Bill would give president emergency control of Internet

Original article


Internet companies and civil liberties groups were alarmed this spring when a U.S. Senate bill proposed handing the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet.

They’re not much happier about a revised version that aides to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, have spent months drafting behind closed doors. CNET News has obtained a copy of the 55-page draft of S.773 (excerpt), which still appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.

The new version would allow the president to “declare a cybersecurity emergency” relating to “non-governmental” computer networks and do what’s necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for “cybersecurity professionals,” and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.

“I think the redraft, while improved, remains troubling due to its vagueness,” said Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, which counts representatives of Verizon, Verisign, Nortel, and Carnegie Mellon University on its board. “It is unclear what authority Sen. Rockefeller thinks is necessary over the private sector. Unless this is clarified, we cannot properly analyze, let alone support the bill.”

Representatives of other large Internet and telecommunications companies expressed concerns about the bill in a teleconference with Rockefeller’s aides this week, but were not immediately available for interviews on Thursday.

A spokesman for Rockefeller also declined to comment on the record Thursday, saying that many people were unavailable because of the summer recess. A Senate source familiar with the bill compared the president’s power to take control of portions of the Internet to what President Bush did when grounding all aircraft on Sept. 11, 2001. The source said that one primary concern was the electrical grid, and what would happen if it were attacked from a broadband connection.

When Rockefeller, the chairman of the Senate Commerce committee, and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced the original bill in April, they claimed it was vital to protect national cybersecurity. “We must protect our critical infrastructure at all costs–from our water to our electricity, to banking, traffic lights and electronic health records,” Rockefeller said.

The Rockefeller proposal plays out against a broader concern in Washington, D.C., about the government’s role in cybersecurity. In May, President Obama acknowledged that the government is “not as prepared” as it should be to respond to disruptions and announced that a new cybersecurity coordinator position would be created inside the White House staff. Three months later, that post remains empty, one top cybersecurity aide has quit, and some wags have begun to wonder why a government that receives failing marks on cybersecurity should be trusted to instruct the private sector what to do.

Rockefeller’s revised legislation seeks to reshuffle the way the federal government addresses the topic. It requires a “cybersecurity workforce plan” from every federal agency, a “dashboard” pilot project, measurements of hiring effectiveness, and the implementation of a “comprehensive national cybersecurity strategy” in six months–even though its mandatory legal review will take a year to complete.

The privacy implications of sweeping changes implemented before the legal review is finished worry Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco. “As soon as you’re saying that the federal government is going to be exercising this kind of power over private networks, it’s going to be a really big issue,” he says.

Probably the most controversial language begins in Section 201, which permits the president to “direct the national response to the cyber threat” if necessary for “the national defense and security.” The White House is supposed to engage in “periodic mapping” of private networks deemed to be critical, and those companies “shall share” requested information with the federal government. (“Cyber” is defined as anything having to do with the Internet, telecommunications, computers, or computer networks.)

“The language has changed but it doesn’t contain any real additional limits,” EFF’s Tien says. “It simply switches the more direct and obvious language they had originally to the more ambiguous (version)…The designation of what is a critical infrastructure system or network as far as I can tell has no specific process. There’s no provision for any administrative process or review. That’s where the problems seem to start. And then you have the amorphous powers that go along with it.”

Translation: If your company is deemed “critical,” a new set of regulations kick in involving who you can hire, what information you must disclose, and when the government would exercise control over your computers or network.

The Internet Security Alliance’s Clinton adds that his group is “supportive of increased federal involvement to enhance cyber security, but we believe that the wrong approach, as embodied in this bill as introduced, will be counterproductive both from an national economic and national secuity perspective.”


4 Percent of Israelis Think Obama is Pro-Israel– I’m surprised it’s that high

4 Percent of Israelis Think Obama is Pro-Israel

Efforts to improve U.S.-Israeli ties have apparently not improved Obama’s reputation in Israel

Friday, August 28, 2009

 Only four percent of Jewish Israelis believe President Obama’s policies are pro-Israel while half oppose a temporary freeze of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, a poll released on Friday found.

