Friday, September 12, 2014

Oklahoma Republican So-Called Leaders Need a Backbone to Turn Off Hate Spigot of Oklahoma Hard Right

Bennett said he has received hundreds of messages supporting his position and that he won't step down or apologize.  "I work for my constituents, and they determine if I get hired or fired," Bennett said. "I'm definitely not going to apologize." Houston Chronicle

When I think that the hate rhetoric spouted by hard right Oklahoma Republicans cannot sink lower, I have to admit I am wrong again as a member of the GOP Legislature has gone after Muslims on Facebook.  Rep Bennett is only in power because of a weak previous speaker who played to the hard right to become Speaker on his way to what he thought would be a US Senate position but was derailed in the primary. Another reason I stayed Republican through the primary -- #1 was to vote against the worst State School Superintendent have ever seen -- Janet Barresi (came in 3rd in the primary) and second was to vote against someone I know for someone I don't really know, Rep Lankford, for the Senate seat Dr. Coburn is leaving early.  Lankford is too far hard right for me so I am voting Democrat in the general but he was the best GOP in the primary IMO.  More on OK 2014 Senate races in future blog posts.    

As a note, on September 3rd, I switched party registration from longtime Republican to Democrat -- never thought I would see that day but then I never saw such a hate filled Republican Party as I have seen in Oklahoma.  Some comments out of elected officials make me cringe yet they embrace anything that is anti-Obama including militia.  It is in fact scary at some of the comments that come out of some Republicans that are never disavowed because others are afraid they will lose support of the hard right in this state which is necessary for them to win elections.  Finally just gave up that the Republican Party in this state was ever going to have any common sense and switched.  Most Democrats here I know are center left so this center right person feels right at home.

Difference is the Democrats here are not so hate filled and care about people, schools, and infrastructure to name a few while the hard right Republicans who run this state would rather talk about social issues -- anti-gay including marriage, stricter abortion laws, and making Oklahoma a Christian state where other religions are not welcome seems to be their ultimate goal.

The news reports about Rep Bennett take the prize when I thought former Rep Randy Terrell's rants against Hispanics couldn't get any lower.  BTW Terrell was found guilty of political bribery in an OK Court. While his case was pending, he quit the House to run for Cleveland County Commissioner -- boggles your mind.

Reading this article from The Journal Record this morning made me shake my head and then realized this anti-Muslim State Rep John Bennet, R-Sallisaw is a member of the Republican Party while I am now a Democrat -- received my voter card from the election board yesterday.  Now am no longer associated with the OK Republicans who spew so much hate.  Relief!

Does the GOP in OK want an all-white male Christian dominated state where women and minorities do what they are told?  Feel like at times Oklahoma has gone back over a hundred years and women and minorities need to fight for rights all over again.  We may have a Republican woman Governor but women's rights, higher minimum wage,  or education to name a few are not a high priority for Governor Mary Fallin who is a pawn of ALEC and is running for re-election.  

Read about this yesterday in both major newspapers but this morning's Journal Record's guest editorial summed it up the best:
Hamilton: Leaders must turn off the hate spigot
By: Arnold Hamilton Guest Columnist September 11, 2014

Regrettably, Oklahoma has a long, embarrassing history of elected leaders spewing hate, bigotry and crackpot theories. 
Gov. “Alfalfa Bill” Murray was rabidly anti-Semitic and pro-eugenics. Former state Rep. John Monks used an ethnic slur to deride Chinese. State Rep. Sally Kern declared homosexuality to be a greater threat to America than terrorism. 
Enter state Rep. John Bennett, the latest to secure a permanent spot in the Oklahoma Hall of Infamy. 
The Sallisaw Republican’s incessant attacks on Muslims is 21st-century McCarthyism, writ large – mean-spirited, broad-brush demagoguery that serves no purpose except to fan suspicion about 35,000 Oklahomans whose faith tradition is different than his.
Unfortunately, the voters in House District 2 have twice given Bennett a megaphone to spew his vitriol. He clearly isn’t exiting the public stage any time soon, despite a call for his resignation from the state’s National Association for the Advancement of Colored People leader. 
It’s a free country, of course. Bennett is welcome to display his inanity for all to see. But his (mis)conduct begs a broader question: Where are the state’s elected leaders? Where are the adults in the political room? 
Isn’t anyone going to stand up and set the record straight that Oklahoma is not an intolerant backwater full of John Bennetts? 
The problem is there are so many John Bennetts serving in the Oklahoma Legislature – by some estimates, two dozen or so in the House alone – that Gov. Mary Fallin, House Speaker Jeff Hickman and Senate President Brian Bingman are careful about crossing them. 
They inhabit seats of power because too many good-hearted, sensible Oklahomans don’t bother to vote, giving the parallel-universe, on-the-political-fringe crowd outsized influence on Election Day. 
Hickman isn’t entirely wrong when he says he can’t control what Bennett posts on Facebook. What Bennett says and does away from the House floor are his and his constituents’ business. Mostly. 
But Hickman and common-sense House Republicans – who ought to be concerned that their party’s image is soiled by such bigotry – are not without tools to curb Bennett’s worst excesses. 
The speaker, after all, determines committee assignments, whose bills are heard and whether a House member’s office is a broom closet far from the floor or a spacious room with a view. Indeed, the speaker determines whether a member is even recognized to speak on the House floor. 
More immediately, Hickman and Co. must take away Bennett’s megaphone – dissolve the so-called counterterrorism caucus. Make it clear no such thing exists any longer. Make sure there are no more anti-Muslim news releases financed by taxpayers via the House Media Division.  (my bold)
This is risky business for Hickman. Speakers can be deposed if enough of their caucus members so wish. Yet it’s even riskier for the state when its leaders refuse to repudiate such demonizing. 
Hickman inherited this mess. Bennett’s counterterrorism platform was a gift from former House Speaker T.W. Shannon – a political payback to wing nuts whose support was essential to Shannon’s narrow victory over Hickman in a previous speaker’s race.  (my bold)

