Thursday, February 04, 2016

On Chris Matthews' Unending Efforts To Smear Bernie Sanders As A Soviet-Style Socialist

Chris Matthews is trying to say that Bernie Sanders doesn't believe in capitalism or the market, which is a complete lie. Either Chris Matthews is profoundly ignorant - which I don't believe for a second. I think he's one of the smartest guys out there. Or this is the leading edge of the establishment/insider spear thrown against the outsider Bernie Sanders ~ Thom Hartmann (Progressive talk radio host) on his eponymous program, 8/3/2015.

It's getting ridiculous. Yes, Matthews is clearly in the bag for Hillary Clinton, but his constant distorting of Bernie's politics is really pissing me off. Right now I'm watching the "pre-debate" (ahead of the 5th Democratic debate) and this a-hole breaks out the dictionary definition of "Socialism". Of course he definition-shopped and chose the one that says government owns the means of production.

And, even though Howard Dean is a Hillary Surrogate (as well as a sell out), he still had enough integrity to correct Matthews, saying NO, Berie isn't a (Soviet-style) Socialist, but a Social Democrat like in the UK.

This is one of the reasons I've largely given up on msnbc. Up until Bernie showed that he is a viable contender (with his virtual tie in Iowa and his likely upcoming win in New Hampshire) msnbc was all Trump all the time. Now I expect more of the Bernie bashing (although I'm sure they'll continue with the Trump coverage as well unless he implodes).

The voters are so hungry for the genuine populism of Bernie Sanders that he's pushed Hillary to the Left. But I'm wondering that if Hillary is elected... how long will her populist views last? Remember in 2008 Barack Obama said he'd renegotiate NAFTA? Now he's pushing the job-killing TPP. And Hillary, before being pushed to the Left by Sanders, said the TPP was the "gold standard" (Politifact says HRC is guilty of a "full flop").

Even Debbie Wasserman Schultz (for crying out loud!) said she thought either of the two could beat the Republican. This she said in spite of an incredulous Chris Matthews' disbelief at what he was hearing. I've been hearing that the Repubs will break out the Hammer & Sickle if Bernie is the nominee, but Chris is practically doing that already. Proof the Corporate Dems are afraid of Bernie's populism, I think.

SWTD #321

Monday, February 01, 2016

On Planned Parenthood Not Only Being Vindicated, But The Anti-Choice Liars Who Targeted Them Being Indicted

These same people who accuse Planned Parenthood of 'targeting' African-American children, they care about you only while you're in the womb. The minute you crown, you're on your own ~ Gwen Moore (dob 4/18/1951) the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin's 4th congressional district, serving since 2005.

When this story broke I read a number of outraged comments from the Right. Bullshit such as accusations of PP "chopping up kids and selling the pieces" as well as other claims regarding "none of the left leaning blogs... getting near this issue". Because, you know, Lefties KNEW that PP was in the wrong. Lefties who, according to this source, hoped that "if they don't mention it maybe it will go away".

Nothing could have been further from the truth, of course. Those of us on the Left knew that, not only was PP innocent of the charges, they were actually doing good work by providing fetal tissue for research.

Now comes the vindication.

Last week, a Harris County TX grand jury empaneled to investigate whether Planned Parenthood was illegally selling fetal tissue cleared the group of wrongdoing, instead indicting two anti-abortion activists behind the undercover recordings.

The indictments - for tampering with a governmental record and unlawfully offering to buy fetal tissue - surprised Republicans and Democrats. The investigation was initiated by Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, a Republican, at the urging of Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

"We were called upon to investigate allegations of criminal conduct by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast", Anderson said in a statement. "As I stated at the outset of this investigation, we must go where the evidence leads us".

Republican state leaders largely brushed off the indictments while some activists accused the grand jury of going rogue. (Texas GOP v. Planned Parenthood: A scorecard by Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune. Feb 2016).

Good news, except for the last line. Congressional Republicans of course ignore the facts and press on with their bogus investigation of PP in a futile attempt to harm Democrats politically (same as they are doing re their unending Benghazi hearings). Of course their dim-witted constituency will continue to believe that PP engaged (is engaging in) illegalities.

Because they're so supid they believe that "performing abortions are by far the majority of their services" despite the fact that the "majority" is "3 percent of the services it provided last year were abortion-related, according to the organization's annual report". (Fact Check: How Does Planned Parenthood Spend That Government Money?).

Rember that f*cking liar Carly Fiorina was so convinced she could get milage out of spinning BS about PP murdering babies that she insisted that she "saw the footage" (of "a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain") even though this footage does not exist.

She knew she could get away with it (which she has, even though, unfortunately for her, her blatant lies didn't translate to a rise in the polls) because so many Republican voters are gullible imbeciles. I mean, would anyone SERIOUSLY be talking about Donald Trump possibly securing the GOP nomination if that were not the case?

SWTD #320

Friday, January 29, 2016

Ben Carson Wins Stupidest Comment Re 7th GOP Debate

No sooner does man discover intelligence than he tries to involve it in his own stupidity ~ Jacques Cousteau (6/11/1910 to 6/25/1997) a French naval officer, explorer, conservationist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water.

Note: This commentary concerns the 7th Republican Party presidential debate, which was held on 1/28/2016 in the Iowa Events Center in downtown Des Moines IA. This would be the debate that Donald Trump refused to attend because it was hosted by Fox Nooz and Megyn Kelly returned as one of the 3 moderators

Stupid comments during a GOP debate? Obviously there have been MANY (and there will be many more). But I'm speaking about extraordinarily stupid and not the normal stupidity intelligent people have come to expect from Republicans. Stupidity such as Cruz stating that Obama has "degraded" the military (when, according to the Mises Institute, a Libertarian source, the military has not withered away under Obama). Or even stupidity such Marco Rubio claiming that President Obama and Hillary Clinton wanting to let Syrian refugees into the US without vetting them.

But in regards to the truly stupid? People insist that Ben Carson is smart because he's a retired neurosurgeon, but I wonder if he's an idiot savant. During the 3rd GOP presidential debate, he made it clear that he did not understand what GDP means (DSB #27). And, as we all know, there have been many more stupid remarks from Carson.

GQ (AKA Gentlemen's Quarterly) with their article titled "What If Sarah Palin Were a Brain Surgeon?", is on the right track here, I think. When I heard this comment from Carson I had to rewind my DVR because I thought I must have misheard him.

Chris Wallace: Dr. Carson, I'd like to ask you about that issue (question just asked of Ted Cruz). Where are you on the mandatory ethanol standard? Should government be in the business of picking winners and losers, or should it be left to the marketplace?

Ben Carson: I'm very much against the government being involved in every aspect of our lives. ... we are blessed with tremendous energy in this nation. We need to be talking about new sources of energy. 70 percent of our population lives bicoastally. What about hydroelectric power? We can develop that...

Bicoastal means "occurring or existing on two coasts, or on both the east and west coasts of the US"... so Carson is talking about people who own more than one home and fly back and forth between them? Although it's more likely he meant to say "by the coast"... but this is also wrong. Not quite as absurd as the first interpretation, but still wrong. (the closed captioning, btw, read "bicoastally" and not "by the coast" or "by coast").

