Thursday, September 27, 2012

Four Americans Died - Obama Administration Lied

Within 24 hours of the attacks, it was known by the White House to be a terrorist attack and labeled as such within the administration. That is the word coming from intelligence sources now. This means that, in fact, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice lied about the cause of the attack - the crazy 15 minute video trailer - on all five main Sunday morning talk shows and the others in the administration followed.  From President Obama to Secretary of State Clinton to President Obama's press secretary, all blamed the video as the source of the explosive events in the Middle East, including the murder of our ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.

Ponder that - the White House and all those connected to it lied to the American people about a terrorist attack on our soil overseas that resulted in the death of four Americans. Not only did they not heed warnings given in the days leading up to the attacks or by the ambassador himself about security concerns, but they decided to lie about it to cover it up as election day draws closer.

It is all about Barack Obama's re-election. And the President of the United States has yet to address the nation in the aftermath.  What is his plan?

This is a "bump in the road" according to President Obama. And don't forget that after learning of the deaths of our four American patriots in Libya, he hopped a jet for a Las Vegas fundraiser where he compared his hard working volunteers to that of the U.S. embassy. I'm not kidding.  The guy is clueless and just sick.

The Cairo and Libya attacks were on 9/11/12.  Do you think that was anything other than terrorism? Of course you don't.  No one did then or does now. It's just that Team Obama count on you being as gullible and easily persuaded by their deceit as you were in 2008 and ushered him into office in a solid victory over John McCain.  Whether you are a Republican who voted for him or an Independent who did, a whole lot of people were deceived with his flowery speeches and old school preacher style campaign rallies. It's all there again. Frankly, it never ended. The man never got off the campaign trail and governed. Why? Because he simply does not know how to. It's what happens when a candidate without any executive experience is promoted into the highest office in the land.

So, after being the anti-Iraqi war candidate and participating in the hideous General Betrayus campaign during his run for the presidency (along with Hillary Clinton), Barack Obama thought that by concocting a story of his own personal bravery for ordering the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan using the SEALS, and the capture and death of bin Laden, he would convince Americans that we really didn't need to be too concerned about terrorism. He isn't a foreign policy kind of guy and prefers to muck things up domestically instead.

Barack Obama all but put himself in Pakistan shooting bin Laden himself.  He was quick to talk about his decision and even to name the SEAL team involved - something that is never done.  And then he allowed a Hollywood crew to come into the White House and film a movie about it all.

Barack Obama insisted that the term the War on Terrorism no longer be used. Now that foreign policy has come to the forefront of the presidential campaign, he has to shift yet again on his focus. This is why he only personally attacks Mitt Romney without any boasting about his own record. He has no true successes. He has nothing to crow about to justify his re-election. All he can do is pander to various focus groups and hope for their votes.

This is why we are now hearing the old meme that the Middle East problems are really because of the George W. Bush years. It's back to blame Bush for everything. Remember when Hillary Clinton went to the floor of the senate and held up a New York newspaper with the bold headlines of What did Bush know and When did he know it? concerning 9/11/01?  I do. She was implying he could have intercepted the attack from previous knowledge. Now Secretary Clinton has her own bout of karma to deal with. Reports are coming to the surface that the administration was warned for some time that the conditions on the ground were deteriorating in Libya and that Ambassador Stevens was concerned about security,  And, why was Ambassador Stevens there in Benghazi on 9/11/12 at a less secure site than at the embassy in Tripoli?

What was going on in Libya?  What is going on now with the cover-up and secrecy?  The FBI still has not been put at the scene to investigate.

Hey, Hillary: What did you know and when did you know it?

Monday, September 24, 2012

GOP Headquarters Opens on Houston's Westside

A large crowd gathered to celebrate the Grand Opening of the Westside Republican Headquarters Tuesday evening.  The space is large and it filled up nicely with lots of candidates, elected officials and interested citizens.  Party activists in three Republican women club PACs have planned for about a year to get this project off the ground.  Women from Village Republican Women, Daughters of Liberty , and Memorial West are the primary participants.

The strength of the grassroots in the Republican Party is found within Republican Women clubs. Ask any politician running for office and he/she will tell you that Republican women work tirelessly during election season to run campaign headquarters, register voters, hold candidate meet and greets, and run get out the vote events.

This Westside Republican Headquarters is just one of several victory centers in Harris County. 

You can read all about the Harris County Republican Headquarters, South East,
1001 Pineloch Suite 650, at El Caminot Real, Clear Lake City, Tel:832-284-4381 right HERE.

Also, Republican women have opened a Pasadena Victory 2012 office.  Read about it HERE.

All offer yard signs, bumper stickers, t-shirts and campaign literature on candidates from the Romney/Ryan campaign to local judicial and state representative elections.  It is very important to remember that the down ballot races need Republican voter support now more than ever in Harris County.

Major thanks are extended to the chairwoman of the project, Beverly Roberts from Village Republican Women and to Commissioner Steve Radack who provided the office space and utilities.  Rep Jim Murphy (Dist 133) sponsored the telephone lines and Internet accessibility.  Rep John Culberson provided the food. A McDonald's franchise provided the soft drinks.

Rep Culberson inspired the crowd with his message of what he hears in Washington, D.C.  The congressmen and women from swing states are very positive about the presidential race.  He reminded everyone to ignore the national media who are determined to help the Democrats and tamp down Republican enthusiasm. 

The address is: 10321-B Katy Freeway in Houston.  The office is in a strip with lots of parking available. Hours: Monday through Friday, 11—7, Saturday, 9—5


Let's do this.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

CNN Reports from Amb Stevens' Personal Journal Without Disclosure

What has happened to our country's defense of freedom of speech and respect for personal property?  Friday we learned that taxpayers are funding an apology commercial to Pakistan - to the tune of $70,000 - starring both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The television ads in Pakistan feature clips of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during press appearances in Washington in which they condemned the video. Their words were subtitled in Urdu.

"We absolutely reject its content and message," said Clinton in the advertisement.

A caption on the ad reads: "Paid Content."

The advertisements end with the seal of the American Embassy in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital. It was not known how many channels were airing the ads or whether they were being run in other Muslim countries or just Pakistan.

An embassy spokeswoman declined comment.

In an email later Thursday, the embassy sent out a link to video of ordinary Americans condemning the anti-Islam film, which appeared on YouTube
Correct me if I missed the President of the United States and our Secretary of State voice a full throated support of our First Amendment.  It is easy to understand why Obama's opponents would mention this continuing apology tour to those in the Middle East.

It is bad enough that the State Department, Sec Clinton, President Obama and Susan Rice spent nine full days denying that the atrocities committed in Cairo and then Libya which preceded the rest of the countries hosting anti-American demonstrations and attacks, denying that fact that it was a pre-planned  al-Qaeda terrorist attack.  The American media has largely given them a pass and not pursued questioning of this silly meme.  Regular Americans easily connected the dots that a deadly murderous attack on the consulate and safe house in Libya on September 11 was no coincidence.

The premeditated murder of Ambassador Stevens is a big deal. A very big deal. He is the first ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1979.  Also during the failed administration of a Democratic president, I might add. Never mind the fact that an attack on our embassy is an act of war.

Late Friday, we learned that CNN recovered Ambassador Stevens journal and reported on some of the written entries, without bothering to disclose that bit of information. 

CNN did not initially report on the existence of a journal out of respect for the family, but we felt there were issues raised in the journal which required full reporting, which we did. We think the public had a right to know what CNN had learned from multiple sources about the fears and warnings of a terror threat before the Benghazi attack which are now raising questions about why the State Department didn't do more to protect Ambassador Stevens and other US personnel. Perhaps the real question here is why is the State Department now attacking the messenger.

As we said, we had multiple sources on Anderson Cooper's report Wednesday night.

The reason CNN ultimately reported Friday on the existence of the journal was because leaks to media organizations incorrectly suggested CNN had not quickly returned the journal, which we did. We reached out to the family of Ambassador Stevens within hours of retrieving the journal and returned it through a third party, within less than 24 hours from the time we found it. Out of respect to the family, we have not quoted from or shown the journal.

Let that sink in for a minute. First, the President of the United States and our Secretary of State fail to defend our First Amendment rights as a free people, living in the United States of America, with a full throated voice and instead, throw the filmmaker under the bus and haul him in for "questioning" as they send a request to YouTube to take the video down.  Then we learn that a cable news network, CNN, finds the dead ambassador's personal journal and not only grabs it but takes the liberty to open it and read it. These are not his official diplomatic papers, this is his personal journal. Then they want credit for send the personal journal along to his family - within 24 hours - by way of a third party. How noble of them. Not.

I agree with this guy:

State Dept. spokesman Philippe Reines said in a statement to The Huffington Post that "given the truth of how this was handled, CNN patting themselves on the back is disgusting."
The family of Ambassador Stevens is angry.

But the State Dept. has a much different view of what transpired, claiming the network "completely ignored the wishes of the family" in reporting on the contents of Stevens' journal before returning it to them. Reines wrote that CNN "ultimately broke their pledge made to them only hours after they witnessed the return to the Unites States of Chris's remains."
While I agree that the details of events leading up to the murder of four Americans in Libya, including that of our ambassador, are screaming out for transparency and the families involved deserve swift and accurate answers, who gave CNN the right to steal a public servant's personal writings and report on them? That simply does not pass the ick test. It is, in fact, disgusting behavior and absolutely smacks of a cable network trying to win ratings at the expense of respectful behavior towards our dead.

We now know the narrative from the beginning of this period of unrest in the Middle East from our own administration has been deliberately false and misleading, to state it kindly.  We read reports that warnings were forthcoming days before the attack in Libya and Cairo occurred.  We now the President of the United States habitually skipped intelligence briefings - including the days before and after the murder of the Americans in Libya - and that he continues to campaign for re-election and visit talk shows instead of addressing our nation and the world on the gravity of the attacks.  The media ignores it as if by doing so, it will all go away and their candidate of choice will be re-elected.  Why let the deaths of four Americans throw off Barack Obama's re-election? 

This is what happens after four years of foreign policy appeasement and incoherence in consistent decision making to deal with the changing world. Our world is a dangerous place. To acquiesce and still his head in the sand is below the dignity of the presidency. Leading from behind is a show of weakness and it is killing us.

We deserve better.  And we deserve a complete and full investigation of the actions of the State Department and Hillary Clinton in this story. Anything less is unacceptable.

This is not going away.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Westside Republican Headquarters Grand Opening Notice


Westside Republican Headquarters Grand Opening!

Monday, September 24, 5:30—7:00 p.m.

Sponsored by Daughters of Liberty, Memorial West, and Village Republican Women
10321-B Katy Freeway @ Benignus  (Inbound Access next to Jason’s Deli)

Meet the Candidates ✬ ✬ ✬ Sign up to Volunteer ✬ ✬ ✬ Join a Committee Pick Up A Yard Sign ✬ ✬ ✬ ✬ ✬ ✬ Find Out What You Can Do!


Beverly Roberts 281-496-0753 or Kathaleen Wall 281-236-8348

Hours: Monday through Friday, 11—7, Saturday, 9—5

Let’s Work Together Toward A Resounding Republican Victory 2012!
✬ Space, insurance and utilities provided by Commissioner Steve Radack ✬

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Why is Joint Chiefs Chairman Discouraging Military Voters?

The following is a press release from Senator Cornyn's office.  He and 21 other Senators express concern that our military members will not be supported in exercising their right to vote in this election. The military, of all Americans, deserve to be able to exercise that right, don't you think?

Senators Voice Concerns With Joint Chiefs Chairman’s Comments Discouraging Military Voters

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX),along with 21 fellow Senators, today wrote to General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, raising concerns with a series of recent comments made by Dempsey that appear to discourage service members from exercising their right to vote. Among other comments, Dempsey recently said, “We must understand why our military as a profession embraces political neutrality as a core value.” Dempsey’s comments come on the heels of a report by the Defense Department’s Inspector General indicating a failure by DoD to provide adequate voter assistance to military members and their families as mandated by the 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, or MOVE Act.
“It is only because of the service and sacrifices of our men and women in uniform that every American has the right to vote in free elections. It is incumbent upon you and other military leaders to ensure that these service members are in no way discouraged from exercising these very same civil rights for which so many, including you, have fought for and sacrificed so much.
Senator Cornyn has been at the forefront of this issue, working to insure that all those serving will have the opportunity to vote.
From September 7, 2012:
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, today wrote to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, voicing concerns with the Department of Defense’s (DoD) deficient implementation of on-base voter assistance for military service members and their families, mandated by the 2009 law, the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, or MOVE Act. The letter was also signed by U.S. Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, John Barrasso, R-WY, Richard Burr, R-NC, Saxby Chambliss, R-GA, and James Inhofe, R-OK.
Under the MOVE Act, through specific provisions authored by Sen. Cornyn, DoD was required to ensure that troops and their families have unfettered access to voter assistance on military bases under a program modeled after the well-known “motor voter” programs for civilian voters. The law required DoD to install voter assistance offices at all bases by 2010. Released this week, a report by DoD’s Inspector General concluded that half of U.S. military bases lack the voter assistance facilities required by the MOVE Act.
“With great disappointment, we have concluded that the Department of Defense (DoD) stands in clear violation of a central provision of this federal law, which mandated the creation of on-base voter assistance offices. The price of DoD’s failure to follow the law will likely be paid this November by military service members and their families, whose voting rights were to have been safeguarded by this provision,” the Senators wrote.
“We request a timely response on what you intend to do to ensure that our military service members and their families receive the voter assistance they need in order to participate in the democratic process this November.”
The Senators outlined immediate action items that must be taken to ensure members of the military and their family have the opportunity to vote in November’s election, including:
  • Provide every military voter with a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and the necessary assistance to complete that form;
  • Keep track, consistent with the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, of the number of FPCAs that were processed and sent to local election jurisdictions; and
  • Undertake significant efforts at all levels to promote and encourage military voter participation in the November election.

Let's hope that the military voters may all vote in November without undue difficulties. Let's hope they are not being pressured into apathy in the guise of political neutrality in the hopes of boosting the re-election of Barack Obama, their Commander-in-Chief.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Greater Houston Council and TFRW Motivate Republican Women

Tuesday morning the Greater Houston Council of Federated Republican Women hosted a special meeting featuring speakers presenting get out the vote material. Republican women leaders from 38 Republican Women's Clubs in Southeast Texas - in 11 counties attended.

GOP Senate candidate Ted Cruz visited with members and guests before the meeting was called to order.  He addressed the group to thank all those who worked so diligently for his primary run-off victory and to specifically thank Kaye Goolsby, his campaign's statewide grassroots director. Kaye is a real leader in Republican party politics and especially with Republican women.  He crowned her with a tiara - something she requested should he be successful in his campaign - and a sash and bouquet of flowers. Very pageant winner-ish. Very much deserved.

Kim Chambers, Texas Federation of Republican Women (TFRW) Outreach Education, gave an educational presentation on reaching young voters. Her focus was on those voters aged 18-35 years.  This group do vote and they number 3.7 million in Texas. In 2008, 39% voted in Texas, 43% voted Republican and 77% are considered "conservative" or "moderate". The youngest voters - those aged 18-24 years - are more conservative due to the circumstances of the economic recession than are those just older than them.  There is less of a connection to the 2008 Obama connection which relied heavily on a strong young voter turnout. She spoke in depth of the importance of social media and the resources available to get out the vote with technology.

Did you know that Tx Attorney General Greg Abbott is the first AG in the U.S. to have a Spanish twitter account? It's @AbbottESP if you are curious. Tejanos por Abbott.

Jim McGrath spoke about polling methods and the media. He is the post-White House speechwriter  and liaison for former President George HW Bush. He has teamed up with the good Begala brother, Chris Begala in a strategic communications firm. Here is their website:

McGrath stated that most polling companies deliberately over sample Democrats and are skewed to favor Democrats.  The media dutifully reports the polling numbers and pushes the narrative. This election finds the media in the tank for Obama and not even attempting to disguise their lack of objectivism. "We've seen the death of the media as we knew it".  He sited examples of Andrea Mitchell's editing and falsifying a report on Romney and Peter Hamby of CNN tweeting out the website for the donor form to make a contribution to the Obama campaign.  With the media coverage of this campaign, the narrative is their story, it is not the facts.  Remember when Chalian of Yahoo News was overheard on a mic saying that the GOP convention and partying went on as 'black people drowned' in Hurricane Isaac? That drowning narrative was not true and the GOP skipped opening day agendas, thus shortening their convention, due to Hurricane Isaac. Gwen Ifill of PBS said Chalian was "God's gift to the media" and that the GOP is a racist party.

Ponder all that for a bit. Three references to media bias off the top of his head - MSNBC, CNN and PBS.

Obama's foreign policy blunders have made us more hated and less safe in the last four years.

Obama has been president for three and a half years now and the media still grades him on a curve.

It is important for us all to remember to stay focused.  Don't take the bait from the White House.  Obama is not party building. He is fundraising and fundraising only for himself.  Unlike past presidents, Obama is not fundraising for any other candidates. 

The media are moralists when covering the GOP but strategists for Democrats. That's important to remember, too.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Obama Silent As Middle East Burns

When those who wish us dead in the Middle East sense weakness and lack of firm resolve in an American administration, the bad guys attack. We see this today as the Middle East is in flames and Americans are being murdered.

That is what is causing the unrest in the Middle East today — a perception of American weakness. Across the region, people see the United States in retreat. They see Obama pulling all U.S. forces out of Iraq and preparing to do the same in Afghanistan. They see an American ambassador killed in Libya, the flag of al-Qaeda raised over our embassy in Egypt, and our diplomats fleeing from Khartoum and Tunis. Instead of looking to the United States and asking, “Where are you, Obama?”, the crowds in Cairo today are chanting, “Obama, we are all Osama.”

The failure of Obama’s policies in the Middle East is not the fall of dictators in Cairo and Tripoli; it is the failure of leadership in Washington. On taking office, Obama promised to usher in a new era of popularity in the region. Well, ask yourself this: Are we more popular now than we were four years ago?
President Obama began his term in office by going to Cairo with much hype and publicity on his alleged reasoned and calm approach to the Muslim world. Let's face it - he went to jab a finger in the eye of George W. Bush. Obama was thinking he would go make a flowery, apologetic speech to the Muslim world and they would see that he wasn't George W. Bush.  They would see how very intelligent, compassionate, and yes, evolved Barack Obama is as the new president. He looked more like them, his name was from the Muslim world, his father and step father were Muslim men from whom he took both their names at different times in his life. He lived in Indonesia as a child.

Obama extended an open hand. Peace and love, baby. Peace and love.

Then he ramped up the war in Afghanistan. He met the timeline of our troop withdrawal - set by George W. Bush - in Iraq.

President Obama is quite proud to lead from behind. He waits until he can gleam if the status quo in another country will survive an uprising and if so, he'll get behind the protesters.  Otherwise, he dithers and makes indistinguishable remarks - if he takes questions in the first place - and then he does nothing.

He describes the new Egyptian government not a foe but not an ally. Clear as mud, right? He has allowed Secretary of State Clinton to handle the world as he botches up domestic policy.  Clinton has traveled the world non-stop and is rarely heard from. Often lately she is seen cleaning up President Obama's mistakes. Now she faces real questions about her decisions concerning the embassy security in Libya and other hot spots. What did she know? Did she rely messages of concern to the White House? Why wasn't more security implemented, especially as the date of September 11 approached?

Many questions present themselves. The investigations have only begun.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Abbott Files Appeal on Obamacare

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott held a conference call Monday for bloggers. He wanted to explain an appeal he filed on behalf of the state Friday. Sister blogger extraordinaire Sibyl West has the conference call on tape for you here: On the Record with TX AG Greg abbott by Ramparts360 . You can hear us as we ask questions after General Abbott makes his statement.

General Abbott began by saying the only one person who was right about Obamacare was Nancy Pelosi because she said that they had to pass the bill so we all could see what was in it.

The appeal filed Friday was one from an Obamacare challenge - that of the mandate which is looked upon as a violation of freedom of religion as it pertains to demands made of those institutions and employers with religious objections to contraception to provide such coverage in health care insurance benefits.  General Abbott said he thinks there are some 27 challenges filed against Obamacare based on the religious freedom issue.

In July, a Federal court dismissed a lawsuit filed by Texas and other states and declared the lawsuit had no standing - or a rightness to bring suit.  This was in the 8th District Court of Nebraska.  Friday, an appeal was filed on the ruling. The goal is to get the ruling overturned as unconstitutional. It still resides in the 8th Circuit.

General Abbott believes the mandates in Obamacare are "an unprecedented attempt to purge God from the public square." He spoke of the Democrats' penchant for trying to remove God with judicial activism - such as those judges removing benedictions from high school graduations and of the booing recently during the Democratic convention when the word God was put back into the platform.

