A Few Words On Living In Obama World

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Barack Obama is living in his own dream world.

To hear him tell it, thanks to six glorious years of his leadership, America is in great shape again at home and overseas.

According to his boasts, which the mainstream media rarely challenge, the economy has rebounded from the Great Recession; and federal budget deficits have been sliced in half under his watch.

Never mind that we’re in the slowest economic recovery since FDR’s awful policies prolonged the Great Depression.

Never mind that the “official” unemployment rate of 5.7 percent is a statistical fraud because it doesn’t count the millions who’ve dropped out of the job market.

Never mind that the federal government still spends $486 billion more every year than it takes in and future deficits are projected to be a trillion bucks a year.

And never mind that ObamaCare is a fiscal time bomb that’s already driven up the cost of health insurance for millions of individuals and small business owners.

Pay no attention to all those grim realities at home, says our strange man in the Oval Office. All is well on Obama World.

And don’t worry about those bloody wars going on in Syria and what’s left of Iraq. Don’t worry about the future of Afghanistan or the recent terrorist takeover in Yemen, either.

We have ISIS terrorists on the run, President Obama says. We’ve outfoxed Putin in Ukraine. Soon, we’ll sign a deal with Iran’s mullahs about ending their nuclear weapons program.

Dream on, Mr. President. Time’s running out.

After six years of President Obama, it’s frightening to see what an alien, almost un-American worldview he has and how he puts it into practice daily.

When it comes to religion, everyone knows the president lives on another planet.

He’s clearly more interested in sticking up for Islam than for Christianity. And, I swear, he’s more comfortable quoting from the Koran than from the Bible.

He outdid himself at a recent prayer breakfast when he tried to equate the atrocities committed by modern Islamic terrorists with what Christians did during the Crusades a thousand years ago.

But President Obama is most dangerous to the country when he delves into foreign policy.

When he goes overseas to visit our allies, he’s more likely to start off by apologizing for America’s history of slavery or blaming America for something like climate change.

His recent move to unilaterally ease our 54-year-old economic embargo with communist Cuba is a perfect example of how badly Obama negotiates and what he thinks is important.

The Castro Brothers are still high-fiving each other. But the United States — and the imprisoned and impoverished Cuban people — got little in return for making it much easier for trade and travel activities to take place between our countries.

Compare Obama’s blase attitude toward communism and its victims with Ronald Reagan’s. In 1987, my father went to Berlin and challenged the USSR to allow more political and economic freedom for its captive countries.

At the Brandenburg Gate, he called for Mr. Gorbachev to prove he was serious about liberalization by tearing down the Wall.

When the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall came along in 2009, Obama showed how little he cared by skipping the ceremony and sending a video message.

The good news is that in two years, President Obama and his world will be gone.

We’ll be back to reality, and someone much more competent — President Hillary or Jeb or Scott or Rand or whoever — will have to clean up all of his messes.

Whoever our next president is, we’ll be better off. There’s no way in heck he or she could be as strange or as harmful to the country as Barack Obama.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

A Time For Torture

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A poll released this week found 51 percent of Americans approve of the harsh interrogation tactics the CIA used immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Imagine what those numbers would have been on Sept. 12, 2001.

The NBC/Wall Street Journal survey is in sync with the results of similar opinion polls that show a majority of Americans are not naive about what “torture” is or isn’t, or when it should be used.

About half of those polled called the CIA’s use of waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and other tough interview methods “torture”; but a majority still approved of it.

About 30 percent of Americans — most of them Democrats — told NBC they think the CIA went too far in the early days of the Bush administration. About 80 percent of Republicans approved the CIA’s tactics.

Dick Cheney got beat up this week by the liberal media, Senate Democrats, and the holier-than-thou crowd for refusing to use the word “torture” to describe the CIA’s methods of extracting information from evil people who wanted to kill us or who knew where Osama Bin Laden’s home address was.

As for the future, 45 percent of those polled say the CIA should continue to use the same interrogation tactics, while 28 percent said they should not.

Interrogating our enemies during war is a dirty business.

It’s not anything like that classy old 1950s quiz show “What’s My Line,” where a panel of well-dressed celebrities like Steve Allen had 10 questions to figure out the occupations of the mystery contestants.

“Mr. Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, did you ever mastermind a plan to blow up the World Trade Center?”

“No.”

“OK, panel. Eight down and two to go.”

I have a little story for anyone who thinks America’s rough interrogation tactics really deserve to be called “torture.”

During the mid-1980s, when I was on a vacation in Italy, my wife and I were being protected by the U.S. Secret Service and its Italian equivalent.

A few years earlier, the leftist Red Brigade had been terrorizing Italy, assassinating people, kidnapping business executives, setting off bombs, robbing banks, and blowing off people’s kneecaps as they walked down the sidewalks.

