Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Maybe The Daily News Was Right On The Traitor Call

Let's start with the Daddy Warbucks of today's Republican Party.

The biggest donor to Republican Party political groups said Tuesday that the United States should drop a nuclear bomb on Iran to spur the country to end its own nuclear program.

In all fairness, though, he only wants to drop it in the desert and stir up the snakes and scorpions. So, it's not like it's going to land in downtown Tehran. Moving on to James Baker, who worked for Republicans who would surely be seen as squishes today. 

When former Secretary of State James A. Baker III accused Israel’s leader this week of undermining the chances of peace in the region, he said nothing more than the kinds of things he had said at times when he was in office a quarter-century ago.

But the instant backlash from fellow Republicans that prompted Jeb Bush, the son of Mr. Baker’s best friend, to distance himself underscored just how much their party has changed on the issue of Israel. Where past Republican leaders had their disagreements with Israel, today’s Republicans have made support for the Jewish state an inviolable litmus test for anyone aspiring to national office.

The Republican infatuation with Israel is becoming unseemly. Get a room, will ya!

“It is remarkable,” said William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine and one of the leading voices promoting Israel’s cause in the United States. Mr. Netanyahu, who goes by the nickname Bibi, has become a rallying point for Republicans, he said. “Bibi would probably win the Republican nomination if it were legal,” he said.

It's going to be interesting to see which of the GOP candidates can display the most out and out love and affection for Zionism. Gotta get them Adelson bucks.

(I)n the days since Mr. Baker’s speech — in which he criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel for failing to work harder for Mideast peace — the criticism from Republicans has only intensified.

The perceived breach presents a new and potentially significant obstacle for Mr. Bush as he seeks to lock up prohibitive support of the Republican donor class for his presidential campaign.
Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul and a powerful donor to Republican “super PACs,” is among those who have expressed concerns to Mr. Bush’s friends and allies, several of them said. Mr. 

Adelson is said to be incensed over Mr. Baker’s comments and the lack of pressure put on him by the Bush team before his address — a significant concern, given that Mr. Adelson has the resources to pour tens of millions of dollars into the Republican presidential primary.

And today's news on the talks themselves:

China’s longstanding friendship with Iran, set alongside Beijing’s fears of it acquiring a nuclear bomb, could offer Wang the chance to play peace broker.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Weekend Round-Up Of Terror News

Reading the Christian Science Monitor so you don't have to. Oh fuck, you should read it, too. First up, because the Saudis have lots of money and their subjects citizens don't want to fight their own wars and the Pakistanis are poor, they are asking for mercenaries to fight in Yemen.

The Pakistani foreign ministry confirmed that the Saudis have asked Pakistan contribute ground forces to Yemen, Reuters reports, but Defense Minister Khawaja Asif indicated that Pakistan is reluctant to get involved.

Which is way more polite than saying, "fight your own battles." At least the Saudis know who they're fighting against, although maybe not what they're doing since the IS group in Yemen is likely quite happy to see a civil war going on between ex-president's of the country of Yemen. The US on the other hand is a little confused in Syria. 

 As the US grapples with whether it should pursue a larger role in the Syrian War – and just how much military aid to give Iraqi troops battling the Islamic State – it is also trying to figure out how to avoid one of the most basic and nettlesome blunders of all: inadvertently creating a Frankenstein’s monster in the form of corrupt local power brokers.

With large influxes of cash and military training – and in ways both formal and informal – the US military has often tapped the wrong people with disastrous consequences, say senior US military and intelligence officials. 

In Afghanistan, by relying on small units of Special Operations Forces working alongside mujahideen forces, the US “super-empowered” these militias, says Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, widely considered to be one of the Pentagon’s premier practitioners of counterinsurgency and now the deputy commanding general of the US Army Training and Doctrine Command.

It was one of the key wrong turns in America’s war in Afghanistan. These militias in turn “morphed into organized crime networks,” he says, and eventually “hollowed out institutions that we, the international community, were trying to build.”

That's not to mention Osama bin Laden a bit further back. Because, here at Hometown USA, we like to end on a high note I include this story

Seduced by scathing critiques of Western society, young people were carrying out bombings, kidnappings, and assassinations across Europe and the Middle East. Graphic images screamed from the front pages of newspapers. Intelligence and law enforcement agencies were caught off guard. “The struggle against terrorism knows no borders,” the French minister of justice declared.

It was the 1970s. The Red Brigades, the Baader-Meinhof gang, the Japanese Red Army, the Provisional Irish Republican Army, and a bewildering array of Palestinian factions were spreading mayhem. Read through a list of terror incidents in the 1970s and you’ll relive month after month of drama. Enter “Carlos the Jackal” or the Irish Republican Army. Meet the latest Palestinian, Croatian, Quebecker, or South Moluccan militants as they hijack planes or trains and set off bombs in public places. A new cause was always demanding attention.

It's been worse. And, of course, if you're with me reading this in Hometown you're in no danger at all from terrorists despite my seeing these on a somewhat regular basis, though not so much lately:


If I was braver, I might ask, "how's the hunting." But, never bring snark to a gunfight, I always say.

Don't miss the Syrian quiz. I got a very disappointing 54%. Obviously learned a lot, though.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sharing The Letters Page

Happy to see my letter printed in the Post Star today. Even happier to read one from Wayne Judge, as well. I've read Mr. Judge's letters and enjoyed them in the past, so it was an honor to share the page with him.

In addition to Iran and ISIS we should add the name of Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) to the list of those who pose grave risks to the future of the world.

Sen. Cornyn’s commentary in this paper on Wednesday criticized the terms of a proposed agreement between five nations and Iran even though he knows next to nothing about the terms of the final agreement being negotiated. He proposes, instead of negotiation, that the U.S. “bring to bear devastating sanctions on Iran with the credible threat of decisive military action as a backstop” — a “backstop.”

The senator ignores the fact that Russia, China and probably India will not agree to the “devastating” sanctions and will ignore them. That will leave the Iranians free to continue their nuclear development unchecked, and it will leave only war as the remaining American option. I suppose at that point the senator would have the U.S. “unleash” Israel which already has nuclear weapons, having built its first nuclear weapon in December 1966. That might be a nice way to end the world.
The commentary might also be just another ludicrous attempt to undermine just about anything accomplished by this American president.


H. WAYNE JUDGE

And yours truly,

So, John Cornyn says the White House is insulting the intelligence of the American people by saying Republicans want to rush to war with Iran. Why would anyone think that? Let’s see. After the Bush administration successfully propagandized the country into the Iraq war, a common quip among neoconservatives was, “anyone can go to Bagdad, real men go to Tehran.” Then there was 2008 GOP nominee for president, Sen. John McCain, singing “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.” I’m delighted that sanctions are good enough for Republicans like Cornyn and Charles Krauthammer now, when they were insufficient in March 2003. War was the only solution then.

Inspections in Iraq correctly told us there were no WMDs. An agreement with Iran will allow inspections there. No agreement, no inspections; and continued sanctions gives them no reason not to pursue nuclear weapons if they desire to.

Cornyn mentions an Iranian connection to the barracks bombing in Beirut in 1983. He doesn’t mention the Reagan administration secretly shipping arms to Iran two years later. I’d worry about the intelligence of anyone putting faith in the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party to make good decisions in the Middle East. More diplomacy may lead to less foreign entanglement.


KEVIN ROBBINS

And what Charles Pierce says, as always.

Call this. Do it now. Tell them their money is no good here any more. Give these brigands the 86 the way any respectable saloonkeeper gives the heave to a chronic deadbeat who's run up an unpayable tab. Show the country in simple (and not necessarily civil) words what these people really are. Demonstrate, speech by speech, that they have no loyalty to the political entity that is the United States of America, that they are stateless gombeen bastards who would sell this country's democracy off like a subprime mortgage to put another ten bucks into their pockets. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Meet A Man John Bolton Wants To Kill

In today's CSM, otherwise known as the paper of record here in Hometown USA, we meet a young man who has returned to Iran. John Bolton would have no problem with his being killed in the interest of "regime change." In all fairness, many others would die as well.

His move back to Tehran is part of a reverse brain drain encouraged by the June 2013 election of President Hassan Rouhani. Shouting out PINs is just one of many quirks embraced by those young professionals educated abroad who have spurred good prospects in the West to return to live and invest here. 

It’s a bet on the future, and for many a bet on the presidency of Mr. Rouhani, the relatively moderate regime insider who has promised to resolve Iran’s nuclear issue with world powers and revive an economy crippled by sanctions and tumbling oil prices. 

That's it. I just wanted to introduce Salar in case a president is elected who will not share President Obama's interest in actually not engaging in hostilities with Iran. In that case, his life may end. Thanks to the 47 asshat senators who pointed that out.

It Could Have Been Worse

They could have been Rick rolled, or as it's now known, Ted Cruzed. It's just one more instance of the internet having that liberal bias that Al Gore built into it.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chair of the House GOP conference, took to Facebook tocommemorate the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act by asking to hear real-life horror stories from real people. 

Hilarity ensued. I tried to go add my "horror story" of how the government is subsidizing my health insurance to the tune of $273 per month. Oddly, the site no longer exists.

ONLY SLIGHTLY OFF-TOPIC: I was curious as to how many Greens have been elected to, well, anything. I knew there were none in Congress. Otherwise, there actually are a few a levels above dogcatcher.

As of October 18, 2012, there were 134 elected Greens across the United States. Positions held varied greatly, from mayor to city council, school board to sanitation district. 

At least, I believe sanitation district is above dogcatcher.

Differences between Dems and Reps.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

I'd Really Love To Get Mark Frost's Reaction

Fuck it, I'm just going to link to Charles Pierce.

The United States assists Israel in bombing the living isotopes out of two uranium-enrichment plants and a reactor. Leaving aside the pre-emptive nature of the attack, it unleashes a public health catastrophe with untold ongoing consequences on a country where the public-health system is rudimentary at best. Which results in a population that is so excited about being bombed and sickened that it rises up and overthrows the government and installs one more likely to be friendly to the powers that have bombed and sickened them.

That quote is from Pierce, though you would be excused for any confusion.They must be competing with the WashPo for Mark's love. Liberal media? It must suck to be on the same side of an issue as the pathologically insane.  

Salon sees the Times as doing a reverse end around of some sort. I'll go with that, the devious bastards. 


The New York Times editorial page pulled a fast one on Iran hawks today by publishing an op-ed from the most indiscreet member of their rank, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton. While some Times readers may have been aghast to see the venerable paper publish Bolton’s ravings — under the headline “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran” — the editorial decision should be cheered. Here we have a leading conservative hawk plainly admitting that the alternative to the deal currently under negotiation is not a “better deal,” but is a bombing campaign followed by some hazily defined efforts at “regime change.” Meaning, ultimately, war with Iran.

Well, it is the paper of record. And Bolton as a member in good standing of the neocon crowd is now on record calling for mass murder. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Send Money To The Tea Party Liberty Freedom America-Lover Express Constitution Jesus Train

That's my new group that supports all that stuff. I'm obviously not going to give money to any wingnuts, but the groups that purport to, don't either. Yeah I know, if you're a liberal you've been hearing that for years. Maybe the righties have, too. But, they didn't believe it.

“The problem with the articles that have come out so far is that most of them have come from liberal outlets and have only discussed limited aspects of a few organizations,” wrote John Hawkins, of Rightwing News. “That naturally led people to wonder if they were reading hit pieces.” 

The bad news for my new scam freedom supporting money raising enterprise is that possibly the grifted are getting smarter.

Hard times have arrived for the Republican Party and particularly for right-wing pressure groups like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, Heritage Action and the one-time lavishly funded tea party PAC, FreedomWorks. According to a report in Politico, heavyweight Republican donors are frustrated and “horrified” that their money is going to wrong-headed politicians and groups that appear to have no effect on election outcomes. 

Bad news for Republican candidates, too. Always love a silver lining. Of course, it wasn't doing them any good anyway.

Crossroads spent $300 million in 2012 and saw nearly every single one of its candidates lose that November. 

Everyone knows what a great lover of irony I am. The irony I find in this is that the same people who have been successfully conned by these groups are also in a tizzy because the IRS either did or didn't target these groups. Nihilist that I am, I don't care. 

This does pierce my little nihilist heart, though. Move America Forward, and isn't that a great  name, was scamming the hoi polloi with calls for donations "for the troops." 

Yet an examination of its fundraising appeals, tax records and other documents shows that Move America Forward has repeatedly misled donors and inflated its charitable accomplishments, while funneling millions of dollars in revenue to the men behind the group and their political consulting firms.

In several instances, the charity has taken images and stories from other groups and from veterans themselves without permission to use in fundraising appeals.

I believe most liberals have a functioning bullshit detector. Conservatives, not so much. 

Over the years, Troopathons have featured live and taped appearances by conservative stars from entertainment, media and politics, including actor Gary Sinise, rock idol Gene Simmons of KISS, Sarah PalinRick PerryRush Limbaugh andSean Hannity. The charity counts all the money raised in the month of the broadcast as part of Troopathon.

If they did have one, they would look at that big groups of scam artists and run in the other direction. I'm going to turn over the closing prayer today to Mike Huckabee

“Let me tell you, diabetes can be reversed,” Mr. Huckabee says. “I should know because I did it. Today you can, too.

Amen.