Tales from the Trail

General headed to the woodshed, will he get the axe?

The sound of palms slapping foreheads could be heard all over Washington, the physical exclamation of ”what were they thinking?”

The spectacularly frank quotes from General Stanley McChrystal and his aides mocking Vice President Joe Biden and other top advisers to the president and commander-in-chief were jaw-dropping, not because that’s what they really thought, but because the views were uttered to a reporter working on a profile for Rolling Stone magazine. USA/AFGHANISTAN

Right from the first headline of the article titled “The Runaway General” it was apparent what was to come: “Stanley McChrystal, Obama’s top commander in Afghanistan, has seized control of the war by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House.”

It’s one thing to talk truth to power — considered an admirable trait in military and intelligence circles – and quite another to make fun of  top civilian leadership behind their backs in a very public forum.

So the general has been summoned to Washington from the battlefields of Afghanistan to explain this serious breach in chain-of-command etiquette. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a warm welcome.

Obama’s security tweaks unlikely to quiet political opponents

President Barack Obama will tighten airline security today in a bid to thwart any future attack like last month’s plot to bomb a Detroit-bound airliner. But will that silence his political opponents? Not likely. With congressional elections looming in November, the stakes may be too high.

Take Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra, for example. He’s running for governor of Michigan and criticizing Obama’s handling of the bomb plot in hopes of making Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, look soft on security.

“If you agree that we need a governor who will stand up the Obama/Pelosi efforts to weaken our security, please make a most generous contribution of $25, $50, $100 or even $250 to my campaign,” he said in a widely quoted letter to prospective supporters.
USA
The letter caused an uproar among critics who accused Hoekstra of playing politics with national security. But the security issue seems destined to become a leading theme for Republicans in this year’s election battle for control of Congress, which they hope to turn into a referendum on Obama’s policies.

Stimulus cash not so bad after all, some find

Last week, Republicans were nearly united in their opposition to the massive $787 billion stimulus bill. But now that it’s been signed into law, many are changing their tune.

Nine Republican House members from Florida, who all voted against the stimulus bill, are now asking the government to send money to their state quickly, Politico reports.     USA/

North Carolina Representative Heath Shuler, who also voted against the bill, has also told his constituents he’s going to fight for federal dollars.