Shorter Question Everything
Every time a solid fact comes out, every time a right wing talking point is sensibly refuted. You know, with facts. The pretzeling begins. The conspiracy just morphs into something else. Having Petraeus kick over all the right wing paranoia last week would have fazed even remotely sensible people, but these aren’t even remotely sensible people. It helps when you can go on Fact Free TV at FOX and no one will ever really question how crazy you sound. This is how they lost the election. The racism, the homophobia, the outright crazy were all a part of it but what it came down to is that they stayed in the safe, fact-free FOX bubble and ate up their own talking points. It continues with the Benghazi thing and it’s latest metamorphosis this week, whereby the president somehow forced his will on those CIA talking points. It gets more ridiculous by the day.
John McCain may have reached ‘suspend the campaign’ levels of crazy, when he came out stating that not only would he block Susan Rice, but that all attempts to fill Sect. of State should be blocked
while McCain went back to Washington to fix the economy until the facts come out about Benghazi. The thing about that is – the facts do in fact keep coming out, but they are not supporting McCain’s talking points. The facts keep coming out, even as McCain takes time away from the very meetings on the facts in order to run press conferences about not getting the facts.
It’s well past time for someone to take McCain aside and tell him to smarten the hell up. Or maybe it’s just time for McCain to resign. Then he can be one of those crazy old cranks with the yard signs talking about the conspiracies and shouting at kids to get off his lawn.
• The new Benghazi right wing conspiracy theory appears to be shaping up – the administration forced a change on the initial talking points, saying that the hand of the CIA was forced into doing so. Appears to be a way to discount Petraeus testimony and still have a way to blame Obama.
• Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said Sunday that President Obama may have known about former CIA Director David Petraeus’ affair before Election Day. Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, appeared with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on NBC’s Meet the Press, and claimed that Attorney General Eric Holder was aware of the FBI investigation into Petraeus’ relationship with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, before the election. Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said there was no evidence to support Rogers’ assertion.
• The Death Toll of Watergate: Republicans are fond of comparing their scandal-mongering – like the current hype over the terrorist assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya – with genuine scandals, like Watergate, which sank Richard Nixon’s second term, and Iran-Contra, which marred Ronald Reagan’s last two years in office. The GOP’s false equivalence represents both an effort to puff up their latest accusations against Democrats and an attempt to minimize the misconduct of those two Republican presidents. For instance, one favorite GOP comment about Benghazi is: “No one died at Watergate. Four brave Americans died in Benghazi.”
• Over the top – Is this the ‘suspending his campaign’ moment of 2012?: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has not hesitated to voice his distaste towards U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, who may be nominated to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. On Face the Nation Sunday morning, McCain went even further than simply opposing Rice’s nomination and said that, “until we find out all the information” on the Benghazi consulate attacks, he would not support any Secretary of State nominee.
• Yes, this stupid thing is still going on: Rep. Allen West’s (R-FL) reelection prospects grew dimmer Sunday, as a partial recount showed the freshman congressman, who was already projected to lose his race, falling further behind his opponent.
• The Rolling Jubilee debt elimination project is one of the best ideas to come out of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Yet some, most notably Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism, have raised concerns that eliminating debt in this fashion might create tax liabilities for the former debtors. It turns out that the Rolling Jubilee folks have already dealt with this potential issue:
Q. When a Rolling Jubilee abolishes someone’s debt will this raise their taxes?
A. No. We double-checked this with the IRS and a project like this does not meet the requirements to file a 1099-C Cancellation of Debt form and will almost certainly have no effect on anyone’s taxes.
• While the right has been blaming unions for the closing of Hostess, Newt Gingrich and George Will admitted that they expect the company to return without union workers in a right to work state.
• Elections Canada email trail points to growing suspicions over voter suppression ‘mischief’ during 2011 election: Three days before the last federal election, Elections Canada confronted the Conservatives about suspicious calls directing voters to the wrong polling stations but were met with denials of any wrongdoing from the party’s lawyer, internal emails show. In one email, an official with the agency reported a growing number of misleading calls as voting day approached and said some were worried that a “scam” to mislead voters was under way. The emails, released under the Access to Information Act, show that voters in ridings across Canada believed they had been misled by Conservative callers.
• Eight months after the federal government made good on a controversial promise to kill the long-gun registry and a week after news emerged that the bulk of records had indeed been destroyed, a new report suggests the number of guns registered in Canada was on the rise last year. So too was the number of times Canadian law enforcement agencies queried the registry in a bid to trace a recovered firearm or determine if a firearm might be present at a particular location officers were attending.
• An Israeli missile killed at least 11 Palestinian civilians including four children in Gaza on Sunday, medical officials said, in an apparent attack on a top militant that brought a three-story home crashing down. International pressure for a ceasefire seemed certain to mount in response to the deadliest single incident in five days of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel and Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip. Israel gave off signs of a possible ground invasion of the Hamas-run enclave as the next stage in its offensive, billed as a bid to stop Palestinian rocket fire into the Jewish state. It also spelt out its conditions for a truce. U.S. President Barack Obama said that while Israel had a right to defend itself against the salvoes, it would be “preferable” to avoid a military thrust into the Gaza Strip, a narrow, densely populated coastal territory. Such an assault would risk high casualties and an international outcry.
• Israel ready to ‘significantly expand’ Gaza offensive. Britain warns Israel that Gaza invasion would cost the country international support. France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius headed for Jerusalem and Ramallah on Sunday to push for peace.
• As the civilian death toll in Gaza mushroomed Sunday, the son of long comatose Ariel Sharon invoked mushroom clouds, in a stark metaphor of eliminationism toward the people of Gaza: The son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has called on Israel to escalate its current military assault and “flatten all of Gaza”. In an inflammatory op-ed article for The Jerusalem Post, Gilad Sharon dismisses any concern over the deaths of innocent Palestinian civilians as a result. “The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas,” he writes. “We need to flatten entire neighbourhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.”