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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Daily Drift

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Obama Rides With the Hoofbeats of History


Obama Destroys the ‘Overheated and Dishonest’ Arguments Against the Iran Deal

President Obama took down what he called the “overheated” and “often dishonest” arguments against the Iran deal in his weekly address. He said that the agreement cuts off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon. He explained that it implements unprecedented monitoring and inspections. The President also explained that the sanctions would immediately be put back into place if Iran were to violate the terms.
Transcript via the White House:
This week, the United States and our international partners finally achieved something that decades of animosity has not – a deal that will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

This deal will make America and the world safer and more secure. Still, you’re going to hear a lot of overheated and often dishonest arguments about it in the weeks ahead. So today, I want to take a moment to take those on one by one, and explain what this deal does and what it means.

First, you’ll hear some critics argue that this deal somehow makes it easier for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. Now, if you think it sounds strange that the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and some of the world’s best nuclear scientists would agree to something like that, you’re right. This deal actually closes off Iran’s pathway to a nuclear weapon. Today, Iran has enough nuclear material to produce up to 10 nuclear weapons. With this deal, they’ll have to ship 98% of that material out of the country – leaving them with a fraction of what it takes to make even one weapon. With this deal, they’ll have to repurpose two key nuclear facilities so they can’t produce materials that could be used for a nuclear weapon. So this deal actually pushes Iran further away from a bomb. And there’s a permanent prohibition on Iran ever having a nuclear weapon.
Second, you might hear from critics that Iran could just ignore what’s required and do whatever they want. That they’re inevitably going to cheat. Well, that’s wrong, too. With this deal, we will have unprecedented, 24/7 monitoring of Iran’s key nuclear facilities. With this deal, international inspectors will have access to Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain. The verification process set up by this deal is comprehensive and it is intrusive – precisely so we can make sure Iran keeps its commitments.
Third, you might hear from critics that Iran faces no consequences if it violates this deal. That’s also patently false. If Iran violates this deal, the sanctions we imposed that have helped cripple the Iranian economy – the sanctions that helped make this deal possible – would snap back into place promptly.
There’s a reason this deal took so long to negotiate. Because we refused to accept a bad deal. We held out for a deal that met every one of our bottom lines. And we got it.
Does this deal resolve all of the threats Iran poses to its neighbors and the world? No. Does it do more than anyone has done before to make sure Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon? Yes. And that was our top priority from the start. That’s why it’s in everyone’s best interest to make sure this deal holds. Because without this deal, there would be no limits on Iran’s nuclear program. There would be no monitoring, no inspections. The sanctions we rallied the world to impose would unravel. Iran could move closer to a nuclear weapon. Other countries in the region might race to do the same. And we’d risk another war in the most volatile region in the world. That’s what would happen without this deal.
On questions of war and peace, we should have tough, honest, serious debates. We’ve seen what happens when we don’t. That’s why this deal is online for the whole world to see. I welcome all scrutiny. I fear no questions. As Commander-in-Chief, I make no apology for keeping this country safe and secure through the hard work of diplomacy over the easy rush to war. And on Tuesday, I’ll continue to press this case when I address the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Because nobody understands the true cost of war better than those who’ve actually served in this country’s uniform.
We have before us an historic opportunity to pursue a safer, more secure world for our children. It might not come around again in our lifetimes. That’s why we’re going to seize it today – and keep America a beacon of hope, liberty, and leadership for generations to come.
Thank you, and have a great weekend.

The goal with the Iran deal is to prevent them from obtaining a nuclear weapon. With this deal, President Obama showed the power of diplomacy, which is one of the largest reasons many on the right object to it. The arguments against the deal have become hyperbolic and hysterical, and have of course not offered a viable alternative that would include the political reality of getting other nations on board.
President Obama made an irrefutable point when he said it would be odd for Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and some of the world’s best nuclear scientists to agree to this deal if it’s a bad one. Are they all in the tank for Obama? Clearly not. This one sentence destroys the claims being made by the “opposition” to the deal.
This is too important to be left in the hands of bombastic clowns who do nothing but scream “The world is ending today!” if they don’t get their way on everything. And while critics troll this deal, many of them have brought nothing to the table except the unspoken “solution” that we have already seen doesn’t work.
Legitimate debate should be had, but it shouldn’t rest on presumptions presented as facts or fear-mongering hysteria. Remember “WMD” and the untold damage that lie continues to do to this day. At the end of the day, if not diplomacy, then what? They won’t tell you the answer for a good reason.

