Archive for the ‘National Security’ Category
Just when President Obama, Vice President Biden, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton thought it couldn’t get worse, it did. This article provides the salt for these clowns’ open wounds:
First, Sarah Palin. In 2008, the Alaskan conservative warned that Putin was on the prowl. Quote: “After the Russian army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of moral indecision and equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.”
Wow. Mrs Palin not only got the country that Putin would threaten right, she also predicted the reason behind it. Obama’s “indecision and equivalence” over Iran, Egypt and, most importantly, Syria, has probably encouraged Putin to believe that there would be next-to-no Western response to an attack on Ukraine.
This was highly predictable. It’s only surprising to the children at Foggy Bottom and in the West Wing. They either didn’t see this coming or they didn’t care. History won’t award a gold star to any of these fools for their decisions prior to Russia’s invading Crimea. (A dunce’s cap for each is the better fit.)
Unfortunately for the Feckless Foursome, the humiliation doesn’t (and shouldn’t) stop there:
Second, Mitt Romney. Romney’s foreign policy approach was broadly mocked in 2012. The country was keen to withdraw from overseas conflict in the wake of Iraq and Afghanistan and Mitt’s vague neo-conservatism seemed out of step with the public mood. Sometimes, said the critics, it came off as something that his advisers were coaching him to say; a nod and a hint to AIPAC rather than a strongly held belief. Rachel Maddow concluded, “It’s not just that Romney is uninformed; it’s that he hasn’t figured out how to fake it.”
Romney confirmed the sceptics’ worst fears when he described Russia as America’s “number one geopolitical foe.” Barack Obama lashed out with some adolescent sass: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because. The Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”
Actually, people who lived through the 80′s are praying that we’d that type of leadership back. That was when Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John-Paul II brought down the Soviet Empire. That was when Jeane Kirkpatrick and Lech Walesa contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The Feckless Foursome didn’t notice or didn’t care that Putin still thinks that the collapse of the Soviet Union was “the collapse of the century“:
Mr Putin therefore went out of his way to extol the virtues of democracy and talk up Russia’s potential for foreign investment. He lamented, however, the collapse of the USSR in 1991, calling it “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe”.
That’s quite the contrast in sobriety. The Feckless Foursome insisted that Russia was a friend that didn’t have expansionist goals, despite Putin’s expansionist rhetoric. While Rachel Maddow was making herself look stupid, Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin said unpopular things that turned out to be 100% right.
Finally, I’d love asking Mrs. Clinton how that reset button thingy is working out lately.
Technorati: President Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Reset Button, Vladimir Putin, Russian Bear, Soviet Empire, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Ronald Reagan, Tear Down This Wall, George H.W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Pope John-Paul II, Lech Walesa, National Security, Cold War
People who didn’t see the Obama-O’Reilly confrontation on Super Bowl Sunday should follow this link to read the transcript of the interview. Saying that President Obama didn’t look at the top of his game is understatement. Here’s something where President Obama looked foolish:
O’REILLY: All right.
Was it the biggest mistake of your presidency to tell the nation over and over, if you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance?
OBAMA: Oh, Bill, you’ve got a long list of my mistakes of my presidency…
O’REILLY: But, no, really, for you…
OBAMA: — as I’ve (INAUDIBLE)…
O’REILLY: — wasn’t that the biggest one?
OBAMA: But this is — this is one that I regret and I’ve said I regretted, in part because we put in a grandfather clause in the original law saying that, in fact, you were supposed to be able to keep it. It obviously didn’t cover everybody that we needed to and that’s why we changed it, so that we further grandfathered in folks and many people who thought originally, when they got that cancellation notice, they couldn’t keep it or not (INAUDIBLE)…
That’s an outright lie. It wasn’t a mistake that the grandfather clause offered little protection. It was intentionally written to force people off of their health insurance policies and into the exchanges. To quote Charles Krauthammer, it wasn’t a glitch. It was a feature.
President Obama’s deceitfulness hurt him in this exchange, too:
O’REILLY: All right. Libya, House Armed Services testimony, General Carter Ham, you know, the general?
OBAMA: Yes. Right.
O’REILLY: Security in Africa.
O’REILLY: He testified that on the day that the ambassador was murdered and the three other Americans, all right, he told Secretary Panetta it was a terrorist attack. Shortly after Ham, General Ham, said that, Secretary Panetta came in to you.
O’REILLY: Did he tell you, Secretary Panetta, it was a terrorist attack?
