Tag Archives: John McCain

Tom’s Treasonous Temper Tantrum

12 Mar

TraitorsThe Republicans in the U.S. Senate have hit a new low, which is pretty hard for a group that has dug such a deep, disgusting hole in which to dwell. Led by freshman Senator Tom (would you like a cup of Tea)  Cotton of Arkansas, a stunning 47 out of 54 Republican Senators have signed a letter to the leaders of Iran. The letter is a petulant rant warning that any agreement the Obama administration might reach with Iran over nuclear materials will become null and void as soon as a new President takes office.

Where do we start with something like this? It’s a clear violation of protocol — direct foreign relations are the purview of the Executive branch, not Congress. It’s a blatant slap in the face to a President who has seen nothing but racist obstruction and disrespect from the GOP members of the Senate. Under one of the oldest laws in the land, it probably qualifies as treason.

The Logan Act was passed in 1799 to restrict the ability of unauthorized citizens to act in a way that is intended to influence a foreign government on matters relating to an ongoing controversy or dispute. Iran’s nuclear program clearly qualifies. Senators have the authority to do many things, but negotiating foreign policy isn’t one of them. That power belongs entirely to the Executive Branch unless there is a formal treaty proposed; that would require a 2/3 vote of approval from the Senate (sorry to bother people with pesky facts).

Angry that the President isn’t just going to abdicate after the disastrous 2014 election, Cotton and his cronies decided to stamp their nasty feet and play a dangerous game. They may not like the direction the President takes, but it’s up to him. By acting independently, they show just how ugly they can be with the added bonus of making the country they are sworn to serve look foolish, confused, and inept. Of course those adjectives come up a lot with Republicans/Tea Partiers in Congress…

Cotton is new to the Senate, but that doesn’t excuse him — or the 11 other new Republican Senators who ALL signed his malicious missive — from learning and following protocol and obeying the laws of the land. Other signatories have even less of an excuse including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate President pro tempore Orrin Hatch, and omnipresent crazed, cranky, crackpot John McCain. When asked why he signed the letter, McCain responded with”…well I sign lots of letters.”  Oy! How on earth is he in office?

It’s unlikely the Logan Act will be invoked — that’s only happened once, in 1803. Attempting to prosecute 47 sitting Senators would grind the barely functioning government to a complete halt, and the President has been able to use this irresponsible act to highlight his own policies and strength. Getting away with it doesn’t make it right. Let’s hope that the people who can hold these ignorant, vicious men and women responsible — the voters — will take this matter seriously in years to come.

Do we need to issue a statement to the globe: “Nothing to see here folks, just keep moving.”

Higher Ground: Syria and Violence

2 Sep

SyriaI initially had a Labor Day story prepared, but scrapped it because the impending attack on Syria is sticking in my craw. I’m happy to share last year’s Labor Day story if you would rather read that.

I heard President Obama’s speech imploring congress to give the green light to attack Syria and I was left feeling forlorn and felt somewhat betrayed. I thought President Obama was going to be the President who would find a way to remove the United States from wars, yet we are still in Afghanistan. (“Never fight a land war in Asia” — thank you Princess Bride.) I thought this was the president who learned from history about the spoils of war — the great profit machine.

The President repeated the phrase “national security” in his speech, a verbal tic that was disturbingly Bush-y. Those words ring hollow when lives are at stake and no credible evidence shows any real risk to our country. Am I missing something? Can anyone tell me where this threat lies?

Of course I believe we need to offer some way to interrupt the violence and the people being killed via chemical warfare.  But do we have no other options aside from more violence, which has no guarantee of changing the overall system in place in Syria?  As with Iraq and Afghanistan, we know many civilian lives were lost. Are we still comfortable to simply call it “collateral damage?”

Have we asked the people of Syria if they want  help and how they envision what that help might look like?  Have explored the myriad options of what an intervention might look like, aside from violence?

Let us also look at the soldiers that will be sent and the disproportionate number of soldiers of color and lower socioeconomic status who will be fighting. When we lose these lives we also alter our political landscape — we continue to silence an already marginalized and disenfranchised population. Do we learn nothing from history?

People keep on learnin’
Soldiers keep on warrin’
World keep on turnin’
Cause it won’t be too long
Powers keep on lyin’
While your people keep on dyin’
World keep on turnin’
Cause it won’t be too long
I’m so darn glad he let me try it again
Cause my last time on earth I lived a whole world of sin
I’m so glad that I know more than I knew then
Gonna keep on tryin’
Till I reach the highest ground
Teachers keep on teachin’
Preachers keep on preachin’
World keep on turnin’
Cause it won’t be too long
Oh no
Lovers keep on lovin’
Believers keep on believin’
Sleepers just stop sleepin’
Cause it won’t be too long

You can hear Stevie Wonder perform this song  here.  I want to believe that people “keep on learnin'”and that we will stop warring, but there is little evidence of that thus far.  I would also add that when voices like John McCain and John Boehner are supporting an attack on Syria, it would seem prudent and wise to alter one’s plan of attack.

The Elephant Who Cried “Scandal!”

21 May
That's supposed to be MY White House!

That’s supposed to be MY White House!

Poor President Obama. If you looked at the headlines or the Congressional calendar last week, it was his worst week ever, as his administration was bogged down in scandal after scandal. Or was it?

First, there was the ongoing attempt to politicize the attacks on the US Consulate in Benghazi. (Dick Cheney Wannabe) Rep. Darrell Issa (R – Nastyville) held more pointless hearings to get exactly the same information. There was some understandable confusion right after the attacks. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice repeated some partially incorrect CIA talking points to the media. The White House and State Department have been very forthcoming with all the information Congress demands. There are some real security lessons to learn, but the GOP would rather try to smear the very popular Hillary Clinton and attack the President. ABC’s Jon Karl screamed scandal as he revealed “new” White House emails. The only problem? They were old, incomplete emails — provided to Karl by Republicans.

Next, the mess at the IRS. A branch office (in Cincinnati) used the term “Tea Party” to analyze tax exempt applications for “social welfare” agencies. “Political targeting!” cried the GOP. Well, maybe. But since the dreadful Citizens United decision, the number of organizations trying to get such status has gone from under 700 to over 2400 a year. Republicans have slashed the IRS budget and refused to craft legislation that would give the agency guidelines for implementing Citizens United. One office made a poor decision, but NO APPLICANT WAS REFUSED THE STATUS — except for one liberal organization. It must be a scandal, though! (Curiously, although the record clearly shows that the White House learned about the problem about a month ago, long after the practice was stopped and an internal investigation launched, at least one person DID know about it way back in July — Rep. Darrell Issa.)

Finally, the Justice Department demanded hundreds of phone records from the AP. This is actually disappointing, fitting into the pattern of domestic spying and privacy infringements that have been part of the Holder DoJ for years. From drones to wiretaps, it’s a blemish on Obama’s potential legacy. Oh, but so far his administration, however foolishly, IS FOLLOWING THE LAW. A law shoved down Congress by a Republican president (Remember good old W?  If you want someone to blame for this law, then blame W, trampling rights as he lied his way into Iraq.). Oh, and the GOP actually likes spying on the press, so never mind, no real pressure here.

Bad news for the GOP: all their screaming and hearings aren’t getting much traction. Sure, the Sunday talk shows (aka the McCain hour–always a pleasure trip into insanity) and the newspaper headlines are parroting their points in the name of “objectivity.” The real impact though? Not so much.

A new Gallup shows the President’s favorables at 53-45, up 11 points from March. GOP ratings for the same period? Down 13, to the lowest since 1992. Maybe Republicans in Congress should focus on creating jobs and actually passing some bills for a change. Clearly, their obstructionist ways along with their “Get off my lawn” ranting is not working.

Number 2 Bigot of the Year 2012: Republican Party Platform

30 Dec
Number 2 Bigot of 2012

Number 2 Bigot of 2012

There are those who claim that a party platform is just a bunch of words to rally the faithful and that what matters is each candidate. To them I say, words matter. Candidates who stand up under a party banner should note what they claim to stand for. This year, the Republican party approved a rancid Tea-soaked platform that slid even further backward into a viciously white, male, heterosexist hierarchy. With that being said, I still refuse to paint all Republicans with this tea stained brush.

It should come as little surprise that the platform was rabidly anti-gay. FRC President Tony Perkins was allowed to draft language that not only called for a national one-man-one-woman amendment but targeted all the progress made during the Obama administration for dismantling.

The War on Women showed up in the guise of a personhood amendment, the most egregious type of attack on reproductive choice. Trampling freedom of religion, the platform trumpeted the farthest right of so-called christian values, elevating the “rights” of a random assemblage of cells over even the life of the mother. How very pro-life THAT is–protect the fetus at all cost, but damn the mother and the child after birth.

The platform also attacked health care and called for dismantling the Affordable Care Act without proposing any alternative. It painted immigrants as greedy illegals, celebrating Arizona and Alabama-style immigration laws and demanding intrusive bureaucracies to force companies to investigate all potential employees. How’s that for smaller government?

The hypocritical, anti-everyone — unless they’re white, rich, christian, heterosexual men — document was a shocker even for the 21st Century GOP. Sadly, the candidates picked up the hateful flag and marched.

Dishonorable mention goes to four particularly loathsome GOP men. Mitt Romney leads the list, railing against the LGBT community, women, and the poor while pretending to tack to the center. His cruel detachment and willingness to do anything to win make him a perfect exemplar of this decaying party. His running mate, Paul Ryan, gets special notice for his Randian budget plans, a real “I’ve got mine so go to Hell” approach to governance.

Two angry men round out the list. Regular TSM bigot winner Allen West leaves office in a fit of petulance. Despite his clear loss, he prepared to waste thousands of dollars and ignore election law to try to change the results. Fortunately, he was so nuts that even in Florida he couldn’t make the case. Sen John McCain (R – Pleistocene) rounds out the list. His regular angry rants hit a new low when he targeted U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice. He hypocritically attacked her integrity — after supporting Sarah (Gun) Palin and  Conoleezza Rice and her lying ways years earlier — in a blatant move to get John Kerry out of the Senate and give his mini-me Scott Brown another shot. What a sad, nasty creature our McCain (Gollum) is.

Hero of the Week Award: December 14, the Merck Foundation

14 Dec
Hero of the Week

Hero of the Week

This week another organization adds itself resoundingly to the chorus opposing the Boy Scouts of America’s discrimination and bigotry. Thank you to my friend and fighter for social justice, Ani Allison for inspiring me to write this weeks’ HWA. The Merck Company Foundation has a long history of giving and philanthropy. It has also been a major supporter of the Scouts, recognizing “the fine work that the BSA has done in communities throughout the country.”

As they reviewed giving for 2013, however, they realized that core BSA values are inconsistent with Foundation principles. As a result, they are suspending all funding and related activities.

The Merck Foundation believes that it is critical to honor and support a foundational policy of diversity and inclusion in all funding decisions…We cannot continue to provide support to an organization with a policy that is contrary to one of our core beliefs.

Emphasizing the importance of this decision, the Foundation made it clear that it is withholding more than dollars:

The decision to suspend support applies to direct funding from the Merck Foundation, the matching of gifts from Merck employees, and paid time off for volunteering.

Officials tied the decision directly to the Scouts’ reiteration of its homophobic antigay stand earlier this year. Other major funders like Intel and United Parcel Service have already withdrawn at least direct financial support.

As a side note, official hate group the Family Research Council have severed their ties with UPS over the BSA decision just as holiday shipping time got underway. As you make your shipping decisions, remember to support equality and thank UPS with your business.

Honorable mention goes to Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Rice has served the country ably and well. She was on President Obama’s short list to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton as Secretary of State. Sadly, a group of angry Republican obstructionists led by John McCain (R – Get Off My Lawn) vowed to fight her nomination. Yes, McCain is such a good judge of what is good for the country–Sarah Palin–enough said.  As a result, Rice has put country ahead of self — again — and withdrawn from consideration, writing to the President

If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly—to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities. […] That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country.

What a loss for America, once again thanks to the Pseudopatriot Senator. Does McCain have no sense of decency?

REMINDER: Hero of the Year nominations are still coming in. Please submit your suggestions by December 23 so we can celebrate the finest five heroes!

Bigot of the Week Award: November 16, Mitt Romney (again?!?)

16 Nov

Bigot of the Week

Just like the legendary bad penny (okay, BILLIONS of bad pennies), poor old sad old Mitt just won’t go away. Losing the election wasn’t enough; he had to earn BWA just one more time before he (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE) fades away forever. Romneybot 13.2 held a conference call with donors and fundraisers this week — he’s still most comfortable talking to money rather than people, after all. Of course one topic that came up is why he managed to lose so badly.

(HINT to Mitt — You should have noted that you are a barely human, out-of-touch elitist with serious racist, and misogynist overtones who subscribes to homophobic agendas and supports a platform that makes David Duke wince. But of course you didn’t.)

Why did he lose, according to him? Sluts and lazy kids and brown people (especially illegal ones), because Obama gave ’em stuff.

With regards to the young people, for instance, forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift. Free contraceptives were very big with young college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. […] You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity, I mean, this is huge. Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus. But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group.

So much for disavowing his infamous 47% comments and tacking toward the center. This is as close to the real Romney as we will ever see…and it sure ain’t pretty.

Dishonorable mention this week goes to Megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress of Texas. Why don’t we let him show you why with this lovely quote:

I want you to hear me tonight, I am not saying that President Obama is the Antichrist, I am not saying that at all. One reason I know he’s not the Antichrist is the Antichrist is going to have much higher poll numbers when he comes. President Obama is not the Antichrist. But what I am saying is this: the course he is choosing to lead our nation is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist.

Hmmm — care and compassion for all or elitist oppression. How would Jesus vote? Seems like our Rev. Jeffress is a wee bit confused about his scripture.

Sadly, another dishonorable mention goes to the Grumpy Old Man, yelling “get off my lawn,” John McCain, who rather than attending a committee meeting called his own press conference to kvetch about what was going on in the meeting that he missed. Benghazi, schmengazi — where’s my barcalounger?

Hero of the Week Award: September 14, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

14 Sep

Hero of the Week

This week’s tragic events in Benghazi, Libya once again demonstrated the kind of powerful leadership we have in the Obama administration. With exceedingly difficult and painful news to deliver, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a strong, passionate statement to the press after it was learned that Ambassador Chris Stevens and three aides were killed. She struck the perfect balance of respect for the dead, determination for justice, and a call for clear heads to prevail in the face of confusing and tragic events. She and the President avoided the opportunity for political grandstanding in a tough election year, focusing instead on providing the kind of leadership and clear foreign policy our country needs.

This is an attack that should shock the conscience of people of all faiths around the world. We condemn in the strongest terms this senseless act of violence, and we send our prayers to the families, friends, and colleagues of those we’ve lost. […] Today, many Americans are asking – indeed, I asked myself – how could this happen? How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction? This question reflects just how complicated and, at times, how confounding the world can be.But we must be clear-eyed, even in our grief. This was an attack by a small and savage group – not the people or Government of Libya.

It was the kind of statement that serves as a model and should be used to teach public speaking and diplomacy. How good was it? Sen. John McCain (R – Angry Lawn), hardly a fan of anyone named Clinton or Obama, had this to say:

Just watched an excellent and moving statement by Sec. Clinton — just the right message and tone.

Here is wishing Secretary of State Clinton a very speedy recovery from her blood clots and our best wishes for a Happy New Year!

 

What has the world come to when I agree with Sen. McCain. You can watch the whole statement on YouTube.

Honorable mention this week goes to Australian football player Jake Ball who became one of the rare public sports figures to come out as gay. Despite his reservations and fear of being removed from the team, he decided that someone needed to be the first. To his pleasant surprise, his team has been very supportive and the macho homophobic language in the locker room has reduced to zero.

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