“What is a mere individual to do? Live as sane and decent a life as you can, love your family and friends and understand that everybody is in this together." 

 · Ron Smith

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Friday
Oct102014

Ron often referred to the Republican Party as the stupid party and he was right. 

Nationally, the GOP is a faux opposition party, a faux conservative party, a party of “go along to get along,” a weak party that is afraid of its own shadow, and a party that stands for little if anything.

The Democratic Party is a Party of Power.  When the Party nominates a candidate, it is with the purpose of winning. 

The Republicans, on the other hand, are a hierarchical party. 

Candidates are nominated not so much for the purpose of winning but as a reward for long and faithful service.  

Electability does not count.  It is sort of an honorarium to be nominated to run for the highest office in the land. 

Thus we have had Bob Dole, Mitt Romney, and McCain among others who have been the standard bearers for the Republican Party.  

I lost interest in the GOP in 1996 when Jack Kemp was added to the ticket to “bring excitement and energize the Republican Party.”

Jack Kemp – exciting and energizing?  Really?  All around good guy, maybe, but exciting and energizing? That was just silly.

The Energizer Bunny would have been a better selection.

But I digress. Back to today’s Grand Old Party.

Rumors abound that Romney will run again in 2106:  another bright idea from the hapless Republicans.

And, it is rumored that the Party has an October surprise for this year's Congressional elections.

Been there, done that. 

In 2008, The Republicans swore there would be an October surprise that would take out Obama – and we all know how that turned out.

 

Wednesday
Oct082014

A Metaphorical War

No doubt this is the greatest nation in the world…

But I get the willies when I think that our Government could not handle a natural disaster such as Katrina, that the Secret Service cannot protect the President of the United States, that those in charge of controlling the borders can't control it, but, somehow the Government will keep us safe from Ebola.  I'm just saying…

The US has declared a metaphorical war on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. We couldn't win the war on drugs, the war on poverty, the war in Afghanistan and many of the other wars we entered without honor or humanity but Obama believes we can defeat a deadly virus with 3,000 troops. Oh my.

Ebola isn’t the Islamic State. It’s a virus. You can’t bomb a virus or shoot it either.

Yet the Obama Administration has assigned 3,000 U.S. military personnel to fight this metaphorical war.

The President identified the Ebola outbreak "as a top national security priority," and he’s worried that it could "contribute to political instability in the region" and that left unchecked, the virus could transform and become more contagious."

The U.S. has already spent more than one hundred million dollars responding to the outbreak that may have caused more than twenty two hundred deaths so far.

The Defense Department has asked Congress for $500-million to provide immediate aid.

The World Health Organization issued a statement saying that the number of Ebola cases could start doubling every three weeks and end up costing one billion dollars to pay health workers, busing supplies & tracing people who have been exposed.  

It's a tragedy on so many levels.

The CDC issued a report stating that between 500,550 and 1.4 million people in West Africa could be infected with the deadly Ebola virus by January 20, 2015.

Ebola statistics are based on multiple sources of information and the number of cases - divided between suspected, probable and confirmed cases and are being revised every day.

Big Pharma is working on a vaccine--in coordination with the FDA & CDC—that’s being tested right now.

Big Pharma wields enormous influence over prescription drugs and medical devices around the globe and contributes heavily to the annual budget of the FDA which is charged with regulating drugs and devices made by those companies.

The global market for pharmaceuticals is expected to top one trillion dollars in sales in 2014.

 Follow the money, folks.

 

Tuesday
Sep232014

A message from the esteemed and astute Ellen Sauerbrey:

“So the bombing has begun.  Some of our so called "partners" in the campaign have long been guilty of funding the very rebels that have grown into the Islamic State.  

“Fearing that ISIS may target them next, these countries have joined us in the bombing of the ISIS home base in Raqqa Syria. But what happens next?  The rebels we will train, arm and fund apparently in Saudi Arabia, will not be prepared for action on the ground for six months to a year.  In the meantime??

“The Saudi's have been trying to overthrow Assad for years; and last year Obama was threatening to attack the Assad forces.  I predict the current campaign will quickly turn to Assad. As pointed out below, Assad may be evil but he is not a threat to the U.S. And if Assad is taken down, who will fill the vacuum?

“There is a real danger that we will overthrow another dictator as we did with Muammar Gaddafi in Libya only to leave a country in chaos and under the control of the most radical Muslim terrorists that we have armed and trained. 

What about the Russians and Iranians?  Will they intervene to protect their ally, Assad?  Have we opened Pandora's box?  What is the end game?

 

“So-called ‘moderate’ Muslim fighters will not be reliable partners in fighting the Islamic State.”

 

FUNDING A FOOL’S ERRAND IN SYRIA

By Jeff Crouere  September 20, 2014

This week, both the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation to train, arm and fund the elusive “moderate” Muslim rebels fighting to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria.

The plan calls for the U.S. to start supporting between 3,000 and 5,000 rebels in the Free Syrian Army. It is part of a $500 million aid package that will authorize U.S. support through December 11, 2014.

While the bill passed both houses with ease, it received more support from Republicans than Democrats. Yes, it is a truly sad day for the country when Democrats sound more reasonable than Republicans.

According to Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), the plan is “lame,” so she opposed it. Speier noted that former generals are also expressing their opposition because it does not address the real problem of stopping the funding for the terrorist group Islamic State. Speier said the terrorist organization is earning $3 million per day on oil income and the U.S. should “disrupt their line of income and that means blowing up oil wells and the roads they use to get….those oil tankers to shipment.”

Her Democratic colleague also voiced a very legitimate concern. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) claimed that “We simply don't know if somewhere down the line it will turn our guns back against us." In Iraq, millions of dollars of our military equipment that was given to the Iraqi army is now in the hands of the Islamic State, who is using it to kill innocent people.

Another issue that the administration refuses to address is that there is a real possibility that these so-called “moderate” Muslim fighters will not be reliable partners in fighting the Islamic State. In the view of former U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, the rebels are not focused on fighting the Islamic State terrorist organization. He said that “their priority is not the Islamic State; it is the Bashar al-Assad regime. We need to know that going in.”

This viewpoint is also shared by U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) who said that he has “seen no evidence that the Syrian rebels we plan to train and arm will remain committed to American goals or interests. Further, the opposition fighters that we will train care more about overthrowing Assad than they do about defeating ISIS. Assad is evil, but he is not a threat to America."

There is no doubt that Assad has a track record of supporting terrorism and is a brutal dictator, much like Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. However, we need to be very careful that we do not overthrow another dictator, only to see the country fall under the control of radical Muslim terrorists. A country can go from bad to worse, such as Iraq and Libya, which are today beset with terrorists, who control large portions of the country.

Fortunately, not all Republicans supported the President’s “lame” plan. In the Senate, conservative leaders such as Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY) opposed the funding of Syrian rebels; however, the vast majority of their Republican and Democratic colleagues (78) voted for the legislation.

The reason for the President’s impressive margin of victory was that Congress did not want to be seen as opposing his plan to combat the Islamic State. In the wake of the barbaric beheading of American journalists and countless innocent civilians in Iraq and Syria, Congress wanted to show the American people they were doing something, even if it involved supporting a plan that will likely fail.

Instead of supporting a confused President, who initially called the Islamic State, the “JV” of terrorism, Congress should have rejected the plan that will ultimately create more havoc in the region.

Thursday
Sep112014

President Obama sent me a letter following his address to the United States last night, sanctimoniously scheduled on the eve of the observance of the 9/11 tragedy, where he outlined his strategy for dealing with the threat posed by ISIS.  

 

 

Good evening,

I just addressed the nation about what the United States will do with our friends and allies to degrade and destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL.

Let’s be clear: While this group may call itself the "Islamic State," it is not "Islamic." No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL's victims have been Muslim. Nor is it a "state." It is not recognized by any government, nor by the people it subjugates.

This is nothing but a terrorist organization with no vision or goal other than to slaughter all who stand in its way. While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland, these terrorists have threatened America and our allies. And the United States will meet this threat with strength and resolve.

Already, our military has conducted more than 150 successful airstrikes over the past month against ISIL targets in Iraq -- strikes that have protected American personnel and facilities, killed hundreds of ISIL fighters, and helped save the lives of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

Going forward, our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.

Here is what that strategy looks like.

First, we will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists. Working alongside the Iraqi government, we'll expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people to hit ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense. And we will continue to hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, whether in Iraq or Syria. They will learn what leaders of other terrorist organizations have already learned: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.

Second, we will increase our support to the forces fighting these terrorists on the ground. We will send an additional 475 service members to Iraq to support Iraqi and Kurdish security forces. These American forces will not have a combat mission. But they are needed to support Iraqi and Kurdish forces with training, intelligence, and equipment -- and tonight, I again called on Congress to give our military the additional authorities and resources it needs to train and equip the Syrian opposition fighters.

Third, working with our partners, we will continue to draw on our substantial counterterrorism capabilities to prevent ISIL attacks. Working with our partners, we will redouble our efforts to cut off its funding, counter its warped ideology, improve our intelligence, strengthen our defenses, and stem the flow of foreign fighters into and out of the Middle East.

And fourth, we will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the innocent civilians displaced by this terrorism organization. This includes Sunni and Shia Muslims who have borne the brunt of this terror, as well as tens of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities.

I have the authority to address the threat from ISIL. But I believe we are strongest as a nation when the President and Congress work together. So I welcome congressional action to support this effort in order to show the world that Americans are united in confronting this danger.

This mission will not be like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This effort will be a steady and relentless approach to take out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting our partners on the front lines.

This is American leadership at its best: We stand with people who fight for their own freedom. And we rally other nations on behalf of our common security and common humanity.

When American forces helped prevent the massacre of civilians trapped on Mt. Sinjar, here is what one of them said:

"We owe our American friends our lives. Our children will always remember that there was someone who felt our struggle and made a long journey to protect innocent people.”

That is what the United States of America does. That is the difference we make in the world. And moving forward, our own safety and security depends upon our willingness to do what it takes to defend this nation, and uphold the values that we stand for.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-465-1111

 

The President didn't mention any of our combat colleagues, or an outline of the military aspects, or the structure of the support or the funding, or evidence of a collation.

Air strikes won't get it done. There will need to be boots on the ground.

The Secretary of a Defense said "the President laid out an excellent strategy to defeat ISIS."

I say it was a predictable Obama PR speech, another example of his failing foreign policy, and underestimating the enemy.

God help us. I’m not so sure Obama can.