TWH 3/9/16: Not Benghazi

Benghazi was, apparently, not the real scandal regarding the U.S. military intervention in Libya.

Prior to reading the above-linked article I thought Libya was the right way to intervene for ‘regime change’: a civil war breaks out, a faction calls for outside help and recognition, the US helps that faction with air power, limiting the exposure for Americans to lose their lives in the conflict. This was done earlier in Bosnia, where US assisted NATO airstrikes helped put an end to a Christian genocide of Muslims.

What I did not know was that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton actively pushed for war and undermined diplomatic resolutions. That’s the true scandal. But it’s not the one Republicans talk about. Why? Because Republicans by far and large support war. It’s their only jobs program.

Bush broke Afghanistan and Iraq, and, as a byproduct, Syria. Obama broke Libya. I doubt we here in the US can even come close to understanding the unfathomable human suffering going on in those countries on a daily basis.

Drone strikes aren’t the answer. You don’t bomb a populace into submission. If all you’re going to do is bomb them, you have to bomb them into extinction.

Diplomacy is the only path to peace. And by diplomacy I mean reaching out in friendship to rebuild a broken society and bombed infrastructure. It won’t be easy. We’ve given ‘terrorists’ and would-be ‘terrorists’ millions of reasons to hate us, to mistrust us. But if past performances is a predictor of future performance, the prospects for diplomacy under another President Clinton appear dim.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, October 28, 2015: U.S. Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the Ten Commandments

So many folks claim the U.S. Constitution is based on the Bible that I thought I’d check it out. Using “The Google” and other advanced research tools, I discovered a rare unpublished U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe v. McCarthy (1958) 357 U.S. 579, that examined the constitutionality of the Ten Commandments.

In this case, Roe, an unnamed Godless heathen atheist suspected of ties to the Communist Party challenged a subpoena issued by McCarthy’s Communist witch-hunt committee. The Supreme Court largely sided with Roe. Fortunately for McCarthy, he died about a year and a half before the decision was handed down.

Here’s a brief synopsis of the Supreme Court’s holdings. Continue reading

The Watering Hole; Friday October 23 2015; Benghazi!!!

We spent several hours yesterday watching the live transmission of Hillary Clinton testifying before the House Benghazi Tribunal . . . err,  Committee. The absolute ABSURDITY of questionings from the entire Republican side of the aisle reminded me of some old quotes which, for some odd reason, now seem to perfectly define the Republican Party’s undercurrent idiocy that was SO implicit in those proceedings. Amazing (see Jim Jordan, R-OH, for grand and CURRENT exemplification).

“The Constitutional right to talk nonsense does not include protection against being thought a fool.” ~Robert H. Kroninger (Superior Court Judge, CA, retired)

“Politicians & Diapers Both Need to Be Changed, and for the Same Reason”
(source unknown)

“So let us regard this as settled: what is morally wrong can never be advantageous, even when it enables you to make some gain that you believe to be to your advantage. The mere act of believing that some wrongful course of action constitutes an advantage is pernicious.” ~Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.)

“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself.” ~Mark Twain

“The Democrats are the party of government activism, the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller, and get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then get elected and prove it.” ~P. J. O’Rourke

“Dare to be naive.” ~Buckminster Fuller

“Some minds remain open long enough for the truth not only to enter but to pass on through by way of a ready exit without pausing anywhere along the route.” ~Sister Elizabeth Kenny

“The masses have never thirsted after truth. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.” ~Gustave Le Bon; The Crowd

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” ~H.L. Mencken

“If the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded.” ~Noah Webster – (1758-1843) American patriot and scholar

“Just be what you are and speak from your guts and heart – it’s all a man has.” ~Hubert H. Humphrey

“Day-to-day life within an empire consists of the deceitful leading the disengaged.” ~Phil Rockstroh; October 12, 2006

“I’m sick and tired of a bunch of despicable Republicans who will not debate real policy, who won’t take responsibility for their own mistakes, standing up and trying to make other people the butt of those mistakes. It disgusts me that a bunch of these Republican hacks who’ve never worn the uniform of our country are willing to lie about those who did.” ~Sen. John Kerry; October 31, 2006

I was puzzled as to exactly why so many of the GOoPers on the committee were so persistently interested in blasting Sidney Blumenthal and his email communications with then-Secretary Clinton. It wasn’t until I ran across this line that I finally got it:

“[H]ypocrisy is at the center of the Republican idea.” ~Sidney Blumenthal, in How Bush Rules: Chronicles of a Radical Regime; 2006

Apparently whomever it was that said ‘the truth hurts’ nailed an entire political party to the cross.

