Posts Tagged ‘Pres. Shrub’

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother;
–William Shakespeare, from Henry V

In my mind, the part that says “sheds his blood with me” should be “sheds his blood for me”. See in modern warfare everyone doesn’t fight in wars–at least not in the U.S. We have the luxury of having standing armies. But that doesn’t relieve us as fellow citizens of our obligations to those who do fight. Apparently U.S. Senate Republicans have forgotten that.

Senate Republicans voted down a VA spending bill.  Only Democratic Senators and two Republicans voted for the bill. The opposed Republicans argued that 1) it’s borrowed money and that’s bad policy, 2) the VA is wasteful so why extend its mission if it’s already failing, and 3) they wanted new sanctions against Iran tagged onto the bill because they couldn’t get it to the floor for debate any other way.

There’s so much there to lambaste….where to start. I’ll try to keep it simple.

1) Borrowed Money BS: The GOP has the nerve to bitch about borrowed money when they supported TWO wars and borrowed money to fund them. Hell they didn’t even budget for them until Pres. Obama came into office and insisted that we put the expense on the books and start paying for them. You, know, to do the grown up thing. Both wars cost us $4 trillion with tens of billions wasted and ended up lining the pockets of big corporations like Halliburton and Xe. You know Halliburton the company that Dick Cheney used to run and Xe, formerly known as Blackwater, who provided soldiers for hire when we ran out of troops.

So now these same guys are now refusing to pass a bill that would take care of the very veterans that fought in those wars because it would cost us $21 billion over 10 years. Now realize this new bill restores pension money that was previously promised to veterans and upon which many military familes were planning on having upon retirement. Congress only recently took a part of their pension away–so they could give it back–they never should have taken it in the first place. The bill also sought to expand benefits like caretaker stipends. You know for all those soldiers so wounded from IED’s that they need constant care while their beleaguered spouses have to now work just to survive. Did you know that the military spent $103 million on food stamps in 2013, which was a 5% increase from the year before, and that the usage of food stamps by military families has quadrupled since 2006? That’s because base pay for a soldier with a wife and one kid is $20,000. That’s nothing in today’s economy.

2) VA failing in its mission: Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) actually said “If the VA is already failing to meet its obligations to veterans, is it wise to extend its mission even further?” Oh, do you mean like we were losing in Iraq and extended what we were told would be a “get in, get out” kind of thing? Like when Pres. Bush declared mission accomplished but the war actually lasted 10 frigging years and the country is still experiencing chaos? The hypocrisy is so thick, you could cut it with a knife.

3) Iran sanctions: Do you hear that loud drum beat? That’s the war hawks in the Republican party pounding the drum for war in Syria and/or Iran. They think if they appear to be “strong” then it will make the President look “weak” in comparison. It’s why we’re seeing so many conservative articles online comparing Pres. Obama and Vladimir Putin and praising Putin for his “direct” approach. It’s a two pronged strategy: make him look weak and deny him any peaceful foreign policy solutions. And voila, we’ll have a very profitable war–profitable for them and their ilk but not so much for our military, our national budget, or well for anyone other than the warmongers and the companies that grease their palms. They are so desperate to deny Pres. Obama any political successes that they want to sabotage the already working negotiations with Iran. So they want to sabotage the peaceful solution we are currently engaged in and willing to risk a boots on the ground war with Iran for the sake of getting over politically on the President. Weren’t these the same assholes who demanded that liberals put country first any time we criticized the previous administration? Yes, yes they are.

The problem here is that Americans aren’t paying attention. They aren’t hearing this hypocrisy, at least for the most part. I certainly hope that military families are seeing and hearing the BS coming from the GOP, because if they don’t, these idiots will be voted back into office at the next midterm elections. Wake up America.


This post is the result of a “discussion” on Facebook between some self-proclaimed libertarians and their accusations that Obama Supporters ignored a long list of things about the President–cool aid drinking and all that.  I couldn’t answer their “list of things” on Facebook so I will address them one by one on my blog.  Unbeknownst to these libertarians, they don’t understand that Obama Supporters really do consider these “things” and think them through.  We just come to different conclusions than they do.  Maybe this series of posts will open their mind and allow them to see how a “liberal thinks” (like observing us in the wild maybe /snark) but I won’t hold my breath.  At the very least, maybe someone will be a little more informed, which is all good.

What is the NDAA and who signed it into Law?

Okay, some history because it matters. The original AUMF 1 of 2001 (passed by Congress, signed by G.W. Bush) was to be used against Terrorists. It allowed Pres. to use all “necessary and appropriate force” against those that perpetrated or harbored those who perpetrated in Sept 11th. This has been interpreted to mean that the Feds could use warrantless wiretapping, even against American citizens and later interpreted by G.W. Bush for the purposes of indefinite detention and to justify the use of Military Tribunals to prosecute terrorists in Guantanomo Bay 2. There was another AUMF in 2002 that was used to invade Iraq. In 2011, Congress proposed another AUMF that allowed for the indefinite detention by the Military of any accused terrorists.

