Posts Tagged ‘Osama bin Laden’

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NOT JUST THE 2003 IRAQ WAR…

March 7, 2014

But the Gulf War a decade before!

Rachel Maddow is not my favorite of the MSNBC personalities- but GOOD JOB last nite on IRAQ – why the Gulf War and why little Bush had to follow in the same footsteps as his father, and WHY I FEEL EXONERATED.

For 14 years I’ve been saying IRAQ had NOTHING to do with 9-11 – the second invasion of that country was totally a Cheney/Bush/Condi and others plan LONG before Sept 11.  My position has always been that and caused a good many “heated discussions” among some good friends.

So now my position has been backed up with lots and lots of written documentation, footage, and interviews finally available at least to the Press….and although I am exonerated personally, it makes me sicker than it did as it was happening…because at least then, there always was that little chance that I was wrong. 

Now we all know, the dirty ugly way we started the 21st century with yet another Bush administration was in fact reality.  All those who died, or were wounded, or whose lives were deeply impacted by time spent fighting that unnecessary war did so for oil….led by men whose money came from the Oil Industry.  Makes me sick. 

And of course, one will never know, but perhaps if they had been a bit more FOCUSED on protecting the US , maybe they just would have picked up a signal or two that the emerging phenom of terrorists  that had certainly shown its ugly head in the Clinton Administration was not Democratic bumbling, but something they needed to “key an eye and ear” on.

Of course, I still have that second theory of motivation for it.  BIG Bush went into the Gulf War, accomplished his limited mission (no matter what you think of that mission) and got out…even though Cheney and others were advising otherwise. Then Cheney saw his chance by manipulating LITTLE Bush  in the dawn of the new millennium.  Remember MAMA Bush famous quote re Georgie Jr:  “He’s not my brightest son”.  No kidding.  I’ve always suspected that Cheney manipulated Little Bush by appealing to that “I’ll show him; I can do it better” little boy mentality about his father.

And although I am probably wrong, I can’t stop my mind from wandering to the same question I was asking post 9-11.  Why did we go to war in Afghanistan?  Yes, they were “harboring” the man who planned 9-11.  But was the Bush Administration so full of hubris they really thought they could WIN a war that Russia had fought endlessly there with no good results?  Did they forget we ARMED the very people we were now going to fight against?

Was there ANY attempt to do what Obama finally planned and did- kill Osama bin-Laden?

And do the Bushies and the evil Dick Cheney have ANY regrets for their missteps?  Or, was it just the macho cowboy BS we had to put up for the whole 8 years LITTLE Bush was in office?  He should have started painting earlier, if you ask me.   That has thankfully, kept him out of sight and out of mind. (although I continue to have this nagging thought…does he really see himself as another Eisenhower-a great General who became President and then retired to become an artist?)  YIKES!

And for all the repos who have been against Obama not just because he is a Democrat, nor for the color of his skin, but because he voted NO to going into Iraq?  Yes, those same ones that started the spin already on today’s crisis…Obama is weak; we need to get tough and go in, confront the Russians, and push back. 

Just take one minute and ask yourself.  Is this 1950? 1960? 1970? 1980? 1990? 2000?   We don’t have such a good track record in our wars through those sixty years, do we?    We have ended neither the FIRST one in Korea, nor the LAST one in AFGHANISTAN…so now, I guess, we have to revert to our winning tactics…world wars with more deaths or a long cold war while all the little kids have bomb drills and hide under their desks to survive a nuclear attack.

One more time….Being against war is NOT Unpatriotic despite the Bush propaganda machine; and what is wrong with trying Cooperation and Collaboration and Compromise? It’s not as macho, but just maybe…we could save lives, money and achieve something peacefully.

 

 

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DEVIL OR SUPERMAN?

August 22, 2013

The headline this morning read “2011 ruling:  NSA violated Constitution”; the subtitle read “The e-mail collection program was later fixed to the court’s satisfaction.”

The opening two paragraphs summarized that the NSA program violated the Constitution for several years according to a top-secret court ruling from October 2011 which was made public yesterday.

And then the third paragraph “below the fold” if you will:

“The release of the ruling, under pressure by a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, was the latest effort by the Obama Administration to contain revelations about NSA surveillance prompted by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.   A side bar in bold in that paragraph proclaimed : ”Volume and nature of the Information [the program} had been collecting is fundamentally different than what the court had been led to believe.”    This quote was attributed to the 2011 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinion.

Eight inches of print into the article, we learned that the problems were relatively small compared to surveillance on non-citizens abroad.  And we learned that NSA quickly fixed the problem to the court’s satisfaction.   Nevertheless, the remaining 5 inches of print indicated the court was still troubled, and that what was being collected was far different than what  FISA had been led to believe.  It reported this was the third time in less than three years in which the government disclosed a substantial misrepresentation of the volume and nature of information.

As I finished the article, despite knowing a small amount about the NSA/FISA Court history rooted in the Bush Administration, I admit I had to take a deep breath and say…wow-this is not only disconcerting;  it is enough to make me think I better think through my support of Obama.

For some of you reading this, I imagine it was enough to send you off to the organizing groups with your donations to support impeachment of the President.   And hopefully, there are some of you out there that know much more than I and recognized this immediately as Press manipulation.

I however, fortunately had a nagging voice in my brain telling me to think through that timeline.  And I listened to it.

 If Obama was inaugurated in January of 2009, how could there possibly have been time to move into the White House, learn all there was to know just about  how the White House itself operated, get all the appointments announced and people in place in all the government agencies and arms that represent the nation, have them get acclimated in their new roles, dig deep, learn the nitty gritty details, review, and report back to the President recommendations and actions; get those actions implemented and enforced  and still have been able to  pull off some MAJOR disturbing practices….all the while butting heads with an opposing party who announced  their mission over the  four years from January 2008, to January, 2013, was to ensure  that Obama would have no second term.    How could one man, who also crafted a major change in US healthcare and GOT IT APPROVED despite that same opposition by the Republicans, and got us out of Iraq, and on track to get out of Afghanistan, and finally found Osama bin Laden and killed him, and weathered a Republican plan – at least in the short term – to bring down the country financially – be able to launch this plot successfully?  How could one man already fighting GREAT ODDS accomplish all this?   He was not a” White Man” with all the privilege that implies; he did not bring decades and decades of experience about how Congress worked, nor decades and decades of relationships within the Legislative bodies, nor did he have the family connections and money of a Kennedy, nor the benefit of being a Governor like a Clinton.

Amidst all that, how could he campaign and be selected to a second term of office – thereby showing the weakness of the opposing party NOT ONCE, but twice?

 And even more perplexing, Obama believes in building a better world through collaboration, listening and learning from one another; in a world where individual people helping others do make a difference.    He set out to change the Best World ever built – that one built by the Boomers  – a world that brought power and fame and money to those that knew how to play by Boomer rules.  Those rules that say  if we just surround ourselves with others like us and boycott, we will be ok….and the rest of the world will go away.   How in the world did he overcome those barriers we put in his way?

The timeline made no sense to me in view of all of that.  And then there was the fact that I knew nothing about the organization that brought the suit.  Who is Electronic Frontier Freedom anyway? 

And so I detoured off to do a little research – fully expecting to find that this group was another Republican propaganda arm – masking as a do-good non-profit.   And I was proven wrong, at least in the short amount of time (about two hours) I have spent on it this morning.

But what I learned as FACT was the timeline.

This organization came to be in 1990 – just a few years into the DIGITAL AGE – as a result of some very forward thinkers imagining a future in which individual rights would be fighting a tough battle in terms of privacy rights issues.  It seemed to be legitimate; it scores well on consumer/public ratings of whether to invest/believe or not.  And it sounds good on its web and in Wikipedia, and its actions to defend personal and individual rights speak well of its intent.

1990 – yes,  in the midst of Reagan/Bush Senior era – but as I read about it, its focus did not show political philosophies, it clearly was focused on what will this digital world we are entering do to our personal freedoms.  I know, you can’t believe everything you read, but my gut feel led me forward.

The initial interest and filings in this specific case went back to 2005-2006. This lawsuit itself was filed in SEPTEMBER 2008.  Hmmm.  That’s a red flag, is it not? 

The Republicans had just nominated John McCain as their presidential candidate; the Democrats had just nominated Obama.  We were in the midst of debates…and the American public was immersed in the issues and teetering on the brink of the worst collapse of our economic world since the Great Depression – an amazing turn of events in eight Bush years.   And there as a candidate was an unthinkable possibility that just maybe we could have a President that would be a mixture of both white and multi-cultural race that could lead us through this transition to that time in 2040 and beyond when whites would become the minority.  And even better, this candidate thought differently.  He did not emulate power and out-trumping an opponent, he professed listening, dialog and collaboration – just what all the futurists were saying was needed around the world in this new 21st century.

 

But I digress.  Back to the timeline.

  1. Issues surfaced 2005-2006.
  2. Lawsuit was filed September, 2008, while Bush was still Presidet of the United States.  Translation:  This was a lawsuit against Republican actions during the Bush Administration.
  3. The ruling made in October, 20ll, with extensive review and necessary adjustments made by the Obama Administration to comply with that ruling.
  4. No data uncovered to date to when plan for those implemented adjustments began, but I presume that it had to be a priority fro mthe beginning in order to have a plan and be able to implement it successfully immediately in case the ruling demanded it.  I would call that foresight.
  5. Although the changes were quietly implemented, there was no publicity at the time and Obama defended the right to keep them secret. (Ed:  Think:  Suporting the right of the Office ofthe President; and hence the person who initiated the action – George W. Bush)
  6. Obama refused to give out details to the Press, but at the same time told the nation in his address this summer that he welcomed the review of this (21st century) issue.

Today, that has all been played out in the Press with a definite slant of sensationalism aimed at Obama.

This feeds right into the damage and trouble that I believe is being caused by the PRESS in this country whom we have allowed to move from reporting facts to telling us what we should believe about those facts- which today are interspersed with non-facts and simply personal opinion of what is rapidly becoming irresponsible commentators looking for ratings to keep their jobs.  

That, and the difficult issues emerging in this century for which we have no precedent, puts us right where we were at the beginning of the 20th century…fumbling our way through a whole new world of individual rights that were expanding past white men to women to native and other non-white men and women at a disturbing pace because of new means of communication.  I’d like to think we learned something over a hundred years, but perhaps we have not.

That aside, the time I have spent on this morning’s STRIB article leads me to one conclusion only: 

Perhaps the sin of Obama is only that his strong morals and thoughts about how to better prepare the United States for the 21st century  led him NOT TO BLAME THE CAUSE  – the Neo-Cons under the weak leadership of nice man – George W.

Many have questioned why he as a ”Constitutional Scholar “could even think that what was being done would not be unconstitutional.  Perhaps what they scoff at is exactly why he did not take a personal stand – his knowledge and confidence in that document may have led him to the knowledge that change would come without his intervention. He did not dishonor a former President;  and did not yield to political pressure to do so as he has no further political aspirations. 

 I listened to that nagging doubt and invested the time to think it through and it brought me right back to where I was in 2008.  I voted for a man I admired for his principles and new thinking.  I stand on that. I believe he has been motivated by those same things as well as commitment to the Office he holds as the leader of the country he loves…even though standing against releasing the details of a system established by his predecessor has made him the bad guy.   

He is neither the DEVIL nor SUPERMAN.  He is not even acting as a politician, although he has done that well  along the way.  He is a product of his time with deep beliefs and motivation to help his country where he can.  And I personally cannot wait until he is released from this sentence we have given him so that he can return to the real world and we learn of how he next intends to influence the world and help guide us through the turmoil ahead for which we refuse to prepare!

That is why I spent today – my first time off in almost 40 days – to think this through.  It was worth every minute.

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A BEAUTIFUL SATURDAY…clouded with some disturbing thoughts:

August 10, 2013

KATHERINE KERSTEN; REVISITED

On July 22, I shared my views of Katherine Kersten’s column in the STRIB regarding the Metropolitan Council and her misguided fantasy of the EVIL lurking in any thought of a regional perspective.

On August 9, I thanked Paul Slack, a local pastor and leader of a group of churches for his comments and for his support of the Met Council in view of Kersten’s editorial.

Today, August 10, an employee of Carmichael Lynch shared his (excellent) perspective on the Met Council as he, too, pointed out the numerous flaws in Kersten’s rationale.

Three different perspectives from three different entities – an individual, a church organization, and a successful business organization- all refute Kersten’s point of view. 

And for that, I feel exonerated! 

Now what do we do about her and the misconstrued and often incorrect “factoids” she spews forth that poison any good conversation on any issue that can only be resolved by openness, listening and coming together of differing perspectives for the common good?

Her continual one-sided insular perspectives often tempt me to respond to her in kind…and that makes me so angry with myself…I have higher expectations of myself than to allow myself to be pulled down into the muck of her self-righteousness unless I remain consistently “On Guard”.  Any good ideas that will stop her in her tracks, pass them on!

CLIMATE CHANGE UPDATE

Four former REPUBLICAN heads of the Environmental Protection Agency – all serving past Republican presidents over the last 40 years  (1970 to 2003) are appealing to their Republican Party to accept Climate Change.

“Obama’s plan is just a start.  More will be required.  But we must continue efforts to reduce the climate-altering pollutants that threaten our planet.  The only uncertainty about our warming world is how bad the changes will get, and how soon.  What is most clear is that there is no time to waste.”

What are the odds, do you think, that this will make any impact on the naysayers?  Unfortunately, I am afraid they are all too busy studying the new (and official) Republican Congressional Recess  script of where to pose for pictures, when to wear a hardhat and which button to push in their brain to generate which allowed response to constituents.

 THE STEPFORD MEN are” FIGHTING WASHINGTON FOR ALL AMERICANS”

Look it up, it is called “Fighting Washington for All Americans” advisory kit…basically a primer their leaders thought they should have for getting good publicity on break….as well as where and when to allow press to cover what they are doing.

You’ll be surprised at how much advice Republican representatives in the House are getting of how little they should do in public and how much should be done in private – away from their constituents and the general public’s eyes.

So let’s make this a new game for August. Instead of tracking the Press Sightings of the President and his family on vacation, let’s keep an eye on our own Congressional Representatives right here in Minnesota.

 Let’s start at the State Fair.  When you go, count how many times you hear “Every day I serve in Congress, I work to fight Washington.”    That is the suggested slogan for the month of August, by the way.  So, call them out.  Ask them if they can share something original that means something to them personally.  Ask them for specific examples of what they have done or accomplished; ask them to name the successes and the legislation passed to support it.   If you prefer not to challenge them in person, send a note to their local office.  Tell them they were “hired” by the people to represent them, not to represent the Republican publicists.  Share your actions on line and share any responses on line.

Every time you see the phrase “Every day I serve in Congress, I work to fight Washington” on Facebook, Twitter, or your own favorite social media tool; respond the same way. Challenge them!

Every time you see some footage on your favorite TV station and hear “Every day I serve in Congress, Iwork to fight Washington”- call them on it.  Ask them to site examples of how they are doing that; ask them for results they can share; leave the comment on the station’s online page or pages. 

Let’s not let them get away with this manipulation carefully engineered by the Republican Party publicists to cover up the DO NOTHIING Congress that trumps all DO NOTHINGS in US history! 

They’ve returned to their districts pretty cocky; assured by their party, they will recover by repeating the slogan often enough that the American people will buy into believing that “Washington” means Democrats and Obama not Congress and the Administration.  I am, and YOU ARE smarter than that;  and we have a right to expect more.  Call them on it.  Do not let them shift the blame…focus it right back where it belongs on the Republican-led House of Representatives.

A FINAL THOUGHT OF THE MORNING

This morning, an unruly thought jumped back into my brain…and try as I might, I have not been able to banish it to the “I forgot” bin that things I WANT to remember tend to get lost in.

Why was it ok in 2001 for a Republican president with that stunned look still on his face to start a 12 year+ war against Afghanistan because they granted  asylum to an enemy of the US; thereby multiplying the tragedy of 3000 persons who initially died to some gargantuan number -still not capped off -of additional Americans, friends of America,  Afghans and innocent bystanders …and yet it is not okay for a Democratic President to merely verbally challenge Russia and cancel his planned Summit meeting with Putin for providing a safe harbor for Snowden?

Those of you that cheered as we blundered into Afghanistan are the same ones muttering Obama has set back the progress made with Russia and he should have restrained himself.  Excuse me?

We should not forget, folks, that Afghanistan did not attack the World Trade Center – Osama bin Laden, whose family roots were Yemen with ties to the Saudis, was the culprit. He just went to Afghanistan to hide.

Snowden, on the other hand, whom our federal government has determined was a traitor – no matter what your personal beliefs are on whistleblower vs. traitor-has been granted asylum.  Despite the fact that I think that is pretty good punishment in itself-let’s not kid ourselves that he will stay there or not be heard from again.  

 I am all for a well-thought out careful approach to show our displeasure for the interference.  At least Obama did not send planes and ships of Americans off to die  in a no-win situation from which we still cannot extract ourselves.

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THE INDEPENDENCE DAY HOLIDAY BEGINS

July 3, 2013

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS

They start here on the river today; continue throughout tomorrow and end with the Red White and Boom tomorrow night.  Come on down!

WHERE’S THE PUBLIC?

More guns are being found at airport security lately and not surprising, airports in the south and west had the greatest number.  But of course they would.  The Cowboys still need protection against the Indians, cattle wrestlers and the Mexicans, don’t they?  As for the Southern Rebels – why they are still waiting for a Confederate flag to fly above them to signal the next charge up the hill!…or maybe that’s unfair. Perhaps they are simply waiting for the mess Martin Luther King stirred up to just settle down so they can get back Southern life the way they liked it.

But seriously folks, am I the only one asking why no fuss is made about this?  I’ve spent a lifetime flying around in my day and mostly I objected to the inconvenience but today, I simply just despise the process (and the cost J).  And it’s idiots like gun carrying fools that make it so.

MORE TIME AND MONEY WASTED

We knew it was coming, and right on schedule, the Republicans looking for something – anything- to stick as a scandal, have now grabbed onto the lifeline of the ATF Nomination.

I don’t remember much about this guy when he was in Minnesota; but I know we are not hearing of inexcusable incidents as he performs the duties of acting – ATF head, so suspicious person that I am, I expect this is one more attempt to unearth a scandal….that just maybe will backfire and put the nail in the coffin of the Repos. 

I am trying my best to give them slack – as I know cornered wild animals are dangerous and we are certainly seeing the evidence of that as they fight ferociously to block this appointment, to dig up scandals, to point the finger of blame at ANYTHING but the image they see in the mirror!  No one did this TO them.  They did it to themselves by acting as the bullies in the sandbox at grade school – because they lost the Presidential Election in 2008…and instead of trying to listen to what those that elected them want them to do, they started kicking up the sand in everyone’s eyes.

Every day they prove to those of us that have become students of needs and actions unique to serve successfully in the changing world of the 21st century – that they should no longer be considered a viable alternative to the Democrats…they simply do not have the understanding or the skills of what is needed, expected, nor desired in any adult – let alone those we elect to represent us-in this new age.

BRADLEY MANNING – A REASON FOR SNOWDEN?

What I will never understand about Bradley Manning is his timing.  The war-mongers had just been defeated; Bush and the neo-cons were out; Obama who was against the war was “in” and already moving to develop a schedule to leave Afghanistan.  Why didn’t Manning voice his concerns to the new government leaders trying to put an end to what had been done?

Oh yes, then  there is that part about passing information to Osama bin Laden- evidence of which eventually was FOUND on computers in the bin Laden complex just last year.  So from that, do we assume he admired bin Laden’s work on 9-11? Or should I assume perhaps he was just another fame seeker?  I admit, I simply do not understand the workings of minds like these guys.

Nevertheless, in recent days I heard someone declare on a news program that Manning “received terrible treatment in military custody” and that treatment was part of the justification for Snowden to flee the country – for fear he, too, would be held “naked in a cell” for days or weeks or months.

So someone tell me if this is a fact or more fiction!  I have not done a fact-check but surely this would have surfaced before now.  Of course with the love of the Republicans for war and the military, perhaps it did not surface if true, because they saw nothing wrong with it.   Or maybe it surfaced and was remedied or was a Republican continuation of what we had seen in the Iraq War.  Who knows.

But I hardly think it is justification for Snowden in any case.

TARGET’S PLAN FOR THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY

So today we learned Target will not feature a special partner in their Christmas merchandising-apparently based on the failure of Neiman Marcus relationship last year.

Really?  What were they thinking when they did that in the first place? Whatever it was, I thought then, and apparently was correct that it was not a fit.

The mystic of Neiman’s (at least in Minnesota and based on my personal experiences here and  in Chicago) begins with their catalog.  It is the Grand Dame of all “direct mail” pieces.  It arrives, and the recipient is immediately drawn into a fairy tale world of luxury.  The photography is great; the layout is great; the experience is magical.  The desire to experience the story being told is not even necessarily related to a desire or wish to own the merchandise!  The photography, the copy, the layout and the wonderful array of quality –often, one-of-a-kind items-enchants and immediately transports the reader to Dreamland. It is a wonderful “mental vacation” from whatever you find yourself in the midst of when it arrives in your mailbox.

And the stores?  They, too, generally reinforce a world we only dream about – a bit like the memory I have of the old Minneapolis Wenders! 

For years, I was a catalog customer and occasional buyer so I looked forward to the store opening in Minneapolis.  I often visited for a dose of the feel-good dream, but rarely bought, as I had long since left the corporate world, had definitely downsized my entertaining, and had little need or money for the product.  But I was still  addicted to the mental experience.

So despite my brain telling me the Target Store would be a misfit and the engaging experience would be lost, I looked forward to seeing how Target would integrate it. 

Uggghhh!  Did some items squished into the Target floor plan accompanied by throngs of bargain shoppers pawing through racks knocking items off hangers – all in a hurry; all whom had left manners at home coupled with the ambient “noise” of a Target store and those disappearing red and khaki-clad sales personnel create the same ambience of a Neiman store or even the catalog of dreams?  Of course not.

Don’t get me wrong.  Target is great.  I am a fan and frequent shopper.  Are they Neiman’s? – Hardly! But trying to be cutting edge by mixing oil and water tells me the Target marketing folks were new or desperate.

 

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TEN YEARS: Creating the Fiscal Cliff from My Perspective

August 5, 2012

 “More than $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts will kick in at year’s end unless Congress reaches a budget deal.  If they can’t, the economy will plunge into recession, contracting at an annual rate of 1.3 per cent in the first six months of 2013, the Congressional Budget Office said.”

Headlines focusing on the Fiscal Cliff tell the story.  Economic growth has slowed to 1.5 percent in the second quarter…because businesses are holding off hiring and investments as they wait for Washington to decide what will happen next year. Of course, in the meantime, they are amassing great pools of working capital and profit without taking any responsibility for our situation.

Over my morning coffee, I could not help but ponder what of all this is the result of good PR and SPIN on the part of the Republicans, and what of this situation tells the story of the Obama Administration.  Am I totally off base to give the benefit of the doubt to Obama because I view him as the first of a NEW generation of Presidents, in a NEW century , with NEW rules – most of which we as a world have not yet discovered?

Surely, I know the Republicans and MOST of the press are still using 20th century benchmarks and dreams to define this political campaign.  Daily, I shake my head and say to myself:  all this emotion, gloom and doom, and yearning for the comfortable world of the 20th century … when are we as people going to grab the ring, welcome the new frontiers, pull ourselves up and direct our strengths and resources to take advantage of opportunities lying before us?

And every day I am dragged, kicking and fighting, back into these old battles as we all balance on the precipice.  But, I know I am not the only one in the US who is not clinging to the past-every day I see proof of a more positive future in whatever I do.

And so, this morning, I determined I needed to create my own timeline of the 21st century, so I can understand how we got to where we are today.

2000:    Most can agree; we were on the right track in debt reduction in the Clinton Administration. But yes, many wanted a change; a closely  divided country wanted the Democrats out and the Republicans in….and it came to pass.

2001:     Republicans controlled the White House and the Congress; but to get a majority to pass the Bush $1.7 trillion tax cut, they called it a temporary cut, and limited it to ten years.

2001:     After 9-11, Republicans supported by most Democrats called for WAR on Afghanistan for sole purpose:  to get Osama bin Laden.  What we missed in the emotion was the plan to pay for this war on a credit card.  AND we wrongly assumed we could use our power, friends and technical superiority to quickly FIND HIM and take him out..  AND we got the country wrong.   But we all joined together, waved the flag and shouted “Support the Troops”.

 I do dimly remember a few cautionary “discussions” about the Russian Experience in Afghanistan,  as some of us  thought that this would not be as easy as emotion and promotion promised.  I am sorry I called it right on this one.

Eleven years later, we are still there and trying to figure out how to avoid being killed by the very guns we provided to Afghani rebels fighting the Russian, and how to get out…now finally recognizing this was no easy task and the Neo-Cons were wrong.  How many lives lost (PLEASE do not just count US lives) but the good news is a decade later, Osama bin Laden was found – hiding in plain sight in Pakistan and is now dead.  So finally, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, despite a decade-long war fought in the wrong country!  But, it’s a score for OBAMA not the NEO-CON Republicans.

2002:     Republican plans for IRAQI military action, disrupted by 9-11 and the beginning of the 11 year hunt for Osama bin Laden, were again on the table.  We started a second war based on “imminent nuclear threat”.  This war, as well, was neither budgeted nor paid for during the Bush administration….we were still swiping the credit card.   

Editorial Comment:  Nothing I have learned in the decade since has shown my personal theory to be incorrect.  How much of this disaster was due to familial one-upmanship manipulated by neo-cons, disappointed in George Hubert Bush refusing to extend the original Gulf War?

2003:     Two wars were not going well and George W needed a popularity boost I guess, so back to the drawing board for a second “temporary” tax cut…this time for only seven years, so it coincided with the expiration date of the cuts passed in 2001.

The general consensus was that this Republican initiated move was supposed to “increase pressure” on Congress to extend them or make them permanent.

2004-8: So life was good; spending up; two wars on a credit card; government funds down with tax cuts for all…but instead of “job creation” we stalled out.  We “tripped” on the fun that resulted in unsustainable housing booms and incredible questionable antics in the financial world. And the wall came tumbling down.

By 2008, we are still fighting two wars on a credit card and we are lowering the US coffers.  The tax reductions did NOT lead to job creation, but to more job losses than any time in the last eighty years. The housing and financial bubbles burst and finally, like the little Dutch Boy, George W stuck his thumb in the dike-on his way out the door.  As he retreated to Texas, he abdicated all responsibility for the hole he made in the dike; and passed on to Obama, the responsibility to clean up the mess.

2009:     I am sure Republicans celebrated secretly as they thought“Whew, we are outta there before the bill came due from the wars, and no one recognizes yet that those tax cuts we implemented  did not create jobs…we can retreat and regroup and if we hurry, we can blame this whole mess caused by our incompetence on the Democrats”.   

Hard to believe it worked, but it did, and a new generation well-versed in 21st century thinking did not sense it coming.  A really hard way to lose one’s innocence.

2011:     FAST FORWARD to Summer, 2011.  Time is running out and we were stalemated on the budget.

Congressional Democrats offered automatic cuts to domestic programs and suggested the BUSH temporary tax cuts be evaluated.  Republicans countered with NO WAY and offered instead, Military cuts.

The LAST player to sign on to this plan?  Not the Demos, not the Repos… with a united congress, Obama agreed.

And except for the bickering and the spin, we got a short-term reprieve from the fiscal cliff.

2012:     Here we go again, but the spin has changed the story.  And either the Republicans have hung their candidate out to dry, or Romney just cannot follow what happened.   Either way, he does not seem to understand how foolish he sounds quoting neo-con strategies and platitudes.

  • Republicans cut taxes; and we lost jobs.
  • Republicans went to war and failed in two missions:  Get bin Laden and uncover the nuclear threat of Iraq.
  • Republicans went to war on a credit card and amassed incredible debt.
  • Republicans passed temporary tax cuts; wrote the law for reversal in 2011. I will pass on what options come next.   
  • Republicans cut the military budget so it doesn’t sound good for Romney to rage on about it.

I could keep going, but I am tired of this now, and have sorted out enough of the facts to see that I am remembering correctly what has transpired since the New Age dawned…and more talks of “let’s try again” in Syria and Iran just are not selling points for me.

Then I add the Congressional work not accomplished (the Strib outlines a few including Farm and Food, Postal Service, Russia Trade, Cyber-security, and Violence Against Women) and I can’t help but recognize-based on my own successful 40 year track record in business- that we have some Employee Performance issues within Congress  that may only be fairly solved by termination of work and all benefits without severance. 

I can’t wait to hear the details of–in his words- the” businessman’s plan” between now and election day.