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Friday Talking Points [305] -- From Bears To Zombies

[ Posted Friday, May 23rd, 2014 – 17:45 PDT ]

Before we begin, our sincere condolences to the George W. Bush family for the loss of former White House pet Miss Beazley, who died this week. As always, we are strictly non-partisan in our love for "First Dogs" and "First Cats," because we feel the president's (any president's) humanity can only be improved by having a pet to play with on occasion (the photo of Bush with Miss Beazley which accompanies that article shows exactly what we're talking about). As Harry Truman famously put it: "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." Our thoughts are with the Bush family in their time of loss.

OK, on to the more partisan slant on this week's news. We can even begin with a fairly non-partisan attack, on pretty much the entire Washington political class as well as all the media (excepting the Washington Post) for completely ignoring a story about Northrop Grumman overcharging the taxpayers to the tune of $100 million. While prominently reported by the Post, the story was quickly ignored by just about everyone else. Which is a travesty, really. The contract in question was for counter-narcoterrorism, ironically (since we complain about "corruption" in all those other countries so often), and included one employee who billed $176,900 for 1,208 hours in a 12-day period. In other words, more than 100 hours per day. To fight all those corrupt regimes down south, it is assumed. Still waiting for a congressional committee to be announced to look into this, but I'm not exactly holding my breath.

Nancy Pelosi named the five Democratic House members who will sit on the Benghazi committee this week (Elijah Cummings, Adam Smith, Adam Schiff, Linda Sanchez, and Tammy Duckworth). While Alan Grayson had previously expressed an interest, Cummings is the logical choice for the ranking member, since he's been such a burr in the side of Darrell Issa and already knows the material that will be discussed (all five members have served on committees which have previously investigated the matter, in fact).

Republican Alan West greeted this announcement by questioning Tammy Duckworth's "loyalties," a classy move if ever there was one. Let's take a look at their respective military records, shall we? Duckworth: one of first women to fly combat missions for the Army, helicopter hit by RPG, helicopter landed with Duckworth's help even though she sustained injuries which led to both legs and an arm being amputated. West: forced to resign to avoid a court martial for beating up and then firing a gun next to the head of an Iraqi detainee under his custody. 'Nuff said.

Speaking of Benghazi, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote an eye-opening look at the difference in the way two tragedies were treated by the president's opposition party. His comparison of Benghazi and the barracks bombing in Beirut is well worth a read (example: Ronald Reagan's response to questions as to why the Marines didn't have ammo or protective barriers in place was: "Anyone who ever had a kitchen done over knows that it never gets done as soon as you wish it would be").

Gay marriage is becoming legal in so many states, it's hard to keep up these days. As federal court after federal court strikes down laws against marriage equality, some (such as Pennsylvania's Republican governor) have realized it's a losing battle and thrown in the rainbow-colored towel, while others (such as Utah's Republican governor) are still warning of impending anarchy. For those keeping track: 19 states and D.C. now have full marriage equality. This week, that is. Stay tuned.

Fifty United States senators have signed a letter to the National Football League calling for the Washington [Ethnic Slurs] football team to change their name. No Republicans signed the letter, which was circulated among Democrats only (to be fair). The N.F.L. punted (so to speak), in the midst of all their other current scandals and lawsuits.

John Conyers first lost his bid to have his name on the ballot, and then (late today) it was announced that he had won in federal court, and his name would be back on the ballot. Even if Conyers had lost his legal bid, it's a fair bet he would have handily won as a write-in candidate, since his constituents so strongly support him.

In marijuana news, a man in Texas is facing a sentence of life in jail for selling pot brownies. Because they don't weigh the illegal chemical, they weigh the whole brownie. An effort is underway to pressure Congress to change some of this problem by passing the Smart Sentencing Act, in the form of a "Dancing on the Ashes of the Drug War" video, complete with a tool you can use to send a letter supporting the bill to your members of Congress. And Kentucky has (astonishingly) quickly gotten the feds to back down on industrial hemp, and the package of hemp seeds which had been confiscated finally got delivered.

F.B.I. Director James Comey seemed to be saying that his agency was softening their stance on "not hiring anyone who has used marijuana within the last three years," in order to recruit the best and smartest computer experts in their war on cybercrime. Comey was quoted saying "I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cyber criminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview," but then he had to quickly walk this back, stating he had only been trying to be funny in the interview. Which means, as an upshot, that the War On Drugs is more crucial than hiring the best people to prevent hackers from attacking the United States. J. Edgar Hoover would be proud of this "purist" attitude, one can safely assume.

And finally, Barack Obama was scheduled to make the announcement that he had created America's newest National Monument in New Mexico (the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument). Being a nice day, the president decided to walk over, across the Ellipse. Along the way he chatted with tourists and posed for a photo or two. But we have to speculate on what his Secret Service code name must be, since he commented about the excursion: "It's good to be out. The bear is loose." The bear? Really? Well, we hope that's what he said, because at least one man seems to have now interpreted it as "bare."

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

According to one 18-year-old in Connecticut, Vice President Joe Biden deserves an award for being the "most delightful man in America." She wrote this to Biden in a letter asking him to be her prom date. Biden (wisely) declined, but did send a personal note and a red-white-and-blue corsage to the young woman, and invited her to the White House. This excellent response deserves at least an Honorable Mention, we have to say.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper deserves at least an Honorable Mention this week as well, for signing a bill which will allow the state to spend $10 million on medical marijuana research. This makes perfect sense, given their new state laws, but Hickenlooper has so far been rather reluctant to get behind the pro-marijuana movement in his state, so we have to applaud him for signing the new bill into law.

But the winner of the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award is none other than President Obama's new nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro.

I've seen Castro speak, at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and he was impressive indeed (as is his twin brother Joaquín, who serves in the House of Representatives). Julián Castro was named to the job not because he gives a good speech, though, but because of his impressive record on housing within his own city.

To jump from a city mayor's office to the presidential cabinet is an impressive career move, we have to say. Many expect Castro to climb even higher in politics, and he is now being mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate. That's a pretty impressive week, we have to admit, so we hereby award the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week to the new nominee for H.U.D. secretary, Julián Castro.

[Congratulate Mayor Julián Castro on his official contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

There has been a scandal growing at the Veterans Administration, but up until now we have not commented on it nor handed out MDDOTW awards. There's a reason for this, and the reason is that we're waiting for the report to come out specifying the scope and depth of the problems at V.A. hospitals across the country. This report is expected as early as next week, so we don't have much longer to wait.

President Obama publicly commented on the scandal this week, but according to some pundits, he didn't show enough anger. This has been a continuing theme his entire presidency, as the press really really would like him to yell and scream on such occasions. Don't believe me? Here is what Chuck Reid of CBS News asked the president during a 2010 press conference on the BP oil spill crisis:

"You said earlier that the president is enraged. Is he enraged at BP specifically?"

"Frustration and rage are very different emotions, though. I haven't -- have we really seen rage from the president on this? I think most people would say no."

"Can you describe it? Does he yell and scream? What does he do?"

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post continues this tradition this week, calling for more anger from President Obama.

Calls for the head of the V.A. to resign or be fired have come from all corners, as time goes by. But Obama's been wrong in the past to force people out at the drop of a hat (see: Shirley Sherrod), so we are willing to wait another week for the report to be made public.

In an admittedly non-scientific poll of their own members, the organization VoteVets tried to quantify how actual veterans are feeling about Eric Shinseki right now. From their results: "Out of the total group polled, only 17 percent believed that Secretary Shinseki should resign. A whopping 60 percent said he should not resign, with 23 percent saying they weren't sure yet." Of those who receive medical care from the V.A.: "again, there was no overwhelming call for Shinseki to step down. Sixty-two percent said he should not resign. Twenty-four percent said they weren't sure, with the remainder, just 14 percent, saying he should. That's interesting, in that those who actually receive V.A. care are the least likely to say Shinseki should resign. Listening to the news, you would think that those who get V.A. care would be up in arms, with torches and pitchforks, calling for Shinseki's head. That just isn't the case."

So we're going to wait at least one more week before either calling for Shinseki to resign or to award him the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. When the facts are in, we will react accordingly.

Since this scandal was so front-and-center this week, we have no other candidates for the MDDOTW award. If you have nominees for someone I've overlooked, let me know in the comments, and I'll consider your suggestions.

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 305 (5/23/14)

OK, we've got a fairly freewheeling (and a bit reactionary) set of talking points this week, mostly because a lot happened. So much happened, in fact, that I couldn't even squeeze in the tongue-in-cheek reference to fighting a duel which happened between Republican Steve King and Democrat Chuck Schumer (which is pretty funny, in fact, especially Schumer's response).

If you find this week's talking points a bit too zany, well, earlier this week I wrote a much more serious column about a political ad from Montana -- which features a rape survivor talking about what a "personhood" law would have meant when she was 14 years old. This entire column is written to urge other Democrats "this is really how you should be speaking about this issue," in fact. So if you're looking for my serious advice this week to Democrats on talking points, you can find it there.

Which clears the decks for talking points this week on election silliness, Republican silliness, and Pentagon silliness -- covering the field (you just can't make this stuff up, folks) from The Dating Game to a zombie attack.

 

1
   Only off by only 10,000,000 or so

This was just downright funny.

"Lo, how far the Tea Party has fallen. Not only has every Tea Party candidate been defeated in the Republican Senate primaries so far, but they can't even put together a decent rally anymore. The so-called 'Operation American Spring' rally which took place last Friday was supposed to have 10-to-30 million people marching on the nation's capital. One of the few attendees put the crowd's number more accurately at 'hundreds.' Well, I guess they fell only a few tens of millions short of their expectations, eh? I remember when a good Tea Party rally would at least bring out a few tens of thousands, but it seems those days are gone forever, eh?"

 

2
   Republican-on-Republican infighting

In other election news...

"While one Republican candidate in New Jersey is using the novel campaign technique of suing his Republican opponent for defamation, it seems that Mississippi's politics are even more down-and-dirty than New Jersey's, these days. Mississippi is the last chance Tea Partiers have of taking down a Republican senator in the primaries, but the race has now become downright bizarre. Tea Party bloggers have set a new low for mudslinging, sneaking onto the grounds of a care facility and taking photos of Senator Thad Cochran's disabled wife, and then posting these images online. While several arrests have been made of Tea Party organizers, the Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel has not yet been tied to this disgraceful and disgusting effort. It remains to be seen what this will do for his chances in the upcoming primary election, though. Definitely a race to keep an eye on."

 

3
   Election fraud!

Another "how the mighty have fallen" story leads the rest of our roundup of election follies.

"I see that conservative darling Dinesh D'Souza has now pled guilty to committing election fraud, so of course I'll be expecting that every single Republican who has ever uttered a single word on the subject of election fraud will now be denouncing D'Souza to the skies, right? And, of course, using the word 'illegal' to describe him, now that he is an admitted lawbreaker. Yes, that was sarcasm, in case you're wondering. I also note that Asa Hutchinson forgot his ID card when he went to vote in his state's primary election. His answer to the problem? Send a campaign staffer to his house to retrieve it. Now I understand -- if you have problems with voter ID laws, just let your aides take care of all the paperwork! That's sure to be a viable answer for everyone affected, right? Yes, I'm being snide, because what else can you be when poll workers are now quizzing people about what is on those IDs -- maybe the GOP will come out in favor of going back to 'poll testing' as their next step, what do you think? Or perhaps back to the 18th century, where only property owners could vote -- an idea Republican House member Ted Yoho recently expressed support for. The only question to seriously ask at this point is how far back in history do Republicans really want to take this country, when it comes to voting rights?"

 

4
   Disrespecting the troops

Immigration reform was in the news this week.

"Republican leaders in the House have now shown their true colors. A Republican member wanted to bring up an amendment, during debate over the military appropriations bill, which would have allowed those young people who serve in the U.S. military even though they are not citizens to be rewarded by legalizing their immigration status. This was unacceptible to the House Republican leadership. Even fighting and putting your life on the line for America is not enough to satisfy the extremists in the party who do not want any immigration reform ever. That, in my book, qualifies as disrespecting the troops of your country, nothing less."

 

5
   Reid calls Boehner's bluff

Immigration, continued...

"Let's have a quick review of the positions Speaker of the House John Boehner has taken in the past few weeks on immigration reform, shall we? First he said he couldn't possibly pass a bill through the House because he can't trust that President Obama will obey it. When asked, he could not name a single thing Obama could do to regain that trust. So Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made a counteroffer -- pass comprehensive immigration reform which wouldn't go into effect until 2017, which is after Obama leaves office. Reid's exact words were: 'Let's pass immigration reform today and make it take effect at the beginning of 2017. Republicans don't trust President Obama. Let's give them the chance to implement the bill under President Rand Paul or President Theodore Cruz.' This exposes the reality that Republicans didn't even trust President George W. Bush on immigration policy, which means they likely will never trust any president. Which was immediately proven by Boehner's response: 'Such a scenario would eliminate any incentive for the administration to act on border security or enforce the law for the remainder of President Obama's term.' So, according to Boehner, the House under his leadership is never going to pass a single bill on immigration reform -- something Latino voters have already taken note of, I might add."

 

6
   GOP's spectacular failure to reach out to women

This one is pretty astonishingly unbelievable. Watch the video yourself, it's only a minute or so long. I wrote about this earlier this week, to express my own outrage, if you're interested in more than just a talking point.

"I see that the Republicans keep trying to get better at reaching out to women voters, but they also keep massively failing in their attempts to do so. In Colorado, the Republican governor's candidates held a debate which was supposed to be about 'Women and Colorado's Future.' But the way they invited four women panelists up to the stage to ask questions of the candidates simply has to be seen to be believed. Not only did the moderator state that it would be, quote, so much more ornamental, unquote, to have women on the stage, but he also played the theme music from The Dating Game -- to make it more fun for the dear ladies to take the stage, while he intoned 'Bachelor One, Bachelor Two, Bachelor Three,' to describe the three male candidates. What freakin' decade do these people think it is? This is the vaunted Republican outreach to women? Wow. No wonder single and young women are fleeing the party in droves, if condescension is the only thing Republicans have to offer them."

 

7
   Zombie apocalypse defense plan

Chalk this up as another story (right when the Pentagon's budget is being debated in Congress, no less!) that was absolutely ignored by the media. I have no idea why, personally.

"It was reported this week that the Pentagon has developed a plan to combat any future attack by zombies. Called 'CONOP 8888,' or 'Counter-Zombie Dominance,' this plan has apparently been in place since 2011. I quote from the plan itself:"

This plan fulfills fictional contingency planning guidance tasking for U.S. Strategic Command to develop a comprehensive [plan] to undertake military operations to preserve 'non-zombie' humans from the threats posed by a zombie horde. Because zombies pose a threat to all non-zombie human life, [Strategic Command] will be prepared to preserve the sanctity of human life and conduct operations in support of any human population -- including traditional adversaries.

"I wish this was a joke, but right there in the plan's disclaimer section is the statement: 'this plan was not actually designed as a joke.' Well, I'm sure we'll all breathe a little easier tonight knowing that the Pentagon has already prepared for any upcoming zombie apocalypse. The only question that remains is whether our Godzilla Response Plan is robust enough, I suppose."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

45 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [305] -- From Bears To Zombies”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    So we're going to wait at least one more week before either calling for Shinseki to resign or to award him the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. When the facts are in, we will react accordingly.

    Well, if those are the only options awaiting Secretary Shinseki, then I'm not sure I understand why we have to wait for the MDDOTW award to be handed out, you know, while problems at the VA are all the rage, right now, again.

    VoteVets.org may be alone in its admirable quest to find out how veterans feel about whether Shinseki should resign or not. It will be very interesting to learn how these vets feel about Shinseki AFTER the investigation. Perhaps, when all the facts are in, Shinseki might be a candidate for the MIDOTW award.

    Stranger things have already happened.

  2. [2] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Thank you Chris for another wonderful Saturday morning read over coffee!

    It was heartwarming to see the outpouring of sympathy for the Bush family over the loss of Miss Beazley. Not one commenter had anything but sincere condolences for them. Especially heart-wrenching were the comments from those who had also recently lost beloved pets.

    I have heard nothing of the Northrop Grumman fraud case! Thank you for bringing it to our attention! Why is mainstream media avoiding this story?

    Re Alan West: hypocrisy is thy name and creed.

    Re Utah's governor: he needs to locate a dictionary and look up the word "anarchy" as Rep Steve King does for the word "xenophobia". In King's case, he claimed to have looked it up but he still misunderstands it and misuses it. In the oft-quoted words of The Princess Bride character, Inigo Montoya: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

    I've already seen some Republican outrage over Barack Obama's designation of America's newest National Monument. Apparently national monuments are now on the ever-growing Republican list of bad things to be banned, including the President's ability to designate them.

    I'm delighted that you chose Julian Castro as your MIDOTW! He was the most outstanding Democrat for me too and I wish him well. I am also hoping that this will place him in a position to be chosen as a vice presidential running mate. I cannot think of a better candidate at this juncture.

    As for MDDOTW, keep Alison Lundergran Grimes on standby if she fails to call out Mitch McConnell on his prevarications regarding Obamacare/Kynect. McConnell claims that the two are "unconnected" and that repealing Obamacare will not affect Kynect. These are outright lies and I will be deeply disappointed in Grimes if she fails to respond forcefully.

    Friday Talking Points

    (1) As you know, I've been following the Operation American Spring march and did so right up to and including its complete and utter failure! It was hard to find news on what was happening on the day as mainstream media declined to cover it - it truly was too small an event to merit their attention.

    But what coverage I found was hilarious including the unnamed someone(s) who, on the OAS website and FB page, directed people to the Bundy ranch and Utah instead, much to the dismay and frantic denials of the organizers! There were also warnings that demonstrators should expect to face jail, wounding and even death at the hands of federal security - now there's motivation for you! One of my favorites was the conspiracy theory that the President had ordered all federal government buildings to be bomb-rigged! Oh dear, oh dear.

    The final article though was the best of all - attendees blamed Glenn Beck for the lack of attendance because he mocked them instead of promoting them! Read about it in Salon here:

    http://www.salon.com/2014/05/20/glenn_becks_supporters_revolt_how_an_inane_event_became_a_massive_headache/

    (2) More on Mississippi misbehavior:

    Four people have now been arrested including Clayton Kelly, the photographer and wannabe radio star, and Mark Mayfield, attorney and vice chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party. Charges range from exploitation of a vulnerable adult and photographing an individual without permission to the tampering of evidence and conspiracy. Kelly made the film based on an accusation that Cochran was having an affair with his assistant. The film featured shots of the two with the photo of Rose Cochran at the end. Kelly told investigators he thought the photo could help launch his blog and radio show. I wonder who he was trying to emulate?

    (3) I haven't seen anything in the media about Democrats pushing back against these voter suppression laws. Maybe they're leaving it to the courts instead. In my opinion they need to read your article on this, Chris, and I've recommended that people contact their candidates and pass on the link to them.

    (4) This is yet more evidence of the House Republicans desperate conga-line dance away from all debate of immigration reform. The funny thing is that the two pushes for discussion this week both came from House Republicans. The first was Rep Jeff Denham (R-Cal) with his measure offering citizenship to immigrants here illegally who serve in the American Armed Forces. The second was from noted mental wasteland, Rep Steve King (R-Iowa), whose rant went off on a tangent diametrically opposed to that of the GOP leadership! Very funny stuff and I agree that Sen Chuck Schumer's reply was excellent!

    (5) Boehner recently said that the distinction between Tea Party and Republicans is hard to find though why anyone would think for a moment that he believes what he's saying is beyond me. Consider his post shutdown denouncement and mockery of tea partiers and their backers such as the Heritage Action Fund, which have plagued him throughout his speakership. Boehner openly accused them of “misleading their followers”. “I think they’re pushing our members in places where they don’t want to be, and frankly, I just think that they’ve lost all credibility,” he said.

    He won't bring immigration reform up for discussion let alone a vote because he can't trust the far right not to sabotage it. The video of his recent mocking of House tea partiers on this issue was a joy!

    Personally, I think Boehner is fed up. He's caught between a rock and a hard place and the view is politically claustrophobic. He's frustrated with the crazies and dismayed by the capitulation of the establishment in the face of primary threats and the Heritage Action Fund's scoring of votes which treats Congressional Republicans like school children under HAF's headmastership.

    His saying that there no longer exists lines between tea partiers and establishment isn't a statement asserting unity but one deploring the surrender of the establishment. Boehner has said he may not complete his 13th term. I believe he's saying that he's oh so close to his "last straw" moment and that, when it comes, he will resign rather than endure the nonsense any longer.

    (6) I watched the video - both funny and pathetic. I cited your article on the subject in Huff Post comments so I hope you scored more reads from that.

    (7) The zombie plan - words fail me.

    There were also two other stories which caught my attention this week. First there was the Huff Post article Business That Bashed Obama's OSHA Just Had Horrifying Industrial Accident which is well worth a read.

    Second was Darrell Issa's release of a "still-classified State Department email". Why oh why, when this new select committee was announced, has everyone ignored Darrell Issa? Did no-one give a moment's thought to his reaction? Here's this ego-driven, belligerent, spotlight-loving leader of his own high profile committee being publicly humiliated by the Speaker and side-lined in the wake of a bigger and better committee.

    There had to be a lot of talk going on behind Issa's back with Gowdy being tattletale-in-chief - keep in mind that Gowdy was a member of Issa's committee and knew how rapidly Issa was losing the confidence of the party. Issa had promised them that he would get Obama no matter what and to say that the party's confidence in him was waning is to understate the matter - they had zero confidence in him and his ever-growing record of failures.

    When Boehner announced the new select committee with Gowdy as chief trial judge, he was condemning Issa to the shadows and Issa knew it. Anyone with an ounce of sense and a moment's thought knew it. Did everyone then expect Issa to just sit back and take it? Can anyone be that naive? Of course Issa was out to undermine Gowdy by revealing the existence of this "still-classified State Department email". This is Issa's retribution for the attack Gowdy waged on him behind his back and in the process Issa regains the spotlight. How could anyone not see this coming?

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'll never forget Eric Shinseki's testimony before a congressional committee when he said that a force of several hundred thousand troops would be required for an invasion of Iraq and how his recommendation was summarily dismissed by the likes of Secretary Rumsfeld who spends most of his waking moments in the land of the unknown unknowns.

    I've had a great deal of respect for Shinseki ever since that day.

    Appearances can often be deceiving and here is some insight into what makes Secretary Shinseki tick that may be of interest ...
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/eric-shinseki-is-still-the-right-person-to-lead-veterans-affairs/2014/05/21/0d984ac0-dd41-11e3-bda1-9b46b2066796_story.html

    If anyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, I think Secretary Shinseki surely does.

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Mopshell,

    I'm delighted that you chose Julian Castro as your MIDOTW! He was the most outstanding Democrat for me too and I wish him well. I am also hoping that this will place him in a position to be chosen as a vice presidential running mate. I cannot think of a better candidate at this juncture.

    Well, I'm sure your choice for veep may be a good one but, Vice President Biden might have other options on his mind ...

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Republican Alan West greeted this announcement by questioning Tammy Duckworth's "loyalties," a classy move if ever there was one. Let's take a look at their respective military records, shall we? Duckworth: one of first women to fly combat missions for the Army, helicopter hit by RPG, helicopter landed with Duckworth's help even though she sustained injuries which led to both legs and an arm being amputated. West: forced to resign to avoid a court martial for beating up and then firing a gun next to the head of an Iraqi detainee under his custody. 'Nuff said.

    That IS a tough call... Both served with honor and distinction, intent on keeping Americans safe..

    Gay marriage is becoming legal in so many states, it's hard to keep up these days.

    Good. Then maybe we can quit trumpeting about it every 5 minutes, eh??

    For a group that is always in pursuit of complete equality, the Left sure likes to heighten and emphasize the differences...

    I mean, seriously....

    Julián Castro was named to the job not because he gives a good speech, though,

    Yea, and Obama wasn't elected POTUS because he gave a good speech at the 2004 Crat convention.. :D

    There has been a scandal growing at the Veterans Administration, but up until now we have not commented on it nor handed out MDDOTW awards. There's a reason for this, and the reason is that we're waiting for the report to come out specifying the scope and depth of the problems at V.A. hospitals across the country. This report is expected as early as next week, so we don't have much longer to wait.

    Why wait??

    It's only going to get worse.. If we ever find out anything at all..

    Since this scandal was so front-and-center this week, we have no other candidates for the MDDOTW award. If you have nominees for someone I've overlooked, let me know in the comments, and I'll consider your suggestions.

    Oh com'on!!

    This is a scandal that even DEMOCRATS are saying is a "REAL" scandal..

    Obama KNEW about these problems at the VA even BEFORE he was POTUS... He USED the "deplorable conditions" of the VA to beat Bush over the head with as early as 2007!!

    And, under Obama, things are the VA have gotten much MUCH worse.

    OUR VETERANS ARE DYING!!

    And you are telling me that, on MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, of all times, Obama doesn't deserve an MDDOTW for his complete and utter incompetence on display AGAIN for all the world to see!!????

    Again, the only litmus test we need is what would the reaction from the Left had been if this had happened under a GOP POTUS...

    I am simply gabberflasted...

    I'll need time to recover before I move on to the FTPs.

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Interesting factoid about the VA scandal where veterans are dying by the dozens..

    In the VA, the ratio of doctor to patient is 35 to 1. That's 35 patients for every doctor..

    At Gitmo, the ratio of doctor to patient is 1.1 to 1.

    Almost EVER scumbag, bottom sucking parasitical THING at Gitmo has their own private doctor..

    The ONLY logical conclusion to come to??

    That Obama and his Administration care more for scumbag terrorists than they do for America's Veterans...

    That says it all about Obama and his Administration...

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am also constrained to point out that the ONLY reason to "wait and see" on the VA scandal is the hope that something will happen that the Left can A) blame on the Right and 2) bury the scandal and protect Obama...

    That's the ONLY reason to adopt a wait and see attitude..

    We KNOW things are bad.. The ONLY reason to "wait and see" is to abdicate holding Obama and Demcorats responsible...

    Like I said, would the Left want to "wait and see" if a GOP had been POTUS?

    Not only "NO", but "HELL NO"...

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    But hay...

    Ya'all want to talk Immigration??

    A chilling message from the cartels: Billboards with hanging mannequins warning cops to choose 'silver over lead' appear in Texas
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2637789/Threatening-cartel-billboards-warning-police-choose-silver-lead-come-complete-hanging-mannequins-appearing-Texas.html

    Obama and the Democrats are already giving drug cartels a foothold in United States territory..

    Why not create an LEO-impenetrable corridor for the cartels that they can move drugs and terrorists into the United States?

    Because THAT is exactly what that New Mexico "national monument" will do...

    Yer doing a heckuva job, Obama-ie.... :^/

    Ya know, I have never subscribed to the outlandish belief that Obama is actively working AGAINST this country..

    Having said that, the supporting facts DO keep piling up...

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Credit where credit is due..

    Before we begin, our sincere condolences to the George W. Bush family for the loss of former White House pet Miss Beazley, who died this week. As always, we are strictly non-partisan in our love for "First Dogs" and "First Cats," because we feel the president's (any president's) humanity can only be improved by having a pet to play with on occasion (the photo of Bush with Miss Beazley which accompanies that article shows exactly what we're talking about). As Harry Truman famously put it: "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." Our thoughts are with the Bush family in their time of loss.

    The vast VAST majority of the Left would rather cut out their hearts with a spoon before they would give Bush ANY kind of condolences or humanizing...

    But we here in Weigantia can always count on decency from the grand Poobah..

    Now excuse me while I wipe this brown stuff off my nose... :D

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    @ Liz

    Well, I'm sure your choice for veep may be a good one but, Vice President Biden might have other options on his mind ...

    I'm sure you're absolutely right about that, Liz! Though not as VP again... I'm not even sure if a VP can even run for a third term...?

    The reason I like Julian Castro so much for VP is because I think he's someone worthy who will really energize the Latino vote. Then, at the end of his VP term(s), I'd like to see him in a bid to be America's first Latino president. By 2024, they might well be ready for that.

  11. [11] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Re 6 -

    "Interesting factoid about the VA scandal where veterans are dying by the dozens.."

    "At Gitmo, the ratio of doctor to patient is 1.1 to 1."

    From Merriam Webster online, the preferred definition of FACTOID

    1: an invented fact believed to be true because it appears in print.

    Michael, I appreciate your forthright disclaimer, and in the very first sentence of your comment! Still, you ought to give credit to your source, which I believe to be J.D. Gordon of Fox News.

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/05/22/al-qaeda-terrorists-at-guantanamo-treated-better-than-our-vets/

    I see you've made Gordon's comment even truthier by amping his ratio from a mere 1.5 to 1.1! This is akin to double distillation!

    Of course, what Gordon has done is to take the rough number of detainees at Gitmo, 150 he sez, and divide them by 100, the medical staff (he sez) at the base... 1.5 to 1!!!!!!! Of course, the medical staff also cares for approx. 8500 DOD staff and their family members. The official Pentagon position is that detainees get exactly the same care as service men and women. That makes the care ratio roughly 85:1, which, on the face of things, makes the 35:1 VA care ratio look pretty good.

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    TS,

    What exactly is your point?? Are you doubting the accuracy of the numbers??

    By all means, state your evidence..

    Regardless of the considerations, the simple fact is, scumbag terrorists are taken better care of medically, than our own Veterans..

    Nothing you have posted calls that FACT into question... :D

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    The official Pentagon position is that detainees get exactly the same care as service men and women.

    Yea, and the "official" Obama position is he did not lie when he said, "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan"...

    Frankly, the Obama administration has absolutely ZERO credibility in ANY position they take...

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Yes, I'm doubting the accuracy of your care ratio numbers. Which you don't source, but which sound very similar to a bogus editorial by Gordon, also un-sourced, or more accurately sourced to dead links. If you read Gordon's article carefully, you see it goes nowhere, because the 1-1.5 ratio assumes the inmates consume ALL the attention of Gitmo medical staff. His argument runs off the rails at the first curve, it's a logical train wreck.

    There's a one citation per post limit at this venue, but if you still want 'em, I'll be happy to add two more posts to show there are roughly 8500 personnel and family at Guantanamo, and the official Pentagon position is that detainees get the same standard of care as base personnel.

    But my main point was that you use a cherry picked, gut based, evidence free, factoid to advance a notion that terrorists get better care than soldiers. Look, the VA is not caring for terrorists, at Gitmo or elsewhere. That's pure distraction, or maybe just wild mudslinging, I'm not sure which. Can we stick to the subject at hand, the VA story and leave the irrelevant Gitmo = Club Med discussion for some other day/thread?

  15. [15] 
    dsws wrote:

    I don't see what the problem is with "zombie apocalypse". They want to do a training exercise, in public, on stuff that would be useful in any of a wide variety of emergency scenarios, but they don't want any actual public panic to be involved. So they don't it to be called anything that would be mistaken for a real emergency.

    From your link:
    "Planners ... realized that training examples for plans must accommodate the political fallout that occurs if the general public mistakenly believes that a fictional training scenario is actually a real plan," the authors wrote, adding: "Rather than risk such an outcome by teaching our augmentees using the fictional 'Tunisia' or 'Nigeria' scenarios used at [Joint Combined Warfighting School], we elected to use a completely-impossible scenario that could never be mistaken for a real plan."

    I tried to post this comment yesterday at Huffington Post. It was censored. I have no idea why.

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yes, I'm doubting the accuracy of your care ratio numbers. Which you don't source, but which sound very similar to a bogus editorial by Gordon, also un-sourced, or more accurately sourced to dead links.

    So, the fact that Gordon was intimately familiar with the goings on at Gitmo mean nothing..

    Or, more accurately, the fact that what Gordon says is unflattering to the Obama Administration is why you don't accept his facts..

    Do you have ANY evidence to call Gordon a liar, other than your political ideology???

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    There's a one citation per post limit at this venue, but if you still want 'em, I'll be happy to add two more posts to show there are roughly 8500 personnel and family at Guantanamo, and the official Pentagon position is that detainees get the same standard of care as base personnel.

    You have a group of people who's Doctor/Patient ratio is 1.1 to 1...

    You have a second group who's Doctor/Patient ratio is 35 to 1..

    Now, logic clearly dictates that the former group is going to get a LOT better care than the latter group.

    Of course, in Obama The Messiah Who Can Do No Wrong reality, such logic is probably not applicable.. :D

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    I tried to post this comment yesterday at Huffington Post. It was censored. I have no idea why.

    The first part of this explains the second part of this...

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    This whole gitmo tempest in a teapot thing is such a joke. Every single quote is from the Bush Administration. Every. Single. Quote. Obama tried to close Guantanamo but was rebuffed by the Republicans. The republicans created the situation, refused to get rid of it and now blame Obama? But that's not all, read back to conservative responses to Michael Moore's Sicko. It's interesting that when he brought up this exact point in relation to 911 responders it was deplorable but an unrelated comparison but under a democrat administration it's suddenly related?

  20. [20] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Michale, do you seriously watch Fox News?

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bashi,

    Yea... It's ALL Bush's fault..

    Obama is completely and utterly blameless without ANY responsibility whatsoever...

    We are at war with Eurasia.. We have always been at war with Eurasia...

    Mopshell,

    I haven't watched network or cable TV since 1997....

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    This whole gitmo tempest in a teapot thing is such a joke.

    And Abu Ghraib was a holocaust... A world shattering event.. A war crime worthy of Hitler or Stalin or Pol Pot... :^/

    Agenda much???

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Agenda much???

    No, but a big heaping pile of hyperbole...

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    No, but a big heaping pile of hyperbole

    Yea... ABSOLUTELY NO AGENDA whatsoever.. :D

    Remember..

    AT night..

    Not LAST night...

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Glib comments, changing the subject, then gibberish rather than defending your argument?

    Interesting...

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Glib comments, changing the subject, then gibberish rather than defending your argument?

    I don't see any reason to defend my argument as you didn't really come up with anything regarding the VA scandal that would require a defense..

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liberal Radio Keeps Shrinking as Ed Schultz Departs Airwaves for Much Shorter Web Broadcast
    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/jack-coleman/2014/05/22/liberal-radio-keeps-shrinking-ed-schultz-departs-airwaves-much-shorter

    "Boom, boom, boom... Another one bites the dust..."
    -QUEEN

    Why is it that Left Wing radio just CAN't succeed????

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Mopshell,

    I'm sure you're absolutely right about that, Liz! Though not as VP again... I'm not even sure if a VP can even run for a third term...?

    Heh. Well, I'm sure the last thing Biden wants is another term in the Vice President's office! And, that goes especially in a Hillary Clinton White House!!

    In the years leading up to the 2008 presidential election, I was advocating for a Biden/Hagel ticket, a kind of hybrid or fusion ticket.

    Later on, during one of the Democratic primary debates, Biden was asked who he would choose to be his running mate. Without missing a beat, he said he would pick Chuck Hagel for his running mate and quickly added that he would seriously consider Dick Lugar for Secretary of State.

    Both of those choices were based on the experience and expertise of the two Republicans and the spirit of bipartisanship shared amongst the three of them that had the great potential, I would argue, of providing a highly functional government at a time of crisis.

  29. [29] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Liz,

    Wow! That's really interesting, Liz, thank you for that! A bipartisan Executive - I wonder if that's ever happened in the past? And I wonder if it would have made any difference to the current Congress? Food for thought.

    Michale,

    Where do you source your news?

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mopshell,

    I read voraciously...

    All of the following sites are bookmarked.

    In no particular order.

    CNN
    FNC
    AlJazeera
    AP
    Reuters
    Drudge
    NY Times
    NY Post
    Washington Post
    ABC
    NBC
    CBS

    Plus a buttload of regional sites in places I have lived..

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    "I wish this was a joke, but right there in the plan's disclaimer section is the statement: 'this plan was not actually designed as a joke.' Well, I'm sure we'll all breathe a little easier tonight knowing that the Pentagon has already prepared for any upcoming zombie apocalypse. The only question that remains is whether our Godzilla Response Plan is robust enough, I suppose."

    The reasoning is obvious..

    The military has always been and will always continue to be an instrument of foreign policy..

    Obama's foreign police is on the trash heap...

    But Obama can point to this and say proudly, "See!! I am NOT incompetent!! We are prepared for zombies!!!"

    It makes perfect sense.. :D

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    Fifty United States senators have signed a letter to the National Football League calling for the Washington [Ethnic Slurs] football team to change their name. No Republicans signed the letter, which was circulated among Democrats only (to be fair). The N.F.L. punted (so to speak), in the midst of all their other current scandals and lawsuits.

    As always, the facts belay the spin..

    “More than a decade ago one of the foremost scholars of Native American languages, Smithsonian Institution senior linguist Ives Goddard, spent seven months researching the subject and concluded that the word ‘redskin’ originated as a Native American expression of solidarity by multi-tribal delegations that traveled to Washington to negotiate Native American national policies,” Allen says.
    Allen goes on to note that the Redskins logo was designed by Native American leaders in 1971 when his father, George Allen, was head coach.
    “The highly respected Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania surveyed Native Americans nationally and reported that an overwhelming 90% of respondents said the name was not offensive,” Allen states in the letter. “More importantly, Native Americans continue to embrace and use the name and logo.”
    In his final bullet point of “facts,” he refers to the national survey conducted by the Associated Press “confirming 83% of Americans said they are in favor of keeping the Washington Redskins name.”
    Allen ends the letter by saying, "We hope you will join us; Native Americans deserve our support."

    http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/05/24/redskins-president-bruce-allen-responds-with-letter-to-sen-harry-reid/

    Aren't there more pressing problems this country needs to address??

    How about the abhorrent state of our Mental Health programs that lead to ANOTHER mass shooting in a alleged "GUN FREE ZONE"... AKA PSYCHOTIC'S SHOOTING GALLERY....

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    I also have to question (and ya'all should to) Harry -Obama-Is-A-Light-Skinned-Negro-Without-A-Negro-Dialect- Reid's involvement in the Redskins issue..

    If racism is what is being fought against, maybe Democrats should clean up their own house first??

    I'm just sayin'....

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    CORRECTION NOTICE:

    OK, I'm still reading comments from HuffPost, haven't gotten to the ones here yet, but had to (blush) offer up my apologies.

    This article originally cited an article by "John F. Kennedy Jr." which has now been corrected to read "Robert F. Kennedy Jr."

    I'd like to offer up a big mea culpa maxima and a tip of the hat to HuffPost commenter Lady1genius for spotting the error.

    -CW

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Remember how the Left (and ya'all incidentally) savaged Bush and his administration when Valerie Plame was exposed as a member of the CIA??

    Obama and his incompetent administration exposed the CHIEF OF STATION in Afghanistan, putting him and his family at risk...

    I am SURE that ya'all will show the same diligence, exuberance and enthusiasm in condemning Obama and his administration as ya'all did with Bush...

    Right?? :D

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, in the throes of a HUGE Veterans scandal, Obama takes a side trip to Afghanistan to see the troops..

    Ya, it used to be that politicians would HIDE their politicking and damage control and not be so blatant and obvious about it..

    {{sssiiiiiggggghhhhh}} the good old days.. :^/

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    @ Liz [3]

    I followed your link re Shinseki - I knew very little about him and the article provided me with a valuable perspective. Thank you so much for that.

  38. [38] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You're very welcome!

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know, it's a FASCINATING study in contrasts..

    Comparing ya'alls reaction to the head of FEMA during Katrina to ya'alls reaction to the head of the VA in the here and now..

    I wonder would could account for such diametrically opposed reactions..

    Oh wait... I know... :D

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    White House staff tried to 'un-ring the bell' after revealing CIA chief's identity
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/26/identification-cia-station-chief-afghanistan-reporter

    The silence from the Left is deafening...

    Amazing how that is, eh??

    Between this and the Katrina analogy, looks like I got the entire Left by the short and curlies... :D

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    US foreign policy: Trouble abroad
    Barack Obama is accused of timidity overseas, thereby raising fear and anger among allies

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/a7b857c8-e299-11e3-ba64-00144feabdc0.html#axzz32uAHawB6

    Look how low Obama and the Democrats have sunk this country...

    It's rather ironic that SecState John Kerry summed it up best..

    “Most of the rest of the world doesn’t lie awake at night worrying about America’s presence – they worry about what would happen in our absence.”
    -SecState John Kerry

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Pivoting to Iran...

    Iran’s Supreme Leader: Jihad Will Continue Until America is No More
    http://dailycaller.com/2014/05/25/irans-supreme-leader-jihad-will-continue-until-america-is-no-more/

    This is why it's simply impossible to deal with Iran as if it were a civilized nation...

    The de-facto rulers of Iran are religious fanatics who know no reason or rationality..

    "Jim, madness has no purpose or reason. But it may have a goal."
    -Commander Spock, STAR TREK, The Alternative Factor

    It's all too clear what the goal is of the Iranian leadership...

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:
  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:
  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    Has anyone ever noticed how, when Obama and the Democrats are on the ropes and getting pummeled unmercifully by circumstances, things get REALLY quiet around here??

    It's uncanny... :D

    Michale

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