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Archive for the ‘Foreign Policy and National Security’ Category

Might as well be Europe, but with less white people, for Sarah Palin. I mean, where did she think Ghana was on the map?  Can you imagine an intelligence briefing with someone who couldn’t understand that Africa is a continent? How on Earth can someone be so fucking dumb? Did she watch the movie “Hotel Rwanda” and think to herself, “Thank God this is only a movie”? How many rhetorical questions can I ask in one post? One of my favorite tidbits that has come out is that she couldn’t name the countries in NAFTA… It’s amazing that this woman could have been the Vice President. Are Republicans crazy enough to nominate her in 2012? Jesus Titty-fucking Christ I hope so.

Go ahead and watch for yourself. 

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Knowledge Yourself.

It’s a Harlem-ism I picked up from a guy selling books on the street one day.  I like it despite its grammar issues.  I mean why can’t knowledge be a verb?

“Hey D. Zizzles, whatchya doin?”

“Oh you know… just knowledging myself…”

On second thought it might be a little creepy in that context…but even so.  Educating yourself is, as we’ve said here at Bandit Pulpit, one of the primary responsibilities of the citizenry.  However it’s no secret that time and motivation are scarce in a world where most of us are too busy with our lives to tend to the life of our Republic.  Fair Enough. This begs the question, how do we make it simpler and quicker for people to educate themselves without sitting through the inane chatter of the media?

Check it out:  http://www.opencongress.org/person/compare

Where does it lead?  To a new feature of Open Congress that allows you to compare the voting record of two politicians side by side and click through for information on what each of the votes was for.  Though the comparison has some obvious flaws in terms of presentation/clarity of information, the potential for this to become an incredibly useful time-saver both for news organizations and private citizens, should be clear.

Here’s the direct link to a McCain/Obama comparison.

Furthermore, according to the e-mail I received, they are planning two new features post-election day:

1)  A new way to save and share information with friends (facebook app?  mobile app? twitter feed?!  The possibilities are endless!)

2)  A “bird’s-eye” view of data about congress generated by the Open Congress community.  (Not entirely sure what this will entail; this is an awfully vague description.  You can imagine it may be a sort of congressional dashboard that tracks overall trends in legislation, appropriations, etc., by categories or something to that effect.)

Lastly, here’s an enlightening blog post with a side by side comparison on key votes that pertain to issues mentioned during the debates and over the course of the campaign trail.  http://www.opencongress.org/articles/view/728

Enjoy and let us know your thoughts!

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Philadelphia is an interesting place, to say the least. If you’ve ever had the “pleasure” of watching your team play the Eagles at the Linc or the Vet, then you know what I mean. If you haven’t, then let me put it to you this way… Bad shit happens to you when you’re in Philadelphia. Keep your head down, get in, get out, stay safe. Your team might win, but someone will wing a snow covered battery at your head as you high-five your buddy… And a graduate student from Temple did just that to Sarah Palin as she got a Cheesesteak from Tony Luke’s. Now McCain hasn’t won anything, and this guy didn’t actually throw a D cell at Governor Palin, but he did ask her about Pakistan. The end result, however, was just as damaging.

Crazy Alaskans Love their Steaks Whiz, Wit

Crazy Alaskans Love their Steaks Whiz, Wit

As reported by CNN, this is how the whole thing went down after Palin used the word “awesome” to again describe John McCain

The governor got a more serious interrogation moments later when Temple graduate student Michael Rovito approached her to inquire about Pakistan.

“How about the Pakistan situation?,” asked Rovito, who said he was not a Palin supporter. “What’s your thoughts about that?”

“In Pakistan?,” she asked, looking surprised.

“What’s going on over there, like Waziristan?”

“It’s working with [Pakistani president] Zardari to make sure that we’re all working together to stop the guys from coming in over the border,” she told him. “And we’ll go from there.”

Rovito wasn’t finished. “Waziristan is blowing up!,” he said.

“Yeah it is,” Palin said, “and the economy there is blowing up too.”

“So we do cross border, like from Afghanistan to Pakistan you think?,” Rovito asked.

“If that’s what we have to do stop the terrorists from coming any further in, absolutely, we should,” Palin responded, before moving on to greet other voters.

OK, let’s get a few things out of the way…

1. The guy who asked the question sounds like an idiot as he’s trying to trap Palin. Please use “like” and “blowing up” in your dissertation. Ass.

2. Tony Luke’s? F that.

3. Aside from Palin sounding like a high schooler when she says “awesome”, and somewhat awkward when she references Pakistan’s economy, her answer isn’t all that bad

EXCEPT! If you’re John McCain. Because that’s Barack Obama’s position. A good position. One the Bush administration should have adopted long before they did. In the end, this whole episode prompted McCain to retract Palin’s statement by saying

“She would not [support unilateral strikes inside Pakistan]…she understands and has stated repeatedly that we’re not going to do anything except in America’s national security interest… In all due respect, people going around and… sticking a microphone while conversations are being held, and then all of a sudden that’s—that’s a person’s position… This is a free country, but I don’t think most Americans think that that’s a definitive policy statement made by Governor Palin.”

HOW DARE YOU REPORT SOMEONE’S POSITION, MEDIA! SHAME ON YOU FOR NOT REQUESTING CAMPAIGN APPROVAL BEFORE RUNNING WITH IT! I MEAN, THIS IS A FREE COUNTRY, BUT GOVERNOR PALIN HAS NO IDEA WHAT SHE’S DOING!

So we can all see the problems here. This one simple question from a private citizen resulted in a formal response by Senator McCain, and exposed flaw after flaw with the McCain-Palin ticket. McCain’s campaign can’t stay on message; Palin is still grossly unprepared for the position she has been selected; McCain refuses to let Palin speak for the campaign, or allow any rigorous media access to her; almost any questioning of Palin has been deemed unfair; and most importantly… wait for it… John McCain would rather unilaterally invade Iraq (when the country had ZERO connection to the 9/11 terrorist attacks or al-Qaeda) than conduct surgical strikes in Pakistan where Osama bin Laden has been hiding and members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations have been operating freely since late 2001.

Country First!

But don’t you fret, America! Palin has Putin on LOCKDOWN.

Thank God for Palin's Alaskan Vigilance

Thank God for Palin's Alaskan Vigilance

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Good evening, and welcome to Bandit Pulpit. As a fledgling political blog in a world dominated by the Huffington Posts, Drudge Reports, and Politicos, we hope that we will offer you a fresh take on American politics, and particularly the 2008 election. The contributors to Bandit Pulpit come from a variety of backgrounds, but share a common disgust for the direction that modern campaigning, and the misinformation being bandied about by partisan political operatives. However, instead of spending a ton of time on who each of us are (you can check that out in the “Who We Are” page coming soon) let’s get down to what has been nagging me for a few weeks now.

The past 8 years have been a disaster when one considers America’s standing in the world. Whether the next president is John McCain or Barack Obama, he needs to be a strong diplomat that is capable of healing the wounds of the Bush years and restoring the soft power of influence that is so important in combating terrorism, assuring the safety of our allies, and securing our national interests. After watching the Charlie Gibson interview of Sarah Palin, I have to say that I came away rather frightened.

While Palin is running as McCain’s VP, the fact that she does not know what the “Bush Doctrine” is (Yes, is. Not “was”) leads me to believe that a McCain presidency will give us nothing but fractured relationships, global instability, and more of the same dangerous hubris from the neoconservative minds behind the McCain campaign.

For those of you who don’t know, the Bush doctrine (originally detailed in the 2002 National Security Strategy) stated that

“The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction- and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack. To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively.

The Bush Doctrine essentially reserves the right to use military force in a preemptive manner in the face of an impending and assured threat (Like our attack on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq…. Since he was planning to attac….. give weapons to terr….. eat a kabob).

During the Sunday talk shows a bunch of McCain operatives came out to say that the “Bush Doctrine” as referred to by Gibson is outdated since the NSS of 2006 doesn’t contain such language… Which is true… partially… The 2006 NSS states

“If necessary, however, under long-standing principles of self defense, we do not rule out the use of force before attacks occur, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack.”

… Before attacks occur… Right.

Ready or not, here she comes...

Ready or not, here she comes... From an Island in Alaska where she can see Russia.

For Palin to not understand what the doctrine is -or was if you’re delusional- is unacceptable. Palin is 100% untested, and unprepared… Should this person be *cringe* “a heartbeat away from the presidency”? Should she be in charge of the foreign relations of this country in such uncertain times? Should we trust America’s future with the same neoconservative minds that brought you the Project for the New American Century and the war in Iraq (Bill Kristol currently serves as a foreign policy advisor to John McCain and was one of the main architects of the current administration’s policy)?

Now that you know what the issue is, take some time to answer that question for yourself. War in the Caucuses? A showdown with Russia? A campaign to “bomb, bomb, bomb” Iran? The choice is yours… Let’s hope your choice is ready to lead the free world and return America to its position of strength and prominence.

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