Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris By Night

The Islamic State claimed responsibility on Saturday for the catastrophic attacks in the French capital, calling them “the first of the storm” and mocking France as a “capital of prostitution and obscenity,” according to statements released in multiple languages on one of the terror group’s encrypted messaging accounts.

The remarks came in a communiqué published in Arabic, English and French on the Islamic State’s account on Telegram, a messaging platform, and then distributed via its supporters on Twitter, according to a transcript provided by the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks jihadist propaganda.

An earlier statement was released but was deemed unlikely to be authentic because of anomalies in the language, as well as an error in a date provided, according to experts on jihadist propaganda.

The statement was released on the same Telegram channel that was used to claim responsibility for the crash of a Russian jet over the Sinai Peninsula two weeks ago, killing 224 people. As in that case, it made the announcement in multiple languages and audio recordings.

President François Hollande of France said on Saturday that the Islamic State was responsible. Analysts said the nature of the attacks was more in keeping with actions of the Islamic State than with those of Al Qaeda, and the timing and extent of the celebration expressed online by the group’s supporters added weight to the claim.

“Eight brothers, wrapped in explosive belts and armed with machine rifles, targeted sites that were accurately chosen in the heart of the capital of France,” the group said in the statement, “including the Stade de France during the match between the Crusader German and French teams, where the fool of France, François Hollande, was present.”

Let France and those who walk in its path know that they will remain on the top of the list of targets of the Islamic State,” the statement added, referring to the attacks at the Bataclan concert hall and elsewhere in Paris.

As awful as these attacks were, the response from bloodthirsty Republicans is what frightens me more. Ben Carson would have us at permanent war with Islam:

If Carson were currently serving as president, "I would be working with our allies using every resource known to man in terms of economic resources, in terms of covert resources, overt resources, military resources, things that they don't know about -- resources," he said. "In an attempt not to contain them but to eliminate them before they eliminate us. We have to recognize that the global Islamic movement is an existential threat -- it's very different than anything we've ever faced before."

Carson also urged Americans to encourage lawmakers to block the Obama administration from allowing more refugees fleeing violence in the Middle East from entering the United States.
Nearly every other Republican would follow suit, from The Donald...

Donald TRUMP, the showman businessman, is also a foreign policy newcomer yet is already previewing how he would bomb his way to peace. In Trump’s mind, the United States can cut of the Islamic State’s cash flow by interrupting its access to vast oil reserves under the ground it controls through fear. “I would just bomb those suckers. That’s right. I’d blow up the pipes,” Trump said. “I’d blow up every single inch. There would be nothing left. And you know what, you’ll get Exxon to come in there and in two months, you ever see these guys, how good they are, the great oil companies? They’ll rebuild that sucker, brand new—it’ll be beautiful.” Ted Cruz...

Sen. Ted CRUZ is similarly urging America to lead a coalition to fight extremism where is starts. “We need boots on the ground, but they don’t necessarily need to be American boots,” Cruz said. “The Kurds are our boots on the ground.” Instead, the United States would lend overwhelming air power. As for rhetoric, Cruz says America must not show mercy. “If you join ISIS, if you wage jihad on America, then you are signing your death warrant,” he said. In response to the attacks in Paris, Cruz warned Americans that “we are seeing an unmistakable escalation of ISIS’ ambitions and the scale of their terrorist attacks outside Syria and Iraq.” supposed "moderates" like John Kasich.

Ohio Gov. John KASICH has long supported sending U.S. military forces into the Middle East to stamp out threats to America. “I’ve said all along we should have a coalition. We should be there, including boots on the ground. … You’ve got the air power, but you can’t solve anything just with air power.”

Understand that if a Republican wins next November, with a GOP Congress, we will have hundreds of thousands of troops in the Middle East in a few years.  It will be the worst of The Sandbox under Bush, and it will break this nation more surely than any ISIS attack on US soil ever could.

Also keep in mind that every single GOP candidate for president -- even Marco Rubio -- is now calling for "sealing the borders" and ejecting Syrian refugees.

If you thought the GOP position on immigration was bad before?

You ain't seen nothing yet.

Supreme TRAP Kings

The constitutionality of state TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) will go before the Supreme Court later this term with an expected June decision. At stake is whether or not state legislatures can effectively regulate abortion providers out of existence as they have in states like Texas, Florida, and Ohio.  The Texas case, Whole Women's Health vs. Cole, will go before SCOTUS from the 5th Circuit.

Brittney Martin of The Dallas Morning News explains:

The justices will determine whether two provisions of the law, requiring doctors who perform abortions to maintain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and requiring all abortions to be performed in hospital-like surgical centers, create an unconstitutional obstacle for women seeking abortions. 
The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the provisions in June, but the Supreme Court put the facilities requirement on hold while they considered a review. Two other provisions of the 2013 law, which ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and regulate the administration of abortion-inducing pills, are not currently being challenged. 
The state argues that the regulations will decrease the risk of complications for abortion patients. But opponents say the procedure is already safe. 
Of the more than 360,000 women who had abortions in Texas from 2009 to 2013, no one died due to complications. And in 2013, the most recent year for which state statistics are available, less than 1 percent of women seeking abortions experienced a complication. 
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the provisions were “common-sense.” 
“The state has wide discretion to pass laws ensuring Texas women are not subject to substandard conditions at abortion facilities,” Paxton said in a statement. “The advancement of the abortion industry’s bottom line shouldn’t take precedent over women’s health, and we look forward to demonstrating the validity of these important health and safety requirements in Court.” 
While the immediate goal for the Texas abortion providers that filed the suit is to keep their clinics open, they also recognize that the case will affect abortion restrictions nationwide. 
“My hope is that we can show that regulations like this are — without question — an undue burden, and that they’re not based in safety or medicine, but that they are a political tool to take the rights away from women,” said Amy Hagstom Miller, chief executive of Whole Woman’s Health, which operates four abortion clinics in Texas.

Again, the reality here is that TRAP laws are designed to close abortion clinics.  Should the Texas law be upheld, expect more states to implement them to the point where the regulations become so onerous that all clinics are closed.  The goal here is the de facto end of legalized abortion, and the "legalized" is the important part.  Women will turn to other methods if no legal means are available, and they will risk serious medical harm and death as a result.

I guarantee you there are already 4 votes to give states all the leeway on TRAP laws that they want, and none of those four justices that will side with Texas in this case happen to have a vagina.

Besides, it's going to be a rough, rough June for the candidates on both sides heading into next November:

Panic At The GOP Disco

Time to check in with Ivor Tossell's "Five Stages Of Trump" tweet again.

Hello, Stage Five!
Less than three months before the kickoff Iowa caucuses, there is growing anxiety bordering on panic among Republican elites about the dominance and durability of Donald Trump and Ben Carson and widespread bewilderment over how to defeat them. 
Party leaders and donors fear that nominating either man would have negative ramifications for the GOP ticket up and down the ballot, virtually ensuring a Hillary Rodham Clinton presidency and increasing the odds that the Senate falls into Democratic hands. 
The party establishment is paralyzed. Big money is still on the sidelines. No consensus alternative to the outsiders has emerged from the pack of governors and senators running, and there is disagreement about how to prosecute the case against them. Recent focus groups of Trump supporters in Iowa and New Hampshire commissioned by rival campaigns revealed no silver bullet. 
In normal times, the way forward would be obvious. The wannabes would launch concerted campaigns, including television attack ads, against the ­front-runners. But even if the other candidates had a sense of what might work this year, it is unclear whether it would ultimately accrue to their benefit. Trump’s counterpunches have been withering, while Carson’s appeal to the base is spiritual, not merely political. If someone was able to do significant damage to them, there’s no telling to whom their supporters would turn, if anyone.

Dr. Heckle and Mr. Jive here haven't just upended the apple cart, they've set it on fire and are throwing flaming apples at everyone they can find. They've taken the bread and circuses grift to the endpoint and everyone's all stunned to see that in the era of reality show politics that the hooting masses love the guys that aren't supposed to have any chance of winning. Oh, and there's this.

According to other Republicans, some in the party establishment are so desperate to change the dynamic that they are talking anew about drafting Romney — despite his insistence that he will not run again. Friends have mapped out a strategy for a late entry to pick up delegates and vie for the nomination in a convention fight, according to the Republicans who were briefed on the talks, though Romney has shown no indication of reviving his interest.

And the Republicans will look up and shout, "Save us!" And Mitt Romney will look down and whisper "47 percent." Oh well, I guess those sidelined mega-donors will have to console themselves with all the local, state, and House races that they've bought over the last five years. I'm sure they'll be okay even if they don't win the White House. The rest of us?  Well...not so much.
Related Posts with Thumbnails