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Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Daily Drift

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Obama Sets A Trap For Boehner and McConnell By Threatening To Veto Defense Spending

President Obama is setting a trap for John Boehner and Mitch McConnell by threatening to veto defense spending for the entire year unless Republicans back off of their budget cuts.
The veto threat came in a statement of administration policy:
Enacting H.R. 2685 and adhering to the congressional Republican budget’s overall spending limits for FY 2016 would hurt our economy and shortchange investments in middle-class priorities. Sequestration was never intended to take effect: rather, it was supposed to threaten such drastic cuts to both defense and non-defense funding that policymakers would be motivated to come to the table and reduce the deficit through smart, balanced reforms. The Republican framework would bring base discretionary funding for both non-defense and defense for FY 2016 to the lowest real levels in a decade. Compared to the President’s Budget, the cuts would result in tens of thousands of the Nation’s most vulnerable children losing access to Head Start, more than two million fewer workers receiving job training and employment services, and thousands fewer scientific and medical research awards and grants, along with other impacts that would hurt the economy, the middle class, and Americans working hard to reach the middle class.

Sequestration funding levels would also put our national security at unnecessary risk, not only through pressures on defense spending, but also through pressures on State, USAID, Homeland Security, and other non-defense programs that help keep us safe. More broadly, the strength of our economy and the security of our Nation are linked. That is why the President has been clear that he is not willing to lock in sequestration going forward, nor will he accept fixes to defense without also fixing non-defense.

The President’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto H.R. 2685 and any other legislation that implements the current Republican budget framework, which blocks the investments needed for our economy to compete in the future. The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to reverse sequestration for defense and non-defense priorities and offset the cost with commonsense spending and tax expenditure cuts, as Members of Congress from both parties have urged.
The White House’s veto threat came shortly after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected demands from Democratic Senate leaders for a budget summit. Democrats have already warned Republicans that they will block the Senate from taking up the bill unless they agree to lift the sequester cuts. Republicans provoked this fight by using a gimmick to get around the defense sequester cuts. The Republican budget upped the funding the account used to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. By going off the books, Republicans violated the sequester cuts by shifting spending to the war fund.
Republicans are cutting spending for programs that benefit children and seniors to pay their favorite form of pork and red state welfare.
President Obama and Congressional Democrats are setting Boehner and McConnell up. The Republican leaders will have to choose between not funding the military or keeping the sequester cuts. This could all be resolved if Republicans treated every appropriations bill the same way that they treated defense spending. Boehner and McConnell are trying to have their cake and eat it too, but the President and Democrats are standing tall, and they are about to make life miserable for John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.

House Democrats Have Obama’s Back By Opposing Republican Defense Spending Bill

When Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is telling her colleagues how to vote, they usually follow suit, unlike the chaos we see under the current Republican leaders of both chambers. And Nancy Pelosi just wrote a letter to her colleagues telling them that they need to have President Obama’s back in order to lift the sequester.
Here’s the letter she just sent out:
Dear Democratic Colleague,

Once again, I am writing to underscore the urgent need for House Democrats to support the President’s path to lifting the sequester by urging a ‘No’ vote on the Republican Defense Appropriations bill.

Recognizing that our first responsibility is to protect and defend, Democrats stand for a strong national defense. That is why we support lifting the sequester and fully funding the President’s defense budget request.
As with the Republican Defense authorization bill, the Defense appropriation bill is bad budgeting and harmful to military planning – perpetuating uncertainty and instability in the defense budget, and damaging the military’s ability to plan and prepare for the future.
As Defense Secretary Carter said, Republicans’ approach is “clearly a road to nowhere,” “managerially unsound” and “unfairly dispiriting to our force.”
As the Administration’s veto threat states, “the bill drastically underfunds critical investments in DOD’s base budget and instead uses Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding in ways that leaders in both parties have made clear are inappropriate. Base budget sequestration levels will damage our ability to restore readiness, advance badly-needed technological modernization, and keep faith with our troops and their families.”
The veto threat continues, “The Republican framework would bring base discretionary funding for both non-defense and defense for FY 2016 to the lowest real levels in a decade. Compared to the President’s Budget, the cuts would result in tens of thousands of the Nation’s most vulnerable children losing access to Head Start, more than two million fewer workers receiving job training and employment services, and thousands fewer scientific and medical research awards and grants, along with other impacts that would hurt the economy, the middle class, and Americans working hard to reach the middle class.” You may read the full veto threat here.
Republicans should come together with Democrats in a fiscally responsible way to protect our national security and grow our economy.
House Democrats’ sustaining of the President’s veto on unacceptably damaging appropriations bills will more forcefully bring Republicans to the table.
Our sustaining the President’s veto, combined with Senate Democrats’ refusal to allow the appropriations bills, including Defense, to come to the Senate floor is the key to unlocking sequestration for defense and non-defense.
Please vote ‘No’ on the Republican Defense Appropriations bill.
Thank you for your consideration and your leadership.
Best Regards,

