Tuesday, March 31, 2015



1. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Walker once again showed his disdain for democracy and the U.S. constitution. In criticizing President Obama’s response to Islamic terrorists he offered his record of handling protesters in his state as evidence that he was qualified to take on terrorists. He said:

 “I want a commander-in-chief who will do everything in their power to ensure that the threat from radical Islamic terrorists do not wash up on American soil. We will have someone who leads and ultimately we'll send a message not only that we'll protect American soil but do not take this upon freedom-loving people anywhere else in the world. We need a leader with that kind of confidence. If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.”

Comparing peaceful protesters from Wisconsin to a terrorist army in the Middle East is par for the Walker course. His divide-and-conquer strategy has created a rift in Wisconsin that will be difficult to heal. His base may eat up statements that he is a big tough guy for standing up to protesters, even though he never really did; he was so afraid, he slunk into the capitol like a coward through underground tunnels. Some hero! Walker’s afraid of the very citizens he was elected to represent.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


NOTE:   The "Letter from the 47" says a great deal about the state of American democracy and  how poisoned our political atmosphere has become. If our disastrous meddling in the Middle East hasn't totally buried the credibility of our righteous claims of American exceptionalism,  then the ill-conceived action by the Senate Republicans has hammered the last nail in the coffin.  What must the rest of the world be thinking of us now?  (Go to Some comments from European officials.)  The irony of such a blatantly illegal usurpation of power emanating from the "cradle of democracy" didn't escape one observer of Iranian politics, who emailed me the following copy of a letter he believes the Iranian Council of Guardians should send to U.S. Senators. With tongue firmly in cheek, he offers an Iranian perspective on the Senate Republican power grab, which he believes should make Iran proud.  (RT Fox)       

Saturday, March 14, 2015


NOTE”":    The following essay was written by David Rothkopf and published in the March 13, 2015 online version of Foreign Policy magazine under the title, In the Supreme Leader We Trust.  I am circulating it on Phronesis as a guest commentary. I hope it stimulates thought and discussion. 

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

And we have a winner!  
In a Congress full of partisan hacks, nitwits, and know-nothings, young Tom Cotton of Arkansas really had to do something special to have his blunder considered more awful than the prior lows, missteps, and gaffes that have come to symbolize this bleak era in the history of America’s legislative branch. But the letter he authored to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, represents the worst single example of partisan meddling in an ongoing international negotiation in modern American history.  
The letter, co-signed by 46 other Republican senators, shows far more than a complete disregard for America’s long-standing tradition of having partisanship stop at the water’s edge. It represents a clear effort to undermine the constitutionally mandated responsibility of the president of the United States to conduct U.S. foreign policy. It also simultaneously damaged American credibility in the eyes of the other nations with which we are involved in the negotiating process and in the eyes of the Iranians with whom we were negotiating. Think of the precedent: If Congress simply sent out letters saying, “We will overturn whatever the president agrees to,” who would negotiate with us after that? And not just on one issue, but on anything?  

Monday, March 2, 2015



1. Freshman Texas Rep. Molly White (R-Tx). Apparently no fan of the U.S. Constitution, White left some heart-felt instructions to her staff on how to deal with Muslims visiting her Austin office for Texas Muslim Capitol Day:

 "I did leave an Israeli flag on the reception desk in my office with instructions to staff to ask representatives from the Muslim community to renounce Islamic terrorist groups and publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws," she posted on Facebook. "We will see how long they stay in my office."  

She’ll fit right in with today’s GOP. As with the rest of the Islam haters that inhabit the party, someone should teach her about the meaning of democracy.