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Week In The News: Bombing Charges, Chemical Weapons, AP Twitter Hack

Charges in the Boston bombing. Chemical weapons use charged in Syria. Twitter is hacked and stock markets shudder.

In a photo provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, members of the MIT community stand during a memorial for slain MIT campus officer Sean Collier, at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., Wednesday, April 24, 2013. Collier was fatally shot on campus Thursday, April 18, 2013. (AP)

In a photo provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, members of the MIT community stand during a memorial for slain MIT campus officer Sean Collier, at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., Wednesday, April 24, 2013. Collier was fatally shot on campus Thursday, April 18, 2013. (AP)

Bombing charges in Boston to begin this week.  Chemical weapons charges in Syria to end it.

On the bombing front, “weapon of mass destruction” charges for the pressure cooker bombs and their toll.  On Syria, the US now treading cautiously but clearly nearer declaring a red line crossed.  Stay tuned there.

We’ve seen fury over sequester-driven flight delays.  A Senate move to end them.  A new presidential library in Dallas.  A hacked tweet that moved markets.  Accelerating US economic growth.

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

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Michael Hirsh, chief correspondent for National Journal. (@michaelphirsh)

Meredith Shiner, staff writer for Roll Call. (@meredithshiner)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

National Journal (Michael Hirsh): How Tamerlan Tsarnaev Might Have Been Stopped — “Perhaps the biggest ‘what if’ question to be asked after the Boston bombings is this: Was there some way that U.S. authorities might have been able to notice and then stop or dissuade Tamerlan Tsarnaev as he began his descent into terrorism, ultimately bringing his younger brother Dzhokhar along with him?”

Roll Call (Meredith Shiner): Four Senators Who Could Derail the Immigration Deal — “With one hearing down, another in full swing Monday and one more to go, the Senate Judiciary Committee is the first crucible for a comprehensive immigration overhaul bill. And in that cauldron will be the heat-bringing Republicans who likely will do everything in their power to stop the legislation from passing, trying to puncture holes in a delicate agreement forged by a bipartisan group of eight senators.”

The New York Times: Israel Says it has Proof that Syria Used Chemical Weapons — “Israel declared Tuesday that it had found evidence that the Syrian government repeatedly used chemical weapons last month, arguing that President Bashar al-Assad was testing how the United States and others would react and that it was time for Washington to overcome its deep reluctance to intervene in the Syrian civil war.”

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  • Mike_Card

    Let’s just hear the tea party whack-jobs whine about how they didn’t think a 10% across-the-board cut would mean they had to wait in line at the airport.

    This is just more stupid people making stupid laws because they can, not because they should.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       No problems if you are flying out of DC.  No cutbacks in DC.  The politicians didn’t sequester themselves.

      And oh, they are working to exempt politicians from  Obamacare.   Obamacare is only for the little people.

      • JGC

        “Keep your government hands off my obamacare.” *

        *Tea Party mantra in 2030.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          You have a rich fantasy life.

      • 1Brett1

        “And oh, they are working to exempt politicians from Obamacare. Obamacare is only for the little people.”

        That doesn’t even make sense. For one thing, members of Congress already get health insurance.

        • Gregg Smith

          You need better news sources.

          • 1Brett1

            Their healthcare plans are very similar to all Federal employees. 

            Besides, you neocons make it sound like “Obamacare” is something someone will have to go out and get, like insurance. It’s not insurance or like insurance but a law requiring one to get insurance. Members of Congress are mostly older wealthy people. Even if they didn’t get their employer insurance like they do, they’d still have insurance, believe you me. 

          • Gregg Smith

            What’s with the neocon thing? What does it mean? I thought it was “new conservative” and my understanding is Bill Kristol is the titular head. I’m not crazy about Kristol. My opinion is that you use the word as a catch all to describe some caricature you have constructed in your mind.

            BTW, Congress is attempting to exempt themselves from Obamacare. It’s a law requiring people to get very expensive insurance starting at $20K/year for a family of 4. Or they can pay a small fine which they will do while private insurance withers on the vine and we move to single payer. That’s the plan.

          • NrthOfTheBorder

            Gregg, you mean like the word “Liberal” ?

            Also I wonder if you have your facts straight about the ACA : really ? 20k a year ? 

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s a fair point about the word liberal.

            At this point it’s all an educated guess but according to the IRS:

            http://cnsnews.com/news/article/irs-cheapest-obamacare-plan-will-be-20000-family

          • 1Brett1
          • 1Brett1

            Yes, you are correct: you are a caricature of an ideology; on this we can agree.

          • 1Brett1

            Nope.

        • Don_B1

          @Mike_Card:disqus @WorriedfortheCountry:disqus @disqus_kLh54B1nUd:disqus @rwb:disqus @1Brett1:disqus @google-327b60c55221432e499267aebfb70c09:disqus 

          So, how many column-inches are the right-wing nut-jobs going to expend today showing their total ignorance?

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/25/no-congress-isnt-trying-to-exempt-itself-from-obamacare/

          The is NO, repeat, NO, repeat NO, absolutely NO “effort to exempt Congress from Obamacare,” secret or otherwise!

          • Gregg Smith

            The story came from Politico which is not right wing. Now the dems are backtracking. Your link is referring to staffers.

            http://hotair.com/archives/2013/04/26/dems-on-capitol-hill-retreat-from-obamacare-exemption/

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

            Hot Air is going to debunk what, now?

          • Gregg Smith

            I had no doubt you would chime in like this. It’s what you do. 

            Read the links from Politico, The Hill and others that Hotair links to.

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

            If it’s for real, someone else will link to it besides the bloviators at Hot Air.

            Anything I can do to keep NPR from thinking Hot Air (the Blaze, IBD editorials, all that shite) is a reputable source is worth the few seconds typing.

          • Gregg Smith

            Reread my comment.

          • 1Brett1

            Thank you for being more patient than I!…talk about neocon nonsense (notice the alliteration?). This little bit of right-wing propaganda doesn’t even make any sense. Congress gets great healthcare benefits already; they already are in compliance with having insurance, so I don’t even understand what sort of hay they are trying to make with this stuff!?!

          • Don_B1

            Just continuing their gratuitous maligning attack on Obamacare. That’s what they (particularly Gregg) do.

            It is their life mission until 2017 to malign anything President Obama does.

            Generate hate and any other discord between different groups within the 99% so no one notices the 1% walking off with all the spoils.

    • Gregg Smith

      There should be no difference in airport lines. Obama purposely is making the $15 billion increase over last years spending (aka sequester) as painful as possible. 

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        another “really” ? Obama is making this happen ? How?  

        However, I wonder if all gov’t departments are wanting to make the sequester hurt. OR – day-to-day operations are – probably – as efficient as they can be, I mean, for a government – but the problem with the deficit lies elsewhere like entitlements and a bloated military.

        • Don_B1

          It comes down to the fact that the wealthy see no reason to pay for benefits that also go to the 99% when they can live in a gated community and get what they think they need, until they find that it impacts their flight times.

          That would apply unless they have their own aircraft and fly general aviation; and maybe even that is being affected by fewer controllers in towers so it takes longer to get flight plans approved?It certainly would be nice, but I suspect it has not had that affect. But if it did, then even they would have to acknowledge that we are all together on having a real civilization.

    • hennorama

      Sort of amazing how quickly Congress can act when their actions impact the lives some of their donors, and their own lives as well, isn’t it?

      Congress will be on recess and traveling back to their home districts starting tomorrow, through May 6th.  Guess how they’ll get home?  Guess who would be stopping by their district offices to give them an earful about airport delays?

      • Don_B1

        Note that Congress’s “quick action” only applied to their problem with the sequester; they just said, “I’ve got mine, you can just suffer with yours!”

        Take the case of the 99-year-old woman who depends on Meals-on-Wheels for a meal each day so she can stay in her home; where will the money come for her in a nursing home? Difficult for her to get accepted when funding is being cut there too. But the rich will just say she should have prepared for living that long. Maybe she did but lost her money in the Great Recession?And the rich will get away with it unless the rest of us come out and visit their offices and any public meetings they attend or hold and make them aware of our anger.

        • hennorama

          Don_B1 – well said. I agree 100%.

  • OnPointComments

    It makes one wonder what this administration will do next to prove its point that government can never, never sustain a cut, even when it’s a just a cut in the rate of increase.
     

    Flying the Government Skies
    The 4% FAA spending cut that somehow delays 40% of flights.  

    “As travellers nationwide are learning, the White House has decided to express its dislike of the sequester—otherwise known as modestly smaller government—by choosing to cut basic air traffic control services. We wrote about this human- rights violation on Tuesday in “Flight Delays as Political Strategy,” but the story gets worse the closer we look.”
     

    http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424127887323735604578440981119902460-lMyQjAxMTAzMDIwNDEyNDQyWj.html?mod=wsj_valettop_email 
     

    Flight Delays as Political Strategy
    The FAA furloughs traffic controllers rather than cut other spending.  

    “President Obama’s sequester scare strategy has been a political flop, but his government keeps trying. The latest gambit is to force airline flight delays until enough travellers stuck on tarmacs browbeat enough Republicans to raise taxes again.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324874204578438913145965432.html

    • Gregg Smith

      It’s a dereliction of duty, despicable.

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

      Is this more crap from the WSJ editorial page?

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      So, according to this quote the sequester  - or sequester scare – is an Obama strategy ?  I read the article cited: and it sounds like an opinion piece with more assertion than fact. 

      Prior to the sequester you did hear warnings that going this way was gonna get messy?  Well, here we are.

      • Don_B1

        Just look at the top border of the “article” and you will see that it comes from the “OPINION” section of the WSJ, which is about as worthwhile reading as a piece of toilet paper, with the exception that one can see evidence of the depths that the RW propaganda machine will go to rescue its shaky position on the sequester.

  • SteveTheTeacher

    In reaction to the Boston marathon bombing many, from President Obama, to renowned authors, to rallying college students, have spoken of the Boston’s exceptionalism and how the terrorists are “messing with the wrong city.”  A commonly used phase over the last week has been “Boston Strong.”

    My concern is that such talk promotes a paradigm of distinction rather than the understanding that each human life is precious and invaluable and, as such, any killing of innocent civilians, anywhere, is wrong.   The Boston marathon bombing, and the September 11, 2001 attacks, were wrong, not because the attacks happened in US cities, but because innocent civilians were killed and injured.

    Were there a greater embrace of the value of all humanity,
    worldwide, people here in the US would probably not tolerate President Obama’s drone assassination program and other military assaults that are killing, wounding and terrorizing masses of innocent civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. 

    I’d like On Point to do its part by discussing Farea al-Muslimi’s testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitutin, Civil Rights and Human Rights in which he spoke of the death, destruction, and terror that President Obama is inflicted in his home village in Yemen.  President Obama gave the go ahead for a drone bombing in Mr. al-Muslimi’s village, a day or so after the Boston marathon bombing, be he refused to send administration officials to the hearing.

    I’d like to hear On Point discuss the recent report, by the
    bi-partisan Constitution Project.  Led by conservative Republican Asa Hutchinson.   The group found that “it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture” in the practices of detention and interrogation as part of the US War on Terror.   I’m not sure if the report covers the present abuse/torture of prisoners in response to the mass hunger strike in Guantanamo, but this also merits discussion.

    My question for Tom Ashbrook, Jack Beatty, Michael Hirsh, and Meredith Shiner is as follows:
     
    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be prosecuted for his role in killing and wounding people in Boston.   Why shouldn’t Bush and Obama administration officials who directed, promoted, and/or participated in torture, wounding, killing, and terrorizing of innocent civilians abroad, be tried for their crimes against humanity?

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    1. Due to the Boston Bombing tragedy , I decided not to post, last Friday, what I thought was a story worthy of note. Apparently, Stanford Researchers have found a process that will make a post mortem mouse brain transparent. I am sure this will prove useful for human brain study, also.

    “Creating a transparent brain”

    From:

    http://www.kurzweilai.net/creating-a-transparent-brain?utm_source=KurzweilAI+Weekly+Newsletter+Plain+Text&utm_campaign=749909871d-UA-946742-1&utm_medium=email

    2. If we Earthlings should ever make First Contact with a more advanced alien intelligence, I hope that Tom Ashbrook and Jack Beatty are chosen to speak for our species. If you want something done “right”, you had better send the best !

  • Steve__T

    A number of lawmakers failed to show up for a congressional hearing on long-term unemployment.
    Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota was the only lawmaker present when the Joint Economic Committee session began. She was later joined by three others, all of them Democrats, leaving a total of 16 committee members absent.

    President Obama signed legislation Monday that rolled back a provision of the STOCK Act that required high-ranking federal employees to disclose their financial information online. Monday the president signed S. 716, which repealed a requirement of the Stop Trading on Congressional knowledge (STOCK) Act requiring the disclosure, which had previously been delayed several times by Congress.
    The Stock Act is an anti-corruption measure, put in place so that government employees and lawmakers couldn’t trade stocks using unfair insider information. And now, Congress and the Senate have come together to agree to be rid of it. Who says nothing ever gets done in Washington? Especially when its in their own interest.

  • Ed75

    I’ve known Jewish people who are very loving, and Christian people and Catholic people who exude love. I think of Mother Teresa and John Paul II, etc. But, maybe it’s me, I’ve never seen a Muslim leader who exudes love. The leader that these bombers were following was scary.

    And as people become more devout in most religions, people become more loving and of service. But in Islam as people become more devout they seem to become more dangerous. Something amiss here.

    In regard to Syria, it feels like the time of mercy spoken of by Saint Fausina (‘Diary’) might be coming to an end. It is followed by the time of judgement. We have to make use of the time of mercy and turn to God while there is time to do so.

    • NewtonWhale

      You’re right. It’s you.

      Watch these remarks at the April 18 Interfaith Service. The speaker is Nasser S. Wedaddy, Chair of the New England Interfaith Council and Civil Rights Outreach Director for the American Islamic Congress:

       Nasser S. Wedaddy, a Muslim leader and chairman of the New England Interfaith Council, spoke at the service about how, just last week, he—as he put it, a “lowly immigrant from Mauritania”—had gathered with hundreds of others in Faneuil Hall to take the oath of citizenship. Even without an oath, he said, “We know instinctively that we must rise to the occasion and act because of our common humanity. That’s what makes us Americans.”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_k-eVtElO0

      The Rev. Bill Waters of the campus ministry at Merrimack College in North Andover watched the service on his computer.Waters, an Augustinian priest said he was “very impressed” by the remarks made by Nasser S. Wedaddy, chairman of the New England Interfaith Council and the Civil Rights Outreach director of the American Islamic Congress.“He was very inspirational and showed what it means to be an American,” Waters said. “By watching the service, you had a sense of unity of all different faiths. We’re all Americans, not just Jews, Christians and Muslims. We’re all united as one against violence and against such terror.

      ”http://www.eagletribune.com/local/x266751511/Interfaith-service-offers-message-of-healing-hope

      • Ed75

        Glad to hear it!

        • Don_B1

          Then open your search for news in the future so that you don’t have to show your ignorance here again.

          • Ed75

            I would go further. From a Catholic point of view, Islam is a heresy, and as any heresy will lead to problems. The Catholic Catechism says interesting things about Islam, for example that it’s persistence might indicate that it has a role to play in the end of the world.

            About Mr. Tiller, etc., Vatican II says ‘… of course we understand that the defense of the poor might even lead people to the edge of violence … ‘ (paraphrase), but they are speaking of protest against real injustice. Not being Muslim isn’t a real injustice.

            About religious violence, Chesterton tells us that the only reason worth going to war over, and dying over, aren’t the small issues of territory and money, but over the nature of reality. But still, we can be wrong about that nature and fight for the wrong thing.

          • Don_B1

            Well, that rant/diatribe does NOT show much tolerance and pretty much contradicts your above profession to follow Mother Teresa in the part of “loving” Islam though you are showing yourself to  be “in love” with Christianity to an extent that seems little less than jihadists are “in love” with radical Islam.

            It would seem there is little difference between you and a jihadist other than the religion you claim to love and that the jihadist will bomb innocents and I hope you haven’t and have no reason to think you have, at least yet.

          • Ed75

            There is a difference between Muslims and jihadists (see Waleek Farez), who follow an ideology.

            And that’s exactly the point: devotion to an incorrect religion, the jihadists, is dangerous. Which faith one believes in is critical.

    • Yar

      I have! Many times.  How many headlines have you read that say “Drunk christian shoots wife.”  We separate the act from the faith, when it is our faith. We only deplore the act.  Selective memory you have Ed. Woe is to those who lead little ones astray.  How many Muslim leaders have you listened to Ed?  Only in the News? Fox News? 

      • Ed75

        That example isn’t so good because the Christian drunk husband would never claim that he acted on the directives of his religion or even in line with his religion.

        In his letters John says ‘He who says he loves God but hates his neighbor is a liar’, and ‘He who hates his neighbor, though he claim to be in the light, still walks in darkness’. From a Catholic point of view Islam is a heresy.

        • Yar

          Ed, you know so little about Islam.  It is a faith that loves their neighbor. You are confusing political regimes for faith, just as you confuse the Catholic institution for the church.  My faith tells me that all of God’s people are part of the church, regardless of which institution we join. We are not able to judge who belongs to God.

    • brettearle

      Your sweeping comment about Islam falling short as a major religion of compassion–because you have not seen a Muslim leader exude love–is short-sighted and does nothing but encourage Islamophobia.

      The difference between a follower of Islam and a radical militant from Al Qaeda is like comparing a regular student from Columbine High School, to Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris who were the  students, responsible for the Columbine massacre.

      To demonstrate a lack of understanding and compassion for Islam, very, very seriously calls into question, your own Christian values.

      I am not Muslim and I deplore Al Qaeda.

      But your attitude–if it becomes more and more pervasive–makes the clash-of-civilizations and clash-of cultures problems, much worse.

      • Ed75

        “I love all religions, but I am in love with my religion.” Mother Teresa

        • J__o__h__n

          “Mother Teresa was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction.”  – Christopher Hitchens

          • 1Brett1

            Poverty beeeen berry, berry good to Mother Teresa; without it she wouldn’t have become a Catholic rock star.

          • Ed75

            Christopher Hitchens did say that, and he petitioned the Vatican that Mother Teresa not be beatified.

            I had noticed that saints always have people in their time who defame them. And I wondered, with Mother Teresa, what someone could possible say against her.

            And Mr. Hitchens managed to construct a scenario. Of course it’s completely wrong, and as Christians say, he just had no idea what he was talking about.

          • J__o__h__n

            Hitchens testified against her at the Vatican’s invitation.  His criticism of her was correct.  She went to the best hospitals herself and hers were of poor qualilty.  She took money from Charles Keating. 

        • Yar

          Don’t make an idol of your faith.

      • Ed75

        I can’t speak for all of Islam since it has no central authority and has a variety of beliefs, but I would claim that the Islamic radicals are not a group that we can co-exist with. Their aim is to destroy the West, whatever their reason.

    • J__o__h__n

      All religions provide the same benefits and cause the same sorts of problems.  Christianity isn’t inherently better or worse than Islam.  The only reason Christianity is less violent now is because enough people mostly ignore it and lead secular lives.  Otherwise heretics, heathens, and witches would continue to be persecuted.  When enough Muslims embrace a secular culture and not have religion at the center of their lives, that religion will be as benign as most of Christianity is now. 

      • 1Brett1

        Exactly. Islam is at a younger stage of its development.

  • Fredlinskip

    Glad to see W library opening. Understand there are different rooms dedicated to different phases of 8 year reign.
     
    Can imagine W as tour guide:
       “Here‘s where Cheney, Rice, Powell, Libby, and I all revised facts so as to fabricate the necessity of invading Iraq. 
       Here’s where we disregarded Geneva convention, created an atmosphere in our military that torture is a good thing, extradited civilians all over world to “black sites” to be “processed” and then worried about revising the legal ramifications after the fact.
       Here’s a picture of me waving to civilians from, on their roofs in New Orleans after Katrina from Air Force 1.
    Here’s how in the greatest economic bubble since roaring 20’s STILL managed to explode the deficit- not to worry- we’re working on lowering entitlements to fudge the difference.
       Here’s where Oil prices rose from under 1$ in Clinton’s last year to where they are now.
      Here’s where  I appointed to head EPA someone who previously for one of  worst polluters. We pretty much let companies “regulate themselves”
    Here’s where our Admin employment #’s were shown to be worse than all previous Presidents since WW II.
    Here’s where we pulled out of Kyoto treaty
    Here’s where I said “Jury is still out on Evolution”
    Here’s where we dismissed U.S. attorneys because they had wherewithal to investigate malfeasance of  a few GOP congressmen.
    Don’t worry folks- plenty of rooms to go”

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Donna Brazile writes:
      George W. Bush was good as his word. He visited the Gulf states 17 times; went 13 times to New Orleans. Laura Bush made 24 trips. Bush saw that $126 billion in aid was sent to the Gulf’s residents, as some members of his own party in Congress balked.

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/25/opinion/brazile-katrina-bush/index.html?hpt=hp_bn7

      • Fredlinskip

        Must have been the “liberal media” then
        How about the other points raised.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          TLDR

          • Fredlinskip

            Read this:
            It’s not that long AND
            there’s not that many big words for you to look up.

      • Fredlinskip

        I believe it’s pretty accepted fact that aftermath of Katrina was handled poorly.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Tell Ms. Brazile.

          • Fredlinskip

                Brown’s appointment was prime example of concept of “cronyism”. He was a “political” appointment, and lacked qualifications. His previous job before FEMA was Horse and Pony Director, which he was fired.
               I’m glad Brazile was part of a long term response. 
              This does not excuse FEMA from being poorly prepared when it was called upon to perform it’s mandate.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            You are undeniably correct about Mr. Brown’s appointment, it exemplifies what is wrong with the Federal Bureaucracy.  

    • Gregg Smith

      That’s kind of hilarious. The Kyoto thing is a hoot! It was voted down 99-0 in Clinton’s Senate. There was never a prayer. 

      • Fredlinskip

        Kyoto could have been modified, not rejected out of hand.
        I know you are “climate change denialist” and have stated you “don’t give a #>^*” about the world’s climate and environment, thus this would be a concept difficult for you to grasp.

      • Mike_Card

        Clinton’s Senate?  The one that tried to convict “his” House’s impeachment?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Where’s Bono?

    • Don_B1

      Here is documentation for most of your good points:

      http://thinkprogress.org/progress-report/miss-him-yet/

      • Fredlinskip

        Thanks- good reference

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    On Wednesday, the Senate voted 75-22 to proceed to the bill and last month, the body passed a nonbinding budget resolution supporting the Marketplace Fairness language on a 75-24 vote. Support for the bill dwindled because now there will not be an open amendment process. http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/296299-senate-advances-online-sales-tax-bill-will-finish-work-after-recess#ixzz2RZLbD3Ax 

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    In China, the children and grandchildren of Communist China’s revolutionary leaders, called “princelings,” used their family and political connections to become the country’s new robber barons and use political force to shut down critics. In America, political princelings such as McAuliffe are trying to copy that strategy. Let’s hope a free press can at least expose what’s going on.

    http://watchdog.org/81404/mcauliffe-hones-chinas-crony-capitalism-model-in-mississippi/

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    • While they typically deny it, many public officials—mostly, but not limited to, aldermen, state legislators, and elected judges—routinely seek political support from influential street gangs. Meetings like the ones Baskin organized, for instance, are hardly an anomaly. Gangs can provide a decisive advantage at election time by performing the kinds of chores patronage armies once did.• In some cases, the partnerships extend beyond the elections in troubling—and possibly criminal—ways, greased by the steady and largely secret flow of money from gang leaders to certain politicians and vice versa. The gangs funnel their largess through opaque businesses, or front companies, and through under-the-table payments. In turn, grateful politicians use their payrolls or campaign funds to hire gang members, pull strings for them to get jobs or contracts, or offer other favors (see “Gangs and Politicians: Prisoner Shuffle”).• Most alarming, both law enforcement and gang sources say, is that some politicians ignore the gangs’ criminal activities. Some go so far as to protect gangs from the police, tipping them off to impending raids or to surveillance activities—in effect, creating safe havens in their political districts. And often they chafe at backing tough measures to stem gang activities, advocating instead for superficial solutions that may garner good press but have little impact.The paradox is that Chicago’s struggle to combat street gangs is being undermined by its own elected officials. And the alliances between lawmakers and lawbreakers raise a troubling question: Who actually rules the neighborhoods—our public servants or the gangs?gle to combat street gangs is being undermined by its own elected officials. And the alliances between lawmakers and lawbreakers raise a troubling question: Who actually rules the neighborhoods—our public servants or the gangs?

    http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/January-2012/Gangs-and-Politicians-An-Unholy-Alliance/

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    President Barack Obama is resisting a congressional subpoena for documents related to how the administration responded to the revelation of the failed operation known as “Fast and Furious” on the U.S.- Mexican border. It has already turned over thousands of pages of documents about the operation itself.

    http://news.yahoo.com/obama-resists-republican-bid-see-gun-smuggling-operation-191700893.html

    • jimino

      You have no right to know how your government reaches its decisions.  This secrecy was a priority for the Bush administration and they won. See Cheney v. United Sates of America.

      http://www.fas.org/sgp/jud/cheney062404.pdf

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I think it was just yesterday that I posted that there has been much damage done to our legal code and it will take years to correct.  On the plus side It does give me something to do with my spare time.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    Their latest feat comes in the form of the Grasshopper rocket, which does something in this video I’ve really never seen a rocket do before.  The ten-story tall vertical takeoff, vertical landing vehicle slowly lifts off the ground and climbs to a height of around 850 feet, then hovers effortlessly in the air before slowly lowering back down to the launch pad, successfully nailing one of the softest landings you’ll ever see.

    http://news92fm.com/347586/spacex-rocket-launches-hovers-and-lands/

  • Fredlinskip

    Unfortunately, Boston bombings blacked out much of the would-be coverage and discussion concerning recent gun legislation vote in Congress.
    Hopefully the 90% (in some polls) of Americans who disagree with this vote, will some day receive some representation.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      These photos from the anti-NRA rally tell a different story.

      http://washingtonexaminer.com/article/2528129?slideout=1

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         To quote Obama: “Shameful”

        • Fredlinskip

          To quote Disney, “Goofy”.

      • Fredlinskip

        I don’t have time to spend lots of time reading the posts at your link. The point of link was to point some pictures taken at a rally? 
          I saw one person sitting on the grass- Now that’s blasphemous- Did she need permit? And saws some signs referring to “Stop the NRA” and such.Now this is subject to some interpretation.
        Does this mean “wipe NRA members from face of Earth” or does it mean “we oppose NRA”s influence on current debate”.
        Not sure of point you are trying to make.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          The point is that 90% of Americans Do Not support new gun control.  That fact does not chance, no matter how many times it is repeated that they do.

          • Fredlinskip

            Perhaps good point, which I don’t
            don’t have time to investigate validity at this moment.Thanks

    • brettearle

      How about Public Hearings, run by citizens, just for this issue?

      The Tyranny of the Minority, here, is outrageous.

      If this failure of legislation doesn’t reveal some of the malignant problems in Washington–where entrenched politics trumps the the Will of the People–then I don’t know what does.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        FTA:
        Meanwhile, pundits denounced gun-rights activists who said that the right to bear arms is in part a protection against government tyranny. Only a crazed militia type could possibly believe that, right? Except that — go figure — 65% of Americans see gun rights as a protection against tyranny. And only 17% say they disagree. Once again, it’s the critics who appear to be out of the mainstream.http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/01/22/gun-control-obama-nra/1851643/

        • anamaria23

          Where in the intended and defeated legislation does it take away the right to bear arms?  Does it not simply state that those obtaining and  owning guns be properly screened?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            What in the legislation had anything to do with Sandy Hook?

          • anamaria23

            It is not just about Sandy Hook.   It is about the thousands of gun deaths a year in this country. 

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

            I thought the background checks thing was something they’ve been working on since Columbine.

            Since Columbine!

            All you’re interested in is saying “It won’t prevent another Newtown”.

          • Don_B1

            Notice how “conservatives” can demand background checks for undocumented immigrants but get up a big huff if such a thing were asked of someone wanting to buy a gun!

            Which has the most devastating consequences if a background check is not enforced?

        • Ray in VT

          I have a problem with the wording of the question and how I think that it affects the response outcome.  The question was:

          “The Second Amendment to the Constitution provides Americans with the right to
          own a gun. Is the purpose of the Second Amendment to ensure that people are
          able to protect themselves from tyranny?”

          Rasmussen concluded:
          “The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 65% of
          American Adults think the purpose of the Second Amendment is to make
          sure that people are able to protect themselves from tyranny.”I think that the wording is leading.  A better conclusion, I think, would be that 65% of Americans agree with the following statement “…”.  If asked what the purpose of the 2nd Amendment is without giving the person a single option with which to agree or disagree, then I think that it is likely that the percentage would be different.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            If only you investigated as skeptically the push polls from the gun grabbers.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             I was thinking the same thing.

          • Ray in VT

            You are assuming that I have not.

            “Push poll” questions like this:

            “Would you support or oppose a law requiring background checks on people
            buying guns at gun shows or online?”That got 88-91% favorable in 2013 (ABC/Washington Post).  It’s clear, and it gives both the yes and no options.  It’s a far more valid research question.

          • Fredlinskip

            I can understand why  the “everybody needs multiple round weapon” crowd declines to respond to this.

          • nj_v2

            “Gun grabbers” More disingenuous misrepresentation.

          • Fredlinskip

            Who is it exactly that you propose is going to go around “grabbing” legally purchased weapons? 
            NO ONE is proposing such a thing. Get a grip.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            You must have missed what Gov Cuomo is doing. I would not call him no one.

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

            Now Ray, how many times have I told you: It’s a Rasmussen poll, therefore it’s crap.

            If Rasmussen stumbles upon something that isn’t a fake or outlier, it’ll show up in results from reputable polling firms.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m skeptical of Rasmussen, and I think rightly so, due to their track record.  A pretty good number of their polls during the 2012 election cycle were well off when compared to a lot of the reputable organizations.  Mason-Dixon did some pretty bad work, and Gallup has its documented issues.  I thought that this last time Fox News had some good polling, but this time they weren’t in with Rasmussen.

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

            So you’re saying their new slogan should be

            Rasmussen polling: No longer reputable enough for Fox News.

          • Ray in VT

            Nice one.  I don’t know why Fox decided not to partner with them.  It might have been due to concerns regarding accuracy and public trust.  I think that they produced a more accurate product without them.

          • Fredlinskip

            See reply above Anamaria

        • jimino

          Question for you on applying your principle to real life:

          If our government refuses to enact an important provision supported by over 90% of its citizens, have we reached a point of “tyranny” justifying the use of our 2nd Amendment rights?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            That’s a real puzzler there.  So you are saying you need to use your guns to overthrow our government because they won’t support taking away guns.  I am just not able to see your logic.  

          • Fredlinskip

            He is suggesting that when gov disregards the wishes of the 90% this represents a tyrannical trend.
            Perhaps this justifies throwing those who voted against the legislation out of office.
            Let’s get rid of tyranny, shall we?

        • nj_v2

          The misperception persists because disinformation merchants like you continue to misrepresent what the Second Amendment was intended to do.

        • Fredlinskip

          “65% of Americans see gun rights as a protection against tyranny”.This may be true. And I am one of those in minority who don’t get this. I’ve done some studying of history and I understand that after Revolutionary War, Americans would be leery of ‘government troops” and the like.
          But  I don’t think this “tyranny’ concept holds up under scrutiny.
          But this opens up a debate worth having with American people.
          I guess the contention if EVERYONE walks around AT ALL TIMES with weapons with multiple round magazines we will all be safer and this will bring down violence???
          I disagree.
          America’s got more guns than everybody else (developed nations)- AND more violence and Gun Related Death.

    • JGC

      Discussion like Senator Baucus voting “No” on gun legislation, even though he knew he would soon be announcing he was not running for his office again in the next election. He could have taken the principled position held by over 90% of Americans without fear of election blowback.

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

        Oh, goodbye Max Baucus.

        He’s a regular Joe Lieberman: Votes like a Dem 60% of the time but can’t stop working against his own side in the the mainstream press.

        Baucus spent untold weeks making Obamacare worse, and now is saying “Why didn’t they do (common-sense thing I pitched a fit about) while crafting it?”

        Good riddance.

        • nj_v2

          Step in the right direction, but it’ll take a lot more than that before the Democratic Party to become anything worthwhile.

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

            Obligatory media crit tangent: The Beltway Inbreds love them some Lieberman and Baucus.

        • J__o__h__n

          In yesterday’s All Things Considered interview, he tried to dismiss criticism that he shouldn’t have wasted time pursuing bipartisanship as Monday morning quarterbacking.  I remember lots of us making that point at the time. 

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

            Oh, he’s on a retirement tour?

            Thanks for listening to that interview for the rest of us.

            These are merely pixels, so I don’t know if I can connote the proper mix of ennui and disgust for anyone who’d fete Max Baucus the way a sport star is lauded in his farewell season after announcing retirement.

  • OnPointComments

    Disgruntled FAA employees got in touch with Senator Tom Coburn to dish dirt on their managers:
     
    “As one email put it, “the FAA management has stated in meetings that they need to make the furloughs as hard as possible for the public so that they understand how serious it is.”
      “Strategies include encouraging union workers to take the same furlough day to increase congestion. “I am disgusted with everything that I see since the sequester took place,” another FAA employee wrote. “Whether in HQ or at the field level it is clear that our management has no intention of managing anything. The only effort that I see is geared towards generating fear and demonstrating failure.”
     
    http://www.humanevents.com/2013/04/25/obamacare-bureaucracy-spared-from-sequestration/

  • J__o__h__n

    Does the Bush library have a copy of The Pet Goat?

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Why, are you missing your copy?  How can you be sure that President Bush took it?  Couldn’t it have been VP Cheney?  In which case it could be in an undisclosed location.  

      lol

      • nj_v2

        Better stick with your day job. The comedy thing isn’t really working out.

        Trying to signal that it’s supposed to be funny with the inispid, laughing-at-your-own-schtick “lol” doesn’t really help. 

  • Gregg Smith

    Obama drew a red line in Syria which has been crossed. He must act or the world will suffer the consequences.

    • alsordi

      Hey Smith,  the entire world has been suffering the consequences of these stupid red lines since George Bush Sr.     Trillions going to war machine making nothing but enemies, and turning the USA into a fascist police state.

      And who are you to speak for the world ??

      • Gregg Smith

        Yea I know, those 50 million liberated in Iraq and Afghanistan are just one of those consequences. 

        Obama drew the line, not me. What message does it send to rogue nations once it becomes clear it was nothing but rhetoric? 

        • jimino

           “50 million liberated in Iraq”

          I wish someone at the Bush Library opening would have ceremoniously presented “W” with a 1st class ticket for him, Cheney, and the rest of his former administration officials, to go to the wonderfully-liberated Iraq and spend a few days basking in the liberty they helped create.

          THAT is what I would call responsibility for one’s policy.

          Save us a lot of pension money too.

    • Ray in VT

      It may have been crossed.  The intelligence community has doubts, which are rightly being acknowledged.

      • Gregg Smith

        Hagel confirmed it. There isn’t much doubt.

        • Ray in VT

          There are “varying degrees of confidence” behind those beliefs.  I don’t think that that even rises to the level of a slam dunk.

          • Gregg Smith

            For sure they need to be sure but there isn’t much doubt. Hagel waited as long as possible but had to acknowledge it because it’s alleged by too many agencies across the globe.

            “Varying degrees of confidence” means some confidence to complete confidence. That continuum doesn’t deny anything. 

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to commit to some sort of international adventure potentially based upon “some confidence”.  I am very cautious generally, and I want to avoid some of our past mistakes.  Again, past decisions were made when confidence levels were quite high regarding some issues, and that confidence turns out to have been very misplaced.

          • Gregg Smith

            I do not accept your implied premise that Iraq was all about WMD. It was not. I’ve proven it many times with Bush’s speech to the UN Sept. 12, 2002. 

            Apologies if that is not what you meant but you know in your heart it was. I don’t want to debate it but I want to make certain I don’t accept your premise. 

            Syria is a whole new ball game. Blood test were positive for Sarin. I guess I should come out and say it, IMO Obama will not do anything even when the allegations are proven beyond a shadow of doubt. He should have never drawn the red line.

          • Ray in VT

            Tell me how much support you think that President Bush would have gotten for invading a country based upon the case that Saddam was a bad guy who abused his people.  Without the case that he and his regime were a massive, growing and possibily immenent threat to other nations, then I don’t think that we, or the rest of the Coalition of the Willing, would have undertaken the action.  Sudan was doing worse things in Darfur, and the situation in the Congo has been costing massive numbers of lives for a long time, yet we do not invade them for humanitarian purposes, so I reject your premise that WMDs were not the key part of the case upon which the case for invasion was made.

            I’ll come out and say it.  I don’t want another invasion and potential occupation in the Middle East, and I don’t think that the President does either, but I’m not sure what actions he will ultimately take.  If we do do something, then we should have regional powers, like Turkey or others, involved as well.

          • Gregg Smith

            Nobody wants it Ray. Nobody.

          • Ray in VT

            There’s always some dope or dopes who are itching to shoot some place up, but I don’t think that there are relatively that many or that the ones that do exist have much sway regarding policy.

    • jimino

       “the world will suffer the consequences”

      Just what do you envision those dire consequences to be, beyond a chorus of Benghazi-like bleating and bloviating by those who would criticize any and everything Obama does?

      • Gregg Smith

        The consequence are emboldened enemies around the globe. Carte blanch to kill.

  • alsordi

    And now McCain want to bomb bomb bomb Syria. 

    What I unintentionally am forced to see of the US
    congress, the more I am convinced that the system is intrinsically meant to impede participatory democracy.

    Corporations and powerful lobbies intentionally put into office the most repellent politicians.     
    McCain,Shumer, Boener, Feinstein,  McConnell. These people are physically and mentally grotesque cartoon characters meant to disgust and discourage – to repel
    intelligent and honest people away from the political process.

    I am convinced that without these corrupt spineless
    clowns,  there would be few wars and much less corruption in banking.
    But George Bush gets a half billion dollar library.   He should be getting a prison cell at the Hague.

  • nj_v2

    Weekly round-up of idiocy, regression, sociopathy, and other assorted and sordid jackassery; Rethuglicon/right-wing edition. Special, two-week review; part 1 of 2:

    http://www.salon.com/2013/04/17/gop_filibuster_kills_background_checks/singleton/
    GOP filibuster kills background checks

    The “compromise” on gun reform supported by 90 percent of country dies in Senate after failing to secure 60 votes

    http://www.teapartynation.net/the_attack_on_boston
    The Attack on Boston

    …We need to first recognize our enemy and then come up with a strategy to destroy them.  This is an ideological war.  While sometimes that will mean guns and bombs, neither will destroy an ideology.

    The values of the west, most of them good, some of them not so good are what will destroy radical Islam.  In the west, we fall all over ourselves not to insult Islam.
     
    Why?

    We can go down the list of things Islam has done to the west.   During the height of the Cold War, the Soviets came up with something called the Brezhnev doctrine.  It said, “What’s ours is ours.  What is yours is negotiable.”   Radical Islam and perhaps even non-radical Islam holds to the same belief.

    (excerpt)

    http://jezebel.com/it-took-two-whole-days-for-a-random-muslim-to-get-assau-476156729
    It Took Two Whole Days for a Rondom Muslim to Get Assaulted in Boston

    A Palestinian woman said she was assaulted while taking a late morning stroll with her baby daughter and friend by a man who accused her of being a terrorist. We thought someone would’ve been publicly attacked and berated for secretly planning the Boston Marathon bombings within hours of the explosions, but nope — racists managed to contain themselves for two days. Bravo.

    Memo to the New York Post and other media outlets that told us to look out for “dark-skinned” suspects: baseless and racist claims prompt action, not just pageviews.

    (snipped)

    http://malden.patch.com/articles/muslim-woman-assaulted-harassed-near-malden-center

    “He was screaming ‘F___ you Muslims! You are terrorists! I hate you! You are involved in the Boston explosions! F___ you!’”

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/04/18/foxs-oliver-north-attacks-obama-over-visit-to-b/193682
    Fox’s Oliver North Attacks Obama Over VCisit To Boston For Marathon Memorial Service

    “How many law officers were pulled off the marathon massacre investigation to provide protection for Obama in Boston?”

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/new-york-post-misidentifies-local-high-school-track-runner-as-boston-bombing-suspect/
    New York Post Misidentifies Local High School Track Runner As Boston Bombing Suspect

    The New York Post has again distinguished itself in its coverage of the Boston Marathon investigation, this time misidentifying the two suspects authorities kinda-sorta maybe have in mind.

    (snipped)

    (with Dimocrat complicity…)
    http://truth-out.org/news/item/15820-after-obama-shuns-probe-bipartisan-panel-finds-indisputable-evidence-us-tortured-under-bush
    After Obama Shuns Probe, Bipartisan Panel FInds “Inidputable” Evidence US Tortured Under Bush

    An independent bipartisan task force has concluded that it is “indisputable” the United States engaged in torture and the George W. Bush administration bore responsibility. The 11-member Task Force on Detainee Treatment was convened by The Constitution Project after President Obama chose not to support a national commission to investigate the counterterrorism programs. It was co-chaired by Asa Hutchinson, a former Republican congressman from Arkansas, NRA consultant and undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush. The report concludes that never before in U.S. history had there been “the kind of considered and detailed discussions that occurred after 9/11 directly involving a president and his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality of inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in our custody.” While the report focused largely on the Bush administration after 9/11, it also criticizes a lack of transparency under Obama.

    • nj_v2

      Jackassery report, part 2 of 2:

      http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/04/18/1886801/gun-violence-victims-detained-put-through-background-check-for-yelling-shame-on-you-at-senators/?mobile=nc
      Gun Violence Victims Detained, Put Through Background Check For Yelling ‘Shame On You’ At Senators

      …As they left the Senate gallery, a police officer approached and asked them to follow him. The three walked downstairs to a public hallway, where they were peppered with questions: “What’s your name?” “Where are you from?” “What are your Social Security numbers?” The officer left to run a background check on the women, who were instructed to sit on a bench. Another uniformed officer watched over them, even escorted Haas to the bathroom and told her she couldn’t lock the stall door.…

      The entire ordeal stretched for almost two hours — approximately 115 minutes longer than a background check at a federal gun dealer. Haas noted the irony of undergoing hours of questioning while permitting gun purchases without any screening at gun shows or online.…

      (excerpts)

      http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/2013/04/brian_nieves_insane_emails.php
      Senator Brian Nieves Writes Insane E-Mails to Constituent Who Doesn’t Want His Newsletters

      We have to imagine that, as an elected official in Missouri who has experienced some controversy, State Senator Brian Nieves must be used to getting a fair amount of hate mail.

      And we’d guess that this message he received last Friday is, relatively speaking, pretty mild: “Take me off your mailing list. Freak.”
      But after receiving that short seven-word e-mail from a constituent, Nieves fired off a series of lengthy, angry, incredibly bizarre e-mails in response — which the recipient, Wildwood resident Bart Cohn, shared with Daily RFT.

      We’ve pasted the full exchanges below, which include Nieves insulting Cohn’s beard — yes, his beard — accusing him of being “in love” with him and having a “sick obsession” with him…

      (snipped)

      http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/04/oklahoma-jew-me-down-dennis-johnson-video.htm
      Oklahoma Lawmaker Uses the Term, ‘Jew Me Down’ and Everybody Laughs, Because Oklahoma

      Informed about twenty seconds later that he just used the the term “Jew me down” — in public, in front of cameras, as opposed to in private, where he presumably uses it all the time (“For God’s sake, Martha, don’t Jew me on the mashed potatoes!”) — Johnson apologized in pretty much the most unapologetic way possible. 

      “Did I? All right. I apologize to the Jews,” he said, grinning as if he could not give less of a shit. “They’re good small businessmen as well. All right folks, let’s get back to this.”

      The cackling of Johnson’s fellow legislators is by far the most remarkable part of the video. They should have been appalled. That’s how people are supposed to react when someone uses an anti-Semitic slur, or any kind of ethnic slur. But instead they found the whole thing hilarious.

      (excerpt)

      http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2013/04/19/stupid-twitter-tricks-gun-nut-edition/
      Stupid Twitter Tricks, Gun Nut Edition

      Seriously, this is about as stupid and insensitive as you can get. I’d express my outrage, but the replies to these tweets saved me the time and risk of lapsing into an unprintable rant.
      Presenting Arkansas State Rep. Nate Bell (R):
      “I wonder how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 with a hi-capacity magazine?”

      http://www.commondreams.org/further/2013/04/24-5
      Sociopathic Douchebag Who Worked for Other Sociopathic Douchebags Arrested for Blackmailing Women for Naked Pictures

      What kind of guy would intern for Mssrs. Ryan, Gingrich and Romney? This kind of guy: Adam Savader, 21, was arrested and charged in federal court with cyber stalking and online extorting 15 young women by allegedly getting nude photos of them and threatening to publicize them unless the women sent him more photos. Just in case you were wondering about the caliber of those who work for these fine public servants. And just in case today’s news of the weird wasn’t weird enough: In his spare time, Savader sometimes dressed up as Ellis the Elephant, the hero of two kids’ books by Callista Gingrich. He was also a serious photobomber with the likes of Ann Coulter. Surreal.

      “Remember what’s at stake. do u want ur family and everyone in DC to see ur tits? Just agree to e-mail me a pic of u in a bra.”

      http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/04/25/alex-jones-has-his-day-in-congress-house-republ/193777
      Alex Jones Has His Day In Congress: House Republicans Hold Conspiracy Theory Hearing

      The right wing media’s promotion of a widely-debunked Alex Jones conspiracy theory about the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) ammunition acquisitions prompted House Republicans to hold a hearing to investigate. The theory, which assigns some sinister motivation behind the recent ammo purchases, first gained traction on the websites of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones before finding its way to Fox News and Fox Business and finally to the halls of Congress. 

      (snipped)

      http://thinkprogress.org/media/2013/04/25/1920191/fox-islamophobia-boston/?mobile=nc
      Fox News Seizes On Boston Bombing To Suggest Obama Is A Secret Muslim

      Fox News is sounding the alarm about Muslim extremists in the aftermath of the Boston bombings and is using the tragedy to argue that President Obama is too weak or afraid to confront the threat.

      A day after Fox News host Bill O’Reilly wondered why Obama refused to condemn radical Islam before the Boston bombers’ motives were known, the network suggested that Obama’s middle name might provide the answer. Radio host Bill Cunningham implied, while appearing on Sean Hannity’s program, that Obama’s upbringing in Indonesia prevents him from opposing terrorism:

      CUNNINGHAM: Sean Hannity, maybe his middle name is a clue, as well as the fact that he spent his childhood practicing the Muslim faith. I think — of course he’s a Christian now, but we have to understand where he came from. He says the sweetest sound he ever heard was prayers at sunset. So with that orientation, I think it’s hard for this to say anything other than “Muslim jihadist terrorist” because it runs contrary to what he was taught as a boy in Honolulu and Jakarta, Indonesia.

      (snipped)

      • Gregg Smith

        Did you hear about the Bueno Vista Town clerk who called her supervisor an “arrogant ni##er”?

        Probably not, it’s not widely reported and the party is not given where it is. She has to be a Democrat or you would have heard and posted it in your little rant.

        • nj_v2

          You once again have me confused for someone who gives the tiniest little rat’s butt about what you think.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’ll take that as a no.

          • StilllHere

            He could have saved some time.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I never thought that. 

        • jefe68

          How is that a grown man seems fit to act like a spiteful child?

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

        “Jew me down” (sic) is the most embarrassing thing I’ve heard from a state pol since “African-American-rigging it”  was the apology last week, for a phrase I won’t repeat here.

        What, is there some sort of contest among red-state pols we don’t know about?

        • Ray in VT

          I thought that his correction was “Afro-Americanizing” it.  I always heard jerry rigging it when I grew up, and it wasn’t until just a couple of years ago that I heard that other use.

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

            Yes, “Afro-Americanizing it” wasn’t the mistake, so to speak. It was his apology.

            When he realized he said something wrong on the first go-around, that’s the correction he came up with. Amazing.

          • Ray in VT

            At least he didn’t correct it to negroiding, blacking or kaifering it up.

  • OnPointComments

    “We’re being played for suckers”  

    “Muslim extremists funding anti-Western hatred on taxpayer’s dime”
     

    “Even more than a decade after 9-11, our intelligence community couldn’t spot a budding terrorist – the older brother in the Boston bombing – although the Russians, hardly our best friends, warned us about him several times. And even though the guy was promoting jihad on the Internet.”
     

    “As somebody else noted, only in America can you be on a terror watch list and the welfare rolls at the same time.”
     

    http://chronicle.augusta.com/opinion/editorials/2013-04-26/were-being-played-suckers?v=1366939849

    • alsordi

      Its seem to me the only terrorists the FBI have come up with since 911 has been the young kids they trap in their sting operations.   Quite possibly, this was a sting operation with a twist.  Perhaps the FBI’s handler for these two young men, let them use real gunpowder this time.

      • northeaster17

        I’ve been wondering who the mysterious Misha really worked for

  • alsordi

     Hey Smith,   You call Iraq and Afghanistan liberated??  In Iraq USA killed a million people, destroyed the infrastructure, looted their antiquities, their oil,  and left a civil war in the wake.  And George Bush smirked when he said he would have MTV in every Iraqi household.   I don’t even let my own kids watch those videos.

    It looks like the USA is the rogue nation.

    • Gregg Smith

      Alrighty then.

  • donniethebrasco

    #FreeJahar donates $10,000 to NPR

    • nj_v2

      Kind of early in the day to be drinking, no?

    • Ray in VT

      They’re just matching #bugthemosques donation to Fox News.

  • Molly Pittman

    the sequester: http://bestofcalvinandhobbes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/waterbomb.png

    • Don_B1

      The truly disgusting thing is that when it affected the Tea/Republican austerians, they couldn’t take it and “fixed it” for themselves, but not for the 99-year-old woman who will lose her meals-on-wheels that she depends on each day to live at home. Will she be admitted to a nursing home that is getting its government payments cut?

      I say send her to one of the Tea/Republican representative’s home for care. I am sure there are more than enough other people under similar circumstances so that each Tea/REpublican could have at least one, and probably ten or more such “guests.”

  • donniethebrasco

    The FAA should not be part of the Federal Government.

    They should be a separate entity that pays for itself through fees on airports and airlines, like the Post Office.

    The Post Office is not cutting days from its delivery from the sequester, so why is the FAA ending services?  Because it is still subsidized by the Federal Government.

    If you have never flown in an airplane, you should not have your tax dollars subsidize rich people who fly.
     

  • LianeSperoni

    I think we are entering a very precarious period because the media is on hyperspeed while our government clings to secrecy and cliches in the face of unspeakable tragedies. It is fodder for all sorts of conspiracy theories. Once we enter this world there are no conversations, only accusations.

  • donniethebrasco

    Has the picture or video of Jahar placing the Boston Bomb been released?

    • olderworker2

      How do you know such a video even exists? As I understand it, the FBI received all the photos and videos from people who happened to be photographing and recording at the time, without even knowing the significance of what they were filming. 

  • donniethebrasco

    Is the picture of Jahar placing the bomb in Boston next to the picture of death picture of Osama bin Lauuuuden

  • J__o__h__n

    The purpose of the sequester was to enact stupid cuts so that the government would not allow it to happen.  Making the cuts more flexible would reward Republicans who favored cuts.  Air travel can’t be affected but less powerful victims of the cuts aren’t having their needs addressed.  If Congress truly wants flexibility to implement sensible cuts, then make the cuts to air traffic controllers be to rural airports whose Republican representatives support the budget cuts. 

  • OnpointListener

    Re: Syria

    If the rebels had chemical weapons, they would be using them also.

    It’s a quagmire;  the U.S. needs to Keep Out and stop feeding the middle east with weapons and cash.

    • donniethebrasco

       Or arm both sides to the teeth and have divorce lawyers try to get them to reconcile (make them keep fighting).

  • donniethebrasco

    Obama blinks at Syria’s use of chemical weapons.

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    Anyone catch Jon Stewart’s show on Comedy Central Wed evening?  

    He cited a statistic – in the past 30 years number of Americans killed by terrorists – under 4,000 – by gun violence: over 900,000.

    Granted it’s Jon Stewart so one might take these numbers with a grain of salt by giving them a margin of error of a 1,000 or so. 

    • donniethebrasco

       900,002 killed by gun violence
              450,000 killed by criminals with illegal guns
              450,000 suicides
                       2 kids find guns and kill sibling/friend

    • jefe68

      Since 1968 the number of deaths from firearms is 1,384,171.

      Since 1981 it is 1,007,171.

      The stats are from the FBI.

    • donniethebrasco

      To paraphrase Stalin, “It is not the people who use guns you count, it is the people who count the people who use guns.”

      • jefe68

        troll

  • AC

    gees. what kind of chemical weapons? did they already say?

    • twenty_niner

      Serin was reported.

    • Gregg Smith

      Sarin.

    • Ray in VT

      Sarin.

    • Gregg Smith

      Wow, ask and ye shall receive.

  • donniethebrasco

    If the Tsarnaev brothers were questioned by the FBI, it would be hard to handle them as well.

    • jefe68

      troll

  • Michiganjf

    Did one of your guests really just cite “British and French intelligence,” to corroborate U.S. “intelligence” about another middle east country????

    Why does that sound so familiar? 

    • Davesix6

      Well it’s politically correct to site the British and French intelligence now that there is a Democrat in the White House.
      Hell next they’ll be calling the British and French our allies again.

      • StilllHere

        I’m envisioning another apology tour for Obama.

        • nj_v2

          I’m envisioning a little, shriveled gnome, pecking away at a decrepit keyboard in a dark, basement corner.

  • brettearle

    US foreign policy may needs to be reexamined, sometimes, for a number of reasons.

    But it’s not going to stop the Global Jihadist movement

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Agreed.  

  • donniethebrasco

    Obama is not talking about the Boston Bombings because he realizes that the left leaning media will figure out on their own how to blame George Bush.

    • jefe68

      troll

      • jimino

        More accurately an idiot, and proud of it apparently.

        • jefe68

          Well, you know they let him out from time to time. It’s good for him. 

    • StilllHere

      Classic.

  • donniethebrasco

    Joe Biden cowardly called them “Knockoff Jihadis” instead of “Jihadis”

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

      You can cross “use the words Democrat and coward in a sentence, no matter how misplaced the reference” off today’s to-do list.

      • jefe68

        In the words of Bugs Bunny, what a maroon.

    • brettearle

      Biden made a distinction between members of Al Qaeda and those working as lone cells.  Intelligence  Information, across the VP’s desk, tells him that the brothers Tsarnaev were independent terrorists with unclear convictions.

      For you not to see the distinction, clearly demonstrates your short-sightedness, on the subject.

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

        The act has been committed, and part of not letting ourselves becoming terrorized is to not whip this up into anything more than it is. To not see jihadists behind every tree.

        Biden called this right, until further is found out. And the public doesn’t have to freak out seeing things behind every tree in order for the intelligence community to do their diligence.

        (We touched on this yesterday, I seem to remember.)

    • hennorama

      To quote VP Biden “With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey.”

    • Gregg Smith

      It was highly insulting to the many victims. I don’t think Biden meant to be insulting, he just doesn’t think before he speaks. He should, the remark was like rubbing salt on the nubs that used to be legs.

  • donniethebrasco

    Don’t call him the “alleged” bomber.  He won’t sue you for libel, so call him the bomber.

  • brettearle

    The speculation, about Times Square, never happened.

    It is MUCH less important than the fact that the brothers Tsarnaev were already successful.

  • marilynhutton

    The assumption appears to be that the US should intervene in the Syrian conflict because the regime is the bad guy and the opposition therefore are the good guys. Think about this a moment. First, the “good guys” have been charged by human rights organizations, based on fairly straightforward evidence, of executing prisoners. Second, while the regime has made a policy of protecting the rights, property and lives of the Christian minority, the “good guys” are systematically oppressing Christians, including murder and destruction of property. Although I am not a Christian, I disapproved on principle of religious persecution, and I would think Senator McCain, Senator Corker and the rest of those clamoring for intervention would as good Christians step back.

    • northeaster17

      I remember when the Georgians and the Russians had a tussel a few years ago. McCain said we are all Georgians now. As though we were ready to go over and take on the Russians. The man never met a war he did not like 

  • brettearle

    Graham is bloviating.

    The FBI and the CIA could NOT gather any relevant information, on their own.

    And when they went back to Russia, they received nothing

  • brettearle

    If FBI and CIA checked out all potential suspects, no one could answer phones, open gates, turn on lights, turn on computers–at their properties and centers.

    They’d all be too busy sleuthing and going on thousands and thousands of Wild Goose Chases.

    If people want to check the central databases–for CIA and, I believe, for the FBI–known as TIDE, they will see how many low level, low priority `suspects’ there are.

    HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS. 

    • donniethebrasco

       Are you one?

      Long live East German Stasi

      • brettearle

        WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

        WISE-GUY JOKE OR NOT STILL MAKES YOU A JERK

        • donniethebrasco

          There are hundreds of thousands of people who can be detained.

          If you want to be guaranteed security, you have to be willing to give up freedom.

          • brettearle

            You don’t know what you’re talking about.

            Go put on some Bandoliers and patrol the border.

    • hennorama

      From the National Counterterrorism Center’s website and elsewhere:

      http://www.nctc.gov/docs/Tide_Fact_Sheet.pdf

      “Sharing that Information”

      “By law, NCTC serves as the USG’s central and shared knowledge bank on known and suspected terrorists and international terror groups. NCTC also provides USG agencies with the terrorism intelligence analysis and other information they need to fulfill their missions. NCTC collocates more than 30 intelligence, military, law enforcement and homeland security networks under one roof to facilitate robust information sharing. NCTC is a model of interagency information sharing.

      “Through the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), NCTC maintains a consolidated repository of information on international terrorist identities and provides the authoritative database supporting the Terrorist Screening Center and the USG’s watchlisting system. The Center also produces NCTC Online (NOL) and NCTC Online CURRENT, classified websites that make CT products and articles available to users across approximately 75 USG agencies, departments, military services and major commands. NCTC’s Interagency Threat Assessment and Coordination Group (ITACG) facilitates information sharing between the IC and State, Local, Tribal, and Private partners – in coordination with DHS, FBI, and other members of the ITACG Advisory Council.

      “NCTC also provides the CT community with 24/7 situational awareness, terrorism threat reporting, and incident information tracking. NCTC hosts three daily secure video teleconferences (SVTC) and maintains
      constant voice and electronic contact with major Intelligence and CT Community players and foreign partners.“

      http://www.nctc.gov/about_us/about_nctc.html

    • Gregg Smith

      It seems to me the left hand did not know what the right hand was doing. I’m afraid Gorelick’s wall has been rebuilt.

  • Coastghost

    (2011): Arab Spring, Arab Summer, Arab Autumn, Arab Winter. (2012) Arab Spring, Arab Summer, Arab Autumn, Arab Winter. (2013) Arab Spring. The “red line” in Syria, with and without chemical weapons, has been spurting blood for two years already, but Assad Jr. has killed only half as many as his father did 20 or 30 years ago (few celebrate Assad Jr.’s comparative restraint).
    Obama cannot be faulted for being in a hurry to get involved in the Syrian conflict. Whether he can be faulted for hesitating to intervene remains to be seen: if as has been suggested Benghazi is an example of Obama’s strategic competence, his inaction-to-date in Syria may be a fine thing indeed.
    Whether he is forced by circumstances to respond or whether he (finally) proceeds decisively and adroitly, his sense of timing remains debatable this early in his second term and may become yet more acutely so throughout his Presidency, in terms foreign and domestic.

  • Ryan Copper

    Use the name Robert:

    Tom, In the kind of country I want to live in, with a strong constitution and rights of privacy, if two individuals want to set off a bomb in a crowd of innocent people, they are going to be able to do it. 

    The best we can do is find ways to prevent this by adjusting our foreign and domestic policies toward better fairness, and by investigating the crimes in openness so that the public can get involved.

  • toc1234

    hilarious when liberals like Jack start throwing around polls that support things they want, like gun control.  what if there was  a poll for waterboarding after 9/11?  I’m sure support for that would have been high.  so Jack would be ok w it?   fraud.

    • hennorama

      toc1234 – yes, indeed Jack Beatty is a fraud, since in your imagination he opposes a non-existent hypothetical poll.  What an excellent argument!

      • brettearle

        Touche.

        Although with such praise, with one word–and that word beginning with the letter `t’–I may get assaulted with droll French drawl of obsessive alliteration, beginning with the letter `t’.

        Thank you for the Intelligence database stuff.

        I will try and contemplate what you have entered.

        With a Gal like you, who needs Wiki?

        And don’t start with the W’s.

        I meant what I said
        And I said what I meant
        A Pachyderm’s Word
        100%

        • hennorama

          brettearle – TY for your “touché-ing” reply.

          The earlier alliteration was enjoyable both to read and to write, and was a worthwhile diversion from more serious matters.

          I got a bit carried away though, and f-bombed [OnPointComments] with “FAA Furloughs freak frequent fliers …” and even took a shot at a poetic reply to [David_from_Lowell]‘s original “This page is dominated by like 6 people …” comment.

          But I digress.

          One note – as I do not identify my sex/gender in a public forum, the term of reference “a Gal like you” should be used with caution. I did appreciate your earlier and clever “S[he]” however.

          Thanks again.

          • brettearle

            Gender Guise Gasses Gallant Grip With Ghastly Guesses

          • Steve__T

              Sorry to say this but, I when I read your signature I break it down to
            henn-o-rama. And hen’s are all ways considered female. I could go on but there is nothing I see that can make the name asexual, unless you add some letters. ;-)

          • hennorama

            Steve__T – no worries. One of my friends in Germany interprets my moniker as “hen margarine” or the more amusing “chicken margarine” because “ Henne” means hen in German, and “Rama” is a popular brand of margarine in Germany.

            Not to mention the many people from south Asia who have told me about the Hindu deity Rama after they read my moniker.

            Again, no worries. It doesn’t matter how one views my moniker, truly. I simply endeavor to maintain a modicum of privacy and mystery.

    • StilllHere

      Beatty is comic relief.

  • mattinNewton

    as far as the sequester causing delays in commercial flights by cutting funding for controllers, I see no reason why it should not be so. Congress cut funding and all Americans need to share the brunt. Too many Americans fail to see how they are personally benefiting from federal tax dollars. This is a perfect example.

    • donniethebrasco

       The FAA serves a limited population.  People who don’t fly should not have one thin dime of their taxes go to fund the FAA.  It should be supported only by passengers, airports, and airlines.

      They should have no line item in the federal budget.

      This might be an opportunity to spinoff the FAA from the federal government and make it an independent agency, like the Post Office.

      • jefe68

        That’s not how our democracy works.

      • northeaster17

        We all benifit from our air transport system. Just as we all pay for our ground transport system. The benifits as well as the costs are universal.

  • David_from_Lowell

    Not passing background checks, where 90% of the population was in favor, is a clear example of how un-representative our supposed representative government really is. Legislators represent oligarchic money, and an Apartheid-like minority of rural, older, whiter folks who are over-represented. The rest of us are their serfs.

    • donniethebrasco

       Do you really believe that statement?

    • oneildg

      Yeah right.

      1000 people from each of 3 east coast states were polled. and those results are supposed to represent the opinions of nearly 400 million people?
      Not really.

  • Omaha Guy

    President Obama is wise to wait on Syria.

    I voted for Obama, twice, because I still believe he is not looking for an excuse to start a war. 

    When we pushed the United Nations to start the Iraq war, on empty intelligence of curve ball, we lost credibility in the world community.

    If the United Nations declares “Hey USA, we can’t take this Syria thing anymore, and you should do something about it.”  And then we do something, after the President gets overwhelming support from Congress, our credibility increases.

    Sending American troops to war — when our core interests, allies, and values are not directly threatened — has to have a very high threshold of justification.

    This conversation is evidence that out push for the Iraq war was done in the wrong way.  As President Obama tries to repair our international standing among people of good will, he has to make sure that military strength is used more thoughtfully to defend our own freedom, values and allies.

    This comes down to trust.  If we jump to war whenever the foreign owned media says to, then the United States can’t be trusted to be an honest power broker among friends.

    Short of war, is there a way to provide a no-fly zone or safe area for refugees?  Okay, let us work this out thoughtfully.

    I trust President Obama not to look for an excuse to start a war,  and the rest of the world should trust all of us that way also.

    • donniethebrasco

       If Obama were to act on Syria, you would find a reason to rationalize that it is a good decision.

  • jefe68

    John Oliver eviscerates a major gun control opponent with logic, precedent, facts, and reality.

    Hilarious. 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYbY45rHj8w

  • J__o__h__n

    Bloomberg isn’t helping his anti-gun cause when he makes statements about infringing civil rights to combat terrorism as it plays right into the NRA’s paranoia. 

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

      Yeah, I heard enough of that from Ru9y G1u1iani. Just because Bloomberg is a little more nebbishy-seeming in vocabulary and vocal inflection doesn’t make it go down any easier.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1125975244 Aaron K. Hallquist

    please Tom do the work of informing the caller from Charlestown, MA that the sequester specifically did not allow agencies to target their cuts.  they were intended to be across the board without discretion thus amplifying the absurdity of allowing the sequester to go into effect.  The small businessman would not do such a thing; that’s the point!

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Told to use an ax and the results won’t be pretty. 

      Rather than expending lots of energy concocting conspiracy theories about agencies (or the President) targeting cuts to politicize the matter  -  I wish people would remember the warnings that were aplenty before the sequester was allowed to happen.

      I’m afraid many Americans have lost the ability to both anticipate as well as empathize.   

      • northeaster17

        Anticapation is in fine form down here. It’s empathy that suffers.

        • NrthOfTheBorder

          lol!

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Good for Barbara Bush.

    We’ve had enough Bushes and Clintons.  Enough of these political dynasties.

    • Gregg Smith

      I agree one Clinton is enough. I also get the sentiment about Bush and I do not endorse Jeb. But I do think each candidate should be regarded as their own person and not be judged by their family. I doubt he’ll run anyway so the point is probably moot.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         You have to feel sorry for poor Jeb, he is probably the most talented of the bunch.

        • Gregg Smith

          I was thinking the same thing.

        • olderworker2

          Jeb might be the most talented of the bunch (of Bushes), and, to his credit, he speaks Spanish very well (I heard him intereviewed on Al Punto once). However, there are far more qualified potential candidates than he is for 2016.

  • nj_v2

    Wow, Gramma Bush actually got something right: “We’ve had enough Bushes.”

    Enough is too much.

    • Ray in VT

      That reminds me a bit of a satirical, and rather saucy, article that I read back in 2004 as to whether men were pro or anti-bush.

    • hennorama

      nj_v2 – when NBC’s Matt Lauer asked “Would you like to see Jeb run?” Barbara Bush said,

      “He’s by far the best qualified MAN. But no, I really don’t. I think it’s a great country. There are a lot of great families, and uh. It’s not just four families or whatever. There are other people out there that are very qualified. We’ve had enough Bushes.”

      Clearly she meant to leave Hillary Clinton out. That Barbara Bush is a crafty one. She doesn’t miss a trick.

      She obviously was referring to the Kennedys, Clintons, Bushes and Frelinghuysens when she mentioned the “four families”. What she has against Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen and his family is beyond me, however. ;-)

      Of course, Mrs. Bush is old enough that she may have been referring to the Harrison family. The problem with that idea is that the last of that political line, William Henry Harrison, died in 1990. He had an oddly discontinuous Congressional career, having served five terms in the House – 1951 to 1955, 1961 to 1965, and 1967 to 1969, but never more than two consecutive terms.

      Mrs. Bush may also have meant the Rockefellers as the fourth family, or another political family entirely. Perhaps the nepotistic Murkowskis of Alaska? Probably not.

      Any other guesses?

      See:http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nightly-news/51667537

      • Gregg Smith

        Hillary was never President.

        • hennorama

          Gregg “I’m not reading all that” Smith – no kidding. No one said “Hillary was [ever] President”. Rather, I was pointing out that Mrs. Bush said, regarding whether her son Jeb should run for President, “He’s by far the best qualified MAN” (the emphasis was mine), which leaves out any woman who might be a presidential candidate.

          Sorta simple.

          • Gregg Smith

            I agree one Clinton is enough, there was only one. No dynasty there. That’s all.

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

    R.I.P. George Jones.

    Who is his successor, so to speak?

    • Ray in VT

      George Strait maybe?

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

        But George Strait turns 61 next year and is on a “retirement tour”. (However, I wouldn’t mind if he takes a few of these.)

        I can see the direct line between Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakam (27 years younger).

        I guess I’m casting about for one of the younger performers to be Strait’s (and Jones’) successor, then.

        • Ray in VT

          Well, Strait might still have 20 years in him as a country performer.  Alan Jackson maybe then, but he’s no spring chicken.

    • Gregg Smith

      There isn’t one.

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

        Yeah, maybe that’s true.

        Part of me wants someone to be able to get that emotional truth required to be a good country music performer without the almost cliched battle with the bottle.

        • Gregg Smith

          I hear ya’.

      • JGC

        Do you get the chance to listen to Joel Najman on his VPR broadcast “My Space”?  It is a great roots of rock and roll program.  I don’t know if many other public radio stations carry it.

        • Gregg Smith

          No I haven’t. I’m pretty sure it’s not aired here. I listen to a lot of NPR. I looked for him, is it “My Place”?

          • JGC

            Oopsy doodle! I should have written “My Place” (I think my mind was conflating “Hearts of Space”, which is soooo different, it is a ridulous mistake. I’m going to edit my post so I don’t keep confusing people.)  Anyway, it is always interesting to hear the Joel Najman program; he can dig out some obscure recordings of known artists, and has some fun with themes from time to time. Mostly classic stuff from the 50s and 60s. The Vermont Public Radio noontime show, Vermont Edition with Jane Lindholm, is  having a special interview with Najman on Monday. VPR airs the show here at 8:00 pm on Saturday evenings, following Prairie Home Companion.

          • JGC

            IMPORTANT: I just went on the VPR site about My Place, and saw that due to it being a music program, they only have the right to broadcast it and livestream it during its time slot (Saturday evenings at 8:00 pm).  No other access to it after the fact  :(   Bummer.  Anyway, if you are able on occasion, give it a listen.

          • Gregg Smith

            Thanks JGC, I would definitely listen because I love stuff like that but I understand the reasoning. Artist are paid for their work in two ways. A copyright includes the CD (or whatever other medium) that you can hold in your hand but also the intangible music you hear in (on) the air. The songwriter owns that too. The latter is administered by organizations such as ASCAP and BMI. I support that concept so I can’t complain.

            IMHO NPR is the most awesome entity ever for shows of this sort. I heard a show by Bob Edwards on bass player Carol Kaye that may have been the best radio I’ve ever heard. I just wish they would stay away from politics.

          • JGC

            That is a good explanation for the mechanics of why, although not entirely satisfying because the program  is more than just listening to a bunch of  individual tracks. It promotes the musicians with more depth  than just listening to their music by chance on regular radio. It is how Najman compiles them into an hour, with history and analysis given in a low-key way, and musical links to influences on later artists.  Maybe Rupert Murdoch could find a reason to bring similar artistic programming to the Fox Empire. But only if it was a profit-making enterprise, of course.

  • David_from_Lowell

    On Point should consider setting a maximum number of posts per commenter per show. This page is dominated by like 6 people, cluttering out all others.

    • donniethebrasco

       Liberals don’t like ideas that they disagree with.

      • Ray in VT

        Whereas conservatives just don’t like ideas.

        • donniethebrasco

           Like what?

          • jefe68

            Try common sense for starters.

          • donniethebrasco

             No way to argue with that nonsense.

          • jefe68

            Oh so you think using common sense is nonsense, that about sums it up.

          • hennorama

            Common sense isn’t.

          • Ray in VT

            Seemingly most social policy since circa 1900 or economic policy post 1929.

        • donniethebrasco

           I don’t like the debasing of the US Dollar through QE and the Fed buying 30 year loans.

          I don’t like supporting people who create bombs.

          I don’t like the FAA subsidized by people who don’t fly.

          I don’t like billions used to out bail investors of failed companies, like Solyndra.  Especially when the investors gave money to the politicians who bailed them out.

          I do think that a gas tax makes sense for paying for the war in the Middle East and roads.
          But I don’t think that subsidizing and requiring Ethanol in gasoline reduces carbon or helps the environment.  It is just a price support for corn.

        • donniethebrasco

           I think that people should be able to direct their tax payments to general categories.

          i.e. You should say that you want 100% to go to alternative energy, or 100% to go to help the poor, or 100% to go to defense,

          At the very least, you should be able to indicate what you want, the government should compile the data, and then report how they deviate from the wishes of the tax payer.

          • hennorama

            donniethebrasco – an interesting idea, but completely impractical.

            For example, one assumes most would agree that any government needs a means to enforce tax collection. One also assumes that few taxpayers would voluntarily and actively direct their tax dollars to such needed activities.

            But keep those ideas coming! Seriously. Without new ideas life would be dull indeed.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          C’mon, they love fresh ideas like “creation science”, “intelligent design” and a 6,000 year old earth. And “tax cuts ‘n deregulation” are just as wonderful today as they were in 1980, despite having wrecked the middle class.

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        Actually, donnie, I find this equally true of conservatives. 

    • jefe68

      I don’t agree with these chaps, but they have as much right as you or me to post whatever they want how much they want. 

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.
        Voltaire 

        • Ray in VT

          I think that that is more of a summation of Voltaire’s view and not an actual quote, but it is a great sentiment either way.

      • olderworker2

        I agree that everyone has the right to post; but it’s difficult to read all the points of view if a few people post multiple times. 

    • hennorama

      David_from_Lowell – one can use the handy [Collapse thread] “minus sign” all the way to the right of the poster’s name to hide posts you prefer not to see or read..

      • brettearle

        Ah ha!

        Ladies and Gentlemen,

        henn has hailed holy hell for hacks

        hide his, hide hers hellacious hyperboles

        • hennorama

          Ha
          Haha
          Hahahaha

          He hath hit head, heart, home.

          Huzzah!

          • brettearle

            Heretics Hold the Hyped, as HasBeens, in High Holiday of Horror?

            Hath Henn Harassed How Many Hopeful Hotshots?

            Her Holiness Hath Hocked the Harmony of Hornblowers and Honkers

            Hoo would Have Held Seuss Money, Honey, Had Hortons not Hatched their Hoos?

          • hennorama

            Hark!
            Having heard “Huzzah!”
            He hurriedly heralds Horton hypothesis
            Harbor he hyperbole?
            Hath he hastened hell?
            Hush heathen howler
            Hear.
            Heed.
            Halt.

          • brettearle

            Haste Hath Hovered Honored Henn

            S[he] Hoo Halts Heralded
            Hotbed of Haikus

            Hath Hacked Her Hegemony of Hope

            Hallelujah!

          • hennorama

            Hope? Hegemony?
            Hemoglobin hued herrings held high

            hennorama heeds honesty
            Hails honed hunches
            Heuristic happenstances
            Hates hodgepodge

            Hope? Hegemony?
            Harrumph.

        • Gregg Smith
    • nj_v2

      Who has been “cluttered out.”

    • TomK_in_Boston

      C’mon, David_from_Lowah_Hell, our nursing home and assisted living facility dweller contributors need to fill those loooong days.

    • PithHelmut

      Everyone is free to discuss at length, a rare thing in today’s communications. Must everything be restricted to a few person’s judgement?  Can’t we work it out ourselves, allow ourselves to organize naturally? What’s the harm? If more than six people wish to comment, they are free to do so, no one is stopping them.  Perhaps we should ask: Why are there not more than six or so commenting? But to limit the six that do seems to be slipping into punitive territory rather than spirited meanderings.  

    • brettearle

      What are you talking about?

      There is unlimited CPU space.

      It isn’t Commenters fault, if others are silent.

      If there was not an unlimited amount of space, that would be different. 

    • hennorama

      Can’t we all just get along?
      Left and right and wrong belong.
      Must we this prattle prolong?

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    Posted in confidence that few will read it and none will follow the advice offered.

    FTA:Over the last several days, I’ve watched Democratic politicians, lobbyists and Facebook meme-sharers calling down shame on the senators who voted against every single gun control measure proposed in the Senate. Yes, it’s true that none of the measures would have passed the Republican-controlled House anyway, but to have lost in the Democrat-controlled senate was to truly be trounced. I have seen the Democratic pundits all over the nation looking across their podiums and well-lit television studio desks with stunned expressions. “How could this have happened,” they all ask? Only four months after Newtown?

    http://kontradictions.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/dear-democratic-gun-control-lobby-how-to-get-better/

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

      Your post has been placed on anonymous hold and will not appear until 60% of the board approves to hold a strict up or down vote on it.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        You didn’t read it did you?

    • J__o__h__n

      It was only a loss as it needed sixty votes and not a simple majority as the Constitution requires. 

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        You didn’t read it did you?

      • oneildg

        The 60% requirement is there to protect the interests of the minority. Except of course when it gets in the way of Democrat agendas, then it becomes ‘unfair’

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

          Am I gonna have to post the chart showing how many goddamn filibusters the GOP have had since Obama entered office?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Please do.

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

            Do your own homework.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I offer support to you expressing your opinion, and you snap back at me.  I guess that sums it up.  And I’ll be surprised if you read the post at the start of this thread.

          • StilllHere

            He won’t.

        • StilllHere

          So true.

  • jefe68
  • jimino

    So how do you define “tyranny” that would trigger your right to start shootin’?

    • jimino

      This was intended as a response to RWB but any other of our resident 2nd Amendment experts who claim the purpose of the right to bear arms is to protect us from our own government should feel free to weigh in.

      • Ray in VT

        When they stole my freedom to have lead in my gasoline and rat feces in breakfast cereal.

      • brettearle

        Hey, wait a second…

        I’m a gun control advocate.

        But there truly is an understood motivation–albeit minor–that justifies a `well-regulated militia’ to fight a Tyrannical government.

        The problem may be,

        How do you define Tyranny?

        And who decides to organize a militia or militias to fight a government that may be tyrannical?

        Or fight a government that might NOT be tyrannical to others [is the problem?] 

  • OnPointComments

    AIR TRAVELERS’ PAIN IS PART OF OBAMA’S SEQUESTRATION STRATEGY
     
    From US Senator Tom Coburn:  “When he [President Obama] said he wanted sequester to hurt, he meant it,” Coburn said. “Because I said, ‘I’ll lead the charge to get you the flexibility to make sequester work.’ He said, ‘I’ll veto it.’ I said, ‘You can’t mean that.’ He said, “I do.’ He said, ‘It’s going to be painful. I’m going to teach you guys a lesson in terms of we’re not going to cut the size of government, because government isn’t the problem. Revenue is the problem.’”
     
    http://newsok.com/air-travelers-pain-is-part-of-obamas-sequestration-strategy/article/3803252 
     
    NO FURLOUGHS FOR OBAMACARE OFFICIALS
     
    “The office implementing most of President Obama’s healthcare law is not furloughing its workers as a result of sequestration, its director said Wednesday.”
     
    http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/295877-official-no-furloughs-for-office-implementing-obamacare#ixzz2RaBzOklK

    • StilllHere

      Pathetic, and the media plays right into it.

    • hennorama

      FAA furloughs freak frequent fliers
      Flabbergasted fillibusterers fix fast,
      Flee for flats, farms, firesides, families
      Fair?
      Foul?
      Fie!

      • OnPointComments

        Fraudulent Federal Foreperson
        Foists Fake Furlough Frugality
        For Forced Frustration.
        Familiar Flimflam From
        Frequent Falsifier.
        Foolish Failure,
        Familial Female Fornicator! :)

        • hennorama

          OPC – I’m brazenly stealing your hilarious “Familial Female Fornicator!” for future use.

          Very well done.

  • nj_v2

    Dubya’s legacy…

    Pro: Relief aid for Africa. Attempts at a semi-reasonable immigration policy. Ocean preservation/protection (!)

    Con: Everything else.

    • PithHelmut

      Customarily we wait until after they’re dead before expounding on their gifts given to the world but with GWB – it’s all about him and instant gratification is the name of the game. Jimmy Carter should have declined to be included in that ignoble cabal but since he didn’t, he had to find something to say. Perhaps GWB should be reminded too of the public’s response to Maggie Thatcher’s passing…

      • StilllHere

        She was revered except by a few malcontents.

        • jefe68

          Well I guess the majority of Scotland and Wales as well as almost half the English population will be pleased to know that they are nothing but a “few malcontents”.

          • oneildg

            What a pity ‘the majority of Scotland and Wales as well as almost half the English population’ couldn’t be bothered to show their feelings when she died.

            Perhaps they were so downtrodden and malcontented the poor peasants couldn’t affort the bus fare to the funeral.

          • jefe68

            What is it with you people?

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

            Well, Andy Murray aside, the Scots are the world’s worst tennis players.

            (h/t Monty Python)

          • jefe68

            What is really amazing is how obnoxious people are that they seem fit to be so condescending 
            to a nation of about 6 million people.

            I’m a bit bias, I use to live there.

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

            I didn’t know that about you personally.

            I do know a bit about the back and forth (to put it very mildly) between the Scots and English.

            And I am a Dunfermline fan, so Up the Pars!

        • Fredlinskip

          Those would include the countless individuals that her policies screwed.

      • brettearle

         Don’t insert criticism about Carter–as if we’re supposed to believe what you know, without you spelling it out.

        What do you exactly mean, when you say Jimmy Carter “should have declined to be included”?

      • oneildg

        You mean the handful of people who turned their backs when her coffin went past..?  Yeah that was a really massive response.. laughable.

      • Fredlinskip

         Clinton at library opening: ” new building is the…. latest grandest example of the eternal struggle of former President’s to rewrite history”.

    • Gregg Smith

      Evidently Obama disagrees because he adopted Bush’s positions on the Iraqi withdrawal, Gitmo, military tribunals and indefinite detention. Not that you like Obama either I’m just sayin’…

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

        Gitmo?

        You mean Bush II was going to close Gitmo but Congress wouldn’t put the people held there anywhere?

        • Gregg Smith

          He was never going to close it because it’s a horrible idea. We knew that before the inauguration.

          Don’t deal in things that aren’t real. Don’t get yourself worked up about something that isn’t going to happen. We got real things to get worked up about here. But closing Gitmo isn’t going to happen. It’s not going to happen. It is not going to happen. He’s not going to close Gitmo. -El Rushbo Jan. 16, 2009

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

            “We”?

            As Daffy Duck would say, you’ve got pronoun trouble.

            And the more you quote from Rush, the more time it saves to not take you seriously.

          • Gregg Smith

            TF, that makes no sense. Hate on me, hate on Rush but he was right. Was he not? How on earth does that discredit me because I cited him?

            I’ll give you this, Rush’s prediction was a complete and utter no-brainer, the biggest “duh” ever. I was not impressed in the least. Anybody with a modicum of intelligence knew there was no way in hell Obama would close Gitmo now that he was responsible for the consequences. It’s as crazy as the notion he would let the Bush tax cuts expire at the deadline. Never ever ever was either going to happen.

      • Fredlinskip

        Obama’s record isn’t perfect, granted.
        Compared to W, there is stark contrast.
        I am experiencing Deja Vu or have we had this discussion before?

        • Gregg Smith

          Yea we’ve been here before. It always comes back to Bush. Anything Obama has ever done is Bush’s fault. Any economic downturn is because of Bush. It’s basically the only conversation that goes on regarding politics. 

          • Fredlinskip

            Not necessarily true.
            But you know me.
            If W is going to open a library dedicated to his illustrious administration’s antics, I am going to comment.
              America forgets it’s mistakes at it’s own peril. I don’t mind being part of the group that reminds folks of the truth to those who don’t seem ” unable to handle it”.
            Progress. 
            That’s what being a Progressive is about.

          • Gregg Smith

            Propose a healthcare bill and promise it will lower cost, swear it’s not a tax, assure people they can keep their existing plan, and excoriate your opponent for having a mandate in her plan. Then get elected because of it (and closing gizmo, no lobbyist, no signing statements, shovel ready jobs and on and on). Then start exempting unions and certain businesses to get support. Then bribe few Senators with kickbacks and House members with meaningless signing statements to get it passed. Then use reconciliation to skirt the rules and sign it. Then intimidate the chief justice and argue it actually is a tax to get it through the SCOTUS. All the while it keeps getting slowly implemented as we learn it will raise premiums, you can’t keep your plan, the cost is triple and there is a mandate. Of course it’s too late to stop now. Then let people pay the fine to avoid compliance they can in no way afford as the private insurance industry withers on the vine. Then move to single payer.

            That’s what being a Progressive is about.
             

          • Fredlinskip

             “…private insurance industry withers on the vine”.Insurance cos are doing just fine.
            And now that ACA includes many more Americans. they are doing better than ever.
            If you were truly cared about waste and inefficiency; saving Americans $, while giving America a better product, you’d be more concerned about eliminating all the inefficiencies of our Health Care industry.
               My personal experience is that my existing policy recently screwed me and only learned after that a different ACA plan would be a much more cost effective option. I still need to fill the paperwork and go to new plan, but I’ve been spending my rare free time instead on these comments pages. So much for common sense.

    • hennorama

      nj_v2 – don’t forget these Pros:

      Didn’t invade or militarily intervene in any country in North America (except that one time in Haiti)

      Didn’t invade or militarily intervene in any country in South America (except that one time in Colombia)

      Didn’t invade or militarily intervene in any country in Europe (except that one time in Macedonia)

      Didn’t invade or militarily intervene in any country in Africa (except that one time in Liberia, and that one time in Somalia)

      Didn’t invade or militarily intervene in any country in Asia (except for that one time in the Phillipines, and that one time in Yemen, and that one time in Syria, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq)

      Didn’t invade or militarily intervene in any country in Oceania

      Didn’t invade or militarily intervene in Antarctica

      See:http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/interventions.html

  • PithHelmut

    Why can’t we just agree to make life (ie: non-killing) as fundamental to humanity as the speed of light is to physics?  

    • brettearle

      Too many of us cannot transcend our Egos.

      The Ego can be a Major Barrier to unity and common compassion.

      The Ego may be a driving force for Industry and Creativity–but it can also be an impediment to self-understanding.

      You don’t need to meditate to do it.

      You simply have to understand yourself.  

      Simple but not easy.

    • ExcellentNews

      It is the 6th commandment…

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      There are noted physist who are questioning that the speed of light is a constant.

      http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2009/07/was-the-speed-of-light-faster-in-the-early-universe-new-theory-says-yes.html

  • ExcellentNews

    There IS a bright point of light to report in the news. Amongst all the projects that get cut left and right from the sequester, I am happy to report that the GLOBAL OLIGARCHY project is doing very well. Trillions are piling up in the Cayman Islands, Switzerland and Dubai in the accounts of oil magnates, global bankers, and assorted “job creators” in slave-labor countries.

    And! Some of that wealth IS trickling down to the US, to pay Republican politicians so that any reform can be blocked – just to make sure the middle class remains on the endangered species list. You see, it is NOT OK with the corporate masters to let public funds to be spend on education, infrastructure, or social safety net for the outsourced. Doing that only makes the peons wealthier and cheekier…

  • Gregg Smith

    Obama has been moving the redline around since August:

    http://news.yahoo.com/obamas-chemical-weapons-red-line-syria-keeps-shifting-151129048.html

    Several blood test have come back positive for Sarin.

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/04/sarin-tainted-blood/

    Here’s the Prime Minister of Qatar:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sA_lU3sxfnc

    Obama is speaking loudly with no stick.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I don’t fault him on that. No one can be sure of the evidence.

      • Gregg Smith

        I suppose the blood tests could be faked and the Prime Minister of Qater’s logic could be flawed and US intelligence is wrong. That’s could be. We certainly need to be sure. I also don’t fault him for being cautious. But he should shut up. Bombast and empty rhetoric is a dangerous tactic. If the defacto leader of the free world draws a red line then moves it after it’s crossed the enemy is emboldened. 

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Bombast and empty rhetoric is dangerous and not living up to your word is dangerous.   It can suck to be responsible.

          • Gregg Smith

            So can the consequence of inaction which often is not considered. There seems to be a conventional wisdom that action is always worse. That’s also a dangerous strategy.

            Edit: BTW, to be clear, I am not calling for an invasion of Syria.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cacimbo-Smith/1142235495 Cacimbo Smith

    Wow, three guests and each one further left than the last. Could you at least look for a centrist. 

    • Don_B1

      You just don’t recognize where the center is.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Most posters here won’t.

        • Fredlinskip

          Gregg’s got it pegged. 
          Beck and O’Reilly- America’s center

          • Gregg Smith

            Please don’t tell me what I think.

  • hennorama

    From the Good News Department:

    U.S. Economy Begins Year With Best Start Since 2006

    2013 1st Quarter U.S. Real GDP growth rate was the greatest for any 1st quarter since 2006. Here are the statistics for each first quarter GDP growth by year:

    Real Gross Domestic Product, Compounded Annual Rate Of Change, Quarterly, Seasonally Adjusted Rate (GDPC1) Percent

    2006 5.1
    2007 0.5
    2008 -1.8
    2009 -5.2 Remember THAT?
    2010 2.3
    2011 0.1
    2012 2.0
    2013 2.5

    Source:http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/GDPC1

    • Gregg Smith

      You are putting lipstick on a pig. Private inventory investment went up but actual final sales were much lower. Real final sales of domestic product was lower by .4% than last quarter. There was some improvement in real personal consumption expenditures, nondurable goods as well as services. 

      This advanced estimate will most likely be unexpectedly, as always, when the actual numbers come in. 

      But forget all that. I’m a foolish partisan hack. It’s 2.5%, fine. Expectations were over 3%.

      http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57581482/u.s-economic-growth-disappoints/

      It pains me to say this, really I wish it were better, 2.5% is what they call “stagnation level”. There is no recovery.

      • hennorama

        Gregg Smith – let’s first put aside your oddly pre-defensive self-critique that you’re “a foolish partisan hack” and instead address your well-communicated and thoughtful remarks in order. ALERT: this response is lengthy.

        1. “You are putting lipstick on a pig.” One notes that you are not disputing that the U.S. Real GDP growth rate was the greatest for any 1st quarter since 2006. As to applying makeup to swine – aren’t you an equine expert? And I daresay pigs are inherently pretty cute and makeup only diminishes their cuteness. Just look at these little ones:

        http://images.onset.freedom.com/ocregister/gallery/m7fle2-m7fl9505.fairpigs.0719.js.jpg

        2. “Private inventory investment went up but actual final sales were much lower. Real final sales of domestic product was lower by .4% than last quarter …” etc., etc. These are interesting and important data, but one should not read too much into individual quarterly data points.

        You also left out one of the main points of your linked article, which was:

        “The economy is in a battle between fiscal drag on one side and monetary stimulus on the other,” said Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist for High-Frequency Economics, ahead of the growth report. “Over time, the Fed is winning.”

        3. “This advanced estimate will most likely be unexpectedly, as always, downgraded when the actual numbers come in. “ Revisions are neither unexpected nor unidirectional. That’s why the BEA calls this an “advance” estimate. GDP is not terribly simple to measure, and is also not the only economic measure one should pay attention to (consider GDI, for example). It is however, the economic measure that the general public is most familiar with, and the measure the Bureau of Economic Analysis prefers, since GDP is quite good at separating a growing economy from a declining economy.

        GDP figures, especially quarterly figures, are routinely revised for a variety of reasons. One major factor is the long lag time involved in the reporting of various components, such as IRS data on non-public corporations, partnerships and other businesses. Certain state, local and other spending data are also available only with a long time lag. The BEA tends to have the most difficulty with state and local government spending.

        As to revisions, the most recent BEA annual revisions report, from July 27, 2012, indicated the following as to annual U.S. Real GDP percentage growth rates:

        YEAR PREVIOUS REVISED

        2009 – 3.5 – 3.1 (an increase)
        2010 3.0 2.4 (a decrease)
        2011 1.7 1.8 (an increase)

        We’ll get another annual revision report at the end of July 2013.

        4. “It’s 2.5%, fine. Expectations were over 3%.” I was surprised that we had much growth at all, given the uncertainties surrounding the fiscal conundrum and the threat of and implementation of sequestration. From the same article you linked to -

        “Many economists had expected growth of 3 percent or higher.” Not only is this not the same as your “Expectations were over 3%”, it indicates a lack of agreement as to the level of “expected growth”. Short-term economic predictions tend to be unreliable, so this difference is not surprising. Further, the article quotes another prediction:

        “The U.S. economy is headed for another ‘spring swoon’ — the fourth in four years — this time brought on by the sequester,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, in a research note.

        The accuracy of that one will be determined soon.

        And yet another prediction:

        “High-Frequency Economics predicts that the spending cuts and payroll tax increase will erase 1.5 percent from growth this year.”

        The accuracy of that sort of prediction is nearly impossible to determine due to the difficulty in measuring “possible” or “potential” economic outcomes.

        And more FTA:

        “While acknowledging that the latest GDP estimate is less than stellar, other experts said the increase in the January-to-March quarter shows the economy is continuing to recover. They credit the Federal Reserve’s policy of keeping interest rates low and buying government debt with at least partly offsetting the adverse impact of the sequester, the massive government spending cuts that kicked in last month.”

        Note that the sequester is mentioned prominently.

        5. “It pains me to say this, really I wish it were better, 2.5% is what they call “stagnation level”. There is no recovery.”

        The U.S. economy has now grown for 15 straight quarters, which is obviously a recovery when compared to the Great Recession. Growth has indeed been muted, which I’ve been calling “the BBQ Recovery” due to its “low and slow” nature. Still, growth is growth, and is far better than contraction. Some believe that the reason growth hasn’t been better is due to reduced government spending.

        Here’s what an article in thefiscaltimes.com says about that:

        “Cutbacks in government spending, meanwhile, have now detracted from economic growth in 10 of the last 11 quarters. For the first three months of the year, spending across all levels of government fell by 4.1 percent. That followed an even sharper pullback of 7 percent in the previous quarter. Consumption at the federal level dropped 8.4 percent after a decrease of 14.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. Defense spending, which has fallen 22.1 percent at the end of last year, decreased 11.5 percent to start 2013.

        “The decline in government expenditure over the past two quarters is the biggest six-month contraction since the Korean war ended and it has taken the level back to where it was in mid-2007, well before the recession began,” Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a report to clients Friday morning. “Most strikingly, since the recovery began in mid-2009, GDP growth has averaged 2.1 percent annualized. Stripping out the public sector, however, that average jumps to 3.1 percent.”

        Read more at: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/04/26/Why-Isnt-the-Economy-Stronger-Blame-the-Government.aspx#HJbUHa8bwKbU2iiu.99

        6. “But forget all that. I’m a foolish partisan hack.” If you say so, sir.

        BEA’s most recent annual revisions report: http://www.bea.gov/national/pdf/NIPABriefingforWeb2.pdf

        For a discussion of GDP vs. GDI see: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/post/gdp-is-the-economy-doing-worse-than-we-thought–or-better/2012/05/31/gJQAfxkJ4U_blog.html

        • Gregg Smith

          Yes, I am disputing the numbers are the greatest since 2006 because the numbers are not in. How can you say that? 

          The farmers filled their silos but have not made the sale. It’s like when the unemployment rate went down because of the census. The press always says “unexpectedly” when the news is bad. How they don’t expect bad numbers is beyond me.

          Monetary stimulus (AKA printing money) is not healthy, it’s more lipstick on a pig. We need 4-5% GDP for a sustained period of time to even make a dent. That cannot happen by taxing or cutting spending or printing money. The only way is for people to go to work and become taxpayers. As long as the LFPR continues to plummet as it has since Obama became President nothing will improve. Obamacare will not allow it to recover, it’s a job killer.
          You may have said more but I’m not reading all that. You can write a book of excuses and platitudes but it does not change the fact. The economy is at best stagnant and that’s an illusion too.

          • hennorama

            Gregg “I’m not reading all that” Smith – one can only suppose ignorance is blissful for you, sir.

          • Gregg Smith

            Seriously, can’t you even admit the numbers are not in? Really, has it come to that?

            I do not have such an ego that I consider anyone ignorant unless they read every word I write or accept every premise I make. 

            If I did make that Evel Knieval leap but they responded with reason, addressing specific points (if not all) then I would refute them if I could. That’s a little tougher than calling them ignorant because they did not worship my comments.

          • hennorama

            Gregg “I’m not reading all that” Smith – one can only suppose further that irony is completely lost on you, sir.

            You first write in reply to my lengthy post (said lengthiness to which I had courteously alerted you up front) “… I’m not reading all that” then hilariously follow up by commanding me to “Read the link Pete and I posted.”

            Absolutely priceless.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’m glad you find it funny. Your comment had 5 links and I addressed one. My brief comment had one (the same as Pete’s) and you didn’t address any of it. Why? You did not comment on my reply to the link I did read and I know why, it’s because you proved my point with it. You did not comment on the link in your reply to Pete but you gave him 3. Is that ironic?

            Your entire comment is based on numbers that are not in. I explained why they are where they are and why they are pollyannish. I gave a link that backed it up. Your link (the one I read) shows the numbers in the pertinent areas have been revised down 100% of the time. I explained that QE is propping up the numbers.  I pointed out the LFPR. I gave you my opinion of what is needed for recovery. 

            You call me names (fine), change the subject and ignore every bit of it. That’s is not honest debate. 

            Does the idea that someone would not take you seriously really hurt your feelings that bad?

          • hennorama

            Gregg “I’m not reading all that” Smith – I’m glad you’re glad.

            Let’s break this down point by point, OK? No apologies as to the length required.

            “Your comment had 5 links and I addressed one. My brief comment had one (the same as Pete’s) and you didn’t address any of it.”

            Where to begin? The “5 links” included one to a photo of cute piglets (for simple convenience), a “link” that was merely the name of a source (thefiscaltimes.com) and three “real” links to sources. Why the number of links is important to you is beyond me. However, you clearly did not click on the link in [pete18]‘s post, as you mistakenly believe you linked to the same article. You did not. So much for your curiosity and accuracy.

            This further explains why you wrote, in error “You did not comment on the link in your reply to Pete but you gave him 3.” Again, why you consider the number of links significant escapes me.

            Your repeated remarks

            “Look at the first 3 graphics regarding sales, shipments and inventories. These are the factors causing the estimates we see now.”

            And

            “… the numbers driving the estimate are sales (real personal consumption, remember?), shipping and inventories (silos, remember?). “

            simply omit two major GDP components – Total Government Spending and Net Exports (Imports).

            Rather than point out these two omissions or discussing your points at length, I wrote, “these are interesting and important data, but one should not read too much into individual quarterly data points.”

            As you can see, I did “address it” by saying, in essence, discussing these details is less important than the overall picture of growth. After all, they’re probably going to be revised anyway.

            And as I replied to [pete 18] in my edited remarks to him

            “[You can see all of the positive and negative factors involved in the overall 2.5 percent growth figure in the WSJ, here:

            [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323789704578446513668963282.html#articleTabs%3Dinteractive]”

            And again, as you can see, I responded to [pete18]‘s linked article, which again, one must point out is not the same as yours.

            The remainder of your post requires considerable additional lengthy discussion, and given your past remarks, further commentary will likely be unread.

            ==========

            How my modest and empirically accurate comment “U.S. Economy Begins Year With Best Start Since 2006” became so controversial remains a mystery.

            There are two things we agree on, however – we need jobs, and pigs are cute.

            Of course, you still haven’t admitted that pigs are cute. Perhaps you’ll only “come around to it” when they fly.

          • Gregg Smith

            TLDR

          • hennorama

            Smith – Sheesh! Finally you admit it! I KNEW It!.

            No one can resist

            Those
            Little
            Darling
            Rascals

        • Gregg Smith

          Okay, I skipped to the end and looked at the revision link. Look at the first 3 graphics regarding sales, shipments and inventories. These are the factors causing the estimates we see now. Note how close the predictions match the revisions before Jan 2009 and how they were revised down 100% of the time after Jan. 2009. I have no idea what happened in Jan. 2009 to cause the discrepancy. You’re making my case.

          • hennorama

            Gregg Smith – if one stopped reading, as is your wont, after “the first 3 graphics” on pages 4 to 6 of the BEA report, one might agree that everything would be “revised down 100% of the time after Jan. 2009.”

            I’ll let you figure out for yourself if that’s true for all revisions after Jan. 2009.

            (HINT: it’s not. See pages 20, 26, 28, 29, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 39, 41, 43, 46, 47, 55, 59, and 60 of the same BEA annual revisions report.)

          • Gregg Smith

            As I pointed out in my first comment, and as I showed support for in the link I posted and as I reiterated above, the numbers driving the estimate are sales (real personal consumption, remember?), shipping and inventories (silos, remember?). 

            These are the factors causing the estimates we see now. Note how close the predictions match the revisions before Jan 2009 and how they were revised down 100% of the time after Jan. 2009. “

            And you dishonestly claim I implied “everything” as you continue to dodge my point. Or maybe you honestly don’t get it. Too many trees.

            And no I’m not going to read 60 pages of irrelevant gobbledygook just because you link it.

          • hennorama

            Gregg “I’m not reading all that but YOU must read THIS” Smith –

            1 If you want to dispute “U.S. Economy Begins Year With Best Start Since 2006” or “2013 1st Quarter U.S. Real GDP growth rate was the greatest for any 1st quarter since 2006” your argument is with the BEA and FRED data, not with me. Enjoy arguing with them.

            BTW, in this context “greatest” means “numerically largest” and not “most awesome”.

            You say “the numbers are not in” when what we have been discussing are “the numbers” of 1st quarter GDP for 2013 and past years. Strange.

            2. You earlier wrote “This advanced estimate will most likely be unexpectedly, as always, downgraded when the actual numbers come in.” Based on the context in your replies, it appears you intended that sentence to mean something like “This advanced estimate will most likely be downgraded when the actual numbers come in, [and the press will call this downgrade “unexpected”, as they always do when they report “Obama numbers”.]

            I interpreted your sentence instead to have meant “This advanced estimate is likely to be quote-unexpectedly-endquote lowered, as all “Obama numbers” are always worse when the actual numbers come in.” The subtext being your clear anti-Obama-anything viewpoint.

            Ergo my “revisions are normal” and “revisions go both up and down” reply.

            3. Why don’t we just simplify all this.

            You can keep repeating “The economy’s terrible and it’s all Obama’s fault. Until he’s gone it’ll always be terrible. All Obama policies are terrible for the economy and kill jobs. We need jobs ”

            I’ll keep repeating “The economy’s not great, but it’s better than it’s been and there are some positive trends and positive signs for the future. The economy would be about the same regardless of who is President. We need jobs.”

            But most importantly – aren’t those pigs cute?

          • Gregg Smith

            You lost me at Gregg “I’m not reading all that but YOU must read THIS” Smith

          • hennorama

            Smith – you becoming “lost” so early in a post is unsurprising.

            One would also not be surprised if the hilarity and hypocrisy of you writing the following in sequence is lost on you:

            “ … I’m not reading all that.”

            “Read the link Pete and I posted.”

            “You call me names (fine), change the subject and ignore every bit of it as you complain about my detailed response. That’s is not honest debate.”

            “And no I’m not going to read 60 pages of irrelevant gobbledygook just because you link it.”

            And that’s just stuff you wrote TODAY.

            I realize it may feel like someone called you a name today, but I did not, and quite purposely and pointedly did not.

            But it is difficult to conclude that you openly embrace the opinions of others, or even acknowledge facts presented by neutral third parties. That you would repeatedly write “ … I’m not reading that” and similar, and write it not apologetically (as you may not have sufficient time or patience, for example) but almost proudly and certainly stubbornly and dismissively is significant. It is definitely not evidence of an open and curious mind, or of one who is interested in seeking truth rather than merely searching for support for their own established opinions and beliefs.

            Having written all that – aren’t those pigs cute?

          • Gregg Smith

            You’re jumping the shark. I read and repliedto much much much much more of your comments  than you of mine. And you still want more.

          • hennorama

            Smith – resorting to the Gregg Smith Response-O-Matic so soon?

            [Whatever]

    • pete18

       There’s dancing in the streets thanks to that sizzling Obama recovery!  http://www.cnbc.com/id/100678290

      • hennorama

        pete18 – TY for your response. I respect and appreciate your views.

        Indeed no one is dancing in the streets, nor is anyone describing this recovery as “sizzling”. However, this marks the 15th straight quarter of GDP growth. This is part of my response to another poster, on the same topic:

        [The U.S. economy has now grown for 15 straight quarters, which is obviously a recovery when compared to the Great Recession. Growth has indeed been muted, which I've been calling “the BBQ Recovery” due to its “low and slow” nature. Still, growth is growth, and is better than contraction. Some believe that the reason growth hasn't been better is due to reduced government spending.

        [Here's what an article in thefiscaltimes.com says about that:

        [“Cutbacks in government spending, meanwhile, have now detracted from economic growth in 10 of the last 11 quarters. For the first three months of the year, spending across all levels of government fell by 4.1 percent. That followed an even sharper pullback of 7 percent in the previous quarter. Consumption at the federal level dropped 8.4 percent after a decrease of 14.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. Defense spending, which has fallen 22.1 percent at the end of last year, decreased 11.5 percent to start 2013.

        [“The decline in government expenditure over the past two quarters is the biggest six-month contraction since the Korean war ended and it has taken the level back to where it was in mid-2007, well before the recession began,” Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a report to clients Friday morning. “Most strikingly, since the recovery began in mid-2009, GDP growth has averaged 2.1 percent annualized. Stripping out the public sector, however, that average jumps to 3.1 percent.”

        [Read more at http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/04/26/Why-Isnt-the-Economy-Stronger-Blame-the-Government.aspx#HJbUHa8bwKbU2iiu.99 ]

        [EDIT/ADD]: One must note that the article you linked to said this:

        “Broad-Based Gains

        “The GDP showed contributions to growth from all areas of the economy, with the exception of government, trade and investment by businesses in offices and other commercial buildings.”

        You can see all of the positive and negative factors involved in the overall 2.5 percent growth figure in the WSJ, here:

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323789704578446513668963282.html#articleTabs%3Dinteractive

  • Gregg Smith

    So the Saudi who DHS said was not a person of interest while they searched his apartment for 9 hours isn’t getting much attention. But Beck was on O’Reilly last night. Did ya’ll catch it?

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/04/26/oreilly-to-beck-on-saudi-national-story-were-always-willing-to-give-you-a-hearing/

    • 1Brett1

      Such a brave, courageous and fearless man Beck is to defy the government on national television, to break the law and admit so on a public forum, all just to get the truth out! We, the People, need to be informed and Beck risks his own personal freedom and safety over and over so that we can live free and stay informed! Oh, and for The Blaze to be working indefatigably, around the clock, to bring forth what will shape up (no doubt) to be an investigative magnum opus, a veritable tour de force of journalism, is astounding!

      Glory, glory hallelujah…  

      • Gregg Smith

        Yea I agree Beck is fearless but this isn’t the Glenn Beck admiration forum. 

        I’m more concerned with why Napolitano would search the apartment of someone who is not a person of interest for 9 hours. Or why she said he was never on a watch list and that he was in the same sentence. Or why the 212 3b classification was given. Or where is he now? 

        But forget all that, not that you were going to address the substance anyway. What did you think of Beck’s sweater vest?

        • 1Brett1

          The only part of your comment that might be marginally worthy to be addressed is why you would rely on The Blaze, Glen Beck and Bill O’Reilly for your information.

          • jefe68

            You ask why? Do you really want an answer?

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s a false premise, my questions relied on the testimony of Napolitano and the document in evidence. 

        • 1Brett1

          Is this what you seem to be getting your panties in a twist about?

          Last week:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3l8xOAlcFA&feature=player_embedded#!

          Then, further information this week (which is what you, The Blaze and Beck are trying to make hay out of):

          This Tuesday:
          Napolitano firmly responded: “He was not on a watchlist.  What happened is — this student was, really when you back it out, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  He was never a subject.  He was never even really a person of interest.  Because he was being interviewed, he was at that point put on a watchlist, and then when it was quickly determined he had nothing to do with the bombing, the watch listing status was removed.”

           

          • Gregg Smith

            Why are you being contentious? Are you only just now looking at the testimony?

          • 1Brett1

            Hasn’t young man who had nothing to do with the bombers/bombings been treated badly enough with his name, face and address being published?

        • Fredlinskip

          Fearlessly ignorant and oblivious to facts, yes.

    • Fredlinskip

      Beck and O’Reilly?
      I’m sure the audience is left with a fair and balanced perspective there!
      How’s life inside the bubble?

      • Gregg Smith

        Au contraire, it is I who am here as well as there and you who are here but not there.

        What do you dispute? Or did you step out of the bubble to watch? It won’t hurt.

        • Fredlinskip

          Perhaps if Fox had added someone else to offer  more balanced reporting and discussion of allegations (Hannity, Coulter?), I might show it more respect. Anyway, I know this is supposed to be Earth-shattering news, so I’m sure I will hear of it from other sources.

          • Gregg Smith

            Other sources in your bubble?

    • jefe68

      Tweedledum and Tweedledee, what a treat!

      • Gregg Smith

        Which is which?

  • hennorama

    From the Sure Wish We’d Had An Intern Check Our Work Department:

    Grad Student Discovers Fatal Flaw In Austerity Economists’ Work

    It turns out the work of economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff was based on a spreadsheet error.

    Reinhart and Rogoff’s 2010 working paper “Growth in the Time of Debt” has been cited by a variety of politicians worldwide, from Rep. Paul Ryan here in the U.S. to Olli Rehn of the European Commission, to justify austerity policies. Unfortunately, one of Reinhart and Rogoff’s major conclusions – that when a country’s gross debt to GDP ratio is 90 percent or more, economic growth slows dramatically, and average GDP growth is actually NEGATIVE 0.1 percent, is completely wrong.

    Oops! They crapped their data!

    Let’s introduce the heroes of the story. Allow me to quote a recent Salon.com article:

    “Enter Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash and Robert Pollin of University of Massachusetts, Amherst, the heroes of this story. Herndon, a 28-year-old graduate student, tried to replicate the Reinhart-Rogoff results as part of a class excercise and couldn’t do it. He asked R&R to send their data spreadsheet, which had never been made public. This allowed him to see how the data was put together, and Herndon could not believe what he found. Looking at the data with his professors, Ash and Pollin, he found a whole host of problems, including selective exclusion of years of high debt and average
    growth, a problematic method of weighing countries, and this jaw-dropper: a coding error in the Excel spreadsheet that excludes high-debt and average-growth countries.

    “In their newly released paper, “Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff” Herndon, Ash and Pollin show that “when properly calculated, the average real GDP growth rate for countries carrying a public-debt-to-GDP ratio of over 90 percent is actually 2.2 percent, not -0:1 percent as published in Reinhart and Rogoff. That is, contrary to R&R, average GDP growth at public debt/GDP ratios over 90 percent is not dramatically different than when debt/GDP ratios are lower.”

    So, Reinhart and Rogoff were just ever so slightly off, BY A MERE 2300 PERCENT.

    Here’s Reinhart and Rogoff’s original paper:
    http://www.nber.org/papers/w15639.pdf?new_window=1

    And the Salon article is here:
    http://www.salon.com/2013/04/21/meet_the_economics_whiz_who_outed_rr_partner/

    I’m sure EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn’s remarks on Thursday had absolutely nothing to do with any of the above.

    “We have been clear that the pace of fiscal adjustment should take into account each country-specific economic situation,” EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told a conference in Brussels on Thursday.

    “The pace of fiscal consolidation is now already slowing down in Europe, the pace is slowing down,” Rehn said.

    See:http://www.cnbc.com/id/100671879

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

      This will be mentioned for five minutes at On The Media and maybe Planet Money.

      And then NPR will invite the DefisitHawks (TM) on to tell their half of the story.

      • Gregg Smith

        Right now the debt to GDP ratio is 105%. Somebody needs to make some excuses and make the claim this is a good thing… and they are.

      • hennorama

        TF – Thank you for your response. I appreciate and respect your views.

        Stephen Colbert hilariously discussed the spreadsheet errors and then briefly interviewed Thomas Herndon on Tuesday night:

        http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/425748/april-23-2013/austerity-s-spreadsheet-error

        http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/425749/april-23-2013/austerity-s-spreadsheet-error—thomas-herndon

        Herndon’s work has gotten widespread attention elsewhere as well:

        http://www.businessinsider.com/thomas-herndon-replication-exercise-2013-4

        http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/18/us-global-economy-debt-herndon-idUSBRE93H0CV20130418

        http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/04/23/the-doctoral-student-who-happed-reinhart-and-rogoff/

        (the article above says the following about the impact of Herndon’s work – “The research is generating more than conversation around the world, according to Stanford University economist John Taylor. “A participant in last Friday’s G-20 meetings told me that the error was a factor in the decision to omit specific deficit or debt-to-GDP targets in the G20 communique,” Mr. Taylor wrote Sunday on his blog.)

        Reinhart and Rogoff responded to Herndon et all here:
        http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/04/17/reinhart-rogoff-admit-excel-mistake-rebut-other-critiques/

        etc. etc. etc.

        There’s been no lack of coverage and commentary.

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

          There has been coverage now, and thanks for the links.

          But as you know I’m an armchair media critic. Isn’t it now “pouring water on a foundation” to cover something in this manner? (I.e. getting to a fire too late to save the building?)

          The idea is lodged into the heads of too many people who aren’t idealogues and liars. Many of those people who have this idea stuck in their heads are reporters and editors and work in the media, adjudicating what is and isn’t real in the immediate past.

          The big picture for me is how things become a narrative. I want to know: What will the media learn from this? Will they swallow the next load of bilgewater from some right-wingers which isn’t peer reviewed, because the righties who are considered “smart” are pushing it? Or will they do the even more cowardly thing of saying “nobody could ever know”, and just going to their regular Rolodex of experts and ignoring the subset of economists who they’d largely ignored the last time around?

          • hennorama

            TF – TY for your response. I appreciate and respect your views.

            The media coverage is one thing, but to me, the bottom line problem is that the underlying research from Reinhart and Rogoff, was essentially “desk drawered” out of sight. The only way that their error was discovered was that they gave the original information to the highly interested Herndon, who then discovered the errors.

            Peer review would likely not have uncovered this, as much of that work doesn’t focus on the underlying research but rather on the conclusions. Not to mention that peer review work is largely unpaid, taking the valuable time of academics and other experts away from projects they are more highly invested in.

            My view is that we, including and perhaps especially members of the media who publish this work, should ignore research unless the original data and models are made public, so others can attempt to replicate the outcomes. This is basic. If research cannot be replicated, it should be considered invalid.

            This should all be free to the public and the media, and every entity that funds research should include provisions for mandatory publishing of the work they pay for, openly and online. It’s not like there were any state secrets involved in R&R’s work.

            But their erroneous work was used to promote the political and economic interests of politicians and other who were predisposed to the conclusions R&R came to. In some ways this was similar to the cherry-picking of intelligence that eventually led to the invasion of Iraq. But unlike intelligence, state secrets were not involved.

            Had R&R’s research been publicly available and out of the desk drawer, their paper might never have seen the light of day.

    • StilllHere

      Seems like the UMass guys are being selective for political purposes ….

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/26/opinion/reinhart-and-rogoff-responding-to-our-critics.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      • hennorama

        StilllHere – TY for your response. I respect your views.

        First, let me commend your boldness in questioning the motives of anyone from Massachusetts, as that is not a popular choice of late.

        Reinhart and Rogoff’s defense of their work is understandable, although one could fairly critique their defense, especially the fact that they chart their medians versus the Herndon-Ash-Pollin means. This is rather bizarre all by itself. One might give them the usual Will Rogers advice of “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

        The wisdom of Rogers’ advice is further pointed out by R&R compounding their errors in an earlier defense, which you can read about here:
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/22/reinhart-rogoff-mistakes_n_3133752.html

        The problem is not really with Reinhart and Rogoff’ themselves, as one doubts they intentionally skewed their results. They simply made a big fat mistake.

        The problem is that despite the fact that the paper was neither peer-reviewed nor replicated by others, the work was seized upon by those whose political and economic views were supported by Reinhart and Rogoff’s conclusions.

    • Fredlinskip

      Are you implying that installing European-style austerity on American Economy as Romney/Ryan wanted to do might not be a good idea?
      Glad we didn’t have to learn the “hard way”.

  • olderworker2

    I would like to see a new policy for asylum seekers, like the Tsarnaevs. I think it’s fine to take people into the U.S. for temporary asylum, but then, if they return to their original countries, as the parents of these two young men did, and as Tamerlan Tsarnaev did, for more than a few weeks, their U.S. citizenship should be revoked. 

    • brettearle

      If individuals return to their original homelands, temporarily, after being granted political asylum as refuge from these original homelands, they can be more carefully monitored after their departure and upon their return–especially if they can be more carefully monitored by consenting countries, while abroad.

      But the monitoring, from US standpoint and by the US Government, should only be done if there is something close to probable cause.

      Not simply because the individual has temporarily paid a trip to his country of origin.

      Asylum settlers should not have to pay for Tsarnaev’s sins.

      • olderworker2

        The point was that Tsarnaev the elder went back to his country of origin for six months. I think at that point, he should’ve been repatriated to Russia or Checneya and not been permitted to return to the U.S.   I wasn’t thinking of monitoring anyone; that would be a waste of U.S. dollars. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002228295103 Bargain-Basement Howard Hughes

    Hey Tom, I love how you let them not allow a person to download mp3s anymore. For all your insight and your whole career, that really shows what kinda whores you and your staff really are. Have a nice life, I’ll find a real show to listen to. Bye.

  • http://twitter.com/Winooski Nato (Nate Orshan)

    Hey “Bargain-Basement Howard Hughes”, I’m not happy we can’t download directly from the pages any more, but…whores? And…for *that* reason you stop listening altogether? Neither of these statements reflect well on your intelligence.

    For everyone else: As of today, you can still download On Point MP3s for free via the iTunes app: 

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wbur-fm-on-point-tom-ashbrook/id121534955?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

  • Steve__T

    …..Disqus

  • Gregg Smith
    • 1Brett1
      • Gregg Smith

        BDS

    • hennorama

      Pres. Bush II has done some really good works with PEPFAR.

      However, the author’s standard for “saving lives” appears to be preventing something that COULD have happened to them. I thought arguments about preventing things that COULD have happened were moot, especially after the huge arguments over the stimulus having “saved or created” X number of jobs.

      If preventing something that COULD have happened is the standard, then President Obama wins for not unleashing a nuclear holocaust on the planet. He sets a new record every day as world population continues to grow. Bush II obviously comes in second, because world population was lower while he was President.

      • Gregg Smith

        It’s not about something that could have happened at all. It’s what did and is happening. Don’t marginalize it.

        “The number of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa has dropped to 1.7 million in 2011 from an estimated 2.6 million in 1997.”

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/18/hiv-aids-numbers-statistics-worldwide_n_1682936.html

        “In 2003, only 50,000 Africans were on HIV antiretroviral drugs — and they had to pay for their own medicine. Today, 1.3 million are receiving medicines free of charge. The U.S. also contributes one-third of the money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria — which treats another 1.5 million. It contributes 50% of all food aid (though some critics find the mechanism of contribution controversial). On a seven-day trip through Africa, Bush announced a fantastic new $350 million fund for other neglected tropical diseases that can be easily eradicated; a program to distribute 5.2 million mosquito nets to Tanzanian kids; and contracts worth around $1.2 billion in Tanzania and Ghana from the Millennium Challenge Account, another initiative of the Bush Administration.”

        The above is over 5 years old.

        http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1717934,00.html#ixzz2RlLMoX00

        • 1Brett1

          This is from one of the links I provided:

          “Bush’s mammoth global anti-AIDS initiative, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, poured billions of dollars into Africa but prohibited groups from spending any of it on family planning services or counseling programs, whose budgets flat-lined.The restrictions flew in the face of research by international aid agencies, the U.N. World Health Organization and the U.S. government’s own experts, all of whom touted contraception as a crucial method of preventing births of babies being infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.The Bush program is widely hailed as a success, having supplied lifesaving anti-retroviral drugs to more than 2 million HIV patients worldwide.However, researchers, Africa experts and veteran U.S. health officials now think that PEPFAR also contributed to Africa’s epidemic population growth by undermining efforts to help women in some of the world’s poorest countries exercise greater control over their fertility.”

          I remember this era well. 

          Read more here:

          http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2009/12/13/80331/bush-birth-control-policies-helped.html#storylink=cpy

          • Gregg Smith

            Alrighty then.

          • 1Brett1

            Gregg’s Reply #28

          • Gregg Smith

            #27, get it right.

          • 1Brett1

            Ah, so you’re finally admitting to your portfolio of pat replies…I did the whole “28″ thing just to throw you off!

          • Gregg Smith

            Never denied it smarty pants.

        • hennorama

          From the Gregg Smith Response-O-Matic:

          [Semantics]
          [Don't tell me what I think]
          [Google is not knowledge]
          [Smarty pants]

          • Gregg Smith

            Huh?

          • hennorama

            Exactly.

          • jefe68

            It’s amazing, is it not?

          • Gregg Smith

            Do you dispute what I wrote? Henny didn’t. I don’t get you guys. I’m just amazed ya’ll put your names on this stuff.

          • 1Brett1

            Do you expect that you are just going to post away inane nonsense and it is our job to dispute it? Wow, such a controlling mindset.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’m begging you to dispute it.How did Henny dispute it?How?

      • 1Brett1

        Maybe the article could get put in a frame and hung in the “library”?

    • 1Brett1

      Monetary aid that wouldn’t have been needed nearly as much if he hadn’t blocked using funding for condoms all those years ago…His program saved lives that suffered from diseases that were spread because of his refusal to fund other preventive policies…yeah, a great man (that’s sarcasm, since you seem to not pick up on it).

    • Fredlinskip

      Does you Fox “News” opinion include the lives saved had we not occupied Iraq?
      Does it include the lives saved if W admin had not completely repeatedly disregarded the intelligence offered to them by their most principle “terrorism” expert who headed Counterterrorism Department at the time?
      (I believe W made reference to “why should I be ‘swatting flies’ such as Bin Laden”).
      Does it include the lives saved if W admin had not taken all the actions guaranteed to create more terrorists that hated America?
      Does it include the lives saved if W admin had actually worked in concert with the rest of the Worl, instead of alienating a large percentage of the developed (and less than so), and dividing the country along ideological lines?

        Somehow, I would guess that Fox “News” may have not taken these factors into consideration

      • Gregg Smith

        Ellen Ratner is a hard core left wing ideologue (Fox has many).

        • 1Brett1

          It is interesting, Gregg, reading your comments and replies. When you reply to someone who is opposing your initial comment, you respond to the weakest component of their comment.

          Yep, yep…you debate for the sake of one-upmanship/to see if you can win something, however trivial…Was Fox’s right-wing leanings or Ellen Ratner’s (who wrote her piece like it was a story for a 2nd-grader to read, by the way) ideology really Freindlinskip’s point?  

          • Gregg Smith

            Fredlinskip did not address anything in the article. Nothing at all. I doubt he read it. Instead he evokes the fox monster. So, why would I follow him into the weeds and give credence to a premise I don’t agree with? 

            BTW, I said Ms. Ratner was a hard core left wing ideologue, I did not say she was a brilliant writer. Most of the time they are not. 

            I do not understand your point. Why don’t you ask Fred why he didn’t respond to my comment which started the thread? And again it’s the premise thing, why would you think Fox’s right wing leanings was the strong point of his argument when he gave zero zip nada evidence to support it. He slung irrelevant mud. I don’t even understand how you can describe his reply as opposing my initial comment. He asked bunch of questions about what was or wasn’t in the article, he could have read it. 

            And then he writes: “Somehow, I would guess that Fox “News” may have not taken these factors into consideration”. 

            I’m not going to debate “somehow, I would guess” in lieu of the topic I raised.  Feel free to say it was the strong point of his argument but I don’t.

          • 1Brett1

            “why would you think Fox’s right wing leanings was the strong point of his argument…”

            No, I said I thought it was the weakest point, that Fox’s leanings was the weak point (and not really his point at all). The way I see Fredlinskip’s point: he was responding (in my view) to your link to an article where the author (and you in your “introduction”) extolling the virtues of Bush saving more lives than any other American president. Perhaps if one subtracted lives lost in wars his administration started?…..

            I guess if you can’t argue a point against someone, you make up a point that you say they made to argue against, argue the weakest point they did mention, or ignore their point altogether (“alrighty then”).

          • Gregg Smith

            My “introduction” was the headline of the story. And you did not say what was the strongest or weakest point was, you asked a question.

            Regarding his so called point, the premises are completely whacked. Totally out to lunch. If he had asked me when I stopped beating my wife, I would not have answered that either. 

        • jefe68

          And Glenn Beck is what, a centrist.
          You are really are one obtuse chap.

          • Gregg Smith

            Fair enough, I agree. But he doesn’t work for Fox.

          • StilllHere

            It’s useless responding to that troll.

          • Gregg Smith

            I love it when someone speaks truth while thinking they are being snarky. Love it.

    • jimino

      As is always the case, any success by a so-called conservative in government is due to them adopting and implementing (finally!) an idea from the so-called liberals.  Hell, we don’t even mind them taking the credit as long as it gets done.

      However, this article is part of the effort to lionize “W” as his library opens.  Krauthammer’s recent column does the same, but has to present a truly delusional view of history to accomplish its impossible task.

      • Gregg Smith

        In 2003 Ms. Ratner said she hoped Bush messed up the war so he wouldn’t be reelected. That’s putting ideology ahead of human life. She’s a nasty pit bull, I doubt she was trying to lionize Bush, she’s just been to Africa 32 times and has some insight. But I do got your point because there is that dynamic. This is typical when Presidential libraries are opened. 

  • hennorama

    Conan O’Brien killed at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner last night. He ended with his absolutely best bit – with photos of the casting of a fictitious new mini-series about the big power players in Washington:

    http://www.politico.com/gallery/2013/04/conan-obrien-casts-mini-series-at-white-house-correspondents-dinner-2013/000989-014035.html

    Favorite Photo Pairs:

    # 4 John Boehner

    # 5 Jay Carney

    # 6 John Kerry

    # 7 Wayne LaPierre

    # 9 Mitch McConnell

    # 10 Janet Napolitano – uncanny

    # 12 Harry Reid

    # 14 Paul Ryan

    # 15 Chuck Schumer

    President Obama was very funny as well. I thought the photos of him “borrowing one of Michele’s tricks” were uproarious. You can see the bit here, starting about 0:33 into the video.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/27/white-house-correspondents-dinner_n_3158099.html

  • Gregg Smith

    Brett, you wrote: “Do you expect that you are just going to post away inane nonsense and it is our job to dispute it? ”

    What is inane about millions receiving free AIDS medication as opposed to only tens of thousands who had to pay for it? What’s inane about the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria — which treats another 1.5 million. What is inane about 5.2 million mosquito nets for Tanzanian kids to fight Malaria?

    And how does the pat response of one commenter (response-o-matic) refute is any way the above inanity? Or even address it? Hell, I didn’t even say any of it.

    • hennorama

      Smith – one realizes that your demonstrably pre-defensive nature sees all comments from certain posters (waving my hand here) as attacks and therefore does not allow satire, sarcasm and other attempts at humor to penetrate.

      Allow me to clue you in.

      My original response, stating that when it comes to “sav[ing] more lives than any American president”, then “President Obama wins for not unleashing a nuclear holocaust on the planet” was not in any way a serious comment. It was strictly tongue-in-cheek.

      Once you replied, however, it was clear you thought I was being serious. So of course I had to needle you further, especially when you so righteously commanded “Don’t marginalize it.”

      This triggered the Gregg Smith Response-O-Matic, as in “what automatic response(s) might Gregg Smith write had he received a similar command?”

      Allow me to further clue you in.

      “It’s not about something that could have happened at all. It’s what did and is happening.” = [Semantics]

      “Don’t marginalize it.” = [Don't tell me what I think]

      Multiple links in your post = [Google is not knowledge]

      General Righteousness = [Smarty pants]

      It’s still funny even after having explained it. Maybe funnier.

      • Gregg Smith

        You are so right, it went right over my head. Never in a million years did I imagine that’s what you were doing. I feel so stupid, thank you so much.

      • 1Brett1

        And, of course, there is the mock persecution/sarcastic self-victimization response of: “we’ve already established that I’m stupid…” And a dozen or so more. There should be a reference book put up on the website for folks reading Gregg’s comments for the first time.

        • Gregg Smith

          I’m flattered, thank you. I see my name evoked out of the blue, I see commenters warned about me and there was even a couple of commenters so nasty they enthusiastically voted to have me leave for good. Who else can say that? Maybe Ed but that’s it. Don’t think for a minute I don’t LOVE the persecution.

          • 1Brett1

            Hey, that fits in with your “I’m on a crusade” mentality.

          • Gregg Smith

            It is what it is.

    • 1Brett1

      You didn’t ever respond to any of my counter arguments to you made through links and other information that reveals Bush created as many problems as he solved in his programs to fight AIDS. Your purpose it seems was to extol some virtues about Bush and his AIDS fighting initiatives, which I don’t share your view in that regard (and please don’t say you just posted an article for no reason or motive; you posted that article for a reason that is pretty obvious). But, like I was saying to you about how you respond to certain people, rather than respond to my counter arguments, you will choose to focus on some silly joking comment I make and argue that point.

      • Gregg Smith

        Oh yes I did, #27.

        I even read the old links. Sorry, I don’t give too much credence to the theory Bush made things worse because of what he didn’t commit our tax dollars to and that it outweighs the tremendous strides he made against Malaria and AIDS. I understand the point but will never agree that saving lives is worse than causing life. And that accepts the premise that Bush caused babies but I actually don’t. I will give you credit for your term “counter argument” because you certainly did not refute anything. Credit where credit is due. So duly noted and you made your case.

        Bush is revered in Africa but you don’t have to believe it. What good would it do to get in a pissing match over that point? What good would it do for me to tell you how ridiculously stupid your argument is? I’m not about that.

        Please read the replies to my comments before you rag me about focusing on the silly. I posted the comment for a few reasons. Tis the season is one. Bush is in the news because of his library. Every news outlet has him on the radar. This entire blog has a bad case of Bush Derangement Syndrome, that’s another. But I was shocked to see the kind words come from such a nasty, mean partisan hack as Ratner. I thought it was noteworthy and some might give the article more credibility because of it. I was wrong. All people around here need to see is “Fox” and their brain turns off.

        • 1Brett1

          Not funding Condoms as a preventive measure is “causing life”? Wow. AIDS increased because women didn’t have access to condoms. Women in abject poverty had more children, many of whom were born with AIDS.

          I’m not interested in how Bush is perceived in Africa. His policies which gave financial aid to Africa with the stipulation that condom dispensing and reproductive counseling was to be prevented, in the use of those funds, created problems.

          I don’t care who Ratner is, her take is lopsided, and purely perceptions, in my opinion, based in large part to spending time in Africa…one doesn’t necessarily see all that is involved in that particular Bush legacy simply by witnessing how Africans may or may not love him. I suspect someone who gets their AIDS meds free won’t necessarily look at the big picture.

          His policies may have helped with low-cost of AIDS meds but they also helped contribute to the spread of AIDS.

          • Gregg Smith

            Read your links.

          • 1Brett1

            Look, there are several different ones there with different points. I have read a lot about the whole thing over the years. I remember the prevention of condoms and reproductive counseling thing when it happened.  If you don’t think condom use  and having access to condoms prevents AIDS that’s your view. I’m sure you will read the articles (which were balanced) and pick out the parts that say what you agree with, but there are many other points in there that don’t. 

            See, it doesn’t matter if I legitimately refute your comments. Your cognitive dissonance will never concede anything (unless you decide on some trivial point that you can dismiss anyway). I don’t respond to you to convince you of anything. Anyone who is interested in a broader view of Bush’s policies re: AIDS in Africa can use my links as a starting point. I know you won’t. 

          • Gregg Smith

            See there now you went and changed from counter argument to refute. Refuting would be proving Bush did not change the dynamic from 50k paying for medication to millions getting it for free. Or Proving AIDS rates haven’t gone down. Or proving 5.2 million mosquito nets were not issued to Tanzanian kids. You should have quit while you were behind. I tried to give you credit.

            “If you don’t think condom use and having access to condoms prevents AIDS that’s your view.”

            Please don’t tell me what I think. I didn’t say that. I don’t think that. It’s stupid as hell and I’m not stupid. What I said was: “…I don’t give too much credence to the theory Bush made things worse because of what he didn’t commit our tax dollars to …”

            You are out on a lonely limb.

          • 1Brett1

            I should have said, “it doesn’t matter EVEN IF I refute…” any way, you will hold to your views no matter what.

          • Gregg Smith

            “Even if” delves into speculation of what I think, your strong suit.

          • 1Brett1

            ? “even if”asin if I were to gosofar as.

          • Gregg Smith

            Another point. I too was certainly paying attention when it was happening. Don’t think abortion wasn’t part of the equation too. Bush ended funding for abortion abroad and was criticized for more babies because of it. Same thing.

    • Fredlinskip

      Hey Gregg, W did a good thing with his AIDS funding.
      Others seem to agree (See  NJ “Best comment”)
      Too bad he didn’t just stop there and then hop on a one-way ticket to Mars (he was big on a Mars mission).
      The World would be so much better off.

      • Gregg Smith

        You know what Fred? I’ll take that and I actually appreciate your saying so.

  • hennorama

    Former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden was on Fareed Zakaria’s GPS show today, discussing the balance between safety and privacy. He seemed to have a quite reasonable take, saying the balance is about where it should be.

    Here’s a snippet from the show:

    http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2013/04/26/exp-gps-hayden-sot-1.cnn.html

  • Gregg Smith

    On a personal note (some have expressed interest in the past):

    This weekend my wife was in WBUR’s neck of the woods at the Intercollegiate Dressage Association’s National competition at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. She’s driving home as we speak, I’ll worry ’til she gets here hopefully by 3:30 or so. We (she) coaches the team for a local University and two riders qualified for the Nationals. One rider placed 10th and the other placed 4th at 1st level. Congratulations!

    • J__o__h__n

      Are you really Mitt?

      • Gregg Smith

        Sshhh! Don’t tell anyone.

    • jefe68

      Do state taxes and federal aid help pay for the Dressage competitions? When you say local university do mean public or private?

      • Gregg Smith

        What if it did? Are you operating under the assumption I don’t think tax dollars should be collected so if I receive any kind of government assistance then I’m a hypocrite? I infer that is you insane premise but I could be wrong.

        But no, I don’t think any federal or state money goes into the show, it’s in MA and a national vent so I cannot swear to it. I can tell you we don’t receive a dime from the government or the University.

  • Gregg Smith

    It sure seems to me the Blaze guy cleaned the clock of Glen Greenwald on MSNBC. His notion that America has caused more terrorist does not hold water.

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/glenn-greenwald-spars-with-former-cia-officer-on-msnbc-over-whether-american-violence-abroad-fuels-jihad/   

  • Expanded_Consciousness

    Why can I only play the show and no longer download OnPoint shows from the website to my computer? Anyone know why they made this negative change?

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    its too bad they dont have a charge of “weapons of modest destruction” that seems more accurate

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