Don’t Let Your Guard Down Just Because You Think You Have Pushed The ‘Reset’ Button posted an article yesterday about the arrest of eleven Russian spies in the United States.  The tendency is make light of the fact that there were Russian sleeper cells among us because we seemingly have good relations with Russia and President Obama has pressed the ‘reset’ button.  Well, not so fast.

The article points out that:

“…Maintaining these sleeper networks was an act of an enemy. Had there been an incident between the U.S. and Russia, they could have been activated for more nefarious tasks than what they were caught doing.

“They’ve also picked up the tempo in the last three years “

President Obama has been in office for more than a year.  Has the ‘reset’ button worked?   Reuters is reporting that the number of Russian spies in Britain is ‘at Cold War levels’ and reportedly involves half of the Russian Embassy staff.

The article further points out:

“Russia is the same country that votes against the U.S. on Iran, not out of contradictory interests, but to check the U.S. global leadership. It’s the nation that brutally invaded Georgia in 2007, without consequence. It has poisoned dissidents in London and gotten away with that, too, as well as cut off gas to a freezing Western Europe. And it’s now fomenting unrest on Kyrgyzstan in a bid to undermine the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan.”

One of the major problems with the Obama Administration is that they do not seem to be able to tell the difference between our friends and our enemies.  Hopefully, they will learn to tell friend from foe before it is too late for America.

Does A Supreme Court Justice Have To Be Honest ?

Yesterday Power Line posted an article about the actions of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan concerning the proposed ban on partial birth abortion.  I won’t go into the details of the procedure here, if you are curious, google it. 

A report from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) was used to support striking down the ban the state of Nebraska had placed on the procedure of partial birth abortion.  The report stated:

“ACOG declared that the partial-birth-abortion procedure “may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.” The Court relied on the ACOG statement as a key example of medical opinion supporting the abortion method.”

In the papers released as part of the confirmation of Ms. Kagan, there is a different story.  According to Power Line:

“Here is the shocking part: the ACOG report, as originally drafted, said almost exactly the opposite. The initial draft said that the ACOG panel “could identify no circumstances under which this procedure . . . would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman.” That language horrified the rabidly pro-abortion Elena Kagan, then a deputy assistant to President Clinton for domestic policy. This is what Kagan wrote in a memo to her superiors in the Clinton White House:

“Todd Stern just discovered that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is thinking about issuing a statement (attached) that includes the following sentence: “[A] select panel convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under which [the partial-birth] procedure … would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman.” This, of course, would be disaster — not the less so (in fact, the more so) because ACOG continues to oppose the legislation. It is unclear whether ACOG will issue the statement; even if it does not, there is obviously a chance that the draft will become public.”

The draft was changed by Ms. Kagan and the statement released saying the procedure was justified.  In other words, the scientific opinion was changed to accommodate the politics.  Please follow the link above to Power LIne and see the handwritten notes there.

I rather doubt this will come up in the Senate testimony (Republicans are too polite to bring this up), but as an American, I am appalled by this sort of behavior.  We are about to give a lifetime judicial term to someone with very questionable scruples.  

The Fight For The Next Generation In Gaza posted an Associated Press article today about vandalism at a United Nations summer camp children’s camp in Gaza.  The camp was vandalized yesterday for the second time in a month.  The vandals burned and slashed tents, toys, and a plastic swimming pool. 

According to the article:

“Islamic extremists have accused the main UN aid agency here of corrupting Gaza’s youth with its summer program of games, sports, and human rights lessons for 250,000 children.”

“The United Nations’s main competitor in running summer camps is the ruling Islamic militant Hamas, which says it reaches 100,000 children. The Hamas camps teach Islam, military-style marching and swimming and horseback riding.”

In the search for Middle East peace, we are not dealing with two sides that want peaceful co-existence.  We need to remember that.  The Hamas camps are not idyllic places where children enjoy summer recreation–they are the equivalent of the Hitler Youth Camps.  To ignore this fact is to refuse to see one of the major roadblocks to peace in the Middle East.  Right now we have too many leaders who are willing to see the Middle East through the eyes of Neville Chamberlain rather than through the eyes of Winston Churchill.  That perspective will hinder the cause of peace rather than promote peace.

News On The Financial Reform Bill

The Hill reported yesterday that Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) said that he would vote against advancing the Financial Reform legislation. 

