H/T Weasel Zippers
H/T Weasel Zippers
Mississippi Democrat Kenneth Stokes urged his community this week to hurl rocks, bricks and bottles at police.
His bio page says Councilman Stokes always puts God first.
Stokes says his constituents should throw rocks, bricks and bottles at police.
The Epoch Times reported:
A Mississippi councilman has sparked controversy after calling for dramatic action against police.
Kenneth Stokes, a councilman in Jackson Ward, says he wants his constituents to send a message to police officers from other jurisdictions who chase misdemeanor suspects through their territory.
“What I suggest is we get the black leadership together, and as these jurisdictions come into Jackson we throw rocks and bricks and bottles at them. That will send a message we don’t want you in here,” he said, reported WLBT.
Stokes also said he’s looking into suing police from other jurisdictions who enter Jackson Ward.
According to Stokes’ bio on the Ward’s website, he was first elected in 1989. He served for six terms before becoming a county supervisor, but returned to the council in a special election after his wife was made a county judge.
Cheers! Teetotal Jeremy Corbyn Heads To The Pub For A Rousing Rendition Of The Socialist Anthem ‘The Red Flag’ After Being Elected Labour Leader In Landslide Victory With A Crushing 59.5% Of The Vote – Daily Mail
Jeremy Corbyn this afternoon headed straight to a pub with his supporters after storming to victory in the Labour leadership contest, winning almost 60 per cent of the vote in the first round.
In the most extraordinary result in modern political history, the 66-year-old Marxist throwback who has never run anything in his life will now take charge of the party of Keir Hardie, Clement Atlee and Tony Blair.
There were cheers at the QEII Conference Centre in central London as it was confirmed that the unassuming Islington MP had defied all expectations – including his own – to become leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition.
After thanking the unions, attacking the media, and accusing the Conservatives of ‘social cleansing’, Mr Corbyn took his supporters to the Sanctuary pub in Westminster for a victory drink where they hailed former socialist firebrand Tony Benn and sang the socialist Red Flag anthem.
Earlier, supporters wept and punched the air, chanting ‘Jez we did, Jez we did’, after it emerged Mr Corbyn had taken 59.5 per cent of the vote – 251,417 of the 422,664 votes cast – against 19 per cent for Andy Burnham, 17 per cent for Yvette Cooper and just 4.5 per cent for Liz Kendall.
But winning could be the easy part: While he was still addressing the leadership conference, the first resignations from the frontbench emerged as his critics warned he would be a ‘f***ing disaster’.
Following Mr Corbyn’s stunning victory, the new Labour leader sneaked out of the special conference building opposite Westminster Abbey to go to the pub. Jubilant supporters sang The Red Flag word perfect as bemused tourists, including one American family, looked on.
He was joined by campaign manager John McDonnell and hard-left Unite general secretary Len McCluskey. Mr McDonnell said it was the ‘greatest victory for the left in possibly decades’. ‘I just wish Tony Benn had been here,’ he said.
He said it was an end to the ‘dark years’ where there had been ‘no discussion of socialism’, but through which Mr Corbyn had ‘kept the flame alive’.
When the result was announced, ‘the earth moved’. ‘Another world is possible,’ Mr McDonnell added. ’We want to bring this government down. We want to install in Number 10 one of the best socialists.’
Standing up, Mr Corbyn apologised to an American family whose pub lunch his supporters were interrupting – causing the crowd to chant ‘USA, USA.’
Mr Corbyn said liberties had not been ‘handed down by the rich and powerful and royalty’ but had come thanks to the efforts of ‘ordinary people’.
After 32 years as a backbench MP, during which he has voted against Labour more than 500 times, Mr Corbyn must now try to piece together a frontbench team and demand loyalty from the parliamentary party.
He will face big tests in the coming days and weeks on Tory plans to curb unions, cut benefits and join airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. Conservative Defence Secretary Michael Fallon warned Labour was now a ‘serious risk to national security’.
