Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Obama has shed his vanity. Just ask him

by Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
September 27, 2016

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NOTHING OOZES hubris like Barack Obama putting on a humble act.
"There's a point where the vanity burns away and you've had your fill of your name in the papers, or big adoring crowds, or the exercise of power," the president tells historian Doris Kearns Goodwin in an "exit interview" published by Vanity Fair. "And for me that happened fairly quickly." Since he no longer revels in his own grandeur, he explains, he won't fall into the trap of making decisions out of ambition or "thirsty" attachment to the prerogatives of office.
Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin interviewed President Obama in the White House dining room.
Do tell.
Five years ago, Obama claimed that his accomplishments compared favorably to those of any president with the "possible exceptions" of Lyndon Johnson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Now he says that if he'd been blessed with "the genius of an Abraham Lincoln or the charm of an FDR or the ... legislative acumen of LBJ," his terrific record might have been even more terrific.
So when Obama says that the "vanity burns away," what he apparently means is: Nothing changes.
There's certainly not much he thinks he should have changed. "There aren't a lot of situations where I look back and I say, The decision I actually made or the course we actually pursued was the wrong course," he tells Goodwin. To be sure, the catastrophe in Syria "haunts" him "constantly," and he sometimes asks himself what he "might ... have done differently along the course of the last five, six years."
But he dismisses that idea as quickly as he raises it. Obama rejects any suggestion that his refusal to intervene as Syria imploded into the world's worst human-rights calamity might have been misguided. Hundreds of thousands dead, millions uprooted, refugee flows not seen since World War II, chemical weapons deployed with impunity, Russian warplanes back in the Middle East, the horrific rise of Islamic State, the stunning destruction of ancient Aleppo — Obama is quite sure his inaction had nothing to do with any of it.
"Arguments about what could have been done are wrong," he declares. Arming the rebels? Putting teeth into his "red line" warning? Imposing no-fly and safe zones to protect civilians? Heeding the 51 State Department diplomats who publicly urged the administration to carry out military strikes against Bashar Assad? "All those things I tend to be skeptical about," Obama says loftily.
Perhaps "a Churchill" or "an Eisenhower" might have come up with a better strategy, the president tells Goodwin. But he doesn't really believe it. After all, "the only problems that come to my desk are the ones that nobody else can solve."
If this president had a theme song, it would be Edith Piaf's "Non, je ne regrette rien." Thanks to Obama's feckless foreign policy of appeasement, retreat, and "leading from behind," he will leave his successor a bloody, terror-filled planet, vastly more dangerous and chaotic than the one he inherited. In his fervor to pull US troops out of Iraq, to shrink America's global footprint, and to prove that a less assertive United States would yield a more peaceful world, Obama has presided over disaster. But he's confident that no one else could have done better, and he regrets nothing.
"There's a point where the vanity burns away," Barack Obama says in a new interview. Above, the president makes a BuzzFeed video of himself playing with a selfie stick.
Early in his presidency, addressing the United Nations for the first time, Obama intoned: "I am well aware of the expectations that accompany my presidency around the world." A few days later, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee proved the point, announcing that Obama would be awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for his "extraordinary efforts" to increase international harmony and cooperation.
Years later, the Nobel Committee came to regret its 2009 decision. But Obama is blissfully free of any such misgivings. He knows, after all, that everyone who disagrees with him is wrong.
(Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe).
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Friday, September 2, 2016


By Allen West August 28, 2016 
If there’s one thing I live for, it’s football season, especially college. Saturday night I was enjoying a fantastic game between Charleston Southern University and North Dakota State University. The game went into overtime and ended with the Bison of NDSU winning 24-17. However, as I watched this thrilling game, it was an item on the ESPN news ticker that disturbed me — to which I see a need to respond to this "teachable moment."
As we reported yesterday, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem in Friday’s pre-season game against Green Bay because he was protesting "black oppression" in the United States. The Niners went on to lose.
The NFL issued a statement that said players are encouraged but not required to stand for the national anthem. Hmm, this is the same NFL that refused to allow the Dallas Cowboys to wear a helmet decal in honor of the fallen Dallas Police officers gunned down on Thursday July 7th.
This is the same NFL that said nothing when players from the then- St. Louis Rams displayed the false narrative symbol of "hands up, dont shoot" — which we know didn’t happen. I find it rather interesting that the NFL has no issue disrespecting law enforcement officers but only "encourages" players to respect the symbol of our nation, the American flag, and our anthem, the Star Spangled Banner.
However, I would recommend a simple scripture from the wise King Solomon for Mr. Kaepernick, Proverbs 17:28 (NIV): "Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues."
Or, as the old folks down South would say, "best for a stupid person to keep their mouth shut and not open it and let everyone know they are."
Mr. Kaepernick, a biracial young man adopted and raised by white parents, claims America is oppressing blacks at a time when we have a black, biracial president who was twice elected. We’ve had two black attorneys general and currently have a black secretary of homeland security, along with a black national security advisor. Here in Dallas our police chief, whom I know, is an outstanding black leader. The officer in Milwaukee who shot the armed assailant after issuing an order to drop his weapon was black. Is Mr. Kaepernick following suit and cherry-picking what he terms "oppression?"
First of all, let me clarify to you sir, you are a multi-millionaire "one-percenter" just because you can throw a ball and kiss your biceps. Men like Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Oscar Robertson, Ernie Davis, and Bernard King and Condredge Halloway of my alma mater were athletes who knew of oppression. You sir may certainly have the right to sit upon your "fourth point of contact" when the National Anthem is played but never forget, you live in a nation that has provided you the privilege to have that right.
My story is one I wish to share. My dad was a corporal in the U.S. Army and served during World War II. He was born in 1920 and knew oppression. Yet, when he sat me down on the steps of our home, 651 Kennesaw Ave NE in Atlanta, he shared with me that there was no greater honor or privilege, than to wear the uniform of these United States. Perhaps that ‘s why his first and middle sons, along with his grandson, are all U.S. combat veterans, just like Dad. Herman West Sr. was not a victim, and he raised men who would never allow anyone to suppress or oppress them. Perhaps you should stop trying to make victims and admonish people, black people, to be victors — try it, and you may find that more satisfying than your insidious action and word vomiting.
If you want to know about oppression of blacks in America, past and present, how about you ask Rep. Nancy Pelosi of the San Fran Bay Area about the policies that decimated the black family? Maybe you can cross the Bay over to Oakland and ask Rep. Barbara Lee about the 13 to15 million black babies killed since 1973, and ask her who is Margaret Sanger?
Or perhaps you can ask the two California senators, Boxer and Feinstein, about who doesn’t support better education opportunities for black children in the inner cities — school choice, vouchers, charter schools, home schooling.
Perhaps you didn’t know Barack Obama was the one who cancelled the DC school voucher program for deserving young black children — talk about oppression. Is that something you’re willing to do, or is it just too difficult?
You should look at who’s been controlling the communities and cities where blacks live. This isn’t not about what America has done; it’s about what a certain group, a political party has done. And your somewhat backhanded comment towards our law enforcement officers — well, wonder how many times San Francisco PD has protected you?
Here is the deal young man. My recommendation is that you apologize. Be a stand up fella and admit you made a very stupid comment. Humbly state that you do realize how very special this country is and the opportunities it has afforded you — and many others. You should take that stand and apologize to all of those who are currently serving in our Armed Forces and those veterans who’ve been willing to make that last full measure of devotion. You see, when the National Anthem is played, it has a very special meaning to us — maybe you should take a hiatus and go over to Helmand Province in Afghanistan and spend a week and understand why. Go over and throw a football with the men and women who enable you to earn those millions of dollars.
The American flag has a very touching meaning for those of us for whom it will drape our coffin — as it was for my Dad…and it will be for me. That song defines who we are as a proud and exceptional people. This is a land where so many dream of coming to and earning the title of American. Your actions were shameful, disgusting, despicable and disrespectful.
You do have a right and a freedom of expression. But know, there are consequences to your ignorant action, which is what it was.
When the National Anthem is played, I salute because I am a black man born and raised in the inner city afforded the opportunity for greatness in my own right. May you seek God’s forgiveness and find humility, because we, the people are not going to forget what you did and said.
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