Monday, November 30, 2009
Regardless of whether we speak of healthcare, elections, the Olympics or the health of our children, it is all Obama, all of the time. NFL Play 60 is a program designed to get kids off of the couch and out exercising. As if NFL players are not enough, President Obama is out there catching a pass in slow motion for inspiration.
Russia and China are now supposedly on board for some nebulous criticism against Iran that covers the rogue nations refusal to cease uranium enrichment and construction of a new enrichment facility. In response to this resolution which does not even represent sanctions, Iran has said that it will no longer cooperate with the IAEA.
(NewsRoom America) "...IAEA Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei, said last week he had reached a "dead end" with Iran, noting that there had been no movement in over a year in resolving outstanding issues related to its nuclear programme..."
So here the world sits, twiddling its collective thumbs while blowing smoke at a regime that is laughing in all of our faces. How much longer will this be permitted to continue? Until we see the red glare of a ballistic missile being launched? I hope that the Obama administration does not point to the actions of the Chinese and Russians as an example of some kind of foreign policy victory, because it is far from that. Just more toothless rhetoric from a toothless organization (United Nations) that passes for the proxy police for the nations of the world which do not have the gumption or the stomach to deal with the problem at hand.
Will the one year mentioned by El Baradei stretch into two, three or more while we threaten, cajole and pray that this regime does not develop, pass on and/or use the nuclear technology they are so close to possessing? Not with Israel in the wings. They will do the worlds dirty work and then be condemned for it. As that country knows, however, inaction is not an option.
Picture courtesy of Tehran Times
Shout Out To That Special Duo Of Obama/Holder For Bringing Us THE TRIAL
Let The Games Begin!
The only two people in government (plus a few yes men and women) who seem to have thought that bringing these five terrorists to New York for a criminal trial would be as swift and clean as a military tribunal are those kings of political comedy, the President and his Attorney General. Critical for this to happen they said.
Never mind the fact that a military tribunal is run according to strict rules and disciplines. Or that a criminal trial is run by smoke and mirrors and the duck and feint of a boxing match where the emotions of one juror or a legal technicality can free a guilty man. Or in this case five terrorists complicit in the murder of thousands of Americans. Or that these tactics can cause a proceeding to drag on in the public spotlight for a very long time. Or that it has the potential to reveal State secrets. Never mind that these five terrorists have no peers who can judge them on a jury (unless of course Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, possibly Ted Bundy, Manson, etc became available). Never mind that it will be a bully pulpit for these men to scream their ideals and opinions to the rest of the world, making an absolute mockery of the United States.
Swift Justice? You Make The Call!
This story from The Wall Street Journal which makes the claims of a trial as swift and efficient as a military tribunal seem questionable.
"...Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd declined to comment specifically on the mental-capacity issue but said the government expects "a host of motions" to be filed. "It's the job of prosecutors to anticipate these challenges and plan their cases accordingly, and that is certainly being done in this case," he said.
A strong defense case for mental unfitness may force prosecutors to choose between unappealing options. They could sever Messrs. Binalshibh and Hawsawi from the joint conspiracy trial, allowing the case against the defendants whose capacity isn't at issue to proceed.
That would deprive prosecutors of a favored tool in conspiracy cases, because a joint trial allows the alleged guilt of one defendant to be imputed to the others. In this case, where the notoriety of alleged 9/11 organizer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed far exceeds that of his co-defendants, the separation could be beneficial to Messrs. Binalshibh or Hawsawi should they contest the charges.
If federal prosecutors decide to pursue a joint trial, proceedings will have to wait until each defendant's fitness is established..."
There is, however, no need to worry as both the President and Attorney General have publicly announced the guilt of the five defendants. Wait. Isn't that grounds for the defense to claim charges should be dropped?
Image courtesy of Law Student Code
Friday, November 27, 2009
It has been close to 90 days since the demands made by General McCrystal were aired, and the leisurely process seems to be finally winding down despite itself. The healthcare plan has passed the initial hurdle to get to the Senate floor, so the field is clear to make an announcement on troop strength and strategy.
