Friday, May 17, 2013
Obama Administration Promotes Sarah Hall Ingram – From IRS Head of Conservative Group Harassment to IRS Oversight of ObamaCare – Appearances are Everything.
From ABC News Sarah Hall Ingram, The IRS official in charge during tea party (and religious, education, businesses, etc.) harassment, has been promoted to run the IRS unit overseeing “Obamacare”. In fact, during the height of group targeting by the IRS Ms. Ingram received substantial bonuses.(Washington Examiner).
There is a multitude of articles from a variety of sources suggesting that due to Ms. Hall Ingram’s tenure at the IRS, and the implications that she was involved in harassing citizens for their political and religious beliefs’, one might take pause that she is slated to be in control of one’s health care. The questions that remain are myriad – as to her role in the scandal, and how that role would translate to her new position. If in fact, she is ideologically driven, be it a Church group’s healthcare, or an individual who has political or religious inclinations that are not in simpatico with the current administration, then those individuals might finds themselves denied health care, or be subject to fines, and or increased premiums (above the anticipated increases that will most likely force millions into the government run programs.) In that scenario, reappointment to a less volatile position would be in the best interest of the Administration.
One might understand that the appearances of scandal are not the same thing as direct involvement, as that has yet to be determined. Additionally, with the size and scope of the government today, it is also quite possible that not everyone in every position is all that brilliant, nor has taken the time, or would have the time to oversee the “workers” who might just be a tad on the renegade side. In fact, she may be innocent of any wrongdoing what-so-ever, and yet, she is being tainted by the appearance of scandal, and further, guilt by association.
It is true that there are problems at the IRS as it relates to the treatment of those whose beliefs, political and religious, do not coincide with the administration. However, it is not clear, yet, who gave the ultimate orders. In addition, despite the fact that the law known as Obamacare is widely unpopular, especially with seniors and those conservatives who would prefer it be repealed and replaced, the lame brained idea of appointing this woman to head that division, while the IRS is blowing up, did her no service.
She, along with anyone else who has their fingers in the pie of the American Trust, are in over their heads, and that is apparent simply because as being the top executive in any branch, demands oversight of all operations to ensure all is running smoothly. Therefore, she was either complicit, or more likely incompetent, or incapable of managing the task.
There are three separate scandals (or, more to the point, Nixonian tactics) going on in DC at the moment. 1. Misleading the American Public intentionally on the deaths of American’s in Libya, 2. The IRS targeting of citizens and groups that do not share the same political ideological beliefs as the President, and 3. The tapping of Journalists (including the AP) in excess.
The measures to date have been denial and dodging questions. Is it quite possible, they all have no clue? Is it quite possible, that one hand does not know what the other is doing? Is it entirely possible, despite the insistence that everyone is brilliant, that they simply are not? That’s the real question. The danger in having a government so large, that it cannot be managed, unless by competent mangers, then it is time to downsize, and to restructure based on competence. In general, that’s what elections are for, yet, even with a smaller government, one might still encounter wrongdoing, or scandals, as we are all, human. Yet, it would be much easier to contain. The theory presented is that those how have led lives dependent upon academia and law, are most likely not capable of managing anything other than a dandy speech – and are, as stated, unable to manage the sizes of the government as it now stands. The Congressional Repeal of “Obamacare” is a step in the right direction (although one can bet the House that the Senate will not take it up…even though there is dissension in the ranks of the Democrats on this one issue.). There is much to do to placate the American Taxpayer – but partisan politics will continue to muddy the waters, unless and until the American People get fed up, and wake up, and simply stop hiring based on “experience” (those that have served multiple terms), or “Popularity”, or most importantly, those with an R or a D in front of their name, that cannot part ways with their Political Party now and again. Until that happens, and management, downsizing, and efficiency are first and foremost in the minds of those who operate the government - those who are in positions, such as Hall Ingram will be vilified.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
MA - On Edge - Questions Remain After Possible Terrorism - Water Supply Breached at Quabbin Reservoir.
The Quabbin - map depicts exactly how vast this "protected" areas is - leaves food for thought - image custompro.com
Yesterday, after midnight 7 individuals from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Singapore were found at the Quabbin Reservoir (which supplies water to Boston, and Western Mass. cities), the State’s labs deemed the water “safe” at approximately - 11:00 AM (Masslive). The incident has left residents a bit concerned given the fact that the individuals caught at the Quabbin Reservoir were in a restricted area, after midnight, noted they were there as “recent college graduates, who were chemical engineers”, and it was in the interest of their careers. The word “fishy” is being used a great deal in response to the incident.
Local NBS Affiliate WWLP reported that local residents had concerns:
Since 9/11, cars are restricted on the roads through the Quabbin. Frequent visitors George and Elizabeth Banas of Belchertown told 22News they're concerned there may be even tighter security at the Quabbin.
George told 22News, “You could drive everywhere on your bike or walk, that's it. They blocked everything off, you know.”
“When you get a report like that, kind of alludes to something may have happened, is a potential target for terrorists, then you stop and think about it,” said Elizabeth Banas.
And when George Fuller of Ware first heard the 22News report about the seven alleged trespassers, something ominous went through his mind.
“The fact that they wanted redemption for Boston, I thought someone wanted to get back at us for what happened in Boston, what we did to the two that we caught,” said Fuller. “It's the first thing I thought of.”
There are concerns, since the group of individuals reasoning may not add up – the first thought might be that they were doing a “recon” or checking for ease of access to the Reservoir for a future date.
The claimed to be recent college graduates, yet there are no local area colleges (Massachusetts Universities) that have yet graduated – commencements are this coming week. Therefore, recent may have meant last year. Are there student visa’s still valid?
When police ran their names through Interpol, et. al – did they understand that the brothers who bombed the Boston Marathon also did not show up on any lists – one did, but due to a misspelling of the name, was missed – add to that that there was zero information sharing between agencies, and the MA FBI had no clue Russia, and Saudi Arabia had warned the U.S. about those two in particular a year or more prior to the bombing.
There is no mention of further investigation, rather putting extra emphasis on watching the water supplies around the state – just in case.
Understanding that this occurred Tuesday at midnight, had the group dropped a chemical into the drinking water, the “speed” with which the public was notified would have left 1950’s civil security volunteers a bit embarrassed. It is not so much the fact that it takes some time to test several million gallons of drinking water for problems – it is the fact that the only notice made available to the public was newscasts. Given the fact that newscasts are not reaching a large percentage of the population, knowing a major water supply was breached, without immediately knowing (13 hours later) that the water was “safe to drink”, left those that get their drinking water from Quabbin exposed had there been any biological or chemical threats to the water supply.
On the one hand it is a matter of panicking a lot of people if nothing might be wrong, while on the other hand not panicking a lot of people and having more than a few funerals should there have been something lethal placed in the water supply.
Do we lack confidence in the police? By no means, it is the general bureaucracy that has shown to be less than efficient as a whole, especially in Massachusetts (which one might consider a mini-Washington).
Given the era in which we live, with a proclivity for those visiting this nation from certain radical and violent areas, who might just want to blow up people enjoying a day at the marathon or kill half the state by poising their water supply, and the reaction of some individuals who feel that we are somehow to blame for future attacks after having caught, incarcerated and killed the two Boston Bombers, is politically correct, yet plausible. To recap:
Massachusetts recent attack may have residents on edge.
A major water supply was breached at midnight by individuals from nations who are known to export terrorism. Those individuals suggest they are recent students, yet there are no graduations scheduled at the time, there is no adequate civil defense in place to warn residents of any hazards in a timely fashion. Were these individuals here on valid or expired visas? Were they a decoy or on reconnaissance? In other words, checking access to the supply, making a dry run to see how long it would take to get in and out of such an area in order to practice Jihad in masse?
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Is it Safe to Drink the Water? Mass. Terrorism Alert Issued – Middle Eastern Students Caught Trespassing At Boston & Western Mass Major Water Supply - FBI Investigating
Update: From the Boston Globe The water has been tested, and is fine to drink. This is common procedure after any incident involving public safety.
CBS Boston: Massachusetts State Police are stepping up patrols around public water supplies after a group of seven recent college graduates, suggesting they were chemical engineers, were found at midnight at the Quabbin Reservoir in Belchertown, Massachusetts. The men and women are from Amherst, Cambridge and New York City, with countries of origin: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Singapore. Local Western Massachusetts Springfield Republican’s, MassLive is reporting that the individuals were released, and will be summoned to Hampshire District Court on trespassing charges.
State Police spokesman David Procopio said there is no evidence that the group of seven who were stopped at the reservoir near the middle entrance were engaged in terrorism or any crime beyond the trespassing charge.There is good reason for increased security after missed opportunities to prevent the Boston Marathon terrorist attack: “The Boston Regional Intelligence Center and the Commonwealth Fusion Center in Maynard, where information about potential security threats are analyzed, were both unaware that the FBI had interviewed Tsarnaev during its three month investigation triggered by warnings from the Russian government about his radical Islamic ties.
Still, he said, state police have alerted officials with the FBI office in Springfield and theCommonwealth Fusion Center, which is the state’s centralized hub for collecting and analyzing data related to possible terrorism and threats to public safety.
Procopio said the state police would also be increasing patrols at Quabbin and at other water supplies around the state. The Quabbin is the major water supplier for the eastern part of the state, but also supplies water to Chicopee, Wilbraham and part of South Hadley. When full, the Quabbin holds 412 billion gallons of water.
“Further investigation is being undertaken because of the late hour when they were observed, their curious explanation for why they wanted to see the reservoir and the fact that they were in an area marked no trespassing,” Procopio said.
David Procopio, the spokesman for the Massachusetts State Police, which oversees the Fusion Center, told the Globe the FBI didn’t share the information with the anti-terror centers.
“We were not privy to the tip,” he said.(The Blaze)
Although no-one in Massachusetts wants to be accused of being xenophobic, a public notice might be in order, here - given the fact that the lack of data on these foreign students and their potential proclivity to kill American’s is yet to be determined. Frankly, since there has been no indication yet, from any news source that the water supply has been tested for chemical contamination (or biological), those Western Massachusetts and Boston residents waking to this news, might be better served by hearing an “all clear” to make coffee, tea, etc. with tap water. To be clear, Singapore, one of the nations listed as home for one or more of the students, is known having an intolerant breed of Islam”, something that is not a “given “when thinking of nations that export extremists (New Age Islam). Add to that the other individuals were of Saudi Arabian and Pakistani origins, were here post-graduation, noted they were at a major water supply, in the middle of the night, as part of their career interests as chemical engineers, makes one more than a bit concerned about public safety in the Bay State.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
No need to edify - the New Comparison - image from thefinancialtimes.com
The Associated Press is outraged that the federal government had been secretly taping their phone lines in an action which, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, was ““an unacceptable abuse of power." by the Obama Administration (Los Angeles Times).
Given the fact that the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) is on the hot seat for secretly targeting ”conservative groups, especially prior to the 2012 election(Washington Post), it is not a stretch of the imagination that the control with which the government allots itself, would be capable of insuring that their press behave.
When one considers the extreme bias that the media, in general, has shown towards this administration, compared to say, the previous administration, (recent history), it must come as a shock to those who believe themselves to be immune to oversight by a government, to find themselves the target.
The AP is rightly outraged, as should be the rest of the media that believes it to be immune from Lincoln-like tactics, yet, they should have seen this coming. When, as a group, the office of the President is treated as above reproach, deified, and fawned over as if it were, not an elected office, rather a monarchy, then one must expect that heads might roll. There is a difference between respecting the office, and doing the job that a journalist is born for, seeking out the truth and reporting that truth, regardless of how it may or may not be ideologically simpatico with journalist political leanings.
Example: the attack immediately following the attack on Benghazi , the State Department and, by virtue of national security, the White House, were made aware of an Al Queda link, yet, this detail was “edited out”, and Susan Rice, the White House, UN Ambassador, went on multiple television news shows, and blamed a ridiculous video, continuing to do so for several weeks (along with other members of the administration). (Global Dispatch) The fact that in-real-time the administration knew exactly what was taking place, apparently was shoved under the proverbial rug, and being an election year, the media dutifully looked the other way. Suddenly, the opposition who had been maligned (and are still maligned) had something (that would be those Republicans). Now one sees Tom Brokaw asking questions and appearing “shocked”. How much longer before those who dare to question, are also under surveillance?
Sounds like a stretch, but consider that the AP, doing its job, felt confident in its protection under the Constitution? Again, when one treats an elected official as if they were born for the office, then one is doing a disservice to their profession, to the nation, and to that elected official. Why the elected official? Take the past week and the multitude of scandals (for lack of a better word), with which the President is now faced. If one were to back up a bit, and have seen journalist take their profession at its face value, the fact that there were “watchdogs” for the people, may have made the administration take more care in its treatment of certain situations. If the press were not lapdogs, and were watchdogs as they should have been, then perhaps, just perhaps, there would be no taint on the administration at all – only a bit here and there, no unlike any other administration.
The fact that the press, in general, has lost the confidence of the American People, who get their news from a variety of sources rather, or not at all, in most cases, should not be lost on those who profess to be journalists. Perhaps if bias towards a particular group (Conservatives, or certain Democrats who dare to cross party lines), were not so evident in every facet of the news, from the local, to the national, there might be some trust regained. If news articles or broadcasts, including sports articles, fashion, food, were not so focused on the political, rather on reporting, perhaps they might regain that trust. The problem they now face is that if they were to do so, they would certainly be concerned that jobs, their privacy, their freedom might be at stake. Or perhaps that’s what has been going on all along. It is a stretch, given the antipathy between the pubic and the press, and the perception that the press is nothing more than another arm of the government. It is as the AP, and those who follow, will be viewed as the “Boy who cried wolf”.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Gabriel Gomez and His Tax Deductions – When Ed Markey is Over the Ledge; Gomez’s modest tax deduction is Front Page in the Globe.
Image of the Historic Home of Gabriel Gomez - image Boston Globe Article: Gomez claims "controversial Tax Deuduction - A Citizens Guideto Owning an Historic Home
Gabriel Gomez, the GOP candidate for the MA Special Election has come under fire for taking a tax break – tax breaks are taken by millions of taxpayers each year, but, if one is running for elected office, surely that’s a problem. The question is why? There are thousands of historic homes in this nation, and when one buys an historic home, one is bound by law to insure that home is kept at a certain standard. These standards are not “cheap” and one must go through inspections to insure that the home is up to snuff – otherwise, there are fines involved. One way of insuring that the homes are kept up to par, is a federal tax break for those who invest in, what is reality, American History. Gabriel Gomez took such a tax break – which the Markey team is now calling: Bogus. The Boston Globesuggests that the tax deduction is “bogus” and that, although extremely successful as a businessman, Gomez is just “average”. In addition, Gomez had the nerve to blame Ed Markey for his tax deduction, when questioned about the deduction by a local news agency, Gomez had the “chutzpah” to suggest Markey’s vote for the Historic Preservation Act, somehow made it his fault. (Globe) – Apparently, the reporter has no sense of humor, or irony, or any clue as to what goes into owning a historic home. Surely there must be something wrong with Gomez? If not, we’ll just do our darndest to make him sound like something he’s not.
What one might call Gomez is an inexperienced politician, as he is not a politician per se, but by virtue of running for office, he is under the microscope, and more so as he is a Hispanic running under the GOP banner. It is not that he is no more or no less qualified to take the office than say, a Harvard professor, who dabbled in real estate, and took advantage of tax breaks (Elizabeth Warren). Yet, when the going gets tough, the mudslinging must begin.
That’s politics – the size of the tax break, $250,000 and change, is not as large as some might suggest, given the fact that most politicians find loopholes and pay lower tax rates than most working people. On the surface, what’s bogus is the hype surrounding the tax break in the first place.
What the opposition needs to do is keep it’s rather exaggerated candidate from making additional wild claims – Ed Markey , has made claims as far flung as having invented smart phones and Facebook,
Massachusetts Senate candidate Rep. Ed Markey‘s claims to have helped promote technological innovation drew jeers during his primary campaign against Democrat Stephen Lynch, when Markey claimed during a March 27 debate that he “took on the monopolies” and therefore deserved credit for such famed Internet properties as eBay, Facebook and Twitter. That claim drew comparison to former Vice President Al Gore‘s claim to have invented the Internet, but now Markey has made those claims the centerpiece of the first TV ad in his campaign against Republican Gabriel Gomez, and an examination of Markey’s role in telecommunications legislation shows the 66-year-old congressman could have difficulty defending his claims in a surprisingly competitive election.(Frontpage)
Markey’s newly released campaign ad shows him in an office full of computers, saying that broadband, cell phones and the Internet didn’t exist 20 years ago. True enough, but an examination of the congressional record raises doubts about Markey’s claims — repeated in his campaign literature — that he played a key role in making these innovations possible.
Markey Campaign Video Below –
For those going to the poll’s with half a brain, one the one hand is a successful businessman (average by Boston Globe Standards), who also served the country as a Navy Seal, bought an historic home and is looking to serve his nation in the Senate – part of his position is Term Limits.
Which is a problem for his opponent, who’s been in Congress for decades, and wants to move to the Senate, so that proposition can’t sit well for those entrenched politico’s. He also has “invented” everything that Al Gore has and has not taken credit for – in other words, he’s also slightly ridiculous.
Crazy old man, or someone who is grounded in reality? Tough Choice for Massachusetts Voters this June.