Yep. That’s how Nancy gets things done. Leader Pelosi knows that the nation is suffering due to the Republican sequester cuts, and she and the President also realize that Republicans were trying to get around the sequester cuts to their favorite welfare charities while starving poor children.
Not so fast.
Pelosi can get a vote together like nobody’s business and she has set her eye on this one so you can bet it’s a done deal.

Bernie Sanders: 'I'm An American,' Not An Israeli

Bernie Sanders: 'I'm An American,' Not An Israeli“You know, I got offended a little bit by that comment, and I know it’s been on the internet,” Sanders said.

Bernie Sanders Gets Victimized By Lazy Journalism During Radio Interview

Bernie Sanders Jewish Citizen?Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) found himself in the middle of a bizarre situation, when during an interview on WAMU’s Diane Rehm Show the Democratic presidential candidate was told incorrectly that he is a Jewish citizen. The senator from Vermont was the latest victim of an epidemic of lazy journalism that is sweeping the nation.
Rhem said, “Senator, you have dual citizenship with Israel.”
“Well, no I do not have dual citizenship with Israel. I’m an American. I don’t know where that question came from. I am an American citizen, and I have visited Israel on a couple of occasions. No, I’m an American citizen, period.”
Rehm apologized and asked if there were any members of Congress that have dual citizenship, “I honestly don’t know, but I have read that on the Internet. You know, my dad came to this country from Poland at the age of 17 without a nickel in his pocket. He loved this country. I am, you know, I got offended a little bit by that comment, and I know it’s been on the Internet. I am obviously an American citizen, and I do not have any dual citizenship.”
Michael Briggs of the Sanders campaign released a generous statement in response to the controversy, “Diane Rehm is an excellent radio host. There’s a great big Internet out there with lots of good and bad information. I’ve never heard the question come up before.”
Rehm apologized again in a statement, “On today’s show I made a mistake. Rather than asking Senator and Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders whether he had dual U.S./Israeli citizenship, as I had read in a comment on Facebook, I stated it as fact. He corrected me, saying he did not know where the question came from. I apologized immediately. I want to apologize as well to all our listeners for having made an erroneous statement. I am sorry for the mistake. However, I am glad to play a role in putting this rumor to rest.”
I am not sure that anyone knew that the rumor existed before she said it. Diane Rhem is a good host who spent nearly an hour talking to Sen. Sanders today. The problem is that no one in the media should use Facebook as a source of information without double checking that information with a reliable source. There is lots of crazy and inaccurate information on the Internet.
Despite the millions of people who support Bernie Sanders, the vast majority of the country does not know much about the senator from Vermont. Sanders is an unknown to the vast majority of the electorate. He was victimized by a journalist who did not do her homework. As Rehm stated, her mistake was phrasing the dual citizenship point as a fact instead of asking a question. There is lots of credible information on Bernie Sanders. Rehm’s statement was an act of lazy journalism, and a perfect example of what happens when a member of the media does not do their homework.

Bernie Sanders Rips The Hearts Out Of Republicans By Debuting A Real Family Values Agenda

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is taking back family values from the Republican Party by unveiling his Family Values Agenda. The Sanders agenda calls for ten days of guaranteed paid vacation for employees who have worked for an employer for at least a year, and 12 weeks of universally paid family and medical leave.
At a Capitol Hill news conference, Sen. Sanders went after Republicans on family values:
When my Republican colleagues talk about “family values,” what they usually mean is opposition to a woman’s right to choose, opposition to contraception, opposition to gay rights. Let me today give a somewhat different perspective on family values – on real family values.

When a mother has a baby and is unable to spend time with that child during the first weeks and months of that baby’s life, and is forced back to work because of a lack of money, that is not a family value. That is an attack on everything that a family is supposed to stand for. When a wife is diagnosed with cancer and a husband cannot get time off of work to take care of her, that is not a family value. That is an attack on everything that a family is supposed to stand for. When a mother is forced to send her sick child to school because she cannot afford to stay home with her that is not a family value. That is an attack on everything that a family is supposed to stand for. When a husband, wife, and kids, during the course of an entire year, are unable to spend any time together on vacation – that is not a family value. That is an attack on everything that a family is supposed to stand for.
Sen. Sanders’ agenda is centered around two pieces of legislation, “Senator Sanders’ Guaranteed Paid Vacation Act would provide 10 days of paid vacation for employees who have worked for an employer for at least one year. This legislation would make sure workers have access to minimum vacation benefits that most companies already offer to their white-collar, high-salary workers. The Act would apply to employers with at least 15 employees….Workers in the United States should have at least 12 weeks of universal paid family and medical leave. The FAMILY Act introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand does just that. This bill, which Sen.Sanders is co-sponsoring, allows mothers and fathers to receive 12 weeks of paid family leave to care for a baby. It also allows workers to take the same amount of paid time off if they are diagnosed with cancer or have other serious medical conditions or to take care of family members who are seriously ill.”
For decades, Republicans have been calling themselves the party of family values while carrying out an ideological agenda that weakens and undermines the economic security of the nation’s families. Republicans oppose any steps that would strengthen families. Studies have found that the more money a couple makes, the less likely they are to divorce. Economic stability increases family stability.
When a worker has to place economic survival ahead of their family, the family suffers. Republicans have gotten away with disguising their family killing policies as values for too long.
Conservatives hijacked the term family values, but Bernie Sanders is taking it back.

Paul Ryan Gets Smacked Down While Grandstanding About Obamacare During House Hearing

paul ryan obamacare hearingPaul Ryan got stopped dead in his tracks by Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) while he was trying to grandstand and trash Obama during an unrelated House hearing.
Rep. Ryan (R-WI) used a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee that was supposed to be about the HHS budget request to grandstand about President Obama and Obamacare.
Ryan said, “It shouldn’t surprise you that we’re more interested in talking about ObamaCare, especially given the president’s remarks this week. Whatever the Supreme Court decides later this month, I think the lesson is absolutely clear: ObamaCare is flat busted.”
Rep. Ryan accused Obama of dictating to Republicans instead of working with them, “Here is the question I’m trying to get at. Is the President going to stand up and wave I have a one-page bill? I have a one sentence fix is that going to be the administration’s position, or is the administration going to be willing to work with Congress to find a way to give the American people more healthcare freedom?” Later, Ryan suggested that the President would put concrete around his ankles and say my way, or the highway.
Ranking Democratic committee member Sander Levin (D-MI) laid it down on Ryan. Levin said, “I am not surprised at the tone, but I find it so counterproductive. Mr. Chairman, you talk about two-sidedness. The two sides when you say you worry about the millions who will lose their insurance when it’s your allies who brought the suit that would deprive them of insurance. You talk about concrete, having feet in concrete? That’s exactly where you’ve been in terms of ACA. Your feet have been in concrete, while you’ve brought up bill after bill to try to destroy ACA, and when you say will the President by my way or the highway, that’s precisely what has been your approach to ACA. Precisely. You’ve never sat down with us to say how can we make some changes. Instead, you have been out to destroy ACA, and you say where’s the President’s plan when the President believes that that court will and should uphold the law. All you’ve done is issue op-eds and bills, contradictory bills. You don’t have a plan. Like you haven’t had a plan for sixty years.”
Paul Ryan has nothing. Ryan is the person that John Boehner put in charge of coming up with the Republican Obamacare replacement bill, and he has produced nothing. No bills, no ideas, no legislative proposals, Rep. Ryan has made it clear that the Republican alternative to the ACA is to throw millions of people off of their health insurance.
Ryan did his best Darrell Issa impression, and he got smacked down for his efforts. Republicans think that they can take away health insurance from millions and blame President Obama. Paul Ryan was trying to set the stage for Obama to take the blame for the Republican plan to harm millions, but Rep. Levin delivered a dose of stone cold reality.

Congressman Asks, Why Aren’t People Automatically Registered To Vote?

Republicans To Start Eating Their Own In 5, 4, 3...

Republicans To Start Eating Their Own In 5, 4, 3...?
I've been wondering when Jeb Bush was going to wake up and realize that he's losing the nominating contest he was favored to win.

Rick Santorum Says He Decides What is Constitutional, Not the Supreme Court

Rick Santorum says says you refusing to believe what he wants you to believe is a violation of the First Amendment…
Santorum-BeckIt is a good thing Rick Santorum has a snowball’s chance in hell of getting into the White House, because like all his fellow candidates, he has no idea how the United States Constitution works.
According to Santorum, the legalization of gay marriage is the “establishment of religion,” even though what it would, in fact be, is a slap in the face to the idea of the establishment of religion – namely, Santorum’s religion.
It is bad enough that Santorum is trying to play off “gayness” as a religion. What is worse is him thinking that he doesn’t have to abide by the Supreme Court’s ruling because he disagrees with it.
The fact is – and the way this whole thing is set up – if the Supreme Court says something is constitutional, it is constitutional.
Grade-schoolers know this stuff. Why doesn’t Santorum?
We may not like what the Supreme Court says – the Hobby Lobby ruling being a case in point, or Citizens United – but it’s the law of the land, period. The best we can do in response (short of a new system of government) is a Constitutional Amendment, which changes the Constitution and therefore what the Supreme Court can rule about it.
But Rick Santorum, fresh from entertaining a voter or two in Iowa, told Glenn Beck a bunch of Bartonesque BS – namely that marriage equality will force boys and girls to share locker rooms (Mike Huckabee’s fantasy of showering with teenage girls becoming reality) – before he went on to claim,
This is tantamount to government establishing religion. When the United States government comes in and says this is what you are going to believe, this is how you’re going to practice your faith, this is a new religion. This violates, in my opinion, the Establishment Clause in the Constitution that says that Congress shall make no law with respect to an establishment of religion. If the government goes around and tells churches what they have to believe in and what their doctrine is, that is something that is a violation of the First Amendment.
Far from telling you what to believe, the Supreme Court would be telling you that you DON’T HAVE TO BELIEVE what the Religious Right is selling you. It would be affirming that you have a right to your own beliefs, as opposed to having Rick Santorum’s beliefs stand in for your own.
What Santorum’s claim comes down to is this: “If you don’t believe what I, Rick Santorum believe, you are violating the First Amendment.”
Until Rick Santorum understands the First Amendment, he should stop talking about it. You can read it for yourself. It doesn’t say anything about marriage of any kind. Marriage isn’t religion. To claim marriage is religion is to establish religion by forcing everybody else to accept your definition of marriage.
My fourth grader understands that. But then he’s reading at a 10th to 12th grade level. Based on the available evidence – and assuming Santorum is not just obscenely dishonest – I suspect things are reversed for Santorum.
To listen to him, you would think a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality would force straight people to marry members of their own sex. They protest so much you almost wonder if that isn’t secretly what they want.
Clearly, we could ignore Santorum simply on the basis of what CNN calls his “empty diner” strategy. When only one voter shows up at your campaign stop, you know you’re not popular.
However, in what passes for a political party on the right these days – but which is actually a religious cult – extremism feeds extremism, and that is the real danger in claims like these.
What one candidate says, another has to at least match, and more often, surpass, in order to keep up with the demands of the feckless multitude. Jesus would have fed them loaves and fishes. Republican candidates feed them extremism.
Rick Santorum, who was pro-choice until he found it expedient to be anti-choice when he ran for office, has apparently found it expedient to be completely stupid, and to be honest, it’s not working out very well for him. Unless his entire goal was to appear to be a buffoon, in which case it has worked out very well indeed.
What is amazing is that Republican candidates can say these things without any response at all from the mainstream media.
Can you imagine what would happen if President Obama announced that he would just ignore anything the Supreme Court ruled with regard the Affordable Care Act because he’s the final arbiter of what is and is not constitutional? Obama, unlike Santorum, at least specializes in Constitutional Law.
And there is precedent, after all, in Gov. Brownback of Kansas threatening to eliminate the Kansas judiciary if they rule against him. And this seems to be what Santorum is hinting at, when he says,
“If they get it wrong and the consequences are what I suspect they will be toward people of faith (those consequences being a bunch of stuff David Barton made up the day before) then this president will fight back.”
Well, Rick, right now you are not even the president of one person in Iowa – she wouldn’t endorse him till she gets all the facts – And that is more than Santorum has bothered to do.

North Carolina Overrides Governor’s Veto, Allows State Officials To Refuse To Conduct Marriages

From the "That's Fucked Up" Department: 

Scott Walker Intends to Rob Taxpayers to Enrich Billionaires

It is typical of Republicans to rob taxpayer dollars to subsidize their favorite industries, and in Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker intends on forcing taxpayers to subsidize a basketball arena…

Protesters Win Court Award Against Walker's Wisconsin

Protesters Win Court Award Against Walker's Wisconsin
Looks like Scott Walker wouldn't be able to handle ISIL after all.

House Republicans Unveil Latest Attempt To Block Obama’s Climate And Clean Water Rules

They've tried legislation and lawsuits, and now Republicans are now trying to use the budget to stop environmental regulations.

Senate Republicans Just Literally Voted Against Clean Water

Senate Republicans Just Literally Voted Against Clean Water
Republicans are using the ruse that farmers will have mud puddles regulated to push their pro-polluter agenda.

Georgia Releases Kenlissia Jones After Illegal Detainment But Threatens More Charges

Georgia is releasing 23-year-old Kenlissia Jones from the Doughterty County Jail, where the black mother to a toddler has been illegally detained, but they are threatening her with more charges…

Mike Huckabee faces class-action suit over robo-calls promoting cheesy 'christian' propaganda flick

Marshall Teague as Bob Revere in "Last Ounce of Courage" trailer (Screenshot/YouTube)
“Although the campaign appeared to survey whether recipients had ‘traditional American values,'” the film’s promoters were “more concerned with getting viewers to see ‘Last Ounce of Courage’ than gathering information about them."
* Note the sarcasm

The 'christian' Co-Author Of Mike Huckabee Books Was Caught Duggaring A Child

'Christian' Co-Author Of Mike Huckabee Books Was Accused Of Duggaring A Child
A 2012 police investigation of Perry's alleged offenses found that "the allegations of sexual battery were sustained" but that the statute of limitations had expired.

Fox News Helped The Duggars Cover Up New Child Abuse Investigation In Arkansas

duggar-megyn-kellyThe DHS in Arkansas has launched a new investigation into the Duggars, and it looks like Fox News helped Jim Bob and Michelle cover up the new investigation into the welfare of their children.
InTouch Weekly reported:
The Duggar family is under investigation again by the Arkansas Department of Human Services and police were called when the family refused to cooperate, In Touch magazine is reporting exclusively in its new issue that hits newsstands today.

A representative from the Washington County DHS called 911 on May 27 at around 11 a.m. asking for police assistance when DHS was not allowed to see the minor they were concerned about.

After identifying himself as a Washington Country DHS employee and stating the Duggar family address, the caller tells the 911 operator, “We have an investigation and I guess they’re not being cooperative. We have to see the child to make sure the child is all right. So we just need police assistance.”
The Duggars first interview with Fox News aired on June 3. Fox News had days before the Duggar interview to learn about and disclose to their viewers the new investigation, but they did nothing. It is possible that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar lied to Megyn Kelly and Fox News. It is just as possible that Fox News never bothered to look and invested themselves in supporting the Duggars.
If Fox News was not aware of this new investigation, it is because they didn’t want to know. The new investigation also explains why the Duggars and Kelly put so much effort into trying to discredit the police and social services. Fox News defended a family that was uncooperative with the authorities and under a new investigation related to the welfare of their children.
Fox News put propaganda ahead of facts, and now they have to explain why they didn’t know that the Duggars family was again under investigation. Whether Megyn Kelly and Fox News acted intentionally or not, they helped to hide a key fact from their viewers. Fox News turned a blind eye to what they didn’t want to see and now have to deal with the consequences of the decision to put partisan politics ahead of the welfare of children.

Fox News Is Unraveling As Their “Objective Witness” To McKinney Pool Party Is A Convicted Felon

Fox News is unraveling as their support for the Duggars has blown up in their faces, and the "objective witness" to the McKinney Pool Party incident is a liar…
Megyn Kelly wrong again