Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Republi-CON "We Love Our Nazi Gestapo Military" Hypocrites

The latest Republi-con conspriacy, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command is planning "an attempt to institute martial law, possibly in collusion with Wal-Mart. . .

'It’s the same thing that happened in Nazi Germany: You get the people used to the troops on the street, the appearance of uniformed troops and the militarization of the police.'"

Read the Washington Post, Jade Helm 15, a military exercise, brings wild speculation in Texas about 'martial law'.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Luther For President in 2016

"The White House Correspondents' Dinner has become a strange event. It is, ostensibly, an evening when the president and the press can come together to share a few lighthearted laughs. But it's evolved into a recital of brutal truths — albeit one neither side ever really admits happened.

The joke of President Obama's performance on Saturday was that he wasn't joking. Everyone just had to pretend he was. Take this section, from the official White House transcript:

After the midterm elections, my advisors asked me, "Mr. President, do you have a bucket list?" And I said, "Well, I have something that rhymes with bucket list.’" (Laughter and applause.)

Take executive action on immigration? Bucket. (Laughter.) New climate regulations? Bucket. It’s the right thing to do. (Laughter and applause.)

The tip-off there is, "It's the right thing to do." That's not a joke. That's Obama's actual justification for the aggressive executive actions of his second term — "fuck it, it's the right thing to do." But the norms of politics are such that he typically has to frame his actions as routine, dull, even necessary. He has to search for precedent and downplay the consequences.

It's only on the evening of the White House Correspondents' Dinner when he can say what everyone already knows: his actions are huge, they are controversial, they push the norms of American politics, but fuck it, at a moment when American politics seems increasingly broken, Obama has decided to just go ahead and do what he thinks is right.

Then there was this line:

A few weeks ago, Dick Cheney says he thinks I’m the worst President of his lifetime. Which is interesting, because I think Dick Cheney is the worst President of my lifetime. (Laughter and applause.) It’s quite a coincidence.

It's funny, sure. But he's not kidding. It's just the thing Obama can't usually say. The humor is in the shock of him actually saying it.

But the place where Obama stopped being polite and started getting real was when he brought out Luther, his personal anger translator. This was, itself, a way of giving up the game. The Luther joke comes from the Comedy Central sketch show Key and Peele, and the point of it is that Obama, as the first black president, is not allowed to express his anger, as America is terrified of angry black men. And so he's got Luther — the angry black man who can say what he can't. . .

There are no jokes there. There's just Obama saying what he has to say and Luther saying what Obama actually believes.

And what Obama believes is that the press is often sensational, trivial, and fearmongering. He thinks they hype negative stories for weeks on end and then refuse to admit their mistake when the horror fizzles. He thinks he gets the blame for catastrophes but little credit for solutions. He thinks the media has a deep bias toward negative stories (which, of course, we do).

But if Obama is annoyed at the press, he is appalled at Republicans who deny climate change — and are trying to block him from taking action to stop climate change. Obama believes global warming a generational threat, and so when he sees James Inhofe, the chair of the Senate's Committee on Environment and Public Works, throwing snowballs on the chamber's floor, well, his thoughts on that would likely be seen as unpresidential if he gave them voice."

Read Vox, The joke was that Obama wasn’t joking

Thank God We Saved the Banksters, But Why?, Cont.

UPDATE:  Get a job at the U.S. Treasury, use the treasury to bailout the Banksters, and then retire from government and the Banksters hire you for an obscene salary. 

And they call it 'public service'.

Read the Washington Post, Ben Bernanke scores another Wall Street payday, which notes that this is "yet another example of the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington. Just to name a few, former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has joined the private equity firm Warburg Pincus, former Fed governor Jeremy Stein has enlisted with the hedge fund BlueMountain Capital Management, and former Office of Management and Budget chief Peter Orszag has jumped on board with Citigroup." 

"The Federal Reserve lent billions to rescue banks during the financial crisis, but it has done little to help American taxpayers." Read The New York Times, The Rescue That Missed Main Street.

The 'low-down, no-good godawful' bailout worked (for the banksters).

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Republi-CON "Guns Make You Safer" Myth

UPDATE:  Read also the Los Angeles Times, We all pay: The high costs of gun violence, which notes, "[g]un violence's cost: About $229 billion a year".

"After the Sandy Hook tragedy, reporters often called me to ask for information on firearms. They wanted to know whether strong gun laws reduced homicide rates (I said they did); and, conversely, whether permissive gun laws lowered crime rates overall (I said they did not). . .

