Herman Cain to Occupy Wall Street protesters: If you’re not rich ‘blame yourself’

Herman Cain to Occupy Wall Street protesters: If you’re not rich ‘blame  yourself’

BY Aliyah  Shahid
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Wednesday, October 5th 2011,  1:49 PM

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain described the Occupy Wall Street protests as anti-capitalist.

Spencer Platt/Getty

Republican  presidential candidate Herman Cain described the Occupy Wall Street protests as  anti-capitalist.

Unemployed Wall  Street protesters only have themselves to blame for lacking a job, so says Herman Cain.

The Republican presidential candidate insisted that the demonstrations were  being “orchestrated” to help President  Obama.

“I don’t have the facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these  demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies  of the Obama Administration,” Cain told the Wall Street Journal.

The Tea Party favorite then argued that the plight of the unemployed was  their own fault.

“Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job  and you’re not rich, blame yourself. It is not someone’s fault if they  succeeded, it is someone’s fault if they failed,” the ex-Godfather’s  Pizza CEO declared.

The fiery remarks come as protest organizers plan for their biggest  demonstrations yet — at least 2,000 people are expected to gather in lower Manhattan  Wednesday.

Last week, 700 protesters who spilled onto the streets near the Brooklyn Bridge  were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct.

Cain acknowledged that the banking industry played a role in the 2008  economic meltdown, but argued they were no longer responsible.

Protesters and police officers on Brooklyn Bridge during the ‘Occupy Wall  Street’ rally on Oct. 1 (Anjali Mullany/News)

“They did have something to do with the crisis that we went into in 2008, but  we’re not in 2008, we’re in 2011,” Cain said.”…These demonstrations, I  honestly don’t understand what they’re looking for. To me, they come across more  as anti-capitalism.”

Cain’s campaign has been picking up steam since he won Florida‘s straw poll last  month.

And in a recent Rasmussen  Reports poll, Cain trails Obama by just five points in a head-to-head  matchup.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2011/10/05/2011-10-05_herman_cain_to_occupy_wall_street_protesters_if_youre_not_rich_blame_yourself.html#ixzz1a2FvkhQq

Warren Buffett, the Keystone Pipeline, and Crony Capitalism

Warren Buffett, the Keystone Pipeline, and Crony Capitalism

By Joe
Herring

A decades-long crusade by the environmental left to
convince us that oil is evil, unsustainable, and destroying our planet has yet
to accomplish its goal of eliminating oil as a fuel, but it has succeeded in
making oil damned expensive.  However, new technologies for the extraction and
transport of previously unrecoverable oil promise to reverse that
trend.

One such project is the TransCanada Keystone XL
pipeline, which will transport bitumen from the oil sands of Alberta to the
refineries and ports along the Gulf coast.  It will also feature a spur that
will pick up oil from the vast Bakken oil formation in North Dakota.  The
benefit to our economy and energy security is obvious.

I live in Nebraska, one of the states that will be
host to a segment of the pipeline. We have witnessed a remarkably contentious
debate locally regarding the construction of the Keystone XL, revealing some
rather disturbing attitudes regarding truth and its role in public discourse.  I
suppose it was naïve to think that the wild-eyed excesses of the radical leftist
environmental movement would find little purchase in the commonsense plains of
Nebraska, but the insupportable claims and charges being tossed about by the
anti-pipeline crowd have proven that green insanity can take root even in our
generally sensible state.

The opposition, led most loudly by a group called BOLD
Nebraska, claims a catastrophic risk of contamination to the Ogallala aquifer
should the pipeline suffer a breach.  The aquifer underlies virtually all of
Nebraska, and several other states, and supplies drinking water and irrigation
to millions of people.  It is understandable that reasonable people would
express concern over potential hazards to such a valuable resource, and it is
this reasonable concern that BOLD Nebraska is exploiting with a combination of
half-truths, innuendo, and outright lies.

As required by law, an Environmental Impact Statement
(EIS) has been prepared for this project.  The science reflected in the
statement is sound, and it illustrates a comprehensive examination of the
project’s effects, likely risks, and reasonable alternatives.  The EIS arrives
at a conclusion supported by recognized scientific method and was conducted by
top experts in their fields.  The proposed route for the Keystone XL pipeline
is, in fact, the safest of the available routes.

The reality of the geology and hydrology underlying
the proposed pipeline route precludes any wholesale contamination of the
aquifer.  To understand why, it is important to understand what an aquifer is —
and what it isn’t.  It is a geological formation that is structured in
such a way as to hold water in quantity.  It is not an “underground
lake.”  It is a vast filter system consisting of layer upon layer of sedimentary
rock, silt, clay, and sand that in Nebraska lies much closer to the surface on
the western portion of the aquifer than on the eastern
portion.

For this reason, the water flow within the aquifer is
easterly, making it a physical impossibility for any oil leaked along the
proposed route to flow “uphill” to the 75%-80% of the aquifer that lies to the
west of the pipeline.  Additionally, both the oil and the chemical additives
that make it easier to pump are lighter than water and would not emulsify.
Leaked oil will simply migrate toward the nearest substrate, remaining
localized.

This is according to Professor James Goeke, a
hydro-geologist who retired from the University of Nebraska earlier this year
after a forty-year career of studying the Ogallala aquifer and the Sand Hills
region that overlies it.  He is the foremost expert on the aquifer,
and he informs us that the geological structure of the formation precludes any
possibility that oil could travel for more than a few hundred feet in any
direction before encountering substrate.  Quite simply, the aquifer and the land
above it are not in any real danger from this project.

Given that the science clearly shows the that pipeline
opposition is persisting in perpetuating a demonstrable falsehood, it is
reasonable to question the opposition’s motives.  According to their own website
postings and
editorializing in
newspapers across the nation, their ultimate aim is not to reroute the pipeline,
but rather to halt its construction now and forever.  The thinking is, if the
pipeline is halted, then the oil will stay in the ground, thereby protecting the
earth from the ravages of such a “filthy fuel.”  Their tactic is to suggest a
simple rerouting around the aquifer for the sake of safety.

The environmentalists well know that changing the
route at this stage will result in the invalidation of the existing EIS (the
real aim of the protests), thereby creating a need to begin the entire process
anew.  This time, leftists are confident that they will be able to demagogue and
politicize that process sufficiently to preclude another approval, resulting in
the exercise of a “green veto” despite the clear conclusions of sound
science.

So what happens if the pipeline is never built?  Well,
to fully explore that, it is instructive to look at the players in this game.
One can find the usual suspects among the hysterical left: Hollywood
environmentalists such as Daryl Hannah and progressive agenda-driven scientists
like global-warming alarmist James Hansen of NASA.  These, however, are merely
the “useful idiots” in the process, and not the actual players.  I mentioned
BOLD Nebraska earlier.  This group is funded almost entirely by Dick Holland,
who has been a close friend and business associate of Warren Buffett since the
1960s.

Holland was an original investor in Buffett’s
Berkshire Hathaway, and the two have remained close friends ever since.  Buffett
and Holland also share a similar political philosophy, both being liberal
Democrats, with Holland giving exclusively to the Democratic Party.  So why does
this matter?  It potentially answers a few questions about the recent behavior
of Buffett and Obama, and perhaps the real reason behind the Nebraska-centric
animus toward the pipeline.

A year after the election of Obama, Warren Buffett
bought a giant railroad, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe.
The BNSF has more than 32,000 miles of track and
right-of-way in this nation, running from the west coast and through the
agricultural heartland of America.  It is also hauls coal from the mines in
Montana and Wyoming and is the railroad with the best existing north-south
infrastructure.  In fact, it’s quite well-situated to perform precisely the task
for which TransCanada has proposed to build a pipeline.

Should the pipeline fail, the oil will still be
extracted, but it will then
be transported by rail
,
and Mr. Buffett, thanks to the efforts of his friend Mr. Holland, will be
uniquely situated to derive a fortune from that business, as well as enhance the
value of his holdings in Conoco-Phillips petroleum.  Is it possible that Warren
Buffett’s assistance to Obama in both policy and public relations lately may be
his way of trying to tip the regulatory scales in his favor?  After all, nothing
says “I love you” to a Democrat better than a public plea for more
taxes.

In any case, the opposition to the pipeline is not
only tainted, but intellectually and scientifically bankrupt.  BOLD Nebraska are
correct when they screech that there is an agenda being served here, but it is
not big oil, environmentalism, or even green energy; it appears to be
garden-variety crony capitalism, an Obama administration
specialty.

The author writes from Omaha, NE and welcomes comments
at his website http://www.readmorejoe.com

Secret panel can put Americans on “kill list’

Secret panel can put Americans on “kill list’

Wed, Oct 5 2011

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to officials.

There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House’s National Security Council, several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.

The panel was behind the decision to add Awlaki, a U.S.-born militant preacher with alleged al Qaeda connections, to the target list. He was killed by a CIA drone strike in Yemen late last month.

The role of the president in ordering or ratifying a decision to target a citizen is fuzzy. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to discuss anything about the process.

Current and former officials said that to the best of their knowledge, Awlaki, who the White House said was a key figure in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al Qaeda’s Yemen-based affiliate, had been the only American put on a government list targeting people for capture or death due to their alleged involvement with militants.

The White House is portraying the killing of Awlaki as a demonstration of President Barack Obama’s toughness toward militants who threaten the United States. But the process that led to Awlaki’s killing has drawn fierce criticism from both the political left and right.

In an ironic turn, Obama, who ran for president denouncing predecessor George W. Bush’s expansive use of executive power in his “war on terrorism,” is being attacked in some quarters for using similar tactics. They include secret legal justifications and undisclosed intelligence assessments.

Liberals criticized the drone attack on an American citizen as extra-judicial murder.

Conservatives criticized Obama for refusing to release a Justice Department legal opinion that reportedly justified killing Awlaki. They accuse Obama of hypocrisy, noting his administration insisted on publishing Bush-era administration legal memos justifying the use of interrogation techniques many equate with torture, but refused to make public its rationale for killing a citizen without due process.

Some details about how the administration went about targeting Awlaki emerged on Tuesday when the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Dutch Ruppersberger, was asked by reporters about the killing.

The process involves “going through the National Security Council, then it eventually goes to the president, but the National Security Council does the investigation, they have lawyers, they review, they look at the situation, you have input from the military, and also, we make sure that we follow international law,” Ruppersberger said.

LAWYERS CONSULTED

Other officials said the role of the president in the process was murkier than what Ruppersberger described.

They said targeting recommendations are drawn up by a committee of mid-level National Security Council and agency officials. Their recommendations are then sent to the panel of NSC “principals,” meaning Cabinet secretaries and intelligence unit chiefs, for approval. The panel of principals could have different memberships when considering different operational issues, they said.

The officials insisted on anonymity to discuss sensitive information.

They confirmed that lawyers, including those in the Justice Department, were consulted before Awlaki’s name was added to the target list.

Two principal legal theories were advanced, an official said: first, that the actions were permitted by Congress when it authorized the use of military forces against militants in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001; and they are permitted under international law if a country is defending itself.

Several officials said that when Awlaki became the first American put on the target list, Obama was not required personally to approve the targeting of a person. But one official said Obama would be notified of the principals’ decision. If he objected, the decision would be nullified, the official said.

A former official said one of the reasons for making senior officials principally responsible for nominating Americans for the target list was to “protect” the president.

