From the Rachel Maddow Show Oct. 5, 2009. Rachel reiterates this report from TPMDC--The GOP's New Foreign Policy: Undermine American Diplomacy:
An interesting pattern has been emerging in the Republican Party's handling of foreign policy: Individual GOP officials are now making a regular point of not only formulating an alternative foreign policy, to be presented to the American people and debated in Congress -- they're acting on it too, and undermining the official White House policies at multiple turns.
? Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) is visiting Honduras in order to support the recent military coup against a leftist president, which has been opposed by the Obama administration and all the surrounding countries in the region. (Late Update: DeMint's office says he is not taking sides during his visit to the current Honduran leadership, denying the New York Times reports that this was his intention.)
? Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) will be going to the upcoming climate change conference in Copenhagen, bringing a "Truth Squad" to tell foreign officials there that the American government will not take any action: "Now, I want to make sure that those attending the Copenhagen conference know what is really happening in the United States Senate."
? House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) traveled to Israel, where he spoke out against President Obama's opposition to expanded settlements. He also defended Israel on the eviction of two Arab families from a house in east Jerusalem, which had been criticized by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
? Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) boasted in June that he told Chinese officials not to trust America's budget numbers. "One of the messages I had -- because we need to build trust and confidence in our number one creditor," said Kirk, "is that the budget numbers that the US government had put forward should not be believed." Since then, he has declared his candidacy for U.S. Senate.
Anyone remember this statement by Trent Lott when some Democratic Congressmen dared to visit Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion?
Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Washington, who is one of three House members visiting Iraq to urge Iraqi officials to avert war by allowing U.N. weapons inspectors back in, has acted irresponsibly, Lott said.
"For him to be in Baghdad, the center of one of the most dangerous dictators in the world, with all kinds of weapons of mass destruction, to be questioning the veracity of our own American president, is the height of irresponsible," said Lott, R-Mississippi. "He needs to come home and keep his mouth shut."
Or these attacks on Nancy Pelosi for going to Syria? Pelosi's Syria Trip: Media Advancing Right-Wing Spin.
As always, IOKIYAR.
Current atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are a bit over 380 parts per million, whereas[...]
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Subject: So Obama Hasn't Accomplished Anything
In response to that SNL Skit and Republican politicians and talking heads, I felt it would be a good time to make a commentary about Bush vs Obama, and where we were at this point in time with George W Bush as our SELected President.
Lets see, if I can remember back that far .... Oh Yeah ... We had just been attacked by Al Qaeda in New York and Washington DC and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001!! Seems George didn't have enough time on August 6, 2001 to read something called a PDB!
Yup Obama. You are doing "one terrible job" at keeping us safe. Three kidnapping pirates popped off with one shot apiece per your order. Recent news has terrorists caught in multiple states (NY, Illinois, Texas, Colorado, and North Carolina). Guess you pay attention to you Daily PDB's
Spate of terrorism arrests not connected, analysts say http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/09/25/terrorism.cases/index.html
Meanwhile, you're still picking up all the pieces of crap that Bush left you with the economy!
Boy oh boy Limpbore; for an overweight guy, you sure can bounce around for joy about the Olympics loss for AMERICA!! Just wondering, This IS YOUR COUNTRY, isn't it Rush? Or are you one of "Those People" that Lou Dobbs loves to go crazy about?
And hey, Glenn Beck. I heard that the Company that makes Vicks Vapor Rub has gone into overdrive with their productivity rate, so you can rub it under your eyes every day to fake those tears you make for your dumb ass FAUX viewers.
Beck Cries on Cue Using Vicks Vapor Rub http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/02/internet-finally-discover_n_307972.html
Wouldn't doubt that those tears on 9/11 and after were the same fake "Vicks" tears!! Just wondering Beck, does John Bohner use the same trick with Vicks under the eyes, when he pleads for war or slams legislation to the floor - and which one of you came up with the trick first?
Just hope that if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ever becomes President and a Republican wins the Presidency after her eight years; she does NOT leave that Elected Republican President a great economy, a budget surplus and a no war situation, such as President Bill Clinton did when he turned the keys over to George W. Bush.
That's when I want to hear how Republicans react to having to clean-up for a Democratic President's multiple, big messes - and then play back for them their many forms of "Waterloo Comments".
To which I will say: "Chew on that one for awhile Limpbore and Beck. Chew on it!!"
Windsor Locks, CT
Marshall Ganz, who designed the field-organizer and volunteer training systems for the Obama campaign, recently told Laura Flanders that people have to be willing to take to the streets and engage in this kind of civil disobedience before health care[...]
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One of the abiding mysteries of the American Private Police Force story is who, if anyone, provided the financial backing the private security company claims to have.
Back in early September, after the initial deal was brokered between Hardin, MT, and APPF -- worth over $2 million per year for the town -- the AP profiled the company. It was incorporated earlier this year in California right after Hardin was in the news for offering its empty jail up for Guantanamo inmates.
Here's what APPF's now ex-lawyer, Maziar Mafi, told the AP about the company's background:
An attorney for American Police Force, Maziar Mafi, describes the Santa Ana, Calif., company as a fledgling spin-off of a major security firm founded in 1984. But Mafi declined to name the parent firm or provide details on how the company will finance its jail operations.
"It will gradually be more clear as things go along," said Mafi, a personal injury and medical malpractice lawyer in Santa Ana who was only hired by American Police Force a month ago. "The nature of this entity is private security and for security purposes, as well as for the interest of their clientele, that's why they prefer not to be upfront." ...
[Michael Hilton] said his boss is a retired U.S. Army colonel named Richard Culver who is currently overseas.
And Becky Shay, too, the Billings Gazette reporter turned APPF spokeswoman, seemed confident that firm's backers had deep pockets. When she signed on, she said she got a $60,000 salary, a signing bonus, a company car, and was promised help on a down payment on a new house.
"She said she vetted the company and was told things they will not tell the media," KULR reported.
Asked by TPMmuckraker today if she had been told the identity of the parent company, Shay wouldn't say. But she remains "very comfortable" that APPF's backers are legitimate, she said.
Through the last month of intense media coverage, Shay and APPF have refused to answer repeated inquires about the company's putative financial backers.
Some Internet chatterers proposed that the parent company was Xe/Blackwater, or International SOS, or GEO Group. Each of those companies has denied to TPMmuckraker any affiliation with APPF.
A California-based security company called Applied Signal Technology was founded in 1984 and employs an Air Force (not Army) veteran named Rich Culver. But responding to inquires from TPMmuckraker, two company officials denied any affiliation to APPF.
It should be noted that APPF official Michael Hilton has a pattern of claiming that companies he has had perfunctory contact with are playing big roles in APPF.
As for APPF's financial status, it emerged that the purchase of two of APPF's three Mercedes SUVs was guaranteed by its ex-lawyer, Mafi. And payments on one of the vehicles was late, as of last week. APPF has also done unspecified work on the physical plant of the jail.
Al Peterson of the Hardin economic development agency, which brokered the deal with APPF, said today that, on a trip to California, he had seen documents showing that APPF was working with a major contractor. But citing new doubts about APPF's cover story, he declined to name the firm, lest it be unfairly tarred by association.
Additional reporting by Zachary Roth.
It's not a big lead, or even one outside of the margin of error, but it's a lead. And it's from a reputable non-partisan pollster (.pdf): According to the most recent poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind<sup>TM</sup>, Democratic[...]
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Max Baucus failed his insurance company buddies and they're letting him know it. Here's what happened when the SFC decided they needed to make insurance more affordable, and lower the penatlies uninsured Americans face under the bill.
WASHINGTON – The health insurance industry doesn't want Congress to let you off easy if you decide to ignore a proposed requirement that all Americans must have coverage....
The industry — counting on millions of more Americans buying insurance — says the penalties are now so weak they practically beg to be ignored. The result, the companies warn, is that people would wait until they get sick to buy coverage. That would raise premiums for everyone else, since Congress' health care overhaul would also require insurers to take all applicants.
"People will drop coverage and those who stay in would see rate shock," Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, the insurance industry trade group, said in an interview Monday.
Alissa Fox, a top lobbyist for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, said the Senate Finance Committee had "severely weakened" the proposed requirement to buy health insurance.
"It's become an aspirational goal, because it's a mandate with no penalty, and a mandate with no penalty is not a requirement," Fox said.
Hey, here's a radical thought. Insurance companies could maybe not pay their CEOs tens of millions of dollars every year and actually, maybe, put those combined millions and millions of dollars into, oh, I don't, providing coverage? Or they could cut a lot of staff hours and have them work more efficiently by not having them spend all that time doing research to figure out how to deny claims.
The insurance companies don't give a damn about providing coverage. They are not in this business out of the goodness of their hearts, and any bans on medical discrimination Congress puts into effect are going to have lots of loopholes. Cherry-picking might become a bit more creative, but it will still happen, because they're going to keep squeezing every single dollar they can get out of us for as long as they're in business.
Former Guantanamo detainee Ahmed Ghailani, who was transferred to New York for trial on conspiracy charges involving the 1998 bombings of U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, won't face the death penalty. Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement through a DOJ spokesman yesterday:
“Ahmed Ghailani is on trial for the murder of 224 people, and we are committed to bringing him to justice for his alleged crimes. Other defendants in the embassy bombings case have either already received life sentences or will not be subject to the death penalty because the United States agreed not to seek it as a condition of their extradition. Given those circumstances and other factors in this case, the attorney general authorized the U.S. attorney to seek a life sentence.”
Ghalani has alleged he was tortured while kept in an overseas prison at the direction of the CIA:
Mr. Ghailani was captured in 2004 and held in secret prisons run by the Central Intelligence Agency until 2006, when he was moved to the Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
A Tanzanian believed to be in his mid-30s, Mr. Ghailani has claimed in court papers that he was a victim of cruel interrogation techniques and was not afforded the right to remain silent or to have a lawyer.
The Defense Department also determined Ghalani should not face the death penalty before Ghalani was transferred.
Mr. Ghailani was charged with assisting in preparations for the bombing in Tanzania. In 2007, he apologized for his role before a military review panel at Guantánamo, but claimed to have been unaware of the plotters’ goal.
The Real Arlen Specter is live!Red about Specter's key endorsements during his previous re-election[...]
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