Saturday, April 02, 2011

Saturday Satire: Political Cartoons

  These are some of the best political cartoons of the week according to PoliticalHumor. I’m off to clean up the mess on my boat that the nice storms created the other day.

Copyright © 2011 Creators Syndicate

Copyright © 2011 Creators Syndicate

Copyright © 2011 Universal Press Syndicate

Copyright © 2011 Creators Syndicate

Copyright © 2011 Universal Press Syndicate

Why Become An American?

   Original Article

Why Become an American? 

by ulookarmless         Fri Apr 01, 2011

It’s fashionable these days to find fault with most things American. To hear some tell it America is responsible for much of the misery around the globe whether social, economic or religious. For others, America has been taking what it wants without paying for at least two hundred years. And still others decry this nation’s gargantuan appetites for energy, food, communications and weaponry.

To make matters worse, America harbors the worst kind of know-nothing, backward looking, history denying, revisionist, flag waving, jingoistic, pea brained, closed minded troglodytes to ever grace a television studio. AND THEY SEEM TO BE WINNING!

So why should a thinking, well traveled, somewhat educated, open-minded, seeker of new experiences choose to become an American?

An anecdote from my past will illustrate. When I lived in Hong Kong, I hired a quite brilliant Chinese statistician for my consulting firm. He took the English name of “Oscar” for meetings with our American and British clients. Now Oscar had a pronounced stutter, a stutter which was extremely noticeable, as he said, “O-o-o-only on vowels”. One day, I asked him “Why then, did you name yourself Oscar?” to which he replied “ I-i-i-i-t was a challenge!”

I kinda feel that way about my adopted country.

There are so many great people in this country.
There are so many wonderful opportunities to right the wrongs perpetrated by the evil doers like Cheney and his minions.
I find the attitudes of the younger generation have changed dramatically.
I see it in my children. An attitude of giving before taking, of sharing before hoarding. And it gives me joy.

The mewling and screeching of the Tea Party governors and the other elected idiots around the country have only served to awaken the real “silent majority.”

Those good and honest people who will not stand for this nonsensical behavior any more.

Just read this list, they are their own adjectives! Boehner, Cantor, Palin, McConnell, Paul, Walker, Kasich, Bachmann, McCain, Romney, Pawlenty and on and on. They don’t need qualifiers or further explanation. Each name signifies an inflexible, owned by the corporations, unprincipled, automatic disagreement with any Democratic position.

On the other hand, the diversity within the Democrats, often a cross to bear, is our very strength! That’s what I’m looking for. That’s what I value. I have no desire to join an army, I’m really not into joining organized groups of any kind unless it’s for a good meal and conversation over a glass of wine.

So, in the end, why become an American?

Because, like my friend Oscar said all those years ago back in Hong Kong  “I-i-i-i-t’s a challenge!”

Originally posted to Indigo Kalliope: Poems from the Left on Fri Apr 01, 2011

Friday, April 01, 2011

Friday Funnies

  I actually had some work this week which was a good thing, I guess. 20 hours was a bit of a disappointment but the pay was excellent.

   Have a great weekend Everyone!

Conan O'Brien :

"President Obama says that he prays every night before bed. Or as Fox News reported, 'Obama in Daily Talks With Allah.'"

"Obama said that one solution for using less oil is more nuclear power. He also admitted that he doesn't follow the news."

"General Electric did not pay any taxes at all last year. Of course that’s because G.E. reported its sale of NBC as a charitable donation."

Jay Leno:

"Newt Gingrich said he's afraid America will become an atheist country dominated by radical Islamists. Right. Our big problem could be religious atheists, almost as bad as pacifist warmongers. If they hook up with the communist capitalists we're screwed."

"We're down to the final four now. Only four Middle East countries we haven't attacked."

"Congress is mad at President Obama because he didn't consult them before the war in Libya. Congress got us into two other wars and put us 14 trillion dollars in debt. I can't imagine why he didn't consult them."

"In the wake of record losses, the U.S. Postal Service announced it is cutting 7,500 jobs. But a spokesman for the post office said those positions could be restored if this whole email thing turns out to be nothing but a fad."

Bill Maher:

"Michele Bachmann threw her hat into the ring. We think she's going to be running for president. For those who find Sarah Palin too intellectual. Michelle Bachman for President. As a comedian, all I can say is, where can I donate to this cause?"

