Marco Rubio’s op-ed utterly demolishes President Obama’s decision to normalize relations with Cuba. In his op-ed, Sen. Rubio correctly states that President Obama’s decision will have long-lasting, negative consequences — for us and the oppressed Cuban people:
The opportunity for Cuba to normalize relations with the U.S. has always been there, but the Castro regime has never been interested in changing its ways. Now, thanks to President Obama’s concessions, the regime in Cuba won’t have to change.
The entire policy shift is based on the illusion—in fact, on the lie—that more commerce and access to money and goods will translate to political freedom for the Cuban people. Cuba already enjoys access to commerce, money and goods from other nations, and yet the Cuban people are still not free. They are not free because the regime—just as it does with every aspect of life—manipulates and controls to its own advantage all currency that flows into the island. More economic engagement with the U.S. means that the regime’s grip on power will be strengthened for decades to come—dashing the Cuban people’s hopes for freedom and democracy.
Cuba’s economy has been circling the drain for 2-3 years. Venezuela and Russia, its 2 biggest supporters, have hit tough times, too, thanks to rapidly dropping oil prices. At exactly the time when Cuba is collapsing from within, President Obama threw them a lifeline with this initiative.
Already, a Minnesota representative is planning a trip to Cuba:
ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Minnesota congressman who has long advocated for changes to the United States’ Cuba policy says a decision to normalize relations with the island country is a “monumental step” in the right direction. Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan praised Wednesday’s announcement that the U.S. would re-establish diplomatic ties to Cuba. Nolan traveled to Cuba in 1977 during his first stint in Congress and was involved in a past deal to release U.S. prisoners held there.
Nolan says he hopes to travel to Cuba next year to meet with officials there.
Another Democratic member of the Minnesota delegation, Betty McCollum, described the announcement as “a new beginning.” She says she would continue working to end a U.S. trade embargo with Cuba. McCollum spent time in Cuba last summer.
Apparently, Nolan and McCollum, like President Obama, are willing to ignore Cuba’s disgusting human rights abuses. Apparently, they haven’t thought things through nor have they put a high priority on human rights. Sen. Rubio has:
While my personal ties to Cuba and its people are well known, this is not just a personal issue. American foreign policy affects every aspect of American life, and our people cannot realize their full promise if the world becomes more dangerous because America retreats from its role in the world. Moreover, the Cuban people have the same rights that God bestowed on every other man, woman and child that has ever lived. All of those who are oppressed around the world look to America to stand up for their rights and to raise its voice when tyrants like the Castros are trying to crush their spirits.
It’s amazing that the ‘party of the little guy’ supports the dictators who trample the little guys for criticizing the Castros’ oppressive dictatorship. What isn’t surprising, though, is that Rick Nolan is ignoring the Castros’ reign of terror. He’s always been soft on human rights and friendly towards oppressive dictators.
The Composite Financial Index—Where’s FY14?
by Silence Dogood
On the MnSCU system website, you can find a table showing the Composite Financial Index for all of the MnSCU institutions. A portion of the document showing the MnSCU universities is shown here:
From the MnSCU website you can also find the definition of the Composite Financial Index (CFI) and the four component measures that make it up:
To know about as much as you probably need to know—higher is better.
The first figure above lists FY13 as the last entry in the table. FY14 ended June 30, 2014 so more than five and one-half months into FY15, the results for the CFI for FY14 are not available. If this information was ever meant to be used to help make decisions, clearly timeliness is important! Nearly half a year into the next fiscal year is not timely! About the only use for information, which comes so late, is for historical purposes! Perhaps MnSCU is taking lessons on openness and transparency from SCSU.
A wise person once told me:
“Bad news can wait.”
So, we are left to wonder just how bad is the bad news! At the Budget Town Hall Meeting on November 13th, 2014, we got a hint when Vice President for Finance and Administration Tammy McGee stated that SCSU’s CFI was 0.07.
Inserting the value for FY14, a plot of the CFI for SCSU is shown in the figure below:
In looking at the plot, one might wonder what contributed to making the CFI value for FY12 so large? When we dig into the data a bit further, it is easy to see that FY12 is anomalously large because SCSU was building ISELF (the Integrated Science and Engineering Laboratory Facility), which was the largest bonded project in MnSCU’s history. As a result, the CFI for FY12 was grossly inflated because of the infusion of nearly $45,000,000. In other words, in FY12, SCSU’s financial health was really not as good as it appeared. Especially, when it came as enrollment was declining significantly, it hid the magnitude of the effect of the enrollment decline.
