GREG CRAIG'S 'NOBLE' CAREER INCLUDES DEFENDING JOHN HINKLEY AND LYING AND LYING ABOUT FISA. CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O'S ONE TIME ATTORNEY AND WHO KNOWS WHAT ELSE HAS ADDED A NEW CREDIT: DEFENDING NATIONAL LIARS WHO BREAK LAWS.
REACHED FOR COMMENT, CRAIG DECLARED JOHN EDWARDS TO BE "AS CLOSE TO SAINTHOOD AS ANYONE I HAVE EVER MET."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senate Veterans' Affairs Chairman Patty Murray, pointedly questioned (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki over the VA's decision to limit a benefit for the caregivers of severely injured Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. The VA's decision, which cuts back stipends for those who have left careers behind to care for their injured loved ones, ignores the will of Congress in passing the caregivers law last year.
After questioning Shinseki about why the VA is not complying with the law, Murray also pointed out that the VA has only set aside a fraction of the funding authorized for the caregiver program. Secretary Shinseki acknowledged that all of the funding is not being used because of the narrowing eligibility requirements. Secretary Shinseki also acknowledged that the benefit has taken too long to implement.
Yesterday's snapshot covered Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's appearance before the US House Foreign Affairs Committee. We'll again note this exchange:
US House Rep Dannis Cardoza: Madam Secretary, at least 70 people were killed during an attack last October on Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad making it the worst massacre of Iraqi Christians since 2003. Less than two months later, extremists bombed the homes of more than a dozen Christian families in Baghdad as well. And on New Year's Eve 23 people were killed by a suicide bomber in Alexandria, Egypt while coming out of mass in St. Marks and St. Peter's Coptic Church. Since these tragic incidents in the Middle East have -- Since these tragic incidents, the Middle East has been rocked by wide ranging protests and regime changes as we've seen in the last few weeks. How has this ongoing instability effected the already heightened risk to vulnerable religious minority groups like Assyrians, Jews, Cops and others?
Secretary Hillary Clinton: Congressman, thank you for asking that question. I think this has not gotten the level of attention and concern it should. We immediately went into action when the bombings took place in Baghdad. Our Ambassador  was deeply involved with the government, making sure that there was protection and security. The ambassador went to Mass in order to show solidarity with Iraqi Christians. But there's no doubt that Christians and other minority groups are feeling under pressure and are leaving countries from North Africa to south Asia because they don't feel protected. I think we need to do much more to stand up for the rights of religious minorities and obviously I'm deeply concerned about what happened to the Christians in Iraq and the Christians in Egypt. I'm also concerned about what happens to minority Muslim groups in Pakistan and elsewhere. So you have raised an issue that I think is one of deep concern and we have to be speaking out more. And we have to hold governments accountable. When I spoke with the prior Egyptian government after the Alexandria bombing, they expressed the same level of outrage that I felt. They said that the Cops are part of, you know, Egyptian history. As you recall from Tahrir Square there were a lot of inter-faith efforts with Cops and Muslims together, worshiping together. Let's hope that continues and let's do whatever we can to make that the future instead of what I am fearful of which is driving out religious minorities. And the final thing I would say on that because it's an issue that I have paid a lot of attention to, we want to protect religion and religous believers but we don't want to use some of the tools that other countries are proposing -- which is to criminalize defamation, criminalize in the broadest possible definition blasphemy -- and then use it to execute, harass and otherwise oppress religious minorities. So we have to come up with an international consensus about what we're going to do to protect those who are exercising their conscience.
Of her non-Iraq comments above, the story from McClatchy Newspapers and the Los Angeles Times on the events in Pakistan add weight to them. In Pakistan, Minorities Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, who was a Christian and who opposed the blasphemy legislation, has been assassinated; however, BBC News cautions that too many details on the assassination are unknown. On yesterday's Committee hearing, Kat covers it in "Is you're Congressional district in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem?," Wally covers it at Rebecca's site with "Pitching the State Dept. budget (Wally)" and Ava covers it at Trina's site with "Hillary's foreign policy aims (Ava)." Kat will cover Richard Burr -- Ranking Member on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee -- at her site tonight. She long ago carved out Burr's participation on the Committee as her beat. And Monday's snapshot noted an article by Eric Ruder (US Socialist Worker) however the link had a period at the end of it which caused it not to go to the correct page. This is the correct link.
"Pitching the State Dept. budget (Wally)"
"Use language to communicate, not to confuse"
"Is you're Congressional district in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem?"
"John Nichols the damn dirty liar"
"Chuck, Anthony Weiner and more"
"THIS JUST IN! LOOK WHO'S BACK!"