Saturday, May 31, 2014

Concrete Evidence

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The following is a political metaphor. The author takes no responsibility for how long and rambling it might be.

The concrete slab under my pool pump and filter was deteriorating badly. It was badly cracked, and had finally made it to the top of my "to do" list. I figured one of several things had occurred:
The slab was not thick enough to support the weight.
The concrete was mixed poorly.
The concrete hadn't cured properly.
However, to my surprise, as I removed the old slab (which may not have been thick enough), I saw what looked like a tree root along the crack line. It was the rusted bit of steel cable in the picture above. The slab was done in by the very thing that was meant to strengthen it. The twisted wires presented about half again the surface area of a 1/2" piece of rebar, to rust, and whoever did the job initially must have thought: "This is steel. This will make it stronger."

Actually, the rest of the slab, although thinner than I would have poured it, was in pretty good shape. Had it not been for the rust magnet contained within, that slab probably would have lasted many more years.

So, where's the political metaphor? "The slab was done in by the very thing that was meant to strengthen it."

I think that characterizes much of modern liberalism. Many programs, like the Great Society may have sounded like a good idea to those who started them. "Give money to poor people! Money is good, (steel is strong)...what could possibly go wrong?" Early childhood education and tinkering with school lunches fall into this category as well.

Except the manner in which the money was given created a class of people dependent on government. Unwed mothers no longer had to depend on their families or get married to support themselves and their children, and illegitimacy skyrocketed in the inner city. Without a strong paternal role model in the home, illegitimate youths turned to gangs for encouragement and support.

And like the fellow who poured my concrete slab, he probably didn't think about that cable for one second after that. After all, he'd made his contribution, now he could go on and "fix" other things as well.

Today's liberal, it seems, very seldom looks to see what the results of their past actions were. If they do take note of the problems caused, they suggest other solutions: "Too much gang violence in the streets? We need more gun laws!" (And not more stable, two parent homes.)

America may never have the luxury of tearing out the old broken system and redoing it from the ground up, as I was able to do. We may be condemned to forever cutting off one head of the hydra only to watch two more take its place. But the problems will not be solved strictly by good intentions. That's what got us into this mess in the first place.

Cross posted at Proof Positive

Friday, May 30, 2014

Brokeback Press Conference

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So long, Baghdad Jay!
Cross posted at Proof Positive

Look Upon These Faces

The parlor games in the nation’s capitol are rife with speculation about a vengeful shrew who may seek the nomination of her party for the presidency in 2016.

The Washington Free Beacon recently obtained documents exposing a “secretive dark money group backed by George Soros” whose aspirations are to steer nearly $40M to “left-wing groups in 2014 to support high-profile political and policy efforts.”

International economic terrorist and former Nazi collaborator, George Soros, is also finance co-chair for super PAC Ready for Hillary.  The group’s focus is and will be to create a visually arresting world to enchant voters.

But I ask you to look upon the two faces in the graphic above.  In it you see an aging woman and a young boy.  The boy appears sullen.  There is no rage in his eyes and yet he is donning the black flag of al-Qaeda, al-raya, which means death on his bandana.  He holds a toy Khyber rifle with his finger on the trigger his face marked with war paint.  He is the next generation of terror.

Boko Haram, the African Islamist terror group whose April kidnapping of nearly 300 young girls promised to assassinate U.S. ambassador to Nigeria Terence McCulley in February 2012, vowed to murder him if America signed a terrorism-fighting Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the government in Abuja.

McCulley, now the U.S. ambassador to Ivory Coast, was not harmed. But the threat, coming amid a years-long bombing campaign that killed more than 1,400 Nigerian civilians, did not persuade then-Secretary of State Clinton to fast-track the addition of Boko Haram to the U.S. government's official list of international terrorist groups.

The revelation of that apathy provides a stark parallel with assassination warnings issued by Islamist groups in Benghazi months before the September 11, 2012 attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Ty Woods and Sean Smith.

The Clintons have always been preoccupied with their own political fortunes.  The February 26, 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, the Khobar Towers attack, the August 7, 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the October 12, 2000, attack on the USS Cole provoked little more than tough talk against the terrorists.

Byron York noted “the key to understanding Bill Clinton’s handling of the terrorist threat that grew throughout his two terms in the White House: It just wasn’t his thing.”

Clearly it wasn’t his thing given the well-sourced book written by Richard Miniter entitled Losing bin Laden that carefully lays out the maddening history of the number of opportunities that Bubba had laid in his horny lap to capture and incarcerate bin Laden.

“A bureaucratic feud” between CIA Director James Woolsey and Sen. Dennis DeConcini coupled with “Clinton’s indifference kept America blind and deaf as bin Laden plotted.”

Running as an “old and stale” woman to be commander-in-chief at a time when international terrorism is once again on the rise, Mrs. Clinton and her State Department lackeys have been engaged in an exercise of obfuscation and verbal gymnastics.

Hillary’s résumé as America's top diplomat is razor thin, judging from a press conference in which the State Department's chief spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, couldn't convey any of her achievements.

“Hashtag” Jen is not the only one flummoxed by such a challenge.  Foreign policy experts of all political stripes have the same problem.

The former Secretary of State herself had trouble articulating any lasting achievements from her tenure, during an April 3, 2014 appearance at the Women of the World Summit.

Dinesh D’Souza cautions in his new book, America—Imagine a World Without Her, “that as students of radical organizer Saul Alinsky, Obama and Clinton could have enough time to unmake and then remake America into a nation the founding fathers wouldn't recognize.”

He continues, “They may not be responsible for the suicide of America, but they certainly will have helped to finish off a certain way of life in America, and they will leave us with a country unrecognizable not only to Washington and Jefferson but also to those of us who grew up in the 20th century.  If they succeed, there may be no going back. Then it will be their America, not ours, and we will be a people bereft of a country, with no place to go.”

Their America.  Let that wash over you for a moment.

When the House Intelligence committee convenes its special investigation into the deadly Benghazi attacks we will hopefully learn just how distracted she was and how dangerous she would be as president in dealing with the next generation of terror.

Hillary Visits With The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer For A Let’s Get Our Story Straight On That Despicable Video Thingy Meeting

People Magazine blew their cover.  Cankles had “lunch” with The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer on Thursday.  The meeting, which was not on the public schedule, became public knowledge after a tweet went out from Sandra Westfall.
Only naiveté would lead one to believe the “lunch” was merely a friendly get together for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cherry Kool-Aid given the fact that the Select Committee formed to investigate the Benghazi scandal is developing a timeline that could have a significant impact on her much-anticipated presidential run.  Allies of the former Secretary of State have admitted as much.
Hillary’s shills will try to smear Trey Gowdy and other members of the select committee as they dig deeper into who made the decisions about security at the consulate, who was in on the call not to send our military when the attack was underway and why none of the attackers has been arrested.

The shadow opposition is in full swing strategizing how to cover up the truth about Benghazi.  From the moment the world learned of the deaths of our four Americans TWMDCO and Cankles have dismissed the incident as a “phony scandal”.

If it’s so damned phony why are they putting so much energy into this appalling cover-up?  I guess it makes a difference now, huh?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Another Piece Of The Puzzle

For years many have hypothesized that this president is outlandishly incompetent. 

During a Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer supplied another piece of the puzzle when he noted that, “When I was young and played football briefly, there were a couple of times where I’m sure that that ringing sensation in my head and the need to sit down for a while might have been a mild concussion.”
I guess he’s going to be madder than hell when he reads in the papers that he told those folks that he might had a mild concussion.

Don Diamond, writing at Forbes, seems to believe that “football had a totemic role in his young life.”

Totemic?  Where the hell have I been?  Am I the only one who thought that basketball and taking “roof hits” from the ceiling of the Choomwagon were his only sports interests?

In that same Diamond piece, TWMDCO is purported to have said, “It doesn’t make you weak to admit that you’ve had a concussion. It means you’re strong.”

So, twice in less than a week he has feebly attempted to convince anyone who will listen that he is not weak.

Mitt Romney, appearing on Fox News Channel’s The Kelly File said, "I think it's a particularly sad day in America when the president of the United States feels compelled to give an address saying that America, in effect, isn't weak.   If you have to tell people you’re strong, then you’re not.” 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tell Mom And Dad I Gave ‘Em Hell

Photo Credit:  Reuters/Reece Lodder, U.S. Marine Corps
They were sons, brothers, fathers, uncles, and friends. Nearly all of them left behind a void in the lives of those they knew. For them, time stopped on the day they were killed. They are forever young. To generations that have followed them, and will follow them in the future, their graves are living memorials to the past, to what Americans once did in a place so far from home. They gave their collective future to ensure ours.

Obama Skips Golf To Visit Overseas Contingency Operation For Photo-Op

On the eve of Memorial Day, The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer, who is down in the polls, decided to head over to Bagram Air Base to thank the troops there.

This was Obama's fourth visit to Afghanistan as president, but his first since winning re-election in 2012.

Good on him for going but…

Call me cynical. This is about the Veterans Administration scandal and crisis management on Memorial Day weekend.

One of the five rules of crisis management for leftists is to use the media and politics.  So what we have here, in a nutshell, is a photo-op to prove he cares about our troops followed by a visit to Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns followed by a commencement speech at West Point later this week.  No sir, there’s no political strategy at work here.

I noticed one curious thing while reading the reports of this “secret visit”.  Ben Rhodes, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting, said in a CBS report that “the administration had been trying to plan a trip to thank the troops for some time, and the timing was good. The president did not meet with Karzai or candidates in order to avoid injecting America's presence into the ongoing election.” [Emphasis mine]

I say curious because, as we all know, the 2014 mid-terms are a mere five months off and the VA scandal stories keep coming.

Meanwhile CNN's John King, host of Inside Politics, sheepishly conceded:
"Forget for a moment that Republican outrage.  More and more Democrats in key 2014 races are calling for the president to get a spine, they say, and fire his Veterans Affairs secretary. And what more and more Democrats are saying privately is scathing, calling the president and his team detached, flat footed, even incompetent.”
Noted media lapdog, Maggie Haberman further expounded, "That’s what strikes me, what Democrats are saying privately in the wake of the healthcare (dot) gov problems, they see a president who doesn't want to take command, doesn't want to act fast. Raising the competence question. Some Democrats, who believe in government, [are saying] this White House doesn't appear to have its hand on the lever.  All of this adds up to somebody who just doesn't seem at all involved."

Egads Mags, ya think?  Somebody call Captain Obvious.

Didn’t we recently learn “that the world seems to disappoint him?”

Dream Of Battlefields No More

“On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation!”—Thomas William Parsons

Friday, May 23, 2014

Obama Wants A Report. Sanders Wants A Report. Meanwhile, Veterans Must Wait For Accountability.

Ben Jacobs, writing for The Daily Beast snidely opined that “lefty groups are signing petitions urging” the socialist senator “to register and throw his hat in the (presidential) ring, the problem is that there is nothing bearing the slightest resemblance to a path to victory” for him in Iowa, a state where presumed front-runner Hillary Clinton is weakest and which has traditionally proved receptive to liberal candidates. 

Who cares?  Consider this—by and large this doddering old fool is relatively unknown—he needs to show his political chops.  So…

Parroting The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer, the socialist Vermonter is waiting to see facts from the ongoing investigation of the burgeoning VA scandal.

On Thursday, Sanders blocked a move by Sen. Marco Rubio to pass a bill that would make it easier for the VA secretary to fire senior executives. The House passed its measure on Wednesday, over Shinseki’s objections with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 390 to 33.  All of the “no” votes came from Democrats.

Harry Reid and Bernie Sanders were immediately confronted with the stark choice of standing with veterans who rely on the VA health care system or standing alongside poorly performing bureaucrats entrenched in a dysfunctional personnel system.

Sanders said he felt that any legislative fix should not get a vote without a hearing and he sought Rubio’s support for a more comprehensive bill.

That stunt incensed Rubio who said, “He said we may one day pass it, it’s a really good idea, but he wants to have a hearing on it first. And I just don’t understand that.  They blocked it. And unfortunately members of Congress will head home for Memorial Day and veterans will keep waiting for accountability, and that’s outrageous.”

“We could have sent this bill to the president, and next week when the preliminary investigation returns Shinseki could have started firing people that weren’t doing their jobs,” said Rubio.

By closing ranks with TWMDCO, Senate Democrats are playing a treacherous game of politics with the lives of veterans.  Political power is their craven desire.

UPDATE:  Linked by The Pirate’s Cove and we thank him.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

All I Know Is What I Read In The Papers

His coal mine canaries are ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and MSNBC.  When they start covering a scandal then he’s compelled to come forward. 

