Monday, September 30, 2013

A Government Shutdown? No Big Deal...

The Building Where Little But Political Posturing Gets Done - 2013

Tiring of the predictable sophistry and political hyperbole Rational Nation USA offers the following NPR piece as a informational data point for the last minute political junkies who continue to believe the sky will fall in should the feral government shutdown at midnight. It has happened before (more than once) and yet we all survived and the markets didn't crash. Sleep well tonight. Irrespective of the 11th hour outcome, whatever that may be, life, as well as the world will continue on pretty much as we've all become accustomed to. Pleasant dreams.

Remember that when all is said and done it really is just about politics and political brinkmanship. Of course the interesting factor is this... We continue to reelect the same strain of political buffoons over and over again. Go figure...

Public Service Announcement - In seven days, the federal government runs out of money.

While the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a resolution Friday that keeps the government funded through Dec. 15, the measure also defunded President Obama's signature health care law — which means it has virtually no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate.

If a budget resolution doesn't hit President Obama's desk before Oct. 1, that's a big problem: The government will be forced to close its doors.

With that prospect looming, here are eight things you should know about the possible shutdown:

It won't be the first time

Since a new budgeting process was put into place in 1976, the U.S. government has shut down 17 times. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan each dealt with six shutdowns during their terms in office, lasting anywhere from one day to 2 1/2 weeks.

The last actual shutdown came in 1996 — though the government came close during budget negotiations in 2011.

The last shutdown lasted three weeks

The three-week shutdown that lasted from Dec. 16, 1995, to Jan. 6, 1996, ranks as the longest in U.S. history. As a result, about 284,000 federal workers were furloughed, and around 475,000 essential employees went without a paycheck, although they were eventually reimbursed.

They weren't the only ones inconvenienced. Some benefits for military veterans were delayed, and cleanup at more than 600 toxic waste sites was stopped. The government also shut down for six days in mid-November 1995, initially resulting in the furlough of 800,000 federal employees. The Congressional Research Service reported the shutdowns cost taxpayers a combined $1.4 billion.

Only the "essentials"

Only federal employees deemed "essential" would continue to come to work during a shutdown. Employees who qualify as essential include those involved in national security, protecting life and property and providing benefit payments.

That means members of the military, border control agents, air traffic controllers, the FBI and the TSA are among those who would remain on duty. The president and members of Congress are also exempt from furlough and must decide which of their respective staff members to keep around during a shutdown.

The checks are in the mail

Even in the event of a shutdown, Social Security beneficiaries will still find their checks in their mailboxes and doctors and hospitals will receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. However, if the government does not resolve the budget situation by Nov. 1, those entitlement program payments could be delayed by up to two weeks.

Even in a shutdown, the Postal Service delivers

One reason Americans will get their entitlement checks: A government shutdown would not hit the operations of the U.S. Postal Service. Government agencies that the Treasury Department does not directly fund, like USPS, would be relatively unaffected in the short term by a shutdown . Some postal employees would very likely face furlough, but it wouldn't be enough to completely close down the agency.

National parks and museums? Forget it

Have plans to visit a national park or go sightseeing in the nation's capital? You might want to cancel them. During the Clinton-era shutdowns, 368 national parks closed, resulting in the loss of 7 million visitors. In Washington, D.C., the public would be unable to visit the monuments and museums that millions of tourists flock to every year. The Capitol building would remain open, though.

Visa and passport delays

Those hoping to enter or leave the country during a shutdown would most likely experience some difficulty. The government was unable to process around 200,000 pending passport applications and a daily average of 30,000 visa and passport applications by foreigners during the 1995-96 shutdowns. This would result not only in a headache for would-be travelers but a loss in millions for the airline and tourism industries.

Who would be blamed for a shutdown?

Generally speaking, no one comes out looking good if the government shuts down. A Pew Research poll conducted Sept. 19-22 shows 39 percent of Americans would blame Republicans if a shutdown were to occur, compared with 36 percent who would fault the Obama administration and 17 percent who would hold both sides responsible. According to a Pew poll from a comparable period during the 2011 budget battle, the public spread the blame around nearly identically.

Via: Memeorandum
and Memeorandum

Sunday, September 29, 2013

As the Melodrama and Intransigence of the Political Party Impase Continues as Well as Repeats Itself, AGAIN...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost, to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

It's here America!

The anticipated government shutdown.

With 31+ hours to shutdown the melodrama continues.

And, America braces itself to deal with the result of the childish temper tantrums and Green Egg and Ham infantile pastime of one Senator Cruz from the Lone Star state.

The networks, infatuated with the melodrama continue to repeat, ad nausea the same talking points from the Sheeples of BOTH infantile parties and their childish leadership.

As expected the American people, not to mention the entire world financial markets, are held hostage as a result of infants crapping their pants in delight over childish BS.

America grew up.

Its politician and ELECTED representatives and LEADERS fail to understand what exactly maturity means.

Such is the condition that exists when idiots enamored with the thought of wielding power over the people is recognized in the minds of those without reasoning ability.

America... You have gotten EXACTLY that which you have chosen, either through design or ignorance. In either case the result is the same and no one has the right to complain or bitch about the reality they have chosen for their country and themselves.

Worth Considering - Americans like the idea of representative democracy, but they have little liking for the practices, institutions and politicians that make representative democracy work. Nor are they tolerant of the processes, which require debate (viewed as bickering), compromise (viewed as selling out), advocacy (viewed as posturing) and stalemate (viewed as obstructionism). They do not trust government to do the right thing, they are cynical about elected public officials who are supposed to represent their interests, and they feel that the legislative system as it operates is wide open to special interests but not to the public. The political system gets low marks from most Americans.

There are many reasons for these negative public perceptions. The virtues of representative democracy are not self-evident. The processes in Congress, state legislatures and city councils are messy and difficult to fathom, even to insiders. In their efforts to draw readers, the media focus on conflict and overemphasize negative events. All too often, politicians run against the political system and the people in it. At the same time, significant societal changes have taken place, and culture wars have broken out in American society. Although expectations of what government can do have risen, notions about why and how government should perform have become more heterogeneous and conflicting.

The accumulation of negatives fuels public discontent and disenchantment. No particular incident, specific charge, single newspaper story or television portrayal makes a huge difference, but years of battering have eroded support for the political system. This climate of cynicism is deadly to representative democracy. It hinders the recruitment to elective public office of talented and concerned people, many of whom no longer will risk having their characters assailed and their reputations damaged. It weakens the bonds between citizens and their representatives. It makes consensus more difficult to achieve, because trust is in such short supply. It hinders steady and pragmatic solutions, while encouraging posturing, scapegoating and quick fixes. It erodes the representative assemblies that have served us remarkably well for more than 300 years. It puts our system of representative democracy in peril, even though we have nothing else we would rather have in its place, and nothing that would serve nearly as well.

This publication offers engaged Americans an alternative view of representative democracy by providing a more accurate and positive perspective. It is based on six operating principles of representative democracy as it is practiced throughout the nation. The first two principles focus on representatives as individuals, and the latter four emphasize representation as a system. The treatment of each operating principle includes both a discussion of what the public perceives and a discussion of how politicians and institutions work.

The authors of this guide believe that the system and its participants work well-by no means perfectly, but well-and better than any realistic alternative. Of course, there are problems with legislatures and with legislators that need attention. Of special concern are the conduct of political campaigns, the business of campaign finance and conflicts of interest, partisanship and incivility in the legislature. These concerns should not be taken lightly. Yet, they should not detract from an appreciation of a system that, while currently the envy of the world, is misperceived and unappreciated here at home.

Perhaps, just maybe, if we are lucky, our elected officials will see themselves and recognize they are failing. If not... VOTE THE BASTARDS AND BITCHES OUT OF OFFICES.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Great Nation That Was...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

"Declaration" by John Trumbull depicting the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

As Americans watch and witness the evolution of our democratic republic as it locks itself into partisan ideological positions that may result in the shutdown of our government and have far reaching global economic implications I found some solace, and hope, in the following article. I have reproduced it here (in full) in the hopes that authentic modern day Patriots will rally around our defining principles and "do the right thing."

By James Roger Sharp - This year marks the 237th anniversary of our revolution and independence. And while we celebrate this milestone, it should not be lost sight of that the American Revolution is universally viewed as one of the most extraordinary and significant events in modern history. A major catalyst for revolutions throughout the globe, it made the United States the very symbol of human freedom.

As Americans seemed to be moving inexorably toward independence in 1776, they shared a strong sense that they were seeking something that had far greater significance than simply gaining independence from England. Rather, they saw themselves as inventing a new kind of society based upon the sovereignty of the people and their natural rights to freedom--a society that would be the envy and goal of all peoples on earth.

In a bold and electrifying document, the Declaration of Independence, our Founders proclaimed to the world that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Clearly, the Revolution did not accomplish all of these lofty aspirations immediately. Millions of Africans remained in slavery until the Civil War, and women and minorities are still fighting to become fully equal partners with men. But, as incomplete as the Revolution was in the fulfillment of its remarkable idealism, it was the impetus for a process of change that is still working itself out within our society to fulfill those noble objectives.

Abraham Lincoln later eloquently summed up the meaning of the Declaration when he said that the Founders had not intended to declare "all men equal in all respects." But rather had meant to "set up a standard maxim for free society, which should be... constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence, and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere."

But how successful are we in the twenty-first century in measuring up to the expectations of our Founders? Are we "constantly" laboring for and "spreading and deepening" the values and beliefs of the Declaration?

In a number of categories, we seem to be falling short.

For example, wealth is more unequally divided today than in the age of our Founders. At the time of the American Revolution, the wealthiest 10 percent owned approximately 45 percent of the wealth. In this century the top 10 percent own roughly 66 to 70 percent of it. Furthermore, it is estimated that the United States now has a greater gap between rich and poor than any other western democracy.

This disparity undoubtedly would have alarmed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Louis D. Brandeis (1916-1939). He is reported to have said that "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."

In addition, our political system often appears to be a closed, isolated and stultified one run by politicians more concerned with being reelected than carrying out their governing responsibilities.

Despite the historic low approval rating of Congress, incumbents have become nearly unbeatable. With their name recognition and money from lobbyists and other special interests acting as formidable deterrents to challengers, incumbents were reelected to their seats in Congress 94.1 percent of the time in the 22 years from 1988 to 2010.

Furthermore, state legislatures redraw congressional district boundaries every 10 years to take into account new census data and carve up states in such a way as to almost guarantee a solid majority in those districts for one party or another.

This gerrymandering aggravates the undemocratic non-competitiveness of Congress. In the 2012 election, for example, Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives won a national plurality of 1.4 million votes. Despite this, the Republicans--because of the congressional redistricting after the 2010 Census--retained their 234 to 201 majority in the House. Only one other time since World War II has one party won a plurality of the vote, without gaining the majority in the House of Representatives.

The 4th of July, then, is perhaps the best time for each of us to take stock of our commitment to our Founders' vision of a society dedicated to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all.

It is obvious that we have made enormous progress as a nation since the American Revolution. We are still the beacon of hope for oppressed peoples throughout the world. But, there cannot be a relaxed resting on our laurels attitude, but rather the safeguarding of our democracy requires a jealous and vigilant guarding of our democratic principles and a constant striving to bring our society in harmony with the ideals of the Declaration of Independence, which was and continues to be the emblematic credo that defines us as a nation.

The following words of Louis Brandeis are making a lot of sense in our current climate of believing the reciting Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham" on the floor of the United States Senate should be considered representative on 21st century American beliefs.

'We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.'

Good night and good luck America. We're certainly going to need it.

Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, September 26, 2013

You earned it Teddy Baby!!!!

h/t Progressive Eruptions

The New Republican Party... The Party of "Green Eggs and Ham"

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation U
Liberty -vs Tyranny

Please excuse any misspellings or word salads as I've just returned from a Green Eggs and Han dinner (party).

We just witnessed the agonizing and self serving theatrics from Texas Republican Senator Ted the Green Eggs and Ham Man Cruz making a mockery of our system of government. With his monumental waste of time and money he put on full display the sad reality that the party he represents has nothing to offer the American people that would be better, and thus more cost effective than ObamaCare, aka the ACA.

There was a time, in the now rapidly fading past, that America actually had a opposition party that had principles, a vision, and a plan for the nation. Today this party (the party of Republicanism) has been overtaken by the most militant and willfully intransigent segment of our society. Our nation as a result has become more divisive and less reasoned than our wise and forward thinking forefathers most certainly would have envisioned and wished for their progeny.

But, after all is aid and done it is the 21st century and as we are all aware this is the time of the special interests and corporate supremacy. Of course we all know the common working stiffs and conscience peons (aka the ones without health insurance because they don't earn enough to both support their families and still have enough left to afford to pay the $6,000 plus/year premiums that their company can't afford), are nothing more than lackeys and thus undeserving of government sponsored healthcare insurance. Of course we all know about those lazy individuals that can't find work because it is better for business to ship jobs offshore for lower wages than to spend time being concerned over the long term impact to our nation and it's security. Besides, we have insidious and invisible bogeymen to conquer.

But enough of this off the wall, illogical, unreasoned and outside the box thinking by a strong advocate for constitutionally sound as well as forward looking limited government patriot.