He says that the administration and HHS continue to find ways to skirt around the Constitution.  Attorneys General are the last line of defense to hold this administration accountable.  He spoke of HHS using exemptions "in unpredictable, unscientific, ad hoc way" in picking winners and losers with vouchers.  Labor based exemptions for unions are used for political purposes, not legal purposes. Religious churches have been exempted but not faith based organizations who employ those who aren't believers. That, he said, is worth fighting.

My question? Well, I'm a process-oriented person so I asked about the other states who joined with us in the lawsuit. They are: Nebraska, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Maine, Ohio, South Dakota, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Colorado.  And I asked why it was filed in Nebraska? It is because there were private individuals in that area who were willing to join in the lawsuit with the states on short notice. These individuals included a nun, a Catholic high school, Catholic social services, and so on.

Attorney General Abbott remains strong in fighting for Texas against the mandates of Obamacare.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ambassador Susan Rice Promotes Video Blame for Attacks

There is a concerted effort playing out in the media that calls for characterizing Republican candidate for president Mitt Romney as incompetent to lead the country. The media in our country has become the lapdog of this president and it plays out in normal reporting on a regular basis. After eight years of the media only too happy to jump to report anything and everything perceived as a mistake from former President George W. Bush, it is quite a shift in demeanor we see as they cover this president.  Now, instead of focusing on very serious events playing out overseas, the media is hellbent on proclaiming Mitt Romney not ready for prime time.

Barack Obama, President of the United States, waited fifteen hours after the uprise began in Cairo before making a public statement. At that, he criticized Mitt Romney, not the terrorists. Remember that the media and Democrat critics (but I repeat myself) were demanding that George W. Bush return immediately to Washington, D.C. after the attacks of 9/11/01, despite the fact that the Secret Service had determined that to be too risky in the immediate aftermath. I clearly remember ABC News anchor Peter Jennings railing that Bush was not in the White House. It was a common criticism of Bush that he didn't leap out of his small chair in that elementary school classroom when he heard the news of the attacks whispered in his ear by then Chief of Staff Andy Card - Bush was reading a story to the young children. Bush remained composed and calmly told the children and their teacher that he had to leave. He kept them all calm. That was his job and he performed well.  You may remember the Saturday Night Live skits, the Michael Moore movie opening scene, the journalists then claiming it was a sign that Bush was out of touch and too removed from regular life.  Funny how these same people don't voice that of Barack Obama. He is proudly proclaimed No Drama Obama.

The media push has become so skewed that little questioning is done to hold President Obama's press secretary accountable when he states utter nonsense as though it is fact. When asked about burning embassies overseas and ugly, violent protests complete with burning American flags as "Death to America" chants are heard, the press secretary boldly proclaimed that these protests and murders committed were not anti-America responses. No. These heinous acts were the reactions to a fifteen minute video film trailer on the Internet that was deemed offensive and disrespectful of Islam.

 Press Secretary Jay Carney quoted by
"This is a fairly volatile situation, and it is in response not to U.S. policy, not to, obviously, the administration, not to the American people. It is in response to a video--a film--that we have judged to be reprehensive and disgusting. That in no way justifies any violent reaction to it. But this is not a case of protests directed at the United States, writ large, or at U.S. policy. This is in response to a video that is offensive and--to Muslims."
So, we are left with a "Film Critic- in-Chief", as one pundit said, instead of a president who understands the explosion in the Middle East is a reaction to his foreign policy carried out over the course of the last three and a half years.  Press Secretary Carney now sounds eerily like Baghdad Bob from the early days of the Iraq war.  It is disturbing, to say the least, and it is an insult to any thinking American, too.

The protests are anti-American protests. To say it is "obviously" otherwise is to deny reality for the sake of the president's re-election campaign. This is very dangerous stuff. Protesters have ripped down American flags and burned them, as the flags are replaced with black flags displaying pro-Islamic wording. The chants of the crowds ring out "death to America". This video trailer is fifteen minutes long and was released on the Internet two months ago. No one heard of it and there is doubt that a real full length  'film' is out there. The filmmaker is described as a crank from California.

No doubt the film is offensive to those believers of Islamic faith, if reports of the subject matter are correct.  But, both Secretary of State Clinton and Barack Obama are far too busy blaming a bad video for the sentiments expressed in the Middle East. This is a direct, coordinated attack on America and it is because the policy initiatives of Barack Obama have failed. His wait and see, lead from behind manner of governing looks like weakness to those living overseas.  Appeasement does not work. Ever.

Barack Obama was elected not on his experience or competence. Barack Obama was elected due to the financial meltdown late into the 2008 campaign. He was behind in the polls to John McCain well into September 2008. We all remember the campaign ad circulated by the Hillary Clinton campaign questioning Obama's ability to answer a phone call at 3:00AM for a national/international crisis.

Barack Obama began his term in office by going on an international tour, most remembered for his speech in Cairo where he all but apologized for America's leadership in the free world. It was beneath the dignity of his newly acquired office.

Three years ago in Cairo, Obama stressed his leadership would be dramatically different than former President George W. Bush’s: “I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition.”
The protesters in Cairo this week were heard to be chanting, "Obama, Obama, we are all Osama". Do you think that might be some kind of reaction to Vice President Biden's boast on the campaign trail and at the Democratic National Committee's convention (during his televised prime time speech) that "bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive" ?  It's a bumper sticker slogan  that Joe Biden thinks is clever. Did the murdering terrorists and the Muslim demonstrators find offense in that slogan?

How about the new movie coming out that brings the demise of bin Laden to the forefront on the big screen?  Shouldn't "Zero Dark Thirty" be stopped from release? How will that sit in the world of extremists?  If we are to accept that all of this turmoil was brought about by a fifteen minute video trailer on You Tube, then what will a full feature movie do?

See how the argument quickly falls apart?

It is tragic that even well into Sunday, Ambassador Susan Rice was firmly relaying the White House talking point that it was all because of this video that the Middle East blew up on 9/11/12. She continued to deny advance notice that attacks were planned and coming. She refused to acknowledge the reports of concern voiced by even Ambassador Stevens himself about security. She was more concerned trying to express how 'popular' the United States is overseas. The Sunday chat shows were her venue to parrot the White House talking point and it is, in fact, her job to do so but it sure damages her credibility. The video is a convenient excuse for the attacks but to insist that the violence and murdering attacks were spontaneous is just dishonest at this point.

This is not high school. This is American foreign policy. It is not necessary to bellow about popularity or how much other countries "like" us. It is important that we are, instead, respected. Peace through strength, as President Reagan stated.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

President Obama Missing in Action in Foreign Policy

Foreign policy is now squarely in the center of the presidential campaign. It is only fitting that a nation at war would engage in philosophical arguments on the subject. Americans deserve to know how each candidate intends to defend our nation and embrace freedom around the world. A common complaint recently, especially after the week we have had of attack after attack on our embassies overseas, is that President is missing in action on making clearly stated foreign policy. He even made a major gaffe during a television interview proclaiming that Egypt was neither an ally nor an enemy of the United States. Clearly, our country's official position is that Egypt is an ally. The State Department had to clean up that bit of international untidiness.

