In an extraordinary admission, Attorney General Eric Holder has told Congress that U.S. drone strikes since 2009 have killed four Americans — three of whom were “not specifically targeted.”
For all the effort that the Obama administration has gone to in asserting that its drones only kill the people that the administration intends to kill, Holder wrote in a letter today to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that Samir Khan, 16-year-old Abdulrahman Awlaki and Jude Kenan Mohammad were “not specifically targeted by the United States.” The fourth American to die in a drone strike since 2009 was Abdulrahman’s father Anwar Awlaki, a radical propagandist whom the U.S. killed in Yemen in 2011.
The five-page letter, obtained and published by Charlie Savage of The New York Times, does not explain the circumstances that led to the unintentional killings of Khan, Mohammad and the younger Awlaki. Holder does not apologize for the killings, nor explain whether their deaths resulted from errant targeting, mistaken identity or another circumstance.
But after acknowledging that the administration did “not specifically targe[t]” those three Americans, Holder defended killing Americans the administration believes to be members of al-Qaida without due process, a constitutionally questionable proposition.
Chairman and Rush Limbaugh as Director of Communications.”
In comes John McCain, Obama’s newest ally, along with Susan Collins to chide the actions of the conservative senators as bizarre and unprecedented. He’s right. It is unprecedented for new members of the Senate to take a leadership role in defending the country from the bipartisan statism that he has propagated so fervently over the past two decades.
It’s about time we send some reinforcements to our guys. We’re going to have solid opportunities in red state like Alaska, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, Arkansas, Montana, Nebraska, and South Dakota - just to name a few. There are already some solid prospects on the horizon. The real question is if the professional conservatives are going to blithely ignore another primary cycle and let McCain and his ilk destroy the party.
It’s from last week; I should’ve paged it then.
After the previous essay on Benghazi, I got a bunch of email.
The gist of which is best summed up as:
Okay, Benghazi, fine, whatever. Fine. But what about the IRS thing? Huh, what about that? How are you going to defend your boy Obozo on that, huh? Huh? It’s Obumer’s Watergate, Man, he’s going down! Impeachment! Impeachment!
The IRS scandal.
You mean the IRS scandal where not one, not a single one, of the targeted conservative groups requesting 501(c)3 or (c)4 designations were denied tax exempt status despite being engaged in blatantly political activities in direct violation of the intent of the tax code? You mean the IRS scandal where not one of the targeted organizations were denied their rights as citizens of the United States or, in point of fact, were not harmed in any way? You mean the IRS scandal where no actual laws were broken? Where there was no actual cover up? And where the IRS itself found the problem and corrected it and then reported it to the American people?
You mean that “scandal?”
Folks, there’s a scandal here alright, starting with the one where hysterical conspiracy mongering conservatives in Congress will now use this non-issue as yet another excuse for obstructionism, yet another excuse to beat their fleshy chests in a pity party of make-believe persecution while managing to avoid doing any of the actual work they supposedly get paid for.
* And I only say “Semi-Nothingburger” because there’s an couple interesting aspects about the situation that should be looked into: profiling and keywords due to volume (had how to do that without overmuch bias), an understaffed and underfunded agency, and other stuff.
I wonder… What aspects of the situation, from a rational standpoint, can other Lizardim add?
“Christians should stop wielding religion as a tool of oppression, write Evette Dionne at Clutch magazine.” The following is from a link from this article at The Root:
She continued, “That is not a godly energy you’re giving off now! I don’t understand being so saturated in a dogma and a theology that you would not embrace your sister in her deepest need and pain… I just want you to be mindful of how your energy hurts her.”
What June fails to realize is how her negative energy and refusal to embrace a sister in crisis doesn’t align with the teachings of Christ or the spirit of God. Being a Christian entails more than reading scriptures, attending service and attempting to proselytize. Christianity is a politic and responsibility that must be sharpened continually in our lives. The praxis begins by recognizing the core of Christianity as love and attempting to exhibit that within every aspect of our lives.
Nice-nasty Christianity, similar to Paulina and June’s, doesn’t embody God. Instead, it further alienates other religious faiths and creates an unlikeable image of Christians.
Link from the above article to Funky Dineva.com
Iyanla Vanzant Fix My Life With The ‘Pace Sisters ‘Exposes Ignorant ‘Church Folk’ (video)
… At what point do you challenge some of these nonsensical doctrines and guidelines that have been transferred from generation to generation and perpetuated by ignorance?
It seems as if there is no systems of checks and balances within Christianity for some Christians. The best Christian is the Christian that does not think or challenge anything. Mind you, many traditions, particularly within the African American community were started and passed on by uneducated, illiterate, disenfranchised slaves and former slaves. Back then people did the best they could with what limited information and understanding they had. In 2013 however, WE JUST FLAT OUT KNOW BETTER. Yet many of us voluntarily surrender our ability to exercise our free will to think critically in the name of salvation. Sounds very GODLY to me. Not sure about you, but the Gawd I pray to doesn’t feel honored or get any kind of glory out of me being blind, dumb, or stupid!
The Important Role of Immigrants in Our Economy
Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Remarks at the 2013 Annual Gala
Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
May 18, 2013
Thank you for that kind introduction. I am glad to be back in Atlanta, and I am delighted to be at the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s (“GHCC”) 2013 Annual Awards Gala. Before I begin my remarks, let me issue the standard disclaimer that the views I express today are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”), my fellow Commissioners, or members of the staff.
I note that this year marks the 29th anniversary of the GHCC’s founding. Congratulations on this milestone. As some of you know, I have had a long history with the GHCC. I proudly served on its Board of Directors and as Parliamentarian, and had the honor to be named the GHCC Businessman of the Year in 1994 and the GHCC Member of the Year in 2005. Like many of you in this room, I share GHCC’s commitment to the goal of promoting and supporting the economic development of Hispanic businesses and individuals. And I commend your efforts to make sure that the Hispanic community is given every opportunity to contribute to our nation’s progress and economic prosperity.
Tonight I would like to spend my time with you discussing:
%2BThe crucial role that immigrants have played in the economic growth of the United and
%2BHow the SEC can enhance opportunities for small businesses to access capital and grow their businesses.
The Positive Impact of Immigrants on the U.S. Economy
President Obama recently stated that “[t]he lesson of [the past] 236 years [in our country’s history] is clear — immigration makes America stronger. Immigration makes us more prosperous. And immigration positions America to lead in the 21st century.”1 I completely agree with the President. Let me highlight a few interesting facts about the impact of immigrants on our national economy.
First, immigrants are business owners. According to the National Venture Capital Association, over the last 20 years, immigrants have founded, or helped to found, 25% (88 out of 356) public U.S. companies that were backed by venture capital investors.2 This list includes Google, eBay, Yahoo!, and Sun Microsystems.3 In addition, while first generation immigrants are only 12% of the U.S. population, they represent 16.7% of all new business owners in the United States.4 First generation immigrants own businesses in a variety of industries and make substantial contributions to both low-skilled and high-skilled sectors. For example, first generation immigrants:
%2BOwn 28.4% of businesses owned by those with less than a high school education;5
%2BOwn 12% of businesses owned by those with a college education;6 and
%2BOwn 10.8% of all firms with employees, providing job opportunities for thousands of Americans.7
Second, immigrants create jobs. The Fiscal Policy Institute found that small businesses owned by immigrants directly employed an estimated 4.7 million people in the United States. According to the latest estimates, these small businesses generated more than $776 billion in revenue annually.8
At the end of last week, three Democratic legislators renewed their efforts to protect women from right-wing crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), anti-abortion front groups that often use misleading advertising to market themselves as women’s health clinics. Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) have reintroduced the “Stop Deceptive Advertising For Women’s Services Act,” which would hold those facilities accountable for any deceptive marketing tactics that falsely advertise abortion services they don’t actually provide. The measure encourages the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to crack down on the facilities that falsely advertise abortion services that don’t actually exist, while the organizations that are already accurately depicting their services wouldn’t be penalized.
