Friday, January 16, 2015

A_COL's Academy Award Predictions .... and as of 26 January the Oscar goes to:

THE PUBLIC HAS ALREADY VOTED WITH THEIR WALLETS!

It’s Oscar time again which means it’s that time of the year when the Old Colonel makes his Oscar picks.  Although I truly appreciate the critics picking best movie of the year and winners in all the other categories, in the ONLY category that really countsMONEY MADE – it appears the movie going public has already made its decision.  When it comes to picking movies, I normally "trust the mob" so here is how the movie going and paying public ranked this year’s movies as of 26 January 2015, although I will update this blog entry weekly until the winners are announced on 22 February:


Rank,           Movie,                                       Box Office Receipts
1 Hunger Games: Mockingjay                             $334,333,000
2 Guardians of the Galaxy                                  $333,176,600
3 Captain America:  The Winter Soldier                $259,766,572
4 The Lego Movie                                               $257,760,692
5 The Hobbit:  The Battle of the Five Armies         $249,576,000

6 The Transformers: Age of Extinction                  $245,439,076
7 Meleficent                                                       $241,410,378
8 X-Men:  Days of Future Past                            $233, 921,534

What is painfully obvious here is that NONE of the eight nominated movies were even close to being the top money makers of the past year.  As a matter of fact, the Top Earning nominee, American Sniper, has made $200,137,000 or only about 60% of what the Top Earner, Hunger Games: Mockingjay, has made.

Given this year’s Oscar winner will have to come from the nominees selected by their Hollywood elite peers, here is how “the mob” has ranked the nominees according to their dollars made:

1 American Sniper                     $200,137,000
2 The Imitation Game                 $ 60,642,000
3 Grand Budapest Hotel             $ 59,100,318
4 Selma                                    $ 39,220,000
5 Birdman                                 $ 30,913,000
6 The Theory of Everything          $ 29,093,000
7 Boyhood                                 $ 24,919,000
8 Whiplash                                $   7,600,000

No contest; ….and the REAL winner is, bank statement Please:  Hunger Games: Mockingjay because there is absolutely NO chance that any of the nominees will even come close to what this movie has already grossed in the next month but if the Oscar must go to a nominee, then the hands down winner by a country mile is (sorry Michael Moore and Seth Rogan), (drum roll) and again, Bank Statement, Please:  American Sniper!

Regardless, I will update weekly the losers in the Nominee category as I am confident the box office receipts and rankings will change between now and 22 February.

Until next week, here’s the Old Colonel wishing you an enjoyable night at the movies!

Friday, January 2, 2015

District of Columbia 2014 Homicide Rate Once Again Tops Maryland’s and Blows Away Virginia’s!

Each New Years Day I anxiously await the Washington Post article exposing the homicide stats for the District of Columbia, our Nation’s Capital, and the surrounding suburbs so I can confirm how luck I am to live in Virginia where I have the freedom to own a gun for self-protection.  From the stats it is very obvious that homicidal maniacs would much rather commit their crimes in jurisdictions like DC and Maryland that not only don’t have the death penalty but where they have little chance of being confronted by a law abiding citizen who just might have a gun of their own!

This year’s WaPo article: Homicides remain steady in District, Prince George’s ( Link at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/homicides-remain-steady-in-district-prince-georges/2014/12/31/cccb5428-8606-11e4-9534-f79a23c40e6c_story.html ) shows that a DC resident, where firearms are virtually impossible to own, is 16.32 times more likely to be a homicide victim then one of us Gun Tottin Virginians who live in a state where gun ownership is almost unrestricted.  Even a Marylander, with increasingly strict gun laws under outgoing Gov O’Malley, was 4.1 times less likely to be a homicide victim than a DC resident; much better than DC but a Marylander is still almost 4 times more likely to be a homicide victim than one of us Virginia Gun Totters!

Like in past years, the WaPo curiously makes no attempt to explain the disparity in rates among the various jurisdictions but even a cursory analysis of the stats might reveal a motive for why the Liberal WaPo does no analysis -- could it be because it would clearly demonstrate the dramatically inverse relationship between homicide rates and restrictions on gun ownership. 

For you doubters who might want to run the figures for themselves, here is the detailed math for the 2014 numbers using the latest population estimates from Census Bureau and the Stats in the article:

DC population = 646,449
2014 Homicides = 105
2014 Homicide Rate = 16.268 / 100,000 people.

