This is how you know you’ve lost

Inviting a foreign head of state to Congress to undermine American foreign policy was childish and dumb. This idiotic letter from 47 Senators to the Iranian government is even worse. As reckless as this move appears on its face, there is an even more worrying message lurking between the lines.

Worded as a condescending children’s primer on treaty law, the real message of the letter is more subtle. Looking past the embarrassing Constitutional error they made in the document itself and the grave Constitutional violation in their decision to write the letter in the first place, the real shocker in this incident is what it says about Republican ambitions.

Clearly, at least 47 Republican Senators are convinced that the party will never again hold the White House.

Let’s be clear. This has never happened before. We’ve had Congressmen visit countries against the wishes of the executive branch. We’ve even had a few instances where individual outreach from a specific Congressman complicated US diplomatic efforts. We’ve had Jane Fonda crawling around on North Vietnamese anti-aircraft guns. None of those incidents compare.

There has never been an instance in which an organized partisan bloc in the Legislative branch disregarded the separation of powers in order to publicly and intentionally undermine US foreign policy. Disagreements over foreign policy have often been bitter, but they have been tempered by an understanding that they can be resolved by elections. I may not like a President, but undermining the office itself will haunt me when my party finally wins.

It seems clear that many Republicans have lost their belief that the party can compete for the Presidency. No other logic explains their willingness to burn down the office itself. The demographic realities are brutal and the Blue Wall looms large. This kind of behavior will only get worse, and more dangerous, in 2017.

Seven Republican Senators declined to sign this letter. They deserve some recognition.

Lamar Alexander (TN)
Susan Collins (ME)
Bob Corker (TN)
Dan Coats (IN)
Jeff Flake (AZ)
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Thad Cochran (MS)

As a quick postscript, here’s the text of the Logan Act:

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

Quick thought exercise. Imagine that a clutch of Democratic Senators had sent a letter like that to Saddam Hussein in 2002. How many of them would still be in Guantanamo today?

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Foreign Policy
247 comments on “This is how you know you’ve lost
  1. flypusher says:

    More horribly bad legislation:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/13/bill-recording-police-illegal_n_6861444.html

    Being able to record police action is one of the few defenses a citizen has against bad LEOs who play the role of a bully with a badge. Granted it doesn’t always work, Re: the Eric Garner case, but the odds of getting justice are still far better with video than without it. The whole “it’s for police officers’ safety” or to “prevent interference with police doing there jobs” is a bunch of false concerns crap (not unlike those new abortion clinic requirements).

    Also, WTF does being armed have to do with the distance requirement for filming?????? That makes absolutely zero sense.

    • Turtles Run says:

      Fly – how are the police supposed to beat the crap out of people with a camera in their face. Why do you love the criminals so much?

  2. Bobo Amerigo says:

    For the CruZlovers here, particularly Doug, I want you to know that my brother-in-law entered this country illegally, worked illegally, spent 6 years in military service, got a B.S. in biology, worked in a military hospital lab long to retire from it, then got a trade school education, began working at a local college, where he was recently given a [surprise] award for his focus on safety and his productivity. [He didn’t know anyone was paying attention.]

    He stood by my sister after she came disabled, he tames feral cats and takes in stray dogs. He’s a good guy.

    Somewhere along the way, he became a citizen. I don’t care when.

    He displays more traditional American ideals than your posts do, Doug. And certainly more than AH Cruz.

    • johngalt says:

      Bobo, your B-I-L is more of an American than most native-borns are. We need more people like him in this country.

    • 1mime says:

      High Five, BoBo!

    • Doug says:

      Amazing coincidences. I started working at 14, picking watermelons and cantaloupes alongside illegals, and have worked ever since. I have a B.S. degree that I earned in my late twenties while working several jobs. My wife is disabled. Our indoor cat was feral. I’ve trapped and neutered over a dozen in the last few years, most given to good homes, but I still feed a few that were released and hang around. I do some private charity work as well as contribute an amount in taxes that would put several families above the poverty level. The differences are that I couldn’t serve in the military due to a bad car crash and there are no stray dogs around.

      So unless it’s the lack of dogs, apparently you think I don’t display “American ideals” because I don’t want federal benefits (taxpayer money) handed to illegals. Ummm…OK. Whatever. Not that I expect you to agree, but here are my reasons:

      1. First, my parents. My mom grew up in a house with with no electricity or plumbing. They cooked on a kerosene stove. She spent her summers picking cotton, sort of like the slaves did it back in the day, except she got paid $5 at the end of the summer. It’s interesting to hear her talk about how they helped out the “poor” people in the area. Those would be the ones with no beds and not enough food. I had it somewhat better growing up, but you can bet I learned a thing or two about work, and sacrifice, and pride, and self sufficiency. Those are American ideals in my book, and something we’re losing in this country.

      2. Obama’s executive whateveryoucallit is not legal. The president is not king. He does not have the authority to change the law simply because Congress is not doing what he wants.

      3. We need to cut federal spending, not find more people to hand money to. This country’s fiscal trajectory is unsustainable in the long term. There are billions of less fortunate people in the world, and we are a nation of 300+ million. We cannot let everyone in that wants in and then give them free food, housing, medical, etc. We just can’t.

      4. Government handouts are not charity, and the current tax and handout system is fundamentally immoral. Imagine two siblings. (btw, I’m thinking of two white relatives here, so no racism involved) One absolutely busts his ass in the oil field for years and moves up until he’s making a nice six figure salary. He supports his wife and two kids, and doesn’t ask anyone for anything. The other dropped out of school, does some drugs, and works as a titty dancer (when she works). She never married but has three kids from three different men, two of whom are in and out of prison, none of whom pay a nickel for the kids. The government takes $30K or so from the first sibling and gives most of it to the other in the form of medicaid, food stamps, EITC, etc. This has nothing to do with helping those less fortunate. Fundamentally, it is slave labor, with the proceeds given to leeches. It is immoral. Extending the system to illegals doesn’t make it better. You want to personally help someone out? Awesome. Write a check, contribute to a charity, mentor, adopt a kid, whatever. All good. But you’re not a better person than me because you support a system that forcibly takes from those who follow the rules and work and plan and delay gratification and gives to those who don’t.

      5. People respond to incentives. Everyone understands the reasons for the “don’t feed the bears” signs at Yellowstone, yet for some reason can’t grasp that the same reasoning applies to humans. Giving amnesty and “benefits” to illegals just encourages more illegals looking for amnesty and benefits. It does nothing to solve the illegal immigration problem.

      6. I agree that the immigration system is messed up. A very close friend of mine was (legally) working in Mexico when he met and married a college educated Canadian woman. When they moved to the states it took time, and money, and work, and frustration to get her a green card just so she could teach school, something she is brilliant at and which would benefit the community. But they did the work, and then did the work to get her citizenship. Yes, the system sucks. But you don’t spit in the face of those who did it the right way like her by handing “free” stuff to those who didn’t. First change the system.

      So there ya go. Knock yourself out calling me a cold hearted, insensitive racist without American ideals. I’m just doing my job, helping to keep this blog from becoming a big liberal circle jerk.

      BTW, did your BIL does sound like a good guy. Did he ever pay back taxes for the years he worked illegally?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Let me get this straight Doug, you took the time and effort to in however many paragraphs and words you spewed to say you worked hard in your life. And you still turned out to be an uncompassionate racist heartless bastard?

        We already knew that Doug. You didn’t have to bloviate ad nausem and shamelessly/insecurely pat yourself on the back in the process make a failed attempt at some moral get out of jail card just to confirm you are a selfish and self serving racist just for us.

      • Doug says:

        Thank you bubba. I knew you’d come through.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        It’s not all about you Doug. The earth revolves around the sun, not you.

      • RobA says:

        Doug, I don’t think anyone would disagree with you that illegals should not be getting benefits as soon as they get here.

        But it’s a strawman argument because THEY DON’T.

        Illegal aliens contribute MORE to society then they take out for precisely that reason. ….they are ineligible to receive benefits, yet they still pay taxes in the form of sales tax and property tax in the form of a mortgage or rental.

        The whole “they just come here for welfare” is such a red herring because they are ineligible for welfare.

        If they become naturalized and seek welfare, the income of their sponsors is factored in for the first 10 years after naturalization.

        So if I sponsor an immigrant (the vast majority require sponsors) and I make $100,000/year, that immigrant is NOT getting welfare. The government’s position is that I, as his sponsor, am legally outed to support them.

        And AFTER ten years, the immigrant would have more then paid their fair share into the system.

        Regardless of what conservatives are so worried about, most ppl are NOT just happy to sit around and collect welfare cheques their while lIves. Most people want to work.

        And the reason for social safety nets such as welfare or medicaid is not “charity”. It’s designed to keep the bottom rung of society from falling too far behind. The weak are carried by the strong.

        And this isn’t done so bleeding hearts can feel good about itself. It’s because every single society that has ever existed in which the inequality gap between the rich and the poor has gotten too large destroys itself. Without exception.

        So social safety nets are a form of self preservation. NOBODY benefits when a segment of your population is dying if starvation or preventable medical issues. Desperate people do desperate things and to just set the poor “on their own” would have an incredibly destabilizing effect on society and would eventually destroy it.

      • texan5142 says:

        That would be a great story if you did not sound like an angry arrogant asshole telling it.

      • flypusher says:

        “And this isn’t done so bleeding hearts can feel good about itself. It’s because every single society that has ever existed in which the inequality gap between the rich and the poor has gotten too large destroys itself. Without exception.”

        There’s your sticking point Doug, the unescapable fact of history. You can talk about leeches and individual responsibilities all you want, but if that gap widens too much, we all fall into the chasm.

        Also, reading over your post, you have plenty to say about the poor, desperate people who come here looking for work, but not one word of condemnation for the people who game the system by hiring illegal immigrants under the table. Or how that trickles down to the test of us as cheaper prices from things like food and construction. Also I’m hard pressed to recall even one post among the “liberal circle jerk” saying that illegal immigrants should get welfare. I remember a whole bunch saying that the system is a broken farce, and immigration laws need to be totally revamped to reflect the current situation with the jobs that need workers, and the workers willing to fill them.

        Your ranting about welfare leeches has zip to do with immigration. But I’m curious as what you propose to do with that woman in your example. Do you cut her off entirely? You can certainly make the case that she “earned” the freedom to starve, but the kids too? Do you take the kids away from her and put them in stable families? That certainly has its appeal, but then you’re talking about more gov’t intrusion into people’s lives, not the mention you’re going to have to fund the agency that would handle those cases. Want the fathers to pay there child support? Me too, but it also takes $ to run the courts, so do not expect any cost savings there (just like drug testing for welfare isn’t going to save $ either) I would hope you wouldn’t advocate going the extreme route of a place like Saudi Arabia, where there are horrible draconian restrictions of women’s personal freedoms. Or the forced sterilizations of the “unfit” done here as late as the 1970’s.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Two things, Doug:

        I was careful to address your posts, not you. I don’t know you.

        Secondly, I do trap-neuter-release, too. And I was a field worker at age 14. Isn’t it interesting when people with opposing views have something in common.

