Monday, July 27, 2015

Armed Civilians "Protect and Serve" The New Trend: Feasible??? Hardly

 Since 1775: On Guard

Today: En Garde

Reality Today
(Zachary Gallegos, age 23, stands guard outside the Armed Services Recruiting Center in Sioux Falls, SD. 
The Pentagon has asked such self-appointed armed citizens to leave, citing security concerns).

The story from here (NPR) in part:

The Army is not happy about armed civilians who have been appearing at recruiting stations in several states in the wake of the Chattanooga shootings, ostensibly to help guard against such attacks.  According to Stars and Stripes, a U.S. Army Recruiting Command policy letter issued on Monday warns soldiers to “avoid anyone standing outside the recruiting centers attempting to offer protection and report them to local law enforcement and the command, if they feel threatened.”

The directive follows the attack by lone gunman, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, at two Recruiting Stations in Chattanooga, TN that resulted in the deaths of five service members.

More and related from here (Stars and Stripes article). The Defense Department came out squarely against giving weapons to every service member on a domestic military installation despite a growing clamor in Congress for such a step in the wake of the Tennessee shooting. 

So, short opinion poll here: Do you favor armed service members on posts and stations, or short of that, armed civilians guarding their entrances and also at Recruiting Stations? 

My short answer all along has been "No," not a good idea not one bit.

Friday, July 24, 2015

GOP via-á-vis the Iranian Nuclear Agreement Deal: Stop It Anyway Possible

Official Original Photo
(Mr. Obama with Indian Leader)

GOP Fake Photo and Dirtiest of the Dirty Stunts
(Lousy Photo Editing)

This story with those two photos is from here at Buzz Feed News.

A few details from article:

1.  The Ad touts Wisconsin GOP Sen. Ron Johnson and his opposition to President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran and features a photo shopped image of President Obama shaking hands with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani —

FACT: Those two have NEVER met. But, Mr. Obama did pose with the Indian leader...

2.  The Ad, which is running in the Madison, Milwaukee, and Green Bay markets, was created by Restoration PAC, a group based in Oak Brook, Illinois.

3.  The Ad warns: “Some of our leaders, like Ron Johnson, understand that preventing Iran from getting the bomb is essential to our safety. Others, like President Obama, insist on signing a toothless agreement that makes us less safe.”

4.  The Ad’s background images include a shot from an ISIS-produced video, footage of a smoldering World Trade Center, and an image of the president shaking hands with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

However, Mr. Obama and Iranian President Rouhani have never met.

The photograph of the two of them shaking hands (for Johnston’s Ad) was created from a photo of Mr. Obama meeting and shaking hands with the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan in 2011 (note the neck tie then and supposedly recently … look familiar).

So, how much lower can this GOP sink? Because right now they have sunk lower than whale shït and that folks that is pretty darn low.

Actually, I’d have to say for a U.S. Senator to do this should actually be illegal and unlawful … he should be censored by the Senate and expelled in my view. Imagine showing Mr. Obama with an axe in hand standing over a body and saying “this is our president before he became a public face.”

Yeah, imagine that Mr. and Mrs. Gee Old Poops … on the other hand, I’d wager that base loves it, so never mind.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

FACT: Trump is the Face of GOP Conservatives and TEA'ers

Note: Trump has started parting his hair - now the GOP needs to part company
(Improving his image after insulting McCain)

Trump Reacts to GOP Backlash
(Kinda of ...)

This latest from Trump just will not go away, and rightly so .. but he should go away:

It all started during a campaign appearance in Ames, Iowa, when Trump suggested McCain, who spent five and a half years in a North Vietnamese prison after he was shot down, is only considered a war hero because he was caught, saying in part: “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
Some of backlash began almost immediately but not from all GOPers – some examples are: 
Republicans and Democrats alike are lining up in droves to condemn Donald Trump over comments in which he questioned whether Arizona Sen. John McCain, a former Navy pilot who survived capture during Vietnam, should be considered a “war hero.” 

But the real estate mogul turned GOP presidential candidate remains unapologetic even saying in a telephone interview on ABC’s “This Week” when asked if he thought he should apologize to McCain, he replied: “No, not at all.”
  1. Former TX Gov. Rick Perry said Trump’s remarks about McCain make him “unfit” to be president.
  2. FL Sen. Marco Rubio, a fellow GOP hopeful, agreed saying: “It’s not just absurd. It’s offensive. It’s ridiculous. And I do think it is a disqualifier to serve as Commander-in-Chief.”
  3. SC Sen. Lindsey Graham, a longtime pal of McCain, tweeted: “If there was ever any doubt that @RealDonaldTrump should not be our commander in chief, this stupid statement should end all doubt.”
  4. Former FL Gov. JEB Bush tweeted: “Enough with the slanderous attacks @SenJohnMcCain and all our veterans particularly POWs have earned our respect and admiration.”
  5. WI Gov. Scott Walker tweeted @SenJohnMcCain is an American hero, period. I’ll denounce any attack against his service and anyone else who wears this uniform.”
  6. KY Sen. Rand Paul also joined the tweeter club: “I don't always see eye to eye with @SenJohnMcCain. But I honor his service and the sacrifices he made for our country.”
  7. NJ Gov. Chris Christie tweeted: “I know @SenJohnMcCain. Senator John McCain is an American hero. Period. Stop.”
  8. LA Gov. Piyush “Bobby (his reel name)” Jindal, tweeted: “After Donald Trump spends six years in a POW camp, he can weigh in on John McCain's service.”
  9. TX Sen. Rafael Edward “TED” Cruz tweeted: “John McCain is an American hero. Although we have some policy disagreements, I'm proud to serve alongside him.” (Note: Cruz would not blast Trump, however, saying “he is a friend”).
Even FOX Chief Uncle Ruppy Murdoch weighed in tweeting: “When is Donald Trump going to stop embarrassing his friends, let alone the whole country?” (Note: Murdock never mentioned he used to kiss Trump’s ass and pay him for his commentary and insight on FOX) … oops
I firmly believe that the GOP has to come to grips with the fact that people like Trump, and let’s face it, the GOP is full of them, is the face of this GOP and people like him who have become nastier, uglier, and meaner since President Obama first was sworn in … and that is not racist – although some surely exists. 
But that kind of disrespect we have seen for Mr. Obama and the office has now spilled over into this cesspool that Trump continues to swim in . 
The worst part: a rather large segment of the GOP base loves the crap from Trump. I guess it's what they would love to say and certainly how they feel. So, they surely must be more content and comfortable in that sewer alongside Trump - or so it certainly seems. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Texas: Big State, Big Worry Warts, Big Conspiracy Nuts

Military Training Exercise Across Several States

It used to be an honor and privilege to be invited to go and watch a live military exercise (e.g., beach landing by Marines at Camp Pendleton or Camp Lejeune, or Paratroopers dropping over Fort Bragg, or Big Guns Firing in the Mohave Desert, or even the Blue Angels on full display overhead, but not any longer. Not in this crazy “Blame Obama World – he’s coming for your guns, wives, kids, and dogs, I suppose” attitude. In short, the conspiracy nuts are out in full force.

Several examples follow:

Texas’s governor moved this week to protect his state from an Obama-led military takeover.

Governor Greg Abbott who took over Rick Perry’s job just announced on that he’s going to sic the Texas Rangers on the U.S. military. No, not really.

But it sure sounds that way. What’s actually going on is U.S. troops are doing training exercises — called Jade Helm 15—in several states throughout the Southwest, including Texas.

Hundreds of conspiracy nuts gather to defend Texas from “Jade Helm 15” military takeover

More here as this photo depicts – scared of what, gents, scared of what I ask?

Even the NY Times jumps in with their slant here:

Conspiracy Theories Over Jade Helm Training Exercise Get Some Traction in Texas 

Texas: It must be the water down there … damn…!!!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Private Drones: Huge Business (Profits) vs. Individual Privacy

What's My Neighbor Doing Right Now
(Let's Take a Peek)

Your On-Line Purchases Are on the Way 
(Get Your Catcher's Mitt Ready)

The domestic use of drones is a popular topic following Congress’ recently passed FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012

The act provides funding for the FAA over the next four years, but the portions of the bill (§§ 331-336) that herald the possibility of expanded access to U.S. airspace for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS’s) are drawing the most attention.  A number of organizations have criticized this portion of the bill as setting a dangerous precedent that will pave the way for government and private parties to trample on privacy rights.  The ACLU, for example, has been quite vocal in its criticism of this portion of the bill, releasing a report and a series of tweets to demonstrate their concerns over the prospect of intrusive aerial surveillance without proper safeguards. 