A closer look at the table for the CFI for the various MnSCU universities shows that only Southwest has a CFI less than 1.00—that is until SCSU posts its 0.07 for FY14. At that time, SCSU may have the lowest CFI at a university in MnSCU by a wide margin!
It is also interesting to note that Minnesota State University, Moorhead, which has significantly higher CFI numbers than SCSU (except for FY12, when the ISELF funding inflated the value), suffered a 9.5% enrollment decline from FY11 to FY13, which led to budget reduction amounting to 10% of faculty and staff including retrenchments. It also led to the “early retirement” of MSUM’s President. So maybe the CFI is not as useful predictor of the economic health of a university as previously thought. One can only hope because from FY10 through FY14, SCSU has had an 18.0% FYE enrollment decline. Adding another 5% drop for FY15, SCSU’s enrollment will have dropped an unprecedented 22.1% in five years.
Coupled with a $9,542,000 budget shortfall for FY15, it is clear that the university is in store for some serious changes. Coming only four years after the university was ‘reorganized’ can only mean that the reorganization was not as successful as President Potter continues to say that it was.
“Open” And “Transparent” Need To Be More Than Just Words
by Silence Dogood
Most Deans regularly meet with Department Chairs and Program Directors within their school or college to pass on information from the administration. In some cases, these meetings are called “Dean’s Advisory Councils” or DACs. However, these meetings are not intended to replace Meet and Confer meetings between the Administration and the Faculty Association, which are contractually described in the “Master Agreement” between the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees and the Inter Faculty Organization.
On November 5th, 2014, Dean Mark Springer held his weekly DAC meeting with the Department Chairs/Program Directors of the College of Liberal Arts and the School of the Arts. Two budget documents were shared at this meeting. A portion of the ‘notes’ from the meeting is reproduced below.
The second spreadsheet, which was reportedly produced by Academic Affairs, is reproduced below:
The date on the top of the form is 10/16/14. This document shows where the administration is planning to make some of the cuts to the budget for each of the schools and colleges to respond to the $9,542,000 budget shortfall for FY15.
This document came to light when the notes and handouts for the November 5th, 2014 DAC meeting were emailed to faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and the School of the Arts on December 10th, 2014. The first question is why should it take five weeks to get this information out to the faculty. It is important to note that there were several DAC meetings in the meantime so one has to wonder why the delay?
However, the second and more important question is why was this information was not shared by the administration at Meet and Confer or a Budget Advisory Group Meeting? Why, instead, was it shared at a DAC meeting? There was a Meet and Confer on October 30th, 2014 and Budget Advisory Group Meeting on November 13th, 2014. There was even a Budget Town Hall meeting on November 20th, 2014. As a side note, the slides from the Budget Town Hall meeting are still not available on the SharePoint website as promised during the meeting.
The Meet and Confer scheduled for November 20th, 2014 was cancelled because of the lack of items for the agenda. So there have been multiple opportunities for the administration to share their ideas about how to deal with the budget shortfall. Unfortunately, most faculty have had to find out about these cuts from a DAC meeting and not via the appropriate way to share this important information, which is through Meet and Confer. Sharing this information is not just a good idea, it is, in fact, required by the Master Agreement because the Faculty Association has the contractual right to respond before the Administration acts on matters like budget cuts. Unfortunately, responding becomes something of a moot point when you hear about it more than five weeks after the fact and the decisions have already been implemented.
Last November, SCSU participated in a Trust Index Survey conducted by the Great Place to Work Institute. Suffice it to say that the results for the senior administration were not outstanding, to say the least. The results of two of the questions are shown below. The blue bar represents the score of those taking the survey and the red bar represents an average of the “100 Best Places to Work.”
The second question does not have a comparison because it was a question that was generated locally. The results demonstrate “management” does a poor job of informing the “company” and management does a poor job of sharing information openly and transparently.
Clearly, what was found to be true a year ago seems to still be true today. This is also despite a year of “listening sessions” and working group meetings. The administration still seems to give lip service to the concepts of being “Open” and “Transparent.” Unfortunately, their lip service does not seem to translate into action.
A wise person once told me:
Don Davis’s article is the perfect starting point for highlighting the upcoming fight between Minnesota’s farmers and Twin Cities environmentalists:
From Gov. Mark Dayton on down, it is common to hear them wishing that Minnesota had a resource worth as much as that being pumped from the Bakken oil field in western North Dakota. Then, almost without pause, a politician can pivot and complain that North Dakota’s oil makes Minnesota a more dangerous state.
So it was no surprise the other day when the Minnesota Legislative Energy Commission slipped, as if on an oil puddle, from talking about rail congestion slowing the delay of coal to power plants to the dangers of railroads transporting oil across the state. Rail safety is not in the commission’s portfolio, but over the past couple of years, the nine or 10 oil trains a day that pass through Minnesota has become an explosive issue in the Capitol.
Six or seven trains, each with at least 100 cars of oil, travel from Moorhead through the Twin Cities and on southeast each day, headed to Midwest and East Coast refineries. Fewer go from North Dakota, then south through Willmar and Marshall to Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast. So when Dave Christianson of the Minnesota Department of Transportation was telling the commissioner about rail congestion that many blame on North Dakota crude oil, questions arose about rail oil safety.
Last fall, Gov. Dayton sidestepped why the commissioners he appointed to the Public Utilities Commission voted to stall building the Sandpiper Pipeline by 3-5 years. Minnesota is at a tipping point, a crisis:
Christianson said that if every pipeline proposed through 2025 is built, “we could empty all the oil trains being moved today.” However, he quickly added, Bakken production is growing so fast that its output would be so big that pipelines could not handle it all and the same number of oil trains would be needed as are on the tracks today.
In other words, Minnesota needs to throw environmentalists under the bus. It’s indisputable that pipelines are the safest way of transporting oil from the oil fields to refineries. It’s equally indisputable that they aren’t 100% safe. What’s sad is that environmentalists insist that they be perfectly safe.
They insist on that knowing that that isn’t possible.
Meanwhile, farmers can’t get their grains to market and iron ore can’t get their ore to steel mills. Environmentalists have consistently won those fights during the Obama administration. Now we’re facing a crisis. We’re experiencing a fracking boom but we don’t have the infrastructure to transport the oil & natural gas fracking is producing.
This year, the DFL will have to decide if they’re pro-farmer or pro-environmentalist. Gas prices are dropping. Home heating bills are less expensive. Families are liking the fact that they’ve got more money in their pockets when they finish paying their bills. That trend isn’t likely to stop anytime soon:
Summer School Redux
by Silence Dogood
On December 9, 2014, President Potter sent an email to all faculty and staff entitled “Managing our budget.” Here’s what President Potter said in his email:
Let’s look at the fourth bullet point in more detail. The following figure shows the FYE enrollment from Summer’06 through Summer’14:
Clearly, since Summer’10, the enrollment has been what can only be described as a ‘freefall.’ From Summer’10 through Summer’14, the drop of 409 FYE represents a decline of 30.9%. This fall, the enrollment at the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire fell 1.5% and the administration has been holding meetings to try to understand why there was a decline AND what can be done to reverse the drop and prevent it from becoming a ‘trend.’
Summer school operates differently than the regular academic year. It may be hard to understand but despite a drop of 9.0% in FY12, and an 11.4% drop in FY13, the university actually made more money than in each of the previous summers. This can be accomplished simply by increasing class sizes and hiring lower cost faculty, both of which raise the profitability of a course. However, at some point, the declines in enrollment do translate into decreased revenue.
It is also interesting to look at the summer enrollments at the other MnSCU universities. The following figure shows FYE enrollments at all of the MnSCU universities from Summer’06 through Summer’14.
From the figure, it is clear that the three MnSCU universities with the largest summer enrollments (SCSU, Winona, and Mankato) all experienced declines in enrollment for Summer’14. The four universities with the smallest summer enrollments (Winona, Moorhead, Bemidji, and Southwest) all experienced increases in enrollment for Summer’14.
