Tag Archives: Obama

Why Ignoring Iran Was A GOOD Thing.

I’ve been gone for a month or so, and while there’s all kinds of fun and interesting happenings behind that, I’ll leave it for another post. Let’s jump in.

As you are all aware, Republican congresscritters and pundits have been having a virtual orgiastic hate fest over President Obama’s refusal to take a hardline stance on Iran, thus embroiling us in yet another middle east mess. Lindsay Graham just about out-sanctimonied himself on national television insisting that the president “lead the free world, not follow it.” He was echoed by … well, by most of the echo chamber. Sen. McCain, Sen. Grassley and of course…the ‘leader’ of the Republican party: Rush Limbaugh. This whole Iran election issue has been one long orgasmic episode for Rush, who just can’t wait to get us into another war we can’t afford with exhausted troops who should have been discharged two tours ago. Even David Gregory took time out from his full time occupation of driving Meet the Press into the ground to ask his round table snooze fest why it is imperative that we make the Iranian elections all about us.

Let me very quickly remind people of a few things. November, 2004. Remember that? Big election, lots of accusations of voter fraud, administration’s refusal to recount, foreign heads of state tut-tutting and criticizing. Some guy with the last name Bush ended up keeping the presidency. Do we all remember that? Yes? Do we all remember how we reacted to the criticism that our elections may have been tampered with? Let me remind you of that as well. It essentially came down to “This is America, we do things our way, you don’t have any say in how we run our country so you can all just STFU.” Interestingly… that sentiment came from those who are now crying the loudest for us to do something about Iran. Funny old world, huh?

I’m pleased to say that despite heavy pressure to once again support a regime change to a leader that most Americans know nothing whatever about other than his name, the President resisted and kept his comments directed toward support of the rights of the Iranian voters. Why was that a good thing? I’m so glad you asked. Because despite the ridiculous hand waving and rhetorical wank fest, there was a very real reason to not get involved.

And it has just reared its ugly head. That’s right.Iran is now implying the U.S. (CIA specifically) may have had something to do with the death of Neda Agha Soltan. That because she was in a quiet area without protesters and with all kinds of cameras on her, it was a publicity stunt by the Americans to foment revolution and make it look like the Iranian government would mercilessly gun down its own citizens in the streets.

Think on this a minute, kids. What would have happened had we actually gone on record and made a formal accusation against the Iranian administration? What do you think? The citizens would have every cause to believe that we may have done that horrible thing. I tell you now: we are well out of it. If Iran is going to revolt or fail or reinvest in itself…it will do so on its own. We do not need to help.

Do I think the Ayatollah needs overthrowing and Iran needs to get itself out from under its fundamentalist religious regime? Certainly. But they do not need the United States telling them how to do it. Or they aren’t doing it, we are. Support? Certainly. Cheer them on? You bet. But if we blunder into that region once again insisting that everyone do it our way, we lose the opportunity to truly allow democracy to happen. Hard as it is to sit and watch, it’s time we learn that this is not about us. Not in any way, shape or form. Yes, I know. We like to think everything is about us. It isn’t. The Iranian citizenry is doing just fine without us. Let us not give them a reason to think that what they’re doing is wrong. Let us not give Ahmadinejad the excuse to try to unify his country behind the slogan “Death to the Americans” again. Let us allow the Iranian people the same right to fight for their own freedom that we take for granted.

Sotomayor gets the nom for SCOTUS

In a move that shocked no one, especially those bright fellows over at The Daily Beast, President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to be the next Justice to the Supreme Court replacing the outgoing Justice Souter.

Judge Sotomayor has a stellar background; 5 years with the district attorney’s office after Princeton and Yale Law School, then elevated to the federal bench by George HW Bush and appointed to the federal court of appeals by Bill Clinton.

While I was personally pulling for Brinkmann, I think Ms. Sotomayor is an excellent choice. Her history makes her nigh on bulletproof, although I’m sure the Republicans will try. One rather interesting quote from the article comes from an RNC staffer:

“The Republicans are going to strike a tone that’s fair, that allows the vetting process to happen like it should, and that’s in stark contrast to how the Democrats dealt with Judge Roberts when you look back a couple years ago,” the official said, referring to the 2005 confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts.

Bearing in mind that Chief Justice Roberts sailed through with little to no opposition, I can only assume said staffer is either in possession of a very bad memory or it’s opposite day, and this is code for “We’re gonna give the Puerto Rican chick hell!”

Senate minority  leader Mitch McConnell, (R-Fantasy Land) stated:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said that Senate Republicans “will thoroughly examine [Sotomayor’s] record to ensure she understands that the role of a jurist in our democracy is to apply the law evenhandedly, despite their own feelings or personal or political preferences.”