[A] large majority of gun researchers have arrived at the same conclusion about firearms . . .

[A] gun in the home increases the risk that a woman living in the home will be a victim of homicide (72% agree, 11% disagree) and that a gun in the home makes it a more dangerous place to be (64%) rather than a safer place (5%). There is consensus that guns are not used in self-defense far more often than they are used in crime (73% vs. 8%) and that the change to more permissive gun carrying laws has not reduced crime rates (62% vs. 9%). Finally, there is consensus that strong gun laws reduce homicide (71% vs. 12%)."

Read the Los Angeles Times, There's scientific consensus on guns -- and the NRA won't like it.

Read also, How Dare He Try To Prevent Another Massacre of Little Children

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Final Word On Torture?

UPDATE: V: A "new report issued this morning by Amnesty International charges that the Obama administration has effectively granted impunity to the practitioners of torture, and that its reluctance to address the issue 'not only leaves the USA in serious violation of its international legal obligations, it increases the risk that history will repeat itself when a different president again deems the circumstances warrant resort to torture, enforced disappearance, abductions or other human rights violations.' . .

At this point, it certainly doesn’t seem inconceivable that in response to a major national security threat, the U.S. could once again decide it needs to 'torture some folks.'"

Read Slate, Could America Torture Again?

UPDATE IV:  "Dick Cheney gave an interview that illustrated why it was so imprudent to abandon the taboo against torture and indulge in implausible hypotheticals. 13 years ago, Americans were arguing over whether it should be legal to torture a known terrorist if we knew it could stop a mass casualty attack on a major city. Now a former vice-president is defending the torture of innocent people."

Read The Atlantic, Dick Cheney Defends the Torture of Innocents.  

UPDATE III:  "The Senate's report on torture describes the Central Intelligence Agency as not just nauseatingly brutal, but also dishonest and ineffective. The report finds that the agency lied to the Bush administration, Congress and the public to hide the fact that an incompetently managed program of torture was failing to produce useful intelligence."

Read the Washington Post, Rectal feeding is exactly what it sounds like.  

UPDATE II: Reading "the stomach-churning findings of the 500-page executive summary [of the the Senate intelligence committee’s report on torture], the only part cleared for declassification, reinforces its importance. No one can review this account without feeling horror and shame, and without feeling anger at the degree to which public officials and the public itself were misled about what was being done in the name of national security.

Among the conclusions: So-called enhanced interrogation was 'not an effective means of obtaining accurate information.' Instead, “multiple CIA detainees fabricated information, resulting in faulty intelligence.”

Meanwhile, the interrogations 'were brutal and far worse than the CIA represented to policymakers and others.' The techniques included, in addition to waterboardings that amounted to near-drownings, detainees being kept awake for up to 180 hours, detainees subjected to 'rectal rehydration' and detainees kept shackled in total darkness in dungeon-like conditions.

Even as the CIA mistreated detainees, it submitted false claims about the effectiveness of the interrogation techniques and misled the Justice Department and others about what it was doing. Its claims of counterterrorism successes were 'wrong in fundamental respects,' at best corroborating information already available or acquired before the application of enhanced interrogation."

Read the Washington Post, Exposing the CIA’s stain on America.  

UPDATE: One shameful example of our "endless borderless war against an emotional state," and its constitutional travesty, the military tribunals "designed by President Bush, implemented by President Obama and inspired by President Kafka"

Read Slate, The Guantánamo Memoirs of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, How the United States kept him silent for 12 years.

And read these previous posts:

Does the Star-Spangled Banner Wave Over the Land of the Torturers?

WWJT (Who Would Jesus Torture) and

Bush, the Hypocrite-in-Chief

Then read this article from the Washington Post, Treatment of Terror Suspects a 'Collective Failure.'

Friday, April 17, 2015

47 Traitorous Republi-CONs Just Gave Iran the Nuclear Bomb

UPDATE VI:  Read Slate, Why Is the U.S. Backing a War That’s Helping al-Qaida.

What a mess!

UPDATE V:  "If you study Republican behavior over the past quarter-century, you’ll find that the image of conservative lawmakers standing resolutely for American strength and unity is a myth. Republicans support wars launched by Republican presidents. When Democratic presidents undertake wars or negotiations, Republicans generally attempt to sabotage them. In fact, Republicans often side with our enemies. . .

