Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

September 24, 2010

Q: Why are Democrats and Republicans fighting so hard over the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell?

  1. Opposing it’s repeal gives Republicans their bonafides.
  2. Supporting it’s repeal gives Democrats their bonafides.
  3. Opposing it’s repeal delivers votes to Republicans.
  4. Supporting it’s repeal delivers votes to Democrats.
  5. Supporting it’s repeal delivers LGBT money to Democrats.
  6. Opposing it’s repeal brings fundie money to Republicans
  7. Because it’s oh so good for both parties at election time.

January 27, 2010  State of the Union speech.

September 21, CNN

White House ‘disappointed’ with vote on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

The White House is “disappointed” at the Senate vote blocking the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, “but we’ll keep trying,” spokesman Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.

September 23, CNN

White House objects to ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ injunction

Obama administration objects to federal judge issuing injunction to stop implementation of “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy after her ruling that it was unconstitutional. The government argues the proposed injunction is “untenable,” too wide in scope and would cause harm to the military.

September 23.  Google search on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell unequivocally illuminates the president’s position on DADT.

Q: When will Don’t Ask Don’t Tell finally be resolved?

  1. When pigs fly.
  2. When a snowball is crowned prom king in hell.
  3. When Obama passes a lie detector test.
  4. When Dick Cheney tells us what really happened on 9/11.
  5. When Nancy Pelosi falls out of love with Obama.
  6. When Chris Matthews falls out of love with Obama.
  7. The sun will come out tomorrow; bet your bottom dollar that the sun will come out, tomorrow.
The Red Ass
cross-posted at Lightpond

If Only Obama Were Shirley Sherrod….

July 22, 2010

Obama campaign poster

Did the NAACP give cover to Obama on the Shirley Sherrod firing?  Did Obama want her fired to appease the great white, black-baiting lunatic media fringe, but wanted to blame someone else so as not to piss-off his black base?  Surely, if one needs more proof that Black political leadership is held hostage to the Obama Stockholm Syndrome, one need look no further than this deplorable incident.
There must have been collusion between Obama and the NAACP because the “White House” wanted her fired and the NAACP wanted her hung out to dry. The NAACP, after all, had the full tape of the 40 minute speech Sherrod gave to the organization and the hall was full of witnesses to Ms. Sherrod’s comments. Anyone amongst that group of attendees could have stood up for Sherrod against the false reverse “racism” charges the lunatic TEA party advocates perpetuate.  Yet no one did; that is, until the sh*t hit the fan.  Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP was pretty unequivocal in his condemnation of Ms. Sherrod.  The pussyfooting of Mr. Jealous, on the defensive about black racism, resulted in an accusation against Ms. Sherrod that she was, at one point, a racist cut of the same cloth as former klansman Senator Robert Byrd or the “segregation forever” king, George Wallace:

The NAACP also has long championed and embraced transformation by people who have moved beyond racial bias. Most notably, we have done so for late Alabama Governor George Wallace and late US Senator Robert Byrd — each a man who had associated with and supported white supremacists and their cause before embracing civil rights for all.

Shirley Sherrod fired by USDA

Has the NAACP so lost its collective mind under the influence  Obama’s post-racial campaign fantasies that they would forget the history of their own struggle for racial justice by equating the victims of historic American racism with its perpetrators?  As a Mr. Welch said to Senator McCarthy during questioning from the House Un-American Activities Committee:

Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

Mr. Jealous’ open letter made another surprisingly pusillanimous statement:

Having reviewed the full tape, spoken to Ms. Sherrod, and most importantly heard the testimony of the white farmers mentioned in this story, we now believe the organization that edited the documents did so with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans.  I apologized to Ms. Sherrod, clearly a committed and selfless public servant, who had been unfairly maligned

So, the most important evidence of Ms. Sherrod’s innocence was the testimony of the white farmers? Not the fully available TAPE? Not the response of Ms. Sherrod or the full spectrum of her history and reputation? Sad. Obama’s “victory” has sliced the gonads off Black “leadership”.

Duh.  FOX News and Breitbart, Beck and Limbaugh make a mint fomenting race hate in America.  That the NAACP claims it was “snookered” by these troglodytes is what’s surprising.  It seems the NAACP is using its moral currency and justice advocacy to cover for Obama instead of pressing forward with a plan of action to better the lives of the “colored” (multi-racial) downtrodden regardless of who occupies the white house.

