Tag: U.S. Armed Forces

Obama Administration bullying, and even bribing, businesses to stop criticizing TPP

The Obama Administration is doing everything possible to silence businesses and business leaders who oppose free-trade giveaways like the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In at least one documented instance (sources here, herehere, and below), the Obama Administration offered serious consideration for a Defense Department contract to a company if the company would quit publicly criticizing the TPP:

Scan0001
Email courtesy of Fight for the Future

New Balance, which manufacturers some of their sneakers in the United States, was offered serious consideration for a Defense Department contract to manufacture athletic shoes for members of the U.S. Armed Forces if New Balance executives shut up about how TPP would force companies like New Balance to compete with companies that manufacture in countries like Vietnam, whose minimum wage is the equivalent of 65¢/hour. Prior to being offered consideration for the contract, New Balance officials had been critical of TPP, but they backed off of their criticism of the TPP once the Defense Department considered them for a contract. Now, New Balance officials are renewing their fight against the TPP after they alleged that the Pentagon is intentionally delaying the purchase of shoes from New Balance.

If this is even remotely true, then this represents the kind of corrupt, Chicago-style machine politics that has no place anywhere in America.

Advertisements

DNC Superdelegate Jimmy Carter criticizes Hillary’s work as U.S. Secretary of State

Former President Jimmy Carter, who, by virtue of being a former president and a member of the Democratic Party, is a superdelegate at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, did not endorse a presidential candidate, but he did criticize one of the two Democratic presidential candidates who are currently seeking the party’s nomination on foreign policy:

Former President Carter says Hillary Clinton “took very little action” as secretary of State to bring about peace.

Carter, 89, made the remark about the former secretary of State and 2016 Democratic front-runner in a phone interview with Time magazine Wednesday night after he spoke at the Civil Rights Summit in Austin, Texas.

[…]

“In this occasion, when Secretary Clinton was Secretary of State, she took very little action to bring about peace. It was only John Kerry’s coming into office that reinitiated all these very important and crucial issues,” he said.

Carter isn’t the only person to bring Hillary’s foreign policy credentials into question. President Barack Obama, who is also an officially-neutral DNC superdelegate by virtue of being the incumbent president and a Democrat, recently said that he thought that his biggest mistake as president was the 2011 military intervention in Libya by U.S./NATO and other pro-NATO coalition forces. While it removed brutal dictator Muammar Gaddafi from power, the military intervention in Libya left Libya politically unstable and mired in a civil war. Also, let’s not forget that Hillary has publicly hailed her role in the military intervention in Libya as one of her chief accomplishments as U.S. Secretary of State.

If you want a real champion of peace in the White House, support Bernie Sanders for president!

While Democrats call for more debates, Republicans use veterans as political pawns

With her political firewall eroding, Hillary Clinton is now calling for another Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire on February 4, between the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire Primary. Not to be outdone by Hillary, Bernie Sanders called for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to sanction three debates in the later stages of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination:

Sanders’s campaign released a statement late Wednesday calling for additional debates in the Democratic primary, but with specific provisions.

The campaign is requesting one each in March, April and May. All three must not be scheduled on a Friday, Saturday or holiday, and all three must include Martin O’Malley along with Sanders and Clinton.

“If the Clinton campaign will commit to this schedule, we would ask the DNC [Democratic National Committee] to arrange a debate in New Hampshire on Feb. 4,” the statement said.

While Democrats are pushing the out-of-touch DNC into sanctioning more debates without using anybody as a political pawn, Republicans are offering more debates on their side of the ledger as a way of using those who served our country in uniform as political pawns. That all started over Donald Trump’s hissy fit about the fact that Megyn Kelly, a woman, will be the lead moderator of tonight’s FOX News Republican presidential debate in Iowa.

Two SuperPACs supporting Ted Cruz, Keep the Promise I and Keep the Promise II, offered to donate $1.5 million to charities supporting veterans if Trump and Cruz agree to a one-on-one debate before the Iowa Caucuses.

Not to be outdone by a Cruz SuperPAC, Carly Fiorina made a couple of offers to Trump, both of which would involve money being donated to veterans. The first offer involved a promise of a $1.5 million donation to veterans’ charities if Trump and Cruz agree to debate Fiorina in Sioux City, Iowa on Saturday, and the second officer involved a promise of a $2 million donation to veterans charities if Trump agreed to debate Fiorina at a Trump campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa scheduled for the same time as tonight’s debate.

