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Posts Tagged ‘republicans’

Hellfire & Brimstone

Posted by AB on December 21, 2009

The battle over health care reform has brought some pretty fiery rhetoric to the good people of the United States.  In my opinion, save for the outbursts of Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), Congressional Republicans have been spreading the most abhorrent language to his or her constituents.  When we look back to this debate 20 years from now, we will all remember the big lie that was “death panels,” used by Republicans to scare senior citizens.  Unfortunately, the closer we get to a health care reform bill, the more incendiary the rhetoric has become.  Over the weekend it became biblical.

This weekend in Nebraska, former Republican Presidential nominee Mike Huckabee visited to criticize Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE).  Why would the former Arkansas Governor travel to Nebraska on short notice?  Because he saw an opportunity to once again act as demagogue when Nelson finally agreed to join the rest of the Democrats to vote for a health care reform bill.  Huckabee, forever the political opportunist, dropped this little line to drive home his point (via CNN):

 “I don’t want [senators] to go up there…and then somehow go back and boast ‘Here’s some money I got from you.’  The last time we saw that kind of historic moment it was 30 pieces of silver, and that didn’t work out to well for us either.”

He, of course, was referring to Judas’ betrayal of Christ.  Of course it is the same as expanding health care coverage to 30 million Americans, right?  What a stupid think to say, Mr. Huckabee, even for you.

And last night, stung by the realization that Senate Democrats had assembled the needed 60 votes to stop a filibuster, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) went to the floor of the “greatest deliberative body in the world” to release one of the most heinous comments that one could ever imagine.

That’s right; Sen. Coburn is calling for the American people to pray that a Democratic member  is unable to show up.  To the great disappointment of Sen. Coburn, God did not intervene, and even the 92-year-old, wheelchair-bound Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) made the 1 a.m. vote.  Democrats reached cloture by a vote of 60-40, along party lines.

I don’t know what is going on with our politicians these days–they seem to have all lost their minds.  The Senate bill should pass on Christmas Eve, and then there will be a whole new series of vitriol, as the Senate bill will go to conference to merge with the bill that was previously passed by the House of Representatives.  After the eventual passage of the health care reform bill, maybe we can all begin thinking more clearly.  Until then, get accustomed to “crazy talk.”

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Obama’s Afghan Decision

Posted by AB on December 2, 2009

Last night, addressing the nation before the US Military Academy at West Point, President Obama announced his plan for moving forward in Afghanistan.  He announced that he would send 30, 000 more troops into Afghanistan through the next six months, part of a plan to begin removing American military from that country within 18 months.  The new strategy will focus on defeating Al Qaeda, training Afghan police and military, correcting government corruption, and support for the stability of Pakistan.

To the dismay of much of the media, the speech was not filled with “bumper-sticker” quotes, but with reason and responsibility.  His goal was to explain the strategy and reasons for that strategy to, not only American civilians and military members, but also to the people of Afghanistan and the world.  Something that I feel was especially significant and powerful was when the President looked straight into the camera, addressing Afghans, explaining the purpose of the US military presence in their country.  He told them, explicitly, that the United States had no desire to occupy Afghanistan.  That part of the speech might be overlooked and, although it may seem like an insignificant part of the speech, this subtle overture is important to gain the trust of the Afghan people.

This decision by President Obama has been, and will continue to be panned by the media, bloggers, and politicians.  This is one of those decisions that will please very few, right or left, but that could be a good sign, actually.  When no one in this divisive political atmosphere is championing the President’s decision, then he must be doing something right.  He, his administration, and the military seem to be on the same page on this decision, however, which is most important.  Popular support for all wars continue to wane in this country, and for good reason, but the populous reacts emotionally, while our nations leaders must rule with reason. 

