Sunday, October 19, 2014

video

The TRUTH about Thom Tillis--Candidate for U.S. Senate, Republican North Carolina

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Republicans War on Truth

There is an ever expanding characteristic of Conservative politics, and to be sure and forthright, BOTH parties participate in it, but Conservatives have taken it to unbelievable heights, and that characteristic is what has come to be known as MISINFORMATION. That's right, that new term that has been coined to offset the nastiness of what it really is--LYING.  There is a quote that is kicked around, usually by those on the right who like to laugh at it--and I believe it has been attributed to many people, but I think it was Noam Chomsky who once said, "An uninformed electorate will vote against its own self interest every time."  And like I said, its a practice that comes out of both political parties, but Conservatives have taken it to an art form. Recently Rand Paul was so glib as to spill the beans on the Republican tactic while giving a speech at the University of Kentucky--he told the students, and this is a quote...""I never, ever cheated. I don't condone cheating. But I would sometimes spread misinformation. This is a great tactic. Misinformation can be very important." He went on to pontificate on a great many ways in which he was successful at "misinforming" people, he even laughed about it at times during the speech--but what was so prescient were the words he used to wrap up his speech, "So, that's my advice. Misinformation works." I had to watch this speech twice to fully appreciate his intent and the fact that he was just outright telling these students what the first page in his playbook in life is--to lie to people, and expect them to be dumb enough to believe it.

A recent cover of THE NATION.
 
 
Now, on the cover of this magazine, we see Rand Paul as Pinocchio, and to be honest, I think Pinocchio has nothing on this guy, but Rand Paul is only emblematic of a larger problem--that we have a political party that is out there openly lying to the constituents and then playing the ol'-"I'm rubber, you're glue," routine and telling their people that it is Obama that is doing the lying, and Democrats in general! Well, I am quite sure that Obama HAS indeed lied to the American public, but I am also sure it was alie that HAD to be told in the interest of national security. After all, our free press--and don't get me wrong, I am NOT knocking the free press, it is ESSENTIAL in a Democracy--but our free press sometimes asks questions that are of a sensitive nature that just cannot be answered with absolute honesty. But that kind of lie is different than someone like Sarah Palin telling people that Obamacare is going to have healthcare rationing, or that it's a form of "Socialized medicine," which of course its NOT, because we STILL have to go through the free market--or her BIGGEST whopper of all time, that there are going to be DEATH PANELS.
 
From Sarah Palin's Facebook page, dated August 7th, 2009--a direct quote--"Seniors and the disabled will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care."
 
Yes--Sarah Palin actually WROTE this, and what's worse, at the time, people BELIEVED her.....And of course, Politifact gave her the infamous 'PANTS ON FIRE' rating! I am more than sure that Sarah Palin does not have too many pairs of pants that don't have burn marks on the butt! The ATLANTIC magazine did a GREAT story on the lies of Sarah Palin--a story by Andrew Sullivan entitled 'The Odd Lies of Sarah Palin: A Summary Before the Next Round'--here is a link to this must read article.....
 
 
 
The point of this article is that you must inform yourselves--separate the facts from the lies---all across the country Karl Rove's Superpac--a "non-profit organization," (laughably)--CROSSROADS GPS is running ads against Democratic candidates--in North Carolina against Kay Hagan, running ads saying that SHE was the DECIDING vote for Obamacare...The funny thing about THAT is--in Louisiana, they are running ads against Mary Landrieu saying the SAME exact thing! They are also saying that now famous lie that these Senators voted for Obama's "MASSIVE SPENDING BILLS" and that they have been a part of this MASSIVE debt that this President has saddled this nation with....Now which was it--was Mary Landrieu the deciding vote, or was Kay Hagan the deciding vote? They both could NOT have been the deciding vote.
 
Before you cast your vote-make sure you KNOW who and what you are voting for, and don't vote against your own self interests, or the interests of the common worker in America! Republicans have launched an all out attack against the American Middle Class--and the Middle Class is losing!
 
 
 
 



Thursday, June 26, 2014

Another Stoopid Attack on Michelle Obama

Here is the latest image being passed around by Tea Partiers, courtesy of TeaPartyNation.com:


Ha ha! How intelligent your argument is... NOT! Look at this:


Just another empty ad hominem attack on the First Lady.

It is this simple, I don't mind discussing points of view, but these people are so rabid it is impossible to take any position they take seriously.

A Look into Generation Opportunity

There is a new SUPERPAC out there, and it has its sites set directly on the younger generation, The Millennial's, that group of young people who have come of voting age since the year 2000. This group, according to recent data, is identifying themselves strongly as independent, and then Democrat and lastly, Republican--this apparently being a reflection of changing political tides and these years of extreme partisanship that has truly created a divide in America, pitting neighbor against neighbor based on their political beliefs. These young Millennial's seem to want to work toward finding solutions rather than get bogged down in the political finger pointing and the politics of destruction. Millennial's may or may not be the smartest generation ever to be involved in politics, and yes--I am aware of the ambiguity of saying they may or may not be.....But that is for another story. In their effort to bring younger voters in to the fold, Conservatives have created a SUPERPAC that is called GENERATION OPPORTUNITY--and they pretend to be a non-partisan group aimed at informing the young voter, the only thing is--their information seems to be false and blatantly partisan.

