BREAKING NEWS: Osama bin Laden Is Dead

Osama bin Laden has been reported dead, and reports say that the United States has the body. I will update with more information as it’s reported.

President Obama is scheduled to speak at 10:30 ET. Whether or not it will be about bin Laden has yet to be revealed.

UPDATE #1:

According to Fox News, Osama bin Laden was killed last week by US missile strikes.

UPDATE #2:

CNN reports that bin Laden was killed by US Navy Seals earlier today, confirmed earlier in president Obama’s address to the nation.

TRANSCRIPT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S SPEECH:

“Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.

On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.
We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda — an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.

Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.

Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must –- and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad.

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done. But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.

The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.

So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done.

Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.

The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.”
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Obama Lies To America About Origin Of Mexican Cartels’ Guns

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

That, in a nutshell folks, is the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.  It’s a right that

Courtesy of Mexico.vg

every United States citizen has, including you.  A right that allows a person to defend him/herself using firearms.  One I whole-heartedly support.

Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but many liberal presidential administrations have tried to regulate the Second Amendment to the point of near non-existence.  It’s been a fight between the liberals and conservatives for a long time.  The right wing says we need our guns to defend ourselves against intruders and tyrannical government, the left says “guns kill people, get rid of them”.

Though many tactics have been used over the years by each side to try to implement their policies on gun control, there’s one group that has crossed the line.  The Obama administration is that group.

The story is a bit convoluted, so I’ll start at the beginning.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, there is a drug war going on in Mexico.  The Mexican drug cartels are killing hundreds of innocent people every week in a turf war of drastic proportions.  Many of the weapons used in this southern war include military-grade machine guns, grenades and ammunition; though some of these weapons were acquired from countries like Guatemala and Nicaragua, most come from the United States, verified via serial number.

The cartels have grown so powerful that the Mexican government and law enforcement have been rendered powerless.  The nefarious cartels have even begun invading the United States, coercing American teens and street gangs to become hitmen and distributors for their enterprises.

I mention the Mexican drug war because it’s the newest reason for arguing in favor of tighter gun control laws here in the States.  Supposedly, the cartels have been coming across the US border to buy their guns from small, privately owned gun stores.  At least that’s what president Obama told America.

Here’s the quote, via Fox News

“More than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States, many from gun shops that line our border,” president Obama said in February 2009.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve been in a gun store.  I’ve never seen military-grade weapons or grenades for sale.  The ATF would have a field day with any privately owned store that attempted to sell such items.

As it turns out, our illustrious president told a bold-faced lie.  And thanks to Wikileaks, we now know the truth.

Courtesy of Topnews.in

Leaked cables revealed that not only did the Obama administration know where the weapons came from prior to the public statement from the president, but proved that it was our own government who sold them.  The Department of Defense and the State Department were the “mom and pop” gun stores who sold military-grade weapons to Mexico.

Weapons that are now in the hands of ruthless killers.

President Obama wasn’t the only individual who was in on the lie.  US Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew the score too.

Of course the Obama administration will argue that they didn’t sell the guns directly to the cartels, but to the Mexican government; the bottom line is they lied to the American people about selling the weapons in the first place.  This is an administration that simply cannot be trusted.

The big question is: Why isn’t the Obama administration being held accountable?

Not only for their lies, but for their actions.  Our government knowingly sold guns to a government that lacks security and is rife with corruption.  Now those guns are being used by criminals to commit unspeakable acts against innocent people.  And those acts are rapidly migrating north of the US/Mexico border.

But it’s a crime for United States citizens to sell guns across state lines.

Maybe Obama has loftier goals than just disarming American citizens and depriving us of our Second Amendment rights.

Why else would he provide a means to attack innocent Mexican citizens, let alone his fellow countrymen?



Mexican Drug War Is Now In Your Backyard

I visited Mexico once when I was a little kid.  My dad, brothers, sister and I were down in southern

Courtesy of ABC News

California one summer visiting my uncle who lived in Anaheim, when my dad got this adventurous notion and declared that he’d like to see another country.

So off we went, to the land of awesome burritos and the birthplace of dollar Corona beers.

When we arrived at the border crossing, just south of San Diego, we all thought it was so cool that we were going to be in another country.  We were going to be the envy of our classmates, who we’d presumed had never been out of their own neighborhoods, much less the United states.  The border guard checked my dad’s driver’s license and in a few quick seconds, we arrived in Tijuana.

My father stopped just inside the border to get his bearings, and almost immediately we were approached by a Mexican fellow who began furiously washing our windshield with a newspaper.  Dad tried to politely explain that we didn’t need our windshield washed, but the guy just continued, and when he was done, he held out his hand and smiled.  We gave him a dollar, he nodded in thanks, and moved on to the next sucker.

Then came the tour guides.  In case you didn’t know, almost everyone at the US/Tijuana border is a tour guide.  We had at least four people approach our car, telling us they could take us to see all the sites that their beautiful country had to offer.

All this seemed a little strange to us Americans.   When the last of the tour guides left, dad turned the car around and we headed back the United States.  We’d seen enough.  It was actually kind of scary being in another country for the first time, considering the experience we’d all just had.

This was back in the mid 1980s, when Mexico had a government that could halfway control its citizens.  While we were there, we didn’t witness any kidnappings or drug deals.  There weren’t gangs of cartel members with AK-47’s trying to carjack us or force us into being mules.

But all that has changed.

If you’ve turned on the news at any time in the last couple years, you know about the drug wars going on south of the US border.  Hundreds of innocent people are being killed every week by the cartels, who have almost created a state of anarchy in a once peaceful country.

So what.  That’s happening in Mexico, not here.

Nice attitude, Zippy.

But you’re wrong.

According to an article I read on AOL news today, the Mexican drug cartels are invading our country en masse as I write this post.  While the government is busy arguing the politics surrounding  illegal immigration, Mexican gangsters are growing marijuana in our national parks, and setting up intricate interstate drug trafficking routes that span the country.  Drug intelligence officials say that cartels have infiltrated at least 230 cities across the US.

Along with the drugs, these cartels bring cash.  Tons of it.

And it’s burning a hole in their collective pocket.

To get rid of some of that blood money, these cartels are hiring American teenagers to be hitmen for them.  They’re paying American gangs to be their distribution networks.  And they’re buying more guns.  Military-issue assault rifles to be exact.

“Holy crap.  This is an epidemic.  Call out the National Guard!  Let’s get some soldiers to the border to stop this RIGHT NOW!”

Hold on there, Rambo.  We can’t do that.  Most of our troops are overseas fighting for oil, instead of being here at home protecting American citizens.  And while the cat’s away, the mice will play.

So, you may be wondering, has Washington even noticed?

Of course they have.  Don’t you have any faith in our corrupt political leaders?

They noticed enough to say that according to federal standards, the Mexican cartels’ actions don’t

This was on the same page as the article where Washington claimed that "Mexican violence is not an emergency." Rather ironic.

qualify as an emergency.

If over 34,000 dead Mexican citizens, who died because of the violence just beyond our southern border, doesn’t qualify as an emergency, I don’t know what does.  And now that crap is migrating north, into our own backyards.  Even more of a reason to be alarmed.

Our government isn’t even worried about the cartels per se.  They’re only worried about the illegal flow of weapons into Mexico.  Well they won’t have to worry about that much any more, because the cartels have obviously found a new home.  One with free medical benefits, food stamps, free housing, and more new customers than you can shake a stick at.

I can see only one solution to this problem.  And it needs to be implemented immediately.

Bring our troops home and have them seal off the borders.  Send our soldiers into Mexico to help quell the violence that will one day overrun our country.

We would be better off helping our neighbors than occupying a country that doesn’t want our assistance.

Heck, it’s even been rumored that Hezbollah, a militant Muslim extremist group, is using Mexican drug smuggling routes to enter the United States.

So where do you think we should focus our efforts?


G.E. Pays Zero Taxes In 2010

“We bring good things to life.”

Ok, all of you commercial watchers and reality show addicts.  Whose slogan is that?

I’ll give you a hint.  They make light bulbs.  And microwaves.  Even refrigerators.

Still stumped?

Last hint:  This company was bailed out by the government with taxpayer money, sent thousands of high-paying jobs overseas, and made $14 billion in profits it 2010.

Oh! Oh! Pick me! I know!

The answer to today’s question is General Electric, more commonly known as G.E.  Founded in 1892, the now multi-billion dollar conglomerate produces common household appliances, as well as engines for fighter and commercial jets.  They also *ahem* designed the leaking nuclear reactors for the Japanese Fukushima nuclear power plant.

As if you didn’t already know that.

“Ok Sonny Jim, since you’re writing about them, they must be inherently evil.  What did they do?  Help the Nazis?  Fund terrorism? Conduct electrical experiments on blind lambs?”

Worse.  They took food out of the mouths of millions of Americans.  By not paying one red cent in taxes in 2010.  In fact, G.E. and its legion of tax lawyers managed to finagle a $3.2 billion tax credit out of the American government last year.

They didn’t pay anything in 2009 either.  And it was all perfectly legal.

“What the hell?”

It seems that if you want to avoid paying taxes in America, but still sell your goods to its citizens, all you have to do is hire a bunch of lawyers, then move half of your operations overseas.  In effect, they hung around until the going got tough.  Right before the recession hit, they laid off 21,000 workers, dumped a bunch of toxic waste, and skipped town.

This is where things get really stupid.  After leaving a gaping hole in America’s economy and its workforce, CEO of General Electric Jeffery Immelt, was appointed by president Obama to become our nation’s “job czar”, for lack of a better term.  Gee, that wasn’t premeditated or anything.

“Here ya go, Jeff.  I know you bailed on America in her time of need, and I’d like to reward you for your cowardly efforts.  You think maybe we could get Taiwan to train the Marines, you know, to save a couple bucks?”

Our founding fathers would be rolling over in their graves.

I’ve been saying for years that America needs to refer back to the KISS way of doing business (that’s Keep It Simple Stupid for those of you who don’t know). Every corporation and individual should pay a flat percentage when it comes to taxes.  There would be no more loopholes or confusing tax law.  We could close down the IRS (please keep your applause to a minimum) and retrain the agents to be useful government employees.  And extraordinarily wealthy companies like G.E. would be held accountable when April rolled around.

It’s only fair.

They say that there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes.

Well, only one if you’re rich.



The US Government Tries To Bluff Online Poker

So, like many of you, I too went through an “I’m gonna be a poker star” phase.  A phase wherein Rounders was my favorite movie.  I played for hours at a time, and my wife hated it.  It was a thrill to win a freeroll tournament, beating thousands of other players and raking in a whopping $15.  I was on my way to being the next Johnny Chan!

I never deposited any real money though.  I was always too chicken.  I bet Johnny was in the beginning too.

But today, I found out my “chicken-ness” may have been a good thing.

Apparently the executives for three of the top online poker sites were indicted on fraud and money laundering charges today.  Pokerstars, Full Tilt, and Absolute Poker are now on the chopping block for allegedly pretending the money that US players deposited was used to make phony purchases from faux vendors that they owned, in order to skirt US banking laws.

Here’s some quick background info. on how the laws of online gambling work in this country.

There’s a little thing called the UIGEA, or Safe Port Act of 2006, which limits online gambling activities.  How keeping ocean ports safe has anything to do with internet slot machines, I have no idea, but that’s how we roll here in the States.  Anyway, what UIGEA does is disallows US banks to process payments either to or from online gambling sites.

Since 2006, poker lobbyists have argued that poker is a game of skill (I can attest to this), not chance, and therefore should not fall under UIGEA’s guidelines.  Many of our nation’s top lawyers agree with this statement, too.  But there are people in Congress who don’t.  Thus, the LAPD-style, Rodney King-reminiscent arrests today.

That last sentence may or may not be true.  I watch a lot of COPS.  Clearly, I am easily confused.

This being said, under the law, it’s unclear whether or not it is legal for US citizens to gamble online.  It’s still up for debate.

Considering all of the above info., here is where things get a little wonky.

The United States was sued by Antigua in 2007  for violating a World Trade Organization treaty they had with the country, by not allowing people in the US to access their online gambling sites.  Antigua said that it wasn’t fair that people in the US could gamble in casinos, but not patronize their businesses by gambling online.  Japan and the EU were kinda PO’d about it too, because they also run online gambling websites that people in the US weren’t supposed to access.

Here’s the kicker: Antigua won.  The World Trade Organization found that the US had acted illegally.

Yet here we are in 2011, with a failing world economy, and we are actually arresting the people who run the most profitable online poker sites in the world.  And these sites are operated off-shore.  It’s not like there’s some dude who runs a multi-million dollar online poker site from his mom’s basement in Rhode Island.

I visited each of the three sites, and instead of the homepage, there’s big, bold print from the FBI and DOJ, stating that the domain names had been seized.  And anybody who bets online could be arrested too, the notice menacingly conveyed.  The FBI and DOJ logos were proudly displayed at the top, you know, to make it official.

I just tried to access the sites again a minute ago, but they’ve been taken offline.

What gives them the right to do that?

“Well, they were laundering money and defrauding banks…”

Nope.  I don’t think they were.  They didn’t have to. There are plenty of online processors that aren’t based in the US, that processed US credit cards without a second thought.  The money was then transferred from them to the poker sites, so the player could fund his/her account.

Totally legal.

There is, however, something I forgot to mention.

The government is also suing these three sites for $3 billion.

And he picked up his hammer and saw.”

The government wouldn’t infringe on the rights of its citizens for mere money.  Would it?

It’s not just the money.  It’s money and control.  It was illegal for them to stop us from patronizing those sites, so they found a way around it.  The people who had money in their poker accounts don’t even know if they will get it back.

The government is trying to bluff their way into a settlement, and show us citizens just who has the power to say what’s what.  If this case goes to court, the poker boys are gonna win.  Antigua did.

And Poker Stars, Full Tilt, and Absolute Poker have way more money than Antigua.