Now if this was a war the way that WWII was a war and President Obama was a general, we would have been in big trouble. If every decision that is "critical" takes 90 days of gnashing of the teeth to be made, his title could easily be changed from Commander to Procrastinator-in-Chief. The world has seen the President in action and they smell his weakness and indecision the way that a dog smells his dinner. It is obvious to all that he is a master of rhetoric and a failure at prioritizing the needs of the country.
Dealing with the war in Afghanistan or politicking and lobbying for the Olympics? Jobs creation or healthcare? Less taxes on those who can least afford it or more? Tax breaks to small business, one of the primary engines of job creation or more insidious regulation and tax obligations to choke off recovery? The needs of the rank and file or the building of some grand tapestry that he and his cronies envision for the country the same way that Mao envisioned it for China?
Master Of The Metaphor
Now that the wait is winding down, it is obviously no time to announce this long awaited war strategy decision from the Oval Office. That would be a somber way to let the country and the world know. No, this announcement is to big a photo op to let go to waste that way. For the prime time president, his ego and his handlers, the perfect spot needed to be found which would provide the backdrop for a president of this stature.
Where else but in front of young cadets at West Point. What President Obama needs to try and remember is that this decision is not about him. It is about our country and the overall security of the world.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
When The President Can Lead By Example, He Chooses Not To
We have all heard the cries of success from the Administration on the supposed success of the Stimulus Bill in creating new jobs for the American people who are so desperate to find them. As it turns out the statistics that have been trumpeted have been hyped and are prone to political hyperbole.
Even members of his own party, so loathe to step out of line, have questions. This from David Obey, D-Wisconsin:
‘‘Credibility counts in government, and stupid mistakes like this undermine it,"
‘‘Whether the numbers are good news or bad news, I want the honest numbers - and I want them now."
This statement referred to testimony being provided by Earl Devaney, chairman of the Recovery and Accountability Transparency Board.
Obama To The Rescue - Sort Of
Tuesday night the President held his first State dinner with the guest of honor the Prime Minister of India. Although times are hard in the United States with a true unemployment rate approaching 20%, this event provided the opportunity for up to 50 Indian citizens to find employment, although it may only be temporary.
As many of you may have seen in the newspapers or on television, the First Lady was wearing a gown that was created by an Indian designer, and which up to 50 people at the workshop of Naeem Khan toiled over to get it done for dinner.
While a good example of jobs creation Mr. President, perhaps next time the gown should be made in the United States, or possibly bought off of the rack to save a little money.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Nothing means more to politicians than the polls. Polls are the lifeblood that let them know what they should be for, what they should be against and what they should stay away from. If some action is in the best interest of national security, but the polls say that public opinion is against it, most, not all, politicians will be swayed. This, despite the fact that popular opinion is not a reliable gauge of right and wrong, particularly when it comes down to facts that only politicians may be privy to.
That said, Democrat representatives should take a hard look at the series of polling data below from Rasmussen, which clearly indicates the steadily declining view of the American public regarding the healthcare reform that has become the focal point of the Obama administration. A word of advice to the Democrats might be to not allow the President to put an end to their political ambitions with legislation that is not only wrong for the country, but their careers as well.
Don't let this be the one time you become thinkers independent of the polls. Stick to your guns and vote career. This time though, it would be consistent with the best interests of the country.
Public View Of The President's Healthcare Plan? Yay Or Nay For The Democrats?
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Home from an Asian trip that was a waste of presidential time and taxpayer money, the President is back on his laser point of healthcare reform and Afghanistan procrastination, national security be damned.
Returning from his recent trip to Asia with very little to show for it, particularly from the Chinese, the situation with the Iranians continues to just float by as nothing is done, and our two main allies show little interest in doing anything, sanctions included.
In the meantime the Iranians are conducting military and air force war games designed to illustrate it's capabilities at fighting back any attempts to take out it's nuclear plants, most likely by the Israelis.
