ISIS Determined To Strike in US, or was that Bin Ladin?: Obama, ISIS and the truth about GAI

Election Season. You might think, listening to the corporate media that President Obama is suffering from some sort of golfing OCD, and that he just wasn’t interested in ISIS until last week. The truth is no one in the media, especially FOX was interested in ISIS. None of them reported on them until this past spring. Then there is this revelation-supposedly- that Obama only attended a shade over 40% of the Presidential Daily Briefings, according to a scientific and detailed analysis by the Government Accountability Institute, or GAI.

Sounds serious. After all, that is tantamount to dereliction of duty, malfeasance, and maybe even treason. What part of the government is the GAI a part of again? The name sounds terribly officious, and just what this nation needs to keep track of the really important stuff, like presidential vacation days, number of hours golfing and how much food is wasted in school lunch programs for poor kids, just to prove that those kids are getting too much food. That way we can cut food programs for a few billion to have more for the $22 billion we’re spending against ISIS already, and the $1 trillion the government gives in subsidies, credits and tax forgiveness annually to corporations.

But the GAI? Hmm. Last time I was in Washington I believe when you enter the Capitol Building the auspicious GAI offices are to the left, down a long hallway and up a flight of stairs, just past the…Oh wait, the GAI isn’t part of the government. In fact the GAI, who says their mission is to “investigate and expose crony capitalism, misuse of taxpayer monies, and other governmental corruption or malfeasance,” is a right wing organization headed by good, honest non-partisan friends of the community like the Hoover Institute, Breitbart.com, the Koch Brother’s American legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the American conservative Union and Citizen’s United. All organizations that have helped make America the land of hope, freedom, uncorrupted elections, equality and media diversification that we know today.

So let’s take a quick look at a few of the stalwart purveyors of truth, justice and government accountability. President Peter Franz Schweizer served as the foreign policy advisor to Sarah Palin and is connected through the State Policy Network to ALEC. Schweizer authored such non-partisan advances in literature and critical thought as Reagan’s War: The Epic Story of His Forty Year Struggle and Final Triumph Over Communism, Makers and Takers: Why conservatives work harder, feel happier, have closer families, take fewer drugs, give more generously, value honesty more, are less materialistic and envious, whine less … and even hug their children more than liberals, and of course the modern day classic of investigative journalism, Disney, the Mouse Betrayed. Fellow deep thinker, co-founder and Executive Chairman of GAI Stephen Bannon is an executive at Breitbart.com. Board member Ron Robinson is director and a founding member of Citizens United

But I understand the absolute urgency in getting details of Obama’s failure to attend PDBs. I can also understand the deluge of outrage by the media one month before the mid-term elections. But wait, the supposed analysis by GAI was published on July 24th. And by the way the article, like Hannity, Limbaugh, Savage or any of the true and good patriots on the right made mention back on that date that the ISIS leader threatened our American president directly. No, they were and continue to be more interested in party politics than the nation. It is interesting that they weren’t as apoplectic about Obama’s attendance record back in July. By the way, since this really isn’t about RDBs, or ISIS, it’s a pale effort by the republicans to paint dems as weak on defense going into the election.

Still, we can credit GAI for a deep analytical accounting of the exact number of times Obama attended PDBs, arriving at the 401-43% figure widely quoted throughout the media this week, with attributions to GAI, which almost sounds governmental. But GAI’s analysis was simply going to whitehouse.gov/schedule/ president and the date and counting the phrase “The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing.” It isn’t all that interesting. They are just sketches of the president’s schedule, leaving out more sensitive and classified briefings and meetings, as well as the day to day minutia of running a nation of 370 million people. its rather like describing what a chef does by looking at a page that reads, :opened the restaurant in the morning, cooked some food.” On the White House site there is a next and a back button which makes the epically hard work done by GAI so much easier. Of course, being the fair-minded, America-first folks we know they are, they did a cross comparison with other presidents, like Bush. No? Bush hasn’t made his electronic records available, almost a decade after leaving office?

Obama readily admitted that he and his team under estimated ISIS, and could not have foreseen the virtual collapse of the Iraqi army. That’s called transparency. Now the US is taking action against ISIS, because we are the one nation on the planet with the means and resources to do so, but Obama has also worked to invest regional nations to take part in the effort. Imagine, however that Obama received a PDB reading something like, and I’m just spit-balling here, ISIS Determined To Strike in US, and he ignored it. Then imagine that ISIS struck in, say, New York, maybe using commercial aircraft, and they also attacked the Pent…oh wait, that’s right. On August 6, 2001 the Central Intelligence Agency gave President George W. Bush, who was vacationing at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, a President’s Daily Brief titled Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US. It was ignored and by coincidence the US was hit just 36 days later, at home, with a loss of 3,000 civilians.

The Obama administration has been slow in crafting a proper response to ISIS, but ISIS still remains an issue predominantly in the Middle East and perhaps North Africa. They are certainly on the radar now. As for the PDBs? Aides and officials say that Obama reads the PDBs religiously and comes to meetings prepared with questions and discussion. PDBs were read to George Bush. No, I’m not kidding on that part. He needed someone to tell him a story so he could understand, and then have Dick Cheney make the decisions that led to the possibility of an ISIS in the first place.

By the way, if you are obsessed about the President’s golfing and vacation time as proof he isn’t engaged or interested in the job-probably because he’s just one of those lazy coloreds on welfare, he’s taken 140 days of vacation, compared to Bush’s 533 days, Reagan’s 390 and Clinton’s 174…

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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Revolution and Beer Reactionaries of the Week: The Right and The IRS

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If you could choose your form of retaliation from the state, which would you choose?

If you could see the thumb and forefingers of my left hand right now, they would be rubbing together in a slow circular motion. Know what that is? That’s me, playing the world’s smallest violin as I weep for Tea Party groups that may have been audited, or were simply looked askance at by the IRS. That’s right, I said askance, because I like that word and rarely get to use it in conversation.

So here’s the deal, over the weekend the story broke that the IRS had targeted rightwing groups and Tea Party groups before the election. While I’m not prepared to let Obama off the hook for anything, let’s take a look at this with a bit less of a conspiratorial eye. And don’t give me “where there is smoke, there is fire,” blather. If that was true, then we can say that the IRS maybe didn’t look close enough at some of these so-called grassroots Tea Party groups, you know the ones who liked to call Citizens United free speech. Well, it still remains to be seen whether all that these groups got from parents, Dick Armey and Karl Rove, were rightwing talking points.

Please don’t dwell on the imagery of Dick and Karl actually conceiving the Tea Party. I did by accident, and now I can’t get it out of my head. Oh God, make it stop!

The cries of “foul” by the right fall hollow pretty quickly. Particularly thin is their offense at being profiled by the IRS, especially since the Right has defended the use of profiling with regards to Muslim men, Blacks and Hispanics (and let’s not forget the left as a whole). By that same standard, all of the sudden “patriot” this and “heartland” that, all the slack-jawed spawn of FreedomWorks, American Crossroads or even MoveOn.org, the Heritage foundation and other rightwing pseudo-corporations should surely have thrown up potential red flags to tax auditors. Going into an election, with the scam-artist money changing scheme that in reality is Citizens United, how could anyone not be at least suspicious of shenanigans?

Photo from truthout.org

Photo from truthout.org: “On January 21, 2011, activists in Washington, DC, rally for a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. (Photo: Public Citizen)”

After Citizens United, these sham 501c3 TAX EXEMPT groups covered the national political lanscape thicker than fat flies on manure, like stink on a monkey or pimples on a gamer’s butt cheeks. We started a 501c3 on Chicago’s south side called HelpHouseChicagoHomelessPeople that actually helped people, rather than serve as a payday loan alternative to millionaire politicians pandering to your affinity for Nascar. These front groups for the exchange of political fortunes hide behind veneers of “freedom” or “liberty,” or some other crap. The socially, ethically, and politically lazy reactionaries adorn themselves with flags and lapel pins (and the forever-redundant race-baiting picket-signs) and do nothing positive to improve the nation, its dialogue, or its future.

And you have likely heard the leftwing and so-called Progressives chattering about many of these points. They don’t get off that easy. They were also playing this political spit-swap game, but not nearly to the extent of the Tea Party groups–perhaps because they just aren’t as good at it. There is, however, one glaring difference between the Tea Party and Occupy with regard to all this. You’ll only find it here, and it is this: so the Tea Party was audited, perhaps profiled, more frequently than left-leaning groups. Now you have an idea of what it is like to be Black in America. I guess you could say that some TEA Party organizations got an audit for supporting austerity, and going so far as to condemn the very existence of “Government.”  You could also throw-in spewing rhetorical myths of our favorite “free-market” ideologues–which provides some astroturf cover for the banks and institutions that are robbing us blind. Occupy was beaten, censored, subjected to false arrests and trumped up charges and had their civil rights trampled for accusing the banks, challenging government/corporate incest and for defending the poor. I weep for your butt-hurt, reactionaries. Must be tough, huh?

But this point makes it abundantly obvious that the Tea Party, the Right and Republicans…and I’ll throw some Lefties in there as well…are not really about up-holding the Constitution for all without it being tipped in their favor. They are not about defending civil rights, only their individual rights and privilege. They aren’t really for Americans, but for themselves. The irony is, the people who were fighting for those things got hammered by the Democrats, the media, and the right. They were mocked and ridiculed and harassed, but no one made a sound about that. They still haven’t, because for too many in this nation it is still about selfish interests and not about their neighbors.

Suck this one up TEA Partiers. The dis-proportionality of “persecution” here is pretty obvious. You got played. Now, time to figure out who you should actually be pissed at. Maybe you’ll actually start looking at candidates on both sides of the isle and beyond for who they really are, and not for the slogans they shout, or the feel good barf they feed you. Time to realize that getting involved in your government goes beyond blindly waving a flag at a WWF match, smashing a Keystone Beer can against your forehead while waving a gun and snarling in some tribal grunt, “Don’t mess wit America!”

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