In 1981, after the Red Brigade kidnapped U.S. General James Dozier, it took Italy’s counter-terrorism agency 42 days to rescue him — without firing a shot.

I asked one of the unshaven, rugged, glass-eating Italian secret servicemen working in our motorcade detail how they finally found out where General Dozier was being held.

He told me that after his colleagues caught a few members of the Red Brigade, they were taken to the basement and interrogated.

The terrorists became very talkative after their genitals were placed in a vise.

The agents who used this persuasive technique — which also led to the capture of hundreds of Red Brigade members and put the deadly terrorist group out of business — were disciplined by their superiors.

They were suspended for five days and went to the beach.

As the Italians proved, sometimes in war you have to use “enhanced” interrogation methods to get the successful ending you want.

In 2001, we found ourselves in a bloody war against terrorists. The White House knew it. The CIA knew it. Even the media and Democrats in Congress knew it. The American people figured it out too.

What the CIA did to extract information from the Islamist terrorists was not nice, but it was not really torture.

We shouldn’t be second-guessing and beating up on the CIA, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and all the other men and women who’ve helped to keep us safe for the last 14 years.

We should be thanking them.

Merry Christmas.

 

Photo credit: LEE SNIDER PHOTO IMAGES / Shutterstock.com

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Pipeline Politics–Why The Democrats Will Lose

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Talk about being in the middle of Middle America.

This week, I’m in bitterly cold Nebraska — Omaha, to be exact — visiting with my wife Colleen’s family.

On Tuesday night, I watched the Die-hard Democrats in the Senate stop a bill to force approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline that would carry oil from Canada and Montana and North Dakota to the refineries of New Orleans.

The proposed $8 billion shortcut across Nebraska and other Red States is a big deal.

It makes economic and environmental sense for their citizens and for all Americans. But of course, that hasn’t stopped the pipeline from becoming a political cause celebre for liberal Democrats and their narrow interest groups.

President Obama, Senator Reid, and their whacko pals in the environmental lobby have managed to delay the Keystone XL’s approval for six years.

But they better celebrate Tuesday night’s buzzer beater while they can. Their one-vote “victory” in the Senate is the last time they’ll be able to get away with their screw-you attitude toward voters.

The Keystone XL will get the green light as soon as the Republicans who were elected in the midterm elections start running things in Congress next year.

Watching the Die-hard Democrats in the Senate vote against the pipeline was creepy. It reminded me of the spiteful thing President Carter did in 1980 when he was blown out of office by my father.

As the 1980 election returns were coming in from Back East, my father was taking a shower and getting ready to go to dinner in L.A.

Polls were still open in the rest of the country, but Jimmy Carter already could see the landslide coming. At 6:01 Pacific time, he called my father to concede.

Giving up so soon — and thereby discouraging many Democrat voters in the western time zones from going to the polls — made the Reagan avalanche even worse.

Republicans took control of the Senate, 53-46, picking up 12 seats.

Carter knew what he was doing. He was an outsider who never worked well with his party’s Washington insiders.

Insisting on conceding so early, despite advice from his advisers and the pleas of party leaders like Tip O’Neill, was Carter’s way of punishing the Democrats who ran Washington.

I think Senate Democrats were acting like Jimmy Carter on Tuesday when they defeated the pipeline vote.

It’s inevitable that the Keystone XL pipeline will be built. Harry Reid and his gang of obstructionists know that.

But they voted against the pipeline anyway, even ignoring the small chance that a pro-Keystone vote might have saved Mary Landrieu’s Senate seat in Louisiana.

Democrats flat didn’t care. The pipeline vote was their final act of spite. It was a last-minute kick in the teeth of Red State voters for electing so many Republicans to Congress in the midterms.

I believe it was President Obama who famously said to Eric Cantor after re-winning the White House in 2012 that “elections have consequences.”

Obviously, you were right, Mr. President.

But seeing Democrat Senators stick it to the American electorate on the pipeline, and watching you desecrate the Constitution to push your immigration agenda, has made me realize something.

When you and the Democrats win an election, America suffers. And when you guys don’t win an election, America suffers just as much.

For the last six years, voters have been playing in a lose-lose game. But for the next two years, things will be different. Because, thank God, elections do matter.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

‘Security Breaches ‘R Us’

pierson

The White House sprayed by bullets.

A hospital guard with a criminal record and a gun the Secret Service didn’t know about riding on an elevator with the president in Atlanta.

The fence-jumper who made it all the way into the East Room of the White House.

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson had no choice but to resign on Wednesday afternoon.

She did it a week or two late, but she did the right thing.

The vaunted federal agency — whose core duty is to protect the president of the United States, his family, and his home — has become just another bungling Washington bureaucracy led by incompetents and political appointees.

