The Obama Administration is bringing out the big guns (pardon the aggressive pun lefties) in their push for approval of the healthcare legislation. The Democratic golden boy, former President Bill Clinton, is being wheeled out once again to stake a claim in the legislation’s success. The once contentious relationship between the President and the former President has been put aside for the moment because, at this present moment, Barack Obama needs Bill Clinton and that is all that matters.

The truth of the matter is (opinion-laced of course) that the Obamas and the Clintons far from get along. Hilary Clinton is still stinging from her defeat at the hands of the up and coming politician that stole her title of first woman President to become the first black President. Benghazi has been laid at her feet, with no true defense from the President, and her pre-game campaigning shows that she wants what Barack ‘stole’ from her. In much the same way, Barack Obama knows that Hilary Clinton has been a thorn in his side from the beginning. She had to have a role in his cabinet to save face, but the two had no loved lost during the election of 2008. Her presence is a constant reminder to her of defeat and to him of the woman chomping at the bit to see him fail just enough for to capitalize upon.

Bill is more of a threat to the President in some ways. The man can walk onto a stage and demand rock star like attention (which is beyond my comprehension but so, too, is the idea that women actually find him appealing). He steals scenes and thunder and has been openly (or open mic-edly I should say) critical of the President. Yet, they both rely on this love – hate relationship to stay relevant. They say politics makes strange bed fellows. I guess when it comes to Obamacare, I can honestly say this is a threesome that will last and for its duration, I will have no desire to be involved in.

The President of the United States made a promise that action would be taken in Syria if it was found out that chemical weapons had been used upon the population. Recently, it was confirmed publically by current Secretary of State John Kerry that the evidence was no undeniable in that Syria had assuredly been utilizing chemical weapons on its people. Now, the President must make a big decision as to what to do as his stance was made clear that some action would be taken with no explanation as to what.

Currently, the President has not mentioned what the best actions would be in the country. The Commander in Chief has sent four Navy warships to the area but military intervention is questionable at this point. The once anti-war President must wade carefully into this issue, hence why he is seeking the support of allies before making any big moves. Not only could a conflict in Syria with boots on the ground be detrimental (potentially) to foreign policy, it could also mean angering the anti-war left who is fighting to end the conflict in Iraq (though the President would have you believe the fighting is over and terrorism has been defeated).

Republicans, too, are cautious of the issue. They know that coming out in an aggressive stance could cause disaster in the region and in their political stance. The party that has been, rightfully or wrongly, associated with war may have trouble explaining another one to the public. The President’s promise arbitrarily to take action is problematic all around. He made a promise that will make it difficult to escape from and yet, has no real end game. The questions will come as to why now and why there? Why put our boots on the ground in the region and not in Darfur or other regions of the world. Further, it will be a question of when our activity stops and how we can afford another war. It will be a problem politically and may cost more human lives. It is important that everyone be sure before they begin and may we all take note that making promises that we do not know how to keep is the way of this President.

Obamacare is still the topic of conversation on Capitol Hill, with senators and congressman from both sides of the aisle staking a claim in the fight. Republicans are waging a strong war to stop the legislation from being enacted to its fullest potential, essentially paving the way for what would become government backed healthcare. Democrats, however, are asserting that the plan needs to move forward, with President Obama himself wading strongly and expectedly into the conversation.

This week, President Obama continued to attack conservatives who were against the bill, asserting that it was there way of preventing millions of Americans from achieving the healthcare they so desperately needed. The President has been wishy-washy on this bill at best and confusing at worst. The President, who has pushed for the legislation he heavy handedly helped create, has also backed efforts to delay portions of the bill that were causing confusion and unrest in the public and private sectors. For instance, the company mandate that would require employers of 50 or more fulltime employees to provide health insurance or face penalties was delayed with much consent from the President. A mixed message at best if he truly believed in the over a thousand page document.

