Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Barack Obama to reporters on ISIS: “we don’t have a strategy yet”

The leftist Washington Post reports on the story.

Excerpt:

President Obama said Thursday he has not decided on stepped-up military action against the Islamic State in Iraq or Syria, cautioning that he remains committed to a strategy that protects U.S. interests and builds broader partnerships to combat the threat posed by the militant group.

“We don’t have a strategy yet,” Obama said during a White House news conference, referring to increased military action. “Folks are getting a little further ahead of where we’re at. …The suggestions seems to have been we’re about to go full-scale on some elaborate strategy for defeating ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] and the suggestion has been we’ll start moving forward imminently and somehow with Congress still out of town, they’ll be left in the dark. That’s not going to happen.”

And in other news, Russia has invaded more of Ukraine, and Obama responded.

Excerpt:

President Barack Obama refused to label Russia’s military action inside eastern Ukraine as an ‘invasion’ on Thursday, calling it an ‘incursion’ despite facing a reporter’s specific action about his choice of words.

Following a conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Obama told reporters that the two leaders agree ‘that Russia is responsible for the violence in eastern Ukraine. … Russia has deliberately and repeatedly violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.’

‘And the new images of Russian forces inside Ukraine make that plain for the world to see.’

He insisted that the Russian tanks filmed rumbling through Ukraine on Thursday are merely ‘a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now.’

[...]Arizona Sen. John McCain, the Republicans’ top dog on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, reacted angrily before Obama’s brief press conference.

‘Russia’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine can only be called one thing: a cross-border military invasion,’ he said. ‘To claim it is anything other than that is to inhabit President Putin’s Orwellian universe.’

‘A sovereign nation in the heart of Europe is being invaded by its larger neighbor,’ McCain declared. ‘This runs completely contrary to the civilized world that America and our partners have sought to build since World War II.’

Obama’s careful parsing was in keeping with State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki’s lukewarm refusal hours earlier, during an interview on MSNBC, to discuss varying ‘terminology’ related to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military moves.

Oh, I don’t think we have anything to worry about. It’s not an invasion, Obama says it’s not:

Baghdad Obama says: "There are no Russian tanks in Ukraine"

Baghdad Obama says: “There are no Russian tanks in Ukraine”

The nice thing about foreign policy is that when you screw it up, the consequences come quickly, so you know where the failure occurred. With the borrowing of the 7 trillion dollars, Obama’s managed to cloak his economic policy failures so far. But he can’t hide this foreign policy mess.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , ,

Iran set to steal military technology from the drone Obama gave them

Fars News reports. (H/T Gateway Pundit)

Excerpt:

Senior Iranian officials announced here in Tehran on Monday that experts of the country’s Science and Defense Ministries are likely to launch joint cooperation to study and analyze the technology of the US drone that was downed by Iran early in December.

“We have had some meetings with the Defense Minister about the kind of cooperation that the academic community can have with our country’s Armed Forces on the US spy drone and once we come to the final conclusions we will be ready for cooperation,” Iranian Minister of Science, Research and Technology Kamran Daneshjou told FNA on Monday.

“The country’s universities have informed the Science Ministry that they are ready to study and analyze the US stealth drone and demanded the Science Ministry to inform the Defense Ministry of their preparedness in this regard,” he added.

Iran first announced on December 4 that its defense forces had downed the aircraft through a sophisticated cyber attack.

The drone is the first such loss by the US. US officials have described the loss of the aircraft in Iran as a setback and a fatal blow to the stealth drone program.

The RQ-170 has special coatings and a batwing shape designed to help it penetrate other nations’ air defenses undetected.

So what was Obama doing when he refused to act to destroy the drone? (See video above)

Obama doesn't have time for national security

Obama doesn't have time for national security

Obama golfs while Iranians neutralize our stealth drone program. George W. Bush golfed 24 times in 8 years. Obama has golfed 90 times in 3 years. I think he needs to do less golfing, and more national security decision making.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , ,

Obama will ask for $1.2 trillion dollar increase in the debt limit

Obama Economic Record November 2011

Obama Economic Record November 2011

From Reuters.