Read more: The Journal Record
Decided to see what was on Google about Rep Bennett -- first thing I see is an article from the Houston Chronicle as this has now gone nationwide via AP with Gov Fallin and Speaker Hickman refusing to comment.  Their refusal to comment is no surprise as they want it both ways so they stay silent not to upset the hard right.  Took a good look at the picture of Bennet and in the background saw GOP Rep Mike Reynolds who is good friends with Sally Kern plus a few other things, e.g. think AF Academy.  He ran in the primary for Cleveland County Commissioner -- he lost for which many of us are very grateful.  Should have realized Reynolds was a member of that phony committee of the hard right on terrorism used as a carrot to help elect TW Shannon as Speaker of the Oklahoma House. Sole purpose of that Terrorism Committee seems to be to have a platform to spout their hateful rhetoric against anyone not a white male Christian.  

It all is making sense today.  For almost 18 years been telling everyone I know outside of Oklahoma that they would not believe OK GOP's hard right rhetoric and their platforms.  That hard right group who was a minority have taken over OK GOP -- now the whole world can see what is going on in Oklahoma is not that much different then Kansas where Brownback is Governor.  This hard right group of OK GOP has the ability to do to Oklahoma what Brownback and the hard right did to Kansas which has put Kansas in an economic tailspin not to mention tanking public education to stage where former Republican Governors have endorsed the Democrat against Brownback.
Okla. lawmaker, GOP chair affirm anti-Muslim postBy SEAN MURPHY, Associated Press | September 11, 2014 | Updated: September 11, 2014 8:14pm
Friday, April 12, 2013 file photo
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A GOP state legislator and the chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party are standing behind anti-Muslim remarks the lawmaker posted to his Facebook page, and both said Thursday they have no plans to apologize. 
Leaders with several civil rights organizations have called for state Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw, to apologize after he posted a comment to his Facebook page urging people, especially Christians, to "be wary of the individuals who claim to be Muslim-American." Bennett also said in his post that the Islamic holy book, the Quran, calls for the killing of non-Muslims. 
Adam Soltani, the executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, called the comments "inappropriate and offensive," and requested an apology. 
Meanwhile, Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Dave Weston stood behind Bennett's comments and said they were accurate. 
"Everything John Bennett said is legitimate and there is no need to for him to apologize. One look around the world today, and 1,400 years of history, and you can see what he says is accurate," Weston told The Associated Press. "The thing I want to emphasize is that we have no quarrel with Oklahoma Muslims, but at the same point in time you have to acknowledge there are problems across the globe and throughout history with people who practice Islam."  (my bold)
Spokesmen for Republican Oklahoma House Speaker Jeff Hickman and Gov. Mary Fallin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  
Excerpt:  Read More at The Houston Chronical
There is only one solution for Oklahoma and that is for every last registered Democrat to go vote on November 4th to start turning Oklahoma back to common sense.  Now can see that Democrat Governor Brad Henry kept the OK GOP hard right in check with his alliance with more common sense GOP Speakers.  Since GOP Gov Fallin was elected with a Republicans taking statewide offices and adding even more to their numbers in the legislature, we have seen Oklahoma become more of a pawn of hard right and ALEC special interests along with oil and gas. Time for the Republican anti-education/infrastructure Party to get defeated.  There is a group of maybe 10 or 11 sensible Republicans in the House who will vote against the hard right agenda -- time for Democrats and sensible GOP to unite to form a coalition to support all Oklahomans not just special interests.

We can only take back this state to common sense if we all vote on November 4th -- time for Democrats staying home on election day is over.   Help save Oklahoma from following the path of Kansas!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9-11-2001: America's Pentagon, the Heart of American Military, was Attacked by Terrorists -- 9-12-2001: America's Flag Flies High at the Pentagon

These words are part of the Pentagon Memorial established after the attack on 9-11-2001

Thirteen years ago today I was sitting in my office in our home talking to a friend on the phone who was working in DC about the attacks on the World Trade Center when the he felt the plane hit the Pentagon and saw the smoke.

