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Cross posted from here.

Marie Harf, yesterday:

We’re killing a lot of them [ISIS militants] and we’re going to keep killing more of them. So are the Egyptians, so are the Jordanians. They’re in this fight with us. But we cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs [...] We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people.
The right-wing blogosphere has, predictably, gone ballistic over this. But the fact of the matter is that many neocons once promoted the Iraq War by asserting similar arguments--namely, that a democratic and prosperous Iraq would neutralize the anti-American sentiment and Islamic extremism that plagues the Middle East. In fact, an argument similar to Harf's was used by none other than Mitt Romney during the third presidential debate in 2012:
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Cross posted from here.

Above: 1965 documentary by the John Birch Society alleging the US Civil Rights movement was a communist plot.

Last month, prominent right-wing blogger John Hinderaker made a post bluntly titled "Communists Are Behind the Anti-Police Protests In New York" in which he strongly implies that ANSWER Coalition is behind the bulk of #BlackLivesMatter protests in New York City, apparently based on a single Tweet from the organization. Hinderaker writes:

A.N.S.W.E.R. is close to unique, in that it advocates for pretty much every form of evil in the world. Who pays for it, what masters it serves, remains unknown. But that evil infuses its every act, is obvious.
Genocide enthusiast Glenn Reynolds approvingly linked to the post and added his take that "communists are on the same moral plane as Nazis, just with better press relations."
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Cross-posted from my blog.

The scandal of releasing concentration camp inmates: Bergdahl and the bizarro discourse of national security cultism

The entire discourse surrounding the Obama administration’s prisoner swap with the Taliban should be incredibly disheartening to anyone who cares about civil liberties and human rights. Republicans are talking about impeaching Obama for purportedly circumventing the law in releasing the Gitmo detainees. A common cry is that it’s an Nixonian “abuse of power” on the part of the Obama administration’s “imperial presidency.” What is so strange about this is that Obama isn’t being accused of acting like a dictator for doing what a dictator typically would do, in fact it’s just the opposite. If anything, releasing men who were held without charge from an offshore, military-run, concentration camp known for its torture and abuse of inmates is a slow step away from tyranny.

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Image via.


An Indiana man pulled over for speeding in Ohio had 48 bombs and four guns in his car, authorities allege.

Andrew Scott Boguslawski, 43, Morris Hill, has been jailed on $1 million bond since his New Year's Day arrest on a count of illegal manufacture or processing of explosives. He is to appear in court Friday for a preliminary hearing, the Madison Press in London, Ohio, reported Monday.
Boguslawski was stopped by state troopers while westbound on Interstate 70 in Madison County for allegedly driving 85 miles per hour in a 70 mph zone.

Adkins said Trooper William Davis took notice of several bumper stickers on Boguslawski's car, including one stating, "If you can read this, you're in range," and asked him if there were any weapons in the vehicle.

Boguslawski allegedly answered no and Davis stepped away to write a ticket, the Madison Press reported. When the trooper returned to Boguslawski's car he spotted the handle of a gun between the man's knees, Adkins said.

"At that point, he drew his service weapon, held the man there and called for backup," said Adkins.

More info can be found here.
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X-posted from here.

Associated Press:

Between Aug. 1 and Aug. 15, the agency said, an average of 30 people per day have arrived at San Diego ports asking for asylum, compared with roughly 170,000 travelers who cross the border there legally each day.

Critics of current immigration reform efforts in Washington have claimed would-be immigrants are using the credible fear claim seeking asylum as a loophole to gain legal entry into the U.S., citing fear of drug cartel violence in Mexico. Immigration experts say the concerns are overstated.


The issue gained new attention last month after a group of nine immigration rights activists presented themselves at the Arizona border in Mexico seeking asylum. After spending several weeks in detention, they have since been released into the U.S. pending hearings before an immigration judge who will make a final decision on whether to grant their requests.

DHS is quick to point out that such requests from Mexican citizens are rarely granted, noting that on average, 91 percent are denied.


In order to win asylum in the United States, an immigrant must to prove he or she is being persecuted because of race, religion, political view, nationality or membership in a particular social group. They also must prove that their government is either part of the persecution or unable or unwilling to protect them.

Immigration lawyers also point out that the bar is extremely high for being granted asylum in the U.S.

“Most people who get these credible fear interviews, even if they pass, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be released,” said David Leopold, an Ohio immigration attorney and former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “You could be sitting in detention for months and months until you get your asylum hearing, and then you’re denied and sent back.”

