Bob Higgins

The Generals And Their Ladies

Posted in Politics by Bob Higgins on November 13, 2012
Bookmark and Share

As ex CIA analyst Ray McGovern pointed out yesterday the only big fish to be hooked in the decade of intrusive monitoring of our private communications turns out to be the head of the CIA. Irony abounds, drips, and oozes.

In addition, General John Allen, a 35 year veteran of the Marines is under investigation in part to determine what’s behind the 20-30,000 emails and other “inappropriate communications” between himself and a woman variously described as a voluntary social liason and socialite from MacDill AFB in Tampa.

That’s twenty or thirty thousand separate communications in two years. Take the low number and divide by a couple of years worth of days and we have a General officer communicating with a socialite party planner nearly thirty times a day. That’s a lot of partying.

Bear in mind that the taxpayers are shelling out over $15,000 dollars a month to to keep this four star naval academy grad at his desk running a major US military command that is currently involved in at least one war and a clutch of other hot conflicts around the world.

His former boss, now retired General and former head of the CIA David Petraeus, is at the apex of whatever comic opera is involved here, along with his biographer, a former military intelligence officer and, it seems now historically noteworthy camp follower named Paula Broadwell.

Petraeus, the darling of the neocons who gave us the war in Iraq, and Broadwell have admitted to having a ten month affair while he was the nation’s top spy. As an enlisted Marine I always thought that generals led boring lives. Who knew?

Like everyone else looking at this national insecurity drama I have no idea what’s going on but I’m pretty sure it goes far beyond Private Beetle Baily planning a weekend kegger at the beach.

Both of these general officers have had long and supposedly stellar careers as senior staff and both are past commanders of CENTCOM. A few more days of the kind of revelations now popping up hourly and they both may be transferred to SITCOM.

Bob Higgins

Related stories:

How to Tell if You’re Involved in the Petraeus Scandal : The New Yorker.

What is the Middle?

Posted in Politics by Bob Higgins on November 9, 2012
Bookmark and Share

OK My friend you’ve given me a lot to deal with but I’ll take a swat at it.

1. I never said Bush actually had the mandate. I’m just saying that is probably why he said that. Obama certainly does not have the same situation to be able to claim a mandate since the Democrats don’t control all of congress.

We can argue all day (and the media mavens will go on for months) whether the President received a mandate. Finally it makes no difference, he was reelected to a second term, picked up a few seats in the Senate, some state legislatures and the Dems received about 12 million more congressional votes than Republicans. Call it what you like. I like mandate.


2. There is no doubt that we hand out too much of the treasury to corporations who in turn hire more people to lobby for more money. It is a ridiculous waste of the public’s money and needs to stop. Unfortunately that would require hiring a lobbyist to try and kill their own job. Not going to happen. True government reform is needed… not just in campaign funding but in the entire system. Term limits that would not allow someone to be groomed to be a career politician who is owned by special interests is a good start. Removing all SuperPACs is another step. PACs can be used but only for issues… not for candidates. You want to run an add about allowing gay marriage or abortion? Great. You don’t run an add saying that Obama is pro-choice or that Romney hates women or gays.

We have term limits, they’re called elections. Remove the polluting power of corporate money and the people will decide who stays or goes without interference. The major problem with term limits is that as these elected officials rise and fall due only to the passage of time the power inherent in the office transfers to unelected staff people and legislative aides who continue on as part of the office furniture and they absorb the power. Within a few cycles we will have a congress answerable to no one but lobbyists and their filthy lucre. Yes, I know, but much worse.

Corporations are not people, money is not speech. Eliminate the absurd ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and super PACS are neutered. I think we have eleven states on board so far to amend the constitution to sweep this dangerous concept out the door. (more…)

Skip the Bearded Lady, Go Straight to the Big Top

Posted in Politics by Bob Higgins on November 8, 2012
Bearded Lady

Bearded Lady

Bookmark and Share

My friend, and I mean that, I value your opinion but I think you’re wrong to toss your vote aside to the Fit of Pique party.

You wrote:

I think last night’s election was not an endorsement for Obama but a message to republicans that people are tired of the rhetoric with nothing to back it up. Fiscally conservative? Not a chance. Socially conservative? That is not what the country cares about anymore.

Where you see none I see a mandate from a solid majority of voters of half or more of the states in the union for a return to more liberal policies and a demand for tangible results. These voters gave us a majority in the electoral college that George Bush never enjoyed. People on both sides of the public divide want a strong economy, full employment, safety, security, jobs, quality education, health care, and many other necessary basic services. The argument is how to get it done.

We can well afford a return to and strengthening of the New Deal policies that led us to all of the above conditions and successfully maintained them until the private profiteers, the opportunists, the financial buccaneers and the Chicago School with their trickle down voodoo convinced the weak minded, spineless and venal in Washington to give away the public treasury. (more…)

Post Election Blues

Posted in Politics by Bob Higgins on November 7, 2012
Bookmark and Share

Thanks to everyone who supported President Obama and his party in yesterday’s election. You spoke out, you wrote, you contributed your time, energy and money and finally you voted.

Now that it’s over and we have a moment of calm after the raging battle it’s time to reflect on the road ahead. In the brief silence that accompanies this temporary cessation of hostilities if you listen closely you will hear the murmurs beginning.

Karl Rove was on Fox this morning explaining why he’s still a genius. Fox will continue to fill their air time with outrageous and untrue commentary billed as fair and balanced news and the Republican party will continue to vilify minorities, women  and attempt to place the main burden of taxation on the backs of working people.

Already this morning Mitch McConnell and John Boehner attempted to diminish the Democratic victory with less than conciliatory statements that portend the likelihood that obstructionism will continue as their primary tactic and many of the far right republican players like Eric Cantor are still on the field preparing for more of their special brand of malicious mischief.

We’ve won a battle but the struggle continues. We have wars and conflicts to end, a tax system to reconstruct, an economy to rebuild, a national security and military industrial complex to rein in, a constitution and rule of law to reaffirm, and a new energy policy and infrastructure to build. (more…)