On ABC’s This Week, former US Ambassador to South Africa Jendayi Frazer, former pollster for Nelson Mandela Stan Greenberg, Mandela biographer and former New York Times Johannesburg bureau chief Bill Keller, and Dr. Gay McDougall, former member of the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa, who all knew Nelson Mandela personally, will talk about their memories of him. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) will talk about the budget. ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd, author and Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson, and political odd couple James Carville and Mary Matalin will discuss the week in politics.
NBC’s Meet the Press will remember Nelson Mandela. (Note: MTP’s website did not have the list of who their guests will be this week.)
CBS’s Face the Nation will also focus on the life of Nelson Mandela. (FTN also did not have a list of guests on their website.)
On CNN’s State of the Union, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) and House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) will talk about the Iran nuclear agreement. Mark Zandi, Annie Lowrey of the New York Times and the American Enterprise Institute’s Kevin Hassett will talk about the latest jobs numbers. DNC Communications Director Mo Elleithee, Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and USA Today’s Susan Page will join the roundtable to discuss the healthcare law and the Republican reset on women (bwahahahahaha!!!).
Re your recent remarks on CNN’s State of the Nation:
“I also discussed how our First Amendment rights are being impacted by ObamaCare. The idea that the First Amendment stops when you walk out of a church, that it doesn’t have anything to do with how you live the rest of your life, I don’t know very many people of faith that believe their religion ends with just worship. It ends in how you practice and live that faith. And now what President Obama is saying, ‘No, once you step outside of that church door, I get to impose my values on you. Your religious values don’t matter anymore. It’s my values that I can impose on you.’ I don’t think that’s what the First Amendment stands for…”
Apparently you have absolutely no understanding of how the First Amendment works. It guarantees your right to practice the faith of your choosing; it does not allow you to impose your faith on others. The ACA offers access to affordable healthcare; it imposes no values, nor does it require anyone to do anything contrary to their religious beliefs. It’s simple, Ricky: if using birth control is against your faith, you are free not to use it. If abortion is contrary to your religious beliefs, you are free not to have one.
But there is something more to your statement, other than your usual habit of opening your mouth and making an idiot of yourself, and it is this:
Sadly, our political system has been inundated with people like yourself, who practice the Christianity of Convenience. They tout their devotion to the teachings of Christ while on the campaign trail, but discard those same teachings the minute they are in office. They brag endlessly about their religious principles, but once in a position to put those principles into action, they toss them aside as a hindrance to the furtherance of their own political careers.
If all of the politicians who claim to be True Christians acted as such beyond the church door, imagine the nation we could be living in.
True Christians take Christ’s admonitions to care for the sick, feed the hungry, and shelter the homeless, to heart. If those in power who claim to be Christians adhered to the beliefs they profess to hold dear, we would have more homeless shelters per capita than any nation on earth – instead of more prisons. We would have universal healthcare available to all – instead of only those of financial means. Our welfare system and all other social safety net programs would be fully funded – instead of being downsized and gutted.
True Christians don’t dehumanize the down-and-out by labeling them as “welfare queens” whose only intent is gaming the system. They don’t ignore the plight of the homeless by driving them out of their cities. They don’t classify the unemployed as lazy moochers looking for a free ride on the taxpayers’ dime. And they certainly don’t hold out access to healthcare as a privilege intended for some, while the less fortunate are left to sicken and die.
If True Christians raised their voices during elections, those seeking office would tell the truth about themselves, instead of fabricating lies about their political opponents. The fairness of our elections would be above reproach, because suppressing the votes of any citizen, or tampering with vote-counting or voting districts, would be something no True Christian would countenance, no less actively engage in.
True Christians acknowledge their responsibilities when it comes to the stewardship of the planet and its resources. They would never vote in favor of corporations being free to rape the earth for profit, or to endanger our environment for the sake of enriching themselves and their shareholders.
