Friday, November 27, 2015

Don't Blame Obama For Bush's Iraq Hangover

UPDATE VIII:  "It was not so much the invasion [of Iraq] itself, however, as the policies implemented afterward that are mainly to blame for Iraq and Syria lying in pieces. What President George W. Bush’s administration did was to foster sectarian divisions and create a long-lasting insurgency.

At every point along the way, the Bush administration made choices that exacerbated sectarian tensions in Iraq and set the country on the path to break-up. The assertion by some observers that the country is riven by age-old hatreds, is ahistorical and incorrect. In previous decades, political passions centered on anti-colonialism or big landlordism and socialism. The vacuum of power created by the U.S. dissolution of the secular Baath Party encouraged Iraqi politicians to play on sectarian passions in unprecedented ways. Provoking a violent insurgency was likewise fateful. Once an insurgency comes into being, it typically does not subside for 10 to 15 years."

Read the Washington Post, How the United States helped create the Islamic State

UPDATE VII:  "The former veep's record is marked by false claims, erroneous predictions, and catastrophic results. Now he's urging more wars. Has his audience learned its lesson?

Read The Atlantic, The Farce of Dick Cheney Giving Foreign-Policy Advice.

UPDATE VI:  "Why should we fight the inevitable break-up of Iraq?"

Read The Atlantic, The New Map of the Middle East, which notes "the imperial hubris that motivated the Sykes-Picot division of the Middle East by the British and French. . . . The makers of the modern Middle East roped together peoples of different ethnicities and faiths (or streams of the same faith) in what were meant to be modern, multicultural, and multi-confessional states. It is an understatement to say that the Middle East isn’t the sort of place where this kind of experiment has been shown to work. (I’m thinking of you, one-staters, by the way.) I don’t think it is worth American money, or certainly American lives, to keep Iraq a unitary state. It is, of course, important to invest in plans that forestall the creation of permanent jihadist safe havens, and about this the U.S. should be vigilant, more vigilant than it has been. But Westphalian obsessiveness—Iraq must stay together because it must stay together—just doesn’t seem wise."

UPDATE V:  "Maliki’s primary goal to be protecting his own rule rather than combating existential threats to the security of Iraq. . .

[A]uthoritarian rulers—and Maliki is clearly at least headed in that direction—often prefer not to have a strong and professionally organized military. As Hosni Mubarak learned a few years ago, strong militaries can turn on you when the going gets tough. But such 'coup-proofing' obviously comes at the expense of the military’s preparedness for outside threats.

Read Slate, Iraq’s Built-to-Fail Military.  

UPDATE IV: Glenn "Beck was speaking about the war in Iraq on his radio program Tuesday when he made the statement, saying liberals knew over a decade ago that 'we shouldn’t nation-build, and there was no indication the people of Iraq had the will to be free.'

'I thought that was insulting at the time — everybody wants to be free,' Beck said. 'Let me lead with my mistakes. You are right. Liberals, you were right.'

Beck said he now sees that 'you cannot force democracy on the Iraqis or anybody else,' . . .

'Not one more life, not one more dollar, not one more airplane, not one more bullet, not one more Marine, not one more arm or leg or eye. Not one more.' As the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria threatens to overtake Baghdad, Beck stood firmly against sending thousands of American troops back into the country.

'The only way to prevent Baghdad from being overrun is stay there and continue to fight this, militarily, in perpetuity,' Beck said. 'Are you willing to do that?'"

Read The Blaze, What Glenn Beck Admitted About the Iraq War That Has the Huffington Post and ‘The View’ Talking.

UPDATE III:  There were many lies by Chickenhawks Bush and Cheney leading to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. 

The one I remember best is when Chickenhawk Cheney leaked false intelligence about aluminum tubes to the New York Times, then on the day the article was published, he made an appearance on Meet the Press, and citing the NYT article, claimed "that Iraq had been procuring aluminum tubes to use in an enrichment process designed to yield fuel for nuclear weapons." 

UPDATE II: Chickenhawk Cheney (you remember him, he did everything humanly possible -- short of fleeing to Canada -- to avoid military conscription during Vietnam) and his daughter wrote op-ed in the Wall Street Journal lamenting the state of affairs in Iraq.

"The Cheneys offer no discussion of the disastrous decision to invade Iraq in the first place (though they still surely believe the war was a great idea, they apparently realize most Americans don’t agree). But anything that happened afterward can only be Obama’s fault. . .

[T]he Cheneys’ op ed is silent on what they would do differently in Iraq today. The op-ed contains nothing even approaching a specific suggestion for what , other than to say that defeating terrorists 'will require a strategy — not a fantasy. It will require sustained difficult military, intelligence and diplomatic efforts — not empty misleading rhetoric. . .'

Watch closely as Republicans troop to the TV studios in the coming days, because they’ll be saying much the same thing. They won’t bring up what a disaster the war was; they’ll hope you forget that they supported it, and they won’t mention that it was Bush who signed the agreement to remove all the troops from Iraq. They will say almost nothing about what they would do differently now, other than to say we have to be “strong” and “send the right message” to the terrorists.

When it comes to being wrong about Iraq, Dick Cheney has been in a class by himself. It was Cheney who said, 'Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.'

It was Cheney who said: 'it’s been pretty well confirmed' that 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta 'did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service.'

It was Cheney who said: 'we do know, with absolute certainty, that [Saddam Hussein] is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs in order to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon'

It was Cheney who said in 2005: 'I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.'

All those things, and many more, were false. There is not a single person in America — not Bill Kristol, not Paul Wolfowitz, not Don Rumsfeld, no pundit, not even President Bush himself — who has been more wrong and more shamelessly dishonest on the topic of Iraq than Dick Cheney.

And now, as the cascade of misery and death and chaos he did so much to unleash rages anew, Cheney has the unadulterated gall to come before the country and tell us that it’s all someone else’s fault, and if we would only listen to him then we could keep America safe forever. How dumb would we have to be to listen? "

Read the Washington Post, Maybe listening to Dick Cheney on Iraq isn’t a good idea.


Don't let Republi-cons kill more American soldiers for their delusions of democracy in the Middle East!