Earlier this week, we saw Pierson on TV being upbraided by lawmakers from both parties who couldn’t believe how the Secret Service has turned into the Keystone Cops. Aka, “Security Breaches ‘R Us.”

Pierson was at times evasive, uninformed, and self-contradictory during her testimony.

She had been appointed to head the Secret Service in the spring of 2013, after agents on an advance team were caught drinking excessively and procuring prostitutes in Colombia.

That was shameful enough. But under her brief reign, the Secret Service’s standards apparently fell so low they couldn’t be counted on to keep the president or the inside of his house safe.

Pierson, a veteran agent who owed her directorship to political correctness, was clearly not up to the task of reforming or running the Secret Service.

But like a typical Washington “executive,” she spent half of her time before Congress whining about how cuts in funding had hurt her agency’s ability to operate. The other half was spent covering her own you-know-what.

The White House complex is protected by the Secret Service’s 1,300-person uniformed division, which became part of the agency in 1930.

The personnel who didn’t notice the White House fence-hopper were not highly trained agents like the heroes who threw their bodies in front of my father when he was shot.

Those elite agents — members of the PPD, or presidential protection division — travel with the president wherever he goes.

They also provide protection 24/7 for the president’s wife and children. That why, for eight years, I, my kids, and my home in L.A. had constant Secret Service protection.

The agency did a great job in the 1980s. But today, the Secret Service has become dangerously careless or complacent about basic security measures at the White House.

“The People’s House” isn’t an airtight fortress surrounded by minefields and machine gun nests.

It’s had a few lone intruders before. Presidents Hoover and FDR each found themselves in the White House in the presence of strangers.

Some guy followed the Marine Band into the White House after my father’s second inauguration and wasn’t discovered for 15 minutes. And remember those Obama White House party crashers a few years back?

But in 2014, the Secret Service has gotten sloppier than a bunch of drunk rent-a-cops at a stag party.

It’s the age of terrorism. Every major building, airport concourse, and ballpark in America is on guard against terrorists.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Here’s Why I Despise The Term “Homeland” (And So Should You)

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“God bless you, and God bless the Homeland.”

It won’t surprise me if that’s how a future President closes one of his “State of the Union ” addresses.

The un-American term “the homeland” is taking over America.

Everywhere I turn, it’s being used to replace the words “country” or “nation” or “the United States.”

All the media have accepted the phrase. It’s all over CNN, FOX, and MSNBC. I hear it on NPR.

It’s in the news pages and headlines of the Washington Examiner, the Washington Post, and the Weekly Standard.

“The homeland” is a bipartisan insult to America.

It’s being used by liberals, conservatives, politicians, pundits, the White House, government mouthpieces, and Middle East military experts who otherwise wouldn’t agree on what direction the sun sets.

President Obama and Republican hawk Peter King both throw around “the homeland.”

Democrat Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado recently said he didn’t think ISIS was “an immediate threat to the homeland.”

Dan Senor, a Bush II neocon, dropped the H-word on “Morning Joe” Wednesday morning during his pitch for putting boots on the ground to defeat ISIS.

How did defending against additional terrorist attacks after 9/11 change from defending “the United States of America” to defending “the homeland”?

“The Homeland” — it’ll soon be capitalized — sounds like one of those phony words George Orwell invented for his novel “1984.”

The Merriam Webster dictionary gives away its foreign origins, defining it as:

“Homeland: 1. native land: FATHERLAND. 2. a state or area set aside to be a state for a people of a particular national, cultural, or racial origin.”

The great wordsmith Peggy Noonan tried to warn us off using “homeland” back in 2002.

In her Wall Street Journal column urging the Bush administration to come up with a different name for the Department of Homeland Security, she nailed it:

“‘Homeland’ isn’t really an American word, it’s not something we used to say or say now. It has a vaguely Teutonic ring — Ve must help ze Fuehrer protect ze Homeland! — and Republicans must always be on guard against sounding Teutonic.”

That must explain why every time I hear the words “the homeland,” I have the strange urge to give a Hitler salute.

“Homeland” — as well as its Soviet cousin, “The Motherland” — is not a word fit for use by truly patriotic Americans.

As Noonan wrote, “the essence of American patriotism is a felt and spoken love for and fidelity to the ideas and ideals our country represents and was invented to advance — freedom, equality, pluralism. ‘We hold these truths…’

“The word ‘homeland’ suggests another kind of patriotism — a vaguely European sort. ‘We have the best Alps, the most elegant language; we make the best cheese, had the bravest generals.’ ”

Noonan knew immediately that the USA was headed down the wrong road with the word “homeland.”

So did a few others, including the lefty Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo.

In 2002, he said that the phrase “the homeland” had “a deep blood and soil tinge to it which is distinctly Germanic, more than a touch un-American, and a little creepy.”

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom