Saturday, June 25, 2011

Headlines - Saturday June 25

With Afghan withdrawal, US focus turns to Pakistan
As the U.S. looks ahead to its phased withdrawal from Afghanistan, even more attention is being directed toward Pakistan, where Obama administration officials say al-Qaida and its allies are still plotting attacks against the West.
President Barack Obama will reportedly announce tonight that he is going to reduce our current 100,000 troop level in Afghanistan by 30,000 — by November 2012. That date may seem familiar. It is the next election day.
Continue reading 'Obama To Order Troop Reduction — By November 2012′
Congress is very serious about Libya

The House of Representatives voted on two bills today. One, to defund our logistical involvement in Libya. The other, to profess congressional support for our logistical involvement in Libya. Both bills were defeated.

In a confused message to President Obama, the House on Friday voted down both a bill to defund U.S. involvement in the Libya mission and a measure that would have granted the mission Congressional approval for one year.

All week, support had been building in the House for repudiating Obama's handling of the war with most concerns focused on his failure to consult Congress and gain its approval before authorizing airstrikes. But that movement fell short of sending the harshest rebuke at Congress' disposal — cutting off funds — although members registered their disapproval of the war and Obama's handling of it by failing to give it the Congressional seal of approval.

The final vote on the defunding bill was 180 in favor and 238 opposed. In the first vote, the House overwhelmingly voted down a bill that would have authorized U.S. military action in Libya for one year, 295 to 123.


Do something! No don't do something!

You can't attack the president for failing to procure congressional approval when congress is as fundamentally incoherent as this 112th congress is. Congress has had four fucking months to clearly approve or disapprove of U.S. involvement in Libya, and they just voted both ways on the same day!


Most if not all of the Republicans are opposed to President Obama ending the Iraq War as well as the forthcoming end to the Afghanistan War. But, via Ezra Klein, the CBO says that reducing our military forces in those theaters would reduce the deficit by $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years.

"…the number of military personnel deployed for war-related purposes would decline over a five-year period to an average of 180,000 in 2011, 130,000 in 2012, 100,000 in 2013, 65,000 in 2014, and 45,000 in 2015 and thereafter. Under this scenario, total discretionary outlays over the 2012–2021 period would be $1.1 trillion less than the amount in the baseline. Debt-service costs would bring the cumulative savings relative to the baseline to about $1.4 trillion over the coming decade."

But the Republicans don't want that. And they were the ones cheerleading the whole ordeal in the first place, costing us trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives.


"I'm surprised the health department has not come out against this because we are going to have an HIV epidemic if this passes. You don't see two male dogs sleeping in the same dog house together." New York State Senator Sam Trombley (R)

There are so many things wrong with this remark it's difficult to know where to begin. I suppose we can start by mentioning that marriages are intended to be monogamous and therefore safer — and end by noting that, while I typed this, I glanced several inches to right of my computer to see two dogs sleeping together on my floor. In other words, Sam Trombley is a homophobic ignoramus.



OMG: Miss America Contestants on Evolution
Congrats to New York - well done!
The State Senate just approved the marriage equality legislation by a vote of 33 - 29. Same-sex marriage becomes legal in New York 30 days after Governor Cuomo signs the bill into law
Anson Kaye: House Republicans Stop Pesky Food Safety Regulations
Gene Lyons: When the GOP doubled down on crazy
House Condemns Libya Conflict For Real Reasons Iraq War Was Awful

Ruh-roh, House lawmakers have found time in their busy day avoiding debt talks to scold Obama for sending a few shiny war toys over to Libya, where NATO is still busy bombing Dictator Death for whatever reason that makes him worse than the guy killing all the Syrians. Oil, probably? Yeah, so quit doing that, you're wasting all our money, the House cried to Obama by a vote of 295-123. It's been too long (3 months), and you've spent all this money ($716 million)! And what's your problem with dictators, anyway? The Libyans didn't ask you to come over and help them install a democracy might have asked you to help them overthrow their murderous dictator and his horrible sons to establish a democracy, but whatever, they are not freedom-loving Muslims they're freedom-loving Muslims that House lawmakers don't care about.

Here is something about the Iraq war: it cost over $3 trillion. The U.S. deficit hovers just under $15 trillion, so you might say, if you liked math, that this is the equivalent of somewhere around one-fifth of the current U.S. debt!

From McClatchy:

They were thwarted by an unusual combination of anti-war Democrats, as well as most Republicans, who argued that the three-month old mission has become too murky and too costly. 70 Democrats joined 225 Republicans to vote against the measure.

Haha, "too murky and too costly." Is that possibly the most cynical thing any lawmaker could ever surmise about the Libyan conflict if that lawmaker also voted for the Iraq war? No, probably you would have to add in some glib comments about how it is not the job of the United States to fight someone's battle for democracy, or whatever. Meanwhile, almost half of the world's conflict refugees are people who have been displaced by American wars. [McClatchy]


Party before country
Congressional Republicans on Thursday abandoned budget talks aimed at clearing the way for a federal debt limit increase, leaving the outcome in doubt as they vowed not to give in to a Democratic push for new tax revenues as part of any compromise.
Let's be clear about this: The Republicans Confederates in Congress have zero interest in doing anything to help push the economy along. They would rather sink this country than take the smallest risk that any Democrat could take any credit for it.

There is no "bipartisan deal" for the budget talks. There is only what the Confederates want, what the Confederates will permit. That is why there has been no plan whatsoever to lower the unemployment rate, because the Confederates will not let it happen.

Sooner or later, people are going to start waking up to the reality that the Republicans are sabotaging our country for their own partisan interests.
A necessary prelude, especially for members of Congress who apparently don't bother to read or pay attention to, you know, our actual past:
Screw MTV: Tea party makes own show about unwed colonial mothers
the original Teen Mom
Uh, hurray! Coming soon to an Internet-capable computer near you is the world's first Tea Party teevee series, not about Michele Bachmann's trademark "demon eyes" makeup secrets like you might think, but an ultra-bizarre historical drama about an unmarried colonial teen mom named Sarah Palin Pine and how everyone in town must hunt down the man who impregnated her and force the pair to get married. Here is the creator, wealthy Hollywood wingnut James Patrick Riley, on why he made the show: "Hollywood tends to make over the past in its own image – 18th century women become raging feminists; statesmen become agnostics or rakes." Which, awesome, since it will be one of those nice God-fearin' and woman-beatin' shows everyone has been waiting for to remind America of why it is great. AMAZING TRAILER after the jump: READ MORE » 

Line of the day, via Doghouse Riley:

"The Republican presidential field looks less like an assemblage of candidates than a collection of fatal mistakes and irreparable flaws, with occasional embodiments of one or more of the Seven Deadly Sins."Steve Chapman, Real Clear Politics



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