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News Roundup – Government Shutdown, Iran, Marital Secrets

Navy yard shooter – Aaron Alexis

For those who like the creepy or macabre, there’s video of Aaron Alexis walking around the Navy Yard with a Remington 870 shotgun.

I don’t see how we avoid a government shutdown. The Democrats are not going to negotiate on a bill that’s already passed Congress and has already been verified by the Supreme Court. ObamaCare is the law of the land. The Democrats are not going to back down or cave on this issue. President Barack Obama said that he is not going to negotiate with the good faith and credit of the American government. I think this is the stance he should’ve taken years ago. Instead, he capitulated, waffled and negotiated. I believe this has emboldened Republicans to believe that they only need to bluster in order for Democrats to go and cower in the corner. This time, it looks to me like Democrats are going to hold strong. There’s a significant fraction of the Republicans in the House who don’t believe in negotiation. Therein lies the impasse. There was a ridiculously cute story in the Washington Post this morning. Some reporter went to Westchester, Ohio, which is in John Boehner’s district. The reporter walked around and talked to a bunch of his constituents about the imminent government shutdown. Nobody knew anything. It seemed as if nobody knew that there was an imminent government shutdown. One gentleman said, “they’ll work it out – they always do.” I think this guy is 100% wrong. I think we are in for some significant badness.

By the way, in case anybody was noticing, the Senate voted to restore funding to ObamaCare. Is anyone surprised? (more…)


I continue to be worried and somewhat haunted by what happened in Benghazi several weeks ago.

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I would like to be able to blow off what happened in Benghazi, Libya as an isolated incident of violence. I would like to believe that it was just one of those things that happen. But ever since the story broke, I have had this nagging feeling that there’s more to this. The United States ambassador was killed. We really have not gotten a good explanation of how the ambassador ended up at a local hospital, dead from smoke inhalation. Today, United States intelligence officials admitted that initial intelligence reports were wrong. Really? Why?

I’m still curious as to exactly what the security procedures at our embassy were. The last thing that I read, several weeks ago, said something to the effect that local authorities were supposed to provide security externally and Marines or other US military personnel were supposed to provide security for the interior contents of the embassy. That just sounded strange to me. The Libyan government was responsible for security of our embassy?

The political ramifications of this could be huge. Yet, I would like to focus not on the politics, but instead let us concentrate on the policy just for a second. If the United States is going to set up an embassy in a country like Libya, where the government has just been recently overturned, what are the procedures? What type of security is provided to the United States ambassador? How is our security adjusted to the situation? Who makes the decision to pull an ambassador out of an embattled country?

It was good to see that there were protests in Benghazi supporting the American government. There has been enough pressure on anti-government militias that a couple of them have actually packed up and left.

It seems that Mitt Romney may have learned his lesson. His response to the national intelligence director’s statements was by far more measured (see video above). I do not think he will be as measured and as restrained during the upcoming debates. In spite of the fact that President Obama has enjoyed the recent surge in the polls, all of this can evaporate overnight. The Obama administration needs to be extremely careful. They need to proceed thoughtfully. No more missteps. No inartful statements. No “mistruths.” Clear and thoughtful statements about what happened are necessary Also necessary is information about how we can move forward and protect American personnel while also advancing American interests around the world. The American people should not, will not tolerate incompetence.

By |2012-09-29T21:05:00-04:00September 29th, 2012|Foreign Affairs|2 Comments

More to talk about this Tuesday evening

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laid out criteria for peace in an address before Congress. The one point that he made that I think deserves underscoring is that the leadership of Israel has acknowledged that there needs to be a Palestinian state, but the leadership of the Palestinian Authority has never said there should be and must be an Israeli state.
  • Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is going to stand trial for killing or ordering the killing of unarmed protesters. As a rule, if you’re an ousted dictator, you need to get out of the country.
  • Do you remember when gas prices went through the roof in 2008? Everybody was standing around trying to figure out what was going on. Well, I think everybody settled on commodities traders. It appears the US government is suing some of these commodities traders. Basically, the government is saying that these commodities traders bid up the price and then sold short to make money both on the upside and the downside of oil prices. In the meantime, you and I just simply paid more at the pump… for no good reason. I wonder if this is exactly what is happening now??
  • For all those Republicans and conservatives who thought it was a bad idea to prop up the American automotive industry, now we can give them a big fat raspberry as Chrysler begins to pay back the American government and therefore you and me, the American people. This is what believing in America is all about.
  • There’s a big election in New York. The New York-26. This is a very Republican district. The polls have just closed. This is supposed to be a referendum on Medicare. As a rule, I think these general pronouncements, calling elections referendums on x or y are usually wrong. All politics is local; at least that’s the way the saying goes. How did the candidates run their campaign? That determines who wins and who loses the majority of the time. The Republican candidate Jane Corwin publicly stated that she embraced the Paul Ryan plan to end Medicare. When you publicly embrace an unpopular position, expect to get some blowback from your constituents… like you will not get elected. Kathy Hochul is the Democrat. I hope that she has put together a smart campaign. I hope that she has worked hard. She has a unique opportunity to win this race. Election results can be found here.
By |2011-05-24T22:33:00-04:00May 24th, 2011|Economy, Foreign Affairs, Israel, Party Politics|Comments Off on More to talk about this Tuesday evening
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