By accepting Speaker Boehner’s invitation to address Congress, the Israeli leader has chosen to side with political forces opposed by many US Jews.
—By David Corn
Remy Steinegger /Flickr
It was not so shocking that House Speaker John Boehner would seek to undermine President Barack Obama and his attempt to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu to deliver an address to Congress, in which Netanyahu will presumably dump on Obama’s efforts. Nor was it so shocking that Netanyahu, who apparently would rather see another war in the Middle East than a deal that allows Iran to maintain a civilian-oriented and internationally monitored nuclear program, agreed to mount this stunt two weeks before the Israeli elections—a close contest in which the hawkish PM is fighting for his political life. Certainly, Netanyahu realized that this audacious move would strain his already-ragged ties with the Obama administration and tick off the president, who will be in office for the next two years and quite able to inconvenience Netanyahu should he hold on to power. (Even Fox News talking heads acknowledged that Boehner’s invitation and Netanyahu’s acceptance were low blows.) But what was surprising was how willing Netanyahu was to send a harsh message to American Jews: Drop dead.
For the past six years, one big question has largely defined US politics: Are you for or against Obama? The ongoing narrative in Washington has been a simple one: The president has tried to enact a progressive agenda—health care, gun safety, a minimum-wage hike, climate change action, immigration reform, Wall Street reform, gender pay equity, expanded education programs, diminishing tax cuts for the rich—and Boehner and the Republicans have consistently plotted to thwart him. The GOP has used the filibuster in the Senate to block Obama initiatives and routine presidential appointments. The House Republicans have resorted to extraordinary means—shutting down the government, holding the debt ceiling hostage, ginning up controversies (Benghazi!)—to block the president. All this has happened as conservative allies of the Republican Party have challenged Obama’s legitimacy as president (the birth certificate) and peddled vicious conspiracy theories (he’s a Muslim socialist who will destroy the nation). Throughout the Obama Wars, one demographic group that has steadfastly stood with the president is American Jews.
Jews have voted for Obama in strong numbers. In 2008, Obama drew 74 percent of the Jewish vote (maybe up to 78 percent). In 2012, he won about 69 percent. Yes, there was a drop-off, but it was consistent with Obama’s decline within other constituencies. The second time around he was slightly less popular with everyone. Moreover, in the 2014 congressional elections, 69 percent of Jewish voters, according to one poll, voted for a Democratic congressional candidate. That survey found that 57 percent of American Jews approved of Obama’s performance as president—a much higher number than the 43 percent approval rating among the general population. As the Hillnoted:
The clear conclusion is that despite Republican efforts to target Jewish voters and to paint the president as somehow anti-Israel, the Jewish vote is not up for grabs. In fact, there has been a remarkable consistency in the Jewish vote for Congress over the past three elections as measured by GBA surveys, including 66 percent for Democrats in 2010, 69 percent in 2012, and 69 percent in 2014.
And there’s this. The poll asked American Jews to cite two issues of importance to them. Only 8 percent mentioned Israel, which put this subject in 10th place, far behind the economy and health care. Another survey conducted earlier in 2014 showed American Jewish voters overwhelmingly supporting Obama and listing the economy and the growing gap between the rich and poor as their top issues. As the New York Times reported, “Concern about Israel or Iran ranked very low, even when respondents were asked for the second most important issue that would determine their vote for president.” The paper quoted Robert Jones, head of the Public Religious Research Institute: “We show no slippage in Jewish support for President Obama.”
It’s no news flash that American Jews tend to be liberal. In 2013, the Pew Research Religious and Public Life Project spelled out the obvious:
Jews are among the most strongly liberal, Democratic groups in U.S. politics. There are more than twice as many self-identified Jewish liberals as conservatives, while among the general public, this balance is nearly reversed. In addition, about seven-in-ten Jews identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party. Jews are more supportive of President Barack Obama than are most other religious groups. And about eight-in-ten Jews say homosexuality should be accepted by society.