According to a 9/9/2015 Washington Post article "nearly 40 percent of Americans live near the coast". LiveScience says "half of US population lives in coastal areas". Both stats (obviously) fall far short of the 70 percent claim made by Carson. If that is what he meant. Perhaps he really does think that 70 percent of Americans own multiple homes (with at least one home located on each coast)?

I'm not the only one who heard this idiocy, btw. As I always do before authoring a commentary, I first check if anyone thought of it first. Turns out someone did. If you're saying "no, there is no way he could have said that"... check out Josh Barro on Scoopnest. WTF is Scoopnest? Damned if I know. Looks like some kind of Twitter competitor. Point is, I'm not the only one who heard this absurd claim from Carson.

Runner up for stupidest comment of the night goes to Jeb Bush for a "factoid" included in his response to a question by Bret Baier. (This comment, btw, took place earlier in the debate than the Carson one).

Bret Baier: It's hard for anyone with your pedigree to avoid being called establishment. Isn't that part of the problem in this race, that 3 others on this stage are splitting the mainstream Republican vote? And thereby possibly handing this nomination over to an anti-establishment candidate?

Jeb!: ... Look, I'm establishment because my dad, the greatest man alive, was president of the United States, and my brother, who I adore as well, is a fantastic brother, was president. Fine, I'll take it. And I guess I'm part of the establishment because Barbara Bush is my mom. I'll take that too.

Along these same lines, Randal Paul said that his dad was "the most honest man in politics that we've seen in a generation" (he said this after the claim from Jeb concerning his dad). OK, so I don't think I believe Ronald Paul is quite that honest, but (regarding to this obvious "dad off" between Jeb and Randal)... doesn't being the greatest man alive trump (no pun intended) being the most honest (even if it's "in a generation")? Although Randal only claimed that his daddy Ronald is the most honest man IN POLITICS. Some people (I think) would say that's a low bar.

I wasn't the only person who heard (and decided to comment on) Jeb's assertion that his father is "the greatest man alive". Although, this apparently is not the fist time he's made this claim. Headline Politics notes that "Jeb was speaking at the Detroit Economic Club" when he replied (in response to a question implying his last name was a negative) that "George W. Bush has been a great president and that... George H.W. Bush is the greatest man alive".

Right. I think we all would acknowledge (even many Republicans) that the last name "bush" is a negative. BTW, I'd be willing to overlook Carson's statement as him misspeaking. President Obama misspoke when he stated that he had visited 57 states on the campaign trail (Beaverton OR 5/9/2008) and Republicans have been citing his "stupidity" on that issue for his entire presidency.

Snopes: The actual intent behind Senator Obama's misstatement is easy to discern... He was trying to express the thought that in all the time he had spent on the campaign trail so far in 2007-08, he had visited all (48) of the states in the continental U.S. save for one (i.e., "one left to go", excluding Alaska and Hawaii), but in his weariness he slipped up and started off with "fifty" instead of "forty". (Note the long pause in the video clip between the words "fifty" and "seven".)

But is there a logical explanation for Carson's claim that "70 percent of our population lives bicoastally"? He probably was referring to how many people live near one of our two coasts, but, as I already pointed out, 70 percent is way off. I don't expect any clarification on this statement, however. Remember that that there hasn't been any explanation regarding his historically inaccurate (and totally absurd) claim that the biblical Joseph built the pyramids to store grain (which is, apparently, his "personal theory"). Fact is, he stands by it.

And, what about his assertion that homosexuality is a choice "because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight - and when they come out, they're gay"? Or how about the doozie about ObamaCare being worse than slavery? I mean, even if you're not a fan of the ACA, you've got to admit that it falls far short of being that bad (Source: Ben Carson is plain nuts: The 7 most stupefying statements by the GOP's favorite neurosurgeon).

But all this stupidity is not surprising if you believe (as I do) that Conservatism is a mental illness. And there is also the fact that "having a low IQ score makes you more likely to vote conservative" (5 Scientific Studies That Prove Republicans Are Plain Stupid).

I do not, of course, believe ALL Republicans are stupid. Some who vote Republican do so because they're rich and don't want to pay higher taxes. And Republican politicians, while they may not be stupid themselves, have GOT to realize that they're pandering to low-intelligence voters. This, I am convinced, is the likely explanation for Donald Trump (who, as many on the Conservative side have pointed out, has tended more toward the Democratic side in the past).

But Carson? Sure, he might be "smart" as far as neurosurgery goes. But he's very clearly not that smart in other areas. Or qualified to be president. Not that there is any chance of him ending up in the White House (given the fact that that article I referenced earlier concerning the scientific studies that link low IQ and Conservatism also link low IQ and racism).

SWTD #319

Friday, January 08, 2016

John Fugelsang On The GOP Ronald Reagan Myths (Via The Stephanie Miller Show's Fridays with Fugelsang)

Hypocrisy is a value that I think has been embraced by the Republican Party. We get lectured by people all day long about moral values by people who have their own moral shortcomings ~ Howard Dean (dob 11/17/1948) The 79th Governor of Vermont (1991-2003) and Chairman of DNC (2005-2009).

The following (selected) quotes from the Friday 1/8/2016 airing of The Stephanie Miller Show by John Fugelsang concerning Ronald Reagan (plus one concerning the NRA and one last one concerning Donald Trump).

->[Republicans] are for the things Reagan said he was for. Reagan said he was for smaller government, but grew by 60 odd thousand jobs. Reagan said he was not for negotiating with terrorists, but armed the same Iranians who helped kill our marines in Beirut. They like Reagan the myth, they don't like Reagan the fact.

->Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to every undocumented immigrant in the country, which makes him to the Left [on this issue] of Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Sylvester Stallone.

->They [The NRA] don't care. They want more gun violence. More violence means more profit. How many guns have Obama confiscated? That's right, none. Every time there's a massacre the NRA sends out this mailing list. I encourage all your listeners to subscribe to the NRA mailing lists online and they'll see [what a] racket [this is]. They'll tell you Obama is coming for your guns, and then people go out and buy more guns because the Skeeters believe this. The gun manufacturers make more money the more massacres.

->Between Kim Jong Un, Donald Trump, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush and Jaden Smith, [it's] not a good year for nepotism so far.

->[Sarcastically] Can you believe that Barack Obama has done nothing about this [North Korea testing an H-Bomb]? You know what a man would do? A man would pour billions and billions of dollars into a missile defense system that doesn't work. Obama has even spent 2 billion on a non functional missile defense system [whereas Reagan spend more than 209 billion].

->Whatever they [Republicans] want to throw at you, you just have to throw back Reagan. I'm sure you've seen it - they're trying to smear Hillary Clinton with Bill Cosby. And with Bill Clinton. [The] Juanita Broaddrick [allegation] has been exhumed, and now, of course, Hillary Clinton is a rape apologist. They can't beat her on the issues, so they're going to try to smear a woman... [Sarcastically] By the way, if you're a political party looking to get more female voters, blame women for their husband's cheating [not that rape is cheating... Bill Clinton has been accused of both].

->They're going to come out and say Juanita Broaddrick was raped by Bill Clinton. There's no way to prove it one way or the other. It's he said, she said. But, by this logic, Selene Walters, the woman who claimed that Ronald Reagan raped her when he was president of the Screen Actor's Guild. Kitty Kelly documented it thoroughly in her book, and, at the time, she told several people that Reagan... forced himself on her. So, anyone who says you have to believe Juanita Broaddrick has to believe Selene Walters.

->There is one group that Trump hasn't attacked - that's ignorant White guys with small penises. If he began doing that... [then he'd drop in the polls, given the fact that angry White guys constitute his base].

[End John Fugelsang Quotes Via Stephanie Miller 1/8/2016]

Speaking of Donald Trump, he has also been accused of rape... by his ex-wife ex-wife Ivana Trump, who "once used [the word] rape to describe an incident between them in 1989. She later said she felt violated by the experience" (Ex-Wife: Donald Trump Made Me Feel Violated During Sex.

So, as a Democrat, do I believe that Juanita Broaddrick is a liar, while Selene Walters and Ivana Trump told the truth? I don't know. The point (that John Fugelsang was making) is that Trump (and the other Reagan idolizing GOP potus hopefuls) attacking HRC over what her husband may or may not have done smacks of hypocrisy. (May or may not = rape. WJC definitely cheated with a number of consensual affairs).

And the Reagan idolizers and mythologizers are hypocrites when they attack Barack Obama and/or Hillary Clinton for doing/being guilty of of things Ronald Reagan did/is guilty of (10 Things Conservatives Don't Want You To Know About Ronald Reagan).

Also, let us not forget that when Repubs attack Bill Clinton, they're attack a very popular ex-president (Bill Clinton is incredibly popular. How much will that help Hillary's 2016 campaign?) and (more importantly) Bill Clinton isn't running for anything - it's his wife who is seeking the presidency. Which isn't to say that I believe Bill Clinton's sex life (or, rather his sex life back in the 80s and 90s) should be "off limits". Just keep the hypocrisy in mind. And the fact that Bill isn't running.

And there is also the fact (as evidenced by WJC's popularity) that people don't care too much about rehashing a decades old debate. So I doubt these attacks will have much of an effect on HRC's campaign or the enthusiaism of her voters. (And, for th record here, I don't include myself in this group, as I will be voting for Bernie Sanders in the primary. Provided his name is on the ballot and he hasn't "suspended" his campaign prior to the primary in my state. If he has? Then I will be voting for HRC. And my "enthusiasm" - such as it is - won't be impacted. Not by any attacks on HRC by way of attacking her husband).

Image: Hal Sparks, Stephanie Miller and John Fugelsang arrive at the 10/21/2011 Sexy Liberal Tour.

SWTD #318

Friday, November 06, 2015

Is A "Real Black" A "Thug" In Conservative Repub-World? Also, Is Ben Carson A Pathological Liar?

Ben and Candy Carson terrific. What about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide? And much else ~ Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) tweet from 10/8/2015.

So what would make Ben Carson a "real Black president", while Barack Obama is not "real"? Does Obama not being "real" based entirely on him living outside of the United States for a number of years during his childhood, or is it something more than that?

The following excerpt from the 11/5/2015 airing of The Stephanie Miller Show might shed some light on why, and in what ways, Ben Carson would be "real", whereas Obama isn't. (Note: what follows was minorly edited by me for clarity).

Stephanie Miller: Carl in Texas. You're on with the crew. Hello Carl.

Carl: Someone was talking about Ben Carson possibly being a sociopath. But if we all recall, when the Oregon shooting happened, he spoke with bravado about attacking the gunman. [Ben Carson on Fox & Friends said "Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say: 'Hey, guys, everybody attack him! He may shoot me but he can't get us all'"].

Then, when people said "you don't know what you'd do if someone pointed a gun at you", he came up with this story about what happened in the "Popeye's organization". [Ben Carson, appearing on Karen Hunter's Sirius XM Radio program said "I have had a gun held on me when I was in a Popeye's organization. Guy comes in, put the gun in my ribs. I just said, 'I believe that you want the guy behind the counter'"].

When people said he was a coward he came up with the story about the rocks and the bricks and the baseball bats... ["As a teenager, I would go after people with rocks, and bricks, and baseball bats, and hammers. And, of course, many people know the story when I was 14 and I tried to stab someone", Carson said... on the 10/25/2015 airing of Meet the Press].

Stephanie Miller: Yes. He was stabby.

Carl: CNN went to his hometown and organized some of his neighbors and school friends. Not one of them knew anything about any of this. They said that when he was in school he was a nerdy bookworm.

Stephanie Miller: Oh... so he was inventing some street cred for himself. A thug story.

[End 11/5/2015 SMS Excerpt]

If this story of Ben Carson's troubled youth makes him a reformed thug, is that what is makes his "Blackness" "real"? Also, is this how White Conservatives view Black people; by which I mean the "real" ones are all thugs and some of them (the GOOD ones) are "reformed"?

Is Obama, on the other hand, not a "real Black" but "mixed race"... because his mother was White and because his White grandparents raised him (and in Hawaii, of all places)? Yeah, I think that while the primary factor regarding why Obama isn't "real" is due to his time living outside the US, these other things are also a factor.

Including the lack of a "thug story", which Ben Carson seems to be trying to create/relate. Because being a reformed thug is a positive in the eyes of White Conservatives. Because it shows that embracing "personal responsibility" can transform a typical Black person... someone who, as Conservatives put it, reside mainly on the Democrat plantation where they lazily rely on "free stuff" instead of developing a work ethic.

Obama, on the other hand, became a community organizer, which, in conservative minds, meant he organized lazy Blacks to beg for "free stuff". (However, even though Obama, as someone organizing lazy Blacks to beg for free stuff places him in with the majority of African Americans who reside on the "Democrat plantation", this ABSOLUTELY does not cause his Blackness to be real).

Anyway, as for Carson's "thug story" and it making him a "real Black", there are questions as to whether EITHER of these incidents (the one where he stabbed someone or the one where he encountered a gunman in a Popeye's) actually happened.

Ben Carson's Stabbing Story Is Full of Holes (excerpt from the 10/27/2015 Daily Beast article by Gideon Resnick) In one version of the story, Carson attempts to stab a bully with a large camping knife he had been holding. In another, he pulls a pocketknife on his friend while listening to classical music at the friend's house. So which is it?

In the many different version of the stabbing story, the basic facts are the same, but the particulars are quite different. That Carson is relating differing versions of this story says to me that he might be making it up.

As for the incident that Carson claims took place in the Popeye's fast food restaurant, or the "Popeye's Organization" as Ben calls the chain... it might not have happened either.

Was Ben Carson Really Held at Gunpoint? (excerpt from the 10/8/2015 Daily Beast article by Olivia Nuzzi & Gideon Resnick) The candidate's not-so-harrowing tale about his encounter with a gunman at a Baltimore Popeyes is tough to verify. Almost too tough. ... throughout his several published books and three autobiographies, Carson doesn't appear to mention the story once. When The Daily Beast reached out to Carson's... central advisor, Armstrong Williams, he said... [the story] appeared in Carson's 2006 book, Take the Risk, [but] there is no story about a stickup at Popeyes in Take the Risk.

Also, as pointed out on the Daily Kos "Baltimore police say they can't confirm or debunk Dr. Ben Carson's Popeye's robbery story". But that's because they might not have filed a police report. Or so Carson advisor Armstrong Williams claims. Despite Carson's story including the line "he left the store running before the police got there".