The State Department, cutting through the confusion over President Obama's claim that Egypt is not a U.S. ally, contradicted his characterization Thursday.
For the record, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, Egypt is considered a major non-NATO ally.
The comment came as White House aides also carefully clarified the president's remarks.
The president made the initial statement in an interview with the Spanish-language Telemundo. "I don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we do not consider them an enemy," Obama said, reacting to the ongoing and intense demonstrations outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
Instead of addressing the nation after the awful story of the murdered U.S. ambassador and three staff members at the U.S. embassy in Libya, to speak honestly about our role in the world and to express gratitude for their ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our country, President Obama postponed a campaign rally in Las Vegas for one hour. One whole hour. He didn't address the nation and instead spoke to Telemondo. It was far from respectful behavior from the Commander-in-Chief. He clearly was more focused on his own re-election.  It was wrong and the optics were really bad.

Reports came out that President Obama has skipped more than half of his daily intelligence briefings. Instead of being briefed by a member of the intelligence community, he has the bullet points written up and claims to read them instead of a one on one briefing.  This implies a lack of curiosity on his part and a lack of seriousness in the subject.  He is too focused on his own re-election.

This campaign ad says it is time for the president to show up for intelligence briefings instead of golf games, fundraisers and guest appearances on Letterman:

It is right for Americans to demand some acknowledgement from our president that he is working to keep Americans serving abroad in the diplomatic corps safe. It is right for Americans to demand that our president speak clearly, concisely, strongly and in a timely manner on our nation's foreign policy initiatives. We are in dire need of bold leadership.  We need leadership that does not sway in the winds of uncertainty as a president campaigning for re-election flits across the swing states raising money for his own career and blasting his Republican opponent.

We need a leader who will bring us together again, especially in times when our nation is under attack from an enemy that wishes to kill us all.  Attacks on our embassies are attacks on our country. President Obama's foreign policy decisions have not made us safer.  It is time for a change in leadership.

Friday, September 14, 2012

U.S. Embassies In Flames Through Out the Middle East

The American embassies in the Middle East are in flames as we end this week. U.S. flags have been taken down and set on fire in London, Cairo, Bangladesh, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen, to name some of the spots showing angry gatherings of Muslim men chanting "Death to America". The list is long, that of the spots harboring Muslim protests. The protests that brought destruction and death to the U.S. embassies in Cairo, Libya and Syria since Tuesday today brought the same to the U.S. embassy in Yemen.

We have discussed as a nation the security abroad for those patriotic Americans living and working on behalf of our country in often dangerous places. Too little has been done in the past and warnings of impending danger often go ignored. The State Department has blamed a lack of funding for years on lax security and the lack of will from legislators to beef up security overseas.

While the State Department has responded to some of the criticisms leveled by congressional oversight bodies and its own internal watchdog, its Diplomatic Security (DS) office recently acknowledged it lacked the funding for some recommended improvements, such as security training, and was instead looking for workarounds. “We cannot sufficiently meet the additional training recommendations outlined in the Secretary's QDDR (quadrennial review). Therefore, DS is aggressively pursuing on-line alternatives, e.g., distance learning of FACT lessons minus the hard skills (i.e., weapons familiarization and driver's training) to increase training capabilities,” the department candidly acknowledged in a February performance evaluation report.

We read now of warnings issued in this case that were not acted upon. Specifically, the attack in Cairo was forecast by those who were in the know. 

According to El Fagr, they are calling for the immediate release of the Islamic jihadis who are imprisonment and in detention centers in the U.S. including Guantanamo Bay: “The group, which consists of many members from al-Qaeda, called [especially] for the quick release of the jihadi [mujahid] sheikh, Omar Abdul Rahman [the "Blind Sheikh"], whom they described as a scholar and jihadi who sacrificed his life for the Egyptian Umma, who was ignored by the Mubarak regime, and [President] Morsi is refusing to intervene on his behalf and release him, despite promising that he would. The Islamic Group has threatened to burn the U.S. Embassy in Cairo with those in it, and taking hostage those who remain [alive], unless the Blind Sheikh is immediately released.”
Not much wiggle room there.

In full cover their butts mode in the White House, the reports of warnings are being vehemently denied. The President's Press Secretary, Jay Carney, even said that this is not an attack on America but due to a video produced by a crank in California disparaging Muslims. First, beyond the Baghdad Bob impersonation from Mr. Carney, the mission of an embassy is clear.  From the State Department's own website,  the host country is tasked with providing the environment of a secure locale yet not entitled to breech the embassy's sovereign abode. No entry is allowed by those of the host country without permission. And, an attack on an embassy is viewed as an attack on the country it represents:

While an embassy remains the territory of the host state, under international rules representatives of the host country may not enter an embassy without permission—even to put out a fire.
Because an embassy represents a sovereign state, any attack on an embassy is considered an attack on the country it represents.
An attack on an American embassy is an attack on America. It is as simple as that. To hear the President's Press Secretary to dismiss these heinous acts as not having to do with anti-American sentiments is to deny the obvious. Plus, it makes him look like a complete idiot.

We know the extremists wish Americans and other westerners nothing short of death. We have no reason to doubt their sincerity.  The Muslim Brotherhood was recently caught by the American embassy personnel stating sympathy for Americans after the Cairo attack yet egging on the protesters in Arabic to those Egyptians rallying on the ground.

The US embassy in Cairo caught the ruling Muslim Brotherhood being two-faced as the protests were under way earlier this week, reports the Hill. The Egypt group's Arabic feed praised the protests, while its American feed expressed support for American staffers:
Brotherhood's tweet in Arabic: "Egyptians rise to defend the prophet."
Brotherhood's tweet in English: "We r relieved none of @USEmbassyCairo staff were harmed & hope US-Eg relations will sustain turbulence of Tuesday's events"
US response to the latter: "Thanks. By the way, have you checked out your own Arabic feeds? I hope you know we read those too."
One glimmer of hope is the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood is reported to have asked its supporters to not go to the protests called for Friday, the day traditionally used for big protests in the Muslim world. Instead, the followers were asked instead to go to the mosques for Friday prayers and skip the protests. We will soon know if that request was honored.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Three Embassies Attacked. Four Americans Dead. Obama Campaigns

So, now on the heels of yesterday's blog post, there is another embassy attack to note.  As we awoke this morning, we learned that the U.S. embassy in Syria had been attacked, adding to Egypt and Libya. An angry mob breached the wall to the building and rallied just outside the entrance. The tally now is three embassies attacked and one U.S. ambassador plus three staffers killed in the line of duty. 

You may remember that in June, 2009, a newly elected President Obama traveled to Cairo, Egypt and spoke at the American University there to re-assure the world that under his watch, the United States was more tolerant and supportive of the Muslim world. He and his followers claimed that the world was angry with the United States during the George W. Bush years and that somehow the arrogance of the Bush years had damaged us overseas.  The problem with that argument was not lost on Bush supporters and honest brokers of the truth - George W. Bush went out of his way after the attacks of Tuesday, September, 11, 2001 to speak inclusively of Muslims and to show respect for Muslims around the world.

