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Poll_Blind

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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 23,862

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Journal Archives

UN General Assembly voting on status of Palestine in U.N. NOW (LIVE VIDEO)

BEST FEEDS, in English-->
Al-Jazeera:
http://www.aljazeera.com/watch_now/
RT
http://rt.com/on-air/un-palestine-status-bid/
CNN (you may have to select the stream):
http://www.cnn.com/video/?/tab/live#/video/cvplive/cvpstream1


Today's date was chosen to hold the vote in commemoration of Resolution 181, made by the United Nations sixty-five years ago, today.

Up to the minute Tweets on #UN, #Palestine

PB

Other Feeds:
(untranslated) Times of Israel:

http://www.timesofisrael.com/watch-live-feed-of-the-united-nations/
United Nations(not always the best feed):
http://webtv.un.org/live-now/watch/general-assembly:-44th-plenary-meeting-question-of-palestine/1674583185001

Palestinians certain to win recognition as a state

Source: Chron

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Palestinians are certain to win U.N. recognition as a state on Thursday but success could exact a high price: delaying an independent state of Palestine because of Israel's vehement opposition.

The United States, Israel's closest ally, mounted an aggressive campaign to head off the General Assembly vote, which the Palestinians view as a historic step in their quest for global recognition.

The Palestinians say they need U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, the lands Israel captured in 1967, to be able to resume negotiations with Israel — and statehood could also open the way for possible war crimes charges against the Jewish state at the International Criminal Court.

In a last-ditch move Wednesday, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns made a personal appeal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas promising that President Barack Obama would re-engage as a mediator in 2013 if Abbas abandoned the effort to seek statehood. But the Palestinian leader refused, said Abbas aide Saeb Erekat.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/us/article/Palestinians-certain-to-win-recognition-as-a-state-4075612.php



Historic, really. And while for most Americans these issues are somewhat abstract at best, this progression toward U.N. recognition as a state is bound to bring about a new phase in Middle East Peace negotiations...whether the United States and Israel are favorable to the move or not.

The world is bigger than the desires of the United States and Israel and that bigger world will have its say on the matter, tomorrow. Perhaps, if only as a reminder of same.

PB

Grand Barg- ah fuckit: Obama says he'll do what it takes to avoid cliff (Seattle Times)

The White House and a key congressional Democrat hinted at fresh concessions on taxes and cuts to Medicare and other government benefit programs Wednesday as bargaining with Republicans lurched ahead to avoid the year-end "fiscal cliff" that threatens to send the economy into a tailspin.

Increasing numbers of rank-and-file Republicans also said they were ready to give ground, a boost for House Speaker John Boehner and other party leaders who say they will agree to higher tax revenues as part of a deal if it also curbs benefit programs as a way to rein in federal deficits.

"I'll go anywhere and I'll do whatever it takes to get this done," President Barack Obama said as he sought to build pressure on Republicans to accept his terms - a swift renewal of expiring tax cuts for all but the highest income earners. "It's too important for Washington to screw this up," he declared.


This is straight-up fucking WEAK. Sorry, I don't know enough pretty words to pretty up that much ugly.

What the fuck is up with this disturbingly submissive language?

Obama: To Get Debt Deal In 2nd Term, I’ll Wash John Boehner’s Car, I’ll Walk Mitch McConnell’s Dog
http://www.mediaite.com/online/obama-to-get-debt-deal-in-2nd-term-ill-wash-john-boehners-car-ill-walk-mitch-mcconnells-dog/

From The Young Turks:


PB

Grand Bargain Express: Obama, GOP Mount 'Fiscal Cliff' Campaign Blitz (ABC News)

ABC News: Obama, GOP Mount 'Fiscal Cliff' Campaign Blitz (16 minutes ago)
Reuters: Obama says hopes for deficit deal by Christmas (24 minutes ago)

Obama, GOP Mount 'Fiscal Cliff' Campaign Blitz
President Obama, Republican lawmakers and an army of independent advocacy groups have mounted an aggressive new public campaign to highlight the stakes in a deal to avoid an economically toxic package of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts could take hold in 35 days.

The push has all the makings of a political campaign -- coming just three weeks after Election Day -- but with the nation's debt taking center stage instead of an individual candidate.

--snip--

A trio of union groups -- the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the Service Employees International Union and the National Education Association (NEA) – last week launched a $300,000 TV and radio ad campaign across five states calling for higher taxes on the wealthy and no "cuts to vital services."

Some of the ads reportedly ran during televised coverage of Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

--snip--

AARP, the Business Roundtable and the National Coalition to Preserve Social Security and Medicare have each readied campaigns of their own, hoping to remind lawmakers of their opposition to significant changes to entitlement programs.


And so begins the mad scramble for.....for what exactly? For a shit deal we get screwed on by Grover Norquist's lame-duck catamites?

Who the fuck thinks that's a good deal? Sounds more like the "Hasty Hot Mess" than a "Grand Bargain".

Maybe we should do something a little, oh, a little less chicken-with-its-head-cut-off. Like wait until the new year when we're in a better position to bargain, as Democratic House Rep. Peter DeFazio has suggested!

Obama says hopes for deficit deal by Christmas
WASHINGTON, Nov 28 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he hoped to reach an agreement with Congress before Christmas to avoid the looming "fiscal cliff" and shrink the budget deficit, and ramped up efforts to rally the public to press Republicans for action.

Obama encouraged Americans to use Twitter - with the hashtag #My2K - and other social media to swamp their lawmakers with requests to act quickly to keep their tax rates low.

"Our ultimate goal is an agreement that gets our long-term deficit under control in a way that is fair and balanced," he said at the White House.

"I believe that both parties can agree on a framework that does that in the coming weeks. In fact, my hope is to get this done before Christmas," Obama said.


CHUGGA-CHUGGA, CHUGGA-CHUGGA, SOOO-OOON! SOOO-OOON!

PB

DeFazio goes on MSNBC, says 'Fuck the fiscal cliff!' Grand Bargain Express wobbles, heads explode!


Rep. Peter Defazio, D-Ore., says Congress should wait until after the new year to deal with the severe cuts and tax increases that will automatically take effect. Defazio insists says it’s a lame duck session and the most radical members of the Tea Party are still here, so it’s better to wait until the next Congress is in office.

No YouTube link yet, just hit the MSNBC site HERE (VIDEO)

WELL-WORTH THE FEW MINUTES OF YOUR TIME TO WATCH!

From the transcript:

Q: You're one of the folks who have said, correct me if i'm wrong, that republicans won't accept tax hikes for wealthy and we might as well go off the fiscal cliff and take it up after January 1st. Is that an accurate representation of your position? And if so, why?

DeFazio: Sure. Well, first, off the 'cliff' is an unbelievable exaggeration. There's no cliff. In fact, the only tax rate that changes on January 1st is we do away with the Social Security/FICA holiday. The other tax rates we would have ample time to deal with, and we would be then bargaining from a position of strength. The republicans would be free from their pledge to Grover Norquist about not raising taxes. And we would be talking about who is going to get some tax relief -- middle-class families, you know, people with children, and other targeted cuts, and the Republicans could say, "Gee, i wanted to give the rich a tax break but we just couldn't get there. but, hey, we helped ow 98% of the people in America." I think we'd be bargaining from strength. I'm very worried that we're getting back to where we were two years ago where the President was put in a box or a year ago when the President got put in a box over the republicans threatening to default on our debt. We need to bargain from a stronger position and going over this bump in the road would give us that.


MUCH more at the link!

It's a refreshing change to see a Democratic politician rejecting the Shock Doctrine bullshit and attempting to maneuver the Democratic Party into a position of strength.

We WON the Election. Howsabout we start acting like it?



PB

Israel pulls back from threat to topple Palestinian leadership over UN vote

Source: The Guardian

After weeks of shrill warnings over Thursday's United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood, Israel has backed away from threats to cancel the Oslo peace accords and topple the Palestinian leadership.

Israeli officials are now playing down any immediate sanctions against the Palestinians after it became clear that the request for statehood is likely to gather significant support, which has strengthened since the Israeli assault on Gaza. Several European countries, including France, Switzerland and Spain, will back the Palestinian move in part out of concern that failing to do so will weaken the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to the advantage of Hamas.

The Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, previously drew up proposals saying that if the UN vote went ahead "then Israel must exact a heavy price from Abu Mazen (Abbas), including the possibility of toppling his regime and dismantling the Palestinian Authority." Israeli officials warned that funding to the PA could be cut, peace accords cancelled in part or in whole, and unrestricted construction of Jewish settlements authorised.

But the threats have not deterred the Palestinians nor a significant number of European countries from supporting their bid for "observer state" which is on a par with the Vatican's position at the UN.

Officials in Jerusalem are now instead seeking to disparage the vote as of no great significance in itself.


Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/28/israel-palestinian-statehood-un-vote



My, my. I wonder what the United States will do?

The vote is Thursday, AFAIK.

PB

Grand Bargain Watch: Senate's No. 2 Democrat calls for cuts to social safety net

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-fiscal-cliff-20121128,0,216238.story
Senate's No. 2 Democrat calls for cuts to social safety net
WASHINGTON — A top Democrat pressured fellow progressives Tuesday to consider long-term changes to the social safety net, even as the party digs in for a fight to save Medicare and other government programs from deep budget cuts.

As closed-door talks continue with the hope of a year-end deal, President Obama will travel to a Pennsylvania toy store this week to pressure Congress to extend the expiring tax cuts for the middle class, while letting those for the wealthiest 2% of Americans expire. Republicans are similarly taking their proposal of tax breaks for all on the road.

At the same time, Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the chamber's No. 2 Democrat, tapped his ties to the liberal wing of the party to urge a broader deficit deal in 2013 that would include trims to Medicare and other entitlement cuts. "We can't be so naive to believe that just taxing the rich will solve our problems," said Durbin, speaking before the influential liberal group Center for American Progress. "Put everything on the table. Repeat. Everything on the table."

