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Political News, Opinion and Commentary

What. WatchBlog is a multiple-editor weblog broken up into three major political affiliations, each with its own blog: the Democrats, the Republicans and the Third Party (covering everything outside the two major parties).
Why. Let's face it, politics is confusing. Sometimes it's difficult to know who to believe, who to listen to and who to support. We're here to help. Posting on a regular basis are editors representing each major party. Stay informed.

Pick Your Words And Pick Your Battles

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on February 17, 2015 at 11:52 AM

Why not call it Islamic Extremism, or talk about Radical Islam? Why does Obama choose his words so carefully on it? Republicans and Conservatives complain about it, thinking he's not confronting these people with robust enough terms. Yes, like they'll run scared if we use the right jargon. No, it's not about them. It's about the tens of millions of Muslims in the region.

» Continue reading "Pick Your Words And Pick Your Battles"...

Starting From A Foundation

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on February 5, 2015 at 3:29 PM

You don't have to know a lot to live in a world like ours. You just have to know a lot to build one like it. That is the paradox that lies at the center of our dilemma as an advanced civilization. There's so much knowledge, so much training needed to grasp it that it's beyond the ability of any one person to take it all in. Unfortunately, some are still trying to live as one could do that, as if we can just wing it in our world, and only work from our own personal experiences and beliefs.

» Continue reading "Starting From A Foundation"...

Hate, Fear, and Racism in American Politics

Posted by TreyL on January 11, 2015 at 7:38 PM

As I sat on the Amtrak train yesterday morning, I headed to the website of the local newspaper in the area I grew up in, and clicked on the "Opinion" page. One of the first comments was one that has been repeated numerous times during the six-year and counting right-wing temper tantrum that's been going on since Barack Obama assumed the Presidency.

Liberals say that we should respect the President. Why would I have any respect for the non-military foreigner who stole two elections?

The 2014 election proved one thing, and one thing only. Republicans can only run on three things: hate, fear, and racism.

» Continue reading "Hate, Fear, and Racism in American Politics"...

Mitt Romney 3.0?

Posted by Adam Ducker on January 10, 2015 at 7:08 PM

When I saw Romney was considering a run again I decided it was time to watch the Mitt documentary just because. I can definitely see why the man might run again.

» Continue reading "Mitt Romney 3.0?"...

Charlie Habdo, The Interview, and The Courage of our Convictions

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on January 8, 2015 at 10:51 AM

Freedom isn't simply tiptoing through the tulips, not a care in the world, bursting into intermittent bouts of Peter Pan Flight. It's for tough people, for courageous people, for people who have faith. Too many folks confront the world with an excess of fear, and fear turns us to the darker side of our humanity.

» Continue reading "Charlie Habdo, The Interview, and The Courage of our Convictions"...

That's Real Cute, Governor Otter

Posted by obamaluv on January 7, 2015 at 9:40 PM

One step forward and 5 steps back. While some argue that our country is just becoming "desensitized" or just "tolerating" same-sex marriage, Idaho's Governor Butch Otter is trying to turn back time and reverse the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage just four months ago.

» Continue reading "That's Real Cute, Governor Otter"...

Happy New Year: 2015!

Posted by liz on January 1, 2015 at 12:42 PM

Wishing everyone in the WatchBlog community a healthy and happy new year. We're so appreciative to the contributors and participation in this political community. We're looking forward to a great year and a new and improved WatchBlog in 2015!

Cheers!

Thank you President Romney for 2014 being best year for job gains since 1999

Posted by Adam Ducker on December 16, 2014 at 7:48 AM

Wait, he didn't win? This job growth is still happening despite having a Democrat in the White House? Oh.

» Continue reading "Thank you President Romney for 2014 being best year for job gains since 1999"...

Pride in its Two Senses

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on December 11, 2014 at 12:37 PM

One of the most galling things about the lead-up to the Iraq war was being told that I didn't care enough about my country, even that I wanted to see harm come to it. I continued to see people insulting liberals about wanting to lose the Iraq war, and today, they claim we want to see ISIS behead people, and another attack on our soil. What a waste, to so discourage people, to make pride in our country once again the provinced of the gullible and the extreme.

» Continue reading "Pride in its Two Senses"...

Senate Releases Torture Report

Posted by Warren Porter on December 9, 2014 at 12:02 PM

The US Senate has recently released and declassified a report investigating the CIA's detention and interrogation programs. I have not had an opportunity to actually look at the report so I will not comment on its details.

» Continue reading "Senate Releases Torture Report"...

GOP vindicates administration on Benghazi allegations

Posted by Warren Porter on November 22, 2014 at 5:36 PM

A report has been released from the GOP-controlled House of Representatives regarding the events of 9/11/2012 in Benghazi, Libya. Every conservative conspiracy theory regarding the incident was thoroughly debunked:

» Continue reading "GOP vindicates administration on Benghazi allegations"...

Obama Strikes Back on Immigration

Posted by Warren Porter on November 20, 2014 at 8:00 PM

The Constitution assigns the executive branch of our government the task of enforcing the laws of our nation. The Constitution also assigns the President with the duty to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Taken together, these two obligations certainly empower a President to not enforce laws he believes may be unconstitutional. However, that does not seem to be the case with Obama's decision to change how his administration will enforce immigration law.

» Continue reading "Obama Strikes Back on Immigration"...

Obfuscation and the Stupidity of Americans

Posted by Warren Porter on November 15, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Jonathan Gruber recently got into a lot of trouble recently for a candid comment. Essentially, Gruber revealed an important aspect of American politics that we often like to sweep under the rug. However, nobody should be surprised here. The presentation of faux outrage by the Right is simple posturing.

» Continue reading "Obfuscation and the Stupidity of Americans"...

Narratives Succeed Easier Than Realities

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on November 6, 2014 at 12:07 PM

"In a world..." the guy who did those trailers often started, setting the scene for one movie or another. "One man will-" this, one man will that, that trailer tells us. Very often, the hero is trying to save the world, save society, save whatever. In reality, we're very often confronted with the challenge of keeping our world going, rather than saving it from some sort of catastrophe.

» Continue reading "Narratives Succeed Easier Than Realities"...

A Personal Pride in Citizenship

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on November 4, 2014 at 7:14 PM

I believe that however many polls somebody takes before an election, the poll that matters is the one we visit on election day. I believe that cynicism about the system, however justified, has failed to position voters better to exercise their power against the powers that be. You can talk about what you feel, you can complain about your choices, but if you make no choice, you can no more succeed in making the right choice than you can fail in making the wrong choice.

» Continue reading "A Personal Pride in Citizenship"...

A Reasonable Dosage of Rigor

Posted by AllardK on March 2, 2015 at 8:34 PM

The fact that House Republicans had to call recess on their education bill is yet another reminder of how thorny an issue education has become. The House's attempt to update George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind ran into conservative opposition over issues of state and local control over education. But the issue goes far beyond that. The role of public education, especially since Common Core appeared on the scene, is now a big question mark and one that elicits a multitude of responses. Progressives and Liberals want more money with more regulatory strings attached - all of it going through the federal government before actually reaching the states - to ensure that gaps in education results are filled. Conservatives want the freedom to choose flexible solutions, including charter schools, to try and improve student performances, both within America and in comparison to other developed countries. And some raging moms want to bury their heads in the sand and pretend that their children do not face a far different world, a more demanding one that requires more skills in everything from language to science and math and computing, than they ever did.

» Continue reading "A Reasonable Dosage of Rigor"...

Net Neutrality, Yaahhhoooo

Posted by Roy Ellis on February 26, 2015 at 8:39 PM

Passage of Net Neutrality into law is about the greatest thing since canned beer, IMO. Being a good 'centrist' I see this law as the best way to police/regulate the Internet providers.

» Continue reading "Net Neutrality, Yaahhhoooo"...

Oscar Speech Propaganda

Posted by MichaelMears on February 25, 2015 at 4:35 PM

You can't knock JK Simmons for reminding us to call our moms and dads, if we're so fortunate to do so. However, there were other Oscar speeches that were filled with pleas for wage equality, suicide prevention, and Alzheimer's awareness, which all have their own importance. However, it's hard to process John Legend's comments about slavery and black incarceration, while millions of people watched and most people would just believe every word he said.

» Continue reading "Oscar Speech Propaganda"...

