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Mark Caserta: After eight long years of Obama, are you better off?

30 Sep

Well, the president says you are.

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Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot Editor

9.30.16

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The Obama administration has been at our nation’s helm for nearly eight years. So, are you any better off after two presidential terms of liberal policies?

Well, Barack Obama says you are.

In his speech at the recent Democrat convention in Philadelphia, the president spoke of his efforts to end the war in Iraq and bring justice to those who would terrorize the American people.

“We brought more of our troops home to their families, and we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden,” the president said before supporters. He went on to suggest that “through diplomacy,” he was able to shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Yet, as reported by many news publications, including the New York Times, the United States has re-deployed as many as 560 more troops to Iraq to help retake Mosul from ISIS. I believe this is only the beginning of a much-needed surge to retake areas lost due to Obama’s telegraphed exit of Iraq.

And as far as Osama bin Laden’s death, do you feel any safer?

FBI Director James Comey has repeatedly told Americans he has over a thousand “ISIS related” investigations ongoing in all 50 states. And we recently saw what I believe was a “test run” of coordinated attacks on the U.S. with the bombings in New York and New Jersey and the recent stabbing spree in a Minnesota mall.

Does anyone really believe the timeline of these attacks was simply coincidence? We must prepare for them on a larger scale.

And the president’s negotiations with Iran have far from “shut down” Iran’s nuclear program.

Not only has Obama helped fund Iran’s nuclear armament, his timid approach has emboldened Iranian leaders to “thumb their noses” at the U.S. and test launch nuclear-capable missiles in defiance of a United Nation Security Council resolution, as reported in a March 2016 column in Reuters.

In his speech, Obama also told Americans, “By many measures, our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we started.”

This president has a unique interpretation of success. Take Obamacare for example.

But as we’ve seen, Obamacare is collapsing beneath its own weight of false promises and impotent planning.

As reported in a Heritage Foundation column written by Edmund F. Haislmaier, senior research fellow for the Health Policy Studies Center, Affordable Care Act Exchange participation by insurers continues to decline. He writes there are now 287 exchange-participating insurers, compared with 307 in 2015. Major insurers like Aetna and UnitedHealth Group have already made plans to abandon the president’s failing initiative.

And premiums have gone through the roof for many fortunate enough to still have coverage!

Progressive policies have caused the U.S. to decline in nearly every single metric. And we are surely no better off under liberal rule.

Hillary Clinton brings the exact same package to the presidency – only worse.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Doug Smith: Words Matter

20 Jul

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Doug Smith:  Author, historian and lead contributor for Free State Patriot

“Don’t tell me words don’t matter.”

Barack Obama, Feb 2008

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Truly, they do. Would you rather have the desiccated muscle tissue of a bovine mammal which had to have feces washed off its deceased carcass before slicing it away, or a nicely marbled, juicy steak? Both statements reflect the truth, but how and what was said makes a difference.

One must marvel at Barak Obama’s fluid association with words, meanings, and truth. Hillary’s association with the truth is like that of the parents of a child who never knew his father: a brief and forgettable encounter, never to be repeated, but with lasting ramifications.

So, words. When Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali, it was pretty clear to him and the world that he had adopted Islam as his religion. The words were a clear statement of where his allegiance and sympathies lay. Barry Soweto changed his name to Barak Hussein Obama, but insists he is not a Muslim, but a Christian. Perhaps he is. But the words matter: the name he uses sends a clear message to the world that his sympathies and a romantic attachment for all things Muslim characterizes him.

When the latest Islamic terrorist shoots/runs over/blows up innocent people in a murderous rage while shouting what the entire world recognizes as the Muslim battle cry, the entire world knows who and what the murderer was. But not Barak Obama. He agonizes over what the motivation might have been. He calls them radical extremists. He calls them bad Muslims who do not truly embrace Islam. While of course the Islamic State of Syria calls them Muslim martyrs, as they call themselves.

When a Muslim extremist government arises, having had their one and only election, complete with armed terrorists to ensure the vote goes the right way, and then begins moving toward a repressive Sharia regime, Barack Obama latches onto the fact that they voted once and calls them Democratic. He supports them with money and weapons. He ignores pro liberty protestors to the Ayatollahs of Iran and permits then to be slaughtered, while making deals with Iran to ensure they get a Nuclear weapon.

