Vladimir Putin’s Excellent Syrian Adventure was all fun and games so long as he was hitting Bashar al-Assad’s enemies (which rarely meant Daesh until that group downed a Russian airliner) and those enemies couldn’t fire back.
However, Russian pilots had the unfortunate habit of straying into Turkish airspace. This was understandable, as the air space in the war zone was rather tight. But the Turks warned Russia after the last incident that another violation of their airspace would bring about a response.
Today, a Russian jet again strayed into Turkish airspace. According to Turkey and the coalition command in Baghdad, Turkey warned the Russian plane ten times to leave its airspace. The Russians either didn’t hear the warnings, or ignored them, at which point Turkey downed the Russian jet. The pilots ejected, but didn’t survive. (The details of their deaths are still sketchy, but it seems that Syrian rebels shot them down.)
I was going to write this essay earlier this month, probably after a GOP debate. But, life intervened, and I set it aside.
I certainly wasn’t expecting the Paris attacks. But I should have expected the reaction among most everyone on the Right.
While Parisians are crowding outdoor cafes and continuing with their lives as a raised fist against the fear which Daesh wants them to live under, conservatives in this country are running around flinging fearful fecal matter in every direction, warning that Daesh is under your bed, or that the orphaned refugee could be a sleeper agent ready to detonate a bomb at your nearest NFL stadium.
However, I’m not going to say that this is against American tradition. The fact is that the United States has always had a very vibrant Party of Fear.
For a crypto-Muslim who wants to shove Sharia law down the throats of God-fearing Christian America, President Barack Obama seems to be doing it wrong.
Word came out that UK Daesh member, “Jihadi John”, star of many decapitation videos, was killed in a US drone strike. Not only killed, but, according to reports, “eviscerated”. And reports also state that he was the only person to have died in the attack; no collateral damage was incurred.
Of course, some are saying that it would have been better for him to have been captured and stand trial. While I sympathize with that sentiment, I somehow doubt the Caliph of ISIL would have honored an indictment delivered to Raqqa. And most people wouldn’t want to risk our soldiers to effectuate such a capture. Whether some people want to admit it or not, this is a war in which we’re engaged. You don’t have Miranda rights if you’re in a war zone beheading innocents. So I have no particular regrets that Jihadi John won’t be in the dock in London or New York.
Journalists for Univision, the largest Spanish-language television station in the United States, were removed from a Donald Trump campaign event in Florida on Friday. The news was first reported by Jorge Ramos, Univision’s flagship news anchor, on Twitter, and was later confirmed by the Hollywood Reporter. A spokesperson for the campaign claims that the Univision TV crew was barred from covering the event because “Mr. Trump is suing Univision for $500 million and until that is resolved it is a conflict of interest.”
Trump sued the popular Spanish-language network, claiming that Univision breached an agreement to broadcast Miss Universe pageants through 2019 — although it’s unclear why Trump still has a stake in this lawsuit since he sold the Miss Universe Organization in September.
So. Donald Trump, the front runner for the Republican presidential nomination, has barred Univision, the most popular Spanish language broadcaster in the US, from covering his campaign.
Oh, yes, it’s all about “I’m suing them, so it’s a conflict of interest.” But, as the article makes clear, Donald has sold off his interest in the Miss Universe pageant, so the suit is strange to say the least.
No, the suit continues to continue Donald’s campaign of denigrating Latinos. And barring Univision from covering his campaign events is merely logical in this campaign.
What my community is facing in this election is a campaign of defamation. From the Freedom Caucus securing Paul Ryan’s promise to not pursue immigration reform to Donald Trump’s scurrilous attacks on Latinos, we’re one of the convenient targets of the GOP. (African Americans and Muslims also round out the cast of characters.)
So, forgive me if I’m not very interested in relitigating the fights of 2007 and 2008 between Pres. Obama and Hillary Clinton. I have a slightly different view of things.
Politico reported yesterday that House Speaker John Boehner is laying the groundwork for that most elusive of all chimeras, the “grand bargain” with President Obama before he steps down. Barring that, he’ll push through a clean debt ceiling hike. Either way, this ends four years of constant hostage taking of the nation’s—and the world’s—economy for short term political gain.
It didn’t have to be like this. At his heart, I don’t believe Mr. Boehner is a bomb-throwing nihilist as are the members of the “Freedom Caucus”. He’s been in Congress since the 1990s, and has a concern for the institution. He could have easily followed in the time-honored tradition of seeking to build coalitions with those across the aisle and sideline the radicals in his own party. He wouldn’t have gotten everything he wanted, but he would have gotten some of it, and the country would have worked much more efficiently.
House Speaker John Boehner shocked the political world by announcing his resignation from Congress.
In the short term the Very Smart People say this means he can pass a Continuing Resolution with mostly Democratic votes, as he gives the finger to the Brownshirt Caucus.
In the long term? Who will the GOP rally around as Speaker? The fact is, every other House leader is worse than Mr. Boehner ideologically. I joked that I looked forward to Speaker Louie Gohmert. But that’s a jest with a barb of truth in it.
Pope Francis gave an address to a joint session of Congress today. I hope to have an essay on the broader themes of his speech for tomorrow, but today I want to focus on one aspect which seems to have tarnished his halo with leftists who have pinned their hopes on him and are now disappointed, just as they did with President Obama.
Here is the offending passage:
The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.
That’s it. That was his only glancing reference to abortion. And he didn’t even use the word abortion.
But look at what he said: human life must be protected at every stage of its development.
As I’ve written before, I was raised Catholic. And although I can’t in good conscience call myself a believer any longer, that upbringing undergirds who I am. I can no more dispense with it than I can dispense with all the skeins of life which have made me who I am.
I’ve always been a liberal. And as early as I can remember, I’ve always disagreed with the Church’s position on abortion and birth control. Many times, I’ve disagreed vehemently with the Church, wanting finally to cast aside that part of me.
But as I’ve grown older, I have, I hope, grown wiser. What used to be black and white in my youth has become a symphony of grays. I still disagree with the Church on abortion and birth control. But I can respect its stance, at least on abortion.
How can I do this? Because unlike many of the evangelical Religious Right, the Catholic position on life is a total one. Again, turn to Pope Francis’ words: life must be protected at every stage of development.
With Senator Maria Cantwell becoming the 42nd Senate Democrat to come out in favor of the nuclear deal agreed to between Iran and the P5+1, President Obama not only has a veto-proof majority in the Senate and House, but also a bloc which can filibuster the bill of disapproval from even coming to a vote. In chess this is known as “checkmate”. The GOP has no moves left.
Except, of course, this is the GOP.
“Checkmate,” says Pres. Obama.
“Checkmate?” asks some elephantine GOPer. “Look, over there!” And then he proceeds to turn over the game board.
A group of migrants leaves a collection point in the village of Roszke, Hungary, September 7, 2015, as they decided to go the nearest town of Szeged. – Reuters/Marko Djurica
With the new millennium, Europe increasingly became a magnet for migrants. Such a migration engendered nativist movements, racism, and violence. (In the former East Germany, migrants’ hostels were firebombed at an alarming rate. In France, the National Front kept gaining in popularity as the immigrant population kept increasing.)
But what we’re seeing this year is something Europe hasn’t witnessed since the end of World War II. Frankly, it’s something Europe has never witnessed. A swathe of humanity is on the march, and it’s heading for European shores.
The Right’s favorite Democrat, Kim Davis, was released from her contempt of court sentence on the understanding that she won’t interfere with her clerks doing their jobs.
This may be a short-lived reprieve, as her lawyer has said that he doesn’t see how Ms. Davis will be able to, in good conscience, allow her clerks to do their jobs and marry those heathen, damned to hell icky gay people. So, she may be back in the “Real Orange is the New Black” soon.
But, that’s neither here nor there. I have a more pressing question to investigate