The truth is that Republicans are truly no better in this fight. While the vast majority wants to stop the bill from becoming the law of the land, no one has a consolidated or consistent viewpoint on the alternative. While the American public continues to have problems with the current structure of the bill, simply ending its enactment tends not to sit well with them. They want an alternative that they can grasp onto and with Republicans only united in ending it, this alternative seems far from accessible or tangible. As such, Republicans risk being given the title of the “Party of No” without any real solution provided, hurting chances in midterm elections. While the effort to stop Obamacare is necessary for the future of the country, it is equally important for Republicans to define just what the other options are in order to not only stop a detrimental law from being enacted but also to save the party from further injury.

It seems that liberal political correctness is giving way to a far more dangerous problem: liberal apologetics. Look no further than the textbooks provided for our youth in school systems throughout this country to see the failure and the prevalence of this apologizing mindset. Most recently, in one southern school, it was found that when speaking of religion Christianity was spoken about in terms of theory and thoughts while Islamic prophets and their founders were spoken of as definite truths in history. The result was an (intended) bias toward making Christianity seem weaker or more theoretical than the Islamic faith tradition. Further, in many classrooms, the United States and Christians are painted as barbarians picking upon other traditions while there is a concerted effort toward the demonization of Islam or condemnation thereof in anyway, even when it comes to terrorist attacks like that of September 11th. In one classroom, students were asked to figure out what would drive someone to commit such atrocities, highlighting the perpetrators as the victims.

Most recently, it was found that in military trainings and some educational institutions, our Founding Fathers (forgive me for the political incorrectness and gender inequity in the aforementioned description) were deemed extremists. They were not seen as the way I was raised as men of bravery and honor at best and at worst, political freedom fighters who may have had questionable elements in their personal lives but ultimately whose sacrifice led to the birth of the freest nation on earth. There is this need to apologize for our past and even our future, making American history seem like something we should be ashamed of all the way around rather than using it to understand the persons and peoples we are today. Does America have a past that is perfect? Absolutely not and there are plenty of things (good and bad) that our students need to learn. What they do not need to learn is how to pander to the left, apologize without good reason, and how to become lemmings for the next liberal agenda. Our schools are failing our students because of the curriculum (among other things) and it is time parents and educators alike stood up and said enough is enough.

According to the AP, your taxpayer dollars may be going to more than just fund the individuals with bloated salaries and questionable morals in politics that you loathe. They may also be going to pad the bank accounts of lobbyists and other private organization members who represent the cities, states, and localities.

The AP found that numerous individuals across several states who are considered lobbyists are on the state pension roles. These individuals are getting the same perks of public workers while considered private individuals working for non-governmental entities. The reason and justification, as aforementioned, is that these individuals represent the workers in said government agencies, and thus, are entitled to the monies that they would receive.

Proponents of the pension plan argue that these individuals in private, representative agencies should receive these monies because they are essentially the voice of the people. From county associations to localities, they provide the alleged voice in the statehouses of regions like Illinois and New York among others. They, then, would be entitled to the same benefits because it is argued that they serve these individuals in a way that helps them to achieve status and goals. Further, the amount of money spent on these pensions is minimal compared to the bloated retirement and pension budgets in these states, coming in at a minute fraction of the total cost.

Critics, however, assert that this is not about the money but about the principle of the act. Should the already stressed taxpayer be funding the salaries of private organizations whether they are representing the public workers or not? Should lobbyists have any right to the pensions that other workers have? Further, though the amount is a fraction of the overall budget, is it right for the states to spend any extra dollars on these pensions when so many others fear the loss and cut in theirs? Only time will tell if this situation becomes more than just a state issue but the risk of setting this potentially costly arrangement and allowing it to continue should be cause for concern.

There is no explanation for a senseless act of violence that occurred last Friday in Duncan, Oklahoma. An Australian baseball player, Chris Lane, was gunned down by three teenagers while on an afternoon jog. Lane was shot in the back and left to die as the teens sped off in their car.

Fortunately, authorities quickly caught up to the teens and arrested them. After interrogations, one of the suspects admitted to pulling the trigger and explained that they were just “bored,” and saw Lane running by and decided he would be their first target. This just absolutely blows my mind. The two teens charged with first degree murder are African-American. Could they have been your son Mr. Obama? I mean this is just a perfect explanation as to how ignorant it was for the President to make that remark in regards to the Zimmerman case.

An Australian family’s son is dead because of these thugs who were on a killing spree. The senseless violence has affected a foreign family and the chances of the President responding or marginal. However, if he’s going to say something ridiculously stupid again, we’re better off not hearing a word out of his mouth.

This story is plastered all over Australian media, and the first reaction is about our gun control. This goes far deeper than gun control, but it tarnishes the reputation we have in Australia, and it’s devastating that this is the effect that our nation has had on this Australian family and community.

Coal country is begging for a promise from the Obama Administration that the President will stop his attacks on their industry. West Virginia, Ohio, and other states that specialize in producing coal are taking their voices into the media and outlets in hopes of finding some reprieve. The fear is growing and more and more voices are joining the fight. From Wheeling, WV to Belmont County, OH, the victims of this threat are telling the world that they are being ignored.

The outspokenness comes from the pressure put on coal employers and businesses, ultimately workers, by President Obama himself. He has asserted multiple times that he is directing his Environmental Protection Agency to crack down on the level of carbon emissions coming from plants and other industry related enterprises. The goal, he asserts, is a cleaner environment for our next generation. A noble cause… right?

Wrong. The President continues to push the green agenda, a midst knowledge that this industry is fledgling at best and failing at worst. Spain is seeing the after effects of a green driven economy and the failures there within and we have spent millions as a nation on failed job training in this sector. Further, the President is ignoring the hardworking Americans who are in those plants daily, helping to power the economy and this country. His elitism and his “father knows best” attitude are wearing thin and workers are, for lack of better terms, scared and angry. It is time that the President looked at the evidence and realized he is putting unneeded, unnecessary, and unwarranted pressure directly on the backs of those who do more work in a day than he ever has. It is time to take our heads out of the sand and stand up to the regulations of the government and truly stand with the workers of this country, not with those who feign interest while hurting them.

President Obama has been placed in an interesting spot in recent weeks. The leader of the Free World is finding it hard to ignore the blatant disregard and respect for the United States that Russian president Vladimir Putin is displaying. Putin, against United States advisement and request, has granted asylum to the wanted Edward Snowden who has been charged with crimes of the highest level in regards to his NSA surveillance leaks. As a result, the President has decided to forgo a private meeting between the two as an intended slap on the wrist for Putin’s behavior.

The President, who once attacked Governor Mitt Romney for his questioning of the loyalties and ally status of Russia during his bid for the White House, is finding that two puffing chests do not make a relationship. In a show of arrogance that he knew best, President Obama made several statements throughout his presidential run that would have painted the relationship between the two countries with a very rosy brush. The problem: reality never really met the President’s hopes and wishes.

Now, the President is having to cancel a meeting with President Putin because of the sincere lack of respect for the United States and seeming contempt for Obama himself that the Russian leader has displayed. While Russian officials will still meet with US officials, Putin and Obama will not be meeting face to face during the G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg, a move which both Republicans and Democrats are calling unfortunate but necessary.

The cancellation of the meeting goes deeper than to just highlight a temporary discontent. It goes to the heart of the relationship since the beginning: neither side truly respects the other, and for good reason. The President, who tried to weaken the US arguably by praising Russian relationship improvements, disregarded any underlying tension that was obviously present, whether he admitted it or not. The result was a perceived weakening of the United States and its policies (as well as leaders) which Putin took full advantage of. While the future of the relationship between our two countries is unknown, it is a clear sign that the world standing and demanded respect that the United States once called for is waning internationally, no thanks to the Apologizer in Chief.

