Are You Ready for Some Political Correctness? Arizona, Hank Williams Jr, and the Left's Hijacking of the NFL
By: Amy Lutz
Every Sunday afternoon during the fall and winter, I expect to curl up in my apartment in my Drew Brees jersey and Saints gear to watch football all day long. My laptop usually sits beside me with my fantasy football lineup on the screen so I can keep track of my ever crumbling, yet still exciting, team. Fox News, President Obama, and the turmoil of politics rarely cross my mind. First downs replace elections and polticians become quarterbacks...at least for a few hours. My emotions depend not on political bickering or congressional bills, but on third downs and Hail Mary passes. Sports (in my case, football) are supposed to provide an escape from the controversies of the real world. Yet somehow in the past couple weeks, political correctness has found its way into the NFL.
It all started with Hank Williams Jr. The Monday Night Football icon got into a bit of hot water with political pundits when he stated that President Obama playing golf with John Boehner is analagous to Benjamin Netanyahu hitting the course with Adolf Hitler. The instant Williams spoke the name of the Nazi dictator, left leaning public figures went crazy. Based on the reactions of various media outlets, including both the Huffington Post and Fox News, you would think the singer had adovocated assasination. Sure, Williams has a big mouth and should have certainly been more careful with his choice of words, but in the grand scheme of things, it's really not something we should be focusing on. Aren't we on the brink of another economic disaster? We really shouldn't be putting our focus on a controversial statement from a usually well-loved musician and football icon. And honestly, I could just as easily argue that Williams was comparing Boehner to Hitler instead of the President. The media needs to take a chill pill and remember that he used an analogy, not a direct comparison. Seriously, the only thing Hank Williams Jr. is guilty of besides having a big mouth is not receiving the memo that Hitler analogies were only acceptable to the left when George W. Bush was in office.
After Hank Williams Jr. was ejected from ESPN, politically correct worshipping Americans set their sights on the NFL's Holy Grail: The Super Bowl. This week, the league annouced that the 2015 championship game will be held in Arizona, the site of SB 1070, the nation's most controversial immigration law. Liberal Hispanic activists immediately attacked the NFL for being insensitive and demanded that the game be moved to a more "tolerant" *cough* liberal-leaning *cough* locale. “In light of Arizona’s hate-based legislation, the action taken by the NFL serves as an endorsement of the state’s abhorrent actions against the Latino and migrant communities,” said Margaret Moran, national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens. Really Margaret Moron...ahem...I mean Margaret Moran? First off, please refer to previous blogs for arguments against such claims of "hate" and "racism." SB 1070 actually explicitly prevents racial profiling, but I digress. Additionally, since when does the location of the Super Bowl imply political opinion? If playing football in a state where a controversial law has been passed is now politically incorrect we're all doomed. We might as well outlaw all sports and merry-making activities so as not to offend anyone. That principle worked in Footloose, right? Wait...And, for those of you who are actually offended by the NFL's action, the free market has already provided you with an out. Just DON'T GO. Don't watch the game, buy NFL merchandise, or take part in the most wonderful day of the year (second only to Christmas and Black Friday). If everyone agrees with your complaints, then the ratings will take a nosedive, the NFL will go bankrupt. Thankfully, I doubt that will happen simply because Americans are smarter than that. We know that the location of the Super Bowl does not mean a political endorsement. We also know that a controversial statement made by the guy who sings the Monday Night Football theme shouldn't interfere with our enjoyment of a good NFL matchup. So, I'll say it again...To the lefties who are bringing political correctness into the football arena...get over yourselves and out of the NFL. You already have the Presidency, the univerisities, Hollywood, the media, and just about everything else. You can have soccer, but please leave football in the hands of common-sense Americans.
America's Car Crash Part 3: More than a Serious Mistake
By: Amy Lutz
Despite the widespread corruption spread throughout those tied into Operation Fast and Furious, a few involved eventually evolved into whistleblowers for Issa’s hearings and helped bring new evidence to light. ATF agents John Dodson and James Casa testified that they asked their superiors for permission to seize firearms after they ended up in the hands of drug runners, but were rudely rebuffed. According to Casa: “On several occasions, I personally requested to interdict or seize firearms, but I was always ordered to stand down and not to seize the firearms.” Watchful agents like Casa and Dodson could have halted the Operation’s dangerous descent, but were stopped by bureaucratic machinery and political corruption. Similarly, Agent Peter J. Forcelli voiced his concerns on the project: “The gun storeowners were our friends. We told them to sell guns to straw purchasers. This harmed our reputation with the gun storeowners.” I highly doubt this sentiment is limited strictly to Forcelli. ATF agents were forced to choose between following orders and doing what is right and rational, which is a choice no government agent should ever be forced to make within a political system which claims to be ethical. However, despite the cries from agents like those mentioned, the operation continued to plow at full steam ahead. Only a tragic death on the border was capable of shocking those in charge back into reality.
