Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2012 Could Be a Train Wreck

Is the Cain Train just the first derailment of 2012?

The meteoric rise and catastrophic derailment of Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain should be a cautionary tale for all grassroots conservative/Republican activists and for the leadership at the NRCC, NRSC and RNC.

Herman Cain’s ascent in the polls and popularity with “tea party” activists came about due to the candidate’s approachability, his straight-talking style and his common sense approach to solving the problems that confront our nation.

His embrace of his outsider status and his quick-witted answer when his political inexperience was brought up as an issue also won Cain scores of supporters.

When asked about his lack of elected experience he would simply remind people that we’ve been sending people to Washington, DC who have political experience and then simply ask, “How’s that working for you? How about sending a problem solver to the White House?”

Unfortunately some of the very things that made Herman Cain such an attractive candidate to many, also led to his ultimate demise.

Cain talked a lot about “making sure we are working on the right problem” and“surrounding yourself with the right people”. On both counts his campaign, and therefore he, failed miserably.

Herman Cain’s biggest problem, other than his inexcusable lack of understanding of foreign policy and national defense issues, as well as, his apparent inability to learn – despite allegedly discussing the topics with distinguished experts like KT McFarland and John Bolton – was his senior national campaign staff.

Cain’s national campaign chairman, Mark Block, has his own FEC scandal smoldering in the background. He is a man that was barred from involvement in elected politics for 3 years and he obviously lacked the knowledge and experience to deal with the firestorm of controversy and allegations that inundated their operation after the first Politico article was published.

JD Gordon, Cain’s communications director/foreign policy advisor, was completely incompetent in dealing with the Politico story despite having 10 days advanced notice that it was coming. He infamously called Geraldo Rivera’s cell phone while Rivera was on the air and gave an amateurish interview that was heard through Geraldo’s lapel microphone.

Additionally, each time candidate Cain made yet another unforced error – whether it was not knowing the Taliban isn’t in Libya, his tortured answer about negotiating with Al-Qaeda to get a captured soldier back:

Or not being able to clearly articulate his own position on abortion:

– Gordon inevitably came out with a statement that tried to explain each gaffe away by blaming a lack of sleep, the media and/or the public for being unable to understand Cain’s answers.

You can read JD Gordon’s biography here. I’ve read it several times and based on the bio, his performance and my personal interaction with him, I’ve come to two conclusions: 1) Based on his resume Gordon should have done a much better job at both damage control and interacting with the media. 2) He lacks the expertise to call himself a “foreign policy advisor”.

For a couple of weeks I implored Herman Cain on Twitter, on my radio show and anywhere else I could to fire Mark Block and JD Gordon and get his campaign back on track and back on message. Unfortunately he did not heed my advice and the emergence of a woman accusing the candidate of engaging in a 13-year extra-marital affair became the preverbal last straw.

The “Cain Train” was the best vehicle for the GOP to reach the White House in 2012. With the train derailed some activists find themselves taking another look at Newt Gingrich or one of the other remaining candidates. But unfortunately none of them have the combination of qualities that attracted voters to Cain.

Gingrich is the biggest Washington insider of the group, with the possible exception of Ron Paul. Yet he seems, at least for the moment, to be convincing some voters that he is the consistent conservative they’re looking for.

Despite having a firm grasps on the economic, monetary and other domestic policies, Paul’s foreign policy stances make him a non-starter for most GOP primary voters.
Jon Huntsman is a Republican In Name Only and would actually get more traction as a Democratic challenger to Barack Obama.

Rick Santorum’s best arguments for his candidacy are his accomplishments as a US Senator. Not the best position to be in when the electorate is looking for outsiders.

Rick Perry’s accumulated gaffes and flubs have pretty much eliminated him from consideration by many grassroots activists.

It seems only fair to have an obligatory mention of Gary Johnson and Buddy Roemer. Done.

Michele Bachmann surged early, especially in Iowa, then lost some of her luster – and a lot of her traction -- due to unforced errors on the part of both her national campaign staff and herself. She was widely seen as behaving like a “diva” on the campaign trail. One of the chief complaints from people on the ground was that when booked at an event (Lincoln Day dinner, etc.) she would arrive late and leave early – sometimes not even eating at the dinner – annoying event planners.

Bachmann also had a bout of campaign-threatening foot-in-mouth decease where she said things that were factually untrue, and/or absurd, or she would make a great point in a debate only to blow her momentum by taking her argument just a little too far (see Gardasil).

Perhaps her most grievous error though may have been co-opting the Tea Party label and movement for her personal political gain, which makes her look like a “typical politician”.

Founding and chairing the House Tea Party Caucus might have been a great idea, if Bachmann were staying in Congress and continuing to fight for lower taxes, less spending and smaller, more constitutionally centered government. Not so much when she appears to have done it only for political benefit.

So now Republican primary voters have a choice to make and less time to make it than many average voters may realize. The first in the nation caucuses will take place in just over 3 weeks – less considering Christmas and New Years – and the current crop of GOP presidential hopefuls is not generating excitement within the base. It’s down to Romney or “Not Romney” and that’s not going to generate enthusiasm (think John McCain in 2008).

