#RomneyShambles: More Mitt Romney Sucking-Up, Says U.S. Embassy Should be in Jerusalem

#Romneyshambles: More patronizing of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as Mitt Romney now says the U.S. embassy should be in Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv.

Romney says, he doesn’t endorse an immediate move from Tel Aviv,  but it’s a decision “I would want to take in consultation with the leadership of the government which exists at the time,” Buzzfeed reports.  Excuse me while I barf from the nauseating hypocrisy emanating from Mitt Romney’s lips. This man is acting as though Israel is the super-power and the U.S. isn’t its largest donor of foreign aid. The goal would be to prevent a war with Iran, but Mitt Romney is encouraging one, that will include the U.S., for sure. Can we afford to engage in another war? He’s talking tough on Iran to score browning points with Bibi Netanyahu and his cronies.

This comes as Newsweek magazine calls Mitt Romney a “wimp.”

Newsweek magazine cover Mitt Romney a wimp

#Romneyshambles: Newsweek Calls GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney a Wimp.

Here’s an excerpt from the Daily Beast:

It was an astonishing faux pas—one of many packed into his brief visit. And it makes one wonder: if elected, Romney is going to have to work hand-in-glove with Prime Minister David Cameron and other world leaders on the ongoing global financial crisis and other issues. What unintended offenses are going to tumble out of his mouth then, when he’s representing our nation on the world stage?

The episode highlights what’s really wrong with Romney. He’s kind of lame, and he’s really … annoying. He keeps saying these … things, these incredibly off-key things. Then he apologizes immediately—with all the sincerity of a hostage. Or maybe he doesn’t: sometimes he whines about the subsequent attacks on him. But the one thing he never does? Man up, double down, take his lumps.

Mitt Romney’s response to the cover was that he doesn’t take stuff said about him in the media seriously. Um, my guess is that he does. He’s an egomaniac, albeit a weak one.  Surely he must be embarrassed by the derision he suffered at the hands of both the British and American press over his train wreck of a visit.

Update#1: Robert O’Brien, a foreign policy adviser for Romney, responded to the Newsweek cover:

…The fact is that Mitt Romney is a steely-nerved businessman, who has turned around failed companies, the corruption-plagued 2002 Olympic Winter Games and an almost-bankrupt Massachusetts – against all odds in each case. Moreover, he has raised a great family with his wife, Ann.

Steely-nerved businessman? Is that the characteristic of one who has records destroyed and won’t tell the truth about his business activities? Wow, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Mittens’ questionable practices described in that way.

Watch Mitt Romney sucking up to Israel:

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Iran Test Fires Two Short-Range Missiles as Part of Seven Days of War Games

Iran said it has successfully test-fired short-range missiles during military drills by the elite Revolutionary Guard, just days after the U.S. warned Tehran over a newly disclosed underground nuclear facility was secretly building. Iran reportedly also tested a multiple missile launcher for the first time. Sorry, but this is an intimidation tactic by this country and should not be tolerated. The tests come two days after President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French premier Nicolas Sarkozy warned the country that it must open the nuclear site to international inspection or face harsher international sanctions, to which they agreed. Wow, I am sure they are scared. The problem is North Korean leader Kim Jong Il repeatedly defied the warnings of the Western powers and still launched missiles. We all know that Iran’s nuclear program isn’t meant for peaceful purposes, but to create hostilities.

By U.S. estimates, Iran is one to five years away from having a nuclear weapons capability, although U.S. intelligence also believes that Iranian leaders have not yet made the decision to build a weapon. Iran also is developing a long-range ballistic missile that could carry a nuclear warhead, but the administration said last week that it believes that effort has been slowed. That assessment paved the way for Obama’s decision to shelve the Bush administration’s plan for a missile shield in Europe, which was aimed at defending against Iranian ballistic missiles.

I am not advocating violence, but it seems that Iran wants another show of force by Israel in the same vein as 1981, when Israeli warplanes bombed Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reaction and in 2007, Israel bombed a site in Syria that the U.S. said was a nearly finished nuclear reactor built with North Korean help that was configured to produce plutonium, which is one of the substances used in nuclear warheads. Iran is a strategic threat to Israel and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for the destruction of Israel repeatedly. The last person you want to have a nuclear weapon is this nut, as well as Kim Jong Il.

Experts have estimated that Iran’s current number of centrifuges could enrich enough uranium for a bomb in a year. Washington has been pushing for heavier sanctions if Iran does not agree to end enrichment. The Obama administration needs to stick to its guns and not back down.

