Posted on 09-05-2013
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

As days go by it is becoming depressingly clear that the Republican Party has no interest in a functioning government.  While they are not trying to crash the economy with nonsensical economic proposals or obsessing on manufacturing a scandal out of Benghazi, the pattern of obstruction of the last five years continues unabated.  No judges have been approved for the D.C. Circuit Court of appeals.  The Republicans have refused to let the NLRB acquire a quorum by not approving the required Republican members to the agency. In an unprecedented hissy fit the Republicans have filibustered the appointment of ANY head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unless the agency is eviscerted. Since the Republican policies of late are unhindered by data or reality, they are now trying to prevent the Census bureau from collecting economic data. After all why would the government want to use data before deciding how to allocate its spending.

Today come two more examples. The Republicans boycotted the committee hearing to confirm the new head of the EPA, preventing a quorum. In their latest effort to prevent the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the Republican leadership has refused to recommend members to to Independent Payment Advisory Board which is supposed to make recommendations to reduce Medicare Spending and may filibuster any appointee. I wonder what it will take for Harry Reid to scrap the filibuster and get a functioning Senate.

Yet according to our establishment media stenographers things would be different if Obama sang Kumbaya and gave the Republicans a hug. The Republican Party is deadly unserious about governing and hostage to economically harmful policies….and they benefit from a natural desire of voters to shrug and call for a pox on both parties.

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Posted on 09-05-2013
Filed Under (Foreign Policy) by Rashtrakut

After all the hype, the Republican whistleblowers simply did not deliver. The testimony was riveting and it showed the sense of urgency as the consulate was attacked. But after all that, Gregory Hicks did not challenge the Pentagon’s assessments that the F-16s would not have been helpful and the ballyhooed special ops team in Tripoli may not have saved lives either.

These decisions made in the heat of the moment may have been erroneous, but that does not a scandal make. While the Republicans have been desperately trying to “get” President Obama and Hillary Clinton they have been unwilling to consider whether their budget cuts to embassy security opposed by the State department may have been a factor (and to be fair it is not clear that it would have saved lives in Benghazi). It is still clear what exactly was covered up and the motive for doing so.

The administration really had no motive to hide Al Queda involvement, since their claims of success have been primarily against Al Queda Central. There are many regional groups claiming affiliation with Al Queda and they operate independently of the leadership hiding in Pakistan. If Benghazi was triggered by one such group it would still not undercut the administration’s claims of success in Af-Pak.

Jon Stewart continues to get under the skin of Faux News by pointing out how unhinged their coverage has been. Videos below:

Video 1

Video 2

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The news from Syria has been uniformly awful.  While this blog is still firmly opposed to American military involvement in a civil war likely to end in an ethnic bloodbath, it still hopes for a solution that stops the human suffering and displacement.  The photo below was posted on Reditt and Facebook over the weekend and shows a Jordanian soldier warming up the hands of Syrian refugee baby after making it to the border safely.

Yes, I am a sucker for cute baby pictures.

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Posted on 09-05-2013
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

I questioned earlier how Harvard University granted Jason Richwine a PhD for his racist thesis.  Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal Constitution discovered another clip from 2008 with his racial IQ meanderings:

The argument that immigrants themselves are no different from the ones that came 100 years ago I think is quite wrong, and I think that the major difference here is ethnicity — or race, if you will. …. There are real differences between groups, not just trivial ones that we happen to notice more than we should. Races differ in all sorts of ways, and probably the most important way is in IQ. Decades of psychometric testing has indicated that at least in America you have Jews with the highest average IQ, usually followed by east Asians and then you have non-Jewish whites,  and Hispanics and then blacks. These are real differences. They aren’t going to go away tomorrow, and we have to address them in our immigration discussions and debates.”

Absent anywhere in these comments is any mention of whether socio-economic, environmental and other cultural factors affecting the immigrant experience may affect the results of his sacrosanct IQ tests.

The  remainder of the video contains a discussion about the assimilation of races on the intellectual level of Rand Paul telling a largely African American audience at Howard University that the Republicans were the good guys on race because of the Civil War but omitting the cynical Southern Strategy in the aftermath of the passage of the Civil Rights Act.  Richwine dismisses the assimilation of Irish and Sicilians as being relevant to the assimilation of Hispanics and African immigrants.  Of course there is no mention of the fact that non-white immigrants (including Asians who were forbidden to naturalize as citizens under the Chinese Exclusion Act) were subject to many statutory restrictions that made assimilation difficult until the 1960s.  Naturally the assimilation rate was slower for these minorities, but the rate has picked up significantly since then – even among the big bugbear of the far right Spanish speaking Hispanics.

Richwine’s biggest sin may have been to say explicitly in print stuff that the right has learned to express in allusions where all but the dense know what they are talking about.  As Charles Blow indicates it is almost an art form.  Once he masters it he has a lucrative future ahead of him on Faux News, Glenn Beck and other votaries of racial resentment.

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