OBAMA: You know what he told me was that there was an attack on our compound…
O’REILLY: He didn’t tell you…he didn’t use the word “terror?”
OBAMA: You know, in the heat of the moment, Bill, what folks are focused on is what’s happening on the ground, do we have eyes on it, how can we make sure our folks are secure…
O’REILLY: Because I just want to get this on the record…did he tell you it was a terror attack?
OBAMA: Bill — and what I’m — I’m answering your question. What he said to me was, we’ve got an attack on our compound. We don’t know yet…
O’REILLY: No terror attack?
OBAMA: We don’t know yet who’s doing it. Understand, by definition, Bill, when somebody is attacking our compound. That’s an act of terror, which is how I characterized it the day after it happened. So the question ends up being who, in fact, was attacking us?
O’REILLY: But it’s more than that…because of Susan Rice.
OBAMA: No, it…
O’REILLY: It’s more than that because if Susan Rice goes out and tells the world that it was a spontaneous demonstration…off a videotape but your…
O’REILLY: — your commanders and the secretary of Defense know it’s a terror attack…
OBAMA: Now, Bill…
O’REILLY: — I’m just confused.
OBAMA: And I’m trying to explain it to, if you want to listen. The fact of the matter is is that people understood, at the time, something very dangerous was happening, that we were focused on making sure that we did everything we can, to protect them. In the aftermath, what became clear was that the security was lax, that not all the precautions and that needed to be taken were taken and both myself and Secretary Clinton and others indicated as much.
First, it shouldn’t have taken time to know that security was lax. Ambassabor Stevens had been screaming at the top of his lungs that al-Qa’ida was gaining strength in eastern Libya. There was a gigantic hole in the wall at the consulate. Secretary Clinton and President Obama both should’ve known about that because that isn’t routine information that’s handled by people low in the food chain. That’s information they need to know about. That’s why I’m certain that both of them knew about the deteriorating conditions in Benghazi.
It’s more than that, though. O’Reilly is right in identifying Susan Rice’s appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows as a game-changing event. There’s no reason for the administration to send out someone who wasn’t properly informed. That’s if you believe that she was ill-informed, which I don’t believe. If she spred misinformation on those shows, then we’re looking at an administration lying to protect themselves during a political campaign.
This part is especially damning:
OBAMA: Bill, listen, I’ve gone through this and we have had multiple hearings on it. What happens is you have an attack like this taking place and you have a mix of folks who are just troublemakers. You have folks who have an ideological agenda.
O’REILLY: All right.
OBAMA: You have some who are affiliated with terrorist organizations. You have some that are not. But the main thing that all of us have to take away from this is our diplomats are serving in some very dangerous places.
The attacks weren’t random acts of violence. The military knew within moments that this was a well-coordinated attack executed with military precision. Right before Rice appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer interviewed the Libyan president. Libya’s president said without hesitation that this was a terrorist attack carried out with military precision.
Rice then insists that it was the result of a riot that started because people objected to an internet video by an obscure videographer. That’s utterly laughable, especially considering the fact that most people in northern Africa don’t have access to the internet.
By this point, President Obama is clearly frustrated. He’s frustrated because the lapdog media doesn’t insist on getting to the bottom of things. This exchange shows how frustrated President Obama is:
O’REILLY: I’ve got to get to the IRS…
O’REILLY: but I just want to say that they’re, your detractors believe that you did not tell the world it was a terror attack because your campaign didn’t want that out.
OBAMA: Bill, think about…
O’REILLY: That’s what they believe.
OBAMA: — and they believe it because folks like you are telling them that.
O’REILLY: No, I’m not telling them that.
O’REILLY: I’m asking you whether you were told…
OBAMA: But — and what I’m saying is…
O’REILLY: — it was a terror attack and you…
OBAMA: — and what I’m saying is that is inaccurate.
First, President Obama accuses O’Reilly of telling lies to the people. Then he says that he simply asked a question. Finally, he said that O’Reilly said some things that weren’t accurate.
Essentially, what happened is that President Obama accused a journalist of lying to the people; when that didn’t work, he insisted that he was simply asking a question. When that didn’t work, President Obama resorted to form by accusing Mr. O’Reilly of people inaccurate information.
What’s inescapable is the fact that President Obama isn’t skilled at truthfully and fully answering tough questions. It’s easy to see it frustrates him.
