Friday, January 31, 2014

Supreme Court Has Already Decided What Makes an Executive Order Lawful - Employer Mandate Delay Not Lawful

Senator Mike Lee had AG Eric Holder in front of him at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Lee cited two Supreme Court decisions that have set precedent for how a President's authority to use Executive Orders is decided. Lee asked Holder directly, which of the three Supreme Court categories has Obama used to derive his authority to change law by delaying the Employer Mandate for a year. As Senator Ted Cruz said, the answer Eric Holder gave is "stunning," and "Orwellian double-speak."  Read it in the transcript below or watch it in the video.

Note that Holder says, a couple of times that it is Obama's "desire" to work with Congress, which means that if Congress, a body of 535 persons, desires what Obama desires, Congress has the ability to pass law to make it happen. This President want to work with Congress only when Congress does his bidding. We've seen it over and over the past five years.

The portion below begins at about 3:25 in.
LEE: This brings to mind, that if he can't get Congress to act, he'll go it alone. If Congress won't act the way he wants Congress to act, then he'll issue an Executive Order anytime he gets the chance. 
This brings to mind a concern that I've had as to whether or sufficient analysis is being undertaken when these Executive Orders are issued. As you know, the Supreme Court has, since Youngstown Sheet and Tube v. Sawyer, and Justice Jackson's concurrence, and certainly since Dames and Moore v. Regan when Jackson concurrence was adopted by the majority of the Court, has tended to separate out Executive Orders out into three categories. 
In Category 1 you have a situation where Congress acts pursuant to authorization by Congress. That's where his authority to act with an Executive Order is at its strongest. 
Category 2 is where you have the President acting in the absence of either Congressional authorization or a Congressional prohibition. Justice Jackson described this as sort of a twilight zone where it's a little unclear, a little murky. 
Category 3 is where you have the President taking measures that are incompatible with Congressional command. 
I would ask, No. 1, is this analysis undertaken each time the President issues an Executive Order, and No. 2, was that kind of analysis undertaken when the President, for example, announced on July 2, 2013, that he would not be enforcing the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act throughout the duration of 2014, even though by law the Employer Mandate was set to take effect as of January 1, 2014? 
HOLDER: Before the President exercises the Executive authority that he discussed last evening, and again I want to preface that with, I think the pretty clear indication from the President was that he wants to work with Congress on behalf of the American people. In the absence of that kind of activity, as he has done with regard to raising the minimum wage, he uses Executive authority to, well, will use Executive authority to raise the minimum wage for those who do business with the Federal Government, those kinds of activities by the President are done after consultation with the Justice Department, and an analysis is done to make sure that the President is acting in an appropriate, constitutional way, and those three Categories that you talk about, that we all studied in law school from Justice Jackson are among the things that are obviously a part of the analysis. Where the President's authority is greatest, the twilight zone and where the President's authority is weakest. 
LEE: So which of those three categories would you put the President's decision to delay the enforcement, to delay the Employer's mandate. Is that Category 1, 2 or 3?HOLDER: I'll be honest with you, I've not seen...I don't remember looking at, or having seen the analysis in sometime, so I'm not sure where along the spectrum that would come. 
LEE: How about the Executive Order that he proposed last night with regard to Minimum Wage? Would that be Category 1, Category 2 or Category 3? 
HOLDER: Well, again, from...without having delved into this to any great degree, that would...LEE: But you are the Attorney General. I assume he consulted you? 
HOLDER: Well, there have been consultations done with the Justice Department. From my perspective, I think that would put us in Category 1 given the Congressional involvement in the matter, the ability of the President to regulate things that involved the Executive Branch and how contracting is done. It seems to me that the President is probably at the height of his presidential power, in that regard... 
