Never Again and Again
and Again and Again

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

US ATTEMPTS TO RE-DEFINE SWITCHBLADES

Ok. Non-gun rant here.

What most of you don't know is I like my guns, sure. But I love knives. I've been a knife collector for nearly 30 years. Currently have near 800 (maybe more) in my collection.

But more importantly, collector or not, this piece of legislation could affect ANYONE who carries a pocketknife, even a ubquitous innocuous red handled Swiss Army Knife.

And if you carry a Benchmade or a Spyderco or an Al Mar or a Kershaw LOOK OUT if this goes through.

Write to the buffoons in D.C. This needs to be stopped.

The dark slide into Marxism continues. . .

h/t anti-mullah:


US ATTEMPTS TO RE-DEFINE SWITCHBLADES – WOULD MAKE MOST POCKET KNIVES ILLEGAL

Breaking News: We have received word that U.S. Customs & Border Protection has DENIED the numerous requests for extension that it had received and is planning to stick with the June 21 deadline for comments.

CBP's denial of an extension seems to be a clear indication that they do not intend to act in a fair and reasonable manner on this issue and have already made their decision to go ahead. That means we have to set the stage for the next act, which will likely be conducted both in court and in Congress. The battle is far from over, your comments will play a role in both efforts.

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has proposed revoking earlier rulings that assisted opening knives are not switchblades. The proposed new rule would not only outlaw assisted opening knives, its broad definition of a switchblade would also include one-handed opening knives and could be easily interpreted to cover most other pocket knives, even simple old-fashioned slip-joints.

Note that CBP's interpretation of the Federal Switchblade Act forms the basis for national, state and even local law and judicial rulings in many cases. This ruling by CBP is NOT limited to just imports. This WILL affect virtually everyone who carries a pocket knife, no matter the type!
Download the 63 page CBP document and read it for yourself.

Knife Rights has sent a letter to CBP requesting an extension to the ridiculously short 30-day comment period. We need your help to make an impression on CBP. They figured that they could slip this by everyone with little notice. We need to let CBP know that they are not going to get away with it; that we noticed and we are not happy and that we will not stand by while they take away our pocket knives.

We are in for the fight of our lives. We need you to write CBP NOW!

Click here for a Model Letter you can send to CBP.

However, the reality is that CBP isn't required to listen to our demands, but they do have to answer to Congress. After you send a letter to CBP, giving them notice they are not going to sneak this by us, the next step is to inundate Congress with emails and letters.

If you want to be free to carry your pocket knives in the future, you need to write your Senators and Representative TODAY!

Click here for a Model Letter you can send to Members of Congress.

We have also prepared a Communicating with Congress page that includes tips to maximize the effect of your letters. This page was developed after consultation with experts who understand exactly how to get your message across to Members of Congress. We have also included easy links to find your Representatives, if you don't know who they are or the best way to reach them. How much of an impact your communication has can be significantly impacted by how and what you write. Our aim is to help maximize your impact so your Members of Congress actually listen and do something. PLEASE, take a few minutes to review our Communicating with Congress page BEFORE you act.

Knife Rights was formed three years ago because we knew it was only a matter of time before something like this would happen that would threaten to take away our right to own and carry our knives. Well, that time is now and we're working to help keep our essential tools and essential rights. We cannot do it without your help. Knife Rights is only as powerful as the forces we can bring to bear. You are the only truly effective weapon we have. Policitcans only listen to voters. NOW IS YOUR TIME TO ACT!

Because you are sending a hard copy letter and emails via Members' web forms, we won't know you did it unless you let us know. It is critical that we be able to know how many have responded, so please click here to send us an email (customs@Kniferights.org) to let us know you've sent the letter and emails.

WRITE Customs NOW!
WRITE your Members of Congress NOW!
Join Knife Rights and help support the fight to keep your Knife Rights!

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Iranian Election - Signs of Revolution to come? (UPDATED)

Updated at bottom with breaking news.

The recent Presidential election in Iran, on one hand, is typical. The candidates were hand-picked by the ruling mullahs. And the "winner" will be the "chosen one".


As Michael J. Totten states:

Iran’s presidential election isn’t real. The four candidates were hand-picked by the “Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenei. It’s turning into something more than he bargained for, though, even if his regime is rigging the outcome for Mahmoud Admadinejad.

