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Week In The News: Etch-a-Sketch, Trayvon Martin, French Terrorist

Mitt Romney’s Etch-a-Sketch. Energy issues front and center. Trayvon Martin. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum holds an Etch A Sketch as he speaks to USAA employees during a campaign stop, Thursday, March 22, 2012, in San Antonio. (AP)

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum holds an Etch A Sketch as he speaks to USAA employees during a campaign stop, Thursday, March 22, 2012, in San Antonio. (AP)

Young, dead Trayvon Martin got his day in the court of public opinion this week.  Anger.  Anguish.  The eyes of the world on the story of the teen who died and on the scales of justice.  On the primary trail, Mitt Romney falls on an Etch-a-Sketch this week, and the assertion that everything he says is rewritable for the fall campaign.

Energy issues go big.  Newt says drill.  The President says that won’t do it.  Says use brain power.  We’ve got more crazy hot weather, a killer in France, and charges coming down on Staff Sergeant Robert Bales.

This hour, On Point:  our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Clarence Page, Pulitzer-Prize-winning nationally syndicated columnist and editorial board member at the Chicago Tribune.

Susan Davis, chief congressional correspondent for USA Today.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Facing mounting protests over the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a neighborhood watch volunteer, the Sanford City Commission voted on Wednesday that they had no confidence in the city’s police chief.”

France 24 “Mohamed Merah, the 23-year-old man who confessed to killing three French soldiers and four people at a Jewish school, died from a gunshot wound to the head Thursday after police stormed his home in Toulouse following a 32-hour stand-off. ”

Christian Science Monitor “A Romney aide said that for the fall campaign, the candidate could hit the reset button, making the comparison to how the toy works. But the Romney Etch A Sketch comment may not be remembered for long. ”

 

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  • Ed

    The outrage and strong reaction against the killing of this innocent young man shows that people know that the killing of the innocent is seriously wrong. Yet somewhere near us ten or hundreds of innocent human beings are killed in abortion. I wish we could turn the power of our correct outrage to protect the unborn as well.

    • Yar

      Ed, I love your passion, however I believe your tactics are counter productive.  In this morning’s news I heard a piece on a ‘atheist lobby day’, a ‘Woodstock’ type event to show the power of people who embrace atheism.  My first reaction was to muse at the concept of evangelical atheism. My second thought was of you and your evangelism around abortion.  Being a parent is a much greater responsibility than simply providing a womb for a fetus.  I believe all children should grow in loving homes, with parents who have meaningful work that pays a living wage which covers healthcare and allows some saving for retirement.  Have you ever thought about how addressing these issues will reduce the number of abortions, or are you like the atheist in sharing what you don’t believe in?  

      • JustSayin

         Don’t worry about secular blow back Yar, religions are winning by a huge margin. The secular buildings that are taxed for non religious activities will be used to teach religion in Tenn, and christian lore is being put into the courtrooms:Tenn. Senate OKs Bill To Allow Anti-Evolution Talk In Classrooms
        http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/03/22/tenn-senate-oks-bill-to-allow-anti-evolution-talk-in-classrooms/

        It makes Americans wonder what tax free churches are for? Of course once religion is conflated with science, then the push will be to have all that nonsense science removed from the curriculum.

        Won’t it be a wonderful theocracy… after the purge of the non believers.

        • Isaac, in Groton CT

          Have I told you lately that I like you?

          • JustSayin

             Was unaware. Its been fun this morning. I haven’t been flagged yet. Usually I only get one comment, before I get banned. So I usually just put one up and leave.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            At first, I took your comment completely seriously; I thought you were “Ed.” Then when I saw your handle, I realized your post for what it was: loving mockery.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            You’re serious?  You get flagged, while Moda rants about ‘banned’ bulbs, and other nonsense, using bad grammar, spelling, and punctuation?

        • Yar

          More evangelism about unbelief. Why religious people, who criticize schools for their poor performance teaching the basics would want the same institutions to teach religion is beyond me.  As for tax deductions, I am for treating all businesses the same.  
          I live in a state that has both Big Bone Lick and the Creation Museum, guess which has dinosaurs and people in the same diorama. 
          I already live in a theocracy, it won’t solve the problem of exploitation.  People simply use religion to justify their own exploitative methods.  How do you justify not paying a living wage, or not providing for healthcare on religious grounds?

          • Gregg

            “How do you justify not paying a living wage, or not providing for healthcare on religious grounds?”

            How do you justify paying an arbitrary wage that has zero basis on merit. How do you justify Government dictating what insurance companies must provide even if it prevents the free exercise of religion? On what basis should anyone be “provided” anything?

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            I can’t help but notice that you didn’t answer the question.

          • Gregg

            Oh yes I did.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            You railing against over-paid executives that bankrupt their companies, Golden Parachute, then do in another company?

          • Ndorf66

            I agree with much of what you say, Yar.  I also like your civil and calm tone.  People tend to be much more convincing in their thoughts when they remain calm and confident in their point of view.  That being said, it sounds like you are one of those people that compares atheism to religion.  I hope that’s not the case.  It is silly when people call atheism a religion.

            For example, you stated, “More evangelism about unbelief.” in response to JustSayin. 

            “Evangelism refers to the practice of relaying information about a
            particular set of beliefs to others who do not hold those beliefs. The
            term is often used in reference to Christianity.”

            JustSayin wasn’t trying to convince you to not believe in the fantastical.  He was simply saying that we are a radically religious country.  And we are.  Most Americans are religious.  Basically, I would suggest that you refrain from calling any thought that you deem to be unfriendly to religion as evangelism about unbelief.  It is simply incorrect when it come to what evangelism actually means.

          • Yar

            I agree, and I am often misunderstood. I live in an area with a church on practically ever corner, most of them claim to be christian.  I see many ‘Christians’, who focus only on salvation, not on developing a life of service.  That is the type of ‘evangelism’ I was referring to. Much like conservatives who are pro life only until a child is born.  True evangelism is not so much through words as it is by example.  

          • Ndorf66

            I am clearly a non-believer.  I do however, respect the right of people to believe whatever they wish to believe.

             “I see many ‘Christians’, who focus only on salvation, not on developing a life of service.”

            I basically agree with this statement.  Though, my issue with many people who call themselves Christians isn’t that they simply focus on salvation, but the fact that many seem to focus on the issues that are easy for them to live by.  Many go on to conveniently ignore the bulk of the faith and simply focus on the easy stuff.  It is easy to say, for example, that homosexuality is wrong when you are not a homosexual.  It is difficult on the other hand to wait until marriage before you become intimate. 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            The ‘belief’ in NO god, cannot be a religion, as valid as one that claims homosexuality is an abomination, while promoting homosexual pedophile priests?

          • JustSayin

            I feel bad for rational people who have to live in those extreme religious environments. I saw the saddled dinosaur in the Religulous movie.

            Exploitation comes in so many flavors, doesn’t it… Religious, political, financial, etc. 

            Could your assertion of evangelism about unbelief, be mistaken? Perhaps its just the last breath of freedom being squeezed out of the pagans. Should they go quietly, or should they try to protest the overwhelming dominance of Christianity in what was once a secular republic…

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Arthur-Bryne/100002441143047 Arthur Bryne

          Religion is still ahead, but is sharply losing demographic ground. Studies such as the Pew Forum’s Religious Landscape Survey indicate with each new generational cohort, religious affiliation is fading. Data sources such as the General Social Survey indicate a logistic curve shift in the US demographics sustained over the last four decades, with the strongly religious fading (steadily about half of the Silent Generation, but scarce a quarter of Generation X), and Nothingarians rising (scarce one-in-twenty of the Silent, now nearly a quarter for GenX). Even within older generations, there’s been a slight shift toward more secularity in the last few years, though that may be more a wave of a fad than anything like this deeper demographic tide.

          The trends indicate that the Nothingarians are likely to outnumber the strongly devout circa 2025, and be a full majority circa 2045. The current legislative pushes seem more a frantic scrabble against the edge of history’s abyss than the first pebbles of a avalanche of governmental religiosity. Not that the long-term prospects are much comfort against contemporary nuisance for the secularly-minded….

    • Ndorf66

       Oh nature!!!  How many kids have you adopted Ed?  How many antiwar gatherings have you been too?  How many protests have you gone to showing your outrage of the death penalty?  I am inclined to agree with some of what Yar has to say below.  What have you done to help prevent abortions other than going around and saying that you hate the fact that women have the legal right to control their own bodies?

      Most women who have abortions are unable to care for their child.  They are typically poor and can barely support themselves, much less a baby.

    • Guest

      You now who is worth than the doctors?  God.  God naturally aborts 3/4 of all unborn babies.   Let’s put him on trial and send him to Hell.

    • Anonymous

      I’m guessing you won’t be at the Reason Rally tomorrow.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      How many killed, or young lives viciously ruined forever, by pedophile priests, and Roman Child-Molesting church?
         Catholics have a HUGE problem to correct, BEFORE dictating morals to anyone?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      How many nun novices have had church-forced abortions?
         How many priests have taken FULL responsibility for the children they have created, by pedophilia?

  • Anonymous

    Etch-a-sketch – a 2 dimensional device used to depict 2 dimensional characters. Can the character of today’s Republican party get any more shallow?

    • non-partisan

      At least they don’t have to read every word they say from a tele-prompter, like Obama has to.

      • Yar

        Why is reading from a tele-prompter to say words that make sense worse than saying stupid stuff off the cuff?  I don’t have a problem with a deliberative leader.

        • Anonymous

          Too true! Its easy to speak without a teleprompter when you’re inflaming a crowd with distortions and lies and facts don’t matter, just anger!

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            Well, Rick Santorum doesn’t speak the truth per se. He speaks the truth that’s in his heart.

          • Ndorf66

             It’s a pretty ugly heart.

      • Ndorf66

         Not to mention the fact that a prepared speech is just that…prepared.  There is little difference between memorizing a speech or reading it from the teleprompter.  Perhaps Obama has more important things to do than to memorize speeches.

        • Still Here

          Like golf and fundraising

          • Ndorf66

             Exactly why we need campaign finance reform.  Our politicians all spend way too much time fundraising…this includes Obama.  I wonder if you were so upset about the fact that at this point of their presidency Bush took way more vacation days.  Reagan did as well.  In fact the only recent president that has taken less than Obama was Clinton who hardly ever went on vacation.

          • TFRX

            “Just watch this drive.”

      • Patrik

        Most of the time those are policy/business speeches that are better prepared than memorized increasing the chances of misspeaking an important point.  When he speaks from the heart he doesn’t need a teleprompter, he’s actually human.

      • TFRX

        The good folks at TelePrompter want you to capitalize their name properly, in order to protect their trademark.

        And they remind you that it’s a non-partisan device, used extensively by Ronald (Early Onset Alzheimer’s) Reagan and George W. (Dry Drunk) Bush.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ‘W’ couldn’t even READ a teleprompter!  He had a radio receiver in his ear, hence the broken-phrases, and gibberish way he made speaches, that so endeared him to the illiterate!

    • Yar

      I wonder why we use a boxing match to find a surgeon.  Etch-a-sketch is just the latest in gotcha-politics.  I saw a picture of Rick Santorum  looking very smug, like he just landed a punch on the jaw, as held up the Ohio art device.  Serving effectively requires a completely different skill set than obtaining the office.

      • TFRX

        Etch-a-sketch is just the latest in gotcha-politics.

        “Gotcha”? Romney’s own spokesman/PR guy said this. We’re in the territory of self-inflicted wounding here.

        • Yar

          I was saying Rick was one who was playing gotcha, On Point switched the picture on the top of this page to the one I was talking about.

          • TFRX

            I didn’t see the original picture, thanx.

            What passes for “gotcha” is getting redefinied for the GOP all the time. I just hope some meanie doesn’t ask any of them what newspapers they read this go-around.

  • AC

    I can understand the Martin’s anger at the only ‘temporary’ step down; at the very least, Zimmerman should have been taken into custody to process physical evidence – wasn’t there blood on him? I am so confused with that decision. Or did I miss that he left directly from the scene? I don’t think this story is over…

  • Isaac, in Groton CT

    Re: Etch-a-Sketch

    From Stock Car Racing to the ‘Sketch, the complete political and social ineptitude on the part of Mitt Romney and his campaign actually gives me hope. In the event that he wins the nomination, and somehow wins the election, I will be elated: we will finally have our first President on the autism spectrum.

  • Brett

    What is up with those wacky GoP candidates?!? Now they’re all using Etch-a-Sketches™ to explain how they will run their campaigns?!?! What’s next? Will they regale us with Yo-Yo™ tricks to introduce their various economic policies? I can see it now, [Newt] “If we can increase oil production and build up our oil supplies, we’ll keep gas prices down…let me illustrate my point with a little trick I like to call ‘rock the cradle’…”

    • Ray in VT

      I think that it’s pretty funny as a sight gag, and I heard on Marketplace last night that the parent company’s stock is up 140% this week.

      • Gregg

        They are new advertisers on Rush.

        • Brett

          That makes sense, when you think about it…most listeners of Limbaugh’s show would find toys such as Etch-a-Sketch™ to be all shiny and entertaining. 

          • JustSayin

             It a useless toy for conservatives. They can only turn the knob to the right.

          • Gregg

            If that were true, the left would all be NASCAR fans.

          • Ray in VT

            There’s some good ones on here today.  Glad to have some Friday laughs.

          • Brett

            Just Sayin’s joke was funnier. 

          • JustSayin

             Only if they drive hybrids and keep it under 50MPH.

          • Gregg

            They still only turn left.

          • Ray in VT

            Except on the road courses.

          • Joshua Hendrickson

            Okay, that was kinda funny.  Maybe the Nascar tracks ought to be driven clockwise instead of widdershins.

          • Gregg

             My joke was funnier.

  • Brett

    I just heard that sales of Etch-a-Sketches™ are up 15%! …Stocks for the Ohio Art Co. have doubled in the last two days! I swear, you just can’t keep those GoP’ers from being natural born job creatorers! Nary a candidate has won the nomination yet and they’re all already turning the economy around, one toy company at a time!!!!  

    • Ray in VT

      Now what can they do for the slinky?

      • Brett

        Santorum: “I see Slinky factories cropping up in mill towns all over this great country, like the small town where I grew up and where my father worked…”

        • JustSayin

           Santorum strengthens my belief that we evolved from lower forms of life.

  • Isaac, in Groton CT

    Re: Trayvon Martin

     Setting aside the problems that might be present in Mr. Zimmerman himself, the tragedy in Florida is a confluence of public policy problems. First, it’s a State with a “Stand Your Ground” law, where the fear of significant bodily harm or death eliminates the legal requirement to attempt retreat before killing a person. I don’t know for sure if it’s legally a subjective or objective fear that we’re looking for, but the real world implications of one or the other are the same: Zimmerman thought it was okay to go on his self-appointed neighborhood watch with a gun, and he thought it was okay to chase down Martin and shoot him.

     Second, the event gives me pause to wonder about neighborhood watch programs themselves. At a time when police budgets are slashed nationwide, there might be an incentive to place greater reliance upon citizens to police their neighborhoods themselves. But even with this kind of outsourcing, there’d have to be police oversight, and there clearly was inadequate oversight here. Though Zimmerman was not a member of a formal neighborhood watch program, his interactions with the police were significant and frequent enough (anybody have the tally of how many times he’d phoned 9-1-1 handy?) that they should have paid more attention to him.

    When we shift, without proper oversight, the burden of policework onto private citizens, we place onto the shoulders of the public the requirement that they place themselves into inherently scary situations. That’s the whole point of policework. If it weren’t scary, it wouldn’t need to be done. When you combine the shifting of frightening situations with a legal assurance that, “You won’t be prosecuted if you kill someone because you’re scared of them,” you’re brewing a recipe for disaster. I fear that, unless something changes, Martin was only the first batch.

    • Anonymous

      For hundreds of years, deadly force laws have required the defender to retreat first. The blood of Trayvon Martin is not just on the hands of Mr. Zimmerman, it’s on the hands of the legislators who crafted this law and ALL of those who backed it.

      I am getting sick of feeling doomed to repeat the past because people don’t want to learn from history; they just want easy answers and quick results and someone else is always to blame. Snap out of it America.

      Read the fine print before voting based upon the marketing material.

    • JustSayin

      Well said. But hey, the police were there as referees, and the courts are the line judges. As far as they see the law, it was a legal murder.

      One wonders how the police themselves will view a good shoot, when a citizen feels threatened by the police, and stands his ground.

    • Gregg

      I don’t see how the “Stand Your Ground” law was applicable here. But thank you for not implying we have a racist America where black teenagers are targets.

      • Isaac, in Groton CT

        Not excluding that as a possibility, but the stand your ground law is why Zimmerman hasn’t been brought up on charges yet, at least ostensibly.

        • Gregg

           I disagree.

          • Anonymous

            The Stanford police said this was the reason for not arresting him. I guess you think they are wrong.
             

          • Gregg

            The Sanford police obviously acted stupidly.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            Which doesn’t make you right. The Stand Your Ground law is central to the issue.

          • Gregg
          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            So because you think the self-defense claim is weak means that it’s not what’s driving the fact that he hasn’t been charged with anything?

          • Gregg

            that’s not what I said.I said the Stand yourgroundlaw doesnot apply. Hewasn’tonhis property.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            The Stand Your Ground law has nothing to do with whether one is on their property. You’re thinking of the “Castle Doctrine.”

          • Terry Tree Tree

            THAT’S the point!  On MANY levels!

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            Well, you’re wrong. Jefe68 just told you why. If you want to discuss the fantasy world where the Stand Your Ground law wasn’t a central part of this case, you can do that somewhere else. In the meantime, when you’re talking to me, please keep your arguments rooted in reality.

          • Gregg

            You were the one who said “Ostensibly”, were you not? Ostensible reality, gotcha.

            I don’t see how the law applies. That you and Jefe proclaim the law applies does not connect the dots for me enough to counter the logic I’ve read saying it doesn’t apply. I may be wrong but there are a whole lot of people smarter than me saying the same thing… smarty pants.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            What? Do you know what the word “ostensible” means?

            Whether the law applies would be something that would be determined in court. You won’t get to see whether the law applies until he’s actually arrested, and it’s been asserted that HE’S NOT BEING ARRESTED BECAUSE THE LAW EXISTS.

            Facts:
            Zimmerman admits to killing Martin.
            Zimmerman claims he killed Martin in self-defense.
            Without the law, the claim would be weak because he made no attempt to flee.
            With the law, he does not need to flee if he reasonably believes that he is danger of significant bodily harm or death.
            The Police have not pressed any charges against Zimmerman.

            How many more dots do you need me to connect? I can give you the legal analysis to say that his defense would fail at trial, but that doesn’t change the facts before you. He’s admitted to killing someone, he’s claimed self-defense under the Stand Your Ground law, and police have not subsequently filed charges.

            This isn’t difficult.

          • Gregg

            Yea, I know what “ostensible” means. It means you have no facts just speculation from your high horse.

            It’s just fodder for the sheep. The law doesn’t apply.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            That’s not what it means. That’s not even what it implied in the context of what I wrote. Please, just give up.

            I am in total agreement that the law probably shouldn’t protect Zimmerman were he to face charges. But he’s not facing charges because the police aren’t bringing them. And that’s what you’re pretending is irrelevant, when it’s all that anyone’s ever been arguing about.

    • Anonymous

      The Stand Your Ground Law creates the defense ahead of the crime.  Zimmerman was relying on the fact that if he felt threatened by Martin, he could claim self defense, that’s why the thought he could pursue Martin.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      An armed person following another person, confronting second person, then ‘CLAIMING’ ‘Stand Your Ground’ for protection?   LOTS wrong with this scenario!

  • RolloMartins

    This may not be Week in the News material, but I’d like to ask the question, What’s up with the Hate the Volt campaign on FOX? Here we have an American-made, award-winning car (European Car of the Year), that is proven safe and energy efficient, and it’s being trashed like its a Chevy Pinto. I can understand the GOP trash talk (anything POTUS likes it hates) but the media isn’t speaking the truth. No Volt has ever been involved in any fire. It’s probably the safest thing on the road. 

    • JustSayin

       Talking points are dictated by Rupert’s investment portfolio. Same with the WSJ.

      • Hidan

        no  focus groups?

    • Brandstad

      Sometimes a project fails even though the technology it pioneers is destined to conquer the world. Take Babbage’s steam-era computer, Pioneer Electronics’ LaserDisc home video system, or Apple’s Newton—technically brilliant, yet business failures all.
      Better yet, take General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt, a car known as a plug-in hybrid because it will get most of its power from the wall socket in a garage. The Volt is bold, cool, and technically feasible. It appeals to early adopters, and it’s catnip for the automotive fan mags. To cap it off, a little creative accounting gives it the sheen of sky-high mileage, the better to offset GM’s gas-guzzlers and thus meet future fuel efficiency targets.
      GM, stung by the failure of its EV1 all-electric car of yesteryear, has put its considerable corporate muscle into the Volt, building the car into a game-changing breakthrough. But to succeed on those terms, it’ll have to become a mass-market car—anything less wouldn’t make enough of a difference to a company that, even in its postbankrupt state, still remains the second-biggest automaker in the world. And at a projected price of US $40 000, cosmic success just isn’t going to happen.
      ”The first year’s volume, by GM’s own calculations, is 10 000 units, and you can’t save a company with that. That’s chicken feed. You’d need a vehicle that sells 400 000 units,” says John Wolkonowicz, an auto industry analyst at IHS Global Insight, in Lexington, Mass. 

