Those Lying Republicans


The Party of “no”, the Republicans are so used to lying and not having their statements checked that they do it recklessly. Eric Cantor is the latest victim of his own carelessness. He denounced the Democrats while they were on their way to winning the health care debate because as he claimed they were responsible for heated, incendiary rhetoric which drove the masses to threaten him and indulge in acts of anti-semitism. While anit-semitism, as well as Islamophobia, are indeed rampant in todays societies, the threat against him, which he says took the form of a gun shot directed towards his district “office” has been proven without a shadow of a doubt to be a lie. Cantor just wasn’t counting on you discovering that, and why should he? The corporate media, all of it, not just the right side of the spectrum represented by FoxNews or any of the talking radio heads, has done nothing but be a mouthpiece for the Republican party since the beginning of this century.

So when the address of 25 E Main Street in Richmond was given by Cantor  as the location where a bullet was found everyone assumed, jumped to either deny the accusation, repeat or doubt it.  It didn’t matter that the building at that location had no identifying marks to Cantor,  we all guffawed or believed the lying Republican.  Then the police report came back saying the bullet was a stray bullet not meant for the premises but Cantor’s veracity remained intact and unchallenged.  Until….Until the lid was blown off, not by corporate media, but by alternative media and Cantor was discovered lying.  It turns out the address 25 E Main Street is not in Eric Cantor’s district but rather in the 3rd district of Virginia which happens to be  the district of congressman Bobby Scott, Democrat.  Why would Cantor give an address for an act of violence directed towards his “office” in a district that is not his?  Sloppy victimology.  Could it be the perpetrator of this crime, that of intimidation and destruction of property, was directing it towards Scott and not Cantor, who decided to make political hay of it by claiming victim status for himself.  A look at Scott’s legislative record who  is a liberal Democrat who voted for the Obama health care proposal reveals him to be the kind of politician today’s tea bagger would certainly love to shot at or intimidate. With the political right calling for such action against its enemies as breaking windows and a window broken in the district of a health care supporter, it wouldn’t take much of a jump for an ambitious politician to claim victim status for himself even when nothing about what happened had anything to do with him.  Therefore, you need to keep a sharp ear out for the name Eric Cantor, a politician who can easily and seamlessly lie about anything for political advantage, not blink an eye and not be held accountable by his friends in corporate media.  For liars and politicians,it doesn’t get any better than that!

Opposition in Today’s America


From the people who brought you this

and this………

bring you this:

One of the opening speakers for the convention was former House Republican Representative Tom Tancredo.  Not surprisingly Tancredo bemoaned the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States.  What was a surprise was the explanation Tancredo gave for President Obama’s election.  Tancredo claimed that President Obama was elected became we “do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote in this country.”

Thus another attempt to de-legitimize Obama’s election as president is being carried out by the opposition party.

Talking Loud and Saying Nothing!!


Like a dull knife Just ain’t cutting Just talking loud Then saying nothing

You can’t tell me What I’m doing wrong When you keep driving and Singing that same old money song

You can’t tell me Which way to go Cause three times seven And then some more

You can’t tell me, hey You’re like a dull knife Just ain’t cutting You’re just talking loud And saying nothing

This should be the refrain sung by America to the Republicans who insist Obama isn’t doing anything to change the outcome of the war on terror, or whatever other euphemism one wants to use for these wars of military expansion and domination.  Theirs and the Nation’s selective memory should be refreshed with this rather sobering fact from the days, the year 2007,  of the Bush administration!

A new threat assessment from U.S. counterterrorism analysts says that al-Qaeda has used its safe haven along the Afghan-Pakistan border to restore its operating capabilities to a level unseen since the months before Sept. 11, 2001.A counterterrorism official familiar with a five-page summary of the document — titled “al-Qaeda better positioned to strike the West” — called it a stark appraisal. The analysis will be part of a broader meeting at the White House on Thursday about an upcoming National Intelligence Estimate.

………..

The findings suggests that the network that launched the most devastating terror attack on U.S. soil has been able to regroup despite nearly six years of bombings, war and other tactics aimed at dismantling it.

Guess the Republicans haven’t done such a good job after all, huh?  Hat tip to Suzy Q’s excellent blog!

Profiling the Religious Right-A Necessary Evil?


A lot has been said lately about profiling Muslims, either those in the US military or ordinary citizens, because some fear their presence on American soil presents a threat to the safety and security of Americans and their way of life.  It doesn’t matter to those who make that call, most recently like  Sarah Palin, that those Muslims themselves are prosperous members of the same society, their religious preference and acts which have been associated to them by an obsequious press have stuck to them and made them visible, likely targets by society.  Undeserved targets, it might be added, but the idea that an entire group of people are responsible for the same crimes committed by 19 hijackers or one lone gunman, resonate in a hate filled and drenched society in much the same way that some say  President Barack Obama is not really a citizen of America, is a racist or a secret Muslim.  In fact the genesis for this idea of racial profiling comes from a source that now implies it is ok to get rid of unlikeable  people, such as Obama, by having them murdered.  If you think this is an unfair jump from a Biblical verse to death threats on the President just look at the 400% increase in death threats against this president versus his predecessor  who was seen as a “born again” Christian.  One of the common elements in the vitriol directed towards a sitting President is Christianity and its religious scriptures.  Indeed, some of the slogans voiced in opposition to Obama are steeped in religious references; “The Anti-Christ is living in the White House”, “Oppressive Bloodsucking Arrogant Muslim Alien”, just to name a few.

That said, why aren’t there more calls for profiling Christians, and especially Christian members of the Republican party who have justified every turn of their opposition to Obama in some way or another to their religious principles.  If you think that is too extreme, then is it too much to ask those in the opposition to at least condemn the tactics of their “brothers” to the rhetoric directed towards the President?  With the exception of the about face made by Rupert Murdoch to Glen Beck’s anti-white tirade against Obama, no one from the “opposition” has said such extreme rhetoric is out of place or inconsistent with the  ideals of a Judeau-Christian society.  The silence from the Right has been deafening and only serves to encourage the fundamentalists to even greater heights of hyperbole and violence.  Where are the calls for a more systematic government approach to Christians’ opposition to Obama, and ensuring his safety from their menace?  Where are the calls from members of other faiths to stop the tide of Christian fundamentalism that endangers the life of our elected officials and in turn the political process we hold so dear?  Why is political expediency what keeps people silent in the face of such threats against the Republic, while the very same silent voices encourage the deafening roar of calls to profile others of the society who have not expressed such incitement, but for whom lone individuals have become the standard by which they and their faith are judged?

One bright side of all this is the ACLU has been consistent in their opposition to stemming free speech, even if it borders on threats to the President of the United States.  Quoting biblical verses whose meaning they consider ambiguous is not reason enough, in their mind, to prosecute people who use them in ways others of us consider threatening.  The very people who in years gone by usually threw scorn on the American Civil Liberties Union for their liberal approach to litigation are now being shielded by the organization from calls that they, abusers of free speech, be held accountable for their speech.  I applaud the ACLU for being predictable even though their position vis-a-vis these latest scoundrels on Americas political landscape hardly deserve their succor.  Regrettably, one can only come to one conclusion and that is no group is responsible for the actions of individual members of that group……no matter how relevant the scriptures they may all believe in inspire the acts of those individuals.  The idea of collectivisim…mentioned before here in this blog, have no place in American discourse but people with political agendas that have nothing to do with American ideals of justice will never say that because they want to use government to suppress those they dislike or mistrust.  Such manipulators of government are the true enemies of the State yet the ones whose profiling is the most difficult to achieve.  It is not altogether an impossible task and the sooner we get on with it, the safer the Republic will be for everyone.

The Iran Yo-Yo


yo-yoWith the Republican party all used up, battered and bruised, with dwindling Tea Party numbers, the titular head of the party’s constant insertion of his foot in his own mouth, the Sanford scandal,  the neocons have abandoned ship and returned to their home the Democratic party where they first found a footing during the days of Henry Scoop Jackson and they’re agitating for war with Iran.  The Republicans served their purpose at the beginning of this millenium but after being turned down by voters in 2006 and 2008, the GOP is not the power base the neocons need for their wars of aggression and racism.  Obama’s administration will suit their purposes just fine and they’re firmly ensconced with the party of asses and plotting their war with Iran.

It has been fun to watch the sudden and quick implosion of the GOP, first with the McCain campaign which resembled the Bob Dole campaign of ’96,  and the soap operaesque Sarah Palin and her drama, both personally and politically, but not even right wing nut job radio can revive the party with Obama acting on all four cylinders and practically mimicking the GOP as it expands wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan while allocating tons of money for defense that  not even a Republican secretary of defense requests.