When Jeb's Bandwagon Catches Fire

Posted by AllardK on February 20, 2015 at 5:35 PM

Jeb Bush wants to be president, and the details of what type of president he will be can be worked out later. At least that seems to be the attitude of a significant part of the GOP. Just look at the polls and decide who would do best against Hillary is the approach. The numbers and how to improve them seem to dominate, at least for those donors and former Bush padre and Dubya advisors who are lining up to help fund or to be part of Jeb's team. What that says about any policy platform that his team is cobbling together from ideas long past due is not encouraging. Catchphrases like Liberty and Strength have been heard before in very different times. To base foreign policy on pillars like Liberty and Strength is commendable, of course. But what that may mean in practice, on issues like immigration, terrorism, trade with Asia and Latin America, as well as education at home, remains very much to be seen.

» Continue reading "When Jeb's Bandwagon Catches Fire"...

The President Hits a Homer

Posted by Roy Ellis on February 18, 2015 at 5:17 PM

Watched the President's presentation on how we should deal with the Muslim extremist problem. I believe this is the best presentation he has given. He nailed it good as to how citizens of the world should react to terrorism. He covered the good, bad and ugly as it relates to the world community, noting that in order to win the day there must be a broad range of policies/actions covering political, law enforcement, human resources, economic opportunity/assistance, and so on - - -

» Continue reading "The President Hits a Homer"...

Fakeahontas and the Real Hiawatha

Posted by AllardK on February 16, 2015 at 8:15 PM

While a slight fuss has been raised, and understandably so, over the location of the Run Warren Run office in the Cedar Rapid's suburb of Hiawatha, it may have unintended ironies for those who make fun of its location. The fact that Warren desperately invoked a dubious Native American Heritage to help her gain Ivy League employment is now part of her record, as it should be for anyone who may soon be seeking the Presidency. The fact that Hiawatha was mistakenly used by Longfellow, however, to refer to an Ojibwa trickster rather than the historical, if mythical, unifying figure that helped shape the Iroquois Confederacy is the unintended irony of those who have pointed out the Native American fake connection. That's because the essence of Warren does not really encompass her silly little stumbling dance back when with identity politics - while Hillary is locked in a death waltz with identity politics whose embrace she can't or won't break - but rather the serious substance of her radical views on political economy.

» Continue reading "Fakeahontas and the Real Hiawatha"...

ISIS Is not Like Purse Snatchers in the Subway

Posted by AllardK on February 9, 2015 at 7:51 PM

Trust President Obama to think he has a policy fix for everything, as in the right policy mix brewed up by federal bureaucrats will fix most anything. For example, the wave of truly barbaric terror unleashed by ISIS upon Middle Easterners, Westerners, and anyone else unlucky enough to be caught in their frenzied claws, as Japan discovered. Why it's just like lowering the crime rate in, say, New York. The right mix of growth and subsidies and policy incentives and you'll have Syria and its neighbors as good as Israel. As long as the media behaves itself and doesn't sensationalize things too much. The uncomfortable truth about Mayor Guilliani's moral anger and dedication to changing New Yorkers acceptance of street crime, graffiti, and urban grit as natural - the broken windows theory that turned out to be right - was a sea change that policy wonks could never have achieved. Yes, the growth of the economy in the 90's and New York's unquestioned role as the world's financial capital helped but it was the policing on the ground and the civic attitude supporting them that did the heavy lifting as well.

» Continue reading "ISIS Is not Like Purse Snatchers in the Subway"...

Re-Balancing Obama's White House

Posted by AllardK on February 4, 2015 at 8:02 PM

By January 1980 when small business representatives gathered in Washington for the first White House Conference on Small Business, there were 90 agencies issuing thousands of new rules every year. One fears even hazarding a guess as to the state of regulatory burden in 2015, but it is safe to say that the Regulatory Flexibility Act that was born in 1980 was meant, and is meant, to give small business a break from the overwhelming burden of agency rule-making. It essentially puts a pause in the process so that the costs and impact of any new rule can be assessed by those affected. Trust Obama's team to have found a way to pivot around this constraint and deem significant new rule-making as being mere change in interpretation of said rules rather than actually being new rules.

» Continue reading "Re-Balancing Obama's White House"...

DemReps a.k.a Corpocracy

Posted by Roy Ellis on February 1, 2015 at 6:26 PM

I can't get too excited about the nebularies tween the dem/reps. None, as I can tell, would do much to change the status quo, i.e. gov't by corpocracy. IMO, Huckabee would make a good centrist president but alas, will never get the nod.

» Continue reading "DemReps a.k.a Corpocracy"...

