Tuesday, January 24, 2012


people frequently ask
retired people what they do to make their days
interesting. Well, for
example, the other day, JoAnn
wife and I went
downtown and visited a shop.
When we came
out, there was a cop
writing out a parking ticket. We went up to him
and I said, 'Come on,
man, how about giving a senior citizen a
break?' He ignored us
and continued writing the ticket. I called him
an “idiot”. He glared
at me and started writing another ticket for
having worn-out
So Doris called him a “dumbass”. He
finished the second
ticket and put it on the windshield with the
first. Then he started
writing more tickets. This went on for about
20 minutes. The more we
abused him, the more tickets he wrote.
Just then our
bus arrived, and we got on it and went
always look for cars
with "OBAMA 2012 stickers.
We try to have a little fun
each day now that we're
retired. It's important at our

Question trips up Romney UH UH UH, zilch of meaningful answer

Personal Question Trips Romney

January 24, 2012 
It was a simple personal question, not Newt Gingrich, that exposed Mitt Romney's most glaring weakness during Monday night's debate. 
Romney, who had shown the confidence of a veteran prosecutor when he interrogated Gingrich's rocky congressional tenure earlier in the debate, struggled to answer an open-ended query near the debate's end. Moderator Brian Williams, calling the election a battle for "the soul" of the GOP, asked the ex-Bay State governor what he had done to further the conservative movement.
Romney didn't offer a compelling answer. 

"Well, number one, I've raised a family," he said. "And I've -- I've -- with my wife, we've raised five wonderful sons, and we have 16 wonderful grandkids."
He went on to reference his private sector background and time gubernatorial experience, but the reference to his family stuck. Romney had a chance to brandish his conservative bona fides, and instead of gave Republicans a somewhat nonsensical response about his number of children. It's not clear how raising a family ties to contributing to the Republican Party. 
Compare it to the response from Gingrich. The onetime GOP leader immediately talked about helping conservative godfather Barry Goldwater's campaign in 1964 and later Ronald Reagan's, indicative of a candidate who knows how to prove he's an authentic part of the movement. 
Romney's answer highlights his inability to connect to many rank-and-file members of the conservative movement, a problem that's continued to haunt him after his stunning defeat in South Carolina last week. He's skilled at detailing the X's and O's of policy, but his efforts to prove he's a rock-ribbed conservative often come up short.   
The Gingrich campaign certainly reveled in his answer. 
Minutes after the debate ended, it sent an e-mail headlined "Mitt Romney's Top Conservative Achievements."
It was blank.

