Category Archives: Syria

Democrats Who Voted for SAFE Act are Cowards & Traitors

Once upon a time: 

What I want to know, what I want to know, is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting the President’s unilateral intervention in Iraq?

What I want to know, is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting tax cuts which have bankrupted this country and given us the largest deficit in the history of the United States?

What I want to know, is why the Congress is fighting over the Patient’s Bill of Rights?  If the Patient’s Bill of Rights passes, is a good bill, but not one more person gets health insurance and it’s not five cents cheaper.

What I want to know is why the Democrats in Congress aren’t standing up for us joining every other industrialized country on the face of the Earth in having health insurance for every man, woman and child in America?

What I want to know, what I want to know, is why so many folks in Congress are voting for the President’s education bill — “The No School Board Left Standing Bill” — the largest unfunded mandate in the history of our educational system?

[snip]

I want to end on a personal note.  Three years ago next month I signed a bill into law called the civil unions bill [cheers], which gives gay and lesbian Vermonters the same rights I have: visitations of your significant other in the hospital, inheritance rights, insurance rights.  Vermont truly is a place where every American is equal in the eyes of the law.

I want the President of the United States to explain to all Americans why he doesn’t believe all Americans should be equal under the law.  [cheers].  I signed, I signed that bill six months before an election when it was at 35 percent in the polls.  I never had a conversation with myself about whether I ought to sign the bill or not because I knew that if I was willing to sell out the hopes and dreams of a significant portion of our people, that I had wasted my life in public service.

Come back, Dr. Dean. Your country needs you now.

Come back, because way too many Democrats are cowards.

In several meetings, Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) presented fellow Democrats with polling data showing that lawmakers who didn’t support tighter restrictions would be in the sharp minority. As former head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Israel is often called on to give advice on electoral matters. And while he didn’t explicitly encourage members to vote for the SAFE Act, the implication was clear: you will be vulnerable if you don’t support the only piece of refugee-related legislation that has gotten a vote after the Paris attacks.

Come back, because they’re looking at the man in the White House and saying hey, he’s on two weeks’ notice and we still have elections to win.

The top House Democratic aide said that members were encouraged to support the bill in part because they believed it would ultimately fall short of becoming law. That, combined with a sense that the underlying reforms weren’t severe, led many to conclude a “nay” vote wasn’t worth the political blowback.

Come back, because way too many Democrats are traitors.

Come back, because they’re looking to their own pockets, instead of to the values of their country.

Come back, because way too many Democrats are whiny babies who would rather complain that they weren’t wined and dined enough than do the right thing for the sake of their immortal goddamn souls.

One House Democrat, who requested anonymity, said he went into the meeting with administration officials opposed to the bill but left in support of it.

“If the White House hadn’t royally fucked this up they’d have lost maybe 20 Democrats,” said the lawmaker. (He ultimately voted against the bill.)

Come back and rip them another one, and remind them, as you reminded them once, that they can’t give people a choice between a Republican and a Republican. Come  back because if they do that, it doesn’t matter who they vote for. We’ll get Republicans every time.

Come back because they’re doing it AGAIN. Come back and remind them what happened last time they tried this. What happened last time they let a crisis scare them, let a bunch of bullies cow them, let the anonymous poll answers speak for them. Remind them what our country looked like when that was done.

Remind them what another country looked like, too. Remind them how many people died because they either turned a blind eye, or couldn’t be bothered.

Remind them it may take a lifetime but they will answer for that. One of the great solaces of belief is considering what weight the unjust will have to carry, even if it is in some kind of afterlife.

Remind a lot of them they lost elections anyway. Remind them it’s not a deal with the devil if the devil doesn’t even pretend to promise them something.

Not that they care. Not that they’ll listen. They didn’t listen before.

Remind them anyway. It’s our job to remind them. It’s our job to stand up even if it’s useless, even if it’s never worked, even if the club of the most of them are dirtbag losers who run screaming when they see a Rassmussen poll. Remind them so that WE don’t have to feel, as they may someday, that not every single thing was done to make it stop. Remind them so that you can look in the mirror.

Remind them so that they know that somebody fought back, when they couldn’t be bothered.

Light. Them. Up. 

A.

Not Everything Sucks, Guys

In the midst of civil war, Syrians saved seeds: 

Even as the area around the genebank fell under the control of two competing armed groups and the remaining staff reckoned with several kidnappings, they managed to backup 80 percent of the center’s collection in Svalbard. The last shipment arrived at Svalbard in March 2014—nearly two years after Amri and much of the rest of the international staff had relocated to Rabat, Morocco. Last month, the Centerwon the Gregor Mendel Innovation Prize—coveted among plant breeders—for its rescue and preservation of the genebank. And amazingly, the Aleppo site continues to be operational. The Syrian staff has managed to keep the electricity on and the genebank intact through four years of war.

Wars never end. Neither does the human drive to persevere. This is how we get better.

A.

Malaka Of The Week: Peter King

I’m talking about the Congressman from Guyland, not the Monday Morning Quarterback guy. The former is the only one I want to take my first name back from. Peter King is one of the leading GOP neo-cons still left standing in the so-called era of the brogressive Senator Aqua Buddha. Yet, the MSM insists on calling him a moderate. Then again, they still persist in calling Senator John McCain (R-Warloverstan) a moderate despite his manfiold immoderate positions. Rep. King is once again demanding that the United States immediately bomb the shit out of a Middle Eastern country, and he’s become a fashion critic all of the sudden. And that is why he’s malaka of the week.

King is rabid on the subject of terrorism. He wants the President to arm everyone and bomb everything. Of course, like many Vulcans, King is a full blown hypocrite: he was one of the IRA’s staunchest supporters when they were bombing London and murdering civilians in Ulster. He was even critical of peace moves in Northern Ireland including those made by Sinn Fein leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. I’m very glad they didn’t listen to Congressman Malaka. They have not reached  nirvana in Northern Ireland, but the militias have long since disarmed. No thanks to armchair chickenhawks like the malaka King. Hmm, now that I think of it he’s the *worst* kind of Monday morning QB…

Last week, the Tweeter Tube lit up with jokes about the tan poplin summer suit President Obama wore to a presser. Initially, it was sort of amusing but, as always with the inside the Beltway punditocracy, they turned it into a search for significance and went on and on and on. It’s a fucking summer suit, y’all. The reply to this malakatude was *almost* as annoying: photos of past Presidents in tan jackets and summer suits. Enough already, Harry Truman was as fond of Hawaiian shirts as I am and it doesn’t mean shit to a tree.

Back to Congressman Malaka’s debut as a fashion critic:

“There’s no way any of us can excuse what the president did yesterday,” King said on NewsMaxTV on Friday. The interview was flagged by Buzzfeed. “When you have the world watching … a week, two weeks of anticipation of what the United States is gonna do. For him to walk out —I’m not trying to be trivial here— in a light suit, light tan suit, saying that first he wants to talk about what most Americans care about the revision of second quarter numbers on the economy. This is a week after Jim Foley was beheaded and he’s trying to act like real Americans care about the economy, not about ISIS and not about terrorism. And then he goes on to say he has no strategy.”

He sounds like Nina Garcia confronted with a skirt that reveals too much booty. He could show some wit and quote Michael Kors, “I feel like the Pope in a sex shop,” but instead he sounds like Archie Bunker on a tear. Get a grip, Congressman Malaka, it’s summer and people from warm climates wear summer suits. The President is originally from Hawaii, you feel me? Somebody oughta send the malaka King a seersucker or ice cream suit to help him cool the fuck down.

This strong reaction to the tan suit may mean that King pays attention to the Twitter echo chamber. I recommend that he follow some cat picture users and chill out.

It’s after Labor Day, so, hopefully,  the President will put his summer suits away until next year. If he doesn’t, Miss Manners may be on his case but she’d be more diplomatic and polite about everything. Pete King could learn a thing or three from Judith Martin, but he’s a disciple of former Noo Yawk Senator Al D’Amato who never whispered when he could scream. To make matters worse, the malaka King made me think of Senator Pot Hole. And that is why Congressman Peter King is malaka of the the week.

Quote Of The Day: Chickenhawk Edition

Have I mentioned how much I love Dan Rather recently? Here’s one reason why he’s my main man:

My first question to anyone who is on television saying, “We have to get tough, we need to put boots on the ground and we need to go to war in one of these places” is, I will hear you out if you tell me you are prepared to send your son, your daughter, your grandson, your granddaughter to that war of which you are beating the drums. If you aren’t, I have no patience with you, and don’t even talk to me.

I cannot top that. Attaboy, Dan.

Unsolicited Op-ed Advice

Vladimir Putin’s dickish op-ed for the NYT has also been published by the Guardian. I have confidence that No Drama Obama will NOT react by shitting himself like Bob Menendez or Senator Walnuts. It’s not his style, after all. We already knew that Putin is a gaping asshole of epic proportions and this article merely confirms his malakatude.

Here’s my unsolicited, and hopefully unnecessary, advice: ignore the bad stuff and focus on the positives. Putin is now on record as wanting to control Syria’s chemical weapons and keep them away from people who might gas Russians. In short, the President should make like JFK during the Cuban Missile crisis and accentuate the positive and tune out the hawks and neo-cold warriors here in Murica. Hell, Khrushchev banged his shoe on a table at the UN, told us that the Commies would bury us, and we were still able to make a deal with him because it was in his interest.

We should all heed Johnny Mercer’s sage advice and ignore Senator Walnutsand leave him to his video poker app:

Der Bingle meets the Divine Miss M? There are times when I love the internets. This is one of them.

That is all.

Lifeline

What a weird, wild and even wonderful day it was on the foreign affairs front. There’s been some debate as to whether John Kerry’s comments about Syria relinquishing its chemical weapons was a gaffe, an ad-lib or a Hail Mary pass but it *may* be leading to a breakthrough.

As one of those people who likes neither the idea of air strikes nor seeing the Assad clan/gang/guvmint get away with gassing its own people, I’m glad that the Obama administration is seriously looking into this diplomatic alternative. It’s an unexpected development: it’s been a long time since the Russians did anything but stir the pot and cause trouble but the Syrians *are* their clients and they’re the ones who have the relationships to pull a disarmament rabbit out of their hat. It’s also been a long time since I wrote such a long damn sentence…

Vladimir Putin: peacemaker? It’s surreal but weirder things have happened in the last 30 years so ya never know. It’s going to be fascinating to watch this play out.

Sending More Than Freedom Bombs

My friend Erin, who spent some time in Syria last year during the civil war, is running an aid project for displaced Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Go, read, and donate if you can.

A.

Shorter Big John: HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO SUCK MY BALLS

Oh for fuck’s sake:

Look. Raise serious objections to action in Syria. There are about a hundred of reasonable ones: That this isn’t our job, that we don’t really know what this is, that we have no solid objective, that we’re kind of cash-strapped here at the moment, that continuing to dick the Middle East around helps no one, that we could wind up here for years, that even if we don’t again MONEY, etc.

There are about a hundred reasonable ways, even for a Republican, to object to everything that Kerry is saying. But here comes this assclown:

“The administration has a serious credibility issue with the American people, due to the unanswered questions surrounding the terrorist attack in Benghazi almost a year ago. When you factor in the IRS targeting of conservative groups, the AP and James Rosen issues, Fast and Furious and NSA spying programs, the bottom line is that there is a need for accountability and trust-building from the administration,” he said. “The American people deserve answers about Benghazi before we move forward in Syria’s civil war.”

So until the administration pleases Teabag Tube Kitten up there by addressing every fake scandal that it’s impossible to address, NO ONE CAN DO ANYTHING EVER. You are not helping opposition to the Syria strikes, buddy. You are not helping your party not look absurd and/or obstructionist, and you deserve the ass-whupping you so righteously received.

A.

We’ve Seen This Movie and Spoiler Alert, IT SUCKED

No boyfriend jokes this time:

“In the event Syria imploded, for instance or in the event there was a threat of a chemical weapons cache falling into the hands of somebody else and it was clearly in the interest of our allies — all of us, the British, the French, and others. I don’t want to take off the table an option that might or might not be available to the President of the United States to secure our country,” Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, debating whether to authorize President Barack Obama’s punitive strike in response to a reported chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime.

Asked by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), the ranking Republican on the committee, whether the secretary of state truly believed combat troops could be an option, Kerry walked the comment back by saying he was only “thinking out loud.”

“Let me be very clear now, because I do not want anything coming out of the hearing that leaves any door open to any possibility,” he said. “Let’s shut the door now as tight as we can. All I did was raise a hypothetical question about some possibility, and I am thinking out loud on how to protect America’s interests, but if you want to know if there is any — the answer is what ever prohibition clarifies it to Congress, there will not be American boots on the ground with respect to the civil war.”

And in the event that Godzilla AND Mothra showed up, Mr. Secretary, what would we do then?

First of all, it is not at all giving Kerry a pass to say fuck Congress for asking a thousand questions that were never asked of Rumsfeld, Powell and the rest of them ten years ago. Now they’re all concerned about what we’re ruling in and ruling out. It’s amazing what having a Democrat in the White House does to their skepticism.

It’s also amazing what it does to the general skepticism of the pundit class, which is so very, very reluctant to get us into a war that might never end. Which is really nice, for all the soldiers and civilians who are still alive whose lives we are actually treating with some measure of delicacy, and not so much for the ones we decided were expendable last decade because we had something to prove.

(News flash re: everything ever: The hippies aren’t yelling stuff at you because it’s fun for them to get the shit kicked out of them. They’re yelling because this stuff sucks and it should be hard, and if you’d listened during the last two wars you’d know that. Obama said, as a candidate, that he didn’t oppose all wars, and you know what, I think very few people oppose all wars. Even a lot of hippies don’t oppose all wars. I don’t want to start saying that because we manifestly fucked up Iraq and Afghanistan we never get to do anything else ever. I don’t know what’s going to happen next week, in Syria or anywhere else.)

Second of all, it is a pathological John Kerry thing, to entertain every hypothetical, especially when it’s a trap. It must drive his press officers goddamn insane. It drove me up a tree during the campaign. Of course if we have recorded video of Assad giving whoever took over for bin Laden nerve gas with a “USE ONLY IN THE EVENT OF AMERICA” label on it we’re going to send people in to fuck him up, but saying that into a live mic does nothing but panic everybody.

Third, it also does nothing to dispel anybody’s suspicions that this is a neverending suckhole of wrong that we need no part of, when we can’t even delineate where OUR line of “no more” is but have no problem pointing out theirs.

A.

Me and Ed Markey

I’ve been quiet about the Syria mess because I’m genuinely conflicted, undecided, and all that stuff. This isn’t Iraq since there’s a war already going on and international sources have been reporting Syrian use of chemical weapons for months. I’m not sure what good bombing will do but it’s possible that strikes could inhibit the Assad gang/clan/government from using chemical weapons again. In short, I’m glad that I don’t have to vote on this matter since it’s a close call.

That brings me to the veteran House member and newly elected Senator Ed Markey who voted “present” in committee because he, too, is conflicted right now:

Markey said he cast his equivocal vote because he wants more time to
analyze the situation. He said in an interview that the resolution was
written too broadly and allowed for the potential that the United States
would become far more entangled in the Syrian conflict. “My one concern
is that we not get on a slippery slope – that we understand all of the
steps that this action could lead to,” he said. “It’s about the
resolution being too broad. It’s about the need for more information.
It’s about my worry about a greater involvement in Syria.”Asked why he
did not just oppose the authorization, as did some of his colleagues who
had similar concerns, he said, “A no vote would have indicated I had
sufficient information on which to base the decision. Which I did not.”

Of course, Markey has to vote and I do not, which is a great relief to me. Additionally, snark and mockery are what I do as a blogger and there ain’t nothing funny about Syria and Sarin. So, other than the odd jibe at GOPers playing political twister, I’m going to sit this one out until I make some sense of the situation, which since it involves the Middle East may be difficult.