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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Farmer who put up sign claiming Democrats are ‘party of parasites’ has taken $1 million in farm subsidies.

har5125 says:
Trying to defend himself, Jungerman told the press, “That’s just my money coming back to me. I pay a lot in taxes.
If he earned enough to put in over a million dollars in taxes then why did need subsidies?

Missouri farmer David Jungerman has raised the hackles of local residents with a politically-charged sign he’s placed on his “45-foot-long, semi-truck box trailer” on his farm. The trailer reads: “Are you a Producer or Parasite Democrats – Party of the Parasites.” Now, the Kansas City Star reveals that Jungerman has been the recipient of over a million dollars of federal farm subsidies since 1995:
The Raytown farmer who posted a sign on a semi-truck trailer accusing Democrats of being the “Party of Parasites” received more than $1 million in federal crop subsidies since 1995. [...]
After a story about Jungerman’s trailer ran in Sunday’s Star, however, some readers called him a hypocrite for criticizing others for getting government help while taking government subsidies paid for by taxpayers.
Jungerman said he put up the sign to protest people who pay no taxes, but, “Always have their hand out for whatever the government will give them” in social programs.
Trying to defend himself, Jungerman told the press, “That’s just my money coming back to me. I pay a lot in taxes. I’m not a parasite.” He also said that the sign is aimed at national Democrats, not local Democrats, many of whom are “are old-fashioned Harry Truman Democrats,” who Jungerman says are “more conservative than many Republicans.” For the record, Harry Truman campaigned on establishing a single-payer health care system and famously vetoed tax cuts, making him much more progressive than many of today’s Democrats LinkHere

Lawmakers Urge Obama To Show Greater Support For Israel

Source: RTTNews

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined with 85 other senators in urging President Barack Obama to reaffirm US support for Israel's right to self-defense.

In a letter to the president, the senators argued that Israel is important for the US's national security, and that the US needs to stand with Israel when it "faces multiple threats from Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the current regime in Iran."

The letter goes on to commend the Obama Administration for defending Israel against rebukes from the United Nations, blaming a Turkish charity for instigating a conflict involving a Gaza flotilla earlier in June.

They expressed concerns over the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) and asked the administration to consider adding the IHH to the list of foreign terrorist organizations."

Members of the Democratic caucus who signed the letter (* where I couldn't make out the names):


Jewish dance group attacked in Germany

A JEWISH dance group was attacked with stones by a group of children and teenagers during a performance at a street festival in the Germany city of Hannover.
One dancer suffered a leg injury and the group then cancelled their performance.
The teenagers also used a megaphone to shout anti-Semitic slurs during the Saturday afternoon attack, Hannover police spokesman Thorsten Schiewe said.
Police said the incident is under investigation and that they do not have an exact number of attackers yet.
Mr Schiewe said there were several Muslim immigrant youths among the attackers.
Two suspects, a 14-year-old and a 19-year-old, were being questioned, he said.
Alla Volodarska, whose Progressive Jewish Community of Hannover group held the performance, said that members were still in shock.
"What happened is just so awful. The teenagers started throwing stones the moment our dance group was announced, even before they started dancing." LinkHere

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Joe Barton Will Keep Energy Committee Post After Apologizing To GOP Colleagues

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) convened privately with his GOP colleagues Wednesday and apologized for the controversy he created last week by expressing public sympathy for BP during a much-awaited hearing with the oil company's CEO. The apology appears to have done enough to convince his party's leadership to allow Barton to maintain his position as the leading Republican on the House Energy Committee.
According to the Washington Post's Greg Sargent, House Minority Leader John Boehner recently made it official, "telling reporters that Barton will be keeping his committee slot."
Democrats, still intent on hammering the issue until the November elections responded with a release from DNC spokesperson Brandi Hoffine:
Joe Barton can't seem to stop apologizing -- but the only apology that Barton actually owes is the one he has yet to offer. And that's to the residents of the Gulf Coast who've suffered at the hands of the company that Barton has went to great lengths to defend.LinkHere

The Runaway General

Stanley McChrystal, Obama's top commander in Afghanistan, has seized control of the war by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House

Stanley McChrystal, the general and chief architect of the counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan, was relieved of his command on Wednesday, following a series of disparaging quotes that he and his aides made about the president and civilian leadership.
It was a remarkable conclusion to a frantic two-day period of frenzied coverage, climaxing with a Rose Garden appearance in which the president explained his rationale. In the end, it will remain a confounding episode for both historians and politicos alike. It was not McChrystal's connections to a scarring episode of detainee abuse and the cover-up of a revered soldier's death or his disparagement of the vice president's proposal for Afghanistan that did the general in. It was a series of interviews with Rolling Stone magazine, of all things.
"The conduct represented in the recently published article," said President Obama, "does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general."
Indeed, as Obama spoke in front of a throng of reporters at the Rose Garden, it seemed nearly surreal to imagine that a freelance reporter -- fortuitously embedded with McChrystal during an alcohol-filled bus trip from Paris to Berlin (the flight had been canceled due to volcanic activity in Iceland) -- had put the wheels in motion. McChrystal, after all, had made gaffes before, including publicly mocking Joe Biden's preference for a limited troop presence in Afghanistan ("Chaos-stan" he chided). More than that, he had been either intimately connected or directly tied to two very controversial episodes in recent military history. And no one seemed to notice.
McChrystal was the head of Special Operations command in Afghanistan when Army Ranger and former football star Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire. He approved the paperwork awarding Tillman a Silver Star for dying in the line "of enemy fire" -- and he was "accountable for the inaccurate and misleading assertions" contained therein, according to an investigation -- despite knowing (or at least suspecting) that Tillman had died in an episode of fratricide. That episode barely registered with the public or, for that matter, Congress, when McChrystal went before the Senate Armed Services Committee waiting to take over control in Afghanistan. The one person who questioned whether more answers were needed was journalist Jon Krakauer who had just penned a book on Tillman's death and thought the general's explanations were "preposterous" and "unbelievable."
The second episode was even less well-known. Years after the Tillman death, McChrystal was mentioned several times in a report by Human Rights Watch which documented the abuse and torture of detained prisoners at Camp Nama in Iraq. A soldier, quoted anonymously in the findings, recalled seeing McChrystal at the facility "a couple of times." It was also reported that the general himself said there was no way that the Red Cross would ever be allowed through the door at Nama -- where treatment of detainees was so bad, it earned the nickname Nasty Ass Military Area.
"It is not easy to say what his role was accurately because the entire program of detention and interrogation going on there remains highly classified," said John Siston, an author of the Human Rights Watch report. "But HRW was able to learn enough to say that he was in the chain of command that oversaw the operations of that special task force and the interrogation unit that took care of the detainees that that special task force detained." LinkHere
If it wasn't for independent reporting like Rolling Stone, we'd never have known about the Stanley McChrystal thing. Forget CNN, FOX, and the like. We need real reporting.Please sign the petition to give Helen Thomas' front row seat not to Fox or Bloomberg, but to National Public Radio!!! NPR!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Shadow RNC’ attack group raises only $200 last month.By Lee Fang at 2:26 pm ‘Shadow RNC’ attack group raises only $200 last month.

Disgruntled with perceived mismanagement by Chairman Michael Steele, Republican consultants Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie founded a network of right-wing attack groups to rival the power of the Republican National Committee. The “shadow RNC” consists of organizations like American Crossroads, a 527 to run campaign ads and the American Action Forum, a Wall Street-funded clearinghouse for pro-corporate ads and events. While Gillespie promised to raise $50 million dollars for his new venture, the Politico points to disclosures which reveal a far more modest haul:
The group, American Crossroads, raised only $200 last month, according to a report it filed Monday with the Internal Revenue Service, bringing its total raised since launching in March to a little more than $1.25 million. [...] Trevor Rees-Jones, president of Chief Oil and Gas, a privately held energy company in Dallas, in April contributed $1 million to American Crossroads while B. Wayne Hughes of Lexington, Ky., the chairman of Public Storage, contributed $250,000 in March.
In sum, outside of two large checks, American Crossroads has failed to attract any widespread support so far. While the low fundraising numbers may lead some critics to discount Rove and Gillespie, both have many connections to deep-pocketed donors. Gillespie has been meeting with financial executives, and Rove has recruited a top official from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to assist with his efforts. On the other hand, the right-wing establishment promised in 2008 to press forward with a similar attack network, called Freedom’s Watch, which eventually dissolved despite months of similar hype. LinkHere

Barton & BP, Together Again - Main

Barton's Apology to BP Opens Door for Opponent

"How Republicans Would Govern"

Stewart Nails GOP For Flip Flopping On Escrow Fund

Monday, June 21, 2010

Rand Paul To Unemployed: Take a Pay Cut, Stop Asking For Handouts, And Get Back To Work

Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul has a blunt message for the millions of Americans who remain unemployed in the long-term: "Accept a wage that's less than [you] had at [your] previous job" and "get back to work."
According to Paul, the issue is "bigger than unemployment benefits" and the Tea Party-backed Senate hopeful made his position on the matter clear in an interview with talk radio host Sue Wylie on WVLK-AM last week.
"As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that's less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again," Paul explained. "Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen."
Paul's advice for the increasing proportion of the long-term unemployed came in response to a question from Wylie on Republicans successfully blocking a measure that would have extended $120 billion in unemployment benefits to jobless Americans in the Senate last week.
The Kentucky Senate hopeful stressed, "It's all a matter of making priorities" and rooted his argument in a comparison between the dismal condition of the United States economy and that of its European counterpart. "I'm not sure what the answer is," Paul said. "In Europe, they give about a year of unemployment. We're up to two years now in America."
Via Talking Points Memo comes audio of Paul's remarks. LinkHere

US Supreme Court lifts ban on sale of GM crop

We will be living under the cloud of GWBush for decades.
His SCOTUS picks will insure that our country continues down the same path that brought us the economic meltdown and gulf oil spill.

7 - 1 decision - only Stevens in dissent.
And Stevens is retiring.

Source: afp

AFP - The US Supreme Court overturned Monday a decision to ban biotech giant Monsanto's sale of genetically modified alfalfa despite farmers' fears that other crops could be contaminated.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

McCaskill says she has votes to end Senate practice of secret holds

Source: The Hill

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said Saturday she's secured the votes to force a rules change ending the Senate's practice of secret holds.

McCaskill said on Twitter that she had secured the support of two more senators to give her the 67 votes necessary to change the rules in the Senate to abolish the traditional practice of being able to anonymously hold up nominees to positions requiring Senate confirmation.

Sens. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) were the last two signatories.

McCaskill tweeted Saturday:

First battle won!With Sens Bond and Brownbeck now have 67 Senators on my letter calling for the end to secret holds.Now gotta get a vote. LinkHere

BP to raise $50 bn, sue Anadarko

Source: AFP

"BP is trying to raise 50 billion dollars to cover the cost of the Gulf of Mexico spill and is preparing to sue its partners in the oil field, British newspapers said on Sunday.

The Sunday Telegraph said BP is readying to take legal action against US firm Anadarko, its main partner in the field, for its share of the clean-up costs.

The broadsheet cited a "senior BP source" as saying Anadarko was "shirking its responsibilities", not accepting its liabilities and that legal action in the United States is now likely to follow.

The Sunday Times said BP is working on a plan to raise 50 billion dollars to cover the cost of the oil spill, which would start next week with a bond sale to raise 10 billion dollars.

A further 20 billion dollars would come from bank loans, while the final slice is expected to come from asset sales over the next two years, the broadsheet said." LinkHere

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