Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Rich Imagination About a National Infrastructure Bank

Hillary Clinton on Infrastructure Bank Ideas

During a private fundraiser in  Greenwich Village New York City,  Democrat Presidential hopeful First Lady Senator Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-NY) raised the prospect of establishing a national infrastructure bank modeled after the Clinton Foundation.

So it seems that Mrs. Clinton has more ideas than just "Vote for Me, I'm a Woman who married Bill". The trouble is that using the Clinton Foundation as a model raises all sorts of questions about crony capitalism, influence peddling, governmental waste and eviscerating the proper budgetary role of the legislative branch.

According to the Hillary 2016 campaign, such an infrastructure bank would “leverage public and private capital to invest in critically important infrastructure projects, including energy infrastructure projects.”  But hasn't this been tried already, like the $534 million given to Solyndra as part of President Obama's 2009 Porkulous? A lot of good that "shovel ready" pork barrel project did. 

Then there is the favoritism problem. What entities are allowed to draw from such a hypothetical infrastructure pot?  Conservatives railed against the Export-Import Bank as being crony capitalism which favors select international big businesses.  Why should the government be picking winners and losers and funding some of them?

Of course, there is the thorny issue about where the money comes from.  With the Clinton Foundation, people betting on getting access to a future power broker like Mrs. Clinton were happy to contribute millions of dollars.  Where would this pot of gold come from?  

But at least Hillary Clinton's rich imagination about a National Infrastructure Bank temporarily took away the public's focus on Hillary's E-mail irregularies. 

h/t: Washington Free Beacon 

Trey Gowdy on Arrogance and Infanticide

Trey Gowdy on Infanticide

Cecile Richards, the President of Planned Parenthood of America, was testifying before Chairman Jason Chaffetz's (R-UT 3rd) House Oversight and Governmental Reform Committee about the over $500 million which the private organization receives from the Federal Government.

While Ms. Richards lacks the sarcastic zingers of her mother Gov. Ann Richards (D-TX), she gave smarmy testimony to chary conservative Congressmen in the wake of the Center for Medical Progress expose videos about Planned Parenthood selling baby parts for profit.  

The exchange with Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC 4th) shows the slow and methodical method of a prosecutor to build a foundation for a point and then box the witness into an uncomfortable corner.  Some have observed that Gowdy wiped the smile right off Ms. Richards face by the end of his five minutes of questioning.  

Ted Cruz's Sporting Analogy Over the GOP Surrender Caucus

Ted Cruz on the GOP Surrender Caucus

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) gave a blistering hour long speech on the Senate floor pertaining to procedural votes which set the stage for passing a "Clean" C.R. (Continuing Resolution).

To illustrate how Republican Congressional Leadership is acting like the Surrender Caucus in allowing full funding for President Obama's unwise and extra-constitutional actions with Obamacare, Executive Amnesty and the Iran Nuke Deal, Senator Cruz resorted to a football analogy. 

Senator Cruz has not endeared himself with his colleagues for calling them out on show votes which are meaningless but letting government growth legislation pass without objection. But if Cruz can successfully convey this Congressional Kabuki show to primary voters, he may score with frustrated populists, Tea Party Conservatives and RON Paulesque "conservatarians".  

Yuri Bezmenov on Subversion

Yuri Bezmenov on Subversion

Yuri Bezmenov was a Soviet spy who defected to the West in the late 1970s.  Bezmenov revealed how cultural propaganda was an essential part of espionage.  

Bezmenov noted that in the long game of shaping culture, subversion corrupts a society in four stages: 1) Demoralization 2) Destablization 3)  Crisis 4) "Normalization".

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pope Francis at Ground Zero

Pope Francis on Peace at Ground Zero

During his visit to New York City, Pope Francis participated in an interfaith prayer service at Ground Zero.  This ecumenical approach continues the theme of encounter and openness to companion with others to foster the greater glory of God, which are bedrock Ignatian (Jesuit) principles.

The pontiff's remarks centered on peace and sought to transform through prayer the tears of sadness into a practical resolve for peace.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

On John Boehner Stepping Down as Speaker of the House

John Boehner on Resigning

Speaker John Boehner's press conference announcing his now pending resignation as Speaker at the end of October was a surreal mixture of cheeriness, candor and subterfuge.  

It was odd to have a politician who is third in line to succeed the President sing "Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah" from Disney's Song of the South (1946) at a somber moment as he contemplates his post-speakership future.  This may to be project a sunny confidence to himself and the public. Yet it is not the first time that Mr. Boehner has sung Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah in the face of hard questions.  Perhaps he likes to see Mr. Bluebird on his shoulder. 

Speaker Boehner showed some candor when speaking about stepping down from the Speakership.  Mr. Boehner revealed that he intended to do so at the end of the 113th Congress, but events during the summer of 2014 changed plans.  What that meant was that Speaker Boehner's hand picked successor to the Speaker's gavel, then Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA 7th)  lost a primary challenge to a small college economist professor now Congressman David Brat (R-VA 7th).  Seeing the House in turmoil, Speaker Boehner decided to continue on in the big chair.

Yet it strains credulity that Mr. Boeher's decision was spur of the moment.  During the parade of cable coverage of Pope Francis' visit to Washington, a political commentator opined that the culmination Mr.  Boehner's  tenure as Speaker was to greet the Pope in the Capitol so why not just drop the mike afterwards and proclaim "I'm outta' here".  Was it prescience or planted pontification by the pundit?

How convenient that the day after the Pope's visit to DC on a dead news day in Washington that Mr. Boehner just decides "I'm gonna' do it."  Sure. 

Speaker Boehner's remarks on resigning glossed over the real reason why he was vacating his chair. Mainly because he no longer had the votes within the Republican Caucus to retain power if Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC 11th) actually filed the Motion to Vacate the Chair, which is a privileged motion for the full House to vote on leadership.  It became crystal clear to Mr. Boehner that he did not have the votes to win by a party line vote.

Republican Establishment politicians in the House loyal to Speaker Boehner, like Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA 22nd) began to attack  to the Freedom Caucus as "Pelosi Republicans", which was an odd turn of phrase, as Boehner would have needed to rely upon the graces of Democrat Minority Leader to engineer a victory for Speaker Boehner (by having some members vote for retaining Boehner as Speaker or merely vote present). 

One suspects that Mr. Boehner is being coy about his future plans.  Maybe he does not want to give out his forwarding address to K Street at the present time. By stepping down instead of being voted out, his name may have more Marquis cache after the one year  cooling off period to comply with the 2007 Lobbying Law ends.

GOP POTUS Hopeful Marco Rubio September 25 2015
Senator Marco Rubio at 2015 Value Voters Summit 
Whether or not Speaker Boehner's resignation was planned or was spontaneous, this is no argument how it was received by conservatives.  At the Value Voters Summit, which featured a cattle call of Republican Presidential aspirants, the one line which drew the loudest and most sustained applause was when Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) announced from the dais the news that Speaker Boehner was leaving office.  The next scheduled speaker at the Values Voters Summit had to cancel, as Congressman Mark Meadows was a little busy after that news.

Woody Allen on Life

Woody Allen on Life

Friday, September 25, 2015

Devin Nunes on Vacating the Chair and Pelosi Republicans

As the Motion to Vacate the Chair stops being a theoretical idle threat and enters the realm of political possibility, some Speaker Boehner loyalists have begin to lash out.Devin Nunes on Pelosi Repubicans and Vacate the Chair

Congressman Devin Nunes is the youngest Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He did not get this coveted position without the aid of leadership.  Thus, it explains his harsh words about the Freedom Caucus.

The trouble is that his explanation of the process is mistaken.  If Speaker Boehner has trouble securing enough votes to defeat the Motion to Vacate the Chair, Boehner and the Establishment Republicans either need to rely upon the graciousness of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA 12th previously 8th) in getting some of her Democrat Caucus to support Boehner or vote Present, thus lowing the threshold for victory. 

