Tag Archives: Marco Rubio

12 Republican senators voted against Trump’s national emergency to build border wall

Bridget Bowman reports for Roll Call that yesterday, 12 Republican senators joined every Demonrat senator in voting for a resolution to block President Trump invoking a national emergency at the southern border so as to build the wall with defense funds. Trump had declared a national emergency last month after the Democrat-dominant House refused to appropriate his requested $5+ billion funds for a border wall.

See “The Trump Show” on Trump’s declaration of national emergency to build border wall, and “Ann Coulter: By signing the budget deal, Trump signs away his right as CIC to build the wall“.

The resolution passed the Senate, 59-41, after passing the House late last month.

The Gang of 12 Republicans includes so-called “moderate” senators — one of whom is up for re-election in 2020 — and so-called “conservatives”. 6 of the 12 serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Here are the 12 Republican senators who voted to thwart President Trump’s national emergency declaration:

(1) Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee: A 3-term senator and member of the Appropriations Committee said in a statement yesterday ahead of the vote that although he supports the president on border security, the emergency declaration sets a dangerous precedent: “His declaration to take an additional $3.6 billion that Congress has appropriated for military hospitals, barracks and schools is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution that I swore an oath to support and defend.” Alexander announced last December that he would not run for re-election in 2020.

(2) Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri: A senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Blunt is concerned about the precedent Trump’s declaration of emergency would set. Blunt was re-elected to a second Senate term in 2016. (He served several terms in the House before running for Senate in 2010.)

(3) Sen. Susan Collins of Maine: Not only is this POS pro-late term abortions, Collins actually co-sponsored the resolution ostensiblyout of concern for the precedent an emergency declaration would set for the powers of the executive branch. The four-term senator is likely to face her toughest re-election next year, with Democrats raising millions of dollars for a yet-to-be-determined challenger after she voted for Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

(4) Sen. Mike Lee of Utah: First elected in 2010, Lee announced his support for the resolution Wednesday after Trump rejected Lee’s offer of a compromise to curtail future national emergency declarations through an amendment of the National Emergencies Act to include the automatic termination of future emergencies after 30 days unless Congress authorizes the emergency to continue. Lee said in a statement announcing his decision that “For decades, Congress has been giving far too much legislative power to the executive branch.”  One of the most conservative senators, Lee is up for re-election in 2022.

(5) Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas: A member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Moran tweeted that “I share President Trump’s goal of securing our borders, but expanding the powers of the presidency beyond its constitutional limits is something I cannot support.” Moran is up for a third term in 2022.

(6) Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska: Another pro-abort POS, Murkowski said in a floor speech earlier this month: “Congress is a co-equal branch of government and as such Congress should stand up for itself.” She is not up for re-election until 2022.

(7) Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky: Earlier this month, Paul announced at a GOP Lincoln Day dinner that he would support the resolution because Congress did not appropriate the funds Trump was looking to use for the border wall, and “If we take away those checks and balances, it’s a dangerous thing.” A self-described libertarian, Paul was re-elected to the Senate in 2016 after a failed White House bid, and he will not face voters again until 2022.

(8) Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio: Portman had worked with Mike Lee on the compromise resolution. The two-term senator said that while he supported Trump’s request for border wall funding, an emergency declaration is not necessary to secure those funds, and that the declaration would set a “dangerous precedent” by opening “the door for future presidents to implement just about any policy they want.” Portman won re-election by more than 20 points in 2016 and won’t face voters again until 2022.

(9) Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah: Although Romney is a freshman senator, he entered the Senate with a high profile as his party’s 2012 presidential nominee and the former governor of Massachusetts. Critical of Trump in the past, even before Trump officially declared a national emergency, Romney said he “would also expect the president stay within statutory and constitutional limits.” Romney won the open Utah Senate race in 2018 by 32 points, and he is not up for re-election again until 2024.

(10) Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida: Like the others, Rubio too warned of the precedent set by Trump’s national emergency. A member of Senate Appropriations, he said in February that while he agrees there is a crisis at the southern border, “a future president may use this exact same tactic to impose the Green New Deal.” Rubio won re-election by 8 points in 2016 after an unsuccessful run for the GOP nomination for president. Trump carried Florida by just 1 point in 2016.

(11) Sen. Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania: A “conservative” Republican, Toomey had occasionally broken with President Trump in the past, particularly on Trump’s use of tariffs. Toomey told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he supports Trump’s effort to build a border wall, but the declaration of a national emergency was “a very important separation of powers issue.” Toomey narrowly won re-election in 2016 when Trump won Pennsylvania by less than a point.

(12) Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi: The two-term senator, who’s the chairman of the Commerce Committee and the second-highest-ranked Republican on the Armed Services Committee, also had “serious reservations” about what an emergency declaration would do to the separation of powers. Wicker said in a statement earlier this week: “The precedent we set this year might empower a future liberal President to declare emergencies to enact gun control or to address ‘climate emergencies,’ or even to tear down the wall we are building today.” Wicker, an Air Force veteran, won re-election comfortably last fall in a state Trump carried by nearly 20 points in 2016.

