President Barack Obama’s defense to Democratic senators complaining about how little his administration has told Congress about the legal justifications for his drone policy: Dick Cheney was worse.
That’s part of what two senators in the room recounted of Obama’s response when, near the outset of his closed-door session with the Senate Democratic conference on Tuesday, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) confronted the president over the administration’s refusal for two years to show congressional intelligence committees Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel memos justifying the use of lethal force against American terror suspects abroad.
“This is not Dick Cheney we’re talking about here,” he said, according to Democratic senators who asked not to be named discussing the private meeting.
In actuality, our Nobel Peace Prize-winning buck passer-in-chief has authorized five times as many drone strikes as Bush/Cheney, according to Slate.
Update: I figured this was too good to be true. Well, mostly. The video is in fact from the NK state-run media about the “failure of Europe’s democracy,” but the narration is fake. It’s pretty close to the kind of stuff they put out though.
To sum it up, poverty runs rampant, we all subsist on diets of birds, snow and heroin, and we’re grateful to our government for the lousy handouts:
Did the Nork propaganda department nail American life in the age of Hope & Change, or what?
Seriously though, this could backfire on Kim Jong-un, because based on this video some of his people might still consider the U.S. a step up from where they are.
Ironically, the video portrays American life as somewhat like the darkest days of North Korea’s 1990s famine, though with much more violence and drug addiction. Wired’s Spencer Ackerman points out, “As with much great trolling, North Korea is taking some of its great weaknesses — the grinding poverty, food shortages and official bellicosity — and projecting them onto its adversary.”
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has called for the revival of the Soviet-era physical evaluation program that required all schoolchildren to pass fitness tests.
Putin, a judo enthusiast and a regular swimmer, said Wednesday that the restoration of GTO, the Russian acronym for Ready for Labor and Defense, would teach children to “to stand up for themselves, their family and, in the final run, the Fatherland.”
GTO, which was introduced in 1931 under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s rule, required all schoolchildren to regularly pass physical training tests. Those managing to qualify would receive silver- or gold-colored badges.
I can’t believe Michael Bloomberg and FLOTUS haven’t thought of that. Well, at least not as mandatory… yet.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded $1.5 million to study biological and social factors for why “three-quarters” of lesbians are obese and why gay males are not, calling it an issue of “high public-health significance.”
Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass., has received two grants administered by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to study the relationship between sexual orientation and obesity.
I have a theory, but I decline to specify it here.
In the interim, if the government wants to help lesbians lose weight, maybe they should instead take that $1.5 million and pay them to lead power-walking tours of the White House.
Times were different in 1996 when he signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law, former President Bill Clinton writes in today’s Washington Post.
“In no state in the union was same-sex marriage recognized, much less available as a legal right, but some were moving in that direction,” Clinton says. Supporters of the act that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman, thought its passage would head off a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
But now, Clinton says, he believes DOMA is “incompatible with our Constitution.” As the Supreme Court prepares to take up the act’s constitutionality, he is making the case that it discriminates against “same-sex couples who are legally married in nine states and the District of Columbia [but] are denied the benefits of more than a thousand federal statutes and programs available to other married couples.”
Most ironic is that Clinton signed the “Defense of Marriage Act” around the time he as doinking a pizza delivery girl-turned-humidor in the Oval Office. But I digress…
What’s funny here is that Clinton said he signed DOMA for reasons of politics. And why does he want SCOTUS to now overturn the law? Conviction to the cause of gay rights? Hell no — you know the only reason he wants DOMA gone is because it’ll be hanging over Hillary’s head when she runs in 2016.
Whenever the Clintons do anything you first have to ask “what’s in it for the Clintons?” Because that’s certainly their highest priority.
When China’s environment ministry told attorney Dong Zhengwei he couldn’t have access to two-year old data about soil pollution because it was a “state secret”, it added to mounting public outrage over the worsening environment.
Microbloggers, state media and even delegates to this week’s session of the National People’s Congress, the largely rubber-stamp parliament, were already critical of the government for poor air and water quality. Now they are also expressing disquiet over the scarcity of information about the environment available to them.
For incoming President Xi Jinping, who formally takes over towards the end of the parliament session, the two-pronged challenge is to find the balance between growth and further degradation of the environment, and also to decide whether to level with citizens just how bad the problem is.
President Barack Obama’s half-brother, Abong’o Malik Obama, won’t be the second member of his family to launch a political career. Mr. Obama was defeated in his bid to be governor of Kenya’s Siaya County this week by what seems to have been a very large margin.
Fairly large margin indeed:
So much for name recognition. But this is a good thing — the world economy would collapse twice as fast with two Obamas in political office.
Diane Sawyer and the other reporter don’t come right out and say that of course, but it certainly is implied that canceling White House tours is a childish move intended to make the sequester as visibly painful as possible while “saving” very little:
This one’s a total PR backfire for Team Obama. Not that they care.
However, if the publicity gets too negative, here’s what I can see happening: The cost of White House tours equals about two hours of operation for Air Force One. With that in mind, President Obama might one day come out and say “I’ve canceled a scheduled trip to XXXXXX, which will save four hours of flight time for Air Force One at $XXXXXX per hour. I’m ordering the money that was budgeted for that flight to be put into the White House tours program. We cannot allow these draconian cuts that had to be put into place because the Republicans refuse to make the rich pay their fare share be a detriment to the education of our nation’s children and their ability to learn about the history of our country by visiting this historic house.”