by Andy Weddington
Friday, 02 November 2012
"Democracy is being allowed to vote for the candidate you dislike least." Robert Byrne
My recent commentaries have been critical, but civil, of President Obama. He's earned every word. And merits more. Watching news yesterday morning, I caught a live segment of him on a campaign stop addressing a small crowd (unlike mobs of four years ago) in Wisconsin - an important swing state. Nothing he said was factual - and he referenced, disparagingly so, Mr. Romney constantly. It was all utter nonsense with complementary hollow rhetoric aired in his preacher man act. It could have been 01 November 2008 footage - like then, four years later he has no record, no plan, and as we've recently learned, no integrity. That's three strikes - the first two critical and the third lethal. In other words, there's no 'Change' and 'Hope' is a new four-letter word. So there will be more criticism but that will have to wait.
To his credit, he engaged with the hurricane Sandy devastation in the northeast. There was plenty of photo ops covering his trip to New Jersey - visiting with Governor Christie (with praise from the Governor), and sitting in crisis management situation rooms/ops centers with those doing the real coordination work.
Though tempting, it'd be wrong to simply accuse President Obama of playing politics for the sake of an election less than a handful of days away. But, fact is, recovery efforts will happen with or without him. And frankly, his presence is not only a distraction but an added logistics problem impeding work. Moreover, the question is, where was his high-level of interest and engagement on Tuesday, 11 September 2012 when Americans were fighting for their lives, while desperately calling for help that went ignored, in Benghazi, Libya? The president cowered at the sound of gunfire. Not good. And as commander-in-chief not so impressive to those in uniform - especially Marines. Warriors were abandoned on the battlefield - Americans do not do that. Ever! That fiasco, still unraveling, is not over for President Obama. And it won't be over for Mr. Obama. More another day.
Last thought before moving on. Sandy's destruction, though incredible and horrible for those having to march on and rebuild their lives - some from scratch, pales in comparison to the damage done to America during four years of Barack Obama. Another four years of him in the White House unthinkable - would recovery of our way of life be possible?
With that, as titled, some levity for a change this Friday - a lighter take on politics and Marines.
The last four commentaries addressing the debacle in Benghazi have moved into the tens of thousands of readers. The huge numbers continuing to tune in is inexplicable other than folks are hungry for information and sane perspective - even if coming from an obscure retired Marine no one has heard of whose opinion means little; if that much. But more to come on the matter, anyway - call it a sense of duty.
In order, the top ten countries tuning in: United States; France; Germany; United Kingdom; Canada; Russia; Australia; Hong Kong; Sweden; and Israel. And others representing many countries are reading. So, an average citizen, who cares deeply, suffers no fools, and is trying to make a difference, is able to reach a global audience through the Internet - fantastic and humbling. Marvelous!
Some folks have opted to post their opinion following the Benghazi commentaries. Always appreciate those who take a moment - good to know what folks are thinking. Others have sent more personal emails. Thank you! I read them all. And respond as time permits.
I received an email Tuesday evening from an executive with a major Internet-based conservative (credible) news outlet - a big name but will protect for the time being. The sender wanted to confirm authorship and material in 'SEALs - and Death at Benghazi' http://acoloneloftruth.blogspot.com/2012/10/seals-and-death-at-benghazi.html. Authorship I confirmed and played the middleman, SEAL confidants agreed to liaison with the news agency. I'll follow-up if anything comes of it all. Probably will as the truth always finds the surface - especially when people of character are engaged.
On the flip side...
Wednesday morning I received an email from an angry Obama supporter - not happy with my criticisms of the president's handling of Benghazi. Of course he did not address the issue. Rather, he asked for a copy of my DD-214 (official government document detailing military service) and if not so provided he'd report me to the FBI as a fake under the Stolen Valor Act. I laughed so hard I nearly lost consciousness. It took a handful of Kleenex to mop up the tears of hysteria. After regaining composure, I replied, "Most welcome to report me - to whomever you desire. Thanks for tuning in." Shortly thereafter I mentioned the note to a Marine friend and his take was I should have said I'd gladly provide a copy of my DD-214 when President Obama released his college transcripts. Damn, I wish I'd thought of it. And just for giggles, I'd have added the birth certificate. Anyway, nothing back from the disgruntled gent. Made my day.
That same morning a Marine friend sent me an email with the brief comment, "Thought this headline might get your attention." His note included a recent head and shoulders photograph of President Clinton - the headline, "Bill Clinton is A Saint."
Bill Clinton - 42nd President of the United States
Below the photograph was the following, "Bill Clinton was disbarred from practicing law in Arkansas and was also disbarred from practicing law in front of the Supreme Court over the Lewinski incident. He also paid a $25,000.00 fine over the Lewinski incident. He also paid an $850,000.00 settlement over the Lewinski incident. He was also fined $90,000.00 for giving false testimony in the Paula Jones case. So, Bill Clinton, a disbarred lawyer, a President who was fined for lying under oath, asks the American people to believe him when he says the best thing for the country is 4 more years of Obama. Just wanted to make sure I had it right!!"
Whomever wrote that summation of President Clinton, a liar, forgot to mention he was impeached - the ultimate badge of shame. Reply to my friend: "'Stain' is an anagram of 'Saint' - I say no more."
The other day I ran into a 'casual-at-best-would-be-a-stretch-acquaintance' who four years ago was a frothing Obama supporter. I guess it's been years since seeing this person. During our ever-so-brief conversation they had the gall to deny their obsession and voting for him. Rarely at a loss for words, I shook my head and walked away. Their status in my ledger now below 'casual-at-best-would-be-a-stretch-acquaintance' level. Though an idiot they are now an enlightened idiot - I think. Still better to keep a safe distance. Hope not to see for another four years, at least. But it was another day-making encounter.
Mid-morning that same day I ran into another acquaintance - who's running for Congress. We share the title "Marine" and actually held the same billet aboard the Combat Center in 29 Palms though a decade apart. We spoke briefly and in parting I told him he had my confidence and vote, and my wife's, too. I'm voting for him not necessarily because he's a Marine (though that undeniably helpful) but because he's a good man who gives a damn and does what's right. And, living in our community he knows the issues. Two days later in the mail was four (one a quad fold-out) full color 8 1/2 x 11 inches propaganda pieces from his campaign. No doubt part of their programmed voter outreach through the U. S. Postal Service. They're pretty - well-designed with strong message. They look classy, expensive. What to do with them? My first thought was to put in the recycle bin but instead I'm saving and will include them, and any others, in my congratulatory note when he's elected. Won't he be surprised!
In that same mail call were two more 8 1/2 x 11 inches full color propaganda pieces for candidates running for a county position. The eye-catching word on both was "Lie" and neither was well put together. One called their opponent a liar. And the "liar's" piece asked for "...a moment of your time to address several lies and deceptions generated by my election opponent...". Not knowing either candidate, I must infer that's the best they can do (pettiness) and neither, in my mind, is qualified to hold public office. No vote from me. I hope others feel likewise. Good grief.
In yesterday's breaking political news, Senator Bob Menendez (D, NJ), of my wife's home state, is now amidst a good old-fashioned sex scandal. As reported, while visiting a swanky resort in the Dominican Republic, he paid a couple of prostitutes for sundry services rendered. The problem, according to the women, is their agreement was for $500.00 but they were only paid $100.00. In case you're wondering, there was no mention of cigars involved in the festivities. The women identified Menendez by a photograph - though it's not clear if they were shown a head and shoulders or midsection shot. One of the women was quoted, "He lies. He says one thing and does another." Welcome, ladies, to American politicians. We get screwed by them, too, but the difference is we pay for it. So lesson learned, always get your money before going to work - at least in that industry. The Menendez camp statement, "We're not going to respond to a completely false accusation." Surely they've crossed fingers there's not a stained dress, or two, lurking. Nor cigar butts.
How fun but this sex in politics is getting rather tiresome. Isn't it about time to get it back in religion, at least for a while? You know, Christianity on the edge with sinners the likes of Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker. Their televised repenting as entertaining as their motel hi jinx. Amen.
Our local Marine Corps retirees USMC Birthday Ball is tomorrow evening (10 Nov official birthday). This one my 7th and really looking forward to it. There's nothing like being around a bunch of Marines - though old, young and killers at heart. Tuesday, I went to get a haircut - not regulation but close. And I'm keeping my beard. The young woman cutting my hair was pleasant and immediately struck up conversation. She asked if I was a Marine and I told her I was. By her next words it was clear she had a connection to the Marine Corps so I asked. She's married to a sergeant now deployed (Afghanistan) with 2/7 (2nd Battalion / 7th Marines). They've not been married much more than a year - this their first deployment as a couple. It's tough. The Marine Corps is new to her but she is grateful for the unit's support network and friends. She is so proud of her husband though worried. I listened to her and reassured her. I told her I always felt best, the safest, when surrounded by Marines. And that I could not think of a safer place for her husband - surrounded by a battalion, and more, of well-led Marines highly trained, heavily armed, and with an attitude. She'd not thought of it that way and I could sense relief in her voice (and in her hands - she was still cutting). She did a great job with the haircut. At the register, I handed her a big bill and said keep it. She looked stunned and asked, "Are you sure?" "You bet! Have a great day." Note: Lesson for all, when someone generously hands you money, just say "Thank you!" I learned that lesson the hard way 26 years ago, and it's served me, and others, well since. Oh, and if in the direct contact customer service business, it's wise to be nice for you never know who's - a corn cob from North Carolina, blueblood from Louisiana, or mook from Pennsylvania - taking note and what they may do.
And one more...
It's well known President Obama has spent considerable time on the golf course - last report was 104 rounds since taking office. A remarkable amount of time distracted from duties when considering he's been in office some 196 weeks - do the math. Surely his leisure one piece of the explanation puzzle for his failed presidency. Anyway, yesterday evening a retired Marine friend sent me the below photograph - he'd spotted it on a driving range in Tampa, Florida. He couldn't wait to tell me about it and send the photo. I promised to use it today. How fitting. My bet is no one yells "fore." And certainly not "four more years."
Barack Obama - 44th President of the United States
Who could possibly make this stuff up? Not me. It's life - at the speed of life. All in all, pretty wonderful.
Yesterday I exchanged several emails with Beverly Perlson (I don't know her) about the Benghazi commentaries. Beverly is the founder of 'The Band of Mothers' - patriots doing great work for our country and veterans. Visit: www.thebandofmothers.com and support if able and so inclined. Thank you!
Semper Fidelis, Marines!
Thinking about you, Skipper!
This among the best essays I've read as to the importance of this election. Liberty or tyranny? http://patriotpost.us/alexander/15270
VOTE! Tuesday, 06 November 2012