        It’s my opinion you are wrong on immigration because you don’t acknowledge its complex reality in this country, including the role businesses play in make sure nothing gets done on it;

        because U.S. presidents have the right to exercise executive actions and 15 state governments have filed in support of President Obama’s actions;

        you choose to post in selective blindness to the benefits undocumented immigrants provide this country;

        and, because I agree with RobA that the undocumented don’t get welfare, your position is based on false premises.

        No snideness here when I say I salute your hard work and the achievements of your family. I do.

        But I believe your immigration position is wrong-headed.

      • Doug says:

        “Your ranting about welfare leeches has zip to do with immigration.”

        It was a rant about the immorality of a system which provides perverse incentives. And yes, it’s possible that under Obama’s executive memo, current illegals could get rather large back EITC checks in a few years.

        “But I’m curious as what you propose to do with that woman in your example…she “earned” the freedom to starve, but the kids too?”

        I believe the question is backward. Would she have behaved the same way without the programs in place to back her up? Would she change her behavior and become more productive without the programs? Again, people respond to incentives.

        “[You] don’t acknowledge its complex reality in this country, including the role businesses play in make sure nothing gets done on it”

        That wasn’t the point of the post, but I absolutely agree that businesses play a huge role, and that needs to change. There are many labor rules and costs that most people follow and pay, and it is unfair to allow some businesses to profit by avoiding them. Yes, I’m willing to pay 25 cents more for a head of cabbage.

        “And the reason for social safety nets such as welfare or medicaid is not “charity”. It’s designed to keep the bottom rung of society from falling too far behind.”

        And how has that worked out so far? Again, incentives. You don’t help people move up by making poverty easy. Nobody wants anyone to die, but federal programs that say simply “if you earn less than X you get Y” are counterproductive. They are also unfair to those earning slightly more than X. For only one example, look into MD Anderson and see who without insurance gets huge sums of free treatment, and who gets turned away to die. It’s appalling.

        “And this isn’t done so bleeding hearts can feel good about itself.”

        Yet everyone who suggests changing the system is immediately labeled as cruel and heartless, and those in favor claim they care more.

        “the undocumented don’t get welfare”
        You can’t seriously believe that.

      • 1mime says:

        “my wife is disabled”

        Disability is a horrible thing, but thank god our federal government lends a hand…..most people in that situation are grateful for it and take advantage of it….one safety net we can agree is a good thing except for the changes occurring in states that are reducing benefits.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Doug – i really cannot add more to the comments made towards your rant other than to say you are an asshole.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Doug,

        It appears you think all people should think the same and react as you would in their situations.

        A lot has been studied and written in the past few years about the thinking style of people without resources. It’s not immoral. And your belief in incentives is way off track.

        http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/11/your-brain-on-poverty-why-poor-people-seem-to-make-bad-decisions/281780/

        Just this morning American Life told the stories of very bright, but resource poor, kids and what happened to them as they tried to go to college. Their high-school campus was so deficient (i.e., no library) that when they visited a beautiful, private high school some of them felt it confirmed what some had been told. If they weren’t sh**, they would have a better school.

        http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/550/three-miles

        You may regard this ‘liberal circle jerk’ with disdain, but I am proud of being liberal minded, hope to remain open to ideas, and want to solve problems instead of assuming the worst motives of people without resources.

        I don’t expect anything I post to have any impact on how you think. My circle of friends includes people who appear to think like you. It’s all zero-sum and the immigrants might suck up all the medical care.

    • flypusher says:

      Bobo, I think any non-citizen who is willing to serve a tour of duty in the US military has rightfully earned citizenship and should be able to take the oath as soon as that tour is finished.

    • flypusher says:

      >>“Your ranting about welfare leeches has zip to do with immigration.”

      >It was a rant about the immorality of a system which provides perverse incentives.

      But you’re very selective in who you choose as the primary target of that rant. There’s no mention of the businesses who profit off cheap labor until someone calls you on the omission. Where you point your finger o’ blame first is telling.

      >And yes, it’s possible that under Obama’s executive memo, current illegals could get rather large back EITC checks in a few years.

      Operative word is “could”, which is not the same is “are”. I am in agreement with you that it should not happen.

      >>“But I’m curious as what you propose to do with that woman in your example…she “earned” the freedom to starve, but the kids too?”

      >I believe the question is backward. Would she have behaved the same way without the programs in place to back her up? Would she change her behavior and become more productive without the programs? Again, people respond to incentives.

      You might want want to look at a little history. People having children out of wedlock is nothing new. Parents abandoning their children is nothing new. People scamming well meaning charitable actions/ social programs is nothing new (go Google the history of “foundling homes in Europe” for an example). People have indulging in irresponsible reproduction with and without social safety nets in place since the dawn of human civilization. Is there a percentage who might had behaved differently in the absence of welfare benefits? I’d say yes, but I have to question whether that percentage is as big as you seem to think it is. I also loathe the notion that because some people game the system having a safety is somehow unfair to the people who don’t currently need it.

      And I’d still like an answer to the question I posed above. All the woulda, coulda, shoulda in the world can’t change the fact that the kids now exist, and had no choice in who their parents are. So what do you do with them? This?

  3. James W Davis Jr. says:

    I Love Theodore too. The pragmatic logical way he focuses on practical solutions to solve the problems and challenges that America faces by proposing thoughtful legislation geared to advancing U.S. interest around the globe. Wait are we talking about Theodore or someone else? No I guess I mean someone Else. I wish that the real problems the country faces ( like Infrastructure ) was the center of the GOP’s attention. How about a jobs bill put more of us to work. A rising tide does in fact lift all boats. When people make money they take can afford to discretionary spending goes up everybody benefits. They need to do their jobs propose and pass legislation that advances the average American.

    • Doug says:

      Theodore understands that the US government was not instituted to provide jobs, and that people prosper when the government is not a burden.

      • 1mime says:

        “US government was not instituted to provide jobs….”

        Somebody might tell that to our current members of Congress, who, last time I looked, had “jobs” working for the US government with American people footing the bill for paying their salaries and benefits. THEY are not earning their wages when government is dysfunctional and need to get out and live with the consequences of their egotistic actions.

  4. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    In trying to think of ways to woo voters to the GOP in 2016, our good neighbors to the north in Oklahoma are putting their best efforts forward.

    Ignoring the Fox News conservative shills trying to explain away racism at OU (racism is caused by rappers – duh), let’s cast our gaze at the Oklahoma GOP crafting legislation that will appeal to voters who might not normally vote for the GOP.

    Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday to abolish marriage licenses in the state.

    Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell (as though I had to put that “R” there) authored some legislation that amends state law that governs the responsibilities of court clerks. My good man took out all references to marriage licenses.

    Russ said his legislation would place the responsibility for officiating marriages in the hands of clergy, since, “Marriage was historically a religious covenant first and a government-recognized contract second,”

    Shockingly, some folks did not like this legislation, but my man Todd is not to be dissuaded by your arguments about separation of church and state or concerns about atheists and other non-religious folks. Russ has been unapologetic in defending his exclusion of nontheists from the right to marry.

    “They don’t have a spiritual basis for a marriage and don’t want to have a clergy member or a priest or someone involved in the spiritual aspect, then they can file an affidavit of common-law marriage.”

    That is the big-tent GOP that I think folks will be flocking to.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      I think I should point out this is not just a goofy bill proposed by a goofy representative that never sees the light of day.

      Sure, it is a goofy bill proposed by a goofy representative, but it also is a bill that was voted for and approved by over 2/3rd of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

      Ladies and gentlemen, this is your southern GOP.

    • objv says:

      Interestingly, Oklahoma is still a majority blue state (by a hair) but Democrats have been losing ground for decades. In a state that produces energy, Obama’s policies cost jobs. If you believe people in the state are homophobic and racist, you’re just as likely to be talking about a Democrat as a Republican.

      http://newsok.com/democratic-votes-barely-outnumber-republicans-in-oklahoma/article/5347707

      BTW, I watched Fox News after the OU racist incident happened and there was nothing but condemnation by the anchors. I might add that the OU president took swift action to punish the fraternity and expel two of the ringleaders.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Objv…Interesting interpretation of Oklahoma voting patterns.

        Well yes, there are more registered Democrats than Registered Republicans, but in no world can you call Oklahoma a majority blue state.

        Oklahoma House of Representatives: 72 GOP, 27 Democrats
        Oklahoma voting for President: Romney won by 33%…haven’t voted for a Democrat in over 40 years

        The governor is Republican, both chambers of the Oklahoma Legislature are controlled by Republicans and Oklahoma’s congressional delegation is all Republican.

        Do you folks take secret classes in how to take one true fact and then spin it into making a completely disingenuous conclusion?

      • objv says:

        Homer, Just an observation. Democrat voters are still in the majority, but Republicans must be doing something right to win all those elections.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        If by “right”, you mean banning gay marriage…then sure.

        Also, your statement is patently inaccurate: “Democrat voters are still in the majority.”

        You either have odd definitions of “Democrat voters” or “majority”, or you just are intentionally being disingenuous.

        Not that you should care even the littlest bit about my thoughts on you, but I kind of think of you as being above that stuff.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        And while we are on the topic of trying to be correct…I don’t watch Fox, so I’m not sure what those folks said (although they certainly have a history of trying to explain away racism: see the Ferguson DOJ report and Sterling in the NBA), and I should have just said, “Conservative shills” rather than specifying Fox.

        I believe those “liberals” of Limbaugh and Scarboro were the main idiots with the OU racists.

      • Doug says:

        “I might add that the OU president took swift action to punish the fraternity and expel two of the ringleaders.”

        And yet a black OU football player, who was videotaped punching a female student so severely that he broke multiple bones in her face, was only red-shirted for year. He never left campus and is now back on the team. While I have no sympathy for the SAE bigots, I think we’ve reached a perverted place when words are worse than actual physical violence.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Doug did you even bother to find out the details of the incident? Or did you just follow the Fox script to manipulate the situation and toss out false equivalents to fit your narrative that Black guys are always the villain and White racists aren’t because you know, you can always make a Black guy look worse?

        I would have no issue if the football player were expelled as there are consequences to your actions. The guy should not have punched the woman, period. And maybe an older, more mature, and possibly more sober guy would not have punched her. But as I said, there are consequences to your actions. For BOTH parties. It’s not black and white (no pun intended). You do realize that the woman initiated the physical contact/confrontation/fight/ not once but twice right? And maybe an older, more mature, and possibly more sober woman would not have initiated the fight by first shoving the guy and then followed up by slapping him before he had done anything physical. And there would not have been a punch in response? And the woman (20 years old) was at least 2 years older than the guy who just turned 18 and was celebrating his birthday.

        Isn’t there a stand your ground law in Oklahoma also? Or are those laws only reserved for White people to shoot unarmed Black people?

        http://newsok.com/ou-football-joe-mixon-tape-shows-freshman-running-back-punch-female-after-she-pushed-slapped-him/article/5338684

      • flypusher says:

        “And yet a black OU football player, who was videotaped punching a female student so severely that he broke multiple bones in her face, was only red-shirted for year. ”

        I’d say that is more about preferential treatment and coddling of athletes than it is about race, an entirely separate issue.

    • 1mime says:

      Homer: “Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday to abolish marriage licenses in the state.”

      It gets worse. See Georgia’s latest: http://www.advocate.com/politics/2015/03/06/georgia-senate-passes-sweeping-antigay-religious-freedom-bill

  5. RobA says:

    Bibi putting on a clinic in overplaying ones hand.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/yes-netanyahu-is-suddenly-in-real-trouble

    Before the speech, Bibi was pretty much a lock to win the election. His problem was, polls suggested he’s only win with a minority, and he wanted a majority so rammed this speech down the White Houses throat.

    Oops.

    New polls suggesting the speech may have actually cost him the prime ministership. Looks like overplaying ones hand is a strategy both conservatives all over the world adhere too.

  6. texan5142 says:

    Glad to see there are some people in Texas that now a clown when the see one.

    • texan5142 says:

      know a clown

      • objv says:

        I love Ted Cruz. ♥♥♥♥

      • Doug says:

        Same here, objv.

        I’m not sure what that video is supposed to show, given that there is not a single shot of the audience. Maybe he’s talking to two people. Maybe they’re not the type that applauds wildly.

        Whatever…

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Court rulings upholding marriage equality are “a real danger to our liberty,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said in a radio interview Monday.

        Last month, Cruz reintroduced legislation which, among other actions, would strip federal recognition of same-sex marriages, and thus, federal benefits. It would nullify the marriages of same-sex couples who married in one state and moved to another state where such unions were illegal. Currently, the federal government recognizes, and provides many benefits for, same-sex couples married in a state where gay marriage is legal, no matter where they move.

        Your love is strange.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Cruz: “Our heart weeps for the damage to traditional marriage that has been done. We need to stand up I believe, and defend traditional marriage.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        So…Mr. Cruz believes the Supreme Court is violating the constitution and the law when it rules on states’ ability to deny marriage rights to people.

        I’m wondering how Mr. Cruz nuances that position given Loving v. Virginia, unless of course, Mr. Cruz believes states should have the right to deny marriage rights to interracial couples.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Based on all the crap that you two have posted here that have been easily and thoroughly debunked, well that is a shock to no one.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        I was referring to the two Cruz sycophant groupie cultists and not Houston of course.

      • objv says:

        bubba: Hmmm…Cruz sycophant groupie cultist …. I like it! Thanks bubba!

        Better Cruz than Hillary. When she says trust me, run for the hills and don’t look back.

      • johngalt says:

        So it is a fair point that anything this edited could have been modified in a highly selective way. I tried to find a news item about his speech and found a bunch on MSNBC, DailyBeast, RawStory and the like, which I assume Doug and Objv would greet with skepticism. But BusinessInsider described the response as “lackluster” and that several GOPers “bombed”. I notably failed to find much in the way of Fox, WorldNewsDaily, or Breitbart, which is telling.
        http://www.businessinsider.com/marco-rubio-ted-cruz-brave-the-unions-2015-3

        Rubio apparently did a little better, starting with “gratitude to the first responders who assisted his daughter after a 2012 golf cart accident.” I know Rubio had a working-class background, but being injured in a golf cart accident is probably not the best way to connect with the average Joe.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I guess it is worth noting that Mr. Cruz would also require that rape and incest victims be forced to carry any pregnancy from that rape or incest to term and have the baby.

        Again, your love is strange, but I guess we all have soul mates somewhere.

      • rightonrush says:

        “Former New Hampshire GOP Chairman Fergus Cullen is preparing to host a meet-and-greet at his Granite State home for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — but said firebrand Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz represents “everything that is wrong with the Republican Party.”

        https://www.bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2015/03/nh_gop_honcho_ted_cruz_will_not_darken_our_doorstep

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Obj and Doug…seriously, what’s not to love about Cruz?

        Aside from not caring all that much about gay people or victims of rape and incest, his position on illegal immigrants in the US is less than…let’s just go with…less than compassionate.

        Cruz’s amendments to the immigration reform bill:

        Cruz 2 – specifically says no illegal immigrant who broke the law to enter or stay in the country “shall be eligible for any Federal, State, or local government means-tested benefit, nor shall such alien be eligible for any benefit under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pub. L. 111-148), regardless of the alien’s legal status at the time of application for such benefit.”

        In short, without citizenship, even if all of the millions of current illegal immigrants receive temporary legalization or even eventually green cards and permanent legalization, they could never be eligible for any public benefits or welfare.

        Then to take care of the “without citizenship” part of the argument:
        Cruz 3 – eliminate the bill’s path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

        In combination, it would mean current illegal immigrants could never receive public benefits even if they were permanently legalized and allowed to legally stay and work because they would never reach citizenship (even though they are and would be paying plenty in taxes).

        He is awfully dreamy and swoon-worthy.

      • Doug says:

        “In short, without citizenship, even if all of the millions of current illegal immigrants receive temporary legalization or even eventually green cards and permanent legalization, they could never be eligible for any public benefits or welfare.”

        I think that’s awesome. I do not want my government to take my hard-earned money and give it to people who came here illegally.

        Do you think a person should be allowed to enter this country illegally, work illegally for several years, then be eligible for $24K back EITC on those illegal wages based on executive non-action?

      • Doug says:

        Before you call me racist, I’d like to see a lot of federal benefit cuts to citizens, too.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I don’t know Doug…maybe someone who came here illegally (seeing the big “come work here” signs put out by US businesses who turned their heads and pretended nothing was wrong) and worked hard for several years, paying large amounts of sales and property taxes, who ultimately receives a green card and permanent status in the US, but gets fired from a job…yeah, I think she probably should be able to get WIC benefits.

        Heck…if she was gay, I think she should be able to get married too.

      • johngalt says:

        In a world in which we had reasonable immigration laws that reconciled demand for unskilled labor with the supply of people wanting in and where politicians angry rhetoric was matched by a desire to actually solve the problems they created, then I’d be a lot more critical of illegal immigrants. This is not the world we live in.

      • flypusher says:

        “Cruz: “Our heart weeps for the damage to traditional marriage that has been done. We need to stand up I believe, and defend traditional marriage.”

        This crap again. You claim that there is damage, but you offer not even one tiny speck of EVIDENCE to support that claim. I demand an exact mechanism here- I want to hear how this allegedly happens. I want the detailed chain of cause and effect that starts with allowing gay marriage, and ends with all this horrific damage to families/”traditional” marriages.

        Put up or stfu.

      • RobA says:

        Homer, if I’m understanding it correctly, when says “regardless of status” that means that even if an illegAl is able to acquire full citizenship they are comoletely unable to access benefits for the rest of their lives.

        That’s some heavy handed, evil draconian sh!t.

      • RobA says:

        Fly – it’s obvious. If The Gays all start marrying each other, then there WON’T be marrying women in an effort to hide their homosexuality, hiding their misery and loneliness behind a facade of kids and a wife, even though it is literally impossible for such an arrangement to work out well for all parties.

        And isnt misery and despair what marriage is all about?

        In reality, going back to the status quo, where homosexuals marry a member of the opposite sex and end up hating themselves/their partners for it is far far more damaging to “traditional marriage” no?

    • RobA says:

      What’s the point of abolishing the IRS? You need an agency to collect taxes if you want government to run. Whatever new name or new group you bring in to replace them, they’re still going to be just as disliked. It’s the nature of the job.It’s impossible to have a well liked tax collector.

      And what’s even the point of the “words in the tax code” thing? Is he saying that it’s unnecessairily large? Well then surely they can make it less so if need be. But maybe it NEEDS that much language?

      it’s a little simplistic to assume that “lengthy = bad”.

      • johngalt says:

        Our tax code is impossibly long and complicated. It could and should be simplified dramatically, though we would still need an IRS to administer it. It is worth remembering that it got so complex because large corporations spend oodles of money lobbying congress to insert special provisions that benefit themselves.

      • MassDem says:

        For all that he’s supposed to be so smart, I have to wonder why Ted Cruz chose to speak about abolishing the IRS to a group of public servants, paid for by our tax dollars.

        I do agree with the need for meaningful tax reform, but even if it were feasible with this Congress (and that is a huge if), it is unlikely that the changes would stick. Pretty much everything that was accomplished with the 1986 tax reform has been undone by now.
        The tax code is a lot like my house…regular decluttering necessary.

      • flypusher says:

        If you want nice things, then you pay the taxes to buy them.

        Revamp the code, sure, that a fair point for debate.

      • 1mime says:

        RobA: What’s the point of abolishing the IRS….

        It’s states’ rights’, baby! Keep it all at the state level. Who needs all those IRS employees? …Now not sure how they’re gonna run the Pentagon which the GOP is demanding right now be allowed to “bust” the budget cap (hmm…only the GOP can bust the cap for the things important to them?)

        FLIM FLAM

  7. James W Davis Jr. says:

    It has become sadly clear that the level and quality of the intelligence of a large number of our elected officials is clearly in a death spiral. Thinking back through our countries exceptional history. When one thinks of the well read and thoughtful men and women called to serve this Great country of ours. How in the hell did we get here?

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      We voted for them.

    • johngalt says:

      The 1960 presidential election is widely thought to have turned during the first-ever televised presidential debate when the electorate saw a sweating, slightly-ill, uncomfortable Nixon next to a tall, tanned, handsome Kennedy. While this is not to say that the voters got it wrong in 1960, it started a long slide to where we are now, in which style has trumped substance. Add to this the 24 hour news cycle of squabbling cable channels trying to keep an audience, and what you end up with is the primary personality trait of most of today’s successful politicians: narcissism. They have to want to be on TV every day; more than that, they have to want to do what is necessary to get on TV every day, and that involves some manner of shamelessness. They have to want to fund-raise constantly. Because of gerrymandering, they have to pander to the furthest extremes of their own parties to win the primaries, which means more shamelessness.

      Homer’s right that we vote for them, but we’re voting for a packaged product, not a person. Politics is just a big marketing campaign. It’s Coke vs. Pepsi, Apple vs. Android, but with more at stake.

      • flypusher says:

        Add to that the fact that once people get elected they have to immediately worry about fundraising to cover the costs of the next campaign. Our election cycles are way too long- anybody serious about running for President next year had to get things started at least a year ago. Sadly being good at getting elected does not automatically translate into being good at the job,

      • texan5142 says:

        I have been following this story and that guy has creepy written all over. Notice that in every picture of that thing its suit is always a size or two too big….strange.

      • GG says:

        Arkansas has more than it’s fair share of creepy, fundamentalist types. I’ve come to the conclusion that this type of rigid patriarchal religion is rife with sexual abuse of both women and children. Have you ever seen footage from purity balls? That will set your creep-o-meter off the charts.

  8. way2gosassy says:

    Well I guess this is one way to do get shit done! Unbelievable! Some folks are trying now to say that it was a joke. Whether it is or isn’t it should never have been said.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/3/11/8193751/lindsey-graham-military-coup

    • johngalt says:

      Lindsay Graham has long had a case of the vapors so severe it affects his thinking. Fortunately, he has exactly the same chance of being elected president as do I, which is to say zero.

    • flypusher says:

      I’ll confess, I did make a joke in a previous entry about locking Congress in the Capital until they worked out the funding issue. But at least I didn’t dictate what they had to pass.

  9. flypusher says:

    OT breaking news- I just saw a news flash that sez the Ferguson police chief will resign today. I say good, and I’ll revise my estimation of his intelligence upwards. There was no way any meaningful change for the better was going to happen with him in charge, no matter what he really feels about reform.

    Other heads need to follow. And the aggrieved citizens had better turn out to vote in the next city election.

    • 1mime says:

      Fly: aggrieved citizens had better turn out to vote in the next city election

      First they have to REGISTER; then they have to actually go VOTE. Ferguson is a problem the people have to fix. They do that by voting these crackers out.

  10. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    Because they just cannot help themselves….

    In a bill regarding human trafficking where the penalties collected from those convicted of human trafficking are supposed to go to aid the victims of human trafficking, after a few versions of the bill received bi-partisan support (because no one is in favor of human trafficking), the GOP (and Cornyn specifically) added a bit of “except that aid won’t include anything that could be an abortion” language.

    So, “hey human trafficking/sex slave victim who got pregnant as a result of such trafficking, we are here to help you, and here is $11.98 to buy your first six-pack of pampers. Good luck and god bless”.

    Every time something like this happens, at least 10 moderate to conservative leaning women think, “Nope, no way I can support those idiots”.

    • flypusher says:

      Shouldn’t it be ““hey human trafficking/sex slave victim who got pregnant as a result of such trafficking, it’s all God’s will, and you should be grateful you were chosen for such a task!!!”

      Oh and don’t except any real assitance from us, go pull on those bootstraps!

    • objv says:

      Homer, yes, surprisingly the bill passed the Senate Finance Committee and received bipartisan support. I’m astonished that any of the Democrats caught the abortion provision.

      Don’t you know …

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I agree…I’m surprised that a few folks bothered to read it again after agreeing to the first few versions.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Obj…I don’t think this is the first time you’ve brought up Pelosi’s comment, and it certainly is not the first time folks with your political leanings bring it up.

        It is funny that you provide a six second clip of a longer speech. It is possible that if you provided a longer clip, maybe your message would be different?

        It makes me wonder if you know the context of the comment and just like to intentionally mislead folks about the meaning in order to score some odd political points or if you don’t know the context of the comment but still use the quote to score some odd political points.

        Either way, I’m always here to provide help.

        “We have to do this in partnership, and I wanted to bring up to date on where we see it from here. The final health care legislation that will soon be passed by Congress will deliver successful reform at the local level. It will offer paid for investments that will improve health care services and coverage for millions more Americans. It will make significant investments in innovation, prevention, wellness and offer robust support for public health infrastructure. It will dramatically expand investments into community health centers. That means a dramatic expansion in the number of patients community health centers can see and ultimately healthier communities. Our bill will significantly reduce uncompensated care for hospitals.

        “You’ve heard about the controversies within the bill, the process about the bill, one or the other. But I don’t know if you have heard that it is legislation for the future, not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America, where preventive care is not something that you have to pay a deductible for or out of pocket. Prevention, prevention, prevention — it’s about diet, not diabetes. It’s going to be very, very exciting.

        “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy. Furthermore, we believe that health care reform, again I said at the beginning of my remarks, that we sent the three pillars that the President’s economic stabilization and job creation initiatives were education and innovation — innovation begins in the classroom — clean energy and climate, addressing the climate issues in an innovative way to keep us number one and competitive in the world with the new technology, and the third, first among equals I may say, is health care, health insurance reform. Health insurance reform is about jobs. This legislation alone will create 4 million jobs, about 400,000 jobs very soon.”

        Now, a rational, and dare I say, “objective” person might have a different take. If you note the date, you might recognize that at that point, the Senate had not passed a bill (Pelosi, as you know, is in the House). At that time, folks with your political leanings were talking about death panels and the plan causing millions and millions of jobs. Until the Senate passed a bill to be reconciled, there really was no way to show people what was and was not in it (hint – no death panels).

        It was a beautiful line to be taken out of context. My question is, what is your motivation for actually taking it out of context and repeating it to folks?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        You’re much more generous Houston. We all know the intention of the shallow and openly admitted self identified troll OV. She doesn’t care about discussing anything intelligently. If she is even possible of such. It’s Fox audience tactics by a partisan who doesn’t even know how to conduct herself otherwise. And can’t even discern that it is easily and transparently recognized in an audience with a modicum of and eighth grader’s logic (re: non wingnuts).

        And it was dirty tactics by Cornyn, McConnell, et all. In other words, business as usual by the Republicans.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/11/justice-for-victims-of-trafficking-act_n_6846828.html

        Way to repsresent yourself and tour side “well” OV. But it is an accurate representation.

      • objv says:

        Homer, First of all I enjoyed reading about your boys and the play kitchen. Thanks for the update.

        As far as Nancy Pelosi’s clip is concerned, I knew that if I had the whole speech up, no one would watch.

        Isolating her one line was appropriate because it summed up the situation at the time. No one in congress had been able to go through the 1,990 of pages in the health care bill. Everyone, including Pelosi, didn’t find out what was in the bill until after it was passed.

      • objv says:

        bubba, According to your Huff link, the legislation had been available in its final form since January and was only 63 pages which the Democrats obviously had not read.

        The article also states:

        “The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), would establish a fund to help victims by using fees charged to traffickers. The bill, a new version of a measure originally introduced in the previous Congress, has bipartisan support and unanimously passed out of the Judiciary Committee last month.”

        “But Democrats learned this week that the bill contains Hyde Amendment language — a recurring rider that often gets attached to other legislation, and that restricts federal funding for abortion and other health care services.”

        Personally, I think that the victims of the trafficking should be allowed to use money gotten from the traffickers (not the government) in any legal way they want – including abortion. I commented because by not reading the bill, the Democrats missed the opportunity of clarifying the language of the bill until too late.

        http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/10/politics/abortion-human-trafficking-senate-bill/index.html

      • objv says:

        Correction: 68 page bill

      • way2gosassy says:

        “Isolating her one line was appropriate because it summed up the situation at the time. No one in congress had been able to go through the 1,990 of pages in the health care bill. Everyone, including Pelosi, didn’t find out what was in the bill until after it was passed.”

        That is so much bullshit OV! How then do you explain more than a hundred proposed amendments to the bill from the Republicans, who by the way had two freaking years of debate on the bill. Are you now saying that “they” were too stupid to read the damn thing?
        How then do you explain all the conspiracies they created over the bill and the rebuttals to those same conspiracies. Are you saying no one knew what was in the bill at all until it was passed because if you are you are as delusional as they come.

        If the only way you can debate an issue is with lies and deflection you have lost way more than the argument you have lost your integrity.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Obj…I’m always happy to talk about my boys.

        I guess I’ll weigh in on both of the topics here.

        You mention the length of the Obamacare bill. There were versions of the various bills that ran all the way to 2400 pages. The final law is about 900 pages. While it is fun to toss out numbers of pages as somehow a meaningful topic, let’s not forget that gov’t documents such as these are double-spaced with huge margins. Many pages have as few as 150 words. For comparison, by the time you have finished this sentence, I will have written 103 words.

        Now, at 900 pages, how wild is that? Well, most spending bills are 1,000+ and the stimulus bill passed the same year as ACA was 1,100 pages.

        The ACA (with revisions) runs right about 420,000 words. Governor Walker’s two-year budget for a relatively small state contained 410,000 words.

        If you look at the 10 wordiest bills in congress over the past decade or so, five are by Democrats and five are by Republicans. You might think, “Well sure, but maybe the Democrats have the top five longest bills, and then there is a huge drop off before the more concise GOP pops in.”

        You might think that, but the groundbreaking “Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users” law of 2005 (Don Young – R Alaska) clocks in at 8 words less than the ACA. Eight words less. If the title is any indication of what is written in the law, the author is not blessed with the gift of brevity. The length of the title and the document did not stop the GOP from passing that bill into law.

        The No Child Left Behind Act submitted by the orange-man himself, Speaker Boehner, was about 90% of the ACA’s length, and heck, G.W. Bush was able to read that.

        I think we would all expect laws affecting complicated issues to reflect that complexity.

        Complaining about the length of the ACA is kinda silly, and kinda partisan.

        To the other issue regarding sticking in abortion language into a human trafficking law, you seem to acknowledge that it was kind of a crappy thing to do but since it was your side, you seem to be slightly OK with it.

        More than just putting the language in there, how it was done is kind of the bad part. When the bill was re-introduced, the GOP sent a memo outlining the changes in the new version to members of congress. They do this because everyone recognizes that no one reads all the words of every bill upon which they vote.

        Oddly, the memo the GOP sent listed all the changes to the bill except the one about abortion.

        I wonder why that was.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        objv says:
        March 11, 2015 at 10:20 pm
        “bubba, According to your Huff link, the legislation had been available in its final form since January and was only 63 pages which the Democrats obviously had not read.”

        Cherry pick, cherry pick that is all you do OV. And shock of all shocks, you have taken the information out of context. Yet again.

        Here is a COMPLETE synopsis of BOTH sides of the debate from my link:

        “Republicans argue that the rider has been in there all along, and that senators should have read the bill. Democrats counter that when Cornyn introduced the current version of the bill, he did not make clear all of the ways in which it differed from the earlier version. Rather, Democrats say, Cornyn pitched it as simply a reintroduction of the measure from the previous Congress, which did not have the abortion rider.

        ‘A list was sent to certain members saying, “Here are the changes from last year.” This provision was not listed among them,’ said Judiciary Committee member Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) Tuesday.

        ‘Senator Cornyn’s language, restricting needed, legal health care for women, was not included in the trafficking package the Judiciary Committee reported last year. I regret that Senator Cornyn put it in his new legislation this year,’ said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), ranking member on the committee.”

        One more time, that is is why you neither engender nor deserve any respect whatsoever OV.

        Or shall I call you by a couple of your former sockpuppets, “LoboUSA” and “Goldwinger2008”? Once an openly admitted troll, always a consummate troll.

        Respect is earned OV. And your balance is perpetually in negative territory numerically and figuratively. As also evidenced by other responses to your twisted and willfully slanted diatribes.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        ob, you’re embarrassing yourself.

      • objv says:

        bubba et al. I’m being accused of cherry picking? Oh the irony!

        Corynn introduced a bill to help victims of human trafficking. Doesn’t he deserve any credit for that? Otherwise, the victims would get NOTHING.

        As far as the Hyde Amendment is concerned, it allows exceptions for rape and incest. A victim of trafficking could certainly claim the rape exception and have an abortion since her actions were under the control of the trafficker.

        The Hyde Amendment is often attached to legislation. It is in the ACA.

        “President Obama issued Executive Order 13535 (90 KB) on Mar. 24, 2010, to ensure that federal funds would not be used for abortion services, consistent with the Hyde Amendment (1.3 MB) , as he had promised anti-abortion Democrats.”

        http://healthcarereform.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=003712

        This is all a tempest in a teapot brewed up to attack Republicans who had sought to help victims.

        BTW, bubba, those are not my identities. I had to laugh when you mentioned Goldwing since I don’t even like motorcycles although my husband has a few. His first Harley was bought only two weeks ago. It’s a Heritage Softtail.

        The only identity I have used here is objv. On the chron, I used ObjectiveView, had a backup in case I got banned of SubjectiveView, and for a short time used StellaLink on the unserious pages when goofing around with my friends. That’s it. I’ve only written comments here, on the chron, and a few comments on Tracy’s blog. But, go ahead, knock yourself out. I find your paranoia amusing.

      • objv says:

        “the Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortions except if a pregnancy arises from incest or rape.[1] It is not a permanent law, rather it is a “rider” that, in various forms, has been routinely attached to annual appropriations bills since 1976.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyde_Amendment

      • objv says:

        Duh, I just realized that Goldwings are made by Honda. That just about sums up my affinity for motorcycles.

      • objv says:

        Sassy, you know as well as I do that congress did not know all of the provisions that had made it in the final piece of legislation.

        Look, at the mess in front of the supreme court right now. The ACA had language which prohibited setting up a federal exchange – only state exchanges.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Cherry picking and deflecting your narrative yet again OV. No one here needs a tutorial on the Hyde Amendment much less a questionable slant from you. Everyone else here is noting how it was surreptitiously modified to include that provision which is not in doubt except for a few feeble protestations by Cornyn, and you of course. Weak.

        And who said anything about THIS blog? I’m talking about your sockpuppets on the chron. And you can lie all you want, you know the truth, I know the truth, and since you are such a preening “religious” person, your Maker knows the truth. And I noticed you deflected and did not even deny your banned ID LoboUSA.

      • objv says:

        Bubba, Ha! Paranoia strikes again. I am not the Goldwinger or the Lobo identity. The profiles I listed are the only ones I’ve used. I’ve never been banned so I continued to use the ObjectiveView profile after the SubjectiveView profile made a brief appearance on the chron. I like using one identity.

        I have not contributed to anything on the chronicle for quite awhile. In fact, since I’ve moved, I haven’t even been reading the chronicle regularly.

        I am a Christian although I can’t claim to be a good Christian. I do feel that many times unfair things are said about religious people and I need to stand up for them and correct inaccuracies attributed to the Bible.

        I hate liars and feel I have been consistently truthful about my life. When my daughter met tthor through work, I was very happy I had never misrepresented anything about myself.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        objv says:
        March 12, 2015 at 10:17 am
        “Sassy, you know as well as I do that congress did not know all of the provisions that had made it in the final piece of legislation. Look, at the mess in front of the supreme court right now. The ACA had language which prohibited setting up a federal exchange – only state exchanges.”

        Wow do you never quit OV? So you can speak for all of the Supreme Court Justices AND the architects of the ACA?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Obl…not to get mixed into all this personal crap, but I would point out that you wrote:

        “This is all a tempest in a teapot brewed up to attack Republicans who had sought to help victims.”

        That is a remarkable thing to say about something that was added by Republicans and then conveniently left out of a document outlining the changes to the bill.

        I get that you can be kinda partisan, but man, those are some very thick binders.

      • objv says:

        Homer:

        The language of the bill had been static since January and available to be read.

        Again, the Hyde Amendment was commonly added to many bills including the ACA . As noted, the Hyde Amendment had exceptions for rape and would therefore not prohibit an abortion caused by trafficking.

        What other explanation can there be? Democrats saw this as a way to smear Republicans realizing that the public would not know what was in the Hyde Amendment.

        I’ll let you have the last word. I’ve got to run. Bye-bye for now. 🙂

      • bubbabobcat says:

        More dead horses brutalized by OV and more willful ignorance to stubbornly cling to an patently untenable and factually incorrect position.

        Not that facts matters with OV’s surgically implanted blinders (to further the equine metaphors) but here is the full story verbatim one more time UN-cherry picked by OV:

        Here is a COMPLETE synopsis of BOTH sides of the debate from my link:

        “Republicans argue that the rider has been in there all along, and that senators should have read the bill. Democrats counter that when Cornyn introduced the current version of the bill, he did not make clear all of the ways in which it differed from the earlier version. Rather, Democrats say, Cornyn pitched it as simply a reintroduction of the measure from the previous Congress, which did not have the abortion rider.

        ‘A list was sent to certain members saying, “Here are the changes from last year.” This provision was not listed among them,’ said Judiciary Committee member Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) Tuesday.

        ‘Senator Cornyn’s language, restricting needed, legal health care for women, was not included in the trafficking package the Judiciary Committee reported last year. I regret that Senator Cornyn put it in his new legislation this year,’ said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), ranking member on the committee.”

        One more time, that is why you neither engender nor deserve any respect whatsoever OV.

      • way2gosassy says:

        “Look, at the mess in front of the supreme court right now. The ACA had language which prohibited setting up a federal exchange – only state exchanges.”

        Once again OV you don’t even know what you are talking about. The “mess” before the Supreme Court is about 4 words pertaining to the “subsidies” and had absolutely nothing to do with prohibiting the establishment of the exchanges.

        http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/07/us-usa-court-obamacare-idUSKBN0IR1Z720141107

      • objv says:

        Sure, if you want to put it that way, Sassy, there is no prohibition against setting up a federal exchange. The problem is that only people in state exchanges are allowed under the language of the law to have subsidies.

        The Obama administration and Democrats wanted the law to be written that way initially. They never figured that some states would not set up exchanges. Of course, they felt that they could change the course and ignore what they had put into the law. Jonathan Gruber, Obamacare architect said the American public is stupid. They felt they could get away with it.

        Now, the health insurance of around five million people is up in the air. It’ll be interesting to see how the Supreme Court rules.

      • objv says:

        Neigh, neigh, bubba. No horses were harmed.

        The Democrats response was the equivalent of “my dog ate my homework.” They had almost two months to read the bill in its final form. Shouldn’t anyone, including their aides, have read it before the time it came up for vote?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        So OV you are acknowledging that your beloved Republican wingnuts are devious lying assholes to never be trusted on their word when they submitted the changes from the previous versions to the Democrats?

        Painted yourself in a corner with your sub 8th grade logic OV and obstinate wingnuts do no wrong fantasy delusions.

      • objv says:

        Bubba, don’t be a schmuck. The Hyde Amendment was commonly added to bills and was more or less boilerplate language. Since there were provisions for rape, no victim of trafficking would be prohibited from having an abortion caused by the conditions that she was under while controlled the control of the trafficker. Why you guys are getting so worked up and hysterical about this is beyond belief.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        OV you are a consummate fact challenged willfully blind partisan hack and you have some chutzpah to cast aspersions as to who is a schmuck.

        The only way you can cling to your desperate convoluted wingnut partisan attack “politics” is to delude yourself to fit your hate narrative and ignore all facts and basic logic (8th grade level or otherwise).

        It doesn’t matter how “common” the Hyde Amendment was utilized nor where it was applied. It is not FACTUALLY in dispute that the Amendment was NOT in the original draft of this bill and was subsequently slipped in surreptitiously and Cornyn even went so far as to subversively implement the deviously deceitful tactic of notifying the Democrat leadership of the changes, WITHOUT including the change to include the Amendment language.

        So again, OV has stubbornly doubled down yet inadvertently demonstrated she can only cling to her partisan wingnut stance by confirming that her fellow Republican wingnuts in Congress are all lying devious assholes to never be trusted. And she’s ok with that. Which is not the least bit surprising.

  11. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    I hate starting a posting with “Just to be fair”, but…

    Just to be fair, in 2007 House Speaker Pelosi flew to Syria to meet with President Assad, and the Bush administration was furious about that meeting because its strategy at the time was to isolate Assad as punishment for his alleged aid to Iraqi insurgents fighting against U.S. forces. The right-wing (and mainstream) media hit Pelosi hard, and I think you might notice some familiar words…

    Wall Street Journal: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may well have committed a felony in traveling to Damascus this week, against the wishes of the president, to communicate on foreign-policy issues with Syrian President Bashar Assad.”

    Cheney: “The president is the one who conducts foreign policy, not the speaker of the House.”

    Congressman King: The Speaker of the House is not the President of the United States. Nancy Pelosi does not represent the Administration. In fact, her policy positions seek to contravene the foreign policy of the United States. Nancy Pelosi, by defying the specific request of the administration to refrain from traveling to Syria, blatantly infringed upon the Constitutional duties of the President. Additionally, I believe her trip was the most blatant violation of the Logan Act by a top elected official in the history of our country. . . . Nancy Pelosi thinks it’s her job to conduct foreign policy in defiance of the President. She is wrong on the Constitution and wrong on the law.

    National Review: “there isn’t much question that Speaker Pelosi has committed a felony violation of the Logan Act. It is settled beyond peradventure that the authority of the United States over the conduct of foreign relations rests exclusively with the executive branch. So the Bush administration is in charge of foreign relations. It has a policy of attempting to isolate the rogue Syrian regime of Bashar Assad. Far from authorizing Speaker Pelosi’s visit with Assad, the president asked her not to go. Pelosi went anyway, and proceeded to embarrass herself and our nation by meddling ineptly in the Syrian/Israeli conflict, concurrently giving the despicable Assad just the lifeline our policy has sought to deny him. As the Logan Act goes, it doesn’t get more black-and-white than that.

    Speaker Pelosi herself said: The trip “is a clear sign the newly empowered Democratic Congress is not going to abide by the notion that foreign policy is the sole province of the White House.”

    There are a half dozen examples of Democrats doing something goofy like this. Most of them involve a Senator or two traveling to a region in which we are trying to drop bombs.

    I guess a difference is that this is 47 senators, as a group, doing something during active negotiations. Is that a subtle difference or a big difference? Your position on that question probably has something to do with your political leanings.

  12. texan5142 says:

    Another instance of how you know you’ve lost.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/03/louisiana-republicans-revolt-over-bobby-jindals-insane-allegiance-to-grover-norquist/

    According to Morris, officials in Jindal’s administration had warned lawmakers during a recent Republican retreat that any attempt to reduce tax credits for businesses would have to be approved by Norquist’s group.

    “The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR), in speaking to a group of legislators where I was present, plainly stated, in no uncertain terms, that the administration won’t agree with any proposal which doesn’t get the seal of approval from ATR and the Governor will veto any proposals that don’t have the ATR’s approval,” Morris noted.

    • 1mime says:

      Jindal has sold off practically all of Lousiana’s assets. While a $1.6B deficit looms, Jindal is also cutting $211 million from higher ed (a GOP trend….Wisconsin anyone?).

      Jindal is proposing the sale of the rights to the tobacco settlement (already sold off 60%, proposing sale of remaining 40%), and this from a state that ranks at the bottom educationally and in per capita income…

      http://theadvocate.com/news/11819680-123/state-treasurer-warns-against-tobacco
      “Any farmer knows it’s a bad idea to sell your seed corn because then you can’t plant next year’s crop,” Kennedy said. “By selling the rest of the tobacco settlement, we’ll be adding to the structural deficit in the budget. We should fix the budget, not sell off yet another taxpayer asset like a junkie selling his TV or smartphone to buy another fix.”

  13. vikinghou says:

    The usual right-wing neocon pundits (e.g., Bill Kristol) are trying to justify the letter by saying in a panic that Tehran controls several Middle Eastern capitals, they’re more powerful than ever and it’s Congress’ responsibility to address the threat.

    Well, who can we thank for giving us this situation?? Could it be Bush and Cheney and our excellent Iraq adventure? These people have no credibility left. Why do we even listen to them? Why can’t they just go away?

