Wednesday, August 20, 2014

All you need to know about Michael Brown, Darren Wilson and Ferguson, MO

As a St. Louis resident and a native of an Illinois town just outside of St. Louis, I'm very proud and protective of the Gateway City and her reputation. I don't like the way my city is being portrayed in the media. There's a lot of finger pointing and white liberal guilt flowing through the airwaves, and distorting the truth. That being said, here are 5 points that EVERYONE (everyone out there arguing about it) on BOTH sides of the Ferguson debate better get straight:

1. There are still too many unanswered questions

2. Very little is definitive in either direction, and new evidence is coming out every day

3. No charges have been filed

4. No conclusions about fault or justification have been drawn by law enforcement 

5. The investigation is not complete

To the media, and everyone else who hasn't seen all of the evidence: Stop assuming, stop declaring that you "know" what happened and stop letting people exploit this city. Don't allow people who don't give a damn about St. Louis or Ferguson make a profit, monetarily or politically,  from this terrible situation. Don't let the media or anyone else form your opinion for you. Wait, watch and let the truth come out- whatever that truth may be.

God Bless.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dear GOP: THIS Is How You Respond To Critics...

I've seen this come up a lot recently, and since no Republican politician seems to have the oratory ability to articulate a good response, I've come up with one that I think illustrates the point pretty well. Feel free to use it...

LIBERAL: Republicans are such hypocrites, complaining about Obamacare being so terrible and then complaining when the President changes it. You can't have it both ways!

Conservatives are not trying to have it both ways on Obamacare. We hear these arguments that say "they're full of it because they're mad that a law they hate isn't being implemented". That's a false premise folks, and a flimsy argument by any measure.

First, the law is absolutely being implemented, just not by the timeline that was written into the law. On a pure separation of powers basis, the President can't change laws without Congress, regardless of whether we like the law or not (or whether the President's poll numbers are slipping). It's not hypocritical at all to defend the Constitution even when it means a law you disagree with will be implemented because of it (quite the opposite actually, that's kinda what our politicians promise to do when they're sworn in...).

Second, it's not about the law not being implemented. It's about a President, who forced this massive overhaul of our healthcare system on us changing the law on his own, which he does not have the authority to do, for the sole purpose of saving political face. THAT is what we're upset about. Obama and Congressional Democrats rammed this through, against public opinion, using a backdoor procedure, while lying to all of us about its merits. It's about the President and Democrats unilaterally changing and selectively enforcing their own legacy law because it's hurting the American people, hurting our economy, and most importantly to them- it's hurting their poll numbers. THAT is what we're upset about. Obama and Congressional Democrats lied to our faces, and instead of fixing the problems created by this train wreck, they've merely slowed the drip of implementation, hoping either that the American people won't notice, or that they're too dependent on government to risk doing anything about it. By unilaterally changing the law without going through the prescribed constitutional procedure, Obama and the Democrats are still trying to hide the truth about this law from the American people. Despite all of the bad we know it's doing, and will continue to do, they've decided that their way of doing things is better, and more "fair", regardless of the actual outcome. That's not leadership, it's a 5 year old throwing a temper tantrum. Think about it- it's like a CEO setting all prices for his company's products at $.01, because he thinks it's better for business and more "fair", then refusing to admit he was wrong and not changing his policies once the company starts to go bankrupt and the mass layoffs begin. THAT is what Obama and the Democrats are doing with Obamacare. It makes no sense to anyone who looks at this from a practical, logical standpoint. But Obama and the Democrats aren't concerned with logic and practicality. They're only concern is ideology. THAT is why we're upset. It's not hypocrisy, it's patriotism in it's purest form.

The next time you hear someone calling Republicans hypocrites for opposing Obama's executive actions on Obamacare, stop them in their tracks and set the record straight. Although, i certainly can't promise they'll be able to follow cogent reasoning...

God Bless.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Border Crisis Part I: The Role Of Government

There are plenty of people talking about the politics and the optics  of the situation at our southern border. We're seeing a lot of pundits hitting hard on the President's apparent lack of "give a damn". I could do that too, but instead I'm gonna take a different direction on this immigration crisis. I want to draw attention to what many claim are the root causes of this problem: poverty and crime. Putting aside the conspiracy theories and hidden agendas, let's assume, just for a moment, that these are the real causes of this massive wave of illegal immigration. Let's assume they're responsible for most illegal immigration. The President and other Liberals would have you believe that the solution is money- give everyone whatever they "need" (which the government gets to dictate for all 330+ million of us) and the problem goes away. History tells us repeatedly that this is not the case. The truth is, government cannot, at least at the federal level, solve this problem. It's too dysfunctional and our country is too vast and diverse for a federal solution to have any concrete, lasting effect (New Deal, Great Society, Drug War- all failures). The problem can only be solved by local government and private entities. Think about it, some areas are better off than others. Some states are better off than others. Try as it might, the federal government has been unable to change this after more than a century of progressivism. It's because State/local governments and private organizations in some areas are able to tackle tough social issues by addressing the specific needs of their area. Local governments and private entities are closer and more accountable to the people. They know the people, the land, the culture, and the livelihoods better than any one in Washington DC ever could. So it stands to reason that they're better equipped to address problems like crime and poverty, in a way that works well for their city, county or state. It just makes sense. When you try to use one-size-fits-all solutions for a country our size, with all the different cultures and local economies we find throughout the nation, it WILL NOT WORK- PERIOD.

Understand this: like most Americans, I have a deep empathy for those in dire situations that they can't control. That's true for those in America who can't make ends meet no matter how hard they try, and it's just as true for the children trekking thousands of miles to the US seeking freedom from the plight of their native countries (I realize there are adults and gang members coming too, but I'm focusing on fixing what liberals claim is the problem in order to show that their solution is no solution at all). I feel very badly for the children. I wish that I had the money and the tools to help everyone in NEED. Hell, if the government would let us keep more of our money and stop taxing the hell out of those most capable of helping, we'd be able to address these problems ourselves (the more we make the more we can help, and unlike rich Liberals we don't need a law to coerce us into charity). Instead we're forced, through taxation, to contribute our money to failing policies and programs that the government needs for votes, but that actually do more harm than good and are bankrupting our nation. That's not a solution, it's a farce.

Right about now is when the liberal "he hates Social Security and old people" argument rears it's head. I'm not against safety nets, but I am against NOT doing anything to fix or revamp a program that will cripple us if left unchecked. This is America, the land of innovation and opportunity. We can do better. We can fix our failing entitlement programs, or restructure them to be better. Anyone who says we don't need to fix these programs is lying to you in the name of votes and power. In the private sector, over time new ideas come along, and upgrades are made. In government the first draft of a policy is almost always the final draft, especially once it creates dependency. Politicians cling desperately to old, outdated, failing policies because they care more about power and legacy than they do about actually doing what is right. We need to change our way of thinking, and start utilizing new ideas, new technologies and new policies.

Like any sane person, I don't want people to suffer through circumstances they cannot control. Where I part with liberals like Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Luis Gutierrez is at the role of government in all of this. I don't believe government should take an active roll in trying to rid the country (and the world, as liberals now want to do with the tens of thousands coming over the border) of every ounce of poverty and strife. I'm all for providing opportunity, promoting good life decision making and establishing safety nets, but when it comes to dumping billions of dollars into giving away fish, while teaching no one to use a reel, I'm in the "no" camp. The government can't keep doling out food and clothes, and medical care, AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE, without doing anything about the root causes of poverty and crime. We can't even begin to do that abroad until we make extreme progress here. Let's solve these problems at home, and set an example for our allies and neighbors. Let's show them how to solve their own problems rather than relying on other countries to do it for them. I understand wanting to help, but we just don't have the resources to help everyone. We can't even get our veterans or our own poor taken care of, so how can we be any good to the poor of the world?

Now some might ask, "How is eradicating poverty and hunger any different from eradicating terrorism?" The answer is much simpler than most politicians would have you believe: Poverty and hunger can be best handled at local levels by private entities (for reasons I've already described) while threats to a nation's sovereignty, like terrorism, are best handled by central governments and established military forces (and it's actually spelled out that way in our Constitution). I have no problem with lending a hand up when it comes to the poor. But to do that we need to get ourselves right first, then give others the blueprint for success. We can't solve these problems with hand outs that are nothing more than a bandaid on a bullet hole. We have to look at this with fresh eyes, and we have to go after the causes, not the symptoms...

Border Crisis Part II: Education, Privatization and Economic Liberation

I believe every major domestic issue we face is rooted in a lack of basic education. What I mean is, we don't have any central values being taught to our children in the public school system. We have no principles for success being taught in our schools. We teach plenty of facts and theories, but no virtues. As a nation, we're not teaching young people to care and to be involved and to exercise and defend their inalienable rights, so as a whole, they don't. We don't champion hard work, individual talent and individual responsibility, so those concepts are lost on much of the nation. We don't emphasize the importance of being informed about what's going on in the world, so people just don't pay attention. Why do you think private schools churn out so many successful kids? It's not money, it's substance. They usually have a set of values that are reflected in the curriculum and in the staff. That's what public schools should be doing as well. There are plenty of kids that come out of public school and go on to be great successes, but it's because somewhere along the line, from parents or specific teachers or friends or some other source, they learned the values and virtues that are vital to success. We need to start incorporating these lessons system wide, from day one of kindergarten to high school graduation day. If we teach every kid the principles and virtues necessary for success, the number of kids graduating college and going on to success will automatically rise exponentially. It's not rocket science, it's the law of averages (and common sense). Until we address this central issue, this lack of core values in our public education system, nothing can be fixed in this country for any length of time. I believe that now more than i ever have.

Aside from education, you've got another huge factor in the state of our national economy: unemployment, underemployment, smallest work force in decades, high uncertainty, high taxes, excessive regulation, the slim availability of good jobs, political corruption, our declining perception in the world, inflation- oil prices, food prices, ALL prices going up! It's a big, messy picture. You have to consider the economy because the harder it is to get a good job or buy groceries, the more prevalent poverty and crime become. That's just the way it is. When you get past all of the gritty details, there are two problems at the center of poverty and crime in America: 1. The federal government is too involved while state and local governments/private entities are hampered, and 2. Too many federal, state, local and private resources are being funneled into staving off symptoms rather than solving root problems. That combination is perpetuating poverty, prolonging hunger, and not helping anyone.

Here's the first step to a lasting solution solution:

Take the resources we spend at the federal level on poverty, crime and other similar issues, and invest in private entities. I'm talking churches, charities, elk lodges, rotary clubs, men's clubs, other nonprofit organizations, boy scouts and girl scouts, private companies, etc. I could go on for days listing all of the private entities that could do a hell of a lot more good for far less money than the government! The point is there are millions of people out there every day making far bigger gains on these problems than the federal government. Let's invest in them and let them do what they do far better than the federal government ever could. If not directly, then through tax credits, advertising, PSA's, vouchers and other methods of helping people to give their money to non-government entities that can truly solve problems. If we do that poverty will plummet, hunger will plummet, crime will plummet, and the need for a very large chunk of the federal budget will also plummet. Then, we can start giving more money back to taxpayers (fair tax anyone?), creating a cycle that will funnel more funds to entities that actually do lasting good in this world. It's not the final draft, but it's a damn good starting point. It will improve efficiency, lower costs, and best of all it gives people the ability to CHOOSE where their hard earned money goes. We can't trust politicians and bureaucrats to have anyone's best interests in mind but their own, so it makes perfect sense to give Americans the ability to ascertain for themselves who is really succeeding in eradicating poverty and crime, and allow them to choose to send their money that direction. Even if you took some of the money we spend on programs like welfare and food stamps, and donated a certain amount per person, on their behalf, to the entity of their choosing (private sector charity or nonprofit organization), it would do wonders for our success in combating crime and poverty. There are a number of solutions here folks, if you're willing to see them. Of course, if you're concern for those coming over the border is not truly rooted in the well being of those people, you'd have every reason to ridicule and dismiss these ideas, wouldn't you? But I digress...

God Bless

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hobby Lobby: Free Stuff VS. "The Free Exercise Thereof"

From the hard right to the extreme left, everyone is tossing around their opinion about the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby (spoiler alert: I'm about to do so as well...). Liberals' heads are exploding left and lefter. But in reality, no Democrat is actually upset about the ruling. They're feigning outrage, but inside they're actually giddy. That's because they think they've got a new talking point that's going to flip the election polls in their favor. They think they've got a "war on women" reboot coming, and they couldn't be more excited. Already they're going to battle. Throughout the left and in the media we're seeing "not my boss's business" and other "clever" one liners from people who have no idea what this ruling actually says or means. Before you buy into their garbage, before you get yourself pissed and ready to throw down, consider this:

1. Of the TWENTY different contraceptives Obamacare attempts to force upon employers, Hobby Lobby objected to FOUR. They have no problem paying for the others and have no plans to opt out of them
2. The court said only closely held companies, not large board-run corporations, can even be considered to have a legitimate claim of religious freedom as it pertains to the contraceptive mandate
3. We're talking about truly held, long standing religious beliefs, not garbage, BS "beliefs" that are clearly made up to game the system (no sane person believes that SCUTUS would rule in favor of someone claiming that taxes or jury duty are against their religion)

Most liberals don't care about these facts, and most don't understand ruling for 2 reasons: they don't know how to apply common sense to individual circumstances, and they believe all religion is 100% made up and arbitrary. They are assuming this ruling is an absolute. It is not, and the ruling itself states as much. Any case of an employer seeking an exemption from the contraceptive mandate will be considered individually, on its own merits. But the slippery slope argument is much easier to defend than the truth for liberals. The same folks also hold a form of disdain for religion, believing that anyone who still subscribes to a religion in 2014 is a Neanderthal and should not be allowed to have rights. They think we're all incapable of participating in society simply because we believe in a higher power (a power higher than government). Again, not so. The freedom of religion is one of our most deeply held and protected rights. That's why it was named first in the bill of rights. It's no more or less vital to American liberty than freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble or the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Whether you agree with someone's beliefs is irrelevant. Whether you feel someone is "worthy" of rights is irrelevant.  We are all guaranteed the rights outlined in the Constitution and they cannot be suspended without due process. That goes for business owners as much as it does for employees, or any private citizen for that matter. Whether it's a small minority or an overwhelming majority, you can no more force someone to abandon their religion than you can make someone adhere to one. That's a basic principle outlined in our Constitution, and it cannot be thrown out because people think they shouldn't have to pay to keep from getting pregnant. There are plenty of ways to not get pregnant for free that don't involve forcing your boss to pay.

Here's another point that isn't getting covered by the Obama-loving-sorry-excuse-for-a-media: just because you WANT free birth control of any kind at anytime, doesn’t mean it's a human right to have it. However, I'll leave that part open to debate. For now let's assume we all agree as a nation and pass legislation to make it so. It would still not hold true that your neighbors or your employer should have to pay for it. Look at it this way: I'm just a pro 2nd Amendment as any freedom loving American. I am deeply committed to the right to protect your family and your liberty, but I would never proclaim that I'm entitled to "free" guns at my neighbor's or my boss's expense. I would never demand that the government or my employer give me guns and ammo- which are a hell of a lot more expensive than the morning after pill! Just because it is my right to do something or express myself, it doesn't mean it must be free of charge. Journalists have to pay for schooling, and the tools of their trade, do they not? Freedom of the press doesn't mean "free stuff if you want to be a member of the press". The same would still hold true if contraceptives were declared a human right. Look, it's not that Hobby Lobby or conservatives are looking to take certain contraceptives out of your hands or off the market. They simply don't want to pay for something that goes against their religious beliefs. That's the real debate, and anyone spouting anything else is dancing around what they can't defend.

Another argument I keep hearing is that "employers can now force their religious beliefs on employees". Funny thing is, they leave out the part about the employees that have been demanding that their bosses abandon their beliefs. The Constitution says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". Prohibiting an employer who truly subscribes to real, non-harmful religious beliefs from exercising those beliefs, and forcing them to pay for contraceptives that their beliefs dictate to be unGodly, is directly prohibiting that employer from freely exercising their religion. It's the definition of "prohibiting the free exercise thereof". That's a clear violation of the first amendment. No one is harmed, injured or unduly burdened if an employer doesn't pay for their pills. Like I said, no one is blocking anyone's access to birth control. SCOTUS simply ruled that you can't make your employer pay for it.

As always, before you decide to chastise or vilify someone over this, consider the source of all the outcry, and go get the information from the horse's mouth by reading the ruling yourself. I know from my own common sense that this ruling is completely in line with the Constitution. But you don't have to take my word for it, and I don't want you to. You don't need me or Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton or anyone else to tell you what to be outraged about, and you certainly don't need us to tell you what others have allegedly said. You've got access to that, all at the click of a button. Go find out for yourself. There's no reason not to know the truth.

God Bless

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Inevitable Failure of Collectivism

Socialism. Communism. Collectivism. Three words with functionally identical meanings. Yes, they have some technical and logistical differences, but in practice they are virtually identical. Whichever label you choose to employ, they all have 2 very important things in common: they do not work in practice, and they are incompatible with American principles. Progressives believe that collectivist policies are the answer to all of our problems. Despite the exponentially growing list of examples to the contrary, these people believe that collectivism simply hasn't been given a fair shake. It's not the policies themselves that cause destruction in their eyes, but rather the timidity of those charged with their implementation. This is a particularly convenient fallacy because it ignores the ideology and the practical implications of collectivism and allows progressives to cling to an excuse that, in theory, can be used indefinitely to defend policies that cannot and will not work. It also allows them to slowly convince people that collectivism will work if we give up some (and eventually all) of the constitutional liberties we enjoy as American citizens. The more destruction collectivism causes, the more they attempt to lay claim to our lives, liberty and property. If left to their own devices, progressives would utterly destroy the country, then blame all who opposed their policies for having "sabotaged" them.

Margaret Thatcher famously said that "the problem with Socialism is you eventually you run out of other people's money". Aside from being a brilliant political one liner, that quote speaks volumes to the impracticality of Socialism. It seems like a great idea when you first hear a giddy college professor frame it: "everyone gets what they need, we all pay our fair share, from each according to his ability and to each according to his need". Hell I asked myself "why not?" the first time it was explained to me. But once you start asking questions, the holes in the theory become evident and abundant. Where will the money come from? Who gets to determine your needs and ability? Won't this encourage dependency and discourage ingenuity? And what about inalienable rights - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? To put it as simply as I can, there are too many unintended consequences and America would have to give up too many of her principles to even FAIL at Socialism (see Obamacare, food stamps, disability or the disgraces happening at the VA). I'm not saying that the stated goals of everyone being taken care of or giving those in need a chance at success are not worthy causes. I'm saying that "helping" one man by robbing another is wrong. I'm saying that government has no business picking winners and losers. I'm saying there's a difference between a hand UP and a hand OUT. And I'm saying that anytime you put government in charge of a massive effort involving money, or anything that can be used to manipulate voters, the government will inevitably abuse the power they're given. Yes, on paper and in basic theory, socialism has some noble goals, but while it could be done, it cannot be done without doing more harm than good. We all know from our own personal experiences that just because something COULD be done, that doesn't mean it SHOULD be done. I can explain exactly why Socialism will never work, especially in America, with an experience of my own.

When I was in my late teens and early 20s I was working at an entry level job at a chain auto service shop (not Water Pebble...). At the time I was driving a 1998 Ford Escort ZX2. It was a small coupe, hunter green with that useless little rear spoiler on the trunk. She was nothing special but she got me where I wanted to go and best of all, she was bought and paid for with the hard earned fruits of my labor. So what does a 16 year old car have to do with Socialism? I'm getting there...

Like most young adult males, I always knew what I was doing and nothing I did could ever go wrong (that would be sarcasm for the liberals who've gotten lost). So when I decided to swap out my stock 14 inch steel wheels and "upgrade" to 17 inch alloy "racing" wheels, nothing was going to stop me. If you've worked in the industry you know exactly why I added the quotations in that last sentence. Any mechanic worth his salt (5 years and an ASE Master Technician Certification later for me at this point...) knows that changing your wheel/tire size that dramatically and adding almost 3 times the weight will have an impact on the suspension and drivetrain. Within a couple months of swapping the wheels I had replaced ball joints, struts and cv axles. Eventually the engine and transaxle mounts ripped apart like tissue paper and internal transaxle parts were wearing out in a hurry. Before it was all said and done, I had nearly doubled what I paid for the car in "upgrades" and the damage that they caused. That's not very efficient or practical. It sure seemed like a great idea on paper, but in practice it was nothing more than an unnecessary, cosmetic change that hurt the car far more than it actually improved anything. Eventually, I learned my lesson and I traded her in for a vehicle with all of the stock parts still attached...

This may seem like a simple lesson about not doing ridiculous things to your car, but it's so much more. This experience perfectly illustrates the pitfalls of Socialism. The car represents America and her citizens, the "upgrades" are Socialist policies like wealth redistribution and cradle to grave entitlements, and the cost is, well, the cost! When you take a system of carefully designed components that are meant to work together in a specific way, and you replace them arbitrarily with superficial (political) things you WISH would work, it's only a matter of time before catastrophe strikes. Just like with me and my car, progressives believe they're infallible. They think they can change whatever they don't like about the system with no negative affects. And they honestly believe that they know how things should work better than the engineers of the American system of government and her citizens. That makes about as much sense as a 21 year old wannabe gear head telling Ford's engineers and assembly plant workers that they put the wrong wheels on my car.

America was founded on individual liberty and equal justice under the law. Both of these ideals are vital to the American way of life, and 100% incompatible with collectivism. As we slowly inject socialism into America's government and her economy, we see catastrophic breakdowns occurring left and right (political corruption, a stagnant economy, wide spread poverty, illegal immigration running rampant, a deeply diminished status on the world stage, etc...), and we see the unpaid toll, which is being charged to our grandchildren's grandchildren, rising by billions a day. We cannot have Socialism without robbing certain among us, if not every last citizen, of the liberties and equal protection guaranteed to us by the Constitution. Americans are too dedicated lady liberty to let her fall beaten and battered into the abyss of collectivism. If progressives are left unchecked, there will be one and only one outcome. If they insist on forcing Socialism into America, a great implosion will inevitably ensue, and America may well be lost to history. Depending who's left standing at that point, our posterity may never know she ever existed as she did while you and I were here. I sure as he'll don't want to let that happen, and I know you don't either. Ask yourself, is a little hard work and sacrifice on our part worth keeping the last best hope for freedom on Earth alive? Is all that we've fought for and all that we've achieved worth it? You're damn right it is. Let's start showing Americans the benefits of the American way. If we show them that Capitalism and Federalism are far more beneficial than collectivism, we can save the nation we love and leave her in better shape than we found her. I'll do whatever it takes to keep my America alive. Will you?

God Bless.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Obama Goes After Putin- With Self-indictment on Benghazi?

In the wake of the assault on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, during which 4 Americans lost their lives, including our Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens, President Obama and his administration repeatedly denied that they knew the attack was pre-planned and deliberate until days or weeks after it occurred. Republicans argued that if you considered the facts, that simply couldn't be true. They claimed that the attackers possessed training and skill not found in "spontaneous" protests, and that the weapons used were military in nature, pointing toward connections to terrorism in some form or another. When Obama and his surrogates vilified Republicans for claiming to know what happened with "no evidence" to back up their claims, the media was quick as ever to jump to the President's defense. It wasn't enough proof that testimony from those on the ground during the 7 hour attack backed the GOP's claims. The White House insisted, and indeed insists to this day that they had no way of knowing in the immediate aftermath that the attack on Benghazi was anything more than a spontaneous protest. Republicans charged that their story didn't jive with the facts and claimed the White House was distorting facts to keep from taking a significant political hit six weeks out from a presidential election. One piece of evidence cited to back those claims is the fact that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton felt there was enough evidence, at 10:00 PM the night of the attack, to issue a press release blaming an anti-muslim internet video for the Benghazi attack, a sentiment that was repeated by the White House countless times for at least two weeks, most notably by then-Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, who made the claim on 5 different Sunday news programs a full 5 days after the attack took place. The premise of citing this evidence was, put simply, "If you didn't have enough evidence for 2 weeks to confirm the attack was an act of terrorism, then how could you have enough evidence to blame the video?" Following the pattern of circular reasoning that has become the hallmark of the Obama administration, they insisted "The video sparked other protests in the region, so we assumed it sparked this one too." That argument has remained unchanged for nearly 20 months. President Obama and the entire administration insist that there was no reason for them to assume the Benghazi attack was any different from the protests occurring throughout the region at the time, despite the testament of commanders and personnel on the ground that confirmed the presence and use of military style weapons, and highly trained and skilled attackers, all of which were highly unlikely to be a product of a "spontaneous protest".

Fast forward to May 2, 2014. After the Russian annexation of the Crimea peninsula in Ukraine, President Obama is locked in a nose to nose game of geopolitical chess with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and he's losing. Putin continues to insist that the insurgency wreaking havoc on eastern Ukraine is the result of spontaneous actions from Ukrainian civilians. Obama is in the rose garden taking questions about Ukraine from reporters, when he says this:


Well Mr. President, it would seem that you feel the skill of the attackers and the type of weapons used are plenty of evidence to condemn Mr. Putin on Ukraine. So why then is it not enough to condemn your administration on Benghazi?  Consider this statement in the context of this list if evidence (just a sample of key evidence):

-Ms. Clinton's press release blaming the internet video at 10:07 PM on the night of the attack

-The testimony of witnesses about the skill of the attackers and the presence of military weapons

-The statement last month from former Deputy Director of the CIA Michael Morrell that the internet video "was not something the analysts had attributed this attack to"

-The newly released email written by White House official Ben Rhodes on September 14, 2012 (3 days after the attack while the initial investigation was still ongoing) entitled "RE: PREP Call with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET," which discusses blaming the video for the attack in Benghazi. Indeed two of the stated goals of this prep call were "To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy" and "To reinforce the President and Administration's strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges." By the way, this email was almost completely redacted when first released to Congress, and it took a court order to make the document public.

Taken individually, this evidence is troubling. Taken together, it becomes patently clear that the Obama administration chose from the outset of this tragic situation to play politics rather than get to the truth and bring those responsible to justice. Had the media been as fervent in their scrutiny of this situation as they were during Watergate, Iran Contra, or even Abu Ghraib, we would have the answers by now, the White House's actions would be old news, and our efforts would be focused on bringing the perpetrators of this attack to justice. The White House failed us, the administration failed us, and most of the press failed us as well. We can only hope the now imminent appointment of a select committee to investigate the attack will bring swift answers and some closure for the families of the fallen: Ambassador Chris Stevens,  Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods.