Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Last Call For The Service's Dirty Secret, Con't

US Secret Service Director Julia Pierson is out.  There was just no way she was going to keep her job after the fence jumper incident.  And then the White House shooter incident 3 years ago.  And then lying about how far the fence jumper got into the White House.  And then the armed contractor getting into an elevator with President Obama.

Julia Pierson, the first female director of the Secret Service, resigned her post Wednesday after a fence jumper gained access to the White House on Sept. 19 and a subsequent congressional inquiry uncovered other security lapses. 
Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson announced the resignation in a statement. He also announced that the DHS would take over an internal inquiry of the Secret Service and that he would appoint of a new panel to review security at the White House. 
Joseph Clancy, formerly a special agent in charge of the Presidential Protective Division of the Secret Service, was named Interim Director, Johnson said in his statement. 
Calls for Pierson to leave her post grew after a poor performance during her testimony on Capitol Hill and another bombshell revelation that the an armed contractor was allowed to get into an elevator with the president during a recent trip to the Centers for Disease Control.

Her head had to roll.  I almost feel like the incredibly lax security around the President may have been done on purpose.

The review of the Secret Service needs to be thorough and complete.  Significant new security measures need to be in place.  The next person that tries to physically harm President Obama or his successor needs to be the absolute last, and this person needs to be subdued in such a way that nobody ever even considers testing the USSS again in my lifetime.


Out With The Blackout

The FCC has finally moved to get rid of the ridiculous "blackout rule" in an era where people on the web watch the NFL on their tablets, phones, and PCs along with their TVs.

The FCC dumped the sports blackout rule Tuesday, dealing a blow to the NFL at a time of growing scrutiny for the league in Washington. 
In a unanimous 5-0 vote, the commission eliminated the decades-old regulation, which prevents cable and satellite TV from airing games that are blacked out locally when the team fails to sell enough tickets to fill its stadium. The NFL has defended the rule as a tool to ensure robust attendance, but a growing number of regulators and lawmakers say it unfairly punishes football fans.

Perhaps NFL venues should lower ticket prices, parking fees, and do away with seat licenses in order to increase attendance.  Not even the lowliest teams like the Raiders or  Bucs are hurting for money these days where the league has a multi-billion dollar contract after contract with networks, and they even have their own cable outfit showing games 24/7.

“It’s a simple fact, the federal government should not be party to sports teams keeping their fans from viewing the games — period,” said Democratic FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “For 40 years these teams have hidden behind a rule of the FCC. No more. Everyone needs to be aware of who allows blackouts to exist, and it is not the Federal Communications Commission.” 
The league’s defeat on blackouts comes at a time when it’s taking heat in Washington on everything from how it handles domestic violence to the impact of concussions on its players to the name of the Washington Redskins team. As the negative publicity mounts, some lawmakers say they want to examine the NFL’s tax status and antitrust exemption — a move that threatens to damage the league’s business model. 
The sports blackout rule applies to all professional sports teams, but it’s become closely linked to the NFL, which uses it the most and has fought hardest to keep it in place. 
“We’ll review the FCC’s decision on the blackout rule, which has worked for decades to make our games available,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement Monday ahead of the vote. “With or without the rule, the league will continue to work to find new ways to bring more people to the game, and bring the game to more people.”

The tax exemption for sports leagues has to go, not just for the NFL.  The big four pro sports leagues make tens of billions of dollars every year on tickets, merchandising, TV contracts and stadium naming rights.  Pretty sure they can stand on their own two feet and start putting money into the cities that host these teams instead of demanding tax breaks and sweetheart deals through extortion.

I think you'll see that happening in the next 5-10 years. Sports franchises are billion dollar plus businesses.  Time to tax them like it.

Loco En La Cabeza

Latino advocacy groups aren't even being subtle about their disappointment with President Obama on the push from Senate Democrats to leave immigration until after Election Day.  The message from those groups: if you lose because we don't show up to vote, blame someone else.

Disenchanted with President Barack Obama for delaying executive action on reforming the nation’s deportation system, apathetic about Democratic candidates that for the most part haven’t made a direct appeal to Hispanics and without a galvanizing bogeyman on the right to vote against like Mitt Romney in 2012, Hispanic voters are poised to let Democrats lose Senate races and state houses they could otherwise win, key Hispanic advocates said Monday during a briefing at the National Council of La Raza. 
The preemptive blame-shifting comes as Democrats across the spectrum – from Mr. Obama on down – fear diminished turnout from the base in November’s midterm elections. Gary Segura, a Stanford University professor who is co-founder of the polling firm Latino Decisions, said Latino voters would show their influence by letting some Democrats, like Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, be thrown out of office. 
In any instance where a Latino-preferred candidate loses and that Latino community turned out in smaller numbers because of the disillusionment, Latinos did make a difference. The decision not to vote is still a political decision and is not necessarily irrational,” Mr. Segura said. “If you’re a Latino in North Carolina and the president delayed his decision to help Kay Hagan in her election, why would you go vote for Kay Hagan? … Latinos can have influence by letting people lose, just as they can have influence by helping people win.”

If this sounds familiar, it's the same tactic far left liberals have been using for years.  To which I will say this:  abdication of voting is cowardice, plain and simple.  If you make the political decision to stay home and not vote in order to punish politicians, you are a coward, and you deserve no voice at all in our political process.

Too many people have fought and died for women, African-Americans, Hispanic and Latino, Asian, and other minorities to be able to vote.  Walking away from that is not only irrational, despite what Gary Segura says, but suicidal.  If you feel that you are voiceless, why make yourself voiceless by not voting?

I can respect voting for the other candidate in order to punish the one you're angry with.  That's at least still exercising the right people bled for.  But to stay home and do nothing?  Insanity.  You only assure that you will not be taken seriously in the future and that your concerns will be ignored.

Why should politicians care about those who do not vote at all?


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