Rarely if ever these days do I agree wholeheartedly with any political person in the Beltway. I look incredulously at the stagnation, the obstructionist maneuvers and the vitriolic agendas that prevent us as a nation from becoming what we should be.
These elected representatives operate in the very bodies where true and great leaders once operated. Mitchell, Byrd, Clay, Kennedy, Webster and Calhoun. These men took the well of the Senate and worked tirelessly to solve the problems and issues of the day. They made oration an art form. And while they vehemently disagreed at times, they worked together to find an acceptable middle ground, all the while treating each other with the respect accorded and demanded of a United States Senator.
What I see now would be laughable...if it were not for the devastatingly negative effect it is having on a once great nation.
As a youth I considered making politics my life passion, so I majored in political science in college, which I thought was the appropriate place to start. A political career these days does not require any knowledge of political science...it requires a double major in communications and theatre.
Because what we have now are not leaders, they are actors. Flame throwing artists of the half truth, hateful, hurtful purveyors of hate. They seek not to come together to form a common ground to improve the nation, but to tell their constituents two things and two things only...what to be afraid of, and who is to blame for it.
And all of this has resulted in strict party lines of voting, strict scripted attacks on each other and vengeful investigations and lawsuits that do nothing but shift the focus away from what they should be doing, and squandering the citizens precious monetary resources, most of the time in efforts they already know are nothing more than a public grandstanding waste of time.
And while Rep. Issa and Speaker Boehner mount their trusted steads in an attempt to lead us nowhere, one man has publically chastised their efforts as the boon doggles they truly are...and I leave you with his Facebook posted letter to the Speaker.....along with one mans thanks and a "Bravo!!"
We need more men like this to come forward and question the direction our government is headed, so that our course may be righted before they spin their wheels accomplishing nothing until the next election cycle...before they spend another four years sitting blithely by while our nations issues continue and worse yet, multiply. Here is the letter...and thanks for reading. Kimba
“Dear Speaker Boehner: Yay…you got the votes needed to pass a resolution authorizing you to sue the President. Just what we need…more acrimony, petty politics and ridiculous media spectacles. Mr. Speaker, by all accounts, you have been advised that the chances of getting your lawsuit in to a court are about zero. And, if you could find a partisan judge to hear your case, the chances of prevailing? Let’s just say we have a better chance of seeing pigs fly. So let’s see how suing the President fits in to the grand scheme of things:
1. We have an unaddressed full-blown humanitarian crisis on our borders; 2. The Middle East is literally and figuratively on fire; 3. The Russians are shooting passenger jets out of the sky and seizing the lands of independent nations by force; 4. Our economy is fragile and ailing (I’m being generous here); 5. Our Veterans are being denied the basic promises we made to them; and 6. The rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer.
Unfortunately, sir, this is a short list of the many profound issues facing our exceptional nation and you believe, as the 3rd most powerful person in our alleged leadership that the #1 priority should be to pursue a futile lawsuit? An appalling, sad and a monumental embarrassment for our nation. Mr. Speaker, feel free to pursue your folly but please understand that this registered Republican won’t send a dime to or cast a vote for any candidate that endorses this travesty.” Robb Olsen
Get over it, it's time for every school to be patrolled by law enforcement. This will help to secure our schools and give our children the opportunity to get to know their local law enforcement as human beings and not the enemy. Students must feel safe attending our schools. These tragedies must end. To do nothing...to sit blithely by and watch tragedy after tragedy unfold in our schools...to watch this epidemic of violence continue in our schools while doing nothing is unacceptable.
That silence you hear is our Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
The ouster of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is just another case of a decorated veteran getting screwed over by the system.
The VA is a massive bureaucracy that cannot be controlled by one man. To hold Shinseki up to shame and public ridicule over the criminal actions of others in VA Phoenix is misguided and utterly unfair. Do they really think his forced resignation will help one iota? Good luck finding someone to take his place. The VA has problems for decades now. Decades. These problems have been exasperated because so many veterans are coming home since President Obama is drawing the two decades long wars to a close. And with Congress unable and unwilling to fully fund the system despite a huge influx of patients, the new VA director better keep their resume close and updated.
I don't mind people standing up and voicing their opinions as to who should, or should not be our next President...I mind them standing on the graves of dead Americans to do it. I mind them using the tragedy at Benghazi as a political opportunity.
Where were they went we experienced THIRTEEN attacks on our embassies during the Bush years? I know where they were...cowered up in the fetal positions not saying shit. And they now are using the attack on Benghazi as a political opportunity, and I'm saying that is un-American and yellow.
Just in case anyone has forgotten these attacks.... Jan. 22, 2002: Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami Attacks Indian U.S. Consulate June 14, 2002: Suicide Car-Bomb Outside U.S. Consulate in Karachi Oct. 12, 2002: String Of Bali Bombings Included U.S. Consulate Feb. 28, 2003: Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, Attacked For the Second Time in One Year May 12, 2003: 36 People Including 9 Americans Die After Terrorists Storm U.S. Compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia July 30, 2004: Islamist Attacks U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan Dec. 6, 2004: Five Staff and Four Security Guards Die in U.S. consulate attack in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia March 2, 2006: Third Attack on Karachi U.S. Consulate Killed U.S. Diplomat Sept. 12, 2006: Four Gunmen Stormed the U.S. compound in Damascus, Syria Jan. 12, 2007: Greek Terrorists Fired a Rocket-Propelled Grenade at the U.S. Embassy March 18, 2008: A Mortar is Fired at the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a, Yemen July 9, 2008: Three Turkish Policemen were Killed When Gunman Fired on the U.S. Consulate Istanbul, Turkey Sept. 17, 2008: 16 People Including 2 Americans Die in an Orchestrated Attack on the U.S. Embassy Sana’a, Yemen And no one....NO ONE called for the resignation of the REPUBLICAN Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. To say she was directly responsible; to stymie Congress with an endless procession of hearings and political attacks would have been counter productive. But look at what is going on today. And that is the difference between our two parties...the difference is one is based on political maneuvers and an agenda solely based on political wins and vitriol. And that is my world. The "World According to Kimba." Thanks for reading.
