Friday, June 20, 2014
There’s a lady lawyer in Minnesota whose long-game is to serve on the US Supreme Court but, for the time-being and God-willing, she will hone her judicial skills on the Minnesota State Supreme Court. The state Republican Delegation took a good 30 minutes to endorse Michelle McDonald after she gave a rousing, Bible-waving speech in which she promised to base her judicial opinions on Biblical principles. [First Amendment be damned!]
And, in a nod to the Founding Fathers, Ms McDonald wound up with the theocrats’ favorite spurious quotation of George Washington:
“. . . it is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”
One of the ways that Ms. McDonald hopes to impress future SCOTUS-scouts is her “radical belief that the family courts should be abolished” the result of an epiphany she experienced after serving 25 years in family court.
As Mike Mosedale on politicsinminnesota.com reports:
Citing inspiration from her clients, grandson, the film “Jerry Maguire” and Pope John Paul II, McDonald then composed a “Miracle Mission Statement” toward making that belief a reality.
Asked to elaborate on those views during the interview, MacDonald was soon overcome by emotion. “These [issues] are of great interest to me,” she said, pausing to wipe her tears, “because families are being ripped apart by our court process. I’ve seen it over the last 27 years.”
After composing herself, MacDonald confidently asserted that her latest legal salvo — part of a long and bitter custody fight between a client and her ex-husband — will be “the case that eliminates courts for families all together. It will happen in [this] case.”
Or, maybe not, if one takes into account some of the legal hijinks and courtroom histrionics that have taken place during that trial to include:
. . . a judge ha[ving] her removed from the courtroom and placed in a cell.
According to the documents, MacDonald was handcuffed, placed in a wheelchair, and then returned to the courtroom, where she continued to argue on her client’s behalf. She was, however, jailed for multiple days, though never charged.
Meanwhile, there were a series of adverse rulings in McDonald’s case, one of which was an unsuccessful bid for the case to be heard by SCOTUS. Failing that, McDonald brought a federal suit against the presiding judge seeking more than $330 million dollars in damages for her client and her client’s five children.
Not to mention:
She further claimed in the suit that John and Mary Does 1-20 — unnamed government employees who work for police agencies and the courts — “have a secret agenda intent on family annihilation, societal breakdown, intimidation, emotional abuse, isolation, using children, economic abuse, coercion and threats.” The suit does not specify the damages sought from those parties.
That suit was dismissed by a US District Judge while McDonald was auditioning for the Republican endorsement.
So, far Ms. McDonald looks like a perfect fit for the Minnesota [cough, Bachmann] GOP. More of an Orly Taitz than a Clarence Darrow . . . so, it comes as no surprise that we have an alert state Republican, Doug Seaton, of the Judicial Election Committee, telling McDonald that he was concerned:
“that we’re going to have a situation where the party’s endorsement process is going to be held up to ridicule, and you’re going to be held up to ridicule, and attacked in a campaign as not having judicial [comportment] and not being neutral and being a little bit of a wild woman.”
“How on Earth can a person who is a zealous advocate, maybe pushing the line, be suitable for a judicial position? And how is that going to reflect on the party’s endorsement process, the other statewide candidates…is that going to be a problem? How are you going to respond to it?”
McDonald demurred from answering Seaton’s questions but agreed that his concerns were valid.
And, all of that, of course is incidental to McDonald’s recent DWI arrest, trial still pending. As briefly as possible, McDonald was pulled over for speeding by police, refused alcohol testing, told the officer that she was a “reserve cop, a lawyer and would walk home” but vigorously protests her innocence.
Personally, I don’t find it astonishing that a lawyer, or a supreme court justice for that matter, might have a DWI in his/her closet.
The point here is what Michael Brodkorb says:
MacDonald’s candidacy should have raised numerous red flags. But in a rush to endorse a judicial candidate, the warning signs were missed and now people are pointing fingers.
Keith Downey, chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota told the Star Tribune last week, “none of us, including the convention delegates, were aware of this information about the candidate.”
Contrary to the statements made by Downey, MacDonald’s arrest was known by numerous Republicans, including the person appointed by Downey to oversee the committee to determine if the convention should endorse a judicial candidate – Doug Seaton.
