Sunday, August 16, 2015

Two Remarkable Comments

A Daily Kos blogger weekly hosts a poll asking "Who won the week?" It is often won by President Obama, and includes a wide array of legitimate options. For this week, the results were

The Connecticut Supreme Court, for ruling the state's death penalty unconstitutional, sparing 11 inmates on death row   12%, 393 votes

James Tracy, Mike East and Larry Morris, the retired Marines who lowered the American flag at the U.S. Embassy in Havana in 1961…and helped raise it there again today, 54 years later  11%, 371 votes

The Black Lives Matter movement, which is effectively getting its message out and insisting that people pay attention  8% , 280 votes

Astronaut Scott Kelly, who chowed down on the lettuce he grew at the International Space Station and deemed it "tasty"  1%, 33 votes

Canadian parliament candidate Wyatt Scott, whose zany online ad in which he rides a goose, slays a dragon and high-fives a space alien went viral and entered political ad lore   2%, 72 votes

Hillary Clinton: still running strong against the GOP; unveils New College Compact; meets with members of Black Lives Matter activists in New Hampshire  6%, 219 votes

Go Left America and the Detroit School Board, for filing a Title VI complaint with the DOJ against MI Gov. Rick Snyder for misusing federal funds, discrimination against minorities, and abuse of power  4%, 159 votes

The senators who announced their intention to vote for the Iran nuclear agreement, inc. Franken, Tester, Durbin, Sanders, Schatz, Klobuchar and King (Go, Angus!)  20%, 655 votes

Bernie Sanders: draws a crowd of 28k in Portland and 27k in LA; National Nurses United endorsement; hires the amazing Symone Sanders of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice as new national press secretary  27%, 898 votes

Melissa Gilbert, who is running for Congress as a Democrat in Michigan's 8th District, and stands a good chance of winning  1%, 49 votes

Baseball trivia buffs: on Tuesday all 15 Major League home teams won their games over the visitors (with 4 shutouts) for the first time ever  2%, 85 votes

Bernie Sanders was the popular winner there but nothing he said last week compared to a statement from a Republican US Representative. Interviewed by a conservative talker from the southeastern part of the state, the conservative congressman admitted

I did not do what I should have done to read and find out whether Bush was telling us the truth about Saddam being responsible for 9/11 and having weapons of mass destruction. Because I did not do my job then, I helped kill 4,000 Americans, and I will go to my grave regretting that.

You can't get a better apology than that.  Compare those words of regret from North Carolina's Walter Jones to the Repub politician who on Thursday at a forum sponsored by Politico remarked

I'll tell you, though, that taking out Sadaam Hussein turned out to be a pretty good deal... In 2009 Iraq was fragile but secure. It was mission was accomplished in a way that there was security there. It is a fact.... It was important to create a secure situation so that the Iraqi people, uh, felt progress was being made; they weren't afraid to walk the streets.

The surge was a military success and political failure, paving the way for the election of Nouri-al-Maliki, who shut the Sunnis out of the government and created conditions ripe for increased terrorism and instability.  President Obama complied with the terms of the Status of Forces Agreement signed by the brother of the man who made the statement above.   Taking out Sadaam, an ardent foe of Al Qaeda, turned out to be a pretty bad deal, setting in motion the events which have led to the turbulence and instability in the region today.

It's a tale of two men, both Republicans. One of them doesn't understand the Middle East and is even more confused about economics. The other one, from a district which went 58%-41% for the GOP presidential nominee in 2012, offers a bold, nearly unprecedented, apology for his role in a war waged by a president of his own party. The other can raise an awful lot of money and is from a family which has produced two failed presidents. And he is the one who thinks he should be President.

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