An Unlikely Hero

On Friday the Daily Signal posted an article about the Ebola vaccine currently being tested. It is somewhat ironic that after the Democrats attempted to politicize the Ebola virus’s arrival in America, it turns out that the person responsible for the research into the vaccine is Dick Cheney.

The article reports:

From the time scientists first discovered the deadly virus in 1976 to 2012, two dozen outbreaks of Ebola claimed the lives of roughly 1,500 people–far less than the nearly 5,000 killed in the current outbreak in West Africa.

Bloomberg News reports that little money had been available to scientists to work on finding a cure to the disease. But after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Cheney, anticipating the potential for bioterrorist attacks, became the Bush White House’s point man advocating more spending to protect the nation from deadly pathogens.

One of the potential vaccines is currently being tested on humans. The additional money for the development of a vaccine was the result of the fear of a biological warfare attack after the 9/11 attack.

The Bush Administration has been criticized for many things, and some of the criticism is valid; but we need to remember that after the 9/11 attack, the Bush Administration set a high priority on the safety of Americans. They tried to be forward thinking in the steps they took. It would be very nice if the current administration was focused on the safety of Americans rather than election politics.

Rewriting History Subtlely

This is the opening paragraph in an article about President Obama’s second term posted by the New York Daily News:

This wasn’t a war started on a lie about weapons of mass destruction the way Iraq was for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Affordable health care for all Americans was Barack Obama’s war, one started with noble intent, the way so many big ideas all the way back to Social Security have started.

The opening sentence of that paragraph is amazing. First of all, America’s intelligence organizations showed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, Britain’s intelligence organizations showed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and Israel’s intelligence showed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. There is also a book called Saddam’s Secrets which details Saddam Hussein’s wmd program. The book was written by one of Saddam Hussein’s top generals and details the program and the exportation of those weapons during the run-up to the war. Regardless of whether or not you believe the weapons existed, the President did not lie. He spoke based on the information he had at the time.

ObamaCare is a very different situation. As reported on rightwinggranny yesterday, four years ago it was obvious to many people that people would lose their health insurance under ObamaCare. Christina Romer did an amazing job of avoiding that very question in her testimony before a House Education and Labor Committee hearing of June 23, 2009.  You could make the argument that President Obama was not told that people would lose their insurance, but that would lead to the question of his basic competence.

The article at the Daily News points out that many Democrats are already supporting Hillary Clinton for President in an effort to distance themselves from the debacle of ObamaCare. The Democrats are also very anxious to change the subject.

The comparison of the ObamaCare roll-out to President Bush’s handling of Hurricane Katrina does not work either–President Bush did not create Hurricane Katrina–President Obama did create ObamaCare (or at least he allowed Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy to create it).

The article continues, smashing Republicans as it goes, but the bias is obvious. The rewriting of history is inexcusable, but until voters learn to do their own research, history will remain rewritten. Welcome to 1984.

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What Is This All About And Does It Matter?

As I view what is happening in Washington, the skeptic in me keeps remembering the scene in the Bill Murray movie “Meatballs” where the character Bill Murray plays leads the campers in a chant of “It just doesn’t matter.” I wish it did matter, but I just don’t think it does.

I have lost track of the scandals–I babysat grandchildren today and could not get my usual news fix. I know that there was a document dump of Benghazi-related documents today ( I know that the acting IRS commissioner is leaving (the Daily Mail)–President Obama says that Steve Miller has been asked to resign–Steve Miller says that his assignment ends in early June. The Associated Press and had their phones bugged. At the same time conservative groups were being harassed by the IRS, President Obama’s half brother received tax-exempt status for the Barack H. Obama Foundation, a shady charity headed that operated illegally for years (the Daily Caller).

So where do we go from here? Impeachment is a really bad idea. It will not solve the problem and will probably create more problems. The press is quite capable of bringing down the presidency of any president they do not like–we are all human and make mistakes; and even if we don’t, mistakes can be manufactured. For example–the evidence President Bush cited to justify the war in Iraq was seen and evaluated by the Democrat leadership in Congress. When the Democrats voted for the war in Iraq, they knew everything President Bush knew–there was no way he could have lied to them. But that didn’t prevent cries of “Bush lied, people died.” When the media couldn’t get to Dick Cheney, they went after Scooter Libby. If President Obama were impeached, in the future the press would work very hard to bring down any administration they didn’t like. The will of the voters’ would be routinely undermined. Also, impeachment would further divide the country and create partisanship. Then again, there is the prospect of President Biden.

Impeachment is not the answer, so what is the answer? The answer lies with the voters. Voters need to become aware of what is going on and vote against anyone who is part of it or seems to be supporting it. The members of Congress that are blocking investigations should be voted out of office.  Those members of Congress who are defending the President and calling to end investigations need to be voted out of office–the investigations should end after they are finished and not before.

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Our Special Relationship With Great Britain Takes Another Hit

Yesterday the U.K. Daily Mail reported that the Obama Administration will not send an official representative to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.

The article reports:

The Queen’s decision to attend Lady Thatcher‘s funeral has effectively elevated it to a state occasion unprecedented for a political figure in Britain since the death of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.

Other world leaders, including Canada’s Stephen Harper, Mario Monti of Italy and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, are attending the service in person.

The decision not to attend was made before the bombing in Boston yesterday. It had been assumed that although the President would not attend, he would send a representative. He has chosen not to do that. Some high ranking members of previous American administrations will be attending–two Reagan era secretaries of state: James Baker and George Shultz, former US vice president Dick Cheney and ex-secretary of state Henry Kissinger.

Margaret Thatcher was a pivotal figure of the Twentieth Century. It is simply bad form for the President not to send a representative. This is another misstep in our relationship with Great Britain.

History Revealed

There are lessons to be learned from history, and we ignore them at our peril. This month Elliott Abrams posted a story in Commentary Magazine with a lot of behind-the-scenes information about the Israeli bombing of the Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the story.

The story begins:

In the middle of May 2007, we received an urgent request to receive Mossad chief Meir Dagan at the White House. Olmert asked that he be allowed to show some material to Bush personally. We headed that off with a suggestion that he first reveal whatever he had to National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and to me; I was then the deputy national-security adviser in charge of the Middle East portfolio on the National Security Council. Vice President Dick Cheney joined us in Hadley’s office for Dagan’s presentation. What Dagan had was astonishing and explosive: He showed us intelligence demonstrating that Syria was constructing a nuclear reactor whose design was supplied by North Korea, and doing so with North Korean technical assistance. Dagan left us with one stark message: All Israeli policymakers who saw the evidence agreed that the reactor had to go away.

The article then details the meetings that followed, the fact that the existence of the site was successfully kept a secret from the American media, and the options debated as to the solution to the problem.

A conclusion was reached:

The arguments for going to the IAEA and UN seemed so flimsy to me, despite the length and detail of the planning memos and scenarios to which they gave rise, that I did not much worry about them. Who could believe these organizations would act effectively? Who could believe we would not be sitting there five years later entangled in the same diplomatic dance over the Syrian program that we were in with respect to Iran?

In the end, our near-perfect policy process produced the wrong result. At a final session in the gracious Yellow Oval Room at the Residence, Bush came down on Rice’s side. We would go to Vienna, to the IAEA; he would call Olmert and tell him what the decision was. I was astounded and realized I had underestimated Rice’s influence even after all this time. The president had gone with Condi.

The Israeli attack on the reactor made President Bush’s plan obsolete:

…We knew the Israelis would strike sooner or later. They acted, in the end, when a leak about the reactor’s existence was imminent and Syria might then have gotten notice that Israel knew of its existence. That would have given Assad time to put civilians or nuclear fuel near the site. The Israelis did not seek, nor did they get, a green or red light from us. Nor did they announce their timing in advance; they told us as they were blowing up the site. Olmert called the president on September 6 with the news.

As I had sat in the Oval Office on July 13, listening to his conversation with Olmert, I had wondered how the president would react to the Israeli action. With anger? Or more pressure? None of it. He heard Olmert out calmly and acknowledged that Israel had a right to protect its national security. After hanging up, the president said something like “that guy has guts,” in an admiring tone. The incident was over; the differences over al-Kibar would obviously not affect Bush’s relationship with Olmert or his view of Israel.

So quickly did he accept the Olmert decision that I wondered then, and do still, if the president did not at some level anticipate and desire this result. He had sided with Condi and shown that she was still in charge of Middle East policy, but her “take it to the UN” plan had been blown up along with the reactor. He did not seem very regretful. What is more, he instructed us all to abandon the diplomatic plans and maintain absolute silence, ensuring that Israel could carry out its plan.

The paragraph below provides food for thought in our current dealings with the Arab world:

A very well-placed Arab diplomat later told us that the strike had left Assad deeply worried as to what was coming next. He had turned Syria into the main transit route for jihadis going to Iraq to kill American soldiers. From Libya or Indonesia, Pakistan or Egypt, they would fly to Damascus International Airport and be shepherded into Iraq. Assad was afraid that on the heels of the Israeli strike would come American action to punish him for all this involvement. But just weeks later, Assad received his invitation to send a Syrian delegation to that big international confab of Condi’s, the Annapolis Conference, and according to the Arab envoy, Assad relaxed immediately; he knew he would be OK. I had not wanted Syria invited to Annapolis because of its involvement in killing Americans in Iraq, but Condi had wanted complete Arab representation as a sign that comprehensive peace might be possible. It was only years later that I learned that Assad had instead interpreted the invitation just as I had: as a sign that the United States would not seriously threaten or punish him for what Syria was doing in Iraq.

Please read the entire article for ‘the rest of the story.’ After reading the entire article, I can’t help but think that pretty much everything American has done in the Arab world in order to make peace has had the opposite effect. I don’t think we understand the culture we are dealing with.

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About That Civility Thing…

Today’s Washington Examiner reported some comments made by a Maine state legislator on twitter.

The article reports:

“Cheney deserves same final end he gave Saddam,” Kruger tweeted, according to the Maine Wire. “Hope there are cell cams,” he added, indicating a desire to watch Cheney die.

Today, after local media noticed the comment, Krugertweeted, “Twitter is no place for lousy attempts at humor” along with the hashtag “#mepolitics,” in what seems to be an allusion to the Cheney/Saddam tweet.

I’m afraid I fail to see the humor in any of that. Comments like that deserve to have consequences. I doubt there will be any, but Mr. Kruger was totally out of line.

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Dick Cheney Received A Heart Transplant Today

Dick Cheney is currently recovering from a heart transplant operation in the intensive care unit of Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia. CBS News is reporting that Vice-President Cheney had been on the transplant list for 20 months. In 2010 he had a battery-powered heart pump known as a Left Ventricular Assist Device implanted to keep his heart working – a device that is often used for short periods by patients awaiting a transplant.

My prayers go out to Vice-President Cheney for a quick and total recovery.

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