If a political party wanted to tear America apart, weaken its position in the world, reduce our capacity to influence events, and encourage our adversaries, it would look exactly like what the Republican Party has done under Democratic presidents. "

Read Slate,  Foreign Saboteurs.

UPDATE IV:  "More sanctions are unlikely to produce a better nuclear agreement."

Read The Atlantic, What's the Alternative to Obama's Iran Deal.  

UPDATE III:  "Should we be arming ISIS? Or let me ask that differently: Why are we, for the third time since 9/11, fighting a war on behalf of Iran?

In 2002, we destroyed Iran’s main Sunni foe in Afghanistan (the Taliban regime). In 2003, we destroyed Iran’s main Sunni foe in the Arab world (Saddam Hussein).  But because we failed to erect a self-sustaining pluralistic order, which could have been a durable counterbalance to Iran, we created a vacuum in both Iraq and the wider Sunni Arab world. That is why Tehran’s proxies now indirectly dominate four Arab capitals: Beirut, Damascus, Sana and Baghdad."

Read The New York Times, Go Ahead, Ruin My Day.

Read also, Was It Worth It?

UPDATE II:  Of course, there is always war, which the chickenhawks and warmongers want.

Beware though, "[i]f the United States attempts to destroy Iran’s nuclear capacity by air, the mission would not be like Israel’s 1981 single-day strike on Iraq’s Osirak reactor. A U.S. attack would have to target multiple complexes, and planners would need to prepare the battlefield by destroying air defense radars, interceptors and much of Iran’s air force. Such an operation could require hundreds of sorties over several days.

Iran would probably respond by threatening shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, potentially touching off a global oil crisis. The U.S. Navy would be forced to patrol the Persian Gulf and possibly undertake a lengthy operation to destroy Iran’s navy and its arsenal of anti-ship cruise missiles.

Iran would be unlikely to capitulate even with its air force and navy out of commission. It would probably turn to terrorism to strike at U.S. targets around the globe. If such attacks were successful, they would generate enormous public pressure to escalate the conflict, perhaps including demands for regime change in Tehran. That, in turn, could mean yet another U.S. ground war in the Middle East, this time against a nation of more than 80 million. As we learned in Iraq and Afghanistan, the costs of such a conflict could be measured in decades, tens of thousands of U.S. casualties and trillions of dollars. Such escalation is not a certainty, but it is a real possibility."

Read the Washington Post, Don’t sugarcoat the costs of war with Iran.

UPDATE:  What the Senator Cotton did defied "the chain of command in what could be construed as an illegal act [see the Logan Act] . . . [It was a gross breach of discipline, and especially as a veteran of the Army, [Cotton] should know better. . . I have no issue with Senator Cotton, or others, voicing their opinion in opposition to any deal to halt Iran’s nuclear progress. Speaking out on these issues is clearly part of his job. But to directly engage a foreign entity, in this way, undermining the strategy and work of our diplomats and our Commander in Chief, strains the very discipline and structure that our foreign relations depend on, to succeed. . . The breach of discipline is extremely dangerous, because undermining our diplomatic efforts, at this moment, brings us another step closer to a very costly and perilous war with Iran."

So say retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, "now a senior advisor with National Security Network, a Washington, DC-based foreign policy think tank."

Read the Washington Post, Tom Cotton picked apart by Army general over ‘mutinous’ Iran letter.

Republ-cons sent a letter of support to their brother Iranian hardliners "in the middle of a high-stakes negotiation, with all the gravity and deliberation of a blog posting. In timing, tone and substance, it raises questions about the Republican majority’s capacity to govern." 

It weakened the U.S. and will undermine sanctions.

Read the Washington Post, The true scandal of the GOP senators’ letter to Iran

Read also Slate, An Open Letter to 47 Republican Senators of the United States of America from Iran’s Hard-Liners, stating they "look forward to working with [the Republ-cons] in the future on other matters of common interest, such as prayer, capital punishment, and troops in Iraq."

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Republi-CON "Obama Hates America" Myth

UPDATE:  "Conservatives will harrumph to the contrary, but relative to his peers, Obama has had a remarkably clean, scandal-free presidency."

Read Slate, Obama’s Gift to Hillary Clinton.  

