Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Impeach Barack Obama

Washington Post ^ | June 4, 2014 | BY ALLEN B. WEST
This week, on WMALs “Morning on the Mall” radio show with hosts Brian and Larry I was asked a simple question relating to the Taliban prisoner release and impeachment of the president. I responded yes that in this current case, the U.S. House of Representatives should file articles of impeachment against Barack Hussein Obama. Now before all the detractors go apoplectic here, let me tell you about Article 2 signing statements, their intent, purpose, history, and usage, and the implications for the president’s impeachment. Ladies and gentlemen, I submit that Barack Hussein Obama’s unilateral negotiations with terrorists and the ensuing release of their key leadership without consult — mandated by law — with the U.S. Congress represents high crimes and misdemeanors, an impeachable offense. So I call upon the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives; Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to draft articles of impeachment as no one is above the law in America. The failure to do so speaks volumes.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...

WORKING CLASS VOTERS ABANDON OBAMA

Breitbart News ^ | June 4, 2014 | by MIKE FLYNN
A new CNN poll of Americans finds falling support for President Obama on every policy issue. On no single issue does a majority of Americans approve of Obama's position. On many important issues, e.g. health care, immigration and foreign policy, his approval ratings have reached new lows. Perhaps surprisingly, however, his approval ratings are worst among America's working class. Those earning less than $50k and those who haven't been to college have turned decidedly against Obama. On voters' top issue, the economy, 61% of voters disapprove of Obama's performance. Just 38% approve. Obama's numbers are 7 points worse than they were on the eve of the GOP landslide in 2010. His approval ratings on health care, illegal immigration, gun policy and the federal deficit have all reached new lows, with Obama's approval mired in the 30s. On the deficit, 67% of voters disapprove of Obama. As bad as these numbers are, they are worse among America's working class voters. On every issue, Obama receives lower marks from those earning less than $50k and those who never attended college than the general population. A staggering 67% of those who didn't attend college disapprove of Obama's handling of the economy, for example. 69% disapprove of his handling of health care.
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

Data discrepancies in health sign-ups (2.1 million may not have coverage)

AP ^ | 6/4/2014 | RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR
More than 2 million people who got health insurance under President Barack Obama's law have data discrepancies that could jeopardize coverage for some, a government document shows. About 1 in 4 people who signed up have discrepancies, creating a huge paperwork jam for the feds and exposing some consumers to repayment demands, or possibly even loss of coverage, if they got too generous a subsidy. The 7-page slide presentation from the Health and Human Services department was provided to The Associated Press as several congressional committees are actively investigating the discrepancies, most of which involve important details on income, citizenship and immigration status.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...

White House braced for Bowe Bergdahl backlash!

Politico ^ | June 4, 2014 | EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE and CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN
President Barack Obama’s Rose Garden appearance Saturday afternoon with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s parents was an attempt to humanize the prisoner swap to deflect potential criticism of letting five Taliban leaders out of Guantanamo Bay, White House aides say. It didn’t work. White House aides were aware Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had been tagged a deserter, and that they would be grilled over not keeping Congress in the loop. But they figured people would be most outraged over the national security implications. (Also on POLITICO: Obama officials head to Hill to talk Bergdahl) The White House has been surprised by how much attention has remained on the questions about Bergdahl, from the circumstances of his disappearance to the wild beard his father grew while he was being held that’s even led to Bergdahl’s hometown canceling a celebration. All this, Obama aides say, is in their minds a proxy for the hatred toward the president. The new PR plan: Frame the criticism as another example of Republicans complaining about something just because Obama was the one to do it. White House aides and other liberal outlets are highlighting what they see as Republican hypocrisy, citing past quotes from GOP lawmakers calling for Bergdahl’s freedom. Republicans had been saying for years that the United States should do “everything possible” to get Bergdahl back—and now many are leading the outrage over the deal Obama made. Reps. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) and Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) and new Iowa GOP Senate nominee Joni Ernst are among those who started out tweeting out praise about Bergdahl’s release—then, after the political tide turned, deleted those tweets. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in February even endorsed the idea of a five-prisoner swap “depending on the details”—now he says what he knows of the terms of the deal present a “grave risk.” (Sign up for POLITICO’s Morning Defense tip sheet) “I’m for prisoner exchanges but only if the deal is right,” which means releasing only those who aren’t going to reenter the battlefield, McCain said Wednesday. “These are hard core [prisoners] that were judged to be a risk to national security.” Obama aides say they’re not worried about the prospect of weeks of segments on Fox News or hearings by a Republican House that has spent four years investigating and rebuffing the White House on issues like Solyndra and Fast and Furious. That’s not to say aides were surprised by the questions about Bergdahl as a possible deserter, most of which had been in the public and under White House review for a very long time. This was always going to be complicated, but they didn’t think not getting Bergdahl back, no matter the circumstances, was an option. The United States has a “pretty sacred rule and that is we don’t leave our men or women in uniform behind and that dates back to the earliest days,” Obama said Tuesday at a news conference in Warsaw, Poland. “Regardless of the circumstances, whatever those circumstances may turn out to be, we still get an American soldier back if he’s held in captivity. Period. Full stop. We don’t condition that.” (Also on POLITICO: Full defense policy coverage) Aides believe that’s how most people outside of the Republicans in Congress and their base will see the situation. “I think the principle of leaving no man behind will ultimately prevail,” said White House spokesperson Eric Schultz. Bergdahl’s release came at the end of a week in which Obama was trying to, as he and his aides repeatedly put it, “turn the page” on Afghanistan — first with a surprise trip there last Sunday, then with the announcement of his phased troop withdrawal plan and then with a speech at West Point meant to present his vision of foreign policy going forward. White House aides argue that was a coincidence, though Obama did thank the emir of Qatar for his help finalizing the deal on Tuesday, the same day he announced the plan to get out of Afghanistan and the day before the West Point speech. To Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), that’s a little too convenient for a deal he already thinks was disproportionate. Graham said the White House has a habit of manipulating foreign events for presidential gain, citing the leaks of classified information after the bin Laden raid, the faulty talking points on Benghazi and now this. “Is it an accident that in the same week the president announces the end of hostilities, the withdrawal of all forces by 2016 and also retrieves the one captive?” Graham said. “They were looking at the end of hostilities as being a political shot in the arm for them and regaining a lost solder would be seen as positive.” From what Graham has seen, he says he believes the White House simply wasn’t up to speed with all the questions about Bergdahl. “All the information coming out from his unit is pretty bad. We’re not going to try this young man on the Internet,” Graham said, “but they completely blew this.” National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s turn on the Sunday talk shows had long been planned for the weekend after the West Point foreign policy vision speech, White House aides say. But even though they were aware of the deserter questions, the lines she and other aides have been using to defend Bergdahl’s record were no mistake. Bergdahl, “served with the United States with honor and distinction,” Rice said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” “Sergeant Bergdahl put on the uniform of the United States voluntarily and went to war,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday, explaining the line. “That takes honor and it is a mark of distinction.” Graham used that as a way to draw a direct line, through Rice, between Bergdahl and Benghazi. She had to step out of the running for Secretary of State after delivering faulty talking points on the deadly Benghazi attack in September 2012 as the U.N. ambassador. “Who told Susan Rice that he served with honor and distinction? Where does she get all this stuff? Who told her that that the consulate in Benghazi was strongly and significantly secured when it was a death trap?” Graham said. “They are trying to pump up the deal.” The White House has also scrambled to get Congress on its side, after it failed to give notice to lawmakers that prisoners would be released from Guantanamo Bay. All 100 senators are being briefed Wednesday evening by James Dobbins, a State Department specialist on Afghanistan and Pakistan, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work, Admiral James Winnefeld, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Robert Cardillo, the deputy director of national intelligence. As for chief of staff’s Denis McDonough’s meeting with Democratic Tuesday to discuss the release, White House aides chalk that up to his regular outreach on the Hill, not a response to the backlash. The administration line has been that it has previously consulted lawmakers about the possibility of a deal, but two senior Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence — Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein of California and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia said such conversations were a long time ago. “When they say, ‘Oh yes, they were briefed,’ what they are referring to is 2011-2012 when I was still in grade school,” Rockefeller said. But some Democrats are backing up the White House. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) that over any of the other concerns about Bergdahl or informing Congress, soldiers and their families need to know the United States will bring every last captive home, no matter what. “That is fundamental thing that our country needs to stand for,” Brown said. Asked whether the White House miscalculated, Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said he trusted the top military commanders, including Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Winnefeld. Levin would not say whether he viewed the deal as a good one or a bad one. “I can’t make that judgment but I put a lot of stock into what the military leaders say,” Levin said. “This isn’t something Obama decided without the advice and support of his military. They’re the ones who are in command of the people who would be at risk if these guys returned to the battlefield. They also have a sworn obligation to bring their people home.”

