Archive for the ‘Non-AZ’ Category

Laura Logan, the lying liar of a journalist who put a fictitious story about Benghazi on the once great 60 Minutes, has been given a “leave of absence” by CBS along with her producer.  There’s been some debate online among us liberals as to whether Logan will have learned anything by the experience.  My bet is yes but it’s not the lesson we want.

She learned that because of a pretty face, nice curves and a modicum of intelligence she can grift for almost a year on a non-story and lie to the American public thereby muddying the waters (just as she intended all along).  And if she gets hired by Fox with a fat salary and another national platform to mislead the American public (anyone care to lay bets not on whether they offer a position but how long before they give her an offer), she will have learned that shitting on the truth (and us) pays off.

To heck with the American Dream!  That’s an outdated concept best left on the editing room floor of 21st Century propaganda.  The new, quintessential American story writ large by people like Logan is about the success of grifters with pretty smiles hiding ugly agendas that hurt this country by misleading a goodly portion of voters who are already terrified of non-existent threats from the last grifter to blow through town.  They throw red meat to the crazy 27% of Americans who believe the President is a Mooslim and wear tin foil hats because they have the conch shell given to them by the likes of Rupert Murdoch and other well heeled conservative donors bent on controlling everything we hear and see in this country.

The President, like every other President, wants to be as effective as possible in his second and last term because he doesn’t have another election to win. As a result he can turn his entire focus towards the progressive agenda on which he initially campaigned in 2008/2012. And in order to make it stick, to leave a real, lasting legacy, he should have already gotten started on that agenda. Although, he did get an early start with healthcare there are many other things that need to be done 1. Unfortunately, the GOP and approximately 27% of the country 2 absolutely, positively hate and/or fear him have been actively engaging in obstructionism from the very beginning 3.

This is purposeful obstruction has manifested itself in a variety of ways. The most obvious methods have been the House Republicans blocking debate on (much less voting on) meaningful legislation and blocking the President’s nominees. FFS they blocked debate on withdrawal from Afghanistan, jobs bills during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and now Immigration Reform. They don’t even want to talk about the issues unless it’s on TV and in front of the stenographers we used to call journalists. Since there is nothing the President can do about the legislative stalemate going on right now, nothing will get through Congress for the remainder of his second term. This leaves the President with only one option–using the Constitutional powers of the Executive. This is not that unusual as every President uses those powers to various degrees to enact their agenda and reinforce their legacy.

The Republicans knew that this would be his only option so they’ve been obstructing that as well. Blocking nominees to head Executive Agencies and Judicial Appointments is a big deal because some of those positions have been vacant for years 4. And such a vacancy really hurts the effectiveness of the agency AND has a lasting effect on what policies can and will be implemented.  And if you doubt that they’ve been willfully and abusively blocking nominees, check out this chart below or this one.

From Ezra Klein article, The Washington Post

Well, after years of this bullshit Senate Dems and Moderate Republicans finally said enough is enough and they changed Senate Rules to say that a simple majority vote in the Senate is enough to stop a Filibuster on a nominee 5. Before the rule was they needed 60 votes to stop a Filibuster. Of course, the right and the DC Press Corps are weeping about the loss of comity and “the horror, the horror”.

In truth no such comity ever existed, so these “centrist” journalists need to STFUSD. They’ve been bemoaning the lack of collegiality from the President’s Inauguration up to the present without ever acknowledging that the Republicans NEVER wanted to compromise and NEVER would. The President could have put on a hair shirt, crawled on his knees from the White House to the Capital, periodically flagellating himself and they STILL wouldn’t have accepted him with any decency, much less compromise with him. In point of fact, they probably would have found fault with his method (e.g., “he didn’t wear his flag pin”) as an excuse for their refusal. Furthermore, if the recent government shutdown and flirtation with defaulting on our debt didn’t make that plain as day to the DC Press Corpse 6, then they are not only blind, but deaf and dumb as well.

These same idiots are using the term “Nuclear Option” for this change to Senate Rules. Truth of the matter is the real Nuclear Option has been the 5 year-long obstructionism and purposeful lack of governance being perpetrated by conservatives. But you won’t hear that from our supposedly centrist press corpse. Instead the right will market it as the Presidents fault, as just another abuse of his power 7 and another sign that he’s the Antichrist 8 and the stenographers posing as journalists will amplify that message.

1. IMHO healthcare will be his most important legacy akin to the introduction of Social Security by FDR. A couple of generations down the road, historians will marvel at how much it helped. Mark my words because I plan to still be here and I WILL be telling conservatives “I told you so”.

2. It’s no coincidence that this number is the same for both the hard-core conservative base AND the percentage of the U.S. population that routinely vote against their own best interests and are consistently wrong on all major issues–the “crazification factor”.  Read the 

3.   We all suspected way back in 2010 that it was a concerted group effort when Mitch McConnell became Minority Leader in the Senate but we just found out that they planned to do this even before President Obama was even elected. 