Maryland DC-suburbs of Montgomery & Prince George’s Counties
Population = 1,906,758 (Montgomery = 1,016,677; PG = 890,081)
2014 Homicides = 76
2014 Homicide Rate = 3.986 / 100,000.


Virginia suburbs of Alexandria City, and Arlington and Fairfax Counties
Population = 1,504,722 (Alexandria = 148,892, Arlington = 224,906, Fairfax = 1,130,924)
2014 Homicides = 15 homicides
2014 Homicide Rate = .997 / 100,000



Comparison of DC to VA = 16.268/.997 = A DC resident is 16.32 times more likely to be a victim than a Virginian

Comparison of DC to MD = 16.268/3.986 = A DC Resident is 4.08 times more likely to be a victim than a Marylander

Comparison of MD to VA = 3.986/.997 = A Marylander is 3.998 times more likely to be a victim than a Virginian

Now I’m not opposed to registration and some reasonable limits on ownership such as terrorists, ex-cons and the mentally unstable but there should be no restrictions on ownership by average citizens – anywhere in the US. There is a “God-given” right of self protection, especially in one’s own home, and a gun is the only way to exercise that right. If you don’t believe me, just ask any Bostonian who was subject to the “hide in your home” order during the Boston Marathon Bomber manhunt. One has to go no further than right here in our own DC-area backyard to clearly demonstrate that contrary to liberal rhetoric, it is an “inconvenient truth” that “guns actually do make us safer.” Case in point, Virginia has by far the laxest gun laws and the least gun violence of any of the surrounding jurisdictions.  Could it be criminals are not so anxious to attack law-abiding citizens if they might be "packing heat?"

I would add that for those of you that are sincerely worried about the safety of children in homes with guns, I would suggest that your energies would be far more productive in saving children’s lives if you were to crusade against home swimming pools.  In any given year in this country there is one child drowning death for every 11,000 residential swimming pools or 550 children under the age of 10 drown every year in our 6 million pools. Meanwhile there is one child killed by a gun for every one million (plus) guns in this country or with about 200 million guns, approximately 175 children die. This means a child is over 100 times more likely to drown in a pool than be killed by a gun. Hence, banning residential pools is a much more effective way of protecting children than banning fire arms.

Friday, October 17, 2014

DEMS LIE (ABOUT EBOLA) – PEOPLE DIE!

The absurd claim that only Republicans are to blame for cuts to Ebola research earned Democrats Four (4) Pinocchios from the Washington Post Fact Checker


The left-wing Agenda Project Action Fund ad “Republican cuts kill” blaming Republican spending cuts for Ebola deaths is TOTAL BS

So what does the Agenda Project Action Fund do?  They double down with another lie-filled ad which the Fact Checker labels as “simply a more extreme version of a new Democratic talking point — that GOP budget cuts have harmed the nation’s ability to handle the Ebola outbreak” when nothing could be further from the truth! The actual article is included below this blog posting if you want to read what the Fact Checker really said.

Then the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched online a slightly more nuanced version of this theme ridiculously equating a congressional budget vote in 2011 with a vote for the House GOP budget in 2014 that they falsely characterize as protected special interests.

This attack was precipitated by remarks by the now thoroughly discredited Obama appointed National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins.  He told the Huffington Post (other than MSNBC the only quasi-news outlet that would believe him) that the agency has been working on an Ebola vaccine for more than a decade but was hampered by shrinking budgets. “Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready,” Collins said.  This turned out to be totally untrue but being an Obama appointee why should this surprise anyone.

The Facts, according to the Washington Post and verified by NIH are that the differences between the budget requests submitted to Congress by the NIH and the CDC and what they got amount to rounding errors.

For NIH, since 2006 there has been relatively little change in the size of the budget, going from about $28.5 billion in 2006 to $30.14 billion in 2014. That’s a slight increase, but in real terms that’s a cut given the impact of inflation. (The agency also received a $10 billion windfall in 2009 from the stimulus law.) Here’s an illustration of the budget in real terms.

Congress usually gives NIH about what the president requested in his Budget and in 2013 Congress even gave the NIH more than what the White House requested.  This was affected by Sequestration but don’t forget that Sequester was a White House proposal designed to force Congress to either swallow painful cuts or boost taxes. The law mandating sequestration passed on a bipartisan vote!