(Post-Gazette)"If the enemy tries its luck and fires a missile into Iran, our ballistic missiles would zero in on Tel Aviv before the dust settles on the attack," said Mojtaba Zolnour, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's representative in the Revolutionary Guard Corps, told state news agency IRNA on Saturday."
What exactly is the Obama plan. Obviously Russia and China have little chance of being coerced into joining us in our attempts to stop Iran. Did President Obama articulate to the leaders in China that we will deal with this problem, with them preferably, but without them if they refuse? That is doubtful, and goes with the commander in chief style of Obama which is to appease and placate, while accomplishing absolutely nothing.
What is his loyalty to our ally Israel? Does he have it's back? Will Israel be hung out to dry having to do the worlds dirty work in Iran and then pay the consequences?
While On The Subject, What's Up With This Terror Trial?
It is still hard to fathom what the President and his Attorney General are thinking with the decision to hold a criminal trial in New York rather than a swift and efficient military tribunal at Gitmo. Is it to show the world how fair the United States is? Is it to give the terrorists the ability to hammer the United States during the course of a trial? Is it to put the people of New York in danger once again? Is it to provide the potential to expose covert operatives? Or maybe it is to have the opportunity to have these terrorists released on a technicality.
Any way you slice it, it is just one more example of how inexperienced and ineffectual this President is. That, to the detriment of a nation and the world. Not that polls matter, but the American public is not behind the decision to have this trial (see above).
Monday, November 23, 2009
For those of you who go to sleep early on Saturday nights, or who are out late having a good time, Saturday Night Live had a great opening skit of a press conference between the leader of China and President Obama. In it, the questions are raised as to how China is going to be paid back the hundreds of billions that they have lent to us, given the huge level of deficit spending already done, and that which is in the pipeline such as the new healthcare plan.
The tape lasts about 4 minutes, and is well worth the time. In it, one of the questions asked of President Obama is if he will kiss his Chinese counterpart, because he likes to be kissed before having sex done to him. Very funny, but definitely to the point.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Hope and Change or Truth or Consequences
What Credibility Does Mr. Obama Think That He Has?
He Talks of Consequences In Iran While Allowing Terrorists To Go On Trial In Civilian Court In The United States
Talk and rhetoric are cheap as the nation and the world has witnessed since the campaign that brought President Obama into office. Actual experience and actions in the election unfortunately took a back seat to speechmaking and smear campaigns. What was the reality for those who fell over each other to pull the lever for Obama was the incessant use of the phrase Hope and Change. Great marketing created from the bowels of a high priced wordsmith hired by the campaign and tested in focus groups for effectiveness.
While that smoke and mirrors may well have fooled those who put him in office, countries such as Russia and China eat his words for lunch. These leaders understand one thing and one thing only. It is not the well turned phrase, but the assumed willingness to back up those phrases with action.
More than flowery speech, those who pass for our allies are keenly aware of the reality behind the Obama words. Statements such as:
"begun discussions with its international partners about the importance of having consequences" "It is going to take time and part of the challenge that we face is that neither North Korea nor Iran seem to be settled enough politically to make quick decisions on these issues."
fools no one into actually believing them. Statements made regarding the fact that the leadership in Iran has only so much time before the United States loses its patience are dismissed out of hand. What credibility does Obama have? As the leader of the worlds last superpower he is holding all of the cards. He has pocket aces with the other two on the table. Unfortunately he is playing it out as if he has no hand with 8 as his high card. Russia and China understand strength. They understand the making of tough, firm and globally unpopular decisions that serve their own countries best interests and they see the United States wanting only to appease.
President Obama is not viewed as decisive or tough. To the contrary he is viewed as extremely weak. He will make decisions to placate other countries to the detriment of our. The recent decision by Eric Holder/Obama for reasons that only the two of them understand could be viewed metaphorically as the straw that broke the camels back in terms of the ultimate insult to the American people and butt kissing to the world. Or at least certain parts of the world. The decision I speak of is the one to try the terrorists involved in the 9/11 bombing in a civilian court in New York as opposed to a quick and easy military tribunal resulting in a quick execution.
