Friday, August 29, 2014

Pat Buchanan is Right - Hillary Rodham Clinton is an Ass



First it was Rand Paul...


*  *  *  *  *  *

Sen. Rand Paul raises an interesting question: When has Hillary Clinton ever been right on foreign policy?

The Valkyrie of the Democratic Party says she urged President Obama to do more to aid Syrian rebels years ago. And last summer, she supported air strikes on Bashar Assad's regime.

* OH... AND SHE BACKED "BUSH'S WAR" AGAINST IRAQ.

(*SMIRKING WHILE SHRUGGING*)

* SHE AND BILL BOTH - REMEMBER...?

Had we followed her advice and crippled Assad's army, ISIS might be in Damascus today, butchering Christians and Alawites and aiding the Islamic State in Iraq in overrunning Baghdad.

But if the folly of attacking Assad's army and weakening its resistance to ISIS terrorists is apparent to everyone this summer, why were Clinton, Obama and Secretary of State Kerry oblivious to this reality just a year ago?

* INCOMPETENCE...? STUPIDITY...? CRIMINALLY STUPID INCOMPETENCE...?!?!

(*RUEFUL CHUCKLE*)

Consider the rest of Hillary's record:

Her most crucial decision as Senator came in 2002 when she voted to invade Iraq.

She voted against the surge in 2006, but confided to Defense Secretary Bob Gates that she did so to maintain her political viability for 2008.

* FOR THAT ALONE SHE SHOULD RETIRE AND NEVER SHOW HER FACE IN PUBLIC AGAIN.

* FOLKS... THINK ABOUT IT... SHE POLITICIZED A LIFE AND DEATH DECISION AND ADMITTED DOING SO! SHE PUT NOT ONLY OUR TROOPS - BUT OUR NATIONAL INTEREST - TO THE REAR OF HER PERSONAL POLITICAL AMBITION. SHE'S A SICK, SICK, SICK WOMAN.

This is statesmanship? Not voting your convictions about what is best for your country at war, so as not to antagonize the liberals in the Iowa caucuses?

(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)

In 2009, Hillary presented a "reset button" to Vladimir Putin's foreign minister.

* AND HOW DID THAT WORK OUT, FOLKS?

(*SNORT*)

In 2011, she supported U.S. air strikes to bring down Col. Gadhafi and celebrated in Tripoli when he was overthrown and lynched.

* SHE LITERALLY CACKLED WHEN QUESTIONED ABOUT GADHAFI'S MURDER! SHE LAUGHED AT THE BARBARISM... THE CONTEMPT SHOWN FOR THE RULE OF LAW... THE RULES OF LEGAL WARFARE AND POLICING!

Libya is today a hellhole of murder and mayhem and Islamists are threatening a takeover. Who did Hillary think would rise when Gadhafi fell?

* OBVIOUSLY SHE DIDN'T CARE. (THUS... THE SCREECHING "WHAT DOES IT MATTER...?!?!" YOU DO REMEMBER THAT, RIGHT, FOLKS?)

Hillary's failure to anticipate or prevent the Benghazi massacre and her role in the botched cover-up, all concede, are burdens she will carry into the primaries in 2016, should she run.

Where, then, has Hillary exhibited the acumen to suggest she would be a wise and savvy steward of U.S. foreign policy in a disintegrating world?

* BUT... BUT...

Is this a convincing argument for the Republican alternative?

(*SIGH*)

Hardly.

The principal GOP voices on foreign policy, who get more airtime than Wolf Blitzer, are John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

* TWO... FRIGGIN'... IDIOTS...

Their track record: McCain wanted to confront Putin over South Ossetia. He and Graham wanted to arm Ukrainians to fight the Russians in Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk. They wanted Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia brought into NATO, so that if war were to break out, we would be fighting the Russians alongside them.

This year, Graham was trolling around a Senate resolution to give Obama a blank check to attack Iran.

Last year, McCain and Graham were for attacking Assad's army.

This year they are for bombing ISIS, which is attacking Assad's army.

* FOLKS... NOT THAT I BELIEVE HRC WILL EVER BE ELECTED PRESIDENT... BUT...

