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Morning Musings

  • Just in time for Passover, Holy Week and Easter, Nasir al-Wuhayshi and his al-Qaeda compatriots appear to have released a well-timed propaganda video. “We must eliminate the cross … the bearer of the cross is America,” al-Wuhayshi says, taunting Christians by making reference to the cross on this holy of holiest week of the Catholic and Christian liturgical year. Kind of puts yet another dent in the Obama Administration’s narrative that the war against radical Islam is over.
  • Democrats think they have an election year political winner, immigration reform. Naturally, the Obama Administration does not have the votes. Rather than focus on serious legislative efforts to move product to secure GOP votes by, for example, advancing a genuine bipartisan measure that includes border security, the Left is looking to poach 30 Republicans to cross party lines to force a vote on amnesty by using a parliamentary tactic known as a discharge petition. If only the Obama Administration showed as much energy for border security, as they do for harassing Cliven Bundy and his family ranch in Nevada, moving product, immigration reform, would be a much more productive process. This is an election year ploy by the Left to generate a talking point for Democratic Party ads. The GOP should look for other options on this issues or, best, wait until 2015. P.S., discharge petitions require outside support, meaning political cover in the form of money from lobbyists and other special interests. There is a story there, if a reporter cares to dig and do some hard news.
  • The Ecuadorean government lost a huge legal battle this year against Chevron. And they should have. Using the American legal system, American lawyers, bribery, and corruption, the Ecuadoreans set up a scheme to try to extort billions of dollars from Chevron shareholders.The good news is that the schemers were caught by the very legal system they tried to trick. Shifting to the politics of this, when will the U.S. Congress stop playing nice with Cuba and Venezuela’s pal, Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa? The Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee should investigate this case and ascertain what the Correa regime knew about it and what it may have done to facilitate this fraud on the American taxpayer.
  • Taxes were due yesterday. How could we miss it? The anti-IRS sloganeering by both political parties reached a fever pitch before high noon. This seemingly perfunctory PR ritual every April 15, reminds me of an old broken vinyl record with a scratch. The needle never seems to go beyond the attack ad, even from my political party. Americans want less cute phrases, or lawsuits, and more reform and tax cuts.
  • The Ukraine matter is going from bad to worse.  Quick, more sanctions.
  • A Democrat California State Senate lawmaker and staunch gun control advocate, Leland Yee, pleaded not guilty of importing military-style guns and rocket launchers.  Turns out Yee’s fundraiser, Keith Jackson, served as one of Yee’s middlemen in a scheme to illegally import weapons from China and other placers. Will be interesting to see how this case turns out as well as how high up in the California Democratic Party this issue goes.
  • I’ll give the Left this much, it never gives up. In yet one more story about the CIA interrogation memo, former Clinton Administration official Heather Hurlburt says, among other things, that “Americans have been more united in wanting to close the book on torture than on anything else.” She then proceeds to tell us, Americans, the parade of alleged horribles committed by the CIA, the alleged cover up, and how to “restore trust” in the CIA moving forward. By the way, she pays very short shrift to the likely unlawful removal of CIA classified documents from a secure room by Senate Committee staff. Details. Anyhow, the only book Americans want closed is the seemingly incessant, never-ending screed from the Left on these matters. This report should’ve never seen the light of day, at least not in our lifetime. As for Hurlburt’s recommendations for “restoring trust” in the intelligence agencies and the Congressional oversight process, I think the suggestion is somewhat rich, especially from folks whose primary aim is to weaken the entire thing. Fact remains that Members of Congress from both political parties knew what was going on … details. And, another key fact lost on this town (and the Left) the past few years, the federal government requires,whether folks like it or not, secrecy to do certain things. Secrecy, in some case, is a good thing. Details. It does not all need to be out on the ether. And I would hazard a guess that a majority of Americans will be alright with that if it meant preventing another 09.11.01 attack.
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