David Ignatius’s latest article is one of the most blatantly partisan and intellectually dishonest articles I’ve read about Benghazi. Here’s one of Mr. Ignatius’s most ridiculous claims:
Driving the Republican jihad was a claim, first reported in October 2012 by Fox News, that CIA personnel had wanted to respond more quickly to the Benghazi attack but were ordered to “stand down,” perhaps by political higher-ups. Although this claim was promptly rebutted by CIA officials, it was repeated by Fox at least 85 times, according to a review by the liberal advocacy group Media Matters. This barrage fueled Republican charges that the Democrats were engaging in a cover-up.
What’s wrong with that paragraph is that the charge wasn’t refuted. It was substantiated by Gregory Hicks’ testimony:
Here’s the transcript of the relevant portion of Mr. Hicks’ testimony:
REP. CHAFFETZ: How did the personnel react to being told to stand down?
MR. HICKS: They were furious. I can only say…well, I will quote Lt. Col. Gibson, who said “This is the first time in my career where a diplomat had more balls than someone in the military.
First, let’s question Mr. Ignatius’s methodology. Why would people think that the CIA would know about AFRICOM’s decision? AFRICOM is part of the military, not part of the CIA. Second, Ignatius’ article totally ignores Mr. Hicks’ testimony. Is Mr. Ignatius willing to call Mr. Hick and Lt. Col. Gibson liars or just mistaken?
If I’m given the option of trusting someone on the ground in Libya who talked with Ambassador Stevens or trusting Media Matters, that isn’t a difficult decision. Media Matters are paid liars. That’s what they do. Unfortunately, that isn’t the only questionable statement from Mr. Ignatius’ article:
The Obama administration’s supposed cover-up on Benghazi became a crusade for leading Republicans. A low point came when Issa’s Committee on Oversight and Reform issued a report last September questioning “the independence and integrity of the review” by the Mullen-Pickering group. These were extraordinary charges to make against a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former ambassador to six countries — especially since Issa didn’t present any conclusive evidence to back up his allegations.
The ARB report wasn’t an investigation. It didn’t talk to any State Department personnel on the ground that night in Benghazi. They didn’t talk with Greg Hicks. They didn’t talk with Hillary Clinton or or Leon Panetta. The report’s chief conclusion was that there was a system failure or, as Charles Krauthammer put it, the State Department building failed Christopher Stevens that night.
That isn’t an investigative report. That’s a whitewashing. Why didn’t the ARB affix blame on Mr. Panetta for not pre-positioning military forces to respond to hot spots in northern Africa? Why didn’t the ARB affix blame on Mrs. Clinton for going AWOL while the terrorist attack was raging? Had the ARB done either of those things, it would’ve been a credible report. Had they done both of those things, it would’ve rocked Washington.
Therein lies the problem. Pickering is a diplomat trained in downplaying things. The last thing a diplomat wants to do is ruffle people’s feathers. The ARB report was predictably flawed before it started. What was needed was someone who didn’t mind ruffling feathers, someone who wouldn’t hesitate in asking tough questions and including tough criticism of leaders when they didn’t act to rescue the American patriots who were needlessly assassinated that night in Benghazi.
Finally, there’s this BS:
Perhaps the silliest aspect of the Benghazi affair was the focus on the errant “talking points” prepared for Congress, which cited incorrect intelligence about “spontaneous demonstrations” in Benghazi that wasn’t corrected by the CIA until a week after the points were delivered on Sunday talk shows by Susan Rice, then U.N. ambassador. Rice is still under a cloud because she repeated the CIA’s “points” prepared at Congress’ insistence.
Calling them CIA talking points is wrong. The original document drafted by the CIA was accurate. It wasn’t until Victoria Nuland got involved that the document changed dramatically:
In an email to officials at the White House and the intelligence agencies, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland took issue with including that information because it “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either? Concerned …”
It’s clear that Nuland’s first concern was political. She wasn’t worried about the accuracy of the CIA’s initial document.
Greg Hicks’ testimony dalt with a) things Amb. Stevens told him directly before being assassinated and b) things Lt. Col. Gibson told him directly. Ms. Nuland’s part in the administration’s cover-up dealt with ‘sanitizing’ Gen. Petraeus’ document outlining what happened that night in Benghazi. That’s quite a stark contrast.
That’s why I’ll passionately argue that Mr. Ignatius’ article isn’t a serious refutation of what happened in Benghaz. The first hint that this was a hit piece came early when Ignatius talked about the “Republicans’ jihad”. That alone speaks volumes about Ignatius’ motivation.
