompetence and gross mismanagement is unacceptable and deeply troubling...”

Obama: African Americans needn't feign authenticity; Michelle can talk properly if need be

Speaking at a town hall event at the Walker Jones Education Campus in Washington D.C. on Monday to promote his "My Brother's Keeper" initiative, President Obama told the crowd that African Americans do not need "to act a certain way to be authentic."

"The notion that there's some authentic way of being black, that if you're going to be black you have to act a certain way and wear a certain kind of clothes, that has to go," Obama said. "Because there are a whole bunch of different ways for African American men to be authentic."

Oddly, the President went on to offer some rather bizarre and outlandish words of praise to his wife, Michelle, when he told the crowd that the First Lady can talk properly if need be.

"If you look at Michele, she grew up South Side," the President said. "And her mom still lives in a neighborhood where gunshots go off, and it can be rough where Michelle grew up. But she'll talk proper when she needs to."

The President then added in jest: "Now, you also don't want to get on her [Michelle's] wrong side, because she can translate that into a different vernacular."

"But," Mr. Obama went on to say, "my point is, is that you don't have to act a certain way to be authentic. You just have to be who you are."

Ironically, Mr. Obama has been known to talk with a phony southern accent while addressing African American crowds. Nevertheless, on Monday, he seemed to acknowledge that this kind of phony behavior is unnecessary and unhelpful.

"You don't have to act a certain way to be authentic," he said. "You just have to be who you are."

Friday, July 18, 2014

Tennessee, Louisiana Added To the List Of States Getting Double-Digit Obamacare Premium Hikes

From the Daily Caller:
Obamacare customers in Tennessee and Louisiana are now a part of the growing list of Americans who are facing double-digit premium hikes in the wake of the health care law.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee, the largest health insurer in the state, is upping its exchange premiums by an average of 19 percent, according to rate request filings. Humana is requesting an average 14.4 percent increase and Cigna is asking for a 7.5 percent rate increase

Louisiana customers will face even larger hikes. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, the largest insurer in Louisiana as well, has proposed rate hikes between 18.3 percent and 19.7 percent for Obamacare customers...

Humana in Louisiana hopes to hike its rates by 15.7 percent...
According to The Tennesean, BlueCross has the majority of health insurance marketplace members in Tennessee.

The Tennesean quoted Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee spokesman Roy Vaughn as saying that customers who signed up on the Obamacare exchanges were using more health services than had been anticipated, hence the requested premium hikes were necessary, Vaughn said, because they would allow the company to "break even" for its plans on the federal exchange.
"Based on our claims experience through the first half of this year, we're paying out more than we expected," said Vaughn. "In fact, we're in a loss position that will be in the tens of millions of dollars."

That loss is, in part, due to the fact that more patients who signed up for health care on the exchange were sicker than insurance companies had expected. They tended to use more health services than the company predicted they would, too.
Tennessee Senator Bob Corker on Friday issued a statement on the double digit Obamacare hike saying that, "I'm hopeful the Senate might finally be allowed to debate ways to provide relief from the damaging effects of this law... The president's health care bill was sold to Tennesseans and the country as a way to bring down health care costs, yet it has done just the opposite as we continue to see double digit increases in the cost of plans."

Mr. Vaughn said that Blue Cross Blue Shield was raising Obamacare premiums in order to avoid millions of dollars in losses. However, it's safe to assume that we will also witness a significant hike in all other health insurance plans, including private and employer-based health insurance, in order to make up for the losses that the insurance companies are incurring from Obamacare. And, in all likelihood, we've already witnessed this phenomenon......

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Gen. Dunford doesn't share Obama's affinity for telegraphing withdrawal timelines to the Taliban, He also expresses concern about Afghanistan's future in light of Obama's timelines, And he hopes the President doesn't bungle Afghanistan like he did Iraq

President Obama's affinity for withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan when violence in the country is continuously on the rise is well-known. Additionally, the President's affinity for telegraphing to the Taliban the timelines he has set for US troops to withdraw from the country - thereby boosting the enemy's morale while deflating the morale of the Afghan and allied forces - is also well-known.

The President first exhibited his fondness for telegraphing to the Taliban his set timelines for withdrawal in December of 2009, when he announced a troop surge in Afghanistan and noted simultaneously that the troops would begin to withdraw from the country in 18 months.