(*PAUSE*)

* WERE SHE TO BE - SHE'D NOMINATE MCCAIN TO BE HER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE AND SHE'D PROBABLY OFFER GRAHAM SOMETHING WITHIN HER ADMINISTRATION AS WELL.

But [since] Hillary, McCain and Graham have been repeatedly wrong about Syria, what do we do now?

Answer: Stop and think.

First, this war in Syria and Iraq, like all such wars, is eventually going to be won by soldiers, by boots on the ground, by troops who can take and hold territory. And in such wars, as Napoleon said, God is on the side of the big battalions.

America should declare to friends and allies in the Middle East, as Nixon did to our friends and allies in Asia in the Guam Doctrine of 1969, that while we will stand with them when they are attacked, they, not we, will provide the soldiers for their own defense.

No nation is less threatened by ISIS than ours. And as the Syrians, Turks, Kurds and Iraqis have the proximity and manpower to defeat ISIS, they should do this job themselves.

(*THUMBS UP*)

Turkey shares a 550-mile border with Syria and could march in and crush ISIS. But if President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wishes to play games with ISIS, out of hatred of Assad, let him and the Turks live with the consequences.

* SOUNDS GOOD TO ME!

As for Syria's army and regime, which either defeats ISIS or dies, let us cease impeding their efforts by backing a Free Syrian Army that has rarely won a battle and is only bleeding the Syrian army.

(*NOD*)

Kurdistan and its ethnic cousins in Syria, Turkey and Iran are capable of defending themselves, and we should encourage any nation, including Iran, that is willing to send them the weapons to fight ISIS.

As for Baghdad, if it wants its Sunni lands back, it either should fight for them or accept their loss.

* YEP...

We Americans are living today with the consequences, in considerable losses of blood and treasure, of fighting other people's wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

* HEAR! HEAR!

* ENOUGH PLAYING THE CHUMP ALREADY!

Yet, we are suffering not at all from having kept out of other people's wars — in Georgia, Crimea, Donetsk, Syria and Iran.

Speaking of the debate over U.S. air strikes in Syria, the New York Times writes, "There are too many unanswered questions to make that decision now, and there has been far too little public discussion for Mr. Obama to expect Americans to rally behind what could be another costly military commitment."

Sometimes the Times gets it right.

* RARELY... BUT SOMETIMES...

(*WINK*)

Barker's Newsbites: Friday, August 29, 2014



Question: When's the last time you read about Iran?

Not Iraq...

Not Isis...

Not Russia...

Another question: How're things on America's southern border? Do you suppose anything has changed between when the media was focused upon goings on there and... er... now?

Folks... my point... don't ever believe that you're not being manipulated day by day, minute by minute.

Hey... I follow the daily news leads to a large extent! But I also connect the dots... I don't forget... I remind you folks of what the media largely would rather help you forget.

(*SHRUG*)

Anyway... on to today's newsbiting...!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Michael Estep - American!



LOGAN, W.Va. — For 51 years he’d lived in the same hollow and for two decades he’d performed the same job, mining coal from the underground seams of southern West Virginia. Then, on June 30, Michael Estep was jobless. His mine shut down, and its operator said “market conditions” made coal production unviable.

What has come since, for Estep, stands as the new Central Appalachian economic experience: a job-hunt in a region whose sustaining industry is in an unprecedented freefall. “I don’t know what to do,” Estep said as unpaid bills piled up, his cable cut to black, and his wife withdrew the last $7 from a checking account they’d held for 20 years.

* THESE PEOPLE ARE OUR FELLOW AMERICANS... AND THIS IS WHAT OUR GOVERNMENT HAS DONE TO THEM.

(*LITERALLY HOLDING BACK TEARS*)

What’s happening now in America’s coal heartland is not just the typical bust. Those in the industry say it’s more dire, potentially permanent, caused at once by declining reserves, a cheaper influx of competing gas and looming environmental regulations.

* IT'S OBAMA'S WAR ON COAL... A WAR HE'S BRAGGED ABOUT... A WAR HE'S PROUD OF.

More than 10,000 miners have lost jobs over the past two-and-a-half years in southern West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky, and their plight illustrates how, even amid an economic recovery, certain segments of the workforce are being shut out.

* REMEMBER, FOLKS... THIS IS THE WASHINGTON POST - THEY THINK THERE'S AN "ECONOMIC RECOVERY" GOING ON!