It is also clear from the Figure that SCSU was once the leader in summer enrollments by a wide margin and has now dropped to third. If the trend is extended, it won’t be too long before SCSU slips to fourth behind Winona, whose rate of growth is increasing.
The drop in summer enrollment at SCSU didn’t happen in one year, it took four years to drop 30.9%. However, it shouldn’t have taken four years to figure out that something was going wrong with the enrollment in summer school. After dropping 9.0% in Summer’11, alarm bells should have been going off in the administration building. For Summer’11, SCSU was the only MnSCU university with a decline in summer enrollment!
For Summer’12, SCSU’s decline increased to 11.4%. However, Summer’12 SCSU was not alone in declining. Moorhead led the way with a one-year decline of 17.9%! Bemidji lost 7.6%, Southwest lost 6.8%, Mankato and Winona both lost 3.3%. However, Metro was nearly flat losing only 0.2%.
Unfortunately, the SCSU administration was either unaware of the declines in the summer enrollment for 2011 and 2012 or didn’t know what to do because enrollment again dropped 5.4% for Summer’13. Although a decline, the rate of decline was half of the previous year. This in itself might have been considered a small ‘victory.’ Perhaps the administration thought the problem with declining enrollment was taking care of itself. Unfortunately, for Summer’14 the enrollment decline nearly doubled in increasing to 9.4%.
Now, after a four-year period in which enrollment has dropped 30.9%, the President announces that he’s “taking steps to revitalize our summer school enrollment.” The question that needs to be answered: Why did it take so long for President Potter to figure out there was a problem in the first place?
“Managing Our Budget”
by Silence Dogood
On December 9, 2014, President Potter sent an email to all faculty and staff entitled “Managing our budget.” Here’s what President Potter said in that email:
This is not the first time President Potter has invoked “demographics” to explain the enrollment decline at SCSU. The first question to be answered is whether or not the assertion about demographics as the cause of the enrollment decline is credible. The following figure shows the FYE enrollments from FY03 through FY14 plus each university’s projected enrollments for FY15, FY16 and FY17:
Unfortunately, in looking at the data for MnSCU enrollments at the seven state universities, President Potter has to come up with an explanation as to why the “changing demographics” has led to increases or at least stable enrollments at five of the seven state universities. Only Moorhead and SCSU show significant declines. Clearly, President Potter wants to find something to blame for SCSU’s enrollment decline. Otherwise, he might have to accept responsibility for SCSU’s enrollment decline.
After a 12.1% decline in enrollment from FY11 through FY14, the President at Moorhead was ‘encouraged’ to retire. Over the same time period, the enrollment at SCSU declined 17.3%. It is interesting to note that during this time period when enrollment was declining 6.9% in FY12, 6.4% in FY13 and 5.1% in FY14, President Potter received “Exceptional Performance Pay” for FY12 of $12,000 and for FY13 of $13,000. One is only left to imagine how much the enrollment at SCSU would have declined had he not been so ‘exceptional.’
The second part of President Potter’s statement cites declining enrollments “across Minnesota and the region.” In September, the Eau Claire Leader Telegram published an article on September 27th, 2014 stating that enrollment at University of Wisconsin—River Falls was within twenty students of having the same enrollment from the prior year and that the University of Wisconsin—Stout was within eight students of setting a new record enrollment.
Looking at the Wisconsin university system, enrollment data released in September shows the comprehensive universities, which are the most like the MnSCU universities are actually up in enrollment by 1.6%. Over the time period FY11 through FY14, the worst performing university is UW-Parkside with a decline in enrollment of 10.5%. Compare this with SCSU’s decline of 17.3% over the same period of time and a decline of ‘only’ 10.5% starts looking pretty good. It is also important to note that two universities are up over 7% and one is up nearly 13%! This certainly does not look like declines due to demographics, as President Potter says, “across Minnesota and the region.”
Are some universities in Minnesota and the region experiencing an enrollment decline? The answer is yes. However, because many universities are increasing their enrollments, it is clear that rather than simply acknowledge that there has been a recent decline in students graduating from high school, they decided to do something proactively rather than just accept their supposed fate that enrollment is going to go down.
