Krauthammer: Domestic Surveillance Drones Should Be Banned –

The Obama administration has just green-lighted drone technology for local law enforcement amid widespread privacy concerns.

The Federal Aviation Administration caused Capitol Hill eyebrows to raise, Monday,  as it began to explain the rules of the sky for  newly licensed drones at potentially dozens of sites across the country.
Fox News reported:

The agency, on its website, said that government “entities” will have to obtain a special certificate in order to fly the aircraft, adding that the FAA is “streamlining the process for public agencies to safely fly (drones) in the nation’s airspace.”

In doing so, the government is taking a tool that has become synonymous with U.S. counterterror warfare in countries like Pakistan and Yemen — and putting it in the hands of U.S. law enforcement.

Unlike some of the drones used overseas, these will not be equipped with missiles. They are to be used purely for surveillance. But that alone has raised serious privacy concerns on Capitol Hill and beyond.

“Our Founding Fathers had no idea that there would be remote-control drones with television monitors that can feed back live data instantaneously — but if they had, they would have made darn sure … that these things were subject to the Fourth Amendment (protecting individual privacy),” Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, told Fox News.

Airline pilots worry that there’s currently no system that allows operators of unmanned aircraft to spot and avoid helicopters and planes, Bloomberg reported

Charles Krauthammer came out hard against domestic surveillance drones,  on Monday Night’s  Fox’s Special Report. So much so that the show’s host, Bret Baier later said he’d never seen Charles so animated.

He said that he didn’t want to see regulations, or restrictions on the use of drones in the United States – he wants to see a ban.

Said Krauthammer:

I would predict, (I’m not encouraging it!) but I’ll predict that the first guy who uses a Second Amendment weapon to bring a drone down that has been hovering over his house, is going to be a folk hero in this country.


Re shooting drones out of the sky — it’s already been done!:

Via The Blaze: Citizens Shoot Down Animal Rights Group’s Surveillance Drone:

A remote-controlled aircraft owned and operated by an animal rights group called SHARK, was reportedly shot down near Broxton Bridge Plantation, South Carolina, on Sunday. reports:

Steve Hindi, president of SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness), said his group was preparing to launch its Mikrokopter drone to video what he called a live pigeon shoot on Sunday when law enforcement officers and an attorney claiming to represent the privately-owned plantation near Ehrhardt tried to stop the aircraft from flying.

“It didn’t work; what SHARK was doing was perfectly legal,” Hindi said in a news release. “Once they knew nothing was going to stop us, the shooting stopped and the cars lined up to leave.”

Hindi said the animal rights group decided to send the drone up anyway but that seconds after it hit the air “numerous shots rang out.”

“As an act of revenge for us shutting down the pigeon slaughter, they had shot down our copter.”

He claimed the shooters were “in tree cover” and “fled the scene on small motorized vehicles.”

Thanks to commenter, Callawyn.


Audio: Amateur Author Ed Klein: Clinton and Obama Have “nothing but Mutual Contempt for Each Other”

Hannity’s radio show today featured some interesting dish from former NYTs Magazine Editor, Ed Klein, the author of the explosive new book about Obama; The Amateur.

The book gets its title from the words Bill Clinton uttered when he was  trying to encourage Hillary to take on Obama in the Democratic primary of 2012:

Obama doesn’t know how to be president. He doesn’t know how the world works. He’s incompetent. He’s…he’s…Barack Obama’s an amateur.

I’ve always suspected that Bill Clinton despised Obama, so I’m always aghast when I see  him give interviews propping him up, or even starring in campaign ads for him. It makes them look like BFFs, and I wonder what the hell is going on. Why would you do that for someone you hate?  Klein has a very simple answer for that.

Clinton says there is no loyalty in politics, but he’s been pretty loyal to Obama this year, for someone who hates him.

Hat tip: Smitty, of the Other McCain, who was listening to Hannity in the car.

Linked by Doug Ross, thanks!


Conservative Reps Plan To Push House Leadership Toward Contempt Resolution for Holder

In a recent Capitol Hill confab, conservative reps met to talk about the need for the House leadership  to take bolder steps on a myriad of issues, most notably, Fast and Furious.

The Politico reported:

The cautious approach that top Republicans have taken on whether to vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress has sparked a new round of hand-wringing over the party’s direction on Capitol Hill.

