Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category

It’s hard to believe that people are buying President Obama’s schtick anymore. This afternoon, President Obama campaigned in Springfield, OH. Here’s video of President Obama’s speech:

Here’s the part of the speech where he started losing credibility:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: In 2008, we were in the middle of 2 wars and the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Today, our businesses have created almost 5 and a half million new jobs and, this morning, we found out that companies created more jobs than they’ve created in the last 8 months. The American auto industry is back on top. Home values and housing starts are on the rise. We’re less dependent on foreign oil than we’ve been in the last 20 years. Because of the service and sacrifices of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over, the war in Afghanistan is ending and al-Qa’ida is decimated.

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to get inspired by someone who’s that willing to tell whoppers.

Al-Qa’ida isn’t decimated. Anyone that says that should talk with Tyrone Woods’ dad or read one of Christopher Stevens’ cables urging President Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to send reinforcements to protect the people working at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi:

The August 15 cable, marked “secret,” was sent by the Benghazi mission and outlined both the threats and the insufficiencies to U.S. security in Libya. The mission called for an “emergency meeting” to discuss the rapidly eroding situation on the ground:

RSO (Regional Security Officer) expressed concerns with the ability to defend Post in the event of a coordinated attack due to limited manpower, security measures, weapons capabilities, host nation support, and the overall size of the compound.

That warning doesn’t sound like al-Qa’ida is decimated. That’s before talking about AQIM, al-Qa’ida rebuilding its training bases in Anbar Province in western Iraq or al-Qa’ida in Yemen and Mali taking hold.

How can we trust someone who didn’t let our “brave men and women in the military” do their jobs during the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi or who won’t tell us the truth about al-Qa’ida’s resurgence in North Africa and in the Middle East?

Trust and respect, once they’re lost, take time to rebuild. In this instance, I don’t think that’s possible.

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When I watched Fox News Sunday yesterday, I couldn’t believe what I’d just heard. This video of Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham was stunning for reasons that will become clear to everyone who watches it:

Here’s a partial transcript of the jawdropping parts:

SEN. DURBIN: What I find hard to accept — I have to disagree with my friend Sen. Graham — is this notion about the president’s foreign policy. The president has been a strong and steady leader. We have responsibly ended the war in Iraq. We are going to end the war in Afghanistan. Al-Qa’ida is a shadow of its former self. Osama bin Laden is moldering in some watery grave somewhere. And we’ve now put enough pressure on Iran with the sanctions regime that they won’t develop a nuclear weapon that they now want to sit down and talk. These are all positive things.

This is incredible. For the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate to say that “al-Qa’ida is shadow of its former self” is heaping dirt on Christopher Stevens’ grave. Do the pictures from Benghazi look like al-Qa’ida is “a shadow of its former self”? Does Sen. Durbin think that the al-Qa’ida flag flying at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is proof of his insulting statement?

This is what’s known as Sen. Durbin taking one for the team.

It’s jawdropping that Sen. Durbin could say that this administration had “responsibly ended the war in Iraq” when al-Qa’ida is rebuilding in western Iraq:

Iraqi and U.S. officials say al Qaeda is rebuilding in Iraq.

The officials say the extremist group has set up training camps for insurgents in the nation’s western deserts, seizing on regional instability and government security failures.

Iraq has seen a jump in al Qaeda attacks over the last 10 weeks, and officials believe most of the fighters are former prisoners who have either escaped from jail or were released by Iraqi authorities for lack of evidence after the U.S. military withdrawal last December. Many are said to be Saudi or from Sunni-dominated Gulf states.

During the war and its aftermath, U.S. forces, joined by allied Sunni groups and later by Iraqi counterterror forces, managed to beat back al Qaeda’s Iraqi branch.

But now, Iraqi and U.S. officials say, the insurgent group has more than doubled in numbers from a year ago to about 2,500 fighters. And Pentagon data shows it is carrying out an average of 140 attacks a week.

As a direct result of the Obama administration’s failure to put in place an agreement with the Iraqi government to keep troops strategically positioned in Iraq, al-Qa’ida is now rebuilding, training and carrying out attacks inside Iraq.

