THE OTHER SHOE DROPS: Updates To Previous Posts
† Red Is The New Blue (Dog) (second item): Q: How do you know when a Democrat is throwing in the towel? A: His lips are moving.
Over the past month or so, seven officeholders announced plans to retire or to withdraw from the political arena - Lt. Governor John Cherry (D-MI); Gov. Bill Ritter (D-CO); Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND); Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT); Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS); Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN); and Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) - and Rep. Parker Griffith quit the party, but not his job.
† He’s So Tired, He Hasn’t Slept A Wink; He’s So Tired, His Mind Is On The Blink: In an editorial that exhaustively details President Barack Hussein Obama's freshman-year failings – and flailings – in foreign policy (“the worst in living memory”), The Washington Times nicely sums up the harebrained things the president has said and done as a result of cognitive impairment from not getting as much sleep as his predecessor:
Calling "Austrian" a language; bowing to the Saudi king; bowing to the Japanese emperor; releasing a photo of a conference call with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which the president was showing the soles of his shoes to the camera (an Arab insult); saying "let me be absolutely clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel's"; saying the United States was "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world"; suggesting Arabic translators be shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan where Arabic is not a native language; sending a letter to former French President Jacques Chirac when Nicolas Sarkozy was the president of France; holding a town-hall meeting in France and not calling on a single French citizen; referring to "Cinco de Cuatro" in front of the Mexican ambassador when he meant Cinco de Mayo.
Not for nothing people “sleep on it” when they have a tough problem to solve. But Obama needs to do his sleeping at night in bed, not on the job.
† Gift Card Grifter: A month after a jury found Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon (D) Dixon guilty on a charge of stealing gift cards intended for needy families, she entered an Alford plea to one count of perjury (that is, claiming innocence but acknowledging a jury would probably convict her), reports The Baltimore Sun. Under the terms of an agreement between defense attorneys and prosecutors and agreed to by Judge Dennis M. Sweeney, Dixon promised to step aside - City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will become the new mayor, effective February 4th – and cannot seek any elective office in the state for at least two years. She also waived her rights to appeal the two cases; agreed to forego payments for attorneys' fees from the city; will be sentenced to unsupervised probation for up to four years, plus 500 hours of community service; and she must contribute $45,000 to charity. In return, she will keep her $83,000 yearly pension and will not face new charges stemming from the original case.
† By Their Words You Shall Know Them: Part III (second item): During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama (he wasn’t using his middle name back then, only “racists” were) pledged to seek “a world in which there are no nuclear weapons” and to “work with Russia to “dramatically reduce the stockpiles of our nuclear weapons.” He reiterated his dreams of disarmament in a speech in Prague last April and again in a speech before the United Nations Security Council in September (“We must never stop until we see the day when nuclear arms have been banished from the face of the earth”), after which French President Nicolas Sarkozy turned our preening rooster into a capon:
President Obama dreams of a world without weapons, but right in front of us, two countries are doing the exact opposite. … What good has proposals for dialogue brought the international community? More uranium enrichment and declarations by the leaders of Iran to wipe a U.N. member state off the map.
Now the pushback is coming from the Pentagon and other U.S. agencies, “posing a threat to one of his most important foreign policy initiatives,” reports the Los Angeles Times:
[T]he administration is locked in internal debate over a top-secret policy blueprint for shrinking the U.S. nuclear arsenal and reducing the role of such weapons in America's military strategy and foreign policy.
Officials in the Pentagon and elsewhere have pushed back against Obama administration proposals to cut the number of weapons and narrow their mission, according to U.S. officials and outsiders who have been briefed on the process. …
The debate represents another collision between Obama's administration and key parts of the national security establishment, after scrapes over troop levels in Afghanistan and missile defenses in Eastern Europe.
But more than those issues, the future of U.S. nuclear weapons policy is directly tied to a series of initiatives Obama has advanced as a prime goal of his presidency.
"This is the first test of Obama's nuclear commitments," said former U.S. Ambassador Nancy E. Soderberg, who held senior foreign policy positions in the Clinton administration. "They can't afford to fall short at the outset." …
The timing of the administration debate on the nuclear review is crucial, because a key international meeting on the treaty is planned for May in New York. …
Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in part because of expectations that he would make good on his pledge to reduce the nuclear threat.
Sunday December 27: DHS Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and White House Press secretary Robert Gibbs make the rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows to insist "the system worked" after passengers and crew stopped Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from blowing up a Northwest Airlines flight during its final landing approach in Detroit using a homemade bomb he had smuggled onboard in his underwear.
