Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Political Strategy Offered to Defeat ‘The Left’ in 2016

By Paul R. Hollrah

To be elected president or vice president of the United States requires a total of at least 270 votes in the Electoral College. Through the strategic spending of other people’s money, especially among minority populations in our major urban areas, Democrats have fashioned an electoral map that gives them a relatively firm base of 22 blue states with a combined total of 257 of the needed 270 electoral votes. Of the remaining 281 electoral votes, they only have to pick up 13 in order to elect a president and a vice president.

Editorial cartoon courtesy David Donar at http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com.

Editorial cartoon courtesy David Donar at http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com.

Republicans, on the other hand, have a firm base of 23 red states with a combined total of 191 electoral votes, leaving a total of six swing states… Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia… with a combined total of 90 electoral votes. In order for a Republican to win in 2016 and beyond, he/she must carry all 23 of the red states, plus at least five of the six swing states. They could afford to lose either Colorado’s nine electoral votes or Iowa’s six electoral votes, but not all 15. To lose both Colorado and Iowa, while carrying Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia, would leave them with a total of just 266 electoral votes, four short of an electoral majority. It appears to be a nearly-insurmountable obstacle for Republicans, but is it?

With a bit of foresight and strategic planning, Republicans could do a great deal between now and November 2016 to mitigate the Democrats’ electoral advantage. In a December 2012 column, Real Electoral College Reform, I analyzed what would happen to the political balance of power in the United States if all 50 states were to adopt the Maine-Nebraska method for allocating electoral votes.

In the Electoral College, each of the 50 states are allotted two at-large electoral votes, one for each of their two U.S. senators, and one vote for each of the state’s congressional districts. With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, the winner of the popular vote in each state takes all of the state’s electoral votes. In Maine and Nebraska, however, the candidate who wins the statewide popular vote is allotted that state’s two at-large electoral votes, while the remainder of the electoral votes are allocated based on the winner of the popular vote within each of the state’s congressional districts.

If the Maine-Nebraska formula had been in effect in all 50 states in 2012, and assuming that the vote for the presidential candidates of each party would roughly approximate the votes for the congressional candidates of the respective parties in each congressional district, Obama would have lost 115 of his 332 electoral votes to Mitt Romney in the 26 states, plus D.C., in which he won a majority of the popular vote. On the other hand, in the 24 red states carried by Romney-Ryan, they would have lost only 39 electoral votes to Obama-Biden.

The end result?  In 2012, instead of a 332 to 206 vote victory for Obama-Biden in the Electoral College, the Maine-Nebraska system would have produced a comfortable 282 to 256 vote victory for Romney-Ryan, an outcome that would have been far closer to expressing the will of the people than the present winner-take-all system.

To understand this phenomenon, one need only look at the county-by-county electoral map of the United States with the counties colored either red or blue. It is reflective of: a) the preference for Republican principles among a substantial majority of the people, and b) the overwhelming size of the vote for the Democratic “sugar daddy” in the inner city precincts. The electoral process is disproportionately skewed by the fact that, in the heavily-populated inner-city precincts, the vote is nearly always 95 percent to 110 percent for Democratic candidates, while in the suburbs and the rural areas the vote is nearly always within the 60-40 range, one party over the other.

If it is true that “all politics is local,” as the late House Speaker Tip O’Neill once remarked, then to replace the current winner-take-all system with the Maine-Nebraska electoral system would help to bring political decision-making much closer to the people because of the increased interest generated in local and congressional elections.

The Maine-Nebraska electoral system would deemphasize the key battleground states such as Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia and require candidates to campaign in all fifty states. As matters now stand, presidential candidates spend little time in states such as California, New York, Oklahoma and Texas because the outcome of presidential voting in those states is almost always a foregone conclusion. Had the Maine-Nebraska system been in place for the 2012 General Election, Obama would have found it necessary to defend the 15 votes that Romney could have won in California and the six votes he could have won in New York, while Romney could not have ignored the 12 electoral votes that Obama might have captured in Texas.

Liberals and Democrats are notorious for expressing appreciation for whatever they see as being most “democratic.” But is there a chance that Democrats in the bluest of blue states… such as California, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts and Oregon… would agree to such a reform once they figured out that the Maine-Nebraska system would cause them to lose a significant number of electoral votes to Republicans, and that the Maine-Nebraska system would all but guarantee that no Democrat could be elected president or vice president for many years to come? Among liberals and Democrats, when it come to a choice between what is best for the country and what is best for their party, the country will always come out on the “short end of the stick.”

Image above represents voting for president by county in 2012 presidential election (i.e., Red = Romney, Blue = Obama).

Image above represents voting for president by county in 2012 presidential election (i.e., Red = Romney, Blue = Obama).

So, while we cannot expect to ever see an electoral system in which all 50 states utilize the Maine-Nebraska formula, is there something that can be done now to level the playing field a bit? The answer is yes, and it can easily be accomplished in advance of the 2016 General Election. Here’s what must be done:

At the present time, there are 11 states with a total of 139 electoral votes that were carried by Barack Obama in 2012 which now have Republican governors. Of those 11 states, the states of Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin now enjoy Republican majorities in both houses of their legislatures. What this means is that, if the governors and legislative leaders in those five states understood what could be accomplished, they would take immediate steps to repeal the winner-take-all electoral system and adopt the Maine-Nebraska system. With Republican majorities in both houses of their legislatures, Democrats would be powerless to stop them.

Even if Democrats should win the popular vote in each of those five states in 2016, as they did in 2012, the Maine-Nebraska formula would create a much different scenario than the winner-take-all system:  Instead of winning all 29 of Florida’s electoral votes, Democrats would win 12 and Republicans would win 17; instead of winning all 16 of Michigan’s electoral votes, Democrats would win seven votes and Republicans would win nine; instead of winning all six of Nevada’s electoral votes, Democrats would win three and Republicans would win three; instead of winning all 18 of Ohio’s electoral votes, Democrats would win six and Republicans would win 12; and instead of winning all 10 of Wisconsin’s electoral votes, Democrats would win five and Republicans would win five.

Applying these totals to the expected blue state and red state totals, the Democrats’ expected advantage would increase from 257 electoral votes to 258, while the Republican disadvantage would move from 191 electoral votes to 237. As matters now stand, Democrats have to take only 13 (14 percent) of the 90 swing state votes while Republicans have to take 79 (8 percent) in order to win the presidency. On the other hand, if Republicans in those five states were to adopt the Maine-Nebraska system in the current legislative sessions, Democrats would have to take 12 (28 percent) of the remaining 43 swing state votes to win, while Republicans would have to take 33 (76 percent) of the remaining 43. Taking 76 percent of 43 votes is easier than taking 88 percent of 90 votes.

But what if many of the low-information Obama voters in Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin decide to stay home in November 2016, giving Republicans popular vote victories in all five states? After eight years of disastrous Obama-Biden-Clinton-style governance, it is a distinct possibility. Under that scenario, Republicans could put another 10 electoral votes in their column.  Democrats would have 248 electoral votes and Republicans 247 electoral votes before the 43 electoral votes of Colorado (9), Iowa (6), North Carolina (15) and Virginia (13) were won or lost. Democrats would have to win 22 (51 percent) of the remaining 43 swing state votes, while Republicans would have to win 23 (53 percent). The playing field would be substantially leveled.

However, in order to greatly increase their chances of victory, Republicans should not hesitate to target Minnesota, with 10 electoral votes; New Hampshire, with four electoral votes; New Mexico, with five electoral votes; and Pennsylvania, with 20 electoral votes… all winner-take-all states, and all states that Obama carried with less than 53 percent of the vote in 2012. After eight years of Obama-Biden, at least five percent of the good people in those four states should be anxious for a change.

In the meantime, those readers who live in the states of Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Michigan might wish to place copies of this analysis into the hands of their governors and their legislative leaders. With seven states utilizing the Maine-Nebraska system we may witness the  beginning of a trend as other blue states follow suit. The question is, do Republican leaders in Washington and in the state capitals have the political sense to recognize the advantage they enjoy? Given their past history, we know that they= are not always quick to act when political advantage falls into their laps.  t may be necessary to lean on them a bit.

Paul R. Hollrah is a resident of Oklahoma who writes from the perspective of a veteran conservative politico and retired corporate government relations executive whose life experience includes having served two terms as a member of the Electoral College. Even if you disagree with him, this piece will make you think long and hard.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

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Will Joe Biden Select ‘Indian’ Warren As Running Mate?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is a guest post by Paul R. Hollrah, a resident of Oklahoma who writes from the perspective of a veteran conservative politico and retired corporate government relations executive whose life experience includes having served two terms as a member of the Electoral College. Even if you disagree with him, this piece will make you think long and hard.

Biden-Warren

Will Joe Biden run, or will he not?  That is the question.

If I had to venture a guess I’d say that, before year’s end, Hillary Clinton will be either sitting on the bench or exchanging her large selection of polyester pantsuits for a selection of orange or black-and-white striped jumpsuits.  Her campaign is in steep decline, and when the talking heads on the major networks, CNN, and MSNBC begin to devote major segments to the question of her political future, the end cannot be far away.  But who do the Democrats have to replace her?  Unlike Republicans, the Democrats have little or no “bench” strength.  Bernie Sanders, the doddering old socialist from Vermont is drawing large crowds, but we can’t be sure if people come to hear his plan for turning the U.S. economy into another Greek economy, or if they come to see whether or not the “Black Lives Matter” storm troopers will once again drive him from the speaker’s platform.

On Aug. 22, Elizabeth Warren, the freshman Democrat senator from Massachusetts, was summoned to Biden’s official residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington.  And while their meeting was not videotaped for public consumption, there’s not much doubt about the subject matter of their chat.  They discussed the very real possibility that Hillary will soon be forced out of the race, perhaps with criminal indictments lodged against her.

So exactly who is Elizabeth Warren and what has she ever done, if anything, to make her a viable candidate for president or vice president of the United States?  Warren has roughly the same presidential qualifications as Barack Obama, who was roughly as qualified as, say, Rosie O’Donnell.  Yet they are the sort of candidates most liberals prefer because they’re full of you-know-what.  In other words, like Obama, she has no presidential qualifications whatsoever.  And wouldn’t it be fun to see Warren, who has spent her entire adult life lecturing about personal and corporate bankruptcy, debate Donald Trump, who is not only skilled at using the bankruptcy statutes to his benefit, but who has become a multi-billionaire trying not to go bankrupt?

Warren graduated from Rutgers Law School in 1978, and has since taught at a number of major law schools, including Houston, Texas, Michigan, Penn and Harvard.  During that academic career, she gained fame as a leading authority on the subject of bankruptcy law.

Warren freely admits that for most of her adult life she was a Republican.  However, she has also explained that she became a Democrat in 1995 when she stopped believing in a free market economy… i.e., capitalism.  In fact, it is she who has taught Barack Obama to say that, if you’ve achieved some financial success in your life, or if you’ve built a large and profitable business, “you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen.”

In 2012, after announcing her candidacy for the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts, the Boston Herald reported that Prof. Warren had described herself on Harvard job applications as being part Cherokee and part Delaware Indian.  In the debate that followed it could not be proved that she had any Indian blood whatsoever in her lineage.  Instead, she supported her claim by saying that, as a young woman, she could remember her older brothers speak of their Native American heritage.  And since it looked good on a Harvard job application she simply ran with it.

Warren was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2012, defeating Sen. Scott Brown and regaining the Kennedy seat in the U.S. Senate.  However, the fact that she was the first female senator from Massachusetts was rarely mentioned by Warren or other Democrats… presumably because they did not wish to call attention to the fact that the first black man elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts was Republican Ed Brooke, elected in 1966, some 46 years earlier.

And that brings us to vice president Joe Biden.  The current vice president of the United States grew up in Scranton, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., where his father worked as a used car salesman, providing a practical grounding for Biden’s later political career.  He met his first wife while he was a student at the University of Delaware and she a student at Syracuse University.  Even at that early stage of their relationship he told her that his long term goal was to become a member of the United States Senate by age 30, before running for president of the United States.  During his college career he majored in history and political science, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1965, ranking 506th in a graduating class of 688… not necessarily the greatest predictor of long term success at the top of the political world.

After earning a law degree in 1969 Biden was elected to the Newcastle County (Del.) Council, and just two years later he ran successfully for a seat in the U.S. Senate.  However, on Dec. 18, 1972, just days before he was to take his seat in the U.S. Senate, he suffered the first of two major family tragedies in his life.  His wife and three children were involved in an auto accident while Christmas shopping in a small town west of Wilmington.  His wife and year-old daughter were killed and his two sons were seriously injured, but both recovered fully.

During his Senate career, which spanned six full terms, he was a member and former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where he gained a well-deserved reputation for being wrong on almost every significant foreign policy issue.  He was also a longtime member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, serving as chairman of the committee for eight years and ranking minority member for eight years.  He served as chairman in 1987 when Senate Democrats conducted the shameless public “drawing and quartering” of conservative Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, and as ranking minority member in 1982, during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, a partisan sideshow that Justice Thomas referred to as a “high-tech lynching.”

In 1987, Biden launched the first of two campaigns for the presidency.  However, in September 1987 he was publicly denounced for having plagiarized several lines from a speech by Neil Kinnock, leader of the British Labour Party.  His dishonesty quickly became a national issue, and he was forced to abandon his presidential ambitions.

But then, beginning in 2003, Democrats began to take notice of a young man they thought might be a future Democratic presidential candidate, an attractive young black man from the south side of Chicago, a former “community organizer” and a sitting member of the Illinois state senate, a man named Barack Hussein Obama.  The only problem was that, having been born with dual US-British citizenship, and having acquired dual U.S.-Kenyan citizenship at age 2, Obama was ineligible to serve as president of the United States.

To solve that problem, Democrats introduced two resolutions in the 108th Congress in 2003, and two resolutions in the 109th Congress in 2005, all aimed at amending the U.S. Constitution to make Obama eligible for the presidency.  They even went so far as to pluck him from almost total political obscurity and gave him the plum assignment of making the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.  It was the political launching pad that sent Obama to the United States Senate in 2005 and to the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.

But Democratic leaders were still concerned about Obama’s lack of eligibility and his complete lack of experience.  In an attempt to submerge the issue of his ineligibility, Democratic leaders caused then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, chairman of the 2008 Democrat National Convention, and Alice Travis Germond, convention secretary, to delete the words, “… and that the following candidates for President and Vice President of the United States are legally qualified to serve under the provisions of the United States Constitution,” from official nominating certifications sent to 49 of the 50 states, certifications that allowed state election officials to print ballots.

Although one would think that either the delegates to the Democratic National Convention, the Democratic members of the U.S. Electoral College, or at least one member of the U.S. Congress, Democrat or Republican, would care enough about the Constitution to question Obama’s eligibility, that was not the case.  All failed in their constitutional obligations and in November 2008, the low-information voters of the United States caused Barack Obama and Joe Biden to be elected president and vice president of the United States, respectively.

But there was a reason Biden was selected as Obama’s running mate.  Democrats knew from the outset that, not only was Obama totally without experience and qualifications, he was hopelessly naïve and was unable to utter a simple declaratory sentence without having a teleprompter telling him what to say.  To resolve that problem they caused Biden to be selected as Obama’s running mate.  With Biden occupying the vice president’s chair, he would be in a position to whisper in Obama’s ear, hopefully preventing him from making any really stupid mistakes.

Unfortunately, that’s not the way things worked out.  Within five minutes of entering the Oval Office, Obama made it quite clear to Biden and everyone else that he didn’t need anyone’s advice.  What we have witnessed since that day is much like a high school student who won a Kiwanis Club “President for a Day” contest and who arrived at the White House with no one but his high school social studies teacher (in Obama’s case, Valerie Jarrett) as his principal advisor.

On May 30, Biden suffered the second major personal family tragedy of his life.  His son, 46-year-old “Beau” Biden, a former attorney general of Delaware, died of brain cancer.  It is reported that the younger Biden’s deathbed wish was that his father seek the 2016 Democratic nomination for president of the United States.

With the impending demise of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, there is every reason to believe that Biden will enter the race.  But there is also every reason to believe that, if he does, Democrats across the country will use Beau Biden’s death, shamelessly, as a sympathy factor to help gain support for his campaign.  They used that tactic in 1964 to help LBJ win in the wake of JFK’s death, and there’s no reason to believe they won’t use the same classless tactic again in 2016.

SEE ALSO: This 2006 video revealing how then-presidential candidate Biden feels about another group of Indians and this post about how he missed an opportunity for another ‘Big F—in Deal’.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

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Writer Reveals True Face of the Democratic Party

EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is a guest post by Paul R. Hollrah, a resident of Oklahoma who writes from the perspective of a veteran conservative politico and retired corporate government relations executive whose life experience includes having served two terms as a member of the Electoral College. It first appeared on this site Aug. 31, 2012. Almost two years later, it vanished — along with nearly 5,000 others written and published since October 2006 — as detailed in this post. After rescuing it from where it appears on an alternate site, I share it again below with only minor modifications. Please read and share. Even if you disagree with him, this piece will make you think long and hard.

DEMS by David Donar at http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com.

DEMS by David Donar at http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com.

It is not unusual for Democrats to say something reasonable and then do what is totally unreasonable.  We’ve come to expect that; it’s the “nature of the beast.”  But when they feel politically threatened, as they now feel threatened by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, it is then we get to see the true face of the Democratic Party.

In recent days, an Obama SuperPAC, funded and managed by people close to President Barack Obama, has produced a TV ad in which Mitt Romney is accused of being responsible for the death of a steelworker’s wife.  The truth is, the steelworker’s employer, which went into bankruptcy, was shut down by Bain Capital two years after Romney left the company.  When the steelworker, Joe Soptic, lost his job, his wife continued to have company health insurance for at least another two years.  She was not diagnosed with cancer until five years after her husband lost his job.

Then, on Aug. 14, in a speech before a largely black audience in Danville, Va., Vice President Joe Biden suggested that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would like to “put y’all back in chains.”  Surely, Biden understands that it is his own party that has maintained black Americans in slavery and in political and economic bondage since the earliest days of our republic.

The saddest part of Democratic Party history took place during the post-Civil War era when they attempted to nullify Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation through Jim Crow laws, Black Codes, and worst of all, the Ku Klux Klan.  Between the years 1882 and 1951, some 3,437 blacks and 1,293 whites, nearly all Republicans, were lynched by the KKK, acting as the paramilitary arm of the Democrat Party.  No one knows how many thousands more were lynched by the KKK between the close of the war and 1882 because Tuskegee Institute and NAACP archives don’t contain those statistics.

As a product of the Chicago Democratic political machine, Barack Obama is not what one would call a man of compassion or refined sensibilities.  Like his Democratic forebears of the 19th and 20th centuries, he has shown little respect for human life.

While a member of the Illinois State Senate, he openly supported legislation allowing abortionists to destroy viable fetuses, post partum, who survived late term abortion procedures.  During World War II, Nazi concentration camp guards regularly slaughtered Jewish babies.  So how does Obama distinguish between that and the ghoulish practice envisioned by the partial birth abortion legislation he supports?  The only difference appears to be in methodology, so exactly where does he draw the line?

In the years since the Woodrow Wilson administration (1913-1921), Democrats have attempted to clean up their image by adopting a mostly non-violent approach to political hegemony.  Realizing that votes can be purchased in blocs, they have increased their numbers through the adoption of special-interest constituencies.

As a result, the party now consists primarily of abortion rights advocates; blue-collar unions; teachers unions; public employee unions; race-based minorities; radical feminists; radical environmentalists; radical youth; radical academics; the gay, lesbian, and transgender community; and trial lawyers… all of whom want something from government.

With the recent adoption of the same-sex marriage issue, it is hard to find a radical left issue or agenda that has not already been adopted by Democrats.  When Democrats meet in early September to re-nominate Barack Obama and Joe Biden, many of the party faithful… Christian fundamentalists, Muslims, blacks, and others… will be forced to hold their noses as their party votes to add same-sex marriage to their party platform.  Why?  Because, unable to raise the funds and unable to attract the same adoring crowds he drew in 2008, Obama has cynically flip-flopped on the issue because he needs the money and the votes of the gay and lesbian community.

Although it seems highly improbable that any party could manage a coalition of such diverse interests… many whose interests are in direct conflict with those of other constituencies… it all works because each of the special interests are willing to subordinate some of their secondary interests so long as they can expect the same consideration on their core issues.  As the American people go to the polls Nov. 6, it is critical they understand that the Democratic Party has taken full ownership of the following issues and agendas:

Labor union racketeering and its ties to organized crime, forced unionization through “card check” and National Labor Relations Board interference in private sector economic decision-making;

The monopoly power of public employee unions and the systematic plundering of state and local government treasuries;

The systematic growth of high unemployment rates through promotion of uneconomic minimum-wage standards;

Opposition to reform and restructuring of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps programs;

The systematic destruction of the housing sector through creation and promotion of the sub-prime mortgage market and the systematic corruption of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac;

The de-construction of the teaching profession, the dumbing-down of public education and opposition to popular reforms such as charter schools and voucher programs;

The destruction of the black family unit, black teen pregnancy rates and the growing incarceration rates of young black males;

The gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual agenda, support for same-sex marriage and repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act;

The illegal immigration, open borders, and sanctuary cities agenda;

Late-term and partial-birth abortion;

The exportation of weaponry to drug cartels in Mexico;

The support of fraud, violence, and intimidation in our electoral process; opposition to political reforms such as photo ID laws;

Class warfare and the vilification of business enterprises, large and small;

The overt attack on religious liberty and Roman Catholic Church doctrine; support for Islamic expansionism throughout the Christian world;

The domination of the public sector over the private sector; the use of excessive and oppressive environmental regulations as an anti-business weapon;

The opposition to American energy independence; opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and the un-economic subsidization of “green” energy projects;

Support for frivolous lawsuits and opposition to tort reform;

The weakening of U.S. military capability and repeal of the Clinton-era “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy; and

The abandonment of strategic international alliances and longtime allies.

A bit harsh?  Not really.  One of the things that most distinguishes Democrats from Republicans is the extent to which Democrats attempt to mask who and what they are.  And although they may attempt to put a kinder, gentler face on some of their more outrageous policies, all of the above will be included in one way or another in the platform they will adopt at their national convention in Charlotte.

Without mentioning Democrats by name, former Secretary of State Condi Rice, in her rousing speech before the Republican National Convention, described exactly what it is that separates Republicans from Democrats.  She said, “My fellow Americans, ours has never been a narrative of grievance and entitlement.  We have never believed that I am doing poorly because you are doing well.  We have never been jealous of each others’ successes.   No, ours has been a belief in opportunity.  And it has been a constant struggle… to try to extend the benefits of the American dream to all.  But that American ideal is indeed in danger today…”

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are both men of honor, men of the highest caliber.  They are straightforward, honest, and trustworthy and those traits are self-evident in every one of their public appearances.

Obama and Biden, on the other hand, never fail to come off as evil, angry and mean-spirited.  They are the true face of the Democratic Party, and it is they who put the American ideal in jeopardy by persisting in their efforts to divide Americans along racial and economic lines.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

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‘Natural-Born’ Citizenship Explained Again Four Years Later

EDITOR’S NOTE: First published Aug. 10, 2012, the post below was written by Paul R. Hollrah, a resident of Oklahoma who writes from the perspective of a veteran conservative politico and retired corporate government relations executive whose life experience includes having served two terms as a member of the Electoral College. Even if you disagree with him, this piece will make you think long and hard. I share it again for the benefit of those who might disagree with Hollrah regarding the eligibility of four GOP presidential hopefuls.

Former Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Okla.)

Former Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Okla.)

Over the past two years, I have engaged in an ongoing debate with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) over the issue of Barack Obama’s eligibility to serve as president of the United States.  Although Senator Coburn is an exceptionally fine senator, one of the top three in the senate, his views on the issue are not unlike those of other members of Congress.  They are simply wrong.

In all of our exchanges, Senator Coburn has relied on the same “boilerplate” language, insisting that, “First and foremost, while I disagree with most of President Obama’s policy positions, I believe he is a natural-born citizen and eligible to be president of the United States.  My belief is based upon the fact that he was born in Hawaii, as the release of his long-form birth certificate proves, and his mother (was) a U.S. citizen.  My staff has not found any evidence that contradicts these facts beyond conspiracy theories.  I also believe this issue was solved in the 2008 election, when each of the 50 states placed candidate Obama on its ballot and certified its election results.  Individual states are responsible for determining the eligibility of their federal candidates, and all 50 states legitimized candidate Obama’s presidency in this way.”

There are at least three major errors and misconceptions in Senator Coburn’s response.

First, he accepts that Obama was born in Hawaii and that the long-form birth certificate released by the White House on April 27, 2011, provides proof of that claim.  If the senator would examine the extensive forensic evidence developed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, of Maricopa County, Ariz., he would know that the document provided by Obama is simply a poorly-constructed forgery.

Sheriff Arpaio has made it clear that anyone who feels that his Cold Case Posse… a team of highly respected and experienced lawyers, detectives, and forensic experts… was mistaken in their conclusions, they are free to submit the posse’s work to examination by a team of experts of their own choosing.  To date, none of the doubters have been doubtful enough to accept Sheriff Arpaio’s challenge.  Consequently, it is only the credibility of the doubters that is found wanting.   Rather than allow themselves to be proven wrong, they simply deny the validity of the posse’s findings without ever attempting to support their opposing position.

Even if it could be shown, conclusively, that Obama was born in Hawaii, his forged birth certificate notwithstanding, he still cannot claim status as a “natural born” citizen because, by his own admission, his father was a citizen of Kenya.  The place of one’s birth is not the determining factor in who is and who is not a “natural born” citizen.  Just as hundreds of thousands of “native born” children born in the U.S. each year are not “natural born,” because their parents are not U.S. citizens, tens of thousands of “natural born” babies are born abroad to American parents each year.  These children are “natural born” citizens because both parents are U.S. citizens.  Senator Coburn makes a common mistake, assuming that to be “native born” is to be “natural born.”  It is not.  The two terms are not synonymous.

Barack Obama's alleged certificate of live birth.

Barack Obama’s alleged certificate of live birth.

Second, the senator argues that, “My staff has not found any evidence that contradicts these facts beyond conspiracy theories.”  The only thing to be said in response is that, when one fails to look for evidence, it is unlikely that one will find evidence.  Senator Coburn would be well advised to order his staff to utilize their own investigative resources and to take at face value the opinions of their friends on the Washington cocktail circuit who are armed with nothing more than inside-the-beltway “conventional wisdom,” which is almost always wrong.

Finally, the senator writes, “I also believe this issue was solved in the 2008 election, when each of the 50 states placed candidate Obama on its ballot and certified its election results.  Individual states are responsible for determining the eligibility of their federal candidates, and all 50 states legitimized candidate Obama’s presidency in this way.”

The senator must know that few states have laws requiring their state election board to certify the qualifications of candidates for president and vice president.  To the contrary, it is an implicit constitutional duty of the party nominating conventions to nominate eligible candidates and to certify the eligibility of candidates to the state election boards so that ballots can be printed.

For example, in 2008, all of the certifications provided to the 50 state election boards by the Republican National Convention contained language certifying that John McCain and Sarah Palin met all of the constitutional requirements for the offices of president and vice president.  The documents were signed by John A. Boehner and Jean A. Inman, chairman and secretary, respectively, of the 2008 Republican National Convention, and notarized by Sheila A. Motzko.

However, certifications provided to the state election boards by the Democratic National Committee were not uniform.  The certification provided exclusively to the State of Hawaii, pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes §11-113, which requires certification of constitutional eligibility, contained the following affirmation:

“THIS IS TO CERTIFY that at the National Convention of the Democrat Party of the United States of America, held in Denver, Colorado on August 25 though (sic) 28, 2008, the following were duly nominated candidates of said Party for President and Vice President of the United States respectively and that the following candidates for President and Vice President of the United States are legally qualified to serve under the provisions of the United States Constitution.”

The remaining 49 states, which do not require a statement of constitutional eligibility, received the following certification:

“THIS IS TO CERTIFY that at the National Convention of the Democrat Party of the United States of America, held in Denver, Colorado on August 25 though (sic) 28, 2008, the following were duly nominated as candidates of said Party for President and Vice President of the United States respectively:”

Affixed were the names and home addresses of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.  The documents were signed by Nancy Pelosi and Alice Travis Germond, chairman and secretary, respectively, of  the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and notarized by Shalifa A. Williamson.

The phrase, “… and that the following candidates for President and Vice President of the United States are legally qualified to serve under the provisions of the United States Constitution” was purposely omitted.  Other than that, all of the documents were absolutely identical… even to the misspelling of the word “through” in the second line of the certifications.  Clearly, Democrats knew when they nominated him that Barack Obama was not eligible to serve as president of the United States.  The question is, what did Nancy Pelosi know, and when did she know it?  She should be put under oath in a court of law and made to answer that question.

Contrary to Senator Coburn’s assertion, the obligation to properly vet candidates for president and vice president lies only with: a) the party nominating conventions, b) the members of the Electoral College, and c) the members of Congress, in joint session.  The party responsibility is implicit; the responsibilities of the Electoral College and the Congress are explicit.

In a Dec. 8, 2008, discussion of the congressional certification process, Edwin Viera Jr., Ph.D., J.D., a leading authority on the Constitution, argues that, “… the question of Obama’s eligibility vel non is not within the discretion of Congress to skirt or decide as its Members may deem politically or personally expedient.”  Dr. Viera argues that, if no objection is made on the basis that Obama is not a natural born citizen… “the matter cannot be said to have been settled to a ‘constitutional sufficiency’ (emphasis added),” because Congress has no power to simply waive the eligibility requirement.

In other words, the matter of Obama’s eligibility is still a matter before Congress because the Congress has not questioned and evaluated his eligibility, and in spite of the fact that the state election boards printed his name on the 2008 General Election ballot, the responsibility for vetting him is still on their collective plates.

In 2008, the delegates to the Democratic National Convention failed us, the 365 Democratic members of the Electoral College failed us, and the 535 members of the U.S. Congress failed us.  In order to clarify the issue and to avoid a future constitutional crisis over presidential eligibility, the Congress should take immediate steps to establish, by law, the definition of the term “natural born Citizen.”  To clarify the intentions of the Founding Fathers, the term should be defined as: “an individual born to parents, both of whom were United States citizens at the time of the birth, and neither of whom owed allegiance to any foreign sovereignty at the time of the birth.”

The American people will come to know that, between Jan. 20 2009, and Jan. 20, 2013, the man who occupied the Oval Office was not eligible to sit in that chair.  And while it would be all but impossible to reverse four years of presidential acts and appointments, by codifying the definition of “natural born Citizen” the people can be satisfied that we will never again suffer the likes of Barack Obama.  But the wrong that has been done to the American people will not soon be forgotten.  The delegates to the 2008 Democrat National Convention, the Democrat members of the 2008 Electoral College, and the members of the 111th Congress, of both parties, will carry the shame of their treachery to their graves.

SEE ALSO: Other pieces by Hollrah

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Horrific Tragedy Ensues After AC-130 Gunship Crew Denied Opportunity to Engage Afghan ‘Squirters’ in Tangi Valley

EDITOR’S NOTE: The article below first appeared on this site Sept. 20, 2013. Several months later, it vanished — along with nearly 5,000 others written and published since October 2006 — as detailed in a post eight months ago. Today, I rescued it from where it appears on an alternate site in order to share it in advance of the fourth anniversary of a tragic event that took place Aug. 6, 2011. It appears below with only minor modifications. Please read and share.

The images above are those of the men lost while serving their country in Afghanistan aboard a CH-47 “Chinook” helicopter — call sign “Extortion 17.”

The images above are those of the men lost while serving their country in Afghanistan aboard a CH-47 “Chinook” helicopter — call sign “Extortion 17.”

BACKGROUND

Recently, I asked the question, Did Afghan Officials Play Deadly Role in Navy SEALs Helo Crash? Today, I ask a question about a decision made by U.S. military officials in OPERATION LEFTY GROVE, an effort during which the single-largest loss of life in the history of U.S. Naval Special Warfare took place: Why Was AC-130 Crew Not Allowed to Engage Squirters?

On Aug. 6, 2011, a CH-47 “Chinook” — call sign “Extortion 17” — was shot down during the pre-dawn hours while on a mission to capture a bad guy in Afghanistan’s Wardak Province.  Among the dead, 30 Americans, most of whom were members of the U.S. Navy’s elite SEAL TEAM SIX.

Not coincidentally, many believe, the deaths of these “quiet professionals” came only weeks after Vice President Joe Biden compromised operational security by disclosing details about their unit’s involvement in a raid on Osama bin Laden‘s compound in Pakistan.

After obtaining a redacted copy of the U.S. Central Command crash investigation report — almost 1,300 pages — that had previously been classified “SECRET,” I was able to learn more than most about what reportedly transpired on the mission during which the good guys were hunting for a Taliban leader in the Tangi Valley who had been given the code name, “Lefty Grove.”

THE MISSION

A sensor operator aboard an AC-130U performs preflight system checks before takeoff at Hurlburt Field, Fla. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ali E. Flisek.

A sensor operator aboard an AC-130U performs preflight system checks before takeoff at Hurlburt Field, Fla. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ali E. Flisek.

During the evening of Aug. 5, 2011, the crew of a U.S. Air Force AC-130 aircraft — it’s not clear which version, “H’ or “U” — left Bagram Air Base was involved in what the aircraft commander told investigators was a “direct action mission.”  Shortly after arriving “on station (i.e., in the location of their mission objective),” members on the heavily-armed aircraft’s crew became aware of eight individuals “huddling up along the wall” of a building near their objective and positively identified them as possessing weapons.

“After hearing that [redacted] was going to engage those guys,” the AC-130 navigator explained to crash investigators, “we immediately asked the [redacted] if we could go overhead.  That way we could be watching from a point where we would be ready to shoot if there were any additional squirters that moved off the engagement site from [redacted].”  FYI:  “Squirter” is a term the AC-130 aircraft commander later defined as an individual who has left the target compound but has not been declared hostile or shown hostile intent.

Further into the discussion, the AC-130 navigator explained what happened after the crew of another aircraft engaged the eight individuals on the ground.

“Then, at that point, [redacted] One engaged the eight pax north of the building, 120 meters west of the actual of the Lefty Grove target set, and we picked up two squirters that did not get hit or (were) less injured than the rest of their other folks… and we basically started following those guys off to the northwest.”

Then the AC-130 aircraft commander interjected with an important note.

“Really quick, an important point I think at this juncture is, we had requested to engage those two individuals, and we were denied,” he said.

Another individual, identified only as “IE” in the report, offered more details, explaining that the original engagement planned for those eight individuals on the ground was a “hell fire engagement,” but “they elected to go to the 30-millimeter due to CDE constraints.”  FYI:  CDE is short for “Collateral Damage Estimate.”

What happened when they pushed for 40mm engagement as a weapon that would result in zero CDE?

“We were denied that,” he explained.  “We were just requested to maintain track on those two squirters that were moving west.”

After some discussion of how typical mission communications play out, members of the AC-130 crew were asked by crash investigators to “kind of walk through what happened next.”

“Basically, like we said, we were passing periodic updates to [redacted],” the AC-130 navigator explained.  “The first one we passed was when the squirters were 200 meters away and, really, it was about every 200 to 300 meters we were passing along updates.

“[Redacted] I guess you talk to [redacted],” he continued.  “They said they didn’t want us to engage; what he passed to us was that they wanted to follow those guys and figure out where they stopped.  And then find out exactly where they were and then basically use that as a follow-on after they were done clearing and securing the actual Lefty Grove site.

“So, basically, we kept following them until they were about two clicks away and then they finally stopped under a piece of terrain, a small tree grove,” the AC-130 navigator explained before being asked by the deputy investigating officer to point out the grove on a graphic.

At that point, the AC-130 aircraft commander began describing how and where his crew followed the squirters to a point where they picked up six additional personnel and how his crew passed along their observations.  He also went on to explain that additional squirters had been identified in the objective area.

Eventually, the AC-130 navigator explains how the crew of Extortion — which, crew members noted later, became known to them as “Extortion 17″ only after they started seeing emails days later — enters the scenario.

“So we watched the squirters go into the building,” he explained.  “At this time [redacted] had moved out to escort Extortion into the HLZ [redacted] — after we got all information passed to us about where the HLZ actually was going to be and their route of flight.”  FYI:  “HLZ” is short for “Helicopter Landing Zone” or, depending on the circumstances, “Hot Landing Zone.”

The building inside which the squirters had taken refuge, according to the AC-130 navigator, was about 600 meters southeast of the HLZ where the crew of Extortion 17 planned to drop off members of SEAL TEAM SIX.

After some discussion of the communications that took place between air and ground elements, the AC-130 aircraft commander confirmed for the deputy investigating officer how responsibilities for watching the squirters and visually escorting Extortion 17 into the HLZ had been assigned.

Additional discussion about details of the mission followed, and the AC-130 commander described his final communications with the crew of Extortion 17 while also noting that it was a “zero illum” night.  Total darkness.

“They called three minutes out, so we are trying to figure out, we’ve got the HLZ, we are getting ready to put the burn on and we are just sitting there waiting,” the AC-130 aircraft commander explained.  “A normal one minute, we are waiting two minutes for that one minute out call to put the burn on and just waiting, and we don’t know exactly what is going on.”

He went on to explain that his crew thought about making contact with Extortion 17 but decided against.  Why?  Because, in case they were trying to work something out, he didn’t want to bother them during “this critical phase of flight.”

After noting how the crew of Extortion 17 changed their run-in heading (a.k.a., “direction of approach”), the AC-130 aircraft commander said the one-minute-out call came and his crew began to “put the burn on” — or unleashed fire to protect the helicopter as it was about to land in the HLZ.

“Shortly after the burn came on,” he explained, “I saw three RPG shots, kind of just ripple — one, two, three — coming from the south to the north.  I was in the southern part of the orbit and…what I saw was either the first or second one make an initial hit, and just a massive explosion, and it just seemed to be stationary, and it just dropped.”

MISSED OPPORTUNITY?

After reading the 55-page document containing the transcript of the crash investigation team’s conversation with an AC-130 gunship crew involved in OPERATION LEFTY GROVE, I’m convinced that orders based on Rules of Engagement (i.e., political correctness-based fear that an attack against suspected enemy combatants would result in “collateral damage”) prevented that crew from doing their job and likely resulted in the senseless deaths of 30 American warriors in Afghanistan.  And I’m not alone.

The video below features the audio track of a talk radio appearance during which Charlie Strange shared his feelings — about losing his son, Navy SEAL Michael Strange, in the crash and about the findings of the crash investigation report — with Dr. Michael Savage, host of “The Michael Savage Show.”

To read other articles about Extortion 17, click here.

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