Then, for fiscal year 2015 it was the Obama White House budget that proposed to cut the NIH’s budget from the previous year. It was Republican President George W. Bush that was responsible for significantly boosting NIH’s funding while the high point for the Obama administration NIH funding request was 2011.  For the specific NIH branch that deals with infectious diseases, funding jumped from $1.8 billion in 2000 to $4.3 billion in 2004 — but funding has been flat since then. Funding in 2014 was again $4.3 billion – exactly what the White House requested but that’s effectively a cut over time because of inflation.

The CDC experienced a similar pattern with their budget around $6.5 billion in recent years.  Since 2010 CDC receives both a Congressional appropriation and hundreds of millions of dollars from the Prevention and Public Health Fund established by the Affordable Care Act.  Before 2008, CDC received less than $6 billion a year but in 2013, the White House proposed a cut in CDC’s funding, but Congress added about $700 million. Again In 2014, Obama proposed reducing the budget, but Congress boosted it to $6.9 billion.  CDC also is funded by nearly $4 billion in mandatory fees not reflect in the congressional appropriations.

The Washington Post Pinocchio Test found the Democrats attack absurd on many levels.  While Obama’s Republican predecessor oversaw big increases in public-health sector spending, in recent years both Democrats and Republicans have supported reining in federal spending. Sequestration was an Obama initiative that resulted in a bipartisan agreement and Congress often allocated more money for NIH and CDC than the Obama administration requestedContrary to the DCCC ad, there has never been a vote on Ebola funding.


It is true that spending has been cut because it failed to keep pace with inflation, but the fingerprints of both parties are on the knives. This blame game garnered a breathtaking Four Pinocchios MAX from the Washington Post – certainly no beacon of Conservatism – and when the WaPo criticizes a Dem, that real news!

Four Pinocchios








Although NIH and CDC and their Dem lackeys have been crying about not having funds for Ebola vaccination research because of Republicans, here is a sample of the wasteful programs they did spend money on totaling spent $15,135,574,669.00 which they could have used to find a cure for Ebola:

Telling Taxpayers How to Eat ($15 billion) – Obamacare gave the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) $15 BILLION which they then gave away through “Community Transformation Grants” (CTG) in a futile attempt to coerce Americans into making “healthy” choices by modifying behavior through anti-obesity and anti-smoking campaigns and pro-sin tax regulations and legislation.

Grant Money to China ($90 million) – NIH awarded over $90 million to Chinese researchers to work on projects that benefit only China such as a vaccine for a parasite disease common only in China.  Don’t they already hold over a trillion dollars of US debt?

Duplicate Agricultural Programs ($22 million) – CDC spent $22 million on their Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Program that is nearly identical to another ongoing Department of Agriculture program.

“Why Are Lesbians Fat?” Study ($2.87 million) – so far but the study continues into 2016!   This ongoing study is searching for why “women of minority sexual orientation are disproportionately affected by the obesity epidemic.”  For some reason Obama believes three-quarters of lesbians are obese.

Drunken Monkeys ($3.2 million) – NIH spent $3.2 million getting monkeys drunk just to see what would happen.  The agency apparently has quite a fascination with excessive drinking, since it also wasted money researching binge-drinking in mice, inebriated gamblers and pilots seeking the sensation of flying drunk.

Bizarre Sex Studies ($1.5 million) – NIH is spending $1.5 million to spend on these 4 ridiculous obscure sex studies: “Mood Arousal and Sexual Risk Taking,” “Sexual Habits of Older Men,” “San Francisco’s Asian Prostitutes/Masseuses,” and “American Indian Transgender Research.”

Funds for Homosexual Activists in Public Schools ($1.4 million) – CDC gave The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a homosexual activist group, $1.4 million to create “safe spaces” in public schools.

Centers for ‘Gun Disease’ Prevention ($2.6 million) – CDC spent $2.6 million on studies that favor greater gun control and for FY 2015, the Obama budget is asking for CDC to get $22.2 million in new funding – is this a health issue?  Fortunately, Obama’s previous year similar requests have been shot down by Congress.

National Institutes of ‘Gun Control’ ($5 million) – Separate from the CDC, NIH also handed out about $5 million for research promoting gun control despite the issue being well outside the organization’s domain.

