Posts tagged ‘Praetorian Guard’

President Pantless and Bombing Random Countries

America’s selective outrage is not lost on the world.

The U.S. Must Not Be The World’s Policeman

No act of Congress can buy Obama any kind of credibility and no amount of bombs will put the mom jeans back on the naked emperor. It’s too late for that.

The recurring argument that Iran is watching Syria and that its nuclear program hangs in the balance is hot air.

Iran knows that Obama isn’t trying to bomb Syria because he really believes that WMD use is a red line. Its leaders know that the proposed attacks, like the arms being supplied to the rebels, are part of Obama’s support for the Sunni opposition at the behest of the Sunni oil states who have a death grip on Washington.

The message from the attacks won’t be that America takes human rights atrocities seriously. Sudan, Rwanda and countless other genocides make a mockery of that. The message will be that the Saudis can still call in the United States Air Force and Navy to clear the way for their regional objectives.
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Obama’s political palace corps still insists on selling Americans on the myth of his competence. That is the confidence trick they want to pull off with the help of Congress. It is a trick that will not be played on Assad or Putin or the rest of the world, instead it will once again be played on the American people.

The Case of Obama’s Missing Pants

Pantless Pete, Pantless Obama

A joke son, a joke.

In an essay for the NYT Sam Tannehaus argues that President Obama “holds office at a time when the presidency itself has ceded much of its power and authority to Congress.” No, really. This is what he says. It is, frankly, a rather bizarre claim.

A Hands-Tied Presidency?

Hey, let’s bomb a random country!

A few years ago–I think this was at Division of Labour–I asked readers to go to, spin for a Random country, and then make the case for war with that country. With the prospect of military adventures in Syria on the horizon, it’s a good time to play again! So here’s how you play.

1. Spin for a Random Country.

2. If you already know a lot about that country, explain why we should bomb it.

3. If you don’t already know a lot about that country, read the country’s Wikipedia page and CIA World Factbook page. Then explain why we should bomb it

Why Should We Go To War With [Name]?

Over at Buzzfeed, John Ekdahl has a must-read article up about “14 Principled Anti-War Celebrities We Fear May Have Been Kidnapped.” Where, he asks, are the Sheryl Crows, Bruce Springsteens, Sean Penns, George Clooneys, Janeane Garofalo, and Barbra Streisands of the world who were never shy about voicing super-patriotic dissent against Bushitler’s war machine?

Has There Been a Rapture of Anti-War Celebrities? If Not, Where The Hell Are They?

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Nixon’s Praetorian Guard

[L]et’s go back in time to January 1970, when President Richard Nixon was preparing for a visit from Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Nixon, who thought his White House uniform guards looked “slovenly,” had them outfitted in new uniforms, based on the honor guards he had seen, and been impressed by, in Europe.

My husband, upon seeing this, immediately said “Oh my God, those look like marching band uniforms!” You can kind of picture them sticking a flute in those holsters, can’t you? If an enemy charged the White House, they could quick-draw and start fifing away. “Give ‘em the old Yankee Doodle Dandy, boys!”

The public reaction to the new uniforms was not good.
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In 1980, the barely-used uniforms were repurposed as . . . yes, you guessed it, the uniforms for the Southern Utah State marching band.

Richard Nixon’s Palace Guard

Nixon's Praetorian Guard

Richard Nixon was a veal Oscar kind of guy. I mean the imperial presidency, Watergate and all that. But mostly it was the way over the top, gaudy and ridiculously ostentatious garb he foisted on the Whitehouse uniformed security staff that tipped his hand.

Like Nixon’s uniforms, veal Oscar is kind of over the top. It is a plate of breaded veal cutlets, first topped with asparagus then crab meat and finally all is sauced with an egg yolk-butter based hollandaise or béarnaise sauce.

It’s all a little much, pretentiously combining a number of plain and simple things and doing justice to none. It’s a pompous meal first cooked up to suit the fancy of Sweden’s King Oscar II. It more reflects imperial fiat rather than culinary art.

54 MPG & Veal Oscar for Nixon

Nixon and Elvis, December 21, 1970

Nixon and Elvis, December 21, 1970

The uniforms, inspired by ones that Nixon had seen on honor guards in Europe, featured “double-breasted white tunics, starred epaulets, gold piping, draped braid, and high plastic hats decorated with a large White House crest.”

The uniforms were roundly criticized in the press. One columnist said that they looked like old-time movie ushers’ uniforms. Another noted that the uniforms borrowed their style from “decadent European monarchies.”

They lasted 2 weeks.

Decadent Monacracy: White House Secret Service Uniforms During Nixon’s Administration

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Race-Baiter in Chief, Praetorian Media, and Praetorian Academics

I’d like to hear from some representatives of the Hispanic community. How do they feel about President Obama driving a wedge deeper and deeper between blacks and Hispanics? Is he just arrogant enough to think that the Democrats can count on their votes in 2016, no matter what? Is he right? Why is it okay to make a Hispanic guy an Enemy of the State for defending his own life against an attacker?

And why is it racist to ask these things?

Obama goes full race-baiter

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The New Praetorian Guard

Augustus created the original Praetorian Guard about 27 BCE to protect the emperor. It quickly came to exercise independent power, once even auctioning off the empire to the highest bidder. This outrage led the Roman general Septimius Severus to march on Rome and displace Emperor Julianus who had won the Praetorian bidding war. Severus disbanded the old Preatorian Guard only to set up a new Praetorian Guard, which quickly achieved a similar authority, power, and autonomy. The “intelligence community” of the US government seems to be playing a similar role today.
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Because Congress has betrayed its democratic and constitutional duty, the “intelligence community” has acquired an authority, power, and autonomy comparable to that of ancient Rome’s Praetorian Guard. Throughout the Imperial period in the West, Rome had a Senate that provided honors and riches to its members while serving a largely ceremonial function in Roman politics. The real power in Rome was divided between the Emperor and the Praetorian Guard. Something similar has come true in the US today.

Congress Should Grow a Pair

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