Endangered Hawks

Looks like the war hawks in Congress are feeling the pressure……..Trump is NO hawk and since the war hawk party has picked him for their nominee how does that fare with the hawks running for re-election?

The American Conservative tackles this question……..yes Irene….the old hippie radical reads the American Conservative…..go figure…..

The 2016 presidential election has been a dispiriting one for Americans interested in a having a more restrained and responsible foreign policy. The Republican field was overflowing with hawkish candidates, and Hillary Clinton arguably has the most aggressive foreign policy of any Democratic nominee since Lyndon Johnson. The Republican nominee, Donald Trump, offers the public a jumbled, incoherent mix of nationalist bluster, support for torture, yet an apparent wariness of new wars, combined with a shaky grasp of international affairs. A Clinton win will ensure at least another four years of the failed conventional Washington consensus, and no one really knows what a Trump administration would do overseas. That’s the bad news.

The good news this year is that the election may bring a few important changes to the make-up of the Senate that could have a salutary effect on the quality and direction of our foreign-policy debates. Several high-profile hawkish members of the Senate face difficult re-election fights this fall or are not seeking re-election. Their possible replacements promise to be a significant improvement, at least when it comes to opposing new wars and supporting diplomatic engagement with rivals and troublesome states.

Source: Endangered Hawks | The American Conservative

Could there be an end to their strangle-hold on the defense budget?  The M-IC will pull out all stops to see the the war hawks keep their positions of influence…NO matter who wins this damn election……

Gotta bounce…..be back tomorrow and to dazzle you guys….have a good holiday….

The Great Congressional Sit-In

Last week the Dems in the House did something special….they had an old fashion sit-in.  They took it upon themselves to protest the old fashion way….some techniques never grow old.

Democrats are calling their sit-in protest on the House floor a success, even though it hasn’t led to the votes on gun-control legislation they demanded. About two dozen lawmakers were still taking part Thursday morning, even after House Speaker Paul Ryan adjourned the chamber about 3am until after the July 4 holiday. It was unclear how long they’d stay, but the Hill says it has the potential to be a “days-long demonstration.” If nothing else, Democrats say the protest is raising awareness of the issue around the world, the AP reports. “We crossed one bridge,” says protest leader and civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis of Georgia. “We have other bridges to cross.” In other coverage:

  • Ryan made a move to end the standoff with what the New York Times calls the “remarkable step” of calling a vote on an appropriations bill around 3am without any debate. The bill, which includes $1.1 billion to fight Zika, passed 239 to 171.
  • Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts came up with the idea for the sit-in and recruited Lewis to lead it, reports the Washington Post. Lewis “gave us all the resolve and the grit and determination to see this through when we are back in July,” Clark says.
  • Republicans shut off House cameras after the sit-in began just before noon Wednesday, the Hill reports, but C-SPAN used Periscope and Facebook Live to keep broadcasting the protest. The protesting Democrats ignored GOP leaders’ reminders that lawmakers are banned from using electronic devices to broadcast House proceedings.
  • Ryan told CNN Wednesday night that the protest was a “publicity stunt” that would do nothing to make America safer. “This is not about a solution to a problem. This is about trying to get attention.”
  • Politico looks at how Democrats angered by the lack of action after the Orlando mass shooting planned and carried out the dramatic protest. “We said at the beginning of this week that we would use every tool in our toolbox,” says Rep. Steve Israel. “We said some of those tools involved hammers. Some of those tools involved screwdrivers. Some are blunt, some not. We’re going to keep using every single tool.”

This was all the rage for a couple of days and it ruled the news cycle……and then with this “success” under their belt the Dems ended the protest on Thursday of last week……

Democrats ended their gun-control sit-in at the House of Representatives on Thursday after more than 25 hours on the floor, the AP reports. According to Reuters, Democratic lawmakers, who had stayed overnight while chanting and singing, were trying to force a vote on legislation to expand background checks and stop people on terror watch lists from buying guns. They left hours after Republicans shut the House down for the Fourth of July holiday (a move that resulted in chants of “shame”). By the time the sit-in ended, not as many Democrats remained on the House floor as had started the protest, and the energy from Wednesday was missing, Politico reports.

