Monday, November 24, 2014

A Noun, Some Racism, And 9/11

America's Mayor(tm) lets the mask slip and exposes the truly ugly stuff that was always, always there just under the surface.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) got into a heated argument about race and crime with Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson during a discussion on Ferguson, Mo. 
"But the fact is, I find it very disappointing that you're not discussing the fact that 93 percent of blacks in America are killed by other blacks. We're talking about the exception here," Giuliani said on NBC's "Meet the Press" while discussing whether police forces reflect the demographics of the communities they serve.

Dyson called this a "false equivalency."

Which it is.  Dyson has plenty of "you boys need to pull up your pants and be respectable-lookin to white folk" moments, but here he's correct.  Giuliani on the other hand...

Later in the argument Giuliani argued that while police officers are only present in certain communities because black people are committing crimes. 
"It is the reason for the heavy police presence in the black community," he said. "White police officers won't be there if you weren't killing each other 70 percent of the time."

Because we're violent, sub-human savages who need to be caged or better yet, gunned down.  Former mayor of NYC and one-time Presidential candidate saying this, just so you know.

No, he won't apologize for it, either.

"Here's what I'm very frustrated about with Ferguson, and all these situations," he told "Fox and Friends" co-host Steve Doocey. "These things happen and they are exceptions." 
“The danger to a black child in America is not a white police officer. That’s going to happen less than one percent of the time," he later added. "The danger to a black child -- if it was my child -- the danger is another black.” 
Giuliani went on to suggest that Ferguson protestors ("these people") should spend more time "trying to straighten out" crime in the black community
"I used to look at our crime reduction, and the reason we reduced homicide by 65 percent is because we reduced it in the black community," Giuliani said of his time as mayor. "Because there is virtually no homicide in the white community."

The FBI would like to disagree with Mr. Giuliani on that last point.  I'll disagree with him everywhere else.

Yes, he's just another hateful Republican and always has been.

Two Buck Chucked

The first post-midterm Obama cabinet head to roll is apparently going to be that ofDefense Secretary Chuck Hagel. NY Times:

The president, who is expected to announce Mr. Hagel’s resignation in a Rose Garden appearance on Monday, made the decision to ask his defense secretary — the sole Republican on his national security team — to step down last Friday after a series of meetings over the past two weeks, senior administration officials said. 
The officials described Mr. Obama’s decision to remove Mr. Hagel, 68, as a recognition that the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel was brought on to employ. A Republican with military experience who was skeptical about the Iraq war, Mr. Hagel came in to manage the Afghanistan combat withdrawal and the shrinking Pentagon budget in the era of budget sequestration. 
But now “the next couple of years will demand a different kind of focus,” one administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. He insisted that Mr. Hagel was not fired, saying that he initiated discussions about his future two weeks ago with the president, and that the two men mutually agreed that it was time for him to leave. 
But Mr. Hagel’s aides had maintained in recent weeks that he expected to serve the full four years term as defense secretary. His removal appears to be an effort by the White House to show that it is sensitive to critics who have pointed to stumbles in the government’s early response to several national security issues, including the Ebola crisis to the threat posed by the Islamic State militant group.

Take that as you will. Holder resigning, now Hagel out. Looks like the GOP Senate is going to be able to cause a lot of damage blocking cabinet appointees with the President no longer able to make recess appointments except for a narrow window after the midterm lame duck session.

StupidiNews!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Do The Huckleberry Split

So that House GOP Benghazi report issued Friday evening that found no wrongdoing by the White House and in fact proved that the last two years was a massive waste of taxpayer dollars in a witch hunt against President Obama and Hillary Clinton?

Of course it was a Democratic party conspiracy!  Huckleberry Graham says so!

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday blasted a House GOP-led investigation that recently debunked myths about the 2012 Benghazi attack.  
“I think the report is full of crap,” Graham said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”  
The House Intelligence Committee released a report on Friday evening, which took two years to compile, that found there was no outright intelligence failure during the attack, there was no delay in the rescue of U.S. personnel and there was no political cover-up by Obama administration officials. 
After Graham was asked whether the report exonerates the administration, he initially ignored the question, and then eventually said “no.”  
The House Intelligence panel, Graham said, is “doing a lousy job policing their own.”  

The CIA and State Department lied about everything, so of course the report is full of lies by lying liars who only exist to protect Democrats, or something.  And only Huckleberry Graham knows the truth, which is...umm...well, he doesn't know for sure and he can't prove it but obviously it's a massive coverup.  BENGHAZI FOREVER.

Sure, that's reasonable.  Republicans are reasonable, you know.  As Steve M says, this will never go away.  It'll be Bill Clinton's Whitewater and Vince Foster murder rolled into one that will be "conventional wisdom" about Obama forever.

And it will remain so because nobody will ever punish the GOP for acting like conspiracy nutcases, or BEING conspiracy nutcases.

Another Tantrum For The Pile

With the deadline for the West's nuclear deal with Iran looming on Monday, Israel is trying to do everything it can to wreck any diplomacy it can by threatening that any nuclear pact with Iran will lead to eventual Israeli military action against Tehran.

Without an exit ramp, Israel insists its hands will not be tied by an agreement reached this week, this month or next, should it contain a clause that ultimately normalizes Iran's home-grown enrichment program.

On the surface, its leadership dismisses fears that Israel will be punished or delegitimized if it disrupts an historic, international deal on the nuclear program with unilateral military action against its infrastructure.

By framing the deal as fundamentally flawed, regardless of its enforcement, Israel is telling the world that it will not wait to see whether inspectors do their jobs as ordered.

"Ten, fifteen years in the life of a politician is a long time," the Israeli said, in a vague swipe against the political directors now scrambling in Vienna. "In the life of a nation, it's nothing."

Problem number one: Israel won't comply with any Iranian deal it doesn't like.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened the use of force against Iran several times since 2009, even seeking authorization from his cabinet in 2011. Iran's program has since grown in size and scope.

According to his aides, the prime minister's preference is not war, but the continuation of a tight sanctions regime on Iran's economy coupled with a credible threat of military force. Netanyahu believes more time under duress would have led to an acceptable deal. But that opportunity, in his mind, may now be lost.

Whether Israel still has the ability to strike Iran, without American assistance, is an open question. Quoted last month in the Atlanticmagazine, US officials suggested that window for Netanyahu closed over two years ago.

But responding to claims by that same official, quoted by Jeffrey Goldberg, over Netanyahu's courage and will, the Israeli official responded sternly: "The prime minister is a very serious man who knows the serious responsibility that rests on his shoulders. He wouldn't say the statements that he made if he didn't mean them."

"People have underestimated Israel many, many times in the past," he continued, "and they underestimate it now."

Problem number two:  there's no deal with Iran that Obama and John Kerry can broker that Israel will accept as legitimate and "not fundamentally flawed".

That leaves us in a position where Israel is guaranteeing it will attack Iran in order to sink any deal.  Well, attack Iran at some unspecified future point, but still, it's not helping. 

Of course, that's the point.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Grand Screwing Continues

No decision yet from the grand jury in Ferguson trying to determine if there's enough evidence to try Office Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown, but now we have a story about two men arrested for trying to purchase weapons and disrupt protests in town.

And of course, the Ferguson cops say they are New Black Panthers.

No, really.

Two men who allegedly purchased explosive material they may have been planning to use in protests in Ferguson, Mo. were arrested by the FBI on weapons charges, multiple news outlets reported late Friday.

An indictment returned Wednesday and unsealed Friday accused Brandon Orlando Baldwin and Olajuwon Davis of lying on forms to purchase guns, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The indictment states that between Nov. 1 and Nov. 13 the men purchased two Hi-Point .45 ACP pistols claiming that Baldwin was the buyer while the weapons were actually intended for someone else, according to the newspaper.

Anonymous law enforcement sources told CBS News and Reuters that Baldwin and Davis also allegedly purchased explosive material for potential use in protests around Ferguson, where agrand jury decision on whether to indict white police Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown is imminent.

Police sources told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Reuters and ABC News that the two men are suspected of being affiliated with the New Black Panther Party. A source briefed on the arrests told ABC News that the weapons charges were filed against the two men in order to "take them out of the rotation."

How convenient.  Police sources.  "Take them out of the rotation".

Sure.

Ben-Gone-Zi

Seems that after two years of trying to find some way to tie the deaths of a US ambassador and three other State Department employees in Benghazi, Libya to direct negligence by either the President or Hillary Clinton, the GOP House Intel Committee investigation has found...

...NothingNo wrongdoing by anyone in the administration.

A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees.

Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, intelligence about who carried it out and why was contradictory, the report found. That led Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to inaccurately assert that the attack had evolved from a protest, when in fact there had been no protest. But it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call, the committee found. The report did not conclude that Rice or any other government official acted in bad faith or intentionally misled the American people.

The House Intelligence Committee report was released with little fanfare on the Friday before Thanksgiving week. Many of its findings echo those of six previous investigations by various congressional committees and a State Department panel. The eighth Benghazi investigation is being carried out by a House Select Committee appointed in May.

So the House GOP buried it in a Friday night news dump last night, because it's a massive embarrassment to them, and the last thing they want to do is have to explain to taxpayers why they wasted millions of dollars on over a half-a-dozen witch hunts against a President they despise, and found absolutely nothing.

But remember, it's Obama that chose "confrontation over cooperation" with Republicans, Republicans who never had any intention of working with him.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Last Call For Oh God Rand Will You Just Shut Up

You know, these posts where "Rand Paul embarrasses himself and the state of Kentucky" are really starting to get painfully old.  Perhaps the senator should stop saying moronic things and in fact do his job.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) likened President Barack Obama's decision to take executive action on immigration to then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt's executive order authorizing putting Japanese-Americans in internment camps during World War II.

Paul made the comments on Friday, a day after Obama formally announced the executive actions, at the Kentucky Association of Counties conference in Lexington, Kentucky. 
"I care that too much power gets in one place. Why? Because there are instances in our history where we allow power to gravitate toward one person and that one person then makes decisions that really are egregious," Paul said. "Think of what happened in World War II where they made the decision. The president issued an executive order. He said to Japanese people 'we're going to put you in a camp. We're going to take away all your rights and liberties and we're going to intern you in a camp.'" 
"We shouldn't allow that much power to gravitate to one individual. We need to separate the power."

Which is funny, because Rand Paul is ostensibly running for President, apparently on the platform that he will never issue an executive order.  And not to defend Roosevelt, it was a shameful chapter in American history that took more than 40 years for America to correct.  But comparing these two executive orders is just stupid and insulting.

Why even have Presidents then?  Any of them can issue executive orders, and anyone could send Americans to camps according to Paul's "logic",

What a fool.

Go Go Gohmert Time

Oh Texas GOP nutjob Rep. Louie Gohmert, you never cease to amuse me with your rabid, racist insanity.

In an interview yesterday with Dan Cofall, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, accused President Obama of using immigration and the Ferguson case to provoke violence.
When Cofall asked Gohmert about Sen. Tom Coburn’s claim that Obama’s executive action deferring the deportation of some immigrants could result in violence, Gohmert replied that Obama’s critics would never resort to violence since only liberals do that
“Civil disobedience comes from the left,” he said. “They’re the ones that loot and shoot up and shoot up stores and do all kinds of things like that. If you look at the conservative gatherings, we even pick up our own trash. But it could be that this president is doing all he can to get conservatives who remember the country when presidents didn’t exceed their bounds and wish we would go back to those days, it may be enough to make them that angry. But I hope not, I hope there’s no violence.” 

Cliven Bundy.  Ruby Ridge.  Timothy Effing McVeigh.  But thanks for playing.

Gohmert also weighed in on the Ferguson case, accusing Obama of inciting violence: “Obviously the president and the attorney general have done all they could to help stir up animosity and fuel the fire and getting people angry at police where they shouldn’t have, but I hope and pray that doesn’t happen. It may happen in Ferguson because obviously they brought in the liberal attack people that just create all the havoc and mayhem they can but I hope and pray that doesn’t spread anywhere else. I’m sure they want it to, I’m sure that people would love to have the federal government intercede, but I would beg conservatives not to get sucked into that trap.” 

You know what gets people angry at police, Louie?  Police shooting and killing citizens, then a having a massive local conspiracy to exonerate the guy who murdered an unarmed kid.  And then having this happen across America dozens of times a year.

But it's all the fault of us savage, sub-human blacks, right?

Last Call For That Defunding Plan

Republicans vow to defund President Obama's immigration plan in the next Congress.  There's only one problem with that plan:

They can't do it.

It would be “impossible to defund President Obama’s executive order through a government spending bill, House Appropriations Committee spokeswoman Jennifer Hing said Thursday. 
Congress doesn’t provide funding to U.S. Citizenship and Immgiration Services (CIS), the agency responsible for issuing work permits and green cards. Instead, the agency is funded through fees.

“We cannot, literally cannot, defund that agency in an appropriations bill because we don’t appropriate that agency. That agency is entirely-fee funded,” Hing told reporters.

As of right now, our understanding is the primary agency responsible for implementing any type of executive order is CIS and we don’t fund CIS. There are no appropriated dollars,” she added.

So much for that idea.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who wants to defund the order, said he didn’t buy the news.

“I just don't believe that,” he told reporters.

Well then, maybe you should pay the hell attention, Steve-o.

StupidiNews!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Last Call For A Heart(beat) Habit To Break

Guess what's back, kids?  The GOP nutjob Heartbeat Bill!

Republican lawmakers in Ohio on Thursday advanced a bill that would ban abortion as soon as the fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. 
H.B. 248, the so-called "Heartbeat bill," advanced out of the House Health and Aging Committee by a party-line vote of 11 to 6. If it passes the Republican-controlled House and Senate, doctors who perform abortions after the imposed limit would face a fifth-degree felony. Opponents warn the bill would ban abortions before some women even realize they're pregnant. 
“The members of the Health Committee are so callous that they refused to add amendments to provide exceptions for victims of rape and incest or to remove criminal penalties that could be used to imprison doctors that provide abortion care," said Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. "The chilling effect of this crusade is being felt throughout the medical community and will no doubt result in talented physicians leaving Ohio to practice in other states.”

HB 248 would essentially eliminate abortion in Ohio, and the anti-choice nutjobs in the Ohio GOP have been trying to muscle this bill through now for two years.  The only reason it's not law is because the bill is even too extreme for some Ohio Republicans, who fear that an inevitable court battle over the bill would actually tell America the truth about the "pro-life" movement: that its goal is to eliminate safe and legal abortions in the US and return women back to the days of back alleys and black markets to get them.

The bad press might finally clue working-class white women in to the fact that the GOP wants to regulate them like chattel.  Wouldn't go so well for them in 2016 and they know it, especially if they, you know, need Ohio in order to win the White House.  Most of all it would blow a giant hole in John Kasich's 2016 plans.  If he signs the bill, he's done for as a moderate, and if he vetoes it, frankly there's enough Republicans in the Ohio State House to override it and he gets both sides angry at him.

So will this bill pass the Ohio House and Senate?  We're about to find out, and pretty quickly.

I've Got One Word For You...

Legendary (and the superlative is absolutely applicable here) director Mike Nichols has passed at the age of 83, and his body of work speaks for itself.  He was the man in the chair on some of the most famous films and most treasured Broadway plays over the last 50 years.

Mike Nichols, a gifted director whose film, TV and stage hits such as "The Graduate," "Working Girl" and ''Angels in America" amplified the aspirations and tragic losses of generations, has died. He was 83. 
The Academy Award- and Tony Award-winning director's career spanned more than six decades, and ranged from stand-up comedy with then-partner Elaine May, to Broadway and Hollywood classics of surreal, caustic humor and tortured personal dramas. 
The husband of journalist Diane Sawyer, his death was confirmed by ABC News. 
Nichols won a Tony Award for directing his very first play, "Barefoot in the Park," and would win eight more Tonys for directing "The Odd Couple," "Luv," "Plaza Suite," "The Prisoner of Second Avenue," "The Real Thing," "Monty Python's Spamalot," and the 2012 revival of "Death of a Salesman." He also won for producing the 1977 musical, "Annie." 
He also received an Oscar nomination (one of five throughout his career) for directing his very first film, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton), and won the Academy Award for his second feature, the Dustin Hoffman classic, "The Graduate."

And yes, as a kid I got to see Annie on Broadway, although I was only 4.  The Graduate is still an amazing movie, and the rest of his film works were by and large the movies I grew up with: Biloxi Blues, Working Girl, The Birdcage, Wolf, and Primary Colors.

Primary Colors in fact was the movie that got me to pay attention to politics as a kid in his early 20s who thought he knew everything already (that and Bulworth).  Clinton's impeachment nonsense broke soon after and the rest made me a Democrat for life.

Here's to you, Mike.

Plastics!

The White House Needs Better Messaging Though

The President's prime time address to the nation tonight on immigration?  The networks aren't carrying it, because In The Tank For Democrats or something.

The White House is exasperated with the major broadcast networks – ABC, CBS and NBC -- for skipping out on President Barack Obama’s Thursday primetime address on his executive actions on immigration.

“In 2006, Bush gave a 17 minute speech that was televised by all three networks that was about deploying 6000 national guard troops to the border. Obama is making a 10 minute speech that will have a vastly greater impact on the issue. And none of the networks are doing it. We can’t believe they were aggrieved that we announced this on Facebook,” a senior administration official told POLITICO.

When the president wants to make a primetime address, White House officials will reach out to the big networks like ABC, NBC, and CBS, to gauge whether they would consider running the speech live before putting in a formal request for airtime.

But on Wednesday morning, with plans underway for a Thursday night address on Obama’s plans to issue executive actions on some of the most sweeping immigration reform in decades, those feelers came back with a negative report. None of the major networks wanted to take time away from their primetime programming for Obama’s 8p.m. speech. So the administration did not send out a formal request to the networks and took to Facebook to publicize the speech with a special video message from Obama along with a link to the livestream.

You know who is showing the speech live?  Telemundo and Univision.  And this isn't the first time the networks have told this President that they refuse to carry his speech, either. 

But you'd better believe the networks will be full of Republicans reacting angrily to the speech tonight.  Hard to get your message across to the people when the networks refuse to broadcast it.

Maybe this White House will finally learn to go around them.

StupidiNews!

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