03/27/15
VA

CNN Shines a Light on Ongoing VA Scandal

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

While the Obama administration may have rearranged the deck chairs on the Titanic, in this case the Department of Veterans Affairs, it is still a sinking disaster. On March 13 President Barack Obama traveled to the Phoenix VA medical center, which CNN’s Anderson Cooper called “ground zero in the scandal, a place where as we reported, at least 40 veterans died while waiting for appointments.” “You know, some things have changed, no doubt about it,” said Cooper on his show. “There has been progress.”

After Eric Shinseki resigned last year in the midst of the VA scandal, the administration appointed Bob McDonald to take his place. But it is hard to argue that the situation has gotten better for our veterans. It seems to have gotten worse—or, at the very least, the worst abuses are now coming to light.

The media’s claim that there has been progress toward solving the maltreatment of veterans only serves to bolster the administration’s reputation at the expense of our former soldiers’ ongoing neglect and suffering.

Indeed, the CNN broadcast was dedicated to exposing the fact that, as correspondent Drew Griffin reported, “Thousands of patients at the greater Los Angeles Veterans Medical Centers have been waiting more than three months just for an appointment.”

Cooper ran tape of Representative Dan Benishek (R-MI) asking Dr. Sky MacDougall how long the average wait time for a new patient is at the Greater Los Angeles Medical Center. Dr. MacDougall replied that “The average wait time for a new patient right now is about four days.”

Griffin then said, “That statement is simply not true. According to these VA documents, and a half dozen doctors and administrators within the hospital who spoke to CNN, the average wait time is 10 times greater. It’s not four days. It’s 44 days. The delays are even taking place at the Los Angeles Clinic for Mental Health where documents show more than 300 veterans seeking mental health care have been waiting 30, 60, even 90 days.”

Griffin pointed out that Dr. MacDougall told Congress that the average wait time for mental health patients was also just four days. But, he added, “Again, according to VA documents and a half dozen sources interviewed by CNN, that is not true…as of March 1st new mental health patients in Los Angeles are waiting an average of 36 days just to get an appointment.”

“You know…we tried to get an explanation,” said Griffin. “They simply will not talk to us. They won’t explain their numbers to us.” Congressional investigators are now looking into this report.

Some in the media are taking note of the ongoing VA scandal. But, as with FEMA’s scandal, and even this recent CNN report, the media act as if the Obama administration’s leadership has nothing to do with the ongoing corruption and mismanagement. Yet CNN does deserve credit for exposing the incompetence and dishonesty within the system.

The President admitted the same day as this show aired that there were deficits with the way the VA is being run, but asserted that this was a case of bad apples and systems run awry. “…because just the fact that there have been a few bad apples, mistakes that have been made, systems that aren’t designed to get the job done, I don’t want that to detract from the outstanding work of a lot of people inside this organization,” he said.

It’s easy to blame bad apples and broken systems, just as the President blamed a few Cincinnati IRS workers for the IRS scandal. But as the VA scandal drags on, some in the media should start to at least suspect widespread corruption and mismanagement at the very top levels—despite their ongoing efforts to keep any scandal, of any size, from tarnishing Obama’s legacy.

News regarding the mismanagement of VA facilities has surfaced each month in 2015. In some cases these reports expose how the corruption is still costing veterans’ lives.

“Doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Tomah hand out so many narcotic painkillers that some veterans have taken to calling the place ‘Candy Land,’” reported Aaron Glantz of The Center for Investigative Reporting for the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel in January. “They call the hospital’s chief of staff, psychiatrist David Houlihan, the ‘Candy Man.’” Patients would sometimes lose their narcotics five times and still request refills, alleged the hospital’s former chief pharmacist, who left in 2013, according to Glantz.

Houlihan “was disciplined by the Iowa Board of Medicine for being ‘inappropriately engaged in a social relationship with a patient,’ hiring a current or former patient and bringing a patient’s medicine home with him,” and, according to Glantz, “downplayed” the discipline in an interview as part of a “contentious” divorce.

After this became news, Houlihan was placed on administrative leave and “the VA, the VA Office of the Inspector General and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration have launched separate probes into allegations against the hospital,” according to the Associated Press.

In other words, the VA is spending its time putting out fires across the country as they emerge.

But Glantz’s January reporting actually alleged a bigger problem: “runaway opiate prescription practices throughout the VA health care system.”

And in Colorado, Denver VA Medical Center Director Lynette Roff retired on March 1. News reports had revealed that her facility had a secret list of veterans waiting for appointments at a sleep clinic back in 2012.