Thursday Open Thread

By

Filed Under Latest News on Aug 15 

Today, President Obama reacted to the incredibly violent protests in Egypt, from vacation in Martha’s Vineyard and said, “America cannot determine the future of Egypt.” Yet, because of him, Egypt receives nearly $1.5 billion in annual aid for their military.

Obviously, this isn’t settling so well with Americans across our homeland, and many are pushing for Obama to put his foot down and withdraw aid to this “ally.” Also, rememeber last year when Hillary Clinton went to Egypt, and the crowd chanted “Monica!” at her? That’s like a real life SNL skit.

In the wake of the IRS scandals and the NSA leaks, it is becoming clear to many Americans who had previously been ignoring the growing reach of the government just how powerful Big Brother is becoming. Though libertarians and Republicans, with some Democrats, fearing the growth of government in the public sector, Big Brother is testing a new project that could make the reach into the average American citizen even farther. It could be that soon, not only will the government be monitoring our activities on the computer and telephones that we use but also be riding along with us in our cars as well.

A proposed federal law by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would make it a requirement for all light to mid-sized passenger vehicles to carry with them what is essentially a black box. This device, known as an EDR, would be installed into the vehicle and provide data such as speed, pedal force, the use of seat belt, and more information that would be specific to that particular vehicle. The idea behind the project, the NHTSA asserts, would be to increase safety on the road and inevitably make crash investigations much easier to understand. All great things, right?

Wrong. According to critics, the devices monitoring and tracking of information could be highly problematic. Not only would these devices keep the data mentioned previously, but could be used for as much harm as they would good. Not only is it another example of big government believing they know what is best, but it is also an opportunity for incessant monitoring, sacrificing of personal information, and ripe for the opportunity of fraud. The truth is that many new cars already have this technology and the proposed rule would make it mandatory for those cars manufactured after September 1, 2014 to include them. Privacy proponents, however, vow to fight the new legislation asserting that privacy once again is being sacrificed in the name of security.

President Obama is on the war path again, so to speak, and using his powerful voice to put fear in the hearts of veterans. The President, in a speech to veterans, spoke about the threats to their benefits that could become reality due to the sequestration. Once again, the President put the blame squarely on everyone but him, asserting that it was the big bad Congressmen that are the cause of the problem. Calling the spending cuts in the budget “reckless,” the President asserted that he was a friend of the military and it was everyone else’s fault that these cuts could come down the pike.

The President, however, failed to admit a few things in his speech. First, it was the White House that initiated sequestration. It is at his feet that this problem lies, and he is just beyond admission. A bit of humility may help him in this case but the fear mongering continues with this Administration. The problem is everyone else’s. It is not his and it never will be. He has passed the buck and is failing to admit that sequestration would never be a reality if he had not decided to avoid budget talks, and signed the 2011 bill which included sequestration. When facts are not his friend, he avoids them.

Further, framing the issue is crucial. The President speaks to the fact that the budget cuts were out of control and without rational thought. However, leaving a bloated government that can’t pay its debts and lives in the red would be more than harmful to military expenditures. The President knows that a nation entrenched in debts would see much worse cuts if the collectors came calling. Picking victims and exploiting them with fear is beyond despicable but par for the course. It just becomes a larger problem to ignore when it is our military veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country that are the recipients of his feigned pity and concern.

President Obama was forced to do something that his Administration appears to loathe, take an actual press conference. For the first time in nearly three months, the President answered questions from the White House Press Conference. The main crux of the Press Conference centered on the National Security Administration (NSA) and their role in potentially violating civilian securities and liberties.

The President asserted that there will be a review of the surveillance and intelligence gathering operations of the NSA. This investigation would be the first since the 9/11 plans were initiated which could speak to a greater concern of the Administration: the NSA scandal is not going away. The President has somewhat downplayed the scandal sits initiation, being very sly in avoiding any concerns or questions. The President stated that there would be a review of the programs by an independent panel that could look into the technologies used and the rationale behind their implementation.