Excerpt:

The White House plans to ask Congress by the end of the week for an increase in the government’s debt ceiling… according to a senior Treasury Department official on Tuesday.

The approval is expected to go through without a challenge, given that Congress is in recess until later in January and the request is in line with an agreement to keep the U.S. government funded into 2013.

The debt is projected to fall within $100 billion of the current cap by December 30, when the United States has $82 billion in interest on its debt and payments such as Social Security coming due. President Barack Obama is expected to ask for authority to increase the borrowing limit by $1.2 trillion, part of the spending authority that was negotiated between Congress and the White House this summer.

[...]The debt limit currently stands at $15.194 trillion and would increase to $16.394 trillion with the request.

And yet some people apparently think that he is doing a good job with the economy.

Perhaps this story provides a clue about why things have gone so badly:

After an hour of hiking, President Obama Monday got down to the serious business at hand, heading out to golf for the second day in his first three days of vacation. He was back on the course at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

With this one, Obama reaches a new milestone, having gone golfing 90 times in less than three years as president. That’s about three months of golf, given that the excursions generally take about five hours – much of the useful portion of the day.

What’s more, it’s the 32nd time he’s been on the links this year, a record for the president. His 32 outings eclipses the 2010 mark of 30 and is far ahead of his 2009 tally of 28 rounds as president.

And remember, there are still five days left in the year for Obama to pad his new record, which he almost certainly will.

Along for Monday’s round were three of Obama’s Hawaii friends, Mike Ramos, Greg Orme and Bobby Titcomb. The latter, you may remember, was arrested in April in a prostitution sting.

It’s the children who are going to be paying for Obama’s spending spree. Remember, the last Republican budget was in 2007 – and the deficit then was $160 billion. Then the Democrats took over the House and the Senate and the deficit rose dramatically and is not going down in the near future.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , ,

Barack Obama’s Hawaiian vacation estimated to cost $4 million dollars

Obama plans to hit the golf course at taxpayer expense

Obama plans to hit the golf course at taxpayer expense

From Hawaiian Reporter. (H/T Director Blue)

Excerpt:

The U.S. Secret Service has arrived, street barricades are in place, and the U.S. Coast Guard has stationed itself in the waters surrounding Kailua, Oahu.

That is a sure sign President Barack Obama’s security team is preparing for the first family to arrive in the small beachside community as early as Friday night for what is expected to be a 17-day vacation.

The President and his family are traveling separately to Hawaii because he wants resolve the payroll tax cut issue before leaving Washington – and his wife does not want to wait.

But the advanced trip and the cost that comes with it – as much as $100,000 (flight and security) – adds to an already expensive vacation for the taxpayers.

Hawaii Reporter research shows the total cost for the President’s visit for taxpayers far exceeded $1.5 million in 2010 – but is even more costly this year because he extended his vacation by three days and the cost for Air Force One travel has jumped since last assessed in 2000. In addition, Hawaii Reporter was able to obtain more specifics about the executive expenditures.

The total cost (based on what is known) for the 17-day vacation roundtrip vacation to Hawaii for the President, his family and staff has climbed to more than $4 million. Here’s why.

TRAVEL: $3,629,622

The biggest expense is President Barack Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii via Air Force One, a cost the GAO office estimated at $1 million in the year 2000. Contacted today, the GAO confirmed there is no report the independent office affiliated with Congress has prepared since 2000 to operate Air Force One and Air Force Two.

However, the U.S. Air Force provides the most current numbers of $181,757 per flight hour. Travel time for Air Force One direct from Washington D.C. to Hawaii is about 9 hours or $1,635,813 each way for a total of $3,271,622 for the round trip to Hawaii and back.

The cost for USAF C-17 cargo aircraft that transports the Presidential limos, helicopters and other support equipment to Hawaii was not made available. However, the flight time between Andrews Air Force Base and Hawaii is at about 21.5 hours roundtrip, with estimated operating cost of $12,000 per hour. (Source: GAO report, updated by C-17 crew member). The United States Marine Corps provides a presidential helicopter, along with pilots and support crews for the test flights, which travel on another C-17 flightThat is $258,000, not including costs for the 4 to 6 member crew’s per diem and hotel.

Mrs. Obama’s early flight to Hawaii costs about $63,000 (White House Dossier), but add security and personnel for a total of about $100,000.

The rest of that article calculates the remaining components of the FOUR MILLION DOLLAR bill.

On another topic, here is a re-cap on our budget situation in 2012:

Barack Obama, Budget Deficit and Debt to GDP

Barack Obama, Budget Deficit and Debt to GDP

Remember, the Democrats took control of the House and Senate in January 2007, and that’s when the overspending started.

Why should we expect someone who can spend FOUR MILLION dollars on a vacation to have the discipline and frugality to balance the nation’s books?

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Obama golfs in Hawaii as Iran seeks uranium and murders protesters

Story here from Fox News. (H/T Hot Air)

Excerpt:

At least 15 people were killed during massive anti-government protests in Tehran when opposition supporters clashed with security forces in the streets, Iranian state television reported Monday.

The report said 10 people killed during Sunday’s fierce clashes in the Iranian capital were members of “anti-revolutionary terrorist” groups, apparently referring to opposition supporters.

The other five who died were killed by “terrorist groups” in a “suspicious act,” the report said, without elaborating.

Iranian security forces stormed a series of opposition offices on Monday, rounding up at least seven prominent anti-government activists in a new crackdown against the country’s reformist movement, opposition Web sites and activists reported.

And in the UK Telegraph:

In the six months that have followed, Barack Obama’s high-risk engagement strategy has simply encouraged more repression from the Mullahs, as well as ever greater levels of defiance over Iran’s nuclear weapons programme. As Con Coughlin noted in an excellent piece for The Wall Street Journal last month, Obama’s Iran diplomacy isn’t working:

“Iranian human-rights groups say that since the government crackdown began in late June, at least 400 demonstrators have been killed while another 56 are unaccounted, which is several times higher than the official figures. The regime has established a chain of unofficial, makeshift prisons to deal with the protesters, where torture and rape are said to be commonplace. In Tehran alone, 37 young Iranian men and women are reported to have been raped by their captors.”

Now once again huge street protests have flared up on the streets of Tehran and a number of other major cities, with several protesters shot dead this weekend by the security forces and Revolutionary Guards, reportedly including the nephew of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, and dozens seriously injured. And again there is deafening silence from the Commander-in-Chief as well as his Secretary of State. And where is the president? On vacation in Hawaii, no doubt recuperating from his exertions driving forward the monstrous health care reform bill against the overwhelming will of the American public and without a shred of bipartisan support.

Iran is also attempting to import 1350 tons of uranium – enough to make many weapons of mass destruction. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

Iran is close to clinching a deal to clandestinely import 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan, according to an intelligence report obtained by the Associated Press on Tuesday. Diplomats said the assessment was heightening international concern about Tehran’s nuclear activities.

And as Muddling Towards Maturity notes, Iraq’s Christians are facing persecution.

Excerpt:

…Iraq’s dwindling Christian communities are still being targeted on the basis of their faith. That is especially the case in Mosul, long the most lawless and violent place in Iraq. By an unhappy coincidence, Mosul is also located in the ancestral heartland of Iraqi Christianity, and is thus the last refuge (short of exile) for Christians fleeing targeted violence in Baghdad, Basra, and other places.

Mosul is therefore a target-rich environment. In December alone, at least seven churches, convents, and schools have been bombed, claiming dozens of lives, including the latest holy innocent, an eight-day-old baby girl. Iraq’s central government deserves credit for dispatching some 3,000 additional police after a similar spate of bombings and attacks in October, but their presence has brought little improvement as Christians continue to flee Mosul for overcrowded and underdeveloped villages such as Qaraqosh in the adjacent Nineveh plain. Meanwhile, the situation around Kirkuk, also in northern Iraq, remains nearly as dire for Christians caught up in the Arab-Kurdish struggle for control of the area’s oil fields.

While the Iraqi government has belatedly taken some modest steps to ease the suffering of Iraqi Christians, the U.S. government’s consistent policy of studied and shameful indifference forms rare common ground between the Bush and Obama administrations. It is an indelible stain on American honor that two administrations did nothing to assist, much less protect, a beleaguered religious minority.

It’s a dangerous world. This is not the time for playing golf in Hawaii.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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