Walk down any street in the US and ask people about Tongo, Tongo, Niger, you will get blank stares. Ask them about what happened in Yakla, Yemen and you will get confused looks. Now, ask them about “Benghazi” and you’ll get an immediate reaction. Why is that? Because Republicans took the attacks on two US compounds in Benghazi, Libya and held a hundred hearings about it, they made it part of the conversation. They made it news. To the point where there were books and movies made about it. Trey Gowdy practically made a career out of chairing one sub-committee. Americans …Continue reading →
Over the past few days, we have discussed how the wrong words used in service of advocacy for Palestinian rights may cause offense to some Jewish-Americans. It is right and proper to have this discussion. In the pursuit of a better world, in our search for the right path to a better foreign policy, we should not inadvertently cause harm to our allies and innocents. Nor should we further any form of bigotry. Let’s also stop for a moment and consider the feelings of Palestinians, Palestinian-Americans and their allies. They have been largely absent from most commentator’s consideration during this week’s debate. By conjunction, let …Continue reading →
Over and over again, myRepublican colleagues and some of my Democratic colleagues have come down to the Senate floor to complain about the $21 trillion national debt.
Over and over again, our Republican friends tell us that we cannot possibly afford to join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care as a right to every man, woman and child through a Medicare for All program.
We have been told that we cannot afford to make public colleges and universities tuition free, or to make sure that everyone in America has access to affordable housing, childcare, or a good job that pays a living wage with good benefits.
Even though over half of older Americans have no retirement savings we have been told we need to cut Social Security.
But, when it comes to spending $716 billion on the military - more than the next ten countries combined - all of a sudden there is a deafening silence from my Republican colleagues about the deficit.
Last night, Republicans blocked my amendment to the #FY19NDAA that would stop the U.S. from refueling Saudi-led coalition jets bombing civilians in Yemen. They argued that our alliance with the Saudi monarchy meant we needed to overlook their war crimes in Yemen. I disagree. pic.twitter.com/jfTNfct1PF
Go here to see the vote. Unfortunately, it looks like nine Democrats also “blocked” Ro’s amendment, but I’m glad that my Rep. Joe Courtney voted with Ro. Tulsi Gabbard and Beto O’Rourke also voted with Ro.
So Netanyahu made a big show yesterday out of what was billed as a big reveal of supposed evidence of Iran lying about their nuclear weapons capacity. And when I say “big show”, I mean Netanyahu was up there on stage acting like a carnival barker. He was whipping black (natch) cloth off of bookcases full of ‘very serious’ looking binders and off of a large display of shiny CDs all neatly lined up for dramatic effect. All to demonstrate that: Convinced yet? Neither is the rest of the world..for the most part at least. From PBS: Netanyahu’s nuclear presentation gets cool reception in …Continue reading →
We have watched this president, like so many before him, drop bombs and hurl missiles at different countries in Asia and Africa. The picture below of US missiles striking Damascus would be perfectly at home in a Hollywood blockbuster about an technologically-advanced alien civilization attacking a human society with less firepower. Few of these movies ever explore what is going on back home in these alien societies. Do their leaders starve their bug-eyed young of resources in learning, so they have more pliable cannon fodder? Do their military-industrial-complexes have bug-shaped lobbyists who ease the path to war, knowing there are billions to be …Continue reading →
ACT 1: Washington DC, United States Senate early 2016 Merrick Garland, an eminently qualified judge, was nominated by Barack Obama to the Supreme Court. For weeks afterwards, Republican senators responsible for considering the nomination refused to meet with him. Some of them slink out of their offices in the Senate to avoid the visiting judge. Several eventually do meet him after being shamed, but refuse to discuss confirmation hearings and restrict conversations to pleasantries. They work in lock step to deny Garland a hearing, and deny him the nomination. For the first time in the Republic’s history, a President’s judicial nominee is denied …Continue reading →
Daily Kos is currently running a petition against Mike Pompeo’s nomination to be appointed Secretary of State. It lists several very good reasons for denying Pompeo confirmation, and ends with: Pompeo is a xenophobic, pro-torture, climate-denying war hawk. If the Senate confirms him, it will be disastrous for U.S. diplomacy and would undermine progress on multiple continents for years. — www.dailykos.com/… Pompeo is among a sizable group of Republicans who have built their careers on outright xenophobia, focusing especially on hate directed towards Muslims. In many ways, his election the house and that of other Republicans like Steve King was a harbinger …Continue reading →
In a long article on Trump’s relationship with the military, WaPo reveals that Trump urged CIA employees to commit more war crimes. Trump came to office promising to give the Pentagon a free hand to unleash the full force of U.S. firepower. His impatience was evident on his first full day in office when he visited the CIA and was ushered up to the agency’s drone operations floor. […] Later, when the agency’s head of drone operations explained that the CIA had developed special munitions to limit civilian casualties, the president seemed unimpressed. Watching a previously recorded strike in which the agency held …Continue reading →
Today, Trump nominated a person to lead the CIA who ran torture sites and helped order the destruction of videotapes documenting the torture. Gina Haspel was passed over for a promotion in the Obama era, because she ran a CIA black site and destroyed evidence. She remained in place however, ready for a president with fewer qualms about torturing black and brown people. Trump, of course, has clearly said (as president) that he supports torturing people: Gina Haspel, Trump’s pick for CIA director, tied to use of brutal interrogation measures Haspel, 61, would become the first woman to lead the CIA if she is confirmed …Continue reading →
Calls for a US backed military coup in Venezuela have emanated from the Trump White House. Meanwhile, NPR has given coup advocates a platform to advocate for a coup, positioning it as “humanitarian intervention”. It’s worth discussing the history of coups the US has been associated with. Last week, new documents revealed that the UK government had repeatedly asked the US to foment a coup in Iran in 1952. This is from the NSArchive project at GWU: 1953 Iran Coup: New U.S. Documents Confirm British Approached U.S. in Late 1952 About Ousting Mosaddeq State Department Temporarily Declined, in Part Because U.S. Was …Continue reading →
Eric Trump is 32. Jared Kushner is 36. Donald Trump Jr. is 39. They’re all young enough to serve. Yes, the Army won’t allow Jared and Don Jr to enlist since they’re over 34, but I’m sure the President can make a call and request an exemption. If Donald Trump is going to deliver “fire & fury”, perhaps his kids and sons-in-law should help deliver it. Eric and Don are already “locked & loaded” so to speak. They have the ability to track and shoot dangerous animals as you can see in the photo above. They should require minimal training to …Continue reading →
Stephen Miller (Santa Monica native, Duke grad and self-appointed defender of African-American workers) led a press conference on immigration today where he tried the standard Republican trick of playing the victim. You can watch the entire exchange at C-Span. Miller at one point said Jim Acosta was exhibiting cosmopolitan bias by quoting Emma Lazarus’s poem “Give me your tired your poor…” That should probably be transcribed as (((cosmopolitan))) bias, but same difference. Miller was at the presser because the administration is pushing a bill introduced byTom Cotton (R-AK) and David Perdue (R-GA) to reduce by 50%, the number of immigrant visas available each year. That’s …Continue reading →
This baby is learning to live life without her fingers after she was injured by a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Yemen. pic.twitter.com/qnkTzQ0mCN — Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) July 20, 2017 Our government sold the airplanes that dropped these bombs. Our government refuels the planes on their sorties. Our government makes and sells the bombs, including cluster bombs. We share responsibility for these atrocities. And please don’t believe any of the bullshit peddled to us about how our bombs bring “freedom” and “democracy”. The hands on the triggers are Saudi and we provide the political cover for the Saudis as they do this. …Continue reading →