Posts Tagged ‘political


SCARLET H (Hypocrisy) UPDATE – Repubs Vote No on War Funding

Scarlet H - Repubs - War fundingI’m starting a new series entitled “Scarlet H Update” about political hypocrisy, as I described in my last blog. I’m sure it will be a regular series, because now that there’s a Democrat in the White House, we’re sure to routinely witness Repubs again and again do the same things they chastised Democrats about while Bush was ruining the world.

I’ll probably have to start another series “Spineless Dems – WTF?!” and we might have an installment of that tomorrow.

In case you didn’t happen to read yesterday’s post in which I discuss the all-too-common combination of Republicans, adultery, and hypocrisy, the Scarlet H will now be applied to those who criticize one and then do the exact same thing down the line. It’s elementary, but you see, our politicians simply cannot stop themselves from issuing the almighty condemnation for actions they themselves pursue. While I would say this is a bipartisan problem, the majority of Scarlet H award winners are Rebubs for too many reasons to go into at this juncture.

Today, we focus on war funding.

Remember this little gem from the campaign trail in which Cindy McCain attacked Obama for voting against a war funding bill – which her husband had done earlier as well (I could only find a video of the ridiculousness enmeshed in a Hardball clip, but it’s at the beginning, so you don’t have to watch all the commentary if you don’t want to):

Cindy’s speech mimicked many attacks the Republicans have launched against Democrats should a leftie ever, ever decide to vote against a war fuding bill. Why would they do such a thing? You see extraneous funding are always attached to bills that guaranteed to pass – like a military funding bill. This is how many projects receive money. I’m not saying it is right. I’m saying this is how it is – whether a Democrat or Republican has been in the White House.

Well, it just so happens that a war funding bill has come across the laps of our Washington legislators – complete with the typical extraneous funding requests and guess what? The VAST majority of House Republicans voted against the lastest war funding bill June 16.

As Politico (whose piece I linked to above) points out:

In 2005, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) ripped Democrats who opposed the supplemental request, calling their position “immoral.” When war funding came up again in 2006, Cole took to the floor to say, “I would ask members to remember this is a vote about our willingness to support our servicemen and women and not about other policy issues.”

He voted no on the war funding Tuesday.

Even McCain said he is leaning against voting for the bill – I wonder who his wife would support on the campaign trail now.

The fact of the matter is that Republicans have railed against Democrats repeatedly, consistently in recent years when Democrats voted against war funding bills for the exact same reason Republicans are turning their backs on this piece of legislation.

In a flood of vitriol, Republicans hurdled accusations claiming the Democrats did not care for the troops, hated America, weren’t patriotic every time they Dems something stripped from a war funding bill.

Now Republicans are committing an act they had, as recently as the last presidential campaign, called a grievous sin.

There’s no honor, no dignity in politicizing the troops, which the Republicans do repeatedly when it serves their purpose. Then, to turn tail when the White House is blue, is a true bottom-feeder low. Despicable from all angles.

And don’t write any comments criticizing the legislation. I’m not defending the legislation. War funding bills have always had these tag-along items and only now are yellow-bellied Republicans standing against such legislation. Shameful.

And that’s why, today, Republicans get the H.

And talk about double standard, why isn’t Fox reporting on the lack of Republicans supporting the bill?


Republicans, Adultery and Hypocrisy AGAIN

Politicians need to stop criticizing each other for having affairs. You know the ones who protest the loudest are in the back room boning their secretary or their friend’s wife or some prostitute when they’re not in front of their precious cameras.

And I really don’t think having an affair makes you a bad legislator or should immediately designate your pink slip.

But, for chrissakes, Republicans! All the bastions of morality who spewed faux indignation after Clinton’s Cigar Adventures with Lewinsky are, one-by-one, revealing themselves card-carrying members of the Scarlet H club – Hypocrites.

Sanctity of marriage, my ass. Newt Gingrich, Larry Craig, David Vitter and now John Ensign have all emerged as pathetic boobs committing the same sins for which they’ve ordered others’ political executions.

Furthermore, these are all men (old and white) who have called for the preservation of the their version of marriage and would keep same-sex marriage from being legal. Yet, they grind their own marriages to a pulp. How they think adultery should remain legal while same-sex marriage not, according to their own logic and dogma, is beyond explanation.

It is always the Christians, always the right wingers, the Sarah Palins, the Carrie Prejeans and now the John Ensigns who make the Religious Right-Wing Hypocrites-R-Us Party so unpalatable. They hold everyone else to a standard they themselves cannot meet.

