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6 Months of CHumph Utter and Complete Failure

How did the Chumph fail the country?

Let’s count the ways.

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Let’s outline Trump’s achievements during his first six months in office

President Donald Trump’s first six months have been defined by his often angry and tasteless tweets, his ham-handed efforts to denigrate and undercut the multiple investigations into Russian influence in the 2016 election and the stalemated legislative battle to repeal and replace Obamacare.

But Trump is right in saying he has significantly influenced government and the nation’s image — though much of his impact has been negative. His most significant clear-cut triumph was installing conservative Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. He can take credit for slowing the inflow of illegal immigrants. And his impact has gone well beyond that, a conclusion on which two recent articles from opposite ends of the ideological spectrum agreed.

“While You Obsessed over Trump’s Scandals, He’s Fundamentally Changed the Country,” headlined Sam Stein in the liberal HuffPost. “Reporters only want to talk about Russia, instead of what Team trump is getting done,” was part of the headline over conservative Kimberly Strassel’s column in The Wall Street Journal.

With contrary attitudes, they cited some identical examples, from authorizing the Dakota Access Pipeline to easing environmental restrictions on energy protection.

Strassel hailed the Fish and Wildlife Service for slowing an endangered species listing for the Texas Hornshell, a freshwater mussel she said “threatens significant harm to the Texas economy.” Stein expressed concern over easing Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements for reporting worker injury data and letting coal companies dump debris into local streams.Image result for trump failure

Here are some other Trump “achievements:”

FOREIGN POLICY

-Embraced autocrats in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Egypt and abandoned longtime U.S leadership in seeking to enhance democracy and human rights.

-Insulted U.S. allies in Europe, especially Germany, and undercut longstanding U.S. treaty commitments.

-Compromised Israel’s intelligence sources.

-Spurred more divisiveness in an already divided Middle East by setting off a squabble between Saudi Arabia, a major U.S. ally, and Qatar, home of the region’s biggest U.S.  military base.

-Undermined U.S. global leadership on climate change by withdrawing from the Paris agreement, joining only Syria and Nicaragua as nonparticipants.

-Reversed decades of Republican support for free trade, ceding leadership in Asia to China by withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and elsewhere by encouraging the British exit from the European Community.

DOMESTIC POLICY

-Proposed a budget with massive cuts that would shred the social safety net and cripple longstanding governmental functions.

-Created uncertainty in the nation’s health care system by sending inconsistent administrative signals and supporting legislation that could deprive millions of people health insurance coverage, undermine Medicaid health support for lower income Americans and give wealthy taxpayers a massive tax cut.

-Mismanaged the federal government by failing to fill many top spots and installing an inexperienced, dysfunctional White House staff.

-Expanded the policy of deporting dangerous illegal aliens by including many people with minimal records, stable jobs and American families.

-Created a commission to investigate his unproven allegations of voter fraud because he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton.

-Reversed decades of bipartisan cooperation in extending environmental preservation of national landmarks.

-Hired foxes to watch the chicken coops by filling his administration with archconservatives, many with records opposing the very agencies in which they work, and curbing civil rights and environmental enforcement.

INSTITUTIONAL DAMAGE:Image result for trump failure

-Committed potentially impeachable offenses of obstructing justice that prompted appointment of a Special Counsel by firing FBI Director James Comey, because of his probe into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia, and urging other intelligence officials to pressure Comey to halt the probe.

-Undermined the courts with denunciations of judges and their decisions affecting his administration’s policies, especially those curbing his hastily issued ban on Muslim travel from certain countries.

-Without evidence, accused former President Barack Obama of illegally wiretapping his phones.

-Repeatedly misrepresented his administration’s policies and trashed officials with whom he has disagreements, calling the  ousted Comey “a nut job,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer the “head clown” and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi an “incompetent.”

-Intensified racial and other divisions by reducing governmental civil rights guarantees and reversing protections for sexual and racial minorities.

-Violated his own self-proclaimed ethics laws by allowing officials to deal with issues affecting their former employers. Permitted multiple instances in which he and other family members benefit financially from his presidency.

-Waged a vendetta against news outlets subjecting his administration to scrutiny, calling the mainstream media the “enemy of the American people” and denouncing unfavorable stories as “fake news.” Undercut White House press institutions intended to facilitate dialogue between the presidency and the public.

Trump has failed so far to enact promised measures to increase economic growth, resulting in reduced long-term forecasts. Many economic numbers he touts exaggerate his impact and denigrate the carryover effect of positive Obama policies. Military progress against ISIS has not eased its terrorist threat.

The result: the least support for any new modern president, an exacerbation of domestic divisions, and unprecedented global disdain and embarrassment.

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Conservative Writer – “Trump Too Stupid to be President”

The man that racism put into office is too stupid to be there.

Conservatives are beginning to jump the Chumph scow as fast as they can.

Here is another one –

“You know, I’m, like, a smart person.” Uh huh.

Donald Trump Is Proving Too Stupid to Be President

I’m starting to suspect that Donald Trump may not have been right when he said, “You know, I’m like a smart person.” The evidence continues to mount that he is far from smart — so far, in fact, that he may not be capable of carrying out his duties as president.

There is, for example, the story of how Trump met with the pastors of two major Presbyterian churches in New York. “I did very, very well with evangelicals in the polls,” he bragged. When the pastors told Trump they weren’t evangelicals, he demanded to know, “What are you then?” They told him they were mainline Presbyterians. “But you’re all Christians?” he asked. Yes, they had to assure him, Presbyterians are Christians. The kicker: Trump himself is Presbyterian.

Or the story of how Trump asked the editors of the Economist whether they had ever heard of the phrase “priming the pump.” Yes, they assured him, they had. “I haven’t heard it,” Trump continued. “I mean, I just … I came up with it a couple of days ago, and I thought it was good.” The phrase has been in widespread use since at least the 1930s.Or the story of how, after arriving in Israel from Saudi Arabia, Trump told his hosts, “We just got back from the Middle East.”These aren’t examples of stupidity, you may object, but of ignorance.

This has become a favorite talking point of Trump’s enablers. House Speaker Paul Ryan, for example, excused Trump’s attempts to pressure FBI Director James Comey into dropping a criminal investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on the grounds that “the president’s new at this” and supposedly didn’t realize that he was doing anything wrong. But Trump has been president for nearly five months now, and he has shown no capacity to learn on the job.

More broadly, Trump has had a lifetime — 71 years — and access to America’s finest educational institutions (he’s a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, he never tires of reminding us) to learn things. And yet he doesn’t seem to have acquired even the most basic information that a high school student should possess. Recall that Trump said that Frederick Douglass, who died in 1895, was “an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more.” He also claimed that Andrew Jackson, who died 16 years before the Civil War, “was really angry that he saw what was happening in regard to the Civil War.”

Why does he know so little? Because he doesn’t read books or even long articles. “I never have,” he proudly told a reporter last year. “I’m always busy doing a lot.”

As president, Trump’s intelligence briefings have been dumbed down, denuded of nuance, and larded with maps and pictures because he can’t be bothered to read a lot of words. He’d rather play golf.The surest indication of how not smart Trump is that he thinks his inability or lack of interest in acquiring knowledge doesn’t matter. He said last year that he reaches the right decisions “with very little knowledge other than the knowledge I [already] had, plus the words ‘common sense,’ because I have a lot of common sense and I have a lot of business ability.”How’s that working out?

There’s a reason why surveys show more support for Trump’s impeachment than for his presidency. From his catastrophically ill-conceived executive order on immigration to his catastrophically ill-conceived firing of Comey, his administration has been one disaster after another. And those fiascos can be ascribed directly to the president’s lack of intellectual horsepower.How could Trump fire Comey knowing that the FBI director could then testify about the improper requests Trump had made to exonerate himself and drop the investigation of Flynn? And in case there was any doubt about Trump’s intent, he dispelled it by acknowledging on TV that he had the “Russia thing” in mind when firing the FBI director. That’s tantamount to admitting obstruction of justice. Is this how a smart person behaves? If Trump decides to fire the widely respected special counsel Robert Mueller, he will only be compounding this stupidity.

Or what about Trump’s response to the June 3 terrorist attack in London? He reacted by tweeting his support for the “original Travel Ban,” rather than the “watered down, politically correct version” under review by the Supreme Court. Legal observers — including Kellyanne Conway’s husband — instantly saw that Trump was undermining his own case, because the travel ban had been revised precisely in order to pass judicial scrutiny. Indeed, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in refusing to reinstate the travel ban on June 12, cited Trump’s tweets against him. Is this how a smart person behaves?

You could argue that Trump’s lack of acumen is actually his saving grace, because he would be much more dangerous if he were cleverer in implementing his radical agenda. But you can also make the case that his vacuity is imperiling American security.

Trump shared “code-word information” with Russia’s foreign minister, apparently without realizing what he was doing. In the process, he may have blown America’s best source of intelligence on Islamic State plots — a top-secret Israeli penetration of the militant group’s computers.

Trump picked a fight on Twitter with Qatar, apparently not knowing that this small, oil-rich emirate is host to a major U.S. air base that is of vital importance in the air war against the Islamic State.

Trump criticized London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, based on a blatant misreading of what Khan said in the aftermath of the June 3 attack: The mayor had said there was “no reason to be alarmed” about a heightened police presence on the streets — not, as Trump claimed, about the threat of terrorism. In the process, Trump has alienated British public opinion and may have helped the anti-American Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, win votes in Britain’s general election.

Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accord apparently because he thinks that global warming — a scientifically proven fact — is a hoax. His speech announcing the pullout demonstrated that he has no understanding of what the Paris accord actually is — a nonbinding compact that does not impose any costs on the United States.

Trump failed to affirm Article V, a bedrock of NATO, during his visit to Brussels, apparently because he labors under the misapprehension that European allies owe the United States and NATO “vast sums of money.” In fact, NATO members are now increasing their defense spending, but the money will not go to the United States or to the alliance; it will go to their own armed forces. Trump has since said he supports Article V, but his initial hesitation undermines American credibility and may embolden Russia.

Trump supporters used to claim that sage advisors could make up for his shortcomings. But he is proving too willful and erratic to be steered by those around him who know better. As Maggie Haberman of the New York Times notes: “Trump doesn’t want to be controlled. In [the] campaign, [he] would often do [the] opposite of what he was advised to do, simply because it was opposite.”

The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that if the vice president and a majority of the cabinet certify that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” he can be removed with the concurrence of two-thirds of both houses. That won’t happen, because Republicans are too craven to stand up to Trump. But on the merits perhaps it should. After nearly five months in office, Trump has given no indication that he possesses the mental capacity to be president.

 

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Hillary Opens a 10 Gallon Can of Whoop-A on the Chumph

10 Gallon?

Yeah … Apparently she is saving the other 90 for future “debates”.

While she scored big points on his Tax Returns, DOJ Discrimination lawsuits, and bankruptcies…She left out his numerous fraudulent businesses (Trump University, Trump steaks, Trump wine), his comments on “Mexican rapists”, and the black community. Next time.

She pricked his ego time after time, which led to the typical Chumph meltdown.

Then she calmly explained detailed policy proposals including ending mass incarceration, the shutdown of private prisons, fixing the judicial system, and retraining Police.

While self described rich guy Chumph bragged about not paying taxes, went into several rants about how people loved him, and being a “successful” businessman.

MELTDOWN!

Now – none of this is going to change the minds of his base, because his base is motivated by racism. And you can’t reason anyone out of a position which reason didn’t get them into in the first place.

Last Night a poll was released by The Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University which seems to derail a lot of the polling showing the Chumph catching up to Hillary-

  1. In a head-to-head matchup, Clinton is favored by 48 percent of likely voters in Virginia, and Trump is backed by 38 percent.
  2. In the two-way matchup, Clinton leads Trump among women by 28 points, 57 percent to 29 percent. Trump, however, has an advantage among men, 49 percent to 37 percent.
  3. Clinton leads among white, college-educated voters, 45 percent to 40 percent, and Trump has a large advantage among noncollege educated white voters, 64 percent to 24 percent.
  4. According to the poll, 53 percent of Virginia voters think Trump is racist.

Admittedly, there are a lot of uneducated white men out there…But not enough to win an election.

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Hillary’s Trump trap: Clinton laid a series of snares, and Donald charged right into them

Hillary Clinton had two tasks for that debate: Looking presidential and making Trump look like a fool. Nailed it

There’s an iconic scene at the end of the dark 1980s comedy classic “Heathers” in which Veronica (Winona Ryder), watches J.D. (Christian Slater), an occasionally charming but mostly terrifying psychopath, blow himself up. J.D., who is forever ranting and raving about how the world doesn’t respect him enough, had intended to destroy their high school with his bomb. Veronica was able, through great effort, to stop him. Victorious, she puts her cigarette in her mouth, waits and watches as J.D.’s own bomb destroys him, while also lighting her cigarette.

That’s how the first general election presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump played out Monday night.

The high school that is our nation isn’t safe yet, but Clinton did exactly what she needed to do during this first debate: She established herself as smart, calm and presidential, and then stood silently by while her opponent blew himself up.

As an experiment, I eschewed reading Twitter or watching post-debate analysis on cable news in order to watch the proceedings in a packed bar in Brooklyn. The crowd wasn’t a cross-section of America, to be sure, but they were exactly the liberal base that Clinton needs to get fired up for November, and from my vantage point, she did exactly that. She staked out openly progressive positions on a variety of issues, ranging from job creation to criminal justice reform (her comments about implicit bias and the evils of stop-and-frisk went over especially well with the New York crowd). She emphasized, with repeated references to her website, that she is the candidate who actually has policy proposals to get things done, instead of vague, hyperbolic promises.

But it was clear that Clinton’s main goal was goading Trump into revealing his true self, and proving conclusively that no amount of training or pleading from aides will turn Trump from the narcissistic hothead that he is into someone that can be trusted with the nuclear codes. The plan worked, and from Clinton’s triumphant and eminently gif-able wiggle in the middle of the debate, it’s clear that she knew it.

Trump began the debate with a subdued tone, eschewing his usual shouting for a half-hearted imitation of what a responsible statesman looks like, and maintained that composure for a whopping 10 minutes, perhaps even 15. Then Clinton rolled out her first piece of bait.

“You know, Donald was very fortunate in his life, and that’s all to his benefit,” she said. “He started his business with $14 million, borrowed from his father, and he really believes that the more you help wealthy people, the better off we’ll be and that everything will work out from there.”

Clinton went on to detail how she would prefer to invest in the middle class, and from then it was on. Trump took the bait, issuing an angry defense of his father giving him money, and with the plug pulled out, the incoherent ranting lunatic that he was barely containing inside came pouring out.

And the angrier Trump got, the more confident Clinton became (as you do when your carefully laid plans blossom into glorious fruition). She was even able to pull off a number of zingers, which are not exactly her strong suit.

Much credit goes to moderator Lester Holt, who largely steered away from “gotcha” questions that so many journalists mistake for hard questions, leaning more towards open-ended, policy-oriented questions. Conservatives will no doubt be furious, since answering such questions requires coherence and an ability to explain the details, two skills Trump hasn’t mastered. But it’s worth remembering this is a presidential race, not a kindergarten class. If Trump can’t handle the basics of being a politician, the voters need to know that.

The most telling section of the debate was the lengthy exchange about race and criminal justice. Clinton emphasized the value of nuanced policy that balances the need for safety with protecting human rights: Training police to address racism, ending the private prison system, enacting gun safety measures to reduce violent crime, getting rid of unjust mandatory minimum sentences and doing more to help people with mental health issues so they don’t end up in ugly encounters with police.

Trump, in contrast, claimed that “African-Americans, Hispanics are living in hell” andcompared living in major American cities to living in a “war-torn country.” He then suggested that black voters are a bunch of dupes who have “been abused and used in order to get votes by Democrat politicians.”

At that point it got even worse for Trump, because Holt asked him the question that countless people have been demanding:

Mr. Trump, for five years, you perpetuated a false claim that the nation’s first black president was not a natural-born citizen. You questioned his legitimacy. In the last couple of weeks, you acknowledged what most Americans have accepted for years: The president was born in the United States. Can you tell us what took you so long?

Rather than answer the question, Trump rolled out an incoherent right-wing conspiracy theory accusing the 2008 Clinton campaign of starting the birther movement. (It didn’t, and her campaign was diligent about firing people who spread the rumor).

He then crowed, “She failed to get the birth certificate. When I got involved, I didn’t fail. I got him to give the birth certificate.”

Clinton knew better than to dispute a conspiracy theory that’s really only known to people who refresh Breitbart all day long.

Instead, she responded by saying, “Well, just listen to what you heard.”

She then reminded the audience both that she was working for Obama when Trump was dogging him about his birth certificate and that Trump has a history of being sued by the Department of Justice for racial discrimination.

His response? “We settled the suit with zero — with no admission of guilt. It was very easy to do.”

And then again, for emphasis: “Because I settled that lawsuit with no admission of guilt, but that was a lawsuit brought against many real estate firms, and it’s just one of those things.”

Perhaps “no admission of guilt” should be the Trump campaign’s new motto. It has a certain ring to it.

 
 

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Republican Arizona Senator John McCain’s Dementia

Republican Arizona Senator McCain has further disqualified himself from office. Hopefully the folks in Arizona this November will recognize his failing mental acuity and falling status…

In this Oct. 20, 2015 photo Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., talks to reporters near the subway on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP)

A portrait of dementia…

John McCain: President Obama is ‘directly responsible’ for Orlando

When Donald Trump said yesterday that President Obama was “directly responsible” for the deadliest mass-shooting in American history, it was the latest evidence of a candidate who’s abandoned any sense of propriety or decency.
Wait, did I say Donald Trump? I meant John McCain.
Republican Sen. John McCain on Thursday blamed President Barack Obama for the deadly shooting in Orlando that killed 49 club goers.
He said the president is “directly responsible for it because” of his “utter failures” in Iraq.
“Barack Obama is directly responsible for it because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al Qaeda went to Syria and became ISIS and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures, utter failures by pulling everybody out of Iraq thinking that conflicts end just because we leave,” McCain told reporters on Capitol Hill, according to audio obtained by NBC News.
The senator added, “So the responsibility for it lies with President Barack Obama and his failed policies.”
It wasn’t long before McCain realized this kind of unhinged rhetoric might be problematic, so the senator soon after issued a follow-up statement saying he “misspoke.”
That’s probably not the right word. When someone says “Iraq” when they meant “Iran,” that’s misspeaking. When the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee delivers a 65-word rant blaming the president for a mass murder, that’s more than a slip of the tongue.
McCain added, by way of a “clarification,” that he was blaming the president’s “national security decisions” for the rise of ISIS, “not the president himself.”
How gracious of him.
The clumsy walk-back notwithstanding, what’s wrong with McCain’s argument? Everything.
Right off the bat, let’s not forget that the lunatic responsible for the Orlando massacre was not a member of ISIS. He may have been inspired in some way by the terrorists, and he may have pledged some kind of allegiance to them, but there’s no evidence at all that ISIS was somehow involved in planning and/or executing this attack.
It may be politically convenient to blame a foreign foe for an American buying guns in America and then killing Americans on American soil, but giving ISIS more credit than it deserves is a mistake.
Second, McCain’s broader point is hard to take seriously. Here’s the senator’s logic: Obama withdrew U.S. troops from Iraq in 2010, which eventually and indirectly led to the creation of ISIS, which eventually led lunatics to identify with ISIS, which eventually led to the Orlando mass-shooting.
Even putting aside the bizarre leaps of logic necessarily to adopt such a thesis, McCain is overlooking the fact that (a) he celebrated Obama’s troop withdrawal in 2010; (b) the troop withdrawal was the result of a U.S./Iraq Status of Forces Agreement negotiated by the Bush/Cheney administration; and (c) by the senator’s own reasoning, given his enthusiastic support for the war in Iraq, McCain would have to hold himself “directly responsible” for the Orlando slayings, too….
 
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Posted by on June 17, 2016 in Stupid Republican Tricks

 

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Uncle Ben Threatens to Take His Marble and Go Home

Uncle Ben, whose candidacy is now in free fall after being exposed as a fraud is now threatening to leave the Republican Party if he doesn’t win.

Poor Baby!

Ben Carson Threatens To Leave The GOP

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson may consider an independent bid for the White House, angry over a report on Republican Party maneuvering involving this summer’s national nominating convention, U.S. media reported on Friday.

Carson was angry over a Washington Post report that Republican leaders were preparing for a brokered convention to pick their 2016 White House candidate.

“If it is correct, every voter who is standing for change must know they are being betrayed. I won’t stand for it,” Carson said in statement, Politico and CNN reported. If the report was accurate, he said, “I assure you Donald Trump won’t be the only one leaving the party.”

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2015 in Black Conservatives, The Clown Bus

 

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Romney Support Among Black People…

Marginally beats their Support of KKK!

While at least some portion of the rejection of Romney by black folks has to do with the mistaken impression that Mormons are racist – a lot has to do with his cuddling up to the far right of the Republican Party which make no mistake – IS racist. Black folks have already seen the “good white guy” routine with George W. Bush who let the Republican bigot brigade tale control of parts of the Federal Government, including the Department of Justice.

Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan indicated that he is fully bent over for the racist right, and servicing them is one of the political realities of the modern Republican Party.

So he is going to lose 70-80% of the Hispanic vote as well.

Sig Heil…Indeed.

Poll: 0 percent of blacks for Mitt Romney

President Barack Obama continues to beat Mitt Romney among African American voters with a staggering 94 percent to 0 percent lead, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll — which gives Obama and Vice President Joe Biden a small lead over Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan — shows Obama has a massive lead over his Republican rival in the key political base of African-American voters, NBCNews.com reported.

Obama also beats Romney among Latinos, voters under 35 and women, while Romney does better than Obama with whites, rural voters and seniors.

The poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters Aug. 16-20. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points

Looking inside the numbers, Obama continues to lead Romney among key parts of his political base, including African Americans (94 percent to 0 percent), Latinos (by a 2-to-1 margin), voters under 35-years-old (52 percent to 41 percent) and women (51 percent to 41 percent).

Romney is ahead with whites (53 percent to 40 percent), rural voters (47 percent to 38 percent) and seniors (49 percent to 41 percent).

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Stupid Republican Tricks, The New Jim Crow

 

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Why Bin Lauden Won the War

It has become obvious to members of the intelligentsia what has been obvious to some of us for a very long time…

Bin Lauden, and Al Quada have won the “War of Terrorism”.

It started with the entirely unnecessary and illegitimate invasion of Iraq, and has gone steadily downhill since then.

The objective of international terrorism to to fool larger enemies into giving up their freedom, and into becoming frozen by fear. We had an entire presidential administration under the Bushit which used that fear to shred our Constitution and Laws. Today’s Republican Party, serving as little more than Faux New’s sock puppet, and the Tea Party’s legitimacy – revels in promoting fear for political gain. When you see the Tea Bagger clowns marching down our streets to protest the building of a Muslim Religious Center near the site of the WTC Buildings…

If you haven’t figured it our yet – Bin Lauden won.

Back during the bad old days of the Bushit Administration I argued that the best response to the downing of the 110 Story WTC Buildings…

Was to build 200 story buildings on the same spot.

But the chicken littles won that argument…

Just like Bin Lauden has won the war.

Ted Koppel hits one out of the park with this one – finally pointing out what should have been obvious.

Ted Koppel: Nine years after 9/11, let’s stop fulfilling bin Laden’s goals

The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, succeeded far beyond anything Osama bin Laden could possibly have envisioned. This is not just because they resulted in nearly 3,000 deaths, nor only because they struck at the heart of American financial and military power. Those outcomes were only the bait; it would remain for the United States to spring the trap.

The goal of any organized terrorist attack is to goad a vastly more powerful enemy into an excessive response. And over the past nine years, the United States has blundered into the 9/11 snare with one overreaction after another. Bin Laden deserves to be the object of our hostility, national anguish and contempt, and he deserves to be taken seriously as a canny tactician. But much of what he has achieved we have done, and continue to do, to ourselves. Bin Laden does not deserve that we, even inadvertently, fulfill so many of his unimagined dreams.

It did not have to be this way. The Bush administration’s initial response was just about right. The calibrated combination of CIA operatives, special forces and air power broke the Taliban in Afghanistan and sent bin Laden and the remnants of al-Qaeda scurrying across the border into Pakistan. The American reaction was quick, powerful and effective — a clear warning to any organization contemplating another terrorist attack against the United States. This is the point at which President George W. Bush should have declared “mission accomplished,” with the caveat that unspecified U.S. agencies and branches of the military would continue the hunt for al-Qaeda’s leader. The world would have understood, and most Americans would probably have been satisfied. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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