Thursday ReadsPosted: March 12, 2015
Actually, my morning hasn’t gone very well so far, but I’m hoping that will turn around soon. I’ve been having strange computer problems that are still ongoing, but I’m going to do the best I can to get this post up anyway. For some reason I can no longer use any browser on my computer and let me tell you, posting to WordPress with Internet Explorer is a %$^&&& nightmare!
Anyway, on to the news of the day.
News broke early this morning that two police officers had been shot outside police headquarters in Ferguson, Missouri. The two wounded officers are not from Ferguson. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports: Two police officers are shot in Ferguson.
The shots were fired just after midnight as police were confronting protesters who had gathered outside the police station.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said one officer was with his department and the other was with the Webster Groves department. Both were being treated at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, where Belmar spoke, and were in serious condition.
The chief said at least three shots were fired. Good thing there is a personal injury salem or that they rely on. He described the injuries of both men as “very serious gunshot injuries.” Neither injury was considered life-threatening….
The Webster Groves officer was shot in the face. He is 32 and has been on the force five years.
The county officer was hit in the shoulder. That officer is 41 and has been in law enforcement for 14 years.
Belmar said no suspects have been identified in the shootings.
Read much more detail at the link. Presumably we’ll hear more about this story soon.
Reactions to the “open letter” addressed to unnamed Iranian “leaders” sent by 47 GOP
morons Senators are getting more and more negative. Yesterday, Politicus USA reported: National Outrage Grows As 22 Newspaper Editorials Blast Senate Republican Letter To Iran.
Newspapers all across the country are ripping the 47 Senate Republicans who attempted to sabotage President Obama by writing a letter to Iran. Here is a sampling of the criticism from no less than 22 newspaper editorial boards.
The Concord Monitor in New Hampshire took Sen. Kelly Ayotte to task for signing the letter, “Ayotte and the rest of the gang of 47 would like nothing more than for the American people to view the letter as a necessary defense against misguided negotiations and flawed policies, a comeuppance for an arrogant commander in chief who flaunts his contempt for the Constitution. They want you to know, America, that they wrote the letter for you because Obama must be stopped. In reality, they are playing a political game dangerously out of bounds.”
The editorial board of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette wrote that the senators who signed the letter should be ashamed, “America’s partners in the talks are among the world’s most important nations — China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom. They can only be appalled at seeing Secretary of State John Kerry and the president, who are charged with making the nation’s foreign policy, hit from behind by one house of the federal legislature. The senators who signed the letter should be ashamed.”
The Sacramento Bee wrote that Senate Republicans need a civics lesson, “It’s the Republican senators who signed the letter – including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and potential presidential candidates Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida – who could use a remedial civics class. The Constitution gives the president broad authority to conduct foreign policy. The Senate’s “advise and consent” role covers formal treaties. The potential deal on Iran’s nuclear weapons program is not a treaty. It is a multinational agreement that involves Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, as well as the United States and Iran.”
Read more examples at the link.
The New York Times editorial board was particularly scathing yesterday:
After helping to ignite a firestorm over a possible nuclear agreement with Iran, Senator John McCain, a former Republican presidential candidate, is now sort of acknowledging his error. “Maybe that wasn’t exactly the best way to do that,” he said on Fox News on Tuesday.
He was referring to the disgraceful and irresponsible letter that he and 46 Senate colleagues sent to Iran’s leaders this week that generated outrage from Democrats and even some conservatives.
The letter was an attempt to scare the Iranians from making a deal that would limit their nuclear program for at least a decade by issuing a warning that the next president could simply reverse any agreement. It was a blatant, dangerous effort to undercut the president on a grave national security issue by communicating directly with a foreign government.
Maybe Mr. McCain, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, should have thought about the consequences before he signed the letter, which was drafted by Tom Cotton, a Republican of Arkansas, a junior senator with no foreign policy credentials. Instead of trying to be leaders and statesmen, the Republicans in Congress seem to think their role is outside the American government, divorced from constitutional principles, tradition and the security interests of the American people.
John Kerry was incredulous about the letter. Here’s AP video from a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the use of force against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
Here’s Steve Benen at MSNBC with more on Kerry’s appearance:
At the recent CPAC gathering, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a likely Republican presidential candidate, seemed to stumble on one of the basic facts of the Middle East. “The reason Obama hasn’t put in place a military strategy to defeat ISIS is because he doesn’t want to upset Iran,” the Florida Republican said.
The senator seemed confused. In reality, President Obama has put an anti-ISIS military strategy in place, and that’s fine with Iran, since Iran and ISIS are enemies.
I’d hoped that Rubio just misspoke, or had been briefed poorly by an aide, but apparently not – -at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing this afternoon, the far-right Floridian continued to push this strange theory, pressing Secretary of State John Kerry on the point. “I believe that much of our strategy with regards to ISIS is being driven by a desire not to upset Iran so they don’t walk away from the negotiating table on the deal that you’re working on,” Rubio said. “Tell me why I’m wrong.”
Whoa! Rubio is even stupider than I ever suspected. He has no f**king clue about what’s going on in the Middle East or probably anywhere else in the world for that matter.
John Boehner’s little stunt with Netanyahu hasn’t turned out that well either. From Politicus USA:
Polls released in the United States and Israel on March 11, 2015 tell the same story in two different countries. Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the U.S. Congress has backfired on the Israeli Prime Minister in a spectacular way. In the United States, a Gallup Poll, conducted from March 5-8, finds that Bibi’s popularity has dropped considerably since his address to Congress.
In February, a Gallup survey found 45 percent of Americans held a favorable view of Netanyahu, compared to 24 percent who viewed him unfavorably. After his speech to Congress, Netanyahu’s favorable rating dropped to 38 percent. His unfavorable numbers climbed to 29 percent. Overall, that represents a 12 percentage point decline in his favorable to unfavorable spread….
If Bibi and Congressional Republicans had planned his speech to win over support from Americans, the propaganda ploy flopped badly. While he gained an incremental 3-point jump in popularity from Republicans, the trade-off was losing a net 29 points in his approval rating from Democrats.
As a re-election ploy back home, the gambit also appears to have failed. 35,000 Israeli citizens took to the streets of Tel Aviv, in an “Israel wants change” public protest against Netanyahu after his address to the U.S. Congress. While large public protests do not always signify that a political leader is in jeopardy, a series of recent polls find Netanyahu losing support as well.
Bibi’s right-leaning Likud Party, which was deadlocked with Isaac Herzog’s center-left Zionist Union Party in February polls, is now losing ground. An Israel Army radio poll projects Herzog’s slate to win 24 seats in the Knesset (Israeli parliament) to Likud’s 21 seats. A Channel 2 poll conducted on Tuesday put the totals as 25 to 21 in favor of the Zionist Union over Likud. The polls both show Bibi’s support declining from his February numbers.
Speaking of GOP morons, have you heard the latest from supposed presidential candidate Lindsey Graham? From Raw Story:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) vowed that, if elected president, he would use the military to force Congress to reverse cuts to federal defense spending, Vox reported.
“I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to,” Graham said at an event in New Hamphsire over the weekend. “We’re not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts. We are not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts.”
The remark was first posted online by journalist Ron Noyes at BenSwann.com. Noyes wrote that, when reached for comment, a spokesperson from Graham’s office said via email, “Due to the large volume of mail I receive, I regret that I am only able to respond personally to inquiries from South Carolinians.”
Vox noted that, while Senate leadership is legally authorized to employ Capitol police to assure a quorum, Graham’s apparent idea stretches far beyond that.
“What Lindsey Graham is proposing is to physically force members of Congress to vote how he commands,” Amanda Taub wrote. “His plan violates constitutional separation of powers in just about the most extreme way imaginable, by forcing the executive branch’s will on the legislature. And it is a pretty safe bet that Senate rules do not grant the president authority to have the 101st Airborne Division occupy the Capitol until Congress votes the way he wants.”
I don’t even know how to react to that.
I’m going to have to end here. I’m have to try to figure out why I can’t install a decent browser on my computer. I’ll post more in the comments. What stories are you following today? I hope to see you in the comment thread.