Every week, another of my Republican friends (mostly white and 30) tell me they are abandoning the Red Party and heading over to the Libertarians. And you can thank, in large part, the never-ending, vomit-inducing mountain of hypocrisy that eminates from the right side of the aisle. It’s beyond grotesque.


Prohibition Against Gay Adoption Unconstitutional in Florida

Earlier this week, a judge in Miami deemed the law a violation of equal rights for children and their prospective homosexual parents, saying, “There is no rational basis to prohibit gay parents from adopting. It is clear that sexual orientation is not a predictor of a person’s ability to parent. A child in need of love, safety and stability does not first consider the sexual orientation of his parent. The exclusion causes some children to be deprived of a permanent placement with a family that is best suited to their needs.” The fight for gay adoption will undoubtedly continue to be waged in Florida courts before freedom is fully granted to gay couples – especially as the state just voted for a ban against gay marriage.heteros-for-homs

Wooohoooo! I’ve known many well-adjusted adults who were raised by gay parents and find it quite unAmerican and immoral that people would be the target of prejudice simply for their gay-orientation. Remember, if you choose to stomp on the rights of others, there will be no one to protect you when your rights are attacked. Gays are no different than anyone else (perhaps with the exception of heightened fashion sense) – an enlightenment continuing to spread across our progressive country.

Arkansas and Utah ban gay and single people from adopting/fostering and Mississippi bans gay couples, not gay singles, from adopting. Obviously, the majority of voters in these states fear change, are not Christlike in their intolerance and finding themselves the bassackward armpit of our wondrous land of the free (except for gays, cough, cough.)

Religion has no quarter in U.S. political or legal foundations. Ask any non-believer, atheist, agnostic or free-thinker if they would ban gay marriage or gay adoption and you would be hard-pressed to find an answer in the affirmative. Gay prejudice is of religious origin and without credibility and should be removed from government entirely. It is inappropriate to even have a proposition to decide the legality of gay marriage. Duh.


Decreased Violence in Iraq – More to do with Money than the Surge

It is intensely irritating to hear McCain repeat again and again that he supported the “Surge” strategy and that this strategy is responsible for a reduction in violence in Iraq. Furthermore, Obama is now whistling this tune in an effort to endear uninformed Americans and convince them of his competence on national security.

In all this talk of surge success, very little is being mentioned of the immense amount of cash being handed over to many of Iraq’s violent tribes and militias – putting vast amounts of criminals on U.S. payroll to NOT reach for their automatic weapons and plant IEDs. You got it. We’re monetarily bribing down the violence. And we’ll likely continue to do so as we reduce troop numbers.

I’m not saying I oppose this strategy. Whatever works, right? But to continuously claim “The surge is a success” without acknowledging the effect of these payoffs is equivalent to presenting a facade to the American people. Of course, we should expect nothing less. How many lies were told to garner support for the war in the first place?

Yet we hear over and over that the surge’s success has proven McCain right. I know at some point I should develop a callous to the lies, but it seems nearly impossible and we’re all left with high blood pressure and anger over our leaders’ inabilities to prioritize truth over popularity.

Finally, CNN offered an interview with terrorism expert Peter Bergen on 360 last night in which he said,

I actually think both the Democrats and the Republicans have been overemphasizing the surge. If it was just about the surge, the violence would be back up again because the surge is over. There are some underlying factors that are much more important in Iraq in my view.

One — the fact that Al Qaeda in Iraq, they basically scored a series of own goals by its Taliban-style tactics, producing this wave of revulsion against and amongst the Sunnis. Now we put up a 100,000 Sunni militia on the American payroll, people who used to be shooting at the United States who are now on our payroll.

We also see the Prime Minister Maliki, no one could say a good thing about him a year and a half ago in Washington. Turning out to be a somewhat effective leader going into Basra, taking out the Shia militias there, going into Sadr City, taking out the Shia militias there.

We’ve also seen the Iraqi army which, Anderson, is really much larger than the Afghan army and much more effective in a country which is smaller and with a smaller population.

So there were some underlying factors that actually suggest that long- term success in Iraq is plausible. It’s possible the surge, of course, was one aspect of it. But to say that the surge caused all these changes is I think simply very simplistic essentially.

Also, Rick Rowley of Big Noise Films produced a video report entitled Uncovering the Truth Behind the Anbar Success Story showing Sunni leaders who had formerly been associated with Al Qaeda in Iraq and responsible for ethnic cleansing being paid off. In an interview with Katie Halper of last September, Rowley indicated,

There have been a lot of reports about the fact that the people who the U.S. is working with, the supposed “freedom fighters,” the “counter-insurgents” are former insurgents. They were Iraqi al Qaeda before they started working with the Americans. That is troubling because if they were fighting the Americans once, they’ll fight Americans again. And more troubling for the future of Iraq is the fact that many of the tribes that the U.S. is working with are war criminals who are directly responsible for ethnic cleansing and who are using American support to prepare for sectarian civil war. The U.S. is funding Sunni militias. They already funded the Shia militias. They’re now funding all sides of this sectarian war.

