Saturday, July 18, 2015

Last Call For Wesley Clark's Mind

General Wesley Clark at one time was on the short list of veeps for President Obama and ran in 2004 for a short while, he won the Oklahoma Democratic primary even, and he has been a voice of sanity on US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That reign of sanity apparently ended on Friday as his interview with MSNBC's Thomas Roberts was shocking.

We have got to identify the people who are most likely to be radicalized. We've got to cut this off at the beginning. There are always a certain number of young people who are alienated. They don't get a job, they lost a girlfriend, their family doesn't feel happy here and we can watch the signs of that. And there are members of the community who can reach out to those people and bring them back in and encourage them to look at their blessings here.

But I do think on a national policy level we need to look at what self-radicalization means because we are at war with this group of terrorists. They do have an ideology. In World War II if someone supported Nazi Germany at the expense of the United States, we didn't say that was freedom of speech, we put him in a camp, they were prisoners of war.

So, if these people are radicalized and they don't support the United States and they are disloyal to the United States, as a matter of principle fine. It's their right and it's our right and obligation to segregate them from the normal community for the duration of the conflict. And I think we're going to have to increasingly get tough on this, not only in the United States but our allied nations like Britain, Germany and France are going to have to look at their domestic law procedures

To be frank here, Gen. Clark is, at minimum, saying we need to round up "radical Muslims" who disagree with the US government and put them in a place like Gitmo.  At worst case, he is openly calling for Muslim internment camps.

This is insanity, and this is verbatim what Gen. Clark has said after Thursday's awful shooting in Chattanooga, that we need to start rounding up Muslims wholesale.

Get this asshole over to the Republican side where he belongs.  This is deep into Malkinvania and for a Democrat to go there is unacceptable.

Driving Away The Madness

Before self-driving cars become a commercial reality, automakers and tech companies are going to have to prove to lawmakers at the state level that these vehicles can handle all kinds of conditions while ruthlessly obeying traffic laws and speed limits all the time, every time.  But the unintended consequences of that on cities and local governments is that excellent drivers don't get tickets needed to fill city fund coffers.

Once the car’s in charge, it’s a safe bet we won’t do things like speed, run reds, park illegally, or drive drunk. And that means we won’t be fined for doing those things. That’s going to put the squeeze on city budgets, according to a Brookings Institution report.

“Local governments have viewed their sources of revenue and planned around revenue from the perspective of, ‘We can tax people in a very structured and predictable manner,'” says Kevin Desouza, an Arizona State University and one of the report’s authors. They can count on catching us breaking the law often enough to keep the money flowing. But once that’s passed, “they’re going to lose out in the long run.”

There are no national numbers indicating how much American drivers shell out in traffic violation fines, but the report puts the total in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Los Angeles, for example, collected $161 million from parking tickets in 2014. Twenty cities in California take in $40 million every year from towing cars, splitting that money with the tow companies.

On top of that, if the theory that self-driving cars will lead people to own fewer cars holds up, revenue from registration fees will drop as well.

Again, great news for people who don’t like, or can’t afford, paying fines and fees. But that money finances things like transportation infrastructure and maintenance, public schools, judicial salaries, domestic violence advocacy, conservation, and many other public services, the report notes.

Meanwhile, we’ll still expect our cities to pay to keep the roads in good shape, since no matter who’s driving, potholes stink.

And that's actually a big issue.  We've critically underfunded road infrastructure for years, and with Republicans in charge of Congress and many state legislatures, there's no way that will ever get fixed.  Without revenue for roads, there may not be anything for self-driving cars to drive on.

Remember President Obama coming to Cincy for his infrastructure bill four years ago?  That bill died pretty quickly and our bridges and roads are in even worse shape now.

Eventually taxpayers will end up paying for them, one way or another.

The Fix Is In, The Jig Is Up

That badly edited hit job video on Planned Parenthood has had its intended effect, raising massive outrage among the anti-choice goons and providing easy political points for "deeply concerned" Republicans like Bobby Jindal, who ordered a state investigation into Planned Parenthood earlier this week.

But Jindal isn't the only GOP governor looking to score some easy points on a fake story, Georgia's GOP Gov. Nathan Deal wants a piece of this action too.

