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Our country sits on the crossroads in history.  For the last 100 years or so, we have what many people believe to be a model for democracy.  Yes, we have had our problems with race before like slavery and the Jim Crow laws.  But, beginning in the 20th century, we have basically been a country that passed laws that protected the rights of individuals.

All of that is changing in front of our eyes, and we don’t seem to give a shit!  The Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that abortion was legal.  Since then we have seen a strong opposition to that ruling.  In the last several years, several conservative states have passed laws taking that right away from women.  They have even passed legislation in several of these states that require doctors to tell women who want an abortion false information.  The object isn’t to protect the woman’s health, it is to make them change their mind about getting an abortion.

We have seen a so-called “church,” whose name I refuse to even mention,  protest at military funerals.  They claim that the soldiers were killed as “god’s punishment” for America’s acceptance of gay rights.  When the families object to their being there, nothing is done to keep them away.

There are voter suppression laws being passed in several states.  They are not-so-thinly veiled attempts to reduce the number of people who usually vote Democratic from gaining access to the polls.  In the last election just last year, several thousand people were denied their right to vote.  In some cases, it resulted in swaying the outcome of close elections.

Now, Indiana has taken the lead in authorizing legalized discrimination.  Governor Mike Pence signed the legislation yesterday.  It is called The Religious Objections Law.  Under this law, if you own a business and you don’t like someone, you can refuse service to that individual as long as you can say you have religious beliefs that says you don’t have to serve them.

The Governor says it is not a discrimination law.  He says “this law is not about discrimination.”  If it isn’t about discrimination, what is it about?  This law has come to fruition because the courts have ruled that same-sex marriage ban that was passed by Indiana is unconstitutional.  In order to fight against same-sex marriage, Indiana came up with this discrimination law to satisfy the far right-wing and the Christian Cult.

This is the reality in Indiana right now.  If you own any business, you can discriminate against anyone you want.  Pence may disagree with that statement, but it is true.  What if I owned a business in Indiana.  I decided that I don’t like Evangelical Christians.  I can deny business to any Evangelical Christian if I simply say it is against my religion to serve them because I consider them heretics.  This law gives me that right.

The laws about discrimination are very clear.  If you own a business, you are not allowed to discriminate against anyone.  Once you open your doors to the public, you are required to serve the whole public.  That is a very simple fact of doing business.  If you own a catering service and say you will cater all events except gay events, you are breaking the law.  This Indiana Law allows you to disobey anti-discrimination laws already upheld by the Supreme Court.

There is only one thing to do.  Businesses must boycott Indiana.  As a matter of fact, Salesforce.com co-founder and CEO Mark Benioff announced on twitter, shortly after Pence signed the bill, that he was cancelling programs that require his customers or employees to “travel to Indiana to face discrimination.”

The odd part is that Salesforce.com bought Indianapolis based marketing software company ExactTarget for $2.5 billion and kept several hundred employees in Indianapolis.  I hope he has the good sense to remove those jobs from Indiana so his employees don’t have to “face discrimination.”

Also, the timing is perfect for a national outcry.  Next week is the Final Four for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.  The Final Four is being held in Indianapolis.  For once, I would love to hear the NCAA do the right thing and announce on national television that this will be the last Final Four, or any round of the tournament held anywhere in the state of Indiana.  I am not holding my breath on that one, but it would be really nice if they did.

NCAA President Mark Emmert did say in a statement:  “We will work diligently to assure student-athletes competing in, and visitors attending, next week’s Final Four are not impacted negatively by this bill.”  The law, by the way, doesn’t take effect until June.

He went on to say “Moving forward, we intend to closely examine the implications of this bill and how it affects future events and our workforce.”  Sounds promising.  But, the NCAA isn’t known for always doing what is right.

Let’s look at just one example of a situation.  It is football season.  A team is due to meet Indiana University at Indiana.  One or more of their players have announced that they are gay.  What happens if the hotel the team is supposed to stay at refuses to allow the gay players to spend the night based on “religious grounds?”

Before you snicker, this is a very real possibility.  But, what if that hotel doesn’t say they won’t allow the gay players to spend the night until the team arrives?  That team will either have to find alternative quarters for the whole team, or follow the old Jim Crow laws and just find alternative quarters for the gay player(s).  What about pro-athletes?  There are a handful of openly gay players in professional sports?  Will they be denied a room when their team meets a team in Indiana?

Nothing will have a bigger impact on Indiana and this stupid law than the NCAA announcing immediately that they will hold no tournaments in the state due to this law.  Maybe that will make Indiana repeal this discriminatory law.

The only way to fight this kind of discrimination is through economic power.  If a state wants to legally discriminate against a segment of our citizenry, they should not be granted anything that would bring money into its economy.

Major sporting events like the NCAA tournaments, the Super Bowl, and others should not take place anywhere inside Indiana.  Wouldn’t it be great if the Indianapolis 500 was held without anyone attending?  Major corporations should sever their ties to Indiana.  Convention organizers should avoid Indiana like the plague.

At least two groups have announced that they were going to reconsider plans to events in Indianapolis because of this law.  These groups are the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Gamer’s Convention.  I hope both go elsewhere.

But, that is not enough.  Every person who lives in Indiana and opposes this law should boycott any business that is willing to discriminate against someone based on “religious grounds.”  Any business that openly discriminates against anyone does not deserve to remain open for business.  Boycott them and shut them down!

I have family in Chicago.  When I travel home to visit, I must pass through Indiana.  I promise you that I will make sure I have enough gas to get through the state and I won’t stop to eat.  I refuse to give any of my money to their economy.  I hope all travelers who need to pass through Indiana do the same thing.

If these things happen, the economic impact will be severe.  Not only to businesses who openly discriminate using this law as cover, but to the tax rolls in Indiana as well.

Since several other states are already looking to Indiana as the model to follow with similar laws, it is time to fight back.  By showing the economic implications of such legalized discrimination, maybe those other states will think twice before following suit.

To show just how much this law is legalized discrimination, Pence was asked if he would follow Illinois’ lead and add sexual-orientation to the state’s civil rights law.  He responded “That is not on my agenda.  I will not be pursuing that.”  Therefore, no one can argue that this law is anything but legalized discrimination sponsored by the state of Indiana.

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In a recent article, the Wall Street Journal reported that Israel spied on the U.S. negotiations with Iran.  They reported that Israel intercepted classified material dealing with the negotiations.  The article opened up Pandora’s Box, but no one wants to look inside.  The media on all sides are very quiet about the incident.

It wasn’t the actual “spying” that opened Pandora’s Box.  This is not the first time that Israel spied on the U.S.  Of all the “friendly” countries that have spied on the U.S., Israel rates as number one.  But, even though Israel is a “friendly” country, one must remember that it is a foreign country.  We have, in the past, convicted people who have “helped” Israel spy on our country.

There has been a lot written about those 47 Senators who wrote their ill-advised letter to Iran.  I wrote on it myself.  But, there is something else in the Wall Street Journal that opened Pandora’s Box and is even more disturbing to me than the fact that Israel continues to spy on the U.S.

According to the article, members of Congress received briefings from the Israelis using the very classified material they “intercepted.”  The sole purpose of these “briefings” was to influence Congressional action against the Iran negotiations.

You may ask, so what?  Members of Congress should be able to know what is being negotiated.  That is true.  It is also true that Congress has the right to argue for or against any treaty that an administration negotiates with a foreign country.  But, the fact that Israel apparently received this classified information through spying makes that act illegal according to our laws.

Furthermore, anyone who receives and uses this information who does not possess both the appropriate security clearance and authorization is also committing a criminal act.  That means that any American who knowingly gained unauthorized access to this information and used it on behalf of a foreign government to disadvantage the United States a criminal.  By any American, that means even members of Congress not specifically cleared for this information but who received it as a result of briefings provided to them by representatives of the Government of Israel.

That is where the reprehensible behavior comes into play.  Members of Congress are sworn to defend the Constitution.  How can one defend the Constitution if one is taking part in violating its laws on classified information?  In layman terms, violating the laws on classified information, when it pertains to a foreign government constitutes treason.

One only needs to recall Jonathan Pollard, the former U.S. Naval intelligence analyst turned Israeli spy who is currently serving a life sentence for espionage.  This will help you to understand that Israel is not an extension of the United States, but rather a foreign nation.  Not only a foreign nation, but one whose policies are often at odds with those of our own.  A foreign nation that will go to any extreme, including spying on its supposed close friend and ally, to see those policies through to fruition.

This administration has aggressively prosecuted those who have leaked classified information.  Bradley Manning was imprisoned for facilitating the massive release of classified military and diplomatic reports and cables to WikiLeaks. And former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling was likewise convicted and imprisoned for leaking sensitive intelligence to the New York Times.

The question then becomes did members of Congress who received these “briefings” from the Israelis committed a criminal act?  Well, it would appear that the members of Congress who received Israeli briefings derived from intercepted U.S. diplomatic communications did illegally receive classified information.  They also actively coordinated with the Israeli government to undermine the policies of the U.S. Government.  This is criminal activity chargeable under 50 U.S.C. § 783 and other U.S. statutes.

In January, John Boehner announced that Netanyahu would address the U.S. Congress about the issue of Iran.  That coincided with a concerted push by the Israeli diplomats, armed with classified U.S. diplomatic traffic detailing the ongoing talks with Iran, to sway Congress into their way of thinking.  This represents acts chargeable under 18 U.S.C. § 371, the same general conspiracy statute used to convict others accused of acts of espionage. Both are felonies, punishable by fines and up to ten years in prison for each charge. We’re not talking politics as usual here; we’re talking criminal behavior.

Now, I don’t know exactly who received these “briefings” from the Israelis.  I don’t know if Boehner was privy to this information or not.  Nor, am I saying that members of Congress actually knowingly committed treason.  But, during my time in the service, I did live in and complied with the laws of maintaining classified material.  They are very stringent, and there no alibis for not following them completely.

The very hint that members of Congress may have knowingly committed criminal acts according to these laws is very disturbing to me.  We all took the same oath.  The fact that they are members of Congress does not exempt them from obeying the laws and upholding their oaths.

This congress has been very “hearing” happy.  We have had all kinds of hearings about the behavior of members of the administration, the IRS and others.  Maybe it is time that Boehner appoint a “special committee” to look into the possible criminal behavior of members of Congress in this matter.

If there are members of Congress, and I don’t care who they are or what party they belong to, who violated these laws, they need to be held accountable.  Israel is an ally.  The threats that Israel face are real.  But, that does not excuse members of Congress from violating the oath they took to defend our Constitution and our National Security.  Israel, after all, is a foreign country.

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Actually, that question can be asked of all of the media.  You may or may not have heard about this incident.  It occurred at the New Orleans Airport over the weekend.  We all know that if a Muslim had done the attacking, it would be headlined around the country as an “act of terrorism.”  But, the attacker wasn’t a Muslim, so we haven’t heard the term used even once.

Last Friday night, Richard White, a 63-year-old former Army serviceman carried a duffel bag holding six homemade explosives, a machete, and poison spray into the airport. He approached the TSA security checkpoint, and then sprayed two TSA officers with the poison. He then grabbed his machete and chased another TSA officer with it.

He was then shot and killed by the police. After the incident, a search of Mr. White’s car by the police revealed it contained acetylene and oxygen tanks, two substances that, when mixed together, will yield a powerful explosive.

I have read several pieces on this attack, and no one ever mentioned it as an “act of terror.”  It certainly looks on the surface as an act of terrorism.  But, no one ever called it that.  As a matter of fact, within hours of the attack law enforcement was quick to chalk this incident up to the attacker’s alleged “mental health issues.”

Mr. White has been retired for some time and living on social security and disability checks.  Further, he was reportedly a devout Jehovah’s Witness.  Interviews with his neighbors, however, don’t even give a hint that he had mental problems. They described White as a “meek” and “kind” man who a few had spoken to just days before the incident and everything seemed fine.

Now, maybe Mr. White does suffer from some “mental issues.”  But, I still find it funny that no Muslim involved in something like this can possibly suffer from “mental issues.”  If Mr. White was a Muslim, you would be certain Fox News would have plastered their headlines with “Terrorism” for weeks on end.  But, since it wasn’t committed by a Muslin, Fox News is somewhat quiet about the incident.

Furthermore, the police never even looked into whether or not Mr. White had some sort of grudge against the government.  Nor, did they investigate whether or not he expressed any anti-government sentiments prior to the attack.  After all, he did only attack TSA officers.  He did not attack any of the passengers waiting in line with him.

We have seen conservatives attack the TSA in the past.  They have argued that the TSA is only interested in taking away our liberties.  For example, Alex Jones’ Infowars website is filled with anti-TSA articles claiming that the TSA’s goal is not to prevent terrorism but to “harass” travelers and get into “our pants.”  Glen Beck warned in the past  that the TSA was potentially becoming President Obama’s “private army” with the goal being to take away our liberties.

Then, in 2012, Senator Rand Paul lashed out against the TSA for what he viewed as the agency’s improper treatment of him. In fact after the incident, Paul penned an op-ed denouncing the TSA, writing that “it is infuriating that this agency feels entitled to revoke our civil liberties while doing little to keep us safe.”

Ted Cruz who announced his candidacy for president yesterday is famous for saying that the President can’t make himself to say the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.”  Well here is an example of what some would call “radical Christian terrorism,” and Mr. Cruz is silent on the issue.

Conservatives, trying to show some concern for Muslims often say that “every Muslim is not a terrorist,” but “every terrorist is a Muslim.”  Considering that this story received no coverage about it being even possibly an “act of terrorism,” makes it easy to understand why the average person may believe that nonsense.

Mr. White’s attack is not the first attack on TSA either.  In October 2012, Paul Ciancia traveled to LAX, where he took out a rifle from his bag and shot two TSA officers, killing one. Ciancia had written anti-government tracts in the past and was—to little media fanfare, and none from the right-wing media—actually charged months later with an “act of terrorism.

Because of this twisted mindset, we are more unsafe today than we were ten years ago.  The fact that we will only use the word “terrorism” if a Muslim commits an attack, and refuse to recognize “terrorism” committed by Christians who are U.S. citizens makes homegrown terrorists even more dangerous.

As I wrote before, terrorism is terrorism.  It doesn’t matter who the terrorist is.  We need to recognize that fact and stop apologizing for the non-Muslims who commit “acts of terrorism.”  But, that will take away the right-wing’s us against them narrative.  Maybe that is why none of them covered this incident as an “act of terrorism.”

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The Canadian Senator is still talking about climate change as if it were a fairy tale.  He shared his thoughts with Seth Meyers on late night television the other day.  On the show he said:

I just came back from New Hampshire where there’s snow and ice everywhere. And my view actually is simple. Debates on this should follow science and should follow data. And many of the alarmists on global warming, they’ve got a problem because the science doesn’t back them up. And in particular, satellite data demonstrate for the last 17 years there’s been zero warming, none whatsoever. It’s why, you remember how it used to be called global warming, and then magically the theory changed to climate change?  The reason is it wasn’t warming. But the computer models still say it is, except the satellites show it’s not.

Hey, someone on the Republican side actually said “debates on this should follow science and should follow data.”  However, I suggest that Mr. Cruz actually use the full science and data when he talks about climate change.  He has cherry picked the last 17 years to claim there has been no “warming.”

He has failed to say how come, then, that 13 of the hottest 14 years on record all came since 2000.  He also failed to mention that this last winter was the warmest than any winter in history.  I know he says that he just came from New Hampshire where there was “snow and ice everywhere.”  But as most people recognize, weather is not the same as climate.

Additionally, the satellites do show that the climate has been warming by an average of .2 degrees per decade since 1980 when satellite records began.  Now, maybe Cruz doesn’t think that .2 degrees per decade is showing any “warming” but when you add that all up since 1980 that means the planet has warmed by almost a full degree.

We already know that sea ice is melting.  We already know the glaciers are shrinking.  What does Senator Cruz thinks is causing all of this ice to melt?  Does he think that not “warming” will cause ice to melt?  Anyone with half of a brain knows that ice melts when it gets too hot to stay as ice.

But why are Cruz and the Republicans trying to claim that climate change isn’t real?  All you need do is look at the House’s proposed budget.  In this budget they scream about “government red-tape” is causing jobs to be lost.  Yet the only example they use is the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules on carbon emissions from burning coal.

We all know how much Republicans hate the EPA.  So this not anything unexpected.  But, when you take into consideration the consistent attack on global warming as being a big hoax, it is easy to see how their budget favoring polluters would be difficult to defend if they actually said climate change was real.

Our own Department of Defense has said that climate change is a real national security threat.  You know, the same Department of Defense that Republicans want to give more money to.  The same Department of Defense that is supposed to figure out what threats our national defense faces in the future in order to plan for them.  They say that climate change is a “national security threat” to our country.

DOD is smart enough to know that if people around the world start going hungry or thirsty due to major drought, they will look for those resources elsewhere.  And, that won’t be by buying it from another country.  It will be by invading another country.

It is being reported that California, which is suffering its worse drought in history, has about one year’s worth of water left.  What happens if that water runs out?  California isn’t alone in suffering from drought either.  Cruz’s own state of Texas is suffering from drought as well.  Especially in its western regions.

But instead of looking at the science and the data, Republicans are more interested in keeping the cash flows going to polluters.  They are more interested in their donor base than they are in the American people.  Over the years, pollution has caused public health problems.  Things like asthma increased because of pollution.  That was one of the biggest reasons Richard Nixon formed the EPA in the first place.

Now the science is telling us that pollution is causing the climate of our planet to change.  Sea temperatures are rising, causing sea ice to melt and making tropical storms more powerful.  The overall temperature of the planet is rising causing glaciers to melt.  Sea levels are rising threatening small things like islands and the majority of the state of Florida.

Yet the Republicans want you to believe that “climate change” is a hoax.  Hell, Florida even banned its government employees from using the term “climate change.”  How’s that for hiding our head in the sand.  Of course, if climate change keeps going, a lot of Florida will be under water so there won’t be any sand to stick your head in.

The one thing that I have never understood about this argument is the lack of initiative by the gas, oil, and coal companies.  The amazing thing is that none of them are doing anything about shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energies.  These are the companies that get huge tax subsidies from the government.  They already have infrastructure in place, yet they are reluctant, at best, to help wean us off of fossil fuels and onto renewable energy.

You would think that forward thinking executives at these companies would see the economic benefits of having their companies take the lean in moving the country to renewable energy.  I am not an economist, but it would seem to me that would help ensure their viability in the future, when their product runs out.

One example is several car companies have been experimenting with hydrogen run vehicles.  The major stumbling block to this technology becoming a reality is the infrastructure necessary is lacking.  Yet the oil industry hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon to get the infrastructure in place or even produce the hydrogen itself.  To me that is very short-term vision at best.

But then, if Republicans are going to continually say climate change is a hoax and keep passing budgets friendly to these companies, why should they change their vision?  Forget about the idea that renewable energy systems means real middle-class American jobs that cannot be outsourced.  Talk about creating jobs!

Unfortunately, scientists are not going to be able to change the debate on climate change.  Republicans hate scientist from the get go.  It is up to us, the citizens, to hold their feet to the fire on climate change.  It is our lives that are being affected by it, and it is up to us to make a change in the debate.

As long as Republicans feel “safe” in getting re-elected with the help of their contributors, they will never change on the issue.  We must force them to face losing the next election before they will act.  On the other hand, if you remain silent, nothing much is at stake.  Just the future of your children and grandchildren.

 

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It looks to be official.  Bibi will hold on to his power.  The latest from Israel says that the Likud party will have 25-29 seats.  With other right-wing parties in Israel, Bibi will be able to form his government.  Conservatives in this country are gloating over the apparent victory.  I guess they want to take at least some credit for Bibi’s win.

But there remains a question with the outcome of the election.  What does this mean for Israel and the world?  Is this something that should be celebrated, or is it something that should be dreaded?  I guess the answer to that will depend on your views of Netanyahu and his right-wing policies.

Just before the elections, Netanyahu said that there “would be no Palestinian State” as long as he was Prime Minister.  That does not sound good for the prospects of peace.  The Israeli government has been saying for years that they agree to a two-state setup.  One for Israel, and one for the Palestinians.

Netanyahu has made it very clear through his negotiation practices that he did not want a Palestinian State.  That coupled with the fact that almost all of the “settlements” on the West Bank have been completed under his watch, is proof he isn’t interested in allowing the Palestinians to have their own state.

He is against any negotiations with Iran over their nuclear program because he says you “cannot trust your enemy.”  He thinks that the only way to make sure Iran doesn’t get nuclear weapons is to invade the country and replace their “regime” with one more favorable to the west.

Of course, he refuses to say whether or not Israel has nuclear weapons.  It has been firmly believed for years that Israel does have nuclear weapons.  To tell you the truth, I am not sure whether Iran or Netanyahu is the more crazy of the two.  I am not convinced that if Netanyahu thinks Iran is close to getting a nuclear weapon that he wouldn’t use nuclear weapons against Iran to stop them.

Even with that in mind, I rather believe that Netanyahu wants the U.S. to invade Iran rather than Israel.  Why risk killing Israelis if the Republicans are willing to kill Americans instead?  He would rather use his army to wipe out the Gaza Strip, which is supposed to be part of a Palestinian State.

But since Hamas runs the Gaza Strip, that is all of the justification Netanyahu needs to keep a Palestinian State from happening.  Not to mention all those settlements he might have to remove if the West Bank became an independent state.  That, of course would be political suicide for him.

Since Netanyahu won his election, we can assume that “peace in the Middle-East” is not going to happen anytime soon.  Netanyahu is not interested in peace.  He is interested in creating an “Israeli Zone of Influence” so he can justify his actions.  If that means using the U.S. to do his killing for him, all the better.

That was the real reason he was so eager to give his speech to a joint session of Congress.  To make sure the neo-cons here are in support of his war plans.  It will be our young men and women who will face the dangers of a war with Iran.  All Bibi needs to do is muck up any negotiations with Iran and let the American neo-cons start another war in the Middle-East.

The problem is that our neo-cons are falling for his gimmick.  They are all too anxious to get into another fight with the “dreaded Muslims.”  As a result, I am afraid that all we will see in the next few years is another war we don’t want.  More of our service people killed and injured.  And more patriotic speak from the right-wing to justify their insanity.

I am afraid that the world is much more dangerous with Bibi’s victory.  I hope I am wrong, but since we have so many hotheads in this country willing to follow Netanyahu’s lead, the future doesn’t look good.

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It is time I said something about the latest controversy – emails.  Since it came out that Hillary Clinton used a personal email address while Secretary of State, you would think that the entire world was set upside down.  There are some questions that do need to be answered that I believe are valid.  The major one is if the email server Clinton used is really secure.

Look, I know about maintaining classified material and secure communications.  If she used her personal email account and personal server for official business, then it must be made certain that the server has the proper security level necessary.  If not, it is possible that something may have been compromised, and that is not good.

On the other hand, the rest of this new controversy is total bullshit!  This is not defending Clinton.  It is merely making a point.  With the possible exception of Lindsey Graham who claims to never have sent an email, everyone in government uses private emails.  This includes Trey Gowdy who is demanding that Clinton turn over every single email she ever sent or received while Secretary of State.

He isn’t alone either.  The business card for Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who succeeded Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) to be head of the House’s Government Oversight committee lists a Gmail address.  Why not his official email address?  It also came out that Secretary of State Colin Powell used a personal email account while in office.

What makes Clinton’s use of personal email such a controversy is the never-ending Benghazi Investigations.  I lost count of how many there have been, but so far none of them came up with anything.  Now the email “scandal” is supposed to be the smoking gun.  Gowdy claims she must be hiding something in her personal email account.

Clinton has already released over 55,000 printed pages of emails.  Gowdy wants every single personal email she sent while Secretary of State in the name of transparency.  There is that word again.  Transparency.  We have seen that word used way too much to justify any witch-hunt someone wants to conduct on both sides of the aisle.

I am all for transparency.  But, everyone doesn’t seem to think like I do, not even Gowdy.  For example, AlterNet asked Gowdy’s press secretary how he segregates work he conducts through his personal domain vs congressional work. They also inquired about where his personal email server is stored and how it is secured.  They even tried to contact Gowdy’s campaign manager George Ramsey but he did not return the phone calls.  As of yet, no response was received to these questions.

I don’t know what the “law” everyone talks about actually says about email accounts.  But, if we are going to constantly talk about transparency, then it is wrong to criticize anyone without following your own words about transparency.

I know that a lot of trolls out there would love to peer into the personal email accounts of public officials.  I find that disgusting and an invasion of privacy.  However, if you are going to make a scandal over emails about one person, you must follow through and release your own personal emails so we can judge if you are as pure as you say you are.  Or, is this another case of Congress exempting themselves from laws they pass about other branches of government?

Hillary Clinton wants to be president.  We know that there are a lot of people who are completely against her even running for the office.  That means anything is fair game as far as they are concerned.  The problem I have with all of this is more about judgment.

You know I ask some questions that others won’t, so I will ask this one.  What the f**k was she thinking?  She should have known that anything that even appeared to be wrong would come back to haunt her.  She was slow in her response to the “scandal” too.

In the meantime, this email scandal will go on forever.  The news media loves covering stories about the Clintons.  Either good stories or bad stories.  But, remember, she is not alone in combining personal emails with business.  Only we won’t know who is and who isn’t doing the same until all personal emails are made public for every elected or appointed official.

Hell, if we are going to be a tabloid news nation, what better way to feed the rags than letting everyone see your emails.  As I said before, I find that totally disgusting.  Then again, I can think of a few people whose email accounts I might be interested in seeing.  I am sure you can too.  What gems might they contain?

 

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For the first time in recent years, the Republicans have actually dumfounded me today.  I know that I have talked a lot here about their insane ideas before, but what they did today was totally out-of-the-blue and it dumfounded me.  I am talking about that great “open letter” that 47 Senate Republicans, including all of the Republican leadership singed to the Iranian Government.

Apparently, the freshman Senator Tom Cotton decided that the Iranians were too stupid to understand how the American Government works.  Seemingly, Mitch McConnell and the rest of these high thinkers believe the same thing.  So, they decided to give Iran a little American Civics lesson.  I say that in complete sarcasm.

In the letter they said:

“The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen,” they wrote, “and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”

They went further stating “We hope this letter enriches your knowledge of our constitutional system and promotes mutual understanding and clarity as nuclear negotiations progress.”

By deliberately undermining the negotiations going with Iran over their nuclear program, the Republicans are really bringing us one step closer to war with Iran.   Senator Cotton has announced that he isn’t interested in a nuclear deal with Iran.  What he really wants is a “regime change.”  That is the only thing that will satisfy him.

The only real way to ensure a “regime change” is with a war against Iran to topple the government like the one President Bush conducted against Iraq.  Is that what the Republican Party really wants?  Do they really want another shooting war with another foreign government just because they don’t like it?

What other reason could there be for these Senators to side with the Iranian hardliners in helping to trash the talks?  Think about for a minute.  These 47 Republican Senators just took the side of the very people they hate the most.  The Iranian hardliners.  Do they hate America that much that they are willing to become allies with their hated enemy?

Ever since the President announced the talks, which the U.S. is not engaged with alone, the Republicans have tried their best to derail them.  Why?  They claim that the President is so willing to make a deal, that he will agree to anything.  But, the President has said time and again that if there is no structure for strong verification he would walk away from the deal.

We have seen this movie before.  President Bush assured us that if we didn’t invade Iraq, the proof of their work on weapons of mass destruction would be a mushroom cloud over Manhattan.  The Republicans are trying the same tactic with Iran.  I know that Iran is far more dangerous than Iraq was to world peace.  But since when does the “opposition” party in this country deliberately try to torpedo negotiations with another government?

I cannot think of a single instance when that has happened before.  What happened to the Republican Slogan created by Ronald Reagan of “trust but verify?”  They loved it when their side was doing the negotiating.  They seem to hate it when the President does the negotiating.

This open letter has nothing to do with “teaching” Iran about how our government works.  It has everything to do with starting another foreign war.  Even with negotiations going on and no interference by the Republicans, there has always been the threat of a war with Iran.

However, these 47 Republican Senators just gave Iran the talking points they need to claim that any forthcoming war between the west and Iran is America’s fault.  More importantly, they will brag about how “American Hardliners” forced the war by forcing the collapse of negotiations that Iran was in favor of completing.

We needn’t worry about whether Russia or China would have supported a war with Iran under any circumstances.  But this action could make our European allies think twice about supporting one.

On top of all of this, if you think that terrorists have enough to recruit new terrorists, wait until they start trumpeting the collapse of these talks if it happens.  These Senators just gave the terrorists new ammunition to increase their numbers as well.

Yes, these Republican Senators dumfounded me until I realized that they are trying to start another war.  Either that or they are a lot more stupid than I gave them credit for being.  There can be no other answer to the obvious question of “What the f**k were you thinking?”

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