Wednesday, January 28, 2015

THIS JUST IN! BARRY CRIES 'DRILL, BABY, DRILL!'


BULLY BOY PRESS &    CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE


FADED CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O THOUGHT ABOUT RELEASING A BOOK OF SELFIES UNTIL HE LEARNED KIM KARDASHIAN WAS ALREADY DOING THAT.


REACHED FOR COMMENT, BARRY O TOLD THESE REPORTERS, "ECO-SCHMECO.  IF I GAVE A DAMN ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT I'D STOP ALL THE PREGNANCIES.  YOU KNOW HOW MANY LANDFILLS HAVE DIAPERS IN THEM?  AND THESE DIAPERS ARE FILLED WITH STINKY POOS.  STINKY POOS!  BABIES ARE THE BIGGEST POLLUTERS IN THE WORLD.  STINKY BABIES AND THEIR STINKY POOS."






This morning, the Senate Armed Services Committee heard testimony from three retired military officials: Gen James Mattis, Gen John Keane and Adm William Fallon  or, as Senator Kelly Ayotte described them, "three of America's most distinguished military leaders."


Ayotte presides over the hearing as Acting Chair since John McCain was not present.  He's out of the country and we'll note why later but while he had an excuse for missing the hearing, others really didn't. 

Unlike Senator Lindsay Graham, I'm referring to members of the Committee.  We'll note his criticism in a minute but it would have been nice if all members in the country could have been present.  There are twenty-five members on the Committee.  Seven are women.  That's a big deal.  The Senate Judiciary Committee, by contrast, has only two women on it.

Only two.

The Armed Services has seven women and three things on that. 

First, show up for the hearings.  You wanted on the Committee, show up. 

At a time when even Brookings can decry the low number of women invited to participate in Middle East discussions, female senators on the Armed Services Committee should consider themselves obligated to participate in hearings on the Middle East.

Second, Senator Kelly Ayotte's noted here but we're not excerpting.  That's not that she did anything wrong but most of her time was wasted by a witness giving an ahistorical view of the Cold War.  I don't include known lies.  People can have different opinions and I'm fine with that and fine with including different opinions or even different or new facts or factoids.  But when you lie about history and I know it's a lie, I'm not including it. That witness took up Ayotte's entire questioning time in the first round with his rewriting.  Senator Joni Ernst did attend -- one of the few women to show up.  She's new and I would've graded anything on a curve because she is new.  The first female Iraq War veteran to serve in the Senate, I expected Ernst would reflect on the war.  I expected her view to be different than mine and I thought we'd include it.  We're not noting her because she didn't talk about Iraq.  She didn't ask about Iraq.

This isn't the "Afghanistan snapshot." This isn't the "Iran snapshot."  This isn't the "sequestration snapshot."  If Iraq's discussed, that's our focus.

One female senator did show up and did ask about Iraq.



Senator Mazie Hirono:  Gen Keane, you described life in Mosul where schools are set up just to radicalize the population, where every day life has changed.  And one wonders how long ISIL can so-called 'govern'  in this way?  So you're indicating that we need to be doing -- we, in the United States, should have people on the ground -- not boots on the ground -- when the people in Iraq finally get to the point where they want to fight ISIL.  Now the question becomes then, when is that time?   And would you say that is perhaps a major role for our intelligence community?  To inform us as to when that critical point is that we need to be there to help the people fight back? And I'd also like to ask that question of Gen Keane because Gen Keane you noted the importance of our intelligence community in establishing priorities.


Gen John Keane:  Yeah the -- Listen, that's a very tough question, Senator.  The only thing I can -- in helping you with that -- is just look back a bit.  We had an insurgency begin in Iraq in the spring and summer of 2003 -- led by Saddam Hussein and his people -- and the al Qaeda fell in on that very quickly.  And the in 2006, some two-and-a-half, three years later, Sunni tribes began -- who were aligned with them -- began to push back -- and much of it was literally driven by women, frankly.  Because the women were putting pressure on the tribal leaders that they did not want their children and their grandchildren to live like this for generations to come with 7th century Talibanism, under the foot of what al Qaeda was doing, controlling every aspect of their life -- from diet to costume behavior, Sharia law, etc.  That frustration is already there.  I do believe that given the fact that -- particularly in Anbar Province -- that this has existed before, the accelerate will be faster and not take three years.  I'm going to make an assumption that our intelligence community, with the use of informants and others are-are monitoring what is taking place and we have some sense of what the conditions are and more importantly what the attitude and behavior of the people are themselves.  But let's also be honest that there's just so much those people in Mosul will be able to do against a well armed and well equipped force as ISIS is -- in Mosul and in its suburbs.  To eject them out of there will take a conventional military force to do that -- supported by air power and some pretty good intelligence on where people are.  The attitude and belief of the people will be a factor.  But I don't believe in and of itself it will be decisive.  What will be decisive is the use of military force to defeat the military organization that is there.

