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Week In The News: Immigration, Israel-Palestine And NSA Spying

Immigration crisis on the border. Rockets and bombs in Gaza, Israel. Smallpox found in a storage box.

n this July 7, 2014 file photo, immigrant families and children's advocates rally in response to President Barack Obama's statement on the crisis of unaccompanied children and families illegally entering the United States, outside the Los Angeles Federal building. (AP)

In this July 7, 2014 file photo, immigrant families and children’s advocates rally in response to President Barack Obama’s statement on the crisis of unaccompanied children and families illegally entering the United States, outside the Los Angeles Federal building. (AP)

National anxiety this week, moral angst, political fireworks, over the flood of immigrant children at the border.  An incoming tide of kids, up from Central America, a thousand miles from home, and nobody knows what to do.  Near chaos.  In Israel and the Gaza Strip, rockets and bombs and a hundred  Palestinians dead.  Edge of war.  In Germany, the CIA station chief told to leave in a new American spy scandal.  In Brazil, an epic soccer loss for Brazilians.  And in a cardboard box in closet in Maryland – smallpox.  This hour On Point:  our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Kevin Diaz, Washington correspondent for the Houston Chronicle. (@DiazChron)

Nancy Youssef, national security correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers. (@nancyayoussef)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Houston Chronicle: Immigration judges reassigned to crisis — “Across the country, more than 375,370 immigration cases are pending, according to the Justice Department, and in Texas the average wait is 439 days. Houston’s downtown immigration court has the longest lag in the state after El Paso with 541 days.”

McClatchy: Unprepared U.S. officials missed Baghdadi’s likely al Qaida connection during 2004 detention — “When the U.S. military detained Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in Iraq in 2004, it was too inexperienced at dealing with suspected terrorists to know what kind of threat he potentially posed when it released him just 10 months later, those who worked in the military detention system at that time now concede.”

Washington Post: Germany asks top U.S. spy to leave amid flap — “For years, Germany has sought to be included in a group of countries with which the United States has a non-espionage pact. Those nations include Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The Obama administration and that of George W. Bush both resisted such entreaties, in part because many U.S. intelligence officials believe that there are too many areas where German and U.S. security interests diverge.”

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  • hennorama

    Sort of a tough call as to which of these two events of the week was the more absurd:

    Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akins taking back his apology for his politically suicidal remarks, as if he should have just shut that whole thing down,

    – OR –

    Speaker John Boehner, deciding to sue President Obama, over the President delaying enforcement of Obamacare’s employer mandate, a provision of a law that Spreaker Boehner and his Republican colleagues hate, didn’t vote for, and want repealed. It’s as if Boehner is saying, “Mr. President, please speed up enforcement of the law we despise, and we’ll leave you alone. Get on with it already!”

    • OnPointComments

      Unlike you and President Obama, perhaps Mr. Boehner thinks that laws and the Constitution should be followed. I know it’s a novel concept for this administration.

      My award for the most absurd event of the week is President Barack “Hey! Take a picture of me!” Obama saying that while he is in Texas he isn’t interested in a photo op, and afterwards he proceeded to have several photo ops, including playing pool, drinking beer, with a guy in a gorilla suit, and with a guy wearing a horse head mask. Even his most ardent supporters, the MSM, noted the absurdity of his statement.

      • OnPointComments

        Keep on fiddling.

      • Acnestes

        Which is more likely? 1) John Boehner suddenly notices he took an oath years back to uphold the constitution, or; 2) John Boehner suddenly perceives some advantage to himself in the lawsuit?

      • hennorama

        OPC — thank you for your response.

        You misunderstand and mischaracterize.

        It’s interesting that you feel qualified to attribute a motive to the President’s action; while I certainly would never speak for the President, I of course believe the Constitution should be followed.

        The absurdity of Speaker Boehner’s potential PPACA-related suit is that it is regarding a law that he has worked to delay, repeal, defund, etc. One would therefore infer that he would prefer that none of its provisions be enforced, yet his complaint is that a particular provision was delayed.

        Thanks again for your response.

      • John Cedar

        What is absurd about trying to protect the American voters and economy from being sucker punched by obamacarrorism after the election? Forcing Obama to follow the law, would allow the voters to experience the catastrophe before they make their voting decision.

        When Pelosi voted against the war but then threatened to sue Bush when she tried to usurp Bush’s authority to run the war by attempting to micromanage the funding of the war…was that absurd? The war the democrats hate, didn’t vote for and wanted repealed.

        • J__o__h__n

          It is Congress’s job to fund or defund wars.

          • John Cedar

            The jury has decided and the jury says congress does not have the power to micromanage a war by using purse strings.

            But that is neither here nor there. The point was to google and post a similar “absurdity” where the democrat speaker was against something (the Iraq war) but then not only funded it but tried to manage how the war would be fought using that funding. And then threatened to sue Bush when he resorted to his clear constitutional powers to conduct the war on his terms.

            In contrast, there is nothing in the Constitution no matter what librul stretcher and shredder you run it through, which empowers the POTUS to unilaterally waive the law.

    • Human2013

      They’re equally absurd.

      • hennorama

        Human2013 — thank you for your response.

        You may be right; it’s definitely a tough call.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Good Morning.
      While they are redonculous,They are the most absurd I have heard this week.

      • hennorama

        RWB — good day to you, and thank you for your response.

        Did you leave the word “not” out of your reply? If so, what event(s) of the week struck you as more absurd?

        And please note that I didn’t posit that the two events in my post were necessarily the most absurd of the week, but only that it was tough to determine which one had a greater level of absurdity.

        Thanks again.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Thanks for both corrections (my comment has been edited to correct my poor typing).
          Do you have an event that you feel is the most absurd?

          • hennorama

            RWB — YW, of course.

            The two items in my post are great candidates for “Most Absurd Events (That Have Come To My Attention) This Week,” but I wouldn’t feel qualified to judge an absolute, as I am certainly not attentive to all events in the world.

      • HonestDebate1

        I don’t mean to be flip but Obama’s entire political agenda is absurd. I was going to chime in with a few nuggets on inanity but there are too many. I think what we are seeing is his stategery of kicking the can down the road as he gazes at his navel, finally catching up to him. Early on he scored points by saying he was dealing with Iran, pulling out of Iraq, confronting Syria, issuing EOs for illegal children, spending gobs of money on “stimulus” (that doesn’t stimulate), and soaking the rich so the poor can feel better.

        But the world depends on the moral clarity of a strong America led by Patriots. Absent that, we get this.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          There are a few things that I want President Obama to stop doing (NSA spying, drones, Guantanamo), but most of the rest I stand behind. And there are a lot of areas that I feel he should go farther on: climate change, financial market reform / prosecutions, infrastructure building, immigration overhaul, to name a few.

          What is absurd is that so many of my fellow citizens (you included HD1) can deny reality and still show your face (so to speak) without any shame or embarrassment.

          • HonestDebate1

            We just disagree, that doesn’t mean my position is less valid. I don’t see the purpose of speaking in platitudes. I’m all for immigration reform and voting rights but I doubt we agree on policy. I think my way is better, I’m not ashamed at all.

            I think libs view my ilk as heartless so it’s natural to assume shame but the premise is whacked. As for us, we just think you’re wrong. It’s not personal.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            So why do you engage in hyperbole? You can agree with some things that President Obama has done without negating your rejection of much of what he has done.

            What is at the top of your list?

            Most of the things that I disagree with Obama on – Bush also did the same things. Are you being intellectually dishonest by ignoring things that Bush did, and then reject them entirely now that Obama is?

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s not hyperbole. He is awful. His presidency is a disaster. The economy is in shambles. Al Qaeda in plotting our demise with the aid of nation states. Obamacare is hopeless to the point he can’t let it be implemented. He’s divided us more than ever. Our boarder is a diseased influx of unknowns. The debt can never be repaid. He is lawless. He is a laughing stock around the globe. It’s just terrible.

            And I have no idea what you think I thought about whatever it is you think Bush did but he is irrelevant.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            The economy is far better than when President Obama took office.

            Al Qaeda has lost their leader (remember?) and they are reeling.

            Obamacare is succeeding and more and more people now have medical coverage who did not have it before. Nobody can be denied coverage because of an excuse the insurance companies just came up with. I don’t know what you are referring to – it is online and running better all the time.

            How is President Obama “dividing” us?

            What boarder are you talking about? I think you mean *border* but I can’t assume anything.

            The deficit is coming down more quickly now than ever before. Remember, it went up very quickly under Bush (unfunded tax cuts and two unfunded wars!) and the Great Recession was well underway when President Obama took office. Remember?

            Lawless? You mean like the 291 executive orders that Bush issued?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_federal_executive_orders

            Who’s laughing at us?

            You are simply mad because your guy lost.

            I think you are being dishonest. It is hyperbole.

          • HonestDebate1

            You are entitled to your misguided opinion.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Those are not my opinion; but are actual facts.

            You ducked my questions. Again.

          • HonestDebate1

            You’re giving me garbage.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            You are denying the facts. The economy is much better, by any measure. Bin Laden is dead. Obamacare is up and running – and people who have insurance now like it – including Republicans.

            And you continue to duck my questions.

          • hennorama

            Neil Blanchard — you may simply be forgetting that you are engaged in a discussion with Sir Nobler Than Thou (self-proclaimed) The Omniscient One, who has a “forrest [sic] view” of the world.

      • Steve__T

        Letmeguess, PALIN asking for impeachment?

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      We already know Akins is a lost cause, and he is only damaging the GOP. The ‘Boehner’ ploy exposes his weakness and his desperation.

      The latter is far more consequential.

    • Cacimo

      I would say President Obama saying the border is under control at his fund raiser as thousands of illegals were crossing.

      • hennorama

        Cacimo — thank you for your response.

        You do realize that the issue of the recent influx of Central American immigrants is that they were apprehended and detained, and did not evade detection or detention.

        That is evidence of border control, not a lack of control.

  • Yar

    “What if” In an attempt to compare our boarder crisis to what is happening in Israel and Palestine, I mused how God fearing Christians in the US would react to a claim by the Navigo Nations that all the people from central America are native Americans and offer asylum on tribal land. First to the children in immigration holding facilities, then to their parents, then to all who want to come. Who would have a problem with that? Why? Why is the middle east such a violent place?
    Most religion is about who controls resources.

  • Human2013

    Another deeply disturbing ‘Massacre’ out of TX – 2 adults and 4 children executed and another in critical condition.

    The problem in the US isn’t, per se, the freedom to have a weapon, but the overall decline of civility and the deepening descent of Americans into poverty. This trend will continue to to take a toll on the individual and collective American Psyche. Feeling neglected, ostracized, belittled, and marginalized.

    “The people in the culture of poverty have a strong feeling of marginality, of helplessness, of dependency, of not belonging. They are like aliens in their own country, convinced that the existing institutions do not serve their interests and needs. Along with this feeling of powerlessness is a widespread feeling of inferiority, of personal unworthiness.This is true of the slum dwellers of Mexico City, who do not constitute a distinct ethnic or racial group and do not suffer from racial discrimination.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_poverty

    So, we are left to couple these feelings with unlimited access to dangerous weapons. And to my frenemies on the right who support mental health evals, I ask you this: If America, as a nation, had to take a mental evaluation, could we pass? No, we most certainly could not.

  • Ed75

    So many problems. Isis has three weaknesses: not that many people, has a locatable place, and isn’t consolidated. But they are quickly consolidating, and they are inviting people to join their caliphate. So their only weakness is that they are in a specific place. And the world can’t allow their presence because they will send bombers everywhere. If the world doesn’t use ground forces, it will eventually have to bomb them. Disaster.

    • Yar

      Yes Ed, in the name of God, kill. Who has the truth when it comes to religion? What would you do with the children on our border? What you do to the least of these, you also do to me.

      • Ed75

        Pope Francis, in general terms, said that the children at the border need to be treated with human rights, as human beings, taken care of. At the same time, a country has the right to establish and defend its borders, a challenging situation.

  • Ed75

    ISIS (now IS) reminds me of Elijah: after three years of drought, he told Ahab that the rain would come. He asked Elisha (I think) to look for clouds, Elisha said there was only one small cloud on the horizon, the size of a man’s hand. Elijah told Ahab to flee for the rain was coming, and it did.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    Is Worcester a battle in the War on Terror?
    Do Americans have to give up basic rights to be safe from terrorist?
    If you answered no to both of these questions join us Saturday July 12th on the common behind Worcester’s city hall.

    http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=d52e2f91-ec5d-462b-a93d-e32996ca84e7&c=fd763ba0-2055-11e3-b8af-d4ae526edd6c&ch=fdadc660-2055-11e3-b8fd-d4ae526edd6c

    • JGC

      Is this correct, RWB?:

      To further explain, this is a rally staged by anti-NDAA supporters. The National Defense Authorization Act was passed by both houses in 2011 and signed by President Obama. The part of the NDAA that is causing alarm is the clause that targets “belligerent acts” that may result in detention of persons without due process.

      http://www.belligerentact.org

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I am not familiar with the site you link. But yes that is the issue. We are working with PANDAA.
        (as well as many others)

        http://pandaunite.org/aboutus/

  • SteveTheTeacher

    Hamas missile strikes in Israel have caused destruction and a great deal of psychological stress among the population. Meanwhile, the Israeli military bombing has murdered over 100 human beings, including 22 children, and caused massive destruction to infrastructure and homes.

    The Israelis have killed some of the Hamas leadership in the bombings while the Israelis have been arrested others. Neither Netanyahu nor any and the Israeli leadership have been held accountable for their war crimes. All those who have committed war criminals should be tried for crimes against humanity.

    List of those murdered by the Israeli bombing – From the Gaza Health Ministry:
    1. Mohammed Sha’aban, 24, was killed in a bombing of his car in Gaza City.
    2. Ahmad Sha’aban, 30, died in the same bombing.
    3. Khadir al-Bashiliki, 45, died in the same bombing.
    4. Rashad Yaseen, 27, was killed in a bombing of the Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.
    5. Riad Mohammed Kawareh, 50, was killed in a bombing of his family’s home in Khan Younis.
    6. Seraj Ayad Abed al-A’al, 8, was wounded in the same bombing and succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday evening.
    7. Mohammed Ayman Ashour, 15, died in the same bombing.
    8. Bakr Mohammed Joudah, 22, died in the same bombing.
    9. Ammar Mohammed Joudah, 26, died in the same bombing.
    10. Hussein Yousef Kawareh, 13, died in the same bombing.
    11. Mohammed Ibrahim Kawareh, 50, died in the same bombing.
    12. Bassim Salim Kawareh, 10, died in the same bombing.
    13. Mousa Habib, 16, from Gaza City’s al-Shujaiyah neighborhood, was killed along with his 22-year old cousin while the pair were riding a motorcycle.
    14. Mohammed Habib, 22, was killed with Mousa Habib.
    15. Sakr Aysh al-Ajouri, 22, was killed in an attack on Jabaliyah, in northern Gaza.
    16. Ahmad Na’el Mehdi, 16, from Gaza City’s Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, was killed in a bombing that wounded two of his friends.
    17. Hafiz Mohammed Hamad, 30, an Islamic Jihad commander, was killed in the bombing of his home in Beit Hanoun, along with five of his family members.
    18. Ibrahim Mohammed Hamad, 26, died in the same bombing.
    19. Mehdi Mohammed Hamad, 46, died in the same bombing.
    20. Fawzia Khalil Hamad, 62, died in the same bombing.
    21. Dunia Mehdi Hamad, 16, died in the same bombing.
    22. Suha Hamad, 25, died in the same bombing.
    23. Suleiman Salman Abu Soaween, 22

    Wednesday, July 9:
    24. Abdelhadi Jamaat al-Sufi, 24, was killed in a bombing near the Rafah crossing.
    25. Naifeh Farjallah, 80, was killed in an airstrike on the town of Moghraqa, southwest of Gaza City.
    26. Abdelnasser Abu Kweek, 60, was killed in the bombing of Gaza’s central governorate along with his son.
    27. Khaled Abu Kweek, 31, Abdelnasser Abu Kweek’s son, was killed in the same bombing.
    28. Mohammed Areef, 13, died in a bombing in Sha’af.
    28. Amir Areef, 10, died in the same bombing.
    30. Mohammed Malakiyeh, 18 months old, died in a bombing along with his mother and a young man.
    31. Hana Malakiyeh, 27, Mohammed Malakiyeh’s mother, died in the same bombing.
    32. Hatem Abu Salem, 28, died in the same bombing.
    33. Mohammed Khaled al-Nimri, 22
    34. Sahar Hamdan, 40, died in the bombing of her home in Beit Hanoun.
    35. Ibrahim Masri, 14, Sahar Hamdan’s son, was killed in the same bombing.
    36. Mahmoud Nahid al-Nawasra was killed in a bombing in al-Meghazi.
    37. Mohammed Khalaf al-Nawasra, 4, was killed in the same bombing and arrived at the hospital “in shreds.”
    38. Nidal Khalaf al-Nawasra al-Meghazi, 5, was killed in the same bombing.
    39. Salah Awwad al-Nawasra al-Meghazi, 6, was killed in the same bombing. His body was found under the rubble of the house.
    40. Aisha Nijm al-Meghazi, 20, was killed in the same bombing.
    41. Amal Youssef Abdel Ghafour, 27, was killed in a bombing in Khan Younis.
    42. Ranim Jawde Abdel Ghafour, an 18-month-old girl, was killed in the same bombing.
    43. Rashid al-Kafarneh, 30, was killed when the motorcycle he was riding was bombed.
    44. Ibrahim Daoud al-Balawi, 24
    45. Abdelrahman Jamal al-Zamli, 22
    46. Ibrahim Ahmad Abideen, 42
    47. Mustafa Abu Mar, 20
    48. Khalid Abu Mar, 23
    49. Mazen Farj al-Jarbah, 30, was killed in a bombing in Deir al-Balah.
    50. Marwan Slim, 27, was killed in a bombing in Deir al-Balah.
    51. Hani Saleh Hamad, 57, was killed in a bombing in Beit Hanoun along with his son Ibrahim.
    52. Ibrahim Hamad, 20, was killed in the same bombing.
    53. Salima Hassan Musallim al-Arja, 60, was killed in a bombing in Rafah that wounded five others.
    54. Maryam Atieh Mohammed al-Arja, 11, was killed in the same bombing.
    55. Hamad Shahab, 37
    56. Ibrahim Khalil Qanun, 24, was killed in a bombing of Khan Younis.
    57. Mohammed Khalil Qanun, 26, was killed in the same attack.
    58. Hamdi Badieh Sawali, 33, was killed in the same attack.
    59. Ahmad Sawali, 28, was killed in the same attack.
    60. Suleiman Salim al-Astal, 55, was killed in a bombing of Khan Younis.
    61. Mohammed al-Aqqad, 24
    62. Ra’ed Shalat, 37, was killed in a bombing that wounded 6 others.

    Thursday, July 10:
    63. Asma Mahmoud al-Hajj, 22, was killed in a bombing in Khan Younis that killed eight members of the same family and wounded 16 other people.
    64. Basmah Abdelfattah al-Hajj, 57, was wounded in the bombing and succumbed to her injuries shortly afterwards.
    65. Mahmoud Lutfi al-Hajj, 58, died in the same bombing.
    66. Tarek Mahmoud al-Hajj, 18, died in the same bombing.
    67. Sa’ad Mahmoud al-Hajj, 17, died in the same bombing.
    68. Najla Mahmoud al-Hajj, 29, died in the same bombing.
    69. Fatima Mahmoud al-Hajj, 12, died in the same bombing.
    70. Omar Mahmoud al-Hajj, 20, died in the same bombing.
    71. Ahmad Salim al-Astal, 24, was killed in the bombing of a beach house in Khan Younis that critically wounded more than 15 people.
    72. Mousa Mohammed al-Astal, 50, was killed in the same bombing. The two bodies were recovered four hours after the bombing.
    73. Ra’ed al-Zawareh, 33, succumbed to his wounds and died. The location of his death was unreported.
    74. Baha’ Abu al-Leil, 35, was killed in a bombing.
    75. Salim Qandil, 27, was killed in the same bombing.
    76. Omar al-Fyumi, 30, was killed in the same bombing.
    77. Abdullah Ramadan Abu Ghazzal, 5, was killed in a bombing in Beit Lahiya.
    78. Ismail Hassan Abu Jamah, 19, was killed in a bombing in Khan Younis that injured two children, one critically.
    79. Hassan Awda Abu Jamah, 75, was killed in a bombing in Khan Younis.
    80. Mohammed Ahsan Ferwanah, 27, was killed in a bombing in Khan Younis.
    81. Yasmin Mohammed Mutawwaq, 4 was killed in a bombing in Beit Hanoun.
    82. Mahmoud Wulud, 26, was killed in a bombing of a civilian vehicle in northern Gaza. His remains were taken to Kamal Adwan Hospital in Jabaliya.
    83. Hazem Balousha, 30, was killed in the same bombing. His remains are at Kamal Adwan Hospital.
    84. Nour Rafik Adi al-Sultan, 27, was killed in the same bombing. His remains are at Kamal Adwan Hospital.
    85. Ahmad Zaher Hamdan, 24, was killed in a bombing in Beit Hanoun.
    86. Mohammed Kamal al-Kahlout, 25, was killed in a bombing in Jabaliyah.
    87. Sami Adnan Shaldan, 25, was killed in a bombing in Gaza City.
    88. Jamah Atieh Shalouf, 25, was killed in a bombing in Rafah.
    89. Bassem Abdelrahman Khattab, 6, was killed in a bombing in Deir al-Balah.
    90. Abdullah Mustafa Abu Mahrouk, 22, was killed in a bombing in Deir al-Balah.

    Friday, July 11:
    91. Anas Rizk Abu al-Kas, 33, was killed in a bombing in Gaza City.
    92. Nour Marwan al-Najdi, 10, was killed in a bombing in Rafah.
    93. Mohammed Mounir Ashour, 25, was killed in a bombing on the al-Ghanam family home in Rafah.
    94. Ghalia Deeb Jabr al-Ghanam, 7, was killed in the same bombing.
    95. Wasim Abd al-Rizk Hassan al-Ghanam, 23, was killed in the same bombing.
    96. Mahmoud Abd al-Rizk Hassan al-Ghanam, 26, was killed in the same bombing.
    97. Kifah Shahada Deeb al-Ghanam, 20, was killed in the same bombing.
    98. Ra’ed Hani Abu Hani, 31, was killed in a bombing in Rafah.
    99. Shahraman Ismail Abu al-Kas, 42, was killed in a bombing in a refugee camp in central Gaza.
    100. Mazen Mustafa Aslan, 63, was killed in the same bombing.

    • JONBOSTON

      I’ve always wondered who and where you “teach”. I pity the poor students.

      • SteveTheTeacher

        Perhaps your pity should be directed at yourself.

      • jefe68

        Says the guy who likes Michael Savage.

        • JONBOSTON

          You must have me confused with someone else. I have never listened to Michael Savage , if that’s who you’re referring to.

          • jefe68

            Sorry for the mistake.

            That said, you do have some things in common however.

    • OnPointComments

      I saw an NBC News report yesterday that explained one difference between Israel and Hamas. According to the report, Israel provides shelters for its citizens so that they can escape the bombing by Hamas. Hamas provides shelters only for its terrorists, and places innocent civilians on and around the shelter so that innocent civilians are killed if Israel retaliates, in the hope that this tactic will dissuade counterattacks from Israel.

      • SteveTheTeacher

        Here’s another difference:

        Israeli uses the most advanced technology, some supported by the US, to specifically target homes occupied by children, health centers, public cafes, etc.

        This is unconscionable, and a violation of Geneva conventions.

        • OnPointComments

          The U.S. government includes Hamas on its list of terrorist organizations.

          • SteveTheTeacher

            “The U.S. government includes Hamas on its list of terrorist organizations.”

            Does this imply that the Geneva conventions no longer apply to the Palestinians in Gaza?

            Given the US us of unmanned drones and computer algorithms to murder close to 1000 people, including over 100 children, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somilia; the US should include itself on its list of terrorists organizations.

          • jefe68

            Have you done any real research into how Hamas operates? On the one hand they do a lot of community work and good things. On another, they use peoples homes to launch attacks guaranteeing that the homes will be targeted.

            This is a complex situation with a lot of people coming from different political ideologies and there is no consensus.
            Hamas does not recognize Israel as a state. They have formed a coalition government with the moderate Palestinian Authority lead by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. This is not a simple black and white situation.

          • SteveTheTeacher

            “This is not a simple black and white situation.”

            Agreed.

            Does the complexity of such disputes justify collective punishment, widespread killing of civilians, and negate protection of civilian populations provided by international agreements such as the Geneva conventions?

          • jefe68

            No it does not. Israel is wrong in their response. However Hamas does this all the time they start firing rockets and mortars from heavily populated areas knowing full well that IDF will respond in force and that civilians will be killed and injured.

          • SteveTheTeacher

            Agreed.

            There are organized groups of Palestinians in Gaza, in addition to individuals, who have have been actively protesting against Hamas. Similarly, there are Israeli’s in Israel who have been activity protesting against the Netanyahu government. I see very little international support for these groups. They seem to have gotten caught in the cross-fire.

            http://coalition.s482.sureserver.com/?lang=en

            http://www.democracynow.org/2014/7/8/the_incitement_starts_at_the_top

        • Fred

          If rockets are being fired from the roofs of the buildings you mention, what other actions should the Israelis take to stop the rockets?

          • skelly74

            Send in ground troops…the U.S. has armed Israel with small arms also to combat against mainly slingshots and rocks.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            They should stop oppressing the entire population for the actions of a few. They should stop their own citizens from grabbing land from others.

          • Fred

            Explain further, please.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            They control the border, they limit economic activity, they cut off water, they deny basic human rights as a matter of course, they look the other way when “settlers” take over land already possessed by other people, etc.

            They build a wall to separate people – which is the very definition of apartheid. How is this right?

            All for the “crime” of being a Palestinian. Ordinary people have no ability to change anything, and the “government” of Palestinian areas has no way of enforcing anything; because of the weak situation that Israel is putting them in.

            Israel cannot keep doing the same thing and expect the results to be better. They are the party with (some) power and the Palestinians have virtually none.

          • Fred

            <>

            Wikipedia: Apartheid an Afrikaans word meaning “the state of being apart”, … was a system of racial segregation in South Africa >> enforced through legislation<20% of the Israeli population, full voting citizens _under_the_law_, who are not legally segregated, where is the apartheid?

            The stated purpose of the fence/wall indeed was to create a barrier, to impede terrorist attacks which killed 452 people in 2002 in bus bombings, home invasions and machine-gunning of families as they drove or walked down the street. Terrorist killings decreased every year as the fence expanded, with 9 recorded in 2010.

          • SteveTheTeacher

            Are you suggesting the firing of rockets which have no high tech targeting capability, have very small likelihood of hitting anywhere other than open land, and have not resulted Israeli causalities justify the use of high tech targeting of homes, health clinics, cafes, etc. which have not been used for firing of rockets but are targeted for the chance that one or more Hamas leader may be there along with numerous civilians?

  • Michiganjf

    John Boehner has finally figured out why he wants to “sue” the President…

    Apparently, the genius Bo[eh]ner and his Republican peers believe the two year postponement of the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act has made this an imperial presidency.

    The Idiot Squad is on the job, working hard to make this a great country.

    • Ed75

      Doesn’t Boehner look like Humphrey Bogart, with the same twitch around the mouth?

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      President Obama has not implemented Obamacare *quickly enough*. All that time, Boehner was taking votes to *stop* President Obama from implementing Obamacare.

      Go figure.

    • HonestDebate1

      There have been some 39 such delays. They are illegal. The law of the land passed by Congress and ratified by the Supreme Court says what the law is. We passed it so Nancy Pelosi assures us we now know what’s in it…. theoretically. I defy you, Obama or anyone else to tell me what Obamacare is other than whatever Obama decides on any given day. That is not America, it should bother you.

      Obamacare was the most sweeping and transformative legislation ever imposed solely by one party in the history of the universe. It was sold on a lie. You cannot keep your plan or doctor. Your premiums will go up. It will cost gazillions and will not be deficit neutral. Quality of care will go down, There will be just as may people flooding the ER’s. Illegal aliens will be covered. It’s killing jobs, amassing unrepayable debt, giving more power to an all intrusive bloated government and will all get markedly worse when it’s all implemented. The fact that these truths are being used as political tools and that it is clearly working on so many is astonishing. How do you guys keep defending this debacle?

    • Don_B1

      Following in a great tradition from Speaker Gingrich:

      http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/junejulyaugust_2014/features/the_big_lobotomy050642.php?page=all

      Except that Speaker Boehner is not leading just trying (maybe) to corral/passify a passel of screaming idiotic unruly ignorant cats.

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    Obama Logic

    I need to stop kids coming from Central America through Mexico.

    Announce that I will spend $4 billion ($80.000 per kid). That will stop them from coming.

    This seems logical to Jack Beatty, the Obama Syncophant.

    • OnPointComments

      As Senator Tom Coburn pointed out yesterday, we can either go with President Obama’s $4 billion dollars ($60,000 to $80,000 per child, depending on who is doing the estimating), or we can do this: “Look, for $8 million, we can put them all in a first-class seat back to their homes. That’s $8 million. That’s a first-class seat, one way, to each of their homes.”

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    Please do not use the falsehood that Obama has deported more people than any other President. They count when they turn people away at the border as a “deportation.”

    Previous to Obama, these were not counted as a deportation.

  • Ed75

    When Hamas bombs Israel … Israel bombs their arsenals and launchers, killing people. Perhaps Hamas could stop bombing Israel, then Israel would stop bombing them. Perhaps they could try to achieve their aims in a different way.

    • OnPointComments

      As someone said:

      If Hamas, Muslims, and Palestinians laid down there arms today, there would be peace in the Middle East tomorrow. If Israel laid down its arms today, it would be destroyed tomorrow.

      All Muslims aren’t terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims.

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    Ask Jack Beatty if anyone should be deported. He is an anti-border radical.

    he believes if you sleep in the US, you should be allowed to vote.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Randomly firing rockets into civilian areas is a war crime.

    Total blockades of entire civilian populations as retribution for the actions of a few is a war crime. As is illegal taking of land.

    52 weeks in a row of job growth. Hmmm …

    Continued accelerated melting of Arctic and Greenland and Himalayan glaciers. The drought in California and the rest of the southwest continues.

    An F-35 explodes on the runway (a while back) and it cannot be flown in the rain. We should cancel the F-35 program, and use half of the funding (over $1 Trillion!) to pay down the national debt – and the other half for road, bridge, and railway repair, and for building wind farms, wave and tidal power systems, and solar installations. We can earn back more than we have spent on the failed F-35 program.

    • http://www.google.com Big Brother

      I’m taking a swim in front of the White House.

      oh I’m not, global temperatures are down, sea levels have not changed.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Temperatures have continued to rise, and ocean levels are still rising; a bit more quickly as time goes on.

        You’re wrong on both points. Because. Science.

      • jefe68

        Seems the science proves you wrong.

        https://www2.ucar.edu/climate/faq/how-much-has-global-temperature-risen-last-100-years

        http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/critical-issues-sea-level-rise/

        I’m also inclined to follow the BBC’s lead in this, ignoring climate deniers.

      • Michiganjf

        Worried,

        Just how many Disqus accounts have you opened?
        Your style is beyond recognizable for some 5-10 different accounts that you regular use to post your inane comments.

        Is that the only way you can make it look like anyone shares your ridiculous viewpoints?

        A bit pathetic, don’t you think?

      • nj_v2

        ^ Pathetic loser trolling disinfo

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    cartoon

    Obama meeting Rick Perry.

    they can’t shake hands because Perry is holding a gun and Obama is holding a golf club

    • TFRX

      What was that third thing Perry was holding in the cartoon?

      • MrNutso

        CENSORED

  • Ed75

    A Mother Teresa story is needed. When there was this same kind of fighting in Lebanon in the early 1980s, Mother Teresa heard about a shelter for disabled children that was in distress because of the conflict. She insisted that she and the sisters would go there to help them. But they were told that they wouldn’t be allowed to because of the bombing.
    A few days later Mother Teresa went back to the government and said that the next day she was going in with her sisters. The government said no, but she said that the next day was a feast day of Mary, and Mary had told her that there would be a ceasefire. There had been no signs of a ceasefire, the government said.
    The next morning, out of the blue, there was a ceasefire … and Mother Teresa went to the children’s home in Beirut.

  • OnPointComments

    “Senator Obama, it’s hard to have a straight up debate with you because you never take responsibility for any vote. On issue after issue, you voted present; whenever someone raises that, there’s always some sort of explanation.” –Hillary Clinton

    Should we be surprised that President Obama is either incapable or unwilling to solve the problem he created on our southern border? Hillary Clinton warned us that he is indecisive and unwilling to take responsibility.

  • JGC

    Mr. Ashbrook: please bring up the Export-Import Bank issue for comment, or plan an hour on it for a later date. It is an interesting issue because there is no clear cut Republican vs. Democratic party divide.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I will go to Korea.
    –Dwight D. Eisenhower, President

    I have come to Vietnam.
    –Lyndon B. Johnson, President

    I will NOT go to the border.*
    –Barack H. Obama, President.

    * I think he’s supposed to be at Wingfoot that day. FORE!

  • Coastghost

    “Nobody knows what to do”, Tom Ashbrook, or simply “no one’s doing anything”?
    Requisite specificity, per favore.

    • OnPointComments

      I thought President Obama had a pen and a phone and could solve any problem.

  • skelly74

    OMG! A Hamas rocket has hit an Israeli gas station destroying many cars…seriously injured one…the horror! The carnage!

    How many Palestinian’s have been killed by Israeli airstrikes?

    • OnPointComments

      The double standard employed by reporters.

      • SteveTheTeacher

        Cute how graphics like this can be used in misinformation campaigns of propagandist supporters of Israeli war crimes.

        The reality is that Palestinian militants have launched approximately 350 low payload rockets since the start of the Israeli attack. No Israeli’s have been killed.

        Meanwhile, the Israeli government has dropped over 400 tonnes of explosives on Gaza. The Israeli government has murdered over 100 Palestinians, half of them women, and 22 of them children.

        • OnPointComments

          Someone is shooting at you with a .22 caliber handgun. You holding a shotgun loaded with double-ought buckshot. What are you going to do?

          • SteveTheTeacher

            It is easy to make straw man arguments which divert attention from reality.

            The Israeli government talks of Hamas launched attacks starting the recent escalation. Hamas points to the fact that, under the peace accord following the last Israeli assault, Hamas did not launch missiles and, in fact, stopped most missile attacks from other extremist groups. Then, Israel launched attacks against Hamas leadership in response to their unsupported claims of Hamas leadership role in the murder of three Israeli teens. It should be noted that the Israeli military was previous caught on tape shooting dead, without provocation, two Palestinian teens.

            Regardless of who started the present hostilities, continued killing of civilians, by whomever it may be, is a war crime that should be prosecuted to the full extent of international law in order to prevent further escalations.

    • tbphkm33

      The toll so far is that Israeli terrorists (standing military force) has murdered over 100 Palestinians.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    In August, Obama will go to Martha’s Vineyard for his annual look at the ocean. But he won’t go to our southern border to look at the ocean of refugees and immigrants. And the problems they bring with them.
    Some president.

    • Don_B1

      As President Obama said, “A photoOp will not solve the problem, it will take work by Congress to solve the problem.”

  • Coastghost

    Operant Political Metaphor: the present southern border crisis is a) Obama’s Katrina or b) Obama’s Mariel Boatlift? [or c) some novel conflation of the two?]

    • TFRX

      Uh, “Heckuva job, Coastie”?

      • Coastghost

        Hard to find the words sufficient to express Obama’s demonstrated bungling, agreed.

        • TFRX

          You couldn’ta got me better unless you asked “What are you eating under there?” asswipe.

          • Coastghost

            Ad hominem trumps argument all the time with you, hunh?

          • TFRX

            “Heckuva job, Brownie”.

            Keep getting wiped out by trying to fluff right-wing bullshit as leftwing failure. It looks so smart on you.

  • Davesix6

    What a coincidence, President Obama declares all minors in the US under the age of 16 will be issued “temporary” visas and our southern border is overrun with minors attempting to enter the US illegally.

    • hennorama

      Davesix6 — What a coincidence, President Obama did no such thing. You are seemingly as misinformed as some of the most recent immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border.

  • TFRX

    I’m sorry, Tom, but you’re playing a clip of Sean Hannity cozying up to one of his favorites, in order to do anything but laugh in his antagonistic, propagandizing, lying fat face?

    You barely can do worse.

    • HonestDebate1

      I know, Ed Shultz must not have been available.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I will not play summer stock.
    –Barack H. Obama, Thespian

    Destiny chooses the man, the moment, and the conflict. Patton was there. And Grant. Washington. Lincoln. Eisenhower, FDR, and Truman, too.

    But, Barack Obama is just not destiny’s man. And there is not one damn thing America and Americans can do about it. Nothing.

  • OnPointComments

    “What would the media have thought if George W. Bush went to Louisiana during Katrina only to avoid New Orleans and the devastation, instead raising campaign cash (at $32,000 a head) at the home of a right-wing filmmaker of violent films that tended to glorify gunplay and to reduce controversies over disaster relief into caricatures of culpable dependents?”
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/382208/are-obamas-advisers-unhinged-victor-davis-hanson

  • Coastghost

    Obama’s inability to gauge properly the situation along the border is shown in his initial request for $2 billion to address the emerged border security crisis (in the same week he asked Congress for $500 million to address the emerged national security crisis in Iraq), which Obama has now increased to $3.7 billion for his policy of ad hoc crisis management.

  • Yar

    Do they even have a home? It takes a complete breakdown in the family to throw your children over a wall!

  • nlpnt

    This is a refugee crisis, not an illegal-immigration one and we need to stop using it as a battering ram to beat up the other party.

  • Coastghost

    Why is NPR, why is “On Point” not reporting whether any of these distressed Central American populations are heading south to the socialist paradise of Venezuela? Why are they only traversing the fifteen degrees of latitude north? Why is Nicaragua not more welcoming to these distressed populations? Why is Mexico not itself accommodating?

    • hennorama

      Coastghost — My understanding of media is that they tend to report on things of interest to their audiences. It seems likely that most Americans wouldn’t care one whit if refugees avoided the US, and sought asylum in southern Central America, northern South America, or Mexico, and really only care because the phenomenon is impacting the US.

      And you are incorrect in the premise of your question, that “…they only traversing the fifteen degrees of latitude north.”

      Per the UN High Commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), with emphasis added,

      Although the US receives the majority of new asylum claims by both children and adults from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, it is not alone. Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Belize, combined, have also documented a 432 per cent increase in the number of asylum applications from citizens of these three countries since 2009.

      See:
      http://www.unhcr.org/53206a3d9.html

      • Coastghost

        Our media are just as capable of quoting and reporting UNHCR findings as you are, hen.
        I appreciate your citation of the data, but it fails to explain why all of the thousands arriving on our southern border are indeed and in fact traversing fifteen degrees of latitude heading north, when travel to an adjacent land would be much less expensive and much less dangerous.
        (Also, why are Central Americans not enamored of Venezuelan-style socialism? Do they know something about socialism that itself is ALSO not being reported? I mean: if Central Americans are performing cost benefit analyses that suggest the risk of heading so far north is compensated by the perceived benefits, they must also be sophisticated or accomplished enough as economists to undertake structural and political reforms of their native economies and states.)

        • hennorama

          Coastghost — TYFYR.

          The facts have been reported by some members of the media, but the various brouhahas in the US seem to be of much more interest.

          There have also been various theories put forward about why there has been such an upsurge in the US, in part based on reports of interviews of the immigrants:

          -Traffickers have misrepresented US policies, such as DACA

          -Traffickers have indicated there was a deadline (June 30th)

          -Some who have already entered the US illegally (and who have not yet been deported) have communicated their experiences to those back home, encouraging further emigration.

          There are also some reports that the “traffic” at the border has recently fallen off a good deal, possibly due to a derailment of the train (called La Bestia, or The Beast) many have used to make the journey, and/or the fact that the fictitious deadline has passed.

          Regarding your continued questioning about Central Americans and Venezuela: I have no idea.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I will go to Martha’s Vineyard. The air is sweeter, and cooler. The people whiter, richer, and much more friendly. There are no problems there. Unlike that other place.
    –Barack H. Obama, Pensioner

    • TFRX

      The New York Times, c. 1983:

      : Sometimes, a president’s vacation is just a vacation

      .

      The New York TImes, c. anytime Bill Clinton or Barack Obama go somewhere:

      Why isn’t the Democratic prez vacationing in a swiiiiiiiiinnnnnngggggggg staaaaaaaaate?

  • MrNutso

    My prediciton:

    Obama: I will go to the border!

    Republicans: We can’t believe Obama is doing photo op’s at the border.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The Statue of Liberty was quietly sold off to the Chinese earlier this year. To pay some federal debts.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    There’s nothing like a good fight over corporate welfare to bring out the Left’s love of Big Business.

    In the current battle over the Export-Import Bank, Democratic politicians and liberal journalists have dropped their populist pretenses and openly embraced the corporate-federal collusion that Ex-Im embodies.

    For some, it’s largely partisanship or disdain for the Tea Partiers who want Ex-Im dead. For others, it’s that increasing government’s role in the economy takes precedence over railing against Big Business. And for a shrewd few, it’s about raising money from K Street and Wall Street.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/liberals-go-to-the-barricades-to-defend-crony-capitalism/article/2550610

    • nj_v2

      RIght, the “Left.” As defined by conservatives. There is no effective, national, “Left” presence in the U.S. at the moment.

      Calling politicians like Chuck Shumer and the other corporatist Dems “liberal” is just ludicrous.

      The Examiner writers can’t seem to agree, either.

      From the link above:

      “When both parties were thoroughly corporatist, Democrats could sprinkle a few tax hikes into their policy stew of subsidies and mandates and claim the populist mantle—and the media would believe them.

      Now, with the GOP opposing (some) corporate welfare, the Democrats’ corporatism is laid bare. Guys like Schumer and Israel probably figure that if they can’t pretend to be fighting for the little guys anymore, they may as well more aggressively fundraise from the big guys they’re subsidizing.

      Instead of scrambling to keep the love of Big Business, Republicans should accept Schumer’s framing: The Democrats are the party of Big Business and Big Government.”

      From another Examiner article:

      “When the Republican Party deviates from its limited-government talk, it’s almost always at the bidding of Big Business. And in these cases Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran almost always sides with Big Business.”

      http://washingtonexaminer.com/thad-cochran-runs-in-mississippi-as-king-of-corporate-welfare/article/2549536

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Right and Left are terms that you oiften seem to use to describe the Republicans and Democrats respectively. That you are now stating that using such terminology is ludicrous is a step in the right (correct) direction.

        • WoozyCanary

          We could probably agree on being against crony capitalism and government collusion in that. We could also probably agree that both parties are culpable. That should be enough.

          At best, shorthand terms are just that, imprecise shorthand terms. I can easily define what i mean when i invoke them.

          The author of the article defines his use of “liberal,” but it’s used in a way that makes it meaningless, because, on a spectrum, the views he attributes to his examples fall much more in the middle of any historical spectrum than toward the “left.”

          The other place we’d probably disagree is that i’m guessing the Tea Party solution to all this would be less “regulation” and more “free market.”

        • nj_v2

          We could probably agree on being against crony capitalism and government collusion in that. We could also probably agree that both parties are culpable. That should be enough.

          At best, shorthand terms are just that, imprecise shorthand terms. I can easily define what i mean when i invoke them.

          The author of the article defines his use of “liberal,” but it’s used in a way that makes it meaningless, because, on a spectrum, the views he attributes to his examples fall much more in the middle of any historical spectrum than toward the “left.”

          The other place we’d probably disagree is that i’m guessing the Tea Party solution to all this would be less “regulation” and more “free market.”

      • JGC

        It is definitely never easy to feel the love for Big Business; that the overwhelming portion of the guarantees go to them is obfuscating the necessity for the guarantees to be in place for the small businesses. GE, Boeing, etc all are holding millions and millions of their profits off-shore to avoid US taxation; it seems clear they could probably “self-guarantee” to obtain bank loans perhaps without too much effect to their bottom line.

        Where the Tea Party is going astray is their insistence on strict free market ideology, so that they would throw Small Business overboard with the Big. They are saying, let the small businesses find and pay for the insurance within the free market system. You would think from this there are loads of insurance companies salivating at a new business opportunity for them. But in fact, I haven’t been able to find any mention of insurance companies lobbying for the dissolution of the Export-Import Bank. This is not a business they seek. It must be sort of like what happened with student loans: when the US government stopped underwriting the private banks’ high interest student loans, the banks got out of the business.

    • JGC

      This is definitely not a straight Democrat vs. Tea Party issue. There are Democrats who also see the Export-Import Bank as disproportionately favoring Big Business, while many (if not most) Republicans, the Chamber of Commerce and small manufacturers associations support the renewal of the Ex-Im Bank mandate.

      http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/headlines/20140706-republicans-disagree-over-closing-export-import-bank.ece

      It seems like 80% of the money available in loan guarantees go to Big Businesses, like Boeing, Caterpillar, etc,…although conversely, 80% of the member businesses participating in these loans are actually very small businesses. Here is a NYT article, “How Small Businesses Really Use the Export-Import Bank”:

      http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/07/how-small-businesses-really-use-the-export-import-bank

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        It seems simple enough to me. We don’t have enough money to provide for our Veterans medical needs, therefore we can’t spend it on sweetheart deals for the K Street Clique.

        • JGC

          From what I have seen, the Export-Import Bank actually operates at a profit, returning somewhere between $1-billion to a tad over $2-billion annually to the Treasury (taxpayer) after all obligations have been met. It’s default rate is in the neighborhood of 0.2%.

          That doesn’t mean there are not any “sweetheart deals” being made, and 4 Ex-Im Bank employees (out of 400) have been charged with improprieties, and like I said below, I think it would be possible for the big players to self-insure with their overseas money to still access financing.

          It seems like much of the Tea Party opposition to the Ex-Im Bank is from the Bank’s roots as a “relic” of the progressive FDR administration. The Tea Party has shown a light on the Crony Capitalism aspect, but the Bank does seem to provide a necessary function for the small and medium US exporting businesses that will not be found elsewhere. For the vets, I could just as easily say some of these smaller businesses are run by or are employing veterans, and the loss of the Ex-Im Bank backstop would have a deleterious effect on their employment.

  • David_from_Lowell

    I am surprised by the lack of caring, concern, and compassion in the general discourse for the tens of thousands of children who are now, here, on our mortal watch, needing our help and love. In Lowell, a father and mother and 3 of their 5 children were recently killed in a huge fire. There has been an overwhelming outpouring of support and compassion for the two surviving children (as well as the other fire survivors), but somehow other children in need don’t seem to deserve the same care. Who will visit them and call for compassion, as the Pope visited the Mediterranean to call for compassion for African migrants? Who will help us prick our collective consciences?

    • hennorama

      David_from_Lowell — I was surprised by the extreme reactions of some as well, although to be fair, many individuals and organizations are providing humanitarian assistance, including the basics of food, clothing, and shelter.

      As usual, good news seldom gets much media attention.

  • hennorama

    The media’s obsession with various possible “Katrina Moments” for President Obama is amusing.

    As I recall, they have previously speculated about all of the following as possible “Obama’s Katrina Moment”:

    Haiti earthquake
    Hurricane Sandy
    BP Gulf oil spill
    IRS
    NSA
    Healthcare.gov website

    Amusing speculation, but ultimately distracting and unproductive.

    • TFRX

      It’s fallen into far less than “amusing”, and at some point one has to ask whether the Jonathan Karls, Dana Milbanks and other “mainstream savvies” are just carrying the water for the right about this.

      Unproductive for whom? For governance? I submit that that’s a feature of the meme, not a bug.

      • hennorama

        TFRX — TYFYR.

        Your points are very well-taken. I suppose that if audiences didn’t respond to such speculation, it would soon die out.

    • HonestDebate1

      It’s funny how you conflate man-made disasters with acts of God.

      • jefe68

        Storms are not acts of God.

        • TFRX

          Wasn’t New Orleans’ “insult to injury” not so much about the storm as the failed levees on top of the storm?

          • jefe68

            Yes.

          • HonestDebate1

            Nah.

          • jefe68

            Go away troll.
            By the way do you just contradict yourself all the time because you have a bad memory? Or is it that your just not capable of honest debate?

          • HonestDebate1

            Do you just holler contradiction for fun?

            I made a brilliant analogy between invasion of Iraq/Katrina and the aftermath/levees breaking. Poor obsessed Brett remembers I mentioned Katrina and Henn just mentioned it so somehow I’m contradicting or something. The comments were unrelated, Brett has no sea what I even said, you’re just doing the troll thing and the schoolmarm is conflating. I’m just on the sideline watching y’alls head’s explode.

          • 1Brett1

            HD1 was just saying last week how New Orleans weathered Katrina just fine, but that it was the levees failing that caused the problems…of course, he was criticizing another liberal commentator using a different angle about a different issue, so it’s okay for him to contradict himself if it means bashing liberals.

          • HonestDebate1

            Contradict?! Alrighty then.

          • HonestDebate1

            Good point.

        • hennorama

          jefe68 — not to mention that I was merely listing media speculations, and not “conflating” anything with anything else.

          • jefe68

            Of course not. HD is looking for ways to cry wolf even when there are none.

        • 1Brett1

          But, but, but, he’s not religious!

          • HonestDebate1

            Who said I’m not religious? But it’s not about me anyway.

          • 1Brett1

            Sorry, HD, I stand corrected; a couple of weeks ago you said: “I am not a Christian.” I suppose that leaves either you’re Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist…or, a Satanist (or some such other pagan religion). Spiritual Humanist? Pick one from the list (although, based on the sum of your comments over the years, I’d say “Christian” is the only plausible probability). I’d bet that you are a secular sort — with no ritualized spiritual practices — but with simplistic Christian beliefs left over from childhood, but that’s just a guess. Around real Christians you probably act as if you’re a not-very-conscientious believer who admires their devotion but, again, that’s also just a guess…I’d also guess your reply to this would be: “don’t tell me what I think!” But, you’ve said you know what specifically causes natural disasters: God (with a capital G). That sounds like a simplistic, Fundamentalist Christian view to me. Sue me.

            Oh, also, re: another comment of yours about obsessions, only those with some kind of mental impairment feel as though others are obsessed with them. Usually, with some type of personality disorder, this sort of egocentrism is present, either that or with an intellectual disability. Sometimes, in rare instances, this is found with brain injuries…Who knows, you could have been kicked in the head by a horse or something; I just don’t know you well enough to make a professional assessment of your personality deficits.

            .

          • HonestDebate1

            The only thing I am is flabbergasted that you care.

          • 1Brett1

            “Concern” would be more the word I would use, as in concerned about your rapidly deteriorating mental state and increasing delusions. Were you kicked in the head by a horse recently?

          • jefe68

            I’m just surprised he did not blame Obama.

        • HonestDebate1

          Are they acts of Allah? Mother Nature?

          • jefe68

            Look it up. It’s not Allah nor Mother Nature.

          • HonestDebate1

            Buddah? Satan? Algore?

    • Don_B1

      A few of the rightwing groupies will find the next $3 million “investigation” of Benghazi to be profitable, if not productive (which is highly unlikely), as they submit their bills for flack time.

  • Jon

    lower down the min wage and lure Americans to do their own dirty job is a crude but effective way to stop the undocumented immigration.

    • Jon

      the nature of capitalism is growth. with it system becomes more efficient and more people get lazy. therefore immigration-in is inevitable.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I will not be pushed around. It’s MY job! Not yours.
    –Barack H. Obama, Federal Employee

  • Yar

    This won’t make the news but it is worth reading, it is a response to a piece on Appalachia in the New York Times. http://www.silashouseblog.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-matter-is-you-dont-know-what-youre.html

  • JGC

    One of the problems with identifying and processing the South American illegal immigrant children at the border, is the wide variety of languages they are speaking. People presume these are all Spanish-speaking individuals, but they are not. The officials have to find translators to communicate in some of these more obscure languages.

    • hennorama

      JGC — just wait until the court proceeding begin. The language problems will be compounded, especially for the very technical legal language, which the interpreters themselves may not understand.

      • JGC

        !!!

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Why can’t we take these children in? Is it too hard?

    Just because there are other children in this country that have problems, how does that justify ignoring the children coming over the border?

    Cancel the F-35 program, and we could buy every one of the kids in this country a house. Cancel the nuclear missile and bomber programs, and put all kids through college.

    • MrNutso

      I don’t know that I would agree to just taking the children in. However, we’re faced with the law of unintended consequences, so the grand standing should stop and we should start working on dealing with the situation in a humane way. Get the kids to a safe and healthy environment, and then start working on returning them to their families.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Sometimes, we just have to do what is required of us.

    • nj_v2

      http://www.commondreams.org/further/2014/07/10-2

      The Most Expensive Warplane in American History Is Too Dangerous to Fly and Just Caught Fire (Again) But They Plan to Spend $1 Trillion On It Anyway

      Last week, just days before its long-planned, much-hyped international debut at a U.K.airshow, the entire fleet of the endless boondoggle known as the F-35 II Lightning, or Joint Strike Fighter, has been grounded after one caught fire on a runway, the latest in a years-long series of disasters almost every time it’s tried to leave the ground. The plane’s current pricetag of $398.6 billion equals a cost of about $49 billion a year since work began in 2006 on a project now seven years behind schedule and estimated to cost over $1 trillion when done. No doubt entirely coincidentally and in no way connected to the fact that the projectis still alive, its maker Lockheed has spread its jobs, suppliers and contractors across almost every state, thus ensuring broad support in a Congress whose members want to keep their jobs. If that doesn’t make you angry enough, here are a lot of cool things we could have done – provide every homeless person with a $600,000 home, feed every hungry child, fund every current humanitarian crisis – with the money.

      • TFRX

        Wow. It makes the Stealth Bomber look like the original WWII Jeep by comparison.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        There is also the farce of actual “bids” to build the F-35. Boeing built a less costly, more efficient, and much less complicated airplane, and they got their prototypes done on time and under budget – and yet the contract was awarded to Northrup Grumman. So all that adds to the cost of this boondoggle …

  • liminalx

    NAFTA, CAFTA and the “drug war” have destroyed the (agrarian) economy in Central American which is why the immigration to the USA legal or illegal

  • nj_v2

    Right-wing regression and jacka**ery of the week, special Texas crazy edition:

    http://crooksandliars.com/2014/07/new-documents-prove-charles-koch-was-john

    New Documents Prove Charles Koch Was John Birch Society Member During Civil Rights Movement

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/07/02/1311234/-Republican-Greg-Abbott-Just-drive-around-to-ask-every-facility-whether-they-have-chemicals?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dailykos%2Findex+%28Daily+Kos%29#

    Republican Greg Abbott: Just ‘drive around’ to ‘ask every facility whether they have chemicals’

    Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, under fire for blocking public access to state records documenting the location of dangerous chemicals, said Texans still have a right to find out where the substances are stored — as long as they know which companies to ask.

    “You know where they are if you drive around,” Abbott told reporters Tuesday. “You can ask every facility whether or not they have chemicals or not. You can ask them if they do, and they can tell you, well, we do have chemicals or we don’t have chemicals, and if they do, they tell which ones they have.”

    (snipped)

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/02/border-patrol-diseases-anti-immigration-myth

    The Mexican ‘germ invasion’ is just the right’s latest anti-immigration myth
    One hundred years ago, the KKK accused migrants of spreading disease. Fox News picked up where they left off

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/lone-star-crazy-how-right-wing-extremists-took-over-texas-20140701

    Lone Star Crazy: How Right-Wing Extremists Took Over Texas
    In today’s Texas, which is falling into the hands of gun nuts, border-sealers and talk-radio charlatans, George W. Bush would practically be considered a communist

    http://thinkprogress.org/progress-report/states-of-denial/

    More Than Half Of Republican Governors Are Climate Deniers

    Here’s what we knew: Scientists are as sure of man-made climate change as they are that cigarettes kill. These changes already cause an increasing likelihood of extreme weather, pose dangerous health risks, and carry steep economic costs to taxpayers.

    Here’s what we now know: Far too many governors, the people who see the impacts of climate change first hand and should be playing a leading role in their state, deny the climate science and refuse to believe that humans play a role in climate change. A CAP Action news analysis finds that of the 29 current Republican governors in the United States, fifteen — more than half — are climate change deniers. A number of others have made no public statement on climate science, have not taken action to address the issue, or have openly objected to federal safeguards that help blunt the impacts of climate change.…

    (snipped)

    http://www.chron.com/news/local/article/Anti-government-citizen-militia-groups-want-to-5604303.php

    Anti-government citizen militia groups want to ‘secure the border’ in Texas

    SAN ANTONIO – A slew of anti-government groups — many of which participated in the standoff at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch — are recruiting armed volunteers to travel to the Texas-Mexico border as a citizen militia to participate in “Operation Secure Our Border,” which aims to stop the surge of immigrants into the country.

    The groups, who identify themselves as “Patriots,” “Oathkeepers” and “Three Percenters,” are using social media, blogs and a 24-hour hotline to recruit and mobilize volunteers that will travel to Laredo, carry firearms and attempt to assist law enforcement agencies on the border.…

    (snipped)

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/Crazy_In_Texas

    THE STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN TEXAS IS NOW THE CRAZIEST IN AMERICA

    If you want to see the clearest symptoms of the prion disease that has devoured the brain of the Republican party, the state Republican party is your Patient Zero. And, before a whole bunch of people in the Beltway media playpen begin minimizing this craziness because it pretty much shatters the whole idea of Both Sides Doing It without which most of those people can’t get out of bed in the morning. This isn’t four guys in camo in Idaho. This isn’t a guy broadcasting on a short-wave from upper Michigan, or receiving the truth about chemtrails and the Illuminati through his teeth. This is the Republican party representing the state from which he got our last Republican president, and one of the biggest states in the Union. This is what it believes, as summed up with realit-based parentheticals by Hendrik Hertzberg at The New Yorker:…

    (snipped)

    • hennorama

      nj_v2 — the item about Republican Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott blocking public access to state records documenting the location of dangerous chemicals, and telling people to “drive around” to find out about chemical storage and use, was ludicrous in the extreme.

      It comes a bit more than a year after the massive ammonium nitrate explosion at the West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas, back in April 2013.

      It’s also inaccurate, as reporters have discovered.

      Also, as reported by texastribune.org (emphasis added):

      The campaign of Abbott’s Democratic rival, state Sen. Wendy Davis, saw it differently.

      “This is nothing more than a pathetic attempt by Greg Abbott to paper over his deeply unpopular decision to keep dangerous chemical locations secret from parents, even when they are blocks from a school,” said Davis spokesman Zac Petkanas. “The standard cannot be them going door to door asking blindly whether this location has the chemicals they’re worried about.”

      Abbott said the law requires private companies to tell citizens within 10 days whether they have chemicals. When asked if that meant citizens had the right to go onto their private property to demand the information, he initially said “absolutely.”

      Abbott corrected himself seconds later.

      “Just to make clear, you may not be able to walk on private property. But you can send an email or letter or notice to anyone who owns any kind of private property or facility, saying that under the community right to know law, you need to tell me within 10 days what chemicals you have,” Abbott said. “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, you are obligated under that law to respond.”

      The law he was referring to, titled “Direct Citizen Access to Information,” is in the Texas Health and Safety Code. It says that certain chemical facilities “shall furnish or mail” the Tier II information within 10 days of a request.

      The law also says that if the facilities get a certain number of repeated requests for the information, the company “may elect to furnish the material to the department,” meaning the Texas Department of State Health Services. Though Abbott has already ruled that the department can withhold Tier II reports, his office said the state would have to fork over information sought under the “direct citizen access” process.

      Abbott indicated that Texans would have to figure out themselves which facilities to ask, but he said people who are familiar with their communities — or places they might want to live — generally know that already.

      Source:
      http://www.texastribune.org/2014/07/01/abbott-ask-chemical-plants-whats-inside/

  • David

    If they are concerned about border resources, why not just open the border with Canada and send all the border patrol south to Mexico. What threat does Canada pose? It is a waste of resources. Have you seen the border between France and Germany? No, because it doesn’t exist.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    The WBUR stream server is balking again this week.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    Sorry if this sounds uncaring, but when people in their own countries can’t control their population growth and send the results to us I don’t believe we should take them in and be responsible for their upbringing. If these children are allowed to remain where does it stop? How many children can we accept? We are not (or shouldn’t be) the worlds policeman, nor should we be the worlds daycare.

    • manganbr

      Because, if err I must, I’d rather say I erred on the side of generosity than stinginess.

      • Steve_in_Vermont

        To often people who espouse “generosity” do so with other peoples money.

        • manganbr

          fine. . . but I’ll still choose that error over the one you’re promoting. I’d rather be judged for that.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      What is the moral thing to do? Does our failed ‘war on drugs’ and shortsighted trade policies have anything to do with our neighbor country’s problems?

    • JGC

      The best solution is to require full employment verification by the employer, with fines and criminal sentences for those who knowingly hire people without status. I don’t see another way than to dry up hiring of illegal immigrants.

      At the same time, there should also be a change in the automatic U.S. citizenship status for “accidental citizens”, children born here who do not have at least one parent who is already an established US person. There are thousands of “accidental” US citizens in Canada and millions around the world who wish a law like this had been in place now that FATCA has kicked in.

      • hennorama

        JGC — various estimates indicate that one-third to two-thirds of undocumented immigrant workers are working in the underground economy, meaning that employer checks of immigration status would have a significant, but incomplete, impact on the impetus to come to the US for economic reasons.

        It might also encourage further increases in underground, informal, off-the-books “employment,” unfortunately.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Look, ugh..ugh.. I want to help these kids ugh and refugees and immigrants. But they’re not bundlers and major fundraisers to my own personal PAC*. So my hands are tied. Otherwise I’d be down at the border lickety-split.+
    –Barack H. Obama, Explainer in Chief

    Barry, you’re doing a heck of a job.

    * Priorities USA Action.
    + Like Michael D. “Brownie” Brown, FEMA

    • TFRX

      “Like Brownie Brown”?

      You’re an old lefty? Sometimes it doesn’t show.

  • nj_v2

    And yet, the craziest right-wingdings still defend these criminals.

    And yet, Obummer initiated no investigation, pursued no charges.

    http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/06/24/14969/search-935-iraq-war-false-statements

    Search the 935 Iraq War false statements

    In a widely-reported study of orchestrated deception, the Center found that President Bush and seven top officials made 935 false statements leading up to the Iraq war — and offer them in a database for all to see.

    Search 380,000 words of every public pronouncement by top Bush administration officials on the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and on the links between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

    Leading the pack, President Bush made 232 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 false statements about Iraq’s connections with Al Qaeda. Secretary of State Colin Powell followed close behind with 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction and 10 about Al Qaeda links.…

    (snipped)

    • OnPointComments

      “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members … It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”
      – Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

      • nj_v2

        Look, it’s the Hillary troll. One minute, she’s useful to the troll because she criticizes Obama, the next, she’s a co-conspirator with Bush.

        • OnPointComments

          “Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime … He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation … And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction … So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real…”
          – Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

          • nj_v2

            A troll can only troll.

            http://thinkprogress.org/security/2005/11/11/2517/iraq-intel/

            Bush Resurrects False Claim That Congress Had “Same Intelligence” On Iraq

            In his speech today, President Bush claimed that members of Congress who voted for the 2002 Iraq war resolution “had access to the same intelligence” as his administration. This is patently false.

            Nevermind that much of the intelligence offered to the public and to Congress was inaccurate and misleading, or that according to the Downing Street memo and other documents, such intelligence was likely intentionally “fixed.” It is simply not true to state that Congress received the “same intelligence” as the White House:

            FACT — Dissent From White House Claims on Iraq Nuclear Program Consistently Withheld from Congress:

            [S]everal Congressional and intelligence officials with access to the 15 assessments [of intel suggesting aluminum tubes showed Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program] said not one of them informed senior policy makers of the Energy Department’s dissent. They described a series of reports, some with ominous titles, that failed to convey either the existence or the substance of the intensifying debate.” [NYT, 10/3/04]

            FACT — Sen. Kerrey: Bush “Has Much More Access” to Intel Than Congress:

            Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE), ex-Senate Intelligence Committee vice chairman: “The president has much more access to intelligence than members of Congress does. Ask any member of Congress. Ask a Republican member of Congress, do you get the same access to intelligence that the president does? Look at these aluminum tube stories that came out the president delivered to the Congress — ‘We believe these would be used for centrifuges.’ — didn’t deliver to Congress the full range of objections from the Department of Energy experts, nuclear weapons experts, that said it’s unlikely they were for centrifuges, more likely that they were for rockets, which was a pre-existing use. The president has much more access to intelligence than any member of Congress.” [10/7/04]

            FACT — Rockefeller: PDBs, CIA Intel Withheld From Senate:

            Ranking minority member on the Senate Intelligence Committee Jay Rockefeller (D-WV): “[P]eople say, ‘Well, you know, you all had the same intelligence that the White House had.’ And I’m here to tell you that is nowhere near the truth. We not only don’t have, nor probably should we have, the Presidential Daily Brief. We don’t have the constant people who are working on intelligence who are very close to him. They don’t release their — an administration which tends not to release — not just the White House, but the CIA, DOD [Department of Defense], others — they control information. There’s a lot of intelligence that we don’t get that they have.” [11/04/05]

            FACT — War Supporter Ken Pollack: White House Engaged in “Creative Omission” of Iraq Intel:

            In the eyes of Kenneth Pollack, “a Clinton-era National Security Council member and strong supporter of regime change in Iraq,” “the Administration consistently engaged in ‘creative omission,’ overstating the imminence of the Iraqi threat, even though it had evidence to the contrary. ‘The President is responsible for serving the entire nation,’ Pollack writes. ‘Only the Administration has access to all the information available to various agencies of the US government – and withholding or downplaying some of that information for its own purposes is a betrayal of that responsibility.’” [Christian Science Monitor, 1/14/04]

            FACT — White House Had Exclusive Access to “Unique” Intel Sources:

            “The claim that the White House and Congress saw the ‘same intelligence’ on Iraq is further undermined by the Bush administration’s use of outside intelligence channels. For more than year prior to the war, the administration received intelligence assessments and analysis on Iraq directly from the Department of Defense’s Office of Special Plans (OSP), run by then-undersecretary of defense for policy Douglas J. Feith, and the Iraqi National Congress (INC), a group of Iraqi exiles led by Ahmed Chalabi.” [MediaMatters,11/8/05]

          • OnPointComments

            “[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.”
            Letter to President Clinton, signed by:
            – Democratic Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others, Oct. 9, 1998

            “Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”
            -Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

          • nj_v2

            That’s right, lame, partisan troll. Now jump to earlier in time before the inspections program had determined there were no WMD.

          • jefe68

            That’s how trolls roll and cajole.

    • hennorama

      nj_v2 — President Bush II is #1 !!

  • manganbr

    Because of term lengths, the house of representatives seems like an ideal place to have single issue driven elections, rather than elections based on the opposition between the totality of party platforms. Given the polling in support of immigration reform including some kind of amnesty, there must be a number of independents and moderate republicans who would vote for pro-reform candidates but do not vote for democrats because of the full totality of what democrats represent. So why doesn’t the democrats’ national committee chair say: let’s focus this election entirely on single issue x (say immigration, or energy, etc) and make a campaign pledge to the public to work exclusively on major legislation on that issue, and promise not to alter the status quo on any other issues. Then in two years, the public can decide again whether to leave in or throw out the candidate based on the next issue, and whether or not they kept the campaign promise. Now, maybe this idea of spending two years on a single issue sounds ridiculous, but honestly how much legislation has the congress passed in the last 6 years that has produced an actual law signed by the president? One major issue tackled every two years would be an immensely more productive rate of legislation than what we’re getting in the currently deadlock.

  • MrNutso

    Re: Spying on Germany

    We’re trying to get some soccer scoring pointers.

    • TFRX

      I’d like that more except that the USMNT already has a German coach, and a dual-citizen who has made the (literal) once-in-a-lifetime choice to play for the USA rather than Germany.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Tune in; turn on; pay drug taxes. Dude!

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Is the marijuana usage tax deductible on the 1040? {state and local taxes often are}

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The “goal” of the German world cup team is to eliminate Argentina. On Sunday. Coverage starts at 3pm EST on ABC.

  • pszabo

    can we expect that guy to make $40,000 worth of potato salad and give it to those in his community who are going hungry? Yes, the kickstarter page was a mild amusement, but how would he be viewed if he simply kept all of the money given to him?

    • Matt

      The onus is on the individuals giving money to potato salad initiatives instead of charities. He should put a down payment on a house and name it Potato Salad.

    • J__o__h__n

      Other people have made much more money for less work.

  • M S

    Angie should know by now that the U.S. Government is never to be trusted.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The Germans should hang both spies. After all, the USA had nothing to do with it.* Put it on BBC so we can all watch it.

    * Official response of US was to say nothing.

    • hennorama

      HLB — obviously, “to say nothing” is far different than “[having] nothing to do with it.”

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Why don’t we just ask them?
    –Tom Ashbrook

    The question of the century.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Check your knickers, Angela. That’s not a butterfly: it’s an Obama drone!

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Look. If I gave a damn about my government — I’d give a damn about my government.
    –Barack H. Obama, Innocent Bystander

  • OnPointComments

    The smidgen grows ever larger. From last Friday’s afternoon information dump by the Obama administration:

    Lois Lerner, less than two weeks after the IG announces its investigation of the IRS: “I had a question today about OCS [Microsoft Office Communications Server]. I was cautioning folks about email and how we have had several occasions where Congress has asked for emails and there has been an electronic search for responsive emails–so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails. Someone asked if OCS conversations [the IRS instant messaging system] were also searchable–I don’t know, but told them I would get back to them. Do you know?”

    Reply from Nanette Downing: “…OCS messages are not set to automatically save…”

    Lerner: “Perfect.”

    Only the most naïve among us can believe that Lois Lerner, pleading the 5th to avoid self-incrimination, and concerned that emails and instant messages might be read by the Congress, was the recipient of a fantastic turn of fate that destroyed the very hard drive containing the emails about which she was worried.

    • hennorama

      OPC — Ms. Lerner’s repetition of the usual advice to employees (“we need to be cautious about what we say in emails”) is hardly news.

      How do you interpret Ms. Lerner’s one-word reply — “Perfect” — which could easily have a number of meanings, such as:

      -Thank you for your quick response.
      -Perfect. I’m glad I don’t have to “[caution] folks about OCS.”
      -Perfect. One less hassle to worry about — having to produce all those messages for those stupid committees.
      -Perfect. The incriminating IMs I’ve sent to everyone, directing them to investigate and harass only conservative applicants, aren’t stored anywhere. Phew! I thought I was gonna go to jail there for a second.

      -Perfect. The fact that there’s not one smidgen of evidence of corruption will drive the Congressional Republicans insane with speculative thoughts about what might have been contained in those unstored IMs.

      • OnPointComments

        I find your decision on where to parse Ms. Lerner’s statement to be mildly amusing. I doubt your decision to omit “we have had several occasions where Congress has asked for emails” was accidental. Ms. Lerner’s concern was that the Congress, charged with oversight of the IRS, might see all of the “responsive emails–so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails.”

        I interpret her one-word reply, “Perfect,” as “The incriminating IMs I’ve sent to everyone, directing them to investigate and harass only conservative applicants, aren’t stored anywhere. Phew! I thought I was gonna go to jail there for a second.” Think again, Lois, you still might be going to jail.

        Isn’t it odd that liberals have claimed for months and months that the IRS has given the Congress everything that it requested, yet month after month more information dribbles out.

        • hennorama

          OPC — TYFYR.

          “responsive emails” are those that are “responsive” to the requests from Congress. That doesn’t necessarily mean that said EMs are in any way nefarious, but merely that they fit the criteria.

          If Congress doesn’t make a request, should the IRS officials try to read their minds, and give them “unresponsive” information?

          This “cautioning folks about email” is similar to how virtually any entity would respond if they were suddenly subjected to outside investigation. It’s a reminder of what virtually every large organization tells their employees about their electronic communication systems — that they aren’t private, and shouldn’t be used for sensitive and/or confidential topics. It’s only natural to remind and/or “caution” employees about the very human tendency to forget these simple facts.

          BTW, the fact that “…OCS messages are not set to automatically save…” does not mean that none of them are saved. Individuals could opt to either Save my instant message conversations in the Outlook Conversation History folder, or save individual IM sessions to their local hard drives.

          This is similar to how Ms. Lerner had saved some important emails to her own local hard drive, which were unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately) lost when the hard drive crashed.

          Thanks again for your response.

          • OnPointComments

            A congressional investigation is not an “outside investigation.” It is analogous to a company’s board of directors asking for information. I have no doubt that if it was discovered that somone working in a private company advised its employees to hide information from the company’s board, that person would be fired immediately.

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFYR.

            Of course a Congressional investigation is an outside investigation, as in from outside the IRS.

            Your comment strongly implies that you believe Ms. Lerner “…advised … employees to hide information…”

            Please correct any misinference, and if the inference is correct, please explain your implicit conclusion, and what it is based on.

          • OnPointComments

            As RWB said above, your response truly strains credulity. The Congress is the entity charged with oversight over the whole of the IRS, and the Congress is not an outside entity. Give us an example of an IRS email that you believe the IRS is entitled to keep from the Congress.

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFYR.

            Congress and the IRS are not the same, therefore Congress is “outside” the IRS. Kinda simple, no?

            Please respond to my prior polite request, to correct any misinference, and if the inference is correct, to please explain your implicit conclusion, and what it is based on.

            Again, you misunderstand and mischaracterize my words. Implicit in your response above is that you infer that I “believe the IRS is entitled to keep [emails] from the Congress…”.

            Such inference is false (other than with respect to those that might contain confidential taxpayer information, or that otherwise are required to remain confidential within the IRS and/or are “eyes only” so to speak, of course).

            Please explain how you might infer that I “believe the IRS is entitled to keep [emails] from the Congress…,” assuming you are able, of course.

          • OnPointComments

            I wonder what would happen if a subsidiary was told that it had to have an outside audit to get a loan, so it had another subsidiary conduct the “outside” audit. The borrowing subsidiary better be at the Bank of Hennorama for that logic to pass.

            You’ve defended Lerner’s statement multiple times in which she recounts cautioning employees about writing emails that the Congress (again, Congress is charged with oversight of the IRS) might see. Her advice is specific as to one entity, the Congress. You describe this advice as “usual.” I disagree.

          • hennorama

            OPC — thank you for your response, and for confirming my inferences.

            No, I have not “defended Lerner’s statement multiple times…” I have merely provided multiple possible interpretations of the single, limited exchange. I don’t know what was meant, and neither do you.

            The difference is that you believe that you know what was meant.

            The iRS is part of the Executive branch of the Federal government. Congress is the Legislative branch. Therefore, as I have stated multiple times, an investigation of the IRS by Congress is an outside investigation.

            If it was, say, the DOJ investigating the IRS, then conservatives/Republicans/TEA Shindiggers would be screaming that “It’s an inside job!”

            Again, kinda simple, no?

            One might interpret the quoted email exchange in the way you do, but your interpretation is only one possible meaning, as you have tacitly acknowledged. What’s at play in your commentary is that your assumption is showing.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Your response truly strain credulity. I find it unfathomable that you can not see this grotesque abuse of governmental power for what it is. Such corrupt political games should have no place in our Republic.

        • hennorama

          RWB — TYFYR.

          How is “cautioning folks about email” and/or a question about storage of IMs, a “grotesque abuse of governmental power…”?

          • OnPointComments

            Imagine that you are the sole owner of a company, and as such you are the only person with oversight over everything that happens within your company. You discover that your high-level supervisor has cautioned her subordinates, your employees, about the content of their emails because you, the owner, might see what they have written. Further, the high-level supervisor expresses relief that you won’t be able to see what the employees are saying in instant messages. When you ask your high-level employee to explain, she pleads the 5th and refuses to answer.

            What would be the fate of this supervisor in your company? Would you have any skepticism about anything else the supervisor has said or written?

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFYR.

            It is not unusual for employees to be cautioned about the content of their emails. In fact, it’s pretty much standard practice, and is likely somewhere in the employee handbook of every major US employer, and of many other employers, regardless of size.

            Your scenario above is only one of many possible interpretations of the single email exchange you’ve quoted, as you have tacitly admitted by not disputing other interpretations put forth about a single word. You have now characterized that single word as “express[ing] relief.”

            As such, a response to your scenario would acknowledge your narrow single interpretation as being valid.

            My mind is nowhere near that closed and narrow, so no response will be forthcoming.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • OnPointComments

            You consistently omit that Lerner’s caution to the employees was specific: “I was cautioning folks about email and how we have had several occasions where Congress has asked for emails and there has been an electronic search for responsive emails.” Despite Lerner’s limited admonition, you assume that surely she must have warned them about other requests too, although you have no evidence to support the claim.

            If nothing should be withheld from Congress, as you said below, why caution employees about writing something that Congress might see?

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFYR.

            No, I assume nothing whatsoever. I have merely provided multiple possible interpretations of the single, limited exchange.

            On the other hand, your comments imply that you have assumed that this exchange shows some nefarious intent.

            One also can’t help but point out that if someone was truly concerned about things that might be discovered from emails or any other form of electronic communication, and are aware of requests for said electronic records, it seems kind of unlikely that they would communicate some nefarious intent via email.

            Or is that just evidence that Ms. Lerner is some sort of evil genius, that she would use this email exchange as a way to deflect suspicion, as in, “She’d be crazy to send an email like that if she was really trying to hide something”?

            As to your question: it could be for just about any reason:

            “Remember, Congress is paying a lot of attention to our emails, so don’t use emails to talk about:

            -your date last night
            -confidential taxpayer information
            -the last movie you saw
            -how we’ve been screwing conservatives
            -Beyonce

            etc., etc., etc.”

            People get complacent about emails, so a good old-fashioned reminder is useful now and again.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • HonestDebate1

            Obama has you just where he wants you.

          • OnPointComments

            Since email usage became commonplace, I have had business relationships with hundreds of sole proprietorships, private companies, public companies, governments, and nonprofits. I have read many business policy manuals, memos, and correspondence, and I have never — not once — read an admonition to employees to be cautious with emails because the owner or someone with oversight authority within the entity might read the email.

            Do I think Lerner had nefarious intent? Absolutely, based on the evidence that has been uncovered. She has lied about the targeting and her role in the targeting from the very beginning. Numerous of her emails prove that she had a pivotal role in directing that conservative organizations be targeted. “Tea party matter very dangerous…,” this could be the vehicle to overturn Citizens United, “Cincy should probably NOT have these cases,” “perhaps the FEC will save the day,” “we need to be cautious so it isn’t a per se political project.” It doesn’t sound much like a couple of rogue agents in Cincinnati, does it? Her emails also prove that she is pretty stupid when it comes to what she puts in writing in an email.

          • IHateFatChicks

            We call that transparency, you half-wit of a simpleton. They are supposed to be “public servants” and acting accordingly. US District Judge Sullivan is appalled and angry as well and he will get to the bottom this or jail someone for contempt of court. Read the story.

          • hennorama

            LoatherOfLargeYoungPoultry — thank you for yet another example of your poor reasoning and venomous screeds.

            Seriously, well done.

          • IHateFatChicks

            No, it’s call transparency, moron. It’s how the government is required to function, imbecile. Judge Emmet G. Sullivan is a Clinton appointee. Just an FYI.

            “A federal judge has ordered the IRS to explain “under oath” how the agency lost a trove of emails from the official at the heart of the Tea Party targeting scandal.

            U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan gave the tax agency 30 days to file a declaration by an “appropriate official” to address the computer issues with ex-official Lois Lerner.

            The decision came Thursday as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, which along with GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill has questioned how the IRS lost the emails and, in some cases, had no apparent way to retrieve them.”

            You wear your partisanship and stupidity like a badge of honor. Moron.

          • hennorama

            LoatherOfLargeYoungPoultry — thank you for yet another example of your first grade playground level of commentary.

            I reject your elementary ad hominem remarks as invalid in their entirety.

            Your comment is unrelated to the ideas n this thread, about “cautioning folks about email” and/or a question about storage of IMs, and/or a “grotesque abuse of governmental power…”

            Reading comprehension is seemingly also on a first grade level for you.

            Well done, truly.

          • IHateFatChicks

            How ironic, you fat, ignorant slob. I present sourced facts and empirical data and you bloviate, like the moron you are. :)

          • hennorama

            LoatherOfLargeYoungPoultry — thank you for yet another example of your first grade playground level of commentary.

            I reject your elementary ad hominem remarks as invalid in their entirety.

            Next time, try to be On Point.

          • IHateFatChicks

            It must get cold in your trailer in the winter. Just how much do you receive in disability and welfare, monthly? :)

          • hennorama

            LoatherOfLargeYoungPoulty — your silliness seems unlimited.

            I reject your invalid comments in their entirety.

            Expect no further responses.

      • HonestDebate1

        Ms. Lerner’s repetition of the usual advice to employees (“we need to be cautious about what we say in emails”) is hardly news.

        The hell! The message from the top should be write it all down, leave a verified paper trail, be completely transparent and serve the American people. If you think that is to much to ask, no demand, then you are part of the problem.

        • OnPointComments

          It is damning that Lois Lerner’s advice to “folks” on emails mentions only one entity about which she is concerned: Congress. Not FOIA requests, not requests related to lawsuits from outside individuals, but only requests from Congress, the entity charged with oversight of the agency.

          • hennorama

            OPC — that’s nonsense.

            You have absolutely no way of knowing, based on that single exchange, whether or not Ms. Lerner had previously or subsequently mentioned “FOIA requests, … requests related to lawsuits from outside individuals …,” or any of a number of entities that might be interested in the IRS’ internal electronic communications.

          • OnPointComments

            Since the IRS has provided all of the emails from Lois Lerner, point us to the ones where she is concerned about any entity other than the Congress seeing IRS internal electronic communications.

          • hennorama

            OPC — thank you for your response.

            Your request is absurd. Prove the negative, that she did not express any such concern.

            Best of luck, since there is something of a gap in the timeline of Ms. Lerner’s emails, making your premise about “all of the emails” rather obviously false.

      • IHateFatChicks

        Yes, there is. You’re delusional, and incredibly stupid, myopic and have you lips locked to bum of 1 political party. Unlike you I realize that both sides have a lot of issues and I don’t defend every Democrat, or Republican, and I voted for Obama. Grow up.

        • hennorama

          LoatherOfLargeYoungPoultry — thank you for once again demonstrating your lack of intelligent argument, and a lack of command of the English language.

          “Yes, there is” is a meaningless response, as are your simplistic ad hominem comments.

          Well done, truly.

          • IHateFatChicks

            An ironic comment coming from someone with no education, unemployed and who thinks the sun shines out of Obama’s posterior. You’re a half-wit of a simpleton.

          • hennorama

            LoatherOfLargeYoungPoultry — thank you for your tacit agreement with my comment.

            I reject yours as invalid in its entirety.

            To call your comment “juvenile” is an insult to young people everywhere. Your words are on the level of first grade playground banter.

            You might do well to return there.

          • IHateFatChicks

            Half-witted simpletons like you are factually, intellectually and logically challenged. Enjoy poverty due to your lack of education and no employment prospects. You’re pathetic.

          • hennorama

            LoatherOfLargeYoungPoultry — thank you for yet another example of your first grade playground level of commentary.

            I reject your elementary ad hominem remarks as invalid in their entirety.

            Perhaps a first grade course in reading comprehension will serve you well.

          • IHateFatChicks

            I’d recommend you go f V k yourself since, clearly, no one else has or will. :)

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Barack H. Obama = the big winner in this week’s news!
    All without doing a damn thing.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      At least you are an equal opportunity cynic. But just spouting cliches undermines your credibility.

      • Matt

        Maybe he’s just trying to get his own show on MSNBC or FOX. So far, so good.

  • skelly74

    An objective view of the Israeli and Palestinian bloodbath, without the bias of being a Jew or Muslim, or a religious supporter of Zion, or a political supporter of the U.S.; observes a bully state, with a powerful ally, continuously expanding it’s settlements on the little land that the Palestinians have remaining, under a police state and biased Israeli law, totally one-sided military might, outclassed in material wealth and comforts, and possessing the same hate and contempt for each other.

    • OnPointComments

      I’ve read and seen many reports of Israel’s immediate investigation of the killing of the Palestinian teen and the arrest of the alleged perpetrators. I haven’t seen any reports of a Palestinian investigation into the killing of the 3 Israeli teenagers, but I have read many reports that Arabs celebrated the murder of the Israeli teens.

      • skelly74

        I’m glad Israel is showing some civility and “arresting and questioning” suspects.

        It would be even better if they stop defying the international community and start abiding by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 446 which maintains that it is illegal to settle Palestinian and Arab occupied lands, which according to the international community, is the most pressing factor disturbing peace.

        I don’t see many reports in the media covering the continuous settlement of Palestinian lands by Israelis, which has been a catalyst for war throughout history.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Why do the Palestinians continue to fight?

      • skelly74

        If you don’t know why they continue to fight, you don’t know history.

  • chgessner

    The Obama administration badly needs some “gravitas” in the White House. There is no oversight or management process in sight. All key players are either academicians – with no management skills – or political operatives only interested in the optics. No planning beyond the news cycle is apparent. President/Professor Obama thinks once he has delivered a speech/lecture on a topic, it is time to move on. Thus we have the Dreamers speech producing tens of thousands of children on our southern border, and the administration is surprised. We have dumbed down the electorate and they have delivered a dumbed down White House.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      The fact that President Obama is beginning to address anthropogenic climate change proves you wrong, I think.

    • OnPointComments

      From the looks of this graph, he should have anticipated that the border problem was coming.

      • HonestDebate1

        Which begs the question: Is this what he wants? Is he devious or incompetent… or both?

        • jefe68

          Bottom feeding again…

        • nj_v2

          ^ Thus demonstrating another point of ignorance—not knowing what “begs the question” means.

          • HonestDebate1

            My comment is clear, it means what t implies. Do you think Obama should have seen this coming?

        • RolloMartins

          So you’re saying he shouldn’t work to execute the law as passed by Congress and signed by Bush? If Congress –which could also see the problem coming–wants to it could pass a law tomorrow. But don’t blame them, blame the president, because that just makes so much more sense (yes, sarcasm).

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t think I blamed anyone. I am wondering if this is the desired result.

  • njcs

    This president is useless and the demo party is being hijacked by those people who advocate illegal immigration. What about the poor girls live in India, Palestinians in Gaza, Arabs in Syria, Iraq, and not to mention hundreds of thousands of children in the turmoil region of Africa! They may be separated by ocean now, but I’m sure they will take their journey if they believe they’ll be accepted in the US. And there are hundreds of millions of them all over the world! This would destroy the America and turn it into where they come from, which defeats the sole purpose of coming here, and the willingness of those to fight their own country for the sake of a better live of their children!

    • OnPointComments

      How many children have died after being placed with the coyote human smugglers? How many bodies were left in the desert? What cruelties and abuses have the children had to endure in their trek to the U.S. border?

      The reason why the U.S. doesn’t negotiate with terrorists is because negotiation encourages the terrorists to do it again. When U.S. policy encourages Central American parents to believe that smuggling their children into the U.S. is an alternative, it makes the U.S. complicit in whatever happens to those children as they cross the desert in the hands of the coyote smugglers.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        How is this President Obama’s fault? Human smugglers in other countries are not at the the President’s beck and call.

    • RolloMartins

      And what does that have to do with Obama? He has acted to deport many more illegals than any other president, but he has a responsibility to act in accord with the legislation that Congress passed (and Bush signed). Why are you saying this is Obama’s fault?

  • njcs

    There’s no solution as long as Israel occupy the land and Palestinian still have the wish to fight. Israel should stop thinking they can care for the Palestinians and make peace with them. This is Nation Building, and it will follow the rule of all human history: kill your enemy till they stop fighting, take their land, and throw them a conservation camp if they wish. And for the Palestinians, fight till your last men, or accept the reality like what the Native American did. And look, maybe it’s not a bad ideal to live with/under a rich Israel after all.

    • Arkuy The Great

      The Native American tribes have found their quite lucrative niche selling cheap booze, tax-free smokes and a variety of other vices to Americans with loose purse strings. They do NOT want to go back to living off the land, that’s for sure!

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Who are you to speak for native Americans?

        • OnPointComments

          Maybe “Arkuy The Great” is the nom de plume of Elizabeth Warren.

          • nj_v2

            Maybe you’re a troll.

          • jefe68

            It’s just the Friday Morning Right Wing Coffee Kvetchers club. They can’t help themselves.

        • Arkuy The Great

          I’m nobody. I’ll let their own actions speak volumes. Those casinos and resorts did not build themselves!

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            So, you can look into their souls, then? Did native Americans get a cushy deal, in your opinion?

          • Arkuy The Great

            I refer you to my comment above; “They took an adverse situation, found an edge and worked it successfully.” Feel free to interpret that any way you wish but I think it is pretty clear all by itself.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Yeah, okay. We essentially committed genocide – but you think they’re okay because they have some casinos and tax free shops.

          • Arkuy The Great

            So you would rather the casinos and resorts closed and they be forced to live off the land again?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Can you at least try and not be condescending and arrogant? I am quite sure that native Americans would be much happier if we just went back to Europe.

          • Arkuy The Great

            Just as surely as all the blacks want to go back to Africa. The status-quo-ante is no longer an option for everyone.

      • nj_v2

        ^ Blames the victims. Pathetic.

        Lemmie guess, you’re a middle-aged white guy.

        • Arkuy The Great

          Victims? Hardly. They took an adverse situation, found an edge and worked it successfully. They are to be praised!

          Yes I am a MAWG. And that matters because….oh, I get it, you want me to “check my privilege” or some other such classist, racist nonsense.

    • William

      Well, yes, in war there is a winner and a loser. The Arabs that attacked Israel in 1948 lost. In 1967 when the Arabs attacked Israel again, they lost again. When you go to war you need to expect to pay a price if you lose. Israel has tried land for peace and that has not worked. Even Bill Clinton could not get the Arabs to agree to a peace deal where they go 90 percent of what they wanted.

      • RolloMartins

        Not so simple. Every leader of Shin Bet has stated (you can rent the documentary, The Gatekeepers) since Israel’s founding agrees that Israel has to renounce the treatment of the Palestinian people, how the country has illegally poached land and mistreated the citizens. This needs to be stated plainly and a policy of fairness and justice finally acted on.

        • William

          It’s a double edge sword. The idea of land for peace failed so what’s next? I would suggest a cooling off period where Hamas and the other terrorist organizations cease their attacks and renounce violence. Until then, why trust them?

  • tbphkm33

    This sums it up well – and by the way, it is not anti-Semitic to be against the state of Israel and be ashamed that U.S. tax dollars are funding the Israeli military.

    • OnPointComments

      I’m ashamed the U.S. provides $400 million to a government in which Hamas, which the U.S. government says is a terrorist organization, has a part.

      • tbphkm33

        I agree, lets cut the $400 million – at the same time, lets cut the $6+ billion in military, social and indirect aid the Israelis receive from Washington, D.C. on a yearly basis.

    • William

      Is it not more humane to use sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to attack terrorists?

      • tbphkm33

        One persons “solider” is another person “terrorist.” Reality is in perception – most the the world sees Israel and its paymaster, the United States, as the “terrorists” attacking a civilian population.

        Reality is, Israel does the United States no favors, nor does ignorance amongst conservative war mongers in the U.S.

        • William

          Israel while not being perfect is a much better nation than the various Arab countries that attack it. Hamas? Really? Those are people you would trust?

          • tbphkm33

            LOL – that is an idiotic and unsupportable statement, how do you rate “a much better nation…?” I’m sure in your xenophobic mind it is, but to someone else, Israel is a horrible place.

            Lets not forget, for years, Israel was one of the key allies of the Apartheid regime in South Africa. In many ways, Israel to this day is an “Apartheid” regime itself. Forcing the Palestinians onto ever smaller slum reservations on their own land, to build luxury housing developments for Israeli’s.

    • Arkuy The Great

      This is the same Noam Chomsky who denied the existence of Khmer Rouge killing fields in Pol Pot’s Cambodia, even when presented with irrefutable evidence of a million murdered. I’ll pass on this war-criminal sympathizer’s “expert opinion”.

      • tbphkm33

        Typical conservative tactic – attack the messenger instead of the message.

        • Arkuy The Great

          Typical liberal tactic – “Respect my authority!” No, I do not respect Chomsky’s authority nor his anything-else.

          • Imran Nasrullah

            Rather than conduct an ad-hominem attack against who he is associated with, refute the assertion itself. Truth is, Chomsky is right on the Palestinian issue, regardless of the correctness of the khmer rouge.

          • Arkuy The Great

            An assertion does not need to be disproven. The burden of proof is on the one making the claim. And a litany of scurrilous accusation does not proof make. OTOH, I can understand why his claims might be attractive to you and that you are inclined to accept them regardless.

  • HonestDebate1

    Obama’s approval rating is up to 72% but there’s a catch.

  • pm05

    Obama photo op at the border!!! As other commentators have said what signal would that send to have the President of the United States “greeting” these children? What is wrong with your commentators who can’t see this would be a propaganda photo – for the people sending these children here AND for Republicans (for obvious reasons) !!!

  • pm05

    You seem to have a very very hyper commentor. Maybe he could get his emotions under control? That would help the discussion. And, he could stop the “attacks” ! Thanks!

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    “More than a smidgen”

    “What was in these OCS communications that Lerner wanted to keep from Congress? ”

    “Perfect” — Lois Lerner

    “These facts lead to one conclusion: Lois Lerner and other top IRS officials were desperate to keep information on the targeting of conservative groups from Congress. ”

    Where is the special prosecutor? Time to get the IRS IT folks under oath.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/more-smidgen_796400.html

    • joy13

      Actually the only group that was actually audited by the IRS was a liberal group, I’m not sure why the idiots keep forgetting that.

      • jefe68

        It’s in their best interest to do so.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Where do you get your ‘facts’? And who are the “idiots” to which you refer?

        The “True the Vote” founders were audited personally — and not just by the IRS but by several Federal agencies.

      • OnPointComments

        Unlike the conservative nonprofits that were targeted amidst IRS speculation of who they prayed to or what books they read, the liberal nonprofit that was denied 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status was Emerge America. Emerge America plainly states that its purpose is to train women to run for office in the Democratic party, requires its members to also be members of the Democratic party, and states that its goal is to increase the number of Democratic women in office — clearly and unequivocally political activity, and clearly and unequivocally not qualified for 501(c)(4) status.

        No one ever claimed that the IRS stopped its routine review of all applications other than those submitted by conservative organizations.

    • hennorama

      WftC — do you agree with Mr. Hayes’ assertion, “that Lerner wanted to keep [these OCS communications] from Congress?”

      There’s nothing about “keep[ing anything] from Congress” in the email from Ms. Lerner that Mr. Hayes cites. Ms. Lerner simply asked if Nanette Downing knew if OCS messages were also searchable. From Mr. Hayes opinion piece (emphasis added):

      Someone asked if OCS conversations were also searchable–I don’t know, but told them I would get back to them. Do you know?

  • marygrav

    Jack Beatty needs to remember the plight of The Saint Louis sailing from American port to American port and then having to return back to Europe to join the 6 million. The Latin American children’s plight is the fault of the United States and its mad hunt for Communist. Since the early 20th century the US imperialism has bled South America of any freedom and true democracy. Stephen Kinzer in The Brothers makes this quite evident. Read the history of Haiti to truly understand the banality of evil that has defined US foreign policy and how easy it is to forgive our own errant behavior.
    Rick Perry is too stupid to understand that President Obama is obeying the laws of the United States. If Perry wants the law changed, he has to phone Eric Cantor to tell him to get his House in order. Only gouls like to hang around and take photo ops of people suffering. Toni Morrison has said that white American like to admire the havoc they have cause so that a sense of superiority builds up in them. Once they see this, they become compasionate. This is the sickness that Perry represents.
    Instead of sending John Kerry over to establish a Two-State Solution which will never come into being as long as a Right-wing last, Obama should send him to South America and explain that there was a limitation in that “YOUR PARENT HAD TO HAVE BROUGHT YOU PHYSICALLY INTO THE UNITED STATES BEFORE THE AGE OF 17!” A child cannot enter the US on its own and be a “DREAM CHILD.”
    Americans want immigration reform. T-Party/GOP don’t want to do anything that President Obama wants to do regardless of who it affects. They hold themselves together by racism no matter the cost to the country. Even though we are facing a ROUND-UP crisis that threatens the food supply, they are still prejudiced agains the only force that can “walk the beans.” Sounds off subject, but listen to Tom’s show on Monsanto.
    The US has never been willing to take their fair share of refugees. It has never cared about the benefit of children. The only time it needs them is to fight the wars that protect the interest of the 1%. Thise so-called Illegal Immigrants will help make up the armies of the future to fight the forever wars egged on by the Trostkyist Neocons.
    Netanyhu is only carrying on the tradition of destablizing andy effor at a Two-State Solution. But if I were he I would be more afraid of the latest enemy that he and his Right-wing government has created: ISIS. When Hama is destroyed what boogie men will take its place. This is how the West was about the USSR. An enemy like that is prayed for in the age of stateless terrorism.

    • Gary Clement

      Well said! Totally agree.

    • RolloMartins

      Kudos, esp. for the plug for Stephen Kinzer’s book. It is a real education on what really goes on in the imperial presidency.

  • skelly74

    They fight because of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 446 which states that Israel is illegally settling occupied Palestinian and Arab lands. The continuous expansion into Palestinian land is probably the sole reason that peace has failed.

    If you need to ask why anyone would continue to fight to maintain what is legally theirs then you need to ask yourself: would you fight for your own property, your own well-being?

    Are they supposed to not fight because they don’t have the military might or the protection of the most powerful military in the world?

    You must not understand history my friend.

    • Jacob Arnon

      S. Kelly, is given us a distorted and antisemitic view of the conflict.

      The Jews did not “steal” Arab land. Had the Arabs not stated three wars of aggression and lost there would be no conflict today. All the Arabs had to do was accept the original UN Partition plan.

      Those countries that launch wars of aggression like Germany in 1939, like the Arab League in 1948, like Egypt, Jordan, and Syria in 1973 can’t complain when they lose the wars and some of their territory.

      S Kelly is giving us the antisemitic view of the Arab Israeli conflict.

      • tbphkm33

        Oh yes, the old “if you don’t agree with us, you are antisemitic.” Well, Israel is a very xenophobic and racist place. Israeli’s are anti-Muslim.

        No, the rest of the world can be against the state of Israel without being labeled antisemitic.

        • brettearle

          Even though you’ve been known to say, “Jews”, instead of the State of Israel, in your comments?

          C’mon, Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s watch the pro-Jew, anti-Israeli Left Winger, wrangle his way out of that one….

          Let’s watch his words, very carefully–so carefully….that he might event greet my comment, here, with complete silence…because of his COWARDICE.

          • tbphkm33

            DO NOT put words in my mouth, “breattearle” – I challenge you to find any comment I have ever written where I used the word “Jews.”

            Jews are followers of a religion, not the citizens of a state.

            It is ignorant comments like yours, designed to inflame, that showcase how irrelevant you opinions really are.

          • brettearle

            LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, LET’S SEE IF…

            tbphkm33

            HAS THE GUTS TO KEEP POSTED HIS COMMENT OF 7/7 ON THE FORUM:

            “How ironic the world is…

            - last week we saw Christians in the United States attempting to impose their religious beliefs on The People via the Supreme Court;

            - we saw random vigilante violence by Jews against a Palestinian teenager”

            And Brett Earle’s response at the time:

            “Now just why would you want to show your blatantly injudicious bias–by IGNORING the MURDER of 3 Israeli teens that spawned the outrageous vigilante violence by Israelis?

            “YOU DON’T EVEN BOTHER TO MENTION IT.

            “Not only that, but referring to such Israeli Thugs, as Jews, and not Israelis–only fuels the sense of Ethnic Conflagration. You make reference to Palestine, then you refer to Jews. You don’t refer to Israel, instead of Jews. If you were to say Arabs and Christians, representing Palestine, then that would be different. But you don’t.

            “There IS a difference–especially in the way that you are generally, and specifically, displaying your woeful–and I mean woeful–narrow-mindedness.

            “I am NOT parsing ANYTHING here–based on the way YOU are reporting this. This is NOT splitting hairs, my friend…”

            AT THE TIME, MY COMMENTS WERE GREETED WITH COWARDICE.

            TRANSLATED, SILENCE.

            THE ONLY REASON tbphhkm33 RESPONDS HERE IS BECAUSE HE CAN’T HANDLE THE LABEL OF COWARDICE.

            EVEN THOUGH THE SCUFFED, CHEAP LEATHER SHOE FITS.

            Can you believe that Ladies and Gentlemen?

            tbphkm33 says the following JUST ABOVE MY COMMENT HERE.

            HE SAYS,

            “I challenge you to find any comment I have ever written where I used the word “Jews.”

          • tbphkm33

            … and in the citation you use, were not those arrested for the murder of the Palestinian youth Jewish?

            In fact, they were found because the day before, they had been “hunting” the same area for a Palestinian victim.

            Was their vigilantism not in fact based specifically upon utilizing ethnicity and perceived religious affiliation in choosing their victim?

            Is it then not correct to use the words:

            “we saw random vigilante violence by Jews against a Palestinian teenager”

            — In all of this, how does it make me “anti-Semitic?”

          • brettearle

            [1] Where have I said that the anti-Israeli Left Winger is an anti-Semite?

            Where?

            I have said,

            “C’mon, Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s watch the pro-Jew, anti-Israeli Left Winger, wrangle his way out of that one….”

            Isn’t that what you have said that you yourself are?

            Or is it that you judge each Jew, based on who and what he or she is?

            And then you go on to the next Jew and base your judgement on that particular Jew?

            C’mon…..you can tell us….

            Isn’t that the way it’s done?

            TELL us! Tell us HOW you do it!

            [2] I would also argue that tbphkm33′s latest version of the comment above,

            “I challenge you to find any comment I have ever written where I used the word “Jews” in a derogatory manner.”,

            may be an edited version to cover his blatant bias.

            Unfortunately, we can’t retrieve the earlier iteration.

          • jefe68

            No need. you’re putting the words there yourself.

        • Jacob Arnon

          The world can be against Israel, of course. But it can’t be against Israel and not be antisemitic. (I am not even going to answer your ignorant comment that Israel is and anti Muslims place. Any one familiar with the Jewish State knows that there are Muslims on the Supreme court there as well as many Muslim judges and Muslim Arabs in the Knesset. Even here you show yourself to be a Jew hating bigot.)

          You tbphkm can be against Jews but you are antisemitic

          Why would and antisemite like you object to being called a Jew-hater?

          You should be proud of what you are.

          • tbphkm33

            … and “Jacob Arnon” illustrates my point to a tee. You cannot, in fact, argue against the actions of Israel without fanatics like Jacob Arnon and Breattearle quickly labeling you as “anti-Semitic”.

            I have in fact great respect for the Jewish faith, religion and history. Simultaneously, I have great disrespect for the State of Israel – the political entity that oppresses the Palestinian people.

            There is no cause more unholy than the powerful utilizing their power to suppress the weak.

            Jacob Arnon and Breattearle quickly resort to labeling those who do not agree with their narrow views of the world. Even in the face of reality that if they label me as “anti-Semitic,” they in fact have to use the same label for countless Jewish citizens of the State of Israel who do not agree with the ultra religious right wing hijacking of the politics of that country.

            In that sense of the word, it seems I am in good company being labeled by at least two fanatics, as “anti-Semitic.”

            P.S.: Jacob Arnon, stating that Israel is not anti-Muslim because it has Muslims on the Supreme Court, Muslim judges and Muslim Arabs in the Knesset; is akin to arguing that one is not a racist, simply because one has a token black friend.

          • Jacob Arnon

            Ah yes, Jacob Arnon illustrated the Jew haters point. tbphkm33 single point is that Jews are evil that they deserve to be hated, deserve to be exterminated, etc. etc.

            Other than this he has nothing to say.

            In any case, if you look at the Arab world it’s not the Jews who are murdering and oppressing the Arabs: from Algeria in the 1980′s were hundred of thousands of Muslims were killed by other Muslims, to Egypt and Libya where the governments have been executing tens of thousands of Muslims, to Syria were the Arab government has been gassing children and killing tens of thousands of Sunni Arabs and driving millions into exile. (I am not going to bring in Iraq or Iran or Turkey).

            In fact Israel is the only country in the Mideast were Arabs are treated with respect.

            IN all the wars between Arabs and Israelis since 1948 only about a hundred thousands people died, if that many. This over a period of more than half a century.

            More than that died in Syria in one week.

            But tbphkm33 the Jew hater wants to blamer all the ills in the world on Jews.

            Frick you you Nazi!

          • jefe68

            No the fanatic is you. Jacob was level headed. You, not so much.

          • jefe68

            Name one Arab nation that has Jews in any government position. Go ahead, make my day…

        • jefe68

          You need to check your comments pal.

          As a Jew, and one how is very critical of the Israeli government, I find your comments to be not only offensive, but Anti-Semitic. This has been trendy in some left wing circles, complete with the rigour Keffiyeh scarf.

        • brettearle

          Me thinks the Israeli hater doth Protest too much…

        • tbphkm33

          Below is a sad exchange, where pseudo-intellectuals resort to name calling the messenger instead of an honest debate of the issues raised.

          I truly feel sorry for the millions of Palestinians, herded into confined reservations on their own land by fanatics the likes of “breattearle”, “jefe68″, and “Jacob Arnon”.

          Israelis make the charge that their is no reasoning with their fanatic enemies, but reality is that Israel is composed of equally fanatical elements.

          It does the the reputation and security of the United States no good to, in the eyes of the world, be seen as the colonial masters of Israel.

      • skelly74

        Yes Arnon, if the Arabs only accepted the partition plan… But they never accepted the plan and tried in vain to legally fight it. The Balfour Declaration has been studied and revealed as a pro-Zionist attempt by Great Britain to pander to powerful Zionist in positions of influence in the west. Certainly, the Jewish applauded the declaration and the ultimate partition plan, even though they were disappointed that the plan did not specify that Jewish state boarders encompass the “historical land boundaries” that were lost in the constant and historical fight for occupation of that land.

        Since the “Great Britain” partition mandate of Palestine, to the subsequent U.N. authority in 1948, many resolutions have been passed. It is a fact that Israel has chosen to ignore specific resolutions, like most states in positions of power frequently do.

        As an objective observer, I find the modern historical context of that land, to be artificially created, under geo-political and economical agendas, resulting in a climate of violence and an ironical a la carte approach to international legal intervention.

        If history is a proven indicator, the region will be a contested battleground, but hopefully eventually the weapons will be red tape and punitive action.

        • Jacob Arnon

          Antisemitic Kelly is back.

          I have said all I am going to say to you.

          I don’t talk to Jew haters.

          Go join, some Arab army if you want to kill more Jews.

        • Jacob Arnon

          “As an objective observer,…”

          That’s a laugh, you an objective observer.

          SKelly is more of a pro Islamic Jew hater.

    • brettearle

      Your true feeling is if Israel complied with the resolution that all would be forgiven by Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad–and all 3 factions and all other Islamic Militant Groups would put down their arms and swear allegiance to ISRAEL’S RIGHT TO EXIST?

      Do you have any idea how naive a notion that would be, if that’s what you believe?

      Can you NOT see how fatuous your point is?

      • tbphkm33

        How about PALESTINE’S RIGHT TO EXIST???

        Or at least the right to be free of Israeli oppression.

        • brettearle

          Often, on this Forum, I make that ABUNDANTLY clear.

          And I can prove it.

          You….do….not….know…..what…..you
          ….are….talking….about

  • RolloMartins

    Is it a moral blight (to send the kids back)? Definitely.

    • joy13

      Agreed, RolloMartins…

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Boehner sez: “He’s been President for 5 1/2 years! When is he going to take responsibility for something?”

    Translation: “We’ve been trying to pin something on President Obama for 5 1/2 years! And we are still failing?”

    • brettearle

      Boehner should go back to the Tanning Salon, where he belongs.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.

        • brettearle

          You wouldn’t wish that on the Salon?

          He owns a chain of them. Didn’t you know?

          • TFRX

            I don’t even know if you’re kidding.

            Well played.

          • brettearle

            What you said, hands a high compliment to any satirist. And I’;m a satirist.

            Thanks.

    • OnPointComments

      Liberal translation: He’s only been president for 5-1/2 years! How dare you say that this administration is responsible for anything!

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        President Obama is responsible for many things. Nobody is denying that. Boehner says that, but he’s talking out of both sides of his mouth. He takes dozens of hopeless votes to stop Obamacare, and then he sues President Obama because he didn’t implement it quickly enough.

        Boehner will be thrown out of court. He will have wasted taxpayer money – again.

        I find it quite odd that you want to blame him for everything, and then accuse him of being imperial.

        Which is it? You cannot have it both ways.

        • dust truck

          Don’t be so sure about it being thrown out of court, this could be an issue that could be heard by the Supreme Court since it’s two branches of government against each other. The real question to ask is what does Kennedy think of it?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            It is *half* of one of the three branches of government. And it doesn’t go straight to the Supreme Court.

            Boehner should try and impeach President Obama if he feels he has a case. That is the way it is supposed to be done.

  • joy13

    As to Israel and Hammas. There’s a common definition of insanity when you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. I’m not sure what they are expecting (either side) but it’s getting so tiresome to see this happening over and over again, that I don’t even want to hear about it anymore. These folks need to stop this crap.

    • brettearle

      You’re right.

      But why bother even pointing this out?

      Even if they wanted to stop, both sides feel that they won’t and can’t.

      It’s an endless, intractable conflict, based on centuries’ strife.

      How’reya gonna stop that?

      You’re not.

      We can’t face the Truth and I will be blamed for being the messenger of Bad News:

      Both sides are at fault AND…

      There is NO practical solution.

      • OnPointComments

        I think you’re right.

      • tbphkm33

        WOW, what a grandiose rationalization of doing nothing. what a dangerous justification for accepting the status quo.

        It is in fact narrow minded thinking like this that has condemned this intractable struggle since the introduction of the Zionist Movement in the late 19th century.

        Yes, it is a fallacy that this has been going on for “centuries.” For hundreds of years, between the Christian Crusades and the Jewish Zionist Movement, the land known as Palestine hosted the three main Western religions in coexistence. Yes, even during the time the region was part of the Ottoman Empire.

        • brettearle

          Your Light of Weak optimism is based on all of Israel’s surrounding enemies, and potential enemies, leaving Israel alone–if Israel were to give Mahmoud Abbas everything he wanted.

          Do you have any idea how naive that is, if you actually believe it?

    • Fredlinskip

      Netanyahu immediately on learning of the missing teenagers spoke of “grave consequences”.
      Israelis would have their “revenge” regardless- and they have through beatings and killings of Palestinians.
      Israel “leaders” DID NOT have to crank up the rhetoric-
      They could have treated it like a CRIME- LIKE IT WAS
      and quietly gone after the perpetrators.
      This is what COULD HAVE been done different differently so as not to perpetuate the insanity.
      So we will now have another generation of hate and violence -this was Israel’s choice.
      Israel’s view is clear- Palestinians are subhuman and will be treated that way.
      Sort of reminds one of German view of Jews in WWII.

      • brettearle

        Israel arrested the alleged killers of the Palestinian teenager.

        You left that out….

        • Fredlinskip

          perhaps they should have attempted to arrest the alleged killers of the Jewish teenagers before declaring “Intifada” and going on a U.S. backed murder spree with U.S. weapons?

          Early on they CLEARLY would have had help from Palestinian government as they did in locating the bodies of the teens.
          They chose the course they always have-
          of escalation, total stupidity- and destruction “because they can”.

          • brettearle

            Are you aware that there was no such attempt of arrest by the Palestinians–which was the original incident that prompted the escalation?

            Can you cite a chronology that points to a delay of arrest by the Israelis?

            The next we know, we’ll hear that Israel was simply looking for an excuse…

          • jefe68

            You’re wasting your time.

          • brettearle

            Yes and No.

          • OnPointComments

            They not only didn’t attempt to arrest the alleged killers of the Jewish teenagers before declaring Intifada, their terrorist soldiers and citizens celebrated the murders.

  • Cacimo

    Youssef’s analysis is completely off base. The situation in Israel does not underscore what a hard job Kerry had. Things were relatively calm and Kerry went over and stirred tensions up with no real plan. Now we are seeing the results. Then her defense of the US spying on Germany was surreal. She sounded like a paid Obama administration spokesperson. Kidding – I realize that as a member of the media she feels it is her duty to defend Obama.

  • Fredlinskip

    I THINK I HAVE SOLUTION TO ISRAEL SITUATION!!

    Palestinians are killed in various incidents by Israelis throughout the year, sometimes by “stray” bullets along the “border”.
    The next time this occurs, I wonder if it might be wise for America to drone attack the homes of possible suspects in Israel-You know- wipe out a few dozen, kill a couple hundred Israelis to make a point.
    We could call the homes first, “This is Sam”.

    Then next time perhaps Israel would be a little more hesitant to immediately ratchet up the rhetoric, then decide to murder hundreds, injure thousands, over the acts of a couple #^*#+’s.

    Israel could have treated the murders of the teenagers as a crime- which it was;- they would have had cooperation of Palestinian government.

    Now they have perpetuated HATE for yet another generation.
    Do you truly think that Palestinians are going to be in their heart more ready to reconcile after you kill their people?
    Would you? It’s human nature.
    Hate begets hate.

    • William Hedrick

      The real tragedy is that this is a two way street. Hamas is intentionally baiting the Israelis in the hope they will do exactly what they’re doing- killing civilians. It’s not a mistake or a lapse in judgement that places the safe houses in residential neighborhoods, that’s by design. It’s kind of the reverse of suicide bombing. It’s all about commanding world media attention and throwing the light of inhumanity on the Israelis when in fact the government of both states are equally culpable of putting the citizenry of both states in harms way.

      This conflict needs to be resolved, and it won’t be by the Israelis and Palestinians. It’s time we went in with a coalition of nations and fix the kerfuffle we created in 1947. You can’t create a state by destroying another. The existence of Israel, without a corresponding Palestinian state, is inherently untenable. Although we hear about Hamas calling for the annihilation of Israel, the exact same sentiment, unvoiced publicly by officials, exists in the Knesset and the administration of Netanyahu. It’s time we let Israel fight it’s own battles and quit exacerbating the situation for domestic political gain.

      • Fredlinskip

        My argument is that Israel, instead of “shooting first, and asking questions later” could have made greater effort to find the perpetrators of the crime.
        If they had gotten nowhere and received no cooperation from Palestinian Authority in an investigation, then they might exercise other options.
        Someone needs to eventually show some humanity in order for resolution of the conflict between the states. Think of how much MORE international support they may have received if they had waited until “dust settled” a bit before leveling houses and blowing people to bits.

        You’re “coalition of nations” suggestions is a good one- why should it be all about he U.S.
        Don’t know about Hamas “baiting Israel” to kill citizens. I assume they love their children just like most other folks.
        I even have some sympathy for the “Hamas refusal to accept existence of Israel” argument in that, people need to recognize that the Jewish people “reclaiming their ancestral homeland” involved disenfranchising a whole lot of other inhabitants.
        This does not mean you can’t negotiate with a Hamas-led government- you negotiate peace with your enemies.

        • William Hedrick

          That Hamas is using civilians deaths to turn public opinion is a well documented reality. What do you think suicide bombers do? Indiscriminate rocket attacks? Certainly Palestinian mothers and fathers love their children, but for political and military strategists they’re simply either collateral damage or an asset. Also, don’t apply the same morality to Islamic or other cultures as you find in America and the West. It’s apples and oranges. First of all, women, full grown or little girls, are culturally disposable. Stoning is still a very common punishment, as is maiming for crimes like petty theft. The world changes quickly when you leave the borders of the U.S. of A.

          • Fredlinskip

            For some odd reason I mistook your “killing civilians” statement to be referring to the use of Palestinian civilians as “shields”- so when Israel retaliated, innocents would have to die.

            Point taken about cultural differences, but I’m not so sure it’s fair to paint such a broad swath over the whole Palestinian society.
            It’s akin to painting all of Russian society as “Evil” during the cod War.
            .
            Palestinians options seem to be fairly limited.

            (Hey and just a word of caution you probably don’t require- but any attempt at “discussion” with Honest Debate often degenerates into much circular reasoning- and then absurdity.)

          • William Hedrick

            That’s exactly what I’m saying. It’s not new information- the Israelis actually give warnings out a day ahead of bombings unless they’re targeting a specific individual. Yes, they’re using innocents as human shields, but it’s as much a statement of the frustration and futility of oppressed people in an occupied society than a statement of moral depravity. That being said, if you’ve not traveled there be careful how many parallels you draw between the morals and social constructs of other cultures. We’re all human beings under the skin, but different cultures and societies see things VERY differently. For example infanticide in female children is very common in much of Asia. Look up the stats. Life isn’t held in nearly as much regard elsewhere as it is here. You need to really think about the social dynamic involved in suicide bombing. Strapping a bomb to your child is not a Western concept.

          • Fredlinskip

            I confess my views of reality are highly influenced by my experience of living in a very affluent society, which during my lifetime offered much opportunity for growth in any direction I put my ambition to.
            I can’t imagine living in one of the most crowded areas on Earth (Gaza), or in rural China, with very little opportunity or exposure to education.
            It’s like speculating, how I might turn out if I was born in an inner city and was a racial minority. Would I have risen above it?
            Would I have lived a life of quiet dignity in Gaza- or would I have decided that life was so meaningless and oppressed that I would have attempted to act out against perceived oppressor.
            I certainly would hope I wouldn’t reach a level of depravity enough to strap a suicide bomb to my child.
            Would I have considered the possibility of strapping such a device to myself and gone out like a Japanese suicide pilot if it meant that I would receive 16 virgins in the afterlife- none of which were capable of getting pregnant?
            Whose to say.

          • William Hedrick

            Exactly. When the only weapon one can find to fight a tank with is a rock, more outrageous methods become more reasonable.

  • harverdphd

    Another day of comments proving Snowe and Daschle don’t have a prayer.

    • brettearle

      If they were Tea Partiers, they’d have a prayer…

      Get it?

      • HonestDebate1

        I don’t get it.

        • brettearle

          You got me on that one.

          Maybe I should retract it.

          Or better yet, dwell on it.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m just saying religious issues are not the domain of the Tea Partiers. It seemed to me you were trying to make that implication, that’s all.

        • brettearle

          See, Look, Gregg, My Idol Bailed Me Out, Again!

          Imagine That!

          And there are aren’t even any Encoded Acronyms connected to this, at all!

        • nj_v2

          ^ Epitaph nomination

          • HonestDebate1

            Okay, that was funny.

      • hennorama

        brettearle — “if they were Tea Part[y]ers, they’d have…” A Prayer Test, or State Prayer.

        If yannowutimean.

    • jefe68

      Yeah, and you seem part of the problem pal.
      I don’t see anyone on the left wanting to sell off park lands like Ted Cruz has. This man is in my opinion to lowest form of political animal.
      The right seems to me to be about intolerance, belligerence, and appealing to greed and nothing more.
      Conservatism has been hijacked by the tea party extremist. Which is an ideology you seem to personify.

  • HonestDebate1

    So now ISIS has seized Hussein’s chemical weapons and his uranium. What could go wrong?

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Saddam had WMD? How did ISIS find it, when the US could not?

      • HonestDebate1

        Yes he had WMD, ask the Kurds. Now it’s in the hands of ISIS.

        • William Hedrick

          Bullshit. Even the IRC inspectors determined he didn’t have WMD’s. Go drink your koolaid.

          • HonestDebate1

            Don’t hate me because I’m right.

          • William Hedrick

            Oh, I believe in live and let live, whether you’re from the left or right. What annoys me is ignorance, and yours appears to be complete.

          • HonestDebate1

            Nah, but I am an idiot.

            To be precise, we know he did have them. We know when Israel took out his nuclular capability he was farther along than anyone imagined. We know we removed 500 tons of yellowcake a long after Hussein was dead and forgotten.

            And now ISIS has one of his chemical factories (see OPC’s link above). They say it’s doubtful that ISIS can reconstitute but what else are they going to say? The latest is they have nucular material. Of course they are playing that down too. It’s just food for the low information crowd.

            http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/10/isis-just-seized-a-bunch-of-uranium/

            So there’s that.

          • William Hedrick

            Gosh! A CNN reference- are you going to Wiki me next? We’re talking about prior to our invasion- when Bush was looking for WMD’s. I’m sure you’re right that the information is designed for the “low-information crowd”- it seemed to find you rather quickly.

          • William Hedrick
          • HonestDebate1

            “Bullshit. Even the IRC inspectors determined he didn’t have WMD’s. Go drink your koolaid.”

            That’s what you wrote. It was wrong. The CNN reference was right as your fact checker confirmed. The infamous 16 words about Niger were correct.

            This stuff in the hands of ISIS is a real problem. Get better news sources and think a little.

          • William Hedrick

            You have to read more than the headline. The material had been confiscated and was accounted for after the Gulf War in 1991. It was not in contention as a WMD. Here’s the part you chose not to read:

            “The AP article, published on July 5, said that a large amount of yellowcake uranium was, in fact, sold by Iraq to Canada, as part of a secret mission facilitated by the U.S. But this uranium was known to have been in Iraq following the conclusion of the first Gulf War. It was not “found” in 2003, as the IBD editorial claims. As the AP article said, “There was no evidence of any yellowcake dating from after 1991, [a senior U.S. official] said.”

            July 5 marked the completion of the operation in which the United States removed 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium from Tuwaitha, the facility that once served as the center of Iraq’s nuclear activities.The uranium was then shipped to Canada. Cameco Corp., a Canadian uranium producer, bought the material and plans to enrich it, before selling it to nuclear plants worldwide. According to Cameco’s Web site, yellowcake uranium, or uranium oxide, is uranium that has been milled and mined but requires further processing before it can be used as a fuel.

            The transfer of the uranium involved stops in Baghdad and Diego Garcia, a U.S. military base in the Indian Ocean, as well as 37 military flights, before it finally arrived in Montreal. Securing and transporting the uranium cost the U.S. military nearly $70 million, which Iraq has pledged to partially reimburse. While the exact price Cameco paid for the uranium is unknown, a senior U.S. official told the AP that the deal was worth “tens of millions of dollars.”

            The details of the transaction have been kept secret. By the time the AP reported the incident, the mission had already been underway for months. In a July 7 press conference, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that the secrecy was due to “security concerns.” U.S. officials worried the uranium might end up in the wrong hands if kept in an unstable region like the Middle East.”

            Sources

            Crossette, Barbara. “Hussein Delivers a New Ultimatum on U.N. Inspectors.” New York Times. 18 January 1998.

            Murphy, Brian. “AP Exclusive: U.S. Removes Uranium from Iraq.” Associated Press, 5 July 2008.

            Press Release: “President Delivers State of the Union.” 28 January 2003. White House Web site. Accessed 30 July 2008.

            Rubin, Alyssa J. and Campbell Robertson. “U.S. Helps Remove Uranium from Iraq.” The New York Times, 7 July 2008.

            “Saddam’s Nukes.” Investor’s Business Daily, 7 July 2008.

            Transcript: CNN’s The Situation Room, 7 July 2008.

          • HonestDebate1

            I understand that. WMD was showing up all over the place is dribs and drabs after the invasion.

            The headline is “GWB lied about WMD”. that is as far as you got. Forget the fact everyone and their brother said the same thing. Forget that Bill Clinton made regime change in, Iraq because of WMD, American policy. Forget the inspectors were booted out in 1998. Forget UN res. 1441. Forget the 15 other cited justifications for war. Forget all of that, just read the headline.

          • nj_v2

            ^^ All bullsh*tt all the time.

            Congress didn’t have access to the same intel as executive.

            (http://thinkprogress.org/security/2005/11/11/2517/iraq-intel/)

            No mention of invasion and occupation in Clinton policy.

            Inspectors weren’t “booted out.”

            (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2011/02/rumsfelds_flight_of_fancy_on_i.html)

          • HonestDebate1

            C’mon man. Do you really think I can’t obliterate the “booted out” thing you poo poo? I know all the details, counter-claims and nuances. I said “booted out” on purpose for easy pickin’s from ideologies like you. I know what your argument is. This is all so last decade.

            Here’s the thing, Hussein was a threat, the war was justified and righteous, the value of a sworn enemy turned ally in the heart of the Middle East was a serious prize essential to national security, it’s all now thrown away and the terrorist are winning. Here we are.

          • jefe68

            “the war was justified and righteous”…
            How retro, lets bring back the Crusades.

            The rest of your comment is nothing short of neo-con nonsense.

          • William Hedrick

            Wow- that must be some mind-blowing kush you’re smoking there. Got any for sale?

    • OnPointComments

      AP THE BIG STORY
      IRAQ: ‘TERRORISTS’ SEIZE EX-CHEMICAL WEAPONS SITE

      http://bigstory.ap.org/article/iraq-says-terrorists-seize-chemical-weapons-site

      The Islamic State extremist group has taken control of a vast former chemical weapons facility northwest of Baghdad, where remnants of 2,500 degraded chemical rockets filled decades ago with the deadly nerve agent sarin are stored along with other chemical warfare agents, Iraq said in a letter circulated Tuesday at the United Nations.

      • nj_v2

        I’ll repeat the above excerpt for the slow learners:

        [[ The last major report by U.N. inspectors on the status of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program was released about a year after the experts left in March 2003. It states that Bunker 13 contained 2,500 sarin-filled 122-mm chemical rockets produced and filled before 1991, and about 180 tons of sodium cyanide, "a very toxic chemical and a precursor for the warfare agent tabun."The U.N. said the bunker was bombed during the first Gulf War in February 1991, which routed Iraq from Kuwait, and the rockets were "partially destroyed or damaged."

        It said the sarin munitions were "of poor quality" and "would largely be degraded after years of storage under the conditions existing there." It said the tabun-filled containers were all treated with decontamination solution and likely no longer contain any agent, but "the residue of this decontamination would contain cyanides, which would still be a hazard."

        According to the report, Bunker 41 contained 2,000 empty 155-mm artillery shells contaminated with the chemical warfare agent mustard, 605 one-ton mustard containers with residues, and heavily contaminated construction material. It said the shells could contain mustard residues which can't be used for chemical warfare but "remain highly toxic."… ]]

        • HonestDebate1

          Relax, the bulk went to Syria and are being well used. Putin is on it though so no worries.

    • nj_v2

      ^ Trolling disinfo alert!

      [[ The last major report by U.N. inspectors on the status of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program was released about a year after the experts left in March 2003. It states that Bunker 13 contained 2,500 sarin-filled 122-mm chemical rockets produced and filled before 1991, and about 180 tons of sodium cyanide, "a very toxic chemical and a precursor for the warfare agent tabun."The U.N. said the bunker was bombed during the first Gulf War in February 1991, which routed Iraq from Kuwait, and the rockets were "partially destroyed or damaged."

      It said the sarin munitions were "of poor quality" and "would largely be degraded after years of storage under the conditions existing there." It said the tabun-filled containers were all treated with decontamination solution and likely no longer contain any agent, but "the residue of this decontamination would contain cyanides, which would still be a hazard."

      According to the report, Bunker 41 contained 2,000 empty 155-mm artillery shells contaminated with the chemical warfare agent mustard, 605 one-ton mustard containers with residues, and heavily contaminated construction material. It said the shells could contain mustard residues which can't be used for chemical warfare but "remain highly toxic."…]]

      http://bigstory.ap.org/article/iraq-says-terrorists-seize-chemical-weapons-site

      • HonestDebate1

        I don’t get your point. Are you confident ISIS is no danger? OPC already posted the link.

  • Dzintra

    On the children from Central America: remember the wars that the US fueled in El Salvador, the coup in Guatemala and subsequent US supported dictators there and the coup against the leftist Honduran President, Zelaya, that the US tacitly condoned? The US owes consideration to the people from these lands because it was so involved in their countries’ history. We are not innocent bystanders in the Western Hemisphere by a long shot.

    About the Israeli/Palestinian conflict: When Hamas stops the rockets, Israel will stop the attacks. Moreoever, if the Palestinians have the whole world behind them for getting their own state, why is not the Kurdish long struggle to have their own state ignored, even sabotaged by the US?

  • davecm

    When will we Americans wise up to the immigration scam!
    Obama and justice dept.will not enforce existing law.
    Democrats will not do anything because they want amnesty and more democratic voters.
    Repubs. want enforcement of borders and existing laws enforced.
    American public is still playing the “we win you lose game”.
    The parents of these children (only 10% are really kids, mostly are from 13 to 30) figure their kids will be absorbed into America and then they and the rest of their family will come to America, wake up people.
    America is the number 1 desired place immigrates want to come, some 130 million of them in one survey.
    We cannot take care of the worlds people.
    Watch this video and see the dangers of our unwise immigration policies.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPjzfGChGlE

  • davecm

    DOD Sends ‘Pink Slip’ Letters to Soldiers Fighting in Afghanistan.
    Telling our troops they will not have a job when they get home, if they make it.
    ‘DOD state budget cuts.
    Why don’t we send the illegals back and use the money for our own people!!!!!!

    • hennorama

      davecm — do you think it woud be better to withhold the information, and simply spring it on servicemembers when they return from an overseas deployment?

      “Welcome home, soldier. Please pack your stuff and leave immediately.”

      Reductions in defense spending have to come from somewhere, sir, and longer notice is better for planning and job search purposes.

  • Lawrence

    Obama should pay the 2 billion he says is needed to stem the tide of illegal immigrants. It was during his last campaign that he needed the all important Latino vote when he declared amnesty for illegal aliens.

    What the heck did he expect? Cause and effect. Didn’t they teach him that at Harvard?

    • hennorama

      Lawrence — yeah, except that never happened.

      You’re seemingly as uninformed about US immigration policy as many of the recent immigrants on the US-Mexico border.

      • Lawrence

        You fail to point out any inaccuracies because there are none.

        And I quote Obama: President
        Barack Obama

        “We are not going to ship back 12 million people, we’re not going to do
        it as a practical matter. We would have to take all our law enforcement that we
        have available and we would have to use it and put people on buses, and rip
        families apart, and that’s not who we are, that’s not what America is about. So
        what I’ve proposed… is you say we’re going to bring these folks out of the
        shadows. We’re going to make them pay a fine, they are going to have to learn
        English, they are going to have to go to the back of the line…but they will
        have a pathway to citizenship over the course of 10 years.”

        • hennorama

          Lawrence — thank you for your response.

          You wrote (emphasis added), “It was during his last campaign that he needed the all important Latino vote when he declared amnesty for illegal aliens.

          That, as I wrote, never happened, as your “evidence” indicates.

          1. President Obama did not “declare amnesty,” and in fact that word does not appear in your “evidence.”

          2. The proposal the President described has never come to pass.

          Thanks again for your helpful response.

  • StilllHere

    Obama drew another red line, only to cave yet again under minimum pressure.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      What does this even mean? Is it code, or something?

      • jefe68

        Code for meaningless dribble.

  • davecm

    Obama’s approval rating is 72% among Muslims,
    They must like the direction he is taking our nation.
    The other 18% are disappointed he hasn’t completed the fundamental transformation of America.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Are these the same pollsters who said Romney would win in a landslide? Basing your opinion on polls is not going to work out for you.

      • davecm

        In a recent poll, it showed people wished they had voted in Romney.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Yeah, a poll. Just like the polls that showed Romney would win … Taken by someone. Answered by someone. Meaningless.

          The GOP is defunct. They have imploded. They are eating their young. They cannot even admit to reality; and they ignore facts. They deny science. Romney is baggage.

    • hennorama

      davecm — does part of this so-called “fundamental transformation of America” involve your fundamental transformation of arithmetic?

      You’re short 10 percent for your so-called “The other,” sir.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard
  • Potter

    Susan in Newton (caller) justifies the bombing and killing of innocents ( women children old people etc) in Gaza because Hamas is hiding targets amongst civilians. Where are they supposed to go anyway in this locked closet? In a war situation civilians there are blaming Israel for the damage- which looks from photos- horrendous disproportionate and cruel as well as unnecessary. Hamas gains in popularity and has the support of the people for firing back and emotions on both sides, irrationality, runs high..

    Certainly this is not something we should be supporting.Obama has had many chances to be stronger about Israel ( for it’s own good) and refuses. Especially disappointing is our refusal to join UNSC resolutions critical of Israel while at the same time Israel violates our own principles. And so Netanyahu continues on his path of destruction- destructive to Israel as well. All this, the photos, is now going around the world. They were demonstrating even in Indonesia in solidarity with the Palestinians who are seen as fighting occupation- something that Susan in Newton is deaf to apparently.

    • Jack

      Of course, if the IDF went in with boots and conducted house to house searches for munitions, people would be criticizing them as well. So Israel should do nothing, then? But, even that would’t be good enough for many because Jews don’t get killed that way.

    • JONBOSTON

      As Netanyahu said , Israel uses missiles to protect its people while Hamas uses people to protect its missiles. Hamas is a terrorist group that wants collateral damage in order to further its political gains. Disgusting barbaric behavior enabled by commenters like yourself.

  • HonestDebate1

    Chicago is forecasting record low temperatures this week due to the polar vortex. This global warming is going to freeze us to death.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Not that most folks would notice but it was also the coldest antarctic June EVER recorded => -34.9C . The weather station has been in place since 1956.

      • HonestDebate1

        I am wondering if this polar vortex is from the South Pole since it is now winter there. I speculated that might happen and it would be nice if to did. This is nice.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          I don’t know about the cause or the relationship to the antarctic but highs of 70F and lows in the 40s sounds quite pleasant. Big deal if you have to skip a few days at the water park.

    • John Cedar

      When I was a kid I worked in the high crime area of our little city in what was known as the “two man area”.. Cold temperatures would reduce the crime and violence. So this is just what democrats need to lower those record number of shootings in the land of banned guns.

      • HonestDebate1

        What’s not to like?

  • Coastghost

    One other missed item from the week’s news: the Federal Centers for Dissemination of Coronaviruses and Pathogens freshly announced that yet another case of mishandled contaminants has surfaced: the latest incident to be announced was revealed ONLY six weeks after it occurred. (This is not the first or the second case to be announced this year, only the latest.)
    Why is it and how is it that the loose Federal management structure Americans see exhibited clearly in the Obama Presidency is trickling down to and manifesting itself in poor management practices across several separate and distinct Federal bureaucracies? How is it that Obama’s poor Presidential performance is beginning to afflict Federal agencies across the board? (public health, national security, border security, foreign policy, defense policy, ACA debut, IRS politicization, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera: we could even cite one other news item that vanished in the blur of the week’s news cycle, of Federal dispensation and distribution of hundreds of billions in unnecessary or unlawful benefits since 2008.)

    • HonestDebate1

      Great points, it is overwhelming. Could Obama really be this incompetent? Is he really arrogant enough to believe he has things handled? Or is he lost and spiraling down the vortex of failure?

      Or is he fundamentally transforming America knowing full well what he is doing and comfortable with the distasteful tactics required to do so?

  • hennorama

    Sunday July 13, 2014 is the one-year anniversary of the verdict in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case.

  • hennorama

    From the Some People Will Believe Anything desk:

    Polar Vortex? Nope, Just Cooler Midwestern Weather

    Unseasonably cool weather will arrive next week in the Midwest and as far south as Arkansas and Oklahoma.

    It is not, however, the second coming of a polar vortex, a phrase the National Weather Service’s Chicago office tweeted earlier this week to describe the upcoming sweater weather. The office quickly learned that wasn’t such a good idea, said Amy Seeley, a weather service meteorologist who spent a good chunk of Friday morning fielding a flood of telephone calls from the media.

    “I think people are pretty sensitive to those words,” she said.

    See:
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/polar-vortex-nope-cooler-midwestern-temps-24524714

    The actual tweet from the National Weather Service’s Chicago office that got all the attention (emphasis added):

    NWS Chicago @NWSChicago · Jul 10

    A July version of the #PolarVortex forecast over Great Lakes next week! Unseasonably cool temps likely! #ILWX #INW http://twitpic.com/e7w74p

    See:
    https://twitter.com/NWSChicago

    One can see their use of quotation marks around “Polar Vortex” in their Twitter pic, below

    https://d3j5vwomefv46c.cloudfront.net/photos/large/859786009.gif?1404985039

    • WorriedfortheCountry
      • nj_v2

        So what?

        Single events or data points are meaningless, except for trolls.

        http://www.knmi.nl/publications/showAbstract.php?id=706

        Global observed changes in daily climate extremes of temperature and precipitation

        “…Results showed widespread significant changes in temperature extremes associated with warming, especially for those indices derived from daily minimum temperature. Over 70% of the global land area sampled showed a significant decrease in the annual occurrence of cold nights and a significant increase in the annual occurrence of warm nights. Some regions experienced a more than doubling of these indices. This implies a positive shift in the distribution of daily minimum temperature throughout the globe. Daily maximum temperature indices showed similar changes but with smaller magnitudes.…”

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Denying the pause to defend ‘the cause’.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            What pause? There is no pause.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Don’t be a denier.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            The data show a continued increase in temperature. There is natural variability. Anthropogenic climate change is happening.

      • hennorama

        WftC — well, it is mid-winter in Brisbane.

        • HonestDebate1

          Mid-winter hasn’t happened in Brisbane for 103 years.

      • jefe68

        You are aware that Australia has also had the hottest weather in summer as well. Right?
        There have also been record flooding in recent years. You are aware that climate change can effect how cold winters are as much as how hot summers are?

    • HonestDebate1

      Okay, you are on record saying the unseasonably cool weather is not due to global warming but be careful, the weather deniers will go apoplectic.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    For those who worship at the altar of peer pal review:

    “Scholarly journal retracts 60 articles, smashes ‘peer review ring’”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/07/10/scholarly-journal-retracts-60-articles-smashes-peer-review-ring/

    • JGC

      Oh my word– falsified and potentially lethal research published in the the prestigious “Journal of Vibration and Control”…Now that explains the recall notice I got on my Sunbeam Orgasmatron 3000…

      http://www.dominicwilcox.com/orgasmatron.html

      • Arkuy The Great

        I don’t care where you fall on the ideological scale. That line is drop-dead funny!

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      It actually proves that peer review … works. Imagine that!

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard
    • HonestDebate1

      Do you swallow that bilge?

      • OnPointComments

        Liberals think Bill Maher and Jon Stewart are the real news.

        • Arkuy The Great

          Until someone is offended. When that happens they are just “comedians” or “satirists” and you just wouldn’t understand…

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          People like you think that Fox is news.

          Have you ever watched a Jon Stewart interview? He does a great job; better than almost anybody on TV.

          Challenge yourself.

          • HonestDebate1

            Oh please.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            You’re welcome.

          • HonestDebate1

            I have nothing against Stewart. He’s smart and he’s funny. And he is a good interviewer, so is Tom Ashbrook. He is not the place to get your news. It’s a comedy show.

          • Arkuy The Great

            Echoing HD1 I watch Stewart because he is a funny satirist who presents a refreshing “reframing” of current news stories. Yes, he goes after the bogeymen on the right most of the time but if you watch regularly you will see him take down plenty of your side’s sacred cows as well. You have to be able to laugh at your own as well in order to fully appreciate his humor. That said, his is NOT a news show. And if you ask him he will tell you that he does not intend it to be taken as one.

            “The show leading into mine has puppets making crank phone calls! What is wrong with you!?”

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFQFB5YpDZE

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            I fully appreciate what you are saying. And I know Jon Stewart doesn’t want to be a “news guy”. But here’s the thing: they do excellent research, and they know what they are talking about. It is good satire – because it is about reality.

            They even correct things for the record, if they do make a mistake.

            Because he has no pressure to be politically correct, he ends up being a far better interviewer than some people give him credit for.

            And I almost always laugh at all the “fake news” stories, no matter who/what is the subject. Us liberals are pretty good at seeing many “sides” to most subjects.

            An aside: in my above post, you may have noticed I didn’t call call you “conservative” – because you are not. The Tea Party and the “run-to-the-right” faction of the GOP is anything but conservative.

            If you were real conservatives, you would be doing everything you could to stop anthropogenic climate change. And you would be pushing for reductions in military spending, and to reign in the banks and speed trading. And infrastructure spending and education spending would be a no-brainer – because they pay us all back multiple times over.

            Same goes for healthcare – why is this allowed to be so bloody expensive, when in the rest of the developed world it costs half as much and covers everybody?

          • Arkuy The Great

            “If you were real…”

            I have to chuckle at that lead-in. You are projecting your own biases of what you think a “real conservative” should be and demanding to know how come others are disappointing you. By the same token, I often look at liberals and their overbearing concern with just about all things race. Whenever I hear the cry of “racism” I can almost hear Solid South Democrats of the Jim Crow era screaming the N-bomb. I think a “real liberal” should judge not by the color of skin but the content of character. But that’s me projecting my own view of what should be the case rather than accepting what is.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Naw, I just went with the Teddy Roosevelt / Dwight D. Eisenhower mold. Heck, even Nixon.

            Who said anything about racism? It is all over our society, but it has not been part of this – until you brought it up.

          • Arkuy The Great

            Neither was AGW nor healthcare. So there! ;-)

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Nixon wanted to do universal healthcare. And I and fairly sure that anthropogenic climate change was a known issue then, as well.

          • Arkuy The Great

            Yeah, Nixon, the Republican, allegedly wanted it. However, when presented with the chance to do so in 2010 (recall the filibuster-proof majority) the Democrats did not deliver it. Single Payer/Universal/Socialized medicine was never in the offing in the USA. The healthcare “reform” issue has been the subject of much hackery and demagoguery by everyone in politics and punditry. Any real solution to that industry’s irrationality will probably kill more lives than it saves.

            BTW, I am old enough to recall that during the Nixon years the big climate change concern was global cooling and the near certain advent of a new ice age. Also couple that with the “fact” that the world would run out of oil by 2000 and be unable to feed global populations by 2025. I tend to take dire prognostications of global Armageddon with a grain of salt the size of Lot’s wife. And that is what I consider to be small-C conservative.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            The reason we didn’t get single payer is that the ACA is based on Romneycare and concepts from the Heritage Foundation – and it is what was possible. Not perfect, by any means, but it is better than what we had.

            Global cooling was *not* a big concern, though it was a slowing of the warming – because of the particulate pollution. Which was changed by the Clean Air Act – which was Nixon, I think?

            You are getting sucked into believing something that didn’t happen. There was one article in Time on cooling – it was NOT a cover story, though. That cover is a ruse. Look it up.

            Carl Sagan and others were talking about climate change aka greenhouse affect. And it had been recognized as a big problem since the 1950′s. Look it up.

          • Arkuy The Great

            You miss my point entirely. ACA passed the Senate with solely Democrat votes. Not a single Republican supported it. Not. A. Single. One. So if the Democrats truly wanted single payer, as per the rhetoric of so many healthcare reform advocates, they could have passed it. The fact that they did not shows that they do not want it but only want to keep talking about it in order to keep those advocates safely in the camp. Talk about the Heritage foundation and ACA being a “Republican” plan all you wish but single-payer is a dead letter.

            And I was there when Global Cooling was a looming national crisis. There were televised specials covering the matter with scientific and political leaders of the day. I remember it! You are engaging in historical revisionism.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            I didn’t miss it. Democrats have their own political situations. Single payer is hopefully coming, but like a lot of things, incremental is possible, and great leaps are rare.

            The ACA passed. It is now law. That’s how things work.

            What was in the news may or may not be science. And memories are fallible. Can you find evidence in the record that cooling was a big threat?

          • Arkuy The Great

            Yes. Democrats have their own political hobgoblins. And they now own ACA totally as well as their betrayal of the “single payer” advocacy community. Deal with it!

            And I will not engage in debates that amount to “who ya gonna believe; me or your lying eyes?”

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            You didn’t see it. The Time cover circulating about this “cooling crisis” is a fake.

          • Arkuy The Great

            Was this a fake? I remember this program when it aired.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ndHwW8psR8

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            We were seeing at least a slowdown in the warming; because of the particulate pollution shading, as I said. It was not the climate changing, though. And it was not the scientific conclusion, either. Obviously, we solved the cooling/slow down in warming by cleaning up our air.

            And we need to do the same for our carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels.

          • Arkuy The Great

            So you concede that in 1977 an impending ice age was a real major public concern. Thank you, that was my point. Your assertions about pollution amount to lots of after-the-fact circular reasoning, quite frankly

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            No, I do not concede that. We had a brief issue that was causing some of the sun’s energy to be blocked. But the temperature averages in no way indicated a coming ice age.

            That is hype. And it has nothing to do with climate science, or anthropogenic climate change – that we know is happening, now.

          • Arkuy The Great

            That is not what they were saying at the time. Back then it was very much the science of the day.

          • HonestDebate1

            I remember the fear of global cooling well.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            You may remember something you saw in the media, but it was not actually a serious, long term problem. And it was not a scientific conclusion.

          • HonestDebate1

            Climate catastrophe is not a scientific conclusion now. This talk has been going on for a century.

            http://www.mrc.org/special-reports/fire-and-ice-0

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            You can wake up, now. Your dreaming is over.

            Climate will be a catastrophe if we keep going, burning fossil fuels as quickly as possible.

            You have a brain, right? Look at what the science it telling us.

          • Ray in VT

            Indeed. I hear the tales of the fears of global cooling. Of course stories of such a possibility were based upon a small fringe of published studies and seem to have gotten a little attention in sources like Time and Newsweek, while studies regarding global warming were much more dominant in the media. Somehow, though, such mentions get remembered as a cooling scare.

          • HonestDebate1

            “The ACA passed. It is now law. That’s how things work.”

            How is a law that is changed 39 times by decree without the legislative process still a law? The law has no meaning.

            And I agree with Arkuy, we don’t single-payer (such a misnomer) because Democrats didn’t support it. Obama extended the tax cuts because democrats did not support letting them expire. Democrats did not support closing Gitmo. Democrats had total control.

          • Steve__T

            “The law has no meaning.” Neither do you.

          • Don_B1

            The problem with asking him to “look it up” is that he will go to the same sources where he got his misinformation.

            Willful ignorance is next to impossible to cure.

          • Don_B1

            The Democrats are not nearly as “disciplined” as Republicans are, at least today. There were two Democratic Senators, Ben Nelson (D, NE) and Joseph Lieberman (I/D, CT) who were staunch defenders of the health insurance industry, and thus single payer or even public option, were not on the table. [Senator Lieberman had pledged to filibuster any bill containing either approach.] They were not alone, either.

            Yea, your remember a Parade cover story, but there was no science behind it other than the orbital gyrations that would have led to cooling without an increase of CO2 to counterbalance. The problem there is that the CO2 “counterbalance” is a 20-ton brick against a 5-pound stone, and Global Warming is happening NOW.

          • Don_B1

            Today’s Democrats look at the Southern Democrats of pre-1970 with as much disdain as you pretend to, unless you really also disdain so many Republicans today who barely conceal their racism.

          • Arkuy The Great

            So today’s Democrats have excoriated the likes of Al Gore Sr. and William Fulbright? They led successful filibusters against civil rights legislation spanning 3 decades.

            BTW, the only explicit racism and bigotry I have ever observed has been from people who clearly identified with the political left in our country. I see it quite a bit in this OnPoint comments section in which my words get dismissed as irrelevant because they come from a “middle aged white guy”. I see that no differently than someone in the Jim Crow South saying “Don’t you go gettin’ airs and sassin’ me, boah!” It is no coincidence, I think, that both statements most likely would come from Democrats.

          • Steve__T

            Answer: Money, Money, Money

          • Don_B1

            Your correct on enjoying the peccadilloes of your own side (I just don’t consider some of the things the left has to do to get elected “my side”), but Jon Stewart goes after the bogeymen of the right a lot more because there are more bogeymen on the right.

        • jefe68

          And the right just makes up stuff and calls it news. Some of you purveyors of the inane just regurgitate the latest Limbaugh diatribe and think it’s news.

          There are so many clowns in the GOP and on the right I sometimes wonder if there is a clandestine GOP clown school somewhere in the hinterland training you lot.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        What did Maher say that was not true?

        • HonestDebate1

          He tried to paint Republican leadership as screaming death panel. That was Sarah Palin and BTW, I happen to agree with her. Obama care does cover illegals. It’s certainly killing jobs. He said Obama told “a” lie when he said you could keep your plan. He didn’t mention insurance premiums not going down, the costs tripling, That ER’s are just as flooded, that he has delayed by decree 39 deadlines, that he swore there would be no mandate then swore it wasn’t a tax, and on and on. Maher goes on to claim Republicans repeat lies when Obama repeated his 32 times. He then evokes the Fox monster, Oooooo. It’s just all out lame.

          Sorry, I didn’t make it much past the first minute.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            You sound defensive.

          • HonestDebate1

            Nah, I just don’t like Maher. He called Sarah Palin a C#nt. He’s just a nasty ideologue who isn’t funny.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            I agree when he gets into that sort of thing, that he is not funny. But in many instances (like the video above) he is sharp and incisive. Satire is often the best way to make a strong point.

          • Arkuy The Great

            Jon Stewart is liberal but funny. Stephen Colbert is liberal, portrays a conservative caricature and it funny. Maher is simply boorish.

          • Steve__T

            He’s funny to me. But Sarah Palin is funnier. Or is it stupider or…

          • John Cedar

            Who knew there was still an HBO?

            Howard Dean smells the rotting corpse zombie that is Obamcare. Said he, “The IPAB will be able to stop certain treatments its members do not favor by simply setting rates to levels where no doctor or hospital will perform them. Getting rid of the IPAB is something Democrats and Republicans
            ought to agree on”. Sarah Palin was right!

            Basically, everything Bill Maher claims was a lie, was actually the truth and everything he claims about Obama is a lie.

          • HonestDebate1

            When Howard Dean caught fire in 2004 I couldn’t believe it. He was a raving lunatic how could people buy into his schtick? And then they turned on him for screaming! Whaaa? That’s who he is I didn’t get it, raving lunatics scream and he had already defined himself. Whatever. Then he admitted Obamacare did not address tort reform because democrats were beholden to trial lawyers. He’s a true believer and as crazy as I think he is, he is honest about who he is. I respect that. I don’t mind disagreeing with someone who debates honestly. He’s still a nut.

          • JONBOSTON

            Last month’s good job report masked the fact that 800K part time jobs were added but 500k full time jobs were eliminated. I happen to believe that Obamacare had a lot to do with this but time will tell.

          • HonestDebate1

            My only quibble with that is I believe time has already told. I have a feeling you agree and are just being kind. And remember, 39 provisions have been delayed by decree, We haven’t seen nuthin’ yet.

          • JONBOSTON

            Greg,
            You’re right. I was being kind. Read the op-ed in today’s Wall street Journal by Mort Zuckerman. It’s directly on point with the idea that Obamacare is encouraging employers to hire part time workers to avoid having to provide health insurance coverage. And you’re right about the 39 decrees , especially delay of the employer mandate. As we approach that deadline ( assuming Obama doesn’t delay it again), more and more employers will choose to drop coverage for their employees and throw them on the health exchanges where their choice of hospitals and doctors will be very restricted. Then for Democrats there will be hell to pay. If the Obama presidency does anything it should prove once and for all that liberal programs and policies sound great in the halls of academia but are disasterous when put into practice.

          • Don_B1

            Just for one, Senator Charles Grassley (R, IA) called out “Death Panels” many, many times. There are others.

  • HonestDebate1
  • JONBOSTON

    I wake up this morning to hear news reports that Obama will be spending three weeks next month in Martha’s vineyard, no doubt playing golf, relaxing on the beach, enjoying fine restaurants, and enjoying time with the “millionaires and billionaires” who have homes there. You know all the evil people that are “keeping down the 99%” and especially the middle class. All this while there’s chaos at the border , part time hiring replaces full time jobs , GDP growth first quarter shrank nearly 3%, IRS stonewalling may be covering up a criminal conspiracy, terrorists in Gitmo are released to the Taliban , incomes are stagnant, the Middle East is in flames, ISIS is on the march, Russia is advancing into Ukraine, and Germany expels one of our CIA agents. Rest assured , Obama’s got everything under control with his agenda. Increasing the minimum wage , people losing their medical insurance and choice of Docs and hospitals ( the worst is yet to happen!),having employers’ insurance cover several types of birth control, amnesty for illegal aliens, and support for gay marriage will save America.

    Has it ever been this bad? Have we ever had such an awful, incompetent president whose policies and programs and lack of presidential leadership has failed this country? Thank you to those morons who voted this staggering incompetent into office.

    • HonestDebate1

      I can kinda’, sorta’ (not really) understand someone getting caught up in 2008 but by 2012 they should have known better. Obama is a very good liar. The world he painted in the run up is nothing like he promised.

      So, I agree with your assessment about the morons but they are not done. They have an excuse for everything you’ve listed and none of it is Obama’s fault. It’s those morons who are the most dangerous.

      • Arkuy The Great

        Never underestimate the power of a handsome face, silver-tongued rhetoric and basically being a “cool cat”. There is a good reason why Barack Obama shunned serious policy engagement as much as possible but milked every opportunity to get his face on the late night comedy shows and the like. That was strategy, and a very effective one!

        • HonestDebate1

          I don’t disagree at all.

      • JONBOSTON

        Greg,
        I happen to agree with you. Obama’s appeal has always been to the least informed and most dependent citizens, sprinkled in with lunatic lefties. Combine that with a mainstream media that has been completely in the tank for this awful president , and voila , you have this awful mess this country is in. What amazes me is that people actually pay to attend fundraisers with this incompetent , serial liar.

  • OnPointComments

    Liberals and much of the main stream media are striving, and struggling, to blame the border crisis on the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act which was passed in December 2008; the MSM omits that the numbers don’t support this assertion. The border crisis is laid squarely at the desk of President Barack Obama. One of the primary questions is whether the crisis is an intended or unintended consequence of President Obama’s action.

    Some have said that the border crisis is “President Obama’s Katrina moment.” Hurricane Katrina was an act of God. The border crisis is an act of President Obama.

    • Coastghost

      Granted: the present crisis along our southern border bespeaks Obama’s agency (or lack thereof), and Katrina was “an act of God” even in a way that sub-Messiah Obama is not responsible for initiating any crisis on the ground in any Central American country.
      The relevance of the “Katrina” metaphor, though, is its application much as it was applied contemporaneously to George W. Bush: it was invoked by the MSM as a measure of Bush’s perceived “tone-deafness” to events on the ground in NOLA. (It probably doesn’t hurt to remind readers that citizens of hurricane-prone states regularly do NOT rely or depend on Federal evacuation orders or directives as hurricanes threaten.) The “Katrina” metaphor applies now to Obama insofar as his aloofness (his refusal to tour the border area itself, his refusal to tour relocation centers) shows exactly how remote and isolate he has become in his second term.
      I would not invoke “Katrina” without invoking another obvious comparison, that of the 1980 Mariel Boatlift that helped scuttle Jimmy Carter’s listing Presidency: Carter’s initial inaction similarly only exacerbated the mismanagement of the “crisis” that ensued.

    • Don_B1

      Did you even notice that the vertical bars are for FISCAL YEARs? Next, when does a FY begin?

      Yes, it begins on 1 October of the previous year !

      Which is some SIX months before President Obama made his speech on children, which did not apply to children arriving after that July.

      It is unlikely that taking the increase in border-arriving children from the previous year could all have happened in the less than half a year after the President’s speech.

      But boy does your graph look good until it is looked at closely !

      Please read this:

      http://www.vox.com/2014/6/16/5813406/explain-child-migrant-crisis-central-america-unaccompanied-children-immigrants-daca

      and clear your mind of the misconceptions that are littering it.

      • hennorama

        Don_B1 — in addition, the chart falsely claims that “President Obama announce[d] that children arriving at the border will no longer be deported.”

        That never happened.

        It’s curious and notable that OPC does not link to the source of his treasured chart, which he has used multiple times thus far.

  • hennorama

    Congratulations to Germany for winning the 2014 World Cup, defeating Argentina 1 – 0 in extra time.

    • Arkuy The Great

      Quite the opposite of the Germany-Brazil game.

      • hennorama

        Arkuy T G — indeed. I’m pleased that it was a fairly open and competitive game, and that both teams had good chances.

  • HonestDebate1

    At this point Lois Lerner’s smug arrogance makes sense. She knows she destroyed the evidence, she knows Obama has her back and she knows Holder won’t enforce squat. She reminds me of Bart Simpson.

    And what does smug arrogance look like? It’s a nose on the air thing and it runs in the family.

    http://freebeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Lois-Lerner-AP.jpg

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MLmvdbSsFag/TfkGu_JVX9I/AAAAAAAAAKQ/HaF24b1GAzY/s1600/obama-nose.jpg

    • Don_B1

      Context?

      There exists a picture of every politician in just such a pose, but where the camera person caught an irrelevant look.

  • Richard Hellstrom

    So – What does this mean in cash for the U.S. politicians and should public defense racketeering be prosecuted by the ICC – It all started with a threat – In April 2014 the secretary of state said that if Israel doesn’t make peace soon, it could become ‘an apartheid state,’ like the old South Africa. .The lawmaker with the most money invested in companies with DoD contracts is Sen. John Kerry. US Senators’ average annual stock performance beat the market average by approximately 12.3%, while stock purchases made by corporate insiders on average outperform the market by 7.4% and stock portfolios of the average US household underperform the market by 1.5%. In 2006 , 151 congressmen had up to 195.5 million dollars invested in companies who received defense contracts that were greater than 5 million dollars. In 2006 these companies benefited in the amount greater than 276.5 billion dollars from the government….

  • Andrew Page

    Where are these kids going to be in 10-12 years from now? MS-13?

    • William Hedrick

      Exactly.

    • HonestDebate1

      Many are already.

  • Andrew Page

    Tom Ashbrook, “Rockets being knocked down going the other way, lucky for that.” I have to object to that statement. Luck has very little to do with it, it is the product of probably millions of man-hours of engineering over the course of the last 20+ years, starting with “Star Wars,” culminating in the Iron Dome system. A massive investment of money and human capital from Israel and the US was made to make these systems happen.

    • Don_B1

      Actually, the Iron Dome (ID) system works well ONLY when the ID rocket meets head-on with its intended target.

      And it is luck when the trajectories are head on, instead of from the side (or occasionally from behind). Now the ID systems are placed to maximize head-on trajectories, but they are still less than 50% of the time as a study (I was listening on my car radio and do not have a link unfortunately) has apparently shown.

      Thus the Iron Dome system is much less effective than widely claimed.

      • Andrew Page

        Like what you’re saying about Iron Dome, you’ve missed the point entirely. That the work of engineers developing and the skill of the missileers in the field is not a matter of luck but of years of work and training.

        But I guess according to you the system is junk anyway and they’re secretly burying corpses of dead citizens in the desert and routing traffic around blown up neighborhoods for the Iron Dome system that you imply only ‘intercepts’ when an Iranian made rocket accurately aimed at a military assets hits the launch controller.

        • Don_B1

          The system is not “junk” but its zone of effectiveness is much less than what might be inferred from your posting. The engineers working to solve that problem are facing a huge challenge. as they are basically saying that they will hit a golf ball with a b-b gun firing from a hundred yards away.

          Note that most of the missiles Hamas fires do not have the accuracy to hit anything less than a barn size from a mile away or so. Many (most?) of them end up in places with low-density population, so a lot of them will miss any significant target without being intercepted. That is why I concentrated on how the Israelis do locate their ID launchers in places where the Hamas missiles (and apparently a lot of the missiles are not from Hamas) come from to increase the likelihood of having a head-on collision.

          So you are at least as guilty of “missing the point” of my post as I am (not) of yours.

          • Andrew Page

            My original posting was about it being more than luck that at least a few Hamas rockets were being shot down, that it was also the efforts of the the engineers and massive joint investment of Israel and the United States. You chime in that the system isn’t working as well as stated(yet you lack citations of data). Your less than sly implication being that the Israeli’s and the US have wasted their money and continue to do so.

            I find your ‘bb vs golf ball’ to be specious. A bb is an unguided projectile absent control surfaces, gyroscopes, warhead, proximity fuse, radar or any thing approaching an algorithm. Your comparison makes about as much sense as bringing a knife to gunfight.

  • OnPointComments

    What would the US do if terrorists launched 160 missiles targeting US cities? Do you think the president and the joint chiefs would count how many had been killed, and if the number was low, give the terrorists a pass? Or would we retaliate with the full force and power of the US military, and destroy the terrorists that launched the attack?

    COLUMN: THIS TIME, LET ISRAEL FINISH JOB
    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140713/OPINION01/307130004/0/OPINION01/Column-time-let-Israel-finish-job

    Excerpt:

    • Hamas terrorists in Gaza find an excuse to escalate their daily rocket attacks against settlements and towns in Israel…
    • Israel responds with air strikes against the rocket launch sites, which the Palestinians shield with civilians, including children.
    • Hamas uses the retaliation as an excuse to fire even more missiles at even larger targets…
    • At some point, Israel decides the only way to end its torment is to send ground troops sweeping through Gaza to root out the terrorists one by one.

    As long as the terrorist group is given de facto protection by world leaders who would not tolerate a similar hostile attack on their sovereign nations, nothing will change in this conflict.

    This time, the Israelis should break Hamas to pieces, destroy its ability to threaten Israeli civilians and bust its grip on Gaza, and for better or worse return the strip to control of the Palestinian Authority.

    • Don_B1

      If it was a Republican administration, we might encourage and support the opposition in the country where the missiles were coming from to attack and hopefully defeat the terrorists, but then we would call off any followup so that the terrorists could regain their previous hold on the country, much as the Bush administration did in Afghanistan when it switched its focus to another country which had nothing to do with the attacks, but had oil (or some other precious commodity in the future). Whatever the big business and super wealthy need is what that Republican administration would work full time to provide.

  • Bart Simpson

    Jack Beatty’s suggestion that the US put the children fleeing Central American failed states betrays a shocking ignorance of the facts and a cruel moral insensitivity to the reality of failed states in Latin America.

  • Lawrence

    The Department of Homeland Security’s website explains it quite clearly.

    The word is out, many believing this continuous 2 year reprieve gets their foot in the door to citizenship. Obama’s Amnesty Law is clear that it does provide work authorization. And THAT’S why they are coming.

    From the DHS Website:

    Q2: What is deferred action for childhood arrivals?
    A2:
    On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that
    certain people who came to the United States as children and meet
    several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a
    period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for
    work authorization.

    Of course the illegal immigrants are coming as a direct result of this law, passed during his campaign to win the Latino vote.

    • hennorama

      Lawrence — you continue to demonstrate your ignorance.

      DACA is not a law.
      DACA is not amnesty.
      DACA is not continuous.

      Here are the requirements for consideration for “certain people” (emphasis added):

      You may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if you:

      Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;

      Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;

      Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;

      Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;

      Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;

      Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and

      Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

      Source:
      http://www.dhs.gov/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals

      While it may be true that some of the recent surge in Central American immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border may be attributed to misinformation about this exercise of prosecutorial discretion, DACA does not apply to them in any way, shape or form.

      For you to claim, “THAT’S why they are coming,” ignores every other possible reason, including fleeing the murderous violence in their countries of birth, family reunification, etc.

      Please present your convincing evidence to support your claim, assuming you have any, of course.

      • Don_B1

        It is just amazing how well some people can read the parts of a document that they can twist into support for their (false) view of reality but ignore or misunderstand all the rest that denies their fantasy view of the world.

        • hennorama

          Don_B1 — TYFYR.

          Yeah, I’m not a fan of the MSU (Making Shite Up) crowd, as you have no doubt already discerned.

      • OnPointComments

        What is the primary reason for the surge in the numbers of unaccompanied children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala? Has there been a corresponding surge in violence in their countries? If escaping the violence in their native countries is a primary reason, why wouldn’t they escape to Mexico or another country much closer than the United States?

        • hennorama

          OPC – Thank you for your response.

          I do not know the answer to your questions. No doubt you are qualified to do your own research, should you actually want answers.

          However, I have some responsive points, and questions of my own, for you:

          1. Where did you get the chart?

          2. President Obama has never “announce[d] that children arriving at the border will no longer be deported,” as your treasured chart indicates.

          3. Per the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), with emphasis added,

          Although the US receives the majority of new asylum claims by both children and adults from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, it is not alone. Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Belize, combined, have also documented a 432 per cent increase in the number of asylum applications from citizens of these three countries since 2009.

          See:
          http://www.unhcr.org/53206a3d9.html

          Please note that the UNHCR data is from a report released on March 12, 2014, so they do not reflect more recent immigration and emigration trends.

          • Ray in VT

            Obviously Obama decreed amnesty for child migrants for those countries as well. You would know this, except that you likely fall into the category of those who are “gullible, naïve liberals”.

  • Rachel Bernu

    This old discussion about ‘we gotta take care of our own before we take care of others’ is such a red herring. It’s not as if the money that would be allocated for supporting refugees would be redirected to social support or education for citizens. The reason we don’t take care of our own is not because we don’t, as a country, have the money…it’s because we choose not to have policies and accordingly not allocate our money towards a meaningful social safety net and public services. In addition, I am tired of talking about the up front costs in a vacuum. Refugees and immigrants repay what they were given in a manifold of ways, and so while it costs money upfront, we should see it as an investment rather than simple charity. Finally, as large as the numbers are and as big of a humanitarian need as it is for those dealing with it, proportional to the US economy and population, it is not overwhelming. Look at tiny Lebanon, whose population is officially now 1/4 refugees, an unoffically, i.e. 1/3 refugee/forced migrants from Syria. We as a country have plenty of money and the question about whether or not refugees should be welcomed should be weighed against what is moral and best for our country. Unlike Italy, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Greece, Thailand, we are rather isolated from conflict areas that result in major refugee crises and now that we have one in our neighbourhood, we, the great America, act as if we’re being invaded. It’s shameful

    • Don_B1

      Well said.

      This column deals with the current U.S. inability to even repair and build infrastructure, but it applies in spades to humanitarian aid and support of the safety net for the unlucky poor:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/04/opinion/paul-krugman-build-we-wont.html?_r=0

      But the super rich (0.01%) have seen an almost 10% drop in the income they receive from interest (usually from “rent-seeking” activities), and while it has been more than made up by their gains in other rent-seeking, such as monopoly activities and then their investments in the stock market, they just don’t see why they should be penalized for the damage that the financial crisis created for the majority of the country, too many of which lost half of their wealth. None of them seem to understand that it was their rent-seeking that led the banks to overleverage investments, buying worthless mortgages and dividing them into supposedly “low risk” tranches of CDOs which they sold to pension funds, etc. Those pension funds now are low on assets to pay out the pensions they are supposedly committed to do.

      • TFRX

        But the super rich (0.01%) have seen an almost 10% drop in the income
        they receive from interest (usually from “rent-seeking” activities),

        Wait, you say the super-rich are feeling some effects of the rest of us (that includes me) not being able to buy things they sell or invest in?

      • OnPointComments

        Gullible, naïve liberals will believe anything a guy in a tin foil hat currently tells them if it’s what they want to hear, and will ignore what the same guy told them when he was absolutely wrong. Now, after the fact, you lament the repercussions of the housing bubble, but the creation of the housing bubble was exactly what Krackpot Krugman said would jumpstart the economy. Why in the world would you give credence to his recommendations now when he was so wrong in 2002?

        DUBYA’S DOUBLE DIP?
        By PAUL KRUGMAN
        Published: August 2, 2002
        http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/02/opinion/dubya-s-double-dip.html

        Excerpt: (emphasis added)
        The basic point is that the recession of 2001 wasn’t a typical postwar slump, brought on when an inflation-fighting Fed raises interest rates and easily ended by a snapback in housing and consumer spending when the Fed brings rates back down again. This was a prewar-style recession, a morning after brought on by irrational exuberance. To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. AND TO DO THAT, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, ALAN GREENSPAN NEEDS TO CREATE A HOUSING BUBBLE TO REPLACE THE NASDAQ BUBBLE.

    • OnPointComments

      “We don’t take care of our own:” Yes, we do. In the US, federal, state, and local governments spent $5 trillion dollars on means-tested welfare programs from FY2009-FY2013. The budget for the next five years, FY2014-FY2018, is $5.6 trillion dollars. The federal government funds 126 separate programs for low-income people, 72 of which provide either cash or in-kind benefits to individuals.

      “Refugees and immigrants repay what they were given in a manifold of ways:” Apparently the “manifold of ways” doesn’t include taxes according to the Census Bureau. Of unlawful immigrant households, only those households headed by persons with a college degree or more pay more in taxes than they receive in government benefits, and those unlawful immigrant college degree households make up 10% or less of unlawful immigrant households.

      The problem with creating the perception of an incentive for Central American parents in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to send their children to the US border is that it places the children in incredible peril. The children are placed with ‘coyote’ human smugglers, and are subject to cruelty, abuse, and death in their trek to the US border.

    • The poster formerly known as t

      Then do we have so much debt? We have plenty of”refugees” in this country and there are only so many decent paying jobs for them.

      “Refugees and immigrants repay what they were given in a manifold of ways” They have in the past, but the past is no indicator of future performance since the U.S. economy is becoming a lot less labor intensive than before. Adding more labor capacity to an economy that needs less labor is only going to drive down wages down the line or keep wages from rising in certain cases and maybe you’re too sheltered to see this, but this is a not good for everyone in the long term.

      “Unlike Italy, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Greece, Thailand, we are rather isolated from conflict areas that result in major refugee crises” This is a very ignorant statement, particularly coming from someone who is supposed to be a liberal. The U.S. is not only not isolated but many of the refugee crises in the Americas are because of U.S. trade agreements and military interventions have destabilized many countries, in the Americas. America has accepted many refugees legally and illegally.

  • hennorama

    Antisthenes — thank you for your response.

    You might want to get some more information about economic matters. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the Southwest has had GDP above the national average for the year 2013, and in prior years as well:

    http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/2014/_images/gsp_0614b.png

    http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/2014/_images/gsp_0614.png

    • Antisthenes

      Sorry, please don’t hand me dubious statistics. I grew up in the south west and I’ve seen the decline of the standard of living in the past 50 years. “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

      • hennorama

        Antisthenes — thank you for your response.

        Feel free to dispute the data from the BEA with other information, assuming you are able. Simply calling the information “dubious statistics,” without any stated basis for doing so, is not a valid argument.

        Please also present any evidence you care to regarding your premise of “the decline of the standard of living in the past 50 years.”

        Again, assuming you are able.

        Thanks again for your response.

        • Antisthenes

          Hennorama relying on veiled ad hominem attacks. Avoid the substance of the rebut.

          • hennorama

            Antisthenes — TYFYR.

            I made no “veiled ad hominem attacks.” Your inference is inaccurate.

            Had you asked rather than assumed and/or become defensive, you would have discovered that my use of “assuming you are able” was to imply that data contradicting the BEA does not exist, nor does evidence of a decline in the standard of living exist.

            Please feel free to present data and evidence that is supportive of your claim, and/or contradictory of the BEA data.

            Assuming you are able (to locate and present such data and evidence), of course.

          • Antisthenes

            I’m sorry;
            I don’t need to refute the BEA data nor do I have time to write a dissertation.
            GDP has no necessary linkage to quality of life issues. Having an Apple or
            Google in your State will boost your GDP, but what does it really do for the
            majority of citizens? Do you want to deny that healthcare,
            schools and infrastructure has not been in a steady decline in the SW? There
            is overwhelming data, easily to locatable, showing the degradation of our
            social institutions

          • hennorama

            Antisthenes — TYFYR.

            I agree that you are sorry.

            You wrote (empahsis added), “Sorry it always turns out the same for the SW, an inundation of peasant workers swapping [sic] our already weak economy.

            When challenged with information contrary to your claim of an “already weak economy,” you claim the data are “dubious statistics,” then make a new unsupported claim about “the decline of the standard of living in the past 50 years.’

            When challenged to dispute the so-called “dubious statistics,” and to provide evidence to support your fresh unsupported claim, you claim “ad hominem attacks” when none are present, and fail to support your various arguments.

            All you have are opinions and unsupported claims, which have no value as arguments.

            If, as you freshly claim without any support whatsoever, that “There is overwhelming data, easily to locatable, showing the degradation of our social institutions,” why don’t you present it?

            The apt colloquial phrase is “Put up or shut up.”

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