He asserted a four step plan, included would be an advocate that would work to ensure that the FISA court was not leaning too far into the realm of security at the sacrifice of principles. The President was clear, however, to assert that this was not an admission that the NSA had done anything wrong, going so far as to say that there is no evidence currently to see any abuse of power. The investigation, according to the President, was to ensure that the security of Americans was not in jeopardy due to the behavior of the NSA in the post September 11th world. The plan, which Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein agrees with, is according to the President exploratory rather than criminally investigatory in its nature. The timeline for the activities and the investigations moving forward have not yet been clearly defined nor the reporting mechanism. Time will tell if and when anything is discovered and how involved the American public will be in the findings.

Like the health movement, the green movement in the United States has been one that is becoming an integral part of the American landscape. More and more individuals and companies are talking about going green and environmental friendliness. All of this is well and good until it begins to paint an inaccurate portrait of the landscape of the American way of life and over-promise the benefits of cleaning up our acts, so to speak.

In two distinct ways, it is clear that the green movement is working to hurt the American taxpayer and the citizens of this great country. One needs look no further than the coal industry to get a clear picture of what the impact can be. Due to his green energy initiatives, the Obama Administration appears to be taking aim at the hardworking men and women in the coal industry. Policies and talk have threatened the livelihood of thousands of Americans who make their living underground in the mines that keep our lights on and power running smoothly. The result is an increased fear among mineworkers and leaders that the coal industry is under strict threat from the policies of the federal government, leading to layoffs, anger, and economic hardships. Having come from coal country, born and raised in the foothills of the Appalachians, it is clear that the Obama Administration and green fear-mongers on Capitol Hill have no idea the lives they are impacting through failed policies and their war on coal.

The second way that the Obama Administration and green alarmists are hurting the American people with their environmental zealousness is through the green energy jobs package. Worked into the stimulus bill of 2009 were job training programs that focused solely on the green movement which was at best fledgling in its true potential and at worst a failing market. The truth is that over 500 million dollars of the American taxpayer were spent on these programs without significant economic return on investment. Another failed green initiative for an administration that appears to put misguided principles over actual fact. Well done. Well done.

The military in this country is among the top assets we have. They help to keep us free, put their lives on the line for our safety, and go into lands unknown for missions that they may or may not personally agree with. Sure, there may be bad soldiers… just like there are bad doctors and bad teachers. But, the vast majority of these brave men and brave women are among the best and brightest that this country has to offer. When they go missing or are marked as Prisoners of War, it become crucial, then, that we do everything we can as a country and as a government to return them safely to home.

The Pentagon, however, is examining the potential that waste, fraud, and abuse was taking place within the task force sent to locate missing men and women overseas. Specifically, they are investigating the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command for being an agency rampant with waste and with a lack of oversight. There was alleged to be problems with accountability and abuse even when attempting to locate the missing remains of fallen soldiers.

What is not surprising about this case is that at first glance it is just another case of waste and abuse of power, two things that run rampant in our modern political system. What is extremely frustrating, however, is that lives and futures of our fallen were on the line. There is no joke that waste of any kind should be looked at with disdain and mistakes do happen. But to think that the agency that was charged with finding our brave men and women who have fallen in the line of duty and bringing them back to the shores from once the left is appalling and should be looked at closely for any fault. Another example of abuse of power but one abuse gone too far.

Edward Snowden, the international main of intrigue, has once again found a safe haven from the United States. In an act of direct defiance to the US government, Snowden has been granted refugee status in Russia, allowing him to move relatively unrestricted throughout the country. The man that claims to be an informant of justice and seeker of truth is no in a country that has a long and storied history of dishonesty and restriction.

The irony of Snowden’s choice of refugee locations is not lost on Washington insiders, politicians, and those that have even a most basic understanding of modern political events. Beyond the obvious humor of the location he is now in, there is a deeper problem here that is bubbling to the service. There was a time when the United States was feared, and respected. International leaders may have loathed catering to the demands of the country but they did so for fear of retribution or spent their days trying to figure out how to take it down.

