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State Department Nominee Must Tame The Bureaucratic Beast

The way the media is discussing the choice facing President-Elect Trump over his State Department nominee, you would think it’s a choice about stocking-stuffers. Should I give Mitt the slide whistle, the chocolate truffle, or the lump of coal?

The answer is: none of the above. And as Kellyann Conway noted on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Trump loyalists are wondering why Mitt Romney thinks he deserves to hang his stocking on our mantle to begin with.

Secretary of State is one of three key national security positions, but even more than the National Security advisor or the Secretary of Defense, this is the person who becomes America’s face and voice to seven billion people around the planet. This is the person who will personify American values, who will hold high the flag of freedom.

And most important of all, this is the person who will ensure that President Trump’s agenda actually gets carried out by an unruly, often recalcitrant bureaucracy at the Department of State, filled with partisan Democrats who have burrowed their way into career track jobs to avoid getting automatically axed come the inauguration.

Mitt Romney may be willing to recant his harsh attacks on Donald Trump’s character during the campaign, and Mr. Trump may be willing to forgive him. But the real issue – and it applies to any potential nominee – is this: can he or she ascend to the seventh floor and tame the bureaucracy?

After President Bush was elected to a second term in November 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell called a town meeting of his employees. “We live in a democracy,” he said. “As Americans, we have to respect the results of elections.” Bush had received the most votes of any president in U.S. history. Everyone in this building was constitutionally obligated to serve him, he said.

As I recounted in my 2008 book, Shadow Warriors, one of Powell’s subordinates returned to her office suite, shut the door, and held a mini town meeting of her own. After indignantly recounting Powell’s remarks to her assembled staff, she commented: “Well, Senator Kerry receive the second highest number of votes of any presidential candidate in history. If just one state had gone differently, Sen. Kerry would be President Kerry today.”

The employees of her regional bureau owed no allegiance to the president of the United States, especially not to policies they knew were wrong, she told them. If it was legal, and it would slow down the Bush juggernaut, they should do it.

I fully expect the next Secretary of State will face the same type of open insubordination from political hold-overs, many of whom weathered eight years of George W. Bush. They will use every ruse to undermine President Trump’s policies, especially where those policies conflict with their elitist, globalist agenda – which will be just about everywhere.

Want to slash the $1 billion funding to promote “climate change” initiatives? All of a sudden, that money will get buried in another budget line. Want to stop spending U.S. taxpayer dollars to promote an LGBT lifestyle overseas? The next secretary will get blank stares when he or she gives such an order to the bureaucrats.

And these are relatively small matters. What about moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, a policy Congress has made law and Donald Trump promoted during the campaign? I guarantee you, the shadow warriors at State will find legal excuses where none exist, and magnify the objections of regional partners who never set foot in Israel anyway.

The State Department has many talented, career professionals, who understand that their job is to promote the policies of the United States of America as defined by the President and his Secretary of State. But it also has many secret and not-so-secret partisans, who believe their duty is to act as so many Edward Snowden’s inside the belly of the beast, leaking to the media and to President Trump’s political enemies.

The next Secretary of State cannot close his eyes to this fact. He must tame the bureaucracy and, like the Swedes, not fear to send those he cannot fire to the “elephant’s churchyard” in the basement.

That’s what happened to Greg Hicks, the deputy chief of mission under Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya, after Hicks had the temerity to testify before Congress that his superiors back in Washington had denied scores of requests for additional security in Tripoli and Benghazi.

The media will scream, and Senator Chuck Schumer will join them, calling the Secretary a vicious partisan, vindictive, or – heavens! – unfair. We need a Secretary of State who will not flinch at the slings and arrows of the president’s political adversaries, who can sweep them away with skill, good humor, and firm resolve.

Do you see Mitt Romney doing that?

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the DailyCaller.com.

SILENT CONQUEST: The End of Freedom of Expression in the West

New York: On September 25, 2012, President Obama astonished many Americans by declaring, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” This is a sentiment espoused by radical Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Taliban and al Qaeda. Worse yet, his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, revealed the lengths to which the Obama administration is prepared to go to enforce this view when she told the family of a former SEAL killed last month in Benghazi that the producer of a video she falsely claimed precipitated that attack would be “arrested and prosecuted.” He was subsequently taken into custody and remains in jail.

Now, the powerful documentary SILENT CONQUEST explains why these affronts to the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of speech are not isolated incidents. Rather, they are part of an ominous pattern of Team Obama’s submission to the stealthy Islamist effort to enforce in this country the supremacist doctrine known as shariah and its prohibition of any expression that “offends” Islam or its god, prophet or followers.

View the trailer:

The film features interviews with U.S. and foreign legislators, journalists, national security and other experts and Muslim, former Muslim and non-Muslim activists including:

  • Best-selling author Mark Steyn
  • Rep. Allen West, Member of Congress
  • Geert Wilders, Member of the Dutch Parliament
  • Baroness Caroline Cox, Member of the British House of Lords
  • ACT! for America founder Brigitte Gabriel
  • Scholar and author Daniel Pipes
  • American Islamic Leadership Council founder Zuhdi Jasser
  • Former Muslim and author Nonie Darwish
  • Former Defense Department official Frank Gaffney
  • Lord Malcolm Pearson, Member of the British House of Lords
  • Naser Kader, Member of the Danish Parliament
  • Author and financial terrorism expert Rachel Ehrenfeld
  • Author Pastor Mark Durie, as well as others.

SILENT CONQUEST offers a frightening insight into the extent to which Europe, Canada and the United Nations have already succumbed to the restrictions of shariah blasphemy laws. Its stark warning about the Obama administration’s substantial efforts to accommodate them here, as well, is a wake-up call for every American.

