Nov 222014
 

Last night, I Watched Barack Obama address the nation on temporary immigration reform.  I had hoped that his solution might be more inclusive, but I understand that he wanted to leave no question that his action was legally sound.  On that he succeeded.  Republicans have lo legal basis on which to challenge him, and resorted to filing a frivolous lawsuit against him over the ACA, a clear demonstration of their impotence.

1122ObamaPresident Obama’s unilateral  overhaul of the nation’s immigration system is bittersweet.

On one hand, it blocks deportation and grants work permits—for the rest of Obama’s term in office—to 5 million unauthorized people who have been in the country for at least five years. These mostly are the parents of children who were born here (and are citizens) and young people who arrived as children and grew up as typical Americans. It also ends some of the more punitive practices in federal policing, such as the Secure Communities program, where local cops turned people over to federal agents, starting the deporation [sic] treadmill, even if the undocumented person had not been convicted of a crime. Now, police will only refer cases to immigration authorities if there was a prior criminal conviction.

“Felons, not families. Criminals not children. Gang members, not a mother who’s working hard to provide for her kids,” Obama said Thursday in a nationwide  address. “We’ll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day.”

But there are big disappointments as well, such as  leaving out the parents of Dreamers (undocumented children raised as Americans), and not taking any action on unauthorized farmworkers. The White House, which knows that Republicans in Congress and many red states are vowing to block its actions, explained that trying to shield those categories of people from deportation was on shakier legal ground. The parents of Dreamers, like their children, are non-citizens, they  said. Helping farmworkers would single out one industry, while many others also rely on undocumented workers. The ongoing prospect of many families still being split up remains a real and inhumane threat…

Inserted from <AlterNet>

Lets be clear about that.  Obama’s action was never intended to solve the immigration issue.  It was an attempt on his part to do what the law allows to prevent some of the suffering that Republicans are causing through their refusal to pass a comprehensive solution to the problem.

If you missed the speech, here it is in its entirety.

Or if you prefer, here is a link to the transcript.

The noise I’m hearing from Republicans is that they would love to be able to pass comprehensive immigration reform.  Really they would and they would surely do so right away, if only the evil emperor Obama had not poisoned the well and deliberately sabotaged any chance at a bipartisan solution, making it impossible for them to do so now.  I’d call that a big pile of horse shit, but I don’t always know what’s in my cat food, and I don’t want to insult a horse that could become my kitty dinner some day!

Here are the facts.  Democrats made huge concessions to Republicans to pass comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate, breaking the Republican filibuster with eight votes to spare.  I remember the anger from my fellow progressives at those concessions, so the bill that came out of the Senate was an authentic compromise.  That was one year, four months, and 24 das ago.  John Boehner has refused to hold a vote on it.  House Republicans have refused to take up the issue at all.  Obama summed up his policy in three words, and if Republicans don’t like his modest reforms, those same three words will shut them down in a heartbeat.  Pass a bill!  Legislate comprehensive immigration reform.

I don’t think that will happen, and the reason is Racism.  Not all Republican politicians are racists, but the racists hold so much power, that the leadership fears them.,

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Nov 212014
 

Before this article is published, this will have already happened, but Obama is not due to begin speaking for another hour and a half.  Even though Republicans consider the topic so important that they are threatening impeachment, government shutdown, and sandbox temper tantrums, the big four networks, the so-called liberal media, will be elsewhere.

1121obamaEarly in his first term, President George W. Bush  addressed the nation in primetime about allowing for limited stem cell research in America and his approval for limited medical research. During the weeks leading up to the announcement, there had a been regular news coverage of the topic, as the White House let reporters know the president was deeply engaged on the issue and was meeting with an array of experts to guide him.

As Bush appeared from his ranch in Texas to make the announcement, all of the major broadcast networks joined the cable news channels in carrying his message live.

The stem cell speech didn’t address breaking news and it wasn’t about an imminent threat facing the nation. But at the time, network executives said they were happy to air the address. "I don’t think it was a tough call because it’s an issue that’s received so much attention," CBS News spokeswoman Sandy Genelius told the Boston Globe. ABC News spokesman Jeffrey Schneider agreed: "It’s an important issue and one that the country is following closely." He added that Bush was "going to make news" with the speech.

A decade later the rules seem to have shifted. All four networks  have announced they won’t carry President Obama’s address to the nation tonight about his long awaited plan to take executive action to deal with the pressing issue of immigration reform. (Two Spanish language networks, Univision and Telemundo, will carry the address live in primetime.) … [emphasis added]

Inserted from <AlterNet>

Admittedly, this won’t be the first time the four networks have ducked covering a Presidential address, but considering the import of the topic, I can’t help but wonder what they would be doing, if a white Republican President were addressing the nation on a highly controversial issue.

For those of you who missed the address, I will try to find the complete video tomorrow and post it shortly after midnight on Saturday.morning.

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Nov 202014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 15.  Tomorrow is almost here, and I just woke up.  Fortunately I had my research done this morning, but due to unpacking groceries, putting them away, and several other tasks, I just couldn’t get back to it before now.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

The Jig Zone website is currently down.  Assuming that this is a temporary situation, I’ll include today’s puzzle with tomorrow’s.

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Here in the U.S., lots of politicians have pointed to China as the reason the U.S. should not sign climate treaties. What will opponents of climate change action use as an excuse now? Check out this spot-on video from Climate Desk of what the excuses sound like:

 

This is the 3rd of 8 reasons President Obama and the Democratic Party have made the world a better place by negotiating a greenhouse gasses agreement with China. Click through for the other seven. A must-read article.

From Daily Kos: When Congress voted to approve the Keystone Pipeline they committed an act of war against the Great Sioux Nation. Apparently they completely forgot to check with the Sioux who live on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, who in February adopted tribal resolutions opposing the Keystone XL project. Or maybe Congress didn’t forget but rather chose to ignore them.

Of course the U.S. government has hardly ever taken Native American concerns seriously, so it would be a surprise if that happened now, but Rosebud Sioux (Sicangu Lakota Oyate) Tribal President Scott said his nation has yet to be properly consulted on the project, which would cross through tribal land. Concerns brought to the Department of Interior and to the Department of State have yet to be addressed, he said in a statement.

Kudos and thanks to the Rosebud Sioux. No doubt this will pass the Senate when it reconvenes with a Republican majority. Hopefully, Obama will veto it, but if not, I hope the Sioux sue.

From PRWatch: Leaked documents expose a plan by Edelman for TransCanada to launch an "aggressive" American-style policy/politics PR campaign to persuade Canadians to support a Canada-based alternative to the stalled Keystone XL pipeline to get controversial tar sands oil to refineries in eastern Canada for export.

But, according to the documents, this Canada-centric campaign would actually be run out of an office in Washington, DC. And the digital campaign is being led by a rightwing American political operative employed by the world’s largest public relations firm.

The documents were obtained by Greenpeace.

Ian Austen of The New York Times published some excerpts from the planning documents on November 17 that show how a new PR operation is in the works to persuade skeptical Canadians the "Energy East Pipeline" from Alberta to Quebec and to New Brunswick is a good idea.

Watch out Canada. They should be calling that Pollution East. It will be3 as bad for you as keystone XL would be for us.

Cartoon:

1120Cartoon

We still need one of these for Bush, Cheney, et al.

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Nov 172014
 

Here are the results of our Obama Dependability poll.  Politics Plus Polls are not scientific, because those who respond are not balanced according to demographic categories.   Therefore, we do not accurately reflect the makeup of the US population.  Nevertheless, our polls are often both accurate and indicative of the nation’s view.

1117Poll

And here are your comments.

Showing comments 1-9 of 9.

Posted by Arielle   November 15, 2014 at 2:53 am.  

 

I believe he will do what he can – he no longer has to worry about elections or even the other spineless Dems. But, of course, there is only so much ONE person CAN do especially when surrounded by GOP snot heads.

 

Posted by Edie  November 12, 2014 at 5:50 pm.  

 

I voted toss up because I never can predict what he will do.

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Posted by Yvonne White  November 10, 2014 at 9:37 am.  

 

I voted Toss Up because I’m not happy with his "advisors". I believe he’s a good guy, but he kept too many Bu$h Leaguers in place to begin with, hasn’t uncoupled himself from "moderates", and seems to NEED excessive & overwhelming feedback before he Realizes something is pissing us off or we are Demanding a certain thing. We’re still being mugged by Ungodly Loan prices & Credit Card debt, no REAL Consumer Protection still..etc.

 

Posted by Patty  November 10, 2014 at 12:53 am.  

 

I think it’s a toss-up ad depends on how well he can lie to them and offer them a deal that he reneges on like they have done to him for 6 years.

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Posted by mamabear  November 9, 2014 at 6:42 am.  

 

very likely after all he seems to be one of the few who will stand with him. I think he is as a honest and trust worthy as a man can be. I think he has always been for the little guy he is the kind of man who against all odds he will still with us. We may always agree with how he goes about it but he at least has the answer on how to get the job done.

 

Posted by gene  November 7, 2014 at 4:34 am.  

