Words Matter – People: Not so Much – Reason #86

Only 69 Days Remaining!

Words Matter – People: Not so Much

Anyone can make an honest mistake.  There are mistakes of the head and mistakes of the heart.  We may forget dry facts in a textbook, or statistics we hear on the news.  We normally do not forget about America’s brave warriors serving in the Armed Forces – and we particularly do not forget about our fallen heroes…because we care.  The following then, is not important just as a gaffe.  It is important because it shows how detached Obama is from the families across America whose loved ones have made the ultimate sacrifice for our Country, our freedoms and the freedom of people around the world.  It shows the difference between a President who is engaged and caring and a President who merely reads – without emotion – from a teleprompter.

On Memorial Day, 2008, Presidential Candidate Obama, speaking in Las Cruces, New Mexico, said:

“On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes – and I see many of them in the audience here today…”[i]

These words were brought forth by the inspiring and eloquent political candidate, who announced to all Americans that “Words Matter.”

But, perhaps, people…not so much.


[i] Barack Obama, (May 26, 2008), quoted by Rush Limbaugh, (May 27, 2008), The Rush Limbaugh Show web-site, Barack Obama Sees Dead People, retrieved February 6, 2012 from http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2008/05/27/barack_obama_sees_dead_people

Border Agent Dead – Holder Apologizes…by Email – Reason #85

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Border Agent Dead – Holder Apologizes…by Email

Asked by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), during a Nov. 8, 2011 hearing on “gun walking” Operation “Fast and Furious,” whether or not he had ever apologized to the family of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, Attorney General Eric Holder replied that he had not apologized to them.  Asked if he had even spoken with them, he responded:

“I have not.” [i]

This was a hearing occurring 11 months after the murder of Agent Terry by drug traffickers using assault rifles allowed – in a botched operation by Holder’s Dept. of Justice – to cross the border into Mexico.

Finally, after avoiding an apology to the family of the slain agent during the his Nov. 8th Congressional testimony, Attorney General Holder went on to claim that:

“It is not fair, however, to assume that the mistakes that happened in Fast and Furious directly led to the death of agent Terry.” [ii]

The following day – Nov. 9th, 2011 – Holder reportedly sent a letter of apology – via email – to Brian Terry’s sister, leaving it to her to share the letter with the remainder of Brian’s family.  The letter was also allegedly released to Politico.com.[iii]

On February 3, 2012, Agent Terry’s mother responded through a Facebook entry, saying:

“Josephine Terry”

“Mr. Holder. How come you can never say my son’s name. You never have. All I ever hear you say is ‘I didn’t find out or I can’t say’ I’m actually tired of hearing your double talk in answering questions. What a joke you are. You know my son was a real AMERICAN, a WARRIOR, and a HERO, who was also protecting COWARD POLITICIANS like you. Hope you remember that.”[iv]


[i] Fred Lucas, (Nov. 8, 2011), CNS news web-site, No Apology: Holder Says ‘Not Fair’ to Assume Fast and Furious ‘Directly’ Led to Border Agent’s Death, retrieved February 26, 2012 from http://cnsnews.com/news/article/no-apology-holder-says-not-fair-assume-fast-and-furious-directly-led-border-agent-s

[ii] Ibid

[iv] Posted by Tiffany Gabbay, (Feb. 3, 2012), The Blaze web-site, Murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s Mother to Eric Holder: You‘re a ’Coward‘ and a ’Joke’, retrieved on February 26, 2012 from http://www.theblaze.com/stories/murdered-border-patrol-agent-brian-terrys-mother-to-eric-holder-youre-a-coward-and-a-joke/

Presidential Priority: Felon or Soldier? – Reason #84

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Presidential Priority:  Felon or Soldier?

