Grumpy Old Man Gets Older and Grumpier

McCain in a bad light.

Remember when John McCain was the Reasonable Republican leader?   If you do, you’re showing your age.  That Johnny Mac is long gone.  This is who he is now.  A grumpy 79-year-old man who having got punked by Donald Trump.  In 2008,  McCain screwed his presidential chances by selecting Sarah Palin.   Now he sounds like Sarah Palin.

“Barack Obama is directly responsible for it, because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaida went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures, utter failures, by pulling everybody out of Iraq. “So the responsibility for it lies with President Barack Obama and his failed policies.”
~ Sen. John McCain, 06/17/16

What in the entire fuck is wrong with McCain?  Is this just a Republican senator taking on a Democratic politics in the usual “I don’t like this guy since he beat my ass eight years ago and took the job I deserved, so I’m gonna hate on him and blame him for the worst mass murder in recent history.”

Politics are involved, all right. The politics of “I’m in a tough reelection fight and I can’t afford to piss off Donald Trump voters so even though he totally disrespected me, I’m gonna out-Trump Trump.”

McCain is in a harder primary fight than he expected, and even if he wins it he faces a strong Democratic challenger in the fall. He’s trying to save his ass and to do so he’s joined the lunatic fringe. If Trump had said the same damn thing everyone would shrug it off as the latest word vomit spewed from his rancid piehole. We’ve come to expect The Donald’s special disdain of truth and facts.

But this is Johnny Mac. Big-time war hero. P.O.W. Soldier. American hero. For him to shit out this garbage doesn’t lessen Barack Obama, but it does diminish McCain. It makes him small and it makes him look weak and like an old pol who’s hung on too fucking long, and right about now, those are things he can’t afford to be.

“I misspoke” is bullshit. Weak-ass BULLSHIT. It was bullshit as an excuse as Trump saying he was “misconstrued” in his bigoted attacks on Judge Curiel and it’s bullshit when a U.S. Senator accuses the President for being personally culpable for the deaths of 49 people. It’s worse when McCain does it, because when his mouth disengages from his brain, people actually listen and many of us can’t believe what we’re hearing from him.

Let’s apply John McCain’s twisted logic to his favorite person: John McCain. As a fighter pilot during the Viet Nam war, McCain was a pilot and part of the Operation: Rolling Thunder bombing campaign of North Vietnam. Estimates of civilians killed in the bombing vary between 52,00 and 182,000 killed, and critics of the war say villages and hospitals were targeted. McCain was personally involved in 23 combat missions.

A small man continuing to grow smaller.

A small man continuing to grow smaller.

Applying the senator’s reasoning to himself, instead of running for reelection as a war hero shouldn’t he be prosecuted as a war criminal instead?

Ludicrous? Absurd? Ridiculous? Sure, but so is Johnny Mac as he bows down to Trumpism, the philosophy of the guy who said about McCain, “I like people who weren’t captured.”

I like people who don’t run scared and talk out their ass.

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Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Is Free. That’s A Good Thing, Right?

Prisoner of war? Deserter? Both?

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban in 2009. Tonight he’s a free man.

Welcome back, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Members of the Taliban handed over the only U.S. service member known to be held hostage in Afghanistan on Saturday morning in exchange for five Afghan detainees. The deal, which the Obama administration has been pursuing for several years, was brokered by the government of Qatar. “Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield,” President Obama said in a statement, after he delivered the news to the soldier’s parents. “And as we find relief in Bowe’s recovery, our thoughts and prayers are with those other Americans whose release we continue to pursue.” According to a senior Defense Department official, when Bergdahl was safely aboard a helicopter, he wrote the letters “SF?” on a paper plate, meaning “special forces?” A team member responded, “Yes. We’ve been looking for you for a long time,” at which point Bergdahl broke down in tears.

Not everyone is happy about how this deal happened. House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mi) went on CNN to blast the Obama Administration for dealing with the Taliban.

“I’m extremely troubled that the United States negotiated with terrorists and agreed to swap five senior Taliban leaders who are responsible for the deaths of many Americans. This fundamental shift in U.S. policy signals to terrorists around the world a greater incentive to take U.S. hostages.”

House Armed Services Committee chairman Howard P. McKeon (R-CA) and ranking Senate Armed Services Republican James Inhofe (R-OK) released a joint statement:

“Trading five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl’s release may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans. Our terrorist adversaries now have a strong incentive to capture Americans. That incentive will put our forces in Afghanistan and around the world at even greater risk.”

“I’m a U.S. Senator, dammit! Respect my authority!”

And of course John McCain had something to say.

“These particular individuals are hardened terrorists who have the blood of Americans and countless Afghans on their hands. I am eager to learn what precise steps are being taken to ensure that these vicious and violent Taliban extremists never return to the fight against the United States and our partners or engage in any activities that can threaten the prospects for peace and security in Afghanistan.”

Apparently the Obama Administration didn’t tell “senior Afghanistan officials” of the impending exchange and the New York Times reports the president may have done an end run around Congress which explains why Republicans are fuming so.

That, and of course they can’t abide the thought the Kenyan Socialist with no birth certificate has done it again.  If Obama walked on water, laid hands on the blind and lame and they could see and walk while feeding the masses with only some bread and fish, the Fox News headline would be “Obama Still Talkin’ that Income Inequality Crap, Can’t Swim.”

By now even Obama knows there is nothing he can do Republicans will give him any credit for and it is futile to go looking for any.

If Bergdahl’s release reminds the many there is a price only a few of us are paying for fighting this forgotten war and most of us don’t have to share in that cost that alone makes the deal worth it.  There’s been a lot of discussion about the current mess at the Veterans Administration that cost former General Eric Shinseki his job and not enough on how the system is being overwhelmed by the influx of new patients from the Iraq and decade-old Afghanistan wars.

The best way to avoid these sort of situations and the resultant schisms that come from them are not to play at war anymore and particularly not when you’re not going to go all-out to win. Haven’t we learned from Viet Nam what happens when the United States goes to war in places the American people don’t really want to be for reasons they don’t understand?

A lot of people die and not much of anything comes from it.

Prediction: Republicans will give Obama an earful for a week or so, but after their hissy-fit passes most Americans will give the president credit for not leaving Sgt. Bergdahl in the hands of the Taliban than worry about the five prisoners he was exchanged for.

Personally, I would have traded every prisoner at Gitmo to get one American soldier out. Set ’em free now and kill ’em all later if you must, but leave no man behind. Even one as problematic as Bergdahl.

the president and Bergdahl’s parents meet the press. Now the tough questions start.

 

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Johnny Mac: Shadow President

“I’m Johnny Mac, and those media hos love me.”

Hear that creaking sound?   That was John McCain finding his spine again.

Just before the Republican Kamikazes went over the edge with their mad scheme to kill off Obamacare,  McCain took to the floor of the U.S. Senate to tell off the titular leader of the Kamikazes,  Senator Wacko Bird,  The Asshole Previously Known As Ted Cruz) just how doggone mad he was about the government shutdown dragging into the second week and cutting off military benefits.

“Somehow, to think that we are going to repeal Obamacare, which would have required 67 Republican votes, of course, was a false premise, and I think did the American people a great disservice by convincing them that somehow we could.”

McCain never mentioned Cruz by name.  He didn’t have to.  Everyone knew who Johnny Mac was ripping a new hole for.  The rules of Senate decorum prevented McCain for calling off Cruz for his suicidal strategy.    In a profile of Senator Wacko Bird for GQ magazine, an aide to McCain was less circumspect of how his boss felt about Cruz.

“He fucking hates Cruz,” an adviser of the Arizona senator said. “He’s just offended by his style.

Fight! Fight! Fight!  Cruz is riding high on Johnny Mac’s shit list and of course he was absolutely right how utterly doomed to failure the shutdown was and how badly Republicans would be scarred from the shrapnel when it all blew up in their faces.

The Washington press corps loves John McCain.  If he were a woman they would cheat on their wives to be with him.  As it is, they blow him wet kisses every time he talks tough.  It sends a chill down their spine and they squeal like little girls.

There is no good reason for this.

For all his vanity, McCain has no more power than any of the other 99 Senators.   He is not a part of the senior Senate leadership.  His vote counts for no more than any other Senator,  but that hasn’t stopped him from assuming the position of “The Senator of Senators,” first among equals.

Johnny Mac. Ordinary regular guy. Likes dogs.

Predictably the mainstream media felt a tingle go up their legs.  At last!  The return of the Reasonable Republican.  Someone “moderate” to talk sense to a Grand Old Party body-snatched by the Tea Party.   Those guys aren’t just angry.  They’re mean.   Not like Johnny Mac.The Maverick is back!

Oh, if only we had elected THIS guy instead of the smooth talker.

Professional loudmouth Chris Matthews once admitted, “The press loves McCain. We’re his base” and the hero-worship of the Washington media confirms this.  He is their favorite Republican   Matthews was raked over the coals for fawning over Barack Obama in 2008 for his infamous “tingle up my leg” quip, but he also said about McCain that he “deserved the presidency.” 

McCain bitch slapping a cocky blowhard like Cruz absolutely delights Matthews and the rest of the punditocracy.    Since losing to Obama, this version of McCain hasn’t been seen much lately.  Where has this John McCain been?

Oh, let’s see.  Losing a presidential election.  Inflicting the unparalleled idiocy of the mentally challenged Sarah Palin on the country, running for reelection by taking far-right stances and then promptly casting them aside, offered lukewarm support for Mitt Romney despite despising him almost as much as he does President Obama, agitating for war against Iran, Libya, and Syria, losing his shit over Benghazi, led the lynch mob to block Susan Rice’s nomination to be Secretary of State, fought the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, opposed withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan,  permitted David Gregory to give him lap dances during his weekly appearances on “Meet the Press”, blasted Obama’s every foreign policy initiative, stabbed his old buddy and colleague Chuck Hagel in the back as he opposed his nomination for Secretary of Defense, got into grumpy old man fights with those Rand Paul and Ted Cruz whippersnappers and pouted.

LOTS of pouting.

When the books about the Great Shutdown of 2013 is written,  Johnny Mac will be a minor figure, not a major player, but not to hear him tell it.  Siddown, ya little bastards and your old Grandpa Johnny Mac is gonna tell ya a story how I reopened the whole damn federal government all by myself when that smart-ass Harvard professor in the White House couldn’t do it!    Certainly he got more face time and high praise than his deeds deserved,  but what did McCain DO?   He didn’t negotiate the reopening of the government.   Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell did that.  He certainly didn’t influence the House of Representatives to do anything.   What do those nuts care about the senior Senator from Arizona and what he thinks about anything?

While Johnny Mac may think he is the Shadow President of the United States, all is just one of 100 Senators, with no more power than any other but more ego than all of them put together.

Give him credit for being the principled Republican willing to take on his party’s extreme wing, but Congressman Peter King has gone even further and called out Cruz directly and he doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere as much credit as McCain.

Any credit coming to Johnny Mac is taken away by his former running mate, Sarah Palin, standing side-by-side with Cruz, not McCain.  If for nothing else,  Johnny Mac will never live that one down.

“Uck. Did that come out of ME?”

Obama Invites Congress To Hold Hands and Jump

Nobody wants this to happen, but it probably will.

The entire policy of the Obama Administration toward the Syria mess is if we wait and keep looking the other way, somebody else will fix this problem.

Nobody has.

This is not simply Obama’s fault, but repeatedly drawing lines and daring Assad to step over them and doing nothing when he does has only emboldened him to unleash chemical weapons against his own citizens.

There is no taste for the United States to get into yet another war in the Middle East. Been there, done that and got the flag-draped coffins and maimed soldiers to prove it.

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad‘s decision to use chemical weapons on over a thousand of his citizens finally has forced Obama to move from talking tough to threatening to launch missile strikes against the dictator.

The United Nations, Congress, no public outcry for intervention and other factors have served to make the president’s response confusing, vacillating, ineffective and at times enabling Assad to commit steadily escalating atrocities (though the rebels have been accused of their share of war crimes as well). But the buck still stops at the desk of the man in the Oval Office and now that Assad has made it apparent he is not only willing to step over Obama’s “lines”, he will do so with arrogant impunity, it is up to the president to deliver a clear, strong and unambiguous response.

The President is doing the politically smart move, and that’s inviting Congress to climb in the barrel and go over the edge with him. There hasn’t been a Congressional declaration of war since WWII. They’ll authorize retaliatory strikes or “military action” but presidents have had a lot of leeway to pretty much go ahead and drop bombs on anyone that pisses them off.

Obama’s Saddam?

Congress doesn’t return from vacation until September 9 and a lot can change between now and then. I don’t think Obama really wants to intercede in the Syrian civil war, but the chemical attacks on his own people by Assad puts him in the same category as Saddam Hussein gassing the Kurds. For the U.S. to sit back and do nothing will only show Assad he can do anything he wants to cling to power and he will act accordingly.

Whatever move Obama makes he’s going to get blasted for. The U.S. public doesn’t want us messing around in yet another Middle East shithole, but the warhawks like John McCain are going to keep going on Meet the Press and calling Obama a punk for talking tough and doing nothing. IF Obama chooses to sit this out without even making a token gesture of disapproval, that only emboldens Syria and shows Russia and China, two of Assad’s allies that the U.S. won’t walk it like they talk it.

Whatever the outcome, if you drive a car, you might not want to wait before filing up. Prices are gonna be going up, up , UP.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, probably the most liberal member of the upper chamber recognized the gravity of the situation the President is presenting to Congress. “The use of chemical weapons by the Assad dictatorship is inhumane and a violation of international law. However, at this point in time, I need to hear more from the president as to why he believes it is in the best interests of the United States to intervene in Syria’s bloody and complicated civil war. I look forward to the Senate debate that will be taking place in the very near future.”

It’s a smart play. Get Congress on the record for bombing Syria (there will be no ground troops–bet on that) or if these towers of jell-o, hem and haw and dither and dick around, Obama can still say, “Hey, I consulted Congress. Not my fault if they can’t come to a decision.”

More importantly, it buys TIME and time works in the favor of the president in this case. With the exception of McCain and a few other bloodthirsty war-mongers, there’s no taste for repeating in Syria the mistakes the Bush Administration made in Iraq. The U.S. needs to stay out of the world cop beat, but Assad killing a thousand of his own people with chemical weapons and getting away with mass murder is only inviting future atrocities.

Doing something may not deter Assad from further atrocities.   Doing nothing guarantees there will be more of them.   But whatever decision is made, we’ve all had enough of allowing Grandpa McCain’s tantrums to set this country’s foreign policy.

Obama could go it alone, but he wants Congress to co-sign.

The Return of Backstabbing Bill

You’ll never need an enemy when  Bill Clinton is your friend.

Hillary Clinton wasn’t the only member in her family whose reputation received a boost by agreeing to be the Secretary of State for the man who beat her, Barack Obama.   Bill Clinton fell out of favor with a lot of core Democratic voters for his shabby, and occasionally race-baiting attacks against Obama during the hotly contested 2008 election.

Obama and his Democratic predecessor were not close in the aftermath, but in the 2012 campaign, one president reached out to the other and Bill Clinton became one of Obama’s most effective supporters and delivered a stirring speech at last year’s convention that easily surpassed Obama’s own address.

If the two men aren’t exactly friends, they learned they needed each other and both benefited from striking a truce and setting aside their differences.

Here’s one way to know the election is over and the next one is already well under way.   Bill Clinton is through making nice with Barack Obama and he’s back to showing him up and cutting him down.

In remarks at the McCain Institute (that’s John McCain, the guy Obama beat in 2008) that weren’t open to the press, but Politico and The Daily Beast  got the juicy parts anyway  of,the 42nd President of the United States  ripping  the 44th  for failing to act in Syria.

    —”You just think how lame you’d be… suppose I had let a million people, two million people be refugees out of Kosovo, a couple hundred thousand people die, and they say, ‘You could have stopped this by dropping a few bombs. Why didn’t you do it?’ And I say, ‘because the House of Representatives voted 75% against it?’” Clinton said. “You look like a total wuss, and you would be.” (via DB)

    —”If you refuse to act and you cause a calamity, the one thing you cannot say when all the eggs have been broken is, ‘Oh my god, two years ago there was a poll that said 80 percent of you were against it.’ You look like a total fool,” Clinton said. (DB)

    —”Nobody is asking for American soldiers in Syria,” Clinton said. “The only question is now that the Russians, the Iranians and the Hezbollah are in there head over heels, 90 miles to nothing, should we try to do something to try to slow their gains and rebalance the power so that these rebel groups have a decent chance, if they’re supported by a majority of the people, to prevail?” (via Politico)

The missing and the dead. The byproducts of President Clinton’s disinterest.

It’s hard to know exactly  what Clinton wants the president to do about Syria.  He was a little skimpy on the details but  makes it pretty clear somebody needs to “do something.”

Mostly its about Clinton reviving a theme began by his wife five years ago: Obama isn’t ready to sit in the Big Chair and make the tough calls.    Bill knows he could and wants everyone to know Hillary could too.

Except when he didn’t and allowed almost a million people to lose their lives.    Perhaps while he sucking on the unlit cigar soaked with Monica Lewinsky’s sex sauce, Bubba forgot how in 1994 he allowed the Hutus to slaughter the  Tutsis in the Rwandan Genocide.

The only thing more disgusting than Clinton’s craven opportunism is his lousy memory.   There was a time when he was the one who was the “wuss” and the “fool” and he was definitely looking at the polling numbers before coming to a decision.

What’s funny only it’s not is here’s the guy who sat on his thumbs when he wasn’t getting blow jobs from chubby interns and let the slaughter in Rwanda go down and he did NOTHING. The “first Black president” knew of the plans for genocide when the Hutus massacred over 800,000 Tutsis in 100 day.   Clinton chose not to get involved.   

President Bill Clinton’s administration knew Rwanda was being engulfed by genocide in April 1994 but buried the information to justify its inaction, according to classified documents made available for the first time.

No use crying kids. Bill Clinton can’t hear you.

Senior officials privately used the word genocide within 16 days of the start of the killings, but chose not to do so publicly because the president had already decided not to intervene.

Intelligence reports obtained using the US Freedom of Information Act show the cabinet and almost certainly the president had been told of a planned “final solution to eliminate all Tutsis” before the slaughter reached its peak.

The documents undermine claims by Mr Clinton and his senior officials that they did not fully appreciate the scale and speed of the killings.

“It’s powerful proof that they knew,” said Alison des Forges, a Human Rights Watch researcher and authority on the genocide.

The National Security Archive, an independent non-governmental research institute based in Washington DC, went to court to obtain the material.

It discovered that the CIA’s national intelligence daily, a secret briefing circulated to Mr Clinton, the then vice-president, Al Gore, and hundreds of senior officials, included almost daily reports on Rwanda. One, dated April 23, said rebels would continue fighting to “stop the genocide, which … is spreading south”.

Three days later the state department’s intelligence briefing for former secretary of state Warren Christopher and other officials noted “genocide and partition” and reported declarations of a “final solution to eliminate all Tutsis”.

However, the administration did not publicly use the word genocide until May 25 and even then diluted its impact by saying “acts of genocide”.

Ms Des Forges said: “They feared this word would generate public opinion which would demand some sort of action and they didn’t want to act. It was a very pragmatic determination.”

The administration did not want to repeat the fiasco of US intervention in Somalia, where US troops became sucked into fighting. It also felt the US had no interests in Rwanda, a small central African country with no minerals or strategic value.

William Ferroggiaro, of the National Security Archive, said the system had worked. “Diplomats, intelligence agencies, defence and military officials – even aid workers – provided timely information up the chain,” he said.

“That the Clinton administration decided against intervention at any level was not for lack of knowledge of what was happening in Rwanda.”

Clinton cared more about his blow jobs than innocents being massacred.   At least when it came to Black innocents.   But in Kosovo, Clinton didn’t dawdle at all.   He moved quickly to intervene and save the Croats.  Being born with White skin still has its privileges and one is the U.S. doesn’t dick around when it comes to saving the lives of those it considers worth it.

“It may seem strange to you here, especially the many of you who lost members of your family, but all over the world there were people like me sitting in offices, day after day after day, who did not fully appreciate the depth and the speed with which you were being engulfed by this unimaginable terror,” Clinton said during a trip to Africa in 1998 as the Lewinsky scandal was eating his presidency alive.

When Clinton said those words it was a lie.   He knew what was going on in Rwanda.   He didn’t care.

I respect Clinton. I even like Clinton. But his failure to act during the Rwanda genocide will never be forgiven or forgotten by me.   He was a coward then, he’s a coward now and he has no right to criticize Obama for not interceding in Syria while he was unwilling to do likewise in Rwanda.

Oh well, the campaign’s over. Hillary’s out of the Cabinet. Time for Big Bill to do what he does best: steal the spotlight and undercut  Obama.   The next presidential election is right around the corner and there isn’t an inch of daylight between Hill and Bill in their plans to put her in the Oval Office.   He owes her big-time for not divorcing his cheating ass while he was still in the White House and she WILL collect.

You expect this kind of behavior from Bill Clinton.   He doesn’t mean to be so bombastic.  He just is.  He does mean to be duplicitous, deceptive and devious.    Clinton has always been a guy who after he shakes your hand, you want to count and see how many fingers you still have.

In politics, they smile in your face while they pat you on the back.  That’s because they’re looking for the best place to stick the knife.   Maybe Clinton is coming down so hard on Obama to prod him into taking action in Syria in a way he failed to do so in Rwanda.   Maybe, but I don’t think Clinton allocates that much thought to his past mistakes.   His eyes on on the future and triumphant return to the White House and this time as The First Husband.

That’s a dream for Clinton well worth the risk of pissing off Obama.   However he might want to  consider Obama can ether be a big help or a big hindrance to Hill and Bill in 2016.

Throwing Obama under the bus and backing it up just to be sure isn’t anything new for anybody as ambitious as The Clintons.   There’s been a few bodies stacked up under wheels of the Clintoncruiser over the years and there’s always room for two more.

Mr. Cruz Goes To Washington (To Burn it Down)

“Yes, I am a snotty bastard. Glad you noticed.”

There are many ways to become well-known as a U.S. Senator.  You can be a grinder, a workhorse who shuns soundbites on Sunday morning talk shows to busy yourself doing the dirty work of writing legislation.   You can wrap yourself up in the business of providing support for the folks back in your home state.   You can learn the rules of the Senate and take the time to build working relationships with both sides of the political aisle.

Or you can say, “screw that,” and become well-known for being a jerk.   That’s where Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) comes in.   With sharpened elbows and a nasty disposition guaranteed to annoy your allies and outrage your enemies.   There is a reason freshman Senators are often treated like children underfoot. They either don’t know or don’t care what the protocols are of the Senate. Guys like Cruz prefer throwing a sharp elbow and being a royal pain in the ass.

Cruz is a Princeton debating champion, Harvard Law School graduate, law clerk to the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and the former solicitor general of Texas.   He’s not dumb.  Just nasty.  He just goes about things in dumb ways such as his slimy attack on Chuck Hagel during his confirmation hearings to become Secretary of Defense.  “We do not know, for example, if he received compensation for giving paid speeches at extreme or radical groups,” Cruz told the Senate Armed Services Committee before it voted to approve Hagel’s nomination. “It is at a minimum relevant to know if that $200,000 that he deposited in his bank account came directly from Saudi Arabia, came directly from North Korea.”

That unsubstantiated slam against Hagel’s character earned Cruz a rebuke from John McCain.  McCain ended up voting against his former Republican colleague, but shot down the junior senator from Texas when he said of Hagel, “no one on this committee should at any time impugn his character or his integrity.”

Cruz’s bare-knuckles approach  doesn’t do much more than  calling attention to how much of a jack-ass he is.   We saw how much of mule’s patootie Cruz really is when he used a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting as an opportunity to lecture Diane Feinstein about the Constitution.   What followed was a very public display of irritation with the upstart freshman.

“Would she consider it constitutional for Congress to specify that the First Amendment shall apply only to the following books and shall not apply to the books that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights?” Cruz said, speaking to Feinstein.

“Likewise, would she think that the Fourth Amendment’s protection against searches and seizures, could properly apply only to the following specified individuals, and not to the individuals that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the law?”

Pointing her finger and glaring at Cruz, Feinstein shot back.

“One, I’m not a sixth grader,” Feinstein said. “Senator, I’ve been on this Committee for 20 years. I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in and I saw people shot with these weapons.

“I’m not a lawyer,” she added, “but after 20 years, I’ve been up close and personal with the Constitution. I have great respect for it. … So I, you know, it’s fine you want to lecture me on the Constitution. I appreciate it. Just know I’ve been here for a long time.”

“I thank you for the lecture. Incidentally, this does not prohibit — you used the word ‘prohibit’ – it exempts 2,271 weapons. Isn’t that enough for the people of the United States? Do they need a bazooka? Do they need other high-powered weapons that other people use in close combat? I don’t think so.”

What a snot-nosed, swaggering rookie like Cruz probably doesn’t know is while he’s trying to score rhetorical points with the Fox and Friends crowd, Feinstein wasn’t just blowing smoke when it comes to having first-hand familiarity with gun violence. She could have lectured her caustic colleague of the bloody events that led to her becoming the mayor of San Francisco. Namely, the murders of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.

Feinstein doesn’t suffers fools or Ted Cruz.

Feinstein went on CNN and to explain her angry reaction to Cruz’s condescending remarks.

“Well, I just felt patronized,” Feinstein told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “I felt he was somewhat arrogant about it. When you come from where I’ve come from and what you’ve seen, when you found a dead body and put your finger in bullet holes, you really realize the impact of weapons. And then as you go up the technical ladder with these weapons, and they become more sophisticated, and more the product of a battlefield, and you’ve got these huge clips, or drums of 100 bullets out there that people can buy, when you see these weapons becoming attractive to grievance killers, people who take them into schools, into theaters, into malls, you wonder, does America really need these weapons? My answer to that is no. And so it’s based on my experience.”

None of this phases Cruz who seems to revel in starting new fires as soon as the previous ones are put out.   There’s no chance a nervy punk like Cruz learns anything remotely resembling humility or even simple manners from Feinstein setting him straight. That would take a degree of class Cruz shows no signs of possessing.

That’s okay. There have always been terrible Senators like him and they usually find themselves isolated by their own rudeness, offensive ways and arrogant attitudes. Cruz isn’t even the biggest asshole from Texas serving in Congress. Not as long as Louie “Terror Babies” Gohmert is gibbering like a drunken hyena in the House.

As a senator, Cruz has six years to make a complete fool of himself. He should pace himself.

Ted hangs out with the Palins. Now you know why he’s such as ass.

Hillary On Top

"Look guys, you're boring the hell out of me."

“Look guys, you’re boring the hell out of me.”

Here are two good rules of thumb.   When a president starts to work the list of who he wants serving in the Cabinet, it’s important to get the Secretary of State selection right.   Choose a great or at least a pretty good Secretary of State, and it doesn’t matter if the Secretary of Transportation or the Interior Department is a stiff.   Nobody remembers who ran the Labor Department for Bill Clinton or George H.W. Bush and nobody cares either.

The other rule of thumb is the earlier a career politician denies any interest in running for the presidency the sooner you know they’re lying through their teeth.

Hillary Clinton was a pretty good Secretary of State and yes, she’s running for president in 2016.  This falls under the category of a stone-cold lock.    Her prospects were boosted by the four years of image rehabilitation she underwent as the globe trotting face of President Obama’s foreign policy.

She wants to be president.  She’s got the best resume in American politics (First Lady, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State) and whomever challenges  her is starting as second best.

After losing the Democratic nomination to the upstart, first-term Senator from Illinois, the Clinton brand had taken a terrible hit.   Hillary had run a lousy campaign and Bill, the so-called “first Black president” was stunned to be called out as a bigot for some of his remarks critical of Obama.    The internecine warfare between two of the brightest lights the Democrats had to offer held a distinct possibility of fracturing the party into two camps, the Obama camp that needed to call a ceasefire in hostilities in order to focus on beating John McCain and the Clinton camp that was angered by Obama’s hardball tactics and the none-too-subtle implication they were the only thing standing between Bill’s third term.

Nobody felt sorry for Hillary and Bill. They came into the 2008 campaign with every advantages. Money, name recognition, endorsements, party organization and the whole nine yards. And they got out-hustled, out-messaged, out-campaigned and just plain outwitted by somebody who learned The Clinton playbook and beat them at their own game.

Then Obama did something as smart as it was unexpected.  He asked his bitter rival to accept his invitation and serve in the hardest and most important position in his Administration.  Say what you will about the job of vice-president.   The most important trait for Joe Biden to show is loyalty.   Hillary Clinton had to demonstrate efficiency.

“This way to 2016, honey.”

Looking at the 60 Minutes exit interview Obama and Clinton held and the genuine affection and mutual respect they seem to have built over his first term, all the bad blood may not have been entirely forgotten, but it does seem to have been largely forgiven.

Last week Clinton sat for over five hours of grilling by House and Senate Republicans purportedly looking for answers of what the outgoing Secretary of State knew about the security lapses and the mistakes that led to four dead American embassy personnel in Benghazi including Ambassador Chris Stevens.   But it wasn’t just an inquiry for elected officials as it was also a chance for a few likely GOP presidential candidates to take shots at the early odds-on leader in the Democratic clubhouse.

Marco Rubio couldn’t lay a glove on Clinton.   Senators Rand “needs a better wig” Paul and Ron Johnson alternatingly baffled and annoyed her with their line of questioning.  Johnson, a Tea Party twit  from Wisconsin was so in over his head, he was tweaked by The Washington Post for “having the worst week.”

It was the Angry White Men on Capitol Hill vs. The Cooler Than Ice Clinton and she schooled them so badly all Angriest White Man of Them All, John McCain ran to Fox to whine over how the media was fawning over her performance.  Hey, Johnny, you do know there’s pills you can take when you have “performance issues.”   You need some Republican Viagra?

This is how you know how well-positioned Hillary is for 2016.  The GOP is already sharpening their blades trying to cut her down.

They’re going to need bigger and sharper knives.   You can’t buy the kind of positive p.r. Hillary Clinton is enjoying as she goes into a relatively brief political hibernation and she rests, recharges and begins to assemble the team and strategy she will need to follow the historic presidency of the nation’s first Black Chief Executive with the first woman to serve in that role.

The rehabilitation is over.  The reputation has been restored.    Clinton steps away from the spotlight knowing when she returns there isn’t another likely candidate with a resume of accomplishments or popularity to match her own.  Now she can take some time to write a book, make some money on the lecture circuit,  buy a whole new closet full of pantsuits and once she’s tanned, rested and ready, start laying the groundwork for achieving the dream she never quite gave up on.

Rivals turned allies?

Rivals turned allies?

The Character Assassination of Susan Rice by the Coward John McCain

“I love it when an evil plan comes together.”

Susan Rice was hounded by the yapping attack dogs of the Right.   After weeks of being destroyed by the lynch mob mentality of the Right-wing media and cowardly Republican senators, Rice gave in and formally requested to President Obama not to chose her as as the next Secretary of State.    They were probably hi-fiving in the Senate cloakroom.  They dragged her reputation through the mud with John McCain, playing the part of Torquemada calling out  Rice as, “not very bright.”

Not very bright? Susan Rice was the valedictorian of her high school class, graduated from Rice attended Stanford University, where she received a Truman Scholarship, and graduated with a B.A. in history in 1986 and was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Not very bright? Rice was awarded a Rhodes scholarship and attended the New College in Oxford. She served in the Clinton Administration most notably as a member of the National Security Council and as the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs. She later would join the Brookings Institute.

Not very bright? Her tormentor John McCain graduated from the Naval Academy 894 out of 899. In 2008, he thought Sarah Palin was very bright and qualified to be the Vice-President of the United States.

I don’t have a prejudice against old White men. I have a prejudice against one specific old White man who destroyed a highly qualified and intelligent Black woman based upon nothing more but his repulsive ego, poisonous pride and nauseating vanity.

For the role he played in the destruction of Susan Rice, John McCain is a reprehensible human being.

Characterizing John McCain as an Angry Old White Man is not racist or ageist, and it is not an admission of bias toward White men.  Angry, old, or otherwise.

Too Black, too strong, too much for McCain.

It is accurate.

John McCain is angry. He has a history of displaying his temper in public.

John McCain is 76. That’s old.

John McCain is a White male.

Point of fact: John McCain is an Angry Old White Man.

I see how McCain has treated Rice and I see racism and sexism.  Calling Rice “not very bright” when she clearly extremely bright and “unqualified” when her education, experience and training makes her superbly qualified isn’t simply McCain being obtuse. He’s been that way for some time now.

This runs deeper. This runs to his resentment about the young upstart who defeated him in his last bid for the presidency and how resolute and committed an adversary of President Obama he has made himself.

McCain’s relationship with Obama was frosty during his brief time in the Senate and the two men have maintained their adversarial relationship. They still don’t like each other.  Like, at all.  McCain is a relic of a different age where guys like Obama deferred to guys like him. The fact that he had his ass handed to him by Obama must burn like acid.

Enter Susan Rice. The perfect patsy for McCain to twist the knife in Obama just a bit deeper.

There’s no higher principle here. Republican senators have ignored security concerns at U.S. embassies for years and McCain didn’t call for Watergate-style hearing when Republican administrations lost people overseas. If he can read, McCain knows Rice was merely stating the case as presented to her without all the intelligence included. He just doesn’t care.

That’s where McCain’s ugly racism and misogyny kicks in.

This is just payback. Denigrate an otherwise qualified woman as nothing but an affirmative action hire to stick it to her boss that was considering putting her name up for promotion.

The politics of personal destruction win again as brought to you by the 2008 presidential election loser.

In the absence of a more convincing argument about why John McCain went after Susan Rice with such vehemence, I’ll stick to the most obvious one.

Those who have taken umbrage at contention have yet to offer a better one. At this point, I don’t think they have one.