 

I went very likely and that is hope more than anything. He is the ONLY person standing between the 1% and the rest of the country, they don’t have enough votes to override a veto, so he has to stand firm; there is no one else to protect the rest of us from the oligarchy of the 1% and their GOP puppets.

 

Posted by Joanne D  November 7, 2014 at 3:48 am.  

 

Based on his first term, I would also have said "very unlikely." He has been a little better in his second term. But it’s tough to be sure. Several groups have petitions started to him asking him to be a firewall. I have signed a couple.

 

Posted by Phil  November 6, 2014 at 7:51 pm.  

 

My "very unlikely" vote is based on Obama’s past performance.

 

Posted by Jerry Critter  November 6, 2014 at 9:22 am.  

 

He already tired to shred the safety net, but he did not go far enough for the teabaggers. I don’t see why he will be any different this time around.

I voted toss-up, because he caved-in after the debacle of 2010.  If I could change it, iw would change to Somewhat likely,.

A new poll is up.

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Sep 192014
 

RepublicansOnParade2

Here is the sixty-first article in our Republicans on Parade series, featuring individuals who personify what the Republican Party has become. Today’s honoree is former Republican Speaker of the House, deposed for corruption and graft, Newt Gingrich. He is so honored demonstrating the racism that identifies the Republican Party.

NeuterNewtSpeaking with former Senate candidate and current Newsmax host J.D. Hayworth, Newt Gingrich — the man who helped orchestrate the GOP’s historic takeover of the House in 1994, went on to become its speaker, and then ran as a presidential candidate some 18 years later — spent an irretrievable moment of his finite lifetime explaining how the way Obama golfs reveals the deficiencies in his character.

“He is, first of all, not very competent at the job of being president,” Gingrich can be seen in a Newsmax video telling Hayworth while sitting in front of a large bookshelf, as brilliant statesmen and intellectuals like the former Georgia congressman are wont to do.

“Second,” Gingrich continues, “he is very radical, ideologically. So he filters the world through a set of values and patterns that don’t work very well because they’re just not accurate.” While Gingrich does not mention the word “Kenya,” one imagines he’s referring here to his previously stated belief that the president’s motivations are comprehensible “only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior.”

Obama’s third problem, Gingrich says, “is that he has a kind of arrogance.” The former speaker, deposed by his own party for incompetence and corruption after just a few short years in leadership, said the president is “up on Mount Olympus” and finds it “painful to deal with mere mortals.” Obama’s arrogance is so apparent, according to Gingrich, that it can even be seen in the way he golfs — and it will doom the final years of his presidency, in the end…

Inserted from <Salon.com>

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

It must be so hard for poor Newt! That Kenyan birth prevents Barack from keeping his rightful place, as a good house Uncle. He doesn't shuck. He doesn't jive. He doesn't shuffle. And he so uppity, that he actually plays golf instead of caddying for Massa Newt. How arrogant!

Give me a break already yet!!

Here's another Republican long overdue for his parade.

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Sep 122014
 

The sound is deafening.  Knees are jerking all over the country.  Some are jerking, because Obama’s plan to combat ISIS is doing too much.  The rest are jerking, because Obama’s plan to combat ISIS is doing too little.  At such a time, what’s a knee to do?  At least for now, my knee is going to wait.  Here’s some analysis, the speech, a link to the transcript, and some commentary.

0912ObamaISIS

“I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.” ~President Obama

In a prime-time address to the nation (video below) President Obama laid out a plan to deal with the militant group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), which currently has large portions of Iraq as well as parts of Syria – an area about the size of Maryland – under its control.

“So tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat. Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”

President Obama made it clear that he would take this action, even inside Syria, and would be sending an additional 475 American service members to Iraq to support increased airstrikes. The President also called on congress to provide funding to train Syrian fighters, and continued humanitarian aid for those directly affected by ISIS.

ISIS or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) was formerly a major faction of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the same AQII we fought in Iraq post Saddam. However they were disavowed by Al-Qaeda central over actions in Syria, and the fact that they disobeyed orders to kill fewer civilians.

The brutality of ISIS dwarfs Al-Qaeda’s, with mass killings along the path as they take over more and more land, as well as the beheadings of kidnapped journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. Their aim is to establish a caliphate (an ever expanding Islamic homeland under Sharia law) in Iraq and Syria. U.S. officials and experts believe they have immediate ambitions for Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel as well, an area referred to in the Arab world as the “Levant”, which is why the President refers to the terrorist group as ISIL and not ISIS. And regardless of quibbling over ISIS or ISIL, one point the President made deconstructed the notion that ISIS/ISIL deserves to be called either “Islamic” or a “State”, pointing out that the terrorist group is not truly Islamic, as no religion including Islam would condone their actions, and more often than not their victims are other Muslims. Nor are they truly a “State”, States have internationally recognized sovereignty, terrorist groups don’t, even if they do temporarily capture a lot of land.

In the most controversial portion of his speech, President Obama claimed (with echoes of George W. Bush declaring himself “the Decider” bouncing back from the distant walls of the canyons of modern history) that he has the authority to act alone, but then added that he welcomes the “support” of Congress. Implied was that if he didn’t get the support of Congress, he would proceed anyhow…

Inserted from <Liberals Unite>

Obviously Republicans are screaming for all out war, and that is the worst possible approach.  It’s exactly what ISIS wants.  On the left many are saying Obama is no different from Bush.  I take issue with them too.  For starters, Obama is not trying to lie us into combat the way Bush did.  He has not even claimed that ISIS is an immediate threat to the US.  Instead he claims that, unless they are stopped now, they could become a threat to the US, an accurate evaluation.  Also under Bush, participation by foreign troops was minimal, with the US and Brits carrying the brunt of the combat load.  Obama minimizes exposure to combat for US personnel.  Those are huge differences.

Here is the speech in it’s entirety.

And for a complete transcript, click here

The problem with what Obama had to say is that it’s incomplete.  There’s still much to much that we do not know.  At this point, I consider it more of an introduction.  As for Congress, they do have the prerogative to act, but have so far shown no more inclination to do anything more that duck their own responsibility.  Obama is claiming authority under the 2001 AUMF, but Congress may cancel that, if they so choose.  I expect posturing, whining, accusations, and little more.

The most constructive view I have seen to date came in a discussion between Rachel Maddow and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).

For now, I’m going to wait and see what develops.  But I will say one thing.  With ISIS beheading Americans, failure to take some action is the fastest way to ensure political defeat.

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Sep 102014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 142.  The plan is to write before I leave for prison, crash when I come back, and post these whenever I wake up.  I have not seen my guys in over a month.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:25 (average 5:12).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest from our own Fantasy Football League, Lefty Blog Friends.

Scores:

1Scores

Standings:

1Standings

Watch out for the big footed one who took down the winner of last year’s playoffs!  Those who wish to follow our league, may do so here.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Hardly a bastion of liberal thought, A Forbes magazine article says Obama not only outperformed conservative hero Reagan, but also has reduced the national debt.  Here’s the last paragraph of the article: 

Economically, President Obama’s administration has outperformed President Reagan’s in all commonly watched categories.  Simultaneously the current administration has reduced the deficit, which skyrocketed under Reagan.  Additionally, Obama has reduced federal employment, which grew under Reagan (especially when including military personnel,) and truly delivered a “smaller government.”  Additionally, the current administration has kept inflation low, even during extreme international upheaval, failure of foreign economies (Greece) and a dramatic slowdown in the European economy.

Forbes has obviously joined a Socialist, Kenyan conspiracy.

From The New Yorker: CNN kicked off its coverage of the latest royal pregnancy on Monday by simulating the journey of Prince William’s sperm to Kate Middleton’s egg.

Holding two plastic models of the Windsors’ reproductive cells, the CNN host Don Lemon offered viewers a dramatic re-creation of the path taken by the royal spermatozoon.

The CNN president Jeff Zucker praised the demonstration, calling it “the perfect way to kick off our twenty-four-hour coverage of this story for the next nine months.”

What Andy isn’t telling you is that, if this was a black couple, The Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, would be covering it as porn, because Kate has worn shoes since conception.

From Crooks and Liars: As Karoli already discussed last week, Fox is now moving the goal posts on their BENGHAZI!!!! "scandal" and whether there was a "stand down order" given by Hillary Clinton — and as she already noted in her post, they couldn’t even manage to make it through Bret Baier’s show hyping their upcoming special over the weekend without one of the guests killing their conspiracy theory before it got off the ground.

That didn’t stop Fox’s Greta Van Susteren and her fellow host Sean Hannity from piling on with their latest bit of outrage on the subject. Apparently someone at the White House called Van Susteren and asked her if she could get her cohort Jennifer Griffin to please quit lying about the stand down order.

Now that Fox has moved the goal posts from their original story and the lie they kept repeating that Hillary Clinton gave a stand down order that delayed any rescue attempts at the consulate, they’re claiming that Griffin’s reporting was vindicated.

Never mind that it was the CIA officer in charge of the Benghazi mission security who gave the order because he was trying to get to get the local Libyans to back up their security team. Facts don’t matter much when you’ve got a narrative to sell.

Barf Baq Alert!!

 

There is a spectrum of truth ranging from absolute truth at one end to the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, at the other.

Cartoon:

0910Cartoon

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