According to the article:

“As I have indicated for some time now, my test for the financial regulatory reform bill is whether it will prevent another crisis,” Feingold said in a statement. “The conference committee’s proposal fails that test and for that reason I will not vote to advance it.”

The bill does not include any reforms of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which played a large part in creating the mortgage meltdown that began the recession. 

This 2,000 page bill is another Congressional boondoggle.  Because of its 2000 pages, no one has studied it closely, and there are some real questions about what its actual effect will be if it passes. 

The Wall Street Journal reports today:

“And the late addition of a fee on banks and hedge funds to cover the cost of the legislation is roiling the few Republicans thought likely to vote for the package.”

This is another bill that should be scrapped, redone in 25 pages or less and voted on.  Unless Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are included in the bill, it will not seriously address financial reform.  If past experience is our guide, when the government gets its hands off of Wall Street and the financial sector, things go much better for everyone.  Part of the problem that led to the financial meltdown we have experienced was Congress interfering in the way banks made mortgage loans–the subprime mortgage market was created as a result of Congressional pressure to provide housing for low-income people.  It was a noble goal, but the Congressional interference created problems no one ever dreamed of.

Not All Wars Are Fought On The Battlefield

Yesterday the New York Times posted a staory about an FBI arrest of 11 people accused of being part of a Russian spy ring operating in the United States.  There are a few things in this story that are interesting.  The F.B.I. investigation began at least seven years ago.  This was during the Russian presidency of Vladimir Putin.  When you consider that Putin’s background included approximately fifteen years in the KGB, this should not be a surprise.

The article states that:

“The alleged agents were directed to gather information on nuclear weapons, American policy toward Iran, C.I.A. leadership, Congressional politics and many other topics, prosecutors say. The Russian spies made contact with a former high-ranking American national security official and a nuclear weapons researcher, among others. But the charges did not include espionage, and it was unclear what secrets the suspected spy ring — which included five couples — actually managed to collect.”

It is interesting that the spies were couples–not single people–designed to blend in more easily with the fabric of American life and possibly to appear less threatening.  It is also interesting that one of the couples learned the art of American expense accounts:

“There were also hints that Russian spy bosses feared their agents, ordered to go native in prosperous America, might be losing track of their official purpose. Agents in Boston submitted an expense report with such vague items as “trip to meeting” for $1,125 and “education,” $3,600.”

On the surface, this really doesn’t seem like much of a story, but we need to put it in context.  The current Russian government is working against us on sanctioning Iran’s nuclear program, and they are generally undermining us in the Middle East wherever possible.  These arrests should be taken as a reminder that even though the cold war is supposedly over, that doesn’t mean that our former enemies are happy with the role of America in international affairs.  The world is not a safe place right now; there are various people who wish to do America harm, and we need to be aware of that fact. 

Lessons In Dealing With A Bully

Power Line posted an article Saturday updating the status of the Iranian flotilla that was planning to break the Israeli ‘blockade’ of Gaza.  The article refers to a Michael Ledeen article at Pajamas Media

According to the article:

“He (Hossein Sheikholeslam, secretary general of the International Conference for the Support of the “Palestinian” Intifada, an Iranian body set up by parliament) said the voyage was cancelled as Israel “had sent a letter to the United Nations saying that the presence of Iranian and Lebanese ships in the Gaza area will be considered a declaration of war on that regime and it will confront it,” IRNA quoted him as saying.”

To quote Mr. Ledeen:

“That’s clear enough, isn’t it?  Israel said that if any Iranian ship tries to enter Israeli waters, it will be treated as an act of war.  So the Iranians bagged it.”

There are lessons to be learned from this.  The article further points out:

“Now ask yourself this question: how would the regime react if the tough guy in the White House said, “If we find any evidence of Iranian support for the terrorists killing Americans in Iraq or Afghanistan, we’ll consider it an act of war and will react accordingly”? …”

The problem with the Obama Administration is that they are convinced that weakness makes friends.  Do we want to be friends with bullies, are do we want to see them stop bullying? 

Please follow the link to the Power Line article to read the conclusions John Hinderaker draws from the events regarding the Iranian flotilla.  There are a number of lessons we can learn from this that would be useful in dealing with Iran in the future.

Where Is The A-Whale ?

“What is the A-Whale ?” you ask.  The A-Whale is the largest open-water oil skimmer in the world. 

