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Archive for August 3rd, 2011

Early Morning Swim

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 3rd, 2011 4:46 am by HL

Early Morning Swim

Late Late Night FDL: Welcome To The Jungle
2CellosWelcome To The Jungle.

2CellosWelcome To The Jungle.

What’s on your mind?

Yeah, this will do it
If you’re conservative enough IKOIYAR, even if you are not always one.

pic via mrpbody33 at flickr.com

Twitterers were aflame last evening with the prospect that Pat Buchanan had finally gone too far:

“Reverend Al, please don’t throw me into that briar patch.”

“Your boy, Barack Obama, caved in… “

“He’s your boy in the ring!”

And it was the pure delight he put on uttering ‘briar patch’ and ‘boy’ that made it the whistle so fierce a pack of dobermans were seen outside the MSNBC studios (of course, that just may be Pat’s entourage).

But fret not, there’s no chance anyone like Pat Buchanan will ever be out of a job, that’s something “other” people experience.

There is nothing that Pat Buchanan can do to be fired, suspended, scolded, or even not complimented.

He has stuck up for Hitler; he has stuck up for death camp capos (comparing them to Jesus); he has stuck up for Jim Crow; he has stuck up for Apartheid; he’s even most recently stuck up for Nordic spree killers.  Yet the paychecks keep getting bigger.  How is this new race-baiting going to do him in?

Nope, he’ll always be there, in the Eichmann-like glass booth just kept outside the MSNBC studios ready to be set loose at all times of the day.  The Buchanity of Evil.


Congress Fails to End FAA Shutdown

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 3rd, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Congress Fails to End FAA Shutdown
While lawmakers managed to pass a bill raising the debt ceiling Tuesday, they failed to extend the power of the Federal Aviation Administration to regulate tax funding, leaving thousands of airline employees out of work while Congress takes a monthlong holiday. So while the government continues to lose out on $30 million in taxes on airline travel each day the FAA goes without official authority from the government ($900 million over 30 days), airline passengers were expecting a sort of tax holiday. Only it turns out it is the airlines that are getting the holiday and the revenue. Instead of passing the savings on to customers, airlines quickly ratcheted up their rates to reflect post-tax prices. —BF NPR: The issue, [Harry] Reid says, is Delta’s “non-union” stance. The bill to fund the FAA, as crafted by House Republicans, includes language that sets new rules for aviation workers’ votes on labor representation. As Eyder reported earlier today, the FAA shutdown has already cost the government more money than the disputed $16.5 million in cuts approved by the House. In fact, he wrote, the federal government stands to miss out on “more than $1 billion in revenue from uncollected airfare taxes.” Read more

While lawmakers managed to pass a bill raising the debt ceiling Tuesday, they failed to extend the power of the Federal Aviation Administration to regulate tax funding, leaving thousands of airline employees out of work while Congress takes a monthlong holiday.

So while the government continues to lose out on $30 million in taxes on airline travel each day the FAA goes without official authority from the government ($900 million over 30 days), airline passengers were expecting a sort of tax holiday. Only it turns out it is the airlines that are getting the holiday and the revenue. Instead of passing the savings on to customers, airlines quickly ratcheted up their rates to reflect post-tax prices. —BF

NPR:

The issue, [Harry] Reid says, is Delta’s “non-union” stance. The bill to fund the FAA, as crafted by House Republicans, includes language that sets new rules for aviation workers’ votes on labor representation.

As Eyder reported earlier today, the FAA shutdown has already cost the government more money than the disputed $16.5 million in cuts approved by the House. In fact, he wrote, the federal government stands to miss out on “more than $1 billion in revenue from uncollected airfare taxes.”

Read more

Related Entries



Senate Confirms Army General To Head Joint Chiefs Of Staff

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 3rd, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Senate Confirms Army General To Head Joint Chiefs Of Staff
WASHINGTON — The Senate voted Tuesday to approve President Barack Obama’s nomination of Army Gen. Martin Dempsey to be the next chairman of the Joint…

WATCH: Inside The Pentagon’s New Jet Fighter
Washington: Sometimes events are, in and of themselves, news. So it was today when the Joint Strike Fighter program working with the Marines, flew the…

Sarah Palin’s Hair Salon, The Beehive, Gets Reality TV Show
By Yereth Rosen ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Aug 2 (Reuters) – The Wasilla, Alaska, beauty salon credited with designing Sarah Palin’s trademark “up-do” hairstyle will be the…

David Bromwich: Why Has Obama Never Recognized the Tea Party?
Now that President Obama has signed the new debt ceiling into law and subscribed his party to an austerity program that assumes a state of permanent economic emergency, the question what made him do it? becomes more pressing than ever. Those who want to confine the blame to Republicans say that the opposition party follows the dictates of a fanatical faction. True; but a president in these circumstances would seem all the more obligated to confront the opposition. Instead, Obama has chosen a tactic of avoidance. And it has been an abysmal failure.

Michael Kieschnick: What Now After Debt Ceiling Debacle
However badly this debt ceiling outcome turns out to be and I believe it will very damaging, it can get much worse. While it is fun writing, it is far more fun to engage in fights that matter.


Netanyahu Apparently Embracing “The Destruction Of Israel”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 3rd, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Netanyahu Apparently Embracing “The Destruction Of Israel”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly open to negotiate with the Palestinians along the lines that President Obama laid out in May in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that called for a peace agreement based on 1967 borders with mutually agreed upon swaps. However, when Obama made the proposal, the conservative media decried it as “potential suicide” and “the destruction of Israel.”

Netanyahu Supports Peace Talks Based On Obama Proposal To AIPAC

Jerusalem Post: Netanyahu And U.S. Working To Return To Negotiations With Palestinians Based On Obama’s AIPAC Proposal ForA Return To The 1967 Lines, With Mutual Agreed Swaps.” From an August 1 Jerusalem Post article:

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Israel and the US were working on a document saying the parameters for returning to negotiations with the Palestinians would be based on the speech US President Barack Obama gave at AIPAC in May, and spelling out in greater detail what Obama meant by saying that an agreement should be based on a return to the 1967 lines, with mutual agreed swaps.

Netanyahu told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that “we are interacting with the US to put together a document [for an agreement with the Palestinians] using language from Obama’s second speech [the AIPAC speech].”

This speech explained in greater detail what Obama had said three days earlier at the State Department. That speech raised Netanyahu’s ire because it called for an agreement based on the pre-1967 lines, with mutually agreed swaps.

To the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, however, Obama explained more fully what he had in mind.

What he meant, Obama had said, was that the parties themselves “will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. It is a well known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation.

It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last 44 years, including the new demographic realities on the ground and the needs of both sides.

“The ultimate goal is two states for two peoples. Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people; each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.”

[…]

Israel was “working to ensure a US veto in the UN Security Council, but that will not prevent a majority in the General Assembly,” Netanyahu said.

“Unilateral steps [by the Palestinians] will distance peace, not bring it closer,” he said.

Israel was working with the Quartet to draw up parameters for talks with the Palestinians, Netanyahu said. The coordination with Washington was better than expected, and Israel would not pay an outrageous price to start the talks.

This coordination was manifest in the basic agreement that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state, that Hamas cannot be a partner in the negotiations and that the final borders will be different from the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 1967, he said.

“The Israeli goal is direct negotiations with the Palestinians, without preconditions,” he said. “There have been attempts to find a way to start talks, but it does not seem to have great chances. [Jerusalem Post, 8/1/11]

In AIPAC Speech And Previous Speech, Obama Called For Negotiations Based On ’67 Lines With Agreed Swaps

May 19: Obama Calls For “A Viable Palestine, A Secure Israel” “Based On The 1967 Lines With Mutually Agreed Swaps.” From Obama’s May 19 speech on the Middle East and North Africa:

So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state. 

As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself — by itself — against any threat. Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism, to stop the infiltration of weapons, and to provide effective border security. The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state. And the duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated.

These principles provide a foundation for negotiations. Palestinians should know the territorial outlines of their state; Israelis should know that their basic security concerns will be met. I’m aware that these steps alone will not resolve the conflict, because two wrenching and emotional issues will remain: the future of Jerusalem, and the fate of Palestinian refugees. But moving forward now on the basis of territory and security provides a foundation to resolve those two issues in a way that is just and fair, and that respects the rights and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians. [Remarks by Obama on the Middle East and North Africa, 5/19/11]

May 22: Obama Repeats That “The Borders Of Israel And Palestine Should Be Based On The 1967 Lines With Mutually Agreed Swaps” At AIPAC. From Obama’s remarks at the AIPAC Policy Conference 2011:

There was nothing particularly original in my proposal; this basic framework for negotiations has long been the basis for discussions among the parties, including previous U.S. administrations.  Since questions have been raised, let me repeat what I actually said on Thursday — not what I was reported to have said. 

I said that the United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine.  The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps — (applause) — so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state. 
 
As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself — by itself — against any threat.  (Applause.)  Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism, to stop the infiltration of weapons, and to provide effective border security.  (Applause.)  And a full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign and non-militarized state.  (Applause.)  And the duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated.  (Applause.) Now, that is what I said.  And it was my reference to the 1967 lines — with mutually agreed swaps — that received the lion’s share of the attention, including just now.  And since my position has been misrepresented several times, let me reaffirm what “1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps” means.

By definition, it means that the parties themselves — Israelis and Palestinians — will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967.  (Applause.)  That’s what mutually agreed-upon swaps means.  It is a well-known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation.  It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last 44 years.  (Applause.)  It allows the parties themselves to take account of those changes, including the new demographic realities on the ground, and the needs of both sides.  The ultimate goal is two states for two people:  Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people — (applause) — and the State of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people — each state in joined self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.  (Applause.)

If there is a controversy, then, it’s not based in substance.  What I did on Thursday was to say publicly what has long been acknowledged privately.  I’ve done so because we can’t afford to wait another decade, or another two decades, or another three decades to achieve peace.  (Applause.)  The world is moving too fast.  The world is moving too fast.  The extraordinary challenges facing Israel will only grow.  Delay will undermine Israel’s security and the peace that the Israeli people deserve. [Remarks by the President at the AIPAC Policy Conference, 5/22/11]

When Obama Made His Proposal, Conservative Media Decried It As “Potential Genocide,” “The Destruction Of Israel”

Limbaugh: Obama Urged Israel To “Destroy Itself” And “Submit Its People To Potential Genocide.” On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh said of Obama’s speech: “What kind of president urges a country to destroy itself and submit its people to potential genocide?” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show5/19/11, via Media Matters]

CNN’s Dana Loesch: Obama “Sided With Terrorists.” During her KFTK radio show, CNN contributor Dana Loesch claimed that in his Middle East speech Obama “sided with terrorists” and “people who believe that Israel doesn’t have a right to exist.” [KFTK, The Dana Show, 5/19/11, via Media Matters]

Beck: Obama’s Policy On Israel Ends With “The Destruction Of Israel” And “The Western Way Of Life.” Discussing Obama’s speech, Beck said:

BECK: Let me tell you how this ends. It ends with the destruction of Israel. It ends with the end of the Western way of life. It is the keystone of the West. You do this, it inflames the Middle East, and I got news for you — Bill Kristol make fun of me all you want — a caliphate is established. [Fox News, Glenn Beck5/19/11, via Media Matters]

Geller: Obama’s Middle East Policy Is “Obama’s Final Solution.” In a May 19 post to her Atlas Shrugs blog on President Obama’s Middle East speech, Pamela Geller wrote that Obama was dooming Israel to “Auschwitz borders” and “Obama’s final solution.” From Atlas Shrugs:

The “Made in the USA” President proved today, yet again, how carefully he listened and committed to the  Islamic Jew-hatred taught to him in his quranic classes while growing up Muslim in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world. His call to return to the ’67 borders, a return to Auschwitz borders, is a call to jihad. It will incite and inflame the Muslim street.

Obama’s foreign policy mimics that of the suicide bomber.

The idea that Israel must take the gas pipe, be reduced to tiny size by this tiny man, while the Muslims have given nothing, negotiated nothing, but instead, waged war and consolidated power between Fatah and Hamas (whose charter calls for the annihilation of Israel), is Obama’s final solution.

I pray Netanyahu tells him to kish meir en tuchas. [Atlas Shrugs, 5/19/11]

Krauthammer Claims Obama Is “Tearing Up Bush-Era Agreements.” During the May 19 edition of Special Report, Fox News’ Bret Baier hosted conservative writer and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer to discuss Obama’s speech on the Middle East. During the segment, Krauthammer falsely claimed that Obama is “tearing up Bush-era agreements” and “mak[ing] the biggest concession of the entire Arab-Israeli negotiations in 50 years.” [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier5/19/11, via Media Matters]

Hannity: Obama Has Thrown Israel Under “A Bus Full Of Suicide Bombers.” During the May 19 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity stated that Obama has thrown Israel under “a bus full of suicide bombers.” He added, “I wonder if the members of the Nobel Committee over in Oslo are scratching their heads tonight wondering why one of their Peace Prize recipients is abandoning a key democratic ally.” [Fox News, Sean Hannity5/19/11, via Media Matters]

Morris: If Israel’s Security “Is An Important Factor In Your Life, You Have No Business Supporting Barack Obama.” From the May 19 edition of Fox News’ On the Record:

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN (host): Now let me ask a collateral issue that is of less importance than the security of any nation or of our allies or anything but the collateral issue, and that’s the political impact here in the United States. You know, we have an enormous population here in this country, especially in Florida where you are — who are — who spend an awful lot of time thinking about Israel. What does this do to him politically?

DICK MORRIS (Fox News contributor): Well, it’s a question of the values of each pro-Israeli voter, whether they’re Jewish or not. If the maintenance of the security of the state of Israel is an important factor in your life, you have no business supporting Barack Obama. It’s that simple. Until now, Obama has pressured Israel on settlements, pressured them into negotiations. And those have all been within the range, kind of the pro-Palestinian range, but within the range of acceptable past U.S. policy. But now, he has literally embraced the language of the Palestinians. [Fox News, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren5/19/11, via Media Matters]

Morris: Obama Is Asking Israel “To Commit Suicide.” Later on the same program, Morris claimed that Obama is “literally” asking Israel “to commit suicide.” [Fox News, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren5/19/11, via Media Matters]

Hannity: “Some Say” Obama “Virtually Spat In The Face Of The State Of Israel.” From the May 20 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

HANNITY: And less than 24 hours after some say that President Barack Obama virtually spat in the face of the state of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of America’s closest ally in the Middle East arrived at the White House. Now tensions ran high as the two leaders came face to face for the first time since the president shocked the world yesterday by calling on Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders. [Fox News, Hannity, 5/20/11, via Media Matters]

Gateway Pundit: Obama “Proposed Giving Half Of Jerusalem … To Hamas-Fatah Terrorist Alliance.” From Jim Hoft’s May 19 blog post:

Let’s be clear.

Obama today proposed giving half of Jerusalem, the Wailing Wall, The Temple Mount, Old Jerusalem, The holiest Christian Church in the world, The Church of the Holy Sepulchreto Hamas-Fatah terrorist alliance. [Gateway Pundit, 5/19/11]

Ace of Spades: Obama Is “‘Endorsing The Terrorists’ Key Demand.” From a May 19 post on the Ace of Spades blog:

Obama pretty much announced that he wants Israel to return to its 1967 borders — thus endorsing the terrorists’ key demand without requiring any substantive concessions on their part. [Ace of Spades, 5/19/11]

Conservative Media Continued To Decry Obama’s “Anti-Israel” Policies After His AIPAC Speech

Hoft: “Obama Doubles Down: Pushes 1967 Border Plan At AIPAC 2011.” In a May 22 post on Gateway Pundit, blogger Jim Hoft wrote: “Far left President Barack Obama spoke today at AIPAC 2011. He doubled down on his plan to push 1967 borders on Israel essentially turning over the Holy Land to the Hamas-Fatah terror alliance.” [Gateway Pundit, 5/22/11]

Ross: “Obama Double[d] Down” At AIPAC. In a May 22 post on his blog titled, “Obama doubles down: Israel needs to adopt 1967 borders, split itself into two pieces and accept a contiguous Palestinian state,” conservative blogger Doug Ross wrote: “Speaking at AIPAC this morning, President Barack Obama reiterated his call for a ‘sovereign, contiguous Palestinian state’ using ‘1967 borders with mutually-agreed upon swaps’.” Beneath a map of Israel, the Gaza strip, and the West Bank, Ross continued: “This current map illustrates the idiocy of such a plan. To join Gaza with the West Bank would require splitting Israel into two pieces. That ain’t gonna happen. So President Obama just doubled-down on an absolutely nonsensical proposal.” [Doug Ross, 5/22/11]

Rubin: Obama “Doubled Down, Making This Upcoming Presidential Election A Time For Choosing For Friends Of Israel.” In a May 22 post, conservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin claimed: “President Obama took nothing back from his foreign policy speech on Thursday and blamed the press for any controversy. He doubled down, making this upcoming presidential election a time for choosing for friends of Israel.” [Washington Post5/22/11]

Geller: “Obama Managed To Double Down And Backpedal At The Same Time.” In a May 22 post on Atlas Shrugs, Pamela Geller claimed: “In a rare, useless skill set mastered by our clumsy President, Obama managed to double down and backpedal at the same time. He tried to softshoe the ’67 borders remark by focusing instead on the caveat of mutually agreed-upon swaps. He admonished us for taking him the wrong way. I kid you not.” [Atlas Shrugs, 5/22/11]

Beck: Obama Wants To “Destabilize Israel Even More.” On his radio show, Beck “contend[ed]” that Obama’s border proposal will “destabilize Israel even more.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program5/23/11, via Media Matters]

WSJ‘s Stephens: AIPAC Speech Shows Obama To Be An “Anti-Israel President.” In his May 24 column, the Wall Street Journal‘s Bret Stephens wrote that President Obama is an “Anti-Israel [p]resident” and that “[t]he contempt was again on display Sunday, when Mr. Obama spoke to the Aipac policy conference in Washington.” Stephens further wrote, “What Mr. Obama offered is a formula for war, one that he will pursue in a second term.” From Stephens’ column, headlined, “An Anti-Israel President”:

When this president wants to make a show of his exquisite diplomatic sensitivity — burgers with Medvedev, bows to Abdullah, New Year’s greetings to the mullahs — he knows how. And when he wants to show his contempt, he knows how, too.

The contempt was again on display Sunday, when Mr. Obama spoke to the Aipac policy conference in Washington. The speech was stocked with the perennial bromides about U.S.-Israeli friendship, which brought an anxious crowd to its feet a few times. As for the rest, it was a thin tissue of falsehoods, rhetorical legerdemain, telling omissions and self-contradictions. Let’s count the ways.

[…]

And then there was that line that “we will hold the Palestinians accountable for their actions and their rhetoric.” Applause! But can Mr. Obama offer a single example of having done that as president, except perhaps at the level of a State Department press release?

What, then, would a pro-Israel president do? He would tell Palestinians that there is no right of return. He would make the reform of the Arab mindset toward Israel the centerpiece of his peace efforts. He would outline hard and specific consequences should Hamas join the government.

Such a vision could lay the groundwork for peace. What Mr. Obama offered is a formula for war, one that he will pursue in a second term. Assuming, of course, that he gets one. [Wall Street Journal, 5/24/11]

Conservative Media Also Suggested At The Time That Netanyahu “Refuse[d]” To Go Along With Obama’s Proposal

Carlson: Netanyahu “Insisting” Israel Can’t Return To 1967 Borders “As President Obama Has Proposed.” On the May 25 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson stated: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu getting more than 20 standing ovations during his address to Congress. More than President Obama at the State of the Union. Netanyahu insisting there is no way that Israel can return to 1967 borders as President Obama had proposed.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends5/25/11, via Media Matters]

Hoft: “Netanyahu Rejected Obama’s Dangerous Plan.” In a May 24 post on Gateway Pundit, conservative blogger Jim Hoft wrote: “Last week Barack Obama pushed Israel to hand over half of Jerusalem, the Wailing Wall, The Temple Mount, Old Jerusalem, and the tomb of Jesus Christ to the Hamas-Fatah terrorist alliance. Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Obama’s dangerous plan. Congress gave him a standing ovation.” [Gateway Pundit, 5/24/11, emphasis in original]

Beck: Netanyahu “Had To Say” 1967 Borders Are Indefensible Because Obama “Played Into The Hands Of Radicals.” From the May 24 edition of Fox News’ Glenn Beck:

BECK: But tonight Benjamin Netanyahu — he addressed a joint session of Congress to make crystal clear where he stands. Listen.

NETANYAHU : Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967.

[Standing Ovation] 

BECK: Now, because he said that — no, I take that back. Because the President of the United States knowingly or unknowingly has played to the hands of radicals in the Middle East and here in America, he had to say that. And now the world is on a collision course. The world is very clear where Benjamin Netanyahu stands. I have told you where I stand. I stand with Israel. We know where the president stands. Soon, soon, if you don’t know yet, soon you’re gonna be– You’re gonna need to be crystal clear on where you stand. [Fox News, Glenn Beck5/24/11, via Media Matters]

Bolton: Obama’s Position Has Been “Radical,” So “It’s Little Wonder Why Benjamin Netanyahu Rejected It.” On the May 25 edition of Fox News’ Happening Now, Fox News contributor John Bolton claimed that “the idea that the ’67 lines have any political significance is simply wrong … [s]o the president’s position has been very radical during his entire tenure in office, and little wonder, therefore, I think that Prime Minister Netanyahu rejected it as he did.” [Fox News, Happening Now5/24/11, via Media Matters]

Kilmeade: Israel “Refuses” To Go Along With Obama’s Border Plan, “Netanyahu Said As Much On Capitol Hill.” From the June 1 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:

BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): President Obama wants Israel to return to its borders from 1967 with some land swaps. Israel, by the way, refuses, and Benjamin Netanyahu said as much on Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, they have made nice, have the two leaders, and ultimately wonder — most of us would wonder, will it ultimately hurt our relationship from country to country? [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/1/11, via Media Matters]

In Fact, Obama’s Proposal Was In Line With Comments By Bush, Olmert, And The U.S. House Of Representatives

In 2008, Then-Israeli Prime Minister Edud Olmert Stated That Israelis Must “Return To The Core Of The Territory That Is The State of Israel Prior To 1967.” On the anniversary of the death of Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated by an Orthodox Jew opposing the Oslo Accords, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated: “We must give up Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem and return to the core of the territory that is the State of Israel prior to 1967, with minor corrections dictated by the reality created since then.” From Haaretz:

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert took advantage of yesterday’s special Knesset marking the 13th anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin to call for territorial withdrawals in all disputed areas and to denounce violence on the part of Jewish settlers.

“We must give up Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem and return to the core of the territory that is the State of Israel prior to 1967, with minor corrections dictated by the reality created since then,” he said.

[…]

Olmert also said that, “Every government will need to tell the truth, which unfortunately will require us to tear out many parts of the homeland in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.” Addressing the settlers, he said: “You, too, will have do carry out a moral reckoning and reach a decision.” [Haaretz11/11/08]

George W. Bush: “Any Peace Agreement … Will Require Mutually Agreed Adjustments To The Armistice Lines Of 1949 To Reflect Current Realities.” From a 2008 statement by Bush while visiting Jerusalem.

Achieving an agreement will require painful political concessions by both sides. While territory is an issue for both parties to decide, I believe that any peace agreement between them will require mutually agreed adjustments to the armistice lines of 1949 to reflect current realities and to ensure that the Palestinian state is viable and contiguous. I believe we need to look to the establishment of a Palestinian state and new international mechanisms, including compensation, to resolve the refugee issue. [Statement by President Bush, 1/10/08]

  • “1949 Armistice Line” Is Another Way Of Referring To Pre-1967 Borders. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs refers to the pre-1967 borders between Israel and Palestine as the “1949-1967 Armistice Lines.” [Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accessed 5/19/11]

In 2005, Bush Stated: “Any Final Status Agreement Must Be Reached Between The Two Parties, And Changes To The 1949 Armistice Lines Must Be Mutually Agreed To.” From Bush’s statement during a May 26, 2005, press conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas:

Any final status agreement must be reached between the two parties, and changes to the 1949 Armistice Lines must be mutually agreed to. A viable two-state solution must ensure contiguity on the West Bank, and a state of scattered territories will not work. There must also be meaningful linkages between the West Bank and Gaza. This is the position of the United States today; it will be the position of the United States at the time of final status negotiations.

The imminent Israeli disengagement from Gaza, parts of the West Bank, presents an opportunity to lay the groundwork for a return to the roadmap. All parties have a responsibility to make this hopeful moment in the region a new and peaceful beginning. That is why I assigned General Kip Ward, who is with us today, to support your efforts, Mr. President, to reform the Palestinian security services and to coordinate the efforts of the international community to make that crucial task a success. The United States also strongly supports the mission of the Quartet’s special envoy, Jim Wolfensohn, to make sure that the Gaza disengagement brings Palestinians a better life. [Press Conference with Presidents Bush and Abbas, 5/26/05]

In 2004, U.S. House Approved A Return To Borders That Reflect “Mutually Agreed Changes” To “The Armistice Lines Of 1949.” House Concurrent Resolution 460, sponsored by then-Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-TX) and approved by the U.S. House in 2004, stated:

Whereas the United States is hopeful that a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be achieved;

Whereas the United States is strongly committed to the security of Israel and its well-being as a Jewish state;

Whereas Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has proposed an initiative intended to enhance the security of Israel and further the cause of peace in the Middle East;

Whereas President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Sharon have subsequently engaged in a dialogue with respect to this initiative;

Whereas President Bush, as part of that dialogue, expressed the support of the United States for Prime Minister Sharon’s initiative in a letter dated April 14, 2004;

Whereas in the April 14, 2004, letter the President stated that in light of new realities on the ground in Israel, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, but realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities. [H. Con. Res. 460, 6/23/04]

Wallace: 1967 Borders Have “Kind Of Always Been The Unofficial Idea For the Basis For An Agreement.” During the May 20 edition of Fox & FriendsFox News Sunday host Chris Wallace acknowledged that the 1967 borders have “always been the unofficial idea of the basis for an agreement” between Israel and Palestine. [Fox News, Fox & Friends5/20/11, via Media Matters]

NBC’s Gregory Notes That Previous Presidents Have Framed Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process Around 1967 Borders. During the May 20 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, NBC’s David Gregory stated: “I think we have to put some things in context here. It is not unusual for an American president in the past decade or more to frame a peace process around the ’67 borders.” [MSNBC, Morning Joe5/20/11, via Media Matters]

Jeffrey Goldberg: “1967 Borders…Has Been The Basic Idea For At Least 12 Years”. Jeffery Goldberg wrote of the speech under the headline, “Nothing New in the Idea That ’67 Borders Should Guide Peace Talks.” Goldberg added: “This has been the basic idea for at least 12 years. This is what Bill Clinton, Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat were talking about at Camp David, and later, at Taba. This is what George W. Bush was talking about with Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert. So what’s the huge deal here? Is there any non-delusional Israeli who doesn’t think that the 1967 border won’t serve as the rough outline of the new Palestinian state?” [The Atlantic, 5/19/11]


Official Mugshots Of Whitey Bulger, Girlfriend Released By U.S. Marshals

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 3rd, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Official Mugshots Of Whitey Bulger, Girlfriend Released By U.S. Marshals
The U.S. Marshals Service released mugshots of gangster Whitey Bulger and his girlfriend Catherine Greig on Monday thanks to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by TPM and other media outlets.

DOJ Files Lawsuit Against Alabama Immigration Law
The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit challenging Alabama’s immigration crackdown, arguing that the law is unconstitutional because it interferes with federal enforcement of immigration policies.


Rep. David Wu Takes Last Vote; ‘God Speed To You All. Take Care.’ (VIDEO)
Rep. David Wu released the video we told you he recorded earlier today and took his final vote as a member of Congress on the debt ceiling deal.



Bryant Wins Mississippi Republican Primary

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 3rd, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Bryant Wins Mississippi Republican Primary
The Hotline reports that Mississippi Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant (R) won a crowded Republican primary with 59% of the vote, avoiding an August 23 runoff that will most likely be necessary for Democrats Johnny DuPree and Bill Luckett.

Bryant is the presumed favorite in the general election, as Republicans continue to dominate state politics in Mississippi. “A sign of Democrats’ plight in the Magnolia State: they failed to get a single candidate on the ballot for lieutenant governor, secretary of state, or auditor.”

Man Jumps White House Fence
CNN has video of a homeless man who jumped the White House fence being “apprehended by uniformed Secret Service officers who approached him with guns drawn,” broadcast live on John King USA.

“After the man jumped the fence, armed officers ordered him to lie down and then handcuffed him before taking him into custody. A backpack thrown over the fence and lying on the ground nearby was being checked by security officers, who locked down the area as a precaution… He will be charged with unlawful entry and contempt of court because he previously had been ordered to stay away from the White House due to past incidents.”

Massa Claims Plot Forced Him from Office
Former Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) “is trying to piece together the events surrounding his hasty departure from office more than a year ago, and is making a case to the House Ethics Committee that he is the victim of a devious plot to force his ouster,” the Elmira Star Gazette reports.

Massa resigned on March 8, 2010 “and offered several reasons for his action at the time, including an ethics inquiry, his failing health and a conspiracy by Democrats related to his opposition to their health care plan. His resignation came under a cloud of suspicion from a House ethics investigation that followed him onto cable news programs, where he recounted a tickling incident with a staff member.”

Now, using House staff e-mail messages, Massa “constructs a chain of events that led to his resignation and lays his demise at the feet of his former chief of staff, Joseph Racalto, in documents submitted in March of this year to the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct in an effort to clear his name.”


Did Koch Group Team Up With Religious Right to Suppress Wisconsin Vote?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 3rd, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Did Koch Group Team Up With Religious Right to Suppress Wisconsin Vote?
Remember when the Tea Party movement was supposed to be just all about the size of government, and not about those pesky "social" issues?


Puncturing the Anti-Government Big Lie

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 3rd, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Puncturing the Anti-Government Big Lie
What’s to be done about a domestic political discourse becoming unmoored from reality? The debt ceiling stand-off and early rounds of the 2012 campaign debate on the economy are disheartening markers of the sorry state of American politics. One of…

An Open Letter to the Rest of the World
Dear onlookers around the world, As politics in my country becomes dominated by a reckless tantrum over the simple matter of paying our debts, many of us are all too conscious of the doubts and concerns this is raising for…


Re: Obama’s Deficit Strategy in April. I Wouldn’t Change a Word Now
The following was posted on April 13, when President Obama gave his big deficit-reduction speech. What would you change here to distinguish his leadership of the past three weeks from the following characterization of it in regard to the same…


Lindsey Graham: Can?t Cut Defense Spending Because Of Threats I Can?t Tell You About

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 3rd, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Lindsey Graham: Can?t Cut Defense Spending Because Of Threats I Can?t Tell You About
Appearing on Fox News last night, pre-eminent hawk Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) argued that the worst thing about the deal struck between the White House and Republicans to avert a U.S. default was the looming cuts to defense spending. Though details in the actual bill are sketchy, a failure to meet prescribed cuts would trigger […]

Appearing on Fox News last night, pre-eminent hawk Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) argued that the worst thing about the deal struck between the White House and Republicans to avert a U.S. default was the looming cuts to defense spending. Though details in the actual bill are sketchy, a failure to meet prescribed cuts would trigger larger defense cuts (the percentage of these triggered cuts that come from defense spending are also disputed and the cuts are “security” cuts, not all from the Department of Defense). Graham said the cuts were untenable because the U.S. “faces threats I can’t even tell you about in detail.” Watch the video:


Muslims in U.S. optimistic about future, poll finds

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 3rd, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Muslims in U.S. optimistic about future, poll finds

Ten years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Muslim Americans are more optimistic than other major faith groups about their future, even as they report greater discrimination and less confidence in the FBI and the U.S. military, a new poll has found.

In the report by Gallup, which measures American Muslims’ political, social and spiritual engagement, almost two in three Muslims said their standard of living is improving, up 18 percentage points from 2008 and higher than any other faith group surveyed. This is the same period that Muslim leaders say has been the most oppressive for Muslims in this country, with rhetoric against their faith group appearing to rise.

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Erosion in the Rust Belt for President Obama?

New polling numbers out of Pennsylvania suggest that President Obama’s bid for a second term could be on somewhat shaky ground in the industrial midwest — aka the “Rust Belt” — as his support in the region has eroded in recent months.

In a Quinnipiac University poll conducted late last month, just 43 percent of Pennsylvania voters approved of the job Obama is doing in office while 54 percent disapproved.

In a head-to-head matchup, Obama and former Massachusetts governor and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney are in a dead heat — 44 percent Romney, 42 percent Obama —, which is a significant change from a June Quinnipiac poll that showed the president leading Romney by seven points.

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Freelance journalist scores coup with account of bin Laden raid

It’s a remarkable story about a remarkable episode. Three months after Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan and killed the terrorist leader, the New Yorker magazine has a gripping account packed with new and compelling details.

The mission’s planners considered tunneling into the compound but abandoned the idea early on because of the high water table surrounding the area, writes Washington journalist Nicholas Schmidle in “Getting bin Laden.” President Obama and his advisers never saw what happened inside the house in which bin Laden was killed; the only live feed of the raid was from a drone circling overhead. Afterward, Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, offered bin Laden’s body to the government of Saudi Arabia for burial; he was rebuffed, and the body was dumped into the Arabian Sea.

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Congress heads home without extending FAA funding

A last-minute Obama administration effort to get the Senate to accept a funding extension that would have returned 4,000 Federal Aviation Administration employees and about 70,000 others to work failed Tuesday as Congress headed home until September.

With House members already departed and senators packing their bags for the summer recess, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood pressed hard in a final round of meetings and calls with Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and other key senators.

LaHood implored them to accept a funding extension sent over by the House that contained provisions some senators found unpalatable, but he told them it was the only avenue left that would return people to work and avert the lost of $1.2 billion in ticket tax revenue.

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