Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Will Obama Admit His Diplomatic Effort in Ukraine Has Failed and Change Course Before It's Too Late?

I don't hold out much hope. Has Obama ever admitted he's wrong about anything? Does he even understand what is going on?

It's been almost two months since the Russian fomented Ukraine crisis began. During this time we've heard repeated warning from Obama that Russia would face "consequences" and pay a "cost" for it's aggression. Yet for every aggressive Russian move, the reaction from Obama has been to give peace a chance and pursue diplomatic discussions with no result.

On Thursday, the Russians agreed in a joint statement with the U.S., Ukraine and the European Union to see that:
All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated.
Nothing of the kind has happened. Instead, Russia is cementing control over the southern region of Ukraine which would leave the northern part of the country completely landlocked and isolated. Russian President Putin claims that a "New Russia" runs all the way over to the border of Modolova, which is considered Putin's next target.

The Washington Post editorial board has been particularly hard on Obama's foreign policy failures and Tuesday's editorial is no exception:
President Obama, disregarding his own red line, dithers on Ukraine

By Editorial Board, Published: April 21

AFTER AN agreement to “de-escalate tensions and restore security” in Ukraine was announced Thursday, Secretary of State John F. Kerry was very explicit about U.S. expectations. “We fully expect the Russians . . . to demonstrate their seriousness by insisting that the pro-Russian separatists who they’ve been supporting lay down their arms [and] leave the buildings” in eastern Ukraine, he said. “I made clear to Foreign Minister [Sergei] Lavrov today that if we are not able to see progress . . . this weekend, then we will have no choice but to impose further costs on Russia.”

The weekend has come and gone, and far from standing down in eastern Ukraine, Russia has continued to escalate. Its operatives and those they control have not withdrawn from the government buildings they occupy. In Slovyansk, the crossroads where Russian military operatives appear to be headquartered, a shooting incident early Sunday morning has been seized on by Moscow’s crude propaganda apparatus, which is claiming — based on what looks like fabricated evidence — that a Kiev-based right-wing group was involved.

On Monday, Mr. Lavrov was back to threatening an invasion by the tens of thousands of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border, claiming that, in the words of his ministry, “Russia is increasingly called upon to save southeastern Ukraine from chaos.”

Again Vladi­mir Putin is flagrantly disregarding the warnings and “red lines” of the Obama administration. He has reason to do so: President Obama also doesn’t observe them. Despite Mr. Kerry’s clear words, sanctions that have been prepared against cronies of Mr. Putin and companies involved in his Ukraine ad­ven­ture remain on ice at the White House, where they have languished for more than a week. When asked Monday how much longer they would be held back, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “I don’t have an end date for you.”
For weeks Mr. Obama has held back on forceful measures against Mr. Putin’s aggression in Ukraine on the theory that a measured approach matched with diplomacy would yield results. The policy has failed. Now Mr. Obama must act — or doom Ukraine to dismemberment.
If Obama is serious about pursuing a diplomatic solution surely he must also understand that he has to back up his words with deeds and act if Putin fails to live up to his agreements.

Valuable time to demonstrate resolve has been lost and still Obama appears not understand how a weak U.S. foreign policy with a total lack of strategic thinking can bring increased danger to an already troubled world. I have a hard time believing that Obama is THAT clueless. It must be that he just does not care and consequences be damned. At some point, those consequences will be coming home to the United States!

LATEST: Sec. Kerry "Expresses Deep Concern"

On Tuesday, in a move sure to shock Putin to his senses:
In a phone call to Lavrov, Kerry "expressed deep concern over the lack of positive Russian steps to de-escalate, cited mounting evidence that separatists continue to increase the number of buildings under occupation and take journalists and other civilians captive," the senior official said.
Yeah, that will do it. More "pretty please" from the Obama Administration. What a joke these people are! 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Western Lawmakers Gather w/ Plan to Retake Lands from Federal Government

There is no reason to leave these lands in the hands of an unaccountable and possibly corrupt federal government!