      More interesting commentary on why the Volt was destined to fail even when the article was written in 2010.

    • Gregg

      Nobody’s buying them and they’ve all been recalled. It’s a novelty car for the rich. The average income of Volt buyers is $170,000/year. At this point when you ad it all up, each Volt cost the taxpayers $250,000. It’s a travesty. It has nothing to do with Fox.

      • Brett

        …Maybe when YOU add it all up each Volt costs taxpayers $250,000

        • Gregg

          That’s what the experts say.

          http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/16192

          Why should taxpayers have to pay a dime?

          • Brett

            “Why should taxpayers have to pay a dime?”

            Fair enough…let’s end subsidies to oil companies.

          • Patrik

            Ziiing!

          • Gregg

            Oil is the engine that powers the world’s economy. The Volt is not. Anywho, I could be convinced to end oil subsidies but I don’t see what that has to do with throwing money down the Volt’s rat hole.

            Why should taxpayers pay a dime for my car?

          • Brett

            So, no company should receive any incentive from the government to promote innovation, ever? 

          • Gregg

            You are better than Evel Knieval at making leaps. Do you think the Volt is a success story? Do you really believe it is innovative to the tune of $250K each?

          • Brett

            Innovation should only be pursued if it yields immediate results? Abandoned if it doesn’t?

          • Gregg

             Leapy leapy.

          • Anonymous

            They shouldn’t, but don’t oil subsides help pay for the operating costs of a car, which in turn influences a person decision of what car to buy?

          • Gregg

            Coal is required to charge the batteries but I wouldn’t say subsidizing Coal is the same as subsidizing the Volt.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            WHY NOT?

          • TFRX

            Why don’t you and I team up and get back all the thousands of our tax $ that helped white collar professionals buy Hummers to drive from their subdivisions to their office-parks?

          • Gregg

            Because, as I understand it, it was a write off not a subsidy. No money was exchanged. If I’m wrong then I’m with you.

  • Hidan

    Don’t forget the report that came out that the NYPD spied on Muslims sorely cause there Muslims nor how the NYPD spied on Muslims outside of NY and how the NYPD was showing an propaganda video called “The Third Jihad” in which Sheldon Adelson helped produce.  Or the same NYPD that discriminated against minorities (80%) with it’s stop and search. This same NYPD top officials are being given trips to Israel to training there using people in the west bank as lab rats. http://www.salon.com/2012/02/22/nypd_spying_program_aimed_at_muslims/http://mondoweiss.net/2011/10/connect-the-dots-in-02-nypd-began-training-in-israel-9-years-later-spying-against-nyc-muslims-exposed.htmlhttp://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/04/report-israeli-model-underlies-militarization-of-u-s-police/

  • Hidan

    The extreme militarization of American police forces has been brought to public attention by the tactics employed against Occupy protesters, which often appear more appropriate to counter-terrorism operations than to the control of non-violent protest. According to investigative journalist Max Blumenthal, however, the proper term for this ruthless suppression of dissent should be “Israelification.”

    In an article which begins with examples of American police training alongside Israeli security forces, Blumenthal writes, “Having been schooled in Israeli tactics perfected during a 63 year experience of controlling, dispossessing, and occupying an indigenous population, local police forces have adapted them to monitor Muslim and immigrant neighborhoods in US cities. Meanwhile, former Israeli military officers have been hired to spearhead security operations at American airports and suburban shopping malls, leading to a wave of disturbing incidents of racial profiling, intimidation, and FBI interrogations of innocent, unsuspecting people. The New York Police Department’s disclosure that it deployed ‘counter-terror’ measures against Occupy protesters encamped in downtown Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park is just the latest example of the so-called War on Terror creeping into every day life. Revelations like these have raised serious questions about the extent to which Israeli-inspired tactics are being used to suppress the Occupy movement.”

    http://exiledonline.com/max-blumenthal-how-israeli-occupation-forces-bahraini-monarchy-guards-trained-u-s-police-for-coordinated-crackdown-on-occupy-protests/

     http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/04/report-israeli-model-underlies-militarization-of-u-s-police/

  • Patrik

    News of the week.  Trayvon Martins death and the ridiculously sweeping ‘stand your ground’ law, along with far too loose gun laws, which enabled Mr. George ” Iamthelaw ” Zimmerman to shoot and kill an unarmed teen and still walk around with his gun.

    • Still Here

      If you have to rely on Al Sharpton to give your issue validity, your credibility is shot.  I see a newscycle rotation coming.

      • Patrik

        No my friend, Mr. Zimmerman and the state of Florida have already done that.  Rev. Sharpton is just another voice in millions calling it out.

      • TFRX

        Saying “Al Sharpton (gives) your issue validity” says more about your media habits than it does about the issue.

  • Hidan

    We see why the NYPD is racial profiling muslims, top this with the showing of the Third Jihad, it’s spying on all muslims, it’s discrimination against blacks and we have civil rights violations all over the place

    ADL(who praised Rupert murdoch the guy who newspaper had a dectetive deleted messages of a little girls cell phone giving false hope she was alive and runs an xenophobic network http://www.adl.org/PresRele/Mise_00/5873_00.htm) Did this.

    The Anti-Defamation League has also provided Israeli-run training senssions to over 700 police officers through its course on Extremist and Terroist Threats and claims to have provided a background in Israeli perspectives to another 45,000 through its Law Enforcement and Society program, which is required training for all new FBI agents.

    The Israeli influence has been particularly strong in New York City where, Blumenthal writes, “under the leadership of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, ties between the NYPD and Israel have deepened by the day. Kelly embarked on his first trip to Israel in early 2009 to demonstrate his support for Israel’s ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip. … Kelly returned to Israel the following year to speak at the Herziliya Conference, an annual gathering of neoconservative security and government officials who obsess over supposed ‘demographic threats.’ … Back in New York, the NYPD set up a secret ‘Demographics Unit’ designed to spy on and monitor Muslim communities around the city.”

    Not only dissidents but even ordinary criminals may be treated as
    terrorists under the Israel model, which can also include the routine
    use of torture.

  • Gregg

    I think Uncle Ted has it right regarding guns.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nurM0mY9N10&feature=related

    • Brett

      You can always look to Mr. Nugent to help inform your opinions, I suppose…Gregg, you’ve made more sense today than you ever have! 

      • Hidan

         Gregg can finally get the Golden Turkey

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Golden_Turkey_Awards

      • Gregg

        I find no flaws in his logic and am confirmed in my observation by the lack of a rebuttal to what he said.

        • Brett

          Sure, we’d all like to see innocent victims come back to life and assailants harmed in the manner that they’ve harmed others, sure, sure, but what he’s talking about really is vigilantism…take the law into your own hands because that is real justice. Hey, if you want to follow some redneck nutcase [and Ted certainly is one redneck nutcase] that’s your prerogative. 

          • Gregg

            I’m not following anyone. You always get so damn personal, that’s fine. And no, he’s talking about self-defense and it is plain. The “vigilantism” thing is another leap.

            Guns prevent crime. Crime rates are dramatically lower everywhere there are concealed carry laws a higher where gun control is stricter.

          • Brett

            Crime is down everywhere, including “where gun control is stricter.”

          • Gregg

            Since the concealed carry laws were passed Florida’s total violent crime
            rate has dropped 32% and its homicide rate has dropped 58%. Texas’ violent crime rate has dropped 20% and homicide rate has
            dropped 31%. Compare that to DC where gun control is much stricter. I’m not sure what point your are attempting to make.

            http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp

          • Brett

            Wikipedia: Starting in 2005, New York City achieved the lowest crime rate among the ten largest cities in the United States.[11] Since 1991, the city has seen a continuous fifteen-year trend of decreasing crime. Neighborhoods that were once considered dangerous are now much safer. Violent crime in the city has dropped by three quarters in the twelve years ending in 2005 with the murder rate at its lowest then level since 1963 with 539 murders that year, for a murder rate of 6.58 per 100,000 people, compared to 2,245 murders in 1990. In 2009, the low would be displaced. Among the 182 U.S. cities with populations of more than 100,000, New York City ranked 136th in overall crime.[12]According to Uniform Crime Report statistics compiled by the FBI, there were 1,330.2 violent crimes per 100,000 people reported in the District of Columbia in 2010. There were also 4,778.9 property crimes per 100,000 reported during the same period.[8] Overall, violent crime in the District of Columbia has decreased 50% since 1995 and property crime has decreased 49.8% during the same period.

          • Brett

            Ted’s got Gregg in a ‘stranglehold’! 

          • Gregg

             http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHDA5nHlDrQ

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            Chicken vs. Egg. Why might there be a relation between high crime and strict gun control?

            What seems more likely:
            a) Strict gun control fosters crime.
            b) Strict gun control is established in response to crime.

          • Anonymous

            Greggg pulls more stuff from his butt.

            Statistics are, at best, inconclusive on the effect of concealed-carry laws on crime.

            http://www.uwplatt.edu/~wiegmake/Intro_Files/CJ%20-%20paper%20example.pdf

            “In conclusion, there is no significant change on crime rates when concealed carry weapon
            laws are passed.”

    • Ray in VT

      I don’t have the couple of minutes this morning to watch it.  Care to briefly summarize?

      • Gregg

        In a nutshell he would rather see the innocent murder victim put six bullets in the chest of the recidivist scumbag attacker so the the victim lives and the criminal dies. Instead, it’s the other way around.

        • Ray in VT

           I can agree with that sentiment, although I generally think that the NRA is off of it’s rocker.  I say that as a gun owner.  I still hold the view that my home is my castle and that anyone breaking in is fair game.

          • kelty

            But not someone walking though your neighborhood I would think?

          • Ray in VT

            Certainly not.  The most frequent trespassers on my property are deer and turkeys.

          • Gregg

            That’s cool, me too. A while back we had a whole parliament of turkeys. There were 2 hens and at least a dozen chicks. I’m sure there was a Tom somewhere. It’s funny, they pay me no mind whatsoever when I putter up on the back 40 with my tractor. I often had to stop to let them pass. But the minute I get off they run. We have a lot of deer too, I love venison but I’m not much of a hunter. It’s just too dramatic for my sensitive self. I have friends who keep my freezer full but the deer on my land get a pass.

          • Ray in VT

            We used to have a lot of turkeys, but not in the last couple of years.  I love to see the wildlife, and so do my kids.  I’ve never actually had venison, but I’m open to it.  I prefer not to hunt.  It just doesn’t appeal to me.  I did have to load up one of my rifles a few years ago when a bear invaded my porch to dig through my trash.  It made a bit of a mess, but it wandered off without incident.

          • Gregg

            Unfortunately the coyotes have hurt the turkey population here as well. 

  • Hidan

    Can Romney buy enough people off to get the nomination? If so he’s probably betting the base will get behind him and hold there noise and vote because they hate obama more than him.

    But this guy took it to a new level of flip flopping. Urban dictionary should have when someone changes there deeply held views within 3 hours after realizing it’s not political expedient should be called-

    “Pulling a Romney”  

    • Anonymous

      Romney pick a Palin type running mate who can trash the President to get the base fired up.  Still hearing those Sarah chants after McCain’s concession.

      • Gregg

        Allen West would do it for me.

        • Anonymous

          No right-wing nutcase is too crazy for Greggg.

          JOSEPH GOEBBELS WOULD “BE VERY PROUD” OF DEMOCRATS: In December, West told reporters, “If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine.” The link to Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda from 1933 to 1945, drew criticism from several members of Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, and others.

          “A THREAT TO THE GENE POOL”: In a July 2011 post on the website Red Country, West wrote, “I must confess, when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool.”

           “WE ARE NOT GOING TO HAVE OUR MEN BECOME SUBSERVIENT”: In April 2011, West told a conservative women’s conference that liberal women “have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness — to let them know that we are not going to have our men become subservient. That’s what we need you to do. Because if you don’t, then the debt will continue to grow…deficits will continue to grow.”

  • Still Here

    Despite the photo-op caravan of airplanes, helicopters and SUVs, Obama’s energy policy seems to be more about increasing our dependency on Middle East oil than supporting domestic production capabilities or friendly neighbor options.  Blocking Keystone, increasing food prices with corn-based ethanol and fast-tracking loans to campaign contributors solar companies appears to be his energy policy.

  • Brandstad

    Tom,

    Can you talk about Obama’s All of the above energy policy?  Something strange about the energy policy seems to be in the fine print “we support everything but oil, and natural gas”  This can be seen in the Energy Secretary’s testimony this week along with his prior statements to the effect that the US should have $8-10/gal gas prices.

    Obama has spent millions to trillions of dollars on failed green energy projects while reducing the number of permits and increasing the time required to get a drilling permit for oil and gas exploration on federal lands.  It amazes me that he is also taking credit for the oil boom on private land while blocking the Keystone pipeline which would happen to make the US even more dependent on domestic North American Oil .

    • Gregg

      The arrogance is astounding. The press’ compliance is journalistic malpractice. That people buy into and repeat the propaganda is more than disappointing.

    • nj_v2

      How many times will the right wingdingers keep repeating this nonsense? Forever apparently.

      There’s no way that developing more fossil fuels solves anything. We’re nearing the end of the petroleum era. Get used to it. $10/gallon gas will look like a bargain in a decade or so.

      • Gregg

        We have more oil than we know what to do with.

        • Adks12020

          correction….oil cmpanies have more oil than they know what to do with…that’s why they are exporting it to other countries…that helps keep prices high in their largest market…the U.S….the government can open up all the drilling it wants…it can’t force the oil companies to sell it here.  wake up.

          • Gregg

            If we drilled all we could the oil companies could not stop the affect on the world market value.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            Sure, but other countries could.

          • Anonymous

            It’s a special place that Greggg lives in where he can fabricate whatever “facts” he wants to support his warped view of the world.

          • denis

            like it is said so often, when you want to cloud the facts blame the other guy.  Where do you get your info that Gregg is wrong on this?

          • Anonymous

            That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. (Hitchens)

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Drillers ‘gelled’ producing wells here, to reap scammed stock profits!  Why can’t they be doing that elsewhere?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            HIGH Producing wells!

        • Anonymous

          Another dispatch from the Bureau of Greggg’s Butt. Reality here on Planet Earth is pretty interesting. Come and join us sometime.

          http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/06/oil-production-and-consumption

          Oil production fails to keep up with demand
          CRUDE-OIL prices shot up on June 8th—Brent crude to a one-month high of $118.59 per barrel—after OPEC representatives meeting in Vienna were unable to reach an agreement on production quotas. Many had expected an increase in quotas as members with spare production capacity, led by Saudi Arabia, pushed to avoid a price spike that may dampen long-term demand. As figures released in BP’s “Statistical Review of World Energy” show, global oil production has struggled to keep up with increased demand recently, particularly from Asia. In China alone consumption has risen by over 4m barrels per day in the past decade, accounting for two-fifths of the global rise. In 2010 consumption exceeded production by over 5m barrels per day for the first year ever, as world oil stocks were run down.

    • Adks12020

      There has been more drilling and oil production during the Obama adminsitration than during the GW Bush years….a lot more.  All Obama is saying is we can increase production all we want but it will run out eventually.  It makes more sense to figure out how to produce new types of energy before the oil and natural gas run out.

      The only thing the Keystone Pipeline will do for the U.S. is make the refineries money.  The ONLY reason the Canadian company wants to route the pipeline through the U.S. is that their government denied the permits to route it through British Columbia to the refineries there. The oil, and the pipeline, would still be owned by the Canadian company.  They can do whatever they want with it. There is no guarantee we would get any of it in the U.S.  Most oil from the Gulf of Mexico is exported, not used in the U.S.  It’s used to make the oil companies money.  Oil companies like higher prices.

      As far as gas prices go…U.S. oil production will not do anything to impact oil prices.  The northeast U.S. still imports oil from the Middle East and the we are exporting oil from our country.  Talk to the oil companies that are choosing that route…or maybe look at the turmoil in the Middle East…the Obama administration has very little control over the price of oil.  That’s the good old “free market” that conservatives love so much.

      • Brandstad

        We will run out of oil in 100-200 years!  

        There is no reason to ruin our economy now by promoting more expensive energy sources when we can just use alternative energy sources in 15-30 years when the technology is advanced to a state that it is economically feasible.

  • Brandstad

    Obama’s Secret War-making for the U.N.

    You may not have heard of PSD-10 because it has received no significant
    coverage from the major media. Yet, President Obama issued “Presidential Study
    Directive 10” last August 4, 2011, and posted
    it on the White House website. It amounts to a new and potentially
    far-reaching exercise of American military power cloaked in humanitarian
    language and conducted under the auspices of the United Nations and the
    International Criminal Court.

    Under this new “Obama doctrine,” U.S. troops can be deployed to arrest or
    even terminate individuals wanted by the International Criminal Court, which is
    based on a treaty that has not been ratified by the U.S. Senate and isn’t even
    up for Senate consideration.

    This “Presidential Study Directive on Mass Atrocities,” another name for
    PSD-10, declares that “Preventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core
    national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United
    States.” This is at sharp variance with the traditional role of the U.S.
    military—self-defense and protection of the homeland. Toward this end, an
    “Interagency Atrocities Prevention Board” is being formed to develop and
    implement this new Obama doctrine. However, it is apparent that the doctrine is
    already going forward.

    Members of the public haven’t heard of PSD-10, but they may have heard of a
    decision
    Obama made on October 14, 2011, when he informed Congress that he had authorized
    “a small number of combat equipped U.S. forces to deploy to central Africa to
    provide assistance to regional forces that are working toward the removal of
    Joseph Kony from the battlefield.”

    • Ray in VT

      I haven’t heard about this issue by name, although I was familiar with the deployment of special forces to Africa in an attempt to train opponents of the Lord’s Resistance Army, which is a particularly horrible group.

      You said that this policy “is at sharp variance with the traditional role of the U.S. military—self-defense and protection of the homeland”, but the military has often been used for other purposes.  In the late 19th and early to mid 20th century we often deployed military forces to either support or topple governments, especially here in the Western hemisphere, that we either supported or opposed.

      I would be opposed to the U.S. military being used to eliminate or assassinate groups or individuals who do not factor into our national security interests, but I would be hardpressed to argue against providing assistance to those opposing horrible groups like Kony’s LRA.

    • Isaac, in Groton CT

      Well, that doesn’t sound totally made up at all.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Read U.S.M.C. General Smedley Butler’s book ‘War is a Racket’, to see how the U.S. Millitary has been used to kill for Corporations, and other ‘illegal’ activities?

  • Tina

    Santorum is scary —  really scary.  And, his shtick about sticking with what you say:  altho it is aimed at Romney, is tone-deaf to the actual AGILITY that one must have to do the work of President of the United States.   His insistence on his religious views court a deep, scary revival of fascism, even if he doesn’t get elected!  Scary!

    • Gregg

      Santorum doesn’t scare me at all but Obama makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and cry.

      • Fredlinskip

         Oh, Waaah!!

  • Anonymous

    Santorum probably thinks the item he is holding in the photo is an iPad.

  • Still Here

    The Obama budget plan calls for spending to ratchet up to above peak stimulus-era levels and into World War II territory and public debt would top 100% of GDP for the first time since World War II within thirty
    years. Taxes would head north to their 1990s post-war highs at above 20% of GDP, amounting to roughly $2 trillion over the next
    decade alone.  The era of big government is only getting bigger.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    iOnePoint:
     
    A sad day for Boston and Sanford, Florida. 2 different incidents 2 worlds apart but have one thing in common.
     
    Victims of unfair justice in America.
     

  • ray

    do you think the death of this young man will have a impact on the campaigne or race will not be an issue??

  • Michiganjf

    Romney for “Whatever…” 2012!!

    Right Republicans?!!!

    Sincerely, Etch-A-Sketch

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately, it looks like due to gross incompetence by the police, it will be impossible to tell whether or not Zimmerman was really acting in self-defense.  Does the police know how much distance was between Zimmerman and Martin when Martin was shot?  How were they positioned at the time?  What really happened between Zimmerman’s 911 call and the shooting?  Why did Zimmerman say he got out of the car to check street signs in an area he should know like the back of his hand?  There are lots of basic questions that have gone unanswered, and it’s bizarre it seems like the police haven’t bothered to ask those questions.

    • Brandstad

      The Sanford Neighborhood Watch volunteer who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, did not instigate the encounter but has received death threats and moved out of his home, his father told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday.

      George Zimmerman, 28, has not been arrested, something that has put him and the Sanford Police Department at the center of a firestorm. Critics say Trayvon, who was visiting family from his home in Miami, was a victim of racial profiling.

      Zimmerman’s father, 64-year-old Robert Zimmerman ofLake Mary, delivered a one-page letter to the Sentinel on Thursday, saying that the depiction of his son in the media has been cruel and misleading.

      George Zimmerman is Hispanic and grew up in a multiracial family, the statement says.

      “He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever …,” the letter says. “The media portrayal of George as a racist could not be further from the truth.”