Andrew Breitbart

Andrew Breitbart

The NAACP’s gambit of calling on the TEA party movement and right-wing freak-o-sphere to stop being racist is beyond laughable. Never gonna happen.  That’s their bread and butter. It’s really about defending Obama and re-focusing progressives and moderates on poor Mr. President’s raw deal at the hands of dead-ender bigots just at the outset of the 2010 congressional campaign and in the face of Obama’s falling poll numbers.  Calling out the TEA party on its race baiting will not end the race baiting but it may rally Obama’s disgruntled erstwhile supporters.  Throwing Ms. Sherrod to the wolves would have been a sop for Mr. Obama’s “centrist” sell-out.  But the entire episode has blown up in both the president’s and the NAACP’s face, leaving them looking cynical, pathetically weak and out-of-touch.

How about Shirley Sherrod for president?

Miranda Rights v. Barack H. Obama

July 2, 2010

What the hell is Barack Obama thinking?  Not so long ago he was perfidiously quick to file an Amicus brief supporting the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) while professing a fierce support for LGBT equality. LGBT voters under the bus.

Nothing has changed.  The White House has produced another perplexing Amicus brief in the Supreme Court’s Miranda warnings appeal, Berghuis v. Thompkins. The White House has thrown its support to  limits on criminal suspects remaining silent during police interrogations.  A whole host of protections against self-incrimination and right to counsel have been swept aside in this decision.  Blacks and Hispanics, far over-represented in the populations of the unfairly arrested, convicted, and imprisoned, will bear the brunt of this outcome.  For Obama, this assault on Miranda was simply collateral damage within the larger context of his political ambition.   SC Justice Sotomayor, who has not forgotten her roots, wrote a powerful dissent to the Thompkins decision.  Was Obama too afraid to challenge the pro-cop faction of the Faux News “nation” after last year’s racist onslaught  accompanying the arrest of  Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates?

Right wing activists have long sought to undo Miranda, never accepting it as settled law.  The  conservative Supreme Court has worked assiduously to narrow the rights of criminal suspects and defendants.  “Terror” scares, or so-called Miranda rights for terrorists, has finally given them the justification they needed.  They have chosen a fine time , under the auspices of one of the weakest and most non-ideological administrations in history, to pull off a heist of civil liberties.  Poor Obama doesn’t want to seem “soft” on terror or miss an opportunity to mollify his “enemies”. So, our president is making a change that will satisfy his critics.

presidential adviser David Axelrod told CNN that the (president’s) focus is on expanding the “public safety exception” that allows a delay in administering” Miranda rights.

Why, if “terror” suspects can be legally or extra-legally TORTURED, HELD INDEFINITELY WITHOUT CHARGE or TRIAL, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE  TO THE RAGING RIGHT WING NUTS IF THESE “SUSPECTS” RECEIVE MIRANDA WARNINGS OR NOT?  Isn’t this terror concern just a red herring for curtailing domestic rights?

Most of the TEA Party crowd doesn’t give a hoot about any suspect’s constitutional rights, or any other constitutional protection that doesn’t involve bearing arms.

But Obama, Mr. progressive constitutional lawyer, caved to the neo-cons.  Natch.

Obama’s capitulations, just the most  recent being Miranda rights, will not endear him to the lunatic fringe of the erstwhile Republican party. The more his proto-fascist ideas resemble theirs the more they will refer to him as the vilest “leftist” politician America has yet produced. By the end of President Obama’s “progressive” administration, who knows how far America will have moved toward the Orwellian national security state that neo-cons have so long desired.

Now, that’s change we can believe in.

Blowback:Before Osama Bin Laden, There Was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar

June 26, 2010

“Blowback”:  A metaphor for the unintended consequences of the US government’s international activities that have been kept secret from the American people.

Osama bin Laden

Every sentient being in the US has heard the infamous name, Osama bin Laden, notorious as mastermind of the horrific events of September 11, 2001.  Everyone has heard the oft repeated explanation for the attack from the lips of George W. Bush and Co.:  The plane hijackers were evil terrorists simply bent on the destruction of  America’s freedom, democracy and civilization. Everyone also knows that 15 of the 9-11 airline hijackers were Saudi Arabians, as is Osama bin Laden.  Yet the US chose to fly the  Saudi royal family to safety when all other American aviation was grounded.  The US chose to throw its military might against Iraq, not Saudi Arabia.  Why did this happen?