Every damned time The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer is confronted with a scandal his modus operandi is to feign outrage, blame George Bush and/or the Republicans.

For good measure he tosses in a milquetoast threat implying he will not tolerate it and will make sure that “we find out exactly what happened on this” and then…buries it.

TWMDCO addressed the issue of long wait times and secret waiting lists at VA hospital facilities for the first time in three weeks Wednesday, but did so insufficiently given the scope of the problem.

According to the latest reports, 26 VA facilities nationwide are now being investigated for preventable deaths due to delays in treatment.

In 2007 in Kansas City, Missouri TWMDCO, vowed to tackle the issue of insufficient care for veterans at a campaign event during his first run for the presidency in a speech entitled “A Sacred Trust”.
“When a veteran is denied care, we are all dishonored.  It’s not enough to lay a wreath on Memorial Day, or to pay tribute to our veterans in speeches.”
A CNN report says that three senior VA officials identified as Dr. Thomas Lynch, Assistant Undersecretary for Health and Clinical Operations; Joan Mooney, Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs and Michael Huff, a Congressional Relations Officer failed to appear before the House Health Care and Wellness Committee citing that the committee did not provide enough notice.

Rep. Jeff Miller, committee chairman said, “My intent is to go ahead and subpoena them for a hearing” before his on committee on May 30th.

It is unquestionably Socratic irony that we observe Memorial Day this weekend.

As our attention is directed to those 624 fenced acres of Arlington National Cemetery where more than 320,000 heroes are interred we are called upon to remember that the soil there is watered by the silent tears of the mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters they left behind and a triangular folded American flag that is all that remains for them to hold.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Obama's VA Hashtag

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Cross posted at Proof Positive

UPDATE:  Linked by Cardigan at iOwnTheWorld, and we thank them.

How Many Dead Veterans Do You Need?

I am proud to announce the addition of Duffel Blog to our Right Jabs Blogroll.

Thus far, President Obama and his team have regarded the scandalous treatment of veterans seeking care from the government over which they preside as a political hiccup rather than an indefensible breakdown in competent management that has led to the deaths of at least 40 veterans.

Dick Scuttlebutt has a searing satire that I am shamelessly appropriating:
We appreciate you holding. The VA is experiencing a higher-than-average volume of calls this week. Calls are answered in the order they are received. Someone should be able to assist you in [ONE] minutes. 
From the lakes of Minnesota … to the hills of Tennessee … 
Did you know that you can check the status of your claim by going online? Point your browser to w-w-w dot claims dot veterans dot medical dot va dot gov, forward-slash medical, forward-slash veterans, forward-slash claims, forward-slash 404 dot vagov dot current, forward-slash aspx dot com, forward-slash, forward-slash 404.html##. 
Across the plains of Texas! From sea to shining sea … 
Your call is important to us. Someone should be able to assist you in [ONE] minutes with your call about [INVALID MENU ENTRY]. 
From Detroit down to Houston … from New York to L.A. … 
A claims representative should be with you [SHORTLY]. Your call is important to us. Just hang up and kill yourself. Someone should be able to assist you in [ONE] minutes. 
Well there’s pride in every American heart, and it’s time we stand and saaaaaay… 
You selected menu option [INVALID MENU ENTRY]. Please have your claim number and social security number on hand when you speak with the claims representative. You should just hang up and watch cat videos and leave us alone. Your call is very important to us. Someone should be able to assist you in [ONE] minutes. 
And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free … 
We appreciate you holding. Did you know you can check the status of your claim by presenting yourself in person to your local VA claims center? Just hang up, go to your local VA claims center, and sit in our waiting room. Current in-person wait time is approximately [DEATH] hours. 
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me … 
Your call is extremely important to us. If this is an emergency or if you are having suicidal thoughts, please hang up and dial 911. Make sure you have your claim number, your social security number, and a sharp paring knife on hand while you wait for a suicide prevention specialist. Someone should be able to assist you in [ONE] minutes. 
And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today … 
We appreciate you holding off killing yourself. The VA is experiencing a higher-than-average it’s hopeless, just end it all this week. Calls are answered in the order they are sweet release of death. Someone should be able to assist you in [ONE] minutes. 
Cause they’re ain’t no doubt I love this land…God bless the U.S.A…

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Bluebird Of Happiness

Yesterday there was a gentle rain falling.  It was my day off and a perfect day to sleep in.

