Talking Points

President Obama Addresses Terrorism Again

Late Thursday afternoon, the president once again talked about the failure to stop the underwear bomber on Christmas Day. The address was supposed to contain some sharp analysis, perhaps a firing or two. It did not.

Instead, the president mostly repeated his opinion that the federal counterterrorism operation pretty much failed across the board, but no individuals will be held responsible.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Now at this stage in the review process, it appears that this incident was not the fault of a single individual or organization, but rather a systemic failure across organizations and agencies.


Can we have a moratorium on systemic failure, please? I don't want to hear it. Do you want to hear it again? No one wants to hear that again. It may be true. We've heard it 5,000 times.

Then the president went on to state the obvious, that America is at war with Al Qaeda.


OBAMA: Let's be clear about what this moment demands. We are at war. We're at war against Al Qaeda, a far-reaching network of violence and hatred that attacked us on 9/11, that killed nearly 3,000 innocent people, and that is plotting to strike us again, and we will do whatever it takes to defeat them.


OK, fine. Another rallying cry to defeat Al Qaeda, but haven't we seen the movie before?

This is not a knock at President Obama, but there was absolutely nothing new in his presentation Thursday. America remains on the defensive in the War on Terror. We're not taking the fight to the enemy, with the exception of the drone attacks directed by the CIA.

The president, once again, went out of his way to state that most Muslims do not support Al Qaeda — I think we all know that by now — and that the terrorists will be defeated by bringing the world together against them.

But after one year in office, Mr. Obama is not even close to doing that. And his soft policies on interrogation and civilian trials for overseas terrorists surely have not made us safer.

"Talking Points" believes President Obama does indeed want to protect us and does indeed want to destroy Al Qaeda. The drone action proves it. But there is no question that his anti-terror policies are not nearly as tough as what President Bush put into effect. That will be a challenge for President Obama in the future.

If we do get hit again, all the serious speeches in the world, all the rhetoric in the world is not going to help him. The USA needs tough, bold action to defeat Al Qaeda. No spin.

And that's "The Memo."

Pinheads & Patriots

In Lawndale, California, they have garlic plants all over the place. The city actually puts garlic alongside roads. But some object, saying, hey, that doesn't smell very good. You know what I mean?

Here's Councilman Jim Ramsey's explanation:


JIM RAMSEY, LAWNDALE, CALIFORNIA, COUNCILMAN: Since we have had garlic, I haven't seen one single solitary vampire in town.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These plants protected you?

RAMSEY: These plants are protecting the city, and if we take them out, we may have vampires in here again.


So for protecting his town against vampires, some might call Councilman Ramsey a patriot. He might also be called a loon.

By the way, the next time someone objects to a cross on public property, let's use the vampire excuse.

Click here to watch "Pinheads & Patriots"!

On the pinhead front, take a look at this confrontation between boxer Mike Tyson and the paparazzi who is bothering him at the Los Angeles Airport.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can't come through here. You can't come through here, brother. Make a move now. Brother, brother, move now!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you doing?



All right. Now, authorities have not — have not — filed charges against Tyson. But he may be a pinhead. However, you'd be wise not to mention that to him.