The notion that history began on September 11, 2001 was an appealing one. The truth behind the river of lies and half-truths that followed the 9-11 attack is much more complex. Immediately following the 9-11 attack the US invaded Afghanistan, allegedly for harboring 9-11 mastermind bin Laden.  Then the US supposedly ousted the Taliban fighters hiding bin Laden in the caves of Tora Bora.  Victorious in Afghanistan, the US then turned its wrath against Saddam Hussein, dictator of Iraq, another alleged sponsor of bin Laden’s al Qaeda thugs.  Well then, what was President Obama’s justification for taking the fight, yet again, to Afghanistan’s “al Qaeda” and the resurgent Taliban, as if al Qaeda and the Taliban were the same entity? This brief reading of available information on the Afghan imbroglio exposes decades of lies perpetrated on the American electorate by the White house and its clandestine services. The roots of the continuing Afghan military debacle and September 11 began in the Cold War, the post WWII struggle between Western and Russian Soviet imperialism.  Here is a brief overview of events:

In 1973 Afghan Prince Muhammad Daoud oust(ed) the Afghan king with help from the Soviet Union, and establishe(d) a Soviet  friendly Afghan republic.

USSR Invades Afghanistan

Prince Daoud was eventually assisted in this effort by the Soviets, who invaded the country in 1979.  As a result, the US, with the participation of Iran’s secret police, SAVAK , and Pakistan military intelligence, ISI, began funneling weapons and resources to the Islamist resistance.  The Islamist resistance was a collection of warlord factions, most ethnically Pashtun tribesmen, with strongholds in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul and spreading through Peshawar province, Pakistan.  From the same article:

After the pro-Soviet coup in April 1978, the Islamic militants (including ISI loyalist Gubbudin Hekmatyar) with the support of the ISI carr(ied) out a massive campaign of terrorism, assassinating hundreds of teachers and civil servants. [Dreyfuss, 2005, pp. 260 – 263]

Warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar

In 1979, the CIA selected … Gulbuddin Hekmatyar as its primary operative within the Islamist resistance and for the next decade funneled half of all Afghan aid through his group.  The fact that Hekmatyar was a brutal drug dealer known for skinning his victims alive was considered a plus for anti-Russian ruthlessness.   By 1984 it is believed that CIA director William Casey enlisted Hekmatyar to carry the anti-Russian campaign into the southern Soviet republics, such as Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

At the same time, Osama bin Laden was developing a close working relationship with Saudi intelligence, the GID.  The Saudis had ideological and strategic interests in supporting the Afghan Islamist resistance.  Bin Laden began acting as intermediary between Saudi intelligence and the Islamist warlords.  Hekmatyar and bin Laden developed a close working relationship.  Contrary to the wishes of the Afghan fighters, William Casey decided to bring Arabs into the fight against the Soviets.  Osama bin Laden became a primary recruiter for foreign, mostly Arab, jihadists.  According to “A Legacy Of Ashes” (author Tim Weiner), “white robed Saudis” began to appear in war ravaged Afghanistan, declaring themselves emirs. “They were emissaries  of a new force abroad in the world that came to be called al Qaeda.”  in 1996, the Taliban, the anti-government  islamist faction prevailed and took power in Kabul.  Hakmatyar sought safe haven in Iran and was held there under virtual house arrest until early 2002 when he was returned to Afghanistan in retaliation for George Bush’s anti-Iranian “axis of Evil” speech.

Osama bin Laden remained active in the fight against foreign occupation in the middle east.  He found(ed) the Al-Kifah Refugee Center, also known in Arabic as “services center” or “struggle”, along with several banks with a primary office in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Brooklyn office recruit(ed) Arab immigrants and Arab-Americans to go fight in Afghanistan, even after the Soviets withdraw in early 1989. As many as 200 are sent there from the office. Before they go, the office arranges training in the use of rifles, assault weapons, and handguns, and then helps them with visas, plane tickets, and contacts. They are generally sent to the MAK/Al-Kifah office in Peshawar, Pakistan, and then connected to either the radical Afghan faction led by Abdul Rasul Sayyaf or the equally radical one led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. [New York Times, 4/11/1993]

Hekmatyar…  returned after the U.S. invasion to wage jihad against the Americans, and in 2006 he publicly declared an alliance with Al Qaeda: “They hold the banner”, he said.

We couldn’t catch bin Laden, and apparently, we can’t “catch” Hekmatyar, who is inflicting a bloody toll on American and NATO (what’s left of them) forces in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province.  The Islamists cry that they are doing to America what they did to the British and the Soviets before them.  Hekmatyar has stated that he wants an end to foreign occupation, and a place at the negotiating table as the price for “peace”.