True Christians take the Commandments seriously (does “Thou Shalt Not Kill” ring a bell?) and, as a result, would never lobby against gun control laws that would keep firearms out of the hands of those likely to use them to harm or kill, despite whatever campaign donations might be promised by those who profit from the sale of those firearms. They would never align themselves with those who condone war-for-profit, torture, or false imprisonment, and would fight tirelessly to put an end to capital punishment across the board.
True Christians would publicly and vociferously denounce those who threaten to harm the president, or incite violent action against those who they disagree with politically. They would use their access to the media to ensure that hate-mongers like Rush Limbaugh were so thoroughly disgraced as to be unable to peddle their bigotry over the public airwaves ever again.
Those in need after a natural disaster like Katrina or Sandy would be overwhelmed with available aid, because no True Christian would hesitate to do unto others as they would have done for themselves in the same circumstances. If all of those currently in office who held themselves out as Christians actually walked the walk instead of just talking the talk, financial aid to those in need would not be debated; it would be a given. Continue reading An Open Letter to Rick Santorum (and His Fellow Convenient Christians)
Welcome back (after we took last week off, to digest) to our Friday roundup! We should have two weeks of news to cover, but nothing much of anything strange or startling happened Thanksgiving week, so we’re going to concentrate on just this current week — which still leaves a lot to cover, fear not.
A little-noted anniversary happened this week — because it has been 80 years since Americans came to their senses and passed the Twenty-First Amendment, thus repealing the lunacy of Prohibition. So there’s something to raise a glass to, over the weekend. So to speak.
Also worthy of a toast were the unemployment numbers released today for November. The official unemployment rate dropped to 7.0 percent (down from 7.3 percent), which is indeed something to celebrate, especially if you are one of the 203,000 people who got a new job last month.
The Obamacare website re-launch went impressively well this week, as the mainstream media shifted from “horror story mode” to actually exploring what people think about the larger question of Obamacare itself. Since this is a conversation that is long overdue, this is also something to celebrate.
John Boehner is apparently trying to get Republicans to be more “sensitive” towards women. Which perfectly sums up the bigger problem the GOP has (hint: it’s not just your style, guys, it’s the substance of your policies that needs work!).
As the world mourns the passing of Nelson Mandela, Republicans are trying to do a little revisionist history over their stance towards apartheid and Mandela in the past. Without much success. Ted Cruz tried to say something nice about Mandela, and his fans reacted about as predictably as you’d expect. But the real prizewinner has to be (so far) none other than Rick Santorum, who likened Obamacare to apartheid. Um, yeah, Rick, because they’re so similar in nature, right? Sigh.
In other amusing Republican news, Congress is taking most of December off, but they did find the time to hold some hearings on “the I-word.” Yes, ’tis the season for House Republicans to go to sleep with visions of impeaching Obama dancing in their heads. Those of them brave enough to actually utter the word, that is. The whole Washington Post article describing this wackadoodle effort is priceless and well worth a read, most especially the line: “Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.), before his cocaine arrest and guilty plea, invoked the prospect of impeaching Obama over gun policy.”
Not to be outdone, others in Congress held a hearing to delve into the question of aliens from another world. No, I’m not kidding. Unfortunately. This is what Congress spends its precious time on, so any time a politician uses any form of “we just don’t have time to get a bill passed,” please remind him or her what they do spend their time on.
And finally, to get into the holiday spirit, NORAD will not only track Santa this year, but Santa will be provided with a fighter escort. Slate has a great take on this, if you need a laugh.
President Obama gave a very impressive speech this week on inequality, although not many noticed. Jared Bernstein is one who did, and he’s got a great write-up of Obama’s speech over at Huffington Post, if you’re interested. But one speech isn’t enough, at this point, to hand out an award to Obama — that would require some follow-up policies.
