I refuse to refer to the former USSR or China as “communist” without the qualifying quotation marks, just as vehemently as I refuse to refer to the U.S. as “democratic” without the same. Otherwise, both of those precious words are rendered completely meaningless.
BEIJING (AP) The United States is deeply concerned about what it sees as a deteriorating human rights situation in China, with relatives of activists increasingly being harassed and policies in ethnic areas becoming more repressive, a senior U.S. diplomat said Friday.
Tavis Smiley Disarms Bill O’Reilly With Suggestion To Arm Every Black Person
"PBS host Tavis Smiley joined Bill O’Reilly to react to O’Reilly’s assertions about the lack of media coverage over black-on-black crime in the United States. Smiley told O’Reilly that institutionally there is a contempt for black men in the United States that has to be addressed. O’Reilly pushed back, while Smiley brought up gun laws and suggested that every black person in the United States should have a gun just to see how the NRA responds."
Tavis killed it. I love to see O’Reilly get the smack-down.
Though I think it’s worth mentioning that O’Reilly’s line that “the only problem Black people in America have is themselves,” could have unfortunately come straight out of an Obama speech, like when he spoke at Morehouse and said that ” … too many young men in our community continue to make bad choices. Growing up, I made quite a few myself. Sometimes I wrote off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down. I had a tendency sometimes to make excuses for me not doing the right thing. But one of the things that all of you have learned over the last four years, is there’s no longer any room for excuses.”
Or when he spoke in Ghana in 2009 and said, “I think part of what’s hampered advancement in Africa is that for many years we’ve made excuses about corruption or poor governance, that this was somehow the consequence of neo-colonialism, or the West has been oppressive, or racism – I’m not a big – I’m not a believer in excuses.”
Guns and fetuses have more rights than women in texas.
===AUSTIN - At the bag check at the Texas Capitol on Friday, state troopers confiscated tampons, but allowed concealed weapons into the Senate chamber, thrusting Texas’ abortion debate once more into the social media stratosphere and all but guaranteeing the state airtime on late night comedy shows. Texas Department of Public Safety officials said they ordered the bags checked before anyone could enter the gallery after being told that demonstrators were planning to throw objects on the Senate floor during Friday’s hours-long debate. Abortion rights supporters and a state lawmaker were skeptical, calling it an attempt to bolster Republican credibility during a contentious debate that has drawn national attention.
Or maybe it was because they were also bringing jars of shit and piss to throw at legislators? And also, Tampons is a pretty generic term. If these people were willing to throw excrement at the politicians, who says that those tampons weren’t used?
Wow. that awkward moment when self-described “libertarian” supports the state intervening to bar women from bringing tampons into the Texas Capitol, not to mention barring women from getting abortions. so much for limited government …
"Minarchist"? More like "manarchist"!
This is rich. Mayor 1%, Michael Bloomberg, accuses the NYTimes, the ACLU, and the Center for Constitutional Rights, for failing to share his deep concern for the well-being of minority citizens of NYC. He accuses all of the above of being racist because they have criticized the NYPD’s “Stop and Frisk” program. Meanwhile, he claims to be the only one who cares when a minority youth is murdered in the streets of NY.
He may actually be right about the NYTimes, but this is a serious case of the the pot & the kettle.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg today accused the New York Times and civil-liberties activists of a form of racial bias, for focusing criticism on the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program instead of on shooting victims, who are predominantly black and Latino.
Watch the video of his speech: http://landing.newsinc.com/shared/video.html?freewheel=69016&sitesection=capitalny&VID=24779102
As a friend writes: “
(Video) Daily Show’s Samantha Bee goes to RNC and utterly demolishes GOP hypocrisy in opposing a woman’s individual right to choose abortion.
Of course, the irony is that the same US politicians and corporations that wax indignant on the topic of China’s totalitarianism are also the same people fostering and profiting from that totalitarianism.
We all know that companies like Apple are exploiting millions of dollars out of underpaid Chinese laborers who are bereft of trade union and/or political rights.
But even people like Mitt Romney are in on the hypocritical jig. Bain Capital, the financial firm founded by Romney, is single-handdly advancing a multi-billion dollar Chinese project to blanket the country in security cameras. The effect, of course, will be to strengthen the hold of those very same totalitarian state officials over the people of China.
The media have focused on the case of Chen Guangcheng, but dissent in China is much broader and driven by many factors, writes.
This, then, is why the Democrats are not really a “lesser evil.” In fact, Democrats are often able to get a way with more horrible policies than Republicans because so many liberals and progressives who would otherwise be shouting from the rooftops about some terrible thing being done if it were a Republican, all of a sudden grow quiet about — or worse, even justify — that same terrible thing when it’s a Democrat doing it.
Whether it’s the mass slaughter of innocent civilians and children in Afghanistan and Pakistan through increased drone strikes; keeping open Guantanamo Bay; authorizing the right of the President to indefinitely detain American citizens without trial; or any other of the many Bush-esque things Obama has done, many liberals have proven themselves to now be some of the greatest apologists for precisely those actions they previously fumed over when Bush was Chief Executive.
During the Bush years, Guantanamo was the core symbol of right-wing radicalism and what was back then referred to as the “assault on American values and the shredding of our Constitution”: so much so then when Barack Obama ran for President, he featured these issues not as a secondary but as a central plank in his campaign. But now that there is a Democrat in office presiding over Guantanamo and these other polices — rather than a big, bad, scary Republican — all of that has changed, as a new Washington Post/ABC News poll today demonstrates:
The survey shows that 70 percent of respondents approve of Obama’s decision to keep open the prison at Guantanamo Bay… . The poll shows that 53 percent of self-identified liberal Democrats — and 67 percent of moderate or conservative Democrats — support keeping Guantanamo Bay open.
… Fully 77 percent of liberal Democrats endorse the use of drones, meaning that Obama is unlikely to suffer any political consequences as a result of his policy in this election year.
Depressingly, Democrats approve of the drone strikes on American citizens by 58-33, and even liberals approve of them, 55-35.
It’s hard to imagine that Dems and liberals would approve of such policies in quite these numbers if they had been authored by George W. Bush.
Wow. This is just too much. I can’t believe the political acrobatics some people are willing to go through in order to muster a defense of Obama on this (see below). If it were Bush or anyone else signing such a bill into law, these same people would be up in arms over it.
There are many things Obama could have done here — he could have used the line-item veto to completely strike the ‘indefinite detention’ section from the bill altogether. Or he could have just vetoed the whole damn thing. Since most Americans are opposed to indefinite detention, I think people would have understood why he vetoed a defense spending bill that included such provisions and would have correctly blamed those truly responsible for the subsequent lack of a defense spending bill.
(And if we are to believe senior Democratic Congressman Carl Levin, it was actually the Obama administration that requested the language around ‘indefinite detention’ be included in this spending bill — though admittedly in a different form than the final version).
In any event, even if it weren’t ‘politically expedient’ for Obama to veto this bill, it still would have been the right thing to do. I would rather have a President willing to stand up and do the right thing and potentially lose his job for pissing off his conservative corporate backers, than a President willing to stand up and do the wrong thing solely in order to keep his job at the expense of the people’s rights.
Personally speaking, I don’t like the defense spending bill even without the indefinite detention aspect because it continues to fund our vast, hulking military-industrial complex even further. I certainly don’t appreciate when liberals mount a defense of Obama’s betrayal here by pointing to the fact that it was the only way to get the defense bill passed — as if that were even a desirable thing.
Finally, I have seen certain liberal defenses of this betrayal on the basis of the fact that Obama included a ‘signing statement’ when he signed off on this law stating that his administration would not authorize the indefinite detention of American citizens. Problem: this signing statement isn’t any more legally-binding than the promises he made on the campaign trail in 2008. Nor does it do anything to prevent future administrations from using this law to authorize indefinite detentions of Americans. Moreover, the glaring omission is that his signing statement only included American citizens. Are we supposed to feel better about things because Obama will only be authorizing the indefinite-detention-without-trial of non-citizens?
Obama did not sign this bill because he had ‘no other options’. He has plenty of options. This is the same man who had already authorized an extension of the PATRIOT Act, authorized the Big Brother-esque FISA bill, reserved for himself the right to extra-judicially assassinate those suspected of terrorism — including U.S. citizens (a move that even drew the praise of former V.P. Dick Cheney), and so on.
TL;DR The President’s opponents played the electorate like a fiddle and will get away with it because people don’t seem to realize they’ve been tricked into being angry at the wrong person.
He signed it because if he didn’t, defense spending including benefits to veterans and their families would not have been authorized. The sections of NDAA that many people here seem to have a problem with are sections that were added into the document by primarily Republican legislators and which the President adamantly opposes but was powerless to stop. I’ll repeat that: the parts of this bill that many people here hate were included against the President’s wishes and in a way that he is powerless to stop. The only way he could have stopped these sections from being included would have been to try to veto the bill in its entirety, a move that would have been both political suicide as well as being futile, as Congress would simply have overridden him. He is explicit in his opposition to exactly the parts of the bill everyone here hates, going so far as to detail exactly which sections he opposes and why.
You’ll notice that the bill also restricts his ability to close Guantanamo Bay; this isn’t coincidence. These sections are openly hostile to the President’s stated mandate - they are effectively a giant ‘fuck you’ to the President, as well as a nasty way of eroding the President’s support with his own base. Observe:
Draft legislation that is almost guaranteed to piss of the President but more importantly piss of his base.
Attach said legislation to another piece of larger, more important legislation like, say, the Defense Spending budget for the entire year so that any attempt to dislodge the offensive legislation will result in a political shitstorm, as well as place the larger legislation in jeopardy.
Once attached, begin a PR campaign that highlights the offending legislation and brings it to the attention of as many media outlets as possible - not just the traditional media, but alternative media outlets as well (Fox news, MSNBC, Media Matters, Huff-Po, Infowars, etc.)
Here’s where it gets tricky: Simultaneously, speak to both your party’s base and the opposition’s. To your base, argue that the legislation is necessary to ‘Keep America safe’ and that the President, by opposing it, is clearly soft of terrorism and endangering the military by trying to strip the legislation out. At the same time, sit back and watch your opponent’s liberal supporters tear into the offending legislation as being dangerous, anti-democratic, and a threat to civil liberties. You know they will; that’s what they care about most. You’ve designed legislation that will make them froth at the mouth. You don’t even have to keep flogging the message; one look at the legislation will be enough to convince most people that it is anathema to everything they hold dear. Because it is.
Pass the ‘parent’ legislation. Doing so forces the President to sign it or attempt to veto it. Since the legislation in question just so happens to be the military’s operating budget, a veto is out of the question. The President must sign the bill, you get the legislation you wanted, but you also practically guarantee that your opponent’s base will be furious at him for passing a bill they see as evil. Even if he tries to explain in detail why he had to sign it and what he hates about it, it won’t matter; ignorance of the American political process, coupled with an almost militant indifference to subtle explanations will almost ensure that most people will only remember that the President passed a bill they hate.
Profit. you get the legislation you want, while the President has to contend with a furious base that feels he betrayed them - even though he agrees with their position but simply lacked the legislative tools to stop this from happening. It’s a classic piece of misdirection that needs only two things to work: A lack of principles (or a partisan ideology that is willing to say anything - do anything - to win), and an electorate that is easy to fool.
This is pretty basic political maneuvering and the biggest problem is that it almost always works because most people either don’t know or don’t care how their political system actually functions. The President was saddled with a lose-lose situation where he either seriously harmed American defense policy (political suicide), or passed offensive legislation knowing that it would cost him political capital. To all of you here lamenting that you ever voted for this ‘corporate shill’, congratulations: you are the result the Republicans were hoping for. They get the law they want, they get the weakened Presidential candidate they want. And many of you just don’t seem to see that. You don’t have to like your country’s two-party system, but it pays to be able to understand it so that you can recognize when it’s being used like this.
EDIT: thanks to Reddit user Mauve_Cubedweller for this post
Agreed, that’s the thing with this whole bill, it’s way more complicated than what the alarmists are making it out to be. The NDAA is not a singular “indefinite detainment” bill, that single article is a huge thing that the Republicans got in to put the President’s back against the wall and ensure that he could never close Guantanamo (which is its own fuck off lose-lose situation).
It’s just one of those shitty things where you ask yourself what you would do? No answer you give is free from fucking over lots and lots of people.
If Georgian politicians think justice means killing a man (Troy Davis) for a murder he clearly didn’t commit, does this not send a message that it would then be just for people to carry out this same form of punishment against these Georgian politicians for clearly committing the cold-blooded murder of an innocent man?