Miners, modestly educated but accustomed to high pay, are among the hardest group of American workers to retrain. They also tend to challenge one of the tenets of economics logic — that people will go elsewhere to find jobs. Even though the economy is growing in northern parts of West Virginia, driven by a natural gas boom, those in the geographically isolated southern parts have shown a tendency to stay put, even if it means sliding toward poverty.

“This is where you grew up; you can fish, you can hunt. Land is cheap. Chances are your grandfather owned that property,” said Ted Boettner, executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. “So leaving that to go somewhere else where you’ll be stuck in Toledo doesn’t sound very attractive.”

Mining earned Estep about $60,000 per year. He burned through it. Bought two small homes side-by-side across from a baseball field. Bought a 2007 Silverado that guzzled a gallon every 18 miles. Bought a pool table, guns, food for his hunting dogs, meals out for his family, which included his younger son, Jobe, 22, and Jobe’s girlfriend, Kristen Goodman. Not bad for a ninth-grade drop-out, Estep often thought.

* NOPE! NOT BAD AT ALL! AND I'M PROUD HE COULD DO IT HERE IN AMERICA!

“My dad worked in the mines until he couldn’t pass a physical no more, and I always thought I’d do the same,” he said.

He had one hope. A representative from the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) had called him up and told him about a seminar on fresh opportunities. All Estep had to do was show up at the meeting. So Estep told his wife, Vada, that he might get a job back at the mines, and he showed up one morning at the meeting hall with his reading glasses, a rumpled birth certificate and a resume that his son’s girlfriend had typed out on Microsoft Word. Jobe, deciding between mining or a second year of junior college, came along. They were 45 minutes early.

“I thought I was there for a job interview,” Estep said. He wasn’t. Instead, he’d walked unknowingly into one of the only programs that tries to help coal miners leave coal mining.

Until 2012, the UMWA had used its grants from the Department of Labor to train new miners. But suddenly mass layoffs and closures, coming as the American gas industry took off, made that mission seem preposterous. So the UMWA began providing up to $5,000 for miners to finish degrees or pick up new certifications. Some have used the money to become $16-per-hour truck drivers, one of the few licenses they can obtain before unemployment benefits run out.

Twenty-two miners sat in the room, and they fidgeted with their ballcaps or spit tobacco into empty soda bottles as Joe Murphy, a UMWA official, told them that “this is about the worst it’s ever been” for the coal industry. “Coal is what’s made our country the best on God’s green earth,” he said, but then he told them jobs might not be coming back.

“You’ve got homes, mortgages, bills, and the industry you’ve worked in all this time is gone. But life, it’s changing. Those who can adapt can be successful. Don’t sell yourself short. Good hard-working folks, y’all are.”

Estep glanced toward the door and fantasized about darting out of a room he never intended to be in. But he didn’t want to make a scene or embarrass Murphy, himself a former miner. He knew two other guys in the room, all laid off for weeks, and their experience told them this bust was different — more permanent — than other, cyclical coal downturns. For one thing, southern West Virginia coal mines were facing a natural endpoint; long-gone was the easy-to-access coal, and operators were now spending more money to access harder-to-reach seams. Second, an Environmental Protection Agency proposal would target emissions from coal-fired power plants. “Obama’s war on coal,” some West Virginian politicians called it.

* EVERYBODY CALLS IT "OBAMA'S WAR ON COAL!" GEEZUS... THAT'S WHAT IT IS! OBAMA HAS NEVER HID THE FACT!

“As a state, we have dealt with [the coal downturn] more from a state of denial, that it’s all caused by Obama and EPA, and if we just scream a little harder it will go back to what it was,” said Jeff Kessler, president of the state senate. “And I’m just not sure that is going to happen.”

* BECAUSE OBAMA WON! (BTW, KESSLER IS A DEMOCRAT! OF COURSE HE'S GONNA TREAT OBAMA WITH KID GLOVES! FUNNY HOW THE WASHINGTON POST DOESN'T IDENTIFY HIM AS SUCH...)

(*SNORT*)

Before the miners were allowed to go home, they had to take a high school equivalency test, just to determine the kind of retraining for which they’d be suitable. Murphy passed out answer sheets, and Estep felt his heart rate quicken. If he had to hurdle reading and math just to become a truck driver, could he manage even that?