As the former Deputy Chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota, I will state without hesitation that MacDonald’s endorsement proves the current party process of endorsing candidates is fundamentally flawed and in desperate need of reform.
The fact that Downey, the top elected official of the Republican Party of Minnesota, claims he was unaware that a candidate with a pending criminal trial was endorsed for the Minnesota Supreme Court, is the best evidence I can point to that Republicans need a new process to select candidates for office.
Posted by Bette Noir on 06/20/14 at 12:16 PM
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Pity token congressional morlock (just look at the weirdly-shaped head on the guy!) Trey Gowdy has to be in a bit of a tizzy with the capture of BENGHAZI!!!! suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala. The Benghazi “scandal” is nothing more than a quibble over the semantics used to describe the attack on the consular office- now the Republicans look like a bunch of fools arguing over bullshit while the president was actually working quietly to capture one of the ringleaders. Soon, the president will probably have a mug made out of Khattala’s cranium to match the bong he made out of Bin Laden’s skull.
In his statement regarding the capture, former car thief Darryl Issa tellingly omitted giving credit for the capture to the administration and demanded that the president share information gained from the suspect:
“The arrest of Ahmed Abu Khatallah is long overdue and our military deserves credit for conducting a successful operation. There is evidence that he is one of dozens, if not hundreds of individuals, involved in the murder of four Americans in Benghazi. The Obama Administration has an obligation to share whatever information he offers with Chairman Gowdy and the Select Committee about events before and during the Benghazi attacks.”
Lindsey Graham’s response was a whine about the need for the suspect to be tried at Gitmo:
Really, Lindsey, your party has no expertise whatsoever in fighting terrorism, and the guy in the White House has had more success in pursuing terrorists as if they were criminals than his predecessor had by treating terrorists as enemy combatants.
With the suspected ringleader of the attack in custody, the right-wing obsession with the consular attacks should go the way of the dodo, but the wingnuts have invested too much effort in creating and maintaining the scandal, so they are now spinning conspiracy theories about the circumstances of the capture. They failed to ride the scandal to electoral victory in 2012, but they are calling for a Benghazi mulligan in the runup to the 2014 midterm elections. It remains to be see whether or not Trey Gowdy continues with his farcical Benghazi inquisition, but in the immediate future, I imagine he’ll be très pouty.
As a postscript, blogroll member Oregon Beer Snob did a perfect job of expressing Gowdy’s inner qualities- I have seen no better representation of this particular congresscreep.
Cross-posted at my eponymous blog.
Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 06/19/14 at 01:50 AM
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
What Do You Not Understand About STFU, Dick?
Let’s see . . . what’s the perfect cure for a hump-day-slump? How about a ringside seat at the Folie à deux de Cheney?
It’s been a while since La Lizzy’s political ADD took her out of the running for her home-away-from-home’s senate seat, but, apparently she’s back on her meds. Papa Dick’s unfailing political instincts have evidently indicated that it’s time to reassert the Cheney brand and remind folks that La Lizzy is still a pure-bred neocon who once was an assistant deputy something or other in the State Department, ergo her head is full of foreign policy awesomeness.
So, with Papa Dick’s geopolitical genius and prose-styling help, Cheney et fille dropped a throbbing load of spittle-flecked Obama-bashing which landed with a satisfying plop on the Op-Ed pages of The Wall Street Journal.
In case any of you Roasters are too unwilling or unworthy to slither under WSJ’s paywall, here’s your one-way ticket to Advanced Dementia. You can read through the cheneyarglebargle, for yourself, if you care to. Or, Bob Cesca, at Daily Banter has done a great job of picking at the carrion. But, really, there are few surprises here for veteran Cheney-watchers.
We already know that Dick Cheney is a self-deluded, degenerate, lying sack of shit that should be sitting in a cell somewhere rather than be allowed to roam the streets babbling his demented advice from any available bullhorn. That’s not news, and this current Op-Ed is simply the latest installment of The Dick That Wouldn’t Go Away.
But wait!! there’s more! That was just Act 1. They HAVE a solution! Your money . . . their pockets.
The Cheneys’ press release announces:
“. . . the formation and launch of The Alliance for a Strong America, a 501(c)4 grassroots organization that will advocate for a restoration of American strength and power. The group will be led by former Vice President Cheney, who will serve as Chairman and Liz Cheney, who will be the group’s President. The committee is supported by citizens who are dedicated to the hard but necessary task of preserving freedom and restoring American strength and power in the wake of the Obama administration’s national security failures.”
