If you thought the latest GOP Benghazi Select Committee was an over-the-top idea, wait until you hear about Congressman Duncan Hunter’s amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. It’s an open ended measure that would authorize the “use of force against those responsible for the attack against United States personnel in Benghazi, Libya.”
Duncan’s amendment amounts to a declaration of war in response to the Benghazi attack. It cites no specific enemy and its open-ended nature means that any future president, not only Barack Obama, could use it as a pretext for military action.
Unlike much of the whack-a-doodle dreck that gets proposed as amendments in Congress, this broad, sweeping measure looks to make it to a floor vote this week without even a hearing in the Foreign Affairs Committee, according to an article in the American Prospect.
No serious legislator would so flippantly bring such an expansive bill to the floor without so much as a congressional hearing. But House Speaker John Boehner, who through the Rules Committee has final say over what amendments are voted on by the chamber, has shown an inclination to take a different path. After resisting its creation for months, he formed the Benghazi Select Committee, knowing it is a waste of time and resources. If this amendment is voted on in the House of Representatives it will be yet another gift from Boehner to the Tea Party wing of his caucus in the hope they will allow him to keep his gavel after the 2014 elections.
A direct line can be drawn from Benghazi bonanza Fox News has offered its audience over the past 21 months, feeding it lies about the attack in Libya, riling viewers to believe no foreign policy crisis is more important. Now comes this latest stunt. It is no surprise that Duncan Hunter senses an opportunity to legislatively demagogue this issue in the hope of becoming the next conservative Benghazi media darling.
If the Republican leadership allows a vote on such a broad, sweeping measure without even a hearing in the Foreign Affairs Committee, that is more evidence of how irresponsible and uninterested in governing the party has become. While the Benghazi Select Committee will waste millions of dollars, this latest action has the potential to waste thousands of lives.
“Let them eat toxic airborne particles” – UT Editorial Board
The above headline is one of the comments (h/t Jeremy Merrill) following today’s sermon from Mount Manchester urging voters to say No to Propositions B&C, and it summarizes my feelings about their position perfectly.
In order to justify their position, the UT editorial board has to stand the English language on its head. People in favor of the Barrio Logan Community Plan are engaging in “government bullying” sayeth the seers of Lynchesterland.
Last I heard the definition of the term bully included a differential in power or strength, as in some entity that is powerful using force or intimidation on a less powerful entity.
Using the Republi-logic™ of the UT, a City Councilman representing an economically challenged area is somehow more powerful than a gaggle of multinational corporate defense contractors, one of whom paid a $450 million dollar fine after getting caught passing out bribes without batting an eyelash. Somehow a State legislator’s expressed concerns at one press conference about blatant corporate intervention trump the nearly $2 million that the General Dynamics Political Action Committee will spend in the 2014 elections.
This is what UT San Diego calls bullying.
The campaign in favor of the highly controversial community plan for Barrio Logan — on the June 3 ballot in San Diego as Propositions B and C — has gone beyond the usual political distortions and deceptions. Now it’s into governmental bullying and threats to thwart the will of the voters.
The editorial goes on to mimic the corporate overlords’ misinformation campaign regarding air pollution, citing pollution from vehicles on the freeways through the community while ignoring California Environmental Protection Agency data about the release of toxic contaminants– as opposed to diesel particulates– into the air specific to the Barrio Logan area.
If the UT editorial writers had bothered to actually read the “exhaustive” report commissioned by the city on air pollution, the would have noticed that, no matter what plan is implemented, air pollution from traffic is going to increase. Unless, of course, we find a way to further cut auto emissions, something they’d no doubt label as government intrusion.
Since the maritime industry opponents of the Barrio Logan plan have been busted for their lies about the Navy “leaving” San Diego, the UT parrots their latest spin, citing the presence of former admirals in the opposition. Nowhere does it bother to mention that most of the retired officers are now employed by defense industry companies associated with those funding the ‘No on B&C’ campaign.
Here’s my favorite part of the editorial, after having perverted the language and piled untruths upon untruths, they beseech us:
“Don’t be bullied by politicians and their anti-democratic threats.”
Election Warning: Another Stealth Wingnut on the Ballot
Remember how embarrassed we all were a couple years back when the national media picked up on the fact voters in San Diego had elected birther Gary Kreep to a judicial seat? I’ve always thought that reporting by City Beat’s Dave Maass, which triggered the ensuing media uproar, was one of his best “gifts” to San Diego. (Even if I do misspell his name all the time.)
Despite the fact he’s moved to the Bay Area to work with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Maass still manages to keep an eye peeled towards San Diego.
So this morning I saw this post on Facebook, and knew it was worth sharing:
A personal note from me to San Diego on the upcoming election: Watch San Diego Community College District A.
Donna Woodrum is one of two candidates running. She, and her husband Woody, are leaders in the far-far-right community in San Diego. Their organization believes that homosexuality can be cured with treatment, climate change is a hoax, and that Muslims are the greatest threat to America. When Woody Woodrum ran for mayor in 2012, his campaign released a “rap” about his candidacy and how he will defend the sanctity of life.