The Tea Party can Make you or Break you... By Milton Wolf


So long as the Washington establishment continues to underestimate - and even misunderstand - the Tea Party, insiders will continue to be pummeled by the grass-roots giant that no longer sleeps. Democrats dismissed the Tea Party in 2010 and took a historic shellacking. Republicans would be wise to learn from their mistake.
First, let’s remind ourselves, the Tea Party is not a formal political party or even an advocacy group, but rather a state of mind. If you believe in constitutional fidelity, limited government and the free market, then you don’t need your name on some official roster or even to have attended a rally to be part of the Tea Party movement. You simply need to use your vote and your effort to demand that our leaders embrace these principles as well.
The Tea Party plays chess, not checkers. The nascent movement demonstrated remarkable maturity in 2010, for example, by resisting the temptation to form a third party. Memories still loom large of the 2000 presidential race when Green Party candidate Ralph Nader took just enough votes from Democrat Al Gore in Florida to tip the balance and award the White House to Republican George W. Bush. So theTea Party wisely exercises a disciplined loyalty, if not to the Republican Party, then at least to the William F. Buckley Jr. rule of supporting the most conservative candidate who can be elected.
In truth, the Tea Party has been far more loyal to the GOP than theGOP has been to the Tea Party. While the establishment abandoned and even openly sabotaged Tea Party Senate candidates such as Nevada’s Sharron Angle, the Tea Party still delivered a historic victory to Republicans that captured the House. In return, the GOPestablishment reneged on its campaign pledge to cut $100 billion in spending, capitulated on yet another debt-ceiling increase and then promptly blamed the Tea Party for obstructionism.
Undeterred, the happy warriors of the Tea Party are playing the long game. The conservative movement, after all, is just that - a movement. Although a few shortsighted members pose purity tests that not evenRonald Reagan could pass, the reality is that re-embracing America’s founding principles will not be achieved in one knockout election by some mythically perfect candidate. So the Buckley Rule of campaigns prevails and the Milton Friedman rule of political profit offers the best hope for a conservative victory.
“It’s nice to elect the right people,” said Friedman, the late, free-market economist, “but that isn’t the way you solve things. The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right things.”
This is not to say that Newt Gingrich is the “wrong” person - far from it. While he has frustrated conservatives at times, his contributions to the movement have been monumental. The Contract With America. A balanced budget. Welfare reform. A Republican takeover of Congress. No serious discussion of the conservative movement of the 20th century is complete without acknowledging Mr. Gingrich’s enormous contributions to it.
It is within this framework that Mr. Gingrich’s rise and the Tea Party’s embrace of him should be viewed. The conservative movement deserves an unapologetic, full-throated Great Communicator once again. Few can articulate conservatism as effectively as the former speaker. Plus, Mr. Gingrich wisely recognizes that the mainstream media are complicit with Democrats in general and with PresidentObama in particular. He openly refers to them as his “secondary opponent,” and he refuses to fall prey to their duplicity. What’s more, he has demonstrated amazing resilience in the face of an onslaught. He can take a punch, and Team Obama and its media allies will certainly throw plenty.
It’s apt that Chuck Norris recently endorsed Mr. Gingrich. Legend has it that Chuck Norris was once stabbed with a knife, and the knife bled to death. Yeah, that Chuck Norris. Even he’s a little scared of Mr. Gingrich, but he’s not alone.
The Washington GOP establishment fears Mr. Gingrich. Good. To theTea Party, that’s a feature, not a bug. We remember that they feared Ronald Reagan, too. Now they warn us that Mr. Gingrich will embrace big government and, believe me, the Republicans who gave us “no bureaucrat left behind” and the largest expansion of Medicare in history know a thing or two about big government.
So why do so many in the Tea Party believe that Mr. Gingrich is our best hope to further the conservative movement? It’s really simple: the Buckley Rule and the Friedman Rule. Voters in South Carolina proclaimed unambiguously that Mr. Gingrich is the most electable and the most conservative. What’s more, he has plotted an election course - and this is key - where he profits politically by doing right by conservatives and the Tea Party.
There are valid arguments to be made for and against both Mr. Gingrich and Mitt Romney even though each is preferable to President Obama. But consider this: Mr. Romney’s path to the nomination largely ignores the Tea Party while Mr. Gingrich embraces it. In fact, if Mr. Gingrich is to win the nomination and the White House, it will be because the Tea Party made it possible. So, in the end, who do you believe is more likely to be loyal to the Tea Party principles?
Dr. Milton R. Wolf, a Washington Times columnist, is a radiologist and President Obama’s cousin. He blogs at miltonwolf.com.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Atacking Religon - Obamacare's Assalt on relegion.

Last Updated:11:16 PM, January 22, 2012
Posted:9:48 PM, January 22, 2012
Friday’s ruling by the Department of Health and Human Services proved yet again that ObamaCare’s critics are right. It’s a breathtaking attack not only on the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom, but also on the separation of church and state.
Kathleen Sebelius, the nominally Catholic HHS chief, bluntly informed religious medical institutions that offer services to the general public that she will indeed compel them to offer free birth control, sterilization and “morning after” pills as part of their employees’ health-care plans. They have exactly one year to get with the program or suffer the consequences.
That’s all their vehement objections to her August “guidelines” got them: “This additional year will allow these organizations more time and flexibility to adapt to this new rule,” read a department statement defending HHS’ insistence on what it euphemistically calls “preventive services.”
In other words, they have a year to figure out how to violate their religious beliefs and contravene church teaching. And if they choose to cancel their health-care plans rather than submit, they’ll incur a hefty annual fine under the tender mercies of ObamaCare.
Added bonus: This contemptuous slap at Catholicism and for mainstream Christianity in general comes wrapped in the guise of “compassion.”
Never mind that the administration just got its head handed to it by the Supreme Court over religious freedom. In a slam-dunk 9-0 vote, the justices this month slapped down Team Obama’s claim thatit, not religious institutions, has the right to decide who qualifies for the “ministerial exception” to employment-discrimination laws.
Liberal and conservative justices alike rejected the Justice Department’s ludicrous argument that religious teachers are no different than, say, soda jerks.
And yet it’s right there in the first words of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” had Attorney General Eric Holder’s ideologues bothered to look.
Now Sebelius follows up with more of the same. Conservatives have been howling for years about the left’s war on traditional faith, and now here it is in all its naked, unabashed glory.
Fine, there’s a fig-leaf “exemption” for institutions that primarily employ or serve members of their own faith. But that’s nearly meaningless in the real world, where Catholic hospitals, a major part of the American health-care system up to now, employ and offer services to everyone.
Lawsuits against the ruling have already been announced, and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops says it will jump in as well. “This shouldn’t happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights,” said New York Archbishop (and cardinal-designate) Timothy Dolan, who called the decision “literally unconscionable.”
And it’s not just Catholics who should be sounding the alarm bells. The administration’s contempt for principles of faith shows that ObamaCare will do precisely what the critics warned: crush private medical insurance and put nonconforming medical institutions out of business.
Coming just weeks after the president’s recent illegal appointments (to the National Labor Relations Board and the new “consumer credit” agency), Sebelius’ high-handed attitude is another sign of how the administration means to proceed: Rule by executive fiat, and damn the Constitution.
The high court’s ruling on the “ministerial exemption” should be enough to get her edict tossed out – but it’s still unclear how the justices will rule on ObamaCare itself. Happily, with oral arguments set for March, we should know before Election Day.
But until the health-care law is struck down or repealed, expect to see a new breed of “conscientious objectors” — this time in defense of both faith and the Constitution.


via Warning Signs by Alan Caruba on 12/10/11
By Alan Caruba

In his extraordinary book, “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century”, the historian, Dr. Paul Kengor, stated in his introduction that “We now know that American Communists and their masters in Moscow were acutely aware that they could never gain the popular support they needed to enlist the support of a much wider coalition that could help them push their private agenda.”

Most threatening, however, was Dr. Kengor’s discovery that “it was nothing short of stunning to research this book during the presidential bid of Barack Obama and hear so many of the names in my research surface repeatedly in the background of the man who became president of the United States of America. The way in which so many names and themes from the Cold War past aligned and made their way into Obama’s orbit was chilling.”

Obama’s December 8th speech in Osawatomie, Kansas revealed to anyone paying any attention that the President is a Communist. Speaking of the nation’s economic system that has created the greatest wealth for the most people anywhere, Capitalism, Obama said, “It doesn’t work. It has never worked.”

No one would argue that capitalism is “fair”, nor would they argue that life is “fair.” These are things that never were and never will be, but Obama’s reelection campaign theme will be that Americans are suffering because of Capitalism, because of a lack of fairness.

In a December 8 Washington Times commentary, Jeffrey T. Kuhner wrote, “There is only one problem with the White House’s narrative: It’s completely false. Mr. Obama is not a defender of the middle class but has been its mortal enemy. His policies have impoverished working-and-middle-class Americans.”

Other than the utterly brain-dead liberals for whom facts are meaningless, most Americans understand, as Kuhner pointed out, “His massive stimulus failed to restore economic recovery…his trillion-dollar deficits and skyrocketing debt have mortgaged the future of our children…Obamacare suffocates businesses, stifles job creation, and adds another unsustainable entitlement. It is creeping socialized medicine, which is wrecking the world’s finest health care system.”

Rush Limbaugh denounced the speech as “alien to American ideals and principles…your vision for this country is not rooted in any—not one—American tradition.”

Obama’s history, what is known of it given his extensive efforts to hide the facts that are usually available about a candidate or president, is testimony to the fact that he is a Communist and the only reason this remains clouded to many Americans has been the shameful failure of the Fourth Estate, the liberal mainstream media, to expose it.

He remains in office due to the failure of both the media and the Republican Party to cite the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition against anyone holding the office who is not a “native-born” American. Obama’s father was a Kenyan, a subject of Great Britain. He should not have been on the Democratic Party ballot and he should not be in the Oval Office as this is written.

Many of the known facts about Obama were published in Dr. Jerome Corsi’s 2008 book, “The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality.” Thirty-five pages of footnotes citing the documentation of the facts cited were there for anyone to read. Obama was born into a family of Leftists. As a youngster he was mentored by Frank Marshal Davis, a member of the Communist Party USA.

Of his early college years, Obama said in his memoir that at Occidental, “To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.”

Obama’s political career began with a fund-raiser in the living room of two dedicated, self-identified Communists, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. As Dr. Corsi pointed out, “The problem is that Obama sought out his relationships with the Alinski organization, the Ayers-Dohrn radicals, the scandal-ridden (Antoin ‘Tony’) Rezko, Reverand (Jeremiah) Wright and black-liberation theology, and Farrakhan and the Black Muslims. At the time he wanted these ties.” In the course of his 2008 campaign he rejected all efforts to tie him to these individuals.

The appointment of the many “czars” to oversee and guide the actions of government departments and agencies became the subject, first of ridicule, followed by the realization he was infiltrating the government with known radicals of different stripes. The one that quickly gained attention was Van Jones, an avowed Communist. When that became known, Jones resigned.

The Osawatomie speech was classic Obama. In the past he has sought to align himself with former presidents and this time around it was Theodore Roosevelt, a progressive. As Americans have sought to peel away the many layers of deceit surrounding Obama, the single abiding factor in his life is Communism. The views he expressed were a combination of class warfare and an attack on Capitalism.

In 2008 Americans, reeling from the financial crisis that all too conveniently began in the final months of the Bush43 presidency, were duped into believing that a man with nothing more than a message of “hope and change” was a messiah that would lead the nation out of its problems.

Obama was and is the first Communist President of the United States of America. We have a President who rails against “millionaires and billionaires”, corporations, Wall Street, and all other aspects of our Capitalist economy.

We have a President and a Democratic Party that have tipped their hat to the Occupy Wall Street radicals.

We have a President and a Democratic Party totally aligned with the unions in America, some of which put the auto industry in jeopardy, others in the public sector that have plundered state treasuries with sweetheart deals for pensions and health plans, and who we have seen thuggishly oppose the restructuring of collective bargaining. It is why a close ally of Obama, Andy Stern, the former president of the Service Employees International Union (SIEU), praised the Chinese Communist economic model in a December 1 Wall Street Journal article.

And we now have a President who says Capitalism “doesn’t work” and “It has never worked.” That is utterly absurd, but it reveals his ideology and his goal of fomenting a Communist revolution in America by bankrupting the nation to achieve it.

Obama is a horrid aberration, the result of a combination of the Democratic Party, the liberal media, and the education community to dumb down Americans and make them ready for the Communist America that Obama advocates.

Communism did not die with the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is alive and well in Russia, China, Cuba, Vietnam and in Venezuela. The soft form, Socialism, has brought a number of European nations to ruin and threatens the U.S.

In 2010 Americans returned power in the House of Representatives to the Republican Party. We must finish the job in the Senate and in the White House in 2012. If we do not, the America we love will perish.

© Alan Caruba, 2011 Alan Caruba blogs daily at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com. An author, business and science writer, he is the founder of The National Anxiety Center.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

All our Kid's who Died, All that Money... FOR NOTHING, IRAN WILL GET IT ?

Iraq's Shiite-led government cracked down harshly on dissent during the past year of Arab Spring uprisings, turning the country into a "budding police state" as autocratic regimes crumbled elsewhere in the region, an international rights groups said Sunday.
Security forces abuse protesters, harass journalists, torture detainees and intimidate activists, Human Rights Watch said in the Iraq chapter of its annual report.
"Iraq is quickly slipping back into authoritarianism," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director for the New York-based group. "Despite U.S. government assurances that it helped create a stable democracy (in Iraq), the reality is that it left behind a budding police state," she said.
Protests against Iraq's U.S.-backed and democratically elected government erupted around the country in February 2011, alongside other demonstrations in the Arab world.
While protests in other countries demanded the downfall of autocratic regimes, most of the demonstrations in Iraq pushed for improved services like reliable electricity and water, and an end to corruption.
The government clamped down, sometimes sparking bloody clashes -- as when 14 were killed in confrontations between security forces and civilians across the country during the Feb. 25 protests billed as the "Day of Rage."
A year later, with U.S. troops withdrawn and Iraq's government mired in a political crisis, the protest movement has all but died out. Demonstrators who gather in Baghdad's central Tahrir Square are usually outnumbered by the security forces watching over them.
"Iraqis are quickly losing ground on the most basic of rights, including the right to free speech and assembly," said Samer Muscati, an Iraq researcher for the group. "Nowadays, every time someone attends a peaceful protest, they put themselves at risk of attack and abuse by security forces or their proxies," he said.
Prison brutality, including torture in detention facilities, was a major problem throughout the year, the group's annual report said.
In February 2011 Human Rights Watch uncovered a secret detention center, controlled by elite forces who report to the prime minister's military office.
The group claimed authorities transferred more than 280 detainees to the facility since the beginning of 2010 and charged detainees were tortured there with impunity. Government officials denied the facility's existence and alleged abuses.

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Melanie Phillips
I have just posted a new article on my website and I'm happy to send you a copy. 

Feel free to email me with any comments and I will do my best to reply

Melanie Phillips 

Well well. So all those folk who were loudly asserting that Romney was a shoo-in have been made to look idiots yet again by Gingrich's convincing win in South Carolina. All those who said the onslaught upon Gingrich by his ex-wife Marianne would leave him dead in the water, particularly among women, have been shown to be spectacularly out of touch. Gingrich actually  won more women's votes than his opponents.

Gingrich's victory has been put down to his stunningly effective performance in the TV debate. And that surely reflects the fact that, just as I have been saying throughout, the extremities of our times mean that Americans need to focus relentlessly on one question alone: can the Republican candidate beat Obama and thus save America from its monumental threats both at home and abroad?

What they saw in South Carolina was that, when Romney's financial Achilles heel was pricked he stumbled and flailed; but when Gingrich's sexual Achilles heel was similarly pricked he wrenched out the knife and hurtled it back at his questioner.

That's what is needed to beat Obama. South Carolina appears to have realised that in order to bring that about, the candidate must be a gladiator rather than a blancmange. The gladiator in question may be flawed and far from ideal in a number of respects, but if he's the only one who can fell his opponents rather than be felled by them, he wins.

Game on, as they say.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


“Would you go to combat with this man?”
Phil “Hands”Handley
Colonel, USAF (Ret.)
Many years ago as a flight commander in an F-4 squadron, I was required to write an
OER (Officer Effectiveness Report) on each of the pilots and WSOs (weapon systems officers) in my charge. This onerous task was flawed from the outset since it was assumed that the rater would render a totally honest assessment of an individual officer’s unique skills and capabilities as compared to a baseline his peers.

Of course this did not happen, as the slightest negative comment would almost always assure an undeserved denial of promotion… hence the infamous OER inflation creep emerged… where almost everyone was awarded “walk on water” evaluations.

Consequently, continuing PME (professional military education), endorsements from higher headquarters, the officer’s official picture, error free and perfectly typed and punctuated paperwork, assurance that every available space for comments was used, additional duties, and a dozen other irreverent factors that had little or nothing to do with the officer’s primary job as a fighter pilot or WSO.

All of this flawed process was exacerbated by the fact that this occurred during the “pre-computer era”, thus denying the rater with data banks of “flowery remarks”, synonyms, spell checkers, and printers.
It was during this period that a Marine F-4 exchange pilot was assigned to my flight. After about six months, I got a letter fromHQ Marine Corps requesting that I prepare an OER for this pilot.

The OER form was enclosed, with instructions that it was to be
prepared by me, in my handwriting and returned as a single copy.

There were several blocks to be checked, followed by a space for remarks that was only adequate for two to three short sentences… then above my signature block was a question with two choices: “Would you go to combat with this officer?” Check either “yes or no.”

Talk about cutting through the crap! I was impressed at the time and to this day have never forgotten its bottom line simplicity and brilliance.

Try applying that test to the current crop of “leaders” who are in charge of America’s destiny.
For starters:
President BarrackObama
Vice-President JoeBiden
The President’s cabinet
The President’sCzars
Attorney General Eric Holder
A majority of our elected congress
The main stream media
Al Gore and his Climate Change BS
Senator John (two silver stars) Kerry
Others too numerous to mention

Maybe it’s just me, but I damn well would not willingly go to combat with any of them. How in hell did we let this happen before our very eyes… on our watch? We as a nation had better get a grip, turn out in mass for the 2012 national election and throw these self-serving jerks out of power before it is too late. I fear that four more years of political correctness, blatant socialist/Marxist policies, lack of backbone and disregard for our constitution will do irreparable damage.
If we are to remain the greatest nation the world has ever seen, which was built on the loyalty, integrity and sacrifice of generations of patriots whose gym bag our current leadership couldn’t carry… we best get it done.

Will Iran Answer Obama's Third Letter.. They Didn't Answer the first TWO ?

Last Updated:1:34 AM, January 21, 2012
Posted:10:01 PM, January 20, 2012
Last week, Tehran circles tipped a “top secret message” from President Obama to Iran’s “Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenei. This week, almost everyone seemed to know (or pretend to know) something about the mystery letter. In an editorial Thursday, the daily Kayhan, published by Khamenei’s office, claimed Obama had adopted “a supplicatory tone, seeking to ingratiate himself in the eyes of the supreme guide.”
But let’s start with what everyone agrees about the letter:
* This is the third time that Obama has written to Iranian leaders. The first two letters were addressed to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who didn’t bother to reply but later sent two letters of his own to Obama, getting no response.
* By writing to Khamenei, Obama acknowledged that his administration no longer regards Ahmadinejad as the key player in Tehran.
* By writing to Khamenei, Obama returns to a tradition started by President Jimmy Carter, who sent handwritten letters to the late Ayatollah Khomeini. Khomeini didn’t bother to reply, either.
* Obama’s letter was delivered by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a sign that Washington regards Baghdad as a possible mediator with Tehran.
* In America, news of the letter came under headlines about Obama warning Tehran that closing the Strait of Hormuz was a “red line.” In Tehran, the headline was different: “Obama promises to take no hostile action against the Islamic Republic!”
On the surface, at least, Tehran sees the letter as a sign of weakness. “The letter begins with lots of bluster,” says Hussein Ebrahimi, vice-chairman of the Committee on National Security at the Majlis, Iran’s ersatz parliament. “Later, however, the American adopts a conciliatory tone and invites the Islamic Republic to negotiation. Obama pledges not to take hostile action against us.”
Ebrahimi said other factors might have persuaded Obama to write the letter — Iran’s “rising power in the region,” or “electoral calculations” (“He does not want Iran to turn him into another Jimmy Carter”).
Hussein Naqavai, another Majlis member, claims Obama “acted out of fear.” “Obama has proposed a red telephone between Tehran and Washington,” he says. “This is an admission that Iran should be consulted on major international issues.”
Iranian leaders often claim that their Islamic Republic is the successor to the USSR as challenger to American “world domination.” Mohsen Rezai, a former Revolutionary Guard commander, sees Obama’s letter as “a clever maneuver to present the United States as guarantor of security in international waters.”
“However,” Rezai says, “that role is now assumed by Iran.”
Rhetoric aside, the letter may have opened a window of opportunity to reduce the current tension. The fact that, this time, no one in Tehran says that the letter has been consigned to the trash can is remarkable in itself.
Another novelty is that everyone more than hints at the possibility of an answer. “We shall study the matter carefully,” says Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast. “If we deem that an answer is needed, the necessary steps will be taken.”
Also interesting is the lack of an outright rejection of Obama’s reported suggestion of “talks on all issues, with full respect for mutual interests.” This is important because, under a notorious law passed by the Majlis in the 1980s, any talk with the US is forbidden.
More important, perhaps, leaks about the letter produce what looks like an agenda for possible direct talks between the foes.
To start with, it appears that Obama has made no mention of Iran’s controversial uranium-enrichment program. Demands that the program be scrapped are at the center of four US-backed resolutions passed by the UN Security Council.
Iran, however, wants the US and its allies to accept the program as a fait accompli. “We should move beyond that old issue,” said Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi this week.
By putting the focus on the Strait of Hormuz, Obama makes it easy for Iran to appear to be making concessions. Iran doesn’t want the strait closed because that would mean an end to its own oil exports; no other country in the world would lose more. By solemnly undertaking not to close the strait, Iran would give Obama a meaningless concession, but something that might look good for the president in his re-election campaign.
In exchange, Iranian leaders openly demand that Obama drop the threat of an embargo on Iran’s oil exports. “If Obama has a red line, so do we,” says Majlis member Esmail Kothari. “Our red line is an oil embargo.”
Obama may have blundered his way into persuading the Iranians to rise to the bait for the first time in a long while. Whether they bite or not is a different matter

Friday, January 20, 2012



President Obama might be compelled to make a decision on the Keystone pipeline before the election after all. 
Though the president just rejected a permit for the controversial project, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman told Fox News that he expects to send the Obama administration a new proposed route for the pipeline well before Election Day
"I fully expect we could get it done certainly in the early September, August time frame," the governor told Fox News on Thursday. "I would send the letter back to the president of the United States saying we approve it and if he were decisive, he could turn around and approve it shortly thereafter, well before the November election." 
The White House, in justifying its decision to turn down the permit, blamed Republicans for forcing a decision in a tightened time frame. Congressional Republicans had attached a provision to last year's short-term payroll tax cut extension requiring a presidential decision on Keystone in 60 days, a time frame administration officials warned would not be sufficient. 
But all along, administration officials have also invoked the concerns over the pipeline of Nebraska officials, including Heineman, in justifying their handling of the issue. 
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, in reviewing the history of the dispute Wednesday, said "concerns were raised about the environmental impacts on the air and water quality in Nebraska." 
Yet while those concerns contributed to the State Department decision late last year to delay the federal review process, top Nebraska officials were not on board with the president's decision Wednesday to reject the permit. 
"Right now, I think they're looking for a convenient excuse to get it beyond the election. Let's do what's right for the country. Let's put America back to work," Heineman said. 
Nebraska lawmakers had earlier raised concern about the impact the initial pipeline route, which runs from Canada to Texas, would have on an important and vast underground water source in Nebraska. In November, the governor signed a bill that would pay for a new state-run environmental study of a new route that TransCanada agreed to pursue. 
But Heineman disputes any suggestion that the federal government needs lots of time to review his state's new study. He said the project already received initial approval from the State Department for the earlier route, before the department backed off upon objections from environmentalists. 
As Obama rejected the permit for Keystone saying there wasn't enough time to review at the federal level, Heineman questioned why -- since the state and the company have already agreed to reroute the pipeline through a less sensitive area. 
"So again, the State Department had already approved the route that was much more environmentally sensitive, and so in my view, he should have said 'yes' to allow this to move forward. There's so much at stake for this country," he said. 
Heineman said his state will have completed the new study by about August, and sees no reason for further delay. 
"I would send a letter to the Department of State saying in Nebraska, we approve," he said. "At that stage, all they've got to then say it's in the national interest. And again, I think you could say that today. They've been at this for three years." 
Nebraska Republican Sen. Mike Johanns echoed Heineman's concerns in a statement Wednesday. He said Obama's decision was a sign he "lacks faith" in Nebraska's ability to choose a new route. 
"By arguing that the Nebraska route could force them to deny the permit, he's implying Nebraska can't get it right. There is no legitimate justification for the delay. To suggest a few dozen miles of the route in Nebraska -- which will be identified by the governor, consistent with the law -- affects the overall public interest for more than 1,600 miles of pipeline is laughable and reeks of political gamesmanship," he said. 
But Obama and his team said Republicans forced his hand. Obama said in a statement Wednesday that his call was "not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people." 
Carney said Thursday it is a fallacy to suggest that anything other than the insistence by House Republicans to impose the 60-day deadline is responsible for the decision. 
TransCanada has already announced that it will seek a new permit at the federal level.
Republicans in Congress also said they would not throw in the towel on the issue. Some called for Obama to reverse his decision. 
Yet the debate is steeped in election-year politics. Obama is caught between two factions of his base on the decision over Keystone, a reality that critics claimed contributed to the decision to delay the project in the first place. Unions are clamoring for the pipeline, saying thousands of jobs are at stake, while environmentalists are vehemently opposed to it. 
The environmentalists applauded Obama for his announcement Wednesday. 
"President Obama has shown bold leadership in standing up to Big Oil and rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline," Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth, said in a statement. 
Fox News' Jim Angle contributed to this report

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/01/19/nebraska-gov-heineman-expects-to-ask-obama-for-keystone-decision-before/?test=latestnews#ixzz1k0Pi4pml

New Prospect for Washington ? His Food Stamps come in Tuesday ?

Hopefully he will run for President or at least Congress...
He appears to have what most current politicians lack...

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