“If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.”
This panegyric to what is commonly called “American Exceptionalism” could have been composed by any of a number of GOP-aligned media figures, such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, or their legions of local imitators. Those words were actually spoken by Madeleine Albright in 1998, when she was the Clinton administration’s Secretary of State. She was defending the U.S. role in enforcing an embargo on Iraq in the aftermath of the first Gulf War in 1991.
Albright had memorably addressed that issue in a different fashion three years earlier during an interview on the CBS program 60 Minutes.
“We have heard that a half million children have died,” observed interviewer Leslie Stahl. “I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”…..
Without challenging the statistics, or displaying even a tremor of remorse, Albright replied: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.”
By reconciling Albright’s statements we learn that when “we have to” impose policies that result in the avoidable death, through starvation and disease, of hundreds of thousands of children, “it is because we are America…. We stand tall. We see further into the future.”
For some reason, the self-styled seers and visionaries who defended the Iraqi embargo didn’t foresee how that policy, coupled with decades of U.S. meddling in the Middle East, would cultivate and nurture the seeds that bore murderous fruit on September 11, 2001.
To ordinary people not blessed with Albright’s oracular insight, it seemed obvious that some variety of murderous blowback would be the inevitable product of a foreign policy that featured deliberate mass starvation punctuated with bombing raids. However, the custodians of permissible opinion have decreed that history began on the morning of 9/11 – that nothing the U.S. government did prior to that date has any organic connection to the motives and actions of those who carried out the attack (at least as that attack is described in the officially sanctioned narrative). To suggest that Washington’s policies had some relationship to anti-American sentiment in the Middle East is to commit a grave blasphemy against American Exceptionalism – the official creed of the ruling Establishment, irrespective of party.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a House committee that she is “not aware” of any actions the Obama administration has taken against countries that will not accept back illegal immigrants in “deportation status,” some of whom have committed crimes. After a “six-month detention period,” the illegal immigrants are released within the United States.
“DHS is supposed to order or give the country that refuses to take back its aliens — the Secretary of State ‘shall order’ — that the visas to its citizens be suspended,” Adams concluded. ”How many have you recommended under Section 243(d)?”
Napolitano answered, “We have not — what we have done is work with — there are countries that systemically refuse to accept their aliens back.
(Excerpt) Read more at thedc.com …
A top Marine Corps general told Congress on Thursday that cutting the Corps to 150,000 Marines, as some analysts project, would mean it could not fulfill its mission during a major war, or respond adequately to crises and humanitarian disasters around the world.
“A hundred and fifty thousand would put us below the level that’s necessary to support a single contingency,” said Gen. Joseph Dunford, who as assistant commandant is the nation’s No. 2 Marine.
Furthermore, the Marines, known as America’s 911 response force, would be limited in carrying out an array of special missions.
“We will not be there to deter our potential adversaries,” he told the House Armed Services subcommittee on readiness. “We won’t be there to assure our potential friends or to assure our allies. And we certainly won’t be there to contain small crises before they become major conflagrations.”
The Pentagon is searching for $465 billion in cuts over 10 years as man dated by a Congress-White House budget deal. If a congressional supercommittee can’t agree on a larger debt-reduction road map, the Pentagon would face another $450 billion slash, a move that Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has said will lead to a “hollow” military.
Gen. Dunford made his stark warning about diminishing Marine Corps capabilities amid news reports that the supercommittee is not close to an agreement as the Nov. 23 deadline approaches.
A committee Republican staff memo says the Marine Corps stands at 202,000 troops and is slated to shrink to 173,000 under current planning. But if the supercommittee fails to reach an agreement, the Corps would be forced to cut another 28,000 Marines to 145,000, the memo said.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com …
In 1936, Franklin Delano Roosevelt defeated Alfred Landon by an electoral vote of 523 to 8. This was the only contested election in which the major losing candidate received fewer than 10 votes (1788, 1792 and 1820 were uncontested). The landslide came on the heels of what appeared to be an economic recovery. Unemployment fell, productivity rose; people believed the New Deal really worked and they rewarded FDR accordingly. Shortly into the second term did the ugly truth reveal itself. The so-called recovery had been built entirely on government spending. Massive borrowing and government make-work projects put money in enough people’s pockets that the economy grew. FDR, who always thought of himself as a fiscal conservative, began rolling back the WPA and other spending programs. When that happened, the economy collapsed. This was the second dip of the Great Depression, and it sent FDR into his own personal depression. The truth was that the so-called recovery that had propelled FDR to his historic landslide win in 1936 was built entirely on government spending. The economy was still on life support and the New Deal policies had only made recovery harder.
Why is this relevant? It’s relevant because we are going to see it again in the coming months. The signs are there: a strong month for the Dow, 2.5% growth in the third quarter, a decline in unemployment, a slowdown in foreclosures. These trends, if sustained, will make Obama look like a genius come next June. But, like the FDR recovery of 1935 and 1936, the Obama recovery of 2012 will be based entirely on government hiring, government borrowing and government spending. The media will proclaim the Obama Recovery and compare him to Reagan with the GOP and Cain’s 9-9-9 plan playing the part of Mondale. Will the voters fall for it? Yes. Will the GOP be savvy enough to ask where the private sector went? Maybe. Will the RNC have the guts to harp on the real unemployment number- the one that accounts for the underemployed and those who have given up? No.
The multitude of mysteries revealed following the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ death now includes one that puzzled car enthusiasts for years: How did Jobs get away with driving without a license plate? It was common knowledge that Jobs would park his Mercedes SL55 AMG in a handicapped spot at Apple’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters, with nothing to identify his vehicle other than the tiny barcode that usually rests behind the rear license plate. According to Walter Isaacson’s new biography, Jobs wanted to avoid having a plate for privacy reasons; and yet when having a license-less silver Mercedes became a kind of trademark, Jobs kept motoring without one “because I don’t.” [snip] You’ll have to read at the link to find the answer. ;)
(Excerpt) Read more at autos.yahoo.com …
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann criticized a directive by President Barack Obama to ease student loan debt as an “abuse of power” that will give people incentive to dodge debt.
The candidates reacted Thursday to a decision Obama announced a day earlier to cap required payments for some college loan borrowers at a lower percentage of their income and forgive payments for others after 20 years. He used executive authority to accelerate a law that wasn’t supposed to go into effect until 2014.
“I believe it is abuse of power from the executive to impose via an executive order a wholesale change in the student loan,” Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman, said during an education forum in New York put on by The College Board and News Corp.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com …
Orlando Jones, the actor and comedian, is in hot water over a tweet in which he compared former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to Moammar Gadhafi and suggested liberals band together and kill her.
Though Jones, under a withering Internet onslaught for the idea, has been pleading he was just kidding and that he has a constitutional right to say he wishes anyone he wants to be killed, the tweet is fraught with irony.
Palin was accused of fomenting violence in the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting because of a map her PAC distributed placing the congresswoman’s district in cross hairs during the 2010 election cycle. While individuals and some of the conservative media have been incandescent in their outrage, the same mainstream media who took Palin to task over the cross hairs map have been strangely silent over the actual death threat directed against her.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com …