The tides are rising:

Times UK

It was open insurrection, a rebellion of a sort seldom seen in the 30-year history of the Islamic Republic, an eruption of pent-up rage against the repressive Government of President Ahmadinejad.


“Death to the Government,” chanted the several thousand Iranians packed into a football stadium in Tehran. “Death to dictators,” roared the young men and women, draped in green shirts, ribbons, bandanas and headscarves to signal their support for Mir Hossein Mousavi. “Bye-bye Ahmadi,” they sang as they waved a sea of banners for the man who hopes to topple Mr Ahmadinejad in the presidential election on Friday. “Don’t rig the election,” they added for good measure.

[snip]

Men and women scaled the floodlight pylons for a better view. Hundreds more crammed on to a nearby overpass. Astonishingly there was not a policeman or basij (Islamic vigilante) in sight, further evidence of how the regime seems to have relaxed — or lost — its grip in the final days of an election far more competitive than anyone had expected.

The biggest roar of the afternoon was reserved for the main speaker, Zahra Rahnavard, Mr Mousavi’s wife. “You’re here because you don’t want any more dictatorship,” she declared. “You’re here because you hate fanaticism, because you dream of a free Iran, because you dream of a peaceful relationship with the rest of the world.” The candidate himself was nowhere to be seen, but that hardly mattered because the crowd was inspired by a hatred of Mr Ahmadinejad rather than a love for Mr Mousavi.

And,

Times of London:

Whatever the reason, Mr Mousavi's campaign took off. The youth of Tehran and other cities took to the streets in huge numbers. They flocked to Mousavi rallies in their tens of thousands. They turned the capital into a seething sea of green with their ribbons, headscarves, balloons and bandanas. They festooned the city with posters and banners. Until the small hours of each morning they packed squares, blocked junctions and careered around town in cars with horns blaring and pop music blasting.

The Islamic republic has never seen such sights before. It was almost open rebellion, an explosion of pent-up anger after four years in which the fundamentalist President and his morality police cracked down on dissent, human rights groups, and any dress or behaviour deemed unIslamic. “Death to the dictator,” young men and women roared at Mousavi rallies. “Death to the Government.

[…]

Mr Mousavi is an unlikely champion for such people. He is no reformist. He promises some social and economic liberalisation, and to do away with the hated “morality police”, but he is not challenging the political system. At 68, and distinctly lacking charisma, he is more Bob Dole than Barack Obama. Mousavi-mania is less a reflection of his popularity than of the loathing most educated, urban Iranians feel for a messianic President who has curtailed freedom, embarrassed Iran internationally and squandered record oil revenues through reckless spending.

In 2005 many liberal Iranians refused to vote, partly because they did not want to legitimise a political system that they abhor, and partly because they were profoundly disillusioned at how the conservative establishment had thwarted the reform efforts of their previous champion, President Khatami. But they will turn out in huge numbers today because they cannot contemplate four more years of Mr Ahmadinejad. “Now you and I vote so he will be defeated,” was the text message sent to millions of mobile phones after campaigning ended yesterday.

[…]

It is possible that violence will erupt if Mr Ahmadinejad is declared the victor and Mr Mousavi's supporters cry foul. It is likely that Mr Mousavi will fail to meet his supporters' sky-high expectations, partly because the Supreme Leader remains the real power in the land and partly because he is, in truth, a flawed vehicle for their hopes and aspirations.
Only one thing is certain. Iran will never be quite the same again. “We are in a new phase in this country and civilisation,” Saeed Laylaz, a respected political consultant, said as his compatriots prepared to vote.

And now, as expected, the regime is claiming Nejad has won.

TEHRAN: Hardline incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad registered a thumping victory in Iran's fiercely-contested presidential race, official results showed on Saturday, in a major upset for his moderate rival.


After all the euphoria of last week, crackdown begins.

Pictures that need no explanation:



This is obviously a fluid situation.

Update:

The Radicalization of an Already Radical Iranian Regime?
Weekly Standard

Abbas Djavadi, with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague, has been on the phone all night with people in Iran. He e-mails:

An Electoral Coup in Iran

It was a night of fundamental change of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It was, however, not the change the overwhelming majority of the electorate indicated to be producing with their real votes yesterday, but a change in the ruling establishment of the country, an almost complete control by Revolutionary Guards, intelligence services, and the most radical forces of the regime.

Actually, everything seemed to be going fine until the polling stations closed at 10 pm Tehran time. By then, streets were green, the color of the favorite opposition candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, who was generally expected to win with a considerable margin, by many estimates of late Friday even in the first round. Reformist newspapers had already started to announce Mousavi's victory and the reformist candidate himself was calling the people for a national celebration on Sunday.

Everything started after voting ended and the Interior Ministry with the government-established Election Commission started to count the votes. As the incoming first figures from villages and small towns favored incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the reformers still kept their faith: "Ahmadinejad is stronger in villages that comprise some 30% of the population," they said. "We will definitely win the cities." This was while even one percent of the citizens from western Iranian villages and small towns hadn't allegedly voted for Mehdi Karroubi, the other opposition candidate who, comes from the same region and enjoys considerable popularity in Lorestan and Kurdistan provinces.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf, a prominent film producer supporting Mousavi, who stayed in his favored candidate's headquarters, told Radio Farda that they were called by the Election Commission well before the first results were announced. "Don't announce Mr. Mousavi's victory yet," they were told by authorities. "We will gradually prepare the public and then you can proceed." Apparently, though, a well-prepared plan was at the works, but in a completely different direction. 

Isa Saharkhiz, journalist from Tehran, told Radio Farda that while the whole SMS network of the country was taken down and critical websites were blocked and newspapers closed, they disabled communication among supporters of opposition candidates and everybody started to fear that they are preparing to gradually inject the surprise "shocking news" during the night until they announce it early morning.

[snip]

The "electoral coup," as many in Iran interviewed by Radio Farda called it, has changed the face of the Islamic Republic. It has formalized the exclusion of still moderate clerics, founding fathers and technocrats of the Islamic Republic, and consolidated the rule of a new elite led by Revolutionary Guards, intelligence offices, and radical Islamists who feel to be well-represented by the Ahmadinejad leadership of the last four years. 

It is widely assumed that the coup cannot have happened with the clear approval by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. 

As Supreme Leader, he is charged with protection of the Islamic Republic beyond all political groups and personalities. Khamenei has repeatedly said that a "truthful election with a high turnout" is the "clearest symbol of the system's legitimacy." Last night's rigged vote count seems to have left that legitimacy in shatters.

UPDATE

News and video from the BBC:

Ahmadinejad re-election sparks Iran clashes

Police clash with supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi in Tehran

Thousands of angry protesters have clashed with police after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner of Iran's presidential poll.

Secret police have been attacked, while riot police used batons and tear gas against backers of Mir Hossein Mousavi, who called the results a "charade".

Correspondents say the violence is the worst seen in Tehran in a decade.




Video shows a human wave of demonstrators chasing frightened police.


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Air France Probe Suggests Plane Broke Up In Air

Probably NOT terrorism. 

From Bloomberg:

 

 
By Laura Price
June 12 (Bloomberg) -- The Air France plane that crashed June 1 may have partly broken up in the air before hitting the Atlantic Ocean, O Estado de S. Paulo reported, citing investigators it didn’t identify.

Most of the 16 bodies examined in preliminary stages of the probe into the flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris were found naked or with minimal clothing, suggesting the wind may have removed the garments, the newspaper said. The possibility of an explosion or fire in the jet is also unlikely because the bodies showed no sign of burns, Estado said.
Almost all of the bodies had multiple fractures, the paper reported. Investigators haven’t found water in the victims’ lungs, which would indicate drowning, Estado said. Bodies were found 85 kilometers (53 miles) apart, which may also indicate the Airbus A330-200 broke up before reaching the ocean, Estado reported.

Representatives from Brazil’s legal medical institute, which is conducting the body examinations in the northeastern city of Recife, weren’t immediately reachable when Bloomberg News called for comment before regular working hours.

 
and from the following report:

...bodies were found naked -
 
Meanwhile, reports said the Air France plane may have partly broken up in the air before hitting the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the 16 bodies which have been examined in preliminary stages of the probe were found naked or with minimal clothing, suggesting the wind may have removed the garments.
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HO/PIMP



After his Submission Speech, it's official.

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Infidel Babe of the Week


Helene Grimaud.

One of my favorite pieces of music. Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5, The "Emperor" (Adagio).

I am a man in love.


