Happy Father's Day.
Open Thread below...
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Happy Father's Day.
Open Thread below...
I'll bet you're thinking this is another post about bizarre Republican public statements, like Rep. Steve King's claim Democrats knew what websites Republicans were surfing. Or what Glenn Beck said about living in the end times.
It's not about any of them, but it is about all of them. I surrender. Sarah Palin's speech this weekend at the Ralph Reed Faith and Freedom Conference did me in. Who can top someone who says this about Syria?
“Until we have a commander in chief who knows what he is doing... let Allah sort it out!” Palin told the conservative crowd, according to The Hill.
I'm sick of that crap. I could write fifteen new posts about stupid, ugly things Republicans say, but on some level, that's really what they want. As long as I'm talking about stupid things they say, I'm not talking about things like immigration reform or how women are more marginalized than ever or repealing the sequester (which is causing real harm to real people) or income inequality or anything else that actually matters to people who have to live life without the luxury of dropping a word bomb into a room full of friendly people and receiving a large donation for it.
Conservatives left the planet years ago. After 2012, they burst out of planetary orbit into deep bizarro space where they fling large word turds into the public sphere like we should give a damn, yet they still splatter all over the front pages of the Big Newspapers and Media Outlets. Then we're supposed to wave our hands around and talk about how stupid they are (and we do), while we also wave our hands around and yell at the president for whatever it is he did or didn't do that day while giving Congress a pass on their utter uselessness.
This week's deaths in Afghanistan have been announced. They are:
LTC Todd T. Clark, 40, Evans Mills, NY.
Maj. Jaime E. Leonard, 39, Warrick, NY.
SSG Jesse L. Thomas Jr., 31, Pensacola, FL.
2nd Lt. Justin L. Sisson, 23, of Phoenix, Ariz.
Spc. Robert A. Pierce, 20, of Panama, Okla.
Warrant Officer Sean W. Mullen, 39, of Dover, Del.
Staff Sgt. Job M. Reigoux, 30, of Austin, Texas.
Also: Pfc. Christopher P. Dona, 21, in a training accident in Georgia.
Other notable deaths this week:
Iain Banks, Scottish author.
Johnny Smith, guitarist, wrote "Walk Don't Run."
Jason Leffler, NASCAR driver.
Lorna Elizabeth Tuck Colbert, mother of comedian Stephen Colbert.
Robert Fogel, Nobel Prize-winning economist.
Jiroemon Kimura, the world's oldest man. Died at 116.
H/t Heather for the video.
Right-wing mole Jonathan Karl did his best to encourage Sen. Marco Rubio to froth at the mouth over immigration reform by pointing to criticism from such noted intellects as Ann Coulter, Erick Erickson, and ... Glenn Beck. J'accuse! No, really, I'm not making this up.
Also, Rubio still refuses to say whether he supports his own bill:
KARL: OK, you've taken some real heat, especially from the right, on this. I want to go through just this past week, some right wing commentators. You had Ann Coulter say Chuck Schumer is playing Marco Rubio. Erick Erickson said Marco Rubio is either being played the fool or we are being played the fool by Senator Rubio. Glenn Beck called you a pretty nasty name and said he's not on our side. So what do you -- what do you -- what do you say to this and what has happened? I mean, you used to be the guy hailed as a -- as a conservative hero to some of these guys.
RUBIO: Well, I think it is important to remember that on virtually every other issue, I agree with many of the folks that right now are just not supportive of the immigration reform bill. I understand why they are opposed to it. I really do. I mean, we have the most generous country in the history of the world, whose immigration laws have been taken advantage of. You have an administration claiming that there is no problem, that the borders are already secure, when everyone knows they're not, and people are frustrated by this. And to top it all off, when you mention any of these things, you are accused of being anti-immigrant or anti-Hispanic.
Now, I recognize there is a division among conservatives about it. I respect other people's views on it. I understand why they are frustrated by it. I just hope people understand that the reason why I've undertaken this is because this is a major problem that's hurting our country. And -- and the only way I know how to fix problems is to get involved and try to fix it. So, well -- but we'll...
KARL: But directly answer that question. Are you being played by the Democrats? Is Chuck Schumer playing you, is essentially the charge?
Remember that old joke about "the cat's on the roof", and how I last used it about Fukushima to illustrate how they would release misleading info in increments before they'd finally tell us the truth?
Well, last week, we were "only" collecting metadata on phone calls. Now we find out that in a classified briefing, members of Congress were told NSA analysts can listen to domestic phone calls without a warrant. Yep, I'd say the cat's up on the NSA roof:
The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed "simply based on an analyst deciding that."
If the NSA wants "to listen to the phone," an analyst's decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. "I was rather startled," said Nadler, an attorney who serves on the House Judiciary committee.Nadler's disclosure indicates the NSA analysts could also access the contents of Internet communications without going before a court and seeking approval.
Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA's formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically, it suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.
ImmigrationProfBlog: Yet another analysis shows that immigration reform would produce a windfall for the Social Security system.
Brad Delong: Tom Friedman and David Brooks provide a New York Times guide to value-subtracted content.
Satirical Political Report: IRS caught with its pants down on Tea Party 501 groups.
The Mahablog: Here’s why Republicans never follow up on the second half of their “repeal and replace Obamacare” slogan.
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire: Sarah Palin offers faith-based policy for Syria, declares “let Allah sort it out!”
Speaking of which, your quote of the day: “Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God.” (Sarah Palin, on American troops in Iraq, June 2007)
Guest blogging Mike's Blog Round Up for the last time this week is Jon Perr from Perrspectives. Send your tips, recommendations, comments and angst to mbru AT crooksandliars DOT com.
Happy Father's Day!
While it's a good bet that they will continue talking about the NSA story, it's an even better bet that the Very Serious People will prefer to talk about their favorite topic: Why we should get involved in a war. Again.
And even though McClatchy, just like the last time, questions the intelligence on which this decision is being made, it will be ignored -- just like the last time. Oh well! It's much more important that Beltway "journalists" pay the mortgage than it is to save the country from bad decisions.
ABC'S "This Week": Sen. Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush. Foreign policy roundtable: ABC News’ George Will, ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz, former Defense Department and CIA chief of staff Jeremy Bash, and Bloomberg View columnist Jeffrey Goldberg. Political roundtable: Will, Democratic strategist and ABC News contributor Donna Brazile, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill.
CBS' "Face the Nation" - Denis McDonough, the White House Chief of Staff. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.). Panel: David Corn, Barton Gellman, Peggy Noonan, and Rick Stengel.
NBC's "Meet the Press" - Two members of the Senate Intelligence committee: Vice-Chair Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Mark Udall (D-CO). Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Roundtable: Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), former Director of the NSA and CIA – now a principal of The Chertoff Group -- Gen. Michael Hayden, Washington Post Columnist David Ignatius, New York Times national security reporter James Risen, and NBC’s foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell.
NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show" - Panel: Chuck Todd, NBC News Chief White House Correspondent; Katty Kay, BBC Washington Correspondent; Kelly O'Donnell, NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent; David Ignatius, The Washington Post.
MSNBC's "UP with Steve Kornacki" - Michelle Bernard, The Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy; Rick Perlstein, TheNation.com; Roberto Lovato, writer/commentator, New America Media, co-founder, Presente; Tom Schaller, professor, University of Maryland Baltimore County, author “Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South”; Abby Rapoport, staff writer, The American Prospect.
MSNBC's "Melissa Harris-Perry" - Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU School of Law; Lani Guinier, Bennett Boskey Professor of Law at Harvard Law School; Nick Dranias, Director of Constitutional Government at the Goldwater Institute; Jelani Cobb, Associate Professor at UCONN; Danny Greenberg, Attorney at Schulte, Roth and Zabel / Former President and Attorney-in-Chief for the Legal Aid Society in New York City; Jody Owens, Attorney and Director of the Mississippi Office at the Southern Poverty Law Center; Norman Williams, Criminal Defense Attorney / Former Legal Aid Attorney; Pardiss Kebriaei, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights; Kathryn Edin and Timmy Nelson, Co-Authors of “Doing the Best I Can”.
MSNBC's "Disrupt with Karen Finney" - Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post; Heather Hulburt, Exec. Director, National Security Network; Christina Bellantoni, PBS Newshour; Jim Michaels, Author, “A Chance in Hell: The Men who Triumphed over Iraq’s Deadliest City and Turned the Tide of War”; Fmr. Gov. Howard Dean (D-VT); Vivian Greentree, Blue Star Families; Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX).
MSNBC's "The Ed Show" - Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA); Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ); Thom Hartmann, Radio talk show host; Zerlina Maxwell, TheGrio.com; Joan Walsh, MSNBC Political Analyst; Adam Green, BoldProgressives.org.
CNN's "State of the Union" - House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ). Political panel: Peter Baker of “The New York Times,” Nia-Malika Henderson of “The Washington Post,” Ray Suarez of PBS’ “The NewsHour” and A.B. Stoddard from “The Hill”.
CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" - Former CIA and NSA chief Michael Hayden. The New Yorker’s John Cassidy and Jeffrey Toobin. Columnist Mona Eltahawy and Steven Cook of the Council on Foreign Relations. Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the author of a new book, To Move the World: JFK's Quest for Peace, about the lessons of John F. Kennedy’s presidency.
CNN's "Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz" - The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, Paul Farhi of the Washington Post and Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, anchor of CNN’s new morning show, New Day, Chris Cuomo, TIME’s James Poniewozik.
"Fox News Sunday" - Former Vice President Dick Cheney. Panelists: Brit Hume, Fox News Senior Political Analyst; Jane Harman, President of Woodrow Wilson Center & Fmr Congresswoman (D-CA); Karl Rove, Former Bush White House Senior Adviser / Fox News Contributor; Juan Williams Fox News Political Analyst.
What's catching your eye?
Happy Saturday night, folks! It's Blue Gal from The Professional Left Podcast, bringing you this week's podcast round up. Be aware that these podcasts are also available on i-Tunes, and may not be safe for work.
Tim Corrimal - It's a Tea Party
Bob and Chez - We have questions
News Dissector - Beyond The Spying and Surveillance Story (interview with Fred Branfman)
And then there's this...
All Songs Considered - The Year in Music (so far)
Open Thread below...
Via Bilerico. This is what I mean when I say our politics are now profoundly undemocratic:
The U.S has become a less equal society over the past 30 years, but it didn’t just happen. Inequality in the U.S. happened by design, not by chance. It is the direct result of government policy. David Cay Johnston writes that the top 1 percent had just 10 percent of all reported national income. By 1999 the top 1 percent claimed 20 percent of national income. Since 2000, they have claimed about 1 fifth of national income. During the recovery, from 2009 to 2011, 121 percent of gains in income went to the top 1 percent.
Tax cuts for the wealthy are have driven the wrist in inequality in two ways. The report cited by Johnston and Callahan says that “tax cuts may have led managerial energies to be diverted to increasing their remuneration at the expense of enterprise growth and employment.” That means CEOs are padding their portfolios at the expense of the companies they run. Tax policy not only made the “vulture capitalism” practiced and practically invented by Bain Capital possible, it incentivized and rewarded it.
What we know about tax cuts now is pretty straightforward. Tax cuts of the wealthy won’t stimulate the economy, won’t create jobs, and won’t spread prosperity, because the wealthy don’t spend their tax cuts. Instead, the wealthy save their tax windfalls, to invest when the stock market is booming.
Wired reports on the latest leak on this week's PRISM story:
A newly leaked NSA document shows that Yahoo began supplying data to the spy agency’s PRISM program after failing a legal fight against a court order it considered too broad, according to a news report.
The internet giant tried to push back against the order some time in 2007 or 2008 and lost, thereby ensuring its entry into the so-called PRISM program the NSA has been using to collect data from internet companies, according to a story published by the New York Times.
PRISM is a classified NSA program, recently exposed by the Guardian and Washington Post, that allows the government to collect and manage data obtained from nine internet companies under secret orders issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
The news sheds some light on how at least one of nine internet companies came to participate in the PRISM program.
According to news stories, each of the internet companies fell in line with the program at separate times over a number of years. It has been unclear until now what led to their inclusion in the program, but theTimes story now provides some insight into how it occurred with Yahoo.