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Category Archives: Middle East

GOTP presidential hopefuls hammer health care, have nothing new to offer? Nope not one new idea, just more of the same old tripe they’re always scooping out …

And so, it’s 20 some odd months until Election Day 2012 and a very small group of potentially high-profile Grand Old Tea Party (or the group formerly known as Republican) candidates show up like the early spring honey bee hoping to impress the equally small hundred or so conservative activists Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa that most Americans (that would be GOTP, Independent and the very small smattering of Democratic voters) agree with their particularly odd variation of “values”, and opposition to all and everything President Obama represents, but mostly his socialistic health care overhaul; and that all of this could somehow magically help the GOTP make historic gains in 2012.

One of the most incredible long shots in political history, except for possibly with this year’s gathering of right-wing odd balls and fruit cakes is Michigan Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who not surprisingly is a huge a tea party favorite, and who – also not surprisingly – got the noisiest reception when she told the “huge” hundred plus crowd gathered that voters are ready to overturn the federal health care law and oust President Barack Obama during next year’s election.

“The ultimate arrogance, in my opinion, is Obama-care,” Bachman said. “That’s why I am so absolutely confident in 2012. Americans have made the decision that we’re going to take our country back.”

Ah yes, the perennial GOTP favorite line, “we’re going to take our country back.” But to where do you want to take it, and for whom Congresswoman? Are we going back to 2008? Back to those happy carefree days of Bush/Cheney when habeas corpus was suspended on a whim if your name had Mohamed in it, or before our military was free from Gays and Lesbos? Or back to the pre-Camelot days before all those pesky Black people dared to eat at the same lunch counter?

Of course the Newt was there, and the deep south’s Haley Barbour and even former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain spoke to add a splash color to the Midwest white bread event as the token conservative African-American, since Justice Clarence Thomas was unable to attend due not being sure how to bill the gathering and still at least try to appear impartial on the bench.

But why Iowa you ask? Is it because it’s a field of dreams, and hopefully Newt, Barbour and company will all walk into the corn and finally fade away? Or is it simply because event organizer, Iowa Congressman Steve King, believes that his home state, the state where the nation’s first presidential caucus will take place, is the proper venue to help conservatives shape the debate as members of the GOTP begin looking for a candidate to run against Obama.

“We need to take this nation to the next level of its destiny,” King told the crowd. “You can shape that destiny.”

Of course with Bachman, Newt and Barbour that “next level of its destiny” can only mean backwards or farther off the cliff of economic collapse started during the last administration.

While Iowa is the traditional launch pad for the presidential nominating season, when one sees the sharply conservative rhetoric from Saturday’s little rally, allegedly reflecting an Iowa GOTP that’s drifted not just to the right, but to the far right, coupled with some polling data from last year showing more than 60 percent of GOTP caucus-goers there are identifying themselves as not only Christians but evangelicals, you have the makings of a gold old fashioned revival meeting, the type where Mormons – such as Mitt Romney – need not apply; of course it’s also then going to be an evangelical crowd that’s going to have a hard time getting its arms around a two time adulterer, or a deep south nominee, which leaves the nomination wide open for Huckleberry, Bachman and Palin. How wonderful.

Interestingly enough Newt insisted that most Americans agree with his conservative values, with the Newtster actually saying the 2012 election would provide a chance to end the “domination of the left and move this country back to the center-right.”

That would be the center right where family values stands for cheating on not just one but two spouses, marrying each mistress in turn and then claiming you couldn’t control your hormones because of your deep seated love of country?

Haley said the GOTP can win next year if their candidates stay focused on key issues — health care and balancing the federal budget — without getting distracted by arguments about personality. Of course by balancing the budget he means zeroing out any progressive programs, while continuing to cut taxes to the top 2% of the nation’s population and allowing defense spending to maintain its unabashed feeding frenzy.

“What is important to us is to have a new president,” Barbour said. “This election needs to be about policy.”

That’s right. It’s all about the policy of taking our country back to a time when uppity folks like foreign born blacks knew their place, isn’t that right Governor? It’s about an America where homos and lesbians weren’t allowed in polite society, and it’s about the America where the term foreign policy meant telling our allies to shut up, sit down and do what we told them to do.

During the “event”, the speakers all focused on criticizing President Obama and the Democratic Party, and the Newter even took the time to say how he “helped balance a budget for four straight years” while House speaker. That of course was due more largely to the efforts to his fellow philanderer President Clinton, than for anything he himself managed to do, between his own affairs while impeaching the President for his infidelity.