Nelson Mandela is being lauded far and wide, of course, but he is largely outside the scope of American politics at this point, so we’ll let the rest of the media handle his eulogies. I did grow up watching anti-apartheid demonstrators (including, if memory serves, Amy Carter) getting arrested in front of the South African embassy and other symbolic places, but that was three decades ago so it doesn’t really qualify for a weekly award here.
The Obamacare website got fixed this week, but this would have been impressive only if it had been running this smoothly on the first of October, so we just can’t see handing an award out to anyone involved, sorry.
This week’s Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week goes instead to Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is fighting back on the subject of populism in the Democratic Party. There is a growing movement within the Democratic Party to campaign on (and fight for) populist principles, and it is being resisted by the “let’s just suck up to Wall Street — what could possibly go wrong with that?” wing of the party.
What set the fracas off was an op-ed article in the Wall Street Journal (more on this, and the authors, in a bit), which was a full frontal attack on Warren and her plans to increase Social Security benefits. The article took the position: “Nothing would be more disastrous for Democrats.” What would be better for Democrats, apparently, is just getting on board the effort to slash Social Security, according to the authors. Continue reading Friday Talking Points  — Defending Populism
ONE: Season of the Which?
“Silly season” used to refer to a specific time of year when substantive news was temporarily replaced with outsized coverage of trivial events, quirky happenings, fluff, and the occasional 15-minute political or celebrity scandal. Much like “election season” before it, the term has become meaningless; both “seasons” are now essentially perpetual.
The notion of anything being recognized by huge segments of the corporate media as “important, substantive news” has of course become absurd. They don’t need to bother, since everything is already treated with the monotonous, insincere gravitas they freely bestow on the newest controversy over Justin Bieber or Black Friday brawls or minor clinical studies of caffeine toxicity in rats. Come World War III, I expect to breathe my last with Wolf Blitzer yammering some idiocy faintly at the far edges of my fading consciousness, having screwed up my part of the end of the world by turning on CNN to see what the hell was going on.
But why shouldn’t the media be mired in an endless silly season when one of the two major political parties is too? And Republicans get more ludicrous by the day. Booking Rand Paul to headline the opening of the “African American Engagement Office,” the Michigan GOP’s minority outreach center? Check. George Bush the Lesser’s Chief of Staff carping about President Obama and his administration “misleading” the American people? Check. A white Republican winning office in a predominantly African American district by conning voters into thinking he’s black? Check. Rating Ronald Reagan the nation’s greatest Chief Executive and Barack Obama its worst? Check.
I use the word “silly” with regard to Republicans only because it’s more polite than saying “completely unhinged” or “out to lunch” or “a danger to themselves and others” or “just flat-out batshit.” They embrace a shopworn collection of ideas long ago proven to be unworkable, inequitable and fundamentally anti-American. They put forward candidates with no respect for or knowledge of the political institutions they yearn to become part of. They pander furiously to old-fashioned populism while working strenuously for the elites. They loudly level accusations of class warfare whenever Democrats rightly point out how Republicans themselves declared class warfare and have waged it, brutally, for decades. They play the race card by accusing liberals of playing the race card. With the exception of a very few bravely dissenting voices in their ranks, they hold women, the poor, minorities (visible and invisible), gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons, immigrants, the New Deal, the Great Society, the Affordable Care Act, TANF, SNAP, community organizers, the Girl Scouts, the United Nations, the Peace Corps, and most of Europe, the Middle East and Asia in contempt. They’d hate Africa and South America too, if they ever thought about them much.
Republican silliness has left federal agencies hamstrung and courts unable to administer timely justice. It has severely hampered recovery from the worst downturn since the ’30s, a downturn directly caused by Republican profligacy. It has damaged the nation’s credit and credibility, strained international relations, undercut meaningful efforts to combat climate change, advance equality of opportunity, equality of rights. This kind of silliness sickens societies. Its season needs to end.
TWO: North to Alaska
My friend Linda in Anchorage, noting my unwholesome fascination with asshat Republican governors, suggested I check out Sean Parnell. Names like Scott, Snyder, Brewer, LePage, Perry, Walker, Kasich and Haley often make national headlines, but Parnell’s profile has been lower, if only because anyone succeeding Sarah Palin would seem, pending further evidence, unremarkably normal by comparison. Yet Linda’s blunt description of Parnell as a “disaster” looks pretty accurate as far as I can tell.
Case in point, Parnell recently refused to expand Medicaid under the ACA, putting his state on par with such shining exemplars of civilization as Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Kansas. He even described Medicaid expansion as a “failed experiment” and “hot mess,” which will probably wow the zero-information voters he’ll be relying on for reelection next year. Others are less than wowed:
The Anchorage and Alaska chambers of commerce, the Anchorage NAACP, the Alaska Federation of Natives, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, AARP Alaska, Anchorage Faith and Action-Congregations Together, and numerous Democratic legislators and candidates all have pushed for the new coverage.
Asked why he was going against such a diverse list of Alaska groups, Parnell said “each one of those groups you’ve named are responsible for their membership. I’m responsible for all Alaskans.”
Parnell’s definition of “responsible” is, to say the least, idiosyncratic:
Expansion would have benefited 40,000 or more Alaskans, many of them low-income adults without children who currently have no health insurance. It also would have helped hospitals and doctors by reducing the amount of uncompensated care they have to write off and would have brought billions of federal dollars into the Alaska economy.
The story gets worse. While supposedly giving prudent consideration to Medicaid expansion, Parnell’s administration commissioned a study on the subject by the Lewin Group (a subsidiary of the cuddly, community-minded folks at UnitedHealth Group). The study was delivered in April, although Parnell mysteriously claims it only got to his desk mere weeks ago. After months of public records requests for it were refused, the study was publicly released on November 15, just prior to Parnell’s announcement:
Asked whether withholding a study while he and others were thinking it over was a novel interpretation of the state law that requires state records to be made public with few exemptions, Parnell said no one asked him personally for the report. He said he would need to consult with attorneys for more explanation.
Even the Lewin study acknowledges that at least 20,000 of the state’s poor will have no health coverage absent Medicaid expansion. What to do, what to do? Could Parnell’s predecessor have the answer? Of course not, but Sarah Palin recently took time out from promoting a book she’s pretending she wrote, to offer up a synopsis of… hey, let’s just go ahead and call it Sarahcare. Ironically, just reading through it can make a person feel sick:
“The plan is to allow those things that had been proposed over many years to reform a health-care system in America that certainly does need more help so that there’s more competition, there’s less tort reform threat, there’s less trajectory of the cost increases, and those plans have been proposed over and over again. And what thwarts those plans? It’s the far left. It’s President Obama and his supporters who will not allow the Republicans to usher in free market, patient-centered, doctor-patient relationship links to reform health care.”
But the current Republican-dominated political scene in Alaska isn’t all poorly informed heartlessness and grossly uninformed pseudo-policy. Happily, after a long convalescence, Stubbs, feline “mayor” of Talkeetna, is back on the job:
The owner of Stubbs the cat, Talkeetna’s honorary mayor, says he’s settling back into his creature comforts months after being mauled by a dog and severely injured…
A number of city councils have written to Stubbs, with mayors in at least four states — both near and far — offering their sympathies since the attack.
“Even the mayor of Wasilla sent him a card,” [owner Lauri] Stec said.
Stubbs is back to spending time at the bar of Talkeetna’s West Rib Pub, mingling with the citizenry and knocking back catnip water. Stec, who manages the pub, reports that the mayor’s spirits are improving steadily:
“He’s into his routine again and probably being just a little extra-loving, because it’s so nice for him to be social again…”
It’s encouraging to know there’s at least one politician in Alaska who actually cares about people, even if he’s a cat. What a shame Stubbs can’t take on Parnell next November. Continue reading Take Five (Odds & Sods edition)
I am diabetic and I am gaining weight. These are not good things to do in tandem. As I rise and fall to correct my slow, steady march into the broad plains of health tragedies, I remember this is the first week of Advent. I thought it is a good time to break a taboo and talk about God. Not the moral God of right and wrong, of heaven and hell, of fire and brimstone, of love and wrath. Nor the God of the evangelicals of the right wing who seems to sanction their personal idolatry, nor the straw God of many atheists who insist and dismiss God as largely superstition and myth.
What’s left? Am I dismissing all of the competing narratives and banning their views to make an easier path for my assertions? Are you, Dear Readers, already on guarded edge? Especially as I eliminate the great and small Gods of the world, the theology issues of Christianity, and discussions of Christianity’s central beliefs. and promise not to try to convert you. (Already, doubts emerge!)
I confess, however, to enjoying the pageantry of high Christianity. Nothing is better than a tightly swung censer that billows a cloud of incense at the end of its arc, leaving the elders coughing and small children’s eyes burning.
But entertainment or cruel sting is not the source of my faith or belief.
I found re-centered grace in the stories, songs and voices of America’s enslaved and freed. Their faith barely visible and often wrongly attributed and interpreted, their grand embrace of God overlooked, under the dust of their historic footprints.
I read Luther and John Wesley, the Pope’s encyclicals, but the name that gathered the ideas at the center of my spiritual experience is of a black Baptist who became a mystic in the tradition of the Quakers. He was the former Dean of Boston University’s chapel. Born in Florida, the grandson of a former enslaved grandmother who raised him, he became a mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in whom he had a special interest. He was a classmate, at Atlanta’s Morehouse College, of Dr. King’s father.
One of Howard Thurman’s well thumbed books was in Dr. King’s briefcase the day he was shot.
In my view, what Albert Einstein was to the inner workings of time and space, Howard Thurman was to the inner workings of things divine and eternal.
Thurman left home with a belt tied around a suitcase whose latches were broken, boarding in a nearby town for 50 cents a week to become the first student of his community to finish high school. Then on to Morehouse College on scholarship.
His life was changed by a simple proposition. His grandmother told him not to worry over possessions or people’s attitudes; he was a child of God. Thurman found the idea behind his grandmother’s words changing his life.
Thurman began his reasoning about the existence of God with a view typical of every faith: God acts through belief. So how does Thurman—or anyone—know it is God acting, and not science, chance, or just non-sense?
Thurman’s eureka: one knows by possibility. By endless creativity! What others saw as chaotic uncertainty, Thurman saw as a vast, open, available potential, an endless, ever changing bounty. What to many was an unreliable and overwhelming profusion, was to him an explosive reassurance. Instead of simplifying the patterns of living, Thurman grasped their richness.
Thurman saw a world that at every turn was transient and filled with ideas and actions. It was filled with surprises and reprises, with spiraling combinations of successes and failures. As he focused on Christianity, on the prescribed properties of God as Shepherd, Savior, Redeemer, Interventionist, Father, Human, Holy Spirit, none were more important to Thurman than the idea of God the Creator.
Birth, life, death, every leaf and million-year-old light from constellations, every transition of personal and social age, every storm, were a part of creation, and creation itself had no fixed or finite ends or beginnings. That creation had this property of being able to “outlive” itself—and by its presence bring creation anew to the world—was evidence and affirmation, for Thurman, of God.
The enslaved expressed this sense of creativity in the poetry of a spiritual: “Plenty Good Room in My Father’s Kingdom.” Healing, too, was important to creativity. (“Wade In The Water,” “There Is A Balm in Gilead.”)
Yet Thurman didn’t want to just “believe” in God. He wanted to know God. Tradition had made it possible to adore the deity, but for many, the deity was inaccessible. Thurman realized that belief was the act that made God accessible.
