Friday, August 03, 2012

Calling them Out

Could it possibly be the case that at long last some of the worst offenders might be called to justice? Take the case of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, for example, the racist, obnoxious, publicity mad Sheriff of Arizona who has terrorized the Hispanic and prison communities for years. Finally he is being sued by the Justice Department for a whole host of civil rights violations. I cannot believe he will not be found guilty of all charges.

Then there is the case of Grover Norquist, the strange nobody who somehow managed to be important to the Republican Party, mainly by blackmailing prospective Congresspersons into signing a ridiculous pledge to never, under any circumstances, even national emergencies, agree to any tax increases. Steve LaTourette, a retiring Republican Congressperson, has now finally called him out as someone who basically just peddles “crap,” that has harmed our nation. LaTourette, now free of the restraints of office, has also likened Congress to the status of “alcoholics” who have yet to admit they have finally reached the absolute bottom of their disastrous fall before they can begin to recover. Actually, I think La Tourette is wrong about this, they have reached bottom a long time ago, and refuse to recognize it.

The case of Mitt Romney is another interesting situation. Harry Reid, the soft-spoken leader of the Senate, has called him out on his taxes. Reid claims to have been informed by a reliable source, that Mitt may not have paid any taxes at all for a ten year period, and thus should have to release his tax records for those years. This is most unlike the mild-mannered Reid who swears he is quoting a very reliable source. Romney is now in a bind and will probably lose either way. If he continues to refuse to offer his tax records everyone will assume he has something to hide. If he does release them no one knows what they may reveal, but whatever it is it will not reflect well on Romney. Of course he can always claim he paid all the taxes the law requires, but that will only expose how completely the tax code is written to favor the wealthy in the first place. It may well prove to be true he has always paid all the taxes the law requires but that itself may prove his undoing. In any case let’s watch how he tries to explain a $70,000 business deduction for his wife’s dressage horse.

An interesting situation on Sudan has arisen. Christiane Amanpour, one of my favorite foreign correspondents, asked the Sudanese Ambassador if Sudan was prepared to turn over their President, Omar al-Bashir, for war crimes (he has already been accused). His reply was, I believe, priceless. Yes, he said, but only if Britain is prepared to hand over Blair, and the U.S. is going to hand over George W. Bush. Right on! I don’t believe war criminals should be spared no matter where they are found, but, alas, that’s not the way it works. Bush might be able to plead for leniency on the grounds of limited mental capacity, but not so Dick the Slimy, who deserves no mercy whatsoever for his deliberate and premeditated crimes.

Kudos to Australia for rejecting the suggestion from one of the many conservative U.S. “think tanks” that the U.S. should position a Nuclear Aircraft Carrier Strike Group somewhere off the coast of West Australia. They do not want to alienate China, their major trading partners, but leave it to our local nitwits for another stupid suggestion. Oh, I forgot, China, to whom we are indebted up to our eyeballs, is a “bad” communist nation, but we are a “good” democracy. Maybe that’s wrong, maybe China is a good communist nation and it is Cuba that is bad, I just can’t keep up with these things.

Finally, when it comes to calling people out, perhaps Benjamin Netanyahu is getting the treatment he deserves. “Bibi,” as he is known to those who love him, as well as those who hate him, keeps calling for the U.S. to attack Iran, and threatens that Israel may do it unilaterally, in spite of the fact that he knows Iran is not building a nuclear bomb, his own military is opposed to such a ridiculous move, the U.S. is opposed to it, most Israeli citizens are opposed to it, Iran is not “an existential threat” to Israel, and his fears are basically groundless. Why does he continue to do this? Why not, he’s an absolutely spoiled brat of a leader who has been allowed to dictate American foreign policy in the Middle East for years, with the complete support of the U.S. Congress, no questions asked, no crimes too egregious, no excuse more feeble or obscure. President Obama, rather than imposing more and more sanctions on Iran to placate Bibi, should impose sanctions on Israel for their repeated violations of international law and human decency but, of course, he cannot, Bibi reigns supreme, he can do no wrong.

The hare-brained chatter of irresponsible frivolity.

Benjamin Disraeli

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