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Member since: Tue May 13, 2008, 03:07 AM
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TREASONOUS House Republicans Are GIDDY WITH JOY Over SHUTTING DOWN The Government

It is natural for human beings to feel good for someone they know is excited and happy they are finally achieving a long sought-after goal, especially after years of hard work and perseverance. It is a sad fact of life, though, that throughout history there have been human beings that get excited and enjoy deliberately causing pain and suffering to other people. Yesterday House Republicans were absolutely giddy with joy they were finally achieving their two-and-a-half year goal of shutting down the government. It is highly probable that they are particularly excited their hard work will affect millions of American citizens and a laundry list of government employees enumerated in a 2011 contingency plan the last time Republicans tried to shut down the government.

There cannot be many Americans left who are unaware that Republicans love causing harm to the American people, the economy, and the government they have campaigned vehemently against over the past two years, and few should be surprised they are excited they are close to shutting it down. In fact, after House Republicans voted to shut down the government unless Democrats acquiesce to Republican ransom demands unrelated to government funding, teabagger Michele Bachmann said “We’re very excited! It’s exactly what we wanted, and we got it.” Texas Republican congressman John Abney Culberson clapped his hands and celebrated the upcoming government shutdown Republicans lusted after for two-and-a-half years and could barely contain himself as he said, “It’s wonderful! We’re 100 percent united.” It is difficult to imagine taxpayer-funded congressional Republicans being so excited over shutting down the government of the people they were elected to serve, but there is no accounting for what makes Republicans happy.

No American should be surprised Republicans are tickled they get to wreak more havoc on America because just a little over two years ago House Speaker John Boehner said “I’m pretty happy I got what I wanted” after causing a credit downgrade, killing a million jobs, and adding $18.9 billion to the nation’s deficit besides setting the stage for sequestration and indiscriminate cuts to the defense of the United States. Boehner and Republicans were very pleased with themselves for keeping their sequester cuts in place in their continuing resolution that will kill 750,000 jobs before year’s end and about a million more next year as well as ravaging jobs in the defense industry crucial to the national security of the United States. One wonders just how much Republican joy is because they are harming the United States economy and government during a time of war, or if the 66% of Republican and 79% of teabagger voters are part of the happy conspiracy supporting House Republicans deliberate plot to weaken the United States while Americans are fighting a war in Afghanistan.

According to Article III, Section 3 of the United States Constitution,

“any person who levies war against the United States or adheres to its enemies by giving them Aid and Comfort has committed treason within the meaning of the Constitution. The term aid and comfort refers to any act that manifests a betrayal of allegiance to the United States, such as furnishing enemies with arms, troops, transportation, shelter, or classified information.”

Republicans deliberately harmed the U.S. economy in the 2011 debt ceiling crisis, and the resulting sequestration cuts began affecting the defense industry on March 1 2013. Coupled with using extortion for political gain, the Republican plot to shut down the government must be regarded as one part of several subversive acts to weaken the power of the United States to attack or resist its enemies. The Treason Clause is particularly applicable to Republicans because they were, and are, weakening the United States during a time America is at war in Afghanistan.



LYIN' CRUZ: I DIDN'T Compare Defund Obamacare Skeptics To NAZI APPEASERS

Well, lets see what he actually said.......

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) asserted Sunday that he didn't compare those skeptical of his defund Obamacare effort to Nazi appeasers during his 21-hour quasi-filibuster last week.

"The premise of your question isn't true. I didn't make that comparison," Cruz said when asked by Meet The Press host David Gregory if he regretted the comments. "I went through the centuries, when over and over again, when facing big challenges, Americans have risen to the challenge. At every stage, there were the voices of conventional wisdom that said this cannot be done, and every time, Americans have risen to the challenge."

Here's what Cruz said Tuesday during his floor speech, as TPM reported.

"If you go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany," Cruz said. "Look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain, who told the British people, 'Accept the Nazis. Yes, they'll dominate the continent of Europe but that's not our problem. Let's appease them. Why? Because it can't be done. We can't possibly stand against them.'"

"And in America there were voices that listened to that," he continued. "I suspect those same pundits who say it can't be done, if it had been in the 1940s we would have been listening to them. Then they would have made television. They would have gotten beyond carrier pigeons and beyond letters and they would have been on TV and they would have been saying, 'You cannot defeat the Germans.'"



WHAAAAAAA: Alan Simpson Describes TENSE EXCHANGE With Lynne Cheney

Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) detailed his side of the story of a confrontation with Lynne Cheney, mother of Republican Liz Cheney, over Simpson's ongoing support of Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.). Liz Cheney is running for Enzi's Senate seat.

In a letter to the Cody Enterprise of Wyoming, Simpson describes how Lynne Cheney repeatedly told him to "shut up" about his support for Enzi instead of Liz Cheney. "All during those intervening years we counseled together, visited, enjoyed each other, collaborated, all hopefully for the benefit of the state and the country." And then Lynne Cheney said, "Oh, I’ve heard enough of that and I don’t want to hear anymore. I just want to tell you something, "Shut up – just shut up – shut up." Three times,"" Simpson writes. "I wandered off – stunned. I went back to my table, told my family (who were my guests) what had occurred. They were also shocked."

The account is the latest development in an ongoing and increasingly public feud between the Cheneys and Simpson, an influential figure in Wyoming, over his support of Enzi. Simpson and former Vice President Dick Cheney are longtime friends. After a report in the Casper Star-Tribune said that Lynne Cheney told Simpson to shut up, Liz Cheney's campaign said the account was false. "That simply did not happen," the Cheney campaign said of the interaction in a statement. "And that twisted comment is one damn bald-faced lie and I have had a belly full of it! I have never been called a liar before and it sure as hell won’t work this time," Simpson also wrote in the letter.

Read Simpson's entire letter in the Enterprise below:

Then (Lynne Cheney) said, “How could you forget the little eight-year-old girl (Liz) who campaigned with us and for you in 1978? How could you not support her?” I said, “You don’t understand. I’ve known Mike Enzi for over 35 years ...

... And then Lynne Cheney said, “Oh, I’ve heard enough of that and I don’t want to hear anymore. I just want to tell you something, ‘Shut up – just shut up – shut up.’” Three times. I wandered off – stunned.





Republican Voters NOW SEE Ted Cruz as THEIR LEADER

A Public Policy Polling national poll released today finds that among Republican voters Ted Cruz is now the favorite GOP candidate for President in 2016. The same poll also found that by lopsided margins, Republican voters trust Ted Cruz more than either Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell or House Speaker John Boehner. While Cruz’s faux filibuster stunt was rebuked by fellow GOP Senators, it appears to have won him the hearts and minds of the tea-stained Republican electorate, dominated as it is by staunchly conservative voters. Cruz now leads the GOP field for President according to the PPP poll, garnering 20 percent to 17 percent for runner up Rand Paul. Christ Christie polls at 14 percent followed by Jeb Bush (11 percent), Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan (each at 10 percent). Republicans who identify themselves as “very conservative” support Cruz by a 34 to 17 percent margin over his nearest challenger, Rand Paul.

Perhaps more importantly, Republican voters trust Ted Cruz over Mitch McConnell by a gaudy 49 to 13 margin, and they trust Cruz over John Boehner by a 51 to 20 percent spread. It is clear that the Republican leadership in Congress is distrusted even by Republican voters and that Ted Cruz is earning popularity by challenging the GOP leadership. It is also clear that Republican primary voters have embraced Ted Cruz’s extreme views and his hard line politics and that they have little interest in compromise or effective governance. The shut it down mentality has become a popular position within the GOP voting base, meaning we can expect more brinkmanship legislative stunts by republican politicians trying to curry favor with the far right base that now makes up a major and influential portion of the GOP electorate.