      The letter does not provide details about what happened Feb. 26 on a walkway in the gated community where George Zimmerman lives and where Trayvon was visiting. But it does challenge one basic assumption of the family’s lawyers: that Zimmerman’s intent when he got out of his sport utility vehicle was to confront Trayvon after calling police to report a suspicious person.

      “At no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin. When the true details of the event became public, and I hope that will be soon,” the letter said, “everyone should be outraged by the treatment of George Zimmerman in the media.”

  • Anonymous

    These Friday OnPoint “roundtables” tend to be less a look “behind” the headlines and more of a cursory regurgitation of stuff that’s mostly been previously covered. It would be good to spend at least some part of a show on under- or uncovered stories.

    Such as…

    http://www.progressive.org/permanent_war_economy.html

    Last Friday, March 16, President Obama issued a creepy Executive Order.

    Entitled “National Defense Resources Preparedness,” it authorizes the President and cabinet officials to take over crucial aspects of the national economy not only during emergencies but also in peacetime.

    The order relies on a Korean War-era statute, the Defense Production Act of 1950, to further entwine the domestic industrial economy with the military. It talks of fostering “cooperation between the defense and commercial sectors.

    ”The stated purpose is to strengthen “the domestic industrial and technological base” so as “to ensure it is capable of responding to the national defense needs of the United States.”

    [snip]

  • Imamac

    Zimmerman carried a concealed weapon. Trayvon Martin carried a bag of skittles. Explain to me again how the stand your ground law works for the skittle-carrying victim. 

  • Chris_lamere

    From an Anderson Cooper interview“One on each side, on his knees, with his hands on his back. I immediately thought, okay, obviously if it’s the shooter, he would have ran,” Cutcher detailed. “I thought he’s holding the wound, helping the guy taking a pulse, making sure he’s okay. When she called to him three times, everything okay, what’s going on? Each time he looked back, didn’t say anything and then the third time he finally said, ‘just call the police.’”
    The sad part about this is, nobody is talking about the massive shootings which went on in Chicago this weekend. Additionally, the Media has been “Whitewashing” Zimmerman, a man who is hispanic.

  • Anonymous

    Hey we’re building another pipeline to the gulf coast refineries to export oil! Has anyone who has seen how low these refineries are ever marveled that there is not much room to accommodate rising sea levels. Where are we going to move all the pipes and refineries too in 20 years?

  • Anonymous

    The Stand Your Ground law is an awful bit of legislation, period.

    The NRA wants to nationalize this law? So much for states rights.

    Zimmerman might not be prosecuted for the killing, but he is open to prosecution in a civil case as he clearly did not follow the rules regarding neighborhood watches.

    The manual warns that watch members should “not attempt to apprehend a person committing a crime or to investigate a suspicious activity.” It should be emphasized to members of patrols, the materials state, that “they do not possess police power and they shall not carry weapons.” The consequences of not following the guidelines are severe, the manual states: “Each member is liable as an individual for civil and criminal charges should he exceed his authority.”

    • Anonymous

      The Stand Your Ground law also prevents civil suits.

      • Anonymous

        You’re right. This law is not only draconian it’s beyond the pale. How can we attempt to have a civil society with extremist writing and implementing laws of this nature. This has nothing to do with Second Amendment, nothing.

      • BHA in Vermont

         How very convenient.

    • TFRX

      Is ALEC behind this? I wouldn’t be surprised.

      • TFRX

        by which I mean, is ALEC behind trying to nationalize these laws.

  • JustSayin

    People are not just worried about race killings. It’s that it legalizes crazy paranoid individuals running through our neighborhoods gunning down everyone who they “feel” is a threat. If this law passes nationally gun sales will be up, up, up.

  • Anonymous

    Fighting corporate hegemony:

    http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/9-strategies-to-end-corporate-rule


    9 Strategies to End Corporate Rule
    Corporate power is behind the politics of climate denial, Wall Street bailouts, union busting, and media consolidation, to name just a few. And policies advocated by the 1 percent are bankrupting the middle class. But real people have power, too. Here are some of their most successful strategies.

  • Brett

    Gregg, 
    The number of murders with firearms in Florida from 2005 to 2009 has risen by 33% The FIREARMS MURDER rate in Florida has risen also by 27.5% since “stand your ground”.http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Content/getdoc/332e1b3d-264… gotta run…it’s been fun, my friend.

    • Gregg

      Your link doesn’t work. So is crime up or down, you’ve said both? I’ll happily look at your data and if you want to crunch the numbers and argue all day you will loose if you are trying to refute my claim with the available numbers.

      “Crime rates are dramatically lower everywhere there are concealed carry laws a higher where gun control is stricter.”

      It’s all beside the point. Guns are not the problem. Neither is racism or neighborhood watch patrols. It was a nutcase. I don’t understand why he hasn’t been arrested but I don’t know all the details. I have read up on “Stand Your Ground” and can see zero pertinence to this incident. However, I’m with Uncle Ted, I do not understand why I need some document to give me permission to defend myself, family and property. “Stand Your Ground” makes perfect sense to me. I don’t can’t see how Zimmerman can in any way claim he was threatened. Stand your ground does not apply.

      • Craiga

        That doesn’t mean much though Gregg, you have to compare equal socio-economic areas to get any meaningful conclusions. If your comparing area’s that traditionally have low crime rates for all historical data to traditionally metropolitan high crime rate area’s there’s nothing to learn there. Just more narrow cherry picking and ignoring the big picture. Brett’s data sounds more useful since it compares the same area same population of people under different laws. Still complex and details to sort out but much more useful.

        • Gregg

          I agree with your premise but I think it’s pretty clear when looking at the entire picture as you suggest. Crimes prevented by guns is a statistic often ignored. And on and on. I would have to look at the source of Brett’s data to comment specifically and the link did not work for me. In the end I don’t see it as a factor in this case and it was my bad for going down this road.

          • Craiga

            I admit i’m largely ignorant of crimes prevented by guns stats. Though as a scientist stats that seem obvious and also largely ignored are much more likely to be incorrect or suffer from cherry picked data and brought to forefront by large organizations like NRA to get support by data trickery. Any sociologist who could pick up and publish an obvious/ignored set of clear data would walk away with great career advancement, great publishing, great future grants, ect…

  • BHA in Vermont

    If someone claiming they can not be prosecuted based on the  “Stand your ground” law continued to follow the person they eventually shot after being told by the police to stop following, how can this law apply? 

    There may or may not have been a reasonable perception on Zimmerman’s part of being in mortal danger, but if so, it was  because he intentionally put himself in the situation after being told to go back to his car. This was evidently well before the shooting occurred. I do not see how he can NOT be arrested and tried for this murder.

    • Anonymous

      The law creates the defense in advance.
       Zimmerman was relying on the fact that if he felt threatened by Martin, he could claim self defense based on SYG, that’s why the thought he could pursue Martin

    • TFRX

      I predict it’s only a matter of time until two armed, undertrained men all hepped up on self-defense (sic) will shoot at each other, each while on the phone to 911, each claiming they’re “Standing their ground”.

    • Brandstad

      The Sanford Neighborhood Watch volunteer who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, did not instigate the encounter but has received death threats and moved out of his home, his father told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday.

      George Zimmerman, 28, has not been arrested, something that has put him and the Sanford Police Department at the center of a firestorm. Critics say Trayvon, who was visiting family from his home in Miami, was a victim of racial profiling.

      Zimmerman’s father, 64-year-old Robert Zimmerman ofLake Mary, delivered a one-page letter to the Sentinel on Thursday, saying that the depiction of his son in the media has been cruel and misleading.

      George Zimmerman is Hispanic and grew up in a multiracial family, the statement says.

      “He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever …,” the letter says. “The media portrayal of George as a racist could not be further from the truth.”

      The letter does not provide details about what happened Feb. 26 on a walkway in the gated community where George Zimmerman lives and where Trayvon was visiting. But it does challenge one basic assumption of the family’s lawyers: that Zimmerman’s intent when he got out of his sport utility vehicle was to confront Trayvon after calling police to report a suspicious person.

      “At no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin. When the true details of the event became public, and I hope that will be soon,” the letter said, “everyone should be outraged by the treatment of George Zimmerman in the media.”

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Following Treyvon, after being told to NOT do so, had to cause young Mr. Martin to be apprehensive of HIS safety?

  • Rdg7816

    Tom, I think we should just contrast the swift military justice in the Afghan killings to the very slow civil injustice committed against the late Mr. Martin in Sanford Florida.  This level of contrast makes me more interested in military policing, which I know has some associated externalities.

  • Brandstad

    Media scrubs Malia Obama vacation story

    The AFP, the Huffington Post and other websites have scrubbed a report about first daughter Malia Obama’s school trip.On Monday, the AFP reported that Obama’s daughter was on a school trip along with a number of friends and 25 Secret Service agents. The story was picked up by Yahoo, the Huffington Post, and the International Business Times, as well as UK publications like the Daily Mail and the Telegraph and other overseas publications like The Australian.But on Monday night, the story had been removed from those sites .The AFP page for the story now links to a story titled “Senegal music star Youssou Ndour hits campaign trail,” as does the Yahoo page. The Huffington Post page now links directly back to the Huffington Post homepage. The Daily Mail, Telegraph, and Australian stories now lead to 404 error pages, reading “page not found.” The International Business Times story also links to the IBT homepage, though a version of the original story still exists online.http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2012/03/media-scrubs-malia-obamamexico-story-117970.html 

    • TFRX

      Oh noes, we aren’t being told everything about what a President’s daughter is doing! And Politico, the Beltway Inbred’s most popular website, is on the job!

      Want another layer of tinfoil for your hat?

    • BHA in Vermont

       Where is the news in a school field trip? My kids went on them all the time. Looks like the AFP, Huffington, et al are just more paparazzi.

    • ana

      Perhaps it is not wise to publicize the whereabouts of any
      POTUS young children when they are out in the world. 

    • Isaac, in Groton CT

      Well, that’s fair. The public should know about the costs of secret service for the President’s daughter when she goes on a school field trip. I mean, gosh darn it, it’s totally not worth it.

      Unless, of course, you’ve seen that particular episode of the West Wing. I’m supposing you haven’t?

      • Isaac, in Groton CT

        Here’s the President lecturing his daughter:

        My getting killed would be bad enough, but that is not the nightmare scenario. The nightmare scenario, sweetheart, is you getting kidnapped! You go out to a bar or a party in some club and you get up and you go to the restroom and somebody comes from behind and puts his hand across your mouth and drags you out the back door. You’re so petrified you don’t even notice the bodies of a few Secret Service agents laying on the ground with bullet holes in their heads. Then you’re driven away in the car. It’s a big party with lots of noise and lots of people coming and going, and it’s a half hour before someone says: “Hey, where’s Zoey?” It’s another fifteen minutes before the first phone call. It’s another hour and a half before anyone even THINKS to shut down all the airports! Now we’re off to the races! You’re tied to a chair in a cargo shack somewhere in the middle of Uganda and I am told that I have 72 hours to get Israel to free 460 imprisoned terrorists. So I’m on the phone pleading with Binyamin and he’s saying: “I’m sorry, Mr. President, but Israel simply does not negotiate with terrorists, period, it’s the only way we can survive.” So now we got a new problem because this country no longer has a Commander-in-chief, but a father going out of his mind because his little girl is in a shack somewhere in the middle of Uganda with a gun to her head! Do you get it?!

        Do you get it?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Slipping away from the Secret Service to illegally go to night clubs, and drink alcohol, like the ‘W’ girls did? 
            Could that really have gotten into a National Security issue?

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            They should have gotten the lecture Zoey did, for sure.

    • Anonymous

      And, so…?

  • Raypaula

    When I was in a neighborhood Watch Program in Brooklyn years ago….we were instructed to stay in the car.  We were never allowed to get out of the car.  If there was trouble we had to call the police.

    How does he get away with pursuing this kid.

    • Brandstad

      The Sanford Neighborhood Watch volunteer who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, did not instigate the encounter but has received death threats and moved out of his home, his father told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday.

      George Zimmerman, 28, has not been arrested, something that has put him and the Sanford Police Department at the center of a firestorm. Critics say Trayvon, who was visiting family from his home in Miami, was a victim of racial profiling.

      Zimmerman’s father, 64-year-old Robert Zimmerman ofLake Mary, delivered a one-page letter to the Sentinel on Thursday, saying that the depiction of his son in the media has been cruel and misleading.

      George Zimmerman is Hispanic and grew up in a multiracial family, the statement says.

      “He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever …,” the letter says. “The media portrayal of George as a racist could not be further from the truth.”

      The letter does not provide details about what happened Feb. 26 on a walkway in the gated community where George Zimmerman lives and where Trayvon was visiting. But it does challenge one basic assumption of the family’s lawyers: that Zimmerman’s intent when he got out of his sport utility vehicle was to confront Trayvon after calling police to report a suspicious person.

      “At no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin. When the true details of the event became public, and I hope that will be soon,” the letter said, “everyone should be outraged by the treatment of George Zimmerman in the media.”

      • denis

        They can not change the fact that George Zimmerman shot and killed and unarmed child that was smaller than he was and had every right to be where he was.

      • Brett

        “‘At no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin.’”
        Maybe that’s why the boy’s last words before he was shot to death were, “why are you following me?” 

      • Anonymous

        “At no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin.” What? Then how did all of this happen?
        Wait, Martin just happened to walk into the line of fire when Zimmerman was “not confronting” him.

        The idea that Zimmerman did not get out of his SUV and follow Martin is absurd. If he had done what the 911 operator told him to do, none of this would have happened. Zimmerman had the gun, which is a violation of the national Neighborhood Watch organization. He perused Martin and again he violated any neighborhood watch protocol by actively confronting someone he was suspicious of.

        Zimmerman created this situation, he’s sowing what he reaped.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        You keep repeating this, as if it was truth.
            Zimmerman was on 911 tape as being asked if he was following Martin, answered ‘yes’, and was told NOT to do so. 

  • mmg/Omaha,NE

    “Stand Your Ground Law”  How can intent to protect battered spouses turn into a vigilante justice law. Its a bad law or written very badly

    • Isaac, in Groton CT

      I always thought vigilante justice is what the Stand Your Ground Law was intended to promote. You know: “It’s not a bug; it’s a feature.”

  • mmg/Omaha,NE

    Santorum is still showing his drawing his mother posted on
    the refrigerator when he was a child.
     

  • Bruce in South Burlington

    Dang, don’t you just HATE it when one of your top guys lets the private plans from the back room out, the ones that show that  you as a fraud?

    A whole pack of liars.
    Give them ALL a shot of truth serum and then have them talk.

  • Anonymous

    Romney is a habitual liar, even when it comes to things where it makes no sense for him to lie.  I don’t understand how anyone can vote for him.  

    • Anonymous

      They aren’t voting for Romney, they’re voting for the benefit’s they hope to get if Romney is elected.

  • mmg/Omaha,NE

    Ever finally get the drawing on the etch a sketch just the way you want it after days of work..bump your elbow and loose it all?

  • Chris_lamere

    http://imgur.com/0Cjlj

    Trayvon Martin was a drug dealer who only went to school to sell pot.

    • Still Here

      So maybe it’s a drug deal gone bad?

      • Chris_lamere

        I doubt it. I’m just saying that he wasn’t the perfect angel that everyone is painting him as.

        • Isaac, in Groton CT

          You’re wrong about other facts, so I’m not going to lend your testimony here much credence, even if it mattered.

          Your character assassination is a little suspicious, too. Unlike Zimmerman, Martin actually had no criminal record.

        • Sawyerfarm2006

          This has nothing to do with what happened to him. So  I am not a saint it makes it ok for you to shoot me? I guess it is open season on teenagers in general because most are not angels!!!! And Still Here I  hope you are joking please.

          • Anonymous

            He’s not. This guys a real piece of work.

        • Craiga

          He certainly didn’t deserve the death penalty for walking home talking to his girlfriend on the phone. That florida law allows that kid Zimmerman to be judge, jury, and executioner. Real constitutional NRA.

    • Isaac, in Groton CT

      So was he not walking home that night, unarmed, with a bag of skittles (the gateway candy, dontchaknow) in his hand?

      • Chris_lamere

        It was the middle of the day, and Trayvon attacked Zimmerman.

        • Isaac, in Groton CT

          It was night and raining and Trayvon ran away from Zimmerman.

  • Michiganjf

    Why are you surprised Jack?

     Republicans have been seen lying over and over to their gullible base who they know will believe anything they say, regardless of what can be proven, even with yesterday’s video clip.

    Romney’s just another Republican who knows the truth goes against any/all of his ludicrous, indefensible positions.

    Lying is the only potential path for Republican politicians who simply don’t have truth on their side.

    • TFRX

      It’s refreshing to hear Jack Beatty, on NPR, saying that a politician is lying, because R-money has been caught out on a number of big, fundamental policy foundations.

      What will it take for NPR to say that during actual top-of-the-hour news reports, not just during interview/recap/thinkpieces?

      • Worried for the country(MA)

         Would you expect Jack to hold Obama to the same standard?

        Just yesterday, Obama was taking credit for a pipeline that was already approved and increased oil production that he had nothing to do with. 

        I’ll give Anderson Cooper credit for calling Obama to task for these lies last night on CNN.

        • TFRX

          Your concern-trolling and false equivalence doesn’t get sold by politeness the way you think it does.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

             I know the truth hurts.

            Jack even brought up the 3 Pinnochios Obama gets from the liberal WaPO.  They gave Obama pinochios on his 17 minute propaganda film too.

          • TFRX

            The liberal WaPo.

            Submitted without comment.

          • Anonymous

            With all of that spinning, i’m surprised that the Worried One isn’t too dizzy to type.

  • Gdbknyc

    Romney can’t be trusted. He’ll say anything to anybody to get elected.

    http://gooddesign-bknyc.blogspot.com/?view=magazine

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Unlike Obama who promised to cut the deficit in half and keep unemployment under 8%, close Gitmo, lower the sea level, and on and on?

        He did say he favored a slow rise in gas prices.  The rise isn’t that slow but he did get them up so we’ll give him partial credit unlike Chu who gave himself an ‘A’ on gas prices.

      • TFRX

        Every word coming out of your mouth is a lie, including “a” and “the”.

        Where do you think this is, Fox Nation?

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           The truth hurts so you resort to personal attacks.

          You and Rush Limbaugh have a lot in common.

          • TFRX

            You have a record of distorting, decontexting and blathering about crap, then politely repeating them as received fact.

  • TFRX

    “Is the President to blame for high gas prices?”

    Tom, step out of the Beltway. Or ask an economist. Or go to what Fox News was saying during 2008.

    Devil’s advocacy is a useful tool, but when it just sounds like you’re repeating the propaganda press, you’re doing it wrong.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Or should we listen to candidate Obama in 2008 who WAS blaming Bush for high gas prices?

      Maybe turnabout IS fair play.

      We CAN blame Obama for higher oil prices starting two years out because he has blocked projects and leasing and those potential project would have come on line by then.

      • Anonymous

        Besides the political rhetoric that is thrown by candidates, what part of the fact that oil and gas are sold on the open market do you not understand? We could drill baby drill all over the nation and the price would not come down unless demand did. In which case drilling would also go down. Also you could have oil rig in your back yard and you would still be paying the price everyone else would be paying for gas. Unless of course you could refine your own gas up to EPA standards.

        Of course we cold nationalize the oil corporations.
         

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ‘W’ was an UN-sucessful oil driller, Cheney was an oil-related company, Condolesa Rice was from oil, MOST of the ‘W’ admin was from oil, and had vested interests in higher oil prices, WHY would anyone think they had anything to do with oil prices?

  • BHA in Vermont

    Where is Gingrich going to refine all this oil he says we should drill to bring gas prices down? There are refineries closing yet we are exporting gasoline. Does Mr. Gingrich not understand that the demand for oil and refined products outside the USA is rising? That we compete with THE WORLD for every gallon of petroleum product?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wes-Nickerson/100001436729213 Wes Nickerson

    We are on the edge of edge of total environmental collapse. Temperatures around the world are breaking records. This is an emergency. Obama’s “All of the above” policy will assure planetary meltdown unless it is stopped. It’s all “drill baby drill” and “full speed ahead” for fossil fuels, a complete sellout to the big energy companies. The hypocrisy and cynicism is staggering.

    I voted for Obama last time around, but I am now so extremely disappointed in Obama, that I changed my party affiliation to the Green-Rainbow Party and I now support Jill Stein for president. Obama says he believes in the science of climate change but he certainly does not act like it. He is fast-tracking hydrofracking and oil drilling. He applauds the southern half of the Keystone XL pipeline. Obama’s energy policy has nothing to do with American energy independence or reducing the price of fuel. The entire purpose of the KXL pipeline is to ship oil out of the country and to make more profit for the oil companies.

    Here are some positive actions to turn this around.

    Occupy Earth, great article from Huffington Post
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shepherd-bliss/occupy-earth_1_b_1371231.html

    Disrupt Dirty Power
    http://www.disruptdirtypower.org/

    Support Jill Stein for President
    http://www.jillstein.org/

    Support 350.org
    http://www.350.org/
     

    • denis

      And how fast do you drive when ion the road? What type of transportation do you take?
      Do you think any of the Republican’s energy plans are superior to President Obama’s?
      Talk about Nero fiddling as Rome burns.. Go ahead and support your unelectable candidate that will have no influence on future energy / environmental policy.
       

      • Anonymous

        People offering real solutions remain “unelectable” because of the cowardly sheep who continue to support the status quo. 

        • denis

          You do not have to support status quo policy to support candidates that can actually affect changes. If enough likeminded people voice their opinion to a particular candidate policy does change.
          As a partial benefit to your position it seems third party candidates can, when they are strong enough to garner “strong support,” will influence main party policy; however, in our system you still need to elect the standard party candidate to affect change. President Obama will remain my candidate!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wes-Nickerson/100001436729213 Wes Nickerson

        In the race between the Democrats and the Republicans to see who can win the race to become the greater of two evils, I’ve lost track of who is ahead. It seems to me that they collaborate with each other so that it does not matter which one wins,  it always benefits the very wealthy few, the 1%.

        The problems created in previous administrations are now even worse in the present one. Income inequality continues to rise. Poverty continues to rise. Earth’s temperature continues to rise. Wall Street criminals continue to game the system without being brought to justice and without being regulated. The too big to fail banks continue to get even bigger and more powerful.

        It is only by fighting back, by showing resistance, by holding officials accountable, that we can create real positive change in America. Where has Obama’s policy of pre-emptive compromise gotten us? Things continue to move in the wrong direction. We need to turn this ship around, before it sinks with all of us on it, in the whirlpool of environmental and economic catastrophe.

    • Anonymous

      Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson, the only responsible choices this time around.

  • Michiganjf

    Getting gas back down to one, or even two dollars is NOT the only point here!!!!

    The planet needs EVERYONE to take steps to wean themselves off of fossil fuels, NOT find a way to spew every last ounce of carbon into the atmosphere as cheaply as possible!!!

    Try a little non-linear thinking please, TOM!!!!

    • TFRX

      There’s something a bit off about an NPR panel spending two or three minutes repeating, reminiscing, and bandying about a certain figure which is pulled directly from Newt Gingrich’s blowhole.

      That’s what some folks would call “enabling behavior”.

  • Joyce

    It is purely delusional to think drilling everywhere is a permanent answer, oil is a nonrenewable rapidly depleting resource.  We are now in competition with India, Brazil and China which will ultimately drive up prices. I also understand that refining capacity is not adequate.  Kudos to President Obama for having the vision to develop alternative and less toxic energy alternatives.  

  • Doug

    Where does the electricity for the electric cars come from? Why  do we talk as if it comes from nothing with no impact?

    • BHA in Vermont

       In the case of my future EV, I expect it will come from my future wind tower and solar panels. Not everyone can do this of course. However, if those who can go ‘off grid’ do so, there is more electricity for the rest from the current sources.

      Just need to get the costs down.  Hmmm, sounds like an “all of the above” plan.

      • Doug

        Nice idea, but I think when one crunches the numbers on typical residential solar/wind electricity production, and the power needs of a vehicle that carries kids and groceries, its a pipe dream that we can’t expect to realistically tie ourselves to suddenly.

        • Craiga

          it isn’t, takes about a dozen panels with 30% or so efficiency to do average house + car, people live off grid with small battery commutes with today’s panels (not ready for 100Mil people, but coming along). The thing to be careful of is that cars that need to burn stuff have about 80% ‘rejected energy’, that’s why something like the nissan leaf is very different tally of energy than a burning car got to watch who your reading easy to trick. You should check into ‘rejected energy’ in normal cars today. Then you’ll get a funny feeling at the pump how many of the gallons are actually moving your car (only like 2 of every 10 you buy). Batteries set the stage for any source of power and will get better and better fast just like computers ten years ago (thanks to cell phone companies).  Unfortunately the natural gas situation will likely keep us stuck burning things to save a few bucks.

          • Jasoturner

            Interesting claim.  Let’s think about that.

            Lets say I currently use 7 gallons of gas a week, and let’s say my engine is 25% efficient  If the energy content of gasoline is 33,400 watt-hours per gallon, then I need 58 kWh of electricity delivered to my car (25% x 7 gal x 33.4 kWh/gal),

            Lets say that the average solar capture is 30% of max panel rating of roughly 10W/SF, and lets say you get 8 hours a day of capture.  That means (8*7)=56 hours/week.  Most panels are rated at about 10 watts/SF.

            Well, 58 kWh / 56 hours = 1 kW (roughly), or 1000 watts during daylight need to be captured.

            1,000 watts / 3 watts/sf =  333 SF

            If we are talking 12 panels, that implies an average size of about 28 SF (5 x 6 panels)

            Well, in fact, Home Depot has 250 Watt panels for $380 (about 3 x 5) so 12 of these would give you 3 kW of capacity for $4,500.  Which isn’t bad.

            If we assume gas stays at $4/gal, we are talking about 110 gallons price equivalent $4,500 / $4 per gal).  So the avoided gas price would pay for the panels in (110 gallons / 7 gal/week) = 16 weeks.

            Not bad, it kind of hangs together.  Although in practice, I think the solar capture would be far worse and the payback would be twice this.  We are also ignoring installation costs, inverter costs, etc.  But still, this in not a crazy claim at first blush.

    • TFRX

      “We”, who?

      The mainstream media does a great job of forgetting the subsidies and “socialized costs” of oil and such, and focusing (or even lying) about non-traditional energy sources. The right’s propaganda press have made that framing part of their mission, and it shows.

      • Jasoturner

        No, Doug actually makes a good point.  A typical coal fired power plant delivers electricity to your plug with an efficiency of about 33%.  So for every kWh of “clean” electricity you use in your car, you must burn 3 kWh equivalent of coal, with the associated CO2, mercury, arsenic and so on that emits into the air.  EVs are often called zero emission in the press.  Which is simply absurd.

        • TFRX

          When I said “We, who?” for once I wasn’t being flippant. (And I didn’t mean the literal “we”, but the proverbial.)

          EVs are not zero emission, of course, but the mainstream press does a piss-poor job of talking about pollution and energy consumption.

          When it’s a plug-in car v. home air conditioners being turned on in March (March!), the trail is pretty well-worn.

          • Jasoturner

            Not just the press.  Go to a party and ask a tree-hugger friend how many kWh of electricity they consume every year.  A shot of Highland Park says they have no idea – not even within an order of magnitude probably…

          • TFRX

            The hot new thing around here are those electricity monitors. A few public libraries have a stock of em and you can get it for two weeks to see what your devices are using.

            I’m currently on a waiting list.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Coal is being burned NOW, for other things than EVs?
              Compared to Gas and Diesel, EVs ARE zero-emission, since their own emissions are miniscule?

  • Aaron

    lets just keep drilling and emitting co2 so that in a few years we can enjoy temps in the 90s in Boston!

  • BHA in Vermont

    1) How much of the potentially “recoverable” oil can be pulled out for the same or less cost than what a barrel of oil costs today?
    2) How much of it is light, sweet crude vs tar sands or shale oil that is a whole lot more costly to move and refine?

    If the answer both questions isn’t “Most of it”, you can drill it all and the price of gas will go UP. 

  • Craig

    No mention from Clarence Page of today’s biggest story…Ohio University! Go Bobcats! 

  • Patrik

    We need to stop using oil and find another way to create energy, our environment is what is at stake here! Phase out the widespread use of fossil fuels!

    • Brandstad

      We will as soon as we have the technology but we don’t have it yet.  Your dream is like saying we need to teleport to eliminate costly, inefficient, travel via airplanes.  

      your dream is nice but not feasable! LOL

      • BHA in Vermont

         You are saying that what Germany has been successfully working on for 40 years is technology that is unattainable in the USA for years into the future?

        If you expect to flip a switch one day and et voila, everything instantly converts from using oil to something renewable, I think you need a better plan.

      • Patrik

        Well when you have narrow minded, meek right-wing politicians that block and subvert every attempt to fund and progress towards such technology and capabilities of course it seems unfeasible.  Peoples personal fortunes seem to be more important than the envrionment they live in.

    • Zero

       If only we had listened to Carter…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tPePpMxJaA.

      Germany started a renewable energy program in 1970, and they are scheduled to be completely on renewable energy by 2050.  It’s pretty impressive and has proved to be economically sound.  

  • Anonymous

    The biggest effect on gas prices is tension with Iran. I wonder why people seldom talk about this.

    • Ndorf66

       The biggest effect is actually demand.  The recent run-up in cost is partly due to Iran…but these prices aren’t going away.  With the rise of China and India, demand is going to continue to skyrocket and prices will continue to go up.

    • Brandstad

      I wonder why Obama helped the muslum brotherhood over through our ally in Egypt but didn’t help the freedom fighters in Syria to over through their evil regime which in turn would weaken the dictators in Iran!

      • TFRX

        You! forgot! to! say! “KenyanUsurper”!, and are dunned 100 Foxbucks!

      • denis

        Who pays you for your uninformed remarks? 

        Are you a relative of Iowa’s Gov. Branstad?

      • Anonymous

        Two words: Russia, China

  • MarkVII88

    Why do people think we as Americans are entitled to $1.50/gallon gasoline?  Gas is nowhere near as cheap as this in other industrialized nations and, due to taxes levied by different governments, is usually more expensive.  I’m no hippie environmentalist, but let’s face facts.  Oil is a finite resource that our nation consumes a lot of (much more than our ability to produce and refine).  When candidates for President and our allies threaten military action against oil-producing nations, what do you think is going to happen to oil prices?  It seems to me that Americans desperately clinging to the notion that they deserve cheap gas are clinging to a dream from which they will soon wake up.  I think it’s arrogant to believe we’re entitled to cheap gas when the rest of the world pays triple the price.  I’m not going to run out and buy a hybrid or start growing switchgrass for ethanol, but I at least think I am seeing the wall before I hit it.

    • BHA in Vermont

       I agree with most of what you posted. Except the part about not running out to buy a hybrid.
      1) Hopefully Gingrich is one of the FEW Americans who believe we DESERVE cheap gas because … well I can’t think of a reason that isn’t laughable.
      2) If your vehicle is coming to end of life or you are planning to buy a second (third, …) vehicle, ABSOLUTELY look at (real) hybrids. My ’04 Prius replaced a ’95 Odyssey  (the smallest of minivans in ’95). The 120K miles currently on my Prius have burned THOUSANDS fewer gallons at a CASH saving of $9K+ compared to the MPG (probably generous at 20 MPG avg for the 98K miles I put on it) of the Odyssey. I have had ZERO problems with the hybrid system and the only major repairs are a muffler and one wheel bearing at 90K miles. Even if I have to replace the traction battery at some point (only known replacements were in two taxis in Australia at 220K and 310K miles) the actual cost to own and run the car will  be less than anything I could have bought in 2004. Yes, even cheaper than a base model compact.

      • MarkVII88

         In all honesty, I would rather buy a diesel car, like a VW Golf, than a hybrid.  The can easily achieve over 50MPG, can be had for less money, are less complex to maintain, and are more fun to drive.  With new emissions equipment diesels are much cleaner than they used to be too.  Another reason I’d not buy a hybrid is that the timeframe for  recouping the added hybrid cost by gas savings is so long.  This may get smaller as gas prices inch higher though.  If I could actually save $$$ in a year or two by buying a hybrid I’d consider it, but if it will take 7 or 8 years to break even, then it’s just not worth it to me.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           I just checked edmunds and the 2012 VW golf diesel is 30mpg city/ 42 hwy. MSRP – $24K.

          2012 prius – is 51 city/ 48 hwh.  MSRP – $23K

          Plus diesel is more expensive per gallon.

          I have a friend with a prius and he usually gets 60mpg with his driving habits.

    • Anonymous

      Isn’t it pathetic?! All the right wingdingers, who otherwise bitch and moan about “entitlements” seem to think that cheap, dead algae is some kind of birthright.

      Wake up folks! The fossil-fuel era is drawing to a jerky, possibly traumatic end. We can rationally plan for the transition, or continue on our current, denialist, fairly stupid course.

      And what’s wrong with hybrids?

      • Worried for the country(MA)

         I’ve had a hybrid camry since 2006 and I love it.

        I get 42MGP in the summer and 38mgp in the winter.  It has more pep than the 4 cyl. camry. 

        So far, no maintenance problems and the brakes are almost new after 80K miles because of the regenerative brakes AND my change in driving habits.  The feedback does help.

      • William

        Really? Why is Obama backing Brazil’s huge off shore drilling program?

    • William

      If this is true, then why block drilling of oil here? Afterall, it won’t matter and if the private oil companies want to drill for oil let them put their money at risk. It would make more sense than funding more failed green energy companies.

  • denis

    I am so tired of hearing this wining about gas costs as I drive down the highway with gas guzzling SUV’s and Pick-ups flying by me at speeds well above the speed limit (which is already set to high for the most efficient use of the automobile.

  • Craiga

    That football situation must be criminal. I find it difficult to believe any football contract legally allows coaches to pay people to permanently injure or kill another player and not be criminal in some way. Any contract must have legal grey area for a judge to determine context. I expect to see jail time for somebody.

  • Jacinta

    I would love to see a discussion of the projected annual premium if Medicare goes private.  My husband and I pay privately.  We are healthy and and on both sides of 60.  It is not a gold plated policy.  Our annual premium is $25,000 with a $10,000 deductable.  That does not speak well of what the annual cost will be when we enter the time of life when health declines.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    What happens, should there be the option to let people opt out of medicare to invest their money, when Wall St crashes again because of the exact same reasons it did in 2008, because nothing has changed on Wall St?  Where are these people going to turn when their nest egg gets raided by foxes in 3 piece suits? Do they get told, “You pay for your dances, you take you chances,”?  Do we bail them AND Wall St out (again)? 

    Just imagine, had Dubya got his way, and Soc Sec had been privatized.  How many millions of Americans would have been screwed even worse than the millions that saw their IRAs and 401Ks take major hits?  How many millions would have been out on the street and needing food, heat, shelter ? 

    If someone has the wherewithal to not need Soc Sec, Medicare, Medicaid, et al, let them them opt out.  Obama said he doesn’t expect to need them, but does feel the need to pay his share for those that do. Even Sen Issa (R-CA) has said that he should be allowed to opt out of receiving benefits, so there’s bipartisan support.

    • TFRX

      Wait, GWB wanted to privatize SocSec? And it was not popular?

      Let’s not forget the lifespan of any Republican political failure in the mainstream narrative approaches that of a fruit-fly.

  • Anonymous

    What Gingrich failed to mention is that Natural Gas is not a huge commodity on the world market due to the expense of shipping it and it’s high volatility. It’s cheaper here in the US because we have more of it and it’s prices are dictated by the demand in this country alone. Oil on the other hand is subjected to larger speculative and market forces.

    Here’s a little fact: Presidents do not control oil prices.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       The President has no control over speculation?  How about raising margin requirements?  All I hear are crickets.

      • Anonymous

        No Presidents do not control the market.
        Regulation via the Congress do.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           Where is the leadership?

          I’m not sure if you need an act of congress to change margin requirements or if there is  latitude by the executive branch or the Fed.  I seem to recall that Bush tightened margin requirements in 2008 but those limits were temporary.

          • Fredlinskip

             Sure ain’t in the goofy slate of GOP candidates America has been forced to endure.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Presidents don’t control oil prices directly.

      However, they can affect markets dramatically.  When supply was an issue in 2008, Bush expanded offshore leases in response and within a month oil prices came down 16%.  The futures market and reaction by Saudi’s and OPEC to chill competition does lower prices.

      However, the primary cause of THIS oil price increase is not the supply/demand equation.  It is the value of the dollar.  Our massive debt is the reason the dollar is devalued and oil prices – and other commodities are rising rapidly.  This president has ignored our debt crisis despite all his ‘early’ promises not to ignore it.

      • BHA in Vermont

        If DRILLING oil causes prices to go down, why would approving leases that won’t produce a drop for several years bring prices down? The price of oil and thus its by-products, is due a lot more to speculation, fear and the value of the dollar than how much oil is coming out of the ground on a given day.

        And where did this debt that devalues the dollar  come from? Certainly not from waging wars and  ‘paying’ for them with decreased taxes, right?
        And it couldn’t be from a housing bubble/crash and Wall Street crash that enriched the bankers while doing in the rest of us with high unemployment, right?

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           Anticipation of future supply does have an effect on speculation.  Further, suppliers with excess supply will attempt to depress competitive investments IF they are threatened by long term investments in alternative supplies.  This is also true if we make noises about alternatives like coal to liquids and nat gas to liquids.

          Do you believe this administration handled  the recovery effectively? We’ve had $6T in stimulus in Obama’s first term.  Deficit spending is a form of stimulus.  Was this stimulus used effectively?  Could anything have been done differently to better effect to create jobs?

          What is amazing is Obama gives lip service to the real problems like debt and massive regulation so he appears to understand the problems.  Yet, he has done nothing.  I’ll say it again.  If he had pushed for Simpson-Bowles he would be a shoe-in for re-election.

          • Ndorf66

            It was deregulation that allowed the banks to bundle mortgages that they knew to be garbage and to sell them as triple A rated packages.  It was deregulation that allowed them to then go and bet against the very garbage that they were selling. 
            For the first time in history banks didn’t care whether or not a person could pay for a loan because they would be selling that loan in a massive bundle.  That is how we got into this mess. 

            Deficit spending is stimulus now?  So the huge deficit that Bush’s unpaid for prescription drug problem is not only partly Obama’s fault but it is also a stimulus by Obama?  The two wars Obama inherited are stimulus caused by Obama?  The unpaid for tax cuts under Bush is a form of stimulus that should be credited to Obama.  To simply look at the debt that has been accrued under Obama and then to blame him for virtually every penny of that said debt is to ignore the huge deficit and  recession he inherited.  For example, did you know that the revenue taken in by the U.S. government as a percentage of GDP is at an all time low?  This has helped to increase our debt.  I am no Obama supporter.  I voted for Nader.  But come on.  Let’s stop blaming him for all of the issues going on in this country.  Let’s stop regurgitating republican talking points such as, “too much regulation,” without really understanding what lead to this recession.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

             It was too big to fail and Clinton’s repeal of the Glass-Steagall act of 1933 that is at the root of the problem.  yes, this repeal had bi-partisan support so it just wasn’t Clinton.

            See I am for regulation. Smart regulation.

            The 2000+ page Dodd-Frank law did nothing to prevent too big to fail.

            I am not a Bush fan on spending.  He did contribute to the deficit problem, no question.

            Regarding you defense of unfair criticism of Obama in an election; I hope you’ll concede there was also unfair criticism of Bush during his years in office.

             “War for oil?”

            We had the war.  It is over. I’m still waiting for the oil.

          • Ndorf66

             You are totally right…the deregulation that helped to create the crash happened when Clinton was president.  It was a bipartisan mess-up. 

            There is always too much praise and too much blame for any given president.  People think the president has way more power than they actually do.  Congress could have stopped the war in Iraq had they wanted to.  In fact, many democrats voted for the war if I am remember correctly.  So yes, the wars weren’t totally Bush’s fault.  That being said, I don’t think for a moment that any person actually believed that Iraq represented an actual threat to the U.S.  Why Bush felt the  need to invade Iraq is up for debate.  There are many theories.  Few people think he actually went in there because he believed they were a threat to our safety.

          • Zero

            I got news for you Dodd-Frank is not as strong as Glass-Steagall was, unfortunately.  I can’t summon up the exact details at the moment, but there are two laws in particular from GS that limited corporate freedom quite a bit, but they did not make the cut in DF.  They are actually really important regulations as I heard them discussed by a democrat who was against repealing GS at the time.  I think one law indeed prevents companies from getting  ‘too big to fail.’

            I can’t resist not talking about the ‘war for oil’ comment…did not the arms companies and oil companies that put money in republican pockets not benefit from the Iraq war? 

            I didn’t hear a liberal say that Bush invade for oil so Americans can have low gas prices…it has always been about republicans putting corporate interests before the American people’s interests.  I got to say that even I thought the ‘war for oil’ criticism was ridiculous, but now I tend to think otherwise.

          • Fredlinskip

            As you might have heard the # of of producing oil rigs in America has quadrupled under Obama.

            Speaking of quadruple:
             if your contention that Prez does effect oil prices holds true, since oil prices nearly quadrupled  under W (from $32 to $145); for Obama to match that feat, oil would have to reach near $200 (Oil prices at inauguration close to $50 after crash).

            I know that would make your day.

      • Ndorf66

        Are you serious?  You think expanded leases caused oil prices to go down?  It was the economic collapse that caused oil prices to plummet.  It was a huge reduction in demand. 

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           Not true.  The 16% decline I referenced was well in advance of the economic collapse.

          Of course, the economic collapse had a far greater impact because oil eventually came down to about $40/barrel by the time Obama came into office.

          • Ndorf66

             I would love to see the source of your 16%.  Granted small things can have a temporary impact on the price of oil.  Hence, I will not say again that you are flat out wrong before I see where you are getting your info from.  That being said, everything I have read points to weakening demand.  Simply giving out leases does very little to effect oil prices because it takes years before wells go online and before they reach market.  That is why the silly mantra of drill, baby drill, was just that…silly.  We can’t produce enough oil in this country to bring world prices down and since the price of oil is based off of the world market, drilling will make very little difference.

    • Brandstad

      I suppose you were saying the same thing when the nightly news did reports at least two or three times a week on how high gas prices were and talked about what Bush did and didn’t do to get prices down?

