Drawing – Golden-winged Warbler

Golden-winged Warbler - Drawing by Terry SohlA little more “feather” to get my mind off the “folly” of the shutdown.  In keeping with my usual subject matter…this is a species that I don’t have photos of.  Well, not any good photos anyway. This is a Golden-winged Warbler.  They migrate through South Dakota in May, but aren’t all that common.  I’ve seen them four or five times, with just one very bad, blurry photo…hence choosing it as a subject for drawing.

Click on the image for a larger view.

Shutdown Blues…

We’re in day 5 of the U.S. government shutdown.  God knows I’ve certainly had plenty of time this week to blog about it, given that I’ve been stuck at home while my USGS facility is shuttered.  I honestly just haven’t known where to begin, though, as there are SO many “blog-worthy” topics related to the shutdown.

John Boehner – DC Politician – John Boehner and his role in the shutdown perfectly summarize what D.C. politics has become.  It’s not about serving Americans or doing what’s “right”.  It’s not about governing.  It’s about the next election, period.  It’s definitely not a stretch to say that more than any other shutdown, more than any other manufactured political “crisis”, the majority of the blame rests on just one man’s shoulders.  In September, Harry Reid and John Boehner had an agreement that a “clean” CR would be supported by both the Senate and House, at the lower “sequester” level of spending, if no other agreement were reached.  Boehner’s completely lost ANY trust Reid may have had, as obviously Boehner reversed his position as October drew near.  On the one hand, there may be a tendency to feel a bit of sympathy for Boehner, given the hand he’s been dealt.  He’s trying to preside over a Republican caucus with an element that’s more interested in destroying government than it is in actually governing.  Any sympathy for the man is completely overwhelmed though by disgust over his priorities.  As 3rd in succession to the presidency, it’s appalling that Boehner can put his own political future over the well-being of the country.  It’s appalling that Boehner cares more about preserving his Speakership than he does about the American economy, or those that depend upon government programs.  John Boehner, you ARE the face of this shutdown.

Legitimacy of the Obama Presidency - Look at the headlines this week and you’d be rightfully confused as to the reasons Republicans have led this shutdown.  Obamacare?  That was the initial stated reason for the shutdown, that Repubs are trying “protect” America from the “harmful” effects of the Affordable Care Act (more on that in a second).  It only took a day or two though before Republicans were either quoted as saying they just want SOME seemingly random concession from Obama, or have pivoted to state the shutdown is about fiscal policy overall.  Bullshit.  The shutdown is about one issue…Republican denial of the legitimacy of the Obama presidency.  Even on election day, when polls showed Obama would win rather easily, Republican pundits, the right-wing “media”, and Romney himself were CONFIDENT in a victory.  Republicans just don’t recognize that it’s even a POSSIBILITY that Americans would favor Democrat’s ideology and political platform.   In 2012, Democrats won the presidency…Democrats defended nearly every “at-risk” Senate seat (even winning in “red” states like North Dakota…and Democrats had 1 million more votes for the House than did Republicans.  Thanks to ridiculously gerry-mandered House districts, Republicans (unfairly) maintain control of the House, but from the last election, it’s quite obvious who “won”.  It’s quite obvious whose agenda voters favored.  Despite this, Republicans STILL don’t recognize the legitimacy of a Obama presidency.  This more than ANYTHING is why Obama and Democrats need to stand firm against Republican blackmail attempts.  ELECTIONS MUST MEAN SOMETHING.  MAJORITY RULE MUST BE MAINTAINED.  Obama simply can’t allow a minority party to destroy the democratic process.  There’s one hell of a lot more at stake here than just the future of Obama, or Obamacare.

Obamacare itself -  There’s been one issue Republicans have paid little attention to this week…Obamacare itself.  Isn’t this the supposed reason for the shutdown?  However, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act “exchanges”, despite the supposed role the ACA is playing in the shutdown, Republicans have been remarkably quiet on the ACA itself, for at least 2 reasons.  First, as noted above, it’s obvious the shutdown is NOT about the ACA. Secondly…Republicans have to be dismayed about the rollout this week.  Their entire political platform seems to be based on American’s supposed hatred of the ACA.  Their political strategy behind the shutdown is based on negative poll numbers about the ACA itself, even as Americans say shuttering the government is an unacceptable way to fight ACA implementation.   However, the health care exchanges have seen incredible demand after opening this week, with servers unable to handle the load of millions of interested Americans.  Republicans are seeing their entire party platform melt away.  Yes, there have been issues with implementation this week, but there’s obviously demand for affordable health care. It’s one hell of a perilous position to be in for Republicans, seen as the party of “no”, a party without a plan for governing, a party that seems more interested in STOPPING Americans from getting affordable health care than it is in improving the health care system.

Right-wing Media Coverage – I hesitate to call it “news” or the “media”, but it’s been downright laughable how Fox News and other right-wing media have covered the shutdown.  Or, should I say “slimdown”, as Fox News refers to it.  Blaring headlines on Fox News this week either refer to it as the “Liberal Shutdown” or “Obama’s Shutdown” as they attempt to shift blame away from Boehner and Republicans.  Can you imagine ANY mainstream media site consistently blaring headlines such as “Boehner’s Shutdown” or “Republican Shutdown” when referring to this story?  MSNBC is obviously the liberal version of Fox News, but at least they TRY to maintain some semblance of neutrality.  As much as Republicans like to complain about the “liberal media”, you certainly won’t see such blatantly political headlines on CNN, the New York Times, or Washington Post. Can you imagine the outcry from the right if the New York Times preceded every shutdown-related news story with a headline containing “Republican Shutdown”?  If I were any kind of a serious journalist, I’d be damned embarrassed to be associated with Fox News, no matter my political persuasion.

Photo Op Week! – 10%.  That’s the approval rating for Congress right now, and this week makes it pretty damned easy to see why.  Republicans know they’re losing the PR battle, and their major focus this week has been to try to shift blame for the shutdown to Obama, Harry Reid, and Democrats in general.  The strategy has led to some of the most despicable “photo op” events imaginable.  Republicans have refused to even bring up a “clean” continuing resolution, even though it WOULD pass in the House and the shutdown would be over.  The GOP-led House has obviously caused the shutdown, yet Republican House members have tried to pin blame for the pain and inconvenience of the shutdown on Democrats.  The National Park Service is part of the Department of Interior, same as my U.S. Geological Survey.  We’re all shut down, which means all facilities managed by the Park Service are shut down.  Incredulously this week, Republicans have tried to play up the shutdown of Parks, Memorials, and Monuments by claiming Obama himself shut them down.  Hence scenes like the ones on the Washington Mall, where Michelle Bachman has her arm around a wheelchair-bound World War II vet, while both simultaneously talking about Republican support for re-opening monuments, and blaming Obama for the lack of access.  In another widely publicized photo-op, a Republican House member is seen loudly berating a poor National Park Ranger for blocking access…even though it’s the Republican House that is causing this shutdown and has blocked funding for National Parks.  I’m not a violent man.  Other than fights with my evil twin brother growing up, I’ve never been in a physical confrontation in my life.  However, if I were on the National Mall this week and had come across something like the staged Michelle Bachmann photo op, I would have had a hell of a hard time not going up to her and trying to slap some sense into her.

Real-world Fallout – So far, the media coverage of the fallout from the shutdown has focused on relatively minor issues, such as the National Mall access.  There have been a few stories on NIH-funded activities grinding to a halt, patients in clinical trials who have been left out in the cold, etc., but overall, coverage of the effects of shuttered government services has been pretty spotty so far.  That will obviously change as the shutdown drags on, and the negative effects become more pronounced.  What will likely NOT be covered in detail are the longer-term economic effects.  It’s easy to see the direct effects of government offices being closed, of services not being provided.  What’s more difficult to see and quantify are economic effects on those directly or indirectly dependent upon government programs and facilities.  Hotels, restaurants, and other businesses around National Parks are obviously hurting, as are businesses near large government facilities.  While there are about 800,000 Federal employees currently furloughed, there are many times that number of government contractors who are currently sidelined.  Where I work at USGS, we have about 650 total employees, with about 470 of those being contractors.  Those contractors are NOT being paid during the shutdown, and will not receive retroactive back pay.  They’re being told they can use vacation, IF they have enough, or leave-without-pay.  For a shutdown that looks like it will last a minimum of 2 weeks, that’s a damned big economic impact, particularly if you compound that impact across all Federal contractors.

The End Game – I hate to say it, given the serious repercussions for not raising the debt limit, but THANK GOD October 17th is the stated debt-limit deadline.  As hell-bent as Republicans seem to be on destroying Obama and government in general, it’s hard to see them crossing this line and letting the U.S. government default on its debt obligations.  Thanks to the October 17th deadline, it’s hard not to see government funding and the debt limit being tied together in some eventual legislation.  Seeing how entrenched both sides are, it’s also obvious though that we’re going to push right up against that deadline before government is re-opened, and before the debt-limit is raised.  My guess?  We’ll see a lot more bluster and posturing this weekend, with little to no progress.  But as we move through next week, the pressure to make some sort of deal is dramatically ratcheted up.  So…we’re going to be looking at about a 2-week shutdown.  So far, dates floated for a continuing resolution would fund the government through either November 15 or December 15.  Given Republican’s insistence on governing through blackmail…perhaps we can look forward to another round of this crap in just another month or two!

Drawing – Atlantic Puffin

Atlantic Puffin - Drawing by Terry Sohl

Click for a larger view

A lot of opportunity to post this week about the “folly” side of my blog, given that I’m sitting at home for the 3rd straight day as House Republicans continue to throw their temper tantrum.  But instead of focusing on the folly, thought I’d focus on the “feather” side to help me forget about the maddening news.

An Atlantic Puffin drawing.  First portrait I’ve tried.  Kind of looks like George Washington on a coin or something to me, so not sure if I’ll do any more closer portraits like this.

Today’s headlines…

Perfect…perfect.  Totally represents the level of engagement most folks have in politics and world events, as opposed to their level of engagement with pop culture.  The government is likely to shut down in less than 24 hours…we have historic opportunities to engage Iran diplomatically…and what story is “most read” on websites this morning? Indeed, what story is actually the HEADLINE on many websites this morning?

The “Breaking Bad” finale was evidently last night, and is being dissected in great detail.

Perfect…

GOP adds “conscience clause” to government funding bill

Disgusting…not only are Repubs shutting down the government to try and pause Obamacare implementation, they also inserted what they call the “conscience clause”.

The clause the GOP House added to their spending bill would allow either employers or insurance companies to opt out of having to cover contraception. Working for a bible-thumping wacko? Sorry ma’am, that hairy old white man in the front office is claiming control of your vagina and uterus…no birth control coverage for you.

“Conscience” clause my ass. They’re trying to stop 30 million uninsured Americans from getting insurance coverage. They’re shutting down the government , leaving programs for the poor shuttered while they throw their tantrum about losing to Obama last fall. I guess their conscience only bothers them if it’s rich white men who need help…

America, home of the free…and the ignorant

Looks like me and a few hundred thousand of my close Fed friends will be getting an unscheduled vacation! I’ve got responsibilities, I’ve got folks counting on me, including some outside of Federal government, but thanks to Tea Party wackos and the weakest, worst Speaker-of-the-House in history, I’m not even going to have access to my work email when the government shuts down Tuesday. It’s easy to blame Boehner and House Republicans, but equally at fault…American voters and the public as a whole.

Republicans are committing political suicide with this move, with opinion polls showing they’re going to get blamed for the shutdown. However, the only reason Repubs feel even halfway comfortable about forcing a shutdown Is because of polls that continue to show overall unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act, and polls about raising the debt limit.

Regarding the ACA…Americans still have a negative impression of Obamacare when asked about the program as a whole. However, when you ask the public about all the individual components of the ACA, they’re very much in favor of most provisions. Why the disparity? Because Americans are freakin’ ignorant. Americans are incredibly reliant on being spoon-fed news events in short, simplified bites. Americans don’t KNOW the details about Obamacare, and are too lazy to educate themselves. Only in America can people say they’re against something in NAME, but for the actual CONTENT

Regarding the debt limit…Republicans are buoyed by polls that show Americans consistently resist raising the debt limit. A strong majority don’t think we should raise the debt limit, and a majority are even against raising it if it would mean America defaults on its debts!!! In other words…a majority of Americans are FUCKING IDIOTS. ANY American who says they don’t want to raise the debt limit is either 1) an anarchist or 2) completely ignorant as to what the debt limit represents. Americans just don’t understand the debt limit. They don’t understand the consequences of refusing to raise it. They don’t understand it would likely result in a severe recession, if not a deep depression, would result in permanently much higher interest rates. They don’t understand the incredibly negative impact it would have on their daily lives.

The American public doesn’t understand, but the politicians we send to DC certainly do. It’s incredible how much of politics is based on capitalizing on the ignorance of your constituents. Hell, the entire platform of the Republican Party is built on that ignorance. Here’s hoping the impending shutdown wakes some folks up and helps to reduce some of that ignorance.

Life as a Fed…

It’s 7:30 pm and at the moment on the floor of the US Senate, noted assclown Ted Cruz is filibustering. OK…in reality due to Senate rules, it’s not a filibuster…it’s just just Cruz doing what he does best…being a blowhard and making a show for the Tea Party wackos. There’s one thing and one thing only on Cruz’s mind, and it sure as he’ll isn’t Obamacare or what’s good for the country. No, the one thing on Ted Cruz’s mind is the political future of Ted Cruz.

In reality though you could say that’s the problem with every DC politician. In Cruz’s case he’s posturing for 2016, trying to endear himself to the wacko conservative wing of the Republican Party. The next election…that’s the ONLY thing that drives DC politicians. Mitch McConnell has been crapping his pants over this showdown, not wanting to look like an idiot like Cruz, but at the same time not wanting to piss off the Tea Party wackos. John Boehner is in survival mode, KNOWING Republicans are destroying the party in the long term, but going along with the Tea Party wackiness in order to preserve his speakership. One week until a shutdown that looks ever more likely…

Standing on the sidelines…folks like myself. I’m a US Geological Survey scientist who was around for the LAST shutdown in 1995. There were actually 2 shutdowns then, very short one, and then the one over the holidays that lasted many days. At the time, my wife and I were, well, 18 years younger and a LOT poorer. We’d just closed on our first house, and sitting at home instead of working certainly was a stressful time. I can survive a shutdown for a while now, but god knows there are a lot of Federal employees who would suffer a big hardship if they were out of work for a while.

Now I’m a project manager, and what’s the most frustrating about dealing with DC politics is the complete uncertainty and impossibility to ever make long-term plans. It’s not just a shutdown threat, it’s Congressional politics in general. EVERY year at this time, as we approach a new fiscal year, we have to make contingency plans regarding budgets. Will we be on a continuing resolution? (The answer to that is always YES for at least the last decade). What will our funding be for the fiscal year? Will your agency suffer a big budget hit if Congress does ever pass a budget, and if so, how do change course mid year?

I’ve been at USGS EROS for 20 years now. We truly are a world-class science organization, with many well-respected, well published scientists. Thats NOT due to DC politics or political support, it’s in SPITE of the constant roadblocks that we face. I look at our one organization with about 650 employees, and think of our experiences multiplied across all Federal agencies. How much money and time is wasted every year due to DC politics? How many government man hours are spent planning for shutdowns, for maneuvering through continuing resolutions?

To the general public, Federal employees have somehow become synonymous with the assclown politicians in DC. There’s the stereotype of the fat and happy Fed, overpaid and underworked. To that, I say BULLSHIT. I wish the public could separate the politics from the employees and agencies of the Federal government. We’re doing world-class work where I am, with very well-educated professionals who make less than they could in the private sector. We’re hard-working, dedicated workers, serving the American public with pride and responsibility.

Now if only we could disassociate ourselves from the assclown politicians in DC. It’s tiring having DC politics drag down the reputation of Federal workers themselves. It’s tiring when your work itself is negatively impacted by the uncertainty and interference of DC politics.

In the meantime we sit here with less than a week to go, and DC politicians seem more intent on insulting each other than they do in trying to make government WORK. Have a merry shutdown!!

Young Men Kill Record Alligator – Testosterone Levels Surge

I really need to add a new blog category…”Stupid CNN Front Page ‘News’”, or something along those lines.  I think it was the Onion the other day who made fun of CNN’s penchant for having ridiculous, non-news-worthy stories dominate their front page, and I certainly won’t argue with that.  It seems they had Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance as their lead story online for 3 days, with smaller headlines for “minor” stories like the U.S. potentially headed to war with Syria.

Yesterday’s big “news” comes from Mississippi, where rednecks from across the region salivated at the chance to go out and kill something.  Evidently there was an alligator hunt for the first time in many, many years, and the big CNN “news” was that multiple groups of rednecks killed record-sized alligators.  More than 24 hours later, and this big story is STILL on the top of the CNN “news” page.  The story is accompanied by a lovely photo of 3 young Mississippi rednecks, standing proudly behind a dead alligator hoisted up into the air.

Congrats CNN for relaying yet another ground-breaking “news” story.  And big congrats to the all those fine, Mississippi rednecks who satisfied their urge to go out and kill something…I can feel the manly testosterone SURGING, all the way up here in South Dakota.

If you really want some good entertainment, look at the reader comments accompanying this big “news” story.  Always entertaining to lift the curtain and see some uncensored discussion from the brilliant citizenry from across America.  My favorite posts accompanying this story…those that say it’s NECESSARY for Mississippi rednecks to go out and blast away at alligators, to control the population.  Did alligator populations spiral out of control prior to the arrival of testosterone-driven killing-machine young rednecks in America?  The damned creatures must have been so abundant that they were stacked on top of each other, without having these fine young rednecks…wait…no…these fine young redneck HEROES…to protect us from the scourge of out-of-control alligator populations.  BRAVO, young redneck Mississippi heroes!! Without your brave daring-do, it would have only been a matter of time before the out-of-control Alligator horde would have reached us up here in South Dakota.  Thank you CNN for reporting this story, and thank you Mississippi rednecks for protecting your fellow citizenry…

Revisiting farmers as “True Environmentalists”

Drain Tiling South Dakota

An August, 2013 photo from Highway 81 in Lake County, north of Madison, South Dakota. There are many large grassy fields in the area that are actively being converted to cropland. Here some large rolls of drain tile sit and await installation in a beautiful, massive grassy field. At this time next year, there's no doubt this will be a massive corn field.

I started this blog about 2 years ago, and the very first blog post focused on what seemed to be an impending “annexation” of southeastern South Dakota, by the state of Iowa.  At the time it was somewhat tongue in cheek, about South Dakota turning into an extension of Iowa, given the continuing conversion of pasture and other lands to cultivated corn and soybean fields.  Nothin’ against Iowa (OK, maybe a little bit), but…when I drive through our sister to the southeast, it’s a bit depressing, in that you typically see miles and miles of corn and soybeans, with very little grassland or woodland habitat.

I’ve blogged about this all before, but with the continued government support for ethanol, with continued high prices for corn, farmers are ratcheting up the conversion to cropland at an even higher pace.  I work at USGS EROS, a facility that sits outside of Sioux Falls 10 miles.  I always used to have my camera with me when I drove to work, and I usually would take gravel roads, driving by the few remaining “micro-habitats” that remained in a sea of farmland.  Yes, southeast South Dakota too is mostly cropland, but on my way to work, there are little pockets of pasture and grassland, shrubby fencerows and shelter belts, and marshy pastures and some wetland.

I should say there USED to be those little pockets of habitat, because just within the last few years, they are pretty much completely gone.  Pasture land and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands are pretty much a thing of the (very recent) past on my drive to work.  The little marshy spots and wetlands? COMPLETELY gone on my drive.  Just a couple of miles southeast of USGS EROS, there used to be a marshy pasture, with scattered wetter spots that actually supported cattails and other wetland vegetation.  When driving to and from work, it was the one spot I would often pause at with my camera. It was the ONLY little patch of wetland left on my way to work, and I was often rewarded with photos of some nice birds.  Swamp Sparrows, Le Conte’s Sparrows, Sedge Wrens…all nice birds to find here (all these photos are from that spot).

I knew that spot was likely in trouble when I saw heavy equipment sitting on the land last fall.  The natural drainage through the area, this little ditch that often held standing water, was dug up and expanded.  The entire field was drain-tiled, and this summer when I drove past the spot, the entire area was now a corn field.  ”Progress”…South Dakota style.  I don’t bother bringing my camera to work any more.   I don’t bother taking gravel roads.  Even these little micro-habitats that once held birds are now all gone, plowed under in the rush to grow even more corn.

I obviously get it, from the farmer’s perspective.  It’s their livelihood, and with the high price of corn, they want to scrape every possible bushel of corn from their land.  With the (RIDICULOUS) continued support for ethanol and the high price of corn, I suppose the “Iowa-zation” of eastern South Dakota is inevitable.  What bugs the HELL out of me though is the continued active advertising campaign talking about South Dakota farmers as “True Environmentalists”.  The “True Environmentalist” campaign has been going on for some time now, seemingly coinciding quite well with the rapid expansion of cropland and loss of CRP land in the state.  The ad campaign is sponsored by the South Dakota Corn Grower’s Association (surprise).

There are billboards around the state, and you see TV advertisements on occasion as well.  If you look at the website, you’ll see a page called “Caring for the land” that lists all the…benefits (!!) of farming and how they’re supposedly protecting water quality, the soil, and wildlife.

To that, I say BULLSHIT.  Look, with 7 billion mouths to feed on the planet, I know large-scale ag production is needed.  But for god’s sake farmers…call a freakin’ spade a spade’.  South Dakota farmers are about as much “Environmentalists” as are those in the oil and gas industry.  It’s about production, it’s about profit…it’s NOT about the environment.  A site and ad campaign that touts the water quality “benefits” of our “true environmentalist” farmers?  I love to fish, but I rarely bother fishing in this part of the state, and I CERTAINLY wouldn’t ever eat a fish I caught around here.  The water is incredibly turbid and so full-of ag-runoff that on a recent birding trip, I literally had to hold my nose driving past many of the lakes and ponds in the area.  Fertilizer runoff ensures massive algae blooms in the summer, and the stench around Lake Thompson and other lakes in the area is pretty horrid right now.

With the drought last year, farmers really took advantage by moving into former wetlands to install drain tile and convert them to cropland.  It’s bad enough to convert natural wetlands to cropland, but the drain tile itself facilitates  increased movement of pesticides and fertilizers into waterways.

It’s kind of depressing driving around Eastern South Dakota and seeing all the land conversion going on the state. Farmers…South Dakota Corn Grower’s Association…enough of the bullshit.  Call a spade a spade. Whitewashing the land conversion, whitewashing the drain-tiling of existing ag land, is no different from the oil companies advertising their “green cred”.

Republican GLEE over Syria

Many hundreds of Syrian men, women, and children were killed in the most gruesome manner possible, and many hundreds more were injured.  After multiple wars in the Middle East, a war-weary public is understandably reluctant to enter yet another conflict.  President Obama is really in a horrible position, with no great choices…through no fault of his own.

The Republican response to all of this? Outright GLEE.  In the COMPLETELY fucked-up world of Republican politics, Syria isn’t about chemical weapons, or all the people who were killed.  In the fucked-up world of Republican politics, Syria is about OBAMA, yet another topic they completely mis-read and twist in an effort to discredit a sitting president they hate even MORE than despots who massacre their own citizens through chemical weapons.  Rush Limbaugh, predictably, blames Obama for being “alone“,…as if a sitting president can flex his muscles and force another nation into war.  Hell, I’m surprised he didn’t blame Obama for dropping the chemical weapons themselves.  Charles Krauthammer, every BIT the loser that Rush Limbaugh is, takes glee in Obama being “humiliated“.

Of course Mr. Hawk himself, John McCain, is criticizing Obama for not doing ENOUGH, saying we need not only surgical air strikes, but even greater involvement. In the screwed up world of DC politics right now, it’s Nancy Pelosi who is sounding almost as hawkish as McCain.  From a strategic standpoint, it’s no-win for Obama.  As noted in this LA Times article, limited air strikes may actually make Assad STRONGER.  Despite the horror of what happened, it’s hardly surprising Great Britain is backing away from action.  They too realize it’s a no-win situation.    Back home, Americans aren’t going to stand for another protracted ground war, about the only thing that WOULD drive Assad out, but something that would leave an even messier, bigger power struggle than what’s occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Just like Republican calls to elminate ObamaCare, they of course OFFER NO CREDIBLE SUGGESTIONS TO HOW THEY WOULD HANDLE THE ISSUE.  Republicans seem to be good at one thing, and one thing only…bitching and moaning about whatever it is Obama is doing.

Way to go, Limbaugh, Krauthammer, and the rest of you right-wing losers.  You’ve REALLY shown the pathetic nature of your party platform…being anti-Obama.  Instead of showing a single OUNCE of compassion for the Syrian victims, instead of providing CONSTRUCTIVE SUPPORT to a sitting president in a time of crisis…Republicans are focusing on criticizing Obama for action or inaction (in other words, criticizing what ever he decides to do), bitching about Obama needing to consult Congress before striking, and taking delight in Obama being “humiliated” and “alone”.

Pathetic…but sadly, predictable, given the state of the Republican party.  An entire party has been taken over by a single-minded HATRED of the sitting president, and the entire country is suffering as a result.