Saturday, July 18, 2015

Kirk's comments on Iran deal un-Senatorial, untrue, unhelpful

Illinois has the dubious distinction of being home to the most incendiary opponent to the 5 power nuclear deal with Iran in the form of firebrand Senator Mark Kirk. His vituperative string of outrageous comments must be read by every Illinoisan to understand Kirk is not fit to serve in the Senate.
“Tens of thousands of people in the Middle East are gonna lose their lives because of this decision by Barack Hussein ...Obama.”

This from a Congressman and Senator who had no trouble supporting our criminal Iran war which killed hundreds of thousands. By the way, Senator, using Obama's middle name is a dog whistle to the 'Obama is a Muslim crowd.'

“This agreement condemns the next generation to cleaning up a nuclear war in the Persian Gulf,”

Kirk's stunningly perverse logic is that war, not negotiation, is the only means of preventing possible war.
"It condemns our Israel allies to further conflict with Iran.”

Now we get to the meat of Kirk's frenzy over an negotiated agreement: its not in the national interest of Kirk's true master: Israel. Between 2002 and 2010, Kirk has received over $1,600,000 in campaign help from the Israel Lobby. That's not 'walkin' around money'; that buys endless support for Israel in Congress over US interests.

“This is the greatest appeasement since Chamberlain gave Czechoslovakia to Hitler... and that the deal means “Israel will now have to take military action against Iran.”

Really, Senator? If your Israel Lobby handlers told you that, isn't that blackmail? Or are you simply making it up to promote their interests?

“The president will make this a viciously partisan issue, leading most Democrats to standing with the Iranians" get nukes to Iran.”

In Kirk's confused and distorted worldview, President Obama is traitorously working to give Iran nuclear weapons.

Without a word of reasoned analysis of the 100 page agreement, Kirk simply calls it "unremitted garbage."

Very classy, Senator.

New York may be No. 1 in being home to America's most anti immigration racist Donald Trump, but Illinois is second to none in hosting America's most virulent war monger, Mark Kirk.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Roskam, Kirk, really pushing war with Iran

The end game for anti Iran hard liners like my Congressman Peter Roskam and Senator Mark Kirk is war with Iran. Though they'll never use the 'war' word, war is the logical outcome of their incessant calls to derail the Iran nuclear deal and re-instate crippling sanctions. Such action will blow up the best chance for peace in the region; inciting Iran to proceed unilaterally with a nuclear program without 5 power scrutiny, and giving the Congressional war hawks figurative as well as literal ammunition to bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. 
And on the sidelines, cheering on Roskam, Kirk and their pro war faction, will be the Israeli Likud party. They have been promoting US war with Iran since their successful lobbying helped fuel our rush to criminal war with Iraq in 2003. After the Iraq disaster, the one sensible, sane action by President Bush was to cancel an impending Iran war. But Israel, and their minions in Congress, will never give up. Israel cannot crush it's rival for hegemony in the region alone. It needs Uncle Sam to do the heavy killing.

Roskam and Kirk may never have heard JKF's greatest speech; the one on nuclear détente with Russia, given at American University, June 10 , 1963, just 5 months from Dallas. In it, he boldly announced the way forward to nuclear détente with Russia, announcing negotiations for a nuclear test ban treaty. Kennedy was addressing the Roskams and Kirks of his day with these words that resonate just as sensibly and urgently today:

"So, let us not be blind to our differences. But let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal."

Are you listening Congressman? Are you listening Senator?

Hooray for Gov. Walker

Gov. Walker showed great independence and compassion yesterday in defying his legislature to expand Medicaid to his states marginally poor under the Affordable Care Act.

No, I'm not referring to Koch Brothers sycophant and heartless Affordable Care Act hating Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. I'm congratulating Alaska Governor Bill Walker, who rejected his inhumane Republican legislature to announce use of his  gubernatorial powers to implement Medicaid expansion under the ACA which will cover 42,000 desperate Alaskans in need.    

Walker talks straight: “This is the final option for me. We are not going to step away from this opportunity to help fellow Alaskans, period.” The other Governor Walker speaks with a forked tongue, claiming God inspires him to run his state against all Christian and humanitarian principles of fairness, decency and compassion.

Alaska becomes the 30th state to grant relief to millions under the ACA through Medicaid expansion, in which Uncle Sam picks up the full cost through 2016 and 90% thereafter. Millions more in the remaining 20 states suffer under governors channeling Ebenezer Scrooge, trumpeting their extreme conservative bona fides on the backs of the medically uninsured. Gee, wouldn't it be nice if Gov. Scott Walker could have a troubled night's sleep in which he's visited by the ghosts of Governance Past, Governance Present and Governance Future? He might determine it's never too late to redeem one's soul.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Roskam, Kirk, offer fear, not substance on Iran nuclear deal

"This deal all but ensures Iran will become a nuclear power in our lifetime, defeating from the outset the Obama administration’s own long-stated goal of preventing a nuclear-armed Iran."
  - Congressman Peter Roskam (Rep. IL-6)

“I am gravely concerned that the nuclear agreement will condemn the next generation to living with an Iranian nuclear power in the Persian Gulf and ultimately endanger the security of the United States, Israel, and other regional allies over the long term."
  - Senator Mark Kirk (Rep. IL)

That's about you'll get from my Congressman Peter Roskam and Senator Mark Kirk on the historic nuclear deal struck by the P5+1 (US, Russia, China, England and France) with Iran yesterday. It puts the world community on a path to peace after two decades of incessant warfare. The Vienna agreement is our best and last hope for peace in the Middle East. That the US and other major powers could preserver against unrelenting pressure from Israel and its lock-step allies in Congress, including Roskam and Kirk, is a testament to their independence and fortitude. We owe them our grateful support to end the near endless cycle of fear and loathing against substantive negotiation.

Roskam and Kirk want none of that. They remind me of Bob Dylan's warning in 'Masters of War': "You play with our world like it's your little toy."

Since they'll likely never read, much less comment intelligently and decently on the deal, let's offer just a few safeguards contained in this 100 page, technically complex agreement.

  • 20 years of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitoring of uranium ore concentrate produced by Iran for 25 years
  • Containment and surveillance of centrifuge rotors for 20 years
  • A reliable mechanism to ensure speedy resolution of IAEA access concerns for 15 years
  • All sanctions to be lifted but only after Iran complies with its obligations
  • Iran reduces stockpile of uranium by 98%
  • Enrichment cannot exceed 3.67%, far below threshold necessary for a nuke
  • Iranian Centrifuges will drop from 20,000 to 6,104
  • IAEA inspectors will have access to all Iranian nuclear facilities
  • The Arak nuclear reactor is being dismantled and rebuilt in accordance with the requirements set forth in the Plan of Action. This will make it impossible to produce weapons grade material.
  • Most importantly, the P5+1 and Iran agree that "the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty (NPT) remains the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament and for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.”

That language puts Iran squarely within the 191 member world community which has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The four states who haven't? Pakistan, Sudan, India, and possessor of 100 to 200 nukes, Israel. The deal makes Israel, not Iran, the rogue nuclear state.

Israeli loyalists in Congress like Roskam and Kirk, are so desperate to derail nuclear détente, they will say and do anything to achieve their goal. We negotiated with Russia for half a century after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even though Russia possessed thousands of nuclear missiles aimed at us. If leaders like Roskam and Kirk were calling the shots, we wouldn't have a world to save today. We must stand up to their bullying and fear tactics or they may yet succeed in war to remove Israel's only Middle East rival. 

Don't let them.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Creepyness emerges from GOP clown car

"We thought about that".
- Gov. Scott Walker responding to prank call in which fake Koch brother asked Walker if he considered planting 'agent provocateurs' among the Capitol protesters to discredit them.
“If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.”
- Gov. Walker responding to question on his ability to deal with ISIS threat.
The extreme right loves these quotes. I find them creepy...and scary.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Knowing your right from your left

Some folks say they can't figure out their right from their left to justify their stance as a 'middle of the roader.' As a proud member of the latter, I offer this partial list of differences.

Right reveres pre-ACA health insurance system that generated 40 million losers in the health care lottery. Left reveres day when single payer health care for all jumps the 16 million newly insured to 40 million.
Right equates end of Confederate flag in public places as denying regional heritage. Left sees little difference between Confederate flag and Nazi flag.

Right has given up on denying about 15,000,000 gay folks the right to marry, turning it into a fake religious freedom test. Left will never give up expanding rights to all as the true test of religion...and government.

Right believes best defense is spending trillions on offense, killing hundreds of thousands without cause. Left believes best defense is ending murderous military adventurism which puts us all in endless jeopardy from 'blowback.'

Right believes there is no limit to how far wages and wealth must flow to the rich. Left believes there is no dignity and no freedom in slave wage employment.

Right acts like a bull seeing a red flag when gazing upon the undocumented. Left recognizes their enormous contribution to our economic success without the protection of citizenship and seeks to green light their path to same.

Right sees crumbling infrastructure as good trade off to keep a few extra tax dollars in their pocket. Left sees crumbling infrastructure as metaphor for our crumbling position as world leader.

Next time you declare yourself neither right nor left, ponder your position on those issues.