Thursday, February 28, 2013

President Obama Creates New Medal for Drone Operators

Washington DC, Feb 28, 2013 -  One big story that the White House friendly media isn't reporting is the the many protests against President Obama's use of drones as a weapon of war.

Drones are essentially small remote control planes that carry either cameras for surveillance or warheads to kill people with.

Most people have no problem with the first case but are leery about the second.

This is because it is difficult to kill one person with a drone without also killing everyone else in the immediate vicinity. So sometimes innocent women and children, and other non combatants become victims of drone attacks.

When we use drones, we fight wars from a computer console and video screen. It isn't hard to imagine that using drones that often kill nearby civilians isn't particularly popular among the nations that are targeted. Rather than improving our relations with other nations, the use of these drones is causing outrage and anger in many parts of the world.

Despite this, the Obama Administration recently announced that the Pentagon is creating a medal that can be awarded to troops who have a direct impact on combat operations, but do it from afar. The drone operators can now be recognized for their bravery and heroism.

The new blue, red and white-ribboned Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to individuals for "extraordinary achievement" related to a military operation that occurred after Sept. 11, 2001.

The medal will be considered a bit higher in ranking than the Bronze Star, but is lower than the Silver Star, defense officials said.

The Bronze Star is the fourth highest combat decoration and rewards meritorious service in battle, while the Silver Star is the third highest combat award given for bravery.

The new Obama Administration medal has come under criticism from both veterans groups and members of Congress because the drone medal outranks other medals that were earned in actual combat. But unlike other combat medals, it does not require the recipient risk his or her life to get it.

John Hamilton, the VFW's commander in chief, said it's important to recognize drone pilots and others. "But medals that can only be earned in combat must outrank new medals earned in the rear," he said.

Members of Congress are also getting involved. Five veterans now serving in the House introduced a bill that would prohibit the Defense Department from rating the medal equal to or higher than the Purple Heart.

A medal's order of precedence refers to how it is supposed to be displayed, with the Medal of Honor getting top billing among nearly 60 medals and ribbons.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict To Step Down; Hillary Clinton Will Seek Job

Bill and Hillary with former Pope John Paul II

Thursday, January 31, 2013

President Obama Lays Off His Own Jobs Council

President Obama's Jobs Council, having one of their rare meetings
Washington DC, Jan 31, 2012. Two years ago President Barack Hussein Obama, D-Kenya,  formed his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness in order to create new jobs for Americans.

Back then, unemployment was right around 9 percent. Two years president later, more than 12 million people in the U.S. are still out of work.

The official unemployment rate has improved to 7.8 percent, but this is largely due to the White House changing the way we count the unemployed. There are actually more people without jobs today then there were the day the President created his Jobs Council.

The Jobs Council was created by one of the President's executive orders, and the original order said that it would expire in two years. 

"I've had enough with these clowns"
The White House has indicated that the President will not seek to extend it, because it has been so ineffectual in creating any new jobs.

According to our sources, the President is furious with his own Jobs Council.

"They were supposed to create millions of new jobs, but instead we lost millions more jobs," and inside source reported hearing him say. "I'm just very lucky that my voters didn't care about my performance in this area" he went on to say.

The 2012 election was the first time in our history where a president won reelection despite worsening economic conditions.

Had the president actually created some jobs he probably would have won with a much larger margin. As it was, the president was very fortunate that his voters don't seem to care much about whether he creates any jobs at all.

Labor Force Participation Rate hits an all time low
The main concern of the Obama voters seemed to be whether the government would extend unemployment benefits, continue free school lunches, federal housing subsidies and the food stamps and welfare programs.

Their primary interest wasn't in "finding a job," but rather in getting more free benefits from the Federal Government.

President Obama met with the council only a handful of times. His last meeting with the group was in February 2012, almost a full year ago.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Opinion: Why School Shootings Will Continue

In the aftermath of the recent Newtown Connecticut school shooting, in which 26 people were slain by a deranged gunman, the entire nation is mourning and asking what can we do to prevent these incidents from happening.

More often than not the proposed solution is to enact more gun bans, to make it harder for criminals and mentally ill people from getting guns.

Many are even calling for the outright ban of private gun ownership, despite this right being guaranteed by our Constitution. The logic is "if people couldn't get guns, then this couldn't have happened."

The only problem with this thinking is it won't work.

This logic is simplistic and wrong, because it fails to deal with the root cause of gun violence. It just is a feel good solution... something we do when we are frustrated and want to do something. Even though we all know it will not prevent these tragedies. We just want to do something.

The only gun control laws that have reduced crime are the right to concealed carry laws. All the others are just cosmetic laws that do absolutely nothing to prevent a determeined criminal or mentally unbalanced person from using a gun illegally.

We already have 25,000 gun laws. More laws won't stop this problem. We need to ask outselves what has changed, because 40 years ago... when guns were MUCH easier to get.... this sort of thing never happened.