With a civil war fraught with repression of Kurds, and Coptic Christians, and the genocide of Syrian Christians rages, Obama makes no provision for the Christian victims of genocide by Isis or Assad to receive asylum, nor does he press regional Muslim nations to provide safe havens close at hand. Instead he proposes to bring thousands of Muslims from Syria to the US, ignoring the terrorists sure to come with them.

Now when I was a sailor, my language could be colorfully described as salty. There is the oft told story of a young sailor coming home and asking Grandma for the mashed potatoes using his newly learned salty language to everyone’s chagrin. Some of the salt never goes away. And my language reflected my work, and my life as a sailor, and what I was. (Not just the salty and blue terms, but no sailor goes to the bathroom: we make a Head call.) So words matter. I could deny being a sailor, but it would be obvious that my words matter and that they were influenced by my time at sea. As were my actions and my choices.

They say you can take the boy out of the Navy, but you can never get the Navy out of the boy. How I thought and how I would act was reflected by my language.

So words matter.

For me.

And for Barack Obama. I don’t presume to know if he is a Muslim or not.

But his words make it clear that for him, it is Muslims first, and America far behind.

And that matters, a great deal.

Mark Caserta: Obama plans surge in executive orders

14 Jan

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Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot Editor

  • Jan 8, 2016

President Obama has but one year to complete his fundamental transformation of America into a humble, apologetic nation satiated with socialist and progressive tendencies. And unfortunately, whether by design or fortuity, Congress has become so dysfunctional, he just may be able to complete his mission via executive order.

In what I expect to be a rampant executive surge by Obama that frankly could border on the edge of dictatorship, we could see our lives impacted by major policy decisions made without any congressional or judicial input.

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In a New Year’s Day address, the president shared his 2016 resolution was to complete “unfinished business,” which included addressing gun violence, as reported by multiple news agencies. In his message Obama paraded his frustration over a feckless Congress and its inaction and said he planned to meet with Attorney General Loretta Lynch “to discuss ways of reducing gun violence unilaterally through measures that do not require congressional approval.”

Allow me to re-ask liberals a simple question I posed in a previous column on gun control. What stricter gun law would have prevented any of the recent mass shootings?

Interestingly, Glen Kessler, a Washington Post fact checker, recently decided to fact check a statement made by Sen. Marco Rubio during a “CBS This Morning” interview in which he said, “None of the major shootings that have occurred in this country over the last few months or years that have outraged us, would gun laws have prevented them.”

 

In his “fact checker” column, Kessler writes his decision to scrutinize Rubio’s remark was prompted by a colleague who suggested that “it was almost certainly incorrect” and “posed an interesting challenge.”

 

But after a thorough vetting, Rubio’s statement received “The Geppetto Checkmark,” which is given only to statements and claims that contain “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

 

The fact is, Obama and liberal Democrats cannot name a single gun law that would have prevented these shootings, yet they continue to shamelessly exploit these tragedies in order to advance their gun ideology.

 

So, what is the liberal motive here? In an era when the average citizen’s greatest concern is domestic terrorism, shouldn’t the conversation be about protecting Americans – not disarming them?

 

In fairness, Obama’s initial proposals, such as broadening background checks, are likely to be fairly easy sells to the American people.

But progressive methodology involves advancing the status quo one victory at a time. As with the tragedy of abortion over the years, expect the restrictions on gun owners to continue to evolve and increase, until the final objective is met. And remember, liberals believe the fewer the guns – the fewer the crimes, so you do the math.

 

Sadly, it will take both Democrats and Republicans to stop the Obama surge, and that isn’t likely.

 

It’s time for conservatives to take a “progressive” approach to regaining control of Washington and focus on accumulating our share of victories.

 

Returning our nation to greatness will be a marathon; not a sprint.

 

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Kevin Rice: Obama and the Christian Terrorist

1 Dec

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Free State Patriot welcomes Kevin Rice as the newest contributor to Free State Patriot.

About the author:

Kevin M. Rice is a master-level medical and scientific writer and Basic Science division Director at the Center for Diagnostic Nanosystems at Marshall University, with 12 years of writing experience, 6 years of editorial experience and an extensive scientific background with 12 years of basic science experience in the fields of geriatrics, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, nano-technology, sepsis, ischemia, physiology, and animal based drug intervention. He has over 62 peer reviewed journal articles which have received over 868 citations and over 87 conference presentation. He is the husband the father of 4 children and is a former pastor with 7 years of pastoral experience and 25 years of ministerial experience.

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12.1.15

During a White House press briefing addressing the Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic shooting on November 28, 2015, Barack Obama called the shooter, 57-year-old Robert Dear, a “Christian Terrorist.”

“A gun in the hands of just one Christian terrorist has resulted in the loss of life of a police veteran, father, and volunteer pastor; two civilians, injuries to five of Colorado’s brave law enforcement officers, and four innocent civilians.”

OBAMA AND DEAR

Obama’s rhetoric is once again directed toward the undermining of the foundation on which this great nation was founded. To call the acts of one man a terrorist attack sanctioned in anyway by the Christian populous is both ludicrous and absurd. A nation founded on the Judeo -Christina ethics of morality, forgiveness, mercy and grace is what gave rise to this man’s actions. Notwithstanding, as a collective, the Christian populous is in great need of repentance. Not simply because of the action of one disturbed individual who took it upon himself to perform an act of violence and terror, but for allowing our great nation to sink to such debauchery, disdain and ignorance of Christianity.

We have elected to the office of president, a man who lacks the moral compass or fortitude required to lead this great nation back to God. He instead sows seeds of religious discord and hatred. To what end or what purpose is served by labeling the actions of a single individual as a religiously sanctioned act?

There was no terrorist cell plotting the attack on the Planned Parenthood Clinic. There is no directed recruitment taking place by any Christian organization to radicalize people to commit such acts of terrorism. This was the action of one disturbed man. The only foreseeable purpose in the terminology used by Mr. Obama is to further the agenda of religious intolerance within the American population.

We live in a time where “that which is wrong is called right” and “that which is right is called wrong”. But we cannot place the blame on the politicians, the media, or society. We must step up to the altar and take the weight of this generation upon our own knees. Mr. Obama did not elect himself. We played a role in it, by either refraining to cast a vote and remaining silent, by voting for him, or by failing to rally enough support for a God-fearing candidate to be elected to office.

COMPLACENCY

The only way this nation can be healed is if we repent and change our course. Otherwise, we are headed for a complete annihilation of religious liberties.

Our rights as Christians are a target of this administration and many other special interest groups. It is time to exercise the remaining freedom we have before it also is challenged. We have lost the radical nature that once raged within the hearts of the early church. We have lost the motivating force that drove men to give their lives for the cause of Christ. Now we cower behind the fear of political correctness – afraid to offend someone with our beliefs.

If we are offended of Him, He will be offended of us.

If we are to be labeled “Christian Terrorists”, then let us take on the active role that we should have been fulfilling in the first place. Let’s take the battle to the front lines! We battle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and wickedness enthroned in high places. Let’s plan a “terrorist attack” on the kingdom of Satan on our knees. Every hour of every day we need to have someone actively engaged in this battle for our homeland, our religious liberties, and for our spiritual existence.

Let’s speak the Word of God without fear once again! Let’s proclaim the acceptable year of our Lord to all mankind. This great nation was founded on liberty and “freedom of religion”, not “freedom from religion”.

We have allowed the enemy of our soul to rob this great nation of our religious liberty and freedom.

It is now time to take it back.

 

Mark Caserta: Congress should shut down deal with Iran

10 Sep

Obama, Kerry, Hillary and Democrats will have blood on their hands.

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Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot Editor

Upon Congress’ return to Washington this week, its members’ plate will certainly be full of contentious topics. But none is any more critical than the Iran nuclear deal, otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

After reviewing many of the provisions of this international agreement, I’m not only concerned at the number of dangerous concessions the deal makes to Iran, but also the way it betrays our allies and gives aid to a sworn enemy of the United States and Israel.

The basic mechanism of the accord involves trading previously imposed sanctions for restrictions on Iran’s nuclear proliferation. And while there are a number of stipulations which could impede Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, the long-term problems are numerous.

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First, the restrictions on uranium enrichment are time-based and would expire at some point in the future, ultimately opening a door for Iran to continue building its nuclear program and possibly creating a Middle East nuclear arms race. Time will not change the fact that Iran is a staunch enemy of Israel and has vowed to destroy that country.

And Iran is clearly no friend of the United States. Incredibly, just one day after Obama appealed to Iranians in a video message to seize a “historic opportunity” for a nuclear deal and a better future, Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei called for “death to America”!

On top of reducing sanctions in return for Iran’s promise of “good behavior,” the U.S. along with five other members of the U.N. Security Council and the European Union commit to assist Iran in developing their energy assets, finance, technology and trade. Why help strengthen the infrastructure of one of the most evil regimes in the world?