The DoD has been so much a part of our family's lives starting when I went to work at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, years ago.  Our family has been transferred around the Country ending up here in Norman, Oklahoma, after the San Antonio Depot at Kelly AFB closed.  My oldest daughter was at Pensacola NAS, Florida, for training on that day.  Hearing her voice when we finally got in touch was overwhelming even though I knew she was safe but had no idea what was ahead for her after training.

Will never forget 9/11 and watching the scenes of devastation on the TV from the initial hits on the World Trade Center buildings and then to have the Pentagon hit left me in tears and still does remembering all the people who died needlessly that day because of lax security at our airports and a few other things.

The World Trade Centers get most of the focus today but I decided to make this post to be about the Pentagon which was attacked that same day shortly after the WTC's attack.   There were 184 men and women who died in the Pentagon that day -- a building thought to be impenetrable.  It is from the ground but no one would have suspected a hijacked airliner out of Reagan National would fly into the building.

American Airlines Flight 77: Left Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia at 8:20 a.m. en route to Los Angeles with a crew of six and 53 passengers, not including five hijackers. The hijackers flew the plane into the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m. 
The Pentagon was severely damaged by the impact of American Airlines Flight 77 and ensuing fires, causing one section of the building to collapse. As it approached the Pentagon, the airplane's wings knocked over light poles and its right engine smashed into a power generator before crashing into the western side of the building, killing all 53 passengers, 5 hijackers, and 6 crew. The plane hit the Pentagon at the first-floor level. The front part of the fuselage disintegrated on impact, while the mid and tail sections kept moving for another fraction of a second. Debris from the tail section penetrated furthest into the building, breaking through 310 feet (94 m) of the three outermost of the building's five rings. 
It is unfathomable to realize how much devastation this airliner caused having been in that building in the past -- giant fortress.

Note the American flag to the right of the devastation which was unfurled on Sept 12, 2001, and retired 30 days later flying night and day!  The flag will never be flown again but has been preserved by the US Army.  This American flag will always stand as a tribute to the men and women who lost their lives that day and to the many who have served our great Nation over the years be it military or civilian who work in the heart of  our Nation's defense.  

This Country took a hit on 9-11 but Bin Laden the leader of Al Qaeda who was behind the attacks now sleeps with the fishes in the Ocean thanks to President Obama and his unwillingness to let the man responsible escape justice. 
11:35 P.M. EDT, May 1st  
     THE PRESIDENT:  Good evening.  Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.   
Read More at The White House
The American Flag flying over the Pentagon where the terrorists flew into the building shows our resolve as a Nation to stand tall against terrorists foreign and domestic.  Hard to fathom why an American would join terrorists organizations who want to target the United States, but in my opinion if an American joins the terrorist, they should lose their citizenship in the United States as they have become our enemy.
The Pentagon Memorial, located just southwest of The Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, is a permanent outdoor memorial to the 184 men and women who died as victims in the building and on American Airlines Flight 77 during the September 11, 2001 attacks
To commemorate the anniversary each year, an American flag is hung on the section of the Pentagon hit by Flight 77. At night, this section of the building is lit up in blue lights.
For the fifth anniversary, a "Tribute of Lights" display included 184 beams of light from the center courtyard shining into the sky. 
Anniversary events also include the America Supports You National Freedom Walk, which has been held on Sundays. The walk starts at the Lincoln Memorial and ends at the Pentagon.
Pentagon Memorial at Arlington Cemetery 
The Arlington Police/Fire/Sheriff 5K Race is held on Saturdays, around the anniversary, with the course going through part of Crystal City and through the Pentagon grounds.
Memorial services are held on the anniversary of 9/11 at the Pentagon, with one service in an auditorium at the Pentagon for employees. A smaller service is held at the memorial site for family and friends of victims killed at the Pentagon on 9/11. 

This story from DoD of the American flag brought back a lot of memories this morning as I watched the flag flying tall after it was unfurled the day after the attack on our Pentagon.  To me it showed the resolve of this Country and its military that even though the Pentagon took a huge hit, our American flag still flew high the day after:
The Story of the Pentagon 9-11 FlagBy Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity 
WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2014 – Anyone who saw the American flag unfurled at the Pentagon on Sept. 12, 2001, knows how Francis Scott Key felt two centuries ago when he was inspired to write “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 
The day after the terrorist attack on the Pentagon, the scene was still chaotic. Only essential military and civilian workers were required to come to the building. Parking was at Reagan-National Airport, as all U.S. airspace was still closed. As employees got off the Metro train, Pentagon police stood with weapons examining everyone’s badge. Those without a Pentagon ID were told to keep traveling on. The conversation in the building was about friends who remained missing. 
At the site, firefighters were putting out the final embers that were burning in the roof. Then word came that President George W. Bush wanted to see the damage to the Pentagon himself. 
Garrison flag 
No one knows who originally came up with the idea for unfurling the flag to the right of the damaged areas on the building, but Army Maj. Gen. Jim Jackson, then the Military District of Washington commander, made it happen. 
He sent over to nearby Fort Myer, Virginia, for the largest flag they could find. The U.S. Army Band had a garrison flag – the largest authorized for the military – and sent it over.
During Bush's visit to the impact site, 3rd Infantry Regiment soldiers and Arlington, Virginia, firefighters unveiled the flag and draped it over the side of the building. Then they stood and saluted. 
It was a moment that quickened the heart. The United States had been attacked, the Pentagon had been hit, friends were gone, thousands were killed in New York and Pennsylvania, yet the American flag still flew. 
That flag signified the unconquerable nature of the American people. Those inside the building already were preparing to take the battle to the attackers and bring them to justice. 
The flag flew on the side of the building for the next month. Each night, workers illuminated it with floodlights. Members of A Company of the 3rd Infantry Regiment -- “The Old Guard” -- took the flag down Oct. 11. 
A treasured symbol 
The flag is soot-stained and ripped at one spot where it rubbed up against the building. It now is in the care of the Army’s Center of Military History. 
It is treasured as the 9/11 generation’s Star-Spangled Banner, because they, like Francis Scott Key during the British attack on Baltimore in 1814, looked to the flag for inspiration and comfort. 
Read More at DoD
Soldiers from A Company, 3rd Infantry "The Old Guard" -- gather the giant garrison 
flag being lowered from the side of the Pentagon, where it had hung beside the impact site 
of the 9/11 terrorist attack, Oct. 11, 2001. The flag was ceremonially retired. 
DoD photo by Jim Garamone

NOTE: Photos in this article come from the Pentagon or Google Search

Friday, August 15, 2014

Stop Militarization of America's Police Departments NOW!

The federal government can stop this increased militarization at its source. The Pentagon must end its transfer of military-grade weapons through the 1033 program. And the Department of Homeland Security should stop handing out the terrorism grants. The ease with which police departments can avail themselves of Homeland Security funding for enormous caches of weapons and ammunition in the name of counterterrorism is deeply disconcerting.  NY Times Oped

This week I have been watching events unfold in Ferguson, MO, and am angry as can be at the militarization of our police forces by the Department of Defense surplus equipment handout to local police agencies called 1033 and the Department of Homeland Security grants for anti-terrorism that gives money for guns, ammo, and the like.  This happened on Monday when one guy walking down a sidewalk with his hands up is confronted by this many people in riot gear.  Question is would they have done to this to a white guy?  My guess is no but this picture says it all about how some of our police forces are now out of control:

Frankly I am beyond furious at a Republican Congress and President Clinton who passed/signed this 1033 monstrosity into law.  Made Defense contractors who manufacture weapons even richer and has now fleeced the American taxpayer.  No wonder there is a deficit when DoD buys equipment for big bucks and sells it to local police for pennies on the dollar or the fact that Homeland Security has a program that was set up to provide grants to local police and it is still on-going for terrorism from the Bush years following 9/11.  Had no idea it was still ongoing.  Picture is getting clearer of how these local police are better armed and have better protective gear then some of the military we send into battle.

Are these mostly white, seemingly uneducated cops a front for the KKK, militia, white supremacy or just plain racist and ignorant playing soldier?  They seem to miss the part during school that the Constitution guarantees Freedom of the Press, Speech, and Right to Assemble.

When cops arrest reporters they have gone way too far acting more like jack booted thugs then local police.  Then to find out the Federal Government because of stupid legislation is providing/funding these militarized local police organizations sent me over the top -- took a day to wind down and not be too angry to write a blog post like I was earlier this week at what this Country has become when you look at pictures of St Louis County PD and cannot tell the difference from police in Egypt going after demonstrators and Ferguson, MO.

Something needs to happen and a good start is canceling 1033 and the bill that gave Homeland Security the money to fund local police.  How much ammunition do you need? This is Ferguson, MO, not a 3rd world country but it sure looks line one.

People from Gaza were twittering how you handle tear gas to the people of Ferguson.

There were no molotov cocktails hurled at police - erroneous report -- people standing on their own property had tear gas launched at them along with reporters from Al Jazerra America.  Some suffered wounds from the rubber bullets that were fired by police on peaceful protestors holding up their hands. This is beyond horrendous and looks to be waking up a Nation that has been asleep far too long.   Demonstrations around the Country standing in solidarity with Ferguson protestors last night and the pictures coming from Ferguson of a peaceful march led by Captain Ron Johnson and the MO Highway Patrol after they were put in charge after a call from President Obama to Governor Nixon yesterday morning.

This oped which appeared in the editorial section of the New York Times in today's print edition of the paper is one of the best about 1033 and Homeland Security programs I have read on the situation:
Get the Military Off of Main StreetFerguson Shows the Risks of Militarized Policing
WASHINGTON — FERGUSON, Mo., has become a virtual war zone. In the wake of the shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, outsize armored vehicles have lined streets and tear gas has filled the air. Officers dressed in camouflage uniforms from Ferguson’s 53-person police force have pointed M-16s at the very citizens they are sworn to protect and serve. 
The police response has shocked America. The escalating tension in this town of 21,200 people between a largely white police department and a majority African-American community is a central part of the crisis, but the militarization of the police is a dimension of the story that has national implications. 
Ferguson’s police force got equipped this way thanks to the Pentagon, and it’s happening all over the country. The Department of Defense provides military-grade weapons and equipment to local law enforcement agencies through the 1033 program, enacted by Congress in 1997 to expand the practice of dispensing extra military gear. Due to the defense industry’s bloated contracts, there is a huge surplus. To date, the Pentagon has donated military equipment worth more than $4 billion to local law enforcement agencies. And the giving goes on, to police forces in all 50 states in the union. 
Ferguson’s police department is just one recipient; small towns all over America are now the proud owners of “MRAP” armored vehicles. The largess has gotten so out of hand that a congressman, Hank C. Johnson, is introducing a bill to block the 1033 handouts.
Whereas the Department of Defense hands over weapons directly, the Department of Homeland Security provides funding for arms. It has distributed more than $34 billion through “terrorism grants,” enabling local police departments to acquire such absurd items as a surveillance drone and an Army tank. 
In the absence of extreme violence or actual terrorist threat, what happens — as the American Civil Liberties Union has documented — is that the equipment and weapons are used by SWAT teams in routine situations, such as low-level drug raids or the execution of search warrants. As Ferguson shows, this militarizing of routine police work exacerbates tensions and increases the likelihood of disorder. This, in turn, appears to justify a militarized police response, and so the cycle continues.
Please Click Here to Read the complete oped editorial.
Today the Chief of Police of Ferguson released still photos of a robbery and 16 pages basically defending the killer cop for killing a young man holding up his hands surrendering without ever informing Captain Johnson who is in charge in Ferguson of what he was releasing.  You want to know what is wrong in Ferguson, look no further then the Mayor and especially the Chief of Police who was allegedly trained in Israel about riot tactics and went on Fox News Hannity while the St Louis County police were hurling tear gas at demonstrators holding up their hands.  Says all you need to know about the Chief of Police who needs fired IMHO!

This militarization of police departments throughout America needs to end and end now.  American people need to get out to vote in massive numbers to turn racist out of office this November.  Make this truly a country of We the People not We the White Males we are seeing/hearing from today from the Republicans in Congress to local office holders led around by the nose by the Koch Bros Tea Party.  Time to end racism once and for all in this Country and if the hard right doesn't like it -- shove it!

This graphic says it all after a 97 year old minority woman who has voted for years was denied the right to vote because she couldn't provide an ID.  We must stand united against the racism that is leading the passing of ALEC anti-minority voter registration laws throughout the Red States.  Turn Red State Governors Blue this November and end this injustice.

Friday, August 8, 2014

President Obama Makes a Statement on Iraq, 7 August 2014; Cease Fire Broken in Gaza by Hamas, 8 August

To read full statement of President Obama, please click here.

Next question is if Republicans are on board or are they as usual supporting the President while at the same time saying he didn't go far enough.  A lot of us have seen McCain in action enough to know this has been his SOP for years.  Politicususa had the answer to that question:
Breaking news. Not every single Republican elected to office took to the TV to decry President Obama last night or this morning after he announced authorizing targeted strikes in Iraq in what looks to be a perpetual clean-up of former President Bush’s misguided invasion
McCain is bitter and wants more war, Boehner is confused and walking both sides of the fence, but a few Republicans have managed to hold onto their sanity and are not using a crisis as an opportunity to explore their bitterness. All in all, Republicans managed to look like they were supporting action they obviously support, while still sticking the knife in and blaming the President for Bush’s actions. 
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FLA) said it was the right decision, tweeting, “Action against ISIL in #Iraq to save #IraqiChristians is the right decision.”
Representative Pete King (R-NY) tweeted, “It is essential that we support President’s decision to authorize air strikes”. 
Both Boehner and McConnell’s offices admitted that the President had told them of the decision prior to the announcement, so the inevitable hearing on Obama’s use of his executive power may be delayed. Josh Lederman of the AP tweeted, “Aides to Boehner, McConnell tell me the White House notified them of Obama’s decision before he announced it today”. 
But there is always room for criticism, so Lederman summed it up in a tweet, “Reaction from most Republicans to Obama Iraq decision so far seems to be ‘Yes please, but not enough’”. 
Read more from Sarah Jones at Politicususa
When I watched the President make his speech to the Country, noted that he talked about notifying both Houses of Congress who are on a five-week recess about his proposed action.  That didn't stop McCain from getting in his two cents worth as usual but he has a slight problem that Wonkette pointed out:

So here’s a heck of a thing: Back in May 2013, Forever Warmonger John McCain was really excited about the prospects of arming the Syrian moderates who were fighting to free that country from the iron grip of Bashar al-Assad. He even sneaked into the country to meet with the head of the Free Syrian Army, Gen. Salim Idris, the fellow in the striped shirt there (Idris was ousted in February of this year). 
Only one small problem with the little photo-op: In addition to Idris, some of the other guys in the pic are apparently members of a slightly less “moderate” group: ISIS, the guys who are currently bringing down Iraq, and the photo is reportedly being circulated by ISIS as proof of their legitimacy. Oops.

