The Cold War never ended.
Did you know that?
If Russia is the biggest threat to the United States -- and the US Director of National Intelligence, Jame Clapper, testified it was -- we must still be in the Cold War.
I've never seen so much crazy in one hearing.
Among the big crazies was Jeanne Shaheen. Unless New Hampshire has had a record influx of people from Kosovo and the Balkans, Jeanne needs to buy a damn clue.
Did she waste her entire time -- in a hearing about today's threats to the US -- yammering away about Kosovo and the Balkans? And, Jeanne, Clapper answered your question. He didn't get mixed up between the two. You're the one who thought you asked about one, when you asked about the other.
Listening to her yammer away -- wasting everyone's time -- I felt like I was watching an episode of Friends only Joey went to the Senate. Remember when Penn or Teller goes door to door selling encylopedias? And Joey feels left out of the conversations with the friends? So he buys one encylcopedia. The "V" book. And, at the coffee house, he keeps steering the conversation to V topics?
That's what Jeanne Shaheen was like. As she babbled away.
Most of the Committee wasn't present. But the New Hampshire Twins were. Between Jeanne on the D side and Kelly Ayotte on the R side, it was deadly. (And they went one right after the other -- that can induce coma for those in the visitor gallery.) I will just say whatever Ayotte thought her point was, she never made it. In fact, it was a parlor game just trying to figure out what she was speaking of from one point to the next.
Mexico does border Texas, yes. So John Cornyn wasted everyone's time -- Mexico is not a threat to the US, it will not launch an attack (and that was what the hearing was supposed to be about) -- but at least he can claim he pleased some folks back home. And I'm sure he did as he compared Mexico to Columbia and wanted the military -- the US military -- to do the same thing in Mexico it does in Columbia.
The less said about Cornyn, the better.
Most senators skipped out on the hearing, by the way.
Joe Lieberman didn't. Carl Levin, the Chair, was present. Joe Manchin was as well. Unless I'm forgetting someone, that's pretty much it. (Roger Wicker may have been present. He rarely makes an impression on me one way or the other.) I think the one who wasted the most time, however, was John McCain.
When one of the two witnesses is going to Vietnam, you might want to wish them a safe trip and maybe even that they convey a message to the Vietnam government (McCain did both) but surely you're ego is exposed if you're recommending that the witness be sure to visit the spot you were shot down at.
John McCain, your ego is embarrassing.
Where was Iraq?
Barely covered in the hearing. What was said, C.I.'s got in the snapshot.
Iran was mentioned a lot and Libya (Levin, Lieberman and McCain raised them). John McCain has just been to Libya, he informed us, and he is against US forces going into Libya because of what he was told there -- they want guns, they want support of other kind, he said, but they want to fight this fight themselves. (Lieberman made similar comments and noted that the US government could recognize the leader of the resistance the way he said France has.)
Most questions on Iran and Libya were tabled for the closed session of the hearing.
It was a really bad hearing. Really bad. When Nicholas Kristoff is quoted at length, you know the hearing is struggling. McCain quoted from the "article" Kristoff wrote. Kristoff is a columnist for the New York Times and writes columns. But McCain believes that the US should enforce a no flight zone over Libya and referred to Kristoff's column to back up his point.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"