UPDATE: The Upcoming Battle for Mosul: Are We ‘Telegraphing’ Too Much?
Feb22

UPDATE: The Upcoming Battle for Mosul: Are We ‘Telegraphing’ Too Much?

UPDATE: Reactions to the Pentagon’s announcement of plans to retake Mosul have ranged from “so what,” to surprise to dismay and anger. Among the latter are the reactions by Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham who, according to the New York Times, sent “an angry letter” to President Obama arguing that the disclosures “not only risk the success of our mission, but could also cost the lives of U.S., Iraqi, and coalition forces.” The...

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A Record-Breaking Snow Removal Job – The Guard Is There
Feb18

A Record-Breaking Snow Removal Job – The Guard Is There

Record-breaking snowfalls and temperatures — low ones that is — have brought about a lot of snow shoveling for hundreds of National Guardsmen in several states, from the North-East all the way down to Arkansas, North Carolina and Virginia. The photos and captions say it all: Soldiers clear snow from the Ashmont/Peabody Square Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority station in Dorchester, Mass., Feb. 15, 2015. U.S. Army...

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Jeb Bush’s Satire: ‘I’ll Be Different from my Brother’
Feb18

Jeb Bush’s Satire: ‘I’ll Be Different from my Brother’

In a speech planned for Wednesday at an event hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Jeb Bush is expected to hammer home the theme that he is “his own man,” and that while he admires the services to the nation by his father and brother, he will not “be captive” to their foreign policies. The Washington Post, based on prepared remarks provided by Bush’s aides in advance, reports Bush’s planned remarks this way: I...

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Updates: Ukraine Ceasefire ‘Largely Holding…’ (Perhaps Not So)
Feb16

Updates: Ukraine Ceasefire ‘Largely Holding…’ (Perhaps Not So)

Update II: And here is the State Department’s take on the crumbling ceasefire: The United States is gravely concerned by the deteriorating situation in and around Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission confirms that attacks continue in this area as well as other locations, including Sievierodonetsk, Luhansk, and Donetsk city. The Government of Ukraine reports that its forces have been fired on 129 times in...

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President Obama  Signs the  Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act: ‘The Stigma Has to End…’
Feb12

President Obama Signs the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act: ‘The Stigma Has to End…’

A bill aimed at reducing military and veteran suicides and improving their access to quality mental health care and a bill that was doggedly opposed and blocked by a lone, “support-the-troops” Republican Senator was finally signed into law by President Obama today. The bill, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, or SAV Act, is named after Clay Hunt, a decorated Marine veteran who, upon his return from combat in...

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Ukraine Ceasefire Agreement Reached at Belarus
Feb12

Ukraine Ceasefire Agreement Reached at Belarus

The Guardian and other news sources are reporting that the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany have reached a ceasefire deal on the Ukrainian conflict. The ceasefire agreement came after 17 hours of talks in Minsk, Belarus, and is to take effect “from midnight 15 February,” according to Russian president Vladimir Putin himself. The ceasefire agreement includes the withdrawal of heavy weapons in eastern Ukraine and the...

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The Death of  Kayla Jean Mueller – An Update
Feb10

The Death of Kayla Jean Mueller – An Update

More details of the tragic death of American hostage Kayla Jean Mueller are emerging. I will not include them in the initial post announcing her death and containing tributes to her life. Here is a separate update. While the parents of Kayla Mueller did not specify what proof they had received of their daughter’s death, the New York Times reports, “two people who had been briefed on the proof said it consisted of at least three...

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The Death of Kayla Jean Mueller
Feb10

The Death of Kayla Jean Mueller

Update: Statements by other officials at end of post. ~~ NBC reports that American ISIL hostage Kayla Mueller is dead. Her death has been confirmed by Kayla’s family. The family made the following statement, but did not elaborate on how it had learned of her death or the circumstances surrounding it, according to NBC: We are heartbroken to share that we’ve received confirmation that Kayla Jean Mueller, has lost her...

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UPDATED – Royal Jordanian Air Force: ‘Message Delivered’
Feb06

UPDATED – Royal Jordanian Air Force: ‘Message Delivered’

Below is a video of Jordanian air strikes against ISIL storage and staging facilities near Al Hasakah, Syria, on February 5. ISIL claims that a Jordanian air strike against the city of Raqqa, where ISIL alleges American Kayla Mueller was being held, killed her. Jordan has denied that Mueller was killed in one of the country’s air strikes: TheDailyBeast.com: A Jordanian official denied ISIS’ claims that Mueller was killed in one...

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Breaking News: A King Strikes Back
Feb05

Breaking News: A King Strikes Back

Although, as had been reported, he may not have personally flown one of the Jordanian fighter bombers, Jordan’s King Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein is keeping his promise, made after the barbaric burning alive of one of his pilots, to deliver “merciless retribution” to the ISIL terrorists who committed the horrific crime. Fox News: Jordanian fighter pilots carried out devastating sorties against ISIS early Thursday, making good on...

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Breaking News: ISIL Crosses New Threshold of Brutality: Jordanian Pilot Burned Alive (Updates)
Feb05

Breaking News: ISIL Crosses New Threshold of Brutality: Jordanian Pilot Burned Alive (Updates)

Additional Updates at bottom of post Update to the “Final” Update: Albawaba News: The Jordanian government denied on Thursday that King Abdullah II would personally take part in airstrikes against Daesh [ISIS] militant group. . “Information disseminated over news and social media outlets about the king’s participation in airstrikes against [Daesh] is false,” government spokesman Mohamed al-Momni has said....

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Important Update: The Vaccines Issue: Satire, or Politics Imitating Satire?
Feb04

Important Update: The Vaccines Issue: Satire, or Politics Imitating Satire?

Important Update: While the statements (below) by Mrs. Bachmann, Mr. Christie and Dr. Paul on vaccinations are an important public service, perhaps the most authoritative word on this critical issue comes from none other than Senator Joni Ernst (R.-Iowa). Today at the New Yorker, Andy Borowitz released the text of a letter by the good Senator giving the American people invaluable advice on how to protect our children during the...

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Republican Groundhog Day
Feb03

Republican Groundhog Day

Yesterday saw the 128th Groundhog Day festivities. Sun Prairie, Wis., mayor Jonathan Freund held up Jimmy the groundhog, after Jimmy had come out of his hole without seeing his shadow, thus predicting an early spring. Everything went according to legend, lore and tradition with the exception that Jimmy the groundhog decided to munch on the mayor’s ear. The mayor was a good sport, however, and said afterwards, “It’s a great...

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(Updated) Super Vigilance XLIX
Feb02

(Updated) Super Vigilance XLIX

UPDATE: WOW! Wasn’t that a great game! “Thank you” to all those who helped to keep it safe. Don’t know about all the much-touted, multi-million dollar commercials. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly over during opening ceremonies for Super Bowl XLIX at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.., Feb. 1, 2015. Original Post: It is good to know that the footballs that will be used in Super Bowl XLIX...

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‘When Parents Die at War’
Feb02

‘When Parents Die at War’

I don’t recall how many times — when writing about our casualties of war — I have lamented over the unfathomable grief the fathers, mothers, wives and husbands, sons and daughters of the fallen must experience when they receive that “knock at the door.” Because we oftentimes imagine our warriors fighting our wars and “conflicts” to be relatively young men and women, we sometimes fail to realize that many of them are...

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Obama Issues Executive Order Giving Him Authority to Issue Executive Orders
Jan29

Obama Issues Executive Order Giving Him Authority to Issue Executive Orders

In a historic early morning ceremony in the Yellow Oval Room, attended only by Michelle Obama and pajama-clad White House dog Bo, and recorded for posterity by White Hose photographer Pete Souza, President Obama — also pajama-clad — signed the mother of all executive orders: An order giving him Constitutional authority to issue executive orders. It soon would become clear why this unprecedented action was necessary and...

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UPDATE: Tomorrow the World Will Be Listening to the Voices of Auschwitz
Jan27

UPDATE: Tomorrow the World Will Be Listening to the Voices of Auschwitz

UPDATE: It is now “Today” in Auschwitz, and indeed many survivors’ voices — sometimes breaking, sometimes hardly audible through the sobs and tears — spoke there. Let us hope the world will indeed listen to those voices. Read them, listen with your heart to them, here, here and here. This is the statement by Secretary of State John Kerry: Today, Teresa and I join all Americans in marking the 70th anniversary of the...

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Letters of Sacrifice
Jan23

Letters of Sacrifice

As I watched Jenn stretch her arm to insert yet one more letter at the top of her eight-foot tall work of honor, respect and compassion, I could not help but to ask myself: How many more “I regret to inform you” letters will have to be opened by the trembling hands of a father, mother, husband, wife, son or daughter… For each tightly rolled letter Jennifer Hassin, a beautiful, talented young artist from Austin,...

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Freedom of the Press Is Not Free
Jan20

Freedom of the Press Is Not Free

In the wake of the hideous attack on Charlie Hebdo editors, cartoonists and staff in Paris there has been a vigorous and spirited debate on freedom of speech and, of course, freedom of the press. Today, Secretary of State John Kerry in remarks delivered at the Journalists Security Conference, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., left no doubt as to which side of this debate he stands on. After thanking Doug Frantz,...

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UPDATE – Romney 3.0: ‘My Rising Tide Will Lift All Our Yachts’
Jan19

UPDATE – Romney 3.0: ‘My Rising Tide Will Lift All Our Yachts’

Update: Warning: This update and the original post are political satire.* Not to be outdone by his likely 2016 rival, Senator Ted Cruz also used nautical language to convince an adoring tea party crowd in South Carolina over the weekend that he, not Mitt Romney, would navigate our ship of state safely through the treacherous Liberal waters ahead. “We just saw an historic tidal wave of an election, and all my good Republican...

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