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Week In The News: Mideast Unrest, Ambassador Killed, Romney’s Charge

Fire and fury in the Arab World.  A U.S. ambassador slain.  Mitt Romney, in quick and taking heat.  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

An Egyptian protester runs from a burning police car during clashes with riot police, unseen, near the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. Protesters clash with police near the U.S. Embassy in Cairo for the third day in a row. Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi vowed to protect foreign embassies in Cairo, where police were using tear gas to disperse protesters at the U.S. mission. (AP)

An Egyptian protester runs from a burning police car during clashes with riot police, unseen, near the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. Protesters clash with police near the U.S. Embassy in Cairo for the third day in a row. Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi vowed to protect foreign embassies in Cairo, where police were using tear gas to disperse protesters at the U.S. mission. (AP)

Shocking anger at the U.S. out of the Arab world this week.  An unsettling autumn to the high spirits of the Arab spring.  Embassies attacked.  A consulate in Libya, overrun.  A U.S. ambassador, dead.

Angry politics and big questions at home.  And the outburst isn’t over.  On the economy, the Fed promises to pump $40 billion a month into housing finance. Mortgage rates headed for new lows.  In Chicago, teachers still out on strike.  Big stakes and a whole lot of kids and families left wondering how long.

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

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed.

Abderrahim Foukara, Washington bureau chief for the Al Jazeera Arabic channel

Jack BeattyOn Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

al Jazeera “The protesters on Thursday removed the embassy’s sign on the outer wall and brought down the US flag and burned it, according to witnesses.”

Washington Post “The Fed announced a new round of bond purchases targeting the mortgage market, saying it would purchase $85 billion in bonds a month through the rest of the year, and then $40 billion a month indefinitely until the economy doesn’t need the support anymore.”

Politico “Earlier this year, U.S. and Israeli officials had informally agreed to stop airing their well-documented disagreements over how to halt Iran’s nuclear program, according to two people familiar with the situation.”

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=739705324 Adam Brabant

    We’ve seen the Arab Spring, are we starting to see the Arab Fall?

    • Mouse_2012

      Egypt was mainly a peaceful protest and outcry by the Egyptian people-No Americans killed even after the fact that Hillary Clinton and the WH supported the Egyptian Dictator to the very end. Libya was a violent civil war who the U.S. supported the TNC, who tortured,maimed and killed(some cases even raped) their enemies, had elements of Al Q in them both in the TNC rebels and it’s government and surprise surprise the new american ally kills Americans. 

      It’s amazing me that some Americans want to dictate who gets democracy and who doesn’t. Last I heard the U.S. not only extended it’s arm sales to both Saudi Arabia but also Bahrain after a Human rights report came out condemning the Bahraini Government.

    • Don_B1

      We are seeing the chaos of the transition between dictatorships and some new form(s) of government. Those who succeeded in displacing their previous governments mostly have little experience in governing (e.g., Egyptian President Morsi?), which has allowed radicals (whether tied to or just sympathetic with the goals of al Qaida or not) to build followers by creating problems.

      The people of the Middle East have mostly only observed at a remove the way freedom of speech is practiced in the West and their local experience is that governments do control most political speech. So a conspiracy theory that the U.S. government sponsored the film is all too believable in their eyes. When you count the number of Americans that believe (or say they do) the aliens landed at Roswell, NM, how can the Middle East people believing in absolute untruths be viewed with some yet hidden hatred for us rather than their response to their (unfounded) belief that we hate them for their religion?

      Remember it took the West round 150 or so years (the Age of Enlightenment) to move from superstition, intolerance of other religions to what is obviously not complete yet, another 200 years later. But there are Muslims that do recognize the problem, with the people coming out in Libya after the Consulate attack to show that they are against that. It shows that political freedom may bring more of that growth, that allows reason to win, if it is allowed to grow.

      ————-

      The other thing to take note of is that the Libyan attack only used the anti-Islam film as cover for an attack by a militia probably based in Derna (where more young Arabs went to Iraq to fight for the Sunni faction than anywhere else) with motives that may not be clear yet. There are groups that search for items on the Internet that would show the West’s hate of Islam, and this “trailer” for a film few or none have actually seen is a gold mine to their needs.

      • hennorama

        An excellent and succinct analysis.  Well done.

  • Michiganjf

    According to Republicans, fact checking doesn’t matter, polls don’t matter, Ryan/Romney’s lack of policy specifics don’t matter…

    …glad to hear it!

    Let reality sink in on them AFTER they lose the election!

    • John_in_Amherst

       Ya gotta love the senior Romney adviser who maintained that the campaign was not going to be run by fact-checkers…. After all, what do accuracy of facts and truth have to do with the Romney/Ryan campaign?

      • Don_B1

        It is even more interesting that journalists probing the Romney campaign find that Romney’s response to the Libyan incident came, not from the foreign policy advisors, but from the political camp. They have expressed wonderment about where some of Romney’s foreign policy ideas have come from, and strongly stated that the wild ones did not come from them and they are a pretty diverse group.

    • Don_B1

      They are for CHANGE of facts in their favor and HOPE no one notices!

    • Call_Me_Missouri

      That’s because they can CHANGE IT!

      Did everyone see John Oliver (from the Daily Show) during the RNC?  ROFL

      Watch it now!
      http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-august-30-2012/rnc-2012—the-road-to-jeb-bush-2016—we-can-change-that

      This really is the funniest thing except when the Daily Show reporters fired Wyoming for not making it as a Business!

    • JGC

      We just listened to the on-the-hour NPR newsfeed, and there was a report that Gov.Romney just said he expects Pres. Obama to tell numerous lies during their upcoming debates.  My 17-year-old son was listening with me, and he said, “Romney, I expect you to lie all the time, and you never disappoint me.”

  • WorriedfortheCountry

     OK, many of you guys know my pet peeve of late is the blatant media bias in favor of Mr. Obama, especially in the latest Mideast crisis.

    I was heartened to read that I am not the only one.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/york-romney-will-be-judged-on-actions-not-coverage/article/2507961#.UFKskVGyN8G

    • Michiganjf

      Yeah, terrible of the media to have that BIAS FOR THE TRUTH!

      Why can’t ALL the media outlets be more like FAUX NEWS?

      I guess everyone should stop calling Ryan/Romney out on their lies and stupidities!

      If the Right can just fabricate their own narrative, why can’t everyone else just play along?

      You’ve always gotta love “Worried’s” sources:

      “The Washington Examiner is a free daily newspaper published in Springfield, Virginia, and distributed in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. It is owned by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz…When Anschutz started the Examiner in its current format, he envisioned creating a conservative competitor to The Washington Post. According to Politico, “When it came to the editorial page, Anschutz’s instructions were explicit — he ‘wanted nothing but conservative columns and conservative op-ed writers,’ said one former employee.” The Examiner’s conservative writers include Byron York (National Review), Michael Barone (American Enterprise Institute, Fox News), and David Freddoso (National Review, author of The Case Against Barack Obama).

      The paper endorsed John McCain in the 2008 presidential election and Adrian Fenty in the Democratic primary for mayor in 2010. On December 14, 2011, it endorsed Mitt Romney for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, saying he was the only Republican who could beat Barack Obama in the general election.”

      Ha! Gotta laugh at that last bit!

      That “Dem” Fenty, BTW, is not exactly a Democrat…
      “He served one term—from 2007 to 2011—losing his bid for reelection at the primary level to Democrat Vincent C. Gray. Though Fenty won the Republican mayoral primary as a write-in candidate, he declined the Republican nomination and said he would likely not seek elected office again.”

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

      • Don_B1

        I would make one minor point:

        The Examiner probably was right in that Romney, not yet as contaminated by moving so far to the right as he later had to and continues to, WAS probably the only candidate in a group of real losers that had the best chance of beating Obama but that was unlikely. The ONLY reason Romney is close is because of HATE of Obama promulgated by Republicans for the duration of his term.

    • AC

      this is a strange sentiment. you are aware we are in the middle of a crisis and he is the president, aren’t you? God forbid we look united in any way, the rest of the world is already under the impression we’re all watching some stupid, obscure hate film given to them by their ridiculous idea of ‘news’, can’t imagine what they’ll do with all this self-hatred in our own ‘news’ we give them for free…..

      • Mouse_2012

        It only counts when the right’s in power and anyone that doesn’t follow our “dear leader” are treasonous  unamerican,etc, et,c when the right’s not in power anything to attack the other side is the above is then forgotten no matter how racist or nasty such attacks are(Birtherism, Kenyan Muslim etc.) 

        Don’t believe me read some of the coments on the film your talking about, Also read the pieces by the right on such film as well. 

        P.S.

        The Copt that helped with the film was at the Ground Zero Mosque Protest(not really ground zero but hey their republicans) He was actually called names and had a dispute with the protesters he wanted to show he’s one of them(they thought he was a Muslim infiltrator and treated him as one)

      • William

         Mrs. Clinton would disagree with you. She said in 2003 it was appropriate to disagree with the government.  I don’t often agree with her, but she is right that time.

      • Don_B1

        That was the basis for many of the Republican responses on Wednesday castigating Romney for his misstatement and timing of his attack on Obama.

        It is only the defense of Romney from the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News commentators up and down the line that have pulled Republicans back into line. So there will not be more complaints from Republicans on this issue at least for a while. But wait until Romney loses: a Three Gorges Dam break would pale in comparison.

        • Don_B1

          Sorry, I appear to have underestimated the real unease throughout the Republican Party and even within the Romney campaign as it seems that there is real upset there; see the weekend’s Politico story from the inside of the Romney campaign. See:

          http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/81280.html

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Did you read the article?

        Did you see the press conference?

        The article was about the press’s behavior at the press conference not the merits of Romney’s statement.

        Regarding Romney’s statement, I don’t have a problem with it.  It appears that Hillary and the WH officials agree with Romney because they also disavowed the embassy statement and ordered it taken down.  Maybe there is an argument on Romney’s timing but the attack on Romney is blown out of proportion.

        • Don_B1

          In an environment where too many politicians, etc., do not take “follow-up” questions, it behoves the press in the public interest to get together on what are the important issues so that the next reporter’s question can be the follow-up to the previous question.

          I have not seen anything to indicate that what was going on was anything more than that.

        • hennorama

          I understand your concern about media bias, but reporters coordinating questions before a news conference is apparently not uncommon.  This was confirmed by multiple commentators, including some on Fox News.

          Speaking of Fox News, I find it odd that they’ve been around for more than 15 years, yet they somehow consider themselves to be outside the “mainstream media.”  They frequently tout the superior ratings of their shows, yet they are not mainstream?.

          It’s an odd combination – a boastful inferiority complex, if you will.

          It’s also impossible to argue that Fox News Channel “does tilt right”, as even Bill O’Reilly has said in the past.  It’s also clear that the on-air commentators coordinate their verbage on a daily basis, as the same phrasing appears across the shows throughout the day.

          The various biases of many media outlets are well known, and reflect the profit motive of these outlets.  They find out what viewers and readers like to watch, hear and read, and tend to emphasize stories and coverage along those lines.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             I agree with you that the open mic moment wasn’t damning and is probably OK.  However, the news conference with 6 almost identical questions that were accusatory in nature is the problem.  They were pushing a narrative.  Maybe it is group think and not intentional bias but it is wrong.

            They did the same thing when Romney went to Poland.  IMHO, Romney’s Olympics comment was blown way out of proportion and the press refused to cover anything substantive during the trip.  Why?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             btw – I think Romney handled the questioning very well.

    • Acnestes

      OK, I guess we’ll just ignore the fact that the Washington Examiner is an overtly right leaning publication.

      • Mouse_2012

        As I said before,

        Every notice Conservative will use openly partisan sources to attack another media for bias? It seems never to dawn on them that there doing such or maybe the Conservative think that people wouldn’t take the time to check who the Conservatives sources are.

    • jimino

      Speaking of pet peeves, are you or any RR supporter able to identify even ONE of the tax loopholes that their “plan” would close and without which it makes no sense whatsoever?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        The 2011 income tax revenues collected were $1.1T.
        The 2011 loopholes added up to $1.3T.

        There are plenty of loopholes to meet the framework.
        -tax simplication
        -lower marginal rates
        -maintain progessivity

        The entire reason for the plan is to promote economic growth. The deduction details don’t impact economic growth and are driven more by political priorities. The Romney position is to let congress work out the details on a bipartisan basis as long as it meets the framework.

        • Don_B1

          And how many of them don’t affect the middle class (or those in the $100,000 to $200,000 income range) more than the tax rate reductions do?

          What the Tax Policy Center (a well-respected by all sides independent body) analyzed what was known about the Romney proposals and made assumptions as favorable to Romney as they could and showed that if taxes paid by people under $250,000 were not to be increased and Defense spending went up, without totally eviscerating the social safety net, then Romney’s claims were impossible to satisfy.

          MArtin Feldstein tried to defend Romney, but the assumptions he buried in his analysis lead to those with incomes between $100,000 and $200,000 would end up paying some $2,000 or more in taxes.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             You are misstating Feldsteins analysis.  WSJ had a good piece on this when they condemned an Obama ad using their name to spread their false claims.  I linked it on the top of this board.

    • John_in_Amherst

       right.  I’ve really noticed FOX’s pro-Obama stance lately

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        You too? Incredible isn’t it?

        • Don_B1

          Everybody notice the results in the latest Fox News poll on the presidential election? And the wimp response by O’Reilly to deflect its meaning?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Keep linking to the Washington Examiner. Yeah, that’ll convince people.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Much better than the NYTs.

        Did you even read it?  It is a recounting from a Pittsburgh newspaper story.  Are they biased too?

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          “Better than the NYT”.

          Keep being polite; it’s a great cover for your ignorance of journalism.

          “Recounting from a Pittsburgh paper, are they biased too?.” Depends on which Pittsburgh paper. One of them is a pile of crap.

          And if something interests me, I’ll try to find it without giving the WashEx the clicks.

        • NancyFourCorners

          Rightie bluster about nothing.

          Those covering the WH for decades say that reporters have ALWAYS coordinated their questions so they don’t all end up with the same question in hand.

        • Don_B1

          I would need to read more from that Pittsburgh newspaper to make that judgment. Most newspapers run stories that have opinion from the full range of the spectrum.

          The Washington Examiner’s range of stories is slanted more than a little to the right.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    I guess most people will be talking about crazy people who kill Americans overseas or crazy politicians that would probably like to kill ½ of the people in this country but I prefer to work towards building a better world by sharing ideas like this 200 mile per gallon automobile that you can print with a 3D printer. Now that’s news I can use !

    http://www.tecca.com/news/2010/11/02/introducing-urbee-the-worlds-first-3d-printed-car/

     
    If that wasn’t enough maybe you will enjoy :

    http://www.tecca.com/guides/3d-printing/

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      There is a new Tedtalk this week, by Susan Solomon, that will explain some good concepts about stem cells and drug development, and personalized medicine at :

       
      http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_solomon_the_promise_of_research_with_stem_cells.html

      • Mouse_2012

        Cool thanks, TED how has centers people can go to and watch and discuss the speaker all over the country now. My bro went last year and i’m going to go the next time when such pops up.  

  • Doug Welch

    “The Smirk” may be the watershed event of this year’s election.  It was very unsettling to see that kind of response to such a serious event.

    • JGC

      I had no idea what “The Smirk” was until I just googled it and saw the Dharapak photo of Romney after his Tuesday evening press conference.  Wow.  What a window into Romney’s Heart of Darkness.  This was probably similar to the satisfied look he had after he assaulted that long-haired kid at Cranbrook Academy by forcible haircut.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      You have to see this (courtesy of someone on Twitter named Mike Ellis):

      https://twitter.com/MikeNellis/status/245944338348126209/photo/1/large

  • zachlea

    The US Government should prosecute the authors of the video that sparked the violence against the US and thereby test in US courts whether or not it is protected speech.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Are you saying that if you say something I don’t like and I create a riot and crimes because I am angry at you that the government should prosecute YOU ? Dear person, get thee to a doctor quickly, for thou hast an evil drug or spirit flowing through you : )

    • J__o__h__n

      It is protected speech.

    • JGC

      Nakoula Basseley Nakoula apparently has a federal conviction on a check-kiting scheme, was ordered to pay restitution of near $800K and ,importantly, was not permitted to use a computer or the Internet without the knowledge of his parole officer for 5 years.  This guy voided his parole conditions, and should be tossed back in jail; and if people in the mideast want to think he is being punished for his reprehensible video attack on their religion (instead of for the original financial fraud violation), let them. Then we can all be satisfied justice was done.

      By the way, this guy, when his identity was smoked out, tried initially to pass himself off as a Jewish Israeli, as if they don’t have enough problems with their mideast neighbors, Nakoula had to pin this falsehood on them. As for myself, I am sick of financial fraud and “legal” financial transactions that smell like fraud. Internet bank fraud, Medicare fraud, MERS mortgage fraud, foreign bank accounts set up to wash money free of U.S. tax obligations, billionaires funneling their millions of disposable income into superpacs…

    • Don_B1

      It is often difficult to stomach the vile thoughts that some people will express, but our founding fathers came to the conclusion that such thoughts expired quicker when exposed to the light of day than when buried under some patina of “polite society,” “civil discourse” or the like. That said, those thoughts do seem to have long lives through passage from parents to children. But it could be even worse if the government jailed people, making them martyrs.

      The action of society in banishing such publicly spoken thoughts can act both to suppress and bury the thoughts unless it is accompanied by a widespread public debate over why that is false or injurious to the public. The problem in today’s society with its hard partisan divisions is that such public debate is hard to even have not to mention having it in a way that does not descend to talking points and bumper sticker slogans.

  • Ed75

    I don’t see how any Catholic can vote for President Obama. The Church teaches us that if a candidate advocates any of the five things below, we can’t vote for him or her (unless the other candidate is worse on these five things). And President Obama is for four of them, and hasn’t had a chance to be for the fifth:

    - abortion
    - embryonic stem cell research
    - same sex marriage
    - restriction of religious liberty
    - euthanasia

    Support of any of these shows a grave misunderstanding of the human person.

    • Mouse_2012

      Woot go obama,

      Maybe he can take on child abusing priest, lord knows the Catholic Church wouldn’t

    • Mouse_2012

      - abortion-Conservative only care about the baby til it’s born than it’s demonetization time of the single mother, etc.
      - embryonic stem cell research-Hell Yea, tons of  potential to better the world  
      - same sex marriage-who cares if two dudes or chicks get married? According to the U.S. divorce rate a large majoritiy of Americans seem not to - restriction of religious liberty- proof?All I seen was communities trying to stop mosque from being built in american because the people are muslims. - euthanasia- You mean allowing Seniors with uncurable diseases to decided when and how to end there life? How unchritisan we should let them suffer and than die.

    • J__o__h__n

      Fortunately many Catholics think for themselves and the Church can’t excommunicate all of them or their numbers would plummet. 

      • Don_B1

        Actually, that seems to have been a leading “value” of Pope Benedict’s initial actions to enforce the more restrictive tenets of the Church even if it meant a smaller Church (except in regions like Africa, where the Church is experiencing its greatest growth in a race with Islam for converts).

    • Acnestes

      Death penalty?  You OK with that?

    • keltcrusader

      1) Obama isn’t Catholic.
      2) I thought god gave us Free Will to make decisions for ourselves?
      3) Gee, I don’t remember reading that jesus said anything about any of this stuff?
      4) Do you really think the Catholic Church would throw out ALL the people who don’t agree with their misogynistic and thought-controlling rules? There wouldn’t be anybody left except the angry old men in funny hats & skirts.

      • Don_B1

        You are so right, but (see my post above) the Church under Benedict has expressed a willingness to be smaller and more “righteous” Church in the West, particularly if it helps its growth in developing countries.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          “Grow in the developing countries”.

          Eww. I have no skin in the game personally, but I think the last thing these developing countries (especially their females) need is the Catholic Church getting all high and mighty about family planning.

          • keltcrusader

            Agreed TF!!

    • MrNutso

      So essential, the Church is politicing against a specific candidate.  I guess they’re okay with losing all tax exempt benefits.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      As a lefty, I’m sure the left will settle for only the votes of Catholics who use real birth control and have had abortions.

      Deal?

    • sickofthechit

       “Is the Pope making the world safer for pedophiles?”,

      that is South Parks updated version of “Does a Bear #%$^ in the woods?” 

      I was raised catholic, 12 years catholic schools, I will be eternally grateful for the education I rcvd, but I am more grateful none of the priests ever got hold of me.  The Catholic church has no moral standing in my book anymore.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Any comments on the Fed’s action to buy mortgage backed securities and thereby force housing prices up for the overworked and underpaid ? Did you notice the spike in gold prices recently ? If the governments of the world really wanted to fix the worlds economic problems, long term, they need to bring down the population growth rate, and lessen the standard number of hours worked per day, increase labors’ economic power, pay for the care of the elderly, make companies pay cash dividends, invest heavily in all forms of computing and distribute that technology to the masses ! Androids, hyper-computing, personal robotics, more distributed computing ( that you could get paid for doing), create large cash prizes for inventors that produce, etc.. Sure, there will be a short term spike in the economy from the Feds’ move but this move will only create problems for the future. What kind of goofball wants to pay more for a place to live ? Rich people love to pay you with your own money (wealth) , how dumb can we be to let them ?
    You want EQUITY people. Equity is freedom. Example: Warren Buffet.

    • Mouse_2012

      It’s also once again a giveaway to the Big Banks because the Fed’s are buying assets that really aren’t worth the value the Fed is buying it for. 

      laissez faire free market I guess. 

      • Don_B1

        The Fed is going to buy mortgages from Fanny and Freddie, not the big investment banks which own the most toxic mortgages; that said, there were some toxic mortgages bought by the GSEs after 2005 in their effort to maintain market share against the big banks which were gobbling up mortgages willy-nilly; I just don’t know what has happened to them already (how much they have been written down in the government take-over)  nor do I know what steps the Fed might take to assure itself of no or low toxicity in what it does buy.

  • JONBOSTON

    This program is beginning to lose all credibility and objectivity. Ben Smith is nothing more than a hyper-partisan liberal hack who will lambast Romney. Whatever happened to a pretense of objectivity and balance in your selection of weekly guests. If American mainstream journalists had any standards they would be questioning Obama about his Mideast policy and whether it’s working, his distance from Israel , and his inability to identify our Mideast allies. Does he still regard Israel as an ally? They would question Obama as to why he can meet with David Letterman but not Prime Minister Netanyahu over something as “insignificant” as our policy towards Iran. 

    But no –the issue is Romney’s statement on Egypt that was in my opinion correct in substance. However the real issue is the pack liberal journalist bias with NPR’s Ari Shapiro one of the leaders , going back to his days as NPR’s DOJ correspondent and his daily railing against GWB for his counter-terrorism program. I can still recall his reports where I wondered if he got his talking points from the ACLU. Does anyone doubt where Shapiro’s sympathies lie in this election? But I doubt Tom Ashbrook that you will note that Shapiro was caught on a live mic coordinating with the CBS reporter their questioning of Romney. And Shapiro’s refusal to stand for the pledge of allegiance at Romney gatherings. But no–the questions posed by these pseudo journalists became the narrative. Just awful .

    • StilllHere

      Yes, should be a real Obama lovefest. Crazy Jack, Tom the slanted moderator, and Ben the Hack; time to check what Diane is up to.

      • J__o__h__n

        If you aren’t even going to listen to the show, why are you blessing us with your wisdom?

        • jefe68

          It’s how these rubes roll.

    • Mouse_2012

      F Israel, 

      Obama’s right not to let Nutty Yahoo tell him that he has to commit to attacking Iran because Israel can’t successfully do so themselves. America first and thank god he when on letterman instead. Bibi has interfered with U.S. politics and backed Romney so why in the world would Obama give him a Opp to lie(because he is a pathological liar)

      Your views are even more distorted than your cry about onpoint being distorted.

    • jefe68

      Don’t listen then. So I guess they should have Bill O’Reilly to placate people of your ilk.

      • JONBOSTON

        I listen because,unlike you, I prefer to hear/read opinions I don’t necessarily agree with.  It’s called having an open mind.

        • jefe68

          How do you know what I listen too?
          Obviously I’ve listened to Bill O’Reilly as I have an opinion of him. 

          You have an open mind? Could have fooled me. “Ben Smith is nothing more than a hyper-partisan liberal hack.” Interesting statement coming from one claiming of having an open mind.

        • Steve__T

           Your statements here Don’t support your last sentence.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      “Hyper partisan liberal hack” (sic) and Politico, in the same sentence?

      Hahaha.

    • John_in_Amherst

       FOX’s “fair and balanced” approach seems to be counter facts and truth with distortions and lies.  You want more of that? 

      The Israeli Right Coalition, which dominates their foreign policy, has several positions which are antithetical to US foreign interests and policies, and some spin out of the notion that God is a real estate broker who gave Jews first dibs on “the promised land”, which a vast majority of the world’s population (non Jewish) finds reason to take exception to.  We are Israel’s foremost ally.  We are not their mute and mindless servants.

      As for a reporter not participating in chest-thumping exercises designed to stoke nationalist fervor at Romney campaign events, it sounds like he is exercising his freedom of expression.  Come on!  Mitt is sooo for freedom of speech that he puts it above wisely moderating our tone when engaging the rest of the world.

    • Don_B1

      Your comment indicates that you are not capable of making a judgment about the “objectivity” of Ben Smith or almost anyone else.

      Mr. Smith is new to me and his post on BuzzFeed that I read, while not the best organized seemed to cover the bases from both ends of the spectrum. It was not big on analysis as some of the comments could have been given more context.

      I will wait and listen and then try to make a more objective judgment.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Question: Some time ago the US government gave amnesty to big money tax cheaters that had some of their money overseas. When they made this deal did the government promise not to disclose their names ? Might Romney be on this list ? Could this be why Larry Flint is offering a million dollars for Romney’s tax records ? Just asking, because I honestly don’t know. I mean I am talking about a guy that has a 100 million in his IRA, right ? Tom and distinguished panel; will you please check into this ?

    • JGC

      A million doesn’t buy what it used to!  Maybe we could go on kickstarter and try to crowdsource a reward for information on the Romney taxes. I’d toss in 10 bucks. 

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        Dido !

      • Mouse_2012

        NPR can even pronounce it every hour like they did with Amanda. 

    • William

       I wonder if the guy Clinton gave a pardon too, Marc Rich, was on that list?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Talk about the whiff of desperation. That frayed thread you’re stringing can’t bear the weight you’ve placed on it.

        • William

           History is always there for review and applied to current events.

    • hennorama

      While I won’t speculate about Mr. Romney in connection with the IRS Voluntary Disclosure program, I want to point out that not everyone involved in this program was a “big money tax cheater.”

      UBS and other Swiss banks’ disclosures both recently and in 1997 included some accounts that had been dormant since the eve of WWII, and some of the people involved had absolutely no idea that they had money in overseas accounts.

      In addition, many US taxpayers were/are ignorant of the requirement to disclose certain foreign assets and entities, so there were a considerable number of “innocent” parties with relatively small accounts who took part in the amnesty program.

  • StilllHere

    Here’s what should be the topics of today:

    Obama administrations apologies and back peddling, is that leadership?

    Is the Obama over-the-top rhetoric celebrating Osama’s death inspiring violence resulting in Americans’ deaths?

    But given the makeup of this panel and the moderator’s bias, I imagine we’ll get 30 minutes on the timing of Romney’s comments (leaving out the embassy’s.)  Same old, same old Off Point.

    • J__o__h__n

      I haven’t heard the murderers mention bin Laden.  They are saying it is in response to the video. 

      • Gregg Smith

        They were chanting “Obama we’re all Osama” in Tunisia last May. This is the first anniversary of 9/11 under the new leaderships. It had nothing to do with the movie.

        • J__o__h__n

          That was months ago in another country.

        • Steve__T

           Uninformed and wrong as usual.

    • MrNutso

      What apologies?

      • Don_B1

        You won’t get any responses from StillHere because there are NONE. Certainly no formal ones and the words have to be really twisted to get any kind of apology out of the informal comments that some allude to.

        But George W. Bush apologized to China for the airplane incursion, to Jordan for Abu Ghraib and to the Japanese for the internment camps set up for American citizens of Japanese descent in WWII.

        Who has a problem with any of them? Do you really mean that America is a perfect nation? It is an exceptional nation but that does not make it perfect and when it does make an error, it can’t apologize? Or does it mean that ONLY Republicans can apologize?

    • jimino

      This is a news show, not work of fiction, so those probably won’t be seriously discussed.

      • Shag_Wevera

        Hahaha!!

    • jefe68

      Same old right wing bull crap and lies.
      Do you really think that any president can stop actions such as what happened in Lybia? 
      Wad President Reagan able to stop the bombing of the Marine base in Lebanon in the 80′s?

      Was GW Bush able to stop 9/11 even though his administration had prior knowledge that an attack was a serious threat?

      You are one piece of work.

      • William

         You have a good point. Clinton was unable to pull the trigger on Osama when he had the chance because he thought there would be too many civilians killed. Looking back now it seems to be a critical mistake on Clinton’s part, but that was his decision.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          I somehow don’t trust your version of events and contextualization and prioritization thereof.

          I remember a missile strike being ordered by Clinton which hit a place where OBL had been, which missed OBL by a matter of a couple of hours. After that, our mainstream media spent a month talking about Clinton “wagging the dog”, trying to invent a foreign crisis to distract citizens from the Hunting of the President.

          • Don_B1

            They were separate, but I think both events happened (or rather, one didn’t and the other did).

          • William

             The CIA had hired a group inside Afghanistan and they located him. The CIA asked for permission to attack but Clinton said there was too much risk of civilians getting killed and called off the attack.

  • Mouse_2012

    Folks, the Libyan TNC has been doing what happen to the Ambassador to Africans in Libya, Former Gaddafi supporters, people who protest the new TNC government, reporters, journalist. The Libyan TNC still tortures dissenter even with the U.N. presense around and the U.S. is well aware of this. Hillarly Clinton lies, Obama lies, U.S. government officals lie, if anyone’s doubtful of this just look at what Wikileaks brought to light.

    Your not going to get the full story about what happen in Libya by the U.S. press because the U.S. press is mostly subservient to Government. It was even claimed on NPR that the attack was a accident, the earlier comments by Libyan officials are now omitted about the attackers being part of the TNC and because of such affected the response time of the security forces. 

    For both Political reasons Geo-Politics the U.S. can’t admit the people were part of the TNC government they helped saved. Now we have similar cases of religious extremism in Syria yet the U.S. government will minimize and omit and claim there very little if no none at all(like it did with Libya) . A sucide attack is not even call that by both the U.S. Press and U.S. government when committed by a U.S. allies. Both sides are given and the government sided weighted(we even send over top Police officials) when Bahrain does the same thing our officials go on TV to Condemn in Syria. Gaddafi being the bastard he was was anally raped before he died, Mrs. Clinton didn’t condemn such act. There’s also question if the same fate happen to the Ambassador but so far it’s all coming from right-wing hate sites so I would take it with a grain of salt.

  • Mouse_2012

    For those who are unaware of this, a few months again with the help of AIPAC congress changed the Redline for attacking Iran from Iran developing Nuclear weapons to Iran having the capacity to develop Nuclear weapons sometime in the future. According to the use of “Capacity” Congress with the help of AIPAC used means that Iran is alreadly passed the Redline that Congress wanted with the help of AIPAC.  

    The Rightwing PM Netanyahu counter to his own Intelligence and the U.S. Intelligence verbally attacked the U.S. on 9/11 2012 and than wanted to meet with President Obama to discuss the New Redline he thinks Obama should now commit to, which would have alreadly been violated according to Congress and Netanyahu which means the Obama WH would be forced to attack Iran. Netanyahu knows that Israel can’t take on Iran and not suffer a fall out so the intended goal is to instead spend U.S. blood and treasure, it takes the worlds eye off the brutal occupation of the West Bank, and Likud Charter that denies the Palestinian right to exist west of the Jordan River as a state and the Belief of “Greater Israel”. Sadly Netanyahu tactics and his blind supporters in the U.S. are going to either have Israel cleansing millions or be forced into a 1 state solution.

    Attacking Iran would allow the Netanyahu government to enact new powers that could be used to cleanse the west bank of it’s Palestinian demographic issue in the name of “Self Defense” and with the U.S. in a new war and the veto power little could be done about it. 

  • Gregg Smith

    We had intelligence 48 hours in advance our embassies would be targeted. But it was 9/11, duh! Obama hasn’t attended a military briefing since Sept. 5. 

    The media colludes to reset the narrative to Romney’s statement which was appropriate and some stupid movie that is irellevant.

    • MrNutso

      How do you know? Do you have the schedule of all military briefings?

    • jefe68

      Romney’s statement was not appropriate and showed a real lack of character.

      How do you know what President Obama’s day to day schedule is? I’m really sick and tired by the lies you tell day in and day out.

      • Gregg Smith

        Obama’s schedule is public record. I never lie. Jerk.

        • jefe68

          For the life of me I can’t remember any president posting all the meetings they have let alone national security ones.
          Even if they did there is no way for you to know his every move or meeting on a day to day basis.
          I guess I hit a nerve. You would not know the truth if it hit you in the eye.
          You post all sorts of bull crap all the time that is constantly proven to be false. You do post a lot of outright lies and misinformation. The truth hurts I guess, and it’s really nice to see the real you.
          The playground bully.
          You openly admit to being a fan of Rush Limbaugh who is nothing short of a vile propagandist.

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t lie, ever. Rush is a harmless lovable fuzzball.

    • Prairie_W

       Gregg:  You know so much that even “high government officials” are unaware of that I hope very much you will be appointed to a national security position in either Libya or Egypt — wherever your talents would be most appropriately rewarded.  You can still post comments from there for as long as, well, as long as you’re there…

      • jefe68

        Well if Romney’s recent foreign policy gaffs are anything to go on Gregg’s level of knowledge in this are might be an improvement.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Nice to know when the spit hits the fan that you’ll be partisan first, country second. Classy!

    • John_in_Amherst

       So lies and distortions are an appropriate response?

    • Don_B1

      You did not see the report of why Obama’s trip on Wednesday was delayed until he could talk with his military and political advisors?

      And in today’s electronic video/voice communications it is not necessary to be physically in the same room, although people do like that way of communication.

  • Shag_Wevera

    DUDE!  That’s my truck!!!

  • Shag_Wevera

    In this age of instant and easy communication, maybe we shouldn’t bother having brick and mortar embassies in nations prone to scaling their walls and firing RPG’s at them.  Probably save a lot of money by NOT having these facilities anyway.

    • hennorama

      The US maintains a physical diplomatic presence virtually worldwide, with the exception of the four countries that we do not have formal diplomatic relations with: Bhutan, Cuba, Iran, and North Korea.

      There are also about 50 Virtual Presence Posts (VPPs) at this time, including the Virtual Embassy Tehran.

      While I understand your sentiment, not everyone in the world has access to “instant and easy communication.”  In addition, withdrawing our physical presence may demonstrate an unintended message, and could be viewed as “surrender” to those who disagree with the US.

  • NewtonWhale

    As we learned of the death of 4 Americans in Libya I could not believe Romney’s statement at 10:24 PM on 9/11:

    “I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.” 

    This was a bald lie: The Administration’s first response to the attack WAS to condemn it. Nor was there ever any sympathy expressed for those who attacked the Embassy.

    “In fact, neither a statement by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo earlier in the day nor a later statement from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton offered sympathy for attackers. The statement from the Cairo Embassy had condemned anti-Muslim religious incitement before the embassy walls were breached. In her statement, issued minutes before Romney’s, Clinton had offered the administration’s first response to the violence in Libya, explicitly condemning the attack there and confirming the death of a State Department official.” 

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_EMBASSY_ATTACKS_FACT_CHECK?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-09-12-19-31-31&utm_source=buffer&buffer_share=05d64 

    Moreover, Romney had poured gasoline on a burning fire, and placed those in the Embassy at greater risk.

    So, on Wednesday morning, as the chronology became widely known, I watched as Romney called a press conference, confident that he would walk back his statements in an effort to correct his mistake and to ease the pressure on our diplomats who were literally under the gun at that very moment. 

    Instead, I was horrified to watch him double down on his lies:

    “I also believe the administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt instead of condemning their actions…the statement that came from the administration, and the embassy is the administration, the statement that came from the administration was a statement which was akin to apology.”   

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2012/09/mitt-romney-i-believe-administration-was-wrong/56778/ 

    This was also a lie, as judged by Fact Checker:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/the-romney-campaigns-repeated-errors-on-the-cairo-embassy-statement/2012/09/13/978a6be6-fdf0-11e1-b153-218509a954e1_blog.html 

    For once I have to agree with Mark Halperin:

    “Unless the Romney campaign has gamed this crisis out in some manner completely invisible to the Gang of 500, his doubling down on criticism of the President for the statement coming out of Cairo is likely to be seen as one of the most craven and ill-advised tactical moves in this entire campaign.”

    http://thepage.time.com/2012/09/12/romney-and-foreign-policy/#ixzz26GomZbVk

    After all the lies, after putting American lives at risk for naked political gain, only a sociopath would smile and smirk at a time like this:

    • MrNutso

      Confirmed by Romney policy director Lanhee Chen in the original NYT article that essentially, the Romney campaign  saw this thing happen; it fit our campaign narrative; so we pounced.  The NYT article was changed, because Chen did not want to be on the record about it.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/top-romney-adviser-apology-statement-fit-our-narrative-so-we-ran-with-it/2012/09/13/9e11293c-fdb9-11e1-b153-218509a954e1_blog.html 

    • Acnestes

      Even more outrageous, Willard is now trying to spin it that the administration agrees with him because it distanced itself from the embassy’s original statement.

    • William

       Mrs Clinton said in 2003 is was appropriate to be critical of government during times of crisis.

      • John_in_Amherst

         I don’t think Clinton meant the push-back should be based in lies and distortions…

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Lies and distortions?

          Hilllary and another WH official disavowed the same statement that Romney criticized and ordered it taken down.

          Sounds like they are in agreement.
           

          • John_in_Amherst

             Romney’s criticism involved a lack of facts and a willingness to vie for political gain without regard to our country’s best interests.  Clinton was more concerned w/ the clumsy nature of the statement.

          • Don_B1

            My understanding is that Sec. Clinton ordered it taken down after the attacks because it no longer applied to the situation in full.

            Her statement condemning the violence did not contradict anything in the statement, but it went further in certain aspects. I assume that her speech will be posted, most likely as a video, where the statement was removed.

  • JGC

    I was surprised to hear during a report about Neil Armstrong’s memorial service, that, as a Navy veteran, he will be buried at sea. I wonder if during his trips into space, he was able to look down on our big blue world in all that infinite blackness, and knew that should be his final resting place.

    • sickofthechit

       I can’t believe his body wasn’t cremated and launched into space….

  • NewtonWhale

    Buyer’s Remorse strikes the GOP:

    As consumers, we know our rights, one of the most important of which is the right to return and exchange. Whether you’re buying a new flat-screen TV from Best Buy, the new iPhone from Apple, or Daniel Silva’s latest spy thriller from Amazon, if you’re not happy with your purchase you can always take it back and exchange it.More and more Republicans today are wishing the same policy applied to political candidates. Both publicly and privately they admit they’d like to trade Mitt Romney in for somebody who could win.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/columnists/sns-201209131330–tms–bpresstt–m-a20120913-20120913,0,7538984.column 

    A Republican appointed to the Electoral College, Melinda Wadsley was expected to cast her vote for Mitt Romney if he won the state of Iowa in the presidential election.Wadsley decided Thursday she couldn’t in good conscience vote for Romney – she had backed Ron Paul during the GOP primary – and resigned to allow the Iowa GOP to choose someone else for that duty.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/14/melinda-wadsley-iowa-gop-ron-paul_n_1883451.html Mitt Romney Is Not Fit to Be Commander in ChiefIMany of us were shocked, including a lot of Republicans, when Mitt Romney did not reference the troops nor Afghanistan in his speech at the Republican National Convention. And now with the attacks in Libya and Egypt, and the death of an American ambassador, rather than work toward a solution to this problem, former Governor Romney chooses to politicize the death of an American ambassador. f Mitt Romney continues to ignore discussing our military, the war in Afghanistan, and national security issues, and attacks the current administration, using an ambassador’s death for his own political gain and to further divide our nation, is he truly fit to be commander in chief? http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/leslie-marshall/2012/09/13/mitt-romney-is-not-fit-to-be-commander-in-chief There is something disgraceful happening here, but it doesn’t involve a comment by an obscure embassy spokesman. It is Romney’s cynical, dishonest effort to take advantage of this national tragedy for his own political ends. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ruth-marcus-romney-owes-an-apology/2012/09/13/893b5eac-fdd1-11e1-8adc-499661afe377_story.html

    • Prairie_W

       Ab-so-lute-ly do not miss Amy Davidson’s piece in the New Yorker today.  Best exegesis of Romney I’ve seen anywhere.

      http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/closeread/2012/09/treating-benghazi-like-bain.html

    • J__o__h__n

      It isn’t even buyer’s remorse.  They didn’t want him but their nutty base has taken over the party.  The candidates favored by them divided the vote.  Mitt and his money survived one flawed challenger after another. 

      • keltcrusader

        There seriously something wrong that folks can “pinch their nose” and vote for somebody they can’t stand because of a hatred for another that is based solely on twisted lies they have been fed. Haven’t they ever heard of standing strong for their principles?

      • Don_B1

        Tom Friedman: Mitt and the Tea/Republicans are each “renting” the other.

        But read the link in my post above and it might be more than that when Romney’s other “secret” lust for American imperialism gets out.

    • JGC

      Buyer’s remorse…I have to think there is no one more remorseful than Paul Ryan, for buying into the Romney campaign.  

  • NewtonWhale

    Mr. Warmth:

    David Wilson and Julie Goodridge, two of the plaintiffs whose case led to the legalization of marriage equality in Massachusetts, described meeting with Romney to discuss their experiences.

    According to Wilson, “it was like talking to a robot. No expression, no feeling.” At one point, Romney remarked, “I didn’t know you had families.” Goodridge recalls her final exchange with the governor, which proved to her that he had “no capacity for empathy”:

    GOODRIDGE: Governor Romney, tell me — what would you suggest I say to my 8 year-old daughter about why her mommy and her ma can’t get married because you, the governor of her state, are going to  block our marriage?

    ROMNEY: I don’t really care what you tell your adopted daughter. Why don’t you just tell her the same thing you’ve been telling her the last eight years.

    Romney’s retort enraged a speechless Goodridge; he didn’t care, and by referring to her biological daughter as “adopted,” it was clear he hadn’t even been listening. By the time she was back in the hallway, she was reduced to tears.

    “I really kind of lost it,” says Goodridge. “I’ve never stood before someone who had no capacity for empathy. It went behind flat affect. It was a complete lack of ability or motivation to understand other people.”

    While Goodridge cried, Romney brought the press into his office to give his take on the meeting.

    He described it as, “Pleasant.”

    http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/blogs/bostonspirit/2012/09/romney_a_wimp_not_so_much_acco.html

  • StilllHere

    Another more worthwhile topic:  CPI and Fed balance sheet rising, does inflation solve our debt problem while making everyone worse off?

    Unfortunately no one on this panel is qualified to discuss, so please let’s stick with the misinformation and DNC talking points. The sheep here will love it!

  • JGC

    “Dragnet of Alien Voters Produces Lone Canadian”

    That was the headline to a Paul Koring report in The Globe and Mail a few days ago:

    “For months, Florida Republicans have been trying to clamp down on illegal aliens improperly included on voting lists…But after months of searching, only one alien claiming to be a citizen has been caught, charged and convicted in Florida.  He is a Canadian who registered and voted in at least two presidential elections while masquerading as a citizen so he could also buy and bear arms, that other right cherished by many Americans…Josef Sever -who is white, of Austrian ancestry and became a Canadian citizen in 1979- hardly fit the profile of Democrat-leaning Hispanic alien.”  In addition to illegally voting, he also purchased four firearms and and obtained a “concealed carry” permit. He faces a 5-year maximum sentence on the firearm infractions and 1-year on the voting felonies…

    • MrNutso

      I wonder whom he voted for?

  • John_in_Amherst

    In the controversy over the Islamic riots and the slaying of our ambassador by right-wing Muslim extremists, there has been a lot of banter about “free speech”.   Free speech does not equal freedom of speech.  Freedom of speech is not
    free – it must be fought for and guarded vigilantly, and comes with the
    additional price tag of responsibility.  Speaking irresponsibly, let alone trumpeting it internationally on social media, invites irresponsible reaction, as has been seen this week.  Freedom of speech also means that some people in other countries will be speaking truth as they see it and it won’t match our ideas of the truth.
     
    I have tried to think of an analogous situation where in a group of shady politically oriented Muslims have made an incendiary film claiming that Christ was a pedophile homosexual, or the Virgin Mary was a whore, or – you name it, any perverse depiction of Christianity’s sacred figures.  I can’t recall a single one. And I can only begin to guess how the Christian Right throughout the Christian world would react to such an exercise of “freedom of speech”. 

    Both Christ and Mohamed commanded their followers to treat strangers with respect and charity.  How are we doing on that? 

    It is true that moderate Muslims should loudly denounce the reactions of the small minority of extremists who resort to violent protest.  It is also the responsibility of moderate Christians to vigorously denounce the amateurish instigation of those who blaspheme Mohamed on Youtube.  The vast majority of both Christians and Muslims do not agree with the extremists of either religion, yet we continue to allow their actions to stand without forcibly pushing back against the hate that both inspires and flows out of them.
     
    If we – the people of the world -cannot learn to respect the different forms in which various cultures satisfy their needs for a connection to the spiritual, we will all live in Hell.

  • Joseph_Wisconsin

    Looking forward to listening to today’s broadcast.  I appreciate NPR including a representative from Al Jazeera to I hope provide a point of view that is not US centric.  

  • Loay Abdelkarim

    Do not conflate the Libya and Egyptian protests. The film
    was part of a domestic Egyptian vendetta between the 15% of the population that
    is Coptic and the 85% who are Sunni. The Copts have a image among the majority Egyptians
    of being unpatriotic and opportunist having collaborated with outsiders such as
    the British during the era of Empire. That era only ended with the Free
    Officers Revolute in 1952. Copts are usually much better educated and have
    found it easier to immigrate to the West as opposed to the less educated Sunnis
    the majority of whose migration is mainly as labor to the Gulf States.

    The worst outcome for Morisi the current Egyptian  president 
    is the one which I suspect the US based Coptic  originators of the trailer are trying to
    instigate, is a resurgence of communal violence which would quickly spiral out
    of control.

    The US is a convenient distraction. This does not relieve the
    US of responsibility for its role in keeping first Sadat and then Mubarak in
    power for so long despite their deep unpopularity.

    Libya is a different case Benghazi historically the center of
    resistance to colonial  ambition and home
    town of Omer ElMuktar the lion of the desert.

    In essence the so called trailer has probably not been seen
    by the majority of the populations of the various countries but it does play to
    local political consideration.

     

     

    • Don_B1

      Just as many in the “Religious Right” of the U.S. believe outrageously false “conspiracy theories” such as the one Frank Gaffney and General (Ret.) William Boykin are promoting about how Sec. Clinton, through her aide, Huma Abedin [the wife of ex.-Rep. Anthony Weiner], was secretly funding the Muslim Brotherhood, resulting in the election of President Morsi, in furtherance of an Obama “plot” to impose Islamic Sharia law in the U.S.

      This was one of the presentations at this past week’s Values Voters Summit held by the Family Research Council, under Tony Perkins, where Rep. Paul Ryan also spoke. [How desperate is the R/R team?] When Egyptians see these conspiracy theories promoted by past members of the U.S. Government, they have an undeserved credibility and they are easily convinced they are true. That unfounded belief gives them the motivation to throw rocks at Sec. Clinton’s motorcade in Cairo a couple months ago.

      If Democrats even hinted at creating conspiracy theories as vile, they would be called traitors or worse by Republicans.

      I understand that it might be Derna where the armed group that attacked the American Consulate in Benghazi. That was the place where more young Arab men came from that joined “al Qaida in Mesopotamia” during the chaotic aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The returned fighters from Iraq and various Gaddafi operations form a ready source of trained terrorists for any number of actions/incidents.

  • margbi

    I always thought politics stopped at the water’s edge. Looks like we’re in a new place, sad to say. 

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Didn’t stop Obama in 2008 when he used the death of 9 service members to attack McCain and Bush on the day of their deaths.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    What I find really sad is that some protestors haven’t even seen the video to be offended by it. They are protesting simply because they heard the video existed.

    • J__o__h__n

      That is typical of most protests.  Especially religious ones.

      • notafeminista

        No.  You should have stopped with the first sentence.  Mob mentality doesn’t (and rarely relies on) religion as a factor.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Who to believe, you or every Christianist inveighing against “Godless (fill in the blank) threatening our American values”?

          Tough choice.

    • Don_B1

      Remember “our” Religious Right has no scruples denouncing some book, play or movie on the basis of condemnations by the Family Research Council and other much more marginal groups.

      Romney condemned the anti-Islam film/trailer without seeing it and does not plan to see it. It is what humans do, what gets believed is decided by their belief system.

      It takes a lot of education for people to learn to question everything that appeals to their current beliefs. It is not easy.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    It isn’t “an American made” film, it is a film made in America. There IS a difference!

    • J__o__h__n

      You typed faster. 

  • J__o__h__n

    It isn’t an “American made film” it is a film made in America but not by an American.

    • Acnestes

      Keep in mind, in most of the world there isn’t unfettered freedom of speech and the idea of it isn’t absolutely ingrained like it is here.  Almost everything published in a lot of countries has to go through some kind of government screening or censorship and they assume the same happens here.  Therefore, if something comes out of America they assume it has the governments blessing.

      • J__o__h__n

        That’s why it is important to point it out when a journalist (who should know better) adds to that perception. 

      • Don_B1

        And when a conspiracy theory, like the one that Obama is secretly funding the Muslim Brotherhood, resulting in Morsi being elected President of Egypt, is conceived and promoted by ex government officials, in this case Frank Gaffney and Gen, (Ret.) William Boykin, why wouldn’t someone who has no idea of the irrational right believe that it is government-sponsored?

        When the Republican V.P. nominee Paul Ryan speaks at the Values Voter Summit, where all kinds of quack conspiracy theories are promoted as true, that has to make anyone without a lot of political knowledge, think they are “real.”

        What it really shows is how desperate the Republicans are to “solidify” their “base” that they have to go so low. If they need the votes of people who do not believe in democracy to get elected, what will they do when in office? Move to restrict voting rights and deny people who disagree from taking power away from them, so that the only recourse is armed revolution. And what kind of country will we have then?

  • Matt Wade

    here’s my rush limbaugh-esque theory: Mittens’ released the anti-islam video in cairo and benghazi to spur the riots to make obama look weak. He’s a traitor and should be exiled to a desert island.

    • Don_B1

      It is as good a conspiracy theory as the Frank Gaffney conspiracy for the Obama wished imposition of Islamic Sharia law here. Gaffney (and Ret. Gen Boykin) do have a head start, though, along with a great support group in the Family Research Council.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    When are people in Arab countries going to take responsibility for themselves?

    • Jasoturner

      When they toss the chains of religion off.  That is the fundamental problem, I am sorry to say.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Religion itself isn’t the problem.  It’s the idea that others who don’t accept my religion can’t be tolerated that is a danger.

        • J__o__h__n

          Most religions especially the monotheistic ones tend to fall into that.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Has anyone ever told you about Zeus?

          • J__o__h__n

            No, his followers don’t go around and annoy me with pamphlets or worse.  If I had to pick gods, I’d pick the Greek ones.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Depending on where you live, you may be able to find some people who worship the ancient gods–Greek, Egyptian, Norse, etc.  It’s called reconstructionism.

        • Jasoturner

          We’ll have to disagree on that point.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             There are plenty of religious people who would never attack an embassy over a movie.

          • Jasoturner

            That’s true.  But it does not make religion true, useful or beneficial in any way.  Parrots don’t attack embassies either.  Though they lack religion as far as I know.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Violence over a belief must be condemned.  But belief itself isn’t bad.

          • Jasoturner

            That depends.  Religious opposition to scientific study (think Galileo as a canonical example – slight pun intended) has delayed human understanding of nature, and the material improvements that result for all people in society.  And so, some degree of suffering may have been inadvertently extended.

            Furthermore, if there is no god, which all evidence points to (or would I be better off saying that no evidence suggests a god exist?), millions of people have squandered an opportunity to find a meaningful way to interact with the universe and the brief time we get to enjoy it, having abdicated their intellectual curiosity to so-called received wisdom.

            I am not claiming I am correct.  But there are plausible arguments as to why religious belief may not be desirable.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             There is no evidence for or against a god.  It’s a matter of faith.  I support using scientific reasoning in scientific questions, but religion is a different subject altogether.

          • Jasoturner

            Again we will have to disagree.  I have seen nothing to suggest that a god is necessary to describe the universe as we see it, and as we live in it.  I also do not subscribe to the belief that religion has cornered the market on some mysterious sliver of truth that cannot be accessed by anything other than “belief”.

            I recommend Carl Sagan’s marvelous “Varieties of Scientific Experience” as a wonderfully written exploration of these issues.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             I’m not a Christian, and I’ve been reading Carl Sagan for decades.  I also accept the scientific evidence on the question of evolution.  My point is that religion is a separate field of enquiry.  Scientific evidence is no more applicable to religion than it is to explaining a novel or a play.

          • J__o__h__n

            Dawkins offers good evidence that humans were not intelligently designed.  If there is a god, he is about as skillful as the makers of disqus.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             You’re raising a scientific question.  Now tell me what our origins and existence mean.  Those are religious, philosophical, or literary questions.

          • Don_B1

            The problem is that the religious doNOTagree with you.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    I suspect the film was used a pretext for a preplanned attack.

    They would have used another pretext without the film.

    It was the anniversary of 9/11. That can’t be a coincidence.

    • J__o__h__n

      I agree.  I think they posted it at that time with the translation to stir up the rabble.

      • Don_B1

        I understand that the film’s makers/promoters have admitted just that.

  • William

    Jack made some excellent points. Did the Administration drop the ball on security? 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    The President in October 2004 said:

    Sending “mixed messages” would make the effort in Iraq more
    difficult.

    “You can embolden an enemy by sending mixed messages.”

    Message from our right-wing media this week? It’s only emboldening the enemy when a Democrat does it.

    • William

       Senator Reid famous attack during the Iraq War. “This war is lost”. Is that a “mixed message too?”

      • sickofthechit

         The Iraq “War” was lost when we suffered our first casualty.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          And “nobody could have predicted” that outcome.

          Well, except for lefties like me, and others who had careers to lose. We got called “traitor” a decade ago for our troubles.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Should we apologize because a handful of people in this country made a film that criticizes a religion?  Absolutely not!  We can comment on the movie itself, but we must never apologize for our fundamental freedoms.

    • Acnestes

      We can apologize for the blatant stupidity of some of our citizens without apologizing for our values as a nation.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         There’s nothing to apologize for.  The movie wasn’t made by the nation as a whole.  It by itself is no actual harm.

        • Acnestes

          Tell that to the wives and kids of those killed and those yet to die because of it..

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             What do we as a nation have to apologize for?  The murders of our ambassador and his staff was an outrage.  The movie is just a movie.

          • Acnestes

             And the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was just a book.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             A bad, stupid book.  Yes.  What’s your point?

          • Acnestes

            A bad stupid book designed to stir up hate against the Jews, just like this is a bad, stupid move designed to stir up hate for Muslims. There are consequences when you deliberately stir up hate.

    • MrNutso

      So we shouldn’t apologize for, because some or our citizens, or in this case, people we let in to the country are dicks?

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         What’s there to apologize for?  The film itself is not a harm.  It wasn’t an “official” movie, whatever that might mean.

    • Don_B1

      Let’s get this straight: there was NO APOLOGY, NADA!

      The closest thing to an apology was Romney’s claim that we shouldn’t apologize as I am sure that many in the Middle East used that (false) charge to confirm that the U.S. Government was behind the makers of the vile insulting film.

      But Romney says “resolve in our power” will prevent such attacks by terrorists. Just look at the record:

      1) 1983 car suicide bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.

      2) 1983 two truck suicide bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut.

      3) 1985 abduction of William Francis Buckley C.I.A. station chief at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, tortured and killed.

      4) More attacks on U.S. facilities abroad than in any administration.

      All the result of “[lack of] resolve” by Presidents Reagan and G.W. Bush, I am sure. But if Romney says so it must be true.

      Get over the Romney lies!

  • Matt Wade

    Mittens, desperation is a stinky cologne. 

  • geraldfnord

    People unused to free speech and instead in a nation where the State makes and/or approves all movies and books have a hard time understanding that the offensive products of private individuals don’t reflect our government’s official policies.

    • Don_B1

      Exactly! It will take quite a bit of time (generations) before that acceptance is reduced.

      After all, a huge number of Americans believe that Aliens landed at Roswell, NM. Thousands more believe that Obama wants to import Islamic Sharia Law here.

      Who expects people that have not been allowed to think for themselves for generations, if ever, to instantly adopt/accept all the niceties of American free speech?

  • Steve__T

    America(ns) made the film??? NOT TRUE

    • Thinkin5

       This description of the film should NOT be used any more.  To most ears abroad it sounds like the govt. sanctioned it. If you called a film an “Iranian made film” most of America would think it was sanctioned by Iran’s govt.

      • Steve__T

        ” If you called a film an “Iranian made film” most of America would think it was sanctioned by Iran’s govt.”

        They would be correct, they don’t have our same freedoms, Why do you think two foreigners released it here? Because no where else would let them.
        And how about the attendance no body went to see it, so they threw it up on utube.

        • Thinkin5

           In the Middle East they think like the rightwing here. Anything that they hear that they oppose they attribute it to the enemy. Here it’s Pres. Obama, there it’s America, Israel, or Christians.

          • Steve__T

             I agree to the mind set, uneducated people no matter where, do stupid things.

          • Don_B1

            Unfortunately, educated people do what looks to others as stupid, but to themselves appears a rational way to some end, usually benefiting from the gullibility of others.

  • MrNutso

    Romney campaign:

    “There’s a pretty compelling story that if you had a President Romney, you’d be in a different situation,” Richard Williamson, a top Romney foreign policy adviser, said in an interview…. Williamson added, “In Egypt and Libya and Yemen, again demonstrations — the respect for America has gone down, there’s not a sense of American resolve and we can’t even protect sovereign American property.” 

    I guess that when Romney is President, protesters will say “I was going to go over to the American Embassy to protest, but I respect Romney’s America, so I guess I’ll go to the movies.”

    • Matt Wade

      Romney thinks these mobs would respect his presidency more. My analysis: That’s nuts.

      • Don_B1

        Please see my post in response to Greg Camp above. History bears you out!

        But this bull crap is believed by the rightwing nut-jobs who live in the Republican fantasy world.

        Just give them the presidency and they will “fix” the world!

        Also for more on Romney’s fantasies about how to use American power:

        http://www.tnr.com/article/magazine/politics/106493/romney-foreign-policy-american-century-imperialism?utm_source=The+New+Republic&utm_campaign=e7c66653ab-TNR_Daily_091112&utm_medium=email

        Note also, that Romney’s foreign policy advisors claim they were not consulted on Romney’s “adventure” in criticizing Obama over the Benghazi Consulate attack.

        How much came directly from Romney? A lot of his advisors on this and other issues do not know where some of his ideas relevant to their fields of expertise are coming from. Will Romney run his government all from his head without the help of the rest of the Executive branch?

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Hey, I was just going to mention that quote.

      If Willard Etchasketch Romney had been running for office during 9/11, he would have had an attack ad out before the second tower collapsed. What disgusting, unpatriotic behavior.

      He should withdraw his candidacy after this debacle. 

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         What if the UK newspapers are correct and we had 48 hours notice of the Libyan attack but they never told the ambassador?

        Should Obama resign?

        Which lapse is more significant?

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          “Is it irresponsible to speculate?

          It is irresponsible not to.”

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Face it, Obama thought this could never happen.

      After all he won the Nobel peace prize and gave a speech in Cairo  — he even spoke a little Arabic.

      They love Obama.  Obama loves Obama.  How can this happen?

    • jefe68

      “There’s a pretty compelling story that if you had a President Romney, you’d be in a different situation.”
      Really Mr. Williamson? So in your world you have magic powers that can control world events? Do tell.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Under American law, we can’t “stop” a film just because someone doesn’t like it.

  • Thinkin5

    This whole blundering, commentary from Romney and camp is all about ROMNEY not America. He should defend America 1st. To criticize the people in the embassy is ridiculous! Blind ambition is so dangerous. It’s not about you Mitt.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       The irony in your statement was he was criticizing the embassy statement for implicitly “blaming America”

      Hillary and the WH then agreed with Romney by disavowing the embassy statement.

      • Acnestes

         The embassy did not “blame America”.  Regretting the actions of a few individuals who freedom of speech allows to behave in a reprehensible manner is not blaming anything about America as a nation.

      • Thinkin5

         The White House just said that they didn’t “approve” the statement, not that they disapproved of it. Hillary Clinton said the same thing, that the U.S. deplores the disgusting film and deplores the violent reaction to it. Here’s Romney back peddling to Stephanopoulos :“The idea of using something that some people consider sacred and then
        parading that out a negative way is simply inappropriate and wrong.  And
        I wish people wouldn’t do it,” Romney told me.

        • Don_B1

          But Romney waited until Thursday to say it.

  • Matt Wade

    “A religious person insulted my faith in empirical evidence by stating an irrational belief, so I stoned them to death and blew up a building.” – Ricky Gervais

    • Don_B1

      Right-wingers here would come close to that for those who protest America’s failing to live up to its ideals by burning the American flag.

  • adks12020

    I don’t understand how the people in these countries can automatically assume the government was in some way responsible for this film.  Just because their governments would crack down on this kind of thing doesn’t mean that ours should. 

    I think it’s a case of the people in the middle east not understanding that we live in a free speech country where people aren’t jailed or punished for being idiots if they don’t break any laws. 

    Most Americans would never have even seen, or known about, this film trailer if not for these protests.  How exactly are we all responsible for it? It’s ridiculous.

    • Acnestes

      Almost everything published in a lot of countries has to go through some
      kind of government screening or censorship and they assume the same
      happens here.  Therefore, if something comes out of America they assume
      it has the governments blessing.

    • Don_B1

      The fact that Americans, at least most Americans, have a context in which to place that information does not apply for most residents of the Middle East and a lot of other places in the world.

      Most of the people that live in the Middle East are poor, ill educated, and get their information by word-of-mouth, and as has been pointed out numerous times, have no direct experience with a government that does not control what news appears in print or the “mass media.”

      Just think of all the unfounded conspiracies that float around in this country! It is really disheartening to realize that this is part of human nature and has to be consciously opposed by all humans, and a lot of humans do not even know that this happens, not to mention their responsibility to avoid promoting such conspiracies.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Janet is wrong a bit, since this doesn’t represent all Muslims, but there are far too many examples of things like this, as she said.  We can’t curtail our freedoms just because someone over there gets offended.

    • Don_B1

      And no member of the Obama administration has given the slightest indication that we might curtail our freedoms, certainly for free speech.

      The Republicans do want, and are implementing, restrictions on our right and “freedom” to vote, however.

  • Bstm300

    3 Important Questions for the Obama administration, our members of Congress-Senator Scott Brown and Senator John Kerry particularly-: 

    1.  Given that we know about the civil war recently ended in Libya and the weak hold the Libayan government has over it’s territory, why wasn’t their more security posted at the embassy?  Why weren’t there any U.S. marines posted there?

    2.  Given what we know about Terry Jones and Robert Spencers pattern of organizing anti-muslim and anti-Islam events on the anniversary of September 11th since 2010 which have resulted in protests and deaths overseas in the Middle east, why did the U.S. government not take this into account and tighten the security at the U.S. embassy in Benghazi?

    3.  What are the limits of the 1rst amendment-free speech-during war-time and especially with respect to people like Terry Jones who’s speech is indirectly resulting in the deaths of Americans overseas?

    The Tamba Bay Times, according to what I heard on NPR’s Here and How on 09/12, contacted Terry Jones on 09/11/12, and he was unapologetic about the violence that had resulted.  Men like Terry Jones have no sense of civic responsibility, no sense of ethics, or morality.  In effect, he is terrorizing the American public and Muslims overseas by trying to stir up hatred from both Christians and Muslims against each other.  He should, in some way, be held accountable for having indirectly instigated events that lead to the death of U.S. people.  

    The Sam Bastille issue is also quite strange.  Some say he is an Israeli American; other’s say he is a Coptic christian Egyptian who lives in the U.S.  What we know for sure is that Israel has checked it’s records and confirmed that they have no record of this man as being a citizen.  It’s also clear that Sam Bastille is a pseudonym used by somebody too cowardly to show his face publicly.  

    The other question to ask is what was Morris Sadek’s, an Egyptican American christian blogger, motive in allegedly sending out a blast email to the Egyptian press which contained the Innocence of Mohammed video produced and filmed by Sam Bastille.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       What are the limits to free speech during wartime?  That’s the most frightening question I’ve seen in a long time.

      • Ray in VT

        There is plenty of historical precedent for the limitation of various civil liberties during war time.  Remember the loose lips sink ships posters from WWII?  I think that a better question would be how do you define war time, and does that definition apply to some sort of open ended global campaign against an idea or a stateless foe.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           That poster wasn’t a law.  Now there are restrictions regarding classified material, but people who get that information typically sign a non-disclosure agreement in advance.

          • Ray in VT

            That is true, but there was an Office of Censorship that checked the mail and censored reporting.  Of course, back in those days one couldn’t get on the web or one’s cell phone and blab on about how your sweetie just got his deployment orders.  Such secrecy would be well nigh impossible in this day and age.

            Anyways, there were also the Alien and Sedition Acts during World War I, which led to some serious abuses, and there were various measures that Lincoln undertook during the Civil War.  I am not making a judgement, well, except on the WWI abuses.  I am stating that the historical precedent exists during times of declared war or national emergency.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Those laws were often violations of our rights, no matter what the courts may have said on the subject.  Besides, aren’t you concerned that in this age of a War on Terror with no obvious end, we will give up rights to fight the continual war?

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, I am concerned about that, and I believe that I asked the question regarding whether or not we apply war to our current situation and what they may have for implications regarding for our rights already. 

            Would you contend that there are no situations when the government may limit some of our rights?  Certainly Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution enumerates at least one specific instance when it is possible:

            “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended,
            unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may
            require it.”

            There is also the case of the Alien and Sedition Acts of the Adams administration, and the distinction that was then made between free speech and seditious speech.  Those acts were passed by many of the men who wrote the Constitution and the Bill or Rights, so were they wrong in how they interpreted our rights?  I don’t think that it’s a black and white issue.  Vermont had one of it’s Congressmen, Matthew Lyon, put in jail for violating those laws.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             The government cannot limit our rights.  Rights are fundamental to who we are.  Governments are able to violate those rights, but we still have them.

            On a practical matter, in a time of invasion, the government would have to act, but we’re not even close to that.

          • Ray in VT

            I can have idealistic support for your absolutist position, but reality often intrudes upon the ideal.  We may not like it, but there are times when it is legally allowable for the government to restrict the freedoms that are enumerated in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  It would be great if that never happened, but, since that is unlikely, we should endeavor to have it rarely happen.  If the situation is calamitous enough, then I would rather concede certain freedoms temporarily, as we have done from time to time, in order to preserve ourselves for the long term.

          • Steve__T

             Never give up your rights

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             I will never concede my freedom and will only reduce my personal exercise of it in the gravest extreme.  You must trust the government to keep you safe and to protect your rights.  I never will.

          • Don_B1

            A small bone to pick:

            1) The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed in 1798 and probably defeated John Adams’ reelection hopes.

            2) The Espionage and Sedition Acts were passed in 1917 and 1918, respectively, which led to Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ famous criterion, “Clear and Present Danger,” which has its own interpretation problems.

            One of the more spectacular government abrogations (or attempts at abrogation) of freedom of speech occurred with the Palmer Raids, under A.G. Mitchell Palmer to deport leftists and foreign citizens from the United States from November 1919 to January 1920. They started the career of J. Edgar Hoover.

          • Ray in VT

            Hi Don,
            I’ve never looked into the electoral impact of the Alien and Sedition Acts upon Adams’ re-election chances.  There are a couple of well reviewed books on the 1800 election, but it’s not a time period that I’ve ever had a great interest in, so I’ll take your word on that issue.

            I’m not familiar with the Holmes quote, but I did do my undergraduate thesis on the World War I and the first Red Scare civil rights abuses.  There is a very good book called Opponents of War by Peterson and Fite that I used a great deal in my research.  The abuses were pretty striking.  People arrested for voicing opposition to the war or signing petitions against it.  There was a preacher here in Vermont who was arrested for saying that war was contrary to the will of Christ in a Sunday sermon.  The methods used during the Red Scare were similarly atrocious.  Arrests based merely upon membership in a group, arresting someone for trying to bail out suspects and arresting people who testified at their trial.  Truly frightening stuff.

    • keltcrusader

      The Embassy is not in Benghazi, it is in Tripoli. It is a consulate building in Benghazi which is not as fortified and protected by a Marine contigent. Please correct me if  I am wrong, but it my understanding that a car that Ambassador Stevens was in was attacked while in Benghazi and they had retreated to the consulate building.

      • Don_B1

        Reports that I have seen indicate that the Ambassador and his assistant were killed in the Consulate, while the two ex-Navy Seals were killed in the car taking survivors to a “safe house” which the terrorists may have had information about, either the route or destination is currently unclear.

        But all the above is subject to revision as more details from a chaotic situation are revealed.

    • hennorama

      Without further comment, I want to again point out that the attack in Benghazi, Libya was on a US CONSULATE, not the US Embassy.  Consulates are generally smaller and far less well-guarded compared to Embassies.  The US Embassy for Libya is in Tripoli.

      Sorry to be technical, but it seems an important point when discussing security.

      • Don_B1

        Ambassador Chris Stevens specifically made the Consulate in Benghazi his official residence so as to be able to work with the main rebels that had deposed Gaddafi and were now in the government for that region of the country. He had worked closely with many of them during the Arab Spring, which explains their shock and grief over his loss.

  • Julia Preseau

    I’m currently reading “In The Garden of Beasts” and saw the same parallel this author does: http://ricochet.com/main-feed/Compare-Contrast-When-Hitler-Protested-His-American-Mock-Trial

    • Julia Preseau

      ” In March 1934, the American Jewish Congress and other anti-Nazi
      organizations organized a mock trial of Hitler to take place in Madison
      Square Garden. Hitler was so angered that he had his diplomatic corp try to head it off
      through entreaties to the US government. A State Department official
      replied before the event that due to “our constitutional guarantees of
      freedom of expression” the federal government could not stop it.”

      Evidently attended by 20,000

  • NancyFourCorners

    In the U.S., in Islam… what is wrong with all these people who can’t keep their religion between themselves and their God???!!

    • Don_B1

      People of low economic status often take religious values more seriously than wealthier people (as compensation??) and often have less education, particularly in philosophical issues, so are less likely to understand the consequences of not separating church and state.

      Many think that what works for them will work equally for everyone else and therefore have no qualms about forcing their religious ideas and even specific institutions on others. Most religious fundamentalists know enough to avoid calling their ideal government a theocracy, but some form of that, with a bit of fascism thrown in, is about what their vision looks like.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Breaking news:  US embassy in Tunisia breached by protesters. 

  • Potter

    I think the caller was Janet–so right. In fact these violent riots bring more anti-Islamic feeling, not understanding, and so it feeds upon itself snowballing on both sides.  

    Islamic leaders have a strong role to play if they want relations with us and the rest of the world. Also we have to condemn anti-Islamic expression here though we cannot prevent that. We have plenty of it. That said- Muslims are not exactly models of toleration that they should complain. 

    • Don_B1

      Look into the outreach after the massacre at the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin by Sikhs and Muslims, trying to get exactly that message of tolerance and how both groups DO understand and promote tolerance and DO condemn violence in response to unprovoked attacks, etc.

  • PI Resident

    Why the outrage asks Tom.
    Perhaps it is because of our Middle East Policies and the perception that comes from that,
    But imagine if a film depicted Bankers, from a certain ethnic group.  Imagine the outrage in our couintry.  And the censorship!

    There is a great imbalance.  OK to mock the Prophet, but not other groups…  Well that is my take on why there s outrage dire4cted against the US.

    • J__o__h__n

      There would be outrage but no violence. 

      • Don_B1

        Clearly there is no way to justify violence for these insults, but powerless people, or people who have never had political power, who are seeing the ability to express themselves for the first time, fall back on what they have experienced up to that time when they, through unfamiliarity, do not know how to exercise power non-violently nor do they know just how effective that can be.

        Just look at those who were raised with brutal beatings, or experienced sexual abuse, some of whom then turn to just those methods when raising their own children. For good and bad, humans DO learn by example. The trick is to not use methods of coercion that are not desired to be used by those coerced on the next layer.

  • OnpointListener

    Three national security issues:

    1. dependence on foreign oil,

    2.  climate change

    3.  unemployment

    Solution… get America to work developing clean alternative energy, post haste.

    • Bstm300

      Alternative energy isn’t necessarily a good investment.  Solar energy and wind energy don’t currently give a good return for their investment.  A Washington state based company called Terrapower is investing a new nuclear reactor in China that can run on depleted uranium waste from our current reactors.  That’s the kind of technology we should be in investing in.  Nuclear energy will provide much more cheaper energy than wind or solar.  So the question is why isn’t the Obama administration pushing for advances in nuclear reactors? Why aren’t U.S. regulators investigating and approving these new technologies?  Go figure.

      • sickofthechit

         Renewable energy is what we need.  The sun shines year round to a high enough percentage to make it feasible if the carbon based fuels price actually reflected their actual cost to the environment.

        As for nuclear, haven’t you been paying attention these last 40+ years?  We have huge piles of highly radioactive waste that we still haven’t figured out what to do with. That is the really costly legacy we are leaving future generations.  The Debt we pile up won’t mean anything when larger and larger portions of the country are poisoned by our selfishness and greed.

        Fact of the Day: We live on a limited resource in the middle of nowhere.  It’s time we start acting like it.

      • Don_B1

        Building more nuclear power reactors like the ones built in the U.S. and most of the world is not an economical source of power. The latest projections of the cost of electricity from NEW reactors is around $0.25 per kilowatt-hour, and that does NOT include the liability that the government assumes for the potential risks of melt-down, etc. This is from the big French nuclear power construction company, so it is not because some learning curve will later lower these costs.

        The development of a Thorium Reactor looks attractive on the surface, but there are people who have reservations about large-scale development problems, which I am not familiar with. If that is the kind being built in China, that may be a good proof of design and lead to more being built. Particularly when the fact that thorium is available all over the earth, whereas the U.S does not have enough uranium sources to mine inside the U.S. That is why a company wants to mine for uranium within the Grand Canyon park area, which would almost certainly contaminate the Colorado River and limit its water uses, already under threat of over-promising from the past.

        But sustainable energy sources are rapidly becoming competitive in price, particularly when compared with the negative externality costs of fossil fuels, which leave millions of people with extra health costs and ruin the land for other uses.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    More on the movie?

    The movie is a distraction.  Always has been.
     

  • Ellen Dibble

    About the Middle East:  What is the Free Speech aspect when we consider libel and slander?  Also swears and oaths.  Certain things are actionable in U.S. courts, such as distortions of the truth.  Once a person is dead, or is a public figure, I suppose the legal standards are different.  When Morsy wants Nakoula prosecuted, I’m thinking maybe the Egyptians get to sue him.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Sue for what?

    • J__o__h__n

      Libel and slander do not apply to the dead. 

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Geek me out a bit: The estate of a dead person can’t sue for libel?

        Strictly speaking, would a film be considered “published”, like a newspaper, or spoken? The former (as we all know) is libel, the latter is slander.

        I guess I just don’t watch enough lawyer shows!

        • J__o__h__n

          No, one has to be living to be slandered or libeled.  I think that a film would be considered published.  (Despite still paying the loans, it has been a while since I studied this.)

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Thanks, from someone whose entire knowledge of contract law (which isn’t much) is from “The Paper Chase”.

  • Twinkie McGovern

    I’m surprised that the following point hasn’t come up much: The “filmmakers” intention was to provoke and cause destruction, and the protesters are following that script perfectly. They are letting themselves get used.

    • http://twitter.com/IslamicPost The Islamic Post

      I am very disgusted, offended, and ashamed to have witnessed such hatred, and provoking propaganda from a so called American. I cannot, and will not even associate these people with Christianity as no true lover or follower of Jesus son of Mary (peace and blessing upon him) would ever make an attempt to dishonor Hazrat Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him). Two men once came before Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) and one complimented him on how beautiful he was. Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) responded by telling that individual “you have spoken the truth”, and then another man came to him and told Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) that he was the most hideous despicable creature he had ever seen, and Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) replied to him “you have spoken the truth”. The companion who was with Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) at the time asked him why he agreed with both men when their statements were complete opposites of each other. Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) responded when the first man looked upon me and saw beauty, he only saw a mirror of himself, and when the second man came and stated I was hideous he too saw a mirror of himself. With this account I inform you that everything portrayed in your sick video is who YOU ARE! You have no right to even utter the blessed names of Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon him), or Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him). Both live honorable lives, and never lie or stole from anyone. They never caused harm to anyone, and this is a historic fact! You can continue to try and deceive people, and cause a war between muslims and christians but this will NEVER HAPPEN! You have no credibility! You can read many books about the works, and accomplishments of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) in his lifetime which have saved generations up until today! What accomplishments do you have? When you die what will you be known for? You are worse than dung! Even dung goes into the earth and helps bring new life! When you die the earth will REJECT YOU! You will one day be raised before the creator of us all, and be questioned about the unforgivable mischief you have caused! So go back to your zionist supporters who pushed you to make this video to cause a clash between muslims and christians! Go back to them and tell them MISSION FAILED! YOU COWARD!

    • http://twitter.com/IslamicPost The Islamic Post

      I am very disgusted, offended, and ashamed to have
      witnessed such hatred, and provoking propaganda from a so called American. I
      cannot, and will not even associate these people with Christianity as no true
      lover or follower of Jesus son of Mary (peace and blessing upon him) would ever
      make an attempt to dishonor Hazrat Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him). Two
      men once came before Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) and one complimented him on how
      beautiful he was. Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) responded by telling that individual
      “you have spoken the truth”, and then another man came to him and
      told Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) that he was the most hideous despicable creature he
      had ever seen, and Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) replied to him “you have spoken
      the truth”. The companion who was with Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) at the time
      asked him why he agreed with both men when their statements were complete
      opposites of each other. Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) responded when the first man
      looked upon me and saw beauty, he only saw a mirror of himself, and when the
      second man came and stated I was hideous he too saw a mirror of himself. With
      this account I inform you that everything portrayed in your sick video is who
      YOU ARE! You have no right to even utter the blessed names of Jesus son of Mary
      (peace be upon him), or Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him). Both live
      honorable lives, and never lie or stole from anyone. They never caused harm to
      anyone, and this is a historic fact! You can continue to try and deceive
      people, and cause a war between muslims and christians but this will NEVER
      HAPPEN! You have no credibility! You can read many books about the works, and
      accomplishments of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) in his lifetime which have saved
      generations up until today! What accomplishments do you have? When you die what
      will you be known for? You are worse than dung! Even dung goes into the earth
      and helps bring new life! When you die the earth will REJECT YOU! You will one
      day be raised before the creator of us all, and be questioned about the
      unforgivable mischief you have caused! So go back to your zionist supporters
      who pushed you to make this video to cause a clash between muslims and
      christians! Go back to them and tell them MISSION FAILED! YOU COWARD!

       

       

  • Rex Henry

    Where were the moderators at youtube? This seems like the kind of stuff that gets flagged and removed.

  • jefe68

    I think Mitt Romeny should let that chair Clint Eastwood was talking to make his statements in the future.

  • Ellen Dibble

    About protests, the Obama team now is  saying, as I understand it, that Morsy has to explain to his people that protesting has to have limits.  I’m remembering entering college in 1964, knowing full well that protests were being sort of born.  I thought Americans started this, college students mostly, trying to bring Civil Rights to the South, specifically.  And I’m thinking the French in 1969 picked it up.  And I’m thinking we always referred ourselves to Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, with the high moral ground of nonviolence part of the creed of protest.  Who trained the Islamic protesters?

    • Don_B1

      And as recently (some even more recently) the “rioters” in the South killed three civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner in Mississippi for the lawful attempt to register voters.

      Interesting that the Republican Party is now leading the charge to deny voting rights to the least powerful in today’s society.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    10:45 and we haven’t yet heard if Egypt is an ally.

    Mmmm.
     

    • jimino

       Is Egypt an ally in your opinion?  Why or why not?

  • http://www.facebook.com/nielsen.ben Ben Nielsen

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Obama is a peace-maker?  How do you figure?

  • Ellen Dibble

    I read somewhere that the Republicans in Congress are planning to de-fund aid to Libya and Egypt now that they are democratic. Oh, world, please stay dictatorships so that we can be total bullies.  We call you allies so long as… oh, it’s interesting.

    • Don_B1

      That threat from the Republicans could have given Obama more traction to convince Egyptian President Morsi to provide protection for foreigners by hinting that Egypt’s “Ally” status was at stake here.

      It appears that the rioters in Egypt were right-wing types, wanting to restore the Mubarak Egypt as they seem to have bought into the U.S. right wing conspiracy theory fomented by Frank Gaffney (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration) and Ret. Gen William Boykin that Obama is trying to make Islamic Sharia Law dominant here in the U.S. through Sec. Clinton’s aide, Huma Abedin, funding the Muslim Brotherhood, to the total of the $1.3 billion that goes to the Egyptian military.

      This seems on its face to blasé Americans to be ridiculously stupid and worse, but consider how many Americans deny evolution, believe aliens landed in Roswell, NM. It all depends on the individual’s and the cultural belief systems that apply in the area that makes these things unrealistic, which is really unfortunate for the progress of human understanding of our existence on earth and the tolerance of other’s beliefs.

      But the people of other parts of the world, particularly the Middle East at this point in time, are not all that more likely to believe crazy impossible untrue things. It is the despicable way that radicals use such beliefs to whip up emotions that unleash actions which otherwise might be more restrained.

      Also it is occurring here as the whole Republican Party leadership is using “dog-whistles” to foment emotion from bigoted people to get them to do their work at the voting booth this fall.

  • Potter

    Obama can’t say what he has to say because Republicans are right there ready to accuse him of things like apologizing to the world.

    • Don_B1

      And that is part of their plan to prevent him from helping improve the country in both economic and other security terms.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I disagree with McCain that this is about American weakness.  It’s apparently about the weakness of the military groups protecting embassies in Libya, Cairo, and Sanaa, Yemen.  It seems the military is to some extent still beholden to former regimes, and it gets complicated. Iona Craig, I believe it was, detailed how this worked in Yemen, saying she had seen what she had seen — something about the shift in regimes there.  And the “people” still are accustomed to being sort of scapegoated by out-of-power Islamic institutions, institutions that are now trying to be in charge, and finding that when you’re in power, you’d be blaming yourself, for getting American money and American investments, and so on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nielsen.ben Ben Nielsen

    As a Mormon, Romney claims to follow the teachings of Christ. However, my experience is that those who most visibly wear their religion on their sleeve are often the people who need to learn from the teachings of religion the most.

    All religions originated from core truths (to be a good person, help other people, feel gratitude, mindfulness/breath practices…). Over centuries and millennia layers of dogma and superstition were piled on top of the core teachings. People then became obsessed with the layers of dogma and superstition, ignoring the core teachings.

    I don’t need to make adolescent insults of religion like those who made the anti-Islamic film, but on a rational/logical level, the entire Jesus story is merely a recycling of older myths from Egyptians and other ancient cultures. Jesus is a symbol of the sun, the 12 apostles represent the 12 zodiac, the three kings are the three stars of Orion’s belt (which align with Sirius—the bright star in the east), and which point to the place on the horizon where the new sun is “born” on the winter solstice.

  • Thinkin5

    Go ahead Israel, but it will be YOUR war. I want Israel to be safe but their blustering right wing leader is a big mistake.

    • Don_B1

      The actual groups of people, not large, in Israel who are on the streets protesting are protesting against attacking Iran.

      The Israelis admit they do not have the capability to do much damage to Iran in stopping its ability to develop a nuclear bomb; that is why they are trying to force the U.S. to “do the dirty work” which everyone admits could only delay the Iranian possession of the bomb for 3 to 5 years, unless the U.S. puts “boots on the ground” and invades and takes over the whole country, installing a puppet government. Considering that Iran is a country of 170 million whereas Iraq had only 25 million, how does anyone think that will work out? Our military estimated it would take 200,000 troops to pacify Iraq and with contractor support, that is just about what was needed. I guess Romney will solve our unemployment crisis by using 1,400,000 troops in Iran? [That is about the total in our current military forces.] It sure will be Keynesian stimulus, but will we need it constantly for the duration of the country-building?

      Look for 20 years of occupation while we unsuccessfully build democracy! Even opponents of the current regime are adamant that they will fight ANY invader of Iran.

  • PI Resident

    Anyone else catch Tom saying something to this effect:
    There3 are only 10 million (the guest said 1- 15 million) Coptic Chrisitans in Egypt.  Why do they have a such a big voice or something like that”
     
    Well what about in this country where small(er) minorities have a BIG voice.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    I’m with the last caller. Israel is ON ITS OWN if it wants Iran attacked. Put on your big boy pants and leave the USA the he11 out of it.

    • Jasoturner

      Geopolitically impossible, I am sorry to say.

  • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Astraspider

    Carl: Best. Phone call. Ever.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    McCain neck-snaps from earlier comments, now says “weakness”. Of course, changing directions like that is a strong, strong thing to do.

    I guess McCain still can’t decide: Does he want to be his own man? Or has he internalized the mantra of every losing Republican (“our candidate just wasn’t conservative enough”) and wants to get into a time machine and fight 2008 all over again?

    • hennorama

      I have to give Sen. John McCain credit and respect for 3 things:

      1.  His impassioned tribute to Ambassador Stevens, a man he knew well and worked with closely in Libya
      2.  Holding his criticism of Pres. Obama until the facts became clear and no one was under fire
      3.  Strongly disagreeing/arguing with Sean Hannity over Egypt and especially Libya

      I don’t agree with much of what Sen. McCain believes and does, but I respect him (except for the dance he had to perform to get reelected in 2010).

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    “Start with new people”
    GOOD PLAN! Get rid of the “hard liners” and replace them with people who can “play well with others”.

    • Don_B1

      The people Laura Ingraham is likely to support will only play well with Grover Norquist’s group.

      Last week’s “Need to Know” on PBS was rather dispiriting on the prospects of a working Congress for the next two years under EITHER Obama or Romney.

  • Ellen Dibble

    The caller who said that to Muslims, the rest of the world is infidel, and there is no room for dialogue — how many Muslims does she know?  And by the way, there are still — STILL — Christians who consider non-Christians pretty much the same way.  There are Americans with similarly closed minds.  We talk to our “kind,” and automatically dis-associate with people who are different, or approach different views.  These are what I call the herds, and they are very useful to elections.  You push the right buttons, and they come out.

    • Mouse_2012

      You can ask her, I believe she post on this thread.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jaki.reis Jaki Reis

    In reference to the movie trailer and the responding bombing: Being human, we all tend to see the mote in another’s eye and cannot relate it to the beam in our own, in other words, we react emotionally to events without recognizing that those reactions are the very actions we condemn when other people have taken them. Two examples in the current context, 1. Regarding the Trailer: We are not remembering the emotional responses, including many angry demonstrations, to both movies The Last Temptation of Christ and The Passion of the Christ  and 2. Regarding the bombing: We are not recognizing the history of how religious wars have been sparked in our politicians’ statements regarding how the President should have a stronger response to this current religious war powder keg.  

    • Don_B1

      In stead of being statesmanlike, Romney went immediately, even before the “known” facts had been verified at all, to the low road, where his statements could be used to further inflame the protestors/rioters and make Obama’s job harder.

      But it is not beyond the pale, and this is a horrible comment to make about ANY American politician, to think that he could have done it just to further inflame the MidEast so that the troubles would redound to Romney’s benefit as they become a big problem to Obama. But watching the Republicans obstruct Obama’s attempts to strengthen the economy, thus throwing the unemployed “under the bus” in favor of their regaining power, it is hard to say it could not be true.

  • Potter

    Netanyahu is all about changing the subject from the elephant in the room- making peace with the Palestinians and having to deal with his extremists and settlements.

    • Call_Me_Missouri

      He can try to change the subject all he wants… I haven’t forgotten.

      He is single handedly losing Israel’s credibility for them.  It started with the Palestinian policy and now this stuff with Iran.  The polls do not lie.  The US does not have their back anymore and that is not Obama’s fault.

      • Don_B1

        At least not to the extent that Netanyahu wants. But the fact that he has a “unity government” seems to give him more ability to be LESS flexible rather than more flexible.

  • Call_Me_Missouri

    Caller Carl…  I loved your phone call!  That was terrific!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      (Context, please? My laptop is having streaming issues.)

      • Call_Me_Missouri

        He said that Romney had a full sandwich of issues that he was going to need to deal with…

        The first layer of bread was the content-free RNC.

        The meat was his misspeaking about the issues abroad.

        And the last layer of bread was the Stock Market’s Reaction to the FED QE3 Policy.

        Of course, Carl said this much more smoothly than I.  But you get the gist.

        I was particularly impressed/pleased/amused with his pointing out that Romney is JUST WRONG on the Economy and that the entire Stock Market knows it.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Thanks. Here’s a photo for the meat of the sandwich:

          https://twitter.com/MikeNellis/status/245944338348126209/photo/1

          • Call_Me_Missouri

            That’s pretty funny!  Thanks for the link.  Millhous!

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Don’t thank me, thank Mike Nellis, just some random guy I don’t know, who wins the internets for the week.

  • NancyFourCorners

    Just withdraw ALL support for Israel, especially monetarily, and let them do whatever they want!

    They certainly won’t keep up the tough talk about attacking Iran without the U.S. backing them up.

  • sickofthechit

    Tom, Tom, Tom, we have an electoral college, get with the program. Jack just called you out!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Yeah, there’s something amiss when poring over polls to be politically savvy. This is the age of Nate Silver. Let’s not just talk about the popular vote.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Talking polls.  Rasmussen daily tracking  Romney +3
    Last week it had Obama +5.

    The convention bounce is over?  Looks like it.

    • Ray in VT

       Rasmussen fairly consistently runs more conservative than other polls.  Take a look at the other recent polls:

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/us/general_election_romney_vs_obama-1171.html

      A lot of the polls in the swing states presently look good for the President, but election day is still a long way off.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         I will admit I don’t get polls because they are all over the place.  Rassmussen has a good reputation and he has been sampling likely voters.  It comes down to their models of who they believe will turn out.

        There was  a day last week that CNN and Rasmussen both released polls of likely voters and they both had Obama +5.  However, Rassmussens sampled more rebuplicans but had Obama winning independents.  The CNN poll had Romney winning independents +14 but only 4.5% of their sample was independents.  Again, I don’t know how you reconcile the divergent data but they both ended up in the same place.

        • Ray in VT

          Polling is a tricky business if one wants to come out with a valid result, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not sure everything that goes into their methods.  Some are better than others, and I think that the methodology has gotten better in recent years.  Nate Silver has a very good reputation, although I haven’t looked much at his work.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Yeah I’ve heard a lot about Nate Silver from Obama supporters.  Maybe he is kosher but I am a little more cautious since he worked for Obama in 2008.

            I remember the Boston Globe had Scott Brown losing his Senate election by 15 or so points 2 weeks before the election.  He ended up winning handily.  I have no proof but I am suspicious of the Globe’s motives in that poll.   I doubt the true numbers changed that much in so short a time.

          • Ray in VT

            I couldn’t find any info that said that he worked for Obama in 2008.  He did say that he generally votes for Democrats, but that he’s not registered as such.  I found it interesting to read that he worked for Baseball Prospectus and came up with some baseball metrics for evaluating players.

            I would think that that Globe poll would have had to have been wrong.  Certainly a large shift like that could occur in a short period of time, but it would take a some pretty significant events.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Here is where I read it.  It doesn’t state when Silver consulted for Obama.  I assumed it was 2008.

            http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-did-obama-really-win-summer_652093.html?page=1

          • Ray in VT

            I do see the claim there, but I don’t know if it accurate.  I admit that I just quickly checked Wikipedia, which can be sketchy, but I need more than a claim from the Weekly Standard to believe that he worked for Obama.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Even if he did consult for Obama that doesn’t discredit his work now.

          • Ray in VT

            I did find this linked from redstate.com which says that in 2008 the campaign shared it’s internal polling data with Silver:

            http://www.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeedpolitics/obama-campaign-shared-08-polling-with-silver

            It doesn’t say, though that he was working for or with them.

          • Ray in VT

            But I still don’t think that this would be considered to be consulting, at least as presenting, and even if he did consult, then as long as his data bears out, then I don’t think that there would be a problem.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            “Wrong”?

            That needs to be clarified. I mean, it’s called a margin of error for a reason.

            When we are playing backgammon and I roll double-sixes, that’s one thing.

            When I roll double-sixes four times in a row, you demand to see the dice.

            That’s Rasmussen: Too often, too many things, which have an infinitesimal probability of each being independently by reasonable probability, with the given result, happen.

          • Don_B1

            You couldn’t find anything because it DOES NOT EXIST. Silver ran his OWN website/blog in 2008 and did the best job of all the pollsters. He probably got associated with Obama because he predicted Obama’s victory before others and that makes him a sycophant or worse in Republican eyes.

            I’m sure his competence got TNYT interested in having him run his blog there.

            He got his start doing statistics for sports.

          • Ray in VT

            I didn’t realize that he started as a baseball stats guy, which I though was really interesting, as I love baseball and the stats that it creates.

          • Thinkin5

             I think Brown won last time because the Dems thought it was a slam dunk. Not this time. We’ll all be voting. I’m not fooled by Brown’s “I vote like a Democrat” talk. I see his voting record.

          • Don_B1

            For those that don’t have a problem with the way Senator Brown votes on bills, there is one vote that will count more than any other: the vote for the party that controls the Senate.

            If that vote gives Republicans control of the Senate, the country will truly suffer big time, as reconciliation will be used to repeal most of the safety net, or the social contract, before the press has even woken up and the people that put them in power know what happened.

            With Obama in a second term there will be a backstop, but not with a Romney/Ryan administration.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        I agree we are a long way off.  Reagan was down 10 points to Carter at this point in the campaign in 1980 in the gallup survey.

        However, I do agree with the sentiment that this shouldn’t be close.  Something is awry.  Of course, I’m one of those who always thought Romney has the potential to be a great President — he just isn’t a great candidate.

      • Thinkin5

         Rush and other rightwing pundits are upset over polls that have Obama ahead. Said it’s a leftwing conspiracy to “depress them”! Better for Rasmussen to reword the questions and give a poll that FOX doesn’t have to explain to it’s viewers.

        • Ray in VT

          I really don’t understand that line that the polls are an attempt to suppress turnout.  I think that it makes about as much sense of the President ordering NOAA forecasts changed in order to affect the GOP convention, but, then again, facts, reason and sense have never been the forte of a certain slice of the media landscape.

          As an aside, it is interesting to see how word choice affects responses in polling.  I recall in my graduate statistics class discussing that and the thought that we were then instructed/required to put into the wording of our surveys so as to try to not lead the respondent in a way that would affect the outcomes.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Really?  If you can somehow discourage your opponents base it can increase your chance of winning.  False polls are a tool to play that game.

            This game is as old as polls.

            Here is a democrat complaining about his side being depressed by a poll.

            http://democurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2012/05/mu-poll-meant-to-suppress-democratic.html

          • Ray in VT

            Really.  This guy may believe it, and there is little that I would rule out in the dirty game of politics, but I do not believe that there is a coordinated conspiracy among pollsters to fake data in order to discourage the GOP from turning out in this election.  I tend not to believe in conspiracy theories, which is what this rings of to me.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t believe it is pervasive.  I suspect much of the variability is not bias but differences in base turnout models since we are now polling likely voters.

          • Thinkin5

             Shouldn’t your candidate being low in the polls motivate people to get out and vote for them?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Not if it is hopeless.  That is the point.

          • Thinkin5

            The polls shift weekly and the only reality is the one on election day. Each side has it’s ups and downs in the polls. It’s going to be a close race and depend on who actually votes.
             

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      You had lost all of us at Rasmussen. It’s the Republican’s toady pollster, and is not to be trusted.

      Even on the few instances it is correct, Rass is like the student who hands in the right answer on the quiz but can’t show the work to save its life.

    • jefe68

      Rasmussen is the only poll on Real Clear Politics giving Mitt Romney any kind of lead. That’s interesting and kind of funny. You know Romney should be way ahead of President Obama at this point given the state of the economy, and yet he’s such an awful candidate he can’t gain more than a few points and he’s now behind.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Read my observation on poll internals responding to Ray below.  I’ll admit that I don’t get it.

  • sickofthechit

    Kate Middleton – We should all be adults and refuse to look at the pictures.  She was on private property. Are you willing to be photographed in your home in the nude and have the world see them?

  • modernpharaoh

    I’m a Coptic Christian & I want to emphasize that this lunatic “movie-maker” has nothing to do with us. As little to do with our tolerant, christian values as Hitler had to do with his claimed Roman Catholic faith. He’s a lunatic, has neither our values nor our wellbeing in mind.

    • Ray in VT

      I wonder if this person thought of the potential for retribution against his people in Egypt for what he helped produce.

      • modernpharaoh

        the “thoughts” of this hate-mongerer matter less to me than those of your garden-variety bigot. i just wish our small community had an established enough reputation so the entire world would be able to immediately recognize that someone who so eschews Christ’s teachings & examples has ZERO to do with our faith & our community

      • J__o__h__n

        Even without this they haven’t been faring too well lately. 

    • J__o__h__n

      Don’t give the Church too much of a pass on Hitler.  Centuries of antisemitism weren’t something Hitler thought up alone. 

    • Gregg Smith

      It’s a stupid movie. It has little to do with the 9/11 anniversary coordinated terrorist attacks.

      • Ray in VT

        I will agree that it is a stupid movie, and I have read it suggested that at least the attack in Benghazi was preplanned/coordinated attack there, but I think that it is a stretch to suggest that things of this nature, which apparently ran on some Egyptian TV station on Saturday, have nothing to do with subsequent events on the ground.

        • Gregg Smith

          It was 9/11. The Muslim Brotherhood is now in charge in Egypt. The inmates are running the asylum in Libya. We killed Bin Laden, they want us dead. Nobody cares about a movie.

          In a way I feel for Obama saying Egypt was not our ally but he is not equipped to handle a situation as this. Egypt and Saudi Arabia have basically been all we had as far as Arab allies. That’s why having an ally in Iraq instead of a sworn enemy was so huge. If the barbarians are in control of the Middle East then civilization is doomed.

          • Ray in VT

            So are you now some sort of clairvoyant with knowledge into the motivations of all of the parties involved?  I think that in some ways you are over simplifying a complex and confused situation.  I also think that your last statement is extremely hyperbolic.

            So are you alleging that the Egyptian government is behind this?  The Muslim Brotherhood candidate did win the Egyptian election, and at least their actions as of yet do not show that they are ideologically on the same plane at Al Qaeda.  We often claim that we want democracy, but then moan when people make decisions that we don’t want.

            Libya is a somewhat different ball of wax.  The place is said to be awash in guns and there government there says that they suspect that elements formerly loyal to Qaddafi are still active, and there is always the possibility of outside groups.  Remember all of those foreign fighters in Iraq?  Could be the same thing going on there.

          • Gregg Smith

            The idea that this is all about a stupid movie is bizarre to me. The Muslim Brotherhood are bad bad men. Al Qaida is is offshoot of them. Their charter has the elimination of Israel and an Islamic caliphate as stated objectives. This is their motto: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope. Allahu akbar!” It was a mistake to show Mubarek the door so fast. A year ago when sane voices warned the MB could win those voices were ridiculed as hyperbolic conspiracy theories. Well it happened.

          • Don_B1

            Gregg makes clear to everyone who reads his posts that his vision (clairvoyance?) rarely does not extend beyond watching for what falls from the back of a bull and “seeing” how he can pin the tail on Obama.

            He may actually understand that the Arab Spring has entered that extremely fragile stage where different interests have had horrendous contraints suddenly removed (like college freshmen, suddenly without parental supervision?), but they don’t know how to work out their desires with the general population. In other words, they do not know how to play politics in a fledgling “democracy” where the people they want to influence do not know how to interpret what is being said to them. But pointing that out does not advance his argument for denigrating Obama and Democrats, so you will not see that part of Gregg’s clairvoyance, if it exists.

            So each group tries to find a way to push the populace’s emotional buttons, just as the Republicans do with their “dog-whistling” of Obama’s willingness to give a waiver to states that propose modifications to the TANF program, IF, repeat, IF, those modifications can be shown likely to INCREASE the flow of people from TANF to WORK (!) as “removal of the work requirement” so “people could just collect a check without doing any work.”

            One, at least, of the groups leading the initial protests in Cairo was the group that had protested Sec. Clinton’s visit back in June or July, blaming the U.S. for “supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.” They were blaming the loss of the candidate, Ahmed Shafik, on the United States, which they claimed gave the Muslin Brotherhood the $1.3 billion which actually went to the Egyptian military.

            Where did that conspiracy originate? In the United States, where a Reagan and George H.W. Bush administration official, Frank Gaffney and a Ret. Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, who are promoting a perfidious idea that Obama and Sec. Clinton are using her assistant, Huma Abedin, to funnel that money to the Muslim Brotherhood because they want to establish Islamic Sharia Law in the United States. Why would they concoct such a vile insane (Sen. John McCain’s description of Michele Bachman’s endorsement of Gaffney) calumny? Because it gives more (false) basis to beliefs that Obama is the Satanic “Other,” so necessary to enrage the fundamentalist anger that will drive them to the polls to vote for Romney this fall. It makes those fundamentalist people impervious to any rational argument.

          • Thinkin5

            Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood leader:
            Asked about the president’s comment, White House National Security
            Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said: “‘Ally’ is a legal term of art. We
            don’t have a mutual defense treaty with Egypt like we do with our NATO
            allies. But as the President has said, Egypt is long-standing and close
            partner of the United States, and we have built on that foundation by
            supporting Egypt’s transition to democracy and working with the new
            government.”

  • sickofthechit

    Bernake should have been fired long ago. His ego is much to large for the job. Actually believes he could have cured the Great Depression with one hand tied behind his back.

    • Call_Me_Missouri

      11 out of 12 Board members at the Fed voted for QE3.

      You can fire him but you would have to clear the board to change the policy.

      • Mouse_2012

        Aren’t many of the board members part of the same banks that would profit from QE3?

        • StilllHere

          No, but anyway.
          How do banks profit from QE3?

          • Mouse_2012

            The feds are paying for something that isn’t worth what Banks claim they are. So banks profit by getting ride of something they normaly wouldn’t or would at a reduced price.

            This case MBS

    • jefe68

      I’m sick of people posting misinformed gibberish.

      • sickofthechit

        Question and answer sessions with reporters + WSJ article from about 10-12 years ago.

    • Don_B1

      I will not discuss Bernanke’s ego; it really is irrelevant. There is much that Bernanke has done wrong, but if I understand your comment, I do not think it is getting the Fed to commit to QE3.

      His leadership did get the Fed to go where no Fed had gone before in creatively helping, in conjunction with the ARRA, stop the free-fall that the economy was in between September 2008 and June 2009.

      Since then, he has had difficulty, whether from within himself or from other voting members of the Board, to move on the second of the Fed’s two objectives (a third is moderate long-term interest rates):

      1) Maintain price stability through a target inflation rate, managed by setting the discount rate (higher) to reign in excessive growth when the economy and inflation overheat.

      2) Maintain maximum (“full”) employment by setting the discount rate (lower) to stimulate economic growth when the economy is not providing employment to as many workers as the current economic conditions are perceived to support without generating above target inflation.

      There have been many speeches, published papers, etc. from many of the Fed’s members claiming that the current employment level may be the “new normal” and that the Fed cannot do anything to improve it, many saying, without good empirical proof, that the unemployment level is mostly due to “structural” problems, etc.; see:

      http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/02/mishmash-not/

      An important fact is that Bernanke has NOT had the dictatorial style of his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, who began each Fed meeting with his outlook and then let the other members comment. Bernanke takes the last speech, in effect summarizing the opinions of the others with a few of his own thoughts.

      Whether he and the other members have been intimidated by politically motivated Republican economic ignoranti or Bernanke has just not been able to convince his fellow Fed Board members, there has not been sufficient support for action to strengthen the economy to grow employment. The cliche of “leading from behind” seems to apply much more to Bernanke than Obama (read Grunwald’s book, “The New New Deal” for facts on Obama’s positive leadership).

      This week’s QE3 is still only a halfway action as more needs to be done to CONVINCE the market that inflation will be allowed to go to 4% to even 6% so that business gets motivated to invest in capital and workers now. Note that those inflation levels were only indicated to those who might try to read between the lines.

  • Thinkin5

    Romney’s opinions of what’s going on in the Middle East change every week. His main objective is to be opposite whatever Obama says or is doing. That’s not being a leader! Read this. http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2012/09/14/under-president-romney-mideast-would-be-calm-really/?cxntfid=blogs_jay_bookman_blog

  • Jasoturner

    If I may, I would like to take a moment to say that On Point is an absolutely great show.  Interesting and lively, with very good listener interaction hear on these boards.   We should never overlook how lucky we are here in Boston to have it.  I guess I’m feeling expansive this Friday morning…

    JT

  • OMA_OPINES

    In the 1980s, my husband was in graduate school with several muslim students from Egypt who became our friends. Within the last 2 years he visited one of them in Cairo and Ismael brought him to a place where Christians, Jews and Muslims have lived in relative peace for generations. The Coptic “Christians” that  sponsored this hate speech are no more faithful followers of Jesus than are those who are killing in the streets of the ME followers of Islam. People who kill in the name of their faith are infidels, be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or anything else. They are alltogether followers of the Enemy of our souls.

  • ianway

    Here we go again, granting a minority of terrorists, through our reaction, the effects they desire.  It’s US, the unquestionably superior people and religion, guiltless in our actions in the Middle East, vs THEM, the latest Other, and subhuman organisms like Rush Limbaugh orchestrating the fate of millions.  In the mindless march to war, where are you, journalists, in helping us see the larger picture of why people in places like Egypt hate us, and in not calling out the shamefulness of Romney’s cynical exploitation of the death of someone who gave his life to mending divisions for cheap political gain?  I have never felt so hopeless about our future as a species.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Romney was NEVER exploiting anyones death.  He was criticizing the embassy statement.  A criticism that Hillary agreed with because she disavowed that statement and ordered it taken down.

      I suspect you were equally upset when Obama explicitly used the deaths of 9 service members in 2008 to attack Bush and McCain on the day of their death.  Right?

      • Don_B1

        @ianway:disqus  In support of ianway’s comments derided by “Worried”:

        Sec. Clinton NEVER, EVER, repeat, NEVER, “disavowed” the statement from the Consulate. It was removed from the website as not reflective of the events that had occurred AFTER it was posted. There was no daylight between her subsequent statement and the statement posted before the attack.

        But I expect that you [Worried] will follow Republican marching orders and continue repeating what you posted above as if you had never been called on it. From the history of your posts on this site, it is easy to infer that you are not here to enrich the conversation; only to denigrate it and distract people from the real issues.

        The Romney statement criticized the work of the U.S. delegation to Libya when four of them were DEAD and others injured. Pure CRASS opportunism! When Romney wrote his press release, the death was not widely known, but it was by the time the press embargo was broken; that the Romney press statement was not at least revised does indicate that Romney was willing to exploit the deaths of Americans in service to their country.

  • crtum

    You just spent an hour talking about Romney’s comment. Romney is not president. Shouldn’t we be discussing why on 9/11 Our embassies in a volatile part of the world were not very well defended? I get we can not always predict these things but the middle east on 9/11 come on. Where is this story?

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Tom thanks for another fair and balanced show today.  /sarc off

  • zachlea

    Yes,
    this is a discussion that all Americans should take part in. I believe there
    are laws against hate speech and understand that the line between protected
    free speech and hate speech is not clear in every instance; and generally, the
    decision has to be made in our courts. As I understand it, protected speech
    becomes prohibited speech when the speech leads directly to public
    violence—incitement to riot. Since we have been told by the media that the
    violence was in response to the video, it seems that having the question put to
    the US judicial system would help clarify where US law stands on this issue.
    This may help us understand ourselves (our laws) better and help us to better
    explain to our neighbors our stand on the freedom of speech.  

    • Steve__T

       A little late for that.

      • Bstm300

        Agreed. That won’t change the fact that 4 Americans died at that embassy. 

    • Don_B1

      You might begin research on this issue here:

      http://www.crf-usa.org/america-responds-to-terrorism/a-clear-and-present-danger.html

      This is not the only place; there are other places too; some may be found by searching on the terms indicated by the discussion.

      • Don_B1

        The other commenters dismissed your comment mostly because any resolution could not help in this tragic case.

        I think that discussion of the issue you raise would help educate people and the enemies that follow our Internet postings to better understand how free speech really works.

        Note that speech is almost never enjoined before someone says whatever he intends to say. it is afterwards that the originator of the speech faces the consequences of that speech. In that sense, both the film’s maker and Romney now face the consequences of their speech.

  • connie_st_louis

    We

    in the US should be glad that the formerly repressed peoples have
    found their voice and the power of peaceful protest.  Now we need to
    tell them a few more sophisticated ideas:
    - Protests might play into the hands of provocateurs, giving attention
    to that which would otherwise die of stupidity.
    - Another way of reacting to hate speech is to create a rebuttal film. 
    Take apart the hate speech point by point, expose each of the lies, and

    also reveal the motives of the provocateurs.
    - In a democracy, there often is a remedy in the courts– those
    affected can look to see if a lawsuit against the provocateurs is
    possible.

  • Thinkin5

    Romney is telling the press, “I’m going to talk about what I want to talk about” in the debates. I guess that means there will be no real debate. Sounds like the Palin school of debate to me. Don’t look for substance from this man.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       No, it was a signal to the media that they can no longer cover up Obama’s failings.

      • Thinkin5

         Or Romney’s lies?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        From the Romney side, who said “We are a post factual campaign”?

        You should try being as knoweldgable as you pretend to be polite.

  • OnPointComments

    Carney is in his press conference stating emphatically that the cause of the attacks is a video.  It is one of the most naïve statements I’ve heard.  According to Carney, we’re supposed to believe that the video, seen by very few people before 09/12/2012, causes unrelated groups to attack multiple US embassies in multiple countries all at the same time, causes the murder a US ambassador and other Americans, all on the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on US soil, while the radicals are shouting “We are Osama,” and the video is the cause?  To borrow a quote, I might have been born at night but it wasn’t last night.

    • Steve__T

       Are you sure about that, I know some one who has a bridge for sale, since you seem to buy anything.

      • OnPointComments

        It’s your bridge you’re selling, isn’t it?  Just because you were duped by the promises that everyone would love and respect you if you only had that bridge, and that the bridge would bring world peace and prosperity, doesn’t mean that I will fall for the hype too.

    • Don_B1

      With the digging out of more information, the rioting in Cairo appears to be the result of supporters of a minor candidate for the Egyptian presidency, Ahmed Shafik, who used the conspiracy theory of the U.S. funding the Muslim Brotherhood to excuse their loss. (The conspiracy arose out of another right-wing U.S. generated — by Frank Gaffney and Gen. Boykin — that Obama was funding the Muslim Brotherhood to install Islamic Sharia Law in the U.S.)

      The attack in Benghazi is probably a Gaddafi militia with members from the many who spent time in Iraq with the al Qaida in Mesopotamia organization, which had been looking for a riot to attack the Consulate and destroy a U.S. outreach to Libya.

      But the people of the Middle East have for decades blamed the U.S. for their problems under dictators that the U.S. supported. It is going to take a long time for that resentment to stop boiling up and creating these problems. The people of our South still resent losing the Civil War.

  • OnPointComments

    The University of Texas at Austin and North Dakota State University have ordered campus buildings evacuated because of bomb threats.  The caller, a man with a Middle Eastern accent, claimed to be from the al-Qaeda terrorist organization and that the bombs would go off in 90 minutes.  I pray that the call was a hoax and that there is no violence.  I wonder how many people think that an appropriate response is to condemn the act but sympathize with the attacker for anything that might have offended him.

    • StilllHere

      There’s at least one guy in DC who thinks so.

      • Ray in VT

        Who would that be?  I haven’t heard anyone here in the U.S. making apologies for those who have committed these attacks.

        • StilllHere

          You need to adjust your tinhat foil and media choices.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            You use my words and have no idea of their meaning.

            I mean, a parrot can recite Hamlet’s “To be or not to be…” too.

          • StilllHere

            They don’t mean anything, that’s the point.

          • Don_B1

            You need to REMOVE yours and join this world rather than living in your fantasy world.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

     The WSJ hammers the Obama campaign for deceitfully using their paper’s nameplate  for claiming Romney’s tax plan would raise taxes on the middle class.

    “Egged on by the likes of the Tax Policy Center, the media are demanding
    an absurd level of detail from Mr. Romney that no candidate in history
    has ever been required to offer. (What will you do about the tax
    treatment of municipal bond interest?) Meanwhile, Mr. Obama is awarded
    with a get-out-of-policy-jail-free card for his budget that proposes to
    take on debt indefinitely until the economy crashes. A middle-class tax
    increase is far more likely—we’d say a certainty—under Mr. Obama’s plan
    than it is under Mr. Romney’s.”

    Obama’s been using the original TPC report for 2 months now spreading false claims about his opponent even though the original report was discredited and their authors have had to back off.  The media has yet to call Obama on these oft repeated false claims.  It’ll be interesting to see the reaction of the ‘independent’ fact checkers.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444023704577649762178006578.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_AboveLEFTTop

    • jimino

      Name ONE, just ONE so-called loophole his “plan” proposes being closed, without which it makes no sense.  Or is naming just ONE too much detail?

      Just ONE.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Already answered that one.  Pay attention.

        • jimino

          If you thought that was an answer you obviously don’t even know what a “loophole” is.  Which explains a lot about your views on tax matters.

          You still can not identify even one tax deduction or credit that is proposed by closed by RR.  But don’t feel bad because neither of them can either.

    • Thinkin5

       Romney asked for, and received, 10 yrs. of tax returns from Paul Ryan. But he refuses to give more than 2 yrs. to the voters of America. He obviously thinks they are important for him to see. Why worry about what the Dems will think of them? He doesn’t worry what they think about any of his policies.

    • Joseph_Wisconsin

       So instead we should take as the truth the opinion piece based on the analysis by Romney economic adviser Martin Feldstein?  I’ve read Feldstein’s articles and talk about questionable assumptions.  Like an assumption that  Romney proposes eliminating all tax deductions for those with income in excess of $100,000 and then applying a tax rate of 30% to this additional amount.  Using this helps  to come up with some of the supposed additional revenue that would pay for Romney’s plan to reduce the top tax rate to 20%.  Say what?  Romney plans to eliminate all tax deductions for those making over $100,000? Yeah right.  If so why does Romney just not say so?  And what’s with using a 30% tax rate in calculating that additional revenue, not 20%?  The remainder of Feldstein’s argument, including how eliminating the estate tax won’t further increase the deficit requires the usual presto chango magic of supply side economics assumptions that have given the US big deficits ever since Reagan first sold that snake oil to the public. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Yuppers, another Worried “WSJ Opinion” which isn’t the south pole of political navigating.

      Hint for everyone else: Chances are when the WSJ op-ed page says a Democrat is doing the right thing politically, it’s bad for the Democrat. When that space says something is good policy, it’s some catfood commission crap which all the reasonable beltway hacks (who don’t need SocSec and Medicare, to name but two things) to keep their families in the middle class.

    • Don_B1

      @jimino:disqus @Thinkin5:disqus @Joseph_Wisconsin:disqus @yahoo-JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y:disqus 

      The ONLY false claims on Romney’s tax plan (UN)fairness, are the WSJ’s.

      See Ezra Klein’s analysis where he shows that Romney will have to raise taxes on those earning something less than $100,000 to those earning $200,000 by at least $2,000 to get his “revenue neutral” plan to work. That is why he cannot be more specific as EVERYONE would be all over him if he did.

      Romney has had an incredibly arrogant approach to running his campaign and apparently the “s**t” is starting to hit the fan with all his Republican supporters no longer circling the wagons. Even the WSJ has strongly criticized his campaign.

  • JGC

    If I was a Republican, right about now I would start looking at Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate.  He is on the ballot in 47 states, and working on the last three. 

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Jill Stein?

      • JGC

        Definitely. If I was a Republican, I would also be ready to contemplate voting for Jill Stein, too.

  • Brandstad

    MOB AT US EMBASSY IN LONDON BURNS AMERICAN FLAG…

    Protesters smash windows, set fires at embassy in Tunisia…

    GUNFIRE HEARD AT EMBASSY IN SUDAN…

    Report: German embassy in Sudan on fire…

    Clashes intensify near US embassy in Cairo…

    Embassies on high alert as protests spread…

    Crowd in Lebanon torches KFC…

    • JGC

      The crowd in Lebanon must like their chicken extra-crispy.

    • jimino

      So Col. Sanders and NOT Obama is to blame.  Why isn’t this being reported in the US media?  Obviously there’s a vast chicken-wing  conspiracy that needs to be looked into.

  • Brandstad

    REPORT: Obama admin warned about attacks on the U.S. Embassies in Egypt and Libya, did nothing…

    • Ray in VT

      I have heard several people mention that.  Who is reporting it?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        UK newspaper.  Amazing it isn’t being reported here.  Good ole Drudge had it linked yesterday.

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/revealed-inside-story-of-us-envoys-assassination-8135797.html
         

        • Ray in VT

          Well, we’ll have to see how it plays out in terms of who the sources were and how credible their claims are.  It does seem, however, that these installations should have been on high alert in any case just because of their locations and the day.

      • Bstm300

        Fascinating yet shocking read.  So Ambassador Steven’s mission there was confidential and the safe house the 40 or so staff was taken to was somehow compromised by a preplanned attack?  That’s whacky.  This could mean that the attack on the U.S. embassy and the safehouse was perpetrated by an Al Caeda wing in Libya and that it wasn’t just a mob getting angry over the Innoncence of Muslims movie.  Still, though, why the Obama administration and/or the state department didn’t tighten the security at the embassy doesn’t make any sense.  If it is true that the State Department had credible information 48 hours before the Tuesday attack that an attack on U.S. missions may happen, why wasn’t there an adecuate response by the State Department? As far as I’m concerned, all U.S. embassies and consulates should have been on lock down and closed on September 11th, 2012.

  • Ray in VT

    I know that it’s still a few days off, but can we get in a mention of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam and also the 150th anniversary of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22nd?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      aka Battle of Sharpsburg

      Bloodiest single day in the civil war.

  • keltcrusader

    RIP Ambassador Stevens, Glen A. Doherty, Sean Smith , Tyrone S. Woods, and those in Lybia who lost their lives trying to keep them safe.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    What drives me crazy, besides Etcha’s unpatriotic behavior, is the fact that every time a gang in the ME takes arms against their gvt someone is screaming that the President is not doing enough to support them. Geez, it was so awful that we used a coalition in Libya instead of taking “leadership”, right? It’s bizarre, the muslim-haters go crazy if we don’t send the Marines even though they have no idea if the rebels are bin Laden clones. Go figure that one.

    Of course, it makes perfect sense if all you care about is trashing the President

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      How would you react if you were a radical muslim and you saw the leader of the Great Satan spend a week spiking the football celebrating the killing of your hero martyr — even going to the length of creating political bumper stickers to that effect?

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Yeah, he never should have landed on that aircraft carrier.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Deflecting…..

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        “Spent a week spiking the football”?

        Hard to imagine how one of those radical Muslims would feel seeing that.

        Because it’s hard to imagine why any self-respcting Muslim would subject themselves to the right’s propaganda press, the only place where that “spiking the football” crap flies as truth, for a whole week.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          –restraint–

    • Mouse_2012

      Read Gregg Post below,

      The right believes in
      Generalization notice the use of the word “They” and no intent on seperating Libyans from Egpytians from OBL from the MB.

      Worth pointing out again the guy that helped make this video gave a speech against the Islamic Center and was actually verbally attacked by the crowd for looking too muslims(he even wrote to Pam Geller about this)

  • Adrian_from_RI

    Whenever Muslims go berserk again I am reminded of this sign at Ground Zero:
    “Dear Lord, save us from the people who believe in you”.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Funny how that sign also applies to Christianists, too.

  • Mouse_2012

    The tragic consulate killings in Libya and America’s hierarchy of human life

    The murder of American staff over a hate film is an unmitigated wrong. But so are deaths caused by the US that go unremarked

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/12/tragic-consulate-killings-libya

    1) The deaths of Ambassador Stevens, a former Peace Corps volunteer and a dedicated Arabic-speaking career diplomat, and the other three American staff, are both a tragedy and a senseless outrage. Indiscriminately murdering people over a film, no matter how offensive it is, is an unmitigated wrong. The blame lies fully and completely with those who committed these murders.

    Sam Bacile and his cowardly anonymous donors are repellent cretins for producing this bottom-feeding, bigoted, hateful “film” that has no apparent purpose but to spread anti-Islamic hatred and provoke violent reactions. But just as was true of the Qur’an burnings by Pastor Terry Jones (who, unsurprisingly, has a prominent role in promoting this film), or the Danish Muhammad cartoons before that, it is – and it should be – an absolute, unfettered free speech right to produce films no matter how offensive their content might be.

     It is hard not to notice, and be disturbed by, the vastly different reactions whenever innocent Americans are killed, as opposed to when Americans are doing the killing of innocents. All the rage and denunciations of these murders in Benghazi are fully justified, but one wishes that even a fraction of that rage would be expressed when the US kills innocent men, women and children in the Muslim world, as it frequently does. Typically, though, those deaths are ignored, or at best justified with amoral bureaucratic phrases (“collateral damage”) or self-justifying cliches (“war is hell”), which Americans have been trained to recite.

    • Mouse_2012

      “It is understandable that the senseless killing of an ambassador is bigger news than the senseless killing of an unknown, obscure Yemeni or Pakistani child. But it’s anything but understandable to regard the former as more tragic than the latter. Yet there’s no denying that the same people today most vocally condemning the Benghazi killings are quick and eager to find justification when the killing of innocents is done by their government, rather than aimed at it.
      It’s as though there are two types of crimes: killing, and then the killing of Americans. The way in which that latter phrase is so often invoked, with such intensity, emotion and scorn, reveals that it is viewed as the supreme crime: this is not just the tragic deaths of individuals, but a blow against the Empire; it therefore sparks particular offense. It is redolent of those in conquered lands being told they will be severely punished because they have raised their hand against a citizen of Rome”

  • Mouse_2012

    Another piece from Gleen, He seem to be one of the only few people willing to tell it like it is. The below piece also talks about democrats hypocrisy in exploiting F.P follies against Bush as Republicans are doing against Obama

    US media angrily marvels at the lack of Muslim gratitude

    NBC News, along with a leading US newspaper, insist that Egyptians should be grateful to the US for having ‘freed’ them

    “On Wednesday, USA Today published an article with the headline “After attacks in Egypt and Libya, USA Today asks: Why?” The paper appeared to tell its readers that it was the US that freed the Egyptian people from tyranny”

    “Did you know that the “USA helped free” Egyptians from their murderous dictator? On Thursday night, NBC News published a nine-minute report on Brian Williams’ “Rock Center” program featuring its foreign correspondent, Richard Engel”
    That it was the US who freed Egyptians and “allowed them” the right to protest would undoubtedly come as a great surprise to many Egyptians. That is the case even beyond the decades of arming, funding and general support from the US for their hated dictator (to his credit, Engel including a snippet of an interview with Tariq Ramadan pointing out that the US long supported the region’s dictators).

    Beyond the long-term US support for Mubarak, Egyptians would likely find it difficult to reconcile Engel’s claim that the US freed them with the “made in USA” logos on the tear gas cannisters used against them by Mubarak’s security forces; or with Hillary Clinton’s touching 2009 declaration that “I really consider President and Mrs Mubarak to be friends of my family”; or with Obama’s support for Mubarak up until the very last minute when his downfall became inevitable; or with the fact that the Obama administration plan was to engineer the ascension of the loathed, US-loyal torturer Omar Suleiman as Mubarak’s replacement in the name of “stability”.

  • Thinkin5

    Host countries are ultimately responsible for embassies and consulates.
    Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi condemned the attack on Libya
    that killed the American ambassador and vowed Thursday to protect
    foreign embassies in Cairo” But at the same time we say this cannot be taken as a justification for
    attacking embassies or consulates,” he said. “The Egyptian state is
    responsible for protecting embassies and consulates, and the Egyptian
    people will not engage in these … unlawful acts.”

    • Mouse_2012

      NPR has switched back to called him an Islamist.

  • fredericc

    Paternalistic embargo on free speech regarding middle east long in effect. The motive of the producers is troubling, any talk on the facts of Islam’s origins and spread?

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Wait a sec.  I thought Obama’s preemptive Nobel Peace Prize was supposed to prevent this kind of violence.

    On second thought, maybe it was to prevent escalating drone attacks.

    One or the other.
     

    • Jasoturner

      Hey, at least nobody’s flow airplanes into buildings during Obama’s watch.  Progress.

      • notafeminista

        No, unmanned planes over civilian populations instead. Hum.

    • StilllHere

      Or both, enjoy the Peace

      • Thinkin5

         What have the GOP got to offer? War in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the promise of one in Iran. Is that “Peace”?! Or, maybe get one going with Korea?

  • fredericc

    There already is an embargo of free speech vis the mid east. Religiosity is universal across humanity and the propensity for the priestly caste among peoples to harness the force that religion affords them is irresistable. Mohammad is veiled for a reason, Joseph Smith was jailed for a reason, Jesus was nailed for a reason, Barabbas was bailed for a reason.
    They were exceptional people with vision and a variety of motives.
    With respect to Islam, the prohibition on examining the earthly Mohammed serves only the state not the faithful.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Hey, why is there an empty chair at the daily intel briefings?

    • StilllHere

      It belongs to the empty suit on the golf course or at the fundraiser.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        “Now watch this drive.”

        “Time to clear brush at the ranch.”

        • notafeminista

          I thought your guy was supposed to be above all that.

          How many rounds of golf has he played?

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bradford-T-Hall/100003288642776 Bradford T. Hall

          Tool is as tool does.

  • hennorama

    Romney was raked over the coals for leaving Afghanistan out of his convention speech, so the Romney camp has been looking for an opportunity to demonstrate Romney’s foreign policy “chops.”

    Imagine if had not been Sept. 11th when the recent events occurred.  Mr. Romney and his campaign would have no doubt acted much differently.  Unfortunately for them, it was Sept. 11th, and they mixed together comments on the following:

    1.  Tweets/statements out of the US Embassy in Cairo that condemned a “film” that is offensive to Muslims

    2.  The breach of the US Embassy in Cairo by protestors/demonstrators/militants (pick the word you prefer here)

    3.  The attack on and deaths at the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya

    If it had not been Sept. 11th, this is a likely scenario:

    When they read the stuff out of the Cairo Embassy, they likely would have issued a statement right away, probably something like “Obama apologizes for America again!”

    When the Cairo Embassy was later breached and the flag was pulled down and replaced, they would have issued another more strident statement, probably something like “I’m outraged over this attack on US soil and the American flag, Obama is weak, see what you get for apologizing for American values …” etc.

    Then when the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked and it became clear that Americans were killed and wounded, they probably would have at the very least considered waiting until casualties were confirmed and all US personnel accounted for, relatives had been notified and Pres. Obama had weighed in.

    Instead, they were restrained by the fact that it was Sept. 11th, and the internal pressure inside the campaign built and built and built as events unfolded, finally bursting out in a very messy, confused and controversial statement.

    • Gregg Smith

      It wasn’t an accident it happened on 9/11.

      • hennorama

        It is indeed very likely that the events in Cairo and Benghazi were timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.  The ongoing investigations by US agencies and others may bear this out.

        My point was not about this coincidence, but instead about the possible reasoning behind the Romney campaign’s conflation of events, and the resulting confused and erroneous statement.

        The campaign buckled under the combination of fast-moving events, the universal agreement to avoid political attacks on Sept. 11th, and their eagerness to demonstrate in any way that Mr. Romney has some measure of foreign policy awareness or leadership qualities.

        • notafeminista

          You’re not willing to speculate about the motives of those who have killed people and destroyed property, but you *know* the Romney campaign buckled. 

          By the way, all those protesters outside all those embassies apparently didn’t get your memo for the “universal agreement to avoid political attacks on Sept. 11″.

          • hennorama

            Wow.  OK, thanks for your comment.

            You’re so right.  I did not speculate about motives.  I merely said “It is indeed very likely that the events in Cairo and Benghazi were timed to coincide …” indicating nearly full agreement with Gregg.

            Perhaps I need to spell out every word to you, to define “universal agreement” when discussing comments made by a US presidential candidate.

            If so, then this is what I meant by “universal agreement: – US politicians and virtually every single American agree that political attacks on Sept. 11th are inappropriate.

            Perhaps you feel otherwise.

            Perhaps you also missed the words “Imagine” and “likely” and “probably” and “possible” in my comments.  I offered what I believe is a plausible explanation for what is widely viewed as a mistake on the part of Romney and his people.

            If you believe it was perfectly fine and good and appropriate for Romney to make a political attack on Sept. 11th, fine.  Please explain your reasoning.

            If you think Romney’s statement was clear and contained no errors, fine.  Please explain.

            If you think Romney and his campaign would have made the same statement if it had not been Sept. 11th, fine.  Please explain your reasoning.

            My use of the words “bursting” and “buckled” were used in conjunction with my contention that the Romney campaign was under enormous pressure, and that because it was Sept 11th, they were restrained from making comments throughout the day as events were occuring.

            They could not completely resist the building pressure, and made an unfortunate statement, on Sept 11th, as a result.

            I do not think I can make this any clearer, but if you did not understand, please let me know so that I can try to explain yet again.

          • notafeminista

            As I said, you “know” exactly what the Romney camp was experiencing despite (I presume) not having been in their presence, however you are willing to give the Muslims the benefit of the doubt.  (Also I presume, not having been in their presence either.) And when one says “There may very well have been”…that is not indicative of any agreement at all whatsoever. Perhaps the intent was to agree with another comment, but that is not what was posted. “The investigation may bear that out” – meaning it may not as well.

            There was no “universal” agreement unless you are implying the US is the only one in “the universe”  (kind of like the “World” Series huh?).  There may have been an unanimous agreement between the two American political parties to refrain from making political statements on Sept 11, but there was nothing “universal” about it.   Clearly.

          • hennorama

            OK, as I said, I will explain yet again.  Tedious, but I will do it.

            Your words seem to indicate that you did not actually read what I wrote.  (Please note that I used the word “seem” here to indicate doubt about, and not actual knowledge of, your actions).

            I did not claim to know what was going on in the Romney campaign or what they were experiencing.  Witness again my use of the words “”Imagine” and “likely” and “probably” and “possible.”  Feel free to point out my use of the word “know” or any related words or phrases.

            I will let your use of the words “the Muslims” go without comment, as I believe (please note that this word indicates a conjecture and not actual knowledge) that you do not have any prejudicial intent in using these words.

            Just to be clear, I was discussing the Romney campaign throughout my entries.

            In the same way that I do not know what happened inside the Romney campaign on Sept. 11, 2012, I do not know the motives of those involved in the incidents in Cairo or Benghazi on the same date, and make no claims about such motives.  I merely indicated that it is highly likely that the timing is connected to the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

            It is also possible that the timing is in no way connected.  My words indicated that possibility, nothing more.

            I did explain EXACTLY what I meant by the term “universal agreement.”  If your objection is that I left out the words “among US politicians and virtually every single American” in my posting – fair enough.  Objection noted.

  • Mouse_2012

    The statement issued by Romney on Tuesday night read:

    I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.

    By this morning that statement would look even worse, given that there was no truth in the accusation that the White House sympathised “with those who waged the attacks”.
    After Romney repeated that accusation at his press conference, Republicans queued up to disparage his campaign’s handling, with Buzzfeed Politics reporting:
    “They were just trying to score a cheap news cycle hit based on the embassy statement and now it’s just completely blown up,” said a very senior Republican foreign policy hand, who called the statement an “utter disaster” and a “Lehman moment” – a parallel to the moment when John McCain, amid the 2008 financial crisis, failed to come across as a steady leader.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/richard-adams-blog/2012/sep/12/romney-obama-libya-strategy

    • Thinkin5

       Reactionary bluster and blundering from the right is not a foreign policy. They are under some kind of illusion that merely pronouncing disapproval and threatening bombs is all it takes to bring the Middle East to their heel. It’s never worked in the past and isn’t going to working now. The U.S. is never going to be in charge in the Middle East. They, like us, will not submit to rule from a foreign country.

  • Mouse_2012

    More

    But what would Romney have done in the light of the deaths in Benghazi? Given an opportunity to demonstrate the “clarity in our purpose” he would later boast of underpinning his foreign policy, Romney refused, saying: “I’m not going to take hypotheticals about what would have been known, what, and so forth. I, we responded last night to the events that happened in Egypt.”

    Yet by the second attempt to answer a similar question, Romney wound up endorsing the position of the Obama administration:

    Question: How specifically, Governor Romney, would President Romney have handled this situation differently than President Obama? You spoke out before midnight when all the facts were known. How would you have handled this differently than the president did?

    Romney: I spoke out when the key fact that I referred to was known, which was that the embassy of the United States issued what appeared to be an apology for American principles. That was a mistake. And I believe that when a mistake is made of that significance, you speak out.

    In other words: Romney would have done exactly as the Obama administration did. When reports of the Cairo statement circulated on Tuesday night, the White House told journalists: “The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government.”

    http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/12/13831714-timeline-political-fallout-from-the-attack-on-diplomats-in-libya?lite

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/richard-adams-blog/2012/sep/12/romney-obama-libya-strategy

  • Gregg Smith

    Dr. Krauthammer put it well, “Go to hell”:

    “That statement is an embarrassment,” Krauthammer said. “That’s a hostage statement. That’s a mob of al-Qaida sympathizers in Egypt forcing the United States into making a statement essentially of apology — on 9/11 of all days — for something of which we are not responsible. I would issue a statement saying to the mob, ‘Go to hell.’ The way America works, the way a democracy works, is that everybody has a right to express themselves. We don’t police our speech and you ought to apologize to the United States for storming an embassy and the violation of the ultimate sacred principle of democracy, which is protecting embassies and missions abroad. For the U.S. to what, essentially, issue a veiled apology, I think is disgraceful.”Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/11/krauthammer-rips-us-embassy-in-egypt-says-appropriate-statement-to-mob-would-be-go-to-hell-video/#ixzz26U0IEGTE

    • jefe68

      “Go to hell”.  Well it’s a good thing Krauthammer is not in the  Sate Department.
      It’s amazing how you regressive right wingers are turning this into something it is not. Well, well, back on the theme of telling Porky Pies. 

      • Gregg Smith

        It certainly is not about a stupid movie.

        • StilllHere

          This troll won’t give in to reality, no matter how much you shove it in his sour puss.

      • JGC

        Neo-conservatives have no use for the State Department, or diplomacy in general.  

      • notafeminista

        Let’s hear the same contempt for the Muslim protesters shown for Christian believers in the US and comments like yours might have more credibility.

        • StilllHere

          You won’t, this coward is anti-American and incredibly ignorant.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            You forgot to call him a lazy moocher just sitting back waiting for the Democrats to send him a welfare check.

          • notafeminista

            No, none of that.  Let’s just hear the same contempt shown for US Christians.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Any time you want to stop confusing “hostile to the Roman Catholic Church and/or fundamentalists who want to operate tax-free religions in politics” with “hostile to Christians”, be my guest.

          • notafeminista

            Let’s just hear the same contempt for the Muslims that is shown for Christians and the comments would  have more credibility.  That’s all.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Hey, I survived stupider than you saying worse things about me a decade ago because I “didn’t say enough bad things about Muslims”.

            Nice purity test. Now I know what Arthur Miller had in mind in The Crucible.

            Sod off.

      • Thinkin5

        I love the way the Repcons pretend that they had the Middle East all under their control. Totally delusional!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Apology?

      Please stop putting Krackhammer’s goddamn lies here. If we want to read it we know where it is.

      • StilllHere

        Name two lies.

    • OnPointComments

      Our government’s reaction to embassies being attacked and diplomats being murdered reminded me of the speech that Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick gave at the 1984 Republican National Convention.  She was correct in 1984 and it’s just as true today.  An excerpt:
       

      “The Democrats said that saving Grenada from terror and totalitarianism was the wrong thing to do – they didn’t blame Cuba or the communists for threatening American students and murdering Grenadians – they blamed the United States instead.
       

      But then, somehow, they always blame America first.
       

      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.
       

      But then, they always blame America first.
       

      When Marxist dictators shoot their way to power in Central America, the San Francisco Democrats don’t blame the guerrillas and their Soviet allies, they blame the United States policies of 100 years ago.
       

      But then they always blame America first.
       

      The American people know better.”
       

      If Jeane Kirkpatrick were alive today, she could add to her speech “When a radical fanatic mob attacked our embassies, tortured and assassinated our ambassador and killed three other diplomats, the “blame America first crowd” sympathized with the mob’s alleged irrational motive and blamed a trivial Internet video posted on a US website instead of blaming the terrorists.  But then they always blame America first.”

      • notafeminista

        God bless ya man.

      • Gregg Smith

        Thank you.

      • Don_B1

        Note how Romney blamed Obama for not controlling the people of the Middle East, not the people of the Middle East who are allowing themselves to be emotionally inflamed by radicals, just like some of the American people who are being emotionally inflamed by radical Republicans using “dog-whistles.”

  • Scott653

    This was one of the most biased segments I have ever heard on NPR. Half this segment was on an alleged gaffe by Romney without even once mentioning the following:

     1. Obama’s foreign policy approach has been a disaster: 40,000 innocents in Syria have been slaughtered and we have done nothing; Iran is even closer to developing nuclear weapons; although we helped take out Ghadafi, Libya is now in chaos and failed at protecting our diplomats there; Obama supported the Arab Spring which has now resulted in the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood to take over Egypt and yesterday tells Egypt we’re not allies despite giving them $2 billion a year, then retracts the statement; and our relationship with our staunchest ally in the Middle East, Israel, (the only true democracy in the middle east and our intelligence partner) is now at its weakest point in decades

    2. Hardly a mention of the fact that Obama has failed so miserably with this recovery that the Federal Reserve is going to have to pump trillions more into our economy; there is a direct result of our economy having abysmal organic growth since Obama took office, despite spending $6 trillion in 3.5 years

    3. As result of the Fed’s third round of pumping, our credit rating has been downgraded

    4. The latest Rasmussen poll, which has Romney up by three points; and for those on NPR that would like to rely on MSM polling, most of which ranked at the bottom for accuracy in 2008, Rasmussen was the most accurate poll in 2008 and predicted with precision the margin of Obama’s victory in 2008
     

    • StilllHere

      Completely agree, Romney must have these liberal “journalists” really worried.  You could have predicted this outcome when seeing the panel list, as many did.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Quoting Rasmussen as accurate at the finish line?

      Didn’t they make their bad name for how much their work disagreed with everyone else between the conventions and Halloween? If they’re accurate only on election day, why should we pay attention to them until then?

      You also need to read up on the term “business cycle”. Do yo remember how much the economy was contracting before Obama became President? There’s a reason righties like to talk about “four years ago” and not mention the effing crater the economy took after Labor Day 2008 until the election.

    • JONBOSTON

      Kudos to your post. NPR (especially Ari Shapiro) and the mainstream media are totally in the tank for Obama. On Point’s subtle message every Friday is that Romney and Republicans are bad and Obama is good .  I can’t recall the last time On Point was highly critical of Obama , the Democrats or any of their policies. Ari Shapiro , in coordination with a CBS reporter was caught on mic during Romney’s news conference planning their “questioning” of Romney. Their very questions became the media narrative.  I’ll never forget Shapiro’s biased commentary when he was NPR’s DOJ reporter on the Bush counter-terrorism program ( much of which has been adopted by Obama) or the Valery Plaime affair . You would have thought that the ACLU was creating Shapiro’s talking points. To now have him follow Romney’s campaign is a joke. The MSM is intent on preserving the narrative that Obama is  skilled in foreign affairs and that Romney is a neophyte. Funny how in 2008 the MSM never questioned the community organizer’s ( D-Gutter) credentials despite his lack of any experience in foreign affairs , especially when compared to Sen. McCain. Fast forward to 2012 and why isn’t the MSM’s questioning the wisdom of Obama’s foreign policy? Why does the MSM never voice any skepticism with anything the Administration/Obama says or does? Why aren’t they asking why the Libyan embassy was undefended?  Why did the Egyptian embassy first issue what sounded like an apology when the embassy was attacked? Why aren’t American values ( ex.free speech) being defended / explained to the Arab world?What about Obama’s gaffe that Egypt is neither friend nor foe? Where is the MSM in all of this? Is professional journalism dead?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bradford-T-Hall/100003288642776 Bradford T. Hall

      It was indeed one of the most biased segments ever on OnPoint. After one year of NPR as my only non net news source (no TV), one thing is clear. NPR is 100% Islamocentric and 150% pro appeasement.

      • Don_B1

        How could you tell when the reporting was of what was going on versus what you WANTED to be going on?

  • http://www.facebook.com/anne.riemer.56 Anne Riemer

    We are well into the show about the attack on an American embassy in Libya and I hear repeated criticism of Gov. Romney for “politicizing” this terrible event.  There are so many more serious considerations involved, who exactly is politicizing?
    Anne
    Groton, MA

  • GrueneJim

    The American people have every right to question the lack of adequate security preparations by the current administration. The failures of the State Department are serious. The leaders of this country have a responsibility to be aware of the troubled history of this region.

    • hennorama

      There is no doubt that the legitimate question of security at our diplomatic missions  should be and will be investigated.  One important point to remember is that host countries have a significant role in embassy security.  We are seeing that now in Egypt and elsewhere, with local police and military stepping up.

      Here’s a good discussion of Embassy security:

      http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/09/securing-embassies.html

    • Roy-in-Boise

       WWII was Obama’s fault as was Korea and VN … yes, it is all his doing!

      • StilllHere

        I believe Obama was in Kenya at the time, so you’re laying blame is quite a stretch.

  • turkoz

    Abderrahim Foukara’s commentary was disjointed and illogical…no better mouthpiece for arab “spring”?

  • hennorama

    A topic that has been overshadowed by the recent events in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere is Mr. Romney’s discussion of his tax policy on Meet The Press.

    He said a some things that I still can’t logically resolve.

    1.  He said he wants to get the same tax revenue

    2.  He said he doesn’t want to lower the tax burden on high income people

    3.  He repeatedly said he wants tol lower the tax burden on middle income people

    So if he will keep tax revenue the same, does not lower the burden on high income people, reduces it on middle income people, then I guess low income people get the make up the difference.

    I realize that Mr. Romney has other components to his overall tax policy besides individual income taxes, such as corporate taxes.  But he wants to lower these, too.

    And since he says he wants to maintain tax revenue, you can’t argue that increased economic activity that he claims results from his policies will “grow the pie” of tax revenues.

    Just FYI, here are the various components of US tax revenue, by source and percentage:

    Individual income taxes:                  47.4%
    Payroll taxes (Soc. Sec & Medicare) 35.6%
    Corporate taxes                                7.9%
    Customs, duties, misc.                      5.7%
    Excise taxes                                      3.1%
    Estate and gift taxes                         0.3%

    Mr. Romney says these changes will produce more jobs.  Let’s assume this to be true.  That means more payroll taxes coming in, so maybe this is where he makes up the difference from lowering the burden on middle income people.

    Remember, he said he wants to keep the same tax revenues, not lower or increase them, so that lower burden on middle income people has to be made up somewhere.

    Right?

    These are some of his exact words (from the MTP website transcripts):

    “.. my own plan, by the way, to bring down the rate of taxation while maintaining the revenues that come into the government is by making sure that we don’t lower taxes on high income people.  We’re not going to have high-income people pay less of the tax burden than they pay today.  That’s not what’s going to happen.  I do want to bring taxes down for middle-income people.  In particular I want middle income Americans not to have to pay taxes on interest and dividends and capital gains.”

    ” …we can bring down the rates, and if we limit or eliminate some of the loopholes and deductions at the high end, we keep the current progressivity of the code and we get the same revenue coming into the government …”

    “…make sure we don’t put any bigger burden on middle income people.  In fact, I want to lower the burden on middle income people.”

    “… “The taxes people pay stay the same, middle income people are going to get a break, but at the high end the tax coming in stays the same …”

    Can ANYONE explain this?

    • Gregg Smith

      The math works far better with more taxpayers paying lower taxes than it does with fewer taxpayers paying higher taxes.

      • hennorama

        Please explain.  Perhaps you could offer 1 or 2 details?

        • Gregg Smith

          I think it’s pretty clear, let me try this. Suppose you sold 500 widgets for a profit of 1$ each. Now say the economy goes into the dumper and as a result you sell only 250 widgets. Could you solve the problem by raising your price  so you made a profit of $2/widget? On paper yes, in real life no. You need more customers.

          • hennorama

            Sorry, but your attempt leaves many things to be desired.  Are the widgets supposed to be taxpayers?  Are the customers supposed to be taxpayers?  Did your example show how “The math works far better …”  If so, I missed it.

            Do you think there are now 50% fewer taxpayers as a result of the Great Depression?  Do you think tax revenue has fallen by 50%?  What would happen if you got “more customers” who each bought fewer widgets on average?  How many customers bought the 500 widgets, and how many bought the 250 widgets?

            I’m still waiting for ANYONE to explain Mr. Romney’s words, so you’re not alone in this endeavor.

          • Gregg Smith

            Sorry, I was in a hurry. The widget company is the government, the customers are the tax payers, the widgets are what we get for our tax dollars, the price of the widget is the tax rate and the profit is revenue. I guess it’s a little convoluted. I was trying to make the point that higher taxes (the price the public pays for the widget) are not the best way to increase revenue (profit). 

            The reason the math works better is because the economy is not static hence the analogy. Raising prices doesn’t work because it does not get the widget company more customers it loses them customers. Cutting prices gets customers. Obviously there is a point of diminishing returns but the economy is struggling right now, people don’t have money. The last thing they need is to pay more for their widgets. If Widget inc. can increase their customer (tax) base they may just recover. 

            Raising taxes does not create jobs, I’ve never heard that argument made. More jobs means more taxpayers which is the only solution.

          • hennorama

            Thanks for your improved reply.  One thing you may wish to change is your identifying the Widget co. as being the government.  You may get significant disagreement over this equivalency.

            I agree that having more people working and paying Federal revenues (whether they be payroll taxes, income taxes or both) is what is really needed.

            While I did mention raising taxes in the context of Pres. Obama’s proposals, I did not discuss the merits of either raising or lowering taxes in my remarks.

            My entire point is that I can’t  logically resolve Mr. Romney’s remarks.  Mr. Romney says his proposals will result in the same revenue, NOT increased revenue.  He says high income people will pay the same, and middle income people will pay less.  If this is true, who makes up the difference?

          • Don_B1

            NOBODY, including Mitt Romney, can explain how his words fit together, because they DON’T.

            In the primaries, Romney was attacked for all kinds of things, so he thought he could quickly put out the fire with a hastily outlined tax reduction plan that would “outdo” his rivals. Now it just doesn’t add up.

            See:

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/10/is-romneys-tax-plan-mathematically-possible-after-all/

          • Don_B1

            The need for more customers is the problem of the CURRENT economy. The government can temporarily step in and be that extra customer until more unemployed are hired and can take over the extra customer role.

    • William

       Where is Obama’s plan? Where is Obama’s budget? You can’t fault Romney because he is at least putting something on the table.

      • hennorama

        President Obama’s tax proposals are pretty clear, and have been discussed quite often.  Perhaps you missed them somehow.

        Pres. Obama:

        Ordinary income tax rates are the same for families with income under $250 K.  Higher earners (the top 2 brackets): rates increase from 33% to 36%, and from 35% to 39.6%

        Investment income: again, changes only to top 2 brackets.  For these people, dividends would be taxed the same as ordinary income, and increase capital gains taxes from 15 percent to 20 percent.
        Hedge funders, private equity and other financiers would have “carried interest” taxed as ordinary income rather than at the low 15 percent rate they pay now.

        There are other changes as well, for the AMT, corporate taxes, and estate taxes.

        Sound familiar?

        Pres. Obama has also proposed his budget for FY 2013, which can be seen in many places.  There are multiple analyses of it as well.  For example, at the CBO:

        http://www.cbo.gov/topics/budget/analysis-of-the-presidents-budget

        Perhaps you missed this as well, somehow.

        • William

           He has no plan. He just wants to raise taxes and keep spending. That is not a plan for economic success. It is a plan for economic disaster. When given the chance he extended the Bush tax cuts and then raided Social Security to put forth is own tax cuts. That is the plan? Kick the can down the road but never address the spending?

          His own budgets were shot down by his own party. He has become an international joke and we just got our credit rating downgraded.

          This is the plan?

          • hennorama

            Interesting.  You ask a question, and a clear answer is given.

            You respond by making a statement that is clearly erroneous, as indicated by the answer to your initial question.  You go on to ascribe motives to the President about his plan, make statements without evidence, ask more questions with one that includes a factual error, make further statements, then ask another question.

            In all of the above, you said 1 thing that was true.  Yes, a credit ratings agency that I would wager you could not name without looking it up, downgraded the US credit rating.

            Of course, this was not as a result of any action by the President, but rather as a result of action taken by the Federal Reserve.

            Bravo!  You sure told me.

          • Don_B1

            William (and Gregg) is a recording of Republican talking points; when one gets debunked, all they can do is respond with a different one (the Gish Gallop debate tactic) or just repeat the initial (now proven false) claim, in playback mode, as if the readers of this site would not see the idiocy of it. Unfortunately for the country there are people so wedded to their ideology that they refuse to follow the argument.

          • jefe68

            Comprehension issues I see.

          • Don_B1

            Actually it is the lack of a convincing (at least to rational, non-ideological people) answer, so the only thing left is deception and lies.

    • Joseph_Wisconsin

       It can’t be explained because the math just can’t work.  If more people end up paying income tax then some people who were not before paying income tax will now be dosing so therefore they obviously are paying more.  As fare as the very wealthy not paying less, Romney wants to keep taxation of capital gains, dividends, and interest income the same for these people, eliminate the estate tax that now apples to them, and reduce the top rate for earned income to 20%.  If you think this will not lower their tax burden I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.  The only way that his numbers can even come close to working as revenue neutral without raising taxation for middle income and lower income  people is if one assumes that lowering the taxes on the wealthy will produce and explosion in income for the bottom 80%, in other words supply side trickle down economic b***s**** like even Reagan and Bush did not try and peddle.

      • StilllHere

        Please, math is definitely not your forte; nor do you seem familiar with the historical relationship between reductions in tax rates and tax receipts.  Try again.

        • jimino

          Can you name just ONE deduction/loophole Romney proposes be eliminated?  Just ONE.

        • Joseph_Wisconsin

           LOL.  Apparently not just  me. Also the Tax Policy Center, and just about anyone not associated with the Romney campaign has the same problem.  So enlighten me with your math?

          Regarding the history of tax receipts and tax rates I actually did such an analysis  covering Reagan’s time in office a few days ago that I posted here.  I am too lazy to try and find it to post it again.  Perhaps you could do something similar?  As I recall it was not that complicated.  Just looking at total federal revenue each year, total federal spending each year, and the deficit resulting from the imbalance.  I did not account for the increase in revenue that resulted from the increase in payroll tax rates from 12.26 % to 14.3% over the period 1979 to 1986. So my results would have been more favorable to your argument than would be a proper analysis excluding that annual revenue increases and the offset to the “true” deficit that the annual surplus in the SS fund produced.

          So I can recall the consistent trend for those years though.  Total federal tax revenues increased each year.  Federal spending increased each year.  The year Reagan dramatically dropped tax rates resulted in a dramatic increase in deficits. Deficits remained high over the entire period. It is impossible to separate out how much of the economic growth that resulted in increased federal revenue should be attributed to the impact of tax cuts and how much to increased federal spending; both will stimulate economic growth resulting in increased tax revenue.  There is a clue as to relative importance from the historical fact that Reagan first dramatically decreased taxes, and then in response to the huge jump in deficits later raised taxes.  Federal spending and federal revenue increased throughout.  The economy grew, but it was done on credit.  

          If you can present a sustained (multi-year) period in the last 40 years where taxes were reduced, spending was reduced or at least not increased, and yet tax revenues went up and deficits were reduced please do so. 

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      The 2011 federal income tax receipts were $1.1T.
      The 2011 federal income tax loopholes and deductions were $1.3T.

      *CNN had a segment last week showing how Romney’s math works and these were the figures they used.

      Romney is proposing a 20% marginal rate cut and tax simplification reform.

      He isn’t counting on growth to keep his tax reform revenue neutral.  However, he is counting on his growth policies working to balance the budget within 8-10 years.

      • jimino

        So his “plan” eliminates ALL deductions now in the tax code? Or just some? 

        The fact is that he has not identified even one deduction that he would eliminate, so doing the “math” is not possible. 

      • hennorama

        Rather than using any outside analysis or interpretation, I use Mr. Romney’s own words.  This may be inconvenient for you, but these are his own words.

        While listening to this interview on Sunday, I came away thinking lower income people were going to get screwed. Here’s why:

        Romney says “…my own plan, by the way, to bring down the rate of taxation while maintaining the revenues that come into the government is by making sure that we don’t lower taxes on high income people.  We’re not going to have high-income people pay less of the tax burden than they pay today…”

        And “… we can bring down the rates, and if we limit or eliminate some of the loopholes and deductions at the high end, we keep the current progressivity of the code and we get the same revenue coming into the government …

        So revenues are the same, and tax burden on high income people is the same.  Fine.  His message on high income people is clear [Income - lower deductions/loopholes] X lower tax rate = maintaining the same revenues = same tax burden

        He also says “I do want to bring taxes down for middle-income people” and “..make sure we don’t put any bigger burden on middle income people.  In fact, I want to lower the burden on middle income people.”

        Great.  So the message for middle income people is [Income - unmentioned deductions/loopholes] x lower tax rates = lower tax burden = lower revenue

        So now we have lower revenue.  Uh oh.

        Mr. Romney then says “”The taxes people pay stay the same, middle income people are going to get a break, but at the high end the tax coming in stays the same …”

        Well, who is left to make up the difference?

        The people who are mentioned exactly the same number of times in this interview as Afghanistan is mentioned in Romney’s convention speech.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Sure, I can explain it easily. It’s just more smoke to cover ever-more redistribution of wealth to the top.

      For starters, with rates at the top near or at (for those who get to claim the 15% like romney) post-1929 lows, why would anyone really concerned about the deficit want the burden on top earners to remain the same? Am I supposed to be impressed that he will keep those rates near or at post-1929 lows and not make them even lower? We are in drastic need of much higher rates at the top. Anyone who doesn’t recognize that is disqualified from whining about the deficit.

      • JONBOSTON

        Nearly half of all taxpayers pay no federal income tax. The top 10% probably pay 60% of all income taxes.

        Please answer the following: 
        (1) Is it good for democracy when nearly 50% of all “taxpayers” pay no income tax? If you say “yes” , then why would those voters ever vote to not raise taxes on “some other taxpayer” ?
        (2) You seem to have a problem with a capital gains rate at 15%. If they were taxed at 25% or treated as ordinary income at 35%, do you think it would have an impact on economic growth? 
        (3) You can’t have capitalism without capital. If you tax capital gains at these higher rates, will you have less investment and therefore less economic expansion?
        (4) Please define “fair share of taxes”.  For people who earn over $250K , how much of their income should be taxed ( combine fed and state)? 25%? 35%? 50%? 75%? higher?
        (5) should everyone pay something in taxes , no matter how little? Even low earners so they are “invested” in the country, ie., have a stake in the game?

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Spare me the official talking points. One of the biggest problems facing the USA is that, simultaneously, more wealth and income is being redistributed to the top, and the top tax rates are near the lows since 1929. For con artists who can claim all their income as dividends or cap gains, the rate is 15%, and romney paid an amazing 13%. The estate tax has been gutted.  If you aren’t concerned about this, you are not qualified to scream about the deficit.

          The income share of the 1% has exceeded 23% only twice, in 1928 and in 2007. Big crashes followed in both cases, so you need pretty strong ideological blinders to not see that big inequality is dangerous. 

          The total income of the USA is about $14 trillion. If we say the 1% have a little over 20%, that’s about $3 trillion. A modest increase on their tax rate of 10% would bring in $300 billion, a nice start on reducing the big bad deficit that the right claims to be so concerned about.

          When the top earners are doing so well and paying such low rates, it is amazing that so many non-oligarchs are deeply, deeply concerned that the oligarchs might be asked for a little “shared sacrifice”. The far right tactic is to divert attention from the free ride at the top to the poor stiffs who have been so crushed by voodoo econ that they have nothing to pay taxes on. I see it worked with you.

          • Scott653

            Please explain for all of us how raising taxes on top-earners will help repair our economy?

            Please don’t try to tell us it will fix our deficit because even if the government took every dime from the top 1% it would not even reduce our deficit by 2%. 

            People like you have no concept of the big picture. You also think that by handing over more of our hard-earned money to the government that it will solve all our nation’s problems. Well, in the last 3.5 years, our government has spent $6 trillion of our money and look where that has gotten us. 

            Do you honestly believe the government is a better steward of your money than you? I understand the need for taxes for schools, roads, military, and programs like Medicare. However, please take note how increased military spending, stimulus spending, education spending and healthcare spending has not fixed the problems the spending was intended to fix. 

            The two wars has not increased our safety or improved peace; trillion dollar stimulus spending has given us 43 months of 8% unemployment; increased department of education spending since its inception has shown that high school drop out rates have increased and  higher illiteracy; and healthcare spending for programs like medicare and medicaid has still resulted in us being one of the unhealthiest countries in the world and low life-expectancy rates comparatively speaking. 

            People like you think that throwing more government money at a problem with fix everything, but time and statistics show that you are dead wrong. 

          • TomK_in_Boston

            People like you drank the Kool-Aid and can’t draw the obvious conclusion from the middle class prosperity we had when taxes at the top were high and the disaster the middle class has suffered with raging tax cuts. The oligarchs are in an ultra low tax environment, but they have people like you, who they would call security on if you approached them, to look out for them.

          • StilllHere

            Answer the question instead of repeating this tired yarn.

          • notafeminista

            Could but it won’t.  Raise taxes on people of any income level and they will find a way not to be in that income level anymore.    

          • jefe68

            So in your world millionaires and billionaires will stop wanting to be wealthy because of a tax hike of 15 to 20%?

            That’s comedic.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Hey, that Joe the Plumber crap had to ring as “truthy” to someone. And now you and I have found out who.

            (Well, besides every economics-ignorant hack in the mainstream media.)

          • Don_B1

            So if taxing them a bit more won’t completely fix the problem, why don’t we just let them pay ZERO income taxes? Does that convey the irrelevance of your point?

            It is only on the Right, your apparent side, that makes the argument that people are trying to fix the WHOLE problem by raising taxes on the wealthy.

            If you seriously look at any of the analyses of where the current deficit comes from, it does come from Bush’s tax cuts, the two wars, etc.

            It was the Rent-Seeking activities of the wealthy, from getting those marginal tax rates reduced, capital gains and dividend rates reduced, corporate loopholes to help create monopolies, etc., that CAUSED the housing boom (the search for a foundation for speculative financial instruments) and the financial crisis from the over-leveraged CDOs and CDSs.

            The wealth recovery of the wealthy has recovered to the point that the top 1% received over 90% of the growth in income since the financial crisis started. So the guilty wealthy have not received much of any comeuppance while millions of innocent homeowners who did not “over-buy” their house but still find themselves underwater on their mortgages or out of work because their company lost sales and had to reduce their workforce.

            The wealthy have a moral duty to help in the recovery, but beyond that, it is IN THEIR INTEREST.

            If the current unemployment becomes the “new normal” the country will be put on a road to an economy not much better than Haiti’s, which is dominated by a Rent-Seeking elite and the rest who have nothing but make general life more hazardous for everyone. Such a country cannot build a military that will “keep the world safe” either.

            Get over your whining. If taxes are increased now on the rich, who are not “creating jobs” right now because they correctly see no market for the goods and services that would support those jobs, then the economy can grow and everyone will prosper. That is why the taxes on the 2% can go up because they are not spending their income to produce jobs, whereas those at lower (50%) levels are, and therefore raising those taxes now would slow recovery. But once the economy is strong, then tax increases back to the Clinton era for everyone should be considered.

          • JONBOSTON

            Problems I have with your post:
            I agree that the income distribution trend is a significant problem for this country. It challenges our democracy. But taxing higher earners does nothing to change the structural issues that created the situation , namely that (a) we have a global economy that has moved traditional entry-level middle class manufacturing jobs overseas (b)  our economy rewards those with special skills, training and experience but unfortunately our public schools are producing mediocre students lacking basic skills and (c) income CANNOT be re-distributed up unless you believe that government owns all income. Income can only be distributed DOWN by taxing producers who pay taxes and distributing to non-producers.
             If a 10% tax increase on high earners generated $300billion in tax revenue , we’d still have an annual deficit of $900billion and nothing would be done to address the $16trillion debt. Would you then support a cut in spending and entitlement reform?  You assume (wrongly in my opinion) that tax increases have a static effect. I just don’t believe that. High earners will adjust their behavior in response to a significant tax increase resulting in far less revenue than projected by you. Moreover I believe the overall economy would be impacted negatively by such a significant tax increase unless it was met by substantial spending reductions.

            I’ll repeat what I asked you previously–do you believe that increasing the cap gains rate to 20% or ordinary income rate of 35% , do you think it would impact negatively on economic growth? Realize that cap gains are already taxed when first distributed (35% at corp rates) and taxed again at 15%. You can’t have capitalism without capital and taxing capital investment at higher rates will generate less investment, thereby resulting in less economic growth and fewer job creation.

            Finally , I take issue with your underlying premise that sacrifice should be expected only of high earners. Whatever happened to the notion that we’re all in this together? Shouldn’t sacrifice  be expected of everyone, even those earning less? If only one group is asked to sacrifice, won’t it eventually breed resentment?

            You should avoid casting high earners as ” con artists”  and “oligarchs”. It comes across as typical class warfare, does nothing to advance your argument and instead makes it sound like you resent those making more than you.

          • Don_B1

            Just as a rhetorical point: If increasing taxes can distribute income down the income scale, why does not the removal of taxes on the rich distribute income up the income scale?

            One aspect you and all those arguing your position ignore is that the rich set their own salaries (CEOs pick the members of their company pay boards and the whole process is incestuous) so they can pay themselves more than they are worth. Just look at all the golden parachutes for CEOs whose performance took the company to the bottom of performance.

            CEO pay is based on ego, the quest to be regarded as the “best” CEO and the indicator is their position on the list of CEO pay. And the “race to the bottom” meme applies here, except it is the “race for more pay.” It is the same as the race for top pay in the sports world.

        • Mike_Card

          Would you just stop all that ignorant shit about federal income taxes?  People who don’t make anything still pay numerous taxes on payroll, sales, property, gasoline, etc., etc.  Your bitching about federal income taxes only weakens your stupid argument.  Come back when you’re ready to be serious.

          Better yet, come back when Willard has something to tell about his own tax situation, which he still has yet to confirm.

          • JONBOSTON

            The depth of your intellect is astounding.

          • StilllHere

            Thankfully, he didn’t even try to answer your questions.  That would’ve been ugly for sure.

          • OnPointComments

            Jonboston’s comment is specifically about the taxes that only some people are required to pay.  You’re right that other people pay “payroll, sales, property, gasoline, etc., etc.” but so do the 50% of people who are required to pay federal income taxes; the other 50% get a free ride when it comes to federal income taxes.
             

            As to the part of your comment “People who don’t make anything”:  according to the IRS, returns with income from $50,000 to $100,000 (not wealthy in my opinion, but certainly not “people who don’t make anything”) paid an average income tax rate of about 7%, about a third of the rate that wealthy Americans pay.  Is $7,000 a “fair share” for someone making $100,000 annually?  Is an average tax rate under 12% fair if you make $200,000?  Part of the focus should be on truly wealthy Americans, but it should not be on them exclusively.  If TomK’s “modest increase on their tax rate of 10%” (a debatable point) was applied to people making between $50,000 and $200,000, it would increase tax revenues by more than $700 billion annually.  Add in TomK’s calculation of $300 billion additional tax on the wealthy and we’ve decreased the deficit by a trillion dollars.
             

            I wonder if people who incessantly insist that if we only returned to the tax rates of the 1950s on wealthy Americans all of our problems would be solved would agree to the 1950s tax rates for all Americans.  I suspect that their plan is a version of “Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree.”

          • Don_B1

            The percentage of the total income for people with income low enough to not pay income taxes is a much more significant percentage than it is for those who do pay income taxes.

            It was none other than Milton Friedman, not often accused of advocating for unfair taxation that conceived and pushed Ronald Reagan to implement the Earned Income Tax Credit.

            But if you are going to advocate against unionization and advocate for income taxation on everyone, how are you going to ensure that everyone has enough market power to get a fair livable wage? Or doesn’t a dignified life mean anything? It has been shown that workers who are paid more are more productive and loyal to the company that those that are exploited.

        • jimino

          Instead of reveling in your ignorance why not read this which answers many of your questions?

          http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/r42729_0917.pdf

          Of course that assumes that fact-based research would affect your thinking, which I know won’t happen.

          • Don_B1

            In the report you reference is a reference to another, more general report, which requires a $29 fee to download, but there is a summary:

            Tax Rates and Economic GrowthJane G. Gravelle Senior Specialist in Economic Policy 

            Donald J. Marples Section Research Manager 
            This report summarizes the evidence on the relationship between tax rates and economic growth, referring in a number of cases to other CRS reports providing more substance and detail. Potentially negative effects of tax rates on economic growth have been an issue in the debates about whether to extend the 2001-2003 income tax cuts, whether to increase taxes to reduce the deficit, and whether to reform taxes by broadening the base and lowering the rate.Initially, it is important to make a distinction between the effects of policies aimed at short-term stimulation of an underemployed economy and long-run growth. In the short run, both spending increases and tax cuts are projected to increase employment and output in an underemployed economy. These effects operate through the demand side of the economy. In general, the largest effects are from direct government spending and transfers to lower-income individuals, whereas the smallest effects are from cutting taxes of high-income individuals or businesses.Long-run growth is a supply-side phenomenon. In the long run, the availability of jobs is not an issue as an economy naturally creates jobs. Output can grow through increases in labor participation and hours, increases in capital, and changes such as education and technological advances that enhance the productivity of these inputs.Historical data on labor participation rates and average hours worked compared to tax rates indicates little relationship with either top marginal rates or average marginal rates on labor income. Relationships between tax rates and savings appear positively correlated (that is, lower savings are consistent with lower, not higher, tax rates), although this relationship may not be causal. Similarly, during historical periods, slower growth periods have generally been associated with higher, not lower, tax rates.A review of statistical evidence suggests that both labor supply and savings and investment are relatively insensitive to tax rates. Small effects arise in part because of offsetting income and substitution effects (which make the direction of effects uncertain) and in part because each of these individual responses appears small. Institutional constraints may also have an effect. Offsetting income and substitution effects also affect savings. Capital gains taxes are often singled out as determinants of growth, but their effects on the cost of capital are quite small. International capital flows also appear to have a small effect. Most expenditures that affect the productivity of labor and capital inputs (research and development, education, or infrastructure) are already tax favored or provided by the government. Small business taxes are also sometimes emphasized as important to growth, but the evidence suggests a modest and uncertain effect on entrepreneurship.Claims that the cost of tax reductions are significantly reduced by feedback effects do not appear to be justified by the evidence, where feedback effects are in the range of 3% to 10% and can, in some cases, be negative. Because of the estimated realizations response, capital gains tax cuts have in the past been estimated to have a large revenue offset (about 60%), but more recent empirical estimates suggest one of about 20%. In general, for stand-alone rate reductions the additions to the deficit would cause tax cuts to have a larger cost both because of debt service and because of crowding out of investment which would swamp most behavioral effects.

            ————
            This summary is available at:http://economic-legislation.blogspot.com/2011/12/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-x-none.html

            Unfortunately this contains empirical evidence that contradicts the right’s ideology so they will ignore it.

        • hennorama

          While your remarks were not directed to me, I feel an obligation to add something to this discussion of who pays Federal income taxes (FIT), and who does not.

          To begin with, let’s be sure we understand the terms being used.  It is more precise to use “those who have income” rather than “taxpayers” or even “tax filers.”

          The figure most commonly cited as “nearly half” is 46%.  Let’s call them “the 46%.”

          Next, no one votes on taxes directly.  Congress makes tax laws, not the voters and not the President, either.

          Of those who have income, many of the 46 who pay no FIT are either the youngest or oldest among us.  They are either just entering the workforce and economy, or have worked and contributed to the economy for most of their lives.

          Each year, there are also over 1,000 people with income over $1,000,000 who pay no Federal income tax.

          Amongst the 46%, half have income so low that they owe no FIT after they subtract their standard deduction and exemptions.

          The other half of the 46%, they qualify for various tax breaks, both non-refundable and refundable, resulting in no net FIT.

          Just wanted to make sure we have common terms and facts, nothing more.  I make no comment on the merits of the above.

          • Bruce94

            Excellent points you detail.  I would add that when conservatives like Jonboston complain that the wealthy bear a disproportionate burden of govt., they are using the simple trick of citing only federal income tax, which is progressive (except for the distorting effects of the loopholes and advantages surrounding unearned income).

            If you account for other federal levies like payroll taxes (regressive) and consider state & local taxes, which are even more regressive, the wealthy do not at all appear to bear an excessive tax burden.

            Considering all taxes paid, the total effective tax rate of the wealthiest 1% equals roughly 31%; the rate paid by the 99% is about 29% — a difference that hardly justifies the howls and screams from the Far Right that wealth in the U.S. is being “confiscated” or “looted.”

            While it is true that the wealthiest 1% have paid an increasing share of the federal tax burden, this is because the share of national income accruing to them has grown faster than their average tax rate has fallen over the last three decades. From the 1970′s to the present, the income share of the highest-earning 1% of our population has risen from roughly 8% to 24%.

            Furthermore, when compared with nearly all the countries comprising the OECD (the most advanced economies in the world), the overall tax burden in the U.S. ranks near the bottom, as does overall public spending as percentages of the GDP.  Interestingly, the national debt-to-GDP ratio in two-thirds of those countries is more favorable than the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio.

            On the anniversary of OWS, I think it’s important to understand that our shrinking middle-class, declining social mobility, and increasing income inequality would be exacerbated by many of the proposals that conservatives are now putting forward like making the Bush-era tax cuts permanent, eliminating estate taxes, and allowing the wealthy to shift even more of their income to capital gains taxed at the lower rate of 15%.

        • Bruce94

          When conservatives complain that the wealthy bear a disproportionate burden of government, they are using the simple trick of citing only the fed. income tax, which is progressive (see Jonboston comment above).

          If you account for other fed. levies like the payroll tax, which is regressive, and consider state and local taxes, which tend to be even more regressive, the wealthy do not at all appear to bear an excessive tax burden.The total effective tax rate of the wealthiest 1% equals roughly 31%, while the rate for the rest of the country averages about 29%–a difference that hardly justifies the criticism that increasing marginal rates on  the super rich amounts to wealth confiscation or an undue burden on the wealthy.

          While it is true that the wealthiest 1% have paid an ever increasing share of the fed. tax burden, this is because the share of national income accruing to them has grown faster than their average tax rate has fallen over the last three decades.

          Furthermore, when compared with nearly all the countries comprising the OECD (the most advanced economies in the world), the overall tax burden in the U.S. ranks near the bottom, as does overall public spending as percentages of the GDP.

          Our shrinking middle-class, declining social mobility, and increasing income disparity are trends that sadly will be  exacerbated by many of the proposals that conservatives are now putting forward like making the Bush-era tax cuts permanent, eliminating estate taxes, and allowing the wealthy to shift more of their income to capital gains taxed at the lower rate of 15%.

    • hennorama

      More than 24 hours after my original post, and a week after Mr. Romney’s words, I’m still waiting for ANYONE to explain the logic behind Mr. Romney’s words.

      Summarizing his remarks (again):

      Tax revenues will remain the same (unclear if he means income taxes alone or overall tax revenue)

      High income people will pay the same overall
      Middle income people will pay less overall
      Lower income people will pay … oopsie, Mr. Romney never mentioned them, did he?

      ANYONE care to explain?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Sure.

        Middle income folks pay less because they no longer pay tax on dividends and cap gains.

        This is more than made up by stopping earned income tax credits to illegal aliens with fake SSNs.

        See, that wasn’t hard.

        • hennorama

          Thank you very much for your levity.

          Did I miss that Mr. Romney somewhere discussed fraudulent EITC claims?  Did I miss somehow that Mr. Romney claimed that his proposals magically eliminate said fraud?

          Is this your claim, that adopting Mr. Romney’s tax proposals will somehow magically eliminate EITC fraud?

          What a laugh!

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            You’re welcome.

            The truth is the exclusion of investment income from taxation on the middle class isn’t a large number. Therefore you might have a valid point if you criticized Romney for an overstatement.

            However I laude Romney’s effort to encourage savings and investment.

            Anyone who doubts that the path to wealth by the middle class should read “The Wealthy Barber”.

          • hennorama

            Your deflection/change of topic is not unnoticed.

            By the way, I’m not disputing that Mr. Romney’s proposals would result in what he says they would, nor am I conceding that his contentions are true.  Nor am I making a comment on the merits of his proposals.

            All kidding aside, my criticism, if you wish to call it that, is and continues to be, that Mr. Romney’s words cannot be logically resolved.

            - Same revenue
            - High income people pay the same
            - Middle income people pay less
            - Lower income people pay … no one knows, since Romney did not discuss them.

            This is what Romney said.  Does anyone dispute this?

            How will revenues stay the same?

            Lower income people pay more?  Something else?

            Anyone?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I did explain it.

            I’m not sure if I’m correct but I gave a plausible explanation.

            Let me spell it out again. The ‘cuts’ in the middle class taxes represented by the investment tax cut are a rounding error. You can claim you are ‘cutting’ taxes but it is so small the numbers still add up.

          • Don_B1

            It takes integral calculus to see a lot of small numbers adding up and you can’t even do basic 2+2=4 arithmetic!

            And your statement is total gibberish to boot.

    • hennorama

      I hate to offer my own answer, but since I believe no one who answered understood my premise, I will.  Maybe no one watched the interview or read the transcripts, I dunno.

      Here’s my premise, crudely represented:

      UITR is High Income Tax RevenueMITR is Middle Income Tax RevenueLITR is Lower Income Tax Revenue

      Now:

      Revenue = HITR + MITR + LITR

      Romney’s words indicate that if his proposals are adopted:

      Unchanged Revenue = unchanged HITR + [MITR x (factor < 100%)] + [LITR x (unknown factor)]

      If this is true, then LITR must rise.

      I doubt this is what Mr. Romney was trying to communicate, I was simply taking him at his word, fully in context.

      I realize that may be where I went wrong, but nonetheless, they were his own words.

      What I believe happened is Romney has been going through so many practice answers, he is conflating his terms.  Most significantly, he is conflating the terms "revenue" and "tax burden."  This may be intentional, unintentional or neither.  I don't know.

      All I really want from Mr. Romney is what is expected from high school math students: SHOW ALL CALCULATIONS.

      • Don_B1

        Romney had to come out with a budget plan that “severely” cut taxes on the Republican Party members who are complaining about the taxes they pay, so he made up a tax cut of 20% on all rates so it would be simple enough to appeal to people who were wowed by Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan.

        Romney figured that he would never have to go into the details and he probably came up with the plan without even talking to his “economic advisors” just as it is reported he did not discuss his statement on the Libyan and Egyptian attacks and riots with his foreign policy advisors, but just came up with them with his political advisors.

        Now, like releasing his income taxes for more than 10 years, he cannot put out details of his budget, as Obama HAS done, without showing that the master businessman and financier cannot add 2+2 and get 4.

        • hennorama

          As to the timing of Mr. Romney’s easily communicated “let’s cut everyone’s tax rate by 20%” plan, I’m uncertain that it was a response to the laughable Cain’s laughable 9-9-9 plan, but it is an interesting premise.

          Romney has actually only released his 2010 return, with only a summary of 2011, “details to follow.”

          This pattern of undisclosed details seems clear.

          Not only does he not provide details of his tax plan, he assumes it will fly right through Congress, unchanged, if he’s elected.  This is doubtful, at best.

  • JGC

    Is it just me, or is there a coincidence that just a couple of weeks after Prince Harry was caught in a “nude Las Vegas romp” that he was immediately shipped off to Afghanistan for his second tour of duty in a war zone? 

    • Mouse_2012

      He was targeted this week.

  • JGC

    Don’t know if people are aware that Canada dramatically cut off diplomatic relations with Iran a week ago (before the uprisings in the rest of the mideast)…there was no incident, up front; but Canada quickly closed the Canadian embassy in Iran, and are kicking out the Iranian diplomats posted out of Ottawa.  It just seems very fast and we are waiting for the other shoe to drop to know why this happened.  Some say it is because we are waiting for a military action against Iran from Israel and the US, and Iran may have sleeper cells throughout the western hemisphere ready to retaliate.   

  • Gregg Smith

    Hillary needs to come clean: 

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/09/15/state-department-to-press-stop-asking-us-about-the-sacking-of-benghazi-consulate/

    Col. Hunt is someone I believe not that it means much to you guys. This is serious stuff. Serious, serious stuff. I’m tellin’ ya’, America is in peril and it’s because of the politically correct incompetence of our government. 

    • Mouse_2012

      If you wish for others to believe you it would helped it you stopped linking to Rightwing hack websites. 

      • Gregg Smith

        Lame.

        • jefe68

          No the lameness is the amount of dribble you post day in and day out. It’s pathetic.

          • Gregg Smith

            Look at the charge leveled by Col. Hunt. It’s serious. And all you want to do is be nasty. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bradford-T-Hall/100003288642776 Bradford T. Hall

    Paraphrasing Tom slightly: “The American people thought Arab Spring good, and now we can relax a little”.
    No, Tom, only the progressive left thought this. Many of us knew that the Arab Spring was complete drivel from the outset. We were called Islamophobes and conspiracy theorists.

    • Gregg Smith

      That’s so true. IMO it all stems from the progressive left’s nature to look at things monolithically. They paint all Muslims with the same broad brush as they laughingly accuse Conservatives of the same. 

      • Mouse_2012

        Simpleminded, 

        Esp coming from the guy who himself paints muslims with an broad brush.

        • Gregg Smith

          Clockwork.

    • jimino

      Clarify what “many of us” would have done about it at the time.  Prop up Mubarak, etc.?  Help the dictators in control put down the uprising.  Pray tell us.

      • Mouse_2012

        Yes,

        It’s still not PC for them to be honest(least not yet)

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45P6Q2oe_I4&feature=related Phaerisee

    As a conservative, I am not so sure that Romney is the lesser of two evils, at least when it comes to the future of the Republican party.   If we persist in ignoring our base composed of conservatives, christians and catholics we will continue to lose.   Lincoln said you cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.  Sacrificing conservative principles in an attempt to appeal to moderates simply is not electorally pragmatic for a Republican victory.  If true conservatives want to send a message to the GOP leadership they should vote for Obama.  If they cannot stomach voting for someone to the left of center, then they should consider voting for Independent candidate Gary Johnson.  Nothing will change unless we send a message.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92L4LHcT75s&feature=relmfu

    • hennorama

      Fascinating.  Are Catholics not Christians in your world?  Why do you list them separately?  Last time I heard, Catholicism was the largest Christian church worldwide, with something like 1 out out every 6 or 7 people on the planet as members.

      Now if only Disqus had an [Ignore] feature ….

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Your thesis makes no sense.

      Which conservative principle are you concerned about?

      Sure sounds like an argument an Obama supporter plant would make.

      Imagine a liberal coming on this board and saying we have to send a message for Obama for not closing Gitmo, continuing the war in Afganistan,  escalating the drone attacks, not lowering the sea level, doing nothing on immigration reform and on and on.  We have to send a message.

        We MUST support Jill Stein to send the message.

    • Gregg Smith

      With all due respect, you are not a Conservative. Conservatives of all stripes realize Obama cannot be re-elected. Period, no exceptions. I mean, I hear you about the Conservative principles and moderates, fine. Maybe the whole two-party system thing has got you down. I get that. Or you could be like my Libertarian friends. I love Libertarians… in theory. Gary Johnson is awesome… on paper. That isolationist foreign policy sure sounds good. It’s a shame about that fatal flaw which is the notion we (as infidels) must be killed and the fact that a large part of the world not only believe it but are willing to give their lives to that end. War is not like the Tango, it only takes one.

      • Mouse_2012

        Clockwork

      • jefe68

        The GOP is isolating African Americans, Latinos, Woman, Youth vote, Gays, and now Senior citizens. You can’t win elections in the long run with only middle aged white men.

        Stinkin’ liberals indeed. You are such an a$$.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          “Middle-aged” white men?

          You misread their base, unless that base is going to live to an average of 130 years old.

          We don’t have to flatter them by calling them middle aged. They’re aged, as Romney’s appearance at an exclusive retirement fiefdom in Florida shows.

        • notafeminista

          Guess all the women and Latinos at the RNC didn’t get the memo. 

          Wait..let me guess.  Are they crazy or stupid?  Which is it this week?

  • JGC

    NHL lockout! Oh Nooooooo!!!!

  • JGC

    Oh, hi there Value Voters people.  You just came off a great summit with Willard Mitt, “future VP” Ryan and the rest.  I frown to take away from your partay atmosphere, but just a couple of comments.  When Willard Mitt followed up with Telemundo today as a proud person of Mexican heritage , do you think he made it clear that the reason why his grandparents were in Mexico was because they were avoiding polygamy laws in the U.S.?  And do you agree, like Willard Mitt says, that half the people in the U.S. are not worthy of his attention, because they do not pay income taxes and he will never get their vote?

  • notafeminista

    To TF several comments below: No purity test.  More like checking the courage of one’s convictions. 

  • JGC

    Should Romney just jettison his nomination now, and let it go to Paul Ryan or Ron Paul or whomever,  or should he just stoicly stay on, continuing to extract defeat from the jaws of Victory?

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