Technorati: David Ignatius, Media Bias, Thomas Pickering, Mike Mullen, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense, Victoria Nuland, Susan Rice, Talking Points, Greg Hicks, Lt. Col. Gibson, Christopher Stevens, Benghazi Terrorist Attack, Ansar al-Sharia, al-Qaeda, Political Cover-up, Obama Administration, Election 2012
On Thursday, Sen. Feinstein tried selling the spin that Hillary wasn’t responsible for not preventing the Benghazi terrorist attack:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., noted that the bipartisan report released this week on the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks in Libya did not mention Clinton even once.
“I regret that the ‘Additional Views’ of the report adopted solely by six members of the Republican minority unfairly criticizes Secretary Clinton,” Feinstein said in a statement. “I want the record to be clear: I condemn any effort to use this report for political purposes.
Nothing in the bipartisan report, Feinstein said, assigned any blame for the attacks to Clinton, who was secretary of State at the time.
“Ultimately… the final responsibility for security at diplomatic facilities lies with the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,” said the “Additional Views” approved only by Republicans. “We believe there should be a full examination of her role in these events, including on the night of the attacks.”
Technically, Sen. Feinstein is right. There’s nothing in the report that blames Hillary for not taking actions that might’ve prevented the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2012. There should be plenty in the report criticizing Hillary for not acting on urgent requests from Christopher Stevens, the assassinated US ambassador to Libya. As usual, the All-Star Panel didn’t pull punches:
Andrew Napolitano nailed it when he said that “This report raises more questions than it answers.” He later opined that “the people who were responsible for this were the ones who did the investigating.” Charles Krauthammer ridiculed Sen. Feinstein, saying “the weakness of the Senate report is that it blames buildings. It blames the State Department. It blames the CIA. It blames the military, these bureaucracies. In the end, it doesn’t blame anybody. No human is held accountable.”
Let’s turn this around on Sen. Feinstein. Let’s use her logic against her. If Hillary wasn’t responsible for protecting Christopher Stevens, then Rumsfeld wasn’t responsible for Abu Ghraib and President Bush wasn’t responsible for waterboarding KSM.
Using Sen. Feinstein’s logic, Langley (the building) caused KSM’s waterboarding and the Pentagon (the building itself) was responsible for Abu Ghraib.
This paragraph is exceptionally telling:
“Our responsibility throughout this review was to focus on the intelligence,” Feinstein said. “The report finds the attacks were preventable, based on extensive intelligence reporting on terrorist activity in Eastern Libya and given known security shortfalls at the U.S. Mission.”
That’s a different way of saying that their committee would do a rehash of the Accountability Review Board’s report. In the real world, where people attempt to connect the terrorists’ dots, people would ask a) who’s responsible for embassy and consulate security, b) what procedures were in place to make sure urgent requests got the Secretary of State’s attention, c) why military assets weren’t pre-positioned and placed on alert to respond to crises and d) why President Obama and Hillary Clinton were nowhere to be found during the terrorist attacks.
Sen. Feinstein accused Republicans of using the report to hurt Hillary Clinton politically. The reality is that Hillary Clinton’s decisions hurt Hillary politically. I’d further argue that political figures should take a political hit for making terrible decisions that got American patriots needlessly murdered.
Returning to reality, let’s admit that Hillary a) ran in 2008 on the claim that she was the only candidate prepared to properly handle a 3:00 am phone call, b) didn’t take action to prevent the needless assassinations of American patriots and c) took the Secretary of State’s job to check off the ‘national security box’ for when she runs for president in 2016.
Finally, let’s admit that, based on what she’s done, Hillary was a mediocre Secretary of State.
Technorati: Dianne Feinstein, Hillary Clinton, Senate Intelligence Committee, Investigation, Accountability Review Board, Benghazi Terrorist Attacks, Christopher Stevens, National Security, Democrats, Donald Rumsfeld, Abu Ghraib, President Bush, Waterboarding, Langley, Pentagon
Catherine Herridge’s reporting in this video is the smoking gun that the Left’s apologists say doesn’t exist:
Here’s part of Herridge’s article:
Several Al Qaeda members emerged as “leaders of the pack” in last year’s Benghazi attack, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Fox News following release of a bipartisan report blowing apart claims the assault was the work of local extremists with no formal terrorist connections.
The former Guantanamo detainee Sufian bin Qumu, first identified by Fox’s Bret Baier as a suspect 16 months ago, at the very least helped lay the groundwork for the operation.
“Certainly Qumu was involved in planning in this…he is a member of a group that is affiliated with Al Qaeda so in my mind that makes him Al Qaeda,” said Chambliss, R-Ga.
According to the timeline that’s been put together from the House Armed Services Committee testimony, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama knew that Benghazi was a terrorist attack within fifteen minutes of the start of the attack. The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report said that there were direct ties to a former Gitmo detainee who was part of al-Qa’ida’s network. That’s proof that President Obama and Hillary Clinton lied about the origin of the attack. We know this because Hillary accused an obscure filmmaker of triggering the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
This information from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report doesn’t help the administration either:
It concludes that the Benghazi attackers came from two official Al Qaeda affiliates, bin Qumu’s Ansar al-Sharia, and a fourth group, the Jamal network, whose leader is connected to the Al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan.
“Individuals affiliated with terrorist groups including AQIM, Ansar al-Sharia, AQAP and the Mohammad Jamal Network participated in the September 11, 2012 attacks,” the report said.
That doesn’t leave the administration any wiggle room on whether this was a professionally coordinated terrorist attack. This information mocks the State Department’s spin that “core al-Qa’ida” wasn’t involved in planning the Benghazi assassination of Ambassador Christopher Stevens. People in New York, at the Pentagon and across the country don’t care whether “core al-Qa’ida” planned Stevens’ assassination. They’re just worried that Detroit is bankrupt and al-Qa’ida is alive and well in north Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and southwest Asia.
People are worried that the terrorists are gaining more sanctuaries where they can plan and train for their next major terrorist attack. People don’t care whether the State Department’s narrative is spin. They care about whether their families are safe. Based on what we’ve seen happening during this administration’s time in office, people have a right to be worried that another terrorist attack is right around the corner.
The Obama/Hillary/Panetta national security team has been close to worthless. They killed bin Laden, the leader of a psychotic movement. Then they let that movement grow and flourish. Al-Qa’ida in Iraq had been demolished. Their training bases in Afghanistan had been demolished. Then President Obama and Secretary Clinton abandoned Iraq to appease their nutjob anti-war supporters. Now al-Qa’ida is alive and well in north Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and southwest Asia.
If you want to read an article that’s filled with political vindictiveness and terrible writing, I’d recommend this article from the AP’s Laurie Kellman. Here’s Ms. Kellman’s opening
A month after emerging from a government shutdown at the top of their game, many Democrats in Congress newly worried about the party’s re-election prospects are for the first time distancing themselves from President Barack Obama after the disastrous rollout of his health care overhaul.
For people keeping score at home, that opening sentence is 45 words long. Run-on sentences of that length don’t help people focus their attention. English instructors frequently recommend that writers keep sentences to 18 words or less. Here’s how that paragraph would’ve looked had I written it:
After winning the government shutdown, congressional Democrats are worried about their re-election prospects. Now Democrats are distancing themselves from President Obama after the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov.
Thank God for ‘professional’ writers. Seriously, what person would be interested in the rest of the article after Ms. Kellman’s opening? It gets worse because Ms. Kellman transitions from unprofessional writer to professional political hack:
Cummings, the White House’s biggest defender in a Republican-controlled committee whose agenda is waging war against the administration over the attack in Benghazi, the IRS scandal, a gun-tracking operation and now health care, said he still thinks Obama is operating with integrity.
Chairman Issa’s agenda thus far has been to highlight this administration’s dishonesty and incompetence. When President Obama and Secretary Clinton ignored Christopher Stevens’ frequent impassioned pleas for more security, they ignored him. As a direct result of their passivity, Ambassador Stevens and 3 other American patriots were executed in Benghazi.
That isn’t “waging war against the administration.” That’s investigating a tragic incident that didn’t need to happen. Investigating the IRS’ targeting of conservative organizations isn’t “waging war against the administration.” It’s investigating the abuse of power that’s happened all too frequently with this imperial administration. It’s a legitimate investigation because abuses of power of this scope can’t be tolerated. Period.
Let’s not be naive. There are political consequences for these foolish decisions. Congress is questioning President Obama’s integrity because he isn’t a man of integrity. The American people have noticed. As a result, President Obama’s approval ratings have dropped dramatically.
Hillary Clinton’s integrity hasn’t dropped…yet. She left Washington, DC before Greg Hicks’ riveting testimony about what happened that night in Benghazi. There will be a political price to be paid for her passivity and terrible decisionmaking. How high of a price she’ll pay isn’t knowable at this time. Suffice it to say it might be a steep price.
