Thursday, September 03, 2015

Joe, it is okay. We love you.

I'll tell you something, I worry about everyone. Every Democratic candidate is making their best run for the nomination and I don't ever see anyone taking a break. I think the least we can do for our candidates is ask them to take a break once in awhile. 

I tell you what. I'll make every effort to make it to any rally that comes to my area to cheer everyone on. I think the people have to make as much an effort as the candidate themselves. They should never feel exhausted or they are the only one that can actually bring voters to the polls. It is an enormous task and it has to be shouldered by workers in the field.

So, that said. I would like all the candidates to make an effort to rest a bit before the first debate in October. No one has to be superhuman this season. The field workers need to clock as many hours as they can to bring the voters to the polls. It is why we have to hold fund raising for local efforts to hand our flyers and pamphlets to bring people to awareness of the issues and their best resolve.

Grassroots. A tired candidate is a compromised candidate. We need them on their best game every time they make a speech.

With that, I really want Vice President Biden to know he is admired and he has conducted incredible support for the Middle Class during the time he has been Vice President. We miss Beau, too. In some ways he could be stumping for his own nomination to the Oval Office. That won't happen. He loved life. He was bigger than life in everything he did. 

It's okay Joe. We'll be fine. We want you and the family to be fine, too. Realizing how deeply the loss of Beau has brought a burden to you, honors him. He was something. He is a loss we all feel. Take the time to be okay. We insist.
I wouldn't testify either. You've got to  be kidding me. The way the US House has manipulated and twisted the truth. What number are we up to on Benghazi? Not in a million years would I testify before Congress. 

September 3, 2015
By Kate Knibbs
The FBI is investigating (click here) whether Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email compromised national security. And now the staffer who set it up is planning to stay silent during questioning to avoid incriminating himself.
Bryan Pagliano, the Clinton IT staffer who set up the private email server for Clinton in her Chappaqua home, first attempted to fend off the subpoena from Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) to testify before Congress....

Iraq just wasn't enough.

7 August 2015

How much has the United States (click here) spent to train that whopping force of 60 Syrian rebels to take on the Islamic State? Well, according to basic math, about $4 million for each of them.
POLITICO has learned that of the $500 million requested last year for the “train-and-equip” program, roughly half has been spent.
“About half of the $500 million has been obligated thus far, mostly on equipment required to train the Syrian fighters,” said a congressional aide who was not authorized to speak publicly.
The fact that the Obama administration has spent so much on a program that has yielded so few vetted fighters makes clear just how difficult it is to find “moderate” Syrian rebels who can make it through the stringent screening process — and are willing to prioritize the fight against ISIL over the civil war against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The figure also provides new ammo for Republican critics of President Barack Obama’s strategy for dealing with ISIL, with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday blasting the president’s Syria plan as “delusional.

It took Russia limiting the instability in the region for Turkey to finally close borders. Amazing.

It looks like Turkey likes being a member of NATO. It is a preferred status for Turkey. It has been a preferred status for Turkey for a long, long time. And guess what? The majority religion is Muslim and they practice democracy.

2 September 2015

Turkey (click here) has begun to close some of its border crossings with Syria after about 130,000 Kurdish refugees entered the country over the weekend.
On Sunday Turkish security forces clashed with Kurds protesting in solidarity with the refugees. Some protesters were reportedly trying to go to Syria to fight Islamic State (IS).
Most refugees are from Kobane, a town threatened by the advancing militants.
IS has taken over large swathes of Iraq and Syria in recent months.
Before the latest influx, there were already more than one million Syrian refugees in Turkey. They have fled since the start of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad three years ago.
Some of the new arrivals are being sheltered in overcrowded schools, as Turkey struggles to cope with the influx....

I find it odd Afghanistan would have refugees coming along the same route as Syria.

1 September 2015

...Some 3,000 people (click here) are expected to cross into Macedonia each day in the coming months, according to the UN.
Many then cross into Serbia, which says it has seen 90,000 migrants so far this year, and head for Hungary - a gateway to the EU's passport-free Schengen zone.
In July alone, 34,000 migrants were detected trying to cross from Serbia into Hungary.
Faced with that influx, Hungary has built a controversial 175km (110-mile) razor-wire fence to keep migrants out. It plans to fortify it over the coming weeks.
It has also urged EU partners not to send back migrants who have travelled on from Hungary.
After hundreds of migrants crowded onto trains bound for Austria and Germany at a central Budapest station the Hungarian authorities decided to close it to migrants on 1 September....

The money is too much. Afghanistan was corrupt under Karzai. The reason there has been this level of corruption is because it is simply too much money. It isn't too much money for private contractors, but, the bribery that goes along with being a private contractor is ridiculous. The more money the USA throws into these countries the worse the conditions are. 

What in Afghanistan can possibly cost $1 billion?  

3 September 2015

...Almost $1 billion (click here) in support from the U.S. government has done little to stem a refugee crisis in Afghanistan that has reportedly displaced millions of people from their homes and now accounts for tens of thousands of deaths abroad each year. In fact, corruption is so endemic among the local institutions tasked with solving the problem that even a precise number of refugees is unknown.

A new report released Thursday from the congressionally mandated office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction finds the local Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation has made little progress in implementing a strategy to bring home refugees and allocate land where they can live. As many as 2.5 million Afghans are living in Pakistan, according to U.N. estimates, 1.5 million of whom are declared refugees, and roughly 950,000 are living in Iran. The U.N. is unable, however, to confirm these numbers with those countries, according to the SIGAR report, hampering the State Department's ability to request corresponding funds from Congress....

Russia is moving into Syria.

September 2, 2015
By Jonathan Marcus

Just how far is Russia (click here) prepared to go to back the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad?
Recent sightings of brand new Russian armoured vehicles in Syria, of types never previously supplied to its ally, suggest that with the Assad regime suffering serious reverses, Moscow is intent on redressing the military balance.
On 20 August, a heavily-laden Alligator class landing ship of the Russian Navy, the Nikolay Filchenkov, was seen passing southwards through the Bosphorus.
On board, according to experts who have analysed the images, were trucks and armoured vehicles.
The ship was believed to be on its way to Syria.
Subsequently, the Syrian army has released video material that shows seemingly brand new BTR-82A infantry combat vehicles in action or on exercises - a variant of the vehicle that has never before been supplied to the Syrian military.
The vehicles appear to be in a Russian paint scheme and thus may have been taken straight from Russian army stocks.
Separate images have emerged of Russian Tigre military utility vehicles; again a type that has not been exported to Syria before....

It is doubtful the Middle East will ever be a place where democracy works with the exception of Israel.

The attempts of democracy has failed in the Middle East. 

The USA experiment into Iraq stood the region on it's head. Bush's invasion completely destabilized the region. The only answer the political right wing can come up with was to permanently station US troops in Iraq for a forever war.

The WMD has been removed from Syria and now Russia is providing modern equipment to the Assad government. Russia has made it clear removing Assad from power was not an option. 

The Iraqi government has been a failure. It cannot stabilize it's borders and provides a void for extremists to establish a base of operations. Arming the Kurds along the Turkey border proved to be a waste of time as Turkey has engaged in a border war that cost Kurds their lives. There is no cohesive commitment to any type of regional stability. The politics in Turkey is not going to allow a Kurdish territory in northern Iraq.

The idea the USA would fight a forever war was the failure of George W. Bush. Did he think the longer the Iraq war was taking the longer the American people would see the benefit of a forever war? When the USA left Vietnam there was no looking back. The disorder left behind has taken decades and today the people of Vietnam have a government they can live with. 

The mideast region is becoming more chaotic and unstable. There is every reason Russia and China would take up efforts to rearm the regimes. We already know Russia has had words with Iran to set limits on mischief.  

To leave the region's stability to the USA's next War President is nothing but foolishness. It would create more problems simply by the principles the USA would demand of Iraq and potentially Syria. Democracy doesn't work in the Middle East. War is not the way to create stability. War by definition destroys any previous government and begins a new system of order and society. Iraq had over ten years to establish that new order and society. Nothing worked. The USA tried it's methodologies and it was the worst thing that happened to the region. 

Abrupt destruction of a society in order to 'nation build' has proven over and over and over that it is not a viable solution to despotism. We know that. Ask any scholar without political leanings how a country has to move into greater freedom and ultimately democracy. There is no war that is going to change a country overnight. Twelve years later and the USA is still trying to prop up Iraq. It'll never happen through nation building.

If Iraq and Syria is to maintain their borders as they existed while Saddam Hussein was in power there has to be a dictator. Does that mean there is chronic civil war? Maybe. Northern Ireland fought for hundreds of years before it finally made peace with Great Britain. Sovereignty is not a simple thing. The PEOPLE have to know their land, their needs, their government and the will to move in a different direction to secure their country's borders. 

Freedom and democracy happens with education and generations of changing the face of a country, but, it has to be the people with the will to change that it finally occurs. 

Do you know what is wrong with Iran? The USA is the problem. It has placed a despotic leader that smiled nice for pictures in control of Iran. When Iranias had enough of poverty they marched upon the Shah and the government collapsed. What replaced it was a theocracy. A theocracy is easy in that region of the world. Religion is a default setting. The rules are made for 'good faith living' and sets the laws into play as soon as the collapse occurs. Iran has been sophisticated enough to actually have elections that instill a government while the Supreme Leader remains the last authority. The elections brought Iran to the diplomatic table to end sanctions and their nuclear program. 

Russia is currently rearming Assad. It has a right to do so. I hope it brings about stability to more of Syria other than just the corner where it is safe enough to build a theme park. 
Since when does a political party have the right to dictate who is on an election ballot? Priebus can't limit Donald Trump from placing his name on any ballot. He can pledge to follow whatever rules apply to debates, but, there is no law stating a party can limit a candidate from the ballot. That is ridiculous. He can pledge all he wants, but, who is to say without his ability to run independently the RNC will continue to treat him fairly? In his early days there is every indication that wasn't going to happen.

It is no different than the tax pledge, it is about votes and the extreme conservative demands on a candidate. There is no law stating they have to maintain any pledge.  