Bernie Sanders calls for a ‘political revolution’ to thwart the ‘billionaire class’

Bernie Sanders (MSNBC)
Sanders warned “America now has more wealth and income inequality than any country today” and said this was the great moral issue of our time.

Weekly Republican House Lie Spew Claims Over-Regulation Caused Crash of 2008

House Republicans want us to believe that by gutting Wall Street reform, we can somehow end bailouts and have a healthier economy…
Huffington Post seems to think Donald Trump’s pretender campaign is entertainment rather than politics. This leads you to wonder if they have been paying attention over there to the United States House of Representatives and Boehner’s shenanigans for the past six-and-a-half years.
Perhaps to fill us with dismay, Boehner has assigned the task of lying to the American people this week to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, yet another in a long line of dishonest Texas Republicans, who, we are told, “discusses Republicans’ commitment to protect hardworking families and small business owners from the job-crushing Dodd-Frank law, which President Obama signed five years ago this week.”
So here we go, digging into things Obama (not the shrub!) did years ago rather than doing some work today – say, creating jobs, taxing the wealthy or corporations, or at least actually regulating, instead of pretending to stand up to Wall Street. Here is the big lie, the talking point around which all that follows is based:
KEY QUOTE: “If we want strong economic growth, more freedom and an end to bailouts, it’s time we commit to making sure this anniversary is Dodd-Frank’s last. House Republicans are working to do just that. Together, we can end Wall Street bailouts, have a healthier economy, and protect consumer choice.”
Remarks of Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas
Weekly Republican Lie Spew
Financial Services Committee Hearing Room
July 18, 2015
Hello, I’m Jeb Hensarling, Congressman for the Fifth District of Texas and Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.
Five years ago this week President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Act. You may not have heard of Dodd-Frank, but it’s essentially Obamacare for our economy and your household finances.
And just like Obamacare, Dodd-Frank has left us with fewer choices, higher costs and less freedom.
Now, the financial crisis of 2008 and the recession that followed devastated millions of Americans. But instead of preventing the crisis, misguided Washington policies helped lead us into it – policies that either strong-armed or enticed financial institutions into loaning money to people to buy homes they couldn’t afford to keep.
That was wrong.
It wasn’t deregulation that caused the crisis. It was Washington’s dumb regulations.
Then, and now, House Republicans have offered an alternative to Dodd-Frank that would have ended taxpayer-funded bailouts and protected consumers.
But in typical Washington fashion, Democrats instead by passing a 2,300-page bill that did not solve the crisis but in my ways made it worse. When President Obama signed Dodd-Frank into law five years ago with much fanfare and celebration, we were told it would ‘lift the economy,’ ‘end too big to fail’ and ‘increase financial stability.’ It didn’t happen.
But, Dodd-Frank did nothing to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were at the epicenter of the crisis. It enshrined taxpayer-funded bailouts and ‘too big to fail’ into law, and it imposed 400 new burdensome, job-destroying regulations upon our economy.
And the harm to consumers has been real, very real. We continue to be mired in lackluster, halting economic growth. Middle income paychecks are nearly 12,000 dollars less compared to the average post-war economic recovery. It is now harder for credit-worthy Americans to buy a home. In fact, one-out-of-five who borrowed to buy a home just five years ago will not meet the underwriting requirements of Dodd-Frank’s mortgage rules. According to the Federal Reserve, that’ll hit roughly one-third of Hispanic and African-American borrowers.
Since Dodd-Frank, the big banks have gotten bigger and the small banks are now fewer. Today there are fewer community banks and credit unions serving the needs of small businesses and families. Local financial institutions tell us they can’t keep up with the sheer weight, volume and complexity of Dodd-Frank’s regulations. In fact, because of Dodd-Frank, we’re losing on average one community financial institution per day. It’s no wonder that small business deaths outnumber small business births for the first time in 35 years.
It is also now more expensive for American companies to raise working capital that’s needed to grow and create jobs.
Services that we all once took for granted – like free checking – are being curtailed or eliminated because of Dodd-Frank. Before, 75 percent of banks offered free checking. Just two years after Dodd-Frank became law, that number was cut almost in half.
And bank fees have also increased due to Dodd-Frank’s costs. This has led to a rise in the number of low and moderate income Americans who simply can’t afford to maintain a checking or savings account.
Not long after the financial crisis, we heard the cry from the Left to “Occupy Wall Street.” But hardworking taxpayers aren’t interested in Occupying Wall Street. They just want to quit bailing it out.
Yet Dodd-Frank enshrines “Too Big to Fail” into law. It gives Washington bureaucrats the power to officially designate large financial firms “Too Big to Fail” and then makes them eligible for bailouts. That’s wrong. We have to absolutely end bailouts — period.
It is evident that Dodd-Frank has made us less prosperous and less free. It has meant lost opportunities and frustrated dreams for millions hoping to start a small business, buy a home or plan for a secure retirement.
If we want strong economic growth, more freedom and an end to bailouts, it’s time we commit to making sure this anniversary is Dodd-Frank’s last anniversary.
House Republicans are working to do just that. Together, we can end Wall Street bailouts, have a healthier economy, and protect consumer choice.
Thanks for listening.
Obviously, it was not regulating Wall Street that caused the Great Recession of 2008. It was deregulation. The Dodd-Frank Act of 2008, like the Affordable Care Act, may not be perfect, but it did not make things worse; it made things better. But this is a world, remember in which freedom is tyranny and tyranny is freedom, and where giving money to rich people somehow makes poor people prosperous.
The lies presented here are both profound and obvious, egregious distortions of the past. Hensarling dismisses the #Occupy movement as somehow ungenuine, but his unsupported claims do not diminish the justified outrage of working class Americans at Wall Street, banking, and corporate misdeeds.
Hillary Clinton has dealt with the Republican cabal’s fake concern for small businesses, and President Obama has already vetoed Republican attempts to gut Wall Street reform and destroy the economy all over again for the benefit of the 1 percent.
This is more of the same song and dance we have become all too familiar with, the same tired lies of bygone years. As before, there is nothing here beyond vague Republican assurances that the Republican cabal loves us and that by deregulating wealthy corporations and banks, our beneficent masters will see to our every need.
Talk is cheap, but this sort of talk, put into action, would be very expensive indeed.

Ordinary Americans Are the Villains in Scott Walker’s Failed Journey to the White House

Public Enemies
scott walker sketchy criminalEvery Republican pretender campaign tells a story, and every story has a villain. For Donald Trump, that villain is ...

Ted Cruz Cancels Press Conference In Order To Avoid Answering Questions About Trump

ted cruz donald trump
Republican pretender candidate Ted Cruz never showed up for a press conference after his speech at the 'Family' Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa because he didn’t want to answer questions about Donald Trump.
Less than a week ago, Ted Cruz was supporting Donald Trump on Meet The Press. Today, Cruz cut off a scrum with reporters when the questions turned to Trump, ditched his scheduled press conference, and now his former spokesperson is saying that Cruz wanted no part of the “Trump circus.”
The other Republican candidates were quick to pounce on Trump after he attacked John McCain’s military service record and specifically criticized McCain for getting shot down during the Vietnam War. The hypocrisy of the draft dodging Trump criticizing a former POW provided the opening that the Republican cabal has been looking for to rid themselves of the reality television star.
When asked about Trump’s comments, Cruz praised McCain’s heroism but did not denounce Trump. Ted Cruz is firmly in the middle of the Trump circus. He didn’t seem to mind buddying up to Trump when he thought that it would help to revive his struggling campaign.
Cruz is showing the kind of leader that he really is. When the questions get tough, Ted cuts off the media and runs for cover. Ted Cruz doesn’t want to talk about Donald Trump, and he does not want to have to answer questions about his support for Trump.
If Cruz can’t handle a few media questions about Donald Trump, he definitely doesn’t have what it takes to be president.

Huffington Post Moves Coverage of Donald Trump from Politics to Entertainment

We have been talking about the Republican clown car for years, but Huffington Post has actually decided to “fire” Donald Trump and his “campaign,” as they refer to it in A Note About Our Coverage Of Donald Trump’s ‘Campaign’ yesterday, from news to entertainment.
This is their reasoning:
After watching and listening to Donald Trump since he announced his candidacy for pretender, we have decided we won’t report on Trump’s campaign as part of the Huffington Post’s political coverage. Instead, we will cover his campaign as part of our Entertainment section. Our reason is simple: Trump’s campaign is a sideshow. We won’t take the bait. If you are interested in what The Donald has to say, you’ll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette.
This was posted to Huffington Politics. If they are serious, this should be the last mention we should see there of Donald Trump.
Donald Trump posted his response on Facebook, in the third person of course:
Donald J. Trump Response to Huffington Post
Mr. Trump is number one in the unimportant Huffington Post poll, along with all other recently released polls including Reuters, FOX, USA Today/Suffolk University and The Economist.
Mr. Trump is in first place in Nevada, where he is also number one, by a wide margin, with Hispanics. He is number one in North Carolina and expects to win Iowa and New Hampshire.
Mr. Trump singlehandedly raised the issue of illegal immigration and started a national conversation about what has turned out to be one of the most important topics of this election cycle.
Likewise, Mr. Trump is the leader on issues such as the terrible United States trade deals, strengthening our military, taking care of our great Vets and the repeal and replacement of Obamacare.
If you read previously written Tweets, Mr. Trump has never been a fan of Arianna Huffington or the money-losing Huffington Post.
The only clown show in this scenario is the Huffington Post pretending to be a legitimate news source. Mr. Trump is not focused on being covered by a glorified blog. He is focused on Making America Great Again.
The Donald is typically full of himself, giving himself credit where it is not due – he can hardly claim to have begun the immigration debate, the discourse on bad trade deals, or, alternatives to Obamacare – but this is how the man is. He is not the first politician of either party to be full of himself. He’s just the most obnoxious.
And this is how HuffPo responded to Trump’s response:
So Trump is right up there with a sparkling Britney.
While this development is amusing, how is it that Huffington Post can separate Trump’s campaign from those of other Republican candidates who are equally “sideshows”? They won’t take the bait where Trump is concerned, but they take Ted Cruz seriously? Or Jeb Bush? Rick Santorum, for all his craziness, has never been relegated to the Entertainment section.
Even Sarah Palin, perhaps the ultimate in Republican clown shows, was never put in the Entertainment section – not even when she praised Donald Trump in June. That news also appeared in Huffington Politics.
If Trump is Entertainment, then all Republican politics for years has been Entertainment. After all, his extremism is merely the culmination of years of work by various Republican demagogues. Where do we draw the line?
There are various other reasons to object to what Huffington Post has done. For one thing, Trump is polling at the top, not the bottom of the polls. It seems to be a very serious campaign indeed. Whatever Trump really believes, the Republican base believes in him, and it is the Republican base who will be voting in the primaries, not news organizations.
Fox News cites “Rich Noyes, research director at the wingnut Media Research Center,” who “said the decision on a candidate’s legitimacy should be up to voters, not the media.”
And however much a joke we might consider him because of his loud, buffoonish behavior, Trump scares the bejeesus out of the Republican cabal. And we liberals and independents must avoid the temptation, like Republicans, to dump reality when we don’t find it lining up with our preconceptions.
David Corn at Mother Jones has voiced another valid objection. He says that “to exile Trump to the realm of the Kardashians is to let the Republican cabal off the hook too easily”:
Trump poses a crisis for his party. It may be entertaining for the Democrats to watch. But this crisis is not transpiring in TMZ-land. It’s what the Republican cabal has brought upon itself. Here is the ROI on the Republican cabal’s extreme politics.
Then too, if Trump can be sent to the Entertainment section, how about other candidates a media outlet might not like? The corporate media could as easily decide Democratic candidates are not to be taken seriously.
As moves go, HuffPo’s is not the most sensible one.
Humans have shaped their reality for thousands of years in various ways, but anyone serious about understanding it has taken the task of cataloging and defining that reality very seriously. Charles Darwin had to deal with the inconvenient reality of the platypus and we have to deal with Donald Trump. The platypus turned out to be a mammal, once we were able to sequence its genes, and is hardly the terror to evolutionists creationists might claim.
The creationists pretend the platypus’ genome has not been sequenced to make their argument against evolution. Huffington Post also rejects evolution – the evolution of Republican politics. It can, but refuses to, sequence Trump’s ideological genes in order to find his evolutionary niche.
Huffington Post says it will not take @realDonaldTrump seriously, but at this point, is there any reason to take Arianna Huffington seriously? Even Fox News, which I think we all agree is not real news, has not relegated candidates it does not approve of to the Entertainment section.

Donald Trump continues war of words with John McCain: ‘He’s only a war hero because he was captured’

Sen. John McCain (R), Dolnald Trimp -- AFP/Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Fox Hacks Circle Their Wagons Around Walker, Attack Unions

Fox Pundits Circle Their Wagons Around Walker, Attack Unions

Marco Rubio Forgot About Osama Bin Laden

While speaking at the 'Family' Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa Saturday morning, Marco Rubio got some of his best responses from the wingnut audience when he talked about national security and torture.
While fielding a question about torture from a member of the crowd, Rubio said President Obama “was not arresting terrorists.” Interviewer Frank Lunz asked Rubio if he thought the president was soft on terrorism and Rubio hedged, opting instead to talk about the war on terror.
Rubio spoke out against enhanced interrogation techniques, but said the United States should not publicize those methods because it would give terrorists chance to practice for them. He also said the United States should do what it takes to terrorists out of circulation.
Stay tuned for more from Iowa.

So About That Doctored Planned Parenthood Video...

So About That Planned Parenthood Video...

‘Medical Group’ Behind Planned Parenthood ‘Sting’ Is A Fake Front Group

And They Lied To The IRS
‘Medical Group’ Behind Planned Parenthood ‘Sting’ Is A Fake Front Group — Lied To IRS
“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!”
Read more 

Birth of A Scandal ...

Birth of A Scandal: You Won’t Believe How Easily This BS Becomes Conservative ‘Truth’
You Won’t Believe How Easily This Bull Shit Becomes Wingnut ‘Truth’
Take a 1/4 teaspoon of truth, add 3 pieces of misinformation, 1 unrelated topic and a bushel of lies and you have this ridiculous wingnut “scandal.”

Reddit Fail

Reddit's new content policy allows racist and sexist communities to continue to exist
Reddit fails miserably to curb bigotry for all their haughty speeches about doing just that

Mass Graves Discovered In Texas

Photo by
The Killing Fields, the Holocaust, the tragedies of Chechnya, Hue, Sooriyakanda, Duraiappa stadium, these are just some names associated with mass graves...

Sheriff In Sandra Bland Case Was Fired For Misconduct From Previous Job

Sheriff In Sandra Bland Case Was Fired For Misconduct From Previous Job

Texas trooper who arrested Sandra Bland violated police policies: investigators

Bad Cops

Featured image credit: video screen capture nbcdfw.comAccording to a search warrant issued in Ellis County, Texas, Maypearl Police Chief Kevin Coffey used the power of his office to solicit, stalk and harass...

The Real Connection Between Broken Windows And Urban Crime

The Real Connection Between Broken Windows And Urban Crime

Religio-Wingnut Shrieking Heads Long For The Days When People Were Too Poor To Be Gay

Iowa hate speech radio hack Steve Deace invited Florida religio-wingnut agitator John Stemberger onto his hate speech spew-fest  to push back against wingnuts who are arguing that the government should just get out of marriage altogether after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, which Ste... MORE
More of the snakes eating themselves