I can’t say that I am either surprised or euphoric at the fact Hillary Clinton has declared to run for President. We have all known that this was coming for some time. Hillary is competent, far more so than the goons running for the Republicans. But as long as she has been in the public eye, I have no true sense of what she believes. If you know American history, one will see that Bill was too often willing to sell out the working and middle class. Like Reagan and Bush before him, and like W. after him, he took steps that helped lead to the financial meltdown of 2008. In many ways he was a conservative democrat. Hillary, if entrusted with power, may be different, but there is no way to know that until she is entrusted with that power. I am still hoping that Elizabeth Warren runs, though I am willing to listen to what Hillary has to say. But anyway, any misgivings I may have about her are nullified by the complete insanity of the modern day GOP. If it is between her and any of these flat earthers the Republicans are putting up, I will not only vote for Hillary, but canvass for her.
The above article is an entertaining read from Rolling Stone. The article examines the public perception of several mainstream candidates over the last few years, based on their looks, and tries to discern how Ted Cruz’s looks will affect his candidacy. (There is a pretty great side-by-side of President Obama and Sam the Eagle.)
One of my best friends has often said the following to me about Ted Cruz: “Even if he was the greatest politicians ever, wouldn’t just the way he looked make you want to kick the shit out of him?” Yes, yes, yes….
The fact that someone as vile as Ted Cruz can raise 31 million dollars in one week should trouble us. It seems like everything wrong with U.S. politics in one neat little package. Strange intolerant religious beliefs mixed with right wing paranoia, all playing second fiddle to the true gods of letting multinational corporations run every aspect of our lives.
Strangely, Cruz doesn’t even try to get us to swallow such things with any warmth or charisma. At least he isn’t bullshitting us on that…
The new New York Times interview with President Obama is an interesting read. I am glad that he is our leader at this point. He explains what his approach to Iran and other countries is. He lays out his way of thinking about countries that have been deemed enemies of the U.S. It’s being called the Obama doctrine. It seems more than sane to me. Here is a small snippet:
“You take a country like Cuba. For us to test the possibility that engagement leads to a better outcome for the Cuban people, there aren’t that many risks for us. It’s a tiny little country. It’s not one that threatens our core security interests, and so [there’s no reason not] to test the proposition. And if it turns out that it doesn’t lead to better outcomes, we can adjust our policies.”
The doctrine is: We will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities.”
The notion that Iran is undeterrable — “it’s simply not the case,” he added. “And so for us to say, ‘Let’s try’ — understanding that we’re preserving all our options, that we’re not naïve — but if in fact we can resolve these issues diplomatically, we are more likely to be safe, more likely to be secure, in a better position to protect our allies, and who knows? Iran may change. If it doesn’t, our deterrence capabilities, our military superiority stays in place. … We’re not relinquishing our capacity to defend ourselves or our allies. In that situation, why wouldn’t we test it?”
This does not mean that his foreign policy is perfect. I still am highly wary of his use of drones over the term of his presidency. I also don’t like the way that whistle blowers have been treated. However, the main policies that he lays forth seem to me that they are highly reasonable. He seems to understand our place in the world. We are militarily the most powerful country in the world. Why couldn’t we try new approaches, especially when the downside, given our technological and military position, is small. His approach to Cuba and Iran, at least at this point, seem like victories for peace.
I highlight two of the quotes that Huffington Post also highlighted.
Right now the U.S. is in danger of the Republican party nullifying our countries historical peace agreement with Iran. If they truly believe in what they are doing they are crazy, if they are just playing politics it might be even worse. If this is just to rob the Obama administration of a huge foreign affairs accomplishment then they are clearly not responsible enough to govern in any way. Too many leaders in that party are in thrall to the military industrial complex. This is an outrage and a disgrace. Many of my friends growing up were Republicans. My grandfather was a Republican. This modern day version, which the Republican leadership represents, have almost nothing in common with the Republicans of the past. What has it come to when the Iranian leadership sounds saner than many of our politicians?
I’m going to be reading closely the details of the Iranian deal over the next few days. Based on what I’ve read so far I think this is a major victory for peace. I am hoping the far right of our country and Israel won’t be able to derail it somehow. The thing is, this even benefits them, as a more peaceful world is to everyone’s benefit, aside from war profiteers. Unfortunately I believe there are some in both those camps that are exactly that. But for all sane people, although there is still a way to go, there is a reason to feel hopeful.
I mean, read the article. That statistic really says it all. The United Kingdom has gone through The Troubles in that time period. Two World Wars took place in that time period just across the channel, with bombing taking place in England, which one would imagine would raise suspicion. England has its own problems with immigration. I’m sure many of you have heard of the National Front, of soccer hooligans, of many problems. What I’m trying to say is that it isn’t like the UK is a land of peace and tranquility. Yet somehow their police don’t kill people at the rate ours do.
I give a lot of grief to police here at this blog. Just on my way home from Florida on the last tour I ran into an exceptionally kind one who let me off for speeding without a ticket. I don’t believe all police are bad. I’m not saying this to balance my argument or to extend an olive branch. I think we have a problem here, but I think it is complex and it is better to acknowledge that complexity rather than to just say police are bad. It has to do with our culture, our history, our unique racial problems that go back to the origins of this country, our politicians, our military industrial and prison complexes, and so many other factors. But as a country we must find the result unacceptable. It’s time to start asking some hard questions and beyond time to make changes.
Hat tip to JR