According to Hot Air yesterday:

“Originally an oil and ore tanker, the ship’s owners recently refitted the ship to do exactly the kind of work that the US so desperately needs in the Gulf of Mexico, and to do it on a vastly larger scale than current operations can handle.  According to the ship’s project manager, the entire American effort in 66 days has skimmed off 600,000 barrels of oil.  The ship’s owners claim that A-Whale can skim 500,000 barrels a day.”

The Boston Human Rights Examiner also posted a story yesterday on this ship.  According to that article:

“”So where is the A-Whale now? In the Gulf? Not yet. It’s on its way there after being tied to a dock in Norfolk, Virginia, and won’t be allowed to join the cleanup effort until the Coast Guard and the EPA figure out whether it meets their standards (h/t Deb Singer on Twitter).”

“Continually, questions are being raised about why offers to assist with the BP blowout have been rejected and why the Navy, with more resources in terms of vessels and technology have not been accessed to help.”

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air points out:

“This, by the way, is Day 68 of the Gulf crisis.  The A-Whale didn’t get refitted on Day 66; this work had to have been done over months, if not years.  Shouldn’t the government have known about the existence of this ship two months ago, and been working on certifying it immediately?    The A-Whale shouldn’t have had to stop at Norfolk at all to get the nation’s attention, but should have been hired to steam directly to the Gulf and get to work immediately. It’s indicative of a crisis management team that is spending more time worrying about regulations and red tape than cleaning up the mess, just as we saw with Packgen’s boom.”

What do we need to conclude from the disaster that is continuing in the Gulf?  Government is not the answer to all our problems, and more often than not, it is government that is the problem.  Government is not what made this country great–the productivity and genius of the American people are responsible for the prosperity of America.  We will lose that prosperity if we continue to elect people who believe that the government should be in control of everything.

It’s Amazing How Much Power Scott Brown Has !

Reuters is reporting today via Yahoo News that Scott Brown may complicate the Obama Administration’s plans to pass ‘Wall Street Reform.’  Wow!  The Democrats control the Presidency and the Congress, and Scott Brown has all the power.  This is more than a little ridiculous.

Senator Brown stated, “I was surprised and extremely disappointed to hear that $18 billion in new assessments and fees were added in the wee hours of the morning by the conference committee,”   Welcome to Washington, sir.

According to the article:

“”While I’m still reviewing the bill’s details, these provisions were not in the Senate version of the bill which I previously supported … I’ve said repeatedly that I cannot support any bill that raises tax,” Brown said.” 

This is not a bill that anyone needs to support.  It ignores the role that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac played in the financial meltdown and does not include any changes to these agencies at all.  It sets up a system where the government can take over any business it deems in danger of failing with no recourse for the business owners or stockholders.  It is another step toward government control of the business sector and the choking of free enterprise (the system that made this country great).

We have had problems in our economy, but most of them were due to government interference in the free market rather than lack of regulation.  To add more government interference is to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

The Consequences Of Too Much Government

This chart was taken from Power Line.  It shows clearly where the job growth has been.


The chart was part of an article about Vice-President Biden’s visit to a custard shop in Wisconsin.  When the owner of the shop gave the Vice-President a custard, the Vice-President asked how much he owed.  The owner of the shop replied, “Nothing, just lower our taxes.”  That is the cry of the small business owners who would like to hire people and turn the recession around.  Businesses are not hiring right now because of the uncertainty in what their tax burdens and health insurance costs are going to be in the near future.  Unless the runaway spending by Congress is stopped, the private sector (where the jobs that produce things and fuel economic growth are produced) will be crowded out as the federal government grows. 

If you want to see the recession end and private sector jobs recover, vote Republican in 2010–the Democrats will not stop spending.

More On The Voter Intimidation Case In Philadelphia

Before I start this article, this is the link to the YouTube video of the Black Panthers intimidating voters in Philadelphia. 

Yesterday, the Washington Times posted an editorial by J. Christian Adams.  Mr. Adams explains some of the actions taken on the Black Panthers voter intimidation case in his editorial:

“The New Black Panther case was the simplest and most obvious violation of federal law I saw in my Justice Department career. Because of the corrupt nature of the dismissal, statements falsely characterizing the case and, most of all, indefensible orders for the career attorneys not to comply with lawful subpoenas investigating the dismissal, this month I resigned my position as a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney.”

Mr. Adams states that the handling of this case by the Department of Justice brings into question whether the department will be able to enforce election laws in an unbiased manner in the midterm elections and the 2010 presidential election.

The editorial further points out:

“The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has opened an investigation into the dismissal and the DOJ’s skewed enforcement priorities. Attorneys who brought the case are under subpoena to testify, but the department ordered us to ignore the subpoena, lawlessly placing us in an unacceptable legal limbo.”

Please follow the link above and read the entire editorial.  It is a chilling account of the justice department’s ignoring the rule of law.  This is a further example of the Obama Administration ignoring the rule of law and the wishes of the people.  President Obama has brought “the Chicago way” to Washington and needs to lose the support of Congress in the midterm election and to lose the Presidency in 2012. 

An Interesting Decision By The Supreme Court That Will Probably Be Further Scrutinized

The information for this story comes from CBN News and Washington Post articles that were posted on Friday.

Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that people who sign referendum petitions should not expect to have their names kept secret.  This sounds like a really good idea–open government, transparency, etc., but there are some problems.

CBN News reports what recently happened in California with Proposition 8:

“The group known as Protect Marriage Washington organized the petition drive in an effort to give the public a chance to vote on repealing the state’s domestic partnership law.

“Gay rights activists then asked the state for the petitioners names. The request left some feeling uneasy in light of what happened in California after the Proposition 8 campaign.

“The Golden State’s gay rights activists targeted churches and individuals who supported overturning gay marriage. Vandalism and job threats were common. Some even faced death threats.”

If transparency in a specific instance results in danger for ordinary citizens, is it something we want?

The Washington Post reports:

“”There are laws against threats and intimidation; and harsh criticism, short of unlawful action, is a price our people have traditionally been willing to pay for self-governance,” Scalia wrote in a separate concurrence. “Requiring people to stand up in public for their political acts fosters civic courage, without which democracy is doomed.”

“Justice Clarence Thomas was the lone dissenter. He said the state’s decision to disclose the names on all petitions is unconstitutional “because there will always be a less restrictive means by which Washington can vindicate its stated interest in preserving the integrity of its referendum process.””

I guess I am just on the minority side of this.  Until the safety of petition signers can be guaranteed (which it never can), I want signatures to be validated by the Attorney General of the state involved and not made public.

The Incredible People Who Defend Our Freedom

This website was started in order to publish the news that didn’t make it into the mainstream media.  This article arrived in my email recently.  This is a story that needs to be told.


This is the story of Navy Petty Officer, PO2 (Petty Officer, Second Class) EOD2 (Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Second Class) “MIKE MONSOOR.”

Mike Monsoor,

(April 5th ~ September 29th,2009) 
Was Awarded “The Congressional Medal Of Honor” Last Week,
For Giving His Life In Iraq, As He Jumped On, And Covered With His Body, A Live Hand Grenade,

Saving The Lives Of A Large Group Of Navy Seals That Was Passing By!
During Mike Monsoor’s Funeral,
At Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery , In San Diego , California,
The Six Pallbearers Removed The Rosewood Casket From The Hearse,
And Lined Up On Each Side Of Mike Monsoor’s Casket,
His Family Members, Friends, Fellow Sailors, And Well-wishers.

Continued From The Hearse, All The Way To The Grave Site.

What The Group Didn’t Know At The Time Was,

Every Navy Seal

(45 To Be Exact)

That Mike Monsoor Saved That Day Was Scattered Through-Out The Column!

As The Pallbearers Carried The Rosewood Casket
Down The Column Of People To The Grave Side.
The Column Would Collapse.. 
And Form A Group Of People That Followed Behind.

Every Time The Rosewood Casket Passed A Navy Seal,
He Would Remove His Gold Trident Pin From His Uniform,
And Slap It Down Hard,
Causing The Gold Trident Pin To Embed Itself
Into The Top Of The Wooden Casket!
Then The Navy Seal Would Step Back From The Column, And Salute!
Now For Those,

Who Don’t Know What A Trident Pin Is,
Here Is The Definition!

After One Completes The Basic Navy Seals Program Which Lasts For Three Weeks,
And Is Followed By Seal Qualification Training,
Which Is 15 More Weeks Of Training,
Necessary To Continue Improving Basic Skills
And To Learn New Tactics And Techniques,

Required For An Assignment To A Navy Seal Platoon.
After successful completion,

Trainees Are Given Their Naval Enlisted Code,
And Are Awarded The Navy Seal Trident Pin.
With This Gold Pin They Are Now Officially Navy Seals!
It Was Said,
That You
Could Hear Each Of The 45 Slaps From Across The Cemetery!

