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In a story intended to slam the media, Patrick Caddell of Fox makes a convincing case against Citizens United

“Now, let me tell you: There’s nobody that hands—no stranger gives you $100,000 and doesn’t expect something in return, unless you live in a world that I don’t.”  Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/09/29/mainstream-media-threatening-our-country-future/#ixzz27y1hget1

The point is that regardless of what some  may say, it’s obvious to most people in this world that money is given with an expectation.   Either this is also true in the case of Citizens United, or people need to concede that money paid for a speaking engagement does automatically result in bias and it’s all part of free speech.  In other words, you can’t have it both ways.

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Is it even necessary to point out that Mitt has tripped on his own tongue yet again?  He’s going to have to walk this back, or at the very least drop it uietly once his handlers realize that he is making arguments against Citizens United.  They don’t want a debate to take place, so the best they can do is come up with some kind of diversion to get the subject off of this – and fast.

Romney: Teacher contributions to politicians should be limited

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57520009-503544/romney-teacher-contributions-to-politicians-should-be-limited/?tag=re1.channel

Each time a new report comes out of Syria, it seems that the situation is more dismal than the day before.  And each time I hear people pushing for action on the part of the US or UN, I ask where the Arab League is and why they aren’t the ones acting first.  Then it seems, if they try and fail, the next step would be the UN, but only AFTER the Arab League tries something.  So why haven’t I heard?  Is it that the media ignores them?  Is it that they don’t say anything overtly but they are working behind the scene?  Surely they have a public statement to make either way.  I’m waiting but I’m not seeing it.  So this week president Obama spoke at the UN and the Arab League sprang into action with a decisive message:  Blasphemy should be criminalized.

But on Syria, they are not so decisive:

Arab ministers met with UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and Tunisia’s President Moncef Marzouki said later his country could support an Arab peacekeeping force in Syria. Others have doubts though.   “A peacekeeping operation by Arab nations is something we could well imagine,” Marzouki told AFP, … “We have really pushed for a peaceful solution, but if it is necessary, it must be an Arab peacekeeping force, yes.”   On Tuesday, the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, called at the UN General Assembly for an Arab intervention in Syria.   Arab League secretary general Nabil al-Arabi told reporters he did not believe the emir intended a “fighting force.”  But he told a Security Council meeting on the Middle East that the council must support Brahimi by making its resolutions on Syria “binding on all parties.” 

“Binding on all parties” but not a fighting force,  sounds to me like an effort to stop the bloodshed, but perhaps allow Assad to stay in power – not a viable proposition and not one that will pass muster.  This is all a bit remniscent of the teaparty in the US.  Faced with huge economic and security problems for the country, their focus has been on banning abortion, getting women to dress more modestly and not use birth control.  Meanwhile they put forth useless legislation that will never be signed.

 

 

A recent story attacks president Obama regarding the number of face to face briefings he receives and it uses as a criteria a comparison to president Bush.  The assumption, apparently, is that post 9-11, the president shouldn’t have discretion as to the volume of the material he reviews or how he receives it.   This is just more of what Obama correctly termed noise.   The problem with that argument is that for too much time it seems, Bush was swayed by intelligence that was  high on volume and low on substance – partially due to influence of the Office of Policy and the desire  on the part of Cheney to produce something on Saddam.   If  unsubstantiated claims, which were just being repeated and amplified,  had been filtered out, there might not have been much new data to review.   Maybe Obama has a better national security advisor to help sort out the chaff, because volume is not what matters.

We have moved one step closer to another war with the Senate having passed a resolution on Iran, most likely SR-380 or some variation ( the title might have changed but the language won’t).  They recite rehearsed lines about not authorizing an attack, but there are people trying to diminish options that are not military.  This resolution serves no other purpose.  The next step is to draw a “red line” in a way that Iran has already crossed it with their enrichment “capability”.   The word capability will already be in the resolution, but to some it is not just about the capability to build a bomb.  For them, the term ‘capability ‘ means  that Iran can not be  allowed  to even  make fuel for their own power reactors.  That conveniently  guarantees that Iran can never come to an agreement.   So, with the line having been crossed already, then the language will change to “must be strong” and “no remaining options”.  Then the bombers and missiles can take to the air.

Pay attention .  The people who push most for having a “clear line” or a”clear definition” about capabilities are the ones who want to see the end of discussion and the start of the bombing.  And as we have all heard before, it will be an operation which should take only a few weeks of precison strikes beginning with air defenses.  (These same people will also be heard complaining about the rising  price of oil and the urgent need for the Keystone pipeline).

Remember:  red line,  capability,  no alternatives.

It’s never been more important to vote.  Make sure your registration and your ID are up to date.   Tell your friends.   And then, get out to vote.

There is no question that ID restrictions put in place by republicans are designed strictly to keep liberal voters away from the polls.

“…in June, Republican Mike Turzai, Pennsylvania’s House majority leader, spoke approvingly at a Republican State Committee meeting of the state’s new voter ID law, “which is going to allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania — done.””

Voter ID Laws Expose GOP Vote Fraud Scheme

http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/1268  

Fri, 08/03/2012 – 08:25 — washington
by: Linn Washington Jr.

Cases of voter-ID election fraud found ‘virtually non-existent’

http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2012/08/cases-voter-id-election-fraud-found-virtually-non-existent

By Natasha Khan and Corbin Carson, News21 | 08/13/12

I’m more than sick of the deceptive ads, especially ones that are part of groundwork for  another war.   This one comes in two parts.  Republicans try to make it sound like Netanyahu is backing Romney Mitt.  How?  Netanyahu uses the same language regarding Iran that Cheney and Condi Rice used to sell a war in Iraq.  Republicans turned it into an ad which is running in Florida and being billed in Israel as Netanyahu saying that what the world doesn’t need are US apologies.  That is not what Netanyahu said.  Those were the announcer’s words.

What is the rest of the deception?  Does Netanyahu want war on Iran?  Yes.  And republicans are with him on that but won’t say it in that way just now.   Maybe Netanyahu thinks Mitt can sell the idea to the country, but doesn’t want to openly back him.   It’s also very possible that the message is intended more for hardliners in congress.  Either way, it’s underhanded and not in the interest of Israel’s security or ours.

There is a third part to the deception which you’ve only partially heard:  ‘We need a show of strength and it will be over quickly.’

see http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/netanyahu-appears-in-conservative-groups-ad/

There are only two conclusions to draw here:  McCarthy-ism is still alive in the USA and republicans in congress are more concerned with witch hunts than doing something -anything- constructive.  This obsession makes zero sense, especially considering how many problems ther are to be solved.  It was clear long before now that this is a witch hunt.  The difference is that the people of Salem had an excuse – one theory being that people were eating rye that was was contaminated with a fungus that is a hallucinogen, not unlike LSD.   So what excuse do republicans have?

House Republicans are pressing forward with their contempt of Congress civil case over Operation Fast and Furious despite the release of a book-length investigative report that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle praised as comprehensive. 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/09/21/republicans-set-to-pursue-furious-court-case-despite-ig-report/#ixzz2781FsvGE

In a poll covering 15 issues for which voters are asked to chose the best candidate, Obama came  out ahead of Romney on 12 of the 15 and tied on one.  That should be good news, but it’s disturbing to me.  Why?  because one of the categories where Romney came out ahead is energy.  That means too many people are ready to get behind a strategy which says that fuel efficiency and power generation from wind and the sun are a waste of time.   That is not only wrong but an incredibly  short-sighted mistake.

The idea that we can become energy independent by pumping more fossil fuels is missing the point.    Fossil fuels pollute.  Fossil fuels are limited in quantity.   People say we have oil to last a hundred years.  That’s nothing.  The world has only been using oil for about that long and with all our technology the world can’t produce it fast enough to satisfy demand.  If production could be increased, it won’t be for an indefinite period.  Contrary to what some believe, the earth’s core is not full of oil – it’s iron.  We are very much exposed and will continue to be if foreign oil stops flowing.  That won’t be solved by piping oil from Canada to Texas to be converted to gas and then put on ships.  And if it was arranged that the oil would remain here, there is still the issue of the integrity of the pipeline.

We need to be working to protect the environment and not aquandering what we have.  We need to worry about  how much of our resouces we will be leaving for our grandchildren and their children’s children.   Given that, even if you want to drill more, it makes no sense to disregard alternative energy.   And, to intentionally postpone or kill development is downright irresponsible.   But that is the view f Romney and the GOP:  We don’t need to worry about it.  And that allows them to rationalize their plan to eliminate the EPA – the organization put together to see that our air and water is not destroyed.  You don’t hear talk about that now because they don’t want it to come up.

The clock is ticking.

Update:  see related – http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/mitt-romneys-disastrous-energy-plan-20120914

 

In a fundraising speech, Mitt said that the Palestinians don’t want peace.  Period.  But then he went on with details to explain how the situation with the borders presents a security concern for Israel.  see  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/18/mitt-romney-palestine-video_n_1892862.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

Certainly some radical elements don’t want peace and even the mainstream is not going to be for peace while they feel they are victims of occupation.   But to make it sound like they don’t want a settlement is to dismiss the Palestinians as another group of people who can’t be dealt with and who he can’t be bothered to worry about.  He admits that it’s a complex situation but fails to mention the radicals on the Israeli side who would push to destroy Palestian settlements regardless of where they sit and replace them with Jewish ones – and who would never allow the Palestinians a state, whether the capital was to be in E.  Jerusalem or not.   He knows that situation it is a tinderbox.  He should respect that dealing with the parties involved is like handling a loaded weapon with a light trigger pull.   But clearly he does not.

It appears that he did not mention relocating the US embassy in that speech, but it is time someone  gets him on record regarding the waiver of the Jerusalem Embassy Act.  The rhetoric seems to indicate that he would be the first president to skip the waiver and allow the act to go into force.  This would be a catastrophe plain and simple.

So here it is:    Yes or no, if you were president, would you waive the Jerusalem Embassy Act, knowing what you know today (that is, barring some hidden obstacle in the security briefs)?