Monthly Archives: May 2013

Obstruction and destruction: Benghazi and the budget

by Kurt Jaworski

As some letter writers would have it, the GOP-directed Benghazi hearings have become trial-by-innuendo.

In stating that, based on such proceedings, a future vote for Ms. Clinton is no longer compatible with a “clear conscience,” such writers have drawn conclusions outrageously beyond what e-mail correspondence and other sources indicate.

What exactly has been revealed by these subpoena-empowered Republican “fishermen”? What is Ms. Clinton guilty of?

Of course, in the zero-sum game of modern political warfare such specifics are quite beside the point. Rather, to the GOP, whose understanding of “governance” includes, by turns, obstruction and destruction, the truth has become a rather uninteresting commodity. The mere suggestion of wrongdoing seems to be quite enough, thank you.

What there can be no doubt about, however, is that the same Republicans now hard at work in making political hay out of a diplomatic corps tragedy are the very same party loyalists who denied adequate security funding for such “brave Americans.” This gamesmanship, which I have come to identify as the GOP “Rope-a-Dope,” appears regularly on Capitol Hill.

How similar to last year’s version when, after the Republican House had repeatedly defeated job-creating bills, GOP VP candidate and House Member Paul Ryan, apparently without shame, took to the campaign trail asking in near-apoplectic frenzy: “Where are the jobs, Mr. President?”

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Filed under Republican party

“That Woman Is Worth Paying Attention To”: Medea Benjamin Explains Why She Disrupted Obama’s Speech

interview, Democracy Now!, 5/24/13

Less than 24 hours after she interrupted President Obama’s major speech on the future of the secret drone war and Guantánamo, CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin describes why she repeatedly interrupted Obama’s address. Benjamin, the author of “Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control,” criticized Obama for failing to explain why a U.S. drone in Yemen killed the teenage U.S. citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki in 2011. “I was very disappointed. He said that his policy is to capture, not kill. That’s just not true. I know personally of many incidents where it would have been very easy to capture people, like the 16-year-old Tariq Aziz in Pakistan, who was in Islamabad at a well-known hotel, but instead was killed by a drone strike two days later,” Benjamin says. “I think the president is really justifying the use of drones, which will continue to happen under his administration and be passed on to the next.”

see transcript and video at Democracy Now!.

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Filed under Peace, Security, Terrorism, War

New App Lets You Boycott Koch Brothers, Monsanto And More By Scanning Your Shopping Cart

[For all of the posts on our site about the Koch Brothers, click here. (Keep clicking on Older Posts at the bottom to go back in time.)]

by Clare O’Connor, Forbes, 5/14/13

In her keynote speech at last year’s annual Netroots Nation gathering, Darcy Burner pitched a seemingly simple idea to the thousands of bloggers and web developers in the audience. The former Microsoft programmer and congressional candidate proposed a smartphone app allowing shoppers to swipe barcodes to check whether conservative billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch were behind a product on the shelves.

Burner figured the average supermarket shopper had no idea that buying Brawny paper towels, Angel Soft toilet paper or Dixie cups meant contributing cash to Koch Industries Koch Industries through its subsidiary Georgia-Pacific. Similarly, purchasing a pair of yoga pants containing Lycra or a Stainmaster carpet meant indirectly handing the Kochs your money (Koch Industries bought Invista, one of the world’s largest fiber and textiles companies, in 2004 from DuPont).

At the time, Burner created a mock interface for her app, but that’s as far as she got. She was waiting to find the right team to build out the back end, which could be complicated given often murky corporate ownership structures.

She wasn’t aware that as she delivered her Netroots speech, a group of developers was hard at work on Buycott, an even more sophisticated version of the app she proposed….

continue reading and follow links at Forbes

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Filed under Economy, Labor, Tax, Right Wing

Republicans Complain About Incompetence After They’ve Spent Years Defunding the IRS

By Rmuse, PoliticusUSA, May. 14th, 2013

There is an old saying that nothing in life is certain except death and taxes, but if one lives in the United States, only death is certain. It is true that few Americans like paying taxes, but they like their roads, schools, police and fire protection, and prisons that keep criminals under lock and key. Republicans detest taxes as a matter of course, and their wealthy corporate paymasters have made sure over the past two years that the Internal Revenue Service tasked with collecting taxes to fund government services all Americans depend on cannot properly execute their jobs of collecting taxes because funding cuts have left the agency woefully understaffed and impotent.

Republicans have spent the past four-and-a-half years jumping from one faux outrage to the next to avoid doing the jobs they were sent to Washington to do, and whs’ applications for tax exempt status. The IRS’s job is to scrutinize applications for tax exemption and the truth is they do not scrutinize tax exempt organizations nearly enough or thoroughly to guarantee that a group adheres to the rules while they avoid paying taxes like every other American. However, Republicans have their proverbial panties in a wad because the IRS was looking carefully at organizations that are decidedly anti-government and anti-American, and because they did their jobs, Republicans are crying foul and alleging a scandal giving them more reason to defund the IRS. It is not that Republicans needed any reason to defund their paymasters’ mortal enemy, but instead of criticizing the IRS, they deserve praise for doing their jobs.

The prescient question is not why the IRS gave extra attention to the teabaggers’ application for tax exemption, but why they did not look closer at the phony grass roots organization and their billionaire bankrollers the Koch brothers….

continue reading at PoliticusUSA

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Filed under Economy, Labor, Tax, Republican party