My sitting, half-reclined, cranking down to snack on cookies will not provide the experience or evidence of weight loss. Nothing will until I do something. I can only lose weight (or gain it!) through action—persistent action over time that will create change. Daily invisible, but finally manifested to my eye and senses. Thurman’s experience of God works the same way. He often quoted the folk proverb: “You can’t pour out corn from an empty sack.”
This is how one knows God, Thurman offers, by persistent effort which initially yields little results, but grows and manifests as an inner truth and blessings and gifts—as real as the loss of weight!
The most basic tool of practice is a simple conversation called prayer. Songs are used, too. Thurman explored advanced tools, turning to the Quaker tradition of mystic mediation to put away “the outside things.”
Not that these outside things are lesser. The musician Sun Ra often pointed out the sustaining forces of planetary life come from outside of its substance; sunlight, rain—even life and death.
The mystic experience of the individual or community with God in direct was termed “a call.” (Other African-American names tied to worship services include “seeking,” “shouting,” and a sign was a shooting star.) Calls came in different ways.
Harriet Tubman experienced one of her calls on her first moment of freedom; she said it was as if there were “a glory of everything.” A major call took place at the 1963 March on Washington just before Dr. King spoke; the solo voice of Mahalia Jackson changed the mood of the quarter million people who stretched before her as she sang “How I Got Over.” In that hallowed moment, she urged Dr. King to speak of his dream, saying “tell them about the dream, Martin.”
Later, James Baldwin, writing in Esquire, would identify another important call, experienced as he left the church where Dr. King’s funeral was held. He wrote: “It was the silence that undid me.” Continue reading ‘God Is:’* Advent and Howard Thurman
On ABC’s This Week, former Obama National Security Adviser Tom Donilon will discuss the Iran deal, Afghanistan and China. The roundtable, with Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy . . . → Read More: Sunday Talks, 12/1/13
The turning of the winds bring new casts of fate. The ancients knew when the winds warned and when the winds said move, and when the winds brought the village to a standstill.
We have lost their discernment. We have abandoned their reason. We have substituted political spin.
Arguments against healthcare are made without a single image of the sick and ill in view, only the screams of the pain of dollars untethered from compassion and common sense. Arguments against employment now are made by citing a generation of unborn grandchildren. The arguments against ending the filibuster are open threats of even greater abuse when the minority party gets its turn. The argument against higher wages is that record profits will rise slower.
Spin has its own velocity of calculated turns. Is it wise for investors to value at $20 billion a company that transmits messages of 140 characters without a save or archive function, whose biggest innovation is “#” (a hashtag)?
Is the record fine of $13.6 billion levied on JP Morgan just the price of doing over a trillion dollars in toxic mortgage bundles that were bad bets from the beginning?
Much of the whirlwind of spin is around women’s rights. From self defense and murder to domestic violence and rape, to healthcare, pregnancy, abortion and child custody, women face an unrelenting drone of personal attacks.
Even the Cheney sisters can’t agree on the right spin! How can a personal sense of compassion and recognition of your own sister’s marriage, complete with wonderful nieces, share brain and heart space with a policy position and personal belief that forbids and denies others from sharing this same love and recognition of family?
A policy that rejects the material, empirical evidence of failure and evil by citing tradition lynches logic and morality with the same rope.
Liz Cheney wants to publicly choke the life out of equal rights. Her faith recalls the faith of Aztec priests, whose blood sacrifices entered history as horrors.
And her real and angry sister has, in the new age, hundreds of Twitter bots.
What Republicans forget is that the directions of the winds can not be changed. Winds blow their way. And no human structures can stand against their path. When divided, they join forces again.
The ancients knew it to be an old principle, visible across time and history; the winds were the revealed nature of the invisible—a manifest remainder of wisdom.
Something dangerous bubbles around the edges of Liz Cheney’s ambition; she seeks to be the new high priest of conservative wisdom, the whisperer of its winds. Her reliance on her father’s record, her family name, the blatant use of her children to provide a genealogy of her ancestors, careful to work a woman in, the impersonal separation of her position on marriage from her “many kindnesses” towards her sister’s family her father says shouldn’t be used against her—all of these strange half-measures are frames that reveal and hide more confusion than clarity about her.
The confusion conceals the bedrock belief that Wyoming owes her. It’s more than an entitlement—it’s a debt. You owe me for all that my family has done. Because of my name. Because I can view the evidence of truth vividly present in my own family and renounce it, while being “kind.”
And more than arrogance or condescension, it’s an angry, insistent contempt. It demands of others what it cannot itself deliver: a civil discussion of plans and policies beyond slogans that could be the mottoes on the coat of arms of the family crest—it is the pretense of royalty with the manufactured semblance of a common touch.
It’s hard for her to see those who don’t support her as anything but traitors and for her not to order their beheading. Her idea of the “new leader” has the faint smell of old Western vengeance. For her, spilled blood is more important than its bonds.
As Roy Alexander Graham noted:
Neocons are about one thing. Power. This is about power for the perpetuation of their agenda. The justification of her presence in and qualification for the process is a slight inconvenience that they must overcome, however awkwardly. All the more reason why a democracy only works when the populace cultivates political memory that informs democratic will. People like Liz Cheney and her father depend on the absence of political memory. What we can’t allow to take hold among us is the decline of democratic will.
Thanksgiving once recognized that democratic will was accountable to a higher providence, and was a day of re-centered grace. In an irony lost to time, its original proclamation was issued by South Carolina’s Henry Laurens, one of the colonies’ richest men, the second President of the Continental Congress of the Second United American Republic—and one of American largest slave brokers. Imprisoned in the Tower of London on espionage charges, he was swapped for Cornwallis at the end of the Revolutionary War. He preceded to Paris, where, as one of four American peace commissioners (with Ben Franklin, John Jay and John Adams) he and the others (all led by Franklin) insisted Britain recognize America’s independence as a condition of peace. Continue reading Thanksgiving and the Winds of Fate
Over the past four-plus years, it has been downright mind-blowing to watch you, the GOP, rewrite history in a never-ending attempt to compare the current administration to the overwhelming failure that was the Dubya presidency – and somehow come to the conclusion that between our man and your boy, Obama is the one who is somehow found wanting.
You have compared every aspect of Obama’s term in office to the Reign of Error that preceded him. And while those comparisons have been blatantly ridiculous, the entertainment value of watching you equate the astounding accomplishments of one with the dismal record of the other is priceless.
For the record, let me remind you of history as it actually unfolded, rather than as you want it to be perceived.
Barack Obama never received a briefing entitled “Bin Laden determined to strike in the US”, which he immediately ignored, along with dismissing the constant and dire warnings of the intelligence community. The attack of 9/11 happened on your boy’s watch, and you can chalk up the resulting deaths of over 3,000 people in his column. You can, of course, count that as a win in your “war on terror” – although I doubt most Americans think of it in that light.
Barack Obama never invaded a country based on wholly fabricated assertions of possession of WMDs, leading to the deaths of thousands of US troops, untold numbers of innocent civilians, and expenditures that led to the largest deficit in US history. That was your boy. In fact, the only aptitude your boy ever demonstrated in his eight years in office was his ability to lie to the American people almost as easily as he spent their money.
Barack Obama has never landed on an aircraft carrier to announce “Mission Accomplished” when the only thing accomplished was the prelude to a disastrous war that plunged our own nation into unfathomable debt, and the nation of Iraq into unfathomable death and destruction. Again, that was your boy (the one who never did come up with even a modicum of proof that he had completed his military service) strutting around, all gussied-up in military gear as he sent US soldiers to die for what he perceived to be his political glory. Our man’s citizenship, despite your propensity for spewing bullshit, has been proven. When did your boy even come close to proving that he actually served?
