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Bush Legacy Is Still Fresh

Address to the Nation on Immigration. Oval.

Over the last several days I’ve had the pleasure of several people coming up to me and asking what I thought about President Obama and Syria. Almost everybody I talk to questions whether the president was telling the truth, not because they inherently distrust Barack Obama, but because they had a fresh memory of George W. Bush and his war machine. As I was watching John Kerry present before the Senate Armed Services Committee, I had flashbacks of Colin Powell presenting in front of the UN. The problem is that we don’t know what the actual data show. We have no way of knowing whether Barack Obama is twisting the information to suit his own needs.

Timothy Egan has more on the Bush Burden:

He’s there in every corner of Congress where a microphone fronts a politician, there in Russia and the British Parliament and the Vatican. You may think George W. Bush is at home in his bathtub, painting pictures of his toenails, but in fact he’s the biggest presence in the debate over what to do in Syria.

His legacy is paralysis, hypocrisy and uncertainty practiced in varying degrees by those who want to learn from history and those who deny it. Let’s grant some validity to the waffling, though none of it is coming from the architects of the worst global fiasco in a generation.

Time should not soften what President George W. Bush, and his apologists, did in an eight-year war costing the United States more than a trillion dollars, 4,400 American soldiers dead and the displacement of two million Iraqis. The years should not gauze over how the world was conned into an awful conflict. History should hold him accountable for the current muddy debate over what to do in the face of a state-sanctioned mass killer.

Blame Bush? Of course, President Obama has to lead; it’s his superpower now, his armies to move, his stage. But the prior president gave every world leader, every member of Congress a reason to keep the dogs of war on a leash. The isolationists in the Republican Party are a direct result of the Bush foreign policy. A war-weary public that can turn an eye from children being gassed — or express doubt that it happened — is another poisoned fruit of the Bush years. And for the nearly 200 members of both houses of Congress who voted on the Iraq war in 2002 and are still in office and facing a vote this month, Bush shadows them like Scrooge’s ghost.

Military Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault in the Military

Yesterday, in the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, about 15 or 20 of the military brass sat in front of our senators and tried to justify their current system of military justice and the ongoing sexual assault of women in the military. I wish I had something brilliant to say. I really don’t. I find the whole situation sad. No, that’s not right. Outrageous. Pitiful. Intolerable. For almost 20 years women have been fighting in the front lines of our military, yet we have thousands if not tens of thousands of military assaults and rapes against our own by our own. This has to be fixed. We can accept no more excuses.

I was thinking that I needed to write something about how our women in the military need to feel as safe as they do in the normal civilian population. I was gonna say something like the military should be as safe, if not safer. But, as I mentioned a couple months ago, women are not all that safe in the general population. Somehow, the crimes of rape and sexual assault do not seem to be prosecuted with the same vigor as “regular” assault or other violent crimes. We simply need to fix this.

By |2013-06-06T21:44:48-04:00June 5th, 2013|Civil Rights, Military|1 Comment

Grab Bag Tuesday Evening

  • I am deeply saddened by the death of Elizabeth Edwards. Just yesterday, we heard that there was nothing more that the doctors could do and that should’ve been a clue that she was gravely ill. Her spunk and moxy are what drew many Democrats to her husband. My heart goes out to her family. May she rest in peace.
  • Turmoil in the NFL. What’s new? The New York Jets got toasted last night. The New England Patriots boldly made the case for their being the best team in the NFL (without Randy Moss). Denver fired their coach, a very interesting and unexpected move. Albert Haynesworth got suspended by the Washington Redskins for four games for being a knucklehead.
  • Did the White House compromise, again? So depressing. Here’s what’s in the tax deal. What, is the president going to take his case to the American people and fight for what he believes in? Or is this White House going to be known for its continual capitulation? Watch the video:

From Political Animal:

  • Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) believes the defense authorization bill, including the provision repealing DADT, “will get to a vote” in the lame-duck session. Here’s hoping he’s right.
  • Boosting hopes for ratification, at least a little, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) all but endorsed the pending arms control treaty, New START, during an interview this afternoon.
  • The now-complete bailout of Citigroup generated a $12 billion profit for American taxpayers.
  • The Campaign for America’s Future’s Bill Scher, who doesn’t always share the Obama administration’s priorities on economy policy, ran a compelling defense for the tax deal.
  • Jonathan Bernstein: “The truth is that there are a lot of people who just don’t accept that the President of the United States can want something, fight for it, fight effectively and correctly, and still not get it. If it doesn’t happen, it must have been — in Obama’s words — a ‘betrayal.’ Those people are wrong.”
  • How should Americans spend public money to get good teachers? Turns out, it’s a big question.
  • Today is Dec. 7, known for being Pearl Harbor Day. Disgraced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) encouraged his fans to honor the anniversary by buying his books. What a shameless hack.

Pearl Harbor facts:

  • Not on the agenda – Americans during that time were still practicing Isolationism to some degree and wanted nothing to do with European affairs.  The idea was part of Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” book he published during the American Revolution that advocated a parting from Britain.
  • Deaths/Casualties – About 1178 Americans were injured and 2388 were killed from the attack on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1941.
  • Still Complacent – Pearl Harbor Day is not a federal holiday, believe it or not.  It seems that the government still has the mindset that no more attacks like this will happen on our soil, that it was an isolated event in our nation’s history. The truth is that we let our guards down and underestimated the burning desire of others who want this country’s pride tarnished.
  • The USS Utah and Arizona – The only two ships hit on Pearl Harbor Day that were not salvaged after December 7, 1941.
  • The day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, congress convened for a vote of war. Surprisingly, given the gravity of the attack, there was one dissenting vote.  Who was it?  Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana, a devout pacifist gave a thumbs down vote.

By |2010-12-07T23:51:49-04:00December 7th, 2010|Congress, Economy, Military, Taxes|Comments Off on Grab Bag Tuesday Evening
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