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” During the Bush administration there were only two American commanders of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Under Obama there have so far been five. There has been a new ISAF commander nearly every single year that Obama has been in office. The only exception is 2012 when Obama was too busy trying to win an election to bother further sabotaging a losing war.
The parade of musical chair generals began when Obama demanded the resignation of General McKiernan. The Washington Post called the firing of a wartime commander a “rare decision.” It was the first time since the days of General Douglas MacArthur that a four-star commanding general had been purged during a war.
The decision may have been rare, but it was not unexpected. General McKiernan was fired for the same offense that General McArthur had been targeted during the Korean War: He had demanded competency from an incompetent Democrat.”
” With that in mind, should we be surprised that his second-term Cabinet rollout has produced embarrassment and backtracking? Let’s not forget that his first Cabinet rollout produced the same kind of disorganization when it became clear that no one was vetting potential nominees, or at least not vetting them successfully.
After all, when Ruth Marcus at the Washington Post is skewering a Democratic President for a lack of diversity, you know something has run off the rails:
The face of power that President Obama has chosen to present to the country and the world with his second-term Cabinet picks is striking — except for the African American president at the top of the pyramid — for its retro look, white and male. It’s “Mad Men” Goes to Washington, except Peggy’s leaving.
On the foreign policy team, white guy for secretary of state, white guy for defense secretary, white guy for CIA. For Treasury secretary, white guy. Obama’s replacement as chief of staff — as yet unnamed, but the rumor mill names no one but . . . white guys.
To be clear: I’ve got nothing against white guys. Some of my best husbands are white guys. White guys get to be secretary of state, too, and John Kerry will be the first in 16 years. But to look at the most important jobs in the government, in 2013, and see such lack of diversity is just so drearily disappointing. …
The White House will point to women in other Cabinet positions — although one, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, has just announced her resignation — and to women in sub-Cabinet roles. Okay, but State, Defense and Treasury, along with Justice, are the Big Boy jobs. It matters if some of those boys are girls. It sends a disturbing signal when they’re not.
” You know, Republicans, if you spent half as much time marketing good policy as you do bending over backwards to please your ideological opponents, we might actually have a deal worth talking about.
In addition to the basics, there are some other interesting facts to note about this deal.
ABC News reports:
But it also includes these:
- $430 million for Hollywood through “special expensing rules” to encourage TV and film production in the United States. Producers can expense up to $15 million of costs for their projects.
- $331 million for railroads by allowing short-line and regional operators to claim a tax credit up to 50 percent of the cost to maintain tracks that they own or lease.
- $222 million for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands through returned excise taxes collected by the federal government on rum produced in the islands and imported to the mainland.
- $70 million for NASCAR by extending a “7-year cost recovery period for certain motorsports racing track facilities.”
- $59 million for algae growers through tax credits to encourage production of “cellulosic biofuel” at up to $1.01 per gallon.
- $4 million for electric motorcycle makers by expanding an existing green-energy tax credit for buyers of plug-in vehicles to include electric motorbikes.
*Note the price tags above reflect estimated forgone tax revenue if current credits – which have been due to expire – are extended for one year as included in the Senate bill, per Joint Committee on Taxation.
Jim Pethokoukis writes:
What will Americans pay in taxes this year vs. last year in light of the fiscal cliff deal? Well, let’s run the numbers (with some help from JPMorgan):
– Payroll tax hike: $125 billion
– Income tax hike and the phaseout of exemptions: $35-50 billion
– Investment tax hike: $5 billion
– PPACA healthcare taxes: $38 billion
So that works out to roughly $220 billion, or 1.2% of GDP. It’s a deal that, as The Washington Post puts it, ”takes money out of the hands of many Americans, sucking it out of the economy and slowing economic activity.”
Obama made it clear last night that he has no interest in negotiating when it comes to the debt ceiling. He has also made it clear that this is the start of his tax-hike demands, not the end. “
Illustration By Steve Sack
Doris Kearns-Goodwin: Excusing Affairs Only Way to Get ‘Best People in Public Life,’ Like FDR and Clinton
” Kearns-Goodwin lamented how public officials today are held to moral standards: “I wish we could go back to the time when the private lives of our public figures were relevant only if they directly affected their public responsibilities….This man was a great general, a great leader, and for his career to come to an end because of a private matter that affects his family and him and evidently doesn’t have national security concerns.”
The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward completely dismantled her argument: “Unfortunately, for the CIA Director, he has special status and he’s got to be clean. He can’t be blackmailed or threatened or even deal with the anxiety, ‘My God, are they gonna find out about her?’ And he did the right thing.” “
* While we acknowledge our own past transgressions and pass no judgments on General Patraeus we find the notion that we should accept immoral behavior in our leaders as ridiculous on it’s face . If the pompous windbags in Washington are going to presume to tell us how we can and cannot live our lives , mind you a notion we don’t accept to begin with , then they had better be willing and able to set a higher standard .
We reported on this yesterday but are happy to report that it is gaining the attention of the big boys in the media … To wit …
” Facebook took the graphic down twice on the ground that it violated their terms of service, but it is now back up on the SOS site. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple casts a gimlet eye on Facebook’s actions as well as on its failure to give an honest account of its actions. Wemple also purports to to subject the graphic to a fact check — although he does a good impersonation of the fact-checking breed, did he really have to? — and here he is way over his head. But he brooks none of Facebook’s bs and recognizes there’s a story here.”
” The poll finds Romney with a 49% to 48% lead in a survey of 1,382 likely voters. But doesn’t something look wrong?
If both Obama and Romney are attracting the same split of their parties voters, what’s the deal with Romney’s 9% lead among Independents? Wouldn’t that account for more that an 1% lead?
It would if the results weren’t skewed toward Independents, and away from Republicans.
So this poll is assuming Democrats hold a +5 advantage over Republicans. The problem is that while the 34% number for Democrats sounds about right, the number for Republican’s is laughable. Look at Rasmussen’s most recent party affiliation survey:
To get to their 49% Romney, 48% Obama total they have Independents 6% higher (assuming they lumped Other into that total) than Rasmussen and Republicans over 7% lower.”
Cartoon By Michael Ramirez