Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Iowa Public Radio :: Home

A IPR item on our Benton County Advocates debate tonight.


Iowa Public Radio :: Home

Story Begins

Crowded Debate

04/27/10 filed

by Joyce Russell

An unusually crowded field of candidates is vying for the Republican nomination in Iowa�s third congressional district. Seven men are competing to take on incumbent Leonard Boswell in the general election. That�s causing headaches when it comes to holding candidate forums. (3:25)

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Friday, October 23, 2009

It’s about service

Another post from August 2009


I had a nice chat with Congressman Boswell’s local representative Greg today (August 25, 2009). He seemed a bit testy but then, I have been riding Congressman Boswell pretty hard as well so I can understand his touchiness. I don’t envy him his job.

My primary complaint is simply that the folks of Benton County deserve the chance to sit and chat with the good Congressman before he votes on the healthcare bill. This seemed to genuinely puzzle Greg. He pointed out that there were over 100 attendees at Sigourney a couple of weeks ago. Really, 100? Wow! Current census records indicate that there are over 600,000 residents of the 3rd district. Are 100 people representative?? I don’t think so.

The call-in town hall seemed to have its bumps as well. I called in, put my name on a list and promptly at 6:30 on the 19th my cell phone rang. I answered and there was a recording of Congressman Boswell expressing his regret at missing me and asking me to call his office, visit his website or subscribe to his newsletter for more information. Nice.

I also reminded Greg that I had invited the Congressman to our community meeting on healthcare on the night of the 20th. Neither Mr. Boswell nor Greg seemed to be able to find time to put in an appearance. We had a good turnout, about 40 folks. And, we heard the concerns of the healthcare providers that take care of us. It is humbling to listen to them talk about their efforts to make sure we all get the best care. Isn’t this who Congressman Boswell should be listening to? Rather than ruling from Washington, perhaps visiting with the professionals in his district would provide more insight.

My conversation with Greg continued for about 15 minutes. He assured me their offices knew of my concerns. No wonder, I make it a point to call at least once a week to share my frustrations with Congressman Boswell’s choices. He asked for specifics on the healthcare bill – I gave him three. But, during this process I realized my frustration had nothing to do with specifics in the healthcare bill. Nor is it important what he said in the town halls he has held (two – imagine that – two for over 600,000 people). No, what it came down to was a simple exchange with Greg while he was writing down a specific issue of mine. “So Bill, you will be satisfied if Congressman Boswell comes to Vinton for a town hall?” In that moment I realized what was off. Honestly, it has nothing to do with me, Vinton or Benton County. It has to do with service.

Congressman Boswell is in service to us, the residents of his district – all the residents. My suggestion was that he hold a three hour town hall in the evening in each of his counties. Greg pointed out it was a big district (yet it is the smallest in the state). It was difficult to get around to everyone. Really? Over the period of a month he can’t get to twelve counties? How about a road show? Drive to a county, have dinner in a local restaurant, have the meeting, have a beer at the local bar or country club, stay with a local constituent, and then drive to the next county the next day? If he were truly in service to the folks in his district, wouldn’t this be fun, exciting, enjoyable? The process of actually chatting with the people you serve should just be a natural part of serving your district, Congressman.

And that’s what’s off, Congressman Boswell – you’re no longer in service to the people of your district. You serve the masters of your party in Washington instead. I find this profoundly disappointing.

A Destroyer of Worlds

Still reviewing old posts and found another from March that still seems appropriate today

A Destroyer of Worlds


Prior to the elections much was made of just who Obama was. For those willing to set aside the god-like adoration and honestly look at those he associated with, they found radical leftists like Sal Salinsky and his “Rules for Radicals”. His pastor of 20 years Jeremiah Wright whose bigoted rants from the pulpit provided a clear window to his spiritual soul. Bill Ayers, the unrepentant Weatherman bomber acted as a mentor from his early days at Columbia through his entry into politics.

His state legislative record provided insights as well. His inability to make a decision was clearly on display in his 125+ times voting “Present”. A willingness to allow fetuses born alive during a botched abortion to simply die gave us an early indication of the value he places on the lives of those most helpless in our society. A persistent desire to limit the position of fire arms indicated Obama cared little for our second amendment rights.

Conversations with “Joe the Plumber” clearly showed his intention to seize the earnings of the “rich” and “spread the wealth around” to those who are less productive.

There was also his fondness for exaggeration. He billed himself as a law professor in constitutional law. Actually, he was a guest lecturer. There were many others: his introduction of legislation regarding reporting of small nuclear plant leaks (he didn’t), his parents fell in love during their march on Selma ( yet he was born 4 years prior), he played up his community organizing abilities (he opened a single employment office and had asbestos removed) were but a few “accomplishments” he hailed during the campaign.

Since election he has hired numerous lobbyists, after vowing they would have no place. He promised to make Washington swear off earmarks, yet his most recent spending bill has over 9,000 of them. Four of his appointees have had substantial tax problems – one of which now runs the IRS.

Perhaps we could conclude he was less than honest about who he was, what his core values were and the direction he would take our country.

In a brief period of only 8 weeks, it has been clear who we have elected to – as his lovely wife Michele declared – rule over our nation. In the Hindu religion the third god is Lord Shiva – the Destroyer of Worlds. This is the persona President Obama has seen fit to take on, Lord Shiva.

In an amazing and mind numbing series of proclamations, spending bills, bail-outs, and flat out usurpations of power our new Dark Lord has single handedly destroyed 2.1 Trillion dollars of wealth from Americans retirement plans, pensions, investment portfolios and 401Ks. It’s far from over. He has given no indication that he is even aware that people are looking to him for some level of confidence that he understands the problem. In stead he declares the “profit/earning” ratio is getting good enough and we should consider buying stocks. The fact that there is no such thing as “profit/earning” ratio seems to have slipped his mind. His unwillingness to address the toxic housing inventory, the lack of credit for small businesses, the implosion of the auto industry, the failing state budgets and pension plans do nothing but accelerate his task of destroying America’s economy.

To arrest the plummeting revenues collected by the Federal Government, he has decided to increase taxes on “the rich” (tell me, doesn’t 60% feel just a bit high??), eliminate tax breaks on the evil oil companies just as their profits are plummeting, repeal the Bush tax cuts (increasing taxes on those making $45,000 per year by 13%), adding a cap and trade policy sure to drastically increase the cost of electricity and fuel, impose new CAFÉ standards on the auto industry as it falls apart in their hands, remove deductions for interest on homes as we are trying to buck up the real-estate market and remove deductions for charitable giving as charities see the pending money squeeze coming.

Thus President Obama takes his place as our first Lord Shiva, the destroyer on the American economy. And we have another three years and 10 months to look forward to. Our grandchildren will sit and wonder why we elected such a man as our President.

Consent of the Governed

This is a post I put up this past April on another blog.  Yet, with the Obama's march on citizen's rights accelerating, it seems to fit as much today as it did back in april

Consent of the Governed


When our founders were drafting the Constitution and determining the form of government they wanted for this new country, they evaluated two primary types, Democracies and Republics. Their paramount concern when choosing a path for this new government was that the leaders and direction would be determined by the “consent of the governed”. Let that phrase sink in for a moment: “consent of the governed”. They were particularly interested in Greek democracy and its failure. This was their primary example for a direct democracy - where virtually all decisions were made by the direct and individual vote by each citizen. They decided that its failure in Greece came about in part because it was impossible for each citizen to be fully informed on each and every topic and that their votes, while certainly cast by the governed, were cast by people knowingly ignorant of the issue and thus cast without a full understanding of what they were voting for.