Short term there seems no doubt it’s Newt Gingrich that benefits from derailment of Herman Cain’s campaign and his departure. With or without Cain’s endorsement, and there is some doubt as to whether it’s forthcoming or even desirable, Newt is already seeing a bump in his poll numbers. But Newt has a long and colorful record for the media, his opponents and his former congressional colleagues to revisit and expose. Can the former-Speaker weather the storm that is inevitably coming his way?

What has happened thus far in the current primary season leads to questions about the “inevitability” of a Barack Obama defeat in 2012. But beyond that it also raises questions about the GOP retaking the Senate and increasing its majority in the House.

The coattails of a successful presidential candidate cannot be overstated. Down ticket candidates can be helped or hurt by the enthusiasm and voter turn out generated by a strong top of the ticket candidate.

Looking around at some of the declared candidates for senate and house seats around the nation, there are some excellent candidates and some not so exceptional candidates. Some of the excellent candidates are in tough races. Some of the not so exceptional candidates are in impossible races.

Perhaps more troubling is that in some of the house and senate races there are 11 or more candidates vying for the GOP nomination. These fields are as wide as the Grand Canyon and about as deep as a rain gutter. Quality would be more desirable than quantity in defeating entrenched incumbent Democrats. Even in an anti-incumbent atmosphere incumbency is a powerful tool.

Unless a Republican presidential ticket is chosen that offers a clear alternative to the policies of Barack Obama and generates the passion among the grassroots activists that actually win elections by knocking on doors, making phone calls and getting out the vote, 2012 could be a train wreck.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Israel Will Face Multi-Front War In 6-12 Months

The Middle East

Fox News Channel’s Senior Military Analyst, retired US Air Force Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney, believes that within the next 6-12 months Israel will face a major war on multiple fronts. The war will be instigated by the Iranian regime and carried out by its proxies in Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.
That was a major take away from my comprehensive, 30-minute, interview Friday afternoon CRF Weekdays.

The interview was largely centered around the fallout from the so-called “Arab Spring”, the rise of 3 Shariah compliant Islamist governments in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, as well as the increased belligerence of Iran, the destabilization of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria and the precipitous withdrawal of US troops from Iraq by the end of this year.

All these factors can be tied directly to the na├»ve and weak handling of foreign policy in the region and the lukewarm “support” the Obama administration has shown for our only democratic ally in the Middle East; Israel.

President Obama in defiance of the warnings of foreign policy experts, has supported questionable groups that have deposed admittedly bad leaders like Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Qaddafi -- without any concern for who or what would replace them. In this respect Obama has repeated the mistakes of President George W. Bush, who had no plan for post combat in Iraq and did not foresee Hamas' rise to power in Gaza when he demanded democratic elections for the Palestinian Authority. 
Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, USAF (retired)

General McInerney pointed out to me during our interview that he “didn’t like Qaddafi, but one thing was sure, he wasn’t a radical Islamist”. He went on to observe, “ I think we’re in a very precarious position and it should be very worrisome to all of us, in addition to the green light we’re giving to Iran by pulling out all US military [from Iraq] by 31 December”.

When I asked him whether the outcome of the US withdrawal from Iraq will lead to a military incursion by Iran or a more esoteric and insidious action, the General replied, “I think it will be more subtle than that, but it’s going to be giving them a green light. Already today in Basrah the Kuds Force, which is the Iranian special operations force, that force today has an enclave in Basrah they’re flying the Kuds Force flag. They’re speaking Farsi and anybody that comes in and takes pictures; they hold them up, take their cameras and destroy the film”.

So clearly the Iranians are already flexing their muscle in Iraq and are positioned to do even more once US troops are out of Iraq at the end of the year.

General McInerney sees this as another example of the United States winning a military victory, only to have a diplomatic loss. He even compared it to what happened in Vietnam.

Looking at the implications for Israel, I asked General McInerney about the possibility of the US ally facing a war, supported by Iran, coming from multiple fronts.
The General replied, “Well this is going to be very difficult for them [Israel]. First of all what I think the trigger will be, when Bashir Assad in Syria looks like he’s going to fail, the Iranians will tell Hezbollah in Lebanon and in Syria to launch a major attack with their 50,000 missiles and rockets to attack Israel. They’ll simultaneously have the Syrian ground forces; Hezbollah ground forces in Lebanon and Egypt attack - simultaneously the Israelis”.

He continued, “The question is now; can the Israeli forces survive this attack with their conventional forces? I think they might be able to, but again we come back to Iraq. The Iranians will be able to reinforce that attack coming through Iraq on the ground as Quds Force as covert force members. And so I’m not sure with the forces that the Iranians can put into the region there, that the Israelis will be able to survive”.

“Now the danger is, if they can’t they’re gonna have to use their nuclear weapons, they’ll have to go nuclear. And that’s something we do not want to happen. It’s in the American interest for stability in the country, just as we did in the ’73 war, to reinforce boldly the Israeli Defense Forces so they can survive with conventional weapons. We do not want to force them, for their own survival, to have to pull the nuclear trigger. And that’s very [a] worrisome issue that’s coming up on this”.

