Shorter Question Everything
That saying, that it gets darkest before the dawn? This is sort of like that, except there doesn’t appear to be any ‘dawn’ with the right wing. It’s just crazy, all the way through.
• The Senate Armed Services Committee plans to vote Tuesday on Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be the next secretary of Defense, but Republican aides suggest that some GOP members could walk out in protest. One Armed Services Committee member, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, has made clear that he considers Benghazi and Hagel to be one issue – “no confirmation without information,” he said Sunday, threatening to block both Hagel and CIA nominee John Brennan.
• Kookery: According to Guandolo [an ex-FBI agent and anti-Islam activist], Brennan is a secret Muslim, and has gone so far as to dish out high-profile government jobs to members of the Muslim Brotherhood. “Mr. Brennan did convert to Islam when he served in an official capacity on the behalf of the United States in Saudi Arabia,” he said. “His conversion to Islam was the culmination of a counterintelligence operation against him to recruit him.” The remarks were made on the radio show of Tom Trento, himself no stranger to fear-mongering about radical Islam in the United States.
• In the days leading up to President Obama’s State of the Union address, the National Rifle Association appears to have tucked away its controversial enemies list in a hard-to-reach corner of its website.
• Secret Service take note: washed-out rock musician and gun rights zealot Ted Nugent will be in the House for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday evening. Nugent will be the guest of Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, who recently called for Obama’s impeachment over the president’s proposed gun safety regulations following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
• The NRA has a name for 20 dead children: the ‘Connecticut effect’. A top lobbyist for the National Rifle Association (NRA) explains why its legislative agenda is on hold: “We have a strong agenda coming up for next year, but of course a lot of that’s going to be delayed as the “Connecticut effect” has to go through the process.” So if everyone could just hurry up and “process” the brutal murder of 20 children and six adults, the NRA can get back to their full-time campaign against common sense solutions to curb gun violence.
In other news
• The Department of Defense released a memo Monday announcing plans to extend benefits to same-sex domestic partners of military members.
• Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign on Feb. 28 because he was simply too infirm to carry on – the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.
• North Korea announced today that it conducted a third nuclear test. This is a highly provocative act that, following its December 12 ballistic missile launch, undermines regional stability, violates North Korea’s obligations under numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions, contravenes its commitments under the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and increases the risk of proliferation.
• Canada’s Internet snooping bill is dead. Canada’s terrible proposed spying law, Bill C-30, is dead. The Harper Tories, who nailed the colours to the mast on the passage of the law, which would have given nearly unlimited access to private electronic communications to law enforcement, government, and random appointed persons, has issued a statement saying they won’t reintroduce the bill. It’s a humiliating climbdown and it couldn’t have happened to a crummier government.