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Monthly Archives: December 2009

Boy, we really didn’t waste any time going political on this one.

Republicans have wasted no time in attacking Democrats on intelligence and screening failures leading up to the failed Christmas Day bombing of Flight 253 — a significant departure from the calibrated, less partisan responses that have followed other recent terrorist activity.

But other Democrats say the GOP’s yuletide political offensive could backfire on Republicans, putting the spotlight on the party’s own less-than-spotless record on homeland security.

Exhibit A: DeMint’s controversial “hold” on Obama’s choice to lead the Transportation Safety Administration, Erroll Southers, which has left the agency leaderless during a critical period of reappraisal and potential reorganization.

Over the summer, 108 House Republicans voted against the final conference report of the 2010 appropriation bill for the Department of Homeland Security, which included funding for explosives detection systems and other aviation security measures.

The no voters cited a procedural dispute over the appropriations process. They included Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), Hoekstra and a who’s who of big-name House Republicans: Reps. Mike Pence, Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Joe Wilson (R-SC).

The conference bill included more than $4 billion for “screening operations,” including $1.1 billion in funding for explosives detection systems, with $778 million intended for buying and installing the systems.

via GOP seizes on terror issue – – POLITICO.com.

At least we can comfort ourselves with the thought that people who act on these harebrained schemes aren’t likely to be very smart.

‘A Swedish neo-Nazi group planned to sell the infamous “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign stolen from the Auschwitz death camp to fund an attack on the prime minister, The London Times reported.

“We are aware of the information about the alleged attack plans,” Patrik Peter, a spokesman for the Swedish security police told The Times.

The sign, which means “Work Makes You Free,” was stolen Dec. 18 by five men and was later found in three pieces several hundred miles from the camp in Oswiecim, Poland.

The thieves, all Polish nationals, were arrested and are being interrogated, Polish police said.

A Swedish newspaper reported that a former leader of a Nazi group said a buyer “was ready to pay millions for the sign.”‘

So white, Polish, neo-Nazi terrorists planned to murder the Swedish Prime Minister by stealing a piece of Holocaust history to sell to yet another neo-Nazi, the money from which would fund the entire act of terrorism.

via at-Largely: Update on the theft of Auschwitz camp sign story….

Abdulmutallab reportedly injected material from a syringe into a packet of powder taped to his leg, which set his pants on fire. The Nigerian national was immediately subdued, the plane landed — and he soon told investigators he had received explosives instruction from Al Qaeda operatives in Yemen.

ABC News is now reporting that federal officials are dubious of his account, and suspect that he may have been acting on his own.

via Rocky plans hearings on terror attempt – Glenn Thrush – POLITICO.com.

Greenwald flags this past summer’s version of Ezra Klein behaving in a manner that is somewhat inconsistent with the holiday model.

Most observers now think that some form of public plan will survive in the final bill. The question is what form of [public] plan? . . . . For most of you, this is the big one. The inclusion of a strong public insurance option has become, for most observers I know, the single most recognizable marker for victory. If the public plan exists, liberals have won. If it’s eliminated, or neutered, then conservatives have triumphed.

Back in June — when most people, according to Klein, believed the final bill would have a public option — the progressive consensus was that the existence of the public option would single-handedly determine whether progressives won or lost (Klein himself wasn’t necessarily adopting that view, only saying that “most of you” have done so).  Yet now that the bill will have not merely a “neutered” public option, but no public option at all, the exact opposite decree is issued by the progressive establishment:  this public-option-free health care bill is the single greatest achievement since LBJ or, perhaps, even FDR, rendering all progressive opposition to it immoral and insane (see here for a perfect example of this shift).  What accounts for that reversal?

via Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com.

Yeah, Klein himself didn’t so much advocate that view, but he hasn’t so much gotten around to acknowledging that the people he was referring to have changed their tune and he didn’t name any of them by name. So it’s kind’ve six of one, half a dozen of the other.

President Obama rejected in an interview Tuesday the criticism that he has compromised too much in order to secure health-care reform legislation, challenging his critics to identify any “gap” between what he campaigned on last year and what Congress is on the verge of passing.

“Nowhere has there been a bigger gap between the perceptions of compromise and the realities of compromise than in the health-care bill,” Obama said in an Oval Office interview with The Washington Post about his legislative record this year. “Every single criteria for reform I put forward is in this bill.”

via AMERICAblog News: Obama doesn’t think he compromised one bit on health care bill.

Fuck this C-Street asshole.

An aide to Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) coordinated opposition to the Senate health bill’s abortion compromise this morning with the Republican Senate leadership, according to a chain of frantic emails obtained this morning by POLITICO.

Stupak, in an interview with POLITICO, called the Senate bill’s abortion position “unacceptable” – but disavowed his staffer’s collaboration with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“I never talked to McConnell about the health care bill,” said Stupak, adding that “I did not authorize the email [which] “was sent without my knowledge.”

via Stupak aims to sink ‘unacceptable’ abortion compromise – – POLITICO.com.