Wednesday, June 29, 2011

McCain and Graham Quiz Lt. Gen. Allen on Obama's Afghan Timetable

During a Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham questioned Lieutenant General John Allen about the wisdom of President Obama's planned timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

The President, who has his sights set on the November 2012 Presidential election, announced - last week - his plan to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in July and to have 33,000 troops out of the country by September of 2012.

Lieutenant General Allen, who was clearly ill at ease over the prospect of criticizing his Commander in Chief, was left with little choice but to defend Obama's politically calculated timetable.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ayotte & McRaven: Guantanamo needed, but unavailable

During a Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing Tuesday, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) questioned Navy Vice Adm. William McRaven on whether there was a need for a long-term detention and interrogation facility to gather vital intelligence information. She also asked McRaven whether the Guantanamo Bay detention facility "was still off the table in terms of being used" for this purpose.

McRaven replied that a detention center of this nature would indeed be "very helpful", but he conceded that Gitmo was still 'off the table'.

Monday, June 27, 2011

EPA Spent $100M on Foreign Grants in Last Decade to protect Global environment

From Fox News:
The Environmental Protection Agency has doled out nearly $100 million in grants to foreign groups and governments over the past decade, according to a new congressional report.

The report from Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee shows the pace of foreign grants has quickened under the Obama administration, with $27 million in EPA funds going abroad since early 2009 -- not counting projects in Canada and Mexico...

EPA defended the projects, noting that pollution is a global problem and describing the foreign initiatives as in the United States' interest.

"Pollution doesn't stop at international borders, and neither can our environmental and health protections; the local and national environmental issues of the past are now global challenges," EPA spokesman Brendan Gilfillan said in a statement.

According to the list, since 2009, $718,000 went toward "air pollution" efforts in China; $191,638 went toward "clean cooking technology" in Ethiopia; $299,468 went toward "methane recovery" in Ecuador; and $170,000 went toward "liquefied gas extraction" in Poland. A $7.6 million grant went toward "technical assistance" in Russia. Several million dollars went toward international groups like the United Nations...

Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., is calling on the EPA to produce more information about the grants, including original proposals for specific grants, a list of all grants to China for "coal mine methane," and documents pertaining to any investigations of foreign recipients.

Obama administration rules out recalling ambassador to Syria

Over 1300 civilians have been killed in Syria since mid-March, and 12000 people have been arrested. Nevertheless, President Obama's loyalty to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, not surprisingly, remains strong and robust:
The United States on Monday ruled out an immediate recall of its ambassador to Syria in response to the Arab state's alleged crackdown on protesters.

Senator John McCain on Sunday called for Robert Ford, U.S. ambassador to Damascus, to return home, while Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who chairs the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, followed suit on Monday, saying Ford is being used by the Syrian government "for propaganda purposes" by joining a recent government-organized tour of northern Syria.

"Our review remains that Ambassador Ford is doing useful work in Damascus and in Syria, he continues to meet with a broad cross- section of Syrian opposition," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.

"He is now occasionally meeting with members of the government as appropriate. We did think that his trip up north, even though it was organized by the Syrian government, allowed him to convey our messages," she added. "So we still see his role there as useful and helpful to our ability to have a stronger understanding of what's going on inside Syria."
The Obama administration seeks "a stronger understanding of what's going on inside Syria"??

That's strange! Everyone else understands what's going on there....

In a statement on Monday, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said that "the administration should reverse this mistake by recalling the Ambassador immediately."

She accused Ford of taking part in a government-organized tour of northern Syria that "provided legitimacy to a ploy aimed at covering up the regime's violence against the Syrian people. It compromised US credibility with freedom and pro-democracy advocates within Syria at a critical time."

Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich, however, has apparently aligned himself with President Obama and the Syrian regime. Kucinich, who is currently visiting Syria, held a three-hour meeting with President Assad on Monday.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jared Monti: Obama forgets soldier's heroic death - Video

Speaking to soldiers at the Fort Drum army base on Thursday, President Obama stated among other things:

"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."

The President apparently had forgotten that Army Staff Sgt. Jared Monti had died a heroic death in Afghanistan while trying to rescue a fellow soldier. Mr. Obama apparently also had forgotten that he had presented a posthumous Medal of Honor to Jared's parents on September 17, 2009, after delivering a speech in which he extolled Jared's heroic deeds:

US troop withdrawal forces Karzai to reach out to extremists

From the AP:
President Hamid Karzai is increasingly isolated and has surrounded himself with an inner circle of advisers who are urging him to move closer to Iran and Pakistan as the U.S. draws down its role in Afghanistan, several friends and aides tell The Associated Press.