Imagining Jeb Versus Hillary

Posted by AllardK on January 30, 2015 at 4:01 PM

Mitt better put on his gloves and step into the ring because there's already a Bush in the hottest hubs south of DC, in Florida and Texas. Sentences like this are what you get when the two leading GOP contenders - one who is definitely putting together or has already put together a top-notch team of donors and operatives, the other who is still deciding whether to go to bat a third time - are well-known establishment Republicans. Maybe Romney supporters would protest Mitt's characterization as an establishment GOP but when you're in line for a third try for the Oval Office, it's a tag that must be anticipated and put up with. What the Jeb camp seems to want is lots of discussion over election tactics and strategy: how their team will win with or without Romney in the ring. How they have deep pockets and lots and lots of experienced players well versed in campaign trail decision-making and beltway political manouverings. And once they clean up the nomination - maybe not in a straight sweep but certainly in a fairly easy jog - then they can focus on winning the series in a tough but winnable battle against Hillary. Why nominate anyone else?

» Continue reading "Imagining Jeb Versus Hillary"...

From August 2, 1790 to Mark Zuckerberg

Posted by AllardK on January 26, 2015 at 8:08 PM

The Center for Democracy and Technology cares about your privacy and the fact that Google and Facebook have contributed a few million to the center makes no difference. According to Justin Brookman, Director of Consumer Privacy at CDT and co-chair of it's "Do Not Track" working group, "Facebook and Google can't monitor what you do on third party sites." Plus the industry standard on privacy and things like 3rd party cookies is voluntary. So there. But should people be furious that Google or Facebook or other large internet firms may be tracking your web behavior on 3rd party sites? How sacred a right is privacy in the 21st century, especially online?

» Continue reading "From August 2, 1790 to Mark Zuckerberg"...

Endangering the World With Their Ingenuous Tactics

Posted by AllardK on January 21, 2015 at 9:57 PM

It is understandable that President Obama tried to do an end run around foreign policy and focus on so-called domestic issues in his State of the Union address last Tuesday. America has not been blessed with firm and decisive leadership from the Obama White House when it comes to international policy issues, to say the least. The no-show in Paris was just the latest in a long line of confused stances. But the President did take a moment to mention the Iran sanctions. "I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress." The progress he was referring to is the continually stalled negotiations with the terror-sponsoring Islamic Republic of Iran over it's nuclear program which is clearly aimed at achieving weapons capability. Several extensions and a sanctions relief that is providing about $700 million a month to Iran means they have that much more time to continue their nuclear research program.

» Continue reading "Endangering the World With Their Ingenuous Tactics"...

Civil War OnLine (CWOL) VIII starts in February 2015.

Posted by Weary_Willie on January 20, 2015 at 5:53 PM

Historical Online Learning Foundation
The Distance-Simulations Group
Announces Civil War OnLine (CWOL) VIII

All individuals interested in playing are directed to the registration link below.

CWOL VIII registration

» Continue reading "Civil War OnLine (CWOL) VIII starts in February 2015."...

A Little More Sweat on the Hill Please

Posted by AllardK on January 19, 2015 at 3:54 PM

How committed is the current Congress to limited government? In other words, how committed is Mitch McConnel? And how committed is the GOP with a majority not seen since the early 20's? Senators Thune, R-S.D. and Corker, R. Tenn. are already suggesting boosting gas taxes. And increased sales taxes at the state level is being bandied about. Mac Thronberry, R-Texas wants tax increases to protect defense spending from sequester cuts. There is always a pet project, some worthwhile some outrageous pork barrel spending, that a congressman or congresswoman wants to cuddle and feed. And fiscal conservatism, which seems to hover like a ghost in the background rather than take center stage, warns of worsening deficits if the starve-the-beast method of reducing government is attempted.

» Continue reading "A Little More Sweat on the Hill Please"...

Obama Is More Than Tone Deaf

Posted by AllardK on January 14, 2015 at 9:38 PM

There are moments when the President of the United States cannot be too busy not to attend something like last Sunday's march in Paris. It was more than the 50 world leaders - and that included both Palestine and of course Israel - who marched with linked arms down the winter boulevards of that great city. It was the millions of French citizens who have had enough of islamic terrorism and it's latest deadly attempts to impose blasphemy laws in a Western, democratic society. President Hollande's embrace of columnist Patrick Pelloux was visceral, moving and untheatrical. This was not something staged, even if it was planned. This was real down to the very marrow of all those who marched and all those who watched in silent support around the world. Where were America's leaders? There may have been moments when France may have quietly asked the big bad old USA not to attend, as infuriating as that may have been. This was clearly not the case.

