Thursday, November 26, 2009

INEXPLICABLE SECURITY BREACH AT WHITE HOUSE STATE DINNER

GUESS WHO CAME TO DINNER?



























Photos that should send shivers down the collective spines of the Secret Service.


(November 26, Washington, DC) Two uninvited guests sashayed their way into the White House State Dinner here on Tuesday nights before the flashing cameras and TV crews filming. Once they had passed the external “security” check point, they proceeded into the White House where they were photographed along with all the other arrivals. The biggest difference between Michaele and Tareq Salahi and everyone else who attended the first White House State Dinner of the Obama Presidency, was that the Salahi's were not on the official guest list. That they were able to gain entry to the White House and actually pose for pictures with high ranking government officials including President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, has left this town stunned and concerned.

This security breach is unprecedented in its audacity and success. The United States Secret Service (USSS), the agency charged with providing presidential security, has announced an internal investigation will commence to identify how these two party crashers were able to perpetrate such a brazen feat. Retired Secret Service Agent Matthew Donohue who served on the Personnel Protective Detail for President Clinton and George W. Bush commented, “The (Secret) Service has not been so embarrassed since Reagan was shot. Clearly, heads should roll due to the seriousness of the breech. Luckily, these two perpetrators were seeking publicity not to do harm. Had they intended to do harm, they could have wiped out a large segment of the Executive Branch.”

Initial reports tried to downplay the incident. The White House released statements that seemed to indicate they were minimizing the significance of having two uninvited people simply stroll into a State Dinner. Now that numerous photos of the two intruders with President Obama, Vice President Biden and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel have emerged, it is hard to deny that this breech could have been disastrous. “ What if these people had evil intent? What if they were infected with a lethal virus and were sent in to infect the President? It is difficult to imagine what could have happened. Yes, the metal detectors would have caught any conventional weapons they may have tried to secret into the White House. It is the unconventional weapons that would not have been detected. You can bet that terrorists of every stripe have sat up and taken notice of this severe breakdown of White House and Presidential security”, noted Director of Security for BronxWest Consulting, Vito Amendolla a retired NYPD Captain.

Since Tuesday night, much has been learned about Michaela and Tareq Salahi. According to sources the two are “semi- reality TV stars or wannabees.” The two are relatively well known in certain social circles in and around the DC area. Tareq Salahi is a part owner of a winery with his family in Northern Virginia. Apparently the couple has been involved in some way with the filming of the reality TV program “Real Housewives of DC.” The Bravo Network which airs the program admitted that a Bravo film crew were present at the White House when the Salahi's entered. The network denies having encouraged the couple to pull off this stunt but the Secret Service has said they will “vigorously investigate” whether or not the network played any role in the perpetration of the intrusion.

What is known at this point is that the Salahi's were able to p[ass through the outer most checkpoint; the entrance for all guests which was manned by Secret Service Agents as well as the White House Social Secretary's Office staff. Despite not being on the invited guest list, the couple easily passed through the checkpoint and magnetometer. Once passed this security point, they had free access to all the areas of the White House and grounds which were being utilized to accommodate the hundreds in attendance for the State Dinner with India Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh.

The photographic evidence is damning in that the photos are stark proof that these intruders mixed and mingled among the invited guests with ease. “When I saw the picture of those tow nuts standing with Obama, I could not believe it. It is almost inconceivable that anyone could just walk in to an event at the White House and not be challenged in any way after gaining illegal entry. The Secret Service had better get to the bottom of this quickly”, commented Frank Blussner, of the State Department. He continued, “We could have had an international crisis had something gone wrong and Prime Minister Singh had somehow been injured. This is the most serious breakdown in the security and protection of a United States President in many, many, many years.”

Many security experts both in various government agencies and private enterprises have expressed dismay at this unauthorized intrusion. Many comment that in this post 9 11 age, one would think that the security of the White House would be so robust that unauthorized entry would be impossible at any time. The fact that this incursion occurred during a State Dinner only intensifies and magnifies the scale and scope of the myriad security failures that allowed two publicity seekers to crash the gates at a White House bash.

Attorney Gino Palermo of the Palermo Associates, an expert in Constitutional and Criminal Law and a resident Fellow at BronxWest Consulting said, “These two people should be prosecuted. The White House has the grounds to prosecute and bring a variety of charges. This was not a simple 'party crasher' incident. This was a State function where literally dozens of our government's highest official were present. It was also an international affair with other world leaders among the attendees. Frankly, I am of the opinion that they should be locked up right now. They should be incarcerated until a full investigation is completed. What do we really know about these people, after all? There may be more to this story than we are being led to believe. The White House and Secret Service cannot afford any mistakes and must get to the bottom of this ASAP.”


Links:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/26/eveningnews/main5791444.shtml

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/25/tareq-and-michaele-salahi_n_371336.html

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/reliable-source/2009/11/salahi_photos_etc.html

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-state-dinner-27nov27,0,6774327.story


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,577448,00.html

http://washingtonindependent.com/69035/white-house-dinner-crashers-may-face-criminal-charges

http://www.seattlepi.com/tvguide/412725_tvgif29.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2009/11/30/2009-11-30_white_house_party_crashers_michaele_and_tareq_salahi_deny_trying_to_cash_in_on_p.html



This post is a collaborative effort between The Brooding Cynyx and our strategic partners at BronxWest Consulting and The Palermo Associates.



Copyright TBC 2009 © All Rights Reserved

Friday, November 20, 2009

ROBERT BYRD : WHY TERM LIMITS ARE ESSENTIAL

THE 92 YEAR OLD POSTER BOY
FOR CONGRESSIONAL INERTIA














The former West Virginia Klansman and current US Senator
is now the longest serving member of Congress in history.


(November 18, Washington, DC) If one was in search of the perfect example of what is wrong with Congress, you'd need look no further than the quivering, blithering, drooling lump of fossilized flesh that is Robert Byrd. The West Virginia Democrat is serving his ninth six year term in the Senate. He has been a member of Congress since 1952.

Byrd is the perfect example of many of the most glaring faults in the Congress, the faults that have lead to perpetual legislative gridlock, ultra-partisanship and the corrupt art of delivering pork barrel money to constituents. Byrd has more buildings named after him in West Virginia than there are dirty, stinking coal mines. He is notorious for securing funds for West Virginia none of which seem to have ever really benefited the people and greater good of that forever impoverished state.

Prior to his long career as a politician he was a proud member of the Ku Klux Klan. He credits his Klan membership with his self discovery of untapped leadership abilities. Byrd was a tender 24 years old when he joined the KKK and later commented that a high ranking Klansman told him, "You have a talent for leadership, Bob... The country needs young men like you in the leadership of the nation." Years later Byrd recollected, "suddenly lights flashed in my mind! Someone important had recognized my abilities! I was only 23 or 24 years old, and the thought of a political career had never really hit me. But strike me that night, it did." The young Bobby Byrd eventually was elected Exalted Cyclops of his local Klan chapter. Byrd was indeed on his way to a successful career in Congress.

Near the end of World War II Bobby Byrd cemented his truest, most deeply held racist beliefs when he wrote a passionate letter to one of his heroes of the time, Mississippi segregationist Senator, Theodore Bilbo.  In that letter Byrd wrote, “I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side... Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.” One can easily see why this cretin was elected to Congress by the fine folks of 1952 West Virginia.

Once in Washington, the barely literate, in-bred, hillbilly Klansman quickly aligned himself with like minded southern Democrats and began what would become his life’s work - bringing federal money back to his impoverished home state. Arguably, no other Senator in history has delivered more pork to his home state than this racist, bigoted con man. Given the tremendous amount of federal dollars that have poured into West Virginia compliments of Robert Byrd and his ability to use the legislative process and in particular, his knack for attaching amendments and riders to larger spending bills, one would think that West Virginia would be tops in providing education, social services and health care to its residents. Unfortunately, that is not the case; it is nowhere near being the case.

Robert Byrd shunted most of the federal billions he secured to pork barrel projects that benefited his primary campaign donors and his most loyal supporters – the coal mining industry. He has been bought and paid for by the mining industry and related enterprises despite the health and environmental havoc they have induced on that small, mountainous state.

For the better part of Byrd's tenure in Congress his state has ranked near the bottom of the list in education, literacy, public health, and all manner of governmental services that could help lift his constituents out of pervasive poverty, un- and underemployment and a better quality of health care, more accessibility and affordability, that could result in a better quality of life and infant mortality rates. Byrd's only “constituents” are his corporate benefactors; the corporate donors who have assured his incumbency so he could protect their narrow, selfish interests. For all his 56 years in Congress what legislative measures has he authored or sponsored that have had any positive impact towards the greater good? You'd be hard pressed to find a bill with his name that meets that criteria. As Byrd has spent decades enriching himself and his corporate benefactors, West Virginians have continued to suffer, mired in profound illiteracy, obesity, alcoholism, high rates of teenage pregnancy, methamphetamine addiction, incest, bestiality, joblessness and a lack of good cable TV service.