Democrats rallied with supporters outside the House after ending the sit-in and declared victory despite failing to get Republicans to hold a vote on gun-control legislation. “Just because they cut and run in the dark of night, just because they have left doesn’t mean we are taking no for an answer,” the AP quotes Rep. Nancy Pelosi as saying. Rep. Steny Hoyer says the Democratic lawmakers will use the holiday to increase support for gun-control legislation in their districts. “We are going to win this struggle,” the AP quotes Rep. John Lewis as saying. Meanwhile, the Senate will vote Thursday on two competing pieces of gun-control legislation introduced by Republicans, Politico reports. Both focus on stopping people on terror watch lists from buying guns, and both votes are motions to table the opposing legislation.

They were getting the message across pretty well….then why end it after 25 hours?  Would it have been more dramatic to keep it up for awhile longer?

They ended it because their theatrics was about to be overshadowed by the “Brexit” vote…they figured they could not compete with the news of that vote.

But more because it was going to cut into their weekend…..you see Congress ends on a Thursday for travel home and reconvenes on Tuesday allowing Monday for travel also….

I sorry but I feel I need to agree with Ryan…this was only a stunt…..none of them wanted to continue into the weekend and cut into their time off…..amusing considering that they are a part-time body anyway……again…what did they accomplish?

I would have been more impressed if they had continued….now they just look silly to me.

I mean if wave after wave of gun violence involving deaths cannot bring a sane discussion what part of a sit-in would do it?

Seriously……

Why Hasn’t Congress Authorized Force Against ISIS?

With all the conflicts we are participating in when was the last time any of it was authorized by Congress?  (play Jeopardy music here)…….when was 2001 Alex.

Since then we are fighting in engagement after engagement without a vote…..under the Constitution that makes they illegal wars and are subject to international law.

So why hasn’t Congress done their duty on this issue?  I mean they waste time on stupid votes and it would seem that committing American troops to a life or death situation should take priority over this Obamacare battle……but then I am an apologist so I would ask such a probing question…..

Maybe the American Conservative can help answer this question…..

This coming August, the United States will have been engaged in a war against the Islamic State for two years. Tens of thousands of U.S. airstrikes on ISIS targets will have been conducted, billions of dollars will have been spent, and several thousand advisers and special-operations forces will have been sent to Iraq and Syria to gather intelligence, train local forces, and prepare plans for the final thrust into the cities of Mosul and Raqqa.

All of this will have happened without the U.S. Congress performing its most important job under the Constitution: declaring war or passing an authorization for the use of military force. In a new lawsuit, one professor, one human rights lawyer, and a captain in the U.S. Army aim to force the issue.

Source: Why Hasn’t Congress Authorized Force Against ISIS? | The American Conservative

Read the article and then make your comment……please……

House to debate repealing 2001 war authorization

Finally!  Someone has grown a set and stepped up to do the right thing……

After the 9/11 attacks the US Congress passed the 2001 war authorization…..and ever since it has been used for the constant wars that we are fighting for the last 15 years.

The House will debate an amendment on Wednesday whether to repeal a 2001 authorization for use of military force that the administration is using for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The amendment, introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), would take effect 90 days after the defense bill is passed, and force the administration to seek new authority from Congress to wage its military campaign against ISIS.

Source: House to debate repealing 2001 war authorization | TheHill

The debate does not mean that it will be repealed…but at least it is a start to control the endless wars that we are now involved in fighting.

The Civil War Inside the US Military

I have been writing a blog now for 10 years and I have always kept with my beliefs that we should not rush into conflict for any reason short of an attack on the nation proper……I can justify the invasion of Afghanistan but not the occupation for 14 years…..in all that time I have also been a keen observer of the budget battle especially the money that will be earmarked for the military or what we call the defense budget…..