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(Michelle Malkin) Exclusive: The Story You Haven’t Yet Heard About Bowe Bergdahl’s Desertion!

Right Wing News ^ | June 4, 2014 | Michelle Malkin
Five years ago, I publicly raised questions about Bowe Bergdahl’s desertion from Blackfoot Company, 1-501 Infantry (Airborne), 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division. A few weeks after his so-called “capture” in late June 2009, three conflicting accounts surfaced: U.S. officials told the Associated Press Bergdahl had “walked off” the base with three Afghans; the Taliban claimed on its website that “a drunken American soldier had come out of his garrison” and into their arms; and Bergdahl claimed in his Taliban “hostage video” that he had “lagged behind a patrol” before being captured. I asked on my blog: Were the AP’s sources mistaken? Or is the disturbing first account the right one? What about the “three Afghans” Pfc. Bergdahl reportedly “just walked off” with after his shift? Who are they? What’s going on? Five years ago, one of the brave soldiers who risked his life to search for Bergdahl answered my questions, and I published his statement on July 20, 2009: “I know the story and the accounts that he was drunk or that he was lagging behind on patrol are not true — this soldier planned this move for a long time. He walked off the post with a day’s supply of water and had written down before that he wanted to live in the mountains. … He is an embarrassment to everyone who has worn the uniform.” After news broke this weekend of President Obama’s trade of five high-level Taliban commanders at Gitmo for Bergdahl’s “freedom,” I heard from another soldier who served on the search team. “Many of my brothers died because of Bergdahl’s actions, and this has been a very hard day for all Geronimos,” he told me after documenting his proof of service. Other journalists ignored his attempts to get the truth out. My source still holds a highly sensitive position, so you won’t see him all over the cable news shows. But he wants all of you to know the hell he and his comrades have been reliving: “I was assigned to 1st Platoon of Blackfoot Company,” based out of Forward Operating Base (FOB) Salerno in Khost, Afghanistan, he said. “Bowe’s platoon was assigned to conduct security and stability operations out of FOB Sharana and other locations in Paktika. The untold background that led to Bowe’s situation involves an article and pictures published by Guardian reporter Sean Smith.” One of the battalion leaders punished soldiers, including Bergdahl (who had been photographed snoozing in his armored vehicle), with extra guard duty assignments for conducting operations in an unprofessional manner at Outpost MEST (OP MEST). “Bergdahl was already disenchanted with the war effort,” my source said, “and I think the extra duty was the last straw for him.” On the morning of June 30, 2009, “Bergdahl completed a guard shift, removed his equipment, weapon and sensitive items, and left OP MEST with several Afghan security forces personnel. He took a compass, a couple bottles of water and two knives and his journal. His exact intentions may never be known, but he willingly walked off OP MEST and was secured by enemy forces not long after.” My source, who had been up the previous night on a separate raid, was “shaken awake” on the afternoon Bergdahl disappeared. “We were told there was a DUSTWUN (Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown), and to pack for a three-hour assault. We received a brief that Bergdahl was missing, and we were going to get him. … Sometime after dark we boarded CH-47′s to assault an objective thought to contain Bergdahl. We never made it to the landing zone, as the helicopters took very heavy fire on approach to the objective and had to divert.” The soldier’s Focused Targeting Force (FTF) platoon was not told that it was being diverted to OP MEST. When they landed, he said, “We thought we were in enemy territory, so I recall my friends and I screaming ‘Vehicles’ and preparing to engage with the LAW and SMAW-D rockets we carried. We soon realized the lights were from RG-31 and Maxpro MRAPs, friendly vehicles, and de-escalated the situation. The CH-47′s had dropped us off at OP MEST and did not relay