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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Pete Jackson: Who are these guys?

  • Reading, watching, or hearing from the post-election Republican Party indicates to me that they actually thought they could win the presidency.
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  • Something to think about. Folks, reading, watching, or hearing from the post-election Republican Party indicates to me that they actually thought they could win the presidency. The results are in and boy are they mad. Let's see — their presidential nominee absolutely trashed 47 percent of Americans as "TAKERS." And some of their congressional candidates made and continue to make some of the meanest and dumbest statements I've come across in my lifetime. They do not attempt to hide their anger and contempt for those folks who possess the audacity to have a different point of view.
    My recommendation (if asked) would be for them to put down their bone china long enough to recognize the changes going on with the American electorate. The Republicans appear to be now operating with a medical condition known as shock and are very slow in realizing that their control of the plantation is ebbing away.
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    It also appears that the Republicans are struggling to take yes for an answer. A newly re-elected Democratic president nominates a former Republican Senator from the Midwest (Nebraska) for Secretary of Defense. Do I hear cheers from the Republicans? Loud cheers maybe? Of course not. According to Republicans, the nominee. Chuck Hagel evidently said some bad things about Israel, Iran and neoconservatives in general.
    We can obviously look to the usual suspects to hear them whine about Hagel – Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), among others. It certainly comforts me to know that the senator who picked that noted foreign policy and defense expert, Sarah Palin, as his vice presidential nominee, has severe reservations about Hagel.
    It has been kinda rough sledding for the neocons since President George W. Bush retired to cut brush at the ranch in Houston and President Barack Obama assumed the role as Commander-In-Chief. The phase down of two years has left them with little to do but pout and sulk at their various camps and think tanks.
    The following comment from an Arkansas Democrat-Gazelle story (1-13-13) is illustrative: "One critic is Elliott Abrams, a national security advisor to Bush during the Iraq war who pleaded guilty in the Iran-Contra scandal to withholding information from Congress. He called Hagel an anti-Semite who has “ 'some kind of problem with Jews’” in an interview on National Public Radio last week. (The Council on Foreign Relations, where Abrams is a senior fellow, distanced itself from his comments.)”
    Incidentally, Senator Hagel participated in the Vietnam conflict and was awarded two Purple Hearts and still carries around some shrapnel for his efforts.
    *     *     *     *
    Perhaps some of you have heard or read about the Royal Dutch Shell oil rig problem in the Gulf of Alaska. The "Kulluk” oil rig broke free from a tow ship in rough, stormy seas and became beached on an island in the Gulf of Alaska. Thankfully, so far there have been no leaks.
    Page 2 of 2 - Shell stopped drilling in December of 2012, because of, among other things, equipment failure, unexpected ice floes and operational problems. In addition, containment systems that were designed to collect oil in case of a well accident failed during the testing phase.
    I'm not an oil/gas man in any sense of the word — nor an environmental expert - but I believe that the recent evidence (e.g., the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf) says we are not technologically ready for drilling for oil in the Arctic or the Antarctic regions. The weather alone is formidable enough but the lack of readily available support equipment/resources in that area for a real oil spill could realistically go beyond disastrous.
    *      *     *     *
    BREAKING NEWS. The insanity continues. CNN reported (1-15-13) that freshman Representative Steve Stockmnn (R-TX), says that President Obama could be impeached depending on his actions over the gun control issue. Could it be possible that the Republican Party may need to be put on suicide watch?
    (Pete Jackson of Heber Springs is one of two local contributors to Progressive Voice, a “progressive viewpoint” column)
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