Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Goodbye Rice; Hello Kerry – and Standard Form 180

There is a good reason why neither Massachusetts Senator John Kerry nor Arizona Senator John McCain is or was President of the United States of America; neither had the full support of the veteran community which could have swayed sufficient votes in their direction to guarantee election if it so desired.

If you apply classic media reasoning to their campaign support equations – for instance, every person of Hispanic descent in America votes for Democrats and every black voter in America (as well as some who don't exist) voted for Barack Obama – then you have to wonder why every veteran, minus blacks and Hispanics in McCain's case, didn't vote for either Kerry or McCain.

The answer is that the classic media equation is bogus – not every person of Hispanic descent votes Democratic and not every black voter voted for Obama, except in Philadelphia and parts of Ohio were there were far more votes than voters. And, considering that American voters are smarter than either the media or the political parties think they are, the veteran community like other voting blocs looks beyond the superficial when making their selections.

Neither man could garner sufficient votes to win the presidential election because there was significant opposition to Kerry's and McCain's candidacies from within the veteran community even though they are both veterans; well, allegedly in Kerry's case. I mean, he served, but there is considerable speculation that he was separated from the service dishonorably which pretty much negates his classification as a veteran.

This is all of interest once again because of the withdrawal of Susan Rice, currently the US Ambassador to the United Nations, from consideration as the next Secretary of State, and media reports that President Obama may appoint Kerry as Hillary Clinton's replacement by Christmas. I have been waiting for months for Kerry's name to surface again in this regard, so I'll dispense with any further comment about Rice and concentrate on him.

When Kerry was running for president in 2004 a number of veteran groups and individuals lobbied intensively and unsuccessfully for him to sign Standard Form (SF) 180 which would authorize the release of his military records to the public. He refused, thereby denying the public an answer to a question that has dogged Kerry since the 1970's; was he dishonorably discharged from the Navy for providing aid and comfort to the enemy – or any other reason?

Further, veterans want to know if that alleged dishonorable discharge was reversed by president jimmy carter, when he gave blanket amnesty to draft dodgers and deserters in the post-Vietnam era.

Kerry's entire service portfolio has been marked by: self-generated hype over his actions during his abbreviated tour of Vietnam; his use of high level political and military connections to obtain medals that many combat veterans believe he didn't deserve; his traitorous actions in his bogus "Winter Soldier" hearings and Congressional testimony in which he falsely branded his fellow Vietnam vets as murderous Neanderthals; and the belief that he sold out his country by giving aid to our communist enemies while still obligated to the US Navy.

All of this was brought to the forefront in his presidential campaign by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and other veteran groups that opposed him. There even was Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry website.

(The website still exists although one of its founders, former Green Beret Ted Sampley, died in 2009 after complications from surgery at a VA hospital. A similar site went up when McCain was nominated. The liberal media - not to mention Kerry and McCain - hated Sampley and wrote some pretty caustic and to some, unfair, articles about his opposition to McCain and Kerry, but all that did was give more attention to his cause.)

But there is another issue that really rankles many veterans, especially those who served in Vietnam, that being the conduct of Kerry and McCain – in concert – as co-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs in the early 1990s.

They were charged back then with getting to the bottom of allegations that hundreds of American prisoners of war were left behind in Laos when Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger agreed to the debacle known as the Paris Peace Accords in 1973. There were live sightings and even a couple of people who turned up in Vietnam long after the government - which halted back payments of their federal paychecks - declared they were dead.

Many in the military and intelligence communities knew of the POWs in Laos, nagging reports of live sightings and other evidence kept surfacing and the issue was kept alive by the League of Families and other POW-MIA organizations.

But Kerry and McCain declared that there was no credible evidence that any POWs were still alive, closing the books on the issue and classifying much of the information that was presented to their committee as secret, removing it from public view. There was dissent from within the committee, but the dissenters have been relegated to the media's "nutjob" file and are no longer taken seriously.

So, what do we do now with a man who has such a speckled history of 'government service' potentially being nominated for Secretary of State? How about, renew our call for release of Standard Form 180?

How about the Good Old Boys club, also known as the US Senate, act in the best interests of the country for a change instead of the self-interest of its members? How about we really find out what went on with Kerry back in the 1970s that played so heavily on his actions in the 1990s as well as his failed presidential campaign, and determine under real questioning in the confirmation hearings whether this man is truly qualified to be the international representative of the United States of America?

That would be a real accomplishment for a government body that is seen as a group of self-absorbed ego driven puppets wouldn't it? Yeah, I know, not likely. But hope springs eternal.
Monday, December 17, 2012

Newtown, and Dunblane, and Gruesome Violent Videos

Like most people with a heart mine was broken Friday as my family learned of  the horrific events unfolding in Newton, Connecticut; initial reports of a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, followed by conflicting and horribly inaccurate reports from a media and political crush that was remarkable mostly for the extent of the misinformation involved.

My wife and I were glued to the television for the bulk of the late afternoon, stunned, shocked, and grief stricken trying to find out what had happened, who did it, and at one point as the misinformation was sorted out I turned to her and said; "Dunblane, Scotland" and then "video games."

I made the reference to Dunblane because of the eerie similarities of the shootings in Newtown, to the March 13, 1996 shootings at a school in Dunblane, Scotland, by a gunman who killed 16 children in a class of five- and six-year-olds and their teacher.

The killer in Dunblane was identified Thomas Hamilton, 43, an alleged pedophile who was thrown out of the local scouts organization nearly two decades earlier, after parents learned that he forced some of his young charges to sleep with him on overnight camping trips. In the years just prior to his rampage Hamilton was described as a shopkeeper who was angry at his community for not patronizing his store.

Hamilton unleashed his anger at society by attacking the most vulnerable and innocent of victims; children at the local elementary school whose deaths would certainly make his point that he was angry and considered himself a victim.

As a result of his actions Great Britain's anti-firearms activists launched what became known as the Snowdrop Campaign leading in 1997 to a ban on all privately owned handguns. The anti-firearms proponents were successful in banning handguns, but unsuccessful at ending violent crimes against people which doubled in a subsequent 10-year period according to an article in the Telegraph in July 2009.

The article stated that the UK was thus the most violent place in Europe, with Austria second, followed by Sweden, Belgium, Finland and Holland.

I make a point of this because as appalling as we all found the shooting in Newtown to be, those who advocate disarming the citizens of this country who legally carry firearms for their protection were calling for new "gun control" measures before the bodies of the tiny victims were even released to their devastated parents.

Within hours of the shootings my inbox was receiving emails from anti-firearms activists crowing of the Newtown travesty with a "See, see we told you so!" mentality, making the case that now the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution can finally be circumvented at least and repealed at best. I find this to be as reprehensible as the crush of politicians who actually went to Newtown to stand before the cameras while the crime scene was still being actively investigated!