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya Arrested by Soldiers in Apparent Coup

URGENT: Just when you thought things were quieting down a bit in Iran, another country is on the brink of unrest — Honduras. More than a dozen soldiers have arrested President Manuel Zelaya and disarmed his security guards after surrounding his residence before dawn this morning, his private secretary, Carlos Enrique Reina, said in an interview. Protesters have called the latest action a coup and have flocked to the presidential residence as the Zelaya was sent into exile. He was reportedly detained shortly before voting was to commence on a constitutional referendum Zelaya insisted on holding even though the country’s Supreme Court has ruled it illegal and everyone from the military to Congress and members of his own party opposed it. President Zelaya has reportedly been flown from the country to Costa Rica, where he is seeking asylum.

Reina said Zelaya was taken into military custody at his house outside the capital, Tegucigalpa, and whisked away to an air force base on the outskirts of the city. Tanks rolled through the streets and Army trucks carrying hundreds of soldiers equipped with metal riot shields surrounded the presidential palace in the capital’s center. About 100 Zelaya supporters, many wearing “Yes,” T-shirts for the referendum, blocked the main street outside the gates to the palace, throwing rocks and insults at soldiers and shouting “Traitors! Traitors!”

It was not immediately clear who was running the government. Soldiers appeared to be in control, but the constitution mandates that the head of Congress is next in line to the presidency, followed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Neither military nor presidential officials have said who’s in charge. Source: AOL News

Honduras has a history of military coups, with soldiers overthrowing elected presidents in 1963 and again in 1972. The military did not turn the government over to civilians until 1981, under U.S. pressure. This is another headache the Obama Administration could do without.

Republicans Chime in as Turmoil Continues in Iran Over Election Outcome

As the turmoil over the election outcome in Iran continues, Republicans begin to chime in on President Obama’s so called lack of words. The Sunday political news shows were full of Republicans who feel that President Obama has not taken a strong enough stand or has not spoken out directly about the unrest occurring in Iran.

“The president of the United States is supposed to lead the free world, not follow it,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday. “He’s been timid and passive more than I would like.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and others noted that Western leaders, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have demanded a recount or more forcefully condemned the government crackdown.

“I’d like to see the president be stronger than he has been, although I appreciate the comments that he made yesterday,” McCain said. “I think we ought to have America lead.”

To put the whole controversy in a nutshell, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are not fighting two wars on two separate fronts. They can sell “wolf tickets” and comment all they want. Commenting and meddling in other country’s affairs is what has caused much of this in the first place.

We need to let Democracy run its course in Iran and leave it be. The United States interfering with comments does not help at all. We commented and interfered in 1979 and we all know the outcome of that. If this country believes in democracy, let the people of Iran liberate themselves. We are still liberating the people of Iraq. Our comments will serve no purpose other than to make matters worst for the demonstrators that are trying to exercise their democracy rights. The Iranian government will only use US comments to fuel the fire and to use more force against the protectors.

Roxana Saberi, American Journalist Jailed in Iran on Espionage Charges, Freed After Appeals Court Suspends Sentence

I am glad to hear that Roxana Saberi, the American journalist who was jailed in Iran on espionage charges has been released after an Iranian appeals court suspended her prison sentence. You will recall that she was convicted last month of spying for the U.S. and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Her case had created some tension between the governments of the U.S. and Iran, especially in light of the adversarial relationship between both countries. That would certainly not advance or facilitate a spirit of cooperation. The U.S. had rightly called the charges against her “baseless” and demanded her freedom. According to media reports, her lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshahi, says Iran’s judiciary told him Monday that Saberi’s jail term was reduced to a suspended two-year sentence.

She reportedly had moved to Iran six years ago and had worked as a freelance journalist for several organizations including National Public Radio and the British Broadcasting Corp. I am glad that she has been freed and I wish her a speedy recovery from this ordeal.

Iran: "Death to bloggers who write stuff we don’t like"

It seems that Iran is considering putting bloggers to death for posting “offensive” material. Yes, I said put to death:
“A new Al Jazeera English video reports that Iran is considering a law that would make “offensive” blogging punishable by death. The video notes an Amnesty International report claiming that 90 percent of all state-sanctioned execution in 2008 occurred in Iran, China or Saudi Arabia.” Source: The Hufington Post

Somehow I just cannot get over the idea that WORDS on a screen (be they offensive or not) warrants the death penalty. Just think about it, individuals and groups get offended over the smallest things. To think that someone’s life will hang in the balance over something as subjective as an act being interpreted as offensive is ridiculous!

Even though this case is about a nation, I want to address the notion of being “offended” on both an individual scale and as a collective group.

First it is important to understand that being “offended” is the problem of the person or group who finds the offense, not the accused offender.

Second, one should also note that a natural byproduct of “being offended” is to make an attempt to control that which you find offensive; either by eliminating it all together, or at a minimum stopping the offensive behavior.

It seems to me that when groups (or countries) maintain a position that they are offended, it is about maintaining a certain level of control over the minds of the members of that group. In the end, we know that groups are made up of individuals. Therefore, it seems unlikely to me that everyone in that group was offended by a particular action upon its occurrence. On the contrary, there are typically a few who claim to represent the group who find the offense. And these few among the group incite others to feel the same way.

When people are individually offended they need to recognize that allowing themselves to be offended is essentially allowing themselves to be controlled by the actions of others. Ironically, this reactionary behavior is what causes people to feel that they lack control. As a result, they attempt to force others into adhere to their code of conduct to regain control of the situation.

Nine times out of ten the “offense” occurs when someone does not believe or think as one does. The notion of the possibility of offending someone has led to more self-censoring under the guise of political correctness than anything else.

If people spent just half the time focusing on the quality of their own lives, instead of looking over their neighbor’s shoulder, they might actually find some enjoyment out of life.

And back to Iran, if they choose to move forward with executions of “offensive” bloggers, there is no doubt that they will incite their base to support this wickedness. There are lots of reasons I’m glad not to live in Iran, and another just got added to the list…

So what do you think?

President George W. Bush’s Farewell Speech was Nothing But Spin to Influence How He is Treated by History

To echo the words of Arianna Huffington, President Bush, during his farewell speech last night, was delusional from the beginning to the end. So, as he was bidding us his “fondest” farewell on television, he was sticking us with a $20 billion, secret middle-of-the-night bailout for Bank of America and an additional government backstop of $118 billion for its assets — all on top of cutting a deal with Barack Obama to give away the second $350 billion of the TARP Big Business bailout. That’s a helluva goodbye. At least Obama has committed, in writing, to using some of the funds to address the current mortgage foreclosure crisis.

President Bush is one of the most unpopular presidents in America’s history, and certainly since I started voting in this country. He was classic Bush, unbowed as he defended his tumultuous two terms in a farewell address to the nation. He claimed a series of successes at home and aboard. Reaching back to the Sept. 11 attacks, when the public rallied behind him, Bush declared the United States will “never tire, never falter and never fail.” Wait, where did the victims of Hurricane Katrina factor into his successes? It was a glaring failure and is still an albatross around the necks of the residents from Louisiana and the gulf coast.

He is leaving office with the highest disapproval rating since Richard Nixon, Bush said, “You may not agree with some tough decisions I have made, but I hope you can agree that I was willing to make the tough decisions.” Really, President Bush, you hope we can see that you were willing to make these tough decisions? They did not benefit this country one bit. We are mired in an economic crisis of untold proportions and an unclear duration.

It is rather tragic, that he had to spend his farewell address to the nation, which I might add many people did not even bother to watch, defending his position. A clear sign that he is worried about his legacy and how he will be portrayed in the history books. Bush’s eight-year term is indelibly marked by terrorism, two wars and recessions. He spoke from the East Room of the White House with just 112 hours left in office. I seriously doubt his farewell speech will do much to change the minds of Americans. President Bush spoke in glowing terms about our accomplishments in Iraq, as though we are best friends. But in reality, Iran is more likely the best friend of Iraq than America, which is reviled in parts of the Middle East. Afghanistan is a death trap, where no-one in their right mind would dare venture out without ample protection. News flash– the Taliban is running around the country once again! What would Hamid Karzai do if his American bodyguards left? He’d be assassinated or would have to leave the country himself. President Bush claimed that America’s “air, water, and lands are measurably cleaner.” Really President Bush? Who is doing the measuring? I suppose the same eco-unfriendly companies to which he handed his environmental policies. We entered the Spin-Zone with President Bush’s farewell speech.

This will be his final public appearance until he greets President-elect Barack Obama on Inauguration Day at the White House’s North Portico. Thank God. Bush called the inauguration of Obama, the first black president, a “moment of hope and pride” for America. “Standing on the steps of the Capitol will be a man whose story reflects the enduring promise of our land,” he said. That much I agree with him on. Sorry President Bush, I don’t think that history will be as kind to you as you have been to us. I am being sarcastic of course. January 20th can’t come fast enough for me. The real shame is that his father was a better president in his one term than he was in eight years. Thanks President Bush, for sticking it us one last time before you really say goodbye.

John McCain Jokes About Cigarette Exports To Iran as Iranians Test Long, Mid-Range Missiles

Either John McCain is senile or just plain stupid. McCain, who once sang in jest about bombing Iran, reacted to a report of rising U.S. cigarette exports to the country by saying that it may be “a way of killing ‘em.” He was responding to a report that U.S. exports to Iran rose tenfold during President George W. Bush’s term in office despite hostility between the two countries.

A rise in cigarette sales was a big part of that, according to an Associated Press analysis of seven years of U.S. trade figures. “Maybe that’s a way of killing ‘em,” McCain said to reporters during a campaign stop in Pittsburgh. “I meant that as a joke, as a person who hasn’t had a cigarette in 28 years, 29 years,” he added, laughing.

Geez, I don’t think that was funny in the least. If the Iranian president had said that about us, all hell would break loose. Again, this shows that either John McCain is out of touch with reality or his is just plain stupid. He is, by far, the worst candidate the Republican Party has as its presumptive nominee.

At a campaign meeting in South Carolina last year the Arizona senator, asked if there is a plan to attack Iran, began his answer with a variation on the lyrics of a well-known pop song, Barbara Ann. “You know that old Beach Boys song, Bomb Iran?” he said, then sang “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran” before discussing what he considered Iran’s serious threat to Israel and international security. So, as McCain is spewing such ridiculous jokes, the Iranians are busy testing long range and mid-range missiles that can reach Israel and U.S. bases. Yeah, those cigarettes won’t kill the Iranians, at least not before they have formulated a clear plan of action to beef up their arsenals on all fronts. Yeah, so let’s see who is laughing now……

GOP Latest Campaign Strategy of Highlighting So-Called Endorsements from U.S. Enemies for Barack Obama May Backfire

The latest tactic by the Republican Party is to tell Americans that Barack Obama has received some endorsements from questionable characters worldwide. This is an eerie reminder of the Osama Bin Laden video that miraculously appeared towards the end of John Kerry’s presidential campaign. It really ruined his chances to win the presidency because it was a stark reminder of what happened on September 11, 2001. So, now we have a situation in which the GOP will continue to remind the public of the endorsements Obama has received from people who are enemies of the United States. I think that is really unfair, but I guess that’s the way the game is played.

Endorsements from our “enemies:”

Fidel Castro, a life-long enemy of the United States wrote in a column for Cuba’s Granma newspaper Monday that Obama is “the most progressive candidate to the U.S. presidency.” The column was also used to criticize Obama for wanting to uphold the U.S. trade embargo. The Florida GOP seized on it, posting an article about it on their Web site and blasting out an e-mail titled, “Fidel Castro Endorses Obama.”

In mid-April, Hamas adviser Ahmed Yousef told WorldNetDaily that “We like Mr. Obama, and we hope that he will win the elections. “I hope Mr. Obama and the Democrats will change the political discourse,” he said. “I do believe [Obama] is like John Kennedy, a great man with a great principle.” The GOP ran with this even though the Obama campaign responded that it already had rejected Hamas’ legitimacy. Obama has said he would not negotiate with Hamas unless the group renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel’s right to exist and holds to other agreements.

On March 25, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told foreign correspondents that relations with Washington, D.C, would worsen if McCain were elected. “Sometimes one says, ‘worse than Bush is impossible,’ but we don’t know,” Chavez said.“McCain also seems to be a man of war.”

Also in March, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Spain’s El Pais newspaper he didn’t believe Obama would be elected, but that he wouldn’t have a problem meeting with him if he were. “For us, there is no difference in who wins,” Ahmadinejad told the newspaper. Tehran-based PressTV reported that Ahmadinejad afterward insisted he “never voiced support for Barack Obama.”

Obama also has struggled to shake off positive words from the New Black Panther Party and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and has come under fire for attending the Million Man March, which by the way, black men from all walks of life and professions attended.

Final thoughts

Personally, I think the damage from these people backing Obama is negligble. I seriously doubt many people will be swayed by whether someone in Cuba said something nice about him,” he said, adding that those voters probably wouldn’t vote for Obama anyway. I would caution that the Obama campaign must push back against such attempts to exploit these so-called endorsements. Barack Obama suffered to some degree from the fallout with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and they simply cannot sit back hoping these associations will fade into the sunset. On the contrary, they speak to his broader judgment and I would hate to see this being the “Swift Boat” of his presidential aspirations. Though many have said that foreign factors can sway domestic elections, I don’t see these creating an insurmountable problem for Obama as long as he fights back to dispel any doubts in the minds of the voters.

The GOP will use any tactics at its disposal to create doubt and I guess that’s part of the game, but President Bush has already created so much doubt and ill-feelings in the minds of the American people that I don’t think having these leaders back Obama in some way would create any problems for him. It is a known fact that you must talk to your enemies. I guess if President Bush had done just that, maybe we would not be in this mess today. Secondly, the economy is in such a horrible shape right now, people want to know how they are going to pay their bills, purchase gas and put food on their tables. Not that Fidel Castro said something good about Barack Obama. Just my thoughts, you be the judge….