“China is in control of the Panama Canal,” according to Rep. Allen West (R-FL), who delivered the shocking news last week in a Florida town hall. The freshman congressman, claiming, “You know, there is some serious threats to our country,” also warned of a “threat” coming from south of our border.
“I had the opportunity to go down to the United States southern command which is headquartered in Miami, Florida,” the Sarah Palin and Tea Party-supported Congressman said. “There is a huge threat coming up out of South America through Central America, through Mexico, and into the United States. Iran is in South America. Hezbollah is in South America. I already talked about how China is in control of the Panama Canal. And even about 50 miles away from here in the Bahamas, building a port there.”
The good folks at Think Progress, who reported on this and whom we can thank for the video, write,Â “The notion that China controls the Panama Canal is patently false. The United States handed control of the canal over to Panama onÂ December 31, 1999 and it has remained in Panamanian hands ever since. This false claim was evenÂ debunked by the conservative news outlet Newsmax back in 2006. In fact, rather than owning the Panama Canal, China isÂ currently proposing a rival railroad in Colombia that would allow goods to bypass the canal.
“West is certainly no stranger to outlandish statements. He made a name for himself over the past year with comments like endorsing theÂ censorship of news agencies that â€œenabledâ€ Wikileaks, arguing thatÂ nobody is getting laid off in Washington D.C., saying that liberal women are â€œneutering American men,â€ and calling President Obama a â€œlow level Socialist agitator,” writes Scott Keyes at Think Progress.
“I gotta tell you something: if you support Medicare the way it is now, you can kiss the United States of America goodbye,” said West on April 27 at the same Florida town hall.
Last month, West, who recently accused President Obama of acting with ‘”third world dictator-like arrogance,” made a statement that earned him the ire of a great many groups. He began to talk about America through the lens of Ancient Sparta, the much-heralded Greek city-state that inspired the bloody movie, “300.”
â€œWe need you to come in and lock shields, and strengthen up the men who are going to fight for you. To let these other women know on the other side â€” these planned Parenthood women, the Code Pink women, and all of these women that have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness â€” to let them know that we are not going to have our men become subservient.â€
That statement prompted a local Florida paper to write, “Congressman Allen West Not Getting Any Less Crazy,” asking, “Be more like Sparta, eh, Mr. West?”
“Do you know who else praised Sparta and told his people to be more like them?
“Yes, of course it was Adolf Hitler, who likened his Nazi soldiers to Spartans and the Russians as the Helots. But then, what warmonger wouldn’t look to the Spartans as a shining example of what a society should look like?
“Hitler also admired the Spartans’ ‘racial superiority’ and another practice of strong Spartan women — the systematic murder of its weak and deformed children.”
West, 50, has some other disturbing events in his past. In 2004 he retired from the military after violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including the article on assault, and was fined $5,000.
“And if ballots don’t work, bullets will,” is the statement made in 2010 by Joyce Kaufman, a controversial Florida radio host who had advocated for the hanging of illegal immigrants who have committed crimes. West hired Kaufman to be hisÂ chief of staff, but she was essentially forced to resign after public outrage became too great. West reportedly blamed the Left of racism and misogyny as reasons for Kaufman’s resignation.
West, 50, despite being on the HouseÂ Committee on Armed Services, last year said of gay men and lesbians in the military, “unfortunately, they are serving.”Â He delivered the keynote speech at this year’s CPAC.
West, who had said, “[t]he truth is not subjective,” as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, said in a candidate forum,Â “I had a Top Secret/Security Compartmented Information classification, that is the highest you can have in the United States Army. You donâ€™t get a security classification like that if you have financial issues like that. I still retain a Secret security clearance. And I tell you, if you look at the application for a security clearance, I have a clearance that even the president of the United States cannot obtain because of my background.”
This statement earned his the “Pants on Fire” award from the non-partisan PolitiFact, which writes,
“West is saying that he had a higher security clearance than someone occupying the office of president of the United States. Even if you assume that he was referring to the period in which West held a TS/SCI, our experts say he’s wrong.
“The president is the one who established the security clearance systemÂ by executive order,” said Steven Aftergood, a national security and intelligence specialist with the Federation of American Scientists. “Therefore it is nonsensical to speak of clearances higher than what the president has. As head of the executive branch and commander in chief of the armed forces, there is no information in government that could be denied to the president for security reasons if he determined he needed access to that information.”
“John Pike, the director of globalsecurity.org, agreed. “This is a silly statement,” Pike said. “The only clearance the president needs is the mandate of the people.”
“The statement is even more questionable if West was actually referring to what he says is his current clearance — Secret.
“A Secret security clearance is the most commonly held security clearance,” Aftergood said. “Almost anyone without a criminal record or serious financial difficulties can get such a clearance if their employment requires it.”
The question becomes, why is West, clearly someone with a questionable grasp on matters of the utmost importance to the security of the United States, a United States Congressman?
You may not have long to worry. Some, including Glenn Beck, are floating West as the next Republican presidential nominee. With Michele Bachmann as his vice president.
(P.S. Blogger Pam Spaulding has an Allen West v. Rick Santorum “The Stupid It Burns” poll. Vote!)
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‘Name Me One Thing’: Biden Blasts Republicans for Not Being ‘For’ Anything
During his press conference Wednesday afternoon President Joe Biden blasted the Republican Party, suggesting they stand for nothing.
“Think about this: What are Republicans for?” the President asked. “What are they for? Name me one thing they’re for.”
“And so, the problem here is, I think what I have to do,” Biden said, noting a change in tactics, “I have to make clear to the American people what we are for,” referring to his Democratic Party.
Republicans during the 2020 presidential election literally stood for nothing: they didn’t bother to craft a 2020 platform.
“What are Republicans for? What are they for? Name me one thing they’re for.” — President Biden pic.twitter.com/b9V8NwUzwC
— The Recount (@therecount) January 19, 2022
Manchin Moves to Upstage Biden: Schedules Speech on Filibuster During Presidential Press Conference
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin is taking a page out of fellow pro-filibuster Democrat Krysten Sinema’s book: giving a Senate floor speech during a critical presidential event.
Senator Sinema chose to be MIA during President Joe Biden’s rare trip to Capitol Hill recently to meet with Senate Democrats to shake hands and twist arms to convince holdouts to support changes to the filibuster so they can pass his democracy-protecting agenda.
Senator Manchin has chosen to schedule a Senate floor speech on preserving the filibuster at 4:30 PM ET, smack-dab in the middle of President Biden’s rare press conference, this one taking a look at his first year in office.
News via HuffPost’s senior politics reporter Jennifer Bendery:
INBOX: TODAY AT 4:30 PM: MANCHIN TO SPEAK ON SENATE FLOOR ON FILIBUSTER, VOTING RIGHTS LEGISLATION
YES HIS OFFICE SENT IT OUT IN ALL CAPS
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) January 19, 2022
He’s not sitting with his own party.
Manchin is talking to Romney both seated in the back of the Senate chamber on the Republican side of the aisle ahead of the WV Senator’s floor speech.
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) January 19, 2022
Watch Live: President Biden Holds Press Conference on His First Year in Office
President Joe Biden will hold a press conference on Wednesday at 4:00 PM ET, discussing his first year in office.
Many across the media are framing this as an opportunity for him to address his “failing” legislative and economic goals while never reporting that Republicans have done all they can to block it – including pushing a pro-COVID agenda.
You can watch live, below, via several different feeds. Most cable news channels are expected to carry the press conference live, and you can also watch online and on cable via C-SPAN.
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