Their advice is echoed in Karzai's anti-West rhetoric, which has heightened both in his public speeches and in private. He met recently with Iran's defense minister, and constantly cautions against trusting the U.S. to have Afghanistan's best interests at heart.

Several of Karzai's close friends and advisers now speak of a president whose doors have closed to all but one narrow faction... who belong to a nonviolent wing of Hizb-i-Islami, a radical Islamic group whose relentless attacks on American soldiers forced the U.S. to withdraw from bases in northeastern Kunar and Nuristan provinces.

The group's leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, was once an American ally but has since been declared a terrorist by the United States...

Human Rights of Afghanistan Commissioner Nader Nadery said... Karzai [is dissapointed that he did not get] a strategic forces agreement with the United States that would allow for U.S. bases in Afghanistan as well as give the president protection and negotiation room with Washington. Instead, the document the U.S. gave to Karzai spoke only of a complete withdrawal, he said.

The United States has said it will have all its fighting forces out of Afghanistan by 2014 and that the security of Afghanistan will be turned over to Afghan forces. The U.S. has not asked for any bases or centers to remain under its control.

"I think the reality of their complete withdrawal has struck home," Nadery said. "Now he sees they may go and they don't want a (military) presence here, there were no bases that they requested and perhaps now he is thinking, 'Who will protect me?' And he has turned to Hizb-i-Islami and conservative elements in the country like those on the Ulema (clerics) Council, former warlords, as well as getting closer to Pakistan and to Iran."

The growing influence of Hizb-i-Islami, some analysts warn, is also possibly paving the way for another civil war in Afghanistan once the U.S. and NATO withdrawal is complete...

Fahim Dashti, an ethnic Tajik and former editor of the defunct Kabul Weekly, told the AP that militia groups in northern Afghanistan have rearmed, frightened by the growing influence of Hizb-e-Islami in the government and the future implications of peace negotiations with the Taliban...

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar sheltered Osama bin Laden... and [kept him] safe until sometime in 2003 when he helped the al-Qaida leader escape to Pakistan...

Hekmatyar, whose men have also attacked Afghan security forces, sent a delegation to Kabul last year to discuss a formal reconciliation. The delegation has since delivered a blueprint which calls for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan as well as an interim government until new elections can be held.

Some think Hizb-i-Islami may be achieving at least some of its goals more effectively from within the existing government.

"What I see is very dangerous not just for Afghanistan and the region but for the world," Dashti said. He called the U.S. phased withdrawal "a strategy of escape."

Obama declares the beginning of the end of Afghanistan

Monday, June 20, 2011

Irony: WH, in '09, amenable to Pakistan-brokered US-Taliban peace talks

In my previous post, I noted - with irony - that the Obama administration is currently engaged in peace negotiations with the Taliban despite the fact that Barack Obama - during a Presidential debate in October of 2008 - excoriated the Pakistani government for conducting peace talks with the Taliban.

"We have to change our policies with Pakistan," said Obama in '08. "We can't coddle a dictator, give him billions of dollars, and then he's making peace treaties with the Taliban..."

However, the irony doesn't end there.

According to a July 2009 CNN report, the Obama administration expressed a willingness to allow the Pakistan government to broker peace negotiations between the US and the Taliban, despite the fact that the administration, a few months earlier, criticized the Pakistani government for "abdicating to the Taliban and to the extremists":
The Pakistan military has declared that not only is it in contact with Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar but that it can bring him and other commanders to the negotiating table with the United States.

The acknowledgment of on-going communication with Taliban forces using sanctuary in Pakistan to launch military strikes against U.S. troops in neighboring Afghanistan is part of a new diplomatic overture to help the Obama administration find an end to the long-running conflict...

In [an interview with CNN, Pakistani Inter-Services Public Relations director general, Maj. Athar] Abbas, said in return for any role as a broker between the United States and the Taliban, Pakistan wants concessions from Washington over Islamabad's concerns with longtime rival India.

And senior U.S. officials have told CNN the Obama administration is willing both to talk to top Taliban leaders and to raise some of Pakistan's concerns with India...

Abbas told CNN... that the Pakistan military is now still in contact with militant commanders such as Mullah Omar, Jalalladin Haqqani, Mullah Nazir and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar of Hizb-e-Islami...

Retired Gen. Hamid Gul, a former head of the ISI, Pakistan's equivalent of the CIA, is known as the "Godfather of the Taliban." He, too, said talks can be arranged. In terms of U.S. interests in Afghanistan, he said, there is only one man who can make it happen.

"Mullah Omar, nobody else," Gul said.

He insisted the Obama administration, through the Pakistan military, can access Mullah Omar. "Why not?" he said, "Is he a terrorist by any definition? Has he indulged in any act of terrorism?"