Cocaine Enhances Japanese Quail’s Sex Drive ($181,406) – This ridiculous NIH sponsored study uses quails because they provide a convenient and interesting alternative to standard laboratory rats and pigeons.  Go figure?

Empowering Women to Choose Contraception … in Jail ($279,789) –NIH allocated $279,789 “to improve contraceptive use for incarcerated women” to reduce unexpected pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) among recently jailed women.  Wonder who exactly who these jailbirds are having sex with … Guards?  Other women?

Bogus AIDS Experiments ($4.9 million) – Results of a $19 million NIH funded HIV/AIDS vaccine study were faked by researcher at Iowa State University to made the vaccine appear far more effective than it actually was. Thankfully NIH refused to pay ISU the final installment of the grant money, but the university was allowed to keep more than $4.9 million after having to pay back nearly three-quarters of the original grant.

Sex Workers Spreading STDs ($675,786) – Although the answer to the question why sex workers spread HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) might seem obvious, NIH is spending $675,786 in search of the answer.

Examining ‘Barriers to Correct Condom Use’ ($423,500) – It seems “young, heterosexual adult men” weren’t using condoms as frequently or in a manner NIH would prefer. Hence, NIH spent $423,500 to get to the bottom of this perplexing problem.

And these are just a sampling of NIH/CDC waste.  Other items include: $2.4 million for a new condom design whose inventor is now being investigated for fraud,” $939,000 to discover that male fruit flies prefer younger females$257,000 to create a companion website for first lady Michelle Obama’s White House garden,” a whopping $592,000 to determine that chimpanzees with the best poop-flinging skills are also the best communicators, and another $117,000 to learn that most chimps are right-handed. The NIH also spent $325,000 to learn that marriages are happier when wives calm down more quickly during arguments with their husbands and $548,000 to find out if 30-something partiers feel immature after they binge drink while people in their mid-20s don’t.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

VIRGINIANS STRONGLY SUPPORT MARYLAND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR ANTHONY BROWN TO SUCCEED O’MALLEY AS GOVERNOR – SO WE CAN CONTINUE TO “EAT YOUR LUNCH” IN BUSINESS!

We Virginians LOVE Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and, short of you Marylanders changing your laws so he can have a third term, the best thing for Virginia is that you elect O’Malley’s hand chosen successor and present understudy Anthony Brown as your next Governor!  Electing Brown will ensure Virginia can continue eating your lunch in business for at least another four years.  As a matter of fact, on 20 Oct the Washington Post just reported this headline:  "Construction giant Bechtel's Reston move shines spotlight on Md-Va business rivalry."  Keep up the Good Work!

 

Under the O’Malley-Brown Team and his liberal Democrat fellow-travelers, Maryland has acquired a well earned reputation as a state that is so extremely unfriendly to business and job creators that they are fleeing in record numbers.  Virginians are confident that Anthony Brown will continue the current anti-business crusade that has allowed your neighbor to the south to flourish while Maryland has been hemorrhaging businesses, jobs and even taxpayers in record numbers.  As a result of additional taxes and fees stemming from 40 separate O’Malley-Brown increases, wealthy Marylanders are fleeing the state faster than the state can drain their bank accounts!

 

The well respected CNBC business network scored and ranked all 50 states using the “51 Measures of Competitiveness” developed with input from business groups including the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness. States received points based on their rankings in each metric. Then, they separated those metrics into ten broad categories, weighting the categories based on how frequently they are cited in state economic development marketing materials. That way, their study ranked the states based on the criteria they use to sell themselves.   The entire 50 state ranking is appended at the bottom of this entry but here is a snap shot of how Maryland and Virginia compare.  I would note that Maryland, at #40, did beat out #41 Mississippi by “a smidgen” while Virginia came in a strong #5!

Overall Rank
State
Cost of Doing Business
Economy
Infrastruc-
ture
Workforce
Quality of Life
Technology & Innovation
Business Friendliness
Educa-
tion
Cost of Living
Access to Capital
5
38
10
21
6
18
12
6
8
20
13
40
41
33
46
20
25
9
45
2
42
9

To reinforce that the CNN ranking was not an aberration, the nonpartisan Tax Foundation ranked Maryland even lower at #41 in the nation for business climate.  Today Maryland's unemployment rate is 75% higher than when the recession began and the main cause is it costs too much for job creators to stay in let alone come to Maryland. According to data released on 20 Jun 14, by the U.S. Department of Labor, Maryland shed 1,300 jobs in May 14 in both the public and private sectors and the unemployment rate jumped to 5.6 percent.  By contract, Virginia’s unemployment rate is a full half percent lower at 5.1%.  Hence, that sucking noise you Marylanders hear all the time is jobs and businesses fleeing your state!  Within the past couple of years Maryland lost out to Virginia when Northrop Grumman, SAIC and CSC all relocated their headquarters from your clone state, California, and after looking at Maryland they all decided Virginia was a much more business friendly location.  

According the Washington Post's Washington Technology publication, of the 100 largest Government Contractors, 41 are headquartered in Virginia and just 5 are in Maryland; only one is in DC.  Of the Top 20, 11 are in Virginia and only one in Maryland.  Given over two-thirds of the Nations Capital is surrounded by Maryland, business climate and not proximity is the reason for Maryland's dismal performance.  And the main factor driving businesses (and Marylanders) away from your state can be summed up in one word – TAXES!

 

The O’Malley-Brown administration has levied 40 consecutive taxes on Marylanders in their term in office.  From increases in sales and income taxes, to regressive taxes such as the gas tax and rain tax, Marylanders are paying more for just about everything than they were seven years ago. These taxes have taken $9.5 billion from Maryland’s economy and are projected to cost $20 billion by 2018.  Maryland is now one of the highest taxed states in the country and the O’Malley-Brown Team has been innovative in dreaming up new ones – Maryland is the ONLY State that taxes citizens for the rain that falls on their property!

 

Over 31,000 Marylanders have voted with their feet since 2007.  As a result of the O’Malley-Brown historic tax increases, those 31,000 Marylanders that left the state took $1.7 billion yearly out of Maryland’s economy and took it to the more tax-friendly states, such as Virginia and North Carolina.  Along with those 31,000 taxpayers, Maryland lost over 6,500 small businesses, the worst in the region, thus showing the state’s inability to support business, produce jobs and maintain its tax base is eroding. The state has lost 10 of its 13 Fortune 500 companies.  This is a sharp contrast to 24 large corporate headquarters in Virginia.  In a recent pole, almost half of All Marylanders said they would leave the state if they could.

The Good News for Virginia is, with leaders like the O’Malley-Brown Team in Annapolis, we don’t need to worry about competition from our neighbors to the North.  We Virginians LOVE the O’Malley-Brown Team and many of us even contributed funds to their elections because they are the best thing that's happened to the Virginia economy in years.  Their anti-business policies are directly responsible for driving down our unemployment rate to the lowest on the Atlantic seaboard and now with their other harebrained initiatives like their off-shore wind turbine fiasco Virginia will do even better.  Their wind turbine fiasco, which locks Maryland taxpayers into paying for a 20 year binding contract to buy uneconomically feasible electricity from a bunch of their political cronies, will accelerate the loss of the few manufacturing jobs left in the State!.  Already electricity in Maryland averages 12 cents/kW hr while it’s only 8 cents across the river in Virginia but off shore wind will drive it up to 18 cents/kW Hr in Maryland.  Although the O’Malley-Brown Team only “intends” to tack on $1.50 for residential and 1.5% onto industrial monthly power bills, the rest of the costs will just be paid by other taxes such as your new 9% State Income Tax (on top of 35% Federal), increased sales tax and your new 24 cent/gal gas tax.  Don't forget your new "flush tax!"  Marylanders can't even take a crap without being taxed!

So PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE Marylanders, Elect Anthony Brown as your next Governor so Virginia can continue to grown and prosper.  My only advice to you is, in your haste to flee the State is don’t forget to leave someone behind to turn out the lights.


And here is the side-by-side Maryland-Virginia comparison recently published in the Washington-Post and below it are some other observations about how the two states stack up.


