Friday, May 10, 2013

America rises...

Early this morning the silver spire topping One World Trade Center was fully installed and locked into place on the building's roof, bringing the structure to its full symbolic height of 1,776 feet.

Take that you muslim bast*rds...you CANNOT 

and will NOT keep America down!
 

As I’ve been working on immigration reform legislation, I’ve been asked why it should be Washington’s focus at a time when we have so many other pressing concerns, including stagnant economic growth that has left millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans, and the persistent threat of terrorism that recently manifested itself on our own soil.

There’s no doubt we have a broken immigration system and de facto amnesty that can’t continue because it threatens America’s sovereignty, security and economy. It’s a problem that needs to be solved, and the longer we put it off, the worse it’s going to get.

But it’s also absolutely true that our lack of robust economic growth, caused in part by Washington’s runaway debt, is the real defining issue of our time. These challenges should have been addressed a long time ago but, because Washington hasn’t made any meaningful attempt to do so, our debt has only gotten worse, and more of our people have suffered.

Two years ago, early in my term, we faced a vote on raising the debt ceiling. At the time, I said we should seize the moment to adopt fundamental reforms that would allow our economy to grow dynamically, including reforms to our tax code, entitlements, regulatory system, and spending practices that would actually put people back to work, reduce our debt, and end the Washington routine of raising the debt ceiling over and over. Instead, Washington failed to do any of this, raised the debt ceiling with minimal spending cuts, and kicked the can down the road.

In what has become a common Washington ritual, we are once again facing another situation where Washington’s spending insanity has pushed the limits of our legal borrowing limit. The last debt limit deal was supposed to mean we’d have until May 19 to deal with this issue. But because new debt projections suggest the new debt limit won’t be reached until October, some in Washington are now suggesting we wait until then to do anything about this crushing debt.

In other words, Washington will do nothing about our debt until it reaches the crisis level when the American people will be told they either have to take the bad, last-minute deal that’s been cut that won’t actually solve our problems, or we will have the doomsday and fiscal calamity of a debt default and government shutdown.

We’ve heard this so many times before, and the American people are as sick about it as I am. We need real action to stop Washington’s reckless spending and put America back on a better path of economic growth, job creation and fiscal restraint. The debt stifles economic growth. And because this administration doesn’t know how to grow the free market and private enterprise, it grows government – and our debt with it.

We can’t keep spending money we don’t have; we need a Balanced Budget Amendment to force Washington to live within its means. We can’t keep letting our complicated tax code get in the way of job creators who want to create jobs; we need fundamental tax reform that allows small businesses to focus more on expanding their business than on making sure they aren’t paying more in taxes than they have to. We can’t let burdensome regulations kill jobs; we need to change the way rules are made to be more accountable to the people. We can’t sit by and let ObamaCare destroy our economy; we need to repeal it. We can’t let inaction bankrupt Medicare and Social Security; we need to save them.

On issue after issue, the status quo is simply unacceptable and Washington’s dysfunction is allowing it to continue. I came to the Senate to work on the problems that threaten America’s future. We face problems that require real solutions that will truly ensure our children and grandchildren inherit a stronger and more prosperous America. No issue is more threatening to our future than our debt, which is why we simply can’t let Washington keep running away from the debt crisis it has created.


It is hard to point to one thing as the worst element of the current scandal over the Benghazi cover-up. But there’s something that belongs on the list that has not been mentioned enough.

Obviously, it is a consuming matter to absorb the deaths of four Americans and a subsequent campaign of deceit designed to protect those in power now and those who may seek it later.

But politicians have a long history of lying to protect themselves. What is different here, and disturbing to a whole new level, is the capacity of this administration to plow well beyond its own corruption to corrupt others.

There is no more distressing victim of this phenomenon than the hierarchy and culture of the United States military.

This White House has very little use for our men and women in uniform, and no proper instinct for the respect they deserve.

They become useful props when it’s time to crow again about the killing of Osama bin Laden, but the war that made that possible is a cancer the Obama team is radiating into obscurity, as we cut and run from Afghanistan, Iraq and every theater where we had a chance to boost democracy with our stabilizing presence.

There is little doubt that the Benghazi terrorists were energized by this American surrender. Does anyone believe they would have pulled this off if we had maintained a strong presence throughout the Middle East?

But even with our Obama-depleted ranks in the region, we now know we could have mounted some response to minimize the damage done by the Benghazi terrorists.

But those response teams were told to stand down. Reaction throughout the ranks apparently ranged from fury to disbelief.

Both are warranted, among our armed forces and across the American landscape. How in God’s name were responding forces restrained? And by whom?

If Democrats can stifle their chant that all questions have been answered, they might work on that one. And then they might join the chorus of curious souls wondering how officials who knew better could continue to parrot that stupid story about a YouTube video as the catalyst for the Benghazi attacks.

But again, much has been written about that. Not enough light has been directed at the last shred of dignity stripped from our military by this White House. The intimidation of whistleblowers, the attempted muzzling of witnesses who might have more to tell, the stunning disregard shown to the forces who were begging to be loosed to help their countrymen-- this is the work of a wholly unfit Commander-in-Chief.

And yet because of that title, the aggrieved troops cannot speak truth to power. This tragedy demands answers from various military levels on questions about how their trust was trampled by the current President and the former Secretary of State who may wish to be his successor.

This is just the latest dishonor foisted on our armed forces by this regime. Here in the season of sequester, The budgetarily minuscule Blue Angels and Thunderbirds are grounded, silencing their ability to create goodwill. But far more seriously, a carrier group that should be patrolling treacherous Persian Gulf waters is stuck in port, all because this President chooses to strand them there so that an inattentive public can think this is what spending cuts do.

This cries out for a military hero to step forward to proclaim, “Enough!”

I can imagine the testimony of such a valiant figure. “The air shows did not need to be cancelled. Our ships certainly do not need to be shackled to their docks. This is pure politics.”

But this will never happen. The hierarchy of military power precludes all ranks from publicly highlighting the duplicity of the President, a rule which probably serves us well.

But we need more. We need military heroes to step forward with details of any effort by Barack Obama to spread lies about Benghazi and its aftermath. And we need for even more courageous voices to share any measures undertaken by Hillary Clinton to obscure the truth, including the question of who ordered the silencing of Benghazi survivors and key players.

I am dreaming, of course. This would be the height of insubordination.

The Benghazi hearings, thorough as they were, merely scratched the surface of what people did at the highest levels of power, to keep power.

They simply could not have witnesses spilling out with a story of a terror hotbed that Obama somehow had not fixed.

So the cover-up began, and it continues to this day, a corruptive stain that spreads across multiple figures.

Military personnel are not used to being caught up in political self-protection games. But they surely are now, and it sickens them. Or it should.




Set aside the disgraceful actions of the broadcast MSM today in not covering the riveting testimony of Greg Hicks Wednesday, and set aside even the shocking conduct of the Administration on the night of 9/11/12 and during the days, weeks and months following.

The MSM is almost exclusively left-wing and almost completely committed to the defense of President Obama and former Secretary of State Clinton. With a few, honorable exceptions they will ask no hard questions and conduct no follow-up, and of course the senior levels of the Administration are beyond shame and no "Deep Throat" is likely to emerge from their ranks.

No member of the Administration in the know has resigned in protest over what happened in Benghazi, and such acts of honor haven't been common in the federal government for a long, long time so don't look for them to begin to arrive now simply because truth has begun to seep out from under the locked-down cover on Benghazi.

But Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor and the GOP control the House and they can almost instantly set-up a Select Committee to follow up on the shocking testimony today. The transcripts of my interviews with Bill Kristol, Stephen Hayes and Eli Lake are posted here, but it is enough to say that there were many extraordinary revelations made today and a great number of serious questions raised which need to be asked and answered, quickly.

At a minimum the House needs to subpoena the NSA and the Department of State for the recording of the 2:00 AM phone call between Mr. Hicks and Hillary and her senior staff, a recording both I and Eli Lake suspect exists as a matter of routine NSA practice, if it has not already been erased.

Subpoenas must also go out to Hillary, everyone on the conference call at 2:00 AM, and of course to Cheryl Mills, the enforcer of the cover-up. Lt. Colonel Gibson must be deposed, and his commander and then that man's commander etc. until we get to the bottom of the stand down order. The denial of air assets from Aviano is another area of great interest. Investigators need to travel to Libya and speak with the senior officials there as to their response to being embarrassed by the Administration.

It must all happen quickly and without fear or favor. Not to establish a Select Committee draws the Speaker and the GOP majority into the very cover-up they are supposed to be investigating.

Call 202-225-3121 and ask for the Speaker's office and then the Majority Leader's office. Tweet him @SpeakerBoehner and @EricCantor as well. On my show alone we have heard calls for a Select Committee from Senators Ayotte and McCain and from Congressmen DeSantis, Gowdy and Jordan, all three of whom did extraordinarily fine work Wednesday, as did Chairman Issa and Congressman Chaffetz and many others. It is clear the Oversight and Governmental Reform Committee is far ahead of the other four committees "investigating" this scandal, but all must be brought under one roof with one staff and one set of questions and evidence.

Energy and urgency has been lacking, or at least the public has not perceived it. If the GOP House doesn't act after hearing what it heard yesterday, it will be very much Secretary of State Clinton walking away from the crisis in Benghazi after her 2:00 AM call with Greg Hicks that night. Either a matter deserves urgent attention and action, or it doesn't. Hillary decided it didn't. What will John Boehner decide?

Think about this: At 2:00 AM Hillary Clinton spoke with the man in charge in Libya who informed her the consulate had been attacked, the Ambassador was missing, and that his people had to evacuate. An hour later news of the ambassador's death reached that man, Greg Hicks, and he informed the State Department.

Hillary never called him back that night or the next day.

My friend, former Colorado State Senator John Andrews suggested a thought experiment at dinner tonight: How would every other Secretary of State of recent memory have reacted to such a phone call? Wouldn't all of them --all of them except Hillary-- pick up the phone to the Secretary of Defense and demand every available measure be taken to assist his or her people under attack and in a dangerous country? Rice, Powell, Albright, Christopher, Eagleburger, Baker, Schultz, Haig, Muskie, Vance, Kissinger, Rogers or Rusk? Would any of them --any of them-- not at least called back after news of the death of the ambassador to encourage to new man in charge in the middle of a crisis?

Would any of them have disappeared?

Think as well about the fact that some of the most extraordinarily moving testimony ever given in the halls of Congress --given by Mr. Hicks about the entire evening but especially about the security forces who climbed the roof of the Annex in Benghazi to recover the dead and the wounded-- and that it is not being played on most American media tonight.

Astonishing and disgusting.

There is nothing the Speaker, the Majority Leader and their colleagues in the House can do about the media or the Administration. But they can do the obvious and right thing, by establishing a Select Committee and thereby build upon the sense of urgency developed today, and they should do it now.

Last night my friend Mark Levin tore into Majority Leader Cantor for announcing yesterday that the House would vote to repeal all of Obamacare next week. Mark correctly noted that conservatives see right through such gimmicks. They also, I believe, wonder why, if the House can bother to move to do a symbolic thing so quickly and for so little effect, why not move quickly to do real things with real impacts, like the repeal of the Medical Device Tax which could actually pas the Senate?

Why not stand up the Select Committee on Benghazi and add to its charge an investigation into Boston's aftermath?

The House leadership has talked itself into a corner from which it is finding it increasingly difficult to escape. The only way out of that corner action. "Action this day!" Churchill used to scribble on his urgent memos, of which there were many. The reason for the lethargy is "deference" to House Chairmen fighting over turf --an indictment offered by John McCain on my radio show last week and widely understood to be completely accurate. What was merely embarrassing last week has become shameful this week, after what we all heard on Wednesday.

If action cannot be summoned on behalf of the Benghazi dead and wounded and the heroes who survived, who deserves it? If the most obvious and urgently necessary things cannot be done and instead there are symbolic votes on dead-end bills, will the House majority last beyond 2014, or if it somehow scrapes by on the weakness of the president, will its members choose again a leadership team that did nothing when it might have brought about justice at least for the heroes of Benghazi?

Wednesday's hearings gave the House a chance to set this session right, to draw a new starting line and to make new declarations of priority and seriousness. We will know by the end of the Sunday shows if Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Boehner have done.