But of course, Newty also took the opportunity to attack – yet again – President Obama’s handling of the air strikes in Libya. He ridiculed Obama for consulting the Arab League and the United Nations, but not Congress, before getting involved. The Newt said he wouldn’t have approved the air strikes, even though he pushed for air strikes and a no-fly zone just a week or two before the President implemented that very policy, but said Newt, “once you get involved, you put on the pressure and you win quickly.” As compared to becoming bogged down in not one but two wars with absolutely any exit policy, clear cut goals or objectives.

Cain, who decided to be the one speaker not talking about the federal health care law, said the conservative movement is gaining strength and will help the GOTP “take back the government”.

He does understand that the GOTP’s version of “taking back” the government would mean he’d be serving them the pizza, and driving Miss Daisy around town, doesn’t he? Taking the country back doesn’t mean equality for Blacks, Hispanics, Gays or Lesbians. It’s taking the country back to the happier times of Herbert Hoover before Labor Unions and desegregated class rooms.

Seeming to be oblivious to all of this, and believing the fact that since he’s a wealthy black man meant he shared in the GOTP dream, he said the U.S. has “an entitlement spending crisis” that must be reformed in order to solve the nation’s financial woes. Being the GOTP code for throwing the poor and the elderly out on the street where they belong. Cutting social security benefits to the disabled, cutting WIC and women’s pre-natal and health care, slashing college loan programs to the poor and zeroing public broadcasting, and arts programs.

“We don’t like the radical socialist agenda that is being shoved down our throats,” he said.

And what he wanted to say is we don’t like the idea that the poor can have free health care, and have their standard of living increased, and that we have a minimum wage and child labor laws and the like, and that he could’ve made much higher profits if only he could’ve paid lower salaries or could’ve had five and six your olds slaving away in his pizza kitchens.

Meanwhile, Bach on the farm, the Congresswoman from Michigan steered things back onto the effort to repeal the health care reform law and said that American’s bad feelings for the law had created a strong tide of support for the GOTP positioning itself for next year’s election.

“It’s never gone below a majority of Americans who want to see Obama-care repealed,” Bachmann said. “This is, I believe, the greatest power grab that I have ever seen.”

Really, “it’s never gone below a majority of Americans who want to see Obama-care repealed”? While that might be true of any Rasmussen poll, in the world outside of the FOC PAC bubble the clear majority doesn’t want it repealed, and is happy with the law. And are you really serious when you claim this is the greatest power grab you’ve ever seen Congresswoman? So, one can only assume you either haven’t paid any attention to the whole political coup thing in Wisconsin? Or, you wholeheartedly agree with it?

Bachman exhorted the hundred or so listeners that the stakes in next year’s election are enormous, and that “what we are going to determine together, here in Iowa, is quite frankly whether we will pass the American Dream on to the next generation.”

Of course that’s the American dream of white, Anglo-Saxon, Christian evangelicals. Not the one that includes people of color – except to clean the house, repair the roof, pick the vegetables and maybe collect your garbage. It’s also not the American Dream of any of those darned Muslims and their Mohamed; it’s not the American Dream of religious freedom, unless you strictly uphold to the idea that America is a Christian nation; of course it’s a Christian nation that is largely denying the Christ, and his teachings regarding caring for the poor and the sick among us, and of brotherly love etc. It’s the Evangelical Christian American Dream of the Old Testament where Gays are stoned to death, and only white people get to be President. It’s the American Dream of preemptive warfare and unending tax cuts and never having to pay the bill for the Wild West diplomacy.

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Republicans claiming Libyan bombing is ‘unconstitutional’?

GOTP (Grand Old Tea Party) members of Congress are claiming the conflict in Libya is unconstitutional because President Barack Obama failed to ask, “Mother may I”? Strange how the same group – responsible for supporting George Bush’s misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq – is now wanting a President to be responsible, or is it just because it’s President Obama?

The President actually sent a letter concerning the Libya intervention to members of Congress on Monday, well within the guidelines of the War Powers Act.

Not good enough according to the GOTP; which claims that under the U.S. Constitution Congressional approval is required for declarations of war. While that may be true, the United States has not acted militarily under a declaration of war since Franklin Roosevelt addressed the Congress on 8 December 1941. How many American soldiers, sailor, airmen and marines have been placed in harm’s way since then?

Where was the GOTP when Americans were sent off to fight George W’ Bush’s private little war in Iraq? You want an example of unconstitutional misuse of authority, there it was.

Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, yes he’s GOTP, was among members who argued that military action in Libya was unconstitutional. He told the Hill magazine: “The United States does not have a King’s army. President Obama’s unilateral choice to use US military force in Libya is an affront to our constitution.”