So, is Carson lying? Some say yes, he's a liar. I say I don't know for sure... but I certainly think there is enough evidence to conclude that he MIGHT be a bald-faced liar.

Lying so he'll come off (in the eyes of White Conservatives) as "authentically Black"... unlike the current president. According to Carson "growing up in inner-city Detroit gave him the sophistication to know that the [Popeye's] gunman wasn't going to murder him but was just looking to rob the place".

"Sophistication" being code for "street smarts", I'm guessing. As a "real" Black man he'd have to have street smarts, no? Yeah, I don't know. To me, this strategy (if this IS Carson's strategy) doesn't sound like it would work. Or I would conclude that, if not for Rupert Murdoch's tweet.

Although, even if this (likely) faux "genuine" narrative convinces Conservative voters that Ben Carson would be "a real black President who can properly address the racial divide", I seriously doubt that this will translate to votes. (Although it IS translating to book sales, as evidenced by the fact that Carson "suspended" his campaign to go on a book tour).

Video1: Straight outta Carson: Republican candidate releases campaign rap. An actual Ben Carson campaign ad that will air for two weeks in Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, Birmingham, Jackson, Memphis and Little Rock.

Video2: Remix of Ben Carson campaign rap. NOT an actual campaign ad, but a "remix" by Slate that includes many absurd comments from Carson.

SWTD #317

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Chris Christie As Preznit Would Be A "Greedy Thief Who Is Good At Plundering" Re The Social Security Trust Fund

Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower (10/14/1890 to 3/28/1969) the 34th (Republican) President of the United States from 1953 until 1961.

Note: This commentary concerns the 3rd Republican presidential debate, which was held on 10/28/2015 in Boulder CO at the University of Colorado. Whining about "gotcha" questions posed by the CNBC moderators, RNC Chair Reince Priebus cancelled NBC's involvement in the 9th debate scheduled for 2/26/2016 in Houston.

I think the chances that the Republican electorate would vote to send Chris Christie to the White House are slim, due in part to the fact that, if he were elected preznit, he would attempt to abolish Social Security. This he made clear during the debate, during which he made the following remarks concerning the Social Security Trust Fund.

Chris Christie: It's not there anymore. The government stole it and spent it. All that's in that trust fund is a pile of IOUs for money on they spent on something else a long time ago (What you should know about Christie's claim that Social Security funds were "stolen" by Max Ehrenfreund. The Washington Post 10/28/2015).

What Christie is talking about is the fact that the 2.8 trillion in the fund (as of the end of 2014) is invested in Treasury Bills. But why would he say the money has been "stolen" (a claim that echoes the sentiments of ex-preznit bush when he said "There is no trust fund — just IOUs" on 4/5/2005).

The Washington Post: Perhaps Christie was suggesting that those "IOUs", in his words, won't be paid back, but few mainstream economists believe that the federal government will be unable to pay back all its debts. That fact is reflected in the extraordinarily low interest rates that investors worldwide will accept to loan the government money. If they were concerned about the government's ability to pay its debts, they would demand higher interest rates to compensate them for the risk of default. Christie said that he and the other presidential candidates need to tell elderly Americans "the truth".

The TRUTH, IMO, is that Chris Christie, if he is elected preznit, would attempt to steal from Trust Fund receipts by slashing benefits, raising the retirement age and means testing.

Christie wants to cut benefits by tying the COLA (cost of living adjustment) to the chained CPI. The CPI (consumer price index) is a way of measuring inflation. The Chained CPI is based on the idea that "in an inflationary environment, consumers will choose less-expensive substitutes". It's a sneaky way to reduce COLAs for seniors. The trouble with it is that "retirees don't spend money the same way as young or middle-aged families; they spend disproportionately more on healthcare and housing" (The chained CPI: A zombie benefit cut still walks).

In regards to raising the retirement age, Christie proposes increasing the normal retirement age from 67 to 69, which will reduce the total amount of money paid out over a recipient's lifetime.

...every year's increase in the normal retirement age is the equivalent of a 7% benefit cut (Chris Christie's big presidential idea: torch Social Security by Michael Hiltzik. LA Times 11/1/2015).

Lastly, Christie says we should start "phasing out retirement benefits starting for seniors earnings above $80k and zeroing them out for those earnings more than $200k annually". The trouble with this proposal is that this idea transforms Social Security from an earned benefits program into a welfare program. A reclassification that would make Social Security easier to cut in the future (SWTD #93).

Christie also claimed "they know they can't pay these benefits because Social Security is going to be insolvent in 7-8 years", which is a huge whopper. Instead of being truthful, Christie lied through his teeth.

CNN Money: Chris Christie put it this way: "Social Security is going to be insolvent in 7 or 8 years". But that's not really the case. Here's the deal: The Social Security Trustees estimate that likely starting in 2034 - 19 years from now - the program will no longer have enough revenue coming in to pay out 100% of promised benefits to retirees on Social Security.

But it will still be able to pay 79% of those promised benefits. The Congressional Budget Office is somewhat less optimistic. It expects the program will run short as soon as 2029, with a 95% chance it will do so between 2025 and 2040 - or within 10 years to 25 years - according to a fact check of Christie's assertion by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. That's closer, but still not 7 or 8 years. All these estimates assume no reforms are made to the program before then (Setting the record straight on Social Security "insolvency". 10/29/2015).

So what's the point of all this dissembling by Christie? I think it's quite clear that Christie is on the side of those who wish to rob from Trust Fund beneficiaries. "When is it acceptable to break a social compact" moderator Becky Quick asked Christie, and Christie responded by claiming that the compact was broken years ago... because the SS administration invests the fund in Treasury Bills, presumably (which earn interest). Instead of setting aside cash (which would cause the fund to lose value due to inflation).

What the mendacious Christie didn't say is that Social Security reliably pays benefits. For the compact to be "broken" payments would need to cease. I mean, if the money has truly been "stolen". If it's all spent and gone, who can any mere cuts be enough? As Mike Huckabee said, we need to keep our promise to seniors (not because he's a good guy, but because he wants the votes of seniors). Chris Christie wants to break that promise (and doesn't want votes from seniors, I guess).

This is why I'm saying that Chris Christie is a greedy thief who is good at plundering. Although by "good" I mean he has the rhetoric down. As for the rhetoric being "good" at fooling the American people, I predict NO... given the fact that "the American public strongly supports Social Security, across party and demographic lines" (Public Opinions on Social Security).

Video: Chris Christie statements on Social Security during the 3rd GOP debate fact checked by Kyle Kulinski, a Progressive Talk Radio show host (7:23).

Image: A comment by a Conservative blogger in which the accusation of being "a greedy thief who is good at plundering" is made against one of the Democratic potus candidates. Although the accusation is laughable, given the fact that this candidate is one of the STRONGEST defenders of Social Security in Congress (SWTD #145). Note: The reason this is an image is because the blogger in question deleted what he wrote out of embarrassment when I linked to it in another commentary (TADM #82).

SWTD #316

Sunday, October 25, 2015

On Hillary Clinton Saying (During the Democratic Debate) That She is "A Progressive That Likes To Get Things Done"

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time ~ Maya Angelou (4/4/1928 to 5/28/2014) an American author, poet, dancer, actress, and singer.

Note: This commentary concerns the 1st Democratic Party presidential debate, which was held on 10/13/2015 in Las Vegas NV at the Wynn, a luxury resort and casino owned by self-described "job creator" Steve Wynn. This would be the whiner who bitched about the Obama administration painting a "bulls-eye" on his back by promoting "class warfare" (a slight increase in taxes on the wealthy by returning to the Clinton-era rates) prior to Obama's election to a 2nd term.

Hillary, when asked by Anderson Cooper if she identifies as a Progressive, said she does. This is an example of Hillary "casting herself as a liberal fighter who has been progressive for her entire life". (Something a CNN article says her campaign is doing). However (the CNN article goes on), "to many on the left, those lines never really rang true".

To which I say yes, Hillary claiming to be a Progressive does not ring true for me. First of all, as Anderson points out, Hillary just recently said "you know, I get accused of being kind of moderate and center [to which] I plead guilty" (at a Women for Hillary event in Ohio on 9/10/2015). I think that statement represents the truth of where Hillary stands politically. She is not a Progressive, but claiming to be one because that is what Democratic presidents of late do... they run to the Left but move to the Center (Right) after they're elected. Bill Clinton did it and so did Barack Obama.

I'd like to believe Hillary on this, but, given the fact that she JUST identified as a Moderate, I can't. Does this fit in with the Right's "untrustworthy" narrative? No. They're referring to bogus "scandals" regarding her email (SWTD #313) and the phony-baloney never-ending House "investigation" into Benghazi. This would be the "investigation" that CA Rep. Kevin McCarthy recently admitted was a politically-motivated waste-of-taxpayer-money effort to damage her presidential campaign.

So, while I recgonize that these bogus scandals are no reason to find HRC "untrustable" (the palinism used by the former potential Boner replacement), I don't trust HRC to act as a "liberal fighter". Unless by "act" you mean to play a part. For example, she says that now she's opposed to the extremely bad trade deal being pushed by the Obama administration known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But, while serving as Obama's secretary of state, she referred to it the "gold standard" (as well as exciting, innovative, groundbreaking... and numerous other superlatives).

When AC360 brought this up Hillary's response was that she had hoped it would be the gold standard, but now she has concluded that it isn't. Not a biggie, perhaps. Even though PolitiFact concludes that Hillary revising her past statements on the TPP is "half true" because "her previous remarks actually gave the impression that she had confidence in the deal as it stood". However, as a member of the Obama administration, she couldn't very well come out against it. Surely it would be awkward if she had publicly contradicted an administration she was a part of?

The important thing is that she is against it now, right? Except... is she? Remember when Obama was running for office he said "we should use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage to ensure that we actually get labor and environmental standards that are enforced". And, according to PolitiFact, Sherrod Brown was "absolutely confident Barack Obama [would] reopen the negotiations on NAFTA" because the administration "assured [Brown that] his [Obama's] position is constant". But did Obama do squat in regards to NAFTA after getting elected?

Not only did Obama renig on his promise to renegotiate NAFTA after his election, he "warned... against a strong impulse toward protectionism" and then BSed the American people, saying he was still "serious about changing NAFTA". Now, in the final days of his administration, he pushing another negotiated-by-and-for-the-plutocrats job-destroying (bad) trade deal? He does this as he's leaving because he won't have to face the voters to answer for his trade treachery.

But, given Obama's campaign fictions regarding renegotiating NAFTA, nobody should be overly surprised he's pushing the job-killing TPP. He is, after all, a self described Blue dog Moderate Democrat. None-the-less, I must say that I am incredibly disappointed. Which isn't to say that I regret my vote, as he absolutely was a better choice than McCain or Romney.

Both of these losing potus candidates, being members of the more-plutocrat-friendly party, support exterminating American jobs via "free trade". In fact, regarding the TPP, McCain says to would be "crazy" to "squander a historic opportunity" to send American jobs to low wage countries, while Romney says expatriating US jobs so the plutocrats can become even richer is "good for America".

But polls show that, while "Americans tend to support trade, they oppose an expansion of status quo trade policies". The status quo being trade agreements (like NAFTA) that destroy American jobs. Although Americans knew NAFTA would cost American jobs back when Hillary's husband ran for president, which is why he said "American companies must act like American companies again, exporting products, not jobs" when he accepted the nomination.

Then, after his election, WJC, in a betrayal of one of his New Convenant promises, signed NAFTA (on 1/1/1994) and, as a result, American citizens heard the "giant sucking sound of American companies fleeing the United States for Mexico, where employees would work for less pay and without benefits".

This was exactly what Ross Perot warned us about. Americans knew that Perot, who ran on this SINGLE topic was right, which is why he received 18.81 percent of the popular vote, "the most won by a third-party presidential candidate since Theodore Roosevelt in 1912". (And Perot, had he had not dropped out of the race and later re-entered it, might have ended up with an even higher percentage).

"Will you say anything to get elected" the Coop asked HRC in regards to her flip-flop on the TPP (in addition to other positions she has "evolved" on... see video below). Hillary said no. But was she being completely honest or simply giving her sales pitch... one designed solely to sell her as president?

Three words help explain why Hillary Clinton now opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord - after once laying the groundwork for it as secretary... Her newfound opposition... protects her left flank against Bernie Sanders' challenge; it helps her solidify her support with organized labor... It's also consistent with modern Democratic politics: In the 2008 Democratic primaries, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton railed against NAFTA and free trade accords.

But after winning the Democratic nomination, Obama warmed up to free trade... he's now made this TPP trade accord a chief goal in his final months in the White House. So it wouldn't be surprising if Clinton makes a similar move back to the middle if she wins the nomination next year. (Hillary Clinton Protects Left Flank With TPP Opposition by Mark Murray. NBC News 10/7/2015).

While I'd welcome a genuine change of position (re the TPP) and identification (Moderate to Progressive) from HRC, I frankly do not believe her reversal is genuine. It might be, and if she is the nominee I will vote for her and hope that she does not move to the center, but why take that chance when the possibility that we might get snookered again is a strong (IMO) possibility? Why not vote for the true Progressive in the Primary and make Bernie Sanders our nominee?

Bernie Sanders, the founder of the Progressive caucus, is a lifelong Progressive with a proven track record. He does not need to move to the Left for the election because he's always been to the Left. Which, IMO, is what America desperately needs... a genuine Progressive in the White House. This is what America wants, as WJC and BHO lying about their positions on free trade during their respective campaigns proves. They were saying what they needed to in order to get elected, that is. I'm not saying they did not believe what they were saying at the time.

But, that both of our previous Democratic presidents moved to the Left during their campaigns, is proof that America wants a genuine Progressive as their next president. And the ONLY genuine proven Progressive is Bernie Sanders, which is why I'm supporting him for president. At least until HRC defeats him in the primary. Which, if this happens, will mean that the American people bought her sales pitch. It will mean they listened to the naysayers who don't believe that a Democratic Socialist can win the general. But I think that he can, because he's the president America needs. And if enough Democrats realize and vote for him in the primary - he will win in the general.

BTW, in regards to Steve Wynn, US News & World Report notes that he "leans Republican but calls Democratic debate hosting a point of pride". So what's going on here? Does Wynn's pride stem from the fact that he can curry favor with both sides? Is this an indication that he'd be OK with HRC being elected the next potus? I think the answer to this question is YES, and is yet another reason why Democrats should be voting for Bernie.

Video: Hillary Clinton says she is a "progressive who likes to get things done"... but does she mean that she's a progressive (only while running for the Democratic nomination) and that what she'd like to "get done" is getting elected potus #45? (transcript).

SWTD #315

Friday, October 23, 2015

Thom Hartmann on Fox So-Called News (AKA Fox Nooz) In The Context Of HRC's 10/22/2015 Benghazi Questioning

A continual circulation of lies among those who are not much in the way of hearing them contradicted, will in time pass for truth; and the crime lies not in the believer but the inventor ~ Thomas Paine (2/9/1737 to 6/8/1809) as quoted in The American Crisis (1776-1783).

The following is an excerpt from the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, 10/23/2015, which I edited for brevity and clarity. Thom discusses the Fox "news" coverage of Hillary Clinton's testimony before the House sham Benghazi "investigation" committee.

Thom: Fox News cut away from the hearings once it became obvious that Hillary Clinton was owning these guys. Instead they went to just playing the clips in which Republicans would lay out a fantasy scenario and then Hillary Clinton would say - no, that's not true, that didn't happen. But they didn't include Hillary's response.

This is what Fox so-called news does. They are not a news channel. They are the official media arm of the Republican Party. This is how it was proposed to Richard Nixon by Roger Ailes to back in the 70s, and that's what it is. And it's obscene that they're allowed to call themselves NEWS.

[End Thom Hartmann Rant]

From Media Matters...

Washington Post opinion writer Erik Wemple noted that while Fox News has often heavily covered the 2012 Benghazi attacks, "the Benghazi network", as he called it, abandoned live coverage of Hillary Clinton's testimony before the House Select Committee this evening in favor of general political commentary on The Five.

Wemple described Fox's decision as "conceding that today's marathon congressional hearing on the topic is going nowhere". (Wash. Post's Wemple: Fox "All But Acknowledges The Benghazi Hearing Is A Snooze" by the Media Matters Staff. 10/22/2015).

Going nowhere in regards to furthering their Benghazi narrative, that is. The narrative being that Hillary Clinton issued a stand down order and is therefore personally responsible for the deaths of Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty. In fact, it is virtually the same as if she had murdered them herself. Making these yet more murders Hillary is responsible for. Previous murders including that of Vince Foster (in addition to the dozens of other people Hillary and her husband bumped off)!

Obviously Benghazi disqualifies Hillary from being president. Because 4 Americans died and she was Secretary of State. Even though, as Hillary pointed out, attacks on diplomatic outposts have occurred under Republican administrations, and Democrats responded by working with Repubs to try to fix the problem. As opposed to "investigating" to, as the House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy put it, damage HRC politically.

Kevin McCarthy: Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she's untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought. (Source: The Washington Post 9/30/2015).

And where did Kevin McCarthy accidentally utter this truism? Why, it was on Sean Hannity's program! This is a prime example of why, even though Fox may do some actual news (with it's defenders citing Shepard Smith, among others), their main agenda is to act as the official media arm of the Republican Party.

While msnbc, the other channel on which political opinion can be found, has recently decided to move to the Right (SWTD #305). According to Talker's Magazine, NBC News Chief Andrew Lack "plans to rebuild MSNBC to focus on breaking news coverage and to be less of a left-leaning talk outlet"... so I don't think a similar accusation can be made against them. At least not any longer. Not that I think they have BEEN a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party.

Fox, on the other hand, CLEARLY is. Which is why I've referred to them in the past as Fox Nooz (DSB #12). And why I will continue to do so. It's because there are not "two so similar nooz channels"... despite what dissemblers on the Right (who attempt to present themselves as "consistent and non-partisan") may claim.

SWTD #314

Monday, September 14, 2015

HRC email Controversy Way Overblown Compared To bush Admin eMail Scandal (Imaginary Vs Actual Crimes)

You have Democrats beginning to panic about the one thing that a lot of them never worried about, which was Clinton's electability in the general election ...the challenge she faces in the general election is both the trust problem and the likability problem ~ Robert Shrum AKA "Dumb Shrum" (dob 1943) an American political consultant, who has worked on numerous Democratic campaigns, including the losing presidential campaigns of Al Gore and John Kerry.

Regarding Robert Shrum's nickname of "Dumb Shrum", my memory tells me that I heard this on Al Franken's Air America radio program. I might be wrong, however, as I could not confirm this via a Google search. In any case, the nickname comes from the fact that "in eight elections (for either the presidential nomination or for the presidency itself), Shrum's candidates have never won". (Wikipedia reports).

Regarding the quote at the top of this post; it is via the far-Right website 9/9/2009 Newsmax story "Democrats Eyeing White Knight If Clinton Implodes"... which is complete nonsense, as there is almost nothing to this so-called scandal. Despite deluded Righty fantasies of Hillary (and perhaps Obama) ending up behind bars... for their fictional "lawlessness".

Hillary did SOMETHING wrong. As long as the Republicans keep looking, eventually they'll find a transgression with substance. Although they've been looking for the last 35 years and both Hillary and Bill are still free. Not imprisoned for their many imaginary crimes, much to the chagrin of the (real) vast Rightwing conspiracy.

The latest imaginary crime of Hillary Clinton involving her emails, being yet in another in a series of desperate attempts by the Right to derail her POTUS candidacy. Another attempt that will fail, despite what Dumb Shrum sez. Those who do not trust HRC or find her "likable" did not trust or find her likable to begin with. They would not be voting for her even if Congressional Republicans were not continuously investing fake/overblown Clinton misdeeds.

Overblown HRC email Scandal Aspect #1: Used Personal email & Server Which Was Either Illegal Or At Least Shady

This allegation concerns Hillary doing something wrong by using a private email and server. Perhaps even illegal! Except that... no. "Clinton and her staff have stated that her use of the private email account was above board and allowed under State Department rules" and this is indeed the case.

HRC, in using/maintaining a private server broke no laws that existed at the time.

...federal regulations went into effect in late November, 2014 when President Obama signed H.R. 1233, modernizing the Federal Records Act of 1950 to include electronic communications. It was signed two years after [Hillary] Clinton stepped down. (That Story About Hillary Clinton's Private Email Account Isn't as Awful as It Seems by Bob Cesca. The Daily Banter 3/3/2015).

Frankly I think it should have been law long ago that government employees were legally required to communicate using government (and not private) systems. However, until recently it has not been. Hillary Clinton followed the law and is guilty of nothing, nor has anything been uncovered (via the release of these emails) that show she was trying to hide something. At most she could be "convicted" of falling "short of the Obama administration's preferred best practices". (A Crystal-Clear Explanation of Hillary's Confusing Email Scandal).

Which differs significantly with what happened during the bush administration. In 2007 it was discovered that preznit bush (and underlings in the office of the preznit) corresponded "via a non-government domain hosted on an email server not controlled by the federal government... in violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, and the Hatch Act". (Wikipedia/Bush White House email controversy).

What the bushies were attempting to hide was that their Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, fired US attorneys who wouldn't investigate fake/non-existent voter fraud cases.

Investigative journalist Greg Palast: David Iglesias of New Mexico was one of seven U.S. Attorneys fired by the White House for their refusal to bring voter fraud prosecutions. [According to Iglesias] "We took over 100 complaints... We investigated for almost 2 years [and] I didn't find one prosecutable voter fraud case in the entire state of New Mexico".

Specifically, Attorney General Gonzales... wanted him to bring what the prosecutor called "bogus voter fraud" cases. In effect, US Attorney Iglesias was under pressure from the boss to charge citizens with crimes they didn't commit.
(Gonzales "wrong and illegal and unethical" by Greg Palast. 8/28/2007).

The purpose of prosecuting phony-baloney "voter fraud" cases? According to Greg Palast, Karl Rove "convinced Bush to fire upright prosecutors and replace them with Rove-bots ready to strike out at fraudulent (i.e. Democratic) voters". This was another example of bushie election thievery antics, in other words... which is why this (genuine) controversy was viewed as a possible violation of the Hatch Act... which is a law that says the president or VP can't direct their underlings to engage "in some forms of political activity".

The firing of the US attorneys who wouldn't investigate bullpucky "voter fraud" cases to help Republicans win via cheating (preventing legitimate voters from casting ballots by scarring/harassing them away from the polls) was a purely political act... so here we have actual violations of the law, coordinated via email that the bushies tried to hide... and the only thing that happened was that Gonzales fell on his sword (took the blame and resigned).

With HRC, no wrongdoing of any kind has yet to be shown. Should she have used a private server? No, she absolutely should not have IMO. But did she break the law or do anything shady? There is no evidence she did.

Overblown HRC email Scandal Aspect #2: Classified Info Was Sent/Received Through Private Server

Here there appears to be a little more substance, in that Hillary may have actually sent or received classified information. Although, it should be noted that nothing HRC sent/received was marked classified at the time. "None of the emails we reviewed had classification or dissemination markings..." according to Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III (Hillary's emails touch off debate about classified documents by Josh Gerstein. 07/24/2015).

It appears, however, that it is possible that some of these sent/received communications should have been treated as classified (even though not marked as such).

...foreign government information [is defined by] The US government... as any information, written or spoken, provided in confidence to U.S. officials by their foreign counterparts. This sort of information, which the department says Clinton both sent and received in her emails, is the only kind that must be "presumed" classified, in part to protect national security and the integrity of diplomatic interactions...

"It's born classified", said J. William Leonard, a former director of the U.S. government's Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO). Leonard was director of ISOO, part of the White House's National Archives and Records Administration, from 2002 until 2008, and worked for both the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. (Dozens of Clinton emails were classified from the start, U.S. rules suggest by Jonathan Allen. Reuters 8/21/2015).

If HRC is "guilty" of anything, it appears as though this may be the smoking gun. Although I would say this, if it occurred, is most likely an oversight and not due to any nefarious intentions on Clinton's part. Quite unlike bush's email scandal, where the intention was to hide illegal politicking (in the form of election thievery) using the office of the White House (in violation of the Hatch Act).

So we are clearly not dealing with anything of an illegal nature re the Hillary email non-scandal, although a Libertarian blog I read sez that if HRC asserts that she did not know the emails were supposed to be treated as classified "she looks like a total incompetent and a moron".

Personally I do not agree with this assessment. Smart competent people make mistakes all the time. In any case, HRC's team destroyed a large number of communications they deemed "personal", so if there is any incriminating evidence, it's likely gone. "Incriminating" her in regards to what, I do not know. Unlike with the bushies. With this genuinely lawless administration I know they covered up and escaped prosecution in regards to their election thievery.

This is why I predict the Republican investigations will go nowhere (the same direction they've been going thus far). Congressional Republicans know this, of course. They simply want to firmly plant the idea in the gullible base voter's noggin that HRC is getting away with unspecified illegalities. And spread that false meme into the general electorate as widely as they are able. There is no real "investigating" in other words. What is going on is all political in nature.

Hillary Clinton will likely be the nominee as well as our next president... in my estimation. This so-called scandal will not be "devastating" to campaign as the aforementioned Libertarian asserts.

The bottom line here, I'd say, is that I just do not f*cking give a shit. Barring me hearing (at the very least) some sane sounding conspiracy theory concerning ACTUAL wrongdoing by HRC. WHY did she (or her underlings) destroy thousands of emails they say were "personal"? What is she hiding/what is the REAL crime? I mean, the bushies got away with fricking election fraud shenanigans simply by having Alberto fall on his sword and resign.

Although preznit doofus defended him, saying that Gonzales' "good name [was] dragged through the mud", and that he stepped down only because he received "unfair treatment that has created harmful distraction at the Justice Department". Right.

Now we have Hillary-haters who are calling for her head on a pike for significantly lesser transgressions? I am NOT going along with it. She isn't an "incompetent moron" nor a brilliant criminal mastermind who has evaded successful prosecution for 30-plus years for her many (imaginary) crimes... committed as a part of her husband's administration, via the charitable Clinton Foundation, and as a member of the "lawless" Obama WH.

Congressional Repubs just can't seem to get anything to stick. Perhaps because there is (and have been) no wrongdoings by HRC? Call me a partisan, but I say f*ck these Rightwing idiots who think there is even the remotest chance that HRC will end up behind bars for this nothing-burger. Or the even bigger non-scandal of Benghazi.

Which, by the way, was one of the conspiracy theories floated back in March. That a Benghazi stand down order might be found among the HRC emails. A conspiracy that is leagues away from sane sounding, you poor deluded desperate Repub-identifying halfwits.

Video: Alberto Gonzales said "I don't recall" 72 times during his January 2007 Senate hearing. Gonzales resigned on 9/17/2007 (0:52).

SWTD #313. See also OST #71.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Iraq War Based On gwb Lie Of "Disarming" Saddam When IAEA Officials Who Were There, On The Ground, Said Iraq Had No WMD

George W. Bush made 232 false statements about Iraq and former leader Saddam Hussein's possessing weapons of mass destruction, and 28 false statements about Iraq's links to al Qaeda according to a 1/22/2008 study by the Center for Public Integrity and its affiliated group, the Fund for Independence in Journalism. In total the Bush Admin made 935 false statements in run-up to war.

According to the gwb administration, the purpose of the vote on the Iraq War Resolution was to pressure the UN and Iraq into getting inspectors back into the country. At least that's what Hillary Clinton has said when defending her vote on the matter.

Hillary, before voting, asked "If you are given this authority, will you put the inspectors in and permit them to finish their job". She was told that, YES, that was the goal. To show the UN and Iraq that the bush administration was serious, Congress needed to authorize war if the inspectors were not allowed back in.

Well, it worked. Inspectors for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were allowed back into Iraq... and so bush, realizing that the threat worked, allowed the inspections to do their job and the UN to decide what to do if Iraq again balked and did not cooperate (as the UN charter stipulates).

No, wait... that isn't what happened at all. Saddam did drag his feet (as before) and not cooperate fully. Although the inspectors thought progress was still being made. None-the-less the bush administration (already having the Congressional authority it needed) launched an attack.

And the bush administration launched it's attack in spite of (1) telling members of Congress they were voting to get inspectors back in and that war would be a last resort, and (2) The UN charter saying "it is up to the council itself, and not individual members, to determine how the body's resolutions are to be enforced".

bush, in deciding to go ahead with the invasion despite the UN not voting for war, violated articles 33 and 39 of the Charter (33 says disputes are to be resolved peacefully and 39 says that the UN "decides what measures shall be taken" when the resolutions it makes are violated).

Because UN charter does not allow individual countries to act unilaterally a number of UN and IAEA officials condemned the US invasion of Iraq. (Condemned it, or pointed out why it was unnecessary).

Six UN & IAEA Officials Who Either Condemned US Invasion of Iraq Or Confirmed It Was Unnecessary

1. Kofi Annan: The UN Secretary-general from 1/1/1997 to 12/31/2006 said (in regards to the bush invasion of Iraq) "I have indicated it is not in conformity with the UN Charter, from our point of view, and from the Charter point of view it was illegal". This, according to a statement made to the BBC in September 2004. According to spokesman Fred Eckhard this "has been the Secretary-General's longstanding view [because the UN charter] does not allow pre-emptive attacks".

2. Mohamed ElBaradei: The IAEA director from 1997 to 2009, in regards to bush's claim that Iraq had WMD and the invasion was needed to "disarm" Saddam, said, "deliberate deception [isn't] limited to small countries ruled by ruthless dictators" (this is a quote from his book Age of Deception).

3. Hans Blix: The former head of the IAEA (1981–1997) who was called back from retirement by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to lead United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission and was in charge of looking for WMD in Iraq said that his inspectors "found no stockpiles of WMD and had made significant progress toward resolving open issues of disarmament". Iraq was not complying or having difficulty complying (because of misplaced stockpiles) but Mr. Blix was confident that everything would be resolved. The only thing that was needed was time ("a matter of months").

Furthermore Blix said that if "the inspections been allowed to continue, there would likely be a very different situation in Iraq today. As it was, America's preemptive, unilateral actions have bred more terrorism there and elsewhere". (For The Record, Yes, George W. Bush Did Help Create ISIS).

Although, according to Blix, US President george w. bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair did not act in bad faith, but only exhibited "a severe lack of critical thinking".

4. David Kay: The Chief weapons inspector said "I think there were stockpiles at the end of the first Gulf War and a combination of U.N. inspectors and unilateral Iraqi action got rid of them" when he resigned on 1/23/2004.

I should note, however that Kay defended the Bush administration, saying that even if Iraq did not have weapons stockpiles, this did not mean the it wasn't dangerous. Was Iraq dangerous? Perhaps, but there are many countries with "dangerous" regimes, and the US isn't invading them all. That Kay also blamed "faulty intelligence gathering" for the prewar WMD conclusions (even though this is pure bullplop) explains why he defended the lying bush administration.

Although the conclusion of the Senate report on prewar intelligence on Iraq (that the bush Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent) wasn't released until 5/25/2007, so perhaps Kay's idiotic partisan statement is understandable? The US government had not yet confirmed that the bush administration blatantly lied. Even though the IAEA had.

But, and this is the important point, Kay knew Iraq had no WDM because he was one of those on the ground in Iraq who was looking for it (and did not find it). Thus confirming that the war was (if not illegal/based on a lie) unnecessary as per the bush administration reasons for waging it (to "disarm" Iraq).

5. Charles Dulfer: Dulfer, who replaced David Kay as Chief weapons inspector, said "it turns out that we were all wrong [and] I believe that the effort that has been directed to this point has been sufficiently intense that it is highly unlikely that there were large stockpiles of deployed, militarized chemical weapons there".

6. Scott Ritter: A United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998, while not a participant in the 2002 inspections, has remarked that "since 1998 Iraq has been fundamentally disarmed: 90-95% of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capacity has been verifiably eliminated". The nuclear program was eliminated and there was no evidence Iraq had retained chemical or biological weapons according to Ritter.

The Republican-identifying Ritter who says he voted for gwb was later (in 2001 and 2010) accused of "soliciting minors for sex on the Internet" (the 2001 charges were dismissed and the 2010 charges resulted in a conviction). For this reason Ritter's critics discount his statements re Iraq having WMD. Obviously the two aren't connected, but still the crime he was convicted of calls his character into question. He desired sex with minors, so he obviously lied about finding no WMD (so say his critics... see SWTD #232 point "5A" for more info concerning what one specific critic said when I brought up Ritter's name in a discussion re the illegality of gwb's Iraq invasion).

**End list of 6 UN and IAEA Officials Who Either Condemned US Invasion of Iraq Or Confirmed It Was Unnecessary**

In regards to ex-preznit bush saying (on 3/19/20013, in an address to the American people notifying them of the beginning of the illegal invasion of Iraq), "my fellow citizens, at this hour American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger"... we knew/know bush was lying and he knows/knew he lied/was lying.

How do we know for certain that bush lied? Mohamed ElBaradei told the Security Council (on 3/7/2003) via written report that the "UN inspections in Iraq worked". Please note that this report was delivered on 3/7/2003 and bush ordered the invasion on 3/19/2003. So bush said "invade to disarm" AFTER the head of the IAEA told the world that the inspections worked and that Iraq was already disarmed!

A fact that the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, as well as everyone at the IAEA (listed above) confirms (despite Kay going along with the "faulty intel" BS). My conclusion is that bush CLEARLY lied. And it was a blatant bold-faced lie.

This is something our own government concluded with a bi-partisan majority report issued by the Senate (on 6/5/2008) that said "the [bush] Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent".

Yet the bush apologists continue to lie... both about bush lying about Iraq having WMD (it was an "intelligence failure", they say), as well as Iraq having WMD. Iraq really did have WMD these liars/dumbshits say! Wikileaks documents prove Saddam had WMD!

Sorry, but no. bush claimed that we needed to invade to "disarm" Saddam, not that we needed to invade to clean up old, forgotten, buried and degraded chemical weapons. Which is what was actually claimed, and this was NOT what bush hyped (in order to scare the American people into accepting war). According to Wired's Noah Shachtman "Saddam's toxic arsenal [was] largely destroyed after the Gulf War". (WikiLeaks Iraq War Logs: No Evidence of Massive WMD Caches).

What we found after the invasion was "remnants". Remnants are what the Wikileaks documents revealed were found in Iraq post invasion. Would the American people have agreed to war over "remnants"? We all know the answer to that question is NO. Which is why bush ignored what the IAEA was telling him about Iraq having no WMD and lied about "disarming" Saddam.

Wikipedia notes that "In a White House Iraq Group meeting, chief Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson proposes the use of a smoking gun/mushroom cloud metaphor to sell the American public on the supposed nuclear dangers posed by Saddam Hussein".

The "smoking gun/mushroom cloud" metaphor was just one of the 935 false statements, (including 232 lies that bush himself disassembled) the administration used to SELL us the Iraq war. "Intelligence failure" my ass!

Video: Terrorist leader bush scares the shit out of Americans with BS about Iraq possessing nuclear weapons and using them to attack us. Clip from a 10/7/2002 TV address broadcast from Cincinnati's Museum Center at Union Terminal (0:07).

See also: SWTD #154: Intellectual Honesty Concerning ex-Preznit bush's WMD Lies (5/23/2013).

SWTD #312