The concept was simple. It was fair, equitable and designed to bring all of its citizens into the process. One man, one vote...majority rules...what concepts....that every citizen would have an equal vote, an equal voice and an equal choice in the leaders that govern FOR them.
This grand experiment..."democracy," was the pride of an emerging nation, and the envy of the world. A grand experiment which, while admittedly not pretty at times, extolled freedom and quality of representation as the tenets of the land.
Alas, that form of government, at least in the United States of America...has died. Stolen really. Stolen by the rich and affluent. Bought and paid for by powerful entities, empowered and enabled by the legislative and judicial branches of the country they bought with their power, their money and their gluttony.
According to a new study by Princeton University, we can no longer call ourselves a democracy. The scales of freedom and justice for all...is now officially an oligarchy. An oligarchic form of government for the rich and powerful to seize and run. The less rich, the less powerful now have very little say in the day to day running of the country. They have gone from having a voice and a vote, albeit watered down as the country grew...to having everything dictated to them. And for the most part, every effort, every initiative takes the benefit of the rich and the powerful corporations first and foremost into consideration, and the average Joe's welfare last, if at all.
Quoting from the study, please consider the following...
"The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence."
"Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policy making is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened."
"In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule — at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it."
As someone who was born in the 1950's I have witnessed many incredible feats and events in America's history....civil rights initiatives adopted for many classes, putting a man on the moon, the tear down of the Berlin wall and on and on....unfortunately I can now add another event to the list...our country is now run by the ultra rich.
They control the government, they control the Supreme Court (how else can you explain the Citizen's Unite ruling?) and they control the election process (and the continuing initiatives to take away votes from the former electorate...voter ID initiatives and gerrymandering election districts to insure political outcomes).
This is a sad day confirmed by the Princeton study...a study that merely confirms what intelligent, aware political minds have known all the long...we have lost our country for the most part. Eroded away with each court ruling, with each legislative initiative, and eroded away with each Americans intellectual sloth and apathy.
We have watched the countries balance of power slip away from one man one vote, to a for sale sign. And the purchase has been made. The country was put in escrow and the new owners have taken over.
The grand experiment is over. It failed and there is no going back now. The 1% have won, and while our lives will, in all meaningful ways to most, be the same...we will never be the same.
Oh sure, the government will occasionally throw us a bone to keep us relatively satisfied, relatively peaceful and relatively happy. The country has now been taken away from us. It is no longer within our reach. The powerful oligarchs no longer have to pretend to care for us, or even care about us.
Through this slowly eroding of our democracy, this slow eroding of our consciousness and our mean intelligence as a nation, this slow eroding of our collective ability to give a shit....has given them victory...and the control of a once great nation.
And that is the world...the "World According to Kimba."
Thanks for reading.
As you can see from the dates of this, and my previous post, it has been quite a while since I have visited my own blog (sorry to all those who frequent this blog on occasion).
It was never that I had lost interest in the political scene or lost my perspective...time just got away from me and I have been focusing on other endeavors.
To those who have been consistently generous with their attentions of my one man show...let me sum up my observations and vent a little...
Not everything is a damn crisis...this is merely a money word for the media to attempt to garner viewership.
Let's not overstate Mr. Putin's actions of late...he is doing what we would do if we were in similar circumstances...protect our interests. Crimea holds one of his most important military bases, his only warm weather base, which is situated on the Black Sea. Knowledgeable observers saw this coming a mile away.
Why is it that our immediate response to damn near everything in the world is to ratchet up the troops, at least it is our number one response considered...
Voices who are wondering what is next in the Putin troop occupation (primarily a spread of his occupation into neighboring lands) would be best served by remembering that this question is what got us into Vietnam.
Many of us liberals are very interested in Californian investigations into so-called "dark money" campaign donations through a series of hands (non-profits) in an attempt to disguise the donors. These investigations' reportedly involve the Koch Brothers, although if the right are doing it, certainly they are being mimicked by the left...
If the Democrats do lose the next election, please let it be to a moderate like Jon Huntsman and not flame throwing tea partiers like Paul or Cruz....
Having spent a few hours on CSPAN listening to conservative after conservative at CPAC, my fervent hope is for the GOP to change from a party of hope and change and less of the party of "here is what / who we hate." Leaders are for something...losers focus primarily on what they are against. Effective leaders know their own vision of where the nation should go and know how to get there.
Recent reductions in the SNAP program (you may know it as "food stamps"), while maintaining massive subsidies of many industries, including the banking and petrochemical industries, is one of the most heartless political moves in my lifetime.
The Obama administration is, and will continue to be, primarily in a reactive posture until the end of their second term, and that is a shame.
Having been an active participant in the social media, including serving as a beta tester of Google +, I am sick to death of the vitriolic comments, the inflammatory rhetoric (frequently from conservatives towards liberals), the utter lack of knowledge, the complete lack of awareness, and the lack of any nuanced analysis towards any current event that I used to enjoy in years gone by. Most voices consist of a picture with insulting rhetoric added to it.
Who ever came up with the phase "the dumbing down of America" years ago was a true visionary.
And that is my world...the "World According to Kimba." Thanks for reading.
I am so tired of the vitriol shown to our President and the liberals in general by the conservatives. They criticize everything President Obama has ever uttered and anything his pen has ever touched....across the board.
The conservatives have used previous congressional rules to filibuster against and block bills attempting to improve and judicial appointees who would reduce the judicial logjams we current experience. Anything...anything this president has attempted to do as part of his vision-the exact same vision that the majority of this countries citizens voted to approve-they have blocked.
But the truth is, if this was a conservative government in the Oval office with the exact same record as President Obama, they would be bragging about it as conservative victories....victories such as,
increasing jobs and reducing the unemployment rate
avoided a second great depression
cutting into our national debt and deficits
college student tax cuts ended "enhanced interrogation" methods created 4.5 million private sector jobs in 2010 alone
collected over 10 billion in fines levied to the oil/coal industries
fined BP 4.5 billion for the oil spill in the gulf
banned BPA in our plastics
levied severe fines to the financial sectors for mortgage fraud
required foreign banks to disclose American accounts and taxed them accordingly
abolished don't ask don't tell and ended the ban on females in combat cut prescription drug costs by 50% for Medicare recipients
economy now growing and the stock market at record highs
saved the US auto industry reformed student loan program tax cuts for 3.5 small businesses
HealthCare for millions without coverage
no penalty for pre-existing conditions
children under 25 can stay on parents health plans
7 million homes with solar panels
green industry loans and cuts to spur on business starts
chemical agreement with Syria who is destroying weapons
nuclear agreement with Iran including inspections
and on and on....
The worst President ever? If there were a conservative President in office, they would be touting this record as one of the best records ever. And if the liberals in congress had the same record as the conservatives over the past two terms, the conservatives would be screaming bloody murder.
Lib-tards my ass. Go screw yourselves. You aren't fooling anybody.
And that's the world...the World According to Kimba.
Subsidies to companies who pay sub-standard, non-living wages to their employees who are forced to turn around and apply for government subsidies so they can afford to pay rent, heat their place of residence and can somehow manage to feed their families?
Subsidies to mega-corporations who rake in billions in profits? Why? The very corporations that refuse to assist working Americans who toil all day, and at the end of the day cannot afford to feed their own families?
We need to audit where our money goes. Audit and make transparent where our money is being spent. In layman's terms. So everyone can understand the illogic of it all. And then we need to place the blame on whomever is responsible for it.
We need to end this ridiculous notion that all those on food stamps are eating lobster and swilling fine wine on the government tit.
We need to end the bigoted notion that food stamps are going to lazy minorities. We need to change the picture in the minds of many Americans that food stamp recipients are lazy men wearing wife beaters sitting on their porches, gut protruding, drinking a Colt 45, smoking a Newport and watching their 8 dirty kids play in their filthy yards.
We are the richest country in the world, and many...millions in fact, struggle to feed their families. We are the richest country in the world, and many of our children go to bed hungry at night. Can't sleep because they see the struggle their parent(s) go through daily in trying to make ends meet. Trying to cope with the failure they feel when dinner is a cup of Top Ramen. Trying to cope with the failure that comes when they cannot afford health insurance for their children....or cannot afford proper clothing for their children...or cannot find a decent job that will match financially their willingness to work.
And for many, these parents go to sleep with the knowledge that the taxes they pay from their meager wages are returned in subsidies to the very corporations they work for...the very corporations that refuse to pay living wages.
Talk about irony. The irony of working for a huge billion dollar corporation, toiling to prepare food for thousands of customers only to get off work unable to afford the very food they have prepared all day....at a billion dollar corporation that is at the very vortex of the financial spiral they struggle to cope with on a daily basis.
We need to raise the minimum wage. We must guarantee that everyone who is willing to work will receive a living wage...not lobster money, but enough for a nutritious meal, a decent place to live and a chance to recapture the ultimate human right...the right to a little dignity and a sense of self worth.
We are the richest nation on earth...a nation too rich to leave anyone left behind. A place where no one gets left behind.
It's time to fight the war against poverty rather than fighting a war against poor people. Because they are Americans...the sick, the unemployed, the elderly, they are our veterans and yes, our children. And they are hungry and live in the richest nation on earth. They need not be left hungry, alone....and behind. E pluribus Unum...out of many...one. One nation, under God...indivisible with liberty and justice for all....and if I might, I would like to insert dignity. These people deserve our help, and a little dignity along with a decent hot meal from time to time. And anyone who objects is a selfish bastard. We can easily do this.
And that's the world...the "World According to Kimba." Thanks for reading.
.I wrote this on Sunday, November 22, 2009 and I'm reprinting the post because it still holds true. Thanks for a reader from Iowa for going into the archives and pulling this out......
"THE MISTAKEN NOTION THAT WE CAN POLICE THE WORLD"
One month into the Obama administration, SOS Hillary Clinton gave the following quote when asked of the U.S. role in Chinese affairs...."human rights should not interfere with other issues in a bilateral relationship." And as repugnant as that is to say, I had hoped that this would mark some semblance of reality in U.S. relations around the world. Obviously, we are counting on China to continue to prop up our economy through the purchase of US bonds, and in doing so we are entering into a deal with the devil; the price of which is our lack of power or ability to criticize China for their human rights stances.
As a nation, we have long taken on the role of the world's watch dog and the world's policeman of sorts. We have toppled dictators, and we have propped up others. In the case of Saddam Hussein, we have done both, until we finally took him down.
Our role in the Middle East has less to do with 9/11 than with the Bush administrations desire to achieve regime change in no less than four Middle eastern countries (the now famous Rumsfeld white paper). But where has this involvement gotten us? Do we feel safer now than ever? There has been no subsequent 9/11-like attacks, but is this a direct result of our fighting two civil wars?
What it has done is killed our armed forces, divided our country and helped to put our own economy in a very precarious footing, to say the very least.
Sometimes, our views and foreign actions make no sense whatsoever...we do business with China with its human rights violations, but continue to embargo Cuba for its human rights actions...an action which has not achieved a regime change, but has seriously hurt the day to day standard of living to most Cubans.
President Obama ran on a "change" platform, let's see some. He ran on the promise to end our involvement (and vast money drain) in the Middle East, let's see it. Let's see some of the promises fulfilled. Let's see a change to our hypocrisy, let's see a less dictatorial foreign affairs stance, and a more humanitarian overview.
We need to stop the bleeding in Iraq and Afghanistan (literally and figuratively), we need to decide what to do with Gitmo, and we need to open up relations with Cuba by years end. And we need to turn a less blind eye towards our own peoples need before squandering our resources outside of the country. Do I support a new Monroe Doctrine? Of sorts. we need to roll up our borders to immigration, we need to raise import fees, and we need to force Americans to buy American. We need to tell the world we will not fight the good fight all over the world while they sit blithely by. We need to stop helping others...at the expense of not being able to help ourselves; and if that sounds Lou Dobbsian, so be it. When our economy eventually rebounds, we can rethink our foreign affairs posture, until then, we need to focus our attentions domestically for the good of the people.
And that is the world....."the World According to Kimba"...then and now.
According to a CNN report, over 50% of all fast food workers rely on public assistance due to a lack of full time hours and low pay. McDonalds, the corporation with a heart came to the rescue...with the sample budget so their hard working employees can exist on their $8.50 an hour, and have established a help line.
"McResource" is a help line (supported by franchises), which endeavors to help their employees securing public assistance for food stamps, heating bills, medical expenses, transportation, child care and education, all on the public backs.
What a gesture...can't afford to pay them full time hours with benefits, can't afford to pay out a living wage, but can afford pathetic gestures like the ones described. All the while reaping in enormous profits year after year after year.
Look at the budget above...two salaries, rent $600...health insurance $20....heating 0 (good news workers in Chicago)....and car payment $150 a month. What is this budget based on...1970? What an insult.
This is just one of many corporations (Walmart, et al) that should be held accountable for their employees that have no option but to apply for public assistance despite being employed. How ironic....hire a bunch of hard working Americans, pay them too little to afford to feed their families...and have them make food all day long.
Hey McDonalds....the next time you tell ME I deserve a break today...pull your corporate heads out of your arses and take a look at your workforce...THEY deserve a break everyday.
Technically it's called McCutcheon vs. the FEC, but sane people are calling it Citizens United 2. What it is is the biggest assault on the value of your vote and on the democratic election process, in the history of the republic.
It is a Supreme Court case seeking to eliminate caps on political spending, limitations on someone's ability to give to any one candidate. Presently capped out at $123,200.00, this case, left in the hands of the conservative dominated court could very well raise this to $3.5 million.
Influence for sale....bought and paid for. They can buy ad times, control the content, frame decisions and discussions, control the candidates and otherwise become so powerful that you can buy the seat at the table, push their agenda and shape the entire background of politics...who runs, who gets elected, what they vote for and against, the sky's the limit. So bring your bag o' cash to the Beltway, because pretty soon, democracy will be for sale.
Citizens United 2...if you didn't see this coming, you just weren't paying attention.
So here we go folks....Congressional foolishness part two. The last time they did this it ended in our countries credit rating going down, costing us a fortune. And they are at it again. Foolishly using an appropriations bill, and soon a vote to increase the debt limit....which BTW does not increase our spending, but pledging that we as a country will pay back the admittedly enormous amount of money we (they) have already spent....as a political bargaining chip.
A bill which will raise the limit and help put our creditors at ease that we will pay off our bloated credit card bill, has become a tool to hammer each other with....a bill which has been used to tack on additions against abortion and women's health, as well as delaying the starting date of a healthcare bill, now law for at least one year, if not altogether.
Increases in the debt limit have gone on for decades....a true bi-partisan history which have gone on through all of the modern administrations. So what's different now? The Tea Party...the so called "Suicide" fringe, enabled and emboldened by congressional Gerry-rigging to ensure they will get easily elected...so much so most of them run unopposed by the minority political party.
These minority members of the House are holding the government and the American economy and the American people and their own House leader (John Boehner)...hostage. They are using this government shut down to make a statement about spending, and it has made this country a laughing stock again (as depicted by the magazine cover above).
Instead of the political blather and vitriol we are hearing coming out of the Beltway these days, do you know what we should be hearing? An apology.
An apology for putting hard working government workers out of work. An apology for a governmental representative body which has been rendered impotent. And an apology for the money...our money which they have squandered, and are now threatening to not pay off.
We deserve an apology, or they deserve to be shutdown as well. Because at the end of the day, we are the American people...and we vote. You work for us, and you'd better get your collective shit together, because another election is coming down the tracks, and we don't like what you have been doing. We vote, and if we paid for performance, you wouldn't get a paycheck, you would get bills.
Bills for making a mockery out of a once proud nation. A bill for ignorantly trying to balance a budget on the backs of the poor (remember when we fought wars on poverty (Food Stamps aka SNAP) instead fighting wars on the impoverished?). And a bill for taking away the one currency we have always counted on...pride in the government of what was once, the greatest country in the world. You get a bill...pay up assholes. You can start by axing the additions to the debt limit bill and passing it on a bi-partisan basis like we have for decades now, regardless of which party was in power.
Then you can apologize, hat in hand, for destroying our government by waging political penis size contests.
And that is the world...the "World According to Kimba." Thanks for reading.
The only way we will bomb Syria will be with the support (and Congressional votes) of the GOP. It's a political reality that has the conservatives in a tailspin....interesting political move....how can they vote for it and still blame him for it?
In my opinion, we need to end this Rumsfeld originated American manifest destiny when it comes to the Middle East.....hell bent on occupation and regime change. It's time we re-read the Monroe Doctrine and turned the tables...on ourselves.
And that is the world...the "World According to Kimba."
Whereas we are already in the throws of not one but two wars.
Whereas any jackass can see we got absolutely nothing out of either one except American deaths.
Whereas you campaigned on the ignorance of the wars (remember--you did not authorize them).
Whereas you promised to get us out of both wars.
Whereas you claimed to be the anti-meddling President.
Whereas our economy is just starting to come back around.
Whereas our mucking around in another Middle Eastern country seeking regime change would be abhorrent to most, if not all of the civilized world....
We hereby request that we sit back as a nation and let them kill each other for a change.
Seriously, here is the text of the letter President Obama sent to Speaker Boehner and the President of the Senate; and will be up to debate upon their return from summer vacation....
Whereas, on August 21, 2013, the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus, Syria, killing more than 1,000 innocent Syrians;
Whereas these flagrant actions were in violation of international norms and the laws of war;
Whereas the United States and 188 other countries comprising 98 percent of the world's population are parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling or use of chemical weapons;
Whereas, in the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003, Congress found that Syria's acquisition of weapons of mass destruction threatens the security of the Middle East and the national security interests of the United States;
Whereas the United Nations Security Council, in Resolution 1540 (2004), affirmed that the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons constitutes a threat to international peace and security;
Whereas, the objective of the United States' use of military force in connection with this authorization should be to deter, disrupt, prevent, and degrade the potential for, future uses of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction;
Whereas, the conflict in Syria will only be resolved through a negotiated political settlement, and Congress calls on all parties to the conflict in Syria to participate urgently and constructively in the Geneva process; and
Whereas, unified action by the legislative and executive branches will send a clear signal of American resolve.
SEC. ___ AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES
(a) Authorization. -- The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in connection with the use of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in the conflict in Syria in order to --
(1) prevent or deter the use or proliferation (including the transfer to terrorist groups or other state or non-state actors), within, to or from Syria, of any weapons of mass destruction, including chemical or biological weapons or components of or materials used in such weapons; or
(2) protect the United States and its allies and partners against the threat posed by such weapons.
(b) War Powers Resolution Requirements. --
(1) Specific Statutory Authorization. -- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.
(2) Applicability of other requirements. -- Nothing in this joint resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.
Here's the ugly secret...Americans...the vast majority of Americans actually like socialism. Admittedly, most don't know what it is, but they count on Social Security and Medicare, appreciate unemployment insurance, are willing to pay for food stamps for the truly indigent and the like.
We are not as unhappy with how much you spend (the deficit is too abstract for most) as it is what you spend our money on.
If you have traveled oversees, you see governments that are completely able to extend socialized medicine benefits, extensive vacation periods, educational systems that seem to work, high speed rail, subways.... infrastructures in general that are much, much better than ours.
But we don't have any of that...our return on our financial investment....the taxes we pay, is next to nothing. And it's because we spend our money on wars, a vast defense department, missile defenses, oil subsidies and tax credits, foreign aid, farm subsidies, and bridges to nowhere.....not to mention reducing our revenue with tax cuts for corporations and the affluent.
And this doesn't even mention the idiotic things...millions of dollars in ridiculous studies that make the news every year....studies on topics ranging from the mating habits of fruit flies to the dangerous lifestyles of male prostitutes in Vietnam (actual studies). $76 million on an effort to round up wild horses.....you have undoubtedly heard about many of these over the years......no, you can spend money, if we get something to show for it, but we rarely do.
And having said all of that, let me tell you what we taxpayers really become enraged at...your stupidity costing us money. $3.3 billion lost in paying off fraudulent unemployment claims, $4.5 billion paying off improper food stamp claims, $30 billion on a Medicaid audit system that costs more than it saves, $11 billion in faulty IRS payments.....if a business ran this ineptly they would be out of business by Wednesday. That's a lot of money spent because we (you) are stupid.
Maybe if the budget wasn't 400 pages, our government officials would actually read it and some of this would end. And in doing so, maybe, just maybe, they would start to get it.
And that's the world...the "World According to Kimba." Thanks for reading.
Having said that, I only know two things...when it comes to racism, both Mr. Zimmerman and Mr. Martin were no angels ("pussy assed cracker'), and as much as I initially thought the President's remarks were uncalled for and untimely...I have locked my car doors in the exact manner the President described... not just for approaching blacks, but people of all colors I deemed a threat.
I hadn't realized people approaching my vehicle could hear it, nor did I consider how it would feel if they did. We are all works in progress.
A bill that passed committee and is heading to the House that has yet to reach public attention, but I predict will be the major story next month, is H.R.1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Here are the basic tenets of the bill.
Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act - Amends the federal criminal code to prohibit any person from performing or attempting to perform an abortion except in conformity with this Act's requirements. Requires the physician to first determine the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child, or reasonably rely upon such a determination made by another physician, by making inquiries of the pregnant woman and performing such medical examinations and tests as a reasonably prudent physician would consider necessary.
Prohibits the abortion from being performed if the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child is 20 weeks or greater, except: (1) where necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury, excluding psychological or emotional conditions; or (2) where the pregnancy is the result of rape, or the result of incest against a minor, if the rape has been reported at any time prior to the abortion to an appropriate law enforcement agency, or if the incest has been reported at any time prior to the abortion to an appropriate law enforcement agency or to a government agency legally authorized to act on reports of child abuse or neglect.
Twenty weeks....seems reasonable to me. I'm pro-choice and it seems excessive to me. 5 months to be tested and determine if you are pregnant. 5 months to determine if you have a living human being developing in your body. Long enough to detect......but more importantly, long enough to go from the "potential for life" status to human life itself....capable of feeling pain, capable of being called "viable" by any standards (as much as I hate that term).
You do not have to pro-life to be for this bill. You don't have to be a Republican, be labeled conservative or be God fearing to be for this bill. All you have to be is a human being capable of empathy and respectful for others and capable of rational thought.
Twenty weeks is where they want to draw a line in the sand? Fine. Anything after 5 months is a reasonable definition for late term abortions and should be considered repugnant if not out and out murder.
This bill has all the exemptions pro-choicer insist on...incest, the mother's health, rape and child abuse. This is not...repeat not....the opening salvo to the overturning of Roe v. Wade (the current talking point for liberals). This is a common sense approach to an age old debate....when do you go from the respect for a mother's body, to respect for a viable fetuses body.
Twenty weeks? Sounds more than reasonable to me. Sounds like a bill that should be passed on a bi-partisan basis....given that the voters have half a heart, half a brain and the ability to vote their conscience. I recommend its passage in both Congressional bodies. It is appropriately named in my opinion..the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. It is a human response that neither infringes greatly on a woman's right to choose, or sets unreasonable boundaries or expectations on the birth mother or health care provider. It is the response of what we are, or should be....a highly evolved species with the respect for human life.
And that's the world...the "World According to Kimba." Thanks for reading...and thinking.
You can't hear anything else these days on the news shows, or anywhere around the Beltway. Washington is focused solely on the attack on Benghazi. Despite numerous issues they can do something about, Washington is apoplectic about Benghazi to the point of paralysis
...so let's talk about Benghazi.
Some say it was a cover-up dwarfing Watergate...well, if it was,what was the war in Iraq? A search for WMD's that U.N. inspector Karl Blix denied based on his recent inspections? Where were the outcry...where were the subpoenas? Where was the rhetoric about executive testimonies and accountability then?
Let's get real about Benghazi...they were attacked by forces and an arsenal very few if any embassies could repel. Where is the logic, where is the intelligence that cries out for force depletion reports on all of our foreign embassies based on the scale and scope of the attack on Benghazi? I won't say "sitting ducks,"but the analogy is fitting in many cases....
In true Washington fashion,this is less of a preventative investigation and more of a political witch hunt against a future Democratic Presidential candidate.
Yes, Susan Rice came out with something stupid....she tried to connect the attack on a bigoted video coming out of Florida...no one in their right mind believed it. It was chaotic and she never should have made a press conference. So, condemn her. Haul her ass before Congress. Fine.
Investigate whether or not the Ambassador requested to leave the country (with his subordinates) prior to the 9/11 anniversary attack,and who turned it down. Fine.
But you called the SOS before the Issa committee and absolutely no one believed she was the least bit uncaring (or culpable at her level) about the attack and the resulting deaths. In true leadership fashion, she fell on the sword. Blame me, she said, in emotional terms. I'm in charge, blame me.
This morning, John McCain, the Armed Forces Committee Chairman turned yellow and charged that she didn't care. "Who cares?" he quoted her as saying. Who cares...
Well you gutless piece of shit, you small measure of a man, you mindless puppet of the GOP - incapable of individual thought, here is the ENTIRE quote from Hillary....
"With all due respect, the fact is that we had
four dead Americans," Clinton said angrily as she testified before the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, an appearance delayed more than a
month because of her ill health. "Was
it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one
night who decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference, at
this point, does it make?" she said, making chopping motions with her
hands for emphasis. "It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again."
Does this sound like a leader who did not care? Does this sound like someone you gutlessly referred to as having the "Benghazi flu?" Or does this sound like a leader attempting in vein to get your committee to focus on protecting the embassies from this point forward?
There was a time when you would have stood up to this kind of yellow rhetoric in a GOP orchestrated attempt to distort the truth...there was a time when you were a "maverick." Those days are over, Senator.
This was one of a dozen attacks on our foreign assets over the past two decades...so what is so special about Benghazi? Hillary Clinton. You would need to take a bottle of Viagra to replicate the enormity of the hard-on Washington (GOP) has over the Clintons. Let's talk about that.
We have a defense budget equal to roughly 50% of our total expenditures...more than the next 12 countries in the world combined, 11 of which are our allies.....and Congress voted to cut the embassies budgets. You cut the embassies budgets. Let's talk about that.
Here is a quote from a real leader, someone whose opinion is valued so highly when he testified that Iraq had WMD's....almost everyone jumped on board and we went to war...Colin Powell
“I think she’s had a distinguished record…And I don’t think that this
one incident—which is one of these things that those of us in
government have been through many, many times where suddenly an action
happens late at night … I don’t think it’s a blot on her record.”
— Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Jan. 13
Congress needs to stop attacking and start governing....they need to stop trying to change and create untrue public perceptions and focus on reality. They need to get into the facts and stop holding sessions solely intended to sully the reputations of your perceived political enemies. We the people are counting on you...
And that's the world...the "World According to Kimba." Thanks for reading.
"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to abundance of
those who have much; it is if we provide enough for those who have too
(Franklin D. Roosevelt)
"If by a Liberal they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind,
someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who
cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing,
their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties
— someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and
suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they
mean by a 'Liberal,' then I'm proud to say I'm a Liberal.” ( John F.
I have no words...no words for the senseless and brutal events at the Boston Marathon yesterday....except welcome to the new normal. Welcome to the constant possibility that some cowardly fool will pack a backpack full of explosives, ball bearings, fish hooks...whatever will injury and maim as many innocents as possible and slip it amongst the largest crowd he / she / they can find. Unfortunately, we now know what it is like to live in Israeli, under the constant fear of the next terrorist act.
Although it may be wise to plug in some throwaways that you will be more than willing to cut in negotiations.... but....raising the minimum wage, funding "no child left behind" and raising cigarette taxes by a dollar a pack? Boehner must be turning three shades of red (from his usual burnt orange). At least they submitted a budget, but this one won't even be considered by the conservatives...gridlock anyone?
I can't think of a more universal credo for the world today than the picture taken above from our friends at Nike. Winning takes care of everything.....no conscience, no morality.....the perfect slogan from the company who advised you to "Just Do It."
Tiger steps out on your wife and in doing so ruins his marriage, he causes her prolonged emotional pain as each day a new woman steps forward with carnal knowledge of her husband....no problem, go win a golf tournament and everything will be OK.
Just keep saying it, TW..."winning takes care of everything"....like when your kids come home from school in tears and tells you another kid at school made fun of them because their father stepped out with every stripper/ slut / cocktail waitress and bar hag you could get your hands on......just tell them "don't cry children, Daddy's going to win the John Deere Open for you next week and everything will be alright."
I can't believe the unmitigated gall of Woods, who no doubt signed off on it, and Nike for coming up with the slogan. You know what takes care of everything, Tiger? Being a man. You should try it sometime.
And that's the world...the "World According to Kimba." Thanks for reading.
Boehner & Ryan and Reid & Pelosi need to stop using the Obama crutch...and be leaders
& get a passable budget done within Congress. No one delegates up. Oh,both house majorities have come up with budgets....budgets everyone knows do not have a snowballs chance in hell of passing.
Since when does Congress sit around waiting for the President to act? Negotiate a budget and send it up....any budget negotiated that can stand the voting scrutiny of both houses will not be vetoed. Frigging get it done, leadership.
We do not need people paying more taxes-----we need more people paying taxes. We need to end the tax loop holes,and we need to get additional funds in the hands of the middle to lower classes...who will spend it. We spend it, retailers need to replenish their inventories (and hire more to meet the additional demands of higher customer flow), manufacturing gears up to meet the demand of the retailers orders (and possibly hires a few more people) and the economic cycle is in full rotation. It's called a recovery, folks.
I certainly could write volumes about Ms. Clinton...from her work as a lawyer on the Watergate hearings, her active participation in the Clinton administrations, her work to reform health care...as the junior New York Senator during 9/11, her work for women's rights including getting up in China's face (at great risk) to being the most respected Secretary Of State in modern times...I could write volumes (hopefullyshe will)...
Let me just say this...there is no job, no position, no responsibility too great...too challenging...or overwhelming that could not be successfully accomplished by Hillary Rodham Clinton. I am ready to support her in anyway....and support her in any capacity.....without hesitation or reservation.
A movement, a silent movement that has been waged for over a decade, is now being fought in earnest out in the open and it's an effort to takeover this great nation from the hands of the people.
Now wait....this is not a nonsensical conspiracy theory.....except that it is. The conservatives have fought to set up districts to heavily favor conservatives through gerrymandering, they set up voter ID laws to insure that a large swath of people could not vote (heavily dominated by the poor and elderly.......and liberal), they set up the Supreme court to tip overwhelmingly right- then used it to empower corporations to flood the election process with unlimited amounts of cash, and now they are moving towards a radical change to the electoral college to make liberal strongholds like Virginia, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania less punitive (and less powerful) to the conservatives at election time.
I can certainly understand their frustration, these are states with republican legislatures yet voted their states to Obama in 2012. This latest movement would, instead of awarding all of the state’s electoral college votes to the
presidential candidate getting the most votes in each of these states,
under the proposed plans most of the Electoral College votes would be
awarded to the winner in each congressional district—and thanks to
Republican gerrymandering of those districts, such a scheme would be a
windfall for Republicans.
The movement rages on while most are sleeping...or focusing on cosmetic issues that will never be fixed by legislation...gun control, immigration and the like.
It's time to wake up people, before it is all way too late because this movements victory is just outside of their grasps. The same hands that have established super-majority requirements that guarantee congressional stagnation and a filibuster rule that keeps good legislation from even receiving an up or down vote. And they now want to control the election process, in effect changing our two party system down to one.
Wake up America!
And that's the world....the "World According to Kimba."
Thanks for reading.
I have been silent about the terrorist attack at Bengazi and the horrific loss of American lives that ensued. I have been keeping current on the events and as such, have drawn three conclusions....
1. Immediately after the surprise attack, the State Department for some inexplicable reason tried to call it anything but what it was; a heavily armed, heavily planned act of terrorism....they blamed a demonstration, a spur of the moment action motivated by a movie that just happened to coincide with the events of 9/11....what are you kidding me? They were in shock, they were in disarray and looked amateurish.
2. Considering the cache of weapons used, I am not sure any of our embassies could within a full scale attack the likes of what they experienced in Bangazi. This was an act of war on our embassy the likes of which we haven't experienced in modern American history. Could they anticipate trouble? Yes. They blew it. But considering the amount of people you would need to hold back an insurgency this size, is it fair to expect the State Department to proactively arm the embassy to this extent? Should the Ambassador been ordered to evacuate the embassy just in case there would be a problem? You be the judge...I say these are not fair expectations, and unfortunately our Ambassador and others paid the ultimate price. They were heroes, to be sure. But they knew the risk, they were well aware of the daily possibility for an attack, but they volunteered anyway and served despite the risk. God bless their souls.
3. Hillary Clinton is one incredible woman. She took complete blame and responsibility for the whole mess. Yes, it is part of her job title, but there is plenty of blame to go around. And so when she went up to the hill and testified she knew she was about to be excoriated. Publicly disemboweled by foaming at the mouth Republicans who couldn't wait to get their hooks into the Democratic presidential candidate in three short years. Couldn't wait to take her to the woodshed. Matadors waiting to put their banderillasinto an admittedly wounded bull.
But she went, and she held her own...she showed a competency and a strength rarely seen in modern politics. She is the real deal...the stuff of legends. She continues to serve her country well in a huge job...an impossible job. A job so complex, so enormous in scope....and all at a time when many parts of the globe are in upheaval...so many parts of the world a powder keg waiting to ignite.
Interrogated by Senators incapable of assuming the all encompassing position of Secretary of State, and certainly incapable of performing to the level of Hillary Clinton...we will miss her in the role...but I am very glad she is about to get a very well deserved rest.
And that's the world...the World According to Kimba. Thanks for reading.
Plato once said that "rhetoric is the art of ruling the minds of men."
I'm thinking that this is especially true of our government and the American voter. It is as if we are trying to force programs into onomatopoeic status...naming programs in order to shape their definition in the mind of voters.
Take for example the way we describe Social Security as an"entitlement." Clearly it's not...just look at your pay stub...this is merely a fund you pay to with the promise that when you reach your retirement years,money...your money, will be laying in wait in order to support you when you stop working. Unfortunately, politicians see this as an "entitlement"....meaning they feel entitled to change the qualifying age and benefits as they see fit. This is my money...I give you this money with the knowledge...the agreement that it will be held for me when I need it most. Entitlement? More like an earned retirement fund.
One more example, the use of the phrase "government spending"....it should be called "Congressional investments." They take our money and invest it for us...our nation, for the public good. Wasting money on pork barrel projects and ridiculous programs is spending. Taking our money and repairing the infrastructure, or educating our children...these are investments....we expect to benefit from the expenditure.....with an anticipated return on the investment which can be quantified. We need to mandate a section on the end of each proposed congressional spending bill specifically stating the expected return on the investment. Maybe this rhetoric would "rules the minds of men" and get them to think each time they consider spending our money.....what's in it for us?" And that's my world...the World According to Kimba. Thanks for reading.
While many may see last nights Senate vote on the "fiscal cliff" as a presidential victory, one must consider the substantial concessions he made in order to get this done. And while any basking in the afterglow may stroke his ego (witness his speech from the White House yesterday), he must realize the fight...the real fight will take place next month when he will go back to the well (no pun intended) and ask for a vote to raise the debt ceiling.
That's when the GOP are going to dig in their heels and insist on true and substantial spending decreases,especially in terms of entitlement spending.
In light of these upcoming negotiations, his speech yesterday taking the GOP leaders out to the woodshed may not have been his finest hour...it certainly had little upside, politically speaking.
Yes, he will be "the man" for four more, but in order to get things done, he needs to work with Congress and be a little more magnanimous. Be a little more respectful, and stop trying his case(s) in the media.
Congress has not shown the propensity, either in ability or attitude, to be able to negotiate a trip to the mens room, let alone any significant measure. His speech yesterday did little or nothing to stop this trend...in fact, he angered GOP leadership to no end, and you can bet your bottom dollar (again no pun intended) that they will remember this come February.
Congress has pressing issues on their agendas....important issues to take up and negotiate, and the presidentt can / should take a leading role in their negotiations. Leadership will be required from a man whose leadership skills are solely lacking at times.
They have a lot of issues to consider....immigration reform, tax reform, medical tort reform, job creation and unemployment, gun control, filibuster reform, gerrymandering, prescription drugs, healthcare, offshore tax havens, carbon taxes and raising the debt limit yet another time.
This is the time for Obama to show some leadership, to summon the ghosts of presidents past (especially the ones he claims to idolize...Lincoln and Kennedy) and get Congress to follow his lead.
Because when it comes to being a leader, show me a man who can't get people to follow him and I'll show you a man just taking a walk.
Now is time the time, Mr.President...to shape your presidential legacy. It's time to lead, or just take a walk.
And that is the world...."the World According to Kimba."
Thanks for reading.
While the "fiscal cliff" negotiations are an apparent failure, with the imminent passage of the Farm Bill, your weekend big winners are: the dairy farmers, Monsanto and the newly preggers Kim Khardashian, all of whom may have been genetically modified.....
If you are exposed to any media you have been inundated with the current "negotiations" of the impending (and tragically misnamed) "fiscal cliff." I have sat on the sidelines observing commentary on both sides of the aisle as what more is there to say...is there an angle, a perspective that has yet to be voiced? Until now I would answer with a resounding no. Until now.
As the President and Speaker break for the holidays and have what Obama has described as a cooling off period, one thing is very clear...the president is a political genius. No, really...hear me out.
First, he defeats the incredibly popular and experienced Hillary Clinton in the primary despite having a resume anyone would admit is slightly light in the loafers by any standard. And he starts his victorious run right out of the gate...in Iowa. Iowa. A black man carries Iowa.
Second, he decimates his opposition and wins the Oval Office handily, reigning in four years of a presidency that sees the economy spit and sputter, the deficit balloon and foreign affairs explode, ending with an American diplomat dragged out of our embassy and summarily killed. And yet he achieves what many thought was impossible...he seeks and wins re-election.
And now that he has a mandate and his reelection totals still warm, he seeks resolution of an economic recovery program which includes that which the vast majority of conservatives have vowed not to do...raise taxes on anyone, let alone the very people who heavily funded their failed attempts to "take their country back"...the filthy rich.
And so here we are...in a White House room with Speaker Boehner waving his index finger at the Pres, and the president waiving another finger back at Boehner. You see Obama knows what most conservatives fail to see...the American people see the GOP as the stumbling block in the negotiations....and if anything goes wrong...if they fail to reach agreement....and if the across the board tax cuts end....the American electorate will hold Boehner and the GOP to blame.
The president has become elected with little to no experience, was reelected to office despite an economic spiral, and now has managed to transfer ownership of the very economic condition he did so much to shape over the last four years....to his opposition.
The man is an economic genius....even Bill Clinton has to marvel at his Teflon coating.
And that is the world...."The World According to Kimba." Thanks for reading.
Welcome to my world, "The World According to Kimba." You may not agree with everything I write or think, and may not subscribe to my particular viewpoints on the issues of the day, but it is all me; as it should be. I intend to use this blog to voice my opinions and perceptions on the world, in the hopes that someone, somewhere listens, and hopefully leaves a comment to spur others on to weighing in. Vox populai, the voice of the people. That is what this blog is about, that is what the blogosphere should be about. If you would like to contact me directly, I can be found at email@example.com. Thanks for reading, Kimba.