I had opened the door that leads to my backyard and had full view of the little birdhouse that two years ago had housed a pair of Carolina Wrens.

I busied myself doing laundry and preparing breakfast when I noticed a cute little bluebird perched atop the finial that adorns the top of the birdhouse.  I had seen the male hanging around several times before yesterday but thought nothing more of it.

This day, however, was different.  Sophie, my little furkid, decided she was upset by whatever she had spied outside the door.  I would walk over and look for the source of her concern.  Seeing nothing I returned to my chores.

Later that morning I made time to hop on the computer.  It was then that I saw something wonderful out of the corner of my eye.  I got out of my chair and walked over to the open door and saw a bluebird with its head popped out of the entry of the birdhouse.

Moments later another bluebird flew onto the finial and remained perched there long enough for me to snap a photograph.  My movements caused the little darlings to take flight.

All day long, Sophie would bark at the door and I knew the little birds were back again.  This kind of activity meant only one thing—there were little, bitty baby bluebirds inside the nest box.

For thousands of years, the bluebird has been regarded as the harbinger of happiness.  I will not try to dispel that myth.  No sir, not me and here’s why:

This past January, I had a sleep study done.  It was determined that I have obstructive sleep apnea.  I was directed to start using a CPAP machine.  It took two months before I could be seen by the sleep doctor after the study had been done, but once I saw her I starting using the danged thing. 

My first follow-up appointment was May 1st.  The data card that recorded my sleep with the CPAP machine indicated that I was now getting 4.9 to 5.3 hours of sleep each night rather than the 3 hours nightly I had been getting before using the device.

The following Thursday I had a follow-up appointment with my cardiologist.  Though there is no cure for the diastolic heart failure I have, the cardiologist said that my heart rate and pulse had greatly improved and she saw no need to see me anymore unless I felt I needed to see her.  She noted that the CPAP was greatly responsible for the improvement.

In addition, I applied for Social Security during the month of April and received notice of what my monthly check would be.  I also visited my HR Department to turn in my retirement paperwork a week ago.

Two weeks ago, I got a mailing from the Social Security Administration advising me that since I had filed a claim for Social Security Benefits that I needed to contact the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration.  I did this and now have paperwork due to arrive shortly to finalize my monthly pension disbursements from my previous employer.

As of today, I have 66 more calendar days or 46 more actual work days until I can retire.

According to Proverbs 10:22, “The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.”

I’m getting’ ready to do me some livin’.

Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Guess What’s Racist Now

Kaitlyn Schallhorn, of Campus Reform, reported yesterday that students at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota cancelled an event to celebrate the end of the school year after complaints that bringing a camel on campus could offend those of Middle Eastern cultures—an empirical example of opposition to tyranny cowering in the corner.

Aaron Macke, group advisor for the Residence Hall Association, said the intention of the event was “to have a little fun, bring students together.”

A Facebook page was created and was soon bristling with indignant comments suggesting the event was insulting to Middle Eastern cultures, an example of animal cruelty and even environmentally unfriendly.   

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that last December the university brought a reindeer to campus for the same purpose. No protests ensued.

The North Pole was contacted for comment.  There was no response to our query prior to publishing this post.
Via Memeorandum 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

From Eric Shinseki To Susan Rice: Dead Americans Do Not Live Long In The Conscience Of This Administration

On Tuesday, May 13, 2014, The Insufferable Airhorn uttered these words at the Medal of Honor ceremony for Army Sgt. Kyle White:
“Kyle, members of Chosen Company, you did your duty, and now it's time for America to do ours:  After more than a decade of war, to welcome you home with the support and the benefits and opportunities that you've earned. You make us proud, and you motivate all of us to be the best we can be as Americans, as a nation; to uphold our sacred obligations to your generation and all who have faced that ‘measure of danger’ and ‘the willingness to incur it.’"
Today, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Ret. Gen. Eric Shinseki testified before the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee about our veterans languishing and dying on secret waiting lists.

Last month, the shocking story of the secret waiting lists came to light that centered on the Phoenix VA.  Once Dr. Sam Foote, a physician at the Phoenix VA for 24 years blew the whistle of the VA’s problems other whistleblowers came forward across the country.

During today’s testimony, Shinseki rather bloodlessly said, "Any allegation, any adverse incident like this makes me mad as hell," urging the legislators to wait for the investigation's finding before trying to resolve a complex set of problems.