Byrd is the living embodiment of the drastic need for term limits. It has been years since he has been in any way effective. His physical and mental health have steadily declined noticeably over the course of the last 15 years or so. One close, long serving aide to the Senator, speaking not for attribution revealed, “It is a real chore to get him going in the morning. A great deal of effort goes into making him able to get to the Capitol. We have to pump him full of Geritol, Red Bull, Ex-Lax, B-12 and Milk of Magnesia. Some days he demands a shot of moonshine. He is often incoherent and combative in the morning so sometimes we have to add a sedative to his morning cocktail. We have a group of four aides who are assigned to him and are close by him at all times he is in public. Lately, he has had more frequent episodes of urinary and rectal incontinence. He can be a real handful.”

One of the most troubling aspects of this old coot's longevity in Congress is that in this day and age of terrorist threats, Byrd is the third in the “line of succession” to the Presidency positioned behind The Vice President and Speaker of the House. Even some of his closest friends in the Senate like the ferret-faced, chinless, spineless wonder Mitch “Little Bitch” McConnell express great concern about Byrd's position in the Presidential line of succession. “I've known Bob since I came to Washington. We share many deeply held racist and conservative views even though he sits on the Democrat side of the aisle. After 9 11 we all became very aware of issue related to security and continuity of government. God help us all if Bob ever became President due to highly unusual circumstances. It would be a disaster”, said McConnell.

Today is Byrd's 92nd birthday and the addled, demented Senator shows no signs of slowing down. The lesson that should be extracted from his career is the absolute need for term limits and campaign finance reform. There are many other Byrd's in the making; seniority insures incumbency and when a politician answers only to his corporate sponsors and donors, they are essentially useless in the legislative process as we are now witnessing in the health care reform efforts. Not one Republican member voted for the bill to be debated because they are secure in their incumbency. What America needs is an infusion of new blood in both Houses of Congress so that there will never be another Senator serving for over 50 years. Clearly Byrd is not what our Founding Fathers intended when they crafted a legislative branch of citizen-statesman. We limit the term of our President, isn't it about time we allow for the fossilized, ossified, senile “lifers” in Congress, life long politicians who have become wealthy in public office at the expense of the American people and legislation that could address the concerns of the majority of the populace.



Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Byrd

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-na-byrd19-2009nov19,0,7046990.story

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/11/17/byrd-make-history-longest-serving-member-congress/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+foxnews%252Fpolitics+%2528FOXNews.com+-+Politics%2529

http://www.herald-mail.com/?cmd=displaystory&story_id=234642&format=html

http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/4326





Copyright TBC 2009 © All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

9 11 TERRORISTS WILL FINALLY FACE JUSTICE

THE ONLY THING TO FEAR IS FEAR ITSELF














The Metropolitan Correctional Facility located across from
the Federal Court House in Foley Square, Lower Manhattan.




(November 17, Foley Square, NYC) The hardest core right wingers, neo-cons and GOP hawks are proving to be what they have long been suspected of being – fear-mongering cowards. Their near apoplectic reactions to the thought of having some of the Guantanamo Base prisoners transported to and incarcerated in American prisons reveal the true colors of these ignorant people and that color is decidedly yellow. For such tough talkers who had been rabidly gung ho to support the Cheney / Bush war of choice in Iraq and send others to die for their ideology, they look petty and weak in light of their criticism of the Obama Administration to try several of the “detainees” in Federal Court. Most of the loudest, staunchest hawks never served in the military. Morons like Dick Cheney managed to avoid service in Viet Nam remaining securely on American soil compliments of five, yes five, deferments.

The controversy resulting from the Administration's decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) and four other “enemy combatants” in New York City and to possibly transfer many of the remaining Guantanamo inmates to a vacant prison in northwest Illinois, is largely predicated on falsehoods, partisanship and fear. To listen to some of the most outspoken on the Right is to think that these detainees are superhuman, that they cannot be held safely and securely on American soil. That is a bogus, misinformed, idiotic premise.

After Attorney General Eric Holder announced the decision to try KSM, the self confessed architect of the terrorist attacks that struck the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC, many prominent Republican and conservative politicians, pundits and has-beens, leveled vicious attacks on everyone from Holder to the Department of Justice and the Obama White House. Much of the criticism was in response to the decision to try KSM and four others in Federal Court rather than in some military court or setting. These critics seem to have zero faith in our legal system. Their cries of doubt regarding the Federal Court and Federal Prosecutors ability to obtain convictions expose their belief that our legal process cannot overcome the challenges these trials will pose.

Given the unprecedented nature of these trials, it is doubtful the DOJ would proceed in Federal Court if they were not highly confident the trials will result in convictions. There are a number of approaches the Prosecution has available by which to try these men and other detainees. The Federal Courts allows the most legal latitude in that most of the “charges” leveled against the defendants are but variations of charges that are successfully argued in Federal Courts across the land on a daily basis. There is no need to “reinvent the wheel” in the effort to bring these murderous zealots to justice.

Certainly there are Federal Judges infinitely capable of managing their Court Room in an orderly, efficient, effective, professional manner. The critics concerns that the Court Room will be transformed into a circus implies their lack of confidence in the ability of those Justices sitting on the Bench in the Southern District of New York. Actually, that particular Office has successfully prosecuted more diverse if not disparate cases (including other terrorists) than any other in the country. This Court is uniquely capable and equipped to conduct these trials.

The fear-mongers on the Right fretting over “security” concerns are simply not familiar with the setting – New York City is blessed in that it is the home of the premiere law enforcement agency in the world – the New York Police Department (NYPD). New York City has historically been a most unique urban environment for a host of reasons and the NYPD has evolved into a highly sophisticated, innovative, efficient, Department staffed with the most well trained and experienced Officers in the world. Their capabilities are legendary; the array of Special Units and tactics permit them to handle any situation or scenario.

NYPD MORE THAN UP TO THE TASK


















NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly



New York City is home to the United Nations, the Embassies and Consulates to the member nations, the Stock Exchange, banking and finance industries, communications and is an international city in every sense of the word. Because the nature and composition of NYC is so unique, the NYPD can claim a wealth of experience that no other Police Department in America and, arguably, the world can match or even come close to. That is a fact.

When the trials of the “detainees” begin, there should be no doubt whatsoever that the NYPD will provide sufficient security and safety. Of course, their ranks will be bolstered by members of the Federal Marshall's Service, the NYC Department of Corrections, NYC Sheriff's, the FBI and, perhaps, some military detail. While the precise nature of these trials may be more unusual than most, NYPD will not view it that way. “Sure, we are acutely aware of the challenges involved but we do not perceive them as unmanageable”, commented Captain Patrick McCann of the famed Emergency Services Unit (ESU).

According to a senior high ranking command officer assigned to the Manhattan Operations Unit, speaking anonymously, said, “ We will be ready when the day comes. We have seen a variety of situations that other police departments have never and will never see. We have several Special Units designed for this type of high profile event and the threats that will no doubt be generated by these trials. Since 9 11 we have formed our own Intelligence Unit as well as enhanced our Joint Terrorism Task Force presence. We strategize and plan for events such as this and we can assure the good people of New York City we will be rigorously diligent in providing security not just in the Foley Square area but across the City. We do this everyday.”

Retired NYPD Deputy Inspector Timothy Dowd said, “I think it is very appropriate that these vermin will face justice in a court of law in the City of New York. I want them here, I want them to be convicted here and to ultimately receive the death penalty here. If I had my way, their executions would be held in Yankee Stadium and you can bet the place would be packed. They thought they could hurt us, break us, somehow demoralize us. Man, were they ever wrong.”




Links

http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/features/n_8286/

http://www.newsday.com/news/new-york/nypd-plans-security-cordon-for-terror-trial-1.1603994

http://www.examiner.com/x-25812-NY-Law-Enforcement-Examiner~y2009m11d14-911-terrorists-trialkeeping-New-York-City-secure

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2009/11/18/2009-11-18_president_obama_ag_holder_predict_khalid_shaikh_mohammed_guilty_verdict_will_vin.html
http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2009/11/20/2009-11-20_pay_up_mr_president_the_feds_should_eat_security_cost_of_foolhardy_ksm_terror_tr.html

http://ny1.com/5-manhattan-news-content/top_stories/109031/nypd-lays-out-safety-plan-ahead-of-9-11-trials





Copyright TBC 2009 © All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 16, 2009

KSM TO BE TRIED IN NYC

FINALLY JUSTICE WILL BE SERVED














Khalid Shaikh Mohammed self proclaimed
9 11 “mastermind”


(November 16, New York, New York) After being held prisoner by the United States for over six years, the self proclaimed “mastermind” of the terrorist attacks perpetrated on September 11, 2001, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM), is slated to stand trial in the Federal Court for the Southern District of New York. Since the Attorney General, Eric Holder, made this announcement there has been a great deal of vocal reaction both for and against this decision. The most hyperbolic of the reactions are emanating from the perpetually in motion mouths of Republicans and conservative opponents of President Obama.

The Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomburg, has expressed his support for trying the Kuwait born terrorist just blocks from the site where the World Trade Center Towers once stood. Polling data indicates that the people of New York City are evenly split over the issue of having his trial, and that of four other Al Qaeda prisoners, in New York City. KSM is the uncle of convicted terrorist Ramzi Yousef, the man responsible for the first World Trade Center attack in February 1993. He was convicted in this very same Federal Courthouse in September 1996 and is serving a life sentence in solitary confinement.

At the heart of what is rapidly escalating into a controversy for the Obama Administration, is the core question of whether or not terrorists should be tried in Federal Court or in a military tribunal or other military court setting. Those opposed to the NYC trials claim that such a venue will be inadequate for such proceedings emphasizing that national security and intelligence gathering methods will be compromised. Additionally, those opposed predict that the Federal Court will provide Mr. Mohammed with a platform from which he will be afforded the opportunity to rant and rave about all manner of complaints from his alleged exposure to harsh interrogation techniques to his outrage over his perceived belief that the US is at war with Islam.

Other terrorists have been tried in Federal Courts and convictions were handed down. There is no reason to believe that the results will be any different in this case. Yes, there are concerns regarding having the trials held in New York City. Yes, there are legal matters that will need to be determined in the pre-trial phase. Certainly the defense will seek a change of venue. Despite some new and novel legal, logistic and security challenges, our legal system is more than capable of providing for justice for these defendants.

Many of the yammering critics opposed to the trials exclaim that these men are not defendants but rather “enemy combatants” or they employ some other ill defined term to describe their status. Whatever the case may be, they will be designated as defendants in order to be tried in accordance with applicable judicial procedures. Our Constitution is sufficiently robust to allow these men to be tried in a US Court of law with all the “rights” granted them under our laws. The critics harangue over this concept expressing outrage and dismay that we would grant them any “rights” whatsoever. The fact of the matter is they have been held by the US for years and they must be dealt with legally. Trying them in Federal Court is the most effective means to the ends of conviction and ultimately, execution. There is a wealth of substantive evidence that will assure KSM's conviction without ever having to mention information he may or may not have revealed while reportedly being “water-boarded” while in captivity. The asinine critics who fear what this cowardly thug might do or say in Court are essentially revealing their own cowardice and certainly there own doubts in our Constitutional system, the Federal Court and the cases assembled against these men.

What some of the most ignorant of the blithering critics fail to recognize is that the day the United States took custody of these men, they became our prisoners as well as our responsibility. How they are treated and adjudicated will be watched not only by the terrorists out there but by the entire world. Our reputation was scarred enough under the Cheney / Bush era and having these goons prosecuted in Federal Court, transparently and within the well demarcated borders of our legal structures will be noticed and noted. They were not captured on the “field of battle” and, therefore are not prisoners of war in the conventional sense. We have held them off shore in Guantanamo Naval Base at a prison designed specifically for such captives. Critics act as if the moment these murderous men step foot on US soil, we will all automatically be thrust into an age of jeopardy; that our very existence will be threatened. This is idiotic at best, base fear-mongering at worse.

No matter what these men have done or who they are they are men – not endowed with superhuman powers that will melt prison bars and crumble penitentiary walls. As for the terrorists around the world and possibly here at home who continue in the pursuit to perpetrate mass murder on our soil, yes, they will no doubt issue fatwas and war cries condemning our legal process and the validity of the Court. So be it. We have been under threat since long before 9 11 01 and, since that dreadful day, we have significantly improved our security particularly in New York City.

It is just and fitting that KSM and his co-conspirators stand for the horrific crimes of which they are accused and no doubt guilty in New York City. Having them return to the scene of the crime and appear in Federal Court will diminish them; they are not martyrs. As long as they were held under the auspices of the US military, they could claim they were political prisoners and, if executed by the military, say their lives were sacrificed for their delusional “cause”. We need not make these men martyrs, that would satisfy them and their cohorts worldwide.






Links:

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/67907-dems-portray-911-trials-as-nycs-justice

http://themoderatevoice.com/53292/new-yorkers-react-to-the-ksm-terror-trials/

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703683804574533622533459520.html?mod=rss_com_mostcommentart

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1109/29661.html

http://www.frumforum.com/terror-trial-a-risk-we-have-to-take

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalid_Sheikh_Mohammed




Copyright TBC 2009 © All Rights Reserved

Friday, November 6, 2009

DEMOCRATS - A MAJORITY IN NAME ONLY

FUZZY MATH, SCUZZY PEOPLE:
CONGRESS AT WORK


















Joe Lieberman, traitorous, spineless, corrupt,
Prima Donna of the Senate




(November 6, Washington, DC) Americans have had the experience of learning a great deal about how our government works (and doesn't work) over the last few months. The “health care reform” debate which has been raging for most of the year reached its moronic, histrionic crescendo during the dog days of August's town hall meetings. Once the GOP misinformation machine got in gear and the special interest money began to flow in earnest, the “debate” such as it was, had forever been altered beyond recognition. The Republican efforts were aided by the hapless, spineless Democrats as well as a White House so enamored with the notion of bipartisanship that they literally sold out.

The summer heat laid bare for all to see the abject dysfunction that plagues the legislative process, the lack of character of our elected officials, the blatant role that corporate and special interest money plays as well as how the idiosyncrasies of the Congress can allow a few to hold the entire legislative process hostage. Indeed; we have learned more about why nothing that would substantively benefit the greater good can ever come out of the Washington DC of today.

We can see the shallow, self centered greed of our politicians; men and women who can never measure up to their predecessors. There was a time when Congress was populated by people of character, courage, a strong sense of duty, conscience and morals. Those people and those days have long since passed. What we have now is a collection of corrupt incumbents determined to remain in office despite all and at any cost. The concept of representing their constituents is as antiquated as are the days of civil discourse. Narrow self interest defines the motivation of virtually every member of Congress.

To say that this Congress is out of synch with the realities of the day would be a gross understatement. Enormous challenges confront us on every front from the economy to the two wars inherited from the Cheney / Bush Administration. One of the most intractable of issues that has variously been ignored and center stage over the last 50 years or so is our health care system's inability to function as it should. Far too many of us are without insurance coverage while those with health insurance are paying far too much for far too little. The system is and has always been tilted towards the insurers who call the shots at every level of the process.

Money drives the system and health care expenditures comprise a huge segment of our economy. The free market has reigned as patients have suffered; the quality of care you may receive will be directly dependent upon what type of coverage you have. Medical decisions are too often dictated by the insurers and, physicians greed, has helped fuel the sky rocketing costs associated with addressing acute and chronic conditions, hospitalization and treatment modalities.

But, we already knew all of this. What we have learned new, is that the insurance companies have bought and paid for a handful of Senators who wield disproportional influence on key Senate Committees simply due to seniority. That these people, some of whom have come to be known as “The Gang of Six”, represent a sliver of the population yet are positioned to shape health care reform in the image most advantageous to them and their corporate benefactors.

Let's call these people out; call them out for the corrupt scumbags that they are. While we're at it, let's not forget to call out the inept White House and our President too weak with majorities in both Houses of Congress the cornerstone of his domestic agenda. What we have sadly learned over these last few months is just how dysfunctional our system has become. This endemic, perpetual dysfunction is the direct result of the quality of those we elect. In a sense, to paraphrase the former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, we have gotten the government we deserve, not the one we wish we had.

We seen bailouts and handouts from Wall Street to Detroit. We've witnessed the collapse of the legislative process, the core element of our Republic, eroded by crass and callous scumbags whose only interests are to remain in office and reap the rewards of their powerful positions. It has been a long time since we have had a truly “representative “ government in Washington; by the people, of the people and for the people.

















We've been gang banged by these six bastards:
Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Kent Conrad - North Dakota
Mike Enzi - Wyoming, Olympia Snowe - Maine, Mark Bingaman -
New Mexico and Max Baucus, -North Dakota.




Despite a commanding election victory last November, President Obama's White House has refused to exert their full influence in the health care reform process. It appears the President made a staggering miscalculation when he set his sights on the concept of a truly bipartisan health care reform bill. He invested a great deal of capital and trust into men who were ill equipped to handle such trust responsibly. His miscalculation may cost him politically in ways he did not envision. Although Obama has stated that “if real health care reform makes me a one term President, it will be worth it”, his Administration has demonstrated an odd propensity for appeasement, placating and pacifying the carnival barkers on the Republican side of the debate.

Back in August during the absurd town hall meeting furor, eels like Chuck Grassley were out proclaiming loudly and proudly that Obama's efforts would fail. Crooks like Grassley were also saying that any Bill the size of the one needed to reform the health care industry should have a t least “70 or 80” Senate votes. Where did that come from? When has any legislative measure been expected to garner that sort of majority in the Senate? It was ludicrous on its face when it first starting filtering through the media coverage and became more bizarre as many of Grassley's cohorts echoed his position. Still the White House publicly stated that they were willing to do business with Grassley and the rest of the obstructionists; crooks all bought and paid for by the special interests vested in the preservation of the status quo.

Then, we can look at the likes of the so-called “independent” Senator from the insurance capital of the world, Connecticut, Joe Lieberman. Joe is the among the most cravenly self centered politicians of his or any generation. When Joe saw he was going to have a real re-election challenge in 2004, he simply dropped his Democratic Party affiliation and became an Independent. Since, the Democrats have allowed him to retain the Chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. From this perch he looks after the interests of Israel above all else and the interests of his corporate donors. That this man was the Vice Presidential candidate of the Democratic Party in 2000 is almost unbelievable given where he is politically and who he is today. He said recently on Fox News Sunday that he will do everything in his power to block the Democrat's effort towards comprehensive health care reform.

For Joe, it is all about keeping the insurance companies content so they continue to feed his campaign coffers. This is the story for so very many, if not all of the Senators and Representatives serving today. Each time the Congress appears to slam into the basement of dysfunction they manage to find a new and lower low. There is no sign that anything about this inertia and greed will ever change.

Knowing this by now, the President and his Democratic majority in both chambers of Congress should craft and pass their version of health care reform including a strong “public option.” The public option does not represent a “government takeover” of the “entire health care delivery system” as the GOP and their corporate sponsors would have you believe.

Until the President begins to exercise his influence in a meaningful way domestically, he is doomed to fail. If his agendas fails it will be a failure for all of us; a failure we can ill afford to have inflicted on us. A good first step to establishing a tougher stance would be for the Democrats to strip Jew Lieberman of his Chairmanship – send the unambiguous message that such treachery will not be tolerated. The Democratic leadership should muster their caucus to pass the components of Obama's legislative initiatives they can and do so in the form and fashion that will have the broadest benefit to society. Now is the time for some real change and that change should first come in the form of brass balls: the majorities are there, use them and use them forcefully and wisely.




Copyright TBC 2009 © All Rights Reserved

Thursday, October 29, 2009

POST MENOPAUSAL DIPLOMACY

FEISTY CLINTON BLASTS PAKISTAN













Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Lahore earlier today.



(October 29, Lahore, Pakistan) On a trip meant to improve our relations with Pakistan, our secretary of State, Mrs. Bill Clinton, took the opportunity to lambast the Pakistani government. In her most strident tone Hillary Clinton commented, "I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn't get to them if they really wanted to," she said to a group of Pakistani journalists on her second day here. "Maybe that's the case; maybe they're not gettable. I don't know."

The United States has poured billions of dollars into Pakistan since September 2001 in the form of military and civilian aide. Then President George W. Bush sought the cooperation of then Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf after the Al Qaeda attacks on America on September 11, 2001. General Musharraf had obtained the Presidency after a military coup in 1999. From the outset of our courtship of Pakistan it was widely known within the United States military and intelligence communities that the Pakistani government was rife with corruption and was staffed by many high ranking officials sympathetic to Al Qaeda and the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan.

The past eight years has seen an uneasy relationship between the U.S. And Pakistan. Over the years there have been numerous occasions where Pakistan has acted in direct opposition to our national security interests in our military efforts in Afghanistan. The Pakistani Intelligence Service (IIS) has repeatedly dropped the ball when tasked by the U.S. To engage Al Qaeda and Taliban elements along the rugged, mountainous border territory that constitutes the ill defined border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The most notable failure of Pakistan as far as the United States is concerned was when they were expected to seal off the border at Tora Bora. Their failure to secure that region allowed Osama Bin Laden and his closest, highest ranking henchmen, as well as Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban to escape. Many in the U.S. Military and intelligence communities believed they escaped with Pakistani culpability if not overt assistance. One high ranking Pentagon official, now retired, speaking anonymously noted, “ The entire situation in Afghanistan would be dramatically different had the Pakistani forces cooperated with us instead of selling out and letting our enemies slip away. Bush should never have outsourced that mission to them and we should have had substantially more troops on the ground at Tora Bora. Unfortunately, Bush and his cronies had shifted their attention and all our military resources to his war of choice in Iraq. The damage done on both fronts was monumental.”

Given the rocky history with Pakistan, President Obama dispatched Secretary of State Clinton to meet with the Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari, to seek broader cooperation across a full range of issues. Pakistan is home to many important members of both Al Qaeda and the Taliban; this country remains a safe haven for radical Islamic fundamentalists of every stripe.

Clinton visit here was punctuated with several public events that exposed the often divergent interests between the two countries. In one public forum Clinton was challenged to defend the United States use of unmanned aircraft known as drones to seek out, locate, identify and kill members of Al Qaeda and the Taliban. In several recent drone attacks, the Pakistani's contend that many civilians were killed. "We are fighting a war that was imposed on us. It is not our war, it is your war," television journalist Asma Shirazi told Clinton. He continued, "You had a 9-11. We are having daily 9-11s in Pakistan."

Secretary Clinton had several nasty exchanges with government officials and civilians alike during her three days here. At a woman's issue oriented forum she seemed to take pleasure in her verbal assault on Pakistan and its population. She told the audience that “You should all be grateful we haven't bombed your entire pathetic country back into the stone age. Actually, since the majority of this god forsaken nation is presently still in the stone age, it wouldn't take much effort on our part. You should get your act together; get with the program, get educated, sanitized and civilized. Being here reminds me of being in Arkansas in 1982.”

Hillary's visit here got off to a rocky start. On Wednesday, when Clinton arrived, a powerful car bomb in a market in Peshawar killed more than 100 people, mostly women and children, wounding an estimated 200 others. One radical Iman who operates a religious school for young men in Peshawar told Al Jezeera, the Arab language news outlet, “we will continue our fight against the infidels. The United States has murdered Millions of Muslims, supports the Zionist pigs in Israel and continues to oppress our people. They will never know safety until, God willing, we kill them in greater numbers. This Clinton woman who comes here should be stoned to death for her disrespect of our Holy places and religion. God willing, she will die a slow, painful death. Praise Allah.”

One of the most contentious meetings came when Secretary Clinton met with a high ranking Muslim Cleric, Mullah Ali Shali – Wali Bingbang. She challenged Bingbang to “teach your students, your people, the true Koran not the bastardized version that you interpret as giving you license to kill Americans. You are basically an asshole creating another generation of terrorists, suicide bombers and illiterate warriors.” Mullah Bingbang became visibly angered by Clinton's rebuke and threatened to have her beheaded. Her cadre of State Department security officers managed to whisk her away to a safe place.


Links:


http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE59R0II20091030

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6896956.ece

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/10/2009102919522938695.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/28/world/asia/28diplo.html

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/10/30/clintons-tough-talk-pakistan-drives-home-message-way-street/

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33502831/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/




Copyright TBC 2009 © All Rights Reserved

Thursday, October 22, 2009

FIRST LADY TRIES FOR WORLD RECORD

MICHELLE OBAMA HULA HOOPS TO RAISE FUNDS
























Mrs. Obama on the South Lawn of the White House.
Falls short of Guinness record, raises campaign funds for Democrats.



(October 22, Washington, DC) What could be more “down to earth” than the First lady hula hooping, running, and jumping rope on the manicured South Lawn of the White House?

Yesterday, while hosting the “Healthy Kids Fair”, Mrs. Obama attempted to break the Guinness World Record in the Hula Hoop event. While she fell far short of her goal, she did attract a good deal of attention from the area children who were present as well as the media, White House staff and Secret Service agents. A White House source leaked the news that a DVD of Mrs. Obama swinging her hips and shaking her booty was to be sold as a fund raising gimmick. The source, speaking anonymously said, “The DNC hopes the DVD will generate substantial revenue. I think it will be a big seller. I know, I'll buy a copy for my own private entertainment.”