Their mission statement page is here:

 http://generationopportunity.org/about/mission/

And it reads as follows:

'GenOpp is a non-profit millennial advocacy organization. Driven by the belief that ours is the most creative and innovative generation in American history we promote economic opportunity for young Americans. Our ability to drive progress is threatened by a government that mortgages and stifles our future for short-term political gain, and we strive to engage in the political and policy arenas to create a truly level playing field.

We mobilize our generation by addressing the issues that impact our generation. Our digital and field organizers are hard at work engaging and mobilizing young people across the country in an effort to free the future of the country. Ultimately, we’re working to unite Millennials as a voting bloc so we can finally put a stop to Washington’s generational theft schemes that rob us of future prosperity.
GenOpp is primarily driven by our passion for freedom and the well-being of our generation. We care about youth unemployment, student loans, education, health care, government spending and taxation, and other economic issues. We’re also concerned about civil liberties and work to rein in unaccountable government agencies that threaten our freedoms with unconstitutional spying programs.
GenOpp is a non-partisan organization. Our freedom-driven agenda aligns us with a diverse set of political players. We’re happy to work with both Democrats and Republicans on our key issues.'
*** This is taken DIRECTLY from their Mission Statement Page--Generation Opportunity


This sounds like the kumbaya organization that is going to use the youth to solve the ills of not just our nation, but the entire world. They claim they are willing to work with BOTH Democrats and Republicans to move this country forward. Well, if THAT is the case, why is it that nearly their entire agenda seems to be putting a halt and bad mouthing the Progressive agenda and espousing an agenda that sounds not just libertarian, which in itself might not be so bad--but they sound an awful lot like the Tea Party Jr. and their ads are out their attacking DEMOCRATIC candidates. So much for being bi-partisan....

from YOUTUBE--


This ridiculously poorly acted ad produced by Generation Opportunity is filled with MISLEADING information at best, and outright LIES at worst, not to say that it isn't somewhat based in fact with the story of the millennial having trouble finding a good or decent paying job--that is true to be sure. Things are tough out there, for everyone, even in the wake of a recovering economy. But this ad lays the blame with government spending, which is at some of its lowest levels in years:



What this chart clearly shows is that GROWTH in government spending spiked to its highest level since the Carter administration--while during the previous Administration, which of course had a Republican majority in both houses of Congress for most of its time in power, had the LARGEST growth in government spending since the Reagan Administration. This is a "truth" they leave out and actually LIE about in that ad. And, while Conservatives try to lay this ridiculous idea that Obama has added 6 to 7 trillion dollars to the national debt since taking office--well that too come with some EXTREME caveats. MUCH of that debt comes from 2 things, the bank bailouts that were left over from the Bush Administration and the stimulus package that had to be passed in order that not just our economy here at home might be saved from disaster, but that the world economy be saved as well--since the disastrous world wide recession was triggered by the recession begun by the Bush Administrations mishandling of the economy. To be sure, there is some blame to be passed around on all sides of the political spectrum, after all, President Clinton signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which deregulated the banking and mortgage industries which paved the way for the exotic mortgage products being sold to people who couldn't afford them and allowed banks to basically GAMBLE with the money that people were entrusting them with. But, if Bill Clinton signed the bill--he did so under the duress of knowing that if he vetoed the bill at the time, his veto was going to be overridden by the Republican majority at the time. This bill, meant to counteract the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. which kept commercial and consumer banking separate, keeping commercial banks from "gambling" with depositors money (one of the causes of the first Great Depression).



From Youtube-Generation Opportunity

Here is another ad from Generation Opportunity--notice something about this ad? Its basically the same ad as the Kay Hagan ad, different location and circumstances, but the exact same message, once again claiming that Mary Landrieu in Louisiana is a cohort of President Obama and that they are spending on willy nilly things that don't mean anything--in this commercial the spending on wasteful items are represented on potato chips and cookies and other forms of junk food--(there's a certain irony here because the Obama Administration has been touting eating healthier and exercising)--wasteful spending being their key idea. I would like to know which part of the government spending they consider "wasteful," especially when you take into account the devastated economy that Republicans have stood in the way of and thrown up roadblocks to recovery.




So--here is a pie-chart of Obama's proposed discretionary spending--now it is not clear if this is for 2013 or 2014, but it serves its purpose nonetheless, showing the places and programs where the money is spent. So, Generation Opportunity, show me where you would make the cuts. I don't know guys, look closely--where is it that there might be excessive spending? Veteran's benefits, which of course Republicans wanted to cut and have cut in the past......Education spending? We're already seeing educational spending cuts across the board and the RESULTS of those cuts....Where is the ONE place where we might be able to make some cuts? Hmmmm--I wonder.....

Here is a list of budget deficits for the last couple of decades--



If you look at the budget deficits, especially under Bush, you have to keep in mind that he did NOT include the 2 to 4 trillion dollars the 2 wars he started are going to end up costing us, and Republicans and Generation Opportunity seem to be forgetting this as well! My point in putting all this information out there is this--to ask Generation Opportunity, WHERE ARE ALL THE COMMERICALS FOR THE REPUBLICANS WHO SIGNED OFF ON GEORGE W. BUSH's spending sprees? If Mary Landrieu and Kay Hagan are the problems for supposedly signing off on the Obama spending spree and getting us "deeper into debt," then wouldn't it make sense to say the same about those still in Congress from the Bush years who approved ALL his "wreckless" spending?

Generation Opportunity destroys its own credibility for launching assaults on healthcare and democrats solely--this is NOT a bi-partisan group. In fact, It has been shown that Generation Opportunity is backed by and started by a 5 million dollar investment by the Koch Brothers, and GO first came to "prominence" with its commercials STRONGLY urging young people to NOT buy health insurance. Just the sheer ABSURDITY of that idea....Let me say that again--they came to prominence with their creepy Uncle Sam commercials that was telling young people to keep Uncle Sam out of their healthcare, despite the fact that the insurance they would purchase would be from private insurance companies. Once again, the commercial against healthcare was an outright LIE! Or at best, it was a distortion of the truth.

A few facts about this supposed "bi-partisan" youth organization--it was founded by a young guy named Evan Feinberg, a young gentleman who just happened to work for both Rand Paul and Tom Coburn, Republicans both, and, some might call, Extreme Right Wingers, Rand Paul being a Tea Party darling--Rand Paul who told a lecture hall full of Kentucky college students that in order to get ahead in life, they had to lie--telling them, "misinformation works...." A lesson that Mr. Feinberg apparently took to heart. And lest we forget his tenure as a "researcher" at The Heritage Foundation--yup! That HERITAGE FOUNDATION--the same people who BROUGHT us Obamacare and then ran away from it! The SAME Heritage Foundation that is run by Former Republican Congressman turned Senator--the same Jim DeMint known for his antics while in Congressional Leadership positions that left a bad taste in the mouth of Democrats. DeMint was known for his bitter partisanship and, when the  Tea Party movement rose up, he closely aligned himself with them. THESE ultra-right wing, hyper partisan politicians are who shaped the political idealism and partisan views of Mr. Feinberg. So, he can PRETEND to be bi-partisan in ideal, but he and those people that have joined him in this "non-profit" that rakes in millions, are just attempting to pull the wool over the eyes of the younger generation and indoctrinating them into a political organization that would have them vote against their own best interests. So, for them to say that they are "willing to work with both Democrats and Republicans on our key issues," is laughable at best.


Just to put it out there---Republicans have voted to make it harder for students to vote while in college by not allowing them to register in the state and area where they attend college, they have decreased educational budgets and have let the cost of tuition at most colleges rise unabated, and most recently--they voted AGAINST lowering the interest rates on Federal Student loans, against tying the amount of monthly loan repayment to the amount of money the student is bringing in monthly and several years back made it illegal to bankrupt on their student debt. The average student debt in 2014 is nearly $30,000.


Here is a link to an excellent article in THE NATION giving some facts into the background of GENERATION OPPORTUNITY:









Wednesday, June 25, 2014

John McCain is a Lying Liar Who Only Lies--or--Sore Loser Can't Get Over Presidential Loss

John McCain is a liar! Plain and simple. He is a man who will get in front of the camera, any camera and say things that he absolutely KNOWS aren't true, but he says them anyway, often contradicting himself. A recent example of this was when he first started to attack the release of Taliban held hostage, Bowe Bergdahl. Earlier in the year, during an interview with CNN, McCain said that he "would be inclined to support" an exchange of prisoners in order that we might bring Bowe Bergdahl home, his exact quote being:

“Now this idea is for an exchange of prisoners for our American fighting man. I would be inclined to support such a thing depending on a lot of the details.” CNN Interview from February 2014.

He said it right there---"THIS IDEA FOR AN EXCHANGE OF PRISONERS FOR OUR AMERICAN FIGHTING MAN...."--He said it right there that he KNEW that there was a plan to exchange prisoners for the release of Bergdahl as far back as February of this year. Something he would later deny--

“We were never told that there would be an exchange of Sergeant Bergdahl for five Taliban.”
                                                                                 John McCain, CNN Interview June 2014

Now, given that MOST of the prisoners we were and continue to hold in GITMO, are Taliban or Al Queada, exactly WHICH prisoners did he THINK were going to trade for Begdahl back in the February interview? Was he expecting us to exchange some guys in a Texas federal penitentiary being held on some randon drug charge for him? I've got to be thinking not. And of course, all 5 prisoners released were the WORST OF THE WORST, according to McCain and others that at first celebrated the release only to flip and later vilify the release of Bergdahl, going so far on FOX "News" as to slam his parents--Bill O'Reilly saying that his father had become a Taliban sympathizer and perhaps even a Taliban because of the beard his father had grown while his son was held for 5 years. Here, John Stewart sums up BRILLIANTLY the sheer absurdity of calling Bergdahl's father a Taliban sympathizer:


 
Video from YOUTUBE---
 
I guess if we are going to assume that Bergdahl's father is a terrorist for wearing a beard, we need to look at EVERYBODY wearing a beard--
 
 
Photo from NEWSBUSTERS.org
 
Or maybe--
 
 
Oh, please--say it isn't so....Santa Taliban! Anyway, you get the idea! The absurdity that has become almost everything on the right. But back to John McCain and his politics of flip-floppery--

So now we know, John McCain originally said that he KNEW as far back as February of this year that there was an idea for a prisoner exchange for Bergdahl. That is now established FACT! From a Washington Post article from February--'In a front-page article, headlined “U.S. seeks prisoner swap with Taliban,” The Washington Post on Feb. 17 reported that a potential deal was in works with the Taliban to secure Bergdahl’s release. So, as far back as February, a deal that had been in the works for 2 years was being advertised as a swap with the Taliban, and even AFTER being confronted by such evidence, Mr. McCain STILL denied he was ever told there was an exchange taking place that involved these Taliban prisoners, whose Taliban affiliation became more and more important as the story grew, with McCain saying that one of the five, "has already announced his plans to get back into the fight...." Now, I've done a little research, which is to say that I have googled McCain's bizarre statement that one of them has announced his intentions, and I turned up nothing! What did this Taliban do, hold a press conference? Did he release a press release to "ANNOUNCE" he was getting back into the fight? Once again, McCain makes an absurd claim.

I'm not sure what McCain's actual motives are on flip-flopping on every issue, or going to countries that are potential hotspots to talk to who he THINKS are the right rebels to arm, but whatever it does--that and his constant mantra about Obama "leading from behind," are the things that make this nation look weak. The RIGHT, backed by their propaganda channel otherwise known as FOX "News"--( I use quotations around the word news because what they deliver is in the weakest form of the word news)--are perpetuating this myth that Obama has made the nation look weak overseas, when actually nothing could be further from the truth. Obama has garnered respect from our allies for his work to bring an end to conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as his efforts in mending fences with those allies that lost trust in us because of the Iraq debacle and the so-called "BUSH DOCTRINE." And Mr. McCain is one those who cannot help himself but be on every Sunday morning politics show, where he says the same thing--and yes, by now its MIND-NUMBING that anyone would listen to this bitter, sore loser over his criticism of this President. There is not ONE issue in the world today where Mr. McCain hasn't criticized the President over, if it isn't Obama's mishandling of any and ALL domestic issues, its his failure in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Libya--all of which have HARDLY been failures, most of these issues, though unrest certainly remains in a lot of these areas, have been solved through diplomacy, without firing a shot. Look to Syria, where just this week, the last of their chemical weapon stockpile, keeping it out of the hands of the ISIS group now rearing their heads in Iraq.

The FACT is, the weakness that we've shown overseas, weakness that may or may not have emboldened Putin to move on the Ukraine and the Crimea, much like he moved on Georgia during the Bush Administration, is caused by the disaster that was Iraq and our inability to obtain a clearly defined victory over the really unidentified enemy we were fighting over there, and the reason I say unidentified enemy is that there have been so many extremist groups that have cropped up because of our intervention in the Middle East in the first decade of the 21st Century, its hard to know precisely who the enemy is. John McCain, through lies and misinformation is trying to pull a political slight of hand--blaming everything he possibly can on Obama without taking one scintilla of blame himself for being the war hawk he is or giving a smidgen of blame to the people that got us into this disaster that has become the Middle East--the George W. Bush Administration.

Is John McCain consciously lying about all these things--I mean he HAS to know the truth, which would mean he IS consciously lying--or is it that because of his age, he has somehow lost his memory of the truth as it actually is. Its clear he holds extreme animus for Obama, but if he is consciously lying in order to make Obama look bad or to "gin up" his base, he should be ashamed of himself. During the Bush Administration, people who outwardly criticized President Bush were called Un-American, that we were making us look weak to the world by not showing a united front--and sadly, those same people have taken this to all new levels, and THAT is what makes us look weak, when people like John McCain LIE, and tell the world press that our President is weak, then he does indeed start to look weak, it becomes a case of the more times you say it, the more people believe it. Would you PLEASE just retire John McCain, and stop looking like the petulant, sore loser you in fact are!

 




Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Chemical Weapons Meme Strikes Back!


My Republican friends are all excited and feverishly sending out a pic from AC360 of a chemical weapons facility in Iraq now in extremist hands. They are proudly trumpeting the meme that this proves that Saddam Hussein had chemical weapons, thus justifying the invasion of Iraq.