And this Pew report noted that most Jews support Obama’s stance on Israel: “Obama receives higher marks from Jews by religion than from most other religious groups for his handling of the nation’s policy toward Israel. The strongest critics of Obama’s approach toward Israel are white evangelical Protestants, among whom just 26% approve of his performance in this area.”
By RSVPing to Boehner’s invitation, Netanyahu is choosing sides and embracing the folks whom most American Jews oppose. He is butting into US politics and enabling the never-ending Republican campaign to undercut a president widely supported by American Jews.
That is not good for Jews in the United States or Israel. Israeli politicians have long counted on Jewish support in the United States—and support from conservative evangelicals. Yet there have been signs that non-Orthodox American Jews are not all that happy with Netanyahu’s policies. A 2013 poll found that only 38 percent of American Jews believed that his government was “making a sincere effort to bring about a peace settlement” with the Palestinians. Close to half believed Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank was a bad idea. (Only 17 percent said it helped Israeli security.) That is, Netanyahu’s right-wing approach—even if supported by AIPAC and other American Jewish establishment outfits—was not popular with many American Jews.
And now Netanyahu is partnering up with Boehner to kick Obama in the teeth and sabotage one of the president’s top diplomatic priorities. He is essentially telling American Jews to get lost: I have no regard for the president you support and no regard for your own political needs and desires.
The leader of a foreign country ought to place his own assessment of national security imperatives first. But the relationship between the Israeli government and American Jews is an important and sensitive matter for both sides—and perhaps more so for Tel Aviv. After all, Israel, which receives about $3 billion in US aid annually, needs the United States more than vice versa. Yet Netanyahu has decided to snub American Jews and to insult the leader they strongly back. This speech might help Netanyahu in the Israeli elections; it could also backfire if Israeli voters decide to punish him for further weakening Israel’s special relationship with Washington. But Netanyahu’s scheming with Boehner against Obama could also end up alienating many American Jews from the Israeli government. By enlisting with Boehner, Netanyahu is conveying a brazen sign of disrespect for a community he and his country depend upon. What chutzpah.
Religious Right Leaders Defend Russia’s Anti-Gay Law
by Peter Montgomery
As Miranda reported earlier, House Speaker John Boehner’s office stepped in to provide space to the anti-gay Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society for its symposium on what Americans should learn from other countries when it comes to “family policy.” Sen. Mark Kirk, who had originally sponsored the group for a room, withdrew his support last night saying he doesn’t affiliate with groups that discriminate.
The Howard Center’s Allan Carlson, who described himself as a historian by training, saw fascism at work: “The parallel I see here is what happened in Italy, Germany, other lands in the 1920s and 1930s as fascism began to impose its fear-driven grip on debate, on conversation, and on policy-making.”
Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America boasted about having been a speaker at all but one of the World Congress of Families summits – annual events organized by the Howard Center and attended by conservative religious activists from around the world. Crouse acknowledged that “things don’t look so good” to activists watching the advance of same-sex marriage in Europe and the U.S., and public opinion in many countries shifting to “quote LGBT rights.” But, she said that’s not the whole story, and praised countries that have outlawed gay marriage and other groups of citizens who are “with the help of God” changing the world.
Crouse is particularly excited about what is happening among opponents of marriage equality in France, which she portrays as a “David v. Goliath” battle of plucky pro-family activists fighting the French government and media. She mentioned activists in Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, and Nigeria. She encouraged the small number of attendees to “take heart” and count on the power of truth and faithfulness.
Austin Ruse, the enthusiastically anti-gay head of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, devoted much of his remarks to supporting Russia’s new anti-free-speech and anti-gay propaganda law. He read from a statement of support from “pro-family groups” defending Russia’s new law. The letter claims that “the Russian law protects the innocence of children and the basic rights of their parents recognized in the international legislation and treaties.” More from the letter:
With its new law Russia is protecting genuine and universally recognized human rights against artificial and fabricated “values” aggressively imposed in many modern societies….We thus call for respect of the sovereignty of the Russian people and we invite all organizations and people who feel responsible for the protection of the innocence of children and their rights, the natural family and parental rights to stand up for Russia, as well as for Ukraine and Moldova suffering the same pressure due to similar laws.
Ruse, who has been spending time in Russia to prepare for the World Congress of Families 2014 summit, being held in Moscow, said western LGBT rights advocates were guilty of overheated rhetoric and “propaganda” about the status of gays in Russia. He saw gays everywhere in Moscow! They can enjoy themselves “hassle-free” at clubs. Russians, he said, accept that homosexuality exists, but they believe the political movement to celebrate and regularize it is harmful to children.
Speakers actually seemed envious of Russia in some ways. Ruse said that with the resurgence of the Russian Orthodox Church, “Christians over there are truly dominant.” In the U.S., though, there is “an increasingly hostile atmosphere toward people with traditional values” and a “vicious totalitarianism that is loose in the land.” And “there’s more trouble coming” with the Employment Non Discrimination Act. Crouse said American gay-rights activists are “turning into thugs who are destroying freedom of speech, destroying religious liberty.” It’s very “refreshing,” she said, to see that’s not the case in other countries.
Ruse acknowledged that anti-gay violence and thuggery is a problem in Russia. He denounced such violence and said he has urged Russian officials to do more to stop it. But when he was asked whether the conversation about the anti-gay propaganda law and protecting children from gay people might encourage such violence, he said anti-gay violence in Russia has been going on for a long time and didn’t think the new law was to blame. And he said blaming religious conservatives for creating a climate of hate is a tactic of gay-rights groups, a “maneuver to silence people.”
Carlson said he cuts Russia a lot of slack because the country is “trying to put decent moral society back together” after both Communism and some of the “bad things” – like a “libertine approach to sexuality” – that poured into Russia from the west after the fall of Communism.
Friday was the fourth day of the government shutdown, and there’s still no sign of an exit. What’s surprising about the ongoing fight is how a small group of members of Congress have managed to bring Washington to a halt. Just months ago, Speaker John Boehner was warning that forcing the government to shut down over Obamacare or anything else was politically hazardous. Yet Boehner remains stuck, his strategy dictated by a small rump of members in the Republican caucus who refuse to budge. On Monday night, as government funding ran out, a group of around 40 hardline conservatives refused to support any resolution to fund the government that didn’t defund Obamacare. Since Monday night, their goals may have become less clear, but their resolve has not weakened. While it’s widely believed that a “clean” resolution would pass the House handily, it would also likely lead to a right-wing rebellion in the caucus that would spell the end of Boehner’s speakership.
So who are those hardliners? To compile this list, we started with a roster that the Senate Conservatives Fund, a group aligned with Ted Cruz, created of representatives who were allied with them. We cross-checked it with the list of members who signed an August letter by Rep. Mark Meadows demanding that Boehner use a shutdown as a threat to defund Obamacare, and against other public statements this week. It’s not a comprehensive roll — there’s no official “wacko bird” caucus that keeps a register — but it’s a window into the small but powerful group of men and women in the House of Representatives who brought the federal government to a standstill.
Quoted: “It is a simple issue of fairness: Members of Congress, their staff, and the political elite should not be given special relief from the harmful effects of Obamacare while the rest of America is left holding the bag.”
Quoted: “I am deeply disappointed that President Obama and the Senate refused to come to the negotiation table and failed to fund the federal government.”
Representative: Phil Gingrey
Home District: Marietta, Georgia
Quoted: “A majority of Americans think Obamacare will make health care in our country worse, and they’re right. House Republicans are listening to the American people, and I urge Harry Reid and Senate Democrats to do the same.”
Quoted: “House GOP is united around a very reasonable policy: POTUS should give families the same Obamacare delay he gave to businesses.”
Representative: Vicky Hartzler
Home District: Harrisonville, Missouri
Quoted: “The American people have spoken already on this: They do not want Obamacare …. It is hurting people.”
Representative: Tim Huelskamp
Home District: Fowler, Kansas
Quoted: “Most Americans realize the government shutdown has no impact on their daily life. They got their mail today; they’re going to get their Social Security check.”
Representative: Jim Jordan
Home District: Urbana, Ohio
Quoted: “We have to get something on Obamacare, because that — if you want to get this country on a fiscal path to balance, you cannot let an entitlement of this size that will truly bankrupt the country and, more importantly, one that’s not going to help Americans with their health care, you can’t let this happen. ”
Representative: Steve King
Home District: Kiron, Iowa
Quoted: “The American people have rejected Obamacare. The president is willing to put all of that on the line to save his namesake legislation, which I think would go down in history as the largest political tantrum ever.”
Representative: Raul Labrador
Home District: Eagle, Idaho
Quoted: To Chris Matthews of MSNBC: “You know, your boss, Tip O’Neill, shut down the government 12 different times. And you didn’t call him a terrorist.”
Quoted: In response to Harry Reid calling Tea Partiers “anarchists”: “When the other guy starts calling you names, you know that you’re winning the debate, and you know that he knows you’re winning the debate.”
Representative: Mark Meadows
Home District: Cashier, North Carolina
Quoted: “James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 58 that ‘the power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon . . . for obtaining redress of every grievance.’”
Representative: Randy Neugebauer
Home District: Lubbock, Texas
Quoted: “We get tons of mail and E-mails and phone calls. And overwhelmingly, those phone calls say, ‘Congressman, do everything you can to get rid of this very onerous piece of legislation. We don’t want the government running our health care.’ And so, from my perspective, we’re doing the people’s work here.”
Representative: Matt Salmon
Home District: Mesa, Arizona
Quoted: “I was here during the government shutdown in 1995. It was a divided government. we had a Democrat president of the United States. We had a Republican Congress. And I believe that that government shutdown actually gave us the impetus, as we went forward, to push toward some real serious compromise.”
Representative: Mark Sanford
Home District: Charleston, South Carolina
Quoted: “Our society has been held together for over 200 years in no small part due to the belief that our system was fair or equitable, yet the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has been anything but that.”
Quoted: “I know it’s not comfortable for a lot of people here, but this is how it’s supposed to work. It’s supposed to be cantankerous. It’s supposed to be this constant grinding.” *
* A previous version of this story quoted Schweikert saying that the shutdown “is my kind of fun.” That statement was taken out of context. The congressman was referring to an interview with NPR, not with the government shutdown. We regret the error.
Who Is Barack Obama Raping Today, Charles Krauthammer?
by Rebecca Schoenkopf
Charles Krauthammer, who is Barack Obama raping today? HA TRICK QUESTION!
Barack Obama is raping everybody today, because he is raping our treasury, because Hurricane Sandy. (Also, while we are aware it should be “whom is Obama raping,” because the rapee is the object of Barack Obama’s raping, well, in this one instance we just kind of don’t care. GRAMMAR BLOGGING!) Here is the first part, where Chuckles weeps salty tears for the unfairness we did to George W. Bush, before explaining how Barape Oraper raped us all, with his mighty black cock of fiscal irresponsibility.
“Sometimes the hypocrisy of the Democrats would leave Diogenes stunned,” Krauthammer said. “The Democrats spent two years savaging President [George W.] Bush over his treatment of Katrina. All of a sudden it’s a paragon of how to deal with disasters.”
LET’S UNPACK THIS A BIT RIGHT?
We — meaning “the entirety of the human race except for the illustrious personages of Fox News” — did not rag on George W. Bush because Congress was taking too long to fund assistance. We LOST OUR FUCKING MINDS because he LOST AN AMERICAN CITY. And four days after the levees broke, he had no idea PEOPLE WERE LIVING AND DYING LIKE ANIMALS WITHOUT A RESCUE IN SIGHT.
Of course, his priorities were in order. It only took him an additional six days to suspend the Davis-Bacon Act, which ensures that workers on federal contracts receive a minimum wage.
All right, Kraut. What’s next?
“And this idea that somehow the person to blame for suffering of the people today, months after Sandy, who aren’t getting help … is John Boehner, because of a bill he didn’t pass on January 1 — it’s preposterous, and the press is playing along that line,” he added.
Krauthammer said Boehner’s postponement of the pork-laden legislation was the right call, given that Congress was able to pass legislation raising the debt ceiling of the National Flood Insurance Program.
But one of the big objections to the bill was that Senate Democrats had filled it with pork.
In fact, “Democrats expanded the legislation during a mark-up to include not just areas affected by Sandy, but also to provide money for ‘storm events that occurred in 2012 along the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast within the boundaries of the North Atlantic and Mississippi Valley divisions of the Corps that were affected by Hurricanes Sandy and Isaac,’” we reported previously.
Oh, so it is money for other people affected by the same hurricane, plus another hurricane? You are right, that sounds TERRIBLE.
The expansion of the bill was a way to provide a financial incentive for senators from red states–”two Republicans senators from Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas, and the one Republican senator from Louisiana”–to vote for the bill. “The Sandy kickbacks provide an incentive for those Republicans to vote on the bill,” we wrote.
Oh, so helping people from red states was a bribe for senators from red states — which they demanded and then complained about? I believe former president/future first lady Bill Clinton has a term for that, and that is “brass.” What is it we call it again? We can’t remember, but it is stronger even than “chootzpah.”
OK, thank you for the backstory, Weekly Standard, now let us get back to Charles Krauthammer, please.
“I think what Boehner did in postponing the vote until today was absolutely right,” Krauthammer declared. “That was a rape of the Treasury — $60 billion, including a ton of pork. The part that was essentially passed today to replenish the flood insurance. That is right, and the rest ought to be debated in regular order.”
Isn’t it funny how Republicans love to call everything rape except actual rape, which does not actually exist except in the fever dreams of feminists (who are all Andrea Dworkin) or anytime a black man looks at a white woman or wants hurricane funding. (Same thing.)
The 2012 campaign began on Aug. 2, 2011, when President Barack Obama signed the deal ending the debt-ceiling fiasco. At that moment, the president relinquished his last illusions that the current, radical version of the Republican Party could be dealt with as a governing partner. From then on, Obama was determined to fight – and to win.
It was the right choice, the only alternative to capitulation. A Republican majority both inspired and intimidated by the tea party was demanding that Obama renounce every principle dear to him about the role of government in 21st century America.
And so he set out to defeat those who threatened to bring back the economic policies of the 1890s.
Now, it’s up to the voters.
Obama took the oath of office before a vast and euphoric crowd, but as he raised his hand, he was inheriting an economy worsening by the day. And he was about to confront a Republican Party that took its setback as an imperative to radicalize.
In the wake of the failures of George W. Bush’s presidency, Republicans would ascribe their party’s problems to Bush as a big-spender, ignoring the major culprits in the country’s fiscal troubles: a downturn that began on their watch, and their own support for two tax cuts at a time of two wars. They would block, obstruct, stall and denounce all of Obama’s initiatives, and abuse the rules of the Senate to demand that every bill would need 60 votes.
And then came the tea party. It was, all at once, a rebirth of the old far right from John Birch Society days, a partisan movement seeded by right-wing billionaires, and a cry of anguish from older, middle-class Americans fearful over the speed of social change. The GOP establishment rode the tea party tiger to power in 2010, and then ended up inside it. Republicans who dared to deal or compromise risked humiliation in primaries at the hands of a far right certain that the president of the United States was a subversive figure.
Nonetheless, Obama kept trying to work with them. His plans and proposals were geared not toward his progressive base but toward moderates in both parties: no public option in the health care law, plenty of tax cuts in a stimulus whose size was held down, a very temperate reform of a dysfunctional financial system.
Obama’s aides are unanimous in saying that the breaking point came when Republicans, filled with tea party zeal, were willing to endanger the nation’s financial standing to achieve steep budget cuts during the debt-ceiling fight. When House Speaker John Boehner walked away from a deal that conservatives of another era would have hailed as a great victory, Obama realized that a grand bargain would be a chimera until he could win the battle about first principles.