Since taking up residence in the White House, the First Lady has used the White House grounds for a variety of events, has planted a vegetable garden, and placed a swing set for her two young daughters.

Mrs. Obama has become well known for, among other things, her athleticism, style, fashion sense and healthy life style. Earlier this year, her well muscled arms got a good deal of media attention as did her appearance exiting from Air Force One wearing casual shorts. White House Chief of Staff commented, “Hey, she has a heck of a body. If I wasn't a closet homosexual with a mad crush on Anderson Cooper, I'd really be excited.”

While there has been some harsh criticism from the Republicans and conservatives about some of Mrs. Obama's fashion choices and public displays of her anatomy, recent polling indicates that the American public is very comfortable with her. “She has stellar numbers, across all demographic segments. She is extremely popular. Mrs. Obama is a powerful role model not just for young African American and Latina girls but for women all over the country and the world”, noted Stan Greenberg of Greenberg Associates a highly respected polling company based in Arlington Virginia.

After eight years of the school-schoolmarmish, stodgy, if not frumpy reign of Laura Bush as First Lady, Michelle Obama appears more “regular” and “accessible” according to the Greenberg polls. “In all the years of polling about First Ladies, these are the highest numbers I've seen. She is more popular than her husband, the President, by a fairly large margin.”

Links:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/10/michelle-obama-hulahoops-her-way-to-health.html

http://www.examiner.com/x-1419-Minneapolis-Fitness-Examiner~y2009m10d22-Michelle-Obama-works-a-hula-hoop-to-promote-fitness

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i1wS1ndrEngTu-0v7Dor0tF4XRsQD9BFMQ5G0

http://michelleobamawatch.com/



Copyright TBC 2009 © All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

KARZAI KNOWS WHERE HIS BREAD IS BUTTERED

MONEY TALKS








Hamid Karzai – Crook, Opium King, Statesman
Time For This Bum To Go Or Go It Alone.



(October 20, Kabul, Afghanistan) All of a sudden the corrupt “president” of this war and neglect ravaged country is supporting a run off election after evidence of widespread voting irregularities were documented by a United Nations elections watchdog group. Hamid Karzai had been opposed to the idea of a run off between his opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, until the United States threatened to shut off the spigot from which he has collected billions of our dollars. If nothing else, like every other corrupt, self serving politician, Karzai will fight to save his ass to remain in the position to siphon as much of the money intended to rebuild this country into his own coffers.

It should not come as a surprise that Karzai is as criminal and corrupt as he is; after all, he was the hand picked “president” of the Cheney / Bush Administration. They certainly were able to form a “democratic government” in Afghanistan eerily similar to our own – it is rife with corruption, patronage, bribery and criminality of every sort and on a grand scale. The United States has poured untold billions of dollars into Afghanistan for everything from the development of a central government, infrastructure, schools, hospitals, utilities aside from our 9 year old military mission here.

Immediately after the polls had closed on election day, August 20, 2009, complaints began to trickle in from all the far reaching provinces and territories in this rugged, vast land. The United Nations backed Electoral Complaints Commission was made aware of all manner of voting and polling locations reporting irregularities. The voting public of Afghanistan quickly recognized that something was not quite right when the initial results were tallied and announced. In some polling places Karzai had “won”100% of the vote; in other locations, particularly in Abdullah's stronghold, the results were as dramatically skewed.

Despite claims of election fraud from all quarters, Karzai had remained defiant. He resisted the notion that his election was invalid and illegitimate and would not entertain any discussion of a run off. He claimed he had legitimately captured over 50% of the votes cast. With 50% of the vote or more, the Afghan “constitution” would not provide for a run off. The outrage of the Afghan people and the international community has been growing ever since.

Last week Karzai began to speak about the possibility of a “coalition” government; a “power-sharing” arrangement with Abdullah. This was not well received by anyone; this country is notoriously fractious and even the notion of a “coalition” as a central government was considered absurd by experts in America, the United Nations and certainly among Afghanistan's neighbors Pakistan and Iran.

As the debate in Washington, DC has heated up regarding increasing our military troop levels here, the need to rectify the electoral mess grew more pronounced. A group of envoys from several Western nations including the United States, held talks this past weekend with Karzai. Clearly the lack of a perceived legitimate government in this country was impacting the debate in the White House and Pentagon. Our military efforts in this country have been questioned for some time now and a dramatic change in tactics and strategy has been implemented since President Obama appointed General Stanley McChrystal last summer to lead our efforts here. The Taliban and Al Qaeda are widely acknowledged to be as powerful as they were prior to September 11, 2001. Under Karzai's tacit, if not overt approval, the opium trade has grown exponentially and serves as the major source of funding for both the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

According to a recent Newsweek article by Evan Thomas , General McChrystal “is a purebred warrior, the son of a two-star general, West Point class of '76, a former commander of the elite Rangers Regiment, and, from 2003 to 2008, the head of hunter-killer black ops in Special Operations.” He recently released a report for the President in which he requested an increase of up to 60,000 additional troops. That issue, the issue of combat troops, primary among others, dominates the debate and dilemma Obama and his top advisers are engaged in.

A member of the National Security Council, speaking not for attribution said, “We would not be in this position now if George W. Bush would have kept his focus on the real fight in 2001 instead of traipsing off to fight his disastrous war of choice in Iraq. Afghanistan is where our real enemies were. They are still there or, at least the ones who didn't slip away at Tora Bora are. The Taliban, Al Qaeda, they should have been the focus of all our military resources and might. Now, 9 years later, we have to try to sort this out and define precisely what our mission is. We cannot afford to kept spending lives and money recklessly.”

Recently, several in depth, outstanding journalistic pieces have appeared in publications most notably, Dexter Filkins piece in the New York Times Magazine on Sunday, October 18. General McChrystal states his perception of the situation on the ground and his goals for the future. According to the General, he views our troops role as one of “interacting” with the local population hoping to win their trust and cooperation. While his may be a noble ambition it poses risks to our troops that seem to be not worthy. The idea that we, or any outside force, can enact real change and establish a central government in this country is absurd, dangerous and futile. We should concentrate on eradicating Al Qaeda and members of the Taliban who choose to fight.

It is a shame that after nine years in this almost primitive country that it is only now, at this crucial juncture, that a real debate is being waged in Washington, DC about our future here. Hopefully, some pragmatic, realistic, thoughtful minds will craft our future mission that should include letting the Afghans fight their own battles, establish their own government and stop the flow of US dollars and troops into this harsh, unforgiving place. Let the Afghans fight their own insurgents while we concentrate on our enemy. To do anything else is to guarantee that we will be bogged down in Afghanistan for decades. Enough is enough.


Links:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,568481,00.html

http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-10-21-voa4.cfm

http://www.upi.com/Daily-Briefing/2009/10/20/Afghan-election/UPI-87861256041124/

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/18/magazine/18Afghanistan-t.html?_r=1&ref=magazine

http://www.newsweek.com/id/216237



Copyright TBC 2009 © All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ELECTILE DYSFUNCTION

IMPOTENT DEMS, IGNORANT REPS
No Little Blue Pill Will Fix This Disorder




















DIVIDED WE FAIL





(October 13, Washington, DC) Let's face it, no matter which side of the political divide you inhabit, your Party of choice is letting you down. The perpetual state of gridlock that has come to define national politics, legislating, and governance is now the norm: ineffective, inefficient and rabidly partisan are the defining characteristics of members of Congress and the White House Administration.

Our tripartite system of government has been subverted over the last 15 years or so by ideological divides, endemic corruption, special interest influence and money as well as having people of lesser and lower intellect, character, morals and conscience than at any time in our history occupying offices in Congress, the White House, Governor's Mansions and State Legislatures. Our two Party system is broken, plain and simple. For too long a complacent electorate has allowed the fringe, “base” elements of each Party dominate agendas, platforms and the overall debates no matter the issue, irregardless of the importance. Examples of this dysfunction, just in the last nine years, are too numerous to list.

As a nation we have faced tremendous challenges since 2001 that have required capabilities and abilities from our federal government and those elected to serve within it that simply do not exist anymore. Arguably, this decline has been progressing since the Reagan Administration but has certainly come to be the unimpeachable reality since the turn of the millennium. The fact that the events of September 11, 2001 occurred was the first major indication that there was rampant ineptitude, dysfunction, and lack of sense of duty pervasive in government at every level in the myriad alphabet agencies comprising the “intelligence” community, through Congressional oversight committees. Hurricane Katrina was yet another example, albeit of a different sort and nature, that our federal government had become useless.

