Dems Playing Offense On The Defense Spending Bill

Team WIN THE MORNING is hand-wringing over Sen. Harry Reid’s plan to play hardball with domestic spending with the GOP (emphasis mine)

Senate Democrats are ready to follow through on a risky strategy to confront Republicans this week over government spending, shrugging off Republicans’ assertions that blocking a military funding bill amounts to “political suicide.”

It’s a gut-check moment for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and his successor-in-waiting, Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who aim to force Republicans to increase domestic spending by killing every GOP-written funding bill until they extract some concessions.

The scheme will work only if all 46 members of their caucus are pulling in the same direction. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) hopes to tempt some defense-minded Democrats to vote with Republicans by putting forward a national security spending bill as his opening move in the chess game, followed by other tough votes on military construction and veterans affairs.

Despite the risk of being labeled soft on national security, Reid and chief message-man Schumer have largely persuaded moderates and liberals to stick with the filibuster strategy and block the $576 billion Department of Defense funding bill as early as this week, according to top Democratic sources. That’s an aggressive move, given that defense spending has historically been a bipartisan endeavor.

Why, you would think that Republicans were the voice of reason here and that Democrats were the loose cannon insurgents ready to shut down the government. Somehow, I think that’s the point of the article.

Fainting couch sale special this weekend. Clutchable pearls not included.

109 replies
  1. 1
    negative 1 says:

    Honestly everyone should call Harry Reid’s office and thank him personally. For YEARS progressives have been spoiling for Dems to fight back — well, here it is.

  2. 2
    Cervantes says:

    What is sufficient defense spending? What is too much or too little? Do the Democrats have a point to make along these lines?

    Is there a word in the original article about these questions?

  3. 3
    negative 1 says:

    @Cervantes: Yes the point is making Rethugs own their positions of endless war all the time and create a division with the faux-libertarians. After all, if they are trying to keep military spending pointlessly high they have to justify it, which in their case is by making a case for the wars to come in Syria, Iran, etc. Watching Rand Paul tap dance is a fortunate side effect.

  4. 4
    debbie says:

    I still can’t figure out what makes the GOP so tough on national security. All they won in the 20th century was Granada.

  5. 5
    Cervantes says:

    @debbie:

    I still can’t figure out what makes the GOP so tough on national security.

    Widespread gullibility.

  6. 6
    lol says:

    @debbie:

    Macho posturing is valued far more than actual results.

  7. 7
    Redshift says:

    That’s an aggressive move, given that defense spending has historically been a bipartisan endeavor.

    You might think the fact that the appropriations bills have all been put together in a historically un-“bipartisan” fashion would enter into the conversation here, but it’s Politico, so…

  8. 8
    Keith G says:

    @Cervantes: I have been wondering that as well.

    A quick look shows that this administration seems to favor higher spending (ie not a fan of cuts). The article is from Feb. We are adding operations to the fight vs ISIL, so there’s that.

    The Pentagon’s base budget request of $534 billion is in line with what was projected last year for 2016. With a few adjustments, the Pentagon seems to be sticking with the five-year budget plan it laid out last year along with the defense strategy of 2014. One notable change is that the Pentagon increased projected spending by about $16 billion, apparently in large part for programs and priorities that did not make it into last year’s budget plan. These additional funds would help cover the cost of refueling the USS George Washington, as well as higher Army and Marine Corps active duty force levels.

    What’s new? While last year’s five-year defense plan requested about $115 billion over the caps in its last four years, for 2015, it technically abided by the defense cap, but then the president tacked on an Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative proposing an additional $26 billion for defense in 2015.

    Even with the rising ‘peacetime’ spending within the emergency defense budget request for combat operations, wartime spending remains on the decline. The Pentagon’s Overseas Contingency Operations request of about $51 billion represents a drop of about $13 billion from 2015, and more than $34 billion from 2014. The total defense budget request for 2016, however, is about $25 billion higher than last year’s enacted levels.

    I edited the above for brevity, cutting out some of the process narrative.

  9. 9
    Knowbody says:

    You have a lot of nerve complaining about Politico’s “both sides” reporting and false comparisons after your bullshit hit job on Glenn Greenwald yesterday.

