The Watering Hole, Thursday, August 30th, 2012: GOP Elephant Lies

On Tuesday night, Fudgie the Whale New Jersey Governor Chris Christie heaved himself onto the stage at the Republican National Convention, and proceeded to spew more lies than I could count. I don’t have the time to go through all of them, so I’m providing the transcript here, while focusing on the lines and lies that truly pissed me off. I’ll keep my own comments brief:

“Dad grew up in poverty. After returning from Army service, he worked at the Breyers Ice Cream plant in the 1950s. With that job and the G.I. bill he put himself through Rutgers University at night to become the first in his family to earn a college degree.”
Really? The G.I. Bill, a highly-successful Government program?

“The greatest lesson Mom ever taught me, though, was this one: she told me there would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected. She said to always pick being respected…”
Sure, dictators, tyrants and bullies can be respected (read “feared”) without being loved.

“Our leaders today have decided it is more important to be popular, to do what is easy and say “yes,” rather than to say no when “no” is what’s required…It’s been easy for our leaders to say not us, and not now, in taking on the tough issues. And we’ve stood silently by and let them get away with it.” Which ‘leaders’ is Christie blathering about? And who has “stood silently by and let” who “get away with” what? Republicans have certainly been vocal enough against President Obama since before Day 1, as well as being extremely vocal when saying “no”, because “no” is all that the Republicans require to “make President Obama a one-term President.”

“But tonight, I say enough.”
Okay, Christie’s emphasis was on “enough”, but I felt that he had already said more than enough. And at this point in his spewch, I was ready to “say enough”, too.

“I say, together, let’s make a much different choice. Tonight, we are speaking up for ourselves and stepping up.” Speaking up for yourselves, instead of simply calling President Obama every dog-whistle name and label you could think of?

“We are beginning to do what is right and what is necessary to make our country great again.” So, you admit that never really did “what is right” before now?

“We are demanding that our leaders stop tearing each other down, and work together to take action on the big things facing America.” I can’t wait to see Christie call Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, the Tea Party contingent, the Republican Governors, Paul Ryan, and Mitt Rmoney on the carpet…oh…d’oh!

“Tonight, we choose respect over love.” I think “love” already rejected you, and one doesn’t “choose” respect, one earns it.

“We are not afraid. We are taking our country back.” Damn, after years of telling us to “be afraid”, now the Republicans aren’t afraid anymore?! And, for the umpteenth time, FROM WHOM OR WHAT ARE YOU TAKING OUR COUNTRY BACK?

“I know this simple truth and I’m not afraid to say it: our ideas are right for America and their ideas have failed America.” Simple-minded, maybe, at least simple enough not to remember that their “ideas” are pretty much the same as BushCo’s “ideas”, which, in the real world, failed America: cut taxes, eliminate regulations on big corporations, drill anywhere and everywhere, and start another war.

Now for the really big lies. My comments would be superfluous:

“Let’s be clear with the American people tonight. Here’s what we believe as Republicans and what they believe as Democrats:

They believe that the American people don’t want to hear the truth about the extent of our fiscal difficulties and need to be coddled by big government.”

They believe the American people are content to live the lie with them.”

They believe seniors will always put themselves ahead of their grandchildren. So they prey on their vulnerabilities and scare them with misinformation for the cynical purpose of winning the next election.”

Their plan: whistle a happy tune while driving us off the fiscal cliff, as long as they are behind the wheel of power.”

“We believe that we should honor and reward the good ones while doing what’s best for our nation’s future – demanding accountability, higher standards and the best teacher in every classroom.”

They believe the educational establishment will always put themselves ahead of children. That self-interest trumps common sense.”

They believe in pitting unions against teachers, educators against parents, and lobbyists against children.”

They believe in teacher’s unions. We believe in teachers.

“We believe that if we tell the people the truth they will act bigger than the pettiness of Washington, D.C.”

“We believe it’s possible to forge bipartisan compromise and stand up for conservative principles.”

“It’s the power of our ideas, not of our rhetoric, that attracts people to our Party.”

“We win when we make it about what needs to be done; we lose when we play along with their game of scaring and dividing.”

“For make no mistake, the problems are too big to let the American people lose – the slowest economic recovery in decades, a spiraling out of control deficit, an education system that’s failing to compete in the world.”

“It doesn’t matter how we got here. There is enough blame to go around”

“Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the debacle of putting the world’s greatest health care system in the hands of federal bureaucrats and putting those bureaucrats between an American citizen and her doctor.”

“It’s time to end this era of absentee leadership in the Oval Office and send real leaders to the White House.”

“There is doubt and fear for our future in every corner of our country. These feelings are real.”

“There’s only one thing missing now. Leadership. It takes leadership that you don’t get from reading a poll. You see, Mr. President – real leaders don’t follow polls. Real leaders change polls. That’s what we need to do now.”

“A second American Century where our military is strong, our values are sure, our work ethic is unmatched and our Constitution remains a model for anyone in the world struggling for liberty.”

Damn Republicans ruined my Acme(TM) Mass-Projection Particle Meter! Of course, my Acme(TM) Wireless Lie-Detector blew up at the sound of Governor Ultrasound’s voice Monday night. :(

This is our Open Thread. Have at it!

The Watering Hole, Thursday, July 12th, 2012: Funny, or Frightening?

Last night on Rachel Maddow, Rachel did a segment about the Washington Post article on today’s Dick Cheney-hosted fundraiser for Mitt Romney. Rachel’s point, demonstrated by various quotes, was (more or less) that the article was just pap being spoon-fed to WaPo by the Romney campaign. After reading the entire article, I understood why. Some of the quotes from the article and from various spokesmen are laugh-out-loud ridiculous:

“By hosting the fundraiser, the former vice president — who in his retirement remains a powerful leader of foreign policy neoconservatives yet a deeply polarizing figure outside of the Republican base — will make his grandest gesture to pass a torch to Romney.”

“Deeply polarizing”?! Ya think? Cheney left office with a 13% approval rating; by all logic, even though Cheney has longtime connections in the upper eschelons of politics, corporate power, oil, oil, and more oil, Romney should avoid Cheney like the plague…yeah, right. And what’s this “grandest gesture” crap – Cheney never even made a “grand” gesture, how could his “pass[ing] a [completely non-existent yet still untouched by Cheney's hands] torch” be Cheney’s “grandest” gesture?

“…former congressman Vin Weber (Minn.), a veteran of the Bush-Cheney campaigns and a senior policy adviser to Romney, said, “At the broader advisory level, everybody who was around Cheney and Bush are around Romney.” He added. “They want him to win. And it’s inevitable that they’d have some influence, because they have the most recent Republican expertise in running the government.”

Yeah, “the most recent Republican expertise in running the government” INTO THE GROUND! Yeesh, they think that this is a plus for Romney? Actually, that quote is both funny and scary: “…everybody who was around Cheney and Bush are around Romney, and it’s inevitable that they’d have some influence”?? Oh dear. If Romney wins the election (bite my tongue), would we be in for another Cheney puppet show?

“Where Cheney’s beliefs and policies are rooted in conservative ideology, Romney’s tend to be driven by analytical problem-solving.”

Now, that’s a knee-slapper: Cheney’s “beliefs and policies are rooted” in greed and lust for power. Second, anyone who believes that Mitt Romney is an “analytical problem-solv[er] must have never heard Romney attempt to speak about policy…any policy.

Last, but IMHO the funniest:

“One George W. Bush administration official who has worked closely with Cheney and Romney said they are “very different.”

“They’re both very probing personalities in the context of policy discussions. They don’t let up. They really drill down. They’re both very smart and curious intellectually. [emphasis mine]” [T]he official…spoke on the condition of anonymity to be frank.”

*******************************************
On the other hand, I found a few bits of information to be interesting and oddly disturbing. Maybe it’s just me…you may have different reactions.

First, this one snippet was rather startling, and made me stop and think back:

“…Richard B. Cheney, the living thread connecting the past five GOP presidencies.”

Jeebus, Dick Cheney has been manipulating our country for his own interests since 1969? Here’s a brief summary from Wikipedia on just his early White House career:

“Cheney’s political career began in 1969, as an intern for Congressman William A. Steiger during the Richard Nixon Administration. He then joined the staff of Donald Rumsfeld, who was then Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity from 1969–70.[14] He held several positions in the years that followed: White House Staff Assistant in 1971, Assistant Director of the Cost of Living Council from 1971–73, and Deputy Assistant to the president from 1974–1975. As deputy assistant, Cheney suggested several options in a memo to Rumsfeld, including use of the US Justice Department, that the Ford administration could use to limit damage from an article, published by The New York Times, in which investigative reporter Seymour Hersh reported that Navy submarines had tapped into Soviet undersea communications as part of a highly classified program, Operation Ivy Bells.[20][21]

Cheney was Assistant to the President under Gerald Ford. When Rumsfeld was named Secretary of Defense, Cheney became White House Chief of Staff, succeeding Rumsfeld.[14] He later was campaign manager for Ford’s 1976 presidential campaign.[22]“

Keeping in mind this factoid that Dick Cheney has been involved in five GOP administrations from Nixon on, add in the following tidbit:

“…the hosts also include…Cheney’s eldest daughter, Elizabeth, a former State Department official.”

Am I being cynical, or could it be that Dick might be: A) making sure that he is connected to a sixth GOP administration; and/or B) grooming Liz to follow in daddy’s footsteps? Of course, that “former State Department official” job (wink, wink) under Bush/Cheney has already gotten Liz started with her own GOP presidential ‘firsties.’ (shudder) Now there’s a truly scary thought.

This is our daily open thread — c’mon, don’t be shy, say what you think!

The Watering Hole, Monday, May 21st, 2012: DoD Noise Machine?

PROPAGANDA:prop·a·gan·da: [prop-uh-gan-duh]
1. publicity to promote something: information put out by an organization or government to promote a policy, idea, or cause
2. misleading publicity: deceptive or distorted information that is systematically spread

(Synonyms: slanted, distorted, one-sided, polemical, partisan, extremist, manipulative)

While perusing the recent threads at ThinkProgress, I came across this brief piece with the disturbing headline: “Congressmen seek to ‘legalize the use of propaganda on American audiences.”

The piece referenced an article from BuzzFeed, part of which states:

“In a little noticed press release earlier in the week — buried beneath the other high-profile issues in the $642 billion defense bill, including indefinite detention and a prohibition on gay marriage at military installations — Thornberry warned that in the Internet age, the current law “ties the hands of America’s diplomatic officials, military, and others by inhibiting our ability to effectively communicate in a credible way.”

[Note: While every article that I found on this issue used the phrase, "...in a little-noticed press release...", not one article linked to the press release itself; so, here is the press release from co-sponsor Rep. Mac Thornberry's (R-Texas) website.]

The text of the bill, H.R. 5736, (an amendment to the NDAA) co-sponsord by Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), can be found here. I confess to be somewhat confused about the conflicting wording in Section 208, “CLARIFICATION ON DOMESTIC DISTRIBUTION OF PROGRAM MATERIAL.”

`(a) In General- No funds authorized to be appropriated to the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall be used to influence public opinion in the United States. This section shall apply only to programs carried out pursuant to the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (22 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.), the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994 (22 U.S.C. 6201 et seq.), the Radio Broadcasting to Cuba Act (22 U.S.C. 1465 et seq.), and the Television Broadcasting to Cuba Act (22 U.S.C. 1465aa et seq.). This section shall not prohibit or delay the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors from providing information about its operations, policies, programs, or program material, or making such available, to the media, public, or Congress, in accordance with other applicable law.

`(b) Rule of Construction- Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors from engaging in any medium or form of communication, either directly or indirectly, because a United States domestic audience is or may be thereby exposed to program material, or based on a presumption of such exposure…”

According to a Daily Kos piece,

““It removes the protection for Americans,” says a Pentagon official who is concerned about the law. “It removes oversight from the people who want to put out this information. There are no checks and balances. No one knows if the information is accurate, partially accurate, or entirely false.”

Another article that I came across during my search mentions:

“The Pentagon spends some $4 billion a year to sway public opinion already, and it was recently revealed by USA Today the DoD spent $202 million on information operations in Iraq and Afghanistan last year.”

[Makes ya wonder where the rest of the $350+ billion is spent "to sway public opinion."]

Mediaite, Dan Abrams’ website, has an article about this as well, along with a related article which states:

“United States Central Command (Centcom) is working with a California-based company, called Ntrepid, to produce new software that would help military service people create fake online accounts (known as “sock puppets”) with the intent of spreading pro-America propaganda (or, alternately, quash anti-American sentiment) across various online comment threads, such those found on blogs or message boards. The military has said that the accounts won’t publish comments for American audiences (as that would be illegal) or even in English, but, rather, in Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Pashto. The accounts would also steer clear of U.S.-based social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.”

[Oh, goody, they’re creating more sockpuppets and trolls?

It already bothers me that our country has been using propaganda overseas for, well, forever; it already bothers me that taxpayer money pays for such bullshit. But taxpayers having to pay to be lied to by our own military? I realize that this occurs already, with so many TV commercials encouraging young men and women to join the armed services, but this amendment appears to want to broaden those efforts to a scope closer to indoctrination than simple recruitment.

We were already lied to far too many times by the Bush administration in order to fulfill Dubya’s wet dream of invading Iraq. We already hear enough lies from politicians, corporations and other interest groups; whether through various news outlets, media commercial advertising, or opinionated pundits. It is hard enough now to sort through and fight all of the lies, both of commission and omission, that permeate our ‘news’ media. With so few real investigative journalists of integrity out there, how much of the truth will still be able to get through to citizens and voters?

This is our daily open thread — feel free to discuss this topic, or whatever’s on your mind!

The Watering Hole, Thursday, October 27th: …and in other news…

After mulling over topics for today’s post, I decided to just present a mixed bag of ‘things that caught my eye on the internets during the past few days.’ The articles range from serious to tongue-in-cheek to outright ridiculous. The following are from Foreign Policy Magazine online and from Newsmax.

From FP: The title of Ryan Caldwell’s article, “An Islamist, a Liberal, and a Former Regime Loyalist Walk into a Cafe”, snagged my attention. The article gave an interesting presentation of the post-Gaddafi views of three Libyans of different stripes working together. Also, for some reason I found it just wondrous that the interview was done via Skype, from Caldwell’s home in California to a cafe in Benghazi. Plus I learned that ‘celebratory gunfire’ is called rasaas al-farah, which means, literally, “bullets of joy.”

From FP: In “Dumb Power: Republicans Introduce the “What Wouldn’t Jesus Do?” Foreign Policy”, David Rothkopf gives his reaction to the Republican debate on foreign policy.

From Newsmax: In the Newsmax “Breaking News” email, this article was billed as “Thomas Sowell: Herman Cain Is Real Black, Obama Not Typical“. The article includes such tidbits as:

“His prescription for fixing the economy: “I would love to have a constitutional amendment that says politicians are not allowed to intervene in the economy under any circumstances. I think there would be a boom following that.””

From Newsmax: The title of “Hensarling: Supercommittee Need Not Cut Entitlements” sounds hopeful, doesn’t it? Sure…read the whole article: Hensarling, the Republican co-chair of this “Supercommittee”, has some strange ideas. Here’s one:

“I would like to pick up the Internal Revenue Code by its roots and throw it into the nearest trash can. Having said that, realistically, that’s probably a bridge too far for this committee,”


From Newsmax
: And finally, Frank Gaffney being Frank Gaffney:

“Frank Gaffney warned in an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview: “I’m afraid there’s a war coming, a very serious, perhaps cataclysmic regional war,” he said. “It will be presumably over, at least in part, the future existence of the state of Israel. It may involve all of its neighbors, as they have in the past, attacking Israel to try, as they say, to drive the Jews into the sea.””

Enjoy!

This is our Open Thread. I’m sure you can find something to say about any one of the above, so Speak Up!

FDA Has Proven, Once Again, To Be A Failure..

The Public Citizen has sent the FDA four letters this week about regulation and approval of medical devices.  The first letter is about the FDA’s approval of a Anti-Scarring Device for children.  The SyntheMed’s REPEL-CV device is designed to reduce post-surgical scarring in children following open-heart surgery.  Public Citizen found some major problems.

In the trial, there were also signs of possible dangers associated with REPEL-CV, including trends toward higher risks of death and chest infection. These differences were not statistically significant, but the consistent direction of the adverse effects observed, even if non-significant, is concerning. Because the trial was so small, we can only be assured that there was not more than a three-fold increase in mortality and not more than a 10-fold increase in chest infections for patients implanted with the device. This is hardly reassuring.

The approval of REPEL-CV bears an eerie resemblance to another device, Intergel, an anti-scarring device intended for pelvic surgeries that also demonstrated reduced scarring without clinically validated outcomes. That trial was also underpowered for safety and showed a consistent but non-statistically significant increase in infection rates. Less than two years after Intergel was approved, the company removed the product from the market due to reports of post-operative pain, foreign body reactions and tissue scarring requiring repeat surgery, including three deaths among women who received it. This history should have given the FDA pause before once again approving a similar device with a questionable safety record.

The second letter dated March 10th, concerned the FDA’s negligence in delaying their response to problems with a pediatric breathing device.  The FDA on Monday, finally announced a Class I recall of the Shiley 3.0 PED tracheostomy tube.

The FDA’s lack of response is obscene.

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Priest Urges Obama Supporters To Confess Mortal Sin

I think this priest needs to look up the meaning of mortal sin.  According to the dictionary a mortal sin is:  A sin, such as murder or blasphemy, that is so heinous it deprives the soul of sanctifying grace and causes damnation if unpardoned at the time of death.

This particular priest feels that because Obama supports abortion anyone who voted for him committed a mortal sin.

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Fox News: Chambliss lies about not knowing what a recession is

This video courtesy of Think Progress.

On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) defended his July claim that he didn’t think we’re in a recession and that he didn’t know what the term meant. He then lied and said he was only quoting Alan Greenspan.

Dick Cheney’s Organized Crime Indictment Evidence

Vice-President Cheney’s financial records could be used to prove that he is engaged in criminal activity.  Gregorio De La Rosa, Jr., was killed by fellow inmates in one of the prisons Vanguard helped finance in 2001.

Willacy County District Attorney Juan Angel Guerra said elected officials let the jail get away with murder so that they could keep making money.   “Greed will get you discovered … every time, and that’s what happened to Cheney.” Dick Cheney owns shares in the Vanguard Group, an investment company that helps finance prison companies. Guerra estimates those shares are worth $85 million.

Cheney put a stop to the investigation in 2006, into the death and the investigation of Gregorio De La Rosa Jr.

Joe the Plumber will not fade away!

Cenk talks about Joe the Plumber’s book deal.  The Huffington Post has the details on Joe’s book.

It seems that Wurzelbacher has secured a book deal with PearlGate Publishing. Is this for the book that he’s been touting in advance of this deal on his website? Yes, apparently! (That website has a spiffy-new early 2000’s redesign by the way, but buyer beware! The cost of a “Freedom Membership” has just gone up by a dollar!)

The book is to be published December 1st, just in time for your Christmas shopping.  For myself, not even morbid curiosity could get me to buy that book.  Cenk also found an ad that Joe the Plumber is doing for VelocityStore.com.  I agree with him, it is very cheezy.

CNN: Jack Cafferty on Sarah Palin for President 2012

According to a new Gallup Poll, Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents most would like to see Sarah Palin run for president in 2012. That’s right…Sarah “I read all the newspapers,” Palin. Former mayor of Wasilla, first-term governor of Alaska and hockey mom. Her interviews with Katie Couric are the stuff of legend. After she and McCain got their clocks cleaned, Governor Palin couldn’t get enough of the TV cameras. They were in her kitchen, her office, virtually every corner of her life. She is now reportedly being wooed to write a book-that would be interesting-or maybe do a TV show.

Here are some of the responses Jack received on his blog, they are really funny:

Anne from Chicago, Illinois writes:

Did I hear you say Palin is writing a book? How is that possible when I’ve yet to hear her complete a proper sentence? Shouldn’t she try reading one first?

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The Top Ten Worst Corporations For 2008

To be on this list, not only do you have to be a corporate villain, the actions of the corporation have to be really bad, in some cases criminal, others are labor abuses, workplace safety violators and many fall into the category of not having one shred of human decency.  These corporate scoundrels will do anything to have a large bottom line, no sacrifice is too low, even at the expense of human lives.

Here are the 10 Worst Corporations of 2008 and their misdeeds by Multinational Monitor:

AIG: Money for Nothing

There’s surely no one party responsible for the ongoing global financial crisis. But if you had to pick a single responsible corporation, there’s a very strong case to make for American International Group (AIG).

Why did AIG – primarily an insurance company powerhouse, with more than 100,000 employees around the world and $1 trillion in assets – require more than $100 billion ($100 billion!) in government funds? The company’s traditional insurance business continues to go strong, but its gigantic exposure to the world of “credit default swaps” left it teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Government officials then intervened, because they feared that an AIG bankruptcy would crash the world’s financial system.

AIG’s eventual problem was rooted in its entering a very risky business but treating it as safe. First, AIG Financial Products, the small London-based unit handling credit default swaps, decided to insure “collateralized debt obligations” (CDOs). CDOs are pools of mortgage loans, but often only a portion of the underlying loans – perhaps involving the most risky part of each loan. Ratings agencies graded many of these CDOs as highest quality, though subsequent events would show these ratings to have been profoundly flawed. Based on the blue-chip ratings, AIG treated its insurance on the CDOs as low risk. Then, because AIG was highly rated, it did not have to post collateral.

Through credit default swaps, AIG was basically collecting insurance premiums and assuming it would never pay out on a failure – let alone a collapse of the entire market it was insuring. It was a scheme that couldn’t be beat: money for nothing.

After the bailout, it emerged that AIG did not even know all of the CDOs it had ensured.

Cargill: Food Profiteers
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The Young Turks: Cenk Interviews Howard Dean

Cenk was asking Dean about possible replacements for the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee.  They talk about the 50 state strategy and the choice of Rahm Emanuel.  It’s a great interview in which Cenk asks Dean policy questions also.

Fox News: GOP Governor laughs at suggestion of Palin being future star

This is from the Hannity and Colmes show, which features Republican Governor Mark Sanford.  Not only does he laugh, but he starts naming off many other possible rising stars for the Republican Party.

FDIC Adds 54 Banks To “Problem List”

As of this Tuesday, we have a grand total of 171 banks that are considered to be in trouble, that is almost a 50% increase.  For anyone that is curious how their bank in performing; Bauer Financial has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks and credit unions since 1983.  Here is the link.

In the second quarter, 117 FDIC-insured institutions were on the list. Now, at 171, the number of institutions on the FDIC’s “problem list” is at its highest level since late 1995.

“We’ve had profound problems in our financial markets that are taking a rising toll on the real economy,” said FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair in a statement, adding that Tuesday’s report “reflects these challenges.”

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Pentagon Redefines Combat Disabilities – Wounded Vets Lose Benefits

Just when you think the government can’t possibly cause more problems for veterans than they already have, the Pentagon gives them a surprise and sinks to an all new low.

In a little-noticed regulation change in March, the military’s definition of combat-related disabilities was narrowed, costing some injured veterans thousands of dollars in lost benefits — and triggering outrage from veterans’ advocacy groups.

The Pentagon said the change was consistent with Congress’ intent when it passed a “wounded warrior” law in January. Narrowing the combat-related definition was necessary to preserve the “special distinction for those who incur disabilities while participating in the risk of combat, in contrast with those injured otherwise,” William J. Carr, deputy undersecretary of Defense, wrote in a letter to the 1.3-million-member Disabled American Veterans.

The men and women need to be given difficult problems and rigorous training so that when they get into combat they are better prepared and equipped for the circumstances they will encounter. Under such hard training you expect to have some injuries, and those who are injured should be treated the same as the veterans wounded in combat, because that is reason for training.

Participation in life-threatening duties while not necessarily related to combat should be a no brainer when it comes to health coverage for those injuries – if these functions were not performed by military personnel who does the Pentagon think is suppose to do the work?   Or should they think twice about taking the risk because, heaven forbid, if while performing their duties they get seriously injured the government isn’t going to pay for the surgeries that are required to correct the damage done.  Could the government get any more heartless in their interpretation.  This reminds me of the movie Article 99.

Marine Cpl. James Dixon was wounded twice in Iraq — by a roadside bomb and a land mine. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, a concussion, a dislocated hip and hearing loss. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Fox News: Wallace Repeats Talking Points Of A Republican “Sham Front Group”

Chris Wallace repeats the talking points from an Americans for Job Security commercial which follows the segment almost word for word.  Wallace asks Steny Hoyer about choosing the Democratic Caucas by secret ballots but deprive workers of the secret ballot to vote for unions.  The Card Check Bill is what they are talking about.

Watch the video, you will see that the commercial comes on in the middle of this discussion from the Americans for Job Security.  Talk about propaganda, they hit this one out of the park.  Let me give you a little background into this GOP group.

Americans for Job Security (AJS) is a Republican “sham front group that would be better called Corporations Influencing Elections … masquerading as a non-profit to conceal its funders and the scope of its electioneering activities,”the Center for Responsive Politics wrote in April 2007. Incorporated October 1997 in Virginia, AJS was described by the Center as “pro-Republican”, “pro-business”, and “established to directly counter labor’s influence”.

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CNN Sanchez: Amy Goodman on Barack Obama

Amy Goodman speaks on the first African-American president-elect Barack Obama visiting the White House which was built by slaves. President Bush’s use of well over 1,000 signing statements and President Obama signing an executive order to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Obama hires Sam Nunn for Pentagon transistion

Sam Nunn has served as a Senator for 24 years for the state of Georgia.  He received his law degree from the Emory University.  One of his most noteworthy accomplishments is that he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times – for his work to “strengthen global security by reducing the risk of use and preventing the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

“Transition spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said Nunn will perform “an informal senior adviser role throughout the defense transition process.”

Nunn’s role has been described by others, speaking anonymously because the transition teams have not been announced, as the leader of Obama’s defense transition. Similarly, a senior administration official said former Secretary of State Warren Christopher would advise Obama on his State Department transition.

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Kofinis compares Palin to American Idol contestant – “She’s like Sanjaya!”

Sanjaya was a very bad contestant on American Idol that wouldn’t go away, it is a great comparison.  Here is the Link.  They both were a disaster, Palin was a drag on the Republican ticket and Sanjaya almost ruined the reputation of American Idol.  They both claimed to have experience that they didn’t have.   Everyone watched both and cringed to see how much worse it could possibly get.  Kofinis’s comparison is right on the money.

Ron Christie is the Republican Strategist giving opposing view points.  Once again he turns to Republican talking points about Palin having more executive experience than Barack Obama.  We have all watched her for nine very long weeks.  What good is executive experience if you haven’t learned anything from it?  Palin was Mayor and Governor of Alaska, yet she still doesn’t have a clue about Domestic and Foreign Policy.  Could be the reason she hired a manager to take care of all the tough issues..like learning and reading up on important policies.  She is also the first one to call foul against the media for treating her unfairly – actually they have been more than fair.  Palin was running for the second highest position in our country, I think basic geography, policy knowledge, and understanding the Constitution should be a mandate.

Lobbyists Beware…Obama Has New Rules!

President-Elect Obama has New Rules for Lobbyists.  One of his promises on the campaign trail was that Lobbyists would not run the White House anymore and specifically his administration.

New Rule #1:  Lobbyists could serve in his transition so long as their activities do not involve areas of policy they have tried to influence in the past year.

John Podesta, a top transition aide to Obama, said federal lobbyists will be prohibited from any lobbying while they are at work on the transition.

New Rule #2:  Federal lobbyists could not contribute to the campaign.

“President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to change the way Washington works and curb the influence of lobbyists,” said Podesta in the transition team statement.

“During the campaign, federal lobbyists could not contribute to or raise money for the campaign…the president-elect is taking those commitments even further by announcing the strictest, and most far reaching ethics rules of any transition team in history.”

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Vandals attacked homes with hate graffiti of Obama backers

Five acts of vandalism have scared some of these residents that showed their support for Barack Obama.  Signs torn down, hate graffiti, vehicles spray painted, and trees – this happened late Saturday night in south Torrance.

Vandals attacked homes that displayed support for President-elect Obama, spray-painting cars, walls, trees and campaign signs with swastikas and racial slurs. One Hollywood Riviera resident awakened to find a large Nazi symbol on a tree, the N-word across her garage door and the phrase “Go back to Africa” scrawled across a front wall.

“They had painted a big swastika on my car and spray-painted out my bumper sticker,” she said Monday. “It was pretty shocking. Immediately my heart began racing.” One couple who live near Calle Mayor found the words “Hitler” and “Nazi” painted in black on their Volkswagen.

The Torrance police Sgt. Bernard Anderson is trying to decide if this is aimed at the individuals or a political issue.  Basically, he has to determine if these attacks should be labeled as hate crimes, then they could possibly be felonies.  Which is what I’m hoping the Sgt. decides.

Each of the targeted residences displayed Obama campaign signs in their front yards or bumper stickers on their cars. All of the victims were white.

“God forbid these people come back again,” said a Southwood resident who found four Swastikas and a symbol for “Heil Hitler” on her car. “I was shocked and appalled and just frightened that this would happen in this day and age.”

In fact, the ADL believes that these attacks should be taken seriously.  The Anti-Defamation League issued a Press Release yesterday.  They are reporting some alarming facts and monitoring White Supremacists very closely.
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