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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/30/16

The U.S. Congress, Obama And Stupidity

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This time I am not going down the moralistic rabbit hole when it comes to American politics. But I am still always amazed by the fact that members of the United States Congress -- a combination and mixture of elected Democrats and Republicans, a supposedly informed and bright cabal of men and women doing "the people's business" in the Senate and the House of Representatives -- have routinely displayed extraordinary and breathtaking stupidity.

But perhaps the dumbest and incomprehensible response and law-making decision made in recent times by A MAJORITY of BOTH houses was the recent presidential veto override of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, better known as JASTA. The bill, which enjoyed broad bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, would, among other things, allow aggrieved American citizens to sue countries "known or suspected" to have sponsored terrorist acts for compensatory damages.

It was called the "sue Saudi Arabia" law and was pushed by the families, victims and survivors of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. The legislation was and is predicated on the allegation that Saudi Arabia was behind these attacks. The fact is nobody knows if this is true. But Congress, jittery about angering American voters by behaving like sane adults, and do the due diligence by actually reading the bill, just simply overrode President Barack Obama's veto without regard for the unintended consequences.

Talk about intellectual laziness! By the next day, a scant 24-hours after their historic override, Congress suddenly woke up to its action like a promiscuous floozy who imbibed to much free liquor last night at the karaoke pub. One after the other, they sheepishly blamed President Obama for causing them not to read the bill. Immediately, the word "stupidity" reared its ugly head in my vocabulary. So, my dear readers, I decided to start by explaining the exact meaning of the word "stupidity."

Stupidity is a lack of intelligence, understanding, reason and sense. Stupidity may be innate, assumed or reactive. Stupidity is a quality or state of being stupid, or an act or idea that exhibits properties of being stupid. In a character study of "The Stupid Man" attributed to the Greek philosopher Theophrastus (c. 371 -- c. 287 BC), stupidity was defined as "mental slowness in speech or action". The modern English word "stupid" has a broad range of applications, from being slow of mind (indicating a lack of intelligence, care or reason), dullness of feeling or sensation (torpidity, senseless, insensitivity), or lacking interest or point (vexing, exasperating). It can either imply a congenital lack of capacity for reasoning, or a temporary state of daze, or slow-mindedness.

Now for the United States Congress and its override of President Obama's veto to the bill called the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act. Here's a sequence of events that are dumb and mindboggling to say the least.

"A day after the House and Senate overwhelmingly voted to override President Obama's veto, GOP leaders are expressing reservations about legislation that would allow lawsuits related to 9/11 to go forward against Saudi Arabia.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch and House Speaker Paul Ryan both said they were open to discussions about changing the bill, which Congress approved unanimously -- THE DAY BEFORE.

LMAO! Say what! Was it not you guys who pretended to unconditionally love 9/11 families and supporters (especially during a presidential election) by slapping down poor Obama and asserting yourselves as the real, rip roaring law makers? Yeah, you are the representatives of the American people even though they think all of you are just akin to crap-eaters and bottom feeders, right?

"We want to make sure the 9/11 victims and their families have their day in court," Ryan told reporters. "At the same time, I would like to think that there may be some work to be done to protect our service members overseas from any kind of legal ensnarements (his word) that occur, any kind of retribution.

Well, that sure as hell meets the definition of stupid, Aunty Molly. The smart and reasoned members of the US Congress wrote a bill that would now allow sovereign immunity protections to be waived so that people in the United States could sue other nations for sponsoring terrorist acts. But it turns out that when they do that, it will now cause these other consequences " like establishing the legal precedent through which the United States may be similarly sued. What the hell were you guys thinking!

Please, please can an adult in the room explain what just happened here? Maybe, just maybe, you bright and smart creators of this bill would tell us why you made sure to make this a law that now would allow Joe Blow in Indonesia to sue a U.S. citizen, soldier or company for any act committed in that country and deemed an act of terror? And did you not see that this new law will be reciprocated by other nations that will allow their citizens to sue U.S. servicemen, citizens etc.?

Stupid is as stupid gets.

"Though the Senate voted overwhelmingly nix the president's veto in a 97-1 vote, some lawmakers said they had misgivings about the bill. They stressed, however, that any push to find an alternative was largely ignored by the Obama administration. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed that sentiment calling the legislation "an example of an issue that we should have talked about much earlier."

"You know, that was a good example of -- it seems to be a failure to communicate early about the potential consequences of a piece of legislation was obviously very popular," he said.

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