First, the State Department spokesperson got whacked for suggesting that ISIS terrorists simply need a jobs program. Well, now we may as well just sponsor a whitewater rafting and backcountry skiing trip to Montana for the ISIS terrorists…well- they’re not necessarily ISIS terrorists, many of them are just “thrill seekers “and “adventurers,” according to Secretary of State John Kerry.
KERRY: “You’ve got a lot of thrill seekers, you’ve got adventurers, you’ve got thugs, you’ve got a mix of opportunists, you have an unbelievable array contained within this- so I think you oughta be careful about how you tab it.”
That was Kerry during a Tuesday morning appearance before the Senate Appropriations Committee. His response came after questioning from Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), who responded to Kerry with this:
DAINES: “Mr. Secretary as I look around the world, David Cameron’s been very very clear, provided great moral clarity on defining this issue. Tony Blair has been very very clear on this. In fact, even King Abdullah who met with the Appropriations Committee…he said, this is a war inside of Islam. I think there’s just a concern we lack this moral clarity that many leaders around the world have, yet we’re not hearing this from our president.”
Kerry’s comments appeared to be a doubling down of remarks he delivered in Davos, Switzerland last month.
Here’s video of the back and forth between Daines and Kerry:
The head of the VA is also in some hot water this week, after being caught on camera claiming to be Special Forces.
New York Times: V.A. Secretary Apologizes for Embellishing Military Record (h/t Jim Geraghty, National Review)
Robert A. McDonald, the secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department, apologized on Monday for falsely claiming last month that he had served in the Special Forces.
Mr. McDonald’s comments were recorded during a CBS News segment broadcast on Jan. 30 about the Veterans Affairs Department’s efforts to help homeless veterans. During that report, Mr. McDonald was shown talking with a man who said he had served in the Special Forces.
“Special Forces – what years?” Mr. McDonald asked. “I was in Special Forces.”
But wait- there’s more…
The Wall Street Journal: MILITARY MAY ALLOW OPENLY TRANSGENDER PERSONNEL
The Obama administration has sent signals in recent days that it is moving toward a decision to allow transgender service members to serve openly in the U.S. military. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said during a visit to Afghanistan that transgender people should be allowed to serve openly as long as they are able to do so. The White House threw its support behind Mr. Carter, saying the president supported changing the decades-old policy. Felicia Schwartz and Byron Tau report.
In other news…
Formerly a vice president at cloud computing company RightNow Technologies, Daines isn’t the only one who has been gung-ho for surveillance reform. New Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner replaced Mark Udall, one of the most vociferous advocates of NSA reform, and he too has forged a pro-reform path. Senator Gardner voted to strip away funding for the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records in a controversial amendment sponsored by Rep. Justin Amash in 2013.
That amendment is considered one of the more intense moves for NSA reform put forward in the post-Snowden era. While it ultimately failed in a close vote, Gardner, Daines, and newly elected Sen. Bill Cassidy from Louisiana all voted for it.
That means three of the seven newly elected senators who were previously in the House have already staked out strong pro-reform positions.
Al Smith – Great Falls
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 10:28 PM
This administraton is turning a blind eye not only to the growing threat of ISIS, but to the threat of a nuclear Iran as well.
As you know, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a Joint Session of Congress next week.
The president and his administration is attempting to negotiate a disastrous nuclear deal with Iran.
At the same time the administration is trying to persuade Congressional Democrats to boycott the speech. Our world is in crisis, it’s not time to play politics as usual.
My family and I believe the fate of the western world is at stake should Iran gain nuclear capability.
Israel will be the first country to disappear and America will be next should Iran’s religious zealots decide to bring about The-End-of-Days as called for in the Koran.
We at least need to hear what Prime Minister Netanyahu has to say about the dangerous situation we face. For our President not attend will be an insult to our greatest and strongest friend in the Middle East.