What this means is neocons feel emboldened to continue their psy-ops assault on Iran with nothing less than regime change in mind.  Acting on behalf of the Israelis who are the ones calling for a military attack on Iran, neocons have used every excuse in the book to whip up attack Iran fervor both inside the Obama administration and with the general public which will have to supply the manpower, much like it did for the Iraq invasion, to administer the coup de grace on any attack initiated by Israel.  This past weekend, vice president Joe Biden gave the nod, as far as he and his boss Obama are concerned, for the Israelis to go ahead with the attack.  Of course the tacit meaning is that the US will do any and everything to help Israel when the Iranians respond by attacking Israel.

The Iranians elections were the 911 moment for the neocons whose crescendo-ing rhetoric began even before the elections.  There’s a very good piece, False Sorrow for the People of Iran, which talks about the different devices used by the neocons to demonize, denigrate and de-emphasize the importance of the elections when they thought the winner would try to make peaceful overtures to the US.  It states in part

So the possibility of Iran’s president being a rational, moderate man determined to make détente with the United States frightened the War Party and the Israel lobby. Thus, a week before the elections, Iran’s president was demoted to a powerless man again! The neoconservatives, the War Party, and the Israel lobby all began emphasizing how it does not matter who Iran’s president is, since all the important decisions regarding foreign policy are made by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

However, Iranian leaders have been making peace overtures to the US since almost the inception of their revolution, and certainly since the American hostages debacle when they colluded with the Reagan administration to release the hostages in exchange for weapons to fight the Iran-Iraq war.  Their last attempt was met with scorn and rejection by the Bush administration’s cabal of neocons who want only Israel as an ally among the nation states in the middle east. Maintaining this “special relationship” means Israel can help itself to American largess, building up and defending the country at the expense of US tax dollars, personnel and materiel.

Another attack point against Iran has been its nuclear energy program which some have said is a secret nuclear weapons program, without offering any proof of that assertion.  Of course the neocons are able to muddy the waters, confusing the public by putting the onus of Iran to prove a negative, i.e. prove they do not have a nuclear weapons program going on.  This so resembles the WMD nonsense of Iraq that it would be funny if it weren’t a matter of life and death for everyone.  All this talk of an Iranian  nuclear weapons program continues despite the National Intelligence Estimate of last year that said in effect the Iranians had halted their weapons program at about the same time they were making peaceful overtures to the US in 2003.  The rejection of those overtures was the neocons way of trying to back the Iranians into a corner to resume their program since they assumed, correctly, that any sovereign country would develop a means of defending itself decisively in the face of an hostile neighbor,  something which Iranians have certainly been accused of despite the absence of any evidence.  The kicker is however, that the Israelis don’t really consider the presence of Iranian nukes an existential threat as some in the neocon stable would have us believe.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said a few months ago in a series of closed discussions that in her opinion that Iranian nuclear weapons do not pose an existential threat to Israel, Haaretz magazine reveals in an article on Livni to be published Friday.

Livni also criticized the exaggerated use that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is making of the issue of the Iranian bomb, claiming that he is attempting to rally the public around him by playing on its most basic fears. Last week, former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy said similar things about Iran.

Such sentiment is not acceptable to neocons because it would make Israel an equal partner, vis-a-vis the nuclear weapons front  with its Iranian  neighbors and superiority not equality is the only state of affairs the Israelis are willing to  accept in its relations with other countries in the region.  Despite the fact Iran has not developed its nuclear weapons program, the fact that it is enriching uranium is considered a threat, by neocons in the American government, to the existence of Israel even though the Israelis themselves don’t think so.  This is the danger of neoconservatism, which inflates dangers to the point of conflagrations that envelope the world community when they are absolutely needless and pointless.  It also underscores the danger such philosophy has to the well being of nation states and indeed the US itself, which has already been devastated by one needless war and appears to be on the edge of entering another because of the lies of its policy makers, the neocons.

Neo-Conservatives are bad for America


neocons+straussIt’s been extraordinary watching how neocons have made everything up, down, everything black, white and everything evil, good and back again.  In the process they have managed to weaken America, tarnish her image in the world community and imperil the world.  In my wildest of conspiratorial dreams, I surmise they are responsible for the election of Barack Obama in order to undo some of the damage they have done, but they have not kept themselves out of the policy making apparatus of government; they are rather firmly entrenched there and have installed gate keepers at every door of the branches of government.  Rahm Emmanuel in the executive, and policy wonks at State, two previously mentioned here on the pages of Miscellany101.  They are not working in the best interests of the US; American interests take a back seat to interests feuled by tribalism and history they want to rewrite in order settle old scores at the expense of an unconcerned and uninitiated American public.  Sure most of it is based on OIL, oil, Israel and logistics, but personal aggrandizement and wealth also play a part in their deception.