Something is causing this besides "it's too easy to get guns." Because right now, it certainly isn't that easy. There is almost an inverse relationship. As guns get harder to get, we see more school shootings. And the places these things happen are the states with the toughest gun control laws, not the weakest. (Note... Conn. is rated as having the 4th toughest gun laws of all 50 states.)

If gun bans stopped gun violence, then LA, NYC, and DC would be the safest places in America, since they have the toughest gun laws. And Utah, Wyoming and Montana would rife with gun violence, since they have the laxest laws. But just the reverse is true.

So, what can we do about this problem? Making it harder for honest citizens to own guns won't solve the problem. Clearly, there must be some other cause for the alarming increase in gun violence.

The answer is simple, but will be very unpopular. In order to revesse this we need to change our culture. We need to raise children with stronger and safer values. This means we need to think hard about:

1. Violent video games (Grand Theft Auto, for example)
2. Violent rap music lyric
3. Medicating children rather than disciplining them
4. The glorification of violence by movies and TV
5. A permissive culture where anything goes
6. The erosion of parental rights
7. Our failure to teach ethics and civics in schools
8. Our failure to keep dangerous people locked up in prisons and asylums.
9. Boys growing up without fathers are much more likely to become criminals.

High School Rifle Club, 1946
While it has become harder and harder for honest citizens to buy and own guns, all those nine things have happened too. The biggest problem with "lets pass another gun ban" is that it won't work. It is just the knee jerk reaction of people who cannot think or who simply don't want to deal with the real problems.

Forty five years ago, when I was in High School, kids would bring their rifles to school on Thursdays for Rifle Club Meetings. And this was in NYC. No one got shot. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Barack Obama Depression Finally Hits NYC

"You didn't build it"
NYC, Dec 2, 2012. After four years of being relatively untouched by the Obama Depression, New York City is finally feeling the effects of the poor economic policy decisions made by this administration.

Despite the fact that NYC has a relatively modest unemployment rate of 9.9% the city seems to be struggling with rising costs.

Higher costs make it hard for businesses to stay open, because their customers just can't pay the higher prices.

The latest victim of President Obama's economic policy was the famed NYC landmark restaurant The Stage Deli, who closed their doors last week after being in business for 75 years.

The Stage Deli told us they just couldn't keep up with rising costs, and had no choice but to shut down. "We sell a very nice corned beef sandwich for only $23 and some people felt it was too much to pay for a sandwich and a pickle" one of their managers told us. "It even comes with a small side order of cole slaw. At that price, it's a real bargain here in NYC."

Even local billionaires are starting to complain about high prices in NYC. Thomas Merhman, a retired Lehman Brothers CEO told us "it's getting so you can't find a decent parking place for your Bentley for under $100 a day."

New York City is unlike most places in the country. Prices are so high here that you could qualify for food stamps if you earn less than $89,000 a year. A modest one bedroom apartment in NYC will often rent for $5,000 a month, A hot dog and a can of soda can cost as much as $8 from a street vendor.

Both the wealthy and the poor New Yorkers don't seem to mind the high prices, and they continue to support the Obama policies of higher taxes and spending. Obama carried NYC with a whopping 80% of the votes in last month's election.

Don't forget the Parking Tax
Stephen R. Goldman, another retired Wall Street billionaire told us "I really feel President Obama is right. Our taxes should be much higher. Just as long as he keeps giving us those wonderful green energy loopholes so we can avoid paying any taxes. I have a wonderful tax attorney, and he makes sure I never have to pay any tax."

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been hard at work making the city a nicer place for it's residents by banning smoking, sugar, salt, transfats and large servings of soft drinks.

"The city needs to be a great place for both rich people and poor people" he told us. "All the middle class can just move to New Jersey if they don't like it here."

Monday, November 12, 2012

Opinion: It Just Doesn't Look Good for the Republicans

Clearly, this election wasn't about the issues. It was about demographics.

The nation has changed a lot in the past few decades, and the GOP has been slow to catch on, and adjust their pitch accordingly.

Meanwhile, the Democrats have been right on top of it, and have campaigned on a theme that says "we represent you, and they don't."

And that's why Obama won despite all the historical precedent that says "a president cannot win if unemployment is so high."

Obama won because the issues didn't matter. Who you are is now more important than anything else.

The polls told us that most people thought that the economy was the most important issue, and that most felt the nation was heading in the wrong direction. The same polls also told us that most people thought Romney was the candidate better suited to deal with our economic problems. Yet Obama won.

Bill Clinton's "It's The Economy, Stupid" campaign theme in 1992 worked in 1992, but it just didn't work in 2012. Because we have a different group of voters today than we did twenty years ago.