More recently, the President exhibited his inexplicable affinity for telegraphing the enemy his timelines for troop withdrawals, when he announced that all US troops would be out of Afghanistan by 2017.

However, while Obama may take great pleasure in telegraphing inspirational messages to the Taliban, the current commander of NATO and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Joseph Dunford, does not share the same sentiment.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, Gen. Dunford expressed his disapproval with the President's decision to announce the date when US troops will complete their pull out from Afghanistan.

Gen. Dunford, who appeared before the Committee on Thursday for a hearing on his nomination to become the next commandant of the Marine Corps, was asked by Sen. John McCain as follows:

"Is there any doubt in your mind that the announcement of a complete withdrawal by 2017 has had an effect on the morale of the Afghan Army?"

Gen. Dunford responded: "Senator, I think all of us in uniform, to include the Afghans, would have preferred for that to be a bit more ambiguous."

A bit more ambiguous, heh.......

Sen. McCain then went on to note that: "In fact, we were told recently in Kabul by Afghan military officers - they said, 'you are abandoning us'! That's they what told me... And I don't think they would have any reason to tell us otherwise."

According to the Washington Post, Dunford also noted that the President's plan to withdraw nearly all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2016 will weaken the United States’ ability to perform counterterrorism missions there.

“In accordance with the plan right now, we would have…a Kabul-centric approach,” Dunford said. “That would reduce our collections capability, our signals intelligence, our human intelligence and our strike capability. So it would be a significant reduction in our overall counterterrorism capability.”

The Post also reported that Dunford, in his testimony, acknowledged that, in 2017, when all U.S. troops exit the country, the Afghan forces, in all likelihood, will not be “capable of conducting the kind of operations we’re conducting” of applying strong pressure on al-0aida and other extremists who pose a security threat to Afghanistan.

“There’s no doubt that the Afghan forces of today are not capable of conducting the operations we’re conducting today … not if you project forward the threat as it exists today,” he said.

Dunford said that he did not see how it would be possible to rely on the Afghan forces to contain al-Qaeda and other extremist groups that reside near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and how it would be possible to depend on the Afghan military to prevent these terrorists from threatening the US homeland.

When asked whether doing so would be a "high-risk strategy", Dunford said that “from a CT [counterterroism] perspective,” the aforementioned Obama strategy would indeed be a high-risk strategy.

Gen. Dunford also expressed his hope that the Obama administration would not make the same mistake in Afghanistan as it did in Iraq and that the Obama administration would conduct "a responsible transition from Afghanistan, as opposed to a withdrawal.”

“In Iraq, we withdrew, with the associated consequences,” Dunford said. “We knew when we left Iraq that there was work remaining to be done to develop sustainable Iraqi security forces, as well as to ensure that political stability existed in Iraq, such that security and stability would continue. In Afghanistan, we’ve got a chance to get that right, and my argument, in fact, is for us to do a responsible transition from Afghanistan, as opposed to a withdrawal.”

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Josh Earnest and Clint Eastwood agree: Barack Obama is the most transparent President ever!

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Sunday that President Obama is the most transparent President ever! Judging from the speech that Clint Eastwood delivered at the Republican National Convention in 2012, it is clear that Mr. Eastwood concurs with Mr. Earnest's assessment. See the video below.

That's right, Barack Obama is the most transparent, invisible and irrelevant President ever!

Related Post and Video: Obama's Transparency Pledge: Making Americans' Privacy transparent - PRISM electronic surveillance, data mining, media wiretap, eavesdropping etc.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Democrats Desperately Scouring Republican transcripts & statements, hoping to find extreme, fringe language to spook voters

Democratic candidates, lacking their own merits to defeat their Republican opponents, are now scouring every last transcript of their opponents in search of a comment that can be twisted and portrayed as extreme and fringe, in an effort to spook voters into supporting their candidacies, the AP reported on Monday.
As the nation's midsection has grown more conservative and Republican, Democrats have sometimes had to rest their hopes on well-positioned GOP contenders imploding with their own politically off-key statements.

It worked like a charm for Democrats in 2012 when Republican candidates in Indiana and Missouri blew winnable Senate races after provocative comments on rape...

