Wednesday Reads: Do it again…

coffee birdGood Morning

This is going to be a quick post since I did not realize that today is Wednesday.

Lindsey Graham is again showing us what it means to be an asshole, as he declares:  ‘Clinton Got Away With Murder’ On Benghazi, Will Hold Hagel Unless Panetta Testifies

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is still searching for the silver bullet, that one piece of testimony that will prove once and for all that the Obama administration lied during the aftermath of the Benghazi attack.

Appearing on Fox News last night, Graham made clear that he was unsatisfied with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony last week, saying, “I haven’t forgotten about Benghazi. Hillary Clinton got away with murder, in my view.” Graham’s quest for the truth has now led him to current Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

Panetta, who has not testified before Congress about the role he played during the Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in the Libya city, is due to step down from his position at the Pentagon in the coming weeks. Graham now insists that Panetta would have to provide answers on what happened that night to the Armed Services Committee, on which Graham is a member. What’s more, as he told Fox News host Greta Van Sustren, Graham now intends to place a hold on Panetta’s proposed replacement, Chuck Hagel, until he gets the answers he wants.

Honestly, when will the Republicans stop these dickish ways and quit their obstructive tactics?

When I see the way some of the GOP are reacting to the proposed immigration reform, it makes me think there is an underlying desperation in their attitude. GOP Rep Says He Opposes Immigration Reform Because Latinos Are Uneducated, Will Never Support Republicans

Republican senators in the so-called Gang of 8 working to enact comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship argue that repairing the broken system would attract Latino voters to the GOP. As Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) explained during a Sunday appearance on ABC’s This Week, “We are losing dramatically the Hispanic vote, which we think should be ours for a variety of reasons, and we’ve got to understand that.” In November, President Obama “won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote while Mitt Romney won 27 percent.”

But some Republicans disagree. Responding to the bipartisan framework, Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) echoed the rhetoric surrounding immigrants and Democratic voters throughout the 2012 election and suggested that Hispanics would never vote for Republicans who don’t provide them with government hand outs:

“It’s amnesty that America can’t afford,” Barletta said Monday. “We have to stop people from coming in illegally. This will be a green light for anyone who wants to come to America illegally and then be granted citizenship one day.” [...]

“I hope politics is not at the root of why we’re rushing to pass a bill. Anyone who believes that they’re going to win over the Latino vote is grossly mistaken,” Barletta said. “The majority that are here illegally are low-skilled or may not even have a high school diploma. The Republican Party is not going to compete over who can give more social programs out. They will become Democrats because of the social programs they’ll depend on.”

Another right-wing PAC is in the news…Top Conservatives Run PAC That Funded White Nationalists, according to Mother Jones:

wo prominent conservative movement officials who hold leadership positions for several right-wing groups—Ron Robinson and James B. Taylor—run a political action committee that donated thousands of dollars to a white nationalist organization, according to public records. And for several years Taylor was vice president of another white nationalist organization.

Robinson and Taylor are each board members of Young America’s Foundation (YAF), which cofounded the annual Conservative Political Action Conference and runs the conservative youth group Young Americans for Freedom. (YAF owns and manages the Ronald Reagan Ranch, trains conservative journalists, and calls itself “the principal outreach organization of the Conservative Movement.”) And Robinson, YAF’s president, is on the board of two other conservative groups: Citizens United, which brought the landmark Supreme Court case of the same name, and the American Conservative Union, which operates CPAC.

With these positions, Robinson and Taylor are at the center of mainstream conservative infrastructure. But each also sits on the three-person board of America’s PAC, a far-right outfit that in 2004 gave $5,000 to the Charles Martel Society, a white nationalist group, according to the PAC’s filing with the Federal Election Commission. Taylor, YAF’s former executive director and a current board member, founded America’s PAC in 1983. Both his and Robinson’s names appear on America’s PAC letterhead before and after the donation to the Martel Society. Since 2004, America’s PAC has raised and spent over $5 million, giving donations to dozens of Republican candidates.

And what is with the name Charles Martel Society? That name came up a lot in my medieval history classes…

The Martel Society is named for Charles Martel, who stymied a Muslim invasion of Europe by winning the Battle of Tours in 734. It was founded in 2001 by William Regnery II, an heir to a conservative publishing fortune and a “prime mover and shaker in white nationalism publishing,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks racist extremism. The Martel Society is best known for publishing The Occidental Quarterly, which is sort of the Nature of academic racism, and its sister online publication, The Occidental Observer. The Anti-Defamation League has characterized the Quarterly as “racist” and the Observer as “anti-Semitic.” The Observer maintains an archive of stories on the topic of “Jews and the financial collapse,” and the Quarterly once awarded a $10,000 prize for books on the “group evolutionary strategies” of Jewish people. According to records America’s PAC filed with the FEC, its donation to the Martel Society was a “grant.” The Charles Martel Society did not respond to a request for comment.

I hate when these people use history in a twisted way to further their agenda.

The NRA is doing it again, they are going up against Gabby Giffords husband today, via CBS News: NRA vs. Giffords’ husband at Senate gun control hearing

Today, the debate over gun control gets its first congressional hearing since President Obama proposed sweeping reforms to help tackle escalating gun violence in the United States.

National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre and Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who survived a shot to the head two years ago during an assassination attempt that left six people dead, are among those slated to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. One congressional source tells CBS News that Giffords herself is expected to attend the hearing; she is expected to accompany her husband but is not scheduled to testify.

Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., “wants to move legislation, and he wants to do it quickly,” his spokeswoman Jessica Brady told CBSNews.com. Today’s hearing will offer a platform for a “respectful and productive conversation” about “where there is potential for success in passing legislation this year.”

Meanwhile, in Alabama, there is a hostage situation: Man shoots Alabama bus driver, holds child hostage underground

A man boarded a school bus in Alabama, police said, shot the driver, took a 6-year-old boy hostage and hours later was still holding the child in an underground bunker early Wednesday.

The incident started Tuesday afternoon and continued early Wednesday morning with authorities still desperately trying to free the young child.

Late in the evening Tuesday, the man had the child in some sort of underground bunker or storm shelter, and authorities were communicating with him through a PVC pipe, CNN affiliate WSFA reported.

“We will continue to work diligently through the night in an effort to bring closure to this incident as quickly as possible,” the Dale County Sheriff’s Department said at 11 p.m. CT.

Hours later, the hostage situation was still ongoing, WSFA reported. More than 13 hours after the ordeal had began, the child was still underground.

Sigh, I will keep you up to date on this story, the boy is still being held hostage.

Two more links, Israel Boycotts U.N. Human Rights Review, Council Awards Deferral For First Time Ever

Israel became the first nation to skip a U.N. review of its human rights record without giving a reason – and then won a precedent-setting deferral Tuesday.

The president of the U.N.’s top rights body, Polish diplomat Remigiusz Henczel, declared Israel a no-show at a meeting in Geneva and then reconvened the 47-nation Human Rights Council to decide what to do.

Israel had asked Henczel in January to postpone the review but did not provide a public explanation.

“This is a rather unique step which has never happened in the past,” said German U.N. Ambassador Hanns Heinrich Schumacher.

But after a debate, the council unanimously agreed to defer the review until its next session in October and November at the latest.

This move will set a precedent for any future request to hold up any Human Rights Council reviews…and it comes at a time when Israel’s questionable treatment of Ethiopian women is making headlines:  Israel’s Ethiopian Birth Control Story Reflects A Broader Problem

On Sunday it was reported that Israel has finally admitted to systematically depressing the fertility of the Ethiopian immigrant community (information first reported five years ago) by injecting Ethiopian-Israeli women with the long-acting birth control drug Depo-Provera without informed consent.

In some cases, women were first given the drug while still in transit camps; in other cases, it seems women were regularly injected after arriving in Israel. Some women apparently knew they were being given birth control but were told they wouldn’t be let into Israel if they didn’t agree; others report being told the shots were “inoculations.”

And as one Secretary of State is preparing to leave, her replacement finally got the go ahead from the Senate…Senate overwhelmingly backs Kerry to lead State Department 

The Senate overwhelmingly approved Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) as the next secretary of state Tuesday afternoon, with three Republican “no” votes.

The vote was 94 to 3, clearing the way for Kerry to formally take over from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday.

Clinton has given her last interview as “Madame  Secretary,” here is the transcript from ABC: Transcript: Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s ‘Nightline’ Interview on Benghazi Testimony, Stepping Down

Be sure to keep an eye on the weather today, it looks like there will be a mess of storms.  So, what are you reading about today?

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42 Comments on “Wednesday Reads: Do it again…”

  1. I feel like Jerry right now…

  2. ANonOMouse says:

    “Graham now intends to place a hold on Panetta’s proposed replacement, Chuck Hagel, until he gets the answers he wants.”

    The answers he wants or the truth? He’s heard the answers and they don’t suit him because they don’t fit his narrative. His Senate seat is in peril and he doesn’t think he can hold it unless he lands a big fish. Unfortunately for Lindsay this lake is empty and now he’s grandstanding.

    He’s also grandstanding on immigration reform in an effort to score points with the TeaParty. Yesterday Graham objected to same-sex couples being included in the immigration reform bill

    “Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters on Tuesday that it’s a mistake for the president to push for same-sex couples to be included in immigration reform, if he wants Republicans to support the bill.”

    I’ve covered for a few closeted gay people in my life, but I’ve never covered for a closeted gay person who enjoyed my world by night and worked against my world by day. I think it’s WAY PAST TIME for the L/G community to address this guy on a personal level. I don’t know if the gay rumor is true or not, but if it is, it’s time to OUT THIS GUY.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    The grieving father of a 6 yr old victim in the Sandy Hook shootings was “booed” by gun advocates during his testimony.

    I guess this pretty much sums up who we are as a society, where our cultural values have led us, and how the sense of empathy has all but disappearead.

    But I guess if you can “boo” a gay soldier in combat during the GOP presidential debates, booing a man who just buried his child is the standard these days.

    But did we hear one outcry for this behavior from the NRA or the GOP from the incivility of those who “treasure guns” above human life”

    Nope. Just the usual silence.

    I would be shocked but these actions are becoming so commonplace that whatever outrage felt is muted by the sickness of the minds who have lost all sense of proportion.

    Accusing Hillary Clinton of “getting away with murder” is just another example of the insanity that is the current Republican Party.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      I watched the replay of that testimony, the behavior of the hecklers was/is disgusting.

      As for the “getting away with murder” comment, it is total hyperbolic bullshit and the community needs to hold this guy in front of a mirror.

    • Fannie says:

      It is down right sicking that they are blaming the media (NBC & everyone but Fox) for lying about the reports that Neil Heskub was heckled……………They are reviewing edited and unedited tapes of the event, and saying that liberal media is misleading the situation, and that we should be ashamed………………wtf……………….Lindsey Graham lying about Hillary being a murderer, Gop lying about immigrations because Latino’s are uneducated. Not to mention all the lies FAUX News covered like Susan Rice and Benghazie…………Obama and Birth Certificate, on and on they go. Here they go playing games about the defintion of “heckling”.
      I watched and saw Neil when he heard the booing, he looked at the crowds to the left, and to the right…….They were yelling and booing………………….wtf?

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Harry Reid needs to go. He won’t endorse Feinstein’s bill to ban assault weapons.

  5. Pat Johnson says:

    If Liindsay Graham is gay he cannot be in the state of South Carolina.

    Sorry, but these folks are still fighting the Civil War and pushing Creationism as part and parcel of the school curriculum.