Officials in Washington express mixed reactions to the idea of negotiating with Hekmatyar. His fighters are thought to have led assaults that nearly overran two small American bases in Nuristan province last October, killing eight American soldiers and wounding 24. Many national-security professionals, especially in the intelligence field, say they’re disgusted to think of cutting deals with someone who has so much blood on his hands. On the other hand, as Gen. David Petraeus likes to say, you make peace with your enemies, not your friends. People at the Pentagon are speaking more cautiously, mostly echoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s recent assertion that it’s too soon to begin discussing peace in Afghanistan.

Evidently, General Stanley McCrystal’s plan for military conquest of the Taliban was a failure.  it would require more blood and treasure than the US dares to commit in order to have any hope for success.  The new Afghan operations commander, General Patraeus, favors negotiated settlements such as the one in Iraq. So perhaps the McCrystal insults printed in Rolling Stone magazine were meant to give Obama an “out” with new leadership, an honorable way to change course in Afghanistan before the 2012 election cycle.

Once we declare victory and limp away from Afghanistan, who will repay the American people for the blood and treasure expended in pursuit of the Afghan falsehood.

Different General, Same War! And Obama Still Smokes!

June 23, 2010

This is a bad news, bad news joke.

The bad news:  General McChrystal is out, but the occupation of Afghanistan goes on .

Obama and McChrystal

Obama says the general’s ill-advised remarks to Rolling Stone Magazine, demeaning the White House leadership, undermined trust and respect for civilian command of the military.

Obama said the decision doesn’t reflect a difference over war policy. He said the controversy over the remarks “undermines civilian control of the military” and makes it more difficult to achieve U.S. objectives in Afghanistan.

I don’t understand why Obama selected McChrystal in the first place.  He  apparently had a well-known  reputation for insularity and single-minded resistance to opposing views. From CommonDreams:

In an interview with IPS, one military source who knows McChrystal and his staff described a “very tight” inner circle of about eight people which “does everything together, including getting drunk”.

“McChrystal surrounded himself with yes men,” said another source who has interacted with some of those in the inner circle. “When people have challenged the conventional wisdom, he’s had them booted out,” the source said.

And there were other troubling issues.  From Democratic Underground:

Pulitzer prize-winning American investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, said that there is a special unit called the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) that does high-value targeting of men that are known to be involved in anti-American activities, or are believed to be planning such activities. According to Hersh, the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) was headed by former US vice president Dick Cheney and the former head of JSOC, Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal who has just been named the new commander in charge of the war in Afghanistan.

On July 22, 2006, Human Rights Watch issued a report titled “No blood, no foul” about American torture practices at three facilities in Iraq. One of them was Camp Nama, which was operated by the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), under the direction of then Major General Stanley McChrystal.

Oh, wait.  Maybe that’s why McChrystal was chosen:  He had unconstitutional proclivities, just like is bosses:  “High value targeting” and mass killing with drones.

Now the other bad news:

General Patraeus will continue the fiasco.

And Obama still smokes!

Obama smokes!

Progressives Need A Lobbyist. Forget the DNC, Let’s Use the A.I.P.A.C. Strategy

June 21, 2010

Abusive Spouse-The Dems

The White House is the abusive spouse of its own progressive base.  Democrats are a bunch of constituencies: women, minorities, LGBT, various labor groups, environmentalists, health care advocates, etc.  None of these groups have gotten squat from the White House after two years of donating and campaigning and a year and a half of dickering and petitioning.  Obama has coldly turned his back  while serial abuser, White House Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emmanuel  taunts supporters as “f*cking retards” and Cheeto eating basement dwellers.

What went wrong?  Why do these Washington power players hold progressives in contempt and treat us with scorn?

Obamrahm discuss next progressive abuse

Democrats are constituencies, not  lobbyists.  Lobbyists for the health, pharmaceutical and oil industries pack a huge punch on Capitol Hill, while, despite Obama’s promises, voters and constituent groups are ants at a picnic.  Constituent groups raised money and walked the precincts to elect Democrats, mostly incumbents, expecting those efforts to translate into advocacy.  Quelle imbeciles!  The Dems took the money and Obama decided which candidates the Party would support: the ones he wanted not the one’s progressives wanted.

Lobbyist groups take no such chances.

I think everyone can agree that AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is an inordinately successful lobby group.  Let’s see how they work.

It has been described as one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington, DC, and its critics have stated it acts as an agent of the Israeli government with a “stranglehold” on the US Congress.

No one says no to Israel.

