I have suspended writing new posts for this blog. I watch the Republican presidential debates and listen to the debate about bombing Iran and am speechless. There is hardly anything left to say.
Obama has no interest in bombing Iran. And although he caved into Bibi’s settlement expansion, he won’t green-light Israel to attack Iran. 2012 is not a year Americans will rally to support a president in a time of war. Americans believe they are overstretched with a dormant economy and believe Obama overstretched the federal budget through bail-out, stimulus and health care. An attack on Iran would make Romney a shoe-in. Even Obama wouldn’t let Netanyahu walk over him in this.
The majority of Americans don’t care about the Israel-Iran conflict. The Republicans are going wild on Iran to show that Obama is weak on national security, but Obama’s commander-in-chief narrative gets better with every Quaeda or Taliban leader offed, every drone that hits its target, those 2500 marines to be based in northwest Australia and on-going naval exercise near the South China Sea.
The Israeli leadership has been talking out of all sides of the mouth. Barak says Israel isn’t near a decision to bomb Iran one day. And the very next day, Israeli intelligence states that the aftermath of such an attack wouldn’t be as bad as many experts predict. Israeli officials have even back-tracked on whether Iran will ultimately go ahead and construct a bomb.
All of this occurs against the possibility Netanyahu will call for early elections this year and party elections that took place this week. Prepare for another round of hairsplitting debate tomorrow: this one on what the IEAE meant by its talks with Iran Monday and Tuesday were ‘good.’
This is what’s happening regarding the payroll tax/unemployment insurance bills.
1. First Republican House leadership wanted to have a two month bill that would extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.
2. Republican House members rejected this.
3. Meanwhile, the Senate passed a two-month extension by 89-10, an overwhelming bi-partisan majority for a bill endorsed by Senate Minority Leader McConnell.
4. The Senate left for the holidays and will return January 2nd.
5. Normally, with a situation this serious and a bill passed across parties by the Senate, House members would vote to pass the Senate bill. INstead, the House did not take a vote on the bill itself, but used a procedural rule to have a joint Senate-House Committee reconcile the differences. In this way, Republicans would be protected from the burden of having voted against the payroll cut and UE extensions.
So these are the choice:
1. The House passes the Senate bill that gives a 2 month extension
2. President Obama calls the Senate back to vote on a house fill for a full year extension. The Houses passes it, too
3. A House/Senate Committee works out the differences. But since the House never voted on an actual bill, how that would happen is unclear.
4. No bill is passed and unemployment insurance runs out for millions and millions more will see a significant increase in payroll taxes.
Don’t these people realize that taking money out of peoples’ pockets now is a clear and present danger to the economy?
Inexplicably, The New York Times ran a fine expose of the Florida Family Association, which successfully petitioned Lowes Corporation to pull its commercials from the TV Show ‘All-American Muslim’ in its Religion section near the end of its ‘A’ section.
David Caton is the founder and only member of the co-called Florida Family Association, a split-off from the American Family Association. Anti-Muslim bigotry is so intense in America today that one man with an email list scared Lowe’s Home Improvement into dropping sponsorship of the Learning Channel’s ‘All-American Muslim’ – a reality show depicting Muslims as regular Americans dealing with all the problems in life in the same way most of us do.
This is unbelievable. First Florida gives us the pastor who announced to the world that he will burn a copy of the Koran. Now we have one guy on his own campaign to cancel the one show on American TV that seeks to portray an honest portrait of Muslim Americans.
Why? Because there are no terrorists in the show! Caton ‘reasons’ that the show contains a corrupting, hidden agenda to make Islam acceptable in the US. I guess once it is accepted as part of religious life in the US, the ‘hidden agenda’ will be released by ginnies inside a magic bottle.
I didn’t know it was so easy to fool American corporate executives. Didn’t Lowe’s advertising people do a tiny bit of research? Where did their spokeswoman get the idea that ‘All-American Muslim’ is a ‘controversial show’? I’ve never seen it but the only things I’ve seen written about it is that it’s boring. The real live of Muslims are too boring for reality TV!
I don’t believe in one-person, moral boycotts. But I know I’d never shop in a Lowe’s again. Crass consumerism aside, this company is run by social idiots.
Blogs are ablaze! Media critics are circling Fox News for its smug, condescending and unfair coverage of Ron Paul’s campaign for the GOP presidential nomination.
Herman Cain has done what Quddafi, Fidel, Arafat and dozens of celebrities, straight or hyped on drugs could not! He took her totally off guard. Watch it!
Still, is it that unreasonable to expect more than Gingrich and Romney? I find both of them inadequate for the monumental challenges facing this country. For starters, both have been rejected by the party at points in the past – Gingrich by the House Republicans in 1998 and Romney by the whole GOP electorate in 2008 – so why, now that times are even tougher, should we turn to them? Beyond that, our government needs widespread reforms; old ways of doing business must be undone, and that requires presidential leadership of the highest caliber, and I doubt that either can deliver. In different ways, they’re too attached to the old ways, and I just doubt that the country will follow their lead. Jay Cost, The Weekly Standard</em>
It seems Graham announced he does not want to see the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau to come into existence. It’s too late. It’s already in existence by an act of Congress. Republicans are blocking the President from appointing a head of the Bureau.
James Fallows cites Ta-Nehisi Coates and recently retired Senate Republican aid Mike Lofgren on the constitutional history of Republican nullification today.
Ta-Nehisi Coates writes today about the persistence into this moment’s news of the past centuries’ racial traumas and racist institutions. Mike Lofgren, who recently retired from a career as a Republican staffer in the Senate, and whom I have quoted before, by coincidence makes a directly parallel point about the origins of the filibuster and the recent return of “nullification” thinking by Republican members of the Senate.
- Noise: Will Israel Attack Iran
- I will be in China Jan. 10-24th
- Egyptian Crack-down on NGOs a Diversion
- Are Humans Evolving?
- Study: Brain Drain Helps Poor Countries
- No Posting Until January 2nd! Happy Holidays!
- ‘A Single Spark Starts a Prarie Fire’
- The ‘Other 14′ on UNSC Speak Up
- Egyptian Women Rally Against SCAF
- MF Global: Lobbying on Eve of Vote
- Case Study in Hear-Say Journalism
- Guess Who Else is Fighting Terrorists in Pakistan?
- Romney’s Right about Class Warfare
- Politics Devolves into Correcting Lies
- Immigrants Taking American Jobs: Think Again
- Drone and Insurgencies
- If You Read This Blog…
- Norman Ornstein on “Worst. Congress. Ever.”