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Posts by BobMcCartyWrites

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  • Americans Say Iraq Better Off Now Than Before War

    09/14/2010 7:09:37 AM PDT · 1 of 1
    BobMcCartyWrites
    When I read the results of a BBC World News America/Harris Poll released today that show more than half -- 57 percent -- of Americans believe Iraq is better off today than it was before the U.S. invasion seven years ago, I couldn't help but recall what Barack Obama and Sen. Harry Reid had to say in 2007 about the effort to free more than 40 million people from an oppressive government in Iraq.

    On Jan. 30, 2007, then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) introduced legislation calling for a phased redeployment of U.S. combat troops in Iraq (VIDEO).

    On April 18, 2007, Senator Reid said, "The war is lost" during a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate (VIDEO).

    MORE OF THE POLL RESULTS

    One in five (19%) say Iraq is much better off and almost two in five (38%) say the country is somewhat better off. One in five U.S. adults (19%) say Iraq is worse off today, and one-quarter (24%) are not at all sure.

    Men are more likely than women to say Iraq is better off now (62% versus 51%) and women are more likely to take a "wait and see" approach, saying they are not sure (29% versus 18%). Older Americans are more likely to believe Iraq is better off now than it was before the invasion. Just half of those 18-34 years old (51%) say Iraq is better off today, compared to three in five of those 45-54 (59%) and 55 and older (61%) who say the same.

    Although Iraq may be better off, was the war itself worth fighting? Half of Americans (49%) say the war was worth fighting, with 19% saying it was very much worth fighting and 29% saying it was somewhat worth fighting. Two in five Americans (38%) believe the war in Iraq was not at all worth fighting. There is a regional difference on fighting the war. Almost half of those in the Northeast (45%) say the war was not worth fighting while 43% say the opposite. In the South, over half (53%) say the war in Iraq was worth fighting while one-third (33%) say it was not.

    Americans are divided on the issue of whether the war in Iraq made America more or less safe. Almost two in five (39%) say the war made America safer while just under that (35%) say the war in Iraq made us less safe and one-quarter (26%) are not at all sure.

    There is definitely a gender gap on this issue, as well. Men are more likely to say the war made America safer (44% versus 34%) while women are more likely to say it made the country less safe (39% versus 31%). There is also a regional difference here. Almost half of Southerners (46%) say the war in Iraq made America safer while just one-third of Westerners (32%) say the same.

    The history of the Iraq war is still being written and there is still a lot of uncertainty to how the events of the past seven years will be seen. Even as the combat stage of U.S. involvement is over, Americans are not sure what the war meant for both Iraq as well as the United States. The next generation of historians will be the ones to look back and see what the post-Iraq war world looked like.

    This BBC World News America/Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between August 19 and 23, 2010 among 2,340 adults (aged 18 and over).

  • Government Transparency Causes 'Blindness'

    09/03/2010 8:07:08 AM PDT · 1 of 1
    BobMcCartyWrites
    If my experience with one U.S. Department of Justice agency is indicative of how the federal government operates in this new era of transparency, then I must conclude that transparency causes "blindness."

    Several times during the past 18 months, I've contacted people at the National Institute of Justice -- the research, development and evaluation arm of the DoJ in Washington, D.C. -- with seemingly-innocuous questions about a grant the agency awarded to a state mental health agency in Oklahoma almost five years ago. NIJ's answers would better equip me to explain to my readers how NIJ works. Unfortunately, it seems NIJ officials prefer I remain "blind" to what's going on inside the agency.

    Some background: Curious to learn details about NIJ's criteria for granting non-competitive awards, I forwarded several questions to Jolene Hernon July 28. After pointing out to my contact in the NIJ Office of Communications that less than one percent of the total amount of NIJ’s annual awards in 2009 was non-competitive, according to the Guidelines Regarding Non-Competitive Awards published on the NIJ web site, I asked several questions as follows:

    • I asked Hernon to explain whether or not the guidelines used in granting non-competitive awards have changed since Jan. 1, 2005, and, if they have changed, asked her to explain those changes;
    • Prefacing my request with "If the guidelines have not changed," I asked her to explain the basis upon which a particular non-competitive award was granted; and
    • Finally, I asked for a copy of the NIJ director's "determination in writing," as called for in the current guidelines, that the award in question was worthy of non-competitive status.
    I asked the final question above after reading on the NIJ web site that the agency's policy is to make non-competitive awards only under the following circumstances:
    • Only one reasonable source — instances where only one responsible applicant can perform the work of the proposed award. Circumstances under which this may occur include when the NIJ Director has determined in writing that:

    ~ The applicant has proprietary information or proposes a project involving a unique idea, method, or approach toward advancing criminal justice, policy, and practice in the United States.

