With 3 Days To Go GOP Punts

NYT: Republican Plan Would Give Oba

WASHINGTON – Congressional Republicans are preparing to counter increasingly dire warnings from President Obama about the impact of automatic budget cuts with a plan to give the administration more flexibility in instituting $85 billion in cuts, a proposal they say could protect the most vital programs while shifting more of the political fallout to the White House.

Israeli Security Forces Beat Gas Station Attendant to Death for Throwing Rocks

Washington Post http://m.washingtonpost.com/national/thousands-bury-palestinian-who-died-under-disputed-circumstances-in-israeli-custody/2013/02/25/ac0858c0-7f42-11e2-a671-0307392de8de_story.html

Jaradat was arrested on Feb. 18 on suspicion that he had thrown stones at Israelis. He died Saturday at Israel’s Megiddo prison, after several days of interrogation by the Shin Bet security service. Israel’s forensics institute performed an autopsy Sunday, in the presence of a physician from the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian minister of prisoner affairs, Issa Karake, said after being briefed by the Palestinian doctor that Jaradat was tortured. He said Jaradat was bruised over his body and suffered two broken ribs. Jaradat’s brother, Mohammed, said he saw the body Sunday and believed his brother was severely beaten. Israel’s Health Ministry said the autopsy did not conclusively determine the cause of death, but that the bruising and broken ribs were likely the result of attempts to revive the detainee.

You break it, you bought it, Israel. Really, your support from over here comes from a fairly narrow demographic…which is dying quickly. Might want to stop being d-bags before its all gone.

Stop the Killer Robots (note: not the SNL sketch)

Activists launch campaign against ‘autonomous weapons’: Killer robots must be stopped | The Raw Story http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/02/24/activists-launch-campaign-against-autonomous-weapons-killer-robots-must-be-stopped/

A new global campaign to persuade nations to ban “killer robots” before they reach the production stage is to be launched in the UK by a group of academics, pressure groups and Nobel peace prize laureates. Robot warfare and autonomous weapons, the next step from unmanned drones, are already being worked on by scientists and will be available within the decade, said Dr Noel Sharkey, a leading robotics and artificial intelligence expert and professor at Sheffield University. He believes that development of the weapons is taking place in an effectively unregulated environment, with little attention being paid to moral implications and international law.

Good article there with some background on the topic. Despite the somewhat silly sounding name, this is a real issue that will become very important to Americans the second after an American civilian is killed by a foreign drone.

GOP Outraged At Obama’s [X] Policy, Public Pretty Happy With All of Them

Republicans are reacting with outrage to a newly leaked White House proposal for immigration reform, a plan they characterize as too lenient.

The President’s draft proposal would essentially allow immigrants to wander across the border whenever they pleased, once they submit biometric information to the federal government, pass a criminal background check, apply for a visa, wait for four years after that and then re-apply for another visa, and then formalize the paperwork after four more years, assuming they’ve complied with all the formal legal requirements in the meantime. The President’s proposal would also increase security funding and require business owners to check the immigration status of new hires.

via GOP Outraged At Obama’s Lax Immigration Policy Of Deporting Most In History | The Daily Dolt.

And the poll data.

Half of Americans said President Barack Obama has the better approach to immigration reform than Republicans in Congress while pluralities gave him the nod on the federal budget deficit and gun policies, according to the inaugural USA Today/Pew Research Center pollreleased Thursday.

Fifty percent of those surveyed said they prefer Obama on immigration, while just 33 percent said the congressional GOP has a better approach to the issue. Obama claims a nearly identical edge over the likes of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on guns and the deficit.

On gun laws, 45 percent said Obama’s approach is better compared with 39 percent who said Republicans on Capitol Hill. The poll showed Obama with a 45 percent to 38 percent advantage over the GOP on the federal budget deficit. The widest disparity came on climate change, to which 47 percent said the President has the best approach while just a little more than a quarter of respondents said Republicans are better-suited to deal with the issue.

