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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?

“Why We Did It” – Oh Boy… Whether You Find It To Be Accurate Or Not It Will Probably Upset You…

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You can click on this picture to watch their interview if you would like

Recently Rachel Maddow went on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and now that I have your attention here is some more information…

I considering myself a moderate, which more than anything means that new information can affect what I think. A while back Rachel Maddow produced a TV Documentary called “Hubris” which addressed the ‘so called” false pretenses that allowed our nation to go to war with Iraq – meaning that what was said about why we were going in was not in fact true. That documentary was posted on iTunes via the Rachel Maddow Show’s Podcast, and since she always asks people to post her show, and videos of it online I decided to post that entire documentary on my YouTube channel. It has since gotten about 100,000 views, and has filled my email with some incredibly angry YouTube comments from all kinds of people… I mean, angry stuff…

*By the way, I don’t just watch liberal stuff… I really can’t help but watch anything and everything I can get my hands/eyes on. I watch/listen to: The O’Reilly Factor, Meet the Press, Fox News Sunday, Real Time with Bill Maher, and others when I can. I like things other than politics, this is just part of my rhetorical diet to know what’s out there.

Anyway: I want to note that I am not a “Truther” (I don’t think that the United State Government was behind 9-11, so let’s just get that out of the way…), I do however think that this war was a war of choice, and that it was mismanaged, which I think is rather well voiced by documentaries like “No End In Sight” (posted at the bottom of this).

Hubris” addresses the issue of WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction), and this new documentary goes into some of the reasons why the makers of the film believe our government wanted to go. I don’t can’t speak to it’s legitimacy, and I don’t think that Mrs. Maddow is unbiased. I do however really appreciate that she presents sources, and gives room for actual debate, rather than just pure ad hominem. If you’d like to give some feedback that would be great – but the reason why I decided to post this second video (Why We Did It) was to keep the videos tied together, and because it might help us hold a conversation about reasons why we might not want to be so quick to go to war again anytime soon without more checks and balances (i.e.: Iran, Syria, Ukraine). And if you’d like to check in on the conflict going on in Ukraine feel free to click anywhere on this sentence.

Part 2
“Why We Did It”

Part 1
“Hubris”

“No End In Sight”

The Not So American Dream: Inequality Associated with Immobility – Steve Rattner

If you are reading this you are to some degree or another and consumer. As we live in a capitalistic society, that is fueled by consumers, measuring citizens ability to consume can largely inspire conversation about the true freedom of the citizenry. For decades, particularly the ones in the mid-20th century, consumption (i.e.: driving the car you want, or even just using the cleaning products you might prefer) could be, and has been tied to our nation (and increasingly our world’s) own personal measuring stick of success. Buying power can be conflated with democracy, and people get what it is that they want, regardless of it’s effects on the overall well-being of society – which can be evidenced by things like Cinnabon, and reality television.

Regardless of the consequences of that our wallet shaped ballots can cause us our nation specifically seems to value it’s ability to participate in a “free-market” oriented economy. We refer to this financially stable citizen paradigm as the “American Dream”, which I believe has shifted measurably. I believe that the values of the American public have shifted, which could be measured by observing how our purchasing trends change, but also I believe that the ability to purchase has shifted enormously, which I don’t find to be a simple conspiracy (it’s complicated). Sure, a lot of people in the United States have less money because they don’t work as hard as the maybe used to, but that is an over-simplification. People in the country in general have less money because they also have jobs that have been made more efficient, while the pay rates are not equally increased – but again this is just a part of the picture. Maybe the most impactful factor in regards to a growing wealth gap has been technology, and the replacement of workers by machines and computers. This last one can very clearly be seen in this chart looking at a splitting in correlation of growth from productivity to wages.

Connecting a shift in wages, and productivity is a very important thing to do, but not necessarily just to blame or point fingers at anyone. We just have to be honest with ourselves. Steve Rattner always has wonderful economic charts to help explain what’s going on in this crazy world. These charts below tell a story of how it seems the American dream doesn’t seem quite as American as it used to.

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Stephen Colbert on MSNBC’s Morning Joe – YouTube

Stephen Colbert on MSNBC’s Morning Joe – YouTube.

Gosh, I could watch this a dozen times.

“No End in Sight” A Serious Conversation About Iraq Amidst A Syrian Invasion (Full Film)

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No End in Sight” Iraq’s Descent Into Chaos – YouTube.

With all of the recent discussion about whether or not to invade Syria I thought that it was would be very helpful for people to watch a film such as this. Charles Ferguson is a fantastic documentarian, and this is probably his best one. It’s a detailed look at mistakes that he believes that we made in our war in Iraq. Those same mistakes could be repeated. I want to clarify that I support American troops, yet I hate war.

I am proud to be an American citizen. I love our unique culture. But just as it is easy to criticize someone in your family, and lose your mind if someone outside of your family were to criticize that family member, I feel incredibly compelled to say that I’m tired of us coming out as the bad guys when we try to help around the world, yet we have to admit our mistakes to one another. The War in Iraq was filled with mistakes… I am still open to hearing why I might be wrong about this, but so far that is what I think. The United States had over 3,000 soldiers die, in the nation of Iraq had somewhere in the range of 120,000 citizens die, which seems very under reported to me… Not to mention this was a very expensive experiment.

Considering the fact that this film is on YouTube it might not last forever, but if it stops working somebody just comment and I’ll find a new version hopefully… It is a very powerful film, and it was nominated for “best documentary” at the Oscars in 2008. This film was made while we were still occupying Iraq, so it is designed with that in mind (hence the name “No End in Sight”).

I know that this is very sensitive, but I think that considering the current state of things in Syria, and this year marking the 10 year anniversary of the invasion it seems like a good time to have a conversation, and honesty it is vital that our nations citizens agree with our wars… I am open to there having been positive effects of this war, but the more that I watch and the more that I read the less I can believe that this was a good idea. This doesn’t mean that I don’t think Assad is not an asshole, I do. I’m just very hesitant to allow our nation to continue to feed our military-industrial complex. I do however think that we should do something, I just don’t know what it is. With over 100,000 men women and children dead from a corrupt government something must be done, I just don’t want us to end up being the bad guys in the eyes of the world due to some kind of mismanagement again.

“No End in Sight” is a film about the missmanagement of the War in Iraq, but I am also posting below the new film “Hubris” (which seems a bit more politically slanted, but still worthwhile), and it is more so about the inception of the war, and tries to identify proclaimed ‘false pretenses’. It is important to point out differences between Iraq and Syria on this front, Iraq had used “weapons of mass distraction” 15 years prior to our invasion, while Syria has just recently used them. If you are only going to watch one of these films I definitely recommend “No End in Sight”, I think that it is one of the most important films I’ve ever seen. Please feel free to comment or share.

 

Russell Brand Takes Over the News As Only He Could – Morning Joe

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For the last 2 and a half years I have watched Morning Joe nearly every single weekday. Well, I have watched the podcast version of the show, which is shortened down from the 3 hours of the standard show to a 1 hour segment without commercials.

I started watching the show after I had the opportunity to meet the shows 2 main hosts in December of 2010 at the launch conference for the political group No Labels, for who I worked for a few months. Joe and Mika were very kind and courteous to me while I followed them around with a hand held camera for about 20 minutes as I was instructed to do, well minus a few weird looks from Mika. After watching them 5 times a week for 2 and a half years I really feel a closeness that only television can propagate.

Well as they are my dear friends at heart, in some way, I don’t post this to taunt them, but this video is wonderful at their show’s expense, in particular for Mika. Neither Joe or Mika are perfect, but as Russell Brand slowly breaks down their show I could help but smile, he was being human, transparent, and caring whether it seemed like it to Mika or not. Please, take a few minutes to enjoy this derailing of an interview that comes from simple carelessness, and definitely stands to serve and teach a few lessons in how to speak to people.

What the Talking Heads Say In One Day – The Day in 100 Seconds (June 19, 2013) – TPMTV

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I enjoy watching these pretty regularly. If you don’t have time to watch Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert replay and make fun of the news this channel is a great alternative.

The Top 1% of the Top 1% in Charts – Steve Rattner’s Morning Joe Charts (02-20-2013)

The Top 1% of the Top 1% in Charts – Steve Rattner’s Morning Joe Charts (02-20-2013)

I would love to explain this, but I will just let Steve and the charts speak for themselves.

“Hubris: Selling the Iraq War” (Special Report)

Hubris

So lately I’ve decided to post a few Rachel Maddow segments, and I’m sure that has a lot of my loved ones in Oklahoma very worried about me. I would first like to clarify a couple of things. I don’t always agree with her, but when I do I find it worthwhile to share because I would imagine that many around me would otherwise never hear anything that she says, and I hear her often mischaracterized as just the opposite of the guys of Fox News (I don’t think that’s true, I appreciate that her shows are designed with enough information that you can refute what she says, and that doesn’t mean that I always think she’s right). Also, there are very few shows that are free on itunes as a podcast, but her show is, and while I didn’t have cable for 2 years I was very grateful for that.

Next I’d like to clarify my purpose of posting this video. I am not trying to pick a fight, or tease anyone. As a matter of policy and governance I simply disagree with the way that the Iraq War was instigated and executed. I say this with a limited knowledge of the military, so feel free to educate me if you know something that I don’t know. You are allowed to disagree and I can deal with that, although I might have questions for you. I try very hard to be reasonable, and part of that for me means that it’s important to reflect on our successes and failures. I don’t consider our troops to have failed, I am incredibly humbled that people risk their lives for me and live in the conditions in which our soldiers do, but I do consider our leadership in regards to this war to have been a failure on multiple levels.

If you find this video to be interesting, or even if you don’t, I recommend watching the documentary “No End In Sight” (which as of this post you can find on Netflix). If you are someone who has served in the United States Military I want to be clear that I am posting this with an honest concern for American lives, as well as for lives around the world, and I mean no disrespect.

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I think that it’s a complete failure on part of our media that most people I’ve talked to about the War in Iraq have no clue as to the unbelievable devastation that Iraq has experienced… This short documentary is definitely being produced by people who are unapologetically liberal, and I wouldn’t dispute that. However, I think that being partisan doesn’t disqualify an argument, poor logic and a lack of information disqualifies arguments, but unsympathetic partisanship really can kill a great conversation. I supported the war as a 16 year old boy, but I no longer think it was wise. This video explains part of my change of heart/mind:

For anyone interested in watching “No End in Sight” I will post the trailer below. Again, I’m sorry if I’ve hurt anyone’s feelings, this is in no way meant to taunt anyone on my behalf. I know that this is challenging and per usual on challenging topics I expect a lot of views, but very little interaction, and that’s ok. However you feel about this post I hope that you can accept my sentiment when I say God Bless America, and God Bless all of our brothers and sisters of the world.

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