    Your utter lack of self awareness is staggering.

  10. 10
    Big ole hound says:

    @negative 1: Yup. Lets hope the rest of the Dems have some balls too.

  11. 11
    ruemara says:

    I rather hate these media people.

  12. 12
    boatboy_srq says:

    Why, you would think that Republicans were the voice of reason here and that Democrats were the loose cannon insurgents ready to shut down the government. Somehow, I think that’s the point of the article.

    Geez. It’s not like the GOTea would shut down the government, or demand across-the-board cuts for all departments (including DoD) if they didn’t get their pet spending reductions, or anything.

  13. 13
    japa21 says:

    Wow, I am amazed. Knowbody didn’t show up to start spouting total drivel until comment 9. Must be having an off day.

  14. 14
    Chris says:

    @debbie:

    The worst terrorist attack in American history happened on their watch. That’s really all that needs to be said.

  15. 15
    debbie says:

    @Cervantes:

    When the GOP pushes back, I hope Reid finds his Inner Cohones and points this out to them.

  16. 16
    mai naem mobile says:

    Well, Heidkamp,Manchin and Donnelly aren’t up till 2018 so they shouldn’t defect.

  17. 17
    Belafon says:

    @Knowbody: I’m just going to laugh at you from now on for getting trolled by srv.

  18. 18
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    It’s a gut-check moment for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and his successor-in-waiting, Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who aim to force Republicans to increase domestic spending by killing every GOP-written funding bill until they extract some concessions.

    The GOP (and Politico, but I repeat myself) would really like to make this about defense spending. Don’t let them. It isn’t.

    The GOP hasn’t had to negotiate anything since the early 1990s. It’s about time they were taught how. This is the only way. Kill every bill, every time.

  19. 19
    rikyrah says:

    45 times Secretary Clinton pushed the trade bill she now opposes

    Clinton said, “there are some specifics in there that could and should be changed. So I am hoping that’s what happens now — let’s take the lemons and turn it into lemonade.”

    But as members of the Obama administration can attest, Clinton was one of the leading drivers of the TPP when Secretary of State. Here are 45 instances when she approvingly invoked the trade bill about which she is now expressing concerns:

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/15/.....index.html

  20. 20
    chopper says:

    @japa21:

    to be fair, it took him longer than he expected to boil zandar’s cat. he’ll work harder on it.

  21. 21
    chopper says:

    if it’s a battle between reid and mcconnell i know who i’m putting money on.

  22. 22
    Mike in NC says:

    After 9/11, the DOD budget basically doubled in a very short time, yet very little of it actually addressed fighting the infamous ‘Global War on Terror’ that Dubya was so dedicated to.

    More like funding for pet projects of the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex. What’s the latest price tag for an F-35? Somewhere north of $100M a pop?

  23. 23
    Betty Cracker says:

    @rikyrah: Clinton was Obama’s employee when she was SoS — it was her job to push his foreign policy agenda, not blaze her own trail. As an independent candidate for president, she’s now free to give her own views of the TPP.

    That said, what she said above is vague enough that it could have been said by anyone — including Obama! — since the deal isn’t finalized. This sounds like more Villager Obama vs. Clinton division-mongering to me.

  24. 24
    SteveJ says:

    defense spending has historically been a bipartisan endeavor.*
    *Only applies when a Dem is President OR it’s otherwise convenient for the GOP

  25. 25
    Belafon says:

    @rikyrah: Here’s number 8:

    “That means pushing governments to support high-standard trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, to drop harmful protectionist policies. It means playing by the rules, respecting workers, and opening doors qualified women. And most of all, it means doing what you do best: build, hire, and grow.”

    If these kinds of things are being negotiated into the TPP, what is wrong with it? And I have yet to see one that really contradicts her “Obama, listen to Pelosi” statement.

    Here’s a statement that fits into my thinking that Obama views the TPP as a diplomatic agreement as much as an economic one: “We’ve used trade negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership to find common ground with a former adversary in Vietnam.”

  26. 26
    srv says:

    When Republicans did this, it was called nihilism.

    @Betty Cracker: Obama isn’t the only Democrat who knows how to throw people under the bus.

  27. 27
    Belafon says:

    @Belafon: Here’s number 10:

    “We’ve also made workers rights a centerpiece of a new far-reaching trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. We are working with Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and others in these negotiations.”

  28. 28
    Keith G says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Clinton was Obama’s employee when she was SoS — it was her job to push his foreign policy agenda

    Yeah.

    Could you imagine what rikyrah and many others would be saying about her had she not advocated for TPP while holding one of the most powerful slots in Obama’s administration.?

    Crikey.

  29. 29
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    What’s the latest price tag for an F-35? Somewhere north of $100M a pop?

    @Mike in NC: Official pricing is between 85-108 million per plane. That excludes all the R&D work, which would just about double it.

    If you take the official figures as gospel truth, they cost about the same as a brand-new Boeing 737.

    Of course, the 737 can do one thing the F-35 cannot – stay in the air. The F-35 is such a mess that it borders on “lethally flawed”, and the international partners who were supposed to buy at least half of them are frantically trying to get out of the agreement by any means possible.

  30. 30
    mikej says:

    @debbie: Panama too.

  31. 31
    japa21 says:

    @srv: Main difference is Dems are willing to give and take, GOP only wants to take.

  32. 32
    Cervantes says:

    @rikyrah:

    You’re taking Jake Tapper seriously?

  33. 33
    Bobby B. says:

    I WISH the dems were loose cannons. Instead they’ll likely “paint the town beige”.

  34. 34
    debbie says:

    @mikej:

    Wasn’t that, like Korea, a police/military action? Do they count?

  35. 35
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cervantes: I’m trying to decide if Tapper is the heir to Broder or Fournier. But the consistent suckage isn’t up for debate.

  36. 36
    Belafon says:

    @Cervantes: I’ve seen that list thrown about on DK, and I think the statements will have to be dealt with; Clinton will certainly have to.

    I haven’t finished reading it, but I didn’t see anything where what she said about the TPP as SoS contradicted any Democratic ideal. Like I posted above, the administration seems to be addressing concerns about worker rights, and even pushing other countries on this.

  37. 37
    Mike in NC says:

    MSNBC running kind of an ugly speech from the fat little prick with the bad ‘do on top of his head. Wants to go to war against the whole world, like all the other crackpots.

  38. 38
    Tripod says:

    @debbie:

    It was an aggressive slum clearance.

  39. 39
    El Caganer says:

    @chopper: Tortoise and Har?

  40. 40
    Bill says:

    1. Good for Reid. It’s always nice when Dems play hardball to force better spending. Given how bloated the defense budget is, there’s plenty of dollars to play with.

    2. I’m now starting to read every Zander post just to see the trolling. I don’t know the history of this stalker, but he/she is unhinged.

  41. 41
    AxelFoley says:

    @Knowbody: Awww, GiGi’s lapdog is upset.

  42. 42
    boatboy_srq says:

    @debbie: Well there WAS the ’91 Iraq thing. But if you ask Shrub it wasn’t a victory b/c the troops didn’t go All The Way to Baghdad.

  43. 43
    raven says:

    @Mike in NC: Are the people screaming fo him or agin him?

  44. 44
    raven says:

    Fucking asshole playing Keep on Rockin in the Free World.

  45. 45
    lgerard says:

    TRUMP: THE (even louder) TRUMPETING is on!

    Let the good times roll

  46. 46
    cahuenga says:

    @debbie:

    Clearly you missed the codpiece.

  47. 47
    GregB says:

    @raven:

    I assume Neil Young’s lawyers are drawing up the papers ordering Trump to stop using his music as we read.

  48. 48
    LWA (Liberal With Attitude) says:

    I’ve been waiting for someone someday to ask why we need so large a military- up til now the only bipartisan agreement in Washington was MOAR Military, always and forever.

    When someone can challenge military spending levels and not lose in a landslide, that would be progress.

  49. 49
    raven says:

    @GregB: Who knows, he’s taken some weird positions
    .

  50. 50
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    Cripes. Trump actually declared he’s running.

    I assume Reince Prebus is lying down with a cold cloth on his head.

  51. 51
    Goblue72 says:

    @rikyrah: She served at the pleasure of the President. I’d expect her to have done nothing less.

  52. 52
    Cervantes says:

    @Tripod:

    It was an aggressive slum clearance.

    Succinct.

    Also succinct was the sub-title of a report issued by the Central American Human Rights Commission:

    Panama: More Than an Invasion — A Massacre

    In addition to its being “an aggressive slum clearance,” there were other motives: to install a government more sympathetic to US interests (chiefly but not only the Canal Zone); and while they were at it, to demonstrate new US military hardware capability to the US Congress and to potential customers world-wide.

    Those stupid enough to believe the official justification — we were on the side of Panamanians whereas Noriega was a thug who needed replacing — were also too stupid to ask themselves two questions: How had Noriega stayed in power for so long? And how did his human-rights record compare to those of US-puppet dictatorships in El Salvador and Guatemala?

  53. 53
    catclub says:

    @chopper:

    if it’s a battle between reid and mcconnell i know who i’m putting money on.

    That is close to a tossup to me. MCConnell is an accomplished Senate rules infighter.

    Pelosi vs Boehner is a different kettle of fish. As Boehner showed again, on the TAA, he cannot count, and Pelosi can.

  54. 54
    cahuenga says:

    @rikyrah:

    the trade bill she now opposes

    I heard a tight grouping of weasel-words but ‘opposes’? Hedging and vapor is more like it.

  55. 55
    Mike J says:

    @raven: At least it’s an anti-Bush song.

  56. 56
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Who knows, he’s taken some weird positions

    @raven: I worked with some guys who did a lot of work on his Woodside mansion, and if even a tenth of what I was told is true, Young is an unredeemable asshole.

    This doesn’t surprise me, over the years I’ve done a lot of guitar repair/rebuild work for those sixties-era guys and most of them were not the “peace and love” type of people you might expect.

  57. 57
    catclub says:

    Cripes. Trump actually declared he’s running.

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    Isn’t he polling higher than various luminaries such as Graham and Jindal? And will be on the 10 member stage while they will not?

  58. 58
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @japa21: Dude was in the bathroom when it posted.

  59. 59
    rikyrah says:

    SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 2015

    Transracial Lives Matter: Rachel Dolezal and the Privilege of Racial Manipulation

    was doing my best to ignore this story. It wasn’t until one of my fellow adult adoptees alerted me to the fact that Twitter (which I use religiously, but avoided specifically the past two days) had begun to use the term “Transracial” to refer to Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who has been outed as hiding her whiteness and living as a black woman that I paid attention. I discovered that Twitter had also begun a hashtag as a sarcastic taunt — #TransracialLivesMatter. Then, I read an article that argued that “transracial identity, is not a thing.” Um. No.

    For those of you who don’t know, and clearly there are a lot of you, the term “transracial” is used in scholarly research, creative writing and cultural work to denote a particular “state of being” for people adopted across race. It also describes a kind of family unit / type of parenting. In other words, it IS a ‘thing’. It is disheartening and disconcerting to see this term used dismissively as if it does not encompass an entire population of Black, Brown, Native and Asian people across the globe. For the past 35ish years, I’ve considered myself to be a transracial adoptee. The “trans” in transracial for me, never meant my race changed. It meant I was a multiracial black girl, adopted into a white family. It meant I was taken without my consent from one home, one place of origin and put inside another family, another culture, another race, one that didn’t belong to me. It meant I had to learn how to navigate my blackness and my black girlness, inside an often times racist, religious, violent and rigid white world. It meant living in a house and community that simultaneously erased me, racialized me and tokenized me. It gave me a language to articulate what was happening to me. But you know what it didn’t do? It never actually changed my race. An even with all the ‘privileges’ of whiteness, even with all the education, the middle class living, camping, fishing, hunting — It never made me white.

    ……………………………..

    The crucial difference here is that I had and continue have no choice in my blackness. I cannot hide my skin or make myself invisible when I am protesting police terror or creating theater art for other Black women with skin like mine. I cannot manipulate what race is for my own pleasure. Ms. Dolezal is a white woman, who made choices, who used and is still using every bit of her white privilege to maintain the power and elite status she has accrued from her deception. This use of white privilege in her case is no different from transracial adoptive parents who adopt bi-racial children because they want these children to identify with the “white side” of themselves. These parents completely ignore that how they want race to function is not actually how race operates out in the world. They are completely assured of their own power to bend and change race and meanings of race at their own white whim. This manipulation is what Ms. Dolezal has done. This manipulation of race is no different from what white supremacists did in the early days of our country, moving the lines of race back and forth when it pleased them, using the language of the law, even at the cost of Black, Brown, Asian and Native lives.

    http://www.thelostdaughters.co.....l.html?m=1

  60. 60
    raven says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Not surprised, Van is supposedly a real jerk!

  61. 61
    Belafon says:

    @catclub: Considering Carson was leading yesterday with 11%, it’ll only take a couple of days to find a poll with Trump leading.

  62. 62
    Mike J says:

    @Cervantes:

    How had Noriega stayed in power for so long?

    This argument has been used over and over again, from Noriega to Saddam. In every case the wars were stupid wars, but this argument against removing a dictator was stupid too. Noriega and Saddam both really were bad guys. The fact that the United States propped them up in the past is a better argument in favor of deposing them than a reason to stay out.

    Don’t get me wrong. There were plenty of good reasons to oppose both stupid invasions. The fact that we made the mess we were (in theory) there to clean up isn’t a good argument against it.

  63. 63
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    DT tells me that Iran is taking over Iraq “bigly.”

  64. 64
    Belafon says:

    @rikyrah: @rikyrah: I’m assuming you saw the stories of blacks with really light skin passing themselves off as whites during segregation. That would be a term more suited for them.

  65. 65
    Kathleen says:

    @Betty Cracker: Well, Breitbart News Network (BNN) loves them some Jake Tapper and Chuck Todd:

    http://driftglass.blogspot.com.....wn_13.html

  66. 66
    rikyrah says:

    KAY DID YOU SEE THIS?!?!

    Yeah, so funny, stealing from the Public like this..yeah hilarious.

    ………………………..

    Troubled Ohio charter schools have become a joke — literally
    June 16, 2015

    excerpt:That’s the first paragraph of a story this month in the Akron Beacon Journalabout the newspaper’s review of 4,263 audits released last year by the state, which says that Ohio charter schools appear to have misspent public money “nearly four times more often than any other type of taxpayer-funded agency.” It says that “since 2001, state auditors have uncovered $27.3 million improperly spent by charter schools, many run by for-profit companies, enrolling thousands of children and producing academic results that rival the worst in the nation.” One more thing: The amount of misspending could be far higher, it says.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....literally/

  67. 67
    Cervantes says:

    @Mike J:

    I’m not sure why you think that question amounts to an “argument against removing a dictator.” Feel free to elaborate.

  68. 68
    GregB says:

    @raven:

    When Al Franken got on board the Clear Channel post 9/11 creepy America Fuck Yeah rallies and when Neil Young did his Let’s Roll tune I knew that I was way off of the spectrum of conventional thought.

  69. 69
    rikyrah says:

    New Jersey’s urban school districts bear brunt of layoffs, program cuts

    June 15, 2015, 9:52 PM
    Last updated: Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 9:35 AM
    By HANNAN ADELY

    …Governor Christie has said New Jersey does not have more money for schools because of the state’s financial crisis as its economic recovery lags. He maintains that more money does not provide a better education anyway.

    But Christie has also championed charter schools, which are mostly in poor districts. When students leave their local public schools for charters, the state aid for those students goes with them, exacerbating layoffs.

    http://www.northjersey.com/new.....-1.1356349

  70. 70
    different-church-lady says:

    @Knowbody: This is the kind of thread I ordinarily would have just passed on by, but in this case I checked in just so I could call you an asshole.

    You’re an asshole.

  71. 71
    Keith says:

    @rikyrah: Or the case of the invisible student body

    Auditor Dave Yost said Monday that General Chappie James Leadership Academy, in Montgomery County, reported having 459 students in attendance, but only 239 students could be documented. He said at a news conference that the other 220 “didn’t exist at all

  72. 72
    MomSense says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    That’s assuming dude doesn’t post from the bathroom regularly.

  73. 73
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    the plot thickens:

    DANNEMORA, N.Y. – The search for Richard Matt and David Sweat is entering day 11.

    As authorities continue to scour the woods outside the prison, we’re learning more about their relationship with the woman accused of helping them break out.

    Officials say in the past, Joyce Mitchell had been investigated for an inappropriate relationship with David Sweat, the nature of which is not clear. But, a source with detailed knowledge of the investigation says Mitchell did have a sexual relationship with Richard Matt.

    The source also says Sweat and Matt had a plan to kill Mitchell’s husband, who has apparently not had any contact with his wife since her arrest.

    Meanwhile, authorities are still focusing their search in the area just outside of the prison… they say more than 1,000 leads have all come up cold.

    “It’s getting very frustrating not only for my office and this community that i live in and protect, but it’s the law enforcement officers, the corrections officers, everybody involved is getting frustrated not getting our hands on these two individuals,” said Andrew Wylie, Clinton County D.A.

    Route 374 in Dannemora will remain closed Tuesday. Leads in the case have suggested the men could be anywhere from Vermont to Mexico.

  74. 74
    VFX Lurker says:

    @Belafon:

    I’m assuming you saw the stories of blacks with really light skin passing themselves off as whites during segregation. That would be a term more suited for them.

    I first learned about this in literature. The title character unknowingly passes for white at the beginning of Iola Leroy, and “passing” is a plot point in Harlan Ellison’s “Pennies, Off a Dead Man’s Eyes.”

  75. 75
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    most of them were not the “peace and love” type of people you might expect.

    They were when they were struggling musicians with no money. Money has a way of turning even the most ardent peacenik into an unredeemable asshole.

  76. 76
  77. 77
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MomSense: Ugh. I suppose I brought it on myself, but I need to go find the brain bleach now.

  78. 78
    MomSense says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Sorry. If it makes you feel better, I grossed myself out too.

  79. 79
    Elizabelle says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: NYTimes story a few days ago, with the locals speculating on where the escaped killers could be.

    Quebec? Italy? No Shortage of Theories on Escaped Convicts’ Whereabouts

    One of them suggested that using Joyce Mitchell as getaway driver was a feint, and that the escapees actually set up a different driver and vehicle. Who did show, as scheduled.

    As for Ms. Mitchell, Ms. Coleman said, the inmates conned her into working with them and then used another car to escape. “She wasn’t really part of the plan,” she said. “She was part of the distraction.”

    The more we learn about their planning, that sounds possible.

    Other than dogs finding a scent, there has not been a reliable sighting in days (that we know of).

    From today’s NYTimes story:

    Although a spokesman for the State Police said 800 members of law enforcement were continuing their search in the same area east of Dannemora on Monday, from the roads, there appeared to be a significantly reduced presence. Highways that were closed off last week were now generally passable. There were fewer police and emergency vehicles. And areas south of the Saranac River, where tactical police units were seen searching on Sunday, were quiet.

    They’re still there, because they don’t have any other (reported) leads.

  80. 80
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Elizabelle: I can’t imagine the escapees are hanging around in town. I would imagine they snuck into Canada. And why would they stick together? They’re rather ordinary-looking white men (they look like every other upstate-ny guy, from contractors to cops) and it would seem they’d be less conspicuous alone rather than together.

    Also, she was making $57,000/year teaching inmates to sew? Man, I picked the wrong profession.

  81. 81
    boatboy_srq says:

    @MomSense: Sounds to me like somebody forgot to flush.

  82. 82
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @boatboy_srq: I always imagine Triumph the Insult Comic’s voice:

    “You write a nice blog, Zandar… for me to poop on!”

  83. 83
    Elizabelle says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: Yeah. They escaped just 25 miles south of the Canadian border, and may very well have contracted with some folks who know the area and how to sneak in well.

  84. 84
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    The state auditor finally stepped in yesterday. Public schools are audited locally in Ohio, at the county level, because it’s impossible to oversee hundreds of schools from the state level.

    They really weren’t idiots 100 years ago when they set up governance systems for public schools. They didn’t regulate them locally because they love regulations. They did it because there’s no other public entity like public schools and you need the regulator close to the regulated entity.

    The charter governance system they invented on the fly sucks. It doesn’t just “not work”. It will never work. They’d have to hire an army of state regulators.

  85. 85
    liberal says:

    @Belafon:

    Like I posted above, the administration seems to be addressing concerns about worker rights,…

    If you think the TPP would have real teeth re worker rights, you’re out of your goddamn mind.

  86. 86
    eric says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: where do you do this guitar repair work?

  87. 87
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Elizabelle: The border is close, and there are ways to get across without encountering authorities, but on the other side is dipshit small-town Quebec. Can they function in French? They will certainly stand out as outsiders no matter what.

  88. 88
    the Conster says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    Really interesting story, can’t wait to see the movie. They’re going to switch places vis a vis prison. There was a story yesterday that says Matt was “well endowed”. I hope our friend Joyce enjoyed her fling, and I hope for her sake she thinks it was all worth it.

  89. 89
    Brendan in Charlotte says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: he must have his doctored financials ready for public consumption

  90. 90
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    What’s really interesting about the state auditor case is he referred to the county prosecutor. He CAN do that, that’s where the schools are, but the authority has always been to state or (even!) federal in the case of charter schools (unlike public schools). I’m dying to know what that’s about. He’s really going around “the governance” plan which is deregulatory in practice because obviously it’s harder to get the attention of the AG, and I’d love to know why he did that.

  91. 91
    Mike J says:

    @Cervantes: Since it was brought up in the context of opposing the invasion, I assumed it was supposed to be an argument supporting that position. I agree with you, it’s completely irrelevant that the US once supported dictators that they later wanted to remove. It’s just a weird tic that people have when discussing US military operations. “The United States would be foolish to intervene in Panama. The Olympic marmot is the official endemic mammal of the state of Washington.” Both of those things are true, but neither have anything to do with the other (at least that’s what the marmots want you to think.,)

  92. 92
    Elizabelle says:

    @the Conster: Sounds like Joyce might have up to seven years to think about it.

    Although she can take sewing classes, and work through her divorce too.

    It is a movie, isn’t it?

  93. 93
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    where do you do this guitar repair work?

    @eric: Nowadays, out of my house in SoCal. I was a NorCal resident for many years and worked up there, both retail repair and manufacturing for an entity who shall remain nameless, but it’s easy enough to figure out, not too many sizable guitar production companies up near the Bay Area (although there’s about a couple of hundred small builders, some of who are beyond world-class good).

  94. 94
    eric says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Ah, i have a Suhr that needs a little work on the tremelo (in Chicago) so was just wondering.

  95. 95
    Cervantes says:

    @Mike J:

    Since it was brought up in the context of opposing the invasion, I assumed it was supposed to be an argument supporting that position.

    I brought it up as one of two questions I’d direct towards those who were stupid enough to believe, or parrot, the official justification (that we invaded because we were on the side of Panamanians whereas Noriega was a thug who needed replacing).

    Questioning — and ridiculing and exposing — the official justification was the point.

    I agree with you, it’s completely irrelevant that the US once supported dictators that they later wanted to remove. It’s just a weird tic that people have when discussing US military operations. “The United States would be foolish to intervene in Panama. The Olympic marmot is the official endemic mammal of the state of Washington.” Both of those things are true, but neither have anything to do with the other (at least that’s what the marmots want you to think.,)

    As it happens, I have nothing against marmots or any other species of squirrel! — whereas the Bush-Cheney invasion of Panama — the aforementioned massacre — was well beyond “foolish”; it was criminal.

  96. 96
    Unsympathetic says:

    Love this move.
    It’s more than past time for Democrats to do the same things Republicans have been doing for 3 decades.

  97. 97
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    45 times Secretary Clinton pushed the trade bill she now opposes

    She never said she “opposes” the trade deal. Backing Nancy Pelosi doesn’t mean one “opposes” the trade deal.

    I think the biggest problem with what she said is she states that Vietnam is the big beneficiary of the trade deal. There’s nothing wrong with that if it’s true, but since free traders are insisting that the US is the big beneficiary of the trade deal, not just “the US” but middle class US workers, her statement(s) contradict that.

    Not that it was ever true, but that’s the offocial (domestic) line of US free traders, which no one believes anymore. Understandably.

  98. 98
    fuckwit says:

    starve the beast.

    rethugs have been doing this with our own people for years “kill the poor”. cut funding for everyone.

    now it’s time to do that with the war machine. starve it to death.

  99. 99
    Kay says:

    People think the trade deal will only benefit those who are already wealthy and powerful, so David Brooks decides to deliver a stern lecture to the masses on “reality”.

    Why is David Brooks credible at all on economic issues for the working and middle class, or really on economics at all?

    Is this the best way to sell “free trade”? Send these puffed-up, patronizing, clueless douchebags out to scold us?

    Tommorrow: Tom Friedman on “disruption”.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06.....&_r=0

  100. 100
    rikyrah says:

    @Belafon:

    That you could even bring that up is absolutely ridiculous and proves the point. There is absolutely no parallel between someone Black passing for White and putting their lives on the line and what this woman did.

  101. 101
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Keith G: Higher values, in this case, may well be artifacts of the realism that drove adding the “emergency expenditures” for the GWoT that were tacked onto the budget (without being included in that document) by the previous [mal]administration..

  102. 102
    Linnaeus says:

    @Kay:

    The charter governance system they invented on the fly sucks. It doesn’t just “not work”. It will never work.

    That strikes me as a not a bug, but a feature.

  103. 103
    liberal says:

    @fuckwit:

    now it’s time to do that with the war machine. starve it to death.

    Why do you Hate the Troops?

  104. 104
    Brachiator says:

    The GOP claims that the gummint spends too much. That should include military spending. And besides, as long as every goober can buy a rifle and a handgun, we shouldn’t even need a military. Just an NRA card.

  105. 105
    Kay says:

    @Linnaeus:

    People need to look not at the contract between the state and the entity sponsoring the school, “the charter”, but at the contract between the school and the contractor running the school.

    That’s where all the free market mischief happens and that’s the contract the state can’t reach because it’s private.

    Not the best at process, these people. Still not getting it.

  106. 106
    burnspbesq says:

    @Knowbody:

    bullshit hit job on Glenn Greenwald

    That’s an oxymoron. No hit job on Greenwald can ever be anything but on point and well taken.

  107. 107
    burnspbesq says:

    @rikyrah:

    45 times Secretary Clinton pushed the trade bill she now opposes

    Which, in the universe in which we live, is called “doing your job.”

    Support for TPP was Administration policy. Secretary Clinton was part of the Administration. Now that she is no longer part of the Administration, if she disagrees with Administration policy, she has every right to say so.

    Jeez, the ignorance on the left about how the world works is staggering sometimes.

  108. 108
    Linnaeus says:

    @Kay:

    People need to look not at the contract between the state and the entity sponsoring the school, “the charter”, but at the contract between the school and the contractor running the school

    Exactly. People look at the sponsoring entity and think it ends there, but it doesn’t. My ancestral state to the north of you is a very good example of how bad it can get.

  109. 109
    Nathanael says:

    Thanks to the Democrats in the Senate.

    As far as I’m concerned, the best possible outcome is to kill the military funding bill. We need to shut down the bloated, failing military machine anyway. The Founders prohibited army authorization bills from lasting more than two years for a *reason* — to makt it easy to shut down and liquidate standing armies just by doing nothing.

    In order to get their pet war funding bill, the Republicans should be forced to give Democrats literally everything else the Democrats want. Because the military funding bill is a *bad thing* which we want to *stop*, it makes it a terribly easy bargaining chip…

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