But will the Obama Administration, which has not been helpful in the peace process, and which has – either through incompetence or by design – set the stage for this war against Israel, take decisive action to prevent a nuclear conflagration in the Middle East?

McInerney’s response? “Well I don’t know. That’s the great mystery. If he doesn’t defend them, I believe they’ll be forced to use nuclear weapons”.

It’s important to note -- as confirmed by General McInerney -- that before the fall of the Mubarak government the Israelis repositioned at least two of their Dolphin Class submarines to the Persian Gulf via the Suez Canal, putting them within striking distance of Iran. This eliminates the need for them to utilize aircraft to strike at Iranian military installations -- or Tehran -- should they find the need to do so.

On the question of what happens with Jordan and Saudi Arabia in the event of an Iranian instigated war against Israel, General McInerney noted: “Here’s what is starting to bother me – Jordan -- Prince Abdullah is having to pay more attention to the Muslim Brotherhood, which he does not want because clearly radical Islam is a threat to the king. Saudi Arabia, clearly the Saudis are not interested in the Shiah crescent from Iran that is sweeping across the Arabian Peninsula. They have given the Israelis airbases if they attack using air power that they can land and recover on their way back. One of the advantages of us not being in Iraq is that the Iraqis don’t have an air defense system, so the Israelis could over fly Iraq to get into Iran. But the Saudis clearly do not want this Iranian influence the way it is being projected… They are against that. So we could hopefully count on them – in covert ways – to assist the Israelis”.

General McInerney puts the odds of this Iranian instigated war against Israel occurring in the next 6 months to a year at about 75%. He says there is a high probability of this happening and it all hinges on the failure of Bashir al-Assad in Syria. The Iranians cannot afford to let lose the Shiah controlled government of Syria. The collapse of that government will trigger events and instigate hostilities against Israel as a way to rally the support of the Arab street against a common enemy.

Congressman Allen West (R) FL-22
Congressman Allen West (R) FL-22, a retired US Army Lt. Colonel who served in Iraq, agreed with General McInerney's assessment in an interview on Saturday afternoon on Conservative Republican Forum

Asked if he agreed that what General McInerney was a plausible scenario West replied, "Well of course it's a plausible scenario. If I were Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel right now I'd be very concerned. Because you see what is happening since we deposed Hosni Mubarak, I mean this country asked him to step down, nothing good has happened there. The strongest political force in Egypt is the Muslim Brotherhood. We know that Hamas controls Gaza. 

Now that the United States has said that their going to completely pull out of Iraq -- that was one of the concerns that the Prime Minister [of Israel] had when we met with him at the end of August -- was that there would not be a credible United States military force left there in Iraq to somewhat keep Iran at bay. So now Iran has the opportunity to extend their regional hegemonic dominance. Which means across Iraq, where you already have Muqtada al-Sadr and the Mahdi Army -- very strong -- retrained, rearmed, resourced, refitted thanks to Iran".

He went on to point out though that, "Turkey is allowing the opposition to Bashir al-Assad to be residing there in Turkey and launch their attacks against him back into Syria".

Perhaps the most disturbing comment from Congressman West was when he said, "My biggest concern is I think that the killing fields of Pol Pot -- post the withdrawal from Vietnam -- are going to look like Romper Room compared to what's going to happen in that region of the world".

The Congressman joined General McInerney and I in questioning whether the Obama Administration would stand with Israel in this troubling scenario.

The Obama Administration has displayed incompetence, naivety and weakness in its handling of the so-called “Arab Spring”, increased Iranian belligerence and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. They have emboldened the Mullahs in Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the region, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. In doing so they have left Israel in a precarious position it has not been in since 1973.

The tragedy is it didn’t have to come to this and now it’s too late to undo all the harm that has been done. President Obama has opened a powder keg and any spark could ignite a war that will consume the region -- and possibly have far-reaching implications for the United States and our allies. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: “The Left’s Tea Party”? Not Even Close

As the Occupy Wall Street protest/slumber party enters its fourth week and spreads to additional cities across the USA, it seems like a good time to examine the OWS phenomenon -- its origin, where it is now and where it’s going.

Occupiers: Anarchists and Marxists
Just as importantly, an examination of the reaction of the media and politicians to these protests is definitely in order, especially as a contrast to their reactions to the Tea Party, the genuine grassroots movement they so desperately want to compare to OWS.

The Occupy Wall Street protest that has been taking place for four weeks in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan likely began as a truly grassroots, or bottom-up movement. Those who set out to protest the government bailouts of Wall Street corporations and big banks -- something they viewed as unfair when everyday Americans were left to fend for themselves -- had sincere and legitimate grievances.

But as the movement reached its peak and looked likely to be reaching its end, it was usurped by the usual left-wing suspects: major labor unions, Organizing for America, the Democratic National Committee, the Communist Party of America and other far-left, progressive groups. It was only then that the media, especially the left-leaning, so-called "mainstream" media began to not just report on the movement (albeit inaccurately) but cheerlead and romanticize it. This of course in stark contrast to the way they either ignored or maligned the Tea Party.