 According to the NY Times and CNN exit polls, Obama won:

93% of black voters (which is actually LESS than he got in 2008)
85% of Muslim-American voters
80% of non-white voters
76% of gay voters
73% of Asian voters
71% of Hispanic voters
70% of people who say they have no religion
68% of Jewish voters
62% of unmarried voters
69% of urban voters
60% of young voters (aged 18-29)
60% of poor voters (incomes under $30,000)

In every group above, Obama won a huge landslide victory. Add them all together, and you have 52% of the vote, or a slim majority. But majority does rule, so that's all that counts in our system of government.

Obama had to win most of them, because merely winning half of them would not have created an electoral majority. He did what he had to do. He ran the table for every minority group and created a slim majority out of it.

If you aren't in one of those groups listed above, then there is a 90% chance you voted for Romney. The problem is our population has changed so much that a huge majority of Americans are now in one of those groups, so the Democrats can win every close election for the foreseeable future.

If you look at the very same exit polls you will see that the vote was evenly split on matters involving issues rather than identity. Roughly an equal percentage of voters though Obama would do a good job on foreign policy as thought Romney would. The same thing is true for handling the deficit, healthcare policy, the economy, "saving medicare" or tax policy.

So Obama forged a coalition of people who could identify with him, based on their personal situations, rather than on any political issues. A slim majority of our electorate voted for Obama because "he is more like us," rather than because they were happy about the last four years and his performance.

The nation that rejected Jimmy Carter's reelection bid in 1980 by a huge margin, narrowly reelected Barack Obama 32 years later in 2012. But the voters have changed a lot since then. The issues mattered more in 1980, and identifying with the candidate matters more in 2012.

The implications of all this are profound for the GOP.  Because they simply cannot change our culture with a clever election campaign.  It took the Democrats 40 years to move the nation to the left, and you just can't move it back with a few months of smart campaigning.

The campaign theme that worked best

This means that the GOP cannot campaign on issues anymore, because the issues might not matter. And if they try to run on an identity campaign ("we are the old white people") then they will surely lose in the future.

The one thing that the GOP cannot do is to try to pander to those groups that Obama won by large margins. Because if they do that, then they win very few new voters, and lose a great many of their existing voters.

I'd say that the Republicans are pretty much screwed now.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

He won: America Has Been Fundementally Transformed

President Barack Hussein Obama, D-Kenya, has narrowly won his reelection bid as President.

A slim majority of the American people have voted for higher budget deficits, more national debt, more entitlements, higher taxes, same sex marriage and legalizing recreational marijuana.

The President promised us in 2008 that he would "fundamentally transform America" and he has delivered on that promise in yesterday's election.

Even if it was the only campaign promise he kept, he has really done it.

President Obama could not have done this alone. He had plenty of help from the fawning media, who successfully buried the news about his poor economic results, his staggering debt policies, and succeeded in playing down his many foreign policy blunders, especially the most recent one in Libya.

The media also did a great job of demonizing Republican challenger Mitt Romney, and portrayed this very decent man as a liar, and a "vulture capitalist" someone who was waging a "war on women" by opposing forcing  churches to distribute birth control pills. They had less criticism for radical Muslims who shoot 14 year old girls in the face for wanting to go to school in Pakistan, then they did for Mitt Romney for failing to want churches to provide free birth control pills.

Somehow a slim majority of the voters have been convinced that every bad outcome from policy initiated by the Democrats was "Bush's fault" and that without Obama's leadership "things could have been much worse."  It really makes you wonder how they know this, but they truly do believe it.

America has truly been transformed when a majority... even a slim majority... is so arrogant that they think "obstructing the president's wishes" are now a criminal offense. They didn't feel that way when they obstructed President Bush's policies for eight years, but they feel that way now. In fact, back in 2006 they claimed that "dissent was the highest form of patriotism" although once they got into control it is now considered an act of high treason.

America has truly been transformed when a majority... even a slim majority...think that we can continue to borrow, print and spend more money forever. Even though none of this seems to be working, they are convinced that this is the right way to go. A nation that used to care deeply about their children's future now passes massive debt onto newborn babies, so they can have more government benefits today. They have elevated selfishness and greed into an art form.

America has truly been transformed when a majority... even a slim majority... think that it is in our best national interest to have a submissive foreign policy that ignores our allies and apologizes to our enemies. Even going so far as to give a higher priority to aid for Hamas and the Moslem Brotherhood... over economic aid for Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

America has truly been transformed when a majority... even a slim majority... think that the biggest problems facing our nation today aren't jobs and economic growth... but legalizing marijuana and gay marriage rights. This just isn't the same America we grew up in anymore. It's like living in an alternate universe.

But the people have spoken.

Our system is based on majority rule, and a slim majority has decided that it likes this newly transformed America. So we will continue on this path for the next four years. And when things continue to get worse they Democrats and their allies in the media will just tell us "it could have been worse."

And it will probably work again in 2016, because America really has been fundamentally transformed.