For anyone who missed last Friday’s Conservative Cauldron broadcast, there was quite a lot to cover. First up, President Obama’s interview on “60 Minutes” on Sept. 28. The President stated that the administration “underestimated” the threat of the terrorist organization, and implied that somehow the intelligence community had dropped the ball. But people who work in and around the intelligence community, and some GOP lawmakers including Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), said not so fast. Bachmann stated that, in fact, there was no lack of knowledge, that it had been known about for years. White House officials also disputed claims by Republicans that various intelligence agencies had tried to give information to the Obama administration and were ignored. Is this just another case of a president who absolutely refuses to take responsibility for any of his actions or lack of them? Attempting then to throw others involved under the bus?
Then there is the minor detail of the presidential daily briefings, or PDB’s. This is the time of day when the president meets with top national security and intelligence officials and is briefed on the most critical threats to the nation based on intelligence. The problem comes in when the president is not there for them. This president has apparently not been there for a lot of them. During his first 1,225 days in office, he attended the PDB just 43.8% of the time. This according to a Washington Post piece by former George W. Bush speechwriter, Marc Thiessen. In 2011 and the first half of 2012, the Commander In Chief showed up at over 38% of PDBs. This with the threat of ISIS terrorists looming. Thiessen quotes another Washington Post story sent to him by someone in the Obama White House, “Process tells you something about an administration. How a president structures his regular morning meeting on intelligence and national security is one way to measure his personal approach to foreign policy”. Yeah, we can see that.
The first case of the Ebola virus was diagnosed in the U.S. last week. Thomas Duncan was asymptomatic when he boarded a plane in Liberia and flew to Texas to visit family. With an incubation period between 2 and 21 days, symptoms can show up after someone has been exposed to another person with the virus. Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says that all precautions are in place at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Duncan may face charges in Liberia if and when he recovers for lying on an airport questionnaire about having any contact with any infected persons. The question now is, why doesn’t the U.S. disallow persons from any West African nation into the country as a precaution?
Julia Pearson, head of the Secret Service, resigned last week amid several very serious security breeches. On September 19, a man armed with a knife jumped the White House fence and got into the White House through the North Portico doors, which were unlocked, and made it as far as the East room where a stairway is located leading up to the residential quarters. The first family was not home at the time. At the same time we were hearing the fence jumper had made it much farther into the White House than was originally made public, it was learned that an armed guard with a criminal record was allowed on an elevator with the president when he visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September. Love him or hate him, we are talking about the President of the United States. He must be protected at all costs. Joseph Clancy will take over at the Secret Service in the interim. He will no doubt be taking a close look at all Secret Service procedures and protocol.
The St. Louis County prosecutor’s office is looking into possible misconduct on the grand jury hearing evidence in the shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson Missouri Police officer. The office received information that a juror may have been discussing the case with a friend. A message went out on Twitter from someone claiming to know someone on the jury who did not believe there is enough evidence to warrant an arrest of officer Darren Wilson. A woman whose name was on the Twitter account claimed her account had been hacked. The post has since been removed.
The Oklahoma man who beheaded a co-worker will be charged with murder and could face the death penalty if convicted. The FBI is still investigating whether or not terrorism was at all a motive in the killing. Apparently you can have a Facebook page filled with pictures and videos of beheadings and other terrorist propaganda, and that is just not quite enough for a terrorism charge. Huh?
Finally, in the WTF segment, a Japanese company has developed a chair called a “tranquility chair”. It is in the shape of a large fabric doll with long arms that will wrap around the user and give them a hug. The chair is priced at 46,000 yen (around 419 dollars). Sometimes, you just need a hug.