4. Some judicial nominees have been waiting since 2011 and Richard Cordray  was finally accepted after a 2 year wait to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, you know that new bureau that the GOP hated and didn’t want to even exist….

5. Of course, when and if a Republican President is elected Republicans (if they have a simple majority vote will also be able to use this rule to their advantage…..I’m willing to risk it if it means we can move forward.

6. ht Doug J over at Balloon-Juice 

7. Here’s the link 

8. No link to this filth in the text of my post but if you really want to read about it, here 

You have probably heard by now that four Americans, one of whom was our Ambassador, were murdered in Libya. Initial news stories said the attack was the result of an angry mob of protesters incensed over an anti-Islamic video on YouTube that was produced by an Israeli living in the US.

Now we are hearing that this Israeli man has disappeared having gone “into hiding”. The info on the Israeli is very inconsistent and just doesn’t add up. We have also learned that the attack was very well planned and involved about 80 coordinated individuals who had knowledge of military tactics and they had heavy weaponry.

Here’s my two cents on what is going on. All of the info so far indicates that the attack on our Embassy personnel was planned well in advance and not the kind of thing that just springs up, mob style.. If that is true, then the attackers used a real protest as cover and they knew ahead of time about the protest.

How would they know about the protest in advance unless they were tipped off that a hot button issue would erupt in Islamic anger ahead of time? Who could have informed them? The man who put the 15 minutes of that hideous film on YouTube who has been pushing it for the last two weeks and that person in the US was working with agent provocateurs in the Middle East who help to spread anger over the film and encourage riots in Egypt and Libya. Why would this supposed Israeli do this?

Well if he is really an Israeli, which I doubt, it is possible that he represents extreme conservative Jews in Israel and they believe that poisoning the relationship between Libya and the US is to their benefit. It would also serve to ratchet up the tension in the Middle East which is to the benefit of conservative Israel because they have been pushing for war against Iran–a war they cannot pursue without the US. Furthermore, this would look like a failure on the part of President and that would help Romney in the polls during a contentious election year, an election that conservative Israelis want Romney to win.

But what if it wasn’t even an Israeli or conservative Jew? What if he is a Muslim radical who found this crazy film and decided to use it as an excuse for a riot, again working with provocateurs in the Middle East. And again the point of the riot would be to cover up the fact that the attack was a coordinated, planned attack. Why would a Muslim radical do this? Do I really need to explain why in this case?

Now here’s the most outlandish thought. What if this was the old time honored tradition of the GOP, the “October Surprise“? What is that? There have been two incidents that occurred in the month before a crucial Presidential election that helped propel the Republican candidate into office. When Nixon decided he wanted to sit in the oval office, he used back door diplomatic contacts to convince the North Vietnamese to delay negotiations for peace until after the US Presidential election,extending the war and paving the way for his ascendency to the White House. Then there was Reagan who interfered in Carter’s negotiation with Iran to free the hostages. Reagan asked Iran to wait until after the US Presidential election to continue negotiations and in exchange he would give them weapons (which led to Iran-Contra). Seeing a pattern here? Don’t believe me? Then check out this video.

Although it isn’t quite October yet, I wouldn’t put it past the neocons for trying yet again to hijack our domestic elections by using the leverage of foreign crises. After all former VP Cheney, architect of the Iraq Disaster, was a part of the Nixon administration (as were a few of the neocons who advised Pres. G.W. Bush). So the neocons are old hands at this kind of back door interference and manipulation (also known as treason). And I don’t for a minute think that Romney is incapable of such rotten dealings. This kind of thing is VERY common in business negotiations. Only a fool would expect a sociopathic businessman to act like an ethical politician when competing to occupy arguably the most powerful leadership position on Earth.

I normally scoff at conspiracy theories but there are just too many things that don’t add up with the Libyan attack. In any case, odds are the “Israeli” isn’t a real person but an agent provocateur. Who he works for we probably won’t know for another 25 plus years when the government material is declassified. No matter who or what he is, I would bet my bottom dollar the US Intelligence agencies recognized him early on and have whisked his butt off to a secret location. Whether they are interrogating him for intel, protecting him from exposure to CYA, or protecting him from radicals bent on revenge who the hell knows. What we do know is that four Americans are dead because of somebody’s evil machinations and now we have another reason to be sad in September.

Today is 9/11 and that brings with it a ton of memories, most of them painful and almost surreal.  For those in NYC and those who lost loved ones on that horrible day, all of it is much more immediate–almost palpable, even after all these years.  Consider too the ripple effect from that violent day.  It spawned two wars practically on the other side of the world–one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.  We went to Afghanistan for revenge and we went into Iraq out of fear.  To the soldier on the ground, going through his or her daily dance with death, the reason is of little consequence.  There have been 6,500 casualties in the wars and that has a ripple effect for all of the loved ones who live on and remember.  For the soldiers that make it home, they often don’t make it home in one piece.  And many of the injuries are unseen until they boil over.  The truth that very few people are talking about is that there are estimates of over 50,000 injured vets that have come or will come home.  Triple that number to account for undiagnosed brain trauma and PTSD.  These soldiers will have very special needs that will require a grateful nation to step up to the plate and care for them.

I could get political but I won’t. Now is not the time for it.  Time enough for that crap tomorrow.  Today I just want to acknowledge all the ripples that began with 9/11 that have gone out to envelop the world.  Because of 9/11,  many of my fellow citizens died or suffered, many will continue to suffer for the rest of their lives, and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians have lost their lives, been driven from their homes, or wander the world as refugees.  No, today is a day of remembrance for all of these people and the sacrifices made in the past, acknowledgement of the sacrifices the rest of us will have to make in the future to repair, as best we can, what has been broken, and to learn the important lessons so as to never repeat these same mistakes again.   I think we can all agree there are lessons to be learned, but what those lessons are will be up for debate in the years to come.  But again,  not today.  Today, I humbly own my country’s obligations to my fellow citizens, most especially the soldiers, and to the world in general.  We most assuredly were attacked on 9/11 and became victims that day.  But how we reacted to it….that I own–we own…today of all days, let us take on the yoke of that responsibility.

Peace be with you and yours.

I never took Latin but if Google Translation says it’s right, that’s good enough for me!  Seriously though…nothing new here, not really.

I avoided watching the RNC this past week because I didn’t want to get pissed off and have an aneurysm.  Apparently, I’m not the only one who thought it wasn’t worth the hassle.  I’ll admit that I’ve become a political junkie….I can’t really help myself.  I HAVE to keep up on what is going on.  But even I have my limits and I learned them the hard way.

So I digested the RNC through many, many other eyes and well cut videos.  In the end, I didn’t hear anything new (but certainly some strange things like Eastwood…WTF was that!)  Please dear Lord if I ever get that old and weird, don’t let me anywhere near a nationally televised event!  If you want to prop me up and let me perform at the family reunion so you can all laugh at me fine, but not that ignominy.

I’m totally stoked about the upcoming DNC.  Even though I hate crowds, really loud noises, the hassle of traveling to a big city during a big event, etc….I’m incredibly jealous of those who get to go.  Hell, I would have killed to have been at the President’s victory speech in 2008.  It was electrifying on TV, so I can’t even imagine what it would have felt to be there.  There is something that happens in a crowd that can never happen when we are alone.  Maybe it’s the pheromones people put off, or their closeness or the way emotion translates so much better in person…I don’t know.  I just know I would be talking about being there and what that felt like until the day I died.

But I’m here in AZ.  Not the worst place to be, but sometimes a close second.  At least I have my kids and a good job.  I’m better off than 99% of the rest of world….I know that.  Too bad too many Americans don’t–Romney and Ryan, I’m looking at you.  Which brings me full circle to what I wanted to say about the RNC.  I saw nothing new in “new-money ice sculpture” Romney (to borrow a clever phrase from Charlie Pierce) to change my mind from many months ago when I think I finally came to understand him and what he offered the country.

Back in May of this year I wrote the following:

[Mitt’s] all about telling people what they want to hear, regardless of the practicality or even the morality of what they want. He only wants their vote–to close the deal, to make the sale just like the CEO only wanted a deal. He’s the investor who wants his money back. And he doesn’t care what he has to do or who he has to hurt in the process to get it back. He doesn’t care that fewer people might be employed, that the customer might not be getting the best product or service, and that, overall, he has added nothing to the country.

And I’m not the only one to have noticed.  As Charlie Pierce said after watching Mitten’s speech live from the floor of the convention hall:

I think that, somewhere along the trail, it occurred to him that, really, all he was doing was conducting another sale, and that, if there was one thing he can do, it’s that he can sell.

So, what’s changed after the RNC? Nothing except for the fact that I now know that Romney has some cojones.  What else would you call the boldness of maintaining a steady string of lies and obfuscation for longer and in greater depth than any other public figure I can recall in my 42 years on this planet. So Ryan is definitely learning from the Jedi Master of Mendacity and he must be making straight A’s–look at his speech the night before…the audacity of the lying is breathtaking.

They can lie all they want, but just having cojones or audacity, if you prefer, is not something that qualifies you to sit in the Oval Office.  No, what is required to be there, if one should desire to actually be successful, are all the qualities that Romney does not possess.  The RNC simply exhibited not only his but the GOP in general’s selfishness, tone deafness, lack of empathy, short-term thinking, non-introspective, pandering style–in short, moral bankruptcy.  The last thing this country needs is some ice sculpture of a man who would chop shop what’s left of the U.S. economy and then lie about how it’s good for all “you” people.  With Romney, IMHO, it’s definitely the same shit, different day.