Today, President Trump used his veto powers for the first time to overturn the Congressional resolution, calling it “reckless”. He said: “Today I am vetoing this resolution. Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it.” To override his veto would require two-thirds of the vote in both the House and the Senate, and the Senate doesn’t have the 67 votes needed for an override. (New York Post).

For all the Gang of 12’s concerns about the separation of powers and Trump setting a “dangerous precedent” by declaring a state of national emergency, one would think such declarations are rarely invoked.

Not so.

The fact of the matter is there have been 58 national emergencies declared by presidents since 1979 under the National Emergencies Act of 1975, 31 of which are still active national emergencies. Below are the number of national emergencies declared by President Carter and after:

  • Jimmy Carter: 2 — one of which is still active.
  • Ronald Reagan: 6 — none of which is active.
  • George H.W. Bush: 5 — none of which is active.
  • Bill Clinton: 17 — 6 of which are still in effect.
  • Barack Obama: 13 — 11 of which are still active.
  • Donald Trump: 3. (Source: CBS News, citing the Brennan Center)

H/t Kelleigh

~Eowyn

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Brett Kavanaugh sworn in as Supreme Court Justice!

UPDATE (Oct. 9):

Justice Brett Kavanaugh is already at work! He hired his clerks — all women — and will participate in oral arguments before the Supreme Court today.

This afternoon, Brett Kavanaugh, 53, was sworn in as 114th Supreme Court justice, hours after the Senate voted 50-48 to confirm him.

Chief Justice John Roberts administered the constitutional oath and retired Justice Anthony Kennedy administered the judicial one.

The quick swearing-in enables Kavanaugh to begin work immediately in advance of arguments at the court Tuesday.

Kavanaugh’s wife, children and parents were in attendance. (New York Post)

The Senate voted today to confirm U.S. District Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the next Associate Justice on the Supreme Court, replacing pro-abortion Justice Anthony Kennedy following his retirement.

Kavanaugh was confirmed on a 50-48 vote:

  • All Democrat senators, except Joe Manchin (WV), voted “no” against Kavanaugh’s nomination.
  • All Republican senators voted “yes,” except pro-abort Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), who voted “present”, and pro-life Steve Daines (Montana), who supported Kavanaugh but was absent due to his daughter’s wedding.

Dianne Feinstein badgering Lisa Murkowski

Kavanaugh secured enough votes yesterday when Senators Susan Collins (R) and Joe Manchin (D) agreed to support him.

Last night, Sen. Collins delivered an extended defense of Kavanaugh’s record and announced her intention to vote in favor of his confirmation. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) took to Twitter to praise Collins’ “strongly held principles” and to denounce the Left’s threats against Collins:

“Most will never know the full extent of the efforts to intimidate & threaten @SenatorCollins on the #Kavanaugh vote. I am not talking about political pressure or people screaming at her in an elevator. I am talking about vicious, vile & dangerous actions.”

On Twitter, deranged Leftists call Collins a “traitor to women”, a “rape apologist”, and demand she be forever harassed in public as a punishment for her vote to confirm Kavanaugh.

Yesterday, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed for cloture on Kavanaugh’s nomination, he said:

“This evening, the Senate will receive the results of the FBI’s supplemental background investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. This is now the seventh time the FBI has looked into Judge Kavanaugh’s background. And this information comes on top of what has already been one of the most thorough, most exhaustive Senate reviews of any Supreme Court nominee in our nation’s history.

Five days of public hearings. Sixty-five private meetings with Senators. More than 1,200 responses to written questions from members. More than 500,000 pages of documents for review — the most produced for any Supreme Court nomination in history. And the 300-plus opinions Judge Kavanaugh has issued during his 12 years on the D.C. Circuit. And now, Senators will have the evidence collected by this additional [FBI] background investigation for their consideration as well.”

Source: LifeNews.com; Breitbart

See our posts on the tortuous and torturous course of Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation:

~Eowyn

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Donations to NRA PAC tripled after Florida shooting

stop the nra

Backfire…


A more accurate headline: Donations to NRA tripled after #GunControlNow crowd goes after NRA. Great job kids!
From NY Post: Contributions to the National Rifle Association’s political action committee tripled in February amid public attacks against the organization following the Feb. 14 high school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Supporters of the Second Amendment donated about $779,000 in February to the NRA’s political arm, the Political Victory Fund, according to recent Federal Election Commission (FEC) data.
The figure marked a more than threefold increase compared to January, when the PAC received nearly $250,000 in donations, and was the fund’s second-best month over the last year.
The NRA has come under fire from gun control activists, who have criticized the group in the wake of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead.
Last weekend, thousands of people rallied in support of gun control during the “March for Our Lives” protest, with many placards openly attacking the NRA. The increasing onslaught against the organization, however, correlated with more donations going to the group’s PAC.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, two weeks before the fatal school shooting, the NRA’s PAC received $27,100 from itemized contributions — donations that exceed $200 — from 51 donors. Over the next two weeks after the shooting, the itemized contributions skyrocketed to nearly $71,000 from 226 donors.
Most donations to the group — totaling $685,099 — came in small donations that did not exceed $200.
Multiple politicians are facing the fury of anti-gun activists who criticize them for accepting the NRA’s support and donations. US Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) is among the primary targets due to the NRA’s support of him, which totals more than $3 million, although actual donations to his campaigns since 2010 totaled only nearly $15,000.
The Political Victory Fund’s donations to individual lawmakers are limited due to election laws that limit contributions to $10,000 per election cycle.
DCG