Specifically, conservatives want bolder, more aggressive leadership from House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the rest of GOP high command — on Holder and the broader Republican agenda heading into November.

The feeling was best illustrated Wednesday at the Capitol Hill Club, a private GOP haunt adjacent to the Republican National Committee’s offices.

More than a dozen conservative lawmakers — including Republican Study Group Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio — met there for dinner, and the topic of conversation veered toward how to push leadership to pursue a “more profound direction” forward, according to several lawmakers in attendance.

The main topic: Why, conservatives ask, is the party holding back when it has spent a year waiting — fruitlessly — for Holder to comply with a subpoena?

Venting his frustration with the foot-dragging, last week week, Congressman Trey Gowdy of SC, told Ginny Simone of NRA TV that there was no excuse for it.

There is no argument on the other side in compliance with a subpoena. I mean there is no argument!  I mean anarchy is the only argument on the other side. So if we’re not willing to press the issue, are your listeners going to have any confidence that we’ll be bold and courageous if they give us the the White House and the Senate?

They also want to know why the GOP isn’t trying to draw a more stark contrast with Obama – something a lot of us grassroots conservatives have been grousing about, here at home. Go ahead and use the S word. It’s what he is – we all know it. Highlight his thug tactics, corruption, shredding of the Constitution,  and  unprecedented power grabs.

But oh no….we don’t want to scare off independents, who are by definition – people who don’t pay much attention or they’d have stronger opinions about politics. Sometimes the ugly truth is an attention getter. Wake them up.

Passing the budget of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is a start, but hardly enough, they say. Republicans should be touting their proposed overhaul of Medicare and Medicaid and passing more bills to show that their plan to deal with the nation’s crumbling entitlement system is more responsible than Obama’s, the lawmakers argue.

In short, these conservatives want more from Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.)

“There’s no use to having the majority if you are going to be hamstrung by your perception of political vicissitudes,” said Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina , who was at the dinner.

It almost seems like establishment Republicans are most comfortable  in crouching, defensive postures. How this going to look? How’s the media going to report it? How’s it going to play? Let’s keep our messaging bland so as not to offend.

I’ll give you three guesses on the reason for the Republican leadership’s spinelessness on F&F…
(Hint: It has five A’s in it.)
Despite his public praise for Issa’s efforts to learn more about the controversial operation, the newspaper said “behind the scenes” Boehner and other top House GOP leaders are worried about the political impact a contempt resolution could have in an election year. “With the other issues, the economy and everything else, I think they would like to focus on that,” Republican Rep. Dan Burton, a former chairman of the committee, told Roll Call. “I don’t think they’re opposed to going ahead with the contempt citation; it’s just that if we can get the Justice Department to move without having to move it, they would probably prefer that.” But a GOP aide suggested to Roll Call there is also concern that going after Holder, the first black attorney general under the first black president, could create a racial backlash against Republicans. “Especially after Trayvon,” this aide told Roll Call, in a reference to the killing of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
We don’t want to be called Raaaaacist.
God help us. The phoney, ginned up racialist politics the left has been deploying all year is designed specifically to intimidate  jellyfish spined people like this. It’s meant to stifle conservative discourse and intimidate Republicans from taking positions critical of blacks. It’s working beautifully, thanks to wimps like these old guard Republicans.
The long Politico piece ends on this hopeful note:

At the Capitol Hill Club dinner, feelings were particularly raw about how leadership is handling the Fast and Furious controversy. Mulvaney turned to Gowdy in front of the group and asked whether contempt is appropriate at this point.

Yes, said Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor.

“I don’t know the speaker well. I know Kevin and Eric very well. I don’t feel at all drummed out by them,” Gowdy said, speaking broadly of his relationship with leadership. But “there’s a sense to not ruffle the waters. My response is, ‘You’re asking people to trust you with the gears of government and leadership. If your sole objective is to just hang on, and not do anything with leadership, that’s not a compelling case.’

“So, if we are being drummed out, it’s our fault. Because the majority of the people in our conference describe themselves as conservative. What you’ll see in the next couple weeks, is push back from the conservatives.”
It probably wouldn’t hurt to call Boehner’s office, too. Enough with the foot-dragging.
Boehner’s contact info:
H-232 The Capitol Washington, DC 20515 P (202) 225-0600 F (202) 225-5117
Linked by Doug Ross, thanks!