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Democratic Committee Meeting

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The GOP Clown Car of Ideas

Hello America,   I am Ronald Reagan a Republican Tea Party legend.   I was caught supplying weapons to murderous regimes, TWICE!    I caved to the demands of terrorist TWICE!    I provided the funding to create the terrorist organization that would later become Al Qaeda. I supported the white racist regime apartheid in South Africa.   138 members of my administration were investigated, indicted or convicted of crimes.    I made abortion legal in California.    I granted amnesty to over 4 million illegal immigrants.    I tripled the national debt in only 8 years.    I robbed the Social Security fund to pay for my budget shortfalls.   Reagan’s policies allowed hundreds of thousands of family farms to go out of business or declare bankruptcy.   Thank you for voting Republican.

The Texas Republican Party platform 2012. They hate Homosexuality

We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit.   Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.   Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle, in public policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.”    We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin.    Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction or belief in traditional values.

Family and Defense of Marriage

We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman, which is the foundational unit of a healthy society, and we oppose the assault on marriage by judicial activists.   We call on the President and Congress to take immediate action to defend the sanctity of marriage.   We are resolute that Congress exercise authority under the United States Constitution, and pass legislation withholding jurisdiction from the Federal Courts in cases involving family law, especially any changes in the definition of marriage.   We further call on Congress to pass and the state legislatures to ratify a marriage amendment declaring that marriage in the United States shall consist of and be recognized only as the union of a natural man and a natural woman.

Neither the United States nor any state shall recognize or grant to any unmarried person the legal rights or status of a spouse.   We oppose the recognition of and granting of benefits to people who represent themselves as domestic partners without being legally married.   We advocate the repeal of laws that place an unfair tax burden on families.   We call upon Congress to completely remove the marriage penalty in the tax code, whereby a married couple receives a smaller standard deduction than their unmarried counterparts living together.    The primary family unit consists of those related by blood, heterosexual marriage, or adoption.   The family is responsible for its own welfare, education, moral training, conduct, and property.

                         Mike Pence

If there’s one takeaway from Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s “religious freedom restoration” debacle, it’s that Republicans ignore today’s cultural 
environment at their peril.

Conservatives can continue to live in a bubble if they want to, but they should expect blowback, because outside that bubble is a far different  reality.

Pence seems shocked by the widespread perception that his state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act invites businesses and individuals to discriminate against gay people on the grounds that serving them would, or might, infringe on the religious owners’ beliefs.   But what other conclusion is there?

The law came shortly after the courts legalized gay marriage in Indiana last fall.   It is more expansive than other state laws and a federal version passed 20 years ago.    For example Indiana does not have civil rights protections in place for gay people.    Several anti-gay activists were invited to watch Pence sign the bill.   And Pence punted time after time after time on ABC’s “This Week” when asked if the new law permits discrimination against gays.

Maybe Pence simply decided to cross his fingers and hope for the best.   Or maybe, cosseted in the Christian right echo chamber, he was oblivious to how all of this would be received in the wider world.    Either way, his action, and its reflection on his party, is about as forward-looking as the revived Republican hostility to immigration reform.   Forget about the future, it doesn’t even acknowledge the world as it exists today.

Most people – 87 percent in a Pew poll two years ago – personally know someone who is gay or lesbian.   Most people – 63 percent in a Gallup poll last year – say same-sex couples should have the legal right to adopt a child.   Most people – a record high of 59 percent in a new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll – say they favor same-sex marriage.   In a new poll of millennials aged 18 to 35 by the Public Religion Research Institute, 73 percent support legal protections against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing for gay and lesbian people.   Former Mitt Romney pollster Alex Lundry said two years ago that 64 percent of evangelical millennials support same-sex marriage.

The trend is similar on immigration.   Even now, despite the GOP retreat from immigration reform and its lawsuit against President Barack Obama for imposing unilateral reform through executive actions, well over half the public supports a path to citizenship for many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States and three-quarters support Obama’s moves to protect millions from deportation.

The Republican Party knows all this, or at least some of its leaders did when they released an after-action report on why Romney lost the 2012 
election.   They saw that the GOP was on a collision course with history.

By contrast, Pence seemed to be arguing his case on ABC in a historical vacuum.    It was as if the last 20 years had not happened – 20 years capped by rapid advances such as gay marriage and openly gay soldiers.   It was as if 2014 had not happened – a year in which Arizona Gov.    Jan Brewer, a conservative Republican, vetoed a similar “religious freedom” bill after an outcry from businesses, advocacy groups and politicians of both parties. 

It was as if the last few months had not happened – months in which the same collection of interests expressed deep concerns about the prospective 
Indiana law.

Unless you had a mind to compete in conservative dominated presidential primaries next year, and so far Pence is sitting out 2016, the timing could 
not be worse.   The NCAA college basketball finals are about to begin in Indianapolis, and high school seniors are trying to decide right now whether to attend Indiana colleges and universities – or not.    No wonder Indiana University felt compelled to issue its own mini Bill of Rights. Longer term, Indiana is a manufacturing state in dire need of what one analyst called “ hipster brains,” the type drawn to creative, innovative, open-minded environments.    The new law will send the opposite message unless and until Indiana repeals it, or passes a strong anti-discrimination law that protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.

The fundamental point here is this:  Personal faith is a trump card in some instances, but it doesn’t trump equal treatment under the law.

Look, if you don’t support gay marriage, have the cake or flowers delivered by an employee who does.   Accept the business – it’s the American way.   And swallow your religious objections, which is also the American way.   Ask any Quaker whose tax dollars financed a war, any Christian Scientist whose taxes support medical research, any atheist whose child is learning creationism in a public school.   Ask any 1960s motel operator who believed God approved of segregation, but had to rent rooms to black people anyway.   And ask Richard Bosson, a justice on the New Mexico Supreme Court that ruled a photographer had to document a gay wedding.   Respect for those who don’t believe as we do, he wrote, is “ the price of citizenship.” 

2016 Republican candidates support controversial Indiana law that makes discrimination legal. 

The passage of a new “religious freedom” law in Indiana that effectively legalizes discrimination against gays and lesbians has created a national 
outcry, but a number of likely Republican presidential candidates have come out in support of the controversial legislation.

Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence, who signed the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law last week, has said the bill is simply meant to 
prevent the government from impinging on a person’s religious beliefs.

But critics across the nation have slammed the law as acting only as a means for businesses and the government to justify discriminating against 
people on the basis of their sexual orientation by those who disagree on account of their own religious values.

Pence had done little to refute that interpretation: After being asked at least six times by  “This Week”  host George Stephanopoulos during an 
interview Sunday if the law would make it legal for a merchant in Indiana to refuse service to gay customers, Pence refused to answer directly.

But the bigoted law has prompted sharp criticism of, and calls for boycotts of, the entire Hoosier State.   The backlash has been so fierce, in fact, 
that Pence, who has repeatedly said he was “proud” to sign the law, was forced to say Tuesday that he wanted the bill rewritten so it won't permit discrimination against gays and lesbians.

His reconsideration of the matter, however, doesn’t appear to have weakened the support for the law expressed by a growing number of likely 2016 Republican contenders.

Here is what some of them have said...

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: “The right thing”

"I think Gov. Pence has done the right thing," Bush said of the Indiana's Religious Freedom Act in a radio interview Monday night with conservative host Hugh Hewitt.   “This is simply allowing people of faith space to be able to express their beliefs, to have, to be able to be people of conscience. 

I just think once the facts are established, people aren’t going to see this as discriminatory at all."

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio:   I’m okay with a wedding photographer refusing business to a gay couple.

"When you're asking someone who provides professional services to do something, or be punished by law, that violates their faith, you're violating that religious liberty that they have," Rubio said Monday on Fox News Channel. “No one here is saying it should be legal to deny someone service at a restaurant or at a hotel because of their sexual orientation. I think that’s a consensus view in America.”

“The flip side of it is,” he added, “should a photographer be punished for refusing to do a wedding that their faith teaches them is not one that is valid in the eyes of God?”

Rubio is the densest and dumbest of the candidates
but don't worry, he stands No chance.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz:  “Courageous”

"Gov. Pence is holding the line to protect religious liberty in the Hoosier State,” Cruz said in a statement.   “Indiana is giving voice to millions of 
courageous conservatives across this country who are deeply concerned about the ongoing attacks upon our personal liberties. I’m proud to stand with (Indiana Gov. Mike Pence), and I urge Americans to do the same.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker:   “The right … to exercise religion”

"As a matter of principle, Gov. Walker believes in broad religious freedom and the right for Americans to exercise their religion and act on their conscience," a spokesperson for the Wisconsin Republican told The Hill.

Owned and Directed by the Koch brothers.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal:   “Religious liberty is indeed under attack”

“I support the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act because I support religious liberty as granted to us in our Constitution,”  Jindal told Breitbart 
News.   “The fact that there are some who think this law in Indiana, which merely makes it clear that local governments must respect our religious 
liberty, is controversial clearly shows that religious liberty is indeed under attack.”

Jindal will comment on anything to get his name in play.

Dr. Ben Carson:    “Absolutely vital”

“It is absolutely vital that we do all we can to allow Americans to practice their religious ways, while simultaneously ensuring that no one’s beliefs infringe upon those of others,”  Carson told Breitbart News.   “We should also serve as champions of freedom of religion throughout the world.”

Zero Chance, Completely wasting his time.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence backtracks on ‘religious freedom’ law, demands language be added to prohibit discrimination. 

Facing growing national outrage, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence backtracked on his staunch defense on his controversial "religious freedom" law Tuesday, saying he wants the bill rewritten so it won't permit discrimination against gays and lesbians.

"After much reflection and consultation with the general assembly, I've come to the conclusion that it would be helpful to move legislation this week that makes it clear that businesses do not have the right to deny services to anyone,"  the Hoosier State Republican said, adding that he wants new language added to the existing bill.

"Nobody should be harassed or mistreated because of who they love or what they believe in," Pence said.   "I don't believe for a minute that it was the intention of the general assembly to create a license to discriminate against gays, lesbians or anyone else in this state and it certainly wasn't my intent."

Pence, nonetheless, maintained that he was still "proud"  to have signed the original bill and blamed its unsavory reputation across the nation on  "confusion, misunderstanding and mischaracterization"  by the media.

"This law was about religious liberty,"  Pence said.    "Not about discrimination."

The law, as it was written, he added, "does not give anyone a license to discriminate" and "does not give anyone the right to deny services to anyone in this state."