      • Anonymous

        I never blamed Bush for gas prices on way or another. As I said, presidents are in control of the price of gas nor oil.

        • TomK in Boston

          There are two types of participants in this discussion, those who understand the world oil market and those who don’t.

    • TomK in Boston

      Right, jefe68. Oil is a world commodity and new US production would have to be a significant fraction of world production to move the price – which is not happening. Nat gas has a local market and can easily have a big impact. Also using gas in new ways like fueling vehicles is a game changer – tho that’s probably to much like “clean energy” for the right to accept.

      Unfortunately, when the aim is to attack the President, facts don’t matter.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Where are the seniors going to but affordable insurance if the Republicans, somehow, manage to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act?  Just being old is per-existing condition.  Insurance premiums go up by leaps and bounds, often in  double digit percentages yearly, but the vouchers wouldn’t. 

    Must be rare air up there on that high horse to not worry about insurance. Oh, yeah..That’s right..We’re paying for Ryan’s platinum insurance program that ordinary US citizens can’t get, and certainly not at the low, low rates he (and all of Congress) pays.

    • Craiga

      The fascinating thing is that people like my parents who worked maintenance and admin jobs their whole life and now owe there lives (literally and financially) to medicare will still vote passionately for people to push through Paul Ryan’s just die plan. Till death do us part..seems more true with political parties than anything in the history of mankind.

    • William

      That would be the least of their worries under Obama’s healthcare plan. There is a panel that would determine if any medical care would be available to seniors at a certain point in their lives.

      • TomK in Boston

        Nonsense. The ACA keeps medicare as a comprehensive health care program, while attempting to restrain costs by finding the most effective procedures and drugs. That’s called “common sense” and actually has its origin in conservative think tanks.

        The TeaOP plan to “save” medicare is to replace comprehensive care with groupons that will pay only a decreasing fraction of the total cost of health care, while continuing to subsidize big pharma and big insurance corporations. That’s a pretty funny concept of “saving”.

        If your pet procedure is deemed ineffective and denied by medicare, you can always pay for it yourself, just as you will have to do with a Ryan groupon.

        I wonder why the far right is all excited about trying to restrain costs in medicare, but has no problem with restraining costs by not providing enough $ to pay for care? Can anyone explain? It doesn’t make sense, unless it has nothing to do with health care and everything to do with politics.

        The right loves to scream about the cost of medicare, and then screams “rationing” at any attempt to get costs down, but can’t see that the ultimate rationing is not being able to afford insurance. It doesn’t matter what is available if you can’t pay for it.

        The Ryan class warfare groupon plan is RATIONING in its most brutal form.

        • William

          Nope. True. Obama he said this was a better idea during his election run. He was asked by a woman if her 88 year old mother would get medical care. He said no, it would be better if she just got some drugs to keep her comfortable.

  • Brandstad

    PIPELINE TO NOWHERE: Obama’s plan would leave 1,179-mile gap between oil source, pipeline…

    • TFRX

      From Fox news’ lips to your ears.

      (That’s not the compliment you think it is.)

    • denis

      once again FoxNews wins…. the southern portion of the pipelines is connecting to an already overloaded pipeline in OK

  • LP

    Today marks the one week anniversary of President Obama signing the National Defense Resources Preparedness Act,
     
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/03/16/executive-order-national-defense-resources-preparedness
     
     
    by Executive Order (without congressional approval).
     
    Which in a nutshell says that President Obama can seize private property or assets whenever the President deems it necessary without compensation to the owner of the property.
     
    I’m not surprised that the few remaining Obama supporters would prefer to talk about etch a sketch instead.  It sure beats talking about real news.

    • denis

      “the few remaining Obama supporters”? 

      And where do you get this enlightened info? 

    • Zero

      Can you please list the section number that concerns private property? 

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Obama was on NPR yesterday and he did what he does best — blame others.  He inexplicably blamed congress for the Solyndra debacle and wasting over $500M of taxpayer money  by saying Solyndra was “not our program, per se”.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    iOnePoint:

    They said Trayvon Martin was followed and shot by Zimmerman because he dress like a Gangsta.

    In the real world of Street Gang. gang members don’t wear nice clothes, They only wear their Hood colores like Red or White plain shirt with a bandana on their head with a baseball cap that matches the color of their shirt.

    That’s Gangsta Fashion not those attire you see on Usher, Lil Wayne or Drake.

  • Drew You Too

    The Etch-a-Sketch fiasco is in my opinion a direct commentary on the maturity of the general population. Yes Romney is inconsistent, a little independent research demonstrates that beyond any doubt. But do we take the small amount of time required to perform that research? No, of course not. We wait for a ten second sound-byte to tell us what we should think, then we quickly snatch up our pitchforks and march off to storm the castle. And how much money is being made on the ridiculous 160+ percent increase in stock value the parent company has received?

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       I have a different take.  His desperate political opponents seized on the comments as a hail mary attempt to turn around failing campaigns.  The MSM was only too happy to oblige to play this up well beyond the importance.  I have greater faith that voters won’t take this kerfuffle seriously.

      • Drew You Too

        “His desperate political opponents seized on the comments as a hail mary attempt to turn around failing campaign”

        I agree completely, hence the maturity comment. This doesn’t remind you of the way that children on a playground will bully the perceived weaker child to make themselves appear stronger? I wish I shared your faith in voters. Perhaps I am just jaded but I think it’s misguided.

  • TomK in Boston

    I love the “etch a sketch” remark. Of course it’s what we always know about our former liberal MA gov, but your top advisor’s not supposed to actually SAY it. Willard the chameleon, truly a repulsive human being. It amazes me that, following an economic crash caused by financial funny business, we’d consider that a Leveraged Buy Out con man would be a good choice for president.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       If he was a liberal governor you must have loved him.

      • TomK in Boston

        He certainly was a republican I could support. He was fine. “Abortion should be safe and legal”, universal health care….what’s not to like? He was a bit of a no-show toward the end as he focused on running for President, and I don’t blame him for the economy when he was in office, but a perfectly good governor IMO.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          Romney Care actually reduce the spending when he passed the Universal Healthcare Law in Massachusetts. It was a genius plan. If you saw the Governor’s Patrick State address he explained everything.

      • Zero

        Seriously, what was Romney (and Huntsman) but a tax policy away from being a democrat?  They certainly wouldn’t have to compromise their pragmatic and data-driven point-of-view if they just switched parties.  Well, at least Huntsman didn’t sell out and pander to an idiot base, but look where that got him.  

    • William

      I thought Obama’s blaming other people for his failed Solyndra decision was the remark of the week. I’m surprised that was not talked about much today on NPR.

      • Anonymous

         Where has Obama “blamed other people”? The Energy Department has explained the history of the loan process, indicating that it was generally viewed as a good bet to succeed in the markets as perceived on the dates the decision was made. Maybe they should have expected China to subsidize the costs of its solar cell producers to the extent that prices dropped by nearly half, but then again, maybe not.

        • William

          The WaPo said he blamed other people and that is all he has done since taking office. The Bush administration turned down this deal cold but Obama’s team pushed for it with no concern about failure.

  • Still Here

    Obama’s lack of a coherent energy policy has put us in a terrible position where we are increasingly dependent on unfriendlies while vast resources here languish.  The result:  American’s sending more petro-dollars abroad.  What a waste!  Why is Obama so callous to the needs of Americans?

    • Anonymous

      Currently oil imports are down, and the only reason that actual dollars might be up is the rise in price.

      But every effort made by Obama has been opposed by Republicans. Many Democrats have been trying to work for a responsible energy policy for decades (remember President Carter?) to no avail because the FOSSIL FUEL industry does NOT WANT one.

      Where can you point to efforts by GWB to develop an energy policy other than DRILL, DRILL, DRILL? That is NOT a policy. The country needs energy from OTHER SOURCES, not just more fossil fuels, to get real ENERGY PRICE STABILITY, which is really the ultimate goal.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Today is the second anniversary of the signing of Obamacare.  Yet the administration is strangely silent on it’s primary achievement.  Could this be because it is unpopular?

      A recent, non-partisan CBO report shows the cost of Obamacare to be nearly double what the Democrats estimated in 2010.

    • Anonymous

      The bit about the CBO report showing the cost to be double is completely false.  That little soundbite is coming from comparing estimates of cost from 2010 – 2019 to estimates of cost from 2012 – 2023, where the latter time period is naturally going to have a higher gross cost because it has more years of the full impact of the law in the estimate, while the prior one has fewer (full impact doesn’t happen until 2014).

      http://factcheck.org/2012/03/gop-misrepresents-cbo/ 

      In fact, the CBO report suggests that the net cost will actually be lower than they originally thought.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

         Thank you for the link.

        Notice they only compared the year over year costs increases which are a stunning 9%. 

        The doubling is due to the structure of the program which was always a scam.  They used CBO accounting tricks to use 10 years of increased revenues for 5 years of full benefits.  Now that we are 2 more years into the sliding 10 year window the CBO math is starting to expose the scam.

        This isn’t “new”.  We always knew this system is not sustainable. 

        IMHO, the dems knew this when it passed and were hoping to swap out for single payer when this system collapses – maybe in 5 to 10 years.

        • Zero

          Here’s what I got from your discussion:

          CBO + Obama = scam in a republican’s head ignorant of math and reality.

          In reality, when Obamacare is fully implemented in 2014 there is a 10%(ish) surtax levied on the 400 richest Americans (whose incomes begin at $250M).  2014 is when the new revenues begin, not 2 years ago.  Now, if you look at the CBO report again (even though you probably listened to a republican politician or Fox News about what the CBO said)…if you look again, you will find that Obamacare is good economics. 

          Here is some real math: 10% surtax = doctors for 50 million people + 20,000 lives saved per year.  Oh, that evil socialism!

          • Worried for the country(MA)

             Why did what you describe, so succinctly,  need 2700 pages?

          • Zero

            There’s a lot to cover in health care.  And it is more of a reform bill more than a ‘system.’  There are a ton of new regulations on insurance companies.  And Medicare Part D (the part that is subject to massive fraud and the third leading driver of the deficit) is also reformed come 2014.

            It is not a bad law. And just because it has thousands of pages doesn’t mean that it is bad…that would be a fallacy of logic.

          • Anonymous

             Have you actually looked to see a page? In the format that generates that number, there are almost always LESS than 500 words and usually quite a few less.

            The page counts here do not imply the word count of a novel of that size.

            It would be a lot better to reduce the size of the IRS regulations than the size of this law.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

             Yes, let’s rip up the tax code too.  Last I checked it was 72,000 pages.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Please!!! I handle Medicare claims for 15 years and I should say it is working pretty well especially for the Physician’s billing practices or Hospital billing.

      1800 pages of Obama care is complicated enough to understand but it works for the people who cannot pay their co-ins or deductible.

      trust me it is working well.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        Oh by the way in order to understand fully the Universal Healthcare Act is to work for Hospitals and Physicians offices. regular people without knowledge in the Medical Billing has no rights to complain about the Act.

    • Zero

      I suggest getting information directly from the CBO instead of vicariously through the RNC. 

      The correct figure is 9% more than the original estimates.  Moreover, that figure didn’t take into account revenue offsets, such as new taxes on the
      wealthy and penalties paid by individuals and employers who don’t opt
      into insurance. Those payments bring down the law’s net cost.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      How can the cost goes High when Medicare and Medicaid is actually paying less. I have to write off thousands of non covered claims. We cannot even bill the patient because Medicare wont allow us.

      Even Hospitals in Boston are now having their affordable insurance plan. I used to pay almost $70.00 a week for my health insurance NOW i am only paying $46.00 a week.

      Please don’t tell the American people that ObamaCARE is not working.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

         Good for you.  My MA policy has gone up the past two years.

        Also, what about the millions of small business’s that are holding off hiring because they are concerned they will hit the 50 employee threshold?

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          If you are paying out of pocket your Premium will always goes up. and if you have an employer. he/she or they should match your rat and 50 employee threshold, If I am a wise Employer I will rather pay my employees extra hourly rate. they will pay every year on their Fed tax return of $250.00 penalty for not having an health insurance.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            correction: match your “rate” with Health insurance coverage.

        • Anonymous

          Here’s a news flash for you. Everyone’s premiums have gone up. It’s called the rising cost of health care which is not being  dealt with by either party. Well the GOP just wants the market to deal with. Wait, have we not had a market based system for ever and one that cost twice as much as any major industrial nation on the planet?
          Why yes indeed we do.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          How many health-care executives have taken a pay CUT?  I’ll bet you can find a LOT of the health-care cost-raises, in executive raises in pay and benefits?

      • Worried for the country(MA)

         Mmmm.   I just thought of something.  According to Obama and others, RC is identical to Obamacare so Obamacare shouldn’t make a difference in MA.  So how do you know it isn’t RC working and not Obamacare?

        Of course, that was tongue in cheek.  However, I suspect we will never agree on national health care.

        I hope you will concede that the process for passing Obamacare was flawed.  When you attempt to take over 17% of the economy you need a transparent and bi-partisan process.

        I am also skeptical of any 2700 page bill. KISS.  Keep it simple.

        If the SCOTUS doesn’t strike it down, I am more convinced than ever that we need to send health care reform back to the states.  Let CA do single payer if they want.  If they save tons of money with quality care then other states will adopt it.  If tort reform works for TX the other states will adopt it.

        • TomK in Boston

          How has “17% of the economy” been “taken over” when it is still run by private insurance corporations and private hospital corporations and big pharma? Please explain. 

          C’mon, worried, there are no gvt hospitals and no new gvt ins plan. We don’t even dare to negotiate drug prices with big pharma. Saying “takeover” is ridiculous, even if it’s the norm in the alt universe. The ACA is just a baby step, straight from the ivory tower far right think tanks, to facilitate everyone’s participation in the private sector.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

             “The ACA is just a baby step, straight from the ivory tower far right
            think tanks, to facilitate everyone’s participation in the private
            sector.”

            I don’t buy that.  I believe it is designed upend the current system to make a future transition to single payer viable.  Why else would would the financing be so suspect 10 years out?

            If that is the goal; it should be a much simpler scheme. Also, it does nothing to lower health care costs and that is the true barrier to expanding the universe of insured.  Maybe once the rationing panel kicks in; it will lower costs but I doubt it.

          • TomK in Boston

            You didn’t answer how it’s a “takeover”. Seems you’re saying it will eventually be a “takeover” if your wild speculation turns out to be true. That’s a far cry from being a “takeover” in the real world right now.

            Actually I hope you’re right. I would like a gvt “takeover” of the health insurance business (not of hospitals or anything else). Medicare is far more efficient than our bloated, predatory private insurers, and putting them out of business would be the best way to start getting costs under control. And yes, medicare for all would be a lot simpler than national Romneycare.

            “The rationing panel”?? The rationing you should be worried about is the Ryan Groupons. There’s no rationing as effective as being unable to pay for what you need. You wanna see rationing? Take your Ryan Groupon to WellPoint and your need for an expensive procedure will be rationed right out of your bank account!

          • TFRX

            Hey, it’s just lucky for you he didn’t unload that crowd-favorite laff line “death panel”!

            Really, though, Worried sounds like he’s never had to battle an insurance co to pay a claim. Funny how people like that get a warped sense of what power is.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

             LOL.

            Try battling the IRS.  Talk about big brother.

        • CW

          Tort reform doesn’t lower malpractice fees. It just further reduces the power of the individual against practitioners and providers. In places where it has been instituted there was no drop in malpractice rates. 

          • TFRX

            “Tort reform is unilateral disarmament,” I always say.

            All those folks who’re convinced that it’ll do everything it has yet to do in, say, McAllen TX, don’t care about the “overlawyering” of corporations.

            If this country has “too many lawyers” (the phrase goes), lotsa fools are convinced that all the excess Esqs are personal injury or class action lawyers.

    • TomK in Boston

      Meanwhile, back in the real world:

      “The Obama campaign is looking to dispel any notion that it is running away from the president’s signature accomplishment — the passage of the Affordable Care Act — and has launched a new petition fully embracing the law on its second birthday. The site, titled “I Like Obamacare,” takes full ownership of the moniker Republicans have assigned to the measure in an effort to disparage it and asks Americans to add their support:”
      The “CBO report” is a talk radio lie based on apples and oranges comparisons. In the real world, the ACA is looking $50 bil less expensive than the estimate from 1 yr ago. 

      Do you ever check out these partisan newsbites before spamming us with them?

  • TomK in Boston

    Look, everyone agrees that Willard is a financial predator, a con man, a chameleon, an etch-a-sketch, an arrogant oligarch who thinks the rest of us are his domestic staff, etc. However, outside of the righty alt universe, facts are facts, and it cannot be denied that he has one huge accomplishment, Obamacare. Willard brought socialized Obamacare to MA, complete with the dreaded “individual mandate”, it’s working great, and I congratulate him. Good job!

  • Katie

    Regarding the Trayvon Martin story; I’m dissapointed that so much attention is being given to the stand your ground law.  The real issue that must be addressed is that racism is pervasive in this country and it is a problem that must be addressed and countered aggressively at many levels.  Changing the gun law won’t solve the problem.  If any laws need to be change it would be hate-crime laws and civil rights laws.
    Wake up America!  Open your eyes to the reality of racism.  Every one of us has a responsibility to be mindful and vigilant of all forms of racism and confront/combat it when we see it, experience it, and feel it. 

    • Anonymous

       The immediate problem is the lack of training of the police officers/department. That the law was even thought to apply to this case when Zimmerman had followed Trayvon when told not to is astounding. If police departments can still act with racial bias the racism in the general public will not be quelled.

  • twenty-niner

    The Obama economy:

    Ironically, the biggest growth industry is now guns. From Business Week:

    Shares of Sturm, Ruger & Co. and Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. soared Thursday, a day after Sturm Ruger said it received orders for more than a million firearms in the first quarter of this year.

    The company said that despite attempts to increase production, the rate of incoming orders has exceeded its capacity to fill them on a timely basis. So it was forced to put new orders on hold. It expects to resume accepting orders by the end of May.

    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-03/D9TLOQH00.htm

    As the chances for a second Obama term increase exponentially as the Blank Slate cinches the Republican nomimation, the economy will be poised to take off as Americans gear up to stockpile 20 M-15s per capita.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Obama-Economy better than the Bush’s Economy.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

         Only for the gun industry.

        • Zero
        • TomK in Boston

          Spin the data on jobs, Worried. Go for it. Can you do it?
          http://02varvara.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/01c-bush-vs-obama-job-growth.jpg

          Note also that the most rapid improvement was during the “failed stimulus”.

          • twenty-niner

             I wish we were in a sustainable organic recovery, but the data show otherwise. Here’s a chart of the SPX vs consumer credit, and it’s not pretty, which is to say the ever expanding Fed balance sheet and deficit are yielding diminishing returns. The piper is in transit and he’s coming to get paid.

          • TomK in Boston

            I’m not saying we’re in a great recovery, only that things have improved since Obama took over from Bush. For a strong recovery we need to stop sending all the wealth to the elites and spread it around the middle class, which will not happen with so any pols having drunk the tax cut kool-aid.

          • twenty-niner

             Also, this guy does a decent job of analyzing the BLS sans ‘L’ jobs data:

            http://www.oftwominds.com/blogmar12/pretend-jobs3-12.html

          • Anonymous

             He does do a “decent” job of spinning the data, but not much more.

            What the data show is a period of uncertainty and short-term projections are not likely to be accurate.

            I don’t think Obama has been talking about the numbers as being the “best since.” But even that is different from “better than.”

            I can see where some people take the SLOPE of the curves and see the current slopes approximately parallel with the slope around 2000, which is probably where they get their “best since,” which is technically accurate.

            Now there are a lot of “leading indicators” that indicate, short of a major oil price spike or a major European recession (a recession of some sort is guaranteed because of their austerity policies) the recovery is highly likely to continue building momentum and the “best since” may even apply to a more distant recovery.

  • Gregg

    President Obama’s race-baiting remark about if he had a son he would look like Trayvon is disgusting.

    • Anonymous

      Poor Greggg must have been conflicted on feelings about this. Should he agree with one of his favorite nut jobs, Allen West, who actually managed to sound reasonable about this case (“This is an outrage.”), or fall in line with the segment of the right-wing haters that couldn’t let common decency and civility even temporarily override their loathing for anything—anything at all—Obama.

      Greggg fell in with the haters, since he’s just kind of a hand puppet for whatever they tell him to think.

      Obama’s statement of empathy has nothing at all to do with race baiting. Either Greggg doesn’t know what race bating is, and/or he is as blinded by hate as his mental puppet masters.

      • Gregg

        I agree with Allen West. I don’t hate Obama, I just think he is a horrible President.

    • TomK in Boston

      Why is it race baiting? Seems natural to me.

      Why can you shoot someone and not get arrested, based only on your own unsubstantiated claim of self defense? Can I blow away the neighbors, claim they threatened me, and continue with my normal day? Why don’t they even confiscate the gun? I don’t get it. 

      What do you think would have happened if the shooter was Trayvon and the victim was a young Romney-type aristocrat? Think Tray would be still walking around with his gun? 

      • Gregg

        TomK, I’m replying to your comment because it is the least nasty. First, I’ll answer your questions.