[full poll]

Curious polling sidenote…USA Today has dropped Gallup (because they suck so bad) in favor of a non-partisan polling outfit.

First Lady Doing the First Lady Thing

“Mrs. Obama launched Let’s Move! on February 9, 2010 to unite the country around our kids’ health and create real support for families to live healthier lives,” reads an announcement from the Office of the First Lady. “Since then parents, business leaders, educators, elected officials, military leaders, chefs, physicians, athletes, childcare providers, community and faith leaders, and kids themselves have stepped up to improve the health of our nation’s children.”

“Thanks to these efforts … the national childhood obesity rate has leveled off, and even declined in some cities and states,” the statement says, marking the third anniversary of the first lady’s signature public health program.

via White House: First lady has reduced childhood obesity rates | The Daily Caller.

I’m one who’s always been pretty impressed with Michelle’s no bullshit approach to life.   Good to see she’s working on the one aspect of American Life that is probably the most corrosive/expensive part of our culture….eating until we burst/get diabetes.

It’s a Scandal If You Say It’s a Scandal Enough Times, right?

Republicans Make ‘Benghazi’ A Frequent Refrain : It’s All Politics : NPR http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2013/02/20/172516645/republicans-make-benghazi-a-frequent-refrain The echo chamber has them all riled up again. And it will again next year as they reduce all the angst whiny old white men feel down to a single word like Solyndra or Benghazi…..words that have real meanings, but if you repeat them enough can be as filled with as much hate and fear as you can muster. Ask your local right wing Nutjob about those words to get a good example of the crazy I’m talking about.

Republican Definition of “Working Class Homes” on Display in Rubio’s Speech

Marco Rubio’s ‘Working Class’ Home Is For Sale For $675,000 (PHOTOS) – The Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2013/02/13/marco-rubio-working-class-house-for-sale-675000_n_2681264.html

In his State of the Union rebuttal speech, Florida Senator Marco Rubio stressed his blue collar life in Miami. “Mr. President, I still live in the same working class neighborhood I grew up in,” Rubio said, adding that his neighbors are retirees who depend on Social Security and Medicare, workers rising early to pay the bills, and immigrants who have been stuck in poverty. Rubio failed to mention his “working class” pool home in West Miami is on the market for a whopping $675,000 — and he’s moving his family to Washington, D.C.

Sometimes word and facepalms fail to capture the absurdity or certain stances.

And This is Another Reason WHY We Shouldn’t Keep Eradicating Various Species

Chemists in Louisiana found that blood from the American alligator can successfully destroy 23 strains of bacteria, including strains known to be resistant to antibiotics.

In addition, the blood was able to deplete and destroy a significant amount of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Study co-author Lancia Darville at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge believes that peptides—fragments of proteins—within alligator blood help the animals stave off fatal infections.

via Alligator Blood May Lead to Powerful New Antibiotics.

Living Piece of Shit is “Only Asking Questions” about Decorated Vietnam Veteran being Paid Agent of Hezbollah

Freshman Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, insisted that Hagel provide information on compensation for paid speeches over a five-year period — three years more than required — and suggested that without the information, the committee wouldnt know whether Hagel got money from “extreme and radical groups.”

Cruz also suggested that Hagels unwillingness to cooperate indicated that he was being less than forthcoming with the panel about possible payments from foreign sources.

Hagel already had told the committee that during the past 10 years neither he nor his wife had received any compensation from, or been involved in any business transactions with, a foreign government or an entity controlled by a foreign government.

Cruz’s statement angered the committees chairman, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who rejected the notion of a different standard for Hagel than for other nominees and said he was “not going to accept your suggestion and innuendo.

“Another Democrat, Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, accused Cruz over going over the line.

“You basically have impugned the patriotism of the nominee” with suggestions that he is cozy with Iran, Nelson said. “You also stated your opinion that you don’t think hess truthful. Those are two fairly strong statements.”

via Senate Panel Approves Hagel For Pentagon Chief : NPR.

I wonder how long it will take my fellow Texans to realize what a low-life scum Ted Cruz is.  I’m guessing about 25 years.