The Vote That Could Change Everything

It is September and the battle for Mosul and against ISIS is slowly winding down…but a new wrinkle is about to pop up that could start Iraq down a whole new path of conflict.

September 25, the Kurdistan Regional Government in Erbil will hold a binding referendum on whether or not to secede from Iraq. It will almost certainly pass. More than a decade ago, the Kurds held a non-binding referendum that passed with  99.8 percent of the vote.

No one knows what’s going to happen. Iraq is the kind of place where just about anything can happen and eventually does.

Kurdish secession could go as smoothly as a Scottish secession from the United Kingdom (were that to actually happen) or a Quebecois secession from Canada, were that to actually happen. It could unfold like Kosovo’s secession from Serbia, where some countries recognize it and others don’t while the Serbs are left to stew in their own juices more or less peaceably.

Source: The Kurds Are About to Blow Up Iraq | World Affairs Journal

If the Kurd vote to cede from Iraq they will be tearing the heart out of the nation….and the rest of Iraq will not go quietly into this good night.

Experts often question the degree to which the Kurds of Iraq and their various peshmerga groups are united politically. The Kurdistan Region is split between the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). These parties fought a civil war against one another in the mid-1990s and have since maintained separate military and security forces. Despite recent moves toward integration, separate KDP- and PUK-aligned forces continue to predominate the peshmerga. These political armies add another layer of complexity to the already Byzantine mix of territorial struggles, hydrocarbon disputes, and militia politics playing out in the Kurdistan region. Complicating things further, the KDP and PUK have since fractionalized, most dramatically with the emergence of the Gorran (change) movement in 2009, which claims to disavow the entrenched and corrupt politics of the two traditional parties.

New conflict….new problem in the Middle East…..and the US will have to be ass deep in this conflict as well….after all they have been our allies for decades.

Get The Money Out!

Since the beginning of the OWS movement and longer there have been those of us that have wanted to get all the cash out of the system….it has been slow going but now thanx to Dylan Ratigan the movement has taken on new life….if you agree with there should be NO private money in elections and government, then please go to the website and if you like what you read then consider joining the fight and sign the petition……

http://www.getmoneyout.com/

There has already been 140,000 signatures taken Congress and more is needed…..if you like the idea then pass it on to your friends and if you are a writer let people know about the movement…..and perhaps we can get something done to help return the government to the people….

Is Democracy Served By Special Interests?

College of Political Knowledge

Subject:  Government/Politics

Paper #40

The 2010 mid-term elections are now over and they proved to be the most expensive for the special interests…..about $80+ million was spent so that the GOP could regain the House and damn near took back the Senate….this was up from the $16 million spent in the 2006 mid-terms….so this begs the question, Is our democracy served by special interests?….to be answered.

An observation in the HuffPo by Julie Hirschfield Davis….

Interest groups from across the political spectrum are spending millions to target ultra-specific messages to voters in the final days of congressional campaigns in efforts to turn out key groups that could sway tight races from California to New Hampshire.

Armed with carefully tailored lists of which voters are sympathetic, these organizations are hoping to transform their top issues into deciding factors in close contests. They hope to cut through the near-universal worries about the economy and job losses that have defined this year’s campaign and appeal to people on a single topic that could motivate them to keep – or fire their representatives.

All this was made possible by a decision from the US Supreme Court….

Thanks to a sweeping and ill-considered 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority, corporations will now have the same rights as citizens to support candidates through independent expenditures. With this action, the court has effectively undermined the influence of individuals and parties on electoral outcomes, while vastly increasing the clout of business behemoths and their lobbyist representatives to influence and intimidate legislators to support their agendas. If the lawmaker doesn’t play ball, he or she can be threatened with an unregulated financial blitz come election time.

The court’s ruling came in a case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that centered on a conservative advocacy group’s expenditures to publicize an anti-Hillary Clinton movie shortly before last year’s Democratic presidential primaries. Current federal law bans such corporate expenditures for communications targeting individual candidates 30 days before a primary and 60 days before a general election.

The SCOTUS has in essence made special interests the 4th branch of our government…..to the point that they write the bills and finance the passage……the FinReg was basically written by the financial sector….Health reform was basically written by the insurance sector and look at the Pledge To America…the GOP plan to save the country….it was written by a pharma lobbyist….so welcome our newest branch of government…..the special interests….

I ask again…..Is our democracy served by special interests?

Whose Idea Was It Anyway?

Inkwell Institute

Professor’s Classroom

Subject:  American History/Political History

Paper #1

Note:  In writing this piece I was confronted with a couple other things that need to be analyzed…these are Representative Democracy and Bureaucracy…..please watch for these posts also…..

There has been many conversations on whether the electoral college is still a relevant concept or not….and whether it is still necessary or not……

The Electoral College was the Founders last ditch attempt to keep the reins of democracy out of the hands of the masses…..they did not want the people to get an overdose of democracy that would prove fatal, in the minds of the Founding Fathers….

The Framers of the Constitution were fearful of direct democracy and the “tyranny of the majority” it might produce. Consequently, they created a complex “filtering” process known as the Electoral College which was intended to insulate the selection of the President from the whims of the people. The Electoral College is comprised of “electors,” individuals who cast the electoral votes for their states. Originally, electors were free to cast their votes as they chose. Today, electors are “bound” or “committed” by state law to vote for the candidate who received the most popular votes in their state. With the exceptions of Maine and Nebraska, states give all of their electoral votes to the candidate who wins a majority of votes in the state. (The procedure for electing the President is outlined in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution.)

Each state has a number of electoral votes equal to the number of Senators and House Members it is eligible to send to the Congress. For example, the state of New York elects two Senators (as every other state does) and thirty-one Members of the House. New York, then, has thirty-three electoral votes. The total number of electoral votes in the Electoral College is 538–one for each of the one hundred Senators and 435 House Members plus the three allotted to the District of Columbia by the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution.

Electors are chosen by the political parties in each state. When voters cast their ballots in favor of a presidential candidate they are actually voting for the electors of the same party as that candidate. When a candidate wins the popular vote in a state, he or she wins that state’s electoral votes. Those votes are formally cast by the electors chosen to represent the winning candidate’s party in each state.

Under the original rules of the Electoral College, as established by the Constitution, electors cast separate votes for President and Vice-president. Whoever received a majority of electoral votes would be the President and the runner-up would become the Vice-President. However, a problem arose in the election of 1800 when Thomas Jefferson and his running mate Aaron Burr each received 73 electoral votes. When no candidate receives a clear majority of electoral votes, the Constitution specifies that the House of Representatives shall choose the President. It took the House thirty-six ballots to finally select Thomas Jefferson as the third President of the United States. To avoid a repeat of such problems, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution provided for presidential and vice-presidential candidates to run as a team, not individually.  (thanx to thisnation.org for some of the content)

This plan put to rest the notion of the great unwashed masses ever controlling the government….and that was a major concern of the elitists that founded this country…..how to keep the people at arms length when it comes to the reins of government….they found a good direction and it began with the electoral college….

In my opinion, the electoral college has out lived its usefulness….As it is today it favors the two party system to the exclusion of any third party, whether a popular party or not…the EC assumes that the people are too stupid to actually participate beyond a normal election…unfortunately I would agree with that assessment, but not because of stupidity but rather a lack of education…….

Researching this post lead me to other parts of the political system that I feel compelled to add thoughts on…….

Next in the series will be Representative Democracy……….

Who Is Senator-Elect Brown?

Now that the verbal masturbation has been a bit quiet….there are a few things that need to be said…..

Much has been written, said and thought about the new senator from Mass……The GOP is jerking off because they now have 41 members in the Senate…..the RNC is welcoming the new senator that will carry on with the principles of the party….cool huh?….But first, someone tell me just what those principles are….

I have purposefully waited before posting too much about the newest addition to the US Senate….there has been a wealth of noise….a wealth of analysis….and a wealth of whining….but now let us look at this guy for what he really is……after his election he told a newspaper…..

“I’m going to be a Scott Brown Republican,” he told reporters in Boston “Maybe there is a new breed of Republican coming to Washington.”

Just what does he mean by “a new breed of Republican”?

Think back for a moment and try to recall just what he actually stands for……he made national security his number one issue…he bitched about giving people trials or giving them any rights…..he was against health reform…..he opposed financial reform…..has no environmental stand that is known….nothing new there…sounds like a typical Repub to me…..then what will be new?

As a career politician Scott Brown is an 11-year Big Government Republican state legislator who regularly and repeatedly voted FOR bigger state government budgets, voted FOR expanded and new Big Government programs, voted FOR tax increases, and voted AGAINST tax cuts.

All that sounds like the Repubs of the previous 8 years or longer….so what is new?  Alrighty then, which Scott Brown will go to Washington?  Will be something new?  Will it be the same opposition with no alternatives?

Many pundits that are gleeful of his win have said that he would be an independent voice in Washington….but so far I see NO independence just the same lame principles that the GOP has been preaching for a year now….Woodrow Wilson made an accurate observation that holds true to this day, “The trouble with the Republican Party is that it has not had a new idea in thirty years”…..Brown has NO new ideas!

Brown was the first of the anti-incumbencies…matters NOT what he says he will do….rather he is NOT a Washington insider (at this time)…..nothing more should be read into this election than that……and BTW, if he is a new breed Repub then I am a Mexican gardener named Jesus!

RNC Goes RINO Hunting

The party is using its clout, as small as it is, to try and defeat fellow Repubs that they consider a RINO (Republican In Name Only).  Has it come to that?  The GOP is eating its own?

RINO?  What the hell is a RINO?  Thanx to wiki for the definition.

The term implies that, despite party affiliation, RINO politicians are not “authentic” Republicans. The label is usually acquired because a politician’s political actions, policies, positions on certain issues or voting records are considered to be at variance with core Republican beliefs. The term is pejorative and no Republican has ever self-identified as a RINO. It is used by those who believe that the party’s core beliefs are conservative and therefore that politicians are not true Republicans unless they adhere to conservative beliefs. The targets of the term argue that there is no litmus test for being a Republican, but rather a commitment to the party organization, especially support for party candidates. The targets argue that conservatives from outside the party who use the term are not true Republicans because they do not support the whole ticket.

The Party has set its sights on Rep. Inglis of South Carolina….apparently he was not in the same corner as everyone else on the Wilson shout heard around the world, and for that he will suffer the wrath of the Party.  All that is just crazy for he has been a loyal neo-con even themiddleclass.org gives him a 6% rating on legislation meaning he has played the GOP political game,  his only transgression was to call for Wilson to apologize to the House.

If the Conservatives do not play ball with the extreme of the Party then they will be a target in the primaries.

Does not bid well for Gov. Crist since he is considered a RINO by the hijackers of the GOP.  If he has any intention of running for national office then he will have to either become an independent or follow the leaders into the extreme right wing.

And is why the most accomplished Republican was been out of the national picture, Colin Powell, he is labeled by the nut jobs as a RINO and he could not get any backing from a party that has veered so right.

There is also some talk about the former governor of New York, Pataki, as a possible candidate for the national scene but once again he will most likely meet with opposition from the extremes of the party….he too will either have to change or become an independent.

There are female RINOs also, it will be interesting to see how the GOP handles the Senators from Maine, Snow and Collins in the future.  These ladies have also made the list of RINOs, they may be targeted in their next primary.

The RNC is at a new low as a party…they should be looking in all directions to find new blood to help regenerate the party, instead of going on these hunting trips that is doing NOTHING to strengthen their party for the next round of elections.  Instead of worrying about their party these dipsticks just want to oppose , not grow.  Several parties have died because of this type of BS.

The next primaries are speeding head long into the present and the way the RNC is traveling they should run into a wall before they arrive.  Do any of these mental midgets realize they are killing a proud conservative position and replacing it with innuendos, misinformation and outright LIES?  Oh, they KNOW….they just do not care as long as the extreme agenda is followed…no matter how wrong it is.

Afghanistan: What Have We Accomplished?

An Inkwell Institute paper

Subject:  Foreign Policy

Just recently Sen. McCain has called for more troops for deployment to Afghanistan–of all the people in the Congress, I do not understand McCain position.  Did he not learn anything from his deployment to Vietnam?  Does he not recall that an increase in troop strength came with an increase of American lives?  Has he not seen the polls that show a gradual but steady decline in the people who support the war in Afghanistan?

Eight years and counting and what has the US really accomplished in Afghanistan?  A question that needs to be asked and answered if the US is to succeed.  But first, What is the US mission in Afghanistan?

Before we go there we must understand the history of Afghanistan.  Thanks to afghancitizen.blogspot.com for the history lesson.

The land that is now Afghanistan has a long history of domination by foreign conquerors and strife among internally warring factions. At the gateway between Asia and Europe, this land was conquered by Darius I of Babylonia circa 500 B.C., and Alexander the Great of Macedonia in 329 B.C., among others. Mahmud of Ghazni, an 11th century conqueror who created an empire from Iran to India, is considered the greatest of Afghanistan’s conquerors.
Genghis Khan took over the territory in the 13th century, but it wasn’t until the 1700s that the area was united as a single country. By 1870, after the area had been invaded by various Arab conquerors, Islam had taken root. During the 19th century, Britain, looking to protect its Indian empire from Russia, attempted to annex Afghanistan, resulting in a series of British-Afghan Wars (1838-42, 1878-80, 1919-21).

And then Hell came to the country.

1978
Khan is killed in a communist coup. Nur Mohammad Taraki, one of the founding members of the Afghan Communist Party, takes control of the country as president, and Babrak Karmal is named deputy prime minister. They proclaim independence from Soviet influence, and declare their policies to be based on Islamic principles, Afghan nationalism and socioeconomic justice. Taraki signs a friendship treaty with the Soviet Union. But a rivalry between Taraki and Hafizullah Amin, another influential communist leader, leads to fighting between the two sides.
At the same time, conservative Islamic and ethnic leaders who objected to social changes introduced by Khan begin an armed revolt in the countryside. In June, the guerrilla movement Mujahadeen is created to battle the Soviet-backed government.
1979
American Ambassador Adolph Dubs is killed. The United States cuts off assistance to Afghanistan. A power struggle between Taraki and Deputy Prime Minister Hafizullah Amin begins. Taraki is killed on Sept. 14 in a confrontation with Amin supporters.
The USSR invades Afghanistan on Dec. 24 to bolster the faltering communist regime. On Dec. 27, Amin and many of his followers are executed. Deputy Prime Minister Babrak Karmal becomes prime minister. Widespread opposition to Karmal and the Soviets spawns violent public demonstrations.By early 1980, the Mujahadeen rebels have united against Soviet invaders and the USSR-backed Afghan Army.

1989
The U.S., Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Soviet Union sign peace accords in Geneva guaranteeing Afghan independence and the withdrawal of 100,000 Soviet troops. Following Soviet withdrawal, the Mujahadeen continue their resistance against the Soviet-backed regime of communist president Dr. Mohammad Najibullah, who had been elected president of the puppet Soviet state in 1986. Afghan guerrillas name Sibhatullah Mojadidi as head of their exiled government.

Then after the withdrawal of the Soviets, the Taleban took control and began enforcing rigid fundamentalism on the population.  9/11 happened and after a short while the US and its allies invaded and removed the Taleban from power and began a search for the now infamous Osama.  He escaped capture and is still at large.

The US original task was to eliminate al Qaeda and in particular Osama, that has bee a bust…..the US slowed them down but they are just across the border gaining strength and allies as I write.  That task was a bust and now it has been retasked to providing security to the population from the terrorism of the Taleban and its allies.  That task is not going so well for there is daily suicide attacks killing Afghans and others.

The US task whatever it is deemed to be is NOT working well at all.  Why do we say such?  Easy answer…..recently elections have been deemed fraudulent…..the killing drones are killing as many civilians as bad guys……the drug trade still flows openly….Taleban is still a viable force….al Qaeda is still a viable force…..and finally as best we can tell Osama and his cronies are still breathing.

Once you take history and the tasks into consideration…then NOTHING is working well….and it seems to be all a waste of money and manpower and lives.

Another Rush-Speak

This guy keeps getting further and further out there; he is seeing conspiracies everywhere.

Conservative talk radio’s fair haired boy, Rush has out done himself this time….on a recently show he spoke of the conspiracy of Obama to stay beyond 2016…..as usual …this guy is just an idiot……Rush’s big concern is that someone has authored a bill saying that the 22nd amendment should be repelled…he went on to say…….

You have to wonder if Obama is just trying to lay a foundation for not being a hypocrite when he tries to serve beyond 2016. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if in the next number of years there is a move on the 22nd Amendment, which term limits the President of the United States. He may not do it that way, he may not openly try to change the Constitution. But there might be this movement in the country from his cult-like followers to support the notion that a democratically-elected leader who is loved and adored has carte blanc once elected. Just serve as long as he wants because the people demand it, because the people want it, because the people love it.

And I’ll tell you folks, this business about running beyond 2016, you know, the thing that when you look at Obama’s followers – and we’ve discussed it here – they are a cult-like bunch and their attachment to him is not political, it’s not ideological, it is not issue-wise, it is cultish. It includes a wide percentage of minorities, by the way, who for different reasons, who will come to think that he simply cannot be replaced. Let him succeed with amnesty, for example, and all the illegal aliens who are instantly made citizens. He’ll be too important. Just like right now he’s too big to fail as far as the drive-bys are concerned, he’s too important to be replaced. No one else can lead the nation,  they will say. And they won’t care a whit about the legalities that might be trampled. Half of the legalities if they don’t even know about them because they haven’t been properly educated. I think this situation in Honduras is very instructive. Anybody who thinks that he intends to just constitutionally go away in 2016 is nuts .

You know maybe Rush boy should check his info before he spouts crap.  The issue in question was brought at least three other times and it was during the Bush admin.  Also his conspiracy theory has another hole in it….even if the 22nd amendment was to be shit canned…I do not believe that Obama could sign it….conflict of interests and all that.  I realize that Rush does not depend on truth very often but maybe he should…or at least his throngs of adoring morons should look for the truth and stop let this drug addict dictate their beliefs to them……Just a thought.




Israel’s Move Right

The shift away from politicians who emphasize negotiations with Palestinians and the country’s Arab neighbors means that Israel’s right, after years in the political wilderness, is almost certain to be back in control no matter who forms the next government. It will hold 65 seats in the new Israeli parliament, or Knesset, compared with 50 in the old one. As Likud party’s Binyamin Netanyahu and Kadima’s Tzipi Livni each race to put together a coalition, both are courting parties to their right.

The right’s resurgence, analysts say, reflects the sense among Israelis that years of talks have yielded little but violence and insecurity. It also stems from a prevailing belief that deep Palestinian divisions between Fatah in the West Bank, which favors negotiations, and Hamas in Gaza, which rejects Israel’s existence, leave little hope for peace.

“The outcome of the election is that the way of the left has failed. The public has realized it was leading us to destruction,” said Hanan Porat, a rabbi who has helped lead efforts to build Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank for more than three decades. “The Qassam rockets that have been falling are more convincing than all the speeches about peace.”

Yet the two parties that most directly benefited from those feelings in Tuesday’s vote represent distinctly different strains of right-wing thought. Likud, which is considered most likely to gain the prime ministership, has focused on the danger of giving up the West Bank to Palestinian control and the need to increase Jewish settlements there.

Okay, I got to ask this….was the most recent massive attacks in Gaza for security or for political reasons?  I would like to believe that the attacks had nothing to do with the election, but I do not believe in coincidence.

Yet Another Bush As Prez?

Former President George H.W. Bush said his son Jeb should run for president and blasted the New York Times for its “grossly unfair” criticism of another son, President George W. Bush.

During an interview on “FOX News Sunday,” the nation’s 41st president said Jeb, the former governor of Florida, is “as qualified and as able as anyone I know in the political scene” to be president.

In the meantime, Jeb could take another job, his father suggested.

“If Jeb wants to run for the Senate from Florida, he ought to do it,” Bush said. “He’d be an outstanding senator. This is a guy that really has a feel for people, the issues in Florida and nationally. And his political days ought not to be over, says his old father.”

Please…NO more talk about another Bush presidency–we have been punished enough by the last one.