“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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Monday
Sep172012

The CONSEQUENCES OF OBAMA'S BUNGLED MIDEAST POLICY

Michael Barone

In Libya, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three colleagues were murdered Tuesday. Earlier that day, protesters in Egypt stormed the U.S. embassy and tore down the American flag.

It was "the day the roof fell in," proclaimed blogger and historian Walter Russell Mead. Barack Obama's "efforts to reconcile the U.S. and moderate Islamism -- in part by distancing the U.S. from Israel -- have angered Israel without reducing Islamist bitterness against the United States."

In other words, his Middle East policies are in shambles. His assumption that a president "who doesn't look like other presidents" would endear America to Arabs has been proven unfounded.

So have other assumptions. Like the idea that Iran's mullah regime would negotiate with us if we uttered soothing words and turned a cold eye on Iranian dissidents, as Obama did in June 2009.

And the idea that creating distance between the United States and Israel would lead to a settlement between Israelis and Palestinians.

Obama came to office believing that America had a lot to apologize for. For the "tension" between the U.S. and the Muslim world that "has been fed" by colonialism and the Cold War, as he said in his June 2009 "New Beginning" speech in Cairo.

There, he implicitly contrasted George W. Bush's emphasis on universal human rights by admitting that "America does not presume to know what is best for everyone."

Since the 9/11/12 attacks on America, Muslims have been protesting over much of the world, from Tunisia to Yemen to Bangladesh, and in some cases, have been assaulting our embassies.

The ostensible reason for the protests is a video produced by someone in the United States criticizing the Prophet Muhammad. But that's obviously just a pretext, used by Islamist terrorist organizers to whip up frenzy in nations with large numbers of angry unemployed young men.

Unfortunately, some of our government officials have taken the complaints about the video seriously. Before the attack, the Cairo embassy issued a statement condemning "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims."

When Mitt Romney condemned that statement, he was widely criticized by mainstream media. But his judgment was confirmed when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ordered the statement taken down.

Even so, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the protests were directed at the video rather than the United States -- wishful thinking. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the FBI was sent to Los Angeles to track down the video maker. The Los Angeles Times reported that the State Department asked YouTube whether the offending video violated its terms of service.

As Fox News commentator Kirsten Powers wrote, "Our leaders shouldn't let our enemies know that when they kill our people and attack our embassies that the U.S. government will act like a battered wife making excuses for her psychotic husband."

It's also disturbing that Obama, after his brief statement deploring the Benghazi murders (and not mentioning the attack on the Cairo embassy), immediately embarked on a four-hour plane ride to campaign in Las Vegas.

In an interview there with Telemundo, Obama said Egypt was neither an ally nor an enemy. Later, the State Department spokesman conceded that Egypt is officially an ally under a 1989 law.

That's an unforced error for an incumbent president, one who has criticized his opponent's lack of foreign policy experience.

But perhaps it's not surprising. American Enterprise Institute's Marc Thiessen revealed last week that Obama has skipped more than half of his daily intelligence briefings. He reads the reports instead. His last in-person briefing before 9/11/12 was on Sept. 5.

It's not clear why security efforts failed in Benghazi and the Libyan government's assurances that it will protect our diplomats in the future seems sincere.

And Obama did find time for a reportedly "tense" phone conversation with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who then made a public statement denouncing the attacks. But on the phone, Morsi reportedly asked Obama to "put an end to such behavior" -- i.e., suppress the video. Did the president explain that we have a First Amendment that prevents government from doing such things?

Under settled principles of international law, attacks on diplomats by, or permitted by, governments can be considered acts of war. The threat of such attacks deserves a more stern response than a campaign trip to Vegas, a misstatement of settled policy and skipped intelligence briefings.

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.
 
Courtesy of Jonathan Garthwaite @ Townhall.com
Friday
Sep142012

THE JOKE'S ON US

While campaigning in Eau Claire, Wisconsin yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden quipped, “I’m supposedly an expert on foreign policy,” he said. “Where I come from, an expert is anyone from out of town with a briefcase.”

This is the man Barack Obama chose as his running mate on August 23, 2008, calling him “a statesman with sound judgment”, the man touted as “an energetic foreign policy expert, very highly regarded in that area”, who has held “two of the most critical Senate chairmanships” (Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Judiciary Committee).

“Statesman with sound judgment”?  No Statesman with sound judgment would joke about foreign policy as we mourn the loss of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other members of the American diplomatic corps in Libya and violence in the Mideast is spreading faster than Obama is back-peddling on his comments about Egypt.

The liberal media wants us to believe Biden’s gaffe was simply an intentional slam at Romney’s lack of foreign policy expertise. Trip Gabriel of the New York Times wrote, “But on a day when anti-American violence overseas again dominated the news, the self-deprecating humor of the vice president had a point: to draw an unflattering contrast with the lack of foreign policy experience of the Republican ticket.”

Wonder what topic Joking Joe will include in his next campaign stand-up routine?

There’s much from which to choose, given the events of the last 24 hours:

-The U.S. Navy has deployed two guided missile destroyers off the coast of Libya;

-A Marine Rapid Response Team has arrived in Yemen to deal with the aftermath of the attack;

-Pope Benedict XVI is appealing for peace as he arrived in Lebanon for a three day Middle East visit where rioters are burning American flags and have burned down a KFC;

-The U.S. Embassy in Sudan is under attack and the German Embassy there has been attacked and an Islamic flag has been raised;

-Black smoke is coming from an area near the U.S. Embassy and an American school in Tunis, Tunisia;

-We now know that militant groups were involved in the attacks in Libya;

-The University of Texas at Austin received bomb threats from a man with a “Middle Eastern accent” claiming to have Al Qaeda ties and was evacuated;

-Shortly thereafter, North Dakota State University received a bomb threat and was evacuated;

-A dozen Diplomatic posts around the world are under siege;

-Obama decided not to personally meet with Netanyahu;

-No one’s sure whether Egypt is not our friend or just not our foe;

-And news of more “unrest” by "demonstrators", "protestors", and "rioters" keeps coming.

As hard as it is for me to believe Biden would joke about foreign policy at a time like this, it is even harder to believe all this is happening over the reportedly “American-made Anti-Islam film"...especially so close to the anniversary of the 9/11 Attack on America.

As Don Corleone said, "There is no such thing as coincidence."

June Smith founded this tribute website in honor of her late husband, Ron Smith, WBAL Talk Show Host, Emmy Award winner, and Baltimore Sun Columnist. Smith was a media titan in Maryland and beyond for almost forty years. Mrs. Smith is working diligently to raise one million dollars for the Ron Smith Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at Johns Hopkins. She blogs for Red Maryland www.RedMaryland.Blogspot.com; her email is june@friendsofronsmith.com.

 

Friday
Sep072012

A MESSAGE FROM MITT and a message from me, too…

In a request for donations to “help the Republican team and me put Americans back to work” today, Mr. Romney said, "At the Democratic National Convention, former President Bill Clinton told America that his solution to joblessness and budget deficits was one word -- arithmetic. I couldn’t agree more. Let’s take a look at Barack Obama’s record these last four years -- I think you’ll agree the numbers just don’t add up:


• 23 million Americans are out of work, have stopped looking for work, or are underemployed
• $16 trillion national debt (that’s $50,000 for every American)
• 43 straight months of 8% or higher unemployment
• 4 straight trillion dollar budget deficits in a row -- more than any other president
combined."


"Ultimately, it’s simple arithmetic -- the policies of Barack Obama just don’t add up to the kind of future America deserves."

With your support, we can put Americans back to work. It's simple arithmetic.” www.mittforpresident.com/donate

Mitt's message is even more meaningful given today's dismal unemployment report.

My message is about the number of the “long-term unemployed”, those “jobless for 27 weeks or more” not included in the U.S. Labor Department’s report. The Department only counts the people who are actively searching for work, not those who have given up the search or lost their unemployment benefits.

According to the News Release issued by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Statistics titled “Employment Situation Summary” (“embargoed until 8:30 a.m. (EDT) this morning”) at www.bls.gov/newsrelease/empsit.nrO.htm, "In August, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 5.0 million. These individuals accounted for 40.0 percent of the unemployed. (See table A-12.)”

Here’s the bottom line—literally—from “Table A-12, Unemployed persons by duration of unemployment”:

                                                                                                    Aug.       July       Aug.

                                                                                                    2011      2012     2012

Average (mean) duration, in weeks*

39.7

37.4

38.7

27 weeks and over

43.1

39.2

39.6

 

“*Beginning in January 2011, this series reflects a change to the collection of data on unemployment duration. For more information, see www.bls.gov/cps/duration.htm.” 

After reviewing the “Employment Situation Summary” and Tables A, B, A-1 to A16, B1 to B9, and the “historical data” for the “A” tables and the “B” tables, I don’t know whether it’s my reading, writing, or arithmetic, but the job report numbers released today just don’t add up to the truth.

Hope my Romney-Ryan donation helps make a difference in the outcome of the Election…

June Smith founded this tribute website in honor of her late husband, Ron Smith, WBAL Talk Show Host, Emmy Award winner, and Baltimore Sun Columnist. Smith was a media titan in Maryland and beyond for almost forty years. Mrs. Smith is working diligently to raise one million dollars for the Ron Smith Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at Johns Hopkins. She blogs for Red Maryland www.RedMaryland.Blogspot.com; her email is june@friendsofronsmith.com.

 

Friday
Sep072012

CONSERVATIVE CARTOON OF THE DAY

 

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

                                             By Jerry Holbert

                   Courtesy of Jonathan Garthwaite @ Townhall.com