However, this meme falls apart quickly. From the Guardian: 

"ISG found no direct evidence that Iraq, after 1996, had plans for a new BW [biological warfare] programme or was conducting BW-specific work for military purposes," the report concluded, adding that "there appears to be a complete absence of discussion or even interest in BW at the presidential level". 
- Source: There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, The Guardian (7 October 2004)

The Wall Street journal also says:

"During the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, Hussein used the Muthanna complex to make chemical weapons, including sarin, mustard gas, and VX (a nerve agent), according the Iraq Study Group, which conducted the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in the aftermath of the war. 
The Iraq Study group did find chemical munitions at Muthanna but determined that inspections by United Nations Special Commission, or Unscom, had ensured the facility was dismantled and remaining chemical stocks militarily useless and sealed in bunkers. 
"'Two wars, sanctions and Unscom oversight reduced Iraqi's premier production facility to a stockpile of old damaged and contaminated chemical munitions (sealed in bunkers), a wasteland full of destroyed chemical munitions, razed structures, and unusable war-ravaged facilities,' the Iraq Study Group's 2004 report concluded."

So the fact is that Hussein had no chemical weapons, while the Bush administration tauted us with “a smoking gun” that never existed.

This is not to say that Hussein never had weapons. It is well known that he used chemical weapons against the Kurdish minority. Of course, in 1988 when Donald Rumsfeld (later George W. Bush's Secretary of Defense) met with and set up an alliance between the Reagan administration and Iraq, this was well known but no-one minded back then. Iran's enemy was our friend. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

What is Generation Reality?

What is Generation Reality?

Its simplest definition is that it is this blog. More than that it is a progressive politics blog where we try and point out the lies and obfuscations of the realm of politics. Politics is a world of  hypocrisy and propaganda. We believe that with critical thinking we can see beyond the lies and find the truth.

We invite you to join us and discuss these topics. It does not matter if you are Generation X, or Y, or the Greatest Generation, just open your mind and become part of Generation Reality.

A Political History of the Last 20 Years

Years ago, Hillary Clinton said that there was a vast right wing conspiracy against her husband, then President Bill Clinton-and while she was mocked and scoffed for saying this by those on the right, she may not have been wrong. There has always been political rivalry and one-upmanship, since the dawn of Democracy--you can look at contentious campaigns in our country going all the way back to our first President....Did anyone study their history to see that the election of Abraham Lincoln was not a forgone conclusion, but a bitter fight for Honest Abe--and he may have sacrificed a bit of that honesty to be elected our 16th President. The point is, politics have always been ugly, especially here in America, but in the 1990's there was a dramatic shift in the discord that came from the opposing party. When Bill Clinton took the office of President having won a decisive victory over who many on the Right saw as a hero, George H. W. Bush--he had been a major part of the decisive victory that was the First Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm, the tone in Washington took a major shift from sometimes polite and gentlemanly disagreement, to something far more personal and much more ugly.
 
Bill Clinton was taking over the Presidency after nearly 20 years of political failure and a dramatic rise in the national debt, especially under Republican leadership, and he came to office with, perhaps, a sincere idea that he would reach across the isle and join hands with the Republicans and work to rebuild the suffering middle class who, under Reagan and Bush, had seen a dramatic decline in wages and benefits and steep incline in taxes and general inflation. The idea that Reagan had sold America on-Trickle Down Economics-had turned out to be a bust,  the wealthiest one percent seeing a steep incline in their net worth while the rest of America, all the laborers and blue collars out there, saw their net worth decline. All the while, during the 80's, America's poverty level had increased exponentially. Bill Clinton had been a successful and quite popular governor of the small southern state of Arkansas--they had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, they had little to no debt under Clinton's guidance and their education system had taken a dramatic step forward, and he had plans to bring that success to the rest of the country. He was just the politician to do it too, he had his southern charm and was no slouch in the education department, having been a Rhodes Scholar attending Oxford University. He won election with a pretty healthy margin of victory, Bush having done himself in with the promise of "no new taxes," telling us to "read his lips," which we did--only to discover he had lied.
 
Bill Clinton became the 42nd President of the United States, and he hit the ground running with an ambitious agenda to turn the nation around and rebuild a healthy middle class, ensuring that every American had a more fair shake at achieving the American Dream, which had become the punchline to a bad party joke by this point. His goals were to reduce poverty, scale back welfare through massive reform that would help put people back to work which included job training programs that were to be very successful---he wanted to revamp our education system, bring back jobs to America that had fled to overseas countries with the blessing of Conservatives more concerned with companies turning a HUGE profit than in helping the middle class--he wanted to do immigration reform and tax reform and basically reform the way America did business. Now we had seen what the environment of the 80's had given us--all about corporate profit often at the expense of the blue collar worker--remember, the 80's had become the decade of Gordon Gekko and his need to dismantle companies for personal gain, almost ALWAYS at the expense of the worker. But here we had a President who recognized that the greed of the 80's had only helped enrich the one percent --and THAT is why we were now having massive inflation and stagnant and declining wages. It was time to turn that tide. Oh, and he wanted to guarantee every American healthcare--it was a tall order, but he felt if he could work with Republicans, he could get almost all of it done.  Republicans, however, seemed to have little to no interest in working with him. Right from day one--much as they've done with Barak Obama--their agenda was to shut down his agenda--and with Bill Clinton, they had very little success at shutting him down, which only enraged the likes of Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay--two of the Republicans top Congressional leaders, to no end.
 
Republicans decided that instead of working to make America a success by working with Bill Clinton, they would throw up every possible roadblock they could conceive of in his way, and their roadblock consisted of investigating EVERY aspect of the Clinton's lives--even to the extent of bringing in a "Special Investigator," Ken Starr--when they were really unable to uncover any serious wrongdoing in the Clinton's past. Mr. Starr had been an Appellate Court Judge and Solicitor General under George Bush, he had gained an excellent reputation for his adherence to legal standards, and Republicans thought he was just the man to investigate the Clinton's. His original purview being to investigate the "suspicious" death of former White House counsel Vince Foster, who had been found shot in the head with the pistol in his hand in a Potomac River park, an obvious suicide. But Republicans who had failed to find any wrongdoing with the Clintons, brought on Starr to investigate this death with the idea that the Clinton's had somehow ordered his death because he knew where all the skeletons were buried in the Clinton closet.  Ken Starr broadened his purview, mostly due to the fact that he had come up with nothing--nothing on Foster's death, nothing on Mrs. Clinton's involvement with the Rose Law Firm, and nothing on the land deal with the Whitewater development. While he was investigating the Clinton's, Starr kept his association with the law firm he had previously worked for, even in light of conflicts that would have caused other attorneys to remove themselves from the investigation--one conflict involving his law firms involvement with a lawsuit having to do with the Whitewater development deal. Ken Starr continually came to dead ends with his investigations. He soon broadened the scope of his investigation to include the firing of personnel at the White House travel office,  The Rose Law Firm and a little known woman who had said the President had made sexual advances to her, Paula Jones, all this in addition to a look into an allegation that the President may have been involved with sexual misconduct with an intern, yes-Monica Lewinsky. All in all, after spending almost 2 years and 400 million tax payer dollars, Ken Starr was unable to find anything on the Clinton's with the exception that Bill Clinton had perjured himself trying to cover up his dalliance with Ms. Lewinsky.
 
Ultimately, charges of impeachment were brought before Congress and Clinton was acquitted. This relentless dissection of every aspect of his life was unprecedented in American history--it was done with such vitriol and anger that it really backfired on Republicans. Somewhere in this mess that had become the Clinton Presidency, Bill Clinton was able to make major achievements including welfare reform, a housing bill, education reform that helped open the doors of education to more people than ever before--he slimmed down our military and streamlined it--creating a more efficient, less expensive fighting force--was there pain caused by this streamlining? Absolutely, but it lead to a balanced budget for the first time in many decades and even a budget surplus! The Clinton years left the country and in particular the Middle Class, in the best shape it had been in post World War II--the middle class expanding, poverty and welfare decreasing and wages beginning to rise. He accomplished all this in the face of some of the worst opposition any President ever faced. Flash forward to the George W. Bush Administration, 8 years that completely erased the gains the Clinton Administration had made, set the middle class back to levels before Clinton and saw poverty on the increase again. He squandered the surplus left by Bill Clinton and was the President on watch when the worst terrorist attack in the history of the world took down the World Trade Center in New York. The damage caused by the 8 years of Bush/Cheney will continue to be counted for decades to come, including the cost of the 2 longest wars in our history, one of which we were lied into and had no discernible purpose for being there, Iraq. 
 
By going to war with Iraq and taking out Saddam Hussein, a leader that the United States had been instrumental in bringing to power in the first place, George W. Bush changed the course of history of the Middle East, destabilizing the region for decades to come. Like him or not, Hussein was the one bulkhead that kept the wave of Islamic Fundamentalists in line in the Middle East--and though the United Nations really had Hussein contained to his own country after the first Gulf War, the nations around him still considered him a threat and the unrest remained mostly contained to small pockets in their respective countries, certainly not crossing into other Islamic countries, certainly not Iraq. What we have today, the unrest that is in Syria, Egypt, Libya, Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries and even the bold moves in the Ukraine region are all direct results of the disaster that was the Iraq War. The Bush Administration left in its wake a weakened America, a destabilized Middle East and distrustful allies, all of which the Right today tries to lay at the feet of the current President, Barak Obama.

In the wake of unprecedented opposition and monumental obstructionism, Barak Obama has struggled to enact an agenda that seems to be geared toward the idea of rebuilding the Middle Class that Bill Clinton had left behind, but jobs today seem to be those jobs that are less skilled and pay much less. Barak Obama was elected to office at a time when the nation demanded change, and that was exactly his slogan, HOPE AND CHANGE--and as much as he tried to bring that motto to reality, he has been blocked by the very party that is mostly responsible for the mess our nation is in today. From the first day of his Presidency, Republicans--who had just overseen the largest redistribution of wealth in the history of our country--had an agenda of destroying and delegitimizing his Presidency. On his inauguration day, a quite smarmy Mitch McConnell stood in front of a bank of microphones and laid out the Republican agenda. It wasn't helping to bring jobs back to the 28 million who had lost them on their watch between 2004 and 2009, it wasn't stabilizing the economy which was still in free fall at this point--it wasn't working on immigration reform or any one of a host of problems that had been exacerbated during the Bush years--NO! Mitch McConnell smiled glibly to the press that day and said, "Our number one agenda is to make Barak Obama a one term President." Really! That was it. No talk about the financial collapse or the jobs lost, no talk about the increasing poverty or the 600 billion dollars in net worth the Middle Class had lost in the 8 years George W. Bush was President, or the hole that was blown wide open in the ever increasing gap between the rich and the poor--the wealthiest 1 percent saw their net worth INCREASE by almost that exact same amount, 600 billion dollars. (And that was laughably part of their attack on Obama during the election period--that he wanted to REDISTRIBUTE the wealth in America while they had just overseen the LARGEST redistribution of wealth in world history.)  During the first few years of Barak Obama, the attacks from across the isle increased exponentially--according to those on the right, Barak Obama was a Muslim loving, terrorist sympathizing, Kenyan born, Non-American apologist who had somehow TAKEN the White House and America and was now launching a war on everything from coal to religion--all of which were false claims designed to put a wedge right in the heartland of America. We had always had political opposition in America, but now Conservatives were launching an all out campaign of hate and division--bringing out the worst in people. I myself was chastised for being a "coward" and "Un-American", a "Socialist, terrorist loving scumbag" for voting for Obama, and this from someone once considered a friend, of course he is no longer--the irony of his anti-Obama tirade is that this person runs a green energy company that BENEFITTED from Obama's initiative to support and promote green energy.

In the years since his election, Republicans took obstructionism to an all new level--going so far as to DISAVOW their own bill which they eventually termed Obamacare. In his quest to insure ALL Americans (and he was demonized for this by the right-because how dare we get decent healthcare at a decent rate--remember the Republican mantra-"Let 'em die," when talking about an uninsured man who had lost his job), Obama had reached for the stars and, in a televised negotiation with Republicans (which Republicans say never happened despite it being on LIVE TV)--Obama and Democrats worked out a compromise and decided against single payer healthcare and instead took the Republicans proposal and left the idea of insuring all Americans in the hands of insurance companies with a few caveat's--that ALL Americans be eligible for healthcare regardless of pre-existing conditions, that students in college be kept on their parents work-based plans till the age of 26--there were more to be sure, but these were among the largest, most popular tenets of the healthcare bill.  The very day after negotiations happened and it looked like their might be bi-partisan support for the bill written by the Conservative 'Heritage Foundation,' Republicans turned on Obama and disavowed the bill that had previously been put into action to great success in Massachusetts under the leadership of then Republican governor, Mitt Romney, often called Romneycare. Romneycare had previously been HAILED by Republicans as a major success of a little known one term Governor.  Republicans FLOCKED to FOX News with stories of "death panels" and healthcare "rationing," FOX going so far as to put people on their shows, Sean Hannity in particular, who were saying they were negatively benefitting from Obamacare when it turns out they actually stood to benefit from it. Republicans set out on a mission to destroy not only Obamacare, but Obama himself, and to Conservative Americans, they really struck a chord. The sheer vitriol aimed at this President has been unprecedented, making the ugliness aimed at the Clinton's seem like child's play.

So, flash forward to 2014--the Middle East has been in a state of unrest that is growing at an unabated rate, some of the leaders that America had previously propped up and then disavowed, like Khadafy in Libya, were being overthrown. There is now unrest in Syria, Libya, Egypt, The Sudan, Pakistan and Iraq. Muslim extremists in most cases, are moving in to these areas weakened by the downfall of Suddam Hussein and the fear of his retaliation, and they are imposing their own strict interpretations of the Quran. And now that the conflict in Syria has spilled over the borders into Iraq, we have those people on the right who would rather point fingers than work to solve the conflict. We have the ARCHITECTS of the disastrous policy in Iraq coming out and calling out Obama for destroying the "victory" they had achieved in Iraq.  People like Dick Cheney, a man who had been an opponent of over throwing Hussein in the first Gulf War, (after all he had been instrumental in bringing Hussein to power in the 1970's)-- a man who had been the CEO of the company that received the largest NO BID contracts for war in American history, Halliburton. A man who now had the audacity to say that this would be a war of weeks and that this war with Iraq would pay for itself many times over in the oil revenue we would gain. Dick Cheney and his seemingly mindless daughter, went on TV to denounce Obama and vilify for him for the disaster that is befalling Iraq--and in doing so, Mr. Cheney and his seemingly "ill informed" daughter went on to blame the President for what was happening not only in Iraq, but the region as a whole. And fellow Conservatives have made similar moves, trying with all their might to distance themselves from blame and lay it all at the feet of our current President. Last week, Progressive economist let it be known his father's feelings about the current situation and the Conservatives attempt to blame Obama, Reich said on his FACEBOOK page--'I'm here in Florida visiting my father, Ed Reich, who, at the young age of 100 and a half, just came up with one of the most incisive assessments I've heard of what's happened in Iraq: "George W. Bush and the crooks he hired are responsible for this. If they hadn't lied to the American people about weapons of mass destruction we wouldn't have lost nearly 5,000 American lives and god knows how many Iraqi lives, and stirred up this hornet's nest. Obama has spent his entire administration cleaning up Bush's shit, like someone with a giant pooper scooper." Dad has lived during the administrations of 17 presidents. "Bush was the worst," he says. "Reagan the second worst."'

