September 12, 2013 at 8:48 am #96538
As you make it through the day, don’t forget JJP at TWIB.
Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.
And always, have a peaceful day.September 12, 2013 at 8:49 am #96539
Good Morning, EveryoneSeptember 12, 2013 at 8:51 am #96540
The standalone, closed-loop, island nation of Texas
By Kent Jones
Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:00 PM EDT
Texas conservatives have long fantasized about secession, (Gov. Rick Perry included), but now the Texas Republican candidate for attorney general, Barry Smitherman, adds his own wrinkle.
To wit: Texas doesn’t want to leave the union — no, that would be unpatriotic — but since America is clearly on the verge of collapse, isn’t it time our great state made some plans, for, you know, WHEN IT DOES? In an interview with World Net Daily titled, “Texas Official Preparing for Independence” Mr. Smitherman said:
Generally speaking, we have made great progress in becoming an independent nation, an ‘island nation’ if you will, and I think we want to continue down that path so that if the rest of the country falls apart, Texas can operate as a stand-alone entity with energy, food, water and roads as if we were a closed-loop system
In the week since that appeared, Mr. Smitherman’s thesis has been warmly embraced by Texas conservatives like David Bellow, who writes:
We are not talking about pushing for Texas secession. We are just talking about being prepared for anything that might happen if the very volatile and unstable federal government falls apart. This means being prepared for even the possibility of Texas secession, independence, surviving on our own, etc.
I am not advocating for Texas to become enemies with America or turn our backs on America, and neither is Smitherman, but there is a very real possibility that the U.S. will fall apart and crumble over things like MASSIVE debt. What will we do if the U.S. falls apart? Do we have a plan for Texans to survive on our own? Are we capable of surviving on our own? The State of Texas should not wait until the U.S. fails to simply be prepared and be capable of surviving IF the U.S. fails.September 12, 2013 at 8:55 am #96541
Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
1 Greenwald champions extremist anti-Pres. Obama Oath Keepers militia
2 @KatrinaNation defends anti-LGBT Putin
3 Hannity defends Putin
10:53 PM – 11 Sep 2013
Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
That enlightening moment when having a two term African-American POTUS leads “liberals” to praise homophobe Vladimir Putin.
10:43 PM – 11 Sep 2013
Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
Irony: @NYTimes allowing Putin – who invaded Georgia without a UN Security Council vote – to wax poetic about rule of law and democracy.
10:22 PM – 11 Sep 2013September 12, 2013 at 8:56 am #96542
Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
Irony: People praising Putin over his NYT Op-Ed and calling Pres. Obama a tyrant, aren’t packing up their bags to move to Russia.
9:33 PM – 11 Sep 2013September 12, 2013 at 8:58 am #96543
Jobless claims plummet, but there’s a catch
By Steve Benen
Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:36 AM EDT
Occasionally, when economic news is so great that you’re left thinking, “This can’t be right,” it’s wise to trust your instincts. The newly released figures from the Department of Labor on initial unemployment claims offer an example of this.
The number of new applications for U.S. jobless benefits fell below 300,000 for the first time since 2006, but the government attributed the surprising plunge to computer-related delays instead of a sudden improvement in the labor market. Initial claims sank by 31,000 to 292,000 in the week ended Sept. 7, marking the lowest level since April 2006.
Yet a Labor Department official on Thursday said two states made changes to their computer systems that resulted in some claims not being processed in time. The Labor Day holiday may have also skewed the report. As a result, initial claims are likely to rise in the following week and probably move closer to their prior range of around 325,000.September 12, 2013 at 9:08 am #96544
Fareed Zakaria: Obama on the path to success in Syria
By Fareed Zakaria, Published: September 11
Whatever the twisted path, whether by design or accident, the Obama administration has ended up in a better place on Syria than looked possible even days ago. The president was wise to take up and begin to test the Russian offer to remove and possibly destroy Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons. In fact, the offer has forced some clarity from a sometimes muddled U.S. foreign policy. For the president to turn this situation into a foreign policy success, he will have to maintain that clarity.
There are three distinct arguments for intervention in Syria, which are sometimes mixed together in calls for action. The first is regime change, which would require policies to help the rebels topple Bashar al-Assad’s government. The second is humanitarian, to do something to stop the enormous sufferingthere. The third is simply to underscore and enforce an international norm against the use of chemical weapons.September 12, 2013 at 9:09 am #96545
Conservatives use Sept. 11 to attack Obama
By Dana Milbank, Published: September 11
Here’s a hot new entry in the “Is nothing sacred?” category:
Conservatives are using Sept. 11, that most somber day for the nation, as yet another occasion to condemn President Obama.
Rather than join in the bipartisan ceremonies marking the 12th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil, they rallied on the West Lawn of the Capitol, carrying signs that said “Impeach Obama” and, over a cartoon of the president trampling Uncle Sam, “Americans Don’t Support Terrorists or Their Minions.”
On the other side of the Capitol, conservative leaders joined the eccentric Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) at what was supposed to be a “memorial service for the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 and 2012.” But the 3,000 who perished in 2001 got just a few passing references at the 35-minute event.
The “primary purpose” of the gathering, in the words of organizer Jerry Boykin, a retired Army general, was to remember the four men who were killed in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, in an attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost there. More to the point, the conservatives had assembled to blame the Obama administration for the deaths and to demand further investigation of the resulting “scandal.”
“The blood of our heroes demands an answer,” Gohmert told the TV cameras. “We’re about to the point where we’re just going to have to take it as a fact that the evidence they’re refusing to produce . . . supports the worst of our fears about what this administration failed to do.”September 12, 2013 at 9:11 am #96546
More than 32 million U.S. television viewers watched President Barack Obama outline his policy towardSyria in a speech aired live on 13 broadcast and cable networks, according to Nielsen ratings data on Wednesday.
The Tuesday night address attracted a smaller audience than the 56 million who tuned in to see the president announce the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.
It pulled in more viewers than Obama’s March 2011 speech on U.S. military involvement in Libya, which drew 25.6 million viewers, and his August 2010 speech declaring the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq, which was watched by 29.2 million.
Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in September 2012 attracted about 35.7 million people.September 12, 2013 at 9:12 am #96547
Michelle Obama makes 9/11 visit to Virginia USO center
by Darlene Superville, Associated Press | September 11, 2013 at 4:31 PM
Michelle Obama drew a pair of construction paper hands for a project with military children during a 9/11 visit to a USO center at the Army’s Fort Belvoir.
The first lady said she wanted to highlight the organization’s work on behalf of wounded service members and their families.
The USO Warrior and Family Center opened in February at the Army installation in Virginia, just south of Washington. The USO says it’s the largest ever to support wounded troops, their families and others by providing relaxation, home-cooked meals, kids’ playrooms and other support.
Mrs. Obama helped children complete banners decorated with cutouts of handprints for a rock concert Wednesday night. She was joined by actor Gary Sinise, a USO supporter whose “Lt. Dan Band” was performing at the event. Sinise played the character “Lt. Dan” in the movie “Forrest Gump.”
Mrs. Obama also brought along cookies shaped like the family’s new Portuguese water dog, Sunny.
Afterward, she toured the Intrepid Spirit center, also at Fort Belvoir. The facility was dedicated Wednesday and provides outpatient care to service members and veterans with traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions.
She met privately with wounded service members and their families and participated in a round-table discussion with caregivers.
Mrs. Obama traveled to Fort Belvoir after observing a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, his wife, Jill, and White House staff members.September 12, 2013 at 9:30 am #96548
“Progressive Hero” Glenn Greenwald Promotes Racist, Anti-Government Hate Group
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 5:58 PM
It should come as a surprise to exactly no one who’s been paying attention to Glenn Greenwald’s relentless posturing against the United States and specifically his venom against President Obama that he would do this. To mark the 12th anniversary of 9/11, Greenwald decided to grace is followers on Twitter with a piece in the far-Right Ayn-Randian magazine Reason, and to boot, that article just happens to promote a racist group named the “Oathkeepers.”
The “Oath Keepers” are an extremist right wing, anti-government militant organization that earned a prominent mention in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s report on militia hate groups in their opening year, and the SPLC reported this year that the Oath Keepers, for their conference, hosted such lovely groups as the John Birch Society and the invitation adorned with conspiracy theories and racist code-words all over itself.
There will be a workshop on colloidal silver — a substance that many on the radical right believe is a cure for all kinds of ailments that the government has kept secret from the people. In fact, the substance has no known medical use and, if used with the frequency that some radicals do, turns human skin blue.[...]
There will be representatives from the John Birch Society — a primary proponent of the Agenda 21 conspiracy theory, the idea that fluoridation of water is a Communist plot, and the charge that President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a Communist agent. Also scheduled to attend are Sheriff Richard Mack, a long-time darling of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement who has been encouraging county sheriffs to resist federal gun laws, and Chuck Baldwin, a far-right pastor and “constitutionalist” who moved to Montana several years ago to battle the incursions of the federal government.[...]
Also featured will be training sessions on hand-to hand combat, nighttime military patrols, survival firearms, and preparation of “bug-out bags” — all of these an obvious reflection of the radical right’s obsessive fear that the government is about to move against the American people, seizing their guns and ending liberty
Beautiful. Want to hear it in the Oath Keepers’ own words?September 12, 2013 at 10:43 am #96549
GOP lawmakers, cowed by the right, drop pretense of policy sanity
By Jonathan Bernstein, Published: September 11 at 5:14 pm
Breaking news this afternoon from the House of Representatives: Republicans have pulled the temporary Continuing Resolution needed to keep the government open for business through the end of the year off of the schedule. Jonathan Strong reports:
House leadership has decided to delay the vote on a bill funding the government to next week amid a small rebellion from conservatives who want to use the measure for a do-or-die fight on repealing Obamacare.
The problem? They don’t have the votes:
A third GOP source says the initial whip count, conducted yesterday, registered just over 200 “yes” votes, meaning there is still work to do to get a Republican-only majority of 218 votes. Though the vast majority of the GOP conference is on board, only a small number of defections – as few as 17 – could imperil the bill.September 12, 2013 at 10:44 am #96550
House Republican Anarchy Update
By Jonathan Chait
The House was scheduled to vote yesterday on a continuing resolution, which is a measure to not shut down the government. Ultraconservatives have been demanding that the House refuse to continue funding the government unless President Obama agrees to defund Obamacare. House leaders have pleaded that this approach is doomed. Instead they came up with a plan to keep the government open, attached to a separate bill defunding Obamacare. Or, as Senator Mike Lee succinctly and correctly explains, “It is not a plan to defund Obamacare — it’s a plan to facilitate the passage of a CR [continuing resolution] in a way that allows people to claim that they’re defunding Obamacare without actually doing so.”
But some ultraconservatives still want to go with the defund-Obamcare-or-shut-down-the-government plan, as opposed to the pretend-to-defund- Obamcare-or-shut-down-the-government plan. It only takes about seventeen of them to defect to dent the Republicans majority, which gives a tiny fringe enormous power. What does the vote delay mean? Three things:
1. A government shutdown is more likely now. There’s just not much time available. A bill needs to pass by September 30, and Congress has a rigorous vacation schedule to adhere to, giving it precious little time to accomplish the goal of not shutting down the government.
Some House Republican leaders are trying to put on a brave face. One aide tells National Review’s Jonathan Strong, “Getting anything this big accomplished in 72 hours is always tough and we just need a couple extra days to dot the is and cross the ts.” (Note that the aide defines “anything this big” not as a major reform but as the simple continuation of government functions.)
More candid appraisals can be found elsewhere. When reporters asked John Boehner if he had any ideas to keep the government open, he replied, “Do you have an idea? They’ll just shoot it down anyway.” One aide privately seethed of the ultraconservatives, “They’re screwing us.” Yet another, when asked for comment, sent reporter Kate Nocera this clip:September 12, 2013 at 10:51 am #96551
Yesterday at 3:39 PM
Why the De Blasio Family Matters: Meet the ‘Boring White Guy’ of the Future
By Maureen O’Connor
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As New York’s final primary votes are counted and analysts examine the campaign that made Bill de Blasio the likely next mayor, it’s clear that race matters — just not in the way some might have expected. Earlier in the week, Mayor Bloomberg had characterized De Blasio as “racist” for “making an appeal using his family,” and his widely condemned comment pointed to an insidious prejudice: the assumption that interracial families, simply by existing in public, are somehow rubbing themselves in everyone’s faces.
A white man can hug his black wife without “using” her or “making an appeal,” of course. And yet the De Blasios also demonstrate how appealing that simple act can be. An increasingly multicultural America is hungry for public figures who reflect their ideals. The De Blasios understand that — which helps explain how De Blasio’s populist campaign “grabbed at least one-third of every major ethnic group’s vote.”September 12, 2013 at 10:54 am #96552
The Morning Plum: Senate conservatives stick the knife in House GOP leaders
By Greg Sargent, Published: September 12 at 9:24 am
When we last checked in on House GOP leaders, they were struggling to round up support among rank and file GOP lawmakers for their latest scheme to find a way through this fall’s fiscal minefields. They want to pass a measure funding the government temporarily at current levels while also forcing a Senate vote on a measure to defund Obamacare. The latter would go down to defeat; conservatives would get to vote on their defund fantasy; the government would remain open.
Today Politico reports that Senate conservatives Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are now openly deriding the scheme as a sell-out. Crucially, this is why support is building among House conservatives against the GOP leadership scheme:
Cruz and Lee have resisted the House approach because the Democratic-controlled Senate would surely vote to keep the government funded and easily defeat the Obamacare defunding component. Cruz called the approach “procedural chicanery” and asserted that the House GOP would be “complicit in the disaster that is Obamacare” if it supported the maneuver.
“Not a fan,” Lee told POLITICO. “We need the House to pass a [bill] that funds everything else at current levels and contains a defunding provision.”
That sentiment helped ramp up opposition among the two dozen or so House Republicans that take cues from the two senators, the House GOP aide said.
One House GOP aide fumed, accurately, to Politico: “They’re screwing us.”
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