Interviews with typical OWS protesters reveal that most of them have no idea exactly what they’re protesting against, or asking for. They seem to have more a list of demands -- namely things that the government and taxpayers owe them, than any coherent and unifying list of issues they seek to resolve.

Even when the occupiers can articulate their grievances, they’re a muddled hodgepodge of complaints and accusations. Their proposed solutions range from the anarchists call for an end to all government, to the Marxists demands for an ever-larger and more oppressive one.

And it is this lack of a cohesive message and unifying issue that has led to the demonstrators and their movement being co-opted by the very sort of people they actually should be protesting against. They have become pawns, useful idiots and worst of all… expendable to those that want to collapse capitalism and democracy for their own ends.

As evidence of this fact you can look to AFL-CIO union organizers telling OWS protesters that they need to be prepared to be arrested to get their point across. You can also look to featured speakers denouncing peaceful and lawful protests (and even Gandhi) and calling for French Revolution style violence and a return to the guillotine. Or you could look to liberal media personalities like Rachel Maddow and Bill Maher encouraging OWS protesters, marching uptown to the homes of people like NewsCorp chairman Rupert Murdoch to threaten violence.

Most recently you can check out a video from the progressive propaganda machine that is MSNBC, where Donny Deutch told Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski that what the Occupy Wall Street movement needs is a “Kent State moment”. That sort of irresponsible talk from an analyst on a cable news outlet is akin to putting a match to gasoline.

But it’s also important to listen, not just to the rhetoric, but the way that it’s delivered and received by the organizers and participants in these rallies. The cult-like way that the organizers deliver their messages, known at the “human megaphone”, is disturbing and somewhat absurd. But the hand signals that the participants use to interject in the conversations their collective assemblies engage in is quite revealing and really ridiculous.

In terms of comparisons between the occupiers in the various cities around the country and Tea Party movement, there really are none.

TEA Party Rally

The Tea Party movement was largely ignored or maligned by the bulk of the media. Occupy Wall Street has been embraced by the media who agree with the anti-capitalist sentiments of the squatters in Zuccatti Park and around the nation.

Tea Party groups got permits for their rallies, self-policed their ranks, obeyed police orders to move or disband, paid for their utilities and extra security and left the areas where they rallied cleaner than they found them.

By contrast, the Occupy Wall Street folks have illegally setup tents, defecated in public, refused to follow police instructions, attacked and provoked police, stolen power, used drugs and left the areas they’ve occupied in much worse condition than they found them in. Ironic considering the left is supposed to care so much about being “green” and protecting the environment.

The Tea Party has a clear and concise reason for existing, namely a desire for constitutionally limited government, lower taxes and a return to founding principles. They love their country and proudly fly the American Flag.

Tea Party supporters have a grasp of basic economics and history that leads them to the conclusion that socialism is a failed model that always collapses, but not until after it leads to tyranny and suffering for the people that chose it.

They also realized that in order to achieve their goals they needed to organize beyond protesting and elect constitutional-conservatives to Congress and the White House.

The occupiers want two different remedies to their perceived injustices; depending on which camp they’re from. The Anarchists want there to be no government and to be able to take what they want from those that have more. The Marxists want larger more oppressive government that will take from the wealthy and redistribute it all to them. They don’t want to pay taxes, but they want the “evil” corporations and the rich to pay even more taxes.

In both cases left wing professors who have never held a job outside of academia have indoctrinated them. The protesters don’t understand that if they were to be successful in collapsing our democratic-republic and our capitalist system, they would be no better off economically and be far less free to express their discontent.

Many of them say they hate capitalism and that the United States is as bad as Al-Qaeda. If they have an American Flag it’s either been desecrated, flown upside down or is being worn like a bandana around their face to conceal their identity. They proudly display signs that say “Socialism in NOT a dirty word” and copies of the Communist Manifesto. 

In the past two-and-a-half years politicians and the media alike, all without a shred of evidence, have accused the Tea Party of being racists, spitting on black members of Congress and using racial epithets. 

The OWS crowd has been caught on video being anti-Semitic, in multiple cities and on multiple occasions. They’ve been caught using hate speech they would excoriate a conservative for using and all these occurrences have been caught on video in only 4 weeks.

Now the Occupiers are taking things to a new level. The Occupy DC marchers were heard chanting “No justice? No peace” and repeated that call in interviews. Isn’t that the chant that Al “Resist We Much” Sharpton – MSNBC’s “elder statesman” – led protesters with immediately before the deadly Crown Heights riots?

On the same day, occupiers in Rome rioted, torching cars and smashing bank windows. Youths wearing hoods clashed with police all over the historic city.

The only real commonality between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street is that both groups oppose taxpayer funded, government bailouts of banks and big business. But even in this similarity there is a fundamental difference. The Tea Party wants that bailout money to go back to the Treasury to pay down the national debt. The OWS crowd wants that money to be redistributed to them in the form of government entitlements and handouts. 

Occupy Wall Street “the left’s Tea Party”? Not even close.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Venom and Intelligence on CRF w/Steve and Daria

This Saturday, October 15th, on Conservative Republican Forum (CRF) Steve Rosenblum & Daria DiGiovanni are joined by 2 returning guests.

Kurt Schlichter
Half Hour of Venom
First up is civil attorney, US Army veteran & contributor to Andrew Breitbart's "Big" websites and the NY Post, Kurt Schlichter for another installment of the Half Hour of Venom.

Mike Baker
Former CIA Operative

In the back half of the show former CIA operative, FoxNews contributor and President of Diligence LLCMike Baker returns to discuss the foiled Iranian attacks on the Saudi & Israeli embassies to the US and the Saudi Ambassador to the US.

Listeners are encouraged to call-in with comments and questions to 347-637-1121.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Adam Hasner Wins CPAC Florida Straw Poll And Addresses The Issues

On Friday Republican US Senate candidate Adam Hasner won the CPAC straw poll, narrowly defeating Mike McCalister by 4%. Hasner got 34%, McCalister 30%, former-Senator George LeMieux (who was appointed by Governor Charlie Crist) got 24% and the newcomer of the group, Craig Miller received 12% of the votes. 

The straw poll followed a day and half of speeches, a debate, lots of one-on-one conversations and handshaking with GOP primary  voters and activists at the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference and the Republican Party of Florida's Presidency 5 events which took place in Orlando.

On Saturday morning I had the opportunity to ask Hasner, the former-Florida House Majority Leader, a few questions about his candidacy, his record and issues that some grassroots conservatives have expressed reservations about.

The interview covered his straw poll victory, the differences between running for state house versus statewide office, Cap and Trade, climate change, his strong support of Israel, President Obama's handling of the current Israel/Palestinian situation, the United Nations and more.

David Bossie of Citizens United Speaks

Citizens United- Fire From The Heartland
On Friday, September 23rd I had the opportunity to get an exclusive interview with David Bossie, President and Chairman of the Board of Citizens United who was speaking at the American Conservative Union's first ever "regional" Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida.

Bossie was also at CPACFL to screen two of Citizens United's movies: Fire From The Heartland: The Awakening Of The Conservative Woman-Starring Rep. Michele Bachmann and Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous With Destiny- Hosted by Newt & Callista Gingrinch.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Years of Courage

On Sunday, September 11th – the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks – far left New York Times columnist and blogger Paul Krugman posted a blog on The Opinion Pages titled “The Years of Shame”.

He posted the entry on his blog, ironically called The Conscience of a Liberal, at 8:41 AM as the remembrance and dedication of the 9/11 Memorial were getting started in downtown Manhattan. On a day when even President Obama and President Bush put politics aside, Krugman could not.

He started his entry by asking, “Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?” He then, strangely enough, answered his own questions: “Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd.”

I’m not really sure why Krugman asks and answers these questions. Who would expect the commemoration and remembrance of the most deadly terrorist attack on American soil, one that resulted in more than 3,000 deaths, to be anything but “subdued” and solemn?

This is where a strange but innocuous posting takes a turn into the insulting, derisive and shameful. The liberal turd continues his poorly written entry thusly:

“What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.
A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?
The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.”

To begin with, what happened after 9/11 was that the American people – for the most part – realized that terrorism by Al Qaeda and other Jihadist groups was not a criminal or law enforcement issue, but an act of war. President George W. Bush to his credit addressed the attacks as such. The fact is that Osama Bin Laden had declared war on the United States in 1993 when he ordered the first attack on the World Trade Center.

It was not “shameful” and at least initially was a unifying event. Did it eventually become a wedge issue? Yes, it did. But why did 9/11 become a wedge issue? For the most part because Democrats wanted to use the creation of the Department of Homeland Security as an excuse to build up the ranks of their union base.

Many Republicans, myself included, questioned whether creating another huge government bureaucracy full of union employees with collective bargaining rights would make us safer.

Democrats in turn accused Republicans of not being strong on terrorism and national security. In the end a compromise was reached and the Department of Homeland Security was created and has unfortunately lived up to GOP expectations.

Now let’s address the “fake heroes” remark. Bernie Kerik and Rudy Giuliani acted with courage and distinction on 9/11, putting themselves in danger, leading New York City’s response to the attacks and keeping both the first responders and the civilian population calm by maintaining their composure throughout the crisis.

George W. Bush likewise both calmed and rallied the American people. At the same time he was among the first to tell all Americans not to lash out at Muslim Americans.  Bush, who was in Florida when the attacks began, wanted to return to Washington, DC immediately but heeded the advice of the Secret Service and his senior advisors to stay away since the Pentagon had been attacked and there was no way to know if more attacks were on the way.

As far as using the 9/11 attacks to “justify an unrelated war” goes, perhaps Krugman should check his history. Unlike President Obama who committed US forces to attacking Libya without congressional authorization. President Bush got the authorization of Congress and multiple United Nations resolutions before attacking Saddam Hussein and his forces. The Iraq War authorization was bipartisan, with support from then Senator Clinton and Senator Schumer, just to name a few.

There was no “hijacking of the atrocity” Paul. And the memory of 9/11 has only been “poisoned”, though I hope not “irrevocably” by people like yourself who dishonor the courage of the first responders and ordinary citizens that acted to save lives that day and the members of our military who have and continue to fight to defend us with your false accusations and distortion of history.

Normally I would have ignored the rantings of one far-left New York Times columnist, blogging in his pajamas on a Sunday morning. Unfortunately Krugman chose to publish his post as the 9/11 Memorial was in the process of being dedicated. Krugman also inspired an even more despicable defense of his blog by none other than Keith Olbermann on his low-rated Current TV show.

Ignoring his own pledge to adopt a new tone, which he delivered after the shooting in Tucson, Olbermann took to his “Worst Persons of the Day” segment to defend Krugman and attack former-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Cheney and President Bush for starting a “phony war in Iraq” and using “torture” to get “false information”.

He also accused them of “spying on Americans”, “fostering Islamophobia”, “spreading panic” and “manipulating counter-terror efforts to advance their own political power”. He then went on to say, “Between 2002 and 2009 the leading terrorist groups in the US were the Republican Party and the presidential administration of George W. Bush”.

I don’t really give a damn about the “new tone” since it’s something that liberals invented to try to stifle conservatives. Since the left can’t use facts to win arguments they want to silence their opposition. Good luck with that.

The war in Iraq isn’t phony. As I stated earlier it was authorized, in a bipartisan way, by Congress. The brave men and women of our armed forces, many of whom have been wounded or killed, deserve better than to have their service dishonored by calling the war they’re fighting “phony”.

The waterboarding that the CIA used on 3 high value detainees is not torture. It is in fact used as a training technique on our own special forces to prepare them for possible interrogation. Do we torture our own soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines?

The information we garnered using enhanced interrogation techniques wasn’t “false”. Kalid Sheik Mohamed gave his interrogators information that prevented terror attacks on the US and eventually helped our intelligence forces to find Osama Bin Laden.

There is no evidence that Americans have been spied on, none. "Islamophobia" is word that was made up by CAIR, an unindicted coconspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, to intimidate anyone that might accuse a Muslim of being involved in terrorism and Jihad.

Rather than “spreading panic” President Bush and his administration endeavored to keep the public calm and going about their business, while keeping us safe from terrorism since 9/11.

The accusation that, “Between 2002 and 2009 the leading terrorist groups in the US were the Republican Party and the presidential administration of George W. Bush” is not based in fact and only exposes Olbermann’s blame America first attitude that is so prevalent among the far-left. It also diminishes the danger of actual terrorist groups and ignores the attacks on London, Madrid and Bali, as well as the attack on Fort Hood and the attempts by the "Shoe Bomber", the "Underwear Bomber" and the "Times Square Bomber".

Let me tell Keith Olbermann to take the advice that he so disrespectfully gave to then President Bush: Keith “SHUT THE HELL UP!”

The previous two liberal screeds were followed up by the disgusting, America-hating Michael Moore telling Elisabeth Hasselbeck that we are no longer at war with Al Qaeda and radical Islam and that the United States made a mistake by not giving Osama Bin Laden a trial. 

Anyone that doubts the United States remains at war is delusional. Unfortunately when the delusional person gets network airtime to spread his insane lies, he has to be addressed.

The United States is and will remain at war with Al Qaeda and other associated Shariah compliant Islamic groups. They declared war on us. They follow a 7th Century religious and political ideology that says anyone that is not a follower of Islam is an infidel. Infidels must be converted, subjugated or killed… Period.

Taken individually, none of these America-hating, far-left idiots are significant. But when they all come out with essentially the same message the week of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, they must be challenged.

Krugman, Olbermann, Moore and their ilk may think that the years since 9/11 have been “years of shame”. I believe that the 10 years since September 11, 2001 have been years of courage. And unlike Paul Krugman, I won’t block comments on my article.

From Ground Zero to 9/11 Memorial

This weekend I returned with my family to lower Manhattan, New York City, to the location that Americans have come to know as “Ground Zero”.  We went to honor the memory of my brother-in-law Eric M. Sand, who was working for Cantor-Fitzgerald in the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and to see his name on the new memorial at the site.

The last time I visited that hallowed ground, it was a 7 story deep hole in the ground, a subterranean graveyard on a scale that no picture or description can adequately convey. In the last 10 years the location has been transformed into something quite different.

While it will always be the place where 2,753 people lost their lives (2,606 in the WTC, 87 on American 11 and 60 on United 175 – excluding the Jihadist hijackers), the 9/11 Memorial and Memorial Museum have changed the location into a place that honors all the victims (including those at the Pentagon, American Airlines Flight 77, United Airlines Flight 93 and even those that lost their lives in the first WTC bombing in 1993) of the September 11th terrorist attacks and gives their families, friends and coworkers a place to mourn, reflect and remember them.