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Ted Cruz: 'I have no desire to copulate with Trump'

In the brouhaha between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump over their respective wives and the National Enquirer‘s revelation that Cruz has had 5 mistresses — two of whom have been confirmed by the Washington Times — the media have dutifully reported and quoted Cruz’s denial.
From Cruz’s statement on Facebook (see also NBC News’ account of Cruz’s denial):
Ted Cruz Facebook
But what NBC and other mainstream media outlets curiously left out is this rather bizarre part of Cruz’s denial statement, which you can hear for yourself beginning at the 0:52 mark in the news video below:
[youtube=https://youtu.be/Bg2sC37QWfM?t=51s]

[Referring to Trump ally Roger Stone, whom Cruz blames for the National Enquirer story] “Mister Stone is a man who has 50 years of dirty tricks behind him. He’s a man for whom a term was coined for copulating with a rodent. Well, let me be clear: Donald Trump may be a rat but I have no desire to copulate with him.

Now, why would Cruz even think about having sex with Trump, rat or no rat?
Note also that, while denouncing the “attacks” as “garbage,” nowhere in Cruz’s statement does he specifically deny knowing or having had extramarital sex with the five women. Remember that Ted Cruz is a lawyer and, like Bill Clinton, trained and well-versed in legalese parsing.
Instead, Cruz makes a point of denying that he wants to have sex with Trump: “I have no desire to copulate with him.” But who’s accusing Cruz of that? In other words, instead of saying “I did not have sex with those women,” Cruz said “I did not have sex with Donald Trump”!
Cruz’s bizarre denial reminds me of another bizarre comment about Trump by Marco Rubio.
In late February 2016, in response to Trump calling him “little Rubio” (Trump is 6′ 2″ and 69 years old; Rubio is 44 years old and claims to be 5′ 10″, but wears Cuban boots with 2″ heels), Rubio conceded that Trump is taller, but pointed out that Trump has small hands, snidely implying that Trump also has a small penis. To the crowd at a campaign rally in a university in Salem, Virginia, Rubio said:

“And you know what they say about guys with small hands.”

That, in turn, led to the dreadful spectacle at the GOP presidential debate on March 3, 2016, of Trump declaring he doesn’t have small hands or a small penis.
[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oiu501YlkgA]
Meanwhile, the National Enquirer has updated their story on Cruz with 3 more women, bringing the total of Cruz’s alleged mistresses to eight. According to the video below, the brother of one of the liaisons — a married woman — has confirmed the affair. Cruz is said to copulate with these women in “multiple places” — in closets and bathrooms of campaign buses.
[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dB3VXwD6X0&feature=youtu.be]
Internet users on Twitter, Reddit and 4chan quickly went to work to determine the identity of Cruz’s alleged mistresses, using the hashtag #CruzSexScandalThree of the women are said to be Katrina Pierson (who previously had worked for Cruz and is now Trump’s spokesperson!), Sarah Isgur Flores (who had worked as Carly Fiorina’s deputy campaign manager), and Amanda Carpenter (former Ted Cruz communications director).
Both Pierson and Carpenter have issued denials. As for Flores, recall that last July, for some strange reason a Ted Cruz super PAC gave $½ million to Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign — money that Conservative Outfitters claims was “hush money”. (See my post “Something stinks: Ted Cruz’s Super PAC donated $½ million to Carly Fiorina’s campaign”.) Karl Denninger of Market Ticker says that “if that was ‘hush money’ it may well have been a criminal offense and the FEC is already looking into it…..”
H/t my bud Mark S. McGrew and Barry Soetoro Esq.
~Eowyn

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First 2016 Votes: Iowa Caucus results

REPUBLICANS (Cruz):

Record turnout: 52% men; 48% women

  1. Cruz: 28%; 51,649 votes; 8 delegates; 29% men; 27% women
  2. Trump: 24%; 45,416 votes; 7 delegates; 25% men; 24% women
  3. Rubio: 23%; 43,132 votes; 7 delegates; 25% men; 21% women
  4. Carson: 9%; 17,393 votes; 3 delegates
  5. Paul: 4%; 8,478 votes; 1 delegate
  6. Bush: 3%; 5,235 votes; 1 delegate
  7. Fiorina: 2%, 3,483 votes; 0 delegate
  8. Kasich: 2%; 3,473 votes; 0 delegate
  9. Huckabee: 2% 3,344 votes; 0 delegate
  10. Christie: 2%; 3,278 votes; 0 delegate
  11. Santorum: 1%; votes; 1,783 votes; 0 delegate

Source: CNN

DEMOCRATS (tie):

43% men; 57% women

  1. Clinton: 50%; 24 delegates; 44% men; 53% women
  2. Sanders: 40%; 21 delegates; 50% men; 42% women
  3. O’Malley: 1%; 0 delegate

Source: CNN

ANALYSIS:

Polling data had shown Trump with a lead in Iowa for weeks. LifeNews attributes Cruz’s win over Trump to the former’s pro-life record.
According to ThinkProgess, less than a week before the Iowa caucus, Cruz gave the hundreds of Iowans at a rally a list of his pro-life actions as U.S. Senator and former Texas solicitor general, including efforts to de-fund Planned Parenthood, enact parental notification laws, and prohibit partial-birth abortion. Cruz aimed some of his comments specifically at Trump, whom some question about the sincerity of his pro-life stance. Cruz said: “Every candidate in a Republican primary says they’re pro-life. That’s what you say in a Republican primary, regardless of the facts. The question we ought to ask is, don’t tell me that you’re pro-life. Show me. When have you stood up and fought to defend the right to life?”
9 days before the Iowa Caucus, on Jan. 23, 2016, Trump finally outlined his pro-life stance in an op/ed in Washington Examiner. He said America has gone astray because we have moved away from many of this country’s founding principles, most notably the right to life. He said he is pro-life with exceptions only for the very rarest abortions:

“Let me be clear — I am pro-life. I support that position with exceptions allowed for rape, incest or the life of the mother being at risk. I did not always hold this position, but I had a significant personal experience that brought the precious gift of life into perspective for me.”

~Eowyn

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John McCain is a POS

RINO Sen. John McCain was one of the sponsors of the National Defense Authorization Act that gives “authority” to the president and military to arrest and indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without charge or trial.
So it really shouldn’t surprise us that he favors capitulation on raising our national debt ceiling — yet again — and is bawling about conservatives Republicans “pushing too far.”
McCainThe Associated Press reports, May 23, 2013:

Tactics for dealing with the government’s budget and debt became the latest quarrel In a string of them between McCain —sometimes joined by other traditionalist Republicans —and Tea Party champions such as Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah and Marco Rubio of Florida.
Those four won Senate seats by defying the party establishment, and are shaking up the tradition-bound Senate with no-compromise, no-apology stands on key issues like debt and deficits, government spending and the use of drones in the war on terrorism.
McCain himself has defied Republican orthodoxy at times. But he was the party’s 2008 presidential nominee, and he now is among those who say a minority party will accomplish little in the Senate if it can’t find ways to cut deals with the majority.
Cruz, who like Paul is weighing a 2016 presidential bid, renewed his taunts of the party establishment in a speech Thursday on the Senate floor. The more accommodating Republicans, he said, are in cahoots with Democrats to raise the government’s borrowing limit by disabling the GOP’s ability to mount a filibuster threat that could be used to extract spending cuts from Democrats and the White House
[…] Earlier in the day, Lee angered McCain with similar remarks. Lee said Republicans should block a House-Senate conference designed to resolve budget differences because it might ease the Democrats’ effort to raise the government’s borrowing limit. That rankled the sometimes cantankerous McCain, of Arizona. He said the Tea Partyers’ tactics could embolden Democrats who are threatening to change Senate rules that now allow the minority party — or even just one senator— to block various actions.
“That would be the most disastrous outcome that I could ever imagine,” McCain said.
For months, Democrats have complained about Republicans blocking or delaying confirmation of top White House nominees, including some federal judges. Democrats say the impasse over a budget conference is further evidence of a small group of senators in the minority abusing their powers to block actions that in the past would have gone forward after a few speeches.
Supporters of the Tea Party-backed lawmakers say the ongoing IRS and Benghazi controversies have vindicated their sharply partisan, uncompromising views. Republicans cite the controversies as examples of Democratic overreach and obfuscation.
This week’s budget quarrel follows a high-profile split between Tea Partyers and champions of a big defense program over drone attacks, and an intra-GOP disagreement over gun control tactics. It involves an obscure procedural battle and arcane rules governing the congressional budget process. Democrats want to set up an official House-Senate negotiating committee to iron out the gaping differences between the budget plans passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House.
Cruz, Lee and others say they fear House and Senate leaders will use the budget measure to engineer a scenario in which an increase in the government’s borrowing cap could pass the 100-member Senate by a simple majority instead of the 60 votes typically need to overpower the minority on an issue.
McCain and others, like Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., note that House Republicans can block any move by Democratic negotiators to engineer a filibuster-free debt limit increase.
“Isn’t it a little bizarre,” McCain said Wednesday. “Basically what we are saying here on this (Republican) side of the aisle is that we don’t trust our colleagues on the other side of the Capitol who are in the majority, Republicans.”
“Let me be clear. I don’t trust the Republicans,” Cruz responded. “And I don’t trust the Democrats. I think a whole lot of Americans likewise don’t trust the Republicans and the Democrats, because it is leadership in both parties that has gotten us in this mess.”
At a Tea Party rally last month in Texas, Cruz taunted fellow Republicans after the Senate rejected a call for background checks on virtually all prospective gun buyers.
Cruz and other Tea Partyers had threatened to filibuster the gun legislation and keep it from coming to the Senate floor for votes. Other Republicans said the smarter political move — which eventually prevailed — was to let the votes take place, and have a few Democrats join Republicans in rejecting the wider background checks. Cruz suggested that Republicans who favored proceeding with the votes were “a bunch of squishes.”
That earned Cruz a rebuke from the conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page — gleefully retweeted by McCain. “Would it have been right for us to not even debate in light of the Newtown massacre?” McCain said.
[…] Democrats say the debt ceiling must be raised to pay for expenses already incurred by Congress. Failing to raise the ceiling, they say, would trigger a catastrophic default on U.S. obligations.
McCain scuffled with the tea party senators in March after Paul launched a filibuster to warn of the threat of unmanned drone attacks against U.S. citizens on American soil. McCain referred to newcomers like Paul and Cruz as “wacko birds” and said their fears of drone strikes against Americans were “ridiculous.”
“It has been suggested that we are ‘wacko birds,’” Cruz said Thursday. “I will suggest to my friend from Arizona there may be more wacko birds in the Senate than is suspected.”
The split between McCain, 76, and next-generation, 40-something potential 2016 candidates like Paul, Cruz and Rubio also illustrates the broader GOP drift toward the right. McCain has spent decades in the Senate, mixing a penchant for confrontation with a capacity for bipartisan relationships and legislation; the new generation is feistier and more wary of compromise.
H/t FOTM’s tina!
~Eowyn