I’m sure Mr. McConnell will advise Judge Sotomayor that her actual job is to uphold the policy decisions of the current administration, regardless of what the Constitution actually says, just like they expected the Court to do during the last administration’s tenure. I’m equally certain this insistence on the part of Senate Republicans to oppose any nominee, regardless of background, has nothing to do with Rush Limbaugh’s urging or as retribution for the Dems’ opposition to the wholly unqualified Harriet Miers for SCOTUS Chief Justice. Unlike White House counsel Miers, however, Ms. Sotomayor’s experience and rate of 99% of upheld appeals make Harriet Miers look small time indeed. Good luck, party of no.

It’s going to be an interesting July, people! The best birthday present I could possibly have hoped for.

“So What if He’s Muslim?”

So I was on the couch yesterday morning watching Meet the Press (in what must have been the first time in a month the darling man and I have been able to relax together for more than 20 minutes at a time), and retired Gen. Colin Powell made the point I have been trying without success to make ever since this whole “Obama’s a Muslim!” thing started. He calmly, unabashedly and with great conviction said “it doesn’t matter.”

You can catch the full interview on MSNBC here. His exact words were as follows:

Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim; he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian.

But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no, that’s not America.

Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?

Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, “He’s a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists.” This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son’s grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards — Purple Heart, Bronze Star — showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old.

And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn’t have a Christian cross; it didn’t have the Star of David; it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life.

Thank you, Gen. Powell, for so eloquently explaining what really matters. It isn’t whether a candidate is Muslim, Christian, Atheist, Zoroastrian… it matters that they are an American. That they love and want to help our country, and that their policy stances are ones we wish to embrace. That is ALL that we should look for in any candidate.

I am aware there are those who will say “But if he’s Muslim, it will spill over into how he looks at things!” Could be, yes. My atheism certainly influences my line of thinking. What matters is, will the candidate attempt to instill religious influence in government? So far, only one in my lifetime has done so, and with disastrous results.

I will say, I find it vastly amusing that those railing for a “Christian nation” are so outraged at the thought of any other religion being involved in politics. Suddenly “it would infringe on my civil liberties!” has become a rallying cry for those who loathe what they think the ACLU stands for.

I applaud Gen. Powell for his statement, and sincerely hope that at least a few will consider his words and recognize that they are a plea of tolerance and wisdom, not a partisan attempt to sway.

 

In Which Clarity is Restored

Okay. I feel better now. Yesterday, as many of you may have seen, I was more than a little miffed with John McCain for bowing out of the presidential debate this Friday evening. I was stunned. How could a man running for the most powerful position in the world show such, if you’ll forgive the expression, a streak of yellow?

Well, silly me. I knew it was politics, I just didn’t know to what degree. Or angle, as the case may be. Y’see… well, here, I’ll just link CNN’s political ticker right here on WP.

McCain supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham tells CNN the McCain campaign is proposing to the Presidential Debate Commission and the Obama camp that if there’s no bailout deal by Friday, the first presidential debate should take the place of the VP debate, currently scheduled for next Thursday, October 2 in St. Louis.

In this scenario, the vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin would be rescheduled for a date yet to be determined, and take place in Oxford, Mississippi, currently slated to be the site of the first presidential faceoff this Friday.

So there you have it. Last night’s suspension of the campaign and refusal to debate had less to do with not wanting to debate Obama than it did not wanting Gov. Palin to debate Joe Biden. Small wonder; he’s going to chop her up into itty bitty peices, chew her up and spit her out.

Sen. McCain, if you are this afraid for Gov. Palin, why on earth did you choose her as a running mate?

It Isn’t About Leadership. It’s About Perception.

I’ve spent the past 15 hours or so, when not sleeping, watching the talking heads. I’ve even tuned in to Fox news just to make sure their eyeballs haven’t exploded trying to work their poor abused heads around the idea that capitalism is what got us into this mess. Rest assured; Fox News has learned nothing from the current crisis.

It’s been an instructive 15 hours (aside from the sleeping bit).  The pundits all seem to be focusing on

a. Whether or not “The Bailout* ” is a good thing and

b. Whether John McCain rushing back to Washington and suspending his campaign is a gambit or concern.

None of them seem to be able to answer A, and the jury is hung on B. Only one person, The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, got it right. Last night while discussing the move by McCain to suspend his campaign and the debate, Chris said “Anyone who thinks that anything a candidate does this close to an election isn’t about politics, doesn’t know much about politics.” And the truth shall set you free.

