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The Boehner-Bibi Backfire-Eugene Robinson: Note to all foreign leaders-We have 1 president at a time

The Boehner-Bibi Backfire

Posted on Jan 30, 2015

By Eugene Robinson

Note to all foreign leaders: We have one president at a time. Americans respected this fact when George W. Bush was president, for better or worse. And we respect it now.

The speech episode borders on farce, but the larger debate over Iran’s nuclear ambitions could not be more serious. The central issue is whether a negotiated deal will leave Iran with the theoretical capability to build a nuclear bomb if it were to decide to do so. No amount of diplomatic legerdemain, it seems to me, can avoid answering this question with a simple yes or no.

If you say no, as Netanyahu does, then Iran must be stripped of all ability to enrich uranium. It is easy to understand why the Israeli government sees a nuclear-capable Iran as an existential threat—and also worries that other regional powers concerned about Iran’s growing influence, such as Saudi Arabia, might decide that they, too, need to get into the nuclear game.

Iran insists, however, that it has the right to a peaceful nuclear program. The government in Tehran is unlikely to give up that right but may be willing to limit itself to low-grade enrichment that produces material incapable of being used in a bomb. At least some infrastructure for high-grade enrichment would remain, however—and so would some risk of an eventual Iranian bomb.

Is this good enough? If the alternative is war with Iran, it may have to be.

the rest:

MATT TAIBI: While Deflategate and Chaitgate Rage, America Quietly Robs Its Elderly

While Deflategate and Chaitgate Rage, America Quietly Robs Its Elderly

A wild new report on the wide-scale scamming of ordinary investors has arrived

By Matt Taibbi | January 29, 2015

Taibbi reports on a memo from Jason Furman, Chairman of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisors, detailing the stings and errors average investors fall prey to from their brokers.

“The current regulatory environment," Furman explains in the document obtained by Bloomberg, "creates perverse incentives that ultimately cost savers billions of dollars a year.”

"For instance," Taibbi writes,

"it might surprise a lot of Americans to know that brokers handling retirement funds aren't required by law to act in the best interests of their clients." In nontechnical jargon, you might call this a "red flag." When brokers "churn" accounts, performing needless trades to rack up fees, long-term investors can lose as much as 1-3 years worth of retirement withdrawals.

Taibbi continues:

The Obama administration is proposing to fix the problem by changing the rules and imposing a fiduciary duty standard on brokers, forcing them to act in their clients' best interests. If this Labor Department proposal ever gets past the 50 yard line, expect the financial services lobby to carpet-bomb Washington with studies showing that apart from nuclear winter or inviting al-Qaeda to occupy the White House, nothing could be worse for America than forcing brokers to act in the best interests of their clients.

Whether the solution is a new law or simply raising awareness, beware of the Ferris wheel…

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/while-deflategate-and-chaitgate-rage-america-quietly-robs-its-elderly-20150129#ixzz3QJaUjAR2
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

via: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2015/01/stings-and-errors-of-outrageous-brokers.html
Bloomberg has more details: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-22/white-house-aide-calls-for-stricter-broker-rules-on-401-k-plans
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/while-deflategate-and-chaitgate-rage-america-quietly-robs-its-elderly-20150129#ixzz3QJZJAnFY
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

Sen. Sanders Presents $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill as Job Creator

Sanders says 13 million jobs could be created if Congress taxed the wealthy and corporate tax havens, but taxing the wealthy is a non-starter for Republicans - January 29, 2015

SANDERS: When you have hedge fund managers in this country paying a lower effective tax rate than firemen or nurses, I think there are progressive ways to raise the money.

In Washington, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is trying to do something about it.

BERNIE SANDERS, U.S. SENATOR (I-VT): And what I could tell you: if you turn your back on infrastructure and you don't invest, do you know what happens? It gets worse. It doesn't get better all by itself.

To make infrastructure better, Sanders introduced the Rebuild America Act. The bill would invest $1 trillion over five years and provide 13 million living wage jobs, an issue he says should get support no matter where you stand on the political spectrum.

SANDERS: So what we hope to do--and I'm so pleased that we have different organizations here--is to kind of rally the American people to have the Congress do what they know needs to be done. Now, where the debate will take place, how big should it be, yeah, this is pretty big, but I think America should lead. We should have big ideas. We should put millions of people back to work. Other people may want to be doing this thing in a smaller way. How do you pay for it? That's going to be a real debate.

