Republicans feast upon Democrats through investigations

A note from ze editor blog meister: Some of you readers who have been with me for a long time know I sometime edit online. Today, I published this way before it was ready but I was too lazy to delete it from the dashboard, go back and edit, then re-release and so forth. Sorry, I suppose I’m just a lazy f**k.

The do-nothing, congressional Republicans are once again feasting upon any goody that is served up to them that can damage the Democratic brand or that of possible 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

If ever there was a case of double-talk, even triple-talk, the GOP congressional members have got it going on.

Today though, it wasn’t only the Republicans but members of a Democratic-led Senate Appropriations Committee had the NSA director on the hotseat over the now exposed surveillance program in which the spy agency used millions of phone records to tap so-called “meta-data.”

Army Gen. Keith Alexander, NSA head, told senators that the surveillance program — approved by the secret FISA court without any proof at least uncovered instances of probable cause — played an important role in stopping “dozens” of foreign and domestic terror plots. Similar spy programs had begun under George Dubya Bush after 9/11. And many Republicans felt that was swell. But these days, the Republicans want to get at the Democrats in any manner possible. So instead of being vocal against or even supportive of the spy programs themselves the GOP lawmakers play attack dog against the messenger.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., who is probably the most slobbering attack dog for the GOP said today that those who reported on the leaks that exposed the spy program should be prosecuted and punished in addition to confessed leaker Edward Snowden.

Taking no prisoners on the remarks King made last night on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,”‘s self-described “token lefty” contributor Rick Ungar writes today that:

“Apparently, Rep. King’s judgment has grown so twisted by his overriding interest in protecting America from “the terrorists” that the insanity of his remarks has either not occurred to him or, alternatively, King has decided that the iconic words of Patrick Henry no longer have relevancy in the post 9-11 era in our history.”

Ungar was referring to, of course, the iconic phrase: “Give me liberty of give me death” that Henry made in 1775 addressing the Second Virginia Convention — one of five gatherings that ultimately ratified the U.S. Constitution.

This morning King was interviewed, if you can call it that, by CNN morning anchor Carol Costello. I could only think of five or so critical points I would have asked King while the flaky host let King go on and on first being asked about a new plot to “get Hillary.”

That latest brewing storm charges that a number of state department personnel including security members purchased sex from hookers. Similar charges were made against U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman except he allegedly engaged in such conduct with minors. The allegations also point to State Department Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy as trying to quash such suspicions. Hey, the Republicans can get a two-fer here with Clinton and a Kennedy.

King told Costello this morning in a half-ass interview in which she squawks some ineffectual question or comments that he was only wanting to see that inspector general be confirmed for the State Department. The agency responsible for investigating the State Department and, oddly enough, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, has been out with an official No. 1 guy since 2008. Deputy Inspector General Howard Geisel has been in charge of the agency since 2008.

As to why State has been without an inspector general for so long I couldn’t tell you. However, if you look at why so many top offices have not been confirmed you will likely find as a major reason that the obstinate  Republicans of the House and Senate have made sure the confirmation process be to their liking. Funny how that works. Its kind of like a Catch-22, which many people know what the phrase means, but are not familiar with its origins.

So in closing here is where “Catch-22” comes from. It emanates from a classic novel by Joseph Heller that was published in 1961. The satirical story is set in 1943 during World War II. Here is a pretty good synopsis. Even better, go read the book. A film was likewise released in 1970 based on the book. I can’t remember seeing it although I know I have. But if you can read at all, the novel should stick with you. Especially in these days of political Catch-22.




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