“Veterans on the sleep lab list were waiting for overnight testing of sleep disorders, including potentially deadly sleep apnea,” reported Melissa Blasius for 9News last month. “Roff says her employees did the right thing in 2012, transferring veterans’ sleep lab appointment requests to the VA’s official Electronic Wait List,” she reports.

Roff pointed to an internal investigation as proof that there were no ongoing secret lists at the Denver VA and blamed a “fragmented process” for the original practice.

Yet Roff gave her staff the following warning: “Once you talk to the media, you are on your own …The VA does not support you, and you are not representing the organization. The only thing you are representing is yourself, and then, once you are in hot water, nobody will help you.”

What, exactly, did she want kept from the public?

Widespread failures across states and throughout the VA system demonstrate that the administration is failing to fulfill its basic obligation to provide adequate care for those who sacrificed everything to go to war so that other American citizens don’t have to. Disrespect for their resulting conditions is disrespect for their great sacrifice.

But the debacle in Colorado extends beyond Roff’s mismanagement, or secret waiting lists, or individual patients. It runs bigger.

“The VA’s aging Denver hospital is due to be replaced by a state-of-the-art medical center in Aurora,” reported The Denver Post in February. The Washington Post reports this month that the VA originally estimated the cost of the hospital to be $328 million.

Now the VA is asking for a project “by far the most expensive in VA history,” according to Emily Wax-Thibodeaux of the Post—with a new estimated price tag of $1.73 billion for just one facility.

“The hospital is one of four VA medical center projects—including sites in Las Vegas, Orlando and New Orleans—that were listed as behind schedule and over budget, with a total cost increase of $1.5 billion and an average increase of $366 million, according to a Government Accountability Office report in 2013,” she reported on March 18.

Last week, Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL), chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, called for the firing of two leaders involved in this VA project. “There is no way around it: in order for VA reform to succeed, those who caused the department’s massive scandal must be purged from the payroll. If that doesn’t happen, it will only be a matter of time before we’re talking about the next VA scandal,” asserted Rep. Miller on March 13.

All of this makes the latest unwanted attention seem like chump change. It was revealed this week that Diana Rubens is being paid $288,000 in “relocation payments” to move 140 miles from Washington, DC to Philadelphia, where she will head up the VA regional benefits office, which, as Chuck Ross wrote for The Daily Caller, is one of many benefits offices around the country “currently being investigated over benefits claims.” Last year Rubens was paid $181,000. Chairman Miller said that “For VA to pay such an outrageous amount in relocation expenses at a time when the department is continually telling Congress and taxpayers it needs more money raises questions about VA’s commitment to fiscal responsibility, transparency and true reform.”

The VA scandal never really resolved itself, even if the media spotlight conveniently moved on. This issue is clearly a pressing one for both Congress and the administration, and deserves more coverage than the occasional news report by a mainstream media more interested in safeguarding Obama’s legacy than holding our leaders accountable.

03/27/15
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

Benghazi Remains a Major Scandal Even Without New Revelations

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

As with so many issues, when it comes to Benghazi, the media are divided into two camps. The liberal, mainstream media condemn any and all concerns about the 2012 Benghazi attacks as a phony scandal, while many in the conservative media wonder what damaging information the Clinton emails and the Select Committee on Benghazi investigation could bring to light. However, the Benghazi scandal has moved well past the question of whether a cover-up has occurred, and whether or not it can be proven.

The record of what has already been released definitively demonstrates that a government cover-up of Benghazi is ongoing, far-reaching, and damaging to America’s interests at home and abroad. The question is not who is responsible; the question is, when will the ringleaders be held accountable?

It appears that reporters such as Michael S. Schmidt of The New York Times cannot stomach the idea that anything about Hillary Clinton’s duplicitous behavior on EmailGate might add legitimacy to citizens’ concerns about that cover-up. His March 23 article serves as damage control for the administration while simultaneously exposing Mrs. Clinton’s lies about who, exactly, sent emails from their private accounts.

Yet this front-page article states that the as-yet-unreleased Clinton Benghazi emails provide “no evidence that Mrs. Clinton…issued a ‘stand down’ order to halt American forces responding to the violence in Benghazi, or took part in a broad cover-up of the administration’s response, according to senior American officials.”

That’s right: according to “senior American officials.” In fact, Schmidt’s entire news report is based on bold assertions by “four senior government officials” who refused to go on the record, but “offered” Schmidt “descriptions of some of the key messages.”

