People Do the Darnedest Things

link1Some people strive so hard to establish and maintain a certain persona for themselves or the countries they lead, only to do the darnedest things that nullify it all.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has wanted to be the President of the United States for at least as long as her husband occupied the office. She meticulously crafted a plan for her journey to the top spot by expanding her scope as First Lady, moving to New York to become a U.S. Senator, running and losing against Obama, taking as a consolation prize a significant cabinet position as Secretary of State, and finally bailing back into private life to make some speeches and put the arm on would-be donors. Clearly she is gearing up for 2016.

Her experiences dating from the 1980s in Arkansas and the 1990s in Washington illustrated the depths that some cohort will descend to express their hatred of all things Clinton: Whitewater pseudo-scandal, Vince Foster suicide (or did Bill have him murdered?), Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky bullshit, Benghazi mania, As a result, many people (and not just the Clinton-haters) are uneasy about Hillary Clinton. All it would take to shake up her inevitability is the appearance (real or inflated) of some sleazy dealings. But in 2015, Hillary is fully aware of that.

So what does Hillary do? Hands a mallet to her detractors with which to beat her silly in the form of an off-the-books email set-up by which her correspondence as Secretary of State was not archived as the law requires. Just what the opposition ordered.

North Korea

Predictable in their unpredictability, North Korea’s leaders do the darnedest things. While running a backward feudal empire that also wields nuclear weapons, the North’s Kim dynasty pontificates often about the wonders all will enjoy once the Korean peninsula is reunified. Although it’s difficult to imagine how that would work out, reunification of the rich South and the deprived North could bring about benefits like those derived after East and West Germany reunited. A statement from the North last summer read, “The north and the south should specify the reunification proposals by way of federation and confederation and make efforts to realize them and thus actively promote co-existence, co-prosperity and common interests.”

Last week in Seoul, as U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert dined at a large breakfast gathering before delivering a speech at the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation, a known psychopath emerged from the crowd and sliced the Ambassador’s face and arm with a ten-inch knife. While being subdued, the attacker, Kim Ki-jong denounced the U.S. for interfering with reconciliation efforts. Maybe that’s true, but making the point at a meeting where achieving reconciliation is the topic of the day seems off-key. The world was outraged at the blatant violence.

So what does North Korea do? Applauds the act as “the knife attack of justice.” That’s right, Kim Jong-un – reinforce for the rest of the world that your country should be reunited with the Pacific Ocean instead.

Mitch “The Turtle” McConnell

For years, the Senate Minority Leader has wanted to be the Senate Majority Leader, and thanks to a Republican blowout in 2014 he got his wish. No longer consigned to the back of the bus, able only to gin up filibusters all day long, The Turtle finally got to be the adult in the chamber. Republicans under his leadership would restore order and impel progress, and in doing so, cement a long period of GOP domination in Congress.

So what does Mitch do? Calls on all state governors to defy the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rules limiting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, appearing to be less of a leader and more of a shill for the shrinking coal industry in his home state of Kentucky. Mitch McConnell – Senate Majority Leader or Boonville town councilman?

Saudi Arabia

Remember when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, and fearing the Iraqis would soon roll into Saudi Arabia, King Fahd came running to America for protection? Operation Desert Shield was the result and thanks to the commitment of military leadership from the U.S. worth billions, the rich and coddled Saudis lived another day to sell us oil. Then came September 11, 2001 when 19 fanatic hijackers – 15 of whom were Saudi citizen – crashed four commercial planes and murdered thousands. Even during this period of immense tragedy following the world’s worst terrorist conspiracy, the Saudis were able to call upon the friendship of the Bush Administration to allow a couple dozen members of Bin Laden’s family to fly out of the U.S. at a time when every American citizen was grounded.

And today, the Saudis continue to rely on the U.S. for protection against perceived enemies in places like Iran and Yemen. For decades, Americans have been good friends to Saudi Arabia.


So what does Saudi Arabia do? Bestows one of their highest awards – the King Faisal International Prize – on a despicable anti-American lecturer who says that “the Jews” control America, apostates can be killed, the United States is the world’s “biggest terrorist” and that the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job” by President George W. Bush. (The same President seen above holding hands with his best bud Saudi Prince Abdullah?) Memo to Saudis: calm down and take a long hot shower in some light crude. And you’d better get used to it. . . before you know it, that’s all it’ll be good for.

Watch nut-job Zakir Naik blame the U.S. for 9/11

Chris Christie

Former Federal Prosecutor and current Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie likes to portray himself as a tough cookie (except when he’s fawning over Bruce Springsteen like a pre-pubescent girl infatuated with Leif Garrett). He’s fought against “pork-barrel projects” like the tunnel under the Hudson River that would have brought interstate rail commuting into the 21st century. He’s played a brilliant bait-and-switch on the public unions In which he got them to pay more in return for increased government contribution into the pension fund – a promise he brazenly broke. And just the other day on March 5 Christie proposed a $44 million cut in the snow removal budget for the state, which happened to coincide with a major winter storm
causing NJ Transit to suspend service on the western end of its busiest rail line.

Hell, Christie is a waddling, talking icon of fiscal fortitude when it comes to getting the best deal for New Jerseyans – and for burnishing his image on the national stage.

So what does Chris do? He shoves aside his attorney general who is negotiating a multi-billion dollar payment from Exxon to atone for contaminating more than 1,500 acres of NJ public land, and instead personally settles with Exxon for a mere $250 million (less than 3 days of profit for the oil behemoth.) Would he have been so generous had the settlement been transacted in donuts?



“Under the Dome”

Whenever you get the disturbing feeling that China will overtake the U.S. as the preeminent economic power in the world, consider the toll their master plan is taking on the populace there. China is driving growth and development through the wanton burning of dirty fossil fuels that have made most of their major cities nigh uninhabitable. I’ve spoken to numerous people who have visited such places as Wuhan, Shenzhen, Beijing, Baoding, Handan – and all have come back astonished at the level of soot and gunk in the air.

Now, causing angst among the Chinese government is Chai Jing’s compelling documentary of China’s dangerous air pollution, “Under the Dome” which is available for viewing online. Check it out below (unless you live in China where the paranoid government has blocked access.)

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