(Note to my readers; in a two-decade career as a reporter and editor, covering or directing coverage of criminal justice issues, I never, ever, ever saw a crush of politicians descending on the scene of tragedy while police were still engaged in an active investigation like that which occurred on Friday.)

In addition to the near copy-cat similarities with the shooting in Dunblane more than a decade ago, I brought up video games because as a combat veteran I know from personal experience that when locked in a life and death struggle an overwhelming desire for revenge against the enemy may be the dominant emotion. Eventually that may be replaced by a cold aloofness, but even then most combatants are keenly aware that human lives are being lost.

Yet the unending stream of extraordinarily violent video games that are played for thousands of hours by many American youngsters makes every enemy an inhuman "target" and the only emotion that counts is the joy of running up the score of "kills" and advancing to the next level. I believe those games act as breeding grounds for sociopaths, and every so often one of them takes the game playing out into the community.

As it turned out, I heard Fox and Friends co-anchor Steve Doucy report Saturday morning that the Newtown shooter was a "gamer," who was known for his video game skills, and also embraced the "Gothic" lifestyle which is a sub-genre of teen angst marked in many cases by wearing dark clothing, listening to deathrock music, and living under the assumption that everything related to life sucks.

Doucy's report speculated that the techniques the shooter developed playing video games were to account for the accuracy with which the victims were killed, and that may be, but I also believe that if a person who already has mental issues becomes immersed in the extreme violence of the video game culture, they are a walking prescription for disaster.

Only an inhuman monster could have blithely executed child after child in Newtown last Friday, or Dunblane Scotland in 1996 – as well as the adults who tried to protect them – with no sense of regret or remorse for their actions. Only a mindless sociopath could have committed those murders with no sense of responsibility – and that certainly appears to be what happened in Newtown.

If Adam Lanza thought he was getting back at his parents for divorcing, or some other issue, he failed and failed miserably. Few people are blaming his parents for the actions of a person who was legally an adult, but who still could not legally purchase the firearms he used in Newtown murders. The blame for the act itself lies squarely on the shoulders of the criminal, not his parents and not society; he was an adult and responsible for his own actions.

I am not making excuses for anyone who uses a firearm recklessly or with intent to harm others. But I don't see how disarming an entire society and thus creating a new class of victims will accomplish anything except encourage more criminals and bullies to abuse more peaceful citizens, as has happened in the UK since 1997 the handgun ban went into effect.

We don't tell everyone who drives to give up their cars when people die in a fatal accident caused by someone who is texting while driving; we didn't ban vehicles when deaths caused by drunk drivers increased, we took aim at the behavior of drunks; and we don't hear a call for banning kitchen knives in the wake of a maniac in China attacking and stabbing 22 elementary school students last Friday. We don't do that for myriad reasons but first on the list is that we all know it won't work and it is inherently unfair to penalize law abiding citizens for the actions of criminals.

So instead of resorting to name calling and threats to murder the head of the National Rifle Association, I think it would be far better to acknowledge the evil that exists in society – worldwide – and put our energies into helping the survivors of Friday's unfathomable tragedy work through their grief.

And instead of getting into unending arguments about firearms control we would be doing far more of a useful nature if we work on ending the conditions that led to the creation of an inhuman monster who killed 27 innocent people, and then in final act of cowardice ended his own life so he wouldn’t have to face the consequences of his actions.
Saturday, November 10, 2012

Marine Corps Birthday, Veterans Day; In Praise of Afghan War Vets and The Guys Without Foxholes

Today, November 10, the day before Veterans Day, marks the 237th birthday of the United States Marine Corps and coincidentally the 30th anniversary of my active involvement in veterans' issues, primarily those concerning Vietnam where I served as a Marine helicopter crewman and machine gunner.

This weekend also marks a departure of sorts because from here on I intend to focus on those who served or are serving in Afghanistan in the ongoing War on Terror. I'll provide details at the end of this article.

By way of background, on Veterans Day 1982 I traveled to Washington, D.C., to cover the dedication of the Vietnam War Memorial for the Hartford Courant newspaper where I was employed as a reporter. I had no idea at the time, but an advance article I wrote on members of my helicopter squadron who died in combat and whose names are on The Wall would become the impetus for my first book; Masters of the Art, A Fighting Marine's Memoir of Vietnam.

I also couldn't foresee that when I wrote Masters of the Art it would become a launching pad for three decades of research into the Vietnam War; revealing how the military never lost a single major battle but were betrayed by politicians and bureaucrats back home, and falsely blamed for the deaths of millions of Southeast Asians at the hands of rampaging communists after Saigon fell in 1975.

My intent in writing that work of nonfiction was to offset the negative publicity that at the time dominated discussions of Vietnam. We were variously called Baby Killers, Murderers, Walking Time Bombs and much worse, and it seemed that few in the world of media or publishing wanted to know the truth.

In fact, the first hardcover edition of Masters of the Art was published by Carlton Press in New York in late 1989, with me paying the freight, after I discovered to my chagrin that few others were interested in my book. If you wrote that Vietnam was a travesty and ruined your life forever you were golden; but the truth? Never.

Nonetheless, after I made back my investment, the hardcover edition of Masters of the Art provided enough income for me to travel across the country; meeting other veterans, speaking to interested groups of vets and non-vets alike, learning their stories, compiling and eventually teaching history, piecing together a picture of the war that isn't found in the Mainstream Media. In time Random House made an offer to republish it in paperback form, which I gladly accepted, and it still sells today, with the electronic version now the format of choice. 

(I quickly learned that most book writers have to get out and work at their trade to make a living. The best way to obtain income on your books is to buy them wholesale from the publisher and sell signed copies from your website in conjunction with schlepping them all over creation to places where you can talk about them and sell them. You can earn a living, but you do have to work.)

It has been a difficult but gratifying experience to say the least, and while much of what I talk about is from a birds-eye perspective, there also have been some very personal moments of triumph. For instance, I know a US Army infantry Vietnam veteran who for decades said little to nothing about his tour.

But a year ago I learned of him surviving a bloody day in late 1966 along the Cambodian border. His squad was walking point on a brigade-sized offensive and they were caught in a company-sized ambush – meaning he and about 14 other troops were being fired upon by more than 200 enemy.

In mere seconds most of his squad was dead, and he survived only because he flattened himself on the ground to return fire and others who already were dead fell on him. He survived, physically unscathed, but he carried an undeserved burden of guilt for the events of that day for four decades.

I researched the history of his unit and found that he fought in a day full of heroics, in which the horrors of the opening salvo were returned overwhelmingly by others in his brigade. The advancing troops rescued the remaining wounded from the initial ambush, repulsed the communist troops and ultimately dominated the battle. A platoon commander was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for exposing himself repeatedly to enemy fire while he dragged other wounded troops to safety.

My friend knew none of this until I put it all together in a report and gave it to him at the post one night. He began reading it and then the unexpected occurred; he began to talk about Vietnam and what he did there. 