“The emails have not been made public, and The New York Times was not permitted to review them,” writes Schmidt. In other words, the Times couldn’t verify what it reported before the story went to print. Anonymous sources are fine, but the information they provide should stand up to scrutiny when set against the known record.

Schmidt and The New York Times appear to have been so eager to get this momentous scoop defending the administration narrative on Benghazi that they were willing to violate basic journalistic practices in the process. If the sources wouldn’t show them the documents, why are they so confident that what they are being told is the truth—especially if the information is self-serving to the administration, as these revelations clearly were.

Schmidt’s resulting article is full of the politically motivated holes, inaccuracies, and half-truths we’ve come to expect from the Times, especially after David Kirkpatrick’s December 2013 article claiming that al Qaeda was not involved in the Benghazi attacks.

Within weeks of that article, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence issued a report establishing exactly the opposite—al Qaeda was involved. How much of Schmidt’s reporting will be proven false?

The most recent New York Times report serves as another attempt to bolster the administration’s beleaguered reputation on Benghazi—once again at the expense of the truth.

Schmidt focuses on the idea that Mrs. Clinton was not to blame for the “stand down” debacle.

The Washington Post gave Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) four Pinocchios last year for expressing “suspicions” that Clinton had “told Leon [Panetta] to stand down” regarding military personnel in Tripoli, Libya. Yes, Lt. Col. S.E. Gibson has walked back Gregory Hicks’ assertion that he was told to stand down when he wanted to travel from Tripoli to Benghazi to aid the defenders. Lt. Gibson told lawmakers he was not told to “stand down,” but to “remain in place.”

But there is more than one “stand down” scandal. “On the day of the attacks in Benghazi, whether or not there was an official order to stand down, the result was the same,” the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi wrote in its April 2014 interim report. “The failure to attempt to rescue these Americans amounts to a dereliction of duty.”

Later that year I noted that the “stand down” order was issued—to the members of the Annex Security Team (AST) by employees of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Schmidt selected the most convenient target he could find, and ignored these revelations.

Three members of the AST have gone public with their book, 13 Hours, and outlined how they were told, repeatedly, that they should stand down and not leave to aid the Diplomatic Security agents under attack at the Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, because an al-Qaeda-linked militia was responsible for their safety.

The other half of Schmidt’s carefully worded sentence, that Mrs. Clinton took no part in a possible government cover-up, is also untrue.

Judicial Watch’s emails gleaned through the Freedom of Information Act have already definitively demonstrated that Mrs. Clinton had “guilty knowledge” of Benghazi as a terror attack before she issued a statement blaming it on an inflammatory video.

The cover-up is real and ongoing. “Document after released document shows that the Secretary of State, the Defense Secretary, the head of AFRICOM, and the President of the United States himself, were informed, shortly after the attack began, that Benghazi was an attack by terrorists,” I wrote last month. “Yet most of the media, such as New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick, defensively maintain the official narrative years later that the attack ‘was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.’”

This most recent Times report is clearly based on shady facts and assertions, yet outlets such as Politico mostly reprinted its findings. This, despite the fact that The New York Times went to great lengths to avoid discussing basic facts about Emailgate that it had itself reported.

“In December, Mrs. Clinton turned over 30,000 of her emails to the State Department, and the department sent the House committee the 300 related to Benghazi or Libya,” writes Schmidt.

In other articles, but not this one, Schmidt and his colleagues extensively detailed how

Somehow, despite Schmidt’s lack of access to the original emails from Clinton’s server, he is able to report excerpts from communications by Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff, verbatim.

“Mr. Sullivan’s message was brief, but he appeared pleased by how it had gone,” writes Schmidt. “[Former United Nations Ambassador Susan] Rice, on the show, described it as a spontaneous eruption of violence, triggered by an offensive anti-Muslim video.”

“She did make clear our view that this started spontaneously then evolved,” wrote Sullivan.

Yet, Schmidt reports, Sullivan later “told Mrs. Clinton that he had reviewed her public remarks since the attack and that she had avoided the language that had landed Ms. Rice in trouble.”

Sullivan wrote Secretary Clinton to tell her that “You never said ‘spontaneous’ or characterized their motivations.”

Mrs. Clinton actually issued a statement on the night of September 11, 2012 stating, “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” a clear reference to the Internet video. This was shortly after she spoke with President Obama, according to her testimony, around 10 p.m. that night. The White House initially denied that phone call took place, but changed their story and acknowledged it following Mrs. Clinton’s testimony.

