Saturday, June 21, 2014

Loss Roskam's opportunity to serve district

Though visibly disappointed, my congressman Peter Roskam (IL-6) should view his loss to Steve Scalise (LA-1) to be House GOP Whip as a wonderful opportunity to finally serve his district and the national public interest. Losing to Scalise, a rightward tilt (if that's possible) to placate the most virulent Red State conservatives, means Roskam will likel...y be bounced from his Chief Deputy Whip job to allow Scalise to pick a political supporter for this key No. 4 House GOP leadership position. The opportunity, if Roskam can have an epiphany and seize it, exists because he will no longer be charged to robotically count votes to pass the obstructionist Tea Party legislation designed to demean, destroy and prevent any sensible polities to create jobs, prevent raising the minimum wage, extend unemployment insurance to the chronically unemployed, fix our broken immigration system, deny women full reproductive freedom, extend full civil rights to the LGBT community, and halt the destruction of Mother Earth with 'Drill, Baby, Drill.' He will no longer be locked into the heartless leadership responsibility to overturn, defund and delegitimize the Affordable Care Act which is keeping tens of millions from financial ruin, diminished health and even death from the worst health care delivery system in the industrialized world. Out of House GOP leadership, Roskam can actually break with the largely GOP war party which demonizes President Obama over his efforts to resist mindless calls for more senseless military adventurism, the one aspect of government the Tea Party controlling the House GOP leadership supports. Peter Roskam has spent the last three and a half years supporting all those despicable policies as Chief Deputy the Sixth District's sorrow. In his letter to House GOP colleagues promoting his conservative bonafides, Roskam touted his obstructionism like a badge of honor when it simply was a lesson in insatiable ambition at the expense of the public interest. With a half year to go in his fourth term, Roskam still has time to make up for his stint as Chief Deputy Obstructionist by finally opening his heart and soul to the devastating carnage wrought to the body politic by the Tea Party fanatics.
Roskam getting dumped by the Tea Party is small potatoes. Roskam dumping the Tea Party would be huge. Ponder that, Congressman.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Iraq war was lost; stay out in peace


It is reprehensible that some of the same mendacious neocons that lied and fear-mongered America into a criminal war against Iraq 11 years ago are once again polluting the airwaves with calls for more military intervention there now that the Sunni-Shi'ite sectarian conflict we ignited is tearing Iraq apart. Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham popped up with their lies about how we won the war till Obama pulled out in 2011. They both conveniently omit that former president George W. Bush signed the exit order before Obama took office and Obama couldn't forge an extension because the Iraqi government wisely demanded Iraqi justice for American soldiers who commit crimes there as part of the extension. We never won a thing in Iraq and we were unceremoniously kicked out. We've also been forced to endure equally nefarious members of the Bush war cabinet Paul Bremer and Paul Wolfowitz. Bremer was the guy who dismissed the Iraqi army sending hundreds of thousands into the street without jobs but with weapons. Wolfowitz ludicrously bragged how the Iraq war could be prosecuted on the cheap, costing no more than a mere 30 billion. Several trillion later he's still deemed worthy enough to pontificate about how we must jump back in. Nearly every day we're subjected to chief media neocon Bill Kristol once again call for more warfare when he never made a sensible and valid assessment of the Iraq war he's championed for 11 years now. Before long we may see the likes of Bush war criminals Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice weighing in a feeble attempt salvage their reputations irrevocably scarred by war crimes.

But most shame must be reserved to the mainstream media who give these warmongers a forum to spew their endless calls for more war to justify their decade long litany of murderous malfeasance. We can only prevent getting involved in more senseless, unwinnable warfare if we push back by the tens of millions. This is not and never should be a spectator sport for Joe Sixpack. He must understand that if his eyes glaze over and he turns away from the impending Iraq Disaster Redux, he will be enabling the same dark forces who unleashed this catastrophe 11 years ago. The war was lost. Go in peace.

It's Graham, not Maliki, that should go

Premier American warmonger Sen. Lindsay Graham appeared on Face The Nation Sunday to promote renewed military intervention in Iraq. Graham was "heartbroken" that the Sunnis were gobbling up large areas of Iraq from the Shi'ite dominated government of President Nouri al-Maliki. He neglected to mention that his undying support for President Bush's criminal is what created the sectarian violence between Sunnis, Shi'ites and Kurds that has essentially splintered Iraq into thirds. Trillions of treasure squandered, hundreds of thousands dead, including 4,489 GI's is not enough for Sen. Graham who wants US air power to kill more, more, more.

While Graham's warmongering was expected, it's his comment about the Iraqi government that was truly offensive. "Maliki is a flawed leader. He has to go...absolutely." That precisely reflects the colonial approach to weak powers America wants to conquer and exploit that gets all those innocents killed and makes America reviled around the world. Graham appeared oblivious his statement about dumping a duly elected foreign leader simply because he doesn't suit Graham's obsession with global dominance, is contrary to America's founding and international law. Alas, that has been America's penchant ever since it jumped into the colonialism game back in 1898 with our trumped up war of conquest against Spain over Cuba. In smashing pitifully weak Spain, we acquired Cuba and the Philippines. While we quickly freed Cuba, we've spent the last 55 years either trying to overthrow or weaken its government because we don't like it. The Philippines had to wait 48 years for their freedom and incurred hundreds of thousands dead when they revolted against our takeover in 1898. And here we are in 2014 with Sen. Lindsay Graham demanding that the Iraqi president has to go because Graham doesn't like him.

Sen. Graham may have won his Primary and will be easily re-elected in November, but if he has an once of integrity, patriotism and decency, he will resign today. In his own words he "is a flawed leader. He has to go...absolutely."

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Deconstructing Roskam's plea to be number three

In a previous post I pointed out how Tea Partier David Brat's stunning defeat of House GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor may pull my congressman Peter Roskam (IL-6) further to the right "if that's possible." This post will translate for us ordinary citizens, Roskam's letter to House Republicans seeking support to elevate him from No. 4 House GOP leader, Chief Deputy Whip, to No. 3 leader, Majority Whip. Quoting Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, no less, who said "The ground of liberty is to be gained by inches," Roskam couched his bid to move up to the American Revolution. In other words, if you liked the American Revolution, you'll love Roskam as House GOP Majority Whip.

Then he touted his past three years as Chief Deputy Whip saying he lead on "the difficult skirmishes on spending, on healthcare, on taxes, and above all on government intrusion and heavy handedness in a dizzying number of areas of our public and private lives." 
Translation: "I shut down the government for you guys to prevent 40 million Americans from getting health insurance and maybe not go bankrupt, incur ill health or possibly die. Doesn't that prove my Tea Party bonifides?"

Not to completely ignore GOP incompetence, Roskam offers this: "We haven't always played smart. We haven't always worked as a team. In some situations, we haven't scored any points, or won the match." 
Translation: "We opposed everything most Americans want and need and made utter fools or ourselves in the process."

Roskam then lamented how frustrating it was: "to watch our economy and our core values backslide under the onslaught of President Obama and Harry Reid's class warfare and welfare state agenda, we don't have to live this way."
Translation: "Unemployment is down; GDP is up; deficit is down; consumer confidence is up. Of course I'm going to fib about how wonderfully America has improved under President Obama."

Not content to cite just Thomas Jefferson to boost his House Whip bid, Roskam invoked his patron saint and predecessor Henry Hyde declaring: "Henry redefined for generations what it means to be a principled conservative, scoring unparalleled victories on the most sacred of all issues we touch in our work here, the sanctity of human life. He did it by being passionate, by being outspoken, by being unyielding in his faith and conviction, and by fighting inch by inch on the field of battle to achieve a more perfect union."
Translation: "OK, all he did was work mightily to deny reproductive health to women while supporting President Bush's criminal war in Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands. But then, I did too".

The vote comes this Thursday. David Brat won't be voting since he still must win the November election to become a House Republican. But his shadow will loom large over the House GOP leadership vote as Republicans scramble to determine how far right they must tilt to placate the Tea Party. As for Congressman Roskam? He's so right he's wrong.