The assistant majority leader's speech comes at a pivotal moment — the White House's allies in the labor and progressive community have warned Obama not to cut Medicare, Medicaid and other government programs in talks with Republicans.

Progressive groups are targeting individual members of Congress and labor leaders are flying in activists from around the nation to Capitol Hill this week to lobby lawmakers to not cut the social safety net.

--snip--


More at the link!

Durbin:
"Put everything on the table. Repeat. Everything on the table."


Ah, yes! Put it off, we can cut it later when the heat dies down. This is the head fake I wrote about earlier.

THAT OLE GRAND BARGAIN EXPRESS IS A...(CHUGGA-CHUGGA)...COMIN' DOWN THE TRACKS...(CHUGGA-CHUGGA)...

We got the President's Senior Advisor and the Democratic Senate Whip shovelin' coal to keep that engine stoked! And the engineer, with his hat pulled low- who could it beeeee?!?

Who will be the next Forward-Thinking™ Democrat to grab the Third Rail and shrug? Tune in tomorrow!

PB

Grand Bargain Watch: Yesterday Plouffe with the head-on. Today, Dick Durban with the head fake:

UPDATE 1-Senior US Democrat Durbin urges talks on Medicare
WASHINGTON, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Dick Durbin, a senior Senate Democrat and close ally of President Barack Obama, urged fellow liberals on Tuesday to consider reforming Medicare and Medicaid, the U.S. healthcare programs they have long fought to shield from spending cuts.

The timing of his message - just as Democrats and Republicans struggling to avoid the "fiscal cliff," looming early next year - and its prominence may signal that Democratic leaders and the White House will discuss social programs at the fiscal policy negotiating table. "Progressives should be willing to talk about ways to ensure the long-term viability of Medicare and Medicaid," which help pay for the care of the elderly and needy, Durbin said in remarks to the liberal Center for American Progress.

--snip--

"My very conservative Republican brother, who had no use for social programs, started counting the days until he was eligible for Medicare," Durbin said.

"If anybody wants to talk about a later eligibility age for Medicare, what I want to hear is the assurance and guarantee that people like my brother will have access to affordable health care and insurance," before they reach the age, he said. Echoing the stance of Obama and other Democrats, Durbin said changes to Social Security are needed but since the retirement benefits program did not contribute to the deficit problem, it should be tackled separately.

He proposed a new bipartisan commission to recommend a plan to keep Social Security solvent for the next 75 years. Congress should be required to vote on the changes, he said. Such a panel shored up the pension program in the mid-1980s.


Much more at the link! After watching David Plouffe lovingly stroke the idea of cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, Dick Durban comes in with the sneaky fake-out.

But who's he trying to fake out?

Two Fakey Fakey™ points awarded:
+1 I won't consider raising eligibility age of Medicare...unless I have assurances!
+1 Catfood Comission III

See also: Sen. Dick Durbin: Medicare, Medicaid Fair Game in Talks to Avoid Fiscal Cliff
“From my side of the table, bring entitlement reform into the conversation,” Durbin said on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” “Social Security — set aside … doesn’t add to the deficit. But when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid, protect the integrity of the program, but give it solvency for more and more years.”

But Durbin ruled out raising the age of Medicare eligibility as a potential reform.

“We’ve got to make sure that there is seamless coverage of affordable health insurance for every American,” Durbin said. “My concern about raising that Medicare retirement age is there will be gaps in coverage or coverage that’s way too expensive for seniors to purchase.”


Again, he rules it out...unless of course someone can allay his concerns. Classic.

Does he have a history of this at least as far bask as April 2011, you may ask? He does!
Tell Dick Durban to get his hands off Social Security!!!

TOOT! TOOT! GRAND BARGAIN EXPRESS HEADED TO A HOUSEHOLD NEAR YOOOOOOO!!

Who will be the next Forward-Thinking™ Democrat to grab the Third Rail and shrug? Tune in tomorrow!

PB

Medicare & Medicaid are on the tracks. Plouffe says Grand Bargain Express is coming! I believe him!

From Big Ed's show, tonight.



This is a 10-20 year deal, folks, and it's a rumblin' down them tracks plenty quick!

PB

Britain ready to back Palestinian statehood at UN

Source: The Guardian

Britain is prepared to back a key vote recognising Palestinian statehood at the United Nations if Mahmoud Abbas pledges not to pursue Israel for war crimes and to resume peace talks.

Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, has called for Britain's backing in part because of its historic responsibility for Palestine. The government has previously refused, citing strong US and Israeli objections and fears of long-term damage to prospects for negotiations.

On Monday night, the government signalled it would change tack and vote yes if the Palestinians modified their application, which is to be debated by the UN general assembly in New York later this week. As a "non-member state", Palestine would have the same status as the Vatican.

Whitehall officials said the Palestinians were now being asked to refrain from applying for membership of the international criminal court or the international court of justice, which could both be used to pursue war crimes charges or other legal claims against Israel.

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/27/uk-ready-to-back-palestine-statehood



My word.

PB
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