What is my purpose in writing this brief history of politics in the last 20 years--mostly as a means of getting the message out of why NOT to vote Republican or Tea Party-especially our younger generation--the so called "Millennial's." The youngest voting generation that is currently being barraged by ads telling them to FEAR the Progressive agenda--here in North Carolina, there is a  commercial out telling those young college graduates that they can't find good paying jobs because Kay Hagan, NC Democratic Senator, approved all of Obama's extensive spending and that together with Obama they are spending away the next generations future, when nothing could be further from the truth--the commercial, by Koch Brothers backed GENERATION OPPORTUNITY is full of outright lies and "misinformation." Under Obama, government has shrunk by its greatest margin since Clinton, having seen a HUGE expansion under the administration of George W. Bush. The commercial fails to tell the story of how Republicans have blocked jobs bills, education and college reform bills and bills designed to help increase the pay of these Millennial's, most recently killing a bill in the House that had previously passed the Senate on a party line vote--a bill that would have substantially lowered interest rates on student loans, a bill proposed by Senator Elizabeth Warren designed to stop the profiteering off the backs of struggling young people trying to pay off their loans AND pay their rent often in low paying starter jobs. The bill was killed in the House with not ONE Republican voting for it. The commercial from GENERATION OPPORTUNITY fails to tell us that. Its time to tell Republicans to either do something to make America a better place, or get the hell out of the way and let progress take its course.

What we've gotten from Republicans is unprecedented obstructionism, class warfare, divisiveness and in come cases, veiled calls for violence--look to Sarah Palin, who on her website a few years back, placed gun sights over the faces of Democrats she wanted to defeat--or Sean Hannity who told his audience to go to Nevada and stand with Cliven Bundy, a racist farmer who was illegally grazing his cattle on public lands. We've gotten manufactured scandal after manufactured scandal and tens of millions of dollars investigating not only this President, but his entire administration, and again, not coming up with anything substantial like a cover up or any malfeasance on the part of anyone in the White House. We've gotten fundraising off the deaths of 4 Americans in Benghazi, turning their deaths into a political football trying to blame rather than fix. The IRS, besieged with 504(C) applications--for charitable organizations--in the wake of the Citizens United ruling, actually doing due diligence and looking into ALL these applications, again--companies making MILLIONS of DOLLARS seeking TAX FREE STATUS! We've gotten FAST & FURIOUS, a program once again started under Bush and inherited by Obama, and again--after many hearings and million spent investigating, nothing came of that "scandal." And now they are trying to lay blame on Obama for the VA scandal, a legitimate scandal that actually started YEARS ago and was exacerbated by the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, which saw our Veterans Administration overrun with the 50 to 60 thousand wounded in those conflicts, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of soldiers from previous wars.

Am I saying the Democrats are above reproach, that everything they do is perfect? Certainly not, a lot of the ills of our country come from years of mismanagement from BOTH sides of the isle--but at least we see dramatic effort from Democrats to right the ship, right the wrongs and put America on a better footing than they found it, and sadly, I can't say the same for Republicans. Already, with the next Presidential Election 2 years away, Republicans have launched their attacks on the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton. Its going to be a LOOOONNNNGGGG 2 years.   
 
 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cheney is on TV Again (rant)

I get sick every time I see Dick Cheney on TV, telling us how to handle Iraq. A favorite of Fox News, he is lighting up all the major networks with his Obama opposition. I wish someone would ask him why, after he helped author the Iraq War and got it all wrong, why should we believe him? This is the man who said the war would last six weeks, maybe six months at the longest, and pay for itself. Here we are, eleven years later (our longest war ever), and cost us $1.7-trillion. Why are we in debt? It is not Obama. It was the war.

There he is again. I consider him a war criminal and I am not alone, but Conservatives give this guy such a break, on one breath mad we do not want the war to continue “when 3,000 ‘Mericans lost their lives in the World Trade Center attack.” What about the 4,487 American’s who lost their lives in a meaningless war? One that was predicated on lies. Cheney, along with G. W. Bush, Rumsefeld, et al., are responsible for their deaths. Let us not forget about the ones who returned forever changed: missing limbs, paralyzed, and mentally unstable. I lost a nephew to the wave of suicide among Iraq War vets.

Yet the media gives him a soapbox without confronting him about the dirty origins of the war. Edward R. Murrow must be rotating in his grave with the ineptitude of today’s newsperson.

He could have had his balls nailed for his crime, along with the others, by following the advice in the book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. In it, famed Manson prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi lays out the overwhelming case, which any Attorney General or District Attorney who had their citizens die in the war could file against them. For comparison, Manson sent only nine (possible up to 15) to their deaths; 4,000+ would probably make the twisted Manson blink.