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How Is This Even Possible?

Saw this tweeted on Twitter early, early this morning from Think Progress.  (Gotta learn to turn that thing off at night or I’ll never get any sleep.)  Then again on Sisyphus’s Facebook page later on.

The financially backed (Koch Brothers) PAC, Americans for Prosperity has a listing of the most corrupt perfect recipients of their funding rated on how their votes benefited the PAC’s interests.  There were five senator who received a 100% rating. Those five:

Senator Koch Contributions
Coburn (R-OK) $56300
Crapo (R-ID) $42000
Hatch (R-UT) $26500
Rubio (R-FL) $34700
Johnson (R-WI) $27900

I’m not understanding something here. Why would Mike Crapo receive funding from THIS PAC when there’s no direct correlation to benefiting them here in the state of Idaho?  The PAC doesn’t even have a chapter in Idaho.

From what I can glean from the scorecard covering the 111th Congress (2009 to 2010), Crapo received 100% for 2010 with a 93% in 2009 (he didn’t vote in line with AFP on one vote, didn’t vote on another bill). That puts Crapo’s overall grade at 96%.

Jim Risch: 100% in 2010, 86% = Overall grade for the 111th session is 92%

Mike Simpson:100% in 2010, roughly 68% 2009: Overall grade 111th session 85% B

Walt Minnick:  Overall grade of C at 65%.  (Really, I’d consider that an F).

Just an FYI.  I’m looking it over more closely later on what bills were voted on that benefited the PAC.

Mitt’s Latest Campaign Ad



The Empty Candidate

One of the best descriptors I’ve run across in relation to Mitt Romney is ’empty.’   The context in which I found it was at Dibgy’s place in this remarkable posting that epitomizes Mitt’s very emptiness – his very lack of substance.

In describing a protest during the ’60s where the Stanford administration office of the president was being held hostage by anti-war protesters, a group of counter-protesters, describing themselves as supporters of the university president as well as anti-communist (war supporters)  had the opportunity to meet Mitt, who described himself as “having some experience with the press.” [Interpretation: I’m a self-seeking bullshitter who will get my picture out there for your cause even if I don’t believe in it. Even at 19, he had it down.]

And then there were the chickenhawks.  They were neither part of the revolution nor did they take the obvious step of volunteering to fight the war they supported.   In fact, due to the draft, they allowed others to fight and die in their place despite the fact that they believed heartily that the best response to communism was to aggressively fight it “over there” so we wouldn’t have to fight it here. These were empty boys, unwilling to put themselves on the line at the moment of truth, yet they held the masculine virtues as the highest form of human experience and have portrayed themselves ever since as tough, uncompromising manly men while portraying liberals as weak and effeminate.

Empty boys …. who grow into empty men – empty…. soulless.

What IS Their Priority?

We need someone like this in the U.S.  Congress or maybe just more in the Idaho legislature….

Some Egyptian Women in this Revolution.

It’s 8:45 am, Tuesday in Cairo.

There’s been quite a bit of back-and-forth about the involvement of women in the Egyptian protests.  Some say not; some say so.  In the first couple of days I saw predominantly men, young/younger men. Then I started looking for veils, head coverings and began finding and seeing more and more women.  Some of those faces have been captured in a slide show from the Global Post.

Then there’s this young woman leading some men in cadenced ‘cheers.’

Democracy Now! had this interview with “Egypt’s most renowned human rights activists, Nawal El Saadawi.  A well-known feminist, psychologist, writer, former political prisoner in Egypt, she lived in exile for years due to numerous death threats.”  It’s an amazing 6 minute interview.

And you remember, Mubarak is the continuation of Sadat. And both Sadat and Mubarak, you know, their regime worked against the people, men and women. And they created this gap between the poor and rich. They brought the so-called business class to govern us. Egypt became an American colony. And we are dominated by the U.S. and Israel. And 80 million people, men and women, have no say in the country.

And you see today that people in the streets for six days, and they told Mubarak to go. He should have gone, if he respects the will of the people. That’s democracy. Because what’s democracy? It’s to respect the will of the people. The people govern themselves. So, really, we are happy.

Sounds a tad familiar.  “They brought the so-called business class to govern us.

A compilation of some of ‘best protest signs’ of the Egyptian protests with one of my favorites below.  Please note the woman over the sign holder’s left shoulder.


One of the most thought provoking was a quote attributed to JFK: “Those who make peaceful protest impossible will make violent protest inevitable.”

Egyptian Army Statement on “our great people”

As per Reuters:

CAIRO Jan 31 (Reuters) – The army said on Monday it would not use force against Egyptians staging protests demanding President Hosni Mubarak step down, a statement said.

It said “freedom of expressionwas guaranteed to all citizens using peaceful means.

It was the first such explicit confirmation by the army that it would not fire at demonstrators who have taken to the streets of Egypt since last week to try to force Mubarak to quit.

“The presence of the army in the streets is for your sake and to ensure your safety and wellbeing.  The armed forces will not resort to use of force against our great people,” the army statement said.

“Your armed forces, who are aware of the legitimacy of your demands and are keen to assume their responsibility in protecting the nation and the citizens, affirms that freedom of expression through peaceful means is guaranteed to everybody.”

It urged people not resort to acts of sabotage that violate security and destroy public and private property.   It warned that it would not allow outlaws and to loot, attack and “terrorise citizens”.

(Writing by Samia Nakhoul, Editing by Alison Williams)

About that Military Aid

This morning while watching  ‘This Week’ with Christiane Amanpour – who is in Cairo, by the way – she reported jets flying overhead, and in fact you could hear them.  They were quite loud, widely circling the part of Cairo near Tafrir Square  not far from the Nile River.  At one point the camera did focus on the jets circling.  These same jets had already come up via Twitter.  By then Al-Jazeera English (AJE) was up and running on my computer and the video below is a bit of what I saw live on AJE.   The Nation magazine has Sharif Kouddous in Cairo, live blogging reports.

A helicopter hovered overhead and two military fighter jets made repeated flybys, coming in at a lower altitude each time until the noise became deafening. Whatever the intended message, the crowd was not intimidated. They cheered, held up victory signs and waved in defiance. After emerging victorious in Friday’s battle with the interior ministry’s forces, there is little that can quell the enthusiasm of the Egyptian people or their full-throated call for change.

Two things: 1) The intimidation factor undoubtedly directed towards the demonstrators and protesters by an autocratic government.  2) Nothing illustrates more the influence of the United States than those goddamned jets.  They are made for Egypt.  Again – that military aid comes up.

Lockheed Martin Corp is building 20 new advanced F-16C/D fighter aircraft for Egypt. The final Egyptian F-16 under contract is to be delivered in 2013, joining the 240 Egypt already has purchased, according to Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon’s biggest supplier by sales.

Egypt was the first Arab country to buy F-16s, widely viewed as a symbol of political and security ties with the United States.

Egypt is Exploding

Won’t get too much work done this morning.  There aer two live feeds to follow.  The better of the two in my opinion, Al-Jazeera English.

Al-Jazeera, English and CNN International.

Some amazing, amazing video coming from Al-Jazeera English office in downtown Cairo earlier.  It’s dark now.  It’s currently 7:50 pm or so in Egypt.

Since most of my Twitter feeds are either political or social justice oriented, Twitter is burning up.

Rage Day in Egypt

It’s not abating any that I can see.  Twitter has erupted. Here’s some pics from Suez .

The Egyptian interior ministry issued a warning of “decisive measures“to be undertaken with protests tomorrow, the 28th.  It’s already Friday in Egypt – morning, I believe.

‘Crazy Uncle Joe’ Biden has weighed in on Mubarek; he’s not a dictator.  Watched this tonight and damned near threw the cat across the room.  And I like Joe Biden.  It doesn’t mean he’s correct – he isn’t.

In an exclusive interview with the NewsHour, Vice President Joe Biden told Jim Lehrer Thursday afternoon that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the target of anti-government demonstrations in Cairo, is someone he knows “fairly well” and does not consider to be a dictator. But the “time has come for President Mubarak to begin to move in the direction of being more responsive to some of the needs of the people out there.”

Yeah, thanks Joe. Continue reading


Last Sunday Raul Labrador appeared as one of five panel members on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’   Three on the panel were Democrats: Reps Cleaver (D-MO), Grijalva (D-AZ), and Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL); the remaining two from the GOP, Reps Trent Franks(R-AZ) and Mr. Labrador (R-ID).  David Gregory billed them as ‘five of Rep. Giffords colleagues’ with the topic of conversation being the “vitriolic rhetoric” (using the words of Sheriff Dupnik in Tucson) and its contribution to violent behavior aimed at lawmakers.

“When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government, the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this county is getting to be outrageous. Unfortunately, Arizona, I think, has become sort of the capital,” Dupnik, a Democrat, continued.

Being a freshmen member of the House, I really doubted Mr. Labrador had yet met Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and as he pointed out he was the only one of the panel “who doesn’t know Rep. Giffords.”  Somewhat confused  I couldn’t quite grasp the point of his even being on the panel.  Then it struck me – his ‘tea party’ backing. And finally the conversation rolled around to just that. Continue reading