Two tragedies, two reactions: So what took Obama so long?

First published May 23, 2014 on cnn.com

Not even a week after the ruling in the Trayvon Martin trial, President Barack Obama couldn’t wait to stand before the White House press corps and “speak to an issue that obviously has gotten a lot of attention,” as he said last July.

Yet it took Obama more than a month to address the crisis where 40 veterans allegedly died while waiting months for treatment at a Phoenix Veterans Administration hospital.

Congress has held hearings on the grave matter since April and called Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki among other witnesses to testify. But Obama just got around to holding a press conference Wednesday on the topic.

“So when I heard allegations of misconduct — any misconduct, whether it’s allegations of VA staff covering up long wait times or cooking the books — I will not stand for it, not as commander in chief, but also not as an American,” Obama declared.

If Obama is as outraged and “mad as hell” as he professes, why did it take him over a month to say anything substantive about vets dying because of months waiting for care? Prior to his long overdue press conference about the VA controversy, Obama only mentioned what has now become another White House scandal in a response to a question from a reporter on April 28 during his Asia trip.

During his press conference, Obama said he wasn’t going to jump to any conclusions or call for any resignations until “the investigators do their job and get to the bottom of what happened” at the VA. He added, “we have to find out, first of all, what exactly happened.”

In contrast, Obama couldn’t wait to jump to conclusions and comment on the shooting of the black teen Martin by George Zimmerman before any investigation or trial happened. Obama made extensive comments on the shooting in March 2012 in the Rose Garden.

“You know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. All of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves,” he said.

Well we certainly didn’t hear the president say, if he had served in the military, “I could have been one of those veterans who died.” Apparently, veterans, who put their lives at risk defending our country then died at the hands of incompetent VA employees aren’t worthy of the same attention and “seriousness” as Trayvon Martin?

Even more indicative of the Obama White House’s misplaced priorities is the White House issued a statement from the president on the day of the Tryavon Martin trial verdict last July. No White House statement was issued about the VA allegations.

But clearly a statement on the Martin trial wasn’t enough. A few days later, Obama held a press conference about the verdict. “I thought it might be useful for me to expand on my thoughts a little bit,” Obama noted.

Martin’s death, though tragic, had nothing to do with national security or government malfeasance and didn’t warrant attention from the president of the United States. But Obama felt it was very important to comment on the death of a young black man shot by a “white Hispanic” to appease race hucksters like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson who helped elect him.

Stammering throughout his VA press conference Wednesday, Obama told reporters “responsibility for things always rests ultimately with me, as the President and commander in chief.”

At the same time Obama claims he didn’t know how big the problems were with the VA. How can a president be responsible for problems occurring at agencies if he’s not aware of the problems?

This sounds like the all-too-familiar refrain the White House uses. It didn’t know about the IRS scandal or the Department of Health and Human Services’ disastrous rollout of Obamacare.

Again, Obama promised, “there is going to be accountability.” “Listen, if somebody has mismanaged or engaged in misconduct, not only do I not want them getting bonuses, I want them punished,” he said from the White House briefing room.

Hopefully this time, the President means what he says because in past scandals he has held no one accountable. IRS division director Lois Lerner and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius both were allowed to resign without accountability. Shinseki eventually will do the same.

Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, at minimum our veterans deserve the same attention to their deaths as Obama gave Trayvon.

Lies, Politics and the White House Benghazi Cover Up

For two years, the Obama White House has been adamant it never lied about what caused the September 11, 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi. Over and over again, despite CIA and State Department officials’ Congressional testimony the attack was never caused by a video but was a planned terrorist attack, the White House insisted it was working off real time intelligence that suggested otherwise.

But new information reveals all “Rhodes” lead back to a White House engaged in a Benghazi cover up for political gain.

In a September 14, 2012 email about a prep call with UN Ambassador Susan Rice to senior White House officials, White House Deputy Strategic Communications Advisor Ben Rhodes takes great pains in warning recipients:

“To underscore that these protests are rooted in an internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.” Rhodes further writes the need “[T]o reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”

The email was part of 41 new Benghazi related documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed June 21, 2013 against the State Department. Rhodes’ directive seems to confirm in no uncertain terms what CIA deputy director Michael Morell and some State Department officials testified before Congress that real time intelligence never suggested a video caused the attack but concluded immediately it was a planned by terrorists.

