Mar 042015
 

I call it a show, because that’s what it was.  On the plus side, I have to admit that Butcher Bibi pulled off a very talented act, but that’s all it was.  There was no substance there.  In fact, it really had little to do with Iran.  Both Butcher Bibi and Agent Orange had their own separate agendas, neither of which involves Iran, per se.

0304evilduoPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel could not have hoped for a more rapturous welcome in Congress. With Republicans and most Democrats as his props, he entered the House of Representatives to thunderous applause on Tuesday, waving his hand like a conquering hero and being mobbed by fawning lawmakers as he made his way to the lectern.

Even Washington doesn’t often see this level of exploitative political theater; it was made worse because it was so obviously intended to challenge President Obama’s foreign policy.

Mr. Netanyahu’s speech offered nothing of substance that was new, making it clear that this performance was all about proving his toughness on security issues ahead of the parliamentary election he faces on March 17. He offered no new insight on Iran and no new reasons to reject the agreement being negotiated with Iran by the United States and five other major powers to constrain Iran’s nuclear program.

His demand that Mr. Obama push for a better deal is hollow. He clearly doesn’t want negotiations and failed to suggest any reasonable alternative approach that could halt Iran’s nuclear efforts.

Moreover, he appeared to impose new conditions, insisting that international sanctions not be lifted as long as Iran continues its aggressive behavior, including hostility toward Israel and support for Hezbollah, which has called for Israel’s destruction… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

As long as the US remains in a state of war against nations or groups that claim to follow Islam, Israel remains an important regional ally.  That limits US pressure for Israel to honor  treaty obligations and and helps maintain the regional view that the US is anti-Muslim.

Chris Hayes provided excellent coverage.

In addition to the reasons I referenced, Butcher Bibi was making a campaign speech casting himself as the sophisticated international player condescendingly schooling the ignorant, naive black man.  How insulting!

In addition to his normal sedition against Obama, Agent Orange is just as devious.  A small minority of American Jews are political activists.  The conservatives gravitate towards AIPAC, and the liberals, toward J Street.  The vast majority, on the other hand, are nominally liberal, and tend to vote Democratic, but support for Israel is important to them.  Boehner is trying to make Democrats appear to be anti-Israel, and if he can drive that wedge deep enough, he might be able to remove that block of voters from the Democratic into the Republican camp.  He’d happy to send thousands of young Americans off to die in a needless war for political gain.

Like me, most Democrats are not anti-Israel.  We’re pro-Israel.  But many of us are anti-Netanyahu, because his war crimes and his pursuit of a one-state solution, contrary to treaty obligations.  We're for permanent peace in the region for both Israel and a Palestinian State.  That’s why American Jews, and Israelis for that matter. should oppose both Butcher Bibi and the Republican Party.

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Feb 062015
 

Day 93.  I slept in, which is good.  I needed it.  This afternoon my building is having a community meeting in which management will be going over the steps they are going to start talking to help us recycle and lower our carbon footprint.  While that may see like a pain in the ass, I’m glad they care.  You folks back east had betted get ready for some nasty weather.  Although it has been unseasonably warm here, it’s been raining nonstop for over a day and is forecast to continue for two – three more.  When that mixes from cold air out of Canada, watch out!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today;s took me 2:59 (average 4:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Florida Attorney Steve Medina has been working on a case, pro bono, to expose the environmental corruption which has been taking place in Tallahassee and Putnam County, Florida.

Tons of toxic waste is being dumped into St. Johns River, daily, by the Koch Brothers company, Georgia-Pacific. Aspects of the deal allowing Georgia Pacific to massively assault the environment, were misleading, sometimes illegal, and unbeknownst to the local citizens. Florida Governor Rick Scott and former Governor (and Republican presidential hopeful), Jeb Bush, are also involved.

Click through for the dirty details. Those four are peas in a pod.

From Reuters: A senior Israeli official suggested on Friday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been misled into thinking an invitation to address the U.S. Congress on Iran next month was fully supported by the Democrats.

Netanyahu was invited by the Republican speaker of the house, John Boehner, to address Congress on March 3, an invitation Boehner originally described as bipartisan.

The move angered the White House, which is upset about the event coming two weeks before Israeli elections and the fact that Netanyahu, who has a testy relationship with President Obama, is expected to be critical of U.S. policy on Iran.

I don’t doubt that Agent Orange lied. After all, his mouth was open, and there was no inflow of whiskey. However, if Butcher Ben were truly concerned, he would cancel the trip. He says he has no such plans.

From Right Wing Watch: Creationist leader Ken Ham is incensed that the state of Kentucky is supposedly abridging his organization’s “fundamental rights” by declining to provide around $18 million in tax incentives to his Noah’s Ark theme park. The park is a planned addition to Ham’s Creation Museum and is intended to be, according to Ham, “one of the greatest evangelist outreaches of our day.”

Since Ham’s group plans to discriminate on the basis of religion in its hiring practices, it is no surprise that it won’t get public funds. But Ham claims that he has a “right” to receive taxpayer money and has filed a lawsuit [pseudo-Christians delinked] against Kentucky, insisting that his organization, Answers in Genesis, is the real victim of discrimination.

He took his case to “Washington Watch” [pseudo-Christians delinked] yesterday, where he told host Tony Perkins that Kentucky’s decision somehow violates his organization’s right to the freedom of speech: “Anyone who wants to have freedom of speech in this nation, freedom of religion, free exercise of religion, needs to stand with us as we do this because that is what we are standing for.”

In short this Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian is saying that failure to fund his attempt to proselytize others in a manner that violates the US Constitution violates his freedom of speech and freedom of religion. He is free to spread the Republican gospel of greed, lies and hate to his heart’s content, and I defend his right to do so. But, if government pays for it, that violates our rights.

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Jan 252015
 
President Barack Obama has worked long and hard at negotiating a settlement with Iran in conjunction with European Union.  If successful, it will go a long way to restore the relationship with Iran that deteriorated when Republicans overthrew a democratically elected government the to enable Britain’s control of Iran’s Oil.  It can prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.  To undermine that, Republicans want to impose sanctions on Iran now, virtually assuring war in the future.  To that end Speaker John “Agent Orange” Boehner (R-OH) has invited Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to address Congress and request sanctions.  A prominent liberal Jew, Philip Weiss has an excellent idea regarding that visit.

 

0125ButcherBen

A lot of the commentary on the shocking/outrageous/inappropriate/unprecedented/ dangerous invitation from the Republican leadership to Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress about our Iran policy, thereby undermining Obama’s negotiations, has said that Netanyahu shouldn’t have accepted the invitation or the Republicans shouldn’t have invited him. A couple of liberal Jewish organizations, for instance, are pleading with Congress to delay the speech.

But they did invite him. And he did accept the invitation, for March.

The Republicans and neocons and Netanyahu have all taken action. But our side is being passive.

Here is the real challenge to all those who don’t want another war in the Middle East: Tell your congressperson not to undermine our president’s efforts to strike a deal with Iran. Tell your congressperson not to attend the speech. That’s right. Tell your congressperson to give Benjamin Netanyahu the cold shoulder, lest he lead our country to war, or undermine the American president on his efforts to strike a deal with Iran.

Inserted from <mondoweiss.net>

Butcher Ben has been lobbying for a US attack on Iran, because Iran has threatened Israel.  Iran lacks the capability to make good those threats.  Butcher Ben also wants Israel to remain the only illegal nuclear power in the near east.  For a foreign leader to be invited lobby Congress to undermine  the President’s foreign policy is unprecedented and seditious.  I urge you to tell your Congress critter to boycott Netanyahu’s appearance.  I also would consider it appropriate for them to show Netanyahu their back, because of the total disrespect he is showing this nation by participating in this Republican scheme.

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Jul 242014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 94.  Yesterdays CoDA meeting in prison went very well.  I cleaned house this morning and an now waiting fore Store to Door to driver groceries.  Then I’m going to rest, because I have another volunteer day in prison tomorrow.  This is the general meeting with around 100 of my guys.  So this is tomorrow’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:53 (average 4:29).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The BBC reports:

Iran has turned all of its enriched uranium closest to the level needed to make nuclear arms into more harmless forms, the UN nuclear agency says.

The conversion of its stock of 20%-enriched uranium was part of a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear programme.

The US said last week it would unblock $2.8bn in frozen Iranian funds in return for Iran’s compliance.

A four-month extension to talks on Iran’s nuclear ambitions was agreed on Friday between Iran and world powers.

This is a big deal.  A major foreign policy success.  Iran is ending its nuclear program.  All without a shot being fired.

The author goes on to say that because we didn’t bomb anyone, the media didn’t considerate it worth reporting. Is that sick or what?

From The New Yorker: An aide to Rick Perry is confident that the Texas Governor proved he “has what it takes to be President” with his decision on Monday to send troops somewhere for no reason.

By deploying a thousand National Guardsmen to the U.S.-Mexico border, Perry has shown that as President he would be “ready and willing” to use troops without a defined objective, mission, or exit strategy, the aide confirmed.

“Sending troops someplace with no clear idea of why they are going or what they are supposed to be doing once they get there is a key part of the Presidential skill set,” said the aide, Harland Dorrinson. “Rick Perry has just shown that he’s got that nailed down.”

Did Andy hide some satire in there?

From Huffington Post: An Arizona inmate gasped and snorted in an execution that lasted nearly two hours on Tuesday.

Lawyers for Joseph Wood had filed an emergency motion to abort the execution because their client was still alive more than an hour after receiving a lethal injection that was intended to kill him quickly and peacefully.

Their motion, filed in federal district court, failed to save Wood. Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced that the 55-year-old convicted killer was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m.

Court papers said the execution started 117 minutes earlier.

"He has been gasping and snorting for more than an hour," Wood’s lawyers wrote in their hurried attempt to call off the execution and force Arizona to provide Wood with life-saving care. "He is still alive."

A journalist from the Arizona Republic who witnessed the execution said Wood gasped for air 660 times after the drugs were introduced through intravenous tubes.

If strapping down a human being and torturing him for two hours is not cruel and unusual punishment, what is?

No doubt the Arizona Death Angel, Jan Brewer, is partying tonight.

Cartoon:

0724Cartoon

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Dec 282013
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and waiting for my helper friend to arrive and continue the business of moving.  It’s a slow time for news, because the people woo make it are on vacation, but with a little extra digging, I could come up with articles.

Jig Zone Puzzles:

Today’s took me 3:08 (average 5:08).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Conversations about the U.S. education system often revolve around misconceptions. Here’s some clarity.

 

This video makes it crystal clear that Democrats are on the right track, but every one of the Republican educational policies will make the problem worse.

From Alternet: You already know that the United States locks up a higher percentage of its population than any other country in the world. If you look at local, state and federal prison and jail populations, the United States currently incarcerates more than 2.4 million people, a figure that constitutes roughly 25 percent of the total incarcerated population of the entire world.

A population of 2.4 million is a lot – enough, in fact, to fill up a good-sized country. If the incarcerated population of the United States constituted a nation-state, what kind of country would it be?

Click through for a fascinating read on the US system if

Click through for a fascinating read on the US system if prison injustice.  Because I spend three days a month working with prisoners, I can confirm this piece.

From Crooks and Liars: As 2013 draws to close, the negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program have entered a delicate stage. But in 2014, the tensions will escalate dramatically as a bipartisan group of Senators brings a new Iran sanctions bill to the floor for a vote. As many others have warned, that promise of new measures against Tehran will almost certainly blow up the interim deal reached by the Obama administration and its UN/EU partners in Geneva. But Congress’ highly unusual intervention into the President’s domain of foreign policy doesn’t just make the prospect of an American conflict with Iran more likely. As it turns out, the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act essentially empowers Israel to decide whether the United States will go to war against Tehran.

 

Contact your Senators, and tell them to oppose this. Empowering Israel over war on Iran is like empowering Republicans over war on ________. (Almost anything good will do here.)

Cartoon:

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Contrary to Republican lies, this was not handed down from the founding fathers. It was written in 1892, and the words "under God" were not added until 1954.

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Nov 272013
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and this may be the only day this week I can do a complete Open Thread.  Tomorrow is a major shopping day.  My friend, with whom I do volunteer work, will be chauffeuring me to several places, and I’m sure I shall return home exhausted.

Update from today: Guitar man woke up. :-(

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:48 (average 5:28).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest from our fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.

Scores:

12Scores

At least, I would not have been dead last had I not slept through my 9:30 AM injury check, and put Adrian Peterson back in the lineup. :-(

Standings:

12Standings

Just two more games before the playoffs start.

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told reporters today his nation agreed to a deal on its nuclear program in the hopes that it would distract attention from the trouble-plagued rollout of Obamacare.

“It’s true, we’ve resisted any deal on nukes for over three decades,” the Ayatollah said. “But when we saw how much trouble Obama was having with his Web site, we realized it would be uncaring of us not to try to help him out.”

The Ayatollah said he was not “overly optimistic” that signing a nuclear treaty with the West would be sufficient to distract attention from the President’s Obamacare woes, but, he added, “You never know. Every little bit helps.”…

Oh Andy!! Republicans will be quoting this as fact!

From MSNBC: More Virginia Election Theft?

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I think there may well be valid reason to determine that the election was improperly conducted, because of all the Democrats deprived of their right to vote. For Republican state legislators to deprive all Virginians of their votes and simply appoint the Republican fits perfectly within InsaniTEA! Beware!

From Crooks and Liars: In the wake of an agreement finally being made to address Iran’s nuclear program, to no one’s surprise, it’s got every neocon war monger out there wailing like banshees and one of the loudest was of course our former embarrassment of a U.N. ambassador, John Bolton: Experts Praise Effective Iran Sanctions While Fox’s Bolton Calls For Strikes:

 

I can think of few things more anti-American than a former US official telling a foreign nation to undermine US foreign policy by committing an act of war against another nation.

Cartoon:

1127Cartoon

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