While I normally appreciate donations to groups that seek to provide help to those who served our country in uniform (provided that they’re a reputable charity), using our nation’s veterans as political pawns is absolutely disgusting, and one of the lowest things I’ve ever seen in a presidential campaign. In fact, at least one veterans’ charity has already pre-emptively refused any money from a Trump event.

Obama Administration now trying to sabotage Bernie Sanders campaign

I’ve made no bones about how much I’ve come to despise the Obama Administration. In particular, President Obama has tried to cut Social Security benefits to retirees, and he’s fought to destroy American sovereignty by enacting free trade agreements that allow foreign countries to steal our jobs.

Now, the Obama Administration has really gone too far by blocking internet access to the official Bernie Sanders campaign website on military computers. This has been confirmed by multiple members of the U.S. Armed Forces and a group representing pro-Bernie veterans. For the Obama White House to block the campaign website of a presidential candidate on military computers is highly undemocratic and an impeachable offense for President Obama and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. I am calling for President Obama to issue an executive order requiring the Defense Department to allow access to all presidential and downballot campaign websites on military computers. Individual members of our Armed Forces can support any presidential candidate they want, but I will not tolerate political sabotage of any kind.

Interestingly, active-duty Armed Forces members can access the Hillary Clinton (D) and Donald Trump (R) campaign websites just fine. I think we know who Obama is backing…

SHOCK POLL: 20% of Democrats are open to the idea of supporting a military-led overthrow of the U.S. government

This might be the most disgusting opinion poll numbers I’ve ever seen in my life…29% of Americans, including a whopping 43% of Republicans and…believe it or not…20% of Democrats are open to the idea of our nation’s Armed Forces overthrowing the civilian government of the United States, according to a recent YouGov poll.

The mere idea of the military overthrowing the U.S. federal government is absolutely sickening, and any Democrat who supports such a hideous idea doesn’t belong in the party. Military coups are against every ideal of democracy and rule of law that I believe in. I firmly believe that a civilian government, whether it be a government of the people (i.e., direct democracy) or a government elected by the people (i.e., representative democracy), is the only truly democratic type of government. A military junta would put political power in the hands of a few warlords and would leave America far worse off than it is now.

CONFIRMED: Rand Paul is a paranoid conspiracy theorist

If Rand Paul hadn’t already gone completely off of the deep end, he has now.

Rand has publicly called for an investigation of the upcoming Jade Helm 15 U.S. military exercise in Texas and six other states after Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott called out the Texas State Guard because of right-wing nutjobs falsely claiming that Jade Helm 15 is a U.S. plot to invade Texas and take guns away from law-abiding Texans:

Rand Paul, presidential candidate, announced in a recent interview that he is looking into the conspiracy theories surrounding the upcoming US military exercise Jade Helm 15. The gullible and paranoid citizens of rural Texas are up in arms over the wide scope training mission after a map which revealed Texas labelled as “hostile” territory appeared on the Internet. The map was held up by internet conspiracy theorists and delusional nutjobs as proof that the federal government was going to impose “martial law” and take their guns away.

Jade Helm 15 is a simulation, utilizing the rough terrain of the Southwest to mimic tactical conditions of foreign countries where US troops might see action. As it is a simulation, a portion of army units will be playing the role of the “bad guys”, and that is where the hostile designation comes into play.

The paranoia has grown to the point where Governor Abbott of Texas has deployed a state militia to “monitor the situation” and make sure that Texan constitutional rights were not infringed. The idea is so ludicrous that it is really quite baffling to see not only an elected official but a presidential candidate give credibility to the nonsense.

Yes, you’re reading that correctly: Greg Abbott, the Governor of Texas, thinks that the U.S. military is trying to invade his state, which is part of the U.S., and Rand is going to bat for Abbott and his base of right-wing lunatics.

While there’s an online map showing Texas and Utah in “hostile” territory and an “insurgent pocket” in an area of Southern California roughly corresponding to San Diego, Imperial, Orange, and Riverside Counties, the map is only for the purposes of the military training exercise (I’m surprised it’s publicly available online, to be honest with you). To put that another way, Texas and Utah are NOT areas that are officially hostile to the U.S., there is NO anti-U.S. insurgency going on in Southern California, and the map simply serves as a simulation for the members of our nation’s armed forces who will be taking part in the training exercise. Rand and Abbott are out of their damn minds to believe that the U.S. is invading its own territory.