Lots of high level White House communications folks were on the receiving end of Rhodes’ email: “White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Deputy Press Secretary Joshua Earnest, then-White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, then-White House Deputy Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, then-National Security Council Director of Communications Erin Pelton, Special Assistant to the Press Secretary Howli Ledbetter, and then-White House Senior Advisor and political strategist David Plouffe.”

This same cast of characters along with President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted to the public the attack on Benghazi was caused by an anti-Islamic video not a re-surging al Qaeda. Admitting (telling the truth) the attack was planned by terrorists would destroy Obama’s narrative “Osama bin Laden was dead and the war on terror was over.” And harmed his 2012 re-election campaign against Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Rhodes further urges White House officials to blame the attack, which killed US ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, on a video in order to make Obama look “statesmanlike.” In so many words, Rhodes’ email told officials to lie and distort the truth to the American people about the president’s war on terror.

Told you so, as Republicans in Congress have been saying for the past two years.

Yet in the face of all the evidence, the White House denied this truth for weeks and continues to stand by its defense it worked off the intelligence it had at the time. UN Ambassador Susan Rice was trotted out as the chief spokesperson for the Benghazi affair, telling the morning talk shows the same meme repeated by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that an anti-Islamic video led to a spontaneous protest, etc.

The White House’s bungled Benghazi response looks even messier with the revelation of Rhodes’ email. It seems Obama was more concerned with getting re-elected by any means necessary than uncovering the truth about four dead Americans.

Senator Lindsay Graham proposed the House create a Joint Select Committee to investigate Benghazi. House Speaker John Boehner finally agreed to do just. Two years later, after numerous Congressional hearings that didn’t result in any accountability from the White House or the State Department, Congress also needs to appoint an independent counsel.

Many unanswered questions linger over Benghazi like the stench in Hamlet’s Denmark. The most obvious being why Hillary Clinton didn’t face the media to answer questions about the attack? The State Department overseas US embassies and its staff not America’s UN Ambassador. Could it be Clinton was already calculating her 2016 presidential run and didn’t want to be caught on video telling the American people a bold face lie?

 

Why we conservatives are still getting it wrong with Bundy

This piece was first published by CNN April 25, 2014

I don’t know what’s more offensive: rancher Cliven Bundy telling blacks they’d be better off as slaves picking cotton or conservatives who continue to defend him.

Not only were his comments racist, but under no stretch of the imagination could anyone argue blacks were better off during slavery with no rights, working for free and being held the property of white people.

I tweeted my outrage at Bundy’s remarks, who by the way is a Republican, and to my surprise many of my followers excused his behavior, tweeting things like:

“sounding n being r two different things.I don’t think he’s a racist. Just old school”

“I don’t think he’s a racist. Just old school.”

More like Cliven Bundy is “an old school racist” is what I responded.

Others tweeted things like I “needed to go back and watch the clip with an open mind.”

Or that “the Cliven issue is about Federal overreach please don’t follow libs and make it about race.”

I’ve watched the clip many times with a very open mind and each time I come to the same conclusion: Bundy is a racist.

If slavery was such a great institution and better than being on welfare, as Bundy declared, why doesn’t Bundy go back in time, become a slave and pick cotton for plantation owners without getting paid? He needs a history lesson about the horrors of slavery and why “we blacks” no longer call ourselves Negros.

I’m glad to see many conservatives swiftly condemned Bundy’s comments. But the real insult to injury for me as a black conservative woman is they never should have embraced him in the first place.

Conservatives are supposed to be the party that believes in adhering to the Constitution and the laws of our land. We talk about this to the point of obsession, myself included, with regard to issues like immigration, affirmative action, Obamacare, etc.

Yet conservatives of all kinds couldn’t wait to support Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who for over 20 years has refused to follow the laws of our land and Constitution by not paying over $1 million in grazing fees to the Bureau of Land Management.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo pointed this out to Bundy in his interview Friday, reminding him that he might want to read the Constitution he carries in his pocket.

The federal government owns 85% of Nevada’s land. In other western states the federal government also owns large swaths of land. Is it government overreach? Sure.

