Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I guess there's a reason cops refer to prostitute clients as johns.
John McCain, the one who lost the last presidential election, has been very aggressive over the last 24 hours, demanding that President Obama do more to intervene in Iranian affairs. It's less clear how McCain wants to see his former rival do.Which would instantly become all the excuse Iran's regime would need to paint Mousavi and his supporters as puppets of the Great Satan.
Yesterday, McCain told Fox News he expects to see the administration "act," because, "We are for human rights all over the world." This morning, McCain was on NBC's "Today" show, pushing some more, insisting that Obama "should speak out that this is a corrupt, flawed sham of an election and that the Iranian people have been deprived of their rights."
And also this morning, in an interview with ABC's Jake Tapper via Twitter, McCain said the White House should call for a new Iranian election. The Arizona Republican added, "USA always stands for freedom and democracy!! ... [I]f we are steadfast eventually the Iranian people will prevail."
Sometimes, things that happen in the world are not the fault of, nor determined solely by, the United States of America.
Put a Democrat in charge of the White House however, and suddenly it's perfectly okay to vote against funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan...because it happens that $5 billion for the IMF is an unconscionable expense to the guys that brought us a nearly $3 trillion war of choice.
It doesn't matter what the President is for...the GOP is against it. The Party of No must deny everything and refuse to take any responsibility for the country. this, they figure, will get Americans to magically vote for them.
The House initially passed a bill on May 14 by a vote of 368-60, and all but nine Republicans backed the measure. But the House version did not include the IMF funding; the Senate version did, and the conference report adopted that provision.
A spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) noted the Republican support for the version that did not include the IMF funding and accused Democrats of politicizing the issue by including non-war-funding provisions.
“It is the Democratic leadership that is playing politics with our troops by insisting on using them as leverage to pass over $100 billion in global bailout money for the IMF,” said Michael Steel, Boehner’s spokesman.
However, Republicans also have used the supplemental war bills to advance non-related priorities. In 2006, Republican senators included $4 billion for farm programs and $700 million for a railroad project on the hurricane-battered Gulf Coast.
Republicans also embraced the war supplemental in 2007 — advanced by the Democratic-controlled Congress — that included an increase in the minimum wage.
While the Obama administration has said that increasing the IMF funding is crucial to the global response to the economic crisis, Republicans said the money could end up in countries that are hostile to the United States.
Once the GOP votes against war funding, Democrats will seek to paint Republicans as flip-floppers, just as Republicans did when Democrats changed their position on a war-spending vote. The charge reached its peak in the 2004 presidential election, when Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) was forced to defend his 2003 vote against the war-spending measure after initially supporting it.
“Anytime there was a Democrat [who] raised concern on some of these supplementals, he was tarred as being anti-troop,” said a House Democratic leadership aide.
The Democratic aide charged House Republicans with “hypocrisy” for opposing a bill because of the IMF funding, which amounts to less than 5 percent of the proposed spending in the legislation.
“It seems like they’re putting the interest of the Republican Party and the ability for them to develop a campaign narrative ahead of the interest of the troops,” he said.
House Republican leaders said that most GOP House members will oppose the bill, just as they did with the Democrats’ previous big-ticket items, including the $787 billion stimulus and the $410 billion omnibus.“As written, if this bill is going to pass — with all of its troubling provisions and funding — it will need to pass on the strength of Democrat votes, which is why Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi [D-Calif.] continues to pressure members of her own party,” said Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.).
Having said that, many of the same Democrats who voted against Bush's blank checks are considering voting against Obama's supplemental. If you're sticking to your guns, fine. I respect that. But to say voting against the supplemental is tantamount to treason and then to vote against the measure for purely political reasons like this is the height of hypocrisy even for these assholes.
The good news is that the supplemental may go down in flames. Another $100 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan is still $100 billion too much in light of the trillions already wasted there. I suppose there's a silver lining to this, but the GOP needs to be decimated on this vote.
We've seen people murdered based on their beliefs on abortion and religion. Now we're potentially seeing people killed because of their ethnic background and immigrant status.
According to local law enforcement, three people posing as police officers forced their way into the home of Raul Flores in Arivaca, Arizona, about 10 miles from the Mexican border, on May 30. They shot and killed Flores and his nine-year-old daughter, and wounded Flores' wife. The three, Shawna Forde, Jason Bush, and Albert Gaxiola, were arrested and charged last Thursday and Friday.In other words, white supremacist groups and anti-immigrant extremists had the idea to perform home invasion killings on wealthy suspected drug dealers complete with the notion too make the crimes look like "just more border drug violence." The upshot-- they get to keep the money to recruit more into the movement.
But here's where it gets interesting: Forde's brother, Merrill Metzger, has told the Arizona Daily Star that Forde had been talking recently about "starting a revolution against the United States government," and had said she planned to recruit members of the Aryan Nations as part of a plan to rob drug cartels.
In a sick, dark, sociopathic way you have to admire the plan. It sounds like a great movie or book plot, honestly. But the repugnant thing is the plan was apparently very, very real.
It sounds like Forde had started putting that plan into action. Bush, accused of being the triggerman in the killing, was also charged Friday in the 1997 murder of a sleeping Hispanic homeless man in Washington, reports the paper. According to law enforcement authorities in the state, Bush "has had long-standing ties to the Aryan Nations." In 2003, they say, Bush moved to the Sandpoint area of northern Idaho, a historic center of white supremacist activity.Sadly, these insane fantasies are claiming real lives, and when I mention growing right-wing violence that needs to be observed, this is what I'm talking about. Less than six months since America's first African-American President was elected and we've had multiple incidents -- three major ones in just the last month -- and I believe wholeheartedly that it will only get worse.
Both Forde and Bush also have ties to the fringe of the anti-immigration movement. As Josh noted last week over at TPM, Forde leads Minutemen American Defense (MAD), a vigilante group that conducts patrols of the US-Mexico border. And according to a recent post on MAD's website, since taken down, the group recently signed up Bush -- said to be a Special Forces veteran, and identified only as "Gunny" -- and put him in charge of "command decisions, Recon and Tactical training."
I've been warning about it for quite some time, and some folks who have made a career of following and reporting on incidents like this are Dave Neiwert and Sara Robinson over at Dave's blog, Orcinus. Check the site out when you can, it's a valuable resource on following right-wing domestic terrorism in this country. Sadly, Dave's expertise is now needed more than ever these days.
[UPDATE] Steve Benen misses the point of the Drudge exercise once again.
I suspect the RNC and its allies are just trying to work the refs, hoping that by throwing a fit now, they can push Gibson and Sawyer to push more absurd questions during the program.Are you kidding me? A "strange thing" to get worked up over? Are you paying any attention, Steve? At all? Once again guys, the GOP Plan is in full effect. Health care reform cannot be allowed to pass in any way shape or form, or the GOP is done. Kaput. Dead. 50 million Americans get health insurance when they didn't have it before, Obama signs it into law, the Democrats get it through Congress, and you think those folks are going to vote Republican in 2010 and 2012?
In the end, though, it seems like a rather strange thing for Republican activists to get worked up about.
The GOP Plan is Destroy Obama. Obama has banked all his political capital on Obamacare. Ergo, Obamacare has to be destroyed. Ergo, anything that the White House does to push Obamacare, like an hour long interview with Charlie Gibson on ABC, must also be destroyed.
Ergo Drudge is pushing this ridiculous crap. Drudge *is* the Village.
The Obama administration has turned back pleas for emergency aid from one of the biggest remaining threats to the economy -- the state of California.Let's deal with reality here: there's no way the GOP will allow Obama to try to bail out America's largest blue state, Republican governor or not. After all if thousands leave the state and relocate to other states, reducing California's population and electoral votes and putting them in more competitive western states or more GOP friendly states like Texas or Arizona in time for the 2012 elections, then that's worth $24 billion to the GOP.
Top state officials have gone hat in hand to the administration, armed with dire warnings of a fast-approaching "fiscal meltdown" caused by a budget shortfall. Concern has grown inside the White House in recent weeks as California's fiscal condition has worsened, leading to high-level administration meetings. But federal officials are worried that a bailout of California would set off a cascade of demands from other states.
With an economy larger than Canada's or Brazil's, the state is too big to fail, California officials urge.
"This matters for the U.S., not just for California," said U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who chairs the state's Democratic congressional delegation. "I can't speak for the president, but when you've got the 8th biggest economy in the world sitting as one of your 50 states, it's hard to see how the country recovers if that state does not."
The administration is worried that California will enact massive cuts to close its deficit, estimated at $24 billion for the fiscal year that begins July 1, aggravating the state's recession and further dragging down the national economy.
After a series of meetings, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, top White House economists Lawrence Summers and Christina Romer, and other senior officials have decided that California could hold on a little longer and should get its budget in order rather than rely on a federal bailout.
These policymakers continue to watch the situation closely and do not rule out helping the state if its condition significantly deteriorates, a senior administration official said. But in that case, federal help would carry conditions to protect taxpayers and make similar requests for aid unattractive to other states, the official said. The official did not detail those conditions.
You'd better believe that the Republicans want to do to Los Angeles and San Francisco what they did to New Orleans. If California was a reliable red state in dire economic straits, we'd be hearing daily how the Golden State was vital to our economy and recovery...not from Democrats, but Republicans.
Still, it doesn't change the truth -- I'd rather see California get $24 billion than say, Citigroup.
When four percent of your entire country is willing to defy your theocratic decree and protest your regime on 24 hours notice, you're in trouble. Big trouble.
On the other hand, the silliness of the wingers rolls on.
Lefties keep assuring me on Twitter that western meddling will only make it easier for the regime to demonize the protesters, but (a) the demonization’s going to happen anyway, (b) no one’s asking Obama to send in the Marines, just to speak up, and (c) Angela Merkel managed to issue a statement earlier today calling the Basij thuggery “completely unacceptable” without killing the uprising in its crib. And still, from the White House, nothing. To think, some commentators are accusing The One of “cowardly silence.”Which is funny, because (a) giving Iran an opportunity to settle this themselves and not demonize us would be a smart, diplomatic thing to do in order to prevent further demonization, (b) Marines no, but bombing Iran's nuclear sites seems to come up almost weekly with the wingers and (c) I thought the opinions of Germany, being part of Old Europe, didn't matter to you guys since 9/11.
The world continues to watch Iran and Obama did issue a statement last night anyway.
[UPDATE] Double G weighs in on the Bomb Iran crowd suddenly being concerned about the democratic rights of brave Iranians being impinged upon...you know, the same people who in the eyes of Republicans were up until Saturday simply the Faceless Beturbaned Brown Islamofascist Horde, Tehran Division.
- Iran's Guardian Council is offering a recount, opposition candidate Mousavi wants new elections instead.
- The Congressional Budget Office says health care reform could cost one trillion dollars over ten years.
- California lawmakers and citizens are fighting over making Highway 99 into an Interstate.
- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev once again is bringing up the notion of a new global reserve currency.
- The retrial of Jammie Thomas-Rasset gets underway in Minneapolis as the RIAA wants to level millions in fines against file sharers.