Day: May 19, 2010

A Sad Milestone: 1,000 Military Killed In Afghanistan! :(

A sad milestone has been reached in Afghanistan, with the announcement yesterday that the total of American soldiers killed in that forbidden nation has reached 1,000!

The war has seen a growing number of killed and wounded, since President Obama increased American involvement, and yet there are no clear cut signs that the war is being won! 🙁

It is indeed tragic that we are losing our young, dedicated men and women in a country that NO other nation has ever been able to succeed in militarily!

This includes the British Empire and the Soviet Union, and one would think that it would be clear that committing more troops to that horrific location is an exercise in futility! 🙁

One can only hope that our involvement will be cut down dramatically in the summer of 2011, the supposedly beginning date of withdrawal from Afghanistan, which was set by Obama when he announced the troop increase late last year!

But the loss of life up to now, and over the next year or more, is still a tremendous, wrong headed tragedy!

We mourn the death of these young people who are so patriotic, but are being sent to a battlefield that has no solution! 🙁

The Unfortunate Life Of Mitch McConnell! From Jim Bunning To Rand Paul!

Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell has been the Minority Leader of the Senate since 2007, and is serving his fifth term, the longest serving Kentucky senator in American history!

A strong conservative, but part of the “establishment”, he has been cursed having to serve alongside a Senator considered by many to be part of the “lunatic fringe”–Senator Jim Bunning, the former baseball player and Hall of Famer, who is usually regarded as one of the absolutely worst senators in American history!

Bunning was a constant critic of McConnell right up to the end, when he finally decided not to run for a third Senate term! He was an embarrassment in so many ways, in his actions and statements! McConnell was certainly relieved when Bunning finally bowed out of the race!

McConnell backed Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Greyson to succeed Bunning, but Rand Paul, the son of Texas Congressman Ron Paul, and like his father, a libertarian and Tea Party activist, was endorsed by Bunning!

Yesterday, Paul soundly defeated Greyson, a real slap in the face to McConnell, and based on Rand Paul’s past statements, McConnell might almost wish Bunning had stayed in the Senate! 🙂

Rand Paul has called for the abolition of the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Department of Education, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Federal Reserve, and supports a balanced budget amendment, term limits, and repeal of the Civil Rights Act of 1964! He promotes constant tax cuts and smaller government, and is a critic of the government “bailout” of Wall Street and the Obama Health Care reform! He also is against abortion rights, including in cases of rape and incest!

Besides being an extremist in so many ways, which will be fully exposed by Democratic nominee Jack Conway in the fall campaign, Rand Paul has made it clear that he has no intention of being friendly with McConnell, even with the fact that McConnell is the Republican leader in the Senate!

So even those who are not fans of Mitch McConnell must have some sympathy for him, as it is a shame that he has weird, extremist colleagues from his home state that he has to, somehow, coexist with and tolerate! 🙁

Who Gained From The May 18 Primaries? The Democrats And Progressives!

It is interesting how many see the results of yesterday’s primaries as a defeat for President Obama!

Since Obama supported Senator Arlen Specter, because he helped the Democrats on important legislation after switching parties last year, it is argued that Obama lost! But actually, he gained in the long run by having the more “progressive” candidate and a “true” Democrat, Congressman Joe Sestak, defeat Specter!

Obama may have backed Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas in a party loyalty way, but the fact that the more “progressive” opponent, Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter, forced Lincoln into a runoff primary for June 8, by her failure to win a majority of the vote in the the three way race, is seen as leading to the likely nomination of Halter in the final two candidate election in three weeks!

The fact also that the moderate to conservative Democrat in the Pennsylvania district long represented by the late John Murtha, a former aide to Murtha, won the congressional seat by almost ten points over his Republican opponent, despite a large investment of money and advertising by the GOP, is also seen as a major Democratic win!

And although the Tea Party people feel they have accomplished a great victory with their libertarian candidate, Rand Paul, son of Texas Congressman Ron Paul, over the “establishment” Republican candidate in Kentucky’s Republican primary, it will likely be a mixed blessing as the attack against the extremist views and statements of Rand Paul will be one of the highlights of the 2010 Congressional elections! This is NOT a great moment for the “Establishment” Republicans or Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell! Rand Paul represents an attack on just about everything that most Republicans profess in domestic and foreign policy!

It is noticeable that neither House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio, nor Republican National Chairman Michael Steele, had much to say today about yesterday’s election results! It is obvious that they realize their party is being marginalized, while the Democrats have seen a swing to the left, but not a move toward anarchism, which will never solve the problems this nation faces!

The Anarchistic Nature Existing Today In America! A Great Danger! :(

Yesterday’s results in primaries in four states has been judged to be a sign of anti Establishment and anti Washington, DC sentiment!

There is nothing wrong with the concept of “throwing the rascals out”! That was the design of our nation, that when the people are unhappy with their public servants, that they should be able to vote them out!

Turnover is good, and there are those who would think there should be term limits and age limits, although in no other occupation do such limits now exist, because they would be considered discriminatory! Experience and knowledge have always been thought of as virtues, except maybe in politics, ironically, where many citizens seem to think having “fresh blood” is always desirable!

Actually, a mix of experienced people and newcomers is what is best for a democratic system to operate efficiently! But try to tell that to the Tea Party activists, who simply are against all those who have served in government, in both parties, and against the federal government. The results in Pennsylvania are seen by many as the repudiation of Barack Obama, but the results in Kentucky are seen as the rejection of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell from that state!

In the rhetoric they employ, in reality, the Tea Party Movement is bordering on anarchism! They want a complete turnover of government, and back to the pre Great Depression America, when state and local government were the dominant levels and spent the most money in governing the masses! Of course, that was a much simpler time which many would wish could return, but which will not occur!

The problem is that we cannot go back to 1929 and earlier in levels of responsibility of local, state, and national government! The more one examines the facts, we become aware of the reality that state and local governments are far more corrupt, far less representative, and far less competent to solve issues that government in a complex world must deal with!

The concept of states rights is so overdrawn as a virtue, but it was made clear 150 years ago that all citizens had to be treated the same, not be at the whims of state governments which in many cases treated its citizens in very different, unjust ways! History tells us that did not always happen, but that became the basic view that has been enforced in the past 50 years!

To be against Washington, DC is to be against our Constitution, which provided for a federal government to unite the people and protect them in the Bill of Rights! We are not a confederation of 50 states, all doing their own thing with a “go to hell” attitude toward the nation as a whole! We tried that with the Articles of Confederation from 1781-1789, and it failed miserably!

To wish to go back to the Articles of Confederation mentality denies the whole point of our national experience, and it is a move toward total anarchism! This fury and anger must be directed to necessary change, but not deny the whole purpose of our Constitution!

National government IS necessary, and national government is the only level of government that can promote equality of opportunity and equal justice! Witness Arizona now, and many Southern states in the past, which have denied basic human rights! 🙁

The job of the Obama Administration, the Democrats, and “reasonable” Republicans, who do not wish to contribute to the downfall of a stable government, is to offer rational solutions to the many problems this nation now faces! It is a major challenge, but there have been crises before, and fringe movements have been overcome by strong leadership and measured response to national emergencies!