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The deal allows Iran to maintain its own nuclear reactors as long as they don’t continue to grow their capacity to enrich the core material needed for a nuclear weapon. A monitoring and verification system conducted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is planned to enforce Iran’s compliance, but the verification system is severely flawed.

Apparently, the agreement requires IAEA to give Iran 24 days before any facility inspection. What good is an announced inspection, regardless of the amount of time?

 And possibly the most alarming part of the Iran deal is a provision which could place the U.S. in a position of having to help defend Iran’s nuclear facilities from attacks from other nations, including Israel. A statute in one of the deal’s annexes states the U.S. and its partners will provide “Co-operation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems.”

While interpretation of this provision varies, the disintegrating relationship between Israel and the Obama administration gives one reason to worry.

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Simply put, any deal that allows Iran to become a nuclear power at any point is a poor one. The JCPOA is naive agreement based on trust that Iran has never earned.

Congress should shut this deal down.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Obama collecting personal data for a secret race database

19 Jul

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  By Paul Sperry – New York Post

Published: July 18, 2015 | 4:00pm

A key part of President Obama’s legacy will be the fed’s unprecedented collection of sensitive data on Americans by race. The government is prying into our most personal information at the most local levels, all for the purpose of “racial and economic justice.”

Unbeknown to most Americans, Obama’s racial bean counters are furiously mining data on their health, home loans, credit cards, places of work, neighborhoods, even how their kids are disciplined in school — all to document “inequalities” between minorities and whites.

This Orwellian-style stockpile of statistics includes a vast and permanent network of discrimination databases, which Obama already is using to make “disparate impact” cases against: banks that don’t make enough prime loans to minorities; schools that suspend too many blacks; cities that don’t offer enough Section 8 and other low-income housing for minorities; and employers who turn down African-Americans for jobs due to criminal backgrounds.

Big Brother Barack wants the databases operational before he leaves office, and much of the data in them will be posted online.

So civil-rights attorneys and urban activist groups will be able to exploit them to show patterns of “racial disparities” and “segregation,” even if no other evidence of discrimination exists.

Obama is presiding over the largest consolidation of personal data in US history.

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Housing database

The granddaddy of them all is the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing database, which the Department of Housing and Urban Development rolled out earlier this month to racially balance the nation, ZIP code by ZIP code. It will map every US neighborhood by four racial groups — white, Asian, black or African-American, and Hispanic/Latino — and publish “geospatial data” pinpointing racial imbalances.

The agency proposes using nonwhite populations of 50% or higher as the threshold for classifying segregated areas.

Federally funded cities deemed overly segregated will be pressured to change their zoning laws to allow construction of more subsidized housing in affluent areas in the suburbs, and relocate inner-city minorities to those predominantly white areas. HUD’s maps, which use dots to show the racial distribution or density in residential areas, will be used to select affordable-housing sites.

HUD plans to drill down to an even more granular level, detailing the proximity of black residents to transportation sites, good schools, parks and even supermarkets. If the agency’s social engineers rule the distance between blacks and these suburban “amenities” is too far, municipalities must find ways to close the gap or forfeit federal grant money and face possible lawsuits for housing discrimination.

Civil-rights groups will have access to the agency’s sophisticated mapping software, and will participate in city plans to re-engineer neighborhoods under new community outreach requirements.

“By opening this data to everybody, everyone in a community can weigh in,” Obama said. “If you want affordable housing nearby, now you’ll have the data you need to make your case.”

Mortgage database

Meanwhile, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, headed by former Congressional Black Caucus leader Mel Watt, is building its own database for racially balancing home loans. The so-called National Mortgage Database Project will compile 16 years of lending data, broken down by race, and hold everything from individual credit scores and employment records.

Mortgage contracts won’t be the only financial records vacuumed up by the database. According to federal documents, the repository will include “all credit lines,” from credit cards to student loans to car loans — anything reported to credit bureaus. This is even more information than the IRS collects.

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The FHFA will also pry into your personal assets and debts and whether you have any bankruptcies. The agency even wants to know the square footage and lot size of your home, as well as your interest rate.

FHFA will share the info with Obama’s brainchild, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which acts more like a civil-rights agency, aggressively investigating lenders for racial bias.

The FHFA has offered no clear explanation as to why the government wants to sweep up so much sensitive information on Americans, other than stating it’s for “research” and “policymaking.”

However, CFPB Director Richard Cordray was more forthcoming, explaining in a recent talk to the radical California-based Greenlining Institute: “We will be better able to identify possible discriminatory lending patterns.”

Credit database

CFPB is separately amassing a database to monitor ordinary citizens’ credit-card transactions. It hopes to vacuum up some 900 million credit-card accounts — all sorted by race — representing roughly 85% of the US credit-card market. Why? To sniff out “disparities” in interest rates, charge-offs and collections.

Employment database

CFPB also just finalized a rule requiring all regulated banks to report data on minority hiring to an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion. It will collect reams of employment data, broken down by race, to police diversity on Wall Street as part of yet another fishing expedition.

School database

Through its mandatory Civil Rights Data Collection project, the Education Department is gathering information on student suspensions and expulsions, by race, from every public school district in the country. Districts that show disparities in discipline will be targeted for reform.

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Those that don’t comply will be punished. Several already have been forced to revise their discipline policies, which has led to violent disruptions in classrooms.

Obama’s educrats want to know how many blacks versus whites are enrolled in gifted-and-talented and advanced placement classes.

Schools that show blacks and Latinos under-enrolled in such curricula, to an undefined “statistically significant degree,” could open themselves up to investigation and lawsuits by the department’s Civil Rights Office.

Count on a flood of private lawsuits to piggyback federal discrimination claims, as civil-rights lawyers use the new federal discipline data in their legal strategies against the supposedly racist US school system.

Even if no one has complained about discrimination, even if there is no other evidence of racism, the numbers themselves will “prove” that things are unfair.

Such databases have never before existed. Obama is presiding over the largest consolidation of personal data in US history. He is creating a diversity police state where government race cops and civil-rights lawyers will micromanage demographic outcomes in virtually every aspect of society.

The first black president, quite brilliantly, has built a quasi-reparations infrastructure perpetually fed by racial data that will outlast his administration.

Paul Sperry is a Hoover Institution media fellow and author of “The Great American Bank Robbery,” which exposes the racial politics behind the mortgage bust.

Mark Caserta: Bergdahl deal was no bargain for US

2 Apr

But a great deal for the Taliban

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Free State Patriot Editor – Mark Caserta

Apr. 02, 2015 @ 12:01 AM

Desertion on the field of battle has always been considered a loathsome deed. Besides being a blatant act of cowardice, it violates the military oath of enlistment and compromises the safety of others. And as any military person will tell you, a soldier must be able to trust his brother- or sister-in-arms with his or her very life.

Last week, the Army announced that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier who slipped away from his Afghanistan patrol base in 2009 and was held in captivity for five years by the Taliban, will now be charged with desertion and misbehavior. If found guilty of endangering the safety of a command, unit or place, Bergdahl faces life imprisonment.

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I don’t propose to usurp a military court’s decision by prejudging Bergdahl’s guilt or innocence, even though members of his own platoon have stated publicly they fully believe the soldier deserted them.

I do propose to deal with the terms, conditions and consequences of his return.

While it’s just to presume Bergdahl’s innocence until he’s proven guilty, it’s also prudent to be cautious about prematurely including him in the honored list of brave men and women who have proudly demonstrated their loyalty to our country.

Many recall the president’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice going on various Sunday talk shows claiming Bergdahl served his country with “honor and distinction.” And then there was President Obama publicly embracing Bergdahl’s parents in the Rose Garden while allowing Robert Bergdahl to deliver a message to his son, “Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim,” an Arabic phrase considered by some to be a major pillar of Islam. It means, “In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate.”

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But perhaps most disparaging is the insipid way the White House chose to handle Bergdahl’s return.

Bergdahl was a soldier who had reportedly expressed his disillusionment with the Army and his country and acted on it by leaving his post and possibly collaborating with the enemy. Logic would suggest any trade would be a fair and equitable one. But not only did Obama choose to return to the Taliban five of their most senior officers, he broke the law in doing so.

An independent review by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office declared the president indeed broke the law in authorizing the release of five Taliban detainees held by the U.S. in exchange for Bergdahl without giving Congress 30 days’ notice.

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And now intelligence suggests that three of the five released detainees are attempting to re-engage in militant activities, possibly against the U.S.

It was clear from the outset that any charges against Bergdahl would be extremely embarrassing for the White House given its early stance.

Nevertheless, the rush to honor Bowe Bergdahl’s military service before the facts were known dishonors the service of those who have defended our country with valor. And the inept decision to trade five Taliban leaders for his return has placed our nation at risk.

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Once again, poor judgment and skewed values will place Barack Obama on the wrong side of history – at our nation’s detriment.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

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