So while going through my daily reading I wandered on this article which reinforced these notions above.  What picqued my interest and aggravated my anger was the explicit statement that Saddam wanted the help of America and would have entered into a defense pact with the US in order to defend him against Iran.  That’s not altogether surprising since Saddam fought the Iranians before in the 80s for eight years, at no expense to US personnel or materiel.  Saddam wanted to talk to Bush about that and if he had been successful in pitching the idea all the American lives killed and money wasted at great expense to the country could have been avoided with an even better policy result!  But Bush was convinced to ignore Saddam’s overtures, no doubt with the blessings of the many neocons entrenched in his government who advised against such acceptance.  Instead these people using fascist tactics of deception and the increased powers of the state  got Bush to promote the lie of WMDS and consequently,  America has  installed  a pro-Iranian regime, and destabilized one of the largest Arab speaking countries of the region.  All this happened because neocons have been pitching the idea of regime change to Democrats and Republicans alike since the mid 90s.

They have managed to pitch war at the expense of peace before, when they similarly got Bush to ignore Iranian attempts at rapprochement with America in 2003.  Now a second US administration is being led by the nose with the help of a belligerent ally, Israel, that wants a war and ostensibly drag America into it, with a country that wants peace and is willing to  make major concessions towards that aim.  Such a war would not be in the interests of America and could prove to be more costly than even the Iraq debacle.  The authors of American government advised this country in its infancy from foreign entanglements and that advice still reverberates throughout time but there are few in government who are able to hear it because of the noise being made by neoconservatives and their spin doctors.  The fact that Obama has further embraced them, making government positions a revolving door for the enemies of America to spin, deceive and escalate and involve this country in military adventures means there isn’t much that has changed with his election.  It’s time for Americans to show neocons the door.

The Dance of Denial


danceIt has been very revealing watching members of the Right deny the responsibility of their ideology for two tragic murders that have recently occurred which captured the attention of the Nation.  First came the cold blooded slaughter of an abortionist, Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas followed up shortly by the brutal killing of a security guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.

Dr. Tiller’s death is troubling because he had been the target of anti-abortionists’ rage before. The person charged with his murder had been known to stalk and even vandalize  the clinic where Tiller worked in the days preceding his death.  Several people in the clinic have gone on record saying they knew about Scott Roeder’s attempts at disrupting the operation of the clinic and notified the proper authorities yet nothing was done to apprehend Roeder which could have possibly prevented  Dr. Tiller’s death.  Such ineptness on the part of the federal bureaucracy does not mean that even more layers of government are necessary to protect the citizens but rather irresponsible civil servants need to be replaced with more diligent and efficient ones.

The death of Stephen Jones at the National Holocaust Museum at the hands of a white supremacist is a tragedy underscored by the fact his murderer had a long history, easily documented that could have possibly pointed to such a heinous crime being committed by his hand, age notwithstanding, yet he very easily walked down a metropolitan city street with a .22 caliber rifle and shot and killed an armed federal agent.  The reason why I mention again both of these crimes is because of the contortions those on the right are taking to distance their ideology from these two men who claimed to hold that ideology near and dear to them.

Political pundits are taking great lengths to say that these murderers aren’t from the right at all but rather from the left of the political spectrum, despite the fact they, the perpetrators clearly identify with the Right.  Punditry has managed to make actions a mark of political persuasion and not words.  Pundits have told their admirers that death and killing are marks of the political left, terrorism is identified with Muslims and Islam.  The Right claims  any action that is noble and necessary to save America from its enemies upto and including wholesale slaughter and invasion of countries like Iraq and Afghanistan as virtuous, and therefore worthy of being called conservative.

This was the kind of meme advanced by Dick Cheney, more recently, and the entire Bush administration before which reduced all argument to ‘with us or against us’ sloganeering.  In that small universe built by the likes of the triumphant Right there wasn’t anything that we did to  those ‘against us’ that could be considered illegal or immoral behavior.   The concept of “exceptionalism” had been developed to the point that meant even the boundaries of legality didn’t apply to our behavior, or we made every attempt to legalize illegal behavior in order to legitimize our unlawful actions.  This flouting of the law for suspect political aims is a vicious circle we continue to go around when we obscure  the motives of these latest criminals for their criminal behavior.

News accounts and political commentators have taken great pains to classify these murderers as lone gunmen who are completely separate and detached from the environment which they have enveloped themselves.  By doing so they hope to further distance themselves from the effect their rhetoric has on the people who listen, subscribe and eventually act on  it.

In our system of law as it pertains to capital crimes unless there is a conspiracy there is no guilt by association. Conversely there is also no innocence by association. Christian leaders and conservative citizens in general have jumped at the chance to label Mr. Roeder a vigilante, a monster and things far worse.

Regrettably this tactic is only applied to people from the right who spent an entire two terms of a right leaning Republican administration painting with the broadest of brushes entire groups of people based on the actions of individual(s).  This has been a common practice of demagoguery; the politics of the many condensed into the actions of the lone individual.  Cries, which were raised at the turn of the century, of bombing the institutions that are symbolic of political ideology have given way to the absolute negation of ideology and their import on an individual’s actions.   Murderers on the right have suddenly appeared on our political and national landscape to kill their perceived foes because these killers were inherently defective and acting completely on their own.  Conversely the last eights years of a Republican administration were spent literally trying to root out whole communities of conspirators who lurked in every corner of our country waiting for a chance to reap their collective death and destruction at the earliest possible moment on an unsuspecting public that need the invasive protection of a government bureaucracy, because of the actions of a few.

Finally the absence in many cases of condemnation from the people who claim allegiance with right leaning philosophy  for the  murderous tendencies of their co-ideologues is another characteristic of the sudden revisionism going on in Obama’s America.  During the Bush years people were always challenged to condemn the acts of coreligionists or fellow party members whereas today’s America sees there is no need for condemnation because such doing so rarely accomplishes anything and not worth the time spent.

Condemning Roeder doesn’t add anything to the pro-life cause. Pro-abortionists are always quick to remind the Christians of Christ’s rule of not judging or condemning. Why add fuel to the fire by condemning Mr. Roeder, isn’t it just a matter of six of one and a half dozen of the other? Both Tiller and Roeder have One that will be their final judge and he is neither hot under the collar, biased or partial. Why don’t we leave all that to Him?

In many ways such ideas mirror the current glossing over done by the Obama administration vis-a-vis Bush Administration crimes.  The motivation for such an attitude is clear; it absolves ideologues from the  responsibility of their actions of the past or the future while still holding on, in their own minds at least, to a perceived higher moral ground. Gone are the litmus  tests that were applied to every ethnicity before which required a strict adherence to the law on the part of every member of a political, ideological group or the utter abandonment and banishment of that group in the absence of a vociferous outcry and condemnation of any of its members, however tangential that connection may be.

Finally, there is the absence of a cry for governmental insertion in the settlement of accounts for anti-social behavior.  Instead, the right has resume its position they so recklessly abandoned during the 911 era and want no government interference at all in protecting society.  Instead of wanting the affairs of the country to be overseen by a white haired Bush, the right blames a black haired Obama, as if he were the trigger puller of these two most recent attacks on the national consciousness.  The turnaround of the right on a dime as it were, is one more indication of the bankrupt philosophy it harbors.  That no one from that side of the political spectrum can see the sudden hypocrisy of their positions is another indication of just how low they have sunk in abandoning principle.  There is no indication that the Left is or will be any better; their actions to date have only enabled the right to the detriment of us all.

The Republican Party-Uncle Tom’s Cabin


uncle-tom-cabinThe political movement of the Right is showing itself to be increasingly a party of irrelevance and antiquity.  Whereas once, it’s titular head, President George W. Bush made such proclamations against all who opposed the ideas coming from that Party, the party’s ideas themselves have cast it in the very same light, a party that is not progressive, has nothing to offer but fear of the exaggerated differences in people within its own country.  The latest ramblings of its head, Michael Steele are indicative of the direction of the party.  In one of those, ‘I can’t believe he just said that’ moments, Steele made this assertion

And apparently, the comments that she made that have been played up about, you know, the Latina woman being a better judge than the white male is something that she has said on numerous occasions. So this was not just the one and only time it was said. They’ve now found other evidences and other speeches, Trip, that she has made mention of this, this fact that her ethnicity, that her cultural background puts her in a different position as a judge to judge your case. And God help you if you’re a white male coming before her bench.

This was an obvious reference to Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Why an African-American head of the Republican Party would utter a remark like that is astonishing at best, racist and pandering to the racist element which he heads, at worst! It might have very well been the same thing said about his selection to be the Party head, and was certainly said about the success of the Obama candidacy by some of the people of the party Steele now represents. On its face it is abhorrent and a page from the play book of FEAR, but it is also untrue.

In sum, in an eleven-year career on the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor has participated in roughly 100 panel decisions involving questions of race and has disagreed with her colleagues in those cases (a fair measure of whether she is an outlier) a total of 4 times. Only one case (Gant) in that entire eleven years actually involved the question whether race discrimination may have occurred. (In another case (Pappas) she dissented to favor a white bigot.)  She participated in two other panels rejecting district court rulings agreeing with race-based jury-selection claims. Given that record, it seems absurd to say that Judge Sotomayor allows race to infect her decision making.

It’s unfortunate an African American male, one some have considered at one time in American history at the very bottom of the social hierarchy in America, would resort to the very rhetoric that was used to deny him equal opportunity, especially when that rhetoric is so blatantly  misleading and incorrect. To do it in today’s America when symbolically speaking such outbursts give meaning to movements of hatred and violence between Americans is irrational and petty.  Steele should know better and because he doesn’t that  makes him irrelevant along with his Party.

War Crimes-A mounting body of evidence


FlightSuitWe the people have had placed before us a mounting body of evidence that suggests the war in Iraq was not fought for the purposes stated, was executed illegally and perhaps for the interests of a foreign power, and all the players from the President on down knew every mechanism they would use to get the country to accept war would be deceptive and illegal.

The latest news is that a biographer for George W. Bush claims Bush told him, Mickey Herskowitz in 1999, if elected he would invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein. Herskowitz supposedly had a personal relationship with Bush and had worked with him on several projects before so it’s significant Bush would confide in someone about something so imminent.  It’s apparent Bush had already signed on to the idea of getting rid of Saddam Hussein long before 911 and in keeping with both Bill Clinton’s Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 and Project for a New American Century’s plans to overthrow Iraq; all he needed was an excuse.  Did one just happen to fall into his hands, i.e. 911 or was it created for the excuse to invade Iraq?  Everything we now know about Iraq is a lie.  There were no weapons of mass destruction despite the persistent claims to the contrary, there was no link between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein or any global terror organization, despite the best efforts of the US to torture such information out of people, but there was Bush’s strong desire to initiate a war to overthrow  a toothless dictator made so by a decades old sanction regimen which depleted Hussein’s power and decimated his countrymen……for what?

According to Herskowitz, who has authored more than 30 books, many of them jointly written autobiographies of famous Americans in politics, sports and media (including that of Reagan adviser Michael Deaver), Bush and his advisers were sold on the idea that it was difficult for a president to accomplish an electoral agenda without the record-high approval numbers that accompany successful if modest wars…..

According to Herskowitz, George W. Bush’s beliefs on Iraq were based in part on a notion dating back to the Reagan White House – ascribed in part to now-vice president Dick Cheney, Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee under Reagan. “Start a small war. Pick a country where there is justification you can jump on, go ahead and invade.”………

Republicans, Herskowitz said, felt that Jimmy Carter’s political downfall could be attributed largely to his failure to wage a war. He noted that President Reagan and President Bush’s father himself had (besides the narrowly-focused Gulf War I) successfully waged limited wars against tiny opponents – Grenada and Panama – and gained politically. But there were successful small wars, and then there were quagmires, and apparently George H.W. Bush and his son did not see eye to eye.

In other words to make candidate Bush look good, presidential.  Wars were resume enhancers, according to some in George Bush’s Republican party.  There was no issue of national security, national interests, protection of the “homeland”; wars were a way to get ahead, and the everyday soldier was the one on whose backs such wars were a key to politicians’ success.  In other words, as Christopher Hedges has realized and aptly written about, ‘war is a force that gives us meaning’.  We find glory in war and fight them because it defines us, not because we need to preserve freedom or security.  Today’s politician uses war as a way to shape a nation’s identity, not its borders or save its citizens.  Such an attitude leads me to wonder how much of what we see today is really us against them, or is it all just “us”?

Christian Evangelism and Christian-Jewish Zionism have destroyed the Republican Party


That’s not me talking, although I believe it and more.  Not wanting to stop at just the Republican Party, I believe the two forces in the headline above are on their way to wrecking the country, the Republic of America in ways that could be irreparable.  The above forceful statement was made by a former Republican Frank Schaeffer who came to his realization after years of rubbing elbows with Republicans and their colleagues both the famous and the foot soldiers.  Schaeffer echoes themes that are very prominent in the blogsphere about the nature of today’s America and her alliances.  Several quotes of his are right on the money.

Two religions (in the broadest sense of the term) have destroyed the Republican Party: evangelical Christianity and Christian/Jewish Zionism. Evangelical Christianity created the Religious Right which forever linked the Republican Party to the antiabortion, anti-sex education, anti-evolution and anti-gay crusades. And both Christian and Jewish Zionism linked the Republican Party to what became the neoconservative movement with its roots in such publications as Commentary magazine and their shrill Israel-can-do-no-wrong anti-Arab agenda. (I knew the late editor of Commentary Norman Podhoretz quite well, and we met several times to build alliances between evangelicals and the far American Zionist far right. When it came to Arabs, I believe he was a real racist.)

So what did the Republicans become? They are the party of unnecessary wars both actual and cultural and the party of the rich — those who never serve in the military, just put up flags to “support the troops.” The actual war in Iraq was (as everyone knew with a wink and a nod, but few dared say) really about our commitment to Christian and Jewish Zionism as it was “understood” by the born-again fool Bush. The culture war is also an unnecessary and unmitigated war that pitted the “real America” (in other words white mostly uneducated, lower-middle-class evangelical/Catholic working Americans) against everyone else.

The writer’s conclusion is equally insightful.  I wish other writers would write as clearly and explicitly as Schaeffer.  Because they don’t, I conclude with his words.

The choice for America has always been between inclusive pluralism and exclusion. The kind of religion and Evangelical/Zionist/neoconservative cabal used to take over the interests of the Republican Party is just too small for this big diverse, tolerant and open country of ours. So the Republicans have a choice: become an American political party again serving American interests or continue to serve the narrowly defined religious interests of two angry and fearful Jewish/Evangelical minorities who are themselves bastardized offshoots of their Christian and Jewish traditions.

Mitch, where were you when “we” needed you?


mcconnellA duh moment if there ever was one.

President Bush had become extremely unpopular, and politically he was sort of a millstone around our necks in both ’06 and ’08,” McConnell told reporters Friday. “We now have the opportunity to be on offense, offer our own ideas and we will win some.”

Partisan politics if there ever was any; McConnell misspoke.  Bush was a millstone around the necks of the entire country and probably a few foreign countries as well.  When those of us were saying the same thing during the height of the “terror campaign” waged by the same Republican party of which McConnell is a part our citizenship was threatened and our motives questioned.  We were called traitors and the largest rights grab of the federal government was done in our names.  Is it any wonder more and more people have mistrust for elected officials.

The Republican Epiphany


It’s a bit too late and dishonest, but it’s now being said that Bush is a socialist.  Progressives and people on the left have been saying the same thing but were excoriated for it, accused of being traitors and in so many words told to leave their country.  However, the signs of Bush’s socialist leaning tendencies have been apparent since 911.  That marked the beginning of big government, although that may not quite be the “big government” Republicans now have in mind.

“We can’t be a party of small government, free markets and low taxes while supporting bailouts and nationalizing industries, which lead to big government, socialism and high taxes at the expense of individual liberty and freedoms,” said Solomon Yue, an Oregon member and co-sponsor of a resolution that criticizes the U.S. government bailouts of the financial and auto industries.

What seems to have particularly drawn the Republicans’ ire is the financial bailouts and that indeed should be enough to upset EVERYONE within the borders of the US.  The Republicans however, are responsible for the mechanism behind the bailouts and how it works.  Although the country has been in a recession for over a year, the Bush Administration made the economy a priority only within the last 6 months and hurried initiatives through Congress, much like they did after 911, scaring all who opposed them with dire political consequences (this was an election year) as well as economical ones for the country.  In that kind of atmosphere all felt obliged to give the Administration what it asked for, but this is how Bush has worked throughout his two terms, turning every issue into a national crisis which could only be solved through the immediate and direct involvment of Government.  At every turn Democrats and Republicans participated in this turns towards “socialism” and very few people, except those on the fringe, complained.

