After being unable to wrap-up their bi-chamber budget talks Friday night, House and Senate[...]
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Rohingya news is everyday. Some lunatic peopel are loudly shouting at Burma and Thailand.I respect the human rights, but the news is too much.Who can stop these boats?Who created it and changed it into international problem?We need to find out the root[...]
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The California Supreme Court has announced that on March 5th it would hear arguments about the constitutionality of Prop 8.
Many have petitioned the court asking that Prop 8 be overturned:
The court has been inundated with friend-of-the-court arguments in the case.
Forty-three groups representing civil rights activists, legal scholars, labor unions, bar associations, state legislators and religious organizations have filed written arguments asking that Proposition 8 be overturned.
Gay rights lawyers and the city of San Francisco contend that the ballot measure was an illegal revision of the state Constitution. It is a novel argument that required the attorneys to try to distinguish Proposition 8 from other cases in which the court rejected revision challenges.
California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown also asked the court to overturn the proposition, but on other grounds. He argued that "inalienable rights" cannot be eliminated without compelling reasons, an argument that, if accepted by the court, would make major new law in California.
Great piece in the Capital Times (Madison, WI) on the refusal of Gov. Jim Doyle (D-WI) and others to proclaim Feb. 6 (last Friday) as "Ronald Reagan Day."
Reagan was a fool whose utter lack of comprehension of the polices enacted were on display each time Reagan held a press conference.
Compare that with what we will see tonight as Pres. Obama holds his first prime-time news conference expected to be dominated by questions on the economy as today's news reveals that the "International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said the world's advanced economies -- the U.S., Western Europe and Japan -- are 'already in depression.'"
The best that can be said of Reagan is that he was not George W. Bush, but he tried.
Some highlights from the lightweight's two terms as president:
- Huge expansion of the deficit and debt
- Declaring the country of Nicaragua such a threat to the United States' national security that Reagan proclaimed a state of "national emergency"
- Iran-Contra Gate
One can go on.
Reagan commissar Grover Norquist is quoted in the piece. Norquist is the intense Reagan cheerleader who wants more statutes, buildings, holidays and pictures of Reagan installed throughout the U.S. than Stalin ever had in the Soviet Union.
From the Capital Times' feel-good piece on Doyle's refusal to budge on Reagan:
Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle was one of only a handful of governors to deny recognition of the late president, according to the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project based in Washington, D.C.
'By refusing to honor President Reagan, Gov. Jim Doyle has put pusillanimous petty partisanship above patriotism,' said Grover Norquist, chairman of the group, in a press release. 'Ronald Reagan was a man loved by the American people and citizens abroad. Ignoring his legacy of leadership ignores the strength and value of freedom and democracy. Gov. Jim Doyle should be ashamed.'
Fifteen governors (14 Democrats and one Republican) refused to issue a proclamation. Five did not respond to the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project's request.
If all one means by center is a vague desire to contain Palestinian terrorism yet distance oneself from settlers' excesses--to do the former without alienating Washington, and the latter without splitting the Jewish people--then a stable majority has been centrist since 1967. But this is a free-floating desire, not the basis of a political identity. You can see how much good vague desire is when others create facts.
ISRAELIS ANGUISH OVER five issues, actually. First, there is the question of whether to rely primarily on military power when dealing with the troubled Middle East. Second, there is the collateral but more ideologically charged question of whether to withdraw from occupied territory, historic Eretz Yisrael, in order to advance to a "two-state solution" with Palestinians. Third, there is the question we have examined thus far, whether a democracy can accord exclusive privileges to legally defined Jews--a question linked to the first two, but not limited by them. Next there is the question, tucked into the last one, of whether to privilege orthodox religious practice. Finally, there is the question of economic privilege, even class: who wins and who loses in a global market economy?One cannot easily find a center in the permutations these questions produce, which is why as many as twenty political parties typically compete in Israeli elections. But when pundits speak about a center now, they mean leaders who--though they'll want to have things both ways on many of these issues--have tipped in certain directions: immediate toughness over eventual diplomacy; "painful concessions" in the territories over "Zionist" devotion; some civil reform yet Jewish privilege over scrupulous attention to Arab rights; the religious Status Quo over secular discomfort; and global markets over working-class discomfort.
A welcome change in tone started to emerge from the President last week as he realized that the Republicans were still playing the same old games and pushing the same old failed policies. The American people dumped the GOP last November. And, Obama had to dump that painful rhetoric about bipartisanship, which only works if both sides are willing. Reuters provided an analysis:
President Barack Obama showed he is willing to cast aside talk of bipartisanship and flex Democratic muscle to push opposition Republicans out of the way in the battle over a U.S. economic stimulus.You can't be nice to Republicans, at least to the right wing nut jobs that run that party now. Nice doesn't work with them. They must be crushed. Flex more muscle.
Obama began his presidency declaring a desire to work with both sides of the divided aisle. Two weeks later, he found himself caught in the middle of a congressional debate over the size and direction of a behemoth stimulus package.
To the chagrin of some of his own Democrats, Obama welcomed a Republican push to make changes in a $819 billion package that emerged from the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives without a single Republican vote.
Senate Republicans had some good ideas, he told NBC last Sunday, "and I want to make sure those ideas are incorporated."
But by Thursday, the legislation began to get bogged down in partisan battles and polls showed American support for it dropping in the face of Republican charges the plan was stuffed with wasteful Democratic spending items.
Obama abruptly changed his tune, reverting to some of the rhetoric he used on the campaign trail to win the White House.
Americans "did not vote for the false theories of the past, and they didn't vote for phony arguments and petty politics. They didn't vote for the status quo -- they sent us here to bring change," he told House Democrats on Thursday at a retreat in Williamsburg, Virginia.
video details and more
It's simply extraordinary to listen to McCain - of all bloody people - talk of "generational theft".
This is the man who backed both the Iraq war and Bush's tax cuts whilst running to be president, what is that if not "generational theft?" Bush inherited a massive surplus and left office with an enormous deficit which was caused by two things; his tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Wars which Republicans were keen to support but not, apparently, keen to pay for.
The cost of that they passed down the line to be paid for by their children and the grandchildren. So it's a bit bloody rich to listen to McCain complain here about "generational theft". The hypocrisy that he is indulging in here is quite breathtaking.
Tags: Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer, John McCain, Stimulus Bill, generational theft
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The current stimulus package making it's torturous way through both houses of Congress is like the saying..... what do you get when you ask a committee to put together a horse? A camel.
Nothing wrong with a camel, but the country needs a horse to start pulling us out of the economic ditch.
Paul Krugman's asks today in "The Destructive Center" (WaPo) .... "What do you call someone who eliminates hundreds of thousands of American jobs, deprives millions of adequate health care and nutrition, undermines schools, but offers a $15,000 bonus to affluent people who flip their houses?
"A proud centrist. For that is what the senators who ended up calling the tune on the stimulus bill just accomplished."
The centrists in the Senate just created a camel, and President Obama seems unable, or unwilling, to fix it.
Krugman opines, "One of the best features of the original plan was aid to cash-strapped state governments, which would have provided a quick boost to the economy while preserving essential services. But the centrists insisted on a $40 billion cut in that spending.
"The original plan also included badly needed spending on school construction; $16 billion of that spending was cut. It included aid to the unemployed, especially help in maintaining health care ? cut. Food stamps ? cut. All in all, more than $80 billion was cut from the plan, with the great bulk of those cuts falling on precisely the measures that would do the most to reduce the depth and pain of this slump.
"On the other hand, the centrists were apparently just fine with one of the worst provisions in the Senate bill, a tax credit for home buyers. Dean Baker of the Center for Economic Policy Research calls this the 'flip your house to your brother' provision: it will cost a lot of money while doing nothing to help the economy.
"All in all, the centrists? insistence on comforting the comfortable while afflicting the afflicted will, if reflected in the final bill, lead to substantially lower employment and substantially more suffering."
It was Obama who lifted the flap so the "lower taxes" camel could poke it's nose into his change-we-can-believe-in tent. We are in this economic mess because the GOP rich-get-richer trickle-up policies cost trillions and didn't work.... and according Pulitzer-winning economist Krugman and many others, this camel of a bill isn't the economic horse we need now.
MSNBC's Chuck Todd puts a fine point on this today in his "First Read" posting.... many ask just "how the Obama White House and the Democratic committees allowed themselves to get worked over by the Republicans.... how did a Republican Party that had turned a budget surplus into a projected trillion-dollar deficit get away with becoming paragons of fiscal responsibility? "
Krugman points out, "After all, many people expected Mr. Obama to come out with a really strong stimulus plan, reflecting both the economy?s dire straits and his own electoral mandate.
Instead, however, he offered a plan that was clearly both too small and too heavily reliant on tax cuts.
"Why? Because he wanted the plan to have broad bipartisan support, and believed that it would. Not long ago administration strategists were talking about getting 80 or more votes in the Senate."
There's a lesson for Obama here. His high-minded attempt to build a bipartisanship tent ran into the "loyal" opposition's ideological take-no-prisoners stone wall.
Has Obama learned this lesson?
Evidently not. This weekend he was busy trying to saddle this unwieldy stimulus camel.... "Democrats and Republicans came together in the Senate and responded appropriately to the urgency this moment demands, the scale and scope of this plan is right,? he declared on Saturday.
As Krugman laments.... "No, they didn?t, and no, it isn?t."
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My inbox was flooded this weekend with article after article all saying exactly the same thing: [...]
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Mark Benjamin and Michael de Yoanna have the first in a series this week on the failure of the U.S. Army to care for returning troops.
See Death in the USA: The Army's fatal neglect
Returning U.S. combat soldiers are committing suicide and murder in alarming numbers. In a special series, Salon uncovers the habitual mistreatment behind the preventable deaths
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