The documentary was produced by Sanctum Enterprises, LLC.

For a limited time, SILENT CONQUEST can be viewed for free online at silentconquest.com.

Florida Election Night 2012 – What you should look for

Posted on November 5, 2012 by Jamie Miller from Battleground Group:

Some people have asked me “what should I look for in Florida election night?” Here are my thoughts – I’ve grouped the Florida counties below in three categories – Strong Obama, Strong Romney and true swing counties. Every campaign has a path to victory mostly in these counties. These counties will indicate early if Florida is trending toward a 5-point win for Romney like 2004 for Bush or a 2.8 % win for Obama like 2008.

It does not appear that there is major intensity for Obama like 2008, but Romney is not an incumbent President like Bush in 2004.

Strong Obama counties –

Miami/Dade, Palm Beach, Broward, Volusia and Alachua (Obama is going to win more counties than this, but these five are the counties where they can build bigger “swing” and will be a likely indicator of what Romney has to overcome to carry Florida. If Romney only loses these counties by less than 400,000 votes, he should have a very good night, but if Obama is able to push his margins in these five counties up to 500,000, he could be on a path to a victorious night.

Miami-Dade – In 2000 and 2004, Bush mitigated his losses here by less than 50,000 votes. In 2008, Obama won by nearly 140,000 votes. One would think Obama needs a margin of at least 100,000 if he is going to carry the state.

Palm Beach – The margins in 2000/2004 was 115,000 votes but in 2008 Democrats carried the county by an additional 20,000 votes for a 135,000 margin.

Broward – This is the big prize for democrats. Again 2000 and 2004 had almost identical margins of victory for Democrats with wins of 209,000 votes before Obama won the county by 254,000 in 2008. If Obama approaches a win margin of 250,000 it could be a long night for Romney.

Alachua – Home of the University Florida and the Florida Gators. This is a strong county for democrats that historically favors them by 14,000, but in 2008 Obama carried the county by an additional 13,000 for a 27,000 vote win.

Volusia – This is the home of Daytona Beach. This county often votes Republican in gubernatorial elections but normally supports the democrat in Presidential years. This county is an outlier in the fact that it is one of the few democrat-leaning counties where Bush lost the county in ‘04 by just 3,500 votes. GW and McCain lost this county in ’00 and ’08 by similar 14,000 votes. If Romney loses Volusia by less than 10,000 votes, it could be a good night for him. More than 10,000 would show stronger than expected support for the President.

Strong Romney counties –

Southwest Florida counties (Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee and Collier); Brevard County on the Spacecoast; Northeast Florida’s Duval; three counties in central Florida Marion, Polk, and Sumter; and Northwest Florida’s GOP strongholds of Okaloosa and Escambia.

Many of these counties mimicked each other in 2000 and 2008. So it could be these counties are a greater indicator of Romney’s strength and determine if the “GOP motivation” advantage is real. Obama did well in and really mitigated his losses in these counties in 2008.

Duval is the home of the city of Jacksonville and normally goes big for Republicans. George W. won here by 44k votes in 2000 and more than 60k votes in 2004. Obama didn’t win here but he lost by just 7,900 votes. Duval is historically one of the first large counties to announce vote tallies and should be a good indicator of whether Romney will do well in Florida. It is one area of the state that Romney did not do as well in the primary, however.

Brevard is one of Florida’s hardest hit counties by the great recession. It is one of the counties that Republicans can run up a large margin in just one area. GW won by 18k and 43k in ’00 and ’04. McCain split the difference and won by nearly 30k votes. So, it is more of an indicator of how well Romney is doing and not necessarily how bad Obama may be doing in the state. Romney needs to win here by 40-50k votes.

Southwest Florida – These five counties provided G. W Bush with margins of about 90,000 votes in 2000 and 136,000 votes in 2004. Romney really needs to be above a 100k vote margin in these five counties if he’s going to win the state. Obama lost this area of the state by just 74k votes.

Polk, Marion and Sumter counties are indicative of where rural counties are going to go. Polk is the one “non-swing, GOP, I-4 corridor” county. Republicans won here by 15k votes in 2000 and 2008. In 2004, Bush was able to push his margin here to nearly 38k. A 15k-vote win here for Romney probably shows a very close race like 2000 or a GOP loss like 2008. Marion County is a GOP county but is an indicator of how well a Republican is going to do in the state. GW won this county by just 10k in 2000 and 24k in 2004. McCain did well in this county in 2008, however winning by nearly 19k votes. So Marion is more an indicator of how seniors are voting and not necessarily an indicator of an Obama loss. Sumter is a former rural county that now is home to The Villages retirement community. GOP wins have grown every election cycle and I don’t think that will change. GW won here in 2000 by 2,400 and in 2004 he won by 8,200. Like Marion, Sumter County performed well for McCain. He won here by 13,200 votes. Anything less than that would spell real trouble for Romney.

Northwest Florida – The polls stay open here in the Central Time Zone until 8 p.m. (EST) and two of the larger counties where a Republican can build margins are Escambia and Okaloosa. If Okaloosa trends toward a 50,000+ win like Bush in ’04 and Escambia trends toward Bush’s 45,000 vote victory in ’04, it would be good news for Romney. The total of the 10 counties in the Central Time Zone needs to approach 180,000 margin for a big victory on election night.

That brings us to the major swing counties in the state. I include Orange (Orlando) and St. Lucie in this group even though Obama is going to win both of these counties. The others to watch in this category are Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco.

