Friday, May 20, 2011

I Love Lucidity

Benjamin Netanyahu
Something happened in America on Friday, May 20th, something historic. It is something that in saner times would have made the average American angry; the head of a foreign state came to our shores and slapped our President silly, albeit figuratively, in the house of the people. Equally noteworthy, however, is that saner times would have made such an event entirely unnecessary. Today's event was needed desperately.

Lest we forget, it was almost a year ago to the day that Mexican President Felipe Calderon stood on the floor of the U.S. Congress and trashed our laws regarding his people invading our country while our elected Democrat representatives stood and applauded him. So while I understand the ire of some who revere the Office of the President and are offended at Netanyahu's schooling of our top man, I was more offended at Calderon's attack on our country.

On Thursday, President Barack Hussein Obama went -- once again -- to the Middle East and delivered a speech aimed at appeasing the Muslim world, while he has yet to visit our long-time friend and ally, Israel, while in office. He visited as then-candidate Obama in 2008, but only to garner more support among the Jews here at home. (After over two years in office, domestic Jews seem not to have noticed that their man is no friend of Israel).

On this latest visit to the heart of Arab country, Obama grabbed the tiny country of Israel by the collar and belt, tossed it under the bus, and stepped on the gas. Claiming to be the present steward of Jimmy Carter's dream of Middle East peace, Obama reiterated the absurd notion that Israel could achieve that peace by giving up the land it now owns.

Despite the fact that Israel in the past has given back the entire Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and, briefly, the Golan Heights, and has been repeatedly attacked for its efforts, Obama now seems to believe that Israel's giving back all captured lands would finally bring harmony to the region. What Obama's demand of Israel would accomplish, however, would be to reduce the width of Israel at its center to eight miles, down from its current forty-five.

What Obama Wants?
Obama was, of course, referring to the pre-1967 borders of Israel, before the famous "6 Day War" in which the state of Israel, virtually alone, took out its antagonists surrounding them with threats of annihilation, in just six days. So decisive was the Israeli military superiority in the region that the United Nations was forced to negotiate a cease fire between Israel and its Arab enemies before the Soviet Union entered the battle. That deal stipulated that Israel would stop its advancing forces and settle on the land already conquered, to which the Jewish State promptly agreed.

Since then, and to this day, efforts have been made to get Israel to give up land to secure peace. Yet each time Israel gives, it gets...missiles from Hamas, missiles from Hezbollah, and scorn from the UN when they retaliate. They get riots from the ungrateful Palestinians who enjoy the benevolence of the only host that will have them. And now they get this blindside attack from the president of their once closest friend.

How the brilliant mind that is our President Barack Hussein Obama could be so ignorant of this history eludes even the dullest of minds. As a result, the more astute must wonder if Obama is actually as ignorant as he seems, or whether more sinister than comfort would allow. Neither prospect is acceptable when applied to the leader of the Free World.

So while I am a bit saddened that the president of my great country was the recipient of a scolding here in our house by a foreigner, I am only outraged at the reason it came to be. Eventually, sanity must prevail.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sixteen Years of Cainsian Economics

The Antithesis to John M. Keynes
 The more I learn about Herman Cain, the more I love his history and policy, and while I would love to see him take the reins of leadership in America, I'm still not convinced that he'd garner enough of the vote. It's not because I doubt his appeal or ability, but because I doubt the fortitude of my fellow citizens behind the secrecy of the voting booth.

There are still some who wouldn't vote for the man if he had a patented, copyrighted cure for America's ills posted online. That is sad, but not enough to preclude him from winning the Big Chair. No, that obstacle would be placed by well-meaning people who are not concerned about Herman's color, but rather about the potential of wasting their votes on someone who historically has little chance of winning with virtually no prior political experience.

Considering that only four U.S. Presidents have ever been elected directly from the Senate with no demonstrated executive track records, the idea of a virtual outsider winning the White House seems less likely than porcine aviators. While Herman Cain certainly has demonstrated an economic acumen , his is an expertise in dealing with a board of directors rather than two houses of Congress. This could have a severe potential to reduce his electoral viability.

Thumbs Up to a Perry Run
There is news just breaking, however, that could portend to be the vehicle to get Cain his insider credentials even while he helps to turn this giant fiscal ship away from the waterfall. Real Clear Politics is reporting that Texas Governor Rick Perry may be inching toward the 2012 race. For Perry's part -- and that of his inner circle -- the report "comes as a surprise" as they all deny any plans for the Governor to toss his hat in the ring.

This exercise is, therefore, mere wishful thinking and speculation, a great big "what if". So let's examine the possibilities...indeed, what if?

Rick Perry succeeded George W. Bush as Governor of Texas and has been a strong leader of that state ever since, having become the first ever to win three consecutive four-year terms. Perry's platform, in a nutshell, is one of a strong defense (especially on the border), fiscal restraint and personal liberty. Critics will complain that he's espoused some conflicting positions, but I would challenge them to produce a single candidate who has not at some point in his or her career.

If Perry actually decides to run for President, based on what we already know, he would be nearly invulnerable in the primaries, although it is still much too early to determine since the field is as yet unformed. What of his chances in the general election, though? That may be a much taller order to fill, and one that could possibly be bolstered by a running mate such as Herman Cain.

Herman Cain, like Governor Perry, has a tremendous following among the Tea Party, and as such is considering his own run at Pennsylvania Avenue but, as noted above, he faces a steep uphill battle. What if Cain was tapped as a running mate, however, by Rick Perry should the latter win the nomination? The two together would prove to be a most formidable duo against Obama in the general election regardless of who Obama settles on for a running mate (assuming that Joe Biden will be replaced at some point).

If a Perry/Cain administration could extricate the nation from the maelstrom its now swirling in, it is not inconceivable that Cain would enjoy eight years of first-hand experience in the White House. And if given a prominent role in shaping the fiscal policies of a President Perry, could ultimately end up being the first black president to actually help America. That would not only be a welcome respite from the misery we have endured of late, but would repair the damage wreaked by Obama to future candidates of color.

Here's hoping that the old axiom -- "where there's smoke, there's fire" -- is true, and that Perry is seriously considering a run. If that does happen, it would be incumbent upon us to strongly suggest Herman Cain as a running mate.

Keep your fingers crossed, America.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Mr. Hyde Returns

A Lovely Couple
It's official; I am done with Newt Gingrich. He's a nice enough fellow, of that  there is little doubt, but he has in the past proven at times to be too nice. Then again, so was Dr. Jekyll, which leaves one to genuinely wonder if Newt is bipolar.

In 1994, during Bill Clinton's presidency, Gingrich spearheaded the Republican revolution that saw that party win the House for the first time in forty years. The victory also propelled him to the Speaker's chair. As a result, a frothing Liberal coalition was formed which immediately set about the task of the demonization of the "ultra-right-wing" Gingrich. And it was mostly made possible by Newt's bitter opposition to the Clintons' designs regarding health care.

Then, a mere eleven years later, Gingrich angered the base that once revered the historian and all-around bright guy, the guy they saw as the hero who had slain the Clinton health care dragon. In 2005, when Hillary was first dipping her toes in the presidential waters, Newt and Hillary were suddenly "an item", appearing together at news conferences and on talk shows, with Gingrich singing adoring praises for the first woman presidential wannabe.

An Extremely Odd Couple
In May of 2005, the New York Times reported on the gushing words of Gingrich being lavished on Mrs. Clinton. It was portrayed then as a virtual kumbaya, and that's what it was. In one part of the article, the Times makes a pertinent point as it relates to Newt's current presidential aspirations, albeit prophetically. Just about midway through the article, the Times states:
As it turns out, Mr. Gingrich and Mrs. Clinton have a lot more in common now that they have left behind the politics of the 1990's, when she was a symbol of the liberal excesses of the Clinton White House and he was a fiery spokesman for a resurgent conservative movement in Washington.
I must confess, I am also guilty of forgetfulness in my zeal to see Newt run this time around. I also forgot about another stunning event a few years later, when Gingrich took to the couch with Nancy Pelosi who -- destined to be the speaker shortly thereafter -- actually makes Hillary look like a Rush Limbaugh dittohead.

In an advertisement to beseech our government to "do something" about Global Warming, Gingrich once again slept with the enemy by espousing a silly concept that he would later counter in a Congressional hearing. The video is here.

Two years later, Gingrich published  A Contract with the Earth, which set off another kabuki dance in which Liberals praised him and Conservatives gasped. In 2008, just a year later, Gingrich published Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less. That tome had his newfound friends on the left questioning his commitment to the environment and the cause. Newt was fast becoming a human pendulum. In 2009, he pushed further to the right, testifying before a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on "climate change" legislation in which he ripped Al Gore's ideas to shreds and challenged the former Vice President to engage in discussions on the matter.

Suddenly, Newt was ours again, but only for a while.

Just yesterday on the May 15th Sunday Meet the Press, Gingrich assaulted the Republican plan touted by Paul Ryan as "right wing social engineering", and endorsed a government mandate that citizens be required to purchase health insurance. As this country is slowly being dragged back to its senses by the Tea Party movement -- as evidenced by the mid term elections -- we're now not only fighting a formidable Progressive monolith...we're fighting the man who was once described by the New York Times as a "fiery spokesman for a resurgent conservative movement in Washington".

No thank you. I will not speak or write well of Newt Gingrich again until he is well past the age of a viable Presidential candidacy. He is a smart man and an excellent historical mind, but I do not want such a man anywhere near the Oval Office.

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Clintonistas Run the Flea Flicker

This time, a Clinton took the shot.
For a week now we've been watching the End Zone Dance Tour  of Barack Obama traipsing around the country thumping his chest about the events of last weekend, when U.S. military Special Forces killed the number one enemy of America; Osama bin Laden. (I use the word "traipsing" facetiously for it would have been a lot cheaper on the taxpayer had Obama literally traipsed).

As the man who fought the previous administration's efforts at information gathering and hunting for bin Laden now bathes in the success made possible by his failure to thwart President Bush, Obama cavalierly rubs the noses of al Qaeda in the mess of his victory lap. Yet, Obama is concerned that proof of the mission's success -- i.e. a photograph of the deceased bin Laden --  would "anger Muslims and endanger more lives". 

It's becoming abundantly clear that the President is using this auspicious occasion as a campaign tool for his reelection ambitions for 2012. So, if Obama and his media epigones want to make an event that made millions of Americans happy into something all about him, lets take a closer look into how we got to this place. Then, perhaps, Obama will wish the spotlight would turn away and seek another subject.

We were aware of Osama bin Laden and his role in terrorism way back in the Bill Clinton presidency. The story goes that Richard Clarke, Clinton's counter-terrorism coordinator for the National Security Council, urged President Clinton to "take out" bin Laden when given the chance. When they had who they strongly suspected was bin Laden on a satellite image, Clinton refused to give the hit order. Osama thus lived to fight another day.

After the attacks on September 11th, 2001, facilitated by the man Clinton had spared, much focus was given to an August 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) delivered to President Bush. That briefing -- subsequently used by George W. Bush's critics to bludgeon him -- was a warning that al Qaeda planned to "fly planes into buildings". The wispy vagueness of that alert mattered not to those who insisted that Bush knew of the attacks and did nothing.

For example, there was no way to know which buildings would be targets or what type of planes would be used. Short of halting all air traffic over such a threat just to play it safe, what could Bush have done? The damage done by such a drastic protective measure may have been almost as devastating as the actual attacks, both financially and in the cost to human life, considering the people who would have been scheduled for life-saving treatments in distant cities or organ transports for critical operations. The costs to the airline industry and any other business heavily dependent on the rapid conveyance of goods and personnel would have been catastrophic.

Thus it fell on the afterthought of reaction, and the Bush administration handled it well, setting into motion a massive operation that eliminated some bad guys and captured countless others that proved to be treasure troves of intelligence. That intelligence begot others with even more intelligence, and so on, and while bin Laden managed to elude his ultimate fate during Bush's two terms, the intel gathered during that hunt proved to be the terrorist's final undoing.

Last Sunday, May 1st, nearly a full decade after the attacks of 9/11, came the word that Osama bin Laden was finally dead. Naturally the country rejoiced, and Barack Obama was an instant hit, but as details of the assault conducted by the Navy SEALS Team 6 began to emerge -- and as the media ran with whatever they were fed -- things got murkier. Accounts began to conflict in rapid succession; there was a firefight/bin Laden was unarmed, he used his wife as a human shield/he didn't do any such thing. That wasn't the worst of it, however.

Obama and Senior Advisor Jarrett
As reporting of the lead-up the operation was spun by an adoring press to make Obama appear as a strong Commander-in-Chief, the truth always seems to have a way of seeping out. One account was that the military wanted to bomb the compound, obliterating bin Laden and anyone else in his vicinity but Obama, the brilliant tactician, said no. He wanted to put boots on the ground in order that proof could be offered of bin Laden's demise. While the story is loosely based on fact -- Obama did order no bombing -- his reason for such an order was nothing more than a delay tactic.

There is an account of the events that led up to the assault on bin Laden's compound in Pakistan that details a rather stunning chain of events, and casts Obama in a light quite contrary to the bright beams shone by the media. The full account -- while as yet unsubstantiated and anonymous -- can be seen here. What it suggests, however, is a victory that was won not because of Barack Obama, but in spite of him.

There was a group of high profile people who had been pushing for weeks or months to raid the compound. This group was comprised of, among others, CIA chief Leon Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and General David Petraeus.  The biggest obstacle to their plan was Senior Advisor to Obama, Valerie Jarrett, and an absentee Obama himself. Jarrett fretted that should the mission fail, it would reflect poorly on Obama and thus, damage his chances at reelection. For his part, Obama was too busy playing golf and campaigning, and he left the heavy lifting to Jarrett.

As it turned out, Clinton and Panetta, who was Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff, may have wanted to atone for the failure of their own administration in getting bin Laden, for they were furious over the delaying tactics of Jarrett. It was Jarrett who convinced Obama to insist against the bombing, believing that it would take weeks to develop a plan to get up close and personal with bin Laden. Unbeknownst to Obama and Jarrett was that Panetta had already developed just such a plan and was ready to roll it out.

Cleverly securing Obama's blessing to proceed when the plan was ready, they had their green light. Astonishingly, as the mission was begun, Barack Obama was, not surprisingly, on the golf course. The alleged eye witness account of the events of that night indicates that Obama was dragged off the golf course and into the Situation Room when the actual assault was about to happen.

The Situation Room Viewing
Looking at the photo to the left, that account certainly rings true. It appears that the Leader of the Free World has been relegated to "that kid in the corner", and looks like the last person to enter the room. He also looks quite irritated, perhaps at being dragged off the golf course, maybe at learning of the assault as it was happening, or both. In any event, Obama most certainly does not appear to be the commander of anything, but rather a mere spectator.

If one wonders why there weren't repercussions after the fact, it is not much of a stretch to believe that whatever anger the President may have felt was easily assuaged by the promise of glory. And Obama has definitely wallowed in it, soaking up the accolades he seems to demand. In the week since, however, many questions have been raised about Obama's handling of events and the retelling of them, his motivation behind them, and the veracity of his multiple versions.

That we will examine in the next article.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ode to Obama

A Nail-Biter for the CiC

'Twas the night that Osama
at last got his wish
(to go and meet Allah,
not swim with the fish.)

The White House had followed
the carefully laid plans
and extended the ways
of the previous man.

The Seal Team now poised
to accept further orders
after earlier travelling
over unfriendly borders

The Bin Laden's were snuggled
all warm in their beds
(somehow oblivious
to the sounds overhead).

The President gathered
by the giant TV
with some friends he'd assembled
so that they, too, could see

The Commander in Chief
lip now beaded with sweat
leaned forward too fast
nearly breaking the set

As the soldiers he'd sent
now slid quick down the ropes
Obama was suddenly
swelling with Hope

The mission was done
with what seemed to be ease
and no doubt that Obama
was actually pleased

In a plan that was started
by President Bush
It was Barry Obama
who kept up the push

For that much we know
that we have to be grateful
but eventually we knew
that the outcome was fateful

For while it was shocking
Bush's plans weren't shelved
It's becoming apparent
that it's all about '12

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