Extreme Liberal's Blog

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You Gotta Love President Obama!

March 31, 2011 Posted by | President Barack Obama | 3 Comments

Donald Trump Filed For Bankruptcy 5 TIMES – Spread The Word! UPDATED!

After just watching Donald Trump spewing his birther crap on The Daily Rundown, I noticed how defensive the twice bankrupt Donald Trump got when Chuck Todd asked him about his bankruptcies. He clearly doesn’t like people talking about them. Would you want a guy running the country who went bankrupt twice? I don’t think that is a good resume piece for someone who wants to balance our budgets. And really, anyone who is so fucking attention hungry that he will use a proven lie (birther) to get attention, really shouldn’t be taken seriously on anything. He’s a freakin circus side-show, and no offense to circuses either. So I personally want to bring attention to his two bankruptcies. Did I mention that Donald Trump went bankrupt twice. I think I did. From LegalZoom (of all places) answering the question “How does Trump repeatedly file for bankruptcy and still stay on top…

No Personal Involvement

First, Trump doesn’t get personally involved. He knows how to protect his personal finances. In both instances, Trump’s corporations have filed for bankruptcy; Trump personally has not. Hence, when his casino fell into about a billion dollars in debt, the corporation filed for Chapter 11. Trump only made the decision to do so once he had spoken to his banks and bondholders. But, by filing, he gave his business the opportunity to regroup and reduce his business debt. It didn’t hurt however that it would also reduce his personal debt, as Trump is likely the one every creditor would look to if the Taj Mahal couldn’t pay up. So, in fact, Trump avoided potential lawsuits from credits and he may have also avoided personal bankruptcy by keeping his own bank account insulated.

Trump, it appeared, had triumphed. His company had dire financial problems but seemed to rise just as quickly from those bankruptcy ashes. Just three years later, he combined the hotels into the publicly held Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts.

For several years, the new company enjoyed double digit stock prices. His personal fortune in turn also skyrocketed. And the man who came close to losing it all leapt onto Forbes’ most wealthy list.

Yet, Trump’s public company would eventually fall…again. Within a few years of soaring high prices, the company stock had fallen into single digits. The one-time powerhouse company remained profitless and struggled just to pay the interest on the $2 billion debt. Trump claimed that the properties were unable to make the improvements necessary for keeping up with its flashier competitors. These financial troubles led to Trump’s second trip into bankruptcy.

Donald Trump’s two bankruptcies are his “birther” story, spread the word.

UPDATED: Corrected Title to 5 Times

BUMPED UP FROM THE COMMENTS (by Grant in Texas)

Donald Trump has filed for bankruptcy FIVE times, and although not getting as far as costing us taxpayers directly, he did fleece millions from banks and bond holders (who in essence then paid less income taxes due to write-offs for their losses, so we taxpayers essentially/eventually got screwed, too).

http://www.mademan.com/mm/how-many-times-has-donald-trump-filed-bankruptcy.html

March 31, 2011 Posted by | Politics, Republican Party | , | 12 Comments

Fox News – Fanning The Flames Of Racism Since 1996!

After over a  year and hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars spent, the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility has released its report on the Fox News generated “nontroversy” about voter intimidation by a couple of guys playing dress up in Philadelphia. Here’s Rachel Maddow with a little background and clarity…

Adam Serwer has the details of the report released and some great links to details about the case. Go take a look. Here are a couple of snippets from his piece at The Plum Line…

It should come as a shock to no one that the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility has “found no evidence that the decision to dismiss the case against three of the four defendants was predicated on political considerations” or that there was “improper political interference or influence from within or outside the Department in connection with the decision in the case.” As Ryan J. Reilly reports, this comes after OPR interviewed numerous staffers and sifted through “thousands of pages of internal Department e-mails, memoranda, and notes.”

To sum up: The New Black Panther tale — a years-long journey into the fevered right-wing imagination that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and led to no shortage of scurrilous accusations of racism against the first black president and attorney general — was a colossal waste of time and taxpayer resources.

[...]

Republicans seized on this case for one reason, and one reason only. Despite the absence of any actual intimidated voters, and the hasty, weak nature of the original case, the GOP sought an opportunity to inflame white resentment by leveling charges that President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are racist against white people. Though the staffers who filed the case have also been cleared, conservative media seized on the case to support a narrative of white racial victimhood, where virtually every single policy of the administration is attributed to a covert hatred for white people.

When I used Google to look for background for this, I ran across all sorts of crazy stuff. The same is true for when I searched at Youtube for the clip. Racism is alive and well in America, folks.

March 31, 2011 Posted by | Politics, Racism | , | Leave a comment

A “Koch” And A Frown!

The Koch Brothers, David and Charles, who are doing there best to influence American politics are whining about all those mean people who are protesting and saying bad things about them. Of course it’s just fine for them to give $54 million dollars to climate change denial advocates to spread propaganda, but if you exercise your free speech, you’re just being a meany. They own many industries that pollute, you know? They apparently gave unprecedented access for an interview with The Weakly Standard (sp). Here is some of the whining and lying…

“One additional thing that really bothered me,” he said, “was that the press attacked me rather than the guy who impersonated me! And I was criticized as someone who’s got a death grip on the governor and his policies. And that I control him—I mean, that’s insane!”

Awe, let’s all give him a collective sigh. Poor, poor, mega-wealthy man. I’m sure he can afford the counseling he’s going to need after being criticized by those mean old liberals. Now for the lies…

That last part has caught the attention of the left’s scouring eye. For unlike many billionaires, the Koch brothers espouse classical liberal economics: They advocate lower taxes, less government spending, fewer regulations, and limited government. “Society as a whole benefits from greater economic freedom,” Charles wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed. Judging by the results of the 2010 elections, there are millions of Americans who agree with him.

Ah, yea, well….we tried that little experiment starting in 2001 when the Supreme Court appointed George W. Bush and he gave you all those huge tax cuts, slashed regulations and staffed the government with lobbyists intent on destroying whatever agency they were meant to oversee. And they put it on the charge card too. How did that work out for America and “society as a whole”? We entered a deep recession that our current president, someone who is 100 times smarter than the Koch Bros, had to pull us out of with no help whatsoever from Republicans. In fact, as we all know, they did everything they could to stop President Obama from getting us out of that mess.

Let’s take a look at one of Rachel Maddow’s excellent pieces about the Koch Bros…

The Koch Brothers have been financing a propaganda campaign for decades and have used all sorts of slimy, hateful, lying tactics…to the tune of many millions of dollars. But when a blogger pranks a wingnut governor and exposes the coziness with which politicians treat these guys, he all of a sudden becomes a righteous, moral person who feels like he can say things like this about the Buffalo blogger who impersonated him…

“And I think it’s extremely dishonest to misrepresent yourself. I think there’s a question of integrity. And the person who would do that has got to be an incredibly dishonest person.”

Give me a freakin break. The guy who helped finance the “grassroots” uprising during the health care debate, remember all the lies spread during that charade. Or how about the fact that they have been financing the anti-climate change groups who are also spreading lies and misinformation which has had the effect of turning the Republican party into a party of climate change deniers. What do scientists know anyway? Should David Koch be saying anything at all about someone else being dishonest? Have you ever seen such hubris?

March 30, 2011 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , | 2 Comments

Republicans Are “Coming For Your Privacy” Now – In Michigan!

I guess the Mackinaw Center For Public Policy has nothing better to do than to invade people’s professional and personal life. The Raw Story has the story of this conservative “think tank”…cough, spit, vomit, that has just filed a Freedom of Information request to find out if those left-wing professors at those “labor-centric” universities were sending emails from “government” issued email addresses on school time. They’re coming for your privacy, be afraid, be very afraid. With complete control of Michigan’s legislature and governorship, these right-wing assholes are on an all out crusade to cleanse the state of all those damn hippies. I can just imagine what our wing-nut nerd of a governor will do if they find something, just close all the public universities or some stupid shit like that. I’m only half joking, too.

Now, I attended Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business and trust me people, it was not “labor-centric” at all. In fact, it was very “business-centric”. I can’t speak to the other two schools targeted by them, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, but I can imagine that those business programs are also “business-centric”. I’ve taken a few MBA classes at yet another Michigan university and it was not pro labor either. I didn’t have a single economics professor, and I took about 6 econ classes, that was liberal at all. In fact, I usually had arguments with them whenever they trashed on liberals. And I had a professor for a General Business Law class, which I’m sure falls into that extreme liberal category, who had been one of Ronald Reagan’s speechwriters in the early 1980′s. We used to re-argue the 1984 election, he would always bad mouth Walter Mondale and I would stand up to him. It was all in good fun, we ended up being pretty good friends by the end of the class and he gave me an A. But trust me, the business program I was in for my first bachelors degree was not “labor-centric” at all.

And then of course there is the whole issue of invading people’s privacy, whether it is there work email or personal, neither should be accessible to the public, unless it is subpoenaed. What the hell, they’re going on a fishing expedition at the tax payers expense. From The Raw Story…

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a think tank backed by some big-name conservatives, has submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to professors at labor-centric schools, asking to see any emails containing certain key words, Talking Points Memo reports. The subjects mostly relate to the Wisconsin union protests: “Scott Walker,” “Wisconsin,” “Madison,” and “any other emails dealing with the collective bargaining situation in Wisconsin.” There’s one other, outlying subject the think tank would like to see emails about — the FOIA request also seeks emails that mention “Maddow.”

As in, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.

Is it any wonder they are targeting Rachel Maddow, about the only great journalist on television (just a little exaggeration). Rachel must really scare these people on the right, because she is so damn good at exposing them and has such a great staff.

“Some days my job is weirder than others,” Maddow told TPM in response to her name being among the topics of interest to the Mackinac Center.

March 29, 2011 Posted by | Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

America Is Just Dumb Enough To Elect Republicans!

I’m sure most of you have heard about Newsweek’s citizenship test that they gave to a thousand Americans where 38% of them failed it. There were many stunning results, well stunning if you ever believed that the vast majority of our citizens were well informed. I wouldn’t call them all dumb, because ignorance is not necessarily “dumbness” in my opinion. There is a lot of room for education to take a role in changing those numbers, but of course, the Republican governors trying to prevent that from happening. Here are some of the results from the test by Newsweek, courtesy of Yahoo! News…

They’re the sort of scores that drive high-school history teachers to drink. When Newsweek recently asked 1,000 U.S. citizens to take America’s official citizenship test, 29 percent couldn’t name the vice president. Seventy-three percent couldn’t correctly say why we fought the Cold War. Forty-four percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights. And 6 percent couldn’t even circle Independence Day on a calendar.

If you combine those numbers with the ones showing the views of Fox News viewers, a picture develops that is pretty freakin scary, if you ask me. What is so maddening to me about the media is their wanting to use public opinion polls to set their agenda…AND IT’S THESE IDIOTS WHO ARE ANSWERING THOSE POLLS! On Morning Joe this morning (I watch when Joe is gone), they kept putting up results from a “pre-speech” poll with every Chyron generated graphic they put up. One of those figures was that 47% approve of the president’s actions in Libya…remember, that is a pre-speech number, with 17% unsure. Considering our political environment, those numbers are pretty good. I scoured Gallup’s site looking for the question that really stood out to me as stupid and it was something like “How do you think the Libyan action will turn out?” or something like that. The negative number was pretty high, from memory. But it immediately made me think, why are you asking the mostly ignorant general public to be prognosticators, when Forty-four percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights in Newsweek’s citizenship test. And the media is going to listen to these people?

March 29, 2011 Posted by | Politics | | 2 Comments

Are You Anti-War Or Anti-Killing?

Since President Obama became president and inherited two very stupid wars…well one really stupid war (Iraq) and one pretty stupid war (Afghanistan), “critics” on the left and right immediately began to deed those wars over to President Obama. They worked their asses off to convince the media and their followers that these are now Obama’s wars and when you combine that with the GOP created meme that nothing can be blamed on the previous president, you end up with the strange world we currently find ourselves in. Whether our involvement in Libya is a “war” or not is a matter of semantics to me, a word.

On the right, it makes sense to blame it all on Obama, it’s politics man, that’s what they do. But when it comes to some critics on the left, primarily the firebaggers and the hard core pacifists, I don’t get why they don’t leave the blame where it belongs, at the foot of the Bush administration. I’ve speculated for months about the motivations of the firebaggers (Jane Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald) but it’s really difficult to pin them down, except that they seem to relish the attention they get from their grandstanding and have been trading on the “outrage of the week” with their latest fundraising drive. I’m not sure either Jane or Glenn have any moral base, they both lie and exaggerate and inflate damn near every issue they take on.

When it comes to the pacifists, which for many years I proudly claimed to be, I understand their reservations. I abhor violence and in my younger days, didn’t consider the gray areas whenever a military intervention occurred. I still feel very strongly that force isn’t ever the best option. As I get older, my views have evolved and things aren’t as black and white as I used to think. The Libyan situation is a good example of the difficulty of seeing everything as black and white. I used to have a “it’s not our problem” attitude…let these countries take care of their own problems. Part of my evolution of thought is a result of a project I worked on about 11 years ago for the Holocaust Museum of Houston. In that project, I interviewed several holocaust survivors and logged and selected clips from dozens of other survivor interviews. One of the major lessons that almost all of them wanted to share is that we must never let that happen again. We as a society must not sit back and watch as a despot murders and tortures “his” own people. I can never forget looking into “Walter’s” tear filled eyes as he said with more passion than I’ve ever seen, “we must never allow this to happen again.”

When President Obama said the following last night, it reminded me of that moment with Walter.

In the face of the world’s condemnation, Gaddafi chose to escalate his attacks, launching a military campaign against the Libyan people. Innocent people were targeted for killing. Hospitals and ambulances were attacked. Journalists were arrested, sexually assaulted, and killed. Supplies of food and fuel were choked off. The water for hundreds of thousands of people in Misratah was shut off. Cities and towns were shelled, mosques destroyed, and apartment buildings reduced to rubble. Military jets and helicopter gunships were unleashed upon people who had no means to defend themselves against assault from the air.

Confronted by this brutal repression and a looming humanitarian crisis, I ordered warships into the Mediterranean. European allies declared their willingness to commit resources to stop the killing. The Libyan opposition, and the Arab League, appealed to the world to save lives in Libya. At my direction, America led an effort with our allies at the United Nations Security Council to pass an historic Resolution that authorized a No Fly Zone to stop the regime’s attacks from the air, and further authorized all necessary measures to protect the Libyan people.

I know that the knee-jerk reaction from many is why Libya and not Syria or Bahrain or any of the other places where similar things are happening? Well for one thing, I’m not sure any of these other situations are really very similar to Libya, but for arguments sake let’s say they are. Are these people proposing that we help in all these countries. I doubt it. That thinking plays right into the “black and white’ syndrome that has infected too much of our society. The President addressed this idea as well…

In fact, much of the debate in Washington has put forward a false choice when it comes to Libya. On the one hand, some question why America should intervene at all – even in limited ways – in this distant land. They argue that there are many places in the world where innocent civilians face brutal violence at the hands of their government, and America should not be expected to police the world, particularly when we have so many pressing concerns here at home.

It is true that America cannot use our military wherever repression occurs. And given the costs and risks of intervention, we must always measure our interests against the need for action. But that cannot be an argument for never acting on behalf of what’s right. In this particular country – Libya; at this particular moment, we were faced with the prospect of violence on a horrific scale. We had a unique ability to stop that violence: an international mandate for action, a broad coalition prepared to join us, the support of Arab countries, and a plea for help from the Libyan people themselves. We also had the ability to stop Gaddafi’s forces in their tracks without putting American troops on the ground.

To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and – more profoundly – our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as President, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.

So I guess the struggle I had with this decision to intervene shows that things aren’t always black and white, good or bad, right or wrong. In one instance, we watch as Gaddafi murders innocent people and oppresses the citizens in his country and in the other instance, we have Libyan troops being killed. They are people too with families and aspirations. Who really knows how many of Gaddafi’s forces support what they are doing or whether they feel they would be killed if they didn’t follow orders. So given this gray situation where there is no “good” or “right” or “black and white”, I think the President did exactly what we needed to do as a country. I do hope this sets a precedent where we as a country use our power to help minimize death around the world instead of contribute to it.

I guess I would say I’m anti-killing now, instead of anti-war. If intervening in a violent situation like Libya saves more lives than not intervening, I have to go with intervening.

March 29, 2011 Posted by | Politics, President Barack Obama | | 9 Comments

President Obama Addresses The Nation On Libya

Take it away, Mr. President.

March 28, 2011 Posted by | President Barack Obama | | 2 Comments

Freedom of Speech – Some Are Just Freer Than Others!

I saw this story over the weekend and was meaning to post about it, but I like Bob Cesca’s post so much, I think I’ll let him do the honors. (emphasis mine)

“The First Amendment was written by the Founders to protect the free exercise of Christianity. They were making no effort to give special protections to Islam.” Director of Issues Analysis Bryan Fischer from the American Family Association

I wonder if each wingnut yanks constitutional “facts” out of his or her own ass, or if there’s one big community ass from which they all yank.

Just to be perfectly clear: Fischer is waaaaaay wrong. Way, way, way wrong.

It kind of goes along with the previous post about alternate realities, doesn’t it. I’ll bet you that a whole bunch of media outlets reported that story but never informed their viewers or readers of the reality of our first amendment to the constitution. I’ll just bet you.

March 28, 2011 Posted by | Politics, The Constitution | | Leave a comment

The Fox News/Rush Limbaugh Alternate Reality Machine And The Dumbing Of America!

Below are some of my thoughts and observations on the strange competing realities in our political universe.

Once upon a time in America there was a media that was known as the 4th estate, a term that is attributed to Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797), a British politician, as quoted in Thomas Carlyle’s book, “Heros and Hero Worship in History” (1841)…

Burke said that there were three Estates in Parliament, but in the Reporters Gallery yonder, there sat a fourth Estate more important far than they all.

I remember when I first became aware of politics, in my teen years…the mid to  late 70′s…the role of the press was still focused on presenting the truth. It was a noble goal that all major media outlets adhered to. I think All the President’s Men shows it very well. Sure there were differences of opinions and op-ed pages and politics was politics, but facts were also facts back then. I think politicians and people in the media were a lot more careful about what they said, especially if it was being recorded in some way. I imagine there was a lot of trash talking going on “off the record”, which was a concept that used to be respected too. Now we have people secretly recording or openly recording damn near everything. Twitter is causing all sorts of trouble for people, especially if they didn’t think before they tweeted.

With Rush Limbaugh rising to national attention around 1988, a whole new dynamic began in the media that in the mid 90′s was magnified by the introduction of Fox News. I first listened to Rush Limbaugh during the summer of 1992, I believe. I was painting a house and thought I should listen to what the opposition was pushing in the lead up to the presidential election. It as maddening to listen to, he was blatantly and unabashedly lying without any remorse. If he ever took a call from a listener, it was a supporter or the person was shut down pretty fast if they challenged him at all. I was enraged. That was my first exposure to the right-wing’s master plan of misinforming the mass electorate and conditioning them to block out any conflicting information.  They are given Frank Luntz generated slogans to repeat whenever they are confronted with information that doesn’t fit with their well programmed beliefs. It is really an alternate reality that they’ve created, sort of like the one President Bush worked within, from Ron Suskind’s classic piece on the Bush presidency…(emphasis mine)

The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

And I would add to that the fact that Fox News and Rush Limbaugh were the media wing of that reality. The effect of all that alternate reality is a whole lot of confused people in this country. You can’t really necessarily blame these people, many are unknowing victims of the misinformation. Recent polls where they break out the Fox News viewers, show some pretty stunning results…

  • 91 percent believe the stimulus legislation lost jobs
  • 72 percent believe the health reform law will increase the deficit
  • 72 percent believe the economy is getting worse
  • 60 percent believe climate change is not occurring
  • 49 percent believe income taxes have gone up
  • 63 percent believe the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts
  • 56 percent believe Obama initiated the GM/Chrysler bailout
  • 38 percent believe that most Republicans opposed TARP
  • 63 percent believe Obama was not born in the U.S. (or that it is unclear)

For the trolls out there nodding in agreement, every one of those bullet points is the opposite of what is true. Just so we’re clear.

The other impact that Fox News and Rush have on the misinformed masses is to stoke anger and hatred towards President Obama and the Democrats in general. Media Matters has hundreds, perhaps thousands of examples of how they do that. Some of it is subtle and much of it is not so subtle. They clearly like to throw fuel on the fire of racism that continues to burn, particularly in the south. Probably the best examples of this are the folks at the Tea Party rallies who speak up about how they feel. I really don’t understand how someone can be so hateful and let that hatred direct all of his/her opinions. The Republican noise machine and brainwashing apparatus that is Fox News has warped their ability to distinguish lies from reality. This noise machine seems to inoculate their followers from either knowing that it is a lie or subconsciously they may know it, but they play along because the hatred and demagoguery overwhelms any moral reservations they might have about lying. This phenomenon has become more and more pervasive and since the compliant, agenda driven media never seem to call bullshit on them, it only encourages them to continue. Don’t feed the damn bears, people.

What is the answer to this phenomenon? I certainly don’t know the answer to that, but I certainly will do my part to help shine a light on these people that seem to be intent on destroying our democracy.

March 28, 2011 Posted by | Politics, President Barack Obama, Republican Party, Tea Party | 7 Comments

Join A Union!

I love this story and hope more of it happens. I want to see a resurgence of unions, we need them now more than ever.

Wisconsin’s workers haven’t only fought back with protests and recall efforts. Since Scott Walker began his attack on Wisconsin’s public employees, faculty at three University of Wisconsin campuses have voted to join the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

March 26, 2011 Posted by | Politics | , | 9 Comments

A Comprehensive Look At The Manning Controversy!

I’m not going to copy and paste from this post by Shoq Value, it is worth reading the whole thing if you have any interest in the concept that the Bradley Manning controversy is being over hyped and used as a way to fatten people’s wallets by bringing attention to them and raising the number of clicks and donations to the “PAC of the Week” at Firedoglake. And of course you know Glenn Greenwald is in on Jane Hamsher’s PAC thing too, right?

Shoq Value has been taking on Glenn Greenwald and Jane Hamsher quite a bit, I’m getting caught up on his posts but haven’t read this one and this one, which look like some fun weekend reading to me. Go take a look if you give a shit about all this, I totally understand if you pass on it. It gets pretty pettty…I like that, pretty petty. Tweet fights are the new slap boxing. I’ll be doing a little posting this weekend and I have a lot on the plate for next week. Have a good weekend, ya’ll.

March 26, 2011 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , | Leave a comment

More Friday Night Fun – Political Quiz!

I did this political quiz at About.com. It was pretty fun. Here are my results, which they give you code for to paste into your blog.

 

Quiz: What Kind of Liberal Are You?

My Liberal Identity

You are a Social Justice Crusader, also known as a rights activist. You believe in equality, fairness, and preventing neo-Confederate conservative troglodytes from rolling back fifty years of civil rights gains.

Take the quiz at
About.com Political Humor

March 25, 2011 Posted by | General, Humor, Politics | 3 Comments

Friday Night Funnies – Jon Stewart

H/T to Bob Cesca’s Awesome Blog! Go!

Daily Show _ Gov Hurts, posted with vodpod

 

March 25, 2011 Posted by | Humor | 1 Comment

Questions On Libya Answered Right Here – By A Real Journalist!

Nicholas Kristof at the New York Times has a great piece about the human side of the crisis in Libya. It sheds light on why it was important for the UN to do something about it. It provides much needed context for people to understand why it was urgent that we moved when we did and it answers the question that everyone is asking – why did we go in? Maybe if the media did a little original reporting like Nicholas Kristof, they could show that instead of just running banners across the screen and asking over and over again “what is our mission, why are we going in?” Hey, idiots, isn’t that your job to find out, instead of just bringing on one of the many strategists trying to get their mugs on television and make a name for themselves. Go do some freaking reporting and maybe you will find out stuff like this. From Nicholas Kristof’s piece…an extended paste job, because it’s important…(emphasis is mine)

This may be a first for the Arab world: An American airman who bailed out over Libya was rescued from his hiding place in a sheep pen by villagers who hugged him, served him juice and thanked him effusively for bombing their country.

Even though some villagers were hit by American shrapnel, one gamely told an Associated Press reporter that he bore no grudges. Then, on Wednesday in Benghazi, the major city in eastern Libya whose streets would almost certainly be running with blood now if it weren’t for the American-led military intervention, residents held a “thank you rally. They wanted to express gratitude to coalition forces for helping save their lives.

[...]

This is also one of the few times in history when outside forces have intervened militarily to save the lives of citizens from their government. More commonly, we wring our hands for years as victims are massacred, and then, when it is too late, earnestly declare: “Never again.”

In 2005, the United Nations approved a new doctrine called the “responsibility to protect,” nicknamed R2P, declaring that world powers have the right and obligation to intervene when a dictator devours his people. The Libyan intervention is putting teeth into that fledgling concept, and here’s one definition of progress: The world took three-and-a-half years to respond forcefully to the slaughter in Bosnia, and about three-and-a-half weeks to respond in Libya.

[...]

“Opinion was unanimous,” Michel Gabaudan, the president of Refugees International, told me on Wednesday after a visit to Libya. Mr. Gabaudan said that every Libyan he spoke to agreed that the military strikes had averted “a major humanitarian disaster.”

“Men, women and children, they are ecstatic about the role of the coalition but worried that it may not continue,” he said.

Some Congressional critics complain that President Obama should have consulted Congress more thoroughly. Fair enough. But remember that the intervention was almost too late because forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi were already in Benghazi. Indeed, there was a firefight on Sunday right outside the hotel in Benghazi where foreign journalists are staying. A couple of days of dutiful consultation would have resulted in a bloodbath and, perhaps, the collapse of the rebel government.

[...]

A senior White House official says that the humanitarian argument was decisive for President Obama: “The president was chilled by what would happen to the people of Benghazi and Tobruk. There were critical national security and national interest reasons to do this, but what compelled the president to act so quickly was the immediate prospect of mass atrocities against the people of Benghazi and the east. He was well aware of the risks of military action, but he also feared the costs of inaction.”

I’ve seen war up close, and I detest it. But there are things I’ve seen that are even worse — such as the systematic slaughter of civilians as the world turns a blind eye. Thank God that isn’t happening this time.

Wow, isn’t it great to have some real reporting going on instead of just “there are many questions” or “critics say this or that”…go ask the freaking questions, get some answers and then report about it you dimwits. Go read Nicholas Kristof’s whole piece, there is some that I didn’t paste. And go visit his blog, which I just added to my blogroll, and give him some mad props for being a real journalist.

March 25, 2011 Posted by | Politics, President Barack Obama | | 11 Comments

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