Daily Archives: February 23, 2015


Did the GOP Just Give Away $130 Billion of Public Property?

The Nation magazine has the article Did the GOP Just Give Away $130 Billion of Public Property? by Rep. Alan Grayson.

In December, two Republican senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, pushed Congress and the president into giving away what could amount to over $130 billion in public property.

That’s enough to provide every single unemployed American a minimum-wage job for an entire year. That’s enough to pay for a year of tuition at a public institution for every college student in the US.

And yet the GOP big-shots call themselves “fiscal conservatives”! “Fiscal conservatives,” my you-know-what.

I’m talking about the huge giveaway to the mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton in the Defense Authorization Act. It was splayed across ten pages of the bill, pages 441 to 450 (out of 697).

If you read the rest of the article, you will see why I am always touting Alan Grayson as one of the key progressive Democrats in Congress.  The House Democratic leadership just does not give him the respect (and power) he deserves. That reason alone would be enough to explain why I don’t give the House Democratic leadership as much respect  as  they might earn if they were only more interested in getting stuff accomplished than in getting along with the Republicans.  Bipartisanship be damned.  Doing what’s right trumps bipartisanship.


Hundreds of Palestinians forced to flee as Israel opens dams into Gaza Valley

Your News Wire has the story Hundreds of Palestinians forced to flee as Israel opens dams into Gaza Valley.

More than 80 homes have been flooded and hundreds of Palestinians forced to evacuate after Israel opened the gates of several dams on the border with the Gaza Strip. Water levels reached more than three meters.

Also reported by Al Jazeera in the article Gazans flee floods caused by Israel’s dams opening.  Juan Cole also has an article Hundreds of Palestinians flee as Israel opens dams into Gaza Valley.

Hundreds of Palestinians were evacuated from their homes Sunday morning after Israeli authorities opened a number of dams near the border, flooding the Gaza Valley in the wake of a recent severe winter storm.

Honest Reporting claims to debunk the story in the article Dam Busted: Palestinian Lie Exposed.

Of course, this story has made the rounds of anti-Israel social media. It is, however, easily debunked as a complete lie. As the Spokesperson’s Office of the unit of Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) relayed to HonestReporting:

The claim is entirely false, and southern Israel does not have any dams.

I am certainly no expert on the dams of southern Israel, and whether or not they do exist, and whether or not they could impact Gaza.

I did find an Israeli web site Gaza Border: Courage and Determination along Israel’s Gaza Border.

One of their photos (with their caption) is:

Nir-Am Reservoir looking into Gaza

I don’t know if this reservoir has any dams qualified to be non-existent in southern Israel, or whether this or other dams could be related to the story about floods in Gaza. Perhaps someone could carry my research a little further to see if there is any truth in any of the sides of this story.

Warning: There may be some sarcasm in what follows.
Is it possible that COGAT forgot about this reservoir? The IDF (Israeli Defense Force) surely wouldn’t lie about a fact that is so easily checked.

DNC Report Says Blankety-Blank Democrats Need a “National Narrative Project.” No, They Don’t.

Naked Capitalism has the article DNC Report Says Blankety-Blank Democrats Need a “National Narrative Project.” No, They Don’t by Lambert Strether.

Call me crazy, but how about, instead of shoveling more walking around money at “Democratic strategists” to write a [blankety-blank] narrative, Democrats come up with a coherent set of policy proposals that would deliver concrete material benefits to the 80% who don’t, and don’t dream of, taking the Acela from South Station or Penn Station down to Union Station? And then go to war on with it. That’s what the Republicans did. “Vote yourself a farm” worked for Lincoln; why not Democrats?

I have posted on this idea before.  One example is in the previous post U.S. economic growth soars, reaches 11-year high.

I have been saying all along on this blog that the Democrats don’t tout their accomplishments enough in the face of all the negativism from the Republicans.  However, I was talking about real accomplishments that need the touting.  You can’t make this stuff up and think people will buy it.  You have to tout real accomplishments that people can see.  You can’t sell them stuff that their own experience tells them is not true.

If the Democrats continue to live in La La Land, they are never going to win majority positions in our government.