But with less than four months until the 2014 election, Democrats are still waiting for new bombshells and growing more anxious about the lack of incendiary material as they try to hold enough Senate seats to keep control of the chamber. Party researchers are diligently scrubbing every transcript and public comment for a hint of fringe language that might spook moderate or independent voters...

The best Democrats have come up with so far is Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst's avowed belief in a possible threat to American property rights posed by an obscure global development concept known as Agenda 21. Some... see the concept as the harbinger of a United Nations takeover...

The Iowa Democratic Party has been citing [Ernst's remarks on the matter]... in press releases in hopes of building a case that Ernst's views are outside the mainstream...

For Democrats, the search continues for words that suggest fringe views...

"If it sticks they're delighted and if it doesn't they move on to the next thing," North Carolina Republican Wrenn said.
In the same vein, the AP reported in July of 2012 that that the Obama campaign had been running negative ads against Republican Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, in order "to deflect attention" from the president's failed policies.

From the AP - July 2012:
There was never any doubt that Obama would run hard-hitting ads.

For one, he's proven to be a cut-throat campaigner, having assailed Sen. John McCain on TV four years ago even as he cultivated an image as someone who always played above-board politics.

Democrats long have said Obama's best hopes for re-election may lie with disqualifying Romney...

The president seemed to acknowledge his campaign's gamble in one of his newest TV ads.

"Sometimes politics can seem very small," Obama says, as he speaks reassuringly into the camera.

Obama advisers say they have little choice but to assail Romney in ads, both to raise questions about the former Massachusetts governor... and to deflect attention from the president's stewardship... The campaign's ad spending has totaled about $100 million so far, most of it on negative ads. Democratic independent groups... have kicked in another $20 million for advertising, almost all of it trashing Romney.

To that end, the Obama campaign has sought to make Romney an unacceptable alternative...
I noted at the time that Obama's "tactic of disqualifying his opponents, goes as far back as 1996, albeit Obama, at the time, was able to accomplish this feat without the negative ads."
While running for the Illinois State Senate in 1996, Obama, who had no record to run on, invalidated the voting petition signatures of three of his challengers [because of mere technicalities], which enabled him to run unopposed and to cruise to victory.

Chicago Tribune columnist, John Kass, noted about Obama's 1996 tactic: "That was Chicago politics. Knock out your opposition, challenge their petitions, destroy your enemy, right?... In that first race, [Obama] made sure voters had just one choice."
In October of 2010, ABC News reported:
The Democratic National Committee formally has asked the Pentagon for reams of correspondence between military agencies and nine potential Republican presidential candidates, a clear indication that Democrats are building opposition-research files on specific 2012 contenders even before the midterm elections.

An internal Army e-mail obtained by ABC News indicates that the DNC has filed Freedom of Information Act requests for "any and all records of communication" between Army departments and agencies and each of the nine Republicans -- all of whom are widely mentioned as possible challengers to President Obama. [Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Haley Barbour, Tim Pawlenty, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, John Thune, Mitch Daniels and Bobby Jindal.]

The agencies are asked to respond to the request by this Friday, just four days before Election Day...

The DNC's request is intriguing for its timing as well as for the singling out of nine particular Republicans who are expected to vie for the GOP presidential nomination.

In addition, the FOIA request provides a window into how deeply into potential candidates' pasts opposition researchers are looking, even at this early stage...

According to the memo, the DNC's request asks for "Any and all records of communication (including but not limited to letters, written requests, reports, telephone records, electronic communication, complaints, investigations, violation and memos) between your department (and all divisions and agencies under your jurisdiction)."...
In February of 2009, in a blog post entitled, "'Dirt Digger' Joins Obama's Legal Team", I noted via the Washington Times:
Shauna Daly, a 29-year-old Democratic operative, was named last month to the new job of White House counsel research director. Though she is inside one of the most powerful legal offices in the land, Miss Daly holds no law degree and doesn't list any legal training on her resume.

Her sole experience has been as an opposition researcher for Democratic political campaigns: She helped dig up dirt on rivals, or on her own nominee to prepare for attacks.

Miss Daly has been doing opposition research for Democratic politicians since just after graduation in 2001 from Smith College. ... Before joining the Obama campaign, she was the deputy research director at the Democratic National Committee.
I went on to note:
In 2005, while working as opposition researcher for the DNC, Miss Daily, requested public records from state agencies on at least 11 potential candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, including Mitt Romney, George Allen, Haley Barbour, Sam Brownback, William Frist, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Guiliani, Chuck Hagel, Mike Huckabee, John McCain and George Pataki.