Critics charged that the way the law was written, indefinite detention could be used against American citizens. This third AUMF renewed the 2001 AUMF with even more expansive language on who the Feds could target. So in addition to  those who were responsible for 9/11, they targeted anyone who substantially supports Al Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces. Last thing it did was put restrictions on the Excecutive Branch’s ability to transfer detainees out of Guantanamo  This third AUMF was not passed on it’s own but included in a larger Dept of Defense budget bill in 2012, called the The National Defense Authorization Act, signed by President Obama.

All of these bills and provisions were begun by Congress, passed unanimously by conservative Senators and Representatives and some liberal defectors. They are, for the most part, Congress giving powers to the Executive Branch. President Obama openly spoke of his problems with the powers that Congress seemed so awfully eager to give him. The Supreme Court and the lower courts had already stated that the AUMF 2001 was considered Constitutional. The President had no qualms re-newing those provisions. But in regards to detaining citizens and other provisions not addressed by the Supreme Court, he was very, very concerned–Concerned enough to openly threaten a veto. In the end he created a signing statement, in which he said:

“The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it. In particular, I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists….under section 1021(e), the bill may not be construed to affect any “existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.” My Administration strongly supported the inclusion of these limitations in order to make clear beyond doubt that the legislation does nothing more than confirm authorities that the Federal courts have recognized as lawful under the 2001 AUMF. Moreover, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens.

He also had other problems with the bill, such as Congress preventing him from transferring Guantanamo detainees to U.S. soil so they could be prosecuted criminally, which in turn prohibited him from being able to close Guantanamo . Furthermore, if he didn’t sign the bill it also meant that our active soldiers, veterans and their families would have gone unpaid and unsupported. Beyond the moral implications of not taking care of them, there is a practical consideration too. You don’t just stop paying your soldiers 3, particularly in the middle of two wars.  Unfortunately his signing statement does not in any way bind future Presidents. And that’s really where the problem lies.

Now I want to know why Pres. Obama’s critics want to pin this on him and him alone? The two other branches have created and supported these hideous laws. How is the Executive supposed to control that in a legal manner? He can’t except through veto power.   At the time the NDAA was being passed the Senate had enough votes and the House would have likely found the votes to override his veto ( remember this is when Republicans were reflexively doing the opposite of what the President wanted). Then it would have become law without ANY limitation statements being added (i.e., the change in language that says not construed to affect any existing law regarding detention of citizens) AND without the signing statement, little comfort as that may provide. It’s still better than nothing, which is what the veto would have gotten us.

It confuses me when conservatives critics call the President a dictator (or Hitler) because of the NDAA and yet demand he act like a dictator to stop passage of the law.  You can’t have it both ways.  He’s a real President abiding by how our system works and following the rules.  This often constrains him as much as helps him (or any President that gives a damn about the Constitution–G.W. Bush couldn’t even spell the darn word much less abide by it).  It also means that we end up with abominations like the NDAA sometimes and the process to reverse such things is drawn out and very frustrating.

So in the end, I don’t blame President Obama for the NDAA but I do very much oppose it. I also believe that his signing statement is sincere. On the other hand, I have no confidence whatsoever that any conservative of either party or even a center-Democratic President would have such reservations or abide by the signing statement 4. Indeed American history has shown us time and time again, that regardless of which party controls the Executive Branch, once that Branch is granted powers, that Branch never gives it up unless forced to 5. Therefore, critics of President Obama on this particular issue need to be pressuring those idiots in Congress and/or hope that some more liberally minded Justices get appointed to the Supreme Court.  Otherwise, every four years habeas corpus could be threatened anew.  That’s not how it’s suppose to be.  But blaming President Obama alone for it, is simplistic and distracting.


1. Authorization for Use of Military Force
2. On the issue of the Military Tribunals, SCOTUS rejected this argument so technically it doesn’t include that power.
3. That’s what happened just after the American Revolution and almost caused our very young country to experience a military coup, wherein the unpaid veterans of the Continental Army met to find out how they could force Congress to pay them. Washington went becasue he wanted to give input and because he was afraid that violence might result. During the meeting the Veterans discuss a coup and proposed that Washintong be made King…he declined, calmed the veterans assuring them that Congress would deliver and our democracy survived.
4. The 2011 version of the AUMF was sponsored by Sen. John McCain, former Presidential candidate–phew, thank God it was Obama who in won in 2008. As for Romney, the guy who was once again advocating for the use of torture, he wouldn’t have thought twice suspending Habeas Corpus. So any conservative that supported Romney or told you Romney was more in support of Liberty than Pres. Obama because of NDAA is just plain wrong. And on the issue of Romney’s views on Liberty and women’s rights…I’d supposedly be free under a Romney admin but the government could shove things into me without consent and they can condemn me to death or a lifetime of obligation, expense, effort, etc I do not want if I just so happen to be pregnant.  That sounds an awful lot like slavery to me.  But I digress….
5. Hence the War Powers Resolution of 1973