Here’s an NPR interview with British journalist Peter Cockburn discussing U.S. payments to Iraqi militiamen.

In an April 2008 report, The Christian Science Monitor stated,

He (Abu Abdullah of the Islamic Army of Iraq) also maintains that while the US has succeeded in driving a wedge between AQI (Al Qaeda in Iraq) and Sunnis in Anbar Province, many of the tribesmen there who are now on the American payroll are still aiding IAI and other insurgent groups.

Members of these US-backed militias now number almost 91,000 and are paid a total of $16 million a month in salaries by the US. They are often lauded by President Bush in his speeches on Iraq.

The US military now calls these Sunni militias “Sons of Iraq.” Iraqis simply refer to all these groups as sahwas. But the Shiite-led government is resisting US pressure to fold these groups, especially the ones in Baghdad and Diyala provinces, into the Army and police. “Trust me, the sahwas are ultimately with the resistance, heart and mind,” says Abu Abdullah.

There is no debating the fact that the drop in violence in Iraq is largely due in part to the payoffs – right or wrong – the U.S. is giving the militias. I am not squabbling with this strategy. I am merely raising my voice in protest of the campaign of misinformation of the surge’s success by the president, McCain and now Obama.

We cannot judge our approval or disapproval of these candidate’s ideas if they are not straightforward. I have little doubt the empty political rhetoric will continue, but at least those of us with a minute ability to apply research and information to our opinions and decision-making can help proliferate necessary evidence to support or refute the politicians’ shameful mumbo-jumbo.

UPDDATE 09.05.08: The International Herald Tribune gives more detail of the Shia government’s potential targeting of Sunni Awakening leaders.

The Awakening members are currently paid by the American military to operate checkpoints, guard buildings and, in some cases, to refrain from bombing military convoys and shooting at American and Iraqi soldiers.

Earlier in the day, Jabbar, 31, who is known in the neighborhood as Abu Sajad, said angrily that the government was trying to undermine the councils and to make them fail.


Mr. Clinton, you sir, are getting ugly.

The debate rages as to the quality of Bill’s contribution to Hillary’s campaign. To quote inexactly a commentator on CNN, he is relinquishing his role as statesman and taking up the part of political operative. Quite right, I would say if I were British. Quite right.

It is likely Bill feels he owes Hillary whatever he can offer her campaign, not just as her husband, but as her political partner who has stood by him through intensely difficult times. Had she chosen to divorce him in the late 1980’s after he had fallen in love with another woman, as any sane wife would do, he never would have reached the political apex of president of the United States of America. We all know the ins and outs of the Lewinsky deal and I’d rather not touch that one. The topic is already overexposed, as far as I’m concerned and almost put me off cigars completely.

And Bill probably just likes the battle. Hillary is in her element when she’s in a dogfight and has her sites set on a target. That isn’t a bad thing, necessarily, but Bill most likely shares that appetite for attack. It’s become his retirement pastime or something. In any case, I’m soooooooo over it. Turn the page, you dig?

If NOTHING else (and there is alotta else), Bill is reminding me of what I didn’t like about his presidency. The condescending manner with which he addresses the press (because a politician is a civil servant and sooooo much better than a ratings-seeking journalist. give me an effing break), the inability to keep it about the issues, not the campaign, and eliminate vitriol from strategy. There will be negativity galore when it’s time to face the Republican nominee directly. For now, he needs to keep under the collar.

Of course, keep anything IN or UNDER anything else wasn’t his strong suit. I just picture having to deal with his antics again and his psychological need to seek the intimate attentions of other women. We’re used to presidents cuckolding, but how will we deal with a president being cuckolded? Sure, it shouldn’t be an issue. But it will be. It always is.

Do we want to watch Bill for at least another four years playing bad cop for his wife’s policies? We’ve reviewed his presidency through rose-colored glasses, as many have Reagan’s, but those years were hard to get through much of the time and the manner he has recently portrayed during his charity work has simply been a white-washed version of himself. I don’t know if I want the real-deal back again. Make no mistake, we’re not just voting for Hillary. We’re voting for Bill all over again. My recently-discovered favorite term is “Billary”, but it will soon get as annoying as “Brangelina.”

So, shut it Bill, for the love of all that is good and political. With each of your ridiculous comments, I move one step closer to checking the box next to Obama.

Scarlet Letter of Atheism


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