They chose as their direction a Republic. The governed would be represented by individuals that were directly elected by them or by individuals selected by people the governed had elected. These were local people, people they had the opportunity to know, to talk to. People raised in their region that shared their sense of values. People whose primary reason for standing for election was a sincere desire to serve their friends by serving in their nation’s government, and then leaving office and returning to their community – to be replaced by another civil servant. This rotation of people was to ensure that those elected would remain tied to their home communities rather than being consumed by the power of the federal government. Thus the “consent of the governed” would be refreshed with each new legislator sent off to the federal government.

The other advantage of a republic was that this elected and trustworthy neighbor would be able to devote their efforts to understanding the legislation presented for consideration. Rather than each individual citizen of the 13 colonies being required to understand the content of each and every bill introduced, argued and voted on, the belief was that since the elected representative and each selected (in the early days) senator would naturally have the best interests of their constituents at heart and cast their vote with these interests in mind.

This approach then met the test of “consent of the governed”. The Representative Republic was born.

So how is this working today? Honestly, I have more than a few concerns. While I am certainly as partisan as they come, and proudly so, this particular issue rises above partisanship and directly effects the ability of our country to survive as the Representative Republic it was meant to be. Let me share a few examples that concern me:

This week’s ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court that gay marriage is an “equal treatment under the law” issue and now legal within the state of Iowa. My frustration is not with the verdict, though I support civil unions and not marriage for gays, but with the simple fact the people of Iowa had no say in the matter. This was an argument generated out of whole cloth by a single court verdict and elevated to the Supreme Court of Iowa level. A decision made, not by the people of Iowa, but by a single court. This is not “consent of the governed” but rather a single branch of government imposing its will on the governed.

Next, the current flurry of bailouts throughout our country. I have run my small business in Vinton for nearly 28 years. At times, frankly, I have struggled mightily. Yet, if I would have reached a point where I could have not continued, I would have simply been forced to close my doors and fail. Now, we find that TRILLIONS of dollars of the American taxpayer is being used to prop up companies that are failing. The housing bailout called TARP was created in weeks this past fall, ran over one thousand pages in length and was voted on without a single Legislator or Senator having actually read the bill. It passed. And was promptly changed by then Secretary Paulson without the consent of congress. And it still isn’t working with over 25% of newly refinanced home loans already in default for a second time. How does voting for a bill, without fully reading and understanding it, costing trillions of our hard earned dollars, pass the “consent of the governed” test?

Third, the Federal Reserve printing a TRILLION dollars in money to purchase even more bad loans from banks on the brink of bankruptcy. This was an act, executed with no debate at all. Article 1 of the Constitution clearly states that all bills regarding raising revenue must begin in the House of Representatives. Honestly, I am unclear how the Fed can simply print a trillion dollars. Regardless, again, how does this decrease in the value of the dollar, without any debate by any elected official represent the “consent of the governed"?

Forth, the auto bailout. We, the people, now own GM and Chrysler. And we paid too much – over 30 BILLION to date. If you went on the stock exchange, purchased every piece of stock – EVERY SINGLE, SOLITIARY PIECE OF STOCK AVAILABLE ON THE PLANET – you would only spend $1.28 billion as of Friday, April 3rd. We have spent 23 times more on GM than it is worth. By what possible description is this a good deal?? And, they are asking for more – much more. Was there a single vote for the initial round of GM bailout money? Nope, not a single vote, only then President Bush’s signature. Again, referring to the goal of the founders that our elected representatives would serve the best needs of their constituents, how does spending this amount of American’s hard earned money on a company in failure meet the “consent of the governed”? Would you buy GM stock??

Let’s not forget our energy needs. The people of America have spoken in a loud voice, use our own resources and stop depending on foreign countries with anything but our well-being on their mind. And yet, even with the expiration of the off-shore drilling ban this past October, members of congress are moving quickly to reinstate it. How does this further our national security? Our resources – oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear – should be used to their fullest to ensure our ability to grow and exist as a nation. I am confused when a clear majority of Americans are in favor of using these resources and the Congress’s stubbornly resisting this meets the “consent of the governed” test.