Conservatives and Republicans, who are against every decision the President makes, are complaining that there are too few troops, and that the 18-month timeline for withdrawal is somehow equivalent to surrender.  Of course, all of this is nonsense.  I know that they must find something to disagree with, maybe they should remember the advice that they have repeated, again and again, for the past couple of months–listen to the generals.  Okay, let’s see what Gen. Stanley McChrystal has to say:  (from UPI)

“The clarity, capability, and committment outlined in President Obama’s address are critical steps toward eliminating an insurgency in Afghanistan and terrorist safe havens that threatened regional and global security….I believe our renewed coalition campaign is fortified by the path President Obama has put forward.”   

Democrats, liberals, and progressives–my side of political thinking–are not happy about the decision, either.  Many of them feel that it is time for us to immediately withdraw from Afghanistan.  Although President Obama, during last years election campaign, clearly stated he would place more focus of the war in Afghanistan, people on the left are disappointed or angry about this “surge” of troops.  They try to insult Obama by saying that he is acting just like George W. Bush.  That, too, is nonsense.  I only wish that President Bush would have placed the proper focus on Afghanistan.  Unfortunately, he forgot about Afghanistan.  He invaded Iraq.  He didn’t take care of business, so President Obama must.

There are no silver bullets for success in Afghanistan.  There seem to be no good options, but President Obama has properly deliberated over the facts and advice, and he has now announced the strategy that he believes is most likely to lead to success.  I don’t know if he is right or wrong but, as Americans, we should all hope that he is right.  It is time for Americans to unite.  “United we stand, divided we fall.”

Posted in Economics, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Who’s Afraid of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad?

Posted by AB on November 17, 2009

Remember when Republicans acted so tough on the issue of terrorism? You know, the days and months after 9/11. Remember when we weren’t going to allow terrorism to defeat us? Most Americans bought into that then, and we came together as a nation because of that belief, but fewer and fewer believe that in the subsequent years.

After our nation was attacked by religious extremists, our president assured us that those responsible would face justice–there was reason to believe in our nation. All that we needed to do was to go shopping, for if we allowed those terrorists to change our ways of life, they will have won. Do you remember that? All of that tough-sounding cowboy talk really got the red-blooded, “real” Americans’ juices flowing.

Time and truth, however, uncover the facades of even the most strident conservatives. As we moved farther and farther away from that infamous date of 9/11, the attacks have become less of a cause to do good, while becoming an excuse to forget that we have stronger values than others.  Behind the leadership of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, conservatives used the attacks of 9/11 to justify just about anything:  wars, wiretapping of American citizens, holding prisoners without charge, torture, assassinations, the corporate rape of the American people (think Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater), etc. 

Recently, current United States Attorney General, Eric Holder announced that the mastermind behind 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, and four of his cohorts would be tried before a federal court in New York City, the site of the attacks on the World Trade Center.  Republicans, conservatives, and some Democrats seem to have forgotten that we are a nation of laws, and they are huffing and puffing about how scary it will be to try these terrorists on American soil.  They are outraged and afraid; they want you to be outraged and afraid. 

Is it that they have so little faith in our justice system that they fear that the killers might be acquitted?  Do they fear that our law enforcement system cannot protect New York civilians?  Those are a couple of the excuses that you’ll hear, all designed to make you afraid of terrorism, all designed to paralyze this nation in fear.  It should be of no surprise, however, because conservatives have been doing this for years–using the threat of terrorism to weaken domestic opponents.  This time it is to weaken the President of the United States, Barack Obama.  It is easy to see that is the case, because terrorists were successfully tried in civilian courts during the Bush Administration, including the so-called 20th hijacker, Zacharias Moussavi.  That prosecution was supported by conservatives as a triumph of the American way of life.

Well, guess what fraidy-cats.  Trying these terrorists in the courts is not only the right thing to do constitutionally, but it is quintessentially American.  In our country, even the worst of the worst get due-process under our laws.  Even admitted murders get their day in court.  Even admitted child molestors have a right to a trial.  And yes, terrorists, domestic and foreign, must be tried and convicted if they are responsible for crimes on our soil.  Why?  Because we are America, stupid.  We do things the right way, no matter the fears of partisan politics.  If we forget that we are a nation of laws, then the terrorists have won.

This is the man that makes Republicans/conservatives wet their beds.  As an American, are you afraid of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad?

