~Thanks for the FYI Char, I had covered this (Entire Taj Mahal Hotel Booked for Obama Mumbai Visit) but briefly, but it is being discussed on FNC today! ~JP
Diplomacy: Yes, a traveling president deserves security. But the 3,000-person entourage accompanying Barack Obama to Mumbai, India, this week reeks of pashalike decadence.
With an electoral repudiation still ringing in his ears, we can’t blame President Obama for wanting to get away from Washington as a new Congress prepares to roll in. He’s hardly the first chief executive to do it.
But there are problems with this “strategic” visit, with a stated interest in celebrating Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, that suggest this won’t be time well spent.
In a time of trillion-dollar stimulus packages and $600 billion Fed easings, the $200-million-a-day price tag for these 10 days abroad is an expenditure that will show up as more than a blip on the books.
Five fully loaded jet aircraft will fly Obama and his party of —>3,000 <--- caravan-style in luxury that would make a sultan blush. The entire Taj hotel — 570 rooms — plus other space next door are the sort of accommodations only a khan might have arranged until now.
Why the president requires so many attendants in support of a face-to-face meeting with India’s prime minister doesn’t say much for this administration’s money-management skills. All that’s missing are peacock feathers, yak processions and a presidential litter.
It borders on the ridiculous— especially when serious foreign policy talks don’t seem to be on the agenda. India is a nation pleading for free trade, a stop to the demonization of outsourcing, and assurances that America’s $3 billion aid package to neighboring Pakistan won’t end up in terrorists’ hands.
But the White House has offered no assurances on any of these matters and has floated trial balloons ahead of the trip indicating they won’t be addressed.
Meanwhile, the State Department’s heavy hitters on policy are nowhere to be found. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on her own, separate Asia tour. And the pros at State are making it clear this isn’t their show.
Asked if anything new would be coming out of the trip, department spokesman P.J. Crowley replied: “Well, I am sure there will be something new, and I’m sure I’ll defer to the White House to announce that.”
Not assuring. At this price, American taxpayers are entitled to something of value. Right now, this junket looks like anything but.
~ I hate to speculate on this but it comes from years of hunting. First we get this on again, off again mail bomb, worldwide terror alerts. Then we see the major players will not be in our country, ALL at the same time. Then he gets creamed in yesterday’s election. Not being paranoid, but I JUST MUST ask, am I reading something that doesn’t exist or we about to get nailed? ~JP
* After posting this I realized I remembered the terror attack in this very hotel two years ago:
President Obama has booked a stay at the Taj Mahal Palace during his trip to India early next month. The Mumbai hotel was attacked as part of a terrorist operation in the city in November 2008.
President Bush had his signature moment to declare that the terrorists would not triumph, when he stood atop the rubble of the World Trade Center with a bullhorn.
President Obama can make a similar statement when he will stay at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) during his four-day trip to India early next month.
US President Barack Obama is likely to land in Mumbai around noon Saturday and drive straight down to the Taj Mahal Hotel by the new Bandra-Worli sealink, officials said Tuesday. However, the US president could even be taken to the hotel in a chopper. On his itinerary is also an address to a select
few students from various colleges of Mumbai at the St. Xavier’s College premises in south Mumbai.
President Obama is likely to be welcomed by a host of dignitaries, US citizens in Mumbai and others after he lands at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Saturday.
From there he is expected to zoom downtown via the Rajiv Gandhi Bandra-Worli SeaLink to the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel at Colaba, opposite the Gateway of India.
US President Barack Obama will deliver a speech against terrorism at Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, one of the targets of 26/11 attack. Obama will stay in the hotel during his Mumbai visit and pay respects to the people who lost their lives in the attack, sources said. He will also attend the Indo-US
Business Council summit there.
* My friends, it cannot get more wrong then this. On EVERY Level! ~JP
UPDATE, 4:45 PM EDT: Not much specific to report, but our tech contractor just stated: “We have brought the NB site back up several times over the last two hours but the site can simply not hold up to the amount of traffic it is receiving.” There is a team continuing to work on it.]
During each election cycle, news stories emerge of voter irregularities and ballot malfunctions, prompting volunteer organizations to fight what they say is rampant fraud, while many authorities and other organizations dismiss the charges as unfounded.
2010 is proving no different.
An organization called Minnesota Majority, for example, claims it found hundreds of ineligible votes by convicted felons cast in the 2008 election, possibly turning the tide in the very narrowly decided election of Sen. Al Franken.
~JUST from two days ago…
But Dan McGrath, executive director of TakeAction Minnesota, told the St. Paul Legal Ledger, “There is no evidence of any sort of systemic voter fraud in this state. … There’s barely any evidence of voter fraud at all.”
Now Minnesota is a hotbed of controversy again, as Fox News reports officials are investigating an allegation that mentally disabled voters in Crow Wing County were coached by their attendants to cast ballots for specific candidates. The charges say attendants even filled out the ballots themselves for people so incapacitated they may not have even been eligible to vote in the first place.
Other investigations from around the country have also arisen, including the following:
* Kentucky’s Lexington Herald-Reader reports state officials received over 100 calls to a voter fraud hotline from 46 counties by early this afternoon. The state’s attorney general’s office told the paper the calls ran the gamut – complaints about voting machines and election officials, electioneering, general election fraud, disrupting the polls and more. Four counties even had allegations of vote buying.