Read more at Wonkette
Think OOPS sums it up nicely.  McCain should have remembered he met with ISIS (ISIL) when criticizing the President for doing nothing while Obama was meetings with advisers to plan a strategy.  Shame on Obama in the Republican World for not rushing to the nearest microphone to spout rhetoric but actually taking time to make a rational decision unlike the grandstander McCain and others whose best friend is a microphone.

Only Republicans like McCain seem to want troops back in Iraq just like the first time and forget Iraq is the Bush/Cheney war they lied to get us to invade Iraq and totally blew the peace after with appointing a civilian, Paul Bremer, to head reconstruction who was out of league and made one big mess of the situation.  Does McCain forget that this is still the Bush/Cheney mess as he rewrites history?  Read his statement and thought vintage McCain who is nothing but a bitter old man who needs to retire from the Senate like years ago with the statement he released:
In a statement, McCain wrote, “A policy of containment will not work against ISIS. It is inherently expansionist and must be stopped. The longer we wait to act, the worse this threat will become, as recent events clearly show. 
“We need to get beyond a policy of half measures. The President needs to devise a comprehensive strategy to degrade ISIS. This should include the provision of military and other assistance to our Kurdish, Iraqi, and Syrian partners who are fighting ISIS. It should include U.S. air strikes against ISIS leaders, forces, and positions both in Iraq and Syria. It should include support to Sunni Iraqis who seek to resist ISIS. And none of this should be contingent on the formation of a new government in Baghdad. 
And by the way, this is all Obama’s fault for ever trying to leave Iraq, “If ever there were a time to reevaluate our disastrous policy in the Middle East, this is it. Because of the President’s hands-off approach, the threats in the region have grown and now directly threaten the United States. We are already paying a very heavy price for our inaction, and if we do not change course, the costs of our inaction will only grow.”
If McCain wants ground soldiers in Iraq, let him and the rest of the neo-cons lead the way.  Too many Americans died in Iraq because of lies told to the American people by Bush/Cheney and we don't need any more soldiers killed on the ground.

For all the people yelling why don't we do something about Gaza, there is a key element in the President's speech that some people forget and it is protecting Americans which the US Government is doing in Iraq.  The United States does not have an embassy or an official presence in Gaza which is controlled by Hamas who is on our terrorism list.  It is a humanitarian disaster of huge proportions which is what the United Nations is for and not a US problem except as a member of the UN.  We have people in Baghdad representing the US Government and Americans working in Iraq we need to protect and thus the airstrikes on convoys of ISIS if they move toward where Americans are located.

The other part of the equation in Iraq that the Iraqi Government asked for United States help including humanitarian aid to a religious group that ISIS has surrounded on a mountain top without food and water where the US is dropping them food and water to stay alive.  The Iraqi Government which is reforming wants our help but the Hamas Government in Gaza is a totally different story.

Looks like an extended cease fire effort in Gaza led by Egypt is going to be set back again as after three days of calm in Gaza, Hamas starts shelling again.  Does Hamas not care if they get their own people killed?  At the same time Israeli doesn't seem to mind killing civilians even children as collateral damage. What a horrible situation it is right now in Gaza with so many killed including children with their Government run by Hamas who are on the US terrorist list not seeming to care.

Israeli's seem to be swatting flies with a shovel as they bomb UN facilities in Gaza.  Bibi, the neo-cons dream leader, was not the person to put in charge again IMO.  Saw a spokesman on TV trying to spin Bibi is actually a moderate and thought to myself, this guy would fit in perfectly with the American press that spins rather then reports facts so many times.

We have two very dangerous situations in the Middle East, Russians saber rattling on the border with Ukraine, and Congress on a five-week recess once against abdicating their duties while McCain and other Republicans add nothing meaningful to the discourse just more saber rattling.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Gov Fallin Withdrew as Speaker for a Garvin County GOP Fundraiser When Flyer Listed KKK as a Discussion Item

Yesterday we spotlighted the positive Ad about Education by Democrat candidate Joe Dorman who is supported by a wide cross section of people.  May come as a shock to the hard right but we do have Republican teachers in Oklahoma who support Dorman.  Democrats in Oklahoma have common sense about a wide variety of topics compared to the Repubicans in this State you could say were stuck on stupid. 

