It’s coming down to the wire in Massachusetts. Scott Brown and Republicans can sense victory. While Martha Coakley and Democrats are scrambling to fix a terrible run campaign and a serious flawed and unappealing candidate.
Coakley, who is trailing Brown in her own internal polling, continues to make gaffes. Embarrassingly calling baseball great Curt Schilling, who is campaigning for Brown, a Yankee fan. For those of you not up on baseball, Schilling pitched for the Boston Red Sox from 2004 to 2007 and led them to World Series victories in 2004 and 2007 (who forgets the infamous bloody sock?). A huge mistake in the heart of the Red Sox Nation.
I’ve been called a lot of things… [b]ut never, and I mean never, could anyone ever make the mistake of calling me a Yankee fan. Well, check that, if you didn’t know what the hell is going on in your own state maybe you could.
President Obama’s recruitment of Presidents Clinton and Bush to help in the process of raising funds for relief in Haiti brought to mind memories of the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia. Back then, President Bush recruited his father and President Clinton to take up a similar task.
At the time, the US response was certainly adequate, at least. Criticism was present, as President Bush couldn’t do much of anything without inciting outrage from someone, but the US response was robust and focussed just as the response to Haiti’s earthquake is.
However, when Hurricane Katrina hit, the US government seemed as if it didn’t care. For some reason, the undeniably horrible, delayed response by the Bush administration to Katrina has been compared to Obama’s Haiti. A more appropriate comparison would be comparing Katrina to the recent Ft. Hood and attempted Detroit attacks, in which the government which is there primarily to protect us seemed as bumbling and disconnected as it did under President Bush after Katrina.
That comparison leads to an important point, which is that the United States government and military seems better able to respond to disasters overseas than it is in its own country. This is undeniably a result of countless foreign wars and of being the world’s foremost superpower. We have military personnel at the ready to respond in Port au Prince, Kabul, Baghdad and Okinawa, but not on our very own shores.
It’s the last day of 2009. We made it through a crazy year that saw liberty put at risk on an all to regular basis. We decided the best way to recap the year was to take ten of 2009’s biggest stories and write a blurb about each one of them (we tried to keep it short and to the point).
Before you continue on, each of us here at UL want to thank you for a great 2009. We appreciate you reading. We’re planning for world domination in 2010 and hope that you’ll join in the fun.
So, here they are in no particular order, United Liberty’s Top 10 Stories from 2009.
Tea Party Movement (Brett Bittner): The wave of “hope” and “change” that swept Barack Obama into the Presidency of the United States closed out 2008 and opened the door to a new movement in American politics, the Tea Party movement. I believe that his election was merely a catalyst for many groups of a conservative nature and strong views on limited government to unite to form one voice to stand up to the political status quo, calling out Democrats and Republicans alike for their affinity to grow the size of government to a breaking point.
In a speech following the attempt by Nigerian terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to kill Americans on a flight from Detroit to Amsterdam, President Obama said this:
Finally, the American people should remain vigilant, but also be confident. Those plotting against us seek not only to undermine our security, but also the open society and the values that we cherish as Americans. This incident, like several that have preceded it, demonstrates that an alert and courageous citizenry are far more resilient than an isolated extremist.
That sentence baffles in many ways. First, Obama is having us swallow an image of an incident which is similar to others perpetrated before it but is perpetrated by an “isolated” extremist. Huh? Second, this “isolated extremist” was warned of by his own father, who had spoken with the CIA and the US Embassy in Abuja to warn that he believed his son was a jihadist training in Yemen.
In June 2009, Barack Obama delivered a speech in Egypt in which he said the following:
So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. This cycle of suspicion and discord must end.
I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
From the Heritage Foundation comes a startling report on the fiscal state of the government’s previously established health care initiative:
Doubling Down on Debt: Medicare is already bankrupting our country. In 2007 alone, Medicare was forced to draw $179 billion from the general revenues of the U.S. Treasury. According to the latest Medicare trustees report, the program already faces $36 trillion dollar long-term budget shortfall. Medicare’s annual drain on our resources is set to skyrocket in 2011 when the first wave of baby boomers retire. The new Senate deal would only make this problem worse by expanding Medicare eligibility to people without insurance between the ages of 55 and 64.
Making health care more widely available seems paramount in the national consciousness now because so many Americans are left unemployed, but the push for universal health care distracts from the fact that Obama’s stimulus has failed to put Americans back to work. Failure won’t stop Obama from trying again, however, as another stimulus is planned. After bombarding the economy with bailouts and stimuluses since Fall of 2008, shouldn’t it be evident that massive government intervention doesn’t work?