During late December, 2010, while vacationing in Hawaii, President Obama made a phone call to Philadelphia Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie, passionately praising him for giving quarterback Michael Vick, a convicted felon, a second chance.[i]  Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison in 2007, for participation in a dog fighting ring and for killing poor performing dogs by “electrocution, hanging, drowning and other violent means.”[ii]

Meantime, the family of Sgt. Sean Collins, a young soldier killed in Afghanistan on December 12, 2010, received a letter of condolence from their Senator, Maria Cantwell (D-WA), in which she expressed sorrow for the death of “Bryn” – not Sean.  Mr. Collins requested a phone call from President Obama to Sean’s mother, but after several days, he was reportedly informed that the President could not fit the call into his schedule.[iii]


[i] Posted by Kevin Hechtkopf, (December 27, 2010), CBS News web-site, Political Hot sheet, Obama Lauds Michael Vick’s Second Chance, retrieved January 7, 2011 from http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20026644-503544.html

[ii] ESPN.Com News Services, (December 11, 2007), ESPN web-site, Apologetic Vick gets 23-month sentence on dog fighting charges, retrieved January 7, 2011 from http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3148549

[iii] Megyn Kelly, (January 6, 2011), America Live, as posted on FoxNation.com, Too Busy for Fallen Soldier’s Family, But Plenty of Time for NFL’s Eagles?, retrieved January 7, 2011 from http://nation.foxnews.com/culture/2011/01/06/too-busy-fallen-soldiers-family-plenty-time-nfls-eagles

How does a President Forget the Recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor? – Reason #82

Only 73 Days Remaining!

Medal of Honor Recipient Forgotten

On June 23, 2011, speaking to members of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York, President Obama – Commander-in-Chief of the nation’s armed forces – reminded the soldiers that:

“…First time I saw 10th Mountain Division, you guys were in southern Iraq. When I went back to visit Afghanistan, you guys were the first ones there. I had the great honor of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to, who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously.”[i]

This could have been a fine moment for a President remembering an American hero….except for one flaw in his speech.  President Obama presented Staff Sergeant Jared Monti’s Medal of Honor, posthumously, to his parents at a White House ceremony conducted on September 17, 2009. [ii]  Sgt. Monti was killed in action on June 21, 2006.[iii]

These should be moments indelibly etched on the mind of a caring person – let alone a caring President…unless, of course, they don’t care.


[i] President Barack Obama, (June 23, 2011), White House.gov Speeches & Remarks, Remarks of the President to Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, New York retrieved November 15, 2011 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/06/23/remarks-president-soldiers-10th-mountain-division-fort-drum-new-york

[ii] Ibid

[iii] United States Army, (2011), Medal of Honor Official Citation for actions of Staff Sergeant Jared C. Monti, Operation Enduring Freedom, retrieved November 15, 2011, from http://www.army.mil/medalofhonor/monti/citation.html

Can Obama’s America Defend Itself and the World?? – Reason #81

Only 74 Days Remaining!

Will Obama Short-Change America’s Deterrent?

On Thursday, February 16, 2012, 34 members of Congress sent a letter to the White House, cautioning against further cuts in America’s nuclear arsenal – this, in response to an apparent plan by President Obama, for unilaterally reducing America’s nuclear strength by as much as 80%.[i]  In the unlikely event that a cut of that size is called for, the U.S. would be reduced to approximately 300 nuclear warheads: leaving an “arsenal about the size of France’s Force de Frappe.[ii]  The Congressional letter states, in part:

“At a time when every other nuclear weapons state has an active nuclear weapons modernization program and many are growing their stockpiles and capabilities, it is inconceivable to us that you would lead the United States down such a dangerous plan as has been reported…. [W]e seek to understand the basis on which you would instruct the National Security Staff to pursue these radical reductions in U.S. nuclear forces.” [iii]

The Congressman go on to cite the assessment of retired General Kevin Chilton, who testified in 2010 that “…the arsenal that we have is exactly what is needed today to provide the deterrent.” [iv]

According to the Washington Free Beacon, “Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney said even considering such deep strategic cuts is irrational.”  General McInerney reportedly went on to say:

“No sane military leader would condone 300 to 400 warheads for an effective nuclear deterrent strategy.