This year is no different……I have been watching the battle for the budget on the Hill…..I have watched the propaganda machine go into full tilt boogey…..The Russian are coming seems to be the war cry…..

In early April, a battalion of senior military officials appeared before a Senate panel and testified that the US Army is “outranged and outgunned,” particularly in any future conflict with Russia. Arguing for a much bigger budget for the Army, they claimed that, absent a substantial increase in funding, the Russians would overtake us and, even scarier, “the army of the future will be too small to secure the nation.”

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! And before you know it, Brooklyn will be renamed Putingrad.

Source: The Civil War Inside the US Military – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

It will be interesting to see where this budget, the final budget, will lead our military….will the armed conflicts continue to rise or will calmer heads prevail?

Any bets?

Benghazi–The Way It Was

Benghazi?  You remember that tragic death of the US ambassador to Libya……and with his death a tidal wave of outrage by the GOP in Congress….knowing that Clinton was the SecDef at the time it was the perfect time to build case against her and of course the president…..and so the game began.

The Congress set about having an investigation into the attacks and the deaths…..and the game was a foot…….the Repubs and the Dems at each others throat…day after day….and after years of hearings and recriminations what has the Congress and the nation learned?

It actually is something that the Repubs would like for you NOT to know the answer…….

Two years after a special House committee started investigating the 2012 attack on an American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, the committee has yet to produce a report on its findings. But the political infighting is still going strong.

On Sunday Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Select Committee on Benghazi, sent a scathing letter to the committee’s Republican chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy, complaining of “repeated, unnecessary, and ever-changing demands from the Department of Defense.” Cummings accused Republicans of ignoring statements from their own chief counsel, Lt. Gen. Dana Chipman, a retired 3-star general, who appears to think the U.S. military response on the night of the attack was appropriate.

Source: Benghazi Investigation Produces More Infighting and Few Results – ABC News

There is another way of looking at the event……

Source: Democrats: Republican lawyer backs White House on Benghazi | News , World | THE DAILY STAR

Since it is still a thing in DC and since it is still a waste of time and energy……let me leave you with another thought for your consideration….

The games our elected officials play…..and they waste your f*cking money.  Just what you elected them to do, right?

Here’s a thought….how about focusing on the bastards that may have had their fingers in the 9/11 attacks that killed more than the attack in Benghazi…..sorry….just a suggestion.

Writing a Blank Check on War for the President

As an opponent for most wars…I am always looking at the reasons why we go to war and why the American people turn a blind eye to it.  (and yes I know all about the M-IC)…..

Now a days when the US goes to war it is not paid for by any stretch of the imagination…..the process skirts Congress and the representatives allow it to be so…..the Constitution addresses war and the Congress is suppose to authorize the action taken…..but for decades that whole process has been ignored…..and by the very people that claim the Constitution is sacred and must be followed to the letter.  (I guess that means only the parts you agree with and f*ck the rest of the document)

How the United States Became a Prisoner of War and Congress Went MIA,

Let’s face it: in times of war, the Constitution tends to take a beating. With the safety or survival of the nation said to be at risk, the basic law of the land — otherwise considered sacrosanct — becomes nonbinding, subject to being waived at the whim of government authorities who are impatient, scared, panicky, or just plain pissed off.

The examples are legion. During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln arbitrarily suspended the writ of habeas corpus and ignored court orders that took issue with his authority to do so. After U.S. entry into World War I, the administration of Woodrow Wilson mounted a comprehensive effort to crush dissent, shutting down anti-war publications in complete disregard of the First Amendment. Amid the hysteria triggered by Pearl Harbor, Franklin Roosevelt issued an executive order consigning to concentration camps more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans, many of them native-born citizens. Asked in 1944 to review this gross violation of due process, the Supreme Court endorsed the government’s action by a 6-3 vote.

Source: Writing a Blank Check on War for the President – The Unz Review