The Alliance for a Strong America, a grassroots organization built to assail President Obama’s foreign policy, will educate about and advocate for the policies needed to restore American power and pre-eminence. We will provide information to citizens about national security and defense policy, and ensure that these issues are a critical part of America’s national debate and discussion over the next two years and beyond.
And so it is that Daddy’s Little Deferment now has her very own war chest to keep his little carbetbagger solvent and his political influence alive.
Posted by Bette Noir on 06/18/14 at 10:24 AM
Categories: Politics • Nutters •
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
So! Is Traditional The New White?
Wise politicians take words very seriously and are quite fond of speaking in “code.” The problem with speaking in coded language is code-breakers; the upside, of course, is deniability.
For example, when Paul Ryan spoke, a few months back about young “inner city” men who are “not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work because they rely on government assistance,” . . . just about every man, woman and child in America was uncomfortably aware of whom Ryan was speaking.
Nevertheless, Paul Ryan was able to put on his shocked face, exclaim:
This has nothing to do whatsoever with race. It never even occurred to me. This has nothing to do with race whatsoever.
and walk away unscathed. What? me racist?
Republicans are fond of extrapolating that, since Lincoln—a Republican—freed the slaves there is NO WAY that a Republican can be a racist. Many white Americans are proud to point out that they no longer buy and sell human beings and have successfully curbed their primal urge to take the law into their own hands and string up people who don’t show enough respect for their whiteness.
Thom Tillis is a Republican who figures he’s ready for prime time. He is currently Speaker of the North Carolina State House of Representatives but just won the Republican primary aimed at unseating US Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC). Speaker Tillis has served some seven years in the state house accruing lots of political acumen and some pretty awesome code-speaking skills of his own, along the way.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 06/17/14 at 01:22 PM
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Cooter Just Might Have Done Us a Solid
One of the things that I love the most about blogging [writing and reading] is the freedom that bloggers have to think outside of the box and fully engage with The Weird.
And, so it is that, while professional journalists and pundits, who are paid in real cash and expected to produce relatively rational analysis, wrestle with the odd conundrum of Eric Cantor’s primary defeat, last night, they are bound to overlook one of the more likely causes because it doesn’t fit their paradigm.
Let’s just take a look at the facts going in to this race:
Eric Cantor was the second most powerful Republican in the US House of Representatives. He has won re-election every time, since 2001, mostly by hefty margins—last time around it was 80%-20%.
Eric Cantor raised $5 million for his campaign as compared to his opponent’s $122,000 “war chest.” No surprises there.
Going into primary election day all polls - the good, the bad and the ugly—had Cantor well ahead of his opponent.
Congressional primary elections do not swamp the polls. No long lines. However, this time around, for a “gimme” of an election, some 30% more voters showed up over the last mid-term primary in VA07. [app. 65K this time to 44K last time.]
Cantor’s virtually unknown TEA Party opponent inexplicably won by carrying bluer precincts.
Trying to make sense of this very odd—so odd it’s historic—election result has every political reporter and pundit in the land twisting themselves into a pretzel trying to explain it all:
Was Cantor too RINO? was he too much of an insider/conniver? Did immigration sink him? Was his campaign’s late flurry of negative TV ads that created name recognition and sympathy for his opponent a fatal tactical error? Was he a secret Obamabot?
Was he too Jewish?
Or was it much simpler than that? Was it? could it be? Just Cooter?
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 06/11/14 at 10:08 AM
Monday, June 09, 2014
George Will Declares Rape Culture A Figment of Progressive Imagination
Check it! all you loose coed sluts dreaming of attaining the “coveted status” of rape victim and all of its “attendant privileges,” all of you scantily clad temptresses just begging for “micro-aggressions” to spin into harrassment cases and you inebriated “hook-up culture” campus tarts—Old Grampa Georgie Will has your number, you little hussies.
That is not to say that he blames you entirely for your depraved ways. Gramps knows that President Obama and the 21st century curse of progressivism are largely to blame for despoiling your happy childhoods and consigning you to “today’s prolonged adolescence of especially privileged young adults.”