Schmidt’s report blatantly omits that Sullivan was directly responsible for working with the intelligence community on the controversial talking points, and that he spoke with Rice’s office about them while they were being developed.

“I spoke to Jake immediately after the [secure video teleconference] and noted that you were doing the Sunday morning shows and would need to be aware of the ?nal posture that these points took,” wrote Eric Pelofsky to Rice and others the afternoon before her shows. “He committed to ensure that we were updated in advance of the Sunday shows. I speci?cally mentioned Erin Pelton as the one coordinating your preparations for the shows and also strongly encouraged him to loop in Rexon during the process.”

That same email describes how CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell took a “heavy editing hand” to the talking points.

In his 2014 testimony Morell asserted that those talking points never mentioned the video. “When she talked about the video, my reaction was, that’s not something that the analysts have attributed this attack to,” claimed Morell.

Could the idea have started with the Secretary of State or her staff?

Without seeing the actual emails, in their original unvetted form, America may never know where the false YouTube narrative originated. But despite The New York Times’ reporting, it is, becoming increasingly apparent that this narrative was a convenient fiction sold to the American people during a presidential reelection campaign.

More importantly, what the CCB, and The Washington Times, have revealed is that the U.S. government, partly through the maneuvers of Mrs. Clinton, deliberately and blindly pushed America into intervening in Libya. The result was a conflict ridden, unstable nation serving as a breeding ground for terrorists. As we further documented in our CCB interim report, the Obama administration also facilitated the delivery of arms to al-Qaeda-linked jihadists and refused an opening for truce talks with Moammar Gaddafi, who expressed a willingness to abdicate and leave the country.

Unable to accept the truth about a cover-up, the Times, through Schmidt and others, continues to manipulate the truth hoping this scandal will just disappear. Four brave Americans are dead. The administration lied about the reasons. This is a major scandal based on what is already known, and it’s not going away despite media attempts to smooth it over.

03/27/15
Grover Norquist

Glenn Beck and Grover Norquist Face Off

By: Brent Parrish
The Right Planet

Grover-Norquist-by-Gage-Skidmore

I was surprised and bit buoyed recently when I saw that Glenn Beck has been taking a hard look at Grover Norquist’s very questionable ties to Islamic radicals. I was even more surprised when I read that Glenn Beck would be interviewing Grover Norquist on his show tonight.

Initially, Norquist rebuffed Glenn Beck’s request for an interview, as the following Twitter exchange will attest.

Norquist-Refusal-Glenn-Beck-Tweet

But, apparently, Grover has a had a change of  heart, for whatever reason.

Here’s a slice from Beck’s interview with Norquist:

WATCH the full interview here

Via the The Blaze:

Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, appeared on The Glenn Beck Program Thursday to defend himself against accusations that he is an “agent of influence” for radical Islamists. Norquist set up the Islamic Free Market Institute roughly 20 years ago, and through the organization, Beck said, he crossed paths with a number of controversial figures, including two now-imprisoned terrorists.

“When we set up the Islamic Free Market Institute in the mid-nineties it was because I had seen in Afghanistan and Pakistan during the end of the war against the Soviet Union, this radical strain of anti-Americanism and statism in the Muslim community from people who you would think would’ve be more supportive of the United States,” Norquist explained. “I was looking around for, how do we make the case for a reformation in Islam focused on something that I know something about, which is free market economics.”

“That sounds like an unbelievably noble goal,” Beck said. “Now here is the question that leaps to mind: if that’s my goal, gosh, how do I take a check from a guy like [Abdurahman Alamoudi]?”

Beck explained on his television program Wednesday that Norquist’s Islamic Free Market Institute accepted at least $20,000 from Abdurahman Alamoudi, who allegedly raised money for Al Qaeda and is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence on terrorism charges.

Grover Norquist is founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform. Norquist has been under some scrutiny for a while now concerning his ties to Islamic radicals. Former Asst. Sec. of Defense Frank Gaffney has been trying to alert Americans about the concerning infiltration by Islamic radicals into the American political process for several years now.

Norquist joined forces with Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi in the 90s to found the Islamic Institute, later renamed the Islamic Free Market Institute.  Norquist is also connected with Khaled Saffuri, who worked with al-Amoudi for years. Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi is currently serving 23 years in a federal prison.

Via Discover the Networks (emphasis mine):

In September 2003, British customs officials arrested Alamoudi at Heathrow Airport as he was returning from Libya with $340,000 in cash given to him by President Muammar Qadhafi to finance a plot involving two U.K.-based al Qaeda operatives intending to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince (later King) Abdullah.

Alamoudi was subsequently extradited to the United States. In October 2003, he was arrested at Dulles Airport on charges of having illegally accepted $10,700 from the Libyan mission to the United Nations.

With Alamoudi in custody, federal authorities released a transcript of a telephone conversation in which he had: lamented that no Americans had died during al Qaeda’s 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya; recommended that more operations be conducted like the 1994 Hezbollah bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people died; and clearly articulated his objective of turning America into a Muslim nation.

Alamoudi was indicted not only for his illegal dealings with Libya, but also for tax evasion and immigration fraud. He ultimately pled guilty to, and was convicted of, being a senior al Qaeda financier who had funneled at least $1 million into the coffers of that terrorist organization. He also acknowledged that he had pocketed almost $1 million for himself in the process. In October 2004, Alamoudi was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison.

During the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) trial of 2007, which examined evidence of HLF’s fundraising on behalf of Hamas, the U.S. government released a list of approximately 300 of HLF’s “unindicted co-conspirators” and “joint venturers.” Alamoudi was named in that list. To view the names of additional noteworthy individuals and groups listed, click here.

Some of Norquist’s Islamic ties are Suhail A. Khan, David Safavian, Jamal al Barzinji, and others, including Sami al-Arian, who was sentenced to 57 months in prison on one count of conspiracy to “make or receive funds … for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”

Via Human Events:

Norquist, reported [Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA], “also associated with terror financier Sami Al-Arian, according to Mary Jacoby’s reporting in March 2003, in the St. Petersburg Times.  Al-Arian pled guilty in 2006 ‘to a charge of conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a specially designated terrorist organization, in violation of U.S. law,’ and is under house arrest, according to a Department of Justice press release.  The Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s ‘paramilitary wing—the al-Quds Brigades—has conducted numerous attacks, including large-scale suicide bombings,’ according to the National Counterterrorism Center.”

Keep reading …

03/26/15
Ted Cruz announces candidacy

Terrifying the Republican Establishment

By: Alan Caruba
Warning Signs

Ted Cruz announces candidacy

Ted Cruz announces candidacy

Would you vote for a man who openly says he would repeal ObamaCare?

Would you vote for a man who openly says he favors a fair tax and wants to abolish the Internal Revenue Service?

Would you vote for a man who opposes Obama’s efforts to offer illegal aliens amnesty and promises to secure the borders?

Would you vote for a man who decries a federal government “that wages an assault on our religious liberty”?

Would you vote for a man who wants a federal government that “works to defend the sanctity of human life” and would “uphold the sacrament of marriage”?

Would you vote for a man who defends our Second Amendment rights and condemns the effort ban ammunition?

Would you vote for a man who condemns a federal government that seeks to dictate school curriculums and wants to repeal “every word of Common Core”?

Would you vote for a man who would stand “unapologetically with the nation of Israel”?

Would you vote for a man who has pledged that he would do everything he could to ensure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon?

Would you vote for a man who openly says he would do everything he could to defeat radical Islamic terrorism?

I said I would on May 6, 2013 when he was beginning to get attention. Columnist George Will said he was “as good as it gets” when it comes to being a true conservative in Congress.

I am of course speaking of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) who has announced his candidacy to be the presidential candidate of the Republican Party.

I suspect that his announcement probably terrifies the Republican “Establishment” who have managed to serve up some good men, but poor candidates, to be President. When Republican voters stayed home, we got Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.

Now they want to get the Party faithful to vote for Jeb Bush, but from my vantage point, the real base is ready to vote for anybody else, Sen. Cruz, Wisconsin Gov. Walker, and Sen. Rubio come to mind.

First of all, there is no Tea Party in the sense of a political party with its own candidates. What there is are Republicans who believe in the U.S. Constitution, small government, fiscal prudence, strong national security, and all those other values outlined in Ted Cruz’s speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

As Cruz said in an email about his announcement “Washington, D.C. has become completely disconnected from the values of real Americans. That’s why we are now more than $18 trillion in debt, why wages have stagnated, and why our foreign policy is an absolute mess.” That pretty much sums up what Obama has delivered.