Senator Mazie Hirono:  And the conventional military force should be the Iraqi military itself? With --

Gen John Keane:  Yes.

Senator Mazie Hirono:  -- possible air support --

Gen John Keane:  Yes.

Senator Mazie Hirono:  -- from us and our allies.

Gen John Keane:  Well it's the Peshmerga, as you know, who is the militia from Kurdistan who have the will to fight and the skill.  They don't have all the weapons they need.  Iraqi army?  And by the way the Iraqi army is probably in better shape based on some recent reports I just got this weekend from people who returned [Kimberly and Fred Kagan] and many of the military reports are suggesting -- But secondly, and thirdly, would be the Sunni tribes.  Now the Shi'ite milita are part of this and they have strengthened the Iraqi military very considerably.  The best fighters in the army are Iranian-backed Shia militia



Third thing regarding the women on the Committee?  Ava's going to grab that at Trina's site tonight (it's a joke we polished in the hearing).  Kat's going to grab a topic at her site and Wally's planning to grab an exchange that took place during Senator Thom Tillis' round of questioning (he'll be posting at Rebecca's site).




Of all the idiotic moments in the history -- and there were a good many -- Senator Joe Manchin provided the worst as he used his time to advocate and argue for re-instating the draft -- a position that even the three generals were reluctant to embrace.  Manchin kept insisting the US forces would still be in Vietnam today if there had not been a draft during the Vietnam era.  He also, when he realized no one was supporting his call for a return of the draft, began proposing an enlisted force with "some" element of a draft. 

Is Manchin insane?

That was the Vietnam era.

You had people drafted and you had them enlist.

I'm confused that Manchin's confused by this.

He graduated high school in 1965, he lived in this era.

Of course, he didn't serve.

The Chicken Hawk who now wants to bring back the draft didn't serve in Vietnam.

He took a football scholarship to college.

Had a -- we're sure -- 'brutal' injury on the football field -- why, he's practically a P.O.W.!

It takes a lot of nerve to be a sitting US Senator trying to bring back the draft, pointing to the Vietnam era, and failing to note that your own ass sat that war out.

By choice.

And via war babies, right?  Avoiding the draft by rushing into marriage and popping out war babies? Dick Cheney did the same thing.  We've called him out for it as well.

When Manchin starts trying to bring back the draft, how he avoided it becomes news worthy.

And Senator Jeanne Shaheen should be happy about that.  It allows us to ignore her show up for the hearing over two hours after it started and the prepared question she brought with her.



Senator Graham had criticism, as I noted earlier.

Senator Lindsey Graham:  I just regret, to our media friends that are here, thank you for coming.  Maybe if we had Tom Brady, we'd fill up the room.  But that's the world in which we live in.  We're talking about consequential things and got [only] a couple of reporters here.



 Where was the media?

Where was CodePink?  Oh, right, if the media's not there, CodeStink's not there. 


But this was an important hearing.  It was noted, by Gen John Keane, that Iraq required "a political and military alliance."  He elaborated further:



Gen John Keane:  There is no other way I believe that you can cope with this scale of problem without bringing the countries involved together whether they're in the region or have interests outside of the region as many do because of the export of terrorism to their countries and develop a strategy to deal with it.  This isn't about the United States driving a strategy.  This is about the countries together because much of what has to be done in the region where the radical Islamists are growing has to do with those countries themselves, has to do with the conditions that exist in those countries.  This issues simply are -- and what the Arab Spring was about if you recall, it was about seeking political reforms, social justice and economic opportunity.  Nobody was demonstrating in the streets for radical Islam.  But the radical Islamists saw the Arab Spring as an opportunity and it became an accelerate for them because they saw political and social upheaval and they could take advantage of it.  So using that as a backdrop -- it drives you -- those issues are still there -- political reform, social injustice and lack of economic opportunity.  






RECOMMENDED:  "Iraq snapshot"



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

THIS JUST IN! HE'LL SHIP THOSE JOBS OVERSEAS, YES, HE WILL!

BULLY BOY PRESS &    CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

FADED CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O IS STILL SCRAMBLING TO GET THE TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP TREATY DONE.


THE SHOW HORSE WAS NEVER MUCH OF A WORK HORSE BUT THESE DAYS HE'S A REGULAR MY LITTLE PONY.


REACHED FOR COMMENT, BARRY O TOLD THESE REPORTERS, "LOOK, ALL I'M TRYING TO DO IS CREATE MILLIONS OF LOW PAYING JOBS IN OTHER COUNTRIES AND THE EASIEST WAY TO DO THAT IS TO SHIP OVERSEAS ALL THE JOBS THAT STILL REMAIN IN THE UNITED STATES.  IT'S ABOUT SACRIFICE.  IF MY TWO TERMS AS PRESIDENT HAVE TAUGHT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NOTHING ELSE, IT'S THAT I WILL FORCE THEM TO SACRIFICE AND THEY WILL BE GRATEFUL -- DAMN GRATEFUL!"


HE THEN ASKED THESE REPORTERS TO BRAID HIS MANE AND PUT A PRETTY PINK BOW ON IT.







And Iraqi Spring MC reports that Falluja General Hospital received the corpses of 4 civilians and seven wounded civilians today -- a result of the Iraqi military's one-year-plus of bombing residential neighborhoods in the Sunni city of Falluja.


These attacks would not be tolerated by the Shi'ite Prime Minister of Iraq if the victims were Shi'ites. Haider al-Abadi became prime minister in August and, September 13th, he announced these daily bombings -- which are War Crimes -- had been stopped.

Either he's a liar or the Iraqi military does not listen to their commander in chief.

Within 24 hours of his announcement that the bombings had ended they were already going on again.

And they continue each day. 

Maybe four lives don't matter to the international community? 

I'd hope they would but maybe they don't.

If they don't, try to grasp that this is four people dead today.  Today.  These bombings have been going on daily since January of last year.  Over 12 months of these daily bombings -- which, again, are War Crimes -- the toll adds up -- the number dead and the number injured.

And the international community should be demanding answers starting with whether Haider al-Abadi lied or if he's just so ineffective that the Iraqi military blows off any order he gives them?


Staying with the topic of the targeting of the Sunnis . . .






  • My senses no longer bear the pain &sadness cause I cant save innocent Sunni civilians who are die every day, by shia Gangs in 



  • Ahmed Rasheed, Stephen Kalin and Robin Pomeroy (Reuters) report:

    Sunni politicians and tribal chiefs from Iraq's eastern Diyala province accused Shi'ite militias on Monday of killing more than 70 unarmed civilians who had fled clashes with Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) militants.

    Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan denied the claims, saying ISIL was trying to undermine the reputation of Iraqi security forces.


    The Minister of the Interior is a laughable joke and far from a trusted source on the topic of thugs murdering Sunnis.  As Loveday Morris (Washington Post) noted last October:


    The new interior minister is Mohammed Ghabban, a little-known Shiite politician with the Badr Organization. But there is little doubt that Hadi al-Amiri, head of the party and its military wing, will wield the real power in the ministry.

    The Badr militia ran notorious Shiite death squads during Iraq’s sectarian war, after infiltrating the Interior Ministry. A leaked 2009 State Department cable said sources had indicated that Amiri may have personally ordered attacks on up to 2,000 Sunnis. Amiri has denied such allegations.




    Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) counts 215 people dead from violence (299 injured) today while, over the weekend, she added Friday, Saturday and Sunday's numbers coming up with the total of 692 people killed and another eighty-nine injured.




    RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"

    "Iraq"





    Friday, January 23, 2015

    THIS JUST IN! HE CAN'T EVEN COUNT TO SIX!

    BULLY BOY PRESS &    CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE


    THOSE IDIOTS PROBABLY APPLAUDED WHEN BARRY O CLAIMED TO HAVE VISITED "ALL 57" STATES IN THE U.S

    FOR THE RECORD, THERE ARE 50 STATES IN THE U.S.

    AS DISTRESSING AS IT IS THAT SOMEONE OVER THE U.S. ECONOMY CANNOT COUNT CORRECTLY TO 50, IT'S EVEN SADDER THAT HE CAN'T COUNT TO SIX.

    LOOK, BARRY O, HOW MANY IS THIS?

    NO, NOT TWO!

    BARRY O HAS RUN 6 CAMPAIGNS IN GENERAL ELECTIONS AND WON SIX.

    HE RAN FOR THE ILLINOIS LEGISLATURE 3 TIMES WINNING EACH TIME.  HE RAN FOR THE U.S. SENATE ONCE AND WON.  

    WE ARE NOW UP TO FOUR.

    F--O-U-R -- IF WE SAY IT SLOWLY, IT WON'T BE SO SCARY, BARRY.

    HE RAN FOR U.S. PRESIDENT TWICE AND WON TWICE.

    THAT IS SIX GENERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGNS AND SIX RUNS.

    (HE HAS HAD 7 PRIMARY RUNS WITH 6 WINS.  IN 2000, HE RAN IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRIMARY FOR A U.S. HOUSE SEAT.  BUT BOBBY RUSH SLAPPED HIS ASS, PULLED HIS PANTS DOWN, TOOK HIM OVER THE KNEE, SPANKED HIM IN PUBLIC EMBARRASSING TYPE OF LOSS.)





    AFP reports that Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared Thursday that Iraq was lacking in sufficient weapons -- that's right, that Iraq did not have enough weapons -- and stated, "We don't want to see a military defeat because of budget and fiscal problems."

    Again, Haider believes Iraq is starved for weapons.  All the bullets and all the bombs have not been enough for Haider. 

    These were not off the cuff remarks but something's he's been harping on for some time.


    Vivian Salama and Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) quote him declaring in an on Wednesday interview that "we are in this almost on our own."  These are similar to the remarks he made last week.

    Last week, AFP reported that Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi was slamming the coalition the US government has put together and saying it was taking to long to provide "military support" to the Iraq military, "The international coalition is very slow in its support and training of the army."


    At the Pentagon on Thursday, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was asked about the statements.


    Q: Mr. Secretary, yesterday Prime Minister Abadi said that he was upset by what he considered the slow, stalled pace of U.S. weapons and training, both by the U.S. and the coalition in Iraq. Do you agree with his assessment? Has that been slow or delayed? And the 6,000 -- the reports of 6,000 insurgents killed, is that a measure of what the U.S. is doing, and is that number accurate?


    SEC. HAGEL: Well, regarding Prime Minister Abadi's comments, first, I don't agree with those comments. I met with Prime Minister Abadi, as many of you know who accompanied me on that trip about a month ago. The fact is that we have put a particular emphasis on getting the kind of equipment and materiel, ammunition, the needs, the requirements for the Iraqi Security Forces and the -- and the Kurds.
    To give you some examples, last year we were able to move more than 1,500 Hellfire missiles, expedited in every one of these cases, all of the requests that the Iraqi government has made.
    We'll have provided over 250 MRAPs, some of those went to the Kurds. Tens of thousands of small arms and ammunition. The flow of ammunition and materiel and the requests continue at an accelerated rate.
    So, I do -- I do disagree with the prime minister's comments. I would say even further, I don't think they're helpful. We have a coalition of over 60 countries that have come together to help Iraq. And I think the prime minister might want to be a little more mindful of that.
    We are continuing to deploy more American troops for training. And we have three of four training sites now operational in Iraq. We have about a dozen coalition partners who have trainers there, along with our trainers. We'll have a fourth training camp up soon.
    So, we are doing everything we can possibly do to help the Iraqis.
    As to the second part of your question, first, I have not seen any verification of that number of 6,000 that you referred to. We do know that thousands of ISIL fighters have been killed, and we do know that some of ISIL's leadership have been killed.
    But also, as you ask, is that the measurement or a significant measurement of progress? It is a measurement. But I don't think it is the measurement. I mean, I -- I was in a war where there was a lot of body counts every day. And we lost that war.
    What you look at is you look at things like do you have ISIL on the defensive? And I think by most every measurement, not imperfect, not perfect, they have been on the defensive.
    Are they having difficulty recruiting? Yes they are.
    The Peshmerga and the Iraqi Security Forces cut into their supply lines? Yes, they have.
    Has there been a distortion in command and control networks of ISIL? Yes, there has been. Significant, tangible, measurable.

      These are also the metrics you look at as to how much progress you're making in a war.


    Poor Haider al-Abadi.  Is he nuts?

    If he's not insane, he's just the biggest idiot in the world.

    Any time he has a chance before the world media,  he makes a fool of himself.

    That is his pattern.

    As September drew to a close, he visited the United States and quickly made a fool of himself in the media.  As Ray Sanchez and Evan Perez (CNN) explained then:

    From Washington to New York, a flurry of denials followed media reports that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told reporters at the United Nations that his country's intelligence agency had uncovered an imminent ISIS plot against United States and Paris subways.
    "We don't have anything to back it up at this point," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told CNN. "We'll keep looking at it."


    What had been a mini-triumph -- Haider proved he could both stand erect and speak, traits puppets don't always possess -- was destroyed when Haider decided to 'reveal' plots against the NYC subway that Iraqi 'intelligence' had learned of.

    He hurried back to Iraq a laughing stock.


    Thursday, Hagel took on Haider's remarks which Hagel clearly sees as carping.


    On the issue of the 6,000 number raised to Hagel, that number comes via Al Arabiya reporting:


    The U.S.-led airstrikes have “taken more than half” of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group’s leadership, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones told Al Arabiya News Channel in an interview aired Thursday.
    Jones described the airstrikes as having a “devastating” effect on ISIS after Baghdad criticized Washington for not doing “enough” to eliminate the Islamist group.

    “We estimate that the airstrikes have now killed more than 6,000 ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq,” Jones said.
    The U.S. ambassador added that the airstrikes have “destroyed more than a thousand of ISIS vehicle inside Iraq.”



    Back to Haider who had a chance to shine today that he spoiled with his own mouth yet again.

    It's not a surprise that Haider wants more weapons.  He's done nothing since August -- in fairness to him, the US government hasn't encouraged or pressed him to -- when he became prime minister to heal the serious rifts in Iraq -- the rifts at the heart of the ongoing crises in the country.

    So, like any puppet installed as opposed to a leader elected, he fears being toppled.

    What keeps a puppet from being toppled, arms and more arms.


    RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
     



    THIS JUST IN! BARRY JR. HAS AN EX-WIFE!

    BULLY BOY PRESS &    CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE


    IT'S THE SHOCKING DISCOVERY NO ONE EXPECTED . . . 

    FADED CELEBRITY BARRY O HAS AN EX-WIFE -- ONE WHO IS A WOMAN. 

    TO FIND OUT THAT HE HAD A MALE LOVER OR TWO IN HIS PAST?  WELL THAT'S LONG BEEN WHISPERED.

    BUT WHO KNEW MICHELLE WAS NOT HIS FIRST WIFE.

    WHERE IS THE FIRST WIFE?

    HAS SHE BEEN IMPRISONED IN GUANTANAMO?

    CAN ANYONE UNCOVER THE TRUTH?







    Last night, US President Barack Obama blathered on about a couple who fell in love and it was one of the most embarrassing speeches ever given as a State of the Union Address.  We focused on Iraq last night.  Dan Murphy (Christian Science Monitor) had hours to reflect on the speech before he weighed in today and here are his 'deep' thoughts re: Iraq, "He also glossed the fact that he's sent troops back to Iraq, with Baghdad at risk of falling to Islamic State." Kaveh Waddell (National Journal) adds, "The president mentioned Iraq, where Islamic State extremists have taken over significant swaths of land, only twice, compared to an average of five over his last five State of the Union speeches."


    Things only got worse. 

    Barack declared, "Six years ago, nearly 180,000 American troops served in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Today, fewer than 15,00 remain."  And the do-nothing Win Without War responded with this Tweet:



    "Our combat mission in  is over." President Obama. When will our remaining 15,000 troops there come home, Mr President? 
    8 retweets 4 favorites 


    Now I know they're whores.  But are they stupid?  15,000 was not given by Barack as the number of US troops in Aghanistan, it was Afghanistan and Iraq.


    Win Without War is a  group who thinks they can take over the Democratic Party from within.  It's never worked out that way for them.  They just whore and whore until they stand for nothing while they continue to try to herd voters over to the Democratic Party.


    In 2006, they couldn't stop pretending to care about Iraq.

    Today?


    Not so much.

    And then there's Ruth Conniff.

    The aged princess of The Progressive is bound and determined to run the magazine into the ground -- and knowing Ruth, she'll succeed at that. 

    Ruth couldn't stop Tweeting throughout the speech.

    But not about Iraq.

    Remember this is the stupid woman that went on KPFA and bragged about how none of her friends had children who enlisted and she didn't no anyone who served in the Iraq War.


    Ruth thought that was something to share.

    No surprise, her ascension at the magazine has only resulted in an already muddied approach getting worse.


    Unlike Ruth, many Americans do not veterans of today's wars. 


    March Forward!'s Mike Prysner offers his take at Veterans for Peace and concludes, "A system set up like this can only replicate the same heart-wrenching tragedies for people like us. No need to watch the State of the Union--we need a revolution."  Following Barack's speech, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America issued the following:


    WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 20, 2015) – Tonight, President Obama failed to address critical priorities for the veteran community, including restoring trust in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) after last summer’s scandals and reforming veteran mental health care services. Despite praising the Joining Forces initiative to improve veteran unemployment and mentioning the VA disability claims backlog, the President remained silent on critical veterans issues.


    Particularly disappointing was the President’s failure to affirm his administration’s support for urgent passage of the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act – historic bipartisan legislation that will increase access to quality mental health care and combat veteran suicide. With 22 veterans dying by suicide every day, IAVA has partnered with more than 20 veteran service organizations and partners and lawmakers from both parties to promote the bill, named after Marine veteran Clay Hunt who died by suicide in 2011.


    “Tonight, the Commander-in-Chief once again thanked our veterans and servicemembers for their selfless service to our country. However, actions speak louder than words,” said IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff. “Yes, the President must speak to many constituencies in the State of the Union, but no other group fought and sacrificed for its country like veterans. After the VA scandal and marking more than 13 years of combat, veterans were hoping for a proactive policy agenda from our President. As the recent success of the film “American Sniper” attests, our country is beginning a sober discussion on the impact of the post-9/11 wars on our servicemembers, their families and our country, and we had hoped for the President to lead that conversation. He didn’t.”


    Rieckhoff continued, “This next year will be crucial for the veteran community as more servicemembers return home and transition to civilian life. But in the address tonight, the President rarely mentioned veterans. Veterans exist, and many among us need assistance, particularly in the often overlooked area of mental health care. But we refuse to have our issues swept under the rug, and we will not rest until Congress passes and the President signs the Clay Hunt SAV Act, designed to combat the tragedy of 22 veterans dying by suicide every day.”


    “Furthermore, in last year’s address the President committed to slashing the VA’s disability claims backlog. A year later, we are nowhere near “backlog zero.” Currently, more than 242,000 veterans are still waiting to get the benefits they earned. The state of the union is strong, but the state of the VA is still smoldering. Last summer, IAVA members and veterans across the country were shocked to learn about the alleged misconduct and wrongdoing at VA hospitals. For many veterans, the VA health care system is their only health care system. While we appreciate the efforts of Sec. McDonald and his team to enact reforms, we are frustrated the President did not mention how he will restore veterans’ faith in the VA after months of scandal. Our veterans don’t deserve to be ignored,” said Rieckhoff.


    IAVA looks forward to Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) delivering the Republican response to the State of the Union Address. As the first female combat veteran elected to serve in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Ernst is in a unique position to fight for the nation’s veterans, particularly the female soldiers who bravely served the country. Sen. Ernst served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and currently serves as a Lt. Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard. IAVA urges her to publicly address the veteran suicide crisis and to endorse urgent passage of the SAV Act as well.


    At IAVA offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, veterans attended SOTU watch parties and live-tweeted the President’s address using the hashtag #SOTUVets.

    Note to media: Email press@iava.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.


    Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the nation's first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and has nearly 300,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. Celebrating its 10th year anniversary, IAVA recently received the highest rating - four-stars - from Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator.






    RECOMMENDED:  "Iraq snapshot"
    "J-Lo"





    Wednesday, January 21, 2015

    THIS JUST IN! COMING NEXT OBAMACHILDCARE!

    BULLY BOY PRESS &    CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE


    CALLING UNIVERSAL CHILD CARE A MUST-HAVE IN LAST NIGHT'S SPEECH, FADED CELEBRITY BARRY O FEELS HE'S FIGURED OUT HOW TO PROVIDE IT.

    "I SLEPT ON IT!" HE EXCITEDLY TOLD THESE REPORTERS THIS MORNING.  "AND IT JUST CAME TO ME! ANOTHER ONE OF MY BRILLIANT IDEAS!"

    TO PROVIDE UNIVERSAL CHILD CARE, BARRY O EXPLAINED, HE'S GOING TO PASS A LAW REQUIRING EVERY PARENT PURCHASE IT.

    "INSTANT BINGO! I'VE CREATED UNIVERSAL CHILD CARE -- JUST LIKE I DID WITH HEALTH CARE!" HE INSISTED.







    "I have no more campaigns to run," declared US President Barack Obama tonight in a possible attempt to provide comfort to a put-upon nation as he delivered yet another State of the Union Address.

    He first ran for the oval office, for example, promising to close the gulag at Guantanamo.

    In his campaign literature entitled "The War We Need To Win" in 2007,"  the promise was made, "As president, Barack Obama will close the detention facility at Guantanamo."  Eight years later, it remains open.


    President Barack Obama: As Americans, we have a profound commitment to justice -- so it makes no sense to spend three million dollars per prisoner to keep open a prison that the world condemns and terrorists use to recruit. Since I've been President, we've worked responsibly to cut the population of GTMO in half. Now it's time to finish the job. And I will not relent in my determination to shut it down. It's not who we are.



    Has he "worked to cut the population of GTMO in half"?  Well the promise was to close it.

    And not to close it in his second term.

    Pointing out realities makes one one of the "cynics" Barack referenced in his speech, a reference that left him sounding truly Nixonian.

    The editorial board of the San Diego Union-Tribune saw the speech as "self-flattery" and observed:

    The notion that a broadly resurgent United States can “turn the page” on a recent era of economic pain, wars and terrorism builds off a sunny assessment of the world that we don’t think many people share.
    After the turbulent past year, it is hard to conceive of how anyone could argue the world is safer because of U.S. leadership.

    Obama’s self-congratulation on the economy is also baffling. When unemployment was high and growth low, Democrats blamed an obstructionist House. Now that the jobless rate is coming down and growth is rebounding in much of the nation, suddenly the gridlock narrative is gone in favor of the idea that the good news is due to the president’s vigorous stewardship of something vaguely described as “middle-class economics.” But wait — wasn’t that stewardship utterly stymied? Isn’t it far more likely that the U.S. rebound is because of the private sector’s vitality — especially in energy and tech — not the actions of government?


    AP opens their fact check of the State of the Union Address with, "The U.S. may not have 'risen from recession' quite as rousingly as President Barack Obama suggested in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night. Seven years after that severe downturn began, household income hasn't recovered and healthy job growth is complicated by the poor quality, and pay, of many of those jobs."


    Perhaps to avoid charges of being a "cynic," AP avoids fact checking Barack on Iraq (one aside is not a fact check -- especially an aside that combines Iraq with Syria).

    Barack insisted, "Six years ago, nearly 180,000 American troops served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, fewer than 15,000 remain."

    Fewer than 15,000?

    But he promised they would be gone -- from Iraq.

    August 1, 2007, Barack promised, "When I am president, we will wage the war that has to be won, with a comprehensive strategy with five elements: getting out of Iraq and on the right battlefield in Afghanistan and Pakistan; developing the capabilities and partnerships we need to take out the terrorists and the world's most deadly weapons; engaging the world to dry up support for terror and extremism; restoring our values; and securing a more resilient homeland."

    The drawdown at the end of 2011 was a drawdown, not a withdrawal.

    It was a point made  December 12, 2011, when Ted Koppel filed an important report on Rock Center with Brian Williams (NBC) about what was really taking place in Iraq:

     
    MR. KOPPEL: I realize you can't go into it in any detail, but I would assume that there is a healthy CIA mission here. I would assume that JSOC may still be active in this country, the joint special operations. You've got FBI here. You've got DEA here. Can, can you give me sort of a, a menu of, of who all falls under your control?


     
    US AMB. JAMES JEFFREY: You're actually doing pretty well, were I authorized to talk about half of this stuff.




    Not only did Barack not get "out of Iraq," in June he began openly sending more US troops in.

    More and openly being the key words.

    In the fall of 2012,   Tim Arango (New York Times) reported, Barack sent a brigade of US Special-Ops into Iraq. In the US, the brief passage on Iraq buried in a report on Syria garnered very little attention.  To other outlets it was major news and a story they pursued.  One example of that would be  Press TV reported which reported in December 2012::
     

    Over 3,000 US troops have secretly returned to Iraq via Kuwait for missions pertaining to the recent developments in Syria and northern Iraq, Press TV reports. 
    According to our correspondent, the US troops have secretly entered Iraq in multiple stages and are mostly stationed at Balad military garrison in Salahuddin province and al-Asad air base in al-Anbar province. 


    In June of 2014, he began sending US troops in openly and publicly.

    In June of 2014, he insisted that the only answer for Iraq was a "political solution."


    Tonight, Barack declared:

      

    I believe in a smarter kind of American leadership. We lead best when we combine military power with strong diplomacy; when we leverage our power with coalition building; when we don't let our fears blind us to the opportunities that this new century presents. That's exactly what we're doing right now – and around the globe, it is making a difference.


    But that isn't what's being done.

    Barack may say he believes "in a smarter kind of American leadership" which combines "military power with strong diplomacy."  He may say that.

    But as we've noted for months here, he's instead focused on bombing and getting foreign governments to send troops into Iraq while ignoring the diplomatic issues and the diplomatic power.

    Sunday brought not one but two major reports noting the lack of political progress in Iraq.  Martin Chulov (Guardian) reported:

    Iraq’s vice-president for reconciliation, Iyad Allawi, said a lack of a political process between the Shias who dominate the country’s power base, and disenfranchised Sunnis was a “grave mistake” that could mean the air attacks end up achieving little.
    “The whole strategy needs to be revisited and readdressed and the international allies should be part of this,” Allawi told the Guardian. “People are asking me what will come after Isis. What would be the destiny of [local] people? Are they going to be accused of supporting or defeating Isis? Would they be accused of being Ba’athists? It is going to be really difficult for them to engage without reconciliation.”


    And Tim Arango and Omar al-Jawoshy (New York Times) reported:


    On any given day, Sunni women gather here in search of answers about their men, some of whom have been jailed for years.
    “The Iraqi Army took my son in March of 2014,” said Tawfika Abbas. “Until now, I don’t know where he is. Zero information.”
    Another woman, Entisar Gannos, cried for her four sons: one jailed since 2006, another since 2010, and the other two since 2011, all without court hearings.
    Their grief, and the pain of not knowing what is happening to their loved ones, highlight a vital task for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi: reforming Iraq’s criminal justice system. Well-documented abuses of the system, including long detentions without trial and confessions obtained by torture, are the primary grievance of the country’s Sunni minority.



    But tonight he didn't own up to that reality.




    President Barack Obama:  In Iraq and Syria, American leadership – including our military power – is stopping ISIL's advance. Instead of getting dragged into another ground war in the Middle East, we are leading a broad coalition, including Arab nations, to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group. We're also supporting a moderate opposition in Syria that can help us in this effort, and assisting people everywhere who stand up to the bankrupt ideology of violent extremism. This effort will take time. It will require focus. But we will succeed. And tonight, I call on this Congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against ISIL.



    By passing what?  Oh, yeah, that authorization for force, the one he sent US Secretary of State John Kerry to argue, December 9th, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- sent Kerry to argue  that Congress must pass an authorization for Barack's actions in Iraq and Syria and that this legislation must include that Barack can send US combat troops into Iraq.


    Secretary of State John Kerry: However, while we certainly believe this is the soundest policy, and while the president has been clear he's open to clarifications on the use of U.S. combat troops to be outlined in an AUMF, that does not mean we should pre-emptively bind the hands of the commander in chief  or our commanders in the field -- in responding to scenarios and contingencies that are impossible to foresee. 


    Barack wants ground troops in Iraq to be in combat.

    Tonight was the perfect time for him to get honest with the American people.

    He elected not to do so.



    RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"