A collection of newsworthy information as reported from newspapers, magazines, and blogs.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Willard Mitt Romney had the audacity to compare his "clown car" campaign to Obama's 2011 XMAS vacation

Willard Mitt Romney states "I'm here in Iowa in the cold  campaigning while the President is playing golf!"  Well guess what Willard, you're wrong again.  Our President always handles the nations business while on vacation. 
President Obama single handedly showed Americans how disfunctional House Republicans are.
House Republican's "can't agree with each other." Boehner and the House stabbed the Senate in the back by going back on their agreement to sign the two month extension, claiming they wanted a full year extension (loaded with hostage taking poison pills for the Democrats). Subsequently, they were forced to cave on the payroll tax cut extensions due to political pressure from within their own party. John Boehner responding to questions from reporters said, “We have fought the good fight…. Why not do the right thing for the American people even though it’s not exactly what we want.” McConnell could have easily sided with Boehner on the payroll tax cut extension, but his actions suggest that he too is tired of the games. It is almost as if the big brother (the Senate) is siding with Dad (Obama) to put an end to little brother’s (GOP House) bad behavior and temper tantrums. Both the Senate and the White House have grown tired of the dysfunctional antics of the Boehner led majority. President Obama message to the GOP led House was enough is enough. It is time to grow up and start behaving like an adult. We aren’t going to put up with your antics anymore. John Boehner gets caught up - 3 times in one year. John Boehner just can't deliver. He says yes but never can deliver. Republicans fear President Obama's record as a leader. McConnell charged Obama of engaging in “unhelpful political opportunism.” Imagine that. The fact still remains that McConnell’s filibuster tactic and desire to make President Obama a one term president is the primary reason our nation’s economy has not turned around. 

The Obama administration finalized a $30billion sale of new Boeing F-15 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia in a deal meant to counteract Iran and support an estimated 50,000 U.S. jobs on December 29th. The sale, signed on Christmas Eve in Riyadh, “will send a strong message to countries in the region that the United States is committed to security in the Gulf.” Saudi Arabia, a longstanding U.S. ally in the region, also supports U.S. and international opposition to Iran’s nuclear program. U.S. officials said the main trigger for the deal was Saudi Arabia’s concerns about Iranian threats in the region. In addition to the F-15 aircraft, the United States promised to sell 70 Apache attack helicopters, 72 Black Hawk helicopters, 26 Little Bird helicopters and assorted weapons systems (missiles and bombs) for the aircraft. “This gives Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates really modern combat aircraft that are much more advanced than Iran has.” “We conducted that assessment, and we are satisfied that this sale to Saudi Arabia will not detriment Israel’s qualitative military edge.” “This agreement will positively impact the U.S. economy and further advances the president’s commitment to create jobs by increasing exports.” 

Separately, the administration also is increasing arms sales to another Gulf ally, the United Arab Emirates. The U.S. this week reached an agreement with the Emirates to sell them Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Thaad missile interceptors for an initial contract of $1.96 billion in a deal potentially valued at $3.49 billion.  

Obama signs Iran sanctions bill into law. The president signed the law in Hawaii, where he is on holiday.

Iran discovers US aircraft carrier in the strategic narrow waterway in the Persian Gulf. “The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), conducted a planned, routine transit through the Strait of Hormuz, Dec. 27. ”The ships completed a port visit in Jebel Ali, UAE, and transited the Strait, in order to provide air support to Operation Enduring Freedom from the North Arabian Sea,” Fifth Fleet spokeswoman Lt. Rebecca Rebarich said in an emailed response to questions about the Iranian report. US-Iran Tensions Flare – Dec. 28th – The Pentagon said it would not allow Iran to follow through on its threats. “Closing the Strait of Hormuz will not be tolerated.” The Strait of Hormuz is a vital transit point for up to 20 percent of the world’s oil supply. Only a few dozen miles wide at its narrowest point, it lies between Iran, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman. Iran said this week it would choke off that supply if the United States and its allies imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil sector.

Pakistan told the U.S. to vacate Shamsi Air Base by December 11. The Pakistani airbase had been used by U.S. forces, including the CIA, to stage elements of a clandestine U.S. counter-terrorism operation to attack militants linked to al-Qaida, the Taliban and Pakistan's home-grown Haqqani network, using unmanned drone aircraft armed with missiles. Pakistani authorities started threatening U.S. personnel with eviction from the Shamsi base in the wake of the raid last May in which U.S. commandos killed Osama bin Laden at his hide-out near Islamabad without notifying Pakistani officials in advance.

A stealthy RQ-170 drone played a critical role in surveilling the compound in Pakistan where Osama bin Laden was hiding in the months before the raid in which he was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs in May. Iranian engineers are claiming that they were actually able to electronically take control of the RQ-170 drone captured last week: Taking advantage of weak, easily manipulated GPS signals, which calculate location and speed from multiple satellites. Western military experts and a number of published papers on GPS spoofing indicate that the scenario described by the Iranian engineer is plausible. Given the previous reports about the Predator drone fleet being infected by a computer virus, I’d be more concerned with the cyber attack claim by the Iranians, actually.

Our President has no vacation.  He has to govern for all Americans all of the time.   



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