POLITICS: Two Indespensable Men

Joe Lieberman remains one of the last of his kind. They’re called statesmen, politicians who always put the interests of American before the interests of their party. John McCain is certainly one and I’m not unsure that it won’t be Lindsey Graham who carries the torch for the GOP when McCain eventually departs. Sadly there aren’t any Senate Democrats like this – especially with the pending retirement of Evan Byah.

While the Independent Lieberman caucuses and mostly votes with the liberal wing of the Senate Democrats, his statement yesterday regarding the 99-0 passage of sanctions against Iran may prove to be a game changer:

While we hope that our combined sanctions will change the calculus of the Iranian regime, we must also recognize that every day that passes brings Iran closer to the point of nuclear no return. Ultimately, we must do whatever is necessary to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability—through peaceful and diplomatic means if we possibly can, but through military force if we absolutely must

Its doubtful that anyone in the Obama administration or the Democrat Senate will to disagree with Lieberman’s statement. None have that kind of clout anymore. The Connecticut Senator’s simple phrase about using military force to deal with the Iranians serves as the conscience of purpose.

Fate would have it that a Rolling Stone reporter would lead to the return of a man who’s credibility parallels that of Lieberman. Democrat’s including a would-be presidential candidate and current Secretary of State in Hillary Clinton mocked General David Petraeus during his successful military campaign that ended the Iraq War. Democrat’s no longer mock him as they know they dare not.

It may very well turn out that Patraeus rescues Obama’s presidency by winning in Afghanistan. Petraeus’s return likely put an end to the arbitrary July 2011 withdrawl date that Obama implemented to appease his base. Petraeus’ reputation gives Obama the cover he needs when the former indicates that the time table is unfeasible.

The Taliban slept less soundly knowing that Petraeus is taking command. Any flaws there were in McChrystal’s tactics will be changed. There will be new rules of engagement and the Taliban know it.

As Leiberman has counseled the President, it might be time to reconsider his civilian team in Afghanistan. Whether or not Obama chooses to make changes, Petraeus is the new sheriff in town. Statesmen like Leiberman will maintain the political leverege in favor of the mission in Washington.

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This post was written by bobsikes on June 25, 2010

FLORIDA #2: Willie Meggs says no prosecution in Boyd-Lawson flap

You really didn’t think Willie Meggs would be prosecuting any Democrats did you?

At any rate, the Boyd campaign disagrees with Meggs:

“The facts are that Sen. Lawson has already admitted to taking property that was not his, and only returned the property at the request of the Tallahassee Police Department three days later,” said Boyd campaign manager J.R. Starrett. “The video camera that he aggressively took out of the hands of one of our staffers was damaged beyond repair.”

He said Lawson owes Mason an apology but “we are ready to move on.”

The camera was damaged, so Lawson’s staff said an identical model was bought and, because the congressman had left the parade, given to Boyd’s son David later Saturday. The original camcorder resurfaced and Lawson’s campaign posted a 30-second clip of the confrontation on YouTube.

The YouTube video is further evidence that Boyd intends to get his opponent on camera:

Lawson is heard in the clip, asking Mason who he works for and why he was at his offices.

“I’m here because I was told to be here,” Mason replies.

“Well, you’re not supposed to be at a campaign headquarters. I’m not at y’all’s; you shouldn’t be at mine,” Lawson says in the video.

An unseen aide apparently tries to coax Lawson away, saying, “Well, senator, come on, let’s go.”

“Naw, naw, naw,” Lawson says. “I just want to tell you … you get in a lot of trouble like that. I’m just telling, you’re a young man and I know you are getting paid by them, but they need to stop filming on campaign headquarters. And you’re filming me right now? Right?”

The Lawson aide intercedes again, “Senator…” and Mason is heard to say, “Yes, sir.”

“Well, take it out. Take it out right now. I didn’t ask you to film me,” Lawson says, apparently reaching for the camcorder.

The clip ends with Mason saying, “Sir, can you let go?”

Here’s more on the amount of campaign cash available to the candidates.

Posted under FLORIDA #2, Uncategorized

This post was written by bobsikes on June 23, 2010

OBAMA WATCH: Why McChrystal flap may be Obama’s fault and why it has provided him an opportunity

Jackson Diehl:

The real trouble is that Obama never resolved the dispute within his administration over Afghanistan strategy. With the backing of Gates and the Pentagon’s top generals, McChrystal sought to apply to Afghanistan the counterinsurgency approach that succeeded over the last three years in Iraq, an option requiring the deployment of tens of thousands more troops. Biden opposed sending most of the reinforcements and argued for a “counterterrorism plus” strategy centered on preventing al-Qaeda from establishing another refuge.

In the end, Obama adopted what is beginning to look like a bad compromise. He approved most of the additional troops that McChrystal sought, but attached the July, 2011 deadline for beginning withdrawals. Since then both sides have been arguing their cases, in private and in public, to the press and to members of Congress.

McChrystal may be at fault for expressing his frustrations to Rolling Stone. He is not at fault for the lack of coherence in the Afghan campaign or the continued feuding over strategy. That is Obama’s responsibility.

As it appears that it was McChrystal’s aides who provided the condemning background for the article, he shouldn’t be fired nor should he resign his commission. While it’s appropriate for the Commander in Cheif to call McChrystal on the carpet, President Obama should use this as an opportunity to end divisions within his administration.

After the dressing down, Obama should have a frank converstaion with his general about the mission. He needs to know what General McChrystal real views are. It is time for the President to side with the mission and not to continue to appease his base. Anything less than this will be a failure of leadership.

UPDATE: Lets not forget how the media loved military criticism of President Bush

Posted under OBAMA WATCH, Uncategorized

This post was written by bobsikes on June 22, 2010

OBAMA WATCH: Federal judge blocks Obama moratorium on drilling

Thank goodness.

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This post was written by bobsikes on June 22, 2010

The McChrystal hubub

From Jonathan Tobin:

“What on earth was McChrystal thinking, one wonders, when he decided to grant so much access to an anti-war reporter from an anti-war magazine? Michael Hastings’s animus against the war effort shines through every inch of his article. His conclusion is that “winning” in Afghanistan “is not really possible. Not even with Stanley McChrystal in charge.” Along the way he brands the counterinsurgency strategy that McChrystal is implementing “a controversial strategy” that is advocated only by “COINdiniastas” notorious for their “their cultish zeal.” When he quotes outside experts in the article, all of them express disparaging views about the prospects of success.”

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This post was written by bobsikes on June 22, 2010

Bob Sikes is on Facebook and Twitter

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Trying to get more hits again.

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This post was written by bobsikes on June 22, 2010

FLORIDA #2: Al Lawson running to the left of Allen Boyd

It should come as no surprise. Both candidates know the Dem primary will be won in Tallahassee. Here’s something from Lawson’s Facebook page that’s revealing:

We had a great day at the Watermelon Festival in Monticello. Our campaign had over a dozen volunteers in full force while our opponent Blue Dog Boyd had no volunteers even though it’s his home town. The momentum is on our side!

Lawson’s “Blue Dog Boyd” is clearly meant to be contemptuous. He’s obviously not worried about offending any moderate or conservative Democrats and knows that such taunts motivate his base. Maybe Lawson believes that traditional Blue Dog Dems won’t be voting in the primary and will likely vote for the GOP candidate or Independent Paul McKain in November. If he prevails over Boyd, he’ll move quickly to the center and remake himself as a moderate by emphasizing his record as a state legislator.

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This post was written by bobsikes on June 21, 2010

DEMOCRAT TAKEDOWN: Apologizing for Obama

Canadian author David Solway looks at what it will take the next American president to make it up to our allies:

He (or she) will need to apologize to Honduras for Obama’s backing of mini-Chavez, would-be dictator Manuel Zelaya who attempted to steal a country. He (or she) will need to apologize to Poland and the Czech Republic for Obama’s broken promises and his crude mishandling of the anti-missile program. He (or she) will need to ask forgiveness from the Iranian people whom Obama abandoned in the midst of their bloody uprising against a repressive and violent regime. He (or she) will need to soothe the ruffled feelings of the British electorate for having insulted their prime minister with the meager gift of unplayable CDs and for returning the bust of Winston Churchill. And he (or she) will need to make amends to Israel for Obama’s inexcusable conduct toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and for putting all the onus for the success of the so-called “peace talks,” whether “proximity” or “direct,” — or the blame for their failure — on the Jewish state while giving the Palestinians every benefit of the doubt and pandering to their insatiable demands.

This will be no easy task as the abjection of apology does not befit a great and admirable nation, but Obama has left his successor no choice but to apologize, both for his orgy of apologies to America’s enemies and competitors and for his churlish betrayal of America’s allies and friends.

We’ve never seen a President who’s world view is so detached, so seperate from out nation’s interests. Obama’s foreign policy pleases the Jeremiah Wright’s, Edward Said’s and Bill Ayers of the world. Many in his own party must be appaled. It’s hard to imagine any other Democrat candidate would have advanced similar agendas. We’d better hope that aplologies are all that will be needed.

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This post was written by bobsikes on June 19, 2010

OBAMA WATCH: Courting Hezbollah moderates?

The Obama administration runs frequenty to the left of the most liberal of his own party. He’s been silent on confronting Turkey about their sudden ties to Iran and Hamas, criticism that’s coming from both sides of the aisle:

Leading members of Congress have expressed concern that Turkey was drifting away from the United States and NATO and toward such adversaries as Iran and Syria, Middle East Newsline reported. They said Obama, regarded as close to Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, has refused to take a position regarding Turkey’s alliance with Iran and Hamas as well as Ankara’s hostility toward Israel.
“We can not allow these same old tactics to prevent us from taking the right position,” Rep. Frank Pallone, a New Jersey Democrat, said.

The concern in Congress has been bipartisan. Leading Republicans said Turkey’s hostility toward Israel raised questions regarding whether Congress should continue to support Turkey, a leading client of U.S. combat platforms such as the F-16 multi-role fighter.

In a letter to Obama in June, Pallone cited Ankara’s decision to organize a flotilla to break the Israeli and Egyptian siege on the Gaza Strip. The representative said Turkey, in wake of the bloody Israeli interception of the flotilla, has resorted to threats against Israel and formed an alliance with forces that threaten the West.

“Rather than engaging in an open dialogue, Turkey has chosen to recall their ambassador from Israel and disrupt diplomatic relations,” Pallone said in the letter. “Turkey has chosen to ignore the facts and force its own view of events through threat.”

Some of the representatives, including Pallone, demanded that Obama condemn Turkey’s IHH, the Islamist organizer of the flotilla. IHH has been linked to Al Qaida and Hamas and was said to have recruited scores of fighters to resist the Israel Navy. Nine people, eight of them Turks, were killed in the Israeli seizure of the Turkish-flagged Hava Marmara on May 31.

“I also ask that you condemn Turkey’s reaction to the incident involving the flotilla,” Pallone said.

Obama is not likely to do that.

His counterterrorism advisor, John Brennan says that “Hezbollah is not purely a terrorist organization“. Rep. Pete Hoekstra believes that it is Brennan whom encouraged the Turks to foster a relationship with Hezbollah in the first place.

Mr. Hoekstra added: “I think people will start looking at Turkey differently because the Obama administration is providing latitude for Turkey to do things differently. Israel ought to be really worried about this. I think you are going to find members of Congress worried about this. … I don’t think it’s an anti-U.S. strategy. I think Turkey believes, watching Obama, this is not necessarily inconsistent with the Obama administration.”

I doubt there’s little support among the Democrat caucus for seeing Hezbollah as moderate.

War in the Middle East this summer after Obama’s Hezbollah outreach program will prove to be an embarassment of monumental proportions for Democrats. If the Brennan gambit turns into a Turkey-Iran-Hezbollah flotilla to Gaza, we’ll have just that.

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This post was written by bobsikes on June 19, 2010

Democrat Alan Dershowitz endorses a Republican in Illinois congressional race

Richard Baehr is the cheif political correspondant for the American Thinker and provides this commentary regarding Professor Dershowitz’ endorsement:

Dershowitz was a supporter of Barack Obama in 2008, but he made clear in his remarks that Obama’s policies with regard to Israel, and to the projection of American power abroad, were worrying him. He attacked the President’s attachment to international organizations that are virulently anti-Israel, and often anti-Semitic. He cautioned that there was no substitute in the West for American leadership, and argued that America should stand with Israel, as it has for decades.

Dershowitz’s biggest concern about Obama centered on Iran’s nuclear program, and his fear that the US would stand aside, and allow Iran to become a nuclear power. He argued that a containment strategy designed to deter Iran after it became a nuclear power, would not work — that a regime such as Iran’s was fundamentally different from those the United States confronted in the Cold War, opponents who behaved rationally, and wanted to avoid a nuclear war.

Dershowitz said the Iran issue was the single most important issue for which Obama will be judged. If Iran succeeded in becoming a nuclear power, then Obama would be a colossal failure, regardless of any other achievements. Dershowitz hinted that in the future, he would be more open to supporting Republicans, particularly in races, where the Democratic nominees were so far out in left field that they were unable to understand or appreciate any of the strategic realities he had discussed.

Dershowitz endorsed Joel Pollack to run against someone “so far out in left field,” in Jan Schakowsky.

Pollak is running against Jan Schakowsky, who has been closely connected to the Chicago and Illinois Democratic machine for her entire political career , whose voting record makes her one of the most left wing members of Congress, and who has willingly served as the queen bee of J-Street, the new group formed to give political cover to Barack Obama among liberal Jews as he pounds away at Israel. J-Street is a group that professes to be pro-Israel, and pro-peace, but a close look at its public pronouncements during its brief two year history makes clear that its modus operandi has been to regularly attack the policies of the Israeli government, and back any and all pressure directed at Israel by the Obama administration

So two key Jewish Democrat political figures have come out in clear opposition to their own party. Ed Koch long ago stopped drinking the Obama kool-aid. There is some anecdotal evidence that American Jewry is beginning to change. Dershowitz’ endorsement signals a sort of moral and mental ok for Jewish voters to vote contarty to the way they have been.

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This post was written by bobsikes on June 18, 2010