Thursday, April 5, 2012

It's Brown and In Town


Back in 2007 there was a kind of strange moment in this country. The national intelligence estimate report ,which combines all the US spy type agencies collective knowledge, came out saying that Iran wasn't building a nuke. Apparently, it's major reason for doing so or trying to was Saddam Hussein and now he was gone. What was weird was instead of being relieved at this, people were mad! It was a turning point, in my mind at least.

Now, I certainly don't "trust" the government's judgement in anything, but at the very least it was an excuse to take the military option off the table and resolve the conflict to some extent and move on. It was always a kind of ridiculous idea anyway: tiny backward Iran attacking the superpower US and/or Israel. Why would they step, when they know we're strapped? as Ice T would say. Plus, Iran has oil. lets get some of it. Alas, The NIE failed to change the direction of things in the least. Lately it's taken on a creepier tone. As the US remains stuck in a long recession, war counterintuitively seems more likely. It's like some ancient sort of fatalism.

SR380 is the latest ramping up of it. You can click below Lindsey Grahams adorable face to see if your horrible senator co sponsored this thing, 44 of them did. It's very bi partisan. As recently blacklisted, black-face comedy fan Pat Buchanan points out

"Three dozen senators have signed on to a resolution declaring it a U.S. “vital national interest” that Iran not possess even a “nuclear weapons capability....

S.R. 380 reads like a resolution crafted as a casus belli, a cause for war..."


The co sponsor that surprised me the most was Sherrod Brown, who has to be the only one on it to have voted against the Iraq War resolution. Then I remembered Brown had been the guy that Chuck Schumer and co had thrown Paul Hackett under the bus for. Hackett is an Iraq war vet who was generating alot of excitement back in 06 and when the party turned on him it was ugly. Normally loyal democratic institutions like Democratic Underground and the Stephanie Miller show openly showed their outrage and indignation. Hackett was on jon Stewart and Colbert. Then...people forgot about it and Brown entered the Senate on the wave of the "thumping" the GOP took . He soon delighted the world with his trademark style which is blowhardy (Buchananite) protectionism, looking like a 70's sitcom character, and stuff like banning incandscent lightbulbs, supporting every type of bailout, and the DREAM act ( because war and illegal immigration are two things we just don't have enough of in this country).

Perhaps in thanks to the party brass he also conspiciously co sponsored s970, which sought to tighten sanctions on Iran. Okay, he got the bosses of his back. That's politics, and the thing didn't even go to vote. No need to make hay of it.

So why did he sign on to this latest bill? Brown is facing a challenge in the form of a 34 year old gay for pay looking republican josh mandel endorses-josh-mandel.jpg

an iraq vet (why can't they leave Sherrod alone?) and rising star in Sarah Palins GOP. He's a big Iran hawk.

"Given that Jews turn out at an 80 percent turnout rate, " says Nathan Diament, a lobbyist for the Orthodox Jewish movement. "if you swing the Jewish vote 10 percent in Ohio, that could give you Ohio,". As Dr. Suess once said "Luke Luck licks lakes that Luke Luck's duck likes" especially in a swing state.


This isn't just to pick on Jewish people in Ohio or anywhere else. You ever notice how, as an American, you can't go to Cuba? You can go to Iran, Sudan, North Korea, and every island near Cuba but not Cuba unless you're a Gitmo detainee. That's because the loud annoying Cuban-American lobby in Florida for some reason doesn't want the embargo lifted. The Cold War ended 20 + years ago. Why do a group of people I don't know determine wether I can go to a place called Cuba (which I did try to do, that's another story) ( I got a ticket in but couldn't secure a return trip, which at the time was enough to disuade me. Now I wouldn't give a fuck)? answer: Florida is also a swing state.

This is in direct violation of the General Welfare clause of the Constitution. This clause is often misinterpreted to mean something along the lines of the government is supposed to give people the thing called welfare if they need it. The actual meaning is that the edicts and so forth of the state are meant to benefit the general as opposed to specific welfare of the country. So, just because Cubans in Miami don't like Castro, that doesn't mean all 300 million Americans and however many Cubans in Cuba should have to deal with a ridiculous embargo, but there it is.

Winston Churchill once said "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." We'd like to think so, but there are real problems with democracy. While it's a shame Americans can't legaly travel to Cuba and the Cuban people have to suffer under a ridiculous embargo, the situation in the middle east is something far more alarming. We're getting in the middle of millenia long feuds in a way that could spell the literal end of humanity. For some reason, we're all too polite to say anything about it.

Bill Gates probably has a space Ark ready for himself if that's any consolation.

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