Thursday, April 25, 2013

God Bless You, Mrs. Bush

Amid the celebration surrounding the opening of son George W. Bush's presidential library Thursday, former first lady Barbara Bush brushed aside talk of a Jeb Bush run for the White House in 2016.

Appearing in an interview from Dallas on NBC's "Today" show, Mrs. Bush was asked if she thought that Jeb, the former governor of Florida, should seek the presidency.

"He's by far the best qualified man," Mrs. Bush said, "but no."

"We've had enough Bushes," she said, saying "it's not just four families, or whatever."

*  *  *  *  *  *
You realize, of course, my friends, that Americans yearn for a monarchy... for "celebrity" rulers... and that the Oligarchy is quite ready, willing, and able to oblige - right?

Is Jeb Bush the leading contender for the 2016 GOP Presidential candidate? Perhaps not... but if not "the" leader then certainly he's "a" leading probability.

Certainly Hillary Rodham Clinton is the leading candidate for her party's nod.

Does anyone doubt that Chelsea Clinton will "ascend" political power in due course?

Oh... and what of Michelle Obama...? Will she bother to spend a few years in the U.S. Senate prior to making her own run for the White House, or will the Obamas bet the pot via a "Draft Michelle" movement and eventual candidacy just three years from now?

Just think about it, folks...     

Barker's Newsbites: Thursday, April 26, 2013

In honor of today's Newsbite #1.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rand Paul Did NOT "Flip-Flop" on Drones...NOR on the Constitution

I can't believe I have to address this nonsense...

Actually... strike that.

What I can't believe is that Drudge gave the scumbags over at Foreign Policy Magazine's "Flagship" Blog - "Passport" - an audience for their unethical and unprofessional attacks on Senator Rand Paul.

Here's the headline:

Ron Paul's Friends Furious Over Rand Paul's Drone Flip-Flop

First of all, there was no flip-flop. That's first and foremost.

As to Ron Paul's Friends... all I can tell you is that I'm a Ron Paul fan... I'm a Rand Paul fan... and if any of Ron's "friends" actually bought Passport's deliberate misanalysis of what Rand Paul most recently said about the use of drones...


...then all I can do is lament that a politician can't always pick his or her self-described friends.

Passport opines:

Ron Paul's vibrant fan base is in open rebellion today over Rand Paul's perceived reversal on domestic drone strikes.

(Nice of Passport to throw "perceived" in there - but that's only to cover their own asses in advance of people like me slamming them. No... the whole tone of the Passport piece is that Paul flip-flopped.)

Quoting Passport:

The Kentucky senator, whose famous 13-hour Senate floor filibuster did much to strengthen his ties with his father's hardcore following, told Fox Business Network on Tuesday he's OK with drone strikes on American citizens who, for instance, rob a liquor store.

What follows is a passive-aggressive column that at times contradicts the notion that Paul flip-flopped...

(For example: "While it's true that Paul has always made an exception for 'imminent threats...'")

...even as the entire general thrust - and ideological and partisan usefulness - of the column is to make the case that Paul has flip-flopped.

Disgusting, folks; absolutely indefensible both as journalism and punditry.

Folks, read the full Passport piece. (Take your time... I'll wait. Done? Good...)

I'll tell you what Paul's position was and is... because it's what my own was and is!

Forget the weapon. Forget whether we're talking a sniper's bullet or a hellfire missile.

The point that Rand Paul - and I - have been making all along is that no president... not a President Obama... not a President Bush... not a President Reagan... has or has ever possessed the Constitutional authority to order the assassination of an American citizen - particularly an American citizen on American soil.

(I'll leave it to another time and place to open a discussion as to whether the goal posts of the Constitution can legitimately be "moved" when it comes to what actions a president can order against individuals... American citizen individuals... permanently or temporarily residing outside the territory of the United States or even simply traveling outside the territory of the United States.)

A President doesn't have the power to supersede the Constitutional Protections of American citizens; certainly absent martial law being legally in effect.

Nor does Congress. (Not the House... not the Senate... not the full Congress!)

And as for the Supreme Court... no... they have no such power... nor can they delegate such power to either of the other two branches nor even to the other two branches working in accord to administer such (non-existent) power.

On the other hand, returning to the alleged Paul "flip-flop," where and when normal police actions are being taken, it matters not whether a SWAT team member uses a sniper rifle and a bullet to "take down" a suspect during a confrontation where the use of deadly force is acknowledged to be legal or whether an unmanned radio-controlled drone "takes out" the LEGALLY targeted suspect.

Yes, folks... legally targeted SUSPECT.

Obviously in the midst of a ongoing crime - be it a shoot out, armed robbery, hostage situation, or other circumstance where the "suspect" represents a clear and present danger to innocent life - law enforcement (and even citizens in self-defense or clear defense of others) have a right - and in the proper circumstances indeed a duty - to "take out" a suspect. It doesn't matter what the "method" is. Obviously limiting - totally limiting - "collateral damage" is a key priority... but in the final analysis the point Paul has made is correct; namely, that it's not the "method" of targeting a suspect after the targeting is legally made that determines the legality of the targeting, it's the circumstances behind the targeting!

So... to conclude:

Assassination of American citizens... UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

"Taking out" a suspect during the course of an otherwise legal police action... CONSTITUTIONAL.

Any questions...???

Barker's Newsbites: Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Well, folks... here's the headline:

Tamerlan Tsarnaev Got Massachusetts Welfare Benefits 

Beautiful, huh...

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was living on taxpayer-funded state welfare benefits even as he was delving deep into the world of radical anti-American Islamism, the Boston Herald has learned.

State officials confirmed last night that Tsarnaev, slain in a raging gun battle with police last Friday, [had been recently] receiving "benefits" along with his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, and their 3-year-old daughter.


The state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services said those benefits ended in 2012 when the couple stopped meeting income eligibility limits.

In addition, both of Tsarnaev’s parents received benefits, and accused [thus] bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan were recipients through their parents when they were younger, according to the state.