National Review Online: Netanyahu, Not Obama, Speaks For The U.S.A.

Romney and Benjamin Netanyahu
Romney and Benjamin Netanyahu

 

The jingoistic nationalism surrounding Bibi Netanyahu’s speech tomorrow in front of Congress has reached an epic level. The National Review Online, posted an article entitled Netanyahu, Not Obama, Speaks for Us, which exalts the right-wing Likudnik hardliner to almost an almost divine status. He is the defender of Western values (code for White values) while defending… Continue reading “National Review Online: Netanyahu, Not Obama, Speaks For The U.S.A.”

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Lindsey Graham Blames Obama For Every Problem On Earth While David Gregory Nods

The Most Lopsided Interview To Date: Gregory (left) Lets Graham (right) Off The Hook
The Most Lopsided Interview To Date: Gregory (left) Lets Graham (right) Off The Hook

I jokingly predicted earlier this week in a tweet Next on Sunday’s Meet The Press: Lindsey Graham and John McCain discuss how Obama arranged the downing of MH Flight 17.  Once again, Mr. Deference to Republicans with a side of hardline questions to Democrats, David Gregory, has engineered another episode of Meet The Press that could double as a commercial for the RNC.  After an interview with Secretary of State Kerry, where facts were given regarding Gaza, MH 17 and the Border Crisis, a smirking Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared on the screen.  I recorded it and the transcript below is directly from the interview.  With regards to the Kerry comments, he said,

“That was the most delusional summary that I can imagine.  It scares me that he (Secretary Kerry) believes that the world is in such good shape.  America is the glue that holds the free world together.  Leading from behind is not working, the world is adrift, and President Obama has become the King of Indecision. His policies are failing across the globe and it will come here soon.”

Gregory asked what Kerry left out, saying “what is the administration not yet prepared to do that you think must be done?” (Since Graham deserves the final say on the matter,as his foreign policy ideas have been the model of peace and prosperity for the U.S.)

“What he didn’t call Putin the THUG that he is.  He didn’t call for the arming of the Ukraine so they can defend themselves against local separatists supported by Russia.  All the enemies of our nation are being well supplied, Russia and Iran are helping Syria, a 160,000 have been slaughtered, John Kerry, by Russian-supplied weapons to Assad. Syria has become a safe-haven for terrorists to attack our nation.” (from Syria?) He then commented on how the Europeans weren’t going to lead on the issue of laying heavy sanctions on Putin and we can’t keep “leading from behind. There’s a battle of wills between the KGB colonel and the “Community Organizer” (aka black guy) and the colonel is winning. “

Next Graham went into harsh criticism mode on the “deliberative” nature of the president.  He said, “it comes off as indecisive, he’s trying to be thoughtful, it comes off as weakness.”  He then supported aggressive US-European sanctions on Russia, especially in the banking sector and he finished up his rant on how we should rebuild the missile defense systems “that Obama took down.”

The final comment was regarding the border crisis.  Gregory asked if his party was prepared to move with the President on this.  He predictably said, “there will be NO MONEY….we have to streamline and quicken deportations, there will be no immigration reform because of the crisis on the border, I blame OBAMA for this moment.” He then stated the 2015 “Republican Congress” with the House leading (of course) will need to solve this immigration crisis or they won’t win the White House in 2016. However, they are not prepared in any way to cooperate with anyone to change anything.

The South Carolinian best bud of Senator McCain, in a very short time, blamed Obama for the border crisis, the crisis in Palestine and the Ukrainian mess.  Naturally, David Gregory had absolutely no challenges to any of those assertions and, in fact, followed up the interview with a largely Republican panel who parrotted Graham’s delusional ravings.

 

President Obama Strikes Back After SCOTUS Attacks Women And Unions

There was an assault on organized labor unions and women by the Supreme Court earlier this week.  However, the day before our 238th Independence Day, we learn of great gains on the economic front.  Before you hear from conservative pundits how awful a 6.1% unemployment rate and 288,000 jobs gained in June truly is, remember, half the gains in the Stock Market were achieved during the Presidency of our Commander in Chief, Barack Obama, who is often accused of being a Socialist. 

