Archive for obstruction

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand - "What Is She Thinking?"

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Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is truly an enigma. She's a strong political voice in the battle against cuts to SNAP (food stamps - the farm bill),  advocate for women's reproductive rights, and for tackling the issues of the out-of-control sexual assaults in the military. That might lead conservatives to ask, "what is she thinking?"

Ms. Kirsten was a guest recently on All In with Chris Hayes, MSNBC.

The Senator's visit and discussion with Hayes have left me, a progressive, asking myself the same question as the conservatives:  "What is she thinking?"

Hayes quizzes her about international issues -- Iran specifically. She signed onto a controversial proposed bill that would add sanctions against Iran after nearly 40 years of no formal relations with that country.  We're in the midst of high ranking discussions to monitor the Iranian nuclear program. Gillibrand and Congress knows damn well that increased sanctions during the talks could lead to a shutting down of the negotiations. Perhaps even worse -- a potential war. Frankly, this move is insane. And she backed it.  What is she thinking?

She admits that sanctions have worked in the past ("Sanctions are better than war.  Sanctions got us to the peace table" she admits.) But Hayes points out that the people most hurt by sanctions are the woman and children of Iran, not the politicians who have some say. So why more sanctions and why now despite the White House saying increased sanctions at this point are unhelpful and will break up these historic talks?  What is she thinking?

The NY senator deflects addressing that by somehow equating Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's stated desire to wipe Israel off the face of the earth as a motivation for wanting to step up pressure on Iran. Only problem with that is Ahmadinejad was voted out of office and there are now formalized talks going on with an entirely different leader (Leader Hassan Rouhani) and an entirely different cabinet. What is she thinking?

Follow that with a very composed senator G. saying she wants to find a way to prevent going to war with Iran. Yet her backing the increased sanctions bill right now, despite the President's warning of the incendiary outcome of this move at this time would possibly lead us into war. And she still backed it. What is she thinking?

When Chris Hayes challenges her on whether Iran with a nuclear weapon would make Israel or the U.S. a first strike target, she affirms that belief, citing, "At some point you have to take Iran at its word."

Whose word? The former leader or the current leader, who's shown olive branches to both Israel - calling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to wish Israel Happy New Year on Rosh Hashana and the U.S. by putting out the word of his willingness to open negotiations on nuclear talks after 40 years of icy non-recognition?  What is she thinking?

I come back to Gillibrand saying in the clip below,  "At some point you have to believe what they say. You have to take them at their word." I agree with her there. Then why isn't that time now? They're joining us at the peace table discussing a ceasing of the Iranian nuclear program. You can't have it both ways. Either you're going to take them at their word at the peace table or you're not. What is she thinking?

Watch the video interview below and ask yourself the same thing. Here's a bright, articulate elected official with some very precise attitudes. After watching this, see if you too are left scratching your head and asking yourself, as you would with Michele Bachmann, What is she thinking?

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Video- Rudy "9/11" Giuliani: Christie Unaware of Traffic Scheme Just Like Obama 'Missed' Benghazi

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You had a moment there Martha to put the kibbosh on his b.s. but you lost it.

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The Three Stooges, McCain, Graham and Barrasso Commit Treason In Israel

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three stooges

Secretary of State John Kerry has just wrapped extensive three day talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding a foundation for peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis. These were authorized, official talks, ordained by the individual countries themselves.

Reuters:

(Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday the Israelis and Palestinians were making some progress in peace talks, though there was still a chance no accord would be reached.

This all  comes despite anti peace talks carried on unofficially by three warmongers, Senators McCain, Graham and Barrasso from the United States who UNOFFICIALLY crashed the peace talks and tried to submarine and sabotage the progress made by the US Secretary of State. The three GOP stooges willfully and intentionally undermined the official work of the US Secretary of State. Under a broad interpretation of their mission, that borders on treason.

Mondoweiss:

How often does a U.S. Senate delegation visit a foreign country, during a visit of a high ranking State Department official in order to make their opposition to the official U.S. position known?  Has it ever happened before?  And does the fact that we are talking about Israel make it OK?

The answer is this has never been done before and that it's not okay. We have a President. He sets foreign policy. Not the three stooges.

These three US Senators had no official business in Israel. Their unofficial purpose was strictly political, to interfere with any progress Sec. Kerry could make. Their interests are in keeping war-like conditions going in the Middle East to justify their lobbyists' interests in that region.

The Middle East is a complex situation. And working toward a solution in bits and pieces is the only way to go. There will be no grand peace without making smaller concessions on each side. So the US has gone to its strongest ally in the region, Israel, to begin the progress. While McCain, Graham and Barrasso stir the pot of hostilities and fear, claiming the biggest issue is Syria, the three stooges forget that we're already in talks with Syria -- talk that have resulted in continuing destruction of chemical warfare agents.

Kerry's doing Obama's bidding. And Obama sets our foreign policy. These three out of touch senators are helping destroy any potential progress. Interfering in the President's official policy making, damaging our standing and giving aid and comfort to the enemy is treason. These stooges better watch their step. Our national security is fragile enough without unauthorized interference. And seeing the three stooges behind bars pounding rocks was one of my favorite episodes. Maybe it's time to do a reboot.

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Cartoons of the Day- The 113th Congress

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113con

David Horsey

113con1

Bill Day

Day Workers

Rob Rogers

113con3

Dave Granlund

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Volcanic Eruption On Floor Of Congress -- GOP President Pro Tem Destroyed

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immigration bill

It's easy to lose track of how many times Congress has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act -- even members who voted on don't know for sure, 42, 45? Actually, the current number by my understanding is 46 times. Now if that's not a waste of valuable tax payer money, I don't know what is.

Then you come to immigration. In the House, that's been brought to the floor what, six times? Two times? Oh, actually the number is ZERO times. So you can easily see why immigration reform advocates are quite tired of mispent time and money when it comes to the 113th Congress. The Senate passed their version of the immigration reform bill months ago. John Boehner just hasn't gotten around to bringing it up for a vote. He's been too busy bringing up bills to nowhere -- like Obamacare repeals.

This past week, Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Florida) decided to speak up about the real people effected by the lack of immigration reform action. He spoke eloquently and acknowledged a family sitting in the gallery. That was just too much for the presiding officer of the House, Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Indiana). She warned Rep Garcia not to refer to people in the gallery -- in this case people from his own district who are pushing for the bill to come to the floor for a vote. People directly impacted by the proposed bill.

volcanic eruption

Well, that personal rebuke by president pro tem Walorski toward fellow congressman Garcia was immediately jumped on by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado). He held back nothing in blasting the Republican puppet. He put the Republican president pro-tem in her place -- speechless and cowering --  and this will leave you cheering. Congressman Polis wasn't going to take any sh##. The fireworks begin around 2:37 of this short video, but these earlier moments set the stage for what is nothing short of amazing.

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Video- CBS's Bob Schieffer to GOP Rep.: Is Iran Deal ‘Diversionary Tactic’ for Obama Admin?

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Got those RNC talking points right up there in the teleprompter eh Bob? Via.

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Push The Nuclear Button, Harry.

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nuclear explosion

Harry Reid is laconic at best. Comatose for most of the remainder of time. Fortunately, he's on the cusp of joining "the better late than never" school on the filibuster rules --  or so it seems. From HuffPo:

WASHINGTON -- It's looking more and more likely that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) isn't just ready for filibuster reform, but he's ready to do it this week.

A senior Democratic aide told The Huffington Post on Wednesday that there's "a greater possibility" that Reid will hold a vote this week instead of waiting until after the Senate comes back from recess in December. The proposal that Reid is planning to put on the floor would strip the minority of its ability to filibuster executive and judicial nominees, but wouldn't apply to Supreme Court nominees.

Filling vacancies on that court is a huge priority for the president. It's also his responsibility. It's the Senate's obligation of advise and consent. Instead, the Republicans have chosen to make it pure obstructionism. And that's been going of for five years. If Obama is to rule as the constitution has outlined, we can't have these 60 vote thresholds on every nomination.

Justice is being withheld from functioning as it's supposed to. There are vacancies on judgeships and without them being filled, we're letting innocent people sit in jail and letting guilty people go unpunished. This isn't a philosophical argument. It's one or rights and wrongs. And as long as there's a backlog because of a vacancy, those causing the opennings are contributing to injustice. They are complicit. Is that the law and order GOP thinks is right. If so, they need to go.

Here's the startling facts about the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit,

The court has 11 seats, of which four are filled by GOP-appointed nominees and four are filled by Democrat-appointed nominees. President George W. Bush had five nominees confirmed to the panel during his tenure. By contrast, Obama has only had one.

It's not as if Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats haven't been patient. It's the the Republicans have been irresponsible. If they want to complain, let them. They brought this on themselves, led by Mitch McConnell who pushed off Reid's calling for the Nuclear Option last year with a promise to work with the other side on nominees. He lied, and they haven't.

Push that button, Harry. We've waited long enough.

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