His assurance that "we will act" on any substantiated allegation angered senators from both parties who insisted the problems are real and need immediate action.

Some pointed to a policy implemented by Shinseki that set a 14-day limit to provide care for veterans applying for the first time, saying a deadline they labeled as unworkable resulted in VA administrators devising ways to cover up months-long delays.  Months-long delays that resulted in the unconscionable deaths of 40 Americans who served their country with honor.

CNN’s Jake Tapper took White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough to task as he showed him a letter from Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller who warned over a year ago that there existed “serious and significant patient care issues.” [emphasis mine]

The pull quote from the video:
“How many stories like this, how many letters like this, how many dead veterans do you need before somebody asks the question within the White House: Maybe this guy isn’t the best steward of these veterans?”
Dead Americans do not live long in the conscience of this Administration.  Case in point:

On Wednesday, May 14, 2014, National Security Advisor Susan Rice appeared Wednesday morning at the Women’s Foreign Policy Group in Washington, D.C. 

According to reports, Rice had earlier made a joke alluding to the harm the Benghazi scandal caused to her career, prompting PBS journalist Judy Woodruff to ask about Republicans’ new allegations.

“You’re too smart for that!” Rice laughed. “Come on!”

But Woodruff pressed on, asking her what the American people can expect to be revealed as part of the House select committee on Benghazi. “What more is there that the administration has done or said that we’re not aware of?” she asked.

“Dang if I know,” Rice boldly declared. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Of Hashtags, Selfies And Balls

On Friday May 9th, the man whose wit and wisdom I adore wrote this:
“It is hard not to have total contempt for a political culture that thinks the picture at right is a useful contribution to rescuing 276 schoolgirls kidnapped by jihadist savages in Nigeria. Yet some pajama boy at the White House evidently felt getting the First Lady to pose with this week's Hashtag of Western Impotence would reflect well upon the Administration. The horrible thing is they may be right:  Michelle showed she cared—on social media—and that's all that matters, isn't it?” 
“Just as the last floppo hashtag, #WeStandWithUkraine, didn't actually involve standing with Ukraine, so #BringBackOurGirls doesn't require bringing back our girls. There are only a half-dozen special forces around the planet capable of doing that without getting most or all of the hostages killed: the British, the French, the Americans, Israelis, Germans, Aussies, maybe a couple of others. So, unless something of that nature is being lined up, those schoolgirls are headed into slavery, and the wretched pleading passivity of Mrs Obama's hashtag is just a form of moral preening.”
As Barack Obama enters the twilight of his tenure, the debate over his legacy is ­beginning, but one conclusion already seems certain. It can best be described as “Honey, I shrunk the presidency.” 
Not since Jimmy Carter was held hostage by Iran has the Oval Office seemed so inconsequential against the forces of international darkness. The mismatch is particularly striking because smallness has been Obama’s choice. 
Although he is guilty of executive overreach at home, that bully behavior only sharpens the contrast with a foreign policy that is feeble when it is not comatose. The president’s estrangement from the demands of global leadership is giving a green light to tyrants and malevolent opportunists everywhere 
His preference for navel gazing over action was on full display last week. As Russia and China menaced their neighbors and Islamist terrorists set off bombs in a half-dozen countries, Obama accepted an award from Hollywood pal Steven Spielberg for fighting genocide. Passing up a chance to give a full-throated defense of freedom and Western civilization, the president lapsed into what The New York Times called a “meditation” on the limits of his power. 
That’s far too kind. It was a white flag of surrender and more proof that Obama lacks the capacity to shoulder the responsibilities that have belonged to the Oval Office for 100 years. 
The speech sounded like that of a man who is shocked to find that evil still roams the Earth, and doesn’t have a clue what to do about it. A long paragraph of his meandering remarks, released by the White House, captures his sense of helplessness. 
“I have this remarkable title right now—president of the United States—and yet every day when I wake up, and I think about young girls in Nigeria or children caught up in the conflict in Syria—when there are times in which I want to reach out and save those kids—and having to think through what levers, what power do we have at any given moment, I think, ‘drop by drop by drop,’ that we can erode and wear down these forces that are so destructive, that we can tell a different story,” Obama said. 
If there was a course of action buried in that litany of woe, it ­escapes me. The sequence amounts to a counsel of defeat. 
Earlier, he had talked about rising anti-Semitism and the spread of sectarian and tribal conflicts. 
“We cannot eliminate evil from every heart, or hatred from every mind,” he said. “But what we can do, and what we must do, is make sure our children and their children learn their history so that they might not repeat it. We can teach our children the hazards of tribalism. We can teach our children to speak out against the casual slur. We can teach them there is no ‘them,’ there’s only ‘us.’” 
There you have it. We can teach our children warm and fuzzy things—assuming they and we are not killed by madmen first. In which case, there’s nothing we can do. 
The speech reflects how little Obama has grown in office. He initially viewed American power as a problem that needed to be checked if the world was to find lasting peace and harmony. 
By and large, he followed that bad prescription by deliberately shrinking America’s global footprint, and the result is the astonishing chaos we see around us. The vacuum is being filled not with democratic movements but by al Qaeda, China, Russia and other authoritarian regimes eager to take advantage of our retreat. 
Obama’s view of the world was wrong, and his policies are making it more dangerous and less stable. Yet he is still sounding the call to retreat, proposing new cuts to the military that would shrink it to pre-World War II levels. 
Having failed to listen or learn, Obama surveys the incomprehensible brutality and sinks into an intellectualized self-pity. Indeed, there is special poignancy to the fact that First Lady Michelle Obama joined the Twitter nation over the Nigerian schoolgirl abductions. 
The photo of her holding a sign saying “Bring Back Our Girls” is riveting, but also odd. 
Did she think to push her husband to do something? 
And you wonder whom she expects to save the girls. The United Nations? The terrorists themselves? Nigeria’s government? 
Maybe all of the above, which is to say no one, because, without the leadership of the United States, there is no one who can maintain peace and security. 
This is the result of the choice Barack Obama made. This is what the world looks like when a president laments evil ­instead of confronting it. 