Well, not really a movie, a vlog to be precise. This is a new feature. I plan to post one new video per week on my new Youtube channel.  The entire thing is probably about 45 minutes if you listen to the entire thing but if you want to view just parts of it at a time, you can do that as I have divided it into somewhat topical sections (see individual links below).

Mostly I will be simply commenting on the past week’s events, public and private, but hope to supplement with some pre-scripted, more polished videos that will give you a good chuckle.

Let me know what y’all think!

June 16, 2012 Weekly Vlog Parts

Introduction:  I Promise I Am Not Homeless

Part 1:  Hot Time in the City

Part 2:  The Funny and the Bizarre

Part 3:  Why the MSM sucks

Part 4:  Vagina, Boo!

Part 5:  There is no line

Part 6:  Respect, Can We Get Some?

Conclusion:  Happy Stuff

Bob Cesca has a very good article about the filth being spewed by Crossroads GPS, a non-profit group espousing GOP talking points and pushing their agenda. It’s run by Karl Rove (GW Bush’s former strategist by whom he received the nickname “Turdblossom”-I kid you not). One of the most important things you need to know about Crossroads is that they can spend unlimited funds on elections and they do not have to reveal their donor list. But that’s okay, we already know is is donating….the same assholes who have donated to every major election over the last few years…people like the Koch Brothers. The nest thing you need to know is that their ads outright lie. The one that Bob dissects cost $7 million and is once again trying to pin the debt problem on President Bush. Bob does a great job do wading through the bullshit so you don’t have to.

I am seeing a few articles about the ad in the MSM but very journalists and pundits are actually explaining where the debt came from and the fact that the ad is completely false. This is a major failure on their part. I understand they don’t want to take side but they are obligated to report facts, not just interpretations of fact or, as in this case, outright lies. They’re not supposed to be stenographers. And their failure is not just on a professional level, they also fail in imagination. Why can’t they think up a simple way to explain why the debt isn’t the President’s fault or at least explain where the debt comes from. Here is how simple it is, from a very smart person and frequent commenter on Bob’s site that goes by the name of GrafZeppelin127

I take over a company where my predecessor ordered and had installed $10,000 worth of office furniture, but didn’t pay for it and didn’t put it on the balance sheet for last year. I show up on my first day and find on my desk a bill for $10,000, plus interest. So I write a check and pay that bill. Who “spent” that $10,000, me or my predecessor?

Time goes on and I discover that there are a lot of unpaid bills that my predecessor left me, and took out some loans that weren’t reflected on the balance sheets for those years. So I start paying those bills and servicing those debts, but at the same time I still have to spend money to run the company, pay my employees, replenish supplies, etc. So even though the cost of running the company hasn’t really changed, it looks like I’m spending a lot more because I’ve got all those unpaid bills to pay and all that debt to service. And if my revenues don’t add up to what I’m paying in operating costs + unpaid bills + debt service every month, I have to borrow more.

And all along, my shareholders lionize my predecessor and accuse me of spending too much. Yet I’m actually the one being “fiscally responsible.”

Boy, I would hate to be the new manager, wouldn’t you? I don’t always agree with Pres. Obama but on this issue I have to say I have considerable sympathy for the crappy situation he was handed by G.W. and the blame he now suffers from Turdblossom and his GOP ilk.   But Turdblossom and the GOP aren’t the only culprits we need to call out. They have been greatly aided by American economic ignorance and a widespread professional failure on the part of the MSM. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Our democracy cannot survive without a healthy Fourth Estate and right now, it is on life support.


You might be shocked to learn that there is another reason to despise former President G.W. Bush and his gang of Neocons*…then again, maybe not. Jon Stewart had the author Trita Parsi on his show Thursday night to promote a new book entitled, “A Single Roll of the Dice” about American Diplomacy with Iran from 2003 to the present day.

You really should see the entire interview but in case you don’t have time, let me give you an important piece of information. This information is crucial to know when considering war with Iran in the near future as so many politicians, from both parties, seem to be advocating (Sen. McCain I am looking at you).

