Fast and Furious:
• COLBERT: Yes, very clearly, Obama started this gun tracking program in 2006, when he hypnotized George Bush. Then he secretly ordered Attorney General Holder to order the Justice Department, to order the ATF to order gun shops to sell guns to Mexican drug cartels, and then lose track of them, thereby panicking Americans to gin up support for the draconian gun control measures that Obama has never introduced.
• Issa Peddled Conspiracy Theory at NRA Convo, Called Fast and Furious an Attack on the 2nd amendment
• Pelosi: Contempt Vote Payback For Holder’s Voter Protection Efforts (VIDEO): House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that an effort by House Republicans to pass a resolution finding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress is really about his efforts in opposition to GOP-backed voting laws that Democrats consider forms of voter suppression. “It’s really important to note how this is connected with some of their other decisions. It is no accident. It is no coincidence that the Attorney General of the United States is the person responsible for making sure that voter suppression does not happen in our country, that issues that relate to the civil liberties of the American people are upheld,” Pelosi said. [talkingpointsmemo/RYAN J. REILLY/21 Jun 2012]
About that Voter Suppression:
• Flawed Voter Purge Underway In Georgia: State Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, has cried foul, citing the county’s embarrassment when it sent letters to residents of a senior high-rise earlier this month telling them that their building doesn’t exist and that, to prove otherwise, they needed to show up for a hearing. Elections Director Sam Westmoreland apologized, but Fort said the error proves his process is flawed. [thinkprogress/Josh Israel/22 Jun 2012]
This weekend, Mitt Romney and his campaign will host a retreat for top $100,000-and-up campaign bundlers and donors at a Park City, Utah resort. The event, dubbed the “First National Romney Victory Leadership Retreat,” will reportedly be an opportunity for “strategizing and fraternizing” between those bankrolling the campaign and those running it.
But one name has raised flags for campaign finance watchdogs. A Saturday panel on “media insight” will feature American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS co-founder Karl Rove. The Crossroads reportedly plan to spend a stunning $300 million to help Romney defeat President Barack Obama this November, but they are legally prohibited from coordinating this effort with Romney’s campaign.
Back in December, Romney decried the rise of Super PACs like Rove’s American Crossroads, saying they have been a “disaster” for the political system. He said at the time:
Super PACs have to be entirely separate from a campaign and a candidate. I’m not allowed to communicate with a super PAC in any way, shape or form… If we coordinate in any way whatsoever, we go to the big house.
Mary Boyle, vice president for communications at Common Cause, told ThinkProgress that having one of the leaders of an allied Super PAC at at campaign event with major donors “seems to make a mockery of the rule that bans coordination between a super PAC and a candidate.”
[thinkprogress/Josh Israel/21 june 2012]
• ‘Strong chance’ lawsuit against Crossroads GPS will prevail — after November: On Tuesday, a lawyer for President Barack Obama filed a compliant with the Federal Elections Commission over Karl Rove’s organization, Crossroads GPS. Robert Bauer, the Obama campaign’s chief counsel, claimed the organization was unlawfully hiding its donors from the public by masquerading as a “social welfare” organization. Legal action against Crossroads GPS is likely to succeed, according to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). But not until after the November elections…. Crossroads GPS is currently registered as a nonprofit 501c(4) organization, allowing the pro-Republican group to receive unlimited funds without having to disclose its donors. According to the IRS, nonprofit 501c(4) organizations “must operate primarily to further the common good and general welfare of the people of the community” and can engage in some political activity. However, the organizations may not campaign “on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office,” which is exactly what its critics claim Crossroads GPS has been doing. [rawstory/Eric W. Dolan/21 Jun 2012]
Right Wing Asshats:
• Every Republican Who Signed the Norquist Tax Pledge Violated Their Oath of Office: A solemn promise or agreement to do or refrain from doing something that is a formally affirmed statement is regarded as an oath or pledge. Every member of Congress takes an oath of office and pledges to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.” It is treasonous then, to also pledge an oath to a domestic enemy of the United States government whose stated purpose is not to “abolish government, but to drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub,” because “our goal is to inflict pain.” It is incredible, but a majority of Republicans have signed a solemn pledge to assist Grover Norquist in his drive to “inflict pain” and drown the government in a bathtub regardless the consequences to the United States or its people. [politicususa/Rmuse/22 Jun 2012]
• Alan Grayson warned the Supreme Court that if they strike down Obamacare, the entire country will know that they are nothing more than a right wing cabal.
• Mitt Romney wants a border fence. But he doesn’t just want to finish the physical fence that’s already there in bits and pieces. He wants a high-tech fence: you remember, the one that was tried, wasted a billion dollars, and didn’t work.
• Washington Post: With Romney In Charge, Bain Was An Early Player In Outsourcing: During Mitt Romney’s time running Bain Capital, the private equity firm invested in companies that were trailblazers in outsourcing jobs from the United States to call centers and factories making computer components in countries such as China and India, according to a report published late Thursday in the Washington Post. [talkingpointsmemo/TOM KLUDT/22 Jun 2012]
• C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition:A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers. The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said. The C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks, in part to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, one senior American official said. The Obama administration has said it is not providing arms to the rebels, but it has also acknowledged that Syria’s neighbors would do so. The clandestine intelligence-gathering effort is the most detailed known instance of the limited American support for the military campaign against the Syrian government. It is also part of Washington’s attempt to increase the pressure on President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, who has recently escalated his government’s deadly crackdown on civilians and the militias battling his rule. With Russia blocking more aggressive steps against the Assad government, the United States and its allies have instead turned to diplomacy and aiding allied efforts to arm the rebels to force Mr. Assad from power. [nytimes/ERIC SCHMITT/21 June 2012]
• Syria Apologizes For Shooting Down Turkish Military Plane: Syrian authorities have apologized for shooting down a Turkish military plane earlier today say Turkish news outlets. Turkey’s Hurriyet daily newspaper reports that the plane crashed in the Mediterranean Sea in international waters and the pilots “are in good health.” Eyewitnesses in the northern Syrian town of Latakia told BBC Arabic that Syrian air defenses were seen shooting down an unidentified aircraft. The incident adds to existing tensions between Ankara and Damascus stemming from reports that Syrian rebels are receiving weapons through supply routes on Turkey’s southern border. – Update: Hurriyet now reports Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying, “I cannot say that it was shot down. I can’t say it before obtaining concrete information,” and “I cannot confirm whether they have apologized or on what grounds they did so if they apologized. [thinkprogress/Eli Clifton/22 Jun 2012]
• Mass Killing Reported in Northern Syria, Apparently a Rebel Ambush: More than 25 Syrian men were found shot to death on Friday near the northern city of Aleppo in circumstances that remained unclear, but appeared to be a rebel ambush, according to accounts from both Syrian state media and opposition activists. [nytimes/DALAL MAWAD/22 Jun 2012]
• Israeli Air Strike Breaks Truce, Growing Causalities in Week of Violence: On Friday, after a week of violence, Israeli warplanes struck east of Al-Bureij in the central Gaza Strip, killing at least one Palestinian and wounding up to two others, medical officials said. The strike comes after an Egyptian-brokered truce had temporarily stalled a week long surge in cross-border fire exchanges. The latest air strike brings the Gaza death toll up to 10 over the last five days, including a 14-year-old boy. Israel launched the first strike on Gaza on Monday after a an Egyptian Sinai killed an Israeli man in a cross-border clash. [commondreams/22 Jun 2012]
• S.Korea, US conduct largest joint live-fire drill: South Korean and US troops Friday held their biggest single-day joint live-fire exercise to test responses to any North Korean attack, amid high tensions on the peninsula. The drill at Pocheon near the North Korean border involved some 2,000 troops along with jet fighters, tanks, Apache attack helicopters, A-10 “tank-killer” aircraft, missiles and multiple rocket launchers, the defence ministry said. The two allies are also due Saturday to launch a major three-day naval exercise in the tense Yellow Sea, ahead of the 62nd anniversary Monday of the outbreak of the Korean War. [AFP/22 Jun 2012]