    ~ The applicant has made a substantial investment in an activity that would advance criminal justice policy and practice in the United States. The majority of NIJ's non-competitive awards to other Federal agencies fall into this category. These agreements are developed to leverage the investment or infrastructure of these agencies to criminal justice application.

    ~ The applicant is the only entity known to possess the capability to perform the work.

    • Compelling public interest — instances where the NIJ Director has determined in writing that exigent, urgent, or other compelling circumstances exist that make it in the public interest to make an award non-competitively. One example of such an instance might be an unusual and compelling urgency to execute a pilot project within a short window of opportunity to affect a public policy decision.
    • Statutory requirements — instances where a funding recipient is specified by an appropriations act or other applicable law.
    • Recommendations in Congressional reports, when a non-competitive award would be consistent with applicable law — instances where a House, Senate, or Conference Report accompanying an appropriations act or other law recommends an award to a particular recipient, and an award may be made consistent with applicable law, including any applicable executive orders.
    I closed my request by asking Hernon to "Please let me know if you plan to respond to this as a media inquiry or whether I must submit the questions above via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)."

    Make no mistake, I have received several short e-mail bursts from Hernon since July 28, but none qualify as answers. For instance:

    • On July 28, she wrote, "I will respond. But it will take me a day or two to find out the answers to your questions."
    • On July 30, she assured me, "I am still working on getting answers to your questions."
    • On Aug. 12, she explained, "As I am not a grant manager, I do not know the system very well. So I have been coordinating with others here at our agency."
    • On Aug. 20, she told me, "The people who can help answer your questions have scheduled a meeting for next week. I will be back in touch."
    Today, after going 34 days without an answer, I sent this message to Hernon:

    "I think you would agree that 34 days should be plenty of time for any government agency to answer my questions -- unless, that is, they're trying to cover things up or rewrite history. Should I expect answers anytime soon? Please advise."

    What happened to the citizen's right to know? I'm feeling blind.

  • Ride to Raise Awareness About 'Leavenworth 10'

    07/30/2010 7:30:19 AM PDT · 1 of 2
    BobMcCartyWrites
    A motorcycle rally to support one imprisoned soldier has blossomed into a nationwide "freedom ride" to support a group comprised mostly of Army soldiers who have become known as "The Leavenworth 10."

    On July 18, Scott and Vicki Behenna, parents of Army Ranger 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, informed me that plans were in the works to stage a motorcycle rally to bring attention to the plight of wrongfully-imprisoned soldiers such as her son, whose story has been highlighted in several posts at BigGovernment.com and is now serving a 15-year sentence for killing a known Al-Qaeda operative in self-defense. Today, it appears those plans are coming to fruition.

    "FREEDOM RIDE FOR THE LEAVENWORTH TEN" will originate in many states and culminate the morning of Sept. 4 in Leavenworth, Kan., according to the Behennas, and Army Lt. Col. Allen West, a retired Army officer running for Congress in Florida as a conservative candidate, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the event.

    "The intent of the Freedom Ride is to bring awareness to how our soldiers are being imprisoned for killing the enemy during a time of war which one news commentator compared to 'giving speeding tickets at a NASCAR race,'" the Behennas said in a recent e-mail. "These soldiers, serving multiple deployments, are provided complex and ever changing rules of engagement and then have to deal with untenable 'catch and release' policies against an enemy the U.S. military generals have yet to figure out how to defeat."

    Organizers are also looking for celebrity involvement in the ride to help increase the amount of attention paid to the plight of soldiers behind bars.

    For contact information and ever-evolving details about the ride, visit the L10 Freedom Ride web site.

    Also, if you're not familiar with The Leavenworth 10, check out the links to web sites below where you can learn more about each of the wrongfully-imprisoned soldiers:

    1LT Michael Behenna

    SGT Evan Vela Carnahan

    PFC Corey Clagett

    MSGT John E Hatley

    SPC William B Hunsaker

    SGT Michael Leahy

    SFC Joseph Mayo

    SGT Michael P Williams

    SSG Raymond Girouard

    SGT Larry Hutchins*

    *Marine Corps Sergeant Hutchins, the only non-Army member of the group, was freed pending the outcome of his appeal. See this story for more details.

  • 28 Tea Party Groups NOT Endorsing Roy Blunt

    07/28/2010 5:49:48 AM PDT · 1 of 29
    BobMcCartyWrites

    Two days ago, I published a post, Roy Blunt NOT Endorsed by State Tea Party Groups, which included news today that members of three influential Tea Party groups -- including groups in Blunt's "neighborhood" towns of Branson and Springfield, Mo. -- have NOT endorsed Roy Blunt! Today, I received a news release outlining how a total of 28 Missouri Tea Party groups -- or 8,660 patriots -- are on the anti-endorsement bandwagon.

    Below is the text of a news release (minus contact phone numbers) received late this evening from a representative of the Springfield (Mo.) 9-12ers Tea Party group:

    MISSOURI TEA PARTY GROUPS HAVE NOT ENDORSED ROY BLUNT FOR U.S. SENATE

    The following list of Tea Party organizations, from across the state of Missouri, have NOT endorsed Roy Blunt in his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat. When we received a notification that Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a strong supporter of Tea Parties nationally, and the originator of a “Tea Party Caucus” in Washington last week, will be coming to Missouri on July 31st to make phone calls with Roy Blunt from the St. Louis GOP headquarters, and to be a featured speaker at a Blunt fundraiser that night, we were shocked. We believe she has been grossly misled if she understands him to be a Missouri Tea Party candidate.

    Tea Party participants believe the spending in Washington has to STOP. Roy Blunt voted for TARP and Cash for Clunkers. For Michele Bachmann to come to Missouri and give the impression that all the Missouri Tea Parties support Roy Blunt is an abomination of everything we have been standing up for. “Most Tea Party supporters I know will be baffled by Michele Bachmann helping someone with a record like Roy Blunt before the primary vote,” said Jedidiah Smith, a Tea Party leader in Franklin County, Missouri.

    "Missouri Tea Party groups are proud of our steadfast position not to endorse candidates and to remain independent of political parties. We encourage all voters to examine the voting records, positions, and values of all candidates, to determine whether they promote the core values of the Tea Party Movement: fiscal responsibility, constitutionally-limited government, and free markets." said Eric Farris, a Tea Party leader in Branson, Missouri. There are sixteen candidates running for the Missouri U.S. Senate seat and the consistent message, among Tea Party participants, has been to check each of them out before voting in the August 3rd Primary.

    Signed by the following Tea Parties (# of members), Contact Person:

    Branson Tea Party Coalition (246), Eric Farris; Buffalo Tea Party (102), Paul Beaird; Callaway Tea Party (52), Jeff Kauffman; Cape County Tea Party (150), Tom Young; Cass County (10), Dan Duckworth; Cassville Tea Party (100), Judith Mouser; Cooper County Tea Party (75), Daryl Bowles; Eureka Tea Party (497), Jeannine Huskey; Franklin County Patriots (860), Jedidiah Smith; In God We Trust PAC, Kansas City (500+), Kristi Nichols; In God We Trust Tea Party, SW MO (40), Greg Bartlett; Jefferson County Tea Party (600+), Ken Horton; Johnson County Patriots (100+), Jeff Merrick; K & N Patriots (O’Fallon) (650+), Janet Allquist; MID MO 9/12 Patriots (Columbia) (100), Chris O’Conner; Missouri As A Mom (415), Jacquelyn Ehrlich, Missouri ChairMOM; *Missouri Sovereignty Project (1,825), Tom Grady; Patriots of the Constitution (Salem) (167), Jan Abney; St. Joseph Tea Party (185), Maggie Siegmund; Show Me Patriots, Greater St. Louis Area (360), Cindy McGee; Sikeston Tea Party (400), Pam Yant; Springfield 912ers (203), Mike Crites; Springfield MO Tea Party (457), Janice Ellison; Sullivan 912 Group (50), Sandra Davidson; SW MO Conservative Network (Joplin) (280+), John Putnam; We Surround Them 912 Project, Jefferson Cnty & S. St. Louis Cnty (126), Rick Blowers; We The People . . . St. Francois County (55), Tammy Holmes; and 912 We The People of Monroe County MO (55), Ron & Martha Staggs.

    Individual Statements from Various Groups Follow:

    Eureka Tea Party -- “Eureka Tea Party believes that for Congresswoman Michele Bachmann to form a "Tea Party Caucus," and then openly endorse a Missouri candidate (Roy Blunt) before the Primary Election as a candidate believed to be representing the views of the tea party movement, is extremely premature on her part. She is either working directly for the GOP as an endorser for GOP backed Republican candidates, or she is completely misinformed and/or attempting to mislead the tea party groups. The Republican Party, or any other political party here in Missouri, should not assume that everyone in this patriot uprising will follow their lead when told to do so, as we are more informed and aware of who we believe will represent the people by adhering to state sovereignty, fiscal conservatism, and the U.S. Constitution. Candidates should not be promoted based solely on popular endorsement by other politicians and special interests, but by the people reviewing candidates' past performance in office and their stand on current political issues.

    "We believe that Michele Bachmann is risking the status of her 'Tea Party Caucus' by taking this stand in Missouri before the Primary Election on August 3rd, and respectfully ask her to reconsider by NOT promoting Roy Blunt as the 'tea party' choice.”

    In God We Trust PAC -- “In God We Trust PAC has not endorsed and would never endorse Roy Blunt for the U.S. Senate. Roy Blunt does not stand for the conservative values and principles the Tea Party movement represents. He is a career politician and Washington insider who has sold out his constituents for special interest money. Roy Blunt is, in fact, what we are endeavoring to 'purge' out of Washington. Michele Bachman is a woman of integrity, character, and honor. She needs to remove herself from this venue and gather more details of the "real" tea party groups and candidates.”

    Jefferson County Tea Party -- “Big spending Republicans that voted to increase the size and scope of Government during the Bush years are part of the problem, not the solution. During the Bush years Congressman Blunt voted for the Prescription Drug Bill, bloated farm bills, TARP, and many other spending bills that grew the size of the government. Recently, he voted for Cash For Clunkers (4 Billion Dollars) and then voted a 2nd time to increase the program by another 2 BILLION dollars. Congressman Blunt and President Obama are two of the top ten recipients of donations from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were the main cause of the financial meltdown. If posing as a fiscal conservative were a crime, Roy Blunt would be on top 10 wanted list. The Tea Party loves Michele Bachman, but we feel she has been seriously misinformed if she thinks the tea party is a supporter of Congressman Blunt.”

    K & N Patriots -- “K & N Patriots has not endorsed Roy Blunt for the U.S. Senate. Any representation that we have is incorrect. We would view it as engaging in "the same old politics" and an attempt to deliberately mislead our members and Tea Party voters at large. K & N Patriots does NOT endorse or campaign for candidates. In addition it is our opinion that those who believe in Tea Party values do not admire strategies 'cooked up' by slick, overpaid political consultants with the objective of misleading or fooling voters. That's precisely what Tea Party organizations and their supporters are trying to GET RID OF! We would advise Michele Bachmann and all candidates who agree with independent conservative values to avoid being involved in such activities.”

    MID MO 9/12 Patriots -- “Roy Blunt is not a true Conservative. He is the Number one taker of donations from Freddie and Fannie, he voted for TARP, and convinced other Republicans to vote for TARP as well. He is not a true Conservative and he has not and will continue to not uphold our Constitution, both State and U.S. We sponsor no candidates but if you were to sponsor someone, (name deleted) is the one to sponsor. The Tea Party is not the Republicans to claim. This is the citizen’s movement and we will not stand for any politicians to try to use us for their own political gain.”

    Missouri As A MOM -- “The Missouri As A Mom organization does NOT endorse any candidate nor any political party. Our Mission Statement includes the 9 Principles and 12 Values of all 9/12 groups. We support 'Boldly speaking out against deficit spending' as stated in our Mission Statement. Law makers who voted FOR 'TARP' and 'Cash for Clunkers' are NOT against deficit spending. It would be in Rep. Bachmann's best interests to remain NEUTRAL until after the August 3rd Missouri Primary since she herself has a record of voting against deficit spending.”

    *Missouri Sovereignty Project -- "The Missouri Sovereignty Project supports all candidates who sign its pledge to uphold and support the Bill of Rights' 10th Amendment. Both Republican Senate candidates Mr. Blunt and Mr. Purgason have done so. If a poll of over 720 of our 1,800 members and the voting public (http://www.missourisovereigntyproject.com/us-senate.html) is a testament to which of these gentlemen more closely adheres to constitutional principles, Mr. Purgason, by a 71% to 29% margin, would be their choice.

    "We have a tremendous amount of respect for Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and look to her steadfast national leadership in the Tea Party cause. The Missouri Sovereignty Project is perplexed that she would publically participate in campaign efforts on behalf of Mr. Blunt, thereby rejecting the potential Tea Party credentials of all other candidates. We join Tea Party groups across the great state of Missouri in asking Ms. Bachmann to reconsider her August 31 fundraising efforts for Mr. Blunt."

    Sikeston Tea Party -- “We, in the Sikeston Tea Party, do not endorse or even want Roy Blunt for our next Senator. We do not appreciate Michelle Bachman coming here as a representative of the Tea Party and making that endorsement and campaigning for him. She does not represent the views of the Sikeston Tea Party on this issue.”

    Springfield 912ers -- “We invited Roy Blunt to attend a Missouri U.S. Senatorial Candidate Townhall, along with all other 17 candidates in the race. Mr. Blunt did not respond.”

    SW MO Conservative Network -- “We invited Congressman Blunt to several of our meetings over the last year and were told by his scheduler that he would not attend a candidate forum until after the Primary.”

    Sullivan 912 Group -- “Our word for those who are endorsing others: One should really check out the candidate's representation of his area and the desire of the constituents before jumping on board to endorse one of their playmates. That makes grassroots wonder if we should maybe look into our 'misplaced' trust a little more thoroughly. One who uses grassroots tea party groups and our strength, to push forward their own agenda, and to build public support for their cause, is not playing with the standard routine playmates. We are more knowledgeable of the game and know when we are being hoodwinked. This is not to say that, occasionally your cause may fit with our agenda. We may like the message, but not support the messenger. Thanks, but no thanks.”

    Say what one will, the statements above should catch the attention of a lot of Missouri politicians -- especially Roy Blunt!

    Vote wisely, Missourians!

  • Missouri Citizens Set to Vote on 'ObamaCare'

    07/26/2010 6:59:10 PM PDT · 8 of 8
    BobMcCartyWrites to secondamendmentkid

    Polls say she’s ahead.

  • Missouri Right to Life President Pam Fichter Explains Why Group Endorsed Cynthia Davis

    07/26/2010 1:32:16 PM PDT · 5 of 5
    BobMcCartyWrites to earlJam

    What didn’t I tell you, earlJam?

  • Missouri Right to Life President Explains Endorsement of Jo Ann Emerson

    07/26/2010 1:21:25 PM PDT · 1 of 2
    BobMcCartyWrites

    Recently, Republican Jo Ann Emerson received received a boost in her bid for re-election in Missouri's 8th Congressional District. That boost came in the form of a highly-coveted endorsement of Missouri Right to Life, and it came despite the fact the seven-term incumbent had cast votes against life on at least two occasions during the past five years.

    Curious as to how MRTL President Pam Fichter might explain how her organization's leaders reached such a decision, I asked her about it Saturday when I caught up with her in O'Fallon, Mo. The key point I picked up during the interview was that Emerson changed her position on at least one contentious issue and, as a result, she became more fit for the group's endorsement. The interview appears in this video.

    Below are links to information about the two votes which I suspect many pro-lifers would say should disqualify her for the pro-life group's endorsement:

    • Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines (Vote number 2007-020 on Jan 11, 2007); and
    • Voted YES on allowing human embryonic stem cell research (Vote number 2005-204 on May 24, 2005).
    FYI: Emerson's GOP primary opponent, Bob Parker, is pro-life and told me he would never vote to approve the killing of human embryos.

    Vote wisely, Missourians! Emerson just might change her mind again and vote against protecting human life!

  • Missouri Right to Life President Pam Fichter Explains Why Group Endorsed Cynthia Davis

    07/26/2010 1:16:41 PM PDT · 1 of 5
    BobMcCartyWrites
    Curious to learn the basis for Missouri Right to Life's highly-coveted endorsement of State Rep. Cynthia Davis over incumbent State Sen. Scott Rupp in the heated Republican primary race for Missouri's 2nd Senatorial District seat, I caught up with Pam Fichter, president of the pro-life group, Saturday in O'Fallon.

    In this video, Fichter explains why MRTL selected Davis over Rupp.

    Vote wisely, Missourians!

  • Missouri Citizens Set to Vote on 'ObamaCare'

    07/26/2010 1:11:49 PM PDT · 1 of 8
    BobMcCartyWrites
    When I interviewed Missouri State Sen. Jane Cunningham (R-Chesterfield) eight months ago, the Missouri Health Care Freedom Act was just an idea about to be introduced in the Missouri Senate. Today, the measure (a.k.a., "Proposition C") is only days away -- Aug. 3 -- from going before voters in a first-in-the-nation citizens' referendum on ObamaCare. And it's attracted the attention of both The New York Times and Fox News Channel along the way.

    Senator Cunningham informed me over the weekend that she will be a guest on FNC's "Special Report with Bret Baier" Thursday at 5 p.m. Central and that the Times is going to cover the pro-HCFA fundraiser/rally being held Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at The Columns Banquet Center in St. Charles, Mo.

    Further, the senator said more than $100,000 has been raised, 8,000 yard signs are up, and that radio ads promoting passage of Proposition C will start airing today on radio stations across the state.

    According to the Missourians for Health Care Freedom web site, "a YES vote for Proposition C will send a message across the country and around the world that the nation that has brought freedom to so many will not now sacrifice those basic rights to government bureaucrats." I tend to agree.

    If you're not familiar with HCFA ("Proposition C"), visit Missourians for Health Care Freedom or read my posts on the Missouri Health Care Freedom Act.

    Whatever you do, vote wisely, Missourians! Your health just might depend on it!

  • Jo Ann Emerson Sides With Harry Reid in Push to Nationalize Police and Firefighters Unions

    06/16/2010 5:48:31 AM PDT · 1 of 3
    BobMcCartyWrites

    When searching for pieces of union-friendly legislation not serving the best interests of all Americans, it seems one needs only look for bills upon which the name of U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, appears as a sponsor.

    In a June 3 article about the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act (H.R. 413), writer Warner Todd Houston describes the push by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to nationalize all police and firefighters unions as one that “outrageously violates the most basic tenet of American politics: local control.” In turn, I wasn't surprised to find Emerson listed as a sponsor of the bill.

    Yes, it's the same Emerson who's sponsoring the $165 billion union pension bailout bill, whose campaigns regularly rely upon money from radical labor unions (see graphic below), and whose second husband, Ron Gladney, is a big-time labor union attorney and Democrat (see the end of this post for more details about him).

    Not surprisingly, Emerson isn't the only member of the Missouri Congressional delegation whose name appears on the list. Sadly, she is joined by one GOP colleague, Rep. Samuel Graves (R, Mo-6), and three Democrat Party colleagues, Reps. Russ Carnahan (Mo-3), William "Lacy' Clay (Mo-1), and Emanuel Cleaver (Mo-5).

    What, exactly, are these members of Congress and nearly 300 of their colleagues -- including, sadly, some four-dozen Republicans -- supporting as sponsors of H.R. 413? The only good points listed among the provisions in the GovTrack summary of the bill center upon prohibitions on lockouts and strikes. Unfortunately, they'll hold little weight when coupled with the other provisions which, by themselves, will provide unions so much power at the bargaining table that they'll have no reason to stage lockouts or strikes.

    If we're really unlucky and this bill becomes law, according to another article, the specter of totally-unionized government workers being able to shut our country down as they do in France will become very real.

  • Jo Ann Emerson Asked to Explain Past Votes in Favor of Wasting Billions in Taxpayer Dollars

    06/15/2010 3:08:43 PM PDT · 4 of 5
    BobMcCartyWrites to Mr. K

    Running for her seventh full term. First term was only partial as she replaced her first husband who died while serving in the office she now holds.

  • Jo Ann Emerson Asked to Explain Past Votes in Favor of Wasting Billions in Taxpayer Dollars

    06/15/2010 12:58:18 PM PDT · 1 of 5
    BobMcCartyWrites

    Facebook is a great tool for sharing information and misinformation alike. Want proof? Ask U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri's 8th Congressional District.

    In an entry on her Facebook page Monday, the lobbyist-turned congressman's wife-turned congresswoman introduces a Bloomberg article about a $160 billion Fannie-Freddie Fix by writing, "This is the mother of all bailouts - I'm working against Washington insiders to stop Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from getting a Trillion Dollars of taxpayer money - no strings attached."

    After reading the Facebook entry this morning, I added the following comment -- which includes a pertinent question -- to the ten others already there:

    I don't understand. You claim to be against spending billions of taxpayer dollars, yet you voted to spend billions on TARP ($787 billion), Cash for Clunkers ($3 billion) and Omnibus Spending Bill ($450 billion). Can you explain yourself? http://bobmccarty.com/2010/05/03/should-jo-ann-emerson-run-as-independent/

    Will the RINO Republican explain herself as I requested? Let's just say, I'm not holding my breath. Emerson will likely opt to side with misinformation rather than shoot straight with voters.

    Stay tuned!

