Monday Reads: News Exhaustion Edition

Good Morning!

nap-timeWe’re going to have to see what I come up with today because I openly admit to being extremely tired.  We’ve had all this rain recently and it’s dark and gloomy all the time.  Yesterday, it was so hard and heavy that the French Quarter flooded.  So, here are a few things to consider before I head back to bed for awhile.

The Boston Globe features an article arguing that Southern Blacks and Hispanics will eventually trump angry, resentful, and backward white Republican voters in the South.  If only. The analysis is by Bob Moser.  The demographics have to be playing into white backlash which make the South the epicenter of voter suppression laws but it’s also a place where voter turnout is highly irregular.

The question is whether Democrats in these states are better served by following the region’s five-decade-long drift toward the GOP — or by betting that the climate is finally changing in their favor.

It’s a sign of things to come in states like North Carolina, where large influxes of Latino immigrants and “relocated Yankees,” both black and white, are tilting the demographic balance toward the Democrats and inspiring a new progressive movement. But despite Obama’s own surprising Southern breakthroughs — after Al Gore and John Kerry lost the entire region, he won three large Southern states in 2008 and two in 2012, falling just short in North Carolina — the region’s blue future is still a long-term proposition. Candidates like Hagan are stuck between the past, when Southern Democrats’ recipe for victory involved courting white moderates and conservativesand a future in which they’ll be able to successfully campaign as full-throated, national-style Democrats. To win, Hagan and her compatriots must simultaneously woo independent-minded whites while persuading massive numbers of young voters and nonwhites, who lean left on both economic and social issues, to join them.

It’s an awkward proposition, to be sure. But the Democratic contenders have appeared hell-bent on making it look downright impossible.

But, it appears Georgia may already be in just that state of mind.

In a poll by Landmark Communications released Sunday, Democrat Michelle Nunn has a commanding lead against both of her potential challengers in Georgia’s US Senate race. Against Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) Nunn is up by eight points, 49% to 41%. The poll also shows her with a nice lead against businessman David Perdue as Nunn leads him 48% to 42%. Perdue and Kingston are heading into a GOP primary runoff this coming Tuesday. The survey shows Kingston with a sizable lead as he is ahead by seven points, 48% to 41%.

While Nunn holds leads against both men, the thought is that she’d prefer to face Kingston in the general election. Atlanta-based political analyst Bill Crane had the following to say after this poll was released.

“I think Michelle Nunn would prefer to run against Jack Kingston. Twenty-two year incumbent, PAC money, special interest, her preferred race is the race that I think she’s going to get.”

Nunn taking the Georgia Senate seat would put a huge crimp in the plans of Republicans who feel they can take over the US Senate this November. Currently, the GOP needs to net six seats in the midterm to become the majority party in the Upper Chamber. Losing a Senate seat in a deep-red state that was previously held by a Republican will almost certainly prevent Republicans from taking over the Senate. While it is nearly a given that Democrats will lose seats this November, it is looking more and more promising that they will be able to retain control of the Senate.

There’s all kinds of things happening that have caused me to pull the blankets over my head. The horrors in the Gaza strip, the ongoing downed napMalaysian jet catastrophe, and the week long visit of the Army of God to our city.  They’re all over our women’s health clinics and they are creepy as creepy gets. Russia’s hand prints are all over the downed commercial airliner.  Militants weirdly suggested that the people on the plane were all dead before the plane took off.  WTF kind of craziness is this?

In a briefing at the Pentagon on Friday, Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters that it “strains credulity” to think pro-Russian separatists believed to have shot down MH17 didn’t have at least some help from Moscow. Kirby said the Buk is a “sophisticated piece of technology” that would likely require technical assistance from Russia.

Inside a Buk. As you can see, it’s not as easy as just pushing one big red button.

Indeed, Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove said in June the U.S. military’s intelligence was that rebels were being trained in tanks and anti-aircraft capability across the border, before heading back into eastern Ukraine to put it into practice.

According to IHS Jane’s Defense, a resource for intelligence and defense analysis, operating a Buk requires a trained crew. While the government of Ukraine also has Buk missile systems, Jane’s notes that the Ukrainian military has none of the systems in the region near the MH17 crash, as they were overtaken by pro-Russian separatists.

“The system is not a simple system to use. You need at least four to six months of training and ongoing training to operate it,” Ronald Bishop, a former U.S. Air Force missile expert, told Australia’s Warwick Daily News. “To fire this system you need to have highly-specialized military training.”

It finally looks like Europe is getting fed up with Russia and their cronies.  The response comes because of the careless treatments of the remains of the imagesvictims of the missile attack.

Investigators are still far from an official judgment of what brought down a Malaysia Airlines flight in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew onboard. But the global court of public opinion, the verdict appears to be rendered.

Vladimir Putin is guilty.

The Russian President could once claim a semblance of a role as a global statesmen. But with the downing of a commercial airliner by what U.S. and Ukrainian officials suggest were pro-Moscow rebels using a missile supplied by Russia, Putin was facing a very personal barrage of worldwide condemnation that threatened to result in further sanctions on Russia if it did not rapidly change course in Ukraine.

Australia raised the prospect of banning Putin from a G-20 meeting of the world’s most powerful nations in November if he did not exert more pressure on the rebels who left corpses strewn on the ground for days,contaminated the crash site, and hampered an international investigation. Britain, meanwhile, openly accused the Russian leader of sponsoring “terrorism.” U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry, appearing on multiple political talk shows Sunday, called this a “moment of truth” for Russia.

Particularly in Europe – a continent long leery of going too far to pressure Moscow over its support of separatists in Ukraine – initial shock was quickly gathering into outrage and action.

On Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron held a joint phone call on Russia. A Downing Street spokesman said the three leaders agreed that the European Union “must reconsider its approach to Russia and that foreign ministers should be ready to impose further sanctions on Russia when they meet on Tuesday.”


2607621162_13ece1c44c-1John Kerry gave Fox News a perfect opener during an appearance on Sunday.  Fox is about as neocon as you can get and they love it when Israel goes on any killing spree. Kerry’s oops moment is interesting. It’s hard to believe some one as skilled in politics as Kerry didn’t assume a hot mike and inquiring minds.

In an unusual moment during “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace presented Secretary of State John Kerry with video recorded before he came on air.

Wallace introduced the segment as being in reference to civilians killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip. “While you were on camera and while on microphone,” Wallace said, “you spoke to one of your top aides between the interviews about the situation in Israel.” He then played what the network had recorded. In the clip, Kerry is holding a cellphone conversation with someone. The person on the other end of the call isn’t identified, and the audio from the other participant is staticky.

Kerry’s comments are clear. “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” he says, then repeats it. “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation.” It’s an apparent reference to Israel’s insistence that its incursion into the region would be limited. “It’s escalating significantly,” the person on the phone replies, and Kerry then says: “We’ve got to get over there. I think we ought to go tonight.” He then calls it “crazy” to be “sitting around.”

“When you said it’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” Wallace asked, are you “upset that the Israelis are going too far?”

“It’s very difficult in these situations,” Kerry said, repeating that the United States supports Israel’s right to defend itself. He then explained his comments by saying, “I reacted, obviously, in a way that anybody does in respect to young children and civilians.”

tumblr_m5tge0pM4O1qatsw8I’m getting really tired of every one fellating Bibi.  He’s got to be high up there on the War Criminals list now and it’s about time we pressure Israel for a regime change. To hate Bibi is not to hate Jewish people.  It’s to abhor genocide.  I just really have gotten to the point where I hate religion altogether and the Abrahamic brands are just about the worst of it all. It’s just evil. Here’s the resident evil religious whackos plaguing New Orleans for the week. I’m probably going to go do some clinic escorting midweek.

A week of planned anti-abortion protests in the New Orleans area began Saturday morning (July 19) with about 55 people affiliated with Operation Save America gathered at the Causeway Medical Clinic in Metairie.

Shortly after, 40 picketed a private home in Carrollton, some holding posters with graphic images of aborted fetuses. Organizer Rusty Thomas of Waco, Texas, said activists are still arriving and other demonstrations are planned for coming days.

The organization said it was encouraged by anew Louisiana law that opponents say will likely shut down three of the five clinics in the state that perform abortions. The law, which supporters say is aimed at improving patient safety, goes into effect Sept. 1.

Richard Fegan of Mandeville, outside the Metairie location, said, “We’re trying to shut the place down because God gives life and God takes life … this place is trying to be God.”

Planned Parenthood said the protests are sparked by the organization’s upcoming new facility on South Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans. No one was gathered at the construction site Saturday morning.

“Planned Parenthood’s focus is the health and safety of women, men and families in Louisiana,” said Melissa Flournoy, state director of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, in a statement. “These extremist organizations are trying to stop a new health center from serving this community, but in the end they’re only helping us build more support.”

It’s just hard to know what to do with people that just want to inflict their view of the world on the rest of us.  What is with all this craziness?  It’s like we’ve not gotten much farther than when we crawled out of the caves.  At least back then, we could only do limited damage.

Anyway, naptime is calling my name folks!  What’s on your reading and blogging list today?



27 Comments on “Monday Reads: News Exhaustion Edition”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    Impossible to name a war over the centuries that did not have some religious fervor in its “mission statement” . Forget the land grabs and seizing of power, most of these wars left the population buckling under somebody else’s idea of following “religious philosophy”.

    The Muslim world is up to its ears in killing the infidels in the name of Allah. The Sunnis and Shiites are still battling it out after how many centuries of fighting. The Jews hate the Muslims and vice versa. Fanatical Christians are seeking to impose their form of “law” on the US. Most outbreaks across the globe have a vestige of religious opposition going for it. Even the current Russian government seeks to ban homosexuality within its borders based on the same logic.

    The year is 2014. We have taken huge strides in the way of technology and medicine. But we are still fighting wars that are based on religious intolerance no matter how one wants to paint it as political upheaval. Somewhere in that philosophy lie the seeds of “god’s will” that keeps repeating itself century after century with no end in sight.

    One would think that “the enlightenment” never happened. That critical thinking has all but disappeared.

    Only fanatics would “approve” of murder in the name of a “higher authority” that cannot be proved.

    It isn’t “religion” that is being attacked but humanity itself. Condoning, apologizing, or defending this point of view is obscene. Yet that’s where we find ourselves today.

    A truly sad commentary that after centuries we have really not come that far.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    All those photos of sleepy kids and animals are making me want to go back to bed–especially because the news is so horrible….

  3. joanelle says:

    Good post even if it dealt with some terrible happenings. I really loved all the sleepy time ‘kids’

  4. Fannie says:

    Cooling down in Boise, nice way to start my day. Garden is producing like wild. Gonna make some Zucchini relish.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Ukraine rebels finally allow some Dutch inspectors to examine the rotting bodies of MH17 passengers.

    After being left on the ground for days, the bodies were “stacked” in refrigerated train cars, but the power went off overnight.The train has now left for an “undisclosed location.”

  6. bostonboomer says:

    It turns out Glenn Greenwald actually was wrong about NBC News pulling that reporter from Gaza (BTW, Greenwald never even talked to the guy).

    What really happened with NBC and Ayman Mohyeldin

    It turns out that ratings star Richard Engel had just arrived in Gaza that day and was set to replace Mohyeldin because the bosses wanted ratings. It wasn’t about bias toward Israel, just the usual hamhandedness of network execs. They had Engel read part of Mohyeldin’s script on the Nightly News, because they had problems with the “tracking” in Mohyeldin’s narration. After the uproar over Greenwald’s article, the execs then sent Nohyeldin back to Gaza.

    “The producers are so paranoid about the ratings, they’ll do anything to stick with the faces viewers know and trust — so that would be Richard over Ayman,” said one of the employees. “Plus, there is no tolerance if a story is fed in and doesn’t live up to expectations.”

    Mohyeldin repeatedly appeared on NBC’s cable news channel, MSNBC, to share what he’d witnessed along the beach. After those reports and “Nightly News,” he was told that Engel was coming to Gaza, so he had to leave. This was the biggest head-scratcher of all, and a big part of the reason for the subsequent uproar.

  7. List of X says:

    You can hate or love Bibi, and eventually he’ll be replaced as Israeli PM. But no matter who the Israeli PM is, it won’t change the fact that Hamas is running Gaza, that Hamas’ charter calls for destruction of Israel (not liberation of occupied territories, but de-jewfication of all of Palestine), and that Hamas had, does, and will launch dozens of rockets daily into Israel.

    • dakinikat says:

      Israel exists because of an invasion and ongoing slaughter of indigenous peoples. They appear to no longer have any interest in a two state solution and are actively settling and displacing and committing atrocities on a minority group. Hamas is not a good organization but then Mandala and his group were considered terrorists for wanting to end apartheid also. Frankly, minor bombings from Hamas are nothing compared to what Israel does these days. There needs to be a two state solution and both parties need to sit down and negotiate it.

      • List of X says:

        I agree, there need to be negotiations and a two state solution. Problem is, after Israel unilaterally pulled out of Gaza in 2005, Hamas turned it into a 100 square mile rocket launching pad. The Gaza example soured much of Israeli interest in further land for peace deals. So they have a horrible choice between continuing the apartheid in West Bank and having more rockets raining down on them from the liberated West Bank.
        Also, I don’t believe Hamas ever expressed interest in negotiating with Israel beyond setting up a temporary cease-fire.

        Dak, I have been to Israel in June 2001, and I have seen the ruins of a Tel Aviv disco less than a week after a “minor bombing” killed 20 Israeli teenagers. Saying “Hamas is not a good organization” is an understatement alike saying “bin Laden is not a very nice man”. No motives or reasons can possibly justify suicide bombings against civilians, rocket attacks, shooting a school bus with an anti-tank rifle, encouraging civilians not to leave the area of imminent Israeli strike, hiding their rockets in civilian locations (there were rockets found in the UN school just days ago), and so on.

        • dakinikat says:

          The entire situation is no win because I think the players with power on both sides have mutually exclusive goals. I feel sorry for the citizenry of both.

        • dakinikat says:

          I’m don’t know if you are aware of this but I dated a Palestinian American last year. His sister worked for an American NGO in the West Bank and around Israel for several years. She witnessed and tried to film the Israeli army bulldozing Palestinian houses to make way for an illegal Israeli settlement. There were people in side including old people, babies, and small children. The officer in charge of the operation told her that she better stop and get out of there and not to think that just because she was American that there weren’t ways of disappearing her. She is full of similar stories. She was born in Houston and is about as American as you can get. Her family fled their homes after the 1967 lightening war.

    • RalphB says:

      If Palestinians have to admit that Israel has a “right to exist”, why does no one ever ask Israelis the same question about Palestine? Can’t remember where I read that but it’s a very good question. The right in Israel, and in the US, are their own worst enemy for the long run.

  8. NW Luna says:

    Those religious wackos should be putting their time and money into making contraception widely available, instead of intimidation, harassment and threats.

  9. RalphB says:

    Bob Somerby has been on a roll lately!

    Daily Howler: NEW KIDS ON THE LAWN: The intellectual legacy!

    The generation of pundits now leaving the stage leaves behind a truly appalling intellectual legacy.

    They’re the gang who invented “invented the Internet.” Before that, they invented the Whitewater “scandal.”

    (They gave that famous name—Whitewater—to a whole political era. To this day, can you explain what Bill Clinton is or was alleged to have done wrong?)

    Their technical incompetence is a thing to behold. Beyond that, they’ve been in thrall to big-money interests for as long as they’ve been in control.

  10. dakinikat says:

    Ukraine rebels hand over black boxes of downed Malaysia passenger jet