Maryland US Senate candidate Dan Bongino says what we're all thinking - the Obama administration's statement on Libya are either lies or a vast show of incompotence. Here's the quote:
'The Administration's continuing claims that the Libyan protests, which resulted in the horrific deaths of four Americans along with our Ambassador, were the result of unpredictable, spontaneous protest activity are either intentionally deceptive or demonstrate complete incompetence.
Having spent over a decade reviewing threat assessments from all over the world, it is hard to believe that given the amount of information Libyan officials claim to have passed to the U.S. government regarding the active terrorist threat to our personnel on the ground, that the Administration sincerely believes this deadly assault to be spontaneous. There are only two potential answers, either the threat to our personnel was ignored due to incompetence or political concerns regarding the approaching election influenced the allocation of security forces to the region. I am calling upon the State Department to immediately release any information related to the threat assessment which led to the sub-standard and deadly security footprint in Benghazi.
Additionally, Bongino was interviewed by Ginni Thomas of the Daily Caller. You can check it out here or watch the interview below:
As I promised others last week, I'm going to try to make this a weekly occurrence. Here's some quick, bulleted items that I think should be on your radar from Maryland to a galaxy far, far away.
- Mandatory delivery of white pages to people's homes in Maryland seems to be going the way of the dodo. The State Senate just passed a bill ending the requirement. My State Senator, the 76 year old Norm Stone (D) voted against it. This won't impact delivery of the yellow pages to people's homes, so it's only a small step in the right direction. Mandatory requirements like this are silly, especially with widespread access to the internet / libraries who will have said information.
- The Maryland State Senate also looked to ease some restrictions on minority owned business requirements in State contracting. How much easing? Well, there are no longer hard and fast numbers for how many women owned or black owned businesses need to received contracts with the state. While I feel this is a step in the right direction, I honestly don't think we need any rules requiring a specific number of minority owned businesses for state contracting. Let the bidding begin with whatever business is most capable of doing the job - period.
- With all the most important issues already dealt with, the Maryland legislature has been pushing through new laws which would allow people to bring their pets to outdoor dining locations. I mean, really? This is more pressing then finding ways to close our budget gap? Or...frankly anything whatsoever? Seriously.
- When asked in a recent trip to Iowa whether he was thinking about running for President in 2012 what did John Bolton say? "Well, I'm here?" It's a big, potential step towards a run even showing up at a meet and greet like that for a man who's never ran for public office before. While I think that's fascinating, I still say he should run for US Senate in Maryland.
- Check out this editorial on Libya by the far more articulate than me, Brian Griffiths of Red Maryland. It does a great job of laying out the major concerns with the situation.
- Speaking of editorials, check out this one by RightKlik on Obamacare and..."Weiner Waivers."
- Our local, Christian radio station - 95.1 Shine FM - is having their annual fundraiser. Check it out and if you're in the Baltimore area...or even if you're not, consider throwing them a few dollars.
- If you're like me, you're a big dork who has fallen in love with Star Wars: Clone Wars (Fridays on Cartoon Network). This Friday is the season finale. Lightsaber Rattling has two, spoiler free reviews of the two part finale. Bottom Line: My son and I will be enjoying some awesome, Clone Wars era, Chewbacca action in the finale. I look forward to it!
- Speaking of Star Wars - these polygonal images of Star Wars characters are a site to behold. Very well crafted.
- Artist James Hance has created what looks to be a masterpiece - mashing Star Wars and A.A. Milne's classic Pooh stories into a book he calls, "Wookie the Chew: The House at Chew Corner." The artwork is spot on, looking much like what you saw in Milne's classic. Definitely worth checking out.
Feel free to leave suggested links for items that you find interesting in the comments on national / local politics or on items you find fascinating; and of course, comments on the links are encouraged.
Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton has a new editorial on the situation in Libya, outlining four mistakes that he feels the President must not make for it to be successful. Here's an excerpt from the article:
First, do not wait until it’s almost too late. Had America intervened in the opening days of Libya’s conflict, such a prompt and decisive move could have tipped the balance in the opposition’s favor. By thus demonstrating to Qaddafi’s loyalists he had no hope of retaining power, we might have ended his regime with far less risk of casualties and protracted engagement than we face today. Instead, by dithering for a month on whether to use force, Obama raised both the risks and the grave consequences of failure or stalemate.