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Who Said It?

Posted by AB on October 12, 2009

It’s pretty difficult, these days, to discern the differences between the rhetoric of the Taliban, Islamic Jihadists, and America’s Right-Wing.  Play “Who Said It?” below. 

*References from Politico, TalkingPointsMemo, Wikipedia

I did not realize the Nobel Peace Prize had an affirmative action quota for it, but that is the only thing I can think of for this news.

a. Rush Limbaugh, Right-wing radio host

b. Erick Erickson, Right-wing blogger

c. Mullah Omar, Taliban Leader

d. Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda leader

Answer: b

…We condemn the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for Obama.  We condemn the institute’s awarding him the peace prize.  We condemn this year’s peace prize as unjust.

a. Glenn Beck, Right-wing radio and tv host

b. Kim Jong-Il, President of North Korea

c. Siamak Hirai, Spokesman for Afghan President, Hamid Karzai

d. Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban Spokesman

Answer:  d

…It is unfortunate that the president’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights…

a. Nicolas Sarkozy, French President

b. Michael Steele, Chairman of the RNC

c. Kaled Al-Batsh, Islamic Jihad Leader

d. Sean Hannity, Right-wing radio and tv host

Answer:  b

Utterly ridiculous.  The credibility of the Nobel Peace Prize has been dwindling downward for years and has now hit rock bottom…

a. Mullah Omar, Taliban Leader

b. Mark Levin, Right-wing radio host

c. Craig Shirley, Republican strategist

d. Kaled Al-Batsh, Islamic Jihadist Leader

Answer:  c

This fully exposes the illusion that is Barack Obama.  And with this ‘award,’ the elites of the world are urging Obama, the man of peace, to not do the surge in Afghanistan, not take action against Iran and its nuclear program and to basically continue his intentions to emasculate the United States.  

a. Rush Limbaugh, Right-wing radio host

b. Mullah Omar, Taliban Leader

c. William Kristol, Neo-conservative writer/pundit

d. Muhammed Hanif, Taliban spokesman

Answer:  a 

Obama winning the peace prize shows these prizes are political, not governed by the principles of credibility, values, and morals….

a. Kaled Al-Batsh, Islamic Jihad Leader

b. Rush Limbaugh, Right-Wing radio host

c. Michael Steele, Chairman of Republican National Committee

d. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran

Answer:  a

 Something has happened here that we all agree with the Taliban and Iran about and that is he doesn’t deserve the award.

a. Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan

b. Rush Limbaugh, Right-wing radio host

c. Chris Wallace, Fox News Sunday Host

d. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda Leader

Answer:  b

…The Nobel gang just suicide bombed themselves.

a. Muhammed Hanif, Taliban spokesman

b. Sean Hannity, Right-wing radio and tv host

c. Muhammed Abdullah Shabazz, A name I just made up

d. Rush Limbaugh, Right-wing radio host

Answer:  d

 Whah, whah, whah.  The President gets everything.  How do we feel good about ourselves if our President succeeds?  I know that his success means that all of America is succeeding, but that doesn’t matter.  If he does well, then our country does well.  If our country does well while Obama is President, the Republican Party will be the minority party for a generation.  All of that talk about “Country First” and patriotism, from conservatives, is all bullshit.  It’s all about power.  How can we be forced to live in a country that is led by a black man? Whah, whah, whah.

a. Rush Limbaugh, Right-wing blowhard

b. Sean Hannity, Right-wing douchebag

c. Glenn Beck, Right-wing nut-sack

d. I climbed into the herads of all right-wing Obama-haters (plenty of space) 

Answer: d

I could go on and on with these, but the point is that President Obama’s critics are becoming so frustrated and deranged, they have begun to sound more like supporters of terrorism than patriotic Americans.  And while this nonsense continues, Republican leaders are eerily silent.

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“Country First?”

Posted by AB on October 9, 2009

Friday brought the announcement, by the Nobel Selection committee, that the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the President of the United States, Barack Obama.  The Nobel Prize in Peace is an enormous honor, and one in which all Americans can be proud.

