The “sequester” hits JFK Airport Update

Yesterday, the federal government began cutting the work hours of Air Traffic Controllers allegedly because of the sequester.  The controllers will now be required to take one unpaid day off every 15 days.  Today we learned of up to two hour delays at JFK due to the sequester.  Forgetting for the moment that the sequester was the President’s idea, I’d like you to think about a few things. Read more

Obama guaranteed Gitmo would be closed two years ago

It was his fifth swipe of the pen on Jan. 22, 2009. The executive order required Gitmo be closed no later than one year from the date of the order. As far as I can tell, the EO was never rescinded, rather there was supplements that simply gave up the idea. I often wonder why the left never calls out President Obama on not closing Gitmo when it was such a big part of his election campaign in 2008.

Just as a reminder, Executive Order 13492, signed by the president three years ago yesterday, in part required …

Sec. 3. Closure of Detention Facilities at Guanta´namo. The detention facilities at Guanta´namo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than 1 year from the date of this order.  If any individuals covered by this order remain in detention at Guanta´namo  at the time of closure of those detention facilities, they shall be returned  to their home country, released, transferred to a third country, or transferred  to another United States detention facility in a manner consistent with  law and the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.

In March 2011, the Obama administration ended a difficult chapter (per NPR) on Guantanamo for the president.

President Obama’s order to resume military trials at Guantanamo Bay and establish a system to hold some detainees indefinitely ends a difficult chapter in the story of the U.S. prison and the Obama White House.

Obama came into office two years ago promising to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within a year. The executive order he announced Monday serves as acknowledgment that it will remain open for some time.

The order lends formal permission to the policy by which the U.S. has held detainees at the prison — detainees who, in most cases, have not been charged or convicted but are deemed too dangerous to release. It also ends a two-year ban on the use of military commissions to try suspected terrorists.

Obama said Monday that his new policies will help “bring terrorists to justice.” But the new policy statement wasn’t much more than a recognition of fact and frustration.

Reality bites huh?

Note how Mara Liasson, writing for NPR, wrote the piece implying the issue is now closed. It was not what they wanted, but since the president tried, that’s all that matters. Did those who voted for hope and change just give up on their requirement Obama close the camp? Did they just drop it because Obama tried and failed?

Or maybe the media just dropped the issue, taking it off the table so Obama will not have to deal with the issue during his campaign for a second term?

Obama demands contractors provide all “political” donation data – Unions exempt

An executive order is in the works to implement parts of the Disclose Act that failed to pass Congress. Federal contractors must already provide information about donations to politicians, now they would need to provide details about donations to independent groups. Federal employee unions – of course – would be exempt from this requirement.

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Why Does Interpol Need Immunity from American Law?

This one probably escaped the notice of everyone except the most keenly aware. Count our friend Andrew McCarthy as one of those.

McCarthy notes that President Reagan, in 1983, afforded protections to INTERPOL, much like those afforded Diplomats. But Reagan, understood that some protections needed to be withheld, and he did.

Specifically, Interpol’s property and assets remained subject to search and seizure, and its archived records remained subject to public scrutiny under provisions like the Freedom of Information Act. Being constrained by the Fourth Amendment, FOIA, and other limitations of the Constitution and federal law that protect the liberty and privacy of Americans is what prevents law-enforcement and its controlling government authority from becoming tyrannical.

In other words, by making sure INTERPOL is subject to the same FOIA and 4th amendment protections, it could not just indiscriminately investigate or prosecute without making available its procedures and data to the accused. It is fundamental. That has now changed.

On Wednesday [Dec 16], however, for no apparent reason, President Obama issued an executive order removing the Reagan limitations. That is, Interpol’s property and assets are no longer subject to search and confiscation, and its archives are now considered inviolable. This international police force (whose U.S. headquarters is in the Justice Department in Washington) will be unrestrained by the U.S. Constitution and American law while it operates in the United States and affects both Americans and American interests outside the United States.

Interpol works closely with international tribunals (such as the International Criminal Court — which the United States has refused to join because of its sovereignty surrendering provisions, though top Obama officials want us in it). It also works closely with foreign courts and law-enforcement authorities (such as those in Europe that are investigating former Bush administration officials for purported war crimes — i.e., for actions taken in America’s defense).

Therein lies the rub. Are American citizens, soldiers and intelligence officers being set up for trial in international courts where you the American citizen, will not be protected by fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution? Rights this President seems so intent on protecting for the terrorists?

You can read more about this at Pajamas Media. And a Hat Tip to Instapundit, who writes:

Quietly, Obama just made it much easier for the International Criminal Court to go after American “war criminals.”

Big Hat Tip to RVO reader and listener Mike in New Britain for asking that I post this.

Executive order to authorize federal funds for abortions

In 2001 and 2003, President Bush signed orders preventing the distribution of grant money to international family planning groups who provided abortion services. Later today, President Obama will reverse that order.

The funds were originally cut off during the Reagan administration, reinstated by Clinton, cut off again by George W. Bush and will soon flow again authorized by an Obama Executive Order. (Sorry, I do not have access to a draft of the order yet.)

Here’s some brief background information. (Link)

President Bush on Friday issued an executive order that prevents the State Department from giving family planning grants to international groups that provide abortion-related counseling, although he exempted groups in Africa and the Caribbean that could receive funding through the global AIDS initiative, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The new policy is an expansion of an executive order Bush issued in 2001 that restricts the U.S. Agency for International Development from providing aid to international organizations that use their own funds to provide abortions or abortion counseling or to lobby foreign governments on abortion policy (Chen, Los Angeles Times, 8/30).

The so-called “Mexico City” policy — which was originally implemented by President Reagan at a population conference in Mexico City in 1984, removed by President Clinton and reinstated by President Bush on the first day of his presidency — “bars U.S. money from international groups that support abortion, even with their own money, through direct services, counseling or lobbying activities” (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/9).

Bush said that he is expanding the 2001 order “because family planning grants are awarded by the Department of State outside of USAID, as well as through USAID.” According to the Times, Bush believes that U.S. taxpayer money should not be used to provide financial assistance to international groups that provide abortion-related services (Los Angeles Times, 8/30).

Bush was right. United States taxpayers should not have any of their contributions go to these programs – or any other program – that provides abortion services outside of the United States or within our borders.

Morrissey over at Hot Air notes that Obama is signing this order on a Friday afternoon, when the news cycle is slow, and with little fanfare from the liberal left. No Rose Garden ceremony, no representatives from NOW or Planned Parenthood in attendence. I’m not convinced of Ed’s opinion to keep this order on the down-low, but maybe Obama is feeling a little shame?

People can agree to disagree concerning the right to life and the right to choose, but by providing federal funding for these programs, you are taking money from people who morally object to abortion and using that money to fund abortions.

The Founding Fathers were very smart people. The Constitution is clear concerning what the federal government could do and what rights were left to the states. This was a great solution for the Founders, too bad The Constitution is routinely ignored these days.