Sometimes, I Feel Like A Government Watchdog

Take a look at the weekly recap below, and you’ll understand why I sometimes feel like a government watchdog:

Click on image above to read article.

Click on image above to read article.

On Sunday, I watched the 14-minute segment, Manhunt: Inside the Boston Marathon Bombing Investigation, on CBS News’ 60 Minutes.  One day later, I felt compelled to ask the question, Does FBI Have More Boston Marathon Bombing Video Than They’re Willing to Share?  Read my article and see if you think my question is valid.

Later on Monday, I reported a Top Intelligence Community Lawyer Made Me Laugh.  To find out what Robert Litt, general counsel in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said at a recent Freedom of Information Day event in the D.C. area, read the article.

Click on image above to read article.

Click on image above to read article.

In my third and final piece Monday, I shared news that proves why National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden was able to pass two polygraphs and gain access to America’s most precious secrets.  Read about it under the headline, Newspaper Reporter Reveals How He ‘Beat’ Polygraph Exam.

On Wednesday, I shared video of former Army Ranger officer Michael Behenna‘s first television interview after being paroled and released from the military prison at Fort Leavenworth.  The video appears in my piece, Michael Behenna Gives First Television Interview Since Release From Military Prison.

Click on image above to read article.

Click on image above to read article.

On Thursday, I revisited a subject more than two and a half years old under the headline, Woman Continues Fight After Losing Mother, Granddaughter.  Read it and let me know what you think my next step(s) in reporting about this case should be.

On Friday and Saturday, I’ll be spending most of my time editing the 400-plus pages of the final draft of my still-untitled first fiction novel.  I hope to have this, a “reality-based action thriller,” available for purchase early this summer and hope you’ll order a copy!

This photo shows the slightly more than 400 pages of the final draft of my first fiction thriller. Notice the red pen? I'm getting ready to put it to work.

This photo shows the slightly more than 400 pages of the final draft of my first fiction thriller. Notice the red pen? I’m getting ready to put it to work.

FYI:  If you need something to read while waiting for Book #3 to be released, order my two previous books by clicking here or on the graphic below.  Thanks in advance!

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

SHOCK: ‘If You Like Your Military, You Can Keep Your Military’

“If you like your military, you can keep your military.”

Click image above to read other articles in my series, "War on Men in the Military."

Click image above to read other articles in my series, “War on Men in the Military.”

To my knowledge, President Barack Obama hasn’t said that yet — at least, not in public. But the military justice system seems to be headed down the same path as the nation’s healthcare system.

Unlike the debate regarding healthcare, the debate about the need for military justice reforms involves people in positions of power (i.e., President Obama and members of Congress) who have absolutely no concept of what is necessary in a military justice system, because they have never served.  Led by people like Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), they advocate steps that will only worsen an already-flawed system.

One person who seems to understand what’s at stake is Patti Fruit, a resident of the Fayetteville, N.C., area near Fort Bragg.  While I don’t agree with everything she wrote in a letter to the editor of the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer about the headline-making outcome of Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair’s court-martial, I do agree with the following point she made:

“Yes, he admits to adultery with underlings, but why military women who have achieved rank did not have the honor and courage to report the general’s advances from the beginning is a question that needs addressing.”

What was the outcome of General Sinclair’s case?  Sexual assault charges against him were dropped after political influence, in lieu of facts, was cited as the driving force behind a higher-ranking general’s decision to prosecute Sinclair.

One-hundred-eighty-degrees opposite Ms. Fruit, members of The New York Times Editorial Board revealed in a letter published today that they don’t have a clue about the military justice system.  Their lack of a “clue” is illustrated in the two paragraphs highlighted below:

The deal followed a stunning ruling by a military judge last week suggesting that by holding out for more severe punishment, and by rejecting an earlier plea deal, the senior Army officer overseeing the prosecution might have been improperly influenced by political considerations in bringing the most severe charges against the general because of a desire to show new resolve in the military against sexual misconduct. The prosecution had also been badly shaken by revelations that the general’s accuser may have lied under oath.

The episode offers a textbook example of justice gone awry, providing yet another reason to overhaul the existing military justice system, which gives commanding officers with built-in conflicts of interest — rather than trained and independent military prosecutors outside the chain of command — the power to decide which sexual assault cases to try.

The Times Editorial Board’s description of this week’s happenings in the case as “a textbook example of justice gone awry, providing yet another reason to overhaul the existing military justice system” is about as truthful as any of President Obama’s promises concerning the so-called Affordable Care Act (a.k.a., “ObamaCare”).

"Three Days In August" Promotional Photo

Click on image above to order book.

“If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” the president said. We all know how long that promise lasted.

“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” the president said. Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who’ve lost coverage since ObamaCare went “live.”

“We’re going to work with employers to lower your premiums by up to $2,500 per family per year,” the president said.

Rather than telling us “If you like your military, you can keep your military,” it appears President Obama and his sycophants on The Left are determined to dismantle it without asking for input from anyone else and without regard for or our nation’s security. In short, the military justice system seems destined toward the same fate as healthcare and, sadly, Republicans in Congress seem to lack the wherewithal (a.k.a., “spines”) to do anything about it.

If Americans don’t stand up and demand their politicians stop meddling with the military, then they’ll deserve the military that’s left standing. And it won’t be pretty. Or, for that matter, an effective fighting force.

To learn more about sexual assault prosecutions in the military, read my series, “War On Men in the Military.”

To learn more about the case involving Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, order a copy of Three Days In August, the nonfiction book in which I chronicle his life story and wrongful conviction in a U.S. military courtroom in Germany.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Wisconsin Protests Result of Political Incest

By Paul R. Hollrah, Guest Blogger

Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Fifth Edition, defines “incest” as, “The crime of cohabitation between persons related within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.”

However, it took an ugly confrontation between Wisconsin’s unionized public employees and their employer, the State of Wisconsin, to redefine the term and to finally shine the light of day on the incestuous relationship that exists between public employees, public employee unions, and state and local government. And while some in the left wing media would have us believe that both major parties have contributed to the development of that relationship, that charge is demonstrably false.  The corrupt combine could never have developed had not Democrats let it be known that their loyalty could be purchased with campaign money and support at the polls.

While it is common knowledge that business interests have on occasion exerted undue influence over elected officials… the Teapot Dome, Billy Sol Estes, Duke Cunningham and Enron cases come to mind… it is those exceptions that prove the rule.  The rule being that the relationship between business interests and government is essentially an arm’s length relationship, one that consistently promotes the general welfare while seeking a business environment in which basic fairness and regulatory restraint is the rule.

This is in stark contrast to the Democratic Party where the all-encompassing goal is the winning and holding of political power, and where the party has shown a willingness to adopt the agenda of any special interest that brings enough money or enough votes to the table.  In the post-industrial era, the Democratic Party has embraced a wide variety of often competing special interests, including private-sector unions, public-sector unions, trial lawyers, radical feminists, radical environmentalists, racial minorities, gays and lesbians… any group with the capacity to subordinate its own special interests, when necessary, for the greater good of the coalition.

Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisc.)

Never has that been more evident than in recent weeks in Madison, Wisc., when thousands of middle-class private-sector union members… many bused in from out of state…  joined hands with the teachers unions and the other public employee unions to defy Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature.  In many instances, those who picketed in support of the public employee unions were middle-class taxpayers who not only pay as much as half the cost of their retirement and healthcare plans, but pay the state and local taxes that fund the exorbitant salaries and the overly generous retirement and healthcare benefits of public employees. Talk about dumb and dumber.

Now, as the Madison demonstrators depart the state capitol and put aside their picket signs until the next rent-a-riot opportunity, it appears that a recall petition war is breaking out in which recall efforts will be made against Republican legislators and against the fourteen Senate Democrats who hid out in various Illinois motels for more than two weeks.

The 85 percent of Wisconsin voters who are not members of labor unions may soon have an opportunity to show that they understand the nature of the relationship that exists between Democrats and public employee unions, and that what is at stake is the monopoly power of high-salaried union bosses… that, and nothing more.

It is the union bosses who collect hundreds of millions of dollars in dues from classroom teachers and other public employees and use a major portion of that dues money to elect more Democrats to the Congress, the state legislature, and city and county offices (95% of union contributions go to Democrats).  The Democrat politicians who are elected with union support then return the favor by creating more and more government bureaucracies, resulting in more and more dues-paying union members; establishing costly and inefficient union-friendly work rules; reducing class sizes in the schoolrooms; and agreeing to salaries, retirement benefits, and healthcare plans that are far more generous than those of the private sector.

In short, when members of the same political family (Democratic elected officials and their brothers and sisters in the labor movement) are allowed to sit down across the table from each other for the purpose of divvying up other people’s hard-earned money, that comes very close to defining the term “incest.”  It is precisely why labor icons such as Franklin D. Roosevelt and AFL-CIO president George Meany were so outspoken against public employee unions.

Most Americans would agree that the time has arrived when government at all levels must begin to reduce spending and to eliminate unfair and excessive union work rules.  By now, almost everyone has heard about New York City’s “rubber rooms,” the Temporary Assignment Centers created to house unionized school teachers who are either too incompetent or too dangerous to be allowed near our children, but who cannot be terminated because they are protected by their union contracts.

In Madison, according to the Wisconsin State Journal, the highest-paid city employee in 2009 was not the mayor, not the chief of police, not even the head of the metropolitan transit authority.  It was bus driver John E. Nelson. Nelson earned $159,258, including $109,892 in overtime and other pay.  He and his colleague, driver Greg Tatman, who earned $125,598, were among the city’s top 20 wage earners for 2009… They are among seven bus drivers who made more than $100,000, thanks to a clause in their union contract that allows the most senior drivers, who have the highest base salaries, to get first crack at overtime.

Within the Madison city government, any employee who takes a voluntary demotion, in lieu of layoff, continues to receive full pay, plus any subsequent across-the-board salary adjustments, unless the employee voluntarily demotes more than two pay grades.

Part of the job search for those who’ve been laid off involves notices posted on bulletin boards.  However, the union contract is so detailed and so complex that it even dictates the size and location of new bulletin boards in the workplace.

A very crude old joke says, “Incest is best; love begins at home.” Not true.  Most incest occurs when Democratic elected officials and public employee unions gather behind closed doors to divide up the spoils of a corrupt political system.  Is it any wonder that Wisconsin now has more government jobs than manufacturing jobs?

 

Paul R. Hollrah

Hollrah is a senior fellow at the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a contributing editor for Family Security Matters and a number of online publications.  He resides in northeast Oklahoma.

FYI: If you enjoy this blog and want to keep reading stories like the one above, show your support by using the “Support Bob” tool at right. Thanks in advance for your support!

White House Issues 111 ObamaCare Waivers

The White House granted waivers allowing 111 organizations to escape the unfair, unConstitutional, job-killing aspects of President Barack Obama’s health care reform (a.k.a., “ObamaCare”).  The Fox News Channel video below explains.

To read other BMW posts mentioning ObamaCare, click here.

Postal Service Loses $8.5 Billion

The U.S. Postal Service’s just-released 2009 Annual Report contains some hard-to-swallow numbers about the agency’s efficiency, effectiveness and long-term viability.  Most disturbing among them is the number reflecting net losses during fiscal year 2010:  $8.5 billion.

The USPS only lost $3.8 billion the previous year despite, according to a Nov. 16, 2009, news release, implementing cost-cutting efforts that resulted in $6 billion in cost savings and a $4 billion reduction in required payments for retiree health benefits.

Makes one wonder how well government-run health care (a.k.a., “ObamaCare”) will work — or not work as the case will likely be.

Consumer Confidence Numbers Reflect Lack of Confidence in Obama Administration

I just finished a 10-minute interview with Jeff Horwich, a reporter with American Public Media’s “Marketplace“, a program carried on more than 500 public radio stations across the country.

Asked questions about the recently-released consumer confidence numbers and the relationship between those numbers being down and the news media’s reporting on the economy, I focused on my belief that consumer confidence is as much a reflection of lagging confidence in the Obama Administration and his poor handling of matters (i.e., the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, healthcare, foreign policy and the economy, to name a few) as it is dollars-and-sense economics.

As soon as a link to the program becomes available, I will post it here.  Stay tuned!

UPDATE 6/29/10 at 9:26 p.m. Central: Looks like my interview ended up on the cutting room floor.  “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)”

ObamaCare Damage Eerily Similar to Bio Attack

Experts at the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center announced today the results of a study about two primary ways the United States could be harmed by a large-scale biological attack.  In reviewing the study, I recognized two eerie parallels between the devastating aftermath of a bio attack and the negative impact government-run health care (a.k.a., “ObamaCare”).

A large-scale bio attack on the United States, the experts warn, could potentially result in hundreds of thousands of illnesses and deaths and cost trillions of dollars to clean up.  The assessment is based, in part, on what happened in this country following the 2001 anthrax attacks.  Decontaminating congressional office buildings, postal facilities, and media buildings cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and some of the facilities could not be reopened for more than two years.

ObamaCare, other experts warn, will result in job losses, higher insurance premiums and higher health care costs as well as MediCare cuts, expansion of MediCaid and limits on choice and availability of care, just to name a few.  Many of the negative assessments of ObamaCare were based, in part, on what happened in Massachusetts, where socialized medicine (a.k.a., “RomneyCare”) became the law of the land in 2006 under Republican Gov. Mitt Romney.

While RomneyCare was, according to the governor, supposed to achieve universal health insurance coverage while controlling costs, most informed observers — a group that excludes virtually every elected Democrat in Washington, D.C. — agree the plan has done neither, and they shudder at the trillion-dollar-plus toll its federal-level clone, ObamaCare, could exact on the nation in years to come if not repealed.

At the end of the day, one question arises:  Should Americans be more worried about a large-scale bio attack — or, for that matter, a bio attack of any size — more so than ObamaCare?  Perhaps, for one reason:  ObamaCare is the only man-caused disaster of the two that can be repealed.