“Going down to 1000 to 1,100 is risky enough and frankly in today’s world, very risky. The purpose of our nuclear force structure is to deter any adversary from even thinking that they could minimize our attack options. Such thinking is very dangerous and will only encourage our adversaries to make bold decisions.”[v]

The letter from members of Congress also reminded President Obama that:

“We are doubly concerned that you have abandoned your pledge to support the U.S. nuclear weapons modernization program by your latest budget submission.” [vi]

What does this mean as a practical matter?  America is reportedly the only holder of nuclear weapons not modernizing its systems.  Following the 2008 Presidential elections, General Kevin Chilton illustrated to the Wall Street Journal

“…a prop to illustrate his point: a glass bulb about two inches high. ‘This is a component of a V-61’ nuclear warhead,’ he says. It was in ‘one of our gravity weapons’ — a weapon from the 1950s and ’60s that is still in the U.S. arsenal. He pauses to look around the Journal’s conference table. ‘I remember what these things were for. I bet you don’t. It’s a vacuum tube. My father used to take these out of the television set in the 1950s and ’60s down to the local supermarket to test them and replace them.’

“And here comes the punch line: ‘This is the technology that we have . . . today.’ The technology in the weapons the U.S. relies on for its nuclear deterrent dates back to before many of the people in the room were born.”[vii]

And as a study continues to determine if America will unilaterally strip itself of up to 80% of our nuclear deterrent, a Georgetown University study reports that China – which “…has never agreed to be part of any strategic nuclear framework,” and has never been part of any related negotiations, may in fact, have the largest nuclear arsenal on the planet. [viii]

 


[i] Robert Zarate, (Feb. 18, 2012), The Weekly Standard web-site, The Blog, Lawmakers Urge Obama to Abandon Unilateral Nuclear Disarmament Study, retrieved March 13, 2012 from http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/lawmakers-urge-obama-abandon-unilateral-nuclear-disarmament-study_630062.html

[ii] Washington Times Editorial (Feb. 16, 2012), EDITORIAL: Obama’s Unilateral Disarmament, retrieved March 13, 2012 from http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/feb/16/obamas-unilateral-disarmament/

[iii] Robert Zarate, (Feb. 18, 2012), The Weekly Standard web-site, The Blog, Lawmakers Urge Obama to Abandon Unilateral Nuclear Disarmament Study, retrieved March 13, 2012 from http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/lawmakers-urge-obama-abandon-unilateral-nuclear-disarmament-study_630062.html

[iv] Ibid

[v] Bill Gertz, (Feb. 14, 2012), Free Beacon web-site, Nuking our Nukes, retrieved March 13, 2012 from http://freebeacon.com/nuking-our-nukes/

[vi] Robert Zarate, (Feb. 18, 2012), The Weekly Standard web-site, The Blog, Lawmakers Urge Obama to Abandon Unilateral Nuclear Disarmament Study, retrieved March 13, 2012 from http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/lawmakers-urge-obama-abandon-unilateral-nuclear-disarmament-study_630062.html

[vii] Melanie Kirkpatrick, (Nov. 22, 2008), Wall Street Journal web-site, Sounding the Nuclear Alarm, retrieved March 13, 2012 from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122731227702749413.html

[viii] Washington Times Editorial (Feb. 16, 2012), EDITORIAL: Obama’s Unilateral Disarmament, retrieved March 13, 2012 from http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/feb/16/obamas-unilateral-disarmament/

Our Detached President

Astronaut: “…We just backed down and quit…” – Reason #80

Only 75 Days Remaining!!

Astronaut:  “…We just backed down and quit…”

Former Astronaut Gene Cernan – the last American to walk on the Moon – noted in an interview with FoxNews’ Megyn Kelly, that China’s interest in maintaining a “consistent space program as they look to the future, really surprises no one.

“What is a surprise and what hurts…is we’ve just abdicated our future leadership in space, and I think that’s significantly important – both from a civilian point of view, military point of view and certainly, it’s going to have a tremendous economic impact and make us vulnerable in the future…I think this has got long, long term implications…the country that controls outer space in one way or another – the country that controls the high ground…if they destroy the capability to destroy satellites…to interrupt communications.  Look what it would do to our banking system.  Look at our navigation system.  They’re going to put up a whole…GPS system of satellites, which is going to challenge those that we’ve already got up there.

“…we won’t be able to put an American on an American piece of hardware until the end of the decade.  That’s unacceptable…we just backed down and quit quite frankly…The whole nation hasn’t yet fully grasped the situation that we’re being put in by the present Administration…We’re cheating future generations…”[i]


[i] Gene Cernan, (Dec. 30, 2011), Fox Nation web-site, Interview with Megyn Kelly, Last American to Walk on Moon Tears Obama Apart Over Weak U.S. Space Program, retrieved December 31, 2011 from http://nation.foxnews.com/president-obama/2011/12/30/last-american-walk-moon-tears-obama-apart-over-weak-us-space-program

Obama:America won’t use Nukes! – Reason #79

Only 76 Days Remaining!

Obama Assures Enemies – America Not a Nuclear Threat

In April 2010, the Obama administration issued a Nuclear Posture Review Report that included a pledge not to use nuclear weapons against any country in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It also included a commitment to maintain its current weapons, and not to build new ones.[i]

What more could any enemy of the United States want?


[i] Council on Foreign Relations web-site, (Jan 6, 2012), Campaign 2012: The Candidates on Nuclear Proliferation, retrieved January 10, 2012 from http://www.cfr.org/us-election-2012/campaign-2012-candidates-nuclear-proliferation/p26984?cid=rss-backgrounders-campaign_2012__the_candidates_-010612

General Obama? – Reason # 78

Only 77 Days Remaining!

Obama Claims Personal Credit for Military’s Strategic Review

On January 5, 2011, President Obama conducted a Press Conference at the Pentagon, to announce the results of a Defense Strategic Review.  He claimed that the results would guide a budget reduction to be announced in the “coming weeks.”  Before he departed and turned the conference over to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Army General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), he seemed desperate to ensure he received a large share of the credit.

“So I’m going to let Leon [Panetta – Secretary of Defense] and Marty [General Dempsey] go into the details. But I just want to say that this effort reflects the guidance that I personally gave throughout this process.” [i]

That should certainly reassure every American – particularly those with family members serving in the military.  What level of arrogance allows a man who never served in the military, who railed against the Iraq war, who voted against the surge in Iraq and whose total life experience consists of campus life, drug use, community organizing, agitating and political campaigning, to sit in the company of America’s finest flag officers – all of whom are combat veterans – and suggest that their successful development of a Defense Strategic Review is a reflection of “the guidance that I personally gave throughout the process”?


[i] President Barack Obama, (Jan. 5, 2012), White House web-site, Remarks by the President on the Defense Strategic Review, retrieved January 6, 2012 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2012/01/05/president-obama-speaks-defense-strategic-review#transcript

Does Obama Trust Russians more than Congress? – Reason #77

Only 78 Days Remaining!

Obama: Ready to Share with Russians – Not Congress

According to the Washington Times, “President Obama signaled Congress during the week of Jan 2, 2012, that he was prepared to share U.S. missile defense secrets with Russia.”  This revelation was consistent with information previously published, indicating that Obama was “planning to provide Moscow with Standard Missile-3 (SM3) data.”  Such data sharing could, according to security officials, allow the Russians to counter our defensive missiles. [i]

As this argument wages, Obama signed into law, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), on December 31, 2011.  The NDAA, in part, restricts the ability of the President to share classified ballistic missile defense information with Russia without reporting to Congress 60 days in advance, the specific information to be shared.  While Obama signed the law, he indicated in his signing statement, that he would interpret its provisions in a manner that gives him maximum “flexibility” (remember that word and his open mic moment with Dimitri Medvedev).  With regard to one section of the law, Obama said:

“…While my Administration intends to keep the Congress fully informed of the status of U.S. efforts to cooperate with the Russian Federation on ballistic missile defense, my Administration will also interpret and implement section 1244 in a manner that does not interfere with the President’s constitutional authority to conduct foreign affairs and avoids the undue disclosure of sensitive diplomatic communications. Other sections pose similar problems. Sections 1231, 1240, 1241, and 1242 could be read to require the disclosure of sensitive diplomatic communications and national security secrets.”[ii]

The President seems to be saying that his right to share national security secrets with a foreign power should not be subjected to restrictions that would cause him to disclose to our own Congress, sensitive diplomatic communications, or the same national security secrets.  In other words, classified national security documents warrant less protection than diplomatic communications with a foreign government.  Revealing our secrets to a foreign power – according to this line of thinking – is less threatening than releasing them to members of Congress.