That isn’t the only place where al-Qa’ida and their affiliates are regrouping, as Sen. Graham points out in this last word:

Iraq is falling apart. Bin Laden may be dead. Al-Qa’ida is on the rise. If you don’t believe me, visit the training camps that have sprung up after we left. Syria is a contagion affecting the region. Thirty-two thousand people have been killed while we’ve been doing nothing. Islamic extremists are beginning to infiltrate Syria.

Sen. Graham effectively dismantled Sen. Durbin’s statements that al-Qa’ida “is a shadow of its former self” with a blistering recitation of indisputable facts. What part of building new training camps in western Iraq and carrying out 140 terrorist attacks a week sounds like “al-Qa’ida is a shadow of its former self”?

It isn’t a secret that Sen. Graham isn’t my picture of a conservative. That said, he’s done a great job of laying out the facts about al-Qa’ida’s resurgence since President Obama discontinued the Bush Doctrine. Thanks to that foolish decision, al-Qa’ida is building new bases throughout north Africa, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq.

If that’s Sen. Durbin’s picture of “responsibly ending the war in Iraq”, then he’s a too irresponsible to trust foreign policy and national security to.

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The first thing that’s obvious from this video is that Rick Nolan is still living in the 1970s and 1980s:

For instance, this statement leaps off the page:

NOLAN: We need to revise our trade policy. Fifty thousand manufacturers in this country have moved out of this country in recent years and along with that, millions of jobs. And it’s because of unfair competition. An American manufacturer has to adhere to good health and safety standards for its workers, good environmental standards to protect the air and the water, not to mention Social Security and Medicare and workers comp and unemployment. And it was never fair to those manufacturers to say ‘Now we want you to compete with the rest of the world where, in many cases, they don’t do any of that. It’s unfair competition.

It’s insulting to manufacturers to say that they can’t compete with the rest of the world if other countries don’t implement the same regulations and programs as the U.S. has. That’s provably false.

American manufacturers outcompeted the rest of the world with those programs in place. The dirty little secret is that there’s fewer manufacturing jobs in the United State but that there’s more manufacturing, thanks to greater automation. If anything, that’s proof that manufacturers have outcompeted the world because they’re great innovators.

Here’s another mindless Nolan rant:

AARON BROWN: How would you reconcile the debt and the deficit to secure the solvency of the nation over the long haul?
NOLAN: There’s a number of things that need to be done. One is put an end to the wars of choice. They’ve cost several trillion dollars over the past decade. They’re going to cost us trillions more dollars going forward. That’s trillions of dollars that can be used to balance the budget and to reinvest in America.

There isn’t a thoughtful person who thinks Rick Nolan is serious about deficits and debt. That’s a serious question in search of a serious candidate.

First, “wars of choice” haven’t cost the U.S. “several trillion dollars over the past decade.” Democrats considered Iraq the war of choice. That was shut down before Christmas, 2011. Afghanistan, Democrats told us, was the location for the real war on terror. Two days ago, Lara Logan, the pre-eminent war correspondent in the business, delivered some sobering news about the war against the jihadists:

Eleven years later, “they” still hate us, now more than ever, Logan told the crowd. The Taliban and al-Qaida have not been vanquished, she added. They’re coming back.

“I chose this subject because, one, I can’t stand, that there is a major lie being propagated…” Logan declared in her native South African accent.

The lie is that America’s military might has tamed the Taliban.

“There is this narrative coming out of Washington for the last two years,” Logan said. It is driven in part by “Taliban apologists,” who claim “they are just the poor moderate, gentler, kinder Taliban,” she added sarcastically. “It’s such nonsense!”

Nolan’s war of choice is fiction. President Obama is essentially declaring the war in Afghanistan won. Lara Logan has reported from the front lines. She’s seen what the Taliban have done. This fight isn’t over. It’s true that President Obama is calling a ceasefire in Afghanistan but the Taliban hasn’t agreed to the ceasefire.

The reality is that Rick Nolan is still the same pacifist, ‘give peace a chance’ hippie wannabe he’s always been. The only thing that’s changed is that he’s wearing better suits and his hair is grayer these days.