"If Bachman and Palin get in to the presidential race, that's two bimbos. And there there's Mitt Romney, the millionaire and Newt Gingrich, a professor. We just need a skipper and a buddy and we've got 'Gilligan's Island.'"

"A new poll shows that one of the major parties in this country – I won't tell you which one – is a majority birther party. That's right, more than half of Republicans now think Obama was born in Kenya. They literally do not know where babies come from."

Wisconsin Taliban Senate Recall: 1st Victim


This morning, the Wisconsin Democratic Party announced that local activists submitted over 100% of the signatures needed to "recall" Republican state senator Dan Kapanke from office! This is giving huge momentum to efforts in other Senate districts to gather recall signatures. Now’s the time to flood the Wisconsin airwaves with more of the TV ads made by the PCCC and Democracy for America supporting the recall, and pump energy into places where volunteers are still working hard to gather signatures.

  This piece of gutter garbage will be on his way to the unemployment line very soon! Just a few more obstacles and the voters can boot his sorry ass out!

After local officials certify the signatures, a new election will be scheduled for Kapanke's seat. The news is sending shockwaves through the state -- and revitalizing those who are working tirelessly on the recall campaigns for the remaining Republicans senators.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

America’s Plans For Middle East Not Going To Happen

  Still much rain, thunder, and lightening here in West Central Florida, but it is beginning to taper off.


 Watching America

Maariv, Israel
The American Window Is Closed

By Ofer Shelah
Everyone seems to understand that the dream of Washington forcing an 'American Peace' is nothing but an outdated myth. Everyone but Israel.
Translated By Jay Estes
22 March 2011

Edited by Mark DeLucas

Israel - Maariv - Original Article (Hebrew)
It seems like everyone is disappointed in the U.S. and no one is more disappointed than us — Israel. Ever since the strong winds of revolution touched down in the Arab world, the question “Where is America?” has become the centerpiece of many newspaper columns. How can it be that Mubarak falls, Saudi Arabia is unstable and Washington does nothing? Where is George W. Bush — the man who fought two wars lasting longer than World War II — when we need him?
In addition to this feeling of disappointment is the added dimension of concern which is only publicly displayed in blogs and posts: the suspicion over Barack Hussein Obama. It is no wonder that websites and those who surf the Internet are very active participants in spreading rumors about Obama’s origin and the legality of his election as president. It seems that all of our worries magnified by the president’s very name are coming true.
What exactly are the Americans supposed to do? Are they supposed to just drop forces into Tahrir Square? Should they repeat Operation “Shock and Awe” but against the Shiite demonstrators in Bahrain? Perhaps they should send in the CIA to overthrow the governments as was done to Mosaddeq in Iran or to fight the revolutionaries in Central America? Those who hold similar sentiments are no different than the leftists who have been wishing from time immemorial that America take firm action and force Israel from the Territories.
It seems that here in Israel, more so than in the rest of the world, it has been difficult to grasp the idea that not only has the Cold War come to a close but that America as the only global policing nation has ceased as well. It is difficult to understand how Obama took over the reins of a superpower whose economy is weak (the result of unrestrained waste during Bush’s time in office) and its forces stretched to their limits and not budging at all. In essence, America no longer has the convenience to do as it pleases.
The Landlord of Old
There is no coincidence that America’s president, in dealing with Libya, was led but did not lead, “allowed” but didn’t initiate. Who understands the damage done to the United States by his predecessor, due to his government’s lack of restraint and justification of its actions, better than Obama? In 1990, at a time when the Soviet Union was collapsing, Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney (later Bush’s Vice President) initiated a review within the U.S. government to formulate a strategy for maintaining U.S. preponderance.
Two documents asserting two very different opinions came to light. The first was written by the Chief of Staff (later the Secretary of State) Colin Powell, a Vietnam veteran. Powell wrote that we can’t enter a war without an “exit strategy.” We have the responsibility to ask ourselves if the goal is clear enough and if American interests are at risk. Can we mobilize sufficient resources and maintain them for as long as necessary? Is there support for such action coming from Congress or the nation? Have we exhausted all other options? Only if the answer is in the affirmative to the questions above may we go to war and finish it as quickly as possible.
The second document was written by two people who led the government, at least conceptually, during George W. Bush’s term in office: Paul Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby. They weren’t deterred from taking an unequivocal stance that action is crucial, not necessarily stemming out of an internal or international consensus but rather to encourage countries to adopt a model like America. Their reasoning was ideological: America serves as a paradigm for the rest of the world. Practically speaking, we have a window of opportunity after the collapse of the Soviet Union and before the rise of a new world power.
Even the zealous neoconservatives realize that this window has already closed. However, it was Bush who used this open window to focus on the wrong target in Iraq. They understand that Obama has no other way to proceed besides the current one and that anyone still entertaining the idea of a forced “American Peace” in the rest of the world is simply a captive to an outdated myth. They understand that it is just not possible to send aircraft over unless there is an urgent call for humanitarian action, as indeed took place in Libya, and it is impossible to send forces on the ground to just about anywhere. They have accepted what is known the world over — except in a frightened small town on the shore of the Mediterranean where they continue to anticipate the landlord of old.


