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Be Present On Father’s Day ... Sadly, too many Americans are growing up without the presence of a father. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 24 million children live in biological-absent father homes. The positive impacts of having dad around are numerous such as better social-emotional and academic functioning and fewer behavioral problems. (See Page 7, June 18, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Why Sam Can’t Win ... There is an old saw that ‘amateurs talk tactics, but professionals talk logistics.’ Said differently, tactics win battles, but logistics win campaigns. Great. But the US hasn’t won anything like a major war in a long time – 70 years. Korea wasn’t a win, Vietnam wasn’t a win, the Persian Gulf war of 1991 was only sort of a win (we stayed around for 12 more years, fought Saddam again, then stayed in Iraq for another 8 years, and now look at Iraq); and Afghanistan? Not yet a loss, but is it a win? (See Page 10, June 18, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Why Run for Office? ... I spend a fair amount of time talking to students and other young people about Congress and politics in general, and I've noticed something. It used to be that I'd regularly get asked how one runs for office. Nowadays, I rarely do. A lot of young people are repelled by politics; they've lost faith in the system just as many other Americans have. (See Page 10, June 18, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Spies, Lies, and UBL ... There was a story last month, from Mr. Seymour Hersh, that the Usama bin Laden (UBL) raid was rigged, that Pakistan was playing us, UBL had been a virtual captive, at the right time Pakistan Intelligence ‘gave him up,’ etc., etc. Some thoughts… Many people don’t like Mr. Hersh. I don’t know Mr. Hersh but some of his stories are amazing; he may have some things off, but invariably we find out much of what he says is right. (See Page 10, June 11, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Solutions to America's Problems ... Reform disabled Social Security. Don't ask the government to give you money every month if you are not truly disabled from making an income. You can receive it at age 62 or 66 like most other Americans. Reports of crooked attorneys, doctors and even judges abound when it comes to abusing the Social Security system. (See Page 10, June 11, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Defeating ISIS: Hope is Not a Plan ... Last February, contradictorily named Presidential spokesman Josh Earnest, in an eloquent and obtuse statement said: "Given the pace of success that we’ve seen in the first six months of this strategy, we would anticipate that three years from now the threat that is posed by ISIL will look different than it looks now.” Whether he thought the plan would be working well if we hadn’t eliminated ISIS (aka ISIL) in Iraq in three years wasn’t made clear, but, in a revealing statement last week Earnest said the US would provide support to Iraqi forces, but: "The United States is not going to be responsible for securing the security situation inside Iraq.” (See Page 10, June 4, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
The Battle of Sedan and the South China Sea ... In 1870, German forces, under overall command of Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke, attacked French forces in Alsace Lorraine as part of Chancellor Bismarck’s grand plan for German unification. The war was planned as a limited war –no heads of state were threatened – and was focused on a quick ‘land-grab’ and then a ceasefire and peace treaty. Planned by one of the foremost military planners and commanders of the latter half of the 19th century, and overseen by Chancellor Bismarck, the war seemed a sure thing. (See Page 8, May 28, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Brat imageDave Brat and the Oath of Office ... When a representative takes the oath of office, he or she swears to support and defend the Constitution. Our country is founded on the rule of law, which seems under attack by those who have disagreed with the recent comments of Representative Dave Brat concerning Dreamers serving in our military. His point was to bring attention to an argument put forth by fellow colleagues that basically Dreamers should be allowed to serve in the armed forces in order to show their patriotism. By definition, a Dreamer is the son or daughter of an illegal immigrant. (See Page 8, May 28, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Remember Our Military ... One of my sons recently came home from a twelve month military deployment. My wife and I took a couple of days and flew to welcome him at his stateside arrival airport. We watched soldier after soldier pick up his or her duffel bags and other luggage in baggage claims. We didn't see families or friends hugging them and welcoming them home. My son turned the corner and came into the area and I was so delighted to see him. For the first time in one year I heard his voice and hugged him. I'm sure I was missing something. (See Page 8, May 28, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Shias, Sunnis and George Washington ... An interesting incident took place last week: the President invited the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman) to Camp David to discuss the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran; specifically, to tell the leadership the details of the agreement (to be accurate, it’s the agreement that the US State department insists everyone has agreed to in principle (no one having signed it, nor is it the agreement as the Iranians understand it.) (See Page 10, May 21, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
The Way Forward for Congress ... There have been encouraging signs on Capitol Hill of late that Congress's long slide into irrelevance may be slowing. Agreements on Medicare reimbursements in both houses, and on Iran, No Child Left Behind, Pacific trade and other issues in various committees led last month to a chorus of relieved approval both in Washington and in the press. Less noticed, but equally important, a report from the Bipartisan Policy Center found that Congress worked more during the first quarter of this year than the past few years, and that the amendment process in the Senate is once again functioning as it's supposed to. (See Page 10, May 21, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Amtrak, Donald Trump, China, Expanding Monster ... I am sad for the eight people and their families who died and the many others injured because of the recent Amtrak disaster. Tragedy can happen regardless of ownership. I wish we didn't own Amtrak. Our federal government should get out of the train business. Amtrak is another government failure. (See Page 10, May 21, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Drones, Special Forces and a Plan ... In the wonderfully entertaining movie "The 13th Warrior” there’s a scene in which, having finally figured out exactly who is burning and terrorizing the coastal villages, it has fallen on the 13 Warriors of the title to do something. Antonio Banderas, playing the out-of-place Arab diplomat turned warrior Ahmad ibn Fahdlan, asks in frustration: ‘Do we have anything even resembling a plan?’ To which Herger, one of the Viking warriors, responds: ‘Ride till we find them… and kill them all.’ (See Page 8, May 14, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)


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