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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 46,141

Journal Archives

Small Problem With Rubio Calling For Obama To Fire Commissioner Of IRS

"It is clear the IRS cannot operate with even a shred of the American people’s confidence under the current leadership," Rubio wrote in a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. "Therefore, I strongly urge that you and President Obama demand the IRS Commissioner’s resignation, effectively immediately. No government agency that has behaved in such a manner can possibly instill any faith and respect from the American public."

Script Needs a Rewrite :

Marco Rubio just called on President Obama to fire the Commissioner of the IRS. Small problem: the Commissioner in place when all this happened was Bush appointee Douglas H. Shulman. He left just after the November electing and there’s an acting Commissioner currently in place.

- Josh Marshall


St. Paul mayor renames Wabasha Bridge the "Freedom to Marry Bridge" in anticipation of today's vote


Let's Hear What The White Guy Thinks - Cable news diversity as bad as expected.

Evening Cable News Guests Were Overwhelmingly White And Male




Sunday, May 12, 2013


What's ironic about the GOP's latest scandalmongering effort -- raising a ruckus about IRS scrutiny of tea party groups' tax-exempt status -- is that the GOP is using this scandal to help nullify Barack Obama's reelection, while not turning to the tea party movement itself to do the nullification work, as the party did four years ago.

The GOP in 2013 has the same goals it had in 2009 -- to deny Obama the opportunity to govern and fire up the base in the two years leading up to midterms -- but the party has decided that it's going to accomplish this goal using insiders only; it's long since stopped encouraging teabaggers to take to the streets. The party and its insider allies are going to pursue a "This is worse than Watergate!" Beltway strategy instead. Hence this scandal, and hence Benghazi. The focus will be congressional hearings, not town meetings. No heartlanders in tricorner hats need apply.

In 2009, the GOP felt it needed the fig leaf of a seemingly independent, grassroots movement to block Obama initiatives and gin up outrage in advance of midterm elections -- presumably because Obama was just taking office and nothing had happened on his watch that could be ginned up into a scandal suitable for hearings and impeachment threats. So GOP-friendly groups financed and promoted the tea party movement. But once the 2010 midterms were over, the movement had outlived its usefulness. Going into 2012, the GOP wanted to motivate swing voters, not just the base (a task it still hasn't quite figured out how to accomplish). The GOP and its media wing (Fox News, talk radio, blogs) sidelined the tea party, with predictable results: turnout at recent tea party rallies has been embarrassingly low.

Now might seem to be the time to bring the teabaggers back. But now President Obama has been in office for four years, so there's a record to pick apart. As a result, the GOP has decided that this year's teabaggers are going to be members of Congress.

If Hillary Clinton or some other Democrat is elected in 2016, maybe the GOP will bring the teabaggers out of mothballs -- the new president won't have done anything potentially impeachable yet, so heartlanders angry about the new White House agenda might be needed to nullify the 2016 election results. But for now, the tea party movement is sidelined by the GOP even as the GOP identifies it as a victim.


Don't You Know Who We Are?

Bush and His Aides Made 935 False Statements about Iraq In the 2 Years After 9/11

Given the Republican obsession with Benghazi talking points, it’s time for a very specific flashback. In 2008, two non partisan groups released a study that determined that President Bush and his top aides made 935 false statements about the security risk posed by Iraq in the two years following September 11, 2001.

These statements were part of a deliberate campaign, according to the study conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and the Fund for Independence in Journalism. They concluded, “The false statements dramatically increased in August 2002, with congressional consideration of a war resolution, then escalated through the mid-term elections and spiked even higher from January 2003 to the eve of the invasion… In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003.”


An investigation into the administration’s use of the intelligence was delayed for three years due to Republicans claiming it wasn’t as important (Senator Roberts, R-KS) as other pending items. Phase two of the investigation was released in 2007, but not all of the report was released. It determined, “our Committee has concluded that the Administration made significant claims that were not supported by the intelligence.”



NYT Editorial: How Austerity Kills---Fiscal policy, it turns out, can be a matter of life or death…

How Austerity Kills
Published: May 12, 2013


…The correlation between unemployment and suicide has been observed since the 19th century. People looking for work are about twice as likely to end their lives as those who have jobs.
In the United States, the suicide rate, which had slowly risen since 2000, jumped during and after the 2007-9 recession. In a new book, we estimate that 4,750 “excess” suicides — that is, deaths above what pre-existing trends would predict — occurred from 2007 to 2010. Rates of such suicides were significantly greater in the states that experienced the greatest job losses. Deaths from suicide overtook deaths from car crashes in 2009.

If suicides were an unavoidable consequence of economic downturns, this would just be another story about the human toll of the Great Recession. But it isn’t so. Countries that slashed health and social protection budgets, like Greece, Italy and Spain, have seen starkly worse health outcomes than nations like Germany, Iceland and Sweden, which maintained their social safety nets and opted for stimulus over austerity…

…As scholars of public health and political economy, we have watched aghast as politicians endlessly debate debts and deficits with little regard for the human costs of their decisions... ...What we’ve found is that people do not inevitably get sick or die because the economy has faltered. Fiscal policy, it turns out, can be a matter of life or death…


One need not be an economic ideologue — we certainly aren’t — to recognize that the price of austerity can be calculated in human lives. We are not exonerating poor policy decisions of the past or calling for universal debt forgiveness. It’s up to policy makers in America and Europe to figure out the right mix of fiscal and monetary policy. What we have found is that austerity — severe, immediate, indiscriminate cuts to social and health spending — is not only self-defeating, but fatal.


Planet Earth Is Blue & There Is Nothing Left To Do!

Chris Hadfield sings Bowie's 'Space Oddity' in ISS farewell

In one of the coolest zero-g cover songs ever recorded, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield does a heartfelt rendition of David Bowie's classic before returning to Earth.



loved it,
did i say i loved it?


Gates: Some Benghazi critics have "cartoonish" view of military capability

Source: CBS

Gates: Some Benghazi critics have "cartoonish" view of military capability


Gates, a Republican who was appointed by then-President George W. Bush in 2006 and agreed to stay through more than two years of President Obama's first term, repeatedly declined to criticize the policymakers who devised a response to the September 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens.

"Frankly, had I been in the job at the time, I think my decisions would have been just as theirs were," said Gates, now the chancellor of the College of William and Mary.

"We don't have a ready force standing by in the Middle East, and so getting somebody there in a timely way would have been very difficult, if not impossible." he explained.


"It's sort of a cartoonish impression of military capabilities and military forces," he said. "The one thing that our forces are noted for is planning and preparation before we send people in harm's way, and there just wasn't time to do that."

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3460_162-57584087/gates-some-benghazi-critics-have-cartoonish-view-of-military-capability/
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