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez knows we have a long way to go and Congressional cooperation with the President is essential to continuing these positive trends and healing our nation.  Perez said,

…On too many of these issues, Congress continues to sit on its hands instead of working constructively with President Obama to move the nation and the economy forward. Its refusal to extend emergency unemployment benefits has cut off nearly 3 million people who are trying their hardest to find work.

If only Congress loved America more than they hate President Obama, perhaps something could be accomplished, especially with the crisis at our Southern Border.  Perez adds,

Failure to enact immigration reform has come at a cost $8 billion less in economic activity. That’s why the president announced this week that he will look to fill the leadership void and take executive action wherever possible to bring our immigration system into the 21st century… In the spirit of Independence Day, let’s renew our commitment to meet shared challenges with unity and resolve.

The platform of the Republican Party mainly consists of  sabotaging the President’s efforts at reforming immigration.   At the June Texas State Republican Convention in Fort Worth a writer noted,

…by far, the largest concern was devoted to illegal immigration. 

Images of busloads of undocumented women and children surrounded by angry Tea Party protesters could spark empathy and mobilize women to vote in November. The greatest threat to Republicans are female voters.  In key swing states, women deem abortion very important.  In fact,

60% of female voters believe (abortion) to be an extremely or very important issue, compared with 39% of male voters.

Once again, the GOP’s “victory” against women and for corporations could spark the outrage needed to mobilize female voters.


 

 

The Pattern Of The Roberts Court: Is More Evil On The Horizon?

Hobby Lobby May Just Win The Right To Wage More Of The War On Women
Hobby Lobby May Just Win A New Battle In The War On Women

There seems to be a pattern with the current Supreme Court.  It is widely known it is 5-4 Conservative, but the third branch of government was designed to be non-partisan and rule objectively on cases where the Constitution is in question.   To balance out the obviously partisan big decisions, the lesser of two evils in minor cases is decided in favor of a liberal cause or idea.  For instance, Yesterday,

the court limited some of the EPA’s regulating power when it comes to stationary sources of greenhouse gasses, but preserved its regulation authority in most cases.

This week, the last of June, is traditionally when the Supreme Court hands down some of its biggest, most controversial rulings.  No progressive will forget the January, 2010 decision in favor of big money controlling elections with the Citizens United Verdict.  Showing its “diversity,” in June, 2012, the Roberts Court shocked the Right by deciding the ACA was constitutional based on the Commerce Clause.  In June, 2013, the Court ruled DOMA unconstitutional, enraging the Religious Right once again.  But this was followed by invalidating the parts of the Voting Rights Act which mandated federal supervision of elections in states who were once part of the Confederacy.   In April, 2014, SCOTUS once again dealt a blow to democracy by allowing virtually unlimited campaign donations to candidates or causes with the McCutcheon v Federal Election Commission decision.

By deciding in favor of the EPA’s power to control unfettered pollution, SCOTUS sided with “liberal ideals” of keeping our air semi-breathable.   But on the horizon are two potentially disastrous decisions for President Obama.

Neither appear too propitious.  The first, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores & Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp v. Sebelius will decide if under the ACA,

private businesses have the right to exercise their freedom of religion either under the Constitution or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and if so, whether the contraceptive mandate violates that religious freedom.

The next case   National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning  pertains to Presidential Appointments: This pending verdict may be…

…a decision against President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

If history is any indicator, it seems these next two decisions will be ruled in favor of conservatives. By padding their right wing leanings with some scant victories for liberals, they try to mask the pro-fascist attitudes of the majority of the highest court in the land.

Now We Know Who Does Not Support The Troops

I’ve never heard disapproval when we have made deals to rescue Americans POWs, until Bowe Bergdahl was released.  President Reagan did it on several occasions as part of the efforts to ensure the release of the Americans and others who were kidnapped in Lebanon back in the 1980sIn this case,  Sgt. Bergdahl’s reportedly deteriorating health gave the president an emergency exception to a law he signed a year ago.  There simply wasn’t time to deal with an obstreperous Congress who has never acquiesced to the requests of the Obama Administration. 

Sgt. Bergdahl Desperately Needing Medical Care
Sgt. Bergdahl Desperately Needing Medical Care

 

The nation of Israel is praised by Republicans and many Democrats as the ally who can literally do no wrong.  Ironically, Israel has a long history of prisoner swaps, and the numbers have been far more lopsided than the exchange of one American for five detainees from Gitmo. After the Sinai War of 1956, Israel returned 5,500 Egyptian soldiers for four IDF POWs.  On June 3, 1973, 3 Israeli Air Force pilots in Syrian captivity for three years were exchanged for 46 Syrian prisoners.  In 2011, one Israeli POW was exchanged for over 1,ooo Palestinian detainees.    Did the right accuse Israel of negotiating with terrorists? As far as anyone can remember they didn’t utter a peep about this. 

Those of us who never served in the military don’t realize how true the expression War is Hell really is.  We have no concept of the horrors that come with serving in that hostile environment and the psychological havoc it wreaks on so many of our armed forces.  Senator Ted Cruz, noted saboteur of government and enemy to veterans, is labeling Bergdahl a traitor who deserted his post, and subsequently caused the deaths of soldiers looking for him.  Little is known yet about the circumstances surrounding the whole ordeal, but Cruz, who’s never served, has already tried and convicted this young man. 

Remember Jessica Lynch’s “dramatic rescue” from an Iraqi hospital where she was getting treatment in 2003?  Where was the outrage from the media that so many people were simply IN Iraq searching for WMD that weren’t there?  They gloss over the fact that over 4,000 Americans perished in a war based on lies.  Lynch’s return warranted the Governor of West Virginia to declare a Jessica Lynch Day, but the Bergdahl’s son causes only disgust from our Republican friends for a man who went through unspeakable trauma .

If Bowe Bergdahl would have died in captivity, then President Obama would be labeled a murderer.  Instead he’s accused of illegally rescuing an alleged traitor.  The GOP hates President Obama so much, they’ll smite POWs and Veterans just to prove it.  In fact, I’m sure they’ll be criminal hearings in Congress over this matter.  What else will the GOP House do, take care of our veterans?  Fat chance.  They’re too busy blaming President Obama because they won’t fund the VA.  If this makes sense to you, you probably watch Fox News.

What Truly Drives U.S.-Israeli Policy

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The politics of the Middle East has been exploited by the petrol-pushers, affecting people of all religions. The plutocrats knowingly tap into, inflate, and take advantage of the masses’ religious beliefs for their own hidden, greedy purposes. Generally, the “believers” don’t even have a clue of how they’re being used, naïvely thinking that they are fulfilling the will of “Allah” or “Yahweh” while the corporate oligarchs line their pockets.

Israel was given to “us” by God Himself. This statement has been uttered by the followers of all three major Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but lately the conflict lies with the Jews and Muslims. The definition of religion is itself laden with the shunning of logic and reason: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal god or gods. The Torah, Bible and Quran are all works of fiction with a deliberate disregard for scientific principles. In the twenty-first century, modern science has opened our minds to a vast array of evidence that counters claims in mythological Holy Books. Geopolitical boundaries are traditionally formed by topography, culture or language. The tiny desert region has a long history where the Israelites, Hebrews , Romans and scores of other Empires lay claim to the narrow strip of arid land. In modern-day Israel, it seems odd that a belief in a supernatural deity is the accepted means of designating these arbitrary borders. By doing this, Israel ensures a future of endless conflict, because every religion claims to be “the only true faith.”