  14. RobA says:

    Finally, someone gets it!

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6843204

    It was OBAMAS fault that Cotton sent the letter. Makes perfect sense now.

    Just like how women always complain about being raped when THEIR the ones wearing those short skirts all the time.

    And they also wouldn’t get beaten so much if they just stopped making their husbands mad.

    Exact same principle. People need to stop doing things that upset other people or they alone will be responsible for the outcome, no matter how destructive.

    • texan5142 says:

      Could not believe that when I read it this morning. What a putz

    • flypusher says:

      You know the Iranians are just loving this. Airing all the toxic waste covered laundry is not good for the USA’s negotiating position.

      • RobA says:

        of course they are.

        We’re in the middle of a high stakes poker game, and our friends annoying kid just came in, looked at our hand, and said out loud “so, is two kings a good thing or bad thing?”

      • 1mime says:

        Rob A – “So, is two kings a good thing…”

        Ha! Not good enough – 47 “kings” are way better

      • flypusher says:

        Rob, I think that may be the best analogy of all for this incident.

      • vikinghou says:

        Your analogy reminded me of the TV ad during which a family in a car is pulled over by an officer for speeding. The officer asks the father “Do you know how fast you were going?” The little boy in the back seat yells “85!”

    • flypusher says:

      “And they also wouldn’t get beaten so much if they just stopped making their husbands mad.”

      You speak more truly than you might have realized. We have brain-dead conservative state legislators dropping pearls of wisdom like this:

      http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/03/23/wisconsin-lawmaker-you-are-being-beaten-just-remember-things-you-love-about-your/

      And some righties still don’t get why the “war on women” meme didn’t go away just because they denied it was real.

    • 1mime says:

      RobA – “short skirts, making husbands mad” …..just the tip of the iceberg in Georgia!

      Georgia is gonna put an end to all this liberal nonsense with a new bill that runs the gamut (pardon the pun). It will hopefully be challenged, but why do conservatives continue down this adjudicated road? Been there, done that, pander, pander, pander…It’s getting worse and worse. Almost like there’s a contest to see who can file the most extreme legislation, all under the guise of religious freedom. What a crock!

      Restaurants could refuse to serve gay or interracial couples, city clerks could refuse to marry interfaith couples, hotels could keep out Jews, housing developments could keep out black people (Genesis 9:18-27), pharmacies could refuse to dispense birth control, banquet halls could turn away gay weddings, schools could specifically allow anti-gay bullying, and employers could fire anyone for any “religious” reason.

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/13/georgia-bill-helps-wife-beaters.html

      http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20152016/SB/129

  15. johngalt says:

    This is from the Daily Beast, so take it with a grain of salt, though the article was largely praising those GOP senators who did not sign.
    “Republican aides were taken aback by what they thought was a light-hearted attempt to signal to Iran and the public that Congress should have a role in the ongoing nuclear discussions. Two GOP aides separately described their letter as a “cheeky” reminder of the Congressional branch’s prerogatives.”

    Talk about your miscalculation.

    • Turtles Run says:

      “cheeky” – is that what we are starting to call negotiations to stop the proliferation of nuclear arms.

    • RobA says:

      Even if it was in fact “cheeky” (which is the understatement of the year) they’d still be wrong.

      Regardless of what they think, congress should not have any input in ongoing negotiations. The constitution pretty clearly authorizes the president alone to negotiate treaties. Now, if they say they want to ratify it, that’s a little different.

      But how can a body so divided they can barely fund government be expected to have any input whatsoever on international negotiations?

    • Firebug2006 says:

      It was the next line that got me: “The administration has no sense of humor when it comes to how weakly they have been handling these negotiations,” said a top GOP Senate aide.

      So pipe down, everybody. They were only trying to give the ayatollahs a good laugh. It was just a joke, with our President as the punchline.

    • 1mime says:

      JG “…“cheeky” reminder of the Congressional branch’s prerogatives.”

      Me thinks they used the wrong part of the anatomy……………

  16. johngalt says:

    Are you getting closer Chris?

    • lomamonster says:

      John – I would imagine that Chris will not take anyone up on the suggestions that he change allegiance to the GOP. Rather, he is in the unique position to be able to serve us all by maintaining his political stance as is and continue to educate himself and communicate that experience fully to the astonishment and wonder of his readership. It is a marvelous piece of work that I would hope not be so abruptly abandoned with premature conclusions of any kind.

      What would we do without such a quest for truth? I think it would get mighty quiet around here, eh?

      • flypusher says:

        He’s fighting the good fight.

      • 1mime says:

        Chris does all those good things but he can’t be proud of the GOP….and, from reading his archived blogs, Chris has been watching the Republican Party in a downward spiral for a long time. How does an intelligent person remain loyal to a party which has lost its principles? He’s in a bad place, but the “blue wall” is struggling as well. But I like the things we struggle for and against.

    • goplifer says:

      No. Not getting closer to that. But on the other side of the 2016 fiasco, we may all be getting closer to this:

      http://www.illinoisobserver.net/2015/03/10/rauner-kirk-buck-party-call-immigration-reform-action-congress/

      • johngalt says:

        You’ve been smoking a little too much almost-but-not-quite-legal weed if you think that’s going anywhere. It’s relatively easy to support immigration reform in Illinois. To have a reasonable chance of passing anything, one of two things has to happen (1) you have to have a core of moderate GOPers join with the Dems or (2) there has to be a sea change of thinking amongst the neo-Confederates. Neither of these is going to happen. Post-2016, if things go the way you and many others are predicting, it won’t matter what the GOP does in the senate while House Republicans will double down on intransigence, leaving us pretty much where we are today.

      • MassDem says:

        I too have a dream…that the American people will suddenly tire of Republican shenanigans, and in 2016 vote in not only a Democratic president, but a solid Democratic majority in the House and Senate. And we will finally have immigration reform, plus many other good things.

        I think that my scenario is just as likely as yours. But your optimism warms my cold progressive heart!

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        MassDem…you might recall a time in 2009 where those conditions existed, and things were not much better.

        I don’t see a filibuster proof majority for anyone any time soon. Depending on the idiocy of the GOP candidates, the Democrats might, maybe, flip the Senate, but no way in the House.

        Unbridled Democrats generally wouldn’t be a good thing.

        A majority of Democrats working with a gang of moderate Republicans would be a good thing (and a majority of moderate Republicans working the conservative Democrats wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world), but sadly, there does not appear to be a large or powerful enough gang of moderate Republicans.

      • RobA says:

        MassDem – I too hope the Dems wipe the floor with the GOP in embarressing fashion. Not because I think things will be gumdrops and lollipops with Dem majorities. In fact, I think that is very unhealthy for the country.

        But because I think that’s what it will take for the GOP to get rid of the lunatic tea party groups, who will surely form their own party. Without that anchor dragging them ever more to the right, the GOP will be able to assume their natural position closer to the right, and provide a (sensible) counterbalance to the dems.

        THAT’S what is healthiest for America. Two strong parties that majority sit center-right and center-left, both filled with sane, smart, reasonable people who don’t consider the other side the enemy and who are able to compromise to get things done.

  17. way2gosassy says:

    In less than 24 hours this petition met and exceeded the 100,000 signature threshold to elicit a response from the White House http://wh.gov/iD4H8 since this petition appeared 7 more have been hosted and all appear posed to reach their respective thresholds as well. My inbox is full of petitions including some Independent and moderate right leaning sites.

    If they were looking for attention it looks like they will be getting it in spades and I don’t think it bodes well for any of them.

    • 1mime says:

      Hillary’s new volunteer list (-:

    • RobA says:

      I signed it.

      #91,089 baby!

    • 1mime says:

      John G…”Post-2016, if things go the way you and many others are predicting, it won’t matter what the GOP does in the senate while House Republicans will double down on intransigence, leaving us pretty much where we are today.”

      It’s all about GOTV. I concur with majority that the best chance in ’16 is to flip Senate (it would be nice to gain filibuster proof majority) and win presidency. GOP has a probable lock on House at least through next census, which, unless they mess with that process (which they are working on), should blunt some of the gerrymandered districts.

      America’s democracy is best served with a true “checks and balance”. Let’s hope that in addition to a strong Dem turnout in ’16, someone in the conservative four of SCOTUS either decides they just can’t take it anymore or develops a malady.

      Until or unless change occurs, the American people will suffer as with our nation. AND, we still haven’t gotten GOP approval for raising a clean debt ceiling or funding for the Highway Traffic Admin.

      Talk about a piecemeal process (I can’t bear to use the word governing…so inappropriate to reality).

    • 1mime says:

      Fly/Reason.com: ” As a basic principle, I think presidents should be defied by Congress more often, and that Congress should play a much more vigorous role in the oversight of diplomacy and the waging of war ”

      And, as a basic principle, Congressional defiance should observe Constitutional protocols. The Pres is working within a timeline set by Congress to conclude diplomatic efforts with Iran. He has asked them to allow him to finish the process before taking further action. What could be more appropriate than this? What these 47 Senators, plus McConnell did, has no precedent in American history.

      This was never about Iran; this is always about embarrassing Obama. That is not noble. That is abusive.

      BTW, I liked Biden’s quote “There are certain things worth getting mad about.” I feel the same way.

      • flypusher says:

        ” that Congress should play a much more vigorous role in the oversight of diplomacy and the waging of war ”

        Too bad they didn’t do that back in late 2002/ early 2003.

        Yes Biden did oppose Reagan, but he was pushing legislation in Congress rather than writing letters to foreign heads of state, in an attempt to badmouth the President. I think history shows that Biden was in the right here (apartheid was dreadful and the sanctions did have an effect) and he did things the right way.

      • RobA says:

        Well said 1mime.

        No one anywhere is even remotely suggesting Obama (or ANY oresident) be above scrutiny/critique/defiance etc.

        That’d important for a healthy democracy.

        But there are right ways to do it and wrong ways, and I can’t think of a much more wrong way then we saw yesterday.

        I wonder how out of touch GOP senators are that they allowed a freshman senator to headline such an unprecedented move. Did no one counsel him and say “look, this is the wrong move and even if it wernt, you’re the wrong guy to do it”.

        Some of these senators have been there for decades. How could they let some guy barely wet behind the ears come in and break protocol so severely? You’d think they’d have more respect for the institution then that.

  18. lomamonster says:

    The biggest threat to the Constitution will be recognized as meddling from the GOP, and a consequence of it will be to embroil us in war. It is the most irresponsible affront to this nation ever evidenced, and it should be dealt with severely. The clown car just ceased to be funny.

  19. RobA says:

    OT but anybody that ever says the far right isn’t the refuge of the stupid, show them this link:

    http://www.amazon.com/Rush-Revere-American-Revolution-Time-Travel/dp/1476789878/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

    Yep, it’s an actual book written by Rush Limbaugh where he relives the American revolution as the protagonist Rush Revere (and his trusty wisecracking horse Liberty).

    Not only is it incomprehensible that there is more then 5 adults in America interested in reading this, it’s $%#@! part three! Which of course means that not only did part 1 and 2 exist, but they were so succesful that they warranted sequels.

    It is terrifying that the people that actually would go out of their way to buy this are also the people that are most politically active in the United States.