Republican members of Chairman Issa’s committee haven’t editorialized. They’ve asked professional, probing questions. That’s what they’re supposed to do. Their job is to investigate, not to be the administration’s stenographers.
If President Obama’s administration hadn’t made this many major mistakes, Chairman Issa’s committee wouldn’t have been justified in investigating this many things. Because they made this many egregious mistakes, Chairman Issa was obligated to investigate.
If that constitutes an attack in Ms. Kellman’s mind, then it’s safe to say she’s a stenographer, not a reporter.
One of my weekly highlights is reading Glenn Reynolds’ columns for USA Today. This week’s column focuses on “the America that works”:
Thanks to the fracking revolution, the air is cleaner, gas is cheaper, and petro-state dictatorships have less geopolitical influence. But this happened not as a result of some big-government program, but as the result of individuals staking their lives and fortunes on a risky venture, one that, as Zuckerman notes, made some rich but left others near bankruptcy.
Meanwhile, the America that destroys wealth keeps plodding along, doing what it ‘does best’:
The America that doesn’t work was very much in evidence this past week, as the Obamacare roll out continued to be — in Democratic Sen. Max Baucus’ memorable phrase — a “train wreck.”
I’d add that HealthCare.gov isn’t the only example of government sloth destroying wealth. Last week, I wrote that MnSure, Minnesota’s state-run health insurance exchange, is the first website that gets weekends and holidays off:
The Contact Center is closed today, Veterans Day. In addition, federal account and application services are undergoing maintenance and are unavailable, 8 pm Saturday – 6:30 am Tuesday. You can still view plans.
I told Ox about this, too:
Seriously? I just tried to login to the site to view and apply for plans at 10:33 pm on Saturday, Nov 9, 2013 and I got this message:
the system is available monday through saturday, 6 am to 10 pm please visit us during those hours to apply and enroll Thank you for your interest in MNsure
Thanks to the fracking revolution, America is inching closer to energy independance that doesn’t rely on Middle East tyrants. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, Americans a) will pay higher premiums at a time when we’re becoming a Part-Time nation, b) will have fewer choices for health care, c) won’t always be able to keep the doctor or team of doctors treating them for cancer and d) will have to worry about doctor shortages.
Neither the state or federal government has the requisite skills to run health insurance exchanges. There’s plenty of proof that they’re pretty much worthless at it.
Thanks to the government’s failed attempt to get HealthCare.gov running, a new poll out today shows that, if the 2012 election were held today, Mitt Romney would defeat President Obama:
As more bad poll numbers continue to pour in for President Barack Obama, a new survey finds that if the 2012 election matchup were held this month, Mitt Romney would hold the edge with the voters.
Romney topped Obama 49 percent to 45 percent among registered voters in the Washington Post-ABC News poll released Tuesday. Among all Americans, the 2012 rivals would be tied, at 47 percent.
I think that signals the end of the HopeyChangey Express. I think it might also signal the start of President Obama’s lame duck status.
One of the things that’s becoming clear this year is that the political class doesn’t understand the United States. This weekend, I’ve read 2 articles that illustrate that perfectly. First, Scott Rasmussen’s article cuts through the clutter quickly:
2013 has been a tough year for the political class. The most recent evidence comes from Colorado.
Earlier in the year, the political elites in Washington were certain gun control would be enacted following the horrific massacre at a Connecticut elementary school. When nothing passed, they expected politicians who refused to support more gun restrictions would face consequences for their actions.
There were consequences. Just not the one’s the political class expected.
After Colorado passed its own version of gun control legislation, two state senators were targeted by a grassroots effort for removal through a recall vote. It was the first time in the state’s history that the recall process had even been attempted. Outside money poured in, and gun control advocates outspent the NRA and its allies by a 6-to-1 margin. Despite the tremendous financial advantage they enjoyed, both state senators were removed from office because of their support for gun control legislation.
Simply put, in state after state, gun control activists misunderestimated the people’s love of freedom. I don’t mistake this as a newfound love of the Constitution amongst the masses. It isn’t that. It’s that people want the ability to defend themselves.
An early sign of trouble for the elites came with public reaction to the so-called sequester. More precisely, the D.C. panic was caused by the lack of public reaction.
Politicians, mainstream media organizations, defense contractors and others did everything they could to scare the public. President Obama himself used his State of the Union address to say, “These sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness.” To make sure voters understood his concern, he added, “They’d devastate priorities like education, energy and medical research. They would certainly slow our recovery and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
But it didn’t work. People didn’t rise up in revolt and demand that Congress stop the sequester.
Instead, voters recognized that the politicians were crying wolf. The so-called cuts were not harsh and devastating. They were embarrassingly modest. In fact, all the sequester really did was reduce the growth of federal spending a bit. So, when the sequester went into effect, there was no revolt. Instead, hardly anybody noticed. Only those who work for the government really felt any impact.
For a week straight or more, the administration trotted out cabinet secretaries to tell the public that life would end if the sequester happened. The only thing missing from their presentations were illustrations of the Apocalypse as a backdrop.
Instead, we felt a pin prick.
The other article that illustrates how out of touch DC is is Salena Zito’s fantastic article titled Main Street wants action on jobs, not blunders on Syria:
CHAMPION, Pa. – Tracey loaded three large cardboard boxes with tomatoes, peaches, green beans, cucumbers and fleshy beets for a young couple about to embark on their first adventure in the art of canning. Rows of perfectly presented vegetables lined the shelves of her family’s farmers market, where State Route 31 meets the base of a mountain.
The young couple peppered her with questions about “putting up” their produce as they recalled watching their parents filling cellars with canned vegetables and fruits that lasted from autumn through spring.
They also chatted about jobs and ways to cut corners; all three expressed worry about an economy that has not improved for more than a half-decade.
Behind them in line, a group of young people discussed the possibility of war with Syria, all of them astonished that this is what the White House is focused on. “We keep waiting for the White House to talk about jobs in a meaningful, constructive way so that our families, communities and schools stop crumbling,” said one young woman as she contemplated buying fresh honey.
This administration hasn’t deviated from its original economic plan of dumping lots of money into the economy, first through the stimulus, then through the Fed’s quantitative easing. It isn’t that the plan failed totally. It hasn’t. Still, economic growth has been stagnant to the point that we went from the housing bubble collapse to the Great Recession to today’s Great Stagnation.
Coming out of one of the nastiest recessions in US history, President Reagan instituted massive tax cuts, including cuts in the capital gains rates. In September, 1983, the US economy created 1,100,000 jobs. In August, I cited some disturbing statistics from Zerohedge’s post in this post:
Of 953,000 Jobs Created In 2013, 77%, Or 731,000 Are Part-Time
Think about those statistics juxtaposed against Reagan’s jobs report for September, 1983. Reagan created more fulltime jobs in a single month than this president has created jobs, full- and part-time, in half a year.
Meanwhile, when people still trusted government, Reagan took down the Soviet Union. Fast forward to today, where President Obama and his Secretary of State can’t even get on the same page to deliver a pin prick attack against Syria.
President Reagan’s strength was his trusting the American people to do the right thing. President Obama’s weakness is his insistance that he’s always right. People have proposed plans for a stronger economy. President Obama has ignored those blueprints. People have proposed things to fix the biggest mistakes in the PPACA. President Obama has ignored those, too, because he thinks he’s right.
In his last speech from the Oval Office, President Reagan said something that I can’t forget. He said “it’s amazing what you can get accomplished when you don’t care who gets credit for things.” President Obama could mouth those words but he’d follow that up with a reminder that it’s his brilliance that saved the day.
The difference is that President Reagan never forgot that he was a man of the people while President Obama can’t hide the fact that he’s a creature of the DC Beltway.
Technorati: Political Class, Colorado Recall Elections, Gun Control, President Obama, John Kerry, Federal Reserve, Quantitative Easing, Syria, DC Beltway, Great Recession, Great Stagnation, Democrats, President Reagan, Job Growth, Capital Gains Tax Cuts, Soviet Union, National Security, GOP
This morning, it was announced that the US and Russia had reached an agreement on eliminating Syria’s WMD stockpile. According to this post, Syria’s WMD stockpile must be eliminated by the middle of 2014:
GENEVA — The United States and Russia have reached an agreement that calls for Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons to be removed or destroyed by the middle of 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday.
Under a “framework” agreement, international inspectors must be on the ground in Syria by November, Mr. Kerry said, speaking at a news conference with the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey V. Lavrov.
An immediate test of the viability of the accord will come within a week when the Syrian government is to provide a “comprehensive listing” of its chemical stockpile.
