The Daily Gouge, Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

On June 18, 2013, in Uncategorized, by magoo1310

It’s Wednesday, June 19th, 2013…and here’s The Gouge!

First up, it’s the Emil Faber Memorial “Knowledge Is Good” segment, brought to us today by a President who, were he twice as smart as he actually is, would still only half as smart as he thinks himself to be:

Obama: You Can’t Understand Syria Policy ‘If You Haven’t Been in the Situation Room’

 

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Charlie Rose last night asked President Obama his new Syria policy. The president first objected to it being called a new policy. “I’m not sure you can characterize this as a new policy. This is consistent with the policy that I’ve had throughout,” he said.

Obama then explained the goal is regional stability, and especially in Syria. “Really, what we’re trying to do is take sides against extremists of all sorts and in favor of people who are in favor of moderation, tolerance, representative government, and over the long-term, stability and prosperity for the people of Syria,” said Obama.

And after a little back-and-forth, Rose said to Obama, “So you think a no fly zone is not necessary?”

Obama, the transcript suggests, seemed to think Rose wasn’t getting it. “What I’m saying is, that if you haven’t been in the Situation Room, pouring through intelligence and meeting directly with our military folks and asking, what are all our options, and examining what are all the consequences, and understanding that for example, if you set up a no-fly zone, that you may not be actually solving the problem on the zone,” he said. “Or if you set up a humanitarian corridor, are you in fact committed not only to stopping aircraft from going that corridor, but also missiles? And if so, does that mean that you then have to take out the armaments in Damascus and are you prepared then to bomb Damascus? And what happens if there’s civilian casualties. And have we mapped all of the chemical weapons facilities inside of Syria to make sure that we don’t drop a bomb on a chemical weapons facility that ends up then dispersing chemical weapons and killing civilians, which is exactly what we’re trying to prevent. Unless you’ve been involved in those conversations, then it’s kind of hard for you to understand that the complexity of the situation and how we have to not rush into one more war in the Middle East. And we’ve got –”

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Der Obamao, “in the Situation Room, pouring through intelligence and meeting directly with our military folks and asking, what are all our options” while four Americans died in Benghazi.

Rose then interrupted, “So that’s why people think you haven’t, because you do not want to get involved in another conflict, having extricated the United States from Iraq and also soon from Afghanistan.”

“Charlie, I –” Obama tried, before being cut off again.

“And the idea of another conflict and getting involved in a war that had real significant Sunni-Shia implications and could explode into the region, you want no part of that, even though there has been a turn in the tide in Syria with the Assad regime and the Assad army, with the help of Hezbollah, doing better.

Obama explained, “Yeah, Charlie, that shouldn’t just be my concern, that should be everybody’s concern, you know. We went through that. We know what it’s like to rush into a war in the Middle East without having thought it through. And there are elements within the Middle East who see this entirely through the prism of a Shia-Sunni conflict and want the United States to simply take the side of the Sunnis. And that I do not think serves American institutes. As I said before, the distinction I make is between extremists and those who are recognized in a 21st century world that the way the Middle East is going to succeed is when you have governments that meet the aspirations of their people, that are tolerant, that are not sectarian. And working through that is something that we have to do in deliberate fashion. So when I hear debates out there, on the one hand, folks saying, you know, ‘Katie, bar the door, let’s just go in and knock out Syria’ –“

“They’re not asking that,” Rose contended.

Forgetting, at least for the moment, the facts…

White House Admits Obama Skips Most Intelligence Briefings

 

…let’s review Obama’s record of intervention; first there’s Libya:

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Then there’s Egypt:

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Far be it from us to question Barry’s judgment…

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…but as reader Bill Meisen notes in our Money Quote:

The Administration still can’t tell us what happened in Benghazi, who ordered the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS nor much of anything about the snooping on the AP or Fox news claiming there are ongoing investigations. Yet here, Obama states, as a matter of fact, that the NSA never listened in on private calls nor read personal emails. I’m amazed at how quickly they can declare this definitively. Sounds legit to me…

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The Amazing Obamao: he either knows nothing…or everything!

As Jimmy Malone remarked in The Untouchables, political corruption has made Chicago stink “like a whorehouse at low tide”; B. Hussein’s simply taken The Windy City to Washington…on a far larger scale.

In a related item, Thomas Sowell details the decline of something we’d never credit Der Obamao with having in the first place:

The Loss of Trust

 

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Amid all the heated cross-currents of debate about the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance program, there is a growing distrust of the Obama administration that makes weighing the costs and benefits of the NSA program itself hard to assess.

The belated recognition of this administration’s contempt for the truth, for the American people and for the Constitution of the United States, has been long overdue.

But what if the NSA program has in fact thwarted terrorists and saved many American lives in ways that cannot be revealed publicly? Nothing is easier than saying that you still don’t want your telephone records collected by the government. But the first time you have to collect the remains of your loved ones, after they have been killed by terrorists, telephone records can suddenly seem like a small price to pay to prevent such things.

The millions of records of phone calls collected every day virtually guarantee that nobody has the time to listen to them all, even if NSA could get a judge to authorize listening to what is said in all these calls, instead of just keeping a record of who called whom. Moreover, Congressional oversight by members of both political parties limits what Barack Obama or any other president can get away with.

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Are these safeguards foolproof? No. Nothing is ever foolproof. As Edmund Burke said, more than two centuries ago: “Constitute government how you please, infinitely the greater part of it must depend upon the exercise of the powers which are left at large to the prudence and uprightness of ministers of state.”

In other words, we do not have a choice whether to trust or not to trust government officials. Unless we are willing to risk anarchy or terrorism, the most we can do is set up checks and balances within government — and be a lot more careful in the future than we have been in the past when deciding whom to elect.

Anyone old enough to remember the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, when President John F. Kennedy took this country to the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, may remember that there was nothing like the distrust and backlash against later presidents, whose controversial decisions risked nothing approaching the cataclysm that President Kennedy’s decision could have led to. Even those of us who were not John F. Kennedy supporters, and who were not dazzled by the glitter and glamour of the Kennedy aura, nevertheless felt that the President of the United States was someone who knew much more than we did about the realities on which all our lives depended.

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Whatever happened to that feeling? Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon happened — and both were shameless liars. They destroyed not only their own credibility, but the credibility of the office.

Even when Lyndon Johnson told us the truth at a crucial juncture during the Vietnam war — that the Communist offensive of 1968 was a defeat for them, even as the media depicted it as a defeat for us — we didn’t believe him. In later years, Communist leaders themselves admitted that they had been devastated on the battlefield. But, by then it was too late. What the Communists lost militarily on the ground in Vietnam they won politically in the American media and in American public opinion.

More than 50,000 Americans lost their lives winning battles on the ground in Vietnam, only to have the war lost politically back home. We seem to be having a similar scenario unfolding today in Iraq, where soldiers won the war, only to have politicians lose the peace, as Iraq now increasingly aligns itself with Iran.

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When Barack Obama squanders his own credibility with his glib lies, he is not just injuring himself during his time in office. He is inflicting a lasting wound on the country as a whole.

But we the voters are not blameless. (“We“?!?) Having chosen an untested man to be president, on the basis of rhetoric, style and symbolism, we have ourselves to blame if we now have only a choice between two potentially tragic fates — the loss of American lives to terrorism or a further dismantling of our freedoms that has already led many people to ask: “Is this still America?”

And since we’re on the subject of trust…

CBO: Senate Immigration Bill to Save $175 Billion

 

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Wait a minute; aren’t these the same guys who told us Obamascare was going to save us trillions?!?

Hey Rock, watch me pull a number…

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…outta my ass!

Speaking of ideas which must have originated deep within someone’s sphincter…

Military plans would put women in most combat jobs including SEALS, Army Rangers

 

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Military leaders are ready to begin tearing down the remaining walls that have prevented women from holding thousands of combat and special operations jobs near the front lines. Under details of the plans obtained by The Associated Press, women could start training as Army Rangers by mid-2015 and as Navy SEALs a year later.

The military services have mapped out a schedule that also will include reviewing and possibly changing the physical and mental standards that men and women will have to meet in order to quality for certain infantry, armor, commando and other front-line positions across the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Under the plans to be introduced Tuesday, there would be one common standard for men and women for each job.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reviewed the plans and has ordered the services to move ahead.

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The move follows revelations of a startling number of sexual assaults in the armed forces. Earlier this year, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said the sexual assaults might be linked to the longstanding ban on women serving in combat because the disparity between the roles of men and women creates separate classes of personnel — male “warriors” versus the rest of the force. While the sexual assault problem is more complicated than that, he said, the disparity has created a psychology that lends itself to disrespect for women.

Under the schedules military leaders delivered to Hagel, the Army will develop standards by July 2015 to allow women to train and potentially serve as Rangers, and qualified women could begin training as Navy SEALs by March 2016 if senior leaders agree. Military leaders have suggested bringing senior women from the officer and enlisted ranks into special forces units first to ensure that younger, lower-ranking women have a support system to help them get through the transition.

And if that doesn’t work, let’s hold hands with those dedicated to America’s destruction and sing Kumbaya!  Oh…

US seeks direct talks with Taliban’s Mullah Omar

 

…we’re already doing that; never mind!

Seriously, people; we’ve seen this play out before.  This is TOTAL BULLSH*T!!!  And anyone who tries to tell you different is putting political correctness and the divisive politics above national security…not to mention the lives of those forced to fight alongside someone not up to physical demands of the job.

Meanwhile, another milestone for our New Military!

Army general becomes first openly gay flag officer

 

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George Washington must be rolling over in his grave.

Next up, courtesy of Balls Cotton, imagine the missteps which might be made by a Commander-in-Chief who wasn’t a lawyer:

Judge: Obama Comments ‘Unlawful Command Influence’

 

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Two defendants in military sexual assault cases cannot be punitively discharged, if found guilty, because of “unlawful command influence” derived from comments made by President Barack Obama, a judge ruled in a Hawaii military court this week.
Navy Judge Cmdr. Marcus Fulton ruled during pretrial hearings in two sexual assault cases — U.S. vs. Johnson and U.S. vs. Fuentes — that comments made by Obama as commander in chief would unduly influence any potential sentencing, according to a court documents obtained by Stars and Stripes.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Fulton approved the pretrial defense motions, which used as evidence comments that Obama made about sexual assault at a May 7 news conference. “The bottom line is: I have no tolerance for this,” Obama said, according to an NBC News story submitted as evidence by defense attorneys in the sexual assault cases. ‘I expect consequences,” Obama added. “So I don’t just want more speeches or awareness programs or training, but ultimately folks look the other way. If we find out somebody’s engaging in this, they’ve got to be held accountable — prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.”

The judge’s pretrial ruling means that if either defendant is found guilty, whether by a jury or a military judge, they cannot receive a bad conduct discharge or a dishonorable discharge. Sailors found guilty under the Uniform Code of Military Justice’s Article 120, which covers several sexual crimes including assault and rape, generally receive punitive discharges. “A member of the public would not hear the President’s statement to be a simple admonition to hold members accountable,” Fulton stated. “A member of the public would draw the connection between the ‘dishonorable discharge’ required by the President and a punitive discharge approved by the convening authority. “The strain on the system created by asking a convening authority to disregard [Obama’s] statement in this environment would be too much to sustain public confidence.”

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The ruling sets the stage for defense attorneys to use the same arguments in sexual assault cases throughout the military. Should other judges accept the same line of reasoning, commands would have to consider issuing lesser administrative discharges to servicemembers found guilty of sexual assault. In some cases, this could allow servicemembers found guilty of sex crimes to retain veterans benefits, according to Defense Department regulations.

“I think that as a defense attorney, I would raise this argument in virtually any [sexual assault] case I had,” said Victor Hansen, vice president of the National Institute of Military Justice and former instructor at the Army’s JAG school. Hansen found Thursday’s ruling surprising, since judges have rejected “unlawful command influence” arguments under the logic that statements by high-level officials lose their effect as they reach the military’s lower levels.

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However, in recent months there has been a lot more said — and in overly specific terms — about sexual assault by military and political leaders, Hansen noted. Obama’s call for dishonorable discharges is an example of such specificity, which begins to sound to military juries like a direct order from the commander in chief.

“This is bad lawyering on [Obama’s] advisor’s part,” Hansen said. “It’s certainly not a problem to say that sexual assault is a bad thing and we need to weed it out … that’s innocuous. It’s when they get very pointed that it’s problematic.”

If only Der Obamao granted an actual scandal…

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…the same gravitas he accords this latest Liberal witch hunt.

And since we’re on the subject of Obama-related lies and misdirection, it’s come to our attention

NSA Spying DOES Extend to Contents of US Phone Calls

 

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The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls, a participant said. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (P-NY), disclosed on Thursday that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”

If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.

Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA’s formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically, it also suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.

But we thought the President said…?!?

And in today’s Environmental Moment, the WSJ offers this snippet from Pascal Bruckner’s new book, “The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse”:

Environmentalism as a Messianic Religion

 

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Consider the meaning in contemporary jargon of the famous carbon footprint that we all leave behind us. What is it, after all, if not the gaseous equivalent of Original Sin, of the stain that we inflict on our Mother Gaia by the simple fact of being present and breathing? We can all gauge the volume of our emissions, day after day, with the injunction to curtail them, just as children saying their catechisms are supposed to curtail their sins. . . .

Ecologism, the sole truly original force of the past half-century, has challenged the goals of progress and raised the question of its limits. It has awakened our sensitivity to nature, emphasized the effects of climate change, pointed out the exhaustion of fossil fuels.

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Onto this collective credo has been grafted a whole apocalyptic scenography that has already been tried out with communism, and that borrows from Gnosticism as much as from medieval forms of messianism. Cataclysm is part of the basic tool-kit of Green critical analysis, and prophets of decay and decomposition abound. They beat the drums of panic and call upon us to expiate our sins before it is too late.

As the late, great, far-too-soon-departed Michael Crichton noted:

As we’ve noted any number of times before, Rachel Carson was responsible for the deaths of more innocent people than Hitler, Mao and Stalin…combined!

On the Lighter Side…

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Then there’s this gem from Balls Cotton:

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Finally, we’ll call it a wrap with yet another sign the Apocalypse is upon us, courtesy of George Lawlor and Sesame Workshop:

‘Sesame Street’ creates a new Muppet with a parent in jail

 

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Step aside Elmo and Abby Cadabby, there’s a new Muppet on “Sesame Street.” Alex, the first Muppet to have a dad in jail, was created by Sesame Workshop to help children ages 3-8 to cope when a parent is incarcerated.

Gee…wonder what demographic Alex is targeting.  Coming soon: Crystal…who will help children ages 3-8 cope when a parent is a Meth Freak.

Magoo