Both President Obama and Attorney General Holder have recently admitted that a “serious” mistake may have been made in regards to Operation Fast and Furious. At the least, this endeavor was a horrible mistake. At the worst, it was a political stunt hatched to target firearm retailers, but considering no solid evidence has proven this theory, we must simply wait for the hearings to play out if we ever hope to get a clearer picture. In the meantime, the left has used this opportunity to once again push for harsher laws on gun ownership and purchases. For President Obama and his liberal allies, the word “gun” is not detachable from the word “control” and they use every firearm-related crisis to push their anti-second amendment agenda. Just think about the Norway or Tucson shootings. In both cases, cries for tighter gun control grew louder and louder. This case is not different. Yet, according to the mounting evidence that a cover-up has been in the works for many months, this administration has a bit more to worry about. Forget Solyndra, if this narrative takes another turn for worse for the ATF and those involved, President Obama may have a scandal on his hands that even he can’t sweet talk his way out of.
America's Car Crash Part 2: Deadly Consequences
By: Amy Lutz
In December 2010, a firefight broke out between Mexican drug runners and US Border Patrol Agents in Arizona. During the battle, Agent Brian Terry was shot and killed. Soon after the deadly skirmish, authorities determined that the drug runners had received two of the rifles utilized in the battle through Operation Fast and Furious. This terrible “mistake” was the spark that set the powder keg of controversy over the operation ablaze. Representative Darrell Issa utilized the newly Republican-controlled House to launch an investigation on Operation Fast and Furious earlier this year. The investigation is on-going, but amid the cloudy landscape of a possible cover-up, one revelation stands out. According to the Attorney General of Mexico, 200 murders have occurred in his country because of Operation Fast and Furious and 11 killings in the United States have similar ties.
As the hearings on Capitol Hill continue, one question remains unanswered: Who knew and when? How far up the governmental hierarchy did this information travel? Well, according to the evidence released thus far, many powerful figures in the Federal Government were well aware of the program and did little, if anything, to halt it’s dangerous progression. On October 26, 2009, right after Group VII became Operation Fast and Furious, 13 ATF officials gathered together over a conference call. The issue discussed was the “possible adoption of the Department’s strategy for combating Mexican drug cartels.” Since Operation Fast and Furious had begun a mere month before the call, it is unlikely that the plan was not discussed. Kenneth Melsen, the Director of the ATF at the time was on the call. The current Director, B. Todd Jones, was not listed by name, but his title at the time “Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee” was listed as being on the call, so it is very likely that he took part as well. Additionally, according to an email from George T. Gillet, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix office, the Acting Director and Acting Deputy Director of the ATF were being briefed weekly on the progress of Operation Fast and Furious. The upward trajectory of knowledge does not stop there, however. According to documents released within the past week, Attorney General Eric Holder may have known more than he originally let on. Holder claimed on May 3rd that he had heard about the Operation “for the first time over the last few weeks,” yet according to a 2010 memo, that appears to be less than true. Michael Walther, Director of the National Drug Intelligence Center, informed Holder that the straw purchasers linked to Operation Fast and Furious “are responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to the Mexican drug trafficking cartels.” Now, based upon my comments in previous blog posts, it’s clear that I do not believe our Attorney General to be qualified for his position. This recent evidence does nothing but solidify my position on the issue.
Stay tuned for America's Car Crash Part 3: More than a Serious Mistake
America's Car Crash Part 1: The Origins of Operation Fast and Furious
By: Amy Lutz
There is no doubt that the Mexican-American border is a war zone. Unfortunately; however, this conflict takes place on a battlefield no one seems to know how to control. Border security and illegal immigration have tripped up politicians on both sides of the aisle. In fact, Rick Perry’s presidential campaign is quickly losing momentum as voters learn more about his stance on the contentious issue. Yet, Perry’s stance on in-state tuition for illegal immigrants is nothing compared to the “Fast and Furious” scandal currently being debated on Capitol Hill. The ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious, which put firearms in the hands of Mexican drug cartels, shows clearly how irresponsibility on our border can be not just dangerous, but deadly.