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I’ve heard enough from what’s best described as the ‘it isn’t Obama’s fault crowd’. Conservatives can probably mumble the left’s argument in their sleep. For newcomers, it goes something like this (in no particular order):

  • Bush put 2 wars on the national credit card.
  • President Obama inherited a mess.
  • The rich aren’t paying their fair share.

That’s nothing more than a steaming pile of BS. While the first 2 points are true, they’re also irrelevant.

Putting 2 wars on the national credit card has nothing to do with this administration’s hostility towards the business community. It has nothing to do with the EPA’s inflicting pain on families and power plants through an out-of-control regulatory regime. Those wars have nothing to do with the EPA’s attempt to shut down the coal industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Indiana.

Those wars have nothing to do with President Obama’s decision to push the biggest job-killing bill in US history, the ACA, down our throats against the will of the American people. Those wars didn’t prevent companies from putting their capital at risk during the Bush years.

Capital didn’t start redeploying to places other than the American economy until this administration took over. The left still hasn’t explained why that ‘redeployment’ happened. I don’t think we’ll hear an explanation until after the election.

The deficits didn’t start increasing until after the election disaster of 2006. The deficits didn’t start skyrocketing until President Obama laid out his misguided economic blueprint. Democrats can’t blame President Bush for President Obama choosing not to start the Keystone XL Pipeline. In fact, if President Bush was still the president, it’s a lead pipe cinch he would’ve approved the project, thereby creating tens of thousands of construction jobs while reducing U.S. dependence on Saudi oil.

President Obama won’t attempt to rebut my ‘indictment’ against their economic policies because the indictment is airtight. It’s true that President Obama inherited a mess. It’s verifiable that President Obama promptly made things worse. Here’s how he ‘accomplished’ it:

  • pursuing an agenda filled with hostility towards businesses large, small and in between,
  • unleashing the EPA to demolish the coal industry and coal-fired power plants,
  • starting a war against fossil fuels,
  • pushing the biggest job-killing bill in US history down our throats and
  • pursuing a strategy that created economic uncertainty at the very time we needed economic and regulatory certainty.

If you’re looking for a blueprint to destroy a nation’s economy, you needn’t look further.

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Three things that the candidates said stood out for me tonight. First, Mitt did his best to avoid answering any questions or comments about his timid tax policy. When Newt cited the WSJ’s study, Mitt went straight to a canned reply that had nothing to with taxes.

That isn’t unexpected. Mitt’s tax policy isn’t a pro-growth tax policy. That’s why Art Laffer endorsed Newt, not Mitt. That’s why Thomas Sowell endorsed Newt, not Mitt.

Newt had the best line of the night when he criticized the media for covering only one side of the gay rights fight. After ABC antagonists Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos questioned Rick Santorum on gay rights issues, Newt interjected himself into the conversation, saying that it’s shameful (my term) that the media never talks about how this administration has essentially shut down Catholic Charities’ adoption operations in DC, Massachusetts and elsewhere.

That line got the loudest applause of the night and second place wasn’t that close.

I tweeted early in the night that Newt, the smartest man on stage, was back because he was. His reply on infrastructure was focused, intelligent and explained how infrastructure improvements mattered in international competitiveness.

Rick Santorum had a strong night, showing his policy gravitas. That especially was true in is economic prescriptions for manufacturing. Sen. Santorum also got in a good shot at Mitt, saying that playing the class warfare card was for Democrats, not Republicans.

Another thing that stood out was ABC’s incompetence. Diane Sawyer looked half in the bag. George Stephanopoulos thought his job was to start fights between the candidates. None of the panelists asked thoughtful questions on the economy or foreign policy. Compared with the FNC teams, this panel looked amateurish at best.

Afterwards, Jake Tapper and Matthew Dowd talked about Mitt Romney winning simply because “nobody laid a glove on him.” Perhaps but it also might be that he wasn’t especially coherent, too. The reality is that Mitt was invisible most of the night.

Does anyone remember anything Mitt said that made them sit up and pay attention? I don’t. The only thing I remember him saying was him agreeing that Newt was right about Catholic Charities.

On the issue of whether states had the right to “ban contraception”, Mitt did his best to ridicule the question. After getting pushed, he admitted states had the right but that he didn’t know of any states that would “ban contraception.”

Newt was brilliant, too, when he was asked if he’d send troops back into Iraq. The context was that Iran is threatening to turn Iraq into another of their provinces. Newt said that, if Iran was causing problems in Iran, then the best thing the United States could do is help topple the Iranian regime.

Newt was tonight’s winner because he consistently was proactive. His reply to gay rights was a perfect example of that. Ditto with his Iraq answer. On those two questions, the other candidates gave tactical answers whereas Newt’s answers were on the strategic level.

You might say that Newt’s opponents were playing checkers while he played grand masters chess.

It’d be just as true if you said that Newt was the only man of gravitas on that stage Saturday night.

UPDATE: Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit has posted the video of Newt’s Catholic Charities response:

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Thursday, Sen. Klobuchar released this statement about the Obama administration’s troop withdrawals from Iraq:

“I have long supported a military policy in Iraq that focuses on the responsible withdrawal of U.S. troops and the transfer of authority to the Iraqi government. Our troops have shown tremendous courage to get us to this point. The mission of our Minnesota National Guard troops in Kuwait and Iraq to bring our soldiers and equipment home from Iraq is the right one.”

The first thing worth noting is that Sen. Klobuchar, like most Democrats, didn’t say she’s “long supported a military policy in Iraq” that focuses on defeating the radical jihadists. That’s never been a consideration for Sen. Klobuchar. In fact, she’s often gotten her facts wrong. Here’s what she said:

Last week, officials in Baghdad released figures suggesting the surge of American forces has rapidly reduced violence. Klobuchar said that’s not clear. “Some of the violence has been pushed out to other areas, but I think it’s too early to tell,” she said. “It’ll be best evaluated in the middle or late summer.”

Here’s what she got wrong:

The rate of killings of US troops in Iraq has been on the decline, down by 60 percent, since the launch of the new security measures in Baghdad, according to statistics revealed by the Multi-National Force-Iraq Combined Press Information Centre.

Only 17 members of the US military in Iraq have been killed since February 14 till March 13, compared to 42 from January 13 to February 13; the rate was on the decline during the first month of the security crackdown, compared to a month before. Two of the 17 soldiers died at US Baghdad camps of non-combat causes.

When it comes to national security, Sen. Klobuchar is either poorly informed or totally disinterested. That’s disturbing. Regardless of whether you agreed with the Iraq war or not, it’s a senator’s job to get the facts right.

These weren’t classified items that required a security clearance. These were statistics included in Centcom’s monthly reports.

If Sen. Klobuchar wouldn’t have spent her time finding and attending photo ops in Minnesota, she could’ve spnt the time studying Centcom’s reports. That would’ve helped her be informed on this important subject.

It’s disgraceful that a US senator could get that information that badly wrong, especially when the information was so readily available.

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Sunday afternoon, I had the privilege of participating in a magnificent celebration of America’s resilience. I was privileged to attend a 9/11 fundraiser for a great organization called Building Homes for Heroes. The fundraiser’s chief sponsors were John and AJ Kern, Henry Gruber and KNSI.
First, the story behind Building Homes for Heroes, like most aspects of the organization, is an inspirational story:

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Andy joined thousands of New Yorkers who volunteered in the rescue effort at the World Trade Center site. While it turns out that this event was one of the underlying reasons for the formation of Building Homes for Heroes, it wasn’t until a few years down the line that the idea of helping severely wounded men and women of the United States Military became his passion. After a couple years of volunteering and contributing to a similar group, Andy decided to form his own charitable organization, Building Homes for Heroes.

Like many stories about that day, the backstory to Andy’s story is awe-inspiring. After volunteering in the rescue effort at Ground Zero, Andy was diagnosed with cancer. Doctors think it’s a direct result of the toxic fumes at Ground Zero. Thankfully, Andy’s cancer is in remission. Andy says that he’ll keep working to build homes for America’s heroes until he draws his last breath.

Staff Sergeant William Castillo also spoke at the event. Here’s an abridged version of Sgt. Castillo’s story:

In 2007, while on a mission to rescue Marines who were under attack, Army SSG Castillo’s vehicle was struck by an IED. Despite head trauma and numbing throughout his body, he courageously continued to fight. While under heavy enemy fire, he fought his way back to the vehicle in an attempt to save fellow soldiers.

During the battle, SSG Castillo was shot five times; twice in the chest, once on the top of his head and once in the right leg. Still struggling to get back to the Humvee, he was struck again. This round struck him under the chin and exited out his mouth. As he reached the driver of the burning vehicle, an RPG struck the Humvee and severed his left leg above the knee. William was the only survivor.

For his courage and bravery, he was awarded The Purple Heart. Castillo has dedicated himself to help other wounded soldiers. William and his wife Katherine have four children. The Castillo family will be the recipient of a home provided by Building Homes for Heroes.

Here’s a picture of SSG Castillo with Rep. King Banaian:

Another impressive aspect of Building Homes for Heroes is their commitment to transparency and honor. Here’s a brief review of their financials:
Andy Pujol, founder and president of Building Homes for Heroes, doesn’t take a salary. In 2011, 94 cents of each dollar that comes in will go to building homes or retrofitting homes for these heroes. Just 2 cents of each dollar goes to fundraising expenses, with another 4 cents going for management and general expenses.

This event wouldn’t have happened without the work of John and AJ Kern, pictured here:

I can attest to the fact that John and AJ worked tirelessly to make the event a success. And what a success it was. A major tip of the hat for John and AJ for pulling this all together and introducing us to heroes like Andy Pujol and Staff Sergeant Castillo.

The last of the guest speakers was Rep. King Banaian, who did a great job of putting things in perspective. Here’s a picture of Rep. Banaian giving his presentation:

I won’t forget where I was when the terrorist attacks were first reported. Thanks to Andy Pujol, SSG Castillo and John and AJ Kern, I won’t forget how I commemorated the 10th anniversary of the terrorists’ attacks.

Thanks to Andy Pujol’s labor of love and SSG Castillo’s sacrifice, the dark cloud of 9/11 has its silver lining.

For that, I will always be grateful.

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Last night, Jim Moran got testy with a military veteran:

Here’s what lit the fuse:

MORAN: Alright, I will respond. If you’ve served your country in the military for twenty-seven years, I thank you for that service.

The majority, which is now the Republican majority. I’m not part of the majority. They determine when Congress is in session, when it recesses for the day and what the agenda for the day is. They control the Rules Committee. They determine how much time you have for debate on each bill and which bills will be considered.

If they will open the Congress now, which I would urge them to do but that’s their prerogative, I can be there within minutes and would be there within minutes. There’s not much point standing there in an empty chamber through the evening, is there?

It seems to me there is a point for making myself available to people to make caustic comments as well as people who have legitimate questions to ask as to what might happen if there is a government shutdown.

VET: I didn’t…I take exception…
MORAN: FINE FINE. Now I’m talking. You can sit down…
VET: I really do take exception…
MORAN: I’m sure you do…
VET: I didn’t say anything caustic…Can you explain why the troops are not going to get paid?
MORAN: Alright, yes. I can tell you…Sir, you had an opportunity to speak. Now it’s time to sit down.
VET: Well, I take exception to you calling my comments caustic…
MORAN: Sit down, please. Or you can leave if you don’t want to listen to the question. I suspect you don’t. It was a rhetorical question. You’ve made your point so now it’s time to sit down and listen.

This isn’t the first time Moran’s had difficulty respecting veterans. Powerline wrote about how he disresprected Sgt. Mark Seavey in this post:

“Yes sir my name is Mark Seavey and I just want to thank you for coming up here. Until about a month ago I was Sgt Mark Seavey infantry squad leader, I returned from Afghanistan. My question to you…(applause).

“Like yourself I dropped out of college two years ago to volunteer to go to Afghanistan, and I went and I came back. If I didn’t have a herniated disk now I would volunteer to go to Iraq in a second with my troops, three of which have already volunteered to go to Iraq. I keep hearing you say how you talk to the troops and the troops are demoralized, and I really resent that characterization. (applause) The morale of the troops that I talk to is phenomenal, which is why my troops are volunteering to go back, despite the hardships they had to endure in Afghanistan.

“And Congressman Moran, 200 of your constituents just returned from Afghanistan. We never got a letter from you; we never got a visit from you. You didn’t come to our homecoming. The only thing we got from any of our elected officials was one letter from the governor of this state thanking us for our service in Iraq, when we were in Afghanistan. That’s reprehensible. I don’t know who you two are talking to but the morale of the troops is very high.”

Let’s not forget about this disrespecting his opponent last fall:

What [Republicans] do is that they find candidates, usually stealth candidates, that haven’t been in office, haven’t served or performed any kind of public service. My opponent is typical…And of course, for 24 years, he’s taken a government check because, frankly, the military still is part of the Federal government, uh, and, yet, his principle platform is to cut government spending.

Moran’s opponent last year was Patrick Murray, a 24-year veteran retired Army Colonel.

That’s before considering his anti-semitic rants or considering his anti-semitic sentiments:

Moran should be familiar to you from his previous comments. The last time he expressed his opinions about the the Jewish people, Moran said:

“If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this…The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going, and I think they should.”

If I wasn’t already familiar with Rep. Moran’s diatribes, I’d be stunned. Unfortunately, anyone who follows the news knows that Rep. Moran is capable of showing great animosity towards the military and the Jewish community on a moment’s notice.

It’s time to run this anti-military, anti-semitic pompous jerk into retirement. There is nothing about him that says he’s qualified to be a congressman other than his insatiable appetite to spend other people’s money.

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During his press conference, President Obama said that he’d kept all his campaign promises or had tried to prior to his waving the white flag on the Bush tax rates. That isn’t the truth. First, here’s President Obama’s statement:

And so then my question is, does it make sense for me to tack a little bit this way or tack a little bit that way, because I’m keeping my eye on the long term and the long fight not my day-to-day news cycle, but where am I going over the long term?

And I don’t think there’s a single Democrat out there, who if they looked at where we started when I came into office and look at where we are now, would say that somehow we have not moved in the direction that I promised.

Take a tally. Look at what I promised during the campaign. There’s not a single thing that I’ve said that I would do that I have not either done or tried to do. And if I haven’t gotten it done yet, I’m still trying to do it.

Jim Geraghty’s list suggests otherwise:

Eighteen from his first 100 days:

1. “As President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.”

2. “I will make sure that we renegotiate [NAFTA].“

3. Opposed a Colombian Free Trade Agreement because advocates ignore that “labor leaders have been targeted for assassination on a fairly consistent basis.”

4. “Now, what I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut.”

5. “If we see money being misspent, we’re going to put a stop to it, and we will call it out and we will publicize it.“

6. “Yesterday, Jim, the head of Caterpillar, said that if Congress passes our plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off.”

7. “I want to go line by line through every item in the Federal budget and eliminate programs that don’t work, and make sure that those that do work work better and cheaper.”

8. “[My plan] will not help speculators who took risky bets on a rising market and bought homes not to live in but to sell.”

9. “Instead of allowing lobbyists to slip big corporate tax breaks into bills during the dead of night, we will make sure every single tax break and earmark is available to every American online.”

10. “We can no longer accept a process that doles out earmarks based on a member of Congress’s seniority, rather than the merit of the project.”

11. “If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime.”

12. “Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe the United States has to be frank with the Chinese about such failings and will press them to respect human rights.”

13. “We must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights.”

14. “Lobbyists won’t work in my White House!“

15. “The real gamble in this election is playing the same Washington game with the same Washington players and expecting a different result.”

16. “I’ll make oil companies like Exxon pay a tax on their windfall profits, and we’ll use the money to help families pay for their skyrocketing energy costs and other bills.”

17. “Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.” Obama is 1-for-11 on this promise so far.

18. A special one on the 100th day, “The first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing I’d do.”

I guess President Obama means that he’s kept every promise other than the dozens he’s already broken. I can’t imagine President Obama intentionally telling a whopper of that magnitude. That would be so unstatesmanlike.

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The United States of America has been called many things throughout its 234 years. The land of the free and the home of the brave is one of the names that I’ve long appreciated because it captures the United States at its best. It made me proud to be living in such a country.

Hubert Humphrey was an especially eloquent speaker when it came to delivering 4th of July speeches. Many was the 4th of July speech where Hubert reminded people that the United States was and is the only nation in the history of the world that enumerated as one of its goals the pursuit of happiness.

I started blogging when I noticed that I was living in historic times. At the time, Afghanistan had been liberated and their first democratic election was approaching. The Orange Revolution was getting started in the Ukraine. It was about 10 weeks before the “purple thumb elections” in Iraq. The Iraqi elections caused an uprising in Lebanon, which was quickly called the Cedar Revolution.

Here’s’s definition for liberty:

freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.
freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.

While that’s the ‘book definition’ of liberty, I have a different definition of liberty. Liberty is the force that gives people the ability to be all that they can be. It’s the greatest motivator in the history of mankind. There’s a reason for that.

Liberty is the greatest motivator in the history of mankind because God created man with the spirit of liberty. George Bush and Ronald Reagan understood that because of their Christian background.

Reagan’s Tear Down This Wall speech was based on his understanding that the spirit of liberty couldn’t be contained. Gorbachev tried to maintain the Soviet-style control over the Eastern Bloc of nations with gimmicks like perestroika and glasnost. I knew that the USSR was finished the minute Gorbachev tried substituting glasnost and perestroika for liberty.

The thirst for liberty can be subdued but only with sufficient military force. See Tiananmen Square or Iran a year ago. Short of sufficient military force, though, liberty will win.

This year, I was reminded of the importance of liberty thanks to seeing things through an immigrant’s eyes. That immigrant’s name is Sanu Patel-Zellinger. I was reminded of the importance of liberty because of her speech at last month’s TEA Party. Here’s the transcript of Sanu’s speech:

I want to thank you for the opportunity to be here today…not just the chance to speak with you but also for the past two decades I have enjoyed living in America.

My name is Sanu. I came to the US in 1991 from India. I got a job at Seagate Technology so I could pay my way through college, which I did, by working during the day and taking night classes.

In 1998, I became a United States citizen. I was as proud as could be to be a United States citizen. In this American Republic I found individual freedom, real freedom and opportunity. Thank you.

Over the years I have met many hardworking and generous Americans. America’s strength and creativity come from the opportunities available to each individual, the freedom to pursue their dreams, and a Constitution that keeps a check and balance on government so we can preserve this. Thank you.

However, there are many things being offered to us today which are not opportunities.

Socialized medicine? No thank you!

Bailouts? No thank you!

Nationalization of private industry? No thank you!

Irresponsible spending with no accountability? No thank you!

This past year I decided to run for State Representative because I feel that we are not being properly represented in government. I am seeing the American Dream being destroyed by out-of-control spending, government debt and never-ending taxation. And I am seeing that many hard working Americans and their children are being punished with taxes to pay for it all.

I am willing to help the vulnerable in society. But I am no longer willing to be punished for being a responsible citizen.

I want to see an end to the misuse of taxpayer funds. I want to see a limited government that lives within a sensible budget just as we all do.

America was started with a great vision, the rights of the individual that cannot be destroyed by any majority.

A country where its people are free.

A country where hard work and personal responsibility are rewarded.

A country that others round the world would like to live in.

A country whose citizens dare to strive for the American Dream. What we have here is precious.

It is time we all stand up for this country of ours and it’s great vision for all generations. It is up to us to preserve this free nation.

It takes only a generation to lose it all. Let us not lose it in our watch. President Obama definitely appears to be campaigning for us conservatives). We need to set the stage so that the American Dream remains in the grasp of all who are willing to work for it.

We have plenty to be proud of here. Let us band together to preserve this land of the free!

This year we have a golden opportunity. Let us seize it!

Let us leave behind a state and country our children and grandchildren will be proud to inherit.

Thank you for coming today. That tells me you care about our country. And I am proud to call you a fellow citizen. I am proud to be an American. I am proud to be one of you.

Thank you.

On this birthday of our nation, it is my sincere hope that everyone sees the United States through the immigrant’s eyes. Those who haven’t experienced liberty appreciate it all the more when they’re blessed with it.

God bless America, each and every one of us. I sincerely hope everyone lives by the principles that our Founding Fathers gave us 234 years ago today.

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