In other words, this race is kind of a BIG DEAL if voters aren’t paying attention.
I Googled her this morning and found this Times of San Diego (new local news site, not bad) story about how Donna Woodrum, along with judicial candidates Ken Gosselin and Paul Ware, 52nd District Congressional wanna-be Kirk Jorgensen (running against Scott Peters), incumbent County Assessor Ernest Dronenburg, 50th District Libertarian congressional candidateMichael Benoit, 53rd District congressional candidate and teacher Joel Marchese were all guests of honor at a Lakeside Tea Party gathering.
Via the Times of San Diego:
The primary focus of Monday night’s forum was a panel addressing the topic “How to counter the bigotry on the left,” with local California Republican Assembly president Sylvia Sullivan introducing three political experts.
They were Proposition 8 advocate Pastor Chris Clark of Clairemont Southern Baptist Church, fellow anti-abortion activist Mary Moran of Ramona and Republican activist and blogger Barry Jantz, a former La Mesa councilman who as CEO of the Grossmont Healthcare District separately made a pitch to approve Proposition H on the June ballot.
So you’ll excuse me if I sound bigoted for saying this (some of my best friends…), but the above names are probably all people not worth your vote.
Faulconer’s New Budget Favors His Old District
Mayor Kevin Faulconer called a press conference in City Heights yesterday to trumpet his “May Revise” budget proposal, having found an additional $12 million in anticipated tax revenues for next year.
Among the proposed additions are $1 million for a park on Wightman Street in City Heights, a year’s worth of funding for the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority, lighting improvements for Silver Wing Neighborhood Park in Otay Mesa and Tierrasanta Community Park, a 1,300 foot paved trail in Black Mountain Ranch and (most importantly, IMO) a program manager who would be in charge of a climate change action plan for the city.
Not everybody was thrilled by the announcement.
City Councilman David Alvarez, who lost to Faulconer in this year’s special mayoral election, called out Faulconer’s initial budget proposal for not spending enough on neighborhood parks, “especially in underserved communities.” But even after Faulconer’s revised budget boosted this spending, Alvarez still said he was not happy.
“I am disappointed the neighborhoods I represent are still not receiving their fair share of citywide project funding,” Alvarez said in a statement. “While the Mayor’s revision to his budget proposal takes a few small steps in the right direction, much more needs to be done. There is a shovel-ready 15+ acre community park project in Ocean View Hills: the only thing standing in the way is the Mayor’s approval of the needed funding. I look forward to working with my Council colleagues and the Mayor to get this project built.”
Later in the day an infographic circulated via social media showing how the city budget was being allotted by district:
Council Candidates Zapf and Cate at the Trough
Dorian Hargrove over at the Reader is reporting on the apparent alliance between the Downtown San Diego Partnership’s political action committee and City Council candidates Lorie Zapf (D2) and Chris Cate (D6).
In addition to checks for $10,000 to their respective independent expenditure committees, “CEO Kris Michell has gone to bat for candidates Zapf and Cate by sending emails to business owners and representatives throughout the city.”
Here’s the money quote from the email , via the Reader:
“With Mayor Faulconer’s big win in February, we have the momentum to win two very important city council seats in June; Lorie Zapf in District 2 and Chris Cate in District 6. A low turnout election gives us an advantage in voter turnout, and recent inside polling suggests Mayor Faulconer has a positive approval rating and the majority of the electorate agree that the city is moving in the right direction. Our candidates both have his endorsement which will help them capture the majority of support. Finally, with your help, both Lorie and Chris will have the highest name identification, giving both the best chance to win in June. While we are extremely optimistic about their races — the simple fact is — we cannot win this race without your financial support.
“If we don’t do everything we can now, one or both of these races could push to November. That’s an additional $1 million dollar per candidate to fund. Labor will have even more time to raise the money — and outspend us. Do not wait!”
San Diegans for Open Government filed a lawsuit against the Downtown San Diego Partnership last August. The group is asserting that the non-profit, run by former Chief of Staff for ex-mayor Jerry Sanders, Kris Michell, is using its $5.5 million in annual assessments with little or no oversight, spending as it sees fit on high-priced consultants and non-permitted services.
Zapf’s Warthog Mascot Idea?
VOSD Editor Scott Lewis was scratching his head yesterday after getting a mailer from a pro-Lorie Zapt Independent Expenditure group with pictures of a warthog and a pothole side-by-side and the following text underneath:
“The worst enemy of the warthog is the lion. The worst enemy of the pothole is Councilwoman Lorie Zapf.”
This led to a nifty response from District 8 field rep Albert Valasquez:
— Albert Velasquez (@VelasquezAlbrt) May 20, 2014
On This Day: 1819 – Bicycles were first seen in New York City. They were originally known as “swift walkers.” 1956 – The U.S. exploded the first airborne hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean over Bikini Atoll. 1970 – Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young recorded “Ohio.”
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