If you don't believe the GOP is stuck on stupid remark, please read he latest out of the an OK GOP county organization who is hosting a fundraiser later this month.  Their flyer (copy below) caused GOP Governor Fallin to pull out of an event where she was advertised to speak.  Would be freaking me out if I was still supporting Republicans because it is one of the dumbest moves I have seen out of a County Party even in Oklahoma.  Thought I had seen it all but I was wrong.  It reinforces why I support Joe Dorman for Governor plus why I am leaving the hard right GOP behind.  Whoever came up with the truth is stranger then fiction deserves all the accolades after this debacle as chronicled by The Business Insider:
 Oklahoma Governor Won't Attend GOP Event With KKK Discussion
HUNTER WALKER, AUG. 6, 2014, 3:08 PM
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) will not be attending a fundraiser for a local Republican Party chapter after the group distributed a flyer promising the event would feature a discussion of "some things that you may not know" about the Ku Klux Klan. However, one of the event's organizers insisted the fundraiser was not "connected" to the KKK and was simply going to include information about how Democrats can be linked to the group.
Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz told Business Insider on Wednesday that the governor's office contemplated having her attend the GOP Bean Feed hosted by the Garvin County Republicans on Aug. 23, however, she will not be going to the event. 
"They had invited her to go, we had said we would look to put it on her schedule. She is not going," said Weintz. 
A flyer distributed by the Garvin County Republicans promised the event would feature a "great agenda" including remarks from Fallin and an opportunity to "discuss issues with fellow conservatives and find out some things that you may not know about the NRA, Planned Parenthood, Ku Klux Klan, and other organizations." Weintz would not say whether the flyer prompted Fallin's decision not to attend the event. 
"All I can tell you is she is not going and certainly that flyer was not something that is run by our office. ... If she had gone, she would have talked about her plan for economic growth in Oklahoma," Weintz said, adding, "The governor was never going to speak about any of those topics. Her plan was always to speak about her re-election campaign and her goals for the state." 
For the latest update, please click the link for Business Insider
Would be willing to bet the Fallin campaign originally told Garvin County GOP she would be there until her campaign saw this flyer.  First time I can remember that a County had to run a flyer past a candidate before it could be released.  If you haven't guessed, the Oklahoma Governor's Office is not an open book because it takes months to get a Freedom of Information request honored and some just sit there.  This is the same ALEC Governor that this spring vetoed over 15 bills including two that she wanted to teach the legislature a lesson so they would give her what she wanted across the board.

It is even funny the Fallin campaign thought they could say it was never on her calendar and everyone would believe the story.  Anyone who has been around politics knows full well you don't put a Governor's name on a flyer that they are speaking unless it has been confirmed.  Must admit this flyer is a doozy:

Just think Governor Fallin attending an event as the Guest Speaker where the KKK is discussed on the same program as the NRA, Planned Parenthood, and other organizations.  Bet that flyer sent shockwaves through her campaign staff along with Governor's office staff.

The menu is even funny to me as the Democrats are noted in Oklahoma for their Cornbread and Beans luncheons.  Used to be the standard menu for Norman Democrats at their monthly luncheon.  Is the Garvin GOP made up of former Democrats?  If they are, the GOP needs to keep them!

Let's move Oklahoma forward on 4 November 2014 by sending the Republicans to the unemployment line and bringing back elected officials who will put all Oklahomans first not just the wealthy! If you don't mind, I would also like people with a brain with common sense to be elected.  Don't think that is too much to ask after some of the dumb statements I see daily out of Republicans.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Joe Dorman, Candidate for Oklahoma Governor, Puts Education First for all Oklahoma Children in His First Ad

In this first ad from Joe Dorman, Candidate for Oklahoma Governor, he discusses his Plan to Fix Education which is broken in all but a few districts in Oklahoma.
"Classrooms First" Education Plan: Phase One & Two
I've been a tireless advocate for Oklahoma’s schools, fighting against unfunded mandates and ill-advised cuts to funding for our most valuable resources – teachers and students. 
One size fits all education standards that promote testing over learning simply don’t work in Oklahoma. The reality is that Oklahoma currently ranks 48th in teacher pay with the nation’s largest cuts in per student spending - 22.8%.  How can we compete when our schools are saddled with more and more unfunded mandates that increase requirements while slashing funding? 
We are trusting our schools to prepare the next generation for an economy and a world that is more connected than ever before – all with fewer and fewer resources. It’s time for less common core and more common sense in our education policy. 
I’ll invest in education. Our teachers, our students, our state deserve better. We have to provide adequate resources to eliminate overcrowded classrooms. I will continue to be a champion for public education – working across the aisle to raise the salaries for our teachers, because the job of educating Oklahoma kids shouldn’t require financial sacrifice at home. 
Together we will put our schools on the path towards a 21st century classroom and ensure that Oklahoma schools are the best in the nation.

Education is my #1 priority which made the decision to support Joe Dorman very easy.  Education has been important to me since my daughter first attended kindergarten years ago as I started volunteering in the classrooms to tutor reading when she was in first grade and for the next 18 years volunteered countless in schools in various districts due to transfers.  Worst thing I ever did was agree to become President of the PTO -- worst job I ever had including paid -- couldn't please anyone in the district so when the transfer to Texas popped up, started celebrating I couldn't run again as I announced immediately I couldn't run again as we were moving.  The principal told me that was the happiest announcement of a move he had ever seen but it was also the only time someone used moving not to serve a second year and laughed.  Told him worst job ever!

NH and MA schools were the worst schools my children attended followed closely by a district in Ohio, then would rate Boerne, Texas, much better along with Yucaipa, but none of those districts came close to the education that the kids received in Norman, OK.  Would give them a 5-star rating because from the School Board to the Superintendent, Principals and Teachers it is all about giving our children and grandchildren a first rate education.  Norman is noted for passing school bonds to improve our schools over the objections of the conservatives here who are outnumbered in this more progressive community.