    • 1mime says:

      Rushie Poo is still trying to woo the 24-54 age bracket…..

    • 1mime says:

      RobA – How could they let some guy barely wet behind the ears come in and break protocol so severely?

      Because the veteran senators knew better than to put themselves out there. Cotton needs the ego-boost and clearly didn’t learn much at Harvard about thinking deeply before acting stupidly. So much for an elite higher education degree. Plus, the leader of the Senate – McConnell – signed on….who, from day one, has had it in for Pres. Obama.

  20. 1mime says:

    This quote from the NYT today says it all:

    “Eric Schultz, the deputy White House press secretary, told reporters traveling with Mr. Obama on Air Force One to an education event in Atlanta. “We have one president at a time in the United States.”

  21. 1mime says:

    Fly: Rubio did?? Dammit!!!’ I thought he was one of the smart ones.

    Rubio wants to be President too badly. He has sold his soul. He backtracked on immigration, and he will sign onto anything that helps him get closer to his goal.

  22. Griffin says:

    Nothing the GOP does makes sense because it’s barely a political party anymore just an outlet for rage. Specifically the rage of Southern social conservatives. In many ways those people may actually like being out of power because it makes them feel victimized and makes the “enemy” more clear. While they think they desire power they don’t really seem to know what to do with it once they get it, they just go for random policies based on gut instinct but that’s it. If the GOP leaders capitalize on this then maybe they won’t have the White House but they’ll keep their comfortable places as Southern legislatures and will increasingly isolate the south from the rest of the nation without making it official, and to a degree that’s all the South’s ever wanted (until they need funding, of course).

  23. BigWilly says:

    What more can I say?

    • 1mime says:

      Big W, I couldn’t watch it very long. But, long enough. What can I say.

    • RobA says:

      This was all too familiar to me. My father was a huge John Hagee fan. This is the kind of garbage I grew up listening too.

      This is why we need to keep christian fundamentalists out of the presidency at all costs. These people would look at WW3 as a great thing, a sure sign that Jesus is about to come back any moment to reclaim his faithful.

      To give a person like this the nuclear football would be a disaster.

  24. flypusher says:

    I can so clearly recall all the righties/GOPers who complained about the disrespect W got. Not hearing much from them right now.

    I must admit, the thought of those Senators being arrested for violating the Logan act is highly amusing. But also scary, have we had this much dysfunction since the pre-Civil War times??

  25. rightonrush says:

    LOL, Not to be out done by Jindal, dumbarse Perry wants to sign the letter. “Perry Says He Would Be ‘Honored’ To Sign Senate GOP Letter To Iran”
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/perry-iran-letter

  26. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    Thumbing their collective noses at Obama? check
    Being “tough” on Iran? check
    Earning condemnation from Iran? check

    These folks knew exactly what they were doing. This stuff plays to their base.

    Chris, I might have more respect for them if they made this decision as a conscious recognition that they won’t win the White House any time soon. It would still be horrible, but there would be a method to their madness.

    I believe they believe this is likely to help them win the White House. If they believe it, they think the American people are stupid, and sadly, they may be right.

    There is no political downside to this for the GOP. It might turn off folks like Lifer, but Lifer is still probably going to vote for Walker/Rubio in 2016. Meanwhile, this just fires up their base about taking their country back from Obama.

    • RobA says:

      I think you’re right Homer, but Jesus, at some point, you need to understand that not EVERYthing is about political gain. When you’re hurting the country significantly in international affairs, your wrong to do it, even if it helps politically.

      And I don’t think it actually helps. The lunatic fringe that loves this crap is firmly in the the GOP corner already. I don’t think by any stretch they gained any new fans from this move, and I would be surprised if they didn’t lose a whole bunch of swing votes.

      I think the entire GOP policy is strategically unsound. They’re playing up only to the crowd they already firmly own, and take from the braying masses that they’re on the right track. They think intensity is just as good as depth. But at the polls, doesn’t matter how big of a loudmouthed blowhard you are, you only get one vote. So while they’re thinking about how well their doing because so many right wing pundits are fawning over them, they don’t realize the moderate sing voter is terrified of them.

      It’s why they were so legitimately shocked in 2012, and why (I hope) they will be so in 2016. I do hope that after a crushing defeat in 2016, they will understand that the TP is a liability, and not a “base” and jettison them and come back to right of center where they belong.

      • flypusher says:

        “And I don’t think it actually helps. The lunatic fringe that loves this crap is firmly in the the GOP corner already. ”

        The adulation of the lunatic fringe looks like it’s one hell of a drug. Maybe schedule 1a.

      • 1mime says:

        Ha! Maybe they need a little Schedule 4 Valium to help ’em come down off the Schedule 1 stuff!

        (Thanks – I needed a laugh. This has been a heavy lift. Maybe I need some Schedule 4 stuff!)

      • 1mime says:

        RobA – Here’s the WSJ link on this subject. Read the comments section and you will be surprised at the vitriol coming from readers of a well-respected, conservative newspaper. I thought their reporting was pretty balanced on the subject, despite their acknowledged support of the Republican Party, except that they didn’t excoriate the 47 for their actions. Of course, simply subscribing to a sophisticated journal doesn’t make it’s readers smart, but it’s disappointing to see the level of vitriol is not much better informed nor rational than comments you see at other more mainstream news sources.

        http://www.wsj.com/articles/gop-senators-thrust-themselves-into-iran-talks-1425922142

      • RobA says:

        It wouldn’t let me see 1mmime, it’s paywalled.

        Are the commenters spewing vitriol at the GOP? If so, it would not surprise me. The WSJ is conservative, but typically not of the insane type that is coming out of he woodwork now.

      • 1mime says:

        RobA – WSJ, here’s another try: http://www.wsj.com/articles/gop-senators-thrust-themselves-into-iran-talks-1425922142

        The comments were more interesting than the prose (-: , but, no, although I didn’t read but about 30, most were blasting Obama. Two or three brave souls ventured to speak out in opposition to the 47 GOP Senators. Very one-sided.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        In case you guys weren’t aware, the WSJ is owned by Rupert Murdoch who also owns Fox. And if you think he doesn’t have editorial sway, you are in Pollyanna land. WSJ used to be a respectable paper.

  27. johngalt says:

    In two recent foreign policy cases, the GOP appears to be doubling down on decades of failure. Sanctions have utterly failed to get rid of the Castros and have just barely, perhaps, convinced the Iranians to negotiate (after having failed for at least 20 years). One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while hoping for a different outcome.

  28. 1mime says:

    A thoughtful piece from a well-respected and knowledgeable party on the history of American diplomatic efforts with Iran to today.

    Politico/Gary Sick: “By virtually every estimate, Iran has had the capability to produce a nuclear weapon for at least a decade. The predictions were wrong, not about Iran’s ability but about its willingness to use that capability to produce a weapon. The entire U.S. intelligence community and most of our allies — apparently including Israel — have concluded with high confidence that Iran has not made a decision to build a bomb.”

    Yet, the Republican Party in its obsession to crush President Obama, is endangering the best chance the world has had (and that includes ISRAEL) for Iranian cooperation! Wonderful article. Read and weep for what could be.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/03/iran-nuclear-program-negotiations-115877.html#ixzz3U0ZjWFiu

    • Crogged says:

      Something which needs to be mentioned every time, every time, every time, this issue comes up regarding nuclear weapons. There is already a nuclear power in the region, no other country has even one single device in their possession. Butt, possessing the power to annihilate the other countries, this one nation is concerned with its ‘security’. Is there no other way?

      • johngalt says:

        Israel has good reason to be worried about their security. They would not use their nuclear weapons in an unprovoked manner, they are more doomsday deterrents. Do you have the same confidence that Iran’s ayatollahs want a bomb for defensive reasons?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        No…Iran doesn’t want it for defensive reasons, but apparently they don’t want it all that bad to begin with (other than to join the cool kids club).

        Having one nuclear bomb doesn’t do you a lot of good. Would even the craziest ayatollah drop a bomb on one Israeli city knowing that it means the end of Iraq?

        Now, the random terrorist group might happily do that, but I’m not seeing nation/states wanting to go down that route (except for a few folks here in the US).

      • flypusher says:

        Methinks Iran noticed the different outcomes for fellow “axis of evil”TM members that did (North Korea) and did not (Iraq) have nukes.

        And definitely the bomb is quite the status symbol in developing countries.

    • Crogged says:

      If the country with 100 nuclear weapons had 200 more and their enemies none, would they feel any more secure? Israel must stop the illegal settlements in Palestine and make real efforts to establish the Palestinian state or this will never end.

      • johngalt says:

        You’re right that Israel needs to square things with the Palestinians and that the unresolved problems here give Arab regimes (figurative) ammunition to attack Israel. But I’m afraid you’re wrong if you think an Israel-Palestine settlement will end the Middle East problems. Arab victimization has centuries-deep roots and is not going away because Palestine becomes a real country.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Arab victimization and anger didn’t go away in the Partition when Jordan was created as the homeland for the displaced Palestinians simultaneously with the creation of Israel as a homeland for the Jews. The Partition was clunky, hubrisitic, imperialistic, condescending and clueless of local passions, politics, and tensions, but it is what it is and that’s what we have now for better or worse. The all or nothing zero sum attitude of both sides hasn’t helped to develop a reasonable solution and peace for 67 years and counting.

  29. Crogged says:

    It is quite strange that the party which always claims the other is ‘run’ by Hollywood would adopt the script for a Rambo movie for a foreign policy. Below GG reported a comment from a Brit, and it is very true. Don’t we recognize the danger from having someone who ‘believes’ in odd interpretations of ancient language which completely ignores the thread of enlightenment which began in Western civilization over 400 years ago? We can’t determine our own destiny, our heath care system or how we deal with our humans on earth because of ancient texts of dubious origin? Our own version of a radical threaten civilization and the entire fucking planet, but, calm down, he’s wearing a suit, not a turban……

  30. vikinghou says:

    The GOP has hit rock bottom and has started to dig. The United States no longer has credibility as a negotiating partner among civilized nations. I have a fantasy that the four former Presidents would get together and write an open letter condemning this action.

    • Firebug2006 says:

      I have a similar fantasy, that all the heads of state of the P5 +1 nations would write an open letter. Ideally, upon successful conclusion of negotiations.

  31. rightonrush says:

    And another thing, I’ve never been a fan of Mitch McConnell but I had no idea he was that stupid to sign the letter. I don’t think I’ve seen Americans this riled up as they are about this act of what some say is treason.

  32. Creigh says:

    Republicans have long tried to cripple the government in pursuit of their limited government philosophy. But until now this tactic has been restricted to domestic policy. Now it seems foreign policy is fair game too.

  33. Anse says:

    What is most outrageous to me about this is that even though we have had heated arguments about foreign policy, it is incredibly damaging to the credibility of the United States for us to present a face of such disunity, not just to the Iranians, but to the world as a whole. The GOP has really blown this one to pieces. It’s astonishing. They’ve exposed to the world the wild instability that rests beneath the smoldering rhetoric of our partisan politics. Now that this stupid letter has been sent, how can any nation in the world take, at face value, that American foreign policy is coherent and will continue to be? How can our allies be certain that our foreign policy priorities will not be undermined by internal disagreements? Of course such disagreements exist in every country, but the GOP crossed a line here.

