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Priceless. Republicans are imploding like exploding chickens on Skyrim.

Yes. It is true. John McCain missed a critical Senate Intelligence hearing behind closed doors, to hold a press conference referred below, to complain we needed a special committee to get the truth on Benghazi. Senator Collins, who was also on the committee, and who was also in the briefing, said it was funny that McCain would miss such an opportunity to get the full facts from all sources.

The AP is reporting that the story told publicly about the riots being over the movie, was to stall Al Qaeda and the terrorists from knowing what we knew. In essence, it was done to throw a smokescreen across our spy system, buying time to make adjustments in personal who had been compromised by the attack…

It is all McCain needed to know. It shuts down the entire Republican attack. It shows that Obama is truly the best president we have had in our lifetimes. It suggests that the entire Benghazi event was scripted by Republicans just to create drag on Obama before the election.

Why would McCain do something so silly? Well here is an idea. McCain will not be head of any committee next term. He could if he wanted, be head of the Committee on Indian Affairs, but that is a step down in prestige. Perhaps if he could create a new committee, one on which he was chairman, one that would be in the daily news feed, inviting himself on talk shows and newscasts,… he could keep some of his prestige?

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Did You Ask Me What It Was Like?
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There is one thing to keep foremost in mind. It is your life. No one else’s. Although you should get a wide range of perspective, what you will choose to do, will come down to who you are, how you are put together.

You will get a lot of advice. You should listen to see if they bring up any perspectives you would not have covered yourself, but you are under no obligation to follow any of it…

Because it is your life… You get to choose the path you want to take….

If you want to separate. That is fine. Do it.
If you want to divorce. That is fine. Do it.
If you want to move forward keeping the relationship together. That is fine, Do it.
If you want to pay it no mind and forgive it. That is fine. Do it.

There are a couple of potholes I’d recommend against. Being false. Playing like you are so hurt, when really you aren’t. Or the opposite: playing like you’re tough when you aren’t. Just stay honest. Because playing to the media may work for a certain time frame, but somewhere later the truth always comes out. And that baggage just makes it worse later.

Don’t worry how it affects others. Children are resilient. They will one day go through their own relationship trials. You obviously owe nothing to your partner… But here is the bottom line. When you die, you want to have no regrets…. You can do that.

Don’t think you have to rush any decision. When it comes to personal emotions, time is the best tester. There is no rule that says you have to rush into something before you are ready. There is no rule that says you have to wait for an express amount of time..

Don’t worry how people will judge you. At sometime in the future, you will all be dead. It will be too late then to change…

Don’t be afraid to explore new opportunities. Others opinions matter none. You have the obligation to make best of every situation you are given. This is one of them.

Don’t be afraid to try to make it work, if you really want to. Other’s value systems are not yours. What they think is totally irrelevant to your happiness. There is a lot of current that has passed under the bridge. Sometimes staying on the same path has its merits. Again, it is your life, and no one else’s.

Don’t think you are weak if you try to find your part in this issue’s cause. It will haunt you if you don’t look. So look into it. I would recommend counseling if you decide to go that route. Primarily you will be talking to your spouse, though your words are directed towards the counselor. Likewise you in that environment, will hear what he’s been thinking for perhaps the first time in your life…. It’s funny how it works that way.

Don’t think that infidelity has to automatically be a deal killer. Many will tell you it has to be. Again, you get to make up your own mind here. No matter who you wind up and spend your future with, they will have had sexual relationships with another…. That if anything makes things equal….

My recommendation is to like, take your hand and wipe everything off of the table, like on to the floor… All your past. Now, with a clean table before you, decide what you want your future to look like… Take your time; talk to different people who have tried different options. Find out how they are doing. Are they happy? Not in what they say, but… in the underlying tone of “how” they say it…. Then take the future in small steps. Don’t commit to anything too early, and just let life string out… Sooner or later, you will find, the one true path you were meant to take.