Here are some observations -- More are coming:
  • Virginians have 2.7 Times more Registered Firearms yet Marylanders are 2.5 times more likely to become a victim of violent crime!
  • Maryland has 30% more Lawyers by population - guess that's to service all the additional criminals Maryland has than Virginia.
  • Maryland teachers' salaries are 8th highest in the nation and 20% more than Virginia teachers (tied for 32nd) and Maryland is 9th in the nation in per pupil spending at $14,616 while Virginia is 20th spending $11,192 yet Marylanders SAT scores were 30 points lower than Virginia students in 2012.  In the past year while O'Malley has been off running for President and his approval ratings have plunged 13 points to a mere 41%, Brown has been running the state with disastrous results.  Brown's mismanagement of the state's ObamaCare website rivals his ineptitude in managing the education system.  He has managed to double last year's 30 point gap with Virginia to 62 point in the last round of SAT testing.  According to a 7 Oct 14 Washington Post article, state-wide the Maryland SAT average dropped 1468 while Virginia's average increased to 1530.
  • Maryland does NOT even meet the requirements of the Individual & Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) "guaranteeing students a free and appropriate education" while Virginia had no problem satisfying the law.

Completely CNBC State Rankings for Business Competitive.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Why Does the Liberal Press Continue to Lie About General Eric Shinseki’s Tenure as Army Chief of Staff?

Isn’t It About Time the Liberal Press Puts to Bed the Myth that General Eric Shinseki Was Fired as Army Chief of Staff and Cashiered Out of the Army for Confronting Defense Secretary Rumsfeld Over Post Invasion Troops Levels that would be Required in Iraq?


Since the day in December 2008 that President-elect Obama announced retired Army General Eric Shinseki to be his nominee to be the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Liberal Press with NPR in the vanguard has advanced the myth that the General had been fired from his job as Army Chief of Staff by then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and “cashiered” out of the Service for disagreeing with him over the number of troops required to stabilize Iraq after the invasion – when NOTHING could be further from the truth.  Although this false narrative might have enhanced the General’s bona fides with Liberal Democrats, NPR's natural constituency, it does not comport with the facts.

FACT:  General Shinseki served as Army Chief of Staff for every minute of his entire four year tour.  To be completely accurate, he served two terms as a term is two years but with few exceptions Army CSAs serve two terms.  He did not leave one minute early and even he has repeatedly stated this.

This week as VA Secretary Shinseki was actually being cashiered by President Obama, NPR continued to perpetuated the Rumsfeld firing myth and I heard several NPR commentators describe the General’s Pentagon departure as “being fired,” “cashiered,” and “removed from his job.”  Here are just a couple of examples:

On 30 May NPR Morning Edition Steve Inskeep: Can I just mention briefly, this is a difficult thing for a Democratic President to do because Shinseki as a general became a hero to many Democrats. He was a serving general who was perceived anyway as having lost his job because he spoke forthrightly about the pending cost of the Iraq war that was on the way at the time

On 30 May All Things Considered Quil Lawrence: That contradicted the George W. Bush administration's plans of a quick invasion with a much smaller force. His candor effectively ended a 38 year Army career, which included two combat tours in Vietnam, two Purple Hearts - one from the landmine that caused most of Shinseki his foot.

And now the Real Story:
I’ve known General Eric Shinseki since we were Fort Leavenworth CGSC Classmates back in 1978, and back in 2008 I blogged the truth when NPR and even the Washington Post tried to enhance his reputation among Liberals by broadcasting these outright falsehoods about his tenure as Army Chief – a post he served in until the last minute of his term and from which he was NOT Fired.

The best explanation of GEN Shinseki “relationship” with then Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and his now-famous February 2003 Senate Armed Services Committee testimony was contained in an 8 Dec 2008 article by Jamie McIntyre, the CNN Senior Pentagon Correspondent.  In that article, Mr. McIntyre made the following points:

Shinseki told the Senate Armed Services Committee a month before the invasion that something on the order "several hundred thousand troops" would be necessary to keep order in a post-invasion Iraq…. Still, Shinseki wasn't advocating 300,000 troops be dispatched into Iraq… he said specifically that the forces mobilized in the region to that point were probably enough, and he made it clear he would have defer to the combatant commander, Gen. Tommy Franks…."I would have to rely on combatant commanders' exact requirements," he said…. pressed by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, to make an off-the-cuff guesstimate, Shinseki said "it would take a significant ground force." …. At the time, that observation drew loud scoffs from then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and from his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, who dismissed the prediction as "wildly off the mark."