Unfortunately, many Republicans and/or conservatives in politics and media were outraged that President Obama has received the award.  They were as outraged today as they were joyous one week ago, when the big news story was the announcement that the city of Chicago, and the United States, would no host the 2016 Olympics.  Last week, these same people were laughing and dancing at the President’s “failure.”  Today, they are angry and frustrated that the international community would dare recognize Barack Obama’s efforts toward nuclear disarmament, increased dialogue with hostile governments, the effort to reach out to Muslims around the world,  continued attempts at peace among Israeli’s and Palestinians, the reduction of troops in Iraq, and the demand that Guantanamo Bay prison be closed.

Yes, there is much yet to be accomplished.  The work has just begun, but President Obama is very much deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize.  He should, in no way, be embarrassed by this great honor.  And for those who celebrate his failures and detest his successes; I have some troubling news for you:  You are going to have a very bad eight years.  This man is going to succeed many more times than he will fail.

It’s too bad that the campaign slogan of Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, means nothing to many Republicans and conservatives.  “Country First.”  That’s a great slogan, but it means much more when that vow is honored.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Chicago, USA Loses Olympics. Right-Wing, USA Rejoices.

Posted by AB on October 2, 2009

olympic rings by choithim.

Today, in Copenhagen, Denmark, the International Olympic Committee selected Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.  The four finalists were Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, and Tokyo. 

The story should be the pride that Brazil and all of South America should feel as they celebrate the continent’s first ever Olympic Games.  Unfortunately, the story in this country has become the non-sensical joy of the right-wing punditry and political class.  As soon as President Obama announced that he would be going to Copenhagen to give a presentation in support of Chicago’s bid for the Olympics, bloggers and talk-show hosts from the right were openly rooting against the bid from the United States, insulting the city of Chicago and its citizens.  Republican politicians hit the President, insinuating that he didn’t have time to speak in Copenhagen, with so many other things going on.  I guess they forgot that President Obama’s trip of less than 24 hours pales in comparison to President Bush’s four days as a spectator, last summer in Beijing.  There were not complaints from the right, or the left, for that matter, as our economy was nearing collapse.

The news that Chicago, USA was the first city eliminated by the IOC became music to the ears of President Obama’s critics and opponents.  It was as if they had just won the lottery.  They are rejoicing at the thought that our country has lost-out on the Olympics, and that President Obama has “failed.”  Openly rooting against the United States?  Some might call that un-American or anti-American.  Not only that, but to rub it in the face of those who worked so hard to bring the Olympics, once again, to the United States.  These reactions are beyond the pale, and I would be embarrassed to be connected to these opponents of our country.

No doubt, this is a disappointment, but not only for Chicago or the President.  The Olympics would have brought hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to the midwest.  I guess the question that must be asked to all of those hucksters hoping for America’s Olympic bid to fail is this:  “Why do you hate America?”

While I am disappointed that Chicago lost its Olympics bid, I am happy for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and all of South America.  All of these years, and South America has yet to have the opportunity to host an Olympic Games, Summer or Winter.  If not here, in the good ‘ole USA, then I’m glad that it was Rio.  But let’s face it; despite the oversized expectations, Rio de Janeiro was a shoe-in.  No other country could overcome the this long-overdue nod to a South American city.  I have no hard feelings toward the IOC for selecting Rio, but I do have hard feelings toward Right-Wing, USA for its actions.

Maybe Chicago officials should have pulled a Salt Lake City and paid bribes to IOC officials to secure the bid.  In fact, that embarrassment might have played a part, in the minds of voters, for denying Chicago’s bid.  Whatever the case, the right-wing hacks of America will have their fun at the expense of Chicago and the President, but President Kennedy said, after the Bay of Pigs, “There’s an old saying that victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan.”  Well, this is not the Bay of Pigs, but this is a small embarrassment for the President, and one that will go away, despite the joy of Right-Wing, USA.   

Get to work Rio!