MORE of the interview here:

Luckovich Cartoon: Brutal Takedown Of Sarah Palin

Boehner: I Told Ambassador Not to Tell Obama

I had not seen this statement put up by Speaker Boehner's office trying to explain away the Boehner-Netanyahu speech debacle. For starters, the statement appears geared to suggest that reports questioning the incident are part of some sort of anti-Semitic conspiracy theory - claims that the Israelis "orchestrated" the invitation. But to the point, the statement has Boehner instructing Amb. Dermer not to tell the White House what they were agreeing to.

"The Speaker made it clear (to Amb. Dermer) that it was his prerogative to inform the White House. We then went about identifying potential dates for an address. On the afternoon of January 20, the day of the State of the Union, we informed Ambassador Dermer of our intent to issue the invitation and our intent to notify the administration of the invitation. He accepted and acknowledged our intent to do so."

On the off chance this is true, this makes the whole thing only more comical. The Ambassador is presumably a grown up and knows about diplomatic protocol and how to be an Ambassador. He really lets himself be drawn into this sort of skullduggery and trickterism within an allied government, his government's prime international protector? Really? So he allows himself to be drawn into what is - take your pick - a dispute between political parties in the host country or between branches of government?


Well Duh: States With Most Gun Deaths Have High Gun Ownership And Weak Gun Laws, Report Shows

States With Most Gun Deaths Have High Gun Ownership And Weak Gun Laws, Report Shows

Alaska has the highest rate of gun fatalities in the country, according to data from 2013. The state saw 19.59 deaths per 100,000 people, which is significantly above the national average of 10.64 deaths per 100,000. VPC's report indicates that Alaska also has the country's third-highest rate of gun ownership, with firearms in 60.6% percent of households.

The study found a similar correlation between gun ownership and gun deaths in the rest of the country. Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Wyoming, the states that followed Alaska in terms of highest gun death rates, had some of the nation's largest percentages of households owning guns.

VPC also noted that states with weaker gun laws tend to see higher gun death rates. All five states named above have gun restrictions that the report's authors describe as "lax."


States with the lowest gun death rates -- the top three were Hawaii, Massachusetts and New York -- were found to have strong gun laws as well as low rates of gun ownership. A separate 2013 analysis from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence similarly found that these three states were among those with the strongest gun restrictions in place.

the rest:

VICIOUS Christian protesters shout down Muslim kids singing National Anthem at Texas rally

Angry conservative protesters disrupted the Texas Muslim Capitol Day celebration in Austin on Thursday, repeatedly shouting “No Sharia” and screaming “Go home.”

The celebration was organized by the Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and according to their website, the event was “an opportunity for community members to learn about the democratic political process and how to be an advocate for important issues.” The group largely consisted of Muslim students and children, along with faith leaders.

The event was protested by a group calling itself the Patriot Defense Foundation Inc., who claimed that CAIR sought to create a climate in which it would be able to “take over” America, destroying it for “Americans (who) believe in the Constitution and what this country was founded on.”

Local reporters said protesters shouted “Islam is a lie!” at Muslim children when they were singing the National Anthem. One protester reportedly shouted: “There’s no ‘twilight’ in Sharia!”



How The World Would Look If Countries Were Scaled To Population Size (IMAGE)


Bill Would Allow Texas Teachers To Kill Students & Not Be Liable

People who are concerned about the use of excessive force by law enforcement may have to deal with another fatal can of worms. If Texas state Rep. Dan Flynn (R) gets his way, teachers will have the right to use deadly force against students in Texas classrooms, in the near future.

The Lone Star State already permits teachers to have firearms in the classroom, but H.B. 868, also known as the Teacher’s Protection Act, would authorize instructors to use “force or deadly force on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored event in defense of the educator’s person or in defense of students of the school that employs the educator.” Instructors would also have the right to use deadly force “in defense of property of the school that employs the educator.” Moreover, civil immunity would be granted to those who use deadly force, meaning they would not be liable for the injury or death of student.


Jon Stewart Endorses "Johnny Actual Cash": "Let's Just Have Money Run For President Already"

As Jon Stewart pointed out on "The Daily Show" Wednesday night, the billionaire Koch brothers plan to spend $889 million on the 2016 elections.

“Now, you may think to yourself, that’s fucked up because aren’t those guys going to want something in exchange for spending the gross national product of many countries on one election cycle?” Stewart said. “And is the thing that they want control over the levers of our democracy, or would they settle for handjobs?”

But with nearly a billion dollars being put into the effort, why even have a candidate at all? Stewart suggested that maybe the money can run.

“Give it up for the next president of the United States: Johnny Actual Cash,” Stewart said.

VIDEO & MORE:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/29/jon-stewart-johnny-actual-cash_n_6568986.html
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