There are indications that Pelosi might be willing to lend her support, but at what price?  Could the Republican Caucus countenance a Speaker who retains power only by relying upon support from the other aisle? If it is a down low deal, with some Democrats skipping the vote or voting Present, what concessions will have to be made.  Or is it just the pleasure of watching Boehner twist in the wind thus allowing more progressive power during the 114th Congress and beyond?

If Boehner loses re-election, there is no way that Nancy Pelosi or another Democrat garners the 218 votes necessary for ascending to the Speaker's seat.  So it is a misnomer to call the Freedom Caucus "Pelosi Republicans".

Ed Klein on Hillary Clinton and Adversity

Ed Klein on Hilary Clinton and Adversity

The Hillary! 2016 campaign brushed off the excerpts from Ed Klein's book Unlikable (2015) with Nick Merrill's brash bluster:

“Another book? Someone should do a book about Ed. They could call it ‘Bulls–t: The Problem with Anything Ed Klein Writes.’"

But the problem with this locker room language is that it does not reflect reality.  In March, 2015, Ed Klein predicted that the Hillary E-mails would be one of six shoes to drop. 

With the drip, drip, drip surrounding the Hillary Emails, it would be damaging if the Hillary! 2016  campaign had other controversies to evade.  They might do well to sing the Baha Men's hit "Who Let the Dogs Out?

Dolly Parton on Adversity

Dolly Parton on Rainbows

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Rep. Refuses to Attend Pope Francis Speech Because of Papal Politics

Rep. Paul Gosar on Papal Speech to Congress

This week, the hot ticket in the District of Calamity was getting tickets to see the Pope.  Only 25,000 people were allowed entrance for the Mass at the Basilica in Catholic University.  The White House allowed 15,000 people to see the Pope on the South Lawn of the White House (along with a couple of uncomfortable invitees for the Vatican). On Capitol Hill, 50,000 tickets were issued to see the Pope's address to the Joint Session of Congress, albeit many watching on the lawn.

But Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ 1st) rejected his two allotted tickets because of his belief that Pope Francis is too political. The Papal Encyclical Laudato Si was trumpeted by the secular press as being a bull about climate change (instead of being properly read as a all encompassing missive about the ecology of humanity).  So Congressman Gosar made his protest and is presumably sitting at home for the speech.

While it is true that Pope Francis did speak in glowing terms about enacting climate change legislation, the pontiff did not let the power that be in the White House off easy.  Pope Francis' remarks at the White House started with a subtle slam for President Barack Obama about respecting the fine American tradition religious liberty.  Later in the day, Pope Francis made an unscheduled stop to visit the Little Sisters of the Poor, the religious order being forced to cover contraception against their consciences under Obamacare.

As a Jesuit, Pope Francis is all about dialog and encounter.  It's a pity that Gosar as a practicing Catholic chose not to participate in that by politely hearing out a visiting Head of State and Holy Father to 1.2 billion Catholics. As a faith leader, Pope Francis is not bound to American ideological boxes of conservative or liberal and ought to instruct his faithful in ways that may make people feel uncomfortable.  If Rep. Gosar has proper catechesis, he ought to know that not everything the Pope utters is infallible.  In fact, Paragraph 189 of Laudato Si urges robust but honest and transparent debate over the matter.  It is a pity that politics nowadays is sometimes degenerated to trolling for attention instead of seeking solutions through honest debate and deliberations. 

William Boetcker on Character

William  Boetcker on Character

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Discerning Obama's Passive Aggressive Hospitality to Pope Francis

Mike Huckabee on Obama White House Manners

President Barack Obama received Pope Francis on the South Lawn of the White House and greeted his Holiness with praise for Catholic social justice in action.  Unfortunately, the President did not display gracious hospitality when choreographing the 15,000 person guest list.

