Secretary Gates and the Facepalm

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had this to say in a recent article by the Daily Mail:

‘If we start adding additional objectives then I think we create a problem in that respect,’ he said. ‘I also think it is unwise to set as specific goals things that you may or may not be able to achieve.’

The first sentence is completely understandable, as analysts from all walks of life have raised concerns over the possibility of “mission creep,” or what is considered an “expansion of a project beyond its original goals.”  The Obama administration has looked to avoid that by failing to establish any goals, whatsoever.  Well that was easily handled.

The second sentence is a bit more perplexing (and vexing to anyone with common sense).  It is unwise to set as specific goals things that you may or may not be able to achieve. I am fairly certain that Secretary Gates just used the definition of a goal as his reason why he does not want to set goals.  You are not sure if you will or will not achieve a goal, but it is a goal, something to strive for… that’s what makes it a goal!  (Take soccer as a prime example: you can watch soccer for 90+ minutes and never see a damn goal, but they still have those goals there to try for.)

My friend (I am not sure if she wants to be mentioned in a conservative blog or not) told me that someone on NPR said ambiguity was the best policy for the Libyan strike, so as not to mislead the public.  The military has to have goals, because without goals you cannot develop and change war plans or strategy.

-rj

Operation Odyssey Dawn: Obama Green Lights Air Strikes

President Obama has issued orders to allow the United States military to strike Lybian integrated air-defense systems while the French launched their own air-strikes earlier in the day.  The Pentagon is briefing the media now.  We will update here at TheLobbyist accordingly… stay tuned…

-rj

The Pentagon says that the point of the strikes with both older Tomahawk Cruise missiles and the newer-generation Tomahawks which have the ability to “loiter” in a given area while commanders decide on a target via internal cameras, was to create an atmosphere to establish a no-fly zone over the city of Benghazi to support of the Lybian rebels under assault from Qhaddafi’s forces.

The American Tomahawks were launched after the French launched their air-strikes against Qhaddafi’s forces earlier Saturday morning.  The United States does NOT have troops on the ground guiding missiles, and the US does NOT have planes in the air enforcing a no-fly zone at this time.

Reperesentative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) announced via Twitter:

Jason Chaffetz
@jasoninthehouseJason Chaffetz   I disagree with the use of US force in Libya.
General from the Pentagon says, “we are in the first phase of a multi-phase operation.”
Jake Tapper
@jaketapper Jake Tapper  112 Tomahawks launched from mix of US subs and surface ships + 1 UK sub. Over 20 Libyan air defense targets.
The United States Navy is reporting:
US Navy
@USNavyUS Navy  110-112 Tomahawk Cruise Missiles launched by USNavy at Air Defense and Communication Nodes in Libya to set stage for No-Fly Zone

BREAKING: 4 American Hostages Executed Off Somali Coast

Lost in the confusion of recent events in the middle east, around one week ago a yacht was hijacked by Somali pirates off the coast of Somalia.  The yacht was said to have four American citizens on board, and was being trailed by the US Navy as the pirates steered toward Somalia.  US Central Command reported this as of 0925 today:

“At approximately 1 a.m. EST today, while negotiations were ongoing to secure the release of four American hostages, U.S. forces responded to gunfire aboard the pirated vessel (S/V) Quest. As they responded to the gunfire, reaching and boarding the Quest, the forces discovered all four hostages had been shot by their captors. Despite immediate steps to provide life-saving care, all four hostages ultimately died of their wounds.”

Two pirates were killed, and thirteen were captured by naval forces.

-rj

February 12th: Algeria’s Turn?

On February 12th, Algerians plan to stage a similar protest that has been held in Tahrir Square. In Algeria, the square that is gaining recognition is 1st of May Square. This will be the sight on February 12th where Algerians will gather to show solidarity in an overthrow of the government. This is led by a pro-democracy group, however, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika understands the importance of the current uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. According to MEDEX Global Solutions, in an attempt to squash a reoccurrence of the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, Bouteflika has ordered 10,000 police officers and 20,000 security personnel to guard the Capitol from protesters.

The difference between Egypt with other Arab countries is the leadership. Mubarak was not willing to use extensive violent force on the protesters, however, other regimes are not as understanding. As citizens in other nations take to the streets to demand more freedoms, the hope is that the autocratic rulers listen to the citizens rather than use excessive force in an attempt to subdue their uprisings.

As the domino effect continues, future uprisings will have to take the route of the Egyptians, peaceful yet non-compromising. It is amazing that we live in a day when a region riddled with autocratic rulers and corruption decides to unite together to overthrow the governments that hold them back from becoming nations where people have a voice.

It will be interesting to see if another domino shall begin to fall Saturday, February 12th.

Bill O’Reilly & President Obama

If you didn’t see it, here is the Super Bowl O’Reilly – Obama interview.

SOTU…Belated

I didn’t have many thoughts on the President’s State of the Union address because I expected every bit of it.  I knew that he would ignore the American peoples desire for budget cuts and smaller government and continue to push his agenda of squeezing every nickel and dime out of jobless and broke Americans.  Bullet trains, Internet take overs, and solar shingles will save the day – our “Sputnik moment” apparently.

Being less surprised at the SOTU only increased my surprise of the Republican response that endorsed both entitlements and personal responsibility at the same time.  Quite an interesting thing to say the least.

In glorious self endorsement, I comment on the Republican response in my first post on Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment here.

Republicans 47 Democrats 46

…That is what the most recent USA Today/Gallup would read like if politics were a sporting event.  This score does not really provide us with anything substantive, so we need to break down the game-time statistics instead.  For this, I decided to go to The Huffington Post.  Keep your friends close, your enemies non-friends closer (in the spirit of civility and the censoring of Huckleberry Finn).  This is the equivalent of reading the Washington Post to see how the Cowboys played… nevertheless, I am certain that we can gleam some valuable insight by considering HuffPo’s point-of-view.  Here’s how it starts out:

Forty-seven percent of respondents said that they had a favorable view of the GOP, while 43 percent said they had an unfavorable view. Since late in 2005, Gallup has rarely found the party with an unfavorable rating below 50 percent

Now, I am no professional writer.  However, I am a graduate of Montgomery County’s public schools, and remember being taught that if you are going to write numbers stick to writing them out or writing the number (forty-seven or 47), but do not mix.

The article points out that Republicans have a 47% Favorable rating, and a 43% Unfavorable rating.  Not overly impressive, except when it is mentioned that Republicans carried out a November landslide with worse favorable numbers.  The Democrats have a 46% Favorable rating, and 47% Unfavorable one.  This isn’t very good for the party that tends to enjoy high favorable marks because, let’s face it, they come across as the bleeding-heart caring type.  Everyone is more favorable of the parent that says ‘yes’ all of the time, and never punishes, and is the push-over; while the other parent is the one that really molds your disciplined being.  That is what Americans need, they need the disciplinarian.

Despite all of the wonderful information that can be taken from this poll, and all of the analysis that can be done, Huffington Post chooses to live in the past:

As the Gallup poll’s trend data shows, public views of the parties can shift quickly. As recently as May of last year, Gallup found that only 36 percent of Americans had a positive view of the Republican Party while 58 percent had a negative view, for a net rating of -16.

…Really…?  Who’s living in the past now?  By the way, this was how the article was closed-out.  Brava HuffPo!

-rj

It’s Back RAHM!

Rahm Emanuel was placed back on the ballot by the Illinois Supreme Court, despite the fact that he was renting his house in Chicago out to someone else while he stayed in DC.  His lawyers argued that he was serving his country and always planned on returning to the Chicago area.  The Washington Post has a full report here.  So, we are pretty much looking at the future Mayor of Chicago… at least, according to the most recent polls:

Front-runner has 44%

Braun next with 21%

…..Thanks a lot, Nick.

-rj

The Mobs Got Work To Do, Emanuel Off Ballot

In what may be the biggest upset since the Seahawks over the Saints two weeks ago, an Illinois court has determined that Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s ex-Chief of Staff, cannot run for Mayor because he does not meet the residency requirements.  The decision is now expected to head to the Illinois Supreme Court.

If the Illinois Supreme Court upholds the decision, you’ve got to wonder if Rahm is calling and asking for his job back, right?  I also hear that there is an opening on MSNBC, something called Countdown. Just sayin’…

Mitt Romney Wins NH Straw Poll: Duh…

A poll sponsored by ABC News and WMUR was released yesterday showing Former Governor Mitt Romney with a commanding lead over all of the other Republican Presidential candidates for 2012.  Our friends over at Race42012 posted the numbers:

Mitt Romney 35%
Ron Paul 11%
Tim Pawlenty 8%
Sarah Palin 7%
Michele Bachmann 5%
Jim DeMint 5%
Herman Cain 34%
Chris Christie 3%
Rick Santorum 3%
Mitch Daniels 3%
Newt Gingrich 3%
Mike Huckabee 3%
Mike Pence 3%
Rudy Giuliani 2%
Judd Gregg 2%
Gary Johnson 2%
Other 2%
Donald Trump 1%
Haley Barbour 1%
Jon Huntsman 0%
John Thune 0%

There are 169 comments over at Race42012 about this poll.  I don’t think anyone can really be surprised that Mitt Romney did so well;  he was Governor of Massachusetts and this is New Hampshire that we are talking about.  Perhaps we can get our resident New Hampshire…ian? to shed some light on what he takes out of these numbers.  I for one know I am asking the question on everyone’s mind… where was Liz Cheney?

-rj

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