"Eleven years ago, we invaded Iraq, deposed its government, and disbanded its army. Then we tried to build the country back up. We kept troops there for years, policing sectarian violence, facilitating elections, and training new security forces. Three years ago, President Obama offered to extend the “status of forces” agreement under which some of our troops would stay there with Iraq’s approval. Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, didn’t accept the deal.

Everyone told Maliki that to keep his country together and peaceful, he had to build relationships with Iraq’s Sunnis and Kurds. As Slate’s Fred Kaplan explains, Maliki ignored the advice. He didn’t just neglect the Sunnis. He mistreated and alienated them. That’s a big reason why a Sunni extremist group, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, now controls much of Iraq’s territory and is advancing on Baghdad. . .

For nearly a decade, we tried to manage Iraq. What we got was dysfunction. Maybe it’s time to let Iraq learn to manage itself."

Read Slate, Don’t Save Iraq.

Also watch the "the old gang of warmongers gets back together to voice their opinions on the crisis."

Watch The Daily Show, Mess O'Potamia - Now That's What I Call Being Completely F**king Wrong About Iraq:

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Thanksgiving Wish

REPOST & UPDATE IV:  Read Live Science, Gobble, Gobble! 6 Fun Facts About Turkeys.

UPDATE III:  "This holiday season, thank artificial insemination [and genetic science] for transforming turkey into the relatively cheap foodstuff it is today."

Read The Atlantic, The Supersized American Turkey, which includes a very detailed description of "the actual process of insemination" for those who care to know.

UPDATE II:  "Why, then, do we associate Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims? In the late 1800s, with immigrants — Jews, Italians, Chinese, other outsiders — pouring in, America’s cultural leaders took two bits of shaky historic evidence from the early 1600s and embraced a story of a Pilgrim Thanksgiving in an effort to Americanize an increasingly diverse population.

The myth of our holiday’s Pilgrim origins took hold. But the dishes we eat at Thanksgiving? They capture other stories about the making of the American nation."

Read the Washington Post, A short course on the history of 8 Thanksgiving foods.  

UPDATE:  And "[w]hile you're preparing, eating or sleeping off your Thanksgiving meal, ponder these" Thanksgiving facts.  Read Time, Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Thanksgiving

And for more Thanksgiving facts, read National Geographic, Thanksgiving 2012 Myths and Facts


From an email:
May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

TurBaconEpic Thanksgiving


"It's a heart attack in a bird in a bird in a bird in a bird in a bird in a pig":

Holiday Eating Tips


From an email:

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare... You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? LaborDay?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand and wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
Have a great holiday season!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Vote Republi-CON, the Party of Fear, Anger, and Hatred in 2016!

UPDATE IX:  "Conservatives love Donald Trump’s racism, lies, and lslamophobia."

Read Slate, Trump’s Week of Fearmongering and Falsehoods.

UPDATE VIII:  "GOP voters are attracted to Trump for his bravado and belligerent rhetoric against real and perceived foreign threats. Far from undermining his campaign, the Paris attacks strengthen the atavistic nationalism that fuels his campaign."

Read Slate, Why the Paris Attacks Will Only Boost Donald Trump.  

UPDATE VII:  "'One of the reasons why Donald Trump is doing so well is because he's saying things people believe. . . People are angry out there, and he's striking a nerve.'"

Read the Washington Post, Donald Trump is leading for a simple reason, according to Mike Huckabee.

UPDATE VI:  "Mr Trump’s detractors, who form arguably one of the largest bipartisan coalitions in memory, comfort themselves that he is simply on an ego trip that will turn sour. That may be true. But they are missing the point. The legions of Republicans flocking to Mr Trump’s banner are not going anywhere. If he crashes, which he eventually must, they will find another champion. . .

The latest poll shows that only 8 per cent of Republican graduates support Mr Trump against 32 per cent of those without a degree.

These are the angry swaths of America that feel left behind, belittled and insulted. They want to take their country back but cannot put their finger on what exactly they mean. For them it is evening in America. Nobody argues their case.

Then along comes Mr Trump. Foreigners may be tempted to see him as uniquely American. But he has his equivalents everywhere. Think of Silvio Berlusconi in Italy or even the UK’s Nigel Farage.

The worse they sound, the better they do. That is the power of anti-politics. Mr Trump is merely a symptom. His Republican rivals should beware. Trump Towers will fall. Other skyscrapers loom. "

Read  the Financial Times (subscription may be required), Donald Trump leaves indelible mark on Republicans

UPDATE V:  For more on the Republi-con Party's  Franken-Trump/Trumpenstein (© dilemma, read the Washington Post, Trump has the GOP establishment’s number, which again notes:

"The problems that bother us most are the ones we bring on ourselves. This is why Republicans are so out of sorts with Donald Trump. The party created the rough beast it is now trying to slay. . .

[T]he real Donald Trump has been in full view for a long time, and Perry’s new glasses can’t explain his newfound clarity. I don’t credit Trump with much. But he deserves an award for exposing the double-standards of Republican politicians. They put their outrage in a blind trust as long as Trump was, in Perry’s words, 'throwing invectives in this hyperbolic rhetoric out there' against Obama and the GOP’s other enemies.

Only now are they willing to say: 'You’re fired.' No wonder Trump is laughing."

UPDATE IV:  Who made Trump the Republi-con candidate he is?

You can thank Hedgehog News, which has "set quite a standard for sycophancy.

It was a steady engagement: Trump would share his views on the issues of the day with the 'Fox & Friends' crew on Monday mornings. He’d talk and talk and talk as the hosts nodded in agreement. Anyone who has listened to a Trump speech these days would recognize the talking points . .

The Republican establishment has worried that Trump’s travels in recent weeks have dragged down the party’s brand. Those worries may well prove legitimate. Yet 'Fox & Friends' needn’t be concerned about a similar dynamic stemming from its association with Trump, given its already-well-proven awfulness. This is one brand that not even Trump can sully."

Read the Washington Post, ‘Fox & Friends': Donald Trump’s very own media bubble.  

UPDATE III:  "Do not worry about Donald Trump becoming president. Worry, instead, about what his current — emphasis on current — stratospheric standing in the polls says about two things: the Republican Party and the other GOP candidates."
Read the Washington Post, Donald Trump and the anger of conservatives.

UPDATE II:  Joseph McCarthy was a 'notorious Republi-con demagogue'.

