Archive for February, 2011
Bill Ketron wants to make following Islamic law a felony punishable by fifteen years in jail. Let’s get to the first sentence of the bill.
The threat from terrorism continues to plague the United States generally and Tennessee in particular.
I didn’t know Tennessee was such a hotbed for terrorism, unless you’re counting people trying to scare Muslims, in which case, Tennessee does have a problem.
Sharia, as defined and understood by traditional and authoritative sharia scholars and leaders, is a legal-political-military doctrinal system combined with certain religious beliefs; further, sharia is based historically and traditionally on a full corpus of law and jurisprudence termed fiqh and usul al-fiqh, respectively, dealing with all aspects of a sharia-adherent’s personal and social life and political society. Sharia serves as national and local law in several foreign jurisdictions;
I included this portion of the bill because it shows such a blatant disregard for “sharia scholars” that it’s mind blowing. Click here for a good example of a scholar’s take on sharia. (Hint, it isn’t solely for terrorists.)
Senator Ketron obviously has only read about sharia from people who think it is horrible. He doesn’t understand that “Sharia governs every aspect of an observant Muslim’s life.” He’s basically saying Muslims cannot practice their faith.
Here is another choice ditty demonstrating how little he understands:
Jihad and sharia are inextricably linked, with sharia formulating andcommanding jihad, and jihad being waged for the purpose of imposing and instituting sharia
Jihad, as most scholars and Muslims recognize it, refers to the inner struggle of Muslims to maintain faith, or struggling with one’s own soul. It’s ridiculous to judge 1.5 billion people based on the actions and interpretations of a few.
I could go on and on, but it should be clear that this bill is only being introduced to continue spreading fear of Muslims, as Abed Awad puts it, “The only explanation is that they appear to be driven by an agenda infused with hate, ignorance and Islamophobia intent on dehumanizing an entire religious community.”
I have to throw in this video, which seems more realistic by the day:
Enjoy another pointless spectacle.
Moody’s Analytics economist Mark Zandi estimates that the spending bill that passed the house, which cuts $61 billion over seven months, would cost 400,000 jobs this year and 700,000 by the end of 2012.
Republicans are saying this report is meaningless since Zandi supported the stimulus. I guess you know my feelings on the stimulus, so I’m more inclined to listen than Republicans that incessantly call it a failure.
Zandi argues that we should make smaller cuts until the economy is truly expanding so we don’t threaten recovery. He argues the economy could absorb a compromise with fewer cuts in the mean time.
Enjoy the battle.
I really thought John Thune was going to run, and the idea of it was scary. He didn’t have great name recognition, but that honestly almost seemed like a good thing with a lot of people divided on Palin and Romney. He would have been a fresh, tall, good-looking face with nice hair and very solid conservative credentials, both for fiscal conservatives and evangelicals more focused on social issues. He would have been a scary candidate.
But he is out. He has decided not to run, citing how difficult it would be to raise enough money considering how he lacked the name recognition of other candidates as a main reason.
Jennifer Rubin thinks Thune has a good chance to replace Jon Kyl as GOP whip upon his retirement in 2012.
Any way you look at it, Thune gained some name recognition and had people discussing whether or not he would run. Next time around more people will know him and he’ll rise a little higher. Who knows?
I still wish he would have run for governor back in ‘04.
Enjoy some SD pub for something other than a contentious bill.
Remember the Iraq War? The one the CBO estimates will have cost us $1.7 trillion by 2017? With over 4,000 American soldiers killed and over 30,000 wounded? With at a minimum over 100,000 Iraqis dead (Iraq Body Count has about 100,000 civilians killed and about 50,000 combatants, though some had much higher numbers)? With about 2.2 million Iraqis fleeing their homes? The one that saw countless people tortured by Americans? The one that brought Al-Qaeda to Iraq (who continue killing people)? The guy that gave us some of the evidence we needed has admitted he just made shit up, but all of this was worth it.
I’m sure he has to tell himself that, otherwise being a main reason for all of the above would seem pretty awful.
Colin Powell didn’t say I was the only reason for this war. He talked about three things. First of all, uranium; secondly, al-Qaida; and thirdly, my story.
I don’t know why the other sources, for the uranium and al-Qaida, remained hidden and my name got out. I accept it, though, because I did something for my country and for me that was enough.
Powell went ahead and used Curveball’s (which was the US codename for Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi) report, though he had been warned that he was “suspected of being mentally unstable and a liar.
Couple this with the fact that the yellowcake uranium in question was based on forgeries (which was known) and the dubious claim that Al-Qaeda was in Iraq (which was disputed before the war). It has even been alleged that officials seeking to justify the war after these claims proved false ordered the forgery of a document.
Sorry to get back into all of this stuff, but I think sometimes we forget just how at best this was an epic intelligence failure and at worst it was the intentional use of false information to justify war. The costs continue, and we didn’t have a leg to stand on. I guess there is the fact that weapons inspectors didn’t have perfect access, though even on our tips they couldn’t find anything.
I think if we want the real reasoning behind the war, we need look no further than ten days after Bush took office. At his very first National Security Council meeting, Bush was already talking regime change in for Iraq. The rest of the evidence just a means to get people to go along with it. He thought Saddam was a bad dude and that was enough for him. So it didn’t matter that we should have known a guy like Curveball was full of it, because their mind was made up. Our leaders thought the cause was right even if the intelligence was wrong, so it should be no surprise that they didn’t care that it was wrong.
As Paul O’Neill put it, “It was ‘Go find me a way to do this.’ For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap.”
It’s a really huge leap, indeed. We leaped right into the first paragraph of this post.
Enjoy Curveball’s clean conscience.
HB 1171 has set off a bit of an internet wildfire. The bill makes legal homicides in which the act was committed to save the life of an unborn child.
Mother Jones ran a story arguing that this makes the killing of abortion providers legal.
Representative Phil Jensen is the bill’s main sponsor. He said this is untrue. Killing abortion doctors wouldn’t be made legal because the abortions they perform are legal.
Let’s take a look at some of the wording of the bill to see what we find:
Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person while resisting any attempt to murder such person, or to harm the unborn child of such person in a manner and to a degree likely to result in the death of the unborn child, or to commit any felony upon him or her, or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person is.
I highlighted the word murder because I think that proves Jensen right. Doctors aren’t attempting to commit murder because their actions are legal. This means that homicide against doctors is not justified by the law.
I don’t know that the bill is necessary. In the example Jensen uses, in which the woman is being beaten to induce abortion, she would have the right to self defense without this law, wouldn’t she? It may raise concerns about the motive of the bill, but I do believe that it’s not to spark the killing of abortion providers.
Enjoy SD in the news again.
Here is some information and here is a video about President Obama’s proposed budget:
Here is a video about the cuts:
Many Democrats are not happy (though Democratic leadership is starting to get behind it). Many Republicans are also not happy. But of course Democrats in power must embrace it and Republicans must knock it. That’s politics. I think the fact that a lot of the left is pissed shows that a serious effort was undertaken to make cuts.
It’s often said that the best compromises are those that leave both sides wanting more, so on that note this seems to have struck that sort of balance, though Republican criticisms seem a little harsh when Obama is cutting some of Democrats’ favorite programs.
This obviously isn’t the end of this story, but we have an interesting start.
Enjoy Chicago Code if you’re not already.
There have been plenty of questions about Rand Paul, so it would make sense that once he got into the Senate he would keep a low profile. That’s a tradition for new members – keep your head down, learn the odd rules, and yield to ranking members. But that ain’t Rand’s style, and he isn’t keeping quiet.
Paul is trying to cut $500 billion from the budget, including picking a fight with Israel by planning to cut all foreign aid. By proposing such huge cuts, he’s also putting pressure on other GOP members, lest they look weak in the eyes of the Tea Party. Rand was one of the first to call out Boehner, who promised $100 billion in cuts but only proposed $32 billion. He just got there and he’s got the GOP leadership in a pickle.
Rand has also attacked Henry Clay in a speech to the Senate. Henry Clay, a Kentucky senator, is a hero of Mitch McConnell, also a Kentucky senator. So Rand Paul, a newly elected Kentucky senator, took to the floor to attack the hero of Kentucky’s senior senator, GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who also happens to be a legendary Kentucky senator. That takes some balls. Kentucky papers are already running articles denouncing the speech (example).
McConnell walked out of the speech. They’re claiming he had another engagement that forced him to leave, but I’m not buying it. Rand decided to make a splash by denouncing a great compromiser, he is demonstrating that he will not compromise on the ideas that got him elected – lower taxes and cutting spending.
I disagree strongly with Rand Paul’s policy ideas and I think if we had his way we’d be screwed, but I have to admit I admire what he’s doing. It happens all too often that we elect someone thinking they’ll storm D.C. and raise hell. They’ll get in there and dominate those jerks in Washington. It’s one of the most common campaigns there is, and it almost always leaves people disappointed.
I’m hoping Rand’s supporters end up disappointed, but it has to be sweet to see your guy in there getting after it. Recognizing that a beloved historical figure had flaws (though he may have went to far) is something that members of Congress are loath to do. And taking a leading role in reshaping the policy agenda of a party is something newbies are loath to do. So to see someone I think is completely wrong doing it is upsetting.
Why is it this guy who thinks the federal government overstepped its bound enacting the Civil Rights Act is the guy to shake things up? Unwritten rules and protocol are just the way people that have been there forever keep themselves at the top and keep everyone under them in line. Then those that toe the line and keep their head down do the same when they rise. I’m overgeneralizing, but I don’t care. I am a bit frustrated that I’m writing this about Rand Paul.
It shouldn’t be surprising, and I am probably giving him too much credit, but this is just what ran through my mind as I read this article. I begrudgingly admire his political sack.
Enjoy the last (sort of) kind words I am likely to write about Rand Paul.
One of the more entertaining political figures over the last year was possible witch and masturbator hater Christine O’Donnell. Thankfully, she looks like she’s going to keep herself in the headlines. Her new plan is to start ChristinePAC so she can counter those damned liberals that run the GOP establishment.
Huh. I wonder if she thinks Boehner is a GOP establishment liberal, because he thinks he should be considered a member of the Tea Party. But make no mistake, he’s either in the Tea Party or liberal. The world is that black and white, as someone like O’Donnell would want us to believe.
Enjoy more O’Donnell quotes.
The Hill has a strong article on the challenges facing John Boehner. The Republican majority in the House has been strong and unified, making Speaker Boehner’s job easy. They all wanted to repeal health care reform. They all wanted to make cuts. But now he’s faced with the vote to raise the debt ceiling, and the new guys may not go along.
If we don’t raise the debt ceiling and the government defaults, things could get ugly. Tim Geithner warns that interest rates will rise, house values will fall, and payments will stop for military salaries, Medicare, and Social Security. Some Republicans think he’s being melodramatic, but even Boehner said not acting is not an option:
That would be a financial disaster not only for our country, but for the worldwide economy. Remember, the American people on Election Day said we want to cut spending and we want to create jobs. You can’t create jobs if you default on the federal debt.
The period of agreement will end, as Michele Bachmann and some number of members of the Tea Party Caucus will refuse to vote to raise the limit, regardless of spending cuts attached to it.
There could also be another disagreement between some Democrats. Those that don’t want huge cuts because they worry about the affect of such cuts on the economy will likely be unhappy if a deal similar to the Bush tax cut extension is made that gives Republicans a lot of cuts.
Boehner called this an “adult moment.” I think that sums up what this is going to mean for many of the Republican newcomers that had huge ideas of saying no to any debt and spending. It sounds good, but in practice it just isn’t that easy.
I think it’s similar to how Boehner promised $100 billion in spending cuts then proposed $32 billion in spending cuts. If they’re talking about getting the debt under control, this is a feeble attempt. It seems well and good to say, “Let’s cut $100 billion” (with pinky to mouth), but once you set out to do it you see it is a very difficult process.
Following through on bold talk isn’t always the best move, and we’ll see if the newbies are adult enough to realize this.
Enjoy what should be an interesting amount of showdowns.
Before the Super Bowl, which was a solid game, President Obama sat down with Bill O’Reilly. He spoke about Egypt, saying they will certainly change but we can’t dictate what they do. When asked about the judge’s ruling on health care reform, Obama said he disagrees with the judge and doesn’t want to continue fighting the battles of the last two years while championing some of the better parts of the bill. I do like at about the 7:00 mark how Obama makes the argument that the mandate is about responsibility. Obama also talked about his idea of winning the future in various ways. There is also an interesting point at 9:45 when Obama talks about the things that reach his desk. It’s definitely worth a listen.
Enjoy contemplating how long it will be before the next NFL game.
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