Monday, February 23, 2015

An Open Letter to Senators Lieberman and McCain


Editorial Note: In reference to Lieberman, I use the title "Senator" the same way people address Sarah Palin as "Governor" or Harland Sanders as “Colonel.”    // Jim



I don't mind public displays of affection.

I don’t, really.

But, seriously, Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman, you two should just get a room.

Frankly the ongoing sloppy public display of tonsil hockey between you two is starting to verge on the pornographic. Haven’t you conservatives got a law about this sort of thing?  I mean, seriously, there are children present. Sheesh.

A little decorum, please.

Is that too much to ask?

Lieberman penned an OpEd which appeared today in papers across the country, publicly chastising democrats and enjoining them to hear out Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of the United States Congress.

Lieberman couldn’t do it via email or memo or an address on the floor, no he just had to make a public spectacle.

So naturally McCain slobbered all over his Twitter feed pimping his pal.

And I can see why Johnny Walnuts so loves Joe Lieberman and why he spends so much time and effort on his little crush. McCain makes a big thing of being the grumpy curmudgeon, but for sheer haughty condescension, nobody can sneer like Joe Lieberman.  No wonder McCain is in love.

It seems that a group of twenty-three House Democrats asked Speaker John Boehner to delay Netanyahu's address, scheduled for next month. The request, coordinated by Keith Ellison (D-MN), Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Maxine Waters (D-CA) suggested the United States would be better served to wait until after Netanyahu’s reelection – if indeed he is reelected.

"As members of Congress who support Israel, we share concern that it appears that you are using a foreign leader as a political tool against the president.”

Note that democrats wrote a personal letter to the Speaker, instead of attempting to reprimand Republicans in the popular press. They asked Boehner to move the speech from March 3rd to some time after the Israeli elections.

"We strongly urge you to postpone this invitation until Israelis have cast their ballots and the deadline for diplomatic negotiations with Iran has passed. When the Israeli Prime Minister visits us outside the specter of partisan politics, we will be delighted and honored to greet him or her on the floor of the House.”

The letter warns that Netanyahu’s pending address violates US diplomatic protocol since it was scheduled without input from the Obama administration or congressional Democrats.

"We very much appreciate that Prime Minister Netanyahu has twice had the honor of speaking before a joint session. However, at this time your invitation is contrary to the standards by which our Congress operates and has the potential to harm U.S. foreign policy.”

Democrats pointed out that Netanyahu's speech could very well damage international negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers currently attempting to establish an accord on Iran's nuclear program.

But this really isn’t about Iran, is it, Senators?

Lieberman says it's important to listen to Netanyahu (despite the fact that Netanyahu may not even be Israeli’s prime minister much longer).

● “because this is about determining how best to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons”

Lieberman swears it’s not just more partisanship or a test of “political loyalty.”

Right. It’s not about partisanship.

It’s not a test of political loyalty.

It’s not about republicans sending a big “fuck you” to Barack Obama.

Sure it’s not. Tell me another one, Joe.

This is nothing if not a test of loyalty, of patriotism, of partisanship, and if it wasn’t then it wouldn’t even be an issue, would it? If this wasn’t about partisanship, Senator Lieberman would have written an email instead of publishing an OpEd in every major paper in the country. And you don’t have to look any further than the proliferation of Israeli flag pins on the lapels of Born Again Zionists such as Sarah Palin.

Republicans, Lieberman and McCain in particular, have made it very clear:  to love Israel unquestioningly is to love America.

Anyone, and especially Barack Obama, who doesn’t show up for Netanyahu’s address will be called a traitor, anti-Semitic, a Muslim sympathizer, weak on terrorism, and unAmerican. And don’t you think they won’t, because it’s happening already.

Apparently conservatives like McCain and Lieberman think the best way for America to restrain Iran is to collude with the leader of a foreign nation while obstructing our own democratically elected president. Most of the time I can’t tell who republicans hate more, Iran or Obama and frankly, when it comes to Obama, it’s getting damned hard to tell Republican hate from the Iranian.

● “because you are a strong supporter of America’s alliance with Israel and you don’t want it to become a partisan matter.”

See? What did I tell you? Support of Israel is American. It’s patriotic.

And not just support, it must be strong support. Uncritical support. Unquestioning support.

And it has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that Joe Lieberman is far more loyal to the Jewish State than he is to his own country. No conflict of interest there, eh Senator? But Obama? McCain and Lieberman can question Obama’s love of country and loyalties because that’s totally different – why, just ask Rudy Giuliani.

And, of course, it has nothing whatsoever to do with that bit where the fanatical evangelical dogmatists of the Republican party are expecting their cherished End Times to begin with a war in the holy land and, man, you don’t want to be on the wrong side when Fifty Foot Tall Robot Laser Jesus returns to murder all the liberals – starting with those who didn’t show up to hear Netanyahu speak, I guess. God will be sure to kill them first.

● “because the Constitution gives you the power to ‘regulate commerce with foreign nations,’ ‘define and punish . . . offenses against the law of nations,’ ‘declare war,’ ‘raise and support armies,’ and ‘provide and maintain a Navy,’ and “Netanyahu might say some things that will inform your exercise of those great powers.”

Netanyahu might say some things that will inform congress how to exercise those great powers.

Netanyahu, see, he’s going to tell the United States congress how to do its job, how to run America. Because the guy from some dinky middle eastern country that can’t defend itself without the military and industrial might of the United States and all of Western Europe is coming to goad us into yet another goddamned war against a country that likely wouldn’t even be our enemy in the first place if it wasn’t for Israel. 

Can you imagine? Can you really imagine the unhinged outrage, the conspiracy theories, and the offended screeching hoots of conservative congressmen if someone were to tell them that they should listen to François Hollande on how to manage American Foreign policy?

Or how about Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud? Why don’t we let him tell us where we should go to war? Well?

And boy, that’s quite an impressive list of responsibilities there, isn’t it?

Regulate commerce. Punish others for offenses against nations, wow. Declare war. Raise Armies. And Benjamin Netanyahu is going to give us some advice on that. Little Israel is going to tell a global power like America how to regulate commerce, raise an army, declare war. Awesome. Can’t wait.

Funny thing though, Senators, looking through the Constitution, I don’t see where your responsibilities include taking advice from some foreign leader over that of our own elected President.  Perhaps you’d be so kind as to point me to the relevant article?

● “because you know that Israel is one of our closest and most steadfast allies and you feel a responsibility to listen to its leader speak about developments that he believes could threaten the safety, independence and even existence of his country.”

Protocol question, Senators: in the course of listening to Netanyahu, at what point will it be okay to shout “You lie!” and then boo? Can we throw shoes?

Also, while he’s speaking, will John Boehner sit behind Netanyahu and make faces and roll his bloodshot eyes?

When, Senators, will you Republicans invite the President of the United States to address congress so you can listen respectfully to him describe developments he believes could threaten the safety, independence, and even existence of his country?

Lieberman concludes with “At this very unstable moment in history, we cannot and must not avert our attention from what remains the greatest threat to the security of America and the world.”

The greatest threat to the security of America and the world.

The greatest threat.  The greatest threat. Greatest.

To the whole world. Wow, that’s a big damned threat indeed. The whole world.

I’m unclear, Senators. From your rhetoric, are you talking about Iran?

Or Netanyahu?


  1. I can't speak towards the world, but at this point, the greatest threat to the security of America is the Republicans themselves, in my book. And not a single one of them to date has proven me wrong.

    1. So totally agree with you! The GOP is definitely the greatest threat to the security of America!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Amen to that! By far our biggest threat and skirting the edges of Treason.

  2. Unfortunately, since you're several thousand miles away from Connecticut, I'm guessing you didn't get the memo. Lieberman is no longer a sitting Senator. He was replaced by Chris Murphy after the 2012 elections.

    1. I did, I was using the title "Senator" the same why people address Palin as "Governor."

      We really need a contempt font.

    2. My bad. It was the "or an address on the floor" that got me. Didn't think non-Senators (including former Senators) had the option to address from the floor.

    3. Well, Netanyahu who is isn't even an American is about to address a joint session of congress from the floor, just sayin'

    4. Lieberman is likely to be an invited guest, to fill seats not occupied by common scum democrats /sarcasm off

    5. The goopers (how's that for an indication of contempt) consider Bibi the Baby Butcher a more legitimate leader of our country than our actual President.

      Yet another reason I refer to them as the G.O.T.P.: Grand Ole Treason Party

    6. I really like the idea of a contempt font, except in reporting on our current ever increasingly regressive politics, it would have to be standard issue in order to cover the whole article.

    7. The official contempt font would be Comic Sans.

  3. Well said Jim. I think it's grossly negligent on the part of Republicans to invite Bibi to speak before Congress without first discussing it with the White House. Frankly Bibi is probably one of the most belligerent leaders in the Middle East.

    As many overseas say about America, "I like the Israel people, it's their government I can't stand."

  4. I support letting Prime Minister Netanyahu speak before Congress as long as President Hassan Rouhani of Iran is invited to speak the same day. Unless, of course, Congressional Republicans have already made up their minds about how the U.S should deal with Iraq. In which case, Netanyahu's speech is nothing but a "fuck you" to President Obama.

    1. I support your idea. Seems only fair to me :)

    2. Bibi's my way or the highway is not the first Israeli to oppose everything and everyone who opposes his view. Wrote a paper about this in the 60's and ask anyone who has moved into a 'settlement' taking over others' land...Oh, and my maiden name is Rubin..so others can spare the anti-Semitism crap. How about a Palestinian leader addressing Congress? Or then maybe not...No reason to double the mistake... Marilyn Ciucci

  5. Of course it's even worse than that, since it's a campaign appearance for Bibi, it's not really about the "leader of Israel". And anyway, Bibi and his predecessors via AIPAC have been telling us what to do for years.

  6. It likely a very good thing I'm not president at the moment. Because I'd be entirely too tempted to do something like refuse to allow Netanyahu to enter the US/Washington D.C. as a head of state. I also wonder if Boehner is daring the White House to try arresting him for this stunt.

    Because if you are going to go nuclear, I'd much rather it was with politics, not radiation.

  7. Very well said, Jim. I'm so damned tired of having to back everything Bibi does. If he'll stop building more settlements, I might be inclined to listen to him on the news shows. I do NOT respect any of the Republicans for this stunt

    1. Now the Israelis are flooding out the Palestinian settlements by removing dams and allowing water and sewage to flow through. That is beyond ugly!

  8. Another great piece Jim. And you managed to relay your message, and many or ours, by using only one instance of profanity. I don’t think I could have succeeded to do the same without resorting to at least ten flowery adjectives.

  9. Bravo! ... begins the "slow clap". Thank you, Jim!

  10. Another excellent essay! I wish that everyone could read this. Unfortunately, about half the country is so far gone, I don't even think you can get through to them. But thanks for trying!!

  11. Do you think Ms. Lindsey gets jealous of the McCain/Lieberman affair? Pearls will be clutched and couches will be fainted on.

  12. We must LEARN from history in our governance. or we are destine to fail.
    Why don't they realize that our interests are NOT in blatantly blind support for ANY foreign country.
    I very much liked your comment about Israel being the problem,,,, if it wasn't there, the problem with Iran might not exist...............

    Too many people have never talked with anyone from that area of the world. They don't know how it really was there, and how the people suffered under various emerging countries' dictator/Shah/King/ ''Elected Leaders'', in the 1950's and 60's.

    That is their history for several generations...... with war in their back yard from the time they are born, till they die. Some escape to other countries, but these are the wiser ones, the educated ones, the practicing Muslims, not the fanatics. Good people, all of them. Trustworthy and fair, honest and generous, Peaceful people..... They exist easily with their Christian and Jewish neighbors. They support common causes of the community, schools and arts. I am proud to call many of them my friend...

    What happens to the ones that can't escape........
    Where do they turn to for peace and tranquility?? Ordinance is crashing around them most of their lives. Fear and terror begin to be blunted. Kind and gentle replaced with hate and loathing.

    I know Jim Wright has been there and knows of what I speak.

    But you others: Please..............
    Please think of living like that............. before you say much about things over there.......

  13. Jim, with all due respect, I think you've gone over the top. Your latest posts are not that focused and you've criticized those who disagreed with you with invective and inflammatory terms. Harry Truman made the wise observation that "If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Now that's what the press reported. Harry used a couple of modifying terms that the press didn't want to print.

    Jim, chill out. I'm a Vietnam vet with probably as many medals as you claim, a couple of them with purple and one with a Silver Star. So I know whereof you speak...most of the time. Lately, you've become acid and prone to pissed off at anyone who has a different view than you. That's not becoming to someone who hangs their opinion out there with harsh criticism of others..then gets his knickers in a bunch when someone takes issue with your point.

    Suck it up, Jim, and accept the fact that there are those out there who will disagree. And sometimes, stupidly. But if you can't stand the heat in the kitchen.....

    And please quit calling people four-letter names. It doesn't behoove you, nor your sacrifice.

    And I say all this with the respect you've earned. But your readers deserve similar respect even when they don't agree with you.

    Think about it.

    1. you've criticized those who disagreed with you with invective and inflammatory terms

      Example please.

      I have to assume you're one of the people I kicked off my Facebook page. As I have said repeatedly: I don't care if you agree, I care very much that you can disagree like an adult. If you got booted, it was because you didn't listen when I told you to stop attacking other commenters.

      I'm a Vietnam vet with probably as many medals as you claim,

      Good for you.

      I claim no medals at all. I have never mentioned my decorations in public ever, here or anywhere else. I have said repeatedly that I am no hero, expressed nor implied. Anyone interested is welcome to contact the appropriate archive under the Freedom of Information Act.

      you've become acid and prone to pissed off at anyone who has a different view than you.

      Yeah, all those cute cat pictures I post on my facebook page. Pure acid.

      Again, if you actually look, you will note that the people who get booted are the ones who attack other commenters, not the ones who disagree with me. People disagree with me every day, hell some of them I keep around because they can be counted on to disagree with anything I say. But they are polite about it and they can back up what they say. However, if you act like a dick, you get treated the same in return.

      I deal with tens of thousands of readers every day, I deal with hundreds of messages every day, I don't have time or the energy to wipe your nose for you. If you don't like how you're treated, quit wiping boogers on my website.

      And please quit calling people four-letter names

      Buggs, you're perfectly welcome to go somewhere else. You do not, however, get to tell me how to write or what words to use. And that is no different now than it has ever been.

      I'll give you your own back, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.


  14. Who poses the greatest threat to America?

    We've been worried about this right from the beginning of the Republic. A greater politician than any I can find alive now considered the question some years back. He concluded:

    "All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth in their military chests; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in the trial of a thousand years.

    At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we ourselves must be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."

    These selfish bastards who call themselves Republicans these days, they are the suicide bombers of our age. The rest of us need to tell them to take their death cult and stuff it.

  15. Jim, as always, nail ---> head. I found your blog last summer and you have become one of my heroes.

    One thing: you wrote, " But Obama, McCain and Lieberman can question Obama’s love of country and loyalties because that’s totally different – why, just ask Rudy Giuliani."

    I don't think President Obama is questioning his own loyalties.

  16. Republicans are pandering to Israel to satisfy AIPAC so they funnel money into their election campaign funds. Plain and simple.

  17. my husband and his natal family grew up jewish in this country. nobody loved the jews then. how is Israel our closest and most steadfast ally? when has Israel ever come to our aid? it would much easier to support Israel if it wasn't conducting genocide and apartheid in Gaza and the West Bank. and in Israel proper for that matter.

  18. Ahh Hate is alive and well on this board.

    1. Be more specific. Give an example and defend your position.

    2. I hate raw oysters. And okra. I hate okra too. And the loud Germans at breakfast. And long liftlines. And I hate the asshat on the next barstool who's first loud words to the strangers around him were "That Obama is just an incompetent thug, isn't he? I mean he is just taking this country to hell. Dontcha think?" In order to make him shut up I said "Yes. Yes he is. Without a doubt........how about that Daytona 500?" (Which is Republican codespeak for "are you a friend of Dorothy")

      It's not so much that his opening gambit revealed his unbelievably tiny brain. It's that in a bar full of fantastic craft ales, this righty fuckwad ordered a Bud! WTF is THAT about? I think my position is defensible. Tommy D

  19. "Protocol question, Senators: in the course of listening to Netanyahu, at what point will it be okay to shout “You lie!” and then boo? Can we throw shoes?"


    So can a regular ole gal get a seat to this thing?
    I have lots of shoes!

  20. Thank you for this. While the disrespect to our President who was elected twice by the majority of citizens in this country is bad enough, the failure to learn from our mistakes and try a different course makes me see red. McCain is easy, war is always the answer for him and his "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran"during the 2008 campaign says it all. But how quickly we forget that Bibi also was in favor of our invasion of Iraq and promised that would turn out well for all of us and particularly the US. And we know how that ended: thousands of American lives lost, ten of thousands of wounded vets both physically and emotionally, trillions of dollars in US treasure, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives lost, mostly civilians including women and children, a destabilized Middle East with Iran stronger than before, the rise of ISIL from the Bath soldiers, and the list goes on. But Bibi was so correct about all of that, we most definitely should have him tell the US again how to run its foreign policy. With the Rs support, Bush and Cheney refused to negotiate with Iran about its nuclear program, instead preferring to chest thump about the "axis of evil". As a result, Iran now has more than triple the number of centrifuges that it did in 2005, and will not consider completely disbanding its nuclear program. This of course relates back to your previous essay on the importance of history. But if we don't learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat. Thank god we have a president who has been determined to try some different paths for us including the nuclear negotiations and the beginning of reestablishing relations with Cuba. I shudder when I think what the last 6 years might have been like under a McCain/Palin administration.

    As to Congress, every "patriot" should skip the address. Netanyahu has spit in President Obama's face more times than I can remember. Although he generally is not vengeful, I sincerely hope that the President finds a way to put him in his place before he leaves office. Netanyahu has done more to harm the way Israel is viewed in the US than any enemy of Israel ever could have.

  21. It's all of a piece. Lieberman and McCain are position players in the GOP game. I know people hated Lincoln, and other Presidents were ridiculed in the press. But I don't think there has been any President in the last 100 years except for FDR that has been insulted and disrespected more than Obama, especially by members of Congress.

  22. A while ago Jim posted a piece on the utter GOP shock and horror that the VA was sometimes less than competent at providing health care and support to military veterans. (Do the Macaulay Culkin face.) Of course according to the righty pols and press the funding and staffing problems were directly due to Obama's hatred of America. Just as our President desires Israel, our 51st and most important state to be crushed by his Islamic brothers.

    One interesting thing about the VA issue was that Jim noted that his blog was being accessed by the US Congress and Senate. Maybe the aides on the Hill were obtaining "sense of the people" data from Jim and his minions. Funny that.

    So, in response to McCain and Lieberman and all the other slobbering, Bibi fluffing right wing members of Congress, I say the same thing I said about the VA blowup - "Hey Congress and Senate, if you can read this - FUCK YOU!" Respectfully - Tommy D

  23. “because the Constitution gives you the power to ‘regulate commerce with foreign nations,’ ‘define and punish . . . offenses against the law of nations,’ ‘declare war,’ ‘raise and support armies,’ and ‘provide and maintain a Navy,’ and “Netanyahu might say some things that will inform your exercise of those great powers.”

    Well, Lord knows the Republican congresscritters could use a refresher course.

  24. According to some sources, when a Roman general did a triumphal procession through Rome, a slave would ride in his chariot to say "Remember, you are mortal". Maybe we can employ people to follow certain politicians around to tell them: "Remember, you are an idiot".

    We can call it the Momento Moron

  25. America has been Israel's big, dumb dog for decades. All because we believe Jesus is going to land there after the Rapture.

    It's a really impressive case of grifting, when you think about it. Just manipulate the most weaponized country on the planet to destroy everyone you hate using myths invented by Bronze Age goat herders. It almost seems impossible to belive, yet here we are.

  26. "But Obama, McCain and Lieberman can question Obama’s love of country and loyalties because that’s totally different – why, just ask Rudy Giuliani."

    Great post, but I don't think you meant to include Obama in that sentence...

    1. Actually I did. But there should have been a question mark after the first Obama. The post has been corrected.


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