"There is simply no question that, in his own telling, Barack Obama believes that the United States is an exceptional, great, splendiferous nation—the world's most powerful force for good. And he will be happy to explain to you, at great and occasionally repetitive length, why he holds that belief, as the video above indicates. (Among his America-themed speeches, some of which we took clips from: Obama's 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote in Boston, his March 2008 speech on race relations in Philadelphia, his 2008 nomination-acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, his election night remarks at Chicago's Grant Park in 2008, his inaugural address in 2009, his June 2009 speech in Cairo, his 2012 State of the Union address, his 2012 Democratic National Convention speech in Charlotte, his 2012 election-night speech in Washington D.C., his 2013 inaugural, his September 2013 address to the United Nations, his December 2013 speech on economic mobility in D.C., his 2014 State of the Union, his May 2014 commencement address at West Point, and his post-election press conference in November 2014; click links for transcripts.*)

. . . [N]no one could seriously read or watch Obama's remarks and come away with the overall impression that he is anything but relentlessly positive about the United States."

Read Slate, Watch Barack Obama Talk About How America Is the Greatest Country on Earth in 13 Different Speeches, or watch

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The 2016 Republi-CON Primaries -- Time to Pledge Allegiance to Charlatans and Cranks

UPDATE II:  "The 2016 Republican candidates can already be sorted into roles that tell us a lot about their chances of winning the nomination."

Read The New York Times, The G.O.P Presidential Field Looks Chaotic. Its Not., which reviews the 'invisible primary leaders, mainstream alternatives, and factional favorites.'

UPDATE:  The Republi-con's first candidate is "a guy with a big mouth and no results . . . [h]e oversimplifies, he exaggerates ... he doesn't provide leadership and he has no real experience," and that according to his party comrade.

Let the circus begin!

Read CNN, GOP Rep. Peter King dismisses Ted Cruz as 'carnival barker'.  

And who will be next, possibly a deadbeat "publicity-hound billionaire and reality TV host"?  We can only hope.

"[W]hat does it say about the current state of the G.O.P. that discussion of economic policy is now monopolized by people who have been wrong about everything, have learned nothing from the experience, and can’t even get their numbers straight?

The answer, I’d suggest, runs deeper than economic doctrine. Across the board, the modern American right seems to have abandoned the idea that there is an objective reality out there, even if it’s not what your prejudices say should be happening. What are you going to believe, right-wing doctrine or your own lying eyes? These days, the doctrine wins.

Look at another issue, health reform. Before the Affordable Care Act went into effect, conservatives predicted disaster: health costs would soar, the deficit would explode, more people would lose insurance than gain it. They were wrong on all counts. But, in their rhetoric, even in the alleged facts (none of them true) people like Mr. Moore put in their articles, they simply ignore this reality. Reading them, you’d think that the dismal failure they wrongly predicted had actually happened.

Then there’s foreign policy. This week Jeb Bush tried to demonstrate his chops in that area, unveiling his team of expert advisers — who are, sure enough, the very people who insisted that the Iraqis would welcome us as liberators.

And don’t get me started on climate change.

Along with this denial of reality comes an absence of personal accountability. If anything, alleged experts seem to get points by showing that they’re willing to keep saying the same things no matter how embarrassingly wrong they’ve been in the past.

But let’s go back to those economic charlatans and cranks: Clearly, failure has only made them stronger, and now they are political kingmakers. Be very, very afraid."

Read The New York Times, Cranking Up for 2016.

As noted before, Republi-cons never let reality spoil a good delusion.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

How Many Days Since Birther Fool's Day?

UPDATE IV:  Happy Second Birther Fool's Day! 

It has been more than a year since the first Birther Fool's Day, and still no  'universe-shattering' revelation(s).

UPDATE III:  Now we'll see if the Birthers were motivated by principle or race.

Read the Washington Post, Everything you need to know about the Ted Cruz ‘birther’ movement.

UPDATE II:  Two weeks until Birther Fool's Day, and still no  'universe-shattering' revelation(s).

Can you say sucker!!

UPDATE:  It has been almost a year since Sheriff Joe’s Scooby Doo Gang and Pastor Truthiness (aka Huckster and Con Man) started the con, promising 'universe-shattering' revelation(s) soon.

On Fact-Free Friday, maybe the pastor will tells us when the 'universe-shattering' revelation(s) will be made.


Birther Fool's Day was the first day after the month that the universe was to be 'shattered', as promised by the "Sheriff Joe’s Scooby Doo gang" to 'Gallups' gullibles' on 'fellatio Friday' in mid-December 2013 (the 'universe-shattering' twist was being promoted elsewhere in late November).

It is no coincidence that Birther Fool's Day was April 1st.

And how much time has past since the promised 'universe-shattering' revelations:

That sound you hear is the growing laughter at the Birther delusions.