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Helene Grimaud -- Arvo Part
Credo



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Laker-Blogging: The Immaculate Rebound

Digging a sports team, who are not under threat of torture if they lose (as the Iraqi Soccer team was under Hussein), is very Infidel. So, we do sports-blogging here from time to time.

The Immaculate Rebound

Note, Laker Power-Forward, Pau Gasol's got one foot on the floor (the old TV standard for a sexless bedroom scene)

Pau Gasol reaches over Jameer Nelson for a Rebound in Game 4


What else you got, Jerry West?


New Gasol Logo

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Everything You Need To Know About The BNP, But Were Afraid To Admit, Part II

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June 12, 1929


She would have been 80 today.

Go read her book. Know her story.

Never forget. Never again.

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Queen Of Spain Vs American Peasants




The above is queen Sophia of Spain from Barcepundit.

And of course below are our American lovelies.

Yasser Clinton




Hill and Beans


What would Maggie Thatcher do?


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Stevie Ray Vaughan
Superstition

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I Want To State This Emphatically

I was late to this post yesterday - the post entitled "There are Racists Who Are Ok With Jews." I left the following comment pretty much after the discussion was over....

Epa is spot on with this:
on the day the anti jihad movement is equivalent in people's minds with groups such as the BNP, WE LOSE.

Jihadis win
We're coming dangerously close to just that conflation, I think. Not we at IBA, the anti-jihad movement in general.

When Von Brunn invaded the Holocaust Museum and murdered Stephen Tyrone Johns, one of the first things I did upon hearing of the atrocity was try to find out if Von Brunn could be in any way considered part of the anti-jihad. I found no such ties. But suppose I had found such ties? Suppose that Von Brunn had been a frequent commenter here at IBA or at another anti-jihad site? The left would make hay of that, all right, as the left has already done with Free Republic, where he occasionally commented.

Any alliances the anti-jihad makes are going to be scrutinized. We'll all get tarred with the same brush.

That is the reality.

Furthermore, with BHO in office and the recent Cairo Speech, the scrutiny of the anti-jihad has already ramped up. Any indication of racism is going to be found out and the news trumpeted in the media, sooner or later.

And the idealism? Well, we've discussed that aspect ad nauseam. We cannot, however, discuss it often enough, IMO. We either believe in our principles -- or we don't. Look at history. Compromising principles for pragmatism ends in great woe every time.

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Electro-Magnetic Pulse: One Nuke To Take Out America

From Vlad Tepes:

Here is a rather well done but simple and understated short video on the consequences of a high altitude nuclear burst over the USA. Many pundits, very well versed ones in fact make the claim that Iran is working in three shifts to achieve exactly this with their nuclear weapons program. A sky burst for the EMP effect would be orders of magnitude more damaging than merely detonating a nuke on a city.

A Hiroshima sized nuclear weapon detonated on LAX airport Los Angeles would in fact destroy the airport but probably nothing outside the fence delimiting the property edge of the airport concession. Many wouldn’t know it went off in greater Los Angeles till they heard about it on the news.

If the same weapon where detonated in space at the right altitude, there would be no news. No TV etc.


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Pigman : 'Till the Last Drop Of Their Blood'


Miranda rights for scumbag jihadist's?
They've only earned the right to be silenced. Forever.

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Krauthammer On Obama


From the Wall Street Journal:

Obama Hovers From on High

Friday, June 12, 2009

"And the Spirit of God hovered upon the face of the waters"

-- Genesis 1:2

When President Obama returned from his first European trip, I observed that while over there he had been "acting the philosopher-king who hovers above the fray mediating" between America and the world. Now that Obama has returned from his "Muslim world" pilgrimage, even the left agrees. "Obama's standing above the country, above -- above the world. He's sort of God," Newsweek's Evan Thomas said to a concurring Chris Matthews, reflecting on Obama's lofty perception of himself as the great transcender.

Not that Obama considers himself divine. (He sees himself as merely messianic, or, at worst, apostolic.) But he does position himself as hovering above mere mortals, mere country, to gaze benignly upon the darkling plain beneath him where ignorant armies clash by night, blind to the common humanity that only he can see. Traveling the world, he brings the gospel of understanding and godly forbearance. We have all sinned against each other. We must now look beyond that and walk together to the sunny uplands of comity and understanding. He shall guide you. Thus:

(A) He told Iran that, on the one hand, America once helped overthrow an Iranian government, while on the other hand "Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians." (Played a role?!) We have both sinned; let us bury the past and begin anew.