But initially, "McCarthy, like Trump, was an opportunist, not a zealot. Although the Wisconsin senator later grew famous hunting communists, communists in the Milwaukee branch of the Congress of Industrial Organizations played a key role in his initial Senate victory in 1946. In his first three years in the Senate, McCarthy hunted for an issue on which to make his name. He considered proposing a national pension plan or championing the St. Lawrence Seaway. But by 1950, the U.S.S.R. had tested an atomic weapon, communists had won China’s civil war, and alleged Soviet spy Alger Hiss had been convicted of perjury. Midwesterners, long suspicious of the East Coast’s foreign-policy class, and Catholics, bitter over Moscow’s domination of their co-religionists in Eastern Europe, were particularly receptive to claims that Washington elites had sold out America to the U.S.S.R.  So in February 1950, McCarthy began loudly exploiting those grievances, famously declaring in Wheeling, West Virginia, that 'I have here in my hand a list of 205 [communists] working and shaping policy in the State Department.'

In his search for scapegoats, Trump has proved ideologically flexible too. In 1988, when he first publicly mulled a presidential campaign, the scapegoat du jour was Japan, whose economy appeared to be overtaking America’s. 'The Japanese, when they negotiate with us, they have long faces,' Trump told a New Hampshire crowd in 1987. 'But when the negotiations are over, it is my belief—I’ve never seen this—they laugh like hell.' His suggestion: 'Whatever Japan wants, do the opposite.'

When Trump flirted with a presidential campaign again, in 2000, he played the centrist. He was leaving the GOP for Ross Perot’s Reform Party, he announced, because 'the Republicans are just too crazy right.' He even attacked his likely Reform Party opponent, Pat Buchanan, for being anti-black.

In the Obama era, however, Trump has discovered the power of racial and ethnic grievances himself. As early as 2007, when Obama began running for president, pollster Mark Penn sent Hillary Clinton a memo declaring that Obama was 'not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and values.' Obama critics relentlessly questioned his connection to, and love of, the United States. Polls showed that a plurality of Republicans believed Obama was not born in the United States.

Like McCarthy during the red scare, Trump saw his opening. 'I have people that have been studying [Obama’s birth certificate] and they cannot believe what they’re finding,' Trump declared in 2011. 'If he wasn’t born in this country, which is a real possibility…then he has pulled one of the great cons in the history of politics.' . . .

If McCarthy and Trump are similarly opportunistic, their party’s initial response to them was similarly craven."

Read The Atlantic, The New McCarthyism of Donald Trump.

UPDATE:  "Donald Trump is now the 2016 GOP frontrunner. . .

[W]hat do people see in the guy?

A lot, as it turns out. On a recent trip to rural Upstate New York I was surprised by the intensity of support for Trump among friends and family members I talked to. In many cases, their support for Trump boiled down to a simple fact: they were angry.

Angry at Obama, angry at congressional leaders, and angry at the political establishment as a whole. And they're not alone -- surveys show that anger toward the government, particularly among Republicans, has been rising over the course of Obama's two terms in office. When asked how they felt toward the federal government, 37 percent of Republicans said "angry" in a Washington Post poll from last fall. By contrast, in September 1998, at the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, only 14 percent of Republicans said they were angry.

Anger toward the establishment is a powerful motivating force. And Donald Trump is currently the candidate in the best position to channel it. . ."

Read the Washington Post, The real reason so many Americans support Donald Trump

Go Donald, Go!

"You might think that the recent poll showing Donald Trump spiking among Republicans is about Donald Trump. It is not. It is about the Republican Party and its very dark soul when it comes to immigration. The rank and file didn’t much care for Trump as recently as May. It swooned this month when it discovered he’s a bigot.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures and declares "You're fired!" at a campaign rally in Manchester, N.H., in this file photo taken June 17, 2015. (Dominick Reuter/Reuters) Donald Trump gestures and declares “You’re fired!” at a campaign rally last month in Manchester, N.H. (Dominick Reuter/Reuters)

In May, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, 65 percent of Republicans saw Trump unfavorably. In their relative and blissful ignorance, these Republicans had it about right. But then Trump declared his candidacy in a frothing statement about Mexican rapists, and the GOP’s heart started to pound. The numbers got reversed. All of a sudden only 40 percent of them view him unfavorably. The rest — about 60 percent — can hardly quiet their hearts.

This stunning turnabout — this depressing and somewhat scary endorsement of frustration, fear and old-fashioned hate — is sure to be noticed by the other GOP candidates. . .

What Trump is showing is not just that a hard line on illegal immigration pays off, but it pays off big if the overall message contains, like a rock in a snowball, a core of anger. As The Donald himself knows, his text is just a piece of his message. More important is his demeanor. He’s giving the GOP establishment the finger. . .

At the moment, no one is more anti-establishment than Trump. Americans frightened by a changing and, when it comes to good middle-class jobs, constricting economy are looking for a champion. They see one in Trump, a Mussolini with a comb-over, who is now as much admired for the enemies he’s making as for his inflammatory statements on immigration. For the moment, he stands alone. If his numbers stay high, he won’t be alone for long."

Read the Washington Post, Donald Trump illuminates the GOP’s dark soul.

Go Donald, Go!!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Aided and Abetted by Pissing-In-Their-Pants Hysterical and Cowardly Republi-CONs, The Terrorist Are Winning

UPDATE V: "The real lesson of America’s Japanese internment camps is that fear makes us cowardly and vicious."

Read Slate, Refugee-Fearing Mayor Wants to Round Them Up, which notes that the Roanoke mayor must be "learning his constitutional history from one of those Texas textbooks that rewrites epic moral failures as valorous events."

The article also discusses a 1944 Supreme Court case U.S. v. Korematsu. "It involved Fred Korematsu, an American-born citizen of Japanese descent, who was convicted when he refused to leave his home in California in defiance of this order." 

Shamefully, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction. 

