all evil, right in the middle here, how can anybody disguise it as anything else?

2016 GOPers court pro-Israel donors at Sheldon Adelson’s unofficial primary
Benjy Sarlin, MSNBC, Apr 25 2015

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Senator Ted Cruz, former Governor Rick Perry, and other 2016 presidential hopefuls flocked to Sin City on Saturday to tout their support for Israel at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s spring meeting, where hundreds of influential conservative donors gathered to evaluate the emerging field. The event was hosted by gaming billionaire and GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson at his palatial Venetian Hotel, famous for an indoor canal where gondoliers serenade casino-goers as they drift past celebrity chef restaurants, designer clothing stores, and a scented oxygen bar. The dominant topic on everyone’s lips over the weekend was the Obama administration’s ongoing talks with Iran, which attendees fear will fail to curb their nuclear ambitions and, by undoing economic sanctions, will strengthen the Islamic Republic’s ability to finance extremist groups throughout the Middle East. With the exception of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who has expressed more interest in negotiations and favors a lighter Pindosi footprint abroad, the GOP field tends toward the party’s hawks on Iran and on foreign policy in general. Paul has made an effort to shore up relations with skeptical pro-Israel groups, however, and met with Adelson earlier this year. Cruz said in his remarks:

It is not complicated for Republican politicians to come to the RJC and say they’ll stand with Israel. Unless you’re a blithering idiot, that’s what you say when you come to the RJC.

Cruz argued that his legislative record was his standout feature, pointing to a bill that offered a multi-million dollar reward for the capture of those responsible for the murder of three Israeli teens last year. He boasted that he called for Jackass Kerry’s resignation as Sec State after the latter warned in a closed-door meeting that Israel could become an “apartheid state” if the Israeli-Plastelinan conflict continues. Cruz said:

How do you distinguish who will actually follow you? I think the answer is to say, “talk is cheap, show me.”

Perry took a more general approach, bashing Obama’s handling of negotiations with Iran, warning of rising anti-Semitism in Europe, and drawing a standing ovation for decrying demands for an economic boycott of Israel from campus activists. Perry said of the Iran framework:

The fact is, it doesn’t limit them, it legitimizes them. It is a dangerous deal and for the sake of peace in the Middle East it must be stopped.

The competition for dollars is heated. In interviews, attendees over and over again emphasized how large and accomplished the emerging pool of Republican White House hopefuls is in 2016 compared to 2012, where Mitt Romney dominated establishment support early while fighting off a series of short-lived surges from lesser-funded opponents. Many are holding off on backing one contender until they have a better sense of who is running and whether they have any staying power. Former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman, who supports South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham for president, told reporters:

You have a field of thoroughbreds. A lot of people want to see the scorecard (there is no scorecard, in that Adelson’s declared intentions change from hour to hour during the excited bidding process – RB) and then they’ll pick and choose.

Other speakers included Indiana Governor Mike Pence and, at a private event, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, both of whom are considered possible 2016 contenders. Pence said in his speech:

We must stand without apology for our most cherished ally, the Jewish state of Israel.

Coleman caused a stir at the event after telling reporters that Snyder had indicated to donors he was definitely running. A spokesman for the governor told The Guardian shortly afterward that he had not yet decided on his plans. Other speakers included former Bush 43, Mitt Romney and John Boehner, all of whom addressed attendees at closed-door events. Organizers and participants told MSNBC they believed the Iran issue and Obama’s tense relationship with Netanyahu would drive members to new heights of giving in 2016. Attendance at the event was up 75% from 2014 and 125% from 2013, according to RJC spokesman Mark McNulty. McNulty told MSNBC:

Our best recruiters are Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (what, no Jackass? – RB).

The RJC boasts support from a number of leading GOP funders that any 2016 hopeful would love to have on their side. The clear shining prize for now, however, is Adelson, whose endorsement alone could turn an underfunded also-ran into a dark horse making a credible push for the nomination. A Politico report indicated that Florida Senator Marco Rubio has the edge in earning Adelson’s support, but a spokesman for Adelson denied any decision had been made. Mort Klein of ZOA, a friend of Adelson, told MSNBC in Vegas that he believed the casino magnate was still weighing his options as well. Klein said:

What he’s looking for is a winner. I don’t think he’s made any decision.

In an Apr 23 op-ed for JTA, Democratic chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz derided the RJC conference as an audition for Adelson’s personal support rather than a representation of the broader Jewish community, noting that Jewish voters have long supported Democratic presidential candidates by wide margins. Wasserman Schultz wrote:

Don’t allow yourself to be fooled into thinking that these candidates are making a real attempt to appeal to Pindosi Jewish voters. Their presence is all about winning over a single Jewish donor: Sheldon Adelson.

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happily, this is implausible: not even the wordless nerds of outer energolia would store scud missiles at a location, get bombed, then store again there

Israel reportedly hits Hezbollah, Assad targets in Syria
Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel, Apr 25 2015

Israel reportedly hit several targets belonging to Hezbollah and the Syrian army in a series of air attacks Saturday morning in the Kalamun area on the border between Syria and Lebanon. According to a report in the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya, a first Israeli Air Force strike took place Wednesday, allegedly targeting two sites believed to have been Syrian army missile depots. On Saturday, according to a report in al-Jazeera, the Syrian targets were divisions 155 and 65 of the Assad army, in charge of “strategic weapons.” Al-Arabiya reported that the targets were Scud missile depots housed in the military bases. Several explosions were heard in the areas of Kteife, Yabrud and a village in Kalamun, according to al-Jazeera on Saturday. The area is known as a Syrian military site housing weapons depots and installations. There was no official word from Hezbollah or the Syrian government on the alleged attacks.

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how i wish i could extend some soothing telepathic control to the unhappy grey lady, but it’s too far

NYT Invents Former Clinton Foundation Ban On Foreign Donations
Matt Gertz, Media matters, Apr 24 2015

The NYT is urging the Clinton Foundation to reinstitute a ban that never existed on accepting donations from foreign governments. The NYT editorial board wrote on Apr 23 that now that Hillary Clinton is running for president, the international nonprofit “needs to reinstate the ban on donations from foreign governments for the rest of her campaign — the same prohibition that was in place when she was in the Obama administration.” Likewise, an Apr 23 NYT news article stated that the Foundation recently “limited donations from foreign governments,” but that the new policy “stops short of Mrs Clinton’s agreement with the Obama administration, which prohibited all foreign government donations while she served as the nation’s top diplomat.” In fact, the 2008 memorandum of understanding entered into by the Clinton Foundation and then-Pres-Elect Obama did not ban foreign government donations. Instead, it stated that if Hillary Clinton were confirmed as Sec State, the Foundation would “continue to perform” its activities “on behalf of existing foreign country contributors and in fulfillment of existing and on-going commitments.” The Clinton Foundation’s board agreed earlier this month to return to a similar policy given Clinton’s run for president. They will “permit donations from Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK — countries that support or have supported Clinton Foundation programs on health, poverty and climate change,” according to the WSJ.

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if obama wants to appear to be forced to stop authorising drone strikes, he can orchestrate a press campaign to do that

The Key GWOT Propaganda Tool: Only Western Victims Are Acknowledged
Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, Aug 24 2015

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In all the years I’ve been writing about Obama’s drone killings, yesterday featured by far the most widespread critical discussion in Pindo establishment journalism circles. This long-suppressed but crucial fact about drones was actually trumpeted as the lead headline on the front page of the NYT yesterday:

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The reason for the unusually intense, largely critical coverage of drone killings yesterday is obvious: the victims of this strike were Western and non-Muslim, and therefore were seen as actually human. Pakistani lawyer Shahzad Akbar, who represents 150 victims of Pindo drones and was twice denied entry to Pindostan to speak about them, told my Intercept colleague Ryan Devereaux how two of his child clients would likely react to Obama’s “apology” yesterday:

Today, if Nabila or Zubair or many of the civilian victims, if they are watching on TV the president being so remorseful over the killing of a Westerner, what message is that taking? The answer is that you do not matter, you are children of a lesser God, and I’m only going to mourn if a Westerner is killed.

The British-Yemeni journalist Abu-Bakr al-Shamahi put it succinctly:

It makes me angry that non-Western civilian victims of drone strikes are not given the same recognition by the Pindosi administration.

The independent journalist Nahid Mustafa said she was “hugely irritated by the ‘drone strikes have killed good Westerners, so now we know there are issues with drones’ stories.” The WaPo’s Eugene Robinson this morning observed:

It is all too easy to ignore … the dubious morality of the whole enterprise, until the unfortunate victims happen to be Westerners. Only then does ‘collateral damage’ become big news and an occasion for public sorrow.

This highlights the ugliest propaganda tactic on which the GWOT centrally depends, one in which the Pindosi media is fully complicit: Pindo & Western victims of violence by Muslims are endlessly mourned, while Muslim victims of Pindo & Western violence are completely disappeared. When there is an attack by a Muslim on Westerners in Paris, Sydney, Ottawa, Fort Hood or Boston, we are deluged with grief-inducing accounts of the victims. We learn their names and their extinguished life aspirations, see their pictures, hear from their grieving relatives, watch ceremonies honoring their lives and mourning their deaths, launch campaigns to memorialize them. Our side’s victims aren’t just humanized by our media, but are publicly grieved as martyrs. I happened to be in Canada the week of the shooting at the Parliament in Ottawa, as well as a random attack on two Canadian soldiers days earlier in a parking lot in Southern Quebec, and there was non-stop media coverage of the victims, their families, their lives:

Thousands of mourners packed a church and lined adjacent streets in industrial Hamilton, Ontario, on Tuesday for the funeral of the soldier shot dead in last week’s attack on the nation’s seat of government. … Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told mourners at the church that Cirillo had inspired and united Canadians. He choked back tears in a rare public display of emotion when addressing Cirillo’s five-year-old son.

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But as I noted in a speech I gave in Ottawa two days after the Parliament shooting, the victims of Canada’s own violence in Afghanistan and Iraq, and of its sustained cooperation in the Pindo GWOT, are completely ignored. While all of Canada knew the name of Corporal Nathan Cirillo, only the most minute fraction of Canadians could name even a single one of the many innocent victims killed by their own government and military. They simply don’t exist.This is the toxic tribalism that repeats itself over and over throughout the West. Western victims are mourned and humanized, while victims of Western violence are invisible and thus dehumanized. Aside from being repugnant in its own right, this formula, by design, is deeply deceptive as propaganda: It creates the impression among Western populations that we are the victims but not the perpetrators of heinous violence, that terrorism is something done to us but that we never commit ourselves, that “primitive, radical and inhumanely violent” describes the enemy tribe but not our own. It’s the same tactic that explains why we hear so much about Pindosi journalists imprisoned in adversary nations such as Iran and North Korea, but almost nothing about Muslim journalists imprisoned for years without charges by the Pindosi government, thus deliberately creating the false impression that only those Bad Countries, but not us, do this. To see how systematically Pindostan dehumanizes foreign Muslims, just think about that above-posted NYT drone headline. The full headline is even more descriptive:

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This “uncomfortable truth” has been obvious for so long. So often, the Pindosi government shoots missiles at buildings, cars and homes outside of “battlefields” without having any idea who it will kill. Despite this fact — that not even the government itself knows who it is killing — the Pindo media routinely and reflexively describes victims of Pindo drone strikes as “militants.” Democrats and progressives, who to their eternal disgrace overwhelmingly support Obama’s drone killing program, will declare “we are killing The Terrorists!” to justify all of this even though the Obama administration itself, let alone these cheering progressives, have no idea who their government just killed. How can people killed by the Pindo government regularly be described as “militants” or “terrorists” when nobody has any idea who they are? Part of it is classic authoritarianism: My government says the people they are killing are Terrorists, so therefore, they are Terrorists. But the deeper, more troubling answer is equally clear: Foreign Muslims are so dehumanized, so invisible, that they are just equated with Evil Threats even when nothing is known about them. Indeed, Obama officially re-defined the term “combatant” to mean “all military-age males in a strike zone.” In other words, as the NYT reported in 2011, all males between 18 and (roughly) 54 killed by Pindosi drones are presumed to be combatants — terrorists — “unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.” That mentality is the ultimate in dehumanization.

There are so many heinous stories of Pindosi drones blowing up children and innocent adults. Obama used cruise missiles and cluster bombs to kill 14 children and 21 women in a Yemeni village (weeks after winning the Nobel Peace Prize), while a 2012 drone strike attacked a Yemeni wedding convoy and “killed 12 passengers in the vehicle, including three children and a pregnant woman.” Except for those who watch shows like Democracy Now or certain al-Jazeera shows, virtually no Pindosis ever learn the name of any of those victims, or even hear that they exist at all. It shouldn’t take the drone-killing of a Pindosi citizen to enable a mainstream discussion of how much deceit and recklessness drives these killings. But it does. And that fact, by itself, should cause a serious examination of the mindset behind all of this.

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lake & rogin call their blog “declassified,” as if they were just catching the goodies falling off the secrets table

AIPAC vs Pro-Israel Republicans
Eli Lake, Josh Rogin, Bloomberg, Apr 24 2015

AIPAC has been quietly pressing Republicans to oppose a series of pro-Israel amendments that certain critturs will try to add to the Iran legislation coming up for debate on the Senate floor next week. At issue is the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, a bipartisan bill authored by the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker. Earlier this month, the bill was voted out of Corker’s committee unanimously, with strong support from Democrats and a promise from Obama not to veto the bill if it reached his desk without amendments that he said could imperil the Iran nuclear negotiations. Senate staff members tell us that since Monday, senior AIPAC lobbyists and board members have had face-to-face meetings and phone calls with leading senators to try to dissuade lawmakers from voting for the Republican amendments.

But that is an awkward place to be for the largest pro-Israel lobby in Washington. Senator Marco Rubio, for example, filed an amendment Thursday evening requiring Obama to certify that Iran has publicly recognized Israel’s right to exist as a condition of getting Congressional approval of the Iran deal. Earlier this month, Netanyahu proposed a similar idea, but Obama said such a demand would wreck the negotiations. AIPAC is now taking Obama’s side on whether a final nuclear accord with Iran should compel its regime to recognize Israel’s right to exist. AIPAC supports Corker’s bill as is. Earlier this year, it quietly dropped its campaign to get Congress to pass new sanctions on Iran latched onto a previous version of the chairman’s legislation. Corker’s new bill, which has added concessions to Obama, would give Congress a chance to review an Iran deal and could provide for a vote on the deal, although language inserted at the last minute makes clear that Obama could begin implementing the agreement even if Congress votes against it.

Many Republicans, however, don’t like Corker’s bill as is. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday that when the bill comes to the Senate floor, there will be a “robust amendment process,” and that he hopes the bill is strengthened. Republican critics say that the bill doesn’t have any real mechanisms to stop Obama from lifting congressionally mandated sanctions, although it does stop Obama from lifting those sanctions as Congress reviews the deal. Some also complain that the Corker bill doesn’t require the nuclear deal to address other issues, including Iran’s support for terrorism, its campaign against Israel and its imprisonment of Pindosi citizens on trumped-up charges. And several Republicans, including presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz and Rubio, are planning to offer amendments to remedy what they see as the bill’s weaknesses.

All told, at least two dozen amendments are expected to be offered next week. Rubio alone has seven. Senator James Risch will propose an amendment to require Obama to certify that four Pindosis currently held in Iran are released from captivity before the Senate considers lifting any sanctions. Other measures would focus on Iran’s support for terrorism and refusal to grant U.N. inspectors access to military sites. Republican Senator Tom Cotton told us:

I work very closely with AIPAC, we do everything we can to strengthen the USrael alliance, but obviously some times we have tactical disagreements.

Each of the Republican amendments would in practice require 60 votes to be added to the bill. Since most Democrats and Corker will oppose all of them, there is little chance any would be adopted. But McConnell’s strategy ensures that Democrats are put in the position of voting against them, and perhaps paying a political price in their next elections. AIPAC’s opposition, however, lessens that political price considerably. In other contexts, AIPAC has supported all the ideas behind all these amendments. One AIPAC official even told us he feels many of the proposed Republican amendments have merit, but said that the lobby’s position is that senators support the passage of a “clean” bill instead of risking an Obama veto or the loss of Democratic support. The official said:

Our fundamental view is that this bill is the first step of a number of different steps on the Iran deal. The first and foremost priority is to make sure the bill gets passed, to make sure congress is guaranteed a chance to pass judgment on the deal.

Some conservatives and Republicans, however, have already passed judgment on that deal. William Kristol, the chairman of the Emergency Committee for Israel and the editor of the Weekly Standard, wrote this week that Corker’s bill was toothless. In a not-so-veiled reference to AIPAC, Kristol wrote:

Not just the Obama administration, but the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the leading establishment pro-Israel lobbying group, all prefer quiet acquiescence to and approval of a toothless bill rather than a serious debate and series of votes over our Iran policy.

That serious debate is now scheduled to begin next Tuesday. It may be confusing to figure out the pro-Israel side when it does.

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just for fun: azov brigade crucify a guy and torch his body

Video from CyberBirkut (18+).

“Ukrainian invaders crucified the rebel on the cross, and then torched. Today we, as well as a number of commanders of the Armed Forces of Novorossiya, the soldiers of the punitive battalion “Azov” was sent out this video. As stated by the authors of this video shooting occurred near the village of Shirokino, and “with all separatists, traitors of Ukraine and militia – will be also.” Yeah, guys!.. No comment… Fear that neither we nor the Armed Forces of Novorossiya will not add too much we have already experienced in this life!.. But to take captive “Azov” – hardly anyone after that will Not… recommended for viewing by people with weak mentality. We are CyberBirkut! We will not forget!”

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would mcfaul be a likely guy for obama to use to float a deal through? maybe

Former Pindo Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul believes that Ukraine should not discuss the question of the Crimea
Julia Divivo, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Apr 24 2015

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Pindostan will not fight for Crimea to Ukraine and Kiev is better to accept the transfer of the Peninsula to Russia. This was stated by former Pindo Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul. According to McFaul, the development of events in Ukraine depends primarily on the citizens of this country, reports RIA Novosti with reference to the Ukrainian media. He said:

Sometimes I feel that Ukrainians are demanding more from Pindosis than from themselves. People should not overestimate the possibilities of the West. A military operation, we will not go, obviously. Pindosis are not ready to fight for the Crimea. And no Poland in those years, and for Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. It’s just a historical fact. We must be realistic in this regard.

Michael Anthony McFaul – Pindosi political scientist. Since 2009 he worked in the Obama administration, served as Director for Russia and Eurasia at the national security Council at the White house. In 2012 – 2014 years, McFaul was the Pindo Ambassador to Russia.

Putnik1 responds:

Like A Fleeting Vision
Putnik1, Apr 25 2015

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Former Pindo Ambassador to Russia calls “not to want anything more from the Pindosis than from themselves,” and realistic look at an accomplished historical fact: the Crimea was joined to Russia. He also admitted that the Pindosis will not fight for Ukraine. Can, good easy (answers the question in the pasted item – RB). First of all, to understand the logic of the ex-Pindo Ambassador to the Russian Federation, read his latest interview. In it he whole, expressed as maximum, with all the pluses and minuses. Mr McFaul is an armchair scientist, sincere “face democratic beliefs” with a touch of idealism, ” of course, in the Pindosi-specific sense. To traditional managerial elites, in the ambassadors went on a personal Obama’s proposal, which, as many local intellectuals, believed sincerely and passionately, entering the “narrow circle.” The point of view of this particular “narrow inner circle”, nothing decisive, as there is little that is personally decided by the “lame duck” from the oval office. He is in real politics flew for a while and on occasion, all failed and taken off from it forever, and voiced. In the framework of its own (and possibly Mulatto) view of the world, but it does not reflect the views of the real centers of power. But Pindosis themselves “to fight for Ukraine will not be,” it is a fact. They intend to fight using someone else’s hands, biting outside Russia and gnawing (podgryza) from the inside, slowly and in all directions. That was shown by the contamination of former Ukraine, not only in principle, but quite effectively (in practice).

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