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Bird Lady

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Member since: Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:57 PM
Number of posts: 1,649

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Here is a question for repubs...

Army of Wha?

Source: Daily KOS
by: Mark Flore


Whoever thought bringing home a prisoner of war would be so controversial? I never thought there was so much wiggle room in the old “leave no man behind” adage. The two main issues that complicate this POW return are that Bowe Bergdahl may have walked off on his own and the fact that Republicans in Congress are trying desperately to make a failure out of Obama, no matter the issue. If Benghazi was getting a little played out, this Taliban prisoner swap will keep the investigation/hearings/conspiracy-mill going for a long time to come.

Even if Bergdahl was a deserter, doesn’t he at least deserve a court martial carried out by his own countrymen? Is our new policy under the Republican House leadership to turn over all deserters to the enemy? Let’s at least give the guy time to learn to speak English again and get some of the intestinal bugs out of his system before we hang him high. I don’t remember this level of vitriol when cold-blooded killers who undermined the war effort got off with hardly a slap on the wrist.

And though I tend to sympathize with Bergdahl and see much of this as a political stunt by politicians, it does seem like Obama is once again displaying his, ahem, masterful negotiating skills by trading five high-level Taliban guys for Bergdahl. Now get ready for the endless hearings and investigations— and maybe we’ll figure out a new policy to determine just what sort of men we leave behind. Enjoy the cartoon, and be sure to check out links to additional stories behind the cartoon.

Stephen Colbert's Response To The Latest Hillary Madness

Source: Huff Po


Jon Stewart and The Public's Apathy Over Gun Violence

Source: Huff Po
By Ed Mazza


Why do we keep having mass shootings? What can be done about it? Jon Stewart says too many have decided it doesn't matter any more -- that it's going to keep happening and there's nothing we can do about it.

We've reached the acceptance stage, he said on Monday's broadcast of "The Daily Show."

"It's like America has a dog that's always shitting inside the house, and we solved the problem by getting a brown rug," Stewart said.

But he does want to help the "real victims" of the violence: the news media "who are still going to have to waste valuable time going through the motions of covering these inevitable clearly unstoppable everyday ordinary soul-destroying slaughters."

I see many dog and cat folks....

Are there any bird people here? I have birds and the love of a silly little dog, Gidgit. I would love to show you how beautiful she is but I have no server to load the photos to. I'll work on that.

So are there any feathered families here?

California’s Most Important Congressional Race

Source: Truth Dig

Original image by Shutterstock

If you’re voting in Tuesday’s primary, or you want to know more about the significance of one of the most important contests this term, than this is the post for you.

California’s 33rd Congressional District is currently represented by Henry Waxman, a progressive Democrat who has been in the House since 1975. The district is made up of some of Los Angeles’ wealthiest neighborhoods, including Bel Air and Beverly Hills. It stretches from Palos Verdes in the south to Malibu in the north, and it votes reliably for Democratic candidates.

In terms of national significance, the 33rd is home to many Democratic Party political donors—the ones who tend to max out their contributions—and as such is a frequent stop for anyone running for office. Whoever holds the district is likely to have extra influence with those donors and, consequently, in national politics.

There are 19 candidates running to replace Waxman, who is retiring. They are Republicans Elan Carr, Lily Gilani and Kevin Mottus; Democrats Vince Flaherty, James Graf, Wendy Greuel, Kristie Holmes, David Kanuth, Ted Lieu, Matt Miller, Barbara L. Mulvaney, Zein E. Obagi Jr., and Michael Shapiro; independents Tom Fox, Theo Milonopoulos (write-in), Brent C. Roske and Marianne Williamson; Green Party candidate Michael Ian Sachs; and Libertarian Mark Matthew Herd.


Read the rest:

The US has negotiated with Terrorists and Amnestied Them all through History

Source: Informed Comment

Dear GOP: The US has negotiated with Terrorists and Amnestied Them all through History

By Juan Cole
June 2, 2014

The GOP talking points in response to the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in a trade for five former officials of the 1990s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) focused on a few basic premises. !. You don’t negotiate with terrorists; 2. such a swap would encourage terrorists to capture Americans; 3. these officials are the worst the worst.

Tagging movements as “terrorist” and then refusing to deal with them is frankly stupid. The Taliban in Afghanistan are not a small terrorist group like, say, the Italian Red Brigades of the 1970s and 1980s. They are guerrillas belonging to a movement that at one point had captured the state and run it. The Taliban are now a guerrilla group, holding territory.

The US has all along negotiated with the guerrillas it has fought on the battlefield. William Howard Taft (later president) in the Philippines was all for negotiation with Filipinos who rejected US rule, and he created “attraction zones” to win them over. At the conclusion of the Aguinaldo resistance to US occupation in 1902, Teddy Roosevelt declared a general amnesty for the resistance fighters. These resistance fighters had committed some atrocities, including on captured US troops, but Roosevelt just let them walk free. Talk softly, carry a big stick, and let all the terrorists go, seems to have been his motto.

The US negotiated with the Viet Cong in South Vietnam, who were very much analogous to the Taliban and whom the US would now certainly term “terrorists.” In 1973, the US used intermediaries to negotiate with the Viet Cong for release of captured US soldiers at Loc Ninh. Americans on the political right made a huge issue about 1300 US soldiers never having been released by the Viet Cong (only about 400 were), and the shame that these men were left on the battlefield by the Nixon and Ford administrations. Conservatives seem to want to have it both ways. If you negotiate the release of US captives with the enemy you are “negotiating with terrorists.” If you don’t, then you have left soldiers behind on the battlefield. The fact is that the only way to have freed them was to have offered something for them in detailed negotiations. As for the Viet Cong “terrorists,” many of them are in government now and the US has cordial relations with them.


Read more: http://www.juancole.com/2014/06/negotiated-terrorists-amnestied.html

8 Things You Should Know About The Biggest Thing A President’s Ever Done On Climate Change

Source: Think Progress

On Monday morning, the Environmental Protection Agency released its proposed rule to limit the amount of carbon pollution that existing power plants can dump into the atmosphere. This is the most significant move President Obama has made to address the direct causes of climate change.

The Clean Air Act, passed by Congress in 1970 and amended in 1990, is finally getting to tackle carbon pollution from the nation’s 491 smoke-spewing coal power plants. Contrary to what fossil fuel advocates claim, though, it does not mean that EPA will be directly shutting down coal plants. Each state would have a broad menu of carbon-cutting options, including energy efficiency improvements, adding clean energy sources, implementing a carbon tax, or instituting or joining a cap-and-trade system.

By 2020, states will have to have drop their carbon emissions from existing power plants 25 percent from 2005 levels. By 2030, according to the proposed rule, those emissions will have to drop another 5 percent — to 30 percent — from the same base 2005 level.

Here are 8 things you should know about the new rule:

This is the most significant move any U.S. president has made to curtail carbon pollution in history.

Prisoner Trade Yields Rare View Into the Taliban

Source: NYTimes

KABUL, Afghanistan — The freeing of five senior Taliban figures in exchange for the American soldier, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, has offered both a rare insight into the insurgent group’s inner workings and a diplomatic first in the long Afghan war: a negotiated agreement between the highest levels of the American government and the pinnacle of the Taliban command.

Representatives of both sides played down the idea that the exchange, long seen as a crucial prelude to any broader talks, might breathe new life into the effort to engage the Taliban in a peace effort. But the complex swap showed “each side that the other can deliver,” said one senior American official close to the effort. And it gave both the Taliban leadership and the Obama administration important political symbols.

For the Taliban, the delivery of five of its most prominent figures to freedom in Qatar was the culmination of years of effort to secure the men’s release and to receive legitimacy on an international stage. And it seemingly answered questions about whether the group’s reclusive leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, was still in charge of its disparate factions, demonstrating “that there was a span in control that went through the representatives in Doha, to the Taliban command, and to the individuals who were holding him, presumably somewhere in Pakistan,” the American official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss Sergeant Bergdahl’s release.

For the Obama administration, too, the exchange was an important achievement: the prospect of Sergeant Bergdahl’s return to his family in Idaho after nearly five years as a hostage of the Taliban struck a humanitarian and emotional note for an administration trying to wind down the war.


America needs 'imminent disturbance'

Source: Daily KOS
Reposted from Daily Kos Labor by Laura Clawson

The North Carolina legislature recently banned anything that might create an "imminent disturbance" in the legislative building. In other words, the legislature, faced with months of Moral Mondays protests, is cracking down, giving itself a rule under which to silence protesters.
Threatening protesters with arrest for peaceful demonstration is a hot Republican trend of the last few years, with bills proposed in Tennessee and Georgia targeting union picketing specifically.

But, as the video above points out, many of the moments that moved America forward relied on imminent disturbance. Not that North Carolina Republicans would necessarily see it that way.

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