Gov. Nathan Deal ordered a review of Planned Parenthood and its five clinics in Georgia on Thursday after an undercover video by an anti-abortion group accused the group of illegally selling body parts of aborted fetuses. 
Deal’s office said in a statement that the Department of Community Health and the Department of Public Health will jointly review the clinics in Georgia to “ensure the horrific practice is not occurring here.” He was quickly seconded by Attorney General Sam Olens, who also offered to probe the “alarming allegations of horrendous practices.” 
It’s the latest aftershock of a secretly-recorded video that shows an executive working for the reproductive health group discussing harvesting body parts from aborted fetuses. Republican-run committees in the U.S. House and Senate have vowed to investigate the issue as well, and hearings are likely soon. 
Staci Fox, the chief executive of Planned Parenthood Southeast, said the regional organization doesn’t provide tissue donation services. But she said it’s standard practice in the medical community to donate tissue for scientific research and receive reimbursement for expenses such as transportation costs. 
“These charges are completely false, and they are based on politics,” said Fox, who said she will cooperate fully with the inquest. “These medical issues shouldn’t be politicized in this way. Georgians want our elected officials focused on solutions, not making more problems.”

So yes, this is a deliberate effort to drown Planned Parenthood and "defund" the organization.  It failed a few years ago when James O' Keefe tried it, but apparently this attempt may be somewhat more successful.

By the way, if you're wondering how the Republicans jumped on this so quickly, it's because this entire screw job was planned well in advance.

Republican lawmakers knew about a viral Planned Parenthood "sting video" well before it was released Tuesday, CQ Roll Call is reporting.

Since the video -- which appears to show a Planned Parenthood medical official discussing how abortion providers typically go about procuring fetal tissue for researchers -- was released, congressional leaders have called for an investigation into the claims raised by the group behind the video. Abortion foes say the video reveals that Planned Parenthood is selling the organs of aborted fetuses.

At least two members of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus admitted to CQ Roll Call that they had seen the video before its public release. Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), pictured above, said he saw the video a month ago but didn't act on its supposed revelations immediately because "the hope was to have as much information as possible so that the authorities could be notified effectively before the media."

And of course the plan was always to use the "shocking video" as a catalyst for the GOP War on Women.

“The gravity of the situation most definitely” changes things, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told POLITICO Thursday. “This is not just Republicans. It’s independents. It’s Democrats…. Americans don’t want their tax dollars spent doing what they’re doing.”

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his two top deputies — McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) — called for investigations almost immediately after the controversial video was made public, including whether it profits off fetal body parts. And within 24 hours, at least two powerful committees had announced probes on the issue. 
McCarthy is already talking about defunding the organization through the appropriations process. And in the Senate, GOP leaders who have been eyeing a vote on legislation banning abortions after 20 weeks of gestation say this will give them momentum to clear the bill later this session
“I think it really probably enhances the prospects of something like that passing right now,” South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the third-ranking Senate Republican, said Thursday. “I think that’s such an egregious, awful, horrible example out there, which I think just elevates the importance of addressing it. So I think it probably helps the bill.”
Why, one would be forgiven for believing that this was an organized attempt to destroy Planned Parenthood and pass a national abortion ban with a veto-proof majority by generating outrage on purpose.

Hell, my own jackass of a senator Rand Paul is now using this drummed-up outrage to block the federal highway bill.

Sen. Rand Paul is the latest lawmaker to throw a wrench into delicate transportation bill negotiations, suggesting he might hold up the legislation over the controversial Planned Parenthood video that surfaced this week.

The Kentucky Republican and presidential candidate released multiple statements Friday promising to use “all legislative vehicles” to “defeat and defund Planned Parenthood” next week. The statements on his Senate and campaign websites don’t directly mention the pending highway and transit legislation, but it is the next big-ticket item on the Senate’s to-do list, with a procedural vote set for Tuesday.

“The recent revelation that this taxpayer-funded organization is selling body parts of the unborn further proves that this agency deserves our scorn not our tax dollars,” he said in a statement. “I plan to do whatever I can to stop them and will introduce an amendment to pending Senate legislation to immediately strip every dollar of Planned Parenthood funding.”

We'll see.  Again, if safe, legal abortions are simply unavailable, then abortions are still going to happen, the difference is a lot more women will die in the process.  But this has all the hallmarks of revenge against a President and the people who voted for them.  Republicans lost huge issues in the last 30 days on Obamacare, same-sex marriage, the Confederate flag and now Iran, and now they want to make sure liberals lose big too.  The goal now is to punish the Obama coalition, starting with women (who just happen to be the most important part of the Hillary coalition, pure coincidence I'm sure.)

And that's the point.
Related Posts with Thumbnails