Monday, September 17, 2012

This & That

As the violence in the Middle East increased over the weekend so too did Republican criticism of the president’s foreign policy.  Republicans took to the Sunday talk shows to lay blame for the unrest on the president. They said that president’s “weak” “apologetic” and “confusing policies have emboldened our enemies.  “They don’t respect us.  They don’t fear us” said ranking Republican Congressman Peter King on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.”
So let’s take a look at the facts.
“Weak”—the president tripled the troops in Afghanistan, ramped up the drone attacks which have decimated Al Qaeda leadership and increased the use of Special Ops Forces to disrupt the flow of arms, supplies and intelligence to our enemies.  The president eliminated Osama bin Laden.
“Apologetic”--NBC NEWS went back and examined all of the president’s foreign policy speeches over the past 3 ½ years.  They could not find one instance where the president apologized for America’s actions.  The president admitted that we made mistakes.  That’s not an apology…that’s honesty.
“Confusing”—the president has consistently said throughout his term that he would end the war in Iraq, take the fight to Al Qaeda and use all means necessary to defend American interests and values.  History shows that he has kept his word.
If Republicans wish to misguidedly blame this president for the current unrest in the Middle East, then they certainly have that right.  But if we follow their logic we would naturally expect them to blame the policies of George W. Bush for the attacks on the World Trade Center and a decade of civil violence in Iraq…right?   
CAMPAIGN – The Romney campaign continues to chase shiny objects while party leaders shake their heads.  The latest word out of Boston is to ignore the candidates plummeting poll numbers because “they are biased.”  They also said that voters should “focus only on the national polls and ignore those taken in the individual states.”...a theory that defies decades of campaign strategy.  Boston also blamed Obama for what they perceived as the miss-treatment of the producer of the amateur film that sparked the Middle East uprising.  California law enforcement officers brought the film’s producer, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula in for questioning and later released him.  Nakoula was convicted in 2010 for bank fraud.  His conviction included a 5 year ban from using computers or the internet. He was questioned under the pretense that his production of the film may have been in violation of his probation.  Conservatives blamed Obama for “the brown shirts violating Nakoula's right to express his Christian beliefs.”
Romney is a flawed candidate whose campaign is in disarray.  These are not our words.  These are the words uttered by Rupert Murdock, the Wall Street Journal, Erik Ericson, Rush Limbaugh, and a host of conservative leaders and pundits.
VOTER FRAUD – The Pennsylvania State Supreme Court is expected to rule this week on the state’s controversial voter identification law.  If the law is allowed to stand an estimated 750,000 Pennsylvanians who voted in the last election will not be allowed to vote in this one.
News21 is a national investigative reporting project funded by the Carnegie Corp. of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.  They conducted an exhaustive public records search across all fifty states to determine once and for all if voter fraud did in fact exist. 
According to Natasha Khan and Corbin Carson of News21: “A News21 analysis of the 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases nationwide since 2000 shows that, while fraud has occurred, the rate is infinitesimal.  In addition, the analysis shows that in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tough voter ID laws, is virtually nonexistent.” 
News21’s analysis turned up 10 cases of voter impersonation since 2000.  With 146 million registered voters in the US that amounts to one out of every 15 million prospective voters.
So given the infinitesimal number of actual cases of voter fraud; why are Republican controlled state legislatures imposing these new voter ID laws?  Is it racism, bigotry, fear, cronyism or just typical dirty politics?  The correct answer is…all of the above.  

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