In 2010, Republican leaders did all they could to fire up angry voters to attend town meetings and disrupt proceedings in opposition to the Affordable Care Act and other policies supported by Barack Obama and House Democrats. They helped served up heated rhetoric to gin up aroused conservative voters in order to get them to vote out liberal members of Congress. Of course their overblown rhetoric planted the seeds that helped form the modern Tea Party movement, and now that movement threatens to consume the very Republican leadership that helped create it. Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have lost control of the Republican Party and handed its future to hardcore ideologues like Texas Senator Ted Cruz. While Cruz is increasingly popular with Republican voters, his appeal with Independents and Democrats is very thin. Republicans may like his uncompromising rhetoric and his arrogant in your face style, but in a national general election choosing Ted Cruz as the party’s nominee will be a recipe for political disaster. The GOP voters should be warned that they will lose if they go with Cruz. However, since they are not much interested in reality based reasoning, those warnings will almost certainly fall on deaf ears.


RUSSIAN GAYS Should Sport Coke, McDonald’s and Visa LOGOS While Being ARRESTED


If Russian gay activists want to get the attention of, and put pressure on, the Putin government, then they should start sporting the names of the Olympic sponsors as they get arrested. Money makes the Olympics go ’round. That’s why the International Olympic Committee came out yesterday and said that Russia’s draconian new anti-gay law doesn’t violate the Olympic charter. Had the IOC said otherwise, it would have jeopardized their games, and more importantly, their corporate sponsorships, and their money. And money is the root of these games in the modern era. It’s not about the world coming together in peace and harmony, or we wouldn’t be holding the games in such unpeaceful and inharmonious countries as China and Russia. The Olympic Games exist to promote the Olympic Games, their sponsors, and the “respectability” of an increasingly disreputable cast of host countries.

And the IOC won’t care about Russia’s horrific record on human rights, and the Russian government won’t care, unless we hit them where it hurts: the Money.


How do you scare the sponsors? Plaster their names all over yourself – on signs, across your clothing, even across your forehead – during your next protest, during every protest, in Russia and abroad. (Everyone understands that protesting in Russia is dangerous. But to the extent that activists are already planning protests, they should emblazon those protests with the names and logos of the top Olympic corporate sponsors.) Take this iconic image below of a gay pride protest being broken up in Moscow in 2011, or the one below it of a protester at the Sochi Olympics headquarters the other day. The protesters were not sporting any logos, but what if they were? I’ve taken the first photo, sans logo, and added a Coca-Cola logo to it – Coke is one of the Sochi Olympics sponsors. Imagine if LGBT activists had been dragged away by Russian police with the words “Coca-Cola” emblazoned across their chest, like in the doctored photo below? Imagine how much more newsworthy this photo would have been? And imagine the damage to the Coke brand? I did the same with the second photo, adding Visa to the hat of the woman as she’s being dragged away from the Sochi Olympics headquarters. Imagine the power of that image.

You want the Olympic sponsors’ attention? You want Vladimir Putin’s attention? You want the attention of the world focused like a laser beam on Russia’s anti-gay and anti-trans crackdown? Then Coke is it. And make sure Visa is everywhere you want to be arrested.


Bernie Sanders RANT On 'RIGHT-WING EXTREMISTS' For Shutdown Threat



Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Friday tore into what he called “extreme right-wing Republicans” for threatening to shut down the government and default on the nation’s debts if President Barack Obama’s health care reform law was not defunded. In a speech on the Senate floor, Sanders said that he welcomed a discussion about how to improve the health care law.

“But one thing is certain, you do not hold the American people hostage by threatening to shut down the government or for the first time in the history of our country not paying our bills and bringing this country and perhaps the entire world into a major financial crisis,” he explained. “There was an election a year ago on this very issue — one of the major issues in the campaign — and the Republican candidate said, ‘Let’s defund Obamacare.’ He lost the election! Republicans lost seats in the Senate, they lost seats in the House! And that’s what democracy is about.”

“What democracy is not about is a handful of members of the House of Representatives, extreme right-wing Republicans, saying, ‘If we do not get our way, we are prepared to punish tens of millions of Americans. Yeah, we lost the election. Yeah, we lost seats in the House and Senate. But we are prepared to bring this government down. We are prepared to cause, perhaps, a major global financial crisis unless we get our way!’”



NSA Offers DETAILS On 'LOVEINT' (That's Spying On Lovers, Exes)

One NSA worker did it "out of curiosity," another for "practice." Agency's letter in response to query from US senator gives glimpse of romance-related -- and other -- misuses of surveillance system.

Why bother with boyfriend-vetting sites like ReportYourEx.com when you've got the ginormous spying resources of the NSA at your fingertips?That seems to have been the thinking of at least one intelligence worker with the US National Security Agency, who, an NSA letter suggests, regularly tapped the agency's now-infamous phone-data collection program to screen people she met at cocktail parties and the like. The overseas staffer "tasked the telephone number of her foreign-national boyfriend and other foreign nationals and...reviewed the resultant collection," the letter reads, adding later: "The subject asserted that it was her practice to enter foreign national phone numbers she obtained in social settings into the [NSA] system to ensure that she was not talking to 'shady characters.'"

These intriguing, fill-in-the-rest-of-the-narrative-as-you-see-fit details come in a just-published letter from NSA Inspector General George Ellard to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member in the Senate Judiciary Committee.In August, Grassley asked Ellard to provide details on instances documented by the inspector general's office in which NSA personnel "intentionally and willfully abused their surveillance authorities." The request followed media reports of workers with access to NSA surveillance setups spying on their lovers. The practice reportedly has its own spycraft nickname: "LOVEINT," a play on acronyms like SIGINT (for the sort of signals, or communications, intelligence that's handled by the NSA) and HUMINT (for the human intelligence that's carried out by agencies like the CIA).

Grassley's request also followed various other revelations of NSA missteps that have surfaced since June, when former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden leaked a trove of documents that reveal the extent of the shadowy agency's surveillance systems.

One user of the NSA's system queried six e-mail addresses that belonged to his ex, later testifying, as the newly released letter paraphrases it, that "he wanted to practice on the system and had decided to use his former girlfriend's" addresses to do so.

Ellard's response to Grassley opens by saying that "Since 1 January 2003, there have been 12 substantiated instances of intentional misuse of the signals intelligence (SIGINT) authorities" of the NSA. (An internal NSA audit leaked by Snowden showed many other incidents of various types -- an average of seven per day -- though these were, the agency says, mainly inadvertent.) From there, the Ellard letter gives brief rundowns of those dozen cases. Here's Ellard's letter in full, should you want to dream up further details and construct a cloak-and-dagger melodrama or two (or simply reflect on the powerful pull of jealousy, and curiosity):

NSA letter on LOVEINT and intentional misuse of NSA authority





(CNN) - The Senate voted on Friday to overcome a filibuster led by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas against a spending measure that would avoid a government shutdown next week, clearing the way for upcoming votes by Democrats to restore funding for Obamacare in the plan and send it back to the House.


Senate rejects Ted Cruz strategy 79-19; cloture invoked, Obamacare funding restored

WASHINGTON — The Senate issued a stern and unmistakable rebuke to Sen. Ted Cruz and his fellow tea partiers who wanted to hold the federal budget hostage as leverage to defund Obamacare. The 79-19 vote on cloture fell far short of the uprising Cruz had sought. Anything 60 or over was sufficient to cut off debate and keep the process moving. “This is an ongoing process and we’ll see how it concludes at the end of the process,” Cruz said, putting a game face on the defeat.

The cloture vote cleared the way for the Senate to restore funding for the health care law before sending the stopgap spending plan back to the House. That vote was 54-44, along party lines. The vote on final passage was the same, and on those, Cruz, fellow Texas Sen. John Cornyn and the rest of the Republicans were on the same (losing) side.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., denounced Cruz as one of the “tea party anarchists” — “adolescents desperate for any attention they can find.” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., lauded the “rational” Republicans — as opposed to Cruz — who did what they needed to try and avert a shutdown.

Congress is racing against a midnight Monday deadline, when the current federal budget year ends. The House will work on the bill Saturday.




GOP Furious: 1993 Voter Registration Act GUARANTEES RIGHT TO REGISTER When Applying For Health Ins.

"...applications for insurance under the Affordable Care Act will also allow people to register to vote..."

...Nevertheless, residents need to keep a watchful eye on the actions of their own states. Many of them have adopted the strategy of keeping mum and hoping that a lack of action will escape the eye — and the enforcement power — of the federal government.

One of the main reasons Republicans oppose Obamacare has largely flown under the public’s radar — until now. Here’s the key to understanding the GOP’s typically mean-spirited position: applications for insurance under the Affordable Care Act will also allow people to register to vote. Aha! The picture jumps into focus. Those in our population who are most anxious to sign up for healthcare coverage are the same people who the GOP has worked diligently, in state after state, to disenfranchise. The Affordable Care Act could lay waste to all that conservative effort.

Voters’ Rights groups have been keenly aware of this emerging issue, which is likely to be fought out in court. It became obvious to careful watchers in March, when a draft of the insurance application became public, that it would include the opportunity to register to vote. It was also obvious to those defending the right to vote that this provision is mandated by federal law — specifically by the 1993 National Voter Registration Act. That law, more popularly known as the “Motor Voter Act”, specified that states had to offer voter registration in government offices. That’s why most states currently offer the option to register to everyone who gets a driver’s license.

The draft application got an immediate response from Congressman Charles W. Boustany,(R-Louisiana). As chairman of the House Committee On Ways And Means Subcommittee On Oversight (got that?), Boustany wrote a letter of protest to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. His objection was supposedly that applicants would be confused and think that voter registration was somehow linked to getting subsidies for their health insurance. Right … because Republicans have been so-o-o concerned that people get all the subsidies to which they are entitled. California eagerly embraced the provision in May, becoming the first state to designate its healthcare exchange as a voter registration agency. New York and Vermont soon followed, while Connecticut and Maryland recently announced plans to do the same. The difficulty, of course, comes from less progressive states. Their argument is over whether the exchanges are really government agencies, to which the 1993 law applies. Lisa Danetz, of the advocacy group Demos, is confident that it does. She says:

However it’s organized, the actions of the exchanges are closely intertwined and are essentially the actions of the state … In the long run, they’re going to be doing it. It’s what the law requires.

Progressive groups have raised the concern that the administration might back down on the issue in the face of a strong conservative backlash. However, talkingpointsmemo.com reported on Tuesday that they had received confirmation from a White House spokesman that the administration hasn’t changed its position; the marketplaces fall under the 1993 law and voter registration is “still the plan”.



Senate Democrats MOVE-TO-END ‘Monsanto Protection Act’

Senate Democrats are drafting a government funding bill that would allow the so-called “Monsanto Protection Act” to expire at the end of the month. According to the New York Daily News, the Republican-supported Farmer Assurance Provision rider will expire on Sep. 30 because it was attached to to the previous Continuing Resolution, and Democrats have no plans to renew it. In a last-ditch effort, Republicans have attached the rider to H.J. Res. 59, the Republican bill to defund Obamacare, but that law stands virtually no chance of passing in the Senate.

The House Republican’s government funding bill, which passed in the House last week, contains a three-month extension of the Monsanto Protection Act, which shields companies like Monsanto and Dow Chemical from legal action resulting from Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) crops. The Act also places the authority of whether or not GMO crops can be grown and sold domestically into the hands of Federal Department of Agriculture rather than with the courts or public referendum. The Democratically-controlled Senate is making no plans to work to keep the rider active beyond its current expiration date.

Sen. Jeff Merkley said in a statement, “This is a victory for all those who think special interests shouldn’t get special deals. This secret rider, which was slipped into a must-pass spending bill earlier this year, instructed the Secretary of Agriculture to allow GMO crops to be cultivated and sold even when our courts had found they posed a potential risk to farmers of nearby crops, the environment, and human health. I applaud the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have worked hard to end this diabolical provision.”

Prompted by the concerns of constituents, Merkley joined with Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Roy Blount (R-MO) in opposing the three-month extension. The lawmakers were applauded by the Center for Food Safety’s director of government affairs, Colin O’Neil, who heaped scorn on the Republicans who supported the rider. “The American people deserve better than dirty politics, yet the Republican leadership continues to side with the agrichemical companies that the rider seeks to protect,” O’Neil said to the NYDN.

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