[i] Bill Gertz (Jan. 4, 2012), Washington Times web-site, Inside the Ring, Pentagon Shifts East, retrieved January 5, 2012 from http://p.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/4/inside-the-ring-215329133/?page=all#pagebreak

[ii] President Barack Obama (December 31, 2011), White House web-site, Statements & Releases,  Statement by the President on H.R. 1540, retrieved January 5, 2012 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/31/statement-president-hr-1540

Obama – Defense Cuts a Fiscal Strategy, or Core Belief? – Reason #76

Only 79 Days Remaining!

Defense: Strategy Based Budget or Budget Based Strategy?

Speaking at a press conference on June 29, 2011, President Obama said he was ready to cut more than $400 billion from the Defense budget.

“…We’ve identified what defense cuts are possible…”

“…I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to have difficult conversations with the Pentagon saying, you know what, there’s fat here; we’re going to have to trim it out. And Bob Gates has already done a good job identifying $400 billion in cuts, but we’re going to do more. And I promise you the preference of the Pentagon would not [be] to cut any more, because they feel like they’ve already given.” [i]

On July 31, 2011,  the White House released a Fact Sheet on the debt limit increase, reflecting an agreement to reduce the base Defense budget by $350 billion and to tie a potential cut of $500 billion more to the failure of a bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Committee to reduce the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion.[ii]

Press Secretary Jay Carney conducted a Press Briefing on January 3, 2012, in which he indicated that:

“…I think it’s important to point out that the cuts in defense spending that we’ve discussed around which the defense strategic review is being written about now were agreed to on a broadly bipartisan basis — roughly $489 billion over 10 years.

“And the important part of this process is that the strategy come first and the reductions come — are driven by the strategy.”[iii] (Emphasis)

Two days later, on January 5, 2012, the President conducted his own Press Conference at which he repeated Carney’s claim that:

“…spending over the coming decade — because the size and the structure of our military and defense budgets – have to be driven by a strategy, not the other way around.”[iv]

He went on to double down, saying that the resulting Defense budget would be announced in the coming weeks.  These statements may sound logical and they would be, if they were believable.  The budget should always be driven by the strategy and the strategy driven by the threat and projections of future threats.

But the administration’s statements are not believable.  They are an absurdity and a contradiction on their face.  The Administration announced a possible $400 billion in Defense cuts in June, 2011 and an actual $350 billion cut from the Defense base budget in July, 2011.  Five months later, Carney briefs that they are writing a “Defense Strategic Review” around a bipartisan agreement to reduce Defense spending by $489 billion and then both Carney and the President, without so much as a red face, tell us that Defense cuts will be “…driven by strategy, not the other way around.”

Where is the inquiring mainstream media?  The Administration tossed them a ground ball and still made a homerun!  If this was a true strategic review, why wasn’t it done earlier as we prepared to leave Iraq?  Why wasn’t it accomplished (or was it) as we prepared for the surge in Afghanistan?  What would have happened if the “Strategic Review” reflected increased threats to the U.S.?  Would Obama have increased the Defense budget?


[i] President Barack Obama, (June 29, 2011), White House web-site, Speeches & Remarks, Press Conference by the President, retrieved January 6, 2012 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/06/29/press-conference-president

[ii] White House Fact Sheet (July 31, 2011) White House web-site, Statements & Releases, Fact Sheet: Bipartisan Debt Deal: A Win for the Economy and Budget Discipline, retrieved January 6, 2012 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/07/31/fact-sheet-bipartisan-debt-deal-win-economy-and-budget-discipline

[iii] Jay Carney (Jan. 3, 2012), White House web-site, Press Briefings, Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 1/3/2012, retrieved January 6, 2012, from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/01/03/press-briefing-press-secretary-jay-carney-132012

[iv] President Barack Obama, (Jan. 5, 2012), White House web-site, Remarks by the President on the Defense Strategic Review, retrieved January 6, 2012 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2012/01/05/president-obama-speaks-defense-strategic-review#transcript