Archive for the ‘Benghazi’ Category

Democratic Debate: The Adults Take the Stage

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

15.3 million Americans watched the adults take the stage in the first Democratic debate. Unlike the previous two Republican debates, the five Democratic candidates actually discussed issues and policies. There were no cruel personal attacks or attacks against women and immigrants. They did not call each other liars or make fun of each other’s looks. Who won the debate? The American people won because important issues were discussed.

Hillary Clinton showed a powerful performance. Bernie Sanders also scored points and performed well. Clinton landed strong punches on her opponents. She reminded O’Malley of his past support for her while scoffing at Bernie’s call for revolution and assailing him for being soft on guns. The debate may have solidified Clinton as a front runner but Bernie touted raising over 2 million dollars since last night’s debate.

There is glaring differences between the two parties. While the Republicans face growing divisions, Democrats have few divisions. They may have differences on how to achieve their goals, but they agree on many principles: They want to expand the social safety net, raise taxes on the wealthy, reduce mass incarcerations and use common sense to regulate guns. They also want to fight climate change and expand access to higher education.

The high point was when Bernie Sanders noted that the American people were damn tired of hearing about Hillary’s emails. They want the candidates to discuss the important issues that face the middle class.

So who won the debate? Clinton is the clear frontrunner and most polished candidate on stage but Bernie Sanders has popular star power. It is now clear to see why Republicans created the special tribunal (Benghazi Hearings) to attack her and tear down her high ratings: they fear her and have good reason to do so!

Mitch’s Bizarre Embrace of Kynect [Ky Obamacare]… Tell me another lie Mitch

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

The Republican Senate minority leader’s lies about Obamacare have been exposed. His pro-repeal stance has crumbled as his current position has become a contradiction. He also says his home state of Kentucky should be allowed to keep Kynect, the popular state-based Obamacare exchange, even if the federal law Obamacare is eliminated? What?

The Senate GOP leader’s remarks follow a report Friday when McConnell, in a move that raised eyebrows, told home state reporters that the fate of Kynect was “unconnected” to the fate of Obamacare. The popularity of Kynect has made his attacks and lies on Obamacare more difficult. How can Kentuckians love Kynect (Kentucky Obamacare) if it is as bad as Mitch claimed it to be?

It’s unclear how McConnell’s idea might work — or if it can work. Kynect relies upon Obamacare and would not have existed without it. The federal health care law funds the subsidies it hands out to help Kentuckians buy [Obamacare] insurance; it establishes the regulations that protect residents with preexisting conditions; it imposes the individual mandate to entice younger people into the system in order to prevent a cycle of price spikes. If Obamacare is repealed, all these features collapse and Kynect crumbles.

Will McConnell’s remark signal to other Republicans that it’s acceptable to alter the lies about Obamacare, perhaps for the sake of preventing Democratic attacks about the GOP wanting to strip away health coverage for millions of newly insured Americans, a lie is acceptable?

Republicans have also backed themselves into a corner by hammering Obamacare for canceling millions of policies that didn’t comply with the law’s minimum coverage standards. Now that Obamacare itself has covered millions [over 10 million] of Americans since its exchanges went live on Oct. 1, 2013, the GOP cannot call for taking away that coverage without political repercussions.

As McConnell now wavers on Obamacare, he is signaling that the game is over for the wing-nut repeal coalition — but what about the Republican key to midterm election victory [Obamacare bashing]. Just tell another big Republican lie, Mitch: Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi

How do Liberals Escape from Wing-Nut Hell

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

gop-vs-americaThere is broad disappointment among [Liberals] progressives at the outcome of several recent antics of the radical right teabagger extreme. From the debt ceiling deal to the near collapse of the government. How do you deal with zealots that are hell bent on blowing up the entire economy if they don’t get their way? So how do [Liberals] progressives escape from this wing-nut hell?

The last several years, European politicians struggled to avoid default that would lead their economies to collapse. Those who tried austerity as a solution, suffered damaging blows to their economies and encountered wrath from it people. Yet, in the United States, radical right extremists Republicans manufactured the same kind of economic crisis and threatened to blow the entire economy to hell if they didn’t get their way. They have sinse engaged in an orgy of austerity that has damaged our economic growth and killed new job creation.

Did their tactics work? Idiots who are reckless have a huge advantage when dealing with rational foes that act responsibly.

President Obama and Democratic leadership did a valiant job avoiding the worst features of the deal, but in the end the negotiation was only about the size of the ransom paid and the damage of its costs to our economy.

Other historical situations involving both Republican and Democratic Presidents ended more rationally when faced with difficult economic solutions. The deficit reduction deal between Ronald Regan and Democrat House Speaker Tip O’Neal in 1984 was 82% new revenue and 18% cuts in expenditures. Clinton’s deals that lead to large surpluses in the 1990’s was 62% new taxes – mainly on the wealthy – and 38% cuts. This deal was 100% cuts. But today’s teabagger extremists don’t deal in rational behavior or use logic.

The general consensus among economists is that the impact of the cuts of the ongoing Sequester is damaging the already-weak economic recovery. The deal included no short-term stimulus and extreme cuts in R&D that is allowing China to gain on the US in areas of new energy technology advantages that will lead to future economic world dominance.

It is interesting to note that Congressional cuts in Embassy protection lead to weak embassy security that allowed extremists attacks on the Embassy resulting in four deaths at Benghazi. A situation that was clearly created by the radical teabagger congress that Republicans hypocrisy attempts to use as political weapon against Hillary Clinton.

There were some bright spots in the outcome of the war of economic attrition but traditional logic does not apply to the teabagger faithful. Clear danger lies ahead for progressives.

Progressives must maintain a determined, relentless campaign to prevent the teabagger controlled Congress from making cuts in Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.

The Paul Ryan budget shows us exactly where the Republicans want to go. The Republican budget would eliminate Medicare and replace it with a failed system of vouchers for private insurance that raises the out of pocket health care expenses of senior citizens by $6,000 per year. They would raise the retirement age for Social Security, and turn Medicaid into block grants that would eliminate the guarantee of health care for the poor, and nursing home care for seniors and the disabled. And they would do it all to prevent the rich from having to contribute to deficit reduction.

We must continue to refocus the political conversation directly to the issue that the vast majority of Americans really care about: jobs and fair living wages.

Progressives must get out the vote because Elections matter. If given the opportunity, the extremists will destroy Obamacare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the EPA. They will increase the war against women’s rights; continue the assault on science, and legitimate hate and intolerance.

The recent battles to close the government and threats to implode the economy must serve as a warning — a wake up call. The [wing-nut] Republicans must be stopped. They will outsource what remains of our manufacturing jobs, repeal Obamacare, eliminate all regulations on Wall Street’s greed, destroy unions and allow the wealthy to plunder what is left of America’s middle class.

If one doubts this, one need look no future back than 2007 when they tried the same failed economic recipe for disaster that cast the nation into near economic ruin and the worse economic downturn since the Great Depression.

The Summer of Ignorance

Friday, May 31st, 2013

In wing-nut land, it is starting to look like a summer of ignorance as the witch hunt to get President Obama heats up. Sound familiar? Remember 1998? The same insanity drove the Republicans to get Bill Clinton. It was the first time that the administration in power won seats in the mid-term election. Recently, even Newt Gingrich, the lead wing-nut of the 90’s warned Republicans of over reach in their blood lust for Obama. The extremists with pitch forks are amassing to take arms against the evil Obama.

Currently, the arms of choice – ricin laced letters – are being sent to the enemies of the neo-cons. One must wonder how far these idiots will go to fulfill their illusions of hatred for President Obama and anyone who disagrees with them. Ricin is the poison of choice of wing-nuts because it is a reasonably accessible agent for people who aren’t very sophisticated. Any disturbed individual can manufacture very poor-quality ricin in their home.

It is curious to note that the NRA has targeted President Obama and Major Bloomberg as enemies of freedom and threats to the constitution because they threaten gun sales. It appears that some NRA supporters have taken these words to heart.

NRA driven paranoia seems to be sending some NRA supporters over the edge. In the flurry of recent ricin letters, one interesting fact seems to serve as a link between the letters. Misspelled words, poor grammar and the blood lust for guns are the main characteristics that dominates the letters. Another link appears to be the region from where the letters are generated – the south.

The violent rhetoric of these extremists pose a serious threat to our democracy. In the past, Americans would talk over differences to forge solutions to disagreements. This is no longer the case with conservative extremists; as hatred drives the issues and beliefs of the Obama haters. Smoke screen issues like gun control, abortion and racial hatred stimulate and lubricate the right ring rhetoric machine.

It is interesting to watch the “do nothing” congress salivate over Benghazi, wiretapping of the press to stop national security leaks and IRS political profiling of the teabaggers. Eight months ago congress investigated Benghazi and found nothing, yet, now, they bring the issue back up, in the search of the Holy Grail to get the evil Obama. The wiretapping of the press is another dead issue being used to get Obama. Is anyone really surprised that a FOX commentator would collaborate with folks who have no problem with jeopardizing national security? And it is absolutely hilarious to watch the party who created and defends profiling – scream over teabaggers being profiled.

It is even more laughable to realize that the call for an independent counsel will undoubtedly expose those teabaggers who are illegally seeking 501(c) (4) tax exemption. The purpose of these exemptions is for non-political organizations. Teabaggers across the nation have been caught seeking this illegal tax subsidy provided by 501(c) (4) status while they are obviously political – providing funding and open support for right wing candidates. They are in reality seeking to use a cloak of secrecy to violate the law.

Progressives can only smile while they think – bring on the Independent Counsel.

Benghazi: A Political Circus

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

WASHINGTON — Nothing better for a do nothing congress than to create a scandal. Politicians love few things better than a diversion, to trip up their opponents, and mask the fact they have done nothing of substance in creating jobs or solving the nation’s problems. Republicans hope that last year’s fatal attack on U.S. diplomats in Libya will do exactly that to Hillary Rodham Clinton, the front runner for the 2016 Presidential Election.

History suggests it might be a tough case. It is going to be hard to convince the public that the death of a four diplomats is “Watergate level” conspiracy after thousands were killed and injured in a war in Iraq based on Republican lies. There was no Republican outcry as a long parade of American flag draped caskets flowed into America over twelve years.

The issue is complicated, the next presidential election is more than three years away, and a number of reports and a majority of officials have disputed criticisms of Clinton’s role when she was secretary of state but the facts do not seem any interest to Republicans who are desperate to damage Democrats and Clinton.

Still, Republicans and conservative talk “wing-nuts” hosts are hammering away at Clinton’s and the Obama administration 8 month after this old news story broke and became history. Even though Congress looked at this issue months ago and found nothing. A daylong House Oversight Committee hearing last Wednesday starred three State Department officials invited by Republicans proved nothing but a waste of time and taxpayer dollars.

Clinton, seen as the overwhelming early Democratic favorite for president in 2016, leading all Republican hopefuls by large margins, draws strong reviews for her four-year stint as secretary of state. The Republicans rail against Clinton and the Obama Administration’s handling of the tragedy but fail to acknowledge the fact that they have gutted funds to protect US embassies that left Benghazi with weak security.

US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed. President Obama immediately acknowledged the attackers were well-equipped terrorists acting under plans and a major independent inquiry totally cleared Clinton of wrongdoing but Republicans refuse to face the reality that no scandal exists.

The lack of findings has incensed many Republican leaders and conservative news outlets, who falsely portray Benghazi as a simmering scandal about to erupt.

The three officials testifying Wednesday offered no new details or findings. Afterward, Republicans all but acknowledged they’re still seeking a knockout punch.

“This hearing is now over, but this investigation is not,” said Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the hard-charging Republican chairman of the House committee, as his committee found nothing new. He urged mythical “whistle-blowers” and “witnesses who have been afraid to come forward” to step up and “tell us your story, and we will make sure it gets public.”

Republicans hope public anger over the Benghazi attacks and their aftermath will hurt congressional Democrats in next year’s midterm elections and more importantly damage Hillary Clinton in 2016.

By late Wednesday, Democrats were laughing and Americans yawned.

“The unsubstantiated Republican allegations about Benghazi have disintegrated one by one,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the House committee’s top Democrat. “There’s no evidence of a conspiracy to withhold military assets for political reasons, no evidence of a cover-up.”

“The Republicans are pulling out the stops to manufacture a scandal, to redirect attention from their failed policies.

“It may not be a smoking gun or a warm slingshot,” Republican Rep. Doug Collins said in the hearing’s final hour. “But we have four dead Americans,” and his constituents “are looking for the truth.”

There are issues that need addressed related to Benghazi from preventing this from happening again but the mistake of making this issue political has probably resulted in a lost opportunity to address some weaknesses that could have been corrected.