(B) On religious tolerance, he gently referenced the Christians of Lebanon and Egypt, then lamented that the "divisions between Sunni and Shia have led to tragic violence" (note the use of the passive voice). He then criticized (in the active voice) Western religious intolerance for regulating the wearing of the hijab -- after citing America for making it difficult for Muslims to give to charity.

(C) Obama offered Muslims a careful admonition about women's rights, noting how denying women education impoverishes a country -- balanced, of course, with this: "Issues of women's equality are by no means simply an issue for Islam." Example? "The struggle for women's equality continues in many aspects of American life."

Well, yes. On the one hand, there certainly is some American university where the women's softball team has received insufficient Title IX funds -- while, on the other hand, Saudi women showing ankle are beaten in the street, Afghan school girls have acid thrown in their faces, and Iranian women are publicly stoned to death for adultery. (Gays, as well -- but then again we have Prop 8.) We all have our shortcomings, our national foibles. Who's to judge?



Go read the whole thing.

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Wafa Sultan Answers the Question, "Who Should We Believe, Obama Or You?"


From Jihad Watch:

After President Obama’s Cairo speech, many of my Middle Eastern Arab readers reacted with bewilderment. As one of them expressed; “Who should we believe, Obama or you?” ‑ in particular his statement that “America and Islam overlap and share common principles, the principles of justice, tolerance and dignity for human beings”.

True, reading the Arab press’s reaction to his speech it is clear that many Muslims now love Obama. After all, he introduced to them a narrative that affirms their conspiracy theories and their identity as victims of the West. Hence, the Arab media expressed their confidence that the speech will provide a “new stance towards Islam and the Muslims, after centuries of aggression and hostility.” (Al Ahram - Egypt- MEMRI)

More than anything, I am reminded of a story by Nizar Qubbani, the famous Syrian poet. His young son was a physician and suffered from an acute heart problem. When Nizar asked his son about his heart condition, the son drew a red heart. Being a poet, the father interpreted the drawing as a sign of a vibrant and healthy heart and took great comfort in believing this to be a sign of recovery. After his son’s passing, Nizar wrote a poem describing his feelings as a heartbroken father. He felt unbearably saddened as he realized he had misinterpreted the drawing. Obviously, the son’s sketch of a red heart was meant to convey no hope for his profusely bleeding heart, while the father’s understanding of the symbol as a hopeful one was wrong.

The poet and the physician perceived reality in totally different ways; similar to the dichotomy between President Obama’s view of the Islamic world and mine.

The truth is, however, that only one reality exists.

Mr. Obama is a politician, and a very astute one. However, his speech revealed that his view is unduly influenced by naïve desire. His perception of Islam and the reality of Islam need to be synchronized. I am a physician and a realist who has lived and experienced the effect of my Arab culture and Islamic religion since childhood.

Go read the whole thing.

If you don't know who Wafa Sultan is, watch this extraordinary video from Al Jazeera:




In further news, Atlas Shrugs has the story on how Obama's courting of the Islamic world is not leading to better relationships, but is instead creating a situation whereby Muslim nations feel they don't need to help us anymore. Additionally, it seems, Obama's popularity in the Islamic world is less than that of George Bush (at least in some countries, like Iran, for instance):

Not to deny President Obama's diplomatic charms, but they seem lost on the world's harder cases. The latest is Kyrgyzstan, a Central Asian nation of five million that has been home to a U.S. air base at Manas, a critical transit center to supply troops in Afghanistan.

In February, hours after securing $2 billion in aid from Russia, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev announced -- in Moscow no less -- that the U.S. will have to leave by August 18. Mr. Obama this week sent a confidential letter to the Kyrgyz leader implicitly asking him to reconsider by "expressing his gratitude to the nation and government of Kyrgyzstan for its efforts to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan and in the fight against international terrorism and narcotics trafficking," according to a summary released by the Kyrgyz government yesterday.

The Kyrgyz quickly shot those hopes down. "The decision to abolish the agreement on the military air base, Manas, has been made, and there is no turning back from this," Foreign Minister Kadyrbek Sarbayev told a Kyrgyz news agency.