Compare this to the situation at SCSU. President Potter, at first, didn’t even acknowledge that the enrollment was going down. When that no longer worked, he began saying that he’s ‘right sizing’ the university. Unfortunately, without an enrollment management plan, everyone just had to take his word for it. However, we must have overshot President Potter’s ‘right size’ because he now states:
For FY12 FYE enrollment dropped 6.9%, for FY13 FYE enrollment dropped 6.3%, for FY14 FYE enrollment dropped 5.1%, and for FY15 FYE enrollment is on the way to being down over 5% again. Now that the administration has finally recognized the enrollment drop over a four-year period is over 21%, the administration has announced “initiatives to increase enrollment.”
The enrollment decline also has significant financial consequences. More than a week after opening convocation ceremonies last August, President Potter announced that for FY15 there was budget shortfall of $9,542,000. In his December 9th email, President Potter announced “a number of activities to manage our FY15 budget.”
Finally, President Potter has decided to convene a “steering group” to “identify opportunities for cost reductions.” This is ‘administrative speak’ for cuts.
Clearly, SCSU is an outlier among the MnSCU universities—and not in a good way! While cuts may be necessary because of the current financial situation, one must ask what led to the current financial situation. If we don’t understand what led us to the position we currently find ourselves, as George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Five years ago, under the guise of reorganization, the administration cut $14,500,000 from the budget (we now know that perhaps only $2,500,000 needed to be cut). Unfortunately, now only five years later, the situation is repeating itself. In this case, only $9,542,000 needs to be cut so that might be considered ‘progress.’ However, since the administration failed to learn from the past and take corrective action, it appears that SCSU is condemned to repeat it.
Dylan Scott’s article about what might happen if the Supreme Court invalidates health insurance subsidies being paid to people who bought insurance through HealthCare.gov is fascinating. For instance:
What leeway does the ACA itself give the administration? It seems self-evident that the states currently using the federal exchange would be required to do something, to “establish” their own exchanges, and the Health and Human Services Department therefore couldn’t just decree that all exchanges are state-based. States also probably need to do more than, say, sign a piece of paper declaring their exchange state-based.
“Now you could perhaps define the word ‘established’ down. HHS might be tempted to do so,” Bagley said. “But at the minimum, that kind of move from the administration would be sure to provoke a prompt legal response.”
There’s an additional problem not cited in the article. Specifically, state-established exchanges are part of Section 1311:
(1) In general
An Exchange shall be a governmental agency or nonprofit entity that is established by a State.
Changing that language requires legislation, which Mitch McConnell might agree to in exchange for other concessions:
That also extends to Congress, which as Bagley and Jones both noted, could correct the problem with ease by amending the law to allow tax credits on the federal exchanges. “Congress could fix this with a stroke of the pen,” Bagley said. “I could write the statute in a single sentence.”
But nobody is really expecting that. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier this month that SCOTUS could “take down” Obamacare in the King case and that would open up the opportunity for “a major do-over.”
“If that were to be the case, I would assume that you could have a mulligan here, a major do-over of the whole thing,” he said, in comments flagged by the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent.
While the administration might be willing to do a lot to save the law, an emboldened Republican Congress seems unlikely to settle for anything less than major concessions, as McConnell suggests. So a fix in Washington doesn’t appear in the cards.
It’s interesting that Democrats fear a Washington fix because that would require them making major concessions in exchange for those subsidies. In other words, DC Democrats are most afraid of actually improving the ACA.
That’s insane on a multitude of fronts, starting with the fact that the ACA is a weighty millstone around their political necks. Democrats got crushed in 2010 and 2014 because of the ACA. Despite experiencing those historical thumpings, Democrats don’t want to change the ACA. It’s their right to commit political suicide.
Dianne Feinstein’s op-ed is a tortured attempt to rationalize the Democrats’ last attempt to throw mud at President Bush. It’s time to expose Sen. Feinstein’s tortured logic.
In the wake of 9/11, we were desperate to bring those responsible for the brutal attacks to justice. But even that urgency did not justify torture. The United States must be held to a higher standard than our enemies, yet some of our actions did not clear that bar.
When people’s lives are at stake, every tactic must be on the table. Protecting people’s lives must always be a higher priority than living up to an imaginary international standard for polite societies. What Sen. Feinstein and the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee just said is that protecting people is less important than living up to an imaginary international image.
