Moving Away From Politics

December 21, 2009 at 9:36 pm | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

I gotta say, Democrats finally getting this health care thing down in the Senate has cast a wonderful spell on me. I’m not counting my blessings just yet. They still have to actually vote for the actual bill on Christmas Eve, and then of course reconcile with the House bill and then of course vote on that and the finally send it to President Obama’s office to sign into law. But there is little now to actually stand in the way of this being done. And I feel this is a good enough time to step away from politics, at least for an undetermined time. We’re moving well away from the ugliness of the Bush years (what an awful decade) and into something vastly better. There are still many challenges (the stupidity of the followers of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin) to the country, but Republicans have truly put themselves in a bad place (and are doubling down, amazingly, on this stupidity). I don’t have much more to say of substance. So Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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Where Do Today’s Federal Deficits Come From?

December 21, 2009 at 11:30 am | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

Not from Obama

That’s right. The Bush 2001 tax cuts, and the two wars that Bush began.

Good Work Democrats

December 21, 2009 at 10:55 am | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

Keep it up. Pass this health care bill.

CIA Linked to More Torture

December 18, 2009 at 11:24 am | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

Surprise surprise.

Republicans Against Supporting Troops

December 18, 2009 at 10:01 am | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

It is now painfully clear. Republicans have used the troops for political purposes only and haven’t actually cared about them. They just attempted to deny funding the troops. Only three Republicans thought it was important to support the troops. The other 33 Republicans all hate the troops.

UAE More Badass Than Iran

December 17, 2009 at 7:33 pm | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

Listen carefully to what General Petraeus says here. The UAE’s air force is more powerful than Iran’s air force. If this is the case, how exactly is Iran a threat to the United States?

Al Franken Rocks, and John McCain Whines

December 17, 2009 at 5:46 pm | Posted in American politics | 2 Comments

Nice work Franken.

Pakistan Harasses American Diplomats

December 16, 2009 at 8:41 pm | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

Probably trying to send a message of disappointment and disapproval with Obama’s policy vis a vis the Taliban and Al-Qaeda (who have extensive ties btw with Pakistan’s intelligence agency), Pakistan is harassing American diplomats.

In a tit for tat, the obvious answer is to send warnings to Pakistan’s military that it might start losing some American funding, but that is of course counterproductive and childish (something a Bushian would do). The best answer to show America is serious is just to keep on going. I fear, however, that we will lose Pakistan, and that is about the worst thing that could happen.

Queen Sarah Palin

December 16, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

Don’t Speak Unless Spoken To

Ah, America now loves its true queen.

Thomas Friedman: Islam Needs A Civil War Like America’s

December 16, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

Are you kidding me?

Only Arabs and Muslims can fight the war of ideas within Islam. We had a civil war in America in the mid-19th century because we had a lot of people who believed bad things — namely that you could enslave people because of the color of their skin. We defeated those ideas and the individuals, leaders and institutions that propagated them, and we did it with such ferocity that five generations later some of their offspring still have not forgiven the North.

Islam needs the same civil war. It has a violent minority that believes bad things: that it is O.K. to not only murder non-Muslims — “infidels,” who do not submit to Muslim authority — but to murder Muslims as well who will not accept the most rigid Muslim lifestyle and submit to rule by a Muslim caliphate.

What the fuck is wrong with this guy? Has he not seen enough Muslims killed? Has there not been enough violence in Muslim countries?

Secondly, speaking of America’s Civil War, Mr. Friedman says we defeated those reprehensible ideas. Really? You mean that four year war ended slavery and discrimination against blacks? You mean blacks were suddenly treated normally? What the fuck planet are you on Mr. Friedman? And you want to put Muslims through a similar torture machine? Note how much Mr. Friedman just doesn’t get it. He says we defeated the South, but because we did it with such ferocity, five generations later, the offspring have not forgiven the North. Exactly how does that analogy help the Muslim world?

Furthermore, does Mr. Friedman really think the ideas that propagated the South have been discredited simply because of the war? Does he even know about the Ron Paul “Tenther” types who say the Civil War was all about state rights, and that the South had the right position? There sure are a hell of a lot of people these days who believe the South’s ideological positions. It seems the Civil War was not enough to utterly destroy that ideology. So how exactly is this a promising example to share with Islam?

