Next Right Wing Conspiracy Theory: Obama’s Hitler Oath

The latest conspiracy is forming in Right Blogistan, combining Hitler and Obama. They say Obama is forcing soldiers to take an oath that swears allegiance to him rather than to the constitution, just like Hitler forced on the Wehrmacht. They didn’™t notice the oath already swears obedience to the President, and has for a long, long time.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

The Freepers are freeping about it, and they are talking about it all over the right wing whack job side of the blogzome. Here, here, here and here, for instance. Supposedly the story begins with a writer named Michele Chang at Jumping in Pools, but it is an awfully tangled web of whackjobbery to untangle.

The gist of the whole whacked out story is, and let’™s remember this is pure fiction, that Barack Obama has proposed that soldiers take an oath to him, not to the constitution. Yikes! Watch out for the black helicopters! Get your wives and sisters and daughters in the house and bar the door! Here’™s the alarming text from Ms. Chang, or a segment of it:

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is extremely frustrated with orders that the White House is contemplating. According to sources at the Pentagon, including all branches of the armed forces, the Obama Administration may break with a centuries-old tradition.

A spokesman for General James Cartwright, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, states that the Obama Administration wants to have soldiers and officers pledge a loyalty oath directly to the office of the President, and no longer to the Constitution.

‘œThe oath to the Constitution is as old as the document itself.’ the spokesman said, ‘œAt no time in American history, not even in the Civil War, did the oath change or the subject of the oath differ. It has always been to the Constitution.’

Chang later calls the action equivalent to the oath the Wehrmacht took to Adolf Hitler. My, my, that’™s scary. Well, it would be if Michelle Chang had bothered to give us a source here, name a spokesman, or give any facts that could be followed up. Particularly odd is her quote saying the soldier’™s oath has never been changed in our history. Gosh, the US Army’™s own web page about the history of that oath mentions how it has evolved. You’™d think they’™d know, wouldn’™t you? Or maybe they are in on the conspiracy, eh? Yeah, that’™s it, the US Army is in on the conspiracy headed by Barack Obama, a conspiracy whereby all soldiers are forced to take this oath:

‘œI, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.’ (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

Look, look! Obama didn’™t even have to argue with Secretary Gates! The military is already required to take an oath to obey the President! It was George Washington who started this conspiracy, knowing all about how the Wehrmacht would steal the oath and also knowing that Barack Obama, a Kenyan or Indonesian or Manchurian or something, would come along and, just like all the other Presidents in our history, have regular soldiers take this oath.

Man, the right wingers are stupid.

Friday, January 30th, 2009 by Richard Blair |

Pet “Value” Returns After Being Missing for Eight Years!

The Republicans are opposing the Obama fiscal stimulus package, pretending they have been for fiscal sanity all along, ignoring they played vital roles in George Bush’™s destruction of our economy. Now they want to use opposition to the plan as a political weapon, caring more for political power, once again, than for the good of the country.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

I remember the story of the Incredible Journey from my youth. Two dogs and a cat, mistfits of sorts, got lost, and their journey was to find their family. It was made into a Disney movie, all sweetness and happy endings. A fable really, of the tender values of a pet, the neglecting of those values, and then the values themselves coming home. There were dangers along the way for those animals, but the story ended as all fables do, with a happy reunion and love all around. Kumbaya, kumbaya, kumbaya!

GOP values of fiscal responsibility have been lost through neglect for lo these eight years of the disaster that was the Bush Presidency. While Mitch McConnell might want to blame President Bush for all the GOP troubles, there is no disputing that McConnell and his fellow GOP Congressional and Senate leaders have led the way in neglecting fiscal responsibility. The result is a US economy torn by GOP incompetence, a credit crisis, rising unemployment, layoffs, bankruptcies, etc. But wait, here’™s the news. Republicans are once again claiming they are the party of small government and fiscal responsibility, just days after the man they aided and abetted in neglecting those values has helicoptered off to Crawford, TX.

I’™m here to tell you, obstructionism is not a value. And there’™s no sign that the pet values of the Republican Party have actually come returned. Still, those Republicans, on a fantasy trip of their own, are planning on claiming those values once again, without once referring to their own orgy of excess over the last eight years. From the Washington Post:

‘œHow about those House Republicans?’ cheered Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a vocal small-government advocate, at a Heritage Foundation appearance yesterday.

‘œHouse Republicans said we would stand up for American taxpayers at this time of economic hardship for our nation. And last night, standing together, that’™s exactly what we did,’ House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) wrote yesterday in a memo to his colleagues that was released to reporters. ‘œI am proud of our team.’

Republicans credited their leadership team for keeping them united in the demand for more tax cuts and less spending in the bill, providing a boost for Boehner, who three months ago faced questions about whether he could retain his position as House Republicans were headed for another election marked by heavy losses.

As the vote on the bill neared, Republicans expected overwhelming opposition, but party leaders also anticipated at least a handful of defections.

Conservative talk show hosts whipped up opposition to the bill, and Republicans said they received dozens of e-mails and phone calls about it, almost all voicing opposition. In a meeting with congressional leaders, Obama warned against following the lead of conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh. But on the day of the vote, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was on Limbaugh’™s show, laughing as the host referred to the ‘œporkulus’ bill.

To allow these Republicans to have any say in righting our financial condition in this country, to have any say in fiscal policy, when they can’™t even acknowledge their own major role in the fiscal disaster before us, is akin to allowing the schoolyard bully to be made hall monitor. That these men who have lost their fiscal bvalues can go on Rush Limbaugh’™s show and laugh at the only ones attempting to right this sinking economic ship is far more shameful than CEOs getting bonuses. These folks are now trying to use the economy for their own political gain. That much is clear. From the Associated Press:

Republicans began pushing back Thursday. The two concessions were mighty small, they said, and Democrats ignored the GOP’™s alternative package that included more tax cuts and less spending, especially for programs with no obvious promise for stimulating the economy quickly.

Having Congress do nothing is not an option, ‘œalthough sometimes our Democratic friends would like to present the false choice,’ Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., told reporters.

If a Democratic measure fails to improve the economy, Kyl said, then in about six months Republicans will ‘œbe in the position to say, ‘We didn’™t have the input into this that we needed, and that’™s why it hasn’™t worked.’™’

We need to be very clear here. The American people will not put up with the likes of Jon Kyl and his Republican co-conspirators playing politics with out money, with our jobs, and with our economy. Certainly the press cannot be counted on to call the GOP on such a mendacious political posture, so the word needs to start from here, from the blogzome, where reality is far more real than are the fractured fables by which the Republicans seem to live.

Meanwhile, the fiscal values Republicans once cherished are still wandering int he wildreness. What really returned to the GOP stable was Bill the Cat in Rovian drag. Ack!

Friday, January 30th, 2009 by Richard Blair |

Bush Celebrated in Tikrit, Saddam’s Hometown, with Statue

Perhaps it is not politically correct to cheer for others as they body slam our former President Dubya. But the residents of Tikrit in Iraq went a long way to honor the Bush legacy with a sculpture that is, how shall we say, soleful.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

OK, now I am convinced the Iraq War was the right thing to do. Even in Saddam Hussein’™s hometown the citizens are honoring him with a statue. There it is on the left. Isn’™t it beautiful? From ABCNews:

When an Iraqi journalist hurled his shoes at George W. Bush last month at a Baghdad press conference, the attack spawned a flood of Web quips, political satire and street rallies across the Arab world.

Now it’™s inspired a work of art.

A sofa-sized sculpture ‘” a single copper-coated shoe on a stand carved to resemble flowing cloth ‘” was formally unveiled to the public Thursday in the hometown of the late Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein.

Officials and visitors walked around the outdoor sculpture during the brief ceremony, pondering on its eccentricities ‘” such as a tree poking up from the shoe’™s interior.

Its sculptor called it a fitting tribute to the shoe hurler, Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi, and his folk hero reputation in parts of the Muslim world and beyond.

The Baghdad-based artist, Laith al-Amari, said the work honors al-Zeidi and ‘œis a source of pride for all Iraqis.’ He added: ‘œIt’™s not a political work.’

Not since the Old Woman Who Lived in the Shoe has a person meant so much to cobblers and shoe sellers everywhere. Heck, if I were Nike I would think of signing Dubya up for a personal services contract.

Thursday, January 29th, 2009 by Richard Blair |

The Real GOP Whiney Fear: Pledge of Allegiance, to Obama?

The next case of whiney GOP panic is going to be about both the pledge of allegiance and Barack Obama. This will likely show up at the right wing blogs in a day or so, then FoxNews will pick it up. For now, it is obscure and stupid instead of mainstream and stupid. Either way, it is GOP whining at its best.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Well, there’™s always periodic GOP panic over the word ‘œGod’ in the Pledge of Allegiance. And there is extremist GOP panic about nearly everything concerning Barack Obama, including his religion and his name and his birthplace. The next panic will combine both of these issues, and it will make its way to the national spotlight within a couple days. As for now, it is on the Daily Blaze, here on the internets:

A parent in the Clark County School District of Las Vegas, Henderson area reported today that his son, who is in 1st grade, came home yesterday saying that he didn’™t want to go back to school anymore.

When asked why, the boy said that during the Pledge of Allegiance the teacher put up a large image of Obama next to the flag.

Thinking that the boy might be exaggerating, the man asked his son if he was sure, and suggested that by ‘œlarge’ he might mean an 8–—10 photo of the president. The boy apparently said ‘œNo, it is a large picture of Obama and when we are done, the teacher turns off the image.’

Yes, the whine is that all American children are soon going to be forced to pledge their allegiance directly to Barack Obama. Perhaps there also will be secret radio waves checking to make sure the children are sincrere in their pledge, the first step in making the children Obama Zombies.

Of course, as is usual with the nascent GOP whiney case of panic, there’™s something that rings false here. Sure, marketing would say that the notion of ‘œcaring for the children’ is a good excuse to act, but please don’™t tell me a first grader was scared by a picture of Barack Obama. No, that part of the story doesn’™t ring true. What does that make this? It makes this whole potential case of GOP whiney panic based on the exploitation of a child. No SCHIP for Republicans, but if they can falsely enlist their children in the cause, then that’™s OK.

The only other mentions of this story is on a right wing blog called Red County, and also on right wing whack job Alex Jones’™ web site, Prison Planet. I expect this fake controversy to spread until people start wearing their stupid lapel flag pins again.

Thursday, January 29th, 2009 by Richard Blair |

Match This for Stupidity: Taxing a House of Cards

Sin taxes are a favorite of legislators, and right now legislators of both stripes are looking very hard for more tax revenue. But let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that a tax on tobacco and fatty food and liquor is going to make anyone healthier. That is neither the aim nor the result.


Commentary By: Walter Brasch

by Walter Brasch

My wife is a smoker. Except for one year when she quit, she’s been a smoker since she was about 18. But she’s cut back, from as many as three packs a day to just three cigarettes. And, she now smokes outside the house.

At various times, she was asked to show an ID. When in her 20s she saw it as an annoyance. By her 30s and 40s, it was a compliment. Now it’s just downright annoying.

The law restricts persons under 18 years of age from buying or smoking cigarettes. My wife understands why she must be “carded.”

Yesterday she was carded when she wanted to buy two lighters. The sweet lady at the grocery checkout counter said that the chain store is carding everyone who buys lighters. Something about a juvenile who used a lighter and accidentally set his house on fire.

The law doesn’t say a person must be at least 18 to buy a cigarette lighter. But, the reasoning is that people buy cigarette lighters to–well–light cigarettes. Therefore, cigarette lighters–which can be used for many things other than to light up–also must be controlled. So, every adult, from the 20s to the gray-haired elderly, will also be “carded” when they buy lighters.

If this restrictive and selective enforcement continues, we might soon see stores carding people who buy cups, because they could be used to hold beer. Anyone who buys watermelons would be carded since plugged, spiked, and corked watermelons are a delightful summer treat. Jello, once promoted by all-American “dad” Bill Cosby, would be suspect, since there aren’t many college parties without Jello shots.

Unlike the sale of cigarettes and liquor, there is no age restriction on most foods. So, various health-nut organizations and not-so-bright legislators have decided to tax foods they don’t think are acceptable. Several legislators have tried, but so far have failed, to enact legislation that would tax high-calorie foods. New York Gov. David Patterson wants to levy a 15 percent tax on any juice or drink except diet sodas, bottled water, coffee, tea, and milk.

Eventually, we’ll see a special “obesity tax” placed against anything sold at a fast food restaurant.

When you break through the smoke and mirrors, governments really don’t care about anyone’s health. They do care about ways to generate revenue. Gov. Patterson readily acknowledges that the “obesity tax” in New York would generate about $400 million additional revenue. New York also leads the nation in cigarette taxes. A smoker in New York City pays about $9 per pack, which includes a 39 cents federal tax, a $2.75 state tax, a $1.50 city tax, plus an 8 percent sales tax on top of everything else. Chicago is second, with taxes totaling $3.66 a pack. States and the federal government collect about $26 billion a year in cigarette taxes, according to a New York Times report in August 2008.

Liquor taxes aren’t meant to make anyone healthy, except the state economy. In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed a five cent a drink tax that, had the legislature not tabled the suggestion, would have raised $600 million a year. Overall, the federal government collected more than $9 billion in taxes, while states collected an additional $6 billion, according to a comprehensive analysis published in June 2007 by the National Center for Policy Analysis.

With budgets being pumped up by numerous “sin taxes,” it won’t be long until someone figures out they need not only to card buyers of cigarette lighters, cups, watermelons, and Jello, but that there also needs to be special excise taxes upon these products as well.

[The assistance of Rosemary R. Brasch is appreciated. Walter Brasch's latest book is Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush, available at amazon.com, bn.com, and most bookstores. You may contact Dr. Brasch at brasch@bloomu.edu, or through his website, www.walterbrasch.com]

Thursday, January 29th, 2009 by Walter Brasch |

Rush Limbaugh Attacked by GOP Lemming

Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia has stepped to the plate to defend John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, who are what passes for Republican leadership nowadays, from attacks by the drug-addled and bloated King of Divisiveness, Rush Limbaugh. As attacks go, Gingrey’™s is as limp as they come. Everyone in the GOP is still afraid of Limbaugh.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

OK, I am dearly sorry to put that image in your brain. Suffice it to say that Rush Limbaugh has been attacked by only one GOP Lemming, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA). A career back bencher in Congress, Mr. Lemming Gingrey has come to the defense of Republican leaders in the House and Seante in response to Rush Limbaugh’™s belittling of them the other day. (Gingrey’™s role as lemming is best seen here, where he noted that the war in Iraq may be America’™s ‘œgreatest war.’) Surely this valiant Congressional soul is what the egos of John Boehner (rhymes with ‘œloner’) and Mitch McConnell need. From Politico:

Responding to President Barack Obama’™s recommendation to Republican congressional leaders last week that they not follow Limbaugh’™s lead, the conservative talkmeister said on his show that Obama is ‘œobviously more frightened of me than he is Mitch McConnell. He’™s more frightened of me than he is of, say, John Boehner, which doesn’™t say much about our party.’

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), who heads the conservative Republican Study Committee, did not take kindly to this assessment in an interview with Politico Tuesday.

‘œI think that our leadership, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, are taking the right approach,’ Gingrey said.

‘œI mean, it’™s easy if you’™re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don’™t have to try to do what’™s best for your people and your party.You know you’™re just on these talk shows and you’™re living well and plus you stir up a bit of controversy and gin the base and that sort of thing. But when it comes to true leadership, not that these people couldn’™t be or wouldn’™t be good leaders, they’™re not in that position of John Boehner or Mitch McConnell.’

Asked to respond, Limbaugh, in an e-mail to Politico, wrote: ‘œI’™m sure he is doing his best but it does not appear to begood enough.He may not have noticed thatthe number of Republican colleagues he has in the House has dwindled.And theywill dwindle more if he and his friends don’™t show more leadership and effectiveness in battling the most left-wing agenda in modern history.And they won’™t continue to losebecause of me, but because of their relationship with the grass roots, which is hurting.Conservatives want leadership from those who claim to represent them.And we’™ll know it when we see it.’

Yes, you saw it. Rush Limbaugh defended the attack by this GOP Lemming with his cigar firmly behind his back. The world still waits for a Republican repudiation of the toxic politics of division as exemplified by Mr. Limbaugh. I’™ve heard of nobody holding their breath on that one.

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 by Richard Blair |

Blogger’s Butt: May be a Hoax

The dreaded condition Cello Scrotum has been officially debunked today, and doubts have been shed on Guitar Nipple. Here’™s hoping that Blogger’™s Butt is also a hoax, as such news will be welcome around the globe. Stock in pajama manufacturers are expected to go through the roof with this news.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Blogger’™s Butt is a condition widely discussed on the internet, so much so that there’™s advice here and here on how to prevent it. But after today’™s revelations about Cello Scrotum, one wonders whether Blogger’™s butt is actually a hoax. For the latest information on Cello Scrotum, we go to Yahoo News:

‘œCello scrotum,’ a nasty ailment allegedly suffered by musicians, does not exist and the condition was just a hoax, a senior doctor has admitted.

Back in 1974, in a letter to the British Medical Journal, Elaine Murphy reported that cellists suffered from the painful complaint caused by their instrument repeatedly rubbing against their body.

The claim had been inspired by reports in the BMJ about the alleged condition guitar nipple, caused by irritation when the guitar was pressed against the chest.

But Murphy, now a Baroness and a former Professor of Psychiatry of Old Age at Guy’™s Hospital in London, has admitted her supposed medical complaint was a spoof.

‘œPerhaps after 34 years it’™s time for us to confess we invented cello scrotum,’ she wrote with her husband John, who had signed the original letter, which was published in the BMJ on Wednesday.

I must confess to a fear of Blogger’™s Butt, and last year entered into an exercise regime where I do sit-ups while cradling my laptop in my arms. Lately I’™ve been doing Jack curls while feeding the little one, too. I can be sure, there’™froe, of not developing ‘œBlogger’™s Butt, but now, since it has been shown that Cello Scrotum is a hoax, conditions such as Guitar Nipple and Blogger’™s Butt may come under scrutiny.

I’™m sure this is good news for some of you. Now it is off to change out of these pajamas for me.

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 by Richard Blair |

Non-Racists Indicted for Burning Black Church on Election Day

The indictments came down in the Massachusetts arson attack on a black church, an attack that happened the night Barack Obama was elected President. But neighbors and family are insisting the young perps are not racist. I suppose it is all an accident or something.


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

I know that headline seems odd, so let’s start from the beginning. That might better help you understand. Benjamin Haskell, Michael Jacques, And Thomas Gleason were indicted a couple days ago for setting fire to an African American church on election night in Springfield, MA. The indictment came from the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, and while one might wonder why the indictment didn’t happen sooner, it is somewhat comforting that this indictment has now gone forward. Here’s the report from the DOJ press release:

Benjamin Haskell, 22, Michael Jacques, 24, and Thomas Gleason, 21, all of Springfield, Mass., were arrested early this morning on a civil rights violation, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Grace Chung Becker; U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan; Glenn N. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – Boston Field Division; Warren T. Bamford, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Boston Field Office; Colonel Mark Delaney, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; William Bennett, Hampden County District Attorney; and Commissioner William J. Fitchet of the Springfield Police Department.

“Today’s arrests demonstrate the Department of Justice’s unwavering commitment to enforcing the nation’s civil rights laws,” Becker said. “Racial violence tears at the fabric of our great nation and will not be tolerated.”

In documents unsealed today, the government alleged that in the early morning hours of Nov. 5, 2008, Haskel, Jacques and Gleason engaged in a conspiracy to burn and succeeded at burning the Macedonia Church of God in Christ’s building, a newly constructed building where religious services were to be held for a predominantly African American congregation. The building was 75 percent completed at the time of the fire, which destroyed the entire structure, leaving only the metal superstructure and a small portion of the front corner intact. Investigators determined the fire to be incendiary in nature and caused by an unknown quantity of gasoline applied to the exterior and interior of the building.

Haskel, Jacques and Gleason have been arrested and charged in a complaint with conspiring to injure, oppress, threaten and intimidate the parishioners of the Macedonia Church of God in Christ in the free exercise or enjoyment of their rights as secured in the Constitution and laws of the United States.

“We will not tolerate those who victimize others,” said U.S. Attorney Sullivan. “Racism has devastating effects on individuals, and stifles the quality of life in the community. I am angered and saddened that the neighborhood has endured such cruel acts by those living in the same community.”

“This crime has caused a great deal of physical and emotional harm. It is a crime against our entire community. All of us have been injured. All of us are hurt, but we are also resolved to hold those responsible accountable,” said District Attorney Bennett.

Non-Racists? Did I really write that in the headline up there? In the usual news piece where a local paper, this time the aptly named Springfield Republican, interviews the neighbors and friends of the lowly perps, several of those interviewed testify that Haskell, Jacques and Gleason are not racists. Here’s a bit of that testimony, from the Springfield Republican:

In the week since a collection of federal, state, and city law enforcement officers arrested Gleason, Haskell, and Jacques, relatives and friends expressed shock and dismay that the young men could be involved.

Michael McDonald, Haskell’s father, said vehemently that his son is innocent.

“He is a good kid, and he didn’t do it,” McDonald said. “Come on. He was not raised like that.”

The authorities are portraying the incident as “a racist thing,” McDonald said. His son, he added, “has black friends and listens to rap music.”

Gleason’s father, Thomas A. Gleason, also disputed that his son could commit a hate crime based on either race or religion.

“As far as we are concerned, he is innocent,” he said. “He was home when this happened, as far as I know.”

The elder Gleason said he raised his son as a Christian.

“He doesn’t have an enemy in the world, as far as I know. He has a heart the size of Texas.”

He noted that, along with Cullins, three of his son’s eight friends who attended a Wednesday detention hearing are black.

“A heart the size of Texas,” eh? Is there an implication there that there is no racism in Texas, or that these boys, raised as Christians couldn’t possibly be racists? I suppose the father of Thomas Gleason thinks there was a case of mistaken identity or something. Or that it was all an accident caused when his son was carrying a can of gasoline through the church, like he was taking a shortcut or something back to his car. Yeah, that’s it! Heck, if it was a church with white members Thomas Gleason would have accidently torched it as well, I suppose.

No, we are not yet in a post-racial world, folks.

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Mitch McConnell Gets Bush Monkey Off His Back

Mitch McConnell has blamed Bush recently for the dismal shape the GOP is in, perhaps forgetting that he supported Bush’s disastrous policies every step of the way over the last eight years. That makes Mitch McConnell today’s poster boy for rampant irresponsibility.


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

I’m thinking monkeys are a theme lately, at least in my life, so I’ll stick to it. Two friends have given my son Jack monkey themed little blankets. Actually, sort of a cross between a blanket and a stuffed animal. Maybe this is a stylish “blankie” or something. Anyway, since the boy is African American, the thought did cross my mind that giving him a monkey may be a tad bit inappropriate, but what the heck.

Mitch McCaonnell has gotten the Bush monkey off his back, though, and he’s quoted by Politico as being relieved, feeling that losing the Bush monkey will help the GOP recover electorally. Here’s Politico:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that he believes the Republican Party is poised for a comeback now that it is free of the “political burden” of an unpopular president.

“I was a strong supporter of the president, but presidential unpopularity is bad for the president’s party,” McConnell said on NBC’s “Today Show.”

“We suffered losses in –06 and –08,” he added. “We wish the president, President Bush well, but, frankly, we will not have to be carrying that sort of political burden that we carried the last two elections.”

Let’s call this for what it is. Over the last eight years President Bush has made some of the most serious missteps in US history, and he was backed by Mitch McConnell every single step of the way. As such, Mitch McConnell blaming Bush for Republican electoral losses is an act of shrugging off personal responsibility. There’s the real problem with the Republican Party, not one of its members will take responsibility for the mess they left our country in.

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

$559 Million Worth of Bribery

Halliburton was caught bribing foreign officials for business, and now is trying to settle with the US government rather than see several of its executives go to jail.


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

The offer of a fine as a settlement of the bribery and corruption charges has not been accepted as yet. Of course, such massive bribery can only come from the company that gave us Dick Cheney. Halliburton. Better Living Through Corruption, Oil and War.

From Reuters:

Halliburton Co will pay a $559 million fine to end an investigation of its former KBR Inc unit if the U.S. government approves the settlement, the largest penalty against a U.S. company for charges of bribery under federal law.

Halliburton, once headed by former Vice President Dick Cheney, said it was awaiting final approval from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle claims that KBR violated anti-bribery laws by paying kickbacks to Nigerian officials.

Under the settlement, Halliburton would pay $382 million to the Department of Justice and $177 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission in “disgorgement.”

KBR did not comment on the proposed settlement. Halliburton said in regulatory filings last July that it was in settlement talks with the government.

Dan Newcomb, a partner at law firm Shearman and Sterling in New York who specializes in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) law, said it was likely more companies involved in anti-corruption cases would settle with the U.S. government.

Under the FCPA, it is illegal for U.S. companies or their agents to use bribes to win foreign business.

I suppose nobody expects this settlement will make Halliburton a fine corporate citizen.

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |
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