To fully understand Operation Fast and Furious, it is first important to understand the context and background behind the plan which recently sparked a Congressional Hearing. In April 2009, in between rounds of golf on a trip to Mexico, President Obama stated the following: “This war (on the border) is being waged not here but in the United States…more than 90% of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States, many from gun shops that lay in our shared border.” That statistic is shocking to say the least and could be used as justification for a crackdown on gun storeowners. Well, it could be if it were true. Actually, the President’s statistic was based solely on firearms that the Mexican government returned to the ATF for tracing. Mexican officials only send guns to the ATF that they assume originated from our country; therefore, it’s very likely that the 1/3 of guns the Mexican government sends to the ATF are primarily from the United States. However, remember that is only a small portion of the firearms actually retrieved. According to a Fox News investigation, only about 17% of the guns retrieve at Mexican crime scenes are from the United States.
Taking into account this administration’s history of “accuracy” it’s no surprise that faulty statistical data did not halt the Federal Government from acting out on the President’s message. Before Operation Fast and Furious officially took shape, ATF agents got the ball rolling on the plan by turning up the heat on gun storeowners in Arizona in September 2009. The ATF pressured these businesspeople to sell firearms to straw purchasers (people who buy goods to sell to others who cannot buy the goods on their own) who they assumed would deliver the weapons to Mexican drug cartels. The gun storeowners had little say in the matter. The ATF has the right to shut them down, so many were unable to resist the pressure. Most were forced to look the other way when it came to selling firearms to suspicious consumers. In fact, of the 20 smugglers under investigation by the Fast and Furious investigation (currently ongoing), 2 had prior felony convictions. Gun storeowners are required to run gun purchasers’ names through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, so if they followed procedure, it’s likely that they were aware of this fact.
In October 2009, the ATF’s above mentioned tactics were turned into an official operation. The Phoenix Field Division of the ATF developed a gun-trafficking group called “Group VII” which put “gunwalking” practices into play. Gunwalking is a strategic tactic which includes allowing suspects to walk away with illegally purchased guns without prosecution. According to a recent report from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee led by Representative Darrell Issa: “The purpose was to wait and watch, in hope that law enforcement could identify other members of a trafficking network using the new gunwalking tactics in one of its investigations to further the Department’s strategy.” It was a risky strategy to say the least and in December 2010, that risk resulted in horrific consequences.
Stay tuned for "America's Car Crash Part 2: Deadly Consequences."
Chris Christie: Are You In Or Out?
In the words of the infamous Al Gore, “the debate is over,” when it comes to a possible Chris Christie 2012 run. Or at least that’s what I thought. Over the past several months, as calls for the New Jersey governor to throw his hat in the ring got louder and louder, his refusals to run intensified in kind. Over and over again, Christie has claimed that running for the highest office in the land doesn’t “feel right” currently and he does not want to jump into something in which he is not fully invested. Yet, the rumors continue despite the governor’s many statements attempting to squash them. Many on the right are unimpressed by our current candidates, but are strongly passionate about the New Jersey Governor. As they look to the 2012 GOP field, many are disappointed by what they see. Romney is too moderate; Perry can’t debate; Bachmann is too polarizing; etc. The only candidate anyone can seem to agree on is Chris Christie. Sure, he might have some iffy stances on issues such as global warming, but his “tell-it-like-it-is” attitude and ease behind the podium trump any doubts that many conservatives have about him. And the idea of a Obama/Christie debate? Heavenly.
Even though Christie bluntly stated his intention not to run on Tuesday in a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, the rumors of a 2012 run have done nothing but accelerate. According to various news outlets, including foxnews.com, “anonymous” sources close to the Governor have revealed that Christie is in fact still considering a run and will make a decision in the near future. Well, now I’m just confused. I had settled with the fact that he was not running a mere three days ago, but now he’s got my hopes up again. I swear, the GOP’s attachment to a 2012 Christie run is just as strong as Obama’s attachment to his Teleprompter. As the Governor said himself, “nothing short of suicide” could convince many that he is not running. So, I suppose until the debate will march on, at least until the primary deadline in a few weeks. After that, Christie will be locked out of the race officially. Yet, knowing the voracious Christie supporters in the GOP, the day he is officially out will be the same day calls for a VP run will begin.