I won't even go into the fact checking that took place after the highly acclaimed - by Obama supporters - speech in Cairo and the problems with basic historical facts about Muslims and world contributions.

Early on in the Obama administration we were instructed that the War on Terror was over.  We would now refer to that subject under the title of overseas contingencies.  Whatever that means.  It was as though if we just call it something else, the problems are gone. Did that send respect to the families of those lost in the attacks?

This is an administration who is quick to accuse others of politicizing foreign policy while it is they who are guilty of that.  Whether it is the political convenience of the withdrawal from Afghanistan or the botched promise of closing GITMO as his very first act as president (by Executive Order), most of Barack Obama's important decisions seem to be all about politics and nothing else.  It has been whatever is best for his re-election, for a second term, it would seem to we the people.

An odd omission from the remarks made Wednesday from the Rose Garden by President Obama was that of Egypt and the attack at the U.S. embassy in Cairo, which occurred before the attack in Syria.  There was tons of social media brouhaha from the elite media and their willing lemmings on the blogosphere's left side that Mitt Romney had botched his statement about the attack at the embassy in Cairo.  The truth is, he got it just about right and did it before President Obama got around to making his own statement. Hillary Clinton also struck the right tone in her statement, also preceding Obama's statement. It was the president who didn't produce much in the way of content in his statement.  Why did he ignore Egypt, we pondered?

Wednesday evening, President Obama sat down for an interview with Telemundo and we may have seen a bit of a window into his thought process. Asked about Egypt, President Obama stated that Egypt was neither a friend or a foe to the U.S. That must have been a surprise to many on the ground in Egypt.

"In an interview with Telemundo Wednesday night, Obama said that the U.S. relationship with the new Egyptian government was a "work in progress," and emphasized that the United States is counting on the government of Egypt to better protect the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, which was attacked by protesters on Sept. 11."
"I don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy," Obama said. "They're a new government that is trying to find its way. They were democratically elected. I think that we are going to have to see how they respond to this incident."
That comment had Egypt watchers scratching their heads, especially since technically, Egypt was designated as a Major Non-NATO Ally in 1989 when Congress first passed the law creating that status, which gives them special privileges in cooperating with the United States, especially in the security and technology arenas.
The obligatory correction came forth from the White House Thursday.

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor told The Cable Thursday that the administration is not signaling a change in that status.
"I think folks are reading way too much into this," Vietor said. "‘Ally' is a legal term of art. We don't have a mutual defense treaty with Egypt like we do with our NATO allies. But as the president has said, Egypt is longstanding and close partner of the United States, and we have built on that foundation by supporting Egypt's transition to democracy and working with the new government."
Oh. It's a legal term of art.

There are reports that President Obama has not taken more than half of his foreign policy briefings in person by an intelligence officer. Instead, he is given printed out summaries and he reads them. Or so we are told. Who would know if he does or not? This is somewhat disturbing in that he would not be showing curiosity in questioning the briefer on any questions he might have with a face to face expert. Sure, he can make a phone call but it doesn't seem right, somehow. It smacks of the continued personal arrogance we see in the guy. It's an attitude of "I know what is best. I'm smarter. I'm better." attitude for which he has no experience to justify.

On the odd answer to the question on Egypt from the Telemundo news anchor? We are told it is because he had not been prepped for that question.

Administration sources told The Cable that Obama's "ally" comment was not pre-arranged or prepared by staff and that the question was not anticipated. Nevertheless, Middle East experts said Obama's word choice and tone is likely a reflection of the administration's feeling that Morsy's reaction to the attacks has not been forceful enough.
We are to believe that the president bungles an answer on foreign policy if he is not anticipating that question?  What kind of confidence does that produce in his leadership skills? He is our voice to the world, after all.

After the statement in the Rose Garden, President Obama boarded Air Force One and flew to Las Vegas for a fundraiser/speech.  The optics of that were bad. Regular Americans do not understand how a president would continue on with his campaign schedule while the events in the Middle East are so dire at this time. Thursday President Obama campaigned in Colorado. He just continued on with only a brief blurb at the beginning of that speech acknowledging the victims of the recent terrorism at our embassies overseas.

We deserve better.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Two American Embassies Attacked, U.S. Ambassador Dead

Those promoting radical Islam are known to be fond of symbolism used in their attacks on westerners.  The eleventh anniversary of terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 was one such symbolic date.  First the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt came under attack by an angry mob who scaled the walls of the embassy and tore down the U.S. flag, replacing it with their own.

Anti-American Islamists clambered over the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and ripped down the U.S. flag, replacing it with a black flag bearing the Islamic inscription “There is no God but Allah,” commonly flown by al Qaeda.
Earlier in the day, the embassy issued a statement apologizing for hurt feelings caused by a film that has been released in America - only the 13 minute trailer is on the Internet - made by an Israeli American denouncing Islam.  The U.S. ambassador in Egypt apparently wanted to make a statement condemning a lack of empathy for all religions. Needless to say, this apology didn't sit too well back home, here in America.

This is the statement from the U.S. embassy in Cairo that started the hubbub:

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims -- as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

Then the attack on the embassy, if the timeline from the reporters is correct, happened and the incident with the flag.

Also reported briefly by the media was the death of an American in Libya. There was no immediate conclusive report on that, though.

In the Libya attack, armed men stormed and burned the American Consulate in the eastern city of Bengazi, fatally shooting one worker and injuring another.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who confirmed the death, condemned “in the strongest terms” the attack.
“We are heartbroken by this terrible loss,” she said.
There were warnings late Tuesday of the potential for more attacks on Americans.
“There is a high threat of additional attacks against U.S. diplomatic facilities around the world,” warned IntelCenter, a private-sector firm that tracks jihadi messaging for clients including U.S. agencies.
“Countries with organized jihadi rebel groups face the highest threat of organized, armed assaults over the next 72 hours,” the firm’s CEO, Ben Venzke, said in a statement Tuesday night.

No public condemnation was issued by President Obama, as we waited and waited for some kind of acknowledgement of the day's events.  Then this from Mitt Romney:

Late Tuesday, after eschewing hard-edged political statements in observance of the 9/11 anniversary, Romney released a statement on the violence. "I'm outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi," Romney said. "It's disgraceful that the Obama administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks."
As we awakened Wednesday morning, we learned more about the facts in Libya. The U.S. ambassador, Chris Stevens, was killed in a rocket rifle attack as he attempted to evacuate some staff members by automobile as the circumstances at the embassy degraded.  Three staff members died with him.  So, in fact, the warning of more attacks came to fruition.

"The protests in both countries were sparked by outrage over a film ridiculing Muhammad produced by an Israeli filmmaker living in California and being promoted by an extreme anti-Muslim Egyptian Christian campaigner in the United States. Excerpts from the film dubbed into Arabic were posted on YouTube.
Stevens, 52, was a career diplomat who spoke Arabic and French and had already served two tours in Libya, including running the office in Benghazi during the revolt against Gadhafi. He was confirmed as ambassador to Libya by the Senate earlier this year."

