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Member since: Sat May 15, 2010, 04:48 PM
Number of posts: 4,729

Journal Archives

A white male mayoral candidate . . .

. . . married to an African American woman who considered herself a lesbian when they met, with two biracial children, is surging in the polls. God, I love New York at times like this!

Meet the de Blasio family: daughter Chiara, son Dante, mother Chirlane McCray and father Bill!

Posted by markpkessinger | Sun Sep 8, 2013, 12:05 AM (2 replies)

On a much needed lighter note, here's a gem for all of us, no matter where we stand on Syria . . .

. . . There's a wingnut page on Facebook named, "Impeach Obama." Most of us have probably seen, or at least heard about, the Andy Borowits piece in the New Yorker titled, "G20 Ends Abruptly as Obama Calls Putin a Jackass." So the Wingnut page Impeach Obama posts the Borowitz piece on its page -- failing to understand that it was satire! Here's the link to the posting:



Posted by markpkessinger | Sat Sep 7, 2013, 06:15 PM (1 replies)

Regime Change and its Unintended Consequences -- or have we forgotten arleady?

The last time we decided to effect regime change for the 'benefit' of a Middle Eastern country, it was Saddam Hussein. Now, Hussein was surely every bit as brutal a dictator as Bashar al Assad. But here's the thing: in removing Saddam, one of the unintended consequences was that we would up creating a geopolitical power vacuum in the region, which in turn resulted in Iran rushing in to fill the void, and becoming a major power-broker in the region in a way that it never had been previously. And horrible as both of these men are/were, the one thing they had in common was they both at least maintained a secular government in their respective countries, as opposed to a government by fundamentalist clerics. Syria, like Iraq, is a culturally complex country. And taking out Assad without having a clear idea what or who will replace him is, from the standpoint of U.S. security interests, sheer madness.
Posted by markpkessinger | Sat Sep 7, 2013, 09:00 AM (0 replies)

Here is what the President could say to the nation on Tuesday that would go a long way towards...

... restoring my confidence in him as President. I thought of this when I was thinking about what the President would say to the nation on Tuesday. I really think he should not continue to try to sell us on his strategy. The American people are opposed, and are really pretty clear about why they are opposed. They have heard the President's argument, and they understand it. They simply disagree with it. So then I began wondering, what would I like to hear from the President? What would help restore some confidence in him as a leader. Here is what I came up with.

My fellow Americans:

Many people, including some of my own staff, were shocked when last week I announced that I was presenting to Congress,my case for, and asking for its authorization for, limited military strikes against the government of Syria, in order to send a message to the Syrian government that the community of civilized nations will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons by a government against its own people. I believed then, and I believe now, that it is critically important that President Bashar al Assad be forced to bear a heavy price for his use of those weapons, and it was and is my belief that a series of limited, targeted strikes against Syrian military installations would be the best way to impose that price.

I believe that that the evidence clearly establishes that the chemical attacks of several weeks ago were carried out by the Syrian government, and that we presented a solid case to Congress in support of our proposed action. However, many others have disagreed with my Administration's determination as to both the validity of that evidence, and/or the interpretation of it. And in the course of the past week, the American people have made their will abundantly clear that they are overwhelmingly opposed to the course of action I have proposed. Whenever the United States engages another country militarily, it is crucial to the success of the mission that the nation stands united behind that mission. To undertake any such mission without such support is a fool's errand. Therefore, in light of the vote by Congress against such military strikes, and in acknowledgment of the clearly voiced will of the American people, I am hereby withdrawing my proposal for limited military strikes against the government of Syria.

I remain utterly convinced, however, that the international community must take a firm stand against the use of chemical weapons. Therefore, in the coming days, I will be presenting to Congress and to foreign leaders a series of proposals for economic sanctions, including the freezing of President Bashar's assets held in other nations, as well as discussing any and all available diplomatic means that can be brought to bear in order to express the world's outrage over the use of chemical weapons.

Thank you.
Posted by markpkessinger | Sat Sep 7, 2013, 07:04 AM (11 replies)

If the President were to proceed against the wishes of Congress and the People . . .

. . . after having agreed to take the decision to Congress, merely because he didn't get the answer he wanted, I am fairly certain it would result in an impeachment effort. And in that event, much as it would pain me to do so, I would have to support such an effort. Proceeding against such overwhelming opposition would represent the absolute height of executive arrogance.

The President and John Kerry need to step back and remember that this is more than a mere executive/legislative turf war.
Posted by markpkessinger | Fri Sep 6, 2013, 03:44 PM (12 replies)

NYT: Pentagon Is Ordered to Expand Potential Targets in Syria With a Focus on Forces

'Limited engagement' my ass! The administration is running a con job!

Pentagon Is Ordered to Expand Potential Targets in Syria With a Focus on Forces

WASHINGTON — President Obama has directed the Pentagon to develop an expanded list of potential targets in Syria in response to intelligence suggesting that the government of President Bashar al-Assad has been moving troops and equipment used to employ chemical weapons while Congress debates whether to authorize military action.

Mr. Obama, officials said, is now determined to put more emphasis on the “degrade” part of what the administration has said is the goal of a military strike against Syria — to “deter and degrade” Mr. Assad’s ability to use chemical weapons. That means expanding beyond the 50 or so major sites that were part of the original target list developed with French forces before Mr. Obama delayed action on Saturday to seek Congressional approval of his plan.

For the first time, the administration is talking about using American and French aircraft to conduct strikes on specific targets, in addition to ship-launched Tomahawk cruise missiles. There is a renewed push to get other NATO forces involved.

The strikes would be aimed not at the chemical stockpiles themselves — risking a potential catastrophe — but rather the military units that have stored and prepared the chemical weapons and carried the attacks against Syrian rebels, as well as the headquarters overseeing the effort, and the rockets and artillery that have launched the attacks, military officials said Thursday.

< . . . >

Read full article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/06/world/middleeast/pentagon-is-ordered-to-expand-potential-targets-in-syria-with-a-focus-on-forces.html
Posted by markpkessinger | Fri Sep 6, 2013, 03:31 AM (5 replies)

Reich: Cliff notes on a potentially disastrous decision

From Robert Reich's Facebook page:

Robert Reich · 119,919 like this
13 hours ago ·

Cliff notes on a potentially disastrous decision. (1) Were Syrian civilians killed by chemical weapons? Yes. (2) How many? Estimates vary. (3) Was Assad responsible? Probably but not definitely. (4) Should the world respond? Yes. (5) What’s the best response? Economic sanctions and a freeze on Syrian assets. (6) What are the advantages of bombing Syria with missiles? (a) Highly visible response, (b) no American troops on the ground. (7) What are the disadvantages? (a) Syrian civilians will inevitably be killed, (b) it will fuel more anti-American, anti-Western sentiment, thereby increasing the ranks of terrorists in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East, (c) our involvement will escalate if Assad or others use additional chemical weapons or engage in retribution against the us or Israel, (d) we have no exit strategy, (e) most of our allies aren’t with us, and we can’t be the world’s policeman everywhere, (f) it will distract us from critical problems at home, (g) the Syrian rebels are not our friends. (8) So why is Obama pursuing this so vigorously? (Your theory?)
Posted by markpkessinger | Fri Sep 6, 2013, 12:11 AM (3 replies)

Poll: Support for the President on Syria

Do you support the President on Syria?
Posted by markpkessinger | Thu Sep 5, 2013, 10:35 PM (6 replies)

Excellent question!

Tweeted by Kevin Jon Heller, Professor of Criminal Law, University of London, SOAS:

Posted by markpkessinger | Thu Sep 5, 2013, 07:47 PM (5 replies)

Mental health officials identify new syndrome: "PDS"

Mental health officials have confirmed the identification of a new mental health disorder, a sister condition to ODS ("Obama Derangement Syndrome), which has been named, "Paul Derangement Syndrome" (PDS). The condition, afflicting certain factions of Democrats, is characterized by the rather curious belief that no opinion or position embraced by anyone with the last name Paul and first name of Rand or Ron could ever, under any circumstances, have any shred of validity, and therefore must be vigorously opposed, even if and when the opinion is one the syndrome sufferer might have supported prior to becoming aware that it was shared by Rand or Ron Paul. It is also marked by a tendency to reduce complex issues to simple, binary and logically fallacious choices and a firm disbelief in broken clocks.

Posted by markpkessinger | Wed Sep 4, 2013, 08:52 PM (5 replies)
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