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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Daily Drift

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Obama Blasts Congressional Republicans For Holding Up Loretta Lynch Confirmation Vote

President Obama used his weekly address to hammer Mitch McConnell and congressional Republicans for playing politics by holding up Loretta Lynch’s confirmation vote to be next Attorney General.
The president said:
It has been more than four months since I nominated Loretta Lynch to serve as the next Attorney General of the United States. For 30 years, Loretta has distinguished herself as a tough, fair, and independent attorney. As the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, she successfully prosecuted the terrorists who plotted to bomb the Federal Reserve Bank and the New York City subway. She helped secure billions in settlements for people wronged by some of the world’s biggest banks. She’s been dogged in her pursuit of public corruption. She’s jailed some of New York’s most violent and notorious mobsters and gang members. And through it all, she’s worked closely with law enforcement and local communities to get the job done.

In short, her qualifications are superb. That’s why, in the past, the Senate easily confirmed Loretta to lead one of the most prominent U.S. Attorney offices in the country – not once, but twice.

Still – it has been more than four months since I nominated Loretta Lynch to serve as Attorney General.

And this time, Republican leaders in Congress won’t even let her nomination come up for a vote. In fact, by Monday, Loretta will have been languishing on the Senate floor for longer than the seven previous Attorneys General combined. Let me say that again – she will have been waiting for a simple yes-or-no vote on the Senate floor for longer than the seven previous Attorneys General combined.
No one can claim she’s unqualified. No one’s saying she can’t do the job. Senators from both parties say they support her. This is purely about politics. First, Republicans held up her nomination because they were upset about the actions I took to make our broken immigration system smarter and fairer. Now they’re denying her a vote until they can figure out how to pass a bill on a completely unrelated issue. But they could bring her up for a yes-or-no vote at any time.

Republicans promised that Congress would function smoothly with them in charge. Here’s a small chance for them to prove it. Congress should stop playing politics with law enforcement and national security. They should support good people in both parties who want to reform our criminal justice system. And that means they should end the longest confirmation process for an Attorney General in three decades, and give Loretta Lynch a vote.
President Obama was correct. Republicans could bring the Lynch nomination up for a confirmation vote at any time. There is absolutely nothing stopping them from voting to confirm the next Attorney General. The delay is strictly political. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants Democrats to help pass a human trafficking bill that contains unrelated language about abortion. McConnell is holding up the Lynch vote until he gets his way on the human trafficking bill.
The standoff has nothing to do with Lynch or her nomination. The Lynch confirmation is McConnell’s hostage. It only took a few months of failure as Majority Leader for McConnell to begin taking hostage. His promise of a more openly run Senate has been tossed aside.
McConnell’s decision to hold up the Lynch vote is another failed political gambit from the increasingly desperate Senate Majority Leader. Democrats are going to win this one. Sooner or later McConnell will cave, and President Obama will get his new Attorney General. Until McConnell caves, President Obama and the White House will continue to hammer the Majority Leader on an almost daily basis. The nation needs a new Attorney General more than Republicans need a political win.

Wingnut Hero Netanyahu Crumbles As President Obama Turns Up The Heat

President Obama is keeping the pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as the wingnut hero is backpedaling away from his previously tough talk.
The White House is escalating its feud with reelected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, suggesting the United States might make a significant change in its stance at the United Nations.
“I think they’re trying to send a very specific and tough message to Prime Minister Netanyahu, which is, ‘We’ve paid attention to the words you’ve used during the campaign and if they are in fact going to be your policy, they will have an impact on our relationship,'” said Daniel Kurtzer, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel under George W. Bush who is now a professor of Middle Eastern policy studies at Princeton University.
“It’s a shot across the bow,” added Kurtzer, who said the White House’s warnings “should be taken quite seriously.”
President Obama’s message to Netanyahu is that he is representing the junior partner in the U.S./Israel relationship. The White House isn’t going to let Netanyahu off of the hook so easily. The Israeli Prime Minister gave Obama the opening he needed with his desperate 12th hour pandering opposition to the two-state solution. Netanyahu can try to walk back his words in as many interviews as he wants, but there have to be some in the White House who is still angry over his speech to Congress.
As the White House has made clear over the last few days, they aren’t to let Netanyahu disrespect them anymore. The next Republican act of sabotage will be John Boehner’s visit to Israel that is scheduled for the same time as when the agreement on Iran’s nuclear deal is expected to be announced. Netanyahu needs the U.S. for both aid and to have his back in the UN.
Conservative hero Netanyahu quickly backtracked when the White House asserted their power. Netanyahu is going to pay for his disrespect, and the White House isn’t about to let the Israeli Prime Minister off easy.

Convicted Wingnut Criminal James O’Keefe Tries To Incite Protesters With Cop Killer Rhetoric

Longtime wingnut agitator James O’Keefe apparently attempted to have an employee of his go undercover and spew cop killing rhetoric, at a January “Black Lives Matter” rally in New York City. The allegations first surfaced on Tuesday, when the New York Post reported that Richald Valdes, an ex-employee of O’Keefe’s, was considering suing his former boss, for wrongful termination.
Valdes, a former top staffer with O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, claims he was fired for failing to coerce a Muslim employee, Mohammed Alhomsi, to go undercover and impersonate a cop hater at a New York City protest. The Muslim operative was given a script which included the lines:
Sometimes, I wish I could just kill some of these cops. Don’t you just wish we could have one of the cops right here in the middle of our group?
However, the employee balked at the assignment and he e-mailed both O’Keefe and Valdes, stating:
I will not say words that will jeopardize my entity, especially when they involve an illegal act of murdering police.
Valdes claims he respected Alhomsi’s objection to the assignment, but he contends that O’Keefe then fired him, “for being unwilling to strong-arm the guy to do his dirty work”.
On Friday, Talking Points Memo released portions of e-mail transcripts supplied to them from Valdes’ attorney. According to those transcripts, O’Keefe supplied his undercover agent with the following script, to use to incite protesters during the demonstration: 
As a minority and a Muslim, I know what it’s like when the police treat me unfairly. They have even searched my little daughter’s body. Can you believe that? Do you know what it’s like to have your rights violated because of the color of your skin or because of your name? -PAUSE-
Sometimes, I wish I could just kill some of these cops. Don’t you just wish we could have one of the cops right here in the middle of our group? -PAUSE-
What would you do if we could get Officer Pantoleo (who killed Eric Garner) right here in this crowd? What would you do to him?
O’keefe has a long history of engaging in dishonest practices to undermine left-leaning organizations and politicians. Encouraging an operative to incite people to kill police officers may be sinking to a new low, however, even for O’Keefe.
O’Keefe rose to prominence when he selectively edited video footage to imply that the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) was supporting illegal activities, including prostitution. Although ACORN was never found guilty of any crime, the false narrative, pushed by O’Keefe killed the organization and they ended up filing for liquidation in 2010. O’Keefe was forced to pay a 100,000 settlement to one of the falsely maligned ACORN workers, but that generated little press coverage. The phony corruption story had succeeded in bringing down ACORN, and their efforts to organize low-income voters.
O’Keefe was also convicted of entering Democratic Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu’s Office under false pretenses in 2010. He was sentenced to three years probation, a 1,500 dollar fine and 100 hours of community service.
O’Keefe has long been lionized by right-wing pundits like Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and the late Andrew Breitbart, as a “pioneer in journalism”, and a “courageous” American hero who deserves a Pulitzer Prize. Now that their favorite pimp is trying to incite people to kill police officers, how long will it take for the right wing media to distance themselves from O’Keefe’s menacing criminal behavior? Clearly, O’Keefe has never exhibiting anything approaching journalistic integrity, but sending his stooges to actively encourage the murder of police officers is a new low even for James O’Keefe. Eventually one of his deceptive stunts will land him behind bars for a long time. Or at least it should.

The ONLY true thing to ever come out of his mouth

New Hampshire Legislators Kill Fourth Graders' Bill, Dreams In Front of Them

Last Thursday, fourth graders from Hampton Falls, New Hampshire visited their state legislature to observe a bit of democracy in action. The children had previously proposed House Bill 373, establishing the Red Tail Hawk as the New Hampshire State Raptor, as part of a civics lesson in how bills become laws. Their measure had already sailed out of the Environmental and Agriculture Committee. Now the young students gathered in the House galley to watch their bill pass its next hurdle.But the nine and ten-year-olds were in for a brutal lesson in realpolitik. At the start of the day, legislators turned and applauded to children for coming to the statehouse. When lawmakers began to consider the bill, however, Republican Warren Groen - who has devoted his career to combating abortion and marriage equality - took the floor to denounce the Red Tail Hawk. "It grasps [its prey] with its talons then uses its razor sharp beak to basically tear it apart limb by limb," he explained as the children watched. "And I guess the shame about making this a state bird is it would serve as a much better mascot for Planned Parenthood."
John Burt, another Republican, also castigated the effort to name an official state raptor. "Bottom line," he said, "if we keep bringing more of these bills, and bills, and bills forward that really I think we shouldn't have in front of us, we'll be picking a state hot dog next."
A number of other legislators, it seems, shared Burt's and Groen's concerns: Ultimately, the House killed the bill by a 133-160 vote. In the end, New Hampshire's lawmakers may have crushed the dreams of several fourth graders. But in fairness, the legislators probably gave the students a better lesson in the realities of American democracy than their teacher ever could have hoped

High School Punishes Student President For Allowing Arabic Translation Of Pledge Of Allegiance

Hundreds Of Illinois Prison Staff Choked, Beat, And Sexually Assaulted Inmates

Officials chanted "punish the inmate."

Oh, we're gonna ...

Tom Cotton Wants To Punish Countries That Take Guantanamo Prisoners

Tom Cotton

MSNBC Commentator Smacks Down GOP Spokeswoman's False Equivalence

MSNBC Commentator Smacks Down GOP Spokeswoman's False Equivalence
Mercedes Schlapp should just stop trying to best Jimmie Williams. She won't win.

Hannity Just Can’t Stand The Thought Of A Diplomatic Resolution With Iran

Hannity Just Can’t Stand The Thought Of A Diplomatic Resolution With Iran
Chickenhawk Sean Hannity was full of bullyboy petulance last night over President Obama’s holiday message to Iran urging a peaceful resolution to our conflict with them.

Every Claim In This Ted Cruz Statement Is Completely False

Wisconsin Republicans Go After Workers’ Weekends

The GOP Is Trying To Stop Obama Admin’s New Fracking Regulations

The GOP Is Trying To Stop Obama Admin’s New Fracking RegulationsGuess how much money they received from the oil and gas industry.
Hint: It’s a lot.

Republicans are stupid

Judge Strikes Down Scott Walker’s Anti-Abortion Law

Sorry Rick Scott, Admit Climate Change Is Real Or Florida Loses $100M+ In FEMA Funding

Image via https://twitter.com/FlaDems/status/576097077626712064If climate change denying toddlers, (I mean governors), don’t start listening to the adults, FEMA is going to give them a spanking.

Stephen King says Maine’s teabagger governor is full of shit

Author Stephen King (Facebook.com)
Maine’s teabagger gov. Paul LePage (R) took a swipe at author Stephen King in his latest weekly radio address, accusing the multi-million selling writer of fleeing his native state to avoid taxes.

If you think this country needs to discuss race, then you’re the racist

Jonathan Hoenig (Screen capture)
Fox Guest: If you think this country needs to discuss race, then you’re the racist
As usual with wingnuts - this lunatic is completely wrong and totally opposite to what is reality.