Then there’s this little goody, clearly intended for the Committee’s Arkansas nutcase; he should take it to heart and maybe one day learn enough non-Arkansasian English to facilitate his ability to communicate with folks whose IQs exceed 75:

“One sign of our unity is our English language. For newcomers, it has always been the fastest route to prosperity in America. English empowers. We support English as the official language in our nation … thereby fostering a commitment to our national motto, E Pluribus Unum.” ~from the Republican Platform, 2008

Finally, and though I’m not one who very often likes to quote Dan Quayle, this little one-liner of his will probably prove to be the perfect end result summation of this Benghazi committee’s impending collapse, along with their ultimate reward:

“If we do not succeed, then we run the risk of failure.” ~Vice President Dan Quayle, to the Phoenix Republican Forum, 3/23/90

I guess the bottom line is a simple one. NEVER in all my 73 years have I EVER witnessed such an endless parade of STUPID combined with pure and unadulterated SPITE. I can say with some impunity that I’m actually ashamed to be resident in a country that has sunk low enough — during my lifetime, for chrissake — to elect such a chorus of nitwits to positions of governmental authority. If the electorate doesn’t very soon toss each and all of those ignorant bums out, it’s very easy to visualize this nation’s upcoming demise, and all within the lifespan of a great many alive today.

Aeschylus spoke what seems to well-describe the frustration of each and every functioning mind out there today when he wrote, in ‘The Libation Bearers’:

“Here once more . . .
the tempest in the race has struck . . .

“Where will it end? —
where will it sink to sleep and rest,
this murderous hate, this Fury?”

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Monday, March 16, 2015: Again With The Benghazi?

On November 24, 2014, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (or NAMBLA) issued a report with the sexy title “Investigative Report on the Terrorist Attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012.” If you’re a Conservative, you probably just had an orgasm reading that sentence. Whether it was over the word “Benghazi” or the word “NAMBLA” I won’t say, but I’m sure you’re titillated. Benghazi. Say it loud and the games start playing. Say it soft as you sit there while praying. Benghazi. You’ll never stop saying “Ben-gha-ziiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.”

Anywho, this report from this Permanent Select Committee, was to be the “definitive” report on what happened. “Definitive.” So if you were the type of person who understood what words mean, you would think that would be the end of it. Just because the conclusions negated all of the talking points the lie factory at Fox News Channel was pumping into the public discourse, that doesn’t mean Republicans are ever going to let go of it. After all, Hillary Clinton continues to be America’s most admired woman for 17 of the last 18 years. So naturally Republicans (being the Conservatives they are) will decide they need to personally attack her character. It’s what Conservatives do when they can’t win on the merits of their argument, which is usually on account of their argument has no merits. As with Benghazi. There was no stand down order or denial of air support. The CIA said they had adequate security. Secretary Clinton had asked for increased funding for security and was denied by the Republicans. So was it necessary for the Republicans to put out this?

We need to know why the security at our embassy was left inadequate. Why were requests for additional security denied? Why was our response insufficient? Why were some members of the administration slow to acknowledge a terrorist attack had actually occurred? It is simply unacceptable for so many questions to remain unanswered. And it is unjust and simply wrong for anyone to withhold evidence that may lead to the answers.