That path, makes all the difference….

This is a guessing game. It’s supposed to be fun. You do the guessing. I’ll reveal the answer at some point in the future. Bottom line, I am interested in how this plays out. (To keep answers out of moderation, no links please.) You may use the categories above for some helpful hints, but knowing me, don’t expect to find the answer that easily.) 🙂

1) Foreign policy/defense: I want American imperialism rolled back and American interventionism halted, as the same time we begin to pull free from the military/industrial complex by slashing the budgets for defense and homeland security to reasonable levels.

2) Civil libertarian issues: I want to see gay marriage legalized; drugs decriminalized; Real ID abolished; the Patriot Act gutted; and immigrants viewed as human beings. I want intrusive government the hell out of my life.

3) Fiscal sanity: I want a government that stops growing and taking an ever-expanding bite out of my paycheck; I want to see wasteful programs cut, and to have Congress faced with the same sort of imperative the Delaware General Assembly had to face this year: balancing the budget.

Because that……. is what we do.

On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, the continuous guns fell silent…… After years of incoming artillery’s deep, resonant pounding,…..the quiet began. The rare pop of small arms fire,….. faded away. Cautiously a brave soul or two crawled out and stood on top of the trenches. Turning to the other side, they saw the enemy of just a few minutes before, mirroring their own actions…..It was truly over.

Compared to the rest of Europe, the US fared well. Germany, France, Great Britain lost an entire generation of their young men…..

Some dreamed that surely, after such a waste, there never could, or would be such a war again……

It was only a dream…..as history would soon prove……

On this day, there are 22 verified veterans left….worldwide. Four of these are Americans. Soon the last living memories of this war….. will fade away……….

My brush with living memories happened when I was in High School. What the German war machine failed to do………an insignificant clot accomplished. Those who visited, told stories of the dark, turbulent wrestling within the soul……They whispered of an alert mind, albeit one locked in the year 1917 from which it would ultimately and peacefully escape…. They spoke in hushed tones of an old man, possessing enormous strength, incapable of being subdued by even the hospital’s largest orderlies……They told of the soldier’s enterprising son, who climbing back into those years to be with him, and navigating the treacherous barbed wire memories, peacefully calmed him down, until the old soldier finally accepted that his war was over, and quietly signed his own armistice with God………..

We learned he had suffered from shell shock as they called it then, spending the post-war years in a sanitarium somewhere in occupied Germany, of the bland letters to his wife and unseen child back home, letters whose lack of substance during this vapid time, played rabidly on her fears of another women…..

We heard stories of involuntary reactions, occurring some twenty years later…of a face, framed by white hair, turned scarlet in the middle of a social gathering, when someone absently said, “Oh that was during the war.”

And then there were the personal effects, a letter rapidly written in German by a dying officer, with our hero’s first name mentioned as being the one entrusted to make sure the letter got back to his wife, a letter that said the war would soon be over for him, that the only important thing he hung onto as he crossed over to the the other side, were the times he and she had shared together……..As kids we used to march around in a dough boy’s hat, and a genuine spiked Prussian helmet. (the originals were all black, by the way, no silver.)

And then the youngest son, who came along after our soldier had mellowed somewhat, told of stumbling with his dad, across a model of one battlefield, I think it was Belleau Wood, and how that opened up the memories which, pent up for years, calmly flowed out unrepressed, with no emotional consequences.

Through this, we heard the story of a young officer defying a direct order to attack, solely because the objective was unattainable and trying to attempt it, would wipe out every one of his men….Who opting, instead of facing a firing squad, to have himself crawl into no mans land……accompanied only by his sergeant who had stood steadfast with him during this ordeal only to get ripped apart minutes later, had to lie there for two days protected under the warm, safe body which occasionally absorbed a well placed bullet, kept safe by only the tiniest rise of land preventing a direct shot…..

The story of showing up in France, and leading the AEF’s first attack, upon a fortified hill surrounded by the Meuse, and succeeding…..

Those memories didn’t die….they passed and took seed in another generation. Today they lie embedded in one more, a generation who once again questions the “why” of war.

Like his grandfather before him, this person too was brought up under a religion that seem to question war and tell us to “turn the other cheek.” Like his grandfather before him, this person too believes that sometimes there is no greater duty, than to give one’s life for one’s country……..How are these two, supposedly opposite points of view, ever to be reconciled?

We know that Jesus allowed his disciples to carry swords. During the final days, when he asks the disciples if they have a sword, and Peter shows two, he says that is enough…..But later that night when Peter uses his sword to protect Jesus and cuts off a servant’s ear, Jesus tells him sternly. “Put that away. We will have no more of that…”

Fascinating. This duality starts from the beginning of the Christian religion itself.

Throughout history, the worst wars fought have been religious ones. The longest animosities, the ones considered too hard to bury, are those originally pricked by religion….

When we are told to turn the other cheek, perhaps we are to do that on a personal level…. By doing so, hoping that we show others, just how deeply we believe these principals . Perhaps this line of thought recognizes that we are each small instruments of change; but a change of heart in multitudes of men, can implement massive changes…..Therefore doing a self deprecating act, such as dying for another, or carrying an enemy soldier’s bag an extra mile, can have a much greater impact overall, than another killing and the loss of one dead soldier…..

But as a nation of free people we have another responsibility. That responsibility is to ensure that justice, (or that which is right),… prevails over evil, (or that which is wrong)…. As some of you may note, there is a wide play of interpretation in just exactly what is right, and what is wrong…..

But for a strong nation to appease a despot like Stalin, Hitler, or those tyrants in Burma, does exactly the opposite of performing justice. Instead it shows others, despite our words, that we implicitly support these evil regimes, and in doing so, we fail to send hope and inspiration to those who fight, to right the wrongs caused by their misguided leaders….

War enacted by a political state is sometimes a necessity, the last remaining line of defense against the selfish designs of a demented few. Less pain and suffering worldwide, can be bandaged by enacting war, than by allowing open wounds to fester, rot, and spread their evil infection elsewhere.

Therefore as a nation, the United States must occasionally gamble all of it’s resources in the ultimate test…. One must on occasion risk all, to determine whether all was worthy to be risked……

Any nation is only as good as its foot soldiers,…. its grunts. Those choice veterans I know, with whom I’ve hugged, laughed, and cried, …… continue to reinforce the notion I once had as a child: that based on the quality of people who put their lives on the line for this nation, we are truly the best nation to have ever lived upon this planet……..

Much controversy surrounded this ad. It is no wonder. The controversy came from a incredibly small remainder of human beings, who out of ignorance or hobbled by duty, still support the republican dream. They had no choice but to complain vociferously…..reality had given them no other choice…..

I see it with my kids…..it is human nature…..nothing to be ashamed of. When one is guilty of making a mistake…..one counters with their own outrageous accusation about one of their siblings.

Those of you who are employers, and confront employees about their errors, first have to work through their accusations about their fellow employee’s errors……

So it seems to be embedded in our genomes that if we, have no rational or reasonable method to explain our actions,………we create an outrage somewhere else to blunt our ineptitude and funnel anger into that direction.

Bottom line: it was just an ad.

To put things in perspective, how many Americans died because of the ad? How many Iraqis died because of the ad? How many Americans will be deformed for life, because of this ad? How many Iraqi’s will be deformed for life because of this ad? How many years will we be overtaxed, to pay for this ad? These are pertinent questions. And judging from the explosion of comment within the American press, the effect worked. We are actually, attempting to place on the floor of the Senate, an amendment condemning this ad.

Are we adding an amendment to stop the killing of Americans? No……Are we adding an amendment to stop the killing of Iraqi? No………Are we adding and amendment to stop pissing away mine and Dave Anderson’s future income? No…….

