Embarrassingly Stupid Attack by Boehner’s Gov Page on Obama’s Foreign Policy

John Boehner’s government page decided to continue the attacks on President Obama’s alleged foreign policy failures by using a curious strategy: showing how much of an idiot Boehner, himself, is on foreign policy.

Let’s address the lunacy included in the post:

When Libya became leaderless, America infamously led from behind – then our posts in Benghazi were attacked.

I’m assuming Boehner wanted an American invasion to sort things out in Libya, which I’m sure would have been wildly popular among the voters (not really).  If only we had invaded to install a leader the U.S. liked and approved, everything would have been peaceful forever, just like in Iraq (not really).  The post also fails to mention the reason Libya became leaderless was because of Obama approving airstrikes that helped oust Gaddafi.  As for Benghazi, I’ll get to that.BO

The reset button with Russia was an embarrassing failure, underscored when a hot mic caught President Obama’s assurances to Vladimir Putin that he’d have “more flexibility” after the 2012 election. In Syria, the president didn’t bother to enforce the red line he established, and then turned to Russia for a political lifeline. Emboldened, Putin muscled his way into Ukraine.

First off, concerning Russia, the “flexibility” statement was technically made to Medvedev, not Putin.  Splitting hairs a bit but factually inaccurate.

Secondly, the Cold War ended a couple decades ago, a fact that the warfare queens on the right still ignore much of the time.  The statement was regarding missile defense and taking steps away from that whole “mutually assured destruction” thing, something we should all crave from our leaders.

Thirdly, Boehner chooses to completely ignore something else that probably emboldened the Russians even more: the feeble reaction of the U.S. government to Russia’s invasion of Georgia.  Why would he not include that?  Maybe because it happened three months before Obama was elected president and five months before he took the Oath of Office.

Then there is Syria.  I’m assuming Boehner is ignoring the explosive Seymour Hersh article detailing why the U.S. did not attack Syria.  In fact, if he wants to prove the Hersh points wrong and show we should have attacked Syria over the use of chemical weapons, he should be calling for the release of all documents showing what the CIA was doing in Benghazi prior to the attack.

The post also fails to point out the Syrian regime did give up its chemical weapons under threat of increased international intervention.

Then President Obama set five elite terrorist commanders free from U.S. custody.

Zero mention of getting a tortured American home for this exchange.  Zero mention of the Afghanistan war coming to an end and trading prisoners at the end of wars.  Zero mention they were released to the custody of Qatar, not immediately set free.  And if these five were so “elite”, why not ask for them to be put on trial to show how provable their elite abilities are in a court of law?

Then there is the point of ISIS gaining ground in Iraq.  The criticism of the decision by the Bush administration to invade Iraq on false pretenses is obviously ignored here but something else should be asked.  What exactly was being done about the Shiite death squads and brutal suppression of the Sunnis in Iraq by the previous administration after the invasion?  It’s as if that has nothing to do with what is happening now.

Sometimes, it’s just amazing what ridiculous claims the right will make.

leadThere’s a great piece in The Atlantic from yesterday entitled “The Rise of The DIY Abortion in Texas” that everyone should read.

The article by Erica Hellerstein reports that there is a medication for ulcers called misoprostol being used to induce early-term abortions providing the appearance of a natural miscarriage. The pill is available over the counter in many Latin American pharmacies, including Mexico, and is now being smuggled into Texas where abortion clinics are becoming fewer and fewer due to restrictive State legislation. 

The Hellerstein story goes in-depth surrounding the black market for misoprostol and every other aspect of the issue. She reports on abortion attempts in unhygienic conditions with coat hangers and punctured uteri being the only reality that many women have. Remember that pre-Roe v. Wade, rich women were able to pay to have illegal abortions in doctors’ offices with sterile conditions while the poor were reduced to back-alleys. The World Health Organization reports that 21.6 million women experience an unsafe abortion worldwide each year, and 47 000 women die from complications of unsafe abortion each year.

What I came away with after reading the story is that no legislation will be able to combat the need for women to terminate there unwanted pregnancies. Nor will it’s attempts be curbed. More and more women, including many mothers, will die as a result of this type of legislation.
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Go See “Obvious Child”

tumblr_n5uealfkGq1twsxt5o1_500Last night authors of STL went to see the new romantic comedy film “Obvious Child.” Here’s the synopsis of the movie and here’s the link to the official website:

For aspiring comedian Donna Stern (Jenny Slate), everyday life as a female twenty-something provides ample material for her incredibly relatable (sic) brand of humor. On stage, Donna is unapologetically (sic) herself, joking about topics as intimate as her sex life and as crude as her day-old underwear. But when Donna gets dumped, loses her job and finds herself pregnant just in time for Valentine’s Day, she has to navigate the murky waters of independent adulthood for the first time. As she grapples with an uncertain financial future, an unwanted pregnancy and a surprising new suitor, Donna begins to discover that the most terrifying thing about adulthood isn’t facing it all on her own. It’s allowing herself to accept the support and love of others. Never failing to find the comedy and humanity in each awkward situation she encounters, Donna finds out along the way what it means to be as brave in life as she is on stage. Anchored by a breakout performance from Slate, Obvious Child is a winning discovery, packed tight with raw, energetic comedy and moments of poignant human honesty. Written and directed by Gillian Robespierre.

This was a funny yet still tragic movie that everyone, especially those concerned with women’s issues, should go see.

Politicos Protected by Smartphone Decision, Too

26SCOTUS-master675Today all nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices agreed that a search of one’s cellphone without a warrant by a law enforcement agency is a violation of the fourth amendment and requires the obtaining of a search warrant. In Chief Justice John Roberts written opinion he stated that,“Cellphones have become important tools in facilitating coordination and communication among members of criminal enterprises, and can provide valuable incriminating information about dangerous criminals,” but, “Privacy comes at a cost.”

Upon the first reading of this decision one might think that criminals are the only ones being protected by this opinion for they may now more easily use their smartphones to set up illegal enterprises. But what about us that are politically active? Three reasons we and like-minded folks should be thankful for this decision: COINTELPRO, Project MINARET, and the FBI.

As Wikipedia can so much more eloquently explains:

COINTELPRO (an acronym for COunter INTELligencePROgram) was a series of covert, and at times illegal,[1] projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveying, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations.[2]National Security Agency operation Project MINARET targeted the personal communications of leading Americans who criticized the Vietnam War, including Senators (e.g., Frank Church and Howard Baker), civil rights leaders (e.g., Dr. Martin Luther King), journalists, and athletes.[3][4]

Do a good read-up on COINTELPRO and Project MINARET, which took place from the 1956 to 1971, and tell me that your not in support of this decision. Could you imagine if J. Edgar Hoover ever got MLK’s or the Students for a Democratic Society’s smartphones what changes in history may have occurred?

 

 

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A Third Intifada?

21kidnap1-videoSixteenByNine600-v2Judging by reports, a third intifada could become a reality in Israel/Palestine if something does not break in the search for the three missing Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. Four Palestinians, one of them 15, have already been killed by Israeli troops and 340 have been arrested by their forces in an operation called Brother’s Keeper.

The photos of the Palestinian deceased have been hoisted at mass funerals for they are seen as martyrs in the liberation struggle.

Emotions are being ramped up more and more every day according to this NYT piece.

 

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Mother Leaves Kids in Car During Job Interview

22-SHANESHA-master675An absolutely heartbreaking story in the NYT on the crimes of a single, homeless mother, Shanesha Taylor, who left her two sons in a hot car during a job interview.

Occurring on March 20th, she was reported and arrested in the parking lot after two office workers heard crying coming from her care. One of her sons is two years old, the other was 9 mos. Police in the town of Scottsdale, AZ, estimated that inside the car the temperature was over 100 degrees. The two could have easily died during the 70 minute interview where she was offered a job at Farmers Insurance.

The piece recounts the events of Ms. Taylor’s economic downfall which began in 2006 and and with the arrival of the Great Recession in 2008. She lost her job, moved from place to place, and could find no employment that paid enough to cover any form of shelter, much less enough for childcare services. She lived in her Durango for days and days.

Taylor has now been bailed out of jail thanks to anonymous donors, yet still faces two felony child abuse counts for her actions.

This is a must-read. How can we expect to protect our society’s most vulnerable in an economy and with a government structure that treats our own citizens so unfairly. Yet, you cannot leave your very young children in a hot car no matter what the circumstances. This story just tears you apart.

You can find a petition calling for Scottdale’s prosecutor to drop the charges against Ms. Taylor at this link.

 

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Presbyterians Vote for Israeli Divestment

SUB-JP-PRESBY-master675Good news people. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted on Friday at its general convention to divest from three companies that it says supply Israel with equipment used in the occupation of Palestinian territory. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), one of a handful of historic mainline Protestant denominations and the church of many American presidents, is the largest yet to endorse divestment at a church-wide convention.

This another victory against the illegal occupation of Palestinian land and the oppression of it’s people by Israeli hardliners and their proponents in Israel and the United States. The B.D.S. (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction) Movement has made significant gains in Europe and the ball is starting to roll here in the U.S.

As usual, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is being accused of being “anti-Semitic.” But in this article in the NYT, Church leaders deflect this argument and by stating that:

“We’re still committed to Israel and its right to exist, but we’re concerned about the occupation and think Israel can do better”…

We must support the B.D.S. Movement by getting the word out and doing our own little part against this violation of international law. Buy the book at the B.D.S. website to become more informed on the nature of the Movement that argues that the Occupation is a form of apartheid and should be fought as such.

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What If They Were The Washington “Blackies”?

REDSKINS-articleLargeYesterday the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, part of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, representing  a division of the federal government, ruled that the Washington Redskins name was disparaging and the team was stripped of federal protections for six of its trademarks. The appeal of this ruling may be stuck in the courts for years, but a major battle against the “Redskins” name has been won.

This decision by the government is a shot over the bow of Daniel Snyder, owner of the Redskins, who has vowed to never change the racial epithet arguing that it is a sign of honor and bravery, not a slur. But Native American groups are pressuring NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to do something about the football team’s name. And to add more heat, in October, President Obama said he would change the name if he were the owner of the team with Sen. Harry Reid and 49 other Democratic senators urging Goodell to enact a name-change.

Now in the interest of full-disclosure, my maternal great-grandmother was a large, Cherokee woman and I take my heritage very seriously despite being almost all-white. Yet I feel offended for the people who are truly, full-blooded American Indians, not for myself. This slur is unacceptable and should be changed immediately under the orders of Goodell for that’s the only way Snyder will do it.

Now I’ve been hearing a lot of people saying that the Native Americans should “just get over it.” But what if they were the Washington “Blackies”? Would the world not end if the self-proclaimed “squeaky wheel” African-American population were offended like this? And would not many, if not the majority, of whites support them?

The problem here is that the Native American population is too small to affect change the way the African-American community can. There are not enough American Indians to create an audible”squeaky wheel” because the genocide of our native peoples has been so thorough. That’s why whites, blacks, Latin peoples, and every other racial segment of the U.S. population needs to stand up and fight for what’s right and force a name change of the “Redskins.”

 

 

 

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Israel Targets Hamas in Further Raids

Hebron checkpointIsrael has now detained 240 Palestinians in West Bank raids (including 65 freed prisoners from the Gilad Shilat prisoner exchange) in an effort to locate and free three kidnapped Israeli teenagers. Yet the Israelis are also openly claiming that these actions are also an attempt to hurt Hamas.

Now I am not condoning the kidnappings by whom or whoever is behind these actions, and Palestinian Authority (P.A.) Pres. Mahmoud Abbas has come out publicly against them. But the Israeli government is using these raids as an excuse to target and intimidate Hamas members, also.

From The Guardian today:

The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, said the re-arrest of the prisoners freed in the Gilad Shalit exchange “sent an important message” that the purpose of Israel‘s military campaign was both to return the teenagers and damage Hamas’s infrastructure in the West Bank.

And…

As well as the arrests, the IDF said on Wednesday that it had carried out about 800 searches since Eyal Yifrach, 19, and Gil-ad Sha’er and Naftali Frankel, both 16, went missing on Thursday. These included raids on Hamas’s charity arm, Dawa, which Israel claims is used to recruit operatives, disseminate information and raise funds.

This was from The Guardian yesterday:

“We are turning Hamas membership into a ticket to hell,” Naftali Bennett, a far-right member of prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet, told army radio on Tuesday.

Should not the Israelis be trying to focus on the humanitarian issue here instead of having ulterior motives? Should they not be trying to cooperate with the new unity government and Abbas in that he has publicly announced his abhorrence regarding these kidnappings?

They do not for this is how the Israeli’s deal with the Palestinians. They act with over-aggression and with disregard for the so-called “peace process.” They do not want a two-state solution, they just want the Palestinians to just disappear.

 

 

 

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