Illegal immigration and the security of our borders. This is certainly a hot-button issue that has its flames fanned by both sides of the issue. However, it is a perfect example of how “consent of the governed” could quite simply resolve the issue. The issue has never revolved around the idea of immigration. All of us are here because, originally, one of our ancestors left the “old country” and immigrated to the US. And, we have long had laws in place that handled this exact issue. There are very clear procedures in place that states the process that needs to be followed when immigrating to the US as well as quotas from each country. If these laws need to change, if the quotas need to be raised – then present these to the American people. Have the legislators discuss this with the people of their district – and the change them. Offering a blanket amnesty of people who have violated the laws of our country does not – by any stretch of the imagination – meet the “consent of the governed”. Additionally, the vast majority of Americans want a secure border with Mexico – period. One of the basic duties of the government of the United States is to secure our borders. The fact that our Congress and numerous administrations fail to do this single task seems to fly in the face of the “consent of the governed”.

There are a large number of other examples where I, or friends, have commented that they simply didn’t know how the government could do “that” – whatever “that” was in the moment. The truth is, they can’t. Our elected officials serve at our pleasure. They are expected to listen to the folks back home, to actually read the bills they vote for, to understand the effects of the legislation they pass and to honor their position as servants of the people each and every day they are in office. They have forgotten. Our federal and state governments are in the midst of a spending orgy the likes of which we, as a country, have never seen. The Obama administration is proposing a budget that spends more money than all of the previous administrations combined. Their own CBO has estimated annual budget deficits of over a TRILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR as far as they can predict into the future. We will be passing on to our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren a debt that they will simply be unable to pay. I do not believe, in my heart, that this is the wish of any American. We need to remind ourselves that these folks are in office by the “consent of the governed” and that they answer to us. If we, as citizens, are expected to live within our budgets, we expect to have our government do so as well.

Representative Boswell’s and the Democrats war on small business.

I was puzzled this past summer by Rep. Boswell’s praising small business when the Democrat Party and Rep. Boswell are at war with small business. Since the election, there has been a systematic attack on America’s small business that has been unceasing. A few examples:

Repeal of the capital gains exemption: The canard the Democrats and Rep. Roswell are fond of is that this affects only those earning over $250,000 dollars. Nothing like a little class warfare. However, what they leave out is that many small business owners are subchapter S corporations and their company earnings are part of their family earnings. So rather than the gains from their efforts going towards growing their business and hiring employees, Rep. Boswell and President Obama would rather take that money and give it to failing businesses and banks.

Repeal of President Bush’s tax cuts: Again, the canard of “only those earning over $250,000 dollars per year” raises its head. In fact, if they are all repealed people earning as little $45,000 per year will see their tax rate climb 13%. While I am sure Rep. Boswell and President Obama will find deserving recipients, those creating jobs will have to do with less.

An out of control budget: Rep. Boswell and President Obama are quick to point out the deficit of nearly $400 billion at the end of the Bush presidency. This after 9/11, two wars and 8 years of defending America against Islamofacists intent on our destruction. However, they fail to point out that President Obama’s projected deficit for the first year is $2 TRILLION dollars. That’s 5 times larger than President Bush’s - in just his first year. Projections are for $1 TRILLION dollar per year deficits year after year with no end in sight if Rep. Boswell helps to pass President Obama’s budget. This has to be paid by someone – and the small business owner will be expected to lead the way. How will they be able to do that when their most important resource – capital – is being consumed at an unsustainable rate by the Obama administration and their out-of-control spending?

