Letter-to-the Editor: Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education Incumbents, Fighting for their Seats, Face Impossible Odds

Originally posted on Rowan Free Press:

Rabbi Will McCubbins, China Grove, N.C.

♦ This November those Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education Incumbents, fighting for their seats, face impossible odds against very angry voters in the county.  The odds of the incumbents returning to their seats are even worse than those incumbents who were obliterated back in the 2012 election.  This is a war L.A. Overcash, Richard Miller, Kay Wright Norman, and Jean Kennedy have brought on themselves through their years of incompetence and taking marching orders from corrupt Salisbury.  This ball game is over before it starts.  They can cry and falsely accuse Travis Allen, Dean Hunter, and Phil Hardin of being members of the Tea Party when they never have been.  I should know–I’m the head of the Tea Party.

Let’s get down to brass tacks.  The history of these incompetents that harmed our school system is lengthy and deep.  For any one of these offenses these four should be hurled out…

View original 395 more words

Categories: RTPP monthly meeting | Leave a comment

Obama Hints He’ll Delay Amnesty Until After Election

Obama Hints He’ll Delay Amnesty Until After Election. http://tiny.iavian.net/2shd

dailycaller.com

Obama Hints He’ll Delay Amnesty Until After Election

President Barack Obama hinted Thursday that he would delay his unpopular executive amnesty until after the critical November election.

“Our immigration system is broken and need to be fixed, and my preference continues to be that Congress act,” he said, echoing a familiar claim by advocates of greater immigration.

But he next suggested that Congress might act after the November mid-term elections. “Hope springs eternal that after the midterm elections, they may act,” he said.

And then he suggested he would wait until after the elections before deciding the scope of his planned unilateral amnesty.

“In the meantime [before the election], what I’ve asked [homeland security secretary] Jeh Johnson to do, is to look at what kind of executive authorities we have in order to make the system work better,” he stated.

Obama’s use of the phrase “in the meantime,” suggests that he won’t announce his amnesty until after the election.

Previously, officials have repeatedly said that Obama will act by the end of summer.

After his “meantime” comment, Obama briefly discussed his amnesty plans, which reportedly include granting work-permits to 5 million illegal immigrants, and also allowing companies to import guest-workers for jobs sought by Americans.

Numerous polls show those proposals arepolitically radioactive among swing-voters,Republicansblue-collar voters and amongmany Hispanics, partly because many Americans are worried amnesty would harm their job opportunities and wages. GOP politicians such as Rep. Tom Cottonand Scott Brown are using the issue to boost their poll ratings.

Unsurprisingly, he provided few details or commitments that could be cited by Republicans during the election.

“We’ve had a lot of stakeholder discussions [and] that set of proposals is being worked up,” he said.

The comment came at the end of a brief press conference that was more focused on foreign policy crises. White House officials shaped the press conference by announcing that Obama was meeting with his security council, nudging reporters to ask security-related questions.

Obama’s suggestion that he would delay the amnesty will likely be a disappointment to progressive and Latino advocates, who want Obama to provide an amnesty to the entire population of illegal immigrants — now estimated to be at least 12 million.

But it will likely come as a relieve to Democratic candidates, such as Arkansas’ Sen. Mark Pryor and New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. In recent days, they’ve called for the president to set aside his plans for a unilateral amnesty.

That’s a shift from 2012, when both Senators endorsed Obama’s 2012 executive amnesty for at least 550,000 younger illegals.

After suggesting he would delay his announcement, Obama next shifted his comments to the different crisis caused by the movement of nearly 250,000 Central American illegal immigrants into the United States. Obama’s border agencies have not tried to block the migrants, but have instead invited them to file claims for amnesty in U.S. immigration courts.

Pending the conclusion of their lawsuits, the 25o,000-plus migrants are allowed to work in jobs sought by Americans, take places in schools alongside American kids, and use health-care services funded by taxpayers.

As usual, Obama described the Central American flood as “the issue of unaccompanied children.”

In fact, federal officials have admitted that the “unaccompanied children” are accompanied by “coyotes,” and roughly 80 percent of the children are older than 14. Many are being delivered by the coyotes to parents or relatives now living illegally in the United States.

“I do think that [border meltdown] changed the perception of the American people about what’s happening at the borders,” Obama stated.

Since then, he said, they had to work on “that specific problem,” instead of the amnesty sought by progressive and Latino advocacy groups.

“So we’re starting to deal with [border crisis] in a serious way,” he said, while citing a drop in the number of “children” crossing the border.

“That has kept us busy, but it has not stopped the process of looking more broadly about how do we get a smart immigration system in place, while we’re waiting for Congress to act.”

“If I can’t see congressional action, I need to do at least what I can to make the system work better, but you know, some of these things do effect timelines, and we’re just going to be working through as systematically as possible in order to get this done,” he said.

He ended the press conference by reassuring his progressive and Latino allies that he would eventually take action.

“But have no doubt, in the absence of congressional action, I’m going to do what I can to make sure the system works better.”

Follow Neil on Twitter

Categories: RTPP monthly meeting | Leave a comment

In town halls, U.S. lawmakers hear voter anger over illegal migrants

In town halls, U.S. lawmakers hear voter anger over illegal migrants. http://tiny.iavian.net/2scm

http://www.reuters.com

In town halls, U.S. lawmakers hear voter anger over illegal migrants

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) speaks during the testimony of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray (not pictured) in Washington September 12, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Gary Cameron

(Reuters) – When Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling sat down with colleagues and constituents at a recent Chamber of Commerce lunch in Dallas, the first question he faced was whether Congress planned to address immigration policy and a burgeoning border crisis.

“I’m supposed to do this in 30 seconds?” he joked, noting the issue’s complexity. While he was optimistic about long-term prospects for dealing with border security and immigration, he said, “between now and the end of this Congress, I’m a little less sanguine about it.”

It has been a question heard repeatedly by lawmakers this month in “town hall” district meetings punctuated – and sometimes dominated – by concerns and angry outbursts over immigration policy and the crisis caused by a flood of child migrants at the southwestern border in recent months.

Those summer town halls have provided lawmakers a first-hand glimpse of growing discontent among Americans over U.S. immigration policy. Seventy percent of Americans – including 86 percent of Republicans – believe undocumented immigrants threaten traditional U.S. beliefs and customs, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted in mid-July.

Those fears have been exacerbated by the recent wave of illegal child migrants from Central America. An issue that had been simmering is now hotting up as voters prepare to go to the polls in congressional elections due in November.

The anger and frustration expressed in the town halls suggests there will be a fierce debate when U.S. lawmakers return to Washington on Sept. 8 and take up proposals to address a flood of child migrants crossing the southwestern U.S. border.

While conservative anger has not approached the levels seen during the healthcare debate in August 2009, when town halls across the country were frequently disrupted, members of both parties have been confronted on the issue.

From border states like Texas to less likely hot spots like Oregon, Colorado, and New York, Democratic and Republican lawmakers have heard a steady stream of questions and complaints from voters – most pushing for a crackdown on illegal immigration and some worried about what they see as Washington’s inaction.

“ANGER IS PALPABLE”

“I hear it everywhere I go,” said Oregon Republican Greg Walden, who travels the country in his role as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

“The anger is palpable,” Hensarling, a six-term conservative congressman who is often identified by colleagues as a possible next Speaker of the House, told Reuters.

Local media reported police were called to a meeting in Hollister, California hosted by Democratic Rep. Sam Farr after an audience member shouted at Farr and the crowd about the dangers posed by the child migrants.

A town hall hosted by Democrat Jared Polis of Colorado featured constituents shouting at Polis and each other, and applauding those who contradicted him, on a range of issues, most prominently immigration, a local newspaper said

“We’ve had seven town halls, and immigration is the number one issue that comes up,” Polis told Reuters.

A series of executive actions on immigration that President Barack Obama plans to unveil next month could further intensify the debate. The policy changes are likely to fuel Republican accusations that Obama is overstepping his authority.

“THERE’S A LOT OF FEAR”

Conservative concerns over immigration have been merging with Republican worries about Obama’s healthcare, economic and foreign policies, Oregon lawmaker Walden said.

“It’s morphed into something bigger than a debate over fixing our broken immigration system – it’s a piece of the overall sense that things are on the wrong track in this country,” he said.

Hensarling said “there’s a lot of fear about that, about a president who has a pen and a phone, but doesn’t seem to have a copy of the Constitution.”

But Polis said even left-leaning voters are growing frustrated by the lack of progress in Congress on a long-term policy fix. A bipartisan June 2013 immigration reform bill that passed the Senate has been stalled in the House.

Opinion polls show concerns about immigration extend to every region of the country, although they are most acutely felt in the southwestern states near the Mexican border.

Despite voter concerns, political strategists from both parties say immigration is unlikely to be the deciding factor in any battleground midterm congressional race. Republicans must pick up six seats to reclaim control of the Senate in November, and are heavily favored to pad their comfortable majority in the House of Representatives.

Only three Republican Senate contenders – New Hampshire’s Scott Brown, Michigan’s Terri Lynn Land, and Arkansas’ Tom Cotton – have run advertisements about immigration. Vulnerable incumbents have largely avoided potentially controversial town halls that could force them to answer tough questions on the topic.

National Democrats believe roughly two dozen House districts could see immigration play a role in November’s result, and pundits frequently point to Colorado’s competitive Senate race as the likeliest immigration battleground.

But the candidates in that contest have sparred over other issues, and Republican Cory Gardner earlier this month voted with a mostly Democratic bloc not to repeal Obama’s 2012 measure providing a stay of deportations to young undocumented migrants.

(Reporting by Gabriel Debenedetti in Dallas; Editing by John Whitesides andRoss Colvin)

Categories: RTPP monthly meeting | Leave a comment

 CNN gets rid of a congressional reporter given Congress’s struggles.

CNN Reporter Posts Video of Her Layoff; More Cuts Ahead?.

http://tiny.iavian.net/2sjn

Categories: RTPP monthly meeting | Leave a comment

Lloyd Marcus The Conservative Campaign Committee chairman .

Categories: RTPP monthly meeting | Leave a comment

County Commissioners Meet Tuesday September 2nd at 3 P.M. New County Manager to be Named & Concealed Carry Vote

Originally posted on Rowan Free Press:

RFP Staff

♦  The Rowan County Commissioners will meet Tuesday September 2nd at 3 p.m. at the Rowan County Administration Building at 130 West Innes in Salisbury, N.C.   Highlights of Monday’s agenda include:

The Naming of a New Rowan County Manager after a Vote in Open Session.

Public Hearing for Concealed Carry Text Amendments.

Declare Old Gas Chamber Surplus for Proposed Raffle.  The public will be able to take a sledge hammer swing for $10 a try.

Agenda for County Commission Meeting

Call to Order
Invocation
• Provided By: Commissioner Caskey

Pledge of Allegiance

Consider Additions to the Agenda
Consider Deletions From the Agenda
Consider Approval of the Agenda

Board members are asked to voluntarily inform the Board if any matter on the agenda might
present a conflict of interest or might require the member to be excused from voting.

• Consider Approval of the Minutes: August 11…

View original 183 more words

Categories: RTPP monthly meeting | Leave a comment

A RNC-Tea Party powwow in Charlotte?

gopvstThe leadership of our county GOP has constantly told us that the GOP establishment wasnt to work with the TEA Party as long as we are willing to compromise on the minor issues.  Well, I encourage you to read the following article.  Pay special attention to the last paragraph.   I believe you will find the true feelings between the GOP and the TEA.

————— 

Our sources are telling us that emissaries from the DC Republican establishment had a sit-down with NC Tea Party activists in The Queen City Tuesday evening.  Roughly a dozen activists — most of whom were closely affiliated with Greg Brannon’s primary campaign for the US Senate — met with two individuals identifying themselves as Republican National Committee operatives at the Taco Mac sports bar near South Park Mall. 

“They wanted to know where we might find some common ground,” on Tea Party-affiliated attendee told us. “They said they understood there was some heartburn among Tea Partiers about the GOP and Thom Tillis and other things. They said they were here to listen to us.”

Another Tea Party source told me the group peppered the RNC pair with questions, but got rather vague and non-responsive answers.  One Tea Partier pressed the RNC pair on  how or when the RNC plans to meet the Tea Party at least halfway on some concerns.

“One of the RNC guys basically said ‘We’re not going to do anything for you or give you anything,’ ” said one of my sources.”We were basically told ‘We’ll listen to what you’re saying. But we expect you to smile and get on board, and we’re not going to change one bit.’ ”

http://dailyhaymaker.com/?p=8987

Categories: RTPP monthly meeting | Leave a comment

Professor Bans College Students From Saying ‘Bless You’ In Class – CBS Atlanta

Professor Bans College Students From Saying ‘Bless You’ In Class – CBS Atlanta. http://tiny.iavian.net/2s5m

atlanta.cbslocal.com

Professor Bans College Students From Saying ‘Bless You’ In Class – CBS Atlanta

File photo of a classroom. (Credit: Thinkstock)

– One professor at the College of Coastal Georgia has banned students from saying “bless you” in his class.

Campus Reform reports that Dr. Leon Gardner, assistant professor of chemistry at the College of Coastal Georgia, pointed out his six rules on behavior on his Introductory Physics class syllabus.

According to the #6 under the “Behavioral Deduction” section of the syllabus, students’ grades will be lowered for: “Saying ‘bless you.’ We are taught that it is polite to say ‘bless you’ when someone sneezes. However, if you say this while I am talking, it is NOT polite, it is very rude!”

Gardener states that a student may be deducted up to 15 percent of their final grade for any student that disrupts his class. He goes on to say in the syllabus that saying “bless you” may result in an immediate 1 percent grade deduction for each occurrence.

“Especially egregious behavior could result in expulsion from the class, withdrawal from the course, and disciplinary action from the college,” his syllabus warns students.

Last week, a high school senior in Tennessee was suspended after breaking a class rule saying “bless you” after a classmate sneezed.

Categories: RTPP monthly meeting | Leave a comment

Obama flops at Am. Legion: Group of fans ‘tried to generate applause’

Obama flops at Am. Legion: Group of fans ‘tried to generate applause’. http://tiny.iavian.net/2s25

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Obama flops at Am. Legion: Group of fans ‘tried to generate applause’

President fell flat as audience of thousands responded to military pledges with anemic ovationsSome applause lines met with awkward silence while others earned only three seconds of feeble clappingCrowd came to life to honor fellow veterans, not ObamaPresident announced 19 ‘executive actions’ aimed at restoring faith in failed VA system and providing better health care outcomes to war veteransObama flopped with messages defending his cautious approach to battling ISIS in Iraq and Syria 

President Barack Obama faced a tough crowd on Tuesday – American military veterans – and fell flat on his applause lines as he failed to win over the American Legion’s convention-goers.

The 35-minute speech seemed to have reminded the audience of the stark divide between the White House’s policy choices and the feelings of the men and women often called on to carry them out.

A Virginia legionnaire who served in the U.S. Marine Corps told MailOnline that ‘a small group of Obama’s admirers – and there are some here – sat near the front and tried to generate applause for him about 10 times.’

‘They didn’t get much pickup,’ the retired lieutenant colonel said of the ‘instigators’ gathered at the Charlotte, North Carolina event, but ‘they were persistent. You could tell when the applause was genuine and when it wasn’t. It was obvious to everyone here.’

Most of the veterans sat on their hands, leaving awkward silences where White House speechwriters expected ovations. 

Not buying it: An estimated 10,000 American Legionnaires registered to attend the convention in Charlotte, but few of them were on their feet clapping for the commander-in-chief

Silence: President Barack Obama couldn’t pull the trigger on applause lines that usually succeed with his more reliably partisan audiences

Salute! The president offered respect to a female airman after his speech, but he got little respect from thousands of men and women who had already served in the armed forces

‘Some of these guys – well, most of them – remember that Obama send Biden to speak to us last year in Houston, and blew us off entirely during his 2012 campaign.’

That year, the president sent a 3-minute video message instead of coming to Indianapolis. Mitt Romney, his Republican rival, flew 1,000 miles to speak in person.

The veteran asked MailOnline to conceal his identity. ‘I don’t need that kind of trouble,’ he said. ‘I work for a government contractor.’ 

After the customary introductions and thank-yous to dignitaries, Obama spoke for nearly eight full minutes on Tuesday without a single clap.

He touted his foreign policy bona fides, boasting that ‘even countries that criticize us – when the chips are down and they need help, they know who to call. They call us. That’s what American leadership looks like.’

Silence.

‘Sustaining our leadership, keeping America strong and secure, means we have to use our power wisely,’ Obama cautioned, in keeping with his slow approach to battling ISIS and other terror groups overseas.

‘History teaches us of the dangers of overreaching and spreading ourselves too thin, and trying to go it alone without international support, or rushing into military adventures without thinking through the consequences.’

Crickets.

‘You know that we should never send America’s sons and daughters into harm’s way unless it is absolutely necessary and we have a plan and we are resourcing it and prepared to see it through.’

Tepid clapping followed pregnant seconds of emptiness.

‘We removed more than 140,000 troops from Iraq and welcomed those troops home. It was the right thing to do.’

Nothing. 

Obama couldn’t muster sustained applause for a declaration that ‘in just four months we will complete our combat mission in Afghanistan and America’s longest war will come to a responsible end.’

Not even when he paused to honor ‘every American who served to make this progress possible, every single one, especially the more than 2,200 American patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan to keep us safe.’

EXECUTIVE ACTIONS: OBAMA POLICIES HIT PENTAGON AND VETERANS AFFAIRS DEPT

The White House is touting a package of 19 ‘executive actions’ designed to improve the lot of servicemen and women after they return to civilian life. 

Many are symbolic or represent minor changes. A few indicate significant moves in the direction veterans groups have demanded for decades:

The Pentagon will automatically enroll service members who receive mental health care in similar programs at the VA and guarantee insurance coverage will continue for medications they were onThe VA and the Pentagon are expanding suicide prevention training for healthcare providers and chaplainsThey will both launch new programs to encourage firearm safety and reduce the risk of drug overdosesFive-year, $78.9 million research program will target minimally-invasive neurotechnologies to help the body and brain heal – a move that could impact treatments for PTSDPentagon is providing specialized medical kits to every first-responder on military bases to help reverse opiate overdoses

After he pledged to ‘partner with Afghans so their country can never again be used to launch attacks against the United States,’ four seconds elapsed before a weak round of clapping could be heard in the hall.

Obama did hit his stride, eventually. A louder but brief ovation rang out after he laid down an ultimatum to ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.

‘Our message to anyone who harms our people is simple,’ he said, calling to mind last week’s beheading video of American photojournalist James Foley.

‘American does not forget. Our reach is long. We are patient. Justice will be done. We have proved time and time again we will do what’s necessary to capture those who harm Americans – to go after those who harm Americans.’

But the legionnaires held back their heartfelt acclaim for a full 17 minutes until the president mentioned the cure for what ails them. 

Obama’s first and only truly robust applause line came with a pledge to reform the Veterans Affairs Department, which has come under fire for months-long medical wait times and a scheme that buried appointments in order to artificially inflate success numbers.

‘The misconduct we’ve seen of too many facilities, with long wait times and veterans denied care, and folks cooking the books, is outrageous and inexcusable,’ Obama said, waking up the crowd’s enthusiasm.

‘We’re focused on this at the highest levels. We are going to get to the bottom of these problems, we are going to fix what is wrong.’

‘We are going to do right by you and we are going to do right by your families,’ he said, earning his only spontaneous hoots and shouts. ‘And that is a solemn pledge of commitment that I’m making to you here.’

The VA, he said, has been given ‘the authority to more quickly remove senior executives who don’t meet our high standards. If you engage in unethical practices or cover up a serious problem, you should be and will be fired.’

Is this thing on? Obama spoke for nearly 8 minutes without a single applause line, despite pausing several times in hope of an ovation

Nuclear: Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan (L) is in the fight of her life in North Carolina, and greeted Obama at the airport but DIDN’T appear on stage with him

Daggers: Republican US Senator Richard Burr is no fan of Obama and hopes his flagging numbers drag down Hagan to provide his state with a GOP replacement

Obama’s speech described a set of 19 ‘executive actions’ – mostly small policy shifts, but including a few major tacks – designed to quell criticism of how his administration has cared for veterans since January 2009.

They include expanded suicide prevention programs, new research funding for science that could change treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and a mandate that the Pentagon and VA provide a seamless transition for servicemen and women who receive mental health treatment and medications.

The Republican Party took shots at the president on Tuesday for allowing problems to fester on his watch. The GOP also aimed at North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan, who is in a tough battle to keep her seat this November.

‘It’s been six years and President Obama and Senator Hagan have failed to deliver on the promises they’ve made to our veterans,’ said Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Short.

‘On their watch the systemic problems at the VA have only gotten worse, despite lofty campaign promises to fix the problem. But instead of delivering results for our veterans, Hagan has delivered for President Obama 96 percent of the time while failing to get a single bill she’s authored passed into law.’ 

Hagan addressed the legionnaires separately from Obama. The two joked and hugged after the president deplaned from Air Force One, but did not appear on stage together. 

Categories: RTPP monthly meeting | Leave a comment

Obama flops at Am. Legion: Group of fans ‘tried to generate applause’

Obama flops at Am. Legion: Group of fans ‘tried to generate applause’. http://tiny.iavian.net/2s25

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Obama flops at Am. Legion: Group of fans ‘tried to generate applause’

President fell flat as audience of thousands responded to military pledges with anemic ovationsSome applause lines met with awkward silence while others earned only three seconds of feeble clappingCrowd came to life to honor fellow veterans, not ObamaPresident announced 19 ‘executive actions’ aimed at restoring faith in failed VA system and providing better health care outcomes to war veteransObama flopped with messages defending his cautious approach to battling ISIS in Iraq and Syria 

President Barack Obama faced a tough crowd on Tuesday – American military veterans – and fell flat on his applause lines as he failed to win over the American Legion’s convention-goers.

The 35-minute speech seemed to have reminded the audience of the stark divide between the White House’s policy choices and the feelings of the men and women often called on to carry them out.

A Virginia legionnaire who served in the U.S. Marine Corps told MailOnline that ‘a small group of Obama’s admirers – and there are some here – sat near the front and tried to generate applause for him about 10 times.’

‘They didn’t get much pickup,’ the retired lieutenant colonel said of the ‘instigators’ gathered at the Charlotte, North Carolina event, but ‘they were persistent. You could tell when the applause was genuine and when it wasn’t. It was obvious to everyone here.’

Most of the veterans sat on their hands, leaving awkward silences where White House speechwriters expected ovations. 

Not buying it: An estimated 10,000 American Legionnaires registered to attend the convention in Charlotte, but few of them were on their feet clapping for the commander-in-chief

Silence: President Barack Obama couldn’t pull the trigger on applause lines that usually succeed with his more reliably partisan audiences

Salute! The president offered respect to a female airman after his speech, but he got little respect from thousands of men and women who had already served in the armed forces

‘Some of these guys – well, most of them – remember that Obama send Biden to speak to us last year in Houston, and blew us off entirely during his 2012 campaign.’

That year, the president sent a 3-minute video message instead of coming to Indianapolis. Mitt Romney, his Republican rival, flew 1,000 miles to speak in person.

The veteran asked MailOnline to conceal his identity. ‘I don’t need that kind of trouble,’ he said. ‘I work for a government contractor.’ 

After the customary introductions and thank-yous to dignitaries, Obama spoke for nearly eight full minutes on Tuesday without a single clap.

He touted his foreign policy bona fides, boasting that ‘even countries that criticize us – when the chips are down and they need help, they know who to call. They call us. That’s what American leadership looks like.’

Silence.

‘Sustaining our leadership, keeping America strong and secure, means we have to use our power wisely,’ Obama cautioned, in keeping with his slow approach to battling ISIS and other terror groups overseas.

‘History teaches us of the dangers of overreaching and spreading ourselves too thin, and trying to go it alone without international support, or rushing into military adventures without thinking through the consequences.’

Crickets.

‘You know that we should never send America’s sons and daughters into harm’s way unless it is absolutely necessary and we have a plan and we are resourcing it and prepared to see it through.’

Tepid clapping followed pregnant seconds of emptiness.

‘We removed more than 140,000 troops from Iraq and welcomed those troops home. It was the right thing to do.’

Nothing. 

Obama couldn’t muster sustained applause for a declaration that ‘in just four months we will complete our combat mission in Afghanistan and America’s longest war will come to a responsible end.’

Not even when he paused to honor ‘every American who served to make this progress possible, every single one, especially the more than 2,200 American patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan to keep us safe.’

EXECUTIVE ACTIONS: OBAMA POLICIES HIT PENTAGON AND VETERANS AFFAIRS DEPT

The White House is touting a package of 19 ‘executive actions’ designed to improve the lot of servicemen and women after they return to civilian life. 

Many are symbolic or represent minor changes. A few indicate significant moves in the direction veterans groups have demanded for decades:

The Pentagon will automatically enroll service members who receive mental health care in similar programs at the VA and guarantee insurance coverage will continue for medications they were onThe VA and the Pentagon are expanding suicide prevention training for healthcare providers and chaplainsThey will both launch new programs to encourage firearm safety and reduce the risk of drug overdosesFive-year, $78.9 million research program will target minimally-invasive neurotechnologies to help the body and brain heal – a move that could impact treatments for PTSDPentagon is providing specialized medical kits to every first-responder on military bases to help reverse opiate overdoses

After he pledged to ‘partner with Afghans so their country can never again be used to launch attacks against the United States,’ four seconds elapsed before a weak round of clapping could be heard in the hall.

Obama did hit his stride, eventually. A louder but brief ovation rang out after he laid down an ultimatum to ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.

‘Our message to anyone who harms our people is simple,’ he said, calling to mind last week’s beheading video of American photojournalist James Foley.

‘American does not forget. Our reach is long. We are patient. Justice will be done. We have proved time and time again we will do what’s necessary to capture those who harm Americans – to go after those who harm Americans.’

But the legionnaires held back their heartfelt acclaim for a full 17 minutes until the president mentioned the cure for what ails them. 

Obama’s first and only truly robust applause line came with a pledge to reform the Veterans Affairs Department, which has come under fire for months-long medical wait times and a scheme that buried appointments in order to artificially inflate success numbers.

‘The misconduct we’ve seen of too many facilities, with long wait times and veterans denied care, and folks cooking the books, is outrageous and inexcusable,’ Obama said, waking up the crowd’s enthusiasm.

‘We’re focused on this at the highest levels. We are going to get to the bottom of these problems, we are going to fix what is wrong.’

‘We are going to do right by you and we are going to do right by your families,’ he said, earning his only spontaneous hoots and shouts. ‘And that is a solemn pledge of commitment that I’m making to you here.’

The VA, he said, has been given ‘the authority to more quickly remove senior executives who don’t meet our high standards. If you engage in unethical practices or cover up a serious problem, you should be and will be fired.’

Is this thing on? Obama spoke for nearly 8 minutes without a single applause line, despite pausing several times in hope of an ovation

Nuclear: Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan (L) is in the fight of her life in North Carolina, and greeted Obama at the airport but DIDN’T appear on stage with him

Daggers: Republican US Senator Richard Burr is no fan of Obama and hopes his flagging numbers drag down Hagan to provide his state with a GOP replacement

Obama’s speech described a set of 19 ‘executive actions’ – mostly small policy shifts, but including a few major tacks – designed to quell criticism of how his administration has cared for veterans since January 2009.

They include expanded suicide prevention programs, new research funding for science that could change treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and a mandate that the Pentagon and VA provide a seamless transition for servicemen and women who receive mental health treatment and medications.

The Republican Party took shots at the president on Tuesday for allowing problems to fester on his watch. The GOP also aimed at North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan, who is in a tough battle to keep her seat this November.

‘It’s been six years and President Obama and Senator Hagan have failed to deliver on the promises they’ve made to our veterans,’ said Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Short.

‘On their watch the systemic problems at the VA have only gotten worse, despite lofty campaign promises to fix the problem. But instead of delivering results for our veterans, Hagan has delivered for President Obama 96 percent of the time while failing to get a single bill she’s authored passed into law.’ 

Hagan addressed the legionnaires separately from Obama. The two joked and hugged after the president deplaned from Air Force One, but did not appear on stage together. 

Categories: RTPP monthly meeting | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 530 other followers