Nov 17, 2015

Dick Cheney is more responsible for #ParisAttacks than Saddam Hussein was for 9/11

Cheney is more responsible for November 13th Paris Attacks
than Saddam Hussein was for September 11th Attacks

Back in 2003, the Bush administration was biting at the bit to invade Iraq, even repeatedly conflating Iraq with the September 11th attacks. This push to invade the Baathist dictatorship that up until their invasion into Kuwait, the US counted as one of its regional allies, was spearheaded by the individuals that called themselves Project for a New American Century (PNAC) in 1997 which called for wholesale regime change in places that had significant energy resources. That wasn't explicitly stated but the countries that were targeted all had proven petroleum reserves or natural gas deposits, so not too far fetched of me to extrapolate that conclusion. It was however explicitly stated that the New American Century would come at the barrel of a gun and not some 'mamby-pamby' diplomacy, the priority of the military would become the ultimate view for American foreign affairs according to PNAC

Anyhow, PNAC members included Paul Wolfowitz, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, Elliott Abrams, Bill Bennett, Jeb Bush, and future Vice President and heavy of the Bush administration Dick Cheney. To go over the laundry list of things that lead up the catastrophe that was the Iraq invasion and subsequent occupation is tedious, so I will forgo that and presume that you know that Dick Cheney had considerable influence in pushing for the invasion of Iraq and regime change there. A lot of the persuasive arguments made by the administration was tying the Hussein regime with the 9/11 terrorist attacks from such questionable sources as informant "Curveball" who provided information about Iraqi weapons program under duress of a mock execution, and after the fact was revealed to be whole cloth lies that were known to be lies by both the US and UK governments. One of the governments advocating against invading Iraq was the French, whose Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said "we believe that military intervention would be the worst solution" and he was right it turned out. The French also refused to allow UK and US to use French airspace to their airforces for the invasion, which received derision by the "Freedom Fries" crowd and those conservatives that poured out French wine to demonstrate how much they disagree with the French.

Then the Iraq invasion happened, the Baathist party members were removed from the military (which was nearly all officers and plenty of enlisted), the civil government was in disarray as Shia and Sunni started taking revenge on each other and the Kurds sought out as much autonomy and independence as they could squeeze out of the government in Baghdad and allowed by the US military setting up a long term occupation. After eight years of war, insurrection, indiscriminate violence, and massive loss of lives mostly by Iraqi civilians, the Sunni insurgency became well trained and nearly professional but due to the demographics could not hold much territory in the Shia dominated region. The Iraqi army, and national police were defenders of the nation only by name, when de facto they were quite parochial in their responsibilities. When the US formally departed in the fall of 2011, the Iraq Civil War had gotten into full swing. From the Iraq Civil War and the Arab Spring Uprising in neighboring Syria ISIS/ISIL/Daesh arose, and it would be difficult to say that the Iraq Civil War would have occurred without the American invasion and occupation thereby the offshoot of ISIS would never have been born without the American invasion. Without Dick Cheney and other PNAC members pushing for a military invasion of Iraq, there would have been no ISIS attack on Paris this past weekend.

I admit that this an indirect path of responsibility, but Cheney is far more culpable of the Paris terrorist attacks than Saddam Hussein who had no foreknowledge nor any connection with al Queda before or after September 11th of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Oct 29, 2015

Questions Not Asked In the CNBC GOP Debate

Q: Mr. Trump, you threw out Jose Ramos for asking a question out of turn, that question was how would remove 11 million human beings from the country?

Q: Dr. Carson, you described that the Holocaust could have been avoided had the Jews of Europe only had access to guns. In a scenario where 11 million individuals are being forcibly removed from the country, and they have access to guns wouldn't this bring about your imagined scenario to life in modern America?

Q: Ms. Fiorina, you were fired from HP with much fanfare and a golden parachute, then lost a landslide election in California, are simply failing upwards in your run for president?

Q: Governor Bush, your family's reputation and name is seen as your greatest asset, and yet other than fundraisers you have not utilized your brother the lone living 2 term Republican president. If his electoral success and his presidency is not to be emulated why not, if it is then why not campaign with your brother?

Q: Governor Christie, has your bi-partisan success with a Democratic controlled state legislature was entirely based on your negotiating skills why did your political appointees and underlings carry out political retribution (for example the George Washington Bridge traffic study and Sandy Recovery funds being withheld)? If they did all of this without your consent or knowledge, how is the American public supposed to be confident that you could lead or have knowledge of what is going on within the Federal government?

Q: Senator Rubio, early in your Senate career it was reported that you problems with personal finances, purchasing luxury cars and a $80,000 boat, all awhile covering expenses with Florida Republican Party funds and credit cards. Why should the American people believe that you would be a good steward of the public treasury when you have troubled personal finances?

Q: Senator Cruz, if President Obama were born in Kenya and not Hawaii, in your opinion would that negate his claim to being a legitimate president? If so why would still be eligible to become president being born in Canada to an American mother and non-American father (just as Obama parentage is)?

Q: Governor Huckabee, the U.S. Constitution explicitly states there can not be any religious tests and the 1st Amendment states that the government shall not establish a religion. How do square this with your stated belief that America is a Christian nation and that religious freedom can mean that elected officials can ignore law if it conflicts with sincerely held beliefs (such Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis)?

Q: Senator Rand Paul, is Edward Snowden a patriot that committed a crime for the greater good of informing the American public or merely a criminal that stole classified materials and weakened national security?

Q: Governor Pataki, Governor Gilmore, Senator Santorum, etc al, when are you going to drop out of the race?

Oct 24, 2015

Common Core: If Obama is against it will conservatives be for it?

Conservatives are against Common Core because it represents a top-down takeover of schools and in essence a national curriculum for schools that traditionally have been locally controlled since time immemorial.

Liberals oppose Common Core because it is often used as a cudgel against the teachers' union and along with non-unionized charter schools are able to break the backs of collective bargaining for one of the largest (by membership) unions in the country. Common Core also is a commodization of children's education that are in turn  seen as profit centers for private testing companies like Pearson, and parents don't appreciate their kids being turned into products.

So now the Obama administration has admitted that there is currently too much of an emphasis on testing, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said “But I can’t tell you how many conversations I’m in with educators who are understandably stressed and concerned about an overemphasis on testing in some places and how much time testing and test prep are taking from instruction.” Quite the reversal on testing. Now that Common Core in most forms will be tampered down, and remove the force of law of implementing Common Core nationwide, will conservatives applaud the move or simply reject it out of hand because of it's coming from Obama? The teachers' union has already declared this a minor victory, will liberals relent in criticizing the watered down version of Common Core and continue to redress their concerns about testing only now towards their state capitols instead?

Sep 7, 2015

4 time declared bankruptcy Trump, may make unkempt promise to support GOP nominee.

“I don’t make commitments and break them,” Mr. Trump said after speaking at an event here hosted by local chambers of commerce. If he violates the contract, he said, “they should sue. I would go before the court and say, ‘I’m guilty.’ ”

This is a patently false statement by the Donald, since bankruptcies are intrinsically a violation of a contract, and were he truthful he would have to admit that if it suited him, he retains the right to run as a independent candidate regardless of any stated "commitment" he has made otherwise. The loophole that he most likely will use to justify his independent presidential run is the caveat that the RNC will treat him fair, whatever that is supposed to mean. Subjective determination of fair treatment is in the eye of the beholder, and Trump can easily rationalize going back on his word just as he went back on his word with creditors and investors each of the 4 times Donald Trump filed for bankruptcy.