The survey, conducted by the Jerusalem Post, found that more than half, 51 percent, considered Obama’s administration to be more pro-Palestinian than pro-Israeli, up slightly from 50 percent in June.

The percentage of Jewish Israelis who consider Obama to be pro-Israel was down from six percent in a much-cited June 19 poll. By comparison, 88 percent of those interviewed in the June survey thought former President George W. Bush was pro-Israel.

The new poll appears to show that U.S. efforts to improve American-Israeli ties have not improved Obama’s reputation among Israelis. 

However, the survey was taken prior to reports that the Obama administration is apparently backing down on its insistence that Israel halt all settlement activity as a condition for restarting peace talks with the Palestinians.

While U.S. officials insist their position on the matter has not changed, they are now hinting that a less blanket moratorium would be acceptable provided the Palestinians and Arab states agree.

The administration’s special Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, has been pressing Israel, the Palestinians and neighboring Arab nations to take specific confidence-building measures to lay the groundwork for a resumption in peace negotiations. The administration wants to have President Obama announce a breakthrough in the third week of September at or on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Getting Arab buy-in on such a deal will be difficult, particularly since Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to resume negotiations with Israel until there is a full freeze on settlements. U.S. officials said Thursday that they will continue to press Israel for as broad a suspension as possible.

The Smith Research poll for The Jerusalem Post was conducted August 24-25 among 500 Jewish Israelis and has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The President and fellow Democrats seem to be switching their message on health care — pushing for reforming health insurance rather than overhauling the entire health care system.

The President and fellow Democrats seem to be switching their message on health care — pushing for reforming health insurance rather than overhauling the entire health care system.

The White House is proposing heavy new regulations on private health insurance market under the guise of so-called “consumer protections.” Many of the policies suggested by the Administration and Congress would result in sweeping, complex and highly discretionary new federal regulation of the health care system.

Consumers need protections not just from insurers but from the government as well. Americans should beware.

Here are few studies that shed some light on the real impact these proposals would have on the marketplace as well as a Heritage Foundation piece on better ways to help consumers:

Health Insurance Mandates in the States, 2009

The Effect of State Community Rating Regulations on Premiums and Coverage in the Individual Health Insurance

Individual Health Insurance 2006-2007: A Comprehensive Survey of Premiums, Availability, and Benefits

Health Care Reform: Design Principles for a Patient-Centered, Consumer-Based Market

>> For more information about health care, visit

Democratic congressmen letting the cat out of the Obamacare bag

Democratic congressmen letting the cat out of the

 Obamacare bag

Rick Moran
It appears that some Democratic congressmen care more about getting re-elected than lying for their Fearless Leader in the White House.

Obama has been running around the country telling everyone that his health care reform plan will not pay for abortions. He has also been reassuring seniors that they will not lose any benefits.

Both claims have been debunked by both opponents of reform and several mainstream media outlets. And now, two Congressmen have let the cat out of the bag and contradicted their leader by telling the truth about government-funded abortions and the elimination of the Medicare Advantage program.

First, John McCormack of the Weekly Standard blog has Bart Stupak’s (D-MI) confession about abortion:

“It would be a dramatic shift,” says Representative Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat who has vowed to oppose the bill because of how it would affect abortion. Stupak says dozens of House Democrats may join him in opposing a final health-care compromise unless the abortion language is changed, presenting a clear challenge to Democratic vote counters that could imperil a party-line vote. […] “We are going to do everything we can to stop the rule, or the bill, from coming to the floor,” [Democratic Congressman Bart] Stupak says, adding that as many as 39 Democratic members of Congress may join him in the effort. It remains unclear how the Senate will deal with the abortion issue. There is also no consensus within the Democratic Party about whether a public option should be included in final health-care-reform legislation.


In the meantime, Stupak says that Obama’s statements during recent public events signal one of two things: either he does not fully understand the current House bill, which Stupak maintains has the effect of publicly funding abortion, or “if he is aware of it, and he is making these statements, then he is misleading people.”

A Dem congressman accusing the president of lying? Perish the thought!

And then there’s Betsy Markey (D-CO) who puts the kibosh on Obama’s contention that seniors will see no benefit cuts under Obamacare. Mary Katherine Ham also writing at the WS Blog:

“There’s going to be some people who are going to have to give up some things, honestly, for all of this to work,” Markey said at a Congress on Your Corner event at CSU. “But we have to do this because we’re Americans.”

Nice try, Betsy. In fact, Obama has said he wants to eliminate “insurance subsidies” for Medicare which specifically targets all those supplemental plans. Getting rid of those will not bring down costs and will force seniors to pay more out of pocket for their health care.

In their eagerness to be truthful with their constituents, Democratic congressmen are making their president out to be a liar.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

Page Printed from: at August 28, 2009 – 11:13:54 AM EDT

Obama’s war on American sovereignty

Obama’s war on American sovereignty

Thomas Lifson
Andrew McCarthy explains on NRO what’s really going on with AG Holder’s investigation of the CIA over interrogation techniques. It’s what McCarthy delicately calls Obama’s “fondness for transnationalism,” or what I would call his war on American sovereignty.

In lucid terms, McCarthy examines the legal doctrines being pursued by Obama appointees, and explains what’s really going on. The article is a must-read, for all this information, but the conclusion is a stunner:
Transnationalists from outside and, now, inside our government have been ardent supporters of prosecutions against American officials who designed and carried out the Bush counterterrorism policies that kept this country safe after 9/11. The U.N.’s top torture monitor is demanding legal action, almost certainly as a prelude to calling for action by an international tribunal — such as the ICC — if the Justice Department fails to indict. Meantime, law-enforcement authorities in Spain and elsewhere are weighing charges against the same U.S. officials, spurred on by the CCR and human-rights groups that now have friends in high American places. In foreign and international courts, the terrorist-friendly legal standards preferred by Europe and the U.N. would make convictions easier to obtain and civil suits easier to win.

Page Printed from: at August 28, 2009 – 11:11:24 AM EDT

Military chief seeks new plan to woo Muslims –Big Mistake–Allah Akbar Obama

Military chief seeks new plan to woo Muslims

Mullen says actions, not words, needed to erase ‘arrogant Americans’ label

  Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says American messages to counter information coming from extremists abroad “lack credibility.”


Brian Bohannon / AP  

WASHINGTON – The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has written a searing critique of government efforts at “strategic communication” with the Muslim world, saying that no amount of public relations will establish credibility if American behavior overseas is perceived as arrogant, uncaring or insulting.

The critique by the chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, comes as the United States is widely believed to be losing ground in the war of ideas against extremist Islamist ideology. The issue is particularly relevant as the Obama administration orders fresh efforts to counter militant propaganda, part of its broader strategy to defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“To put it simply, we need to worry a lot less about how to communicate our actions and much more about what our actions communicate,” Admiral Mullen wrote in the critique, an essay to be published Friday by Joint Force Quarterly, an official military journal.

 “I would argue that most strategic communication problems are not communication problems at all,” he wrote. “They are policy and execution problems. Each time we fail to live up to our values or don’t follow up on a promise, we look more and more like the arrogant Americans the enemy claims we are.”

While President Obama has sought to differentiate himself from his predecessor, George W. Bush, in the eyes of the Muslim world — including through a widely praised speech in Egypt on June 4 — the perception of America as an arrogant oppressor has not changed noticeably, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan, where United States forces remain engaged in war, and in Pakistan, where American-launched missiles aimed at militants from the Taliban and Al Qaeda have killed civilians.

Last week, during a visit to Pakistan by Richard C. Holbrooke, Mr. Obama’s special envoy, Pakistanis told his entourage that America was widely despised in their country because, they said, it was obsessed with finding and killing Osama bin Laden to avenge the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

American messages ‘lack credibility’
Admiral Mullen expressed concern over a trend to create entirely new government and military organizations to manage a broad public relations effort to counter anti-Americanism, which he said had allowed strategic communication to become a series of bureaucracies rather than a way to combat extremist ideology.

He also challenged a popular perception that Al Qaeda operates from primitive hide-outs and still wins the propaganda war against the United States. “The problem isn’t that we are bad at communicating or being outdone by men in caves,” Admiral Mullen wrote. “Most of them aren’t even in caves. The Taliban and Al Qaeda live largely among the people. They intimidate and control and communicate from within, not from the sidelines.”


Amrrican messages to counter extremist information campaigns “lack credibility, because we haven’t invested enough in building trust and relationships, and we haven’t always delivered on promises,” he wrote.

As a guide, Admiral Mullen cited American efforts at rebuilding Europe after World War II and then containing communism as examples of successes that did not depend on opinion polls or strategic communication plans. He cited more recent military relief missions after natural disasters as continuing that style of successful American efforts overseas.

“That’s the essence of good communication: having the right intent up front and letting our actions speak for themselves,” Admiral Mullen wrote. “We shouldn’t care if people don’t like us. That isn’t the goal. The goal is credibility. And we earn that over time.”

Members of Congress also have expressed concern about the government’s programs for strategic communication, public diplomacy and public affairs. Both the Senate and House Armed Services Committees have raised questions about the Pentagon’s programs for strategic communication — and about how money is spent on them.

The Senate Armed Services Committee issued a budget report last month noting that while “strategic communications and public diplomacy programs are important activities,” it was unclear whether these efforts were integrated within the Pentagon or across other departments and agencies. “Nor is the committee able to oversee adequately the funding for the multitude of programs,” the Senate report stated.

‘Certain arrogance’
Admiral Mullen did not single out specific government communications programs for criticism, but wrote that “there has been a certain arrogance to our ‘strat comm’ efforts.” He wrote that “good communications runs both ways.”

“It’s not about telling our story,” he stated. “We must also be better listeners.”


The Muslim community “is a subtle world we don’t fully — and don’t always attempt to — understand,” he wrote. “Only through a shared appreciation of the people’s culture, needs and hopes for the future can we hope ourselves to supplant the extremist narrative.”

He acknowledged that the term strategic communication was “probably here to stay,” but argued that it should be limited to describing “the process by which we integrate and coordinate” government communications programs.

Coinciding with the publication of his essay, Admiral Mullen released a YouTube video inviting questions from members of the armed services and the public on a range of national security and military personnel issues for an online discussion.

“The chairman intends to use social media to expand the two-way conversation with service members and the public,” said a statement announcing the interactive video question-and-answer session.

This story, “Message to Muslim World Gets a Pentagon Critique,” originally appeared in The New York Times.

Some Surprised By ‘Clunker’ Tax

Some Surprised By ‘Clunker’ Tax

The Cash For Clunkers program is adding to the activity at treasurers’ offices all around South Dakota. First, people were asking for proof of ownership, so they could show they owned their vehicle for a full year, allowing them to cash it in. Now, they’ll be returning to register their new vehicle.  And when they do, new owners need to bring every bit of paperwork provided to them by their dealer.

“That means they need their title, their damage disclosure, their bill of sale and the dealers have 30 days to get that to them,” Minnehaha County Treasurer Pam Nelson said.

But many of those cashing in on the clunkers program are surprised when they get to the treasurer’s office windows. That’s because the government’s rebate of up to $4500 dollars for every clunker is taxable.

“They didn’t realize that would be taxable. A lot of people don’t realize that. So they’re not happy and kind of surprised when they find that out,” Nelson said.

For now, the biggest impact of the program hasn’t hit this office yet, as most of the paperwork is still in the hands of the dealers. But Nelson expects to see move activity in her office in the next month.

“I’m anxious to see what it’s going to be like. I have no idea how many people we’re going to see. Hopefully the dealers can process their paperwork in 30 days,” Nelson said. 

And that’s when the line at this office will give some indication of how many cars the government program moved off of local lots. 

Nelson adds that if you did recently purchase a vehicle, ensure your dealer gets you the paperwork in time because if they don’t you could pay extra interest and penalties.

Vanity Suicide: The Joker’s Arrogance Is Killing His Health Plan

Vanity Suicide: The Joker’s Arrogance Is Killing His Health Plan

August 27th, 2009 Posted By Erik Wong.


NY Daily News:

President Obama’s health care “plan” is going down like a handful of tacks, and the Democratic Party, experiencing the political equivalent of a nervous breakdown, is poised to commence a civil war over health reform that could virtually tear the party’s leaders to shreds.

The White House has made a series of irreversible blunders that have left the party, and the President, in peril.

* Message schizophrenia.
The talking points coming out of the White House these days are harder to follow than a Jessica Simpson autobiography. First, there was the moral imperative that it wanted to move forward with universal health care to cover the 46 million uninsured. This number is misleading. Many of the uninsured are offered insurance and don’t take it, and millions are illegal aliens. More troubling is the fact that the former director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that 43% have the means to buy insurance but don’t. CBO projections among the uninsured in 2009: 18% will be eligible for but not enrolled in Medicaid, and 30% will be offered, but will decline, coverage from an employer, leaving the electorate questioning a full overhaul.

When the original argument fell flat, the White House quickly shifted to an economic imperative that its plan would help cut the rising cost of care. Not so, according to the CBO, which found that the Democratic “plan” will raise – not cut – costs. Nothing blows up a sales pitch like getting mugged by reality.

* Hubris. There’s a proverb that states that pride comes before a fall. Not only did Obama’s overbearing pride cause him to grossly underestimate how savvy seniors and the entire American electorate is when it comes to health care, it also allowed him to overestimate his own understanding of the issue – particularly from a purely political standpoint.

* Playground Tactics. Insults are generally reserved for people who cut you off while driving. They aren’t smart strategy when used against the people who elected you.

The left discounted the initial concern and anger of its constituents and insulted them by calling them “angry mobs” and “evil.” When you put forth a plan that is baked with every possible political poison from half a trillion in tax hikes to penalties for small business to fund it, you can’t expect anything but legitimate fury.

Worse yet, as polls show support for health reform declining along with Obama’s approval numbers, the administration continues to ignore the public outcry. It is either in serious denial, doesn’t give a damn about losing Congress to Republicans in 2010, or is more beholden to the far left than one could have ever imagined.

* Poor Planning. Obama and his team never expected to have to fight “evildoers” all August long over universal health care. The President’s presumption anticipated a bill being sent to his desk the first week in August. In fact, that’s exactly what Dr. Obama ordered. And because they didn’t think they’d experience any pushback, they never had a real blueprint, especially when it came time to explain how they were going to pay for it. Cutting $300 billion from Medicare would result in fewer services for seniors. That’s not exactly going to move the masses.

* History. They ignored it. What’s the saying? “Smart people learn from their mistakes, while wise people learn from the mistakes of others.” The Obama team didn’t learn from the mistakes of the Clintons when it comes to trying to reform health care. One look back at the 1990s would have shown the left that the more people hear about drastic changes like a government option in health care, the more they dislike it.

Again we see the arrogance. Or perhaps it was ignorance. Notice a theme here?

The next few weeks will be pivotal for Obama and his credibility. There is little room for error. That means he’ll need two plans: one for the nation, and one to protect his political health

Are Pelosi’s lies impeachable?

Are Pelosi’s lies impeachable?

By William Tate

Nancy Pelosi is a liar.

And not just the typical, sniveling, inside-the-Beltway-talking-head prevaricator, either.


Nancy Pelosi is a wide-eyed, stare-you-in-the-face, What-planet-are-you-from? liar.


Proof is provided in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal. Rather than just regurgitating Democrat talking points – -Why is it I always have the feeling that Rahm Emmanuel is barking questions into Chris Matthews IFB? — about recently released documents on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs), the WSJ actually read the reports.


Their conclusion?


Whoever advised people to be skeptical of what they read in the papers must have had in mind this week’s coverage of the documents about CIA interrogations. Now that we’ve had a chance to read the reports, it’s clear the real story isn’t the few cases of abuse played up by the media. The news is that the program was thoughtfully developed, carefully circumscribed, briefed to Congress, and yielded information crucial to disrupting al Qaeda.