So in a sham, we are made to pretend we are outraged, outraged that something so horrible, so despicable has occurred! Calls within the VP’s office to Arrest Move-On, water-board them, kill them and drag their bodies behind Toyata pickups.

But there is something profoundly bizarre. This outrage occurred solely in the American Press and within the republican ranks of Congress. The Global press ignored it except to say “what’s wrong with these American’s getting so up-tight with an ad?” In blogger world, no one cares…you may Google some responses, but since bloggers tend to be better educated than elected republicans, the consensus has been “so what” Here is one example:

Once upon a time, everything was going great in our country — its finances, its wars, its economy, everything! — then some organization placed an ad in a newspaper and it was the most horrible thing ever.

It was real bad — there was an ad. In a newspaper.

And then everything went to shit and that ad was the only thing the pundits could talk about.

The end.

And on the Senate Floor came this rebuttal to the republican charge of outrageousness. Dick Durbin was the author.

Mr. DURBIN. Would the Senator yield for a question?

Mr. CORNYN. I yield for a question.

Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, in the 2004 Presidential campaign, I might ask the Senator from Texas, there was a group from Texas that attacked Senator John Kerry and said he was undeserving of the commendations and decorations he received for his courage in fighting in Vietnam and raised questions about others who served in the military who were part of his swift boat operation. One would have to say, by any stretch, that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were attacking the honor and integrity of one of our colleagues who served with honor in the Vietnam war.

I would like to ask the Senator from Texas if he is prepared to remain consistent and if he is also prepared to amend his amendment to repudiate the activities, actions, and statements of the Texas-based Swift Boat Veterans for Truth organization with their unwarranted attacks on our colleague, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, during the 2004 campaign.”

The republicans, taken aback, bumblelingly responsed that Kerry was a political figure. It is perfectly fine to smear political figures anyway, anyhow, and anytime you can.

Here was the rebuttal:

MR. DURBIN … I am troubled by the conclusion of my colleague from Texas that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth could attack Senator JOHN KERRY for his valor and courage fighting for America in Vietnam and that for some reason we shouldn’t repudiate that attack; that it is OK because it happened, as my colleague said, during a political campaign. If this is about the honor and integrity of our Armed Forces, past and present, whether it takes place during a political campaign or at half time at a football game should make no difference. If the Senator from Texas believes we should stand on a regular basis and condemn those who would attack the honor and integrity of warriors who have served this country with valor in past wars and present wars, then he should be consistent. It is totally inconsistent for him to pick one organization and to ignore the obvious: There are others who have done the same thing.

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is a classic example of an organization that distorted the truth about Senator JOHN KERRY and others who served our country during the Vietnam war. The fact that they did it during a Presidential campaign should have absolutely nothing to do with it, if this is a matter of principle. However, if it is not a matter of principle and something else, then you would pick and choose those organizations you want to condemn or repudiate. Unfortunately, the Senator from Texas has picked one organization. He doesn’t want to talk about the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. He certainly doesn’t want to repudiate them. I think they should be repudiated. What they did cast a shadow on the combat decorations given to others during the course of that war.

What Senator JOHN KERRY did was to volunteer to serve our country, put his life on the line, face combat, stand up and fight for his fellow sailors on that swift boat, and then come back to the criticism, the chief criticism of a group known as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.”

Finally this comment from Barbara Boxer, (D CA) :

MRS. BOXER: … The fact of the matter is the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth went after a war hero and told stories to the American people that were not true and tried to sully a hero’s reputation.

But he is not the only Senator who was attacked, as my friend remembers what happened to our colleague, Max Cleland. I know he does. Here is a veteran who gave three limbs for his country–three limbs. It is harder for him, for the first 2 hours of every day, to get ready for the day than it is for the Senator from Texas or myself or the Senator from Illinois to do our work for a month. Yet this man was viciously attacked and his patriotism called into question. Oh, yes, my friend might say, it was during a political campaign. It was disgusting. So we raise these issues.

What I wish to ask my friend is this: I was thinking–as the Senator from Texas, my friend and colleague, was speaking–I was thinking about some retired generals who spoke out against this war and said they were called traitors and worse. So I am looking at ways to incorporate into this a condemnation of anyone who would attack a retired general for speaking out against a war because I think that was low and it was horrible. It was frightening because, in a way, it was saying to these retired generals that they had no voice, no independent voice.

So I wish to thank my colleague, and I wonder if he recalls these generals. I will have more details as I put together my second-degree amendment as well.

Icing on the cake:

MR. DURBIN: … I don’t think the fact that it happens during a campaign absolves anybody from the responsibility of telling the truth and honoring those who served. In this case, two Democrats, Senator Max Cleland and Senator JOHN KERRY, were attacked, and there wasn’t a long line of people on the floor to condemn the attackers. Now that the Senator from Texas has decided we should bring this up as part of the Defense authorization bill, I hope he will be consistent, and I hope he will consistently stand up for the reputations of the men and women in uniform, starting with General Petraeus but including those who served in this war and other wars in the past.

Each of them deserves our respect. I might add, parenthetically–it is worth saying–even if we disagree with their political views, they still deserve our respect. To attack their honor and integrity is wrong.”

Once again we see how in the light of open and vigorous debate, that “silliness” becomes flushed out into the open, and becomes sanitized by the light of day. And thereby, through proper civilized use of debate, the American people remain protected from poorly passed legislation.

To beat Tyler Nixon to the punch, it is not just congressional republicans who use this method of obfuscation. Our state’s Democratic Senate is just as guilty……..

I can only hope that this facetious argument has merit in the long run. If it opens normal, hard working everyday American’s eyes, to the tactics of bait and switch, and keeps our eyes focused on what really matters……Americans fighting and dying for a lost cause……….then perpetrators of false diatribe, once exposed as the problem, can be removed from office in the next general election.

Regardless of which party they hail from…….

Bottom line: it was just an ad. And depending upon one’s interpretation, a very effective one at that. It seems like each time this foolish idea is debated in public, the few pixils of respect still left upon the face of the republican party, become removed byte by byte………

I disagree with some of those who put down Petraeus as a liar, simply because they fail to agree with his assessment. It may come across to some as funny that I have thought, if not said, some to the same things against which I am now taking issue, and if so, so be it……

What changed?

What happened was this. I became more familiar with what was going on within Iraq. Of course, being of skeptic I tended to look at things hard. Very hard. To my surprise, I found out that I was seeing real signs of hope. This hope was not in the eyes of the politicos; it was the eyes of Iraqis. Since desperate souls grasp any rope tossed to them, I have waited quietly to make sure that these Iraqis were not suffering any type of delusion. I listened to all three reports expecting to see something in them dash my half submerged optimism, upon the reality of Iraqi shores.

I think my conversion may have come about when I was studying the conversion of Al Anbar province. Those Sunnis chose to back us because they like us. Of course it wasn’t much of a contest, considering who their alternative was…..But it may have also come while studying the criticism leveled at us by the British, as they packed up and split. They criticized our arrogance , heavy handedness, and unwillingness to trust: all valid complaints Each of these were addressed under the Petraeus doctrine. After reading the Petraeus Book on the suppression of Insurrections, I realized his tactics were not part of the problem. They were in direct opposition to the problem. I understood what he was trying to accomplish.

What happened under Petraeus, happened not because of the amount of troops we had at our disposal, but because of the way we used them, that made a difference.

The surge may have helped. For before the surge, we, due to our insufficient numbers, acted like Soviets, if I may be blunt. We were there to suppress and pacify. We, with our own patriotic roots, should have been more aware that by taking that stance, we directly increased our own opposition.

Once we added just a few more troops on the ground, we were able to interact with the local population, while still having enough force surrounding us to protect us. Prior to the surge, the problem was that whenever a few shots were fired, we would have to shut down our clinic, and head out across the desert. However with additional troops able to chase the insurgents, the military medical corp could continue to cure the local citizen’s ills. That was the difference. We could finish what we started.

Of course the original problem was created by republicans, Rumsfeld in particular. Had we ramped up enough ground forces from day 1, we never would have needed the surge in the first place. Yes, we know their insurrection began because they believed we wanted their oil. (That republican Cheney messed everything up). But if I understand correctly, we dropped that privatized oil plank as a “no go” and are now supporting the nationalization of oil assets. We are pursuing more of a Biden local strategy, tribal leader by tribal leader, and doing so because of the surge. Paul Bremmer’s national unification strategy was not working.

What I found, in essence, was that everything I said eight months ago that we needed to do in Iraq to win, we were now doing.

Can this late development be twisted to mean I justify this war that was fought on false pretenses? Hell no. It will always stand as a stupid war, instigated by stupid ass republicans. Nothing can ever change that. We could have achieved much better results at far less cost, had we chosen to use other means.

But we didn’t. We went in against all common dignity, history and sense. So since we did, does the resulting mess lie at our doorstep? Does we broke it, mean we own it?

Perhaps. But instead of a “oops, I broke it” moment, it is more of an “Honey, I’m pregnant” moment. Whatever happened way back then, has now changed things permanently.

Of course we can put up our hands and say, “Whoa, that’s your problem bitch…” and walk out the door. Many people do and feel no remorse about doing so. But that is not how I want my America to be perceived. I want My America to be responsible. I want My America to do the right thing. My America will be no punk. My America will be a Dad……….

So emotionally, that is how I have come around about to see how we could win in that barren land. It is nothing new. Biden has pushed it for years.

To win, these things must happen. They are in our control.

Congress must finally stand up to the President. If Iraq can finally realize that America does not equal Bush, that we too think he’s a moron, that we too can admit and correct our mistakes, our relations will improve. If the American Congress ever gets some backbone, and forces upon the president a withdrawal timetable, the Iraqis too will get some backbone and begin controlling their own affairs.

Congress must stand up to the president, and eliminate the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy 2%, and invest that money into Iraq’s infrastructure, hiring Iraqis to build their own sewers, roads, and buried electrical conduits. If Congress could do that, then the Iraqis might get some back bone and start controlling their own affairs.

Congress must stand up to the President, and force impeachment if he fails to comply with Congress’s orders. Only then will Iraq realize that America is not over there to conquer, but sincerely is over there to help. If we are decisive over here, they will be decisive over there,……. instead killing time and each other until our next inauguration day.

Actually all three of the reports support Biden’s permise.

First fix the local issues, then move on to the national challenges.   That is the essence of the Biden plan, and was practically speaking, the essence of all three of the assessments on the surge.

The military is not bound by platitudes.  If something works, they do it.  Obviously as Al Anbar province shows, empowering locals to police their own, …works.   Just being there for back up, is enough.

The Petraeus further scores how poor our administration led Iraqi policy has been.  Comfortably one can say that had someone else been in control, we would have had consistent improvement over the last 5 years, not backsliding.

If any wisdom can be given to this administration, it is that they allowed ANY  option to be pursued, even if it came from Biden.

Watching the Petraeus report, I was dismayed by the insolence of the leading republican on the committee from California.

He brought up every negative he could find to lay out in front of Petraeus’s  on national TV.  Hat’s off to Petraeus.  Only his eyes showed his outrage at being dis’d by this representative of the  republican party.

Such top shelf Republicans have no morals.

There is a time an place for everything.  But going to extreme efforts, to dig up someone’s septic tank, transport his shit, and dump it at his feet in the sanctity of the halls of Congress, oversteps the line.

Republicans are a disease upon America’s values.  Of course shit happens.  But good taste decries that one does not play with it in public.