America’s plunging credibility on the global financial stage: President Obama and Rep. Boswell must borrow $1 for every $1 they spent to finance next years budget. Just take that in – they must borrow one-half of everything they want to spend from the global market. They need to borrow $1 TRILLION dollars for this year alone. Who will lend it to us? Last month the US was forced to pay 4.5% interest on $130 Billion in bonds. This is an auction that takes place every month. What will it be like in a few years with our deficit soaring and budget shortfalls as far as they eye can see? What country, in their right mind, will loan us money if they can not see any way our country will be able to pay the money back? This past weekend a number of banks in England have considered curtailing taking US investments because of President Obama’s interest in taxing profits of US corporations in foreign countries. How will pay this tremendous increase in debt? Well, the “rich” of course, all those earning over $250,000 – the small business owner.

President Obama and Rep. Boswell’s fondness for a “Carbon Tax”: The save the planet mantra is alive in well in the Obama administration. In order to force the American people to pony up the money for this folly (does it bother anyone else that the MSM fails to point out the earth has been cooling for over 10 years??) a Carbon Tax in near passage. Anything that puts out CO2 will be taxed: coal power plants (1/2 of all energy produced in the US comes from coal), any vehicle that burns gas, ethanol or diesel, industries involved in any type of manufacturing and, of course, any home that uses electricity. The result? Current estimates are that this will cost the average family from $1,300 to $3000 per year. How about small businesses that ship product, run trucks, run manufacturing companies? Again, money taken out of the pockets of citizens and small business to squandered by those who “know best” such as Rep. Boswell and President Obama.

The trashing of corporate law: The banks and the Chrysler takeover has been instructive. The government created a panic, forced the banks to take money and when they did, changed the rules so they could not pay the money back. This tack, endorsed by Rep. Boswell, is more familiar in 3rd world countries like Venezuela rather that America. The result – President Obama now controls America’s largest banks, the largest insurance companies and two of three of original American auto companies.

Chrysler has likewise been interesting. Perhaps the most stunning was the administration simply disregarding the first position of bond holders and moving less secured stock holder up, then, giving nearly 50% of the company to the unions. All under the guise of “speculators” being unwilling to bend. The fact is the bondholders were willing to take a 50% hit when they were not required to take any. These bond holders are retirees, pension funds, and state retirement funds. Rep. Boswell appears to agree that corporate law can simply be ignored if it is at odds with the will of President Obama. How does this affect the small business man?? If corporate law means nothing, how can they negotiate a contract or attract investors? How do smaller companies merge if corporate law in meaningless? How do they attract venture capital if there is a fear the government could step in and change the rules on a whim?

At every turn Rep. Boswell’s party seems intent on punishing innovation, punishing profit and punishing expansion and punishing the small business owner. How is this working? The small business community is abuzz with small business owners dialing back, taking fewer risks and holding back on expansion. Why work more to simply have it seized by an out-of-control government? Honestly, it’s not worth it. As of April, federal tax revenues were down nearly 40% from last year – 40%. Rep. Boswell and President Obama should get used to it. They are doing nothing to expand the economy. Small businesses are sitting this out until sanity returns to Washington. Perhaps Rep. Boswell might want to call a truce in his war on small business and encourage President Obama to put a stop to destruction of the American economy.

Where or where art thou??

As our country plunges towards the oblivion that is our national debt – I wonder. Where are our elected officials so we can chat about our concerns? In particular, where is Congressman Boswell? I have met with Greg, his local representative. Of course, he could not speak for Congressman Boswell, did not know his positions and did not know when he would be in the area.

I have been waiting for the congressional recess (aren’t these folks a bit old for “recess”??). Since Congressman Boswell represents the residence of the 3rd District I thought surly during the month he will be home we could look forward to chatting with him about our concerns. So I have been checking his website – it has not been updated since June. I called his Des Moines office – “check his website” was the reply - followed by “well, I don’t have a schedule for him”. I received the same response from his offices in Washington.

I received a call from Greg this morning. While I was assured that there were many items on Congressman Boswell’s agenda – promised visits with unnamed individuals and organizations – it would seem his availability to his constituents does not seem to be very high on his list. So, where is he holding open meetings for the voters in his district?