Don’t think it’s true? Well, let’s take a look at what’s being said by the McCain camp. This morning, John McCain’s spokeswoman Nicole Wallace actually sidestepped the question to both Joe Scarborough and Matt Lauer. She told Scarborough “Is that what you thought? I think the American people will remember the bipartisan message coming from both candidates.” Really, Ms Wallace? Is that why John McCain rushed out to make the first statement? So that everyone would remember the joint statement that came later? Way to underestimate the intelligence of the American people. The reason for that was fairly transparent, and we all know it. It was politics, pure and simple. Ms. Wallace’s remarks to Matt Lauer here. In both cases, she seems reluctant to actually answer the question put to her, namely: “If the joint message about fixing the problem was what was important, what was your guy doing if it wasn’t upstaging?” I’m more than a little annoyed that two seasoned journalists were unable to force an answer to that question and let it go at a ridiculous hand waving justification.

Neither Sen. McCain nor Sen. Obama are part of the committee attempting to solve this economic crisis. At this point, the Repugs are dragging their feet against passing anything in order to correct the situation, and there’s no foreseeable solution. If no one blinks, what then? We put the election on hold, too?

Sen. Jim Demint just said that “new thinking” is needed on the issue, and he “trusts the free market.” Okay, Sen. Demint; isn’t that WHAT GOT US INTO THE PROBLEM IN THE FIRST PLACE?!  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said infusing presidential politics in the situation will only muddy the waters. Chuck Hagel said last night that everyone in Washington knows the meetings in the Oval Office isn’t where the work gets done; it’s the breakaway meetings AFTER those meetings that actually accomplishes something.

Which leads us right back to: Why the hell are we ONLY focusing on this crisis? We also have TWOT (the war on terror) going on. Should we put government on hold until Sen. McCain comes up with a solution for that as well? And….WHO has a messiah complex again, please?

Ladies and gentlemen, let us buy a clue, if necessary. We cannot simply keep putting things on hold because something comes up. We deserve to know who will be leading us, regardless of which candidate is chosen. It IS our country, after all. We’re the ones making the decision. We deserve to have all the data we can get before we make what may well be the most important choice of our lives.

Senator McCain, step up. Heroes do not run from a challenge, sir.

*I think it’s deserving of Caps. In 75 years, school kids are going to learn about the Great Globalization Crisis of ’08. They’re gonna want to know why we were so stoopid.

McCain Calls for Suspense of Debate; Concern or Calculated Ploy?

So, once again, I’m sitting here watching MSNBC, and they’re talking about how Barack Obama now has a 9% lead in the polls over John McCain. And as they say it, they receive a notice saying that John McCain now wants to put the debate on hold until the crisis is solved, and Barack Obama needs to “come back to Washington to help fix it.”

I must say, it was a brilliant stroke. McCain has been looking for a way to stop the bleeding and get back in front since this crisis broke. I watched Sen. McCain, and am now watching Sen. Obama, who is saying that Sen. Tom Colvin suggested to both candidates that they reach out to each other and make a joint statement. Which I find interesting. He’s now going over his four point demands for the bill, which include that Wall Street execs not get “golden parachutes” for their reckless greed.

Both men seem to be earnest in their sincerity. My question is: How much of it is pandering, and how much is honest concern for making sure this issue gets solved?

Post speeches edit: I think it’s interesting to note that Sen. McCain did not open the floor to any questions whatsoever, and when Sen. Obama opened for questions and was asked about the debate, he said “I think it’s important that we go on with it….the next president is going to have to be able to do more than one thing, and it’s important for the American people to see that.”

Texas Supreme Court Tells Libertarian Candidate to Sit Down and Shut his Piehole.

As reported at this site, Bob Barr, the presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party, has filed an injunction claiming that neither John McCain nor Barack Obama had submitted the necessary paperwork to be considered as candidates for President of the United States, and demanding that they be removed from Texas ballots, thus putting into question the status of Texas’ 34 electoral votes.

And as predicted, the Supreme Court of the state of Texas has told Barr to shut the hell up.

[But}…the Democratic and Republican state parties had filed official documents with the Secretary of State stating their presumed presidential candidates. The Democrats threw in Joe Biden’s name and the Republicans said they would report back with the name of their vice presidential contender, which they did.

Apparently, the Supreme Court felt that was sufficient, especially in light of the catastrophic alientation of voters if neither of the major party candidates could appear on the November ballot.

C’mon. Let us be honest. It’s not surprising, sure, but it isn’t about the “alienation of voters” nearly as much as it’s about the fact that McCain can’t win without Texas. He needs us BAD, as badly as Obama needs California. I don’t doubt, though, stubborn as the citizens of my adopted state seem to be, they still would’ve shown up, and still would’ve written McCain’s name in on the ballot if such was necessary.