Monthly Archives: July 2012

Humor: The Borowitz Report

A Message from NBC About Its Olympics Coverage

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LONDON (The Borowitz Report)—Today NBC Sports issued the following message to viewers of its prime-time coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games in London:

Dear NBC Viewers:

Last night, millions of you were thrilled to see the U.S.A.’s Missy Franklin win the gold medal in the hundred-metre backstroke race. That is, you would have been thrilled, except that just before the race we showed promos of Missy Franklin appearing on the Today show with the gold medal she won for the hundred-metre backstroke race.

If you’ve been watching NBC in prime time the past few nights, you’ve probably noticed how, night in, night out, we’ve been wrecking the Olympics for you. All we can say is, our bad. At NBC we’re just not used to broadcasting things that people want to watch.

But all that’s about to change.

Tonight, for those of you who like watching the Olympics without having every moment drained of its entertainment value, we are launching a new premium service called NBCFree: the Olympics without any contributions from NBC whatsoever.

For only $29.95 you can watch the Olympics with no spoilers, no maudlin “personal narratives,” and no promos for NBC’s new fall shows like that egregious one with the doctor and the monkey we show like every five minutes. And for $39.95, no Ryan Seacrest.

So contact your cable or satellite provider and order NBCFree today. And if you don’t? Well, all we can say is, we already know what other medals Missy has won, and we’re not afraid to tell you.

Sincerely,

NBC

Photograph by Al Bello/Getty.

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Mario Piperni and Chick-Fil-A

Chick-fil-A and the Jesus of Love or Hate

July 31, 2012 By

Contributor John Liming reflects on restaurant chain Chick-fil-A’s religious stand on gay marriage.

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I have been hearing all the uproar going on about that “Chicken” thing and since it has gone public, so to speak, I want to weigh in on it for a little bit here.

First off — This is The United States of America (The part that isn’t strictly Red or Blue, that is).

Because we are, for the most part, “The Land of The Free” I fully support the rights of anyone to spout off about their “Christian Values” and their “Moral Values” and their “Family Values” all they want.

Like I said, “This is America” and if someone wants to define “Christian” Values in terms that might sound a little hateful or bigoted to some folks (Like me for instance) then it is no skin off my nose and that is their right and I say “Let ‘em have at it!”

It ain’t none of my business and it ain’t about to be any of my business because I am not ever going to go into one of them places. That is my choice.

I guess if I want chicken to eat, I can get it at about a dozen places so my choices aren’t limited either.

Another thing is that I am not about to try and tell other people where to get their chicken because that is none of my business either. The last time I looked, people were still free to eat wherever they want to here in the good old U.S. of A.

But the thing is, I was taught to believe that Christianity was a religion of Love, understanding, acceptance, tolerance, forgiveness, long suffering, healing and all that other “Nice” stuff.

Some of the stuff I am hearing about this hullabaloo don’t seem to be anywhere near Christian to me and I think that if some folks are actually peddling hatred or bigotry as Christian Values they are going to have a hard time convincing Jesus to let them into the Pearly Gates when the time comes — and the time will surely come as it does to all of us.

Maybe it is all a matter of interpretation.

So for my part, I don’t want no part of it and definitely none of my money will ever support any of it.

See? I am an American too and although I am not Gay, I do not support any form of anything that I consider to be  discriminatory actions or language because I don’t consider such as that to be either American or Christian.

But if the Bible Thumpers, the Pew Jumpers and the Hallelujah Crowd want to take this cause to heart and defend it and support it, then that is on them, isn’t it? I think I will let Jesus sort that one out!

Like I said, “To each his own.”

Jesus of Love or Jesus of Hate!

The voting booths of the conscience are now open.

 

John’s piece originally appeared at The Liming Liberal Democrat.

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Mario Piperni on the Cheneys

Dick and Liz and Sarah

July 30, 2012 By

Dick Cheney, in one of his rare moments of honesty, had this to say about John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his VP choice.

I think that was a mistake. Is this person capable of being president of the United States?

I like Governor Palin. I’ve met her. I know her. … Attractive candidate. But based on her background — she’d only been governor for, what, two years — I don’t think she passed that test … of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake.

