Archive for April, 2011

Bolton

By John Rossomando
© 2011 WorldNetDaily

The Obama administration’s lack of a decisive foreign policy toward the Middle East has created a power vacuum that Iran is rushing to fill amid the ongoing season of revolution that is sweeping across the region, according to former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.

Bolton told WND that Obama’s unwillingness to stand next to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, despite his nearly 30 years of friendly relations with the United States, is causing some in the region, particularly in the Gulf states, to cut a devil’s bargain with Iran to keep the peace.

“They are worried that if they come into difficulty that they will be tossed over the side too,” Bolton said. “The Gulf Arab states are very worried that now may actually be for them the time to cut a deal with Iran; they might not like that idea, but they’re not moving out of the neighborhood.

“And they’d rather cut a deal when their leverage is more substantial than they think it is going to be if they think American influence is going into decline.”

Iranian meddling has been particularly evident in places such as majority Shiite Bahrain, which hosts the main American naval base in the Persian Gulf. The Gulf state believes Iranian agents have been leading protests against its monarchy in coordination with local Shiite clerics.

Iran has also been suspected of stirring dissent in Saudi Arabia’s largely Shiite eastern provinces.

Read more: Bolton: Obama policies push nations toward Iran
Read more:

Jaczko

By John Rossomando
© 2011 WorldNetDaily

WASHINGTON – Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko promised to be more transparent than his predecessors when he began his job in May 2009.

But congressional investigators say Jaczko, a former staffer of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has been anything but transparent in his handling of the federal government’s response to the Japanese nuclear crisis.

They assert he could be acting beyond what the law allows.

Jaczko assumed “emergency powers” following last month’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan – powers that allow him to unilaterally manage the agency’s response to the Japanese nuclear crisis without participation from the other NRC commissioners.

Now Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, asked his committee staff to contact all four of the other NRC commissioners. Inhofe was told Jaczko had not informed them of his decision to invoke his powers, as of March 30.

“Since March 28th was the first indication my staff received regarding your exercise of emergency authority – apparently no public declaration was made – I am concerned that any effort by you to declare an emergency has been less than ideal, especially given your commitment to openness and transparency,” Inhofe said in an April 6 letter to Jaczko.

GOP committee staffers say only the office of Senate Environment and Public Works Committee chairwoman Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., was informed, and they were kept out of the loop.

EPW commissioners have pointed out that some members of their panel have more experience than Jaczko dealing with nuclear reactor issues of the sort that have plagued Japan since the earthquake.

Concerns also have been expressed that Jaczko’s actions may be beyond what is allowed by law for the NRC chairman. The chairman is required to ensure “that the commission is fully and currently informed about matters within its functions.” He also is supposed to inform the “commission of actions taken during an emergency.”

GOP staffers say Jaczko’s secret invocation of these powers with regard to Japan raises the question of whether or not he has acted similarly in other cases.

Read more:

Republicans have introduced legislation to reopen the nation's coasts to oil drilling, which they say will reduce the cost of oil and gas.

By John Rossomando
© 2011 WorldNetDaily

Republicans say the Obama administration’s policies are contributing to skyrocketing gasoline prices – now at more than $4 per gallon throughout much of the country – and they have introduced legislation to reopen the nation’s coasts to drilling.

This year will be the first year since 1958 that the federal government will not have sold a lease for offshore drilling, and Republicans say this is fueling skyrocketing prices at the pump.

Congress opened the nation’s coasts to drilling the last time gas hit $4 per gallon back in 2008, but the Obama administration effectively reinstated the ban last year by placing the Alaskan, Atlantic and Pacific coasts off-limits to drilling, as well as Florida’s west coast.

“We need to look at the actions of this administration, which are leading to more of a domestic shortage of energy production in this country – whether you are looking at the outer continental shelf or whether you are looking at offshore lease sales,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash.

The chairman told WND that comments made by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar make it seem the administration has a political agenda behind its unwillingness to expand domestic oil drilling.

More than 12,000 jobs in the oil drilling sector have been lost as a direct result of the drilling moratorium the Obama administration imposed last May in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Read more:

By John Rossomando
The Daily Caller 9:55 AM 04/16/2011

The Obama administration has repeatedly said job creation is a top priority, but apparently the memo seems to have missed the bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This became evident when EPA Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus testified Thursday before an Environment and Energy subcommittee hearing that his agency does not take jobs into account when it issues new regulations.

“We have not directly taken a look at jobs in the proposal,” Stanislaus said, referring to a regulation that would govern industries that recycle coal ash and other fossil fuel byproducts.

Coal ash is commonly used to make concrete stronger and longer lasting, make wallboard more durable and improve the quality of roofing shingles.

Stanislaus made his comments in response to questioning by Colorado GOP Rep. Cory Gardner looking into whether the EPA is complying with a recent presidential executive order and considering jobs in its regulatory regime. The EPA issued a April 30, 2010 statement in the appendix of its regulatory impact analysis for proposed regulation under the Resources and Recovery Act (RCRA) of coal ash.

That statement said: “The [regulatory impact assessment] does not include either qualitative or quantitative estimation of the potential effects of the proposed rule on economic productivity, economic growth, employment, job creation or international economic competitiveness.”

The statement contradicts Executive Order 13563, which President Obama signed in January requiring rules to take job creation into account when federal agencies issue new rules.

Gardner pressed Stanislaus as to whether or not EPA had done a direct economic analysis on how the rule would affect jobs, to which Stanislaus replied saying that EPA had not included jobs in its cost-benefit analysis of the rule.

“Do you feel an economic analysis that does not include the complete picture on jobs, is that a full economic analysis?” Gardner asked. “I think it is really a yes or no question.

“To me, I don’t see how you can talk about economic analysis without talking about jobs… and you said that you would not promulgate a rule where the costs would exceed the benefits,” Gardner continued. “But if you are not taking into account jobs, I don’t see how that goes.”

Gardner’s line of questioning had Stanislaus visibly dumbfounded, and he repeatedly told the congressman he would have to get back to him with the answers to his questions.

Read more:

King

By John Rossomando
© 2011 WorldNetDaily

WASHINGTON – House Republicans announced plans today to repeal the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act, which critics say unfairly protects unionized businesses from competition, during a Capitol Hill press conference sponsored by the conservative House Republican Study Committee (RSC).

“It slows our economy and slows the growth of hiring for employment, and it is also a vestige of the Jim Crow Act that needs to be repealed,” said Steve King, R-Iowa, noting segregationists had lobbied for the law at the time of its passage to deter the hiring of Southern blacks in New York.

The latest repeal effort is part of the RSC Repeal Taskforce’s effort to repeal laws they see as “unconstitutional, anti-free enterprise, or otherwise counter to economic, national security or social conservatism.”

Previous efforts to repeal the law, such as a 1999 attempt by Texas Rep. Ron Paul, proved unsuccessful. Nonetheless, King is optimistic of getting his repeal proposal passed.

Repealing the law, which mandates that all workers on federally funded construction projects over $2,000 receive what is known as the “prevailing wage,” would save the federal government $15.7 billion over the next decade, according to King.

Read more:

Walker

By John Rossomando
The Daily Caller 1:19 PM 04/15/2011

Democratic members of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee went on the attack against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s budget ax in defense of some of their top donors ̶ public-sector unions ̶ during his appearance before the committee Thursday.

The Democrats subjected Walker to a blistering cross-examination over his decision to curtail public-sector unions’ collective bargaining rights ̶ rights they repeatedly called “fundamental”.

The hearing, which had been called by Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. to discuss pension and other budgetary challenges facing the states and the District of Columbia, but it did not take long before it descended into bitter partisanship.

Walker’s plan abolishes the automatic deduction of union dues from public employee paychecks and requires them to contribute 5.8 percent for their pensions and 12.6 percent for their health insurance premiums among other things. The governor anticipates the new law would save local governments $700 million annually.

Political motivations were of particular concern to the Democrats who accused Walker of eliminating collective bargaining with the intention of undermining the Democratic Party and denying President Obama re-election.

“Have you ever had a conversation with respect to your actions in Wisconsin in using them to punish members of the opposition party and their donor base?” Virginia Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly asked Walker. “You’ve never had such a conversation?”

Walker denied the accusation and responded by refocusing attention on his eight years as a county executive where he confronted unions that were unwilling to make what he said were modest changes to their compensation.

According to OpenSecrets.org, Connolly ranked number two in the entire Congress in terms of the amount of donations received from public-sector unions, raking in $122,750 in 2010 alone. Only then-House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., received more campaign donations from public-sector unions.

Read more:

Former Libyan Ambassador Ali Aujali, who currently represents the rebel Libyan Transitional National Council in Washington, indicated that the Libyan faction of the Muslim Brotherhood could have an important role in a post-Gadhafi Libya.

By John Rossomando
© 2011 WorldNetDaily

WASHINGTON – A representative of Libya’s rebel Transitional National Council says radical Islamists such as members of the Muslim Brotherhood could have a role in a democratic post-Gadhafi government.

This has some prominent observers worried radical Islamists could use the power of the ballot to take over, much as they did in Iran after the shah was deposed.