We were comparing notes and I told him that even though my job involved flying in combat, I spent many nights in foxholes or fighting trenches on the perimeter of the airstrip at Quang Tri as a member of the reactionary platoon. I noted that sometimes snakes would be in the foxholes or they would fill up with water in the monsoons.

"At least you had a foxhole," he responded, adding that his unit often moved at night and when he was given time to catch few winks of sleep he did it sitting on the hard ground with his poncho over his head to keep the mosquitoes at bay. You can learn a lot in a very few minutes if the right person is talking and you are willing to listen.

Another vet told me later that "I've known this guy ever since high school and he's talked more about Vietnam tonight than he did in the last 40 years." My friend never should have borne that burden; he did enough by going there and fighting for our rights and freedoms. Hopefully he will keep talking about Vietnam right up to his last breath.

While Vietnam was "my" war, the decision to turn my focus toward Afghanistan was influenced in part by an article I read that said according to recent surveys something like 90 percent of Americans hold Vietnam veterans in high esteem. Offsetting the media and political negativity toward us was my basic goal all along, and I do feel a sense of accomplishment after being a small part of the effort to provide an accurate portrayal of Vietnam veterans.

In retrospect, Vietnam vets actually became cool; everyone now wants to be in Special Ops, camouflage and jungle boots became a fashion statement; books were written; songs were sung about us; and we even have a few good movies on Vietnam led by Mel Gibson's We Were Soldiers. We had Rambo for God's sake!

The 2010 census said that something like 13 million Americans claimed they are Vietnam vets even though a total of 9 million served in the military during the entirety of the Vietnam War, and 2.5 million actually were on the ground there; so now we have millions of posers and wannabes!

But I also believe it is our duty as veterans to ensure that our Afghanistan counterparts don't go through what we went through; and I feel this way primarily because we know so little about what is really going on over there. The media blanketed Vietnam with negative coverage, but there is hardly any coverage of the Afghan fighting.

Soon our troops are to be withdrawn from Afghanistan, and like their Vietnam counterparts, they will be scattered to the four winds with no way to collectively assess their experiences. Thus I have decided to make a new push on book sales of Masters of the Art,as well as Granny Snatching which is on a completely different subject, but should be of interest to Baby Boomers or people with parents that age, and my latest accomplishment, a novel that I just completed, and use the proceeds to reach out to this new generation of vets. (I am looking for a publisher and new agent if anyone knows someone they can point in my direction.)

I am not ignoring veterans of the fighting in Iraq, by the way, but at least they were able to declare victory. We simply don't have a corresponding information flow from Afghanistan and I believe we need it. I suggest to every Vietnam vet I meet that they should tell their stories, write books if they can, do articles, poems, songs, papers, and letters; print them and give them to their families even if they couldn't get them published.

It is my intent now to reach out to the Afghanistan vets with the same message, encourage them to communicate, tell their stories and make sure their accomplishments are recorded.

They should not spend decades reliving the brutality and horrors of the battlefield alone, in silence, with no means of putting their service into proper perspective. They are veterans of the US military who served their country in combat and they deserve to be honored for their sacrifices. 

Semper Fi!
Thursday, November 08, 2012

Romney of Queensbury Defeated by Street Fighter … Surprise! Cavuto, Polls and Ice Cream

So here were are, two days after Barack Hussein Obama, aka Street Fighter, was reelected president of the Deteriorating States of America and his opponent, Mitt "Mr. Nice" Romney is still writhing on the ground in pain moaning "You cheated. You fight dirty."

Obama for  his part, although taking a drubbing and losing nearly 10 percent of the support he enjoyed in 2008, is still dancing over Romney's prostrate form, doing the Ali Shuffle, and laughing as he chants "But I won, I won, I won! And I won by an Electoral landslide! Yeah!!"

And here I am again, saying one more time, "I told you so."

I have a question for all the incredibly intelligent and ever so knowledgeable pundits and commentators on the Republican side of the political fence; how is it that Mitt Romney received fewer votes in 2012 than John McCain did in 2008? Please, can someone tell me?

I understand to a point why McCain lost to Obama what with the Messiah nonsense being put out by the Democrats' propaganda machine, also known as the media, back in 2008. Also, Sen. McCain, although being referred to as a Vietnam War Hero every time he shows up on FOX News, didn't have the full support of the veteran community in 2008.

In fact, his partnership with Sen. John Kerry back in 1991 as co-chairs of the Senate Select Committee on POWs and MIAs, when they slammed the door on the fate of hundreds of POWs who were left behind in Laos in 1973 with the full knowledge of the US government, resulted in a significant percent of veterans opposing him in 2008.

So given that Romney was not carrying that baggage, why did he get fewer votes than John McCain?

Was it because he is a Mormon? Did Christian evangelists shun him, fearing that a Mormon in the White House might advocate that we all have more than one wife? I'm not kidding – and I don't support that concept. But in truth, we've been down that road ever since the 1960 election when John Kennedy's Catholicism was supposedly going to result in the Pope running America. It was not a valid reason to oppose a candidate back then and it is not a valid reason to oppose a candidate today.

I hope it wasn't religion but that still doesn't give us an answer for why nearly 3 million Republicans didn't vote in this election.

How about the women's vote? Did McCain, as many have said, pick up a huge amount of votes that otherwise would not have been in his column because he had Sarah Palin on the ticket as his VP candidate? Paul Ryan was a good vice-presidential candidate for Romney; nice, certainly smart and capable, but he did NOT generate the enthusiasm that Sarah Palin did; was that it?

Now, I should note here that I backed Romney from day one when he was campaigning against McCain for the 2008 nomination, and I personally thought Paul Ryan was a very good choice … but maybe in the minds of other voters he wasn't a GREAT choice.

Was Romney just too nice, or did he spread himself too thin in a constant effort to reinvent himself? I don't know the answer, but I do know this; with the significantly reduced voter turnout for Obama - 7 million fewer votes than 2008 - the GOP was handed the election on a silver platter and they blew it! The Grand Old Party didn't convince voters, despite hundreds of millions spent on ads, that the country is in dire straits and if they wanted it to get better Romney was the answer.

Granted, the GOP didn't get any help from the media; even from FOX News which spent so much time being "fair and balanced" that in the end you couldn't tell truth from fiction. I also believe this whole election was just a game to people inside the Beltway and on Manhattan Island, and they had a good idea how it was going to turn out long before anyone cast a vote.

I could be wrong about this but frankly, outside of Karl Rove who nailed FOX News for calling Ohio for Obama when his sources showed Romney coming on like gang busters in precincts that usually vote for Republicans, I didn't see any surprise or shock or anything similar regardless of who was talking when it was clear that Obama was going to win.

Even though most commentators were in the tank for Obama from Day One, and fed us a steady diet of bogus polls saying he was getting tremendous support, the polls that used the 2008 turnout as the basis for skewing the results in Obama's favor were dead wrong; regardless of what Neil Cavuto says. He was wrong too.

I was watching Cavuto last night and he was laughing it up with a pollster, paying off an election bet in quarts of ice cream, and lauding the polls as being accurate. I do not agree with his position on polling. Obama won the electoral vote in a landslide and the popular vote by some 3.5 million; hardly close in either case.

How can you have the incumbent president of the Deteriorating States of America lose 10 percent of his support, with most polling outlets using the 2008 turnout as a basis for oversampling Democrats by double digits just to give him the appearance of a tie, and say the polls were accurate?

They were wrong. They were dead wrong. And they were also wrong when they said there was far more enthusiasm on the Republican side because if they were right on that count, with such a precipitous drop in support for Obama, Romney would have won in a landslide instead of Obama.

Oh, and I heard Rush Limbaugh saying yesterday that even though lots of people were bringing up their concerns about voting machines that were registering votes for Obama even though they voted for Romney, he wasn't going to get into that subject.

OK, maybe Limbaugh won't go there, but I will. I was watching the returns Tuesday night and it occurred to me that you don't need to tinker with all the machines in a multi-state conspiracy to give your candidate the edge. You only need to do it in a few states, and frankly, in a few districts in those states.

The media was calling the election's outcome in state after state literally as soon as the polling places closed their doors, before even a single vote was counted. The election came down to a half-dozen states and in those states the vote was so close that the returns from a few cities or counties made the difference – and virtually all of this is predictable based on past voting patterns.

I wrote a few weeks back that if you could swing just 3 percent of the vote with scanners or automatic voting machines that have been sabotaged you would have the election. What was the final outcome? A tad less than three percent? Certainly worth thinking about and discussing wouldn't you say?

Frankly, I think Romney lost because he didn't come out swinging with brass knuckles on one fist and a baseball bat in the other. Especially toward the end he was way too conciliatory.

There was no good reason to vote for Barack Obama unless you believe in communism or at least hardcore socialism. His national policies are a disaster, his foreign policies are a disaster, his support dropped like a rock because even his supporters have lost faith in him, and the country's economy is in a tank and going right down the drain.

But Republicans didn't come out to vote either nationally or in my little state of Connecticut so they obviously didn't believe in their candidate to a large enough degree to change things. Do you know what Republicans have become in Connecticut? Placeholders. People who don't seem to really want the office but agree to have their names put in contention to hold the spot open until someone who does want the office comes along.

Know how many national offices the GOP won in Connecticut this election? Zero. That my friends is leadership - or not.

Well, that's enough navel gazing. Someone has to be honest and take the blame for this mess, so I'll be up front with you; I am a jinx and I will never again publicly offer my opinion on who should win a presidential election. Four years ago I said John McCain would beat Barack Obama and I was wrong; this year I said Mitt Romney would defeat Obama and I was wrong again.

Obviously, I jinxed Romney – McCain lost all by himself so I'm not taking the blame for that one. But by writing with such certainty that Romney would win, it is clear that I jinxed him and that is why he lost the election.

And if you believe that I have a few other fairy tales to tell you.
Monday, November 05, 2012

The Fallacy of Polls and Government Jobs Numbers

I am in the middle of a self-imposed blackout of all news coverage related to tomorrow's elections, having had my fill of bogus "opinion polls" that only report the "opinions" of the pollsters, and government unemployment figures that have no bearing on reality.

I literally can not stand to see one more report that starts out with the words "A new poll just out …" which is exactly how the news began on the night last week when I shut it off and vowed not to watch again until the election is over. And I can't stand to listen to one more pundit, whose future television appearances hang in the balance, claiming that obscure or non-existent data show how the election will go.

I even heard respected commentators last week saying President Obama will get a boost from voters because he "looked presidential" when he visited New Jersey and walked around with the governor viewing the damage from Hurricane Sandy.

Look, if you can't walk through an area hit by a natural disaster, say "Let there be light," and make the power come back on instantly, you don't "look presidential" unless the viewer defines "presidential" as ineffective, baffled and incompetent.

Frankly, I thought Obama looked helpless and a bit lost. Even the butt-kissing bleating of the alleged Republican governor of New Jersey, who just wanted to open the floodgates of federal disaster relief money so he can get re-elected or go on to national office, won't change the fact that Obama can't do any more for Sandy victims than George Bush could do for Katrina victims.

So sometime after 9 p.m. tomorrow I'll get myself a bowl of cherry-vanilla ice cream and sit down in front of the television to watch the returns come in.  I may not turn on the sound until there is some sort of clear trend.

Since I have not seen one single poll done by either national or regional polling outlets that uses viable methodology or is based on a simple desire to know what people are thinking - rather than to push the agenda of the polling agency - I don't for a minute think Barack Obama is going to win – at least in a relatively honest election.

I think that Mitt Romney will carry the popular and Electoral College votes by a significant margin and I base this on observable conditions around the country. People, lots and lots more people than the government claims, are out of work, and many more are discouraged with no hope of things getting better under the Obama Administration.

Don't agree? Then why does the national debt clock have a category for "official unemployed" (12,235,647) and "actual unemployed" (22,694,912) as of this writing?

Romney is offering a methodology to reverse the horrendous downward trend that has marked this country since Obama took office and no amount of scare tactics or abusive advertising can alter Obama's true record. His constant efforts to blame his failures on someone else, hell, anyone else, serve only to highlight the inadequacy of his administration.

Despite the all-out efforts of the news media to push people into voting one way or another I don't think for even a second that the general public is stupid or uninformed. We know what is going on, we live it every single day, and not in a Beltway Bubble either.

The so-called Mainstream Media and even alternative media outlets are reporting these bogus polls as if they are gospel. But most of the polls I reviewed call people at random and ask them if they are registered voters and have a party affiliation, or are "leaning" one way or another. In addition to being at the mercy of the person answering the phone there simply is no validation process in using that approach.

If you want to know what voters are thinking the best way is to obtain the voter registration rolls in the area you are covering, and cull the lists for the names of voters who voted in four of the last four elections – four/four voters as they are called here.

Then you call these people until you get responses from Republicans, Democrats and Unaffiliated voters that mirror the registration percentages in that area. If you are polling in a region where the voter registration is 32 percent Democrats, 28 percent Republicans and 40 percent unaffiliated voters, then you keep calling until your responses equate to the party registration percentages.

There is always a margin of error in this approach but generally speaking, the more people you call who regularly vote narrows that percentage. And it takes work, as opposed to the lazy man's polls we are seeing.

But calling random "adults" or skewing the percentages of people you interview by party – most polls have been oversampling Democrats, often by double digits – will only result in answers that give the pollsters what they wanted in the first place, not a realistic view of how people view the candidates or how they will vote.

The polling organizations claim it is appropriate to skew the sample because they are using turnout percentages from past elections. That is just plain bull! Everything that matters in the world of politics has changed since 2008 and if you want a realistic view of voter turnout this year you have to call verifiable four/four voters and ask them in the appropriate percentages if they intend to vote this year and for whom.

Otherwise you don't have a poll; you have a political ad shrouded in a cloak of obfuscation.

Then we have the jobless numbers. The government reported last week that the national unemployment rate is 7.9 percent; up one-tenth of one percent from the previous month.

That number is not accurate. It does not reflect the number of people who are out of work or "under-employed," it only reflects the number of people who are getting unemployment benefits. The number who are actually unemployed but who don't qualify for benefits or have exhausted their unemployment benefits is conservatively twice what the government reports.

But once an unemployed person loses their benefits the government makes believe they either have miraculously found work, or they just disappear. They don't exist, at least as far as the government is concerned.

The government also reported last week that 170,000 new jobs were created in the previous month. Another statistic, another lie. I saw exactly one report, during the Stewart Varney show on Fox Business Channel, noting that the government figure includes people who got a part-time job or were hired as day labor.

The report noted that some of these workers could have had as little as one day of employment last month but the government still reports them as fully employed. And we wonder why people don't trust the government?

The facts of the election are pretty straightforward. The country is in a downward spiral and unless Obama's Democrats can steal a huge number of votes they are going to lose. The only poll that will matter is the one at the end of the night when all the votes are counted.

By Wednesday, regardless of what is said on television or written in newspapers, we will know what the voters were really thinking. And we either will be looking forward to Mitt Romney's inauguration and be on the road to salvation, or dreading Obama's second term in which we will headed to hell in a hand basket.

On a positive note, if the latter turns out to be true and the USA does go to hell in a hand basket, we can at least be assured that we won't be alone because the nether regions will already be jam packed with the souls of pollsters and government workers whose job was to report false employment figures.
Friday, November 02, 2012

You Can't "Tweak" a Liar; Fraud in Early Voting

I'm not inclined to shout "I told you so," when I am right about something that otherwise is not believed by other people, but in this case ... well, read for yourself.

I am referring here to columns I have written going back four years noting the ease with which electronic vote counting machines can be manipulated, primarily through pre-programming the desired results so it really doesn’t matter how many people vote or for whom.

Now we find out that early voters in North Carolina, Ohio and Nevada who are choosing Mitt Romney are seeing their votes registered for Barack Obama! But elections officials and even some in the media are ho-humming the situation and acting as though voter fraud is business as usual. Well maybe they are right, but they shouldn’t be!

An Ohio elections official who must have received his information technology degree from the Fly-by-Night University of Flippancy even claimed there is no way to pre-program computers to register a vote for anyone other than the intended recipient. I guess he is the same guy who put a stake in the American space program on the belief that we never got anything worthwhile from either the research or the exploration!

Not to be outdone in the stupidity race an elections official in North Carolina said it is no big deal, machine malfunctions happen all the time and the voting machine merely need to be "tweaked."

Tweaked my rear end! Wouldn't you love to vote in that district? These are computerized voting machines and they do exactly what they are programmed to do. If these machines register votes for Obama even though people are trying to vote for Romney it is because they are wired that way and have been since before they were set up for this election.

Years ago, before I became a journalist and writer I spent nearly a decade in the electronics field, first as an avionics technician on Marine Corps helicopters, then after serving in the Marines I went back to college and earned a degree in electrical engineering. My engineering course load included computer programming, and in addition to my time in the Marines I spent a few years in the defense industry before going back to school and earning my English literature degree.

I realize that was a long time ago and when I was in the electrical engineering program I studied Fortran – Formula Translating system – which is used in engineering as opposed to COBOL COmmon Business-Oriented Language, which is used in business and finance. Both preceded Microsoft with its MS-DOS and were way before the rise of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Apple, or personal computers, but there are still some very basic concepts that haven't changed even with the advent of Artificial Intelligence.

Computers still do what humans program them to do and the claim that a machine which registers a vote for a candidate other than the one selected by the voter is just a matter of the computer being out of adjustment and needing "tweaking" is absurd. What those machines need is to be reprogrammed to do what the voters intend them to do; record each vote for the right person and nothing else.

Going back to 2008 I wrote about some of the ways that electronic voting machines can be manipulated – basically by writing code in the software that gives the desired result. It can be as simple as changing the number of votes cast to reflect a higher turnout than really occurred, or it can be what voters in Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio are experiencing – casting votes for Mitt Romney and seeing them counted for Barack Obama.

I guess it goes without saying that election officials in a precinct where voting machines are known to 'malfunction' on a regular basis, are not going to be in a big hurry to find out exactly what is wrong with those machines or correct the problem. At least, they don't want to do anything until after Election Day.

To drive this point home I'll share an anecdote from my college days. When we first started taking computer programming classes a couple of my classmates who were really, really into the new technology, sneaked into the computer lab late one afternoon and loaded their own program into the mainframe's control circuitry.

From that point on whenever someone ran a program that contained an error, the computer would stop in the middle of the run, at the time the error emerged, and print out a huge picture of a mouse lying on its side holding a sign that said "You Blew It Stupid!" All done in tiny x's by the way, since we didn't have modern graphics back then.

That was the first instance of computer hacking that I encountered, and after a bit of sputtering and red-faced indignation the professors realized that for their students to progress that rapidly they must be doing something right and no one was punished or reprimanded. But that was a college prank and this is reality; the future of our country is at stake and voter fraud should be dealt with quickly and seriously.

I have a solution for questions regarding automated voting machines and I'll repeat it for those who may not have paid attention in the past. If your district uses vote scanners in which a paper ballot is filled out and then inserted into a machine that reads and records the votes listed on them, do a test run before the polls open and again after the polls close.

I suggest filling out 600 test ballots – with SAMPLE – written across them in big bold letters so no one can mistake them for real ballots. Fill out 400 for Romney and 200 for Obama and run them through the scanners. The counter and vote tallies should register exactly the numbers on the samples and if they don't there is a problem.

It is unlikely that machines could be tampered with during the actual voting but I believe in double checking just to make sure, so a final test run after the voting is recommended.

For districts where touch screens are used, I recommend essentially the same procedure, but instead of inserting ballots into a scanner, elections officials should cast a similar number of votes for each candidate and check to see that the proper number of votes cast is recorded, as well as the proper number for each candidate.

I am recommending using a relatively large number of votes because it would pick up any anomalies in the programming that might be based on percentages rather than raw numbers.

In computer language this is called "do-loop" in which the computer is instructed to do the same task over and over until a pre-programmed result in reached; in this case simply registering the votes as they are cast. However, since coding for a "do-loop" usually includes a variable input, which results in a variable output – in this case the number of voters voting and the number of votes cast for each candidate – it also can be instructed that once it reaches a predetermined result, a "go-to" instruction can require it to do something different.

For instance, the "do loop" can register 97 votes for Romney, but after that threshold is reached it is programmed to give the next three votes cast for Romney to Obama. Once it completes the instructions in the "go to" coding, it returns to the "do loop" and starts all over. But this would mean than an extra 3 percent of the votes would go to the wrong candidate! This could not only alter the outcome of the election in a close race, but it also is outside the margin that triggers an automatic recount!

The late Soviet Union dictator and mass murderer Joseph Stalin is quoted as saying it doesn't matter how many people vote; it only matters who counts the votes. I believe we would be wise to remember this when we go to our polling places on Tuesday. The national polls, which I don't believe, say this is to be a close race.

I don't think it is going to be that close, but just to make sure, we should each take a few extra seconds to ensure that the vote we cast goes exactly where it is intended, and if it doesn't – raise holy hell and keep it up until the problem is publicized and corrected!
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Final Debate: Romney Solid, Obama … Weird

If you will excuse my sports metaphors and comparisons Mitt Romney reminded me of my beloved New York Giants football team in the final presidential debate of this election cycle Monday night, grinding it out on the ground, and sitting on the lead until the clock runs out and they win.

The key point being, they win; as in last year's Super Bowl.

Romney showed that he has a firm and wide grasp of international relations, refused to be baited into meaningless diatribes or arguments that only serve to make the participants look like buffoons, not presidential candidates, and in the end, didn’t fumble and had no turnovers. In short, he won.

President Barack Hussein Obama on the other hand spent the night mis-characterizing his record on foreign and domestic relations, as though American voters don't have a clue to what is going on and has been for the past four years. And he kept staring at Romney with the weirdest look I have ever seen on a man who is interviewing for a job.

Some in the media are calling it a "Death Stare" apparently intended to offset his performance in the first presidential debate where he hardly looked at Romney at all. Whoever is advising him on debate demeanor apparently decided that staring intently at Romney all night would make up for his failures in the previous debates.

But within five minutes of the beginning of the debate I turned to my wife and said that Obama would lose just on appearances if he kept up the freaky stare. He did. I also told her that Obama reminded me of Snoopy, the dog character in the Peanuts comic strip who sometimes sits in a tree pretending he is a vulture.

Thanks to GETTY IMAGES for the debate photo.

In the end, I believe voters' reaction to the debate will have more to do with how Obama looked than what either man said. 

Try this: tell me what you remember of the vice presidential debate. Was there some defining moment – other than the moderator trying to bail out Joe Biden – in which Biden's light shone so brightly that it carried through the post debate analysis? Or do you remember Biden constantly cackling and solidifying his credentials as the court jester?

After all the pundits have talked themselves blue and out of breath, I believe we will have a similarly enduring image of Barack Obama, a.k.a. the Vulture and, like Biden in the VP debate, it isn't pretty.

There is plenty of Monday-Morning-Quarterbacking going on in the world of punditry with people who have never run for office talking about what they would have done in Romney's place. But if you actually review the transcript of the debate you will see that Romney scored some huge points.

The best, in my opinion, came when moderator Bob Schieffer asked Romney what he would do if he got a call from Israeli officials in the middle of the night saying their bombers already were on the way to hit Iran.

Romney refused to play that game saying bluntly, "I won't get that call." That my friends, was brilliant. It also saved Obama from having to answer that question, but nonetheless, it was Romney who came up with it, on the spot, no preparation, and he scored big on it.

Romney also told Obama that he won't be dealing with Russian premier, president for life, prime minister and dictator Vladimir Putin while "looking through rose-colored glasses," and promising "more flexibility" after the election. (You may remember that Obama got caught making that promise to the Russians when he thought his mike was off.) 

When he is president, Romney said, Putin will encounter "more backbone," in America's relations with Russia.

The worst line of the night came from Obama when he blamed "failed policies" in an obvious reference to his never ending commentary on the previous president, George Bush, for "two long wars." That was just plain stupid.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were fought because we were attacked by Islamo-fascist extremists who want to defeat the United State, and in fact all of western society, and replace our laws and customs with Sharia, their laws and customs. We fought not because George Bush had bad policies, another part of the Obama mantra with which I disagree, but because we had no choice; it was fight, be enslaved, or die.

If there were failed policies that led to the September 11, 2001 attacks that slaughtered 3,000 Americans they were failures of the Clinton administration. They included leaving our Army Rangers and Delta Force personnel hanging out on a limb in Somalia in 1993 and then turning tail and running away; not taking the opportunity to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden in the late 1990's when we had the opportunities; not retaliating for the bombing of the USS Cole; and sending in the FBI instead of counter-terrorism hit squads when the American military barracks known as the Hobart Towers in Saudi Arabia were bombed.

Those were the failed policies, all during the Clinton Administration, that led to the 9-11-2001 attacks, not something that George Bush or Dick Cheney did or didn't do. That one comment from Obama showed that without question he is out of touch, or just plain delusional.

Therein I believe lies the Obama-Biden message for the final days of the campaign. Biden already is on the campaign trail pushing the mantra that America is not in decline, but in fact is ascending. He says Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan "are in denial." Obama said essentially the same thing last night about our status in the wider world.

That position is so ludicrous and so easily disprovable simply by looking around the economic and international landscapes that it seems better to let the administration hang it self with its own rope than to go on about it.

What Biden has been displaying on the campaign trail in recent days, Obama displayed in front of a national television audience. His "two long wars" comment and "vulture" stare, showed the voters everything we need to know to make an intelligent choice on Election Day.

In the final analysis, both Obama and Biden had to win all four debates by a significant margin to convince voters that somehow they can turn around their disgraceful performance of the past four years. In the first debate Obama was taken to the woodshed, and from that point on he and Biden had to resort to theatrics and assistance from moderators whose support ranged from sympathetic questions to outright collusion to break even, much less actually win.

But the voters are not stupid, and we can see the true state of the country – high unemployment, manipulation of jobless statistics, widespread media propaganda including the dissemination of false polling information, and creeping regulation that will cost us all in the long run. On foreign affairs one word can best describe our world status; chaos.

I don't care what the national media has to say about the debate; Romney won on appearances and on points scored. No amount of media propaganda can counter my impression of what I saw and heard, simply because I have faith in my own abilities to make good choices. I saw the whole debate and I know that based on my view of the world, Romney won.

Now it is time for Romney to sit on the lead and run out the clock. (Unless he can get within range of a sure field goal and add a few points to the spread.)
Monday, October 22, 2012

Debate Question: Does Obama Support Sharia Law?

The final debate of this year's presidential campaign season is scheduled for tonight with a focus on foreign affairs and the Obama Administration's foreign relations record.

The administration's changing stories on the deaths of our ambassador and three other Americans at the consulate in Benghazi Libya on Sept. 11 is sure to be a source of debate. But I have another question; does President Obama support Sharia Law?

I am no expert on the Muslim religion but I have gleaned from research on it that Sharia is a system of legal and cultural rules adhered to by devout Muslims that defines not only how they practice their religion but how they live. Many western women are adamantly opposed to Sharia because under that system they are relegated to a status that is lower than livestock, and have virtually no rights.

The recent shooting of a teenaged Afghani girl who was demonstrating in her country in favor of education for females has evoked international outrage and focused attention on Sharia and its implications for future generations. The little Afghani girl was shot by the Taliban, Muslim extremists who were part of the Islamo-fascist conspiracy that led to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and still fight us today.

Sharia imposes restrictions on women's right to be educated, work or even leave their homes unescorted. But Sharia dehumanizes females in far more insidious ways than simply requiring them to be covered from head to foot wherever they can be seen in public; it defines rape in such a way that a woman can almost never prove that she was assaulted, proscribes the approved methodology for wife beating, and even allows women to be stoned to death for crimes such as adultery.

Sharia is the preferred source of government and religious control for extremists in Libya and Egypt where Obama supported the overthrow of existing governments, as well as other Muslim countries. The chaos that now exists in that part of the world is due in part to pro-Sharia forces attempting to gain dominance.

In what Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has labeled Obama's "World Apology Tour" where he bowed to kings and emperors of foreign countries, Obama promised a new era of cooperation with the Muslim world. Does the promise of "cooperation" include the subjugation of women in addition to non-believers?

The imposition of Sharia culture on western women has been clearly demonstrated by attacks on female reporters. A correspondent for France 24 TV was “savagely attacked” near Cairo’s Tahrir Square after being seized by a crowd, the network reported Saturday. The report said that Sonia Dridi was attacked around 10:30 p.m. Friday after broadcasting on a protest at the square. She was later rescued by a colleague and others.

You also may remember that at the height of the so-called Arab Spring, supported by the Obama Administration, Lara Logan, a correspondent for CBS, was sexually assaulted and savagely beaten in Tahrir Square. She said later that she believed she was going to die.

Logan, much to her credit, has not been quiet about what happened to her and what it means for our futures. You may want to take a few minutes to see her recent commentary especially from the 3-minute mark forward.

But we don't have to go to Muslim countries to find examples of Sharia law. We have it right here in the United States in areas such as Dearborn, Michigan, where nearly half the population is now first-generation Muslims. Dearborn has been the scene of clashes between immigrant populations and local Christians, but that is not the only place where these incidents occur.

And although you won't see many reports in the mainstream media, the Internet does have plenty of evidence of "honor killings" by Sharia compliant Muslim males against female family members. These "honor killings" are seen not just as the duty, but the "right" of males to avenge the actions of women family members who attempt to westernize or disagree with the Sharia dictate that their husbands be selected for them.

The message delivered by such incidents is clear; Muslims who believe in Sharia have come to Europe and America not be absorbed in our culture and give their families a chance at a better life, but rather to impose their cultures on us. What I want to know is if Obama's efforts to impose a new era of relations with Muslims whether they be in North Africa, the Middle East, the Far East or Dearborn, Michigan, includes the imposition of Sharia law over state laws and the US Constitution?

Tonight's debate will be moderated by CBS anchor Bob Schieffer and hopefully he will not repeat the debacle caused by Monica – sorry – Candy Crowley who claimed to be the "moderator" in the last presidential debate.

Crowley, who clearly sided with Obama and even lied to the national television audience that was watching, should be aware that she is now to the Obama regime what Monica Lewinsky is to Bill Clinton … without the cigar. Perhaps Schieffer is more cognizant of his legacy and therefore will be more objective.

Politics aside the debates and those involved in them have an obligation to America and the rest of the western world, particularly women, to fully explore these questions. Obama can pull a Joe Biden and laugh it off or Schieffer can pull a Crowley and try to shield Obama from himself.

But the question still remains. Does President Obama support Sharia law? Yes or no is the only answer I want to hear. Anything else is insufficient.
Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bridgeport: The Fix is In … Again!

The comic strip Doonesbury once included a panel that contained the phrase – "It was like spending a night in Bridgeport, only worse."

The strip's creator, Garry Trudeau is a graduate of Yale University - a short trip east on Interstate 95 from the city of Bridgeport - so presumably he knew what he was talking about.

Bridgeport as a city and political entity has long been an easy target for comedians. But in addition to being the butt of jokes, Bridgeport made serious national headlines two years ago when allegations of gross election improprieties – including "discovery" of bags of previously uncounted ballots after the polls were long closed - led to the alleged election of Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy.

Bridgeport’s vote totals weren't available until three days after Election Day, and surprise, surprise they provided just enough of a margin to ensure that Malloy was elected – even though the majority of the rest of the state went for GOP candidate Tom Foley – and that the total was outside the legal margin to require an automatic recount.

Now Bridgeport is back in the news, and once again not in a good way. Last Friday, according to a release from the US Senate campaign of Linda McMahon, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch was caught on camera laughing while assuring McMahon's opponent, Democrat Congressman Chris Murphy that he will receive a “big turnout in Bridgeport.”

But that wasn't enough, Finch went on to joke to Murphy and a gaggle of tittering followers that “We may come in a couple days late; (but) you can be guaranteed you’re gonna get the vote.” You can watch it here and see the reaction from Murphy and Finch's followers yourself.

This video is disturbing on a number of fronts. First, they obviously are mocking and as far as I can see, validating, Bridgeport's reputation as the Chicago of the East.

Bridgeport is the city where there are more votes cast than there are voters, where the dead rise up and travel to the polls not on Halloween Night but on Election Day, and where the final count will come in days after the election when the exact number needed to sway the election is known.

This may be funny to political insiders, but to me it is no joke. And it shouldn't be a joke to the people who live and work in Bridgeport either.

If this is what we see on the surface we can only imagine what goes on under the covers. Are the city's schools up to par, are the streets in good repair, do the sewer and water departments provide the services the taxpayers deserve, is the police department above reproach? If not, you can see for yourself where the problem begins.

I realize that there are many political insiders who blame the Bridgeport debacle two years ago squarely on the party. The voter registration disparity between Republicans and Democrats is huge, and GOP candidates rarely campaign in Bridgeport unless they are running for a city office. But the video nonetheless gives us an unvarnished look at Murphy and his campaign to be a US Senator; as his opponent calls it a "promotion" from his current job as a US Congressman.

Any serious candidate knows better than to be caught in public – or private – mocking the wisdom of the voters or the integrity of the system. Yet here he is, surrounded by staff and supporters, laughing about the very real possibility of stealing the election.

McMahon's campaign forwarded the video to former Republican State Party Chairman Herbert Shepardson and he in turn sent a strongly worded letter to both Murphy and Finch. Whether that will have any impact on politics in Bridgeport is debatable but at least the issue is out in the open – on the Internet. I haven't seen anything about it in local news reports but that doesn't exactly surprise me.

We have a serious election facing us, statewide and nationally, and even the hint of voter fraud should raise the ire of voters and the media as well as state and national election watchdog agencies. Where is the outrage?

McMahon's campaign released a commercial this week showing Murphy as "a funny guy," who voted against defense funding in a state that relies to a huge degree on the defense industry, but then puts a photo of a Norwegian submarine in his campaign communications.

McMahon has a good point, especially since we already have one comedian in the US Senate, Al Franken, Democratic U.S. Senator from Minnesota and judging from the sparse news we get on that guy, his election – in a hotly disputed vote by the way – was not the best thing to come out of Minnesota. One comedian in the Senate is too many; we don't need another.
What we have here is an issue of character. Murphy's campaign ads show him as a sincere, middle-class family man, with wife and kiddies by his side. But that is not what we see when we get an unscripted and unedited up close view of him in an unguarded moment.

When you peel back the layers of protection he gets from campaign staff and a media that spends all its time looking the other way, you see that he might be a character – and not a likeable one at that. But we don't need a Senator who is a character; we need a Senator who has character. It seems Murphy is sorely lacking in that department.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Romney = The Champ; Obama = Bum O'the Month

You wouldn’t know it from scanning the news today but Mitt Romney took on Barack Obama and Candy Crowley simultaneously in the second presidential debate Tuesday night, and even though Obama pulled a Biden, Romney put a smackdown on his tormentors.

Romney did this despite obvious collusion between the moderator and the Obama camp, both in the types of questions posed to Obama and Crowley's insistence throughout the "debate" that Romney be shut down every time he was scoring points. When these circuses are over, the majority of voters likely will remember best the unceasing efforts by the media to rescue Obama from his own mendacity.

Obama needed to come out looking presidential, after looking like a joke in the last debate. Instead, he alternatively looked petulant or overly aggressive this time, seemed about to nod off on his stool on occasion, interrupted repeatedly, retreated when Romney pressed him, and relied heavily on intervention from Crowley – a propagandist who works for the Communist News Network CNN – to bail him out of tight spots.

Crowley was supposed to be the moderator but it was later disclosed that she screened the questions beforehand, and selected those that would be asked to both candidates. She even involved herself in a blatant effort to rescue Obama from his own foreign relations failures, when Romney was hammering him on the issue of security in Benghazi, Libya.

Romney nailed Obama repeatedly on the failures of his administration while Obama resorted to inaccurate caricatures, warmed over campaign rhetoric, and I can't say it often enough, intervention from Crowley.

Romney for instance, went straight to the president's space when Obama claimed that Romney was lying about Obama's restrictions on oil exploration and production on federal lands and off shore. When Romney quoted the percentage of reductions in oil and gas production Obama shouted "That's not true!"

So Romney questioned what exactly were the right numbers according to the Book of Obama. Instead of answering Obama retreated to rhetoric and tried to change the subject, until Crowley intervened.

That marked the second time this week that Obama hid behind a woman, the first being when Hillary Clinton took full responsibility for the deaths in Benghazi which everyone except Obama groupies took with a grain of salt.

Romney also nailed Obama when Obama brought up the investments Romney's blind trust makes for him, asking Obama if he had looked at the investments made by his own pension fund. Obama for the umpteenth time in the evening, tried to portray Romney as the detached rich guy while Obama is the working class hero - what a joke - but Romney who obviously has looked at Obama's pension more than Obama has, noted that its investments are eerily similar to those made by Romney's blind trust.

But the really big issues where Crowley jumped up to shield Obama from the harsh glare of reality and truth involved gun control and the Libyan debacle.

When a teen in the audience asked Obama what he was going to do to rid the streets of AK-47 rifles Obama gave her the standard gun control rhetoric; but Romney tied the question directly to the Fast and furious scandal. For those who watch network news and don't know what Fast and Furious is all about, it was a program hatched by Obama and his advisers in November 2009 in which they forced firearms dealers along the border with Mexico to illegally sell guns including AK-47s to people representing Mexican drug cartels.

The guns were then transported unimpeded across the border and used against police, civilians, and the drug cartels' competitors. But they also were used to kill a US border agent which led to a Congressional investigation, a finding of contempt of Congress against Obama's Atty. General and Obama invoking executive privilege to prevent Congress from getting any documents that could tie him to the operation.

Crowley, as expected, interrupted Romney and changed the subject, telling Romney at one point "I understand the stakes here. I understand both of you. But I - I will get run out of town if I don't..."

But the final indignity of the evening came when Romney correctly pointed out that Obama didn't call the Sept. 11 attacks on the Benghazi consulate a terrorist incident until weeks later. Romney noted that, instead, Obama and his minions including UN Ambassador Susan Rice repeatedly claimed that the murders resulted from a spontaneous uprising of Muslims who didn't like a critical YouTube video.

Obama, obviously very thin-skinned about the issue and the ongoing cover-up associated with it, interrupted claiming that he said it was a terrorist attack in a 5 minute and 35 second address to the media in the White House Rose Garden on Sept. 12, just before he left to party in Las Vegas with high rolling donors.

Crowley also interjected herself into the debate, telling the audience that Obama was correct, according to the transcript of Rose Garden remarks.

She wasn't accurate at all – the word terror was used in a very general sense at the end of that address but Obama never called the murders the result of terrorists. Here, read it for yourself: As Americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases, lay down their lives for it.  Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe. No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. 

Yes, the word terror was used at the end of his address, but he did not call the murders in Benghazi a terrorist act then, or for weeks afterward, and in fact went out of  his way to play down that issue and instead blame the obscure anti-Islam video. But I have a larger question than the issue of semantics regarding the Benghazi murders.

Why, of all the things a president says on any given day, all the speeches, off-the-cuff remarks, news releases, and official statements, did Candy Crowley have a transcript of one five minute and 35 second appearance in the Rose Garden? How is it that the moderator of last night's circus had access to just that transcript and how is it that she felt obligated to jump into the fray and lie for the president?

If Obama did one thing right last night it was when he emerged from behind Hillary Clinton's skirts – and Crowley's too – and said he is responsible for the travesty in Libya. Fine, now that we have that settled, let's talk about what Obama also said about Libya: And the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the Secretary of State, our U.N. Ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we've lost four of our own, governor, is offensive.

He stared at Romney as he said that, also referring to being at Andrews Air Force base when the bodies of four Americans were returned home for burial.

What I think is offensive is that our people came home in coffins rather than under their own power after repeated requests were made for beefed up security – and denied – following a series of attacks on US property overseas this summer that received scant media coverage.

I think that if Obama hadn't been such a complete failure across the spectrum of responsibilities as president, those four Americans would not have come home in flag draped coffins that Obama used as a backdrop for his political campaign.

And the picture of those coffins, along with the litany of falsehoods and misinformation that are the hallmarks of the Obama administration, are all the evidence we need that Obama should not spend one second as the president beyond his first term.


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