Crisis pregnancy centers have a long history of preying on vulnerable women with medical misinformation. CPCs present themselves as a valid alternative to women’s health clinics, hoping to lure in women who want more information about their reproductive options, but they actually use conservative propaganda to dissuade women from choosing an abortion. And CPCs like to locate themselves close to reproductive health facilities — often moving in right next door — specifically to confuse patients who may be seeking an abortion.
On Wednesday, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) held an anti-abortion press conference for the bill he intends to reintroduce that restricts women’s abortion rights nationwide. A direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, Franks’ bill bans abortions after 20 weeks, before a fetus even reaches the point of viability. Just this week, an appeals court stuck down a 20-week abortion ban enacted by Franks’ home state of Arizona.
2. Donors to social welfare nonprofits are anonymous for a reason.
Unlike donors who give directly to politicians or even to super PACs, donors who give to social welfare nonprofits can stay secret. In large part, this is because of an attempt by Alabama to force the NAACP, then a social welfare nonprofit, to disclose its donors in the 1950s. In 1958, the Supreme Court sided with the NAACP, saying that public identification of its members made them at risk of reprisal and threats.
4. Social welfare nonprofits do not actually have to apply to the IRS for recognition as tax-exempt organizations.
With all the furor over applications being flagged from conservative groups — particularly groups with “Tea Party,” “Patriot” or “9/12” in their names — it’s worth remembering that a social welfare nonprofit doesn’t even have to apply to the IRS in the first place.
Unlike charities, which are supposed to apply for recognition, social welfare nonprofits can simply incorporate and start raising and spending money, without ever applying to the IRS.
EVIL BY ANOTHER NAME:Pennsylvania Judge Sentenced for 28 Years for Selling Kids to the Prison System
I do not use the word
lightly. There is no greater crime to objectify another human being—to quantify that person in dollars and sense is beyond crime. For any adult, much less a sworn Judge in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA to sell a child is pure EVIL.
Mark Ciavarella Jr, a 61-year old former judge in Pennsylvania, has been sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison for literally selling young juveniles for cash. He was convicted of accepting money in exchange for incarcerating thousands of adults and children into a prison facility owned by a developer who was paying him under the table. The kickbacks amounted to more than $1 million.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned some 4,000 convictions issued by him between 2003 and 2008, claiming he violated the constitutional rights of the juveniles - including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea. Some of the juveniles he sentenced were as young as 10-years old.
Indiana Jones, the swashbuckling fictional adventurer, would seem to have nothing on John Goddard.
As a boy growing up in Los Angeles, Goddard dreamed of adventures in faraway lands and spent his life pursuing an elaborate set of goals. He wanted to climb the world’s most perilous peaks, navigate its major rivers and explore its most remote regions, among many other ambitions.
Goddard, an adventurer, explorer and lecturer who evidently fell only a few goals short of a boyhood list that numbered more than 100, died Friday at a Glendale hospital of complications from cancer, said his son Jeffery. He was 88.
“When he was growing up, he heard older people say with regret that they hadn’t done the things they wanted to do,” his son said Monday. “He decided he was going to live a life of adventure so he wouldn’t have any regrets.”
Armed with that determination, Goddard sat in his bedroom one day when he was 15 and jotted down his 127 goals, inspired by his avid reading of the Encyclopedia Britannica and numerous adventure stories.
He wanted to explore the waters of the Amazon, the Congo, the Colorado and the Nile rivers. He hoped to climb an impressive list of mountains, including Mt. Ararat in Turkey, Mt. Cook in New Zealand, Mt. Popocatepetl in Mexico and Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro, a towering 19,341 feet. He wanted to visit the Great Wall of China, the Panama and Suez canals, Easter Island, the Galapagos Islands and the Taj Mahal.