Grundy Count – no public meetings scheduled.

Tama County - no public meetings scheduled.

Benton County - no public meetings scheduled.

Polk County - Meeting Held

Jasper County - no public meetings scheduled.

Poweshiek County - no public meetings scheduled.

Iowa County - no public meetings scheduled.

Marion County - no public meetings scheduled.

Mahaska County - no public meetings scheduled.

Keokuk County – Sigourney Public Library, 8/13/09 2 PM – 3 PM

Lucas County - no public meetings scheduled.

Monroe County - no public meetings scheduled.

Greg did say the schedule was not finalized for the second half of the recess and public forums may be added. Yet, it seems odd that they are only being scheduled now. Did this recess sneak up on the good Congressman?? Did he simply forget that he was coming home to his district this August/September??

So here we are. The Congress is on the cusp of changing and taking control of our entire healthcare system. Congressman Boswell has already voted for the massive tax increases sure to follow with the passage of Cap and Trade. And his party seems intent on spending the next generation’s hard earned money before they are even born.

And, still, he can only find a single hour to meet with the citizens he represents in the twelve counties he represents.

Is this what he was elected to do?? Really??

There is no strength in weakness

The past nine months have been illustrative of President Obama’s world view. He believes a weaker, diminutive and withdrawn America is preferable to a strong, vibrant and assertive one. This certainly is in line with the liberal viewpoint of American politics during President Bush’s two terms. While taking on those that planned and executed 9/11 in Afghanistan was tolerated, the elimination of the tyrannical regime of Saddam Hussein was not. Throughout the 6 years of engagement with al-Qaeda troops that poured into Iraq and the establishment of a government that met all the stated goals of the Bush administration – elimination of the Hussein regime, able to defend itself and willing to hold free and open elections – President Bush was hammered for the wrong war, an illegal war, an unjust war. Yet, we were successful in all three areas finally giving 25 million Iraqis the chance to choose their own destiny. This is a good thing. We achieved this success through clear, focused and direct American power. Obviously President Obama agrees with this.

Prior to election and throughout his campaign he clearly stated that he would begin withdrawing troops immediately after election. His position has become more “nuanced”, shall we say, with troops beginning to be withdrawn by March 2009 – or maybe we will have all combat troops out by August 2010 – or by the end of 2010 – or maybe by the end of 2011. Or, maybe we may have 50,000 support troops in Iraq well into the future. Obviously “hope and change” are at work in the Obama administration.

I was also glad to see the “Global War on Terrorism” ended in March 2009. What a burden off our country. Had President Bush known he could simply end it by the simple use of his voice, the global threats to us and other countries throughout the world could have been restored on 9/12 without all the intervening combat. Of course, President Obama has recognized that there is still an "Overseas Contingency Operation" going on - one that claimed 10 of our soldiers in Afghanistan on October 3rd in the deadliest day of fighting in more than a year. Michelle and Barak enjoyed a nice night out at the Blue Duck Tavern that evening. I wonder if they discussed the 40,000 troops that Gen. McChrystal is asking for.

It would seem that the enemies of the Afghan people have decided that President Obama is not going to send the troops, much less make a commitment to defeat them, so it’s safe to take on the US military again. In order to make the US military friendlier, there are new Rules of Engagement that have gone into effect. For example – if the Air Force sees insurgents planting bombs, they must first buzz them to scare them off rather than killing them. If enemy forces are spotted and there is the possibility of hurting a civilian they can not be engaged. (Ever wonder why these animals hide in civilian areas?) Our soldiers are now ordered to “break engagement” (run away) in the event there are civilians in the area. Not only that, they are denied air cover or artillery in the event these may cause civilian casualties. If you are interested, read about the events surrounding Marine Lance Corporal Joshua Bernard. These rules led to his death. More, many more will follow. Weakness will not lead to a victory in Afghanistan.