"Only through the long lens of history has the policy come to stand as a cautionary tale of what happens we betray core constitutional principles in times of fear and uncertainty. Today Korematsu is considered one of the court’s most cowardly opinions. A report issued by Congress in 1983 declared that the Supreme Court’s decision in Korematsu was 'overruled in the court of history' and the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 contained a formal apology—as well as monetary reparations—to the Japanese Americans interned during the war. Justice Antonin Scalia has ranked Korematsu alongside Dred Scott, the 1857 decision denying citizenship to blacks, as among the court’s most shameful mistakes. In 1998, President Bill Clinton belatedly awarded Korematsu himself the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

But history also reminds us that the court itself did not speak with one voice when Korematsu came down. Even in the heat of the moment the three dissenting justices warned that the nation would someday regret the xenophobia and the recklessness the court itself had approved. . .

[One of those dissents was] penned by Justice Frank Murphy, who wrote that the exclusion of both alien and nonalien Japanese 'goes over 'the very brink of constitutional power,' and falls into the ugly abyss of racism.' Noting that the internment order 'deprives all those within its scope of the equal protection of the laws as guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment.' He contends that “no reasonable relation to an ‘immediate, imminent, and impending’ public danger is evident to support this racial restriction, which is one of the most sweeping and complete deprivations of constitutional rights in the history of this nation in the absence of martial law.”

And then Murphy arrives at the analysis that still today offers a clarion call to [the Roanoke mayor] David Bowers and the many, many David Bowers across the land who have used the events in Paris to call for vicious callousness to the plight of Syrian refugees: 'To infer that examples of individual disloyalty prove group disloyalty and justify discriminatory action against the entire group is to deny that, under our system of law, individual guilt is the sole basis for deprivation of rights. Moreover, this inference ... has been used in support of the abhorrent and despicable treatment of minority groups by the dictatorial tyrannies which this nation is now pledged to destroy. To give constitutional sanction to that inference in this case ... is to adopt one of the cruelest of the rationales used by our enemies to destroy the dignity of the individual and to encourage and open the door to discriminatory actions against other minority groups in the passions of tomorrow.

Bowers’ statement about Syrian refugees ends with the caution that 'at least for awhile into the future, it seems to me to be better safe than sorry.' But maybe before he calls for group reprisals and racial stereotyping, he should reread these words from Murphy’s Korematsu dissent as a cautionary tale. They are as resonant today as they were in 1944: 'I dissent ... from this legalization of racism. Racial discrimination in any form and in any degree has no justifiable part whatever in our democratic way of life. It is unattractive in any setting, but it is utterly revolting among a free people who have embraced the principles set forth in the Constitution of the United States.'"

Emphasis added, in the hope that even pissing-in-their-pants hysterical and cowardly Republi-cons might understand.

UPDATE IV:  "In the name of one true Christianity or another, Catholics slaughtered Protestants and Protestants slaughtered Catholics with an energy and a ferocity that are impossible for us now to appreciate. Jews were always a tempting target. A pious czarist Russia countenanced 660 pogroms in 1905 alone — a statistic gleaned from Ferguson’s book 'The War of the World.'

Nazi Germany’s Catholic and Protestant clergy were largely mute as the nation’s Protestant and Catholic soldiers murdered with abandon. 'Protestants welcomed the Nazis' 'national revolution' with an enthusiasm and hope for spiritual revival comparable only to the fervor with which they had endorsed war in 1914,' writes Nicholas Stargardt in his new book, 'The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939-1945.'

Last month, Hindus in India allegedly murdered a Muslim man for killing a sacred cow. The placid Japanese of today were yesterday’s rapists and murderers of Nanking and performed hideous medical experiments on prisoners of war. Stalin, a former seminarian, killed millions; Mao did the same. Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Jews — you name it — have at times been the barbarians Ferguson alludes to. As recently as 1995, Serbian Christians massacred about 8,000 Muslim men and boys at the Bosnian town of Srebrenica. . .

We all have the same enemy. It is not Islam. It is intolerance.

Read the Washington Post, In the wake of Paris, our common enemy is intolerance.

UPDATE III:  Now the mayor of Roanoke, Virginia is citing the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII to justify public 'paranoia and ethnic' and religious bigotry.

The only thing that surprises me is that one of the Republi-con presidential candidates didn't think of it first.

Read the Washington Post, Before people start invoking Japanese American internment, they should remember what it was like, which notes that "[d]eclassified military documents show that the nation’s leaders embarked on this vast incarceration project [of Japanese-Americans] mostly to quell the fears of the the public."

The terrorist are winning the war of fear.

UPDATE II:  "All our efforts are undermined by declaring Islam itself to be the enemy, and by treating Muslims in the United States, or Muslims in Europe, or Muslims fleeing Islamic State oppression, as a class of suspicious potential jihadists. Instead of blaming refugees, we need to make sure our counterterrorism and intelligence policies give us a chance to screen and stop any threat (which means keeping the post-9/11 structures of surveillance in place). But if U.S. politicians define Islam as the problem and cast aspersions on Muslim populations in the West, they are feeding the Islamic State narrative. They are materially undermining the war against terrorism and complicating the United States’ (already complicated) task in the Middle East. Rejecting a blanket condemnation of Islam is not a matter of political correctness. It is the requirement of an effective war against terrorism, which means an effective war against the terrorist kingdom in Syria and western Iraq.

As of now, that war is not being won."

Read the Washington Post, America’s politicians are feeding the Islamic State narrative.

Read also the Washington Post, Obama’s critics should stop playing political games over the Islamic State. which concludes:  "Critics should offer viable alternatives. Or they should stop playing their games."

And read Slate, It Took All of Three Days for This Political Attack Ad to Air Demonizing Syrian Refugees.

UPDATE:  "The attacks in Paris have inspired a xenophobic bidding war among Republican presidential candidates.

Gov. Bobby Jindal on Monday signed an order trying to get his state of Louisiana to block the settlement of any Syrian refugee, while Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, proposed we 'wake up and smell the falafel' and said House Speaker Paul Ryan should resign if he can’t block the refugees’ arrival. Candidates Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and John Kasich also joined the jingoistic bid to block Syrian refugees.

In a particularly pernicious twist, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz both floated the notion Sunday of admitting Christian refugees from Syria but not Muslims."

Read the Washington Post, Republicans’ xenophobic bidding war., which notes that "[t]his growing cry to turn away people fleeing for their lives brings to mind the SS St. Louis, the ship of Jewish refugees turned away from Florida in 1939. It’s perhaps the ugliest moment in a primary fight that has been sullied by bigotry from the start. It’s no exaggeration to call this un-American."  It is also nu-Christian.