There was a time, not too long ago, that principals were motivators for our elected officials, now, it is all about money, incumbency and narrow self interest. Not even the aftermath of 9 11 01 could break the greed mode of Congress. Homeland Security funding devolved into politics as usual even before the smoldering heaps of wreckage in lower Manhattan began to cool. Funds meant for Homeland Security were divided up and diverted to pork barrel spending in an orgy of arrogant greed and self serving largesse. To this day parts of the Gulf Coast that had been decimated by Hurricane Katrina in September 2005 remain in virtually the same condition they did days after the flood waters resided. We remain engaged , after thousands of lives sacrificed and multi-trillions of taxpayers money has vanished in the black hole that is Iraq. The same could be said of Afghanistan except that was where our true enemies and battlefields were and remain to this day. The damage to every aspect of what America is and represents and, actually, how we function, was callously trampled and crapped on by the Cheney / Bush Administration in their eight year reign of neoconservative, messianic, wholly misguided reign of ignorance, idiocy and incompetence. They shred our Constitution with impunity.

Barak Obama won the Presidency last November with a virtual mandate. His was a commanding victory that included winning the majority status in both Houses of Congress. After Pennsylvania spineless, asshole, Arlen Specter, and Minnesotan Al Franken were seated on the Democratic side of the Senate aisle, the Dems had a “super majority”; 60 votes which gave them unlimited ability to pass legislation and usher through important components of Obama's ambitious agenda. The majority in the House was equally significant and the fact was that the Democrats really did not need ANY Republicans to pass bills. If the Republicans had these majorities you can rest assured they would be churning out bill after misguided bill. The GOP had been maniacal lemmings for the entire two terms of the Cheney / Bush Administration; they marched in lock step to the insane drumbeat coming from the White House allowing Cheney and company to have their way in all matters foreign and domestic. Congressional oversight was non existent and, by all appearances thus far, oversight will remain a low priority in the Democratically controlled Congress. We have come to expect nothing less, haven't we?

Yesterday's vote in the Senate Finance Committee on some half-assed version of a “Health Care Reform” bill passed 14 to 9 with the sole Republican vote cast by Olympia Snowe of Maine. This comes after four months of the President advocating for bipartisanship which was met with such overt blatant resistance that many key Republicans spent the month of August loudly and proudly proclaiming they would not “vote for any bill” no matter the particulars. Senate fossils like Chuck Grassley, Mike Enzi and Ben Nelson (among others) held the entire process hostage. These men from sparsely populated state's were in the position to derail all efforts in reform simply because they could; seniority had put them in pivotal Committee positions. It is also no secret that all of them, the entire “Gang of Six” and many others are bought and paid for by the health care industry lobby, the big pharmaceutical corporations pouring huge amounts of money into their campaign coffers. They cast their lot with their contributors and sold out the American people. Yet, the Democrats, from the President on down, insisted in trying to court and sway some Republicans their way. They failed royally. The bill voted out of Committee yesterday is in no way, shape or form, meaningful “Health Care Reform.” It is made up basically of some meager cosmetic measures to be applied to the health INSURANCE industry.

The Republicans framed this debate this summer and the Democrats, despite their majorities, feebly fought back. The GOP was calling the President's efforts “a government take over of our health care.” What the hell were they talking about? Who was going to “take over” what? It was a pitiful summer for the Democrats and, essentially , for the American public, particularly those among us without health insurance or struggling to pay our premiums. The concept of “A Public Option” was torn apart and mutated, bastardized by the GOP and came to represent one of the most damaging of all the outright lies they spewed forth. The media was complicit all along the way no matter what their ideological bent. (Yes, the media, all the media, operate from some point along the social / political spectrum despite their protestations to the contrary.)

We are poorly served by our elected officials and have been for so long that we hardly ever think anything positive, that benefits the greater good, can ever or will ever be enacted. It has been many years since any Congress or Administration acted in accordance with public opinion or for the greater good. Public sentiment in recent years has been callously ignored and continues to be. There is no wonder why American's have become cynical and complacent: they have witnessed a shocking breakdown of American Democracy. From a “war of choice” to the enormous bailouts of banks, brokerages and corporations, our government has acted in direct defiance of the populace.

The true colors of our elected officials have been laid bare by the health care reform debate. What we have seen and learned about some of the players involved is sickening. Until we as a voting people begin to pay attention to issues and express our opinions in the voting booth or at the ballot box, we will continue to have the ilk of people we currently have in Congress and in the White House.

The most misunderstood, distorted and excoriated component of some proposed versions of health care reform is what is known as “The Public Option.” The fiercest resistance to a public option has come from the GOP, Republican members of Congress, most of whom have taken funding from various entities in the health insurance / medical /pharmaceutical / insurance complex. The public option more than any other component or amendment to any reform bill is the most threatening to the status quo. It would not be “government run health care” as the lying, loud mouthed, corrupt opponents have been railing against. It would be no more a government run health care program than Medicaid which, as most users will confess, works quite well for all intents and purposes. Without a public option the health insurance industry, which has all the appearances of a collusive monopoly, will have free reign over the market. A public option would present the public with a choice; voluntarily electing to purchase health insurance from a government entity would make the market competitive and break the stranglehold of the health insurance / medical /pharmaceutical / insurance complex. Heaven forbid there be some equalizing force, some leveling of the playing field for Americans who struggle with medical insurance premium costs, the astronomical cost of medical care and treatment and the restrictive, exclusive practices that leave so many of us uninsured and uninsurable.

The battle is far from over. The bill voted out of the Finance Committee yesterday is just the first piece of “legislation” that will be voted on by various committees and conferences. Sadly, in their pursuit of bipartisanship, the Democrats ceded their numerical advantages and will, most likely, have nothing to show for it aside from some bastardized, watered down bill that falls far short from real, tangible health care reform.

What we have seen over the course of the last few months is that Democrats cannot govern and Republicans are pure self centered oppositionists. The result of this awful equation is that the American public looses, as usual when it comes to Washington DC politics.



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamie-court/why-is-washington-dc-afra_b_312759.html

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2009/10/05-15

http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/shaping-one-overhaul-with-564-amendments/

http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20091015/DOSE/310159949

http://washingtonindependent.com/63859/dems-vs-the-insurance-industry-round-ii

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=aWZXmErBUvVQ

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_health_insurance_option

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/29/AR2009092902028.html




Copyright TBC 2009 © All Rights Reserved

Sunday, October 11, 2009

McCAIN, GRAHAM & LIEBERMAN

3 STOOGES SINGING SAME OLD SONG














SUDDENLY THEY SEE AFGHANISTAN?


(October 11, Washington, DC) Moe, Larry and Curly at least were admittedly comedians. The Senatorial trio of John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman actually see themselves as dedicated, thoughtful statesmen. Individually, each represents the worst in foreign policy judgment, military affairs and governance. Collectively, these three imbeciles were among George W. Bush’s staunchest supporters, zealous hawks, and proponents for his ill-fated, disastrous war of choice in Iraq. They gave their vocal support for the neoconservative agenda and, at every step, at each turn over the past eight years, they were proved wrong; dreadfully wrong on all accounts.

Now, these Three Stooges are suddenly experts on Afghanistan and what our military mission should be in that ungovernable land. These are the same men who approved the transfer of military resources OUT OF Afghanistan so Bush could go fight his war in Iraq. Not only were they culpable in the drawdown in Afghanistan well before the righteous mission there was complete, over the ensuing years they actually downplayed the importance of our fight in Afghanistan and were among those who loudly proclaimed Iraq to be the “frontline in the war on terror.” These morons echoed the Cheney / Bush mantra of “fighting Al Qaeda there (Iraq), so we don’t have to fight them here.” Sadly, as we all know today, there is overwhelming evidence that supports the facts that Al Qaeda had no presence in Iraq before our military arrived there, that Saddam Hussein had no role in the terrorist attacks perpetrated here on September 11, 2001, and that Osama bin Laden would be captured or killed “quickly.” Each of these men bear some responsibility for the failures of the Cheney / Bush Administration pertaining to the military efforts in both Afghanistan and Iraq. They could not have been more wrong about all there central premises. Now, all of a sudden, this idiotic trio, are out on the airwaves, in print and in the halls of Congress hoping to steer our future course regarding Afghanistan? All brass, blather and balls; no brains.

John McCain, the leader of the pack, this trios “Moe”, who was roundly and soundly defeated in last year’s Presidential election slunk back to his comfy Senate seat after his electoral ass kicking and immediately began harping on the new Administration. All his campaign rhetoric went out the window and he has devolved into the scorned, bitter, doddering, poor loser that he is. Any credibility he may have once possessed in matters of the military and foreign policy has long since ebbed away. Yes, in the Viet Nam war John McCain was a true hero who suffered more than most men could bear. For many years he was a moderate voice of reason in the Senate but, during and since his failed Presidential bid, has become an angry, rabble-rousing, blithering idiot. He should have retired after the drubbing he received last November.

Lindsey Graham, an early supporter and close adviser of McCain’s during his campaign is no less idiotic in his rants and raves. His bloviating is draped in a syrupy down home southern drawl and he sees himself as quite endowed with wit and wisdom. He is as transparent as Saran Wrap; he does nothing that will interfere with his political aspirations and he obviously can’t disassociate himself with the wrong-headedness of his mentor McCain. His military and foreign policy experience is basically nil. He claims having been a lawyer in the Air Force Reserve endows him with a certain degree of gravitas and military credentials. By the way he speaks about Iraq and Afghanistan; he probably would have gotten more military knowledge had he played with GI Joe’s beneath the Palmetto trees of his home. If he had any personal courage and character he would simply come out of the closet and admit to his homosexuality.

Joe Lieberman, the traitorous “Independent” from Connecticut has one political loafer in the Senate; the other in the Israeli Knesset. A rabid Zionist, all Joe cares about is his own political hide and the interests of Israel. He has no moral or ethical compass, no core beliefs aside from Zionism and appears to serve Israel more consistently, vigorously, and effectively than he does his own constituents and country. He, too, was joined at the hip to McCain during his campaign and views all foreign policy and military matters through the eyes of an Israeli.

The fact that these three losers are now advocating all sorts of military escalations in Afghanistan would be amusing if it were not so serious. The situation today in Afghanistan, going into our ninth year of fighting there, is as bad, if not worse, than it was when our first covert operatives landed there in October 2001. The Taliban has resurged and Al Qaeda remains a thriving, evil, guerilla force. Obviously, had the Cheney / Bush Administration and people like these Three Stooges taken our mission in Afghanistan as seriously as they should have, had they focused solely on Al Qaeda and their Taliban hosts, perhaps things would be different for us today. Cheney / Bush began diverting military resources to Iraq in November 2001 shortly after the battle of Tora Bora which they decided to partially out source to the corrupt Pakistani military. Osama bin Laden slipped away into Pakistan along with remnants and some of the leadership of the Taliban. Now, the Taliban occupies or effectively controls more territory than they did in September 2001.

Meanwhile, in the capitol, Kabul, Cheney / Bush’s hand picked puppet president, Hamid Karzai,
Controls about five square miles of his country, has devoured billions of United States aide money and other funds and is the de facto CEO of Afghanistan’s opium trade. He is as corrupt and useless as are McCain, Graham and Lieberman.

There are big decisions to be made by the Obama Administration regarding our intervention in Afghanistan; the mission needs to be redefined, the composition and size of our troop presence there re-evaluated, and a clear path forward identified and acted upon. McCain, Graham and Lieberman should do the country a favor and just shut up. They are not in any way, shape or form part of the “loyal opposition”. Not at all. They are simply ignorant Republicans (even Jewish Joe) who have no interest or cause greater than being opposed to President Obama.

It is stunning that these men can face themselves in the mirror every morning to shave without being sickened by what they see. McCain has become a laughing stock, a regular on FOX News and his rhetoric is the same as it was during the lead up to the doomed invasion of Iraq. Graham is just a clown but a dangerous one at that. He tries to fool people into thinking he is rational and reasonable when he is, at heart, an obstinate politician playing all the games necessary to keep his gay ass in the Senate and, in the future perhaps, beyond. He spouts the GOP talking points with the best of them and, like his two buddies, clearly demonstrated advanced ineptitude in all matters of foreign policy, national security and military missions.

Joe should just move to Tel Aviv. He jumped from his Party’s ship when he saw he was going to be defeated in a primary race and since then has basically been a Republican; he spent the last eight years with his bulbous schnozzolla up the asses of Cheney / Bush. You can bet that any position Joe takes in foreign affairs, national security and military missions is the position of Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu. It is Jewish money that has financed his political career and Jewish issues that dominate his agenda. He seeks to use the United States military and all other resources to the furtherance of Israeli goals. It is amazing he has the chutzpah to go on national TV and speak about Afghanistan and the “importance” of the mission there when he was among the first to advance the Cheney / Bush doctrine of “pre emptive war” in Iraq. Israel is much closer to Iraq than it is Afghanistan. That explains that.

Afghanistan historically has been a quagmire for any outsiders. It is a country only in name. Our efforts there should be reduced to targeting our true enemies, not national building or trying to “win the hearts and minds” of the local, basically tribal and clannish people. They don’t want us there; they don’t want anybody else there. Our military possesses the technological capabilities to hunt our enemies with little to no risk to or need for troops on the ground. After eight years of engagement what have we to show for our efforts, lost lives and national treasure? Nothing, absolutely nothing.


Links:


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/opinion/11rich.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=frank%20rich&st=cse

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/harry-shearer/the-afghanistan-war-just_b_312870.html

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2009/afghanistan.war/index.html

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-afghanistan22-2009sep22,0,908493.story

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2009/10/11/afghanistan___the_proxy_war/


Copyright TBC 2009 © All Rights Reserved

Friday, October 9, 2009

BUSH MADE OBAMA’S NOBEL POSSIBLE

AWARD OR REWARD?

















(October 9, New York, NY) Oslo Norway is a world away from Dallas Texas, the home of former President George W. Bush. Despite the geographic distance, the two locations are sites in the nexus allowing the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize to be bestowed on our current President Barak Obama.

There are not many real surprises in Washington DC politics aside from scandals however, the news from Norway in the predawn hours this morning that Obama had won the Nobel was a major, stunning and, in some quarters, outrageous news surprise. Obama is the first sitting United States President since Woodrow Wilson to win the international honor. To some, the award is a true testament that the world views our President as a transformative figure. To many others, particularly those on the conservative Right wing of American politics, Obama as a Nobel Laureate is something more akin to being name Homecoming King. The truth of the matter lies between these disparate perspectives.

Whether conservatives and Obama’s opponents like it or not, we are part of the world community. Yes, we are the lone Super Power and need not ask permission from the United Nations, NATO or any other nation when it comes to making decisions about our own national security, defense and economy. But, we are the strong giant on a crowded planet and, without international cooperation, some vital initiatives that do in fact impact us directly, including in some components of our national security, we can not accomplish that which we need to. We need only look back in our most recent past, the eight years of the George W. Bush Administration to see where “going it alone” has gotten us.

As loudly as many here on the political Right will protest, it does matter what the world thinks of us. For example, we have a long and proud history of being generous and magnanimous in victory. Not seeking an empire, we helped rebuild the world economy after World War II and, by being temperate in our relations with other nations we were able to forge strong, reliable alliances and to further cement our bond with our historical European Allies. This matters.

George W. Bush’s disdain for the rest of the world and his basically unilateral war of choice in Iraq, alienated America from many of our long time Allies and created generations of new haters particularly in the huge, global Muslim population. We cannot afford to create enemies and to ignore our Allies. The world does indeed watch America and, for better or worse, we set the tone for how much of the rest of the world behaves. Globalization has made it increasingly vital that we act in concert with other nations, that we seek compromise and agreements to avoid tension and conflict.

Naturally we should always act from our strength and in our best interest. There are times when our best interest is just that, ours and ours alone. So be it. However, the majority of the time, our interests coincide with the interests of other nations; coalitions and alliances are more apt to succeed than isolationist unilateralism.

Barak Obama’s Presidency and now, his Nobel Peace Prize, were made possible by George W. Bush and the policies, attitudes and practices of the Dick Cheney Administration. Together, Cheney and Bush did more to destroy the relationships with our Allies and reverse the foreign policy philosophy America had espoused since our birth as a nation. There can be no doubt that Obama’s Nobel is a high profile rebuke to Cheney / Bush and that , in and of itself, is meaningful. World opinion does matter; how we are perceived globally directly impacts our national security.

In some ways the world has become virtually borderless. War and famine cross national borders and disease knows no boundaries or borders. A global pandemic would quickly illustrate the necessity for us to work with other nations for our own good. We have recently witnessed just how interdependent the global economy is; each nation is just a link in a tightly coiled chain of commerce, finance, and trade. We alone can exert little pressure against nation states we view as “bad actors.” If we wish to exist in a perpetual state of war and conflict, than we can go it alone. No one would deny that we as a people would rather live securely among our global neighbors. A huge contributor to our current deep recession has been the cost of fighting a war in Iraq for six years virtually unassisted by our Allies. Our on going mess in Afghanistan is another example of what we can get mired in without strong international, sustained support. The NATO presence in Afghanistan is diminishing as our leaders are debating our future mission in that troubled land.

By his own admission early here today in his brief acceptance speech, President Obama said he did not feel “deserving” of the award but would travel to Oslo in December to accept it. According to CNN, the President , “said he viewed the decision less as a recognition of his own accomplishments and more as "a call to action." The Nobel committee recognized Obama's efforts at dialogue to solve complex global problems, including working toward a world free of nuclear weapons.”

The Nobel Peace Prize Committee sited President Obama’s "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." Thorbjorn Jagland, chairman of the Nobel committee, said the decision was "unanimous" and came with ease.

International reactions have largely been congratulatory towards Obama with many world leaders praising his efforts to “change the dialog” and improve the perception of America around the globe. It is a sad testament to the state of domestic politics that the Republican Party is using Obama’s award in a fund raising campaign. The derision and insults from the GOP seem not only unpatriotic and ignorant but also embarrassing. They challenge the Nobel Committee for awarding Obama on the grounds that he has “not accomplished” anything. The retort from the Committee has been that Obama’s presence alone in the White House and his embracing of a more open and thoughtful foreign policy as sufficient justification for their surprising action.

One senior White House official speaking not for attribution commented, “Every American can be and should be proud that our President has been recognized by the Nobel Committee for his efforts in forging a new foreign policy. The fact that so many here on the right are engaging in insulting, negative commentary show just how far out of touch with reality they have become.”






Links:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/10/09/nobel.peace.prize/index.html

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/10/09/obama.nobel.international.reaction/

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/55246

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/obama-nobel-peace-prize-reaction-transcript-full-text

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/10/world/10nobel.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,563503,00.html




Copyright TBC 2009 © All Rights Reserved

Thursday, October 8, 2009

YEAR NINE, DAY ONE:

WE GOTTA GET OUTTA THIS PLACE













Change in US strategy a must.
Time to break out the hi tech and crush the low tech



(October 8, Reston, VA) In an amazing exercise of power and might comprised initially of small CIA paramilitary and Special Forces units covertly inserted, the United States began the campaign to rid Afghanistan of the Taliban who had served as protective hosts of the terrorist group,Al Qaeda., who had orchestrated the massive terror attacks of September 11, 2001. After the initial insertions of men and money who joined forces with the Northern Alliance, the remnants of ragtag militias still resisting the dominant Taliban, the United States brought out the heavy bombers and put troops on the ground. The fight was on and the Taliban was crushed within three weeks while their leaders and Al Qaeda fled into the rugged, mountainous, tribal, area near Tora Bora which borders Pakistan. Rather than finish the job then and there, decisively and definitively, the imbecilic, messianic President George W. Bush decided to start his personal grudge match against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. The rest, of course, is well known history.

The fact that we remain in Afghanistan after eight years is as troubling as it is costly and, at times, seemingly futile. The Obama Administration who inherited this military morass is now struggling to redefine our mission, strategy and goals there. What was originally a righteous cause where the United States had support of virtually every other nation on the planet has devolved into a complex, confusing, pseudo-quagmire where our efforts appear to be disjointed, scatter shot and inadequate. Our NATA allies are dwindling by the day so the military presence in that vast, perpetually ungovernable country are solely American faces. Even the “democratic” government literally installed by the Bush crowd is rife with corruption of every sort and has virtually no governmental authority beyond the small seat of “power” in Kabul. The recent presidential “election” there has been roundly criticized and effectively neutered by rampant charges of electoral irregularities.

Afghanistan for centuries has been an impenetrable conglomeration of tribes of varying ethnic and religious composition. It is a “country” in name only; forever resistant to a central government of any kind. The history of outside forces in Afghanistan is the very definition of failure – stunning, demoralizing, grinding failure. Just ask the Russians (then, the USSR) about there bruising 10 year war and their ultimate humiliating, empire destroying defeat. Of course during that time period the United States was supplying the mujaheddin with money and arms so they could fight our proxy war with the Soviet Union. Now it is our turn.

There is no way for us to “win” in Afghanistan because there is no way presently agreed upon to define victory. Our righteous battle against those who attacked us here at home in 2001 and their extreme Islamic fundamentalist hosts has devolved into an ill defined brawl with various factions, militias and determined tribal warlords. The billions in aid we have given to the Karzai government has vanished in the vast, deep sinkholes of corruption and narco-trafficking, and fleeting alliances. Who are we “fighting” there today? Who is the “enemy”? Who, in that country aside from the self important, criminally corrupt Hamid Karzai, even wants us there? What are our abilities to conduct military operations on the Pakistani border region? Speaking of Pakistan, what exactly is their relationship with the Taliban and other like minded groups? These are not merely rhetorical questions; these are the core issues at the heart of the serious debate being engaged in today in the White House, State Department, Pentagon and the Intelligence community.

At the center of the debate now is the number of troops that should be kept in and additionally deployed to Afghanistan. This seems to be a question that needs to be asked after several other, far more important questions are asked and answered satisfactorily. We need a true answers of the questions asked above as ell as a complete redefinition of the mission, goal and end game. What will constitute “victory” and how can we accomplish that? What we are involved in right now in Afghanistan is the penultimate example of asymmetrical warfare and counter insurgency. In some ways, despite military successes since Viet Nam, our military appears to have learned little abut the most effective tactics for challenging, fighting and outthinking a hard core insurgency amid a hostile local population.



STREAMLINED AND HI TECH















Air Force pilots operate Predator drones, unmanned aircraft
from an air base far from the battlefields.


To continue our current strategy in Afghanistan essentially dooms our military to a protracted, nasty, bloody conflict. The non combatant citizens of Afghanistan are already beginning to become increasingly hostile to our troops; our continued presence will only breed a stronger, more determined insurgency, gain support for Al Qaeda and, perhaps, create conditions conducive for a resurgent Taliban to exert control over more and more territory. The past eight years have clearly illustrated just how foolish and costly the continuance of the status quo or a mere tweaking of it would be.

The time has come for us to begin to reduce the troop numbers in Afghanistan and refocus on our true enemies - the people who are responsible for 9 11 01 and their hosts. We have the technology that will allow us to continue, if not escalate the fight while reducing the number of troops on the ground. The United States has spent untold trillions of dollars over the years developing new age methods and machinery for modern warfare. Now is the time to use every hi tech tool in our military arsenal to hunt and kill Al Qaeda. Our fight with the Taliban is more nuanced and we need to consider diplomatic efforts with factions of the Taliban who have no use for Al Qaeda and the destruction and devastation they have invited to Afghanistan. The much praised “surge” in Iraq was successful because our military was able to negotiate and ultimately partner with various warlords and tribal leaders to rid specific towns and villages of insurgents and “foreign fighters” - Islamic extremists attracted to Iraq simply to fight “the Americans.” We need a similar approach in Afghanistan.

In October 2001, had we dedicated the vast military resources to Afghanistan that we foolishly squandered going into Iraq in 2003, we would not be in the position we are in today. 160,000 troops, artillery and our stunning airpower, conventional methods, would have yielded quick results. The Taliban fell and fled within weeks of our first air strikes and Special forces skirmishes. That would have been the time to secure as much of the country as possible and allow for some stability which would have bread even greater stability. This would have at least created the basic conditions for the Afghans to decide how they wanted t be governed; no force on earth has ever or will ever be able to govern Afghanistan unless it is homegrown. History is replete with examples of those who tried and failed.

We should stop funding Hamid Karzai and his opium king brother. We are not there to “nation build”. How can you build a nation where one has never existed before? All the schools, bridges, irrigation and electricity projects in the world will not, cn not succeed in Afghanistan unless the Afghans, all the multitude of tribes and clans, want them to. We’ve got to stop wasting our troops lives, national treasure and time. Let all the drones, cruise and hellfire missiles t our disposal dispose of Al Qaeda where ever they may rear their heads. Let’s exert some of the authority at our command as a Super Power and tell tumultuous, nuclear weapon armed Pakistan to clean up their act or there will be no more US dollars flooding in. We could bomb the rugged area of the Afghan - Pakistan border where Al Qaeda is suspected to be until it is nothing but a glass plain. We don’t need top shed another drop of American blood in that god forsaken hellhole. We can fight them with our technology from the comfort of military bases and Naval vessels hundreds if not thousands of miles away. No more “whack-a-mole” tactics. Let’s hit them hard and relentlessly and send the unequivocable message that we’re tired of this shit and we’re not going to take it anymore.



Links:

http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/obama/2009/10/08/obamas-war-within-the-democratic-party.html

http://www.sfltimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3399&Itemid=184

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/team-obama-afghan-taliban_b_314144.html

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/10/07/pakistan-is-the-focus-of-top-level-white-house-meeting/

http://www.newsweek.com/id/216864



Copyright TBC 2009 © All Rights Reserved