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Republicans Really Are Losers Print E-mail
by Michael Giere    Fri, Jun 10, 2016, 02:47 PM

Republicans really are losers.

Yeah, I know there are a few exceptions, but those exceptions are rarer than photos of Miley Cyrus in clothes.

Case in point:

We have the Speaker of the House, the Majority Leader in the Senate and other outraged so-called leaders of the Party who are having absolute meltdowns about a clumsy tongue-lashing Donald Trump offered to a judge overseeing an ongoing class action lawsuit over Trump University, a real estate investing seminar program that has since ceased operation.   

The Speaker and Majority Leader’s embarrassing meltdowns were only outdone by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Mark Kirk, R-Ill), both of whom were only the most irrational comments of the many irrational comments made by “real” Republicans. 

These Republicans have never attacked Democrats like this. Ever.  

Let’s stipulate that Trump went a definition too far. And what he did say obscured the larger point he was trying to make; the judge in question is a member of several La Raza affiliates. Not the Hispanic Legal Association, or the Mexican-American Bar Association, mind you – but La Raza. It means “The Race.” For those of us who have followed the organization, and by extension its affiliates, we know them to be ultra-radical leftists, obsessed with tribalism and themselves the “very definition of racist,” as Speaker Ryan fumed – at the wrong target.  

Trump should have stuck with that.

However, let’s take a gander at our feckless, virtually worthless Republican leadership and their minions and see how they have reacted to the actual people trying to “transform” and destroy the U.S - the radical Democrats.  

Let’s start with the racist president. Barack Obama wrote two very boring books about his very unaccomplished life up to that point; and in those books he expressly and directly attacks “white” people, their greed, and their inherent racism. Reading the books, you come away with the feeling he simply doesn’t like white folks much. This is amplified by his 20 year association with one of the most virulent racists in the country, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, not to mention Obama’s mentorship by radical communist, racist and pornographer, Frank Marshall Davis, and his close association with American communists in the Weather Underground. (Did I forget to mention the fact that we still have zero - zero - knowledge of his days at Columbia U, where not one person has ever come forward that knew him there; nor have we ever seen his sealed Harvard records nor his musings? And there is so much more.)

Have you ever heard one of our so-called leaders mention any of this; did McCain, Romney? Nope. They acted like teenaged girls at their first pool party.   

Obama has rampaged through the Constitution, flagrantly violated the law, promoted discord and racism, set fire to the Middle East, left men to die in a hell-hole far away, knowingly imported illegals and circumvented the law by executive action, and the list goes on and on. Where is the level of outrage from our Republicans over any of this? Do they use the power of the purse, do they defend themselves, do they attack and educate the public. Do they do anything?

Yes; they give him more money, they cower and bootlick. It’s all they know how to do.

Republicans never fight back. We’re labeled killers, racists, virtually every day. (Who can forget Nancy Polosi’s despicable accusations, out and out lies and fabrications? Silence from the Republicans. Or the truly evil remarks by Harry Reed? Nothing from Republicans. Crickets.)

Republican officialdom has so little self-respect and, one must assume, interest, that they seem now to actually revel in taking a beating. I’m sure there is a psychological name for that.

I’ll never forget Hurricane Andrews; I was part of the first Bush Administration officials to get on the ground and I learned how useless most Republican politicians were, first hand. I was stunned as day after day all I heard in the media, driven by the Democrats, was about how Republicans had a callous disregard about the massive catastrophe; we let people die; we were unprepared; Bush didn’t care. It was the most vile, blatant lie; and yet the Republicans never responded. Instead, Bush’s son doubled down on Katrina a decade later.

That’s what Republican’s do.

So count me in Trump’s corner on this. I don’t give a hoot. “Call me anything you want; but be prepared to fight if you do.”  I like it. I’m glad to see the attacks. Keep ‘em coming I say.

I’m an ‘ol Reagan conservative (with real credentials and a pedigree going back four decades, unlike most the so-called conservative critics of Trump), and The Donald was not my first choice; but now I’ll stand on these barricades with him all day long. He is now the leader.

It is a hill worth dying on; because it’s the last battle my friends. There is no next time.