House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi,… stated that “America and Israel share an unbreakable bond: in peace and war; and in prosperity and in hardship”
I would love to hear her swear fealty to any Democratic constituency that has shown unswerving loyalty.

First, AIPAC lobbies for itself and its own interests, not for parties or candidates.  From a critic, Wikipedia:

AIPAC’s success is due to its ability to reward legislators and congressional candidates who support its agenda, and to punish those who challenge it. … AIPAC makes sure that its friends get strong financial support from the myriad pro-Israel PACs. Those seen as hostile to Israel, on the other hand, can be sure that AIPAC will direct campaign contributions to their political opponents. … The bottom line is that AIPAC, which is a de facto agent for a foreign government, has a stranglehold on the U.S. Congress. Open debate about U.S. policy towards Israel does not occur there, even though that policy has important consequences for the entire world.

This agenda comes straight from the AIPAC website, describing its specific goals and interests:

  • issues
    • Gaza
    • Iran
    • Palestine negotiations
    • U.S. aid to Israel
    • legislation
      • U.S.-Israel energy cooperation
      • condemn Iran
      • 10 exercises that the U.S. and Israeli air forces conduct together annually
      • U.S. non-engagement with Hizballah

    AIPAC uses at least as much “stick” as “carrot” to get what it wants.  It will target an unwilling politician, run candidates against him/her, perhaps embroil them in scandal,  use the press for attacks.

    Progressives can’t get single payer, an end to wars, main street bailouts, unemployment extensions or aid to the states, an end to DOMA, environmental protection; nothing, diddly, zilch.  Do we have specific, non-negotiable goals?  Will we take down the power players with scandal and arm twisting when they treat us with contempt?

    It’s time to forget giving money to nincompoop leftist organizations that don’t get the time of day from anyone in power, who are willing to get kicked in the teeth just to sit at the master’s table.

    Kick the door in with demands.  Run progressive candidates funded by progressives. Punish the Dems when they betray. If you want action from the power players, play with power.

    Obama’s Black “Zombie” Voters

    June 17, 2010

    Zombie Voters

    “Obama wanted us to vote for her”.

    Where was the Zombie Survival Guide for Arkansas???

    Arkansas senator Blanche Lincoln’s narrow win in the June 9th primary runoff against progressive candidate, Bill Halter, could be chalked up, in part,  to the Black voters of the state.  Lincoln did well in high percentage Black precincts.

    Comprising about 16% of the voters, and not usually a significant factor in electoral politics, this time the Black block was quadruple teamed by the White House, Clinton, and both Obamas.  You’d think Lincoln was actually a supporter of the alleged Obama/Democratic social agenda.  Secretly, Lincoln does Obama’s dirty work, kneecapping the legislation he claims to want.

    Unions worked hard to defeat senator Lincoln, whom they wanted to punish for her obstructionism on the health care public option, opposition to “card check” which would have eased unionization procedures,

    SEIU, which has only 1,000 members in the state, spent more than $1.5 million, including a $1 million television buy, Youngdahl said. The national AFL-CIO spent $3 million or more on Halter’s behalf, spokesman Eddie Vale said.

    and failure to move forward on settlement of the longstanding Black Farmer’s lawsuit. Then again, Obama doesn’t support any of these issues, either, except with lip service:

    “The president made a strong commitment to show leadership to get this done, and basically we haven’t seen him show that leadership,” said John Boyd Jr., head of the National Black Farmers Association.

    “The president didn’t help us finish the job,” Boyd said.

    Although the NAACP has plenty of shortcomings, at least it gave some push back to the Great Black Messiah.

    The Arkansas NAACP gave Lincoln a grade of ‘F’ for her failure, among other things, to put forward any Blacks for judicial bench.

    No matter.

    President (Sorta Black) Obama told them to vote for their enemy, and they did. Arghhhhhh (Head thump).  He targeted the Black community with his special secret message.  Obama knew the Black vote was in the can.

    Yvonne Thomas admits she went to the polls not having much of a sense about the candidates.

    What she did know, and what turned out to be the only thing that mattered in her decision to cast her ballot for the embattled incumbent Blanche Lincoln, was this: “Obama wanted us to vote for her,” said Thomas, who is African American.

    Obama said a lot of baloney during the campaign to get himself elected.  Now the world is waking up to the phony baloney. Except for the Black voter.  Apparently, Obama pushes F7 on his computer and the Black community starts walking.

    I suppose the Black zombie voter thinks it’s still 2008 .

    Blanche Lincoln's Black Supporters