Pres. Bush received a letter in 2003 from the Iranian leaders that offered to sit down at the negotiating table giving us every concession asked for. Yes, you read that right. They offered to stop enriching uranium, to stop supporting jihadist groups, to stop interfering politically in neighboring countries, to stop threatening Israel, etc. It was the motherload, the holy grail, of foreign relations–a peaceful end to a long and ugly diplomatic battle to restrain and contain the destructive theocratic government of Iran. Most likely they were afraid we would invade them.  They had reason to fear such plans, as you will soon find out.

You know what the President Bush’s response was? He ignored it. You know why? We had just invaded Iraq and he felt that was so darn successful that we ought to do the same to Iran and we could get even more than they were willing to concede in the letter. Many people, myself included, would have advised that we take the offer because we the jury was still out on Iraq and I was never entirely convinced that war with Iraq was even necessary.

The whole point of Iraq was, at the time, because we thought they had WMD and thought they had ties to Al Qaeda….at least that’s what they told us. When that turned out not to be true, that’s when we learned that there was a bunch of Neocons (such as VP Cheney**, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, and many more) were advising President Bush to invade for the purpose of regime change and the other reasons, if true–great. But if not true, “too bad, so sad”.  The typical response from these Neocons to such criticism was, “Well Saddam was evil and needed to go anyway.”  Have you heard this from people around the U.S.?  I have and I know they are simply parroting the same Neocon talking point that the GOP and Fox News propaganda machine (FOPGOX as I like to call them) had been drilling into their viewers minds to make it a little bit easy to swallow the disaster that Iraq had become.

Using Neocon logic, I can make a very long list of leaders that are evil and need to go.  But are we REALLY going to invade every one of those countries? That would be pure insanity. And yet, this is the reasoning Neocons through FOPGOX have used and are now pushing with Iran. And the problem is that this concept is leaking into the center of politics, now heard in the stump speeches of former centrist politicians like Mitt Romney and Pres. Obama (although to be fair the President is simply saying that the military option is on the table, he is not advocating for war). However, even just having the military option on the table is dangerous because it is a possibility–a possibility that is making the Neocons and their associated war profiteers (Halliburton, I’m looking at you) salivate at the prospect.

It also makes us much more vulnerable to the machinations of Israel.  If Israel were to get  into an armed conflict with Iran, we would be very hard pressed not to support  them with military forces, especially since our current President has admitted to leaving that option reluctantly open and the GOP alternatives are all eagerly clamoring for it.  I can imagine a worst case scenario where Prime Minister Netanyahu leads Israel this year to a first strike against Iran for the purposes of not only stopping their uranium enrichment project, which is real, but also to influence our November 2012 election.  This is a horrible thought, but it is a possibility since the conservative coalition that Netanyahu represents in Israel has never liked or trusted Pres. Obama.  The Prime Minister has already returned to Israel and said that our timetables for dealing with Iran are different.

Allaying fears of any imminent action, Mr. Netanyahu told the commercial Channel Two that stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability was “not a matter of days or weeks.” But he added, “It is also not a matter of years.

In other words we would prefer to wait until after the election and they would not.  So comforting that it will be a matter of months and not years. Thanks for that Israel.

I am less much less eager to waste more lives and treasure on such endeavors now or even next year. We are the U.S….we are not supposed to be the invaders nor warmongers. We should be the protectors of democracy, the keepers of the holy flame of liberty.  If we can  solve something peacefully, we should do everything possible to do so.  We should not be involved in the ugly conflagration of regime change via military conflict, which is what this would be.  Don’t be fooled by the talk about Iran having a nuclear weapon.  Iran doesn’t have one and there is no intelligence whatsoever to suggest that they have one or are yet capable of even making one.

So remember when you vote this November, that we had peace with Iran and the real possibility of stability in the Middle East was in our hands in 2003 and that the Republican leadership through arrogance and the Congressional Democratic leadership*** through ignorance and naivete chose war and conflict instead.  That  Pres. Obama is seeking a peaceful solution through sanctions with the military option on the table (talking softly but carrying a big stick) instead.  I would rather have no war at all, but if given the choice of a President who openly advocates for war or one who is reluctant  to go to war, I would prefer the reluctant President.


*A Neocon means “new conservative”, a group within the Republican party that openly advocates using military force to bring democracy to other countries, i.e., invading someplace like Iraq using any excuse they can manufacture in order to force Democracy at the end of a gun on the unsuspecting populace. They are currently behind the current drum banging for war with Iran.

**Cheney, an executive at Halliburton, profited to the tune of millions of dollars from the Iraqi invasion, among other things…but that is a book in and of itself and some may have been written on the subject

***Then Senator Obama was opposed to the invasion of Iraq but once troops were committed his opposition changed to one  of  reluctant support.  He did not want to cast votes that might under fund the troops and put them in harms way but he still wanted to express his disagreement with the war in some fashion. This is the kind of nuance that escapes most voters and is eagerly used against any nuanced politician during election campaigns.