Saturday, October 5, 2013

Last Call For One For Two In Africa

The Kenyan government response to Al-Shabaab's deadly siege of a Nairobi mall last month has long promised to be swift and deadly, according to President Uhuru Kenyatta.  Now we know why:  he brought his allies in from the United States in a daring double anti-terror operation this weekend, with a raid against Al-Shabaab in Somalia, and the capture of a terrorist suspected in the African US Embassy bombings in 1998 in Libya.

U.S. military forces were involved in two separate operations in Africa -- one of them targeting a member of the group Al-Shabaab, which was behind last month's Kenya mall attack, and the other going after an al Qaeda leader tied to the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies.
The Al-Shabaab raid took place in Somalia, where that terrorist group is based, sometime in the past 24 hours, a senior U.S. official said Saturday evening.
The team of U.S. Navy SEALs had to withdraw before it could confirm whether it killed the target because they came under fire, the official said. The SEALs made the "prudent decision" to withdraw rather than engage in further combat, according to the official.
The other mission ended in the capture of Abu Anas al Libi, who is suspected to have played a significant role in the August 7, 1998, bombings of American embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and Nairobi, Kenya, U.S. officials said.
The key al Qaeda operative was captured by U.S. special operations forces in Tripoli, Libya, according to the officials. 
This U.S. operation was conducted with the knowledge of the Libyan government, said one U.S. official.

So one operation confirmed successful, the other may have been, but Navy SEALs pulled out of the other one before it could be confirmed.  We'll see what happens next as Africa remains a prime target for terrorists like this.

Standing Tall

Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington State sums up the last, oh, five years of GOP petulance.

Dealing with terrorists has taught us some things,” said Washington Rep. Jim McDermott after voting no on one of Thursday’s GOP bills.You can’t deal with ’em. This mess was created by the Republicans for one purpose, and they lost. People in my district are calling in for Obamacare—affordable health care—in large numbers. These guys have lost, and they can’t figure out how to admit it.” Why would House Democrats give away what the Supreme Court and the 2012 electorate didn’t? “You can’t say, OK, you get half of Obamacare—this isn’t a Solomonic decision,” McDermott said.

And he ends it with this classic quote:

So we sit here until they figure out they fuckin’ lost.”

Republicans believe they've already won. They believe President Obama and the Democrats will cave on Obamacare, social safety net cuts, voting, the economy, everything.

They have no idea they've already lost.

They're about to find the hell out.

The Same Old Song And Dance

We've seen all of this before:  Republicans start out with the catastrophic (destroy Obamacare or plunge the country into instant depression with a debt default) and then everybody acts relived when their demands drop down to merely ruinous (the hundreds of billions in cuts that slowed down the economy in 2013, aka sequestration).

We're seeing it again now.  NRO's Robert Costa floats yet another House GOP Grand Bargain style round of austerity cuts:

But details are floating to the surface as the leadership reaches out to internal power brokers about what’s within the realm of the possible. What I’m hearing: There will be a “mechanism” for revenue-neutral tax reform, ushered by Ryan and Michigan’s Dave Camp, that will encourage deeper congressional talks in the coming year. There will be entitlement-reform proposals, most likely chained CPI and means testing Medicare; there will also be some health-care provisions, such as a repeal of the medical-device tax, which has bipartisan support in both chambers. Boehner, sources say, is expected to go as far as he can with his offer. Anything too small will earn conservative ire; anything too big will turn off Democrats. 

This in return for not blowing up the country's economy.  Sure it's extortion, but it's not a depression, right? Until the next budget shutdown/debt ceiling fight, that is.  And this will continue forever until somebody stands up to these clowns and says no more.

Will President Obama do it?  Hell, will the Tea Party just scuttle the deal anyway?

We'll see.
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