Inside the Capitol

Saturday, December 17, 2011

12-21 The Presidents Roosevelt in the news

122111 Teddy

SANTA FE – Teddy Roosevelt has long been a popular president.
Recently he has become even more so as President Barack Obama and presidential hopeful Gary Johnson have compared themselves to him.
In his effort to prod more tax money out of the rich, President Obama has likened himself to Teddy the trust buster, going after greedy Wall Street robber barons.
For his part, our former governor, Gary Johnson has taken a very different tack. He compares his adventuresome lifestyle to what Roosevelt termed his strenuous life of hunting, boxing, rowing and exploring. So far the comparison hasn't done Johnson much good.
He has combined many of his public appearances with athletic endeavors. It gets him some local notice wherever he happens to be but so far, the persona just hasn't caught on.
Johnson has been working the strenuous life angle for quite some time. Late in his second term as New Mexico governor, Johnson attended a National Governors Association winter meeting at which the U.S. Olympic ski team put on a demonstration.
Johnson convinced the team to allow him to take part. He skied off a ramp, doing a back flip in front of his fellow governors. In a recent interview with "Outside" magazine, he admitted it didn't go him much good with his fellow governors.
In other political news, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall has re-introduced legislation he first proposed as a House member in 2008 to honor the veterans who defended Bataan and suffered through the Death March 70 years ago.
Udall proposes a group Congressional Gold Medal for Bataan's brave defenders. In recent years group gold medals have been authorized for the Navajo Code Talkers, the Tuskegee Airmen and the Women's Air Force Service Pilots.

Some 12,000 Americans were sent to the Philippines in mid-1941, before World War II began for the United States. The Philippines were the last cog in Japan's grinding effort to rule the Pacific, including Australia.
Sure enough, the Philippines were attacked on the same day Pearl Harbor was hit. On the calendar, it appears as Dec. 8 but the difference is that pesky International Date Line.
The defenders soon were all pushed onto the peninsula of Bataan where they mounted a defense without which Japan could not have been stopped in the Pacific.
And they did it without logistical support. No one knew that President Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill had secretly agreed on a "Get Hitler First" strategy of fighting World War II. The Japanese were left to run rampant over everything they wanted from the Aleutian Islands to the South Pole.
The Bataan troops were constantly assured that more supplies and more troops were on their way. But they never came. The awful truth became obvious when Gen. Douglas McArthur left the Philippines for a base in Australia.
The weapons and ammunition that did arrive for New Mexico's 200th Coast Artillery was soon recognized as the duds discarded from the World War I artillery used in their training at Fort Bliss, Texas a year before. Fortunately New Mexico's farm boys could fix anything with some bailing wire and a wrench.
Our guys were willing to hold out until the end but malnutrition, malaria and starvation coupled with no resources and no reinforcement forced those in commend to surrender their troops. New Mexico's 1,800 have always insisted they didn't surrender. They were surrendered.
So that's the story. The Bataan veterans made the ultimate sacrifice so the United States could mobilize and Europe could be won first. That certainly deserves someone's gold medal.
Our military is worried that Iran will reverse engineer the U.S. drone that fell into its hands. Don't they realize how hard reverse engineering is?
We've been working on it since 1947 when the Roswell Army Air Force Base announced it had captured a flying saucer. We had just captured the top rocket scientists in the world from Germany. Iran and scientists don't belong in the same sentence.


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