During Sara Palin's run for governor of Alaska in 2006, Miss Daly requested copies of financial disclosure reports and ordinances for Palin's years as mayor.
Bottom line: If you're running for elected office and you don't have any merits to run on, scour the records and transcripts of your opponent and find something that you can twist and portray as being extreme; run negative ads and try to disqualify your opponent; try and spook the voters - and you might ultimately defeat your opponent.

This strategy has worked for Barack Obama in the past, and it might work for you too.

Good luck, enjoy the spook technique, and Happy Halloween...........

Slain Soldier's Family 'Furious' Bowe Bergdahl has been returned to Active Duty

The family of 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrews, who was killed in Afghanistan in September of 2009, say they are "furious" after hearing the news that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was released from Taliban captivity in a prisoner swap on May 31, has been returned to active duty while investigators continue to question him about his disappearance in 2009, NBC News reported on Monday.

Many of Bergdahl's comrades have branded Bergdahl a deserter.

Bergdahl walked away from his army unit in 2009 and was subsequently held by the Taliban for five years. He was released on May 31 in exchange for five top Taliban commanders who had been imprisoned at the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba.

Members of Darryn Andrews' platoon told the family that Darryn was searching for Bergdahl when the former was ambushed and killed.

The Defense Dept. said Monday that Bergdahl had been returned to regular Army duty while the investigation into his disappearance continues.

Officials said that Bergdahl has finished receiving therapy and counseling at an Army hospital in San Antonio, Texas, and that he will now assume a job at the Army North headquarters at the same base.

"He will now return to regular duty within the command where he can contribute to the mission," the army said in a statement.

Two soldiers are reportedly being assigned to help Bergdahl readjust to Army life.

The announcement of Bergdahl's reassignment to active duty infuriated the family of the late Darryn Andrews.

"This is another attempt to give credibility to a deserter to protect the decision to free five extremely dangerous Taliban," Sondra Andrews, the mother of 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrews, told NBC News.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Infamous MS-13 gang using processing center as recruitment hub, Gang Members among Illegal Immigrants housed at US Shelters

From the Washington Times:
The infamous gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, is reportedly taking advantage of the immigration crisis along the U.S. border.

“They’re now using the Nogales processing center as a recruitment hub for new members to come in,” Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich reported Friday. “They’re trying to recruit other teenage boys that are sharing cells with them and they’re using the phones that the Red Cross has set up. They’re supposed to be using those to call back home or to call family members in the United States. They’re also using those as a way to communicate with gang members already in U.S. cities.”

Miss Pavlich’s information came from a Border Patrol executive summary obtained by, which confirmed that at least 16 unaccompanied illegal minors have been identified as members of MS-13.

A U.S. Border Patrol agent contacted National Review in June about gang members who are allowed into the country, saying “If he’s a confirmed gang member in his own country, why are we letting him in here?...

Miss Pavlich told Fox News that members of the El Salvadorian gang were scheduled for placement somewhere in the United States. She said ,Immigration and Customs Enforcement policy has been to release illegal immigrants with a notice to appear at a future court date.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

UN: Afghan Civilian casualties continued to spike in first half of 2014

According to the latest report released by The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Wednesday, there was a 24% increase in the number of Afghan civilians killed and wounded in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period last year, which once again raises the question: How can the President remove US and allied combat troops from the Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and boast that he has implemented a successful exit strategy when violence in the country - over the last several years - has constantly been on the rise?

In the first six months of 2014, UNAMA documented 4,853 civilian casualties, up 24 per cent over the same period in 2013. Included in the casualty toll were 1,564 civilian deaths and 3,289 injuries, up 17 and 28 per cent from the same time period last year, respectively. Child civilian casualties increased by 34 percent from the same period last year; women civilian casualties increased by 24 per cent.

The UN report also noted that, compared with the first six months of 2009, the number of Afghan civilians killed by insurgents doubled in 2014.

The UN report also noted that the closure and transfer, in 2013, of more than 86 bases belonging to the U.S.-led coalition helped facilitate the rise in civilian casualties, because, prior to those closures, the US-led coalition prevented the Taliban from moving into the more populated areas of Afghanistan.

The "perceived lack of control" by Afghan security forces, who took over security duties from the departing US-led coalition, emboldened the insurgents to amass larger attack groups, which resulted in increased civilian casualties, the report noted.

A UN report released in February noted that there was a 14% increase in the number of Afghan civilians who were killed and wounded in 2013 compared to 2012.

A UN official noted on Wednesday: "In 2014, we found that the fight is increasingly taking place in communities, in public places, near playgrounds, near the homes of ordinary Afghans, with death and injury particularly to women and children in a continued disturbing upward spiral."

On Wednesday, 10 Afghan civilians and four NATO soldiers were killed in an attack in eastern Afghanistan when a suicide bomber blew himself up near a NATO patrol.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

The AP reported on Tuesday that four policemen and four civilians were killed in Kandahar when a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives in front of the police headquarters while about a dozen gunmen stormed into the area. An explosives-laden car then blew up near the gates of the nearby governor's compound. At least 10 civilians, including a child, also were wounded.

On Monday, five Afghan police officers and five Afghan civilians were killed in separate Taliban attacks.

That was just a small sampling of some of the recent violence.

Questions: So, how can Obama withdraw US troops from Afghanistan when violence and civilian casualties are constantly on the rise? And, why is Obama so boastful about bringing the Afghan war to a disastrous and irresponsible end?

Answer: Because he is Obama.

And, while that may not appear to be a satisfactory answer, it is, nevertheless. the correct answer in a nutshell...........

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Jill Tahmooressi "outraged" that Obama administration abandoned her son, says "It feels totally inhumane!"

U.S. Marine sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi - who has spent the last 100 days languishing in a Mexican jail after taking a wrong turn and accidentally crossing the Mexican border - is finally getting his day in court on Wednesday, and he has expressed a sense of hopefulness that the presiding judge will release him when he hears his testimony. However, Tahmooressi's attorney cautioned that there is no guarantee that Tahmooressi will be released any time soon.

Tahmooressi's mother, Jill, while noting that her son has expressed a sense of hope that he will soon be released, nevertheless said that "it would be a miracle if he's released on Wednesday."

"I'm praying for a miracle," she said.

One thing is for certain, if and when Andrew Tahmooressi is finally set free, President Obama no doubt will try to take credit for the Marine sergeant's release, when in reality he refused to lift even a finger to help Tahmooressi. For ultimately Obama is an expert at taking credit for other people's achievements, even those achievements - other achievements - that he himself tried to torpedo. But I won't elaborate on that point right now.

Although Jill Tahmooressi is praying for a miracle for her son, she nevertheless published an op-ed on CNN saying that she is "outraged" that the Obama administration has abandoned her son. "It feels totally inhumane," she says.

Excerpted from Jill Tahmooressi's op-ed piece:
This young man [Andrew] who valiantly fought for the freedom of others, willing to die to combat the evil of oppression and violence in two tours in Afghanistan, meritoriously promoted to sergeant on the battlefield in 2012 — and now he is languishing in a Mexican penitentiary and experiencing captivity for the first time, as a result of one wrong turn.

It is simply staggering. He has been incarcerated since April 1, for inadvertently crossing the border.

In Afghanistan, he had his Marine Corps brothers who always had his back. I feel like our executive branch has abandoned him, and it feels totally inhumane.

The White House has not responded to us despite our petition on, which has nearly 130,000 signatures. The White House says it will respond to petitions that get 100,000 signatures in 30 days.

On a trip to Mexico in May, Secretary of State John Kerry “raised the issue” with authorities there.
[He merely "raised the issue." Heh......]

I am outraged. Andrew’s situation should be considered a grave, serious and urgent concern...

Through faith, I will continue choosing not to be crippled by the weight of the dismay, trauma, and disbelief associated with this, and I will be steadfast in my determination to overcome the barriers of this injustice...

I know that through the collective strength of prayer and the unified focus of individual Americans standing together as advocates, there will be victory for Andrew.

More Obama Hypocrisy: Female White House Staffers Got Smaller Raises Than Men

The Washington Post reported last week that the gap in pay between male and female employees in the Obama White House still remains the same in 2014 as it was in 2009, with male employees making 13% more than their female counterparts.
The White House has not narrowed the gap between the average pay of male and female employees since President Obama’s first year in office, according to a Washington Post analysis of new salary data.

The average male White House employee currently earns about $88,600, while the average female White House employee earns about $78,400, according to White House data released Tuesday. That is a gap of 13 percent.

In 2009, male employees made an average of about $82,000, compared to an average of $72,700 earned by female employees — also a 13 percent wage gap.

One of the key reasons is that more men hold the higher-paying, senior jobs in the White House, and more women hold the lower-paying, junior jobs...

Obama has made pay equity a central cause this year, and he is advocating passage of legislation that would give women more opportunities to learn whether they are being paid a wage in line with their male peers. “This is not a women’s issue, this is a family issue,” Obama said last month in Pittsburgh.
But sadly, female employees in the Obama White House do not need new legislation to learn whether they are being paid a wage in line with their male peers; they are clearly making significantly less.

White House officials, though, noted to the Post in lame fashion that six women in the White House have received high profile promotions in the past year.

But unfortunately, Business Insider pointed out today that, "the women who were promoted at the White House received smaller raises than men."
Salary data released last week revealed average male staffers at the White House earn about 13% more than their female counterparts. The White House responded by pointing out six female staffers received high profile promotions in the past year. However, according to data collected by the conservative consulting firm Target Point, the women who were promoted at the White House received smaller raises than men.

While the average man promoted at the White House received a 24.4% raise, Target Point found the average raise for a promoted woman was 18.5%. Target Point also found 46 men were promoted at the White House between 2013 and 2014 compared to 41 women. Additionally, the firm noted 88 women left White House jobs in the past year while only 77 men departed.

Target Point Senior Vice President and Chief Data Scientist Alex Lundry said this data shows "the White House's hypocrisy on this issue is stunning" as President Barack Obama has made equal pay for women a major part of his agenda this year.

"The data clearly reveal that its not just salary for which there are significant differences between men and women, but also raises, promotions, and turnover," said Lundry. "Empirically, this White House does not treat their male and female employees the same."

On July 2, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest addressed the fact there is a pay disparity between male and female staffers at the same time the president is attempting to address this same issue nationally.

"I wouldn’t hold up the White House as the perfect example here," Earnest said at his daily briefing...

Earnest did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider Tuesday about the statistics on staffer raises.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hillary Clinton Distances herself from Obama ahead of 2016 Presidential Election

Hillary Clinton's tenure as a member of the Obama administration was a complete and absolute disaster, the epitome of incompetence and convoluted ideology - just like Obama's 5½ years in office. Nevertheless, Hillary is still planning on running for the Presidency in 2016. Hence, she has no choice but to cunningly distance herself from Obama and his disastrous Presidency in the hope that the US electorate will lose sight of her own dreadful policies, twisted ideologies and complete ineptness.

From the Wall Street Journal:
Hillary Clinton has begun distancing herself from President Barack Obama, suggesting that she would do more to woo Republicans and take a more assertive stance toward global crises, while sounding more downbeat than her former boss about the U.S. economic recovery.

People are "really, really nervous" about their future, Mrs. Clinton said at an event in Colorado last week that included hints of her emerging strategy to convey that she would be more effective in the pursuit of Democratic policy goals than Mr. Obama has been during his time in office.

"They don't think the economy has recovered in a way that has helped them or their families," Mrs. Clinton said...

Mrs. Clinton hasn't repudiated Mr. Obama..., and comments aimed at highlighting her differences with Mr. Obama are often implied rather than stated bluntly.

But in tone and substance, the presumed presidential candidate has made clear in recent public appearances that she wouldn't be running for a de facto third Obama term in the White House. The strategy could help Mrs. Clinton tackle one of her biggest challenges if she decides to run: how to separate herself from Mr. Obama without alienating Democrats and Obama supporters.

The balancing act likely would be even trickier for Vice President Joe Biden, another potential Democratic candidate in 2016. Mr. Biden, closely tied to the White House and its foreign and domestic policies, could find it enormously difficult to chart an independent path if he launches a campaign...

Bill Whalen, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and former chief speech writer for Pete Wilson when the Republican was California's governor, suggested that Mrs. Clinton's distancing strategy at least partly reflects Mr. Obama's lackluster popularity.