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9/11, Eight Years Later

Posted by AB on September 11, 2009

American-Flag.jpg america bitch image by FELMZ420

Eight years ago, today, the World Trade Center and the Pentagon burned.  America was attacked, from the sky, by a yet to be identified group of enemies.  It was one of those moments in our history in which everyone can remember where they were and what they were doing.  I always heard my elders telling stories of where they were and what they were doing when they heard that President Kennedy had been killed, or when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, or Bobby Kennedy. 

I never really had that moment until September 11, 2001.  Well, there was the moment of the Challenger explosion.  I remember where I was at that moment, but I was just a child, and that was an accident.  9/11 was something completely different.  The feeling that most Americans had on 9/11 must have been like when the “greatest generation” learned that Pearl Harbor had been attacked.  There were, however, no 24-hour news channels in the 1940’s.  We were inundated with information about the 9/11 attacks.  We lived the attacks. 

The attacks of 9/11 seem like just yesterday.  Unfortunately, the unity that our nation felt in the months following seems like millenia ago.  We survived because we were united.  We will fall if we continue to be divided. 

Let us not forget how we felt on that sad day.  But let us not forget how we came together.  We did not think about Democrats or Republicans, or liberals or conservatives.  We were, trulythe United States of America.

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Confirmed!

Posted by AB on August 6, 2009

No surprise, but very gratifying for her supporters. Judge Sonia Sotomayor has been confirmed by a Senate vote of 68-31. She will be only the third woman and first Hispanic to sit upon this nation’s highest court. Judge Sotomayor will be sworn-in as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Saturday.

Nine Republicans voted “Yea,” while the rest of the Republican members of the US Senate voted “Nay.” There will, no doubt, be a political fallout for those who voted “Nay,” and some Pepublicans who voted “Yea.” This is not the time for that, however. We should all appreciate this historic moment in our nation’s history.

This confirmation is great for the United States of America, and not just because of her gender or race, but because she is immensely prepared to become a great Supreme Court Justice. I, for one, am very proud.

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Sotomayor Confirmation (Day 3)

Posted by AB on July 15, 2009

There was more of the same in the second day of questioning on Capitol Hill.  Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor conducted herself with class and showed immense knowledge of case-law.  I wish I could say the same for the Republican committee members. 

I really wanted to give the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee the benefit of the doubt, but that ship has sailed in regard to these hearings.  They continued to question her, and complain about the “wise Latina” comment.  She answered the same questions several times yesterday, and was forced to so so again, today.

The all-white, all-male group of Republicans continue to disrespect the female judge of Puerto Rican descent, in terms of gender and race.  I would never vote for these men to begin with, but women and Hispanics are watching closely, and Republicans will continue to alienate them while attempting to appease their base.  Just because they say they are being respectful doesn’t make it so.

Another round of questions for Ms. Sotomayor tomorrow, along with the beginning of testimony from witnesses.  It should be interesting, especially when the New Haven Firefighters are called to damage the nominee.

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Sotomayor Confirmation (Day 2)

Posted by AB on July 14, 2009

It was a long, but impressive day two for Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor.  Today, she was questioned by Senate Judiciary Committee members.  As expected, by many, most Republicans on the panel focused on an out-of-context quote from an eight year-old speech about being a “wise Latina.”  Even after she said, clearly, that no ethnicity, race, or gender made a person more or less qualified to make better judgements, the questions and veiled accusations continued.

All of this seems ironic when faced with the requests, by Republican committee members, to have more time to study her lengthy judicial record.  In all actuality, we could have done this thing a week after her nomination, when the quote was well-vetted over and over and over again. 

I wasn’t able to see the entire day’s questioning, and from what I saw, it was not all Republicans that were stressing this quote, so I do not mean to imply that.  It was, however, most Republican members who asked question today.

Just par for the course, I guess, and Sotomayor handled the questions well.  I do wonder, though, how concerned the committee was of President George W. Bush’s two nominees–two white males–that they might be biased in favor of their race and gender.  That’s rhetorical.  Of course they weren’t concerned.

The hearing will continue tomorrow, and I hope that we can go at least an hour without hearing the phrase “wise Latina.”

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