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Trumped: How To Obstruct Justice

by Bill Prendergast on May 22, 2017 · 0 comments

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Script: Bill Prendergast Art: Caitlin Skaalrud

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The “R” Word

by Bill Prendergast on April 22, 2017 · 0 comments

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Today In Ancient Greek History

by Bill Prendergast on February 27, 2017 · 0 comments

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Syria isn’t Iraq and Obama isn’t Bush

by Eric Ferguson on August 28, 2013 · 32 comments

Update 2:50 PM: Here’s a map showing the parts of Syria under control by different sides. It comes from this Daily Kos diary which provides good background and which I recommend.


 
UPDATED
 
To be sure, President Obama will explain whatever decision he makes regarding Syria with a credibility problem, partly of his own making and partly inherited. The self-inflicted part can be summed up in a sentence: leakers of classified information to the press are in prison or hiding while war criminals are going unprosecuted. The general public might not care, but Obama’s base does, and he’s going to need our support for a potentially unpopular intervention.

 

The other problem Obama inherited from Bush Jr. Essentially, the attitude is Bush lied to trick the country into going to war, so Obama is lying too. It would betray a gross ignorance of history to think Bush was the first president to lie about a war, but not all presidents are guilty and not every use of force is based on a lie. Decisions might be arguable or even terribly wrong, but they’re not all lies. To believe Obama is no different from Bush and whatever decision is made about Syria is the same as invading Iraq isn’t skepticism. That’s cynicism — and I do see some of us engaging in cynicism.

 

The alternative to believing just anything isn’t insisting on believing nothing. Skepticism means demanding proof before accepting a claim. Why did most of us on the left oppose invading Iraq? If it was because we knew we were being lied to, then I suggest some faulty memories are at work. We suspected deception, but all we had to go on was what was presented to the public, and we didn’t know Iraq had no WMDs or ties to Al Qaida. We just knew the Bush administration’s case wasn’t holding up to scrutiny, and if you’re asking us to inflict the horrors of war on another country, you better have awfully strong proof — which they didn’t, even before we knew they cherrypicked the evidence to reveal only the supportive parts and withheld contradictory evidence.

 

Yet here is where we get to a huge difference between invading Iraq and whatever Obama decides about Syria. There was no war in Iraq until Bush started it, and his administration conducted a long sales campaign to gain public and congressional support. There is already war in Syria. Obama isn’t starting it, and he quite clearly doesn’t want to get involved. If he did, he’s already had plenty of pretext. He knows how to run a public relations campaign. He could have intervened a couple years ago if he wanted. He could have used Syria to distract from the 2011 debt ceiling crisis. He could have ginned up a war in time for  his reelection, given how the country rallies around the president in wartime. Obviously he chose not to. In terms of domestic politics, Obama has nothing to gain by involvement in another conflict. The public clearly doesn’t want to get involved, and explaining the reasons for getting involved will be difficult, which is a headache Obama certainly won’t want. We can also figure a president who reads and personally signs all condolence letters to families of dead servicemembers is fully aware of what risks he’ll be ordering for real people.

 

…READ MORE

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A Word About Immigration and Fences

by Mark My Words on May 17, 2010 · 3 comments

A few weeks ago, Michele Bachmann (R MN 6th) appeared on KSTP’s Sunday morning political gab-fest with Tom Hauser.  Arizona it seems, is on the fast-track to being the “Alabama  of 1963” with their new found racist laws against illegal immigrants coming in from Mexico.  (Apparently, illegal immigration from Canadians are still allowed.  Or perhaps, so not as those Canadians aren’t as “browned-skinned” as Mexican people are.)  During that interview, Hauser asked Congresswoman Bachmann on her views about the new Arizona laws.  And it was her reply that surprised me.

Lest I paraphrase, because I can’t find ANY video or transcript out there that recorded the piece:

“You know Tom, for about a million dollars per mile, we could build a fence and stop all of this illegal immigration going on down there.”

Now I have to tell you; I was stunned by that.  I thought; “What is she talking about?!  A million dollars per mile spent on a fence between the United States and Mexico?!”

But this isn’t something unique to “Crazyville” known as Congresswoman Bachmann!  US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has gone full-bore with the idea in a campaign ad that talks about “Building the Danged Fence”. Although, I don’t think Senator McCain believes that his “Danged Fence” will cost a mere one million dollars per mile.  The Congresswoman’s budgeting fantasies we can chalk up along with her belief that the Pope is the Anti-Christ.  The Congresswoman clearly suffers from self-esteem issues and an over-indulgence of cheap wine and abusing her dog’s pain killer medicine with some of stuff she comes up with these days.See full size image

I just gotta ask;  “What kind of fence are these Republicans talking about?!  A barbed wire fence? Chain link perhaps?  A pretty white picket fence?” My husband partner bought  “liquid fence” to keep out the bunny rabbits and the tree rats out of his tulip beds in the back yard.  Do you think Congresswoman Bachmann and the Republican party believes the American tax-payers should buy gallons of fox urine for a liquid fence along that border?

…Those Mexicans; Stealthily sneaking along the cover of night, ponchos pulled over their heads, until they finally arrive at the Arizona border and…

(sniff)(sniff)

 Peee-yewwww!!  This country stinks!  It smells like fox pee!  Let’s head on back to Guadalajara for a Piña colada and cervesa.  At least we don’t have to hang out here where it stinks like pee!

For a million dollars per mile, that’s an awful lot of very relieved foxes!

Now see, it’s that fence that has me puzzled as well.  I mean: When you consider the fact that those Russians and those Germans built a freaking Iron Curtain to keep “Western Germans from sneaking in and enjoying the good life of Communism is East Germany”.  

We’re talking the Germans, Baby.  Those Krauts build everything better than anybody else does.  Have you ever owned a VW Bug?  People who’ve owned a VW Bug will tell you… “Germans know how to build good stuff!  

…And it was those same Germans who built

A Freaking Iron Curtain!

And yet, to this day, there are plenty of museums in Germany, London and the United States displaying the most amazing and creative ways Easter Germans were smuggling OUT of their country and into West Germany.

They didn’t waste their time with Western Civilization “trying to break in” with a white picket fence or with fox urine.  They built

A Freaking Iron Curtain!!

Michele Bachmann, as a stellar trophy for the crazy Tea Party movement who are screaming for accountability in federal government spending, should be front and center on stopping the idea of spending tax payer monies on urine – and more time on anything that might benefit the good people of the 6th Dist of Minnesota.

Perhaps the real problem with the Republican Party isn’t nearly as complex as we tend to think it is: Republicans need to simply stop electing people who are dumber than me.

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