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Bird Lady

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: New Mexico
Home country: USA
Current location: Ojai California
Member since: Sun Dec 15, 2013, 01:57 PM
Number of posts: 1,477

About Me

Unapologetic progressive, retired engineering technician, breeder of birds, maker of jewelry, an opinionated woman who will not be silenced by shouting or spinning. Abakan is the name of a male green cheek conure, RIP.

Journal Archives

Democrats: SCOTUS validates Senate rules change

Source: Politico
By BURGESS EVERETT | 6/26/14 2:45 PM EDT

The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down President Barack Obama’s recess appointments marked a big win for congressional Republicans — but Democrats are also giving themselves a pat on the back.

Democrats say the decision Thursday to rebuke Obama’s 2012 appointments to the National Labor Relations Board has made their change to Senate rules seem remarkably prescient. That change made it easier for the Senate to confirm Obama’s nominees, transforming recess appointments — a tactic to get around the chamber’s hurdles — into something of a relic.



Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/06/dems-scotus-validates-senate-rules-change-108361.html#ixzz35rz3K5Px

How the Iraq War Launched the Modern Era of Political BS

Source: Mother Jones
Factual divides over whether Iraq had WMD, and whether Saddam was working with Osama, set the stage for today's battles over reality.
—By Chris Mooney | Wed Jun. 25, 2014 6:00 AM EDT




That queasy sensation of déjà vu you're experiencing is understandable. With Iraq back in the news, and Paul Wolfowitz and Bill Kristol on TV sounding off about the situation, there's every reason to worry that a new wave of misinformation is on the way.

There is no debate that the Iraq War was sold to the American public with a collection of claims that ended up being proved false. Iraq was said to have weapons of mass destruction, but this wasn't the case. Advocates for the war insinuated that Saddam Hussein was colluding with Al Qaeda and was somehow involved in the 9/11 attacks. That, too, was false.

Yet many Americans (and some of their leaders) still believe this stuff. It's a tragedy, but it's also a kind of natural experiment in misinformation, its origins, and its consequences. And since 2003 social scientists, psychologists, and pollsters have been busy examining why false beliefs like these are embraced even in the face of irrefutable evidence—and what impact this sort of disinformation has on American political discourse.

The resulting research shows that the Iraq War looks like an early version of a current phenomenon: the right wing rooting its stances in simple untruths about the world (see climate change). So here's a quick trip through some of the ground-breaking scholarship on how the Iraq war polarized the US public over the acceptance of basic facts: The role of Fox News.

Read whole article, here: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/iraq-war-wmds-saddam-political-unreason

Bill Clinton slams Dick Cheney for “unseemly” criticism of President Obama

Source:Salon

Speaking with NBC’s David Gregory during an interview that will run in full during this Sunday’s edition of “Meet the Press,” former President Bill Clinton argued that there is something “unseemly” about former Vice President Dick Cheney’s willingness to criticize President Obama for the chaos and dysfunction that’s still plaguing Iraq.

Asked by Gregory whether he agreed with claims from Cheney and other Republicans that the Obama administration had made the Middle East more unstable and American citizens more unsafe, Clinton emphatically rejected the question’s premise, saying, “If [the second Bush administration] hadn’t gone to war in Iraq none of this would be happening.”

Gregory interrupted, asking Clinton if he believed that the civil, sectarian and regional war occurring in Syria was also the fault of Bush and Cheney. Then, asking a slightly different question (perhaps unintentionally) Gregory wondered whether Clinton believed “there wouldn’t be terrorist actors” if the U.S. hadn’t invaded and occupied Iraq from 2003 to 2011.

“It might be happening in Syria,” Clinton responded, “but what happened in Syria wouldn’t have happened in Iraq.”

More:http://www.salon.com/2014/06/26/bill_clinton_slams_dick_cheney_for_unseemly_criticism_of_president_obama

Iraqi Parliament To Meet In First Step To Form New Government

Source: huffpo


BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's vice president called on parliament Thursday to convene next week, taking the first step toward forming a new government to present a united front against a rapidly advancing Sunni insurgency that threatens to spread across the region.

Britain's top diplomat, visiting Iraq, urged its leaders to put aside their differences for the good of the nation. And in Paris, Secretary of State John Kerry met with the United States' top Sunni state allies in the Mideast to consider how to confront the growing turmoil.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shiite-led political bloc won the most seats in April 30 elections — with 92 seats out of the 328 — but he needs support from other parties for a majority that would give him the right to govern. An increasing number of critics, both in Iraq and abroad, now want him to step down, saying his failure to promote national reconciliation fueled the insurgency by needlessly angering minority Sunnis.

Compounding the pressure on al-Maliki, Iraq's powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr made a televised statement late Wednesday in which he called for a national unity government of "new faces" representing all groups.

More:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/26/iraq-unity-government_n_5532964.html

Alan Grayson Accuses Former NSA Chief Of Disclosing Classified Information 'For Profit'

Source:Huffpo

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) doesn’t trust that former NSA director Keith Alexander is reportedly being paid $600,000 a month by the largest banking trade groups in the country merely for his advice on cyber security issues.

Alexander, who has repeatedly warned of the financial industry's vulnerability to state-sponsored cyber attacks, recently entered negotiations with the Security Industries and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), Consumer Bankers Association and the Financial Services Roundtable as a cyber-consultant. He initially set his service fee at $1 million a month, according to Bloomberg.

“It would be devastating if one of our major banks was hit, because they’re so interconnected,” Alexander, who retired from the NSA in March, told Bloomberg last week.

Alexander's resignation was announced in October 2013, amid revelations of the agency's controversial surveillance programs leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/26/alan-grayson-keith-alexan_n_5533897.html

Missouri Town Discovers People Don’t Like Vacationing Around People Openly Carrying Firearms

Source:Think Progress


Turns out, people don’t find it particularly relaxing to be surrounded by strangers carrying guns.

The Lake Ozark, Missouri Board of Alderman voted last week to ban gun owners from openly carrying firearms, even if they have a concealed carry permit, because they were afraid that armed individuals would chase away tourists. “We’ve had a tough time over the years promoting Lake Ozark as a family area,” Alderman Larry Buschjost explained. “We want you on the Strip with families, everywhere in Lake Ozark with families. We want you to bring your kids down here and let them loose. For the life of me, I don’t understand why I would have to carry any type of gun, concealed or otherwise.”

The ban was initiated by the local police chief, in part due to concerns raised by business owners.

These business owners’ concerns are hardly unique to one community in Missouri. After a group of pro-gun activists in Texas started showing up at businesses with assault rifles and other long guns, the restaurant chain Chipotle released a statement asking their patrons to leave their firearms at home because “the display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers.” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz made a similar statement, explaining that “customers in many stores have been jarred and fairly uncomfortable to see guns in our stores.” Other companies, ranging from Whole Foods to Toys R Us to Ikea, also ban guns.

More: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/06/17/3449335/missouri-town-bans-openly-carrying-firearms-because-it-scares-off-tourists/

Here is a question for repubs...

Army of Wha?

Source: Daily KOS
by: Mark Flore

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/06/1304518/-Cartoon-Bowe-Bergdahl-Army-of-Wha

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

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/06/matt-drudge-hillary-clinton-colbert_n_5459163.html

Jon Stewart and The Public's Apathy Over Gun Violence

Source: Huff Po
By Ed Mazza

http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/8axdyn/murder--so-rote

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."
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