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Death Comes for the Party Print E-mail
by Michael Giere    Mon, May 9, 2016, 02:14 PM

 

"What the hell is "conservative" about uncontrolled immigration and corporate trade pacts?"

Donald Trump's electoral rampage through the Northeastern states and then his stunning Indiana victory - taking all but five counties statewide and walking away with 57 delegates - did a lot more than drive Ted Cruz and John Kasich out of the race.

It has driven a stake in the heart of the post-1988 Republican Party. It's dead.

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54 Republican Heroes Print E-mail
by Mike Giere    Sat, Jun 13, 2015, 03:42 PM

Ronald Reagan had a dim view of pedestrian politicians.

In private he was dismissive of the majority of politicians in both parties, whose primary interest was self-advancement and self-promotion, at the cost of their profound responsibility to promote policies that benefited and protected ordinary American citizens, the principles of human liberty and the defense of the Republic.

He would say that the role of real leadership was to provide the strong hand supporting the weak backbones of the soft and timid; to give them the strength to do the right thing when they wanted to preen while doing the wrong thing.

I thought about that today as 54 genuine, real conservatives stood against the weak-kneed, passive Republican majority and its bizarre leadership, who are clearly beholding to someone – but it ain’t us.

The House of Representatives defeated – at least for now – the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “express” by rejecting one part of the Senate passed bill that would lead to the TPP’s full consideration. The TPP is a pseudo trade bill that is actually a vehicle for massive wealth and job transfers from the United States to other nations and international corporatists; not to mention a legal crowbar that would allow unelected international bureaucrats to bend American laws on immigration, the environment, health and food standards, and who knows what else to their pleasure.

First the good news: The actual vote that stopped Obamatrade from going forward was technically the Trade Adjustment Agreement (TAA). The TAA is one piece of the Senate passed bill granting the President so-called fast track authority to ram through TPP without debate or amendments – and not as a treaty – thus needing a simple majority vote in the Senate.

The TAA portion would have renewed aid for U.S. workers who would lose their jobs due to imports. (Of course, the Republican leadership keeps telling us that the TPP would create jobs, so why would this be necessary is unclear.)

Now the bad news: The Republican leadership went ahead with the vote on fast track authority after the defeat of TAA, and it passed – although a meaningless vote because the bill couldn’t advance without TAA  – by 219 to 211 votes, with only 54 Republicans voting against it.

These 54 are American heroes. The 191 Republicans who voted for it…not so much.

In Virginia, three Republicans, Barbara Comstock Robert Hurt and Scott Rigell, all of whom call themselves “conservatives” at the drop of a hat – and they’ll drop the hat – voted to give the President fast track authority.

This vote defines them.

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Memorial Day; Are We Worthy? Print E-mail
by Michael Giere    Thu, May 21, 2015, 01:51 PM

“This Memorial Day I find myself wondering if we are worthy of such an honor and such a duty.”

When I visit the Vietnam Memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C., I look up two names.

Greg Conant and Jimmy Plumlee were both friends, warm and smiling in my memory. I can see them like it was yesterday. Filled with all the emotions, hopes and dreams of young men. They loved life.

They fell in combat at places named Hau Nghia and Phuoc Long in ‘Nam, a very long way from the high desert of West Texas. They are etched into my mind as hard as granite. I will never forget them, and I will never cease to honor them.

They were - they are - the very best of our extraordinary nation. 

My dad didn’t make the memorial, but he died serving the nation in another way in the political hell-hole called Vietnam, just the same. He was already a decorated war hero for flying 57 B-24 missions in the Pacific, but he died an unsung and unrecorded hero for serving his nation in the summer of 1969.

I think of the sacrifice and goodness of these men on this Memorial Day; and the thousands of incredibly brave warriors who have fallen in the last alone in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

I find myself wondering, will there be men like this in the future to safeguard the Republic, to keep the flame of human freedom alive?

The answer, of course, is do you and I have the guts to make that a certainty?

This Memorial Day finds us a divided nation, as perhaps we have not been since the Civil War.

The war this time is on ideological and theological battlefields. It is between the takers and the producers; the Godless and the Godly; those who wish us to live as the wards of the paternal state that slips further into tyranny with every new law, and those who wish to live as free and autonomous men and woman, made in the image of the Sovereign High King.

Memorial Day this year finds the nation weary, beaten down by the stupidity and mendacity of a self-aggrandizing “ruling class” that neither knows nor honors sacrifice; craving only what they can leach from others and plundered from the nation’s wealth.     

If this Memorial Day is to mean anything, it must be to honor the fallen with our own bravery. Human dignity and human liberty – the exception of all human history – has been handed to us to preserve for another generation. It exists only in the hearts and memories of the living. 

This Memorial Day I find myself wondering if we are worthy of such an honor and such a duty.

I know they were.

 

 

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The Same Neo-Conservatives Who Promoted War with Iraq are Now Leading the Charge for War With Iran Print E-mail
by Allan C. Brownfeld    Wed, Apr 1, 2015, 03:21 PM

The  same neo-conservatives who successfully pushed the nation to war with Iraq, a country which never attacked us and which never possessed the "weapons of mass destruction" which the Bush administration promoted as a basis for war, are now back promoting war with Iran, a country more than three times the size of Iraq. The war in Iraq did not go well, defying the neoconservatives' prediction that U.S. troops would be welcomed with open arms. This war had a series of unintended consequences, as wars always do.  One is the rise of ISIS.

Writing in The New York Times, John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., has this advice:  "To stop Iran's bomb, bomb Iran...Force is the only option."  Writing in The Washington Post, Joshua Muravchik, a longtime neoconservative who is now at the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, asks the question, is "our only option war?"  and responds, "Yes."  William Kristol, whose Weekly Standard, is a voice for neoconservatives, shares these views.  Evidently, Bolton, Muravchik, Kristol and the others have learned nothing from the Iraq war which they successfully promoted.  For Americans to follow their advice again would be folly indeed.

There has been an obsession with Iran by neoconservatives for many years.  Norman Podhoretz, long-time editor of Commentary, wrote an essay in 2009 depicting Iran's president as a revolutionary "like Hitler...whose objective is to overturn the going international system and replace it...with a new world order dominated by Iran..The plain and brutal truth is that if Iran is to be prevented from developing a nuclear arsenal, there is no alternative to the actual use of military force."

There has been much panic about Iran which seems in retrospect to have been mostly emotional hyperbole.  In 2006, Princeton scholar Bernard Lewis, an adviser to President Bush and Vice President Cheney, predicted in a Wall Street Journal op-Ed (April 22) that Iran's then-president Ahmadinejad was going to end the world.  The date, he explained, "is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the Prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to the farthest mosque, usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back.  This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary the world."  Needless to say, Professor Lewis's fanciful analysis, which was welcome in the Bush White House, did not come to pass.  And President Ahmadinejad is long gone.

The fact is that there is nothing conservative about neo-conservatives.  This movement emerged from traditional liberalism.  Bruce Bartlett, a traditional conservative who served in the Reagan White House, notes that neo-conservatives "...we're conventional liberals who came to be horrified by the excesses of liberalism. The New Left shocked many with its anti-Americanism, anti-intellectualism and embrace of violence to achieve its goals.  At the same time, the rise of crime and welfare dependency and the deterioration of the cities forced many liberals to reassess their thinking.  It was often said that a neo-conservative was a liberal who was mugged by reality."

Neo-conservatives openly proclaim that they have little interest in small government, balanced budgets, traditional values  and those other staples of conservative thought.  William Kristol explains that he and his movement are trying, "To convert the Republican Party, and American conservatism in general, against their respective wills, into a new kind of conservative politics suitable to governing a modern democracy."  Another Weekly Standard editor, Fred Barnes, explained that neo-conservatism is essentially "big government conservatism."

Washington Times editor David Keene, a former chairman of the American Conservative Union, points out that, "...today's big-government neocons...seem far more interested in the pursuit, acquisition, and exercise of government power than in the freedom these impulses threaten.  But traditional conservatives have always understood the true nature of government and the will to power that beats at its core.  True conservatives always have viewed government with a profound skepticism and sought to limit its reach, whereas the neocon impulse seems to be the same as that which animates liberalism."

