Tag Archives: REpublicans

What’s Up: October 5, 2012?

To read the entire article click on the title or Story Continued. Enjoy as the world turns.

clip_image001

· Romney goes on attack in presidential debate

clip_image003

Mitt Romney delivered a series of tough shots at President Obama’s first term during Wednesday’s first presidential debate, leaving the president on his heels for much of the night and potentially gaining badly needed momentum for the final stretch of the 2012 race. There were no knock-out punches at the forum in Denver, but Romney framed Obama as incapable of turning around the economy, accusing the president of ushering in an era of “trickle-down government” that left Americans in need of a fresh path to the future. “Middle income families are being crushed,” Romney told the president. “The question is how to get them going again. Going forward with the status quo is not going to cut it with the American people who are struggling today.” Obama countered that Romney was promising an economic fairy tale in which he would cut taxes for all Americans, increase defense spending and stanch the flow of red ink overwhelming the national budget. Obama repeatedly hammered Romney for what he said would amount to a $5 trillion tax cut, including a break for the wealthiest Americans. “Math, common sense and our history show us that is not a recipe for growth,” Obama said. The presidential candidates exchanged blows over domestic policy during the 90-minute forum, with Romney proving the more aggressive of the pair in the opening passage of the debate. Romney said the president was distorting the GOP tax plan, while pushing through a blueprint that would cripple small business and halt already stagnant job growth. “I’ve got five boys,” Romney said, seeking to add a personal flair to his economic appeal. “I’m used to people saying something that’s not always true, but just keep repeating it.” Story Continued:

· HURT: Obama the debater: Making Jimmy Carter look awesome – Party like it’s 1980! Bewildered and lost without his teleprompter, President Obama flailed all around the debate stage last night. He was stuttering, nervous and petulant. It was like he had been called in front of the principal after goofing around for four years and blowing off all his homework. Not since Jimmy Carter faced Ronald Reagan has the U.S. presidency been so embarrassingly represented in public. Actually, that’s an insult to Jimmy Carter. The split screen was most devastating. Mitt Romney spoke forthrightly, with carefully studied facts and details at the ready. He looked right at the president and accused him of being miles out of his depth. Mr. Obama? His eyes were glued to his lectern, looking guilty and angry and impatient with all the vagaries of Democracy. This debate was seriously chafing him. What exactly was Mr. Obama’s strategy here? Did he figure with so many people unemployed in this abomination of an economy he should go for the sympathy vote? Like voters could relate to a guy who is just scared pants less that he is about to lose his job? In the middle of the blood-letting segment about jobs, Mr. Romney said good-naturedly: “This is fun.” Almost pleading, Mr. Obama reached out to the moderator for a lifeline: “You may want to move onto another topic.” When an unexpected noise went off behind him, Mr. Obama wheeled around to look as if to ask, “Time to go?” Hopefully. Turns out, it was the first honest thing we have heard from Mr. Obama’s campaign: The president really was absolutely terrible on the debate stage. Maybe the next debate will be on something other than the economy that won’t be so bad for Mr. Obama. Perhaps they could hold a debate on street organizing. Who knew anyone on the planet could make Mitt Romney look easy, relaxed, smooth and human? But Mr. Romney was absolutely on fire Wednesday night. He had command of countless specifics from voters and business owners from all across country. Story Continued:

· The smile that says it all: Romney celebrates debate win as top Obama aide admits defeat and promises change of strategy – Barack Obama’s top strategist said that the campaign will take a ‘hard look’ at how to approach future debates in the light of last night’s failure – and appealed to the media to challenge Mitt Romney on the issues which the President avoided in Denver. All but stating that the Republican had won the debate, David Axelrod conceded that the performance aspect was ‘not the President’s strong suit in these events’ but insisted that ‘I don’t see us adding huge amounts of additional prep time.’ The remarks came after the Obama campaign was left reeling by Mr Romney’s knockout performance in the candidates’ first head-to-head clash, with polls suggesting that voters regarded the former governor of Massachusetts as the debate winner by a margin of more than two to one. Democratic strategists are now fighting to preserve the narrow poll lead which Mr Obama enjoyed in the run-up to the debate, as fired-up Republicans aim to capitalise on the primetime thrashing and entrench the image of Mr Romney as a potential President. Mr Axelrod, speaking on a campaign conference call, made an appeal to reporters to make the points that Obama himself had failed to make in the debate. ‘All of you who travel on the road with Governor Romney know that he just few weeks ago stood up and said we didn’t need any more teachers,’ he said. ‘Last night he couldn’t be more enthusiastic about teachers and more teachers.’ Story Continued:

· PICKET: Michael Moore to Obama – ‘This is what happens when u pick John Kerry as your debate coach’ Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore was disappointed with President Barack Obama’s performance at the first debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday night and, he made his views known on Twitter to his over one million one hundred thousand followers. Moore was also angry with PBS debate moderator Jim Lehrer, saying that “[Clint] Eastwood’s chair would do a better job moderating…”: Here’s a sample of some of Mr. Moore’s tweets: “Get This Obama spoke FOUR minutes longer than Romney did tonight! Didn’t feel that way, did it? That sorta says it all.” Story Continued and more Michael Moore Tweets:

· Press Kept at Distance at Biden Event – Seems like the press are being kept far away from Joe Biden–and Iowans–at the vice president’s rally today. Jennifer Jacobs of the Des Moines Register reports on Twitter: Story Continued with more Tweets from the media in Council Bluffs, Iowa:

· Biden: ‘Yes, We Do’ Want to Raise Taxes By a Trillion Dollars – “On top of the trillions of dollars of spending that we have already cut, we’re gonna ask – yes – we’re gonna ask the wealthy to pay more,” said Biden. “My heart breaks, come on man. You know the phrase they always use? Obama and Biden want to raise taxes by a trillion dollars. Guess what? Yes we do in one regard. We want to let that trillion dollar tax cut expire so the middle class doesn’t have to bear the burden of all that money going to the super wealthy. That’s not a tax raise, that’s called fairness where I come from.” Story Continued and to watch the video:

· OCTOBER SURPRISE? OBAMA SECRET IRAN DEAL CUT

clip_image004

Look for announcement of temporary halt to uranium enrichment. Iran could announce a temporary halt to uranium enrichment before next month’s U.S. election in a move to save Barack Obama’s presidency, a source affiliated with high Iranian officials said today. The source, who remains anonymous for security reasons, said a representative of the Obama administration engaged in secret negotiations yesterday with a representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Obama representative has urged the Iranian leader to announce a halt to enrichment, even if temporary, before the Nov. 6 election, promising removal of some sanctions. The source said the Obama representative warned that a Mitt Romney presidency would change the U.S. relationship with Iran regarding its nuclear program. The U.S. representative reminded the Iranians that President Obama has stood in front of Israel, preventing the Jewish state from attacking Iran over its illicit nuclear arms policy. Yesterday’s meeting, which took place in Doha, Qatar, was coordinated by the Qatar monarchy, whose members attended at the request of the Obama administration. Ali Akbar Velayati, the former Iranian foreign minister and current close adviser to the supreme leader on international affairs, secretly traveled to Qatar for the meeting. Velayati is wanted by Argentina for the Jewish community center bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 85 people. The Obama representative urged Velayati to announce a halt, even if it is only for a week or two, to uranium enrichment prior to the U.S. election, according to the source. The U.S. representative promised the Obama administration quickly would remove some sanctions on the Iranian central bank and oil industry, with further collaboration after the election, the source said. Yesterday’s secret meeting took place even as hundreds of merchants in Tehran marched on parliament to protest the collapsing Iranian currency and the Islamic regime’s financial support for the besieged Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. Riot police violently clamped down on black-market money changers while merchants in the sprawling bazaar closed their shops during the protest. With inflation soaring, Iranian merchants can’t sell their goods, for fear they won’t be able to restock their shelves. Yesterday’s negotiation was an extension of secret negotiations begun in early January when, according to Iranian officials and a report by Fars News Agency, Obama requested collaboration with the Islamic regime through three different channels. The channels were a letter to the supreme leader, a message to the Iranian U.N. delegate and a direct message through Swiss Ambassador Livia Leu Agosti in Tehran in a meeting with Iranian Foreign Ministry officials, who quoted a message from Obama. Story Continued:

· SULLIVAN: OBAMA MAY HAVE LOST ELECTION TONIGHT – ‘How is closing statement so f—ing sad, confused and lame? He choked. He lost.’ (Daily Beast) 10.31 pm. Look: you know how much I love the guy, and you know how much of a high information viewer I am, and I can see the logic of some of Obama’s meandering, weak, professorial arguments. But this was a disaster for the president for the key people he needs to reach, and his effete, wonkish lectures may have jolted a lot of independents into giving Romney a second look. Obama looked tired, even bored; he kept looking down; he had no crisp statements of passion or argument; he wasn’t there. He was entirely defensive, which may have been the strategy. But it was the wrong strategy. At the wrong moment. The person with authority on that stage was Romney – offered it by one of the lamest moderators ever, and seized with relish. This was Romney the salesman. And my gut tells me he sold a few voters on a change tonight. It’s beyond depressing. But it’s true. Story Continued:

· Passive-Aggressive Behavior in Denver – Presidential Stage Fright

See the man with the stage fright

Just standin’ up there to give it all his might.

And he got caught in the spotlight,

But when we get to the end

He wants to start all over again.