Since that day, critics of the war have lauded Shinseki's prescience and his willingness to speak truth to power….   It's an appealing narrative, but the facts as we know them are not nearly so complimentary to the retired Army chief…. Shinseki never made any recommendation for more troops for Iraq…. According to senior military officers who were in the pre-war meetings, Shinseki never objected to the war plans, and he didn't press for any changes…. When the joint chiefs were asked point-blank by then-Chairman Gen. Richard Meyers if they had any concerns about the plans before they went to the president, Shinseki kept silent.

…. Washington myths like the popular misconception that Shinseki was fired for standing up to Rumsfeld…. is so pervasive the authoritative Associated Pres repeated it …  saying "Shinseki was removed from [his] post after challenging the Bush administration." ….  He did not stand up to Rumsfeld, nor was he fired.

There's no question that Shinseki was on the outs with his civilian bosses, especially Rumsfeld.

He retired after serving a full four years as chief at a ceremony in 2003 that neither Rumsfeld nor Wolfowitz attended.

To be fair, NPR and the Washington Post were not the only Liberal news outlets that perpetuated the Shinseki firing myth.  As usual, NBC in general and Tom Brokaw in particular fell right in line and on Meet the Press on 7 December 2008, when President-elect Obama made the following announcement: "I'm going to be making announcement tomorrow about the head of our Veterans Administration, General Eric Shinseki" -- BROKAW made the following comment: "He's the man who lost his job in the Bush Administration because he said we will need more troops in Iraq than Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld thought we would need at that time."

For the record, GEN Shinseki stepped up from Vice Chief to become the Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA) in June 1999 and served his entire COMPLETE four year term until June 2003. Characterizing this as "losing his job" is par for the course for "history revisionists" like Brokaw and NPR.

What is true is the General was treated very shabbily by Rumsfeld after his prophetic but controversial testimony with his replacement being identified earlier than usual and Rumsfeld not attending his retirement -- All inexcusable. As a retired 30-year Army Officer and CGSC Shinseki Classmate, I like most Soldiers was no Rumsfeld fan, but even GEN Shinseki has corrected interviewers when they mistakenly mention he was dismissed early.

I would also mention that GEN Shinseki did not counsel NOT to go into Iraq, only correctly that we needed more troops to maintain order after that government was toppled.

Isn’t it about time the Liberal Press put that "firing" myth to bed?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

NPR’s Counter-terrorism "Expert" Reviews Richard Clarke’s new book “Sting of the Drones” and Reinforces NPR’s Ignorance of All Things National Security Related!

In the Sunday, 25 May 2014 Washington Post I had the “pleasure” of reading the book review of Richard Clarke’s new book Sting of the Drones reviewed by Dina Temple-Raston, NPR’s counter-terrorism correspondent who cites as her bona fides: “spending decades covering terrorism” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/book-review-sting-of-the-drone-by-richard-a-clarke/2014/05/23/83302ec8-d487-11e3-95d3-3bcd77cd4e11_story.html).

I believe this passage in the review tells you all you need to know about Dina and NPR’s knowledge of drones, counter-terrorism, and National Security in general: “the fictitious Creech Air Force base outside Las Vegas, where the drone pilots are based ….” This just reinforces the fact that using “NPR” and “Counter-terrorism expert” in the same sentence yields an oxymoron. I suspect the 3000+ service members stationed at the 2300 acre Creech AFB in Indian Springs, NV, would be surprised to learn they work at a “fictitious” base.

The fact that Dina doesn’t know about the existence of the base that hosts the 432d Air Expeditionary Wing, comprised of 2 groups with 6 Operational Squadrons and 3 Maintenance Squadrons of Unmanned Areal Vehicles (or drones) that fly both MQ-9 Reapers and MQ-1 Predators, is breathtaking. Not only is the base the home of the Joint Unmanned Aerial Systems Center of Excellence but it’s the location where UAV pilots and aircrews are trained and is even the location from which pilots coordination, direct and conduct combat sorties halfway across the world.

So much for establishing Dina’s (and NPR's) “terrorism bona fides!”

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Washington Post Again Awards President Obama Four Pinocchios, Its Highest Accolades for Lying, for his Incredibly Preposterous Statement About Republican Filibusters.

