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US Politics

US Politics

Discussion covering all angles of American politics.
Andrew C (✔)
"The NBC News investigative reporter Matthew Cole has pieced together a remarkable story revealing that a single senior officer, who is still in a position of high authority over counterterrorism at the C.I.A.—a woman who he does not name—appears to have been a source of years’ worth of terrible judgment, with tragic consequences for the United States. Her story runs through the entire report. She dropped the ball when the C.I.A. was given information that might very well have prevented the 9/11 attacks; she gleefully participated in torture sessions afterward; she misinterpreted intelligence in such a way that it sent the C.I.A. on an absurd chase for Al Qaeda sleeper cells in Montana. And then she falsely told congressional overseers that the torture worked." - Andrew C (✔)
" Many people who have worked with her over the years expressed shock to NBC that she has been entrusted with so much power. A former intelligence officer who worked directly with her is quoted by NBC, on background, as saying that she bears so much responsibility for so many intelligence failures that “she should be put on trial and put in jail for what she has done.”" - Andrew C (✔)
"Instead, however, she has been promoted to the rank of a general in the military, most recently working as the head of the C.I.A.’s global-jihad unit. In that perch, she oversees the targeting of terror suspects around the world. (She was also, in part, the model for the lead character in “Zero Dark Thirty.”)" - Andrew C (✔)
Steven Perez
Obama Abandons Failed Cuba Policy After More Than 50 Years -
Obama Abandons Failed Cuba Policy After More Than 50 Years
"The United States intends to open an official embassy in Cuba in the coming months, the White House announced Wednesday, part of a broader normalizing of diplomatic relations after the countries exchanged prisoners. In a conference call with reporters, a senior administration official called the developments "the most significant changes to our Cuba policy in more than 50 years." "What we are doing is beginning the normalization of relations of the United States and Cuba," the official said. "President Obama has long believed that engagement is a better tool than isolation and nowhere is that clear than in Cuba, where we have seen a policy of isolation fail for the last 50 years." The White House said that Obama would order Secretary of State John Kerry to begin discussions with Cuban officials on re-establishing diplomatic relations and high-level discussions and visits between the countries are expected to follow. The opening of the embassy will happen "as soon as possible," an... more... - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
‘Oh God, It’s Mom’: Pundits’ Mother Calls in to C-SPAN | Mediaite -
‘Oh God, It’s Mom’: Pundits’ Mother Calls in to C-SPAN | Mediaite
"Brothers Dallas and Brad Woodhouse were debating ye olde bipartisanship on C-Span’s Washington Journal Tuesday morning when they got a call in from “someone down south.” “You’re right I’m from down south!” said the voice. “Oh god, it’s mom!” Dallas said as both brothers hid their faces. “I disagree that all families are like ours,” Joy Woodhouse told the program. “I don’t know many families that are fighting on Thanksgiving.” Joy said she hoped the brothers got all their disagreements out on C-Span and behaved themselves over Christmas. “Okay mom,” they replied. “See you this weekend.”" - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I watch C-SPAN. - Steven Perez
They can't afford call screeners, huh? - Eric - Let Me Know
That's a call you would move to the top :-) - Todd Hoff
RATINGS BONANZA! - Big Joe Silence
Can imagine a timed smack upside the head for each, maybe two for the guy on the left, with *that* suit - Mo Kargas
Andrew C (✔)
"As the Bush administration fades away in the rearview mirror, my sense is that many people — even liberals — are forgetting what it was really like. It becomes, in memory, just another administration whose policies you disapprove of, like the reign of Bush the elder." - Andrew C (✔) from Bookmarklet
"But it wasn’t. It was an administration that deliberately misled us into war, exploiting an atrocity to pursue an agenda that had nothing to do with that atrocity — and causing vast amounts of death and destruction in the process, not to mention undermining American strength. And it was an administration under which America became a torturer, with the enthusiastic approval of top... more... - Andrew C (✔)
Andrew C (✔)
Senate Dems find an unwitting ally in Ted Cruz | MSNBC -
Senate Dems find an unwitting ally in Ted Cruz | MSNBC
"What McConnell and most GOP senators wanted was a narrow window: the Senate would vote on the spending package on Monday, at which point Reid would start the clock on the nominations, clearing votes for later this week. Republicans assumed – and were probably correct – that most members would want to start their holiday break sooner, and adjournment might derail nominees who might otherwise be approved. But thanks to Cruz and Lee, that timeline was moved up: Reid started the clock on Saturday, meaning confirmation votes can begin later this morning. In other words, a couple of far-right senators made it easier for Democrats and Obama to get what they wanted – and approve some nominees who were likely to fail were it not for the Cruz/Lee plan." - Andrew C (✔) from Bookmarklet
"I can appreciate why the procedural stuff may seem a little complicated, so let’s sum this up: What Democrat got thanks to Cruz and Lee: the opportunity to advance dozens of Obama nominees, some of whom might have otherwise failed. What Republicans got: nothing." - Andrew C (✔)
Watching President Obama playing "triangulation" games and whipping votes for Wall Street in the spending bill makes me fearful of his behavior these last 2 years. He will compromise away Medicare and Social Security in search of his "Grand Bargain" while vetoing nothing I hope I am wrong but I fear I am right! #whywecanthavenicethings
Andrew C (✔)
Why Do Republicans Defend Torture? -- NYMag -
Why Do Republicans Defend Torture? -- NYMag
"The Bush administration’s supporters, operating under the assumption that its most brutal “enhanced interrogation technique” was waterboarding, spent much of the past decade defending this singular practice. […] The torture regimen turns out to have been carried out on a vastly broader and more depraved scale than the administration’s defenders, or even its critics, ever imagined. The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture, released this week, describes practices few conservative politicians or intellectuals had prepared themselves to justify. Men were shackled to walls or ceilings for days, in diapers, locked in coffins, rectally violated, subject to days of sleep deprivation, beaten, and (in one instance) murdered. Several intelligence staffers reported being traumatized by the experience." - Andrew C (✔) from Bookmarklet
"That is more than one can say for the torture apologists. Having dug in to mount an extended, pointillistic defense of waterboarding, they have found their position suddenly overrun, and have retreated to new ground. “Every civilized nation agrees that torture is wrong,” Senator Ted Cruz complained after the report was released, but, “after six years, enough with saying ‘everything is... more... - Andrew C (✔)
"Senator Marco Rubio insisted on Twitter, “Those who served us in aftermath of 9/11 deserve our thanks not one-sided partisan Senate report that now places American lives in danger.” Rubio’s previous tweet boasted that the Senate has passed “our bill imposing sanctions against human-rights violators” in Venezuela. The cognitive dissonance surely whooshed right over Rubio’s elegantly coiffed head." - Andrew C (✔)
"How could American intelligence staffers, dropped into foreign lands, reliably pluck out the guilty while sparing the innocent? As we now know, they could not. ­Twenty-six of the 119 detainees turned out to be innocent. One of them was a Pakistani or Afghan man named Janat Gul. In July 2004, the CIA seized Gul, acting on a tip from a local informant who claimed he knew of a terror... more... - Andrew C (✔)
People have always related more to hell than heaven. - Todd Hoff
Andrew C (✔)
The Winner of the Spending-Bill Vote: Jamie Dimon -
"One of the frustrating things about covering American politics from a vaguely left-liberal perspective is that many of the left-left theories turn out to be true, or true enough. You try to point out to the street protesters and tenured Marxists that things are more complicated than Noam Chomsky and the late Paul Sweezy would have you believe, and, all too often, it turns out they aren’t much more complicated. The richest 0.1 per cent really is getting richer and richer while most Americans see their living standards stagnate. The C.I.A. really did torture people in secret prisons overseas, and the N.S.A. has just received authorization to carry on gathering all of your phone records. The big banks and corporations really do run Washington—or, at least, that’s how it seems on this chilly December day." - Andrew C (✔) from Bookmarklet
Andrew C (✔)
racial inequality is objectively worse than 30 years ago | Fredrik deBoer -
racial inequality is objectively worse than 30 years ago | Fredrik deBoer
Show all
"Economic and racial justice are not synonymous, but they are deeply and necessarily entwined. And though it surprises even bright and political people I know to hear it, the economic gap between white and black Americans is worse now than 30 years ago. The income and wealth gaps have not only not closed, they have grown:" - Andrew C (✔) from Bookmarklet
Sean McBride
It was a political mistake for civil rights activists to try to turn the Michael Brown shooting into a cause célèbre.
What were they thinking? -- they weren't thinking. They failed to do due diligence on the situation. - Sean McBride
Many people locked themselves into a position on this case before carefully examining all the facts -- always a high-risk proposition. - Sean McBride
['Burn this bitch down!': Michael Brown's stepfather shown in footage encouraging Ferguson riots] - Sean McBride
Lesson learned: be careful about what cases you use to try to build momentum for political and social movements -- they had better be rock solid. It's a matter of practical politics. - Sean McBride
Andrew C (✔)
Washington Bails On Demilitarization After Ferguson -
Washington Bails On Demilitarization After Ferguson
"Lawmakers vowed changes to the Pentagon programs that deliver military-grade equipment to local police after images of cops climbing out of armored vehicles with military-grade weapons filtered out of Ferguson, Missouri, in August. But months later, the chaotic 1033 program — which sends surplus military gear built for combat to local police forces with little oversight — hasn’t changed at all. The 113th Congress will end without substantive changes to the program. The White House hasn’t announced the results of its policy review. The flow of billions in technology designed for the battlefield to local police forces will go on unabated." - Andrew C (✔) from Bookmarklet
Sean McBride
Currently on CNN, Fox News, etc. -- massive looting, arson and vandalism in Ferguson -- police cars on fire.
Will there be a Federal Government shutdown? Of course there will! The Republicans give zero fucks about so-called centrist pundits, any way they own the narrative: "Obama won't play nice and we are not happy" Republicans paid no NO penalty for last shutdown and Ted Cruz wants to be President... My advice see Grand Canyon now
See the Grand Canyon NOW before the new congress and Ted Cuz reading more Doctor Suess - WarLord
Andrew C (✔)
[Politico's piece on how the GOP gaffe-proofed its candidates:] "Jon Kraushar, who does much of the on-camera training for Fox News, was there. Mitt Romney's policy director, Lanhee Chen, briefed them on policy issues. CNN's S.E. Cupp conducted mock interviews to help prepare them for the grilling they'd get from the media. Brett O'Donnell started with the debate prep he'd do for candidates throughout the cycle." - Andrew C (✔) from Bookmarklet
[Pierce:] "[...] OK, I expect nothing better from anyone who works at Fox, and Kraushar at least isn't alleged to be a reporter. I don't know Chen, but she's clearly a Republican operative, and O'Donnell is a kind of legend in the world of debate prep. [...] But what is purported CNN "analyst" S.E. Cupp doing bringing her smart-person glasses into an effort to groom candidates for one... more... - Andrew C (✔)
Charlie Pierce is a national treasure. For real. - Stephen Mack
The fascinating thing that emerges from Tuesday's Democratic Rout (pat pending) is number of liberal issues that were decided by referendum: Minimum wage was raised, Paid sick leave was approved, Marijuana made more strides and in California entire classes of laws were downgraded to misdemeanor. Populist Liberal issues were popular, and Democrats
And Democrats were not. Or at least Faux Democrats running against President Obama and Affordable Care Act were unelectable... as a referendum on how we feel about our Black President and his Affordable Care Act or a Republican Mandate the tea leaves seem murky. As a testament to the utter failure of center right Blue Dog Democrats it seems pretty clear cut - WarLord
Plus of course another example of what happens when Democrats and Republicans BOTH run against the incumbent President - WarLord
Andrew C (✔)
Welcome to the Great Liberal Hangover of 2014. Will anything make it go away? | Jeb Lund | Comment is free | The Guardian -
"If you’d been following the Twitter feeds of unabashed progressives like Zaid Jilani for the last few months, you could watch the gradual unraveling of optimism give way to negativity over, say, the Senate race in Georgia. On Tuesday, Jilani finally unloaded his disgust for the Michelle Nunn campaign. What populist message did she have to offer? Pro-trade agreements that outsource jobs. Pro-Social Security cutting “grand bargain” budget solutions. A pro-business attitude toward regulation that makes a screwheaded case for government by arguing that it “needs to get out of the way”." - Andrew C (✔) from Bookmarklet
"You have Florida, where the Democratic Party ran a Republican for governor on a solidly centrist platform and lost, leaving four more years in the wilderness without a seasoned candidate or an election in which Florida Dems could cement their program in voters’ minds. As it is, they have none. The same thing played out in starker terms in Kansas, where the Democratic Party withdrew its... more... - Andrew C (✔)
"As is the case with the War on Women, Democrats enjoy a solid bloc of minority voters because the GOP can’t stop being ludicrously racist. When they convincingly sound like they consider minorities to be people – hello, Mr George W Bush – they fare better. Minority and women’s votes aren’t a Democratic entitlement. Just like labor, and LGBT and teachers’ votes, you don’t win them just... more... - Andrew C (✔)
"Just look back down to Georgia. It’s white population has shrunk to 52%, and it has 900,000 unregistered minority voters. Just think back to how many of those Michelle Nunn might have won if she’d actually run as a Democrat." - Andrew C (✔)
Andrew C (✔)
Eschaton: Stupid Ideas That Never Die -
"I do not understand this obsession with adding an exciting new tax/fee/whatever when we can just raise the damn gasoline tax. Yes it's regressive, but no more regressive than a per-mile fee. The incentives are roughly correct - big vehicles with bad MPG ratings that damage the roads and climate more pay more. It's easy to collect a gas tax. There aren't a hundred million gas stations. A mileage tax has to be collected on every car owner. And there has to be enforcement. And collections. And punishment for nonpayment." - Andrew C (✔) from Bookmarklet
“America By The Numbers” Explores Race and Demographics in U.S. | CAAM Home -
“America By The Numbers” Explores Race and Demographics in U.S. | CAAM Home
“America By The Numbers” Explores Race and Demographics in U.S. | CAAM Home
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"I tagged along on an America By The Numbers production trip to Long Beach, California with Hinojosa, the producers and crew members. This episode focuses on the “model minority myth”—that all Asian Americans perform well in school, go to college, become professionals and live middle or upper middle class lifestyles. This episode, one of eight half-hour stories in the series, is epic in many ways because it aims to debunk that myth. As someone who has covered Asian American communities as a journalist for more than a decade, I can say that most of mainstream America tends to pay little attention to the nuances of “Asian Americans.” As more attention is being paid to Asian Americans due to our population growth spurt—these stories that America By The Numbers tell become even more important." - Anika from Bookmarklet
"It’s easy to gloss over the story of Southeast Asian refugees, particularly those who came to the U.S. after the war in Vietnam and in Southeast Asia, and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. To think of it as a thing of the past. Or we can simply look at stats—that Cambodians and Hmong have a dropout rate equal to, and in some cases, higher, than Latinos. But, as the tagline of the series states, “behind every number, there’s a story.”" - Anika
Steven Perez
Makings Of Ammonium Nitrate Bomb Found In Border Militiaman’s Hotel Room | Crooks and Liars -
Makings Of Ammonium Nitrate Bomb Found In Border Militiaman’s Hotel Room | Crooks and Liars
"When ATF agents arrested Kevin “K.C.” Massey III at a Brownsville-area hotel last week on charges that he had been illegally carrying weapons while leading border-militia patrols in Texas, they found more in his hotel room than just guns and ammo. There was also a container of ammonium nitrate and fuel—a potent bomb in the making." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
How the South's ugly racial history is haunting ObamaCare - The Week -
How the South's ugly racial history is haunting ObamaCare - The Week
"Mississippi, considered the sickest state in the U.S., is suffering terribly under ObamaCare. Not because of the law itself, though the state's officials would have you believe that it is destroying freedom in America. Rather, because reactionary conservatives who have an iron grip on power would rather waste millions of dollars than help their state's poorest citizens — most of whom are black — get health insurance." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
"What level of risk to Ebola infections can Americans be expected to tolerate? "Zero" is a comforting answer, especially when an exotic disease has a cinematic impact on the collective imagination. It was in pursuit of zero that Govs. Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo this week imposed a mandatory, 21-day quarantine on all health-care workers returning to their states from West Africa. The governors say that even if there's an infinitesimal risk that a person without symptoms could pass the virus by, say, sharing a subway car, that risk is too high. Cue the applause. But as we should have learned in the fight against domestic terrorism, a government that seeks to eliminate all potential risk inevitably indulges in "security theater," and makes decisions that later look dumb." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
Sean McBride
Evidence supports officer’s account of shooting in Ferguson - The Washington Post -
"Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown fought for control of the officer’s gun, and Wilson fatally shot the unarmed teenager after he moved toward the officer as they faced off in the street, according to interviews, news accounts and the full report of the St. Louis County autopsy of Brown’s body." - Sean McBride from Bookmarklet
"Because Wilson is white and Brown was black, the case has ignited intense debate over how police interact with African American men. But more than a half-dozen unnamed black witnesses have provided testimony to a St. Louis County grand jury that largely supports Wilson’s account of events of Aug. 9, according to several people familiar with the investigation who spoke with The Washington Post." - Sean McBride
"Some of the physical evidence — including blood spatter analysis, shell casings and ballistics tests — also supports Wilson’s account of the shooting, The Post’s sources said, which cast Brown as an aggressor who threatened the officer’s life. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are prohibited from publicly discussing the case." - Sean McBride
"The St. Louis Post-Dispatch late Tuesday night published Brown’s official county autopsy report, an analysis of which also suggests the 18-year-old may not have had his hands raised when he was fatally shot, as has been the contention of protesters who have demanded Wilson’s arrest." - Sean McBride
But surely Darion Johnson's eyewitness testimony will override any physical evidence. (Not really.) - Sean McBride
[New Information Released on Michael Brown Case] - Sean McBride
So many people rushed to judgment on this case: they KNEW what really happened immediately -- based on? - Sean McBride
Obama Is a Republican | The American Conservative - http://www.theamericanconserva...
Obama Is a Republican | The American Conservative
Mexican drug cartels are worse than ISIL | Al Jazeera America -
Mexican drug cartels are worse than ISIL | Al Jazeera America
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Steven Perez
Rick Perry Avoided Ebola Like the Plague - The Daily Beast -
Rick Perry Avoided Ebola Like the Plague - The Daily Beast
"For a governor who is thinking about mounting a presidential campaign, mastering the art of emergency politics is an effective way to convince the general public that you have the managerial skills necessary to lead the nation in times of distress. You don't even have to do much, really, you just have to not make things visibly worse while speaking in an authoritative tone and looking concerned for the huddled masses. Oh, and you have to be there. Physically. Like, your body has to be in the state you govern.  Given how easy all of that sounds, it seems odd that Texas Governor Rick Perry would fail to cancel a scheduled trip to Europe as his state grapples with two ongoing cases of Ebola and several dozens of other potential cases. That and incompetence at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital may have caused the deadly disease to spread.  Perry took off for England, Germany, Poland, and Ukraine for a "economic development trip" earlier this week, only cutting it short after a second case of Ebola was confirmed in Dallas on Tuesday night." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Andrew C (✔)
The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons - -
"In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act." - Andrew C (✔) from Bookmarklet
"The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West." - Andrew C (✔)
"The American government withheld word about its discoveries even from troops it sent into harm’s way and from military doctors. The government’s secrecy, victims and participants said, prevented troops in some of the war’s most dangerous jobs from receiving proper medical care and official recognition of their wounds." - Andrew C (✔)
"After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Bush insisted that Mr. Hussein was hiding an active weapons of mass destruction program, in defiance of international will and at the world’s risk. United Nations inspectors said they could not find evidence for these claims. Then, during the long occupation, American troops began encountering old chemical munitions in hidden caches... more... - Andrew C (✔)
Andrew C (✔)
Scientists’ depressing new discovery about the brain -
"Nyan and his collaborators have been running experiments trying to answer this terrifying question about American voters: Do facts matter? The answer, basically, is no. When people are misinformed, giving them facts to correct those errors only makes them cling to their beliefs more tenaciously." - Andrew C (✔)
"People who thought WMDs were found in Iraq believed that misinformation even more strongly when they were shown a news story correcting it. People who thought George W. Bush banned all stem cell research kept thinking he did that even after they were shown an article saying that only some federally funded stem cell work was stopped. People who said the economy was the most important... more... - Andrew C (✔)
"In Kahan’s experiment, some people were asked to interpret a table of numbers about whether a skin cream reduced rashes, and some people were asked to interpret a different table – containing the same numbers – about whether a law banning private citizens from carrying concealed handguns reduced crime. Kahan found that when the numbers in the table conflicted with people’s positions on... more... - Andrew C (✔)
I don't believe that you posted this. - Greg GuitarBuster
Why would silly facts get in the way when people believe what their emotions tell them to believe. - Joe
Andrew C (✔)
Antonin Scalia Doesn't Believe in Separating Church and State - The Other 98% -
[Scalia:] "I think the main fight is to dissuade Americans from what the secularists are trying to persuade them to be true: that the separation of church and state means that the government cannot favor religion over nonreligion… Our [the court‘s] latest take on the subject, which is quite different from previous takes, is that the state must be neutral, not only between religions, but between religion and nonreligion. That’s just a lie.”" - Andrew C (✔) from Bookmarklet
[Other 98:] "If Scalia is confused about what that means, he can look to Thomas Jefferson for clarification: "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state. ~Thomas Jefferson, to Danbury Baptists, 1802" " - Andrew C (✔)
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