Posts tagged US
Posts tagged US
Kerry says efforts focused on “all we can to support opposition” amid reports of sectarian killings by Sunni rebels.
I’m really not sure what to think about this — our track record in getting involved with conflicts in the Middle East is less than stellar.
From ABC News:
In his last official act of business in 2011, President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act from his vacation rental in Kailua, Hawaii. In a statement, the president said he did so with reservations about key provisions in the law — including a controversial component that would allow the military to indefinitely detain terror suspects, including American citizens arrested in the United States, without charge. Recently two retired four-star Marine generals called on the president to veto the bill in a New York Times op-ed, deeming it “misguided and unnecessary.”
"Due process would be a thing of the past," wrote Gens Charles C. Krulak and Joseph P. Hoar. "Current law empowers the military to detain people caught on the battlefield, but this provision would expand the battlefield to include the United States – and hand Osama bin Laden an unearned victory long after his well-earned demise."
The president defended his action, writing that he signed the act, “chiefly because it authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, crucial services for service members and their families, and vital national security programs that must be renewed.”
I don’t care what he says - the bill allows for indefinite detention. If he saw no problem with it, he would not have signed it on a Saturday, on the last day of the year. This is a horrific bill. The U.S. has been detaining foreign citizens for years without trial. We’re moving towards American citizens. When are we going to wake up and realize the human and civil rights abuses our country is committing and has the potential to commit under this bill.
Obama may not think it will happen under his administration and says as much. How are we to believe he has the backbone to stop it?
From The Maddow Blog:
This sign - and commentary - is hanging outside a food pantry in Manhattan’s East Village. Maybe it’s time we did something about the economy.
Food banks all over the country are seeing record demand and having difficulty keeping the shelves stocked. I don’t know about you, but I’m taking a few cans to my local food banks this week. And there’s this:
The number of Americans receiving food stamps reached a record 45.345 million in July, the government said. The number was 0.4 percent higher than the previous month and 8.4 percent more than a year earlier.
Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program had set records every month since December 2008. Texas had the most food-stamp recipients in July, 4.051 million.
A record 1 in 5 people in the US receive federal assistance to feed themselves once WIC is factored in. The average monthly allotment per household is $283.68. Of course, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) thinks the program is out of control. Here’s what he said in an interview with ABC News:
"Well, look, do you think there are four times as many people that need food stamps today as they did in 2001? This year, they are proposing another 14 percent increase in food stamps without any real reform to understand how it is that it surged so dramatically. We cannot do this. We don’t have the money. If Congress doesn’t understand that we can’t continue to double the food stamp program every three years, they don’t understand how deeply we are impacted by the debt. The debt is already pulling down economic growth, costing jobs. We need people working with jobs, not receiving food stamps."
The past year was an excellent one for Sen. Sessions. His net worth increased 124% in 2010 - raising him from millionaire to multimillionaire - which is likely why he said it was "rather pathetic" to expect multimillionaires to shoulder a little more of the burden. Meanwhile, in his state of Alabama, 36% of people receive food stamps and the unemployment rate is 9.8%.
Yes, we need to have people with jobs - though Sessions voted against the jobs bill - and I have a hint as to the why this “surge” occurred: We have a government, specifically Congress, that cares more for dick waving contests and petty infighting than giving a damn that the food stamp usage rate has dramatically risen. American families are going hungry while Congress collectively twiddles their thumbs or butts heads over to what degree the richest 1% deserve to be subsidized.
American exceptionalism? How about being the most unequal industrialized country? How’s that for number one? This is unsustainable and unconscionable. Period.
Warning about the link above: There’s a graphic photo of a man attacked by Lord’s Resistance Army displayed within the article.
First, what Limbaugh said:
"Lord’s Resistance Army are Christians. They are fighting the Muslims in Sudan. And Obama has sent troops, United States troops to remove them from the battlefield, which means kill them. That’s what the lingo means, "to help regional forces remove from the battlefield," meaning capture or kill. […] Lord’s Resistance Army objectives. I have them here. "To remove dictatorship and stop the oppression of our people." … The objectives of the Lord’s Resistance Army, what they’re trying to accomplish with their military action in these countries is the following: To remove dictatorship and stop the oppression of our people; to fight for the immediate restoration of the competitive multiparty democracy in Uganda; to see an end to gross violation of human rights and dignity of Ugandans; to ensure the restoration of peace and security in Uganda, to ensure unity, sovereignty, and economic prosperity beneficial to all Ugandans, and to bring to an end the repressive policy of deliberate marginalization of groups of people who may not agree with the LRA ideology."
Those are the objectives of the group that we are fighting, or who are being fought and we are joining in the effort to remove them from the battlefield.
As ThinkProgress writer Matthew Yglesias says (and I agree):
"I think reasonable people can disagree as to whether or not chasing a relatively small band of depraved mass murderers around central africa is a reasonable thing for American military personnel to be doing. But let’s make no mistake—these are depraved mass murderers. And yet Rush Limbaugh is pleased to welcome them as fellow Christian allies."
The LRA is on the terrorist exclusion list drawn up by the United States. The TEL means known associates of the group are banned from the U.S., plus U.S. citizens and aliens within the U.S. alike are banned from providing any kind of support to that group. The LRA has committed several terrorist acts, including kidnapping children to be sex slaves and child soldiers (after murdering their parents); using clubs to attack a bus full of people, causing 22 fatalities; engaging in systematic rape as a weapon of war; bombing nightclubs; and murdering World Food Group volunteers.
At this point, I have to wonder: Is Limbaugh just testing his audience to see if they’re actually paying attention? I can picture someone taking up a collection plate at church for this “Christian” group, Googling to found out where to send the funds, and being absolutely horrified. Better yet, someone calls into Limbaugh’s show to ask where to send the cash. Either way, sending them cash could be a crime.
I think what the LRA is doing is horrible and I can’t picture the person who would endorse them. Oh, wait:
Nicholas Kristof, “America’s Primal Scream”
Kristof hits the mark in this column. In light of the mass arrests across the nation, let’s remember how this has grown since its beginning on September 17th. The Occupy movement has gone global in about a month.
September 17th was the beginning. October 15th is not an ending. It marks the commencement of occupying everywhere.
(Source: The New York Times)
YEAH! Go home, hippies! Never mind the people at Occupy Wall Street and occupy protests across the nation come from all walks of life, all political parties, all races, genders, etc…
I’m going to Occupy Casper this weekend, and I’m wicked excited.
Up until this announcement, the Occupy Wall Street movement has been unwieldy and somewhat lacking in a coherent voice, but that’s all about the change. New York City labor unions have decided to descend upon the streets of Lower Manhattan on Friday.
The leadership of the Transit Workers Union Local 100—comprised of subway and bus workers—voted unanimously to support the protestors. With a membership of 38,000, 5 Oct. will easily be the largest day yet in the protest. On 12 Oct., SEIU 32BJ, representing doormen, security guards, and maintenance workers around the city, is also staging a rally in support of the cause.
It’s unclear for now whether the transit system will be completely shut down while the 38,000 workers are participating in the protest. If it is, the Occupy Wall Street movement will definitely make its mark in history. And either way, it now has a substantial footing to make a real statement about American economy policy.
Jackie DiSalvo, an #OccupyWallStreet organizer, summarized the movement’s policy as such: "Occupy Wall Street will not negotiate watering down its own message."
You have no idea how excited I am to see this.
Update: Conflicting reports online have this set for Wednesday or next Friday. Tell you what - join Occupy Wall Street in NYC or a nearby city both days!