        It is race baiting because IMHO President Obama was purposely implying black teenagers are in disproportionate danger because of inherent racism. That’s a despicable lie. I don’t know what the protocol for arrests are but I do know “innocent until proven guilty” is the bedrock of our justice system. Unless we’re talking about a recidivist with a record, self-defense is a lawful explanation. I do not for a minute claim to know why Zimmerman wasn’t arrested or why they didn’t confiscate the gun. I wish I could tell you. I can’t speculate to answer your last two questions.

        I can honestly tell you it troubles me greatly to see black parents tell their children not to trust whitey. I think (as it appears now) Trayvon Martin’s story is heartbreakingly tragic. Isn’t that enough? Why inject race? Can’t we just agree a tragedy is a tragedy without saying the color of the skin of the victims makes some crimes worse than others? Do we have to have a President endorsing that notion? Obama is telling the poor not to trust the rich, women not to trust Catholics and blacks not to trust whites. It’s divisive, not true and disgusting. I do not back away from my claim one iota.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          YOU would trust YOUR child to a pedophile priest?

        • CW

          Denial isn’t a river in Egypt. I was born in Texas and know how unequal the system can be to both Latinos and African Americans. Just look at the incarceration rate between the races. Either you believe African Americans tend to be more likely to break the law or there is something wrong with the system. Quoting altruistic principles that obviously aren’t being followed does no one any good. There is a race problem in this country.

        • Zero

          “Can’t we just agree a tragedy is a tragedy without saying the color of
          the skin of the victims makes some crimes worse than others?”

          No.  If to being black makes one suspicious, then there is a cultural problem that needs to be examined.  Furthermore, hate crimes are more corrosive to the social fabric than a murder for money, revenge, etc., and, in my opinion, this murder reeks of racism.

          So, yes, we ought to have a president as well as a community discussing what looks like a modern day lynching.

           

        • Anonymous

           Gregg, Zimmerman made a number of comments on his call to the police that indicate he was following Trayvon SIMPLY because of his RACE (NOT his “hoodie”). Race was injected by Mr. Zimmerman, not the news people or those pushing to get action from the Sanford police or the commenters on this site.

          Arrests are made on “Probable Cause,” which means that there is evidence that the assailant may have committed a crime and may flee if not held. Arrest is not conviction and thus does not violate “innocent until proved guilty.”

          The biggest problem with the law in this instance is its effect on enforcement of other laws: the fact that Zimmerman pursued Trayvon when told not to should have excluded the “Stand Your Ground” law from applying here.

          The question therefore is twofold:

          1)  Is the Sanford police department so poorly trained that they could not understand this?

          2)  Is the whole department so unknowing that it would allow a “rogue” officer, who may have prevented the arrest of his son for a brutal beating of an homeless man. That same officer was the one that let Zimmerman go free from the crime scene.

          Either way, the Police Chief is apparently incompetent for his position, and maybe for any type of law enforcement work.

          • Still Here

            Wrong, his race had nothing to do with it.  The fact that he was not a resident was the single, deciding factor.

          • Gregg

            Again, I don’t see how the “Stand your ground” law applies. It is my understanding the police chief resigned. Is that true? I don’t know what comments you are talking about. I have heard the 9/11 call and didn’t hear them but I’m not saying race wasn’t part of Zimmerman’s motivation. I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Did you hear 911 dispatcher tell Zimmerman that he wasn’t to follow Treyvon?

          • Gregg

            Yes, that’s one reason “Stand your ground” doesn’t apply.

    • Brett

      Did Rush tell you to say that? Or did you come up with that one on your own? …Okay, maybe when Obama gave the Black power sign and said, “I will systematically destroy this country with socialism if Whitey doesn’t stop killing all of us brothers,” he went too far, but…

      • Gregg

        I can’t remember if it was Rush or Fox. I certainly have no idea what to think about things by myself.

        • Still Here

          I’m waiting for Tom to tell me what to think

    • Anonymous

      No, your comment is disgusting. You claim not to be a racist and yet…

      • Gregg

        I don’t have to “claim” anything. My actions and deeds, friends and workmates speak for me. I don’t care what you think.

    • Anonymous

      You want disgusting? Actually, disgusting is being charitable to these cretins. Have a look at your simian Fox brethren (Warning, have barf bag handy):

      http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/40088_Fox_News_Commenters_React_to_Trayvon_Martin-_Good_Shot_Zimmy#rss

      • Still Here

        Wow, can’t believe your making simian references in this context.  You are so racist!

      • Gregg

        Comments on a blog? You’ve got to be kidding.

    • Fredlinskip

       “Dith-picable”- Sylvester

    • Zero

       

      “Race baiting”…what am I to make of this comment?   I clearly don’t
      believe Obama was “Race baiting” because I am a sane and non-racist
      person who had no other reason to believe that Obama’s comments were sincere (as far as politicians can be sincere).  But let us just say for the
      moment that he was “race baiting”…should Obama just leave racist
      people alone?  Should Obama let racist people continue to hurt people of
      decent society and embarrass this country?  If it is “race baiting,”
      good for Obama trying to expose the clandestine racists from the right. 
      It’s good to be able to see racism!  But you don’t care that there is
      racism emanating from the republican party, you only care about that racism being exposed because it will hurt the republican party.  Yes, Gregg, you just revealed that politics is more important than stopping racism. Good job!   

       

      May I suggest actually caring about you neighbor and fellow Americans
      instead of following an ideology that carries with it the most bigoted
      segment of society…? 

    • Still Here

      He seems to be willing to start a race war with Hispanics, unless he’s counting on the public’s confusion over Zimmerman’s race.  Wouldn’t put it past him.

  • TomK in Boston

    Where’s the outrage over Ryan’s class warfare budget?

    Imagine, denying our children the retirements benefits we have so the oligarchs can continue paying about the lowest taxes since 1929. We get a great health care program, they get a Ryan Groupon. That’s generational warfare as well as class warfare! Why would anyone but an oligarch support it?

    • Still Here

      I guess your characterization must be completely off base.

      • TomK in Boston

        If I’m completely off base, then Ryan Groupons which won’t cover the cost of private insurance must be as good as our traditional comprehensive medicare program. If you believe that, maybe you’ll let me suggest some great investments for you, for a modest fee.

        • Still Here

          I wouldn’t invest in Medicare for sure; guaranteed, unsustainable money loser or so the numbers show.

          • TFRX

            …from one more person who doesn’t get the difference between what a gov’t is supposed to do and what a corporation is supposed to do.

            Are you a puppet for R-money?

          • Still Here

            Look at the numbers, can you do simple math?  

  • O’Sullivan

    “The perfection of felicity”….. lovely stuff, Mr Beatty. 

  • Fredlinskip

    Gas prices under W peaked around $4.15 gal.
    Oil was around $145 per barrel.
    Gas prices under Obama have reached around $3.85.
    Oil was around $107 per barrel.

    Gas prices fairly close- yet oil prices vastly different.
    What’s wrong with this picture?

    In previous threads consensus seemed to be that no matter how much alternative sources we incorporate or how much oil America produces, price of gas here isn’t much effected- unless somehow we were to magically produce such a glut as to reduce world/wide oil prices.

    How then explain above paradox?

    Surely it’s not all about a weaker $?

    • Melvina

      Speculators. And it appears they’re in cahoots with the oil cartel. Gas prices rose dramatically before the 2008 elections, and dropped just as dramatically after Congress (Democrat majority) had the oil barons testify to explain why prices were so high while they were making the biggest profits in history.

      What other business changes their prices by the hour? It clearly has nothing to do with supply and demand.

      And here we go again with all the candidates and Fox pundits blaming high prices on Obama.

      • Still Here

        Whenever anything happens that you can’t explain, blame speculators.  No data required.  Even your president was at least blaming Middle East tensions, gutless.

        • Fredlinskip

           So Still?
          Melvina offered an attempt at an explanation.
          You apparently have none?

          Gas prices up simply because of election year and oil corps favor GOP?

          Or? 

        • Melvina

          It’s based on history and reality. You should try it. You might learn something.

          • Fredlinskip

              Seems the most plausible explanation:

            All the “drill baby” nonsense is ridiculous, since supply & demand, and oil price per barrel have shown little or no relation to prices at the pump.
             
            Thanks!

          • Still Here

            Wow would love to see that data since there are a whole bunch of people who believe in peak oil supply and all you have to do is look at Chinese auto purchases to see where demand is coming from.  Moreover, we’re drilling miles below the seabed to find the stuff now.

            But you go ahead with your mysterious speculator theory.

          • Fredlinskip

             So… you say
            supply and demand   and price of oil are factors, but…
            can offer no explanation why gas was $4 at pump both when:
            oil $145/barrel (under W) peak) &
             $105 (recently)?

            Or … maybe you did:
            Current cost of gas presently is all about  regs causing U.S. refineries to close?

          • Still Here

            Still no data, whatever.

        • Anonymous

           Note that Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest speculators, has a research section which estimates that speculation has added around 58 cents to each gallon of gas. It might be even more except the price setting mechanism is not all that transparent. And Republicans are fighting the use of a Dodd-Frank provision for the Commodity Market Regulators to reduce the ability of speculators to affect the price of oil.

          When the social instability in oil-producing places from Nigeria to Iran provides a basis for that speculation by making the prospect of higher prices in the future more likely, the rise in prices does not seem that unexpected.

          Note that it is just those Republicans crying about gasoline prices that are threatening war with Iran and Syria. Do you think they might have a conflict of interest here (as well as in other aspects)?

          • Still Here

            Where’s your data for GS being one of the biggest speculators; please distinguish between proprietary trading and positions taken on behalf of clients.  Moreover, what kind of muppet are you?  

            Name one study by the CFTC that showed a significant contribution by speculators to long-term commodity price trends.  

            Is it speculation when an airline buys oil futures to hedge what it believes may be higher prices in the future due to geopolitical tensions in oil producing regions?  If not, please provide data regarding hedging versus pure speculation in commodity markets.

        • TomK in Boston

          And your approach is, whenever speculation takes over a market, deny that speculation can ever be a factor, without bothering to give a reason.

          You think short term actions in a small part of the world oil market can affect world price. You think  that the financial casino can become an ever-growing parasite on our economy and trading markets but have no influence on prices. Bizarre.

          The fact is that oil prices are cyclic. They rise and fall on tension in the ME. They rise when the economy is strong and fall in an economic crash. When they’re rising the traders jump in and drive them even higher. I understand that your interest is attacking the President, so you’ll ignore the real factors and take every rise and blame him, and you’ll move on to another attack when the price falls. Enjoy, but don’t expect to be taken seriously.

      • Anonymous

         There are a lot of the Republican Party (the base +) that lives in a fantasy world of conspiracies, etc., which eats this up like a dog with a meat-covered bone.

        But see:

        http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/03/19/447095/the-charts-that-prove-obama-doesnt-set-gas-prices/#comment-373726

        But note, if only just for humor, BOTH the Wall Street Journal and the Cato Institute published pieces exonerating Obama. See the link in the link above. But they were NOT writing humor articles.

      • Fredlinskip

         I can understand that speculation can bid up cost of oil per barrel, BUT since price of oil/ barrel does not seem to much relate to price at pump (as illustrated in first comment of this conversation), then the reason we presently endure such high gas prices must lie elsewhere.

        It seems when all is said and done, the reason gas prices are so high, is (trumpet fanfare):

         oil companies have decided to gouge us – because they can.
        & maybe it DOES have a bit to do with this being an election year.

        Show me a more plausible explanation- anyone?

    • Still Here

      Oil refineries closed due to senseless EPA regulations causing less refined product and higher prices.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Do YOU live within 2 miles, and DOWNWIND of a refinery?  IF you did, you might have a different take on EPA regulations?

      • Fredlinskip

        So…
           the price at the pump is so high, because we haven’t enough refineries.
         
           Suppose there’s some sense to this, since # of American oil rigs have quadrupled during Obama’s term, it would stand to reason refineries might struggle to keep up.

            Another obvious reason for too few refineries is that oil companies didn’t have much incentive to build more as this would drive both price of gas and their profits downward.

        • Still Here

          You seem to lump oil companies together as if they are all in the exploration & production, refining and distributing businesses; but that is clearly not the case. So for you thesis to have any validity:
          a) Show data that those are oil rigs and not natural gasb) Show that the majority of refineries are owned by exploration and production companies
          c) Show that the majority of refineries are owned by gas distributors

  • twenty-niner

    While the lynch mobs are out for justice, lets not forget about Obama’s white-collar criminal buddies:

    Jon S. Corzine, MF Global Holding Ltd. (MFGLQ)’s chief executive officer, gave “direct instructions” to transfer $200 million from a customer fund account to meet an overdraft in one of the brokerage’s JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) accounts in London, according to an e-mail sent by a firm executive.

    The bankruptcy trustee overseeing the liquidation of the company’s brokerage subsidiary has estimated a $1.6-billion shortfall between customer claims and assets available.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-23/mf-global-s-corzine-ordered-funds-moved-to-jpmorgan-memo-says.html

    But we all know that Corzine is well protected by NY’s biggest crime family, Golden Sack, which has its own dancing marionette sitting in the White House.

    • Melvina

      So how did you come to the conclusion that Corzine is “Obama’s white collar buddy”? Did you hear that on Fox? It sounds like the same BS calling Obama a so ialist because of Social Security and Medicare even though they’ve been around for decades.

      • twenty-niner

        At the center of the scandal is Jon Corzine, MF Global’s CEO at the time
        and a highly connected Democrat who was once touted as a potential
        treasury secretary. Corzine also is a former governor of New Jersey and
        U.S. senator who President Obama once hailed as one of his “best
        partners” in the White House.

        http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/04/us/farmer-tofteland-mfglobal/index.html

        Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan employees among top Obama donors

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/goldman-sachs-jpmorgan-employees-among-top-obama-donors/2012/03/21/gIQAerHZTS_story.html

        Plus, look how happy they are together in the picture – BFF!

        • Zero

          Seriously dude, what do you expect? You think this doesn’t happen on the republican side?

          Thank you for being more aware of our dwindling democracy and the rise of corporatocracy.  Ever since Reagan our government has been sold little by little to corporations.  Did you not hear liberals for 8 years that Bush was selling our country to corporations?

          Welcome, to the side that believes corporations are not people.  We need a bill that caps political funding in the interest of democracy.  And it should be a low cap; around the level of what Rick Santorum’s budget is.   

          Call it: “Conservatio enim Democratic Principia”; the Rick Santorum Bill.

        • Anonymous

           So you think those pictures of Obama and Boehner smiling together mean they are bosom buddies, handing out goodies to each other?

          • Still Here

            Did Boehner contribute millions to Obama’s campaign?

    • Anonymous

       For what it is worth, Corzine denies that he ever ordered such a transfer.

      • Still Here

        And Zimmerman says it was self-defense.

        Both should fry and let g-d sort it out I guess.

  • Melvina

    Re the discussion on racism…

    Our society was making great strides until Obama was elected. Immediately after there was all kinds of racist cartoons and commentary. Right wing propaganda freed all thecloset bigots who suddenly felt it was OK to express there racist opinions openly. It’s blatant in south Florida on newspaper blogs. Some comments are very disturbing.

    • twenty-niner

      You’re fighting the last war. Wait till the Chinese take over. The make American racists look like Mother Teresa.

    • Zero

      I was in a red neckish bar on the fringe of Gainesville, FL the night after Obama was elected.  I heard the red necks say, “…Well, I guess there’s no more racism.”  They were serious.  I rolled my eyes.  But I should have know that it was a precursor for what has become a groundswell of racism.

      I felt the racism grow during the election season, but I thought it would subside.  I did not anticipate birtherism.  A lot of the racist people on those news threads say obvious racist things, yet they think it is obfuscated enough so when someone calls them out on it, they just reply, “Oh, you libs with the race card.”  Having a black president and the notion of a ‘race card’ and they think they can get away with this crap.  Here’s what I hear from republican politicians and Fox News: “Why should we tax hard working Americans and give it to people who didn’t work for it.  Then you see this come out of the republican electorate: “You libs just want to tax hard working white Americans and give it to lazy black people.”  And that is really the gist of republican propaganda.

      • Gregg

        That’s sick.

        • Zero

           It’s true.  I have live under that ideology before.  I’m not oblivious to what is happening.  Even Rick Santorum said, “We we shouldn’t tax you and give it to black people.”  People can see through the cryptic racism.

          • Gregg

            Rick Santorum is right. It’s racist to assume blacks are incapable of excellence unless we confiscate someone else’s money and give it to them.

            BTW, I went to High School just outside of Gainesville (Keystone Heights) in the 70′s. It wasn’t a bastion of racism.

          • Zero

            I don’t see what is wrong with taxing the rich to lower the cost of college education and increase scholarship opportunities to provide avenues to success in order that every one has equal opportunity. 

            I went to High School out side of Jacksonville (Nease High School), and grew up in a wealthy conservative community (Ponte Vedra Beach) and I saw a lot of racism growing up.  I still know wealthy republicans who say racist things openly to me. My father was a racist republican and he was an atheist who thought Christianity was utterly stupid, but defended Christianity and the religious right because he knew that Christianity made people vote against their own economic interests. 

            When I see you and Moda (who both are not Christian if I remember correctly) defend Christianity or, better yet, defend the Christianization of America, I understand that it is really not about religion but politics.  You, republicans, and Fox News are not fooling me–most of America is aware of what’s underneath Republican discourse.  

            As for the Santorum thing: my high school had a better environment, better computers, chairs, food, and sanitation, then the schools on the North Side of Jacksonville.  When people tell me that there is equal opportunity in this country, I tell them to look at the schools in the poor communities and then look at the republican schools.

            Moreover, Palaka High School, which should sound familiar to you, had and probably still has racially segregated seating at sporting events.  

          • Gregg

            “I don’t see what is wrong with taxing the rich to lower the cost of college education and increase scholarship opportunities to provide avenues to success in order that every one has equal opportunity. “

            There you go, we could have a Libertarian debate over the merits and most likely agree somewhere along the line. That is ONLY because you left race out of the equation as it should be. It has no place whatsoever in any discussion as far as I’m concerned. Low expectations regarding race are bigoted.

            It just baffles me that you find it odd for a non-Christian to defend Christians and think it must all be politics. How about respect for personal beliefs and Constitutional protection? That’s where I’m coming from, call me crazy. I defend a lot of things I don’t personally participate in. I don’t have a handgun but I defend conceal carry. I don’t do drugs but I think they should be legal. I don’t engage in homosexual activity but hey, whatever floats your boat. I see no contradiction.

            Did you mean Palatka? They named that city after the sound of a cow flop hitting the ground. I went to St. John’s Community college (til I dropped out and hit the road).

          • Zero

            You republicans put race into the equation–this is precisely my point: so long as republican politicians propagandize that democrats just want to tax the rich to give it to black people, millions and millions of lower and middle class white Southerners vote against their economic interests.  It’s called “The Southern Strategy.” I think democrats are satisfied with the current social safety net, (which is way lower than Germany’s safety net) but you republicans elect president that since 1980 have invariably increased poverty, and then you turn around and say we need to cut from the safety net. 

            It is propaganda Gregg, and you are voting for a smaller Social Security check to give the rich a tax break.

            As for the Christianity thing…come on man…don’t you find it a little curious that not once you have, at the very least, made a joke about Christianity.  You have seen me argue for the finer morals of Christianity, but come one, you know damn well people will become more liberal if they didn’t believe in that stuff.

            And, yes, I did mean Palatka.  

      • William

        I know what you mean. I remember back in 2006 attending a fund raiser for the homelss and hearing so many people joking about killing President Bush. It was amazing that so many of these Liberals were actually serious about it too.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          I was disgusted with ‘W’, his ineptitude, arrogant attitude, his hypocricy, and many other facets, and did NOT want him in the White House, but cautioned MANY people that even joking about harming him was against the law.

          • William

            So you really must be going nuts with Obama’s ineptitude, arrogant attitude, hypocricy, too huh?

        • Zero

          You know, there has actually been assignation attempts on Obama.

    • Gregg

      I agree, Obama is the worst thing for race relations since slavery.

      • Anonymous

        You show your true colors. Boy are your ever off the rails.

        • Gregg

          So you think Obama is good for race relations? He’s a disaster, we’re more divided than ever. It matters to some of us, others not so much.

          • TFRX

            Gawd, that’s a pathetic reach from the guy whose side was chanting “MuslimKenyanCommunistUsurper” since summer of 2008.

            There’s you, a self-described “reasonable Republican”, then there’s all those unreasonable racist Republicans.

            Your side looks like crap because of them, not because of anything lefties, Dems, or liberals do. As the old saying goes, “Why don’t you and them fight?”

    • Anonymous

      I guess the woman attending Santorum’s rally at a shooting range who said “Just think of it [the target] as Obama” fits right in. I assume the subsequent investigation by the Secret Service will just add to the hate.

      This is disgusting.