» Continue reading "Obama Is More Than Tone Deaf"...

War of Roses or the Bastille?

Posted by Keeley on March 4, 2015 at 7:48 PM

Mainstream House Republicans, who self-identify as the true conservatives now, are furious with Tea Party Republicans, who the pragmatic House GOP members say are troublemakers who continually scuttle the legislative process. Why? Because Tea Party House members, a core of about 30 according to the party itself, stand up for their principles but then walk away from any compromise legislation. On education, and now on funding the DHS, which passed this Tuesday with overwhelming Democratic support. And on past funding battles as well. The mainstream want the rebels to do business the Washington way and are fed up, so they say, with their shoot and retreat tactics. This self-righteous anger, however, didn't stop a majority of Republican House members from voting against the clean funding bill, knowing that their Democrat House colleagues would ensure passage.

» Continue reading "War of Roses or the Bastille?"...

Fracking for the best reasons

Posted by Christine & John on February 28, 2015 at 11:27 PM

I strongly in favor fracking for what I consider good environmental, economic and geopolitical reasons. Let me explain my trifecta.

» Continue reading "Fracking for the best reasons"...

After Scott V. Jeb, How's Ben Doing?

Posted by Keeley on February 24, 2015 at 9:49 PM

The latest Quinnipiac Poll of likely GOP Iowa Caucus-Goers has Scott Walker pulling ahead of the pack with a closely grouped bunch trying to find their groove behind the pole position. There's lots of media coverage of Jeb's somewhat disappointing numbers - his favorables are strong but so are his unfavorables - and less so of Rand Paul's relatively strong showing, especially among liberals. Not much is said about another candidate who with far less resources is just behind Paul and Huckabee and has the lowest unfavorables of any of the candidates. That would be Ben Carson who has remarkably consistent numbers across the poll, with a somewhat stronger showing among evangelicals and conservatives and, unlike Paul, a weaker showing among liberals. But even there his numbers show little deviation from the mean.

» Continue reading "After Scott V. Jeb, How's Ben Doing?"...

The Question Giuliani Asked

Posted by Keeley on February 23, 2015 at 7:19 PM

The media, mostly on the left side of the spectrum - fuss over Giuliani's comments about Obama's alleged lack of love for America overlook, or sidestep a basic fact. As in the Bill Ayer's controversy over Obama's relationship on several boards in Chicago during the 90's and up until 2002 with the former terrorist, the issue is not whether Obama exchanged secret handshakes with Bill Ayers, or had the PLO flag up on his dormitory wall back when. The issue is the basic philosophical outlook that a Bill Ayers has and it's relationship to his radical and violent past; an outlook shared by a significant part of the academic, intellectual and media worlds. And those who agree with them. The Vietnam War was bad, a bloody mistake rather than a costly war that helped contain communism in ways far beyond the geographic boundaries of Southeast Asia. Reagan was a war monger rather than the president who brought peace to the world through American strength. The politics of identity are what matter rather than what one does and achieves, because this racist capitalist planet has to be changed from the ground up, all the while being careful as they are not to link the word "revolution" with the possibility of violence. But justifying violence around the world all at the same time. As these former and not-so-former radicals joined the system they had violently opposed, they still have similar goals which they now go about achieving through the education system, through the political system, and through the media.

» Continue reading "The Question Giuliani Asked"...

Fighting ISIS: Resolute Leadership From Other Countries

Posted by SPBrooker on February 19, 2015 at 3:51 PM

Despite the U.S.-led coalition air raids against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the brutal group continues to thrive and is in fact spreading to other countries. Many warned President Obama when he began his campaign against ISIS in August last year that his approach was weak, half-fast, and would do little to diminish the capabilities of ISIS in the near-term. Time and time again Obama has shown that he lacks the resolve to meaningfully degrade ISIS and has beat around the bush when discussing it. On the other hand, strong leadership against ISIS has been found in the capitals of Jordan and Egypt recently. Both countries appalled at recent ISIS actions against their citizens have responded in a manner which few ever imagined they would take. Obama should watch and take notes of King Abdullah of Jordan and President al-Sissi of Egypt. They have shown what strong, determined leadership looks like in the face of a barbaric enemy.