As to House Commissar Nancy Pelosi’s claim that the Bush administration kept her in the dark about the EIT’s, “Flat out, they never briefed us that this was happening,”:


The IG report belies House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s claims that she wasn’t told about all this. “In the fall of 2002, the Agency briefed the leadership of the Congressional Intelligence Oversight Committees on the use of both standard techniques and EITs….. representatives…  continued to brief the leadership of the Intelligence Oversight Committees on the use of EITs and detentions in February and March 2003. The [CIA] General Counsel says that none of the participants expressed any concern about the techniques or the Program . . .” Ditto in September 2003.


Pelosi was ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in 2002, and was still receiving briefings as Democrat House leader in 2003.


According to a 2007 Washington Post report:


In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.
Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.
“The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough,” said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.


On Planet Pelosi, the 2002 briefings did not specify that EIT’s had actually been used, only that they may be used. “The briefers described these techniques, said they were legal, but said that waterboarding had not yet been used,” according to Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly.


As to 2003 briefings in which the specific use of waterboarding was detailed, Planet Pelosi claims that a top aide attended in her stead.


Let’s consider that rather specious contention.


It is simply implausible that — in the dark days and weeks and months following 9/11, and the anthrax attacks which actually shut down the Capitol building in which she works — Pelosi remained unaware of the intelligence community’s efforts to prevent further attacks.


We are supposed to believe that Pelosi, as ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, showed such disinterest as to fail to ask whether EIT’s were actually being used and that, as the leader of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives, she couldn’t find fulfill her responsibilities to discuss such a vital matter with her own top aide.


If true, then the woman who is now Speaker of the House, two heartbeats away from the presidency, showed a disregard for her constitutional responsibilities–a dereliction of duty bordering on criminal.


No, it actually crosses that border. For Pelosi, as do all members of Congress, has taken the Oath of Office:


“I, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic … and that I will well faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.”


Pelosi’s contrived excuse for her attack on the intelligence community, a careless disregard of her duties, amounts to misconduct in office and thus an impeachable offense.


However, if Pelosi lied about the briefings, attacking the intelligence community in the process and forcing it to reveal sources and methods, she has not only done irreparable harm, she has aided the enemies of the United States and the Constitution — also a misconduct in office, if not outright treason.


Remember the quandary posed by that old saw, Have you stopped beating your wife?


Well, Nancy, were you lying when you said you didn’t know about CIA interrogation techniques, or were you simply negligent in your duties?


William Tate is an award-winning journalist and author

Page Printed from: at August 28, 2009 – 10:00:38 AM EDT

Obama and the Thugs

Obama and the Thugs

By Kyle-Anne Shiver

“If you want the next four years lookin’ like the last eight, then I’m not your candidate.  But if you want real change…then I need you.  I need you to go out and talk to your friends, talk to your neighbors…I want you to argue with them, get in their faces…you guys are the ones who can make the change.”
– Candidate Barack Obama to supporters September, 2008
Early last fall, an old friend of mine and long-time volunteer for Republican women’s associations, called me from her home in Orlando, Florida.  She was quite shaken.  She had just returned from what was intended to be a small, quiet McCain support outing, just like the ones she had been dutifully attending for 30 years.  The small group of middle-aged homemakers took their little signs to an approved street corner, carried their small American flags and assembled to do their hour’s vote-for-our-guy walk before heading off to the nearest coffee shop to divvy up coming-week duties of stuffing envelopes and making phone calls.


But something had changed between the last election and 2008.  My friend told of a morning from hell, in which the women were rudely accosted on the street by young male thugs (her word), who called them “c*nts,” “whitey whores” and “stupid bitches.”  These young males got in their faces and jostled them with angry shoves.  My friend said that in all the years she had been doing just this simple patriotic activity, she had never had such a frightening experience.  It was to be the first of several, which have left her shaken to this day.


Later on into the fall campaign, I spoke with Dr. Lynette Long, a former Hillary supporter compiling data on what she deemed, “Caucus Fraud.”  She referred me to a set of video testimonials, in which middle-aged women mostly, gave grizzly accounts of the same thuggery employed against them in caucus settings.


The data compiled by Dr. Long, along with the video-recorded testimonials of dozens of caucus-goers, are indeed convincing. According to Dr. Long, in a personal interview, reports from caucus attendees are pretty horrifying at worst, wholly undemocratic at best. Female Clinton supporters reported being called “c*nts” and other sexual epithets, being spat upon by Obama supporters, being threatened physically, and an overall environment of hostility. Not exactly the democratic process to which we are accustomed.


In the end, it was the caucus states, where such strong-arm tactics were employed by Obama supporters, which finally gave Obama the victory. As Dr. Long points out, the only caucus in the entire nominating contest that Obama lost was Nevada. In every other caucus, relying heavily on thug intimidation, Obama prevailed.


So, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the same thug tactics are now being used against MediCoup** resisters at town halls around the Country. 


The most shocking thug event, so far, took place early this month in St. Louis.  In his own words, Kenneth Gladney, victim of assault, tells what happened:


Well, first, I was there to sell, you know, flags and buttons and stuff that said, “Don’t tread on me.” And I was setting out there, and I guess something got — just went through my head. I said I’m just going to give them away and stuff like that. So a pastor’s wife walked up to me, and she just took a liking to some of the buttons. So I start showing her some of the buttons and everything. This guy walked up and he said, “Who in the — who in the blank is selling or giving away this stuff here?” I said, “Sir, this is my merchandise. And would you like a flag or a button or something like that?” And he said, “What kind of ‘n’ are you to be giving this stuff out.”
Yes, they surrounded me. Actually, after the first two guys got me on the ground, they surrounded me and started kicking me in the head and in the back, and the knees and stuff like that. And after it was done, I got up, kind of dazed, looking for my glasses. And the one guy actually was coming at me again, and that’s when the police came in and, you know, cordoned off everything and started, you know, started arresting people.


This is change, all right, but I’ll be darned if I see a whole lot of hope.


Then, on August 13, outside a townhall in Thousand Oaks, California, three doctors were assaulted when they attempted to speak their minds.  The doctors, all wearing scrubs, were locked out of the townhall meeting and began voicing their objections to an orderly crowd, when suddenly they were lunged at by an angry white male.  Fortunately for the docs, the man was prevented causing real harm when other men forced him to the ground, whereupon he was promptly arrested.


A videographer at a Tampa, Florida townhall got roughed up by union thugs and had his camera smashed.  A local doctor from Douglasville, Georgia was shouted down by his own congressman and accused of not being a constituent, a charge that was later shown to be blatantly false.


A very fishy swastika was painted on the Congressman’s office sign the next day.


If any side has been guilty of astroturfing at townhalls, it is Obama supporters.  People posing as doctors have turned up at various events, hailing the President’s plan, only to be found out later.  Vandals smashed windows at the Democratic Party office in Denver early this week.  More astroturfing, apparently.  As Gateway Pundit has detailed:


The young vandal who smashed windows at the DNC headquarters in Denver on Tuesday worked for a democratic politician, was paid by a SEIU-related front group, and was arrested at the RNC convention last year in St. Paul.


Honestly, I never thought I would live to see the day when a president one-upped Nixon.  But this Obama thuggery gets worse by the day and our once-valiant mainstream press just yawns and accuses the innocent. 


Even Richard Nixon never, as far as we know, went so far as to orchestrate manufactured news, advise his supporters to “get in their faces” or use taxpayer dollars to promote political causes.


What in the world is this Country coming to?


Our Founders are surely staring aghast from their heavenly abodes.  And I’ll bet my own proverbial farm that I know which side they’re pulling for.
*Many thanks to a volunteer research assistant, who prefers to remain anonymous and to Dr. Lynette Long, who is writing a book based on her Caucus Fraud research.


**MediCoup is a term coined by James Lewis on American Thinker.  It’s perfect, so I use it often.


Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and a newly syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate.  She welcomes your comments at

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