Friday, May 31, 2019

Hillary Responds To Her Weekend Losses


From March 28, 2016, that's "Hillary Responds To Her Weekend Losses."

 C.I. noted:

Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Hillary Responds To Her Weekend Losses." 
Hillary declares, "Alaska, Hawaii and Washington, I'll get you -- and your little dog too!"   Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.

Looking back on that comic, I realize how it could have been so different.  We could have had Bernie.  A fair system would have allowed that.

When I think of what could have been, I think of that Carly Simon song "Memorial Day:"

It should have been so soft, this morning as we left
But the valley was infected, by a different kind of beauty
And the Indians they knew, it was a devil's sanctuary.
Out of this unholy dawn, a car came stirring up the sand
And a woman from a passion play
Held up the limousine that brought me
All this way today. And I didn't need to turn around
So strong was the message, and the man who planned her life
Commanded all that followed: Well they bellowed, and they hollered
And they threw each other down, down in this valley
This cruel and lovely valley, Oh it should have been an alley
In some low down part of town

I want Tulsi, to be honest.  But Bernie wouldn't be 'settling.'  I'd be happy to have him for president as well.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, May 31, 2019.  A look at the history that got us to this point and at how those who just follow orders are not going to become good leaders -- but mainly we look at Joe Biden and hypocrisy.

This week, we've been talking about how the press works overtime to destroy anti-war candidates, how they rush to prop up the worst pro-war candidates.  Right on time, here's Senator Tammy Baldwin with another poorly written column.

The Iraq War veterans goes for the drama -- she always does, she's John McCain for the 21st century -- by reminding everyone yet again that her helicopter was shot down.

John used his war issues to hide behind as well.  It's strange because you look at someone like Robert Dole (Bob Dole) who actually is a war hero and he's never done that.  He's never hidden behind that or used it as a "I'm an expert because!"  And Bob Dole, like so many others who have served in the military, really did make a difference.

The only difference Tammy makes is increasing the number of dead and wounded.

Ten paragraphs of more after she's done recounting her 'glory days' (sing it, Bruce), Tammy finally gets around to today -- never forget that Tammy must be center of attention! -- and argues that the US military must stay in Iraq because . . . well the economy!  And a host of other issues:

Its younger generation is struggling, with too few jobs for the 800,000 young people trying to enter its workforce every year.
Its military appears ill-equipped to sustain itself whenever the U.S. stops writing checks.
It remains dangerously vulnerable to a resurgent Islamic State, or ISIS, a group that’s as insidious as ever.

Excuse me, Genius Tammy, what the f**k does US troops on the ground have to do with job creation for young Iraqis.  US troops, you War Hawk, have been on the ground for years in Iraq, that has never addressed the jobs for young Iraiqs.  I gues sif you couldn't hide behind your helicopter crash, you'd be afraid others would challenge you on your f**ked up lies that you tell to continue the Iraq War.

As for the Iraqi forces?  The US military has trained them.  And retrained them.  And retrained them.  And at this point, we're still with Bully Boy Bush in the White House.  But then Barack comes in and the constant training continues.  More of it is supposed to take place after the 2011 December drawdown (not withdrawal) but the Iraqi government is saying they don't want that training.  And, sure enough, as 2012 rolls around -- and as then-US House Rep Gary Ackerman repeatedly pointed out -- they refuse the training.  They don't show up.  This is now under the State Dept and as Gary and others on Committees note, the Sate Dept won't give straight answers.  But, after it happens, months after, Congress is informed that the State Dept did turn over the training academy to the Iraqi government -- the one US taxpayers paid for and the one the State Dept was supposed to do training at -- because no one was showing up for training.

So from 2012 through most of 2014, no real training going on officially (in the fall of 2012, as Tim Arango reported for THE NEW YORK TIMES, Barack sent in a team of special-ops to help with training and other messy realities).  Then Barack Obama sends in US troops to Iraq -- publicly for the country to realize he broke his promise to the people (while keeping his 2007 promise to Michael Gordon and THE NEW YORK TIMES -- he told them he'd do that, he'd send troops back in after a withdrawal if he became president, he kept his word, didn't he?).

So except for a very brief period of 2012 through June of 2014, US troops have repeatedly trained and re-trained Iraqi troops.

We have defended Iraqi troops here in this space when US trainers have slammed them as lazy or worse.

They're not lazy.  They're there for a pay check.  The Iraqi government is installed by the US, it does not reflect the Iraqi people.  That's why, in early 2008, for example, so many Iraqi troops fled the battle in Basra -- the battle their supposed government sent them into.  That's why, when ISIS began grabbing land in 2014, the Iraqi military repeatedly fled.  They didn't fight.

What did they have to fight for?  A puppet government put in place by the US government?

Tammy's a liar and she's a liar who hides behind "my helicopter crashed."

Tammy is a press stooge.  In 2006, she ran for Congress and failed.  Because to know Tammy is to strongly dislike her.  But before the Congressional election, there was the primary.  And the press -- big and small -- lied and pimped Tammy as an anti-war candidate, a peace candidate.  She was nothing of the sort.  One of the funnies moments of Laura Flanders' AIR AMERICA RADIO show (when she was in charge, before THE NATION took over and started dictating her guests) was when Laura was promoting the hell out of Tammy, live on air, yet again, only to have a guest say, wait, she's not progressive, she's not even the progressive Democrat in that primary, it's Christine Cegelis.

Laura was shocked.  Laura was surprised.  Laura said she didn't know.  And with that show, the coverage ended.  Now do we applaud Laura for that?  Or do we maybe point out the fact that if she really was shocked and surprised, the right thing to do was to have Christine on her show the following weekend?  This is when the show was live and on Saturday and Sunday nights.  Long before THE NATION took over -- they dumped what's his face and gave Laura the show THE NATION had always done but with strings attached.  Laura could have whomever she wanted on her show and did.  Remember the guests (plural, yes) who appeared to explain that Hurricane Katrina wasn't that bad, that it was really bombs set up around New Orleans?

Laura hopes you don't remember and maybe you don't -- but me?  I never forget.

The press sold Tammy as a progressive and there was Laura promoting her as such while ignoring the actual progressive in the race.

So Tammy loses but has so many friends in war places that she moves along, one scandal after another, and eventually fails upward into the Senate.

That's how it works if you're a War Hawk who will pimp war constantly.

And few swing a bigger dick than Tammy, right?  She calls Donald Trump, President of the United States, "president bone spurs."  She's mocking him because he didn't serve in Vietnam.

Now no one should have served in Vietnam.  It was an illegal war and it was a destructive war and a war built on lies.  Yeah, it was the early version of the Iraq War.

But for dick swingers like Tammy, Seth Moulton and Pete Buttigieg, it's time to mock someone if they didn't serve in that war.

Excuse me, that's not true.

Elaine pointed out the truth last night -- these dick swingers really only attack their enemies for not serving in Iraq.

See Elaine's "Wheezie Joe, who died when you didn't go?" and learn all about how Joe Biden avoided serving in Vietnam.  First with 8 years of education deferments and then with the 'fact' that he had childhood asthma -- a condition that was so serious but somehow -- who knows how? -- still allowed him to play football and baseball in high school and football in college.  Asthma, poor Joe.

Earlier this week, Seth Moulton, a member of the US Congress, went on cable TV to declare that Donald Trump was not a patriot because he used deferments to avoid serving in Iraq.  Furthermore, Seth insisted that by using those deferments, Donald made some other man go and might have condemned that man to death in Vietnam.  Strangely enough, despite Seth's own battles with PTS, he never offered that this allegedly condemned man could have come back to the US and suffered and taken his own life.

But apparently, when you swing your big dick like Seth, Tammy and Pete love to, all the blood rushes out of your big head into your little one.

So, Seth, when you calling out Wheezie Joe?  When you going to point out -- as you try to win the Democratic Party's presidential nomination -- that Wheezie Joe may have condemned someone to death by his eight years of education deferments and then by his signed statement about his childhood asthma?

I thought Seth's entire performance was pathetic and ahistorical.  But that's the performance he  took to the American people.  It's the same one Tammy does as she ridicules Donald Trump repeatedly and Mayor Pete does it too.

So are you three whores just going to admit you're hypocrites or are you going to apply the same standard to Joe Biden?

Wheezie Joe refused to serve and by the dick swingers 'standards' that means he is not fit to be commander-in-chief -- that's what they learned from their Little Golden Books -- the last books they apparently ever picked up which would explain their cartoonish view of the world.

Joe Biden, always craven, always whorish, declared yesterday that John McCain was a War Hero -- that's a strange definition when McCain's record is actually examined and all the crashes he had -- and that he couldn't be criticized.

Joe's the best little whore, isn't he?  John McCain went on to serve decades in the Congress and, sorry, Joe, he absolutely can (and should) be slammed for that.

I remember John best for his 'brave' refusal to support GI legislation for post-911 veterans -- even GI education benefits.

John was so happy -- War Hero!-- to send men and women into needless wars but he didn't want them to have any education after.  Educated people are dangerous, sheep are so much easier to manage.  That's what 'War Hero' John McCain believed.

Someone needs to inform Tammy that real heroes -- war or otherwise -- don't constnatly tell their own story over and over.  Refusal to grasp that?  Usually a sign of vanity and an admission that you've honestly never accomplished anything so you have to pull out your war story from 15 years ago.

And military service does not make you better than anyone (or worse than anyone) and does not make you fit for leadership.

US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard served in the Iraq War.  Is that why she would be a good president?  No.  It's the fact that she questions what the US government ordered that would make her a good president.

The military trains you to follow orders.  That's not a leader.  If you don't progress beyond that, if you're not able to reflect on your own actions and those of your government, you've not demonstrated leadership at all.

Nothing Tammy has done or said indicates that she can process an actual experience -- military or otherwise.

Seth and I are of the same mind when it comes to PTS (including using that term) and I applaud his work on that issue but, as popped up on his Twitter feed (check for yourself), when someone tries to enlarge the topic of PTS, Seth goes running out of the rooms, hands over his ears.

PTS exists in all areas.  I'm sure that the children present at school shootings (and their parents) can suffer PTS just as rape survivors and others can.

But Seth cannot build on anything.  He wants to be president but even on the topic of PTS he shows his repeated inability to analyze and assess.  He's so big on PTS -- but just so long as it's about the military.  He had PTS and he can only relate to those who had PTS the way he did from the same source he did.

That's not leadership.  That's not someone who can reach out or who can make anything better.  That's a little boy who can't grow up.

A few people are starting to notice the effort to turn the government into the military.  I think it's a fad -- and it's far from over -- like the late 80s leading into the hideous "re-inventing government" promoted by many -- including Al Gore.  That was not an answer.  That is why Glass-Stegall was repealed.

There is so much talk about that but they never connect it to the doctrine it sprung from.  Dems wanting to flirt with Big Business sold out the American people and did so with the argument that privatization of this or that was needed and that there was a 'middle way' that would allow business to succeed.  See, government was bad, the arghument went, and privatization was good.  And we needed to free business.  Glass-Stegall was born of the stock market crash that led to the Great Depression.  When the neoliberals pimping reinventing government (actually "decimating" government) did away with it, we ended up with the great recession of the last decade.

Joe Biden, strange how he's always there like Zelig but in all the bad moments of history, was a huge supporter of 'reinventing government.'  He needs to answer for that.  A press that was about informing the people would ensure that he was forced to answer.  A press that is not a free press but just a tool of big business will look the other way.

And does.

We need to wrap this up.

Let's note first that Joe Biden, yesterday, as he seeks the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, tried to police Americans speech -- the same Joe Biden who can't police his own hands and keep them off little girls.

Let's note that Tammy, Seth and Pete live to mock Donald Trump for not serving in Vietnam but they look the other way on Wheezie Joe -- that's known as hypocrisy -- I'm not sure that topic was ever covered in a Little Golden Book.

America needs leaders, real leaders.  A Tulsi Gabbard, a Bernie Sanders, in fact, a number of people running, have demonstrated that they can assess and analyze.  And that's what we need, not the dumbing down of America but this time by Joe Biden!

One more thing, in e-mails I'm asked about this posting "Rep. Susan Davis Response to Mueller Statements on..."?  No, I am not in favor of impeachment and we have real issues to focus on.  But everything that goes up here does not have to be my opinion or in agreement with me.  I'll make my argument, others can make their own.  I'm opposed to impeachment.  I believe Susan presented her own case and did so very well.  But, no, I do not favor impeachment.

The following sites updated:

Read on ...

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Low Road

low road

From March 13, 2016, that's  "Low Road."  C.I. noted:

Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Low Road."  Governor John Kasich, seeking the GOP presidential nomination, declared, "I'm not going to take the low road to the highest office in the land.  Now give me a few minutes to insult my opponents."  Wee Valerie Jarrett shows up to offer, "I don't trust a man without eyebrows."  Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.

Does anyone remember John Kasich?  I don't and I did that cartoon!  Even now, I only know his name because of what C.I. wrote under my comic.  What a forgettable person.  Hillary's 2016 running mate was forgettable too.

Tim Kaine.  He never registered.  Imagine if she's asked Bernie to be her running mate?  Or Julian Castro or his brother or Elizabeth Warren?

All four were possibilities in 2016.  Instead, she went with the uninspired choice of Tim Kaine.

Kaine brought what to the ticket?

He was a forgettable loser.

A northerner who carpetbagged to what some consider the south (Virginia).  What did he bring to the table?  Virginia's 13 electoral votes?  Woooh!  !3 votes!  That's almost something.  Not really, but almost.

She had four choices that could have inspired.  Instead she chose to run with generic White male.

Her loss is her fault.  She ran a lousy campaign.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, May 24, 2019.  Julian Assange is being persecuted to such a degree that now all journalists are at risk, we review the failure of all Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to vote against war on Iran (without Congressional authorization), and more.

WIKILEAKS publisher Julian Assange is in new peril as he continues to be persecuted.  Yesterday, the US government brought indictments against him for espionage.  That is utter bulls**t and that, yes, should be the legal term.

Before we go further --

What happened in Sweden is not known.  If he raped or assaulted a woman or two women is not known.  Some of his defenders are yet again trashing a woman who stepped forward.  We will not play that game, we didn't not play it when Ray McGovern and others were calling them "honey pots" and worse.  Were you in that bedroom?  Then you don't know what happened.

That is why Julian has and deserves the presumption of innocence.  Nothing has ever been proven in a court of law, nothing may ever be.  At this point, he is innocent in the eyes of the law.

Some of his more ardent defenders have lied.  Early on, it could have been that they were mistaken.  But we covered the London hearing in real time and there was a very important lie exposed.  I will not allow that lie to appear here.  Sweden did say "Don't leave."  They did not say it to Julian, they said it to his attorney.  When this came out the London hearing, the British judge slammed the attorney for that because that lie -- Sweden never said don't go -- had been treated as established fact.  A text exists -- that Julian's attorney had to admit in court was real.

I understand people wanting to defend Julian.  That's no reason to lie.  There are four pieces that have been mailed to the public account for this site -- 3 by the authors of the four.  I'm not highlighting attacks on a woman or women that says they were assaulted.

I have a friend who is in a very public pickle.  He didn't abuse the woman involved.  He's seen by many as having done that.  My words to him before the marriage, "She's a liar and a whore and she's going to publicly humiliate you.  She's using you for her career and she can't act and she's a coldfish onscreen.  When she realizes marriage to you will not advance her career, she's going to humiliate you."  And she has.  She made a lot of lies publicly.  Then, to get a big payout, that she pretends all went to charity (it didn't), she signed a non-disclosure agreement.  Then she penned a column saying she had been beaten -- violating the NDA.  She has no talent, she's vapid and she's a coldfish onscreen so there will be no great acting career.  Her minor role in two superhero films is it for her.

He's not guilty of what she  claims.  He was stupid to have ever trusted, let alone marry her.  Our actions have consequences.  He's trying to rebuild his image currently.

Do supposed victims sometimes lie?  Yes, they do and they're not all named Jussie Smollett.  Do women sometimes lie?  Absolutely.

If someone has some form of proof about lies against Julian, then by all means come forward.

Until then, stop attacking the women involved.  You weren't there, you don't know.

On the friend above, I do know.  I saw her behavior and heard about it in real time.  I, to this day, have great love for Bob Filner.  He did some wonderful things in Congress.  After he left, while he was a mayor, some women came forward stating he had harassed and abused them.  When those charges were made, we didn't hide him here.  We noted it.  We noted the women had a right to make their case.  I stated I hoped the charges weren't true but that I didn't know.

Bob ended up resigning over those charges.  He's given at least one interview since where he's tried to walk it back.  He already publicly admitted to it.  I don't see how you walk that back.

Bob was never anything but wonderful to me.  I'm very sorry for what was done to the women by him.  Before they came forward, I would never have believed he was capable of such a thing.

We are not gong to try Julian here for rape or assault.  We are not going to smear the women because Julian is being persecuted.  Not here.

We are going to be very clear that what the US government is doing has nothing to do with what did or did not happen in Sweden.

And charging Julian with espionage has nothing to do with Sweden.

Julian is being persecuted by the US government.  And in their zeal to destroy him, they have now put journalism itself at risk.

When Bob Woodward agreed to signal Deep Throat when they needed to talk, was he enticing Deep Throat (supposedly Mark Felt -- most of us believe there is at least one other person who was Deep Throat along with Felt)?

Equally true, espionage?  Youu could charge the whole press corps today with that.

Donald Trump is the duly elected president of the United States.  Working with James Clapper and other former intelligence assets, this press has worked to destroy his presidency.  He is the president of the United States.  Destroying him -- it's a slippery slope what you call espionage in the press -- is destroying the United States.

You can make that argument now, after the charges against Julian, that argument can be made.

That's what charging Julian for doing journalism means.

It also means that THE NEW YORK TIMES and THE WASHINGTON POST, among others, can be charged as knowing or unknowing accomplices to espionage because they worked with Julian Assange on some of his biggest scoops.

The government has grossly overstepped and put the First Amendment in peril.

Is Julian being persecuted?  Yes, he is.

Whatever happened in Sweden is between Sweden and Julian and has nothing to do with defending him from the US government.

We support Julian Assange and we reject the charges of espionage or any charges made against him by the US government for the 'crime' of practicing journalism.

So that's A.  We have so much to unpack.

We were speaking yesterday and there was also the roundtable for today's gina & krista round-robin as well as Ava and I having to write our column for that.  It was late in the afternoon when we learned the news of Julian and that became the focus for the rest of the evening.

I completely forgot about yesterday's snapshot, the ending.  I meant to make a call but I didn't and it's too early as I dictate this to call my friend.  Fine, we'll just look up public record.  Only we can't because it's not updated yet.  So I'll instead review slowly -- and hopefully not make a math mistake like yesterday -- due to drive-by e-mails to the public account insisting no Democrats would refuse a vote saying Donald Trump needed Congressional authorization for war.  From yesterday's snapshot:

On the issue of war on Iran, Tulsi is hitting back hard.  While some in Congress have fought back (Tulsi, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Seth Moulton  -- all vying for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination and all currently serving in Congress -- have come out against war on Iran), not enough members have.  Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) reported yesterday on an effort by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee to assert their proper role (Congress is the body that has the authority to declare war):

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Tom Udall (D-NM) led an effort on Wednesday to try to reassert Congressional authority, by trying to preemptively de-fund any US war against Iran unless Congress authorized it ahead of time.

This proposal was brought forward at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and immediately failed, 13-9. Murphy said this vote would remind the administration that they don’t have authorization for the war.

Republican Rand Paul voted for the measure, he is one of the nine.

My confusion?  Why it wasn't 13 to eleven.  The Democrats have ten members on the Committee. 
[I have added wrong here.  13 and 11 would have carried it to 24.  Repeating, that math is wrong.]  Was Cory to busy campaigning to vote?

Who was the piece of crap Democrat who voted with Republicans?  Actually, there were two.

Democrats have ten members on the Committee.  Republicans have 12.

In a 13-9 vote, with Republican Rand providing the ninth vote, that means 2 Democrats crossed over.

First, several people e-mailed to say I left Pete Buttigieg off the list of people who had spoken against war on Iran.  No, I didn't.  Because it wasn't "people."  It was members of Congress.  Pete is not a member of Congress.  Mike Gravel isn't on the list either.  I didn't leave him off.  He was a US senator.  He is not currently in Congress.  The list was a list of those being vocal currently about no war on Iran.  I don't care for Elizabeth Warren, she's in Congress and in the last few days she's been outspoken (after a silence of seven days prior) so she made the list.  I wasn't playing favorites.  It was a list of the members of Congress who were saying no.

We then transition to Senator Udall's amendment and the vote.

We're doing a slow walk.  I have no problem admitting I'm wrong when I am.

I WAS WRONG THAT CORY BOOKER MIGHT HAVE MISSED THE VOTE.  No one missed the vote.  I added wrong.  13 and 9 is 22.  22 is the number of the Committee.

I was wrong.  No e-mail mentioned that, a friend at CBS NEWS brought my error to my attention this morning (which is when I remembered we were supposed to continue this conversation here today)..

But a huge number of e-mails tell me I'm wrong about other things including that Democrats would not have gone against each other on this vote and that, for example, every committee has the same number of Democrats and Republicans on it.

On the last one, uh, what world do you live in and did they struggle to fund education there?

Other basic facts elude many of the drive-by e-mailers.  First off, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee met on Wednesday, **MAY** 22nd.  It was a business meeting.  The fifth piece of legislation they considered was Udall's -- and that was an amendment.  The bill itself was HR 31 Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019.  To this bill, Udall attached the amendment.  His amendment is entitled "PROHIBITION OF UNAUTHORIZED MILITARY OPERATIONS IN OR AGAINST IRAN."  To read it (PDF format warning) at the Senate Foreign Committee site, click here, it's two pages.

Now for the makeup of the Committee:


10 Democrats, 12 Republicans.  That is the make up of the Committee.  That's from Gov.Track and we'll even share the 22 members.

Portrait of James Risch
ex officio, Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation
Portrait of Robert “Bob” Menendez
Ranking Member
New Jersey
ex officio, Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation
Portrait of Cory Gardner
Subcommittee Chair
Portrait of Lindsey Graham
Subcommittee Chair
South Carolina
chair, Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy
Portrait of John “Johnny” Isakson
Subcommittee Chair
Portrait of Ron Johnson
Subcommittee Chair

Portrait of Mitt Romney
Subcommittee Chair
Portrait of Marco Rubio
Subcommittee Chair
Portrait of Cory Booker
Subcommittee Ranking Member
New Jersey
ranking member, Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy
Portrait of Benjamin Cardin
Subcommittee Ranking Member
Portrait of Timothy “Tim” Kaine
Subcommittee Ranking Member
ranking member, Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and ...
Portrait of Edward “Ed” Markey
Subcommittee Ranking Member
Portrait of Jeff Merkley
Subcommittee Ranking Member
Portrait of Christopher Murphy
Subcommittee Ranking Member
ranking member, Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation
Portrait of Jeanne Shaheen
Subcommittee Ranking Member
New Hampshire
ranking member, Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation
Portrait of John Barrasso
Portrait of Chris Coons
Portrait of Ted Cruz
Portrait of Rand Paul
Portrait of Robert “Rob” Portman

Portrait of Tom Udall
New Mexico                               

It was a 13 to 9 vote.  That's 22.  That's the full Committee.

There are 10 Democrats on the Committee so two crossed over.

Rand Paul is a Republican.  The only votes known are Tom, Chris and Rand's votes.  We know those because of Chris Murphy's Tweet.

Based on nothing but Chris Murphy's Tweet the press spun it as Rand breaks with Republicans!!!!

That's not the story.  He's one person.

The story is that two Democrats refused to vote with the other Democrats.  Two is greater than one, that makes it the story.

13 voted against and 9 voted for.

One of the nine is Rand who is a Republican.

That means 8 Democrats voted for the measure.

There are 10 Democrats on the Committee.  That means 2 voted with the Republicans.  If all ten had voted for Tom's amendment and Rand had voted for it that would bring the total to 11 for it.  But the total -- with Rand -- is 9.

At some point, the vote will be posted at CONGRESS.ORG (at that specific page) and also here at GOV.TRACK.  The two who refused to support the amendment?  We need to know their names and they need to explain themselves.

And the media needs to do a better job -- that's THE HILL, that's THINK PROGRESS (which looks like a self-righteous idiot with their rant against Republicans since two Democrats voted with the Republicans).

We're noting this from Senator Tom Udell's office:

May 22, 2019

Udall Delivers Remarks on Defending Congressional War Powers and Ending Forever Wars at VoteVets Event

Amid escalating tensions with Iran, Udall calls on Congress to stand up and assert its constitutional authority to halt the march to war

Following his remarks, Udall forces a vote on a proposal to ensure Congressional authorization prior to war with Iran

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, delivered remarks on defending Congressional war powers and ending forever wars at a bipartisan event hosted by VoteVets and Concerned Veterans for America. In his remarks, Udall emphasized that under the Constitution, only Congress has the power to declare war – a responsibility it has ceded to the executive branch for too long. Udall called on Congress to stand up and assert its constitutional authority to block the administration’s reckless march to war with Iran. A photo is available HERE.
Earlier this year, Udall reintroduced bipartisan legislation to prevent an unconstitutional war with Iran. The Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act of 2019 restores to Congress the sole power to declare war by prohibiting any funding for an unauthorized attack on Iran, thereby blocking the president from provoking an unnecessary military conflict in the Middle East. 
Following his remarks, Udall attended a Senate Foreign Relations Committee markup where he and Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) called for a vote on an amendment they filed to H.R. 31, based on Udall’s bill, to prohibit funding for any unauthorized military action in Iran.
“[I]t is the American people’s 535 representatives in Congress who have the power under the U.S. Constitution to enter into war. Not one person. Not even the president,” said Udall. “The framers of the Constitution were crystal clear -- in Article I, Section 8:  Congress, and Congress alone, has the power to ‘declare war.’ But, over recent years, Republican and Democratic presidents alike have overstepped their constitutional ground to wage war. Administrations from both parties have stretched the meaning of Congress’s authorizations to use military force to the breaking point.  And Congress has allowed it to happen. This encroachment needs to end.” 
“Congress has surrendered its authority because the decision to wage war and to escalate war are tough, political decisions. But the voters elected us to make the tough decision and we need to do our job -- our constitutional duty,” Udall continued.
Udall has also introduced a bipartisan bill, the American Forces Going Home After Noble (AFGHAN) Service Act, to end America’s long war — the war in Afghanistan —and bring our troops home, while honoring servicemembers who answered the called to duty by providing bonuses to all those who served in the Global War on Terrorism.  “Our nation’s forever wars have cost us too much.  And we need to bring them to a close -- beginning with Afghanistan,” Udall said. 
Udall concluded, “Congress must re-assert its authority and make the decisions whether or not to engage in armed conflict. I’ve put forth legislation on Iran, on Afghanistan. These critical decisions demand debate on the Senate floor.  We cannot continue to stick our heads in the sand. Too much is at stake. Please join me in urging Congress to affirm its constitutional prerogative. To debate the critical issues of war and peace. To make the tough decisions. And take the tough votes.  We owe it to every single man and woman who puts on the American uniform to assume our constitutional duty.”
The full text of Udall’s remarks as prepared for delivery is below.
Thank you, VoteVets and Concerned Veterans for America for organizing today’s important discussion.  Your organizations have worked to find common ground -- rooted in the Constitution’s language and entrusting war powers with the Congress.    
If we’re going to end these endless wars – it’s going to take collaboration like yours.
The veterans and service men and women here today know better than anyone the true cost of war.  You and your compatriots made the sacrifice.  And I thank you for your service.
At the outset, let’s be clear about two things: 
First, the majority of American people, our troops, and their families have no appetite for forever wars in the Middle East or anywhere else.  They have no appetite for forever wars that do not serve our national interest. That have no clear mission or exit strategy. That cost precious American lives.  And cost billions of taxpayer dollars.
Second, it is the American people’s 535 representatives in Congress who have the power under the U.S. Constitution to enter into war.
Not one person. Not even the president. 
The framers of the Constitution were crystal clear -- in Article I, Section 8:  Congress, and Congress alone, has the power to “declare war.”
But, over recent years, Republican and Democratic presidents alike have overstepped their constitutional ground to wage war.
Administrations from both parties have stretched the meaning of Congress’s authorizations to use military force to the breaking point.  And Congress has allowed it to happen. 
This encroachment needs to end.
Congress has surrendered its authority because the decision to wage war and to escalate war are tough, political decisions. But the voters elected us to make the tough decisions and we need to do our job -- our constitutional duty.
This president has had Americans on the edge of their seats and Twitter feeds wondering whether he will rain down “fire and fury” on North Korea.  Whether he will use military force to force out Maduro in Venezuela.  Whether he will spiral into an unconstitutional war against Iran. 
I believe the American people want no part of these new military ventures.  But even if you disagree -- these decisions are Congress’s to make, not the president’s.
Every day now we are reading about potential war with Iran. 
While Iran is a bad actor in many ways, the administration’s policies and rhetoric have needlessly increased tensions.
Let’s be clear: there was no threat of war until the president made conflict more likely.  And now we are in danger of the situation getting out of control.  This is a conflict of the president’s own making:
By unilaterally pulling out of the Iran agreement -- an agreement Iran was abiding by according to the president’s own military experts.  
By re-imposing sanctions and using sanctions authority to compel both our allies and Iran to make changes that were never part of the agreement. 
By labeling part of Iran’s military a “terrorist group” in a way that brought little benefit but I believe increases risks to our own forces. 
By misusing intelligence, and not sharing the limited intelligence with Congress, to increase the temperature in an already fraught region.
Now we know that John Bolton was one of the chief architects of the Iraq war. And he has wanted regime change and war with Iran for years.  Advisor Bolton and Secretary Pompeo’s “maximum pressure” campaign looks like a cover to goad Iran into conflict.  
One day, the president doesn’t want to go to war with Iran and he wants to talk.  The next he threatens to annihilate the entire country.  I think this Twitter foreign policy is erratic, reckless, and dangerous.
But whether the president wants to wage war against Iran is not the question. 
The real question is whether the president comes to Congress to seek a declaration of war against Iran. 
That’s why I introduced the Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act in April, along with Senators Paul and Durbin, and a number of other senators. 
This bipartisan legislation prohibits any funding for an unauthorized attack on Iran.
And, by the way, I do not believe the 2001 authorization for use of military force does not authorize force against Iran.  No matter how much this administration stretches to connect Al Qaeda and Iran.
Congress must assert its constitutional authority to prevent a needless conflict with Iran.  
And we need groups like yours to continue to speak up about this threat. 
Our nation’s forever wars have cost us too much.  And we need to bring them to a close -- beginning with Afghanistan.
We’ve been in Afghanistan over 17 years.  This is longest war in U.S. history.  We’ve lost over 2,300 men and women.  20,000 troops have been wounded in action.  It’s cost us $2 trillion dollars. 
The original mission for involvement in Afghanistan has been achieved.  It’s high time we bring our troops home.  
That’s why, in March, along with Senator Paul, I introduced the American Forces Going Home After Noble Service Act – or AFGHAN Service Act. 
This act declares victory in Afghanistan, acknowledging that we have largely achieved our objectives, sets guidelines for the safe and orderly withdrawal of troops, and repeals the 2001 AUMF.
Congress must re-assert its authority and make the decisions whether or not to engage in armed conflict. I’ve put forth legislation on Iran, on Afghanistan. 
These critical decisions demand debate on the Senate floor.  We cannot continue to stick our heads in the sand. Too much is at stake.  
Please join me in urging Congress to affirm its constitutional prerogative. To debate the critical issues of war and peace. To make the tough decisions. And take the tough votes.  We owe it to every single man and woman who puts on the American uniform to assume our constitutional duty. 


The two Democrats who sided with Republicans?  It matters.  They need to be held accountable.  Instead of trying to shame Bernie Sanders for being right about Iraq and Vietnam, the press should be shaming these two.  But, please note, the press has 'reported' on this vote while (a) getting the story wrong (two people crossing party lines is a bigger story than one person doing so) and (b) made no effort to supply names to who voted which way.

I was right about Vietnam. I was right about Iraq. I will do everything in my power to prevent a war with Iran. I apologize to no one.


The Iraq War is a disaster in so many ways.  One example?  Frank Gardner (BBC NEWS) reported this week:

The Archbishop of Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, has accused Britain's Christian leaders of failing to do enough in defence of the vanishing Christian community in Iraq.
In an impassioned address in London, the Rt Rev Bashar Warda said Iraq's Christians now faced extinction after 1,400 years of persecution.
Since the US-led invasion toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 2003, he said, the Christian community had dwindled by 83%, from around 1.5 million to just 250,000.
"Christianity in Iraq," he said, "one of the oldest Churches, if not the oldest Church in the world, is perilously close to extinction. Those of us who remain must be ready to face martyrdom."

Need another example?  Yesterday, Governor Ned Lamont held a ceremony to honor the 65 men and women from Connecticut killed in the Afganistan and Iraq Wars.

Grateful to the brave men and women from who gave their lives in service to our country. I encourage everyone to visit the at the State Capitol building. It’s a moving tribute to the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice.


Every state doesn't have a Ned Lamont who will recognize the fallen but every state has lost citizens to those ongoing, forever wars.

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