  • Parcmonceau

    Tom. A more general set of points about your practice:  (1) you don’t need to follow every listener’s comment with your own commentary; it usually sounds like you are trying to reclaim “authority” in the discussion, rather than actually listening to, and acknowledging, the views of people who call in; with all due respect, people care a lot more about what your guests and callers think than what you think; (2) you talk an awful lot, much more than necessary, as if it’s your personal obligation to fill the air time and retain some kind of control over the discourse, rather than acknowledging what people have say and giving the airtime to your guests, letting the conversation develop, rather than incessantly (usually inaccurately) “summarizing” the views of what other people have said; (3) as a teacher, I have the luxury of having people in the classroom with me at all times whose responsibility is to monitor the amount of airtime I consume and the amount of time people have to engage with the ideas in the course– it might be helpful if you could do a simple check on how much air time you consume versus how much your guests and your callers have to bring their views into the discussion; a good rule of thumb of is 80-20 (and the 80 is not you); (4) the only thing that public radio talk shows have to offer, in comparison to the massive bleat of conservative talk radio, is the opportunity to conduct civil discourse that models what democracy would actually look like if we were actually committed to it– this means emphasizing listening over talking.  For the time being, I continue to be a regular listener.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Well Done, with democracy, and rational discourse!

    • Anonymous

      While overall Tom does a great job managing callers, sometimes he is too quick to cutoff.  I also find myself yelling at the radio:  Shutup Tom!  He is a master at gathering the right experts and his general knowledge is tremendous on such a varied number of topics.  However- less is more sometimes.

  • Pingback: obama trayvon « « The Latest Fuzz The Latest Fuzz

  • david

    I loved how Tom and his guest tried really hard to tie the Repubs. to this shooting in Florida in a round about way!!!
    The law, if anybody here would read it, states:
    “This law simply states that if you are assaulted or accosted by someone intent on doing you harm, you are under no legal obligation to turn and run.  You are allowed to defend yourself, using lethal force if necessary, in order to avoid or to turn away the assault.  If you are legally permitted to be where you happen to be, you are under no obligation to retreat because someone is threatening you.  Under these laws if you use a gun you had better be legally authorized to be carrying that weapon.”  
    Zimmerman does not fall under the “Stand Your Ground” law. 
    Fact is, the law has no application in this matter.  Zimmerman was not forced to stand his ground.  He was in pursuit. He provoked the situation. The 911 operator told him not to follow the kid, but to let the police handle it.
    So, Zimmerman should be charged with the murder of this young man.
    Our nation is reaching a breaking point and thanks to the media hounds we are now once again thrown into a racial digress. 
    The divide between our people grows wider? I hope not! 

    • Fredlinskip

       Apparently.  if you decide to chase someone down, jump, and shoot them dead this is the meaning of “standing your ground”.
      (if the victim is Black?)

      • Gregg

        That’s sick.

        • Fredlinskip

          Perhaps so, but seems to be the law’s  interpretation in the Florida  case.

      • Zero

        Yeah, no many people seem to know that law makers have a duty when writing laws to avoid possible unintended interpretations.  “Standing one’s ground” in an open area creates an ambiguity in favor of the shooter, where the benefit of the doubt leans towards him. 

        There were opponents of the law before it was passed (including from the universities in Florida).  

      • feettothefire

        No, no, no. You only get to shoot them if they have the temerity to fight back. Then you get to kill them in “self-defense.”

    • Anonymous

       And the police of Sanford are grossly untrained; the officer who declined to charge Zimmerman also “arranged” to have his son not charged for the brutal beating of a homeless man.

      Maybe the police should face “accessory after the fact” charges.

      Since 2005 with Florida’s pioneering “Stand Your Ground” law, shootings of unarmed people have doubled across the other 30 states that have adopted similar legislation. In other words, this has apparently given “license” to some people. I don’t have a link, but it was mentioned that a criminal got away with a killing by claiming this. I hope it was an apocryphal story.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      EXCELLENT !!

  • Sean L.

    Love the show. Wanted to say that it’s good to be discussing oil prices, but isn’t the whole issue a little ridiculous? Oil is a *limited, non-renewable* energy resource. Eventually, unless we have some alchemal solution to create new oil, it will run out. Demand dictates that the price will rise, right? Therefore, if we manage to get prices lower NOW, what we’re doing is denying (even faster) this resource to future generations. Why should we have cheap oil, when our grandchildren will not? So, let it rise! 

    • Fredlinskip

       Bring back the Flintstonemobile (stick your feet through the floor boards and run like hell)

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You forgot all the damage, pollution, and health-care costs of oil?
          Renewables are HERE, You just have to be able to afford them, or build your system yourself.   Electric vehicles have been around as long as Internal Combustion, they”re just more suited now, for town-dwellers, and short-trippers.

    • William

      Why punish minorities, women, children, poor and the elderly with much higher gas prices?

  • Pingback: obama trayvon martin « « The Latest Fuzz The Latest Fuzz

  • ex Obama supporter

    “If I had a son, he would be Trayvon” 

    Barack Obama, Race Baiter in Chief.

    • Anonymous

       Why?

      Read/watch the WHOLE statement!

  • Gregg

    We’ve been here before. When gas prices hit $4+/gal. in July 2008
    President Bush removed the executive-branch moratorium on offshore
    drilling. By the next day the barrel price dropped to $136. By December it was $1.61.

    Gas doesn’t need to be this high, it’s by design.

    • Anonymous

      Greggg thinks that repeating the same, stupid, discredited nonsense over and over somehow makes it true.

      • Gregg

        It’s true, I don’t know how you missed it. Click the “8 years” chart.

        http://gasbuddy.com/gb_retail_price_chart.aspx

        • Hidan

           Yep nothing to do with a world recession or anything

          “It’s disappointing to see folks defend lies. Proven, known lies. “

          • Hidan

             “A recession in the U.S. economy began at the end of 2007. Concerns
            deepened as an epic financial crisis shattered business and consumer
            confidence. By the fall of 2008, the United States was in the midst of
            the worst recession since the 1930s, and major financial institutions
            were on the verge of bankruptcy. The financial crisis and recession
            spread around the world. Many saw a risk that the global financial
            system might collapse, perhaps precipitating a repetition of the lengthy
            economic deva…

            http://hbr.org/product/the-great-recession-2007-2010-causes-and-consequen/an/910M08-PDF-ENG

    • JonS

      It may not be by design but what Gregg says is absolutely true.  By  Bush opening up offshore drilling it removed speculators from buying futures on oil since more oil would be produced. If Obama said/did anything that convinced speculators that more oil in significant quantities was coming into production, the price of oil would drop.

      • Gregg

        If Obama had said on day one he was going to extend all the Bush tax cuts instead of waiting 2 years and doing it anyway, countless jobs would have been saved. Not to change the subject but it’s the same dynamic. People and businesses make long term plans. Confidence is golden and there hasn’t been any for a while now.

    • Anonymous

      I’m sure nothing else happened between July 2008 and December 2008 that would have affected the price of gas.  No sir.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      PROVE that YOU, and EVERY other ‘Drill, Baby, Drill!’ fanatic were down in the Gulf of Mexico, cleaning up the mess caused by Drilling, Babies, Drilling?  You could have towed your private yatch behind your Hummer?

  • Anonymous

    Can we get this episode posted to iTunes?????
     
    Also, as to racism, as long as slavery continues through the mass incarceration of blacks as the result of non-violent (drug) crimes, we will see racism continue.  It’s not the jailed blacks but those who live their lives under post-incarceration supervision with no prospect for jobs and denied housing and the safety net they and thier families need.

  • JonS

    Tom Ashbrook–please explain Jack Beatty’s role in your Friday roundup? Most times he sounds like he takes his talking points from David Axelrod and David Plouffe and Friday’s show was more of the same. My examples: first Jack’s critique of Romney’s character and the examples he cited pail in comparison to some of the lies that Obama gets away with. Just last Sunday , the Washington Post in a front page article revealed what really happened in the debt ceiling negotiations between Boehner and Obama. According to the story, it was Obama and not the evil Republicans that walked away from the debt deal after Boehner called Obama’s bluff by giving Obama the $800m in tax increases that Obama insisted upon in order to accept spending cuts , etc that Republicans wanted. And then Obama had the gall to go before the American people in a prime time address and outright lie to Americans that Republicans and Tea Partiers were obstructionists when it was  Obama who never wanted a deal so he could run against a “do-nothing Congress”……. Or how about Obama’s blatant lie about his Mother’s health insurance problem that was revealed by the NYTimes reporter Janny Scott in her bio about his mother, Anne Dunham and repeated in his recently issued 17 minute campaign bio film. Obama claimed during the debate on Obamacare and during his 2008 campaign that his  mother was denied  insurance coverage for her cancer treatments because of a ” pre-existing medical condition”.  According to the NYT reporter, the actual dispute centered on a disability insurance policy and that her health insurer reimbursed his mother for most of her medical expenses without dispute.  Obama’s willingness to falsify facts about a personal tragedy in order to make a political point speaks volumes about not only his cynicism but also his character…. or how about Obama appearing in Oklahoma on Thursday and signing an “executive order ” to  “approve” the Keystone pipeline extension from Okla to Texas when NOTHING was needed to be approved by Obama to expand the pipeline SOUTH to Texas. The entire charade was orchestrated to confuse this event with his outright opposition to the Canada pipeline extension which DOES need his approval and which he continues to obstruct ( including petitioning wavering Democratic Senators as recently as 2 weeks ago to vote against the Can/US Keystone amendment).. Obama was hoping to confuse the American public knowing that the mainstream media would protect his outright lies. This says alot about what he thinks of the intelligence of the American people and the integrity of the mainstream media who allow him to get away with this.

    Finally , why doesn’t On-Point comment on the recent report that the so-called Buffet rule would generate $14b in additional revenue over 10years , in other words a drop in the bucket to deal with a $1.4 trillion budget deficit? More importantly, why does Obama promote a policy that does nothing to deal with the deficit? His appeal is divisive , encourages class resentment and is anything but presidential in his resort to class warfare. Absolutely disgusting! 

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Excellent post.

      I was taken aback by Jack’s comments on Romney.  It was clearly a non sequitur vis a vis the etch-a-sketch and he somehow turned that into talking points about so called ‘lies’ about Obama’s record.

      I expect we will see more attempts by the media to prop up Obama as he falls in the polls and it gets closer to November.

      Very sad.

      • Still Here

        He’s a weasel.

      • TFRX

        The same way the media was telling us that it was “neck and neck” at the end of October 2008, or how Politico was convincing so many mainstream hacks that every screwup by McCain and Palin was “such good news for Republicans”?

        You got a warped sense of history.

    • Anonymous

      You know you could go and listen to Fox if you don’t like Jack Beatty’ “role”. It’s called having an opinion based on ones view of the world. Apparently it’s not to your liking. Change the station or turn it off.

      • JonS

        So love it or leave it ….I’ve been listening to Tom Ashbrook ever since he started on WBUR after 9/11.  And I do read the WSJ , NYT and watch Fox News as well as listen to NPR every day.  Perhaps you should expand your horizons and news outlets. I’d recommend your watching FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace which happens to be in my opinion the best Sunday News program. When Ashbrook first went on air  his program was much more balanced as he scheduled responsible and articulate spokespersons from both sides of an issue. Ever since Tom took over the 10-12 time slot on WBUR  on occasion his program attempts to have balance, just not often enough for my taste . Jack Beatty is credited as being a news analyst. But rarely does he offer anything other than a hard left point of view that too often requires correction by the rare moderate/conservative guest or the even rarer conservative caller ( such as the gentlemen from Tenn. who frequently calls in). Jack Beatty can have his views but he’s portrayed with an air of objectivity and balance that’s wholly undeserved.  If I have to hear someone mouth Axelrod/ Wasserman-Schultz talking points , as a matter of honesty I’d prefer having them as opposed to Hanover’s Jack Beatty present those points of view.

        • Gregg

          I agree about Chris Wallace. “This Week” is not nearly as credible since David Brinkley left. MTP misses Tim Russert badly. I never could stomach Bob Schieffer.

    • Gregg

      Very nice work. It’s disappointing to see folks defend lies. Proven, known lies. 

      I knew when I read it someone would cite the Rush/Fox monster. Clockwork.

      • Hidan

        “Very nice work. It’s disappointing to see folks defend lies. Proven, known lies. ”

        bhahahaha. sure. That’s why you listen to Rush and Coulter the natural truth tellers.

    • Zero

      For a reality check click here: http://www.cbo.gov/publication/42905

  • TomK in Boston

    Speculators aren’t stupid, and it’s obvious that posturing over offshore drilling will have no immediate impact on supply/demand and minimal impact longer term. The only effect this could possibly have is if speculators, who are totally short-term, thought it would cause other speculators to sell. So none if this is relevant to supply/demand, only to psychology.

    If anyone is interested in the real world, vs attacking the President: The USA makes its big contribution to world oil demand, not supply, so obviously the place for us to have some leverage is on the demand side. So anyone who was actually interested in the price instead of ideology would be advocating higher fuel efficiency standards, more public transport, more natural gas fueled vehicles….it that silence I hear?

    Tension in the ME adds a fear premium to price, so anyone who was actually interested in the price instead of ideology would be advocating less macho posturing on iran…are those war drums beating I hear from the right? Guess what, a few prominent TeaOPpers running their mouths about attacking iran raises the price a lot more than any new domestic production could decrease it.

    Here’s a happy note for the Obama haters to sleep on. The oil price rises when the economy strengthens, and we get 4 more years if the economy strengthens. Say goodnight, etch-a-sketch.

    • William

      So we demand the rest of the world pump more oil while we refuse to do so in our own country? This makes no sense and neither does Obama’s failed energy policies.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Subsidizing oil and coal, in MANY ways, for almost a hundred years, makes more sense to you, than diversifying our energy use methods?
           MANY of the oil and gas wells ALREADY here, are gelled, plugged, and otherwise NOT in production.  YOU never asked WHY?

        • William

          Who is stopping anyone from diversifying to other energy sources? The largest share of tax breaks, money is going to the “alternative energy” sector and not the oil or nuclear sector.

          • TFRX

            You’ve got a creative way with numbers.

            Want to look up, say, the artificial legal limit for nuclear meltdown costs a company will every be made to pay?

      • Fredlinskip

          I guess you missed the memo:
        The number of producing oil rigs in U.S. America has more than quadrupled in the past three years.

        • Gregg

          Where on earth do you get your news?

          • Fredlinskip

            You won’t hear it on Fox- that doesn’t make it any less a fact.

          • Gregg

            Maybe I’m misreading you but if you are under the impression President Obama has any hand in the increased domestic oil and natural gas then you are being deviously misled. It’s devious because the increase is true but not a result of anything Obama did. His taking credit is shameless. So, I’m wondering if it was a lefty news outlet or if you took Obama’s word for it? Either way it’s absurd and the dumbing down by the media is sad.

            And again, the 3rd option is I’m missing a broader point you are trying to make.

          • Fredlinskip

            The fact is, unlike under W, increased oil and gas production has occurred in a big way under Obama (as you point out above).
            Whether Obama admin initiated this trend or simply encouraged it, I would need to further research to either support or refute your claim.
               It’s hard to imagine that he doesn’t deserve at least SOME credit for this trend- just as he does in encouraging research into alternate sources.

          • Gregg

            Obama did not initiate nor encourage any of it. He’s killing it. This is beyond being misled you are willfully blind.

          • Fredlinskip

            If Obama is fighting it, he sure is doing a terrible job seeing as, unlike under W, American gas and oil production has increased dramatically.

        • William

          On private land where the government is having a difficult time stopping. Why is the administration backing huge off-shore oil drilling in Brazil but not here?

          • Fredlinskip

               Bottom line is that greater production of oil in America has little effect on gas prices. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do so, if for no other reason than jobs it involves.
                For this same reason America needs to be on the leading edge of all energy producing and energy savings technologies.
             Fact is that the ONLY effective way America can counter price at pump is to drive fuel efficient vehicles.
            Therefore, for those truly patriotic citizens who wish our gov to do what’s best for country, a more effective mantra than  “drill, baby”, would be “increase fuel efficiency standards, baby”. Or maybe it should be, “regulate, baby, regulate.”
             
               And of course we need pursue all other energy saving strategies and technologies available.

          • Fredlinskip

            And true patriotism also involves encouraging American auto industry and when possible, buy American cars.

    • Gregg

      Surely you don’t think President Obama’s aggressive agenda to stop drilling and speculating has helped matters. Do you? I like the natural gas fueled vehicles. Part of Boone Pickens plan was to convert all municipal vehicles. I could advocate that if I get to keep my Hummer.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        For over thirty years, you could have converted your over-sized, over-priced gas-guzzler to burn natural gas, in addition to gasoline!
           News to you?  I’m sorry that you live in such a bubble?

        • Gregg

          That’s funny!

      • TomK in Boston

        There is no “aggressive agenda to stop drilling” and you know it. US oil production is increasing for the first time in decades and gas production is skyrocketing. Funny how that’s happening with an “aggressive agenda to stop drilling”, I must say, LOL. There’s tons of drilling going on, and if gvt is finally carrying out its regulatory function at the same time, that’s the way it should be, the American way.

        After the BP disaster we just had a brief halt, in deepwater drilling only, to try to insure that it wouldn’t happen again, and you guys were screaming that Obama had shut down oil production. Similarly, after a horrible economic crash caused by the deregulated financial gamblers, you go crazy over some baby steps of re-regulation. C’mon, take a break with ideology and try common sense.

        Anyway, good luck with the “aggressive agenda to stop drilling” script as O&G production continues to climb. 

        • Gregg

          Oh yes there is an aggressive agenda to stop drilling. And as to the surge and the reasons, check that right-wing propaganda machine The New York Times:

          http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/23/business/energy-environment/inching-toward-energy-independence-in-america.html?pagewanted=4&_r=1&ref=us

          “National oil production, which declined steadily to 4.95 million barrels
          a day in 2008 from 9.6 million in 1970, has risen over the last four
          years to nearly 5.7 million barrels a day. The Energy Department
          projects that daily output could reach nearly seven million barrels by
          2020. Some experts think it could eventually hit 10 million barrels —
          which would put the United States in the same league as Saudi Arabia. [...] The Bush administration worked from the start on finding
          ways to unlock the nation’s energy reserves and reverse decades of
          declining output, with Mr. Cheney leading a White House energy task
          force that met in secret with top oil executives. [...] The Bush administration also opened large swaths of the Gulf of
          Mexico and the waters off Alaska to exploration, granting lease deals
          that required companies to pay only a tiny share of their profits to the
          government.”

          • Fredlinskip

             Your above excerpt shows national oil production declined under W, but under Obama has increased significantly and trend should should continue-
            That’s a good thing.

            “Bush admin encouraged opening large swaths of Gulf”- did they also encourage the oversight necessary for such ventures, so that BP oil spills might not occur? No, W admin leaned towards less letting businesses regulate themselves.

            “Bush admin” granted “lease deals that required companies to pay only a tiny share of profits to gov”-

            That’s a great strategy- 
            long as you have absolutely no concern about our nation’s National debt.

          • Gregg

            The drilling did not cause debt, I don’t know how you get that.

            The BP thing is interesting. You should be careful what you ask. Yes, in 2003 Bush put in place sweeping oversight regulations. Under Obama’s watch BP violated them. Further, who was the top recipient of politicsl donations from BP. Yup, Obama. That begs the question, why did he exempt BP from environmental impact studies?

            “The Interior Department exempted BP’s calamitous Gulf of Mexico
            drilling operation from a detailed environmental impact analysis last
            year, according to government documents, after three reviews of the area
            concluded that a massive oil spill was unlikely. The decision by
            the department’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) to give BP’s lease
            at Deepwater Horizon a “categorical exclusion” from the National
            Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on April 6, 2009 — and BP’s lobbying
            efforts just 11 days before the explosion to expand those exemptions —
            show that neither federal regulators nor the company anticipated an
            accident of the scale of the one unfolding in the gulf.”

            My guess is you have never heard about any of this or you would not post such things.

          • Fredlinskip

            “The drilling did not cause debt, I don’t know how you get that.” 
            here’s a clue- lack of revenue, is tied to increase of national debt.

            Not surprised that “..regulators nor the company anticipated…” the accident.
            How dumb is that- it’s not like they’re gonna say, “Oh yeah, we knew she was gonna blow”.

          • Gregg

            Dude, Obama gave BP a categorical exclusion from the National
            Environmental Policy Act. BP lobbied hard and donated heavily they even got an award before the disaster. How do you dismiss that? Answer: Ideology.

            And the revenue thing, you seem to think the government is entitled to as much money as they want from whoever it belongs to. Lower gas prices are a boon to revenue. You really don’t have a leg to stand on.

            You should listen to Rush and watch Fox.

          • Fredlinskip

            Maybe you’ve made a good point about BP- My time is scarce lately- I’ll study when I can.

            “Government entitled”
            government is us- we elected them- if we don’t wish to be perpetually crushed by debt- the debt has to be paid down- not rocket science. 

      • Fredlinskip

         I guess you missed the memo:
        The number of producing oil rigs in U.S. America has more than quadrupled in the past three years.

        • Gregg

          Are you one of those people who argued against ANWR because it would take so many years to come on line? Do you think Obama is responsible for the surge? Au Contraire. 

  • Terry Tree Tree

    The criminal leader of the Roman Child-Molesting and Child-Abusing church is in Mexico, to get the drug cartels to molest children, instead of kill each other?

    • Hidan

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8JaLsFiYI4

  • TomK in Boston

    If anyone actually believes that the Ryan class warfare budget is an attempt to “save” medicare, let me explain. Here’s the plan:

    1. Don’t make any attempt to restrain costs. You call that “rationing” or “death panels”. Continue to subsidize predatory insurance corporations and big pharma.

    2. Keep gvt revenues as low as you can with tax cuts (aka “starve the beast”).

    3. Convert the comprehensive medicare us boomers get into Ryan Groupons. Adjust the value of the groupons to whatever will balance the budget according to 1) and 2). It doesn’t matter if the Groupons cover the cost of health care. That is totally irrelevant. If they end up paying for a bottle of aspirin and a box of band-aids, and that allows us to keep taxes low on the oligarchs, we’re happy. Medicare is saved.

    When you need an expensive procedure and all you have is a Ryan Groupon to take to WellPoint, you will experience a real death panel.

    When I hear about how Ryan will “save” medicare, the first thing that comes to mind is the vietnam era line, “We had to destroy the village in order to save it”. IMO it’s a perfect anlogy.

    • Zero

      Yeah, I really don’t understand this “boy genius” Ryan.  I can do Ryan’s job: cut beyond political and economical reality, cut taxes for the rich (because the real problem is that the rich ain’t rich enough), and say that I am the one serious about saving America. 

      Apparently, the ideological box is a little too strong for Ryan to think outside of.

      • Hidan

         Republicans remind me of the British National Party (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_National_Party) and because obama and the likes have in a sense acted as moderate republicans the republican have run off the deep end to show there nothing like him.

        Compare today’s republican batch to the BNP. Heck compare the Tories to the Democrats and you’ll find most are running to the right of the Tories.

    • William

      So when Obama took 500 billion out of Medicare that will save Medicare?

    • JonS

      Your post is an example of the problem in politics today. Rather than support a politician demonstrating leadership on a critical issue facing this country ,you vilify Ryan for proposing solutions and offer nothing but empty mediscare criticism. Ryan makes the “hard choices ” that politicians , including most notably , Obama and the Democratic party (with the notable exception of Oregon Dem. Senator Ron Wyden) refuse to address.  Senator Wyden worked with Ryan on his Medicare changes which  is very similar to what Federal government employees receive for medical insurance.

      Ryan’s budget proposes structural reforms to Medicare before it drives this country into fiscal ruin. His budget faces up to , rather than denies or ignores, certain mathematical and democratic realities.  Ten years from now there just will not be enough people working and supporting our entitlement programs to pay for these benefits for retirees.  In the past , we could avoid dealing with entitlement programs , even if doing it wasn’t wise. But today , dealing with them is a fiscal–and arguably moral imperative. That’s because we’re on a Greece-like trajectory.

  • Anonymous

    The Tray Martin discussion is very strange indeed. I’m sure most of us would feel quite threatened by an individual following us at night. Why, once it became evident that the person was armed, we might be downright frightened. It would seem to me that the right to protect ourselves from bodily harm at the hands of an unknown stalker would be sacrosanct. Yet, I see vague assertions in the media and on this very forum that Martin was somehow the “aggressor.” If some shithead had a gun pointed at me, and I could somehow get the upper hand, I’d beat him to a bloody pulp and cram his gun down his throat. I wonder what most of you would do?

    • Zero

      It’s quite obvious that ‘self-defense’ can only be applied to Martin.

      • feettothefire

        Please explain how a man who pulls a gun on someone in the street gets to “defend” himself from someone engaged in defending himself from the gun he pulled.

        • Gregg

          What kind of question is that? It’s wacky.

          • Anonymous

             It’s not “whacky” at all. If you’re walking down the street and someone threatens you with a gun, I would assume you believe you have the right to defend yourself. If, in doing so, you put the gunman in a position where HE now feels threatened by your actions, does he get to shoot you and claim Sef-defense? Seems like a pretty simple question to me.

          • Gregg

            Maybe if they were dueling starting off back to back then going 50 paces I’d agree.

            My neighbor’s dog was sleeping on his porch. I walked over and kicked him in the head. The dog yelped once then came at me so I shot him. So I told my neighbor it was self-defense.

            above anecdote fictional

        • Zero

           I said ‘self-defense’ applies to Martin, not Zimmerman.

          • feettothefire

            I thought I detected sarcasm in your response. I was wrong, obviously. Sorry, my mistake.

    • Gregg

      Wow, your new manly picture (big improvement) has made you a tough guy. Is that a cigarette? Impressive!

      You do raise an interesting point though. I would think if Trayvon were old enough to be legally packing he would have had every right to defend himself and shoot Zimmerman once Zimmerman followed him and pointed the gun. Many seem to believe Zimmerman was just out hunting black kids to shoot but I don’t think that happens much. But lets say Zimmerman was just such a person, wouldn’t justice have been better served if Trayvon defended himself?

      • feettothefire

        Trayvon DID defend himself, from the person following him with a gun, an action which I believe most of us would at least try to have taken, and justifiably so. Based on what I’m now reading, he was succeeding. So the man who threatened him with a gun shot him. Apparently the logic goes, if you try to defend yourself from a man who threatens you with a gun, he’s justified in killing you for trying to defend youself, even though he instigated the whole incident. This means if I’m engaged in an illegal act, and a cop points a gun at me, I get to shoot him in self-defense without fear of criminal repercussions, just as Zimmerman did to Martin. Please answer the final question posed  above. If you could, would you defend yourself against an individual who pointed a gun at you, and would he be justified in shooting you for doing so? By the way, Sam Adams. Stout.

        • Gregg

          Too wacky to address. Sorry.

          • feettothefire

            Whacky??? It’s a very simple question. It’s the very basis of Florida’s “stand your ground” law. We should be allowed to defend ourselves from aggressors who would do us harm, without fear of repercussions for doing so. Now people are using Trayvon Martin’s use of that very principle of sef-defense as a justification of Zimmerman’s actions. Maybe if he didn’t want to get beat up by people who don’t want to get shot, he should’t have been walking around with a gun.

  • Fredlinskip

    In end the reason for high prices at pump we currently endure:
    1) have little to do with price of barrel of oil,
    (oil was $40 higher under W, yet gas prices about the same as now)
    2) not a lot to do with speculation
    (speculation can drive up oil price, but again this does not seem to correlate directly with gas prices)
    3) perhaps may have something to do with lack of refineries?- (which would implicate oil corps negligence- that is, had they bothered build refineries, price of gas and profits would go down)

       It seems when all is said and done, the reason gas prices are so high, is:

     Oil companies gouge us- BECAUSE THEY CAN.   And perhaps it DOES have a bit to do with this being an election year?

    Show me a more plausible explanation- anyone?

    • 2trudells

      I don’t know how old you are, Fred. But I’m old enough to remember the first oil embargo in the mid seventies, when the price of gas went all the way up to “FIFTY CENTS” a gallon. People have been wringing their hands over the price of gas ever since. Every president since has had his own gasoline price disaster. It’s all a red herring. Adjusted for inflation, the price of gas was $3.75 per gallon in 1918, $3.20 per gallon in 1938, and $3.37 per gallon in 1981. For 2011 the average price was $3.48. Despite all the gnashing of teeth and cursing to the heavens, the price has gone up. And the price has come down. It will continue to do so, just as it has for the last forty years. 

      • Fredlinskip

        Gas prices rose over 400% in the 8 short years between 1999 and 2007.
        Personally, I have a hard time justifying such swings as “normal” and somehow justifiable.

        The most relevant explanation would seem to be that in recent years, oil corps have decided to charge whatever they believe the market can bear.

        I guess I would have to study the peak years you cite to appreciate the validity of your point.
        1939 end of depression
        1981 Ronnie’s first year
        1918 End of World War 1

        But perhaps you’re right, like the inevitability of death and low taxes for the wealthy, gas prices will fluctuate- so there’s no sense actually examining the cause.
         
        Appreciate your input.

        • twenty-niner

          Oil companies do not set the price of oil. The price is set on commodity exchanges. All oil companies can do (including OPEC) to affect the price is to increase or decrease the rate of production and wait for the markets to react.

          In the last five years, the price of oil is more a function of the money supply. Historically, an ounce of gold buy on average 20 barrels of oil. Current spot gold is $1662.80, which would predict gold at $83.00/barrel. Given tensions with Iran, Nymex WTI Cushing Spot Oil at $106.47 is probably a fair value.

          • Fredlinskip

             Thanks, that gives me some direction for further study.

              But still, if I understand your comment correctly, this does not get to the question of why price of oil seems to often have little to do with price of gas.

              And also, are you in agreement, with the premise that no matter how much oil America produces, this has scant little to do with prices at pump??

          • Frelinskip

             Or… are you implying that rising price of gasoline is largely about a weakening dollar?

          • twenty-niner

            Precisely. In 2008, oil went from nearly $150/barrel to $30/barrel in five months. In that same time, the value of the dollar exploded as panicking investors rotated out of equities into Treasuries, which are dollar denominated.  In that period, oil demand didn’t collapse. Oil in fact, is very inelastic, which means demand is so steady that consumers pay whatever the given price is and try to live with it, up to a point.

            Since then, the Fed, in coordination with the other central banks, have been printing furiously causing all of the big currencies to lose value with respect  to commodities. This, in essence, is a tax on savers to the betterment of borrowers.

    • Hidan

       U.S. knowing full well that placing sanctions on Iranian oil would raise the price of gas. Since both Democrats and Republicans are in the Tank(bribed) for Israel. They went with the sanctions and both sides figure they can use the  of course rise in oil as an political tool.  Republicans can came it’s due to not drilling enough and the Democrats can claim oil speculation and better economy (even know Franch is on the verge of a recession and Europe is still messed up).

      So instead of saying due to pressure from the Israeli lobby we (White House and Congress) placed sanctions on Iranian oil knowing full well that it would in a sense be an tax increase on all Americans.

       
       

  • david

    While everyone was caught up in all the distractive news this pass week, Obamacare passed gas again this week.
    HHS annoucnes this week, as they all promised would not be, Obama signed a promise it would not be, the Dems. said would not be, Botox Pelosi said would not be, many here on this site insisted would not be, the American people were told would not be, BUT!!! as Gomer Pyle would said; SURPRISE! SURPRISE! SURPRISE!!!
    And as I said would happen when this bill was passed and as Pelosci stated, We must pass this bill first to see what is in it. 
    Enter  “the Abortion Premium Mandate”
    Say it or spell it anyway you want too, Somebody has lied to the American people!
    Obama surely will not take the blame!

    • david

      When the truth comes out, the lefties remain silent.
      You believed a lie, you defended a lie and now Obamacare will prove it to be true.

      • Gregg

        How many times did Obama say (lie), if you like your policy you can keep it?

        • david

          The CBO,you know the ones who told us how much Obamacare would cost, they now tell us that their math was “just” a little off. It is going to cost now some $1.7 Trillion over ten years. That is twice what their original selling point was. And keep your policy!!!! They now predict some 20 Million will lose their present policies due to Obamacare. Now that is change I am forced to believe in!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Hidan

    Not reported in the news

    Hundreds of soccer fans crowd Jerusalem mall: ‘Death to Arabs!’

    Buoyed by a home win, Jewish fans of football club Beitar Jerusalem this week rampaged through a nearby shopping centre following an evening match, attacking Arab workers and shoppers in one of the worst racial brawls seen in the city in recent years.The entire episode, which occurred at Jerusalem’s Malha Mall on Monday night, was captured on closed-circuit television, but Israeli police made no arrests, and the incident received no media attention until yesterday, prompting fury in Israel’s blogosphere.The attacks are the culmination of a long record of violent and anti-Arab behaviour by ultranationalist fans at Beitar, a club identified with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party. The Israeli Football Association’s efforts to rein in the club’s unruly fans have so far met with limited success.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/03/hundreds-of-soccer-fans-crowd-jerusalem-mall-death-to-arabs.html

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/antiarab-soccer-fans-rampage-in-shopping-centre–but-no-arrests-7584089.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=d3_dty1oSz4

     

    • JonS

      I guess the news about this soccer match was drowned out by news of  the continuing indiscriminate barrage of thousands of missiles fired from Gaza into Israeli schools , villages , and settlements . Or maybe it was drowned out by news of an Arab monster arriving on a motorcycle and systematically and deliberately slaughtering Jewish children as they arrived  for school in Toulouse , then calmly entering the school and grabbing an 8 year old by her hair and shooting her in the head before escaping.  I’m sure voices of outrage and condemnation were heard all over the Arab world.

      • Hidan

        Yep cause all arabs are the same. Israeli Jews aren’t racist and because a man shoot both Jews and muslims this event shouldn’t be covered. Because rockets were fired in gaza(and bombs dropped on gazans actually slaughtering Palestinians  children,systematically and deliberately)

        “I’m sure voices of outrage and condemnation were heard all over the Arab world.”

        In franch both Jews and Muslims and other french express outrage and solidarity. In israel there only mourn the dead Jews.

        According to Jon dead children are only human if  there Jewish children, racist attacks, murder of Palestinians children is considered valid cause of rockets fired after Israel started droping bomb on gaza..

        Bet you call yourself a good christian  too.

      • Hidan

         So what did the liberal non-racist democracy do?

        “The police defended its failure to make any arrests, saying it had
        received no complaints from any of the public, a response that drew
        immediate derision. “No complaints and no arrests. Does this mean riots
        against Arabs in malls is acceptable behaviour in Israel?” tweeted
        Joseph Dana, an Israeli blogger.”

        Sounds like Sanford FL.

  • Hidan

    When a group of fans started to heckle and spit on Palestinian women dining with their children in the food hall, the centre’s Arab cleaning staff rushed to their defence and chased the fans off. But moments later, the fans returned, and started to attack the Arab staff.

    They [the fans] caught some of them and beat the hell out of them,” Yair, the Jewish owner of a bakery in the shopping centre, told Israel’s Haaretz newspaper. “They hurled people into shops, and smashed them against shop windows. … One cleaner was attacked by some 20 people, poor guy.” The brawl might have turned deadly, but food hall staff refused to respond to fans’ demands for knives and sticks. It was only when police arrived 40 minutes later the situation was brought under control.

    Will NPR or Onpoint talk about this?

  • Anne

    Please post to iTunes!!!

  • Hidan

    To prove that the U.S. so cares about Human Rights will be the only Nation with an opposing vote on the United Nations’ Human Rights Council decision to establish an international investigative committee on the West Bank settlements.

    The resolution was passed with 36 votes, while 10 stated absented, and
    the United States was singled itself out as the only country that voted
    against it.

    http://www.imemc.org/article/63189

    Than Israeli racist FM wants to withold taxes to the P.A.  and of course the Mall incident not covered in the U.S.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-mulls-ways-to-penalize-pa-in-wake-of-un-human-rights-probe-1.420541

    So much for Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton and the likes actually caring about Human rights.

    • JonS

      The UN Human Rights Council should itself be under investigation for human rights abuses. According to Freedom House 2011 assessment of freedom in the world, of the 41 members of the UN Human Rights council, fewer than half are free countries. Ten are ranked “Not Free” and twelve “Partly Free”. Among the “Not Free” members are Angola , China, Congo, Cuba, Jordan, Russia , and Saudi Arabia. Those countries elections, if they have them, are rigged, and prominent opponents of the incumbents are jailed , tortured, and killed. Just last month the Council was urged to cancel a planned resolution PRAISING the Qaddaffi regime’s human rights. I suspect Qaddaffi may have been honored for having brought down a plane filled with over 250 innocent people over Lockerbie Scotland. Apparently the more disgusting , barbaric, inhumane and bloodthirsty the regime , the more praise you receive from this illustrious body. And the more a country practices respect for human rights and universal democratic values despite being threatened by hostile neighbors, the greater the censure from this august body.

      • Hidan

         Freedom house is a right wing research group that does not peer review it’s stuff. An shell of
        National Endowment for Democracy who housed people like Henry Kissinger . It also pays for it’s articles to be publish while at the same time  pretending that it’s articles are bona fide journalists. Many members of the freedom establishment can be linked to anti-democratic events around the world.

        Freedom house is junk come up with something better.

        http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Freedom_House

        http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=National_Endowment_for_Democracy

        Some of the names you listen the U.S. openly supports such govenrments like China, Saudi Arabia. Did nothing during the Rhwada genocide that killed more than 250 people. Supported (like Israel did) the South African Apartheid government, and many South American Despots who killed hundreds of thousands under the tutelage of the U.S. 

        The Top Brass are neo-cons

        David J. Kramer

        David J. Kramer” took the oath of office as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor on March 21, 2008

        http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=David_J._Kramer

        http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Project_for_the_New_American_Century

        PNAC’s policy document, “Rebuilding America’s Defences,” openly advocated for total global military domination. Many PNAC members held highest-level positions in the George W. Bush administration. The Project was an initiative of the New Citizenship Project (501c3).

        • Hidan

           “Some of the names of the countries you listed”

      • Hidan

         “Justin Raimondo, the libertarian editorial director of the popular
        website Antiwar.com, voiced a similar concern: “The U.S.
        government-funded organization known as ‘Freedom House’ has recently
        delivered a Christmas present to Russian President Vladimir Putin: his
        country has been downgraded, from ‘partially free’ to ‘not free.’
        Israel, of course, is deemed completely ‘free,’ in spite of treating its
        Arab subjects worse than Sparta ever treated its helots. Putin is no
        Jeffersonian democrat, but neither has he rounded up and imprisoned an
        entire people and sought to ethnically cleanse them from their homeland.
        Freedom House standards are elastic, bending to the dictates of
        American foreign policy.”

        Justin Raimundo, “The Devil’s Christmas,” Antiwar.com, December 24, 2004.

  • Eamonrkenny

    How come I cannot download “Hour 1″, the news portion, as a podcast? That’s the best part!!

  • Hidan

    Jon want’s me to take seriously  Freedom house as some type of objective source.

    David J. Kramer President of Freedom House

    Why Egypt moved against unregistered NGOs

    The problem did not begin on Dec. 29, when 17 offices of 10 NGOs operating throughout Egypt were investigated. It started several years ago. Egyptian judicial actions were not initiated to harm relations with the United States, nor were they implemented to curtail civil society. The dispute involves a handful of NGOs that are operating here illegally. But more than 35,000 Egyptian and 83 foreign NGOs, including 23 American ones, operate in Egypt without a problem. Egyptian civil society, with 200 years of history, is flourishing. Its future will not be determined by judicial action concerning a handful of NGOs operating outside the law

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-egypt-moved-against-unregistered-ngos/2012/03/05/gIQAEHrf1R_story.html

    Egyptian law requires all NGOs to register before starting operations. Last year alone, 4,500 NGOs were registered. The NGOs under investigation are not registered; their activities are, therefore, illegal. Whether and when they applied for registration, or should have, does not change the fact that they were operating illegally.

    Under the former regime, unregistered NGOs functioned at a minimal level and were funded directly by the State Department. The former Egyptian government attempted to deal with the issue through quiet diplomacy, with no success.

    • Hidan

       After the Egyptian revolution began last winter, the U.S. government decided that these NGOs should expand their activities. To fund this expansion, Washington chose to direct economic assistance that previously had been allocated under conditions negotiated in the 1978 bilateral agreement and in a mutually agreed-upon exchange of letters. The letters stipulated that U.S. funding should be provided only to registered NGOs after consultation with the Egyptian government. This was the established practice. But in February 2011, Washington unilaterally declared that unregistered NGOs would be funded. In the past 10 months, $150 million that had previously been allocated to assist the Egyptian people, who are experiencing quite challenging times, was reprogrammed by Washington to these Egyptian and American NGOs. That amount is more than what was provided to NGOs over the past six years.

      All nations restrict foreign political activities and foreign funding of those activities within their borders. Some of the alleged NGO activities would violate American laws if undertaken by foreign entities in the United States.

      Repeated requests by the Egyptian government to the U.S. government to address the situation went unanswered. Moreover, several staff members of one unregistered NGO collectively resigned, stating on independent television that the organization was engaged “in suspicious and wrongdoing activities, discriminating against Muslims and violating other laws.” These allegations are being investigated.

  • Hidan

    More on Freedom House

    Freedom House
    http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/Freedom_House

     Although in recent years the organization has appeared to relax its close association with hawkish U.S. policies, its leadership remains heavily represented by individuals affiliated with neoconservatism and it has continued to support projects aimed at bolstering aggressive U.S. foreign policies.

    Freedom House touts itself as having a “bipartisan character,” and to a great extent this is reflected in its board of trustees. However, as of mid-2011, the board included a number of people who have been associated with rightist advocacy endeavors, including Ruth Wedgwood, who has also served on the board of the Geneva-based UN Watch, a group affiliated with the American Jewish Committee; Thomas A. Dine, former director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and adviser to the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq; Max Kampelman, a retired diplomat who has worked with several neoconservative groups, including the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Kenneth Adelman, a former arms control diplomat who has supported the work of groups like the Project for the New American Century and the Committee on the Present Danger; Paula J. Dobriansky, the Bush administration’s under secretary of state for democracy who has work for the Hudson Institute, the Independent Women’s Forum, among other rightwing groups; Joshua Muravchik, a prominent neoconservative writer formerly based at the American Enterprise Institute; and Mark Palmer, a retired diplomat, member of the Committee on the Present Danger, and

  • Roy Tucker

    What happened to the podcast of this show?  I’ve been looking for it since Friday evening.

  • Anonymous

    Why is this not available on iTunes???

  • guest

    why wasn’t the podcast released on itunes?

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