Orange County is the first county in the history of the state to switch from Democrat to Republican and now back to Democrats. GW lost here by 5k vote in ’00 and just 800 in ’04. But, Obama won huge here in 2008, by more than 85,000 votes. Obama likely wins big here again, but if it is “only” by 50k, it could be an indicator that Obama didn’t motivate his voters like he did in 2008. It is possible for Obama to win here by 100k votes and lose Florida, but it would surely be an indicator of a much closer race than most final polls indicate.

Hillsborough – Florida’s latest bell-weather county. This county, the home of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, voted in favor of Bush in ’00 and ’04 by 11k and 31k respectively. But, this county swung to Obama by more than 36,000 votes in ’08. No one is going to win by just the margin in this county, but it would likely be an indicator of how well each campaign’s television ads were received during the campaign.

Pinellas County is home to some of the nicest beaches in the state, but is also a “lean-Democrat” County. Bush won Pinellas in ’04 by just 226 votes. If Romney wins here, it is an indicator that he won Florida big. An Obama win here of 25,000 votes, might be an indicator of a long night for both campaigns.

Pasco County north of Tampa is also a county that democrats can win, but can provide large margins for Republicans. GW lost this county in ’00 by about 1,000 votes but won here four years later by more than 18k votes. This county is an indicator of where “swing” voters are going with their votes. These are also economic voters and Obama lost here in ’08 by about 8,000 votes.

That brings us to St. Lucie County which is nestled between Democrat strongholds in SE FL and the GOP stronghold on the Space Coast. Prior to 2000, St. Lucie was Florida’s bell-weather county, but it has trended toward democrats in the past three elections. GW lost here twice both times by less than 7,000 votes. Obama beat McCain here by almost twice that margin, nearly 15,000 votes. If Obama approaches that type of margin, he may be in the midst of an upset in the state.

So, who wins Florida?

We will know in just a few hours, but in short, it’s the candidate who motivates his base, mitigates his losses in his weaker areas of the state, and who is able to keep from being blown out in the I-4 corridor. My prediction? I think Romney wins Florida big, by 5-6 points. If it turns out to be a bigger margin than that, we could have an upset in the U.S. Senate race, but I think Romney would have to win really big in Florida, by 8 points, to provide coattails for Congressman Mack.

Jamie Miller from Battleground Group

ABOUT JAMIE MILLER

Jamie Miller is a political consultant specializing in political campaign management, strategic planning, public relations, grassroots motivation, and crisis communications. He has been involved with running and managing political campaigns since 1994. Learn more at Battleground Group.

CAN YOU NAME ANY PROMINENT BLACK MORMONS?

Column courtesy of Frances Rice:

Democrats consistently push the false narrative that Mormons are racist, while ignoring the existence of black Mormons. Then, hypocritically, Democrats demean black Mormons who step into the spotlight. Witness how Democrats trashed Mia Love, the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, and the Republican Party nominee for the United States House of Representatives in Utah’s 4th congressional district. An article that describes the despicable treatment of Mayor Love is “Hate-Filled Screeds Appear on Mia Love’s Wikipedia Page” by Patrick Hobin.

Gladys Knight

Among the black Mormons not in the political arena and largely ignored is Gladys Knight who became a Mormon in 1998 after her son Jimmy and his wife and children did so. Ms. Knight was successful as an R&B singer in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She now writes and performs Mormon Gospel music. Sam Warren of “The Drifters”, another famous black R&B group of the 1960s and 1970s, also became a Mormon. A well-known black personality who is also a Mormon is the famous college and NFL football hero Burgess Owens. NBA All-Star player Thurl Bailey became a Mormon, too, and now composes Mormon music.

LeRoy Eldridge Cleaver

An intriguing historical personality is deceased LeRoy Eldridge Cleaver who went from being a Black Panther to Black Mormon. Mr. Cleaver was the Minister of Information in the early Black Panther Party, a combination of Black Nationalism and Marxism. In 1968, he wrote “Soul on Ice” which became an international bestseller and was once considered the “Manifesto” of black nationalists and white radicals.

Among the lesser known, but influential black Mormons is Jesse Thomas Jr., a former Baptist preacher, who became a Mormon in 1989 and now serves in local priesthood-leadership positions. In 1995 Lee Radcliff, a black Baptist minister who served as a pastor in Chicago and Mississippi for decades, also became a Mormon.

The press cynically stirs up religious bigotry against Gov. Mitt Romney because his faith is Mormonism, a religion that embraces our constitutional principles of free enterprise and individual liberty. This effort to get the voting public to hate Mormons is anchored on the false notion that Mormons are racists. The Mormon denigrators focus on how, from 1849 to 1978, the Mormon Church had a policy against ordaining black men to the priesthood. In 1978, church leaders ceased the racial restriction policy for black men, declaring that they had received a revelation instructing them to do so.

In spite of that old rule about the priesthood, the Mormon Church has always had an open membership policy for all races and today’s church opposes racial discrimination and racism. In 1997, there were approximately 500,000 black members of the Mormon Church, accounting for about 5% of the total membership. Since 1997, the black membership has grown substantially, especially in West Africa, where two temples have been built.

It goes against our constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion to declare that a person is not fit to be our nation’s leader because of that person’s religion. No one has called for Democrat Senate Leader Harry Reid to denounce his Mormon religion in order to be the leader of the US Senate.

Frances Rice

Frances Rice, Esquire – Lieutenant Colonel, US Army (Retired)

Frances Rice’s great-great-grandparents were slaves. She spent her formative years in poverty in the segregated South during the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s. Frances was born in Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, the same hospital where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born. She occasionally attended Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. was the pastor.