But the way to tackle that government overreach is — as members of Congress, conservative media personalities and others know very well — to introduce legislation to fix it.

One doesn’t just wake up one morning like Cliven Bundy did and decided he’s not going to follow the laws of our land. There are lots of laws I don’t like — most notably paying taxes — but I follow them because I don’t want to go to jail.

As BLM rangers tried to confiscate Bundy’s 500 cattle for his disobeying the law, Bundy joined about 50 other supporters, many of whom were armed with guns and refused to yield.

And conservatives like Sean Hannity and Sen. Rand Paul cheered him on in his defiance. Then Bundy reveals himself as a racist.

The entire Bundy affair just makes the Republican Party look bad. Are all Republicans racist? Absolutely not. But many overwhelming came out in support of this lunatic.

I think it’s an awful day for conservatives. I think we need serious reflection because we’re not going to win 2016 with this attitude, keep doing things the same old way. We have old white men saying offensive things to women and minorities, and I’m tired of it.

At a time when the GOP needs to bring more minorities into our tent — along with women for that matter — embracing fools like Bundy doesn’t help and certainly will put us farther down the path of losing in 2016.

I’ve said it over the past five years, but it continues to fall on deaf ears: The Republican Party at all levels from political organizations to offices of members of Congress needs to do a better job hiring blacks. Not to do “black or minority outreach” but to do the same jobs your white staffers are doing.

Maybe if the GOP would stop treating blacks as “others” and really give us a seat at the table, it would stop acting like the stupid party and start winning presidential elections again.

But, sadly, I won’t hold my breath.

Obama and Holder Pull the Race Card, AGAIN

 

Listening to Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama address Al Sharpton’s National Action Network 16th annual convention last week, one would think Americans were living in the year 1964 not 2014. Holder pulled the race card blaming Republicans for criticizing him and Obama merely because they’re black.

Speaking prior to Obama, Holder suggested to the all black crowd that both he and the president had been treated badly by Republicans because they are black.

“It has nothing to do with me, forget that. What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment? What president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?”

The fact is Holder has done a bad job as attorney general and unlike his fans within the black community like Sharpton, Republicans haven’t given him or Obama a free pass simply because they’re  the first blacks serving in heir roles. Remember Holder is the same attorney general who concocted the idea to give 9/11 terrorists a civilian trial in New York City, where the horror occur.

Holder refused to respond to subpoenas over the Justice Department’s Fast and Furious botched gun-running scheme and as House Speaker John Boehner said, Holder refuses to get to the bottom of the IRS scandal or what exactly happened in Benghazi. Why not appoint independent counsels to investigate both?

In his April 11th remarks to the National Action Network, Obama declared blacks are still “woe is me” victims whose voting rights are being infringed upon with 21st voter ID laws.

“But the stark, simple truth is this:  The right to vote is threatened today in a way that it has not been since the Voting Rights Act became law nearly five decades ago. Across the country, Republicans have led efforts to pass laws making it harder, not easier, for people to vote,” declared Obama.

How are laws that ask a person to verify his identity at the ballot box racist? When you go to the bank and cash a check, you have to show a picture ID and when you board a plane or enter buildings in major cities like Washington or New York City.

Obama alleged, “It is wrong to make a senior citizen who no longer has a driver’s license jump through hoops and have to pay money just to exercise the rights she has cherished for a lifetime.”  States with voter ID laws offer free state-issued IDs and many provide seniors with free transportation to places like the Department of Motor Vehicles that issue the IDs.

Democrats always love talking down to blacks, making the demeaning argument that blacks are disproportionately impacted by voter ID laws and somehow can’t get IDs to vote like whites. This is insulting.

Voter fraud does and can occur. When I voted recently in DC, I wasn’t asked to show an ID but just spout off my name and address. I could have just easily looked up a name and address in the phone book and voted as someone else.

Prior to the 1965 Voting Rights and before that during Reconstruction, it was racist southern Democrats who suppressed the black vote with literacy tests, poll taxes, death threats and lynchings. Even though Holder and his Democrat cohorts love calling voter ID laws the modern Jim Crow, we don’t see any of that today.

If the voter laws in 34 states are racist, why did black voter turnout surpass whites in 2012?

Why did black voter turnout exceed white voter turnout after Georgia, Indiana and Tennessee passed strict voter ID laws, according to  the US Census Bureau study “The Diversifying Electorate—Voting rates by Race  and Hispanic Origin in 2012.”

Finally, if today’s voter ID laws are truly racist why in 2013 did the Supreme Court rule the preclearance section of the Voting Rights Act was unconstitutional? In its ruling, the court said that voting rates for blacks in former racist southern states were not only equal to whites but in some states surpassed whites.

It’s not surprising Obama would misrepresent the facts about voter ID laws to Al Sharpton’s all black National Action Network crowd. Good old Al’s organization is nothing but a front group to help Sharpton line his pockets with profit all in the name of falsely accusing businesses, governments and people of racism.

If someone didn’t know which century he was living in and only heard Obama and Holder’s speeches, he wouldn’t believe America had elected the first black President of the United States not once but twice. That same person also might not imagine the country had its first black attorney general. Yet in the face of this reality, the dynamic duo of Obama and Holder keep misleading black Americans and distorting the strides our country has made 50 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law.

Mozilla’s CEO Resignation and the Gay Lobby’s Double Standard

Gays are trying to portray traditional marriage as an alternative lifestyle and those who support it as evil. It’s beyond despicable that Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, purveyor of Firefox, resigned from his newly appointed post last Thursday because the gay mob found out he had the nerve to . . .wait for it.  . . exercise his first amendment right and support traditional marriage. Oh, the heresy. The mob attacked Eich on Twitter for donating $1,000 to support California’s gay marriage ban in 2008.

When the proposal known as Proposition 8 was placed on the ballot in 2008, more than 52% of Californians voted in for it. In fact, black churches were instrumental in getting blacks, the majority of whom in California are Democrats, to vote in yes for Prop 8.

Apparently, in today’s 21st century America free speech is only reserved for gays and not straights or Christians. I won’t tolerate it anymore and I think it’s high time heterosexual, liberty loving Christians mobilize their traditional marriage lobby.

Everybody in America is not gay. About 3.4% of America’s population is gay. Nor does everyone support same sex marriage. Depending upon the poll, whom is being polled and where, findings can range from evenly split between those who oppose gay marriage and those who support it, to more Americans opposing it.

In statement, Mozilla Chairwoman Mitchell Baker said:

“Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.”

Freedom of speech doesn’t have to be qualified. It stands on its own and is our constitutional right under the first amendment. If Baker truly believed “you need free speech to fight for equality” in opinions, she wouldn’t have accepted Eich’s resignation. Eich didn’t donate money to the KKK or utter racial slurs. He simply supported traditional marriage.

Think about that for a moment. Traditional marriage or coupling between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation has been going on since the beginning of time. It’s normal and the mainstream lifestyle. Since when did traditional marriage become a dirty word and one’s support of it becomes a license for “a high-tech lynching” by America’s gay lobby?

During his Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas famously told the Senate Judiciary Committee he was a victim of “a high-tech lynching” because he was a black American who dared to be a Republican. In My Grandfather’s Son, Thomas recalls his testimony: “it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you, you will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured. .”

If any of the 97% of the rest of America, who isn’t gay, refuses to acquiesce to the gay mafia’s bullying, the message from the gay lobby is “we will destroy you.”

Brendan Eich isn’t the first and won’t be the last example. About two years ago, the president of Chick-fil-A said he supported traditional marriage and the gay lobby went ballistic, demanding boycotts and apologies. Neither happened. In fact, sales of the tasty sandwiches soared and lines wrapped around restaurants across the country.

Interestingly, Leslie Gabel-Brett, Lambda Legal’s director of education and public affairs declared Eich used “his money to try to oppress and harm same-sex couples and their children.” No, he donated $1,000 to preserve traditional marriage. How is this harming same sex couples?

Gabel-Brett takes her irrational argument further.  She wrote Eich can “freely donate his money” (thanks for the permission slip to democracy).

“Under our laws, he is entitled to promote such views or actions, and other people are entitled to be outraged by them,” added Gabel-Brett.

But the difference Dear Leslie is that gays don’t believe we Christians and straight people have the same right to be equally outraged by your views and actions. That’s the fundamental problem with today’s radical gay agenda being pushed by organizations like Lambda, it demands others be tolerant of their lifestyle choices but they refuse to TOLERATE ours.

I grew up with two loving, gay uncles who just wanted to live their lives. They didn’t push their homosexuality onto the world nor did they try to change the order of nature by fighting for marriage or trying to adopt children. What they wanted was to live openly in society rather than in silence. They died before they could  enjoy this freedom gays now have.  But if they were alive, they certainly would be shocked and appalled by the gay lobby’s effort to force all Americans into its vice. Live and let live is what they would say.

 

 

 

Rumsfeld Comparing Obama to a Trained Ape Won’t Win GOP Black Votes

Rumsfeld 'trained ape' comment stirs controversy

Republicans just can’t help reminding blacks why they should not consider voting for them, at least not seriously.  In a Fox News interview, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld compared President Barack Obama to a “trained ape” for his failure to sign an agreement with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on the number of US troops allowed to remain in Afghanistan after 2014 to help with security.

“A trained ape could get a status of forces agreement.  It does not take a genius. And we have so mismanaged that relationship,” said Rumsfeld.

While I agree Obama’s retreat from the world stage has virtually neutered America’s influence globally in conflicts like Syria, Iran, and Crimea, comparing the first black president to a trained ape is just in the poorest of taste.  Since slavery, racists have compared blacks to monkeys, gorillas, apes and called blacks derogatory names like nigger, coon, and darkies. After Obama’s election, more than a few Republican politicians have compared him, his family, and other blacks to animals.

I don’t think the intention of Rumsfeld’s remarks was racist but he may as well have compared the president to a “trained darkie” because his comments sounded racist. A white conservative friend of mine observed, “It just sounds racist. That’s probably not what Rumsfeld meant but the president is black.”

“United States diplomacy has been so bad—so embarrassingly bad,” Rumsfeld said. That’s accurate and Rumsfeld comments on Obama’s foreign policy in Afghanistan should have been more in line with this tone. Instead he just said spoke without thinking about the implications of comparing a black president to an ape.

That’s the fundamental problem with many carrying the banner in today’s Republican Party. They are so dismissive of and out of touch with the race culturally, that people like Rumsfeld don’t understand why blacks would find such a remark offensive. Even if he didn’t mean it as racist.

Fresh off the heels of the Republican National Committee’s one-year anniversary of its Growth & Opportunity Project to attract more minority voters, Rumsfeld’s comment is more proof the GOP isn’t serious about inclusion or winning future presidential elections. Comments like his are just the distraction the media loves to report on instead of Obama’s failed leadership at home and abroad.

If Republicans and the RNC are serious about winning more black votes and future elections, here’s some advice. First, hire more people of color at every level across all aspects of conservative politics Congress, campaigns, think tanks, and political organizations.  If conservative politicians worked with more blacks, I suspect they would be less inclined to say stupid things that offend blacks in speeches or other forms of communications because the blacks working with them would tell them “you can’t say that because it sounds racist.”

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his autobiography My Grandfather’s Son that he recommended President George H. W. Bush appoint “blacks to positions of responsibility than the race-related ones they’d traditionally held.” This is great advice for the RNC, which seems to believe blacks are only qualified to work in “minority outreach” positions at the RNC.

Second, if Republicans want to earn more of the black vote, the RNC and other groups should follow Senator Rand Paul’s lead and take the conservative message to places Republicans aren’t used to going like historically black colleges and universities. Paul has spoken Howard University and Simpson College.  The RNC also needs to be talking to groups like the National Urban League, the NAACP and other “so called” black advocacy groups.

The RNC won’t win over votes in one speech, and certainly won’t erase it’s long-standing history of making stupid remarks on race and culture, but it can begin to build and sustain a conversation with black voters. If blacks don’t hear from the GOP how voting Republican will improve their lives, then they will continue to vote over 90% Democrat, especially when our spokespeople make offensive and racist remarks.

Democrats won four of the past six presidential elections and they look poised for another victory in 2016 unless the GOP can stop putting its foot in its mouth and start doing some outreach.