* In the heated race in Nevada between Democratic Sen. Harry Reid and GOP challenger Sharron Angle, the Associated Press reports, Republican Party legal counsel has already filed a 44-page complaint alleging voter logs in a pair of counties showed the number of ballots cast was larger than the number of voters who signed the election registers. Furthermore, Angle’s campaign has alleged Reid and Democratic union backers were illegally buying votes with free food and Starbucks gift cards in repeated e-mails to supporters.
* Angle’s lawyers have also filed a complaint with the Justice Department alleging casino executives sympathetic to Reid put pressure on union employees to vote, even telling bosses to “put a headlock” on supervisors to make sure their workers vote.
* In Houston, Texas, a volunteer watchdog organization discovered evidence another organization had registered as many as 23,000 phony voter registrations in Harris County, including a woman who registered six times in the same day, registrations of non-citizens and 1,597 registrations that named the same person multiple times, often with different signatures.
* In North Carolina, Washington’s WITN-TV reports, a federal judge ordered written notices placed on voting machines after a string of complaints that voting machines were “flipping” straight-ticket Republican votes to straight-ticket Democrat votes was verified.
* In Pennsylvania, letters from Bucks County Democratic Party falsely warned voters they may not be eligible to vote unless they sent their absentee ballot applications into a Party post office box, rather than county voter registration office.
* Colorado’s Greeley Gazette reports a Democratic Get Out The Vote volunteer offering to pay postage on people’s absentee ballots, a violation of state law.
* In Prairie du Chien, Wis., (My oldest brother’s Favorite fishing spot) a man is charged with filling out multiple absentee ballots.
And as WND has reported, delays in overseas ballots for the military that resulted in thousands of soldiers’ votes not counting in the 2008 election still haven’t been fully fixed for 2010.
* CFP Obama Justice Dept. Denies Military Vote, Blames GOP By Warner Todd Huston
Dozens of other allegations of voting irregularities have come in from WND readers, who have filed their personal stories and observations with WND’s Voter Fraud Hotline:
* Kate from Pennsylvania reports poll workers insisting that a straight-party vote is required.
* Elizabeth in Philadelphia reports a voting assistance attendant helping the elderly … with an “official Democratic ballot” in her hand.
* Chris in Nevada reports waiting for 15 minutes for the ballot reader to process, eventually leaving the polling place without being able to register a vote.
* Robert in Illinois reports a poll worker telling a voter he was not allowed to take personal notes into the polling booth.
* Greg in North Carolina reports confirmation of the electronic voting machines switching straight-ticket Republican votes to straight-ticket Democrat votes.
* Mike in Washington reports absentee ballots being returned to senders too late to count because of insufficient postage.
* NOTE: FNC was fielding THOUSANDS of complaints last night ~JP
Thus far, America’s two major political parties have taken different public stances on the voter fraud issue.
Democratic National Committee National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan told ABC News, “We have confidence that voters are going to be able to go to the polls and have their votes counted and we are working with partners and officials at all levels to ensure that’s the case.”
Republicans, however, told ABC News, “[Fraud is] a concern for us every cycle. It’s a concern I think in particular this cycle because we have close races in states where historically we’ve had issues – Illinois, Pennsylvania and Washington State.” (~ And Nevada!)
AK, CA, AZ, NM, TX, Neb., SD, IL, OH, PA, NY, NJ, MISS, AL, GA, FL, TN (makes 17 hmmm)
Everything old is new again. The New Black Panthers were again in Philadelphia — with former defendant Jerry Jackson once again perched at the entrance to a poll. He engaged voters, some of whom were not so happy about it. But Philadelphia wasn’t the only American city graced by the presence of New Black Panthers today. They were also active in Houston.
Texas law prohibited the New Black Panthers from bursting into a polling place. They are not allowed within 100 feet of the polls for any reason except to vote or if they are credentialed poll watchers, which they weren’t. This illegal behavior was repeated at multiple polling places in Houston.
Quanell X is the Houston version of King Samir Shabazz, the chairman of the local New Black Panthers. His legal name is Quanell Abdul Farrakhan. Before that, it was Ralph Evans.
Mr. X led a squad of at least five New Black Panthers, including members in New Black Panther uniforms, into Houston polling places, including precinct 202, illegally.
They spoke with election officials inside this and other polling places. After these discussions, white poll watchers were either denied admittance or ejected. White election judges were also removed, under threat of calling the police for trumped-up complaints.
This man was a poll watcher fielded by the King Street Patriots to observe the proceedings at precinct 202:
~NOTE: Rep. Issa will NOT let this go. The initial case reported by J. Christian will be revived also now!
What might have given the New Black Panther Party cause to think they could engage in this behavior? Why would they feel so emboldened?
Most Americans know the answer.
I’m sure we’ll hear all sorts of apologist spin once again to excuse the latest lawlessness. But wouldn’t it be refreshing if just once, an apologist would find the courage to state this behavior is wrong.
Instead, we’ll probably have some people hit their “small potatoes” macro, and cut-and-paste “no big deal” from their earlier work.
Perhaps some will conclude the patrols in Houston were insignificant. But I suspect most will sense that something has gone awry. Instead of being shamed from the Philadelphia events, the Panthers seem emboldened. Plain, simple lawlessness occurred. Our country stands for something better.
It will be harder to excuse the Panthers’ 2010 version of lawlessness. But I suspect they’ll try their best.