Listen to talk radio, the Republi-cons are pissing-in-their-pants hysterical. 

"After the terrorist attacks Friday night in Paris, it did not take long for anti-Muslim forces to lash out around the world.

A mosque in Canada was deliberately set on fire Saturday, Ontario police say. In Oregon, anti-Muslim protesters held a rally outside the Portland Rizwan Mosque, one of them with a shirt that said 'Proud to be an infidel. Islam is a LIE.' In Florida, the Islamic Center of St. Petersburg received a bomb threat over voice mail: 'We are tired of your [expletive] and I [expletive] personally have a militia that is going to come down to your Islamic Society of Pinellas County and firebomb you and shoot whoever is there in the head,' the caller said, according to News 13. . .

This is what the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, wants.

'This is precisely what ISIS was aiming for — to provoke communities to commit actions against Muslims,' said Arie Kruglanski, a professor of psychology at the University of Maryland who studies how people become terrorists. 'Then ISIS will be able to say, ‘I told you so. These are your enemies, and the enemies of Islam.'' . .

Extremist groups feed off of alienation, some counterterrorism experts say, and Islamist militants deliberately aim to make Muslims in the West feel isolated and turn against their own communities.

According to this line of thinking, acts of terrorism widen the cultural divide by provoking hate crimes against Muslims in the West. This strategy gained traction in the early 2000s after al-Qaeda was sent into hiding by Western military action. Abu Musab al-Suri, an influential jihadi thinker whom the Wall Street Journal called 'the new mastermind of jihad,' argued for a distributed network of terrorist cells recruited from the Islamic diaspora, carrying out terrorist strikes in their own communities. These attacks, and the backlash they generated, would inspire other to radicalize.

'What the Islamic State wants to do is to start a civil war,' political scientist Gilles Kepel said Saturday in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde. Kepel, a professor at Sciences Po and an Islamic State expert, has extensively studied the ideology and strategies of modern-day jihadis."

Read the Washington Post, Hating Muslims plays right into the Islamic State’s hands.

Actually ISIS wants a religious war, and Republi-cons are the terrorist's useful idiots.

See also Vote Republi-CON, the Party of Fear, Anger, and Hatred in 2016!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Are You An Easy-To-Scare-&-Manipulate ISIS-Bedwetter?

UPDATE IV:  Don't be an ISIS support, don't "feed the terror-panic".

UPDATE III:  "If we want to defeat ISIS, we are going to have to accept some outcomes we don’t like."

Read Slate, Iraq’s Least Worst Options.

UPDATE II:  "When Americans engage in high-profile, attention-seeking acts of blasphemy, they are not joining U.S. military and intelligence forces at the front line; they are complicating and undermining their work. Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State thrive on the narrative of the West vs. Islam. The United States and our Muslim allies benefit from the narrative of civilization vs. barbarism. . . The isolation rather than elevation of radical Islamism is essential to the successful conduct of the war against terrorism.

Modern technology has made the job of ideological containment much harder by creating a forum for endless provocation and offense taking, not to mention radicalization and recruitment. The alternative, however, is not to demand that religious people become less religious — a hopeless task when much of the world will become less secular in the 21st century.

What is needed is 'theological work,' according to the former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom, Jonathan Sacks. Speaking at a recent conference of the Faith Angle Forum, Sacks argued that religion remains 'the most powerful creator of groups, stronger than ideology, race, nationalism.' When monotheism is tied to dualism — the belief that history is a cosmic conflict between the children of light and the children of darkness — it becomes 'the most dangerous doctrine ever invented,' allowing people to 'commit evil with a clean conscience.'

Both Judaism and Christianity have made progress over the centuries in weeding out dualism — reinterpreting their violent scriptural texts and finding resources of 'respect for the other.' For Christianity, this transition wasn’t easy, involving the Reformation and the Thirty Years’ War. But this bloody, chaotic process eventually produced a flowering of powerful ideas in the 17th century: the social contract, human rights and liberty of conscience.

Islam is a younger faith, going through a similar internal struggle. Sacks believes that serious, sympathetic dialogue among the Abrahamic faiths can 'speak to our better angels' and challenge the violent narrative of sibling rivalry. He may prove naive, but it is certainly a better strategy than mockery. "

Read the Washington Post, The violent narrative of religious rivalry.

UPDATE:  "Republicans who suggest [that ISIS is a grave threat to the U.S.] have forgotten Christianity and Judaism’s own history of violence."

Read Slate, ISIS Isn’t the New Soviet Threat.

Some people never miss an "opportunity to feed the terror-panic."

Read Slate, The ISIS-Bedwetter Watch Continues.

Read also, The New York Times, Struggling to Gauge ISIS Threat, Even as U.S. Prepares to Act, which notes that "[s]ome officials and terrorism experts believe that the actual danger posed by ISIS has been distorted in hours of television punditry and alarmist statements by politicians . . . 'with claims that the nation is honeycombed with sleeper cells, that operatives are streaming across the border into Texas or that the group will soon be spraying Ebola virus on mass transit systems — all on the basis of no corroborated information.'"

Without fear, anger and hatred, where would the Republi-cons be.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thank You Veterans!


Kiss's Military Salute, filmed during a USO Tour in Iraq:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

God's Chosen One?

UPDATE II:  What more can I say:

Read the Daily Mail, Inside Ben Carson's eccentric Maryland mansion - complete with a shrine to himself, gold leaf columns and a portrait WITH Jesus.

UPDATE:  After Carson's odd claims of violent behavior as a young man, CNN interviewed "nine friends, classmates and neighbors who grew up with the retired neurosurgeon say they have no recollection of violent incidents that Carson has claimed, including fights and an attempted stabbing."

In response Carson denies he is a liar, saying 'This is a bunch of lies attempting to say I’m lying about my history, I think it’s pathetic, and basically what the media does is they try to get you distracted.'

Later, Carson's campaign admitted that "Carson’s application and acceptance into West Point — a key part of the inspirational narrative of Carson’s rise — was fabricated."

Read USA Today, Ben Carson admits fabricating West Point story, report says.

And don't forget "Carson flat out lied about his relationship with a shady nutritional company."

Could the Chosen One actually be the Great Deceiver?

"In his various autobiographical and self-help books, Ben Carson writes of occasions in which God helps him, protects him and looks out for him, sometimes unsolicited, usually in direct response to prayer. Carson, a neurosurgeon and the current front-runner in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, invokes his mother’s teaching — 'If you ask the Lord for something and believe He will do it, then it’ll happen' — and sees the influence and intervention of the divine in his medical work and other aspects of his life. "

Read the Washington Post, 11 times God intervened directly in Ben Carson’s life, according to Ben Carson.

Read also the Washington Post, Ben Carson’s striking ignorance, which notes that "Carson has changed his Medicare plan from “End Medicare” to a new version that doesn’t make any sense. He refuses to acknowledge that his tax plan would force trillions of dollars in spending cuts to reach the balanced budget he wants, partly because he or his advisers appear to have no idea what does and doesn’t get taxed. (For example, Carson’s calculation would include taxing all government spending, including defense.) And he has confused the budget and the debt ceiling. Those are just some of the specifics he has actually talked about — even the conservative Heritage Action says he needs to release more detailed plans. We haven’t even touched on his many offensive comments about women, the Holocaust, Muslims, gays and so on.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Happy Shopmas!

UPDATE V:  "[T]here is reason to think that the modern celebration of Christmas is incompatible with Christianity. This can be understood most simply by juxtaposing the birth, life and message of Jesus of Nazareth with the civic rituals of Christmas.

According to the Gospel of St. Luke, Jesus was born in a barn, there being no room for him and his parents in the inn at Bethlehem. His way of living forsook the acquisition of wealth and worldly goods. His message celebrated and elevated the poor, and he was quick to warn of the danger of materialism: 'It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.'

Two thousand years later, observe the Christmas celebration in our modern, capitalist culture: a shocking emphasis on gifts, material exchange and consumption. Christians believe that it is imperative to know Jesus and that to know him we have to live like him. It is very difficult to argue that the civic rituals of modern Christmas reflect Jesus’s way of living."

Read the Washington Post, Has capitalism devoured Christmas?

UPDATE VI:  You have a choice, you could "Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More and Love All".

'Turn Christmas upside down', with Advent Conspiracy:

Need help giving more, see GreatNonprofits, GlobalGiving, or Charity Navigator.

UPDATE V:  Happy Shopmas, earlier than ever!

Read U.S. News and World Report, The Holiday Shopping Season That Never Ends.  

UPDATE IV:   "Thanksgiving is just a preamble to the holiest day of the year, Black Friday, when Americans come together to bow before their lord, the Wal-Mart rollback guy, because Jesus isn't the only one that saves." 

Watch the Colbert Report, Stephen's Thanksgiving & Holy Black Friday:

UPDATE III: You might also read the Pensacola News Journal, Advent Conspiracy reinvents Christmas, Movement encourages people to spend less on gifts and work to help others.

UPDATE II: "As I was reading 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas!' with my kids, I couldn’t help but marvel that the book (and the animated television special) endures as a holiday favorite, even as its core anticonsumerism message goes completely ignored.

Consider these lines, describing the Grinch’s reaction after those darn Whos join hands and celebrate in Who-ville, even after he has robbed them of their Yuletide baubles and Roast Beast:

'Maybe Christmas,' he thought, 'doesn’t come from a store.'

'Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!'"

Read The New York Times, The Movement Toward a 'Buy Nothing' Christmas.

UPDATE: A repost:

Those defending Christmas are not being true to their traditions and teachings. "There are no Christmas dinners in the Bible, which is why America’s Puritans, strict adherents of what that venerated text offers, never sat down by the raging fire awaiting St. Nick; indeed, they briefly banned Christmas in Massachusetts. Yule as we celebrate it today owes more to Charles Dickens than to Thomas Aquinas. . . Christmas is a product not of Nazareth but of Madison Avenue."

Read The New York, Faith and Modernity.

Friday, November 6, 2015

H.W. Says Son W. Was a Stupid Puppet of His Evil and Arrogant Warmongers, Marking the Beginning of the End of the Bush Dynasty

"After years of holding back, former President George Bush has finally broken his public silence about some of the key figures in his son’s administration, issuing scathing critiques of Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

In interviews with his biographer, Mr. Bush said that Mr. Cheney had built 'his own empire' and asserted too much 'hard-line' influence within George W. Bush’s White House in pushing for the use of force around the world. Mr. Rumsfeld, the elder Mr. Bush said, was an 'arrogant fellow' who could not see how others thought and 'served the president badly.' . .

[W.] was responsible for empowering Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rumsfeld and was at times too bellicose in his language.

[H.W. added] 'I do worry about some of the rhetoric that was out there — some of it his, maybe, and some of it the people around him,' Mr. Bush told Mr. Meacham. 'Hot rhetoric is pretty easy to get headlines, but it doesn’t necessarily solve" problems.

Read The New York Times, Elder Bush Says His Son Was Served Badly by Aides.

A former president is rarely publicly critical of another former president — especially by way of a tell-all book. Even more rarely has one president been the father of another. And those categories have never intersected. Until now.

And so begins another round of Bush family drama tied mostly to foreign policy, this time in the pages of an authorized biography of former president George H.W. Bush. While generally supportive of his son's presidency, he criticizes former president George W. Bush, former vice president Richard B. Cheney and former defense secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld for how they responded to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Read the Washington Post, New book spells more family drama for Jeb Bush.

Read also Was It Worth It?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Donald Fantasies

UPDATE:  "It is 'The Next Best Thing' to being Donald Trump’s 'apprentice,' the Trump University ads promised, drawing on what was then the runaway popularity of Trump’s television show, The Apprentice. Mentors would be 'handpicked by me,' Trump promised in a promotional video; and, his other promotional materials promised, they would teach students Trump’s 'secrets,' then guide them through get-rich-quick real estate deals and even find them lenders so that their deals could be financed with 'other people’s money.'

The court documents tell a different story. Michael Sexton, who was hired by Trump to be president of Trump University, testified in a 2012 pretrial deposition that 'none of our instructors … were handpicked by Donald Trump' and that the curriculum was written by an outside adult-education firm.

The record is replete with evidence that many of the supposed 'expert' teachers and mentors–who were mostly paid only sales commissions–had backgrounds in sales rather than experience in real estate investing, let alone successful investing. Two had filed for personal bankruptcy during the time they were mentoring.

Trump has testified in a deposition (after promising to sue the lawyers suing him) that he had no direct role in creating the curriculum or hiring the teachers. He did not know, he said, if his 'university' conferred degrees. (It didn’t.) And he could not explain what the sales materials were referring to when they touted Trump’s 'foreclosure system' for flipping distressed properties.

So far, Trump’s only courtroom defense beyond the procedural wrangling has been that these kinds of apparent misrepresentations are the kind of general puffery involved in any commercial marketing. A case his lawyers have cited is one in which Allstate insurance successfully defended its slogan 'You’re in good hands with Allstate.'"

Read Time, What the Legal Battle Over Trump University Reveals About Its Founder, which lists the many lies told in the effort to separate the suckers from their money.

Trump has even bragged about how he plays "to people’s fantasies."

"He’s the biggest phony in the world, yet people as gullible as me think he’s the greatest guy in the world," [says "Bob Guillo [who] put $34,995 on his American Express card to pay for the Trump Gold Elite package. He said he walked away with little more than meaningless certificates of completion and a photograph of himself with a life-size image of The Donald."]

Read the Washington Post, Donald Trump billed his 'University' as a road to riches, but critics call it a fraud.

Again I ask, why are Republi-cons such suckers for snake oil salesmen?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Republi-CON 'Media Bias' Myth

UPDATE VI:  "QUOTE OF THE DAY: President Obama at a DNC fundraiser late Monday: 'Have you noticed that every one of these candidates says, ‘Obama’s weak. Putin’s kicking sand in his face. When I talk to Putin, he’s going to straighten out’? Then it turns out they can’t handle a bunch of CNBC moderators at the debate. Let me tell you: if you can’t handle those guys, then I don’t think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you.'"

UPDATE V:  "The problem isn’t that CNBC engaged in 'gotcha' questions meant to 'embarass' the Republican candidates. It’s that any serious look is a fatal blow to GOP plans and proposals, which don’t deliver on promised substance. Trump can’t deport millions of immigrants; Carson can’t raise enough revenue to fund the federal government; and the 'middle-class' tax plans of Bush, Rubio, and others shower most of their benefits on the rich. And as long as this is true, GOP candidates will have a hard time with all but the most friendly moderators."

Read Slate, Why the GOP Won’t Like Any Honest Debate Moderators.

Read also Slate, Ben Carson’s Winning GOP Debate Strategy: Flat Out Lying About Mannatech.

UPDATE IV:  "When the candidates were pressed on Wednesday to explain their “vision for America’s future,” most simply decided it was more advantageous to use their allotted time to rally their base (and bolster their campaign coffers) with anti-mainstream-media tirades. Yes, the CNBC debate was a hot mess, but any journalistic sins committed by John Harwood and co. were far outweighed by the candidate’s stonewalling. The biggest problem was not what the moderators asked but that they were unprepared for the candidates to deny the very premise of their questions. Exhibit A: Ben Carson flat out lied about his relationship with a shady nutritional company. Exhibit B: Donald Trump denied he ever said something his own website quotes him as saying. Exhibit C: Chris Christie reacted to a question about the possible financial regulation of fantasy football by lamenting they weren’t talking about ISIS—an odd response given it came after the participants were already complaining they weren’t being asked enough about the economy and finance."

Read Slate, The Republican Revolt Against the Media Is Empty, Grandstanding Nonsense.

BTW, the focus of the CNBC was "on the economy", ergo, no questions about ISIS.
UPDATE III:  "The Republican presidential candidates are right. The media does suck.

But not for the reasons the candidates complained about Wednesday night.

We in the media suck because we have rewarded their rampant dishonesty and buffoonery with nonstop news coverage. Which, of course, has encouraged more dishonesty and buffoonery.

Hence the aggravating behaviors that candidates doubled-down on during the debate, based on lessons that we in the media taught them. To wit:

Lesson No. 1: Lie, but lie confidently. . .

Lesson No. 2: Invent your own math.

This is related to Lesson No. 1, but more quantitative. Or less, depending on how you look at it. . .

Lesson No. 3: If you can’t think of something better to say, just bash the media. . ."

Read the Washington Post, The Republicans are right. We in the media do suck. 

UPDATE II:   The new Republi-con debate strategy -- lie and attack the questioner.

Read the Washington Post, A peevish pack of GOP contenders.

UPDATE:  Republi-con claim that the questions asked by CNBC were "Nasty? Prejudicial? Shameful? Now compare [them] to a question[s] posed by Fox News" hosts.

Read the Washington Post, CNBC is getting hammered because it’s not Fox News.

"What happened in this debate wasn’t an attack by the press on the candidates. It was an attack by the candidates on the press. Harwood, Quick, and the other CNBC panelists were no harsher to the Republicans on Wednesday than CNN’s Anderson Cooper was to Clinton and other Democrats in their debate two weeks ago. What was different this time was the reaction. Presented with facts and figures that didn’t fit their story, the leading Republican candidates accused the moderators of malice and deceit. . .

Yes, reporters sometimes screw up. But they have a troublesome habit of checking things. That’s what makes their statements, on the whole, more reliable than yours. It’s not true, as Stephen Colbert once joked, that reality has a liberal bias. But it is true that reality has a bias toward journalists. That’s because journalists spend a lot of time with reality. They get to know it."

Read Slate, Reality Sucks

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Republi-CON Budget CON, CONtinued

UPDATE III:  "Republican leaders claim that all the new spending [$112 billion over two years] is offset by spending cuts elsewhere. But according to the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, that is not true. “We estimate that when interest is added and gimmicks are removed, only half of the bill’s cost is truly paid for,” the committee declared. . .

If the Republican establishment wonders why Donald Trump has been surging in the polls, they need only look in the mirror. They are the Dr. Frankensteins that created the Trump monster that is now wreaking havoc on the GOP village. They have no one to blame but themselves."

Read the Washington Post, With this budget deal, GOP deserves Trump.

UPDATE II:  "By now it’s a Republican Party tradition: Every year the party produces a budget that allegedly slashes deficits, but which turns out to contain a trillion-dollar “magic asterisk” — a line that promises huge spending cuts and/or revenue increases, but without explaining where the money is supposed to come from.

But the just-released budgets from the House and Senate majorities break new ground. Each contains not one but two trillion-dollar magic asterisks: one on spending, one on revenue. And that’s actually an understatement. If either budget were to become law, it would leave the federal government several trillion dollars deeper in debt than claimed, and that’s just in the first decade. . .
Think about what these budgets would do if you ignore the mysterious trillions in unspecified spending cuts and revenue enhancements. What you’re left with is huge transfers of income from the poor and the working class, who would see severe benefit cuts, to the rich, who would see big tax cuts. And the simplest way to understand these budgets is surely to suppose that they are intended to do what they would, in fact, actually do: make the rich richer and ordinary families poorer.

But this is, of course, not a policy direction the public would support if it were clearly explained. So the budgets must be sold as courageous efforts to eliminate deficits and pay down debt — which means that they must include trillions in imaginary, unexplained savings.

Does this mean that all those politicians declaiming about the evils of budget deficits and their determination to end the scourge of debt were never sincere? Yes, it does.

. . . [It's a] con job"

Read The New York Times, Trillion Dollar Fraudsters.  

UPDATE:  And read the Washington Post, House Republican budget: There’s a mysterious $1.1 trillion in spending cuts in the House GOP’s budget.

"Republican budget writers have learned over the years to leave out specifics — the budget does include cuts in taxes on capital gains and stock dividends (through the repeal of Obamacare), along with cuts for business income and the foreign earnings of multinational corporations.

Now, think about the math here. To get to balance, all those spending cuts have to cover all those tax cuts, and then, above and beyond that, take the budget deficit down to zero by 2024 (all this while raising defense spending). The only way to get there — and we’ve seen this in all the previous House budgets written by Paul Ryan — is the magic asterisk that assumes extra revenue comes from somewhere (i.e., somewhere other than higher tax rates): Don’t ask, they won’t tell."
Read the Washington Post, The House Republican budget departs from both economic and political reality.

But a close examination shows some of the Republi-con gimmicks.

"[The budget proposal] pretends to keep strict limits on defense spending — so-called “sequestration” — but then pumps tens of billions of extra dollars into a slush fund called “Overseas Contingency Operations.” That means the funds count as emergency spending and not as part of the Pentagon budget.

It assumes that current tax cuts will be allowed to expire as scheduled — which would amount to a $900 billion tax increase that nobody believes would be allowed to go into effect.

It proposes to repeal Obamacare but then counts revenues and savings from Obamacare as if the law remained in effect.

It claims to save $5.5 trillion over 10 years, but in the fine print — the budget plan’s instructions to committees — it only asks them to identify about $5 billion in savings over that time.

It assumes more than $1 trillion in cuts to a category known as “other mandatory” programs — but doesn’t specify what those cuts would be.

It relies on $147 billion in additional revenue from “dynamic scoring,” a more generous accounting method.

It doesn’t account for the $200 billion plan now being negotiated to increase doctor payments under Medicare and to extend a children’s health-care program."

Read also the Washington Post, The House GOP budget is a gimmick.  

The Many, Many Republi-CON 'Benghazi' Myths and LIES

UPDATE V:  "The Republican candidate’s claims about Hillary Clinton and Benghazi fall apart under scrutiny."

Read Slate, Rubio Is Lying About Hillary Lying.

UPDATE IV:  After years of investigations, and an eleven hour hearing, "the truth about Benghazi: Hillary Clinton did nothing wrong. And Republicans can’t stand it."

Read Slate, The Benghazi Hearings Sham.

UPDATE III: "If there were some truly damning piece of information that the committee had discovered about Clinton in the course of their investigation, then all the public relations and spin in the world wouldn’t save her from their efforts. For instance, for some time Republicans have been obsessed with a conspiracy theory which has it that Clinton issued a 'stand down' order to the military, telling them not to go save the Americans who were in danger in Benghazi. Had that been something other than a bizarre fantasy of the most fevered quarters of the right, Benghazi would have been her undoing.

But that turned out to be fiction, and all the other efforts to find some shocking malfeasance on her part failed. Why did it have such a profound effect when Kevin McCarthy justified the Benghazi committee’s work by saying it had brought down Clinton’s poll numbers? Not because he provided some theretofore unknown piece of information, or because everyone was shocked at the very idea that the committee was political. It had an impact because it supplied a vivid illustration of a fundamental truth. That meant reporters could repeat it, refer to it, and use it to frame their subsequent discussion of the issue.

Read the Washington Post, Why the Clinton Benghazi testimony isn’t accomplishing what Republicans hoped, which notes at the end:

"[O]ver the long run, the facts can’t be escaped."

UPDATE II:  "So now we know: One of the principal reasons Republicans spent so much public money investigating the tragic Benghazi episode was to bring down Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the likely successor to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), told Fox News’s Sean Hannity explicitly on Tuesday night that the Clinton investigation was part of a 'strategy to fight and win.' . .

McCarthy’s statement gave Democrats what they have long sought: a rather strong public hint that this investigation was never on the level. 'This stunning concession from Rep. McCarthy reveals the truth that Republicans never dared admit in public,' said Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the committee’s ranking Democrat. 'The core Republican goal in establishing the Benghazi committee was always to damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and never to conduct an evenhanded search for the facts.' Clinton’s defenders hope McCarthy’s statement might prod the media to pay attention to the current behavior of the accusers and not just the past behavior of the accused."

Read the Washington Post, Kevin McCarthy’s truthful gaffe on Benghazi.  

UPDATE:  Read also, the Wall Street Journal, House Report Finds No Attempt to Mislead Public Over Benghazi (subscription required).

"A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees.

Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria. . .

The House Intelligence Committee report was released with little fanfare on the Friday before Thanksgiving week. Many of its findings echo those of six previous investigations by various congressional committees and a State Department panel."

Read AP, House intel panel debunks many Benghazi theories.

The article quotes Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., the committee's chairman, and Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, the ranking Democrat, in a joint statement saying that the committee "spent thousands of hours asking questions, poring over documents, reviewing intelligence assessments, reading cables and emails, and held a total of 20 committee events and hearings."