UPDATE:  Welcome Fire Andrea Mitchell! readers.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Like The Tinkling Of Chimes Dancing In The Wind

Circa 1949
When I was younger I never thought of the day when I would no longer have her.  As I have grown older, I have felt her gently returning to take her place beside me.

My memories of her drying my tears, baking cookies together, listening to my prayers, tucking me into bed and telling me she loved me before turning out the light are a comforting trip back in time.

Sometimes when the incomprehensible power of life tries to break me, I remember her loving arms clutching me tightly, her butterfly kisses and how she celebrated everything I did.

After she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, she became a prisoner in her body.  Her mind was sharp but her body made it impossible to do anything.  She often couldn’t speak or sit or eat on her own.  I took care of her for 17 years until her death.

She died the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 1996.  I remember calling 9-1-1 and telling the dispatcher that she had just passed away.  She insisted that I administer CPR.  I knew this was an exercise in futility but I did as she asked.

I swear I felt her spirit pass through my body.  I was convinced it was her way of telling me not to mourn her passing—that she was finally free of her prison and that she would see me again in Heaven some day.

My mother gave my life such a firm foundation that has carried me through the years.  When I feel especially tempest-tossed, I recall those 17 years and the courage of my mom. 

All I ever wanted was to comfort and soothe her the way she had comforted me.  Mom was strong like steel and joyous like the tinkling of chimes dancing in the wind.

Has Obama Ever Made a "Gutsy Call"?

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May, 2011. Remember what all of the MSM were saying about Obama's 'Gutsy Call' on killing bin Laden? Never mind the fact that bin Laden had been in our sights on three occasions before, when his adviser Valerie Jarrett, apparently the gutsier of the two, talked him out of taking any action at all. And never mind the fact that it is pretty inconceivable that any other US president would have done anything differently (well, except maybe take one of the three earlier shots!) But still, the airwaves were aflame with the meme that Obama had somehow made "a gutsy call".

Can anyone tell me of anything that Obama has done that even remotely resembled a "gutsy call"? Me neither.

Fast forward to September 11, 2012. It is the anniversary of an attack by Islamic terrorists on the United States. Obama and the Democrats had been pounding their chests at their convention that al Qaeda was on the run, "bin Laden is dead and Gm is alive". Word comes to the White House that our mission in Benghazi is under attack.

If Obama were given to, or even capable of, making gutsy calls...what was his 'gutsy call' on Benghazi? If he made one, to whom was it made? Exactly which actions were taken because of it? That's one of the reasons were having hearings. Either nobody knows or nobody's telling.
I personally have trouble believing that the same Obama who has dithered for nearly five and a half years over the no-brainer decision to allow the Keystone pipeline extension, was ever capable of making a "gutsy call" by himself.

Fast forward again to 2013.

According to Obama:
...Assad’s government gassed to death over a thousand people, including hundreds of children. The images from this massacre are sickening: Men, women, children lying in rows, killed by poison gas. Others foaming at the mouth, gasping for breath. A father clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk. On that terrible night, the world saw in gruesome detail the terrible nature of chemical weapons, and why the overwhelming majority of humanity has declared them off-limits — a crime against humanity, and a violation of the laws of war...

...When dictators commit atrocities, they depend upon the world to look the other way until those horrifying pictures fade from memory. But these things happened. The facts cannot be denied. The question now is what the United States of America, and the international community, is prepared to do about it. Because what happened to those people — to those children — is not only a violation of international law, it’s also a danger to our security. Let me explain why. If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons."
When faced with making a "gutsy call" over a murderous tyrant, gassing women and children, committing crimes against humanity and violating international law, Obama made the gutsy defer the decision to Congress. And then, when Vladimir Putin responded to the foolish utterances of his Secretary of State John Kerry, Obama made the 'gutsy call' do nothing.

The man who won't address grade schoolers without a teleprompter, can't or won't follow up on his campaign promises to close Guantanamo, didn't have the courage to walk out on Rev. Jeremiah Wright's hate tinged church, apparently hasn't made a gutsy call since he asked Michelle to marry him.

And that was just so she wouldn't eat him.

Cross posted at Proof Positive

Friday, May 9, 2014

Department Of Ill-Advised Photo Opportunities

The Associated Press noted in its coverage of The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer’s visit to a Mountain View, CA Walmart, that he triggered a backlash from labor unions and pay equity advocates who say low wages paid by Walmart “fly in the face of Obama’s vaunted push to pay equity.”
TWMDCO enraged labor unions by congratulating their arch-enemy Wal-Mart for making a big commitment to solar panels.

John Hayward, opining at Human Events notes, “Wally World holds the same talismanic significance for unions that the Keystone XL pipeline holds for radical environmentalists.”

"The president's visit sends a terrible message to workers across America," Joe Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which has battled Walmart for years, said in a statement. "He is lending credibility to a bad actor when he should be joining the calls for Walmart to change."

The progressive online advocacy group CREDO declared the visit "outrageous" and called on the White House to scrap it. Pam Ramos, a Walmart worker employed at the very store Obama is visiting, wrote an op-ed in Salon asking the president to "tell Walmart to pay us enough to cover the bills."

In a Facebook post, Robert Reich, the former labor secretary under Bill Clinton, wondered, "What numbskull in the White House arranged this?"  

UPDATE:  Thank you, Cardigan of iOwnTheWorld, for linking to this post.
UPDATE II:  Thanks to Admiral Teach at The Pirate’s Cove for linking to this post.

Under Hillary’s Watch

Hillary Clinton’s State Department refused to place Boko Haram, known for years for its legendary psychopathic hatred of women, on the list of foreign terrorist organizations in 2011, after the group bombed the UN headquarters in Abuja. The refusal came despite the urging of the Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA, and over a dozen senators and congressmen.

“The one thing she could have done, the one tool she had at her disposal, she didn’t use. And nobody can say she wasn’t urged to do it,” said a former senior U.S. official who was involved in the debate. “The FBI, the CIA, and the Justice Department really wanted Boko Haram designated, they wanted the authorities that would provide to go after them, and they voiced that repeatedly to elected officials.”

In May 2012, then-Justice Department official Lisa Monaco wrote to the State Department to urge Clinton to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization. The following month, Gen. Carter Ham, the chief of U.S. Africa Command, said that Boko Haram provided a “safe haven” for al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and was likely sharing explosives and funds with the group. And yet, Hillary Clinton’s State Department still declined to place Boko Haram on its official terrorist roster.

Was Hillary's refusal to label Boko Haram a terrorist group born of the same belligerent blindness that caused her to fail to recognize the security concerns in Benghazi?

The fatal mishandling of Benghazi and Boko Haram will haunt Hillary all the days remaining in her miserable, misguided life.