Where there was once desolation there now sits a beautiful and inspiring site full of meaning. The focal points of the 9/11 Memorial are the North and South reflecting pools, which are fed by waterfalls that are meant to resemble falling tears. The pools (which feature the largest manmade waterfalls in North America) sit in the footprints of where the World Trade Center Towers once stood.

The bronze panels edging the two memorial pools have the names of every victim of the September 11, 2001 attacks, as well as, the February 26, 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

The North Pool includes the names of those that perished in Tower One, Flight 11 and the 1993 bombing. The South Pool includes the names of those that perished in Tower Two, the first responders, Flight 175, the Pentagon, Flight 77 and Flight 93.

The names of the victims are arranged “by affiliation, so that the employees of a company or the crew of flight are together.” The organizers of the 9/11 Memorial took the time and care to accommodate requests from family members to have names of people that knew each other or were affiliated in some other way to have their names adjacent to each other on the memorial. 

In addition to the pools there are the swamp white oak trees that have been painstakingly chosen from locations within a 500-mile radius of the World Trade Center, with additional trees being selected from Pennsylvania and Maryland.

The final element of the Memorial site is the Memorial Museum, whose mission “is to bear solemn witness to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993.”

The Memorial Museum is not yet complete, though its entry pavilion’s glass atrium is now standing. Once complete (probably by September 11, 2012) visitors will pass by the “Two Tridents” – remnants of the World Trade Center’s exterior steel skeleton that remained standing after the collapse – and down a ramp to bedrock.

I look forward to the completion of the museum, which promises to have exhibits that tell the true story of that horrific day without any “politically correct” sugarcoating.

While it is not a part of the 9/11 Memorial itself it is impossible to visit the memorial site without seeing the Freedom Tower, aka Tower One, rising to replace the Twin Towers.

The Freedom Tower is still under construction, but has now risen over 1000 feet to begin dominating the lower Manhattan skyline. Once complete the new tower will soar above the city at a patriotic 1,776 feet to reclaim the title of America’s tallest building.

Since the last time I was there, the transformation from “Ground Zero” -- a site of death, destruction and desolation -- to the 9/11 Memorial is an amazing tribute to the victims of the worst terrorist attack in American history and to American resiliency. It is also a credit to the planners, architects, managers and construction workers that have worked tirelessly to meet tight deadlines and achieve outstanding quality standards.

The location now respects the tragedy of the past while looking with optimism to the future. I for one will no longer refer to the site as Ground Zero. It is now truly the 9/11 Memorial.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Al Sharpton Uses The ‘Sauce’

On Friday’s edition of Al Sharpton’s Politics Nation on MSNBC, the man MSNBC President Phil Griffin has called an “elder statesman”, addressed the kerfuffle between House Speaker John Boehner and the White House over the scheduling of President Obama’s “much anticipated” jobs speech.

Predictably Sharpton towed the White House line and mangled the English language in the process. Al said that, “The White House is furious with John Boehner and someone on the inside is speaking out,” he continued “according to Politico a White House ‘sauce’ (source?), Boehner crossed the line when he forced President Obama to change the date of his jobs speech.”

That’s an interesting interpretation of the facts. Al failed to acknowledge that since the speech had not yet been scheduled, Boehner hadn’t “forced” the President to “change” anything. He also ignored the fact that a joint session of Congress is something that every President – even Barack Obama -- has to request from the Senate Majority Leader and Speaker of the House. That’s because the Executive and Legislative branches are equal. There’s no obligation for Congress to grant a joint session, much less accommodate a specific day and time requested.

In addition, even the Politico article Sharpton was cherry picking quotes from acknowledged that:

“The White House was well aware the president’s speech would conflict with a planned Republican debate sponsored by POLITICO and NBC to be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. The debate would be broadcast live by MSNBC and live-streamed by POLITICO. CNBC and Telemundo will re-air the broadcast.”

Sharpton went on to characterize John Boehner telling Obama that he could have a joint session on Thursday rather than Wednesday as “a big change in tone.” He began to layout the idea that where once the White House thought the Tea Party Caucus was the “real problem” in Washington, that now “it’s a whole new ball game” and “maybe it is him.”

Yeah, because the tone coming from the President and House Democrats has been completely apolitical, non-partisan and friendly for the past 2½ years. No false accusations of Republican obstruction while the Democrats controlled the White House, Senate and House of Representatives at all. No Democrats falsely condemning Tea Party activists as “racists”, “terrorists”, “hostage takers”, or a host of other derogatory pejoratives.

Once again Al quoted Politico’s White House ‘sauce’ as saying, “what happened this week is a big deal. It shows the House Republicans will do no outreach, nothing.” All this because Boehner asked the President to make a political speech one day later.

Next, Sharpton was joined by the Washington Bureau chief of the Huffington Post, Ryan Grimm, to whom he posed the probing, and completely non-leading question, “Has John Boehner been the problem all along?”

Grimm agreed that Boehner was certainly one of many problems Obama has. But his real gripe seemed to be that the president wasn’t being tough enough with the Speaker. He suggested that if all the White House was going to do is have anonymous quotes given to the press, that Boehner “will keep rolling and rolling and rolling right over him [Obama].

