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News Roundup – Egypt, George Will, Robert Reich

Over 500 people have died in Egypt. Over 3700 have been injured. President Obama made a statement earlier today. “While we want to sustain a relationship with Egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual while civilians are being killed in the streets. The Egyptian people deserve better than what we’ve seen over the past several days.” As expected, President Obama stopped short of specifically stating that what is happening in Egypt is a coup. Yet, as the violence escalates, I believe we will have to, President Obama will have to, withdraw our $1.3 billion in military aid from Egypt. Look for Al Qaeda to try to exploit this. No matter what kind of diplomatic mumbo-jumbo comes out of the State Department and the White House, whatever’s going on in Egypt, it is clearly not a democracy.

Just to make sure that we know that George Will is still alive and kicking, he wrote one of the most unhinged, neoconservative pieces of gobbledygook that I’ve read in a while. Now, President Obama is worse than Nixon. Yes, he is talking about the Affordability Care Act. The fact that the administration stated that they’re going to wait a year before implementation represents an offense worse than Watergate. Nope, I don’t understand it either. Let’s be clear. Presidents have pushed the envelope of presidential power for as long as we’ve had a Republic. It is up to Congress and the Supreme Court to push back. Currently, we have a completely dysfunctional Congress. They can’t agree on what time of day it is, let alone whether something the president does is right or wrong. As usual, George Will is way off base.

Robert Reich continues to be one of the best progressive voices on the economy. The following is a presentation on income inequality. It is wonderful.

By |2013-08-18T22:42:26-04:00August 15th, 2013|Foreign Affairs, Party Politics|Comments Off on News Roundup – Egypt, George Will, Robert Reich

A couple of things before 2009

Just a couple of items tonight have caught my eye.

First, (someone break out the orchestra and start the sympathy music), former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales asks, “What did I do that was so fundamentally wrong that deserves this kind of response to my service?” He said this in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.  If I can stop laughing long enough I should be able to also mention that this is part of the Bush administration’s “charm” offensive.  They are trying to become more likable.  Whatever.

Some of Alberto Gonzales’s history that clearly explains what he did that was “fundamentally wrong” from Think Progress:

Politicized the DOJ: – Gonzales approved the firing and hiring of federal prosecutors for political reasons and lied to Congress about the scandal.

Approved torture: In 2002, Gonzales “raised no objections and, without consulting military and State Department experts in the laws of torture and war,” approved an infamous August 2002 memo giving CIA interrogators “legal blessings.” Gonzales witnessed an interrogation at Gitmo in 2002 and approved of “whatever needs to be done” to detainees.

Lied about warrantless wiretapping: Gonzaled lied to Congress multiple times about the Bush administration’s illegal wiretapping program, saying there wasn’t “any serious disagreement” about the program (there was).

Distorted pre-war intelligence: Last month, the House Oversight Committee revealed evidence showing that Gonzales lied to Congress in 2004 by claiming that the CIA “orally” approved Bush’s claim that Iraq sought uranium from Africa.

Jon Swift is a popular conservative blogger who never seemed to really go over to the dark side (become a neoconservative). I frequented his blog numerous times before he took a sabbatical. I thought he was reasonable in many of his discussions and I applaud him for that. He has asked several, if not hundreds, of bloggers to submit their “Best Blog Posts of 2008.” He put all the submissions together in one post. Unique idea (also drives traffic to your site).  Well worth the read.  Here’s a small section which includes what I thought was my best post. (This is not in the order in which he posted them. Oh, and the blurbs are Jon’s.)

Where’s the Outrage?
Supply-side Economics Never Made Sense
“Maybe this ‘Me First, Everything Else Second’ mentality helped cause the craziness that we’re seeing on Wall Street,” writes Errington Thompson. Personally, I think it’s the “Me first, Jon Swift second” mentality that’s the problem.

skippy the bush kangaroo
8-8-88: it was 20 years ago today…everything changed – a skippy musing
skippy remembers a day that will in infamy.

Daily Kos
Three Times Is Enemy Action
Markos Moulitsas Zúniga nominates Devilstower’s post, which links our economic woes to deregulation that began in the 1980s. But just because something doesn’t work out the first few times doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try it again.

The Agonist
Who Got It Right
Numerian points out modestly that The Agonist predicted what would happen to the economy long before many of the experts did. OK, smart guy, what’s going to happen next?

Rude Pundit
Time to Rub Their F—ing Faces in It
Rude Pundit reaches across the aisle in his own special way.

Your Mumia Sweatshirt Won’t Get You Into Heaven AnymoreTbogg visits some Ralph Nader voters in Happy Gumdrop Fairy-Tale Land and kills them.

A Blog Around the Clock
The Nobel Prize Conundrum
Coturnix explains the negative side of the Nobel Prizes, besides the fact that there isn’t one for blogging.

Informed Comment
Barack Hussein Obama, Omar Bradley, Benjamin Franklin and other Semitically Named American Heroes
Juan Cole says that Barack Hussein Obama should be as proud of his name as Abraham Hussein Lincoln and John Hussein Adams were.

Iqbal And The Question Of Accountability For Torture Decision-Makers At The Top
Christy Hardin Smith says that one question the Iqbal case will answer is “What is justice here — and is it even possible to accomplish?” I agree with President Nixon: “When the president’s men do it, that means that it is not illegal.”