    These are people who are incapable of reason, thought, or progression. The morons coming out of South Carolina and voted into congressional seats are as backward as any non thinker who follows the likes of Rush and Pat Robertson.

    If Lindsay is gay his entire life would be held up for ridicule in a state that does not recognize homosexuality other than to condemn it.

    How Graham could stand there while Jim Demint publicly condemned gays and their right to equaltiy says it all.

    A coward to the very core.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      I agree Pat, he’s a coward, but he’s also a JUDAS of the highest order and if he’s gay those who have sheltered him, and believe me they exist, should hold him accountable.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Does anyone else think that this is just the prelude to preventing Hillary from running in 2016? I agree that Graham is worried about losing his seat, but I think it’s about fearing another Dem Prez in 2016. Sure seems that way to me, even though I believe her when she’s said she ain’t gonna do it.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I agree eco. The teanuts/christos are abandoning their ODS to reclaim their HDS/CDS. But I also think that Lindsey is pushing the envelope with the Hillary hate and the Gay hate all in the same day. Hillary is a champion in the L/G community and if Graham keeps pushing the envelope it is going to open up and the contents are going to spill out all over him. It ain’t gonna be pretty. :-)

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Senate Judiciary hearing on gun violence begins at 10AM. Wayne LaPierre and Mark Kelly, husband of Gabrielle Giffords will testify.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Thanks for giving me the time of this hearing BB, I just turned on CSPAN to see if I could find out. Let’s see, LaPierre vs. Mark Kelly, I’m wagering that Kelly will deliver a real ass kicking to the gun-nuts.This should be a very interesting hearing.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    The Hill is surprised to learn that a sudden cut in government spending triggered by the approaching fiscal cliff led the GDP to shrink.

    But hey– we need even more cuts in government spending!

    • RalphB says:

      They’re surprised by that? What a load of dumbass!

    • RalphB says:

      Bloomberg: Economy in U.S. Contracts as Defense Spending Slumps

      Bolstered by a drop in fuel prices and the biggest gain in incomes in four years, consumer spending accelerated as the biggest part of the economy overcame superstorm Sandy, a bitter presidential contest and Washington budget battles. The gain in spending may be difficult to sustain this quarter as a tax increase takes a bigger chunk from pay, one reason why Federal Reserve policy makers, meeting today, are projected to press on with plans to pump money into the world’s largest economy.

      “The number isn’t as bad as it looks,” said Paul Edelstein, director of financial economics at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts, whose team projected a 0.3 percent gain, the lowest in the Bloomberg survey. “This really was a story about a payback in national defense spending. Consumer spending growth picked up, fixed investment was fairly strong.”

      Consumer purchases are up and comnpanies are hiring more. The stock market gained. It’s not all bad from defense spending cuts.

  8. ecocatwoman says:

    Not much good news, is there? There were 2 good discussions about immigration on NPR yesterday. Enrique Morones of Border Angels was interviewed on Here & Now: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/01/29/immigration-advocate-reform Another piece was on ATC here: http://www.npr.org/2013/01/29/170588501/illegal-immigration-into-u-s-slows-at-border-crossings The chest thumping over the “need for increased border security” baffles me. First, borders are porous – period. There has never been any way to prevent anyone from crossing any border. Second the numbers are way down. This from ATC:

    ROBBINS: Yeah, the numbers definitely show something. The recent high point was in 2005, 1.1 million people were apprehended crossing illegally. Well, the last numbers were for fiscal year 2011. That number went for 1.1 million to 340,000. So we’re down two-thirds and the lowest levels in 40 years.

    CORNISH: And, of course, research has shown that illegal immigration into the U.S. has slowed in recent years for a number of reasons. Talk about those reasons and how that affects border enforcement.

    ROBBINS: Well, the primary reason the numbers have gone down, everybody agrees, is that the U.S. economy tanked in 2008; lack of jobs, lack of a magnet to bring people here. The other reason is that there are 11 million people already here illegally, and they used to migrate – go back and forth. Now, with all the enforcement, it’s harder to come and go and so many have stayed here in the U.S.

    I think it was Morones who brought up American history & the rhetoric about immigrants, from Germans to the Irish to the Italian & so on. Now Mexicans are the latest group to hate on. Seems to me that the general American attitude toward immigrants has always been hate.

    I hope that 6 year old boy is rescued. I suppose the NRA is going to call for arming bus drivers now. I’m beginning to feel as if lunacy (ala the Repugnant party & religious zealots) is contagious.

  9. ANonOMouse says:

    Joan Walsh takes on Lindsey at Salon. Everwhere I’ve read this story gay folks posting in the comments are giving Lindsey the business.

    http://www.salon.com/2013/01/29/lindsey_graham_hits_bottom/

  10. Pat Johnson says:

    Deval Patrick will announce today who will serve in the interim Senate seat about to be vacated by John Kerry.

    And Scotty Brown. who just made an ass out of himself on Twitter, is “contemplating” another run to fill it.

    Keep your eyes on MA in the coming months. The June vote to fill that Senate seat may be a forerunner to what happens come 2014 and the midterms.

    Out here in Western MA Ed Markey is not as well known as Scott Brown. This race could be considered a “toss up” going forward.

    • bostonboomer says:

      If Deval doesn’t appoint Barney Frank, he’s in deep doo doo. Lawrence O’Donnell has him scheduled for tonight’s show.

      Markey has time to get his message out.

  11. bostonboomer says:

    WaPo’s Lori Montgomery writes that Republicans may just let the Sequester cuts happen.

    “I think it’s more likely to happen. And I’m ashamed of the Congress, I’m ashamed of the president, and I’m ashamed of being in this body, quite frankly,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), an Air Force Reservist who has been working for months to develop a bipartisan plan to protect the Pentagon.

    “How do you go to somebody in the military who’s been deployed four or five times . . . and say, ‘For your good work over the last decade, we’re going to ruin the military; we’re going to make it harder for you to have the equipment you need to fight, and we’re going to reduce benefits to your family?’ ” he said.

    • RalphB says:

      I wouldn’t be at all surprised because the horror of having to negotiate with Obama must fill them with fear these days. And maybe they can blame it on the Democrats?

  12. bostonboomer says:

    Watch the gun violence hearing on C-span here.

  13. RalphB says:

    TPM: Deval Patrick Appoints Mo Cowan As MA’s Interim Senator

    Damn. Barney Frank would have been a great spokesman on TV for the Democrats in the Senate.

  14. bostonboomer says:

    Crazy Wayne LaPierre is testifying right now.

  15. bostonboomer says:

    Leahy got crazy Wayne to admit that the NRA doesn’t support background checks at gun shows.

    • bostonboomer says:

      The pro-gun people testifying at this hearing are really scary. Right now a woman is claiming that assault weapons are better for a mother who is holding a baby and facing 5 violent intruders. If these weapons are banned it will hurt women supposedly.

  16. ecocatwoman says:

    The CATO Institute guy said 1/6 of those in prison for gun violence have a mental disorder. Seems that says that most of those convicted of gun violence aren’t mentally ill, so they would still be able to get guns.

    IWF dumbass testified that AR-15s are the choice of young women to defend themselves. This is after she championed conceal carry permits. Do they make handbags big enough to conceal those suckers? Oh, and “appearance” is one of the reasons young women like these guns. Guess they can get them made to match their outfit! What an airhead this woman is.

  17. ecocatwoman says:

    Sessions/LaPierre – enforce the laws, prosecute that’s what is needed. Well, if local & state funding for law enforcement wasn’t continually cut & if Congress would approve Obama’s judicial appointees it might see an increase in prosecutions. So, the same people bitching about lack of prosecution also support reducing gov’t spending & let judicial boards to remain understaffed. And, of course, it’s all the fault of “this administration” per Sessions. Pinhead!

  18. ecocatwoman says:

    Sheldon Whitehouse ROCKS!