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So I see that right-wing blogs are focusing on this story:

Two burglars spent last weekend repeatedly breaking into a Dallas law firm and stealing three computers while leaving other valuables behind. The attorneys said Sunday that this was no ordinary break-in: it may have been politically motivated.

The law firm targeted is Schulman & Mathias, which represents State Department whistleblower Aurelia Fedenisn, formerly with the department’s office of inspector general. Fedenisn revealed to CBS News earlier this year that she’d seen internal investigations called off or misdirected by higher ups, drawing a rapid and terrifying response from law enforcement, with a specific focus on her family and children.
Then, last weekend, security cameras caught two unknown people repeatedly burglarizing Fedenisn’s attorney’s office in north Dallas. An office across the hallway that was left unlocked and was full of valuables was overlooked by the thieves, who only took three computers.

Speaking to Foreign Policy on Sunday, attorney Cary Schulman said he suspects the crime was political in nature. “It’s clear to me that it was somebody looking for information and not money,” he said. “My most high-profile case right now is the Aurelia Fedenisn case, and I can’t think of any other case where someone would go to these great lengths to get our information.”

Fair enough. It looks suspicious enough to warrant attention. But the common comparisons to Watergate bother me for this reason: it was not an anomaly. The FBI was operating COINTELPRO at the same time it occurred and was engaged in numerous black-bag jobs against radical leftist groups. Indeed, the much lauded Watergate "whistleblower" Mark Felt was himself convicted of ordering illegal break-ins. The only reason the Watergate burglary lead to a major scandal is that its target was an establishment political party.
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(Cross posted from here.)

Congressional Research Service (emphasis mine):

“Most of the undocumented Cubans who arrive in the United States are allowed to stay and adjust to permanent resident status under the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) of 1966 (P.L. 89-732). The CAA, as amended, provides that certain Cubans who have been physically present in the United States for at least one year may adjust to permanent resident status at the discretion of the Attorney General—an opportunity that no other group or nationality has.”

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(Cross-posted from Current Events Inquiry.)

Investors Business Daily has an incredibly inflammatory article taking advantage of the recent uproar about the NSA’s broad spying programs to assert that Muslims are being given a special exemption from government eavesdropping. The claim is incredibly similar to a right-wing myth spread about a supposed “Muslim exception” from TSA screenings that happened to pop up at the same time as the TSA’s “enhanced pat-down” provoked a media firestorm and popular outrage.

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Cross-posted from Current Events Inquiry.

The Heritage Foundation wants to let you know that it’s very unfair that Tea Party groups were given greater scrutiny from IRS over their nonprofit applications and tax-exempt status. Such political intimidation and discrimination obviously has no place in a democratic society… unless of course it is done against left-wing groups. In which case, IRS audits are just window dressing.

During the 1980s, the federal government, right-wing exiles and private conservative organizations waged a domestic war against the Central American solidarity movement and the related Sanctuary movement. The repression consisted of–but by no means limited to–frivolous investigations, widespread infiltration by informants and provocateurs, death threats, break-ins, criminal prosecution and at least one case of kidnapping, rape and torture…. and there were indeed unwarranted IRS audits, but that’s just kid stuff compared to most of what the FBI, the INS and others put the Central America peace movement through.

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Cross posted from here.

Earlier this week, sweepingly pro-Israel resolutions passed both the US Senate and House with supposed "unanimous consent." This lead to such triumphalist headlines as "House passes resolution supporting Israel's right to self-defense" and "Senate, House resolutions back Israel’s actions in Gaza."

However, one representative from the US House is now objecting to the means in which the resolution was passed through his chamber of Congress and asserts he would have voted against it had it been put through the proper procedures.

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Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 05:16 PM PDT

"MSM failed to vet Obama." O Rly?

by Daisy Cutter

We're bound to hear this "failure to vet" myth from the right over and over again with such repetition that I worry many non-wingnuts are starting to believe it. That's why I'm posting this diary.

Source: Project for Excellence in Journalism, Character and the Primaries of 2008: What Were the Media Master Narratives about the Candidates During the Primary Season?, 29 May 2008, p. 38.

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Cross-posted from here.

One of the most infuriating ideas the American right and the Tea Party have promoted is that Americans can be neatly divided into two main groups: makers and takers. The makers, of course, are the predominantly white upper and middle-classes who happen to pay federal income taxes and the takers are the relatively less white lower-classes who pay no federal income taxes. Like most other right-wing axioms, it is based on a series of false claims, namely:

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