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"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened"
Moving Forward Faster
Gretel C. Kovach
 "Rise up together as one voice"
"Be careful where you stand"
WRAL: “[North Carolina] elections officials said Wednesday that they're investigating hundreds of cases of voters who appear to have voted in two states and several dozen who appear to have voted after their deaths… State Board of Elections Executive Director Kim Westbrook Strach delivered the report Wednesday to the legislative Elections Oversight committee. Strach said North Carolina's check found 765 registered North Carolina voters who appear to match registered voters in other states… Those voters appear to have voted in North Carolina in 2012 and also voted in another state in 2012…. The crosscheck also found 35,570 voters in North Carolina who voted in 2012 whose first names, last names and dates of birth match those of voters who voted in other states in 2012, but whose Social Security numbers were not matched… Strach also said a ‘10-year death audit’ found 13,416 deceased voters who had not been removed from voter rolls as of October 2013. Eighty-one of those individuals, she said, died before an election in which they are recorded as having voted… House Speaker [and Republican senate hopeful] Thom Tillis... said in a… statement that the data shows the need for the voting changes that lawmakers approved last year.” - Fox News
Proving that no moment in American public life is beyond the reach to the reach of an enthusiastic buckraker, Boston Red Sox player David “Big Papi” Ortiz got himself paid for meeting the president. Ortiz used his trip to the White House to be honored with his teammates by President nObama for the Red Sox’s World Series championship last year to cash in on a marketing deal with South Korean cell-phone manufacturer Samsung. The phone maker pays famous Americans to use high-visibility events,
like the Academy Awards, to produce “selfies” for social media to promote their phones’ cameras. Ortiz, standing near the president when nObama posed for press pictures with a Red Sox jersey saw his chance to cash in. “It was like, 'Oh, wait a minute, let me see if I can get away with this,’” Ortiz told reporters. “I was lucky that I was right there. It was fun. It was something I'll never forget.” The 38-year-old, who, because he is in the American League is not required to play any defensive position, had a base salary of $14 million last season.  - Fox News

 Love of Liberty 
Democrats led by Senate Majority Leader dinky Harry Reid have sunk to a new low of late, shamefully singling out and attacking two private citizens for exercising their First Amendment rights. dinky Reid and his ilk have been firing away at the Koch brothers, calling the two philanthropists "un-American" for their staunch support of libertarian and conservative causes. Well, Charles Koch finally fired back in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that is quintessentially American. "Instead of fostering a system that enables people to help themselves, America is now saddled with a system that destroys value, raises costs, hinders innovation and relegates millions of citizens to a life of poverty, dependency and hopelessness," he explained. "This is what happens when elected officials believe that people's lives are better run by politicians and regulators than by the people themselves. Those in power fail to see that more government means less liberty, and liberty is the essence of what it means to be American. Love of liberty is the American ideal." This didn't sit well with dinky Reid, who crowed, "I think I must be getting under their skin." Clearly, liberty gets under his. - The Patriot Post
 March to Jobs 
The March jobs report brought some decent news, with 192,000 jobs created, while January and February were revised upward by a combined 37,000 jobs. Still, March saw slightly fewer jobs created than February, and the headline unemployment rate remained stuck at 6.7%, as did the fuller U-6 measure of 12.7%. In other words, while adding jobs to the economy is "good news," we remain mired in the stagnation known as the nObama "recovery." - The Patriot Post
 Mozilla CEO Ousted by Thought Police 
Mozilla co-founder and new CEO Brendan Eich resigned Thursday following an uproar over practicing his First Amendment right by supporting California's Proposition 8 in 2008, defining marriage traditionally as between a man and a woman. "I don't want to talk about my personal beliefs because I kept them out of Mozilla all these 15 years we've been going," Eich said Wednesday. Others weren't so benevolent. Eich's $1,000 donation was made public in 2012 thanks to the LA Times, and proponents of same-sex marriage, including company employees, colluded to demand Eich's ousting lest he "make an unequivocal statement of support for marriage equality," a petition reads. Note that, just like the Chick-fil-A controversy, he's being cast as a bigot for simply believing in the traditional view of marriage; nobody's accusing Eich of practicing discrimination. Yet supporters pride themselves as shepherds of "tolerance" and "inclusiveness"? Interestingly, lefty Andrew Sullivan was one of the few openly homosexual individuals to denounce this ridiculous lynching: "If this is the gay rights movement today ... then count me out," he said. By the way, until 2012, Barack nObama was on Eich's side. Just saying.
- The Patriot Post
 nObama's Military Priorities? 
Recently, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp described a 2010 meeting when nObama summoned the service chiefs to tell them he expected no resistance to his "Gay Pride" agenda. Papp said, "We were called into the Oval Office and President nObama looked all five service chiefs in the eye and said, 'This is what I want to do.' I cannot divulge everything he said to us, that's private communications with the Oval Office, but if we didn't agree with it -- if any of us didn't agree with it -- we all had the opportunity to resign our commissions and go do other things." If only the commander in chief were that committed to our real national security interests.  - The Patriot Post
 The Unpresidential President 
Barack nObama isn't known for his warmth or goodwill toward political opponents. In fact, he seems to have far kinder words for the likes of Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un than for Republicans. He spent Wednesday in the Midwest, stumping for an increase to the minimum wage while in ultra-liberal Ann Arbor, Michigan, before heading off to some glitzy Chicago fundraisers. Of course, he also found time during his busy day to mock Paul Ryan's latest budget proposal. "It's like that movie 'Groundhog Day,'" he said, "except it's not funny. If they tried to sell this sandwich at Zingerman's [an exorbitantly expensive Ann Arbor deli he just happened to drop by], they'd have to call it the stinkburger or the meanwich." Wow, did he come up with those zingers all by himself? The man continues to bring down the dignity of the Oval Office. - The Patriot Post
 The False Dichotomy: Moderate Muslims vs. Radicals 
The liberal mainstream media has long portrayed a picture of moderate (“good”) Muslims versus extremist Muslims...This narrative has been institutionalized in the thinking of Western Muslim scholars, who advocate for Islam as well. Muslims argue that Allah’s words in the Qur’an are open to interpretation. Below are some samples of Allah’s words that are not open to any interpretation. A real Muslim, and a representative and reflection of real ideology of Islam, should follow and full-heartedly accept these social rules word for word. Otherwise, he or she cannot claim that they represent the truth of the ideology of Islam, Muhammad, and Allah. Religion of peace, you got to crazy to believe that. utm_source=FrontPage+Magazine&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=b007345ea3-Mailchimp_FrontPageMag&utm_term=0_57e32c1dad-b007345ea3-156509103
 Morell's 'Bizarre' Benghazi Testimony Contradicts Past Claims 
On the Thursday edition of WMAL's Mornings on the Mall radio show, Sharyl Attkisson spotlighted the nObama administration's many inconsistencies in their claims about the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya...Attkisson outlined, in detail, "all of the different stories told about the talking points" about the terrorist attack. Former Fox News anchor Brian Wilson and's Larry O'Connor turned to the former CBS News journalist for her take on former deputy CIA director Mike Morell's congressional testimony on the Benghazi issue on Wednesday. She zeroed in on how Morell and others were trying to minimize any perception that the talking points were altered for political considerations:  Attkisson replied that "it's still know that we have the entire story. There are still gaps. Morell was communicating with White House officials, including the now-chief of staff, Denis McDonough, who then was serving in a different role. But there was communication and there were meetings going on between the top deputies. And if it's true that Morell made the changes that he made for the reasons he made, it's very unclear why he's so clear in all of these details 18 months later – that nobody was clear about when asked immediately after it happened."
 CEO Made a Donation, Lost His Job Because Liberals Didn't Like It 
The chief executive of Mozilla resigned yesterday amid protests over his $1,000 donation in support of California’s Proposition 8, which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman...Brendan Eich’s 2008 donation was first revealed two years ago while he was serving in a senior role at Mozilla. But it was after his appointment as CEO last month that half of Mozilla’s board quit and company employees publicly voiced their disapproval. Others launched a public campaign seeking his ouster. In the wake of yesterday’s news, Andrew Sullivan, a leading advocate for redefining marriage, said the episode “should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society.” I disagree with Sullivan's view on redefining marriage.
 Shock jocks Opie and Anthony explode over nObamacare 
It is safe to say that Gregg “Opie” Hughes and Anthony Cumia, hosts of the Sirius/XM radio show “Opie & Anthony Show,” are no fans of nObamacare. Not even remotely...Hughes announced on Thursday’s show that he had received a cancellation letter from his insurance company, and he and Cumia, who had already gotten his notice, discussed just how burdensome President nObama‘s signature healthcare law is.
 Left blames Fort Hood shooting on George Bush 
It didn’t even take 24 hours for the left to politicize Wednesday’s shooting at Fort Hood Texas. In addition to using the tragedy as a springboard for stricter gun control legislation, some are even blaming the event on — you guessed it — George W. Bush...One Twitter user with the handle Rashid Hussein Obama, described himself as pretty much pro-everything, including pro-choice and pro-life. Apparently that doesn’t include pro-Bush, because the morning after the shooting, he tweeted: Sorry folks these guys are not straight on their thinking.
 How States Can Offer An nObamacare Alternative 
Enrollment on the nObamacare health insurance exchanges reached 7.1 million Monday, the last day (more or less) of open enrollment, exceeding the administration’s goal and prompting the president to declare that “the debate over repealing this law is over.”...That might not be quite true (on Wednesday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal unveiled a plan to repeal most of the Affordable Care Act and replace it with conservative-minded reforms), but it seems clear that the enrollment numbers have prompted a separate debate about what they mean and whether or not they prove the law has been successful.
 US sees role in peace talks coming to a close
As peace talks appeared to suffer a fatal blow this week, US officials indicated Washington may dial down its engagement with the process and call on Secretary of State Hanoi John Kerry, who has worked frantically to keep the process afloat, to “lower the volume.”...White House and American diplomatic officials were quoted in The Washington Post Friday as saying that the US is worried Hanoi Kerry may be investing too much effort in the fruitless negotiations instead of other pressing international matters. On Thursday, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said the sides were still willing to take talks forward, despite indications from both sides that negotiations were all but over. “Neither side, throughout this process recently, has indicated they want to walk away from the talks. They both indicated they want to find a path forward,” she told reporters.
 Liberals Ignore Islam's War on Women 
For decades the progressive left has unleashed upon the American people "the thought police" and "the word police." Recently we heard of the move to ban the word "bossy." A move that quite frankly sounds very "bossy."...Who are these people who think they can tell everyone else what to do, what to say or what to think? Now we hear from a group called CAIR (Council for American Islamic Relations), that they are the official "logic police" of the new left. But unlike the Dale Carnegie book “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” hey seem bent on doing just the opposite, offending people's sense of decency and intellect and twisting logic into the arbitrary whims of their spin machine.
fter reading CAIR's press release and hearing their spokeswoman speak on Fox news, it's clear what CAIR believes, which is this:
 That's No Moon, That's nObamacare 
It’s looking pretty bad for Democrats in the midterm elections. President nObama’s approval rating finally reflects his actual ability, the economy has been a huge mess for so long that people are starting to wonder if it’s not Bush’s fault anymore...and in foreign affairs nObama is no more threatening than a toddler holding a red crayon and threatening to draw lines. No longer do Democrats even dream of recapturing the House — all they hope for now is to not lose many more seats, and they expect to fight tooth-and-nail to keep the Senate. It seems all but certain that nObama will spend his last two years remembering fondly the time when he was only a lame duck. And this would all be true except that Democrats have one weapon up their sleeves that can help them win it all in the midterms: nObamacare.
 Taking Fame and Casting Blame 
Zo examines a liberal meme that blames conservatives and credits liberals for a list of policies and issues in American history...Zo also points to the cowardice of democrats trying to throw people off the scent of their rotten history by trying to switch labels to stigmatize conservatives. Are you going to let democrats twist and paint what conservatism is? Here more in this Zonation!

Moving Forward Faster
Gretel C. Kovach
    A new Marine crisis response task force conceived after the Benghazi, Libya, attack was dispatched on its first major mission Friday, when the unit evacuated U.S. Embassy personnel from South Sudan.

    As violence swept the young East African nation, Marine aircrews aboard two KC-130 Hercules planes flew about 20 diplomatic staff members and citizens of other countries from Juba to Entebbe, Uganda, according to the U.S. departments of State and Defense.

    The special purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force from Morón, Spain, had staged about 150 Marines — including reconnaissance infantrymen, logistics and aviation personnel — at Entebbe and Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, several weeks ago after an alleged coup attempt in South Sudan sparked political and ethnic clashes.

    They were standing by with planes and MV-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft, not knowing if they would be needed in South Sudan, when Gen. James Amos visited Camp Lemonnier Sunday as part of a holiday tour in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan.

    U-T San Diego was with the Marine commandant when he stopped in Djibouti, before a rebel attack on the South Sudanese city of Bor this week sent his task force into action.

    “We’re America’s insurance policy,” Amos told the Marines. “You buy insurance because you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. That’s why America has a Marine Corps. Because the world is uncertain.”

    Amos was en route to Spain to meet with the crisis response force when violence surged in South Sudan on Dec. 21. That day, four Navy SEALs on an evacuation mission in Bor were wounded when their Osprey was hit by small-arms fire.

    As Amos landed the next morning in Morón, the task force’s Hercules and Osprey aircraft were lifting off for the 3,400-mile journey to the Horn of Africa. He caught up with them during a preplanned stop at Camp Lemonnier to visit Marines staffing the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa based there.

    “This is why we’re here. Your C-130s took off as we were landing, your V-22s were taking off with Marines in them,” Amos said. “We provide an ability for national leaders to be able to look at a crisis at any time and say, what kind of force can I send in there right away?”

Rapid response

    Marine Col. Scott Benedict took command of the new special purpose task force in late July. The unit, which is focused on crises in northern and western Africa, became fully operational with a force of about 500 in September, he said.

    It has been dispatched several times to Italy, stopping at a naval air station in Sicily that serves as a forward operating base, as potential crises boiled in Libya.

    “What we are really talking about is reaction time,” Benedict said in an interview at Camp Lemonnier. “By being closer, we greatly shorten that reaction time. That provides confidence to those putting their lives in danger doing their diplomatic mission. They can have confidence knowing that some of their fellow countrymen are in a position to support them.”

    The crisis response force is the newest of a constellation of rapid response units of varying sizes the Corps has arrayed in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf.

    Another Marine special purpose task force based at Sigonella, Italy, has been busy in recent years training with allied military forces in Africa, in countries such as Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Senegal. A team of those Marines was in Uganda when the SEALs were wounded in South Sudan and assisted in their medical evacuation.

    Benedict can use his security force of ground troops to fight into an embassy or conflict area if needed to protect U.S. government lives or interests. The Osprey, with its ability to refuel mid-flight and land vertically without a runway, adds flight range and flexibility compared with helicopters.

    The task force could serve as a toehold until a larger force such as a Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed on Navy ships arrives. Or it could act as a security force to permit commercial planes to evacuate embassy personnel.

Its presence may even de-escalate a crisis, Benedict said.

    “Nothing is getting less complicated in the world. A force like this that allows us to get rapidly to a point of friction I think in a lot of ways has a deterrent aspect,” he said.


    All the services have been tasked with a presidential directive to better protect U.S. embassies from extremist groups.

    Amos said the Marine crisis response task force in Morón was — “besides winning battles” in Afghanistan — “probably the most significant thing we’ve done in the last year and a half as far as adjusting the Marine Corps for what people are now calling the new normal, which are these crises that are happening around the world.

    He and other Marine leaders conceived of the unit in response to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the U.S. ambassador and three Americans with San Diego ties, Amos said.

    Ship-based Marine Expeditionary Units no longer linger in the Mediterranean. Amos wanted a task force for northern Africa with its own aviation and logistics, making it more robust than his Marine Fleet Antiterrorism Security Teams near hot spots.

    “It gives decision space to the president and the secretary of defense and the national command authority. It gives them the ability to go, ‘OK good, I’ve got Marines in there now, let’s see what happens with the situation,’ ” Amos said.

    Benjamin Benson, a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command, said in a statement: “One of the lessons learned from the tragic events in Benghazi was that we needed to be better postured in order to respond to developing or crisis situations, if needed.”

Horn of Africa

    Djibouti is about a three-hour flight from South Sudan, underscoring what military commanders describe as an acute “tyranny of distance” in Africa.

    About 45 Army soldiers based in Djibouti with the East Africa Response Force, an Army quick reaction force formed in May, remain in Juba several weeks after they were sent there to secure the U.S. Embassy.

    Not including the recent influx of crisis response Marines, the U.S. normally has about 4,000 troops at Camp Lemonnier with Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, as well as an undisclosed number of special operations personnel.

    Djibouti lies just 20 miles across the Red Sea from Yemen, a battleground for Islamist radical groups and U.S. drone strikes. Somalia is also a focus, because of piracy and al-Shabab, the terrorist group allied with al-Qaeda that killed scores of people this year in an attack on a mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

    The United States primarily plays a supportive role in the fight against al-Shabab, by enabling and training with allies deployed for the African Union Mission in Somalia against violent extremist groups.

    “The Africans are taking care of Africa in their eyes,” Army Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell, commanding general of the Horn of Africa task force at Camp Lemonnier, told Amos.

    Marine Col. Phil Millerd, officer in charge of Marines on staff there, said, “You see this change in Africa where now the other nations are willing to step up to the plate and learn to help others as well, not only themselves.”

Why should Americans be concerned about such a distant region?

    “Instability in the Horn of Africa impacts our stability in the United States. Currently they have aspirations to be a global force, a threat to our nation — the insurgents, the violent extremists who work here,” Ferrell said. “If instability is not stabilized by the African nations along with our support, then it can come to our homeland.”

    Millerd added: “Terrorist organizations, just like anyone else, need support. They need money, they need training, they need equipment. We are going to try to prevent them from having a safe haven anywhere in the world.”

What I saw from Benghazi and Africa is we had the military but in Benghazi we saw the terrorist threat but didn't do anything about it and 4 Americans lost their lives. Thanks Mr. President and Secretary of Defense.

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