For the political side of all this, the lapdog media in America are busy criticizing GOP candidate Mitt Romney for weighing in with his condolences on the news of the death of Ambassador Stevens and the others. This is to be expected. They, along with the candidate of their choice, President Obama, are hoping that these events don't throw the campaign off track. That is what it comes down to. Barack Obama was elected in 2008 largely due to the economic crisis in the last weeks of the campaign. Before the economic crisis, John McCain enjoyed a lead in the polls. Team Obama now is fearful that world events will now derail his re-election plans.

President Obama has been slow to act throughout the turmoil in the Middle East as country after country attempts to find freedom from vicious dictator. He is often accused of being a apologist rather than a leader. His actions now are under the microscope. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On Politicizing September 11, 2001

The media wanted us to know that the campaigns of both presidential candidates were going silent Tuesday, as our nation remembered the events of September 11, 2001.  They pulled negative tv ads and would not be out on the campaign trail. Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell the president's social media person.

President Obama and Vice President Biden made remarks at memorials and Mitt Romney spoke to the National Guard Association convention in Nevada.

Then we were alerted to something on Twitter. Tweets from the two presidential candidates were contrasted in this article on the day of 9/11/12.
Barack Obama ✔BarackObama
The election is in 8 weeks. Sign up to volunteer: OFA.BO/s3tXFz
Mitt Romney @MittRomney
On this most somber day, America is united under God in its quest for peace and freedom at home and across the world.

Hmm. Obama asks for volunteers on Twitter and Mitt Romney notes the "somber day".  Then, a bit later in the day, Obama campaign leader, David Axelrod tweeted a slam against Romney supporter, Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson, and a potential tax break. It was not in the spirit of the day, to say the least. It's like they just couldn't stare down the temptation to make this just another day in petty partisan politics.

I chose to put myself on a bit of a hiatus from social media Tuesday so as not to be sucked into it all.  I made that decision after witnessing the beginning of some hate-filled tweets on Twitter late last night as I checked my account before retiring for the night. I read the standard stuff - those still suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome insisting that George W Bush knew about the planned attack and didn't stop it, and those on the other side who insist on arguing otherwise.  Some of the tweets were enough to turn my stomach so it was an easy decision to make, to walk away from social media for the next day.

I fail to see how it does anything but demean the sanctity of the day to spiral into such ugliness.  I think that there are so many other venues that need attention that wasting time going over eleven year old arguments every year at this time is just, frankly, tedious.  It certainly does not show respect for those who lost the most that day - those families who still suffer and always will with the memories of that day.

It is difficult enough to understand the notion pushed forward that maybe it's time to stop the specific recognition of the date. Yes, it has been eleven years now. So? Who does not understand that the events of September 11, 2001 changed our country forever? Who doesn't remember what they were doing that day when the news came through? If we begin to treat it as any other day, just another day in history, we fall into the trap that we should not be ever vigilant.

We can't unwind the clock. Politicizing the day is so completely disrespectful to all us - whether it is a grieving family or a voter.  President George W. Bush forged through and led us into uncharted territory.  In his 2004 re-election campaign, when he was deeply unpopular, a brief reference to 9/11/01 was made in a campaign ad.  It was legitimate, as his leadership during the aftermath is his legacy, yet those opposed to his re-election railed about politicizing 9/11. Now, this year, with Osama bin Laden dead, Barack Obama's campaign is the beneficiary of a rather lengthy video from the DNC touting that event.

It is too soon for September 11, 2001 to be just another day, as December 7th has become - the only other day our nation suffered a devastating attack on our soil. The first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 was just as much a warning for September 11 as any memo issued to the Bush administration. That is something to keep in mind.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Did President Obama Close the Deal?

This excerpt from the opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal by Peggy Noonan caught my attention:

Something else, and it had to do with tone. I remember the Republicans in Tampa bashing the president, hard, but not the entire Democratic Party. In Charlotte they bashed Mitt Romney, but they bashed the Republican Party harder. If this doesn't strike you as somewhat unsettling, then you must want another four years of all war all the time between the parties. I don't think the American people want that. Because, actually, they're not extreme.
It's true, you know. The party that cried for a new tone in American politics after tragic events in the news appeared to be motivated by political expression is the very one tossing around slurs against the other party ever so lightly and most importantly, in front of cameras and microphones so that the maximum coverage will happen. Nazi is a favorite slur against Republicans by Democrats. It is their go-to hate speech term when the unhinged party members want to shout down opposition.  Think about this: of the three very public incidents of the usage of this slur spotlighted in media coverage, one participant was the head of the California state Democratic party and one was the top man in the South Carolina Democratic party. The other person - a woman- was a delegate to the convention.

Leading by example, right, Mr. Chairmen?

I think the reason for all the hysterical nastiness coming from the Democratic convention is the realization that their candidate is not doing too well at this point in his bid for re-election.  Just before his acceptation speech was to be delivered, Barack Obama was briefed on the latest economic numbers to be released Friday morning showing the progress made in August. To say it is a disappointing report explains the lackluster type of delivery Obama put into his speech Thursday night as the convention closed.

As is their job, the folks at the White House are trying mightily to put a positive spin on the non-existent good news in this report.  You can read their statement HERE .

The election remains very close in polling results. Mitt Romney received a modest bounce after the Republican convention and President Obama may well receive one, too.  It is interesting, however, the immediate reaction from those listening to Obama's speech.  Almost to a person, the criticism was swift and the conclusion was that the speech probably didn't close the deal for him outside the convention hall.  The party's base were the attendees of the convention - as is always the case for any political convention - and Obama will get their votes. It is the votes of the Independent voter that Obama must chase as they are steadily and certainly moving to Mitt Romney in their support.

Here is Governor Jindal's statement after the conclusion of President Obama's speech:

“Americans across the country know that they're not better off today than they were four years ago. No amount of lofty rhetoric, promises of hope, or appeals for more time can make up for three and a half years of disastrous economic policies that have left millions of people out of work, underwater on their mortgages, and struggling to stay out of poverty. Our country needs and deserves better -- and that demands new leadership in the White House. Mitt Romney knows what it takes to create jobs and grow the economy, and he has the experience and the plan our country needs to get back on track.”

The Romney campaign has announced a blitz of commercials to be run beginning Friday in key swing states. Each state has a theme catering to their voters' top concern.

The ads, titled “A Better Future” and focused on President Obama’s economic record, are running in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.
The spots, which zoom in on different aspects of the dueling Romney and Obama economic plans for the country, repeat a theme at last week's Republican convention: America is not better off than when Obama took office.
The individual ads, which vary across the states, focus on Obama’s cuts to defense, government regulations, energy policy, the housing collapse, the deficit, and manufacturing.

We are in full campaign territory now from both campaigns. This is the mad dash to the finish time. Take a deep breath and focus on election day.


Thursday, September 06, 2012

God and Jerusalem Railroaded Back In DNC Platform

Now that the hotly contested platform language has been corrected, Democrats want you to believe that the exclusion of the language that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and the word 'God' deleted from even one mention throughout the platform was all just a technical glitch. Somehow all these very experienced legislators and lawyers guiding the platform committee just didn't catch any of these exclusions until others did and began to question the wording of the platform positions.