Tuesday December 29: President Barack Hussein Obama contradicts Napolitano and Gibbs, and calls the terrorist attempt "a systemic failure."
Wednesday, December 30: A suicide bomber kills seven CIA agents at a U.S. base in Afghanistan and Obama contradicts his previous day's assessment of U.S. intelligence, and lauds the agency and its work.
Sunday, January 3: John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, contradicts Obama by telling "FOX News Sunday" host Chris Wallace that there were "some" failures, lapses and errors in the system. He also says that the Obama administration plans to continue to release "low risk" Gitmo detainees to the Yemeni government, despite evidence that Abdulmutallab was trained by two previously released detainees in Yemen.
Tuesday, January 5: Obama contradicts Napolitano and Brennan with the assessment that "our intelligence community failed … to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had," calling it "a screw-up" and announces that he has (for now) suspended the repatriation of some 30 Yemenis cleared by the Justice Department for release from Gitmo.
Wednesday, January 6: Customs and Border Protection officials contradict Obama’s assertion that no one had connected the dots, saying they planned to question Abdulmutallab when he landed in Detroit after border security inspectors based at the National Targeting Center in Washington discovered the intelligence about him in a database after the flight had already left Amsterdam. And after a federal grand jury in Detroit indicted Abdulmutallab on six counts, including, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property within the U.S., attempted murder of 279 passengers and 11 crew members, attempted willful destruction of an aircraft and willfully placing a bomb on an aircraft - "Short of actual murder, these are some of the most serious charges in the criminal code," Lloyd Meyer, a former terrorism prosecutor at U.S. war crimes tribunals at the Guantanamo Bay prison tells The Associated Press – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder contradicted Brennan’s suggestion of a plea deal in a statement that said Abdulmutallab could face life in prison if convicted on these charges.
† Updates To Previous Posts (eighth item, Why Shouldn’t Illegals Get Government Healthcare?): A couple of weeks after a lawsuit by illegal aliens to force Grady Memorial Hospital to continue providing free dialysis to them was dismissed by the judge, the public hospital in Atlanta announced that it would continue to provide the treatment for an additional month, reports The New York Times:
“We think it’s the right thing to do,” said Matt Gove, a senior vice president at Grady, “to help give patients more time to make long-term arrangements.” …
“It should be clear to the patients that there’s a responsibility on their side to continue trying to find a long-term plan because at some point this care won’t be available,” Mr. Gove said. …
Most of the seven patients interviewed said their plan was to stay put until Grady stopped paying, and then to present themselves at emergency rooms if necessary. Federal law requires that emergency rooms treat anyone in serious jeopardy. Going without dialysis can be fatal in as little as two weeks.
“I’m going to stay here until there’s really not a hope of getting it any more,” said Jesús Neave, 32, who crossed illegally from his native Mexico in 1992 and was diagnosed with kidney disease four years later.
Like the others, Mr. Neave, a maintenance worker, said he would not be able to make enough in Mexico to afford regular dialysis. “Mexico is my country,” he said, “but over there if you don’t have money, the doctors won’t treat you.”
Over here, if you don’t have money the American taxpayer will pay to treat you. Grove estimates that Grady has forked out $700,000 to another facility that has been providing dialysis to this group of illegal aliens. Grady's own dialysis unit was shuttered in October after being bled dry by people who have an outsized sense of entitlement considering they are not even entitled to be in this country.
† Updates To Previous Posts (last item, 10 Reasons Michelle Obama Should Be Proud – Really Proud – Of America): This latest installment in The Stiletto Blog’s ongoing series meant to help instill the necessary pride of country in Michelle Obama’s consciousness to enable her to serve as an unofficial ambassador focuses on "bugle man" Thomas Day, 70, who launched Bugles Across America in 2000 - when a shortage of buglers forced Congress to pass a law permitting recordings of taps to be played at veterans' funerals – and on his 7,000 volunteer buglers:
The recordings are just not the same, said Mr. Day, who started playing taps at funerals 60 years ago.
"I just love doing this stuff, and I know G-d put me here to do things like this and keep the memory of our veterans alive," Mr. Day told The Washington Times. "We call it the hardest 24 notes there is, and it really is. When you finish and lower the horn, bringing your right arm up to a salute, it's an unbelievable feeling. Later, the handshakes, hugs that you get, there is no amount of money that can buy that feeling."
Playing taps live "gives the families closure and something to remember their heroes and the sacrifices they have made," he said.