Thank God the president’s oath doesn’t give him that luxury. His oath is to protect the United States. Period.
Thankfully, Ralph Peters’ op-ed sets Sen. Feinstein and the Democrats serving on the Senate Intelligence Committee straight:
As for those supposedly horrendous actions taken by CIA personnel to convince blood-encrusted terrorists that cooperation might be the wisest course, they may have been harsh, but the times and our enemies were and are immeasurably harsher. But torture? What the Islamic State and its ilk do to their captives is torture. They shrink from nothing. We shrink from the thought of a terrorist gasping for breath.
Harsh interrogation techniques don’t equal torture. Any nation that’s squeamish about making life a living hell for terrorists won’t live a peaceful existence. Democrats insist that ‘we’re better than that.’ Here’s a question for Sen. Feinstein and her fellow Democrats: What’s better than protecting American lives?
Here’s how Col. Peters took Sen. Feinstein and the Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats to the woodshed:
Senator Feinstein and her supporters argue that the American people have a “right to know,” but they don’t know the American people. Living too long in a bubble with fellow members of the cultural elite, they have no sense of how the average American feels about terrorists who fly passenger aircraft into skyscrapers or who gleefully behead innocent captives in video clips.
Far from being mortified by water-boarding or sleep deprivation (for working Americans sleep deprivation is a normal state of affairs from holding down two jobs and multiple shifts to feed their families during the Reign of Obama), the folks I know back home in the Pennsylvania coal towns would skin terrorists alive then get out the salt shaker. My people weren’t upset by water-boarding. They were upset—infuriated—by the collapse of the Twin Towers and the deaths of 3,000 Americans.
The Pennsylvanians Col. Peters described in his op-ed are clear-thinking people living in the real world. These Pennsylvanians have their priorities straight. As I said earlier, protecting people’s lives must always be America’s highest priority. Sen. Feinstein and the other Democrats serving on the Intelligence Committee apparently think that we’re living in a peaceful world. When barbarians with a seventh century mindset attacked the United States, they gave the United States permission to be more barbaric than the terrorists were. (Think fighting fire with fire or all’s fair in love and war.)
It’s time for the Democrats to recognize that the barbarians haven’t stopped thinking barbaric thoughts. They’ve changed tactics but they’re still just as barbaric as al-Qa’ida was. That’s just the cold, hard truth.
This Our View editorial in the Times isn’t surprising considering their disgust with conviction politicians. It isn’t surprising that the Times is running interference for St. Cloud State again.
Councilman Johnson’s understanding of the airline industry has caused him to ask a number of pointed questions about daily flight service to Chicago. Being an expert on that issue isn’t a liability, though the Times apparently think it’s a liability. It’s a strength. Councilman Johnson isn’t afraid to ask tough questions while the Times and other politicians try sweeping things under the rug.
Further, it’s beyond galling to see the Times write about conflicts of interest, especially with regards to St. Cloud State. The Times has played multiple roles in its relationship with St. Cloud State and President Potter. They’ve been SCSU’s PR agency. They’ve been Potter’s stenographer, too. Unfortunately, the thing they haven’t been are unbiased reporters of fact.
If you weren’t reading LFR, you likely don’t know that SCSU has hidden, with the Times’ help, the fact that administrators have erased students’ participation in classes from the University’s official transcripts. If you haven’t read LFR, you certainly wouldn’t know that St. Cloud State’s tuition revenues have dropped dramatically thanks to a precipitous drop in enrollment. One Times article even said that enrollment for a semester was only down 1.3%, which is technically accurate if you’re going by headcount enrollment.
Had the Times reported that FYE enrollment, which is the only enrollment that’s predictive of tuition revenues, that semester was down close to 5%, they might’ve seen this year’s $9,542,000 budget deficit. Unfortunately, they didn’t report it, then were surprised when President Potter was forced to announce that SCSU’s operating deficit for FY2015 will be at least $9,542,000. It’s still possible, unfortunately, that it might reach higher.
If you haven’t read LFR, you wouldn’t know that President Potter’s trust rating with the faculty was terrible. The best that the Times has done is admit that there’s a problem and that both sides need to work together to solve the problem. The Times hasn’t said anything critical of President Potter with respect to the Great Place to Work Institute’s Trust Index Survey. When the Institute asked if the administration didn’t play politics, only 17% of faculty agreed with that statement.
