Monthly Archives: September 2013

Bob Woodward’s Muckraking on Obama’s Lack of Leadership

Bob Woodward, one of the reporters who broke the Watergate crisis which brought down the presidency of Richard Nixon,  has not been bashful in offering unflattering analyses of Presidents.  Woodward’s latest opinions critique the lack of leadership that President Barack Obama is exhibiting regarding raising the national debt limit.  

But the Obama Administration’s intransigence on Obamacare seems equally applicable. 
At the District of Calamity (sic), there is no illusion that Woodward favors liberal politics.  In fact, Woodward’s comments endorsed President Obama standing firm on raising the debt ceiling.  However, Woodward’s comments on MSNBC notes the lack of leadership coming from the White House and facilitating talks with Congress to get the process moving along.
It is refreshing is that Woodward has not succumb to just acting like one of All the President’s Men (sic) in the lapdog Lamestream Media and advocates for honesty in governing, not hypocrisy. 
 In June, Woodward urged Mr. Obama to admit to “screw ups” regarding Benghazi, spying on journalists and the IRS playing politics.  Woodward observed that such a honest approach would mirror his transparency in admitting to the Daschle “screw up” in 2009. 
But instead, most of the the elite liberal media will continue to act as stenographers for a liberal White House with whom they generally agree. 
America is currently facing an alluvia of challenges.  There is a $17 trillion debt which continues to burgeon.  There is both resistance as well as significant difficulties implementing Obamacare, which assumes 1/6th of the American economy.  The Boston Bombing, Benghazi and the Kenyan Mall shooting shows a heightened terrorist threat.   It would be refreshing to not have an empty chair in the Oval Office, especially a seat which is vacant due to constant campaigning by the elected incumbent. 


St. Jerome on Fasting

St. Jerome

Voltaire on Freedom


Sochi Olympic Flame Begins Sojourn

Passing the Olympic flame to Ioannis Antoniou
Olympic flame destined to light the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics was lit
  on September 28th  in southern Greece.   At the Temple of Hera, the birthplace of the
ancient Olympics, an actress garbed as high priestesses invoked Apollo, the
ancient Greek god of the sun, as she lit the Olympic flame using  the suns rays (with the assistance of a
parabolic mirror).

The flame was
passed off to 18 year old Greek alpine skier Ioannis Antoniou. The first
Russian relay runner in this 40,000 mile 123 day odyssey was Alex Ovechkin, of the
NHL’s Washington Capitals.
Alex Ovechkin, the first Russian relay Olympic torch bearer
Carrying the
Olympic torch fulfilled a dream for the 28 year old superstar Capital’s
Winger.  As
Ovechkin said: “This
is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and something I will never
forget.”   Ovechin’s enthusiasm was
evident from his Instagram photo shared via Twitter.
But Ovechkin
had to hurry back from Europe in order to play in the Capital’s regular season
opener against the Chicago Black Hawks in three days time.  This will not be the only time which
professional obligations and Olympic ambitions will intersect for Ovetchin this
season.  Fortunately, the NHL is taking a
fortnight holiday in February 2014 so that NHL players can compete for their
national teams in the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The torch relay  will travel through the nine time zones in
the Russian Federation and be carried by 14,000 torch bearers.  The Olympic torch will travel from the bottom
of Lake Baikal, Europe’s highest mountain Mount Elbrus and will even travel to
the International Space Station to be taken on a space walk  by two cosmonauts. 

Relay route for the 2014 Olympic torch relay in the Russian Federation

However,  it should be noted that cosmonauts
Sergei Ryazansky and Oleg Kotov
will only carry the torch and not the

The Olympic
flame will arrive in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi in the Russian
Federation on February 7th, 2014 for the 22nd Winter Olympiad. 

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn on Theology


Too Sooner to Steal ND’s Lucky Charms (sic)?

Today, the University of Oklahoma Sooners (3-0) go up against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-1).  Effectively, the Sooners will try to steal ND’s Lucky Charms.

Being based in the District of Calamity (sic), my school of choice is the Electoral College, which cheers more for politics as a contact sport than football so it is easy to watch the Sooner/Fighting Irish match-up dispassionately.

Statistically, Notre Dame has won 9 of 10 football games against the Sooners.  But it should also be noted that the game is going to be played in South Bend, Indiana. The home field advantage may have some artistic and superficial spiritual advantages.

The Hesburgh Library, which is adjacent to the Notre Dame football stadium, has two iconic art pieces which seem to reflect football prowess. 

The large “Word of Life mural” (1964) by Millard Sheets is colloquially called “Touchdown Jesus”.   Next to the library, there is a bronze by Joseph Turkalj (1962) which is often referred to as “First Down Moses” for the way the Jewish Prophet has his hand positioned. 

Knute Rockne on Football

Knute Rockne Football

McCain Spares the Rod and Spoils the Staff With O’Bagy Hire

[L] Elizabeth O”Bagy [R] Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
Ordinarily in political circles the  hiring a Legislative Assistant in the Senate does not make headlines.  But Senator McCain’s (R-AZ) retention of Elizabeth O’Bagy’s services as a L.A. in his Washington office manages to
achieve that dubious distinction.  Foreign Policy “The Cable” website reports through its website that the
Senior Senator has hired the 26 year old foreign policy researcher three weeks after she was released from the Institute
for the Study of War
, a neoconservative think tank.
O’Bagy wrote an op/ed titled “On the Front Lines of Syria’s Civil War” for the
Wall Street Journal
, which downplayed the reach of Jabhut al Nursa (an Al
Qaeda affiliate) fighters  in the Syrian Free Army, and suggested that such
jihadists were concentrating in a couple of northern, rebel held areas
of Syria.  Esssentially, O’Bagy was allaying fears that U.S. involvement in the
Syrian conflict
would, in the words of former Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH 10th), be acting as Al Qaeda’s air force.
In the rush to get Congressional blessing for President Obama’s aborted red line attack threat against  Bashar Assad’s government forces in Syria for chemical weapons use, O’Bagy’s analysis was spotlighted.  Both Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Senator John McCain referenced and relied upon O’Bagy’s opinion.
Yet within a week of having her research promoted by Obama’s Secretary of State and the
Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, O’Bagy was unceremoniously severed from her stint as the ‘Syria Analyst” at the Institute for the Study of War.  Officially, O’Bagy was fired because she falsely had purported to have a combined masters/Ph.D. from Georgetown University, when she had not even defended her thesis.  But O’Bagy’s prominence on the political stage also revealed that O’Bagy served as the political director for the Syrian Emergency Task Force, which was neither  disclosed in the WSJ op/ed nor mentioned by Kerry or McCain when confirming their bent for war in the Levant.
The mission of the Syrian Emergency Task Force has been characterized by critics as pushing weapons and other military support to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist brigades in Syria.  The Syria Emergency task force derives its funding from a State Deparment funded Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations.
O’Bagy for her part claims that she was a contractor for the Syrian Emergency Task Force and not an employee.  Of course, that is a distinction without a difference when it comes to conflicts of interest in setting American foreign policy.  When asked about a conflict of interest, O’Bagy told the Daily Caller “I work for the Syrian people.”
 O’Bagy claims that she did not help the Syrian Emergency Task Force lobby. Yet O’Bagy admits to facilitating a meeting between Syrian rebel commanders  and Senator McCain in May. McCain maintains that he met with patriotic rebels and no terrorists.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) meeting with Syrian rebel commanders, May 2013
When questioned about hiring O’Bagy, Senator McCain endorsed the new L.A. by saying: “Elizabeth is a talented researcher, and I have been very impressed by her knowledge and analysis in multiple briefings over the last year. “I look forward to her joining my office.”  So the conflict of interest by O’Bagy working for the Syrian people was no problem for the maverick Senator.
This is a serious lapse of judgment by Senator McCain. As the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, McCain’s viewpoints are influential in facilitating American Foreign Policy.  The senior Senator from Arizona should be receiving clear guidance, not having his opinions skewed by an aide who has declared herself allied with Syria, and has ties to groups that are aligned against broader United States interests.  By sparing the rod, McCain has spoiled his staff.

Jack Kemp on Football and Politics


Hugh Hewitt on Communication

Obama Cliches