She joined the Army in 1964 as a Private and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 20 years of active service. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Drury College in 1973, a Master of Business Administration from Golden Gate University in 1976, and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in 1977 – all while serving in the US Army.

During twenty years of active duty in the US Army, Frances served in a variety of positions, including commander of a WAC company, adjutant of a basic combat training brigade, a prosecuting attorney, and chief of the administrative law division. She also served as a special assistant to the Army Judge Advocate General and an adviser to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Equal Opportunity.

Subsequent to her military career, Frances worked for the McDonnell Douglas Corporation, serving first as a member of that company’s “think tank,” and then as a government contract advisor. She later taught Business Law for the European Division of the University of Maryland in Brussels, Belgium.

Obama Did Not Order Bin Laden Raid

Major General Paul Valley, U.S. Army (Ret.)

According to Family Security Matters (FSM), “Stand Up America research team has learned from a senior and sensitive intelligence community source and official that President Obama did not know of the raid in Abbottabad to kill Osama Bin Laden on May 1st, 2011 until after the helicopters with SEAL TEAM 6 had crossed into Pakistani airspace.

FSM notes, “The US’s most sophisticated deception techniques were used to make this very dangerous penetration into Pakistan without Pakistan knowledge. The President was notified at the golf course and called off the golf course which is why he was sitting in the strange sitting position in the picture that documented the White House operation room event.”

“Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Leon Panetta was the key player who organized and supported this daring raid. He signed the “Execute Orders” with only a few people aware: Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Secretary of Defense William Gates, Admiral Bill Mullen and General David Petraeus,” reports FSM.

The FSM source states, “The White House was closed out of the decision because the President through Valarie Jarrett had turned down two or three other earlier proposals. The Deputy of Central Intelligence (DCI) and his covert planning team were extremely frustrated at all the denials, so saw the opportunity slipping away as implausible as it seems.” This scenario has been previously reported by others here, here and here.

The specter of bin Laden hangs over the White House even today as Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, a 21 year old Muslim with ties to Al Qaeda, tried to blow up the New York Federal Reserve building in the name of Islam.

Is the White House narrative unraveling given the revelations in the book No Easy Day by former Navy SEAL Mark Owen and now this story?

Read the full Family Security Matters story by going here.

Tom Trento interviews MG Valley on WNN AM 1490 and discusses the story on the President not knowing about the raid until after the SEAL helicopters were already in Pakistan (at 11:40 minutes) and the Benghazi embassy attack (at 38:40 minutes) and the Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey (at 50:00 minutes):

Major General Paul Valley, U.S. Army (Ret.) and Tom Trento analyse this new information about exactly when President Obama was informed about the raid to the bin Laden compound. President Obama according to White House documents, a highly placed confidential source and Mark Owen’s book was not notified until the SEAL helicopters were already in Pakistani airspace, the point of no return.

This new revelation may have a major impact on the narrative of a strong President making a “gutsy decision”.

The third and final Presidential debate is on Monday, October 22nd. The debate topic is foreign policy. Will this come up?

Watchdog Wire will be live streaming pre and post debate commentary from “boots on the ground” implementers of our foreign policy globally.

Click here to watch starting at 7:00 p.m. EST on Monday, October 22, 2012.

Rep. Rooney (FL-16) Goes After Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Two Members of the House Armed Services Committee, Congressmen Tom Rooney (R-FL) and Duncan Hunter Jr. (R-CA), sent a letter to General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff questioning why Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Matthew Dooley was given a negative Officer Evaluation Report (OER) on the grounds his instruction of a course on Radical Islam was offensive to Muslims and Islam.

Their letter dated October 10, 2012 states in part:

“It appears that LTC Dooley led this course well within the scope of NDU’s professorial guidelines, as NDU’s own Faculty Handbook states: “Academic Freedom at National Defense University is defined as freedom to pursue and express ideas, opinions, and issues germane to the University’s stated mission, free of limitations, restraints, or coercion by the University or external environment.”

It is our understanding that LTC Dooley did not violate any established University practices, policies or DoD regulations to merit a negative OER.”

The Congressmen’s letter concerns actions taken by General Dempsey earlier in the year when he publicly excoriated Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley at a May 10, 2012 news conference claiming the course LTC Dooley was teaching at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) was offensive to Muslims. General Dempsey caused LTC Dooley to be fired as an instructor, ordered his course, Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism, to be discontinued and that all material considered offensive to Islam be scrubbed from military professional education within JFSC and elsewhere within his command. General Dempsey further ordered that LTC Dooley be given a negative Officer Evaluation Report—the death knell for a military career.

Click here to read entire letter.

Rep. Rooney was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008. Prior to that time, he served four years in the United States Army Staff Judge Advocate (SJA). During his years in SJA he served as Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney at Fort Hood, TX prosecuting all civilian crimes on post. In 2002, Tom was selected to teach Constitutional and Criminal Law at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Prior to his election as a congressman from California, Duncan Hunter Jr. served as an officer in the Marine Corps. He served three combat tours overseas: two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.

The Congressmen’s letter asks “[W]hy the DoD was compelled to further discipline LTC Dooley by jeopardizing his reputation and his future in the service.”

LTC Matt Dooley

LTC Matt Dooley attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated and received his commission as a Second Lieutenant, Armor Branch in May 1994. His assignments included deployment to Bosnia, Kuwait, and Iraq for a total of six operational and combat tours over the course of his career. He served as a Tank Platoon Leader, Tank Company Commander, Headquarters Company Commander, Aide-de-Camp (to three General Officers), and Instructor at the Joint Combined Warfare School. He is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College as well as the Joint Forces Staff College.

