Presidential Math, or The Obama Mandate

May 12, 2011

In his campaign speech earlier this week in El Paso, President Obama claimed credit for making our southern border the best border ever, by doing lots of good stuff, like adding more border agents and finishing the border fence. In fact, the President went so far as to say this

” They wanted a fence. Well, that fence is now basically complete.” [Emphasis mine

Hmmm. If it’s true, as President Obama said  that the fence across our southern border is “basically complete,” let’s see what kind of math that equates to in other areas of Presidential endeavor.

670 miles of completed fence divided by an entire border of 2,000 miles. That gives us a baseline definition:
“Basically complete” = 33% done.

By that standard, we could say that joblessness is basically solved: 33% of the current unemployment rate of 9% gives us a basically complete unemployment rate of 3%. Wow! We haven’t seen anything close to that since 1969!

We could say that our looming energy crisis is basically averted: with average gasoline prices well over $4/gallon, we’re basically paying 33% of that, or $1.40. We’re golden!

And while we can’t actually say that the budget crisis is solved, $4.6 trillion sounds a heck of a lot more solvable that $14 trillion, doesn’t it?

Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. By President Obama’s “basically complete” mandate, we can say with confidence that Obama’s presidency is more than basically complete. It’s over and above complete, and past time for him to get out of the White House.

After all, who would dare argue with Presidential Math!


The System Worked… Again

May 10, 2011

Yet another “Allahu Ackbar”-shouting terrorist wannabe was prevented from damaging a plane full of passengers coming in for final approach to San Francisco on Sunday night. But it wasn’t the TSA who prevented what could have been a tragedy. No, the TSA allowed Rageh Almurisi, carrying a Yemeni passport to board American Airlines flight #1561 from Chicago.

No, it was the flight crew and the passengers who subdued Mr. Almurisi after he began screaming and pounding on the door of the cockpit. HotAir reports:

[One passenger] recalled that she and other passengers on the plane were stunned when they saw Almurisi walking down the aisle. She said a woman in a row across from her who speaks Arabic translated that Almurisi said “God is Great!” in Arabic…

“There was no question in everybody’s mind that he was going to do something,” Marty said.

A male flight attendant tackled Almurisi, and other crew members and passengers, including a retired Secret Service agent and a retired San Mateo police officer, helped subdue him as he banged on the door, police said. The flight attendant put plastic handcuffs on him.

Or as our distinguished Secretary of Homeland Security likes to say, “The system worked.”

The time is rapidly approaching–if it hasn’t already passed– for us to start taking full responsibility for our own safety (wherever we are), because those we have hired to protect us surely aren’t doing their jobs. As the old saying goes, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

The good people on Flight #1561 understood this and took appropriate action. And I think that the crew and passengers acted in a remarkable restrained manner in making their surroundings secure. In fact, it would have been completely understandable had Mr. Almurisi suffered, oh, say a few broken ribs during the “incident.”

Each of us must decide just how much we want to contribute to our own safety, especially when traveling by air. Flying is one of those experiences in which passengers are trapped together in relatively uncomfortable surroundings; outside them is an environment hostile to human life, inside are passengers and crew, mostly trying to coexist peacefully enough to get back safely on the ground at the destination.

I don’t travel much by air these days. But now, when I do, I will be doing a constant threat assessment throughout any flight I’m on. And that includes scanning the passengers as we wait to board, and eavesdropping on conversations. I will be prepared to shout, distract, throw things, join an attack on a would-be terrorist, and in short, do whatever it takes to make sure any plane I’m on lands as safely as possible.

The long and short of it is this: We the People are the system now. We’d better work.


President Who Got Bin Laden Still a Jerk

May 5, 2011

I am as pleased and proud as everyone else that President Obama managed to get Osama bin Laden. It was a day America has been looking forward to for nearly a decade now. Obama deserves a great deal of credit for manning up and ordering the kill. But then…

After a photo-op/victory lap at Ground Zero in New York City today where he glad-handed families of 9-11 victims, the President pointedly snubbed Debra Burlingame, sister of the pilot of the plane which crashed into the Pentagon.

Ms. Burlingame met with the President briefly, congratulated him on his achievement, and then asked him about whether he would suggest to his Attorney General, Eric Holder, that Mr. Holder cease the prosecution of the CIA interrogators who gleaned vital intelligence which ultimately contributed to the finding of Osama bin Laden. In her words:

“As a former attorney I know you can’t tell the Attorney General what to do, he said, ‘No, I can’t.’ And I said, but that shouldn’t stop you from giving your opinion. After all, we wouldn’t be here celebrating today if they hadn’t done their job. And they have the hammer of a possible indictment over their head. Can’t you at least give him your opinion?’ And he said ‘No I won’t,’ and he turned around and walked away.” [Video at the link above]

Or as Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal said in an opinion piece today,

“…[L]et us pause to remember some of this celebrated event’s most forgotten men: the Central Intelligence Agency officers who sit under the cloud of a criminal investigation begun in 2009 by Attorney General Eric Holder into their interrogations of captured terrorists.

“That’s right, the Americans whose interrogation of al Qaeda operatives may have put in motion the death of this mass murderer may themselves face prosecution by the country they were trying to protect.

“It is time for the Holder CIA investigation to end. The death of bin Laden 10 years after 9/11 makes the Holder investigation of the CIA interrogators politically, emotionally and morally moot.

“But it lives.”

What are the chances that Obama will order Holder to drop the investigation into the very people who ensured his success on Sunday?

My guesses: slim, and none.


Bin Laden Dead: Curb Your Enthusiasm

May 2, 2011

On the surface, the news is what we’ve all been waiting to hear for nearly 10 years: Osama bin Laden, the founder of the jihadist terror organization al-Qaeda and the monster behind numerous terrorist attacks, including the 9/11 attack on the US is dead.

All devout Americans celebrate his departure from this light and his descending directly into the bowels of hell.  Michelle Malkin has done her usual stellar job in listing some of bin Laden’s most dastardly deeds, in addition to 9/11. No person with a soul will miss the vicious bastard.

But before we declare today a national holiday, let’s take stock in some additional points that should be taken into consideration:

  • In a report from, as of last week-end, 4683 American soldiers have died in the combined conflagrations in Iraq and Afghanistan since the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) on October 7, 2001 and Operation Iraqi Freedom (beginning with the invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003).  This does not take into consideration the number of deaths to coalition soldiers from other countries fighting in support of US Troops.
  • According to a March 29th report from the Congressional Research Service, Congress has approved a total of $1.283 trillion for military operations, base security, reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans’ health care for the three operations initiated since the 9/11 attacks: Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Afghanistan and other counter terror operations; Operation Noble Eagle (ONE), providing enhanced security at military bases; and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). This estimate assumes that the current CR level continues through the rest of the year and that agencies allocate reductions proportionately.

Looking at the above, bin Laden’s death comes with a mighty high price tag. But it shows the world, that the United States will not shrink away from a fight when we’ve been attacked. And whether it’s Afghanistan, Pakistan or Any-other-stan, you can’t hide indefinitely.

With the completion of the bin Laden mission, many will deem it time for American troops to leave the region. However, former President Bush added to the agenda as we moved forward. That goal was to establish a democracy in the middle-east region in hopes of creating some level of stability the region. Whether this was his Achilles heel, an idiot’s folly or a shrewd move will be debated for years. The bottom line is American troops are still there and will most likely still be in harm’s way in the middle east for years to come.

The Bottom Line:

When America was attacked at Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941, most of the Japanese celebrated their victorious moment. Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was the only one who saw the bigger, more ominous picture as he (reportedly) said, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

Osama bin Laden has now learned the meaning of the term “Terrible Resolve.”  However, we would be fools if we didn’t acknowledge that Muslim extremists are also filled with a terrible resolve now that bin Laden is dead. It would not surprise me if the word goes out from whoever no leads al-Qaeda, to seek revenge on the United States for bin Laden’s death. And the options they could possibly have in their possession already  include dirty bombs, nuclear weapons and who knows what kind of chemical poisons. Perhaps worse, given the porous American border (thank you Congress, Presidents Bush and Obama), these weapons could already be in place in numerous locations around the United States… perhaps even in your town or city.

Now, more than ever,  we need a true leader in the White House, one with the kind of experience and ability to make the right decisions in a timely manner. If President Obama was ever looking for the chance to prove his leadership capabilities, that opportunity now lies at his feet.

I’m glad the monster (bin Laden) is dead. But we’re a long way from being safe, my friends.

Gerry Ashley

Osama Bin Dead

May 2, 2011

BREAKING: President Obama has just announced that Osama bin Laden has been killed. U.S. Special Forces and his body is in U.S. possession. It is still unclear exactly where and when this happened, but Obama wouldn’t lie to us, would he?

HotAir and Michelle Malkin are both all over this, with frequent updates. Check ’em out.

For once since his election, I am proud of my President. Good work, sir.