Does it surprise anyone that Cruz’s candidacy was instantly attacked, not just by Democrats, but by a number of leading Republicans? Rep. Peter King, appearing on CNN’s “Situation Room” with host Wolf Blitzer, said, he’d “jump off that bridge” when he got to it if Cruz becomes the GOP candidate. He also accused Cruz and Rand Paul of being “counterfeit conservatives.” Nonsense!

The March 24 Wall Street Journal had a lengthy editorial devoted to “The Cruz Candidacy” noting that on most issues with the exception of immigration they found themselves in agreement with him and offered an upbeat view that “The good news for GOP voters is that their field of candidates in 2016 is going to be deep, offering many varieties of conservative leadership” but ending with reservations about “his polarizing style” which was another way of saying he is not a wishy-washy centrist.

We will hear more such accusations and criticisms and, as often as not, they will come from the GOP Establishment.

RINOThe GOP Establishment regards real conservatives as unable to secure election, preferring RINOs, Republicans in Name Only, and candidates who move as close to the center politically as possible. It seems to have escaped their notice that the Republicans elected in the last two midterm elections were sent to Washington, D.C. by Tea Party and other serious conservative voters.

It has been a long time since a real conservative Republican, Ronald Reagan, was elected President, but it can happen again as serious voters, particularly those who are independents, join with those who find Sen. Cruz a refreshing voice, Will he get the nomination? We are a very long way from the 2016 election, but at least we know it won’t be a boring one!

© Alan Caruba, 2015

03/26/15
American Flags

20 Foreign Policy Questions For the 2016 Republican Presidential Field

By: Benjamin Weingarten
TheBlaze

With the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination officially under way, I thought it apt to share a set of questions on foreign policy — an area in which it is vital that each candidate distinguish himself given the size and scope of the threats we face.

Below are 20 questions the next commander-in-chief will likely be grappling with, and should be able to answer cogently, consistently and comprehensively.

The responses to these queries would serve to elucidate the first principles of each of the potential nominees, and create a clear contrast in terms of their goals, strategies and tactics with respect to protecting and furthering America’s interests both at home and abroad.

1) Define your general foreign policy doctrine, and explain how it will differ from that of President George W. Bush.

2) How should America respond to the metastasization of Sunni and Shiite jihadists in the Middle East?

3) What do you believe would be the consequences of a hegemonic Iran in the region, and what steps might you take to counter her?

4) In the event of a nuclear arms race triggered by Iran, what if anything would you do as president?

5) Will you stand in the way if Israel acts unilaterally to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities?

6) What is in America’s national interest with respect to Syria, and how do you intend to achieve it?

7) Do you believe it a sound policy to arm Muslim groups in the Middle East given the historically negative consequences for the West?

8) What is/are the key lesson(s) of the Iraq War?

9) What is/are the key lesson(s) of Libya?

10) Do you believe the Muslim Brotherhood and its violent and non-violent proxies both in the Middle East and the West pose a direct threat to the United States and her interests, and how will you counter the group’s growing influence?

11) What do you believe Vladimir Putin ultimately wants to achieve, and how do you intend to counter him?

12) Will you install a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe?

13) Do you view Russia as a partner against jihadism, an opportunist playing both sides against the middle, or something else?

14) In a Western Europe seeing a dramatic increase in its jihadist population – which is being countered by the rise of anti-Islamization groups, many of which are favorably disposed to Russia — how should America respond?

15) Should Europe be required to fund NATO to a much more significant degree?

16) How will you counter the inroads made in South America by Russia, Iran and other American foes?

17) Is China an ally or an enemy, and do you believe she seeks peaceful co-existence with the US ultimately?

18) What measures would you take, if any, to counter China’s increasingly aggressive actions in the South China Sea, and stealing of intellectual property, among other actions against America and her allies?

19) Does the United States have a national security interest in undermining Communist nations such as China, Cuba and North Korea or should we take a live-and-let-live approach?

20) Should the United States withdraw troops from South Korea, Western Europe or any other nation/region?

Feature Image: AP Photo/The Elkhart Truth, Jon Garcia

03/26/15
Russian Freedom Lovers

Russian Freedom Lovers Want Ted Cruz for President

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

American Putinistas and other fools please take note.

From a friend in Moscow.

According to a poll conducted by the most popular pro-democratic radio/Internet-resource in Russia, the majority would like to have Ted Cruz as Russia’s head of state (no fake, no joke):

Cruzzzzz

Ted Cruz has the “inspiration factor.” We haven’t seen that since Reagan. Russian freedom lovers loved Reagan too.