The Thomas More Law Center, a national nonprofit public interest law firm, based in Ann, Arbor, Michigan, represents LTC Dooley.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center observed, “The purpose of the Army is to fight and win wars. So what happened to LTC Dooley is more than a personal miscarriage of justice. When instructors are prohibited from teaching military officers about the true threat posed by Islamic Radicalism, it is a threat to our national security. Our warfighting potential is thus being crippled by the political correctness and appeasement of radical Muslims currently in vogue at the upper echelons of the Pentagon.”

A review of LTC Dooley’s OERs going back several years, including his OER as an instructor with JFSC, paint a picture of an outstanding officer with unlimited potential:

“LTC Matt Dooley’s performance is outstanding and he is clearly the best of our new instructors assigned to the JFSC faculty over the last six months. . . . A must select for battalion command. . . . LTC Dooley possesses unlimited potential to serve in positions of much higher authority.”

“MAJ Dooley is unquestionably among the most dedicated and hard working officers I have ever known.… Unsurpassed potential for future promotion and service.”

“Our soldiers deserve his leadership.”

“This officer possesses unlimited potential for future assignments. He must be promoted ahead of his peers and selected for Battalion/Squadron Command at first opportunity.”

“Superb performance.”

“Matt is a consummate professional with unlimited potential;”

LTC Dooley’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Star, Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with Two Stars, both the Global War on Terrorism Service and Expeditionary Medals, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the NATO Medal, the Parachutist Badge, the Air-Assault Badge, and two Army Superior Unit Awards.

Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rallies Come to Florida

On Saturday, October 20, 2012 concerned citizens across Florida will voice public opposition to the Obama administration’s Health and Human Services Mandate. These rallies are taking place the weekend before the final Presidential Debate, being held at Lynn University, Boca Raton, Florida.

The HHS Mandate forces all employers—including Catholic schools and hospitals—to provide surgical sterilizations, abortion-inducing drugs, and free contraceptives through their health plans, regardless of religious or moral convictions. Refusal to obey ‘central planner’ mandates millions in IRS penalties forcing closings.

The St Petersburg Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally will begin at 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM joining over 150 other cities and towns (10 in Florida) from Maine to Hawaii that are participating in this national event. A complete list of rally sites and other details is building at StandUpForReligiousFreedom.com.

“The St Petersburg Oct 20 Voter Stand Up Rally builds on the tremendous momentum created by the two Stand Up Rallies held on March 23, and June 8 totaling 130,000 citizens of all faiths attending local rallies in 150 cities. With the November elections in sight, the Oct 20 Voter Stand Up Rally is expected to draw even larger crowds,” says Dr. David McKalip.

The “St Petersburg Voter Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally” has been organized by Michael F Brennan, and the ad hoc Coalition Committee. Guest speakers include those candidates for office who are appalled at the ‘central planning’ characteristics of the Health and Human Services plans intending to decimate religious freedom with million dollar penalties that could lead to government takeover of charities and hospitals.

What: Voter Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally
When: Saturday, Oct 20, 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM.
Where: Near 4th St North and 62nd Ave North, St Petersburg http://founderscorner.us
Who: Local citizens opposed to Obamacare’s HHS Mandate

Guest Speakers include State Senator Jeff Brandes and State Representative Larry Ahern. The date for the Voter Stand Up Rally was chosen to highlight the opportunity presented by the Nov 6th election.

“Obamacare has been ruled constitutional. We must ensure that religious freedom will be protected in subsequent health care legislation” explained Michael F Brennan. “We must inform the voter that faith-based institutions and private businesses should not be violated or penalized for religious convictions that are protected by Law and are embedded in the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

Brennan emphasized that the Voter Stand Up Rally has nothing to do with access to contraception. “There is no ‘war on contraception’ in our country. Contraception is already widely, cheaply available. What’s really under attack today is religious freedom. ‘Central Planning’ manipulations are at the heart of these Health and Human Services planners. Takeover of charities by Washington D.C. in order to weaken opposition to future directives is endemic in their modus operandi. Just connect the dots.”

The Oct 20 Voter Stand Up Rally will inform St Petersburg: “We’re standing up for the First Amendment and demanding that all our health care laws respect religious freedom. The Supreme Court will not address the HHS mandate of Obamacare till late 2013.” Brennan explained.

For more information please contact: Michael F Brennan, (727) 518-5171, michaelfbrennan@gmail.com.

FL Democrats – Vote Against Combat Disabled Veterans

The Democrat Party of Sarasota, Florida has issued its sample ballots for the November 6, 2012 election. On the sample ballot is a recommendation to Vote No on the Florida Veterans Property Tax, Constitutional Amendment 2.

Florida Veterans Property Tax, Amendment 2 will appear on the November 6, 2012 state ballot in Florida as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The proposed measure would allow for property tax discounts for disabled veterans. This bill explicitly extends the the rights to ad valorem tax discounts, made available in 2010 to all veterans who were residents of Florida prior to their service, to all combat-disabled veterans currently living in Florida whether they were residents prior to their service or not. The proposed measure requires 60 percent voter approval for adoption.

Lee F. Kichen, Sarasota County, Florida resident and Chairman of the Legislative Committee of Florida’s Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) decried any recommendation to vote ‘No’ on Amendment 2. “We are absolutely astounded that there are political activists that are telling Florida voters that veterans with combat related disabilities don’t deserve a benefit earned in the crucible of battle. The precious right to vote has been guaranteed for over two hundred years by the countless sacrifices of American men and women who served in combat,” states Kichen

“A vote Yes on Amendment 2 is a vote for all of Florida”, says Kichen.

Amendment 2 changes a previously approved Constitutional amendment passed by Florida voters. According to local veterans it “rights a wrong by amending the language to include all combat disabled veterans living in Florida”. The amendment, if passed, becomes effective on January 1, 2013. The reduction in ad valorem taxes would not be realized by disabled veterans until tax year 2013–2014. Florida already provides a discounted ad valorem tax payment for combat-related disability, but it is currently limited to those individuals who were Florida residents when entering U.S. military service.

According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, Florida is home to 1.68 million veterans, of which 240,102 are receiving disability compensation. Florida has the highest percentage of population who are veterans of any state.

The League of Women Voters also opposes Amendment 2. To see their voting guide click here.

Courtesy of New York Times Company

Deirdre Macnab, state president of the League of Women Voters of Florida, writes, “Being invited to write a column to oppose tax breaks for disabled veterans, low-income seniors and spouses of veterans and first responders (our EMTs, firefighters, etc.) killed in the line of duty is like being asked to throw torpedoes at the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. But do it I will. That’s because this November, Florida voters will see 11 of the most confusing, complex and sometimes misleading state ballot amendments ever proposed, and voters will need to decide: Do I want this in our state constitution?”

Kitchen notes, “The League of Women voters stated the 11 amendments before the voters are ‘…confusing, complex and sometimes misleading…”. Amendment 2 is clearly and unambiguously the most simple. It allows all combat related disabled veterans, homesteaded in Florida and over the age of 65 to earn a benefit that has been already on the books for men and women who entered the military from Florida.'”

Macnab states, “The League’s concern is twofold: First, is the state constitution the appropriate place for tax breaks … for anyone? …Second, should Florida have a level playing field for taxes?”

“Florida is a better place because so many of these aging heroes who chose to retire here. The League and other activist groups are wrongly focused on decreased property tax revenues. They ignore the fact that the 1.6 million veterans living in Florida generate $9.1 billion in direct revenue from the federal government in the form of disability and survivor benefits, VA Health Care, VA construction projects and annual operating expenses. Veterans pay sales, school and property taxes. The League and other opponents fail to understand that a vote against Amendment 2 is more than a vote against combat disabled veterans,” states Kichen.

The League estimates property tax revenues would be reduced by $15 million over the first 3 years if Amendment 2 is passed. Each disabled veteran would see an average decrease in their property taxes of approximately $6,200 over three years.

EDITORS NOTE:

Democrats are also told to vote NO on:

Amendment 8, which repeals ban of public dollars for religious funding (the Freedom of Religion Amendment).

Amendment 9, which authorizes the legislature to totally or partially exempt surviving spouses of military veterans or first responders who died in the line of duty from paying property taxes.

Amendment 11, which authorizes counties and municipalities to offer additional tax exemptions on homes of low-income seniors.

Florida Senator Nancy Detert Slams Media

Florida Senator Nancy Detert (R-23) took the media to task at a rally in Sarasota, FL. Sarasota Patch provided the below video of her comments:

Senator Detert’s comments were made the day before the release of a Gallup poll showing, “Americans’ distrust in the media hit a new high this year, with 60% saying they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. Distrust is up from the past few years, when Americans were already more negative about the media than they had been in years prior to 2004.”

Charles Schelle, from Sarasota Patch, reports, “CBS was the only network to specifically cover the follow-up to the Libyan attack having a piece on Glen Doherty, American who died in Libyan attack, being laid to rest, then continued with reports of additional attacks in the Middle East. All the big three — NBC, ABC and CBS led with stories on Romney’s campaign, miscue or new poll numbers.”

RELATED COLUMN: Univision Shows Up Mainstream Media In Obama Interview 

Romney’s Chick-Fil-A Moment

Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney was video taped at a private fund raising event in Boca Raton, Florida. During his remarks he noted that today a large number of Americans are dependent on government and would likely be voting for President Obama.

Erick Erickson, CNN commentator and Editor of RedState.com, called this “Romney’s Chick-Fil-A moment”.

Erickson writes, “Just a few months ago, Dan Cathy of Chick-Fil-A, gave an interview to a Christian publication that asked him about the Chick-Fil-A Foundation’s support of marriage. Cathy defending his position and spoke about his family’s faith. CNN.com picked it up and ran a story that Cathy had come out against gay marriage.”

“The Chick-Fil-A controversy animated a whole lot of people. It just turned out that the people it most animated were the people who agreed with Dan Cathy. So it is, I think, with Mitt Romney’s comments,” noted Erickson.

The question is will Romney take advantage of it and use it as his defining moment? Will Romney fully embrace his position of wanting less government and make good his pledge to reduce dependency on government?

Kate Obenshain, in Divider-In-Chief, writes, “Obama’s governing coalition is made up of the very rich and those dependent on the government in some way.” Obenshain notes in 2008, “The only income group Obama lost in the general election was those with household incomes between $50,000 and $75-000 – the middle class.” In 2008 “Hillary Clinton was seen as the middle class candidate”.

Obenshain writes President Obama characterizes the Republican philosophy as, “We are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.” That is what Governor Romney essentially said on the video.

Will he stick with it as conservatives like Rush Limbaugh want?

According to Limbaugh, “This could be the [golden] opportunity for Romney and for that campaign to finally take the gloves off and take the fear off and just start explaining conservatism. Start explaining liberty to people and what it means, and explain that they don’t have to be in that 47%.”

Limbaugh noted during his radio show, “We don’t want 47% of the country thinking that there’s no hope for them.  We don’t want 47% of the country giving up.  And, like I say, I don’t think all 47% are made up of people who are dependent, but I know what Romney was trying to say to these people.  He was basically telling these people that we have reached a crossroads in this country.”

The Heritage Foundation reports, “It is true that nearly half of all tax filers—those who are filing an income form with the IRS—pay no federal income tax. It’s also true that millions of Americans receive direct government support in a host of ways, including income, food, housing, medical care, school lunches, and more.”

In 2009, 47 percent of all tax filers paid no federal individual income taxes, and in 2011 that figure was 46 percent. This raises a crucial question, as Heritage’s Alison Fraser points out: “Should nearly 50 percent of Americans really be exempt from funding the most basic constitutional functions of government—along with education, food stamps, energy, welfare, foreign aid, veterans’ benefits, housing, and so forth?”

“The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living!” – Dan Cofall, Wall Street Shuffle August 1, 2011.

Obama at Loyola University 1988 – “I actually believe in redistribution”:

Watch the video of Mitt Romney commenting on the 47% in Boca Raton, FL:

RELATED COLUMNS:

Obama, the great divider by Jeff Jacoby

Column: Romney’s answer to editorial

Shocking! A US Presidential candidate tells some home truths!

Government Dependency Rises As Number of Taxpayers Declines

Romney Tells the Truth: Conservatives Applaud, Media and Dems Go Nuts

The New Slavery Of Obamanomics

American Airlines Lays Off Over 1,000 in Florida

Gov. Rick Scott issued the following statement after American Airlines’ announcement that it expects to reduce their Florida workforce by more than 1,000 workers before the end of the year:

“American Airlines’ announcement today is certainly bad news for their company and a setback for hundreds of Florida families. We are focused on growing our economy so every Floridian has access to a great job because we know that having the opportunity to work hard and provide for your children is the heart of the American dream.

“I asked the Department of Economic Opportunity Director Hunting Deutsch to work with the Southwest Florida Workforce Investment Board, the Beacon Council, the Miami Chamber of Commerce and the associated labor unions to immediately develop a plan to transition these highly skilled aviation workers into other jobs. We know that Florida workers want to work, and assisting them in identifying other opportunities in our state is a top priority.”

The Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS)* from the US Department of Labor report that during the period February to July 2012 there have been 470 “Layoff Events” in Florida. 

According to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Florida has seen a decline in the labor force. In February 2012 there were 9,297,200 in the labor force. In July that number dropped to 9,269,500. Since February 27,700 left the workforce in Florida. During the same period 26,700 jobs were added and the unemployment rate dropped from 9.4 to 8.8 percent. The decline in the workforce may be reflected in the decline in unemployment and skew the number.

On January 1, 2013 Florida is expected to lose over 79,400 defense and defense related jobs due to mandated cut backs in defense spending, known as sequestration. Other jobs are expected to be lost as mandated cuts of $1.2 trillion are implemented. Defense contractors are required by law to send out layoff notifications beginning this month.

*The Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) program collects reports on mass layoff actions that result in workers being separated from their jobs. Monthly mass layoff numbers are from establishments which have at least 50 initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) filed against them during a 5-week period. Extended mass layoff numbers (issued quarterly) are from a subset of such establishments—where private sector nonfarm employers indicate that 50 or more workers were separated from their jobs for at least 31 days.

Media Matters vs. Investors Business Daily

As President Obama prepares to take the stage tonight and accept his party’s nomination for re-election there is an ongoing discussion about the state of the economy. The great question is: Are we as a nation better off today than four years ago?

Media Matters and Investors Business Daily (IBD) have both tried to answer this question. Each came to a different conclusion.

Media Matters states, “In their attempts to grapple with the question of whether Americans are better off, cable news outlets have regularly failed to provide important context about the dire state of the economy in late 2008, when millions of jobs were lost.” Investors Business Daily reports, “Obama’s argument is simple: The economy was headed for a second Great Depression when he took office — hemorrhaging GDP and jobs. His stimulus, the auto bailouts and so on, prevented that, and the economy has since been slowly digging out of the massive ditch into which President Bush drove it. Thus, Obama says, he deserves an ‘incomplete’ grade.”

Media Matters focuses on statements from five economists reflecting upon September 2008 and the financial crisis. Diana Henriques, who covered finance for The New York Times, states, “September 2008 was one of the scariest months I have ever experienced as a business reporter. We had seen Bear Stearns nearly fail, we had seen Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac taken under receivership.”

IBD takes a comparative approach, looking at key indicators then and now. IBD uses the following examples to answer the question:

• Median incomes: These have fallen 7.3% since Obama took office, which translates into an average of $4,000. Since the so-called recovery started, median incomes continued to fall, dropping $2,544, or 4.8%.

• Long-term unemployed: More than three years into Obama’s recovery, 811,000 more still fall into this category than when the recession ended.

• Poverty: The poverty rate climbed to 15.1% in 2010, up from 14.3% in 2009, and economists think it may have hit 15.7% last year, highest since the 1960s.

• Food stamps: There are 11.8 million more people on food stamps since Obama’s recovery started.

• Disability: More than 1 million workers have been added to Social Security’s disability program in the last three years.

• Gas prices: A gallon of gas cost $1.89 when Obama was sworn in. By June 2009, the price was $2.70. Today, it’s $3.84.

• Misery Index: When Obama took office, the combination of unemployment and inflation stood at 7.83. Today it’s 9.71.

• Union membership: Even unions are worse off under Obama, with membership dropping half a million between 2009 and 2011.

• Debt: Everyone is far worse off if you just look at the national debt. It has climbed more than $5 trillion under Obama, crossing $16 trillion for the first time on Tuesday and driving the U.S. credit rating down.