Russia, however, is showing a new trend in modern politics. Though our President has all but apologized for America’s power and standing in the world, in locations like Vietnam and Latin America, and the goal it seemed would be to foster international relations. His “apology tour” as it was dubbed by many in the media and in right of center groups was angering for those on the right and long overdue for some on the left. Yet, the President it seems has weakened our international standing. For Russia to blatantly disregard any desires of the United States and provide refugee status to a wanted criminal who divulged crucial national security information is beyond ridiculous and upsetting. It shows where we are lacking and where this President and our national officials have failed us.

The United States government is not known for staying in budget. Deficits and debt continue to rise as the economy struggles to gain ground. With some positive projects in the past month, things could be seen as hopeful. Yet, there continues to be a drain on the American economy (and the taxpayers) as funds are funneled into problematic programs, the hands of local governments, and on failed, failing, or irrelevant projects that keep local constituencies happy while placing the burden on other Americans.

Detroit recently announced that they are investigating the possibility of putting all non-Medicare eligible retirees into the Obamacare insurance exchange. The cost would be over two billion dollars placed upon the backs of the federal government and taken off the locality. Other cities are also considering the same potential shift in benefits, which would free up more money for them while burdening the already stressed government. Another unintended consequence of Obamacare.

In recent weeks, Republicans and Democrats (along with the acquiescence of the President) were able to stop the portion of Obamacare legislation that would require all businesses of fifty full-time employees or more to offer health insurance to their staff. The individual mandate, too, has been delayed as well. What this means that employers, preparing for the changes in legislation and beginning to weigh penalty over provisions, are breathing a sigh of relief over the lack of potential debt their businesses would have had to undertake. But, this leaves millions of Americans uninsured and the government having to pick up the tab for their care. It is estimated that roughly ten million dollars, too, that would have been collected in penalties will never be and the projections of the CBO do not make this concession appear economically rewarding.

The problem is not that the concessions were made and the mandates delayed. The problem is the bill in the first place. Obamacare has been a farce since the beginning, a failed attempt at some type of Big Government inclusion that had no real basis. It is that it was ever passed in the first place. The complications and strife that are to come from this legislation are just beginning to be witnessed. Time will show where they lead and what will occur but the path through Obamacare appears to be a tremendously rocky one.

We all make mistakes. Sometimes, they are bigger than at other times. We should be forgiving and open to apologies. We should understand, as human beings, that slips of the tongue happen and words come out wrong. With that said, it is hard to understand how President Obama continues to make some of the biggest gaffes in public relations for this country and, more importantly, why the media stays so quiet on these issues.

In a recent trip to Washington, President Obama spoke of the relationship between the United States and Vietnam today, appropriately highlighting the lengths that it has come since the time of war. This was done in response to President Truong Tan Sang of Vietnam’s claims that the revolutionary Ho Chi Minh was influenced greatly by Thomas Jefferson and his desire for freedom. A normal, basic understanding of history would quickly cause eyebrows to rise in questions of sanity and education. Ho Chi Minh was a tyrant, a man who believed that dictatorship and totalitarianism could be purchased on the backs of innocents. He was vengeful, sadistic, and part of the reason that thousands of our troops lost their lives in the blood soaked fields of Vietnam.

The President, however, seemed to have missed that day in history class. Or maybe he was there, but allowed the liberal minds that taught him to warp his sense of historical interpretation into the morphed being that is the American liberal apologetic left. Whatever the reason behind it, the President not only did not negate this fact privately with President Sang but actually had the sense of audacity, arrogance, and ignorance to solidify the link between the two. Ho Chi Minh, Mr. President, is about as close to Thomas Jefferson as you are sir, and allow me to tell you that you are far from the credibility and substance of our Founding Fathers.