This morning the Washington Post Fact-Checker Glenn Kessler busted President Obama (again) for playing fast and loose with the truth for his “false facts on Republicans’ filibusters.” This is the statement that earned Obama Glenn’s highest award for lying, the coveted Four Pinocchios:

“Here’s what’s more disconcerting. Their [Republicans’] willingness to say ‘no’ to everything — the fact that since 2007 they have filibustered about 500 pieces of legislation that would help the middle class just gives you a sense of how opposed they are to any progress — has actually led to an increase in cynicism and discouragement among the people who were counting on us to fight for them.”

—President Obama, remarks at a DCCC dinner, May 7, 2014

This past week the President was in Los Angeles addressing a fund raiser of the only collection of idiots dumb enough to believe his ravings, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, where he made this claim so ridiculous that it had even some of the Hollywood crowd attending this dinner chocking on their rubber chicken: “Senate Republicans have filibustered 500 pieces of legislation that would help the middle class.”

Even the Washington Post (WaPo), certainly no bastion of Conservative thinking, couldn’t believe the president’s claim made any sense, no matter how he worked the numbers.

The WaPo went on to lay out these facts:

For the slow witted Democrats they began by providing the universally accepted definitions of filibuster and cloture: “A filibuster is an extended debate that delays a vote on a pending matter, while cloture is the device to end debate. Filibusters are used by opponents of a nominee or legislation, while cloture is filed by supporters.”

The WaPo pointed out that since 2007 (while Senator Obama was still a Senator I might add), there have been 527 cloture motions filed which is probably where Obama got his “about 500” figure but most of those cloture motions were dropped, never voted on, or in senatorial vernacular “vitiated.” To support his lie, Obama counted every cloture motion as a filibuster but in fact since 2007, there have only been just 133 successful filibusters where a final vote could not take place. Even this 133 number is misleading because Obama referred to “legislation” in his 7 May statement while most of these cloture motions involved judicial and executive branch nominations. In the 113th Congress, 83 of the 136 cloture motions so far have involved nominations, not legislation. Even Obama would be hard pressed to explain how any of these confirmation cloture votes were aimed at “legislation that would help the middle class.”

Another major flaw in Obama’s “500 pieces of legislation” calculation is the same bill can be subject to as many as three cloture motions, further inflating his numbers. On a single bill there could be cloture on the bill, cloture on a substitute bill (when a lawmakers is using an unrelated bill as a vehicle for passage), and cloture on the underlying bill -- all these votes taking place close together – but for Obama that would be three filibusters. So far in the 113th Congress, 36 pieces of legislation were subject to a cloture motion — and 12 actually were filibustered. That isn’t even close to the 136 that Obama counts to get to his 500 number.

Obama also includes at least a half-dozen times when Democrats used a filibuster to block Republican initiatives. Further, Obama reached back to 2007 in making his claim which includes two years when he was still a senator and on eight occasions he voted against ending debate and extending the filibuster, the very thing he’s condemning Republicans for doing.

Thankfully, Obama is not counting as filibusters against Republicans the favorite tactic of Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid’s (D-NV.) where he extracts a unanimous consent agreement of a 60-vote threshold for passage to even allow a Republican-backed piece of legislation to come up for a vote. The WaPo found this to be the Democrats equivalent of a threatened filibuster and just last week Reid demanded a 60-vote threshold agreement to even allow a vote to come up on an energy-efficiency bill that included approval of the XL Pipeline. This negotiated 60-vote threshold is the Democrats method of avoiding the lengthy mechanics of the cloture process, but still thwarts a simple majority rule so is the equivalent of a filibuster.

When the WaPo confronted Obama’s White House about their “filibuster lie,” they couldn’t defend it so declined to provide an on-the-record response.

After unanimously winning the 2013 “Lie-of-the-Year” honors from almost all the major news organizations for his “if you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance; if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” whopper, Obama grabs another Four Pinocchio and “Lie-of-the-Week” honors for this Republican Filibuster doozey.

The WaPo found Obama’s statement to be ridiculous on just about every level. The WaPo noted he had served in the Senate so should be familiar with its terms and procedures and should know the definitions of “filibuster,” “cloture” and “legislation.” Hence, he might have been able to make a case that Republicans have blocked about 50 bills he supported but instead contorted the numbers to such an extent that he even blamed Republicans for filibuster votes he made as a senator.

This is what earned President Obama his Four Pinocchios but don’t take my word for it, here is the actual article as it appeared in the WaPo Sunday, 11 May 2014 edition.