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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Today in Washington D. C. - Sept 18, 2009 - ACORN Rolls - Poland Rolled

The Senate is not in session today; reconvene on Monday. Yesterday, the Senate voted 73-25 to pass the $122 billion fiscal 2010 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill, H.R. 3288. Prior to passage, the Senate rejected 43-53 an amendment from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) to prohibit funding in the bill for the John Murtha Airport in Johnstown, PA. This should have been a "no brainer" to stop funding the funding the Murtha airport pork project and various related corruption charges have been reported continuously in the news. But King of Pork Murtha must have some serious control over others as he is a gatekeeper for earmarks in the House.  But has his power reached into the Senate? Not a big surprise was generally democrats voting no and republicans voting yes on the amendment. However there were some votes that were worth mentioning. Arlen Spector (D-PA) did not vote. Both Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor from Arkansas, alleged conservatives, voted to allow for continuous waste of taxpayer money on an airport with almost no passengers. Two Republicans, Bond (R-MO) and Voinovich (R-OH) surprisingly voted to keep funding the Murtha Airport. While 5 democrats voted for the amendment, one was off set of Bond's vote - Carol McCaskill (D-MO) voted to stop funding. Strange bedfellows!

Also yesterday, the Senate approved 85-11 an amendment to the Interior appropriations bill to prohibit funding in that bill from going to ACORN. And, the House of Representatives voted 345-75 to pass the Defund ACORN Act.  The senate senators also confirmed Gerard Lynch to be a judge on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Rep. John McHugh (R-NY) as Secretary of the Army by unanimous consent.

When we thought that the defunding of ACORN and the ACORN scandals would occupy the news for the weekend, yesterday, President Obama played into the hand of the Russians and announced that he was pulling the security rug out from under Poland and the European community. The announcement of the cancellation of the anti-missile shield in Poland was made on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland from the east and after the Nazis attacked from the west, And, showed a total ignorance of history by Obama and his advisors. The NY Times pointed out, "‘The fact that the administration chose this day to announce new plans for this missile defense shield says a lot about the people in the White House who are making the decisions about central Europe,’ said Slawomir Debski, director of the Institute of International Affairs in Warsaw.”

The NY Times also reported yesterday, “In one of the biggest national security reversals of his young presidency, Mr. Obama canceled former President George W. Bush’s plans to station a radar facility in the Czech Republic and 10 ground-based interceptors in Poland. . . . But the decision churned domestic and international politics as Republican critics at home accused Mr. Obama of betraying allies and caving in to Russian pressure, while officials in Eastern Europe expressed discomfort and confusion at the dramatic shift.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “The administration’s decision to abandon an important missile defense program for the defense of NATO and our allies in Poland and the Czech Republic, in my view, is both shortsighted and harmful to our long-term security interests. We must not turn our backs on two loyal allies in the War on Terror. Further, the administration has secured no apparent commitment from the Russians to work with us to reduce either the missile or nuclear threat from Iran. More troubling will be if the administration has made these concessions to Russia in pursuit of expediting ill-considered arms control deals.”

Today, The Washington Post editors write, “Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Thursday that the Obama administration's decision to scrap plans for a missile defense system based in Poland and the Czech Republic was based ‘almost exclusively’ on a ‘changed intelligence assessment’ about Iran's missile capabilities and by ‘enhanced technology.’ . . . Nevertheless Mr. Gates's ‘almost’ speaks volumes -- because the suggestion by other administration spokesmen that the decision had nothing to do with Russia will probably not be credible to much of the rest of the world, including the Russians themselves. By replacing a planned radar system in the Czech Republic with another in the Caucasus and by ending a commitment to place 10 long-range missile interceptors in Poland, President Obama satisfies the unjustified demands of Russia's leaders, Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev.” Indeed, The Post reports elsewhere that “Russia expressed cautious approval of President Obama's decision Thursday . . . .”

But, The Post editorial notes, “[T]he Obama administration has clearly bruised some of the staunchest U.S. allies in Europe while encouraging the Kremlin's hard-liners.” Many Eastern European leaders were less than pleased. According to The Washington Post, “Former president Lech Walesa, who led the Solidarity movement that challenged Communist rule, had stronger words: ‘The Americans have always tended to their interests only and have taken advantage of everyone else.’” Reactions like that certainly explain the conclusion of The Wall Street Journal editors: “President Obama promised he would win America friends where, under George W. Bush, it had antagonists. The reality is that the U.S. is working hard to create antagonists where it previously had friends.” An AP headline from this morning certainly supports that view: “Poles, Czechs: US missile defense shift a betrayal.”

The Wall Street Journal went further, lamenting, “The European switcheroo continues Mr. Obama's trend of courting adversaries while smacking allies. His Administration has sought warmer ties with Iran, Burma, North Korea, Russia and even Venezuela. But it has picked trade fights with Canada and Mexico, sat on trade treaties with Colombia and South Korea, battled Israel over West Bank settlements, ignored Japan in deciding to talk with North Korea, and sanctioned Honduras for its sin of resisting the encroachments of Venezuela's Hugo Chávez.”
Tags: ACORN, airport, Czech Republic, John Murtha, missile defense, Poland, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 10:07 AM - Post Link


Anonymous Emailed Comment by the Conrad Reynolds for US Senate Campaign said...

CONWAY - Republican United States Senate candidate Col. Conrad Reynolds (US Army, Ret.) today called on the Arkansas Congressional delegation to oppose President Obama's decision to cut the anti-missile defense system in Europe, saying the president "sold out our allies" in order to appease Russia.

Reynolds, a 29-year veteran of the US Army, served as a military attaché to the Czech Republic from 2005-2007, save a one year command of an intelligence unit in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2006.

He issued the following statement:

"Having once served in the Czech Republic, helping to prepare its military to deploy to Afghanistan in support of America's fight against terror there, I am deeply troubled by President Obama's misguided decision to not honor
our commitment to protect our NATO allies.

"The Czech Republic, as well as Poland, has looked to America for inspiration during their transition from being behind the 'Iron Curtain' to becoming a valued friend. I find it unconscionable that President Obama has now sold out our allies in order to appease Russia.

"I call on Arkansas's senators and congressmen to denounce the president's choice to make our European-based troops, friends and interests more vulnerable to nuclear attack and work with all due haste to overturn this wrongheaded policy."

Anonymous MAS1916 said...

“President Obama promised he would win America friends where, under George W. Bush, it had antagonists. The reality is that the U.S. is working hard to create antagonists where it previously had friends."

Interesting that Obama has become the domestic bully that He thought the US had become internationally. His This is outraging all friends at home and abroad and is enabling our adversaries to strike us. This is the Smartest Administration in History? ( )

Anonymous Chris Anton said...

Europe, saying the president "sold out our allies" in order to appease Russia gonna be hard I guess

Anonymous Jo Byrd Huddleston said...

I think this is treating one of our best alies rotten!! especially at a time of a sad anniversary involving the Nazis and Russia! I was there during this commemoration a few years ago.


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