"But," he added, "I can appreciate the perception that it has, and now we need to confront it."

Dozens of businesses and prominent industry leaders, as well as hundreds of demonstrators in the state, have protested the Religious Freedom Restoration Act since Pence signed it into law last week, claiming it served only as a means for businesses and the government justify discriminating against people on the basis of their sexual orientation by those who disagree on account of their own religious values.

Pence has previously, and repeatedly, denied that the law was about "about discrimination," saying instead that it was "about empowering people to confront government overreach."

Its intent, Pence has said, was to prevent the government from impinging on a person's religious beliefs.

But during a contentious interview Sunday on ABC's  "This Week,"  in which host George Stephanopoulos asked Pence at least six times if the law would make it legal for a merchant in Indiana to refuse service to gay customers, the embattled governor refused to answer directly.

"Look, the issue here is still, is tolerance a two-way street or not?"  he said.  "We're not going to change the law."

Pence also said during the interview that he wouldn't be willing to add sexual orientation to the list of characteristics against which discrimination is illegal in the state.

Since Pence signed the law last Thursday, he, as well as the entire state of Indiana, have been roundly blasted by businesses and organizations around the nation, as well as on social media with the hashtag "#BoycottIndiana."

The Indianapolis-based NCAA released a statement saying it was concerned that the law would hurt the athletes and visitors in town for the Final Four games of its men's basketball tournament, while consumer review service Angie's List has said it will suspend a planned expansion in Indianapolis because of the new law.

Business bigwigs and politicians have also weighed in with stinging criticism.

Apple CEO Tim Cook called the legislation "dangerous" in a sharply worded op-ed in The Washington Post, while the governor of Connecticut and the mayor of Seattle both signed bans on publicly funded travel to the Hoosier State in protest of the bill.

Amherst County Virginia Democratic News

Amherst Democratic News

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Israel Stole Classified US information and Gave it to Congressional Republicans

Israel Stole Classified US information and Gave it to Congressional Republicans

Netanyahu takes Billions of Dollars of Aid from the USA and then spies on us and sells us out and the republicans work hand in hand with him.

The Wall Street Journal's Adam Entous dropped a huge story Tuesday morning:   Israel acquired classified US information while spying on the Iranian nuclear negotiations, and leaked the stolen information about the emerging deal to American lawmakers in an attempt to sabotage the Obama 
administration's outreach to Tehran.

This is yet another disaster for US-Israel relations. But that's not because Israel acquired classified US information, which honestly isn't that surprising. What's really outrageous is that Israel used the information in a deliberate attempt to manipulate American politics.

No one should be shocked that Israel was spying on the talks.  A certain degree of espionage is pretty par for the course in world politics, even among allies.  Indeed, as Entous' story repeatedly makes clear, American officials expected Israel to snoop on them.   In fact, according to Entous, the US found out about the Israeli spying because it was already spying on Israel:

The White House discovered the operation, in fact, when U.S. intelligence agencies spying on Israel intercepted communications among Israeli officials that carried details the U.S. believed could have come only from access to the confidential talks, officials briefed on the matter said.

But there is a real scandal here, and that's Israel using stolen intelligence as part of a deliberate campaign of messing around with American partisan politics.  That's why the White House is angry:  "It is one thing for the U.S. and Israel to spy on each other.  It is another thing for Israel to steal U.S. secrets and play them back to U.S. legislators to undermine U.S. diplomacy," a senior US official told Entous.

If Entous' reporting is correct, the Israeli government used the leaked information to help Republicans build support for new sanctions among Democrats, which would be necessary to overcome Obama's veto.   Israel was using stolen information to help Mitch McConnell and John Boehner foment a Democratic rebellion against the president.

This is the same reason Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress about Iran infuriated so many Democrats this month. The problem wasn't that Netanyahu was invited to Congress;  it's that the speech was coordinated with Republicans behind the president's back in a deliberate attempt to undermine his Iran policy.

The spying/briefing allegations suggest the speech was part of a much broader campaign to help Republicans pass new sanctions, a particularly dangerous move by Netanyahu at a time when Israel is at risk of becoming a partisan issue in America.

Allies really aren't supposed to do this sort of thing.   Playing partisan domestic politics — and doing it with classified information, no less — positions Israel as the Republican Party's ally, not America's.  The fact that Republican interests line up with Israel's in this case doesn't justify crossing these lines.

None of this is to say the Netanyahu government has to just sit down and accept an American Iran policy it opposes.  It's perfectly within bounds for Netanyahu to publicly oppose the ongoing negotiations in which international powers are seeking to limit Iran's nuclear capabilities in exchange for relief on its crippling economic sanctions.   It's fine for Netanyahu to lobby the French, who have an important role in the negotiations, to push for more stringent limits on Iran's nuclear program.  That's all normal international politics.

But Republicans' vote count in Congress isn't.

The GOP has let you down, sold you out.   Their behavior is not what you expected from them and they have taken your vote for granted.   It is time to hold them accountable for their treachery.

Boehner Shocked and Baffeled that Israel Spied on Iran talks

House Speaker John Boehner described himself as ‘baffled’ when asked if the actions of the Israelis were appropriate.  The House Speaker was so shocked he had lost his color and appeared sober.

House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) said Tuesday he was “shocked” by revelations that Israel spied on closed-door nuclear talks involving the U.S. and then passed information along to U.S. lawmakers.

Mr. Boehner, when asked about The Wall Street Journal report published Monday evening, declined to say whether such actions by the Israelis were appropriate, describing himself as “baffled.”

“I was shocked by the fact that there were reports in this press article that information was being passed on from the Israelis to members of congress,” Mr. Boehner said.   “I’m not aware of that at all.   I am completely innocent.”

Current and former U.S. officials said the espionage was part of a broader campaign orchestrated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to derail an emerging agreement between a handful of world powers and Iranian officials over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.  The effort by Israel to share confidential information with U.S. lawmakers in order to build a case against an Iran deal upset the White House, officials said.

When asked, Mr. Boehner said “there was no information revealed to me whatsoever.   I know nothing, I was unaware this was going on”

The government of Mr. Netanyahu on Tuesday issued statements denying that Israel spies on the U.S.  
                                          Convicted of Spying for Israel

His denial makes me think of Jonathan Pollard, an American prison inmate who pleaded guilty in 1987 to selling classified information to Israel while working as a civilian intelligence analyst.   He is serving a life sentence in a South Carolina prison for spying for Israel.   In November of 2015 he will be considered for parole.

While the U.S. may not be directly targeted, current and former Israeli officials says Israeli intelligence agencies sweep up communications between U.S. officials and parties targeted by the Israelis, including Iran, allowing Israel to piece together the U.S.’s position in the nuclear talks.

Boehner Proclaimed his total and Complete Innocence.

The White House and Mr. Boehner have been at odds for months over the top House Republican’s decision to invite Mr. Netanyahu to speak to Congress earlier this month without first consulting the Obama administration.   Mr. Boehner has been critical of the emerging Iran nuclear deal, and is scheduled to visit Israel in the coming weeks to get his marching orders.

June 8, 1967: The Treasonous Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty 

Here's an incident you may be unaware of.   The USA considering Israel our good friend did its best to bury it.

June 8 is the anniversary of the treasonous Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, and it is a day upon which every freedom-loving American should stop and remember the 34 sailors who were killed and the 174 who were wounded in this Jewish Supremacist false flag operation.

According to former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer,  “Those men were then betrayed and left to die by our own government.”   The survivors are still awaiting justice.

What happened to the USS Liberty?

The USS Liberty was a virtually unarmed American navy ship that was attacked by Israeli planes and torpedo boats.

34 American sailors were killed and 172 injured that day, a casualty rate of 70%.   This is among the highest casualty rates ever inflicted upon a U.S. naval vessel.

What was Israel’s explanation for the attack?

Israel claimed the attack was “a case of mistaken identity”;   that they didn’t know it was an American ship.

Why would we question that explanation more than 30 years later?

The ship’s survivors were afraid to speak out in the early years because of threats of  “court martial, prison or worse”  if they did not remain silent.   However, as time passed, they have stepped forward to say the attack was deliberate.  Recently, high government and military officials have suggested that not only was the attack deliberate, but that the US government covered-up the incident.   Today, an Independent Commission of Inquiry has found that Israel committed  “an act of war”  against the United States.  In addition, the Navy’s chief attorney to the original 1967 military Court of Inquiry has issued a statement that orders to cover-up the incident were issued by President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.

Did Israel have reason to believe the USS Liberty was an Egyptian ship?

Israel says its pilots and torpedo boat commanders confused the USS Liberty with the El Quseir, an Egyptian ship allegedly firing upon its forces in the Sinai.   But there was no Egyptian naval bombardment that day;  nor did the El Quseir (an unarmed 1920s-era horse carrier out of service in Alexandria) bear any resemblance to the Liberty.

Isn’t it difficult to identify a ship if you’re in an airplane?

In 1967, the USS Liberty was the most sophisticated intelligence ship in the world, with dozens of large antennas, including a large moon-bounce  “satellite-dish”  mounted on a tall structure near the stern.   It may have been one of the most easily identifiable ships of any navy in the world.   With a displacement of 10,000 tons, it was four times the size of the antique Egyptian transport it is claimed to have resembled.   Freshly painted, the Liberty carried large white identification numbers on its bow.   Egyptian hull numbers are painted black.

Doesn’t Israel say that the Liberty flew no flag?

According to American survivors, a 5-by-8 feet American flag was hoisted early that morning and was flying all day until it was shot away by attacking aircraft.   Within several minutes, it was replaced by the giant 7-by-13 feet holiday ensign, which flew for the duration of the attack.

Could Israel have thought the ship was in a war zone, acting suspiciously?

According to surviving crew members, Israeli reconnaissance aircraft closely studied the Liberty over an eight-hour period prior to the attack, one flying within two hundred feet of the ship.   At all times the Liberty was a clearly marked American ship in international waters, proceeding at a speed of only 5 knots.

What was the weather like the day of the attack?

Weather reports confirm that it was a clear day with unlimited visibility.   The Israeli reconnaissance planes could have seen the Liberty’s crew sunbathing on the upper decks just before the attack.  The flag was flying in a 12-knot breeze for most of the afternoon.

Doesn’t Israel say they ended the attack the minute they saw someone hoist an American flag?

The Israeli attack by combined air and naval forces spanned two hours — as long as the attack on Pearl Harbor.   The air attack alone lasted approximately 25 minutes:  consisting of more than 30 sorties by approximately 12 separate planes using napalm, cannon, and rockets which left 821 holes in the ship.   Following the air attack, three Israeli motor torpedo boats torpedoed the ship, causing a 40’x 40’ wide hole in her hull, and machine-gunning firefighters and stretcher-bearers attempting to save their ship and crew. More than 3,000 machine-gun bullet holes were later counted on the Liberty’s hull.   After the attack was thought to have ended, three life rafts were lowered into the water to rescue the most seriously wounded.   The Israeli torpedo boats returned and machine-gunned these life rafts at close range.   This was followed by the approach of two large Israeli Army assault helicopters filled with armed commandos carrying what appeared to be explosive satchels (they departed after hovering over the ship for several minutes, making no attempt to communicate).

Did the Liberty send out a distress signal when it was under attack?

Throughout the air attack, the Liberty’s radio operators found it difficult to transmit a distress signal because the attacking Israeli aircraft jammed all five of the Liberty’s American, not Egyptian, emergency radio channels.   However, a call for help did reach the U.S. Navy command in the Mediterranean.

What was the American response time?

Although American carrier-based air support was only 40 minutes away, help did not reach the USS Liberty for seventeen hours.   Navy fighters were launched from the aircraft carriers America and Saratoga while the Liberty was under attack. However, they were quickly recalled by the White House.   This is the only instance in American naval history where a rescue mission was cancelled when an American ship was under attack.

Why would Israel have deliberately attacked an American ship?

Israel’s motive for launching the attack has never been determined with certainty.   This is why an impartial investigation is critical.   One hypothesis is that Israel intended to sink the ship (with no survivors) and blame Egypt because this might have brought the United States into the 1967 war. Another hypothesis is that the Liberty was gathering intelligence about activities that Israel did not want revealed.   Examples might include the massacre of Egyptian prisoners of war that was then occurring in the Sinai, as well as Israel’s impending invasion of Syria.

Has the incident been investigated in the past?

Some people say that there have been “thirteen official investigations”  all concluding the attack was a case of mistaken identity.   Several were conducted by Israel.   Upon examination, however, every one is based upon the conclusions of the original 1967 US Navy Court of Inquiry, which accepted the Israeli version, but which has been exposed and discredited by its chief attorney as a cover-up.

Did the surviving crew members testify in the other investigations?

In not one of these “investigations” were any of the Liberty’s surviving crew members permitted to publicly testify.

Why would the White House prevent the rescue of an American ship?

This is, perhaps, the most disturbing question arising out of Israel’s attack.   It is why there needs to be a thorough investigation of the actions taken by the White House and the Secretary of Defense.   Why did they order the recall of the planes that had been sent to rescue the Liberty? Why did they order that the survivors be silenced and the true facts be withheld from the American people?

Why is this significant for the American people 36 years later?

We have a duty to the crew of the USS Liberty, while the survivors are still alive to testify, and while the perpetrators can be brought to justice. Furthermore, any policies that paralyze our elected leadership to the extent they become unable or unwilling to protect Americans and American interests, endangers not only the safety of all Americans but also the national security of the United States.

Doesn’t America have a special relationship with Israel?

No nation or people should be above the law; nor should American interests be subordinated to the interests of any foreign nation.   Those Israelis responsible for ordering the attack and the resulting murder of American sailors must be held accountable for their actions.

Original article at the Council for the National Interest.

There is detailed evidence from Liberty crewmen and other military and intelligence personnel that the Israeli attack was intentional.   Numerous extremely high US military, intelligence, and diplomatic officials have espoused this view.  Among them are:

Dean Rusk, Secretary of State under LBJ;

Richard Helms, Director of the CIA;

Rufus Taylor, Deputy Director of the CIA;

Clark Clifford, special assistant to the President;

Louis W. Tordella, National Security Agency (NSA) Deputy Director;

General Marshall Carter, former director, NSA;

Major General John Morrison, US Air Force, Deputy Chief NSA Operations;

Oliver Kirby, former deputy director for operations/production, NSA;

Lieutenant General William E. Odom, former director, NSA;

Louis W. Tordella, National Security Agency (NSA) Deputy Director;

Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, USN, Director NSA 1977-1981;

Paul C. Warnke, Undersecretary of the Navy and later general legal counsel to the Department of Defense;

Rear Admiral Merlin Staring, Staff Legal Office for Commander in Chief US Naval Forces Europe and later Chief Judge Advocate General of the Navy;

George Ball, under secretary of state;

Dwight Porter, US Ambassador to Lebanon;

Lloyd M. “Pete” Bucher, US Navy, Commanding Officer USS Pueblo;

Captain Ward Boston, senior legal counsel for the Naval Court of Inquiry;

Rear Admiral Clarence “Mark” Hill, co-founder of the Naval Aviation Foundation;

Admiral David McDonald, Chief of Naval Operations; and

Vice Admiral Jerome King, Jr., Deputy Chief of Naval Operations.

In 2003 the Moorer Commission, an independent commission headed by Admiral Moorer, reported on Capitol Hill:   “There is compelling evidence that Israel’s attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew.”

The Moorer report went on to state, “In attacking the USS Liberty, Israel committed acts of murder against U.S. servicemen and an act of war against the United States.”

Has Israel ever been our ally?

Amherst County Virginia Democratic News

Amherst Democratic News

Friday, March 20, 2015

Springtime, The Amherst Dems First meeting of 2015

     Amherst Democratic News

Spring arrives on the next sunrise and hopefully the snow, ice, sleet and rain of the past several months has finished up for the year.    The gang gathered at the call of the chair at The Panda House for a meeting and dinner.    There are elections upcoming and we will unite our efforts and do our parts to help form that more perfect union the country is always seeking.

                                                             Ned and our Dinner Hostess

Amherst Democratic News

We would love to have you join us for a meeting.    If you get us a phone number or an email address we'll send you a reminder of the next meeting location and date.    Get your info to Ned Kable, Am Dems Chairman.  Ned's phone number is 434-989-2846.

The Amherst Democrats celebrate Senator Mark Warner's  re-election.

Come Meet Ellen M. Arthur, Candidate for State Delegate in the 24th District.

April 2, 2015 at 10AM on the Old Courthouse steps, at First Street in Amherst

ELLEN M. ARTHUR, Our Democratic Candidate for STATE DELEGATE from the 24th District will Meet and Greet voters and citizens.

Come and hear what she can do to help Amherst County.

Ellen practices law in Lexington VA. and has worked with the Legal Aid Society helping protect peoples rights and also with the SPCA in Rockbridge County. 

For More Info Call Ned Kable at 434-989-2846.

Career Politician Ben Cline says he will  

 Run Again

Ellen Arthur, a recently retired attorney in Lexington, is planning to run for the region’s seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Arthur said Wednesday that she will seek the Democratic nomination in the 24th District, which includes the cities of Lexington and Buena Vista, Bath and Rockbridge counties, and parts of Amherst and Augusta counties.

The seat is currently held by Del. Ben Cline, R-Rockbridge County, who was first elected in 2002.

Cline said Wednesday he intends to run for re-election.   There will be a Republican primary only if an intraparty rival surfaces, and so far that has not happened.

Arthur said she had been approached by Democratic Party officials in the past about running for Cline’s seat, but had been too busy with her solo law practice.

Now that she’s retired, Arthur said,  “It’s time for me to give back a little.”

Arthur is the only declared candidate for the Democratic nomination, which will be decided at a May 23 caucus.    It will be her first bid for elected office.

“I’m the non-politician running against a career politician,” she said.  “I’m coming in to this very fresh and hoping to make connections with everyday people.”

A 1979 graduate of the law school at Washington and Lee University, Arthur began her law practice in Staunton.  In 1981, she returned to Lexington, where she worked for and later managed the area’s legal aid office. She started her private practice in 1988, concentrating on family law.

Cline, also an attorney with offices in Lexington, Amherst and Harrisonburg, is currently serving his seventh term in the House.   He last faced a general election opponent in 2009.   Around election time Cline gets interested in the Delegate's job and then fades into the background when the votes are tallied to await the next time he will need the citizen's vote.

“I’ve been focused since my first election in 2002 on fighting hard” for residents of the 24th District, he said Wednesday. “And I look forward to continuing that work.”   He says things like that every time.

37 Year Old Monroe Va Business closing shop.

Harding's Clocks is closing at the end of next week.  Jim Harding opened his store  along South Amherst Highway 37 years ago, selling unique clocks and repairing older time pieces.
Harding lost 40% of his customers when the Madison Heights Bypass opened a few years ago, funneling out-of-town traffic away from business.
Another thing that's hurting his profits is young people.  Harding says they're not buying clocks like their parents.
"I've done this for a long time and I love my customers," said Harding.  "They're not all just repair customers.  They're people who love clocks, just like we do."
Harding's last day is August 15.  After that he plans to do limited repairs from home.  All of his remaining clock inventory will be auctioned off, along with his building.

The Conspiracy Theories

Barack Obama's presidency has been an inspiration to many Americans—especially nutjobs.   Ever since the first-black-president-to-be appeared on the national political stage, a cottage industry of conservative conspiracy theorists has churned out bizarro, paranoid, and just plain racist effluvia—some of which has trickled into the political mainstream.   Below, we've charted some of the Obama-baiters best (i.e., worst) work. 

(Scroll down for more detailed descriptions of the conspiracy theories in the diagram.)

Diagram of Obama conspiracy theories


Disclaimer: It should go without saying that none of these are true. Follow links at your own risk.

Obama is a secret Muslim:  This one began right after he took the stage at the 2004 Democratic convention, with chain emails alleging his "true" religious affiliation.   The rumor soon found its way onto the popular conservative online forum Free Republic, and took on a whole new life in the years to come.   Related:   Obama secretly speaks Arabic, attended a madrassa as a kid in Indonesia, referred to "my Muslim faith" in an interview, and was sworn in on a Koran.

Obama is bringing 100 million Muslims to America:  Avi Lipkin and his PR outfit Special Guests claimed to have evidence of a scheme to bring roughly 100 million Muslims from the Middle East into the United States, converting the country into an Islamic nation by the end of Obama's second term and making it easier to obliterate Israel.

Obama once aided the mujahideen:  Harlem pastor and professional race-baiter James David Manning contended that in his younger days, Obama went undercover as a CIA agent to facilitate the transfer of cash and weapons to the Afghan mujahideen in the '80s, thereby aiding what would become the Taliban.

Obama is in the pocket of the Muslim Brotherhood:   Billy Graham's son Franklin wants you to know that Obama is allowing the Muslim Brotherhood to take over the federal government.

Obama redecorated the Oval Office in Middle Eastern style:   Driven by his fierce sense of anti-American interior design, Obama got rid of the red, white, and blue decoration scheme in his White House office. 

Obama married a Pakistani guy:  World Net Daily correspondent and conspiracy monger extraordinaire Jerome Corsi posted a video in which he claimed to have "strong" evidence that Obama was once married to his college roommate from Pakistan.   The smoking gun:    Photos of the chums in which the future president is "sitting about on the [Pakistani roommate's] lap."   Related:  For years Obama wore a gold ring on his left hand.   Was it his gay-wedding ring?

Obama's ring has a Koranic verse on it:  The very same ring, which Obama now wears as his (straight) wedding band, is allegedly emblazoned with a key phrase in the Islamic declaration of faith:   "There is no god except Allah." (It's not.)

Obama was funded by a Saudi prince:  Another fairy tale courtesy of Corsi:   In late-'70s Chicago, Obama secured political and academic funding from a variety of sketchy Arab sponsors, including a Saudi prince. Which may explain why President Obama bowed to the Saudi king when they met in 2009.

Obama was born in Kenya:  In early 2008, fringe theorists began a push to prove Obama was born on foreign soil and was therefore ineligible to live in the White House.   The theory gained national attention thanks to the efforts of perennial GOP candidate Alan Keyes, "birther queen" Orly Taitz, and Corsi. Related:  Obama's birth certificate is a fake, he killed his grandmother in Hawaii because she knew the truth, sealed access to his birth 
certificate and other damning documents, and did pretty much everything horrible you could possibly do for the sake of a phony birth certificate.

Obama lost his US citizenship:   According to Corsi, Obama became a citizen of Indonesia while he lived there as a child.
Michelle's "whitey" tape:  During the 2008 campaign, rumors surfaced that a video of Michelle Obama using the word "whitey" would be released to sink her husband's campaign.   It's never materialized.   Related:  The time Glenn Beck called Barack Obama a racist. 

Obama was a Black Panther:   Well, only if you're not very good at spotting photo shopped images.

Obama is the son of Malcolm X:  Because, you know, black people.   This charmer popped up on Atlas Shrugged, Pamela Geller's anti-Muslim website.   (Geller is also known for obsessing over Shariah turkeys she believes are destroying Thanksgiving.)

Obama is the son of Frank Marshall Davis:  The conspiracy film Dreams From My Real Father espouses the theory that Davis, a leftist activist, was not only Obama's ideological mentor but his biological father.   Related:   Obama got a nose job to make his nose look less like Davis'.

Obama's mom and dad were communists:  That would be his real father, Barack Obama, Sr.    And you know that communism is an inherited condition.

Obama's ghostwriter was Bill Ayers:  Conservative commentators claimed they uncovered evidence that ex-Weatherman Bill Ayers was the true author of Obama's 1995 memoir Dreams from my Father.   Beyond their shared radicalism,  Obama asked Ayers to help because he had writer's block.

Obama trained to overthrow the government: In 2008, leading Obama conspiracy theorist Andy Martin declared on Fox News' Hannity's America that the then-presidential candidate had trained for  "a radical overthrow of the government"  during his time as a community organizer in Chicago.

Obama wouldn't say the Pledge of Allegiance: During the '08 campaign, Obama was rumored to have refused to say the pledge during a town hall meeting. 

A photo of the incident was actually taken while the national anthem was being sung.

Obama removed the flag from Air Force One: …and replaced it with his campaign logo.

Obama ordered soldiers to swear allegiance to him:   In April 2009, a clearly satirical report detailing how secretary of defense Robert Gates was growing  "extremely frustrated"  with the White House's plans to scrub the Constitution from the military oath of loyalty made the rounds on the right-wing blog o sphere.

Obama secretly gave away  American islands to Russia:    Texas House candidate Wes Riddle endorsed this theory and noted the relinquishment as grounds for impeachment.   However, the seven Arctic islands were actually given away in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush.

Obama caused the recession—in 1995: According to a recent Daily Caller story, Obama's efforts to force banks to lend to African Americans in the mid-'90s led to the sub prime mortgage crisis that killed the economy in 2008.

Obama's youth reeducation camps:  Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) warned that  "young people will be put into mandatory service"  at politically correct, billion-dollar camps run by the Democrats.

Obama's coming for your guns:   Extreme gun-rights outfits, along with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), alleged that the Obama administration is supporting the  (nonexistent)  United Nations Small Arms Treaty, which would lead to nationwide gun confiscation.   Unfounded fears of gun confiscation have multiplied since the Newtown massacre.

Obama's coming for your gold:  This theory was floated by Glenn Beck—and the gold company he shilled for.

Obama is planning FEMA concentration camps:   Again with the camps.   Related: An executive order titled,  "National Defense Resources Preparedness,"  was issued in the middle of March 2012.   Conservative commentators saw it as a martial law power-grab that allowed the president to commandeer farmland, steal everyone's food, and draft any American into slave labor for a war of aggression against Iran.   Also, he has a "secret vault"  at Interpol's headquarters for imprisoning Americans.   (Chuck Norris is on the case, crazy Chuck spread this rumor.)

Obama wants to confiscate your IRA: sent out an message ad claiming that Obama wants to seize your retirement account by force.

Obama caused the BP oil spill:   Conspiracy-minded radio host Alex Jones promoted the theory that the Deepwater Horizon spill was all part of the administration's plans of oil nationalization and global government.

Obama was behind the Aurora massacre:   In July, Gun Owners of America blasted out a press release claiming that the mass murder at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, was suspiciously timed.   "Someone in Washington" was probably behind it, paving the way for Obama-led firearm confiscation and "government genocide."

Obama personally caused Hurricane Sandy:  It wasn’t global warming that made Sandy so intense;  it was Barack.   Alex Jones' site reported the president engineered the storm using a Pentagon weather modification project. The mayhem caused by the hurricane would afford Obama the opportunity to score points by briskly managing disaster relief a week before the election.

Obama had Andrew Breitbart killed:   In March 2012, conservative media impresario Andrew Breitbart died of heart failure.   Less than a month prior to his death, he had announced that he had uncovered footage of Obama's formative years as a radical.   So obviously, Obama had him offed.   (The tapes were later revealed to contain things like a young Obama hugging a black college professor.)   Related:  People—like a Rod Blagojevich fundraiser and an
 Obama impersonator—died between 2008 and 2012.   Obama was in office between 2008 and 2012…coincidence?!?!

Obama spiked the jobs report: "Jobs truthers" (like former GE CEO Jack Welch and Florida tea party congressman Allen West) accused the Obama administration of cooking the September unemployment numbers to manufacture a rosier picture of the economy and boost the president's chances of reelection.

Obama faked bin Laden's death:   Since no photographs of Osama bin Laden's corpse were produced, the Al Qaeda leader must still be out there.   Fox News' Steve Doocy and Andrew Napolitano entertained the idea that Operation Neptune Spear was merely a ploy to revive Obama's sagging approval ratings.

Related: Obama was photoshopped into the iconic killing-OBL White House photo.

Obama's plan to fake an assassination attempt: A false-flag operation would create urban tumult and give Obama the pretext to declare martial law, thus suspending democracy, postponing the 2012 election, and prolonging his stay in office. The theory was flagged by Tenn. State Rep. Kelly Keisling, among others, after circulating online.

Obama's planning a third term: The dust from the 2012 election had barely cleared when this one popped up.

Obama the brainwashing hypnotist: As a master of neurolinguistic programming, Obama convinced Americans to vote for him via subliminal messages. 

Related: Rush Limbaugh pondered if hypnosis was the reason that so many Jewish voters were in the bag for Obama. In October, Georgia GOP lawmakers held a briefing on the president's secret mind-control plot.

Obama's teleprompter: Obama's eloquence is a myth! The 44th president is incapable of speaking in public with his teleprompter.

Obama had a ghostwriter for everything:  Jack Cashill over at WND had a hot scoop on how Obama's love letters to his college girlfriend were ghostwritten.

Obama's anti-Semitic poetry: However, according to the American Thinker, Obama's ghostwriters did not write his youthful poem "Underground," which compares Jews to fig-eating underwater apes and echoes Koranic verse.

Obama's exiled lover: Obama was supposedly fooling around with an attractive young staffer from his 2004 Senate campaign. Michelle Obama had the temptress packed off to the Caribbean before the '08 campaign.

Obama is gay: Which explains why he joined Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church.   No, really.   (Via Corsi, of course.) 

Obama's crack cocaine/gay sex/murder orgy cover-up:  In 2008, a small-time conman named Larry Sinclair and his kilt-wearing lawyer held a press conference to tell the world of the future president's murderous, drug-and-sodomy-fueled crimes.

Obama's campaigns were funded by drug money: During an October conference call organized to oppose pot legalization, a writer from Lyndon LaRouche's magazine asked about "reports [that both Obama's] 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns have been financed in part by laundered drug money."

Obama is the Antichrist: Obviously. Related: If you play his 2008 Democratic nomination acceptance speech backwards, you can hear him instruct listeners to do Satan's bidding.

Obama is a lizard overlord: According to codes hidden in Biblical verse, Obama is a reptilian humanoid. This idea has found its way on to some right-wing radio shows, and two Daily Caller reporters recently published a (satirical?) e-book on the topic titled, The Lizard King: The Shocking Inside Account of Obama's True Intergalactic Ambitions by an Anonymous White House Staffer.

Obama's adventures on Mars:   As a teen, Obama participated in a CIA initiative to teleport to Mars using a top-secret  "jump room."   Self-described time travelers William Stillings and Andrew Basiago claim to have met the future POTUS at American space bases on the Red Planet.   In early 2012, a spokesman for the National Security Council actually acknowledged these claims, and issued a fairly convincing denial.

Fox news and right wing radio have made up and spread all this garbage.     I actually know people in Amherst County who believe this crap, yes there are people that stupid.    There are too many borderline semi functional idiots in the United States and they suffer with mental problems.    People who want to delude themselves with these loony beliefs  will not be able to be educated.   Their prime purpose is to donate money to right wing causes and vote republican and spread their stupidity to others.

PS, A Picture really is worth a thousand words and a good woman makes life worth living no matter how tough the job.

Amherst County Virginia Democratic News


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