– “Stage Fright,” The Band

The manifestations of last night’s presidential debate have finally set in and we can’t help but imagine how dull and annoying the celebration inside the inner sanctum of Romney’s camp must be. We can only hope that the lowly staffers and interns swarming around their Republican chieftains were sneaking off with their miniature bottles of booze to indulge in safe quarters away from the Mormon leader. We say this with experience as one of us knows firsthand just how mundane a LDS soiree can be, having flirted with their offspring long ago. Lunesta would have likely been more stimulating than Obama and Romney exchanging handshakes on issues ranging from Medicare to taxes. It was clear Obama, ill-prepared and perhaps on a sedative himself, was not expecting much in the way of competition. Typically reserved and aloof in front of the bright lights and big cameras, Obama was cool to the point of frigidity. Lost without his teleprompter, Obama stumbled over his talking points on numerous occasions. Romney on the other hand, with no stately matters on his desk as he awakens except to worry about the fluctuations of his blind trust, had been prepping for Obama for the past month. But even that doesn’t explain his hyper-aggressiveness. Perhaps someone slipped him his first cup of coffee in the Green Room. As per usual, the Republican primary debates were far more entertaining, especially the early set, with Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul on stage – expanding the discourse and humor far beyond the yawning Lehrer affair. Which brings us to the moderator Mr. Jim Lehrer. If Obama looked sedate, moderator Jim Lehrer seemed pre-embalmed. This other Big Bird of PBS was forced to smirk as Romney assured him he’d pull the public funds from his salary. Less of a moderator and more like a grandfather that has too much arthritis to wrestle with the youngsters, Lehrer put forth one of the worst performances in presidential debate history. An inept and deferential interviewer, Lehrer failed to prod the two out of their comfort zones. Several times Lehrer assured the audience that, yes, indeed these two in fact differ (Even when, bizarrely, Obama admitted that he and Romney shared the same position on gutting Social Security–true no doubt, but you’d think that Obama would at least try to pretend their was space between their entrenched neoliberal positions.). A lot. How? Just take their word for it. Next question. Story Continued:

· Barack’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day: Countdown Day – Yes, we can. But can he? Something is not quite right with President Barack Obama. That was clear long before his passive, distracted performance here Wednesday night against Mitt Romney. The president needs to get back some form of his old magic if he hopes to secure a victory that, until the Denver debate, seemed all but inevitable, even to many of his foes. The evidence of the president’s distance and distaste for the campaign is everywhere. He is invisible around Washington, a place he clearly doesn’t like and where he has made few new political friends. He mailed in his acceptance speech in Charlotte, N.C., looking at the end like a man who couldn’t wait to get off the stage. He has dutifully hit the campaign trail, but not with the zest or the frenzied response of 2008. And he clearly didn’t master his brief for the debate when he went to ground in Las Vegas, though he did take time for a day trip to Hoover Dam. What gives? Well, no president, cocooned for four years in the adulation of staff and riding around in Air Force One dealing with global issues, like to descend back into the muck of the campaign world. But most manage to pretend to relish it. Not this president, certainly not last night. He seemed to be close to pouting at times. This not-quite-there Obama has its roots in the kind of campaign he decided to run: lacking in big new ideas for a second term, essentially defensive, based on the destruction of Romney as an alternative. It doesn’t fit the positive, good-guy image that the president had built for himself in his relatively short political career — and indeed, that he had built in his entire adult life as a star student, community organizer, civil rights lawyer and law professor. He’d rather be the master of uplift than the king of the put-down. And any president would rather tell a simple, positive story than a complex, gray one. Obama is stuck with the need to do the latter. He has been extraordinarily lucky in politics until now. Two opponents’ sex scandals, one each for the primary and general elections, cleared his path to the Senate. With luck and timing, he rode to the White House on a wave of disgust with George W. Bush. But as president, he has faced the worst and most intractable recession since the 1930s, a Republican Party that refuses to deal in good faith, a world economy in the midst of wrenching change and a decline in institutions that once provided order and respect. It’s a tough row. He has had successes, but he has also made mistakes. For a man who was used to getting an A on every exam and winning every coveted accolade, it’s tough to know that barely half of the American people, if that, think you are doing a decent job in your current course work. Obama is trying to deal with this unsettling personal reality largely alone — in good part by his own choice. He is surrounded by a small circle of good friends that has, if anything, grown smaller and tighter during his time in Washington. The inner circle — Michelle Obama, Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, Eric Whitaker, Jim Messina and David Plouffe, to name most of them — tell him how wonderful, destined and inevitable he is. But the president didn’t act Wednesday night like a man who believed it. Perhaps their advice is getting a little old, or repetitive, or unrealistic. Story Continued:

· Obama Blasts Mitt Romney’s Debate Candor: ‘You Owe The American People The Truth’

clip_image005

Looking for a quick recovery from a disappointing debate, President Barack Obama questioned the identity of the “real” Mitt Romney on Thursday, suggesting his Republican rival had not been candid about his policy positions while on stage. “Gov. Romney may dance around his positions but if you want to be president, you owe the American people the truth,” Obama said at a post-debate rally. Romney’s campaign dismissed the criticism as “damage control.” Obama’s aggressive stand came as his campaign conceded he will have to adjust his debate style. Wednesday’s night event was widely viewed as a win for Romney and a lost opportunity for Obama to connect with the American people as national polls had showed him with a slight advantage heading into their first debate. Obama said that when he reached the debate stage “I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney. But it couldn’t have been Mitt Romney,” Obama said, adding that the “real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy. The fellow on stage last night said he didn’t know anything about that.” The president also accused Romney of misrepresenting past statements on education and outsourcing. In tough comments, the president said Romney “does not want to be held accountable … because he knows full well that we don’t want what he’s selling.” Obama panned Romney’s suggestion during the debate that one way to pare back federal spending is to cut the subsidy for PBS, which airs “Sesame Street.” Romney said he likes PBS and “I love Big Bird,” but said the country couldn’t afford to keep borrowing money from China to pay for things like that. “When he was asked what he’d actually do to cut the deficit and reduce spending, he said he’d eliminate funding for public television. That was his answer. I mean thank goodness somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird. It’s about time,” Obama joked. “We didn’t know that Big Bird was driving the federal deficit. But that’s what we heard last night. How about that? Elmo, too?” Story Continued:

· Could Mitt Romney’s Debate Win Mean A Victory In The Election? – Unless you’re David Plouffe or another member of President Barack Obama’s cheerleading squad, you’re probably wouldn’t argue that Obama won Wednesday night’s debate. Indeed, instant polls from CNN and CBS showed Romney leading Obama by 42 to 22 percentage points, respectively, on the question of who won. But can even a dominant win in a debate produce a victory in November? A few key numbers suggest that Romney supporters shouldn’t expect too much as a result of last night’s performance. One of those numbers is 32. That’s the percentage of undecided voters who told Washington Post and ABC News pollsters last week that they were “very interested” in the presidential debates. By contrast, 59 percent of definite Obama supporters and 53 percent of Romney supporters said they were “very interested.” As Scott Clement wrote for The Fix, “The poll’s finding underscores the challenge for Obama and Romney to sway a shrinking and elusive slice of the electorate with less than five weeks left in the contest. In addition to lacking clear support for Obama or Romney, on-the-fence voters are much less likely to say they are ‘absolutely certain to vote’ than those with firm opinions, even further limiting their potential impact on the election.” The narrowness and elusiveness of that slice of the electorate may explain why John Kerry’s acclaimed performance in the 2004 presidential debates didn’t lead to a Kerry presidency. Although Kerry gained about four points in the polls between the end of the Republican National Convention and the end of the debates, that only put him at 46 or 47 percentage points overall — less than the 48 points that pollsters gave him at his peak in the days leading up to the convention. In other words, it’s reasonable to conclude that the debates helped Kerry earn back the votes of disaffected voters who’d previously supported him, but he didn’t appear to win over many new converts. Romney’s performance could have a similar effect on voters and donors who were losing faith in his candidacy, and that makes things much more difficult for Obama. But unless he wins the votes of either Obama’s supporters or those hard-to-reach undecided voters, he’ll have a hard time winning in November. Nate Cohn of The New Republic explained it this way: Story Continued:

· Some Obama Campaign Aides ‘Shell-Shocked’ After Debate – The president’s team officially downplayed the debate, faulted Romney’s facts and pledged to make adjustments. But some aides and alumni admitted Mitt changed the narrative last night. By James Warren. Mitt Romney’s debate performance could well trigger a “restart button” for his campaign, prompting a second look at him from those who have been curious but not really committed, according to President Obama’s former chief of staff. “People had been set in their ways, with many thinking, ‘Obama is going to win.'” said William Daley, now back in Chicago after serving in the West Wing. “If this is a restart and a second look for those who have been soft, then that puts pressure on [Vice President Joe] Biden in the next big show,” meaning the vice presidential debate with Rep. Paul Ryan on Oct. 11. “What seems to be a victory in optics for Romney may create an opportunity for those people to take a second look. Looking at the polling going into the debate, he needed that,” said Daley, who oversaw Vice President Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign against George W. Bush. “Opinion is that he had an extremely good night and that is a big advantage,” said Daley. “That’s big for a guy on the ropes, now perhaps back with solid legs in the ring. Whether that now turns into a fundamental beginning of a reshape of the campaign is unknown.” At least two current Obama campaign aides were blunter than Daley and used the term “shell-shocked” over the Obama performance. There were various analyses of what went wrong, including finger-pointing at debate preparations. Those included claims that Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, who played the role of Romney in mock debates, probably wasn’t tough and aggressive enough (“he does, after all, want to be Secretary of State,” claimed one aide). Partly lost in the fray was Obama’s history as a good but not necessarily great debater with a style at times nonchalant and diffident. That’s what gave rise to the “No Drama Obama” moniker that gained currency during the 2008 campaign. “Sure was ‘No Drama Obama’ last night,” said a campaign aide who, like others in the Obama camp, pointed to what they deemed clearly misleading Romney comments, notably on his own tax and health-care plans. Story Continued:

· Why President Obama, Despite Scoring Points, Fell Flat in the Denver Debate – On paper, Barack Obama didn’t have that bad a night in Denver.

Unfortunately for him, debates aren’t won on paper.

Watching the proceedings at the University of Denver, I didn’t see the split-screen reaction shots that showed the president looking down and generally looking glum. I thought Mitt Romney had a stronger night but that Obama effectively punctured some of his arguments.

Didn’t matter. What viewers at home saw was a poised and confident challenger and a long-winded incumbent giving discursive answers and never using his strongest ammunition.

Presidential debates are political theater, and Obama did not play the role of a leading man. Did his advisers not warn him about looking energetic and engaged? He was a 33 and 1/3 album while Romney spun like a 78 single. Former GOP chairman Michael Steele told me Obama came across as a cross between Al Gore sighing and George H. W. Bush looking at his watch.

Obama’s scored a slew of substantive points, but that is being swept away in the torrent of post-debate commentary. The gang at MSNBC savaged the president with a sense of despair mixed with anger that their man had let them down. If Obama has lost Chris Matthews, he’s lost liberal America.

How on earth did Obama let an hour and a half go by and not mention Romney’s taped remarks about writing off 47 percent of the country as freeloaders, or bring up his career at Bain Capital? This wasn’t a PBS seminar on the intricacies of the federal budget.

The media pile-on will change the way voters look at the debate, as happened after Gore’s eye-rolling performance in 2000. Instead of recalling a debate in which Romney outhustled and outpointed the president, Denver will be remembered as a horrifying debacle for Obama. Being pounded in the press hour after hour changes the way an event is viewed in the rearview mirror. The Saturday Night Live parody can’t be far behind.

But if journalists were doing their jobs, more of them would focus on the factual holes in Romney’s performance.

After running on a major tax cut for a year and a half, Romney is suddenly emphasizing that the wealthy won’t end up paying less because he will close loopholes and deductions—yet despite the president’s prodding he wouldn’t say what those were. So Romney has a secret plan to slash taxes without boosting the deficit he decries? Isn’t that a big story?

The president also scored when he noted the irony of Romney vowing to repeal Obamacare while touting his health-care program in Massachusetts that was its model, insurance mandate and all. But that barely rated a mention in the media chatter.

As for Romney again promising to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial-regulation law but then saying he would keep parts of it, wasn’t he trying to have it both ways? Is he now scrambling to the center? Story Continued:

· AARP to Obama: Don’t mention us again – President Obama invoked AARP to defend his health care law last night, prompting the influential group to release a statement telling him not to do that again.

“While we respect the rights of each campaign to make its case to voters, AARP has never consented to the use of its name by any candidate or political campaign,” the group posted in a statement. “AARP is a nonpartisan organization and we do not endorse political candidates nor coordinate with any candidate or political party.”

Obama can perhaps be forgiven for thinking he could mention AARP given how they coordinated with him to pass Obamacare, which is a golden goose for the organization.

“Thanks to its cuts to Medicare Advantage, Obamacare is expected to expand the number of seniors buying “medigap” supplemental insurance plans,” The Washington Examiner explained in an editorial. “AARP controls 34 percent of the market for such plans. According to a 2011 House Ways and Means Committee report, AARP stands to make between $55 million and $166 million from Obamacare in 2014 alone.” Story Continued:

· Romney’s strong debate showing puts Europe on edge

clip_image006

President Barack Obama’s lackluster performance in the first U.S. election debate provoked uneasiness in European capitals on Thursday, where hopes are mostly, if unofficially, pinned on his securing a second term.

While a lot can change before the November 6 vote, and Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will go head to head twice more before then, polling conducted immediately after the debate showed Romney came out overwhelmingly on top.

A flash poll by CNN showed 67 percent of viewers thought Romney had ‘won’, with just 25 percent for Obama. Intrade, an online prediction market, cut Obama’s re-election prospects from 74 percent to 66 percent.

In Europe, where leaders and finance officials have worked closely with the Obama administration over the past 2-1/2 years trying to resolve the euro area debt crisis, there was particular consternation at Romney’s singling out of deficit-ridden Spain as a poorly administered economy.

“Romney is making analogies that aren’t based on reality,” Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo told reporters after a meeting of his centre-right party.

Leading Spanish daily El Pais highlighted the fact that Spain was the only European country mentioned, and contrasted Romney’s negative depiction of it with Obama’s praise for Spain’s renewable energy policies during the 2008 campaign.

“Spain has never been mentioned in a presidential debate as a symbol of failure,” the left-leaning newspaper lamented. “What happened last night makes history and not in a good way.”

Political commentators in France and Germany registered surprise at Obama’s underwhelming performance, saying the election could be much tighter as a result.

“Obama showed a lack of desire to be president, which could put him on shaky ground as a presidential candidate,” said liberal German news magazine Der Spiegel.

“It’s now clear that to get back into the White House the U.S. president needs running shoes, not flip-flops.”

France’s Le Monde appeared equally surprised by Obama’s sub-par performance. “Where did the favorite go?” it asked on its front page, with a headline below saying: “Obama fails his first televised debate against an incisive Romney.” Story Continued:

· Romney surrogate Sununu calls Obama ‘lazy and detached’

A surrogate for Mitt Romney on Thursday said President Obama’s performance at the first presidential debate, held in Denver, revealed how “lazy and detached he is.”

The surrogate, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu (R), made the remarks in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, a day after the crucial debate. Polls showed most viewers believed Romney won the first of three face-to-face clashes, and even many Obama supporters acknowledged that the president’s performance could have been stronger.

“What people saw last night, I think, was a president that revealed his incompetence, how lazy and detached he is, how he has absolutely no idea how serious the economic problems of the country are, and how he has failed to even begin to address them,” Sununu said.

“I think even the liberal press reacted with shock at this revelation, and I find it fascinating now this morning, after they’ve slept, to watch them all scrambling around to clean up the mess the president left on the floor last night,” he continued.

Sununu also praised Romney’s performance, saying that the GOP nominee had shown a deeper understanding of the issues that matter to voters. Story Continued and to watch the video:

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Left - Off Base, Politics from Just Right of Center - I want Balance!, Right - too Religous for me

What’s Up: September 24, 2012?

To read the entire article click on the title or Story Continued. Enjoy as the world turns.

clip_image002

· clip_image004

· Ann Romney’s plane makes emergency landing – A campaign plane carrying Ann Romney had to make an emergency landing in Colorado after the cabin filled with smoke, the Romney campaign said. “All OK. Thank goodness,” Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said on Twitter. The Republican presidential nominee’s wife was headed to Los Angeles, but landed in Denver where emergency vehicles met the plane. Saul tweeted that an electrical fire was the cause. She said Ann and Mitt Romney, who was in Las Vegas for a campaign event, spoke by phone after the plane landed. Mrs. Romney was in Omaha earlier in the day. During a radio interview in Iowa yesterday, Romney lashed out at her husband’s conservative critics, telling them to “stop it” for sniping about the GOP presidential nominee’s recent travails, including remarks caught secretly on videotape. Story Continued:

· clip_image006

· Endeavour lands in L.A.: ‘Back home to stay’

clip_image007After celebratory low passes over Tucson, Houston and other points to the east, NASA’s retired space shuttle Endeavour arrived on its final flight here today, swooping over hordes of crowds looking for a last glimpse of the space icon. Thousands watched Friday from nearby rooftop buildings and along a bridge as the shuttle, strapped to the back of a modified jumbo jet, circled the city. Crowds also lined dozens of piers in San Francisco to get a look at the craft’s final aerial tour. Hitching a ride on top of a jumbo jet, the pair soared over the state Capitol, Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood Sign and other icons en route to an afternoon landing at the Los Angeles International Airport where it is now being prepped for a slow-speed journey to its museum home next month. At the Santa Monica Pier, spectators pointed their cameras skyward and some chanted, “USA! USA!” as Endeavour swooped along the coast. “Even though it was a few seconds, it was a unique experience to witness history,” said Andrew Lerner, 23, of Santa Monica. Endeavour, the newest spacecraft in the mothballed space shuttle fleet, is destined for a final home as an exhibit at the California Science Center. There it will be a reminder not only of the nation’s space program but also of the prominent role aerospace forged in driving development of Southern California in the latter half of the 20th century. Story Continued:

· clip_image008

· Ryan gets boos at AARP conference – Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan received boos as he addressed the AARP convention here on Friday — perhaps his most unfriendly welcome on the 2012 campaign trail. Several members of the “Life@50+” Annual Convention crowd booed loudly as Ryan began remarks proclaiming, “Seniors are threatened by Obamacare.” “The first step to a stronger Medicare is to repeal Obamacare, because it represents the worst of both worlds,” Ryan went on as members continued to shout. “It weakens Medicare for today’s seniors and puts it at risk for the next generation. First, it funnels $716 billion out of Medicare to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. Second, it puts 15 unelected bureaucrats in charge of Medicare’s future.” Throughout the Wisconsin congressman’s nearly 30-minute speech, he rarely received applause and instead heard people yell “You lie!” and “No!” to many of his claims of what he and his running mate, Mitt Romney, would do if they make it to the White House. Story Continued:

· Barack Obama Knocks Mitt Romney Over 47 Percent Comments At Virginia Campaign Event – President Barack Obama is stepping up his attack on Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s controversial 47 percent comments, taking his opponent to task over the issue in his first appearance on the stump since the video of Romney’s remarks at a private fundraiser was uncovered earlier this week. “I don’t believe we can get very far with leaders who write off half the nation as a bunch of victims, who think that they’re not interested in taking responsibility for their own lives,” Obama said at a campaign rally in Woodbridge, Va. “I don’t see a lot of victims in this crowd today. I see a lot of hard-working Virginians,” he added to loud cheers. Just a day before, Obama knocked Romney for his remarks at a forum with Spanish-language news network Univision and looped them into the narrative of the GOP nominee being out of touch with the American people. Story Continued:

· Mitt Romney PwC Letter Is Meaningless, Reid Fires Back – Mitt Romney on Friday released a letter from his tax accountant, PricewaterhouseCoopers, promising that Romney paid an “average annual effective federal rate” of 20.2 percent over 20 years. The number is being released instead of the tax returns themselves, and is being used to rebuff Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s charge that Romney didn’t pay taxes over a 10-year period. But it is a meaningless figure. According to the letter from PwC avowing the number, it is based on Romney’s adjusted gross income. That means that, for instance, if Romney made investment profit of $20 million, but had losses of, say, $19.9 million, his adjusted gross income would only be $100,000. Paying 20.2 percent of $100,000 would cost Romney just over $20,000. If Reid’s comment is interpreted strictly — that Romney paid literally $0 in taxes over 10 years — then the PwC letter undermines that charge. But if Romney paid only a very small amount — say, $20,000 on $20 million — it would be hard to award Reid many Pinocchios for calling that nothing. Story Continued:

· Rush Limbaugh Blames ‘Feminazis’ For Study Finding About Shrinkage In Male Genitalia – For whatever reason, Rush Limbaugh decided to discuss a study about male genitalia on his Friday radio show. According to Rush, the study, completed by researchers in Italy, found that the size of male genitalia has decreased over the past fifty years. “The study’s leaders claim to have bonafide research that says the average size of a penis is roughly 10 percent smaller than it was 50 years ago. And the researchers say air pollution is why,” Limbaugh said. Limbaugh said that he did not believe that air pollution and global warming could have such an impact. “I don’t buy this. I think it’s feminism. I think if it’s tied to the last fifty years, the average size of a member is ten percent smaller…it has to be the feminazis,” Limbaugh said. Story Continued:

· Why You’re a Lot Poorer Than You Thought You Were – You’re a lot poorer than you thought you were. According to a report by Sentier Research “real median annual household income… has fallen by 4.8 percent since the ‘economic recovery’ began in June 2009.” That’s worse than the 2.6 percent decline that took place during the recession itself. (between July 2007 to June 2009) All told–from the beginning of the slump in 2007 until today–median household income has dropped an eye watering 7.2 percent. (“Changes in Household Income During the Economic Recovery: June 2009 to June 2012″, Sentier Research) Like I said, you’re a lot poorer than you thought you were. The Sentier Research report comes on the heels of a similar report from the Fed which was released in June showing that middle class families saw a nearly 40 percent decline in their net worth between the years 2007 to 2010. The Fed’s 80-page tri-annual Survey of Consumer Finances, points to the Great Recession as the putative cause of the overall decline in wealth, but the Fed’s lopsided policies could be as easily blamed. Low interest rates, lax lending standards and outright fraud generated asset-price bubbles that wiped out 2 decades of economic gains for working people in the US. Story Continued:

· NUMBERS DON’T LIE: THE REAL OBAMANOMICS – Unemployment, jobs numbers, pay, home ownership raise alarms — Twenty years ago, when Democrats tried to oust an incumbent Republican president from office, they questioned his economic stewardship. Vice presidential candidate Al Gore famously bellowed: “Everything that ought to be down is up, and everything that should be up is down!” Republicans are trying to fire an incumbent Democrat president amid the worst economic recovery since the Depression. And the economic news is not getting better for Barack Obama as the race heads into the final lap. This was not the case on the eve of the 1992 election, when economic reports revealed both GDP and payrolls were in fact growing at a robust clip following a comparably mild recession. Still, Gore indicted the record of President George H.W. Bush with stat after stat – stale as they were – showing lackluster economic performance. He zeroed in jobs and incomes to show indicators that were wrongly down, and unemployment and the federal deficit to highlight what was errantly up. Applying Gore’s test to Obama’s economic record produces far worse results. Here’s a breakdown: When Obama entered office in January 2009, total nonfarm payroll employment stood at 133.56 million, according to the Labor Department. Last month it totaled 133.30 million – a net decrease of more than 260,000 jobs. Considering the recession ended more than three years ago, any employment shortfall is unusual; but economists call the Obama jobs gap downright shocking. In 2009, real median household income was $52,195, according to the Census Bureau’s annual survey. Last year it dropped to $50,054 – the lowest level since 1989. When it comes to pay raises, those Americans who are working aren’t just running in place, they’re going backwards – by decades. When Obama stepped into the Oval Office in January 2009, consumer confidence was 61.2 percent. In August, the index stood at 60.6 percent. At this point in a recovery, economists say confidence should be soaring. But consumers remain unusually glum about the economic outlook. In January 2009, the jobless rate was 7.8 percent. Last month, unemployment stood at an even higher 8.1 percent, marking the 43rd consecutive month above 8 percent – the longest stretch since the Depression. In Obama’s first year in office, the share of impoverished Americans stood at 14.3 percent, the Census says. In 2011, the poverty rate climbed to 15.0 percent – the highest in almost two decades. The share of African-Americans in poverty was nearly double that level. In January 2009, the federal budget gap was reported to be $485 billion.

clip_image009clip_image011 Story Continued:

· Why The Polls Understate Romney Vote – Republicans are getting depressed under an avalanche of polling suggesting that an Obama victory is in the offing. They, in fact, suggest no such thing! Here’s why: 1. All of the polling out there uses some variant of the 2008 election turnout as its model for weighting respondents and this overstates the Democratic vote by a huge margin. In English, this means that when you do a poll you ask people if they are likely to vote. But any telephone survey always has too few blacks, Latinos, and young people and too many elderly in its sample. That’s because some don’t have landlines or are rarely at home or don’t speak English well enough to be interviewed or don’t have time to talk. Elderly are overstated because they tend to be home and to have time. So you need to increase the weight given to interviews with young people, blacks and Latinos and count those with seniors a bit less. Normally, this task is not difficult. Over the years, the black, Latino, young, and elderly proportion of the electorate has been fairly constant from election to election, except for a gradual increase in the Hispanic vote. You just need to look back at the last election to weight your polling numbers for this one. But 2008 was no ordinary election. Blacks, for example, usually cast only 11% of the vote, but, in 2008, they made up 14% of the vote. Latinos increased their share of the vote by 1.5% and college kids almost doubled their vote share. Almost all pollsters are using the 2008 turnout models in weighting their samples. Rasmussen, more accurately, uses a mixture of 2008 and 2004 turnouts in determining his sample. That’s why his data usually is better for Romney. But polling indicates a widespread lack of enthusiasm among Obama’s core demographic support due to high unemployment, disappointment with his policies and performance, and the lack of novelty in voting for a black candidate now that he has already served as president. If you adjust virtually any of the published polls to reflect the 2004 vote, not the 2008 vote, they show the race either tied or Romney ahead, a view much closer to reality. 2. Almost all of the published polls show Obama getting less than 50% of the vote and less than 50% job approval. A majority of the voters either support Romney or are undecided in almost every poll. But the fact is that the undecided vote always goes against the incumbent. In 1980 (the last time an incumbent Democrat was beaten), for example, the Gallup Poll of October 27th had Carter ahead by 45-39. Their survey on November 2nd showed Reagan catching up and leading by three points. In the actual voting, the Republican won by nine. The undecided vote broke sharply — and unanimously — for the challenger. An undecided voter has really decided not to back the incumbent. He just won’t focus on the race until later in the game. So, when the published poll shows Obama ahead by, say, 48-45, he’s really probably losing by 52-48! Add these two factors together and the polls that are out there are all misleading. Any professional pollster (those consultants hired by candidates not by media outlets) would publish two findings for each poll — one using 2004 turnout modeling and the other using 2008 modeling. This would indicate just how dependent on an unusually high turnout of his base the Obama camp really is. Story Continued:

· Paulson: Why Did The White House Take So Long To Admit Libya Attack Was Terrorism? – After the deadly attack on the United States Embassy in Libya, it was apparent to many that the attack was premeditated and designed to kill Americans – not to protest an amateur-made movie that mocked Islam and disrespected Mohammad. The militant 9-11 attackers totally achieved their goal by leaving the United States Embassy in shambles with charred and blood-stained walls as well as a trail of death. Yet the current administration in the United States government insisted otherwise. President Barack Obama, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney led the way by denouncing those who dared state the obvious version of what had happened in Benghazi, Libya – that it was about terrorism and not about the anti-Mohammad film. Finally, a week later, the obvious has been addressed by Jay Carney at the White House and Mathew Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, who both now admit that the deadly acts against United States Ambassador to Libya Christopher Steven and three other Americans were indeed an act of terrorism, obviously committed on 9-11. With Americans watching the nearing of the date September 11, 2012 on the calendar for weeks – if not months – and dreading the stark reality that something disastrous may happen to innocent Americans again, the president and his political cronies refused to believe what happened. Story Continued:

· Obama’s Shaky Libya Narrative – Sources say the attack on the Libyan ambassador was pre-meditated, with the possible collaboration of a Libyan politician. Eli Lake on the continuing collapse of the official U.S. line. Ten days after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the White House’s official story about the incident appears to be falling apart. In the days following the killing of the U.S. ambassador and two ex-Navy SEALs, President Obama and top State Department officials portrayed the attack as a spontaneous reaction to an Internet video depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammad as a lascivious brute. The protests, White House spokesman Jay Carney said last week, were “in response to a video—a film—that we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting.” Now there is mounting evidence that the White House’s initial portrayal of the attacks as a mere outgrowth of protest was incorrect—or, at the very least, incomplete. The administration’s story itself has recently begun to shift, with Matthew Olsen, the director of the National Counter-Terrorism Center, telling Congress on Wednesday that the attackers may have had links to al Qaeda and Carney characterizing the incident as a “terrorist attack.” (Hillary Clinton announced on Thursday that she was putting together a panel to look into the incident.) But other indications that the White House’s early narrative was faulty are also beginning to emerge. One current U.S. intelligence officer working on the investigation into the incident told The Daily Beast that the attackers had staked out and monitored the U.S. consulate in Benghazi before the attack, a move that suggests pre-planning. Story Continued:

· Permanent Spin – For nine days, the Obama administration made a case that virtually everyone understood was untrue: that the killing of our ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, was a random, spontaneous act of individuals upset about an online video—an unpredictable attack on a well-protected compound that had nothing do to with the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.

clip_image012

These claims were wrong. Every one of them. But the White House pushed them hard. Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, appeared on five Sunday talk shows on September 16. A “hateful video” triggered a “spontaneous protest outside of our consulate in Benghazi” that “spun from there into something much, much more violent,” she said on Face the Nation. “We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.” On This Week, Rice said the consulate was well secured. “The security personnel that the State Department thought were required were in place,” she said, adding: “We had substantial presence with our personnel and the consulate in Benghazi. Tragically two of the four Americans who were killed were there providing security. That was their function, and indeed there were many other colleagues who were doing the same with them.” White House press secretary Jay Carney not only denied that the attacks had anything to do with the anniversary of 9/11 but scolded reporters who, citing the administration’s own pre-9/11 boasts about its security preparations for the anniversary, made the connection. “I think that you’re conveniently conflating two things,” Carney snapped, “which is the anniversary of 9/11 and the incidents that took place, which are under investigation.” Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong. Intelligence officials understood immediately that the attacks took place on 9/11 for a reason. The ambassador, in a country that faces a growing al Qaeda threat, had virtually no security. The two contractors killed in the attacks were not part of the ambassador’s security detail, and there were not, in fact, “many other colleagues” working security with them. The nature of the attack itself, a four-hour battle that took place in two waves, indicated some level of planning. “The idea that this criminal and cowardly act was a spontaneous protest that just spun out of control is completely unfounded and preposterous,” Libyan president Mohammad el-Megarif told National Public Radio. When a reporter asked Senator Carl Levin, one of the most partisan Democrats in the upper chamber, if the attack was planned, Levin said it was. “I think there’s evidence of that. There’s been evidence of that,” he responded, adding: “The attack looked like it was planned and premeditated, sure.” Levin made his comments after a briefing from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. Story Continued:

