Archive for category National Politics

‘It’s almost like war is a business’

AT-4 anti-tank rocket

DSWRIGHT on FDL: US Sending Weapons To Iraq To Use Against Weapons US Previously Sent To Iraq

It’s almost like war is a business. The Pentagon announced on Thursday that the United States would be sending 2,000 AT-4 anti-tank rockets to Iraq. While the Department of Defense emphasized that the rockets were being sent to help combat suicide car bombs, there is another target anti-tank rockets might be needed for in Iraq these days – US tanks and other vehicles in the hands of ISIS.

As a point of information, ISIS forces captured more than 100 armored vehicles, (including M1A1 Abrams tanks, artillery, and large quantities of ammunition) when Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) fled the provincial capital of Ramadi last weekend.

More info:
ISIS Captures Hundreds of US Vehicles and Tanks in Ramadi from Iraqis

1 Comment

People Who Believed the Media About Ebola Were The Least Informed

Ebola hysteria
Remember this?

Media Matters for America asks a great question: Where’s The Media’s Ebola Mea Culpa?

Before the 2014 elections, broadcast and cable news aired more than 975 segments raising the alarm about the (extremely unlikely) danger of an Ebola epidemic in America. The story was quickly dropped after Election Day. One survey found that the people who were paying the most attention to the Ebola story were the ones least informed about it.

Eric Boehlert:

I’d suggest the news media’s collective malfeasance ranks not far behind the run-up to the Iraq War in terms of a fundamental failure to inform the public about a life-and-death issue. Thankfully, Ebola did not plunder the U.S. Treasury and cost thousands of American lives like the Iraq War did. But Ebola did require leveled-headed journalism, which was often missing.

Faux News Channel led the way, but most other media followed them with nonstop unfounded hysteria timed right before an election. When do we get an apology?

35 Comments

Gov. Herbert Not Buying ‘Jade Helm 15′ Conspiracy Theory

Jade Helm map
“Jade Helm 15″ exercise map

The office of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) told TPM on Thursday that he’s not buying into the conspiracy theory that the military is plotting a massive multi-state takeover in the western U.S.

The governor’s spokesman, Marty Carpenter, sent an email to TPM about the upcoming seven-state military training exercise known as “Jade Helm 15,” saying the state has “been assured this will be a standard training exercise.”

Conspiracy theorists have sounded the alarm about the exercise, which is slated to take place from July 15 to Sept. 15 in Utah and six other western states. The conspiracy theory this week led Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to order the State Guard to monitor “Jade Helm 15″ to confirm that the operation is not in fact a military takeover.

According to speculation, in the “Jade Helm” Special Operations Forces exercise Utah represents Syria– which is why it’s labeled as hostile on the map. Texas is possibly a stand-in for Iran, and southern California may be Palestine.

More info:
What The Nation’s Governors Are Saying About The Texas Takeover

UPDATE:

Defense Secretary: No, The Pentagon Is Not Planning A Texas Takeover

Defense Sec. Ash Carter on Thursday disputed the idea from conspiracy theorists that the military exercise known as “Jade Helm 15″ was an attempt by the Pentagon to take over Texas.

10 Comments

NSA Bulk Data Collection Illegal, U.S. Appeals Court Says

Stop spying on Americans

NEW YORK, May 7 (Reuters) – A U.S. spying program that collects data about millions of Americans’ phone calls is illegal, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday…

Thank you to Russ Tice, Edward Snowden, James Risen, and the ACLU. They are American heroes.

It should not have taken so long to reverse the ugly policies of the Bush administration. We are finally making some progress. Congress ought to allow Section 215 of the so-called USA PATRIOT Act to expire next month.

UPDATES:
Newly-confirmed U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch not a fan of the Constitution. Apparently.

Utah Senator Mike Lee says he agrees with the court decision. Lee is co-sponsoring Senator Patrick Leahy’s “USA Freedom Act” that would tighten the rules for domestic surveillance.


Obama And Clinton Endorse USA Freedom Act After Court Ruling

In the aftermath of yesterday’s court ruling and the looming June 1st deadline to reauthorize the section of the PATRIOT Act the court ruled illegal, the Democratic Party establishment appears to have shifted somewhat on domestic spying.

2 Comments

The Tea-GOP Needs A Clown Bus

Clown bus

Before the Iowa caucuses, the Tea-GOP might produce as many as 21 presidential candidates. There are five announced candidates now, including Rafael (“Ted”) Cruz, Randal (“Rand”) Paul, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, and Ben Carson. Mike Huckabee is set to announce tomorrow, and James (“Rick”) Perry is expected to enter the race on June 1. Nine more are formally exploring a candidacy, and there are at least five possible fringe candidates.

Governor Perry would be the first presidential candidate in U.S. history to run while under indictment. Carly Fiorina’s candidacy has a “boss from Hell” problem – see CarlyFiorina.org

More info:
Republican clown car gets a little more crowded as Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina enter the race
GOP clown car runs into ditch
CarlyFiorina.org is literally just 30,000 sad faces — one for every laid off HP employee

4 Comments

Reps. Stewart and Bishop Promote Public Land Grab

It’s unconstitutional and enjoys essentially zero public support, but the Koch brothers want it– therefore our so-called representatives are calling for national legislation to seize and sell America’s public lands.

More info:
Reps. Stewart and Bishop Launch New Federal Land Action Group
GOP House Leaders Create ‘Action Group’ To Seize And Sell America’s Public Lands

UPDATE:
Editorial: Public-lands deal fades as posturing rises

Bishop and Stewart are seeking leverage. In trying to negotiate with the environmental groups who want more wilderness and other protections under the Public Lands Initiative, they are playing the state-takeover card. Those environmental groups would be more inclined to take less if they thought state ownership was looming. It’s a wild card, in that it’s not clear such a land transfer bill would ever make it through Congress.

13 Comments

Hillary 2.0

Hillary 2016

Cable TV news is going with non-stop speculation about Hillary Clinton’s $2.5 billion “Hillary for America” 2016 presidential campaign, which officially kicks off today. In 2008, Hillary’s advisers thought her candidacy was “inevitable,” and for the most part she ran as the Iron Lady. Now, I think they realize the last time she only came across as sympathetic when she got a little teary-eyed in New Hampshire (she didn’t actually shed a tear). Of course, if you watch that on video it was nearly content-free in terms of policy.

Hillary 2.0 will be introduced in small events, maybe even going back to that same Portsmouth, New Hampshire cafe from 2008. Her initial platform will be “first woman President,” without going into policy very much. Will that be enough?

Progressives see Hillary as the favorite candidate of Wall Street. Tea-GOPers think she is some far-left radical. So who is going to vote for her? Can anyone get excited about the prospect of a Clinton vs. Bush presidential election? Let’s discuss.

More info:
Hillary Clinton just doesn’t get it: She’s already running a losing campaign

Voters are more desperate now, and in a far worse mood. If you invite their questions, you’d better have some answers.

UPDATES:
Hillary Clinton Announces 2016 Presidential Bid

“I’m running for president,” she said with a smile near the end of a two-minute video released just after 3 p.m.

“Everyday Americans need a champion. And I want to be that champion,” Mrs. Clinton said. “So I’m hitting the road to earn your vote — because it’s your time. And I hope you’ll join me on this journey.”

Kevin Gosztola on FDL: Hillary Clinton’s Announcement Paves Way for Progressives to Abandon Principles Very Early in 2016 Election

DSWright on FDL: Wall Street Is Cool With Hillary Clinton Pretending To Be A Populist

Wall Street understands they are unpopular after bringing the US economy to its knees with their greed and criminality. They know Clinton has to criticize them in public even after taking their money in private.

77 Comments

This Time Someone Got It on Video

In South Carolina, a police officer has been charged with the murder of an unarmed man shot in the back and killed while running away – the entire incident caught on video. The officer claimed self-defense, but he was lying. The incident began as a routine traffic stop.

The authorities in this case are doing the right thing. But what if there was no video?

36 Comments

Utah Next-to-Last State For Obama

Obama in Utah

President Obama arrived in Utah last night, and departs again from Hill Air Force Base this morning. After us, he has only South Dakota to go before visiting all 50 states as President. According to the people whose job it is to keep track of this stuff.

1 Comment

Yemen: ‘Somalia is in better shape than us’

Yemen
Protest against Saudi air strikes, March 26 in Sanaa

The news from Yemen is that a humanitarian disaster is rapidly overtaking the Arab world’s poorest country, which the USA helped to destabilize with drone strikes against Islamic militants. The Saudis are poised to finish the job, committing war crimes with U.S. – made weapon systems.

“It is a terrible situation and it is moving so fast,” Julien Harneis, the Yemen representative of the United Nations Children Fund, told The Associated Press. “We are heading toward a humanitarian disaster.”

…In the southern city of Aden, medical supplies are running out. Doctors Without Borders, which operates in the city, said it has received over 500 wounded, including more than 110 on the first day of airstrikes. UNICEF is giving out midwife kits to treat injured civilians because of lack of supplies.

…In al-Houta, a city north of Aden, people are fleeing fighting to nearby villages for safety and to find goods and produce, said 28-year old resident Ahmed Rageh. The local gas station has been closed for nearly three weeks. “It is a disastrous situation. Somalia is now in a better shape than us,” he said.

It’s heartbreaking to see catastrophe overtake a beautiful country with such a rich history and friendly people. I lived there for two years in the early 1990s, traveled to visit ancient ruins and poor but architecturally fascinating villages. There was virtually no crime. But many problems were waiting to surface, particularly the disenfranchisement of Shiites and the uneasy relationship with Saudi Arabia – which has invaded Yemen in the past.

2 Comments

Antarctica Warmer Than Utah?

Penguins

On March 24, the temperature was 63.5°F at Argentina’s Esperanza Base, located near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The Salt Lake City high temperature was 57 degrees the same day.

[T]he poles are warming faster than any part of the planet and rapid ice melt is being observed at increased rates in Antarctica. According to a new study, ice shelves in West Antarctica have lost as much as 18 percent of their volume over the last two decades, with rapid acceleration occurring over the last decade.

…While the polar regions are feeling the most severe temperature changes brought on by the rise in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, areas across the globe are setting record highs at a much faster rate than record lows. Since 2010, 46 nations or territories out of 235 have set or tied record highs. Only four have set record lows.

UPDATES:
NASA Scientists Have Frightening Answers About Future Megadrought in Reddit AMA
Long-Awaited ‘Jump’ In Global Warming Now Appears ‘Imminent’

“So it is a bad year for the Earth and an equally bad year for the politicians, talk show radio ‘scientists’, climate-denial funders, and second rate scientists who told us not to worry,” as climate expert Professor John Abraham told me. “They told us global warming had stopped nearly two decades ago. The problem is, science and climate change marched forward. Perhaps next time we will believe the real scientists.”

4 Comments

How Ironic: The First Tea-GOP Presidential Candidate for 2016 Has A Canadian Birth Certificate

Rafael Cruz

This morning, Senator Rafael (“Ted”) Cruz launched the first 2016 Tea-GOP presidential campaign. Mostly known for orchestrating the last federal government shutdown, every one of his policy positions are opposed by a majority of Americans.

Senator Cruz was born in Alberta, Canada. He has a Canadian birth certificate, which arguably means he is not a natural born U.S. citizen (a constitutional requirement for anyone to hold the office of President of the United States). Less than a year ago, Cruz still held Canadian dual citizenship.

Birther heads would explode, except that their level of brain activity probably isn’t high enough for that. BTW Cruz is a first-term senator with no prior experience as an elected official.

UPDATES:
Ted Cruz Is So Proud Of His Role In America’s Near-Default, He’s Touting It On Campaign Site
BTW check out http://www.tedcruz.com/
Yes, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz Is Eligible To Run For President

There is still some lingering uncertainty about Cruz’s eligibility. That’s because the Supreme Court hasn’t ruled on the meaning of “natural born citizen,” which the Constitution doesn’t define.

50 Comments

%d bloggers like this: