“With Afghan president’s visit, nations’ post-2014 future takes shape”


Afghan President Hamid Karzai meets with Secre...
Afghan President Hamid Karzai meets with Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld in the Pentagon on June 14, 2004, to discuss security issues relating to his country. DoD photo by R. D. Ward. (Released) 040614-D-9880W-092 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Mike Mount

The Obama administration‘s plan to solidify the number of U.S. troops that will be left in Afghanistan after the NATO-led operations end in 2014 should come into greater focus this week as Afghan President Hamid Karzai visits Washington.

With conversations scheduled at the State Department on Wednesday, the Pentagon on Thursday and the White House on Friday, Karzai should get a better sense of how the United States plans to maintain the relationship with his nation in the future.  FULL  ARTICLE

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Mitch McConnell’s position on a shutdown: it WILL happen without cuts to the safety net

Under the Mountain Bunker

McConnell’s totally fair and completely rational negotiation strategy so far:

Josh Marshall: “Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated his position this morning: Government will shutdown unless President makes dramatic cuts to Medicare and Social Security. In other words, big cuts to key social insurance programs are not only the price of avoiding what would likely be a catastrophic government shutdown (a real one, not like what we had back in the 90s). But Democrats must also shield Republicans from the political consequences of cutting these programs by cutting them on the Republicans behalf.”

And that’s what Democrats have to negotiate with. Wouldn’t it be great if any Republican in the House or the Senate was willing to state exactly what they want to cut in the SS or Medicare programs? That will never happen though — too many elderly, white Social Security recipients / Fox “news” viewers vote Republican.

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Republicans calling for a government shutdown are getting louder

Under the Mountain Bunker

The GOP has apparently decided to just ignore the 2012 election completely — and the will of the majority who voted.

Adding to the recent crazy pronouncements from Lindsey Graham and Pat Toomey are the following additions from more members of the brain-trust known as the Republican Party:

Sen. Cornyn (R-TX): ‘It May Be Necessary To Partially Shut Down The Government’: “In an op-ed published Thursday in the Houston Chronicle, Sen. John Cornyn suggested that a partial shutdown of the federal government may be necessary in the coming months “in order to secure the long-term fiscal well being of our country, rather than plod along the path of Greece, Italy and Spain.”

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ): ‘It’s About Time’ We Had Another Government Shut Down:  “Appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation [yesterday] morning, Rep. Matt Salmon  enthusiastically called for a government shut down: SALMON: I was here during…

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