Rubio responds on Cuba: Obama “worst negotiator” since Carter

Sen. Marco Rubio
Sen. Rubio opposed the nomination of Tony Blinken for Deputy Sec. of State, in part because of Blinken’s refusal to rule out the “possibiity of unilateral changes” to US policy towards Cuba.” (Snip: video from C-SPAN)

Sen. Marco Rubio responded to President Barack Obama acting unilaterally to address foreign relations with Cuba. Rubio spoke to Fox News on Wednesday as media reported the president might attempt to normalize diplomatic relations with the country. Cuba has been subject to an economic embargo by the US for more than half a century.  Continue reading

More than 100 dead children no big deal to Pakistani Taliban

Pakistan map
Map of Pakistan from CIA World Fact Book

As the world learned of the massacre of more than 100 children in Peshawar, the killings seemed to shock many who commented on social media.

The Pakistani Taliban, technically the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, took credit for the attack on a school described by The Daily Beast as “a private one run by the army for the children of soldiers.”  Continue reading

Center stage for Gruber, Obamacare star and unwitting nemesis


By Wendy N. Powell, guest contributor

In hearings before the US Congress, economist-for-hire Jonathan Gruber apologized to Americans for insulting them. Are we really stupid? Or did Americans just refuse to listen to those who tried to explain why the bill would harm most of us?

Gruber and Tavenner testify
Economist-for-hire Jonathan Gruber (right) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner testified before Congress about PPACA/Obamacare. (C-Span video snip)

We need to look critically at the reports of how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act/Obamacare  was engineered by one of its chief architects, MIT Economics Professor Jonathan Gruber.  Continue reading

Will Senate report on CIA interrogations raise questions about ‘Kill List’?

View of New York
View of New York City from the harbor, spring, 2001. (Photo: Jennifer Day Thompson)

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, no one including the US government appeared to know what might happen next. Media were clueless, with newspapers like The New York Times having routinely played down the possibility Osama bin Laden presented an imminent threat to the US. We were scrambling amid grieving for  the thousands of civilians who died at the hands of death cult terrorists who carried no country’s banner, wore no uniform, and practiced brazen brutality.

Now media say the US Senate Intelligence Committee will release a report detailing interrogation techniques used by the CIA. President Barack Obama campaigned as the anti-enhanced-interrogation-spokesman. As a matter of fact, Obama’s legal adviser  Harold Hongju Koh promised our government would not use “torture and cruel and inhuman or degrading treatment” under Obama.

Presumably that means if a terrorist had a dirty bomb that might explode, or a nasty stockpile of bio-materials, if he didn’t want to talk about it, we’d have to live with that, even if it might kill millions. Down here on Main Street, we are obviously expendable.

How do presidents compare when it comes to dealing with terrorists?  Continue reading

Lorance a perfect example of why survey showed US military demoralized

Facebook Clint Lorance
Featured Photo: From Facebook page for Clint Lorance;

Pt. 13 in a series on the court martial of 1LT Clint Lorance

Military Times surveyed 2,300 active duty troops about the quality of military life, and the results are troubling. The survey said morale is “on the decline in nearly every aspect of military life” compared to 5 years ago. Salaries, benefits, healthcare, and the quality of leadership were considered.

When you consider political targeting of the military, from budget cuts to criminal justice, the lack of morale is a logical response.  Continue reading

Senate dithering leads to cuts for troops and families

Blackhawk landing in Anbar Province Iraq
A UH-60 Blackhawk comes in for a landing in 2011 at Camp Ramadi in Anbar Province, Iraq. Anbar Province is the largest in land area in Iraq. (Image: US Army)

Sen. leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) chose not to pass a defense budget, and with the end of the year approaching, a bill had to be done quickly.

The result is a bill that cuts benefits to troops and their families. Republicans in the House managed to dodge the higher cuts the Pentagon and Democrat-controlled Senate wanted.  Continue reading

DOJ nixes full disclosure on shooting of young mother by feds

Carey shooting 2013 government photo
Released by the Dept. of Justice, this still shot shows a man we now know to be a federal officer dressed casually, not in uniform, holding a cooler and a rack as he leans into the hood of Carey’s car. Video of the day’s events has not been released.

There was a protest in October. Few probably know it happened. No one looted or burned anything. But the case at hand is one of the most mysterious when it comes to the use of lethal force by law enforcement.

Unlike the case in Ferguson where the prosecutor took the unusual step of making Grand Jury documents public, Attorney General Eric Holder chose not to provide full disclosure of information related to the case of Miriam Carey. Carey was shot 5 times as her toddler watched. The shootings were done by US Capitol Police and the Secret Service.

Holder cleared the federal officers after an investigation. Carey’s family has filed a lawsuit. To this day we don’t know why Carey took the steps she did after turning into a White House checkpoint in October, 2013. One image released by DOJ showed a man holding a cooler with one hand and a bike rack with another—he is leaning on Carey’s car. She may not have realized he was a law enforcement officer.

DOJ released a statement in July, 2014:  Continue reading

Decades after IRCA, DHS chief says border security “a work in progress”

Jeh Johnson testifying before Congress on immigration
DHS chief Jeh Johnson told members of Congress on Tuesday that border security is “a work in progress.” (Snip: C-SPAN3 video)

Dept. of Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security about President Barack Obama’s controversial changes to immigration law. The takeaway from that testimony isn’t that the law needs to be changed, it simply needs to be enforced in accordance with the oath every president and member of Congress takes to uphold the US Constitution.

By the time Johnson answered questions about how border security is measured, the failure of the bureaucracy was painfully obvious.  Continue reading

For judgment call similar to president’s, soldier got 20 years in prison

1LT Clint Lorance
1LT Clint Lorance had an exemplary record before engagement with perceived enemy changed his life on July 2, 2012. (Photo: Advocacy website

Pt. 12 in a series on the court martial of 1LT Clint Lorance

Links to all previous articles in the series and to Lorance supporters’ websites as well as the petition are at the end of this article.

A US soldier serving in Afghanistan made a judgment call in a war zone that landed him in prison for 20 years.

President Barack Obama made a judgment call about a US citizen in a foreign country outside the physical war zone the US is involved in. Although Obama faced international criticism after he authorized a drone strike in Yemen, killing US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, and later an unarmed teen, the president faced no legal charges.

Some will say I am stretching my analogy. I’m not.  Continue reading

Media ignore Holder taking death penalty off table for alleged cop killers

Capt. Kevin Quick Memorial
Capt. Kevin Quick’s fellow officers established a memorial to him after he was kidnapped and murdered in Waynesboro allegedly so gang members could advance in their organizations. (Photo: Waynesboro, Va., Police Dept.)

Attorney General Eric Holder may be intent on transforming police practices across the nation, but he apparently doesn’t have law enforcement’s back. Holder has taken the death penalty off the table in a horrendous case of cold blooded kidnapping and murder.  Continue reading

US politics, government reform, and culture

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