    • GG says:

      This is what a Brit posted on another blog.

      “We’re all thinking jesusfuckingchrist we know who we’d stop having nukes, and it ain’t Iran. It’s the country in which those maniacs who signed that letter live. Who wants THEM anywhere near WMDs?”

  34. rightonrush says:

    In all my years I have never seen such disrespect for a President. I have no words to explain the disgust I have for those 47 arseholes. Time to cut the party loose Chris and come to the light! Become an Indy!

  35. 1mime says:

    Lifer, thank you for your quick, honest, scathing response to the GOP letter to Iran. I have watched politics all my life, understanding its importance, being proud of it and disappointed by it. I am outraged at this latest blatant, dangerous decision by the GOP to intervene directly in diplomatic negotiations even knowing it was really all about insulting President Obama. GOP leadership knew about this and tacitly approved it by not stopping it. How could they be so stupid? How could they be so arrogant? How can they possibly think they will get away with it?

    This action was gut-wrenching, insulting, disrespectful, and dangerous for our nation. I am ashamed of our Congress and fear for the loss of respect for America world-wide. I am hurt for our President and our nation of laws and Democracy. And I will re-double my personal efforts to do everything within my power to remove the Republican Party in 2016.

    The GOP will profoundly regret this action.

    • Turtles Run says:

      “The GOP will profoundly regret this action.”

      No they won’t. The American people have notoriously short memories. That is if they are even paying attention to what is happening. The sad fact is these Senators will face no repercussions and the GOP will be able to use this incident to their benefit because to the base they were sticking it to Obama.

      • 1mime says:

        Turtles, I have to believe there will be fall out for this obscene action. If I can’t, my concept of equality, accountability and Democracy crumbles. What I have done is contact as many people as I can with relevant links that put this outrage into perspective. One of the links relates to the petition, which if nothing else, provides a constructive means to vent. I am talking to people with whom I interact, asking if they have heard about this and sharing my assessment.

        This is wrong and I refuse to accept it and I will do all I can to confront it. I also frequently submit letters to the editor. We each do what we can do and collectively, it adds up. Bottom line is I am not going to roll over on this and I hope others feel the same way. Democracy depends upon righteous outrage.

  36. The GOP will probably never hold the office of President again. Thank the Hart-Cellar act!

  37. Firebug2006 says:

    Lifer,
    Portman is not one of the seven. Thad Cochran, the senior senator from my fair state, was the seventh.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Thanks Firebug for the corroboration. I thought I read that somewhere. Glad to know I wasn’t hallucinating. Now I will backtrack from my backtrack and apologize to Thad Cochrane for accusing him of stabbing his Black electorate in the back after they secured his latest term of office for him.

    • goplifer says:

      That’s disappointing. List has been corrected. Thank you for posting that.

  38. bubbabobcat says:

    “It seems clear that many Republicans have lost their belief that the party can compete for the Presidency. No other logic explains their willingness to burn down the office itself.”

    There IS another explanation. The President is Black.

    From the “You Lie” outburst to the sarcastic clapping when Obama said he is not running for office anymore in the last SOTU speech to inviting the yahoo from Israel to this.

    Amazing that Obama has the composure to stay above it all.

    The idjit racist Republicans don’t even realize they are only further unwittingly burnishing Obama’s legacy in history as one of the greatest Presidents with their hateful petulant antics that do note faze him one bit.

    I can thank the wingnuts for that at least.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      I mistakenly thought that Thad Cochran from Mississippi also didn’t sign it and posted that on the previous blog and thought I read it on a NYT article but now I can’t find it anywhere.

      And totally disappointed Cochran stabbed in the back the black voters who saved his ass and put him in office against a wingnut Tea Party primary challenger last year.

    • RobA says:

      Don’t the repubs know that they look horribly manipulated by Bibi? He comes to tell the Congress jump, and the Senate says “how high?”

      Although, for anyone paying attention, Bibi is getting crushed in Israel since he came back, for endagnering Israels relationship with America for political gain. At least SOMEone still respects the office of the POTUS.

      As for Mr. Cotton, why does this not surprise me?

      https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/09/upon-launching-effort-scuttle-iran-deal-senator-tom-cotton-meets-defense-contractors/

      • 1mime says:

        Bibi was invited, RobA. He came, but the GOP extended the invitation in full awareness of the breach of protocal. I hold them responsible as well as Net. I hope he goes down in flames.

        As for Cotton, there aren’t words enough for my feelings about his actions. He probably has a great future in the GOP. He fits right in.

        This on Sen. Cotton’s donors. Note that the largest, Club for Growth, thanks to Citizens United, is a 501(c)4 organization. Sucks, doesn’t it.

        https://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00033363#cont

    • 1mime says:

      Well said, Bubba. Thank you. This has upset me deeply. It’s a new low for this GOP Congress and it saddens me for our President who day after day, has to put up with this insults. It is wrong and I hope to god they pay a price for it.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      bubbabobcat, you’re right.

  39. way2gosassy says:

    I respect that my two senators from Tennessee resolved not to sign on that letter but make no mistake they were hedging their bets on pulling some Democrats into voting for a bill that would tie the Presidents hands in negotiating a peaceful deal with Iran.

    By the way Chris we’ll leave the lights on for ya! The ship your on is sinking fast.

    • 1mime says:

      The only one of the seven who I felt was heart-felt in his decision to not sign this insulting letter, was Jeff Flake, AZ, who appears to be a very fine man and a good legislator. The rest waffled.

      • flypusher says:

        Collins has a pretty good track record of being level-headed IIRC.

      • 1mime says:

        Fly – “Collins has pretty good record of being level-headed.”

        Agree. Should have included her with Flake.

    • 1mime says:

      Sassy “The ship your on is sinking fast.”

      It hurts all of us, not just the dumb asses who signed it and the ones who allowed it (McConnell et al). It hurts our nation and our people.

  40. texan5142 says:

    They violated the Logan Act and should be punished accordingly.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logan_Act

    • way2gosassy says:

      There is a petition on Whitehouse.org to do just that.

    • 1mime says:

      Thanks, TX. there are two petitions on this subject. I signed both and sent the link to as many people on my list as I felt would follow up. At the very least, they will know what happened. There have to be consequences. This cannot stand.

    • 1mime says:

      This abridged comment on the subject to the WSJ: (Allan Drebin, commentator).

      Article I Section 8 – gives specific powers to Congress. Negotiating with foreign powers is not one of them.

      Article II Section 2 – gives the President the power to negotiate such treaties “with the advice and consent of the Senate”. The Senate must ultimately consent to treaties but does not have the power to intervene in negotiations.

      The Supreme Court has the power to overturn laws passed by Congress but cannot intervene while Congress is voting on a new law. They must wait until the law is passed and must wait for someone with standing to appeal the law.

      What the Republican senators have done puts all foreign negotiations at risk. They are telling a foreign power, “don’t deal with this president because maybe a newly elected president in 2016 will reverse this president’s decision.” But every president has a maximum term of 8 years. We cannot deal with foreign governments by telling them not to deal with a sitting president. These senators have put us all at risk by undercutting the authority of the president.
      Republicans have had control of the senate for less than three months. The precedent they are setting could destroy a country that has functioned well for nearly 240 years. We do not have a parliament. We have a constitution that clearly indicates the powers of three branches of government. If they want to participate they should follow the rules.

  41. Turtles Run says:

    Seems like these 47 Senators were just schooled in international law and the US Constitution by President Obama….wait a minute make that the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

    “Foreign Minister Zarif added that “I should bring one important point to the attention of the authors and that is, the world is not the United States, and the conduct of inter-state relations is governed by international law, and not by US domestic law. The authors may not fully understand that in international law, governments represent the entirety of their respective states, are responsible for the conduct of foreign affairs, are required to fulfil the obligations they undertake with other states and may not invoke their internal law as justification for failure to perform their international obligations.”

    The Iranian Foreign Minister added that “change of administration does not in any way relieve the next administration from international obligations undertaken by its predecessor in a possible agreement about Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.” He continued “I wish to enlighten the authors that if the next administration revokes any agreement with ‘the stroke of a pen,’ as they boast, it will have simply committed a blatant violation of international law.” He emphasized that if the current negotiation with P5+1 [Britain, China, France, Germany Russia and the United States] result in a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, it will not be a bilateral agreement between Iran and the US, but rather one that will be concluded with the participation of five other countries, including all permanent members of the Security Council, and will also be endorsed by a Security Council resolution.”

    http://iranprimer.usip.org/blog/2015/mar/09/part-ii-iran-responds-gop-letter

    • RobA says:

      I was about to post Zarif response, you beat me to it.

      Well written and constitutionally sound. Pretty sad when the Iranian foreign minister is schooling US senators is US constitutional law.

      The funny thing is, it makes a deal with Iran far more likely now. The GOP was going to introduce a bill that allowed them to veto anydeal, which would have veto proof support.

      No way in hell that happens now.

      GOP strategy again in action: “embarress obama at all costs!!”

      • way2gosassy says:

        And cut off their collective noses to boot.

      • GG says:

        Rob, I was about to post this exact same thing. It really does make me wonder how well-schooled these bozos are on the Constitution. Perhaps they “study” it and make their own “scholarly” conclusions like one particular previous poster who shall remain unnamed.

      • 1mime says:

        And, this is how Republicans govern.

      • texan5142 says:

        No, this is how narcissist govern.

    • RobA says:

      As well, the condesending tone of the letter is vintage far right GOP. Assume all brown people are uneducated savages. Never mind the fact that the majority of Iranian government leaders right now are US educated and very likely much smarter then the Tom Cottons of the world.

      • Stephen says:

        I knew Iranians in college. You are right many were educated in the U.S. and they are far from stupid.

    • flypusher says:

      “Seems like these 47 Senators were just schooled in international law and the US Constitution by President Obama….wait a minute make that the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.”

      That’s the most embarrassing part. I’m reminded of when one of my Belgian lab mates asked me what was up with the whole “freedom fries” thing (as French fries actually were invented in Belgium). My initial short answer was that ignorance and stupidity were no hindrance to getting elected to public office.

      Hell, in some places it’s become a bloody pre-requisite.

  42. stephen says:

    Well written Lifer. I hope people realize that unless we want another middle east war diplomacy is the answer. With Isis running amok right now Iran is currently in the best position to be receptive to diplomacy. Nukes will not protect from that kind of threat. As Jindal said we have become the stupid party.

    • 1mime says:

      Stephen:
      “As Jindal said we have become the stupid party.” Jindall also signed the open letter to Iran as did four of the current TOP presidential aspirants – Rubio, Cruz, Paul, Perry, (and Jindall). Stupid is as stupid does.

      • flypusher says:

        Rubio did?? Dammit!!!’ I thought he was one of the smart ones.

      • Stephen says:

        As I said we have become the stupid party. And I agree JIndal is not one of the exceptions. But what he said was true.

    • flypusher says:

      Tehran Tom is in favor of a preemptive invasion of Iran. So now we have people forgetting history that just happened. I think stupidly is about to pass hydrogen as the most abundant thing in the universe.

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