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CIVIL WAR: Battle erupts for soul of Republican party
Oct 21st, 2013 by Warren Swil

GOP’s internal struggle

is good news for 2014:

historic exception looms

Ted Cruz (R-Insane) led the battle to shut down the government over Obamacare. Click image to enlarge.

THE NEWS OVER the weekend for those who want to see the U.S. government actually function, was nothing short of stunning.
Headline after headline told of an outbreak of internecine warfare within the Republican Party – which brought the government to its knees for the first two weeks of October.
Civil war” was the term most commonly used.
There can be no doubt a struggle has erupted for the heart and soul of the Republican Party.
For those who are NOT conservatives, this is the best possible outcome.
It may mean the Democrats romp to victory in the mid-term elections in 2014, and continue to occupy the White house in 2016.


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SNAFU AT SOCHI: Russian Olympic stadium ‘a disaster,’ media say

DID ANTI-GAY LAWS SABOTAGE GIANT CONSTRUCTION PROJECT?
With just a few months left until the Opening Ceremonies at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Russian media over the weekend called the main venue “a disaster.”
The entire Sochi event, however, has been clouded with controversy since the summer enactment of anti-gay laws by the Russian parliament.
Homophobic President Vladimir Putin may be a strong man and a strongman, but not even his superhuman “strength” can ensure the construction is complete.
There may be no need for a boycott after all. The world may just decide to stay away rather than risk attending in an unsafe and half-finished Fisht Stadium.


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World enjoys fossil fuel boom, but should it?

CALIFORNIA AWASH IN OIL, BUT CARBON EMISSIONS WILL DEVASTATE PLANET
New technology has made previously unrecoverable deposits within reach. Gosh, there may even be some under my house!
But those concerned with climate change are wringing theirs in desperation.
Should all this oil – and gas – be taken out of the ground and burned? It could spell the end of life as we know it on earth.
The IPCC has warned us. We need to wake up and listen.


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GENEVA TALKS: More than just about Iran, Syria

‘ARC OF INSTABILITY’ POSES GLOBAL THREAT, HUMANITARIAN CRISES
The two sets of vital international talks under way in Geneva may seem to have little in common, but that is a misperception.
Their commonality is that their model of governance is obsolete.
It is the same story, repeated over and over again in an ARC OF INSTABILITY stretching around the southern and eastern edges of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Geneva conferences are too narrow in their scope. Some imagination is needed to start work on a global solution.
It’s not just about weapons of mass destruction. It’s about massive destruction of modern nation states with global implications for our interconnected societies. The world must wake up.


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CRISIS AVERTED: But serious damage has already been done

GOP INSANITY DOES LASTING HARM TO ‘FULL FAITH & CREDIT’ OF US
A last-minute cave-in by the Republicans has, temporarily, delayed a disaster, but not before serious and lasting harm has been done to the United States.
In the eyes of the world – and some Americans – the US is looking increasingly like an ungovernable banana republic.
Perception is reality.
The US government has lurched from one crisis to the next – and the next is just three months hence, when we face a possible re-run of the one just concluded.
That is not the way to run a country – or a world.


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IRAN: Historic gambit at start of Geneva talks

BUT MAIN PLAYER – ISRAEL – IS ABSENT AND WORRIED
The Iranian government on Tuesday presented an historic proposal to end the decade-long standoff over its nuclear weapons ambitions.
But as the West engages with the rogue regime in Iran, it cannot ignore the interests of the nation with the most at stake.
The Israelis have to be heard because they have the means – and the will – to do something about it if they perceive the talks are a waste of time.
The question is, how much time will they wait?


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ESCAPE HATCH: Solution to crises rests with ‘Republican realists’

G.O.P. RADICALS WON’T BUDGE, BUT DEFAULT THREAT MAY MOVE CENTRISTS
With the government shutdown entering its third week and the debt ceiling crisis 48 hours away, time is running out to avert a global calamity.
But, there is a way out. It’s hiding in plain sight. Call it the “escape hatch.”
Do an end run around the speaker of the House of Representatives and the Tea Party. Combine the entire Democratic Party caucus with those Republicans not afraid of the radical right and presto!
Crisis over.
Game called.


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DELICIOUS IRONY: Obamacare ‘train wreck’ goes unnoticed, GOP tanks

SHUTDOWN, DEBT CEILING CRISES OBSCURE REALLY SERIOUS PROBLEMS
In a delicious twist of fate, the Republican Party has missed a huge opportunity to capitalize on its opposition to Obamacare and in fact has helped conceal its disastrous rollout.
With the headlines screaming about the “government shutdown” few noticed, till Sunday, the disastrous rollout of healthcare reform.
The damage Republicans have done to themselves over the government shutdown seems likely to come back to haunt them in the 2014 mid-term elections.
If it is riven by internecine warfare, however, the 2014 outcome could prove to be an exception to historical norms.


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Public art in LA hard to find, but not rare

RENAISSANCE EXPECTED AFTER CITY LIFTS BAN ON MURALS
Public art is hard to find in Los Angeles except in a few notable locations like world-famous Venice Beach.
Aficionados are expecting something of a renaissance now the City Council has lifted a long-running ban on murals.
Imagine, therefore, my delight, when discovering there is actually a veritable smorgasbord of art – from crude to rude and inspiring to insipid – scattered all over the ethnic enclaves of the inner city.
In a three-mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard (made famous by so many Hollywood references) and also east of downtown, examples abound.


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AFGHANISTAN OUTRAGE: President threatens to boot out US, Obama freaks

KERRY JUMPS ON PLANE TO KABUL TO MEET WITH CORRUPT BUSH LACKEY
The thoroughly corrupt leader of Afghanistan and Bush lackey Hamid Karzai threatens to kick America out of his country, and the Secretary of State jumps on a plane to Kabul.
President Obama should call his bluff. Pull out all U.S. troops – ahead of schedule – and let NATO follow.
Then let’s sit back and watch the “Mayor of Kabul” try to keep his warring factions in one country. It’s highly improbable that he can do so.


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