Second, do not embrace confused and imprecise mission objectives. Obama, his key advisers, and our coalition partners are at sea on whether overthrowing Qaddafi is our ultimate objective. That should be the goal, and we should not hesitate to say so.
Obama confuses things when he says Qaddafi’s departure is a “political” but not a military objective, thus highlighting the glaring disjunction in his strategic thinking. Obama also said that “the writ of the international community must be enforced. That is the cause of this coalition.” What does that really mean?
Obama’s stated objective of “protecting innocent civilians within Libya” is actually more ambiguous than flatly endorsing regime change. As Washington has emphasized for weeks, the most acute threat to Libya’s people is precisely Muammar Qaddafi. How can the civilians be protected while allowing him to remain in power in any part of Libya? Moreover, on Friday, Obama demanded unconditionally that Qaddafi withdraw from three Libyan cities he already controls or where he is engaged. If Qaddafi fails to withdraw, but otherwise observes a cease fire, is Obama really prepared to continue using military force to drive Qaddafi from these cities? And why those cities and not others where Qaddafi has used military force indiscriminately?
Check out the entire article. Worth a read.
Cross-posted to Race42012
Stealing a gimmick from Jimmie at the Sundries Shack, I'm going to go through a little group of links to clear my browser tab and provide you with some quick comments on the news that you need to know about. Why do I say this? Because I think it's important or interesting. So, here we go.
- The Maryland GOP has their own version of March Madness...focusing on the excessive taxes proposed by our State Legislature. They're down to the Final Four, vote for which tax proposed by the Democratic General Assembly Majority members are the most restrictive on the people.
- Governor Martin O'Malley (D-MD) wants to raise hospital taxes. The Republican Senate Minority (11 strong) say, "Nope, that may be illegal." They are calling for an investigation by the Federal Dept of Health and Human Services into the legality of this proposed hospital tax which is being proposed to help pay for Medicaid for the uninsured.
- In a move that surprises me, Russian President Medvedev has gone on offense against PM Vladimir Putin for comments he made about actions in Libya. Moves like this, which are more common than people realize, make me think that Medvedev is not the puppet that I think Putin was hoping for in a President.
- The Senate Conservatives Fund has an excellent interactive map about the upcoming US Senate election listing the incumbents and all current candidates. Check it out here.
- In NY-26 news, the Democrats have announced their candidate - Eerie County Clerk Kathy Hochul. I wrote up some commentary on that selection and the race itself over the weekend which you can check out here. Bottom Line: Hochul will be a difficult candidate and while she's not a terrible Clerk, it's hard to translate that into how she'll be in Congress.
- How quickly things change. Years ago, the French were adamantly against war in Iraq, now? Sarkozy is one of the leaders in terms of military action in Libya. Politico has an editorial entitled..."Sarkozy's War." Honestly, I'm still not sure what to think about Libya.
- In Star Wars related news...Lightsaber Rattling has a great interview with Star Wars Expanded Universe author Paul Kemp. Kemp's new book, Deceived just came out today. As I just began reading Heir to the Empire recently, it will be a while before I get to that. Though, if you have an eReader and enjoy Star Wars fiction, check out the Lost Tribe of the Sith series. Why? Because they're excellent and free. Also, if you have quite a bit of money to spend - check out this Han Solo in Carbonite Desk. It's awesome.
I'm not going to criticize the President for deciding to take military action regarding Libya. I will not pretend to understand all the factors involved in that decision making process. I supported and still do support the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, so I will not merely oppose efforts to depose a dictator and assist those seeking freedom from a madman merely because I generally disagree with the President.
All that said, where is the anti-war left? Where are the protests in the street and active opposition to Obama's use of force in Libya? Much like Iraq, Libya may or may not pose a threat to us in the United States. Yet, he's taking military action in this nation. Again, not that I will criticize the President for his actions. I do not feel it appropriate to make military policy a partisan campaign issue. I just find it interesting that the vocal anti-war left has been silent thus far on the President. Were Bush to do this same thing, Dennis Kucinich among others would be calling for him to be impeached. When it's the President from their party doing this same thing? Silence. Fascinating.
EDIT 3/21/2011 12:34 PM Apparently Dennis Kucinich is consistent in his calling for impeachments, says Obama's actions are an impeachable offense. Thanks to commenter Corey for the link.