Love him or hate him, Grayson can turn a phrase:
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) on Monday mocked the 67 House Republicans who voted against disaster relief funds for the victims of Hurricane Sanday.
"It's the same 67 over and over again," he noted on The Stephanie Miller Show. "It's the bath salts caucus, the people that would rather eat your face than cut taxes on the rich."
The bill provided $9.7 billion for those whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy last year. The 67 Republicans who voted against the bill objected to it because the funds were not paid for with cuts to over government programs.
So true. I'm glad he is back in the House chucking grenades.
But: Hagel owes it to all Americans, not just to American Jews, to do more than apologize for use of the expression "Jewish lobby" in communicating his concern about its power.
He must understand, first, that there is a difference between Jews who support Israel and the "Israel lobby."
To suggest that there is a "Jewish lobby" is not only inaccurate, it is highly offensive to the American Jewish community.
Fred Kaplan prefuted (yes I just made that up) him earlier:
But the bugaboo issue—the third rail when it comes to foreign policy—is Israel. As a senator, Hagel once complained to a reporter that "the Jewish lobby" intimidates many lawmakers on Capitol Hill. And he once intoned that he was a senator from Nebraska, not a senator from Israel. These may have been impolitic remarks, but they weren't false—either in strict substance or in spirit.
No one could deny that AIPAC has an overpowering influence on many lawmakers. Hagel's sin, in the eyes of some, was to call it the "Jewish lobby" instead of the "Israel lobby." If this is a sin, AIPAC and its allies have brought it on themselves. For decades, they have thundered that criticism of Israel is thinly disguised anti-Semitism. Yet they cry "anti-Semitism" again when someone inverts the equation (which is what the phrase in question amounts to: If anti-Israel equals anti-Jewish, then pro-Israel equals pro-Jewish). As for saying that he's a senator from Nebraska, not Israel: Had he or any other senator said this about any other country ("I'm not a senator from France … England … Canada" or wherever), no one would have batted an eye. To accuse him of anti-Semitism on these grounds is to reveal a staggeringly deep paranoia—or a sensitivity far too acute to be allowed any role in American politics.
Why won't Lanny Davis just go away?
While the war party goes apeshit over the selection of Hagel for SecDef because of his alleged "weakness" towards Iran, here is a graphic reminder that we are already doing plenty to hurt the people of Iran with crippling sancions:
Already battered by international threats against their nation's nuclear program, sanctions and a broken economy, Iranians living here in the capital are now trying to cope with what has become an annual pollution peril: a yellowish haze that engulfs Tehran this time of year.
For nearly a week, officials here and in other large cities have been calling on residents to remain indoors or avoid downtown areas, saying that with air pollution at such high levels, venturing outside could be tantamount to "suicide," state radio reported Saturday.
On Sunday, government offices, schools, universities and banks reopened after the government had ordered them to shut down for five days to help ease the chronic pollution. Tehran's normally bustling streets were largely deserted.
Residents who dare to go outside cover their mouths and noses with scarves or surgical masks, but their eyes tear up and their throats sting from the mist of pollutants, which a report by the municipality of Tehran says is made up of a mixture of particles containing lead, sulfur dioxins and benzene.***
But since 2010, when American sanctions on Iranian imports of refined gasoline began to bite, the situation has grown worse, according to the report by the municipality of Tehran.
Faced with possible fuel shortages, Iran surprised outsiders by quickly making up for the loss of imports by producing its own brew of gasoline. While the emergency fuel kept vehicles running, local experts warned that it was creating much more pollution.
A recently released report by Tehran's department of air quality control contained blank spaces where there should have been information about levels of benzene and lead — components of gasoline — in the capital's air. But the report did state that while Tehran experienced more than 300 "healthy days" in 2009, in 2011 there were fewer than 150.
Just because the war party hasn't been allowed to commence bombing doesn't mean we aren't killing a lot of innocent Iranians. And this is just one of the many horrible side effects of our policies- Iran is now also facing enormous medical shortages and food supply issues.
Hobby Lobby is risking paying upwards of one million dollars in fines per day just so they can thumb their nose at the birth control benefit provision in the ACA which requires employers to offer contraception access without copay to their employees.
On Saturday, thousands of yarn lovers rallied at Hobby Lobby storesand demanded that righteous dudes be allowed to withhold statutorily-required healthcare benefits from Vagina-Americans.
It was like the Chick-fil-A protests, but with less homophobia and more righteous indignation.
Derek Shrout, 17, was released Monday afternoon from Russell County Jail on a $75,000 bond after he was arrested for allegedly planning to use homemade explosives in a terrorist attack on fellow students at Russell County High School in Seale, Ala. Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said Sunday a search of Shrout's home Friday found about a couple dozen small tobacco cans and two large cans, all with holes drilled in them and containing pellets. A teacher found the journal, determined it belonged to Shrout and gave it to an administrator who got it to School Resource Officer Tommy Morrison, one of Taylor's deputies. He recognized the potential for danger, and Shrout was brought in for questioning, Taylor said. Taylor said Shrout claimed the writing in the journal to be fictitious, but Shrout's parents, whom Taylor called "very cooperative," allowed a search of the house and the bomb materials were located.Raw Story has more.
JROTC 1st Sgt. David White recalled that Shrout was often seen giving Nazi salutes while at school. "In the hallway, at breakfast, at the lunch tables, after school where we have our bus parking lot, he'd have his big old group of friends and they'd go around doing the whole white power crazy stuff," White said. "Why would you want to go to a school and blow it up? You know you're going to hit somebody else; you're not just going to, in particular, hit one person. You're going to injure more than one." ABC News reported on Monday that Shrout's targets included five African-American students, one student who he believed was gay and one African-American teacher.