And it’s not just Obama, it’s your own colleges, as well:
It is salutary that academia, with its adversarial stance toward limited government and cultural common sense, is making itself ludicrous. Academia is learning that its attempts to create victim-free campuses — by making everyone hypersensitive, even delusional, about victimizations — brings increasing supervision by the regulatory state that progressivism celebrates.
What government is inflicting on colleges and universities, and what they are inflicting on themselves, diminishes their autonomy, resources, prestige and comity. Which serves them right. They have asked for this by asking for progressivism.
Things were verrrrry different, back in the day, before subversive progressives made every one “hypersensitive, even delusional, about victimizations.” Back then, rape was rape, by gum—leaving stab wounds, bruises and ligature marks.
You want to scream rape every time someone grabs your precious boobies and gives ‘em an appreciative squeeze? That’s progressive. You won’t find Grandpa Will making a big to-do if someone grabs his junk—who could fight that urge?
Grampa Will understands “girls just want to have fun” but these days they want extra attention for it. And the reason the number of rapes on campus appears to be booming is because victims of rape get so much loving attention.
What coed wouldn’t want to go before a faculty review board, for hours, describing every sickening moment of the worst event of her young life, after which she will never be the same, to a panel of her professors? What fun! Bet those old dons won’t forget her name, again.
And there’s also all of the official police attention—the rape kit that renacts the invasion and then is put on a shelf in a back room in case some do-gooder decides to actually send it to a crime lab because we all know “boys will be boys” and campus rapes aren’t really “rape,” they’re “date rape.”
But most “coveted status” of all is the attention rape victims get from their peers—the accusations of lying or being a slut, a tease, a ‘ho; the shaming signs on the dorm walls, the hate posts on FaceBook, the threats of violence—to the victim.
Now I’m sort of understanding why any coed wouldn’t want to get herself a piece of that action.
As in most cases of conservative denial, George Will believes the rest of us are making way too much of this and that we’re far too gullible when it comes to CDC statistics and anecdotal evidence. We’re including way too many types of sexual aggression and making it just way too complicated for college men to figure out what they can and cannot do to young women.
And why would the world conspire to make up this whole rape culture business? Well, to make George Will, the Christian Right and conservatives uncomfortable, of course. It’s all Liberals think about, actually—ways to stick it to smug, uptight paranoiacs and force them to make asses of themselves denying reality.
Like George Will did.
Posted by Bette Noir on 06/09/14 at 12:12 PM
Sunday, June 08, 2014
Majority of Americans Support Reparative Therapy for Texans
While most of us were trying to absorb the eery links between “Benghazi” and “Bergdahl,” last week, Texas rounded up its Republican delegates and sent them to Fort Worth to convene and redraft the state party platform. Few will be surprised to learn that Texas has one of the weirdest state Republican platforms in the country.
It is forty —count ‘em, FORTY— pages of Right wing free association that feels like the product of a bad night of MadLibs and way too much Lone Star Lite. I’d say that the Texas platform smacks of teenage manifesto but that can’t be quite right because the Texas Young Republicans have declared it totally suckumental.
Way to court that youth vote, GOP!
Anyone with the stomach is welcome to jump right in for themselves, but here are a few highlights from my perspective . . .
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 06/08/14 at 01:53 PM
Friday, June 06, 2014
The Spy Who Smeared Me
Is there anything more pathetic than an 80 year old ex-CIA agent running his own home-based spy shop in San Diego? Maybe . . . maybe a professional journalist who takes the private spy seriously enough to write long pointless Exclusives! for Fox News based on the private spy’s “secret intel” alone.
The ex-spook, in this instance, is one Duane “Dewey” Clarridge who served in the CIA during the 1980s as a senior operations officer. Clarridge was indicted for lying to Congress during Iran-Contra hearings, but was pardoned by Poppy Bush during his trial.
Clarridge was forced to resign from the CIA but wasn’t quite ready to quit spying and contracted his expertise out. His story, needless to say, is interesting, in its own right, and anyone who wants to do a deep dive can find long form articles in The New York Times, here and here.
In my opinion, it is enough to say that Mark Mazzetti, of The Times, got it in one when he described Clarridge’s operation as “something of a cross between a Graham Greene novel and Mad Magazine’s “Spy vs. Spy.”
