Topic: Freedom's Guardian
I'm pleased to report that Lexi finally made it home to Mishawaka on Wednesday. She's feeling good and looking forward to her leave. More (including pics) later.
This is actually kind of funny. Among the duties being loaded on the shoulders of Bill Daley, the new White House chief of staff, is the tricky job of repairing relations between The Great One…excuse me, President Obama…and his own cabinet!
All right, sure, to be fair, bad blood between the White House staff and the cabinet secretaries is nothing new. When he was Nixon’s national security adviser, Henry Kissinger played bureaucratic hardball with the State Department—cutting the Secretary of State, Bill Rodgers, right out of the decision-making loop. And really, it’s no surprise to learn that many of Obama’s cabinet secretaries are frustrated. Look who they’ve had to deal with: the foul-mouthed Rahm Emmanuel, the insufferable twerp Robert Gibbs, a posse of executive branch “czars” with indeterminate portfolios, etc. But I thought that among all his other shining attributes of virtue, Barack Obama was a brilliant hands-on manager of the bureaucracy. Guess not.
You have to love the New York Times’ take on The Divine One’s…excuse me, President Obama’s…decision to keep Gitmo open after all:
The prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has long been the embodiment of Bush-era arrogance and lawlessness, and Barack Obama raised the hopes of millions around the world in 2008 when he campaigned on the promise of closing it. On Monday, that promise crumbled, the victim of Congressional spinelessness and President Obama’s inability to create political support for a way out of the moral quagmire created by his predecessor.
Excuse me for a moment while I wipe the tears from my eyes…there. That’s better.
Now, I actually don’t dispute the thought that lies behind the Times’ use of the term “moral quagmire.” The landscape of war is characterized by that terrain feature. In a perfect world, presidents and members of Congress would be equipped with neat little maps (perhaps printed on the Times’ very own presses), showing them the way through. But in reality, war quite often presents them with a menu of more or less unappetizing options—and demands a decision. Obama’s original promise to close Gitmo, which was based on a lack of information and a smarmy pretense of moral superiority, was no such tough decision. It was based on nothing more than the egomaniacal belief that, being Obama, he could twist reality into some new shape of his own choosing. Eventually he found out that he couldn’t, with the result that has the Times in a tizzy.
Obama’s “inability to create political support” for the closure of Gitmo is not surprising, since when the time came to present his alternative policy it turned out that he didn’t have one. The editorial page staff of the New York Times has the luxury of living in liberal la-la land, where all decisions are easy and obvious. President Obama has discovered that he’s in a different place. I’m sure the realization makes him grind his teeth. But in the end, he sketched a bow to reality.
Well, not quite, but she soon will be. PFC Gregg is due to arrive in South Bend, Indiana, at 1700 hours (5pm to you civilians) on 9 March 2011. That would be today. Lexi, welcome home!
His Imperial Magnificence…excuse me, President Obama…has done it again. After gassing and bloviating in tones of great indignation over the evils of Gitmo, our dear leader has decided to—keep the place open! What’s more, he has decided to resume trying terrorists before those questionable, not to say quasi-fascist military tribunals
How could this be?
Perhaps the Great O was vouchsafed a divine revelation—a voice issuing from a burning bush or something like that. It is not for mere mortals such as myself to questions the twists and turns of our beloved savior’s thinking. But somewhere far back in the shadowy depths of my subconscious mind a voice whispers that maybe, just maybe, Obama had no idea what he was talking about when he promised to close Gitmo and try terrorists in front of "The People’s Court."
The federal government is spending roughly $10 billion per year on a program called Head Start. It is a program with laudable aims. Launched in 1965 during the heyday of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, Head Start aims to close the education gap between children from poor families and those more fortunately situated. It purports to do this by providing daycare, nutrition assistance and educational skills to preschoolers from poor families, thus giving them a head start as they enter grade school.
I say “purports” because all the evidence indicated that Head Start just doesn’t work. As Mona Charen notes in this column, “A 1969 study found that any gains participants displayed faded away in the early grades. By third grade, Head Start graduates were indistinguishable from their non-participating classmates.” Though Head Start does accomplish some good things—it provides immunizations, for example—experts have concluded that these things could be provided more cheaply and efficiently through other existing programs like Medicaid. In short, Head Start is a waste of money, and the $1.1 billion cut in the program that has been proposed by the GOP House is completely justified. Logic, indeed, suggests that Head Start should simply be abolished.
But as Charen notes, progressives are simply impervious to the ironclad evidence of Head Start’s failure. These characters never met a failed social program that they didn’t like, and Head Start is no exception. The proposed cut has them frothing at the mouth with outraged indignation. It’s outrageous! It’s a war on children! Blah, blah, blah. With such adolescent theatrics as these does the self-described reality-based community suppress the inconvenient truth.
The United States Army is not the first fighting force whose columns have traversed the trackless wastes of Afghanistan. Long ago, Alexander the Great led his soldiers there. The Greek/Macedonian hoplites established a kingdom there that endured for many generations. Greek coins and pottery may still be found, buried in the dust, and the ruins of this castle still stand as a reminder of Alexander’s long march. This picture was taken by PFC Gregg as she and her team were passing by in their MRAP. Look carefully and you can see the barrel of Lexi’s machine gun in the lower left-hand corner.
…then why, pray tell, has HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued more than 1,000 Obamacare waivers to date? I mean really, if this so-called health care reform plan was such a brilliantly crafted piece of social legislation, why are businesses beating down the doors to be exempted from it? And why is Ms. Sebelius letting them off the hook?
Last we heard, PFC Gregg had arrived in Kuwait, the first stop on her trip from the wilds of Afghanistan to the semi-snowy plains of Indiana. At this point we're hoping that she'll make it home late tomorrow or early Wednesday. Fortunately, the leave countdown clock doesn't start ticking until Lexi actually sets foot in the Land of E Pluribus Unum. See you soon, PFC!
Quick update on PFC Gregg's long jouney home from Afghanistan for her mid-deployment leave. She's scheduled to depart Kandahar Air Base tomorrow, bound for Kuwait. We're expecting her home on Monday. Fingers crossed!