Every child in Oklahoma should have the same education children receive in Norman which is rated one of the top school systems in the Nation.

With a Governor Joe Dorman, we will get that across Oklahoma because he will be tenacious in his fight for all Oklahoma children so they can get the same education the ones in school districts like Norman, Jenks or Broken Arrow for starters are getting.  Our small districts need more resources and help as our public schools for the most part are broken in rural Oklahoman.

The very fact that the Republican Legislature has been cutting funding for schools every year since 2008 ranking Oklahoma #1 in cuts to education since then and our teachers #48 in salaries from #49 before they received a raise for the first time in years shouts Republicans are worried.  Rep Joe Dorman decides to run for Governor and all of a sudden the Republicans found some money to increase school funding so we are now at what we should have been in 2009 after the Legislature started their cuts in 2008.  Then Barresi, State School Superintendent, announced a pay raise for teachers -- didn't do her any good as she came in 3rd in the primary and my main reason to stay a Republican in order to vote her out in the primary.  The switch happens on 1 September for me!

Oklahoma needs to fix our public schools and STOP spending money on Charter Schools backed by ALEC Governor Fallin, the State School Superintendent Janet Barresi who was defeated in the primary, and Jeb Bush of Florida who is thinking of running for President in 2016.  When Bush visited Oklahoma, he toured a charter school with Fallin and Barresi.  That did not go over well as Charter Schools don't operate under the same standards as public schools.

If Oklahoma is going to have really good public schools for all of its students, then we need to elect Jor Dorman as Governor along with sending more Democrats to the Legislature.  Oklahomans need to rise up and say NO to ALEC sponsored legislation along with the ALEC puppets in Oklahoma like Governor Fallin!  It is time to fix Oklahoma education NOW before it gets even worse!   Please support Joe Dorman to be our next Oklahoma Governor!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Rep Mo Brooks (R-AL) "War on Whites" by Democrats While in Iowa Sen Rand Paul Runs for the Exit When Dreamers Confront Rep Steve King Who Turns Nasty

Every morning I wake up and ask myself how dumb the Republican office holders are going to be today in press accounts.  I was not disappointed.  Rep Brooks (R-AL) showed Republicans are capable of being even dumber:
Rep. Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama:
“This is a part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party. And the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else,” he said during an interview Monday with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. "It's part of the strategy that Barack Obama implemented in 2008, continued in 2012, where he divides us all on race, on sex, greed, envy, class warfare, all those kinds of things. Well that’s not true.”
Brooks was responding to comments made by National Journal's Ron Fournier, who told Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday that "the fastest growing voting bloc in this country thinks the Republican Party hates them. This party, your party, cannot be the party of the future beyond November if you’re seen as the party of white people.”
But then I got this link of a Dreamer at in Iowa confronting Sen Rand Paul who ran away and Cong Steve King who got downright nasty to not only this couple but toward President Obama that he claims he likes -- yeah right!  His comments are unbelievable as much as someone in the background yelling Go Home to these two young people.  This video needs seen everywhere so people can see that Steve King is a real jerk and needs defeated by Jim Mowrer (D) to get nasty people like this out of the GOP House and turn the House back blue:

Noted that his aide tried to keep someone from videoing this on her phone but she wasn't backing off. How anyone could vote for this man is beyond me.  Then there is this little gem:

There are kids that were brought into this country by their parents unknowing that they were breaking the law. And [immigration reform supporters] will say to me and others that we have to do something about the 11 million, and some of them were valedictorians. [...] It's true in some cases, but they aren't all valedictorians, they weren't all brought in by their parents. For every one that's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there that they weigh 130 pounds and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.
Do people like Steve King really believe the crap they spout because if they do, they are the most heartless and cruel people ever.  Why is it that Republicans keep pushing the crap everyone from Mexico is a drug smuggler?  That is the height of stupidity IMO!  These young people came here with their parents as little kids to get them out of bad and dangerous situations and he wants to know if they are drug smugglers.  His biggest problem is he tried to lie on the Dream Act saying they only want to deport people who break the law like drug smugglers when he gets into everyone here without getting a green card first is a law breaker.  Add 2+2 and you get he wants them all deported -- every last person here that came illegally no matter if this is the only Country they have ever known.

King also said only Americans can serve in the military which is also not true.  People here with green cards can enlist but cannot become officers and cannot hold security clearances but enlisting can also be a path to citizenship for these young people wanting to serve.

The real Steve King came out in this video and it is not very complimentary.  As for Rand Paul running away after taking a bite of his sandwich thought he was going to choke when she said she was a Dreamer.  Guess you could safely call Rand Paul a coward!  Paul couldn't get out of there fast enough.

We have a Congressman declaring the Democrats have declared a war on whites while another Congressman is declaring that everyone here without a green card needs deported which in itself is an impossible task and he should know that fact.  At least we know that Rand Paul is supporting Steve King to return him to Congress.

All the more reason for the residents of that district to defeat King and elect Jim Mowrer - more on this race after Labor Day when we take an in-depth look!