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Archive for the ‘National’ Category

Bush Address on September 11 Attacks; Obama Address on Navy SEAL Operation Killing Bin Laden

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on September 11, 2014

President George W. Bush addressed the nation on Tuesday, September 11, 2001:

Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America — with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government’s emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it’s prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington, D.C. to help with local rescue efforts.

Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks.

The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight, and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business, as well.

The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I’ve directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance.

America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism. Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.”

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night, and God bless America.

President Barack Obama addressed the nation on Sunday, May 1, 2011:

Good evening.  Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history.  The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world.  The empty seat at the dinner table.  Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father.  Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace.  Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.

On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together.  We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood.  We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country.  On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.

We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice.  We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda — an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe.  And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort.  We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense.  In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support.  And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.

Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan.  Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden.  It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground.  I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan.  And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability.  No Americans were harmed.  They took care to avoid civilian casualties.  After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies.  The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.

Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort.  There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us.  We must –- and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad.

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam.  I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam.  Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.  Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own.  So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was.  That is what we’ve done.  But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding.  Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts.  They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations.  And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.

The American people did not choose this fight.  It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens.  After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war.  These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.

So Americans understand the costs of war.  Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed.  We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies.  We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror:  Justice has been done.

Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome.  The American people do not see their work, nor know their names.  But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country.  And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11.  I know that it has, at times, frayed.  Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.

The cause of securing our country is not complete.  But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to.  That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are:  one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you.  May God bless you.  And may God bless the United States of America.

Posted in International, National | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why Republicans have the advantage this fall

Posted by Thomas Gordon on September 2, 2014

The scales tip toward Republicans: Welcome to the campaign. Post-Labor Day, the table is set for what is on pace to be the most expensive midterm in history. It could lead to a Republican majority in both the House and Senate for the last two years of President Barack Obama’s time in office. So why do Republicans have the advantage starting out? First, with primary season all but wrapped up — Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island hold the last primaries next Tuesday — Republicans have done all they can structurally to prevent problematic candidates from emerging, unlike in years past. But most importantly, it’s where these races are taking place — largely in conservative-leaning states. In fact, of the 12 states with competitive Senate races that are likely to decide the outcome of control of the Senate, Republican Mitt Romney won nine of them in the 2012 presidential election by an average of 16 points. And that’s in a year when Republicans lost the Electoral College by 126 votes. (Republicans need to net six states seats to wrest control.) What’s more, if you add in the three states won by President Obama, Republicans still have an 11-point advantage. Democrats are defending more states — 10 of the 12 are seats held by Democrats. And the two Democratic targets are in states Romney won by an average of 15 points. Plus, the demographics of who shows up in midterm elections favor Republicans. The electorate in midterms is generally whiter, older, more likely to be married and have better paying jobs.

The above was copied in its entirety from the PBS website and can be read HERE

Posted in Independent Expenditures, National | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Celebrities, Veterans and suicide

Posted by Thomas Gordon on August 13, 2014

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TV, radio and water cooler chatter is non stop talk about the suicide of Robin Williams.

Anytime someone takes their own life, heartbroken onlookers often ask a simple question.

Why?

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States accounting for roughly 40,000 lives lost every year.

But while we all take to Facebook and Twitter to remember Robin Williams, we should never forget our Veterans.

Roughly 22 Veterans take their own lives every day. Studies show that of those who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, nearly half know someone who has attempted suicide.

If you or someone you know needs someone to talk to, the National Suicide Prevention number is 1-800-273-8255.

Posted in California, National | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

BREAKING: Charges Against Scott Hounsell dropped

Posted by Allen Wilson on May 14, 2014

We reported on August 2, 2013 regarding former Executive Director of Los Angeles County GOP was arrested due to sending text messages to a minor.

Today, all charges against Scott Hounsell were dropped and dismissed due to lack of evidence and no witnesses or cooperation from the alleged victim.

Hounsell made his feelings known regarding the matter via his Facebook post:

image

The story is developing and we will keep OC Political readers updated as the news becomes available.

Posted in California, National | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

OC Democrats Hypocrisy: Poll Tax and the Judicial Process

Posted by Allen Wilson on April 29, 2014

DPOC

The Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) took up an issue regarding the actions of their Vice Chairman Greg Diamond which caused Orange County Labor Federation calls for his ouster.

Last night, DPOC removed Diamond by a vote of 35-15, which requires 2/3rds for removal of an officer of their organization.

Mr. Diamond wasted no time to pen the real story behind his ouster with explanations that the process was flawed and did not afford him adequate time to respond the charges leveled against him as he asserts:

“When a group of proponents in a quasi-trial come up with a set of procedures — known to them ahead of time but not to me — that is that insulting to basic principles of due process, the only response should be taken from Willy Wonka’s statement to Charlie after he violated the rules of the Chocolate Factory: YOU LOSE!  I asked for such a determination, I didn’t get it, and the DPOC will have a harder time living down that result than I will.”

Ironically in January, the same Democrats, notably Senate President Darrell Steinberg, in the State Senate will not remove or call for resignation of Senator Roderick Wright despite the guilty verdict has been rendered upon him.

Senator Steinberg said back in January:

“Where we stand today, there is no final conviction, but a jury verdict.  Unless and until there is a final conviction for a felony I do not believe it is appropriate or necessary to expel Senator Wright or ask him to resign.”

Mr. Diamond’s supporter challenged the legitimacy of certain votes that were cast by alternates of those ex-officio’s whom failed to pay dues and they are:  Bob Rush, Steve Young, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Jerry Tetalman and Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva.  The DPOC require all members and ex-officios to pony up $60 known as dues to be allowed to vote on all items as stated in their By-Laws, Article 18 – Dues, Section 1:

Dues shall be sixty dollars ($60.00) per year for each member including alternates and are due payable within 60 days of assuming membership.

Let me get this straight:  DPOC force members to pay $60 annual dues to vote on party matters for an office they have been elected to by their peers is pretty close to a “Poll Tax”, which is definitely violation of the 24th Amendment of the United States Constitution:

Section 1.  The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

Section 2.  The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

However, hypocrisy is nothing is new for the Democrats, but it sure is revealing of how they handled their own county party officer versus that of an elected official that was convicted by the jury of his peers who is now on a paid vacation.

Furthermore, the requirement of paying dues to cast ballot should give pause, because the right to vote should not be coerced via payment of dues for any political organization, but I will let that issue rest on the conscience of the Democratic Party of Orange County.

Posted in California, Democrat Central Committee, National, Orange County | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted by Chris Emami on November 28, 2013

In honor of today being Thanksgiving, I am posting a press release that has been sitting around for quite a while:

Washington, D.C. October 3, 1863

This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America’s  national day of Thanksgiving. During his administration,  President Lincoln issued many orders similar to this. For example, on  November 28, 1861, he ordered government departments closed for  a local day of thanksgiving.

 Sarah Josepha Hale, a 74-year-old magazine editor, wrote a letter to Lincoln  on September 28, 1863, urging him to have the “day of our annual Thanksgiving  made a National and fixed Union Festival.” She explained, “You may have observed  that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in  our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States;  it now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become  permanently, an American custom and institution.”

Prior to this, each state scheduled its own Thanksgiving holiday at different  times, mainly in New England and other Northern states. President Lincoln  responded to Mrs. Hale’s request immediately, unlike several of his predecessors, who  ignored her petitions altogether. In her letter to Lincoln she mentioned that  she had been advocating a national thanksgiving date for 15 years as the  editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book. George Washington was the first president  to proclaim a day of thanksgiving, issuing his request on October 3, 1789,  exactly 74 years before Lincoln’s.

The document below sets apart the last Thursday of November “as a day  of Thanksgiving and Praise.” According to an April 1, 1864, letter from  John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln’s secretaries, this document  was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original  was in his handwriting. On October 3, 1863, fellow Cabinet member  Gideon Welles recorded in his diary how he complimented Seward on  his work. A year later the manuscript was sold to benefit Union troops.

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

 The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with  the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these  bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to  forget the source from which they come, others have been added,  which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to  penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible  to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of  a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has  sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their  aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has  been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and  harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military  conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the  advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of  wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to  the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle  or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements,  and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals,  have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has  steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made  in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country,  rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor,  is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase  of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal  hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts  of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for  our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to  me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and  gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the  whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens  in every part of the United States, and also those who are at  sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart  and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of  Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth  in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up  the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances  and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national  perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those  who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the  lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and  fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal  the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be  consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace,  harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the  Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in  the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three,  and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward, Secretary of State

Posted in National | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Bush Address on September 11 Attacks; Obama Address on Navy SEAL Operation Killing Bin Laden

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on September 11, 2013

President George W. Bush addressed the nation on Tuesday, September 11, 2011:

Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America — with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government’s emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it’s prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington, D.C. to help with local rescue efforts.

Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks.

The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight, and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business, as well.

The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I’ve directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance.

America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism. Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.”

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night, and God bless America.

President Barack Obama addressed the nation on Sunday, May 1, 2011:

Good evening.  Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history.  The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world.  The empty seat at the dinner table.  Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father.  Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace.  Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.

On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together.  We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood.  We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country.  On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.

We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice.  We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda — an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe.  And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort.  We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense.  In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support.  And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.

Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan.  Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden.  It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground.  I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan.  And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability.  No Americans were harmed.  They took care to avoid civilian casualties.  After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies.  The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.

Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort.  There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us.  We must –- and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad.

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam.  I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam.  Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.  Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own.  So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was.  That is what we’ve done.  But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding.  Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts.  They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations.  And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.

The American people did not choose this fight.  It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens.  After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war.  These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.

So Americans understand the costs of war.  Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed.  We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies.  We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror:  Justice has been done.

Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome.  The American people do not see their work, nor know their names.  But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country.  And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11.  I know that it has, at times, frayed.  Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.

The cause of securing our country is not complete.  But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to.  That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are:  one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you.  May God bless you.  And may God bless the United States of America.

Posted in International, National | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

In Congress, July 4, 1776. The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on July 4, 2013

Declaration_independenceIN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn

Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

John Hancock


Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross

Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris

Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple

Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry

Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery

Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott

Matthew Thornton

Posted in National | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Do Justice Kennedy’s Prior Rulings Tell Us What He’ll Do in the Prop 8 and DOMA Cases?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 26, 2013

I usually loathe reposting old stories from our blog, but in light of the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry (Prop 8 case) today and United States v. Windsor (DOMA case) tomorrow, I thought I would repost the story I wrote back on February 8, 2012, after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out Prop 8.  (OC Political was a mere nine days old at that point, with our first post going up on January 31, 2012.)  The Supreme Court will likely issue its ruling in June.

Everyone expects Justice Anthony Kennedy to be pivotal in deciding what will happen in these two cases.

Here’s what I wrote on February 8, 2012:

After yesterday’s ruling from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Prop 8 supporters jeered, and Prop 8 opponents cheered.  The news showed jubilant same-sex marriage supporters celebrating the ruling and resolute traditional marriage supporters vowing to appeal.

In the May 2009 California Supreme Court ruling in Strauss v. Horton, the result was the opposite, with Prop 8 upheld.  The August 2010 U.S. District Court ruling in Perry v. Schwarzenegger struck down Prop 8.  Yesterday’s ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Perry v. Brown upheld the District Court.  Prop 8 proponents have 90 days (well, technically, 89 as of this morning) to decide whether to appeal to an 11-judge en banc panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals or to appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

If there’s any lesson to be learned from all the court battles involving Prop 8, it’s that it doesn’t matter what a particular court rules, the side that wins hails the ruling as a historic victory in defense of the legal concepts they support while the side that loses vows to go to another court.  The only way this cycle ends is to take this to the highest court in the land: only the United States Supreme Court can decide this issue once and for all.

In all likelihood, U.S. Supreme Court Justices John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito will vote to uphold Prop 8 while Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan will vote to strike down Prop 8.  This means that whether marriage means one man and one woman or whether it means two people of any sex in California and in America rests in the hands of one man: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

There’s a certain irony that Kennedy will be the key to this issue, since Prop 8 comes from California, and Kennedy is a native Californian who spent the majority of his life in this state and was appointed to the Supreme Court by fellow Californian Ronald Reagan.  A Catholic educated at Stanford University and Harvard Law School, Kennedy was a lawyer in private practice and has been a law professor at McGeorge School of Law during his time as a lawyer and continuing to the present day.

Kennedy’s judicial track record does not make it clear how he’d come down on this issue.

In Beller v. Middendorf (1980), Kennedy (a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge back then) wrote the decision that upheld the ability of the U.S. Navy to discharge sailors for “engaging in homosexual acts.”  In Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Group of Boston (1995), he joined a unanimous Supreme Court opinion allowing the St. Patrick’s Day Parade to exclude an Irish gay group.

In Romer v. Evans (1996), Kennedy wrote the decision invalidating a Colorado ballot measure prohibiting sexual orientation from becoming a protected class (protected classes include race, religion, etc.).  In Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000), Kennedy voted to uphold the right of the Boy Scouts of America as a private organization to exclude gay men from being scoutmasters.

Both sides of the issue can find favorable parts of Lawrence v. Texas (2003), where Kennedy wrote, “the Texas [anti-sodomy] statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual” but also wrote that the case “does not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter.”  So Lawrence v. Texas tells us that Kennedy opposed attempts to regulate the conduct of consenting adults but also wanted to make clear that the decision did not affect marriage.

In Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (2010), Kennedy joined a court decision that allowed a public school to refuse recognition to a student group that wished to exclude gay members.

Kennedy’s dizzying array of court decisions leaves little clarity as to how he will rule.  However, there is little doubt that the fate of Proposition 8 and of the definition of marriage in California and America rests in the hands of one Californian above all others: Anthony Kennedy.

Of course, we mustn’t forget that Chief Justice John Roberts could somehow determine that traditional marriage, same-sex marriage, all forms of marriage, Prop 8, or DOMA is a tax, and comes up with a ruling that surprises everyone (see excerpt of June 28 post below), but then again there is the marriage penalty:

The second opinion of the day was the one everyone was waiting for: in a 5-4 decision in National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the entire health care law officially known as the Affordable Care Act but often called Obamacare.  The individual mandate was held unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause but was upheld under the power to tax.  The shocker: swing voter Anthony Kennedy was in the dissent.  It was conservative Chief Justice John Roberts who not only voted with the four liberal justices but who wrote the opinion.

Posted in California, National | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Consultant Mails Knife to Retired NYPD Officer

Posted by Honest Abe on March 25, 2013

As the OC Political correspondent that lives and works in Washington DC I do not generally have time to write any articles for what has been called a local blog. This story which is being talked about in DC has some local Orange County ties. When I first heard the story while at lunch it sounded so preposterous that I figured peopled had been watching to many mafia movies. Once I got sent the Daily Caller link I was stunned.

The title I intended to use for the post although it was longer than would fit in the box was: “Never Bring a Knife to an Ideas Fight… The California Connection to Another Unprofessional and Brand Harming Campaign Consultant.

It appears local political consultant Jason Roe who is well-known in DC and his campaign firm in which he is a partner (Revolvis) is involved in a bit of controversy stemming from a primary election campaign in which he is involved. The heated race is taking place in Florida’s 7th Congressional District between Sandy Adams and John Mica. Both campaigns are making accusations against each other but rarely do the consultants get involved. In order for you to be able to follow along Roe is working on the Adams campaign.

It appears to have started when the Adams campaign levied accusations of threats from the Mica campaign. After the accusation was made the Mica campaign dropped a bombshell which has far more credibility because they named names.

Asked to comment on the alleged threats, Mica, through a spokesperson, told  TheDC that the claims are “a total fabrication, and the only campaign who has  threatened supporters is hers, when her paid political consultant, Jason Roe,  sent a knife through the U.S. mail to one of our supporters.”

This is a really bad idea to send a knife in the mail to anyone, especially a police officer. Police officer Jim Bomford who was the recipient of the knife might be willing to pursue this in a legal forum against Roe although that is not for certain.

Here is the part of the story with some background on Bomford:

The recipient of the knife was retired New York police officer Jim Bomford,  the president of the Republican Assemblies of  Florida.

Bomford, who provided a photo of the knife to TheDC, explained that both Mica  and Adams were members of his organization. He knew that Mica planned to run for  re-election in the newly redistricted 7th District, but was waiting to announce  it until the redistricting map was final. When Adams, who was redistricted into  the 7th said that she, too, would run in that district – instead of running in a  different district with no incumbent – Bomford said he spoke with her to try to  convince her not to face off against Mica.

It is not illegal to mail knives through the United States Postal Service since they do not explode, catch fire, or cause any direct threat to those handling the parcel. The real issue that Roe faces is the charges made of issuing threats against a police officer.

I have personally met Jason before and he was very cordial with me and I was never familiar with any “recklessness” that he may have taken part in on any of the other campaigns that I have seen from afar. Bomford is not somebody that runs in the same circles as me in DC but he apparently feels otherwise about Roe.

“I advised her that Jason tends to be reckless,” Bomford said. He explained  that he knew Roe from long before this campaign “because I represent retired  police officers on .” Roe previously worked as chief of  staff to Florida Rep. Tom Feeney.

Roe resigned his position as deputy campaign manager to in 2007, Hotline On-Call reported at the time, after the FBI asked  questions of his former boss, Feeney, regarding a golf trip he took with  superlobbyist to Scotland in 2003.

The part that really bothered me was the next portion of the article which reminded me of the Godfather scene where a fish is mailed to the Corleone family indicating that Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes. I am not a consultant but this could be construed as a threat on one’s life even if the recipient does not mention that to the press:

“I said I just want to keep this between us,” Bomford told Adams.

“Instead of keeping it to herself, she apparently immediately ran back to  Jason … and told Jason what I had said,” Bomford alleged. “Three days later I  had the knife in the mail.”

With the knife, he said, was “a subtle warning, you know, ‘you’re stabbing  your friends in the back.’”

“I never interpreted it as a threat on my life … my feeling was that he was  basically telling me that in the future anything I do [on ] is going to be interfered with,” Bomford said.

Bomford called it “a really dumb thing to do,” and said that it proved his  point that Roe was “reckless.” “This is what I was concerned with Sandy,” he  said.

Bomford said he went to Adams and asked her why she had told Roe what he  said. According to Bomford, Adams responded, “that’s not my problem.” At which  point, he said, he told her that his organization would not be supporting her in  any way.

The admins at OC Political requested that if I was going to write the article I had to include the response from the campaign where the knife came from, so here is how they responded and I do agree that the candidate should not be held responsible for what mistakes that the campaign team makes:

The Adams campaign tells the story differently.

“Mr. Bomford refused to show Sandy the letter, after several requests. She  encouraged him to file a police report,” said Lisa Boothe, Adams’ communications  director.

But ultimately, she said, the incident “has nothing to do with the campaign.  He never showed her the letter, he never filed a report, and this continues to  stay between the two of them [Bomford and Roe].”

Bomford provided TheDC with photographs of the pocket knife and the envelope it came in – which has a return address of Revolvis Strategies, Roe’s consulting firm. He did not provide a picture of the note.

When Roe was asked by The Daily Caller to give a statement I give him credit for having the guts to not deny the charges of mailing the knife but gave a totally different story about what set him off to mail the knife along with the fact that he did not intend it as a threat:

Roe did send the knife, he confirmed to TheDC, but he explained that it was  certainly not meant in a threatening way, and said that the note he wrote made  that clear.

“That would be quite a variation on the reality,” he said, when presented  with Bomford’s account of the story.

Roe said he met Bomford while working as chief of staff for Rep. Feeney, and  described him as a “political gadfly … who was, what I would call, a constant  troublemaker, and part of my job was to minimize the trouble that he could cause  for the office.”

“We never had a hostile relationship, we actually developed at least a good  working relationship,” Roe said.

All of this was before Roe was brought on as a consultant by Adams.

The way Roe explained it, “at some point [Bomford] approached Sandy and  handed her a letter in which he accused me and my wife of being corrupt.” Roe  assured TheDC that it was a letter, not a conversation, as Bomford had said.

“Needless to say, it kind of caught me by surprise that this happened … I was  pretty aggravated by it. It was kind of uncalled for, he and I did not have an  adversarial relationship, and I was kind of annoyed by it,” Roe said.

In response, Roe said, “I sent him a handwritten note that said, ‘Dear Jim,  Sandy relayed to me what you said about me. I was disappointed and in the midst  of it I extracted this knife from my back so you can use it on one of your other  quote unquote friends. Sincerely, me. P.S. by the way, I hear you slandered my  wife as well, who I’m pretty sure you’ve never even met.”

“He then, went on to tell everyone that I sent him a threat, which is not  anywhere near the reality … the knife was making a point, I pulled this from my  back,” Roe explained, saying that the fact that Bomford had not yet produced a  note completely undermined his story.

“So I did send him a knife, and I unequivocally will say it was not a  threat,” Roe said.

“Incidentally, if we’re going to go tit for tat on threats,” Roe said. “Mica  has had lobbyists call me and tell me that if I stay with Sandy, that I will  regret it and I will get no more clients out of Washington,” Roe alleged. He  declined to give the name of any of the lobbyists who had called him.

Whether it is fair or not I picture that some mailers with knives will be landing in some mailboxes in Florida sometime soon.

In the effort of full disclosure I have done no lobbying work on behalf of anybody mentioned in this story.

Posted in National, Orange County, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

 
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