From the NEW REPUBLIC - Draw your conclusions as you will.
What the hell is John Boehner thinking? I don’t mean that strictly in a rhetorical sense, though it’s hard not to slap your head when you see the most powerful Republican in the country lurching from one cockamamie strategy to another. I mean it quite literally: What is Boehner’s personal calculation when it comes to navigating the various challenges—potential government shutdown, potential debt default, lunatic Republican caucus—he faces over the next few weeks?

The conventional wisdom is that Boehner cares most about avoiding a government shutdown, since he knows how damaging it would be to the Republican Party, which would take the overwhelming share of the blame. “[M]ake no mistake, the incentives are still heavily for Boehner to cut a deal and avoid a shutdown at all costs,” political scientist Jonathan Bernstein wrote last week in The Washington Post. Smart commentators on the right have echoed this analysis. “Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are just as convinced as ever that a partial government shutdown would not advance any conservative goal, and just as determined to avoid one,” wrote National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru a few days later.

But while it’s certainly the case that Boehner thinks a shutdown would be terrible for the party, and that he’d prefer to avoid one, it’s not at all clear it’s in his interest to do so. Why? Because there are two things Boehner presumably cares about more than avoiding a shutdown: not being ousted as Speaker, and raising the debt ceiling by mid-to-late October so as to avoid a debt default. The latter would be far more damaging to the economy than a shutdown, and therefore more devastating to the Republican brand. Unfortunately for Boehner, the only plausible way to both keep his job and avoid a debt default is … to shut down the government when the fiscal year ends next week.

Here’s why: Tea Party conservatives in the House, following the lead the distinguished non-filibusterer from Texas, are all keyed up for a confrontation with Obama in which they refuse to fund the government unless they can simultaneously defund (or rather, “defund”) ObamaCare. {Continue Reading}

PS: Check in with Thomas Paine and contemplate his views. All of them. Yes, the same Thomas Paine that penned Common Sense, the small publication that moved a group of colonists to fight for INDEPENDENCE and throw off the yoke of an unrepresentative government. A government that didn't give a s*it about the common man..

Via: Memeorandum

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wayne LaPierre on the DC Naval Yard Shooting, More of the Same...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

I watched the Memorial for the victims of the Washington DC Naval Yard victims. I listened to the words of President Obama, intently and hopefully with an open mind.

My first though was the President gave his usual good delivery. My second thought was here he goes again, politicizing another tragedy to advance his anti gun agenda, following the line of thought made famous by Rahm Emanuel (I think it was him) that you should never let a tragedy go to waste.

Then my third and perhaps the most important thought was, what if our grandson or granddaughter were to become the victim of senseless firearm violence. How would the misses and I feel.

My final thought was why in the hell can't intelligent and compassionate caring people find a solution that has a significant impact on REDUCING the incidents of innocent people losing their life because of firearm violence. And at the same time ensuring our right to own firearms.

Then I came across this bit of brilliance from the NRA's own Wayne LaPierre. It pretty much told me all anyone needs to know why we can't find a reasonable and sensible solution.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

This sites position is clear in support of reasonable and nationally consistent firearm regulations. A position that would significantly reduce instances of firearm violence and at the same time insure the right to responsibly own and utilize firearms for legal purposes. Certainly one that respects our 2'nd amendment rights.

 Feel free to peruse the archives for further explanation of this sites position. I've frankly grown weary of the muddled emotionally driven responses from both sides of this issue.

 It is INDEED time to do something constructive and to hell with the firearm manufactures and pinheads like Wayne LaPierre.

 Via: Memeorandum

Friday, September 20, 2013

Senator Rand Paul Getting it Exactly Right...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs-Tyranny

 You certainly won't hear many disagreeing with Senator Paul's position on this one. Well, that is of course unless you're really a big government fanatic that believes Big Bother has every right to every aspect of your life. Keep on pressing on this one Senator Paul. Maybe you could start a "Repeal the Patriot Act" movement while you're at it? Read the the full story  HERE Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pope Francis Continuing to Signal Change Says "Church can't 'interfere' with gays"...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

"We must meet one another doing good. 'But I don't believe Father, I am an atheist!' But do good: we will meet one another there." Pope Francis

The behemoth that is the Catholic Church, with all its unbending rigid dogmatic principles just might be undergoing historic changes. Pope Francis is continuing to signal a much greater openness and tolerance in general. He is looking more and more like the right Pope at the right time to attempt reform within the Church hierarchy. Read the full story at CNN.

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Michigan State Government, ban on same-sex marriage helps 'regulate sexual relationships'...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

In yet another display of lunacy the state of Michigan under Governor Rick Snyder is set to argue the state's constitutional amendment that defines marriage (between one man and one women) and it's ban on same sex joint adaptions are necessary. Apparently to preserve the state's interest to "regulate sexual relationships" and ensure population growth.

The brief filed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's office states that Michigan and other states that define marriage as the union of a man and a women have determined it appropriate for the state "to regulate sexual relationships between men and women so that the unique procreative capacity of such relationships benefits rather than harms society."

The brief goes on to say that before Massachusetts 2004 State Supreme Court decision which enforced the right to same sex marriage in the Commonwealth "it was commonly understood that the institution of marriage owed its very existence to society’s vital interest in responsible procreation and childrearing."

I guess the idea of same sex marriage and same sex couples raising children continue to be an abomination to many who feel these relationships pose a threat to the very fabric of society. What is ironic to me is the ones decrying the intrusion of government into lives of individuals the loudest seem all too ready and willing to use the government to enforce intrusion into the private lives and affairs of others.

Did I mention these government officials and most who support them are, Republicans/Conservatives.

The story from Michigan

LANSING -- Attorneys representing Gov. Rick Snyder and the state of Michigan in a case alleging the state's ban on same-sex joint adoptions violates the U.S. Constitution have argued the state's constitutional amendment defining marriage is necessary to "regulate sexual relationships" to encourage population growth.

The statement was made as part of a brief opposing a motion by April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse asking a federal judge to grant a judgment in their favor.

DeBoer and Rowse, a Hazel Park couple who challenged the state's same-sex marriage ban as part of their challenge to state adoption laws, contend that the ban violates the federal guarantee of due process in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In the brief, attorneys from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's office say that Michigan and other states which define marriage as being "one man, one woman" have done so "to regulate sexual relationships between men and women so that the unique procreative capacity of such relationships benefits rather than harms society."

The brief also says that prior to a 2004 Massachusetts court decision enforcing a right to same-sex marriage in that state, "it was commonly understood that the institution of marriage owed its very existence to society’s vital interest in responsible procreation and childrearing."

The state also argues in the brief that the couple should be seeking to overturn the ban through a ballot initiative rather than through the courts. "If Michigan’s definition of marriage is to be changed, and if joint unmarried adoptions are to be authorized, both should be done by the people of the State of Michigan," the brief states.

A hearing is set for October 16 in U.S. District Court in Detroit to rule on the couple's motion as well as a motion filed by the state seeking judgment in its favor.

More commentary HERE.

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Syria Solution: Obama Got Played by Putin and Assad, Or Did He?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Interesting possibility from the NEW REPUBLIC.

This, apparently, is how diplomacy happens these days: Someone makes an off-hand remark at a press conference and triggers an international chain reaction that turns an already chaotic and complex situation completely on its head, and gives everyone a sense that, perhaps, this is the light at the end of the indecision tunnel.

Speaking in London next to British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry said that perhaps the military strike around which the administration has been painfully circling for weeks could be avoided if Bashar al-Assad can "turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week. Turn it over, all of it, without delay, and allow a full and total accounting for that.”

The fact that Kerry immediately followed with, “But he isn’t about to do it, and it can’t be done, obviously,” didn't seem to bother anyone. (Probably because they were focusing on his other slip-up: calling the promised strikes "unbelievably small.")

The Russians immediately jumped on the impromptu proposal, calling Kerry to check if he was serious before going live with their proposal to lean on Syria. An hour later, they trotted out Syria's foreign minister, Walid al-Mouallem, who said he too was down with the proposal, which was a strange way to get the Syrians to finally admit they even had chemical weapons to begin with. Before long, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, the English, and the French were all on board, too.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, the White House was just as surprised as anyone. Asked if this was a White House plan that Kerry had served up in London, Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken was unequivocal. "No, no, no," he said. "We literally just heard about this as you did some hours ago."

So that's good. At least everyone's on the same page.{Read More}

Interesting hypothesis indeed. Possibly correct. Possibly... not?

If planned all along by the Obama administration recognizing Russia's national interests in Syria it would be a stroke of diplomatic genius. Perhaps only the Shadow (will ever) know(s) the real truth truth.

Via: Memeorandum

Nuances, Contadictions, and the Fairh...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Any questions? If so perhaps the obvious is just to difficult to understand?

Read the entire sordid story HERE.

Via: Memeorandum

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Syria is a Distraction From Bengazi, So Sayeth Senator Cruz.....