By The Time The Rosewood Casket Reached The Grave Site,
It Looked As Though It Had A Gold Inlay From The 45 Trident Pins That Lined The Top!

This Was A Fitting End To An Eternal Send-Off For A Warrior Hero!



Please pray for all of our military. 

The Crowding Out Of The Private Sector

The following paragraphs are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics website–the numbers are from their press release of early June detailing employment information for May.  The boldface type was my addition.

“Temporary help services added 31,000 jobs over the month; employment
in the industry has risen by 362,000 since September 2009.

“Employment in mining continued to increase in May, with a gain of
10,000. Support activities for mining accounted for 8,000 of the over-
the-month increase. Since October 2009, mining employment has expanded
by 50,000.

“Health care employment was little changed in May (+8,000). Over the
prior 12 months, health care employment had increased by an average
of 20,000 per month.

“In May, employment in construction declined by 35,000, largely off-
setting gains in the industry in the prior 2 months. May’s job loss
was spread throughout the sector.

“Employment in other private-sector industries, including wholesale
trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information,
financial activities, and leisure and hospitality showed little or
no change in May.

“Government employment rose by 390,000 in May. The Federal government
hired 411,000 temporary workers for Census 2010, bringing total tem-
porary census staffing during the payroll survey reference period to
564,000. Employment in state government excluding education decreased
by 13,000.

“In May, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm pay-
rolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.2 hours. The manufacturing workweek
for all employees increased by 0.3 hour to 40.5 hours. The average
workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private non-
farm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 33.5 hours over the month.

“Average hourly earnings of all employees in the private nonfarm sector
increased by 7 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $22.57 in May. Over the past
12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 1.9 percent. In
May, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsuper-
visory employees increased by 4 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $18.99.”

As the government takes over more of the economy, it will crowd out the private sector.  As long as the government continues to grow at its present rate, the wealth of individuals in America will decrease.  When you take money from the producers in a society and give it to the non-productive members, the number of non-productive members increases, and the number of producers decreases.  That is the direction of the current Congress and President.  If America is to recover fully from its current financial woes, we need a total change of direction.  I strongly suggest voting Republican in November.  That won’t solve the problem totally, but it will begin to take the wind out of the sails of those moving us into a socialist direction.

If There Is To Be Peace In The Middle East, Things Like This Video Need To Change

Today Power Line posted an article about the Birds of Paradise, an Islamic satellite channel that broadcasts from Bahrain and is aired in Gaza. 

According to the article:

“The head of the satellite channel is Khalid Maqdad, a Palestinian Jordanian. The children’s choir featured in the video below is apparently also called Birds of Paradise.” 

Please follow the link above and watch the video.  It is a group of beautiful young children singing about the joys of martyrdom for the sake of Palestine.  Until the teaching of Palestinian children that their destiny is to be martyrs for the sake of Palestine ends, there will not be peace in the Middle East.  The problems of rocket attacks on civilians in Israel will not end until there is a change in the Gaza Strip culture and education of children.  All the negotiations and peace talks in the world will not be successful until the next generation of Palestinians is taught the value of peace.

Watching Where Your Money Goes

CNBC News reported yesterday that more than $9 million of the tax credits for homebuyers went to nearly 1,300 prison inmates. 

According to the article:

“In all, more than 14,100 taxpayers wrongly received at least $26.7 million in tax credits that were meant to boost the nation’s slumping housing markets, said the report by J. Russell George, the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration.”

The article also reported that 87 IRS employees may have improperly claimed the credit.

At a time when taxpayers are dealing with unemployement, tighter budgets, and an economy  that does not seem to be creating jobs, the last thing we need is to find out that the taxes were are paying are being badly mishandled.  This is a further example of the fact that the government has gotten too big and cannot police itself.  We need a smaller government with more transparency so that the taxpayers know where their money is going. 

General Petraeus Will Replace General McChrystal In Afghanistan

The Hill is reporting that President Obama has accepted the resignation of General McChrystal and that General Petraeus will replace him in Afghanistan. 

The resignation of General McChrystal is unfortunate, but necessary in light of the Rolling Stone article.  Even if the remarks quoted in the Rolling Stone article were made by his staff and not directly by him, the remarks are still considered insubordination and have to be dealt with.

General Petraeus did a fantastic job in Iraq and hopefully can do the same in Afghanistan.  I know someone who went to high school with him, and she has told me that even then, General Petraeus was respected as a leader. 

It is difficult to change horses in midstream, but if we have to do it, I believe that General Petraeus can step into the job as commander in Afghanistan quite effectively.

Our Basic Freedom Of Speech Is Under Attack In Some Parts Of America

Power LIne posted an article and a video today of an arrest in Dearborn, Michigan.  The people arrested were charged with disorderly conduct for handing out copies of the Gospel of John outside an Arab cultural festival.  The four Christian missionaries were arrested for handing out the literature OUTSIDE the festival.  They were not inside the festival, nor were they causing a disturbance.  If you watch the video, you will see that the police who arrested them asked them to stop filiming the arrest.  The four missionaries are currently free on bond.  What!!!???  What in the world happened to the First Amendment?   Are we in danger of having European ‘no go’ zones in some of our midwestern cities?  ‘No go’ zones are places where the police will not go in some European countries.  In France, a Jewish man was kidnapped, tortured for three weeks, and finally killed.  The BBC reported on the trial last spring. 

This is America.  We are supposedly governed by our Constitution.  We need to make sure the Constitution is used as the standard for law enforcement throughout the country.

Federal Authorities Have Stopped The Building Of Sand Berms

The New Orleans Times Picayune is reporting that federal authorities have ordered the state of Louisiana to stop dredging to build sand berms to stop the growing oil spill.  The actual contention has to do with dredging east of the Mississippi River. 

According to the article:

“(Governor Bobby) Jindal said about 450,000 cubic yards of sand has been dredged in the area.

“He said it would take about 5 days to build the pipeline federal authorities want to access the new dredging site. “It took so long to approve this project. We don’t want to be tied up in more red tape,” he said.

“Jindal, a frequent critic of the BP and federal responses to the spill, has proposed building massive berms to intercept the oil before it gets to the coast. The plan has received partial approval from the corps. BP has agreed to pay $360 million for the project.”

Evidently there are some scientists that are concerned that the dredging will change tidal patterns and could lead to more long-term erosion of the islands.  That may be true, but I can guarantee that if the oil slick reaches those islands it will have long-term effects.

I really am beginning to wonder about the government’s involvement in this oil spill.  It seems as if they have failed to deal with the spill successfully from the beginning.  The government stopped the skimming boats for twenty-four hours, they delayed the building of berms for a month, and generally they have been more of a hindrance than a help.  The government seems to be more concerned about the environmental impact of stopping the spill than the environmental impact of the spill.

In the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico we are seeing the results of a too big federal government  blocking states from doing the things they need to do to protect their land and economies.

The Deepwater Drilling Ban In The Gulf Of Mexico Has Been Lifted is reporting that U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman has granted a preliminary injunction to lift the drilling ban in the Gulf of Mexico.  The Judge has also  “immediately prohibited” the U.S. from enforcing the ban.

According to the article:

“The court is unable to divine or fathom a relationship between the findings and the immense scope of the moratorium,” Feldman said in his 22-page decision. “The blanket moratorium, with no parameters, seems to assume that because one rig failed and although no one yet fully knows why, all companies and rigs drilling new wells over 500 feet also universally present an imminent danger.”

The U. S. will appeal the decision. 

Playing Politics With The Taxpayers’ Wallet

The Hill is reporting today that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) will confirm in a speech today that the Democrats will not pass a budget in 2010.  Meanwhile, the Democrats are vowing to cut spending when they do pass a budget.  Represenative Hoyer stated, “It isn’t possible to debate and pass a realistic, long-term budget until we’ve considered the bipartisan commission’s deficit-reduction plan, which is expected in December.”

This is political gobbledygook!  Let me translate.  The only way the Democrats ever attempted to balance the budget was to raise taxes–it has never occurred to them to cut spending.  So this is what they are thinking:  It would be stupid to raise taxes just before an election.  Maybe the voters won’t realize that when the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of this year, everyone’s taxes will be going up.  Maybe we can get a one percent value added tax (VAT) passed after the election, and no one will be upset because it’s only one percent.  Then next time we take Congress we can raise it!

If you want your country and your wallet back, vote Republican in November!