As stated previously, I do not subscribe to the idea of an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent deity. The motives behind the formation of the current nation of Israel are always assumed to be religious freedom and are never questioned here in America. Our ally is always held in high regard because Americans see it as the quintessential religious epicenter, even though we allegedly separate “church and state.” There is a lingering question I have with regards to Israel, many theists would find this the greatest form of disrespect, but I must ask: if a group of people assert that their right to possess a piece of land was bestowed upon them by a fictional deity… isn’t the right itself fictional? The Jews, persecuted for their faith historically, deserve a homeland free from religious persecution, as do ALL human beings. But truly, why there? Why settle in the a land in the midst of so many Muslims who will never peacefully coexist?

Perhaps Israel is not situated in its historically volatile location because of the spiritual significance of the land. The economic value of its location is far more paramount. We should acknowledge that man has always perpetrated the fallacy the almighty dollar is interchangeable with the will of the “Almighty.” Money and petroleum have fueled Israel since its inception. Multinational corporations have supported a warmongering Israeli government (much like our very own US Military Industrial Complex) to monitor and put a check on all the oil-producing nations of the Middle East. The ruse of Jewish or Islamic nationalism is a front for the profit to be made off the natural resources, which are far from infinite.

John Perkins, Author of Economic Hit Men, saw exactly how the international financial industry made obscene fortunes: the population is exploited and saddled with deficits while a very small group profits. The growth of Gross National Product may result even when it profits only one person, such as an individual who owns a utility company, while the majority of the population is burdened with debt. He said, “the United States is a nation laboring to deny the truth about its imperialist role in the world.” He quit his work as a liaison for the IMF, and other global financial institutions in the 1980’s because morally and ethically, he felt it was wrong to play such a key role in creating world empire at the expense of the less advantaged. He understood Israel’s strategic significance as a watchdog over the oil producing nations, no matter how difficult such a position will be for the citizens of both Israel and the neighboring nations. It serves international plutocrats very well to stir up trouble in the region. The war business is very profitable.

Constant conflict with Iran seems to drive Israeli, American and Saudi Arabian policy. Just this week, President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry, through diplomatic means, were able to put a check on the Iranian nuclear program. Much to the dismay of the hard-line Right Israeli and U.S. politicians, President Obama’s team succeeded diplomatically and the administration was only panned for their success. If such a feat was accomplished by the Bush Administration, the media would herald it as the greatest diplomatic success in history. But President Obama is not AIPAC’s guy. He wants to harbor peace in the region, unlike his predecessor. War is the only acceptable option according to the pro-Israel lobby, who favor the more hawkish U.S. Representatives.

Make no mistake, Israel is where it is and who it is not simply for religious reasons, but for its strategic location as an installation base to keep Western eyes on a region rich in the fuel we are dependent upon. The dependency of our country on fossil fuels is another matter entirely, as production of renewables has been discouraged by those who profit from petroleum. Some day, we will run out of oil and all this will change. But for now, we are guaranteed a bloody fight for what powers our lives. We Americans are equally stupid to not see through the façade and just keep filling up at the gas pump. What about our so-called political leaders? Mere puppets who were bought off with campaign donations long ago, and thus whose strings the oligarchs are yanking.

Gun Shows: Breeding Grounds For Right Wing Extremist Views

Las Vegas is an attractive destination for all sorts of expositions; with its abundance of convention space as well as the shows, gambling and adult entertainment. The weekend of November 2-3, 2013 was no different. This was one of the three Rocky Mountain Gun Shows, held each year in Sin City. Based out of Salt Lake City, held at The Southpoint Hotel, the show attracts a heavily conservative crowd with self-professed Libertarian values. In other words, these are not just gun collectors, these are radically right-wing ‘patriots’ wishing to stockpile weapons and ammunition. After all, President Obama is ushering in the End Times, and what better way to prepare for the battle between good (gun-toting, Republican patriots) and evil (any Democrat or supporter of liberal causes) than to arm oneself to the teeth.

I thought it was a a great opportunity to get a look into the minds of these folks by asking what they thought of the Second Amendment, Obama and guns in general.  I wrote down some questions for a friend working at the gun show and, not surprisingly, she found a few folks more than eager to share their opinions on these topics.

gun show 1
More guns does not equal more security

Tables and tables of ammunition and powerful weapons fill the ballroom where folks can come and sell their guns and purchase others with only a minimum of scrutiny.  The NRA and GOP seem to follow the same playbook, through their magazines, talk radio and internet publications, they provide stock answers to typical questions.  I must mention the questions were geared to comply with the mindset of the typical gun show attendee.  Here are just a few examples of the marching orders they receive from NRA-sponsored sources. It’s no surprise, these gun shows are a hazard to a functioning society as they legitimize armed insurrection against a democratically elected government.

The first question:  I am concerned we are becoming a nation of big government.  Are you afraid our gun rights will be revoked? 

ammunition
Millions of rounds of ammunition
  • The government’s mindset is control.  (except the government has not passed one new gun-control measure)
  • The only thing keeping big government in check is the (proliferation) of guns. (Can the average citizen seriously compete with a Hellfire Missile or a Stealth Fighter Jet?)
  • Crime rose in Australia 300% after revoking gun rights.  (crime did not rise more than any other year in 1997, the year of the gun buyback)  
  • The anti-gun groups hated the Bill of Rights (how in the hell could they possibly know that? The guns at the time were muskets and bayonets)
  • The Second Amendment was designed to keep the government in check.  (The Second Amendment reads: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”  This means owning a firearm is designed for the purpose of forming a well-regulated militia. With the help of Utah Senator Orrin Hatch (R), the NRA successfully marketed the second amendment to suit the greed of the gun manufacturers for whom they answer. He helped form the NRA-ILA
  • Gun owners often compare gun deaths to other causes of death. They feel baseball bats and cars are valid comparisons to gun deaths.  
    Since some people have been beaten to death with a baseball bat and many have perished in auto accidents, why don’t we remove the right to use these items as well? Last I checked, there are millions of Americans who play baseball and millions more who somehow manage to drive every day without intentionally running someone over.  This is a ridiculous comparison since a firearm is brandished only to render lethal force to harm and/or kill someone.  

 Next question asked: Why would an average citizen need a semi-automatic weapon? 

  • Naturally, the first response was ‘self-protection.’  A family must protect themselves from home invasions.  Because when you want someone dead, they’d better be really, really dead. 
  • The media is giving these weapons a “bad name.”  This statement is laden with so much stupid, I don’t know where to begin.
  • If you want to go hog hunting, you can kill many more hogs in a shorter amount of time.  Apparently, wild hogs travel as a family unit, rarely seen in large groups of that would justify 3 rounds a second.  If you need a semi-automatic weapon to kill hogs, you must be feeding a large village.  Don’t we have supermarkets in America?
  • Every gun owner needs to have proper training on each gun they own as each gun has unique features. That statement unfortunately omits the thousands of untrained children who find a firearm and accidentally kill or injure someone.  

Finally, most folks refer to the Democratic Party as the “Democrat Party,” which is an insult started by Senator Joe McCarthy to make sure they implied the party was anything but democratic. Every gun owner interviewed at this show said they were afraid the “Democrat Party” was interested in grabbing their guns.

It completely blows my mind how people think a Black President hasn’t sparked a resurgence in gun violence.  When Right Wing Hate Radio encourages people to forget about calling 911 and try to handle emergency matters on their own or by urging listeners to take up arms against their government, we will most assuredly see an uptick in gun-related homicides. They are pathological psychopaths and they are a danger to society. The acquisition of lethal weapons by an angry, bitter segment of the population surely won’t result in a peaceful, logical society. Simply consider the George Zimmerman types who frequent these gun shows and what they have in their personal arsenal. Hate groups have doubled with the election of President Obama peaking at an all time high in 2012.

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