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If GOP campaign buttons were honestI had great difficulty deciding on just one topic to focus on in this week. A week that saw a U.S. soldier go “nuts”, sneak out under cover of darkness and murder 16 Afghan civilians (NINE of whom were children); A week that saw the otherwise brilliant Rachel Maddow completely blow an exclusive interview (full podcast here) with lead Global Warming denier Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), wasting half of the interview to confront him on his support for Uganda’s “kill the gays” legislation and never actually challenging him on his anti-Climate Change crackpottery; and yesterday watching as ABC’s “ThisWeek” bring on Fmr. Gov Haley “pardoned 210 felons” Barbour (R-MS) to critique President Obama (only later, fill-in host Karl directing viewers to “visit the ABC News website for their discussion of Barbour’s controversial pardons). Oh, and “Meet The Press” officially declared its irrelevance and became “The John McCain Show” after (as Gregory admitted by the end) McCain’s “68th appearance” on that program (with the Iraq War now over, McCain only leaves his tent in the NBC courtyard long enough to appear on other network shows). With all that, I decided it was best to split this op/ed into two parts, rather than allow any “one” topic to fester in my brain any longer than necessary.

First, the Afghanistan Massacre. Question: Why was a soldier sent on his FOURTH deployment DESPITE having suffered a traumatic brain injury and loss of half of one foot (yet never received a Purple Heart and was passed up for promotion) even IN Afghanistan? And despite supposedly lauded service prior to this incident, what was someone with a civilian criminal record even doing in the military? THAT little loophole came courtesy of President George W Bush in 2005, when he granted “moral waivers”, allowing the recruitment of people with “criminal records, emotional problems, and weak educational backgrounds” after he started running out of cannon-fodder to feed the Iraq War Machine he switched on but couldn’t switch off.

As horrific as this crime was, people are once again asking, “Why are we still there?” The consensus finally appears to be that it is time to leave. Even Conservative icon George Will said on ABC’s “ThisWeek” yesterday: “It is time. To. Come. Home.” The lone holdout? John “100 Years” McCain, who revived his old reasoning for staying in Iraq, declaring there’s no reason to not stay in Afghanistan indefinitely, telling MtP’s David Gregory, “We still have troops in Korea and Germany.” Good point, Senator. why in the Hell are we still in THOSE countries too?

McCain flat-out lies to The Gregory, claiming that Afghan President Hamid Karzai wants us to stay longer, but after President Obama unilaterally declared a timetable for our withdrawal, Karzai was left with no option but to come out in support of it. Complete bullshit. As author/vet Wes Moore pointed out later in the broadcast, “Obama didn’t set the 2014 deadline. Karzai did!”

Also of note yesterday, both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum were invited on as “exclusive guests” to several Sunday shows. Romney appeared on Fox “news” Sunday, while Santorum appeared on ABC’s “ThisWeek” and CNN’s “State of the Union”. On FnS, Romney accused President Obama of a “Failure of leadership” in Afghanistan, claiming Obama is “not engaged” and that if he/Romney were president, he’d “be on the phone with Karzai every day”.

He says this twice. And I’m wondering, “What exactly would Mittens be telling the president of Afghanistan to do? Order Karzai to tell his people to please stop shooting at us?” Maybe have him politely ask the Afghans not to burn the American flag when they protest the massacre of seven adults and nine children? What exactly does Romney think he can fix with daily phone calls to Afghanistan? I’m mean, seriously.

Romney goes on to say, “Time and again he proves this is a president that just does not have experience in tough situations.

Forget for a moment bin Laden, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, et al I’m wondering just what “experience” Romney has in “tough situations” that makes him more qualified to be president? “Nerves of steel” that allowed him to fire thousands of workers and still sleep at night? “Tough situations” like “calmly pulling over to hose off the car when your terrified dog loses all bowel control after you strapped him to the roof? (Note: The reporter that first documented the anecdote in a profile of Mitt Romney said it was meant to illustrate Romney’s “emotion-free crisis management” skills. No, I’m not kidding.)

Then came Rick Santorum, who doubled down on his ridiculous lie to the people of Puerto Rico, telling them that their statehood was legally dependent upon their ability to speak English. More bovine excrement. There is no “you must speak English before you’re granted statehood” law or Constitutional requirement. Rick just pulled that out of his Santorum. But when asked about his comment on ABC’s “ThisWeek”, Santorum claimed that “in the past, SOME states were required to speak English first before becoming states.” Another flat-out lie. This would come as a huge surprise to Alaska or Hawaii… the last two states admitted to the union. Just before them, New Mexico and Arizona were granted statehood simultaneously in 1906. 50% of New Mexicans spoke Spanish while 20% of Arizonians were Native American. It’s also worth noting most Puerto Ricans ALREADY speak English. Rick probably got the idea from the “English only requirement” that elected officials… both state & Federal… must speak English. But this has nothing to do with statehood. Conservatives have NO problem making up ridiculous nonsense out of thin air simply to support their mistaken beliefs. Just watch Fox “news” for half a day and I guarantee you’ll hear at least five examples before lunch.

Well, that’s enough head shaking and eye-rolling for one morning. I’ll have to get to the “Kingmarkers: Gingrich & Paul, later. Be sure to return Wednesday for Part-2. Oh, and… as noted above… be sure to subscribe to our Twitter Feed.


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