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Always enjoy watching people trying to connect the dots.

From Think Progress, the publication I usually always disagree with.


Via: Memeorandum

The Anti War Peace President, Barrack Hussein Obama, Well, That Was the Candidate, Now He Is the President...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

The adrenalin rush of the drums of war. From Barack Obama nonetheless!

Just in from the Los Angeles Times.

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is preparing for a longer bombardment of Syria than it originally had planned, with a heavy barrage of missile strikes followed soon after by more attacks on targets that the opening salvos missed or failed to destroy, officials said.

The planning for intense attacks over a three-day period reflects the growing belief in the White House and the Pentagon that the United States needs more firepower to inflict even minimal damage on Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces, which have been widely dispersed over the last two weeks, the officials said.

Two U.S. officers said the White House asked for an expanded target list in recent days to include many more than the 50 or so targets on the initial list. As a result, Pentagon planners are weighing whether to use Air Force bombers, in addition to five warships now on patrol in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, to launch cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles from hundreds of miles offshore, well out of range of Syrian air defenses.

Syria is also within range of an aircraft carrier strike group in the Red Sea, which includes one cruiser and three destroyers, all capable of firing cruise missiles.

"There will be several volleys and an assessment after each volley, but all within 72 hours and a clear indication when we are done," said one officer familiar with the planning.

The officers requested anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the campaign.

The stepped-up military planning comes as President Obama and his aides prepared to press their own offensive to seek public support, as well as congressional votes for authorization to use military force to punish Assad's government for alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians last month.

Obama plans to blanket the nation's airwaves in coming days to make his case to a skeptical public. ... {Read More}

What a difference power and a few years can make. Oy Vey!

Via: Memeorandum

U.S. Intervention Into Syrian Civil War and Possible Unintended Consequences...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Is part of the President's considerations in contemplating U.S. military intervention into the Syrian civil war the impact and possible consequences to our only true ally in the region, Israel? I would hope so, and perhaps he has. But given the history of reciprocal loyalty between our two nations it is reasonable to think any U.S. air strikes may have unintended consequences that would negatively impact our our ally. And result in loss of life in Israel as a result.


Israel is setting up its Iron Dome missile defense system outside of Jerusalem as violence continues in neighboring Syria.

According to an Agence France Presse (AFP) report, the Israeli military is deploying a battery of the missile shield west of the city, signaling concern about threats from a possible Syrian attack

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz quotes a military official who said that the likelihood is low that the country would be attacked by Syrian rockets, however "we have a clear responsibility to prepare for any scenario in order to protect our citizens."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a cabinet meeting on Sunday that his nation was “an island of tranquility” amid “the storm raging around us,” according to AFP. He did not mention Syria specifically.

The battery near Jerusalem is not the first to be deployed in recent months. One was moved into position near Tel Aviv last month, and a few other systems have been put in place around the country. Many of the batteries have been set up in cities closer to the border with Syria, which runs along Israel’s north.

Haaretz reported that the Israeli Defense Forces are considering deploying another battery in northern Israel. {Read More}

Via: Memeorandum

So, Is the Planet Warming ? Or Is It Cooling?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

It just gets so damn confusing. Which side does one come down on? Nature, that force that just keeps on providing surprises and the force humans have little to no control over. Wondering how Al Gore (Gorelione to some) will respond to changing data points.

Just in from The Telegraph.

A cold Arctic summer has led to a record increase in the ice cap, leading experts to predict a period of global cooling.

There has been a 60 per cent increase in the amount of ocean covered with ice compared to this time last year, they equivalent of almost a million square miles.

In a rebound from 2012's record low an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia's northern shores, days before the annual re-freeze is even set to begin.

The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year, forcing some ships to change their routes.

A leaked report to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seen by the Mail on Sunday, has led some scientists to claim that the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century.

If correct, it would contradict computer forecasts of imminent catastrophic warming. The news comes several years after the BBC predicted that the arctic would be ice-free by 2013.

Despite the original forecasts, major climate research centres now accept that there has been a “pause” in global warming since 1997.

The original predictions led to billions being invested in green measures to combat the effects of climate change.

The change in the predictions has led to UN's climate change's body holding a crisis meeting, and the the IPCC was due to report on the situation in October. A pre-summit meeting will be held later this month.

But leaked documents show that governments who fund the IPCC are demanding 1,500 changes to the Fifth Assessment Report - a three-volume study issued every six or seven years – as they claim its current draft does not properly explain the pause.

The extent to which temperatures will rise with carbon dioxide levels, as well as how much of the warming over the past 150 year, a total of 0.8C, is down to human greenhouse gas emissions are key issues.

The IPCC says it is “95 per cent confident” that global warming has been caused by humans - up from 90 per cent in 2007 – according to the draft report.

However, US climate expert Professor Judith Curry has questioned how this can be true as that rather than increasing in confidence, “uncertainty is getting bigger” within the academic community.


Long-term cycles in ocean temperature, she said, suggest the world may be approaching a period similar to that from 1965 to 1975, when there was a clear cooling trend.

At the time some scientists forecast an imminent ice age. {Read More}

I'm just guessing (but yet fairly certain) those invested in the Global Warming Meme are preparing their rebuttals as this story was being released. It just doesn't fit the desired template.

Via: Memorandum

Friday, September 6, 2013

Education and Critical Thinking Skills or, Progressive Indoctrination?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs-Tyranny

And they call the following EDUCATION? Forgive me please, but the Professor, if you can call him that in good conscience, seems to be a Brown Shirt involved in indoctrinating students into the Progressive ideology and creating as much class envy as possible.

There is no adjective to describe this other than PATHETIC. A raping of the contract Professors have with students, which of course is to educate with opposing views, challenge their critical thinking skills, and prepare them for active independent judgement as they enter the adult world of reality and hard knocks.


What say you?

As Congress Considers Intervention Into the Syrian Civil War, Points Worth Considering...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Fineman at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida at the moment Romney was nominated

Howard Fineman from the The Huffington Post makes many well reasoned points. In a nutshell, there are no easy answers with respect to Syria, or understanding the President's desire to take military action, almost unilaterally and without support from the world community (if you will). Yes, Secretary Kerry is certainly in a unenviable as well as tough position. Given what we know, and considering his job and who he reports to the Secretary has done a relatively good job of handling his responsibilities. I say this even as I reject Secretary Kerry's premises and rationale.

Read the text of the article HERE.

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Making the Case for Intervention...

TPM - Hmm, What say you?

Via: Memeorandum

RINO McCain Wants Intervention, On Expanded Terms...

by:Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

Republican Senator John McCain, the RINO that he has turned into, has decided to oppose the Senate draft resolution on Syrian intervention because it doesn't go FAR ENOUGH in insuring America's continuing military posture in the region. Of course Mr. McCain claims he opposes boots on the ground but this is nothing more than political BS. For McCain it is quite likely the truth is "whatever it takes to topple Bashir al-Assad is his real position. And we all know how well that worked out for the nation on many fronts with Iraq, don't we?

FOX News - Sen. John McCain, President Obama's biggest cheerleader on Capitol Hill for a strike in Syria, said Wednesday that he would not support a Senate panel's draft resolution authorizing the use of force -- forcing a key Senate panel to delay a vote.

"There are a number of people who are unhappy," McCain told reporters on Capitol Hill. Asked if he supported the measure, McCain said, "In its current form, I do not."

The decision was a setback for the administration's effort to win swift support from Congress for an attack. McCain's opposition, though, is likely a negotiating tactic to win more aggressive language in the resolution. McCain said Wednesday afternoon he wants to see a provision that states U.S. action must be aimed at a "reversal of momentum on the ground."

It's unclear how far the rest of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will go, with some members worried the resolution already goes too far. The committee pushed off a planned meeting and possible vote until Wednesday afternoon, though the committee's top Republican, Sen. Bob Corker, said he's fairly certain they can begin work on the resolution later in the day.

McCain, who has long favored stepped-up U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war, said he opposes the resolution crafted by fellow Sens. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Bob Corker of Tennessee. The resolution puts a 90-day limit on action and says no American troops can be sent to Syria (Emphasis Added)... {Read More}

Hopefully saner heads prevail and the President is denied Congressional support for this yet another unjustified military intervention into another sovereign nation's civil war. Hasn't the nation wasted enough lives and treasure on the foolish notion it's our job to police the world?

Via: Memeorandum


President Obama has made it clear he has the right to intervene in Syria (exercising his executive authority) whether or not Congress gives it's approval. NICE. The War Powers Act and the Geneva Accords working in favor of the grand design to achieve that One World Order with the U.S.A. leading the way. Something the American Oligarchy has long sought to achieve. Going back to Woodrow Wilson and the failed League of Nations.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL - President Barack Obama said he retains the right to order strikes against Syria even if Congress doesn't authorize them, but he is seeking approval from U.S. lawmakers because he thinks it will strengthen America's response.

"We will be stronger as a country in our response if the president and Congress does it together," Mr. Obama said at a news conference on Wednesday in Stockholm.

Asked whether he would launch strikes in Syria if Congress doesn't authorize them, the president said: "As commander in chief I always preserve the right and the responsibility to act on behalf of America's national security. I don't believe that I was required to take this to Congress. But I did not take this to Congress because I think it's an empty exercise."

What national security issue what that be Mr. President?

It certainly seems like an empty exercise. Especially so if Congress has leveler heads and votes no on authorizing unjustified military intervention.

His comments come after leading lawmakers from both parties said Tuesday they would support military action in Syria to deter the future use of chemical weapons, pushing the U.S. closer to military strikes against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. But many of the rank-and-file lawmakers remain unswayed, and Congress could ultimately vote against military action in Syria, forcing Mr. Obama to act unilaterally.

Mr. Obama also lashed out at critics who said he boxed himself in by saying last year that if Mr. Assad used chemical weapons he would be crossing a "red line" that would prompt U.S. action. "I didn't set a red line," Mr. Obama said. "The world set a red line" when it outlawed the use of chemical weapons, he said.

"My credibility's not on the line. The international community's credibility is on the line, and America and Congress' credibility is on the line because we give lip service to the notion that these international norms are important," Mr. Obama said, referring to international laws against the use of chemical weapons.

Well Mr. President, to many who remember prior words and positions you have spoken/taken yes, your credibility is on the line.

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

As the Advocates of Unlawful Intervention (and expanded war) Weigh In...

by:Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

As Congress considers the irrational logic behind the Obama Administration's argument for military intervention in Syria the likely Democratic Party nominee for President in 2016, Hillary Clinton, comes down squarely on the side of the MIC and continuation of the United States of America's role as the world's policeman. Just as did the current Secretary of State, and former anti war activist John Kerry has done. Prepare yourself America for more of the same, as this nation actively seeks a way to continue to lose credibility worldwide.

POLITICO - Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton backs President Barack Obama’s move to urge Congress to back a targeted effort in Syria, in the first comments from her camp since the president unveiled his plan, POLITICO has learned.

“Secretary Clinton supports the president’s effort to enlist the Congress in pursuing a strong and targeted response to the Assad regime’s horrific use of chemical weapons,” a Clinton aide told POLITICO.

Calls had been increasing on Clinton to weigh in on the president’s plan for Syria.

Clinton is giving a speech next week that she’d indicated would focus on the debate over the National Security Agency, but it is possible that the focus could shift.

The potential 2016 presidential contender has been picking her spots on the national issues she chooses to discuss, as she takes time since leaving Foggy Bottom to develop her office at the Clinton Foundation and give speeches, as well as work on her new memoir.

But avoiding Syria was hard to imagine, even as Clinton associates insist she hasn’t made up her mind about a run for the White House. Her tenure at the State Department will be both the platform for a future campaign, should she launch one, and not commenting would leave the appearance of daylight between her and the incumbent, who is pushing hard to sell Congress on authorizing a limited strike.

It was reported earlier this year by The New York Times that the White House had nixed a proposal by Clinton and former CIA head David Petraeus to arm some Syrian rebels...
Which by the way means siding squarley with Al Qaeda. {Read More Here}

The Geneva Accords and the War Powers Act aside it is becoming more clear than ever why the Founding Fathers cautioned and advised future generations to steer clear of foreign interventions.

Witness the party of WAR and advocate for continued expansion of the Military Industrial Complex. The very same that President Dwight Dwight Eisenhower warned America of in his Farewell Speech to the Nation in 1961, note especially his comments beginning at approximately the 6 min. and 20 sec. mark.

Unfortunately our nation has been on a constant military footing non stop since WW II. The question for this nation is, "when will it be time time to stand down?"

Via: Memeorandum

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Constitutional Argument...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Confronted with a series of wrenching choices over Syria, Obama chose the course that best reflects fidelity to the Constitution as written. Hopefully, in the days ahead, taking that less traveled road by presidents will make all the difference. Walter Shapiro,Yahoo News

President Obama, looking beyond the partisan arguments, in the final analysis made the right decision based on the letter of the Constitution he is sworn to uphold.

Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution reads as follows: "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; —And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."

Credit to the President, after initially using the "Bully Pulpit" to make what I consider an erroneous case for military strikes against Syria he found the good sense to place the decision where it rightly belongs. With the Congress of the United Sates of America.

Read the full article HERE.

Via: Memeorandum