Among the guests for this visit by the Holy See to the Peoples'  House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, the Obama Administration seemed to take delight in inviting an A list of American Catholic dissidents, including the first openly homosexual Episcopal Bishop Vichy "Gene" Robinson (who is now a fellow with the Democrat oriented Center for American Progress), Sister Simone Campbell who was a leader in  the "Nuns on the Bus" political advocacy, and Mateo Williamson (the ex co-head of the Dignity USA transgender caucus) made famous by the "Owning Our Faith" documentary 

Pope Francis believes in the Ignatian notion of encounter and dialogue but prominently announcing these guests seemed to just stick a finger in the guests' eye.  Vatican officials pushed back against these provocative invitations.  The concern was having the Holy Father pushed into pictures with such Catholic teaching dissenters to cause controversy or imply acceptance. 

When Pope Francis landed at Joint Base Andrews and was greeted by President Obama and family, there was an unscheduled twenty meeting between the Holy Father and the President. It is unknown what was discussed.  However, the pontiff did not greet any civilians gathered on the White House South Lawn.

Republican Presidential hopeful former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR) used folky analogies to convey the classlessness of the Obama Administration's invitations. Reverend Franklin Graham also questioned "sinful" the Obama White House's tactics for the Papal visit.

There is a cognitive dissonance between the kind words which America's Chief Executive spoke and his uncultured special guest list. During his White House speech, Pope Francis spoke warmly about combating climate change and helping the maginalized in American society, including immigrants.  But Mr. Obama's passive aggressive attitude towards Pope Francis diminishes any alliance on social justice issues to try to score cheap political points with the LGBTQQ? activists. 

At least the protocol person at the White House did better with State gifts than in the past.  When President Obama visited the United Kingdom at the start of the Obama Administration, the White House gave Queen Elizabeth a MP3 player full of Obama speeches and the sight impaired Prime Minister a collection of Region 1 DVDs of American films. When Mr. Obama visited the Vatican last year,  he gave the Vicar of Christ a box of seeds.  

For Pope Francis' visit to the White House, the Vatican was given a one of a kind statue of an ascending dove which incorporates the armature from the Statue of Liberty and is on a pedestal carved from reclaimed wood from the White House.  That gift was thoughtful, symbolic and precious.  The White House also presented a 206 year of key from St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton. That might get filed along with 1920s American Catholic bingo records in the Vatican archives.  In exchange, the Holy Father gave Mr. Obama a bronze bas relief plaque for the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, which was the main reason that Pope Francis traveled to America for the first time.

Post Scriptus-- The Pope arrived late for his appointment at the White House.  It is easy to assume this was just do to the Holy Father giving quality time to the students standing near the Nunciature. However, a more cynical take may be that such a delay conveniently caused a South Lawn receiving line photo-op to be cut from the itinerary.  One wonders why the White House made such a big deal about the special guests, yet there was no receiving line nor photo ops with the crowd. 

Josh Earnest Equates Barack Obama with Pope Francis on Social Justice

Josh Earnest on Obama and Pope Francis regarding Social Justice

F. Scott Fitzgerald on Life

F. Scott Fitzgerald on Life

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Dr. Ben Carson on Leader of America

Dr. Ben Carson on Leader of America

When GOP Presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson made a birthday wish on September 18th, he expressed his deep spiritual nature along with patriotic sentiments.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

On Muppets and Nudity

Next week, ABC will premiere a re-imaged Muppet Show that is intended to be much more adult oriented than the beloved original family oriented variety syndicated series (1976-1980).

Conservative cultural commentator Todd Starnes bemoaned the direction of the new Muppet Show based upon the unaired new Muppet Show pilot, which focused on the awkwardness of  bi-species relationships, marijuana jokes and promos touting "Finally. A network tv show with full frontal nudity".  Starnes would echo Sam the Eagle's disassociation from such a "whole, weird sick show."

Admittedly, edgy humor can go awry, especially in the early prime time slot which had been dubbed "The Family Hour" in the 1970s and 1980s.   

However, it can matter how the humor is handled and highlighted.  Take this classic Sam the Eagle philippic from the original series.

The new Muppet Show seems like it is following the path the Brady Bunch Movie (1995) which took beloved characters and laced it with racy innuendo, like Sam the Butcher making meat deliveries to Alice or a latent lesbian spin to Marcia's sleepover friend.  This can make for a cheeky parody but can be tough to prolong. 

Audrey Hepburn on Life

Audrey Hepburn on Life

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Syrian Migration Crisis Considered as the Heurmaneutic of Disruption

Hungarian Bishop on Syrian Refugee Crisis

Is the alluvia of people coming to Europe from Syria fleeing a war-torn Levant, those persecuted for their Christian faith,  economic migrants as Pope Francis suggests, grifters seeking generous Western social service benefits or doing soft jihad via immigration?

Scripture implores believers to be compassionate and merciful towards immigrants.  However, those migrating are expected to obey the laws of the government.  

Munich which has recently experienced a flood of Muslim immigrants as part of the Syrian Migrant wave.  As their two century long tradition of Oktoberfest begins, Islamic agitators are advocating that the fortnight of beer and gemultlikeit as is is haram.  No wonder the Hungarian Prime Minister spoke so soundly against kulturekampf

As the population bomb from this Muslim migrant overwhelming the system explodes, expect religious liberty for Christians to disappear for Christians in Europe in exchange for dhimmitude.

Hungary's Prime Minister on Kulturekampf

Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Cultural War

Trepidations of a Troll Party Takeover of the GOP

It is interesting to attempt to understand Trump’s fanatical support.  I assumed that it mainly consisted of disgruntled Tea Party types who are disgruntled with the “Surrender Caucus” which currently rules Between-the-Beltways.  After the Second GOP Debate, however, social media Trump-etteers give a different impressions– unprincipled, uninformed, obnoxious and ultimately alienating.  In other words, tending to be troll-like.

One abrasive interlocutor touted former one term Congressman Col.  Allen West (R-FL 22nd)  as being the right choice for Trump’s VP, She dismissed the possibility of having the former Florida Congressman as a replacement Speaker of the House if Boehner loses the Vacate the Chair vote for an unusual reason.  Not the unlikely novelty of electing a Speaker who no longer is a member of the House. But this Trump true believer tweeted: “The Speaker is just a vote counter spot and [Allen West is] more valuable than that.”  Hmm.  That was a novel, if not naive, understanding of American government.

So I chimed in noting that the Majority Whip is the House Republican vote-counter whereas the Speaker sets the agenda, acts as the face of the House and is third in line for the Presidency.  The social media shrew sarcastically claimed that she didn’t need to be schooled. Really? Yet I did not want to inherently alienate an anti-establishment Republican, I replied: “If you knew then you would not have asserted that House Speaker is just a vote counter. Sorry” Even this attempt at an olive branch gave umbrage yet this troll still wanted to blurt out more bile and incorrect assumptions on how the lower chamber works. My viewpoint was denigrated because I was too DC.  It seems that a handle like CalamityDC is too subtle of a  protest to business as usual in the District of Calamity (sic) for that Trump-eteer.

 Her cyber comrades in arms claimed to block me because “You can’t fix stupid.”  What a way to win friends and influence people! My heart certainly does not break for being blocked by a Trump-eteer troll. But I have to wonder what is the objective of these online activists?  I was not even questioning the merits of their desired nominee. I interjected with objective process information, yet Trump-eteers took it as an attack and made me the campaign equivalent of Scientology’s Suppressive Person (SP).  Guess that coalitions or even winning more Republicans is unnecessary to their bewitched beliefs.

Another close encounter of the social media kind was with a guy whose handle is “No More RINO Excuses”, but he was juxtaposing Donald Trump to Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).  This struck me as strange that a libertarian Republican like Dr. Paul was labeled a Republican in name only. Fleshing out the dispute, the Trump-eteer disliked Dr. Paul’s disengagement from foreign military entanglements.  But the poster asserted that Mr. Trump would have a robust military.  I asked to be educated how this would be done, as Mr. Trump has only pronounced platitudes in his two debate performances and his so called major Foreign Policy speech (which only lasted for ten minutes) aboard the U.S..S. Iowa.

