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“The Senator Needs A New Hobby”: McCain Shows How Not To Argue About Wasteful Spending

It seems about once a year or so, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) publishes a report on “wasteful” federal spending that he’s eager to cut. The document invariably comes with a great deal of exasperation from the senator, who simply can’t understand why more lawmakers fail to take his findings seriously.

Last week, the Arizona Republican was at it again, writing a piece for Fox News, heralding his work as “a wake-up call for Congress about out-of-control spending.” Of particular interest, he noted “a $50,000 grant to investigate whether African elephants’ unique and highly acute sense of smell could be used to sniff-out bombs.”

The 19-page report (pdf) itself spends a fair amount of time on the bomb-sniffing elephants and the $50,000 grant from three years ago.

“While finding new ways to enhance our bomb detection methods is important, it is unlikely that African elephants could feasibly be used on the battlefield given their large size and sensitive status as ‘threatened’ under the Endangered Species Act.

“At a time when the defense budget faces serious cuts under the Budget Control Act of 2011, it is critical that Congress ensures our military branches spend their limited funds on worthwhile programs that effectively and efficiently enhance our military readiness.”

So, does McCain have a point? Not really.

Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog flagged this Associated Press piece from two months ago, which the senator’s report neglected to mention.

New research conducted in South Africa and involving the US military shows they excel at identifying explosives by smell, stirring speculation about whether their extraordinary ability can save lives.

“They work it out very, very quickly,” said Sean Hensman, co-owner of a game reserve where three elephants passed the smell tests by sniffing at buckets and getting a treat of marula, a tasty fruit, when they showed that they recognized samples of TNT, a common explosive, by raising a front leg.

Another plus: Elephants remember their training longer than dogs, said Stephen Lee, head scientist at the US Army Research Office, a major funder of the research.

Obviously, given elephants’ size, it’s unrealistic to think the animals would be brought to a minefield, but the AP piece noted that unmanned drones could “collect scent samples from mined areas,” and a trained elephant “would then smell them and alert handlers to any sign of explosives.”

A spokesperson for the Army research command added that the better elephants performed, the more researchers could “determine how they do it so that understanding could be applied to the design of better electronic sensors.”

Oh. So, for $50,000 – less than a rounding error in the overall military budget – we’re talking about research that could very well save many American lives on a battlefield.

This was one of the single best examples John McCain and his office could find of “wasteful” government spending.

As we’ve discussed before, part of the underlying problem here is that the Republican senator seems to think publicly funded research involving animals is, practically by definition, hilarious.

In 2009, for example, McCain used Twitter to highlight what he considered “the top 10 pork barrel projects” in the Recovery Act. In one classic example, McCain blasted “$650,000 for beaver management in North Carolina and Mississippi,” asking, “How does one manage a beaver?”

While I’m sure the senator was delighted with his wit, in reality, $650,000 in stimulus funds hired workers to disrupt beaver dams, which in turn prevented significant flood damage to farms, timber lands, roadways, and other infrastructure in the area (which would have ended up costing far more than $650,000). The Arizonan neglected to do his homework, and ended up blasting a worthwhile project for no reason.

In 2012, he did it again with the Farm Bill. As Alex Pareene explained at the time, McCain isn’t “developing any sort of larger objection to the bill’s priorities or major components,” rather, “McCain just decided to single out the things in the bill that sound the silliest.”

[On Twitter], McCain counted down the 10 “worst projects” funded by the Farm Bill, except by almost any standard they were not at all the worst things funded by the farm bill.

Like No. 6, starting a program to eradicate feral pigs, which McCain clearly included because it involves pigs, allowing him to make a “pork” joke. Except feral pigs are actually a major (and expensive) threat to the environment and property and businesses. And, oh my, $700 million to study moth pheromones! What a waste of money! Except it’s funding the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s competitive grants program, and if you don’t think “grants for scientific research on agriculture” is something the government should be doing, you should make that argument instead of delivering scripted zingers about welfare moths on the floor of the Senate in a pathetic bid at getting some ink for your brave stand against wasteful spending.

What McCain may not realize is that he’s actually helping prove his opponents’ point. If these spending bills were so wasteful, he’d be able to come up with actual examples to bolster his argument, and the fact that he can’t suggests (a) these bills aren’t wasteful at all and (b) the senator needs a new hobby.

For the record, I don’t doubt for a moment that there’s some unnecessary spending in the federal budget, and responsible policymakers should make every effort to prevent waste. But the more McCain thinks he’s good at this, the more he proves otherwise.

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, May 11, 2015

May 12, 2015 Posted by | Federal Budget, John McCain, Scientific Research | , , , , , | 4 Comments

“One-Dimensional Foreign Policy Thinking”: Leon Panetta Is What’s Wrong With D.C.

When Harry Truman apocryphally said, “if you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog” he might have had someone like Leon Panetta in mind. Not content with letting Republicans pummel his old boss, President Obama’s former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense released a new memoir this week that attacks Obama for “losing his way” on foreign policy, for sending “mixed messages” to allies and enemies alike and for failing to use military force more promiscuously in protecting US interests in the Middle East.

There is more here, however, than just DC-style situational loyalty. In Panetta’s obsessive focus on the politics of national security, his fetishization of military force and his utter lack of strategic vision, what is also evident is the one-dimensional foreign policy thinking that so dominates Washington—and which Panetta has long embodied.

None of this should come as a surprise. When Panetta became CIA director in 2009, he was demonstrably unqualified for the job. He had no background in foreign policy, intelligence or national security. His most apparent and highly-touted skill was that he understood his way around bureaucratic Washington.

At both Langley and the Pentagon he became a forceful advocate for—or, some might say, bureaucratic captive of—the agencies he ran. As CIA Director he pushed back on efforts to expose the agency’s illegal activities during the Bush Administration —in particular, the use of torture (which he had once decried).

At DoD he ran around with his hair practically on fire denouncing cuts to the defense budget in out-sized, apocalyptic terms. The “catastrophic,” “draconian” cuts would initiate a “doomsday mechanism” and “invite aggression,” he claimed and always without specific examples. Ironically, when Panetta was chairman of the House Budget Committee in the early 1990s, he took the exact opposite position and pushed for huge cuts to the defense budget.

For Panetta, principles appear to be determined by wherever he happens to be sitting at any given moment.

However, his irresponsible threat-mongering and his constant stream of gaffes and misstatements (like the claim that the US was in Iraq because of 9/11 and that the war was worth it) masked a stunningly narrow and parochial foreign policy vision. It wasn’t just that Panetta was saying crazy things. As his new memoir shows, he apparently believed them.

Take, for example, Panetta’s now oft-repeated position on troop withdrawals from Iraq in 2011, a move that as Secretary of Defense he praised but now three years later labels a failure. While Panetta acknowledges that the adamant refusal of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to maintain a troop presence in Iraq was a key impediment, he has a brilliant after-the-fact solution: the US should have just turned up the heat on Maliki.

According to Panetta, the US could have simply said that we would withdraw both reconstruction and military aid to Iraq until Maliki bent to America’s will. That Panetta thinks that threatening and demeaning the Iraqi leader was a worthy step to make in order to maintain a US force that the Iraqis clearly didn’t want is remarkably short-sighted. Panetta seems utterly uninterested in the question of what happens if Maliki called the US bluff or, if he said yes, how would that affect the long-term relationship between the US and Iraq. For Panetta, the only thing that mattered in 2011 was maintaining a residual US military force in the country, which he says—without much in the way of evidence—would have helped prevent the rise of ISIS.

Panetta is fond of such retrospective certainty. He asserts that if the US had backed Syrian rebels militarily it would have built up a moderate counter-weight to ISIS. He also labels the president’s failure to use force against Syria when it crossed Obama’s “redline” and used chemical weapons against his own people a damaging “blow to American credibility.” According to Panetta, “the power of the United States rests on its word, and clear signals are important both to deter adventurism and to reassure allies that we can be counted on.” The implication is that if the US had merely bombed Assad, those clear signals would have been sent and received by enemies and allies alike.

Of less concern to Panetta are not only the potential negative consequences from using force but also the actual diplomatic agreement negotiated by the US to completely destroy all of Syria’s chemical weapons. While he gives a perfunctory nod to this “important accomplishment” in his memoir, he complains that “hesitation and half-steps have consequences.”

As for what those specific consequences are, other than vague platitudes about credibility and signals: your guess is as good as mine. For Panetta, the act of using force is seemingly more important than the actual tangible result achieved by using force.

Nowhere is this mindset of war as a presentational tool more evident than Panetta’s discussion of the 2009 surge in Afghanistan. While Panetta says the focus on the Taliban, rather than al Qaeda, was misplaced and he complains that the military actively tried to box in Obama on troop levels … he says that there was no reason for the decision on the surge to have taken so long.

“For him to defy his military advisers on a matter so central to the success of his foreign policy and so early in his presidency would have represented an almost impossible risk,” says Panetta. Translation: the surge was a bad idea, but the politics of national security demanded that Obama send American troops to fight a war that Panetta in his memoir calls “not a ringing success.”

Ironically, in his public appearances Panetta has been forcefully stating that a commander-in-chief must keep all options on the table—an implicit criticism of Obama’s refusal to put troops on the ground to fight ISIS. But in Afghanistan, the one option that Panetta appears to believe we should not have had on the table was defying the military and not surging, which is nothing if not an interesting twist on the principle of civilian control of the military. For Panetta, “all options” means only one thing—use of force.

Here, Panetta could not be more explicit. He says President Obama was a “strong leader on security issues” in his first term and cites as evidence Obama’s support for CIA military operations and the fact that he was “tough on terrorism.”

Now, however, Panetta believes that the president has “lost his way” because since then because he’s shown greater “ambivalence” about using military force. If Obama is willing to “roll up his sleeves” on ISIS he can restore that strong legacy. For Panetta, might always equals right.

Panetta likes to present himself an “honest,” “straight-talking,” aw-shucks kind of guy—the son of Italian immigrants who has lived the American Dream. But in reality he is the quintessential example of how Washington corrupts. Principles are conditional and where you sit is where you stand; politics trumps policy, even bad policy that puts American lives at risk; military force is a magic elixir not only in solving international problems but in burnishing one’s public image (though it appears for Panetta that this mainly applies to Democrats); it’s also the most important criteria in how you judge a president’s national security decision-making and his or her requisite strength.

During a recent interview on CNN, Panetta took a break from bashing the president who appointed him to two Cabinet offices to offer one of those platitudes that long-time DC denizens love to state without a moment of introspection. “Logic doesn’t work in Washington,” he said.

You can say that again.

 

By: Michael Cohen, The Daily Beast, October 8, 2014

October 9, 2014 Posted by | Foreign Policy, Leon Panetta, National Security | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Cheney’s Iraq Facts Are Still All Wrong”: Factual Errors, Misleading Statements, A Continuation Of His Eight Years As Vice President

Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s September 10, 2014 speech at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) was particularly bad from both a timing and protocol perspective given that the President was going to lay out his strategy to confront ISIS that same day. But more importantly, the many factual errors and misleading statements about the Obama administration in his speech did not contribute to a “fair and balanced” debate about the foreign policy challenges facing this country. The abundant factual errors and misleading statements in Cheney’s speech are very serious. Jarring to the ear, they should remind us of Cheney’s lack of foreign policy skill and his poisonous decisions over the past decades. Let me mention but a few.

The most obvious was Cheney’s praise of President’s Nixon for making the tough choice of “standing by Israel in the Six Day War,” and implying that Obama was not doing so. Unfortunately for Cheney, the Six Day War actually occurred two years before Nixon took office, in 1967. Nixon was president during the Yom Kippur War between Israel and Egypt in 1973, but Cheney’s recollection of staunch support for Israel is mistaken. Nixon’s National Security advisor, Henry Kissinger, persuaded Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir not to launch a preemptive strike against the Egyptian forces massing on Israelis’ border, as well as slowing our resupply of Israel during the battle. By contrast, Obama rushed extra funds to Israel for its Iron Dome anti-missile system during its recent conflict with Gaza.

Cheney is also wrong in trying to blame Obama for his “arbitrary and hasty withdrawal of residual forces from Iraq.” It was President Bush and Vice President Cheney himself, who in December 2008 signed the Framework Agreement with the Iraqi government, requiring all American troops to be out of Iraq by the end of 2011. Since this original agreement was ratified by the Iraqi Parliament, any modifications to the Bush-Cheney agreement would also have to be ratified by the Iraqi Parliament — something US military lawyers also insisted on. Obama was willing to leave 10,000 troops in Iraq. But when Maliki told Obama that there were not enough votes in the Iraqi Parliament, all the troops had to leave.

Cheney is also wrong to blame Obama for the establishment of the Islamic State’s self-styled caliphate in Iraq. It is Malikis dictatorial and narrow-minded governing style and politicization of the Iraqi security forces that created distrust among the Sunnis and weakened the Iraqi Army, allowing ISIL to seize the territory they now control. Maliki was Bush and Cheney’s handpicked candidate for Prime Minister.

Cheney’s comments about the defense budget are also way off the mark. According to him, the Nation’s Armed services constantly are being “subjected to irrational budget cuts having nothing to do with strategy.” However, this has nothing to do with Obama. The caps on the defense budget are mandated by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011, pushed by the Republicans after they took control of the House in 2010 in order to reduce the deficit. In fact for the past two years, Obama has sought to mitigate the impact of the cuts by proposing over $115 billion in additions to the regular defense budget over the next five years, and used the Overseas Contingency Budget (OCO) to fund about $30 billion in regular budget items.

But Cheney’s most egregious mistake is to ignore the fact that the chaos in the Middle East is a direct result of the mindless, needless, senseless invasion and occupation of Iraq that he helped engineer. He seems to forget that there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq before the U.S. invasion in 2003 he pushed for. There would be no ISIS without the U.S. invasion. Baghdadi, the head of ISIS, was a nobody until we imprisoned and tortured him.

Cheney is also wrong in arguing that Obama has a distrust of American power. I guess he missed the hundreds of drone strikes and Special Forces troops that Obama has launched against Al Qaeda and terrorist leaders throughout the Middle East and North Africa. In addition to Osama bin Laden, Obama’s use of American power and the American military took out the head of the Al-Shabab terrorist group behind the Kenyan mall shootings.

Cheney’s hypocrisy is best summed up in his comments about our Armed Forces. He credits them with maintaining the structure of our security that has been in place and defended by the United States since World War II. However, Cheney’s public support rings hollow. During the war in Vietnam — which claimed the lives of over 60,000 young Americans — Cheney dodged the draft, racking up five deferments. His praise for the armed forces now stands in contrast to his actions then.

Cheney’s factual errors, misleading statements and hypocrisy are a continuation of his eight years as vice president. Blaming Obama for everything that is not right in the world does not help this country deal with the challenges it faces in the Middle East. As a starting point, Cheney should have acknowledged his own errors in the Middle East that destabilized the region in the first place.

 

By: Lawrence Korb, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; The Huffington Post Blog, September 12, 2014

September 13, 2014 Posted by | Dick Cheney, Foreign Policy, Middle East | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Fools On The Hill”: “Nothing” Is Why Some Members Of Congress Went To Washington

We used to have a ship of state, and now we have a ship of fools.

To call what happened on Capitol Hill over the past few days Kabuki is to insult Kabuki. What actually happened was more like ancient farce when actors used to come out and hit each other over the head with socks full of cowpies.

Contrary to what you have heard, we did not face up to a financial or economic or budgetary crisis. All Congress and the White House did was slog through another political crisis.

And the way they did it was comical: a 2 a.m. vote in the Senate followed by an 11 p.m. vote in the House. This is drive-by government.

That the White House was going to win was never in doubt. Barack Obama won reelection in November by nearly 5 million votes. According to CBS News, his approval rating is at 57 percent.

The members of Congress, on the other hand, are close to being put in stocks and pelted with vegetables. According to CBS, congressional job approval is at 11 percent. Any lower than that and Congress might as well move to Canada and try there.

One of the reasons our politicians are held in such low regard is that what they do is so divorced from reality.

What was the No. 1 issue of the last election? What did both sides promise the American people? As I recall, it was jobs, jobs and more jobs. But what did the recent fiscal cliff law do about creating more jobs? Nothing.

Some politicians like nothing. Nothing is why they went to Washington. They want to shrink government, in the famous words of Grover Norquist, “down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

Why? Because as Mitt Romney said in the campaign, 47 percent of voters “believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.”

(If you haven’t heard much from Romney since the election, it’s probably because he has been down in the Cayman Islands visiting his money.)

In this view, the government spends far too much on “entitlements” like Medicare. Medicare costs are strangling America, we hear, and according to the Congressional Budget Office, spending for Medicare in 2012 was a very hefty $555 billion.

But Medicare recipients are not exactly rolling in dough. In 2006, the last study my ace research team (Wikipedia) could find, the “average household income of Medicare enrollees was $22,600 compared with a U.S. median income of $48,201.”

Yet these people are viewed as greed-heads sucking up precious dollars that could be better spent on … defense contractors!

The defense budget for 2012 was more than $600 billion, which is nearly twice as much as the rest of the planet combined. We outspend China, the next biggest military power in the world, by about 6-to-1.

Maybe this wild spending would not be so bad if it bought us quick and easy victories over ill-armed opponents. But it doesn’t. We have poured more than a trillion dollars into the war in Afghanistan over the past 11 years — to say nothing of more than 2,000 precious U.S. lives lost — and we are still fighting there.

Some say this is good for the U.S. economy because it means we have to buy more and more bullets and bombs and drones, but personally I’d rather buy more liver transplants for the 47 percent.

Yet nobody in Washington is talking about serious cuts to the defense budget. On the contrary, they are talking about ways to avoid making serious cuts to the defense budget.

In the meantime, the government borrows more and more money, which means it keeps bumping up against the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling was invented as a way to keep Congress from spending too much, but it doesn’t work.

So we keep raising the debt ceiling. We raised it 18 times under Ronald Reagan, four times under Bill Clinton, seven times under George W. Bush and three times, as of August 2011, under Barack Obama.

As Obama points out, the debt ceiling does not allow Congress to spend more money. It merely allows the government to pay the bills Congress has already racked up.

In just a few weeks, we will face another crisis over the debt ceiling. It shouldn’t be a crisis, but politics will make it a crisis.

It’s a broken system. It’s why Americans hate politics.

Late on Jan. 1, President Obama briefly addressed the nation from a nearly empty White House briefing room. “I think, hopefully, in the new year we’ll focus on seeing if we can put a package like this together with a little bit less drama, a little less brinksmanship, not scare the heck out of folks quite as much,” he said.

A little bit less drama? Drama is what government is about these days. Drama is the only thing our elected leaders seem good at.

So you bring the socks. I’ll bring the cowpies.

By: Roger Simon, Politico, January 3, 2013

January 4, 2013 Posted by | Congress | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“A Terminally Angry Man”: John McCain’s Dark Quest For Relevancy Has Turned Him Into A Comic Book Villain

It’s a story as old as literature and as modern as a current edition of a Marvel comic book.

A once young and talented protagonist sets out on the road to glory, intent on using his special abilities for the good of mankind in his noble quest to become a hero of mythic proportion.

Along the way, life deals our hero a catastrophic blow—one that turns our protagonist away from the road of righteousness and onto the very different and destructive path of the antagonist. Suddenly, his clarity altered by the indignities, disappointments and tragedies life has unexpectedly visited upon him, our hero resolves to prove to the world the terrible mistake they made when casting him aside—no matter what it takes to do so.

You see, in our character’s mind, he is not the evil one. It is the world that is to blame for failing to accept the greatness our once heroic figure so generously offered to us, something the world will finally understand when our protagonist—now the antagonist—forces us to acknowledge his worthiness, even if it means using dark and dastardly methods to make us appreciate the terrible error the world or, in this case, his country has made in rejecting him.

Earlier this week, as I watched Senator John McCain threaten, during a CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer, to lead an effort to take the world’s economies hostage by refusing to raise the debt ceiling until he accomplishes the spending cuts he desires, I could not help but be reminded of this classic, “hero to villain” literary scenario just as I could not help but feel profound sadness for the transformation that has taken place in this man I once respected—a transformation that can be traced directly to the disappointment McCain suffered when losing his life’s objective, the presidency of the United States.

If you doubt the impact of McCain’s threat, you need only consider the words of Mark Zandi, Chief Economist at Moody’s Analytics and one-time senior economic advisor to John McCain’s presidential campaign:

The cornerstone of the global financial system is that the United States will make good on its debt payments. If we don’t, we’ve just knocked out the cornerstone and the system will collapse in turmoil.”

This is, indeed, very serious business.

And yet, the 2013 version of John McCain was giddy with joy as he filled the television screen with his warnings of the havoc he plans to rain down upon the American and world economies via the hostage drama the Senator and his accomplices are cooking up, a drama that could aptly be billed as “Debt Ceiling II- Revenge Of The Republicans.”

I have no objection to Senator McCain having his position on spending reduction, although I think he would be far more credible on the subject if he was willing to, at the least, choose to consider spending cuts in all government programs— including his beloved defense budget—rather than looking solely to entitlements as the object of his chainsaw’s desires.

I also recognize that a majority of Americans likely share the GOP’s belief that spending cuts are required if we are to get the nation on a more realistic and sustainable financial footing. And while the timing of such cuts remains a critical question—lest we bring our economic recovery to a screeching halt by cutting too deeply and too quickly—getting things on the right track will no doubt involve changes to our entitlement programs just as we will need to alter our defense spending habits.

However, using the threat of destroying the world’s economies to accomplish the direction preferred by McCain, and those who share his objectives, is a plot line far better suited to an old James Bond movie than it is to a rational policy discussion among the leaders of the world’s largest economic power, the United States of America.

Certainly, no American should be willing to stand for anyone who would adopt the tactics of fictional villains as the means to accomplish their wants and desires—even if they believe that their desires are in the best interests of the nation. There is no shortage of leverage points available to Senator McCain in pursuing his agenda—none of which involve taking our nation, and by extension, the nations of the word, hostage by threatening to do unspeakable damage in order to get his way.

You have to ask yourself whether—prior to suffering the loss of the presidency—the one-time “Maverick of the Senate” would have so much as considered blackmail as an acceptable tactic in pursuing a policy direction he believed to be in the nation’s interest.

I truly do not think so.

McCain of old would have hit the television talk show circuit and done his best to sell his countrymen on the merits of his position—not hold a gun to the nation’s head until we cried ‘uncle’. The McCain of old would have campaigned for his point of view with the self-effacing charm and reasonableness we came to expect of him, maybe even dropping by “Saturday Night Live”—the comedy program he used to regularly appear on for a quick cameo—in an effort to bring us around to his point of view.

But that John McCain has disappeared, replaced by a terminally angry man who would now be completely out of place in any environment designed to remind us that it is precisely because he did not take himself too seriously that we should take him all the more seriously.

I have no doubt that Senator McCain believes he is acting in the best interest of the nation. Isn’t that always the way of the ‘hero turned villain’ who believes that imposing his will on the world—by doing whatever it takes—is what is required of him? Don’t these characters always persuade themselves that, while the medicine they are forcing down our throats may be painful, illegal or immoral, we will all thank them for it in the end when we’ve finally seen with our own eyes just how right they are?

It’s tragic that this is the path that John McCain has chosen to pursue. However, it is not a path that we, as a nation, can tolerate from McCain or anyone else.

No matter how much you may agree with Senator McCain’s cost-cutting objectives…no matter how strong your belief that extreme cuts to any particular government program is essential to our financial survival… our national survival cannot be accomplished by giving in to those who would threaten to take us down if we fail to give in to their blackmail.

If Senator McCain— and those who share his point of view— wish to hold up every bit of legislation or appointment offered up by the President or the Democratic leadership in Congress, or utilize any of the many legitimate levers of power that come with the roles they have been granted by way of their being elected to office, that is their right.

It will then be up to the American people to determine whether or not the behavior of those willing to legally obstruct government in furtherance of their conscious was appropriate and in the best interest of the nation—an opinion that will be expressed by the voters during the 2014 election cycle and beyond.

However, threats to create an economic cataclysm as a means to accomplish a political or policy goal is not such a permissible tactic as such are the tactics of thugs and blackmailers. They are the tactics best left to the characters of comic literature and the movies—not the elected officials of a great democracy.

The President is right when he says he will not have a debate nor negotiate with those who seek to blackmail the nation into doing things their way. And whether you support this president or not, every Americans should stand up and reject this profoundly disturbing behavior on the part of Senator McCain and his cohorts. In America, we don’t negotiate with anyone who would threaten to destroy our country, no matter how much they have convinced themselves that it is, in some sick way, in the nation’s best interest to do so.

 

By: Rick Ungar, Op-Ed Contributor, Forbes, January 2, 2013

 

January 4, 2013 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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