LEE: So you're saying there is a federal statute that authorizes him to issue the Executive Order regarding the minimum wage?HOLDER: I think there's a constitutional basis for it, and given what the President's responsibility is, in running the Executive Branch, I think there is inherent an power there for him to act in the way he has.
LEE: And in regard to the Employer Mandate? 
HOLDER: Again, as I've said, I've not had a chance to look at it for some time to know exactly what the analysis was there, so I'm not sure I'll be able to put it in a, what Category. Again, I would think, given that we are talking about a statute passed by Congress that delegates, that devolves to the Executive Branch, certain authorities, I would that it would probably be Category there as well, but again, I have not looked at the analysis in some time. 
LEE: Okay, I appreciate your candor on that and I see my time's expired, but as I conclude, I'd just like to point out that this is very, very important and it's one of the reasons why, as one of my colleagues suggested earlier, it could be very helpful for you to release legal analysis, produced by the office of legal counsel or whoever is advising the President on these issues. It's imperative in our Constitutional system that we not allow too much authority to be accumulated in one person, and it's one of the reasons why we have a Constitution, is to protect us against the excessive assimulation of power. I think the President certainly owes it to the American people, and you owe it to the President as his Attorney General, to make sure that when he does act by Executive Order that he do so clearly and state the basis of his authority, so that the American people can be aware of what's happening and on what basis he's claiming that authority. I look forward to hearing your explanation. Perhaps you can submit something to us in writing after this hearing about his basis for making some of these decisions, particularly with regard to the Employer Mandate. Thank you. 
HOLDER: Let me just say that I have great respect for your legal, analytical skills. You are clearly your father's son, but I also want to assure you and the American people that the President will not act in a way that is inconsistent with the way other Presidents have used their Executive Order. He has made far less use of use of his Executive power at this point in his administration than his predecessors have, and he will only do so as I have indicated previously, where he is unable to work with Congress to do things together. That is the desire of the President to work with Congress to deal with the issues that confront [inaudible]. 
LEE: General Holder, I respectfully, but forcefully, disagree with the assertion, if this is what you are saying, that because the number of Executive Orders issued by this President might be comparable to the number of Executive Orders issued by previous Presidents, that that means that he hasn't made more use of it than other Presidents have. When you look at the quality, not just the quantity, but the quality, the nature of the Executive Order's that he has issued, he has usurped an extraordinary amount of authority within the Executive Branch. This is not precedent, and I point to the unilateral delay, lawless delay, in my opinion, of the Employer Mandate as an example of this, so at a minimum, I think he owes us an explanation as to what his legal analysis was, particularly given the fact that it's difficult to imagine who's got standing to challenge this, and it's difficult to imagine who, if acquiring standing to challenge this, could do so in a timely enough manner so as to avoid a mootness problem in the case, so it's all the more reason why it's important in this case. Thank you very much. 
HOLDER: We have to separate then, with regard to the notion that there's a usurpation or that the President has acted in a lawless way, I think is totally inconsistent with what the President has done and what his desires are, to do.
Steve at Cry and Howl has a list of laws the Obama regime has decided not to uphold, along with commentary. Read it here and bookmark it. Pass it around to your friends and family who are not paying attention. They need to know what has happened to the Rule of Law in America in the Time of Obama.

Senator Mike Lee Questions Eric Holder About Executive Order Authority (video)

Posted by Maggie @ Maggie's Notebook

Only 24% of Uninsured See ObamaCare as Favorable - Down 11% From Previous Month

A survey from the Kaiser Foundation finds the favorability of ObamaCare among the uninsured is down 11% in one month from an already abysmally low ranking and half of all Americans believe health care costs have been soaring faster than usual.

Among the uninsured, 47 percent view Obamacare in a negative light versus the 24 percent who view it favorably. That’s a change from 43 percent who viewed it unfavorably last month, and 36 percent who viewed it favorably. Overall, half of Americans view Obamacare unfavorably, while just over one-third have a positive take on the law. ​
More of the uninsured also said Obamacare made them worse off (39 percent) than improved their situation (26 percent), according to the poll. Source: The Corner
Posted by Maggie @ Maggie's Notebook 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

IRS Rule Change Silences You But Not Labor Unions or Trade Associations

America, we need a comment from you and yours on the IRS proposed rule change targeting conservative voices. Senator Ted Cruz reminded us yesterday that the public commenting period is open to February 27th. The change silences voices of those who are TEA Party-minded, "taxed enough already," those calling for smaller government. The change does not affect labor unions, trade associations or 501(c)(3)s. When I checked late yesterday, there were only 1,049 public comments. Of the 30 or so I viewed, all essentially were telling the IRS to leave us and our First Amendments rights alone. The rule will not allow educational activities, something the TEA Party does well. Leaving a public comment is easy. Below are the details I published along with my conference call with Senator Ted Cruz yesterday. I hope you will read that post here, but wanted to cull down the details of public commenting for you. Make your voice heard. This is a direct government attack on free speech:

To leave your comment on the website, go here. In the big blue-outlined “Search” box, enter this citation: IRS REG-134417-13 and hit “search.” You will be taken to this page. As of this moment, there are two items on the page. The first is one we’re interested in and it reads “Guidance for Tax-Exempt Social Welfare Organizations on Candidate-Related Political Activities.” Click the “Comment Now! button and a you will be taken to a comment box to submit your opinion. If you want to check out what is already being said, click the “Open Docket Folder” under the“Comment Now! button.
For more detail on exactly what this rule change means, here are details from the Nevada County TEA Party:

 The proposed rules would prohibit as “candidate-related political activities,” all of the following:
- Voter Registration
-  Candidate Forums and Debate
- Voter Guides
- Voting Records of Incumbents
- Public statements by officers and leaders of (c)(4)s that reference incumbents and candidates
- Communications include radio, TV, written, newspaper, internet, phones and oral if can reach 500 people
- If voting records or other statements are posted on website-and remain on website within “blackout” period, converted to a candidate-related political expenditure
- Applies to volunteer activities sponsored by organization
- “Candidates” include all public offices, executive, legislative and judicial-partisan and nonpartisan, and officers in a “political organization”
- Contributions to a c4 that engages in any “CRPA” will be treated as 100% political
- “Express advocacy” uses broader definition, includes “reject” as a magic ‘word’ and adopts a subjective test (communication is perceived as having electoral meaning…)
The proposed rules do NOT include:
- Labor Unions
- Trade Associations
- 501c3 organizations
ONLY 501(c)(4) groups.

Note: that the Wall Street Journal study documented $4.4 billion in political expenditures by labor unions between 2005-2011.

Suggested talking points may include:
- Discriminatory by only applying to 501(c)(4) organizations
- Violates First Amendment Rights of Citizens and Organizations
- Rules are complicated, complex and will burden small citizen groups
- Political and lobbying activities ARE for the social welfare and the public good.
Give examples of things that (c)(4)s should be able to do without government interference, taxation and reporting:
- Candidate forums and debates
- Nonpartisan Voter registration
- Get-out-the-vote
- Issue guides
- Voting records of incumbents
- Grassroots lobbying 365 days per year!
- Volunteer programs should NOT be subject to taxation

The following are snippets of a few comments to give you the flavor of what people are saying:

The IRS is responsible for collecting taxes and the interpretation and enforcement of the Internal Revenue Code.
The IRS is not allowed to supersede the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America which allows FREE SPEECH.
It’s clear through this proposed rule (IRS REG-134417-13) that the IRS is not concerned with the social welfare of the American people nor does it value an informed electorate. This Regulation, if enacted, begs for political chicanery of the highest magnitude.
Hello, Im asking that the IRS proposed regulation not be put into place as it would require the silence of numerous non-profit organizations and wouldn’t enable them to conduct…
The IRS has become politicized and that is not a good thing. When the IRS is used to intimidate legitimate differences between people in their political philosophies, that is the…
Why does the IRS feel it can legislate free speech rights to any American Citizen or groups of citizens? The rule proposed is deliberately Unconstitutional in every possible way…
Do not adopt this measure. The rule change is an attempt to quash critics of incumbent administrations. It is apparent to me, as a citizen of our great country, that this…
Leave free speech alone. Consentrate on getting revenue from illegal aliens. That would be great.
A good number of comments were identical. If you can, change it up some, so that it is obvious you are giving them your own, unique thoughts. If you don’t have time, then copy. The important thing is, to let it be known that you understand what government is doing, and you don’t like it, and you will do all you can to stop it. (Cartoon courtesy of BobGorrellArt)

Posted by Maggie @ Maggie's Notebook

Just A Thought

I sit here in my home outside Chicago, IL, with over a foot of snow still on the ground, and Arctic tempertures.  And I'm watching the news out of Atlanta, GA.  They are complaining about 3".

WTF?  It is suppose to snow today.  Another 3"!  What Atlanta need is a mayor who looks at a weather report and prepares the city for it!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

ICE Agents Beg Republicans to Meet With them On Immigration

GOP, do you have even the slightest idea of the value a meeting between Republicans and ICE agents before you formalize your "Immigration Principles?" ICE is begging you, for gosh's sake. Conservatives will beg you, as well, at least this conservative is. Get this right and meet with ICE. Walk into the meeting and have cameras out front to record it. We know you won't allow cameras inside, but outside? Do it! It will be two thumbs up for Republicans. Who better knows what has to be done to secure the borders than ICE? The answer is certainly not Congress. Another issue: Five illegal aliens were 'in the House' last night at the SOTU, one of them sitting next to Michelle Obama. One was allegedly arrested on the Capitol grounds in November 2013. GOP Leadership, please talk about that today -- five illegals 'in the House.' Talk it up. The following is a message from ICE Union Council President, Chris Crane. GOP please read the last sentence and act:
Chris Cane

According to news accounts, the President has once again invited illegal immigrants to the State of the Union – and yet the President still refuses to meet with ICE officers. We have a President who will provide those illegally in the US with the seat of honor at one of the most important events of the year, but ICE officers who serve under him are unwelcome in the White House. This is symptomatic of the President’s continued demonstration of contempt for immigration officers and his blatant disregard for Congressionally-enacted law. ICE officers are forced every day to release violent offenders back into the streets; we are prohibited from enforcing immigration violations and document fraud and from cracking down on illegal employment; we are prohibited from enforcing public charge law to protect taxpayers; and we are forced to catch-and-release illegal aliens who are not ‘priorities’ even when officers’ believe there is a threat to public safety. 
We are pleading with House Republicans to stand up to the Obama Administration’s abuses and to support ICE officers. I am therefore alarmed to read that House Republicans are working with prominent amnesty proponents instead of reaching out and working with ICE officers. Any immigration principles crafted by House Republicans should be crafted in consultation with the ICE personnel who know firsthand what is wrong with our immigration system and how to fix it. House Republicans must work with ICE officers, and investigate the abuses and misconduct at DHS, before moving any legalization bill – otherwise, they are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. ICE officers do not have the connections, funds or votes that powerful special interests and billionaire CEOs can deliver. We are just 5,000 law officers responsible for enforcing immigration law for tens of millions of visa holders and illegal immigrants in all 50 states and two territories — it is a losing battle that puts American safety at risk.  But we hope to have justice and a concern for public safety on our side, and I hope House Republicans will support us in our uphill fight to ensure the constitutional rule of law in America. Source: NRO, The Corner
GOP, are you working WITH prominent "amnesty proponents?" Are you working with anyone in the Senate Gang of 8? What could you possibly have to discuss with them that meets constitutional scrutiny? What are the principles you are releasing that will represent all members of our party? Start with your border safety 'principles' and give us a clue. We want to have confidence in your 'small bill' legislation.  What will you demand on our behalf?
As a side note, when America watched, hopefully only Democrats, stand and applaud the plans for lawlessness coming from the presidential podium last night, understand, that we understand, this is how countries are conquered from within.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Medicaid and the Death Debt

"What the hell does ObamaCare have to do with property seizures?" By now you know that most of the enrollees in ObamaCare have signed up for the Medicaid program, which means these enrollees pay nothing for health care. Remember when Senator Rand Paul tried to sign-up his son for an ObamaCare exchange policy, and the son was automatically put on Medicaid? Apparently Medicaid recipients bring big benefits to the power structure of the federal government. If you think the short snippet that you read below will not happen, be sure to visit Asylum Watch and see what the state of Oregon has done.

In more than half the states, ObamaCare comes with an expansion of Medicaid. A 1993 federal law gives the states the right to recoup the costs of Medicaid by seizing the property of Medicaid recipients who have passed away. Source: Asylum Watch
If you cannot pay for your healthcare, and The People have to pick-up your tab, why wouldn't we put a lien on property, or garnishee future wages of those receiving unemployment benefits, or food stamps, until the debt is repaid to The People, even if only small amounts at a time? There's a good answer to that. Liens and garnishees are against living, breathing voters, but the dead Medicaid patient can't vote. Here's another question: if the value of the property seized by the government exceeds the outlay of Medicaid expense, is the overpayment given back to survivors?
As Jim at Asylum Watch says, "what we do not know, can indeed, hurt us."
Tom Gialanella, 56, was shocked to find out he qualified for Medicaid under ObamaCare. The Bothell, Wash., resident had been able to retire early years ago, owns his home outright in a pricey Seattle suburb and is living off his investments.
He wanted no part of the government's so-called free health care. "It's supposed to be a safety net program. It's not supposed to be for someone who has assets who can pay the bill," he said.
And after reading the fine print, Gialanella had another reason to flee Medicaid -- the potential death debt.
Though many may not realize it, states are allowed to recover the cost of health care after someone's death by seizing their assets. It applies to Medicaid recipients who are between the ages of 55 and 64. The law has been in place since 1993, when Congress realized states were going broke over rising Medicaid expenses. Source: Fox News
AND look at this from Fox article linked above:
A Washington state couple in their early 60's actually got married recently so their combined income would keep them out of Medicaid and allow them to purchase a plan on the health exchange. Filing as individuals, their incomes had been low enough that they qualified for Medicaid.
They married primarily because Sophia Prins owns a home and wants to will it to her children without any worry that the government will attach a lien for the cost of her medical care.
In 2004, California collected $44.6 million "through estate recovery," so yes, some Medicaid patients have assets.
I remember the case of my aunt and uncle who were not able to have children. After my aunt died, and my uncle was in his advanced 80s, with no income except his small social security check, he had a stroke, even though he had always taken good care of his health. He ate right, never smoked and didn't drink. He worked hard and was never on welfare. After the stroke, he was diagnosed with diabetes. He sold everything he had, which was little, but included a house. That financed his stay in a nursing home for a while. When that money was gone, he had to go on welfare. Then his leg was amputated. It took him a long time to die. He was of the greatest generation and that was his fate. He had done everything he could to do the right thing.
I'm torn on this issue. I believe if we have assets we should pay our debts, but as is always the case, many do not have assets and they don't pay taxes either. Those who do, in the instance of Medicaid, pay the debts of those who do not.

Carl Goldberg's Speech at Restoration Weekend

Gary Fouse

I have been sent the below video of a speech by Carl Goldberg (Act for America, Arizona) at David Horowitz's Restoration Weekend event at West Palm Beach on November 16, 2013. In the below speech, Goldberg talks about political Islam, its threats and what we can do to counter it in the US. It is well worth a view.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Illegal Alien, Florida Drug Kingpin, on Food Stamps and Busted While on House Arrest!

Pablo Borgen was arrested, again. He had a complete organization. Police had a flow chart with Borgen at the top. He continued to deal drugs while on House Arrest for a 2008 drug trafficking charge. He is a citizen of the Dominican Republic, and receives food stamps, $900.00 monthly, as do a “handful of others” involved with him. According to the report coming from Winter Haven, Florida, “leaders, sellers, users, marketers” were arrested, and most have a criminal history, and some are illegal aliens.

Pablo Bergen
Borgen wrapped his heroin in glossy green paper — his signature trademark for his product, which was found “all over the county,” but mainly in Lakeland.” Thirty-three arrests have been made over the past 14 months. We are not told how long Borgen has been on food stamps.

The idiots at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who approve applications for benefits for illegals, should be fired, but then we know the Department has advertised for more people to enroll, get on the government dole, become a victim, vote for and be controlled by, Democrats. Who approved Pablo Borgen for food stamps?
Pablo Borgen Arrested, Illegal Alien Heroin Dealer on Food Stamps (video)

  H/T TopRightNews Posted by Maggie @ Maggie's Notebook

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Republicans to Release Their "Immigration Principles" This Week

House Republicans announced they will release a "one-page statement" on "immigration principles," this week. Along with true border security, there are two issues (among many) we must demand: 1) doing away with specific foreigners, legal or illegal, giving birth, resulting in a new U.S. citizen each time a baby is born, popularly known as an "anchor baby," and 2) Visa reform. Some 400,000 women come here, from across the globe, solely to give birth to a U.S. citizen every year.

When and anchor baby reaches the age of 21, he/she can legally sponsor large numbers of relatives to come here. Each baby means the addition of large numbers of aliens to come here. But the truth is, the illegal alien family in the U.S. at the time of the birth is seldom deported.
In 2010, one of every 13 babies born in the U.S. was born to an illegal alien and in 2010, educating these children cost taxpayers $52 million annually.
We need reform of who gets a Visa and who does not. When a Visa expires we must know where that person is, and each Visa holder should have a point of departure and expect to be there on that proscribed day. At the departure point, whatever government bureaucrats are in charge of the process, should be able to tick-off the name; Abdul and Juan departed, Awad and Caesar did not, and are in violation - and once found, will never again be allowed inside this country. Finding them, pronto, should be a priority. Over-staying a visa is ONLY considered a civil violation. It should be a criminal charge, and no screwing around with it. No more over-stayed visas, which were responsible for some of the 9/11/01 terrorists having access to the U.S. It's an ongoing problem of government ineptitude. We need to force this, demand it. There will never be a sense of security, either physical or fiscal, if we do not.
This month, Congressman Steve King (R-IA) once again introduced legislation to stop the "anchor-baby" receiving citizenship. H.R. 140 is titled Birthright Citizenship Act of 2013. Read the text here. At this time, King has 30 co-sponsors, without a single Democrat among them, and I am astounded that not one Oklahoma Republican's name is on the list. Every Congressman from Oklahoma is a Republican. Representatives Bridenstine, Cole, Lankford, Lucas, and Mullen, please co-sponsor this bill or issue a statement on why you have decided not to co-sponsor.
Co-Sponsors (Is your Congressman on this list? If not Tweet, FB, Fax, Email and Call):
(joined Jan 15, 2013)
(joined Jan 15, 2013)
(joined Jan 23, 2013)
(joined Jan 23, 2013)
(joined Jan 23, 2013)
(joined Jan 23, 2013)
(joined Feb 26, 2013)
(joined Feb 26, 2013)
(joined Feb 26, 2013)
(joined Feb 26, 2013)
(joined Mar 12, 2013)
(joined May 07, 2013)
(joined Jun 13, 2013)
(joined Jun 27, 2013)
(joined Jul 08, 2013)
(joined Jan 09, 2014)

In the Senate, David Vitter (R-LA) introduced the same legislation, S. 301. At this time, there are only two co-sponsors, Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and John Boozman (R-AR).
If I understand this short piece of legislation correctly, it is not retroactive, so all anchor babies born before this legislation becomes law, will remain U.S. citizens. If a person is born in the U.S. of parents, one of whom is a citizen or national, or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the U.S. and whose residence is in the U.S., or the child of an alien on active U.S. military duty -- those have the privilege of being a U.S. citizen. I take this to mean that all other babies are not privileged to U.S. citizenship. If you see it differently, let me know.

Russian Teen Charged With WMD in Pennsylvania -- Bomb Components Released: Six Questions

There is additional information today about what came together to be classified a Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) in yesterday's bust of Penn State student, 19-year-old Vladislav Miftakhov, an engineering major. A young man in the same apartment building said Miftakhov was "the weirdest individual I have ever known," and that the teen had recently set off "small homemade bombs outside the apartment, leaving small craters in the ground...."  So much for 'see something, say something.' According to the article linked below, Miftakhov told police he had "experimented with other homemade explosives in California." The Facebook profile pic below is confirmed by Pennsylvania's KRON4 News to be the same Miftakhov, as I suspected in my original post yesterday.

Vladislav Miftakhov

According to a criminal complaint, police found one pound of atomized magnesium and one pound of Chinese potassium perchlorate along with a package labeled potassium nitrate powder. They also found fuses and several containers of compressed air.
When asked what he was going to do with two devices that were found with exposed fuses, Miftakhov said "he was going to blow things up," the complaint alleges.
Miftakhov later said he only intended to set devices off in a field and wasn't going to blow anything up, the document says.
He told police that he had previously experimented with other homemade explosives in California.
Authorities found five marijuana seedlings and a grow light, the complaint says....Source: CNN
In the suitcase, police found a small aluminum container with an exposed fuse, a smaller plastic container with an exposed fuse, containers of compressed air, a can of static-guard spray, a package labeled potassium nitrate powder, a pound of atomized magnesium mesh, a pound of potassium perchorate, magnesium cord and loose fuses, according to the affidavit....
He said he bought the materials to make the devices through Amazon within the previous three weeks and put them together in his room, according to the affidavit.
The young man talking about "the weirdest individual" he had ever known, also said Miftakhov would come to his apartment and take food out of the refrigerator without asking. It reminds me of the common thread of arrogance among others who are a danger to the U.S., like Boston bombers, Dzhokar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Six questions:
1) Is Miftakhov here legally or illegally? He went to high school in San Carlos, California. 2) Did he over-stay a visa? He is reportedly a Russian national. 3) Where are his parents. 4) Does he have siblings. 5) Are U.S. taxpayers giving him any assistance for living or for school? 6) Miftkahov bought the chemicals on Amazon. What does the NSA have on him? I'm betting nothing.
Andrew Leff talks about Vladislav Miftakhov - the "weirdest individual" he has ever known (video)

Posted by Maggie @ Maggie'sNotebook

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Al-Qaeda Calls for "Immediate Halt" in Syria To Stop Infighting - Yes, John McCain, Your Rebels Include an Al-Qaeda Faction

The Obama administration and John McCain have insisted that the sarin gas attacks on Syrian civilians came from Bashar Assad's Syrian government, and regime-change is needed. A new MIT report says, in essence, American Intelligence is wrong and needs to fix itself. While thinking about the attacks, we also need to think about Benghazi and a possible gunrunning operation from that city to Syrian rebels. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri is calling for rebels to pull together rather than fighting each other, so if you (hello John McCain!) have doubts that al-Qaeda is fighting among the rebels, get over it. That's the summary for what you'll read below.
Ayman Al-Zawahri
I loathe crediting the United Nations for anything, but in this case, it bears merit. A report released this week issued by a "team of security and arms experts," concludes that the Syrian government had no viable method of delivering the sarin from any distance within Syria exceeding two miles, leaving what has been suspected for some time - Syrian rebels (including al-Qaeda) had to gas their own people in Ghouta, in an effort to get U.S. support in overthrowing Assad.
[Theodore Postol, Prof. of Science, Technology and National Security Policy at MIT] ...a basic analysis of the weapon – some also have described as a looking like a push pop, a fat cylinder filled with sarin atop a thin stick that holds the engine – would have shown that it wasn’t capable of flying the 6 miles from the center of the Syrian government-controlled part of Damascus to the point of impact in the suburbs, or even the 3.6 miles from the edges of government-controlled ground.
He questioned whether U.S. intelligence officials had actually analyzed the improbability of a rocket with such a non-aerodynamic design traveling so far before Secretary of State John Kerry declared on Sept. 3 that “we are certain that none of the opposition has the weapons or capacity to effect a strike of this scale – particularly from the heart of regime territory.”...
[Richard Lloyd, former UN weapons inspector]...Lloyd, who has spent the past half-year studying the weapons and capabilities in the Syrian conflict, disputed the assumption that the rebels are less capable of making rockets than the Syrian military.
“The Syrian rebels most definitely have the ability to make these weapons,” he said. “I think they might have more ability than the Syrian government.” Source: Syria The Truth
On Fox yesterday at 10:26 a.m. CDT, Leland Vittert reported that Syrian rebels are fighting among themselves as much as they are fighting back against the regime. More inn support of that information:
Meanwhile, as infighting among rebels has grown so deadly — nearly 1,400 killed in the past 20 days — Ayman al-Zawahri, the Al-Qaeda head, called for an immediate halt to the internal clashes.
In an audio message posted online Thursday, he said Islamic groups in Syria should set up an Islamic court that would mediate and resolve the factions’ differences.
Islamic fighters should also focus on “bringing down Assad’s secular, sectarian, unjust and criminal regime to set up a just Islamic state.”
The intervention by the Al-Qaeda leader plays directly into Mr. Assad’s argument only his government is preventing Syria’s further descent into chaos. Source: National Post
To think that al-Qaeda would hesitate to gas civilians is extraordinarily naive.
“Theodore Postol, a professor of technology and national security at MIT, reviewed the UN photos with a group of his colleagues and concluded that the large calibre rocket was an improvised munition that was very likely manufactured locally.  He told me that it was ‘something you could produce in a modestly-capable machine shop.’  The rocket in the photos, he added, fails to match the specifications of a similar but smaller rocket known to be in the Syrian arsenal.”
● The Syrian Improvised Chemical Munitions that were used in the August 21, 2013 Nerve Agent attack in Damascus have a range of about 2 kilometers
● The UN Independent Assessment of the Range of the chemical munition is in exact agreement with our findings
● This indicates that these munitions could not possibly have been fired at East Ghouta from the "heart", or from the Eastern Edge, of the Syrian Government controlled area shown in the intelligence map published by the White House on August 30, 2013.
● This mistaken intelligence could have led to an unjustified US military action based on false intelligence
● A proper vetting of the fact that the munition was of such short range would have led to a completely different assessment of the situation from the gathered data
● Whatever the reasons for the egregious errors in the intelligence, the source of these errors needs to be explained
● If the source of these errors is not identified, the procedures that led to this intelligence failure will go uncorrected, and the chances of a future policy disaster will grow with certainty.
● Conspiracies are many, but some are worth considering and must be considered because what Obama and Hillary Clinton are telling us about Benghazi makes no sense, and the support of Syrian rebels makes no sense now that we know that al-Qaeda factions are in the rebel mix. (Source: "Main Policy" issues of the above linked report)
If you prefer to get technical, I encourage you to view the MIT report linked above and take note of the maps of the areas affected and their distance from the grounds held by the Syrian government.
In my opinion, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were likely conspirators in a gunrunning operation from Benghazi to Syria straight into the arms of waiting rebels. Perhaps this explains why Ambassador Chris Stevens was in Benghazi and died on September 11, 2012, along with 3 other Americans AND why General Carter Ham did not know about the CIA annex in Benghazi, and why the Pentagon didn't know the Benghazi Special Mission Compound -- the residence where Stevens and others lived and worked when Stevens was in Benghazi -- existed. Unbe-freaking-lievable, as blogger Proof Positive said in comments on my story about General Ham and the Pentagon a few days ago.
Obama is backing the al-Qaeda side of Syria, just as he is backing the Muslim Brotherhood. Every al-Qaeda leader was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Wake up America!
12 years later, we are back to arming radical Muslims, having forgotten, with stunning speed, the lessons of the previous 30 years.
12 years later we have come full circle.
We all understand that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. It served as the basis of our Cold War foreign policy stance towards revolutions and civil wars around the globe.
But when the enemy of my enemy, is also my enemy, it would seem as though choices for options range between “absolutely not” and “this is a terrible idea.”
Posted by Maggie @ Maggie's Notebook