The Moderate Voice
Obama’s Election: A Sea Of Shattered Assumptions
Joe Gandelman lists 12 assumptions shattered by Obama’s election, not to mention the assumption he couldn’t win, and provides an exhaustive roundup of news media and weblog reaction on the day he won.

Pam’s House Blend
Thoughts on Barack Obama’s ‘A More Perfect Union’
Pam Spaulding muses about the impact of Obama’s speech “in terms of the relief it gave me to hear someone articulate so clearly the need to have a discussion about race because I felt like I was screaming into a void.” Conservatives are just happy we never have to talk about race again.

Comedy Central’s Indecision 2008
Breakfast with Jon Stewart, Part One
Dennis DiClaudio experiences “second most fascinating, most I-can’t-believe-I’m experiencing-this, thing I have ever witnessed in my admittedly very unfascinating and inexperienced life.”

Your Lengthy Guide To The Insane McCain-Palin Cold War
Wonkette details the inside story of the brilliant, hard-fought campaign McCain and Palin aides waged against each other.

By |2008-12-31T21:02:56-04:00December 31st, 2008|Blogging issues, US Attorneys|Comments Off on A couple of things before 2009

Joe the Plumber and the Right Wing

I must admit that during the debates, I was confused by Joe the Plumber. I had no idea who he was. I thought he was some guy who was actually a plumber. John McCain managed to mention Joe around 26 times during a 90 minute debate.

As it turns out, we’re really not sure what Joe the Plumber does to make his living. He is not licensed as a plumber or as a contractor in Toledo, Ohio. So who is Joe? Joe is a guy in Toledo, Ohio who may or may not be a Republican plant. He owes over $1000 in back taxes; therefore, it is hard to imagine that he is going to buy any business worth $250,000. Joe is like Sarah Palin, a myth…like Achilles. Once you look hard enough, you find Achilles was not a god. It looks as if Joe the Plumber may not even be a plumber. Sarah Palin is not the hockey mom that took on her own party but instead is a neoconservative who punishes those who disagree with her and rewards cronyism just like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice.

While I was trapped at the hospital last night, waiting on test results from several recently admitted patients, I was watching CNN when the Glenn Beck Show came on. Glenn Beck is not your typical mainstream Republican, but a man who should not even be exposed to the general public. Simple rules of logic seem not to apply to Mr Beck. For reasons that are unclear, Glenn Beck believes you need no special talent to be president. He went on and on last night about Sarah Palin’s stop at Wal-Mart to pick up diapers, making her a “regular” American. Because of this, he thinks that she is the best candidate to be president. Diapers. Wal-Mart.

Transcript from Glenn Beck Show:

BECK: Hello, America. Last night the — was the last debate for the president, you know, before the election. All throughout the debate, I mean, I just — I like to watch it with the sound off. All I could think of the whole time was diapers, because a few times, I thought they were both full of it, but those aren`t the diapers that I was actually thinking about.

While these two were yammering last night, they were spending the day just memorizing their talking points and political posturing, vice- presidential candidate Sarah Palin popped into a Wal-Mart in Ohio to pick up a few things, including diapers for her youngest son.

Here`s “The Point” tonight, America. That is my candidate. Here`s a regular woman doing the same things that people like you and I do every single day, a politician who lives in the real world. And here`s how I got there.

While McCain and Obama love talking about Joe the plumber. I don`t know about Joe the plumber. By the way, Joe, you should change the name of your company to Joe the plumber like right now. When`s the last time you think either one of these clowns lived like Joe the plumber or felt Joe the plumber`s struggles or shopped like Joe the plumber? Which — which one of them do you think — how long ago was it when they went, “Yes, my toilet`s all backed up, and I got crap all over the floor.” Do you think either of them have done that lately?

Let me keep this brief. Tonight America, here`s what you need to know. I think we`re all feeling disconnected from our government and that`s a spooky thing. And that`s the leaders in Washington are out of touch. You know, they don`t have any idea what it`s like to be an average American like you. But before you throw your hands up and think nobody gets it, think back to yesterday when a mom had a little boy who was out of diapers and she said to the Secret Service, “Pull the bus over for a second. We`re going to Wal-Mart just to pick up a few things.” She just happens to be running for vice president at the time. That`s my candidate. It may not be this time, but I`m going to be watching her for the next four years.

Look, I don’t want Joe the plumber to be my president. I don’t want Sarah Palin to be my president or vice president. I want someone who has a handle on the issues, someone who knows the facts. I want someone who can assimilate vast amounts of information and can then come up with a workable solution. I want someone who understands that our democratic government is a compromise by definition. Therefore, whoever is in the White House needs to be able to negotiate with Congress and come out with something that makes sense. Glenn Beck’s diatribe would make a lot more sense if we lived in the land of Achilles, but we don’t. We live in the real world. In 1941, after Pearl Harbor, Americans were glad to have President Franklin Roosevelt, a politician, and not Joe the Plumber at the helm. Right now, our economy is in a complete and total meltdown, our environment is heating up at an alarming rate and we are fighting two wars simultaneously. With China and Russia becoming more and more our adversaries with every passing day, too, this is no time for amateur hour. I’m sorry but Glenn Beck is a moron. He has given me indigestion and I’m headed for the Pepto-Bismol… Next time he comes on the television, I’m changing the channel.

By |2008-10-17T08:46:19-04:00October 17th, 2008|Economy, Election 2008|Comments Off on Joe the Plumber and the Right Wing
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