General McChrystal Headed To Washington To Meet With President Obama

This story is based on an article today at  The historical perspective is based on a story in the Washington Post on October 3, 2009.  General McChrystal has been summoned to the White House after some comments he recently made to Rolling Stone magazine. 

Later this week, the magazine will publish an article entitled, “The Runaway General.”  The article is based on an interview with General Stanley McChrystal, the top general in Afghanistan. 

According to the article:

“The article, titled “the Runaway General,” appears in the magazine later this week.  It contains a number of jabs by McChrystal and his staff aimed not only at the President but at Vice President Biden, special envoy Richard Holbrooke, Karl Eikenberry, the ambassador to Afghanistan and others.”

The relationship between the President and General McChrystal has been strained from the beginning.  The Washington Post reported that until the meeting between the two men in October 2009, the President and the General had met only once.  Considering that the general has been the leader of our troops in a major war, it would seem that they would be meeting on a regular basis.

I expect an announcement of General McChrystal’s retirement in the very near future.  The President is General McChrystal’s boss, and criticizing the chain of command is against the oath that military officers take.  I am not sure whether the comments published in Rolling Stone magazine were meant to be off the record, but at best they were very unwise.  Although I suspect General McChrystal may have a much better idea of what is needed in Afghanistan, what he did was inexcusable.  According to military rules, he will be fired.


Byron York at the Washngton Examiner reports that according to a retired military source the comments by General McChrystal are not a surprise.  He describes the general as being arrogant and disdainful of civilians.  Byron York points out that President Obama would be fully justified in firing General McChrystal, but that firing him would seriously complicate President Obama’s timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan.  It would be nice if General McChrystal’s departure provided an excuse for staying in Afghanistan long enough to finish the job.  I doubt it will.

Something To Watch For On Wednesday posted an Associated Press article today about the lawsuit filed by  the Covington-based Hornbeck Offshore Services of Covington, Louisiana, charging that the six month moratorium on deep-water drillling in the Gulf of Mexico was arbitrarily set by the government. 

According to the article:

“Companies that ferry people and supplies to offshore oil rigs asked a federal judge Monday to lift a six-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling projects imposed in the aftermath of the massive Gulf spill.

“U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman heard two hours of arguments Monday and said he will decide by Wednesday whether to overturn the ban imposed by President Barack Obama’s administration after the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion.”

It will be very interesting to see how the judge rules.  The shutdown of the drilling projects has created tremendous hardship for people working in the industries that support offshore drilling.  The oil spill has already deeply impacted the tourist industry in the Gulf, and the shutdown is a further blow to the area.  If drilling is continued, there will always be the danger of a spill–underwater drilling is not perfect science, but that risk has to be weighed against the economy of the region.

President Obama In The Eyes Of The World

On Friday, Mort Zuckerman at U. S. News & World Report posted an article about how the rest of the world views President Obama.  The article points out the failure of the Obama Administration to push the ‘reset’ button in our relations with countries around the world.

In discussing the President’s lack of understanding of America’s leadership and use of its power for good, Mr. Zuckerman states,  “One Middle East authority, Fouad Ajami, pointed out that Obama seems unaware that it is bad form and even a great moral lapse to speak ill of one’s own tribe while in the lands of others.”

The majority of President Obama’s experience before becoming President was as a community organizer, college professor, Senator, and campaigner.  There is nothing in this resume that indicates an ability to solve problems and get things done.  Sparkling rhetoric does nothing to stop an oil spill, and protecting union workers by enforcing the Jones Act slows down the clean-up effort.

The article concludes:

“The United States for 60 years has met its responsibilities as the leader and the defender of the democracies of the free world. We have policed the sea lanes, protected the air and space domains, countered terrorism, responded to genocide, and been the bulwark against rogue states engaging in aggression. The world now senses, in the context of the erosion of America’s economic power and the pressures of our budget deficits, that we will compress our commitments. But the world needs the vision, idealism, and strong leadership that America brings to international affairs. This can be done and must be done. But we are the only ones who can do it.”

We need to remember that since America became a leading nation in the world, she has used her power not to build an empire, but to defend freedom.  We conquered Japan and Germany in World War II.  Both of those countries are independent democracies today.  To weaken America is to take the policeman off the beat.  As Americans, we don’t always like the fact that our young men defend the freedom of other countries, but that is part of who we are.  To be unwilling to defend freedom is to give up part of our heritage.