People involved in 48 hours of intense disputes over the platform — first reported by the conservative Free Beacon, laid the blame squarely on President Obama and his allies for a gambit that they did not ultimately intend to carry through. A member of the Platform Committee itself said the language was drafted by staffers — notably former national security aide Colin Kahl — and overseen by former Rep. Robert Wexler, and that even some committee members did not see it until this Monday night.
The Democrats, meanwhile, chose not to bring on-and-off allies in the pro-Israel Jewish community — had in past years been consulted on the drafting process — on this year's platform, instead opting to consult only national security staffers who were concerned with not committing to so called">Foreign Policy's Josh Rogin reported. The Democrats, meanwhile, chose not to bring on-and-off allies in the pro-Israel Jewish community— who had in past years been consulted on the drafting process — in on this year's platform, instead opting to consult only national security staffers who were concerned with not committing to so called">Foreign Policy's Josh Rogin reported.
Complicating the process: Some White House allies told reporters that AIPAC had signed off on the language, when — in the view of the group's leaders — it had been only on the bare margins of the process, and had been taken by surprise by the language; an AIPAC statement to reporters suggested otherwise.

The unwinding of this fiasco began with the unhinged reaction by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the number two man in Harry Reid's Senate hierarchy, during an interview with FNC's Bret Baier Tuesday evening.  During the Special Report segment, Baier asked Durbin about the exclusion of God and of supporting Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, as it had just been reported on from the convention platform committee's afternoon work.

Clearly taken off guard, Durbin launched into a hostile attack on Baier and accusing him and Fox News Channel of implying that Democrats are not God loving people and that they don't support Israel. That answer and Durbin's expression spoke volumes.  He realized the Democrats would be called on the carpet for the decisions made and obviously worked immediately to correct the situation.

One thing led to another and by Wednesday afternoon the language deleted was voted to be put back in. Or was it? Most observers to the floor vote on replacing the language clearly heard a vote split between the ayes and nays and there was no 2/3 majority accepting the change.  Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa was clearly perplexed and called the votes three separate times before declaring it passed. He railroaded the thing through and that was that. How progressive!

So, Jerusalem and God are back in the DNC convention platform. The word is that President Obama realized the poop storm that was swirling and took immediate action to shut it down.  The last thing he needs in this close election is for Jews to ramp up their doubt of his support for Israel. 

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

God and Jerusalem Out of DNC Platform

Two changes to the DNC platform coming out of the convention Tuesday brought immediate response from both political parties and the media covering them.  For the first time there is no mention of God in the DNC platform and no inclusion of affirmation that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

Democrats have removed any mention of God from their party platform, dropping language from the 2008 version that at least had a passing reference to the Creator whom the founders of the nation explained grants the rights we enjoy.

Wednesday morning on a cable talk show, Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan said, "I think it is rather peculiar. It is not in keeping with our Founders' positions."

Previous to this DNC platform change, Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was a position on which  both parties could agree. While the two state solution would require the participants to work out the final position, as would be appropriate, the current position of the United States is that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Speaking on cable news, the former Israeli ambassador to the U.N., Dan Gillerman, said that Israel is disappointed that the Democrats chose to remove the wording that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, as he reminded viewers he heard Barack Obama state at AIPAC just before he was swore into office affirm his commitment to that position.

Moreover, the 2008 platform said that "the creation of a Palestinian state through final status negotiations, together with an international compensation mechanism, should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel" and that "Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths."
In 2012, however, the Democratic platform made no mention of Jerusalem or the "international compensation mechanism" to resolve the issue of the Palestinian refugees.
This does nothing to persuade those doubting the level of support for Israel within the Democratic party and the Obama administration.  It is true that a party's platform coming out of a convention is a statement of the party beliefs and the candidate doesn't have to claim full ownership of the platform, but with this historic omission, it sure does raise some questions.

Monday, September 03, 2012

DNC Convention Opens - Can They Deliver?

The Democrats are in a bit of a tizzy as they scramble to figure out a good answer to the tried and true Reagan-era question: Are you better off today than four years ago?

Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley bluntly said, “No,” people are not better off than four years ago. On Fox News Sunday, senior Obama reelection strategist David Axelrod gave an answer than ran one minute and five seconds.

In the aftermath, top counselor Robert Gibbs said, “You’ll find the president Thursday largely address the ‘better off’ question, pointing out that we are no longer facing the imminent collapse of the economy.”
Still, the political context is grim, and Obama’s team knows it. Unemployment is higher (up to 8.3 percent from 7.8 percent); median real wages are down (to $50,964 from $54,983), gas prices are up (to $3.78 per gallon from $1.85), and the national debt is up (to $15.9 trillion from $10.6 trillion). Those are not the only measuring sticks, but they track closely with voters’ perceptions of where we are going: In six national polls this month, the average “right track” number was 33 percent and the average “wrong track” number was 63 percent.
All of this happens on the cusp of the opening of the Democratic National Committee's convention. The lapdog media are doing their best to put a happy spin on things. On CNN Monday morning, their political reporter in Charlotte said that the protesters aren't really just protesting President Obama, you know, they are protesting "the system". OK, then.

     According to recent polling, Mitt Romney is favored over President Obama by North Carolina voters:
As the Democratic National Convention gets underway in Charlotte, a new poll indicates Mitt Romney has a slight advantage in this battleground state. According to an Elon University/Charlotte Observer/Raleigh News & Observer survey released Monday, the Republican presidential nominee holds a 47%-43% advantage over President Barack Obama among likely voters in North Carolina. The GOP challenger's four point margin over Obama is within the poll's sampling error. The survey was conducted August 25-30, just before and during Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida.

     I won't be surprised to find the difference wider in favorability now that a few more days have passed.  It will be interesting to read the numbers as the Democrats leave town at the end of the week.  Can President Obama seal the deal this time?

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Axelrod Won't Say Americans are Better Off Now

A funny thing happened on Fox News Sunday as host Chris Wallace asked Obama campaign spokesman David Axelrod about America today versus four years ago. Hey, David Axelrod, are Americans better off today than we were four years ago?


     While the Obama campaign surrogates clearly were on point for the Sunday shows, each repeating the very same sentences and unable to give actual answers to the questions, the message is there. The Obama campaign is to paint the Romney-Ryan ticket as back to the 1950's or as Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa, back to 1812. You may remember that Democrats called John McCain old and ridiculed that he had yellowed teeth in 2008, too.

     The Democrats are hardly the party of new, big ideas.  

     In order to counter the high level of Republican enthusiasm towards this election, Democrats are downplaying it as their own convention opens.
Seeking to downplay comparisons between President Barack Obama's 2008 and 2012 election campaign, Obama senior campaign adviser Robert Gibbs said Sunday that the enthusiasm of the last campaign should not be expected. "Nobody is sitting up here saying this is 2008," Gibbs said on CNN's "State of the Union," when asked about dwindling enthusiasm among Latinos and other key constituencies, as well as close "horse-race" numbers.