Clarridge communicates with his “field operatives” in Afghanistan and Pakistan—complete with code names like Willi and Waco—via email, then, poolside in San Diego, he compiles the info received into intelligence summaries that he peddles around to a network that includes such intelligence mavens as Oliver North, spy thriller novelist and frequent guest of Glenn Beck, Brad Thor, and, most recently, James Rosen of Fox News.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 06/06/14 at 03:40 PM
Thursday, June 05, 2014
Bergdahl Homecoming Includes Complimentary Reservations On A Swiftboat To Hell
(h/t Illustration by the very talented Mario Piperini)
In that noblest of American judicial traditions “guilty until proven innocent,” a handful of politicians and their fan clubs, with the aid of a few Republican strategists, have determined that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is guilty of desertion, treason, and not being an American superhero. Should he have the temerity to return to his hometown, everyone there has decided to not smile, wave or say “Hey!” because some of the rush-to-judgment mob have said mean things to them on Facebook and the Twitter.
I don’t know anything about Bowe Bergdahl aside from the fact that he voluntarily put on an American uniform when his country needed him. Which means I know as much as 99.9% of the people who are calling for his head on a stick. And, if, in the end, it turns out that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl did anything demonstrably dishonorable, we have laws to deal with that. Just as we had laws to get him home.
On the other hand, Sen Lindsay Graham has put Bergdahl’s Commander-in-Chief on notice that if he lets one more Gitmo prisoner loose without Congress’ blessing, a Congressional hissy fit to beat all Congressional hissy fits will ensue. Happily, no more men are left behind so that should save us at least one histrionic impeachment pitch.
Congress, not usually aficionados of international law on a good day, don’t seem to have realized yet that ending hostilities in Afghanistan will require future transfers of prisoners on a timeline not necessarily of their own making. And, judging by recent statements, they are also probably a little fuzzy on the legal niceties of imprisonment in Guantanamo.
See Guantanamo houses two separate types of prisoners: there are prisoners of war and alleged terrorist criminals. And, despite the Bush administration’s rather cavalier attitude toward international law and their one-size-fits-all approach to imprisonment and due process, there are actually differences in the legal dispositions of each type of prisoner.
The five Taliban who were traded for the release of Sgt. Bergdahl were prisoners of war. They may, indeed, have done terrible things as soldiers but, soldiers do terrible things—that’s War. Nevertheless, prisoners of war were, indeed, the apropriate choices for a prisoner swap.
And, if this administration, or any other, cares to observe international law regarding prisoners of war more such people will be leaving Guantanamo in the very near future, at the official cessation of hostilities. Should Congress decide that they don’t like that and try to obstruct that traditional process a very dangerous new precedent would be set that would imperil any American soldier captured in combat in the future. If the US doesn’t play by the rules, why should anyone else release our prisoners-of-war?
For all of those reasons and, I’m sure, a few more, President Obama attached a signing statement to last year’s defense bill that contained Congress’ most recent obstruction to closing Guantanamo - the 30 day notice amendment—that makes no sense and interferes with constitutional executive powers of the President and Commander-in-Chief. And the President said so.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 06/05/14 at 11:47 AM
Wednesday, June 04, 2014
LGBT Community Devastated Over Demise Of GOProud . . . NOT!!
Here I was, in my own little world, planning my June Wedding, and filling out the Guinness Book application for longest engagement—when the “devastating” news of GOProud‘s untimely demise broke.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Republican Party’s close brush with teh geyz, I’ll keep this as brief as possible . . .
The Log Cabin Republicans organized in California [where else?], in the late 1970s, to mobilize gay conservative influence against the likes of orange juice swilling homophobe Anita Bryant in Florida, and State Senator John Briggs who once tried to launch a California initiative to criminalize teaching while gay. A notion that appalled even straight-up Ronnie Reagan.
In the meantime, the Republican Party slowly morphed into the mangy beast that it is today, shedding LGBT, minority, centrist and sane people of all persuasions, along the way. By 2000, the remaining loyal Log Cabin Republicans were paddling along in a GOP backwater of irrelevance, expected to make no real waves.
Along came a couple of flash gay hipsters, Chris Barron and Jimmy LaSalvia, who broke from LCR and established GOProud in 2009. Wow! big things gonna happen now . . .
Whatever their motivation, Barron and LaSalvia made a fairly embarrassing and undignified spectacle of what is already an oxymoronic notion: The Gay Conservative. Especially as “conservative” is defined in the Republican Party of 2014. But one thing that LaSalvia and Barron had, which is respected by the GOP establishment, was a few deep-pocketed donors. That, and an opinion that the Log Cabin Republicans had drifted just a little too far to the Left, which suited establishment types just fine. Maybe this was some wonderful new species of gay lemmings?
As David Badash at The New Civil Rights Movement so economically put it:
GOProud co-founders Jimmy LaSalvia and Chris Barron‘s antics since they started GOProud were often vile, offensive, unprofessional, and did little to advance the cause of equality. They regularly lambasted the left, frequently calling Democratic, liberal, or progressive members of the LGBT community “the most intolerant.”
Up until January, 2013 GOProud had paradoxically opposed gay marriage. In January that changed, then, in April, declaring their “mission accomplished,” Barron and LaSalvia cut GOProud loose, staying on only to serve on GOProud’s board.
In January, 2014, LaSalvia declared himself disgusted with the Republican Party’s bigotry and left the party. No one really knows the exact moment when LaSalvia awoke from his coma and was struck by that blinding insight except to say that it was some time after hiring Ann Coulter and endorsing Michele Bachmann.
Now that LaSalvia [and his donors] have departed, there is no longer any more reason to pretend that the Republican Party has even the slightest intention of reaching out to gays, let alone putting GOProud on life support to attract a handful of eccentric gay voters. GOProud is folding and the toothless, but better-behaved, Log Cabin Republicans are left to provide a well-patinated veneer of the “gay tolerance” of yesteryear to the GOP.
And, let’s be honest . . . Gay Conservatives? Seriously??
Posted by Bette Noir on 06/04/14 at 11:07 AM
Categories: LGBT • Politics •
Monday, June 02, 2014
What If Republicans Held A Leadership Conference And No Leaders Showed Up?
We must stop being the stupid party. It’s time for a new Republican party that talks like adults. It’s time for us to articulate our plans and visions for America in real terms. We had a number of Republicans damage the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. We’ve had enough of that.
Those inspirational words were uttered by the Republican Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal in January, 2013.
Bobby Jindal, however, has shown very little inclination to take his own advice and, in fact, six months later suffered a bout of “stupid” himself in the form of a kamikaze Op-Ed in Politico:
Republican political correctness is all the rage, and it’s all roughly the same: we need to stop being conservative… we need to abandon our principles (at least the ones that don’t poll well)… we need to let the smart guys in Washington pick our candidates…we need big data and analytics so we can optimize… we need to be more libertarian…we need to endorse abortion…we need fewer debates…and the list goes on.
The overall level of panic and apology from the operative class in our party is absurd and unmerited. It’s time to stop the bedwetting.
No more self-analysis; we’ve had our catharsis. The season for navel gazing has passed.
Let’s stop defeating ourselves, get on offense, and go kick the other guys around. If you’ve followed the news over the past month, they are certainly asking for it. We are the conservative party in America — deal with it. We have a lot of dissenting voices. So what? Deal with it. The American public waxes and wanes. Fine. It will wax again soon enough. Deal with it, and start fighting for our principles instead of against them, so we can be in position to create the next wave.
At some point, the American public is going to revolt against the nanny state and the leftward march of this president. I don’t know when the tipping point will come, but I believe it will come soon.
Because the left wants: The government to explode; to pay everyone; to hire everyone; they believe that money grows on trees; the earth is flat; the industrial age, factory-style government is a cool new thing; debts don’t have to be repaid; people of faith are ignorant and uneducated; unborn babies don’t matter; pornography is fine; traditional marriage is discriminatory; 32 oz. sodas are evil; red meat should be rationed; rich people are evil unless they are from Hollywood or are liberal Democrats; the Israelis are unreasonable; trans-fat must be stopped; kids trapped in failing schools should be patient; wild weather is a new thing; moral standards are passé; government run health care is high quality; the IRS should violate our constitutional rights; reporters should be spied on; Benghazi was handled well; the Second Amendment is outdated; and the First one has some problems too.
Their philosophy does not work and it got our nation into the mess it’s in.
Eventually Americans will rise up against this new era of big government and this new reign of politically correct terror. In the meantime Republicans — hold fast, get smarter, get disciplined, get on offense, and put on your big boy pants.
