Fact checking a Jones Act wingnut
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As Digby said: "See, it's really not that hard."
"If we can't teach our kids the basics of running a lemonade stand, how can we ever teach Congress the basics of economics?"The government does not exist to make a profit, and if, as you say, unemployment benefits will only impoverish the employed, you owe us an explanation of why your version of capitalism has done exactly that, why no new private sector jobs were created by it in 8 years and why each Republican administration has brought us ever increasing expense and debt and ever decreasing standards of living. Never mind tiny tots and lemonade -- explain that.
"The Declaration of Independence promised "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." It didn't promise anything free. Something to think about this July 4th holiday weekend."
The sparsely populated and largely peaceful country was not used to being at the receiving end of either international or domestic terror threats.
But there has been much water under the bridge in the seven years since that threat, and Thursday's announcement of the arrest of three people on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack - one of them a Norwegian citizen - has so far been met with less incredulity.
There are some, to put it politely, tangential reasons why Al Qaeda might target Norway for terror attacks. And I do mean "tangential." For example, Norway has provided a small number of troops under its obligation to NATO, to the conflict in Afghanistan. The cartoons that depicted and mocked Muhammed, created in Denmark, were also syndicated in some Norwegian newspapers.
Mostly, cuz, there are a fair number of Danes living in Norway, you see. I should note that Norwegian embassies in the Middle East were attacked in the wake of those cartoons, but so were French, German, Austrian as well as Danish embassies.
The biggest stretch of them all, tho, has to be that Oslo hosted a 1993 peace conference between Israel and Palestine. The so-called "Oslo Accords" provided for the creation of the split Palestinian state (the West Bank and Gaza strip), and recognized the Palestinian Authority. Attending the conference were, of course, Israel and the Palestinians, but also American and Russian officials.
Yet, Norway is somehow to blame for this advance in Muslim-Western relations? OK, I suppose the case could be made that Al Qaeda wants diametrically the opposite: a total state of war between the West and Islamic worlds. Too, the Oslo talks grew out of earlier talks in Madrid, which has also been targeted by terror, albeit nominally by Basque separatists...but who knows who supports them? It's possible Al Qaeda outsourced the train attack there.
It strains credulity, as the article infers, to blame Norway for anything to do with the Islamic struggles. However, there appears to be a growing Muslim community in Norway (in urban areas, particularly) and even radical and moderate Muslims have battled in the recent past.
I get the sense of Al Qaeda that its kind of like the drunk in the bar who wants to fight. He tries to pick a fight with the biggest guy in the bar, who smacks him down and then resumes his own drinking. The drunk staggers to his feet, sees all the eyes on him, and decides he'll take on anyone and everyone, if he has to go pick a fight with random strangers.
Starting with the quiet couple in the corner, of course.
(crossposted to Simply Left Behind)
Yes, after I became aware of the ugly cheap shot you took at Joe on Twitter, I asked the teams to take a break from booking you on our shows for a while. I found the comments to be in poor taste, and utterly uncalled for in a civil discourse.
I'm hoping this will be only temporary and that the situation can be resolved in a mature fashion, but until then I just don't know how one could reasonably expect to be welcomed onto our network while publicly antagonizing one of our hosts at the same time.
The DailyKos community has been among the most supportive of MSNBC, and we continue to appreciate that support.
The American people must wonder whether the Obama administration is really committed to securing the border when it sues a state that is simply trying to protect its people by enforcing immigration law,
"Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members."
-- Pearl S. Buck, My Several Worlds .
"A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization."
-- Samuel Johnson, Boswell: Life of Johnson
"The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities."
-- John E.E. Dalberg, Lord Acton, The History of Freedom in Antiquity .
"...the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped."
-- last speech of Hubert H. Humphrey [November 1977]
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man"
-- Mahatma Gandhi
"What we have found in this country, and maybe we're more aware of it now, is one problem that we've had, even in the best of times, and that is the people who are sleeping on the grates, the homeless, you might say, [are there] by choice."
-- Ronald Reagan 
With the Mao Zedong fan club in the White House, a clueless, rookie president hellbent on spending like a maniac as unprecedented debt piles up all around him, and every other imaginable indicator of an America turned upside-down, it comes as no surprise that this insane level of madness has metastasized into a Supreme Court where the Bill of Rights is being trashed by clueless, dangerously insulated old people intentionally disconnected from the real world,
Ratcheting up the debate over immigration in his state, a candidate for the Arizona utilities commission is threatening to cut off power and gas to illegal immigrants if he's elected.
"It is not a right. It is a service," Barry Wong, candidate for the Arizona Corporation Commission, told The Arizona Republic.
The Republican candidate argues that the policy would be a cost-saving measure for consumers.
Though it would cost money for power companies to check immigration status, he said it would ultimately save money because power companies would not have to build new plants to serve the illegal immigrant community, presumably passing on that savings to consumers. His plan, if elected to the five-person commission, would be to require utilities to check immigration status.
"There is a cost ratepayers shouldn't have to bear because of the illegal immigrant population," he said, while acknowledging the idea would probably attract "criticism about human-rights violations."
Though Arizona has drawn praise and criticism alike from all corners of the country for its new law making illegal immigration a state crime, support was hard to come by for Wong's proposal.
None of the other candidates for the commission would endorse his idea. The CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry also blasted Wong in a column in the Republic, accusing him of trying to "score cheap political points" while marking a "new low" in the state's immigration debate.
"To deny someone access to electricity based on his or her immigration status is not only a wrongheaded policy proposal, it's just cruel," Glenn Hamer wrote, calling the candidate's economic argument "absurd."
In a far-reaching restatement of goals for the nation's space agency, NASA administrator Charles Bolden says President Obama has ordered him to pursue three new objectives: to "re-inspire children" to study science and math, to "expand our international relationships," and to "reach out to the Muslim world." Of those three goals, Bolden said in a recent interview with al-Jazeera, the mission to reach out to Muslims is "perhaps foremost," because it will help Islamic nations "feel good" about their scientific accomplishments.
In the same interview, Bolden also said the United States, which first sent men to the moon in 1969, is no longer capable of reaching beyond low earth orbit without help from other nations.
Bolden made the statements during a recent trip to the Middle East. He told al-Jazeera that in the wake of the president's speech in Cairo last year, the American space agency is now pursuing "a new beginning of the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world."
The problem Byron uncovers goes farther than just the Muslim outreach, though. NASA has always inspired children and even bolstered international relations, but not because that was its mission. It did those things by pursuing solid goals of exploration of space, which is why Congress funds the agency. Those esteem-boosters came as a secondary result of actual achievement, not as an end in itself. The Obama administration wants to turn this over onto its head by making NASA a bureaucracy dedicated to self-esteem which might at some point have a goal that has to do with exploration of space.
This is a recipe for failure on an expensive scale. Congress needs to either get the White House to redefine its mission for NASA or cut off its funds until the self-esteem party is canceled.
Sharron Angle has resorted to an unusual maneuver to counter Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's attacks on her past quotes and positions, the Reid campaign has announced: A cease-and-desist letter, demanding that Reid no longer republish Angle's previous campaign website.
The short version of the story is as follows: After the former state Rep won Nevada's Republican Senate primary, Angle's campaign took down most of its website, and later replaced it with a relaunched version that in some ways toned down her right-wing rhetoric. But Internet pages are rarely ever forgotten -- the Reid campaign saved the old version, and put up a website called "The Real Sharron Angle," reproducing the old content.
Then, they say, the Angle campaign sent them a cease-and-desist letter, claiming misuse of copyrighted materials in the reposting of the old website -- which was, of course, being posted for the purposes of ridiculing Angle. The Reid campaign has in fact taken down the site, rerouting visitors to another website that goes after Angle's positions, "Sharron's Underground Bunker."