While a robust public debate over the bill and the domestic use of drones is warranted, the conclusion that widespread privacy violations are imminent is premature.

The ACLU and other organizations believe the approach followed by Congress fails to adequately address the privacy and civil liberties concerns which were largely ignored by the bill and were not discussed during the 
Senate’s floor debate.  Dozens of signatories, led by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), have sent an open letter to the FAA petitioning the government to address their privacy concerns.  Proponents of the bill (supporters of expanded drone use in general) argue that privacy concerns are overblown and result from unfamiliarity with drone technology and current air regulations. 

David Uberti’s informative article posted on Medill National Security Zone helpfully summarizes some of the opposing viewpoints.  As summarized by Ben Geilom, government relations manager for the Association for UVS International, who said: “… current regulations for manned aircraft should extend to their unmanned counterparts. The aircraft itself is new and maturing. But the systems payload – the cameras and sensors that are on the unmanned system – are not new. In fact, they have been used by law enforcement and others on manned aircraft for decades,” Geilom concluded.

Under current law drones are restricted to flying in specifically designated airspace.  However some domestic uses of drones have already occurred, including access to military airspace, border patrol (both with Mexico and 
Canada), intelligence gathering on Mexican drug cartels, and use by a number of public agencies for research and, under special circumstances, law enforcement purposes. 

In the March/April issue of Foreign Policy, Micah Zenko notes:

Friday, July 3, 2015

July 4, 1776 - July 4, 2015: 239 Years for a Young Democracy

That image and a lot more in between led to this and much more history since:

The American Revolution (1775-1783) is also known as the American Revolutionary War and the U.S. War of Independence. 

The conflict arose from growing tensions between residents of Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies and the colonial government, which represented the British crown. Skirmishes between British troops and colonial militiamen in Lexington and Concord in April 1775 kicked off the armed conflict, and by the following summer, the rebels were waging a full-scale war for their independence.

France entered the American Revolution on the side of the colonists in 1778, turning what had essentially been a civil war into an international conflict. After French assistance helped the Continental Army force the British surrender at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781, the Americans had effectively won their independence, though fighting would not formally end until 1783. 

By June 1776, with the Revolutionary War in full swing, a growing majority of the colonists had come to favor independence from Britain.

On July 4, 1776 the Continental Congress voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence, drafted by a five-man committee including Benjamin Franklin and John Adams but written mainly by Thomas Jefferson (later 3rd President of the United States under the Constitution which would be ratified on June 21, 1788 (official date). 

That all became effective when Geo. Washington was sworn in as the First President of the United States of America on April 30, 1789, and in the eyes of the world ever since we became and are The United States of America

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Gay Marriage: Panicky Weasels Running in Circles No Purpose

GOP-RW Since Gay Ruling
Seen on Every GOP
(What about Gay family members - oops)
GOP's "Fair and Balanced" Thinking and Policy
(pick and choose rules)

Some headlines like from here since the 5-4 gay marriage ruling:

Following the emotional high from the weekend after the decision wore off, a budding resistance had emerged from mostly RED states unwilling to give up their gay-marriage bans without a fight. For example:

1.    Texas AG Ken Paxton has deemed state employees exempt from granting same-sex couples with marriage licenses if it violates their religious beliefs.
2.     Conservatives in Tennessee have started drafting legislation that would protect religious leaders from being forced to preside over same-sex marriages.
3.     Utah and Mississippi are considering doing away with state-issued marriage licenses.
4.     County clerks in Kentucky and Alabama have already taken it upon themselves to stop granting licenses altogether. (NOTE: they should be fired for neglect of their duties).

While such push back looks poised to provoke legal action, constitutional experts (like Greg Magarian, a professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis) say most of these state efforts are “the political equivalent of temper tantrums” attention-getting yet extremely difficult to implement.

In fact, moves to stop issuing marriage licenses to anyone, for one thing, are highly problematic, and if a state continues to recognize religious marriages but doesn’t offer any legal opportunity for same-sex marriage, that state would inevitably end up handing out marriage-based benefits only to those who’ve participated in a religious ceremony, which is unconstitutional.

It would then only be a matter of time, before someone who doesn’t want a religious ceremony sues the state for discriminating against their religion or lack thereof by preventing them from having a civil ceremony. They would sue and they would win and the state would will be ordered to start issuing civil marriage licenses again.  

Married couples receive benefits not only from the state but from the federal government as well.
So even if states managed to remove themselves from the marriage business entirely, ceasing to provide benefits in addition to marriage licenses, it’s not as if the problem would just disappear.
Similarly to the result of states refusing to set up health insurance exchanges in accordance with the ACA, marriage would become the federal government’s responsibility.

“You can stand in the corner and hold your breath until you’re blue in the face, but people in your state will still be signing up for Obamacare, only now you’ve given the authority over it to the federal government” the professor said. From a political perspective, daring the federal government to take over a long-held state responsibility like marriage would be “a strategically stupid move.”

In the fight against gay marriage, opponents have long cited concerns that legalization would result in Catholic priests, Evangelical pastors and other religious clerics being forced — against their beliefs — to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples. That is an unfounded fear like legislation currently being drafted by a pair of Republican Tennessee lawmakers.


My advice to the overly nervous and panicky GOP would be this from FDR's First Inaugural Address: "... so, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." 

Closely related: 

"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is the language as straightforward and as moving as political rhetoric ever gets, and we live in its light today just as we did when we broke from England and become the United States of America in on July 4, 1776.  “Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness.”(Historical background here)

Historians still debate how Thomas Jefferson arrived at those three words. Surely, most say he surely had in mind the English philosopher John Locke, who wrote in 1690 that “no one ought to harm another in his Life, Health, Liberty, or Possessions.” 

Even that took several turns:

For example, in 1774, two years before the Congress met in Philadelphia, the now little-remembered Declaration of Colonial Rights paraphrased Locke in asserting a right to “life, liberty and property.” But Jefferson, with the backing of Benjamin Franklin, prevailed on the other drafters to substitute the phrase and insert “happiness.”

Sadly, even today and over the years, there are those, notably like libertarian followers of Ayn Rand, who think Jefferson unfairly shortchanged the word “property.” But those who think that way seem to forget that the “property” angle along with “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects….” Kind of guarantees that right since it is in the Bill of Rights and can’t be taken away (what we commonly refer no “search and seizure clause without proper warrant” clause).

Justice Kennedy’s decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges gay ruling, striking down bans on same-sex marriage, didn’t directly reference the Declaration per se (although the dissents by Justices Scalia and Thomas did, as they make the exact opposite point).

But Kennedy’s opinion did cite a ruling in a 1967 case — Loving v. Virginia, which struck down state laws prohibiting interracial marriage (white man married black woman), saying the right to wed “one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”

It is a bit ironic that now we reflect on that ruling as recently as that year such an opinion could be written without acknowledging in its language that women might also be pursuing happiness through marriage.

I don't know, but I suspect the Goofy Old Poops won't give up on this "cause celebre" anytime soon... look how long they have clung to repealing ACA (Obama-care). Stay tuned.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Texas Weasel: Threat to Texas Sanity (if possible in Texas)

Texas AG Ken Paxton (R) 
(deflecting what - one wonders)

The headline is startling: 

Texas Attorney General Calls USSC Gay Marriage Decision a Lawless Ruling

AG Ken Paxton (his official page) says he will defend state officials refusing to grant same-sex marriage licenses or perform weddings based on religious beliefs.

Here is the “heart” of the “movement” issue that Paxton in Texas and RW Talk Radio are now spreading across GOP la-la land: The landmark 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges declared same-sex marriage a constitutional right, but Paxton said in a statement that the ruling “...stops at the door of the First Amendment and cannot touch religious freedom."

While critics see this as short-lived political posturing, some conservatives see it as the start of a state's rights movement against the high court's decision on gay marriages.

I noted at Paxton’s homepage this short snippet (Note: He was a Texas State Senator at the time he ran for AG) “… Paxton has consistently been recognized as a conservative, stalwart leader with a deep passion and respect for our U.S. Constitution (my emphasis).” 

Oh, any talk of secession or disobeying a high court decision equals "deep respect for our Constitution?" I see, I see. So, a “pick and choose policy" is what most Texans perceive as best for the country and our rights (which I assume is their rights, too). Only in Texas – yep, only in Texas. Must be the water.

Finally, I say as usual, hang on tight. Plus any more secession talk on top of this crazy-ass “movement talk to dismiss or disobey the high court” leaves me with one thought: Let the pricks secede and take their Bibles with them to, um, let’s see to where? Oh yeah, how about nearby Mexico???  

I hope all level-headed Texans are paying attention to this crap for that is what it is. We are about to see some serious shït folks, and hell, we are not even at 88 miles per hour yet, right Doc. Brown and Marty??

Friday, June 26, 2015

ISIS Target Countries: Get Your Shït Together - Carry the Load

Two Horrible Examples and Reality

Two More Horrible Examples and Reality

My message is short and not so sweet, but needs to be stated, or re-stated again and again:

For the people in the affected countries and regions who truly say they peace or whatever life Allah wants for then this brief message: Pitch in and help combat ISIS and like-minded terrorist groups.

You cannot continue to hate the West and U.S. and also rely on us to clean you back yard and use American blood. You must as we say, “Get with the program and take charge.”

We can and will help, but you have to do the heavy lifting. This post is based on these headlines:

The images posted above are reality – stark and brutal. The region’s people need unity to combat ISIS and now…!!! 

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Police With Suspects: Mass Killer vs. Man Selling Cigarettes

(L) Dylann Roof, age 21, single, premeditated shooter of nine innocents in church.
(R) Eric Garmer, age 43, married, father of 6 children - choked to death or selling "loosies."

Link to Eric Garner story: He died on Staten Island after a police officer put him in a choke hold 
for 15 seconds. The NYC ME concluded that Garner died partly as a result of the choke hold. 

NYPD policy prohibits the use of choke holds, The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association  (PBA), a NYPD police union, said that the officer did not use a choke hold. NYPD officers approached Garner on suspicion of selling "loosies" (single cigarettes) from packs without a tax stamp.
After Garner told the police that he was tired of being harassed and that he was not selling cigarettes, the officers went to arrest Garner. When officer Daniel Pantaleo took Garner's wrist behind his back, Garner swatted his arms away saying he hadn't done anything wrong. Pantaleo then put his arm around Garner's neck and pulled him backwards and down onto the ground.
After Pantaleo removed his arm from Garner's neck, he pushed Garner's face into the ground while four officers moved to restrain Garner, who repeated "I can't breathe" eleven times while lying face down on the sidewalk. After Garner lost consciousness, officers turned him onto his side to ease his breathing.
Garner remained lying on the sidewalk for seven minutes while the officers waited for an ambulance to arrive. The officers and EMTs did not perform CPR on Garner at the scene; according to a spokesman for the PBA, this was because they believed that Garner was breathing and that it would be improper to perform CPR on someone who was still breathing. He was pronounced dead on arrival (DOA) at the hospital approximately one hour later.
Dylann Roof story: He admitted he killed the nine people in the church in order "to start a race war." His legal process starts in October and will go on for years and even if he gets the death penalty, which SC has, it is unlikely it will carried out.  
Justice in America. Pictures worth a 1,000 words.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Trump into the Fray (now officially): Birthers Not Far Behind

So who will follow JEB (seen standing in back row)

Reality Show "Star" - His New Sign Off

All the headlines about Trump to go with another Bush-Clinton show - the GOP clown car just got fuller by one: THE DONALD — in head first — he probably wants to own the car.

Oh yeah, the birthers reference - can they not be far behind ... the face of the Trumpettes from the past:

Wait and watch and see ... my money's on this gal... Trump needs them as much as they need him ...

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Pop Quiz: Pick Biggest Weasel — GOP, RNC, Koch's, All Three

The Fight is On: Control of the GOP, the System, and Hell, America itself

By way of introduction, I have many times expressed my views and opinions about the GOP and the Koch billionaire brothers that my extensive reading and listening have shown and I am also sure those views are shared by millions of others, maybe even this same way: (1) The GOP professes to stand for principles, family values, and the American people (sadly on their terms); and, (2) the Koch's who want to buy and own the country. (Bonus: FOX is the propaganda machine and arm for the GOP).

The cartoon graphic above was snatched from here — it and the article are both keepers. Why do I say that?   Well, it seems that the RNC and ergo: the GOP in general are now “seeing the light” as it were, or more apropos “feeling the heat” by aligning with people like me who hold the above stated view that “The Koch's want to buy and own the country and thus, run it their way.”

More from the piece here, in part. Cal it the juicy part: 

The Republican National Committee’s (RNC) data arm last year called it “historic” occasion when it struck a deal to share voter information with the Koch brothers’ rapidly expanding political empire. 

It was an uneasy détente between the committee, which views itself as the rightful standard-bearer for the GOP, and the behemoth funded by Charles and David Koch, which is free of the campaign finance restrictions that bind the RNC and Koch plans to spend almost $900 million in the 2016 election cycle to elect a Republican to the White House. 

Party leaders, including the current chief digital officer for the RNC, hailed the deal as an important step forward in the GOP’s attempt to modernize itself. 

But after the fall midterm elections, the deal was allowed to expire without being renewed. Since then, relations between the two sides have soured, turning into what one Republican operative described as “all-out war.”  

You gotta luv this stuff, right (smile). (So, may the biggest, phoniest jerk with the most money and fewest donors win – for the people, natch???) … We’ll be watching and tracking. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

If ACA Subsidies Get Tossed What is GOP Plan "B" for Relief

Sen. Mitch "Make Barack Obama a One-term President" McConnell has Plan "B"

RNC Then Will Adopt New GOP Mascot to Fit the Times

MAIN GOP SCENARIO (besides McConnell’s plan cited above):
Tea Party Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) has a plan to provide temporary help to the millions of people who might lose health coverage if the Supreme Court sides with the King challengers and guts subsidies in three dozen federal-exchange states (the pending King v. Burwell ruling expected soon).
Johnson’s fix reportedly has 29 GOP co-sponsors, including Sen. McConnell. It is fair to assume the eventual GOP post-King contingency plan, if there is any GOP consensus plan, may look something like this:
1.  It would keep subsidies going for everybody across the country who would be adversely impacted by the Court ruling (that the GOP hopes and prays daily for) — until September of 2017.
2.  That date is similar to a few other GOP contingency plans that have been floated by Republicans, which also provide a temporary subsidy.  
3.  The idea is to buy time to develop a more comprehensive GOP replacement for Obamacare (since they obviously don’t have one at the present – cite: McConnell remarks in the chart above).  
4.  Johnson himself recently put it this way (I call it “the cat’s out of the bag) – why? That time lag Johnson proposes would allow the future of health reform to be litigated in the 2016 presidential race. Ah, ha – so it is politics as usual? I see, I see.  Why am I not surprised? Stay tuned.  

May I offer this advice from Will Rogers, Mr. McConnell? "If you find yourself in a holestop digging."

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Potpourri: GOP Tidbits That Ring Truer Than Some Believe

FOX's 2016 Campaign Bracket:  Their "Sweet 16" As It Were
(this is my fav)

Okay, I admit, it's pretty simple stuff; that's why I call it my weekly "hit and run" segment, or more apropos "post and run." Anyway, enjoy. I did. Though, hard to dispute, isn't it?

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, June 1, 2015

U.S. Senate: Two Who Can't, Won't, or Know How to Lead

Reaction to NSA Extension Vote and NSA Hater 
(Sen. Mitch efforts down in flames and Sen. Rand merely in flames)

Major Update: WASHINGTON — In a remarkable turnaround, Senate Republicans have agreed to debate a House bill that would overhaul the National Security Agency's handling of Americans' calling records (see below reference) that at the same time would help preserve other domestic surveillance provisions. 

Previous Post: In the U.S. Senate today: Rand Paul wants the entire NSA program and similar ones scrapped even though the Senate has a positive common sense rational program right before them from the House (see post entry below), yet Paul keeps saying “No...”  This is why I hate the Senate rules:

1.  GOP Senate Majority “Leader” Mitch McConnell, in an about-face, reluctantly embraced the House-passed bill that would extend the anti-terror provisions that expire Sunday at midnight, while also remaking the bulk phone collections program.

2.  Although the lapse in the programs may be brief, intelligence officials warned that it could jeopardize Americans' safety and amount to a win for terrorists.

3.  The Senate voted today 77-17 to move ahead on the House-passed bill (see below) called “the USA Freedom Act,” which only last weekend fell three shorts vote of the 60 needed to advance in the Senate.  

For McConnell, it was a remarkable retreat after objecting ferociously that the House bill would make the bulk phone collections program unwieldy by requiring the government to search records maintained by phone companies.

Background noted from above reference: On May 13, 2015, the House passed the new the new “Freedom Act but it was hung up in the Senate with a lot of fear tactics in play. McConnell and a few others wanted a “clean extension of the bill specifically Section 215 until 2020 and in its present form.”

Opposition and fear were strong on all sides…  So, where are we now? We are about to find out ... and lest we forget how the GOP promised before the 2014 vote: "Give us Congress and we'll show you how to govern." 

Related from my earlier post here:

Alrighty then.