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Lamborn starts losing allies over military controversy | MSNBC

Yes, this is from the blog of the partisan and divisive Rachel Maddow, but the topic being discussed is very interesting to me. It will probably become partisan by comparison of the different political parties, but let’s talk about what this congressman was saying. Is it a good idea for United States military commanders to walk away because of the Presidents so-called inaction? Is this different from liberals asking for anyone and everyone to walk away from perceived adventurous overaction by Commanders-in-Chief of either party in the past (minus Carter who was pretty much the only President who is claimed to have never “fired a shot” while acting as President – but including every other President since FDR in the 40’s)? Are we the world’s police? Should we go it alone? Even if so should congress first vote on it as the constitution demands (assuming it will last over 60 days, which would constitutionally mean that the President doesn’t have enough authority to conduct a war on his/her own, regardless of if we’ve done it in the past). What is the end game with this war?

You see, I find that this is all very complicated, and I actually very much appreciate that the President has been thoughtful about getting us back into another conflict in the Middle East, without a clear directive… I find that it’s hardly presumptuous to say that I’m not alone in feeling this way. I do think that the President has played some political games, but which President hasn’t done that, and let’s please be clear in defining what we think those games are. My biggest hang up was how he talked about a Red Line in the sand on chemical weapons in Syria last year, and when we discovered that they were used he seemed grasp at straws as to why we shouldn’t go to war. He, as well as the rest of us, were lucky that some reporter at a press conference asked Secretary Kerry what would stop us from going to war, and he incredulously said that we wouldn’t go if they handed the weapons over. Much to the shagrin of the warhawks around the world, they handed them over and we didn’t go to war… And now we are stuck trying to figure out how to disavow the Assad regime, as well as dismember their newest local rebellion “ISIS/ISOL”, which fills the vacuum that is left due to a lack of infrastructure and accountability around the border of Iraq and Syria.

I point all of these things out simply to say that I find it truly offensive that in a time like this, when we do have foes abroad who will need to be addressed (and hopefully with the compliance of the world community) that we have have members of our United States Congress publicly asking the leadership in our military to act as the leadership in congress has over the past several years by demanding non-compliance with the President of The United States of America for political gain… This is hardly a speculation, this is quite simply the truth. Again, I’m not saying that the President has been perfect, but I don’t even his job, and actually I truly appreciate that we haven’t rushed to war and repeated some of our mistakes of the last half century (primarily the last decade).

If you’re wondering what I’m going on and on about please feel free read the article I’ve posted below, or just click the link just below this babbling culmination of my simple understandings about geopolitical conflict.

*Ok, I thought I was done, but I would like to add one more thing – I am wary of how the President has treated the situation in Iraq (as well as Syria actually) with regard to the intelligence community. He seems to have responded by saying that information was misrepresented, while I was just hoping it was his overall caution with respect to conflict in the region. I am not sure how I feel about how he’s handling all of this, but I don’t envy his job, and I’m glad we didn’t go in sooner and do all of the things that team McCain/Graham would’ve preferred (I think we would’ve done our nation and it’s image a great disservice).

Rant Done

Lamborn starts losing allies over military controversy | MSNBC.

 

In this May 2, 2012 file photo, Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., speaks at the Capitol in Denver.
In this May 2, 2012 file photo, Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., speaks at the Capitol in Denver.
Ed Andrieski, File/AP Photo