Officials confirmed that a second American, Samir Khan, was killed in the drone attack that killed Awlaki. Khan had served as editor of Inspire, a glossy English-language magazine used by AQAP as a propaganda and recruitment vehicle.

But rather than being specifically targeted by drone operators, Khan was in the wrong place at the wrong time, officials said. Ruppersberger appeared to confirm that, saying Khan’s death was “collateral,” meaning he was not an intentional target of the drone strike.

When the name of a foreign, rather than American, militant is added to targeting lists, the decision is made within the intelligence community and normally does not require approval by high-level NSC officials.

‘FROM INSPIRATIONAL TO OPERATIONAL’

Officials said Awlaki, whose fierce sermons were widely circulated on English-language militant websites, was targeted because Washington accumulated information his role in AQAP had gone “from inspirational to operational.” That meant that instead of just propagandizing in favor of al Qaeda objectives, Awlaki allegedly began to participate directly in plots against American targets.

“Let me underscore, Awlaki is no mere messenger but someone integrally involved in lethal terrorist activities,” Daniel Benjamin, top counterterrorism official at the State Department, warned last spring.

The Obama administration has not made public an accounting of the classified evidence that Awlaki was operationally involved in planning terrorist attacks.

But officials acknowledged that some of the intelligence purporting to show Awlaki’s hands-on role in plotting attacks was patchy.

For instance, one plot in which authorities have said Awlaki was involved Nigerian-born Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound U.S. airliner on Christmas Day 2009 with a bomb hidden in his underpants.

There is no doubt Abdulmutallab was an admirer or follower of Awlaki, since he admitted that to U.S. investigators. When he appeared in a Detroit courtroom earlier this week for the start of his trial on bomb-plot charges, he proclaimed, “Anwar is alive.”

But at the time the White House was considering putting Awlaki on the U.S. target list, intelligence connecting Awlaki specifically to Abdulmutallab and his alleged bomb plot was partial. Officials said at the time the United States had voice intercepts involving a phone known to have been used by Awlaki and someone who they believed, but were not positive, was Abdulmutallab.

Awlaki was also implicated in a case in which a British Airways employee was imprisoned for plotting to blow up a U.S.-bound plane. E-mails retrieved by authorities from the employee’s computer showed what an investigator described as ” operational contact” between Britain and Yemen.

Authorities believe the contacts were mainly between the U.K.-based suspect and his brother. But there was a strong suspicion Awlaki was at the brother’s side when the messages were dispatched. British media reported that in one message, the person on the Yemeni end supposedly said, “Our highest priority is the US … With the people you have, is it possible to get a package or a person with a package on board a flight heading to the US?”

U.S. officials contrast intelligence suggesting Awlaki’s involvement in specific plots with the activities of Adam Gadahn, an American citizen who became a principal English-language propagandist for the core al Qaeda network formerly led by Osama bin Laden.

While Gadahn appeared in angry videos calling for attacks on the United States, officials said he had not been specifically targeted for capture or killing by U.S. forces because he was regarded as a loudmouth not directly involved in plotting attacks.

Pitch-Perfect Palin

Pitch-Perfect Palin

By C.
Edmund Wright

Last night, Sarah Palin’s statement — and her
breaking news interview with Mark Levin — stressed some extremely important
ideas.  As such, her not running might well be among the least important topics
she touched on.  Yes, I know that’s the news that everybody was waiting for —
but what interested me most was what Palin said about her vision for America and
how she said it.  It was crafted very intentionally –and it was simply
pitch-perfect.

 

Palin spoke of ideas and priorities.  These were above
and beyond what particular position she — or anyone else — might play in our
arena of ideas.  That she’s still very much in the arena — and planning on
making a difference — is obvious.

 

In her written statement — and her immediate
follow-up interview with Levin — she made it clear what was important.  Saving
the country is all that matters, and the first step required for that task is to
totally reverse our current course.  Of course, that includes removal of the
current occupant in the White House.  Consider Palin’s first action
step:

 

We need to continue to actively and aggressively help
those who will stop the “fundamental transformation” of our nation and instead
seek the restoration of our greatness, our goodness and our constitutional
republic based on the rule of law.

 

Her message is transparent.  Obviously, fundamental
transformation refers to an idea of Barack Obama, and stopping this idea
requires defeating Obama.  If we don’t accomplish this, nothing else matters.
Stopping this fundamental transformation is more important than Palin’s
running…and more important than any particular person…and more important
than any particular issue.  Plugging the hole in the Titanic means
changing presidents, and if this is not accomplished, anything and everything
else is merely rearranging the deck chairs.

 

Thus — with apologies to the many on the internet
message boards who have been assuring us that she had a master plan to swoop in
with a whole new movement — Palin very directly asserted to Levin that a
third-party run (by her or anyone else) would merely guarantee the reelection of
Barack Obama.  This is a fate that must be avoided at all costs.  And by all
costs, Palin means all costs.

 

On this count, Palin’s choosing Levin’s show for her
initial interview post-announcement could not have been an accident.  Levin is a
classic Reagan conservative, and as such, he is an instinctively pro-Palin
figure.  Moreover, he is an “anybody but Obama” advocate, and while he will
likely criticize certain Republicans (like he did McCain in ’08) during the
primary process, he will be violently opposed to any third-party or independent
movement even if he’s not thrilled with the GOP choice.  Palin made it clear she
is of the same mind on that issue.  Read her lips: no third
party
.

 

As a note, this message was missed by some in the
pundit class — including A.B. Stoddard on last night’s Fox All Star Panel.
Stoddard confidently snarked that the use of the term “GOP nomination” in
Palin’s statement about not running was a clear signal that she intends to go
independent.  Sorry to disappoint, A.B.  You should have listened to the
tape.

 

What else struck me was Palin’s next order of
business: energy as the key to our free-market economy.  And by struck, I mean
profoundly pleased.  I totally agree with Palin’s emphasis:

 

I will continue driving the discussion for freedom and
free markets, including in the race for President where our candidates must
embrace immediate action toward energy independence through domestic resource
developments of conventional energy sources, along with
renewables.

 

What the former governor of an energy rich-state knows
is that without more reliable and less expensive energy, our free market economy
cannot reach its potential.  It just cannot happen.  She also knows that we
cannot have a nominee this time around as naïve on domestic energy as was John
McCain.  The energy emphasis was a profound statement and a perfect segue to the
more traditionally obvious Tea Party issues — which are, of course, still near
to Palin’s heart:

 

We must reduce tax burdens and onerous regulations
that kill American industry, and our candidates must always push to minimize
government to strengthen the economy and allow the private sector to create
jobs. Those will be our priorities so Americans can be confident that a smaller,
smarter government that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the
people can better serve this most exceptional
nation.

 

Obviously, many of the tax burdens and onerous
regulations that are killing our economy are part of Obamacare — not to mention
the NLRB’s attack on Boeing and the EPA’s attack on just about everybody.  These
bureaucracies are just part and parcel of a government ever-growing in its size,
scope, cost, and intrusion into our lives — and threatening to bankrupt us for
generations as well.

 

This message is not merely an “it’s the economy,
stupid” message, but instead a message that demonstrates what is important about
the secular role of government — even to devout Christians who bathe their
political decisions in prayer.  And what is important is that said government
stays limited and allows for maximum liberty.  The fundamental transformation
Palin opposes maximizes government and minimizes liberty.

 

If that fundamental transformation is not stopped,
America will cease to exist as the Founders envisioned it and as we have known
it.  That America, more than anything else, is an idea — a huge idea.  It’s
bigger than any issue.  It’s bigger than any person.  And Sarah Palin, unlike
many who denigrate her, has a mind great enough to understand that.  We all need
to.  Pitch-perfect, indeed.

 

The author has written
about Sarah Palin since before she was picked as VP nominee in
2008.