Media Matters states, “Other veteran financial scribes point to the overall economic picture today as compared to 2008, while also noting that the positive direction of the economy is important, too. Their comments are supported by a number of key indicators: The economy has grown for twelve consecutive quarters; private sector employment has grown for 29 consecutive months, adding millions of jobs; and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has nearly doubled from its low point in March 2009.”

Media Matters quotes Kevin Hall, McClatchy’s national economics correspondent, as saying, “If you go back and look at the charts — you can pull up the GDP chart, we are growing 2 to 2.2 percent — you would say it is clearly yes, compared to a 3.7 percent contraction in the third quarter of 2008, followed by an 8.9 percent contraction in the fourth quarter of 2008.”

The real indicator of if we are doing better will not be determined by economists or statistics. It will be determined at kitchen tables across America. What each family, individual and business owner feels and experiences will determine the truth about are we better off. This will translate into motivation to vote for or against a particular candidate.

Bottom line: Are YOU better off today than 4 years ago?

RELATED COLUMN: The Five ‘Reasons’ to Re-elect Obama By Larry Elder

Watchdog Wire Interviews Blaise Ingoglia, Sheila Krumholz and Marjorie Dannenfelser

Watchdog Wire interviews three citizens who are doing extraordinary things. Each heads their respective organization and tells the truth about the issue that is top of mind with them and their organization. Each organization is non-profit and issue oriented.

LISTEN TO THE EXCLUSIVE WATCHDOG WIRE INTERVIEWS WITH INGOGLIA, KRUMHOLZ AND DANNENFELSER.
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Our guests appear on the Podcast at the time noted below:

11:00 to 11:20 Blaise Ingoglia, www.GovernmentGoneWild.org. Blase speaks to government spending that is out of control and discusses his latest video “One Nation, Under Water”.

11:20 – 11:40 Sheila Krumholz, www.OpenSecrets.org. Sheila describes the influence of money on elections and how both political parties have focused on fundraising as the way to get elected, perhaps to the detriment of the election process.

11:40 to Noon Marjorie Dannenfelser, www.SBA-List.org. Marjorie describes the differences between the Democrat and Republican political platforms on the issue of the sanctity of life. She explains the history of the Susan B. Anthony List and its impact on statewide and Congressional elections.

Each guest provides special insights into why this election is so very important to them and their organization.

UPDATE:

This is a video released by SBA-List.org addressing what Marjorie discussed during her interview with Watchdog Wire – Florida:

The Clint Eastwood Effect on Florida

According to a SurveyUSA poll of the state of Florida conducted for WFLA-TV in Tampa, two-thirds of those who watched Thursday night’s speeches at the Republican National Convention already had decided who they would vote for before anyone opened their mouth, but among the small but important group of persuadable speech watchers, there is 2:1 movement towards Romney.

VIDEO: Clint Eastwood “Empty Chair Parody” at the RNC

1,211 adults were interviewed statewide on August 31, 201212, after Romney, Florida’s Marco Rubio and Clint Eastwood spoke to the convention on Thursday, August 30th. Of the adults, 1,100 were registered to vote in Florida. Of the registered voters, 754 heard the convention speeches. Of the convention speech watchers:

* 66% did not change their mind.
* 16% switched from “undecided” to Romney.
* 6% switched from Obama to Romney.
* Adding those 2 together, that’s 22% who switched TO Romney.
* 10% switched from “undecided” to Obama.
* 2% switched from Romney to Obama.
* Adding those 2 together, that’s 12% who switched TO Obama.
* Comparing the 2 aggregate numbers: 22% switched TO Romney, 12% switched TO Obama.

Caution: As expected, those who watched the speeches at the Republican National Convention were disproportionately Republican. This poll does not attempt to measure how all likely voters in the state of Florida would vote if filling out a ballot today. It attempts to measure early movement among speech-watchers only.

Reaction to individual speeches broke along party lines:

* 79% of Republicans, compared to 35% of Democrats, said Romney’s speech helped his chances to be elected.
* 12% of Republicans, compared to 45% of Democrats, said Eastwood’s speech hurt Romney’s changes to be elected.

RELATED COLUMNS:

Hill Poll: Voters say second term undeserved, country is worse off

New York Times Proves Clint Eastwood Correct — Obama Is Lousy CEO

Which Presidential Candidate Sides With You?

Charles Schelle and Mark Maley in their Sarasota Patch column “Online Tool Matches Voters with Ideal Presidential Candidate” note that “Floridians’ presidential preference leans more Libertarian in this online free quiz that takes an in-depth look at your stance on a range of issues, then compares them to candidates’ responses … A new website launched earlier this year to help voters match up with their ideal candidate, and it’s quickly gaining popularity through social media channels. In fact, according to iSideWith.com’s homepage, more than a million people have taken the free quiz to determine their ideal candidate since it launched in March.”

The free quiz may be taken by going to iSideWith.com.

According to Schelle and Maley, “The selection of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan as Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate has put presidential race into overdrive now that we know who all the players are.”

“But do you really know which presidential candidate best matches your stance on those issues? It may surprise you to find out who Floridians’ beliefs support,” note Schelle and Maley.

According to the iSideWith.com’s website Florida goes with Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson on domestic policy, healthcare and immigration issues. Who Florida sides with by party are: 51% are Democrat, 41% Green,  39% Republican and 37% Libertarian. This non-scientific survey shows Florida’s favorites in order: Libertarian Gary Johnson, Democrat Barack Obama, Republican Ron Paul and Republican Mitt Romney. Note that the three conservatives are most in line with how Floridians stand.

The question is will the Libertarian and Ron Paul vote go for Romney in November? Ideology may trump candidate support once inside the voting booth.