Why I’m calling for both of Wisconsin’s U.S. Senators to resign from office immediately

I am officially calling for U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D) and Ron Johnson (R), both of Wisconsin, to resign from office immediately. In both cases, it involves their role in a scandal involving opiate pain pills being overprescribed at a Veterans Affairs medical facility in Tomah, Wisconsin, which I will refer to in subsequent paragraphs of this blog post as the Tomah VA.

Marquette Baylor, a former staffer for Baldwin who was fired as part of an apparent political damage control operation by Baldwin and her chief of staff, Bill Murat, recently filed an ethics complaint against Baldwin with the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics, a six-member committee with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans. Baylor is claiming that Baldwin made “false statements and misrepresentations” as part of a political cover-up in a desperate attempt to protect Baldwin’s own political career and Murat’s career. It appears to me that Baylor was fired after the corporate media exposed Baldwin sitting on information about drugs being overprescribed at the Tomah VA, and that Baylor was fired because Baldwin and Murat were looking for a scapegoat.

While the far-right corporate media in Wisconsin has almost entirely fixated on Baldwin’s role in the Tomah VA scandal in an obvious example of right-wing bias, Wisconsin’s other U.S. Senator, Ron Johnson, has also been implicated in the Tomah VA scandal. About a month and a half ago, Daniel Bice of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that Johnson’s aides sat on information about drugs being overprescribed at the Tomah VA. While Johnson and his staffers have tried to make U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) their scapegoat, Bice’s report made it clear to me that Johnson’s staffers sat on information about drugs being overprescribed at the Tomah VA.

Calling for the resignation of elected officials is something I take very seriously. The fact that Senators Baldwin and Johnson failed veterans and sat on information about dangerous practices in the health system that serves those who served our nation in uniform for far too long is more than enough for me to call for them to resign from office immediately and without delay. Senators Baldwin and Johnson are a disgrace to their home state of Wisconsin and to America.

Rand Paul, who criticizes Democrats for being war hawks, is trying to declare war on ISIS

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who is trying to find a way to run for re-election to the U.S. Senate and run for president simultaneously despite being legally prohibited from doing so in his home state of Kentucky, tried to get an Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) against the Islamic militant group ISIS (also known as ISIL and Islamic State) attached to a completely unrelated bill pushed through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Paul pulled his proposal in exchange for a vote on an AUMF against ISIS before the new Congress is sworn into office next month:

A surprise move by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is driving action on an issue that many in Congress, and the White House, were hoping to punt into the next year: war.

Paul tried to force a vote on legislation declaring war against Islamic State militants during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Thursday. He offered his measure as an amendment to an unrelated water bill about to get voted out of the committee.

After hearing loud resistance from fellow Republicans, who urged more time for debate on the matter, the Kentucky senator pulled his proposal. But he had achieved what he actually wanted: a promise from the chairman, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), to schedule a broader debate on the issue next week, along with a vote on a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) on Wednesday.

This is the same Rand Paul who once criticized Hillary Clinton, the former U.S. Secretary of State who is one of several individuals who are considering running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, for being a war hawk. While it is an indisputable fact that Hillary is a war hawk, Rand Paul is a total hypocrite for complaining about Democrats being war hawks when he’s trying to declare war against ISIS.

President Obama just got this country into another Vietnam

In an official address to the nation, President Barack Obama announced that U.S. forces will carry out air strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in Syria.

While President Obama promised that there will be no ground troops in Iraq or Syria, I seriously doubt that the president would hold to that promise for long. In fact, I think that the president just got this country into yet another Vietnam.

While I support humanitarian aid to those fleeing ISIS’s wrath and counterterrorism efforts to prevent ISIS from pulling off a terrorist attack on U.S. soil (so as long as said counterterrorism efforts don’t violate the U.S. Constitution), any kind of war with ISIS, whether it be an air war, a ground war, or a combination of both, is, more than likely, going to bog this country down in another long, drawn-out war, similar to the Vietnam War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I firmly believe that ISIS is an extremely dangerous organization that intends, through violence, to destroy everything they consider a enemy, including the United States of America, in fact, they are the most extreme Islamic fundamentalist organization that I’ve ever seen in my life. However, the U.S. becoming involved in a war with ISIS would, more than likely, be a big mistake.