Anyone that thinks Russia will operate in good faith to eliminate Syria’s WMDs is delusional or simply lying to the American people. The chances that the Russians will live up to their agreement are about the same as President Obama living up to enforcing every provision in the PPACA or meeting its implementation deadlines.
It’s getting tiresome watching this administration getting treated like prison bitches by other nations. Kerry’s flippant remark in London opened the door for the Russians. The minute he said that, Putin and Lavrov jumped at the opportunity to use Kerry’s statement to keep Assad in power.
At the time Libya offered to get rid of its WMDs, they weren’t at war. It’s taken 8 years to get Libya’s WMD stockpiles under control. They’re still finding stockpiles of it.
By comparison, Syria is in the midst of a bloody civil war. Further, they’re doing everything to shift their WMDs to new locations. Finally, they’re insisting that the US take military strikes off the table before letting the weapon inspectors into their country.
The odds that Syria’s WMDs will be gone by July, 2014 are about as high as me getting hit with lightning while holding 2 winning lottery tickets. It’s a fiction, just like the community of nations, the Easter Bunny and unicorns are fiction.
UPDATE: Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham aren’t conservatives’ favorite senators but they’re right this time:
“Assad will use the months and months afforded to him to delay and deceive the world using every trick in Saddam Hussein’s playbook,” the Republican senators said in a statement. “It requires a willful suspension of disbelief to see this agreement as anything other than the start of a diplomatic blind alley, and the Obama administration is being led into it by Bashar Assad and [Russian President] Vladimir Putin.”
That’s been conservatives’ opinion since Secretary Kerry stumbled into this terrible deal last Monday.
President Obama’s rheotical skills were certainly on display Tuesday night when he addressed the nation about Syria’s civil war. His speech was a conundrum wrapped in a mystery. Put differently, it was a speech that didn’t make sense. For instance, this paragraph from early in the speech was wrapped in “the fierce urgency of now”:
Let me explain why. If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons. As the ban against these weapons erodes, other tyrants will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gas, and using them. Over time, our troops would again face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield. And it could be easier for terrorist organizations to obtain these weapons, and to use them to attack civilians.
In this paragraph, President Obama is justifying using military force. That’s understandable. Initially, the purpose of this speech was to rally the American people and, more importantly, Congress to support an ill-advised war. Shortly thereafter, the “fierce urgency of now” turned into the intellectual equivalent of “Whatever”:
However, over the last few days, we’ve seen some encouraging signs. In part because of the credible threat of U.S. military action, as well as constructive talks that I had with President Putin, the Russian government has indicated a willingness to join with the international community in pushing Assad to give up his chemical weapons. The Assad regime has now admitted that it has these weapons, and even said they’d join the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits their use.
It’s too early to tell whether this offer will succeed, and any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitments. But this initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force, particularly because Russia is one of Assad’s strongest allies.
I have, therefore, asked the leaders of Congress to postpone a vote to authorize the use of force while we pursue this diplomatic path. I’m sending Secretary of State John Kerry to meet his Russian counterpart on Thursday, and I will continue my own discussions with President Putin. I’ve spoken to the leaders of two of our closest allies, France and the United Kingdom, and we will work together in consultation with Russia and China to put forward a resolution at the U.N. Security Council requiring Assad to give up his chemical weapons, and to ultimately destroy them under international control. We’ll also give U.N. inspectors the opportunity to report their findings about what happened on August 21st. And we will continue to rally support from allies from Europe to the Americas, from Asia to the Middle East, who agree on the need for action.
President Obama had changed his mind on what to do with Syria frequently because he didn’t know what to do. First, Syria is a mess, thanks to President Obama’s dithering. Thanks to President Obama’s dithering, the options available to him are filled with peril.
Second, President Obama’s leading-from-behind style, combined with John Kerry’s flippant remark, gave Vladimir Putin the opening he needed to checkmate President Obama. Putin stepped into the leadership void and made a proposal that’s as insincere as it is appealing. This is a perfect situation for Putin because President Obama is now taking credit for Putin promising to take Syria’s WMD out of the equation.
There’s no chance Syria will give up its WMD but it sounds good to President Obama. He’s now thankful to not face a humiliating defeat in Congress. Ultimately, that’s all President Obama cared about. Ultimately, he dodged a bullet of his own making.
Third, President Obama has been identified as an anti-war activist. While the public might not catch on, Congress knows that he isn’t a leader. Additionally, he’s now identified as a reluctant decisionmaker.
The hard truth, though, is that this speech won’t change public opinion.