No Congressman, you’re an affront to our constitution, and to your office. On 13 March 2004, you were one of the “Congressional Co-Chairs” of a so-called “Host Committee” which provided access to the Dirkson Senate Office Building for a “Messiah” crowning of the Rev Sun Myung Moon, a piece of theatrics the New York Times compared to “an act of the Roman Emperor Caligula.” You also under-reported, according to the Frederick News-Post, property sales by over $1 million since 2004. But of course you defended this as a mere “oversight” and that you were only a “bit player” in the real estate transactions. But wait sir, you also, once again according to the Frederick News-Post, made $299,000 in unreported loans in order to sell your daughter’s home over which you had exercised a power of attorney. So, please, spare us all the “holier than thou” typical GOTP nonsense.

A survey by CNN/Opinion Poll conducted on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and published on Monday, recorded 50% approval for Obama’s handling of the crisis, with 41% disapproving, and support for a no-fly zone climbing from 56% to 70% over the last week.

Those numbers seem familiar? Oh yeah, just around 50% of voters elected the President, and 41% is about the number of individuals glued to FOX PAC and listening to Limbaugh, Hannity, et al … to this 41%, there is nothing this President can ever do that will meet with any level of approval.

Following Roscoe’s example was chief Congressional hypocrite Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, another devout member of the GOTP, who has called on the President to “clearly define for the American people what vital United States security interests he believes are currently at stake in Libya”.

Sometimes Congresswoman we – the United States – have a moral obligation to step into blood baths like what was occurring in Libya, that was “interest”. This tie we’re really part of a U.N. mission, not making it up as we go along, nor lying about why we’re involved. Wow, that’s quite different from the time when you voted to support an unlawful and unconstitutional pre-emptive war in 2002. What exactly were the “vital United States security interests … at stake” in Iraq Congresswoman? Oh yeah, there were none!

 

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Allies finally move in Libya?

Finally the United Nations, Great Britain, France and the United States have pulled their collective heads out of their fourth points of contact and have launched forces into action against the regime of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi; as the attacks began, President Obama declared from Brazil that the “people of Libya must be protected.”

“In the absence of an immediate end to the violence against civilians, our coalition is prepared to act and act with urgency,” Obama said at a news conference in Brazil’s presidential palace following meetings with the newly elected President Dilma Rousseff.

Of course it’s only taken how long to decide to act with “urgency” Mr. President? You may have decided to move with too little, too late. Where were the United States, Great Britain and France when the revolution was on the very brink of toppling Qaddafi? It’s understood that the Bush/Cheney attitude of bomb and invade, shock and awe, and ask questions later was over kill, but there are times when America needs to use its strength to help those who are fighting to overthrow despots. There are few – if any – members of our military who wouldn’t jump at the chance to help people legitimately fighting for their liberties, as opposed to being used as tools imposing freedom by Presidential whim and edict.

Minutes before he began speaking, officials from the United States, Europe and the Arab world meeting in Paris announced immediate military action to protect civilians amid combat between Qaddafi’s forces and rebel fighters. French warplanes were targeting Qaddafi’s forces. American ships and aircraft were poised for action but weren’t participating in the initial French air missions.

France, Britain and the United States had warned Qaddafi on Friday that they would resort to military means if he ignored the U.N. resolution demanding a cease-fire.

How nice it is to have our forces be part of legitimately enforcing a U.N. resolution instead of pretending that was the reason for our involvement. This time around, our men and women will know they’re fighting with their allies as the enforcement arm of the U.N. and not pretending to enforce U.N. sanctions or simply using the United Nations as an excuse to cover a questionable invasion.

United States involvement at this point is to be limited – according to Administration officials – and its primary objectives will be to helping protect French and other air missions by taking out Libyan air defenses; however, things could intensify depending on the response and the U.S. is prepared to launch additional attacks in support of allied forces.

“This is a broad international effort,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said from Paris. “The world will not sit idly by while more innocent civilians are killed. The United States will support our allies and partners as they move to enforce” the resolution.

The President has already ruled out sending in U.S. ground troops. But the U.S. has a host of forces and ships in the area, including submarines, destroyers, amphibious assault and landing ships. One U.S. official said the Navy was planning a sea-launched missile attack from the Mediterranean against elements of Libya’s coastal air defenses.

And this is precisely how the U.S. should be conducting itself. America never needed to send ground forces into Iraq, and could have easily forced Hussein to yield through multiple, well targeted air strikes, and the use of ground forces to take him out could have been small in scope and supported from the air (i.e. Special Forces, Rangers, SAS, etc.). There was no need then, and there is no need now, to put boots on the ground, and the rebels in Libya have not asked for them. They want air cover, and the allies can certainly supply that.

 

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