I would argue that rather than “rolling over” the President, John Boehner actually did Obama a huge favor by rejecting his request to speak Wednesday, immediately before the long scheduled Republican Presidential Debate.

Had Boehner allowed Obama to give what is likely to be a highly political speech, containing few details and little of substance in terms of an actual plan to create jobs, that would have allowed the GOP candidates to instantaneously rip the President’s speech apart and attack him for using a joint session of Congress for a political stump speech.

Rather than Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney and the rest of the GOP field directing their barbs at the new frontrunner Rick Perry -- which would be to the benefit of Obama -- the address preceding the debate the would have invited, no demanded, that the candidates dissect his speech.

Grimm – with the banner “Double Speaker: Details on White House Reax to Boehner’s Obstruction” on screen as he spoke – then suggested that, “maybe the best way for Obama to start dealing with Boehner is to ask for the opposite of what he wants.”

So MSNBC says it’s “obstruction” to ask the president, again, to wait one day to give his speech and at the same time they have a liberal columnist telling Al Sharpton and his audience that President Obama should use reverse psychology on the Speaker of the House to circumvent that alleged obstruction.

At this point Sharpton the master linguist (sarcasm mine) laid out what he would have done if he were President (shudder the thought), in a nonsensical diatribe:

“On Thursday night, even though I would have called Boehner’s bluff Wednesday night, let’s play out your scenario. Maybe he goes Thursday night. Lays out a plan. Let Boehner rebuff him and goes to the American public who has shown in every poll that they are more with the President and than what Boehner is saying, and take them to a mat in a way that a lot of people want to see him take him to the mat.”

Okay, where to start. What bluff is that? Boehner said no, he meant no, and there was absolutely nothing Obama could do about it. Does anyone, even Sharpton, believe that Obama is actually going to layout a plan in this speech, as opposed to the previous 9 speeches? Has the American public really shown in “every poll” that they have confidence in the President’s handling of jobs and the economy? And just how is the President going to take Boehner “to the mat”?

Remarkably Grimm seemed to follow Sharpton’s reasoning and agreed, saying that if Obama would have stood up to Boehner it would have been a “debacle” for Boehner, because making the President speak Thursday instead of Wednesday would some how make it appear that House Republicans “don’t want to hear him.”

Sharpton and Grimm continued their incoherent and illogical back and forth, with Sharpton listing some of John Boehner’s supposed slights and failures, some of which he naturally blamed on the Tea Party, and Grimm suggesting that several months ago the House Republican coalition in the House looked like it was fracturing but that Boehner brought it back together by amassing what “is probably one of the most extreme records that a House Speaker has put up in decades.”

Of course Al concurred with Grimm’s assessment, accusing Boehner of “being probably the most extreme speaker we’ve seen in a decade.” Really? John Boehner is more extreme than Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker who infamously said of the Obamacare bill, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it”? He’s more extreme than a woman who accused American citizens peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights of being “extremists” and “Astroturf” among other things?

For good measure these two intellectual giants falsely accused Republicans of not wanting to extend the payroll tax cut and of being “irrational”. Of course Republicans are fine with continuing the payroll tax cut. But they also realize that a limited payroll tax “holiday” has no long-term benefits for the economy and does nothing to encourage employers to hire more people.

I’d like to humbly suggest that Al Sharpton and Ryan Grimm lay off the ‘sauce’ and try a sober analysis of Barack Obama’s failed economic policies. They might also want to consider that while the Democrats controlled both the House and Senate, they failed to pass a budget (the Harry Reid led Senate still hasn’t) and the only budget Obama submitted was rejected 97-0 by the Democrat controlled Senate.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Allen West Speaks Out Against Incendiary Rhetoric of CBC Members

Congressman Allen West (R) FL-22 spoke out forcefully this evening, on The O'Reilly Factor, about the hateful, race baiting rhetoric being used by members of the Congressional Black Caucus. He also repudiated many of the policies that have been inflicted upon black-Americans historically.

In particular Congressman West rejected the incendiary comments of Maxine Waters (D-CA) who said, "The Tea Party can go straight to hell. And I'm going to help them get there." And Andre Carson (D-IN) who said, "Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second-class citizens. Some of them in Congress right now with this Tea Party movement would love to see you and me ... hanging on a tree." 


In addition, West also spoke out against specific policies that he says have destroyed the black family. Failed policies that have led to 17% unemployment and high incarceration rates in the black community.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gary Johnson Makes Media Mistake That Matters

As if former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson needed anything else to make him look less viable as a Republican presidential candidate, there’s this.

In an official campaign email press release the Gary Johnson 2012 campaign sourced their candidate’s interview with Neil Cavuto on Fox Business Network from the Media Matters for America website.

He also has the video posted on his official campaign website’s The Truth for a Change Blog.

I guess Johnson and his team aren’t aware that MMfA’s only purpose for existing is the elimination of Fox News and Fox Business. This ought to really raise his standing with Republican primary voters.