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Week In The News: China, Afghanistan, Occupy Returns

The U.S. gives up China’s barefoot lawyer. President Obama in Afghanistan. “Occupy” is back. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Police push back protesters near a banner that reads "Happy May Day," Tuesday, May 1, 2012, during May Day protests in downtown Seattle. Hundreds of activists across the U.S. joined the worldwide May Day protests on Tuesday, with Occupy Wall Street members in several cities leading demonstrations against major financial institutions. (AP)

Police push back protesters near a banner that reads "Happy May Day," Tuesday, May 1, 2012, during May Day protests in downtown Seattle. Hundreds of activists across the U.S. joined the worldwide May Day protests on Tuesday, with Occupy Wall Street members in several cities leading demonstrations against major financial institutions. (AP)

China’s Chen, Afghanistan’s future, and a dead Bin Laden all over the news this week.  The US, back and forth on a high wire with China over barefoot lawyer Chen, who seemed afraid to stay and afraid to go . It’s politically loaded on both sides of the Pacific. 

President Obama turned up at midnight in Kabul talking a new dawn for Afghanistan and reminding everyone of Osama Bin Laden’s killing a year ago.  Mitt Romney says  Jimmy Carter would have done it.  Unemployment to 8.1 percent.  Occupy,  back on the streets. 

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

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Gideon Rose, is the editor of Foreign Affairs.

Steven Greenhouse, labor and workplace reporter for the New York Times.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “The recall vote here has been billed as a critical test of labor muscle versus corporate money. But it is only a warm-up for a confrontation that will play out during the presidential election, which both sides view as the biggest political showdown in at least 30 years between pro- and anti-union forces — a labor-management fight writ large.”

Foreign Policy “Chen is a hero to China’s growing community of liberal activists. FP spoke with a number of Chen supporters, whose views have often been lost amid the flurry of reporting over the diplomatic efforts to free the blind activist. “He’s a very pure moral voice” in a land where moral power is “weak,” said a Beijing-based columnist and author.”

Politico “Mitt Romney has led the parade of Republicans accusing President Barack Obama of politicizing the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death for political gain — delighting in what they view as Obama’s “Mission Accomplished” moment.”

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  • Yar

    I have this mental image of a person taking the picture of the scream into his home, the spouse with the exact same expression as the painting saying what did you pay for that?  
    Bragging rights? Yes, inflation is going to make money worth less until it actually becomes worthless.  But in revolutionary times art can become a burden as much as an asset.  I liked what Wendell Berry said in his speech at the NEH a week and a half ago.  “If you can appropriate for little or nothing the work and hope of enough such farmers, then you may dispense the grand charity of “philanthropy.” http://www.neh.gov/about/awards/jefferson-lecture/wendell-e-berry-lecture
    I expect the scream painting will end up a museum eventually, but as Berry put it, whose work and hope was exploited to acquire the 120 million that made it possible to spend  that amount for “bragging rights”?

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Scott Walker raised $13.2 MILLION from foreign ‘corporate citizens’ last quarter?
       Who is continuing to try to buy him one job, so he can wreck thousands of jobs?  Iranian ‘citizen corporations’?  Chinese ‘citizen corporations’?  Bin Ladens ‘citizen corporations’?
       Someone’s buying something BIG, with Big MONEY?

  • Terry Tree Tree

    We endured 8 years of ‘W’ BRAGGING that he’d ‘get’ bin Laden, PLUS all those ‘Red and Orange Security Alerts’, just before election times!
        Romney said he wouldn’t spend $Millions to get bin Laden?
        Romney WHINES that President Obama ‘uses’ killing bin Laden ‘politically’?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      CORRECTION;  7 years. 
         ‘W’ had been in office nearly seven months of his “I’ll make the U.S. SAFER!” administration, when 9/11 happened!
         Did YOU  feel safer 9/12/2001?

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Decades-old news;   Catholics continue to help Child-RAPING clergy!

  • Terry Tree Tree

    By their own testimonies, Rupert and James Murdoch PROVE they are too Incompetent, or too Corrupt to run a business, of ANY size!

  • U.S. Vet.

    G.E. paid no federal taxes on $14 billion in profits.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/ge-filed-57000-page-tax-return-paid-no-taxes-14-billion-profits_609137.html

    Not surprisingly, Jeff Immelt, the C.E.O. of G.E., also happens to be President Obama’s ‘Jobs Czar’ as well.

    G.E. also received federal TARP bailout funds and is shipping American manufacturing jobs to China.

    It ‘pays’ to have friends in high places.

    • JustSayin

       That tax free status, and socializing the losses upon taxpayers is to keep this “Jobs creator” happy — especially if those are Chinese jobs.  Keeping Wall St. and the greed brokers happy, is Job one.

      30 Major Corporations Paid No Income Taxes In The Last Three Years, While Making $160 Billion http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/11/03/360185/30-corporations-no-taxes/?mobile=nc

      • denis

        And what did they pay in the eight years prior to that?  When did the tax law become law that allows those 30 companies to pay no tax?

        • Azra

          . . . and the elite.

    • Chris B

      Don’t blame Obama for this one.  Blame the damned congress and GOP whoremaster Grover Norquist for refusing to close the loopholes that allow them not to pay taxes.

      • Don_B1

        The Reagan “tax reform” of 1986 removed many tax expenditures (loopholes) though not all. It changed a lot of the types of income that qualified for the Alternative Income Tax, removing many of the types that hit only the top 1% of incomes and added types that would affect those above $100,000 or lower incomes, but without indexing so that is why Congress has to “amend” the law to keep it from “kicking in.” That “adjustment was a $140 billion part of the ARRA “Stimulus.”

        But starting after the Republicans took control of Congress in 1995, the reinsertion of loopholes was the name of the game. It was relatively hard in Clinton’s administration because of the “PayGo” rules that meant that any reduction in revenue had to be “paid for” with a revenue increase or the removal of a tax expenditure with an equivalent value.So that is why anyone who talks about “Tax Reform” and the removal of tax loopholes to pay for a reduction in tax rates is just working for PERMANENT lower rates with all the tax loopholes reinstated. Thus this will just cripple the government in the future. And the Republicans do not mind waiting for a while. After all, they have been on this tear since the defeat of Barry Goldwater.

  • Newton Whale

    I look forward to Romney spending the next 6 months trying to convince everyone he would be just as tough as Obama. 

    I love the fact that when Romney whined that Obama was politicizing the killing of bin Laden he hopped on Air Force 1, flew to Afghanistan, and said:
    “Watch this!”It’s called “b#tch slap” politics”, and there’s only one rule:: when the other guy complains that you don’t fight fair, hit him again, harder.http://broadandpennsylvania.blogspot.com/2012/04/presidential-bitch-slap-politics-why.html 

  • U.S. Vet.

    U.S. Navy Seals slam Obama for using them as ‘ammunition’ in bid to to take credit for Bin Laden killing during election campaign.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2137636/Osama-bin-Laden-death-SEALs-slam-Obama-using-ammunition-bid-credit.html

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Republicans USED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of U.S. millitary, as ‘ammunition’, to KILL THOUSANDS of INNOCENT Iraqis, and displace MILLIONS, under ‘decider’ ‘W’.

      • Azra

        They all died for the wrong reason; the BOGUS WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION . . . the most dastardly, and destructive of Republican schemes . . . to date . . . that we know of . . .

        • Terry Tree Tree

          AGREED!  For GREED?

  • Newton Whale

    Politico “Mitt Romney has led the parade of Republicans accusing President Barack Obama of politicizing the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death for political gain — delighting in what they view as Obama’s “Mission Accomplished” moment.——————————————————-
    Earth to Romney and Politico: Bush was lavishly praised when he stood under the Mission Accomplished banner because at the time we thought the war was over. It was only months later when all hell broke loose that he looked ridiculous.

    So, until bin Laden spawns, reanimates, or walks out of the Arabian Sea as a waterlogged zombie, Mitt will have once again shown that he lacks a keen grasp of the obvious: this mission actually WAS accomplished.

    • William

      Not really. Obama revealed too quickly the U.S. Military killed bin Laden before we had a chance to review the intelligence information we captured and go after his network. A huge, grandstanding “mission accomplished” moment by the Obama administration.

      • denis

        You really do not believe what you wrote do you? [Oh wait you are probably ax news 24/7 guy] What % of his network leadership has been captured or killed? What actions have occurred as a result of the captured info?

        • William

          Banking information, other unknown terrorists, wanna be terrorists and most important, sleeper cells in the USA.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Which they probably were going to do, IF the chopper hadn’t wrecked, and the Pakistanis were ALERTED?

      • Don_B1

        The Pakistan government demanded that the U.S. explain what had happened before wild, crazy stories got started in Pakistan. It was enough of a humiliation (deserved) that the Pakistan military had not known of the raid in advance — because they were always a security threat and had to have had knowledge of and were in some way supporters of bin Laden’s presence.

      • Azra

        It was precisly the right time. Everything in that mission was carried out at precisely the right time.

        It was unfortunate that you weren’t consulted before the announcemennt was made, but everyone else who mattered WAS consulted. Here’s hoping that next time, you won’t be overlooked.

  • U.S. Vet.

    Americans renounce their citizenship in record numbers under Obama.

    http://rt.com/usa/news/us-citizenship-tax-denounce-521/

    • Azra

      Good riddance.

      • U.S. Vet.

        I agree completely.

        Living under the subjugation of the IRS, NSA, FBI, DEA, CIA and NDAA is so liberating!

        • ana

          Sounds like you are ready to renounce yours also.  You seem a very unhappy camper in the US.

        • aj

          Did you hear about how Eric Holder’s DEA let some college kid dehdrate to near death? Then all they did was issue a written apology! Americans should be raising hell, which is a very American thing to do, atleast according to Jefferson.

          Holder’s Justice Department is abyssmal! The DEA has gone rogue, the ATF is a bearucratic disaster and should be eliminated, they refused to prosecute Cheney for war crimes (which is their legal obligation) and they refuse to prosecute the banks for perpetrating the biggest fraud on state courts in the history of this 200 plus yr old republic. I could go on, you could too I’m sure.

          Issa wants to hold him in contempt.

    • denis

      Do not know who your “RT” group is; however, I do know their statement about U.S. Citizens paying tax on income earned abroad is at best a poorly informed broad generalization and at worse a blatant lie. Having experience with living and earning income outside of the U.S. I know your listed source is completely inaccurate.

    • JGC

      The U.S. is unique in the world at taxing American citizens on all their worldwide income, no matter their residency.  The most common form of taxation is for a country to tax their citizens only when they claim residency there. Therefore, U.S. citizens must file an FBAR and possibly a 1040 each year, even if, as an extreme example, one was born in the U.S. to a foreign person on a visitor’s visa, and that person only lived here for a year as an infant and then returned to the family home country.  There is a big push under the Obama administration to clamp down on U.S. citizens “hiding” their offshore money.  It gets into the realm of double taxation if you truly do not have any ties to the U.S. but still have the citizenship.  Mainly, it is a pain to file all the paperwork, with the sinister threats of fines and jailtime found on the IRS and Treasury websites.    I hope Mitt Romney has been assiduously filing his FBARs on all his many offshore accounts!  I am licking my chops to see when he finally releases all his tax information, and let the tax experts parse it thoroughly.

      • JGC

        Just wanted to add one more clarification: that is, a U.S. citizen must file an FBAR only if they have any non-U.S. income from a foreign-based source.  If you are a U.S. citizen residing in the U.S. with a bank account in Switzerland, you file an FBAR. If you are a dual U.S./Swiss citizen working and residing in Switzerland, you file an FBAR. Most U.S. citizens do not have to file FBARs because they have no source of income outside the U.S. Many worldwide U.S. citizens are not even aware they have to file the FBAR.    

  • Azra

    Think Mitt will finally release his tax returns today? Looks like he will be the nominee, so he will have to release everything for the last ten years. Without knowing whether or not he has been paying taxes, Americans can’t vote for him.

    In 2010, he made something like $26,000.00, (more than many Americans made for that year), in one day. Why do you suppose he’s hiding everything from us? Very suspicious, indeed.

    If Mitt wants the job, he’ll have to produce. It’s as simple as that. Without those records, we won’t hire him.

  • Azra

    May 1st was a very historic day. It was the one year anniversary of the killing of Bin Laden. Many tried to find him, but every attempt failed. After a few years, we stopped wearing our “Wanted Dead or Alive” tee shirts, and took down the posters. Bush, tail between his legs, admitted defeat.

    Mitt said that HE WOULD NOT GO to Pakistan to get Bin Laden, who wasn’t even worth getting.

    Barack Obama promised the families and friends of Bin Laden’s victims, that HE would find Bin Laden, so they could have closure, no matter what it took; even if it meant going into Pakistan to find him.

    May 1st, 2012 was also the five year anniversary of Bush’s famous “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” ceremony.

    Wonder what ever happened to that banner . . .

    • Azra

      I must confess that I miss those Bin Laden tapes. NOT the real ones. (When did he tape the last one? Does anyone know?) We used to have such a laugh whenever Dave Letterman showed the ones with voiceovers, that always ended with, “Oh, and death to America.”

    • Azra

      ~ ~ ~ VIVE LA DIFFERENCE! ~ ~ ~

  • U.S. Vet.

    Candidate Obama in 2006:

    ‘I’ve had enough of using terrorism as a wedge issue in our politics’.

    http://cnsnews.com/video/national/obama-2006-i-ve-had-enough-using-terrorism-wedge-issue-our-politics

    I don’t blame Obama for wanting to talk about Bin Laden, it sure beats talking about the economic depression that we’re in.

    • ana

      What would you have  him do?  Anything he does is rejected by the Repubs.

      • aj

        The Senate Democrats had a chance to reform the fillibuster back in January of 2011 at the beginning of the current session, but they chickened out. Do you have an opinion on the Senate fillibuster rule? It seems to be a fundamental break in the system. Even when the Dems controlled both chambers and the POTUS, they were still impotent by way of the fillibuster. Should it be eliminated?

        • TFRX

          The mainstream press’ unblinking acceptance of “60 is the new 51″ is pathetic.

          In 2008 when the right wing puke funnel crammed  “candidate Obama is a socialist!” into the narrative, making it “one side of the story” that our mainstream media needed to investigate in full, it’s all about the mediascape.

          • aj

            yep

    • Azra

      It was the one-year anniversary. He was in Afghanistan with the troops, thanking them for keeping us safer. How could he NOT mention it? Why would ANYONE not mention it? Think about that. It doesn’t make any sense.

  • Azra

    Florida’s Governor Scott refused to ban hand guns during the Republican Convention. The convention will be responsible for large crowds. There will be frayed nerves, short tempers, and road rage. Why not throw a heapin’ helpin’ of hand guns into the mix?

    • Gregg

      My brother lives in Tampa and I am close to Charlotte. We were talking about the conventions and both agree Tampa will fare worse than Charlotte.

  • Ed

    Hurray for Mr. Chen for protesting China’s one-child policy! But I find it surprising that he thought he would be safe in China when they said he would be.

    • JustSayin

       What’s surprising is that he sought sanctuary in a US embassy!

      One would think even a Chinese activist would be aware of what has been going on in the US, as per human rights and freedom in the past 20 years.

      Even as a US citizen abroad I would think twice before entering a US embassy. I would go to a Canadian or Swiss embassy first — at least there I have the legal rights as a human being.

      In the US embassy even US citizens have no right of Habeas corpus, can be imprisoned indefinitely without charges , and be tortured…

      • denis

        Where in the world did that come from? If you truly believe that garbage go to Canada and become a citizen!

      • Azra

        He and his family were offered sanctuary at the Embassy for as long as they wanted to stay there, for years, if need be.

  • Ed

    Hurray for the Vatican for putting down rules for those communities of sisters who are rebellious. They did great work over the decades but recently they have disagreed with Church teaching, fallen away from their constitutions and way of life, and so have given scandal to the faithful. We’ve been waiting for this for years.

    • kelty

      Yeah, they can’t have those uppity women living in the real world helping people and making the vatican look bad for their mysoginst policies.

      • Azra

        Those humanitarian women are a big disgrace.

    • nj_v2

      Is Ed a paid Vatican shill?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        A Child-RAPING clergy, that he NEVER mentions the scandal of?

        • Azra

          Scandal? Yes, give us those priests any day. Now there’s a great scandal. (Nuns can’t even do that right.) Sure priests torture children, and completely ruin lives without batting an eye, break the laws of God, Country, and decency, but they’re men, which automatically makes them better than women, no matter how heinous.

          HOORAY FOR THE VATICAN, for protecting those criminals, and going after law-abiding nuns. The Catholic church just keeps getting goofier, as do some of its followers. They must all be very proud.

          • Azra

            CORRECTION: ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

            Should have been “no matter how heinous the crime”.

    • Cburke55

       Since about 1453 I’d guess.

    • ana

      It does seem time for  a split in the Catholic Church.  Going are the days when members will act in lock step with edicts from above.   Nuns are more educated with greater perspective on the world as are the many who feel able to decide for themselves, in good conscience, how they will live their lives.
      A smaller, more rigid church seems okay with the hierarchy.
      Those who do not agree with the proclamations are free to leave as many of us have, knowing we cannot have it  both ways- trying to be Catholic while disagreeing with the demands of the hierarchy.

    • J__o__h__n

      They are much harsher to the nuns than they were to His Eminence Cardinal Law. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      SCANDAL TO THE FAITHFUL?  WORSE than the Child-RAPING clergy?
         WHY do you rant about so MANY other ‘scandals’, but NEVER have raged against the Chilld-RAPING clergy, that I have ever seen? 
         Are YOU one of those Child-RAPING clergy, that wants to divert attention from your HEINOUS CRIMES?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      AGAIN trying to take attention OFF the SCANDAL of SCANDALS, the Catholics have been perpetrating, for DECADES?

  • Still Here

    Obama’s been great at killing people, especially innocents.  I just wish he’d spend some time on the economy.  But he did get a Peace Prize, not the Economic Prize, so maybe he’s just more focused on bringing peace through death.

    • ana

      President Obama introduced a jobs bill that was voted down by the Repubs.  Never in a million years will the Repubs allow any initiative by this President that would improve the economy, the infrastructure, the environment.
      New book out “It is Worse Than It Looks” by one Repub and one Dem scholor  addresses the very perilous state of our nation and pins much of the blame on the obstructionist tactics of the House and Repubs.
      Your comments are shallow and do not reflect any serious informed  analysis, but mere cheap shots.

      • Still Here

        The House has passed numerous jobs bills that died in the Democrat Senate so take your ill-informed opinions elsewhere.

        • ana

          You are right.  It was an ill-stated opinion re: the Jobs Ac

        • Gregg

           Over 25.

        • denis

          And were these “jobs” bills actually job creation bills or just bills with jobs somewhere in the tittle or wording of the bill? Did any of these “jobs” bills actually pass muster with independent analysts? I suspect most if not all were like Ryan’s budget – make more wealth for the wealthy bills.

        • J__o__h__n

          They weren’t jobs bills; they were the same deregulation bills that the Republicans always offer with a new name. 

          • Still Here

            Please, jobs would have been created; I guess because they’re not government jobs they don’t count in your mind.  Whatever.

          • Don_B1

            The government jobs that are needed right now are the restoration of teacher positions and first responders; and that is one thing that Democrats have not pushed hard enough for, probably because they see the futility.

            But the infrastructure bill that is stalled in the Republican House would create tens of thousands of PRIVATE SECTOR jobs in a economic sector where there is high unemployment.

            But then Romney would have a harder time winning the election this fall.

          • Still Here

            They are not missed.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            JOBS are not missed, by the GREEDY rich, that have exported JOBS, and POCKETED MORE MONEY!!

        • Don_B1

          Just because they labeled them “Jobs Act” doesn’t mean they would have created many jobs. Most handed out tax money to big business which is sitting on over $2 trillion; why would a few million dollars get them to do something that they could do without it?

          The other thing the bills did was cut regulations for poisons and other pollution that makes people, particularly the poor because of where they live, sick. I don’t think we need to make more people sick to grow the number of jobs in health care.

          That is not the way to improve the lives of all Americans.

    • denis

      And who are the innocents President Obama killed? Statements like yours are truly disgusting!

      • Still Here

        Women and children.  Try to keep up.

        • denis

          President Obama killed women and children? Where did this happen? Oh you mean women and children were killed in the wars started by President Bush by the war machine. So using your logic, how many women and children did President Bush and Vice President Cheney kill?
          Try to keep up!   [hint – 24/7 Fox News won’t help]

          • Still Here

            Bush isn’t president!  Try to keep up!

          • denis

            Your response is so sad [as are you likes]… I weep for your ignorance and inability to carry on even remotely intelligent public discourse.  Having said that I will try to explain to you what was said at a very basic level.   My comment did not state or imply Mr. Bush is still President.  Perhaps you missed it but he was President from 2001 – 2009.  During that time he ordered the Iraq War.  The Iraq War [starting in 2003 continuing beyond his presidency] resulted in approx. 100,000 civilian [including women and children] deaths during the President Bush / Vice President Cheney reign.
            Try to keep up! 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      ‘W’s ‘Decisions’ caused the deaths of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS, and the displacement of MILLIONS?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ‘W’ & his admin. MAIMED hundreds of thousands of children, women, and innocent civillians, also!
           WHAT are you claiming against President Obama?

  • ana

    How gallant it would have been if the presumed nominee, Romney, could have stood by our country in the face of the delicate situation regarding the Chinese dissident.  Instead of another blistering attack on Obama administration using the word “shame”, he might have offered up some encouragment that a solution might be reached and even offered to help.
    While Romney easily moves from one policy  position to another, his emotional rigidity seems troublesome in a complex world.

    • Patrik

      What do expect from a cold, calculating machine.  His reactionary behavior reeks of his advisors prompting premature responses without all the facts to get in political jabs.

    • aj

      Tom read your comment on air! I was streaming the show and heard him read it! Your famous! lol

      • ana

        Missed it!  Thanks for telling me!

  • Gregg

    With all the spiking of the football going on, I find it somewhat odd that On Point did not do a show about it. I figured they’d lump it in on today’s week in review, but no. Could it be that On Point is not down with Obama’s arrogance? Even the Navy seals are dissing him. Has he once acknowledged the roll President Bush, enhanced interrogation and a decade of diligence played? We certainly wold not have got Bin Laden without them. It’s just so unseemly.

    Kathleen Parker said it well:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/an-unknown-but-important-man-among-celebrities/2012/05/01/gIQARrO7uT_story.html

    • NewtonWhale

      Your hero W. Six months after 9/11:

      Q Mr. President, in your speeches now you rarely talk or mention Osama bin Laden. Why is that? A  I don’t know where he is. You know, I just don’t spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you. 
      Q Q But don’t you believe that the threat that bin Laden posed won’t truly be eliminated until he is found either dead or alive?

      A Well, as I say, we haven’t heard much from him. And I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don’t know where he is. I — I’ll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. 

      http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20110502145352871 

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PGmnz5Ow-o 

      • Gregg

        I have no problem with that. While he was saying it he was putting in place efforts that ultimately decimated Al Qaeda. Killing Bin Laden was symbolic and important but it did not make us safer. It really means little in the context of the war on terror.

        • NewtonWhale

          If you read the rest of the interview Bush makes clear the reason he ignored all the warnings before 9/11: he and Condi Rice wrongly and disastrously believed that terrorist groups like al Qaeda were harmless without state actors behind them:

           
          THE ONE PERCENT DOCTRINE”The book’s opening anecdote tells of an unnamed CIA briefer who flew to Bush’s Texas ranch during the scary summer of 2001, amid a flurry of reports of a pending al-Qaeda attack, to call the president’s attention personally to the now-famous Aug. 6, 2001, memo titled “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US.” Bush reportedly heard the briefer out and replied: “All right. You’ve covered your ass, now.” Three months later, with bin Laden holed up in the Afghan mountain redoubt of Tora Bora, the CIA official managing the Afghanistan campaign, Henry A. Crumpton (now the State Department’s counterterrorism chief), brought a detailed map to Bush and Cheney. White House accounts have long insisted that Bush had every reason to believe that Pakistan’s army and pro-U.S. Afghan militias had bin Laden cornered and that there was no reason to commit large numbers of U.S. troops to get him. But Crumpton’s message in the Oval Office, as told through Suskind, was blunt: The surrogate forces were “definitely not” up to the job, and “we’re going to lose our prey if we’re not careful.”http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/19/AR200606901211.html

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3p9y_OEAdc 

          • Gregg

            I’m not sure what your point is but if it’s W was not concerned with the global jihad then I disagree.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          ‘W’ ‘DECIDED’ that bin Laden and Al Quieda wasn’t a Threat, and wasn’t important, except at election times?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      ‘W’ BRAGGED that HE would get bin Laden, for 8 years?
          Does President Obama NEED to remind us of the Republican’s FAILURE? 
          Could ‘W’ have gotten bin Laden, if he had taken LESS, not MORE vacations, than ANY President?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        CORRECTION;  7 YEARS.

  • Gregg

    Is anyone more transparently and dishonestly smarmy than Elizabeth Warren?

    • kelty

      I think that may be you

      • Gregg

        I didn’t lie to people about my heritage to get perks.

        • kelty

          Who said she lied – they have found records that show a female relative of hers was Cherokee and her family spoke of it proudly. She also didn’t know Harvard was using her as an example of a minority for their own purposes. Are you saying she shouldn’t tell anyone or shouldn’t be proud that she is part Cherokee even if she is and that she is responsible for what others claim on her behalf when she was unaware it was happening? Show me one instance where she received favorable treatment due to her heritage. 

          • TFRX

            Fox News and all the right wing gasbags have their marching orders. Who are you to correct their fantasy?

          • Gregg

            Ooooo the Fox monster. You forgot to mention Rush.

          • kelty

            Still waiitng for an example…..

        • JGC

          Elizabeth Warren did not lie about her heritage.  Apparently it is pretty common for Oklahomans to have some portion of native American heritage.
           I think the perk of finding out about your background is a greater empathy for people you could not have imagined you would share anything in common.There is a greater general interest lately for people to explore their roots; just look at the popularity of web sites like Ancestry.com and TV shows like “Who Do You Think You Are?”.  People are really amazed and thrilled to have a sort of family reunion in the past.Mormans were on to this idea a long time ago. Maybe even Mitt Romney has some native American heritage to go along with his Mexican roots! 

          • Azra

            He keeps his roots nicely touched up, then applies the moustache wax.

        • denis

          In fact she is part Native American… Gregg once again you fall victim of the 24/7 Fox cycle. You need to expand your horizons

          • Gregg

            Dude, I got it from Huffington Post, you guys are obsessed with Fox. She got a peachy job with a fancy title by grossly exaggerating her heritage. At least Obama is half black so he has a leg to stand on by saying he’s black but Warren is what, 1/32nd Cherokee? She’s a smarmy opportunist.

            “Warren has said she wasn’t aware officials at Harvard Law School had
            promoted her as a Native American faculty member in the 1990s, even
            though academic directories from 1986-1995 indicated Warren had
            identified herself as a “minority law teacher” before being hired by
            Harvard.”

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/30/elizabeth-warren-native-american_n_1466048.html

          • kelty

            The professor who recruited Warren to Harvard said that any suggestion that she got her job in part because of a claim of minority status is wrong.
            “That’s totally stupid, ignorant, uninformed and simply wrong,” Harvard Law School professor Charles Fried said Monday. “I presented her case to the faculty. I did not mention her Native American connection because I did not know about it.”

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/30/elizabeth-warren-native-american_n_1466048.html

          • Gregg

            http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1061128161&srvc=rss

            She said she wanted to be invited to luncheons. Alrighty then.

          • kelty

            She said she wanted to meet others who had the same background/heritage. What is so wrong about that? We all like feeling like we are part of a group.

          • Gregg

            I’m not trying to pick a fight Kelty. My opinion is she wasn’t completely honest. That’s all.

          • kelty

            Where exactly wasn’t she being honest?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          I’m 1/16 Cherokee, and as proud of THAT, as I am of being a Mayflower Decendant, NEITHER of which have been used to any advantage, by me!
             I’m also proud of the six years ACTIVE Duty, U.S. Millitary, WITHOUT being DRUNK and missing duty!  I didn’t technically DESERT, either!

    • Chris B

      Mitt Romney!

      • Azra

        . . . WHAT A JOKE!

    • nj_v2

      You win hands down.

    • J__o__h__n

      Elizabeth Warren is this country’s best advocate for the middle class.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Did SHE lie about her heritage, for advantage?  OR should you be RAGING against Harvard, for using that info, for THEIR advantage?

    • Still Here

      She’s a 1%er, we can learn nothing from her. 

      • Don_B1

        Just like Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy and other wealthy people who do understand the lives of others? And she did not start out in the 1%; she knows how hard it is to work your way up the income ladder and sees that it is getting harder to accomplish. She genuinely wants to make that path available for more rather than less people.

      • Still Here

        She’s out of touch!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ‘W’, & his admin., COULD have learned from FDR, if they had tried.
           FIVE of FDR’s sons served millitarily in WWII, including James Roosevelt, that served in U.S.M.C. Carleson’s Raiders, attacking BEHIND enemy lines, on Japanese-held islands!
           ‘W’s daughters got ‘falling-down-drunk’, UNDER drinking age, AFTER creating a SECURITY RISK, by slipping off from their Secret Service detail!  MANY rumors of their cocaine and other drug use!
           THEY could have learned from FDR’s family of 1%ers!

  • aj

    Jobs Number just out: 115,000, employment rate drops for the wrong reason. People are giving up. These are dark days, my fellow Americans.

    P.S. Economists estimated 160,000.

    Ron Paul 2012. 

    • Gregg

      Ron Paul will not be President, how about Secretary of the Treasury? I think that’s actually possible.

      • aj

        It would be good for the country, but I loath the draft dodging chicken-hawk 1 term forked tongue Governor too damn much! NO DEAL!

        • TFRX

          Is he really a classic chickenhawk, or is his “I supported the Vietnam War” spiel genuine? Is it something everyone assumes, because he has the GOP Birthrighteousness of Strong on Defense? Or is this just as flipfloppy as many other steadfast positions he holds?

          Classic chickenhawkery requires the person to have always supported the mission, I thought.

          • Azra

            Not in Romney’s book. He was against it before he was for it, as with everything else. He doesn’t stand for anything, so he just says what he knows his audience wants to hear, and his positions change minute to minute, depending on who he’s with.

            Being wishy washy isn’t presidential. A President needs to be consistant, decisive, and strong.

          • TFRX

            I can live with a President who could convince me with:

            “When the facts change, I may change my mind.”

            But Romney is certainly not capable of assuring people that.

          • aj

            Your wise beyond your years. my opinion 

            However there exists a photo of him at a rally supporting the mass homicide of 2,000,000 Vietnamese peasants.

            Though shortly after the war started to really cook, he was off to the south of France to sit out the war in a mansion in Marseille on the Meditteranean (under the guise of proselytizing for his Mormon cult).

            Call Chicago, I’m sure the committee to re-elect has copys of the photo, of the young Willard standing up for freedom on the leafy campus at Stanford.

          • TFRX

            Now that you mention it I’ve seen it on TV.

            I don’t want to say “Only Jon Stewart or Steven Colbert are doing the journalism on this”, but that’s what I seem to remember. (Correct me as needed.)

    • Patrik

      The rise in unemployment is inevitable.  Technological progress is the main reason and, over time, may adjust the human population number.

      • aj

        Krugman begs to differ. his opinion

    • nj_v2

      Rocky Anderson (http://www.voterocky.org/)

      or Jill Stein (http://www.jillstein.org/)

      That Paul is correct on a couple of issues doesn’t qualify him to be president.

      One doesn’t want a president who “doesn’t accept evolution as a theory,” and who thinks global warming is a “hoax.”

      • Terry Tree Tree

        One that promotes returning to the Gold Standard, when there is NOT enough gold to back the money in circulation, and gold is NEEDED in industry, and used for jewelry?

      • aj

        I’ve heard of Rocky, but’s that is only because I’m a news addict. But I’ve been meaning to ask you this for a while, who the hell is Jill Stein.

        Look, whether you like it or not (I dont), the U.S. is a Federal Constitutional Republic, and under those constraints, our best chance is with Ron Paul who as President can unilaterally reign in the Empire and bring our boys home, end the immoral war on drugs, and repair the shredded constitution. How does Jill who? feel about that.

        Give it some thought.

        • nj_v2

          I’m not responsible for your ignorance. If you really cared, it’s simple enough to find the answers to your questions.

          Ron Paul is a sad joke.

          • aj

            I respect your opinion.

  • nj_v2

    Time to end the ongoing disaster.

    Afghanistan reading list:http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peterfoster/100155044/obamas-midnight-dash-to-kabul-shows-that-he-dare-not-visit-the-place-in-daylight/Obama’s midnight dash to Kabul shows that he dare not visit the place in daylightIf ever there was an image to convey the limits of the UK-US success in Afghanistan, it was the way that Barack Obama, the Commander-in-Chief of the liberating, Taliban-scattering forces was forced to skulk into Kabul last night under the cover of darkness.Not for Mr Obama a ticker-tape parade as he entered the Afghan capital for the ceremonial signing of the Strategic Partnership Agreement that will underpin Coalition support to Afghanistan for a decade after 2014.Instead, after landing at Bagram Airbase just after 10pm local time, there was a low-level, cover-of-darkness of helicopter insertion to the Presidential Palace where the ten-page deal (which contains no specifics on funding or troop levels) was signed around midnight.…[snipped]http://www.accuracy.org/release/obama-karzai-text-allows-for-tens-of-thousands-of-u-s-troops-in-afghanistan/Obama-Karzai Text Allows for Tens of Thousands of U.S. Troops in AfghanistanHakim (Afghans frequently only have one name) is a member of the the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers. Kelly is co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence and was recently in Afghanistan. They recently co-wrote a piece that states that the text was kept from the people of Afghanistan. They wrote: “While the world may accept that the U.S. and Afghan governments have some ’state’ or ‘noble’ considerations for not revealing the contents of the U.S. Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement, how about the democratic consideration of involving Afghans in their own future?“Even the Afghan Parliament was in the dark and uninvolved until they were recently given a peek when Afghanistan’s National Security Advisor, Rangin Dadfar Spanta, read ‘portions’ of the Agreement to assembled parliamentarians on 23rd April, saying that the U.S. will defend Afghanistan from any outside interference via ‘diplomatic means, political means, economic means and even military means.’http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/obama-announced-osama-bin-laden-is-dead-unedited-announcement/2011/05/02/AFqAP4VF_video.htmlObama in Afghanistan to Sign Deal to Continue War Through 2024President Sneaks Into Country to Sign Document, Bypasses Congress…The terms of the deal, which will govern US military operations in the country from the start of 2015 through the end of 2024, have not been made public, and as with President Bush and the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) in Iraq, there was no effort to consult on the long-term pact with Congress.Interestingly, with the ink now drying on the document and the US officially committed to the occupation of Afghanistan for another decade, officials are continuing to tout 2014 as the “end” of the war. This speaks to how the 2024 date, though openly discussed by the Karzai government in Afghanistan and privately acknowledged as part of the secret pact, has not been publicly presented to the American public. When they will officially spring it on us remains unclear.[excerpt]http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/05/02-4One Year After Bin Laden’s Death, Bring the Troops Home NowIt’s not clear what the year since the killing of Bin Laden has done to improve U.S. or Afghan security. It’s even less clear what staying for another dozen years will do for either country.[excerpt]

    • Terry Tree Tree

      DID ‘W’ announce his visit to Iraq ahead of time?
         ‘W’ campaigned as a ‘millitary man’, in his flight suit, which he admitted he dishonored, by being drunk when he was supposed to be on DUTY?
         BRAVE Republican?

      • nj_v2

        Is that supposed to be a defense of Obama’s Afghanistan policy?

  • JonS

    Tom:

    Looking forward to hearing some discussion on  (1) Obama’s politicizing the Bin Ladin raid (2) the pathetic jobs report (3) Pocahontas Warren , the undocumented Indian……

    • Gregg

       Don’t hold your breath.

    • kelty

      Warren is part Cherokee – Pocahantas was part of the Powhatan tribe. At least try to get your insults correct.

    • TFRX

      Pfft.

      Anything you say, Commander Codpiece.

    • J__o__h__n

      Bush politicized bin Laden for years but with no results.  Republicans have demonized the Democrats for years about being weak on defense and when Obama kept his promise to get bin Laden he can’t mention it? 

      The jobs being lost now are local public sector jobs thanks to Republicans not agreeing to further federal spending.

      This non-story just shows that Brown is afraid of losing.

      • Azra

        Come on. Be fair. You know that no one would have mentioned anything about killing Bin Laden, if was able to get it done. Bush would have insisted on it. Not a word would have been uttered either at the time, or on the first anniversary. You know how modest he is.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          SARCASM?  It IS to me!

          • Azra

            It is.

    • Patrik

      So I guess that means commemorating 9/11 and the victims is politicizing too…give me a break.  While the job numbers are lower than they were prior, the number still grew with unemployment at 8%.  I heard Romney was Mexican, he should self deport…

      • JonS

        It’s one thing to commemorate an event . It’s another when you’re commemorating your achievement. Obama comes off as the most narcissitic president of my lifetime.

        BTW, the reason the unemployment rate dropped is because 342,000 people dropped out of the labor force.

        • Azra

          Shades of “Mission Accomplished” on the U.S.S.Oops, huh?

        • Guest

          The country is way too polarized when the president is accused of hubris for talking about a job that he actually did well. Give the man credit where credit is due. Just say you don’t like him but really people just sound small when they try to make it out like it wasn’t a big deal to get this guy who killed 3000 Americans in such a spiteful attack was finally hunted down after 10 years. I can’t imagine he crowing that would’ve gone on had it been George Bush who’d found this man. And I would’ve been glad for him had he accompolished this.

      • JGC

        I don’t know about that, but where is the Birther Movement (Hello, Cousin Donna!) when it comes to Mitt Romney’s heritage?  I find the parallels between Obama’s foreign born father and Romney’s foreign born father to be too intriguing for them to pass by! Yet they have been strangley silent…Come on, Mr. Romney, post your birth certificate online to allay their secret fears.  (And post your 1040 tax forms for the past seven years while you are at it.) 

      • Azra

        The sooner the better.

    • Still Here

      1) It’s all he’s got 2) that was terrible! obviously Obama would rather talk some of those he’s killed 3) she’s after some casino money.

  • nj_v2

    Amendment One, North Carolina’s entry in the who-is-the-most-lunatic-red-state sweepstakes:

    “Marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State”

    http://every1against1.com/

  • Terry Tree Tree

    MOST of the $25 MILLION dollars Scott Walker has, to determine what happens to the people of Wisconsin, is FOREIGN, from out of state, or WHERE?
       Will the people of Wisconsin let FOREIGNERS DECIDE THEIR FATE?  
      

    • Terry Tree Tree

      70% of Scott Walker’s $25 MILLION campaign funds come from OUT OF STATE?
         Wisconsinites DON’T want Scott Walker, and his ilk, NEAR AS MUCH as FOREIGN interests?

  • nj_v2

    Romney’s neocon war(mongering) team:

    http://www.thenation.com/article/167683/mitt-romneys-neocon-war-cabinet?rel=emailNation

    Mitt Romney’s Neocon War Cabinet

    Romney is loath to mention Bush on the campaign trail, for obvious reasons, but today they sound like ideological soul mates on foreign policy. Listening to Romney, you’d never know that Bush left office bogged down by two unpopular wars that cost America dearly in blood and treasure. Of Romney’s forty identified foreign policy advisers, more than 70 percent worked for Bush. Many hail from the neoconservative wing of the party, were enthusiastic backers of the Iraq War and are proponents of a US or Israeli attack on Iran. Christopher Preble, a foreign policy expert at the Cato Institute, says, “Romney’s likely to be in the mold of George W. Bush when it comes to foreign policy if he were elected.” On some key issues, like Iran, Romney and his team are to the right of Bush. Romney’s embrace of the neoconservative cause—even if done cynically to woo the right—could turn into a policy nightmare if he becomes president.…

    Romney’s team is notable for including Bush aides tarnished by the Iraq fiasco: Robert Joseph, the National Security Council official who inserted the infamous “sixteen words” in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union message claiming that Iraq had tried to buy enriched uranium from Niger; Dan Senor, former spokesman for the hapless Coalition Provisional Authority under Paul Bremer in Iraq; and Eric Edelman, a top official at the Pentagon under Bush. “I can’t name a single Romney foreign policy adviser who believes the Iraq War was a mistake,” says Cato’s Preble. “Two-thirds of the American people do believe the Iraq War was a mistake. So he has willingly chosen to align himself with that one-third of the population right out of the gate.”

    [excerpts]

  • JGC

    There was also a recent issue about non-profit hospitals embedding privately contracted debt collection agencies on their staffs to shake down emergency room patients for payment before they receive medical care. 

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Republicans BRAGGED that they would ‘get bin Laden’, with some BIG PROMISES  to the people of the United States, and the world, for 8 years!  THEN, their ‘leader’, the ‘decider’, DECIDED to take the MOST VACATION time of ANY President, EXCEPT his father?
       Republicans WHINE that President Obama ‘politically uses’ the capture of bin Laden, in LESS than 3 years?
       President Obama isn’t scaring us into voting for the party that PROMISED to ‘Make the U.S. SAFER!’, by having RED, and ORANGE Security Alerts, just before each election!

    • Azra

      Now we know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, who we can really trust when it comes to our national security. We know which one took his eye off the ball, and who gets the job done.

      • aj

        If getting the job done means murdering an unarmed man, and shooting his unarmed wife in the leg. U S A !  U S A  !

        • ana

          The same man who claimed responsibility for killing 3,000  unarmed American citizens as they did nothing more than make their way to work on a Tuesday morning by flying a jet into a skyscraper giving the occupants the option of being burned to death or jumping while calling home to say last goodbyes.

          • aj

            Come on ana, I’m a New Yorker. I have a friend who saw a giant wheel of an airplane land across the street from her before she looked up and saw anything. I got a cousin who did a tour in Iraq, my uncle did a tour in Nam.

            I’ve been downtown to the 9/11 memorial twice since they opened it. You should go someday. aj

          • ana

            I visit my children in Ny often  and have been to the site.    I do not get your point.
            Yes, I agree, it is sad to see any human e.g bin Laden murdered in such a way, but what he did on 9/11, he would do again in a heartbeat.
            I am actually quite a pacifist, but am not the POTUS who probably wakes every morning worrying if this is the day we will be attacked again.

          • aj

            Pardon me. I guess I should feel kind of stipid, since you’ve already been. Needless to say I stand entirerly corrected.

            I guess I thought you were suggesting I was discounting the events of 9/11. That wasn’t my intention.

            I didn’t say it was sad per say. But after ww2 the Nuremburg Trials were the US moral high ground. Giving the order to shoot him and bury him at sea, and not take him into custody and put him on trial instead, because it is not politically convenient is a step down from Nuremburg. Do you disagree?

            Let me ask you, in your opinion, why did Sept 11 happen?

            I doub you’ll answer. Unless I’ve put my foot in my mouth again unknowingly, then I am sure you will point that out. LOL

            But seriously, if what matters is the POTUS worrying about being attacked then what is your analysis… why did 9/11 happen?

            Use more space above if you want. A couple sentences even, on why you think 9/11 happened? I would be most interested.

        • Mr_Trees

          This is a valid point.  Our celebration of anyone’s death is regretable. Although, in this specific case, I think that public opinion would be against both of our opinions.  I would consider myself fairly liberal and support the president in most things, but Bin Laden’s slaying and the way that it was carried out has me cringe a bit. I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that he wasn’t reveered as a martyr in retrospect.

          • aj

            Thanks.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      CORRECTION;  7 years!

      Still, OVER TWICE as long BRAGGING, as FACT!

  • Terry Tree Tree

    ‘The MOST Conservative’ Newt Gingrich, has WASTED taxpayer money for his Secret Service protection, for TWO WEEKS, after he started announcing he would ‘suspend’ his presidential campaign. 
       ‘CONSERVATIVE’??

  • J__o__h__n

    Anyone suffering under the delusion that Mitt Romney is a moderate should note that he caved into the the Christian Right as his foreign policy advisor resigned because he was gay.  I thought that it was time to get out the Etch-a-Sketch and move to the middle but I guess he wasn’t done appeasing the base yet. 

  • Rex

    The story from China has been overblown as a result of a slow news week.

    • Azra

      Quite true. We were also able to find out about Super Moon, which might not have happened if there was a lot of other news.

  • nj_v2

    Happy Birthday (yesterday), Pete!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-dreier/pete-seeger-birthday_b_1474636.html?ref=entertainment&ir=Entertainment

    Today is Pete Seeger’s 93rd birthday.

    What’s an appropriate gift for the most influential folk artist of the 20th century? A few years ago some of Pete’s fans launched a campaign to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize. It is time to resurrect that effort.

    No one can get a crowd singing like he can. The songs he has written, including the antiwar tunes “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,” “If I Had a Hammer,” and “Turn, Turn, Turn” (whose text is drawn from Ecclesiastes), and those he has popularized, including “This Land Is Your Land,” “Guantanamera,” “Wimoweh,” and “We Shall Overcome,” have been recorded by hundreds of artists in many languages and have become global anthems for people fighting for freedom. His songs are sung by people in cities and villages around the world, promoting the basic idea that the hopes that unite us are greater than the fears that divide us.…

    [clipped]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-RL8ZcmLEB4

  • J__o__h__n

    It is a confusing story as it was covered by Louisa Lim.  Speaking clearly should be a requirement for being on the radio. 

  • jefe68

    I brought up Nixon recently and I remembered that he reluctantly embraced Keynesian economic ideas.
    The GOP of today is does not even believe in the legitimacy of its political opposition.  Hence, no compromise and the dead lock we have been witnessing in Washington and the extremism in states that have GOP governors and legislators. Today’s GOP would have shunned Nixon as to moderate. The other interesting thing is how the population in the late 60′s and early 70′s believed in government. I guess a lot of that went out the door with his administration.

    Excerpt from The Commanding Heights by Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw, 1997 ed., pp. 60-64.:
    …confidence had risen in the ability of government to manage the economy and to reach out to solve big social problems through such programs as the War on Poverty. Nixon shared in these beliefs, at least in part.
    “Now I am a Keynesian,” he declared in January 1971 — leaving his aides to draft replies to the angry letters that flowed into the White House from conservative supporters. He introduced a Keynesian “full employment” budget, which provided for deficit spending to reduce unemployment. A Republican congressman from Illinois told Nixon that he
    would reluctantly support the president’s budget, “but I’m going to have to burn up a lot of old speeches denouncing deficit spending.” To this Nixon replied, “I’m in the same boat.”

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/shared/minitextlo/ess_nixongold.html

    • J__o__h__n

      Obama would shun Nixon for being too liberal. 

      • aj

        Your not joking, but you should indicate that, because most people will think your tongue in cheek.

    • William

      So we should embrace Nixon’s failed wage and price control economic idea too?

      • jefe68

        Did I say that? No. The point of the post is about how far to the right the GOP has gone and how compromise is now not an option for this party.
        The point is that Nixon was once considered to be a Conservative with a capital “C” and now he would not even be able to govern.
        The GOP is off the rails in my view. Witness the primaries. Do you believe in the legitimacy of the Democratic Party? Do any of the right wingers posting here do?

        • William

          Why is it up to the GOP to compromise? Where is the President’s budget? He rejected the GOP Ryan budget so when will he and the Democrats compromise?

          • jefe68

            Because they are the ones who wont.
            Are paying attention? It’s been the GOP who has been blocking every Obama appointee since he has been in office. It’s the GOP who have signed the Norquist no new taxes pledge. It’s the GOP who has abused the filibusterer. The Ryan budget is not a serious document and that’s a good example of what I’m talking about. It’s so extreme, and Ryan knows this, that it would be impossible for the Dems to even consider any of it. In the past the two parties would hash this stuff out. That no longer happens.  As your comments allude too.

          • William

            Norquist said no new taxes but is not opposed to increasing revenue to the government.  Ryan has the only serious plan whereas, Obama has no budget after 3 years in office. The Democrats just won’t compromise on anything.

          • jefe68

            You need to look at the record. The GOP is on the record of trying to do everything in it’s power to stop President Obama from doing anything. It’s a fact, not some made up BS.
            you are not dealing with reality.

            Norquist is not opposed to increased revenue? Well slight problem there, being that government revenue comes from taxes. 

          • William

            Nothing is stopping Obama, but Obama. Even WaPo reported Obama lied during the budget deal last August. You can’t keep ignoring the fact the Democrats won’t compromise on anything.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    On the China discussion, I think US is moving toward China faster than China is moving to the US.

  • Still Here

    The economy’s sinking again and Obama’s out for lunch as usual.  Pathetic. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      Want to remind us where we were 4 years ago?

      • Still Here

        We were all listening to Obama reading a teleprompter about fairy tales saying how great it would be once he got elected. 

        • TFRX

          That teleprompter shite, spewed up like this was Fox Nation?

          Dude, you used to care. Now it’s like you’re not even putting in the effort.

          Maybe you and On Point should take a trial separation. Say, until December?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          ‘W’ COULDN’T READ a teleprompter, and HAD to get speeches read to the radio in his ear! 
             Go back and LOOK! 
             ‘W’ would cock his head Right, listen to a few words, straighten up, SAY those few words, cock his head Right, listen to the radio, Straighten up, repeat the broken phrase,   Repeat, Repeat, Repeat….
             THAT was WHY the phrases were broken!
             ‘W’ was NOT reading the speech, NOR had them memorized!
            SOOO OBVIOUS!

          JUST LOOK!

    • TFRX

      I thought he was dancing at the golf course, which is so different than clearing brush on a pig farm that his daddy’s rich friends bought him.

      Your talking points are crap, as always, but try sticking to the script.

      • Still Here

        I think he was eating dog, again.

        • J__o__h__n

          That’s next hour’s topic. 

        • Victor Vito

          You are clueless, tasteless, and certainly delete-worthy.

  • Sean

    GREAT ANALYSIS on U.S.-China policy, ONCE AGAIN showing Romney to be UTTERLY CLUELESS and unfit to lead our great nation!!

    • William

      Perceptions matter…and the perception is Clinton wanted this guy out of way when she showed up.

      • Still Here

        They pushed him right into the hands of the authorities so they could cave on human rights and the yuan again.

        • ana

          That is not how the story has been reported.
          Can you reference your claim?

          • Sean

            No, he can’t.

            …as always, his vapid one-liners are better suited to “Twit”-ter.

  • Still Here

    What’s up with the EPA’s decision on E15?  Let me guess Obama’s trying to get the cornbelt vote.  Science loses again to Democrat politics!

    • Don_B1

      The Federal tax loophole on ethanol has been removed and with 50% or more of the corn crop going to ethanol production, and the requirements for ethanol inclusion providing sufficient incentive to keep ethanol production up.

      But the EPA’s “decision” on E15 was on a technical point: that the use by certain classes of vehicles of E15 (fuels with 85% gasoline with 15% ethanol) would not cause emissions that would violate the EPA standards. See:

      http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/fuels/additive/e15/e15-faq.htm

      As far as I can tell you have no serious purpose with your post other than to introduce a red herring and throw your usual mud in a new direction.

      Corn farmers are largely content with the current use of ethanol and some even recognize that the tax loophole, not of Obama’s making, is one of the biggest boondoggles of government funding ever. (Well nuclear power is certainly bigger, as are oil and coal subsidies.)

  • Sean

    Let Romney run America like one of his business partners ran “Romney’s” companies… fire everyone and look ONLY to short-term gain, ignoring COMPLETELY America’s long-term interests!!!

  • Rex

    Please play the Daily Show’s take on Bin Laden’s death and how they compared it to Bush’s “Mission Accomplished.” John Stewart said that Republicans are just mad they couldn’t do it and would have even gone over the top with the issue.

    • MrNutso

      Agreed.  That was a great bit.

    • TFRX

      Anything to do with 9/11, therefore New York City, brings out Jon Stewart’s best. It is his sweet spot.

  • Adam

    How then Chen case may have turned out differently if Ronald Reagan were in office:

    May 30, 1988
    AP
    President Reagan meets with Russian dissidents
    MOSCOW (AP) – President Reagan told Soviet dissidents and refuseniks today the time is ripe to press forhuman rights because Kremlin leaders “appear to grasp the connection between certain freedoms and economic growth.”
    Speak to several dozen dissidents gathered in Spaso House in U.S. Embassy compound after visiting a 13th century monastery, Reagan said that while there have been “hopeful signs” of improvement in the Soviet Union, “there can be no relented for us now. We must work for more, always more.”
    “I came here to give you strength, but it is you who have strengthened me,” the president said in a meeting that some Soviet officials had criticized as going too far to criticize internal affairs in the country.
    “While we press for human lives through diplomatic channels, you press with your very lives, day in and day out, risking your homes, your jobs and your all,” Reagan told the group in remarks which brought occasional applause from his audience.
    “We hope that one freedom will lead to another,” the president said, saying he hopes Soviet leaders realize that economic growth hinges to a large degree on individual initiative.
    An individual Soviet citizen, Reagan said, must sense that the government “respect him enough to grant him all his human rights.”
     

    • ana

      It helped that he had a willing partner in Mikhail Gorbachev, also.

      • aj

        Do you think highly of President Reagan? What is your final analysis of his presidency?

        • ana

          I am a liberal, so  let us just say that my analysis would not be to your liking, though I thought him cheerful and uplifting in his demeaner.

          • aj

            Oh I don’t know about that, I suspect you might be more conservative than you like to let on.

            I would be most interested on your take of him. Even a few sentences.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Gov. Romney would get tough on China?
        FULL DISCLOSURE, then?
        HOW MANY U.S. companies and JOBS, did Bain Capital, and other Romney interests, DESTROY, and JOBS and products were replaced by China?

  • J__o__h__n

    Anyone else going to see Tom interview Paul Krugman on Monday?

    • Still Here

      He should ask Krugman what the fiscal and monetary policy response was to the depression of 1920-1921.

  • Tdurand67

    I’m irritated with Romney’s response to Administration dealings to the Chinese dissident. What is Romney’s investment record and record with Bain Capital regarding companies operating and trading in China and the rights and well-being of Chinese workers.

  • Jemimah

    Honest and constructive.  How refreshing! http://www.upworthy.com/this-is-how-you-kill-an-attack-ad?g=2

    • TFRX

      The POTUS response is the kind of thing that our Sunday gasbags will call “too partisan”, as a Democrat resorts to sticking up for himself. The horror! Get the fainting couch ready!

      Politifact’s getting this particular Koch effort correctly isn’t enough to make me trust them out of hand, however.

  • Victor Vito

    Just when I think a phoney baloney like Romney couldn’t possibly win the presidency, I remember feeling the same way about George W. Bush….

    • J__o__h__n

      Bush was a better candidate.  He has better political skills.  Even though neither of them drink, people would rather have a beer with Bush than Romney.

      • TFRX

        And once again: It’s all about the mediascape.

        Never did a bunch of overpaid navelgazing inbred assholes work so hard to convince the rest of us that two such different people had the same policy aims as they did in 2000.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        SOOOO IMPORTANT in a choice about a ‘leader’?

        • J__o__h__n

          I just said he had better political skills not that that should be a factor in chosing to vote for him. 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Beer drinking is SUCH an IMPORTANT quality in a President, or Public Servant?

  • Daniel Bianco

    I am looking forward to the debates when Romney has to go toe-to-toe with Obama. 

  • Erica

    Tom,
    You really need to ask your guests and callers to stop referring to Secretary of State Clinton as “Hillary,” while all of you refer to all the men you are discussing by their last names and/or titles.

    • TFRX

      Something more accurate and less belittling than just her first name, or “Clinton”, to shorthand that we’re not talking about Bill.

      If I wanted to have her called “Hillary” I could listen to any AM radio hack, unless they’re just using their right-wing codewords. “Screeching harpy” comes to mind as an example.

      What does the BBC do? “Secretary Clinton”?

    • J__o__h__n

      I’d generally agree with you but she has branded herself as Hillary.  Her campaign signs said, “Hillary for President.”

  • Sean

    Tom,

       You forget that Gates and some of the generals warned Obama AGAINST going into Pakistan after Bin Laden!!!

    It was President Obama who made the difficult decision, and HE would have gotten the blame if the mission had failed!!!

    • Sean

      The President therefore deserves HUGE credit for Bin Laden being brought to justice.

  • marym

    One thing I have not heard the guests address is the fact that after the Bush administration had Bin Ladin pinned down in Tora Bora, instead of caling in more soldiers to get him, they pulled out…… and went for…wait for it….. Iraq and Sadam Hussein.  In essence they let Bin Laden get away!!!!

  • Sepola

    Come on, Tom and guests. 2 obvious points missed: Robert Gates said giving the go ahead to get OBL was maybe the gutsiest call by a president he’d seen. Also, would it have been politicized if the mission failed, like the attempt in Iran?

    • TFRX

      You know what never gets talked about as a military failure?

      Ronald Reagan having 240 marines sitting in Lebanon, and getting blown up.

      I guess when Saint Ronald does something wrong, it’s somehow right.

      • aj

        In fact, I would argue that Reagan’s debacle, resulting in this tragic loss, is far worse than Carter’s handling of the hostage crisis. Do you agree?

        • Sepola

          I would agree whole heartedly, AJ

          • aj

            I appreciate that Sepola.

        • TFRX

          I agree, but I don’t base all my info on the learned opinion of The Evening Network News. So I may be an outlier.

          I sorta remember reading, in the pre-internet years, contemporary accounts of how Carter’s approval ratings went up after the rescue mission attempt. I don’t trust anyone on commercial TV now to have remembered that, and I’m too otherwise occupied to research it myself.

      • Sepola

        TFRX, I can’t believe how much you sound like me. Right down to the “St. Ronnie” comment. Awesome.

        Remember the Alamo…and Iran Contra

        • TFRX

          Now that I think of it, we’ve never been spotted in the same room.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I haven’t seen the two of you in a room at the same time, now that you mention it?
               HMMMMM??

            TO THE BATCAVE Bruc….  er BATMAN!

      • notafeminista

        Apparently it never gets talked about because people can’t get it right.  The Marines were part of a coalition of countries in Lebanon as a peacekeeping force.  The French, British and Italians were there as well.

        “When our Marines, sent to Lebanon on a multinational peacekeeping mission with the consent of the United States Congress were murdered in their sleep, the ‘blame America first crowd’ didn’t blame the terrorists who murdered the Marines, they blamed the United States.” 

        ~Jeanne Kirkpatrick

        • aj

          So in the middle of a 15 year long civil war when indigenous Lebanese armed forces execute a strike on a foreign MILITARY base who’s occupation they oppose, you call them “terrorists?”

          So what do you call 7 little indigenous Afghan boys (all younger than age 12) who are out gathering firewood for fuel to survive the freezing war-ravaged Afgan winter, and they are incinerated by a foreign military’s predator drone?

          Certainly not terrorism… ah I know! Collateral damage right?

        • aj

          Oh yeah…”the Coalition of the Willing!” Baloney!

          The whole world is on our side! If you consider the whole world Colombia, Israel, and a few atolls out in the middle of the Pacific.

          I hate to inform you but just because Reagan and Maggie Thatcher think it’s a good idea to occupy Arab land in the middle of a civil war, doesn’t mean if Reagan had called Carter to ask his advice, he wouldn’t have replied, ” Are you stupid? ”

          Then Reagan would say, “yeah your probably right Jimmy. I’m gonna invade Grenada instead!”

    • denis

      You are absolutely correct… why did candidate Romney mention President Carter in his statement?

  • Sandy Untermyer

    FACT CHECK!! FACT CHECK!!

    The November after 9/11 in 2001, US forces had Osama bin Laden cornered, wounded on a hill in Afghanistan. The commander requested more troops (he had only a score or two fighting 1000 al Quaeda). Don Rumsfeld at the White House refused to send any more troops. Osama, his family, and the troops escaped to Pakistan. So it’s NOT true to claim that George Bush would have killed Osama in Pakistan!!

    • Lost Cat 00

      Sandy, thank you for remind us about this important fact.

  • Badolliecat

    Our troops were right outside of Bin Laden’s hide out back during the early years, during the Bush administration; they were called off. 
    Let’s not forget that and let’s also remember that the only jet allowed to leave the United States during 911 was the one with the Bin Ladens on it.  The Bin Ladens, friends of the Bush family.
    Glad Obama finally gloated. 
    Furthermore, this administration would surely have been able to perform more promises made had the DEMOCRATIC house and congress done their jobs rather than worry about what special interest may get pissed off!

  • Lost Cat 00

    Great discussion, excellent panel, but let us not forget for the next time Romey’s campaign that Romney’s declarations about getting a tough economic policy regarding China make no sense given his past actions exporting the USA economy to China. For Romney and his ilk the most profitable export is not merchandise and service, but the American economy itself.

    Let’s be clear, Romney is an unprincipled opportunist. 

  • Badolliecat

    Very glad that Occupy is back on the streets because without that in people’s faces, amnesia sets in….

    • aj

      TO THE STREETS!

    • Still Here

      What’s Occupy?

  • JohnCappola

    Republicans are Amazing. What would they say if the president botched the attack in Abboutabad?  Can they forgive a bad decision, or will they say that Joe the plumber may have done the same.

  • troll_doll

    Carl is totally correct

  • Greenman

    The intelligence break which led to the killing of Osama bin Laden might very well not have occured if we were still hip-deep in the war in Iraq, and Preisident Obama deserves credit for extricating us from that ill-conceived war, and setting the sonditions and the the tone of emphasis in the intelligence work that resulted in the operation of get Bin Laden.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HUHWX4TIAZRFNFYCWUE43OZDUQ 7LeagueBoots

    Romney and the right-wing’s comment that “anybody” would have gone after Osama is demonstrably false.   Bill Clinton wanted to get Osama after the Cole bombing just before the end of his presidency and was strongly opposed by the Republicans in the house and senate.

    If Clinton had not been opposed by the Republicans 9/11 would probably not have happened and we would never have gone into Afghanistan.  And Bus would have needed to find another reason to go into Iraq.

    Romney and the right are blowing hot air and trying to cover their past (and current) failings.

  • Greyman

    If Obama had been content to let others impute success to his decisions on undertaking the mission to take out bin Laden, he would have been comporting himself in seemly fashion as Commander-in-Chief. By claiming success for himself, he diminishes the strength of the claim: pumping up his own “contribution”, Obama diminishes the roles played by the US military and intelligence operatives who planned and executed the mission. Obama’s failure is the failure to give credit where it’s actually due: to those very military and intelligence professionals, not to members of the political class and least of all to himself. It’s the Obama equivalent of Michael Dukakis sticking his helmeted head out for the cameras.  

    • MrNutso

      Go back and look at his statements over the past year and see how many times he says “we” and acknowledges the work of intelligence, the military and special forces.

      • ana

        I have heard this POTUS praise the troops, the Seals, the CIA  repeatedly.  He did so in the State of The Union speech quite dramatically.

    • Sepola

      By giving the go ahead, he went against the wishes of both Biden and Gates! I think he deserves much of the credit.

    • Sean

      … just another clueless, desperate, and envious diatribe by ANOTHER sour-grapes Republican!

  • Badolliecat

    What is gainful employment?  Haven’t seen gainful employment for years…since 911 actually.
    I  currently live off of 3 part/time jobs, my own web sites, barter, grow my own food and live in MA where my low wages still allow me health insurance

  • Jim

    we are still in a frictional/structural unemployment period. two things causing the unemployment to stay high. Housing is still not recovering… that is causing mobility problem. Second… technology change is causing not only low income workers to adapt, but also white collar worker to retrain.

    It does not help when corporations prefer to ship jobs overseas to help fatten executive pay.

    • denis

      You forgot to mention the third and fourth reasons: 3] corporations sitting on $2 trillion in cash. 4] Republican leadership how view their role as cheerleaders for U.S. failure so President Obama cannot claim success.

  • aj

    This guy is another neo-liberal Times correspondent, whp dresses up in a liberal’s clothing. Eat shit Greenhouse!

    • jefe68

      That’s a nice sentiment. Is this how you deal with all the people who do not agree with your dogma?

      • aj

        This jackass was a cheerleader for welfare-reform back in 96. Now he writes front-page expose’s on how welfare reform is an utter disaster. I know some mother’s who could have told him that a decade ago.

        In return, they get their lifespan shortened, and he gets a efin pullitzer. But I won’t convince you, your to vested into thinking I’m a thug with no truths to speak of. peace

        • jefe68

          Well, I don’t think of you as a thug.
          I think that your use of language does not help your point here. If you wrote what you did here, I would agree with you as I do now. But the thing that I’m confused about is on the one hand you seem to be critical of welfare reform and yet support Ron Paul.
          Who would do away with all social programs if he could.

          • aj

            Your correct. It is inherently contradictory. But in a Federal republic that has been incorporated by financial con men, it is the best formulation I can fathom for a real change. Though, I full concede it is a bit of a triple bank shot.

            The Framers intended healthcare and welfare, etc. to be funded and administered by sovereign states. I would prefer the French system, but it is what it is. Don’t underestimate state local governments potential.

            We elect Democrats like Clinton and Obama and we get the elimination of welfare and Heritage foundation healthcare and U.S. military imperialism anyways. Because the Federal government has been co-opted.

            So my only conclusion is, Obama can’t single handedly implement single payer at the Federal level, but he could end the war on drugs and end U.S. military empire without congress, BUT he won’t.

            Ron Paul WOULD. That’s PROGRESS. Of course I have my differences with Dr Paul but he would go into the Temple (Federal Reserve) and throw out the money changers and their rotten racket. What did Obama do? He re-nominated Bernanke, a Bush political appointee who in 2006! said the housing bubble was contained!!

            Ron Paul would have the power as President on day 1 to bring real “CHANGE” to about 50% of the issues, us liberals care about. And he has the balls to do it before the Congress in a bi-partisan manner, moves to impeach him for fulfilling his oath in upholding the Constitution.

            The other 50% of us liberals issues (re: health care, higher ed, welfare, etc.) can be implemented entirely at the state and local level.

            You might have better ideas.

            Bring them down to the OWS general assembly and give them voice! 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Campaigns have degenerated to just noise – I don’t even have to listen. Romney campaign will say bad things about Obama regardless of what it’s in reference to, Obama campaign the same about Romney. No one will discuss what they will do because it just opens themselves to attack. The result is just negativity without content.

    • brettearle

      Obama’s campaign is starting up; Romney’s is fully up and running.

      Romney’s attacks are legion and non-stop.  He is so unprofessional and amateurish, that Romney doesn’t even THINK that if he praised Obama, here and there, he’d actually earn a great deal more respect from the Undecideds and Independents.

      Negative Ads may work.  But live excoriation, in a sound bite, turns off as many voters as it turns on.

      As we speak, Romney is helping to destroy his own campaign, without even realizing it.   

    • Azra

      There is one very impotant difference between the two. Obama ads DO NOT say bad things about Romney, “regardless of what it’s in reference to”. They are factual, where Romney’s are fabrication. If you fact check all of them, you can see the difference for yourself.

  • troll_doll

    Occupy Providence was actually really successful. I think that the reason why they were successful was that the city administration worked with the group instead of against it and fighting them. In the end they came to agreements to deal with the homeless problem by creating new programs and shelter. Didnt make the news without firehoses though…

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_Eger Dave Eger

    Do these bridge bomber idiots even matter if the whole plot was staged by the FBI to trap them? There are plenty of bridges that are going to collapse on their own if we don’t repair them, we don’t need to blow them up to create jobs. I guess it keeps the FBI busy though.
    As for breaking windows, I also think there’s enough already broken that need to be fixed, but Gale is right, the money doesn’t seem to be there to invest in our own community. There just doesn’t seem to be enough trickling down, and the Republican’s whose base is the first to be xenophobic, has leaders who are sending their wealth and our jobs overseas.

  • Sawyerfarm2006

    If you stop laying of goverment workers as a way to balance the budgets. Unemployment would be alot better. I know the old story goverment jobs are the problem but you need people to run and maintain your infrastructure. And to the people who say goverment can not create jobs what is all the building and businesses that are supporting the new security apparatus in Virginia?

    • William

      But money has to be taken out of the private sector to pay for bloated government work force. We had boom years and all governments over spent and over hired. It is time to right size all local, state and federal work forces to a more affordable level.

      • TFRX

        At this point in the business cycle?

        Why don’t you go scream yourself blue in the face with that message when the GOP is in power?

      • Still Here

        Exactly, but public employee unions aren’t going to like that and they’re going to hit their members up for more dues so they can fund Democrats who will then negotiate big pay and workforce increases.  Tidy no?

      • Steve__T

         The next time you have an issue with anything involving your local taxes to any government agency, you will experience the pain of WAITING for assistance that you wont get because it has been reduced to 0. Then you will experience the hammer of red tape, because you didn’t fill out your forms correctly. That’s just one of a million other possibility’s. The cost to the public would be greater, because time, is money.
         Are you serious?

        • William

          That is not likley to happen because there have not been enough layoffs of public employees. You need to listen to what Obama has said in the past about shared sacrafrice. We are all in this together and a few layoffs of public employees won’t matter much.

          • Azra

            To whom?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      85,000 PRIVATE ‘Security’ ‘Contractors’, AND ALL the various ‘ADMINISTRATION COSTS’?

  • aj

    Jack Beatty: “The U.S. is a low wage nation”

    Ah…yeah. No Shit! I could of told you that back in 89′!

  • Thinkin15

    The caller said it exactly: The people who got a new job this pat month are happy about it and grateful, I’m sure. Continued job growth and regaining all the jobs lost from the W. era is a good record to run on. “not cleaning up the Republican’s mess fast enough” should be a TV ad.  Remind people who brought us the recession and bank failures.

  • MrNutso

    Chris Christie is a worse than etch-a-sketch.  He wants to appear to be moderate, but like all Republicans, will support any of their own kind no matter what.

  • Stephen Nelson

    I am simply amazed that Tom is giving Greenhouse 75% of the commentator air time as though Jack and Gideon aren’t miked. What is going on? Callers make points (like the one I made about the work that Obama and his leadership group made to set the table in order to make the decision to attack Bin Laden’s compound) and Jack goes immediately to Greenhouse who then pulls out the same tropes. Not a real well-rounded discussion.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    IF Scott Walker ‘Stands with YOU’, Wisconsinites, WHY is he being bought the position, AND NOW protection of that position, by FOREIGN MONEY?  75%?  Of $25 MILLION?

    • Mr_Trees

      CAPITAL words make me think you are SHOUTING but only SPORADICALY.  It doesn’t make your point any more VALID.  It’s just ANNOYING.

      • Sean

        I LIKE the emphasis… keep it up!!

  • brettearle

    “Occupy” was (is) not well organized; was too fractionated; was undisciplined.

    Occupy has excellent points but they can’t–or won’t– figure out how to pare down and distill their signifcant messages.

    And so, as one of the guests said, their scruffy image is destroying their message.

    It was like that in the 60s–when the `Establishment’ at home, in front of their televisions, saw all the long-haired hippies, protesting the VietNam War.

    Those viewers at home might have thought MORE deeply about the serious issues of defending (or not defending) against Communism, in southeast Asia, thousands of miles away from the homeland.

    Now, the angry moderates, the angry independents, the angry Republicans will simply marginalize and ignore angry Occupy.

    And the important themes are lost.

    People…..judge…..others……by….their….book….cover….
    not by the content of their ideas (to borrow a famous MLK phrase). 

    • Greyman

      OWS does not suffer simply from “an image problem”, though: the only message it has successfully communicated is raucous discontent. Yes, and, so?
      OWS could legitimately claim political potency only when it was physically occupying conspicuous physical space: but public sentiment turned against OWS months ago, as organized labor’s dismissal of calls for a “general strike” and disparagement of OWS protests this week have shown, and as sporadic vandalism, ill-considered disruptions, and threats of violence emerged. The virtue that OWS has claimed (or, the claims made on its behalf by its articulate mainstream well-wishers) is its decentralization: OWS has no “central committee” of commissars dictating goals, tactics, strategy. Well and good: and this very lack of political structure has yielded very little more than inchoate expressions of discontent. Disavowing political structure is no invisible part of the OWS “message”: it is therefore neither fair nor accurate to say that OWS risks being marginalized by the vast bulk of Americans when it is the case that OWS boldly marched towards self-marginalization. No one needs a Ph.D. in polisci to know that anarchists will never rule the world.

      • brettearle

        Wrong again, Kimosabe….

        VERY wrong, indeed…..

        Your politcal bias and narrowed patience makes you miss the REAL issues–ones that you have contempt for.

        It is not simply Image that you don’t like.

        But rather than confront the issues:

        of a Plutocracy;

        of the reason why there is so much remarkable, sustained unemployment;

        of the reason why student debt is what it is;

        of the reason why the economy was decimated by the casino gamblers on Wall Street;

        of the reason why deregulation enabled the corruption;

        of the reason why there was an incredible Deficit, not simply AFTER Obama took office;

        of the reason why the value of the dollar is compromised

        of the reason why Obama was warned that our country would go bankrupt, if the Health Care industry wasn’t overhauled; 

        of the reason why we are dealing with Trade Deficit;

        of the reason why lowered earning power, in our country, often requires two-household members to be working, in a family;

        of the reason why we don’t have adequate retraining programs in our country………

        Yes, Kimosabe, rather than face up to these issues–MANY OF WHICH “OCCUPY WALL STREET” REPRESENTS–YOU are the one MARGINALIZING the Movement as ANARCHISTS, rather than to go beneath the surface to see the issues, FOR WHAT THEY REALLY ARE!

        It is your kind of KNEE-JERK reaction, in my first comment, that I AM TRULY REFERRING TO, KIMOSABE…..

      • aj

        A disorganized and raucous bunch like when the Colonialists were boycotting the stamp act? Or when Sammy Adams and the boys were tar and feathering their fellow Brits in Baaston Haarba!?

        And for a lot lesser crimes, then the criminal Banksters of 2008! You sound like one of the Colonial Governors who got the hell out of Dodge City 10 years later when those unruly drunks took the high ground at Bunker Hill!

        OWS is the Revolution! Don’t sleep on it, or you’ll end up in Canada with all the other Torries.

        • jefe68

          Sam Adams was against tar and feathering. He was for the rule of law always, and was very much against mob rule.
          You do remember that he defended the British troops who were responsible for the Boston massacre.

          • aj

            That was his cousin, our second President, John Adams, my dear brotherman.

          • Azra

            His Summer Ale is good too.

    • Brett

      Well, I know you’re too young to actually have experienced the ’60′s (kidding), but you are only somewhat correct. At first, the “establishment,” or, more aptly put, middle class people, were generally afraid of the “hippies.” That, in conjunction with the Civil Rights protests still being fresh in people’s minds, prompted people to believe societal order was topsy-turvy and untenable. In fact, Nixon, to a large extent, ran on a “restore law and order” platform, and we all know he was successful. 

      It wasn’t until the ’60′s was winding down that people finally realized those dirty hippies were actually their own sons and daughters. They also began to feel the toll of the Vietnam War right within their own communities. On any given street, someone had lost a son to the War; often, those losses directly affected more than one family. On my street two families lost sons.

      Another factor adding to the mistrust of our policies that also played into the sense of losing our children to war was the nightly body count on the news and footage of daily fighting; it made everything so real and immediate. Add to that Nixon’s escalation of the War, which made people feel betrayed. 

      I believe the whole thing came to a head at Kent State. Mothers and fathers watched the news reports on the National Guard killings and connected the dots back to their own sons and daughters. By the early ’70′s, people were fed up, and the tables turned. Politicians such as ‘Tricky Dick’ lost their credibility with the “establishment.”

      As much as times change, they stay the same; and, as much as times stay the same, they change. One thing’s for sure, it’s going to be a long, hot summer, with social unrest rivaling 1968.

      • Brett

        Thanks, man. I’ve been meaning to ask  you, in what part of the City do you live? I love New York…In the late ’70′s I lived for a couple of years in Brooklyn (Brooklyn Heights, in the Cobble Hill neighborhood on Court Street). It was quite an experience considering I was in my early twenties and a southern boy from a small town. I still have some good friends who live in the LES near the East River Park. 

        • aj

          West Tremont, tha Bronx. Where are you from down south?

          Did you know it was the Kent state anniversary? or was that a coincidence of serendipotous proportionalities? If you get a second watch the live Neil young video and at the end with the applause, it really gives feeling to what you were writing about in the sixties!

          • Brett

            Hey, aj.

            I haven’t spent much time in the Bronx. I like Brooklyn a lot, and I also really like the East Village. The LES seems to be the last bastion of old New York, but it is also becoming gentrified (and expensive, with no rent control reform)…damn that Gloomberg, damn him all to hell! What’s up with all those Starbucks and frozen yogurt places?!?!

            I’m from a place we call FredVegas, Va. (aka, Fred City, the ‘burg, Fred, and best known as Fredericksburg, not to be confused with Frederick, Md., another cool town). It is a great little city replete with a lot of cool musicians and various artists; there’s also a university. 

            I did know that the Kent State killings happened around this time of year in May, which that and brettearle’s comment made me think about the whole thing. I hadn’t remembered the anniversary date was yesterday, though.

        • ana

          One of my sons lives in Brooklyn near East River and   one lives in Manhatten.  Love both places.

          • Brett

            I haven’t been to NYC in  about eight years; I’ll have to get back there for a visit sometime in the near future. 

      • brettearle

        It’s true that I was thinking of the earlier part of the VietNam protest.

        But that was the part, where a good PR plan, by the 60s Movement, might have altered the outcome sooner and more people’s lives might have been saved.

        It took many years for Public Opinion, to turn.

        But Public Opinion changed because the US Government realized that it could NOT defeat the VietCong.

        Hence the escalation, leading to Cambodia/Laos and also the Westmoreland fiasco.

        (almost like a wink-wink nod-nod, Give-Me-The- Intelligence I want analogy of Cheney to the CIA, as McNamara was to Westmoreland)
          
        By the same token, if “Occupy” doesn’t do something about its Image and its Discipline, then its message will continue to be ignored, helping to enable destructive economic policies and even possible unrest.

        With smarter PR and Organization, such consequences in the future might be slowed or stymied.

        Had the VietNam protest been smarter, then guys like Halberstadt, Kronkite, and Sy Hirsch might have been even more aggressive in their reporting and in their uncovering of the problems, with the war, sooner.

        Even Daniel Ellsberg might have come out sooner with his volatile documents–had the VietNam protest been more disciplined.

        • Brett

          Morning, Brett.

          I do agree with your larger point that the Occupy Movement needs to get its act together to a place where influencing the branches of government becomes an organized effort. Marching and occupying in and of themselves will not sustain the movement. I see the movement as in its early stages, though. I also believe that there may be moments this summer when the protesting could spill over into rioting. Unfortunately, if that becomes a reality, there will be violence. In those cases, the general public may revoke whatever support it has for the protests/protesters. If some of the violence is perpetrated and perpetuated by law enforcement, perhaps sentiment will swing back the other way. Leadership from the movement would need to garner mainstream respect, and that leadership would need to articulate a crystallization of the frustrations among the middle class. I hope cool heads will prevail if what I’m anticipating transpires. I also hope that people who might need to emerge in the movement do so without succumbing to some grandstanding appeasement. The whole thing may also become co-opted and re-branded by moneyed interests. This could shoot down whatever chance it has of truly being a sustained grassroots movement with leadership that is not only willing to make concessions and compromises while maintaining any core ideas and holding firm on certain principles, but will also be able to keep support flowing toward its beliefs and actions.I don’t disagree with your analysis of Vietnam, but I also remember many average folks not really understanding or caring about the politics of it all. Ultimately, our military could not defeat the VC, this is true; but, many folks of, say, my parents generation saw no clear objective in even being in Vietnam as they had in WWII. In many respects people were starting to make comparisons to the Korean “conflict.” Communism didn’t seem like a genuine and direct threat; defeating communism didn’t seem like a plausible priority objective. We had what we perceived as Russia to worry about, albeit they were supplying weapons to North Vietnam, and many felt that beating the the VC was unnecessary in our protection against communism. My father was in the Marines at the end of WWII and during the Korean War. He lost a brother in Korea and was himself injured. He and people like him began to not really care what the government could win or lose, even as early as 1966. He, and many others of his generation, cared very much that young men were being killed for no good reason. He’d been through such feelings with the loss of his brother, and those feelings had not lost their rawness.I do think we are essentially saying the same thing, just maybe seeing aspects of the Vietnam war through different lenses. Anyway, thanks a lot for your replies; I enjoyed reading them both.       

          • Brett

            What the hell happened to the paragraph breaks! Disqus! Sorry

          • brettearle

            Brett (lose the name)…..

            When I get the chance, I’ll offer further comments, to your most recent response…hopefully ideas that you might yet find provocative, or at least worth contemplating, i.e. LBJ; George Will; Media and the end of Naivete; Media and the beginning of Distortion;
            AM Talk Radio as one giant, destructive Meme;
            the potential for Fascism within 50 years or even  less; the confirmation that I, yes, another Brett, lived in Cobble Hill, as well; and a way that we can learn each other’s email addresses, without revealing them, here (I thought of a way)

            Do you like Pynchon, Bellow, Naipaul, Kenneth Roberts, Shirley Jackson, Thomas Wolfe (early 20th century), and/or Hemingway/Salinger short stories?

            Thank you for continuing the conversation.

            I might post my response at the top of the Thread and/or here, too….

          • brettearle

            Brett (lose the name),

            I’m writing a response that I think would interest you and that you would find stimulating–in terms of continuing the discourse.

            I would prefer to send it to you by regular email–although I can certainly launch it, here.

            Nevertheless, I have figured out a fullproof way for us to exchange our outside email addresses, without actually doing it, here.

            Indeed, I’ve thought of several ways, but the first one, that I have in mind, will, very likely, work….

            One of the primary reasons why you have seen me, here–on the “On Point”, on-line discussion site–is because I am a `renegade’ from Gather.com–a social media web site–with which I have become disenchanted (people who post subjects have the website-policy right to delete your comments if they find your comments unacceptable).  This site, by the way, has [or has had], as its members, President Obama and David Gergen, among a few other notables.   

            I am still a member, but I am less active.

            It is free to join and takes minutes to do so.

            Once you join, you can link to my Gather web page and send a Gather email, to me.

            Let me know, here, if you would like to try this.

            Over and Out….

  • Thinkin15

    Amazing to hear Romney blasting the Obama administration for ‘not standing up for freedom’ as his gay foreign affairs adviser steps down because of the stance of the extremists of Romney’s party! Talk about a big blind spot!!

    • brettearle

      What about Romney’s excision of an excerpt, about his HealthCare Plan–in a book, authored by him, in recent years–that was left out of the paperback edition–because it reflected badly on his position and policy on ObamaCare v RomneyCare?

      • Azra

        Mitt is honest to the core.

        • J__o__h__n

          He has no core.

          • Azra

            Guess I was wrong about that. Must be ROTTEN to the core, and now the core has also rotted away.

        • Jason___A

          HA.  Willard has all the intellectual depth of the shine on a new car.

    • Azra

      Poor Mitt. He’s having so many problems, not the least of which is Dogs Against Romney, which was started by Mitt’s own dog . . . before he ran away from home, and found a better life. :)
      He should probably just quit now, before the debates begin, when he will REALLY make a fool of himself.

      • brettearle

        Obama may not only prevail in the Debates–but he is likely to decimate Romney.

        Many reasons for this:  The Incumbent knows more about the Presidency; the President’s likely a better debater in the prime time event.

        But I think the biggest factor is that Romney’s AMBITION will get the better of him, in the actual debates.

        He will trip up, lose it (moderately) on stage, etc.

        Pride goeth before the fall. 

        • Azra

          Mitt will be mincemeat.

          • Azra

            (Or should that be “minceMITT?)

          • brettearle

            Don’t stop, you’re on a Roll

            (Kaiser, Bulkie, or Egg)

          • Azra

            Thanks. I could go for a Kaiser roll about now, with lots of poppy seeds.

      • Lost Cat 00

        Wait to hear from Cats Against Romney!

        • Azra

          We’re standing by.

          • Azra

            We’re also standing by for Seamus’ P.S., to follow what I posted above, about Dogs against Romney. His message is hanging in limbo, where it has been for almost two hours, with “Just a moment” attached to it. It has been retyped several times, to no avail. Coincidentally, (or IS it a coincidence?), the same thing happened once before, also comments by Seamus, also on a weekend. It’s as though once “post as” is touched, someone is able to read it, sees that Seamus has signed it, and is able to block it somehow. Very suspicious. Maybe Mitt rigged it.

            Right now, Seamus’ P.S is suspended beneath the comments I made, which mentioned Seamus.

            Does anyone know what causes this, or how to fix it?

            Thank you.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Is their leader a neutered tomcat named Mittens?

          • Lost Cat 00

            Please, do not forget your medication.

      • Jason___A

        Romney makes a fool out of himself every time he opens his PLASTIC mouth.

        • Azra

          Could be plastic-coated tin. Could swear that I once heard a faint voice coming from where Mitt was standing, that said,

          “OIL – – – – – – ME.”

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Would Seamus DEBATE Gov. Romney on issues of imprisonment, waterboarding, induced vomiting, and a few other issues?
           OR has the trauma of these ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’  intimidated Seamus, so that he will say ANYTHING Gov. Romney wants him to say, to avoid the thought of more time in ‘the box’, and ‘water-torture’?

  • Sean

    It’s extraordinary that the economy keeps ADDING jobs, despite Republican legislatures all over the country continuing to lay off public workers at an astounding rate, irresponsibly and indiscriminately.

    … keep up the AWESOME record of job creation, President Obama!!

    I’d say you’re cleaning up the Republican mess at a phenomenal rate and we’re LUCKY to have you as our President!!!

    • JGC

      I agree. Contrast this to the double dip recession being experienced by the British in the wake of the Cameron government’s austerity program.  Cut-backs and austerity alone do not work.  

    • TomK in Boston

      Well yeah, nothing is as bad as the Bush job destruction, but President Obama is hurting himself with austerity. Even tho the wingnuts think he’s a socialist, he buys into the fantasy that we have to cut spending in a deep recession. Things would be a lot better with a lot more gvt spending on the things we desperately need, and can borrow for at virtually zero interest rate.

      The loss of gvt jobs, mostly state and local, is a huge problem, tho the right thinks it’s good, since gvt is bad. The 115,000 figure today is 130,000 private sector jobs added plus 15,000 public sector jobs lost, and that’s on top of losses every month since the Bush crash. Anyone who was serious about jobs would stop the public sector job losses right now.

      • William

        Obama’s hurting himself with austerity!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!

    • Gregg

       Are you joking?

    • Azra

      I’ll drink to that!

  • http://www.facebook.com/fcbates Fred Bates

    Tom, 
    On Point consistently has a representative of the right wing whose job appears to advocate a conservative point of view, as apposed to the reporting points of fact.  A defense conservative representatives emply to prevent push back to their arguments is a strategy, well used but not invented by Condoleezza Rice, is to filibuster by talking on and on to use up program time (‘working the clock’ to use a sports term) while artfully segueing to their next paragraph and making apposing points of fact to interfere with their argument not possible which relies on the host’s good manors and expectations that airtime be shared and so keep talking over the reporters of facts in a redundant monologue of didactic diatribes on the point of views, and not facts, from the minority owning party.  

    Tom. Interrupt the filibusterers! Point out to whoever is hogging the ball that they are ball hogging. There should be an apt for that. BEEP! 

    Thanks 
    From Fred Bates from Derry NH

  • NewtonWhale

    Hillary earned her pay today.

    BEIJING — The U.S. and China forged the outlines of a deal Friday to end a diplomatic standoff over legal activist Chen Guangcheng that would let him travel to the U.S. with his family for a university fellowship.

    After days of behind-the-scenes talks, reversals and emotional calls by Chen from a guarded hospital room, the U.S. and China made a series of announcements signaling a logjam had been broken.

    The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Chen may apply for travel permits to study abroad. An American university has offered Chen a fellowship with provisions for his family, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, adding that the U.S. expects Beijing to quickly process their travel permits, after which U.S. visas would be granted.

    “Over the course of the day, progress has been made to help him have the future that he wants, and we will be staying in touch with him as this process moves forward,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said speaking to reporters after two days of annual strategic talks in Beijing.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/04/chen-guangchen-study-abroad_n_1477372.html

    • Azra

      HOORAY, HILLARY!

  • U.S.Vet.

    U.S. drone attack kills at least 22 in SW Somalia

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/238376.html

    I wonder if Obama is going to want to take credit for that?

    • Jason___A

      Credit where credit is due:  THE CRIMINAL GEORGE BUSH, it was his failed policies that Obama is reaping.

    • Still Here

      Can hardly wait the photo from the war room showing the high-5s and fist-bumps as another bunch of women and children have gone to paradise!

    • Still Here

      Can hardly wait the photo from the war room showing the high-5s and fist-bumps as another bunch of women and children have gone to paradise!

  • notafeminista
  • Bill5

    Re: Obama making the decision to take out Osama bin Laden.  It is very clear that there were TWO major aspects to the success of the operation.  The roles played by the US military and intelligence operatives who planned and executed the mission were crucial- they were performed with exceptional skill and professionalism.   However, nothing would have happened without the difficult decision to authorize the operation.  I recently heard a discussion by several analysts that pointed out some of the key points Obama considered in making the decision.  By authorizing the operation, he considered the possible outcomes and the resulting consequences of at least the following:
        What if some of the SEALs had been captured?
        What if some of them had been killed and bin Laden survived?
        What if the intelligence had been wrong and bin Laden was not there- or they had killed someone other than bin Laden?
        What if the Pakistani military had confronted the SEALs- and some in either group were killed?
        Or the Pakistanis were able to “disrupt” the operation in some unknown way?
        What if there was “collateral damage”- with or without a successful operation?
        What would be the reaction of the Pakistani government and military- and the Pakistani people- under each of the above scenarios?
        What effect would the operation have on short term and long term relations with the Pakistanis, neighboring countries, terrorist organizations, etc.?
        What longer term effects would it have on terrorist organizations from a leadership and morale viewpoint?
        What effect would there be from the American people, Republicans, etc. if the operation had failed?
        And who knows what other important factors had to be considered?
    Then to compound the difficulty of the decision, each of the various combinations of the above possible scenarios had to be weighed and access the possible consequences.
    It seems to me that Obama’s decision took a considerable amount of courage, leadership, conviction. coordination, weighing the advice of conflicting opinions, etc.  For Romney and others to trivialize the decision and say anyone would have done the same thing, shows they don’t understand the depth of the decision and questions whether or not they would be qualified if put into a similar situation.  Would they have taken the risks that Obama did?  Or maybe Romney is again playing politics by not acknowledging (or at least ignoring) the accomplishments of his opponent, even if he has to distort or ignore the facts.

  • TomK in Boston

    The right is very happy about the weak jobs numbers, but the contrast to Bush is crystal clear

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/image/20120504-jobs_chart_april.jpg

    President Obama has taken some steps that have saved us from the worst of the Bush voodoo. However, because he either buys the deficit hysteria or is afraid of the right politically, he has erred on the austerity side and this is holding back the recovery. No big infrastructure spending, no big gvt projects, no foreclosure relief. 

    All the income is being redistributed to the rich and the corporations, and it’s sitting in their money bins. For all practical purposes is it being taken out of the economy and not creating jobs. Scrooge McDuck is not a “job creator” when all he does with his tax cuts is raise the level in his money bin from 20′ to 25′. We need to get the $ circulating again with more gvt spending paid for by progressive taxation.

    • Tadough

      Obama has been an unmitigated disaster. The unemployment rate is higher now than when he took office. There are fewer people working today than at any point in more than three decades. He’s added to the nation’s deficit twice as fast as Bush, and an overwhelming majority of Americans consistently tell pollsters that the country is on the wrong track. Democrats controlled both houses of Congress during his first two years in office, but instead of focusing on the economy the boy wonder expended all his political capital on ill-conceived healthcare legislation that served only to antagonize Republican legislators and animate the party’s base. This is what you get when you elect someone who is clearly unqualified to be president. You can cite selective White House “data” until the cows come home; it won’t alter the fact that Obama has been the most over-hyped and underwhelming incumbent in generations. Even Jimmy Carter now seems like a giant who bestrode the earth in comparison.    

      • TomK in Boston

        You guys crack me up. Do you remember 2000-2008 at all? FYI, if you were comatose:
        1. Prez spends summer clearin’ brush, and is readin’ “my pet goat” while terrorists attack USA.2. Disastrous, insane tax cuts turn surplus into deficit.3. Disastrous, insane invasion of iraq over non-existent WMD is kept off budget – ON THE CC – to worsen the deficit.4. Prez compliments hack appointee  “Brownie” as Katrina disaster makes USA look like Uganda on a bad day.5. Worst economic crash since 1929, brought on by the voodoo economics beloved by the right. How about that for an “unmitigated disaster”, huh?  But tell me, Tadough, were you on Bush’s case? Did you call him a disaster? Why do I doubt it? And tell me, if we nailed bin Laden when W was in office, would you have said it was no big deal? Why do I doubt it?Don’t get me wrong, I’m disappointed in BHO. I thought we were finally getting a genuine liberal, and he turns out to be the last moderate republican, somewhere to the right of Richard Nixon. He’s afraid to take the bold FDR-like steps we need. The deficit is no big deal. It’s mainly used by the oligarchs to scare the peons into giving up what little they have left. But you can’t pin it on BHO. He came into office with the Bush crash in place, and economic crashes reduce tax revenues and increase use of the safety net. The insane tax cuts were in place, and they keep increasing the deficit and inequality. They’re the gift that keeps on giving. I do blame him for not getting rid of those tax cuts as priority #1. They are a cancer on the USA.

        • Tadough

           There there now. Clearly I’ve touched a nerve. You’re unable to address so much as a single economic metric I’ve highlighted and are left to flail madly in full Bush-derangement mode. As it happens, I remember 2000 to 2008 quite well. Bush inherited a recession from Clinton. What’s that? Too young to remember the dot-com crash? How about Enron, Worldcom, and the rest, which were allowed to cook their books for years under Clinton only to blow up during Bush’s first year in office. Oh yeah, and then there’s the little matter of the national security nightmare he inherited from his predecessor. Whatever else can be said of him, at least Bush didn’t whine like a little girl that he’d been handed a bucket of crap. Yes, the boy wonder’s performance following the gulf oil blowout was infinitely more competent. Except that residents of the Gulf tell pollsters that Bush was better in the wake of Katrina. On one hand tax cuts that create deficits are deemed “disastrous.” On the other deficits resulting from government spending that yields comparatively little growth is dismissed as no big deal. I could go on, but why bother. Instead let’s have more contrived indignation over women’s issues, dogs, Romney’s wealth — really anything other than the relevant economic issues.          

          • TomK in Boston

            Right, why bother, since facts don’t interest you.

             Were you calling Bush a disaster as he brought us to one disaster after another? Yes or no.

          • Tadough

             Yet another non sequitur. If your obtuseness is any indication, the coming election season should be hilarious!

          • TomK in Boston

            What was your favorite moment of the Bush presidency – 9/11 or the 2008/2009 Voodoo Econ crash? Such great times.
            FYI, everyone knows that “I’ve touched a nerve” is what you say when you can’t think of an actual argument.

          • Azra

            ESPECIALLY THE DEBATES! Mitt will make Sarah Palin appear knowledgable.

          • Zero

            There was never a recession in the early 2000s.  GDP never contracted.  The growth slowed down, but it never contracted.  Bush inherited a vibrant economy and turned it to crap. 

            Second, Bush could have forced the banks to refinance mortgages and debts with TARP, which would have turned the economy around much faster.  Instead, he just gave money to the banks and now the economy has been dragging because of the things he had the opportunity to fix.

            Second, Romney’s wealth is relevant.  The republicans are suppose to be the party of “hard work” but you idiots keep electing people who have never lived a day outside of the upper class.  At least Obama achieved social mobility.  Yet, republicans are the politicians trying to protect the rich and help the rich while the middle class gets poorer and poorer. 

            But overall, Bush did not inherit a recession and there was certainly never a “crash.”  There was a soft landing from an economic high that a tax and spend liberal got us to, but nothing beyond that.  You just fell prey to Bush propaganda.

  • U.S. Vet.

    10 year U.S. Treasury bonds have fallen to a yield of 1.877%!

    I guess that’s why the for-profit, privately-owned, ‘Federal’ Reserve is the largest buyer of U.S. Treasury bonds.

    But feel free to keep buying U.S. Treasury bonds, the Pentagon really needs to keep it’s wars going.

    • TomK in Boston

      IOW the credit of the USA is so good we can borrow for practically nothing, and there is no hint of inflation. Every voodoo economist has been predicting for years that all that bad, bad gvt spending would destroy our credit, create inflation, and drive up the treasury rate. Wrong again, but being wrong about everything hasn’t caused the voodoo economists to change their scripts.

      The voodoos love to talk about “A family sittin’ around the kitchen table” as if the USA finances, with taxing power and the ability to run deficits, are just like individual finances. Stupid. But anyway, imagine if that family needed a new roof, and they could borrow at 1.8%. Not much doubt what they’d do, huh? Well we need new roads, rail, airports, schools, R&D, alt energy, support for state universities, state and local gvt jobs, maybe a mars mission, etc etc. Let’s take that cheap money the world is offering, put on our new roof, and get the economy roaring while we’re at it!

      BTW I manage my own money. By recognizing that what Krugman calls the “bond vigilantes”, the righty bogeymen that were going to ruin our credit because of all that big bad gub’mint spending, are just a fantasy and rates are going to stay low, I’ve done extremely well with bonds. In addition to our credit being the best in the world, austerity will keep inflation and rates low as it kills jobs and demand. If a wingnut like Romney gets in, here’s a free tip, bonds, treasuries, munis, decent quality high-yield, will be the place to be.

    • U.S. Vet.

      Who really owns the for-profit, privately-owned, ‘Federal’ Reserve
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aui3yBIOVzw&feature=relmfu

  • aj

    The Secret Service’s Colombian courtesan ringleader gave an interview, and let me just tell you, this Filly is drop dead smokin!!

    I’d a been paid her in full, PLUS TIP! whooooooooeeeeeee
    my opinion

    • Terry Tree Tree

      They at least had good taste in women, in their disaster of bad taste in timing?
         I STILL don’t see how this wasn’t a security risk?

  • aj

    Today is Friday May 4th, the 46th day of Spring, in the year of our Lord 2012.  And it marks the 42nd anniversary of the Kent State Massacre. (4 dead)

    This one goes out to the young martyr’s family members still breathing, and all the revolutionaries out their taking a stand, in the year of our Lord 2012! One.

    ” Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,We’re finally on our own,

    This summer I hear the drumming,4 dead in O H I O! ”

    -Neil Young

    Here is a live rendition in 71′ less than a year after, listen to the applause after. It’s thunderous! Chokes you up. It took a Canadian to tell the Americans what time it was. Marvin Gaye too!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdVMGKOFIwY&ob=av2n

    • TomK in Boston

      Great song, aj, from a different time. Gives me goosebumps too. Today the sheep victims would tell the perps to take more tax cuts and Nixon would be denounced as a communist. The pendulum will swing eventually….the longer it takes, the uglier the revolution will be.

      • Azra

        . . . and the sweeter the victory.

  • Zero

    I think it was a good week for the left: Occupy is back and Murdock, the biggest right wing propagandist, seems to be going down. 

    I also read a pretty cool paragraph out of Canetti’s “Crowds and Power” recently:

    “‘Dear Friend, the wolves have always eaten the sheep; are the sheep going to eat the wolves this time?’  This sentence, which comes from a letter which Madame Jullien wrote to her son during the French Revolution, contains the essence of [crowd] reversal.  So far a few wolves have held down many sheep.  Now the time has come for the many sheep to turn against the few wolves.  It is true that sheep are not carnivorous, but, in its very absurdity, the sentence is full of meaning.  Revolutions are times of reversal; those who have been defenceless for so long suddenly find teeth.  Their numbers have to make up for the experience in viciousness which they lack.”

    • Azra

      Every sheep has its day.

      • aj

        Sheeps Against Romney!

        • Azra

          Ba-a-a-a-a-a!

    • aj

      “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”
      -Virginia Woolf

      Here’s to life imitating art for once. The Egyptian sheep grew fangs and back teeth on the 25th of January and ousted Mubarak.

      Lets HOPE the frightened American Buffalo slow their stampede, gather together, turn and face down the toothless Wall St/D.C. wolfpack. It could happen.

      Tommorrow nights FULL “Flower” Moon is supposed to be quite a visual. Moonrise right at sunset on the S.East horizon and all night long. I’ll smoke and drink to that, as well as the thought of grass eating American Bison kicking those damn wolves in the teeth, just this once. 

  • thegreengrass

    Anyone who thinks Occupy is “unclear” in “what they stand for” should take some remedial courses in paying attention.

    A few people being assholes doesn’t ruin the sentiment and concerns of a movement that includes thousands of people of different backgrounds throughout hundreds of cities across the United States. This guy and attitudes like his are the ones undermining what are the valid concerns of American citizens.

    • TomK in Boston

      Typical corporate media bias. They put TeaOP rallies with 10 geezers on SS and medicare complaining about gub’mint in the headlines, and all they can say about occupy is they smell or they are unfocused, even tho the focus on inequality is crystal clear. The groupthink and non-think in the media are unbelievable. Class warrior Ryan trots out a budget with huge tax cuts for his masters, starting from the lowest taxes at the top since 1929, and the media tout him as the guy who will save us from the big bad deficit. Unbelievable. No wonder so many are ignorant of the facts.

    • Gregg

      Of course we know what they stand for: violence, rape, vandalism, defecating in the streets and shameless greed. 

      • thegreengrass

        Incorrect!

      • TomK in Boston

        Wow, violence and shameless greed, the most admired virtues on the far right. Are you saying that you are a supporter of occupy? I mean, greed is good, true?

  • aj

    Dear Disqus, was it the F-word or the I-word that did it?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Sometimes it is nothing actually objectionable.  Some stay on here, with FAR WORSE language, and harmful LIES.

  • Beed Parker

    I’m listening to On Point at the moment, and there was a stretch there where the sneer level reached a practically Fox News level, though not as nasty or whacky as Rush L. and Glen B. I really hate that tone. We’re in such a tight place, all of us now.

    • Azra

      Every normal human being hates it, extremists can’t get enough.

  • feettothefire

    As shameful as it is to admit, the selfish part of me that could use a real good laugh would love to see Romney win in November. The comic relief of seeing him try to actually STAND for something would be just the kind of break this troubled nation needs. Watching the most disingenuous presidential candidate in my lifetime try to act on principles, none of which he actually possesses, would be a tremendous boon to late night talk shows and Saturday Night Live. 

    • Gregg

       Be selfish, it’s all right.

    • TFRX

      After Obama won in 2008 I didn’t know what out satirists were going to do for material. The Bush years were like prospectors picking up gold nuggets on the ground; they didn’t even have to break out the pickaxes and shovels.

      But after election day 2008 the right wing rode to their rescue, didn’t it?

  • Hartwell

    If you don’t want to eat bugs why do you eat shrimp lobster and crab. LOok at them if that’s not a bug I don’t know what is.

    • Gregg

      I agree… but you’ve got the wrong thread.

  • Gregg

    President Obama is shameless. It’s hard to keep up with. I guess the biggest bug in my bonnet is the way he is claiming so much credit for killing Bin Laden. I posted a piece by Kathleen Parker but the setting made it somewhat forgivable. Still, it moved me.

    This evening I read the historical perspective:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303916904577374552546308474.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    President Obama deserves some credit but not all of it. He should make an effort to heap credit upon those too prideful to heap it upon themselves, there are many. It’s not that they want it or need it but it sure would ease the minds of those like me who believe we have an out of control narcissist in the White House. It’s all about him right now, there’s no telling what he might do or say.

    • feettothefire

       Sort of reminds one of a doofus in full flight gear landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier adorned with a huge banner reading “Mission Accomplished.”

      • Gregg

        Seriously? Not me. There really is more to it than the party line.

        Excerpts from that speech:

        “We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We’re bringing order to parts of
        that country that remain dangerous. We’re pursuing and finding leaders
        of the old regime, who will be held to account for their crimes… The
        transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is
        worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done… The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11, 2001 — and still goes on.”

        It seems to me President Obama’s arrogance is far more egregious than the one tired, exaggerated and lonely talking point. But, fair enough. Chalk it up.

        • feettothefire

           If you don’t think A silly appearance in a flight suit is an absurd case of narcissistic grandstanding, I guess I will “chalk it up.”

          • Gregg

            One doesn’t land on an aircraft carrier in a S-3 Viking wearing a tuxedo. Read the speech, it wasn’t about him. The only time he used the word “I” was: “When I look at the members of the United States military, I see the best
            of our country, and I’m honored to be your Commander-in-Chief”.

          • feettothefire

             You mean my belief that Bush’s need to land on the ship in a fighter plane wearing full flight regalia was a P.R. move is wrong? My, how cynical of me. How could I ever believe such a low key spectacle was meant to shine a light on our Commander -in-Chief?

          • Gregg

            I have no idea. 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Republicans ‘announced that ‘W’ flew the S-3 Viking, and the Crew of the Aircraft Carrier MADE the sign ‘Mission Accomplished’, UNTIL proof was shown that ‘W’ DID NOT take-off, or LAND the S-3, as implied, AND the sign was flown out to the Carrier?
                PHONEY PR?
               Like the ‘Hollywood’ chain saw, that ‘W’ used, with reckless disregard, IF it had been a REAL chain saw!

      • Hidan

         Greg post from the same right wing hack and hopes no one will look. Pretending as if this guy is somehow objective and should be taken seriously

        http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Michael_Mukasey

        • Gregg

          Why on earth would I post a link if I didn’t want people to look at it? Mukasey was AG, yea I take him seriously but forget that. What did he say that you can refute smarty pants?

          • Hidan

            . A recently disclosed memorandum from then-CIA Director Leon Panetta shows that the president’s celebrated derring-do in authorizing the operation included a responsibility-escape clause

             derring-do? dumb comment shouldn’t be taken seriously. It was used of course as to incite the readers. I also many amerians celebrating OBL death as well.

            Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out.”

            Which is to say, if the mission went wrong, the fault would be Adm. McRaven’s, not the president’s. M

            Pure Bull if things went wrong the president would obviously be accountable and extremely foolish to think the republicans wouldn’t use such failure against him.

            Moreover, the president does not seem to have addressed at all the possibility of seizing material with intelligence value—which may explain his disclosure immediately following the event not only that bin Laden was killed, but also that a valuable trove of intelligence had been seized, including even the location of al Qaeda safe-houses. That disclosure infuriated the intelligence community because it squandered the opportunity to exploit the intelligence that was the subject of the boast.

            Again no proof to back the above claims and quite silly.

            Clearly the intelligence community had bin Laden as #1 enemy and taking documents in his compound would be a plus for all yet the author spins it as “infuriated” which non has express such.

            The author is just another rightwing hack who not only supports torture but detention without  trial .

          • Gregg

            Obama has a clear record of taking responsibility. Alrighty then.

          • Gregg

            It’s not torture, it’s a nasal rinse. Obama supports indefinite detention without a trial, complain to him.

          • feettothefire

             If you support torture, fine. At least have the balls to admit it. Calling it a “nasal rinse” while simultaneously touting it’s great effectiveness as an interrogation tool is just plain goofy. I’m sure the CIA doesn’t use neti pots or NasoGel in the torture chamber.

          • Gregg

            I do not support torture. How can it be torture if there is no pain, scars or lasting trauma? It seems to me “nasal rinse” is far more accurate than “torture”. If you disagree, fine but if you can’t answer that question then what’s your basis? Obama said so, it not good enough. Who was hurt? How is that question irrelevant?

          • feettothefire

            We all know the story. Japanese soldiers were tried for war crimes at the end of WWII. What was their crime? What you so casually refer to as “nasal rinse.” Some were executed. Some were sentenced to years of hard labor. Is it a war crime if someone else does it but mere enhanced interrogation when we do it? Did we execute those Japanese soldiers unjustly?

          • Zero

            I think the more crucial issue is that the rest of the civilized world considers waterboarding torture.  As Jon Huntsman said, we have lost a lot of respect within the international community.

             

      • Azra

        Thank you for that. It’s priceless.

        These days, the grapes seem much more sour than usual, don’t they?

  • Gregg

    What’s with our President lecturing students to tell Congress, “Don’t double my rates”? He is scaring people with student loans into believing their rates will double. They won’t. Any new loans will return to the original rate, all existing loans are unaffected. The fact that the half rate expired at election time was a seed planted in advance.

    Shameless.

  • Gregg

    Okay, let’s talk about these unemployment numbers. The rate fell from 8.2% to 8.1%. Our President tells us we’re moving in the right direction. Here’s the thing: Fewer people looking for work + Fewer available jobs = Lower unemployment rate. How can that not be true?

    Here are the “Labor Force Participation Rate” numbers:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/people-not-labor-force-soar-522000-labor-force-participation-rate-lowest-1981

    I wish I could take credit for the insight but no, I heard it on talk radio. Some digging (as if needed) verified it all. I better not say who. It would be really cool if someone could refute the premise and make the case we are in recovery.

    • Zero

      I’m pretty sure it is true, but you must not forget that Obama tried to pass a jobs bill.  Republicans have fired 600,000 public employees.  ‘Job creators’ are getting richer but not creating jobs–what’s wrong with taxing them and creating jobs ourselves (which would also drive up demand for the private sector)?

      So if you want to get into unemployment numbers, you can’t ignore public employment.  A job is a job. 

      • Gregg

        Republican have passed over 25 jobs bills. The less “public employees” the better. Private sector employees pay the salaries of the public sector. 

        • Hidan

          GOP’s Claim That House Passed 30 Jobs Bills? Bogus.

          To make sure they back up their public claims with what might appear to be “fact”, they’ve built a page on the House of Representatives site with a list of their so-called jobs bills, which number 27 and not 30 as the Speaker claims. What follows is a list and a brief explanation of why they are not jobs bills. Feel free to share it widely with your friends who might be inclined to believe Mr. Tobacco Lobbyist Check Distributor without questioning it

          http://crooksandliars.com/karoli/gops-claim-house-passed-30-jobs-bills-bogus

          • Gregg

            er… 27 is “over 25″.

          • Hidan

             missed the mark again there gregg.

            “What follows is a list and a brief explanation of why they are not jobs bills.”

          • Gregg

            Alrighty then.

        • Azra

          If certain hungry families matter more than others, the report will have to be adjusted. Those 600,000 can’t be counted, if the people are invisible.

        • Zero

          The private sector can’t operate without police, fire fighters, roads, teachers, universities.  Everybody likes having libraries and museums, but you gotta pay for it.  It is all necessary.

          Right now, our public institutions are falling apart to save the top from tax hikes.  America has the second lowest tax rates on the rich amongst G20 nations, and the rich have one of the best wage ratios in the world, but god forbid we tax them so other people have jobs, protection, and higher education.   

          Do you want a winner take all America?  Or do you want an America where people are their brother’s keepers?
           

          • Gregg

            No one is suggesting we end all public sector jobs, that’s changing the subject.

            I find your reference to “brother’s keeper” interesting. The origins are from the Bible and it has nothing to do with caring for others, it’s just a snotty reply from Cain to God. That aside, I guess I get your question but I disagree with the either/or premise. We are a very compassionate people.

          • Zero

            The brother’s keeper is in line with the core morality of the Bible: loving they neighbor, helping the poor, and taking care of the community.

            Currently, public sector employment is 16% of the economy.  If it was even 25%, we would see a drastic turnaround in consumerism.  Also, there would be fewer people for the private sector to choose from, which would mean bartering power would transfer to the labors, causing private wages to increase. 

            On the flip side, no one is saying that the economy should be full of public sector employees.  I think it is dangerous to have more than 50% of employment to be public sector.  And I would think that republicans would have legitimate concern and criticism if public employment was around 45%.  But it is at 16%, which is way low amongst G20 nations.

          • Gregg

            We are all for “…loving they neighbor, helping the poor, and taking care of the
            community.”

            It was still an uncaring snotty remark when it was said.

            I dispute your numbers but don’t have time to verify. It’s not my point though, I’m saying increasing the public sector will not stimulate, whatever the percentage is.

          • Zero

            Why wouldn’t giving people jobs stimulate the economy? 

            Please, write above if you must to counter my point about adding public sector jobs to increase demand for the private markets.  This is the third time republicans have dismissed my point without justification.

            Second, Cain’s remark was snotty but it is the same snotty remark that the republicans use to deny sound economic policy.  But I stand by my initial claim as well that being a brother’s keep is in line with the core philosophy of the Bible. 

            Jesus looked out for the community; he didn’t say cut taxes for the rich, let the poor help themselves, and let the moneychangers do whatever they want. 

            Now I’m not a Christian and you are not a Christian, but the core philosophy of looking out for your community is not destructive at all.

          • Gregg

            Who is against looking out for the community? Straw man.

          • Gregg

            Up here Zero, The reason is money must first be taken out to the private sector, printed or borrowed to pay them and it must be done in perpetuity. The only way to stimulate is for there to be new jobs created in the private sector. The pie must grow not be redistributed.

          • Zero

            But the money creating public sector jobs is coming out of huge bank accounts where the money sits out of the economy….  By taking circulated money and creating jobs, you are introducing more consumers to the market.

          • Azra

            Except for Republican polititions.

          • Gregg

            Name one.

          • Azra

            Rick Perry.

      • Hidan

         Great spin for the republicans, advocating firing public sector workers (often as many as they can) than complain about the Job # which consist of a large amount of fired public sector workers.

        • Gregg

          I’m advocating we grow the economy and get real jobs and a real recovery.

          • Zero

             Why don’t you address the fact that adding public employment would increase consumerism for the public sector, which would in turn create more private sector jobs. 

            Why are the ‘job creators’ getting richer but not creating jobs?  Lack of demand…?

          • Brett

            Come on, man, we all know that public sector employees never buy pens, legal pads or staples, they just steal them from the supply closet.

          • Zero

            That’s pretty funny.  I guess private sector employees are more benevolent and never steal office supplies as well. 

            It is pretty obvious republicans don’t have an economic argument against this line of logic.  They just want a private sector utopia.  It’s time to get real and face that public sector employment is too low and a few rich people’s bank accounts are too large.

          • Gregg

            If a private sector employee steals office supplies they hurt the company and by extension themselves. If a public sector employee steals they hurt the taxpayer and funding will be increased to cover the shortfall hurting the taxpayer yet more.

          • Zero

            It think the greater point to Brett’s comment is that the right wing demonize public sector employees (even though America must have police officers, fire fighters, and teachers). 

          • Brett

            If somebody steals and no one gets hurt, is it really stealing?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            CEOs STEAL ‘performance BONE-USes, when they bankrupt a company!
               Do companies REALLY have CEO contracts hiring the CEO to bankrupt the company?
               I’d like to see those, for EVERY company !

          • Gregg

            I don’t agree that pubic sector employment increases would increase consumerism because there salaries and benefits must first be taken from the private sector. The government has no money.

            Your last question is not a chicken or egg thing, it’s a horse and cart thing. Supply comes first. How much demand for Ipads was there 5 years ago?

          • Zero

            But democrats are trying to pay for public sector employment from people who have vast amounts of wealth just sitting in their bank accounts….

            Second, America has high supply and high capital, but weak labor and demand.  No one is buying.  It is the exact opposite recession from the 1970s where labor outweighed supply and capital. 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            ‘Performance BONE-USes,’  for $MILLIONS, for bankrupting a company, isn’t STEALING?   WHY?  HOW?

          • Gregg

            The only ones I know of who were paid millions to bankrupt companies are solar companies. Who are you referring to?

  • U.S. Vet.

    U.S. drone strike kills 10 in NW Pakistan

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/239622.html

    Since Obama won a Nobel ‘Peace’ Prize, he obviously feels that he has power to slaughter innocent Pakistani civilians at will.

    • Still Here

      He’s hoping it’ll distract voters from this disaster of an economy he owns.

      • U.S. Vet.

        That’ll have to wait until Monday. 

        Obama is to busy golfing and shoving cheese burgers down his throat on the weekend to be bothered with the economy.

        • feettothefire

           I know it’s not the same as clearing brush on the ranch, but jeepers, a guy’s gotta eat.

    • Zero

      You know, you are only preaching to the choir with this type of criticism of Obama. 

      What is your purpose?  To make Obama look he’s indifferent to killing innocent civilians, or that the Peace Prize is a shame? 

      Even Obama said he didn’t expect to win the Nobel Peace Prize, but I do encourage you to read about past peace prize winner and see if they didn’t deserve the award.

      I really don’t understand what you are getting at.  Are you saying we shouldn’t have a prize encouraging peace?  What’s your point?

  • Hidan

     

    RIP MCA:
    Yauch challenged Islamophobia and US militarism in the Middle East on MTV in 1998

    6:35
    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/05/rip-mca-yauch-challenged-islamophobia-and-us-militarism-in-the-middle-east-on-mtv-in-1998.html

  • JonS

    Tom Ashbrook–you were nonplussed when Gideon agreed with Romney that any president would have gone after OBL and that much credit belonged to the hated Bush administration. You really need to at least maintain the pretense of ” fairness and balance”. Also , during your brief discussion on the OWS movement–why didn’t you mention that 5 anarchists arrested in Cleveland were OWS /Cleveland supporters? Destroy the narrative?

    • Zero

      What does fairness and balance have to do with empiricism and objectivity?

      That’s the problem with the Fox News ethic: it gives an excuse to not be objective.  Sorry, but reality has nothing to do with fairness.

      Second, who the hell thought the Cleveland five weren’t Occupy supporters.  I thought they weren’t just supporters but part of Occupy. 

      Do yourself a favor and open a history book.  Inequality, time and time again, ends with a revolution of some kind.  Now, couple America’s growing inequality with our dwindling democracy and the rise of corporatocracy–what do you expect to happen?  Read a history book.  Unless the inequality shrinks and Citizens United is nullified, things are going to get a lot worse.    

  • Hidan

     Bin Laden docs show that alleged Iran-Al Qaeda alliance is neocon hype

    Juan Cole does the digging through the documents. Turns out the neoconservatives –surprise!–are wrong:    The documents show that Bin Laden did not like or trust Iran, that al-Qaeda members who fled to Iran were surprised when they were rounded up and arrested by Iranian authorities, that they were dismayed when Iran started sending them back to their home countries, and that they felt that Iran often lied to them. They called Shiites “rawafid,” a nasty epithet used by Sunnis who don’t like Shiites very much.    They also show that sometimes al-Qaeda could get Iran to release its members, but hardly because they both hate the US and Israel. It was by mafia-like tactics such as kidnapping and threatening Iranian diplomatic personnel abroad (e.g. the consul at Peshawar) that al-Qaeda got a tiny bit of leverage over Tehran.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/05/bin-laden-docs-show-that-alleged-iran-al-qaeda-alliance-is-neocon-hype.html

  • Hidan
  • Gregg

    What is the big deal about water boarding? Where is the pain? Where in the lasting trauma? Who is hurt? It was performed on only 3 but one of the victims (Abu Zubaydah) said he wished all radical Muslims could be set free from the chains on Islam with the procedure. Enhanced interrogation worked and regarding Bin Laden, Bush’s team used it to advance the ball 98 yards. Obama came in on the 2, called the quarterback sneak, scored and spiked the football. Fine.

    The outrage over the nasal rinse is stupid.

    • feettothefire

       Can it really be possible that you don’t realize what a partisan hack you are. The Bush team fails to apprehend Bin Laden for seven years. He’s killed two years into Obama’s presidency and, of course it must be because of the 98 yards of progress achieved by the previous administration. The economy tanks during Bush’s second term, bringing us to the brink of devastation, but I’m willing to bet that two years into Obama’s term you weren’t giving Bush the same kind of credit you give him for Bin Laden’s demise. So Bush is off the hook for the terrible economy left to Obama because it’s THREE WHOLE YEARS later, but the success of Bin Laden’s killing just has to be linked somehow to Bush. Brilliant.

      • Gregg

        You’re right, it was all Obama… except for the economy which was all Bush.

        • feettothefire

           I didn’t claim it was “all” anyone. Now your just being a baby. How sweet.

          • Gregg

            “…Bin Laden’s killing just has to be linked somehow to Bush.”

            So it’s a stretch to give any credit to Bush but you didn’t mean “all” credit should go to Obama? And you call me the partisan hack.

            Bin Laden would NOT have been killed without the use of enhanced interrogation.

          • feettothefire

             Try hard to understand this. I know it will be difficult. I’m addressing your  partisan hackery. Your inability to lay as much blame for today’s economy at the feet of Bush as you are willing to give him credit for Bin Laden’s killing speaks volumes. I have claimed many times on this forum that presidents have little to no effect on the economy, at best a bit on the margins. I also realize that they are minimally involved in the execution of covert operations. You obviously believe differently. Your insistence that Bush gets some credit for Bin Laden’s killing, despite the fact that he’d been out of office for two years, but no blame for the state of the economy BECAUSE he’s been out of office is nothing less than cherry-picking foolishness. Either presidents leave lasting effects or they don’t. You don’t get to choose which ones are valid on the basis of partisan belief. But I guess you think otherwise.

          • Gregg

            Let’s go down the checklist of liberal debate:

            Tell me what I think – check. 

            “I’m willing to bet that two years into Obama’s term you weren’t giving Bush the same kind of credit you give him for Bin Laden’s demise. So Bush is off the hook for the terrible economy left to Obama because it’s THREE WHOLE YEARS later, but the success of Bin Laden’s killing just has to be linked somehow to Bush.”

            Change the subject – check

            I said NOTHING about the economy

            Name calling – check

            “Partisan hack”, “baby”

            Answer nary a question – check

            “What is the big deal about water boarding? Where is the pain? Where in the lasting trauma? Who is hurt?”

            Refute not a single point on the merits. – check 

            Is your claim enhanced interrogation (that Obama opposed) was unnecessary to the killing of Bin Laden and played no role?

          • feettothefire

             I don’t care about waterboarding. I’m not addressing waterboarding. I said nothing about waterboarding. Once again, I’m addressing your hypocrisy and your utter inability to see it. And you’ve made the ridiculous assertion before that I can’t claim to know what you think. Maybe you can tell me how you can have posted the hundreds, perhaps thousands of comments you’ve written without telling us what you think. Isn’t that what we do here? And implying that “name calling” is a liberal only tactic is just plain stupid. Oops. There I go again. Know what I mean, “smarty pants?”

          • Gregg

            You cannot possibly say I’m a hypocrite without first telling me what I think. Hijacking a thread by making a n apples and oranges, silly analogy does little. But say it does, I’ll admit I’m a partisan hack, Bush killed the economy and Obama is God. Is your claim enhanced interrogation (that Obama opposed) was unnecessary to the killing of Bin Laden and played no role?

          • feettothefire

             Alrighty then.

      • TomK in Boston

        Yep, the complaint on BHO amounts to “You’re not cleaning up our mess fast enough”.

         Geez Louise, 9/11, the Crash, the budget-busting tax cuts and Iraq invasion on the CC over imaginary WMD…and all they can do is whine about Obama. Do the rightys all have Alzheimers?

         Let’s be real clear about the big bad deficit. Bush turned a surplus into a deficit with his tax cuts, wars, and economic crash. It’s your deficit, voodoo econ fans and neocon empire builders.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Have YOU tried it, with several people that don’t like you administering it.  SEVERAL times a day?  UNTIL you confess to scandalous acts that you would NEVER do?
         HOW MANY of them would YOU endure, before you confessed to false accusations?

      • Gregg

        I guess no one is going to step up to the plate and admit the nasal rinse worked.

        • Zero

          Torturing doesn’t work.  The issue has been settled in psychology for decades. 

          • Gregg

             I agree.

          • Zero

            Okay, let me clarify.  Physical coercion doesn’t produce honest answers.  Unless, a scientist can figure out how to get an accurate lie detector reading why someone is being physically coerced to speak, our interrogations methods should remain non-physical.  

          • Brett

            science, schmience. that stuff never holds up in the face of propaganda. come on, zero, get with the program.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Trying to become Gregg’s comic partner?
               Any idea which great comic team you’ll pattern?

          • Gregg

            I don’t know what his deal is TTT but he’s getting a kick out of himself.

          • Gregg

            Okay, but waterboarding saved LA’s Library Tower and led to the killing of 20ish Al Qaeda including Bin Laden. So there’s that.

            Torture like McCain experienced caused him to spill his guts but that was real torture.

          • Zero

            I don’t think you understand science very well.  For torture (or physical coercion) to work, the probability that the torturee would tell the truth needs to be significantly more than the probability of a coin landing on heads.  You can straw man and I can straw man, but there isn’t enough repeatability to suggest that physical coercion works.

               

          • Gregg

            If lives were saved and monsters killed, it worked.

      • Azra

        I confessed to something I didn’t do, just so I wouldn’t miss the school bus home.

        Out of all the poems written by the freshmen in our Catholic girls’ high school, mine was chosen as the best, and as a result, would have been printed in the yearbook. I couldn’t have been more surprised. Still in a state of disbelief and elation, after hearing the news, I was on my way out of school, to sit in the bus, to wait for it to fill, and take me home. Mother Superior suddenly appeared before me, and motioned for me to follow her into the principal’s office, where I was told that she knew I had copied the poem from somewhere, so it wouldn’t appear in the yearbook. After I explained that it was entirely my creation, she presented me with a sheet of paper, which stated that I copied every word, and told me to sign it. She refused to believe that I wrote it, and wouldn’t let me leave her office until I signed her paper. Finally, just to stop the torture, just so I could go home, I lied, and signed it. Even though I was just thirteen years old when it happened, I’ve never forgiven myself.

        There is no doubt in my mind that anyone, under duress, would sign, say, do, or confess to ANYTHING, if they thought it might bring some relief from the hurt and false accusations. If a young girl was able to sell herself out so easily, who’s to say that, in a moment of extreme weakness, it couldn’t it happen to any grown man? We’re all still children at heart.

        • aj

          You got heart kid; plus the Superior intelligence of a Mother whose wisdom is a blessing to us all.

          P.S. I’ll stand in front of the school bus for you anytime. LOL!

        • Gregg

          You were 13 year old innocent girl not a suicidally murderous animal, so there’s that. I can’t fault you because of your age but I’m curious if you told your parents? If so, they should have taken action, Mother Superior did not deserve her job and should have been fired. If you were my kid I would have pulled you out of that school.

          Don’t overlook the fact that valuable intel was obtained, it was not a case of prisoners confessing to false accusations.

          • JGC

            Can you fire a nun for this type of transgression?  Don’t think one parent’s complaint will deliver ultimate justice.  After all, it’s almost impossible to get rid of a priest who does far worse. 

             

    • Brett

      Not bad. I mean you saw the football metaphor through pretty well. Of course it doesn’t even come close to the neti pot routine…dude, you’re killing. Your parody of a neocon just blows Colbert’s out the window! One hopes you’ll remember the little people when you get famous. Just don’t let your entourage ever change you, man! 

      • Gregg

        The football metaphor wasn’t mine but I agree it worked well. I forget where I heard it or I would have given credit.

        P.S.- I hate the fame and my entourage is a pain in the ass.

        • Brett

          No worries; good comics borrow, great comics steal! 

      • feettothefire

         As funny as his sinus relief bit is, lets not overlook the claim that seven years of failure to apprehend or kill Osama Bin Laden represents a 98 yard down field drive for the Bush administration, while the actual “killing” of Bin Laden, more than two years after Bush left office was a mere two yard walk in for Obama. That’s at least as funny as anything Beck ever said.

        • Brett

          True, true…at second blush, it’s funnier than Glen Beck with a chalk board. It’s a little muddled, though. I mean this implies Bush fumbled the ball and Obama picked it up and ran with it, which obscures Gregg’s comedic devices a bit. 

  • U.S. Vet.

    The NY Times is just radical, left-wing propaganda.  A mouth piece for the Obama Administration.

    The same NY Times that was caught fabricating facts and stories.

    The same NY Times that is facing bankruptcy. 

    • Tfralphxout

      Judith Miller would like a word with you.

      • Gregg

        Miller works for Fox so she cannot possibly add anything worth hearing.  

      • Hidan

         Don’t forget Mark (the persecution of sarah palin)Continetti

    • Zero

      I like how you think “facing bankruptcy” reveals something about their empirical methods.  Their mistakes are always written about within their newpaper, and they fire people for misleading articles rather quickly, compared to, say, Fox News and MSNBC.

  • Gregg
    • Brett

      Don’t let him go on that trip to the White House! I implore you! We wouldn’t want yet another young person to be indoctrinated by the Obama brainwashing team! You must save Brandon, before it’s too late!! 

      • Gregg

        Don’t worry, he can handle it. He’s a great kid. He lives in Alan Graysons old district and helped vote him out. He’s got a few tips for Obama. He’s been working very hard on this for a couple of years now. He’s a real live rocket scientist and again, a great great kid. I love him.

        • Brett

          Seriously, that’s cool. 

          …A rocket scientist (I’ll bet he wasn’t born by c-section!), a midwife and a comedic genius, all in one family! …I’ll bet my dad could beat your dad at thumb wrestling, though! ;-)

          • Gregg

            Thanks Brett, I’ll tell you a story.

            Brandon and his brother Chris were up for a visit while we were having an adult riding summer camp. There was Tai chi, massage and aroma therapist, crafts, riding and drinking of the evening. Brandon was maybe 7 or 8 years old. One day during crafts he made a wall hanging thing, all the adult women were fawning all over him telling him how good it was. I told him it stunk and there will always be those who give false praise. I encouraged him to recognize that and know in his heart whether his efforts were laudable. I told him to succeed you’ve got to bring it. I caught heat from my sister but I swear I could see by his face he got it. He didn’t cry or anything.

            I doubt he even remembers it, I’m not taking credit. But when he does something he brings it.

          • Brett

            So heartwarming. I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy. I truly am beginning to see the light, there.

  • U.S. Vet.
    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

      I see that you are paranoid too….  Right wing Republicans share so many traits…  paranoia, anti-gay bigtory, love of guns killing and war, financial greed, total hypocrisy as a life style. Oh, and I forgot:  amnesia.

      • Azra

        The majority seem to be very frightened, don’t they? Being angry and fearful must be a terrible way to live.

        I recommend meditation.

        • U.S. Vet.

          I recommend impeaching Obama for his ‘Kinetic’ action (war) in Libya which left approximately 30,000 innocent Libyan civilians dead.

          P.S., Obama’s war in Libya (which wasn’t approved by Congress), installed a goverment with ties to Al-qaeda.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

            As another posted said:  you are indeed off the wall nuts.

          • U.S. Vet.

            Your imaginary friend said that?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Some fellow veterans told me that when ‘W’ was ‘selected’ by the Supreme Court ‘Justices’, that are stupid enough to say a company full of people is a people, and deserves MORE rights than the people!

  • Brett

    I think the funniest comment I’ve ever read is the one about waterboarding being characterized as a neti pot. I wish I’d come up with that one! I must applaud anyone who can make such brilliant, black comedy out of an act of torture. I mean, the sum of comments from that brilliant mind are humorous enough, staggering in their level of creativity, but that one idea is like Charlie Parker’s solo on ‘Night in Tunisia.’ I consider myself a student of the mechanics of humor, and that joke transcends any comedic genius I’ve ever seen, by leaps and bounds. 

    I wonder if KSM will thank the US for clearing his sinuses? Should he be charged a fee for sinus treatments? Will KSM be doing neti pot commercials….on and on…Just think of the comedy skits off that one idea alone. Man, my sides ache from laughing so hard. If Allan Brady were more than a fictional character from television history he’d steal that bit in the snap of a finger. 

    brettearle, can you summon up Milton Berle one more time, please, sir? 

    • Gregg

      Here’s the thing, nobody died from waterboarding. Neti pots, not so much.

      http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/fatal-infections-linked-neti-pots/story?id=15170230#.T6VXm1LbQ4I

      KSM won’t thank anyone but Abu Zubayduh did.

      Did you see Glenn Beck waterboard his producer with Ensure? It was a play on the 60 minutes interview with Jose Rodriguez when Leslie Stall said feeding Ensure was Orwellian. The producer cracked right away screaming, “It’s too chocolaty!” Now that’s funny.

      • Brett

        I think I speak for us all when I say how sorry we all are for misunderstanding you. You are truly a genius at comedy. I gotta say, if you’re half the musician your are a comedian…let’s just say I’m in awe. A tip of the proverbial hat to you, sir! I salute you!

        • Gregg

          I am a much better musician than comedian. I’m too serious to be very funny.

          • Brett

            Are you serious? Or just being funny? Oh, you…

          • Gregg

            I’ll tell you what’s funny, no one has told me who was harmed or how. Nor has anyone denied enhanced interrogation led to Bin Laden. I know it’s fun to yuck it up, really I do but these are very basic questions.

            I know you don’t want to hear it but it’s the same ol’ thing. It’s building an argument on a false premise. You, FTF, TTT and others must say waterboarding is torture and fruitless or you have no argument. But you refuse to say how it can be torture without pain or lasting trauma being inflicted and you ignore the fact that the CIA chief said enhance interrogation produced intelligence that led to Bin Laden.

            Now Brett, I’m not sure if today is your day to consider me stupid, intelligent or playing dumb. Maybe it’s “talk about my mama” day. I don’t know and don’t care. But if my questions are too hard to answer then at the very least tell me why they are not important.

          • Brett

            “if my questions are too hard to answer then at the very least tell me why they are not important.”

            That’s really a two parter:
            1) Why? Humans have been pondering this since the dawn of man. This is the very quintessence of our existential being. And
            2) Yes, your questions are not important.
             

          • Gregg

            My questions are not important because man has never been able to figure out why torture doesn’t hurt? Gotcha. I give up. Have a nice day.

          • Brett

            If some guy twice your size with a head like a rock says, “Hi, Gregg!” And you take a baseball bat to his head but it doesn’t hurt him, you can’t be charged with assault…tag, you’re it.

          • Azra

            How can you say that no pain is involved, or that there is no lasting trauma? You can’t possibly know, unless you also know everyone who has been tortured in that way. You have no arguement there, I’m afraid.

            How about when they didn’t stop in time, and killed the victim? Wasn’t that traumatic and painful either? How could anyone know? There could be others who they killed, but we may not find out about them, if the cover-up is good enough.

          • Brett

            He’s got a cousin who’s been a torturer for thirty years; if that doesn’t sway you, I’m sure some website link to a blog will convince you. 

          • Gregg

            Azra, if someone was killed at our hand by waterboarding then I am totally wrong and apologize. However, I require a smidgeon of evidence.

            It doesn’t seem like killing is a big deal, we kill Al qaeda all the time to great fanfare. It’s odd really, we waterboard 3 of the worst scums of the earth and the info leads to the assassination of tens of terrorist. We applaud that while decrying the methods that got us there. Does that make sense?

          • feettothefire

             We claim to be a nation that believes in principles. Freedom. Justice. Another has always been our condemnation of countries that engage in torture. WE don’t do that. Unless of course we do. A principle stated isn’t a principle held if we’re going to toss it aside at will. That’s the exact opposite of principled behavior.

          • Brett

            When KSM was tortured and he didn’t die, all the ladies fawned over the torturer telling him what a good job he did.We shoulda told the torturer that his torturing stinks, that if he was going to torture he needed to bring it. That sissy torturer. 

          • Azra

            Too many women into S&M, it seems.

          • Azra

            Will have to try to find that information. Pretty sure it came out during that whole torture debacle.
            Didn’t hear anything about it since, so maybe was investigated, & didn’t happen. Will try to find out.

            Experts tell us that as much information is obtained by treating prisoners well.

            What if even one of those men turns out to be innocent?

          • Gregg

            Yes, we alsogot a ton of info bytreating prisoners well. The harshest techniqueswere reservedfor the worst.

          • Brett

            You’ve got a lot of “I” statements in that comment of yours, there, and a few “my’” ones too. Are you a narcissist? 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            FBI said THEY got that info BEFORE waterboarding!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            LOL!! LOL!!

      • Brett

        Dude, stop it! I can see the torturers threatening KSM with a sinus infection if he didn’t give up information. “Come on KSM, give us the information first, then we’ll give you the decongestant!”

    • feettothefire

       I can envision John Belushi, were he still alive, in the role of KSM. He’s holding his head over the sink as Dan Akroyd administers the dreaded “Saline protocol #6.” Saturday Night Live would finally air a funny bit again.

      • Brett

        Belushi would make a great KSM! He could use his “cheeseburger” accent tweaked a little bit.

      • Gregg

        Someone referred to this picture as “Rosie
        O’Donnel in a mohair coat” but Belushi works too.

        http://www.jillstanek.com/ksm.jpg

  • Dennis

    I listened to you discuss the Wisconsin recall.  I live in Wisconsin.  Some of the comments that were made about the recall and why it is happening were incorrect.  Since Gov. Walkers changes school districts are saving between $300,000 and a million dollars a year because they are no longer overcharged for employee health insurance by the union insurance company.  I could go on but the unions were abusing the taxpayers of Wisconsin by their over reach with collective bargaining.  Our state was headed for a financial melt down and Walker saved us and has now created a favorable climate for business in our state.  If Walker loses the recall businesses will flee the state and we will become like California.

    • Zero

      Ah, yes, step on the middle class so the rich guy doesn’t have to pay for teacher wages.  Thanks for protecting the middle class. 

      I would suggest looking north at Canada and their teacher wages that put Wisconsin’s to shame.  Canada takes care of their middle class and they still have rich people.  Go figure. 

      Thanks for making the average American poorer. 

      • JonS

        I read comments like yours and shudder that this country never has more than 50% of voters thinking like you do. It’s really disturbing the sheer ignorance of your comments. You must either be a member of a teacher’s union or AFSCME (card carrying members of Obama’s coalition of the hopelessly stupid , ill informed  and uninformed or dependent on govt. handouts).
         Who in Wisconsin do you think pays the state taxes , fees, etc. that pay for these teacher and AFSCME benefits? If you think it’s only greedy 1% Republican fat cats you’re a fool. It’s overwhelmingly private sector middle class citizens who probably work alot harder, longer and with far less job security than Wisconsin public employees and for a lot less money and benefits. Expecting union members to pay 5.8% of their paychecks toward pensions and 12.6% of their health insurance premiums are modest contributions compared to the average paid by employees in the private sector. The average Wisconsin public school teacher gets paid $100K annually in compensation, $50K in wages and $45K benefits. In Milwaukee , the largest city in Wisconsin, the average private sector employee makes only $54K in combined  compensation. It’s unsustainable that taxpayers have to foot the bill for bloated public sector pay packages. Before the reforms , public school teachers had taxpayers pay all of their pensions and health care insurance premiums., which for family coverage averaged $27K annually. This cannot continue with Wisconsin citizens being asked to make their own sacrifices to sustain the largesse that has been bestowed on Wisconsin public sector employees.

        • Zero

          First off, public sector employees with college degrees on average are taking less money than what they would make in the private market.  It’s actually charitable of them.  Second, republicans refuse to help middle class membership at the cost of the upper class.  The republicans only help middle class membership at the cost of other middle class members.

          Second, the Wisconsin teacher union agreed to pay cuts, but Walker wants to take away their collective bargaining rights.

          Do you believe that teachers, police, fire fighters should not have the right to ask for a raise?

          Next, you can’t stop unionization.  The only thing Walker is stopping is civil conversation between government and public sector employees.  The public sector employees can always strike to get their voices heard.  And then you turn around and demonize teachers for striking, when they have no opportunity to talk with government.  The unions in Wisconsin are not being unreasonable; they have agreed to pay cuts.  Walker is taking away rights, and that is the thrust of the turmoil in Wisconsin.

          And I am for teachers getting payed for pensions and benefits.  Again, teachers have college degrees and we need teachers to have competitive wages with the private market so there will be talent in the profession.

          On average, public sector employees without college degrees are making more money than private sector employees with the same education.  But, again, the case is the opposite for college educated employees. 

          Next, I am not for raising taxes on the middle class to pay for public employment.  But I am certainly for raising taxes on the ‘job creators’ to actually create jobs (instead of letting their money sit in bank accounts while the majority of the country gets poorer and poorer).   I am sick of the growing inequality and will happily support any measure that builds a middle class at the expense of someone who has multiple homes.

          • TomK in Boston

            Unions were a big part of our formerly great economy. Union busting is an important front in the class war. Without unions, it’s a lot easier to redistribute all the wealth to the top.

             Since the public sector is one of the last areas where unions still survive, in some cases public employees have managed to hang on to decent livings when comparable workers in the private sector have been squeezed. It’s really unfortunate that the right is able to orchestrate the reaction to that as envy. It would be better for the USA if it was “OMG. We need a union too!”

             Geez, the way non-union workers have been getting screwed, it doesn’t take much to be better off. Union workers are getting bashed for living like average Americans did in my parents time, while CEO pay goes from 50x to 500x. 

            Oh well, over 600,000 public sector jobs lost in the presidency of the big socialist, BHO, LOL. The blitzkrieg is proceeding according to plan.

          • Zero

            If Obama wins and does not become a son-of-a-bitch, fighting against corporatocracy, inequality, and the “right-to-work” legislation, I’m done with the democrat party.  I’m going to become one of those people who voted for Nader in 2000, giving the election to Bush.  I don’t care.  We need FDR.  I think, however, Obama understands what’s at stake, but if he doesn’t try to end the Reagan era of American economics, I’m done with the democrats. 

          • TomK in Boston

            Amen. 

          • Azra

            It can’t last for much longer. There are way too many furious people who are through putting up with the inequality.

            We, in the middle and lower classes, are very grateful for every tax cut President Obama has given us. They have made our lives much easier, and we will fight the injustice with him, until every American is treated fairly; of course, that includes women.

          • JonS

            I don’t believe public sector employees with college degrees get paid less than private sector employees when you include benefits. And if that were so , who cares? If they’re not happy with what they’re paid , then they should  do what every employee in the private sector does if they’re not satisfied with what they’re paid –look for another job.  People in the private sector do not get paid big money just because they’re college grads. They’re paid to produce positive results–it’s called pay for performance , something teacher’s unions have been fighting for years. Teachers are paid what they should be paid especially when you consider that they work shorter hours and with far greater job security. 

            Just so you know , firemen and cops were not included in Walker’s reforms. 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            CEOs earn ‘PERFORMANCE’ BONE-USes, by bankrupting a company?
               Public Employees are miniature wannabes, by your own definition!

          • Zero

            You can look up the public sector and private sector wages for college graduates, etc. on government sites.  I forgot the exact website I saw the figures. 

            And you point about satisfaction is merely proving my initial point!  Teachers and potential teachers are finding other jobs because teacher wages aren’t competitive!  Pay for performance model doesn’t work, because the pay is not attracting talent that can preform, dumb ass.  If a business want talented workers, then that business has to have competitive wages to attract talent.  What do you think the teaching profession is?  …Charity.   Again, teachers have college degrees; if you attack teachers you are sending the ones with graduate degrees to the private sector.  You and the republicans are actually causing the best talent to leave the profession.  Now do you see how dumb you are?

             
             

          • JonS

            To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, the problem with public sector compensation is that eventually you run out of other taxpayer’s money. This is what has happened in Wisconsin , California , Illinois , New Jersey and other states. The unfunded liabilities associated with benefits , especially pensions and other retiree benefits like healthcare, are no longer sustainable.

             Private sector unions fight with management over an equitable distribution of profit. Government unions negotiate with friendly politicians ( usually Democrats) over taxpayer money, putting the public interest at odds with union interests, and, as we’ve seen in Calif and Wisconsin, exploding the cost of government. California’s pension costs soared 2000 percent in a decade thanks to unions. The labor-politician negotiations can’t be fair when unions can put so much money into political campaigns and effectively elect their employer/negotiator. This creates a dysfunctional system where for some , growing government is its own reward. The political influence of public sector unions is probably greatest in low-turnout elections to school boards and state and local offices, and in votes to decide ballot initiatives and referenda. For example, 2 of the top 5 biggest spenders in Wisconsin’s 2003 and 2004  state elections were the Wisconsin Teacher’s council and an AFSCME-affiliated organization. This scenario is true in state after state, as unions work to exert control over the very governments that employ their members.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Politicians, usually Republicans, ‘BORROW’ from the pension funds, health-care funds, or just DON’T honor the agreement, and DON’T put agreed funds in.
               BUT the POLITICIANS get THEIR BONE-USes, and such, BEFORE the short-falls are discovered!
               LBJ was the first, of MANY to ‘BORROW’ from Social Security!

          • Zero

             Is it possible for you to talk out of your ass any more?  Do you have the numbers to back up that the public sector will drain the economy dry, because right now, there are a few people making a whole lot of money. 

            Second, if you think organizations shouldn’t be allowed to influence elections, I’m with you.  But you need to get in bed with democrats and be against Citizens United.  Nobody should be allowed to have a superpac or be allowed to donate more that $2,0000 per se to a politician.

            Also, California has a couple of problems–they indeed have too many great universities, and some of them have to be curtailed.  That’s what good benefits and wages do, they attract great professors and build great institutions.  The next problem with California is that the state can’t legally raise taxes on property where rich people live.  I don’t want to go into detail, but they have some strange statutes in the interest of democracy that have undermined democracy and impeded avenues for remedying budget problems.

            So it is a little more complex than you think, of course.  

        • Zero

          P.S., I currently have a private sector job, but I would like to move into teaching, but I have a kid and I have to save up for her college education.  I currently do nothing that really helps society other than paying my taxes and spending frugally in the market place.  I would like to move to a job that helps more people, and I will take a pay cut to be there, eventually.

          • Azra

            How noble! If only all Americans were more like you . . .

          • Azra

            Shouldn’t have been “all”. There are plenty of utterly selfless Americans. How about “more” Americans?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Gov Walker spent a LOT of money, to cronies, from what I read, BEFORE cutting teacher’s pay to pay for the cronyism?  No-bid contracts to campaign contributors, etc…?
              WHY does it take so MUCH FOREIGN money, to get, and, keep Scott Walker’s little job?
             Wouldn’t $25 MILLION pay a LOT of teachers’ Health-care premiums?

      • JGC

        The last Canadian penny rolled off the line at the Mint last week, we have had no Saturday mail delivery for years, and the Progress Conservative government is increasing the retirement age to 67.  And,perhaps the most irksome, we have no Canadian hockey team left in the playoffs. 

        But we do have universal health care. And a lot of other good stuff.

            

        • Zero

          A CNN reporter couldn’t understand why Canadians were rioting over tuition increases–anyway, that kind of attitude needs to be hear in America.  Overall, it sounds like Canada is not going to let their middle class fall apart like America did.

    • TomK in Boston

      Right, bargaining for decent middle class wages to do an important job is “abusing” in the hunger games America of the far right. The best thing is for the states to enter a race to the bottom in taxes so eventually all the states can have no tax revenue and chinese wages. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

      Anything that does not put MORE money into the CEO, corporate class pockets is considered bad and unfair by them. My every measure, except CEO compensation and corporate profits the the US is in decline.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      … in order to create a more perfect UNION.   Remind you of anything?

  • Brett

    KSM: “please, waterboard me, waterboard me!” …”no more neti pot, no, no…” 
    Torturer: “when we get through with you, your maxillary sinus will look like FDR Drive at rush hour!”
    KSM: “no…no…”

  • Gregg

    FTF, the executions were just they were not for waterboarding. The 7 who were executed did far worse than waterboarding. Here’s one:

    “During Hirota’s second tenure as foreign minister, late in 1937,
    Japanese forces marched into Nanking. Thousands of innocent civilians
    were buried alive, used as targets for bayonet practice, shot in large
    groups and thrown into the Yangtze River. Rampant rapes (and gang rapes)
    of women ranging from age seven to over seventy were reported. The
    international community estimated that within the six weeks of the
    Massacre, 20,000 women were raped, many of them subsequently murdered or
    mutilated; and over 300,000 people were killed, often with the most
    inhumane brutality.While Hirota was not in charge of the army units that invaded
    Nanjing, he was well informed about the massacre. The international
    community had filed many protests to the Japanese Embassy. Bates, an
    American professor of history at the University of Nanking during the
    Japanese occupation, provided evidence that the protests were forwarded
    to Tokyo and were discussed in great detail between Japanese officials
    and the U.S. ambassador in Tokyo.”But the nasal rinse is what really pissed everybody off, right?http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/180923/sorry-paul-begala-youre-still-wrong/mark-hemingway

    • feettothefire

       Everything you just wrote about, save the first paragraph, is irrelevant to the issue of the nature of waterboarding. It was prosecuted as a WAR CRIME by the United States. It doesn’t matter if one individual was prosecuted for it or two hundred. No one disputes the horrific nature of Japanese atrocities, but they have nothing to with our characterization of waterboarding as a war crime 55 years ago and your likening it to a “nasal rinse” today. It’s one or the other. John McCain, one time POW and torture victim considered our use of the technique to be disgraceful. I’m with him and post WWII tribunal.

      • Gregg

        We submerged no one in tanks of water while handcuffed. No one died. It’s not the same other than the word “water”. If you want to now say they were “prosecuted” instead of “executed” for the crime then I guess that’s better but still inaccurate if you compare the atocities to the nasal rinse. Read the article I linked to and the back story from HuffPO linked within it.

        How is it torture if no one is hurt?

        • Brett

          Houdini used to do the water torture thing all the time…for fun! If truth be told KSM liked it.

          “How is it torture if no one is hurt?”

          Exactly! When Zimmerman was brought into the police station, he clearly wasn’t hurt. How could he have been beaten within an inch of his life if he wasn’t hurt? I understand. 

        • feettothefire

          Deliberately putting an individual in fear of losing his life, i.e., drowning, is universally considered engaging in torture, just as is putting electrodes on an individuals fingers and threatening to electrocute him. If a police department routinely dangled suspects over the edge of tall buildings in order to obtain information or confessions, that police department would be guilty of committing torture, despite the fact that no one was “hurt.” You’re insistence that pain must be present in order for the charge of torture to stand belies any international definition of the word. The mental component of torture is clearly stated in  U.S. policy. The fun thing about  waterboarding is the fact that it makes people think they’re drowning. I know you think that’s great fun, but most people would consider it something else.

          • Gregg

            I was going to post a definition of torture but thought it would be cheesy. They all say severe pain. Mental anguish is a factor. However, the Geneva Convention rules could be interpreted to consider hurt feelings as mental anguish. Our own military definitions have a high bar to define it. I would posit anyone capable of masterminding the attacks on 9/11 is inhuman enough to experience mental anguish. If, as KSM did, they count to 10 with their fingers to time the pours then it’s clear they know they are not going to die. But these 3 WANTED to die. They wanted to be martyrs. It’s hard to say fear of death was torture, it was 72 virgins.

            But, thank you for finally addressing the question. I don’t know why it took multiple commenters and a gazillion comments to do so. Now we can simply disagree on the merits of the argument.

            Do you think Bin Laden would be dead without the info gathered from enhanced interrogation?

          • Azra

            Most definitely.

          • feettothefire

             I don’t know, and I don’t care. I’m an absolutist. That means I believe in what I believe completely. I don’t change my values with evolving circumstances. I consider waterboarding to be torture. I was always led to believe that my country doesn’t engage in torture. Egypt did.  Saddam Hussein did. The Soviet Union did. Imperial Japan did. Idi Amin Dada did. The list of despotic regimes that have engaged in torture is endless. Now we’re on that list. That’s some club we’ve joined. Please don’t bother telling me that our torture isn’t as bad as their torture. As I said, I’m an absolutist. The argument that we’re not as bad as them is faint praise. We’re supposed to be much better. Pretending we’re special while engaging in torture doesn’t help.

          • Gregg

            If you want to compare a nasal rinse where no one was hurt to Husseins wood-chipper in the basement of Abu Graib for prisoners (the lucky ones went in head first) as both being equal in the name of absolutism then I suppose it’s a theory. I’m just glad you aren’t in charge.

          • feettothefire

             Once again, you miss the point while taking exactly the kind of stance I knew you would. “Our bad behavior is not as bad as their bad behavior” is a sorry statement of support for your country. And your inability to understand the concept of sticking to our principles, even when it’s not easy, tells me you haven’t a clue about what this country is supposed to stand for, at least to some of us.

          • Gregg

            I understand completely but I consider saving lives good behavior which is something you are not absolute about. I think the reason you won’t acknowledge the lives saved is because you don’t believe it’s a factor worth considering. We disagree.

  • Brett

    So, a rocket scientist, a midwife and a comedian walk into a bar…

  • U.S. Vet.

    I.R.S. wants 4,000 new agents, $300 million dollar budget to enforce Obamacare

    http://www.infowars.com/irs-wants-4000-new-agents-300-million-budget-to-enforce-obamacare/#

    No big deal.  You always wanted to live in North Korea, right?

  • feettothefire

    Gregg, I think I understand now. We’re a mighty nation of principled beliefs, until those principles become inconvenient. At that point we’ll simply chuck them out the window while continuing to pretend we’re a mighty nation of principled beliefs. As I said earlier, you don’t have a clue as to what this country is supposed to be about.

    • U.S. Vet.

      “You don’t have a clue as to what this country is supposed to be about”

      Fear not commrade, with the re-education camps that Obama is setting up, those pesky free-thinking Americans won’t be much of a problem any longer.

      http://rt.com/usa/news/army-manual-camps-citizens-593/

      • feettothefire

         At least Gregg has a brain. You’re just an idiot.

        • U.S. Vet.

          At least I’m smart enough not to fall for Obama’s lies,

          unlike you, pea-brain.

          • feettothefire

             You don’t have a clue about my thoughts on Obama’s presidency. But you’ve decide that you do. That makes you the pea-brain, my friend. Here’s a tip for your future comments. At least TRY to know something about the subject of your comment. It might help…….. Nah!

          • U.S. Vet.

            You’ve become quite skilled at ‘swallowing’ Obama’s lies,

            hey, it saves you from having to think.

          • feettothefire

             I reiterate, since you are obviously unaware of any thoughts I might have about Obama, your claim that you know what I think about him is clear evidence of your stupidity. Hey, I have an idea. Why don’t you tell me again  how I feel about Obama’s presidency. You can make an ass of yourself all over again.

          • U.S. Vet.

            When you can stop regurgitating Obama’s lies is when I’ll stop thinking of you as being an ass.

          • feettothefire

             Can it be possible that you’re even more stupid than I thought a few comments ago? Of course it can. You must be one of those folks who was allowed into the military after the academic standards were lowered. I sure hate to think your mental powers are indicative of average intelligence levels in our armed forces.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

            You would rather swallow, and then vomit forth, extremist right wing REPUBLICAN lies.

          • U.S. Vet.

            You’ve got a point, Obama’s socialist policies would make any good American want to barf.

          • Azra

            Should do some research, and find out what it means. He’s not a socialist by any stretch of the imagination.

            While you’re at it, you can look up fascism, and see if it reminds you of anybody.

          • feettothefire

            Azra my friend, expecting research from this dodo is an exercise in futility. Despite my many comments citing my extreme disappointment with Barak Obama over the last five months, Peewee has decided that I simply adore him. Where he got this notion is a mystery to me. I’ve given him several chances to correct himself, but he keeps insisting that I’m a knee-jerk Obama supporter. Maybe it’s early onset dementia, unless he’s a lot older than I thought.

          • Azra

            Maybe he’s a robot.

          • feettothefire

            Don’t be mean to the poor robots.

          • Azra

            Sorry, robots.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            YOU liked ‘W’s LIES? 
               I’ll make the U.S.A. SAFER!
               Here I campaign in my flight suit, in front of a plane, that I stayed too drunk, when I had Duty, to report?
               I’ll make the Budget Surplus BIGGER!
               I am ‘compassionate’!
               I am ‘conservative’!
               I am ‘Christian’!
               I know where Saddam Hussein’s Weapons of Mass Destruction are!
             
            SOOOO MANY MORE!!

          • U.S. Vet

            U.S. deaths in Afghanistan:
            Bush Vs. Obama

            Bush 575

            Obama 1,274
            http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/obamavsbush

            At least Obama was able to beat Bush in one area.

          • Gregg

            What ever happened to the drumbeat updates of war deaths we got under Bush?

      • Azra

        What is a re-education camp?

        • U.S. Vet.

          That’s what the link is for.  If you’re having trouble opening it, then ask your social-worker to open it for you.

          • Brett

            And to think–if you are actually a US vet, as in veteran not veterinarian–our tax dollars have supported, in some way, your lifestyle. 

            Let’s presume Obama is indeed setting up these so-called re-education camps (which, your link appears to be of dubious origin), for the sake of argument, that would probably mean the intent is to reprogram dissidents such as yourself. You may just wake up one day with a CPU chip in your jaw. My advice would be to eschew professional dentistry and opt for a do-it-yourself approach, just to be on the safe side. 

          • U.S. Vet.

            No Bert,

            I don’t think I’ll try any do it yourself dentistry anytime soon,

            especially not after seeing how how that do-it-yourself frontal lobotomy that you gave yourself turned out.

          • Brett

            Wit and charm would never be anything anyone could accuse you of…One could at least praise you for mostly spelling correctly, but, then, you are probably using spellcheck, a feature that doesn’t recognize proper nouns.

          • U.S. Vet.

            Whatever you say Bert.

          • Brett

            You still in the military? Or has that dishonerable dischargegone through? We’re in trouble if folks like you are defending this country these days

    • Gregg

      It’s a nasal rinse, all 3 are fat and happy. Allowing preventable atrocities is not principled in my view. I’m a very peaceful man and would never harm anyone intentionally, that’s my principles. But put me in a room with someone who knows where a kidnapped loved one is and all bets are off. I would not have to chuck my principles to do so, I would draw from them. 

      So, I think I understand what we are about just fine, think what you want. I do sincerely appreciate your being honest and consistent, it’s just a shame you have to take such a dangerous position to do so.

      • feettothefire

         As usual, we agree to disagree. Fair enough. At least we both like the Beatles and Kurt Vonnegut.

        • U.S. Vet.

          Feettothefire is not an accurate moniker for you.

          Headupyourass fits you much better.

          • feettothefire

             You know what’s really funny, Einstein? You don’t even know why you don’t like me. I guess that’s not really funny. It’s just sad. I was as clueless as you once. But, then I had my fifth birthday party.

          • U.S. Vet.

            Whatever. 

            If swallowing Obama’s lies makes you, then happy swallowing.

          • feettothefire

             Every time you tell me how I feel about Obama you put another notch on your “stupidity” belt. You’ll need a new belt soon.

          • U.S. Vet.

            Can I borrow yours?

          • Warren

            Ultrax always used “stupid” and ”
            read more”

          • TomK in Boston

            I think your script is stuck, it keeps repeating “Obamas lies” in some sort of infinite loop. Isn’t it time to start regurgitating  something else from the righty hate universe?

            Did you rant about Bush’s lies? How ’bout those WMD, huh?

          • JonS

            Why do you conflate mistaken intelligence with”Bush lies”? I’m so tired of hearing this mantra that is nothing but garbage and gospel with the lefty kook universe. Funny– the thought that Saddam had WMD was universally believed by the Clinton and Bush administration as well as all the world’s intelligence organizations.

          • Gregg

            I’m sick of it too. It is impossible to lie without knowing you’re lying. The same people refuse to say Clinton
            (both of’m), Albright , Gore, Pelosi, Reid and the rest lied too. On that, they are correct IMO. Either they all lied or none did.

          • TomK in Boston

            Sorry, it was not universally believed.That is absurd! The inspectors were not able to find anything,and were dismissed out of hand. 

            C’mon, this kind of thing has a venerable history, from the Maine to the attack of the vietnamese motorboats in the Gulf of Tonkin. They wanted a war, they hyped a threat, we suffered.

            But hey, there are plenty of other lies. How about all the jobs those tax cuts were gonna create. And tax cuts pay for themselves, right? Oh yeah, your married boyfriendis gonna leave his wife, any day now, ROTFL.

            Bottom line: it’s a joke to say how horrible Obama is while the Bush years disappear down the memory hole.

          • Gregg

             http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/wmdquotes.asp

          • Terry Tree Tree

            ‘W’ SAID he knew where Saddam HAD those WMD!

          • Warren

            Ultrax always used Einstein

        • Gregg

           And Tom Waits.

    • Pete

      I think moral principles always have to be placed in context. I would ask “feet” whether he thinks other acts of warfare to prevent terrorism, like the bombing targets with drones, which actually kills the terrorist, and often innocent by standers, are more or less principled than waterboarding. Also, if waterboarding, as the US practices it, is such a vile act of torture, why is it used on members of our army as part of their training? http://therealrevo.com/blog/?p=7217

      • feettothefire

        The simplest test of principled, civilized behavior is this. If we would condemn that behavior in our enemies, we must condemn it in ourselves. Simple. Several months ago we were treated to the sight of our fighters urinating on dead enemy bodies. A popular refrain was “What’s the big deal?” The big deal lies in the fact that were we to see a video of enemy fighters urinating on our own dead soldiers we would be apoplectic. Outraged. The claims of barbarism and evil would be through the roof. But it was our side doing the peeing, so I guess it was O.K. We can’t proclaim to the world how wonderful and decent we are if that’s not how we’re going to behave. The cavalier manner in which Americans are willing to accept “collateral damage,” also known as the death of innocent civilians, is another example of our callousness. If an attack is launched, with the use of drones or any other method, and civilian casualties are a certain outcome, then we’ve made a conscious decision to kill innocents. That’s not my opinion. That’s a fact. Too many people don’t give a damn about that kind of thing. One dead Afghan is the same as another dead Afghan. You’re final question is a strange one. Any exposure to waterboarding is an effort to prepare our troops for whatever may befall them, as is all their training. It is funny though, since we seem to be the only ones using it.

        • aj

          * * * * *

        • Pete

          My question about the practice of waterboarding on our own
          troops is only strange if you miss its point, which you obviously have. If we
          use waterboarding regularly on our troops to prepare them for what might happen
          in captivity then it clearly isn’t torture or the crime against humanity that critics
          of the Bush policy have tried to make it.

           

          To decide it’s an acceptable form of training for the
          soldiers protecting our country, but becomes torture in the instance where it
          is practiced on the man who planned the massacre of 3,000 people on 9/11, or
          personally beheaded a reporter being held captive, seems to be an awfully
          confused piece of moral reasoning, particularly when the purpose of the
          boarding in this instance is to help prevent the deaths of thousands of innocent
          Americans.

           

          Unless you are a pacifist, I can’t see how you can believe
          that causing someone discomfort and fear, in the case of the practices used by
          the Bush administration, is far worse that dismembering them, incinerating
          them, blowing them up or killing them (all the common and accepted practices of
          warfare).

           

          I’ll bet most Americans, if they had a rewind button, would
          not feel their country had been at all morally compromised if we had been able
          to prevent the attack on 9/11 by waterboarding a few of the Saudi hijackers.

          • HIdan

             Actually the use of water-boarding is only used on an select few or small % of our arm forces. Normally reserved for snipers school and elites fields. It’s one of many that would deem torture if the army used on the rest of the military personal. 

            The purpose like other forms is to see how long it takes to break someone and get them to tell you whatever they want true or not.

            It’s incorrect to say it happens to our troops with specify which ones.If such was true it be used on people going into bootcamp but it’s not.

          • Hidan

             “To decide it’s an acceptable form of training for the
            soldiers protecting our country, but becomes torture in the instance where it
            is practiced on the man who planned the massacre of 3,000 people on 9/11, or
            personally beheaded a reporter being held captive, seems to be an awfully
            confused piece of moral reasoning, particularly when the purpose of the
            boarding in this instance is to help prevent the deaths of thousands of innocent
            Americans.

            The problem with the above is it justifies Dictators, despots that we claim to be against. Syria could make the same claim about the FSA. Cause what is plays on is

             “the Evil must be committed for the Greater good”

            Than horrendous actions can be committed in the name of the greater good. Even the beheading could be justified by claiming if such was not done the U.S. or West was going to massacre thousands. And because there’s no oversight because the person doing so wants others to blindly follow and believe such actions are defending them. It allows some to use such as a excuse to take out political rivals,ethic/religious groups,oppress women and all sorts of thing.

            Without moral reasoning(even in the worst cases) it allows others to frame worst case for anything and without accountability

          • Pete

            Dictators and
            despots will use any dictum to
            justify evil acts, that doesn’t make the dictum
            wrong.  Remember what we’re talking
            about here, a technique that causes fear
            and discomfort, but no actual harm. When Bashar al-Assad or Saddam
            Hussein use rough tactics to interrogate prisoners there is not a team of
            doctors and lawyers standing around to oversee the procedure making sure no
            harm comes to the prisoner.

             

            Actually the
            use of water-boarding is only used on an select few or small % of our arm
            forces. Normally reserved for snipers school and elites fields. It’s one of
            many that would deem torture if the army used on the rest of the military
            personal. 

             

             

            Your “torture is relative depending who it’s used on” argument is a
            very creative way to dismiss the facts that undermine your position. But it is,
            dare I say it, a tortured one.

             

            The regular use of water-boarding on our armed forces, whether on an
            elite section or not, is clear evidence that these are not heinous practices.

             

             

            However, if we accept the premise of your argument, that these interrogation
            methods, as practiced by the US, are not torture only in the instance when they are used on certain elite US
            soldiers, then it’s very strange that you switch to calling it torture when
            practiced on the elite handful of mass murders who, furthered by a religious
            extremism, find glory in, and readily use the tactic of  killing themselves to
            murder and main thousands of innocent victims. What exactly is the moral principle
            that condones it in the first instance and condemns it in the second?

          • Pete

            Whoops, I forgot the quotation marks around the second paragraph.

          • Hidan

             again never said what’s done to these elites weren’t torture. I stated it’s not a common practices in our arm forces nor is it regular. Those elite forces do crack. The reasoning for this is if there captured and tortured they can withstand such.

          • Pete

            Then I take it you believe that the US army should be prosecuted for war crimes based on the training they give these soldiers, right?

          • Hidan

             “Dictators and
            despots will use any dictum to
            justify evil acts, that doesn’t make the dictum
            wrong.  Remember what we’re talking
            about here, a technique that causes fear
            and discomfort, but no actual harm

            Bryant Walsh in Time,points out what is obvious to any real psychologist, that repeated waterboarding [indeed any repeated torture] is likely to have sever, long-lasting effects, despite the claims to the contrary in the newly-released torture memos:

            By Bryan Walsh

            In Chile, they called it submarino, a form of simulated drowning that has much the same effect as what we call waterboarding. During Augusto Pinochet’s 17-year-long dictatorship, thousands of Chileans were detained by the military and subjected to torture. During the submarino, they were forcibly submerged in a tank of water, over and over again, until they were on the edge of drowning. (The Chilean military liked to foul the water with urine, feces or worse, something that-so far-hasn’t been known to be a part of U.S. waterboarding of terrorism suspects.) Submarino became a popular tool for military interrogators, in part because it left relatively few permanent physical marks.

            But the impact on the torture victim’s mind was lasting. After Pinochet’s fall in 1990, the new civilian government in Chile investigated incidents of alleged torture, and found deep scars. Years after they were tortured, submarino victims were still haunted. A 2007 study in the International Review of the Red Cross found that “the acute suffering produced during the immediate infliction of the submarino is superseded by the often unbearable fear of repeating the experience. In the aftermath, it may lead to horrific memories that persist in the form of recurrent ‘drowning nightmares.’” As one Chilean who was tortured by submarino under Pinochet put it: “Even today I wake up because of having nightmares of dying from drowning.”

            http://psychoanalystsopposewar.org/blog/2009/04/21/time-waterboarding-does-cause-severe-harm/

          • Hidan

             Harm from waterboarding well-documented

            In an April 30 commentary in the Los Angeles Times, detainee Abu Zubaydah’s co-counsel, Joseph Margulies, writes about how Zubaydah’s preexisting mental and memory problems were exacerbated by waterboarding. Zubaydah now suffers from seizures, headaches and permanent brain damage.In Sept. 25, 2007, testimony before the Senate, Dr. Allen Keller, director of the Bellevue/New York University Program for Survivors of Torture, described the short-term and long-term effects of waterboarding: drowning, heart attack, and later depression, panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder, all of which could easily qualify as “intense suffering.”

            http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/may/26/harm-waterboarding-well-documented/

          • Pete

            You don’t mean to say that you think testimony from Zubaydah’s co-counsel and unchallenged testimony from his hand-picked witness is objective evidence of something, do you?

          • Gregg

            I wonder how many of our brave special forces have been waterboarded since Obama banned the procedure in favor of targeted assassinations?

          • feettothefire

            You should try to refrain from attributing to people beliefs which they do not hold nor have ever claimed to hold. Nuff’ said on that. As far as waterboarding as training, you must get a clue about the kind of training our elite forces undergo. Preparing them for whatever might befall them is an essential part of their training. If you think they are waterboarded as brutally in training as they would be by a determined enemy, you’re simply wrong. They are exposed to the technique precisely because it is a brutal, torturous procedure, just as they are exposed to many other extreme conditions which would make the rest of us quiver in fear and wet our pants. It’s how they get to be elite forces. To fail to prepare for the worst would be stupid and inexcusable. Our troops used to be routinely exposed to  gas during training. Maybe they still are. Does this mean that gassing a village of innocent civilians is not immoral because its part of American military training?

          • Pete

            “You should try to refrain from attributing to people beliefs which they do not hold nor have ever claimed to hold.”

            Which beliefs you think I falsely attributed to you?

            If you read the account I linked to in my first post of the first hand account given by a former special forces  guy there does not seem to be much distinction between waterboarding done in his training and what was performed on KSM.

  • U.S. Vet.

    V.P. Joe Biden left out of top campaign meetings
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/biden-left-out-top-campaign-meetings_643153.html

    That’s only sensible thing Obama has done since he’s been in office.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

      A blind amnesiac
      …..

      • U.S. Vet.

        You’re being very disrespectful to the VP.

  • TomK in Boston

    It amazes me that anyone can go on about how President Obama is a “disaster” without total amnesia of the Bush era. I’m not going to make the whole list again, but 9/11, the invasion of Iraq, and the Bush economic crash alone fit the definition of “disaster” a hell of a lot better than anything in the last 3 years. 

     Memory is important. The GoP economic proposals are the same as the ones that gave us the decline of the middle class since 1980, getting more extreme over time, and culminating in the Bush disaster.
     Obama is a compromising centrist who is a moderate republican by our post-war standards. He’s been trying to deal with the mess that Bush created. He’s too cautious and too afraid of the right to take bold FDR-like steps. Sometimes he talks the liberal talk, but if you look at his policies, he might as well be O’Busha. So what’s the big deal? Why do the righties hate him so much? He’s BORING. He’s no-drama Obama. Can it be racism alone? Anyone with a shred of honesty knows that the right would be celebrating like the superbowl if Bush had nailed bin Laden. It would be “Son of Mission Accomplished”. Their reaction to the actual event is disgusting.

    • Greyman

      And selective memory is at least as important as memory itself. It was Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin, who called for the repeal of Glass-Steagall from 1995 onwards, and while Republicans finally heeded the appeal, so did Democrats like Nancy Pelosi. It was Clinton himself who, following the US embassy attacks in Africa in August 1998, not content with launching cruise missile strikes against al Qaeda training camps in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan that failed to dispatch bin Laden himself, suddenly pivoted from the pursuit of bin Laden & Co. to pursue Milosevic, who posed no such direct or comparable threat to US interests, but it gave Clinton the chance to launch a “humanitarian war”, which arguably is the logic GWBush employed to launch the Iraq campaign. Selective memory affords us all great comfort, however, since it frees us to mouth twice as many half-truths.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

        Well said and very true. Sadly, the vast majority of Americans are too dumb, and too disinterested to understand how they have been manipulated and robbed by the corrupt and broken government the US now “enjoys”. 

        Perhaps we indeed have the kind of government we deserve…unfortunately.

        • Warren

          I reject your analysis that Americans are dumb.The young are dumbed down,not dumb

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

            You must live in an alternate reality of delusion, or have never met anyone younger than 40. The cretins of today can tell you all about millionaire sports figures or hip hop, and always sport their tatoos and bare feet, and unshaven faces, but they know virtually NOTHING about how their government works, the history of their country or culture. Cretins indeed, one and all.

      • Zero

        Bill Hicks on Clinton as one of the “boys.”

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

    • Warren

      Why did JFK drop the tax rates?Why did FDR reject the Public Unions.The problem with the Republicans is tyhey give out tyhe tax cut,but never get the promised upon spending cuuts.Here in lies the rub.

      • aj

        Moda?

        • Warren

          If you really intend to become a lawyer,be careful what you say.Your predilection towards violence could be used against you.It may even prevent yyour ability to be liscenced.Be invisible !!1

          • aj

            That’s deep, an O.G. who honed his legalese at the library in Sing Sing, gave me similar advice. Never did get that speak softly part down.

            On another topic, are seeing what’s going down in the Eurozone, the weekend. Tremors. The Nederlands, France, Greece, Italy? What happens next? Ingles por favor.

        • Zero

          Definitely Moda. 

      • aj

        MODA!

        • jefe68

          Seems to be.

      • aj

        JFK didn’t drop rates, because the Tampa/New Orleans Mob and Jimmy Hoffa had his melon split in Dallas, before Ways & Means marked up any bills to that effect. Next, Ruby wak’d Oswald, the Beatles did Ed Sullivan, and LBJ rang up Martin Luther and informed him of a change of plans. Something to the effect of, “Ah Reverend, Camelot and Beehives are out, LSD and Agent Orange are in.” Neal Cassady, out on parole, drove a Chevy to the levy to tell Kerouac to sober up, and take a trip to Haight-Ashbury, a buddhist monk self-immolated in Saigon and the VietCong embarked on a shovel ready stimulus project also known as the Ho Chi Min trail. THEN and only THEN, did LBJ sign a tax cut into law, while John Kenneth Galbriath was helpless to stop him, because the Kennedy’s a couple years earlier had stiffed him with a one way ticket on the Orient Express to an Ambassadorship in Katmandu!

        Federal employees cannot collectively bargain, Taft Hartley made it illegal to strike and Reagan the ex-Screen Actors Guild President reminded the Air Traffic Controllers in 81′ to do as I say not as I do!

        Carter was such a budget hawk, his own mates Kennedy and Byrd tried to shank him on the Senate floor like he was Julius Ceaser, but couldn’t because Jimmy’s made of nails. The liberals got what they wanted (namely shattering the debt ceiling) the following January though, when the Gipper took office and muttered something about an Evil Empire and we are gonna lick em’ with Star Wars, as if George Lucas was his National Security Advisor. Needless to say, in his 8 years, he tripled the National debt, and missile defense is a bigger government boondoggle than FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society put together. Oh, and did I mention he violated the Constitution. Yep. Sooo….How do you like those apples Mod..I mean Warren?   

    • JonS

      For all his faults, at least Bush demonstrated leadership and I believe history will look much more favorably on Bush than he is viewed today. Obama is a failure for so many reasons not least of which for his failure to take any responsibility for his actions and demonstrate any real leadership. Never is the description of “leading from behind ” more apt to describe Obama. His record of voting present in the Illinois legislature should have told us plenty. The disconnect between what he says in speeches and what he actually does is simply mind boggling. Granted actions by any president can serve to divide a nation. However I cannot recall any president who so actively sought to divide this nation the way Obama has done. Absolutely totally disgusting.

      • Zero

        Bush got this country to goosestep into Iraq. 

        Bush spent thousands of lives and a trillion dollars getting ousting one dictator.  Obama ousted three dictators with zero lives and under 50 billion dollars.  And he actually went after Bin Laden.  Obama led from behind in Libya in which his leadership in that operation was virtually flawless. 

        Can you actually describe how Obama was a bad leader instead of talking out of your ass?

        Liberals have criticisms of Obama’s “leadership” but it has more to do with not standing up to ideologically determined, my-way-or-the-highway, autocratic republicans.  Nothing has divided this country more than these republicans who refuse to compromise.  Do you know what governing without compromise is called? Of course you don’t.  It’s called totalitarianism. 

        Nobody democratic (or what’s left of moderate republicans) can lead the current republican party.  Obama gave a speech about taxing capital gains at the same rate as labor in which he quoted Ronald Reagan verbatim without attributing it to him, and republicans still argued against Obama on the same point, same words that Ronald Reagan said twenty something years ago.

        Jon S.  You are a moron.  This comment is so full of horseshit and republican talking points that one cannot identify an individual, thinking mind behind the comment.  You are clearly not using your own thoughts, and most of your comments are unoriginal. You are part of the republican echo chamber.

        • Hidan

           Anything left of crazy is considered liberal.

          I do give props to Fox News because what it managed to do is create a repeat echo chamber and than claim that other media sources are liberal cause there not covering it. This than cause the other MSM to report or talk about the distorted view of the Fox News Echo Chamber who than bring on someone with Connections to Foxs to than again repeat the talking point that Fox has been repeated for the good portion of the day, all while Talk radio is doing the same thing. It’s quite interesting because  it conditions people to remember small sentences while totally forgetting the whole story and because it’s negative it tends to be far move likely for such people to remember

          Daniel Dennett makes the point about religioun that seems to mirror what Fox News has done

          http://www.ted.com/speakers/dan_dennett.html

          . He argues that religion’s influence over human behavior is precisely what makes gaining a rational understanding of it so necessary: “If we don’t understand religion, we’re going to miss our chance to improve the world in the 21st century.”

          Same with Global Warming,Evolution, race relations, Gay Rights and many more.

          http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_dennett_s_response_to_rick_warren.html

          • jefe68

             By the standard of the GOP today, Nixon and Reagan would be shunned for being moderate.
            Eisenhower would be considered a democrat. 
            The GOP is moving so far towards the right it’s becoming a party of and for extremist.

            You have to love how in the state of Tennessee holding hands or any form of touching is now banned in public schools because it’s considered a “gateway to sexual activity”.
            Oh, and if this was not enough you can sue teachers who are not seen to be enforcing this joke of a law.
            Talk about regressive BS.

          • Gregg

            If the people of TN through their elected representatives passed this common sense law, I don’t see a problem.

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/05/AR2005110501414.html

          • jefe68

            You think this is common sense?
            How is banning touching or holding hands common sense?
            Given that the evidence of that the state of Tennessee is failing in all areas of sex education is one of the leading states in teen pregnancies and STD’s one could argue that they are by moving into a more repressive mind set will not help.
            It’s amazing how you think.

            By the way did you have any girl friends in high school?
             

          • Gregg

            If TN has that much trouble then all the more reason for the law. When I was in high school we weren’t allowed to hold hands although there really wasn’t a rule. We certainly didn’t have students having sex in school as in my link. I lay a lot of blame at the feet of Bill Clinton for convincing kids that blowjobs are not sex and all cheaters lie. You can get caught just don’t be blamed.

            What is the downside to the law in your opinion?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Abstinence ONLY teaching worked so well, for Brisol Palin?
               ‘Conservative’ Poster Child, for how well their ‘sex education’ works!

          • Azra

            The next step will be the banning of patent leather shoes, (only for girls, of course), and shoes or clothing.

            Finally, all GIRLS will be required to wear burqas. Boys will be allowed to carry on as usual.

          • Azra

            CORECTION: ^ ^ ^

            . . . and no red shoes or clothing.

          • Zero

            I read the first article you cited, and I’ve actually come across Dennett before (but never read any of his books).  But yeah, it’s obvious that Fox News sees the world and reports form a Christian perspective instead of an observational, scientific, secular perspective.

            But I would like to ask Dennett if it is religion or ideology that we need to be examining.  What I mean by that is that the right wing not only ignores Jesus but goes against what he has said.  Fox News and republicans only provide a feeling of a ‘Christian community’ where they clutch the cross and wrap themselves in an American flag. 

            I don’t know.  It’s very complicated.  The right works up these robust religious, nationalist, and class identities, their rabid individualism has ironically made the right into a hive mind.  So I think it is more tribalism than religion per se that we need to understand, but religion is probably the concrete of tribalism even though they have little in common with the humane side of the religious text.  I really don’t know though.

            Also, I always mention the visual rhetoric because that is the most obvious example of propaganda.  Just the constant flow of Fox News and MSNBC visuals provides an ecology that is more dangerous than fallacies of logic and so on. 

      • Gregg

        Awesome, I can’t add to what you wrote but clicking “like” wasn’t enough.

      • TFRX

        “You’re a traitor if you don’t want to invade Iraq” is leaderly stuff?

        Hilarious.

        • Gregg

          I see you used quotation marks, who said that? It would be too funny if you made it up and then wrote “hilarious”.

      • Azra

        LEADERSHIP CAN ONLY BE CLAIMED WHEN WE ARE BEING LED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

      • Azra

        We know that you’re a Republican, but we still need reasons. We also know that your ilk just claims whatever they want, says and does whatever tickles their fancy, like The National Enquirer, and Murdoch’s scandal sheets, but those things do nothing for your credibility. They are counterproductive to your cause, whatever that may be.

        The rest of the human race believes in facts, and truth.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        OVER 15 minutes to ‘decide’ that the country is under attack, he should do something besides be read to?   LEADERSHIP?
           Campaign promise to make the Budget Surplus BIGGER, then trashing the economy, to enrich the GREEDY  rich?  LEADERSHIP?
           Campaign promise to make the U.S. SAFER, then allowing the WORST attack on the U.S.?   LEADERSHIP?

  • U.S. Vet.

    71% of top companies could drop insurance under Obamacare
    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/71-percent-top-companies-could-drop-insurance-under-obamacare

    That would be the same Obamacare that Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi made themselves exempt from when it was passed.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

      Made up “facts”, & made up numbers from a main line PROPAGANDIST and Republican nut.

      • U.S. Vet.

        Where is the data to backup your bogus claims?

        • Zero

          There are several things wrong with that article.  First, Obamacare requires insurance companies to drop their existing rates, which would actually be cheaper for said companies.  Second, the penalty for a business not requiring health insurance for the company is fixed above the rate of insurance costs.  The way in which the insurance companies make up for the losses of dropping their costs is the mandate which will provide the companies with 50 million new costumers.  If the mandate gets knocked down and Obama gets reelected, expect a not for profit public option that will force the insurance companies to eventually go bankrupt ( I imagine).  

  • Warren

    Iraq is falling apart.We should have left a residual force.One hundred and fifty thousand Iranians pleaded with President Obama to help them.He turned a blind eye.While Syria burns, the President attends the Holocaust Ceremonies and proposes an “Atrocity Prevention  Board”.
          On a lighter note.While the job numbers were worse then expected,Hollande has won France.
           On an even lighter note…Now that Ms.Warren is declared Indian,she intends to seek casino licensing for her Cambridge Manse.

    • JonS

      Pocahantas Warren , the undocumented Indian.

      • aj

        That Colombian harlot, had the Pocahantas thing going on, right? I gots to get to Cartagena this summer. 

        • Hidan

           Just imagine what the Right would be saying if she posed nude to help pay for college?

          • Gregg

             Ay Caramba.

  • Zero

    Gregg, you wrote: “Up here Zero, The reason is money must first be taken out to the private
    sector, printed or borrowed to pay them and it must be done in
    perpetuity. The only way to stimulate is for there to be new jobs
    created in the private sector. The pie must grow not be redistributed.

    —————————————————

    But the money to pay for public sector employment is taken out of the top’s large bank accounts where money just sits.  The money is taken out of the rich man’s back account and pays for public employment, which introduces a higher level of consumerism to the market.  And it is not bloody likely the rich man will stop being a consumer.  It is pretty obvious that more money would circulate throughout the economy if this were done.  And unemployment would drop. 

    • Gregg

      Thanks for ciphering through all that.

      Money in the “top’s large bank accounts” is the private sector. The idea it is just sitting there is nuts on a few levels. The wealthy are always looking for ways to “loose money” in an effort to avoid paying taxes. Surely you would agree. What does that mean?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ???

        • Zero

           He’s just talking out of his arse.

      • Zero

        You forget that I grew up in the upper class.  And I grew up around wealth.  The percentage of a rich man’s wealth that goes to the market is most likely around 25% (definitely below 50%).  Whereas, a middle class income would be around 85% to 90%.  Poor people spend around 99% of their income in the market. 

        This is a very old economic principle: money’s gotta flow.  And the money in Romney’s bank accounts is just sitting there.  In fact, you can roughly calculate how much money is just sitting in his accounts: how much did he invest out of his earning from previous years.  It is said he has a quarter of a billion–so, he made $20 million last year on investments, then what was the percentage of his wealth that he put back into the market place…?

        I would give it up Gregg.  You are very wrong about taxing the rich and creating public sector jobs to (1) provide more jobs, (2) stimulate the private markets, and (3) causing bartering power to shift to the laborer that would bring up wages amongst the private sector employees.

        • TomK in Boston

           Exactly right, Zero. It’s all about that marginal dollar. When the wealthy are hurting it makes sense to lower their taxes. When they are richer than any time since 1929 it’s insane to keep lowering their taxes like some stupid one trick pony. Like I said earlier, at this point we don’t get much bang for the economy by raising the level of Scrooge McDuck’s money bin from 20′ to 25′, and business is desperate for demand from middle class customers. Why is this so hard to understand for the Greggs of the world? It’s obvious.

           The righty Party Line is that everyone who defends the brand of capitalism we once had is “envious” or is some loser wanting more handouts from nanny gvt, somehow dismissing the likes of Buffett and Gates as irrelevant weirdos. Hey Gregg, I grew up privileged and I’m well off now, not in the 1% but up there. I want MY taxes raised. I care about the USA – can you comprehend that, or is it too non-randian for you?  I want a USA where the median wage goes up when GDP goes up, not some stinking oligarchy, and I’ll fight for that to the last bullet.

  • Gregg

    The bias of the New York Times is ubiquitous and they are a microcosm of the main stream media.

    “If you pick these stories apart, you can identify the useful information
    (not much) and separate it from the narrative-polishing (a lot). But if
    you’re a casual reader, which most readers are, you’ll pick up the
    narrative and not notice that it isn’t really backed up in the story.
    Which is, of course, the point, especially in an election year.”

    This bias thing can be nuanced stuff. It works very well on unnuanced (albeit well-intention) folks. This explains how it’s done as well as I’ve seen:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/spin_of_the_times_bias_cloaked_as_6JZNaz5PXr9H2Z6DkWAhdL

    • Zero

       I find the last part of the nypost particularly telling: “But until the Times is shamed into balance, let the voters beware. Especially between now and November.”

      What does “balance” have to do with empirical and objective journalism?  It appears that people forgot what journalism is.  I know you think that all the world has liberal bias except Murdock owned sources, but empirical methods is actually identifiable and measurable.  But every time conservatives on this thread try to trash NY Times, you guys never show examples of how they mislead and distort facts.  By all means, please show us bias.  For example, Obama was giving a speech in Kansas to which I said “there is no way Fox News is playing this speech because it is awesome.”  Alas, Fox News wasn’t showing the speech but reporting on what appears to be new developments in the Fast and Furious campaign.  I knew that later in the day, Fox News would talk about the Obama speech in one of those little round table discussions.  I tuned into Fox News later on, and someone at a round table said, “Obama had fifty new words for class warfare today.”  Couple that with the visual rhetoric on Fox News, and you got yourself powerful propaganda. 

      Do you need more examples?  Let me go watch the Fox News for five minutes and I’ll come back to you. But please give me examples of liberal bias in respected sources.

      Fox News reports on what things appear to be and they speculate with right wing logic and the dumbest liberal they can find off of some blog.  You will never see me defend MSNBC, but I will defend the NY Times.  The Times fires people expediently for misleading articles and publishes the firings and mistakes (something Fox News has a problem doing).   

      I quoted your article and this popped up below, cool:Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/spin_of_the_times_bias_cloaked_as_6JZNaz5PXr9H2Z6DkWAhdL#ixzz1u9VCsMwk

      • Gregg

        The article DID cite examples. Obama’s class warfare is disgusting. The news blackout of “Fast and Furious” by virtually everyone but Fox is a perfect example of bias by omission. The AG is incompetent. I find Fox to be fair and balanced, you don’t have to. If you have an example, fine, bring it but what you wrote doesn’t illustrate squat. Just the other day we had a liberal (Jehmu Greene) calling a Conservative (Tucker Carlson) a “Bow tyin’ white boy”. We had Bob Beckell screaming at a Conservative, “You don’t know what the F*** you’re talking about!”.

        You will not find more vitriol towards Conservatives or liberal views more passionately defended anywhere.

        • jefe68

          Fox is fair and balanced?
          Funny how the examples posted to counter your argument seemed valid to me, but not you. What I see here is someone who fends the idea of being fair but is really so far up the in their ideology that you can’t see through the haze of ones own bias.
          That’s the real interesting thing about your posts, and there are a lot of them, they seem to me to be as fake as a three dollar bill. The real ones are the ones in which you really let the shit fly.

          • Brett

            That is precisely why their only ostensbile value to this forum/regular discussion is their irony. To view them as satire or a parody of the neocon perspective makes them of some small humorous benefit; additionally, they don’t really serve the neocons’ cause well, as they diminish whatever remote validity some of their points may have. It’s a shame, really, Gregg has intelligence. 

            I sometimes wonder how a person can have so much time on his hands and devotion to what he perceives as a mission. I am quite flexible in my own schedule/responsibilities which enable me to come to this forum with some frequency; I can’t even imagine, though, expending the energy he does with his daily, copious commentary.  The sum of his comments really illustrates just how powerful a toll cognitive dissonance can have on an otherwise decent mind. 

          • jefe68

            I think some folks think they are showing people who tack to the left of center what’s what, as they say. I for one am bemused but not surprised, it’s how our nation is rolling these days.

            When someone agrees with abstinence sex ed legislation that bans hand holding until marriage I really do start to wonder about their mindset, or lack there of.

          • Gregg

            What examples, some unknown somebody said Obama was engaging in class warfare? Duh, it’s all he’s done.

            I posted an excellent piece breaking down how the NYT drove the narrative with bold headlines and no substance. Zero goes off on Fox with a generic rant. It’s a good article and a shame the same tired dodges rule. Or we could talk about how fake I am.

        • TomK in Boston

          Hahahaha “Obama’s class warfare”. Better cut down on the Kool-Aid, Gregg. The entire GoP agenda is class warfare, eg General Ryan’s plan to turn medicare into a Groupon so taxes on his rich supporters can stay at record lows, the constant SS bashing, the constant union bashing.

           If you have any doubt about what class is waging war and winning, follow the income distribution – if that’s not too reality based for you.

           Nice to see the euro-Ryans getting kicked out. Good to know that there is actually a limit to how long voters will say “take everything I have, please”. Now if we can only wake up here.

        • Zero

           I think if you have read a history book, you  would know what class warfare is.  Republicans have zero economic argument against raising taxes on the rich, so they fabricated a class war (just like they fabricate a communist threat, an outsider threat, etc.). 

          You know very well that I don’t think raising taxes on the rich 3% is class warfare.  I think anyone who is against such modest tax hikes on people who can clearly afford them is an extremest.

      • TFRX

        Someone’s going to New York “We Believe Steve Doocy, not our own ears” Post for media crit?

        Nuf ced.

        • Brett

          Doocy is a doofus! I remember when he was on WRC in Washington, D.C.; he did local entertainment segments/human interest stories as the local goofball on the evening news.  

      • Azra

        One thing that Fox has no problem doing is hiring kooks, and wierdos. (Must be because they appeal to the kooks and wierdos who watch Fox.)

    • http://www.findingourdream.blogspot.com Hal Horvath

      I read the Post story.  It’s pretty paranoid.

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