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Media Bias

media bias

A Tale of the Water-Sipper and the Nose-Picker

media-bias2
[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oQmLzdTl_U]
~Eowyn

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Independent review of Benghazi attack faults State Dept

At long last, more than three months after the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on the 11th anniversary of 9-11, an independent panel has issued its report. (You know, it’s that independent investigation to which Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s so opposed. Snark)
Four Americans were killed in the Benghazi attack: U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and two heroic ex-Navy SEALS Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.
The report finds “systematic security faults” and lays the blame squarely on the U.S. State Department.

chris-stevens1Clockwise from top left: Amb. Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods.

Here are the independent panel’s findings, as reported by Matthew Lee of The Associated Press, December 18, 2012:

  • Systematic management and leadership failures at the State Department led to “grossly” inadequate security at the mission in Benghazi.
  • The State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Near East Affairs are singled out for criticism for their lack of cooperation and confusion over protection at the mission in Benghazi.
  • Despite those failures, the Accountability Review Board determined that no individual officials ignored or violated their duties and recommended no disciplinary action now. But it also said poor performance by senior managers should be grounds for disciplinary recommendations in the future.
  • Contrary to what the Obama regime claimed, linking the Benghazi attack to an anti-Islamic film, there was no protest outside the Benghazi consulate. Responsibility for the attack rests entirely with the terrorists who attacked the mission.
  • Although there was no specific warning of a potential attack on the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, however there had been several worrisome incidents in the run-up to the attack that should have set off warning bells.
  • In addition to the State Department, the independent report also faults contract guards whom the U.S. consulate depended on for protection, as well as the local Libyan militia force who, once the attack began, “it became unclear whose side they were on.”
  • U.S. personnel on the ground in Benghazi “performed with courage and readiness to risk their lives to protect their colleagues in a near-impossible situation.” [Sob….] Those personnel include Diplomatic Security agents on the scene (including Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty) and CIA operatives at a nearby compound that later came under attack itself.
  • The U.S. military is absolved from any blame: “There was simply not enough time for armed U.S. military assets to have made a difference.”

The report made 29 recommendations to improve embassy security, particularly at high threat posts. Hillary Clinton said the State Department had already begun to implement some of the recommendations — increasing by several hundred the number of Marine guards stationed at diplomatic missions throughout the world; relying less on local security forces for protection at embassies, consulates and other offices; and increasing hiring and deployment of highly trained Diplomatic Security agents at at-risk posts. But Congress has denied some funding requests from the State Department for more security.
The Benghazi independent review was led by retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen. The review studied thousands of pages of cables and other documents, hours of video and intelligence, and interviewed more than 100 people, including survivors. They will testify before the House and Senate foreign affairs committees behind closed doors today, Dec. 19, 2012.
None of this should come as a surprise to informed Americans because we’ve known for months now that Obama and the State Department had lied about Benghazi from the beginning.

Hillary BlofeldSeparated at birth: James Bond villain Ernst Blofeld & Hillary Clinton

As for Hillary, she is supposed to testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Benghazi tomorrow. But lo and behold, two days ago we were told she got a BRAIN CONCUSSION (gasp!) when she fainted (gasp!) at home and hit her head (gasp!). The State Department says she fainted from dehydration after a “stomach virus”.
According to WebMD, brain concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. In rare cases concussions cause more serious problems.
Oddly, despite having a BRAIN CONCUSSION (gasp!), there are no reports that Hillary has sought medical care or gone to a hospital.
So much for her grand and noble and empty proclamation on Oct. 15, 2012, that “I take responsibility” for what happened in Benghazi.
See also:

~Eowyn

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Obama purges U.S. military command (Part 1)

Several days ago, FOTM’s lowtechgrannie posted a video of a media rarity — a reporter who doesn’t toe the party line and isn’t afraid to speak the truth. He’s Fox19 Cincinnati news anchor and investigative reporter Ben Swann.
At the end of the video, Swann noted that in the space of less than one month after the 7-hour Islamic terrorist attack of September 22, 2012, on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, four high-level U.S. military flag officers had been removed, for one ostensible reason or another. The four are Generals Petraeus, Allen, and Ham, and Admiral Gaouette. (In the U.S. military, flag officers are general officers in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard of such senior rank that they are entitled to fly their own flags to mark where the officer exercises command.)
Swann withheld speculating on what this quite unprecedented attrition of senior U.S. military officers means. But this attrition cries out for some effort at explanation, no matter how speculative.

We’ll begin with the facts that we’ve been told.

1. General David Petraeus

Gen. Petraeus and Paula Broadwell

Gen. Petraeus and Paula Broadwell


A highly-decorated four-star general who had served over 37 years in the U.S. Army, 60-year-old David Petraeus had been Commander of the International Security Assistance Force; Commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan; 10th Commander, U.S. Central Command; and Commanding General of Multi-National Force – Iraq who oversaw all coalition forces in Iraq.
On September 6, 2011, Obama recruited Petraeus to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. A week before, in anticipation of that appointment, Petraeus had retired from the U.S. Army.
Petraeus lasted 14 months as CIA director. On November 9, 2012, he resigned from the CIA, citing his extramarital affair with Paula Broadwell, a married woman who is the principal author of Petraeus’ biography, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus. Petraeus claims that the affair had begun in late 2011 when he was no longer an active duty military officer, and ended in the summer of 2012. The affair reportedly was discovered in the course of an FBI investigation into harassing emails that Broadwell had been sending to Jill Kelley, a Tampa socialite and a longstanding family friend of the Petraeuses whom Broadwell perceived to be a romantic rival.

2. General John R. Allen

Gen. Allen (l); Jill Kelley (r)

Gen. Allen (l); Jill Kelley (r)


A four-star general of the U.S. Marine Corps, 58-year-old General John Allen had succeeded Petraeus as Commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan on July 18, 2011. He was nominated to be NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, pending confirmation by the United States Senate.
As part of the fallout of the Petraeus-Broadwell affair, correspondence between Allen and Jill Kelley also came to light. The FBI reportedly uncovered 20,000 to 30,000 pages of correspondence — mostly email — between Allen and Kelley from 2010 to 2012.  Reportedly, their correspondence was “flirtatious” and “inappropriate” as Allen and Kelley are both married, but not to each other. (Good grief. How could a 4-star general even have so much free time as to write 20,000 to 30,000 emails in the space of two years to ANYONE?)
On November 13, 2012, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta suspended Allen’s confirmation hearing, pending investigations into the general’s “inappropriate communication” with Kelley. Panetta also requested Congress to speed the confirmation of General Joseph Dunford to take over as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. In effect, not only will Allen not be promoted, he has lost his present command post in Afghanistan.

3. General Carter F. Ham

U.S. Army General Carter Ham

A well-decorated U.S. Army general, 60-year-old Ham became Commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) on March 8, 2011.
U.S. AFRICOM is one of nine Unified Combatant Commands of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). As one of six that are regionally focused, AFRICOM is devoted solely to Africa. James S. Robbins of The Washington Times writes that Gen. Ham “is a very well regarded officer who made AFRICOM into a true Combatant Command after the ineffective leadership of his predecessor, General William E. ‘Kip’ Ward.”
On October 18, 2012, in a DoD news briefing, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that Gen. Ham was relieved fired: “Today I am very pleased to announce that President Obama will nominate Army Gen. David Rodriguez to succeed Gen. Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command.”
According to Joint doctrine, “the tour length for combatant commanders and Defense agency directors is three years.” But Gen. Ham had only been in the commander position at AFRICOM for a year and a half and the informal word was that he wasn’t scheduled to rotate out until March 2013.
Pat Dollard of BareNakedIslam claims that the scuttlebutt is that, on September 11, 2012, Gen. Ham had received the same e-mails the White House received — from our people in Benghazi, requesting help/support as the terrorist attack was taking place. Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had the unit ready. Dollard writes:

“General Ham then received the order to stand down. His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.”

Gen. Ham’s “second in command” is not named. The Pentagon’s official line is that Ham had retired.

4. Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette

Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette

Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette


The recipient of various personal decorations and unit awards, including the Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Award for inspirational leadership in 2003, Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette was promoted to Commander of Carrier Strike Group 3 (aka John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group) in April 2012.
Carrier Strike Group 3 is one of five U.S. Navy carrier strike groups currently assigned to the U.S. Pacific Fleet. U.S. Navy carrier strike groups are employed in a variety of roles that involve gaining and maintaining sea control and projecting power ashore, as well as projecting naval airpower ashore.
The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis is the strike group’s current flagship, and as of 2012, other units assigned to Carrier Strike Group 3 include Carrier Air Wing Nine; the guided-missile cruisers USS Mobile Bay and USS Antietam; and the ships of Destroyer Squadron 21, the guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer, USS Dewey, USS Kidd, and USS Milius.
Carrier Group Three formed the core of the naval power during the initial phase of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001. “Operation Enduring Freedom” is the official name used by the U.S. government for the War in Afghanistan, together with a number of smaller military actions, under the umbrella of the Global “War on Terror”. On 16 July 2012, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that the scheduled deployment of Carrier Strike Group Ten was advanced by four months, with its anticipated area of operation shifting from the U.S. Seventh Fleet in the Western Pacific to the U.S. Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf and North Arabian Sea. On 27 August 2012, four months ahead of schedule, Carrier Strike Group Three departed for an eight-month deployment to the U.S. Fifth Fleet under the command of Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette.
On October 27, 2012, the commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, Vice Admiral John W. Miller, ordered the temporary re-assignment of Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette pending the results of an investigation by the Naval Inspector General. Gaouette’s chief of staff, Captain William C. Minter, will lead the strike group until the arrival of Rear Admiral Troy M. (“Mike”) Shoemaker, who will assume command of the strike group.
Tom Lombardo writes for the Navy Times, Oct. 27, 2012, that Adm. Gaouette was relieved, mid-deployment, and is accused of “inappropriate leadership judgment,” according to a Navy official familiar with the case. Gaouette was told to go home — to return to the Carrier Strike Group’s homeport in Bremerton, Washington, until the investigation is complete.

There you have it. Within two months after the Benghazi attack, four senior U.S. military officers were purged:

  • Gen. Ham, on October 18.
  • Adm. Gaouette, on October 27.
  • Gen. Petraeus, on November 9.
  • Gen. Allen, on November 13.

Ostensibly, Petraeus’ “retirement” and Allen’s suspended promotion are due to both men’s moral conduct. But surely we are not so naive as to think that Petraeus and Allen are the only U.S. military officers who’ve ever committed adultery or written flirtatious email. As for Ham’s “retirement” and Gaouette’s “temporary re-assignment” (reassignment to what?), there is not even a whisper that either man’s morals or personal conduct is at issue.
So what should we make of all this? Is it all just coincidence or something more sinister?
Ann Barnhardt, in her blog of Nov. 13, 2012, calls it Obama’s “night of the long knives.”
The last step in Hitler’s quest for total, dictatorial power was the purging of the German military of any factions that were in any way autonomous and not 100% loyal to him, specifically the SA (Sturmabteilung or Storm Detachment). The SA was run by Ernst Rohm. On June 30, 1934, the “Night of the Long Knives” was executed when Hitler had Rohm and the rest of the SA leaders killed. Hitler publicly explained that the purge was executed because of sexual perversion in the ranks of the SA who were “plotting” against him.
Barnhardt writes:

And now, the Obama putsch regime is purging them and anyone else they deem to be a threat. It won’t surprise me if Petraeus is indeed court martialed and stripped of his pension, because that is what the rest of the flag officer corps fears more than death. Make an example of Petraeus, and maybe Allen, and that will whip the rest of them into line.

This process of a totalitarian oligarchy constantly purging its own ranks in fits of paranoia and demands for total personal loyalty is as old as the hills. Lenin and Stalin eventually murdered almost every person that entered their inner-circles. Same with Mao. Same with Saddam Hussein. Same with the three Kims in North Korea. Beyond the Night of the Long Knives, Hitler was also having his own people killed continuously.

Just as the Night of the Long Knives in ’34 was just the beginning, so too is this situation in the former American republic just the beginning.

Writing for Veterans Today, Gordon Duff has an even more provocative take on the four military officers:

The decision [to fire Admiral Gaouette] was made based on a conversation with the Secretary of Defense who, at the end of the talk, believed Gaouette was part of a group of military officers who have been under suspicion for planning a “Seven Days in May” type overthrow of the US government if President Obama is re-elected.

This is not conjecture, dozens of key officers face firing, hundreds are under investigation, all with direct ties to extremist elements in the Republican Party and the Israeli lobby.

Reports received are sourced at the highest levels of the Pentagon and indicate that the administration has been aware of these plans for months.

Whatever the truth, one thing of which we can be sure is that the firings of three generals and an admiral have something (or everything) to do with the Benghazi attack. It’ll be interesting if the newly-elected 113th U.S. Congress will conduct serious investigations and hearings on Benghazi, although Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) is already on record as being opposed to an independent investigation.
I wouldn’t hold my breath….
Click here for Part 2 of “Obama purges U.S. military command”.
~Eowyn

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Senate passes amendment to limit NDAA – Update

Yesterday, Nov. 29, 2012, at 10:05 p.m. (EST), the United States Senate passed an amendment to address the most repugnant part of the notorious National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013 — the authorization of the federal government to arrest and indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without charge or trial.
The purpose of Amendment No. 3018 to S. 3254 is “To clarify that an authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.”
Towards that purpose, a section is added at the end of subtitle D of title X of the NDAA law, to read:

Section 1032. Prohibition of the Indefinite Detention of Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents

Section 4001 of title 18, United States Code, is amended … by inserting after subsection (a) the following:

“(b)(1) An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without cause or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention.

“(b)(2) Paragraph (1) applies to an authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority enacted before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013.

“(b)(3) Paragraph (1) shall not be construed to authorize the detention of a citizen of the United States, a lawful permanent resident of the United States, or any other person who is apprehended in the United States.”

[Source: Amendment No. 3018, in PDF]
The amendment was sponsored by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif), and has 17 co-sponsors:

  • 9 Democrats: Chris Coons, Frank Lautenberg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jon Tester, Tim Johnson, Sheldon Whitehouse, Max Baucus, Mark Begich, John D. Rockefeller.
  • 7 Republicans: Susan Collins, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Mark Kirk, Dean Heller, Jim DeMint, Jim Webb.
  • 1 Independent: Bernie Sanders.

The amendment passed 67-29 (4 not voting).

Can you believe that 29 senators (25 Republicans; 3 Democrats; 1 Independent) actually voted “no” on this amendment? That means these 29 senators actually are in favor of the arrest and detention of U.S. citizens without charge or trial!!!!
Here’s a list of the senators who voted “Nay” or “No,” followed by a list of those who voted “Yea” or “Yes”. Republicans are colored red; Democrats are colored blue. [Source: United States Senate]
Nay (25 Republicans, 3 Democrats, 1 Independent):

  1. Ayotte (R-NH)
  2. Brown (R-MA)
  3. Burr (R-NC)
  4. Chambliss (R-GA)
  5. Coats (R-IN)
  6. Cochran (R-MS)
  7. Cornyn (R-TX)
  8. Grassley (R-IA)
  9. Hatch (R-UT)
  10. Hutchison (R-TX)
  11. Isakson (R-GA)
  12. Johanns (R-NE)
  13. Johnson (R-WI)
  14. Kyl (R-AZ)
  15. Lieberman (ID-CT)
  16. Lugar (R-IN)
  17. Manchin (D-WV)
  18. McConnell (R-KY)
  19. Nelson (D-NE)
  20. Portman (R-OH)
  21. Pryor (D-AR)
  22. Roberts (R-KS)
  23. Rubio (R-FL)
  24. Sessions (R-AL)
  25. Shelby (R-AL)
  26. Thune (R-SD)
  27. Toomey (R-PA)
  28. Vitter (R-LA)
  29. Wicker (R-MS)

Yeas (46 Democrats, 20 Republicans, 1 Independent):

  1. Akaka (D-HI)
  2. Alexander (R-TN)
  3. Barrasso (R-WY)
  4. Baucus (D-MT)
  5. Begich (D-AK)
  6. Bennet (D-CO)
  7. Bingaman (D-NM)
  8. Blumenthal (D-CT)
  9. Blunt (R-MO)
  10. Boozman (R-AR)
  11. Boxer (D-CA)
  12. Brown (D-OH)
  13. Cantwell (D-WA)
  14. Cardin (D-MD)
  15. Carper (D-DE)
  16. Casey (D-PA)
  17. Coburn (R-OK)
  18. Collins (R-ME)
  19. Conrad (D-ND)
  20. Coons (D-DE)
  21. Corker (R-TN)
  22. Crapo (R-ID)
  23. DeMint (R-SC)
  24. Durbin (D-IL)
  25. Enzi (R-WY)
  26. Feinstein (D-CA)
  27. Franken (D-MN)
  28. Gillibrand (D-NY)
  29. Graham (R-SC)
  30. Hagan (D-NC)
  31. Harkin (D-IA)
  32. Hoeven (R-ND)
  33. Inhofe (R-OK)
  34. Inouye (D-HI)
  35. Johnson (D-SD)
  36. Kerry (D-MA)
  37. Klobuchar (D-MN)
  38. Kohl (D-WI)
  39. Landrieu (D-LA)
  40. Lautenberg (D-NJ)
  41. Leahy (D-VT)
  42. Lee (R-UT)
  43. Levin (D-MI)
  44. McCain (R-AZ)
  45. McCaskill (D-MO)
  46. Menendez (D-NJ)
  47. Merkley (D-OR)
  48. Mikulski (D-MD)
  49. Moran (R-KS)
  50. Murkowski (R-AK)
  51. Murray (D-WA)
  52. Nelson (D-FL)
  53. Rand Paul (R-KY)
  54. Reed (D-RI)
  55. Reid (D-NV)
  56. Risch (R-ID)
  57. Sanders (I-VT)
  58. Schumer (D-NY)
  59. Shaheen (D-NH)
  60. Snowe (R-ME)
  61. Stabenow (D-MI)
  62. Tester (D-MT)
  63. Udall (D-CO)
  64. Udall (D-NM)
  65. Warner (D-VA)
  66. Webb (D-VA)
  67. Whitehouse (D-RI)

Note that more Republican senators voted AGAINST than FOR the amendment (25 v. 20), whereas more Democrat senators voted FOR than AGAINST the amendment (46 v. 3).
The GOP truly is dead.
See also:

UPDATE (Dec. 1, 2012):

The Senate’s passage of this amendment is generating a lot of buzz on the Internet, with some being troubled by the qualifying phrase “unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention” in what some call the amendment’s key sentence, (b)(1):
(b)(1) An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without cause or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention.
However, the amendment qualifies (b)(1) with (b)(3), which leaves out the phrase “unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention”:
(b)(3) Paragraph (1) shall not be construed to authorize the detention of a citizen of the United States, a lawful permanent resident of the United States, or any other person who is apprehended in the United States.
This, however, begs the question of why have (b)(1) in the first place, if (b)(3) then qualifies it by leaving out the “unless an Act of Congress” phrase? Why not strike out (b)(1) altogether?
To further confuse matters, Michael Kelly of Business Insider contends that the amendment actually makes it EASIER for government to detain U.S. citizens indefinitely.
H/t Sage_brush for the Business Insider tip.
~Eowyn

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