Britain Sends Israel A Message

December 15, 2009 at 6:42 pm | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

War has consequences, and justly so. Britain should not cower to the demands of Israel to remove this possibility. Any political leader around the world should be held accountable by someone when that political leader’s actions and decisions leads to the deaths of thousands if not tens or hundreds of thousands of people. If the citizens of the nation which that particular politician led will not hold that leader accountable for those deaths, someone else should. That includes George W. Bush. That includes Barack Obama as well.

Israel does not get a free pass to kill Palestinians as they wish, nor likewise Palestinians to kill Israelis as they wish. America does not get a free pass to kill whoever they want as they wish, as no nation on this planet has that right. For such actions, a consequence must be in place, a sacrifice must be there.

If you show you cannot live peaceably with your neighbors in this world, you should live in a world then where your own life and your own freedom feels threatened.

Tony Blair Continues to Lie About Iraq

December 12, 2009 at 1:49 pm | Posted in American politics | 1 Comment

Now he says he would have opted for removing Saddam Hussein no matter what, because he was supposedly a threat to the region. This is, of course, a lie. Take it away Colin Powell and Condolleeza Rice

Colin Powell:

And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq…

Think about what Colin Powell’s remarks here mean. 1. No WMD capability. 2. No threat to neighbors. Furthermore, Saddam was not killing his own people in any genocidal way in 2001-2003. There was no urgent need for action. This is very important, because Mr. Blair wishes for people to forget this point. Saddam was indeed a bad guy, as were his sons. But being bad has no precedent in International Law for the removal of said bad guy. Tony Blair worked on the “Blair Doctrine” in 1999, based on international intervention in domestic affairs of certain nations when humanitarian crises occur. Kosovo was the first such example. To this point, it is still the only example that actually fits what Tony Blair was talking about. He wants people to think Iraq was just another Kosovo.

Tony Blair and George Bush sold the war on WMD. When that proved false (as it was false), they shifted ground. They said, “look at the humanitarian crisis!” when there was no humanitarian crisis. They said, “He’s a threat to his neighbors” which is directly contradicted by the Secretary of State and by the National Security Adviser of the United States.

Tony Blair knows he is wrong, but doesn’t have the guts to admit it. He knows Iraq does not fit his Blair Doctrine, but is very afraid to admit it. He thought siding with Bush over Chirac and the other Europeans, would do better for Britain. But now that a new American president is in power, one who has naturally shifted away from Europe to the real new powers of this world—the Asian powers—Britain is really getting a short shrift.

I for one am glad Europe did not select him to be their first European Union president. It would have been embarrassing to have such a liar represent them.

Rick Warren: Christians Need to be Like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao

December 7, 2009 at 10:58 pm | Posted in American politics | 1 Comment

Are you kidding me?

“In 1939, in a stadium much like this, in Munich Germany, they packed it out with young men and women in brown shirts, for a fanatical man standing behind a podium named Adolf Hitler, the personification of evil. And in that stadium, those in brown shirts formed with their bodies a sign that said, in the whole stadium, “Hitler, we are yours.”

And they nearly took the world.

Lenin once said, “give me 100 committed, totally committed men and I’ll change the world.” And, he nearly did.

A few years ago, they took the sayings of Chairman Mao, in China, put them in a little red book, and a group of young people committed them to memory and put it in their minds and they took that nation, the largest nation in the world by storm because they committed to memory the sayings of the Chairman Mao.

When I hear those kinds of stories, I think ‘what would happen if American Christians, if world Christians, if just the Christians in this stadium, followers of Christ, would say ‘Jesus, we are yours’?

The dude has lost his marbles.

I think the Dallas Mavericks Suck

December 7, 2009 at 3:21 pm | Posted in American politics | 1 Comment

That’s all I have to say about that.

Glenn Beck, the Charlatan

December 5, 2009 at 4:23 pm | Posted in American politics | 1 Comment

Two excellent reviews of Mr. Beck’s execrable The Christmas Sweater. One from the Rude Pundit with a most awesome paragraph:

The Rude Pundit would rather have his balls waxed by a beautician with hooks for hands than have to sit through Glenn Beck’s performance of The Christmas Sweater again. While recognizing that Beck’s daily ear and eye mauling on radio and TV certainly have an effect on his perception, the Rude Pundit can say that, based on everything he’s seen of or read by the man, Glenn Beck is one of the most despicable human beings on the earth who does not have the power to decide life or death. A truly just God would have buried him up to his neck in dense shit and then sent a plague of flies to lay eggs in his head.

And another with ten questions, one which wasn’t asked is why the hell would anyone listen to this charlatan?

GOP Upset They Got Caught Siding With Rapists

December 2, 2009 at 8:49 pm | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

And they have the temerity to demand an apology from Senator Al Franken for daring to put up the anti-rape amendment.

The Republicans are steamed at Franken because partisans on the left are using a measure he sponsored to paint them as rapist sympathizers — and because Franken isn’t doing much to stop them.

“Trying to tap into the natural sympathy that we have for this victim of this rape –and use that as a justification to frankly misrepresent and embarrass his colleagues, I don’t think it’s a very constructive thing,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said in an interview.

“I don’t know what his motivation was for taking us on, but I would hope that we won’t see a lot of Daily Kos-inspired amendments in the future coming from him,” said South Dakota Sen. John Thune, No. 4 in the Senate Republican leadership. “I think hopefully he’ll settle down and do kind of the serious work of legislating that’s important to Minnesota.”

And why exactly should Franken do anything to stop anyone from labeling Republicans as siding with rapists when that is where their votes lie? It was their choice to vote against Franken, which was probably a decision based on the fact that it is Franken and had absolutely nothing at all to do with the amendment itself. This tells you just how awful the Republicans have gotten in Congress. They were unwilling to approve an amendment against the government providing contracts to companies who don’t ban rape. You’d think every single Senator would agree with that. Of course, Franken’s amendment was brilliant, because it targeted companies like KBR which essentially had in their contract a clause that allowed rape to occur. And because KBR is so close to the Republicans, they just simply could not vote against them. Even if it meant being labeled as siding with rapists. Two wonderful things occurred in the November 2008 election. 1. Barack Obama was elected president. 2. Al Franken was elected Senator.

Thomas Friedman: Because We Can’t

December 2, 2009 at 8:16 am | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

Surprise Surprise, Mr. Friedman is against Obama and his push in Afghanistan. Who would have thunk it. And what is his reason?

Let me start with the bottom line and then tell you how I got there: I can’t agree with President Obama’s decision to escalate in Afghanistan. I’d prefer a minimalist approach, working with tribal leaders the way we did to overthrow the Taliban regime in the first place. Given our need for nation-building at home right now, I am ready to live with a little less security and a little-less-perfect Afghanistan.

Huh? I guess gone are the days when he thinks we can because we can

FRIEDMAN: You don’t think, you know, we care about our open society. You think this bubble fantasy, we’re just going to let it grow? Well, suck on this, ok. That Charlie, is what this war was about. We could have hit Saudi Arabia, it was part of that bubble. Could have hit Pakistan. We hit Iraq because we could. That’s the real truth.

We can’t just “hit them” anymore, can we Mr. Friedman. And look at what he says about Iraq:

To me, the most important reason for the Iraq war was never W.M.D. It was to see if we could partner with Iraqis to help them build something that does not exist in the modern Arab world: a state, a context, where the constituent communities — Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds — write their own social contract for how to live together without an iron fist from above.

That is of course not what he said in 2003. He said “We hit Iraq because we could. That’s the real truth.”

What do I believe? I believe Thomas Friedman should retire and stop talking about things he apparently no longer knows anything of value about. I think it is time for him to shut the hell up.

Protect Marriage in California – The 2010 California Marriage Protection Act

December 1, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Posted in American politics | 1 Comment

This is a great idea.

Til death do us part? The vow would really hold true in California if a Sacramento Web designer gets his way.

In a movement that seems ripped from the pages of Comedy Channel writers, John Marcotte wants to put a measure on the ballot next year to ban divorce in California.

The 2010 California Marriage Protection Act is meant to be a satirical statement after California voters outlawed gay marriage in 2008, largely on the argument that a ban is needed to protect the sanctity of traditional marriage. If that’s the case, then Marcotte reasons voters should have no problem banning divorce.

“Since California has decided to protect traditional marriage, I think it would be hypocritical of us not to sacrifice some of our own rights to protect traditional marriage even more,” the 38-year-old married father of two said.

I would hope all who fought for Prop 8 would stand behind this. Nothing destroys marriage more than divorce. Nothing threatens families more than divorce. Surely the Church will ask its membership to fork over another $20 million for the support and passage of this bill that will protect marriage even more.

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