We’re not live-blogging it , but we followed President Barack Obama’s speech last night announcing that 30,000 more troops will be heading to Afghanistan with a withdrawal of those troops beginning in 2011:
In a speech meant to mark the beginning of the end of the eight-year conflict, Obama made the case that the future of Afghanistan is not only an American security concern at home, but an international threat – and that the added U.S. commitment will be joined by greater contributions from NATO and other allies.
“Now, we must come together to end this war successfully,” Obama said, according to prepared remarks released by the White House.
Obama’s decision escalates the United States’ commitment in Afghanistan to nearly 100,000 troops at a time when many Americans no longer believe the war is worth fighting. But by setting a date that marks the beginning of the end of U.S. involvement there, Obama hopes to ease concerns among the public about a protracted involvement in the conflict.
“The 30,000 additional troops that I am announcing tonight will deploy in the first part of 2010 – the fastest pace possible – so that they can target the insurgency and secure key population centers,” Obama said. “They will increase our ability to train competent Afghan Security Forces, and to partner with them so that more Afghans can get into the fight. And they will help create the conditions for the United States to transfer responsibility to the Afghans.”
The first terror attack since 9/11 has occurred.
Looking into the attack by Major Nidal Malik Hasan on servicemen at Ft. Hood, religious motivation seems evident. Joe Lieberman is likely right that it is a case of lone, “self-radicalized” Islamic terror.
I wouldn’t go as far as to start tarring and feathering Obama with failing to protect against terrorism as Dick Morris asserts, but it’s undeniable that, for many reasons, counter-terrorism has not been the top priority of the Obama administration. Because Hasan didn’t blow up or fly into a building, instead killing people with a gun Virginia Tech style, it’s easy to categorize this as another rash of gun violence. That is a distraction, and keeps the debate away from the fact that Islamic terrorism is still very real, very serious and extremely dangerous, whether it’s at Ft. Hood, in Manhattan or in Mumbai.
Instead of looking at this week’s election results, I’d like to take a quick look back at the election of Barack Obama one year ago.
I believe that many Americans felt that Barack Obama would be the Great Transcender. Obama ran a brilliant campaign on a message of hope and change. He sent a message that he would transcend politics as usual and change the way Washington works. While I didn’t buy this completely, it was the sliver of hope in this message that led me to support Obama over McCain. (I voted for Barr.)
Instead, I think Obama has exemplified politics as usual. In fact, I’d say he is an amazing politician. His oratory, his rhetoric, his team, his demeanor… he’s good. But, he transcends nothing. He has embraced Wall Street and the coporatists. He has indulged his base while simultaneously disappointing them. He has made both real and token gestures to the GOP while engaging in classic partisan attacks. He has reneged on his promise to bring transparency to legislation. He stands ready to deploy our military as the world’s police. Shall I go on?
He is the Great Pretender.
After interviewing Adam, all four discuss these issues:
- Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi unveils the newest health care reform legislation.
- 3rd quarter GDP numbers released, showing a 3.5% increase.
- An open discussion on Oathkeepers.
- Also, there was a “hit & run” discussion of the likelihood of Barack Obama’s Presidency only lasting one term and the prospects for 2012’s Republican Presidential candidates.
Also, you can subscribe to the RSS of JUST our podcasts here. We can also happily announce that it should also be appearing on iTunes sometime this week. We are now live on iTunes, and you can find our podcasts on iTunes here.
Obviously a protracted American presence isn’t an option in Iraq, based alone on the unpopularity of such a presence with just about everybody involved. However, the absence of the United States will lead to a power vaccuum, even if a supposedly stable parliamentary state with a professionally trained military is left behind. A post-American occupation Iraq will not be gumdrops and lollipops, since it wasn’t gumdrops and lollipops before the 2003 invasion either.
It’s not surprising that attacks are being increased as we lead up to American withdrawal from Iraq. Terrorists must see an opportunity here, with a major power leaving behind a strategically important Middle Eastern state, and it is most likely that they will take full advantage of it. The optimistic view would be that the military trained by US forces would be adept enough to put down an insurgency. The pessimistic view is that they’re not, and then we’ll see a Taliban situation in an oil-rich, strategically important Middle Eastern state that thousands of Americans and possibly millions of Iraqis have already died fighting for.