In his interview with the Hebrew paper Globes and partially translated by the Times of Israel, Wiesel said nothing compares to the Holocaust. Asked about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s frequent allusions to the Holocaust when talking about Iran, Wiesel responded:
Iran is a threat, but can we say that it will make a second Auschwitz? I don?t compare anything to the Holocaust. …
Only Auschwitz was Auschwitz.
The Times of Israel paraphrased Wiesel as saying that “he did not approve of the frequency with which comparisons with the Nazis were made” and noting that not all genocides are like the Holocaust and such comparisons, “aside from being inaccurate, only belittle the Holocaust itself.”
Yesterday, at Israel’s Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem to commemorate the Holocaust, Netanyahu brought up Iran and criticisms of his frequent comparisons between Iran and the Nazi-led genocide. He said:
Remembering the Holocaust is not merely a matter of ceremony or historic memory. Remembering the Holocaust is imperative for learning the lessons of the past in order to ensure the foundations of the future….
I know that some people don’t appreciate me speaking such uncomfortable truths. They would rather we not talk about Iran as a nuclear threat, they claim that, though it may be true, this statement serves to sow panic and fear.
Israeli President Shimon Peres also made a similar comparison at the ceremony:
Humanity has no choice, it must learn the lessons of the Holocaust and stand up to existential threats before it is too late. Iran is at the center of this threat, it is the center of terror. It poses a threat to world peace.
Given what is indeed Iran’s record of supporting designated terror groups, a potential Iranian nuclear weapon is widely considered a threat to both the security of the U.S. and its allies in the region, and the nuclear non-proliferation regime ? though U.S. and Israeli intelligence has not concluded that Iran has made a decision to pursue a weapon. The Obama administration vows to keep ?all options on the table? to deal with the possibility, but the efficacy and consequences of a strike raise serious questions, leading the U.S. to pursue, for the meantime, a pressure track aimed at a negotiated resolution of the Iranian nuclear crisis.
But that potential threat hasn’t stopped even Israelis — the subject of the Iranian regime’s heated rhetorical attacks who feel the threat acutely — from criticizing the Holocaust comparison. The Associated Press reported last month that many Israelis say the Holocaust imagery when discussing the Iranian theat cheapens its memory and unnecessarily escalates tensions, particularly when President Obama is urging restraint. Former opposition leader Tzipi Livni called Holocaust imagery when referring to the Iranian threat ?hysterical.? Dan Halutz, a former Israeli military chief, said the Holocaust comparison was ?out of place.? Retired Israeli brigadier general Shlomo Brom, citing Holocaust comparisons, said last month in Washington that the Iran debate was “plagued with emotion.”
After seeing this tweet from National Journal reporter Beth Reinhard ...
KING: Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who's with us tonight from Maricopa County?he's in the audience?he told me this week here in Mesa?these are his words?"it's called political garbage, if you will, to not arrest illegals already in this country."The question was clearly about whether Romney supports the policy put in place by SB 1070. His answer began:
You've talked, governor, about self-deportation, if businesses do their job, asking for the right documents, the people will leave. But what about arresting? Should there be aggressive, seek them out, find them and arrest them as the Sheriff Arpaio advocates?
ROMNEY: You know, I think you see a model here in Arizona.That seemed like a clear embrace of SB 1070, and when it was reported as such by no less than Fred Hiatt himself, Romney's campaign didn't complain. Nor did they complain when Democrats attacked Romney over the comments. They were involved in a primary battle, and such interpretations benefited them. But now they don't, so they are saying that Romney's was just talking about Arizona's E-Verify law?not SB 1070. To make this case, they point to the continuation of Romney's answer:
They passed a law here that says -- that says that people who come here and try and find work, that the employer is required to look them up on e- verify. This e-verify system allows employers in Arizona to know who's here legally and who's not here legally.It seems like Romney's campaign as a point, right? Sure, it was sneaky of him to let people think he was talking about SB 1070 with his initial answer, but he added the appropriate caveat, right? Maybe, but he continued:
And as a result of e-verify being put in place, the number of people in Arizona that are here illegally has dropped by some 14 percent, where the national average has only gone down 7 percent.
So going back to the question that was asked, the right course for America is to drop these lawsuits against Arizona and other states that are trying to do the job Barack Obama isn't doing.In that part of the answer, he's clearly talking about SB 1070 and E-Verify as well as federal policy, and things just got murky again. But the important thing to remember is that the murkiness here is merely about what Romney was referring to when he used the word "model," because even if Romney wins that particular parsing game (and it's not clear that he does), Romney is still unambiguously supportive of SB 1070, and not just because he promised on that night to stop the federal lawsuits against it.
And I will drop those lawsuits on day one. I'll also complete the fence. I'll make sure we have enough border patrol agents to secure the fence. And I will make sure we have an E-Verify system and require employers to check the documents of workers, and to check E- Verify. And if an employer hires someone that has not gone through E- Verify, they're going to get sanctioned just like they do for not paying their taxes.
You do that, and just as Arizona is finding out, you can stop illegal immigration. It's time we finally did it.
Last September, for example, he told an Arizona television station that he favored SB 1070. "I support the efforts on the part of Arizona to have a safe and secure border," he said. "I think that makes sense." Romney told a town hall audience the same thing. "Well, I support the Arizona law by recognizing what Arizona has done?underscored the failure of the federal government to do its job."
So even if you were to accept the campaign's new interpretation, Romney still believes Arizona is a national model for immigration law and still believes SB 1070 "makes sense," and he has still vowed to drop federal lawsuits against it on day one.
As for the the Romney campaign's assertion that there's no difference between Mitt Romney's position and Marco Rubio's? Well, Rubio himself says he would have voted for SB 1070. So no matter how much he might try, Mitt Romney isn't going to be able to Etch-A-Sketch away his support for the law.
Protesters from Occupy Wall Street and attorneys from civil and human rights groups filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request for information on the policies the New York Police Department (NYPD) is using and has used to control and handle Occupy[...]
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I know what you're thinking. Here it is, National Poetry Month, and E.J. hasn't yet posted a single poem. Mea culpa. So here's a famous progressive poem by our current national poet laureate, Philip Levine, a poem that is still as heartbreaking as it ever was.
You Can Have It
My brother comes home from work
and climbs the stairs to our room.
I can hear the bed groan and his shoes drop
one by one. You can have it, he says.
The moonlight streams in the window
and his unshaven face is whitened
like the face of the moon. He will sleep
long after noon and waken to find me gone.
Thirty years will pass before I remember
that moment when suddenly I knew each man
has one brother who dies when he sleeps
and sleeps when he rises to face this life,
and that together they are only one man
sharing a heart that always labours, hands
yellowed and cracked, a mouth that gasps
for breath and asks, Am I gonna make it?
All night at the ice plant he had fed
the chute its silvery blocks, and then I
stacked cases of orange soda for the children
of Kentucky, one gray boxcar at a time
with always two more waiting. We were twenty
for such a short time and always in
the wrong clothes, crusted with dirt
and sweat. I think now we were never twenty.
In 1948 the city of Detroit, founded
by de la Mothe Cadillac for the distant purposes
of Henry Ford, no one wakened or died,
no one walked the streets or stoked a furnace,
for there was no such year, and now
that year has fallen off all the old newspapers,
calendars, doctors' appointments, bonds
wedding certificates, drivers licenses.
The city slept. The snow turned to ice.
The ice to standing pools or rivers
racing in the gutters. Then the bright grass rose
between the thousands of cracked squares,
and that grass died. I give you back 1948.
I give you all the years from then
to the coming one. Give me back the moon
with its frail light falling across a face.
Give me back my young brother, hard
and furious, with wide shoulders and a curse
for God and burning eyes that look upon
all creation and say, You can have it.
Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Deadbeat).
Sorry, ex-deadbeat.Congratulations to the nation's most infamous deadbeat dad, Rep. Joe Walsh. The Hill reports that Deadbeat Joe is officially no longer a deadbeat:
Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) and his ex-wife have reached an agreement to end the court case over whether he owed her more than $100,000 in unpaid child support, Walsh's campaign announced Thursday morning.The couple even released a joint statement to make it very, very clear that Deadbeat Joe is no longer a deadbeat, so we can all stop calling him that now:
?We both regret this public misunderstanding and the effect it has had on our children. Like many families, we have had our share of issues and made our share of mistakes over the years. Having resolved these issues together and cleared up these mistakes in private, we now agree that Joe is not and was not a ?deadbeat dad? and does not owe child support. We both have been loving and devoted parents to our children, ages 24, 21, and 17, and are happy to avoid a public legal fight hurtful to our entire family and look forward to caring for our children in private.?Got that? Deadbeat Joe is not a deadbeat. Stop saying that! The child support his ex-wife has been trying to get out of him for the better part of a decade is all taken care of now. Repeat: Deadbeat?sorry, ex-Deadbeat?Joe is not a deadbeat.
Of course, that doesn't mean he isn't still an awful stain on humanity for a long list of reasons, including, but not limited to, dismissing his rival Tammy Duckworth's military service (and the two legs she lost) in Iraq with an "Ehhh. Now let?s move on"; inviting said rival to debate him on a day when she has National Guard duty; and receiving an award from the Family Research Council for hating chicks and teh gays in just the right way.
Also, he is a "high-risk" driver who lost his license for also being a deadbeat when it comes to paying his car insurance.
But hey, at least he doesn't have that "Deadbeat dad" thing hanging over him anymore. And in case you were wondering, no, the terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.
If it's Sunday, it must be John McCainIt's not all in your imagination. Yes, the Sunday talk shows are all about Republicans, week after week. Peter Hart from the liberal watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting has the results of eight months of monitoring four Sunday morning talk shows?ABC?s This Week, NBC?s Meet the Press, CBS?s Face the Nation and Fox News Sunday?from June 2011 through February 2012, and a very distinct lean to the right.
Republicans dominated one-on-one interviews, appearing 70 percent of the time?166 Republicans to 70 Democrats. The gender and race imbalance was even more shocking, with men dominating by 86 percent (228 male guests compared to 36 women), and 92 percent of guests were white.
The round-table discussions were no better:
Unlike the one-on-one interviews, these roundtable segments include some voices from outside the two parties; partisan sources?who leaned Republican, 180 to 109?accounted for less than half of the guests. But the nonpartisan guests didn?t alter the right?s advantage, with Republicans and/or conservatives making 282 appearances to 164 by Democrats and progressives (categories that are less interchangeable). Middle-of-the-road Beltway journalists made 201 appearances in roundtables, which serves to buttress the argument that corporate media?s idea of a debate is conservative ideologues matched by centrist-oriented journalists.
Women were just 29 percent of roundtable guests. The ethnic diversity was similarly woeful: 85 percent white and 11 percent African-American, with 3 percent Latino. Other ethnicities made up an additional 2 percent of roundtable guests.
The hotly contested Republican presidential nomination probably counts for a portion of the imbalance, but FAIR looked back at 2003-04, when Democrats were fighting it out in a primary. Hart references a Media Matters study during that period that found the shows were still skewing Republican.
Where this matters is reflected in a story Meteor Blades covered earlier this week. Another Media Matters study found that on one key issue?climate change?coverage has shrunk by 90 percent. Not only that, in 2011, the only Sunday show guests to discuss the issue were Republican politicians. No scientists. No experts.
And, increasingly, no relevance to actual life in America. The Sunday shows are a perfect representation of how Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer introduced his November 6, 2011 show: a ?cross-section of Republicans.?
The AFL-CIO has released its CEO Paywatch with 2011 data. So how do CEOs stack up against ordinary workers? Well, the average CEO of a company on the S&P 500 Index earned 380 times the average American worker's wage, with average CEO pay having increased 13.9 percent in 2011.
The highest-paid CEO in the country was Apple's Timothy Cook, whose total compensation was nearly $378 million. That's more than 11,000 times the average worker's income of $34,053. The 100th highest-paid CEO, Heinz's W.R. Johnson, had total compensation of more than $18 million, 543 times the average worker's income.
What we can't know is how much CEOs make compared with the workers in their own companies; however, that's something the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill will soon require companies to disclose. And it turns out it might well be good for companies if transparency pushed them to bring CEO pay a little more in line with average worker pay:
High CEO-to-worker pay ratios can reduce the performance of companies. Academic research has found that steep pay disparities hurt employee morale and productivity. Extreme disparities between CEO and employee pay also have been shown to result in a significant deterioration in the quality of products produced.Those results are in sharp contrast to the current corporate
In companies where CEO compensation is disproportionately high compared with that of other employees, CEO-to-worker pay disparities can cause high employee turnover and lower job satisfaction. Another study found that firms with high levels of CEO pay relative to other top executives also reduce performance.
Like almost every Democrat with claims to being a moderate, outgoing Virginia Senator Jim Webb doesn?t seem to understand that partisan politics are zero-sum:
What happened in the end, Webb said, ?was five different congressional committees voted out their version of health-care reform, and so you had 7,000 pages of contradictory information. Everybody got confused. ? From that point forward, Obama?s had a difficult time selling himself as a decisive leader.?
Webb also said that if Obama had opted for a smaller measure, he would have stood a chance of winning the support of a significant number of Republicans on Capitol Hill.
I have no doubt that Senator Webb maintains cordial relations with his GOP colleagues in the Senate; regardless, it?s simply true that Republicans were opposed to advancing a health care bill of any size, even after Democrats floated a smaller, compromise bill following Scott Brown?s win in Massachusetts. It?s not hard to see why; A bipartisan legislative victory for President Obama is a political victory for Democrats. Why would Republicans give them the advantage?
I also want to second Scott Lemieux?s take on this; what Webb underscores?more than anything?is that it took an enormous amount of political capital to pass health care reform, given the degree to which many Democrats simply didn?t give a shit:
The Webb/Frank critique is at least coherent ? essentially, it?s that Obama?s mistake was trying to pass any kind of significant health care legislation, and continuing the status quo for another generation would have been fine. [?] You have no negotiating leverage over people who don?t care if anything passes, and Webb and the other conservative Democrats who held the balance of power in the Senate can?t even be bothered to pretend that they cared.
Sometimes, I?m shocked by at fact that anything productive or worthwhile happened in the 111th Congress.
The arrogance of power comes through loud and clear here. Larry Summers and Robert Rubin did their business, and they will never admit to being wrong.[...]
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CNN's Soledad O'Brien asked Rep. Allen West to resond to his claim that 78-81 House Demcorats were members of the Communist Party. As expected West declined to name names. That this type of foolishness still goes on 60 years after Joe McCarthy is just embarrassing.
The reasons for Allen West to continue saying outrageous things though are obvious enough: rubes in the tea party lap this stuff up, to the tune of $7.5 million for his re-election (and counting), number one by far of any other representative.
Eric Wemple at the Washington Post said Soledad was satirizing West. Could be.
O'BRIEN: "So name names for me. Start naming the 78 to 81??
WEST: "Oh, we don?t have to."
O'BRIEN: "Oh, we do! I?m dying to know. Which are the members of the??
WEST: ?You can go look up the progressive caucus."
O'BRIEN: ?I got ?em right here!
WEST: "Well then you?ve got the names."
O'BRIEN ?So Keith Ellison is a communist? Raśl Grijalva is a communist??
WEST: ?Well, look, I?m just talking about the fact that the ideology and principles ? you can call it whatever you want."
O'BRIEN: ?Tammy Baldwin is a communist? Judy Chu is a communist??
WEST: ?You can call it whatever you want."
O'BRIEN: ?Yeah, but I want to know what you?re calling it."
WEST: ?I?m calling it this. Communist, progressive, Marxist, statist, another term being used. I?m looking at things they believe in. If you don?t think we have to stand upon truth and be able to identify and clearly contrast the different principles and values and ideologies of governance here in this country, then we?re never going to get to the fact of accepting the true debate happening in America. We don?t need a bureaucratic nanny state. We need to stay a Constitutional Republic. I think a lot of people need to study that and understand what it is.?
O?Brien then read a statement from the National Communist Party who said West was wrong for calling his colleagues communists.
WEST: ?I don?t care what he says".