» Continue reading "Fighting ISIS: Resolute Leadership From Other Countries"...

What the Left Gets With Liz Warren

Posted by Keeley on February 12, 2015 at 8:37 PM

If only Elizabeth Warren was a guy. Then it would be easy for the Democrat's election machinery to choose Hillary above all evidence of surging polls and spreading and gushingly enthusiastic grassroots support. Barak won the nomination, and yes the election, because he was, Barak. Now it's Hillary's turn to be the Democratic nomination for president because she's Hillary. But the confines of identity politics within which the Democratic have chosen to operate, as well as a sizable portion of the academic world, are now confronted within that delineated and self-righteous space with Liz's unavoidable presence. The liberal establishment are grimly united behind Hillary but at the grassroots level, it seems to be a whole other matter. A poll showing Warren ahead of Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire - by a few percentage points but it is still a result that was unthinkable 6 months ago - has revealed that people really want Warren in the nomination race.

» Continue reading "What the Left Gets With Liz Warren"...

Joni Ernst and State Rights

Posted by Keeley on February 11, 2015 at 5:38 PM

While the media spat over Joni Ernst's military service in Kuwait and Iraq is front and center lately, perhaps the attacks of the so-called "truthers" have a deeper motive. It seems most, if not all, veterans consider her performance in the Middle East worthy and valuable - not losing a single member of her company while doing convoys up a dangerous road is no small matter. But aside from the need for revenge perhaps over Kerry truthers, there is another issue that Ernst takes a stand on that seems to anger progressives: state rights.

» Continue reading "Joni Ernst and State Rights"...

Does Amnesty Bother Mitch As Much As Ted and Jeff?

Posted by Keeley on February 5, 2015 at 1:14 PM

In the next few weeks leading up to February 27, as the House's DHS funding bill sits in the Senate after Tuesday's test vote resulted in only 51 for, we will find out what kind of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is. What that means is, before the Department of Homeland Security's funding runs out on that date, McConnell will have to decide whether to stick with the House version of the bill that links DHS funding to rolling back Obama's executive action on immigration, or to put together a "clean" bill as Senator Hatch has called for. Hatch's position on immigration is a long way from Senator Cruz's of course, and that brings up the question of McConnell's real aim. Was Tuesday's vote McConnell's way of letting Cruz and Sessions get what they want and at the same time turn them into convenient scapegoats that can be blamed if DHS runs out of money on the 27th?

» Continue reading "Does Amnesty Bother Mitch As Much As Ted and Jeff?"...

What Did Jeb and Mitt Talk About?

Posted by Keeley on February 2, 2015 at 7:21 PM

What exactly did they talk about beneath a view of the snowcapped mountains of Utah perhaps? Faith and family? Compassion for those with less? Building a moderate GOP platform where Jeb reaches out and picks Mitt as his running mate? Or did Mitt submit to the will of the more ambitious man in the room? Several of his key advisors had already made the move. Perhaps Mitt Romney didn't have a stomach for a knock-em-down-drag-em-out fight over the compassionate middle ground. What was Mitt Romney presented with that made him decide to quit and does it matter?

» Continue reading "What Did Jeb and Mitt Talk About?"...

Necessary Questions: What Should Be Addressed at the SoD Hearings (but Won't)

Posted by SPBrooker on January 29, 2015 at 4:19 PM

Ashton Carter is the Obama Administration nominee for Secretary of Defense to replace the incumbent Chuck Hagel this year. If confirmed, Carter will be the fourth SoD to serve in the Obama administration, his confirmation dependent on hearings to be held in early February. When Hagel underwent confirmation hearings in 2013, the world was facing multiple crises though today the global situation is to put it bluntly, far worse. If the Hagel confirmation hearings proved anything, it showed that existing, real defense and security concerns are largely ignored in favor of political pandering on the part of the Senate Armed Services committee. Given the number and severity of threats facing the U.S. today, I sincerely hope the range of questions asked will be different from 2013 though I'm not optimistic. With that said, I present the topics I believe should be addressed at the hearings but which most likely won't be in any meaningful way.

» Continue reading "Necessary Questions: What Should Be Addressed at the SoD Hearings (but Won't)"...