Lamborn starts losing allies over military controversy

09/30/14 08:37 AM—UPDATED 09/30/14 09:21 AM

By Steve Benen

For any politician facing a political controversy, there’s one sure sign of trouble: the loss of political allies. Most political figures are accustomed to criticism from the other side of the aisle, and they expect scrutiny from journalists, but when members of their own party start turning on them, it’s a real problem.
Which brings us back to Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, who boasted last week that he’s urged active-duty U.S. generals to resign, during a war, in order to undermine the Obama administration.
The Colorado Springs’ newspaper, The Gazette, reports today that Lamborn is now facing rebukes from two high-profile Republicans from Colorado’s congressional delegation.
On Sunday night, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican from Aurora, tweeted a link to a story about Lamborn’s comments and said, “As a Marine and combat veteran, I know to keep my politics off the battlefield.”
And when asked about Lamborn’s statement, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, said: “There is no room for partisan politics when it comes to our men and women in uniform.”
To be sure, these aren’t sweeping condemnations, but let’s not overlook the context: with 35 days to go before Election Day, Coffman is in the middle of one of the nation’s most competitive U.S. House races, while Gardner is running in one of the nation’s most competitive U.S. Senate races. They’re both Republicans, but neither one of these congressmen are prepared to offer even a halfhearted defense for Lamborn’s controversial remarks.
Coffman and Gardner could have phrased this any number of ways to try and extend support to their GOP ally, but they chose to rebuke him instead. And while Gardner’s comments came in response to a reporter’s question, note that Coffman’s admonition was unprompted – he just wanted the public to know what Lamborn did was wrong.
How long until House Republican leaders are pressured to weigh in, too? For that matter, how long until House Democrats start pushing for Lamborn’s removal from the House Armed Services Committee?
This doesn’t appear to be going away. Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald published an item yesterday that didn’t hold back the emotional outrage.
Congressman Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado, is an un-American demagogue, willing to sabotage this country for his own grandstanding narcissism. If his words are to be believed, this brigadier blowhard is thoroughly unfit for public office and instead should be rotting in jail on charges of treason. […]
Lamborn is the latest type of political muck America needs to scrape off the bottom of its national shoe: an officeholder so absorbed with his hatred of the opposing party that he is willing to do anything, no matter how much it damages our national security and the underpinnings of our democracy, if it will win him some applause and maybe a couple of votes.
The Associated Press, meanwhile, has also picked up on the controversy, and quoted a Lamborn aide saying yesterday that the congressman “was referencing prior occasions, such as the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy or budget cuts.”
The problem with the defense is that it’s still literally unbelievable. As we discussed yesterday, a voter made some bizarre anti-Obama comments at a local event, while urging the congressman to “support the generals and the troops.” The congressman replied, “[L]et me reassure you on this. A lot of us are talking to the generals behind the scenes, saying, ‘Hey, if you disagree with the policy that the White House has given you, let’s have a resignation. You know, let’s have a public resignation, and state your protest, and go out in a blaze of glory.’”
All of this was in present tense. For that matter, the U.S. was still at war in 2010 (during the debate over DADT repeal) and in 2013 (during the debate over sequestration), so it’s not as if the defense is especially compelling anyway – for a congressman to push for wartime resignations to undermine U.S. policy is problematic no matter when it happens.
And so the questions for the Republican congressman remain the same: When you said “a lot of us” are pushing generals to resign, who else is involved in this effort? Which generals have you talked to “behind the scenes”? Why would it help U.S. interests for generals to resign during a war? Exactly how many times did you talk to the generals about this, and when was the last conversation?
The questions for House Republican leaders are just as straightforward: Doug Lamborn bragged publicly about basically trying to incite mutiny among America’s generals during war time. Is that acceptable behavior?

Do You Have Trouble Getting Up In the Morning? Maybe You Should Work Here – Tim’s Place: Where breakfast, lunch and HUGS are served! – YouTube

Are you kind of a Grinch and you know it? Well buckle up – I dare you to not love this! If you can pull that off let me know, I will see to it myself that we get you some help.

Tim’s Place: Where breakfast, lunch and HUGS are served! – YouTube.

 

Dumb And Dumber To (Trailer)

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I’m sorry if you aren’t excited about this movie… I’m not sorry that it’s happening, I’m just sorry that you aren’t experiencing the same joy that I am. If you are excited about this movie then feel free to come over to my house, and let’s be friends.

 

via Dumb And Dumber To – TV Spot 1 HD – YouTube.

Aaron the Ripper?

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The real Jack the Ripper (Beth Ivie-Allen) The real Jack the Ripper (Beth Ivie-Allen)

In the fall of 1888, the Whitechapel district of London was terrorized by a serial killer who preyed on prostitutes and murdered them in the most brutal fashion: the infamous Jack the Ripper. And for more than 125 years, the identity of this vicious madman remained a mystery, despite there being a handful of potential suspects.

Well, it looks like the mystery has finally been solved—and not by a seasoned detective, but by an amateur sleuth named Russell Edwards.

The revelation came after Edwards acquired a shawl that was found at the crime scene of one of the Ripper’s victims, Catherine Eddowes. A world-renowned expert in DNA analysis—Dr. Jari Louhelainen—examined the shawl and was able to recover not only blood from the victim, but semen from her killer. He then used mitochondrial DNA—as well as samples from descendants of Eddowes and several suspects—to…

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Saying Goodbye to Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers was one of the most crass and offensive comedians to ever be a part of mainstream comedy. This is just a fact. However, she paved the way for so many. As a big fan of comedy, and the progression of people being able to make an impact I have a big place in my heart for Joan, even though she manages to make me uncomfortable pretty regularly when I watch her. Joan was groundbreaking with all of her appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, but after she hosted a competing show for a short time there was a long time ban on her appearing on the Tonight Show – that was up until recently on Jimmy Fallon’s first episode after taking over the show.

So, with Joan being who she was I’m posting the thing that probably most exemplifies her career (outside of her documentary “A Piece Of Work”, which is not available on YouTube), her Comedy Central Roast.

*WARNING: if you are easily offended this will definitely offend you.

The Roast of Joan Rivers – YouTube.

This Man Was Given 2 Years To Live With ALS In 1963, And He’s Still Alive… And That’s Not Even The Most Interesting Thing About Him.

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Stephen Hawking has ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Did I just blow your mind? Discovering this bit of information was actually somewhat exciting for me, as I have always thought of the disease to be an absolute guarantee of death within a few years. I realize that a lot of people that I know do not like Mr. Hawking, and you don’t have to (no one can make you), but it is probably worth at least learning his story, and what makes him significant (other than the fact that he’s survived having ALS for half of a century). It will probably comfort a lot of my friends at least somewhat to know that Mr. Hawking isn’t as militant an atheist as some. He has actually been quoted saying:

“An expanding universe does not preclude a creator, but it does place limits on when he might have carried out his job!” – Stephen Hawking

 

The recent ALS Ice Bucket Challenge campaign has been unbelievably successful. Much of the success of this campaign is probably correlated with the fact that there seemed to be a very simple, and kind of fun activity that tangibly allows people to at least do something, other than give money. The other side of the campaign that is probably responsible for having raised $94.3 million, in less than a month (as opposed to $2.7 million in the same time period the previous year) is the outpouring of personal stories. I recently read the book “You Are Now Less Dumb”, and in this book David McRaney attempts to establish that the most basic of human instincts is to have a narrative – we must make sense of it all. He tries to explain how we tell ourselves simple lies sometimes just to make sense of our environment. It might seem like I’m bringing this up to say that religion is an opiate, but that is not my intent. I simply want to describe the importance in the human condition of relating to others. This is what Stephen looked like before ALS took over his body:

hawking

 

SO, here is my challenge to you: I challenge you to watch this and try to address your prejudices against Mr. Hawking, be they ideological or biological – or simply watch it and enjoy it. I believe there is a God, and that in principle is why I would want to hear as much from someone like Hawking as possible. If you don’t have time for the video I at least urge you to read about some of Mr. Hawking’s discoveries and theories, he is a pretty smart fellow. Now I think I’ll go listen to the audiobook for his record breaking best selling book “A Brief History of Time”.

via Hawking 2013 – YouTube.

Texas Gov. Perry to turn himself in Tuesday, on heels of indictment | Fox News

 

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Just to clarify, I don’t find this news to be something to celebrate. I do not hate Rick Perry, and it is sad to see stories like this. Nonetheless, I am not a big fan of his political career, and this is big news. I hope that he has a wonderful life, and that he gets this behind him, and also that he stops having such influence in public policy that affects so many people.

 

Texas Gov. Perry to turn himself in Tuesday, on heels of indictment

Texas Gov. Perry to turn himself in Tuesday, on heels of indictmentPublished August 19, 2014FoxNews.com0 Texas Gov. Rick Perry plans to turn himself into authorities Tuesday afternoon at a local Texas jail on the heels of his indictment for alleged abuse of power, a member of the governor’s legal team told Fox News. The governor is expected to be processed quickly and to leave. He is not subject to an arrest warrant. However, Fox News has learned Perry will have his mugshot and fingerprints taken. He plans to arrive at the Travis County Justice Complex in Austin at about 5 p.m. local time. Fox News’ Casey Stegall contributed to this report.

via Texas Gov. Perry to turn himself in Tuesday, on heels of indictment | Fox News.

Jimmy Pays Tribute to Robin Williams – Tonight Show

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As a lover of conflicted, and conflicting people I regularly find that if I’m not laughing I’m crying. In all honesty I have experienced much of both laughter and crying over the last few days. I have been wondering what might be comparable as a lose for previous generations, and I’ve had trouble coming up with one… Maybe Will Rogers? He didn’t take his own life, and he was a different breed of entertainer, but he like Robin Williams caused great introspection for their audiences. I am trying to be happy for the great gift of Robin’s life, but I’m still feeling quite a bit of grief… I can’t wait to someday tell my kids about this madman of a comedian, and show them old clips like this one:

Jimmy Pays Tribute to Robin Williams – YouTube.

70 Years Ago Anne Frank Was Captured by the Nazis. Could That Happen Today?

Sometimes I find that I compartmentalize different historical figures and events, often forgetting that many events occurred at the same time as other consequential things, and many historical figures lived simultaneously, yet my mind seems to place very differently. I guess it was only a few months ago that I discovered that Martin Luther King Jr. born the same year as Anne Frank. I think of them as different people by the fact that they were different ages at their most influential, and their influences are separated by multiple decades. While alive they were virtually the same age, but in death they seem crystallized as members of different generations, to me at least. They both represent a unifying ideal in the face of oppression, and when studied they are both proven to be very human individuals who had flaws.

My friend Gavin posted a very thoughtful blurb in regards to Ms. Frank and the 70th anniversary of her incarceration – which was on August 4th, 2014. I thought that it would be worth re-sharing:

On August 1, 1944 (about year after my Father Ron was born) Anne Frank wrote her last diary entry. Millions of lives have been changed by the writings of this typical teenage girl who was willing to be honest, vulnerable, and search for forgiveness. Tomorrow, on Aug. 4th, seventy years ago she and her family were arrested and later sent to concentration camps. -GR “Often, reading Anne Frank’s diary is the way in which young people first learn about the horrors of the Nazi genocide. Just as importantly, young readers understand that these crimes were visited upon a girl much like themselves and their friends — a girl who was often in conflict with her mother, a girl who kept vowing to be a more patient and forgiving person, a girl who fell in love for the first time. A girl who wanted to be a writer — and who was one.” -Francine Prose CNN‪ #‎neverforget‬

 

I find it maddening that we still live in a world where there are groups of people who don’t seem able to escape tribalistic oppression from their own communities, or from their assumed enemies. I don’t like to think of myself as tribalistic, but in those moments when I am faced with my own humanity out of fear I usually find that I can be rather tribalistic, and I think that we are generally built that way.

I have shared this video several times before, but it seems very relevant for those who have the time to watch it:

The outrage that is so often expressed for the senseless oppression of a child, and many more like her is what makes Anne Frank’s diary such an amazing artifact. What if that same oppression still existed today in different forms? How would you feel? What would you do differently? Pedigree, belief systems, and birthplace can quite literally doom adolescents everyday, as it did 70 years ago. And might we just for a moment address that just because someone is not a child does not make it any less heinous that they be killed senselessly. There are more human beings enslaved today than ever before… That means more slaves than at the peak of the Civil War or during the construction of the pyramids. Of course we have a lot more people in the world, but that is not hyperbole, those are real live numbers! Most of the slave trade consists of young girls, just like Anne Frank… And as the world again finds unrest in the Middle East, most predictably in Israel, there are children who are being killed every single day.

The current fighting in Gaza between the Jewish and Palestinian peoples is a tragic example of tribalism – and this fight in many ways has been overly simplified by many, the Western Media in particular. What if both sides have innocent blood on their hands, and that by inserting ourselves in the fight we are adding fuel to the flame? Wouldn’t that be a bad thing?

I don’t think that these sides are equal and opposite to one another, that would be far too convenient. I do however think that as long as we speak about intending to prevent human tragedies we should speaking honestly about real events and their real consequences. Far more innocent Muslims have been killed in this fighting. Are you ok with that, and if so why? I wonder how many Anne Franks might have been saved, regardless of race and creed, if we would have acted differently…

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The very real impact of Obamacare opposition, in one map – Vox

*Below there is a video, and an article which is much more informative than I. So if you don’t have much time please skip what I wrote and go straight to that.

The following video, and the article below it, were made by Ezra Klein (and whoever else Ezra works with). It describes some of the cost patterns associated with regulation and participation within the healthcare marketplace. Ezra describes the very real effects of people being able to opt out of a system that automatically promises to treat them (via: at the least Emergency Rooms). While I agree with virtually everything about this video (and I usually find him to be very informative), this is a Very complex topic, and thus there are items that could be essential information while considering cause and effect of the health care industry – in particular the cause and effect of prices. As people begin to debate what causes our nation to pay such an incredible amount (16.9% of our GDP, the highest in the world), and yet we aren’t even close to the healthiest.

US_spends_much_more_on_health_than_what_might_be_expected_1_slideshow

I support business leading the way on development, and infrastructure as much as it can, but some great ideas have been midwifed by our collectivist society through our taxes. And something that I can’t seem to explain well enough to some of my friends is that free markets, and libertarianism is based in access. Do people have access to what they want? That is one measure of “free market” capitalism – but within our markets we regularly build levies and dams to protect us. Debating regulation specifics, rather than whether or not we should have any regulation is really what this country needs.

The regulation changes over the last few years have been labeled a handout to insurance companies, and in while that is true in many ways the real catalyst in terms of our prices being so inflated in comparison with the rest of the industrialized world is our administrative cost from having a privatized system that so heavily supports the pharmaceutical industry, as well as the networks of hospitals with virtually no accountability on many levels. These arguments cannot be made against the entire healthcare industry, but they should be made against certain portions of it.

I don’t know which approach we should take exactly, I don’t love “Obamacare”, but it’s in many ways an improvement on what he had before. The following might help in understanding the most controversial part of the ACA (Affordable Care Act), the Individual Mandate (invented by the Heritage Foundation in the 1990’s).

-Grady

Vox’s Ezra Klein explains exactly how the individual mandate works

The individual mandate is the provision of Obamacare that requires most Americans to purchase health insurance coverage. It exists to encourage people who are unlikely to buy coverage — mostly healthy people who think premiums are a waste of money — to go ahead and do so. This is necessary, many health economists believe, in order to keep premiums low.Some people do get an exemption from the individual mandate, because they can’t find an affordable plan, for example, or have a religious objection to health coverage. But, by and large, most Americans are now required to carry health coverage or pay a penalty.The penalty for not carrying coverage in 2014 is $95 or 1 percent of income, whichever is larger, and it goes up the next year and year after. The federal government recoups this penalty via the tax filing process. So someone who decided to go uninsured would file that information with the Internal Revenue Service, along with their income. They could have the penalty deducted from their 2014 tax return — the one that they file in the spring of 2015.Though the individual mandate was originally a conservative idea pushed in response to Bill Clinton’s 1994 health care plan, it became the subject of a lawsuit Republican attorneys general mounted against Obamacare’s constitutionality. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled in June 2012 that the mandate was constitutional under the federal government’s taxing powers. You can read the decision here.

via The very real impact of Obamacare opposition, in one map – Vox.

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