"If the president had 60% approval ratings, she would be hitching her wagon to him," Mr. Whalen said. "At 40%, he's an anchor." Still, given the delicate spot Mrs. Clinton is in, "to the extent that she throws him under the bus, she has to run over him at a very slow speed."...

Mrs. Clinton expressed skepticism of candidates with "beautiful vision" at a CNN event last month, while Mr. Obama still hammers on his 2008 campaign mantra: "Hope."

"I mean, some people can paint a beautiful vision," Hillary said at the CNN event last month. "And, thankfully, we can all learn from that. But then, can you, with the tenacity, the persistence, the getting-knocked down/getting-back-up resilience, can you lead us there?"...

As she mulls a presidential bid, Mrs. Clinton also has suggested that her husband's administration offers a more viable model for governing in polarized times than Mr. Obama's.

Partisanship in the 1990s was as grave as it is today, she suggested at the Colorado event. Nevertheless, Mr. Clinton made inroads with... Republican lawmakers, Mrs. Clinton said...

"Bill never stopped reaching out to them," she said...

Building those relationships on Capitol Hill "is something there is no rest from," she added.
Incidentally, Hillary's comments at last month's CNN event in which she said, "Some people can paint a beautiful vision..., but... can you lead us there?" is reminiscent of the remarks she made during her 2008 Democratic Presidential campaign when she mocked Obama and said the following:

"None of the problems we face will be easily solved... Now, I could stand up here and say, ‘Let’s just get everybody together! Let’s get unified! The skies will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect!' Maybe I’ve just lived a little long, but I have no illusions about how hard this is going to be. You are not going to wave a magic wand..."

Nevertheless, Hillary's mocking of Obama aside, she still needs him, and she still needs his support, hence her criticism of Obama has been guarded and restrained, and she has been heedful not to throw him under the bus completely.

And while Obama can not possibly run for a third term in office, he still can not afford to alienate the Clintons and their supporters. Hence, he continues to be even more careful not to offend Hillary.

The Wall Street Journal, in the aforementioned article, noted that when it contacted the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton's office for comment, it received the following response:
A senior Obama administration official said the White House is supportive of Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Obama's team understands there will be moments when Mrs. Clinton and the White House aren't in lock step, the official said. Mrs. Clinton's office didn't respond to a request for comment.

Poll: Obama Worst President since World War II, America would be better off with Romney

Barack Obama is the worst president since World War II, according to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released on Wednesday which showed that 33% of the poll respondents named him the worst President since World War II, the highest percentage from among the twelve US Presidents who served in office since World War II. None of the other Presidents received 33%.

Additionally, the poll showed that a significant majority of Americans believe the country "would be better off than it is today" if Mitt Romney had won the 2012 presidential election instead of Barack Obama. 45% hold that view, while 38% believe the country would be worse off with Romney in office.

The poll also showed that, on his handling of most key issues, the President has significantly high disapproval ratings.

Among those key issues:

55% of Americans disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the economy, 40% approve.

57% of Americans disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling foreign policy, 37% approve.

58% of Americans disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling health care, 40% approve.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Figurines in Valerie Jarrett's office bow down to her

From The Blaze:
Earlier this week, during NBC’s exclusive peek inside the world of Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s closest adviser, the network’s cameras picked up on a little something that may have gone unnoticed. It has to do with three little figurines placed in her office, right in front of a picture of Jarrett.

Those figurines? They’re all bowing down to her...

A quick Internet search reveals that the figurines are part of a picture frame that’s available for purchase. [The picture frame is called the "Starstruck" picture frame!] How much? According to the site it can be yours for $18.47:

On Tuesday afternoon, Jarrett responded to our story with a little explanation. As we suggested, she said it was a gag gift:
Don’t worry friends, it was a gag gift. Us strong women don’t need worship — just an economy for the 21st century. #WomenSucceed

— Valerie Jarrett (@vj44) July 1, 2014
Jarrett is correct; strong women don't need worship. But whoever gave her the gag gift apparently felt that she has become an all powerful, worshipable and feared adviser to President Messiah [Obama].

And while the gift that Jarrett received might have been a gag, the gift that the American people received when Obama, Jarrett and their left-wing colleagues took over the White House is certainly not a gag! Quite the contrary, it's a serious and extremely sad gift that has the American people gagging for breath 24/7... Pun intended.......