Archive for July, 2015

Response to “Dictatorships and Obama Standards “, By Dana Rohrabacher, June 18, 2015, WSJ

Another fine response from RA to the WSJ – CA

Dictatorships and Obama Standards

If the president must lead from behind, could he at least get behind someone who wants to win the war against Islamic extremism?

By DANA ROHRABACHER Source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/dictatorships-and-obama-standards-1434582659
It continues, dreadfully. Islamic State’s advancing war on civilization—despite theObama administration’s protestations that it has been stanched—brazenly pushes the modern world toward despair. Now Islamic State, or ISIS, announces it has taken 86 more Christians hostage, their likely fate a grisly martyrdom. On the same day, June 8, at the G-7 summit, President Obama admitted that he lacks a “complete strategy” to defeat the Islamic extremists now bedeviling Iraq, much of the rest of the Middle East, and beyond. Typically, unconscionably, Mr. Obama half-blames the Pentagon for not presenting him with strategic options, which is news to the Pentagon. He blames the incompetent and corrupt Iraqi government, though he bears some of the responsibility for Baghdad’s impotence.
Dictatorships and Obama Standards

Dictatorships and Obama Standards

The Earth had hardly turned a cycle after his admission about U.S. strategy before word came that the president was considering sending 500 military advisers to Iraq. Within hours after that headline, he backtracked to 450 advisers. This ratcheting-up of involvement recalls the Vietnam War with a twist: It’s as if President Ford were sending military advisers as Saigon fell. So an admittedly incomplete strategy becomes an incoherent strategy. We may begin to wonder: Is this irresolution or resolution? I do not like to ascribe darker motives but necessarily wonder what explains the commander in chief’s uncertain trumpet. Long months ago, the president said his strategy was to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS. So where is the methodical degradation? Where is the righteous destruction of this hellacious force? If the civilized world now searches desperately for steadfast leadership at this time of crisis, it can no longer look to the American administration. Better to look to the embattled region itself—to Jordan’s King Abdullah II, to Israel’s Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu, to the leaders of formative Kurdistan, to the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and to Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. If you would lead from behind, Mr. President, then please get behind these men. It is a paradox of modern times that, as America matures, its foreign policy grows more ideologically naïve, even infantile. This is manifested by two deadly fallacies. One is a giddy globalism that would send the U.S. military to the far reaches of the planet upon any outbreak of instability. The other is an overcompensating retreatism that cites the nation’s war weariness as an excuse for inaction—to our enemies’ delight. President Reagan, for whom I worked, found a third path in his fight against international communism. Reagan’s strategy focused on energetic and comprehensive support for popular uprisings against Moscow’s client regimes. With our coordination, encouragement and supplies, others did the work for us—just as our allies are poised to do in ISIS-threatened countries. Another deadly fallacy holds America’s ability to maneuver to impossible, ahistoric standards. When the Cold War ended in America’s favor, many naïvely believed the U.S. could formulate foreign policy, at long last, with human rights at the top of its concerns. That America would no longer need to ally with unsavory rulers in pursuit of our national interest. Yet the fact is that less-than-democratic, better-than-tyrannical leaders will play a pivotal role in shaping the world our children live in; we need them on our side. A prime example: President Sisi of Egypt, who last year, as a military leader, seized power from the terror-supporting Muslim Brotherhood’s President Mohammed Morsi. These were turbulent times in Egypt, and Mr. Sisi held his own election, in which he polled vastly more Egyptian votes than his hapless predecessor, to secure his legitimacy. Egypt remains engaged in its own war against regional terrorists, some affiliated with the ousted Muslim Brotherhood, who were dragging down the economy, persecuting Christians and Jews and keeping the populace in a state of terror. The elevation of Mr. Sisi has to be seen as a historic confrontation that gave Egypt and perhaps the whole Middle East a chance to avert the calamity of radical Islamic dictatorship. Mr. Sisi, with whom I have conversed candidly at length on two occasions, has employed tough methods to assure Egypt’s progress toward self-government and a market-oriented economy. He has, with some success, encouraged capital investment to return to his country, an unsung encouragement for Egypt to protect human rights. Yes, Egyptian dissidents and journalists have been jailed, with some since released while others wait. Mass death penalties have been meted out by the courts, though enraged Westerners forget that there is also an appeals process through which a clement president must wait. I have urged that the death penalty be lifted for Mr. Morsi. Yet Mr. Sisi has also made inclusion a hallmark of his government, inviting every religious and ethnic community to participate in drafting a new constitution, also overwhelmingly approved by voters. He is rebuilding Christian churches destroyed under the Morsi regime and encouraging Egyptians to make no distinctions between Muslims and Christians in civil life. In an act of personal courage not seen since Anwar Sadat’s 1970s peacemaking with Israel’s Menachem Begin, Mr. Sisi addressed Islamic clerics at Al-Azhar University in February and demanded a reformation that would eliminate coercion and violence as defining features of the faith. The Obama administration’s response? A maddening silence. As it has with others on the front lines of the fight against ISIS and its like, America has been shortchanging de facto allies in the Middle East such as Iraq’s embattled Kurds, sending supplies the slow-or-no way through a balky Baghdad. The Egyptians have not received the F-16 jets for which they have already paid. The Apache helicopters they have received lack defense systems, and the U.S. tanks delivered to them lack spare parts. None of these people are pure enough for our president. This is the mindset on display across the administration. It damages the chance for peace in the region. Seriously. Can our administration not make a strategic choice between Egypt’s President Sisi and the Islamic State’s would-be caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi? You do wonder. Mr. Rohrabacher, a Republican from California, is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats.

Roberts response

The experienced and pragmatic hand of Dana Rohrabacher exposes Master Obama for the incompetent ” lead from behind ” Commander-in-Chief that he is. Or does this give us a full and accurate depiction of our Dear Leader?  Shameful  and shocking as it is, the truth is  as Mr. Rohrabacher politely suggests may in fact be one based on “darker” indeed sinister “motives”. We are all hesitant to look down this hole with the horrors of reality it may entail for we are talking about the POTUS. Certainly we cannot imagine an evil motivation from this office. Sadly This  tortured and complex man is as he claims been very successful to date. How?why? For the simple reason that this community organizer bent on humbling our nation has accomplished much. The “change” he foretold is beyond that which the naive and ignorant amongst us wish to believe, for his has been a comprehensive plan to undermine our very national being. The emergence of ISIS is simply a by product of his conscious acceptance indeed maneuvered defeat in Iraq. Yes like all tyrants lying is a mere means to an end for he can proclaim he will eradicate these terrorists just like he drew deadlines with Iran and red lines with Assad, none of it was other than theater. He has slyly underwrote the destabilization of the region. He has consciously whipped our enemies into frenzy denying our trusted Allie Israel with the necessary support to halt our collective enemies. He has indeed betrayed them on numerous occasions while publicly demeaning them to demonstrate they were fair game. And when the political winds woke up there he was again , lying and reassuring all that he was once again misunderstood. He helped break the back of our Allie Mubarak proclaiming a freedom agenda he has never supported, for the sole purpose of backing the vile Muslim brotherhood, another enemy; demonstrating an empathy for radical Islam while critiquing it all in the same. President Sisi like all our true allies in the Gulf have now understood he is not reliable but rather an enemy of good. He has never once shown support for any of them and remains enthralled with the tyrants who would do us harm. From the radical phony Erdogan, to the Mullahs in Iran our Dear One is willing this instability to new heights, preordaining an arms race in the region and the certainty of an expanded confrontation within  Islam and with our Allie Israel. There is no mistake or hesitation,incompetence on it’s face is really sinister in it’s design. Having forgone our leadership in Iraq a real ” incompetent” would mend his ways and weigh in with our boots on the ground leadership and accelerated destructive force to level this renegade band of evil doers. He would increase support for the brave Kurd fighters and enter into coordinated league with the Arab states truly concerned with safety of their people. But like in Asia the Ukraine and all other fronts where despots test the measure of our means and intent he acquiesces pretending a soft high intellectual sophistication when it is only the sophistry of an evil doer himself  laced with the undeniable markings of a hatred for our very existence.   Change he promised and change he has wrought. The road back will be hard and thankfully require a reaffirmation of our values and of who we are, against the backdrop of, yes a totally sinister act by a sinister man. Robert F. Agostinelli Palm Beach, Florida

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Secretive Rhone Group said to hit €2.6bn close for Fund V

Secretive private equity house Rhône Group has reportedly held a €2.6bn close for its fifth buyout fund after just over six months in the market. The firm, which has decided not to embrace a wave of increasing openness exhibited by the private equity community over the past few years, has a single-page website which simply includes its New York and London office addresses and a button for investors to log in. Rhone’s latest fundraise was reported by Financial News, which cited a person familiar with the matter. The vehicle is more than twice the size of the firm’s fourth fund, which closed on about €1.2bn following its 2011 launch, if the report is accurate. Rhone, which was founded in 1996, is slightly more open about its dealmaking activity. Last November the firm agreed a deal to purchase Global Knowledge from New York-based MidOcean Partners. A month earlier it teamed with Goldman Sachs to buy logistics service provider Neovia Logistics from Platinum Equity Partners. One of its bigger deals from the past few years was the €1.05bn buyout of the bakery supplies business of CSM in 2013.
Source: https://www.altassets.net/private-equity-news/by-news-type/fund-news/secretive-rhone-group-said-to-hit-e2-6bn-close-for-fund-v.html?vemail=tjh@trinity-group.co.uk&mc_cid=0a1cae01da&mc_eid=8c4d9fcf7b

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Start the Bidding for Bolton’s Donors and Money

Some big numbers here, including a $200,000 donation from Robert. CA

Former UN Ambassador John Bolton announced today that he will not seek the GOP nomination for president in 2016, effectively leaving the foreign policy hawk’s top super PAC donors to look elsewhere for someone to back. Some have already found their candidate — or maybe more than one — though in many cases we don’t yet know whom they’ve anointed. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is the only White House aspirant whose campaign has reported donors at this point. (Mid-July, when the reports will come due, will likely be full of surprises.) Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens seems to have found his man. Pickens gave $100,000 to Bolton’s super PAC in 2014 but said last week that he’s given $100,000 to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who hasn’t yet entered the race — officially. Houston Texans football team owner Robert McNair, who gave $500,000 to Bolton’s super PAC last year, supports Ted Cruz. So does Renaissance Technologies CEO Robert Mercer, who topped all other donors to Bolton’s fund with a combined $1 million in donations. Other big donors to Bolton’s super PAC haven’t yet made their allegiances publicly known: Mega GOP donor Paul Singer gave $25,000; Arkansas businessman Warren Stephens doled out $500,000; and Robert Agostinelli and Michael Langman of the private equity Rhône Group gave $200,000 each. Any of them would be most welcome in the camps of the other Republicans who would like to set up shop in the Oval Office. And then there’s however much money is already sitting in Bolton’s super PAC. As of December 31, 2014, it had spent almost all of the more than $5.8 million itamassed in that election cycle, including close to $3.1 million used for independent expenditures benefiting GOP candidates in last year’s congressional races. Bolton’s regular PAC took in nearly $2.3 million and gave $477,446 of it to 2014 GOP congressional candidates. With an already crowded Republican primary field in 2016, members of the GOP donor class will no doubt have their eyes, in part, on where they can get the most bang for their campaign buck in a race that some are predicting could cost $5 billion— and that’s just the presidential part of the 2016 balloting. Bolton hasn’t publicly indicated which candidate he will support in the GOP primary, if any. But let the contest begin in earnest for his prolific fundraising chops, list of uber-wealthy buddies and the cold hard cash sitting in his super PAC.
Source: http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2015/05/start-the-bidding-for-boltons-donors-and-money/

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BYE-BYE DUKES OF HAZZARD! America Lost in the Face of Irrational Political Correctness

Might not expect to find Robert and the DoH in the same article – but here we are. CA

“The social disease of political correctness has entered daily life, inverting good to bad and attempting to rewrite proud histories as an imposition of white supremacy for which we all should make contrition.” — Robert Agostinelli, chairman, Rhone Group

I’m afraid we’ve lost our way. Every day that goes by, another thread in the fabric that is America becomes a bit worn. With each six o’clock news cast, the Colors seem to fade into a dull red and blue. Amber waves of grain have lost their luster. Purple mountains, not as majestic as in my youth. The America I grew up in no longer exists. America was staying outside until the street lights came on. It was “School House Rock”, Saturday morning cartoons, and church on Sunday. It was homemade plywood ramps and BMX bikes, no helmets in sight. We were future astronauts, police officers, and firemen. We said the “Pledge of Allegiance” and we sang the “National Anthem”; not because we had to, but because we were proud to. TV Land, brought to you by the same corporation that thought 16 and Pregnant was a good idea, pulled one of the best parts of my childhood from reruns. The Dukes of Hazzard was quietly removed from TV Land’s schedule on Tuesday. Without the release of an official statement, I can only presume that Viacom (TV Land’s parent company) was simply reacting to the hysterical battle cry from the professional victims club that seem to have permeated this country of late. Did anyone actually find The Dukes of Hazzard to be of a questionable moral standard? Was the General Lee in any way responsible for any criminal acts? Any overtly racist behavior? Does Warner Brothers feel it saved the world from heart ache, pain, and racism by pulling merchandise related to the television show? Will taking my Dukes of Hazzardlunch box to work lead to a call from HR? Perhaps Viacom, like Warner Brothers, expected some sort of backlash from the public over its ownership/interest and subsequent broadcasting, and licensing of the famed ’69 Charger fondly known as the General Lee. Perhaps the Stars and Bars really offended Sumner Redstone, chairman and majority shareholder of Viacom. Or maybe Viacom, like so many companies these days, has simply become a willing captive of the drive by media; slaves to the sniveling, whining, entitled masses. Just like Macy’s and NBC dumping Donald Trump, TV Land’s canning of Bo and Luke Duke tells me the PC police have the big, mean, corporations right where they want them. By the balls. I miss the America of my youth. I miss the common sense that seems to have devolved as quickly as technology has evolved. I wonder if we’ll ever get back to a time when the consumer makes his own decisions. I wonder if the pocketbook will once again take precedence over the shouts of the always-offended. I wonder, will banning television programs rid the United States of racism? Too bad Viacom doesn’t own MSNBC.
Written by Pauline Wolak on July 2, 2015 Source: http://clashdaily.com/2015/07/bye-bye-dukes-of-hazzard-america-lost-in-the-face-of-irrational-political-correctness/

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