The quiet diplomacy of Barack Obama

An event took place this past week that didn’t get much attention but shows us that a lot happens in the White House that we never hear about. Efraim Halevy, an Israeli intelligence expert and former head of the Mossad spoke in New York about the recent uprisings in Cairo, Egypt. He tells the story of three Israelis who were trapped in the Cairo embassy and, but for the intervention of President Obama, they never would have made it out alive.

We’ve been talking these days about Turkey and about Egypt. And I would like to say something about the event which took place last Friday evening or through the night in Cairo, which I think to a large extent was a seminal event, not only in the history of the Middle East but also in the history of the relations between Israel and Egypt, and between Israel and the United States of America.
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Mich GOP: Automatic deductions for union dues not okay, but for charitable donations, totally okay

The state House passed a bill today that would prohibit schools from deducting union dues from teachers’ paychecks. The bill doesn’t say they don’t have to provide this service, it says they are prohibited from providing this service.

Why? It’s definitely not a cost-saving measure. School administrators agree that the cost to schools for providing this service to teachers is neglible. No, this is simply a way to hurt the teachers’ union. Republican Representative Joe Haveman of Holland puts it this way:

I don’t understand how giving people money back in their paycheck is a bad thing..It makes them more accountable.…
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Flint and Detroit City Councils support repeal of Public Act 4 – the Emergency Manager Act

The city councils of two of Michigan’s major cities have weighed in on the repeal of Public Act 4 and both are in support. More accurately, the Flint City Council is in support of putting it on the ballot for voters to decide. The Detroit City Council voiced more full-throated support of the repeal.

Here’s the scoop on Flint:

The Flint City Council wants Michigan voters to decide if the state’s controversial emergency financial manager law goes too far.

The council on Monday passed a resolution in favor of putting the newly amended law on the ballot for possible repeal, even as the city undergoes the financial review process spelled out in the law.

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Anti-teachers union StudentsFirst spent nearly $1 million on Michigan ads so far in 2011

I have a new piece up at A2Politico where I look at the Michigan Republicans attacks on teachers in our state. I also look at how, although teachers are fighting back, politically-speaking, they are also working hard to make things better for our schools, particularly the ones facing the biggest challenges.

Teachers unions are also working to help poorly-performing districts improve their programs. Last year, the National Education Association (NEA) started the Priority Schools Campaign. This campaign aims to bring all education stakeholders together to help failing schools.
Through our Priority Schools Campaign, we’re promoting increased professionalism and systemic education reform in some of the nation’s lowest-performing schools; what we call priority schools.
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GOP: Snakes on a (jobs) plan

This would be hilarious if these idiots weren’t serious.

Democrats and Republicans all agree that the nation needs to move on a jobs agenda. And Republicans have a new plan: unleash the reins of snake commerce.

GOP members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today called attention to a proposed regulation that would restrict the transportation and importation of nine types of snakes, including the Burmese Python.

In a new report entitled “Broken Government: How the Administrative State has Broken President Obama’s Promise of Regulatory Reform,” GOP members cited the proposed snake ban as one of seven examples of red tape choking off job growth in an already ailing economy.

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Are you freaking kidding me, you childish piece of Republican excrement?

You know the jobs bill President Obama has been exhorting Congress to pass “right away”? The “American Jobs Act”?

Congressman Louie Gohmert introduced a two-page bill before any Democrat had introduced the President’s job bill and titled it “The American Jobs Act of 2011″.

I’m not shitting you. This childish piece of Republican excrement took the name that President Obama had already titled his bill and used it for his own bill. All his bill does is repeal the federal corporate income tax (which is obviously going NOWHERE.)

It’s stunning. This man is a U.S. Congressman and he’s is literally acting like a child.…

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Who Said THAT??? – Most awesomest quote of the day edition

So, who said this?

These people who are making a big deal out of gay marriage? I don’t give a fuck about who wants to get married to anybody else! Why not?! We’re making a big deal out of things we shouldn’t be making a deal out of.

They go on and on with all this bullshit about ‘sanctity’ — don’t give me that sanctity crap! Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want.

I was an Eisenhower Republican when I started out at 21, because he promised to get us out of the Korean War. And over the years, I realized there was a Republican philosophy that I liked.

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The GOP will filibuster ANYTHING supported by Democrats, even disaster relief

The GOP will filibuster ANYTHING supported by Democrats. Think I’m exaggerating? I’m not. Here’s proof. On Monday, they filibustered a bill that would fund disaster relief to areas recently devastated by hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and flooding. The bill passed with a 53-33 majority but — BING! — it was a cloture vote meant to end a Republican filibuster so it needed 60.

They did eventually pass the bill but, even then, 38 Republicans voted against it. Here’s the rogue’s gallery of heartless bastards:

Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kirk (R-IL)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lee (R-UT)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Wicker (R-MS)

Republicans: harming America for political gain.…

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