September 22 is the first day of fall for 2012. (Above–The 1890 painting Autumn Rain by Julian Alden Weir.) What exactly is fall? Here is a definition. From that defintion– “The autumnal equinox marks the first day of the fall season. On this day, the Sun is again directly over the earth’s equator, and daylight lasts [...]
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Speaking Saturday at the Values Voters Summit, Rick Santorum said that “smart people” would never side with conservatives. Watch it, via RWW: Santorum also claimed “the media” and “colleges and universities” would not be “on our side” because “they want to tell you what to do.” Rather, according to Santorum, the conservative movement will be [...]
Jon Huntsman, the former U.S. ambassador to China who was the closest thing the Republican party had to a credible presidential candidate (so naturally they rejected him), appeared on Morning Joe to criticize Mitt Romney's reaction to the latest violence in the Middle East:
Former U.S. Ambassador to China and presidential candidate Jon Huntsman said on Friday that Mitt Romney?s response to the violent protests in the Middle East and North Africa posed a ?problem? for the man he endorsed several months ago.
As protests raged outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and an attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya earlier this week left four Americans dead, Romney?s decision to criticize the Obama administration was ill-advised and was a lost opportunity, Huntsman said on MSNBC?s Morning Joe.
?This was an opportunity to instruct, to elucidate, to educate, to talk about how you put the pieces back together again in North Africa and the Middle East,? he said. ?Not to condemn, not to criticize, not to turn it into a political event, but to explain to the American people what we're going to do during a time of need, during a time of crisis, during a time of uncertainty.?
In a time where relations between the U.S. and the Arab world is strained, and questions surrounding the broader implications of the Arab Springs are prevalent, Huntsman said that Romney should have explained his position on the democratic uprisings of late.
Thursday the House Republican leadership-- Boehner, Cantor, McKeon, Ryan and their cronies-- dealt with the sequestration disaster they've put the country into as though it were just some political talking point they can use to rev up their delusional electoral base with. And speaking of delusional, the bill, H.R 6365 was introduced by Florida war criminal Allen West and co-sponsored by Joe "You Lie!" Wilson (R-SC). It passed 223-196, only one sleazy Blue Dog, Indiana Senate candidate Joe Donnelly, voting with the Republicans-- but a full dozen Republicans abandoning Boehner and Cantor to cross the aisle and vote with the Democrats, including Justin Amash (R-MI), Ron Paul (R-TX), Walter Jones (R-NC), Steve LaTourette (R-OH), Johnny Duncan (R-TN) and others who felt this is too important an issue to play narrow partisan politics with.
Before the closer-than-expected vote, the Democrats offered a Motion to Recommit as an alternative, that did try to deal with sequestration in a serious and responsible manner. Their bill would eliminate sequestration by requiring "upper income taxpayers to pay their fair share by instituting a 'Buffett rule' [and extending] "middle class tax cuts while allowing components of the tax extensions that benefit upper income beneficiaries to expire as scheduled under current law and including targeted spending cuts." That failed 170-247, not a single Republican voting for it... and 13 Democrats voting with the GOP against it:
?Justin Altmire (Blue Dog/New Dem-PA)
? John Barrow (Blue Dog/New Dem-GA)
? Dan Boren (Blue Dog-OK)
? Ben Chandler (Blue Dog-KY)
? Joe Donnelly (Blue Dog-IN)
? Larry Kissell (Blue Dog-NC)
? Lipinski, Jr (proto-Blue Dog-IL)
? Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT)
? Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog/New Dem-NC)
? Gary Peters (New Dem-MI)
? Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)
? Chellie Pingree (D-ME)*
? Heath Shuler (Blue Dog-K Street)
?Hayden Rogers (Blue Dog-NC)
? David Crooks (Blue Dog-IN)
? Gary McDowell (Blue Dog-MI)
? Pam Gulleson (Blue Dog- ND)
? Nick Lampson (Blue Dog-TX)
? Brendan Mullen (Blue Dog-IN)
? Patrick Murphy (R/New Dem-FL)
? Sal Pace (Blue Dog/New Dem-CO)
? Charlie Wilson (Blue Dog/New Dem-OH)
? Val Demings (New Dem-FL)
? Juan Vargas (New Dem-CA)
? Rob Wallace (Blue Dog-OK)
Let?s just be very clear right up front, Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco may have both collected their share of mainstream awards, like Pulitzers, American Book Awards, and the like, but with this book, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, they remove any[...]
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One of these two men possesses the judgment, understanding, character and skill to be President of the United States. (Psst, it's the guy on the left.)In an interview with Telemundo, President Obama was asked if he considered the current Egyptian regime [headed by the leader of the Islamic Brotherhood] an ally of the United States. The question came in the aftermath of an uncomfortable silence from the Egyptian government in response to the attacks on our consulate in Cairo. (By contrast the Libyan government quickly condemned the attacks that led to the killing of the United States Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, in very strong terms, even apologizing for the events.) The president responded that:
I don?t think that we would consider them an ally, but we don?t consider them an enemy. They are a new government that is trying to find its way. They were democratically elected. I think that we are going to have to see how they respond to this incident. [...] So far, at least what we've seen is in some cases, they have said the right things and taken the right steps. In others, how they have responded to various events may not be aligned with our interests. So I think it is still a work in progress. Certainly in this situation, what we?re going to expect is that they are responsive to our insistence that our embassy is protected, our personnel is protected and if they take actions that indicate that they are not taking actions [...], that's going to be a real big problem.
Earlier this week, the President was asked by Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes what he thought of Mitt Romney's remarks regarding the attacks on US consulates:
It's important for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts and that you've thought through the ramifications before you make them."In an attempt to blunt the damage caused by Mitt Romney's character and judgment gaffe, some on the Right have attempted to seize upon the president's statement that "Egypt is not an ally" by calling it a gaffe. Fox went so far as to rely upon Jimmy Carter to buttress this argument.
The argument fails both on the substance and as a political tactic. Let me take the less important point first: the politics. Simply put, the dog won't hunt. And we know this because the Romney campaign did not pick it up. In fact, pressed on the very point by George Stephanopolos, Romney demurred ("if I were president, I would do virtually everything in my power to make sure they understand what the requirements are to remain an ally of the United States.")
One of the most important powers a president has in foreign policy is in what he or she says and how and when they say it. President Obama's statement was made with a full understanding of its ramifications and with an expectation that the Egyptian government would fully understand his message. The message was delivered and absorbed. Juan Cole wrote a post describing the Egyptian government's reaction to the president's clearly delivered message: Obama Plays Hardball and Egypt?s Morsi Folds:
Under Obama?s pressure, Morsi, in Brussels seeking European aid, finally explicitly condemned Tuesday?s attack on the US embassy in Egypt:Indeed it was. Understanding the power of a president's words, and using that power skillfully and with good judgment, is an essential characteristic for a president of the United States.[W]e don?t accept, condone, or approve at all for there to be attacks on embassies, consulates or people, or killing in any way. We want to cooperate with the entire world and we are cooperating now with the E.U. and the European people and with the American people and others and the U.S. administration to prevent such practices in the future. Also, we insist on the protection of persons, properties and embassies. The Egyptian people are very civilized and could not ever express their rejection of such practices with an attack on an embassy or person or consulate.Some of Morsi?s sudden willingness to say all this was fueled by Obama?s pressure. [Emphasis added.]
The events of the last week have demonstrated that President Obama possesses this understanding and the good judgment and character to exercise that power skillfully to the benefit of the nation. This week Mitt Romney demonstrated that he lacks this understanding and the good judgment and character to exercise this power properly.
Mitt Romney is not qualified to be president of the United States.
As we learn more about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi on September 11, it becomes harder and harder to ignore the probability that the militants involved were retaliating for a drone strike that took out a top al-Qaeda leader who happened to[...]
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Rachel Maddow let Mitt Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan have it for showing up in the middle of all of the turmoil going on right now in the Middle East and Africa and just after the death of our ambassador in Libya, at the Values Voter Summit 2012. As she noted, if anyone wanted to know why Hillary Clinton was being attacked along with her aid Huma Abedin, look no further than the wingnuts appearing at this event.
Here's more with a rundown of that from Right Wing Watch: Who's Who at the Values Voter Summit 2012:
This weekend Republican and conservative leaders, including GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, are set to address the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. Last year, nearly every single Republican candidate for President addressed the conference, where speakers denounced gay rights, secular government, legal abortion and the Mormon faith.
This year, Ryan will be speaking at a conference that is playing host to some of the most extreme activists in the Religious Right who have made careers demonizing gays and lesbians, attacking the freedoms of Muslim-Americans and promoting wild conspiracies about President Obama. [...]
Family Research Council vice president and retired Army Lt. Gen. William ?Jerry? Boykin sparked a controversy when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the War on Terror as a holy war against Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. He:
- asserted that ?Islam is evil?;
- rejects religious freedom for American Muslims, claiming that Islam ?is not just a religion, it is a totalitarian way of life.?
- wants to ban mosques;
- warned Obama is using the health care reform law as a cover to establish a private army of Brownshirts loyal just to him;
- accused the Obama administration of showing ?support for the infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood into our government?;
- claimed the bailout of AIG led to the establishment of Sharia law;
- said that American Jews were misled into supporting Democrats by wrongly thinking Adolf Hitler was right-wing extremist;
Along with his role at the FRC, Boykin is also a leading member of the dominionist group The Oak Initiative. In a speech at the group?s conference last April, he declared that George Soros and the Council on Foreign Relations conspired to collapse the U.S. economy in order to help Obama get elected. [...]
Kamal Saleem tells audiences at Religious Right conferences he is ex-terrorist, yet he refuses to provide any details substantiating his claims, and his story has been repeatedly debunked as a myth. Saleem is using his phony story to claim that President Obama is likely a secret Muslim who wants to change the laws so ?terrorism will be legal? and everyone will ?be wearing ragheads? as part of his twenty year plan to bring about Sharia law. According to Saleem, Roe v. Wade is part of a plot to ?bring Sharia law liberally in our face? and that U.S. currency in some parts of the country now reads ?In Allah We Trust.? Along with the Obama administration and the judiciary, Saleem says radical Islamists have penetrated the education system, medical and banking industries, the church and the U.S. military, claiming that ?many generals who swore to destroy the United States of America are generals in the United States? and that the hate crimes law and contraception mandate are part of a plan to instill Sharia law and to try and go about ?legalizing terrorism.?
Frank Gaffney tries to pose as an intellectual to promote his own anti-Muslim and anti-Obama conspiracies, and has significant sway over Republicans in Congress who believe them. Frank Gaffney is a proud birther and has called President Obama ?America?s first Muslim president,? while suggesting that Obama is out to become a dictator by using similar tactics as Adolf Hitler. He accuses Obama of simultaneously pushing Sharia law and the ?radical homosexual agenda? and also asserting that George W. Bush?s inner circle and the conservative movements were also penetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood. His outrageous conspiracies got him banned from the American Conservative Union?s CPAC and a weekly meeting of top conservative activists . He continues to smear even Republicans, including John McCain and John Boehner, who don?t sign on to his anti-Muslim conspiracies.
You can read about the rest of the speakers at the link above, but these were the few Maddow featured in the clip above. This is just one more sign that Romney and Ryan have given up completely on independents and are still desperately hoping to get their base out, or Ryan wouldn't be anywhere near this event.
The pre-trial hearings for the Gulf Port 7 case continued on September 6, 2012; although the Austin Police Department presented the information Judge Joan Campbell requested at the previous hearing, most of it was done in camera -- in private, where[...]
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Mitt Romney is such a pathetic candidate that we're now forced to watch Fox News contort itself into a tiny wretched pretzel in order to "suppose" that there might have been warnings leading up to the embassy attacks in Benghazi, Libya last week.
This spin comes on the heels of a devastating poll for Romney, showing that the people in countries that are our strongest allies feel rather strongly that he should not be elected in November. I share those sentiments. However, Pakistanis seem to think he might be a good choice.
Here's how the Fox spin goes, and I noticed it was on all three of the primetime shows tonight too, so plan on seeing it spill over into next week's news cycles until they clean up this week's Romney droppings on the international landscape.
Fox is getting their story from The Independent, who claims the State Department had 48 hours notice that something was going to happen somewhere.
According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and "lockdown", under which movement is severely restricted.
The world is a big place. There are hundreds of embassies and consulates in it. A vague warning about "something" happening on the anniversary of September 11th is hardly tantamount to a specific warning about a specific place.
But Fox will flog this so-called "warning" because it gives them a chance to draw some kind of weird and bizarre equivalence between what happened in Libya and George W. Bush's failure to heed a far more specific warning more than a month before the 9-11 attacks occurred.
Prediction: Republicans will go up with an ad within three weeks of the election claiming that President Obama is a weak leader because he allowed the attack on the Benghazi consulate to occur. They will ignore the seven embassy attacks during his 8-year tenure in the White House. They will ignore the 20 people who died in that time span, because Fox News has a sworn duty to prop up a failing Republican candidate by the name of Mitt Romney.
By the way, as long as we're on the subject of Mitt Romney, he flip-flopped yet again Friday and -- wait for it -- apologized to the terrorists. I guess that means they won?
I yearn for the day when Mitt Romney is just a dim memory in the annals of history. This has to be the most lie-laden, inept, incompetent campaign ever run by any party.