Monday, June 29, 2009

Chavez Threatens Military Action Over Honduras Coup

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday put troops on alert after a coup in Honduras and said he would respond militarily if his envoy to the Central American country was kidnapped or killed. Chavez said Honduran soldiers took away the Cuban ambassador and left the Venezuelan ambassador on the side of a road after beating him during the army's coup against his leftist ally, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya. The Honduran army ousted Zelaya and exiled him in Central America's first military coup since the Cold War, after he upset the army by trying to win re-election. Chavez said on state television if his ambassador to Venezuela was killed, or if troops entered the Venezuelan Embassy, "that military junta would be entering a de facto state of war. We would have to act militarily ... I have put the armed forces of Venezuela on alert." Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, part of a coalition of leftist governments headed by Chavez that includes Honduras, said he would support military action if Ecuador's diplomats or those of its allies were threatened. The socialist Chavez has in the past threatened to use his armed forces in the region but never followed through. He said that if a new government is sworn in after the coup it would be defeated. "We will bring them down, we will bring them down, I tell you," he said, while hundreds of red-shirted supporters gathered outside Venezuela's presidential palace in solidarity with Zelaya.The United States has long accused the Venezuelan former soldier of being a destabilizing force in Latin America. Chavez himself tried to take power in a coup in 1992 and was briefly ousted in a 2002 putsch but was reinstated after protests. Chavez, who accused the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush of backing his removal, said there should be an investigation into whether Washington had a hand in Zelaya's ouster. "They will have to get to the bottom of how much of a hand the CIA and other imperial bodies had in this," he said. The White House denied any U.S. participation in the coup. "There was no U.S. involvement in this action against President Zelaya," a White House official told reporters. President Barack Obama said he was deeply concerned by the events in Honduras and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton condemned the action taken against Zelaya. A senior U.S. official said Washington recognizes only Zelaya as president. The United States supported a number of military coups in Central America during the Cold War and used Honduras as a base for its counter-insurgency operations in the region in the 1980s. Washington still has several hundred troops stationed at Soto Cano Air Base, a Honduran military installation that is also the headquarters for a regional U.S. joint task force that conducts humanitarian, drug and disaster relief operations. Chavez and other Latin American leaders from his ALBA coalition, including Ecuador's President Rafael Correa and Bolivia's President Evo Morales, were headed to Nicaragua on Sunday to discuss what action to take over Honduras. ALBA's nine members also include Cuba, Honduras and Nicaragua. Ecuador said Sunday it will not recognize any new government in Honduras.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Obama Issues First Veto Threat: "Defense Bill"

The U.S. House of Representatives was poised to approve on Thursday a $550.4 billion defense authorization bill for fiscal 2010 that has drawn a veto threat from Barack Obama because it contains money for fighter jets he does not want. The bill also authorizes $130 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the fiscal year that begins October 1. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said it supported the overall bill but the president's senior advisers would recommend a veto unless some provisions were dropped. One congressional aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, described the White House veto threat as "a bargaining tool." The Senate Armed Services Committee was to unveil its defense authorization bill for 2010 later on Thursday, but the legislation was unlikely to be approved by the full Senate until September. House and Senate negotiators must then hammer out a compromise version before final passage.The OMB said it strongly objected to the House decision to include $369 million in advanced procurement funds to buy 12 more F-22 fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp despite a Pentagon decision to halt production at 187. Some lawmakers are pushing to continue production of the F-22 until a current ban on exports can be lifted to allow Japan to buy a modified version of the premiere U.S. fighter jet. The Lockheed program employs workers in over 40 states. The administration also objected to House lawmakers adding $603 million to the bill to continue work on an alternate F-35 fighter engine being built by General Electric Co and Rolls-Royce Group Plc. The OMB said the changes would delay the fielding of the F-35 and have an adverse effect on the Pentagon's overall strike fighter inventory. It said the risks of a fleet-wide grounding with a single engine, an issue raised by the Marine Corps general who runs the program, were "exaggerated."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hearing Set On Default In Obama Eligibility Case

A judge in California has scheduled a July 13 hearing in a case challenging Barack Obama's eligibility to be president in which the plaintiffs' attorney, Orly Taitz, says the commander-in-chief is in default. Taitz told reporters if her motion is granted she will immediately request access to Obama's birth records and other documentation that could determine his eligibility to occupy the Oval Office. The announcement came from U.S. District Judge David O. Carter, who said: "Before the court is a motion by plaintiffs for reconsideration of order to show cause or in the alternative to certify question for appeal. Court sets this matter for hearing on July 13, 2009 at 8:30a.m. in Courtroom 9D. Plaintiffs are directed to make every effort possible to ensure that all remaining defendants are aware of the hearing and provide documentation that the individual receiving service is authorized to accept on defendants' behalf." Taitz said she previously had served notice of the action but would pursue a further notification and confirmation. "I have a very clear case," Taitz said. "I think they dropped the ball. They didn't figure out this case filed on Jan. 20th, on the day of inauguration. The case was filed on behalf of former U.S. Ambassador Alan Keyes, also a contestant in the 2008 presidential race in California, and others. Taitz said the case might have been confused with another Keyes vs. Obama case filed in that state's court system, which was thrown out and now is on appeal. "I will be asking for the release of his vital records," she said. "The latest argument by the judge says that I was supposed to serve Obama by a certain Rule-4I. My argument is that it wasn't applicable, as I served him as an individual, on inauguration day, for his action before he became the president. He does not qualify to get governmental representation, meaning he has to pick (up) the tab," she explained. "He defaulted, and in default I can demand production of the documents to show his fitness for the position," she wrote. "The documents that I am requesting are the original (birth certificate), school records, passport records and immigration records." The case, which also includes Wiley S. Drake and Markham Robinson as plaintiffs, names as defendant "Barack H Obama also known as Barack Hussein Obama II also known as Barack H Obama II also known as Barry Obama also known as Barry Soetoro." The service was verified, Taitz wrote in her latest motion to the court, by an affidavit that already is on file with the court. "Plaintiffs have satisfied both the requirements of Rule 4(e)(2)(d) (and) 4(i)(3)," she wrote.
Taitz explained the dispute as being over the way she served notice of the lawsuit. There are different requirements for someone acting as a government official or someone who acted as a government official, but has left office. Neither of those apply, she said. She sued Obama individually for his acts before he took office, specifically his refusal to provide the documentation that would show his eligibility. She said her process server went to the White House to serve the president, and the Secret Service refused her admittance and refused to take the documents. She retreated to her car and called the White House office of legal counsel on her cell phone, and was instructed the proper service would be to deliver the documents to the Justice Department, which she did. "Plaintiffs respectfully submit that this Court's order finding or at least strongly suggesting that 4(e) service is insufficient, and requiring 4(i) service, regarding the subject matter of this lawsuit as against the sole served Defendant Barack H. Obama, is manifestly erroneous and plaintiffs accordingly request that the court reconsider its motion," she argued. "In the alternative, plaintiffs move and request that this court exercise its sound discretion to certify a question for interlocutory appeal." She suggested the case already is in default on the part of the president, and it should so be concluded. "Why have a rule of default, at all, why make a distinction between private and U.S. governmental parties as between 4(e) and 4(i) at all within the federal rules, if the face of a complaint, and the status of the parties at the time of filing, cannot be used to judge compliance with such a rule which might apply in this case to guarantee victory to the plaintiff? "It seems to the plaintiffs unfair and unjust that a judge could merely set aside a party’s default on a whim, for no good legal or equitable reason, based on a change in a party's status, but not the cause of action against him, between filing and service of a suit?" she continued. "Plaintiffs Keyes et al. request this court to amend its order to show cause, especially but not limited to the Friday, June 12, 2009, order extending show cause, and denying as moot plaintiffs' motions for clarification, to permit plaintiffs to pursue an appeal pursuant to section 1292(b)." Taitz was born in the Republic of Moldova which used to be part of the Soviet Union. Recalling her life under a communist regime, she told WND she is determined to do her part to stop America from following in the all-too-familiar footsteps of her former homeland. She confirms she is not willing to let the issue rest on a single case and has filed multiple complaints in an effort to reach her goal. She previously took her complaint directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, and when the justices met privately with the defendant – Obama – but didn't explain their rejection of her dispute, she approached two different justices in public settings, asking them to consider the case. She has likened not only the U.S. judiciary to the old Soviet Union establishment because of its unwillingness to resolve the dispute, but she's accused members of the media of becoming like the Soviet press, because they push for Obama's agenda.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ahmed & Salim Episode 7

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gates Orders Measures To Protect Hawaii From North Korea Missile

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he has ordered the U.S. military to take defensive measures should North Korea attempt to fire a ballistic missile toward Hawaii.“I think we are in a good position, should it become necessary, to protect American territory,” Gates told reporters at the Pentagon today.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Obama Signs Memorandum For Gay Benefits

Barack Obama signaled to gay rights activists Wednesday that he's listening to their priorities by extending some benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. But he didn't give them even close to everything they want, bringing growing anger against the president to the surface. "We all have to acknowledge this is only one step," Obama said in the Oval Office, where he signed a memorandum that made incremental changes to benefits offered to the same-sex partners of gay federal employees. But the president's critics - and there were many - saw Wednesday's meager move to expand gay rights as little more than pandering to a reliably Democratic voting bloc, with the primary aim not of making policy more fair but of cutting short a fundraising boycott."When a president tells you he's going to be different, you believe him," said John Aravosis, a Washington-based gay activist. "It's not that he didn't follow through on his promises, he stabbed us in the back." Obama has refused to take any concrete steps toward a repeal of a policy that bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, even though as a candidate he pledged to scrap the Clinton-era rules. He similarly has refused to step in and block the dismissal of gays and lesbians who face courts martial for disclosing their sexual orientation. Obama said he wants to see the Defense of Marriage Act repealed and in its place a law that would give the partners of gay and lesbian federal employees health insurance and survivor benefits, among other things.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Big Man Japan (A Little Weekend Fun)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

St. Paul Rabbi Pulls No Punches

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic is asking political and religious leaders in that state to repudiate a St. Paul rabbi. CAIR says the statement made by Rabbi Manis Friedman is a call to kill Arab men, women and children and to destroy their religious sites. In an article in the latest issue of ‘Moment Magazine,’ headlined ‘How Should Jews Treat Their Arab Neighbors?’ Friedman of the Bais Chana Institute of Jewish Studies in St. Paul, wrote in part:"I don’t believe in western morality, i.e. don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during holiday seasons, don’t bomb cemeteries, don’t shoot until they shoot first because it is immoral. The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle)…with their holy sites destroyed, they will stop believing that God is on their side." The magazine published a statement stating Friedman's views were his own and ‘do not represent the official policy of any Jewish movement or organization.