Not surprisingly, the Times didn’t report that. Instead, they talked about the need for both sides to work together.
LFR is calling on the Times to abandon their SCSU cheerleader uniforms and to become a serious news organization. Their unwavering support for President Potter, frankly, is disgusting. If they won’t stop being President Potter’s off-campus PR firm, then people shouldn’t take their Our View editorials seriously.
Later today, the Senate Intelligence Committee will release a report on terrorist interrogations. It’s already being called the “Torture Report.” Retired CIA officer Jose Rodriguez wrote this op-ed to expose Dianne Feinstein’s and Nancy Pelosi’s dishonesty. Let’s start with this:
According to news accounts of the report, Feinstein and her supporters will say that the CIA violated American principles and hid the ugly truth from Congress, the White House and the public. When the report comes out, I expect that few of the critics who will echo Feinstein’s charges will have read it and far fewer will read or understand the minority response and the CIA’s rebuttal.
The interrogation program was authorized by the highest levels of the U.S. government, judged legal by the Justice Department and proved effective by any reasonable standard. The leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees and of both parties in Congress were briefed on the program more than 40 times between 2002 and 2009. But Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tried to deny that she was told in 2002 that detainees had been waterboarded. That is simply not true. I was among those who briefed her.
Sen. Feinstein and Rep. Pelosi should be tarred and feathered for their dishonesty. That Ms. Pelosi would say that she hadn’t been briefed by Mr. Rodriguez is proof of Ms. Pelosi’s utter dishonesty. She should be criticized mercilessly for being a liar. After that, Democrats should be tarred and feathered for deserting a program that saved American lives for purely partisan reasons.
Initially, Democrats insisted that the CIA do all that it could to prevent another terrorist attack:
In one ear they hear the public, the media and members of Congress raising alarms about the terrorist threat from the Islamic State: Do something! Do it now! Why didn’t you do something sooner?
The Democrats’ dishonesty is easily explained. In the days after 9/11, Democrats put the needs of the nation first. By 2006, the Democrats noticed how animated the anti-war left had become. Seeking to capitalize on the anti-war left’s enthusiasm, Democrats like Sen. Feinstein, Ms. Pelosi and candidates like Amy Klobuchar ran as anti-war lefties. The same anti-war lefties then powered Barack Obama’s presidential election victory in 2008.
Members of Congress and the administration were nearly unanimous in their desire that the CIA do all that it could to debilitate and destroy al-Qaeda. The CIA got the necessary approvals to do so and kept Congress briefed throughout.
Democrats say that waterboarding violates American principles. That’s BS. Since when does saving hundreds of American lives violate American principles? I’d love seeing a Democrat explain how saving American lives violates American principles, especially since the Constitution requires the president to protect and defend the United States.
This morning’s op-ed isn’t Mr. Rodriguez’s first op-ed. Here’s what he wrote in his April, 2014 op-ed:
On Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to declassify and release hundreds of pages of its report on U.S. terrorist interrogation practices. Certain senators have proclaimed how devastating the findings are, saying the CIA’s program was unproductive, badly managed and misleadingly sold. Unlike the committee’s staff, I don’t have to examine the program through a rearview mirror. I was responsible for administering it, and I know that it produced critical intelligence that helped decimate al-Qaeda and save American lives.
Here’s Mr. Rodriguez’s opinion of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report:
The committee’s staff members started with a conclusion in 2009 and have chased supportive evidence ever since. They never spoke to me or other top CIA leaders involved in the program, or let us see the report.
The thought that this report would be praised by Democrats as the definitive report on the CIA’s interrogation techniques is insulting to thoughtful, honest people. The Feinstein Report is a political hatchet job. It isn’t a serious review of the CIA’s interrogation techniques.
If a CIA expert said that EITs “saved American lives”, I’ll trust him, not partisan Democrat hacks like Sen. Feinstein or Ms. Pelosi.
Technorati: Jose Rodriguez, CIA, Congressional Briefings, Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Anti-War Left, Senate Intelligence Committee, CIA Torture Report, Democrats, Amy Klobuchar, Election 2006, Barack Obama, Election 2008