Gee, Rep Susan Brooks, did you read the report your party put out less than four months ago? None of those questions are unanswered anymore. So you can stop with Benghazi being the pretense to insist on seeing Hillary’s server. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Benghazi and everything to do with Hillary Clinton and her husband, what’s-his-name, Bill. They are terrified of her. (And him. Republicans did everything they could to take him out, and he’s still as popular as he ever was.) And as we all know, Conservatives are highly motivated by fear. It makes no difference if what they fear is real or imagined. They attack the person (or thing) of whom they’re afraid. And forget about any of the things they say making any sense, especially when their fear is based on something imaginary. Forget about their solutions being cost-effective, or even worth a penny of the money being spent. Bose Speaker John Boehner, last seen drinking in a Minneapolis airport men’s room, crying about his latest humiliation on the House floor when those damn Tea Party bastards screwed him on the Homeland Security Funding bill, has been spending millions and millions of your tax dollars to fund these investigations and lawsuits, none of which serve the interests of the American people.

No, the goal is clear – to bring down Hillary Clinton the way they failed to bring down her husband. They want access to her server so they can dig up dirt on either of them, in the hopes of finding evidence of something illegal, in much the same way the Whitewater investigations went from investigating a land deal on which they lost money to a stain on a blue dress (which may have been blue and black or may have been white and gold, nobody can say for sure.) They’re desperate. You can smell it. On second thought, don’t. As with most things in which Conservatives get involved, it smells badly.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Hillary Clinton, e-mails, Benghazi, or anything else you wish to discuss. Just don’t subpoena my server.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015: Hump Day!

Breaking Gnus

Breaking Gnus

BOEHNER SEEKS ARREST WARRANT FOR HILLARY CLINTON

Court records from the Southern Texas Federal District Court indicate that John Boehner is seeking an arrest warrant for the arrest of Hillary Clinton for violating a law that will be enacted as soon as a Republican President is elected. A copy of the future law was attached to the application for the arrest warrant.

The law will make it a federal offence to be a Registered Democrat, punishable by the loss of the right to vote, the right to run for public office, and the right to a fair trial. The law that will be enacted on January 20, 2017, within hours of the swearing in of a Republican President, will be retroactive to January 1, 2015, the date Republicans gained control of the Senate following the disastrously low turnout in the 2014 elections that sealed the fate of the Democratic Party.

So far, the District Court Judge has yet to make a ruling on Boehner’s request for Hillary’s arrest, expressing reservations of acting on the retroactive application of a prospective law.

The Boehner camp is already gearing up, however, for an all-out press-release barrage accusing Hillary of breaking a federal law. Indications point to comparing this new revelation about Hillary with the news about her breaking email laws that had not yet been enacted and her role in Benghazi.

OPEN THREAD
UNLESS, OF COURSE, REPUBLICANS WILL, IN THE FUTURE,
RETROACTIVELY BAN FREE SPEACH

Watering Hole: Monday, December 31, 2012 – Hillary Clinton Hospitalized Sunday with Blood Clot

Image

Many news organizations, including Reuters, have reported that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been admitted to a hospital following the discovery of a small blood clot stemming from the concussion she suffered earlier this month.

Many in the right wing media have been trying to say, sometimes in a roundabout way and sometimes directly, that she was faking her concussion to get out of testifying about what happened in the Sept 11 attack on the Benghazi Consulate. Of course, there is no basis whatsoever for these accusations, but when did the truth ever stop the right wing from saying anything? Fox News hasn’t been shy about questioning the veracity of Secretary Clinton’s claims or the seriousness of her injury. While she was following doctor’s orders and getting bed rest (a smart thing to do after a concussion, especially when you were sick when you got it), some Fox News people have wondered aloud (and on camera) why she still couldn’t testify as scheduled on Benghazi. (I’m no doctor, but I’m guessing the brain damage prevalent at Fox News was not the result of concussions, but simply a prerequisite for being hired to work there as an on-air “talent.”)

Bill O’Reilly dismissively said, “If She Was In The NFL I Wouldn’t Let Her Play, But I Think She Can Make A Phone Call.” And former unconfirmed G. W. Bush UN Ambassador John “I Am The Walrus Mustache” Bolton even pushed a story about how diplomats lie to get out of meetings they don’t wish to attend.

Fox News contributor John Bolton told host Greta van Susteren that when foreign service officers “don’t want to go to a meeting or conference or event,” they have “a diplomatic illness. And this is a diplomatic illness to beat the band.”

And Fox’s Laura Ingraham mocked Sec. Clinton’s condition saying, “We Are Now Calling This The Immaculate Concussion.” It’s actually pretty ignorant of them to say, “No one knows where she is.” Of course people knew – she was at home, as previously reported, where her doctor’s told her to stay. O’Reilly even said where she was later in the segment.

It’s time for Fox News to start apologizing for accusing the Secretary of State of faking her concussion so she wouldn’t have to testify regarding the Benghazi attack. And they’re not the only ones. Soon-to-be former Congressman Allen West said that she was trying to get out of testifying with a bout of the “Benghazi Flu.” To her credit, Fox’s Greta van Susteren has pushed back on these accusations saying, “I don’t agree with any of my (Fox News) colleagues or anyone else who is a tad bit sarcastic on our air about Secretary Clinton’s health.”

Given his well-documented obsession with Hillary Clinton, we can only imagine what Rush Limbaugh has said on the subject. We have to because none of us here can stomach listening to that blowhard.

Surely their apologies are imminent. Yeah, just as surely as I’ll be sworn in next month to replace Secretary Clinton.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Hillary’s concussion, Rush’s obsessions, O’Reilly’s brain damage, or any other topic you wish. And from all of us at The Zoo, please enjoy your New Year’s Eve celebrations safely and responsibly.

The Watering Hole, Monday, November 26th, 2012: Time to Go, Senator McCain

Wave Bye-Bye Now!


As Rachel Maddow so perfectly pointed out recently, John McCain’s regular – some might say ubiquitous – appearances on so many of the Sunday morning political talkfests only serve to show McCain’s desperation to remain relevant at any cost. Unfortunately, that ‘cost’ seems to be the remnants of McCain’s respectability along with the shards of his integrity.

McCain’s latest insanity is shown in his recent calls for a “Watergate-style” investigation of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice regarding the Benghazi, Libya, attack. McCain’s rabid and, IMHO, unfounded attacks on Ms. Rice (including calling her “not very bright”, and his vow to block her possible nomination as future Secretary of State) were supposedly tempered a trifle yesterday, if by ‘tempered’ one means asking for the same information from Ms. Rice, presumably sans the “Watergate-style” investigation. Regardless, McCain still will not say whether, even if he (undeservedly) receives the requested information from Ms. Rice, he would consider NOT blocking her possible future nomination for Secretary of State.

But in McCain’s interview on Fox Sunday, he shows his characteristic bungling of essential facts:

HOST: You say that you will do everything in your power to block Susan Rice’s nomination if the President decides to name her to be secretary of state . . . . Is there anything that Ambassador Rice can do to change your mind?
MCCAIN: Sure, she can give everyone the benefit of explaining their position and the actions that they took. And I’ll be glad to have the opportunity to discuss these issues with her. Why did she say that al Qaeda has been decimated in her statement here on this program? Al Qaeda hasn’t been decimated. They’re on the rise. They’re all over Iraq.

Yes, John, of course Al Qaeda is “all over” Iraq, sure they are…NOT.

In the same Fox News Sunday interview, on women’s issues, McCain had this to say:

McCAIN:… And as far as young women are concerned, absolutely. I don’t think anybody like me, I can state my position on abortion, but, to — other than that, leave the issue alone. When we are in the kind of economic situation and, frankly, national security situation we’re in.

CHRIS WALLACE (HOST): When you say leave the issue alone, you would allow, you say, freedom of choice?

McCAIN: I would allow people to have those opinions and respect those opinions and I’m proud of my pro-life position and record, but if someone disagrees with me, I respect your views.

So, that would be a ‘NO’ to ‘freedom of choice”?

Since the 2008 Presidential election, when Senator McCain foisted Sarah Palin on us, it seems that his tenuous ties to reality, and his sense of decency and honor, have rapidly strained to the snapping point. I think that we all agree (and I wouldn’t be surprised if many in the Republican heirarchy agree, too), that it’s way past time for McCain to, shall we say, spend a lot more of his time at one of his seven -or was it eight? – homes.

This is our Open Thread. Feel free to discuss this topic, or anything else that comes to mind.