that information.” With that near-disaster over, the soldier recounted: “We averaged 18 to 22 kilometers a day on foot, clearing house to house, room to room looking for Bergdahl. … We even went as far as rappelling down wells and crawling through tunnels to look for him.” The standard procedure for recapturing Bergdahl was not “normal,” the soldier noted. “He was very good with knives, and trained to throw and fight hand-to-hand with knives. We did not know the mental state of Bergdahl at the time. All we knew was he left on his own, he caused us lots of hardship, and if we entered a room and saw him, we would put him down because he could attack us.” On the morning of July 4, 2009, the soldier recalled, “we assaulted several objectives looking for Bergdahl. … We executed the mission without incident and were waiting to be exfiltrated. Our aircraft were in sight when they turned and flew in the opposite direction. At the time we did not know why, but we were stranded. The enemy took advantage of Bergdahl’s capture and attacked numerous outposts that morning.” “Combat Outpost Zerok was almost overrun, multiple soldiers were wounded, and PFCs Justin Casillas and Aaron Fairbairn lost their lives fighting that day,” the soldier told me. (I wrote about their deaths in my July 8, 2009, column, not knowing they were related to the Bergdahl mess.) My source continued: “We learned later that our exfiltration aircraft were diverted to support COP Zerok, and that the situation there was so dire that at one point there were two Apache gunships on station that went Winchester, meaning they expended all ordinance and ammunition, but they would not abandon the soldiers still fighting, so they resorted to low-level unarmed passes to distract the enemy. Bergdahl’s actions undoubtedly caused these events. We spent the remainder of Independence Day walking in the desert … waiting for aircraft that did not come for many, many hours.” He continued: “A few days later, we (FTF) conducted a daylight raid on some tents looking for Bergdahl. We took heavy small arms and RPG fire on approach and ran off the CH-47s in contact. Our entire element engaged the enemy, who turned out to be a Taliban shadow governor and his bodyguards. … Multiple people died that day. … All of this happened because Bergdahl got tired of playing soldier. The remainder of that deployment was focused on recovery efforts. Countless members of the brigade were wounded, and we lost good friends, among them PFC Matthew Martinek and 2LT Darryn Andrews. I have no doubt these great men would be alive if Bergdahl did not leave.” In addition to Andrews, Casillas, Fairbairn and Martinek, PFC Morriss Walker and Staff Sergeants Clayton Bowen, Kurt Curtiss and Michael Murphrey died as a result of Bergdahl’s abandonment. That’s eight dead American soldiers (not six, as the rest of the media have reported) betrayed by selfish Bergdahl and reckless President Obama. My source did not mince words: “The fact that our government negotiated with terrorists and our enemy is incomprehensible. The fact that they exchanged five war criminals for a traitor is sickening. The worst part for those of us that suffered through that time is that PFC Bergdahl is being hailed as some kind of hero. He was automatically promoted to Specialist and Sergeant, ranks he does not deserve and did not earn. I have no doubt he will receive back pay for these past five years, a substantial sum. There will be book deals, and his family are celebrities. I am glad he is safe, and happy for his family, but he should return home to face a court martial.” Are you listening, Capitol Hill and America? The Bowe Bergdahl mess isn’t just a story about one deserter, but two. There’s the muddle-headed lowlife who left his post and brothers behind. And there’s the corrupt commander in chief who has jeopardized more American soldiers’ lives to “rescue” Bergdahl by bowing to the Taliban, while snubbing the surviving heroes and the eight dead American soldiers who lost their lives because of him. This cannot stand. Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies” (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com. Also see, The Data-Mining Body Monitors in Our Schools

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