The Trump-eteer inquired if I watched the debate. Of course I had but I noted that it should be easy for him to tick off the specifics. Naturally, the Donald had not done so other than cite the slogans “Winning”, “Make America Great Again” and “I build the best military that I won’t even have to use it.”  When pressed for specifics, the Trump defender claimed that no candidate offers specifics at this time.  I observed that Carly Fiorina was quite specific about battalions and troops at the Reagan Library debate.  And I’ve even heard Dr. Ben Carson talk about replacing the Ohio class submarines.  What made me prick up my ears was how the flustered Trump-eteer suggested that I ask “The Donald” myself as I would be happier with his answers. Sure. This is a social media activist posting numerous pieces to support his candidate and thinks that a skeptical questioner is going to get the equivalent of “face time” with the candidate.

I saw another active social media commentator who sent hundreds of anti-Fiorina messages, accusing her of proliferating nuclear materials to the Persian Gulf.  When others asked what was his sourcing, the standard answer was a stonewall:  “Do your own homework”.  OK. Pugnacious, smearing and ambiguous.  Masochistically, I read a day’s worth of his re-posts and messages to confirm who was his candidate.  Unsurprisingly, the diatribes started soon after the Reagan Library debate, pointing to an internet poll which purported that Trump beat Fiorina big league, so to speak. Similar internet polls claimed that in 2008 and 2012 that ex Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX 22nd) won huge victories after his debates.

Perhaps these are three isolated examples, but these  experience underscores Rich Wilson’s warning about not allowing the Republicans to be co-opted by Trump’s Troll. Like their leader, Trump-eteers love to point to the polls which have the billionaire with a Huuuge lead.  They don’t appreciate being challenged on the cross tabs.  Aside from discerning if it is a national poll (which means nothing more than name recognition) or a state poll.  Then there is sample size, party affiliation, percentage of undecided voters,  being registered or a likely voter etc... As silly season (the summer before Presidential primary season) ends, celebrity status driving name recognition wanes and voters get serious about their support for candidates to the Oval Office.

These exchanges relish the fight and refuse to give in, despite not having the fact on their side. That seems jesuitical. These internet exchanges do not seem based on constitutional principles. Nay, one gets the impression that details do not matter or ignorance on the interworkings of our Constitutional Republic. These cyber shock troops will brook no dissent nor take no prisoners. Such agitated activists would probably support having Charlie Sheen as Trump's as Vice President because of "Winning".  This is not out of the realm of possibility as the star of Anger Management is willing to be Trump's VP.

During an interview by Glenn Beck, social media expert John Cardillo analyzed the fervent support of Trump-eteers.  Cardillo opined that they were not Tea Party supporters but were part of 4-7% of Republican supporters with an identity crisis.  They are tired of losing and turn their anger towards the Republic Establishment without having defined goals or base principles.

 It is easy to liken this to rivid men of action during times of trouble in Western Europe in the aftermath of The Great War.  A charismatic leader who confidently promises to make the trains run on time can utilize such unquestioning foot soldiers as well as dispense of them when it becomes too inconvenient. Beck tends to think that the world is going into a very rough patch and that the polity has been framed in a top down/bottom up/inside out paradigm which creates chaos.  That is when the masses cry out for a strong man to make all the tumult go away, and perhaps making our Constitutional Republic go away in the process.

While politics is a favorite contact sport in the District of Calamity (sic), it must be admitted that poltics is not a beanbag sport. Prolonged primary campaigns involve endurance, strategy, building support, formulating and articulating proposed policy, persuading voters and getting out the vote. It can get rough and tumble in the primary trenches but in the end, it is hoped that the party can come out unified and offer an appealing vision which wins over Independents and undecided voters and becomes victorious. But the vacuity and vituperativeness which seems to characterize Troll Party elements calls those political precepts into question. In that case, is “Winning” just an empty boast like drinking tiger’s blood?