In a rambling but uncompromising victory speech, Mr Corbyn repeatedly attacked the Tories but gave little sign he is willing to tone down his extreme socialist views to win broad public support.
To cheers from his supports, Mr Corbyn said: ‘The Tories have used the economic crisis of 2008 to impose a terrible burden on the poorest people in this country.
‘Those that have seen their wages frozen or cut, those that can’t afford to even to sustain themselves properly, those that rely on foodbanks to get by. It is not right, it’s not necessary and it’s got to change.’
Offering his backing to Sadiq Khan, Labour’s candidate for the London Mayoral elections, warning: ‘I am fed up with the social cleansing of London by this Tory government and its policies.’
Four months after Britain rejected Mr Miliband for being too left-wing and not looking like a Prime Minister, Labour is now led by the most radical leader of a mainstream party the country has ever seen.
Punters were quick to place bets against Corbyn surviving as leader until the next general election, with thousands of pounds rushing in to bookmakers within an hour of his victory.
One Paddy Power customer put £2,000 on the new leader being deposed by 2020 at odds of 5/2, with a number of other gamblers placing bids of £100 against Corbyn lasting that long.
But privately senior Labour MPs branded the result a ‘f***ing disaster’ and warned he would not survive a year.
Another MP said it was ‘absolutely disastrous’ for the party. He said Mr Corbyn would be ‘vicious’ and move to deselect rebel MPs by flooding the party with the new supporters.
A senior backbencher added: ‘I will give him 12 months. I can’t see him lasting any longer than that.’
David Blunkett, meanwhile, said he was ‘deeply fearful’ of the direction Mr Corbyn might take the party, and said there was a danger that Labour will be in ‘perpetual opposition’ unless he dramatically changes tack.
Warning of the dangers of a party split, he urged New Labour supporters not to desert the party, saying: ‘Do not allow the people who lost us elections from 1983 onwards to be the ones who run the show.’
The former Home Secretary said someone in the conference hall had shouted to him: ‘Corbyn in, Blairites out’.
‘If that is the attitude, we’re on a road to nowhere,’ he said. ‘The message has to be clear – we need consensus, we need the enthusiasm, but above all we need policies that mean something and are relevant to people out there.’
He added: ‘I’m deeply fearful of the direction in which we might go. All of us will be giving Jeremy our best wishes in the weeks and months ahead.
Many senior Labour MPs will quick to refuse to serve under him as party staffers are braced for a ‘purge’ of non-Corbyn supporters from the Brewer’s Green headquarters.
Ahead of the announcement, one staffer told MailOnline: ‘The mood is not great. I’m getting made redundant on Monday. It’s the Corbyn purge isn’t it.’
Defeated leadership contender Yvette Cooper immediately announced that she would quit as shadow home secretary and return to the backbenches.
Shadow public health minister Liz Kendall, who secured just 4.5 per cent of the vote in the contest, is also expected to quit.
Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt and shadow health minister Jamie Reed were also quick to confirm they would refuse to play any part in the new leadership team.
Mr Hunt said: ‘It is important to be honest about it – I have substantial political differences with Jeremy’.
Asked if he thought Mr Corbyn would find sufficient numbers of MPs willing to be part of his front bench, he said: ‘That’s for his team to discover. I imagine they are working on that.’
Mr Reed – whose Copeland constituency includes the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site – condemned Mr Corbyn’s anti-nuclear policies as ‘poorly informed and fundamentally wrong’.
And Mr Reed warned: ‘No amount of well-meaning protest will protect the NHS, drive up standards, recruit more medical professionals or improve the accessibility of world-class healthcare to the British people. Only an elected Labour government will do this.’
Emma Reynolds, who has been an outspoken critic of Mr Corbyn’s wavering support for the EU, quit as shadow communities secretary. Writing on Twitter she said: ‘Congratulations to Jeremy – he needs to space to build his own team. I will serve our party and my constituents from backbenches.’
Others expected to refuse to serve in his team are current shadow chancellor Chris Leslie, shadow defence secretary Vernon Coaker, shadow transport secretary Michael Dugher, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Shabana Mahmood, shadow international development secretary Mary Creagh and shadow Cabinet Office minister Lucy Powell.
During the campaign, Ms Cooper and Ms Kendall both refused to work with Mr Corbyn team, while Mr Burnham insisted the party should always come first and was prepare to work with anyone.
However, shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna – a senior centrist who withdrew from the contest after a matter of days – issued a plea for the party to ‘come together’ behind its new leader.
In a post on Facebook, Mr Umunna said: ‘Now the contest is over, we must respect the result, come together and focus on providing the most credible and effective opposition to the Tories.’
Mr Corbyn is expected to promote Angela Eagle and Owen Smith to more high profile roles, and his close friend and leftwing firebrand John McDonnell is in line for a top job.
Corbyn supporter Clive Lewis, who entered Parliament as MP for Norwich South in May, said: ‘One of the things that Jeremy is about is about opening up the party, being more inclusive. Rather than the top-down ‘Here is the policy’, it’s going to be from the bottom up and everyone will have an input into it.’
At the height of Corbynmania the party was deluged with members, swelled by new 113,000 registered supporters who paid just £3 to get a vote, along with an extra 148,182 affiliated supporters and 105,973 full members who have signed up since May.
It led to allegations of ‘entryism’ by extreme left-wingers and Trotskyites seeking to hijack the contest in favour of Mr Corbyn. There were also claims that many people did not receive their ballot papers in time to vote, leading to calls for the result to be delayed for three days.
But in his speech, Mr Corbyn said: ‘During these amazing three months, our party has changed. We have grown enormously, because of the hopes of so many ordinary people for a different Britain, a better Britain, a more equal Britain, a more decent Britain.
‘They are fed up with the inequality, the injustice, the unnecessary poverty. All those issues have brought people in in a spirit of hope and optimism.
‘I say to the new members of the party, or those who have joined as registered or affiliated supporters – welcome. Welcome to our party, welcome to our movement. Can I say to those returning to the party who were in it before and felt disillusioned and went away. Welcome back, welcome back to your party, welcome home.’
He said his campaign had given the lie to claims that young Britons are apathetic about politics, showing instead that they are ‘a very political generation that were turned off by the way in which politics was being conducted’. He said: ‘We have to and must change that.’
Mr Corbyn said: ‘The fightback now of our party gathers speed and gathers pace.’
Iain McNicol, Labour’s general secretary, earlier insisted that the party had ‘weeded out’ people who had tried to ‘subvert our democracy’.
Addressing the leadership conference, He added: ‘We have run a free and fair election.’
Mr McNicol added: ‘In the leader we place our trust and on their shoulders they carry the hopes of millions in Britain and beyond our borders. It is not to be taken lightly or without a due sense of responsibility.
‘Friends, this Labour Party is bigger than any of us.’
In a thinly-veiled swipe at Mr Corbyn, he warned the new leader: ‘Our leaders have come and gone through the decades.’
He also aimed a dig at the thousands of £3 supporters behind Mr Corbyn’s surge. He said: ‘I look forward to seeing them on the doorstep.’ Mr McNichol said he wanted them to do more than ‘click a button’ to vote in the leadership contest.
Economist Richard Murphy, whose ‘people’s quantitative easing’ plan has been adopted by Corbyn, told the BBC: ‘I’m going to be very pleased that ideas I’ve promoted for a long time are now, I guess, going to be part of Labour Party policy, and I will be delighted about that.’
Mr Corbyn only scraped on to the ballot paper after gaining the nominations of Labour MPs who did not want him to win and was installed with odds of 200/1.
Andy Burnham, the northern shadow health secretary who had shifted to the left, was seen as the frontrunner while shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper presented the strongest threat from the centre.
After strong Blairite candidates including Chuka Umunna and Tristram Hunt pulled out of the race, it was left to Liz Kendall to fly the flag for moderates in the party – with little success.
Union barons who backed Mr Corbyn over his rivals could not contain their delight at his victory.
Len McCluskey, general secretary of the UK’s biggest union Unite, said: ‘Voters can now look at Labour and see, unquestionably, that it stands for fairness, justice, peace and strong communities. It is the party of hope, ready to take on a Government hell-bent on making life worse for ordinary people.
‘The task now for all of us who support Labour is to back the leadership team, to unite, to turn to face the Tories and hold them to account. It is what the voters expect, it is the way back to power and it is the duty of those at all levels of the party to deliver.’
UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said: ‘Today people for the first time in a decade are hearing a message of hope. ‘A clarion call that there is another way, an alternative message that it doesn’t need to be like this.
‘People see in Jeremy a politician who has created a wave, a vision of a better, kinder world that works for everyone, not just a self-serving few. ‘Jeremy has ignited a spark of hope, a spark that had been dampened for decades. This is a chance to claim back the heart and the soul of the party and make it our Labour Party once more.’
Outgoing acting leader Harriet Harman today issued a plea for unity, urging people across the party to take roles on the frontbench.
She told The Times: ‘You’ve got a commitment to the party whoever is the leader.
‘I’ve served under Michael Foot to Tony Blair, my first boss was Michael Meacher.
‘The point is, it’s a broad team and you don’t decide you’ve got abilities and energy and commitment by virtue of who the leader is.’
Former mayor of London Ken Livingstone – tipped for a job under a Corbyn leadership – insisted he a is a ‘consensual’ politician who wants to have proper discussions about the direction of the party on key issues.
‘It will work if Jeremy starts to connect with people,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
‘He is nice and that connects with people. Don’t forget, a big factor in John Major’s surprise win in 92 was the fact that people thought John Major was nice.’
The ex-MP said he has ‘never seen him lose his temper or even be rude to anyone’.
‘And he has an economic strategy to modernise our economy, create a better range of jobs and build homes to rent.’
Shadow Scotland secretary Ian Murray told BBC News: ‘Whoever is crowned winner, we will unite behind him. That’s what the Labour Party and the Labour movement does.’
Mr Murray said that the almost 600,000 people signed up to vote in the election amounted to around one in 100 of the entire UK population, adding: ‘The Labour Party should be very proud of the way it’s been able to engage communities in this and the number of people who’ve turned out to vote and registered to vote.’
Yesterday the Labour party announced Sadiq Khan, the son of a bus driver and former human rights lawyer, would be the party’s candidate in the London Mayoral election.
His victory over Tessa Jowell, a Cabinet minister under Tony Blair, was seen as further proof of the party’s lurch to the left.
Mr Khan was one of the MPs responsible for securing Mr Corbyn a place on the ballot paper only to ensure a wider debate, despite backing actually Mr Burnham as leader.
As well as appointing a new frontbench, the new leader will have to prepare to appear on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show tomorrow morning and the first confrontation with David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.
The Conservatives have timed key votes on controversial anti-strike laws for this week to pile pressure on Labour’s links to the unions.
Having resisted the temptation to comment on the contest for months, the Tories are preparing to take the gloves off.
Mr Cameron yesterday warned victory for Mr Corbyn would be bad for the country as it would break a consensus between the main parties on issues such as nationalisation, nuclear weapons, taxation and union laws
‘The country is stronger when you have shared objectives rather than when you’ve got someone who wants to take us back to the days of Michael Foot and Arthur Scargill,’ he said.
The contest showed that Labour had ‘completely vacated the intellectual playing field and no longer, in my view, represents working people’, he said.
Last night Megyn Kelly showed a 2nd video of Obama architect Jonathan Gruber talking about how Obamacare passed because Americans are “too stupid”:
Clearly Gruber thinks he knows what’s best for us stupid Americans, just like Obama and Democrats believe they are our betters. So much so that they’d hide important information about a bill just to shove it down our throats.
Republicans have ammunition to fight this thing in the court of public opinion but so far I don’t see them doing much about it.
The hosts of “Fox & Friends” confronted Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) on Tuesday over one of the Obamacare architects’ controversial assertion that the health care law made it through Congress thanks to a “lack of transparency” and the “stupidity of the American voter.” The video of MIT professor Jonathan Gruber making the revealing comments at a University of Pennsylvania event in October of 2013 went viral this week.
King said he was unsure of what Gruber was talking about and made it clear he doesn’t “endorse those kinds of comments.” He then defended the way Obamacare was passed.
“Everybody knew that there were going to be additional taxes required to support the premiums under the Affordable Care Act. I don’t see it as any deep dark conspiracy,” he added.
“Really? Senator, he said he wasn’t transparent. He wasn’t telling the truth,” host Brian Kilmeade responded.
The senator then seemingly downplayed Gruber’s role in crafting Obamacare. King was not in the Senate when the law was voted on.
“Who was he? I don’t know where he was in the process,” King said.
When co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle argued Gruber’s comments confirm the American people were purposefully not informed that Obamacare would “tax and penalize” people, King went slightly off topic and stressed the importance of having insurance.
Wait a minute, wait a minute. Tax and penalize? Hold it, hold it, hold it,” King interjected. “We’ve got eight million people that have insurance now that didn’t before and don’t lecture me about this because 40 years ago, I had insurance. If I hadn’t had it, it caught a cancer that saved my life. If I hadn’t had insurance I’d be dead.”
“What does that have to do with it?” Kilmeade asked.
“It has to do with having insurance, man. If you don’t have insurance, it’s a high risk,” King shot back.
Confronted again with claims that Gruber’s remarks show “they lied about a health plan to the American people,” King asserted he was only “one guy” involved in the creation and passage of Obamacare. He then suggested the TV hosts believe “people shouldn’t have health insurance.”
“Are you that cruel? That is what you’re saying,” the senator added.
“Oh, my goodness,” a frustrated Kilmeade reacted.
Watch the video via Fox News below:
A third video has surfaced of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber bragging about pulling the wool over the eyes of the American public in order to help implement Obamacare.
“It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said during a speech at the University of Rhode Island in November 2012.
He was discussing what is known as the Cadillac tax and how it came into being.
In an effort to add a cost-control measure to Obamacare, former Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, who Gruber called a “hero,” successfully pushed through a 40 percent excise tax on insurance companies for plans that cost more than $10,200 for individuals and $27,000 for families.
This was an alternative to putting a cap on tax breaks employers provide employees for health insurance plans, which, according to Gruber, the public mistook for a tax increase rather than the removal of a tax break.
“You just can’t get through, it’s just politically impossible,” Gruber said during his talk.
The purpose of the Cadillac tax is to force the “overinsured” – people with expensive health insurance plans – to cut back on “excess benefits.” Many economists believe that such plans cause inefficiencies in the health-care system. The Cadillac tax, which will be implemented in 2018, is projected to save $250 billion.
Gruber has made remarks before in which he espouses a dim view of the American public while discussing the deception behind passing both the Cadillac tax and Obamacare in general.
The first instance came to light on Sunday when a video was published showing Gruber telling a University of Pennsylvania health-care panel that Obamacare was “written in a tortured way” and that it passed, in part, because it was difficult to understand.
“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass,” Gruber said at the November 2013 event.
The discoverer of the video was not a journalist or a political operative, but, rather, a financial planner who was one of the millions of Americans who lost his insurance plan last year despite President Obama’s pledge that “if you like your plan, you can keep it, period.”
Gruber, who was paid $400,000 to consult on Obamacare, backtracked from those remarks on MSNBC on Tuesday, saying that they were “off the cuff.”
But the randomness of Gruber’s remarks was cast into doubt Tuesday night when Fox News’ Megyn Kelly revealed a second video that also shows the professor discussing the Cadillac tax in a speech at Washington University in St. Louis in October 2013.
Gruber said that the kludge worked because “the American people are too stupid to understand the difference” between capping subsidies and taxing insurance companies.
The story about Rich Weinstein, an unknown investment advisor who poured through hours and hours of YouTube videos, radio interviews, and other media featuring Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber is both incredible and inspiring.
It is Weinstein who is responsible for ferreting out Gruber’s toxic comments about the “stupidity of the American people” and, more importantly, Gruber’s insistence that Obamacare subsidies were limited to state exchanges and should not be made available at the federal level.
A few days ago, Weinstein pulled a short clip from Gruber’s year-old appearance at a University of Pennsylvania health care conference. As a crowd murmured with laughter, Gruber explained that the process that created the ACA was, by necessity, obfuscated to pull one over on voters.
“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure the CBO did not score the mandate as taxes,” said Gruber. “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. Call it the stupidity of the America voter, or whatever.”
Weinstein’s scoop went around the world in a hurry. American Commitment, a conservative 501(c)(4) founded by Americans for Prosperity veteran Phil Kerpen, published the clip on its YouTube channel. Kerpen promoted it through tweets, which quickly became live coverage of the media outlets discovering Gruber.
The University of Pennsylvania actually pulled the clip for a few hours before a Tsunami of outrage forced them to put it back up.
Weinstein’s activism is the result of him losing his insurance in 2013:
Weinstein dates his accidental citizen journalism back to the end of 2013 and the first run of insurance cancellations or policy changes. He was among the people who got a letter informing him that his old policy did not meet ACA standards.
“When Obama said ‘If you like your plan, you can keep your plan, period’—frankly, I believed him,” says Weinstein. “He very often speaks with qualifiers. When he said ‘period,’ there were no qualifiers. You can understand that when I lost my own plan, and the replacement cost twice as much, I wasn’t happy. So I’m watching the news, and at that time I was thinking: Hey, the administration was not telling people the truth, and the media was doing nothing!”
So Weinstein, new plan in hand, started watching the news. “These people were showing up on the shows, calling themselves architects of the law,” he recalls. “I saw David Cutler, Zeke Emanuel, Jonathan Gruber, people like that. I wondered if these guys had some type of paper trail. So I looked into what Dr. Cutler had said and written, and it was generally all about cost control. After I finished with Cutler, I went to Dr. Gruber. I assume I went through every video, every radio interview, every podcast. Every everything.”
His second shot across the bow of Obamacare was an even bigger coup:
Weinstein dug and dug and eventually discovered the first Gruber quote, known in conservative circles as the “speak-o.” Gruber had been on TV arguing that the case against subsidies in non-exchange states was ludicrous. Yet at a January 2012 symposium, Gruber seemed to be making the conservatives’ argument. “What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits – but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill,” said Gruber. “So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country.”
The investment advisor e-mailed this around. Nobody cared. Nobody noticed the clip until after the D.C. circuit ruled 2-1 in favor of plaintiffs who were suing to stop the subsidies. Weinstein clicked around for articles about the decision, and left a comment on The Washington Post’s Volokh Conspiracy blog, pointing to the clip. In short order, Ryan Radia of the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute noticed the clip and promoted it. Within hours, Gruber’s “speak-o” had greatly muddied the liberal argument.
SCOTUS now has not only evidence of congressional intent to limit the subsidies, but also evidence that the people who wrote the law had the same intent. It’s going to be very hard for John Roberts to finesse this one, which probably means SCOTUS will uphold King and the subsidies gotten through the federal website will end.
That doesn’t mean the end of Obamacare. It is pssible that many states without exchanges will set them up to prevent the disruption in coverage for those in their states who got insurance through healthcare.gov. But Weinstein’s efforts have thrown a monkey wrench into Obamacare’s inner workings and whether the program can survive is open to question.
Jumping Joe Biden was in Boston today on the anniversary of the Marathon bombings. Biden told the survivors of last year’s terrorist attack – “It was worth it.”
“To those quote “survivors,” My God, you have survived and you have soared. It was worth… It was worth it. I mean this sincerely, just to hear each of you speak. You’re truly, truly inspiring. I’ve never heard anything so beautiful with what all of you just said.”
Twitchy has reaction.
More… Patty added:
From the Weekly Standard:
Harry Reid: ‘Everybody… Willing to Pay More’ Taxes
By DANIEL HALPER | Oct 24, 2013
Senate majority leader Harry Reid says that “Everybody” is “willing to pay more” taxes. He said so in an interview with a Nevada Public Radio host.
“The only people who feel there shouldn’t be more coming in to the federal government from the rich people are the Republicans in the Congress,” Reid told the radio host, according to Roll Call. “Everybody else, including the rich people, are willing to pay more. They want to pay more.”
So here we go again.
Reid rebuked the Nevada Public Radio host when he was asked what Republicans would have to concede to get Medicare and Social Security cuts on the table.
“You keep talking about Medicare and Social Security. Get something else in your brain. Stop talking about that. That is not going to happen this time. There is not going to be a grand bargain,” Reid said.
Oh, the wonderful spirit of compromise.
“What we need to do is have Murray and her counterpart in the House, Ryan, work together to come up with something to get out of this senseless sequestration and start the budgeting process so that we can do normal appropriation bills.”
You see? It’s the sequester that has been stopping the Democrats from allowing there to be a budget for five and a half years.
Reid said Republicans would have to agree to more tax revenue to get anywhere near a bigger deal.
“They have their mind set on doing nothing, nothing more on revenue, and until they get off that kick, there’s not going to be a grand bargain on – there’s not going to be a small bargain,” Reid said. “We’re just going to have to do something to work our way through sequestration.”
So who is holding whom hostage?
“You’re stupid,” is not something even his most severe critics usually say to President Barack Obama. But on Friday morning I picked up the Wall Street Journal and learned that the president had given a speech about the war on terror saying, “This war, like all wars, must end.”
That story was at the top of the front page. Immediately below was a photograph of flowers being laid at a makeshift memorial near the Woolwich Royal Arsenal where machine gunner Lee Rigby was hacked to death by terrorists.
This war, like all wars, must end when someone wins it. The president – speaking at the National Defense University, of all places – said, “the core of al Qaeda… is on the path to defeat.” And so it may be. But meanwhile, the core of al Qaeda, its aims and its beliefs, is also on the path to Boston and London and any number of other places.
On page 7 of Friday’s Journal was the headline, “Suicide Bombings in Niger Linked to Mali Islamist Group.” On page 9 was a report of terrorist Hezbollah militias aiding the terrorist Assad regime in attacking the rebel-held Syrian city of Qusayr where the rebels themselves are allied with yet more Islamic terrorists. And on pages 4 and 8 were more bad tidings from that perpetrator, abettor, and friend of terrorism, Iran. Iranian fundamentalists, in the chokehold they have on the country’s political system, are improving their grip. And, “according to current and former U.S. officials,” Iran has “escalated a campaign of cyberassaults against U.S. corporations… The hackers were able to gain access to control-system software that could allow them to manipulate oil or gas pipelines.”
All that on a slow news day.
In 2001 Congress passed the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, a declaration of war on terrorists and nations that harbor them. In his speech the president said, “I look forward to engaging… in efforts to refine and ultimately repeal the AUMF’s mandate.”
I like the president’s use of the word “efforts” here, as though he’s merely trying to be stupid. He doesn’t need to try. Earlier in the week he signed new policy guidance for drone strikes. In the future we will use lethal drones only on terrorists who are a “continuing and imminent threat to the American people” and not on terrorists who are a “significant threat to U.S. interests.” Although, assuming tremendously stupid efforts will be made to tell the two kinds of terrorists apart, maybe I’m wrong about the president not needing to try. The policy guidance also stipulates that there “must be a near certainty” that civilians won’t be killed or injured in a drone strike. Imagine how stupid a WWII Army Air Corps briefing officer would have had to be to say that to his B-17 pilots.
Maybe we pundits don’t tell President Obama, “You’re stupid,” because we are proudly showing off our sensitivity to the negative stereotypes that hurtful language engenders in a way that we didn’t feel was necessary when we were telling Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush, “You’re stupid,” even though actors, WASPs, and Texans are burdened with their fair share of negative lamebrain stereotypes.
More likely it’s because we pundits prize signs of intelligence. We take every opportunity to display our own signs, and President Obama exhibits the same wordy, wonky, academic intelligence indicators that we do, so we don’t call him stupid.
As if the two things were mutually exclusive. I know quite a few fellow members of the news analysis and commentary business, and I have it from the highest-placed sources, on the record, that each and every one of our children is a genius. And yet, if we pundits were to gather together our sons and daughters, during their teenage years, and close them for a night in a dimly lit room full of beer and drugs and comfy futons, I can assure you that evidence of stupidity would be found the next morning.
But the most likely reason that we don’t call President Obama stupid is that it’s such a cul-de-sac of a word. Stupid gives the pundit nothing to perform punditry upon. Call a man ignorant and you have license to show the world your vast fund of knowledge and wise him up. Call a man misguided and you transform your column or blog post or TV appearance into a valuable and beneficent German shepherd with a handle on its back and you lead the poor soul in his blindness. Call a man, best of all, wicked and you get to don the sacramental vestments, climb into the pulpit and thunder forth with such a sermon as to bring him weeping to the font of righteousness or cause the Lord God Almighty to strike him with a thunderbolt in his pew or something fun like that. But call a man stupid and… there it is.
And there it is: Dopey stimulus, obtuse bailout, noodle-headed Obamacare, half-wit Dodd-Frank, damfool IRS Tea Party crashers, AP and Fox News beset by oafish peeping Toms and the Benghazi tale told by an idiot. One could go on. Stupid is a great force in human affairs. And the great force has a commander in chief.
Elizabeth Warren has played hard to get on the issue of her supposed Cherokee ancestry.
Warren only admits to information after someone has the documents to prove her story wrong, and then her story changes. She originally denied having any idea why Harvard touted her as Native American, and denied using that supposed status professionally.
Yet drip by drip, documents have been uncovered, and Warren drip by drip admits a little more while doing everything to avoid answering questions.
We now know that starting in 1986 Warren filled out forms for a faculty law directory as “Native American“ putting her on a relatively short list of “Minority Law Teachers.” Her explanation of why she did it, to meet others like her, didn’t hold up.
We now know (because Warren finally admitted it last night after The Boston Globe found more documents) that Warren told her prior employer, U. Penn. Law, that she was Native American and that Penn reported it that way for federal filings.
We now know that in its Spring 1993 issue (which would have been prepared substantially before that), during Warren’s 1992-1993 “visiting” year at Harvard, the Harvard Women’s Law Journal listed Warren on a relatively short list of Women of Color in Legal Academia.
We now know (again last night after The Globe found documents) that Warren was listed for the 1992-1993 academic year as Native American in Harvard Law federal filings.
We now know that all these federal filings were false. There is no evidence that Elizabeth Warren is Native American, and substantial evidence she is not.
Making a false federal filing potentially was a crime. 18 U.S. Code § 1001 as it existed prior to 1996 revisions provided:
“Whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact, or makes any false, fictitious or fraudulent statements or representations, or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”
The statute since 1996 has provided:
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully-
(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;
shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both. If the matter relates to an offense under chapter 109A, 109B, 110, or 117, or section 1591, then the term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be not more than 8 years.
Analysis of the statute as it existed in 1994 is here.
I’m not prepared to say Warren or Harvard violated the law. Not enough is known. But the federal criminal statute points to the importance of accuracy in federal filings.
In a criminal prosecution, the prosecution would have the burden of proving the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Senate campaign is not a criminal prosecution. With all we now know, the burden is on Warren and Harvard to come clean, and to demonstrate that they did not make, or participate in the making of, false federal filings.
Warren knows what happened, and so does Harvard. It’s time for them to stop playing hard to get.
Update: Michael Patrick Leahy has a good round-up of all the mainstream media outlets finally picking up on Warren’s stunning admission to The Boston Glove.
And, Indian Country Today Media has a new story, Elizabeth Warren Avoids American Indian Media.