Ali Aujali, Gadhafi’s former ambassador to Washington, who resigned his post in February to throw his lot with the rebels, told WND during a question-and-answer session at the American Enterprise Institute Monday that the Muslim Brotherhood is a part of Libyan society and would not be prevented from participating in a post-Gadhafi democratic government.

“If you have a democracy you have room for any peaceful, democratic organization to work in this society, and if there [are] Brotherhood members lobbying for the Libyan people, this is their right. They are Libyans, and they see Gadhafi as a criminal, and they don’t approve of what he is doing,” Aujali said.

Aujali denied the Libyan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood engages in violence, as does Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Islamist group. Conversely, Aujali said he opposes allowing groups like al-Qaida to participate in a post-Gadhafi government.

The Muslim Brotherhood has had deep roots in Libya dating back to the 1950s when King Idris I invited the group into his kingdom after it was expelled from Egypt, but members have been repressed since Gadhafi came to power in 1969.

The former ambassador also said a democratic Libyan government would respect women’s rights, responding to a question from former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who moderated the talk.

Read more:

Poll: Even Left Leaving Obama

Posted: April 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

Obama

By John Rossomando
© 2011 WorldNetDaily

A new Zogby International poll shows even the left is drifting away from Barack Obama’s side.

His re-election numbers are the lowest of his presidency so far – at 38 percent.

And only 35 percent of independents, whose support will be crucial for his re-election, would vote to re-elect him if the election were held today.

The poll also shows 55 percent of those surveyed say they want someone new at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Of those surveyed, 17 percent of Democrats want to see a change, as do 55 percent of independents and 94 percent of Republicans.

Be the first to get the new eligibility book signed by Jerome Corsi and help get TV commercials on the air to bust this issue wide open!

Pollster John Zogby told WND the numbers are among the lowest for a first-term president in recent memory. The poll reflects anger with Obama over his perceived mishandling of the intervention in Libya, the economy and the looming possibility of inflation, among other issues.

“This is a low number … for any president, for any incumbent,” Zogby said. “There’s a sense of disappointment from the left and the center; the right has always solidly been opposed to the president.

“Voters are not big fans of the federal government these days anyways and government, period, and the people are disappointed with Obama simply because he’s the president.”

Read more:

By John Rossomando
© 2011 WorldNetDaily

The military’s top brass in a hearing today before the House Armed Services Committee denied engaging in “sensitivity training” by instructing the troops about various aspects of homosexuality in connection to the implementation of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.

They similarly testified they did not see any perceivable threat to military readiness from Congress’ repeal of the law barring homosexuals from serving openly in the military.

But not all of the reports were positive, as one leader said nearly two out of three Marine combat personnel expressed concerns about the changes. And the commanders affirmed their services would follow the letter of the law and take disciplinary action against service members who might take issue with the training.

Testifying were Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Marine Commandant James Amos and Air Force Chief of Staff Norton A. Schwartz.

It was Chiarelli and Schwartz who said there would be ramifications for those who objected to the imposition of the new policy.

Each of the top military officers expressed a firm commitment to retaining a high level of military readiness in spite of the repeal, emphasizing it would be done in a disciplined and orderly fashion.

Take a guided tour into the future of the U.S. military once homosexuality is welcomed with open arms.

“We monitor readiness and all of the components of readiness continuously and all of the factors that are involved,” Roughead said. “I think it is telling that in the survey itself in those units where members served with gay and lesbian sailors – that they rated readiness either well or very well.”

The admiral went on to say the Navy was not engaging in sensitivity training in its implementation of the education and training phase of the repeal. The Navy, he said, anticipates completing its implementation of its training by July 1.

Read more:

Conservative observers claim a compromise bill aimed at streamlining the Senate confirmation process would dramatically magnify the number of czars by nearly 200.

By John Rossomando – The Daily Caller 9:36 AM 04/08/2011

Legislation co-sponsored by Tennessee GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander has Tea Party and other conservative leaders crying foul because it backs away from their goal of bringing added congressional accountability to President Obama’s czars, now 37 in number.

The bill, S 670, enjoys bipartisan support from Democrats such as Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, fellow Republicans such as Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine and Independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada reportedly has also signed onto supporting the legislation as has Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

The senator initially had considered introducing legislation that would have made the president’s czars subject to Senate confirmation.

But according to Alexander’s office, he crafted a compromise with the Democrats instead that would remove numerous subcabinet officials from confirmation as a way of keeping them from ending the filibuster.

“This bipartisan effort will free up the Senate so it can focus on our country’s most urgent needs of reducing spending and debt, rather than on confirming hundreds of junior and part-time positions in any president’s administration, like the public-relations officer of a minor department,” Alexander said in a statement. “The Senate will still continue to confirm about a thousand presidential nominees – nearly four times as many appointees as President Kennedy had.”

Read more: