Tuesday, July 31, 2012

T for Texas, T for Tea Party, T for Ted, T for Triumph!

More proof to the rest of America that the Tea Party is thriving: Ted Cruz, who had the enthusiastic backing of this patriotic movement, defeated establishment Republican candidate David Dewhurst in today's GOP runoff election in Texas.

He's a heavy favorite to win the general election this fall.

T for Texas, T for Tea Party, T for Ted, T for Triumph!

The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama was one of Cruz' most ardent supporters. Click here to contribute to this effective group.

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(Video) Carney asked if Obama is responsible for DC dysfunction

Earlier today at the daily White House press briefing, Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked if he the president is responsible for the dysfunction in Washington.

Did directly answer the question? Of course not.

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Review: The Twilight War: The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran

Timeliness is key in publishing and David Crist's The Twilight War: The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran is out at the right time.

With Iran hurrying towards becoming a nuclear power, open conflict, whether it's Israel or the United States attacking the Persian state, seems likely. How did we get here? Federal government historian David Crist, who spent ten years writing this volume, explains

Iran has been a headache for every US president since Jimmy Carter. It arguably ended his presidency and the Iran-Contra scandal was the biggest blemish of the Reagan administration.

Naïveté, unfortunately still dominates America's Iranian policy. Carter's indecisiveness hastened the fall of the Shah. Reagan inherited a CIA that viewed the Iranian faceoff and Tehran's perfidies in places such as Lebanon as proxy struggles of the Cold War.

Crist largely praises President Obama's approach with Iran. However, I have to point out that Obama could have rallied the 2009 Green Revolution protesters with one of his great speeches. But as we've learned, Obama prefers to utilize his rhetorical flourishes for situations when he knows he's going to win--or when he's raising money. Supporters of Democratic governor Tom Barrett shook their heads when Obama flew over Wisconsin between some Minnesota and Illinois campaign fundraisers four days before the Scott Walker recall election . Barrett, however, did get a show of support from a Tweet the day before the election, which is more than the Iranian protesters got from Obama.

Crist superbly recounts the brutality of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War. For instance, after the Iranians advanced into a march near Basra, the Iraqis electrocuted hundreds of enemy soldiers. Their bodies were later used to build roads.

My lesson from the Twilight War is that our national security apparatus needs to be on guard for the unexpected. With few Middle Eastern experts in senior positions within our intelligence community in the 1970s--our Iranian missteps, which continue to this day, are the predictable outcome.

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Illnois corruption 7/30/12: 19 month long worker's comp investigation yields nothing so far

What is significant about 19 months?

From the Belleville News-Democrat:
That's how long the Illinois Department of Insurance fraud unit, aided by a Springfield law firm paid $177,000 so far by taxpayers, has been investigating millions of dollars in workers' compensation lump-sum partial-disability payments awarded to hundreds of guards from a single Illinois prison over a three-year span. Nearly all of these claimants cashed tax-free lump sum checks typically ranging from $20,000 to $80,000 and returned to work full-time.
The paper reminds us that the Penn State sex-abuse scandal investigation took just eight months to finish, the Warren investigation of the John F. Kennedy assassination was completed in just in 10 months, and the Senate Watergate investigation ended after 14 months.

More from the News-Democrat:
A spokeswoman for Gov. Pat Quinn said Friday that the probe, which began in early January 2011, "continues to be a top priority."

However, state officials will not discuss details other than payments to the law firm -- Sorling, Northrup, Hanna, Cullen & Cochran, Ltd. -- which is paid $175 per hour for this work. There is no new contract on file for the firm for the 2013 fiscal year, according to state comptroller's office records.

Because of the time the investigation has taken so far, State Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon, said he remains skeptical that it will produce results. Kay pushed for reform of the state's workers' compensation law after an ongoing series of investigative articles in the Belleville News-Democrat, which began in December 2010, concerning claims by guards from the Menard Correctional Center.
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Prairie blazingstar in Morton Grove

Morton Grove's restored tallgrass prairie is bursting with prairie blazingstars.

I photographed these purple beauties on Saturday afternoon.

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Adobe Premiere & Photoshop Elements 10 65136988

New book: Valerie Jarrett talked Obama out of Bin Laden raid three times

It's tragic four our country that our president is taking advice from a Chicago slumlord. From the Daily Caller story I referred to yesterday:
At the urging of Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions before finally approving the May 2, 2011 Navy SEAL mission, according to an explosive new book scheduled for release August 21. The Daily Caller has seen a portion of the chapter in which the stunning revelation appears.

In "Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him," Richard Miniter writes that Obama canceled the "kill" mission in January 2011, again in February, and a third time in March. Obama's close adviser Valerie Jarrett persuaded him to hold off each time, according to the book.

Miniter, a two-time New York Times best-selling author, cites an unnamed source with Joint Special Operations Command who had direct knowledge of the operation and its planning.

Obama administration officials also said after the raid that the president had delayed giving the order to kill the arch-terrorist the day before the operation was carried out, in what turned out to be his fourth moment of indecision. At the time, the White House blamed the delay on unfavorable weather conditions near bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
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New Romney ad: "The Right Kind of Leadership"

Here's another powerful Mitt Romney ad--one that contrasts President Obama's view of his record on the economy, claiming that his Keynesian throwback economic plan "worked."

It didn't.

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Romney 2012 yard sign