Can you imagine for a second that the Russians or Chinese were faced with the same choice? They look at this decision and laugh. That the United States is affording a trial with a jury of peers to these terrorists. Who will comprise this jury of their peers might be one question. Another would be that these mass murderers of American civilians and military are being given rights of any kind. We have the ability to mete out swift judgment while offering these terrorists due process. It is called a military tribunal. After all, is this not where they belong?
At the end of the day our standing in the world has been severely diminished under this administration to the detriment of our national security. The left will say that we are now liked around the world, reversing the damage done by President Bush. The logical thinker will say that we as a nation are much less secure after only a little less than a year of President Obama. It is all well and good to be liked, but if you are not respected, you put the country you were put in office to protect in grave danger.
Hope and Change or Truth or Consequences
Friday, November 20, 2009
It certainly seems like it. Did Eric Holder and Barack Obama learn nothing from the Charles Manson trial and the statements made by President Nixon? Apparently not. As if it is not bad enough that AG Holder decided to try these terrorists in a civilian court as opposed to a military tribunal, both he and the President seem to have both failed Trial 101, and the more advanced How Not To Prejudice a Jury and Risk an Acquittal 315 in school.
Is the idea to do everything possible to get these 5 off, or to insure that they are put to death as they should be. How much more fuel can they possibly provide to a defense attorney than they already have? Wait and see.
(AP) "...In one of a series of TV interviews during his trip to Asia, Obama said those offended by the legal privileges given to Mohammed by virtue of getting a civilian trial rather than a military tribunal won't find it "offensive at all when he's convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him...
...Asked what might happen if the suspects are acquitted, Holder replied: "Failure is not an option. These are cases that have to be won. I don't expect that we will have a contrary result."
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The Presidential Teleprompter
We Are At War
So Says Attorney General Eric Holder
Prior to beginning his testimony on Wednesday in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee to explain (or more to the point try to explain) the upside to a civilian trial held in New York City versus a military trial for the five terrorists held at Gitmo, he wanted to first make clear that he is aware that a war is going on. Assuming that is true, he should try and explain that fact to his boss.
In any case, as a mere observer from Ground Zero in the War on Terror (Overseas Contingency Operations), what is the possible upside to a civilian trial for those who are in essence war criminals. Is it so a slick lawyer, the best money can buy with funds from who knows where, can make a mockery of the judicial system with stall tactics, attempts to suppress evidence, civilian jurors who could go either way and assuming that there is a conviction, years to an execution.
Does the Attorney General realize that the Pentagon was attacked as well on 9/11? Why not hold a military tribunal down in Washington where justice can be served, without traumatizing an already traumatized city. Unless of course the President wants to be able to preserve his date nights which could be compromised due to the increased security brought on buy a trial in that town.
Net net, like many of the decisions and non-decisions coming from this White House, it all makes absolutely no sense. All of that said, here are some of Holders statements:
-“There was not a political component to my decision,”
-“As a prosecutor, my top priority was simply to select the venue where the government will have the greatest opportunity to present the strongest case.”
-“And at the end of the day, it was clear to me that the venue in which we are most likely to obtain justice for the American people is in federal court.”
On the five areas of misconception regarding the case
- “First, we know that we can prosecute terrorists in our federal courts safely and securely because we have been doing so for years,”
-“Second, we can protect classified material during trial.”
-“Third, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will have no more of a platform to spew his hateful ideology in federal court than he would have had in a military commission.”
-“Fourth, there is nothing common – there is nothing common – about the treatment the alleged 9-11 conspirators will receive.”
-“Finally, there are some who have said that the decision means that we have reverted to a pre-9-11 mentality, or that we don’t realize that this nation is at war. I know that we are at war. I know that we are at war with a vicious enemy who targets our soldiers on the battlefield in Afghanistan and our civilians in the streets here at home.”
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Bows to the Emperor of Japan at a perfect 90 degree angle
Metaphorically Bowing To Russia and China At A Full 90 degrees As They Call The Shots
May As Well Be Bowing In Iran and Afghanistan
Focus On The Japanese and Saudi Bow
Just a show of respect to a foreign leader.
Roll that around the tongue for a few seconds and it starts to sound as if it may even be okay.
A show of respect for the King of Saudi Arabia and the long list of suspect actions committed or sanctioned by that regime as well as the country of the 9/11 bombers.
Let me ask you this then. A few days ago I wrote a short article entitled "Saluting The American Flag Optional?" with pictures of the President along with members of his administration as well as members of the military. All with hands over heart or salutes save for one. You guessed it, the President.
Now if bowing to foreign leaders is apparently an accepted show of respect, what then is the refusal to show our own flag respect? Hmmmm.
The feedback I got was that this accusation of a lack of patriotism was a non-starter. That for the Star Spangled Banner, unlike the Pledge of Allegiance, the hand over the heart or a salute was optional. A show of patriotism is never optional for a president, unless of course he doesn't feel it. He is the role model for the women, children and men of the country. What lesson is he teaching?
Monday, November 16, 2009
President Obama Could Potentially Hold The Ninth Meeting On Afghanistan This Week
He probably spends more time than that in a week lobbying for his healthcare bill. What message is this sending to the rest of the world, let alone his troops and the country.
Multiple Choice Problem
(A)Meticulous decision maker? (B)Dotter of I's and crosser of T's? (C)Focused leader? (D)Procrastinator? (E)Unfocused? (F)Weak? (G)Indecisive? (H)Unable to prioritize? (I) Military and the troops a low priority? (J) Worst kind of politician putting a healthcare bill ahead of the safety and lives of our troops?
1. A, B and C
2. A, B and not C
3. A,C and not B
4. B,C and Not A
5. D, E, F, G, H, I, J (and more)
Even The MSM Is Catching On
Things are getting a little dicey when members of the press actually ask questions with bite, rather than giving the President the free ride that he has had since the time he began running for office. The President and his handlers obviously do not like being held accountable, as the tone of response shows.
This from the AP's Jennifer Loven in Shanghai: (Post-Gazette)"Can you explain to people watching and criticizing your deliberations what piece of information you're still lacking to make that call."
The President then countered with what appears to be the official talking point on the matter.
"With respect to Afghanistan, Jennifer," the president scolded, "I don't think this is a matter of some datum of information that I'm waiting on. Critics of the process tend not to be folks who are directly involved in what's happening in Afghanistan. Those who are, recognize the gravity of the situation and recognize the importance of us getting this right."
Maybe General McCrystal should get more involved, because according to the President's statement he is not.
The following article is a discussion of the movie which looks at the supposed end of the world in 2012. Within the movie there are depictions of the destruction of important religious icons around the world but for one religion. Why? The reason is fear. Not fear of offending because many of the pictures and scenes in the movie have the potential to offend one religion or another. No, it is fear of violent retribution. This poses a problem going forward, as the situation stands to only get worse.
For his latest disaster movie, 2012, the 53-year-old director had wanted to demolish the Kaaba, the iconic cube-shaped structure in the Grand Mosque in Mecca. …But after some consideration, he decided it might not be such a smart idea, after all."I wanted to do that, I have to admit," Emmerich told SciFiWire.com. "But my co-writer Harald [Kloser] said I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie. And he was right."
- For the 2002 movie The Sum of All Fears, Arab Muslim terrorists from Tom Clancy's novel were turned into white neo-fascists, thus satisfying the demands of CAIR.
- The 2005 season of the Fox drama 24, featuring a Muslim family as a sleeper cell, ran a disclaimer with Kiefer Sutherland offering assurances that the plotline is not meant to besmirch American Muslims. CAIR's fingerprints are here as well.
- Comedy Central censored an image of the Islamic prophet in a 2006 episode of South Park. Yet the same episode depicts "Jesus defecating on the American flag."
- In 2008 British comedian Ben Elton argued that a "scared" BBC "will let vicar gags pass but they would not let imam gags pass." He even reported that he had been warned against using the rather innocuous phrase "Muhammad came to the mountain."