Everything you needed to know about Obama’s argument was laid out Dec. 6, 2011, at a high school in Osawatomie, Kan., the place where Theodore Roosevelt had laid out the core themes of American progressivism a century earlier.
“Just as there was in Teddy Roosevelt’s time,” Obama declared, “there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let’s respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. ‘The market will take care of everything,’ they tell us. If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes – especially for the wealthy – our economy will grow stronger. … even if prosperity doesn’t trickle down, well, that’s the price of liberty. Now, it’s a simple theory. … But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked.”
In Mitt Romney, Obama was blessed with an opponent who embraced that theory, not only in his move far to the right to secure the Republican nomination but also in his own career as a private equity capitalist. Romney may have flipped and flopped and flipped again on issues he didn’t care about, but his view of American capitalism and American government never wavered. If Teddy Roosevelt fought against the policies of the Gilded Age, Obama is fighting a Republican Party determined to bring the Gilded Age back and undo the achievements of a century.
And so, beneath the attacks, the counterattacks, and the billions invested by small numbers of the very rich to sway the undecided, we face a choice on Tuesday that is worthy of a great democracy. My hunch is that the country will not go backward, because that’s not what Americans do.
This isn’t breaking news, but in light of Rush Limbaugh’s vicious attacks on Sandra Fluke, I wanted to remind people—including companies that have recently pulled their advertising from his show—that this isn’t the first time that Mr. Limbaugh has engaged in morally reprehensible behavior. It’s good to have a couple of things in one place sometimes, lest we get distracted and forget.
Even more egregious than Limbaugh’s attack on Ms. Fluke, at least in my opinion, was his ignorant, knee-jerk defense of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) last year, apparently due to an overweening desire to smear President Obama at every opportunity. I say this not because I think President Obama needs protection from such a repugnant buffoon, but because of the legions innocent men, women, and especially children who have been brutalized by the LRA (more on them in a minute).
Do you remember this? On October 14, 2011, President Obama announced that he had ordered the deployment of 100 U.S. military advisers to help combat the Lord’s Resistance Army:
“I have authorized a small number of combat-equipped U.S. forces to deploy to central Africa to provide assistance to regional forces that are working toward the removal of Joseph Kony from the battlefield,” Obama said in letter sent Friday to House Speaker John Boehner and Daniel Inouye, the president pro tempore of the Senate. Kony is the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army.
On the very same day, Limbaugh went off on one of his typically ugly rants, Obama Invades Uganda, Targets Christians (link goes to Limbaugh’s site, full transcript). He characterized them as oppressed freedom- and democracy-loving Christians fighting Muslims in Sudan, then went so far as to imply that President Obama was sending U.S. forces to kill them because they are Christian (which they’re not, at least not in any rational, practical sense—they’re savage thugs, terrorists, war criminals). He also implied that President Obama supported Muslim violence against Coptic Christians in Egypt. Read the transcript for yourself at the link above. There’s audio of the relevant parts at Media Matters if you’d prefer to listen instead (the embed code they use won’t work here).
Now, contrast that with actual factual information about about the LRA:
What is the Lord’s Resistance Army?
The Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA (PDF), is a violent rebel group led by a self-proclaimed messiah, Joseph Kony. Formed in 1987, the group was first called the Uganda People’s Democratic Christian Army but changed the name to the Lord’s Resistance Army in 1991. The fight between the Ugandan government and the LRA is one of the longest running conflicts in Africa, and the LRA is one of the most brutal forces in the world, known for targeting civilians, perhaps most notably, children it forcibly recruits to fight. Though the LRA originated in northern Uganda, it has since spread to neighboring Congo, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic.
In its early years, the LRA claimed to fight against the Ugandan government to defend the rights of the Acholi, a local ethnic group in northern Uganda. However, the LRA’s extreme brutality against fellow Acholi quickly contradicted those claims. The rebel group is notorious for murder, torture, mutilation, rape, widespread abductions of children and adults, and pillaging. […]
Since 1987 the LRA has abducted tens of thousands of children, forcing them to serve as soldiers, porters, or sex slaves.