That terrible thud? That was Jindal tripping on the hems of his “big boy pants.”
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 06/02/14 at 10:19 AM
Sunday, June 01, 2014
Leave No Man Behind
Nothing makes Republicans madder than President Obama doing his job and succeeding. They’ve spent the last few weeks blowing up pseudo-scandals, like Macy’s parade balloons, that they hope to keep inflated through the summer.
Poor old Prosecutor Gowdy is still arm-wrestling with Judge Issa over witnesses and trying to get his “show horses” to finish reading Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies before the big trial.
And BOOM! along comes Obama saying I’ll see your Benghazi Special Investigation, your IRS and VA scandals and raise you a high-profile Imperial Presidency prisoner swap.
There! you want something to cry about? I’ll give you something to cry about.
But they’ll have to be smart to put points on the board with this one because no one really wants to hear any whining about a soldier’s homecoming . . . they’re not smart, though, are they?
Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said in a statement that Obama is required by law to notify Congress 30 days before any terrorists are transferred from the U.S. facility. They said Obama also is required to explain how the threat posed by such terrorists has been substantially mitigated.
The top Republicans on the House and Senate armed-services committees cautioned that “we must carefully examine the means by which we secured [Bergdahl’s] freedom,” warning that the U.S. had effectively reneged on its policy not to negotiate with terrorists.
Which is a curious statement since the US has not designated the Taliban a terrorist organization. But, by now, we should be used to our Congresspersons playing fast and loose with facts.
In addition, how is it that a Congress that has been one of the most shamefully ineffectual, abysmal flops in the history of American governance can get all snippy about being sidelined when something real needs to happen? If these people had to operate for one week in their beloved free market they’d be toast. All of them.
Perhaps, if Congress hadn’t been so anxious to stymie the president’s pledge to close Guantanamo and had been more inclined to provide those Gitmo prisoners with anything like due process they wouldn’t have still been been moldering away there to use in a swap.
And, about that 30 day notification law? It was attached to last year’s defense bill to prevent Obama from moving on Guantanamo closure. When he signed that defense bill last year, Obama said that “other provisions of the bill on military programs were too important to jeopardize” by vetoing it outright. Instead, Obama signed the defense bill but also issued a signing statement contending that the notification requirement was an unconstitutional infringement on his powers as commander in chief and that he therefore could override it.
And he did. Imagine that, a politician who means what he says.
The White House said it moved as quickly as possible given the opportunity that arose to secure Bergdahl’s release. Citing “these unique and exigent circumstances,” the White House said a decision was made to go ahead with the transfer despite the legal requirement of 30 days advance notice to Congress “due to a near-term opportunity to save Sergeant Bergdahl’s life.”
The administration determined that given these unique and exigent circumstances, such a transfer should go forward notwithstanding the notice requirement.
Especially since the alternative was to go hat-in-hand to the same Congress that already shut down Bergdahl’s release once, in 2012.
As Raw Story reports:
In addition to using congressional oversight, special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman was told by Republican leadership that negotiating an exchange of Sgt. Bergdahl that involved detainees from Guantanamo Bay would be the president’s “Willie Horton moment.”
Does it get any more cynical than that?
Of course, Obama’s action in this case is not without precedent. In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan faced a similar dilemma - seven Americans held hostage by Iranians in Lebanon. Ronald Reagan felt that, as president, “he had the duty to bring those Americans home.” He decided that giving Iran 1500 missiles was a fair trade. I’d say Obama did a much better deal trading five Taliban members and saving the missiles for another time.
Taliban is not al Qaeda. Taliban is not designated a terrorist organization by the US. Neither are these people being repatriated, they have been handed over to the Qatari government, an American ally in the region.
Meanwhile, while admitting they celebrate Bergdahl’s release, McKeon and Inhofe warned that the exchange “may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans.”
“Our terrorist adversaries now have a strong incentive to capture Americans. That incentive will put our forces in Afghanistan and around the world at even greater risk,” they said.
If Congress would like to discuss presidential actions that “put our forces . . . around the world at even greater risk,” perhaps the time is right for a thorough investigation of the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq . . . ? Or their cavalier abandonment of said Wounded Warriors when their medical care requires more funding than our parsimonious Congress is willing to dole out?
Posted by Bette Noir on 06/01/14 at 11:40 AM
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Speaking Truth To Impotence
Suddenly, and none too soon, an interesting assortment of ordinary Americans have somewhat miraculously rediscovered their voices. Maybe it has something to do with the evolution of social media; or perhaps it’s a reaction to being completely ignored, for too long, by our governmental representatives; or maybe it has to do with witnessing our rights, freedoms and values being trampled, ignored and distorted into an ugly incomprehensible mess. Who knows? But a tipping point seems to have been reached and, I for one, find it very refreshing to see everyday citizens rearing up and letting loose.
In the short space of just a few weeks a number of powerful reactions to a diverse set of issues have rocked the American scene.
Here are some of the most notable . . .
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) is a Republican. He is also the ranking minority member of the Senate Committee On Veterans Affairs and, ostensibly, quite dedicated to our veterans’ welfare. Indeed, Sen Burr and his fellow committee members worked diligently on crafting the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014.
Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) were delighted by how comprehensively the bill would address some of the biggest problems facing all American veterans and offered full-throated endorsements of the bill.
Here’s what just one VSO, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association, had to say, in their letter to the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs endorsing the bill:
This legislation would accomplish many of the goals for which veterans and military service organizations have been advocating for years, including strengthening the Post-9/11 GI Bill, expanding advance appropriations for more of the VA’s budget, expanding dental care coverage for veterans, expanding benefits for surviving spouses, expanding care related to military sexual trauma, instituting new rules for VA’s claims processing reports, and much more.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 05/27/14 at 01:44 PM
Saturday, May 24, 2014
House Orders Pentagon To Forget All That Science Stuff And Buy The World Some Coke Instead
Think Progress reports:
Earlier this month with the release of the National Climate Assessment, 300 leading climate scientists and experts told Americans in no uncertain terms that time is running out to confront the dangerous impacts of climate change.
This week, 16 military experts agreed, telling Americans in a report that climate change is already threatening national security and the economy. The CNA Corporation Military Advisory Board authored the report, titled “National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change.”
The House of Representatives met that news with a collective raspberry and ordered the Pentagon to fuhgeddabout using any of their funding to address climate change related national security risks, via a party-line passed amendment to this year’s Defense Department budget.
The amendment reads:
None of the funds authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to implement the U.S. Global Change Research Program National Climate Assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report, the United Nation’s Agenda 21 sustainable development plan, or the May 2013 Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order.
Take that Obama, you and your Marxist Executive Orders and Agenda 21 New World Order.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 05/24/14 at 08:51 AM
Friday, May 23, 2014
Et tu, Bibi?
BREAKING: Benjamin Netanyahu Precipitates Serious Spate of Neocon Exploding Heads
Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has some uncharacteristically positive words for one of U.S. President Barack Obama’s most controversial foreign policy initiatives: the deal struck last year to remove chemical weapons from Syria.
Netanyahu issued what was for him a full-throated endorsement of an Obama initiative, calling it “the one ray of light in a very dark region.”
“It’s not complete yet,” he went on. “We are concerned that they may not have declared all of their capacity. But what has been removed has been removed. We’re talking about 90 percent. We appreciate the effort that has been made and the results that have been achieved.”
Loosely [emphasis on the “loose”] related:
It’s a marvelous, magical place, our United States Senate. It’s a place that can transform a balding old white guy from the boonies, with a BS in Industrial Management and his own construction company, into a foreign policy expert in just a few short years.
The guy I’m referring to, of course, is Sen. Bob “Muddlement” Corker (R-TN) ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
And, if Republicans should take control of the Senate this year, Sen. Muddlement is in line to take the reins of said Committee, a prospect that scares the bejeebers out of me but seems to thrill Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
I have watched him over the last few years really become the most highly respected on national security and foreign policy. He’s eminently qualified to be the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
“Eminently qualified”? seriously?? Perhaps that statement goes a long way toward explaining our Congress’ 9% approval rating, because, in my view, Sen. Corker is a treasonous, low-info blowhard with minimal qualifications to be embarrassing the US, on national television, spouting his cracker-barrel wisdom on how our elected President is handling foreign affairs.
Unless, of course, you count Corker’s brief sojourn as Mayor of Chattanooga.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 05/23/14 at 10:12 AM