[The ISPR later issued a statement denying Abbas's remarks, which, of course, is not surprising.]
Nevertheless, according to CNN, senior U.S. officials conceded that the Obama administration was "willing both to talk to top Taliban leaders and to raise some of Pakistan's concerns with India..."

A CNN video quotes U.S. officials as saying the administration would even be willing to talk to Mullah Omar:
Senior US officials [told] CNN the Obama administration is willing to raise [those] concerns with India and the U.S. is willing to talk with Mullah Omar and other Taliban commanders.
Clearly, U.S. officials, in their remarks to CNN, were responding to Pakistan's offer to mediate peace negotiations between the US and the Taliban.

In April of 2009, however, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized the Pakistani for "abdicating" control to the Taliban.

"I think that the Pakistani government is basically abdicating to the Taliban and to the extremists," Clinton told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

If my memory serves me correctly, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, at the time, also echoed that sentiment.

Truth be told, the Obama administration, until recently, consistently criticized the Pakistani government for refusing to take decisive action against the Taliban.

Conclusion: While the Obama administration [in 2009] appeared amenable to Pakistan's offer to broker peace talks between the US and the Taliban, it publicly rebuked the Pakistani government for capitulating to the Taliban. And, as I noted in my previous post, while Barack Obama - in 2008 - slammed the Pakistani government for talking to the Taliban, he and his administration, right now, are doing just that: talking to the Taliban.....

Ultimately, the Obama administration's position with regards to the Taliban is nothing more than a tangled web of confusion and mixed messages, interspersed with a heavy dose of political posturing, which, sadly, is jeopardizing the security and stability of the entire free world....

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Obama excoriated Pakistan over Taliban talks - '08

The Obama administration is currently engaged in peace negotiations with the Taliban despite the fact that Barack Obama - during a Presidential debate in October of 2008 - excoriated the Pakistani government for conducting peace talks with the Taliban.

"We have to change our policies with Pakistan," said Obama in '08. "We can't coddle a dictator, give him billions of dollars, and then he's making peace treaties with the Taliban..."

Friday, June 17, 2011

Penatgon urges Obama to hold off troop withdrawal until Fall 2012 - just in time for the Presidential election

From the Wall Street Journal:
The military is asking President Barack Obama to hold off on ending the Afghanistan troop surge until the fall of 2012, in a proposal that would keep a large portion of the 33,000 extra forces in the country through the next two warm-weather fighting seasons.

The military seeks to avoid a scenario in which large numbers of troops are pulled out during the heaviest period of militant activity next year, just as it hopes to be focusing on the violent eastern provinces bordering Pakistan.

The plan would also allow Mr. Obama to offer a war-weary electorate a substantial troop withdrawal around the same time he is asking for another four years in office...

Military and administration officials say it is unclear whether Mr. Obama will go along with the recommendation... Mr. Obama has called for a significant withdrawal in July...

Military leaders have been wary of publicly voicing their drawdown recommendations for fear of antagonizing White House officials, some of whom have accused commanders of trying to box in the president on earlier troop decisions.

But Mr. Gates, in his final month as defense secretary, has made clear his preference for a slow drawdown, a view shared by many commanders in the field. In private talks with lawmakers and other officials in recent weeks, Mr. Gates and Gen. Petraeus said they favored maintaining as much combat power in Afghanistan as possible through the 2012 fighting season...

While Mr. Gates and other military leaders favor a slow-paced drawdown, others close to the president, including Vice President Joe Biden, have advocated moving forces out more quickly....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Small Businesses falling apart by the seams

From the New York Times:
In the latest sign that the economic recovery may have lost whatever modest oomph it had, more small businesses say that they are planning to shrink their payrolls than say they want to expand them.

That is according to a new report released Tuesday by the National Federation of Independent Business, a trade group that regularly surveys its membership of small businesses across America.

The federation’s report for May showed the worst hiring prospects in eight months. The finding provides a glimpse into the pessimism of the nation’s small firms as they put together their budgets for the coming season, and depicts a more gloomy outlook than other recent (if equally lackluster) economic indicators because this one is forward-looking...

Many small businesses, which employ half of the country’s private sector workers, are still struggling to break even. And if the nation’s small companies plan to further delay hiring — or, worse, return to laying off workers, as they now hint they might — there is little hope that the nation’s 14 million idle workers will find gainful employment soon.

“Never in the 37-year history of our company have we seen anything at all like this,” said Frank W. Goodnight, president of Diversified Graphics, a publishing company in Salisbury, N.C. He says there is “no chance” he will hire more workers in the months ahead.

“We’re being squeezed on all sides,” he says...

The unemployment rate has been stubbornly high in the last year, primarily because companies have stopped hiring, not laying off more workers. Although layoffs were at a record low in April, the latest monthly data available, Tuesday’s survey suggests that workers may soon be challenged by both sides of the employment ledger.

With wages relatively stagnant in recent months, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment survey found that workers’ expectations for their families’ income growth over the next year were at a record low. This is the first recovery in which, seven quarters in, there have been zero gains in aggregate wages and salaries.
The NFIB report notes that the month of May was the third straight month in which small business optimism has declined, primarily due to "poor sales."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mitt Romney, Identify yourself, please!

During Monday night's Republican presidential debate, former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney, asserted that it was time to wind down the war in Afghanistan.

Mr. Romey's remarks appeared to both echo and bolster the President's Policy of Surrender and Capitulation.

"It's time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can - as soon as our generals think it's okay," said Romney. "One lesson we've learned in Afghanistan is that Americans cannot fight another nation's war of independence."

Romney's foreign policy adviser, Mitchell Reese, defended the Presidential hopeful's remarks.

"The hallmark of [a policy's] success is whether it can sustain domestic support and there is a fatigue about this war," Reese told the Politico. "The governor was trying to address some of those concerns - this is not going to be an open ended commitment forever - and yet he does recognize the strategic importance of victory in Afghanistan."

Truth be told, if I did not know that the aforementioned comments were uttered by Mr. Romney and his foreign policy adviser, I would have attributed the remarks to the President. For indeed, it is Obama who typically uses these very same words and identical talking points to articulate his Policy of Surrender.

Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, told the Politico that her inbox had been inundated Tuesday morning with emails calling Romney's comments a "disaster".

"I'd thought of Romney as a mainstream Republican - supporting American strength and American leadership, but this doesn't reflect that," she said. "Romney has proven himself a little bit of a weathervane and I guess he senses that positioning himself in this place is good for his campaign - attempting to appease Ron Paul's constituents without actually being Ron Paul."

Mr. Romney's pro-choice position while serving as Massachusetts governor, and the health care reform bill, which he signed during his tenure in office, never seemed to fit in well with his Conservative persona.

His comments about the war in Afghanistan are equally worrisome because they evince the kind of political rhetoric we typically hear from Obama.

True, the former Massachusetts governor is viewed by many as the kind of leader who is capable of turning around an ailing US economy. However, he can not continue to espouse Barack Obama's political views, lest he lose all credibility with Republicans and Independents who cringe over the prospect of an Obama clone ascending to the Oval Office in 2013.

What's more, if given the choice between electing Barack Obama as the next US President, or selecting an Obama clone, why would anyone choose the latter when they can opt to have the real thing?! Four more years of "real change", ahhhh, what can be better than that?!

There is still time, for Mr. Romney, to right the ship; but he must act quickly, before he drifts off completely into Barack Obama's territorial waters and sinks into the depths of oblivion......

Obama in 2010 & '11: Half The Letters I Receive Call Me An "Idiot"

Bump in the Road

Speaking at a Chrysler Plant several weeks ago, President Obama said that "There are always going to be bumps on the road to [economic] recovery."

Additional information in the video below:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Organs of euthanasia victims are being 'harvested for transplant surgery in Belgium'

"I am in favor of palliative medicine in circumstances where someone is terminally ill... I'm mindful of the legitimate interests of states to prevent a slide from palliative treatments into euthanasia. On the other hand, I think that the people of Oregon did a service for the country in recognizing that as the population gets older we've got to think about issues of end-of-life care."
Barack Obama, in March of 2008, praising voters in Oregon who voted in favor of legalizing physician-assisted suicide [i.e. euthanasia]

From the Daily Mail:
The organs of people killed by euthanasia in Belgium are being harvested for transplant surgery, a report revealed yesterday.

A quarter of all lung transplants in Belgium are from people killed by lethal injection.

The study, led by Dirk van Raemdonck a surgeon from Leuven, found doctors preferred lungs taken from those who die through euthanasia as they are in a far superior condition to those from people killed in accidents.

The paper showed about 23.5 per cent of lung transplant donors and 2.8 per cent of heart transplant donors are killed by euthanasia.

Mr Van Raemdonck insisted doctors were acting within Belgian guidelines on euthanasia, which was legalised in 2002.

All of the donors [SUPPOSEDLY] had given their consent...

The report comes just a year after researchers found a high proportion of deaths classified as euthanasia in Belgium have involved patients who have not requested their lives to be ended by a doctor.

A fifth of nurses interviewed by researchers from the Canadian Medical Association Journal admitted that they had been involved in the euthanasia of a patient - but also found that nearly half of these – 120 of 248 - admitted to particpating in ‘terminations without request or consent’...
"I think that the people of Oregon did a service for the country in recognizing that as the population gets older we've got to think about issues of end-of-life care."
Barack Obama, in March of 2008, praising voters in Oregon who voted in favor of legalizing physician-assisted suicide [i.e. euthanasia]

"I actually think that the tougher issue around medical care... is what you do around things like end-of-life care... I mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here!"
President Obama in an interview with the New York Times - April 2009

Friday, June 10, 2011

Will Obama release Blagojevich emails?

While the vultures in the mainstream media continue to pour through thousands of Sarah Palin's emails from her time as Governor of Alaska, emails sent between Barack Obama's 2008 transition team and associates of ousted Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich will likely remain under wraps for the foreseeable future.

As the Politico noted in December of 2008:
Whatever such records exist may never see the light of day, thanks to a gap in government records disclosure laws that allows presidential transition teams to keep their documents — even those prepared using taxpayer dollars — out of the public record...

A spokeswoman for President-elect Barack Obama said the transition team was not covered by a public information law that Politico cited in requesting copies of Obama staffers’ emails and notes about Blagojevich’s efforts to fill the Senate seat Obama vacated after winning the presidency...

Records — particularly emails sent between transition team staffers or between the team and Blagojevich associates — could shed more light on what Obama’s inner circle knew about Blagojevich’s alleged plot, what they thought about it and whether they contacted law enforcement...
But I guess Sarah Palin's tanning beds - the ones she purchased with her own money - are more important than Obama's contacts with Rod Blagojevich. Which undoubtedly is also the reason why the Judge presiding over the Blago trial rejected a request from defense attorneys to be given access to the 2008 FBI interviews with President Barack Obama.

An FBI interview, after all, is just words; it is clearly not as significant as a tanning bed...

Palin emails: Guardian UK asks the public to help nail Palin

The Guardian UK, like the New York Times and several other liberal news organizations, is asking the public to peruse the recently released database of Sarah Palin's emails and to relay "interesting material" back to the Guardian - which indeed is Par for the course for the notorious Liberal mouthpiece:
The Sarah Palin emails: page 163

The state of Alaska has released more than 24,000 pages of emails relating to Sarah Palin, in printed form. This is a scan of one page of the release. If it contains interesting material you can tweet it to us @gdnpalin. Include the hashtag #palinemails. Please include this page's url... or email us at Don't forget to include the url.
I don't recall the Guardian, or the Times, or other Liberal news outlets - who were, and still are, completely dedicated to disclosing classified cables from the Wikileaks website that endangers our national security - asking the public to help them garner "interesting material" from the aforementioned website.

Perhaps nailing Sarah Palin is more important to the liberal mainstream media than publishing classified information that ultimately harms US national security. Perhaps destroying Sarah Palin is more important to them than wreaking havoc upon our national security.

Hard to believe, but perhaps it is true....

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Unbiased media asks public to help vet Sarah Palin's emails

From CNN:
More than 24,000 pages of e-mails relating to Sarah Palin's term as governor are scheduled to be released Friday by the state of Alaska to CNN and other news organizations.

The release follows Freedom of Information Act requests filed by CNN and five other news agencies that date to 2008, shortly after Palin was tapped to be Sen. John McCain's running mate.

Among the material that will be made public are Palin's e-mails dealing with state business -- using both her official account as well as private accounts...
A number of mainstream media news organizations will be making the emails available to the public. MSNBC, in conjunction the company Crivella West, is hosting a searchable database of the emails. Crivella West created a similar database last year when 2,000 state emails involving Todd Palin were released under a public-records request.

The New York Times, as well as several other progressive news outlets, have asked their readers to help identify "interesting" and "newsworthy" e-mails from among the 24,000 pages of e-mails.

Hence, if you would like to assist the Obama campaign and the mainstream media in sifting through Sarah Palin's emails, feel free to contact them. Your unbiased assistance will help ensure that prominent GOP officials are thoroughly vetted prior to the 2012 Presidential election.

Update: I noticed that the title of the aforementioned New York Time's article reads, "Help us REVIEW the Sarah Palin E-Mail Records". However, the URL of the article uses the word "INVESTIGATE", instead of the word "REVIEW" - which led me to believe that the title had been altered.

I then Googled the article and noticed that the title, as it appears in Google's news aggregator, reads: "Help us "INVESTIGATE" the Sarah Palin E-Mail Records". Indeed, the title has clearly been altered.

I then came upon an article in the Daily Caller, which notes that NYT spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades had sent the Daily Caller an email denying that the Times had asked readers to help investigate Sarah Palin's emails. The Daily Caller goes on to say that Ms. Rhoades apparently had missed a story that her own newspaper had published.
"When The Daily Caller e-mailed Rhoades back with a link to the NYT’s own story appealing to readers to help the paper “investigate” the Palin e-mails, Rhoades then responded saying that her earlier e-mail [to the Daily Caller] had been a misstatement and confirmed that the NYT had indeed published this call to action."
And apparently, the New York Time's decided to subsequently alter the wording of the title - which doesn't change matters, because ultimately the nefarious content and intent of the article still remain intact.

The New York Times - and its allies in the mainstream media - have once again revealed their true colors...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Obama's rating on economy hits new low: poll

From the Washington Post:
The public opinion boost President Obama received after the killing of Osama bin Laden has dissipated, and Americans’ disapproval of how he is handling the nation’s economy and the deficit has reached new highs, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News Poll.

The survey portrays a broadly pessimistic mood in the country this spring as higher gasoline prices, sliding home values and a disappointing employment picture have raised fresh concerns about the pace of the economic recovery.

By 2 to 1, Americans say the country is pretty seriously on the wrong track, and nine in 10 continue to rate the economy in negative terms. Nearly six in 10 say the economy has not started to recover..., and most of those who say it has improved rate the recovery as weak...
Obama's approval rating on the deficit issue hit a new low of 33 percent, down 6 points since April.

On College Campuses, Obama's Not Cool Anymore

From the Daily Mail:
President Obama's support among young people is rapidly waning, a poll has found...

Students are abandoning the President because they do not think he is cool anymore, it has been claimed...

His approval rating among those aged 18 to 29 is currently at 56 per cent - a huge fall of ten points since the 2008 exit polls.

The reason for this sudden drop is because students, who rushed behind the Obama campaign in 2008, no longer think he is cool, according to those at Oberlin College, which is known for its hipster left-wing activism.

Four undergraduate editors at the Oberlin college newspaper signed an essay bemoaning how apolitical their peers had become..

Their argument in their piece, 'Oberlin-based Perspectives on the Obama Presidency', was that students had become disenfranchised because they no longer think the President is cool.

The problem is that the real Obama could never live up to the pre-office idea of him, with all his quirks now seen as grating, a political science professor explained...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Obama's "reset button" with Russia, a hindrance to Global Security & World Peace

Yukiya Amano, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Monday that a Syrian installation - destroyed by the Israeli Air Force in 2007 - was most likely a nuclear reactor. The New York Times notes that the timidity in both Mr. Amano's wording [the installation “was very likely a reactor.”] and the latest IAEA report "downplays definitive photos of the reactor made available to the agency by the U.S. government, NGOs and the media many months prior to the May 24 report.

Mr. Amano also said that there are indications that "seem to point to the existence of possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.”
The IAEA's latest report cites seven possible “undisclosed nuclear related activities” on the part of Iranian nuclear scientists. These include experiments to build atomic triggers, studies of the type of instruments needed for testing explosives underground, and the development... “of explosive components suitable for the initiation of high explosives in a converging spherical geometry.”
With regards to Syria's nuclear infractions, Jonathan Tobin notes via the BBC "that any action against Damascus is unlikely because diplomats say more pressure on the Assad regime right now would be ill timed due to the unrest and violent repression going on in the country."

"Rather than push the Syrians [Syrian regime] at a moment when they are vulnerable," says Tobin, "the international community will again take a pass on doing something about them."

Incidentally, President Obama constantly boasts that he and Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, have reset their countries’ relationship in a way unthinkable when he took office in 2009.

This is indeed true: Obama has forged a new relationship with Russia which prevents the US from deploying a missile defense system in Europe, while allowing Russia to determine the course of action to be taken against rogue states like Iran and Syria. Case in point: Russia refuses to acquiesce to a tightening of UN sanctions against Iran and Syria.

Indeed, this kind of relationship and unrequited love toward Russia, was clearly "unthinkable when" Obama "took office" in 2009.

It should be noted, however, that there is one theory out there that suggests a willingness on Russia's part to take a stronger stance against the Libyan regime if Obama continues to play softball with the Syrian regime - which is probably to Obama's liking anyway, since he seems to have an affinity for the Syrian dictator, Bashar Assad.

Conclusion: President Obama is an extremely weak Commander in Chief, whose sole claim to fame is his so-called proficiency in the art of diplomacy. However, it is precisely the President's ineptness in the art of diplomacy which is pulling the entire free world down a slippery slope - a slope that keeps getting steeper and steeper each and every day.

Unfortunately, all we can do is watch, helplessly.......

Iranian-backed militias kill 5 US soldiers in Iraq

5 US soldiers were killed in Iraq on Monday as Iran continues to tighten its grip over Iraq in an effort to transform the country into another one of its satellite states:

From the AP:

Five American soldiers died Monday when a barrage of rockets slammed into a base in a Shiite neighbourhood of Baghdad — the largest, single-day loss of life for U.S. forces in Iraq in two years.

The attack follows warnings from Shiite militants backed by Iran and anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr that they would violently resist any effort to keep American troops in Iraq past their year-end deadline to go home...

"Iranian-backed militias are flexing their muscles and have steadily increased military pressure on U.S. forces since rumours first started in the early spring concerning an extension of the U.S. presence," said Michael Knights, an Iraq analyst at the Washington Institute....

U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said he thinks the U.S. would agree to stay into next year if Iraq asks. Doing so, however, would break a campaign promise by President Barack Obama.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Obama reaches out to Taliban - Taliban kills 28 Pakistanis

From the AFP:
Hundreds of heavily armed Taliban besieged a Pakistani checkpost on the Afghan border for a second day Thursday, killing 23 police and five civilians in the deadliest fighting for months.

The Al-Qaeda-linked group... is said to have long-standing ties to Pakistan's intelligence services...

A report by the Center for Global Development said that US assistance to Pakistan had become "muddled" with a lack of clear goals and leadership and pressure "to do too much, too quickly."...
A "lack of clear goals and leadership in the Obama administration, and pressure to do too much, too quickly" would also explain why the administration is lifting the Taliban Sanctions Regulations issued under former President Bill Clinton and why it is pressing the UN to lift sanctions against 18 former senior Taliban figures - including the former head of the regime's religious police, Mohammed Qalamuddin, whose officers were responsible for some of the worst atrocities under the Taliban regime. It would also elucidate why the administration is conducting negotiations with the Taliban terrorists.

With a "lack of clear goals", and a weak commander in Chief running the show, the Obama administration is trying "to do too much, too quickly", hoping for a quick exit strategy that would bring this war to an end - albeit an abysmal end - and thereby facilitate a 2012 election victory for Obama.

Afghanistan would likely self destruct as a result of this strategy, but ultimately Obama would win in 2012. And that's a pretty impressive achievement for a weak Commander in Chief, who lacks true leadership qualities.

Why is US troop morale at a 5-year low?

According to a survey released by the military several weeks ago, morale among US troops in Afghanistan has reached the lowest point in five years of fighting.

Several reasons have been proffered by the mainstream media to explain this phenomenon - except for the most obvious reason:

The Obama administration - desperately seeking an exit strategy in Afghanistan before the 2012 Presidential election - has been trying to strike a deal with Taliban extremists - even going so far as to rescind sanctions regulations against the Taliban. Hence, is it any wonder that troop morale is at a 5-year low?

Lacking both a sense of mission and purpose, US troops can't figure out why they are sacrificing their lives on the battlefield?

"Why are we putting our lives on the line," they ask themselves, "if the end game in Afghanistan is a Taliban-run government or a government largely influenced by the Taliban?"

And that is likely the reason why the President's job approval ratings among US Military personnel - according to a recent Gallup poll - is significantly lower than among the general population.

If troop morale, under the current administration, would be on the rise, I would question the mental state of mind of our military personnel. The fact that troop morale is actually plummeting suggests that the mental state of mind of our soldiers is indeed healthy and robust.

WH pressing UN to Rescind Taliban Sanctions!

First, the spin, compliments of the Obama administration:
The Office of Foreign Assets Control plans to withdraw the Taliban Sanctions Regulations issued under former President Bill Clinton, which banned all financial transactions with members of Taliban and placed an embargo on trade with areas of Afghanistan they controlled....

The agency says it is withdrawing the regulations because they were made redundant by the fall of the Taliban from power in Afghanistan and subsequent executive orders which more narrowly targeted individual members of the Taliban...
Nice, benign spin, but here's the real deal: The 2012 Presidential campaign has already started, which means Obama needs an exit strategy in Afghanistan to mollify his base, even if it means striking a deal with the Devil and consequently delivering a severe blow to the future of Afghanistan.

Here's the real deal!:
Britain and the United States are pressing for United Nations sanctions against 18 former senior Taliban figures to be lifted later this month in the strongest indication yet that the western powers are looking for a negotiated peace with the Taliban.

Candidates include the controversial former head of the regime's religious police, Mohammed Qalamuddin, whose officers were responsible for some of the worst atrocities under the Taliban regime.

Officials believe the move would send a clear signal to insurgents that reintegrating into Afghan society is possible if they put down their arms.

The sanctions were imposed in 1999, when the Taliban were in power, and were expanded after the 9/11 attacks on America. They ban about 140 individuals from traveling or holding bank accounts. Removing the restrictions has been a key demand of insurgents in Afghanistan...

The removal of men like Qalamuddin is likely to be controversial. Patrols run by the religious police chief beat women and men in the street to enforce the Taliban's rigorous interpretation of Islam...

It was recently disclosed that US officials and a Taliban representative have held three meetings in the last two months, two in Qatar and one in Germany...
Perhaps this partially explains why the President's job approval ratings are back to were they were prior to the raid on Bin Laden's compound. This is a President, after all, who has an affinity for coddling the enemy.

Sadly, when a US President presses the [rogue infested] UN to lift sanctions against the bad guys, you know we're really hitting rock bottom.


Related Posts: Will the President's decision to engage in direct talks with senior Afghan Taliban leaders provoke another Muslim uprising - in Afghanistan?

Why is US troop morale at a 5-year low?

Obama administration suddenly likes Palin wildlife management strategy

From Ed Morrissey:
Remember when the Left erupted in Outrageous Outrage over Alaska’s attempts to cull the troublesome wolf population by shooting them from aircraft? Do you recall when animal-rights groups painted Sarah Palin as a “brutal” and “unethical” sadist for sanctioning this strategy? Good times, good times:
When it comes to controlling the spread of feral pigs in San Diego County, the public hunting effort isn’t doing the job.

That has led federal agencies to launch an ambitious program that will use cage traps, corral traps, federal hunters with guns and dogs and even shooting from helicopters to exterminate the area’s population of wild swine...
Will the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund run one-minute national spots asking whether America should tolerate a brutal and unethical Barack Obama in the weeks prior to the 2012 election like they did against Palin in September 2008? Don’t hold your breath.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Terrorists find a new home in Sinai

In hindsight, you've got to wonder whether Israel made a huge mistake when it signed the 1979 Peace Treaty with Egypt. Israel returned the Sinai desert - a strategic piece of land captured during the '67 war - to Egypt, and now the terrorists are setting up shop there. On the flip side, however, Barack Obama told Hosni Mubarak in February to pack up his bags and resign, which can only mean one thing: that despite the new terrorist base in Sinai, everything will be just fine, especially when Israel heeds Obama's directive and recedes to the pre-'67 borders, then everything will be 100% perfect:
[Israeli] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Monday that Egypt's new military government was having a "hard time" controlling the rise of international terror organizations in the Sinai Peninsula.

"Egypt is having a hard time realizing its sovereignty in Sinai," Netanyahu said. "International terror organizations are stirring in Sinai...."

"Hamas is strengthening in Egypt," he added. "It transferred more of its activities to Egypt and less to Syria due to the turmoil there. The Muslim Brotherhood is also not an insignificant player in Egypt."...

Meanwhile on Monday, Egyptian security forces were pursuing 400 al-Qaida members who have been located in Sinai, said a senior Egyptian security source on Sunday.

According to a report on Egypt's Al-Hayat television channel, the operatives were planning terrorist attacks in Egypt and in Sinai.
Nevertheless, it's important to bear in mind that both Osama Bin Laden and Barack Obama recently praised the "winds of change" that are spreading throughout the Arab world - which can only mean a couple of things: that Hosni Mubarak's departure is a good thing and that the newly renovated Sinai desert, under the new ownership of Al Qaeda, is an even better thing.

But you don't have to take my word for it. Just ask Obama....

Message to Hillary Clinton: "Hamza Ali al-Khateeb died in vain!"

Responding to reports that a 13-year-old Syrian boy named Hamza Ali al-Khateeb had been arrested, tortured and killed during an anti government protest in Syria and that his mutilated corpse had been returned to his family on the condition that they never speak of his brutal end, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she hopes the child did not die in vain, and that Mr. Assad ends his brutal crackdown on anti-government demonstrators.

But unfortunately, because of the appeasement policies of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the child's death was indeed in vain.

Several weeks ago, Hillary Clinton labeled Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, "a reformer". Last year, President Obama appointed a new U.S. ambassador to Syria, the first U.S. ambassador to Syria since the Bush administration withdrew its ambassador in February 2005, in response to the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri. The President has yet to recall the ambassador, despite the fact that 1100 Syrians have already been killed by the Syrian regime over the last several months. I suppose this is what the President was referring to, in 2008, when he said he'd be willing to talk to the Syrian regime without preconditions - apparently at all costs.

It needn't have turned out this way. The White House and State Dept. could have taken a strong stance against the Syrian regime, and it is likely that the 13 year old boy and 1100 other Syrians would still be alive today.

Which is why I say to Hillary Clinton, "Admit it, Hamza Ali al-Khateeb died in vain!"