President Obama’s performance in the Mideast is no less hesitant. This week the IAEA of the United Nations leaked a report that Iran has everything in place to produce a nuclear weapon. President Ahmadinejad, while addressing the UN, invoked the name of the Mahdi, or the 12th Imam. The particular sect that Ahmadinejad belongs to believes that if they can bring about chaos on earth, this will hasten the Mahdi who will bring about the apocalypse and subject all on earth to the rule of Islam and kill those that do not submit. He has stated that his personal goal is the elimination of Israel and that he would gladly sacrifice up to one-half of his population to do this. We have also learned that they have a second processing plant for nuclear weapons material that President Obama has known about since his transition. President Obama has decided that his oratory skills are significant enough that he can talk Iran back from the edge while Iran presses forward towards the end that most pundits now accept as inevitable – the acquisition of a nuclear weapon. I find I take no comfort in President Obama’s teleprompter skills in light of this.

Or, perhaps, he sees no threat from Iran. After all, he has canceled our national agreement with Poland and the Czech Republic to provide a defensive missile shield to protect them from attacks from rogue nations (read Iran). This seems to have been a hat tip to Prime Minister Putin of Russia. It was particularly poignant since the cancellation occurred on the 70th anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Poland. Given that Iran now has short range missiles that can reach Israel, medium range missiles that can reach well into Europe and long range missiles that can reach the US (remember, they launched a satellite into orbit) President Obama must be dead-on certain that Iran poses no near-term nor long-term threat. Enough so that he is removing defensive systems meant to mitigate their threat.

Of course, other weapons systems need to be curtailed as well. The F22 fleet no longer needs to be expanded. A new satellite system to replace aging equipment has been scrapped. A new rescue chopper is also scrapped. All-in-all, the standard “cut military spending” mantra is once again being sounded throughout Washington.

What does all this mean? Simply put, in President Obama’s mind, a weak America is a more secure America. If we ignore terrorism throughout the world and simply call our efforts in Afghanistan an "Overseas Contingency Operation", we will be less of a threat to our enemies and they will not harm us. If we remove defensive weapons from Europe, Iran will feel less threatened and will not attack Israel or other Mideastern countries. If we reduce our tactical capabilities and weapons systems, our enemies will see no need to build up their arms and pose a threat to us. If we simply kneel before the world, bare our chests and confess our misdeeds – the world will forgive us and once again see us as the shining land upon the earth and simply fall in love with us all over again.

I believe the reality is a bit different. This weak-kneed response is emboldening our enemies. Russia, rather that halting construction of Iran’s nuclear facilities (you knew the Russians were building them – right?) it continues apace with Iran resolutely saying they have no intention of stopping their enrichment plants. France’s Sarkosy has called President Obama’s approach to Iran “utterly immature” and “naïve”, publicly saying he wished President Obama would present a firmer approach with Iran. The people of Poland and Czech Republic now know that security agreements signed between America and their countries are worthless – as do the leaders of Iran and Russia. The Taliban of Afghanistan is now emboldened, actively using our own rules of engagement against our troops. While the First Couple looks over the menu at the Blue Duck Tavern, the Taliban is drooling over a target list of poorly manned and supported US troop installations.

Threats are not confined to foreign soil. This past month four separate terrorist attacks were foiled within the US with more surely in the works. Meanwhile, North Korea has introduced and tested a variety of medium and long-range missiles while their nuclear weapons plant is back on-line as well. We were also witness to a very large military parade celebrating the 60th anniversary of the communist revolution of China. President Obama found it necessary to congratulate China on this milestone. I suspect the 30+ millions that died under Mao might have a different take.

It’s been a busy 9 months for the President. These are simply international issues. There were all the domestic items as well. However, they all lead to the same destination for President Obama – a weakened America is a safe America. The smaller our footprint on the world stage, the less we confront evil, the less we defend our friends, the more we withdraw – the safer we will be.

We will pay a terrible price for this lunacy.