Friday, March 27, 2015

Just an odd reminder--

If you like how I write about politics, you might appreciate my poetry blog or my fiction and criticism blog,  Basically, I keep writing things. I'm pretty much always in the middle of some kind of composition. This is not to say my poetry is great or my strangely random thoughts are important. But I dunno. I do it for free anyway.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Heh, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers "Pulled a Ted"

One wonders what becomes of a political party when its learning curve flatlines. Anyhow, this little story from Daily Kos' Jen Hayden is a pretty funny catch.

Apparently, something moved the congressperson to solicit ACA horror stories on her Facebook page.  If you remember at all what happened when rookie Senator Ted Cruz made the same kind of attempt, you'd know what she got.

That's right. An Obamacare love-in.

So, right. Obamacare--it didn't kill jobs, as the current unemployment rate shows. It's actually encouraging entrepreneurship and saving jobs. It has greatly improved coverage. It costs less than it was projected to.  And there weren't that many cancelled policies at all, and the ones that were cancelled were basically crap.

It's almost like the haters were wrong all along and just doggedly persist without any basis in fact. Weird, that.

John Bolton is Still a Blood-thirsty Loon, I See

It doesn't really surprise me that Sen. Ted Cruz thinks that former UN Ambassador (R-Ironic) John Bolton is the apian patellas--that particular candidate is happy as an arsonist in a match factory when he's signifying for the dropped-knuckle set. But a moment's reflection on how this dumbass thinks should reflect back on Cruz.

After all, the call to bomb Iran in this recent op-ed is blatantly stupid, or, to put it in context, shamefully consistent with the rest of his mental work-product. But to put it mildly, if someone has been paying a bit of attention to nuclear proliferation, his mention of Israel's 1981 attack on Osirak as being particularly successful is just babbling. Because the attack on Osirak didn't end Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program. After the 1991 US invasion of Iraq, inspectors discovered a pretty active underground nuclear program which was, depending upon who you asked, months or scant years from having bombs. The military strike damaged material capacity, but as I've been banging on about--it doesn't destroy know-how, and likely increases the desirability of having such a weapon.

For that matter, in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, Bolton was one of the very wrong people who insisted that Iraq had an ongoing nuclear program. When, no. Hussein isn't alive now for us to ask him about it, but it looks kind of like having sanctions on and inspectors in was keeping him largely in check. So is there any earthly reason why anyone should listen to this yutz?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Proxy War has Heated up in Yemen

I'm not sure how many people will be closely following what's going on in Yemen right now, but it's exactly the sort of tangle that should remind us of why dealing with foreign states, even if the US tries to keep it under the umbrella of "the war on terror" (whether we call it that anymore or not) is fraught with the potential for blowback.

So, imagine we're just doing our war on terror thing, trying to knock out AQAP in Yemen because this a failed state where training is happening--and it's almost like regional powers have an interest in where this is going. We now have some kind of obvious proxy-war looking thing going on, with the Shia militias (Houthi) who have basically taken over the major cities including Sanaa are likely backed by Iran (and as a consequence, any connection we had with the vacated government in Yemen can be considered totally shared with Iran, now). And now the very concerned Sunni Arab states led by Saudi Arabia are striking the area.

I don't think any of this has much to do with US interests. My gut says that this is exactly where the US should call "We're out!" and let them slug it out and snuff any little old extremist groups in the way while they are at it. My head thinks my gut has a point. And I think this general feeling is applicable elsewhere in the region.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Stand With Rand and You'll Never Walk Alone?

There's a belief that Sen. Cruz jumped in a couple weeks before Sen. Rand Paul was about to launch his bid, which could be seen as an attempt to grab all the "being first" attention. I don't really know--I just found this image of Rand sweatshirts front and center at Cruz's announcement (on a college campus, y'know) sort of a reminder that he is likely to also announce soon, and unlike Jindal, Huckabee and Santorum, simply might have an appeal outside of the Christian Right (while still having bona fides with that group).

I know. Cruz and Paul both seem like ravers to people on my side of the political spectrum. The thing is, after going safe with McCain and Romney, I have a feeling that 2016 primary voters might want something new this time around. And that may very well include a high tolerance for shenanigans, of which Sens. Cruz and Paul are mostly full.

So yes, I am not actually counting either out for the ultimate nominee.

(Also--one is reminded that two years ago, Cruz did "stand with Rand". Later, he stood alone. And both were probably mostly standing then, to run now.)

Ted Cruz is Choosing His Terrain

Senator Ted Cruz's announcement tomorrow at Liberty University that he'll be officially running for president, I think actually makes a lot of sense for him. Forget having an "exploratory committee" or whatever. (I've often wondered about that formality, anyway--if you've actually, seriously wanted to run for president for awhile, wouldn't you already have a pretty good idea what your chances look like?) What does he need to know? He's more credible than Donald Trump. He's more consistently conservative than Jeb Bush or Mike Huckabee. And he's less of a snooze than Bobby Jindal. (And basically, what Kate Nocera says here.)

Choosing to announce the decision at Liberty University, one of the biggest evangelical learning institutions, makes a lot of sense, as well. He's not just the first in the race, he's going right after the attention of the religious right. (He's connections to the Dominionist Seven Mountains movement via his father work in his favor with this group. The potential promise of a Christianist theocracy gives me the willies, of course.)  He believes things that just ain't so and has a shaky history with the truth, but these things aren't necessarily drawbacks in modern politics. (Sigh.)

This should definitely be interesting.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Rep. Steve King is Kind of Weird

You know who has two thumbs and thinks US Jews should be Republicans? That's right, Iowa Republican Representative Steve King, who thinks he isn't a racist, probably.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) criticized "Jews in America" who, in an effort to align themselves with President Obama's stance on Israel, are "Democrats first and Jewish second," BuzzFeed reported on Friday.
King's comments were made during an interview on Friday with Boston Herald Radio about the members of Congress who refused to attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress on March 3.

"Well, there were some 50 or so Democrats that, that decided they would boycott the president's speech," King said. "Here's what I don't understand, I don't understand how Jews in America can be Democrats first and Jewish second and support Israel along the line of just following their President."

I think he's kind of weird to assert that Jewish people in the US are basically anti-Semitic and in lockstep with the obviously Muslim-influenced Barack Obama, as if the weird result doesn't somehow suggest that his math is actually bad, there.

Problem with Iowa Republican Steve King being a racist? Presidential primaries start in Iowa, so presidential candidates are supposed to kiss his sorry ass.  Unless someone can explain to me why presidential candidates don't have to kiss his sorry ass. Show examples. This might actually help the GOP if there's a way to fix a problem like Steve.