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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Massachusetts
Home country: United States
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 60,536

Journal Archives

Ahmad Chalabi May Lead Iraq

Ahmad Chalabi may soon go from persona non grata to prime minister. The man who took millions from the CIA to finance his unsuccessful political party and sold the Bush administration on the weapons of mass destruction myth is being seriously considered to replace Iraq's current prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki. Chalabi would fulfill fellow Shiites' goal of getting Sunni Maliki and his party to step aside for another Shiite. Although his Iraqi National Congress never built a sustainable following and he was forced into exile, Chalabi may actually have a shot at Iraq's top job. “Ahmad Chalabi is close to all the parties and is a good candidate,” said Nahida al-Daini, a leader with the Sunni Mutahidoon party. “But accepting him will also depend on internal and external approvals.”

Read it at New York Times



Crossroads books $20M in TV ads for 6 Senate races


WASHINGTON (AP) — Political groups backed by Karl Rove want another $20 million in television air time.

American Crossroads super PAC and its affiliated nonprofit Crossroads GPS on Tuesday sent out ad requests for six Senate races where Democrats are at a risk of losing the seats. Ads to influence competitive House races will be booked later.

The biggest ad booking so far is in Alaska, where American Crossroads plans to spend $5.5 million starting Sept. 9. Crossroads GPS also plans a $5.1 million ad campaign starting Sept. 30 in North Carolina. The groups also reserved ad time in Iowa, Montana, Arkansas and Louisiana.

The bookings, which can still be changed, are on top of the $2.3 million in ads already running in Colorado.


Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/07/01/crossroads_books_20m_in_tv_ads_for_6_senate_races/

Supreme Court to consider KBR whistleblower case


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will consider whether a whistleblower can move forward with a lawsuit claiming defense contracting giant KBR Inc. falsely billed the government for work in Iraq.

The justices on Tuesday said they will hear the company’s appeal of a lower court decision that reinstated former employee Benjamin Carter’s lawsuit under the federal False Claims Act.

A federal judge had thrown out the case, ruling that it was filed after a six-year deadline passed. But the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said such cases can be filed past the deadline when the country is at war. The appeals court also rejected KBR’s argument that Carter wasn’t first to file his claims, as the false claims law requires.

The Supreme Court will hear the case in the fall.


Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/07/01/supreme_court_to_consider_kbr_whistleblower_case/

Court sends labor cases back for further review


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has asked appeals courts to take another look at two cases involving disputes decided by the National Labor Relations Board.

The justices on Tuesday ordered the cases to be re-examined in light its recent decision on a president’s power to fill administration posts while the Senate is on a break.

The court last week ruled that three of President Barack Obama’s recess appointments made to the board in 2012 were invalid because the Senate had not taken a long enough break and was still conducting business.

But these cases involve challenges to a different recess appointee that Obama installed in 2010, when the Senate had adjourned for two weeks. The NLRB is likely to prevail when the cases are reconsidered by courts in Atlanta and Richmond, Virginia.


Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/07/01/court_sends_labor_cases_back_for_further_review/

Justices act in other health law mandate cases


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has left in place lower court rulings in favor of businesses that object to covering all methods of government-approved contraception.

The justices’ action Tuesday is a strong indication that their decision a day earlier extending religious rights to closely held corporations applies broadly to the contraceptive coverage requirement in the new health care law, not just the four pregnancy prevention methods and devices that the court considered in its ruling.

Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby Inc. and a Pennsylvania furniture maker won their court challenges Monday in which they refused to pay for two emergency contraceptive pills and two intrauterine devices.

Tuesday’s orders apply to companies owned by Catholics who oppose all contraception. Their cases were awaiting action pending resolution of the Hobby Lobby case.

Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/07/01/justices_act_in_other_health_law_mandate_cases/

Tea Party’s secret advantage: Why the far right is stronger than everyone thinks

The Tea Party is a mind-set, not a literal movement. Here's how it's quietly bending the establishment to its will


It’s become a running joke this spring: A major Republican primary takes place and the media struggles to fit the results into a neat, tidy narrative about the war between the Tea Party and the GOP establishment – with comically erratic results.

So when the establishment’s choice, state House Speaker Thom Tillis, fought off a Rand Paul-backed candidate to win the Republican Senate nod in North Carolina back in early May, the headlines touted the waning clout of the Tea Party.

But then Thad Cochran finished behind Chris McDaniel in the preliminary round of voting in Mississippi and Eric Cantor fell in one of the biggest political upsets of all-time and the narrative shifted: Forget what we said a few days ago – the Tea Party is stronger than ever! Except it turned out the familiar national Tea Party groups had nothing to do with the Cantor race, and now Cochran has gone and turned the tables on the Tea Party, winning the runoff over McDaniel.

So now we’re back to talking about the resurgent establishment and the fading Tea Party. Of course, Tennessee and Kansas are still on the board, so this is all subject to further, sudden revision.

But while it’s easy to mock the headlines and some of the punditry that have accompanied all of this, this spring’s results really aren’t inconsistent with each other at all. There actually is a narrative that unites all of these seemingly contradictory results – a narrative about the power of the Tea Party and its grip on today’s Republican Party.


Justices to take up pregnancy discrimination case


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will take up the pregnancy discrimination claims of a package delivery driver for UPS who was refused a light duty assignment so she could continue working while pregnant.

UPS driver Peggy Young lost her health benefits when UPS would not grant her light duty or allow her to continue her regular job. Young says the company allows employees with some medical conditions to perform jobs in which they can avoid lifting heavy packages. She returned to work after giving birth.

Lower courts ruled that UPS did not violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in dealing with Young. The case will be argued in the fall or winter.

The Obama administration agreed with Young, but said recent changes in federal law could cause courts to rule in another way.


Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/07/01/justices_to_take_up_pregnancy_discrimination_case/

Christian right secession fantasy: Spooky neo-Confederate talk grows louder at the fringes

The religious right is spooked and making scary new allies. Some worry theocratic violence will soon be on the rise


A Saturday ago at the annual conference of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal accused President Obama and other Democrats of waging a war against religious liberty and all but openly threatened a violent revolution, AP reported:

“I can sense right now a rebellion brewing amongst these United States,” Jindal said, “where people are ready for a hostile takeover of Washington, D.C., to preserve the American Dream for our children and grandchildren.”

Of course, Jindal’s speech didn’t come out of nowhere. Jindal is notorious as a weather vane, not a leader. So this is a clear sign of the need to take threats of right-wing violence seriously — and to look to its justifications as formulated on the Christian right.

As the latest wave of theocratic violence continues to play out in Iraq, it must feel exotic for most Americans, for whom theocratic violence is something that happens elsewhere. Yet, the idea of such violence coming to America — something Jindal is apparently eager for — is hardly far-fetched. Violence against abortion providers has been with us for decades, after all, and as Jindal’s pandering suggests, there could well be much worse to come, according to a new article from Political Research Associates, “Rumblings of Theocratic Violence,” by Frederick Clarkson, author of ”Eternal Hostility: the Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy,” and co-founder of Talk2Actionorg. While violent rhetoric is nothing new on the Christian right, Clarkson observes, there are reasons to take such rhetoric more seriously than ever before. Above all, some of those most dedicated to the idea of America as a Christian nation are beginning to lose faith in their inevitable success.

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