Barack Obama never boastfully vowed to “get Bin Laden, dead or alive” only to sheepishly admit later that, “I really just don’t spend that much time on him, to be honest with you.” It was our man who stated unequivocally that he would get Bin Laden – and then did so. It was your boy who turned out to be all hat and no cattle – a term in keeping with your boy’s pretense of being a tough-talkin’ Texan, when what he really was is a gutless mama’s boy whose lack of intelligence, skill and work ethic would have landed him a career of pumping gas at some obscure interstate truck stop were it not for his daddy’s connections.
Barack Obama has never overseen the phenomenon of millions of US dollars in cash simply disappearing in the “fog of war”. It was your boy and his cohorts who pulled off that magic act – while funneling millions of taxpayer dollars into their own pockets via their shareholdings in corporations that were coincidentally awarded no-bid government contracts, the oversight of which was conveniently non-existent.
Barack Obama never sent our troops into harm’s way ill-equipped, lacking the most basic necessities in order to complete their mission safely. It was your boy who sent our soldiers into battle without body armor, and then added injury to insult by supplying them (via his VP’s corporation, Halliburton) with contaminated drinking water while they risked their lives in the middle of the fuckin’ desert.
Barack Obama never outed a covert CIA agent, jeopardizing her life and the lives of others in service to the country, nor did anyone from his administration. That was your boy’s administration, the same group of pathological misfits who freely used their political power to discredit their detractors, regardless of the consequences to the individuals involved, and the country at large.
Barack Obama has never vacationed while a major US city and its citizens was left to drown in the aftermath of a hurricane. That was your boy eating birthday cake with John McCain, and strummin’ the ol’ geetar for a photo-op in California while NOLA residents died for lack of food, water, shelter and medical attention. It was our man who responded to the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy with skill and expediency – and eating cake and strummin’ wasn’t even remotely part of the picture.
Barack Obama has never owned a fake ranch in Texas, an off-the-beaten-track hideaway where he can drink himself rancid every weekend out of public view. It was your boy who required his lackeys to explain the cuts and bruises resulting from his drunken escapades as a brush-clearing mishap, a biking excursion gone awry, or an epic battle-to-the-death with what was undoubtedly a would-be al Qaeda assassin disguised as a pretzel.
Barack Obama has never made a complete fool of himself on the international stage by attending events of global importance too soused to speak coherently, too drunk to know that giving a “massage” to a fellow world leader is inappropriate, too stupid as well as stupefied to understand that the office he held not only demanded a certain decorum, but deserved it. It was your boy who repeatedly embarrassed our nation in front of the entire world; it was our man who had to undo the damage your clueless idiot caused to our international reputation.
And while we’re on the topic… Continue reading Please Proceed, GOP
After a week that included both the exercise of Harry Reid’s nuclear capability and an interim agreement to curtail the nuclear capability of Iran, Republicans and their media henchjerks are left with continuing to bleat about healthcare.gov while the President heads to the West Coast for some heavy-duty fundraising and speechmaking.
Following Sunday fundraisers in Seattle and Medina, today finds him in San Francisco, where he resumes his quest to shame House Republicans into taking action on comprehensive immigration reform, five months after a version was approved by the Senate.
Tomorrow, he’s set to deliver a speech on the economy during a visit to Dreamworks Animation in Glendale, where he’ll discuss job creation in the entertainment industry; a major problem with that job creation will be highlighted by a simultaneous rally at nearby Griffith Manor Park, where visual effects artists will protest offshoring.
While in California, the President will also attend Democratic fundraisers at the homes of Magic Johnson, writer/producer Marta Kaufmann, and producer/media mogul Haim Saban. You can attend all three events for as little as $51,100, but that meager outlay will probably land you at the kiddies’ tables. Maybe opt instead for pricier seats and hope you can make up the difference with Black Friday savings.
Speaking of Black Friday, it will be JC Penney’s last day in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Penney’s will be replaced by Allegion, a door lock manufacturer. Continue reading Stormy Monday, 11/25/13