What motivates the neoconservative desire for war in the Middle East is a subject which is less than clear.  Many have pointed to the close ties of many neoconservatives with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel's right-wing.  Such prominent neoconservatives as Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, James Colbert, and David and Meyrav Wurmser wrote a memo to Mr. Netanyahu in 1996 entitled "Clean Break,' which recommended the reordering of the entire Middle East to the benefit of Israel.

Writing in The American Conservative, Philip Giraldi, a former long-time CIA official, asks:  "Why is it that a gaggle of self-proclaimed 'experts' has been able to capture the foreign policy narrative so completely, in spite of the fact that they have been wrong about nearly everything?   Neoconservatives have two core beliefs.  First is their insistence that the U.S. has the right or even the responsibility to use its military and economic power to reshape the world in terms of its own interests and values.  Constant war becomes the new normal....The second basic...principle, inextricably tied to the first, is that Washington must uncritically support Israel no matter what its government does."

Discussing the embrace of Mr. Netanyahu, his policies and his opposition to a nuclear agreement with Iran on the part of potential Republican presidential candidates, another conservative commentator, Daniel Larison, writes:  "It may be obvious, but it is worth emphasizing how deranged all if this is.  It is already quite strange when anyone in this country has such a strong ideological attachment to another state, but to demand that all of a party's candidates must share that attachment and share it to the same degree is madness.  If the relationship with that other country were extremely useful to the U.S. it would still be absurd, but it might be a little easier to understand.  When the relationship does virtually nothing for the U.S. and imposes significant costs on the U.S., as is the case with Israel, requiring all candidates to give reflexive support to the other state is bizarre and indefensible."

In Israel itself there are many who oppose any march to war with Iran.  Efraim Halevy, the former head of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, says that, "Even if the Iranians did obtain a nuclear weapon, they are deferrable, because for mullahs, survival and perpetuation of the regime is a holy obligation.  We must be much more sophisticated and nuanced in our policies toward Iran."  Martin van Creveld, a professor of military history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, is critical of those who urge a pre-emptive attack against Iran, who, in his view, overestimate its potential danger:  "Though rich in oil, Iran is a Third World country with a population of 80 million and a per capita income of $2,440...It's defense budget stands at...a little more than half of Israel's and less than 2 per cent of America's.  Iran, in fact, spends a smaller percentage of its resources on defense than any of  its neighbors except the United Arab Emirates."

Professor Michael Desh of the University of Notre Dame points out that, "...less fevered minds understand that, even if Iran developed a rudimentary nuclear capability, the U.S. and Israel would have a huge missile advantage.  According to the Federation of American Scientists, the U.S. has over 5,000 warheads deployed and a large number in reserve, while estimates of the Israeli stockpile range from 80 to 200 nuclear devices.  At present, Iran has none and, even under the worst-case scenario, is unlikely to have more than a handful in the years to come..Iran is a nuclear pigmy;  it has no long-range missiles that can reach the U.S.  Its medium-range missile capability,which can theoretically reach Israel, is unreliable. In contrast, Israel has between 100 and 150 Jericho missiles, plus more than 200 F-4E Phantom and F-16 Falcon Aircraft, capable of delivering weapons. The U.S. has almost 1,500 nuclear delivery platforms."

Attacking Iran would have the opposite effect  sought by neoconservatives and by Mr. Netanyahu.  Professor Stephen Crowley, chairman of peace and conflict studies at Oberlin College, points out that, "Since nuclear weapons provide the ultimate deterrent, nothing could better persuade Iranian hard-liners to abandon negotiations and to develop such weapons full speed than calls to bomb Iran.  Mr. Bolton speculates that bombing could set back Iran's nuclear program 'by three to five years.'  What, then, Mr. Bolton?  Where does it end?"

The U.S. permitted the neoconservatives to take us to war with Iraq on false premises, and with disastrous results. To permit them to lead us down this  path once again, this time with Iran, would be folly indeed.  Hopefully, sanity and an enlightened concern with America's long-term best interests will prevail.

 

 

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