Last night, President Barack Obamapresented his case against the Syrian government and President Bashar al-Assad. In my opinion, the case is pretty clear. The Syrian government used chemical weapons against their own people. Then, to cover up their atrocities, they then shelled those exact same neighborhoods for three days straight. Then, they let UN weapons inspectors to come in with the hope that they would find nothing. Or at least, they would find nothing conclusive. The one thing that this whole ordeal has clearly shown us is the dysfunction of the Republican Party. On one hand, there are some of the Republican Party that have been yelling, as loudly as they possibly could, that a limited, targeted, surgical strike was not enough. We needed more. (Invade Syria?) Then, there are those who wanted immediate airstrikes. They didn’t even want President Obama to ask Congress for anything. They stated, clearly, that Obama had the authority and he was scared to use it. Finally, you had a group of Republicans who are calling Obama a warmonger. In my opinion, all of these extremes simply miss the point. I think the idea of Syria giving up their chemical weapons is a good one. Unfortunately, the implementation of actually getting them to give up their chemical weapons is going to be extremely difficult. For a second, it seemed that Russia was going to play a constructive role in the peaceful turnover of Syrian chemical weapons to the international community. Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to squash all that. The Russian president took to the New York Times. Not only is he falsely suggesting that the United Nations was founded so that we can start war only by consensus. That’s garbage. The United Nations was started to give Russia and the United States cover if they needed it. He even suggested that the rebels may have unleashed the chemical weapons. If, President Al Assad does not comply, we need to unleash the cruise missiles.
Over the past 20 years, Americans have heard that “Washington is spending too much.” Whatever politician was railing against Washington spending would come up with some obscure program that is measuring methane gas as pigs past wind. These are almost always conservative politicians pointing out these “problems.” For some reason, and I don’t understand why, they never mention billions of dollars spent on weapons systems that have never worked or the fact that we are now enjoying the third-generation of stealth fighter/bombers. The third generation. No military in the world has ever been able to detect the first generation or the second generation. Yet, we’re spending more money on the third generation and are currently developing a fourth generation. In spite of these spending atrocities (in this case, an atrocity is in the eye of the beholder) the following chart puts our spending and our revenues into perspective.
This chart clearly shows that our problem is one of revenue. I wonder if we could fix this revenue problem by ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and reversing the Bush tax cuts?
Just two policies dating from the Bush Administration — tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — accounted for over $500 billion of the deficit in 2009 and will account for almost $7 trillion in deficits in 2009 through 2019, including the associated debt-service costs.  (The prescription drug benefit enacted in 2003 accounts for further substantial increases in deficits and debt, which we are unable to quantify due to data limitations.) These impacts easily dwarf the stimulus and financial rescues. Furthermore, unlike those temporary costs, these inherited policies (especially the tax cuts and the drug benefit) do not fade away as the economy recovers (see Figure 1).
Without the economic downturn and the fiscal policies of the previous Administration, the budget would be roughly in balance over the next decade. That would have put the nation on a much sounder footing to address the demographic challenges and the cost pressures in health care that darken the long-run fiscal outlook.
Geraldo Rivera, media celebrity for Fox News, invites Malik Shabazz, member of the New Black Panther organization, to talk about his views on America. Nothing good can come out of this conversation. The video is here. I am completely unable to watch this video. It simply sucks IQ points out of my head. You have one guy asking leading questions and another guy, who has an agenda, wants to point out to America the impression that Whites has inflicted on the world over the last several centuries.
This is the problem with race relations. He cannot talk past each other. You have to talk to each other. If you go to start a conversation suggesting that you are aligned with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, that conversation is a nonstarter. If you start a conversation weighing out the litany of abuses that Whites have inflicted upon Africa and Asia in the North American Indians, you’re not getting anywhere. The atrocities are well-known. So, move forward.