September 5, 2013 archive

Sep 05

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Sep 05

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Sep 05

On This Day In History September 5

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

September 5 is the 248th day of the year (249th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 117 days remaining until the end of the year..

On this day in 1882, the first Labor Day was celebrated in NYC with a parade of 10,000 workers. The Parade started at City Hall, winding past the reviewing stands at Union Square and then uptown where it ended at 42nd St where the marcher’s and their families celebrated with a picnic, concert and speeches. The march was organized by New York’s Central Labor Union and while there has been debate as to who originated the idea, credit is given to Peter McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor.

It became a federal holiday in 1894, when, following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland  put reconciliation with the labor movement as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. The September date was chosen as Cleveland was concerned that aligning an American labor holiday with existing international May Day celebrations would stir up negative emotions linked to the Haymarket Affair. All 50 U.S. states have made Labor Day a state holiday.

Sep 05

Late Night Karaoke

Sep 05

Resolution to Attack Syria Passed by Senate Committee

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, by a vote of 10-7, approved resolution authorizing a U.S. military response to chemical weapons use in Syria. The resolution goes the the full senate for debate and vote next week.

Republicans Bob Corker (TN), Jeff Flake (AZ) and John McCain (AZ) joined seven Democrats in approving the resolution.

Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) joined Republicans including Marco Rubio (FL) and Rand Paul (KY) in voting against the resolution. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) voted present.

Sen. McCain had threatened not to vote for the resolution unless it contained stronger language about ousting Syrian President Bashir al-Assad.

“Without the provision for reversing the momentum on the battlefield the conditions are not created for the departure of Bashar al-Assad,” McCain told reporters as he emerged from a classified Senate briefing session. “There is no policy without that and no strategy.”

McCain insists he was promised that such regime change would be made part of US policy by President Obama when he met on Monday at the White House with fellow Republican Lindsey Graham.

“Senator Graham and myself were assured that three things would happen as a result as a result of the US reaction to Assad’s use of chemical weapons,” said McCain. “First, to degrade his capabilities to deliver those weapons. Second, to increase our support to the Free Syrian Army and resistance forces. And third, to change the battlefield momentum which presently is in favour of Bashar Assad and reverse it, which would then create conditions for a negotiated settlement and the departure of Bashar Assad.”

The resolution that was passed with two amendments proposed by Sen. McCain and sponsored by Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)that contain controversial language making the goal of U.S. military intervention is to “change the moment on the battlefield in Syria.” Both amendments were passed with a voice vote.

The amendments point to degrading the Assad regime’s chemical weapons capability and the arming of Syrian opposition as means of reversing the situation on the ground in Syria, where the Assad regime is generally considered to be winning.

The language appears to address McCain’s concerns about the resolution that he voiced Wednesday morning when he said he would not support the resolution as it was then written. McCain has consistently said he supports further U.S. intervention in Syria to topple Assad.

The White House has repeatedly said that the military action was not aimed at regime change. The game now changes. While the resolution may pass in the Senate, it faces stiffer opposition in the House.

Jane Hamsher at FDL Action has the whip count for the vote which should take place early next week.

Current Vote Count:

Firm Yea: 25

Lean Yea: 30

Lean Nay: 97

Firm Nay: 48

Sep 05

Syria: Push For War With Little Evidence

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

There still no hard evidence that Syrian President Bashir al-Assad used an unknown chemical weapons, possibly an organophosphate, on his own people in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21. Yet, the Obama administration and some hawkish members of congress are pushing for air strikes to take out strategic targets, swearing that it wi.l be limited, not target the civilian population or require American troops on the ground. The purpose as stated by Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is to send a message to Assad to not use chemical weapons again without any evidence that he did. There are no guarantees that this will even work or that Assad will not strike back as is his right according to the UN Charter.

Chief of correspondents for McClatchy Newspapers and co-author of a recent article, Mark Seibel joined Democracy Now!‘s Amy Goodman and Nereem Shaikh to discuss the holes in the evidence.



TRanscript can be read here

“When it came to questions of the efficacy of a U.N. investigation, or the number of people killed in the conflict, or even the U.S. rendition of what happened in what order, there are contradictions,” Seibel says. The United States has claimed it had “collected streams of human, signals and geospatial intelligence” that showed the Assad government preparing for an attack three days before the event. “That claim raises two questions,” Seibel writes. “Why didn’t the U.S. warn rebels about the impending attack and save hundreds of lives? And why did the administration keep mum about the suspicious activity when on at least one previous occasion U.S. officials have raised an international fuss when they observed similar actions?”

Sep 05

I have a dreadful lump in my throat!

Despite the fact that people have been signing Petitions left and right, calling their Representatives all day long and days prior, sending e-mails, doing everything possible to avert an intervention in Syria, and despite the fact that the percentages against any intervention, ranging between 83% against and 17% for and, some at 74% against and 24% for, I fear it’s probably a done deal.  And, once again, the American peoples’ responses have been/are being ignored . . . . .!

As you know, TMC has informed you that Senate Committee passed an authorization to strike Syria.

Here is an article you may want to keep (contains a graph showing how members have voted so far — we need to remember these people).  Will Congress Support Military Action In Syria?

A ThinkProgress Whip Count [UPDATED]

By Igor Volsky, Judd Legum and Rebecca Leber on September 2, 2013 at 7:07 pm

As you will note within the article, Think Progress is keeping an Excel accounting of each Congressperson and his or her vote.

But, next, you will understand my REAL reasons for believing it’s a done deal!  It’s all about what we don’t know and, essentially, the only way you can learn or find out about what’s REALLY GOING ON is to go outside the country for information.

While the first article I’m showing is alarming, to say the least, it is probably not that surprising to so many of us.

First Syria rebels armed and trained by CIA ‘on way to battlefield’

The first cell of Syrian rebels trained and armed by the CIA is making its way to the battlefield, President Barack Obama has reportedly told senators.

by:  Raf Sanchez in Washington

3:15PM BST 03 Sep 2013

During a meeting at the White House, the president assured Senator John McCain that after months of delay the US was meeting its commitment to back moderate elements of the opposition.

Mr Obama said that a 50-man cell, believed to have been trained by US special forces in Jordan, was making its way across the border into Syria, according to the New York Times.

The deployment of the rebel unit seems to be the first tangible measure of support since Mr Obama announced in June that the US would begin providing the opposition with small arms. . . . …  

Strange, I’ve read a number of articles saying that there was absolutely no proof that Assad was gassing his own people and most speculated it was the “rebels” that were doing the gassing.  But, as you know, we are not supposed to know who’s doing what to who . . . . only to blindly accept whatever is being “force-fed” us to believe!

Please follow . . . ..