The current Republican field has a baker’s dozen of serious candidates that have anti-establishment animus would appeal to Tea Party Sympathies (Carson, Cruz, Walker, Paul, Jindal).  Thus the Tea Party vote is currently fragmented.  Winnowing of the primary field field may allow a coalescing around a couple of strong candidates who espouse Tea Party values. But  if the Troll Party overwhelms the Grand Old Party, it may be impossible to bridge the political chasms which divide Ameicans as the path will be blocked by untamed trolls. That may well be a bridge too far for principled constitutional conservatives.

h/t: Daily Beast 

John Podhoretz's Campaign Simile

John Podhoretz on Donald Trump

Elvis Presley on Adversity

Elvis Presley on Adversity

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Should the DC GOP Change Their Symbol from an Elephant to a Turtle?

Mitch McConnell on the Iran Nuke Deal

After the Iran Nuclear Deal failed to break Cloture, Senator Mitch McConnell did media rounds proclaiming that opponents may have lost a short-term battle but we won the argument.

True, only 21% of Americans support President Obama's Executive Agreement capitulation to the nuclear ambitions of the Islamic Republic of Iran, but it seems that it will go into effect anyways. The Corker/Cardin Bill turned Senate Treaty ratification on its head.  Instead of requiring 2/3rds of senators to approve (67 votes), it allowed the deal to go thru with the support of only 34 Senators.  Showing such special courage, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) would not even let the Iran Nuke Deal go to a vote, but sought to let it come into effect anyways with 41 votes against Cloture (cutting off debate).  That way, waivering Democrat Senators could claim that they did not actually support the deal, when their sin of omission was to not act when they could to kill it.

The Republican Majority also showed a troubling lack of courage and conviction.  While Corker/Cardin may have been unwise (or even unconstitutional), the LAWs provisions were not even followed.  President Obama was bound by Corker/Cardin to give the Congress all information (including secret side agreements) pertaining to the Iran Nuke Deal within four days of concluding the agreement.  That July 21st deadline passed and we continue to hear more about withheld information and side treaties.  Yet the the United States Senate voted on the Iran Deal and the Senate Majority Leader has the temerity to say that "we" won.  At least the House was prodded into acknowledging that Corker/Cardin was not followed before voting against the Deal.

Majority "Leader" McConnell shows a troubling lack of leadership.  He argues that the Senate can not put together veto proof majorities, so he will not invest political capital in lots of legislation, be it the Iran Nuke Deal or Defunding Planned Parenthood.  In all likelihood neither vote would be blessed by President Obama, but it would mean taking a stand on vital issues.  Sometimes, public pressure can sway an obstinate politician.  Even if it is unsuccessful, it differentiates parties instead of having a District of Calamity Cocktail Party where party labels do not matter.

It is troubling that Senator McConnell thinks that "we won" for the Iran Nuke Deal, when this procedure allows the mullahs in Iran to get $150 Billion in frozen assets to fund their unrenounced terrorist ambitions. McConnell thinks this will be a great campaign issue. Really? Playing politics with American National Security?  Kind of sounds like what establishment Republicans did with Obamacare, promising repeal and staging show votes but never taking a hard stand.

Is this leadership which the Republican base really wants? Cocktail Party Quislings who say one thing on the hustings and act another way on Capitol Hill. Perhaps the Between the Beltways GOP should change their symbol from the Elephant who always remembers to the Turtle which recoils from any threat.

Bernie Sanders on Racism and America

Senator Bernie Sanders on Racism and America

Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist-VT) spoke before the Liberty University convocation.  The curmudgeonly candidate for the 2016 Democrat Presidential nomination wanted to dialogue with those whom he may not agree.

Sander's pronouncement on American originating from racist roots may have been colored by his experience from the Netroots conference earlier this summer where he was heckled by Black Lives Matter activists. 

Dr. Ben Carson on Secular Progressives

Dr.  Ben Carson on Secular Progressives