    UPDATE 6/15/10 at 12:17 p.m. Central: It appears my comment caught the attention of Josh Haynes, one of Congresswoman Emerson's two chiefs of staff (?). In a comment posted about 40 minutes ago on her Facebook page, he wrote the following: "Bob, are you an 8th District voter? Would be happy to have you meet Jo Ann at event in the District some time." I responded, writing: "Great, Josh! Pop me a message with times and dates of upcoming events. As for whether or not I'm a voter in the 8th CD, no I'm not. I am, however, concerned about the impact your boss has on my family and on the rest of my fellow citizens across the United States."

  • Soldier's Parents Call Double Standard 'Outrageous'

    06/14/2010 6:37:35 AM PDT · 1 of 7
    BobMcCartyWrites

    EDITOR’S NOTE: Below, I share the latest message from Scott and Vicki Behenna about their son, Army Ranger 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, a man who's serving a 15-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth following his wrongful conviction, sentencing and imprisonment for killing a known Al-Qaeda operative in self-defense:

    To the thousands of Michael Behenna supporters:

    The New York Times recently reported (see link below) that the U.S. military has initiated a policy to “reintegrate” imprisoned Taliban fighters to their Afghan communities. These Taliban fighters were caught with evidence that they had killed our soldiers, but are released to their families in an active war zone with merely a ‘pledge’ that they will not return to the Taliban. This appears to be the latest attempt to win the hearts and minds of our enemies and taking the ‘catch and release policy’ to a whole new level.

    This brings us to Michael’s case. Michael has been incarcerated by the Army for over a year now. We have asked at every level that Michael’s constitutional right to a fair trial be granted so that all the evidence is disclosed to the jury. Doesn’t seem too much to ask for an American citizen who fought for his country does it? Yet Michael’s request for a new trial has been stranded. The Army seems to be in no hurry to have Michael’s case in front of the Army Court of Appeals as they have yet to file their response to Michael’s brief which was filed back in December 2009.

    There is a double standard in play here where enemy combatants are given mercy, but our soldiers/Marines are denied mercy. STILL IN CUSTODY. For example, Marine Sgt. Larry Hutchins, whose conviction was overturned several weeks by the Navy Appellate Court, is while the Navy appeals the decision to the next appellate level.

    During the past year, we have come to know the families of the other soldiers/Marines who have been charged and convicted of ‘murder’ of Al-Qaeda or insurgents while in a combat zone. We have watched as these soldiers/Marines and their families prepare for clemency hearings before the military clemency boards. (The Armed Forces have a procedure, independent of the appellate process, where an incarcerated soldier/Marine can appear before a clemency board and ask for a reduction of his sentence, or if the individual has served at least one-third of his sentence they may request parole.) We have heard the hopelessness in the voices of the families when they learn that their son or husband will not receive ANY reduction in their sentence. It is difficult for these military families to know that based on a ‘solemn’ pledge Taliban fighters are released by the SAME U.S. military leadership and allowed to return home to their families. What message does the U.S. military send when we punish our own soldiers more harshly then we punish the combatants who have killed our brave men and women on the front lines of this war on terrorism?

    Many of the soldiers/Marines I am speaking of, including our son, would never find themselves involved in the criminal justice system but for their combat experience. These soldiers/Marines do not have previous criminal histories, and their military records are replete with honorable service including purple hearts, bronze stars, and multiple deployments in defense of our country. Some of these soldiers fell victim to the military’s ‘catch and release’ policy that returns enemy combatants to the battlefield where they return to fight our soldiers time and time again. Yet others were protecting themselves or their men in a combat zone. Even if they made mistakes in judgment during war, should they be sentenced to 10-40 years while the enemy is totally forgiven? Why shouldn’t the SAME military leadership afford our combat soldiers/Marines a second chance!

    If the U.S. military will release Taliban fighters simply on a pledge by their families that they will not rejoin the Taliban then we ask the same for our troops. These soldiers/Marines are not a threat to our society and deserve to be home with their families. We ask that you the American public stand with us. Our request is that each of you vouch for these soldiers/Marines and demand that our military extend the same mercy to them as they did to the enemy combatants who are trying to kill our soldiers every day.

    Please write a letter to your Senator, Congressman, and the Secretary of Defense and advise them that this double-standard will not be tolerated.

    Bless you for your continued support,

    Scott and Vicki Behenna

    DefendMichael.com

    To read previous BMW posts about Michael, click here.

    To download an unofficial brochure about Michael’s case, click here.

  • Oil Spill Cleanup Official Says Plentiful Packgen Boom Didn't Pass Initial Quality Control Test

    06/13/2010 2:41:29 PM PDT · 14 of 16
    BobMcCartyWrites to Robert A. Cook, PE

    FYI: The spokesperson, whom I know, is a Navy officer detailed to serve on the response team. In short, I trust him. Do I trust the rest of the people on the response team (i.e., the Obamatrons)? Not on your life!

  • Oil Spill Cleanup Official Says Plentiful Packgen Boom Didn't Pass Initial Quality Control Test

    06/13/2010 1:14:56 PM PDT · 1 of 16
    BobMcCartyWrites

    There's been a lot of criticism circulating throughout the web -- and even throughout the conservative blogosphere (here and here)-- about the apparent failure by Obama Administration officials to take advantage of warehouses in Maine that are reportedly full of boom manufactured by Packgen. Though I'm the last person anyone would expect to see defending the Obama Administration, I think some of the criticism might be misplaced.

    I base my conclusion above upon information I received via e-mail from Navy Lt. Cmdr. J.R. Hoeft, Deepwater Horizon Response spokesperson, helps explain why officials involved in the cleanup efforts -- likely BP officials and not "Obamatrons" -- did not jump to take advantage of the reported abundance of boom in the Pine Tree State:

    The boom manufactured by Packgen did not pass an initial quality control test. Boom is subjected to great wear and tear when placed in the water and must be frequently tended. In order to retain its effectiveness boom must be of high quality. Once Packgen's boom passes inspection, the company can be considered as a source for supplying boom to the largest oil spill response operation in U.S. history. In the meantime, suitable boom is being identified and obtained quickly and there is currently 459,000 feet of boom stored in the region in addition to the 2.24 million feet deployed.

    Conservative friends, don't take this the wrong way. I remain convinced the Obama Administration has handled this disaster as badly as any disaster has ever been handled and will likely continue to do so. At the same time, however, we must remember that there are so many other areas of failure upon which we can focus.

  • Serious Flaws in Homeland Security IT System

    06/09/2010 9:43:25 AM PDT · 1 of 7
    BobMcCartyWrites

    Earlier this week, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced what was touted as a "major aviation security milestone". Specifically, she claimed in a news release that 100 percent of passengers traveling within the United States and its territories are now being checked against terrorist watchlists through the Transportation Security Administration's Secure Flight program—a major step in fulfilling a key 9/11 Commission recommendation. Not so fast, Janet!

    According to the executive summary of a just-released report from the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Richard L. Skinner, there are serious flaws in the system:

    Systems within the headquarters' enterprise Active Directory domain are not fully compliant with the department's security guidelines, and no mechanism is in place to ensure their level of security. These systems were added to the headquarters domain, from trusted components, before their security configurations were validated. Allowing systems with existing security vulnerabilities into the headquarters domain puts department data at risk of unauthorized access, removal, or destruction.

    And that's not all:

    Also the department does not have a policy to verify the quality of security configuration on component systems that connect to headquarters. Interconnection security agreements are present for each connections between headquarters and components to secure shared services; however, neither the agreements nor other policy define specific security controls required for connecting systems. Stronger management and technical controls are needed on trusted systems to protect data provided by the department's enterprise wide applications.

    What does this mean? The very people charged with protecting the nation from online and offline security threats appear to have failed when it comes to protecting their own information technology systems which, in turn, was supposed to help protect the flying public.

    If you "speak" IT and are interested in a more in-depth discussion of the issues, click here.

  • Phil Hare Needs to Stop Calling Himself A Veteran

    06/09/2010 9:38:42 AM PDT · 41 of 41
    BobMcCartyWrites to oldbill

    I’m a veteran, and Hare is not. He never served on active duty, reservist or not. End of story!

  • Phil Hare Needs to Stop Calling Himself A Veteran

    06/07/2010 8:20:02 PM PDT · 38 of 41
    BobMcCartyWrites to oldbill

    They are ONLY IF they serve on active duty for a prescribed number of days. Hare did not!

  • Phil Hare Needs to Stop Calling Himself A Veteran

    06/04/2010 6:01:28 PM PDT · 37 of 41
    BobMcCartyWrites to oldbill

    I am a veteran, oldbill, and the “Veteran status” is, according to multiple online government sources (Hint: Search “Determining veteran status”), reserved for a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable. Reservists do not necessarily qualify.

  • Phil Hare Needs to Stop Calling Himself A Veteran

    06/03/2010 5:37:52 PM PDT · 27 of 41
    BobMcCartyWrites to Ecliptic

    “Veteran status” is, according to multiple online government sources (Hint: Search “Determining veteran status”), reserved for a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable. Reservists do not necessarily.