Though they are often portrayed as a Christian fundamentalist group bent on establishing a government in Uganda based on the Ten Commandments, religion no longer practically serves as a raison d’être for the LRA; rather it is used selectively to ensure adherence to military discipline and create an environment where commanders are respected and feared. […]
Here’s more recent news, from today, about how over the past 30 days the LRA has been going on the attack again, this time in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The U.S. special forces trainers sent to Uganda have these monsters on the run, but they’re still deadly. God only knows how much worse things would be, how many more lives would have been lost, if they hadn’t been sent to assist:
Lord’s Resistance Army: After long silence, the US-tracked rebels attack
Its numbers may have dwindled to just 200 fighters, but the Lord’s Resistance Army continues to kill, terrorize, and displace people by the thousands.
One hundred US special forces trainers are working with the Ugandan military to put an end to the rebel group. And while they may have succeeded in sending the group on the run, the LRA has proven dangerous in its desperation.
The latest attacks have occurred in the last 30 days, with LRA attacks reported in the village of Bagulupa, 35 miles east of Dungu in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The attacks occurred on Feb. 10 and 24, and appear to have been standard raids for food. One person was killed, and 17 villagers abducted, probably for use as porters or sex slaves, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Most of the villagers of Bagulupa have fled toward the larger town of Dungu, the UNHCR says.
Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba, the UNHCR’s spokeswoman in Geneva, voiced concern about the recent uptick in violence in the DRC, after a six-month lull in the latter part of 2011. […]
This is Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA):
Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army
Here is some of Joseph Kony’s handiwork:
A former abductee of the Lord’s Resistance Army
This is what Rush Limbaugh has defended. Even a contributor over at Foreign Policy was sufficiently appalled by Limbaugh’s comments to write a short piece.
I want us to have a civil society again, but as long as Americans are willing to not only tolerate—but also to even applaud or desire to emulate—the ignorant, hateful, distorted rhetoric that issues forth from the mouths of people like Rush Limbaugh, the recently deceased Andrew Breitbart, Pamela Geller, Dana Loesch, etc. then I’m afraid there’s little hope for anything approaching the civility that my parents taught me was so important as I was growing up.
By the way, I was going to include a short documentary video about Kony & the LRA from Vimeo, but while I was busy collecting & typing all this someone else posted it on another LGF Page, so I’ll just point you over there to watch it.
One last note: If you’re on Twitter #StopKony is the hashtag to use when tweeting about (or looking for info on) Joseph Kony & the LRA.
ralphieboyre: #211 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks We want maximum info for minimum words. With the main priority being on the shortness of the soundbyte. Preferably a good catch-phrase. The information content then becomes optional. Note: we are a lot more receptive… 3 minutes ago
I was never a George Will fan, but I’m learning to respect his opinions lately. The current crop of GOP candidates and their supporters are so far right on every issue,they make Mr. Will actually seem extremely reasonable…
This morning on ABC, prominent conservative columnist George Will blasted the Republican leadership’s meek response to Rush Limbaugh’s sexist attacks on Sandra Fluke. Will mocked Speaker John Boehner for calling Rush’s language “inappropriate ” as comically weak, noting “using a salad fork for your entree, that’s inappropriate.”
Will also attacked the GOP presidential candidates timid response: “They want to bomb Iran, but they’re afraid of Rush Limbaugh.”
Check out what all the Presidential candidates have said about Limbaugh’s sexist attacks here.
Eric Fuller, the 63-year old veteran shot twice last Saturday in the attack that critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, said today that he blames the violent rhetoric of people like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Sharron Angle.
“It looks like Palin, Beck, Sharron Angle and the rest got their first target,” Eric Fuller said in an interview with Democracy NOW.
“Their wish for Second Amendment activism has been fulfilled — senseless hatred leading to murder, lunatic fringe anarchism, subscribed to by John Boehner, mainstream rebels with vengeance for all, even 9-year-old girls.”
Now watch as Andrew Breitbart, Jim Hoft, and the rest of the right wing blogosphere go into overdrive to smear Mr. Fuller.