© 2010 Watching America and All Rights Reserved

Nasty Weather In Florida…

   ….and judging from the radar look when I got home from work, the bad weather is going to continue for at least 3 or 4 more hours.

  Tampa Weather


   TECO power say 88,000 customers without power.

  Tampa and surrounding areas have had some really heavy winds, tornado’s, and some unbelievable rains. Folks in this area do not know how to drive, so naturally, there has been many accidents due to people driving to fast, to close behind other vehicles, or stop lights failing.

   If we are lucky, maybe some of the Republicans Florida Taliban will get washed away in the flooding.

   I am soaking wet after waiting for the first bus that I catch home for 45 minutes. Rain came down like it normally does, and then the winds blew it at me straight across. So much for the umbrella.

   I’ll be back after I dry out, dry off, and pitch a bitch!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Make. It. Stop. FL Teabag lawmakers LEGALIZE payoffs

   Original Article brought to you by    SemDem for DKos Florida                 Tue Mar 29, 2011

I don't know if you realize this, but our state government has a reputation for corruption.  (And all of this was before we elected a criminal to lead us.)

Well, our new Teabag overlords in the state legislature have finally figured out a way to end the illegal practice of taking payoffs under the table for favorable legislation.

They made it legal.

Just a few days ago, the GOP leadership overwhelmingly fast-tracked a law to bring back slush funds that will be, get this, directly managed by our legislative leadership. 

The ignorant massess are none too happy.  Here's columnist Howard Troxler from the St. Pete Times:

The Florida Legislature proved this past week, once and for all, that it is the utter Whore of Babylon.

It is now legal in our state to pay off the Legislature directly. Who says so? The Legislature.

This is not a joke.

This is not satire.

This is Florida — where the laws of our democracy are now openly, officially For Sale.

First time our legistlature has been called a whore, won't be the last.

The teabag lawmakers who even bothered to try to justify it (and really, why bother?) actually said it would be better to take direct payoffs because it is more "transparent".  And besides, they are just sick of trying to hide it.

Former gov. Charlie Crist vetoed this last year, saying these funds were a "vestige" of Florida's corrupt political past and pointed out that the MASSIVELY scandal-ridden Florida GOP shouldn't be fighting so hard to bring them back.  (A Democratic-controlled legislature banned these slush funds over 20 years ago.)

These funds will be HUGE special-interest fundraising machines for the GOP. Now, our legislative "leaders" are allowed to steer these unlimited amounts of campaign cash directly into separate accounts they control.

The worst thing about this isn't the fact that they will be taking bribes, even though this legislation streamlines the process.  The worst thing I foresee is that our corrupt legislators will be able to "shake down" certain groups or businesses for contributions for exemptions to some of the draconian laws they are poised to pass.  (So, eh, MickeY, right? Enjoying your little gun exemption?  Ya know, some of the boys think it time we allow MAC-10s to be openly carried in the park.  I might be persuaded to call it off, but I could use a little more "encouragement"...)

Everytime I think they can't go any lower, they pull out a stick of dynamite.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Republicans ( American Taliban ) Are Not Real Americans…

    …and that is something that I would hope that you have figured out by now. Their ONLY allegiance is to America’s big corporation and the rich fuckers who pay them to help fuck up America. The American Taliban has only one purpose when it come to the “ real “ working Americans in the United States and that is to make them corporate slaves who will settle for the little hand-outs from the employers who may be nice enough to give them a job. They are attempting, and doing quite well, to make the American citizen stupid and dependent on their mode of how us poor workers should be. Think I’m kidding? Let’s set aside the tax cuts for the rich and for corporations who pay no taxes as is, and look at the GOP budget cuts which will reign in the deficit. That is NOT going to happen.

  Let’s see. Oh yes, let us cut the funding for education and let us pay our teachers as little as possible. Kids don’t need books or smaller classrooms anyway. They most surely do not need better schools. We’ll save tons of cash by dragging the schooling system down in to the gutter and by then letting private companies educate the little bastards. That will help our bank accounts out just fine, thank you. We don’t need an educated work force when an “ low information “ worker will be okay for our plans.

   Let’s cut funding to the E.P.A. while we are at because we do not care if all of those big companies who pay for my family’s vacations pollute the air, and the water, and the dirt all around those poor people.

  But wait! There’s more! The Un-American  Party

Original Article   (Edited for this post )

Krugman: Republicans are un-American

by pollwatcher                  Mon Mar 28, 2011

Paul Krugman is not holding back, and good for him!  Have the Republicans no shame?  Does it take an Economics professor to finally stand up and say, the way the Tea Party Republicans are acting is truly un-American?

But watch out!  The right wing propaganda machine is going to get really wound up over this one, and their politically correct speech police (thou shall not criticize Republicans) will be screaming about the outrage of calling a Republican un-American.

Here's what Krugman said.

The Cronon affair, then, is one more indicator of just how reflexively vindictive, how un-American, one of our two great political parties has become.


Back in 2009 climate skeptics got hold of more than a thousand e-mails between researchers at the Climate Research Unit at Britain’s University of East Anglia. Nothing in the correspondence suggested any kind of scientific impropriety; at most, we learned — I know this will shock you — that scientists are human beings, who occasionally say snide things about people they dislike.

But that didn’t stop the usual suspects from proclaiming that they had uncovered “Climategate,” a scientific scandal that somehow invalidates the vast array of evidence for man-made climate change. And this fake scandal gives an indication of what the Wisconsin G.O.P. presumably hopes to do to Mr. Cronon.

If you mention NAZI and anyone in the same sentence, the outrage from both parties will quickly dismiss anything you have to say.  But just because Eisenhower built America's interstate highway system based on the NAZI Autobahn, it doesn't make him a NAZI.  Just because the American military copied the rocket designs of the NAZI military, it doesn't mean our military are NAZI's.  And just because the Republican Oligarchs have built a finely tuned propaganda machine with it's own TV, radio, and newspaper networks, that rivals that of Germany in the 1930's,  it doesn't make them NAZI's, but it certainly makes them un-American.

The Republican party has become nothing more than a misinformation megaphone to manipulate those who are too lazy to do the work to become the informed citizens that our founding fathers intended.  The Republican elected officials are at war with the middle and lower classes of America in an effort to keep most Americans economically dependent on the ruling Oligarchs.  Their tools are lies, money, intimidation, voter suppression, and manipulation.

Through the most ridiculous anti-citizen rulings of the conservative Supreme Court, to the crushing of any government help to the most needy of Americans, the Republicans repeatedly act against the many, for the benefit of the few.

Remember, the American revolution was not started on the grand premise of democracy for all over the birth right ruling of a single man.  It was an economic revolution, when the ultimate Oligarch (king George III) decided to crush America's middle class by taxing them into poverty, the revolution began.  The only difference today is there is more than one Oligarch, and rather than taxes to crush the middle class, they use the tools of a modern economy to steal the last material things that make a modern life bearable.

The Declaration of Independence declared the "pursuit of happiness" as an unalienable right.  Living in unpayable debt, poverty, jobless with no hope, and having sickness with no care, most certainly will prevent the pursuit of happiness.  And yet this is exactly what the Republican policies are doing to millions of Americans and they know it, and they don't care.

Is trying to crush the middle class and the poorest among us for the benefit of the wealthiest among us un-American?  Are Supreme court rulings that directly put the citizens of a country at an elective disadvantage to the corporations of a country un-American?  Are trying to prevent citizens from voting un-American?  Is creating a huge media propaganda machine to misinform the public un-American?