Before we start, let me remind readers again of this photo of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) breaking ground on a solar power project that will have a major environmental impact on the desert in Nevada. Meanwhile, the federal Bureau of Land Management (headed by a former top Reid aide) insists that the Bundy ranch, on adjacent land, represents an environmental threat to the desert tortoise. How many tortoises is Harry Reid willing to kill for campaign contributions in a corrupt green energy scheme?

Senator Reid, at right, puts campaign green before environmental concerns as he digs up
the Nevada desert making way for a solar power project.
So much land, so many opportunities for corruption!

No wonder many in the west find the federal government's land policies offensive. They own nearly everything. No eastern state would tolerate the amount of federal interference seen in these western states even when they are not doing it at the point of a gun as in the Bundy Case.

It's time, past time, for a remedy. Let the states manage their own land and do what is right for their citizens, not well connected Washington cronies.

From the Salt Lake Tribune:
It’s time for Western states to take control of federal lands within their borders, lawmakers and county commissioners from Western states said at Utah’s Capitol on Friday.

More than 50 political leaders from nine states convened for the first time to talk about their joint goal: wresting control of oil-, timber -and mineral-rich lands away from the feds.
Idaho Speaker of the House Scott Bedke said Idaho forests and rangeland managed by the state have suffered less damage and watershed degradation from wildfire than have lands managed by federal agencies.

"It’s time the states in the West come of age," Bedke said. "We’re every bit as capable of managing the lands in our boundaries as the states east of Colorado."

Ivory said the issue is of interest to urban as well as rural lawmakers, in part because they see oilfields and other resources that could be developed to create jobs and fund education.

Moreover, the federal government’s debt threatens both its management of vast tracts of the West as well as its ability to come through with payments in lieu of taxes to the states, he said. Utah gets 32 percent of its revenue from the federal government, much of it unrelated to public lands.

"If we don’t stand up and act, seeing that trajectory of what’s coming … those problems are going to get bigger," Ivory said.

He was the sponsor two years of ago of legislation, signed by Gov. Gary Herbert, that demands the federal government relinquish title to federal lands in Utah. The lawmakers and governor said they were only asking the federal government to make good on promises made in the 1894 Enabling Act for Utah to become a state.

The intent was never to take over national parks and wilderness created by an act of Congress Lockhart said. "We are not interested in having control of every acre," she said. "There are lands that are off the table that rightly have been designated by the federal government."
At least if there is corruption or bad management with state ownership the people of that state will be able to take action at the polls to correct the problem. But who can you hold accountable and vote out of office for what happens on federal lands?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fed's Massive Overreaction at Bundy's Nevada Ranch Makes Me Wonder What Obama Has in Store for the Rest of Us?

Specifically, why is the federal government buying billions of rounds of ammunition for domestic agencies?

Whatever you think about Cliven Bundy's refusal to pay grazing fees on land his family has ranched on since 1880, did it really justify the government's massive show of armed force at the Nevada ranch last week? Were hundreds of heavily armed officers, attack dogs, tasers and helicopters really necessary to round up a few hundred cattle or is something else going on here? If the message from the federal government was one of intimidation, it both succeeded and backfired. What's really going on?

A few photos to tell the story. First, just a fraction of the heavily armed units besieging the Bundy ranch:

Next, the patriots who rode out to show their support for Bundy, his family, State's Rights and the American Way:

Another reason the Bureau of Land Management is pushing Bundy off the land his family has used for generations is that the Bureau wants to use the land to protect the desert tortoise. Why the sudden heightened federal interest in turtles? Because the Bureau of Land Management has opened up large ares of land adjacent to the Bundy ranch for the development of "green" energy solar projects.  Turtles are being moved off land used for industrial scale development and put on land the Bundy's use to graze cows. By a strange coincidence many of these firms happen to be campaign contributors to President Obama and the Democrats who also receive federal subsidies for their projects.

Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at Heart of Scandal

Here's another photo which makes things clearer:

Sen. Reid (DEMOCRAT-NV) at far right breaks ground and digs up the home of the desert tortoise as
his "green" campaign contributors begin work on solar power site in Nevada desert.

 Sen. Reid's ties to "green" energy in return for campaign green are clear (1,2,3). What's really at stake in the Bundy standoff is an attempt to push out the ranchers and make way for more environmentally intrusive projects for Reid and the Democrat's campaign contributors.

With the federal government buying billions of rounds of ammunition(1,2) there's sure to be a version of the Bundy ranch near you. All for the sake of green energy or whatever other excuse the corruptocrats come up with!

P.S. If federal government sent hundreds of armed agents to Bundy's ranch because he owes grazing fees, why has the federal government not sent the same response after Al Sharpton and his National Action Network which owes $1.9 million in back taxes and fees? Why did Obama honor that group with a high profile visit last week?

Monday, April 14, 2014

As Ukraine Crisis Escalates, Obama Losses Another Week of Opportunity to Avoid War

Instead, he devoted his time to start a range war in Nevada and a race war in New York!

Massive escalation of the crisis in Donetsk region of Ukraine over the weekend.
Obviously, Obama sanctions and statements have no effect. Details at the BBC.
Over the weekend Russia stepped on the gas in it's plan to seize more of Ukraine. All of this was predicted, by me, after the seizure of Crimea. In a post on March 20, I said:
Obama's Attempt at De-escalation Gives Putin the Green Light

In the midst of Obama's typical dithering when it comes to foreign affairs a handful of observers asserted that he was actually trying to defuse the situation and give Putin a way out. But it's clear from Putin's actions that he saw Obama's sidestepping as weakness and stepped on the accelerator.
Putin sends troops to Ukraine.
Obama sends selfies!
Since the seizure of Crimea, Obama sent some military food rations to Ukraine, set up a few, very few, sanctions and his State Department spokeswoman tweeted a selfie photograph to show her support for the people of Ukraine. That's about it.

On March 28 Putin made a brilliant play by calling Obama and giving the impression he was ready to call a halt to any further action by Russia.

At the time of that call the Obama Administration released a statement saying:
President Obama underscored to President Putin that the United States continues to support a diplomatic path in close consultation with the Government of Ukraine and in support of the Ukrainian people with the aim of de-escalation of the crisis. President Obama made clear that this remains possible only if Russia pulls back its troops and does not take any steps to further violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
After the call several Obama supporters promptly declared "peace in our time" and problem solved. Except things have only gotten worse. Yet, even as the Administration openly admits Russia is behind the latest move in Ukraine they remain wedded to the failed policy of diplomacy and de-escalation. UN Ambassador Samantha Power said on Sunday:
“So, I think we've seen that the sanctions can bite and if actions like the kind that we've seen over the last few days continue, you're going to see a ramping up of those sanctions.”
White House Spokesman Jay Carney said pretty much the same thing on Monday while rejecting any defensive military aide for Ukraine. ""I can assure you that Russia's further provocations and transgressions will come with a cost," Carney said. That's pretty much the same line the White House used before Putin seized Ukraine. Carney went on to say that Obama plans to speak with Putin "soon, perhaps today." Yeah. That will stop Putin!

The White House spokesman also rejected calls by Senator John McCain and others for defensive weapons to be sent to Ukraine. Included in those who make that suggestion is NATO Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Philip Breedlove. Democrats used to tell President Bush to "listen to the generals." Apparently, the same does not apply to Obama.

In Monday's editorial, the Washington Post concludes that it may be too late to avert war in Ukraine:
A WEEK ago militants seized government buildings in three eastern Ukrainian cities in what Secretary of State John F. Kerry charged was “an illegal and illegitimate effort” by Russia to “create a contrived crisis with paid operatives.” Mr. Kerry threatened that the United States would respond with sanctions against Russia’s mining, energy and banking sectors. But in the following days the Obama administration failed to act, other than against a few minor figures in occupied Crimea.
Once again senior U.S. and European officials charged that Russia was behind the attacks. Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the actions were “professional,” “coordinated,” and bore “tell-tale signs of Moscow’s involvement.” But again, there was no tangible U.S. response. Ms. Power said only that there would be a “ramping up” of sanctions “if actions we’ve seen over the last few days continue.”

How much more action must Russia take to provoke a response? For weeks President Obama has been saying that a military intervention in eastern Ukraine would prompt U.S. sanctions far more consequential than the measures taken against a handful of Vladi­mir Putin’s cronies and one bank on March 20. By the U.S. account, that military intervention is now underway.
The Obama administration elected not to adopt significant measures last week in part because it was awaiting what it described as a diplomatic opening — a four-way meeting this week of foreign ministers from the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union. Yet there is almost no chance this gathering, if it takes place at all, can lead to an acceptable solution for Ukraine. Moscow is demanding that the country be chopped up into pieces and that areas under its influence be given a veto over Ukraine’s foreign policy. Given the weak response to its aggression, Moscow has no incentive to drop that scheme.

It may be too late to prevent war in eastern Ukraine. But the United States must quickly take the measures promised by Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry, or lose what little credibility it retains on Ukraine. If Sunday’s combat continues, it should also reconsider Kiev’s request for non-lethal supplies and small arms for its forces. If Ukrainians are forced to fight for their country, they should be helped.
As the Post makes clear, Obama is deluded into thinking that a diplomatic solution is possible. In so doing, he is tossing away the few military options which exist. This makes war more, not less, likely. As history has taught us peace comes through strength and weakness and indecisiveness invites war.

It's also clear that Obama's focus remains primarily on domestic, political concerns. Once again, politics trumps foreign policy. Ramping up the war on women, the range war in Nevada and the race war in New York are at the top of his to do list. The real war where people are dying does not concern him at all!

UPDATE: Even Politico finds Obama's indifference to the biggest European crisis since the Cold War odd:
Ukrainian government troops seized an airport from pro-Russian separatists in an “anti-terrorist” operation covered on TV around the world on Tuesday. Meanwhile, in Washington, President Barack Obama phoned the University of Connecticut’s basketball coaches to congratulate them on their recent tournament wins.
On Wednesday, it [White House] said, Obama is visiting Oakdale, Pa., to visit the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center “to tour a classroom and deliver remarks on the importance of jobs-driven skills training in a 21st century economy.”
The Politico also quoted Russian chess legend-turned political activist Garry Kasparov:
“Obama the professor is teaching a case study on how to turn the greatest military power in the history of the world into a joke,” Kasparov wrote.
Some would say that's been Obama's intention all along!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Obama's Hypocrisy on Women's Pay and Cynical Manipulation of the Ill Informed

Lying about women's pay inequality is a cynical political ploy that will only work on those who already vote Democrat!

It's not math. It's a LIE!
So, the November congressional election is little more than 200 days away. Obama can't talk about the weak economy or ObamaCare or foreign policy so he has to change the subject. What better way to do it than dip into his bag of tricks and start dividing the country into various groups and factions claiming only he has their best interest at heart. This week it's women's pay inequality. He won't mention that under his Administration, women's employment has been hit hardest of all after black Americans. So, he has to distort the truth and make up another lie. He's had lots of practice doing so.

Jonathon Karl of ABC News nailed White House Spokesman Jay Carney on the subject:
KARL: Jay, I just want to clarify, to come back to this inequality issue. The president cited census data that women on average make 77 percent of what men make. Why is that an example or evidence of discrimination in the workforce at large, but it’s not evidence of discrimination when women here at the White House make 88 percent of what men here at the White House make?
Other White House defenders have pointed out that many of the women who work in the White House do menial work like maids, dishwashers, receptionists and telephone operators. Hardly a defense of Obama's attitudes towards women in the workplace. It's no surprise that a former top female aide described the Obama White House as a "genuinely hostile workplace to women." Another said she "felt like a piece of meat."

The Washington Post gives Obama two Pinocchios for his misleading statistics. Well, at least it isn't another Obama "lie of the year" like so much of ObamaCare.

Of course Obama's own indifference to women in the workplace or the facts of women's pay will not stop him from repeating the lie over and over. After all, what else does he have to run on in November but scares, lies and distortions?

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Here We Go Again: Russian "Protesters" Storm Government Buildings in Eastern Ukraine

Following the model of Crimea's seizure as Obama does nothing!

Removing Ukraine's name from government buildings seized on Sunday.
Raising the Russian flag and nationalist banners defying the police to dislodge them.
BBC Report:Ukraine: Pro-Russians storm offices in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv

Good News? Obama's Order of Meals Ready to Eat Arrives!

Perhaps we shouldn't say Obama did nothing. After all, the military rations he promised in lieu of the defensive weapons the Ukrainian Prime Minister begged for in a White House meeting have arrived. But then, this gesture is nothing that will aid the Ukrainians fighting to save their country from Russian military aggression.

Defensive weapons which Ukraine requested would have made it clear to the Russians that they will pay a price for invading Ukraine. Just as the Afghans ejected the Soviets using Stinger anti-aircraft missiles in the 80's. But Putin, who could not afford to be bloodied in Ukraine, is counting on Obama's indifference or incompetence so he need not fear a more effective military response.

Obama is Putin's greatest ally and the facilitator of Ukraine's dismemberment!

P.S. North Korea sends artillery barrage into South Korea. The wheels are coming off the bus of world peace and no one is driving!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Thousands of Possible Vote Fraud Cases in North Carolina

Is this why Democrats are so desperate to stop photo ID laws for voting?

Democrats are so conveniently in denial about voter fraud they are acting downright stupid. For example, take MSNBC host Joy Reid who recently said "you’re more likely to be beamed up into a UFO or struck by lightning than find in-person voter fraud.” Ready to beam up Joy?

From WNCN News in Raleigh North Carolina:
A total of 35,750 voters with matching first and last names and date of birth were registered in North Carolina and another state, and voted in both states in the 2012 general election.

Another 765 voters with an exact match of first and last name, date of birth and last four digits of their Social Security number were registered and voted in the 2012 general election in North Carolina and another state.
A total of 28 states participated in the crosscheck, leaving data missing from 22 other states.
With all 50 states participating (you want to guess which party controls the states which did not participate?) we would likely find the numbers to be even higher. The report also found 81 dead people voting in the 2012 election yet Chicago is a long way from Charlotte!

Reports from other states are yet to come but it's also a safe bet we'll find similar results. The process of detecting these multiple voters is really very simple.

Meanwhile, a Florida reporter found dozens of non citizens who actually did vote though they are legally barred from doing so. Democrats used the courts to block efforts to remove non citizens from the ballot.

At nearly every opportunity Democrats stand in the way of assuring that elections are free of fraud. Why do you suppose that is?

Instead of the Hard Job of Leading, Obama Goes for Another Low Blow in Attacks on Paul Ryan Budget Plan

This comes from the president who says he wants to work with both sides and hear all ideas? Come on!

So, despite Democrats who insist Republicans never present any alternative House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) did his job and came up with a proposed budget for the next fiscal year. He shouldn't have bothered. While Rep. Ryan was willing to take conservative fire from the likes of Sarah Palin and produce a budget with plenty of ideas that should appeal to both sides of the partisan aisle Obama just used it as a political football and attacked it with the same irresponsible, over the top rhetoric that he uses to denounce virtually every GOP idea.

In yet another taxpayer funded campaign appearance, this one at the University of Michigan, Obama demeaned Ryan's proposal as a "stinkburger" and a "meanwich." Here's the video clip:

OBAMA: [T]heir budget guts the rules we put in place to protect middle-class families from another financial crisis like the one that we’ve endured. So if this all sounds familiar, it should be familiar because it was their economic plan in the 2012 campaign, it was their economic plan in 2010. It’s like that movie Groundhog Day -- (laughter) -- except it’s not funny. If they tried to sell this sandwich at Zingerman’s, they’d have to call it the Stinkburger, or the Meanwich.

Look, here’s the truth. They’re not necessarily cold-hearted, they just sincerely believe that if we give more tax breaks to a fortunate few and we invest less in the middle class, and we reduce or eliminate the safety net for the poor and the sick, and we cut food stamps, and we cut Medicaid, and we let banks and polluters and credit card companies and insurers do only what’s best for their bottom line without the responsibility to the rest of us, then somehow the economy will boom, and jobs and prosperity will trickle down to everybody.
And, look, it does create opportunity for a handful of people who are already doing really, really well. But we believe in opportunity for everybody. More good jobs for everybody. More workers to fill those jobs. (Applause.) A world-class education for everybody. Hard work that pays off with wages you can live on and savings you can retire on and health care you can count on. That’s what “opportunity for all” means. That’s what it means.
This is what Obama's policies have
done to the Middle Class.
Yeah, saying Republicans want to poison the air and water while kicking the "poor and the sick" under the bus is standard lingo for a man who can't seem to grasp that the essential characteristic of a good president is to bring the country together and work on common goals.

And as for Obama's "rules we put in place to protect middle-class families," we note that Obama's policies are destroying the Middle Class while making those who are already rich even richer.

Obama knows he can continue to smear GOP budgets and blast them as the party of the rich because a compliant media refuses to call him out on the lie.  But for him to suggest that he is interested in hearing GOP ideas is as laughable as his promise that "if you like your health plan, you can keep your plan. Period!" 

Obama, the best friend Wall Street Fat Cat Millionaires and Billionaires ever had!

Friday, April 04, 2014

Congressional Hearing Exposes Benghazi Coverup

Former CIA #2, top Clinton friend, has fingerprints all over it!

You can't be blamed if you didn't learn about the Benghazi hearing in the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday. The Obama media has done their best to ignore the story in the same way they downplay or ignore the IRS and other Obama scandals. And on Wednesday, they had a good excuse with the Fort Hood shooting. But Wednesday's hearing was pivotal for those still seeking answers about the attack in Benghazi that left four Americans, including our Ambassador, dead and the consequent misleading statements that flowed from the Obama Administration in the wake of the attack.

There was only one witness on Wednesday: former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell. He was at the heart of the effort to tweak talking points in the days after the attack that eliminated references to Al Queda and Islamic extremism. Politico spins his testimony this way:
Former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell denied Wednesday that there was any cover-up or political influence in messaging after the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. “We did not deliberately downplay the role of terrorists in the Benghazi attack in our analysis or in the talking points,” Morell said during a House Intelligence Committee hearing.
Yet, throughout the hearing Morrell was faced with a large facsimile of the Administration talking points on the Benghazi attack edited by his own hand:

The editing clearly shows that Morrell struck references to Al Queda and Islamic extremists and the list of previous attacks which should have sounded a warning. Claiming that his edits were not motivated by politics ("I never allowed politics to influence what I said or did. Never,")Morrell said he removed the passages because it would have been a "way for CIA to pound its chest and say 'we warned,' laying all the blame on the State Department." His boss, David Petraeus, sent an email saying that the resulting talking points were so bad they were useless.

Morrell's testimony does support the evidence from government emails which show the State Department was very concerned to deflect any blame that might fall on the Department and presumably Hillary Clinton. Of course the reason for doing so is entirely political. And what of Mr. Morrell? After leaving the CIA he joined Beacon Global Strategies as a highly paid member along with other top Administration officials, many close to Hillary Clinton. It's this brain trust that may be part of Hillary's 2016 presidential race and Morrell has expressed interest in being involved. His actions not political? On what planet?

National Security Advisor Susan Rice, the former United Nations Ambassador famous for linking the attacks to a You Tube video claimed and repeats the claim that she relied on " the best information that we had at the time." Yet Morrell admits striking information that was provided by CIA analysts in Washington. Also, top CIA personnel in Libya, including any that might have been present during the attack was excluded from the talking points. So how was this the "best information?" Perhaps it was the best cover up Morrell and his conspirators in the State Department and elsewhere could cook up!

P.S. Asked about where the blame it on a You Tube video line came from Morrell had no answer. But then, we have a pretty good guess!
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