Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Bannon!

I’ve always liked Steve Bannon.

We’ve got a bit in common. We’re both mostly Irish and mostly, Catholic. Bannon went to high school with Benedictine Catholic Monks in Richmond, VA. I attended most of the Jesuit Colleges on the East Coast graduating from one of them. Bannon was elected President of the Student Body at Virginia Tech, in Harrisonburg, VA. I was elected to the student council from my home room in high school….ok, ok no big deal, but I beat the Class President and the Class Valedictorian in a three person race.

So, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Bannon calls himself a nationalist populist. I call myself an Obama-Pelosi Democrat with emphasis on staying out of unnecessary Mideast wars urged upon us by Israel and her, bought and paid for, friends in Congress. I know they’re “bought and paid for” because Tom Friedman of the Times said they were and Tom loves Israel more than life itself.

Bannon talks too much and often makes enemies. Chicken libs (a chicken lib is unwilling to criticize Israel ever) love to take shots at Bannon. Organized commenters (its called Hasbara, from the Hebrew) join the fray to vile excess. Their “real” gripe: Bannon supposedly said, according to one of his former wives (are you kidding me!), that he “didn’t want his kids going to school with a bunch of whiny Jewish brats.” Continue Reading………

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Surprise! Israel Wants More Money

Posted on September 26, 2021

It’s always something with Israel. Fight this country; bomb that country. Israel join us in battle? Never. Pester us for more money? Constantly.

We made a deal with Israel five years ago. We, The USA, would give Israel $3.8 Billion a year for ten years. Israel signed on. Now, they’re coming to us and saying, send us an EXTRA $1 Billion for this year. They say, they had to launch a bunch of rockets against Hamas a few months ago and don’t want to use “their own ” money…meaning money we already sent them under the Agreement. They want “new” money from us, in addition to the Agreed upon money.

As “Church Lady” would say “Isn’t that special.”

Why the heck are they bugging us with this Mickey Mouse, BS? Israel is a country with 71 Billionaires, more than three times that of the entire continent of Africa. Use the money we already sent you. The $3.8 Bil for this year isn’t exactly chump change. Don’t come to us with “extras”. That’s not our deal. And, if you have to spend a dollar of your own……..

And, by the way, the money we give to Israel, each year, is more than the money we give annually to all of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa, combined. That happens to be the area of Africa where the slaves came from. Population, 950 million people. They get squatoosh which is a smidge more than bupkis.

Does anybody have the phone number for the Congressional Black Caucus? Do they still exist? Anyone in there with a pulse?

You already know how this story ends. Israel will get “their” (meaning OUR) extra $1,000,000,000 for this year. Do you think it will be different next year? Possible. People are starting to talk.

The good news is that nine brave souls, out of 435 in the House of Representatives, voted NO and slowed the process down. Israel likes its “special arrangements” buried in massive multipurpose legislative packages. The Virtuous Nine made that impossible. So, a little daylight got shined on the scam, making it a little more difficult to pull off again. Continue Reading…….

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: General Milley and the Fine Art of Deconfliction

Posted on September 16, 2021

General Milley is going to be all right. I heard it from a couple of Four Stars. Like, for instance, Retired Four Star General Barry McCaffrey, who comments frequently on MSNBC and Retired Four Star General Jack Keane, who does the same at FOX.

General MilleyChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, under Presidents Trump and Biden has admitted to authors Woodward and Costa, in their Book, Peril, to doing exactly what a person holding his rank and position is supposed to do. Keep us out of accidental wars with nuclear powers.

Its called “Deconfliction.” The word is not in the Constitution. Neither is the term “Nuclear Weapons.” The people at Webster have personally advised me that the first time the word “Deconfliction” was used was 1976, further proof that my history of bringing you up to date material, like “The Dude“, abides.

Deconfliction is the art whereby we tell friends, and powerful foes, what we’re concerned about and seek to ascertain what their concerns are about us. For example, it is not in the interest of the USA for China to be under the impression that our President, no matter who it is, is determined to use nuclear weapons against them. The act of convincing the government of China that their fears are misplaced is in the interest of the USA in that it lessens the likelihood that China would take what they mistakenly thought was “preemptive” action against us. Knowledge of what each adversarial power thinks about the other is useful to achieving an absence of conflict also referred to by liberals and flower children as “Peace.” Continue Reading……..

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Taliban Reshuffles Geopolitical Deck

Posted on August 16, 2021

TALIBAN. The Taliban are a movement that originated in the mid 1990s. They practice a strict fundamentalist version of Sharia Law. The Taliban have 150,000 fighters. They now control Afghanistan, a landlocked country that borders Iran, China, Pakistan and four countries ending in “stan” known as the Stans.

The Taliban now get, for a brief fleeting moment, a second chance to make a first impression. Last time around they cut off heads, brutalized women and blew up priceless monuments. They have a chance to reboot who they are. The Germans remade themselves after WW II. Anything is possible. The American Press will give them about a week to demonstrate that they are not stuck in the Stone Age, after which the conventional wisdom will hold that they’re stone cold irrational killers.

JOE BIDEN. Has bragged about his knowledge of Afghanistan claiming he has taken up to 30 trips there. This is a moment of truth time for Joe Biden. Biden must get all our personnel out of Afghanistan safely. The same for the interpreters who risked their lives to help our troops. Biden’s presidency is on the line. Get us out neat and clean. There is no margin for error. Let your work speak for itself. Don’t over talk it. Use Wendy Sherman, No. 2 at State, as a spokesperson in place of underwhelming Secretary of State, Tony Blinken.

IRAN. Iran shares a 590-mile border with Afghanistan. A couple of million Afghanistan citizens have escaped into Iran. It’s in Iran’s interest to help Biden get all Americans out of Afghanistan safely. Iran helped the US right after 9/11. Continue Reading……….

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Iran and the American Compulsion to do Dumb Stuff

Posted on August 4, 2021
The Biden Team has an early opportunity to do something stupid in Iran.

It’ s an American tradition. Caused, in large part, by a school of thought that holds that there should never be any “daylight” between American policy in the Middle East and Israeli policy in the same region.

Huh? What’s up with that? What’s the point of being a “sovereign” country if we have to adjust our strategic aspirations anywhere to accommodate a country that we generously support, who has spied on us to our severe detriment and has never put a soldier, of their own, at risk with us to fight in any of the wars they’ve advocated. They prefer to hold our coat.

If Israel is our partner, they are a very Peculiar Partner.

Harp on this subject very much and you’ll find yourself the guy with vacant seats on both sides when attending one of those silly assed meetings about “Strategic Imperatives in a Changing World.” It’s considered bad form to bring these matters up. It embarrasses folks who want to think of themselves as warriors for what is right and true, but who know our policy vis-a-vis Israel is indefensible but don’t want to lose their job or welcome in polite company by making a big stink about it. At least they haven’t been willing to do so, so far.

But, let me make a prediction. (Disregarding Yogi Berra‘s advice that “one shouldn’t make predictions, especially about the future.”) My prediction is that Israel has one last misadventure to urge upon us before it hits the fan big time. Which is the working man’s way of saying “sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.”

The Biden Team has already done one stupid thing to Iran. On June 22 of this year they seized an Iranian website that many folks curious about the world would consult. I mean you can’t watch Wolf Blitzer 24/7. The site, www.presstv.com came out of Teheran and I’m sure the Iranian Government dictated its content.

So what? What a juvenile counterproductive thing to do. It was an interesting source on how the Iranians looked at the world. I checked it out occasionally. Does our deeply unimpressive Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, have such a low opinion of American citizens that he doesn’t trust our ability to discern sense from nonsense without his very Israel-Centric guidance? Is Blinken, less in favor of the free flow of speech, than Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who never shut the site down?

C’mon Mr. Blinken. People are starting to talk. Continue Reading……

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Quotes for Fun

Posted on June 14, 2021

I love quotes from the famous and infamous. They stimulate the mind and spring me loose from my default state of…who knows.

There’s a great quote written in cement in front of the building in Washington housing the originals of our Constitution and Declaration of Independence, “What’s Past is Prologue.” It’s from Shakespeare, modified, in music, by Justin Timberlake (who I wouldn’t know from a cord of wood), to “what goes around comes around.”

By the way, I love the Tip O’Neill expression “I wouldn’t know him from a cord of wood.” You gotta love Tip! (The Speaker of the House, for Math Majors) I call him “Tip” for two reasons. Most importantly, he’s dead and he can’t say he “doesn’t know me from a cord of wood” and, secondly, I actually did meet him twice and the second time he called me by name. You’ll just have to take that on the, admittedly, flimsy support of, my word.

There are certain people that just cry out to be quoted. Like Dorothy Parker, for instance. She was known for being known, doing some writing and having an acerbic wit. Dorothy described a Broadway starlet who recently arrived from Hungary as “speaking seven languages but unable to say ‘no’ in any one of them.”

Many Jews claim Dorothy as one of theirs. But, without being argumentative, I will point out that her Mother was Celtic (Scotch, Irish, Welsh…not NBA) and Dorothy attended The Convent of the Sacred Heart Elementary School on 79th Street in Manhattan. I’ll always claim her as one of mine, at least partly.

For what its worth, there is a Private Library across from the Convent School on 79th St, of very distinguished history from which my own self and George Washington, at different times in history, enjoyed borrowing privileges. I can report that I am no longer a Member, and my overdue fines have been paid. I have to assume the same for George. Continue Reading……

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Rachael Maddow Should Resign

Posted on May 16, 2021
Rachel Maddow is a “Company Girl.”

The “Company” is Comcast. Its controlling shareholder and CEO is Brian Roberts. Comcast owns MSNBC and decides who, and what goes on their television stations.

Mr. Roberts is Jewish. He is a frequent traveler to Israel and friend of Benjamin Netanyahu. Mr. Roberts does not want to see or hear “unnecessary” criticism of Israel on the channels he owns or from the employees he pays.

As a “Company Girl”, Maddow doesn’t need to be told what Mr. Roberts wants twice. Just like back in school when she took out the trash and cleaned the blackboards for her teachers, Maddow makes sure Mr. Roberts does not see or hear any criticism of Israel at any time, from her own self. Ever.

Teachers pet always gets an A.

Maddow has gone far in life being careful. She specializes in kicking people when they are down and not liked by Management. People who are up, tough and can fight back she avoids, completely. She might get her feelings hurt.

Last week was GAZA WEEK, in World News. It’s difficult to speak about the war between Israel and Hamas without having something to say about the difference in size and power of the belligerents, Hamas fighters and the Israeli Military.

Israel has a magnificently equipped military, bought and paid for by American Taxpayers. They can kill as many residents of Gaza as they choose without putting a significant number of their own soldiers in harms way. Hamas rockets aimed at Israel are generally destroyed by Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Defense System also courtesy of American Taxpayers. The last time they fought, in 2014, Israel lost 73 dead, including 67 soldiers killed in one face-to-face encounter. The citizens of Gaza suffered 2,200 deaths, including hundreds of children under nine years old. Gaza is one-tenth the size of Rhode Island.

“Company Girl” Maddow solved the possible problem of incurring the displeasure of Mr. Roberts by not mentioning the word “GAZA” once during the entire week just past. Continue Reading…….

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: The Origins of our Political Preferences Part 1

Posted on April 25, 2021

Like most people, my dislikes are bigger drivers of my political preferences than my likes. Hate is a stronger motivator than love. Its a fact. Hate energizes. Love pacifies.

I like and admire Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama. They are, and have been, strong figures on the national stage, who have stood the test of time. I’ve made Speaker Pelosi my Person of the Year. And I enjoy reminding Obama haters that Barack Obama is the only President since Eisenhower to win over 51% of the popular vote twice.

I took a flyer in 2020 and gave some money to Tulsi Gabbard. I thought she had potential but the press boycotted her. There is an untold story there. She had called out Netanyahu, by name, for getting us into unnecessary wars. Suddenly, the story changed from Tulsi the hot veteran peacenick to Tulsi the Russian Operative.

What! On what evidence did that charge lie? An off-the-top comment by Hillary Clinton. C’mon, most people need more than that.

I think the Gabbard case may be a case study on how the Israel Lobby handles a public figure whose love for Israel is less than total obeisance (we’re talking Cruz-Pompeo-Cotton-Rubio) levels. They can’t actually say that’s why the person is no good. They didn’t get to be who they are by being stupid. So, they say the person is something other than they purport to be, like a pothead, a wiccan, cult member or a Russian opperative. Whatever works, you get the picture. On line trolls are alerted and any unknowing stooge, like me, who says something good about Gabbard online gets hit with a barrage of nearly identical comments. It cuts off a candidates air and blunts temporary momentum. Continue Reading………

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Israel – It’s Always Something

Posted on March 15, 2021
Remember the Saturday Night Live Character, Roseanne Roseannadanna? Her favorite response to any complication or complaint was to tell the source of the problem, “There’s always something. If it isn’t one thing it’s the other.”

Which reminds me of our friends, the Israelis. It’s always something with them. They want money, so we give them money. In Israel’s case we gave them $383.00 per person in 2017, which comes out to about $3.3 Bil cost to us for that year. The next largest comparable recipient was Jordan who received $153.00 per Jordanian per year from us.

The Congo got $6.00 per person for the year. Everybody got a sandwich…one sandwich. There’s no crying in baseball or foreign aid. Where did you get the idea life is fair?

The Israelis don’t just sit back and see how big a check we send them. On the contrary, it’s a “negotiation” with members of Congress who have received contributions from pro-Israel sources pressing whoever happens to be President to give Israel more. That’s the way the game is played with the Israelis. It doesn’t make them loved. Maybe they don’t care.

Netanyahu and Obama had a sit down at the end of the Obama administration. Subject: The Aid Package. Obama suggested ten years at $3.8 Bil per year. A sizable raise from prior years. Ever so charming Netanyahu, told Obama, in so many words, “I don’t need you I’ll deal with whoever replaces you and get more.” Netanyahu eventually came back and accepted the ten-year at $3.8 Bil per year deal. That’s a pretty big number for Israel, a country that has more billionaires than the entire continent of Africa.

Which raises the obvious question, when is Israel going to support itself? Continue Reading……..

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan – Do the Best you Can

Posted on February 10, 2021

On January 13, 2021 the House of Representatives voted to Impeach Trump for the High Crime and Misdemeanor of Incitement to Insurrection for events leading up to, and on, January 6, 2021, at the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Impeachment in the House is in the nature of an Indictment requiring a trial in the Senate where Conviction requires a two thirds vote of Senators present and voting. Upon obtaining a two thirds vote in the Senate the President is considered to be Convicted and Removed.

The not so smart lawyers representing Trump are arguing that the Senate is powerless to act because Trump is no longer President. It is their position that the remedy for committing Impeachable Acts is Conviction and Removal and you can’t remove someone who has already left and the Constitution requires that you do both, “convict and remove”, or do nothing.

The “both or nothing” argument is silly as Trump’s lawyers would have found out if they had gone to court seeking to enjoin the Senate from seeking to try Trump in the first place. They would have been told by any competent Court that the most reasonable interpretation of the Convict and Remove language in the Constitution does not require the Senate to do the impossible nor does the expiration of time render the Senate a nullity. If, at the conclusion of a Senate Trial, two thirds of the Senate finds that the President has committed high crimes and misdemeanors while President they should enter a Judgement of Conviction. Continue Reading…….