When he came to the 25-question math section, Estep filled in the first six bubbles. Then he came to the algebra and stopped cold.

* AND WE SHOULD ALL STOP COLD! ALGEBRA IS NOT A JOB SKILL MANY OF US ACTUALLY REQUIRE IN REAL LIFE!

* FOLKS... WHY DOES OUR SOCIETY PERSIST IN TRYING TO HAMMER SQUARE PEGS INTO ROUND HOLES...?! IT'S COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE. AND... IT'S JUST PLAIN WRONG!

Jobe, sitting next to him, quietly suggested Estep copy his answer sheet. Estep shook his head no, because he always considered himself an honest worker, and instead folded up his test, pushing it to the edge of his desk. He was done.

He went home, drank a generic Mountain Dew, took two blood pressure pills to calm his nerves, and briefly choked back a few tears.

* RIGHT NOW I WANT OBAMA DEAD...

“A hundred-and-some times 'X'" — I’ve never seen anything like that,” Estep said soon after while sitting on his porch.

“I’m just embarrassed. I felt so stupid when I sat there. But like I’ve said, take someone from college and have them do my job [underground].”

* NO NEED FOR YOU TO BE EMBARRASSED, MR. ESTEP. NO REASON FOR YOU TO FEEL STUPID. IT'S THOSE WHO CONSIDER THEMSELVES YOUR "BETTER" WHO DESERVE CONTEMPT... AND WORSE.

* FOLKS... I'M HOLDING BACK TEARS READING THIS. THAT BASTARD OBAMA...

* THAT BASTARD...

For Estep, the experience reinforced that he couldn’t leave coal mining. And for the first time he thought about leaving southern West Virginia.

Even as coal loses ground to gas, some coal-producing regions — particularly Wyoming and Illinois — still have jobs. And that night, Jobe pulled out his girlfriend’s laptop and searched for coal positions, Web sites promising “click here” and “get a job today.” There were openings in Bagdad, Ariz., and Tyrone, N.M. Jobe made cold calls and got nowhere.

Then he tried another contact, in northern West Virginia, and here he heard about something just tempting enough.

Yes, said Rick O’Dell, who works for a contract company that helps fill mining positions, you and your dad can both come up to Wheeling, W.Va. Nothing promised, but I think I can find jobs for both of you. Just pass a drug test, a background test, make sure your certifications are up to date.

Estep pondered the idea for two days. They’d rent or live in a hotel? No, too expensive. Maybe they’d borrow a relative’s trailer. The pay was less — $20 per hour instead of $25 — but Jobe would be making money too, his first mine job. That would roughly double the family income, but it would also lessen the odds of Jobe ever returning to community college for a nursing degree.

* YES. IT WOULD LOWER THE ODDS. BUT... THAT WOULD BE THE KID'S CHOICE. WHEN I WAS HIS AGE I WORKED, WENT TO SCHOOL, PARTIED...

(*SHRUG*)

* WHY CAN'T WE ASK... DEMAND... THAT THIS GENERATION "MAN UP" AND DO THE SAME?

“Once he starts in the mines, he’ll be a coal miner,” Estep said. “If he goes farther in school, it will amaze me.”

* THAT'S BECAUSE YOU'RE "OL' SCHOOL." NOTHIN' WRONG WITH THAT - FOR YOU. BUT THE "KID" HAS GOT TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS OWN CHOICES... HIS OWN DECISIONS.

The Esteps made the first preparations to go. They rented out one of their homes. Their savings nearly at zero, and still weeks to go before he could dream of a paycheck, Estep pawned off a $1,200 gun for $200.

* AND IF THAT'S WHAT HE HAD TO DO... THAT'S WHAT HE HAD TO DO.

(*SHRUG*)

Jobe sold off a pool table for some spending money. Estep had long considered himself a risk-taker underground, installing rock bolts into mines and tunnels — a dangerous job — but this was a different kind of gamble, a bet on a plan that he acknowledged was at best half-formed.

“It ain’t guaranteed or nothing,” Estep said. “I don’t know if it’s a plan. But it’s the best I’ve got.”

* MY PRAYERS GO OUT FOR YOUR SUCCESS, MR. ESTEP.