Archive for security

Speaker of the House Boehner Calling It Quits


I quit

Faced with an imminent crushing and humiliating defeat by his own caucus, Speaker of the House Boehner unexpectedly quit today. No, he didn't give up his Speakership -- only his obligations to run the House.  He's decided to throw in the towel, do nothing (something he excels at), and hang out a sign on Congress's door saying, "Gone Fishing. Be back in 5 weeks."

With no significant immigration bill to assuage the border fears he and his fellow Republicans fueled, he looks like he's a loser who's no longer got the control over his own people. Stick a fork in the old fool. He's done.

He can take solace in the fact that his leadership isn't the only one to take an embarrassing wallop by pulling his weak and ineffective immigration bill. The troika of House GOP leaders all were crushed. Washington Post reports:

The pulling of the bill marked an embarrassing failure in the first real test of the new leadership team that takes office Thursday following Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor’s resignation as majority leader.

Exiting a closed-door morning huddle at the Republican National Committee, senior Republicans had expressed confidence that the Boehner proposal would pass.

As recently as Thursday morning, hours before the scheduled summer break, Boehner had signaled he wanted a bill passed so the Democrats couldn't use the August break to pound away at the Xenophobic GOP. To ensure he could get conservative Republicans on his side, he was even ready to do away with the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program (DACA) -- surely something that would would get the Tea Party right wing immigration haters on board. It was all but assured -- and then the collapse. Newly elected GOP House Majority Whip Steve Scalise dashed Boehner's hopes with the news that he couldn't drum up the votes. Out the window went the bill as well as any possibility of getting Latino or Asian votes in the fall.


So now Boehner and his two cohorts have five weeks to hide their faces before they're called back to spend three more weeks doing nothing and then going on their next scheduled break. The national budget, transportation, immigration, embassy appointments, education reform, long term unemployment -- all of these are now going unattended.

Well, Boehner's done. And truthfully so is the GOP as they used to be known. There are three parties now in the US running our government -- Democrats, the remnant Republicans, and the Tea Party.

Are you an unhappy Republican? If so, blame John Boehner -- but do it quick. He might retire before returning. His orange face is obviously not wanted in Washington D.C. anymore, unless it's on a Wanted poster for obstruction of justice and dereliction of Duty.


Blood, Sweat and Tears



Blood, Sweat and Tears is the theme for today's show. Not the band, but the reality that those are the main components of life in the US of A in the 21st Century. Too much blood, too many dead or maimed soldiers and civilians thanks to our military incursions, misplaced ire and weapons of mass destruction. Our labor woes since the Bush depression, with a recovery made up of jobs at half the salaries we had before the meltdown, and the vilification of the labor movement that brought about workplace safety,  a 5-day/40-hour work week, vacation time, sick leave and other worker protections.

And tears. And more tears. And more to come, brought on by it all.

I don't see it getting any better, and don't see Hillary Clinton -or anyone at all from the other side - as the answer to our problems. But I do think we've shed way too much blood in unjust wars, have screwed over our working class and cried too many tears. It would be nice to see some positive change for a change, but I'm afraid we're a long way away from good times again.

Maybe if we could all just get along and live in peace.

On second thought, that'll never happen. Just look at their facial expressions when they sing the line, "we shall live in peace" during the most awkward singalong ever.

This morning, Susie Madrak of Crooks & Liars joined in to talk a bit about yesterday's primary elections in NY where it looks like Charlie Rangel will hold on to his House seat (47.4-43.6), and the runoff in Mississippi which saw Sen. Thad Cochran barely beating off the upstart teabagger Chris McDaniels 51-49.

We also talked about today's three Supreme Court decisions- one that unanimously found that law enforcement must obtain warrants before searching cell phones (opinion posted here), another ruling against Aereo, a new company that rebroadcast over-the-air TV signals online - or did until now (opinion posted here)! And a third (known as Fifth Third) having to do with pensions and funds that I don't understand at all, but the opinion is posted here.

We're still awaiting decisions on NLRB v. Noel Canning (recess appointments), McCullen v. Coakley (abortion clinic buffer zones),  Harris v. Quinn (public employee unions) and Hobby Lobby (contraception mandate), which will come down tomorrow morning at 10ET. If they don't announce all the decisions tomorrow, they'll come back to finish up on Monday June 30. Talk about suspense!

In the second hour of the show, I was thrilled to welcome investigative journalist and author Dahr Jamail back to the show. When I spoke with Dahr in the past, it was to discuss our wars in Middle East, as Dahr spent more than a year in Iraq as one of a very small group of independent, UNembedded journalists covering the war. I obviously wanted his take on the mess over there now.

Lately, he's been focusing his work on climate change or, as he calls it, anthropogenic climate disruption. Obviously, both issues are closely related. I urge you to read Dahr's work on both topics, either at his own site or over at  We'll definitely talk again soon because our time together today went by way too quickly!

Tomorrow, well deal with whatever the Supreme Court throws at us at the start of the show, hear some fabulous female facts from Amy Simon and the No More Bullshit Minute with Stephen Goldstein too!


Senior Assisted Living Doesn't Mean Senior Assisted Raping

Edgewood Vistaw Senior Living

Edgewood Vistaw Senior Living

My mother is in a seniors' assisted living and care facility. She's 95 and I'm glad to say doing very well. She's still able to amble around on her own and her faculties are perhaps even better than mine. And with nearly a century of memories to deal with, the loss of a husband and a son, she's lived through a lot. And her care is most important to me.

Safety in her housing is something that I thought was a given, but this story from Minnesota has my ears pricked up. Of course this story isn't the norm, but if it can happen in one state, it could happen in another. Bottom line is it's shocking. Anyone who has an aging relative should watch this. Then afterwards, read the horrific rest of the story.

So if this brutal attack wasn't enough, what happened afterwards was incredulous.

The Raw Story:

 The nursing home transferred the woman to a psychiatric ward at St. Luke’s Hospital for nearly three days.

“The room she was in was dark and cold … and they locked her in at night and all she had was a blanket,” nurse examiner Theresa Flesvig said in the court documents.

When Flesvig was finally able to examine the victim, she found the “biggest tear” as a result of rape that she had ever seen in her career.

Testimony filed with the court said that the nursing home’s clinical services director, Marilyn Moore, tried to defend that rapist after he had confessed to police.

They send the victim of a vicious rape to the psych ward and the 30 year old man who rapes an 89 year old woman isn't? Help me see how this isn't so wrong that it's sick.

The rapist gets 4 1/2 years in prison and 10 years of registering as a sex offender. Sadly his victim probably won't live long enough to get beyond this trauma. But so far nothing has been done to the nursing home -- though this upcoming trial could find them paying some pretty hefty fines. But to think this nursing home would defend a confessed rapist for an attack in their senior facility is totally off the charts.


Surprise: Newest American Saboteurs are Democratic Senators



When you hear names like Charlie Schumer, Mark Warner, Cory Booker, Kay Hagen, Mary Landrieu, Bob Casey and Richard Blumenthal, you usually hear that some Democratically sponsored bill has their support. And usually you're right, give or take one of the above.

Yet recently, led by Senator Bob Menendez, these US elected officials to the upper house have been sold a bill of goods. And it's not a jobs or education bill. Nor is it some health plan or civil rights issue. It's war.

Real war. A potential nuclear war.

Why these guys? This isn't the Republican Party war stalwarts, Lindsay Graham and John McCain. These are normal people -- at least as normal as it gets in the senate.

The truth is these new Hawk senators are on the dole. Not necessarily news there -- all elected officials are influenced by lobbyists. But this time, and I'm going to take heat for this, it's the Jewish Mafia. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). It's the most influential Jewish lobby group in the US. And historically they have backed candidates who fight for justice and equality in social issues, and political ones when it comes to Israel.

Now Israel has a special place in my heart. Not just because it's the Jewish homeland and I was born a Jew, but my wife is a Sabra, a native born Israeli. And once you have that in your blood, you're generally a dyed-in -the-wool supporter of anything the Israeli Knesset (parliament) proposes.

This brings us to war and peace. For nearly 30 years we've been in a cold war with Iran. We've had no formal diplomatic talks with them and we've been the world leader in getting other nations to impose austere economic sanctions against them. That was until about four months ago. There was a breakthrough. John Kerry reported back to the US that talks on stopping or at least tightening nuclear safeguards with Iran were possible. But like all negotiations, there's a bit of 'give a little' to 'get a little.' The price for us was to hold off on further economic sanctions while negotiations would take place (a six months moratorium). The price to the Iranians is to allow open international monitoring of the Iranian nuclear program -- full inspections.

This was a great tit for tat -- especially as pressure was building for war between our two countries.  That would ultimately would result in a nuclear conflagration. There's no way around that. Yet here's a potentially peaceful solution at hand. The only ones unhappy in that region are Saudi Arabia (remember where the 911 trainees spent much of their pre-attack time) and Israel -- the other nuclear armed country in the region who doesn't want any competition in weapons superiority. And I can understand that.

Obviously those in the pocket of the neo-cons -- the entire GOP party hierarchy -- were against this. But the Democrats? How could they be against peace -- especially one their President is working so hard to accomplish? And if you're looking at public opinion, over 60% favor a peaceful solution with Iran over war. So how could 16 Democrats come out and favor new sanctions which would lead to Iran pulling away from the negotiating table?

Obama was told in no uncertain words that new sanctions  against Iran would be a line in the sand by the their President. Secretary of State Kerry was told the talks would be DEAD if Congress passed new sanctions by the Iranian Foreign Minister. So until we find a reason not to, why not give peace a chance?

The Republicans want war and they've been able, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. to stir the pot and brainwash the Jewish senate members (or those gentile members who aren't totally anti-semitic) by selling a bill of goods that peace negotiations can't be trusted. Netanyahu along via the dangerous and borderline deranged John McCain (who's totally bonkers) contacted his influential PAC, the AIPAC, and forced them to exert pressure on the weak and vulnerable among the Democratic senators. Face it, backbone is not a prerequisite for being a Democrat.

But don't take my word for it. Here's Chris Hayes:

Finally, some sense of sanity. Obama spoke to the Democratic Senate Caucus last night and evidently they've seen the light of their wayward ways.

UPDATE: Since this airing, according to WAPO:

But editorial boards and commentators have harshly condemned the push for a vote. Many Senate Democrats have continued to remain silent, which could well be a sign of an unwillingness to sign on to the bill. A couple Dem senators have come out against it in the last couple of days, joining 10 Dem committee chairs who have already done the same. At last whip count, this bill will not get past Harry Reid and is now considered dead.