Well aside from the fact that the above observation was obvious four years ago to most people possessing a sound mind, they were spoken by a man whom many would argue was the worse and most corrupt VP the U.S. has ever known. How nice if Cheney would also admit that George W. Bush was not qualified to be President, but don’t hold your breath waiting for Dick to utter those words. It was exactly the fact that Bush was an incompetent, know-nothing moron that allowed Cheney to play the role of puppeteer for those eight, long disastrous years. An incompetent jackass for President suited Cheney well in 2001. Not so much as a VP choice in 2008 when he was no longer in control.

Palin’s problem, of course, was not that she had been governor for a mere two years. It was that she was, and is, an ignoramus. It was this that made her unsuitable for the VP position…or just about any other position I can think of. But you already knew this.

Cheney’s daughter, Liz, threw in her two cents and wins the award for most brazen, biased crapola of the week.

Puke time. And if you need another reason for ignoring just about anything the Cheneys have to say about anything, here are Dick Cheney’s words from September 2008.

…there’s no reason why Sarah Palin can’t be a successful vice president in a McCain administration.

They’re little more than idiotic, parading clowns, the entire bunch of them. Hey Liz, here’s what the rest of us think about your dad.

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Eugene Robinson on Mitt

Romney Tour ’12: Gaffepalooza

By Eugene Robinson

How is Mitt Romney’s summer vacation going? Fine, except for frequent pauses to remove foot from mouth.

He began his “Look At Me, I’m a Statesman” overseas tour by offending the people of the United Kingdom. To put it mildly, Romney is no genius at reading the mood of an audience. But even he realized things were not going well when he saw tabloid headlines such as “Mitt the Twit” and “Nowhere Man.”

Romney’s offense—he said there were “disconcerting” signs that London might not be ready to host the Olympics—was silly but not inconsequential. It actually revealed quite a lot about how the candidate sees himself and his place in the world.

What Romney knows about running the Olympics is exceeded only by what Romney thinks he knows about running the Olympics. As Prime Minister David Cameron obliquely noted, staging the games in London isn’t the same as staging them in Salt Lake City. British organizers are working amid the bustle of one of the great cities of the world, Cameron said, not out in “the middle of nowhere.”

Such distinctions are lost on Romney, about whom it is becoming possible to make a few generalizations. He tends to be arrogant about his accomplishments and dismissive of those who, in his estimation, fall short. He does not regard disparities in circumstances as relevant. Anyone who falls short of his achievements must be insufficiently smart or not a hard worker, and perhaps suffers from some moral debility as well.

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Thus it doesn’t matter if you’re operating within the context of a small, empty city or a big, crowded one. It doesn’t matter if you are, say, the son of a wealthy corporate titan who became a prominent governor, or the son of a single mother who lives in public housing. Romney earned $250 million and has a dressage horse competing in the Olympics, and, therefore, you can too.

Some will accuse me of attributing views to Romney that I can’t possibly know he holds. My response is that I base this on what I can observe, while working with limited information. I’ll be happy to make a reassessment as soon as we get a look at those tax returns Romney is so determined to hide.

Even if you grant Romney’s Olympic expertise, what in the world was he thinking when he reached London? Given the context, anyone trying to show how well he can represent his country abroad—in fact, any polite human being—would know to give an anodyne response about how great the city looks and how wonderful the games will surely be.

After being ridiculed by the British press and dismissed by London Mayor Boris Johnson as “a guy called Mitt Romney,” the candidate left without even seeing his dancing horse perform. His next stop was Israel, where his mouth continued to outrace his mind.

Romney’s purpose there was, and let’s be honest, to pander. His aim was to cut into President Obama’s big lead among Jewish voters, and he sought to do this by trying to sound more hawkishly committed to Israel’s security without actually departing from Obama’s policies, which are as pro-Israel as those of any U.S. administration.

Romney did this pretty well, for a while. He managed to win headlines by declaring that “any and all measures” should be used to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons—which is precisely the Obama position. When a foreign policy adviser, Dan Senor, suggested that Romney would support a unilateral Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, Romney stuck to his tough-sounding but vague position. Romney also promised to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—something George W. Bush promised in 2000 but never quite got around to doing.

But Romney strayed from the script at a fundraiser when he said that culture was a prime reason why Israel was so much more prosperous than the occupied territories under control of the Palestinian Authority. “I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things,” Romney said.

Palestinians noted that one of those “few other things” is the decades-long Israeli occupation that strictly controls the movement of goods and people. Romney’s riff on culture “is a racist statement,” said Saeb Erakat, a longtime Palestinian official.

Romney wants to project bold confidence. Instead, he radiates blind certainty. All around the world, people can tell the difference.

Andrew Sullivan on Yet Another Mitt Muff

Romney Praises Socialized Medicine

Just after the Brits included theirs in the Olympic ceremony (see above), Mr Plastic tips Israel’s:

“Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the G.D.P. in Israel? Eight percent,” [Romney] said. “You spend eight percent of G.D.P. on health care. You’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18 percent of our G.D.P. on health care, 10 percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, compare that with the size of our military — our military which is 4 percent, 4 percent. Our gap with Israel is 10 points of G.D.P. We have to find ways — not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to fund and manage our health care costs.

And yet Romney would instantly kill the multiple initiatives in Obamacare to do exactly that. Zeke Miller outlines key components of the Israelis’ healthcare system, which has been universal since 1948.

(Photo: Children and Nurses representing the Great Ormond Street Hospital, the NHS and children literature take part in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. By Clive Rose/Getty Images.)

Mario Piperni on the Big Lie

Romney’s True Friend, Bibi

July 30, 2012 By

Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.
~Sicilian Proverb

Mitt Romney on his friendship with Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu:

We can almost speak in shorthand.  We share common experiences and have a perspective and underpinning which is similar.

Shorthand? Wow, that is beautiful. Tell us more!

Israel’s current prime minister is not just a friend, he’s an old friend.

Okay, I’m convinced. Let’s see how Mitt’s amazingly close bond with Bibi would affect his role as President.

I’d get on the phone to my friend Bibi Netanyahu and say, ‘Would it help if I said this? What would you like me to do?’

Wonderful. This is surely something which every American dreams of – a president whose loyalty to an old friend has him placing the interests of a foreign nation ahead of those of the U.S. There is no better definition of a friend than this, is there?

And what does Netanyahu have to say in return about his “old friend”, Mittens?

I remember him [Romney] for sure, but I don’t think we had any particular connections, I knew him and he knew me, I suppose.

I suppose? Too funny. Listen, if Romney is going to go through the trouble of lying, is it too much to ask that he at least put in the effort to make it a lie that is not this easy to refute?

What is wrong with this guy?

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(The Romney and Bachmann source photographs are Creative Commons licensed images from photographer Gage Skidmore.)

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Humor: The Borowitz Report

Romney’s Gaffes Worsen in Israel

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TEL AVIV (The Borowitz Report)—The Mitt Romney Gaffe Express pulled into a new station today, leaving its conductor’s hopes of proving himself to be a nimble statesman in tatters.

Mr. Romney’s troubles began in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to whom he presented gifts of a HoneyBaked ham and a wheel of cheddar cheese.

After Mr. Netanyahu ordered both gifts removed from his residence and destroyed, Mr. Romney went on to address the Knesset, where he congratulated the Jewish people on building the pyramids.

“Ann and I saw them during a cruise we took to the Middle East, and they were magnificent,” he told the stunned legislators. “As accomplishments go, building the pyramids isn’t up there with saving the Olympics, but you should still feel very, very proud. Nice job.”

Sensing that his remarks were not going over as well as intended, Mr. Romney improvised: “No, really. Incredible building job you did. If any of you would like to work on our house in La Jolla, just say the word. Only thing is, you’ll have to work Saturdays.”

Mr. Romney’s day concluded with an awkward moment at the West Bank, where he attempted to deposit ten million dollars.

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Illustration by Tom Bachtell

Excerpts from Rachel Maddow’s Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power”

Spurs that jingo jangle jingo

Once upon a time, it was a big joke that a B movie actor, Ronald Reagan, could think he might be president of the United States. In 1976, when he attempted to unseat a sitting repug president, Gerald Ford, he lost the first six primaries. But then he hit upon a theme that would propel him into national prominence: The bad feelings over the Vietnam debacle were fodder for a “New Day in America,” where it felt good to be bad-ass again. Thus was born the Era of the Chickenhawk (Reagan himself spent the Big One, WWII, making propaganda films), and as Rachel notes, so began the slide into a modern militaristic imperialism that has impaled this country on a cross of iron. Writing in the chapter “A Nation at Peace Everywhere in the World,” she picks up on his “New Day in America” theme:

“There is one problem which must be solved or everything else is meaningless. I am speaking of the problem of our national security. Our nation is in danger, and the danger grows greater with each passing day.” The Ford administration was asleep at the wheel while Cuba’s Communist strongman Fidel Castro continued to “export revolution” to Puerto Rico and Angola and a score of places in between, Reagan said. We had sacrificed democratic Taiwan to Communist China. Then there was the Panama give­away. And worst of all, the Soviets were cleaning our clocks in war-making capabilities: “The Soviet Army outnumbers ours more than two to one and in Reserves four to one. They outspend us on weapons by fifty percent. Their Navy outnumbers ours in surface ships and submarines two to one. We’re outgunned in artillery three to one and their tanks outnumber ours four to one. Their strategic nuclear missiles are larger, more powerful, and more numerous than ours.”

None of these stark and terrifying “facts” about Soviet military superiority were true, but really, that was beside the point. “The evidence mounts that we are Number Two in a world where it’s dangerous, if not fatal, to be second best.” He believed in peace “as much as any man,” he said. “But peace does not come from weakness or from retreat. It comes from the restoration of American military superiority.”

The turnaround after North Carolina was dramatic: After going 0 for 6 at the start of the primary season, Reagan won four of the next six primaries, swept up every delegate in Texas, Alabama, and Georgia, and extended the race all the way to the convention that summer. He did grudgingly concede to Gerald Ford at that convention, but Ronald Reagan never again took his eyes off the White House. He had made himself a big pin on the political map and he understood exactly how he’d done it. When something worked for Reagan, he stuck with it. So while the new Democratic president who defeated Ford, Jimmy Carter, picked up the Ford policy and negotiated a strategically beneficial treaty with Panama, while mainstream Democrats and Republicans in the Senate joined together to work toward the two-thirds vote necessary for ratification, while right-wing archbishop William F. Buckley and America’s beloved tough guy John Wayne (yes, that John Wayne) campaigned full-on for the ratification of Carter’s treaty, Reagan demagogued with a vengeance. “The loss of the Panama Canal,” Reagan said in one of his weekly radio addresses, “would contribute to the encirclement of the US by hostile naval forces, and thereby [threaten] our ability to survive.”

Even after John Wayne sent Reagan a private and personal note offering to show him “point by goddamn point in the treaty where you are misinforming people,” and offering fair warning that it was time for the Gipper to shut his piehole (“If you continue to make these erroneous remarks, someone will publicize your letter to prove that you are not as thorough in your reviewing of this treaty as you say or are damned obtuse when it comes to reading the English language”), Ronald Reagan doubled down. He cited a former “defense intelligence” expert, Gen. Daniel 0. Graham (and put a pin in that name), who said rumors of Castro’s Communist minions at work in the fields of Panama were based on “pretty solid evidence.” He also cited a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs who “expressed the gravest concern about surrendering the canal to a leftist oriented government allied with Cuba, citing the danger of giving this advantage to a man who might permit Soviet power and influence to prevail by proxy over the canal. He said the ‘economic lifeline of the entire Western hemisphere would be jeopardized.’ ”

In private correspondence with his good friend Bill Buckley, leading up to their nationally televised 1978 Firing Line debate on the Panama issue, Reagan professed a much more accommodating view, one that involved maybe internationalizing the operation of the Canal. But on TV he stuck to his crowd-pleasing hard line. “We bought it, we paid for it, we built it, and we intend to keep it!” was not a slogan that invited waffling. “We would become a laughingstock by surrendering to unreasonable demands, and by doing so, I think we cloak weakness in the suit of virtue” was how Reagan closed the Firing Line debate. “I think that the world would see it as, once again, Uncle Sam putting his tail between his legs and creeping away rather than face trouble.”

Buckley was on the right side of history in his argument for the treaty. Panama’s subsequent control of the Canal did not create a threat to “the economic lifeline of the entire western hemisphere,” or any other kind of threat to the United States. It’s been a technocratic nonissue for the most part. But the intellectual father of the modern conservative movement still marveled at the rewarding political vein Reagan had tapped. “I think that Governor Reagan put his finger on it when he said the reason this treaty is unpopular is because we’re tired of being pushed around.”

By the time the Canal treaty made it to the Senate floor for ratification, Reagan’s histrionics had almost torpedoed the thing, aided by millions of desperate, pants-on-fire direct-mail appeals from the Conservative Caucus, and by the American Conservative Union’s “documentary ” with the self-parodying title “There Is No Panama  Canal . . . There Is an American Canal in Panama.” “This may be the most important TV program you’ve ever watched,” an ACU spokesman blared on the eve of the broadcast. What should have been a slam-dunk ratification became an act of political courage in the Senate. Reagan and his growing right-wing “truth” machine had stirred public opinion to such a frothy head that Senate Minority Leader Howard Baker was warned that a vote for the treaty would cost him any chance at the GOP presidential nomination in 1980. On the way to the Senate floor to cast his aye vote, a popular centrist Democrat from New Hampshire asked his wife to “come on and watch me lose my seat.”

The treaty squeaked through by a single vote, but it gave Reagan and the right wing of the Republican Party an issue that kept on giving. The next two election cycles were bloodbaths for the Senate Democrats. That New Hampshire senator lost his seat; so did the treaty’s floor manager, four-term senator Frank Church, who could not overcome a last-minute conservative ad blitz funded by the National Conservative Political Action Committee: “Now that all the shouting is over, remember the Panama Canal, built with American blood and treasure. Frank Church voted to give it away.” Birch Bayh of Indiana lost to a callow, lightweight Republican named Dan Quayle, and the 1972 presidential nominee George McGovern lost his South Dakota seat in an embarrassing 58-39 landslide.

But the Reagan assault didn’t stop at the party line. A slew of moderate Republicans who had supported the treaty were swept aside for being weak-kneed, such as Kansan James B. Pearson, who retired amid catcalls that he was not “Republican enough,” and old lions like Clifford Case and Jacob Javits, who lost ignominiously in the primary to a county supervisor from Long Island named Alfonse D’Amato. In November 1980, when Re­publicans gained control of the Senate for the first time since the end of 1954, this was not your father’s Republican Party. The Senate newbies were amped up, doctrinaire, undistracted by facts on the ground, and primed for a fight in which America could prove itself mighty once again. And at the head of the parade was the new president-elect, Ronald Wilson Reagan.

All that should have changed with the total unraveling of the Reagan administration, when the Iran-Contra arms scandal came to light—not to mention that fact that Ron’s “diminished capacity” became more and more apparent. But the long-lasting effects of the actions of his minions haunt us to this day:

Even before all the indict­ments and the convictions of senior administration officials, Reagan’s new way—the  president can do anything so long as the president thinks it’s okay—looked like toast. In fact, Rea­gan looked like toast. Whatever his presidency had meant up until that point, Iran-Contra was such an embarrassment, such a toxic combination of illegality and sheer stupidity, that even the conservatives of his own party were disgusted. “He will never again be the Reagan that he was before he blew it,” said a little-known Republican congressman from Georgia by the name of Newt Gingrich. “He is not going to regain our trust and our faith easily.”

The president had been caught red-handed. Congress had exercised its legal and constitutional prerogative to restrain the executive branch from waging a war in Nicaragua. Reagan responded by breaking the law, waging the war anyway, and funding it by illegal and secret weapons deals that the presi­dent insisted weren’t happening. The secretary of defense was indicted on multiple counts, as were two national security ad­visers, an assistant secretary of state, the chief of Covert Ops at the CIA, and two other senior CIA officials. The president himself escaped largely by pleading exhaustive ignorance and confusion: ”I’m afraid that I let myself be influenced by oth­ers’ recollections, not my own . . . the simple truth is, I don’t remember—period.” The Reagan presidency—the  whole my­thology of Reagan’s leadership—was  laid bare. This was com­petence?

But a funny thing happened on the way to the burial of those tough-guy president-can-do-anything ideas. The lesson of the whole affair didn’t really take hold. The Tower Commission and the congressional investigating committee and the independent counsel expended their resources and energies on personalities like North and Secord and McFarlane and Poindexter, and Rea­gan got a pass. Which meant that in the not very much longer term, Reagan could be reimagined and reinvented by conserva­tives as an executive who had done no wrong: the gold standard of Republican presidents. By 2011, Newt Gingrich was trying to pave his own path to the presidency with Gingrich Productions “documentaries” like Ronald Reagan:Rendezvous with Destiny. “I knew Ronald Reagan; I began working with Ronald Reagan in 1974 when I first ran for Congress,” Gingrich was thunder­ing from the podium at conservative conferences. “And I hate to tell this to our friends at MSNBC and elsewhere: Barack Obama is no Ronald Reagan!” (Newt’s Reagan movie kind of glossed over the whole Iran-Contra thing, when the extent of Newt Gin­grich’s “working with” Ronald Reagan was throwing him under the bus, as the untrustworthy president who “blew it.”)

The Iran-Contra scandal hasn’t exactly turned into a badge of honor for those who had starring roles, but neither does it tarnish the high sheen retrospectively applied to the Reagan presidency or those who did his illegal or extra-constitutional bidding. Reagan’s  successor, George H. W. Bush, pardoned most of the Iran-Contra convicts; Bush’s son George W. hired on a number of the scandal’s key players for his own adminis­tration. The Obama administration kept W’s defense secretary, Robert M. Gates, whose name is the title of chapter 16 of the Iran-Contra independent counsel report. (“The evidence estab­lished,” said the report, “that Gates was exposed to information about North’s connections to the private resupply operation that would have raised concern in the minds of most reasonable per­sons about the propriety of a Government officer having such an operational role.”)

But even more dangerous was the sad fact that the shameful Meese-made legal arguments about nearly unlimited executive power were not seen as the crazy talk they were, and killed off for good. One leader in Congress was instrumental in making sure this executive-power argument remained politically viable, by loudly declaiming at the time of Iran-Contra, in the midst of the scandal, that Reagan was right to do what he did. As the main author of the minority’s  145-page written dissent from the congressional investigation of Iran-Contra, Wyoming Rep­ resentative Dick Cheney insisted,  radically, that Iran-Contra was no crime, that Reagan was right to defy Congress, because there was nothing in Congress, nothing anywhere in America’s political structure, that could constrain a president from waging any war he wanted, however he wanted. It was an extreme view of executive power, a minority view when written, but it quickly became a blueprint for the next generation of Republican thinking about war and its limits. “The President was expected to have the primary role of conducting the foreign policy of the United States,” Cheney argued in his minority report on Iran-Contra. “Congressional actions to limit the President in this area therefore should be reviewed with a considerable degree of skepticism. If they interfere with core presidential foreign policy functions, they should be struck down. Moreover, the lesson of our constitutional history is that doubtful cases should be decided in favor of the President.”

And who won this argument? The answer is kind of surprising, but sadly obvious today, when we find ourselves in a succession of indefinite hot wars the country does not really want.

Remember the words of James Madison: “The Constitution supposes, what the History of all Governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care vested the question of war in the Legislature.” The “studied care” Madison describes behind that “vesting” has not been matched by any equal and opposite studied care in recent decades, as we’ve divested that same power. It’s not a conspiracy. Rational political actors, acting rationally to achieve rational (if sometimes dumb) political goals, have attacked and undermined our constitutional inheritance from men like Madison. For the most part, though, they’ve not done it to fundamentally alter the country’s course but just to get around understandably frustrating impediments to their political goals. The ropes we had used to lash down presidential war-making capacity, bindings that by design made it hard for an American president to use military force without the nation’s full and considered buy-in, have been hacked at with very little appreciation about why they were put there in the first place.

When Ronald Reagan extricated himself from the Iran-Contra scandal by cutting one of those crucial mooring lines—without considered forethought or specific course headings in mind—it set the country adrift and heading into a dangerous tide.

Congress has never since effectively asserted itself to stop a president with a bead on war. It was true of George Herbert Walker Bush. It was true of Bill Clinton. And by September 11, 2001, even if there had been real resistance to Vice President Cheney and President George W. Bush starting the next war (or two), there were no institutional barriers strong enough to have realistically stopped them. By 9/11, the war-making authority in the United States had become, for all intents and purposes, uncontested and unilateral: one man’s decision to make.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Mario Piperni’s Illustrated Late-Night Humor

Late Night Political Humor

July 27, 2012 By

The best from Political Humor‘s collection of the week’s late night political humor.

Happy ‘Olympics start today!’ Friday.

“Mitt Romney is now in London to see his horse compete in the dressage event. Dressage is kind of like horse ballet. Finally something that connects Romney with the average American voter.” –Jay Leno

“Mitt Romney said while he is in Europe, he won’t be apologizing to anybody. He has nothing to apologize for. A lot of those people overseas now have good jobs because of him. They are very very grateful.” –Jay Leno

“There’s talk that Mitt Romney’s campaign is paying for Twitter followers. Yes, he’s paying for people to like him. Or, as it’s called politics.” –Jimmy Fallon

“Mitt Romney’s search for a vice president continues As you know, one of Mitt Romney’s problems is that he’s never hired an American for a job before, so this is new.” –Jay Leno

“Mitt Romney will travel to London where he will attend the Olympics opening ceremony . Of course it’s going ot be weird when they’re announcing all the countries, and he’s like ‘Got a bank account there, got one there, two bank accounts there.” –Jimmy Fallon

“The poverty rate is now at its highest since the 1960s. It’s gotten so bad that Mitt Romney’s butler let his butler go.” –Conan O’Brien

“It’s now being reported than Mitt Romney’s campaign brought in 200 African American supporters to help cheer him on when he spoke at the NAACP meeting. And it cost him a lot of money because he had to fly them in from the Cayman Islands.” –Jay Leno

“Even though the Olympics take place during Ramadan, some Muslim athletes said they will not fast during games. Then, after sampling the British food, they said, on second thought, fasting sounds good.” –Conan O’Brien

“Congresswoman Michele Bachmann wants an investigation as to whether Islamists have infiltrated the highest levels of the federal government. You know what’s really frightening? After listening to Michele Bachmann, you realize idiots have infiltrated the highest levels of the federal government.” –Jay Leno

“A new study published by The British Medical Journal found that inactivity can kill you. I mean, these are the kind of findings that just scare the hell out of Congress.” –Jay Leno

“A new study claims that for the first time ever, Canadians are wealthier than Americans. We are their Mexico now it turns out.” –Jimmy Kimmel

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(The Romney and Bachmann source photographs are Creative Commons licensed images from photographer Gage Skidmore.)

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Mario Piperni Does Mitt

Move Over Mr. Bean, Mitt Has Arrived

July 27, 2012 By

The British press is having a blast with Romney’s arrival in London. Mitt’s gaffes have been occurring almost hourly and the Republican presidential nominee is now being dubbed Mr. Bean. He’s been stumbling around London as if he’s the half-wit love child of a Dubya/Palin love tryst. Romney’s gone from disparaging the Brits’ efforts in preparing for the Olympics to referring to the UK as “the nation of Great Britain.” (There is no such nation. Great Britain is an island consisting of three nations: England, Scotland and Wales. Along with Northern Ireland, they form the United Kingdom.) Not knowing your host country’s name is not the brightest thing an aspiring American president can do when abroad.

If you’ve missed any of Mitt’s gaffes , you can catch up on the fun here.

Andrew Sullivan has noted that right-wing media has said little if anything of Romney’s blunders. No surprise there, of course. One exception has been conservative blogger, Dan Riehl, who expressed his thoughts on Prime Minister David Cameron defending his country’s efforts in staging the Olympics. When I think of the term ‘ugly American’, I’m thinking exactly of people like Dan Riehl. Here’s what this guy wrote.

A Limp Wrist-ed David Cameron hits back at Mitt Romney over Olympic doubts

Get over it, Britain. You’re a second rate, semi-degenerate nation still on the way down because you went too far to the left too long ago for anyone to care about. Don’t expect us to wring our hands over what you losers did. We’re too busy fighting to make sure it doesn’t happen here.

I really give a flip about what David Cameron thinks. yawn … just be glad we continue to allow you to think you’re actually in the game on most things. Now, get out of our face and try to not screw up the Olympics more than you have already.

Mostly a bunch of feckless wankers if you ask me. Put a Gold Medal on that and aim it at the Queen’s arse. How ya liking America, now, mates? LOL

Disgusting and juvenile but what more would you expect from a Breitbart.com writer. Sleaze is what Riehl knows. Sleaze is what Riehl does. You might be interested in knowing this guy is one of Romney’s approved bloggers.

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(The Romney source photograph is a Creative Commons licensed image from photographer Gage Skidmore.)

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