You're damn right it is!

Update:  Just noticed another Krugman diary very well worth the read:
Krugman and the Smears of the Cracked Teapot Party
Obviously Krugman is on to something here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The American Taliban’s Health Care Plan

   As is par for the course, the American Taliban have no alternative plan for the so-called Obamacare plan, otherwise known as Health Care Reform. I suspect that Taliban leader Boehner will have a plan at about the same time that he and his ilk produce all of those jobs that have waiting in the wings.

Original Article

Hey Boehner, GOP, T-Party, Where is Your HCR "Replacement" Plan!!!!

by joelgp        Thu Mar 24, 2011

John Boehner, it's been two months now and not one single person in America has seen the "REPLACEMENT" part of the GOP health plan. Don't think for a second that we forgot page-15 of that worthless pledge.

So as of right now, you God-fearing, family values, flag-waving, "we-are-the- world-loving" republicans have:

1. Reinstated insurance companies rights to deny folks coverage with high blood    
    pressure, diabetes and a whole list of other conditions.

2. Reinstated insurance companies rights to cancel policies when patients reach
    certain limits.

3. Reinstated insurance companies rights to deny sick children health insurance.

4. Reinstated insurance companies rights to cancel the policies of college age

5. Reinstated insurance companies rights to re-opened the doughnut hole for  

6. Reinstated insurance companies rights to snatch healthcare away from 30
    million Americans and raise the deficits over 200 billion in the process.

7. Reinstated insurance companies rights to charge exorbitant rates for
    mammograms, colonoscopies and other preventative services.

8. Reinstated insurance companies rights to establish annual limits.

9. Reinstated insurance companies rights to spend as little as they want on
    healthcare and as much as they want on others expenditures.

10. Reinstated insurance companies rights to put profits before wellness.

And, you have given nothing to average working Americans in the process.


Because this do nothing congress is bought and paid for by the insurance companies. They seriously could care less whether Americans get sick and die in our current healthcare-for-the-rich scheme.

So why are republicans only concerned about protecting the profits of insurance companies again?

Because republicans don't care about improving the lives of average Americans.

REPLACE?  What replacement?


Child please.

Lawrence O’Donnell On GE’s ZERO Income Tax Liability

  Lawrence O’Donnell took General Electric to task for their failure to pay any income tax over the past few years, and it is about time that some of our “ news “ personalities opened their mouths to the fleecing that American get done to them by such companies. GE is the co-owner of O’Donnell’s show The Last Word.

If Others Would Speak Up

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Florida Taliban Governor Rick Scott: Why He Wanted To Be Governor

   The following post come to you by way of the blog The Seminole Democrat which has turned out to be one of my favorite sites to check out when I want to know what Florida Taliban leader Rick Scott has been up to. The owner of the blog has granted the rights to repost his articles in as many places as is necessary so that readers can know what is really going on with this crook and his sidekicks.

Disgusting! FL Teabag Governor Uses Office to Rake in BILLIONS!     by SemDem     Sun Mar 27, 2011

How bad can it get?  At least we are finally seeing the REAL reason he wanted to be governor. 

First, let me bring you up to speed with 5 things you need to know:

1.  Rick Scott made millions as CEO of Columbia/HCA.   Well, technically, he made it through Medicare fraud, but Columbia was the vehicle. 

2.  After he was kicked out, he used his stolen money to found an urgent-care chain called Solantic.  Shocking...Solantic also engaged in multiple, multiple forms of fraud.

3.  Scott absolutely hated the health care reform bill.  In 2009, he founded a national front group to run ads to tell people just how bad it would be for them.  He spend 5 million of his own money just to let us know this...with no ulterior motive whatsoever.

4.  He had a COMPLETE lack of interest in anything about Florida--until he suddenly decided to run for office last year.  He spent 70 million of his own funds to win it.

5.  In case I forgot to mention it.  HE. IS. A. F%^&ING. CRIMINAL.

All caught up?  Good.

So you may be wondering, as us Floridians are, what was Rick Scott's REAL motive for running?  No one, not even his teabag supporters who put him in office say that Scott is interested at all in helping average citizens.  His latest budget proves that.

So why?  Is he delusional enough to think he can be president?  Maybe.  Is there another grand scheme I'm still missing?  Perhaps.

But one thing several of us have already figured out is that he is hell-bent on recouping the money he spent.  Yet look closer.  From his budget proposal to policies he pushed just last week, we have one BIG reason he is now our governor.

In just four short years in office, Scottie is poised to make such a massive fortune that he could hire a Koch brother to plunge his toilet!

Wait.  Isn't he rich already?  He listed his net worth at $219 million when submitting the election forms.  That would be plenty for most, but for people like Scott, it is abject poverty when you look at multi-billionaires like the Koch brothers.  And for people like that, it is never enough.  Its the same reason they fight tooth and nail for extra tax cuts and don't care if we have to cut every social service, kick every poor, disabled kid, and spit on every teacher to get it.

Right now, it is generous to say that Scott has a "questionable" relationship with Solantic.  His co-founder at Solantic vehemenently denies that Scott is involved in day-to-day business.   In fact, she said that he no longer takes business calls after he was elected. (I would really f%^#ing hope a governor of a major state wouldn't also try to run a business, but she thought it was a big concession.)

But us libral critics, never satisfied, selfishly insisted he do more to sever the financial relationship with Solantic in order to avoid an obvious conflict of interest.

And in January, our ethical governor FINALLY did.  He transfered every bit of his Solantic stock.

Case closed.

I should be happy.  But for some reason, I couldn't shake the feeling that he is somehow still invested in Solantic.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that the person he transferred all of the stock to WAS HIS WIFE!

Now, Florida does have an Ethics Commmission.  But this underfunded, toothless agency did nothing after three visits from Scott's legal team.  Want a transcript of the meetings under our Sunshine Laws?  Too bad.  There weren't any!  Whoops.  They must have forgot... three times in a row.

Moving on.

Bottom line... Solantic makes money, Rick Scott's wife makes money, and I'm sure somehow, someway, Rick Scott will get a piece of that.

But our governor wouldn't be so blatant as to make any policy to funnel money to Solantic?  My God, we would have to be some kind of stupid state to overlook something like that.

You be the judge:

1.  Solantic primarily deals with people who have high premiums or no insurance. The main competitor for Solantic are publically-funded state clinics run by the FL Dept. of Health.  Scott's budget proposal cuts ALL funding to these clinics!

(Yes, more than one person has pointed out the irony of him wanting pill mills to stay open while completely eliminating clinics that help the poorest Floridians.)     

With the elimination of its biggest competitor, SOLANTIC profits will explode. 


By pure coincidence, Rick Scott's wife's company doesn't accept Medicaid, but SOLANTIC does accept private Medicaid HMO reimbursments!  (ca-ching)

No conflict of interest there.

3.  As you learned if you watched Jon Stewart's hilarious take on Ric Scott last Thursday, the man signed an executive order requiring random drug testing of state employees at least once a quarter along with all applicants for state jobs.  He is also pushing the right-wing legislature to use drug test harrassment for another group the GOP hates...welfare recipients.

We are talking hundreds of thousands of Floridians here going to clinics several times  a year at least to get these tests.  Hey, guess what clinic offers drug testing as a primary service??  Rhymes with MOLE-ANTIC!

4.  Biggest one so far.  The Palm Beach Post did a great article on this.  Although Gov. Mr. Burns hates "Obamacare", he is gladly lobbying like hell for a massive federal block grant from a state waiver that the Act allows.  The article says this type of grant is worth BEEEEELL-IONS.

Slick Rick's health policy adviser, Michael Cannon, said it would be in the form of health vouchers that consumers can use as cash for direct-pay medical care.  This benefits particular clinics where patients like to pay cash. 

Clinics like, (wait for it)....SOL..... (OK, I think you get the point now.)

Thankfully, our Florida Commission on Ethics has to decide whether that last one is a conflict of interest.  Yes, that commission. 

By the way, the commission has 9 members... 5 of which are picked by the governor.  So... ya know.  Just count on him to do the right thing.

Like his mama said, he's a good boy:

Mothers don’t lie about their kids, do they?


Jon Stewart’s Words For GOP Governors

   Once again, Jon Stewart of The Daily Show had a few words to say about those GOP American Taliban governors and the fraud that they have pulled on the American citizens.