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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 08:39 AM
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"How Not To Rehabilitate a Failed President"


How not to rehabilitate a failed president

By Steve Benen - Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

Associated Press

A confluence of events appears to have created a curious new talking point on the right. With former President George W. Bush's library set to open, and last week's Boston Marathon bombing still very much on the public's mind, Republican pundits see value in trying to tie the two together in the hopes of improving Bush's reputation.

The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin, for example, published this gem yesterday:

"Unlike Obama's tenure, there was no successful attack on the homeland after 9/11."

A few hours later on Fox News, Eric Bolling echoed the sentiment.

"I will tell one thing, from you 9/12/01 until the time President Obama raised his right hand January of '09, the man kept us safe. And there -- you certainly can't say that since President Obama has taken the oath of office."

- snip -

As for the substance, there are three main angles to keep in mind. The first is the bizarre assertion that President Obama somehow deserves the blame for the bomb that killed three people in Boston last week, because he didn't "keep up safe." The argument reflects a child-like understanding of national security and is absurd on its face.

Second, though the right likes to pretend otherwise, there were terrorist attacks during Bush/Cheney's tenure -- after 9/11 -- that shouldn't be ignored. Indeed, it's a little tiresome to hear Republicans argue in effect, "Other than the deadly anthrax attacks, the attack against El Al ticket counter at LAX, the terrorist attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, Bush's inability to capture those responsible for 9/11, waging an unnecessary war that inspired more terrorists, and the success terrorists had in exploiting Bush's international unpopularity, the former president's record on counter-terrorism was awesome."

And finally, I'm not sure Republican pundits have fully thought through the wisdom of the "other than 9/11" argument.

Bush received an intelligence briefing on Aug. 6, 2001, at which he was handed a memo with an important headline: "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S."

- snip -

For Rubin and Bolling, the response is, in effect, "Yeah, but other than that, he kept us safe." The problem, of course, is that's roughly the equivalent of saying other than that iceberg, the Titanic had a pleasant voyage. Other than that one time, Pompeii didn't have to worry about the nearby volcano. Other than Booth, Lincoln enjoyed his evening at Ford's Theater.


CBS : Investigators believe the Boston bombing suspects financed their plot through drug sales

@CBSNews: UPDATE: @CBSNews has learned that investigators believe the Boston bombing suspects helped finance their plot through drug sales.

@CBSNews: MORE: Sources say that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was unemployed, made money selling marijuana.

Breaking: Rhode Island On Way to Be 10th state to Allow Gay Marriage (After State Senate Approval)

Source: Associated Press



PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) Rhode Island senators put the state on the path Wednesday to becoming the 10th state to allow same-sex couples to marry.

The gay marriage legislation easily passed the Rhode Island House in January, and the Senate vote was seen as the true test. The bill passed 26-12, and now returns to the House for a largely procedural vote, likely next week, before going to Gov. Lincoln Chafee, who supports the legislation.

"This is a historic piece of legislation, one that literally has been in the works for more than 20 years," said Sen. Donna Nesselbush, D-Pawtucket, the bill's main sponsor in the Senate. "This is something that undoes centuries of discrimination against gay and lesbian couples."

While the other five New England states already allow gay marriage, heavily Catholic Rhode Island has been a hold-out. Supporters this year mounted an aggressive and coordinated campaign that included organized labor, religious leaders, business owners and leaders including Chafee and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ri-lawmakers-vote-gay-marriage

Boston Bomb Suspect's Name Was on Classified Government Watch Lists

Source: Retuers

Boston bomb suspect's name was on classified government watch lists

April 24, 2013 12:53pm

WASHINGTON - The name of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was listed on the U.S. government's highly classified central database of people it views as potential terrorists. But the list is so vast that this did not mean authorities automatically kept close tabs on him, sources close to the bombing investigation said on Tuesday.

- snip -

The sources said Tamerlan Tsarnaev's details were entered into TIDE, a database maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center, because the FBI spoke to him in 2011 while investigating a Russian tip-off that he had become a follower of radical Islamists.

The FBI found nothing to suggest he was an active threat, but all the same placed his name on the "Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment" list. The FBI has not said what it did find about Tsarnaev.

But the database, which holds more than half a million names, is only a repository of information on people who U.S. authorities see as known, suspected or potential terrorists from around the world.

Read more: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/305336/news/world/boston-bomb-suspect-s-name-was-on-classified-government-watch-lists

Rheinhart & Rogoff (sp? whatever) Debunker Tom Herndon on Colbert Now.

Heads Up.

French parliament adopts bill legalizing gay marriage and adoptions

Source: Reuters

French parliament approves same-sex marriage law

Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:17am EDT

PARIS (Reuters) - French parliament approved a law allowing same-sex couples to marry and to adopt children on Tuesday, a flagship reform pledge by President Francois Hollande which sparked often violent street protests and a rise in homophobic attacks.

Lawmakers in the lower house National Assembly, where Hollande's Socialists have an absolute majority, passed the bill by 331 votes for and 225 against, making France the 14th country in the world to allow same-sex couples to wed.

(Reporting By Nicholas Vinocur; editing by Mark John)

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE93K08B20130423

Utah Elementary School Evacuated After Pipe Bomb Found

Source: Reuters

Utah elementary school evacuated after pipe bomb found
By Laura Zuckerman
Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:36pm EDT

By Laura Zuckerman

(Reuters) - Nearly 800 students and teachers were evacuated from a suburban Utah elementary school on Monday after a custodian found a pipe bomb on the roof, a school official said.

No one was injured and police detonated the bomb using a high-pressure water cannon at Mountain View Elementary School in Layton, about 25 miles north of Salt Lake City, said school district spokesman Christopher Williams.

The custodian removed the bomb from the roof and then alerted the school principal, who called police, said Williams.

"Why he did that and where he took it, we're not sure. He put himself in a dangerous situation," Williams said of the custodian.

Read more: Link to source

Officials: Bombing Suspect Says He and Brother Acted Alone

Source: CBS News

Officials: Bombing suspect says he and brother acted alone

April 22, 2013

BOSTON Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told authorities from his hospital bed Monday that he and his brother acted alone in last week's attack, officials said.

CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reports that Tsarnaev, injured from the manhunt that led to his capture, is cooperating with authorities. He is communicating via writing because a gunshot wound to his neck rendered him unable to speak. Two officials also told The Associated Press that evidence indicated he and the second suspect, his brother, were motivated by religion.

On Monday Tsarneav was indicted with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill, and he could face the death penalty if convicted. A magistrate judge went to the hospital to conduct the initial appearance, an official at the Federal Courthouse in Boston confirmed to CBS News.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57580837/officials-bombing-suspect-says-he-and-brother-acted-alone

Hospitalized Suspect in Boston Charged (Sealed), Will Not Be Charged as Enemy Combatant

Source: Reuters

@CBSNews: JUST IN: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev arraigned in his hospital bed earlier today, charges have been sealed until 1st court appearance.

@CBSNews: UPDATE: At WH Press briefing, Jay Carney says Boston bombing suspect will not be tried as an enemy combatant.

@Reuters: Boston bombing suspect not treated as "enemy combatant," will be prosecuted via criminal justice system: White House #breaking

Hospitalized suspect in Boston bombings charged

Scott Malone, Reuters
12:27 pm, April 22, 2013

BOSTON (Reuters) -U.S. officials brought charges against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzohkhar Tsarnaev while he lay in his hospital bed on Monday, a federal court official said. "There has been a sealed complaint filed," said Gary Wente, circuit executive for the U.S. Courts for the First Circuit, who said that a magistrate judge was present when Tsarnaev was charged at his bed in Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital.

The White House has said that the suspect will not be treated as an "enemy combatant", and instead will be prosecuted through the U.S. criminal justice system.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, an ethnic Chechen college student suspected of carrying out the attacks with his older brother, lay in a Boston hospital under armed guard. He was unable to speak after he was captured with throat injuries sustained during shoot-outs with police.

Police declined to comment on media reports he was communicating with authorities in writing.

"There have been widely published reports that he is (communicating silently). I wouldn't dispute that, but I don't have any specific information on that myself," Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis told CNN. "We're very anxious to talk to him and the investigators will be doing that as soon as possible."

Read more: http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-75511848/

Divinyls Singer Chrissy Amphlett Dies (Sang "I Touch Myself")


Divinyls singer Chrissy Amphlett dies

Updated 20 minutes ago

Australian rock legend Chrissy Amphlett, best known as the singer of the Divinyls, has died age 53.

Media reports say she was surrounded by family and friends at her New York home when she died.

Amphlett, who grew up in Geelong, Victoria, lived in New York with her husband, former Divinyls drummer Charley Drayton.

The cause of her death is not yet clear. In 2010 she revealed she had breast cancer but in early 2011 she said she was in remission. In 2007 the charismatic frontwoman also revealed a battle against multiple sclerosis.


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