WASHINGTON — The scandals dogging President Barack Obama are a political gift to Republicans, who could use some good luck after recent election losses. It’s not clear, however, how Republicans can best capitalize on Democrats’ woes, legislatively or politically.
Last November’s election dynamics complicate the picture on both fronts. Republican leaders are urging a bit of restraint in exploiting the White House’s new weaknesses.
Taken together, Republicans say, these three controversies portray a rapaciously political and inept administration. That could be a powerful message in next year’s congressional and gubernatorial elections, and perhaps in the 2016 presidential race.
[Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla, a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner], however, said Boehner and other party leaders are keenly aware that Republicans can overdo their attacks, and even build sympathy for Obama, if their criticisms appear nakedly political or not supported by facts.
“We’ve actually had a lot of discussions about that,” Cole said.
Since the “scandals,” however factually based one of them actually is, are pretty much made up of spit and chewing gum, there’s not a lot of worry that Republicans, Inc won’t overplay their hands. They will and spectacularly. Continue reading GIN!
There are many signs of gangster state America. One is the collusion between federal authorities and banksters in a criminal conspiracy to rig the markets for gold and silver.
My explanation that the sudden appearance of an unprecedented 400 ton short sale of gold on the COMEX in April was a manipulation designed to protect the dollar from the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policy has found acceptance among gold investors and hedge fund managers.
The sale was a naked short. The seller had no gold to sell. COMEX reported having gold only equal to about half of the short sale in its vaults, and not all of that was available for delivery. No one but the Federal Reserve could have placed such an order, and the order came from one of the Fed’s bullion banks, one of the entities “too big to fail.”
An interview with National Salvation Front leader Hamdeen Sabahi, who epitomizes the squandered opportunity of the 2012 Egyptian presidential election. Though the vote ultimately went to Mohamed Mursi, Sabahi, who came third in that poll, was the better choice for the anti-Mubarak vote.
Al-Akhbar (AA): How do you frame your visit to the Sheikh of al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb, politically speaking?
Hamdeen Sabahi (HS): Supporting al-Azhar as an institution of moderate, centrist Islam, and protecting it from falling into the hands of political Islam and being used to the authorities’ advantage, is part of the fight against monopolizing religion by political groups. There must be a level field for the current [political] battle, which the extremist factions have defined in the context of the struggle between Islam and infidels. This is a distorted representation because it means that a particular political faction has monopolized religion. Continue reading The Muslim Brotherhood Divides Egypt
Time was when trolls would get to me; the idea of so much hateful, rampant ignorance was almost more than I could stomach…and so I’d prove the definition of insanity- arguing on da Interwebs. Then I realized that this is the Internet, where everyone, from the blindingly brilliant to the most brain-dead knuckle dragger, can have their say. (Where I fit on that spectrum is something I’ll leave to others to elucidate.) Then I learned that I could find entertainment and comic relief in such epic displays of basic reasoning skills…and I began to enjoy life SO much more.
What I really love are those who, having no real argument or way to refute someone’s point, resort to cheap, disrespectful insults. Better to be thought a fool that to go on the Internet, press ENTER, and reveal yourself to be in the throes of Obama Derangement Syndrome and/or too stupid for words.
(The Guardian) – Newtok, Alaska is losing ground to the sea at a dangerous rate and for its residents, exile is inevitable.
The people of Newtok, on the west coast of Alaska and about 400 miles south of the Bering Strait that separates the state from Russia, are living a slow-motion disaster that will end, very possibly within the next five years, with the entire village being washed away.
(The Guardian) – The US has not reacted to the expulsion of Ryan Fogle, who was caught in a sting operation while allegedly attempting to recruit an FSB agent.
The Federal Security Service in Russia has revealed the identity of the CIA’s station chief in Moscow in a breach of protocol.
The revelation, made by an FSB spokesman who accused the US agency of crossing a “red line” in its attempt to recruit turncoats among Russian spy agencies, will up the ante in the unfolding spy scandal that emerged earlier this week when Russia detained and expelled an alleged CIA agent working undercover as third secretary at the US embassy in Moscow.
Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy advisor, have taken pains to say they believe the scandal will blow over quickly.
Publicly revealing the CIA station chief proves that some inside the Russian government believe otherwise and is likely to prompt an angry response from Washington. more
While we here in America rest secure in our homes, largely free from the scourge of want or shortage, we’ve become immune from and blissfully ignorant of what may well be the cause of future wars around the world: water. Joe Sixpack, when he turns on the faucet at his kitchen sink, doesn’t often think about what a precious commodity water is. We can do without many things- beer, chocolate, Fox News Channel- but no human will last long without water. In some parts of the world, particularly the Middle East, the scarcity of water is about to become an issue that exceeds religion and ideology in terms of its potential to foment armed conflict.
The bellwether in this scenario is Yemen, a country few Americans could find on a map if their life depended on it. Yemen’s inability to manage its growth, politics, and natural resources has left the country’s water supply in grave danger. The early returns are not good; in Yemen the conflicts are no longer about ideology or religion; they’re about water. In that sense, Yemen represents what the future holds for the Middle East, as regimes who have mismanaged their natural resources will soon find themselves unable to supply the water their populations require in sufficient quantity.
The next wars in the Middle East won’t be religious conflicts; they’ll be about survival.
HB 87 speeds up the Florida’s home foreclosure process by making it easier for banks to throw citizens out of their homes. The burden of proof is switched from the plaintiff, banks, to the defendant, homeowners. When the bill’s requirements for evidence gathering to appeal an initial judgment combine with general rules for discovery, defendants have just days to put together a case. See Florida HB 87, Homeowners, and the Foreclosure Inferno for a detailed run down of just some of the major problems.
Why do Banks Want a Friendly Foreclosure Bill in Florida?
There’s a disturbing tendency among gun advocates to see security issue as having a very simple solution- MORE GUNS!! It’s as black and white as you can imagine- more guns equals more safety and security. The idea that the only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun is as simplistic as it is facile. Rather than examine a problem, these folks would simply apply there universal Band-Aid- more people armed with more guns…because more firepower solves EVERYTHING, don’tchaknow?
Except that all more guns do is to introduce the potential for more lethality into a situation, and that lethality recognizes neither “right” nor “wrong.” For instance, assuming that an armed individual reacts appropriately in a high stress situation, having armed security guards in schools makes sense. The problem is that research shows that this is seldom the case, and friendly fire casualties can be catastrophic. Is that REALLY a workable solutions for our schools? And what message does turning public schools into armed camps and free-fire zones send to our children?
Sometimes what it takes is someone thinking differently and approaching a problem with a creative and open mind. Andrew Bott decided to approach the challenge of running a dangerous and perennially underperforming school differently….
Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer by sales, reported an unexpected drop in US sales that pointed to pressure on low-income consumers and sent its shares falling.
The discount chain said on Thursday that its US like-for-like sales in the 13 weeks to April 26 declined by 1.4 per cent. It had previously told investors that it expected sales to be “around flat”.
The company blamed the fall on delayed tax refunds from last year for consumers, a rise in the payroll tax rate this year, lower-than-expected food inflation, and bad weather.
Here’s the thing: the stock market is booming. China is suffering. The US economy is gaining momentum, which only happens when consumers go out and buy, regardless of when they get their tax refunds. So someone is selling to them. And if not Wal-Mart, the bastion of low prices and good selection (despite their irresponsible business practices and outright piratical scavenging of local retailers) then where?
In case you have not heard (and I hadn’t until yesterday), there are calls for the impeachment of President Barack Obama over military actions in Syria. Congressman Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican, and just a few activist groups are raising the issue as the false flags of war are unfurled over the Syrian project. .
I attended the one day House Judiciary Committee hearings on the impeachment of President George W. Bush on July 26, 2008 (Bush Accused of Murder and Tyranny at House Hearings). The hearing was held on an early Saturday morning in the basement of the Rayburn building. The image to the left shows Bruce Fein, constitutional law expert on the left and Vincent Bugliosi (seated right), former top prosecutor in Los Angeles (Manson, etc.), since then the nation’s top true crime author. Bugliosi and Fein both testified eloquently in favor of impeaching Bush due to the illegal invasion of Iraq. Bugliosi had just written The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, which sold well despite a media blackout.
Since the recession ended four years ago, the federal budget deficit has topped $1 trillion every year. But now the government’s annual deficit is shrinking far faster than anyone in Washington expected, and perhaps even faster than many economists think is advisable for the health of the economy.
That is the thrust of a new report released Tuesday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, estimating that the deficit for this fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, will fall to about $642 billion, or 4 percent of the nation’s annual economic output, about $200 billion lower than the agency estimated just three months ago.
The agency forecast that the deficit, which topped 10 percent of gross domestic product in 2009, could shrink to as little as 2.1 percent of gross domestic product by 2015 — a level that most analysts say would be easily sustainable over the long run — before beginning to climb gradually through the rest of the decade.
That’s pretty remarkable. The deficit hasn’t been this low since Fiscal Year 2007, which was also Bush’s lowest deficit, half a trillion dollars.
You read that correctly: Bush’s deficits never once were below $500 billion (Clinton’s last budget did run a deficit of $100 billion, which slopped over into Bush’s first year in office.)
So much for tax cuts stimulating the economy. So much, moreover, for the silly sham that budget deficits are killing us.