Sarah Palin, Once Upon a Time

Posted by Keeley on January 27, 2015 at 1:15 PM

Sarah Palin is described as being a politician, commentator, and author. Can you be all three at the same time? It's a little tricky but it can be done, and has been done, and is being done. The truth about Sarah Palin, however, is that nowadays she's a very successful entrepreneur who does a little commentary to support her business as an author, and who once upon a time was a politician. Who can forget the SNL appearances? They may have been helpful for SNL ratings and Palin's career as a commentator/author/media personality, but did not help the GOP at the ballot box. Progressive, as in left-wing, media critics like Princeton's Dr. Robert Kubey lambasted her appearances for being wrong contextually despite her affability and poise. But Kubey is the academic who wants UNESCO sponsored media skepticism taught from grade school up so that American children turn to alternative news sources, perhaps like Al Jazeera, to glean the whole truth. Kubey, in his Huffington Post piece back in 2008, naturally praised the media savvy displayed by the Obama campaign.

» Continue reading "Sarah Palin, Once Upon a Time"...

Oil: Saudi Arabia's WMD and Weapon of Economic Revenge

Posted by SPBrooker on January 22, 2015 at 2:03 PM

The price of oil on the commodity markets has been dropping precipitously over the past several months to over 5-year lows. This poses many positives and negatives. OPEC member states control over 40 percent of the world's oil production and while the laws of supply and demand have a considerable influence on prices, they can be manipulated by this cartel. While there are logical economic reasons OPEC is allowing the price of oil to fall, there are also sinister aims which are not as immediately apparent; or which the U.S. media is limiting coverage of.

» Continue reading "Oil: Saudi Arabia's WMD and Weapon of Economic Revenge"...

Russia: More Dangerous Than Before

Posted by SPBrooker on January 20, 2015 at 3:51 PM

Russia is off to a bad start in 2015. It's suffering from a currency crisis brought on by a combination of economic sanctions, free-fall decline in the price of oil, and economic stagnation. Its actions in Ukraine have made friends such as Belarus somewhat nervous while states in Eastern Europe such as Poland are rallying against an increasingly aggressive and unpredictable Kremlin. Like the old saying, an animal is most dangerous when cornered and wounded and this can be applied to Russia. Add to this equation the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin remains immensely popular despite economic setbacks, there is little reason to believe Russia will suddenly change its ways.

» Continue reading "Russia: More Dangerous Than Before"...

Out of Focus on Terrorism

Posted by Keeley on January 16, 2015 at 10:41 AM

Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., got it almost right when with he stated "the best I can say about him is he's unfocused," on Fox News, referring to the president's policy of releasing Guantanamo detainees who are likely to rejoin terrorist groups like ISIS as they head back to the Arabian peninsula. President Obama is not merely unfocused when it comes to terrorism today in the world, he's out of focus. As in where the heck is he? What belief system could possibly justify releasing hardened terrorists - the worst of the worst in Rumsfeld's words - back into society? When they head straight back to the Arabian peninsula where they will likely join ISIS or rejoin Al qaeda? Even a majority of Democrats opposed closing the facility in a recent Gallup poll, and with the latest terror scare in Belgium, thwarted for now thank God, the timing of the continued releases is not awkward, it's obscene.

» Continue reading "Out of Focus on Terrorism"...

Not Fatalism in the Face of Fanaticism

Posted by Keeley on January 12, 2015 at 5:51 PM

The policemen in Paris arrived on push bikes, and quickly retreated. Three of them, in response to a commando-style attack by at least three heavily armed terrorists, almost certainly from Al Qaeda or ISIS. The target was satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and survivors said the masked attackers spoke perfect French and had a list of people they meant to, and apparently did, kill. Soon afterwards the emergency response teams with their sundry vehicles arrived, after the attackers had executed a wounded policeman begging for mercy on the sidewalk, and fled. But the first response was men on bicycles, and this for a target that had been threatened in recent days and had suffered an arson attack previously. France is no stranger to terrorism, especially Paris. For decades they have endured waves of terrorist attacks, most in recent decades having to do with islamic terrorism. The country was on high alert these past days and had thwarted several attacks according to President Francois Hollande himself. Men on bicycles is not much use, however, in thwarting heavily armed commando-style terrorists.

» Continue reading "Not Fatalism in the Face of Fanaticism"...