July 10, 2015
By Paul Singer

It is a quirk of American democracy: (click here) Your choices for president depend on which state you live in.

For instance, voters in Colorado and New Mexico who do not want to vote for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama for president will have the option to vote for Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party, Libertarian Gary Johnson or several others — but those candidates will not be on the ballot in neighboring Oklahoma.
While Republicans and Democrats are campaigning already, third parties are scrambling this summer to master the intricacies of ballot-access laws in each state just to get their presidential candidates on the ballot.
"The time, money and energy spent getting on the ballot is more than the time, money and energy spent once we are on the ballot in most of these states," said Phil Huckelberry, co-chairman of the Green Party's ballot access committee....

I'd be worried he would run as an independent in 2020 if he is dissatisfied with the outcome in 2016. Donald Trump needs to run on his own terms this primary season. It is the only way to establish his ability to carry a constituency. The ballot for 2016 is not set and there is nothing saying he would drop out of the debates only to run as an independent. Priebus is causing a problem far greater than if he was allowed to run without special pledges. I hope the rest of the candidates are being asked to sign a certain pledge to the RNC. 

The RNC needs to make this a part of their platform so this pledge is a part of their requirements for debates from now forward. If it is not included in a platform, this election is rigged.

The upside of such a pledge to the RNC is that when Trump is the nominee no one else in the current field can run against him. 

Fines alone would not resolve the problem with Ms. Davis.

Her deputies called to the court stated they would issue marriage licenses but haven't because they are afraid of her. Issuing fines alone to Ms. Davis would not have resolved the problem. Taking out of her capacity was the only way to end the contempt of court.

Judges aren't interested in being punitive for the sake of being punitive, they want to resolve problems, especially if such actions by defendants are in opposition to prior orders of the court. The judge in this case had to solve the problem and it was obvious Ms. Davis would have sustained any fines and continue with opposition to the judges order. Fines would not matter in any way to end the contempt Ms. Davis was carrying out.

It is unfortunate she wasn't able to appeal to the church for dispensation regarding her work or for her faith leaders to come forward to provide her comfort to keep her job. It is not unusual for faith leaders to grant forgiveness to a patron of the church when unable to carry out their faith to the letter of the charter due to work. It must be an orthodoxy. 

September 3, 2015
By Ian Millhiser

In an interview with the Kentucky Trial Court Review, (click here) Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins expressed exasperation with Kim Davis, the anti-gay clerk who has refused to issue marriage licenses due to her objections to marriage equality. Davis, Watkins said, “does not represent” the county or its values, and he added that he told Davis that he “will not and cannot support” her in her refusal to obey the Constitution.

Perhaps most significantly, Watkins also says that he learned that Davis’s deputy clerks would issue marriage licenses to all couples legally entitled to one, but that they are too afraid of Davis to do so. If Judge David Bunning, the federal judge who is expected to hold Davis in contempt after a hearing Thursday morning, orders Davis’s deputies to issue marriage licenses, Watkins says, the deputies will comply....

The hearing for Davis and her staff won't be a pretty picture today.

There is already one decision against her. The hearing today will most likely identify her as a martyr. I'll be surprised if she doesn't get jail time.

Decision from August. (click here)

Ms. Davis has been in this position of clerk about one year after her mother served in that capacity for 37 years. (click here) The background noise is probably about the preaching of a particular church and holy man. This law breaking clerk is mostly a religious martyr.

“Our Constitution (click here) . . . intending to establish three departments, co-ordinate and independent that they might check and balance one another, it has given—according to this opinion to one of them alone the right to prescribe rules for the government of others; and to that one, too, which is unelected by and independent of the nation. . . . The Constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.” (Letter to Judge Spencer Roane, Sept. 6, 1819)

The political right wing hangs onto opinions written in the early years of the democracy as if law. They continual state the judiciary is out of control as if a tyrant panel. The right wing will hold onto personal opinions of Jefferson and Lincoln when it serves their purpose, but, they are also the first to demand legislative measures or governor actions be appealed to the courts. The entire right wing paradigm is inconsistent in their behavior regarding USA law and judicial decisions. 

I'd prefer the judge today issue the marriage licenses and not delay marriages any further when this is obviously a matter of martyrdom and stonewalling any potential for licenses to be issued. This could go on forever and that is what Davis and her supports are hoping. In cases of martyrdom the judges should take the necessary steps to issue the marriage license as well as hand down jail time to the clerks.

In a judge issuing marriage licenses, which is within their preview, Davis and her supporters will call it a victory because their names are not attached to the license. SO WHAT. This is about marriage and not martyrdom. The right wing can carry on in their own universe all they want. 

Friendliness can't be litigated. 

I have a problem with the fact marriages have been delayed. People go through a great deal of detail when getting married and the day they are married becomes their mark in time to celebrate. It is called an anniversary. 

My parents were married on July 3rd, 1954 because July 4th was a federal holiday and there was no one willing to officiate on that day. But, that is the level of detail couples devote themselves in deciding a day and year to be married. Ms. Davis is ruining the joy involved in 'the marriage.' That is egregious. The people being married are not martyrs, they are a couple waiting for their special status to each other.