Russian fingerprints are all over this U.S. setback. Like many other authoritarians, Vladimir Putin's regime in Moscow derives its legitimacy in part from anti-Americanism. No "restart" in relations promised by Mr. Obama can easily change that. And for Russia, in its neighborhood, the policy consequence is to push America out and prop up local dictators. That's true whether the U.S. President is named Obama or Bush. Perhaps this young Administration can learn with experience that goodwill alone gets one only so far in the real world.

Further, Obama got no help on his European apology tour for additional coalition troops in AfghanistanMore to the point, he has gotten less cooperation, rather than more.

And despite Obama's groveling to the poison dwarf, Bush is more popular that Obama in Iran. Iranian opinion of the United States is down 5 points from a year ago. Imagine that -- 5 months and all this "change"



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FRIDAY NOONER!!!

(what? ya don't need video for a nooner. just music)


Arvo Part
Fratres for Cello and Piano

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Americorps Inspector General Goes Under the Bus

Slublog over at Ace has it right: Obama is doing what The Left had falsly accused Bush of. Or, as a commenter at the orinal post muses, is O making Americorps ready to be his Youth Brigades? Mandatory Civilian Service? Patrolling polling places next election in Uniforms instead of Black Panther Chic Wear?

Washington Examiner:

What's behind Obama's sudden attempt to fire the AmeriCorps inspector general?
By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
06/11/09 8:14 PM EDT

Some strange and potentially suspicious events tonight concerning the Obama White House and the AmeriCorps program. I've been told that on Wednesday night the AmeriCorps inspector general, Gerald Walpin, received a call from the White House counsel's office telling him that he had one hour to either resign or be fired. The White House did not cite a reason. "The answer that was given was that it's just time to move on," one Senate source told me tonight. "The president would like to have someone else in that position."

Inspectors General are part of every federal department. They are given the responsibility of independently investigating allegations of waste, fraud, and corruption in the government, without fear of interference by political appointees or the White House. Last year Congress passed the Inspectors General Reform Act, which added new protections for IGs, including a measure requiring the president to give Congress 30 days prior notice before dismissing an IG. The president must also give Congress an explanation of why the action is needed. Then-Sen. Barack Obama was one of the co-sponsors of the Act.

Now, there is the hurried attempt to dismiss Walpin, without the required notice or cause. After last night's call, Walpin got in touch with Congress, and it appears the White House has backed off, at least for now. This afternoon, Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, who is something of a guardian angel for inspectors general, fired off a letter to the White House about the affair.

"I was troubled to learn that last night your staff reportedly issued an ultimatum to the AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin that he had one hour to resign or be terminated," Grassley wrote. "As you know, Inspectors General were created by Congress as a means to combat waste, fraud, and abuse and to be independent watchdogs ensuring that federal agencies were held accountable for their actions. Inspectors General were designed to have a dual role reporting to both the President and Congress so that they would be free from undue political pressure. This independence is the hallmark of all Inspectors General and is essential so they may operate independently, without political pressure or interference from agencies attempting to keep their failings from public scrutiny.

"Grassley said he was "deeply troubled" by the Walpin matter and closed by asking the president "to review the Inspector General Reform Act you cosponsored and to follow the letter of the law should you have cause to remove any Inspector General."

UPDATE 1: I've been trying to discover the real reason for Obama's move, and it's still not clear. I'm told that it could be a combination of the normal tensions that surround any inspector general's office, or the president's desire to get his own people in IG positions, or a dispute over a particular investigation. "Bottom line," one source wrote, "getting rid of a tough, Republican-appointed IG who has been aggressively going after waste and fraud gives Obama a chance to replace that IG with a more compliant team player."

I'm also told that a number of inspectors general around the government have been expressing concerns to Congress recently about threats to their independence.

UPDATE 2: More information now, from the Associated Press. The White House is going ahead with firing Walpin. The firing apparently stems from Walpin's investigation of a non-profit group, St. HOPE Academy, run by Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star who is now mayor of Sacramento, California (and a big Obama supporter). "[Walpin] found that Johnson, a former all-star point guard for the Phoenix Suns, had used AmeriCorps grants to pay volunteers to engage in school-board political activities, run personal errands for Johnson and even wash his car," the AP reports. In April, the U.S. attorney declined to file any criminal charges in the matter and criticized Walpin's investigation. But at the same time Johnson and St. HOPE agreed to repay about half of the $850,000 it had received from AmeriCorps.

Bottom line: The AmeriCorps IG accuses prominent Obama supporter of misusing AmeriCorps grant money. Prominent Obama supporter has to pay back more than $400,000 of that grant money. Obama fires AmeriCorps IG.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey at HotAir is on this as well, with a possible Michelle Obama connection.

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Terror drill: 'New York, you have a problem'

From the Associated Press:

NEW YORK – The FBI was scrambling.

Agents had intercepted information about a possible terrorist attack inManhattan, including a diagram showing a mysterious device. The raw intelligence was relayed to experts in Washington, who offered a daunting diagnosis: "You have a problem."

As chilling as that sounded, the situation wasn't real. But authorities say it could be, and what followed over the next two days was an ambitious stress test of the city's line of defense against a radiological or nuclear terrorist attack.

The exercise earlier this week involved hundreds of New York Police Department officers and FBI agents trained at detecting threats, along with an elite unit of federal weapons experts expected — with the approval of the U.S. attorney general — to swoop in by plane and defuse them.

There have been no specific threats against New York City. But since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, law enforcement officials have repeatedly warned that the city remains atop terrorists' hit lists — and that a radiological or nuclear device could be in their arsenal.

"It's something we're very concerned about," said Joseph Demarest, head of the FBI's New York office.

Authorities say a small nuclear bomb could cause widespread devastation. Failing to intercept it before it's detonated is not an option.

"Hopefully, we'll never have to do this," Don Alway, an FBI counterterrorism supervisor, said of the deployment. "But if we do, we have to do it right the first time."

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United Church of Christ Must Be Ok With Wright's Jew-Hatred

From Paul Williams at the Last Crusade:

Obama’s Pastor Yelps: “Them Jews Aren’t Going to Let Him Talk to Me!”

UCC FAILS TO CENSURE JEREMIAH WRIGHT”S RACIST REMARKS

them-jews

Commentary by

Dr. Paul L. Williams

Thelastcrusade.org


In a letter to John Thomas, president of the United Church of Christ (UCC), Rev. David Runnion-Bareford, founder of Biblical Witness Fellowship (BWF), called for the mainline Protestant denomination, which includes President Barack Obama as one of its members, to publicly repudiate the anti-Semitic statements which were made this week by Rev. Jeremiah Wright.


Mr. Runnion-Bareford’s organization represents a reactionary conservative wing of the UCC, a mainline Protestant denomination with 1.2 million members.


Rev. Wright, who served for many years as Mr. Obama’s pastor at the Trinity UCC in Chicago, said in an interview this week that President Obama had not spoken with him recently because “them Jews aren’t going to let him talk to me.” He added: “Ethnic cleansing is going on in Gaza. Ethnic cleansing of the Zionists is a sin and a crime against humanity.”


Wright also said Mr. Obama should have sent a U.S. delegation to the World Conference on Racism held recently in Geneva, Switzerland, but that the president did not for fear of offending Jews and Israel. He specifically cited the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, an influential pro-Israel lobbying group.

“They [the Jews] will not let him to talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is,” Rev. Wright added. “He’s a politician; I’m a pastor. He’s got to do what politicians do.”


Rev. Runnion-Bareford, in his letter, maintained that such language only promotes violence and hatred against a people close to the heart of God, adding, “The impact of anti-Semitism is graphically illustrated by the tragic murders which took place in the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.”


But no criticism of Rev. Wright’s latest remarks has been forthcoming from Mr. Thomas or other leaders of the denomination.


The UCC in several official statements has denounced the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank and has called for the creation of a Palestinian state.


Rev. Wright is no stranger to controversy. In a sermon delivered in 2003, he said: “The government gives them [African Americans] the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.”


In addition to damning America, he told his congregation on the Sunday after Sept. 11, 2001 that the United States had brought on al Qaeda’s attacks because of its own terrorism. “We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye.” He went on to say: “We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”


But the UCC has refused to take the minister to task for any of his inflammatory statements. In his defense of the fiery African American minister, UCC President Thomas said in 2008: “I have first-hand experience of Trinity, its leaders and its ministers, and I know it to be a faithful, generous, and justice-minded congregation that takes seriously its ministry within and among the African-American community on Chicago’s south side.”

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