Now, Republicans are claiming Bush is a socialist? Bush is NOT the target of this resolution being mulled within the RNC, rather it is Obama.  In fact the resolution itself won’t be considered until after Obama takes office, but what party officials want to do is tie Obama to Bush’s policies and plaster the “socialist” pejorative to the Democrats to use against them in ’12.  Republicans are quite happy with the big government they voted in during the last eight years and they know much of what they instituted will not be rescinded.  Government rarely if ever gives back power, and Bush has done a very good job of handing Democrats hot button issues that are irreparable in the short term so Republicans can position themselves as a “viable” opposition party….much like the Democrats did in ’06, and regain control of the executive and legislative.  Why anyone would want to be President under these circumstances is beyond me.

So the Bush is a socialist accusation is only window dressing to ensnare the Dems who will be forced to defend what transpired during Bush’s term, because once government gives, they can’t taketh back, while they, Republicans argue what they indeed voted for is no good and irrelevant.  A neat political trick.

Obama under the Zionist lobby’s thumb


What’s going on?  First we have Martin Indyk who as far as we know has not been picked to be in an Obama administration making a statement that ‘ Israel can no longer expect “blank cheques” ‘ from America?!  On whose authority does a regular, or in Indyk’s case a highly irregular citizen of the US make such a statement?    Did he say that hoping to be appointed to something in Obama’s government, or was he merely testing the waters for his real bosses at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy to see how  such a statement would be received in America?

The real kicker is Obama’s pledge to attack Iran with nuclear weapons should it attack Israel first, that coming on the heels of pronouncements by the deputy director of national intelligence and chairman of the National Intelligence Council’s Thomas Fingar that Iran has not diverted low-enriched uranium produced at a facility at Natanz, 160 miles south of Tehran, to weapons use, and that Iran did suspend its nuclear program back in 2003 at a time when that country was making peace overtures to the US.  So why does Obama want to pick a fight with Iran now and make the most war mongering Administration in American history seem like a peaceful one?  Perhaps politicians can’t accept the premise Iranians aren’t making nuclear weapons because its unfathomable a country could keep its promise all the while US lawmakers continue to lie about Iranian intentions?

Trying to keep score


This last week has been really fun to watch with so much going on.  I’m sure other bloggers have written about the shenanigans but here are my two cents concerning the political fiasco call the presidential campaign. The McCain campaign tried to capitalize on “Joe the Plumber” until it was learned he was closely related to the Keating scandal which McCain played a major role.

Turns out that Joe Wurzelbacher from the Toledo event is a close relative of Robert Wurzelbacher of Milford, Ohio. Who’s Robert Wurzelbacher? Only Charles Keating’s son-in-law and the former senior vice president of American Continental, the parent company of the infamous Lincoln Savings and Loan. The now retired elder Wurzelbacher is also a major contributor to Republican causes giving well over $10,000 in the last few years.

Opps! You have to ask yourself what was the Obama campain thinking when they let their candidate get sandbagged by an obvious political hack.  Why was Obama walking through this guy’s neighborhood?  Dumb and dumber, I suppose.

William Buckley’s son Chris has come out endorsing Obama and has had to quit his post as a contributing writer on the National Review as a result.  Conservatives, or rather the truest party loyalists among them, those I consider brain dead and members of THE REPUBLICAN PARTY can’t stand the idea that a born and raised conservative doesn’t see anything conservative about their present party.  They forget, those on the National Review, how their publication’s founder distanced himself from Bush and his foray into Iraq, pretty much declaring himself a heretic from his own magazine and the modern day conservative right neocon cabal.

“With the benefit of minute hindsight, Saddam Hussein wasn’t the kind of extra-territorial menace that was assumed by the administration one year ago. If I knew then what I know now about what kind of situation we would be in, I would have opposed the war.”

The conservative right has also distanced itself from Palin’s choice as the vice presidential nominee.

But we have seen Mrs. Palin on the national stage for seven weeks now, and there is little sign that she has the tools, the equipment, the knowledge or the philosophical grounding one hopes for, and expects, in a holder of high office. She is a person of great ambition, but the question remains: What is the purpose of the ambition? She wants to rise, but what for?

*snip*

In the end the Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics. It’s no good, not for conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against John McCain, against his judgment and idealism.

You betcha’!