· Romney Can Still Overcome Obama’s Dishonest, Divisive Campaign – He can get by his ’47 percent’ problem and beat Obama by outlining how he will get America back to work. The problem for Mitt Romney right now is that he has put his entire candidacy at risk to the point where he may not even qualify for the dismissive equation of Barack Obama that Marco Rubio formulated for the Republican faithful: “Our problem is not that he’s a bad person. Our problem is that he’s a bad president.” Is Romney also “not a bad person, just a bad candidate”? With his “47 percent” remarks at a Republican fundraiser in May, he has given his opponent evidence to initiate a new line of attack. Voters can forgive a candidate who stumbles in the heat of an election, trapped by “gotcha” questions from journalists, being quoted out of context in cunning TV attack commercials, and in the Twitter age, failing to appreciate that nothing that is said is secret anymore. We all know the game, and Romney has demonstrated that he is not perfect at this game. The same can be said of President Obama. As a candidate, he ran a brilliantly smooth and targeted campaign four years ago, but even he misspoke, as they say, in what he thought was a private meeting of San Francisco liberals. When the polls suggested he wasn’t appealing to rural voters, his response was to blame them for not seeing how different he was from the likes of Bill Clinton and George Bush, who had let them down. “You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them,” he said. “It’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustration.” This week, Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, dismissed the condescension as something from the mythic past, not to be compared to the furor over Romney’s “47 percent” remark. Yet even now, fully armored and protected by four years of 24/7 press scrutiny and an army of verbal bodyguards, the president stumbles. “You didn’t build that” still rankles the millions of taxpayers who have concluded that in making their way they’ve not had much help from the government and a lot of hindrance. Story Continued:

· Chris Wallace Asks Obama Adviser ‘President Has Time for Whoopi Goldberg But Not World Leaders?’ Fox News’s Chris Wallace on Sunday asked senior Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs an absolutely delicious question about the current White House resident’s schedule. During a Fox News Sunday interview, the host said, “The President has blocked out time to appear on The View on Tuesday. So, he has time for Whoopi Goldberg but he doesn’t have time for world leaders?” (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for commentary) Story Continued with the video:

· CNN finds, returns journal belonging to late U.S. ambassador – Three days after he was killed, CNN found a journal belonging to late U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. The journal was found on the floor of the largely unsecured consulate compound where he was fatally wounded. CNN notified Stevens’ family about the journal within hours after it was discovered and at the family’s request provided it to them via a third party. The journal consists of just seven pages of handwriting in a hard-bound book. CORRECTION An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated when CNN found the journal belonging to late Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. The journal was found three days after the fatal attack on the Benghazi consulate. For CNN, the ambassador’s writings served as tips about the situation in Libya, and in Benghazi in particular. CNN took the newsworthy tips and corroborated them with other sources. A source familiar with Stevens’ thinking told CNN earlier this week that, in the months leading up to his death, the late ambassador worried about what he called the security threats in Benghazi and a rise in Islamic extremism. Stevens died on September 11, along with three other Americans, when the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi came under attack amid a large protest about a U.S.-made film that mocked the Muslim Prophet Mohammed. The California-born Stevens joined the Peace Corps and attended law school before joining the Foreign Service, the career diplomatic corps, in 1991, according to his State Department biography. He spent most of his career in the Middle East and North Africa, including postings to Israel, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia, in addition to serving as the deputy chief of the U.S. mission to Libya from 2007 to 2009, during the rule of Moammar Gadhafi, according to the State Department. In May, one year after arriving aboard a cargo ship to work with those involved in the upstart rebellion, Stevens was appointed U.S. ambassador to Libya. Story Continued with the video:

· Messina: Forget The Tied National Polls, We’re Winning – Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told reporters on Saturday that despite national tracking polls showing the president and Romney tied, Obama is still winning. “In all the battleground states, we continue to see all our pathways there,” he told the White House pool at an Obama fundraiser in Milwaukee. “We’re either tied or in the lead in every battleground state 45 days out.” Messina, who drove from Chicago to Wisconsin to be with Obama on his first trip to a state that appears to have come into play when Paul Ryan was selected to be Romney’s running mate, predicted that the national polling will get even closer, but that the president’s lead will hold in key swing states. “I think you will see a tightening in the national polls going forward,” he said. “What I care way more about it Ohio, Colorado, Virginia, Wisconsin, etc. In those states, I feel our pathways to victory are there. There are two different campaigns, one in the battlegrounds and one everywhere else. That’s why the national polls aren’t relevant to this campaign.” In Wisconsin, Messina said the GOP is stronger than they are nationally, but maintained that the Obama campaign still has an edge:

“This is one where … because of the recall election, they test drove their car whereas in other states they haven’t. It would make sense they’re strong here, as are we. They are stronger than McCain was in ’08, no question, on the ground. But we continue to have a strategic advantage” because of more field offices and infrastructure. Story Continued:

· At Black Caucus dinner, Michelle Obama urges members to get out the vote – Michelle Obama used a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation on Saturday night to urge delegates to register voters and encourage African Americans to turn out in November’s election. Speaking in Washington at the foundation’s annual Phoenix dinner, the first lady likened turning out the vote to the civil rights struggles of previous eras. “Make no mistake about it, this is the march of our time,” Obama told the audience at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. “Marching door-to-door registering people to vote, marching everyone you know to the polls every single election.” That effort, she said, “is the movement of our era — protecting that fundamental right, not just for this election but for the next generation and generations to come.” Obama did not refer explicitly to voter-ID laws that that have been passed or proposed in states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida, but she warned against being dissuaded from voting. “We cannot let anyone discourage us from casting our ballots,” she said. “We cannot let anyone make us feel unwelcome in the voting booth. It is up to us to make sure that in every election, every voice is heard and every vote is counted. That means making sure our laws preserve that right.” Story Continued:

· Biden on cheerleaders: ‘The stuff they do on hard wood, it blows my mind.’Vice President Joe Biden may have stuck his foot in his mouth again on Friday, using an awkward off-the-cuff phrase to compliment high school cheerleaders during a campaign stop. According to a pool report from Biden’s stop at Newport High School in Newport, N.H., the vice president arrived to talk to “about 100 students in their sports uniforms waiting for him in a semi-circle.” “He cradled a football under his arm as he spoke,” the pool report, written by The New York Times’ Trip Gabriel, reads. “He began by asking which teams were represented — football, soccer, lacrosse and cross-country. Any others? He asked. ‘Cheerleaders,’ a group of girls shouted.” “Guess what, the cheerleaders in college are the best athletes in college,” Biden said. “You think, I’m joking, they’re almost all gymnasts, the stuff they do on hard wood, it blows my mind.” Story Continued:

· For Obama, pushing ‘change’ is tougher this time around – Change, President Obama’s most basic rationale for reelection, remains his toughest sell. Throughout the campaign, in high-profile speeches and private remarks, Obama has sought to maintain the theme that powered his 2008 bid for the White House, arguing that a vote for him is a vote for a new day in Washington. He has said his reelection will “break the fever” of partisanship in Washington. He’s told voters that “only you can break the stalemate” that has crippled the divided government. On Saturday, he raised the idea by pointing out that members of Congress had just left town for the campaign season without resolving many disputed issues of taxes and government spending. Story Continued:

· Is that where the deficit’s hiding? Obama whips out massive wad of cash to pay for sausages at deli

clip_image013

Wherever Barack Obama goes, he is accompanied by a huge entourage of aides, Secret Service and campaign staff. But when the President goes shopping, he still has to handle his own cash, as he showed on Saturday when he bought sausages from a Wisconsin store following a campaign stop in key swing state. Mr Obama pulled out a wad of bills that looked almost large enough to make a dent in the national debt as he browsed for pork treats alongside Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett.

clip_image014

After his visit to Usinger’s Famous Sausage, the President was given a bratwurst hot dog in a pretzel roll with spicy mustard by a local deli worker. The commander-in-chief appeared to enjoy his meaty snack, giving an emphatic thumbs-up to supporters and photographers as he chowed down on the delicacy. Story Continued:

· clip_image016

· MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD ‘INFILTRATED’ U.S. GOV’T – Lt. Gen. Boykin: Radical Islamist group deep inside defense, national security. The Muslim Brotherhood is a radical Islamist organization that has successfully penetrated both political parties and the delicate areas of defense and national security. Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin, executive vice president of the Family Research Council, told WND’s Greg Corombos that people with connections to the Muslim Brotherhood are in vital positions within every significant area of the U.S. government. He specifically cited high security clearances for such people in the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security. Boykin said Republicans proved their weakness on the issue by roundly condemning Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., for sounding the alarm on this issue and specifically wondering about the Brotherhood ties of Huma Abedin, a top assistant to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He also slammed the sequestration plan that has the military on course for an additional $500 billion in cuts over the next decade, saying that will weaken every branch of the service and that a naive rationale is behind it all. Gen. Boykin said President Obama and other leftists have a vision where the U.S. takes a smaller role on the world stage so they think our military will not need to maintain its current size and won’t be pumping money into the Middle East. The general said that’s nonsense, pointing out that as long as oil and Israel are in the Middle East we’ll need to maintain a presence there. Story Continued:

· IRAN: WE MAY LAUNCH PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE ON ISRAEL – It could turn into a World War Three.’ Iran could launch a pre-emptive strike on Israel if it was sure the Jewish state were preparing to attack it, a senior commander of its elite Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying on Sunday. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, made the comments to Iran’s state-run Arabic language Al-Alam television, according to a report on the network’s website. “Iran will not start any war but it could launch a pre-emptive attack if it was sure that the enemies are putting the final touches to attack it,” Al-Alam said, paraphrasing the military commander. Hajizadeh said any attack on Iranian soil could trigger “World War Three.” Story Continued:

· David Brooks: Mitt Romney Is ‘The Least Popular Candidate In History’ – After a rocky week that saw plenty of conservatives break away from Mitt Romney, New York Times columnist David Brooks summed up the state of affairs on Sunday. Brooks was one of several panelists on NBC’s “Meet The Press” roundtable, which dove into some data surrounding Romney’s popularity. “Look at his high unfavorable ratings,” host David Gregory said. “At 50%. The highest of any candidate running in recent memory. This is an image problem that his philosophical statements in this speech in May to fundraisers only exacerbates.” Brooks did not mince words, calling Romney “the least popular candidate in history.” “He has to look at what the president’s weakness is,” Brooks said. “He’s never gonna win a popularity contest.” Brooks added that Romney “does not have the passion for the stuff he’s talking about.” “He’s a problem solver,” Brooks said. “I think he’s a non-ideological person running in an extremely ideological age, and he’s faking it.” Polls have brought grim results surrounding Romney’s favorability, with a late August ABC News/Washington Post survey drawing a 35 percent likability rating. Romney’s 47 percent comments added fuel to that fire. After his comments were leaked on Monday, Brooks conceded that he sees the GOP presidential hopeful as a “kind, decent man” running a “depressingly inept presidential campaign.” Story Continued with the video:

· Paul Ryan On Conservative Criticism Of Mitt Romney: It’s In Their Nature To Complain – GOP vice-presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) hit back against conservative critics of the GOP ticket in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Saturday night. “A, we still have a ways to go. We still have a lot left that we’re planning on doing,” he said. “B, I think that’s just what conservatives do by nature. I think that’s just the nature of conservative punditry is to do that — to kind of complain — about any imperfection they might see.” It was a less harsh rebuke than that by Ann Romney, who told critics to “stop it,” but the criticism was still striking for the Wisconsin congressman, who has cultivated strong relationships with conservative pundits. The Romney-Ryan ticket has come under criticism from conservative pundits as the campaign tries to get past the damage done by the former Massachusetts governor’s leaked comments at a May fundraiser, where he said that 47 percent of Americans are “dependent on government” and see themselves as “victims” because they don’t pay income tax. Peggy Noonan, from her perch at the Wall Street Journal, has called for an “intervention.” Michael Gerson of the Washington Post said the Republican ideology of the “makers” versus “takers” — a phrase Ryan coined — “offers nothing.” Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard called Romney’s remarks “arrogant and stupid.” Ryan said that Romney’s selection of himself for vice presidential nominee refuted the charge that Romney’s campaign has been too vague. Ryan described himself as “the guy with all the specifics, who’s put out all these solutions on the table. It shows you very clearly Mitt Romney’s not afraid of making big decisions, making tough decisions, putting specifics out there.” On criticism from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who said more of Ryan needs to “rub off” on Romney, Ryan said, “Look, Scott’s my friend. He’s just an advocate. He’s just always going to be going to bat for me like that.” Story Continued:

Leave a comment

Filed under Left - Off Base, Politics from Just Right of Center - I want Balance!, Right - too Religous for me

What’s Up: September 21, 2012

To read the entire article click on the title or Story Continued. Enjoy as the world turns.

· Swedish magazine publishes 11 topless Kate pictures as French police raid Closer’s Paris office – A Swedish celebrity magazine has printed 11 topless photos of Kate Middleton spread over three pages of its latest issue while its sister publication in Denmark has threatened to use between 60 and 70 of the offensive shots later this week. Carina Loefkvist, editor-in-chief of Se og Hør (See and Hear), said her magazine, which has a weekly circulation of more than 100,000, bought the pictures last Friday ‘from photographers and photo agencies’. Ms Loefkvist, said: ‘It is nothing new to us to publish nude photos of celebrities on holiday. She said actresses Demi Moore and Sharon Stone as well as model Kate Moss have previously appeared half-naked in the magazine. ‘No one complains when they do and we print the photos,’ Lofkvist added. Police today raided the Paris headquarters of Closer magazine in the hunt for the photographer who captured Kate Middleton sunbathing topless while on holiday in the south of France. Story Continued:

· France to close embassies in fear of cartoon backlash – France announced Wednesday it will close 20 embassies across the Muslim world on Friday after French weekly Charlie Hebdo published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed naked, amid growing unrest over an anti-Islamic film that has left dozens dead. The French foreign ministry announced Wednesday that France will close 20 of its embassies in Muslim countries this Friday following the publication of controversial Prophet Mohammed cartoons by satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. Major protests in the Muslim world generally take place after Friday prayers. The illustrations, which show the Prophet Mohammed naked and refer to the incendiary US-made film which has been fueling deadly unrest among Muslim communities for over a week, hit newsstands across France on Wednesday. Story Continued:

– The Muslims have the civilized world fearing their retaliations just showing a prophet in humor. Is there something wrong with this picture?

· clip_image002

· Investigation finds no evidence AG Eric Holder knew of ‘Fast and Furious’ gun-running sting – A long-awaited report on the U.S. government’s controversial gun-trafficking operation known as “Fast and Furious” released Wednesday found no evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder knew of the botched effort to trace the flow of guns to Mexico’s drug cartels prior to its public unraveling in January 2011. The report by the Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz said there is “no evidence that … Holder was informed about Operation Fast and Furious, or learned about the tactics employed by ATF in the investigation” before Congress began pressing him for information about it in early 2011. Story Continued:

· Obama leads in two Wisconsin polls, with third on the way – Two polls out Wednesday show President Barack Obama on top of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the swing state of Wisconsin. Obama leads, 54 percent to 40 percent, in a Marquette University Law poll released Wednesday afternoon. The same poll found Obama with a narrower, 49 to 46 percent, lead over Romney before both party conventions, and shortly after the Republican candidate named Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate. A separate poll of Wisconsin voters conducted by Quinnipiac University, the New York Times and CBS News also found Obama with an advantage in the Badger State. Obama led by six points, 51 to 45 percent, in that poll released this morning. Story Continued:

· JUSTICE OFFICIAL RESIGNS OVER ‘FAST AND FURIOUS – Probe finds no evidence Holder knew of botched operation. (FOX NEWS) A major report released Wednesday on the Operation Fast and Furious scandal faulted a range of federal agencies for the failed anti-gunrunning program — and has resulted in the resignation of one Justice Department official. Jason Weinstein, the deputy assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division, is resigning in the wake of the Justice Department inspector general report on Fast and Furious. The report essentially concludes that he is the most senior department official who was in a position to stop Fast and Furious. The nearly 500-page report was completed after investigators reviewed 100,000 documents and interviewed 130 people.

· FOOD STAMPS EXPAND BY LEAPS, Number of able-bodied adults on program doubles after Obama suspends work requirement – Obama administration officials have insisted that their decision to grant states waivers to redefine work requirements for welfare recipients would not “gut” the landmark 1996 welfare reform law. But a new report from the Congressional Research Service obtained by the Washington Examiner suggests that the administration’s suspension of a separate welfare work requirement has already helped explode the number of able-bodied Americans on food stamps. In addition to the broader work requirement that has become a contentious issue in the presidential race, the 1996 welfare reform law included a separate rule encouraging able-bodied adults without dependents to work by limiting the amount of time they could receive food stamps. President Obama suspended that rule when he signed his economic stimulus legislation into law, and the number of these adults on food stamps doubled, from 1.9 million in 2008 to 3.9 million in 2010, according to the CRS report, issued in the form of a memo to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. “This report once again confirms that President Obama has severely gutted the welfare work requirements that Americans have overwhelmingly supported since President Clinton signed them into law,” Cantor said in an emailed statement. “It’s time to reinstate these common-sense measures, and focus on creating job growth for those in need.” Story Continued:

· Pa. high court wants review of voter ID access – Pennsylvania’s highest court on Tuesday told a lower court judge to stop a tough new law requiring voters to show photo identification from taking effect in this year’s presidential election if he finds voters cannot get easy access to ID cards or if he thinks voters will be disenfranchised. The 4-2 decision by the state Supreme Court sends the case back to a Commonwealth Court judge who initially rejected a request to stop the divisive law from going forward. The high court asked the judge, Robert Simpson, for his opinion by Oct. 2. If Simpson finds there will be no voter disenfranchisement and that IDs are easily obtained, then the law can stand, the Supreme Court said. “It’s certainly a very positive step in the right direction in that the court recognizes that the state does not make adequate provision for people to get the ID that they would need to vote,” said David Gersch, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs challenging the law’s constitutionality. “In addition, there is a practical problem with getting the ID to people in the short time available.” Story Continued:

· FEDERAL RESERVE ACCUSED OF SETTING U.S. UP FOR ‘CRASH’ Rep. Ron Paul schedules hearing on ‘manipulation of interest rates – The Federal Reserve, that private organization that determines interest rates and the availability of money in America, is going to be examined by a congressional committee whose chairman is worried it is setting the nation up “for a much larger crash in future.” The plans for a review of Fed actions were announced today by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, who heads the Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Subcommittee. “The Federal Reserve is relentless in pursuing a policy of zero interest rates, as manifest by their decision last week to engage in another round of quantitative easing and keep the federal funds rate at zero for another three years,” Paul said. Story Continued:

· TOP MARKET PREDICTOR SAYS, ‘WATCH OUT FOR GOLD!’ Mark Leibovit, ‘No. 1 gold market timer,’ offers essential advice –

clip_image003

Although relatively few people are still around who lived through the Great Depression, something ominously similar – and perhaps even worse – is staring today’s Americans in the face, regardless of who wins the U.S. presidency in November. Whether you look at Greece, Italy and the rest of Europe – or the United States of America, where the Federal Reserve just announced another massive and open-ended round of money creation dubbed “QE3″ – there’s no denying what’s coming: Thanks to the wildly irresponsible spending practices of most governments, the world’s economic, financial and monetary system is disintegrating. And as this great fall occurs – as currencies lose their value, as un-payable debt leads to austerity and increasing unrest, and as the savings of the great American middle class is progressively wiped out – one commodity class is growing in importance: gold and silver. Story Continued:

· Teacher suspended after posting student’s work on Facebook – A North Gaston High teacher has been suspended after posting her student’s work on a social media site. English teacher Shanna Sigmon-Moore posted three photos of her students’ writing on Facebook Wednesday, highlighting their grammar gaffes and misspellings. “See what I go through every day,” Sigmon-Moore wrote after friends made comments about a student’s spelling mistakes. Sigmon-Moore’s posts weren’t shared publicly on the social media site, but a customized group of her Facebook friends could see the photos. Someone who thought her posts were inappropriate for a school teacher contacted The Gazette about the photos and comments. Sigmon-Moore was suspended with pay Thursday pending a complete investigation, which is standard procedure, said Gaston County Schools spokeswoman Bonnie Reidy. It will take several days to complete the investigation, Reidy said. Story Continued:

· Is Sleep Deprivation the Reason the Romney Campaign Is Blowing It? – We may be a politically polarized country, but there seems to be a growing consensus on at least one thing: Mitt Romney’s campaign is blowing it. Even before the leaked tape, the sentiment was so widespread that the pre-mortems and jockeying to avert blame have already begun, led by a long front-page piece in Politico titled “Inside the campaign: How Mitt Romney stumbled.” Note the use of the past tense. The day before, in The Hill, it was, “Republican lawmakers say Romney campaign needs to change course.” And then there was Saturday Night Live, which opened its new season with a sketch in which President Obama acknowledges that “things aren’t great, the economy’s in the tank” and that “the job market is horrible” but says he’s not worried because his campaign has a “secret weapon” to guarantee a win: cut to Mitt Romney. When the satirists think that the idea that your campaign is tanking has been sufficiently internalized to use it as a premise, you know you’re in trouble. The question is: why? As the AP’s Kasie Hunt wrote in a piece about the dissatisfaction at this past weekend’s Value Voters Summit, “Republican activists are incredulous: Why can’t Republican Mitt Romney seem to break open a tight race with President Barack Obama given the nation’s sluggish economy and conservative enthusiasm to beat the Democrat?” Why, indeed? As SNL’s President Obama said, things aren’t great. Unemployment is still above 8 percent. There are still more than 20 million people unemployed or under-employed. And, yet, in four major polls, the real President Obama has moved into a tie with Romney over the question of who would handle the economy better. And the New York Times’ Nate Silver has Obama at a 73 percent chance of winning. So what’s the reason for Romney’s problems? His campaign includes plenty of seasoned professionals. And the answer certainly isn’t the lack of money. Between the campaign, the RNC, and outside super PACs, Romney supporters have raised more than half a billion dollars. Some conservatives are already grumbling about “media bias,” but that’s not the answer, either — whatever the personal leanings of those in the mainstream media, what they love above all else is changing the narrative. The media would love nothing more than to flip the narrative and have a week or two of “Obama has been ahead, but watch out — here comes Romney!” stories. Who knows, it might still happen, but the Romney campaign isn’t giving them a lot to work with. Story Continued:

· A Field Guide to the Middle East Mess, Part I – Shocked and confused are the two words that sum up the collective reaction of Middle East analysts to the nahkba (catastrophe) gripping the region and the broader Muslim world since news leaked out over the dastardly Innocence of Muslims video. Trying to sort through the rampant anti-Americanism that has been unleashed when news broke of the video’s content has become a psycho-errant errand into the unknown for most of us… so perhaps it is best to go back to the drawing board and try to make some sense of these events: Was This So-Called “Arab Spring” a Misnomer? Absolutely! Of the 22 members of the Arab League (19 actually in the Middle East; three in Africa (Somalia, Djibouti and Comoros), there have been only four actual “top-down” revolutions: two have been bloody revolts involving military conflicts (Libya and Yemen) and two have been “soft, people power” revolts (Egypt and Tunisia). A fifth (in Syria) is proving to be the bloodiest and the most protracted with no end in sight. The existing Arab monarchs in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan and Bahrain are still on their thrones and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future). Those in the know no longer dare refer to these transitions as “spring-like.” No one has come up with a more appropriate moniker to capture the essence of the titanic shifts that have many more acts to follow. Story Continued:

· CBO raises estimate of those hit by Obama health care tax – Six million Americans will pay the health care tax rather than obtain coverage under President Obama’s health care law, according to a new Congressional Budget Office estimate Wednesday — a 50 percent increase over CBO’s estimate of just two years ago. CBO also said there will be 30 million people without insurance, though all but the 6 million will be exempt from the tax. The exempt Americans are a combination of illegal immigrants and those with incomes too low to pay income taxes. The agency said the government will collect about $7 billion from the tax in 2016, and $8 billion a year thereafter. The projections apply to 2016, the point at which most of President Obama’s health care law will be implemented and the penalty for failing to buy coverage will have risen to its full amount of $695 per person or 2.5 percent of household income, whichever is greater. The agency gave several reasons for revising its projections. For one thing, Congress has passed legislation requiring Americans to pay back more health insurance subsidies if they’re overpaid, making buying coverage less attractive. The economy is also improving more slowly than expected, leading to lower wages and salaries that could make it harder to buy coverage. And some low-income Americans may have less access to expanded Medicaid programs than originally expected. Several states are expected to opt out of expanding Medicaid, after the Supreme Court ruled in June that the government can’t respond by stripping away all their funding for the program. The six million expected to pay the penalty is a relatively small percentage of the 30 million non-elderly residents who will be uninsured in 2016. Story Continued:

· Obama’s Foreign Policy Approval Rating Drops After Mideast Turmoil – The first opinion poll to be conducted after last week’s deadly attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya and a spate of anti-American protests across the Muslim world has recorded a five-point drop in approval for President Obama’s handling of foreign policy. The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday found the president’s foreign policy approval among registered voters at 49 percent, down from 54 percent one month earlier. “The fall was steeper among independents, going from 53 percent in August to 41 percent,” NBC reported. Across 18 NBC/WSJ polls that have tracked the issue since April 2009, the five-point drop is the second biggest recorded over a one-month period. (The biggest – seven points – came in June 2011, following a record-high approval bump the previous month which was likely linked to the killing of Osama bin Laden.) Obama’s 49 percent foreign policy approval rating this week is the second lowest in the 18 polls. Only November 2010 was slightly lower – 48 percent – possibly reflecting the national mood after the Democrats’ poor showing in midterm elections, and/or a 10-day presidential trip to Asia not generally viewed as successful. Story Continued:

· Wildly out of touch media complain Romney not regular guy -Only our totally unbiased watchdog media could turn the burning of U.S. embassies in countries where Barack Obama had recently supported mob revolts into Mitt Romney’s blunder. Journalists couldn’t risk having Obama’s campaign slogan “Osama is dead” being amended with “and so is our ambassador.” After our ambassador to Libya was murdered in a preplanned, coordinated attack on our embassy last week, preceded by an attack on our embassy in Egypt (and followed by attacks on our embassies in Yemen, Indonesia, Tunisia and Lebanon), Romney criticized the Obama administration for “sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt.” He was referring to a statement put out by our Cairo embassy before the ambassador’s murder, criticizing an American filmmaker whose YouTube trailer was the alleged provocation for the attacks. Attacks that happened to occur on the anniversary of 9/11. The NFM (Non-Fox Media) uniformly denounced Romney’s criticism and pronounced his campaign finished. Story Continued:

· clip_image004

· clip_image005

· Pakistan hit by anti-Islam video protests US embassy in Islamabad is latest target of around 5,000 demonstrators angry at anti-Islam video made in US. The US embassy in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, has become the latest target of protesters angry at an anti-Islam video that triggered protests in the Arab and Muslim world. The total number of protesters reached around 5,000 later on Thursday with the arrival of protesters carrying the flags of hardline Islamist groups. At least 50 people were injured as police fired tear gas and live rounds towards the crowds. Hundreds of students from various colleges and educational institutions in Islamabad had begun clashing with police as security forces tried to block them from reaching the embassy compound, which also includes the British and French diplomatic missions. The students responded by pelting the police with stones, and the police retaliated by firing tear gas shells. Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said the situation was eventually brought under “control” by police and the military. Story Continued:

· Study: Only 15 Percent Of Democrats Believe Economic News Is Bad – With just 47 days before the general election and Mitt Romney attempting to pivot the focus of the election back on the state of the economy, citizens with Democratic leanings are actually doing an about-face on the economy compared to their Republican counterparts, according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center. New data found that just 15 percent of Democrats believe that recent economic news is mostly poor, a percentage that took a significant drop from the 31 percent of Democrats polled last month who did think that economic news was mostly bad. According to the study, the 15-percent clip is among the lowest percentages during President Barack Obama’s nearly four years in office. Story Continued:

· Actress Jessica Alba asks voters to pledge allegiance to Obama – The Obama campaign has launched its “For All” campaign, encouraging supporters to take pictures of themselves with their hands on their hearts and a note explaining why they support President Obama. Actress Jessica Alba uses the Pledge of Allegiance as an example of the campaign in an email to supporters. “Growing up, my classmates and I started every day with a ritual: We’d stand up, put our right hand over our hearts, and say the Pledge of Allegiance,” explains Alba. “To me, that gesture was a promise. A promise to be involved and engaged in this country’s future. A promise to work for liberty and justice — and for affordable education, health care, and equality — for all.” Alba joins Hollywood actresses Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson by photographing herself with her hand on her heart pledging to vote for Obama. “That’s why all across the country, people like you and I are proudly writing down our reasons for getting involved, and then taking the pledge — to vote.” Obama campaign staffers have also begun posting photos of themselves with the pledge. “Make sure you’re ready to vote this fall,” Alba writes. “Putting your hand over your heart is making a promise. Casting your ballot is keeping it.” Story Continued:

· UMass Lowell/Herald poll: Scott Brown in slight lead vs. Warren – U.S. Sen. Scott Brown has moved into a narrow lead over rival Elizabeth Warren while his standing among Massachusetts voters has improved despite a year-long Democratic assault, a new UMass Lowell/Boston Herald poll shows. The GOP incumbent is beating Warren by a 50-44 percent margin among registered Bay State voters, a turnaround from the last University of Massachusetts Lowell/Herald poll nine months ago that had the Democratic challenger leading by seven points. Among likely voters, Brown is leading the Harvard Law professor by a 49-45 percent margin, just within the poll’s 5.5 percent margin of error. “I wasn’t too sure of him at first, but he’s been very independent,” said Jo Ann Dunnigan, a longtime Democrat and President Obama supporter from Fall River who participated in the poll, conducted Sept. 13-17. Brown and Warren face off Oct. 1 in a debate sponsored by the Herald and UMass Lowell. The poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates, shows nearly one in three Brown backers say they could change their mind before Election Day, compared to just 19 percent for Warren. But the poll, which started a week after the Democratic National Convention, finds no evidence of a “bounce” for Warren. There also is some troubling news for the well-financed Warren campaign. Despite spending millions of dollars to tarnish Brown’s image, the GOP incumbent’s popularity has actually increased in the past nine months. Story Continued:

– Ironically enough, I listened to a treatise Thursday morning on NPR that claims that Ms. Warren has a slight lead based upon her speech on a national stage at the Democratic Convention. This is a race that we will have to watch to see who is not being truthful to the people. PdC

· Obama: ‘You Can’t Change Washington from the Inside’

clip_image006 President Obama has learned something during his presidency: You can’t change Washington from the inside. “The most important lesson I’ve learned is that you can’t change Washington from the inside,” he told a Univision forum Thursday. “You can only change it from the outside.” The remark immediately set off the political media on Twitter. “(This) is perhaps Obama’s worst gaffe since he met Joe the Plumber?” BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith asked on Twitter Thursday afternoon. Story Continued:

· Romney Ads Target Seniors, Women – The Romney campaign, aiming to regain its footing after a tough start to the week, is rolling out a pair of television ads that appear designed to build support from two key voting groups: seniors and women. On Thursday, the campaign released its newest ad, “Least We Can Do,” which argues that leaving Medicare as it is will force the health-insurance plan for the elderly and disabled to go broke. The television ad also states that current retirees won’t be affected – and suggests that any changes to Medicare won’t happen for 30 years. Together, the statements appear designed to lay the groundwork for support when Vice Presidential pick Rep. Paul Ryan (R, Wis.) addresses AARP, the influential seniors group, on Friday. Mr. Ryan is considered the architect of the so-called premium support plan, which would give seniors a subsidy for either private insurance or traditional Medicare. Democrats have said that the plan would shift health care costs onto seniors since health care costs would rise faster than the government subsidies. “Medicare is going broke,” says Sen. Marco Rubio (R, Fla.) in the advertisement, as the Romney campaign puts its message in the mouth of a Republican star that is especially prominent in Florida, the biggest swing state, with a high concentration of older people. “That’s not politics. It’s math. Anyone who wants to leave Medicare like it is is for letting it go bankrupt. My mother’s 81 and depends on Medicare.” Story Continued:

· The Waning of the Modern Ages – La longue durée —the long run—was an expression made popular by the Annales School of French historians led by Fernand Braudel, who coined the phrase in 1958. The basic argument of this school is that the proper concern of historians should be the analysis of structures that lie at the base of contemporary events. Underneath short-term events such as individual cycles of economic boom and bust, said Braudel, we can discern the persistence of “old attitudes of thought and action, resistant frameworks dying hard, at times against all logic.” An important derivative of the Annales research is the work of the World Systems Analysis school, including Immanuel Wallerstein and Christopher Chase-Dunn, which similarly focuses on long-term structures: capitalism, in particular. The “arc” of capitalism, according to this school, is about 600 years long, from 1500 to 2100. It is our particular (mis)fortune to be living through the beginning of the end, the disintegration of capitalism as a world system. It was mostly commercial capital in the sixteenth century, evolving into industrial capital in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and then moving on to financial capital—money created by money itself, and by speculation in currency—in the twentieth and twenty-first. In dialectical fashion, it will be the very success of the system that eventually does it in. The last time a change of this magnitude occurred was during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, during which time the medieval world began to come apart and be replaced by the modern one. In his classic study of the period, The Waning of the Middle Ages, the Dutch historian Johan Huizinga depicted the time as one of depression and cultural exhaustion—like our own age, not much fun to live through. One reason for this is that the world is literally perched over an abyss. What lies ahead is largely unknown, and to have to hover over an abyss for a long time is, to put it colloquially, a bit of a drag. The same thing was true at the time of the collapse of the Roman Empire as well, on the ruins of which the feudal system slowly arose. Story Continued:

· The Secret History of Pussy Riot – Universally admired, Pussy Riot (or PR for short) have been promoted as superstars. But what are they? A rock or punk group they are not. A British journalist marvelled: they produce no music, no song, no painting, nada, rien, nothing. How can they be described as “artists”? This was a severe test for their supporters, but they passed it with flying honours: that famous lover-of-art, the US State Department, paid for their first ever single being produced by The Guardian out of some images and sounds. We are able to stomach obscenity and blasphemy; I am a great admirer of Notre Dame de Fleurs by Jean Genet, who combined both. However, the PR never wrote, composed or painted anything of value at all. Chris Randolph defended them in Counterpunch by comparing them with “the controversial Yegor Letov”. What a misleading comparison! Letov wrote poetry, full of obscenity but it still was poetry, while the PR have nothing but Public Relations. Hell-bent on publicity, but artistically challenged, three young women from Russia decided – well, it sounds like a limerick. They stole a frozen chicken from a supermarket and used it as dildo; they filmed the act, called it “art” and placed it on the web. (It is still there) Their other artistic achievements were an orgy in a museum and a crude presentation of an erect prick. Story Continued:

· Linda Lingle Joins Other GOP Senate Candidates In Distancing Themselves From Mitt Romney

clip_image007Nevada Sen. Dean Heller on Wednesday became the latest Republican Senate candidate locked in a competitive race to distance himself from GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” remarks, which came to light after the wide release of a hidden camera video that documented Romney’s appearance at a Boca Raton fundraiser. Heller joined Connecticut Senate aspirant Linda McMahon and Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown in disowning Romney’s take on the portion of the electorate he deemed to be “victims” who could not be convinced to forego government assistance. Well, Hawaii Senate candidate Linda Lingle lingered a little longer without making a comment on Romney’s lapsus linguae, but now she, too, has parted ways with him over the “victims” flap. The Honolulu Star Advertiser has the story: ‘I am not a rubber stamp for the national party and I am not responsible for the statements of Mitt Romney,’ Lingle said in an email. ‘With that said, I do not agree with his characterization of all individuals who are receiving government assistance, as I know many of them are driven, hard-working individuals who are actively working to better the situation of their ‘ohana. It is not fair to place these individuals into any one category. The people of Hawaii know I don’t believe in labels and I know they don’t either.’ Story Continued:

· Romney rescue plan: More Mitt – After taking a beating for comments he privately wishes he never made and from conservative critics he wishes he could muzzle, Mitt Romney and his campaign are settling on a rescue plan to show more of him — in ads, speeches and campaign appearances. A big focus, according to campaign officials, will be on Romney talking a lot more about how his ideas will help regular Americans who remain deeply suspicious of him. The aim: Switch the emphasis from Washington policies to personal pocketbooks. Look for a heavy emphasis on jobs and specific ways to cut government spending. “He has to own his message for people, especially women, to buy the messenger,” one top adviser said. A campaign official said: “In a lot of the current survey data, there’s a desire among the electorate to know more about Mitt in terms of how he would lead. Over the next six weeks, the campaign is going to provide a lot more of that.” Aides also expect more joint appearances by Romney and running mate Paul Ryan – most likely in the swing states of Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. Story Continued:

· Senate Republicans Shaft the Vets – The young men and women who serve in our military return from fighting in the longest wars in American history to the worst jobs market in generations. They suffer higher unemployment rates than the general population: over one in ten is officially counted as unemployed — and that does not include those who have stopped looking for work or are forced to work part-time. So yesterday, in one final vile act before adjournment for the elections, Senate Republicans used a point of order to block passage of the Veterans Jobs Corps proposal that would have provided a modest $1 billion to hire veterans to tend federal lands or gain priority in hiring at police and fire departments. The bill was crafted with bipartisan support. 58 Senators supported the bill, but Republicans put together the 40 votes needed to block its passage. Why shaft the very veterans whose service politicians sanctimoniously celebrate at every occasion? Is it because unemployed veterans are part of Mitt Romney’s scorned 47 percent? Unemployed, they pay no taxes. They may feel they are “entitled” to the health care benefits they are guaranteed. Many take advantage of training and education benefits. Perhaps Republican senators simply didn’t want to help these “victims” feel entitled to a job in addition. (Of course, contrary to Mitt’s idiotic election strategy, like seniors, these “victims” tend to vote more Republican than Democratic) Or is it because Senate Republicans remain committed to block any action that will produce jobs in their monomaniacal effort to make Barack Obama a one-term president. In the midst of the worst recession in generations, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell famously announced at the beginning of the term that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Story Continued:

· The Disappearance Of Mitt Romney: Campaign’s Push To Humanize Him Evaporates – Mitt Romney’s campaign produced a 10-minute documentary film about the candidate that forced even liberal Democrats, when it was shown at the Republican National Convention, to admit that it was a moving portrayal of Romney’s life and values. The problem is not very many people have seen the video, and the Romney campaign appears to have made little effort to change that. Romney revealed to donors in Atlanta on Wednesday that he himself had not seen the entire thing until it was shown before his remarks at a fundraiser. Romney said the footage of his deceased father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, “brought a tear to my eye.” “It touched my heart,” Romney said. But the Romney campaign has done little to highlight the film. It’s not featured on the campaign’s website or YouTube page. It has a decent number of views on YouTube — 145,000 as of Thursday morning — but there are 25 other Romney campaign videos that have been seen more times, including a few that have over 1 million views. To find it online takes far more effort than it should. It’s the clearest example of how a promised push by the Republican nominee’s campaign to better introduce their candidate to the nation, and to counter the image of him as a heartless corporate raider, has not materialized. The Romney campaign said the Republican convention at the end of August would kick off a more aggressive telling of the Romney story. In fact, up until now, it appears that the convention was the beginning and the end of that effort. Senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie said Monday that at the convention “voters learned a lot about Romney as a person,” and that now “they’re eager to hear more details about policies to turn our economy around.” In other words, the campaign has already checked the bio box. But Republican insiders have been encouraging the campaign to get back to talking up Mitt, and who he is, so far with little luck. Story Continued:

· Mitt Romney: Closeted Redistributionist – Four years ago yesterday, John McCain and Sarah Palin were 1.9 percentage points behind then-Senator Barack Obama in the RCP poll-of-polls. Today, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are 2.8 percentage points behind President Obama in the RCP poll-of-polls. Romney is currently doing worse than McCain’s ill-fated attempt at the presidency. And there’s nothing on the horizon that could really change the dismal course of events in Romney’s favor, shy of a major presidential gaffe or an out-of-the-blue scandal of some sort. (Though I hasten to warn: this thing is far from over and any number of factors could dramatically shift the outcome of the election.) So knowing all of this, it’s astonishing to me that Mitt Romney would rewind back to the failed McCain/Palin campaign and, specifically, its big bad red-scare “redistributionist” attack against Obama. It’s not surprising given how Romney has an impulsive habit saying whatever pops into his bulbous head no matter how ludicrous, contradictory or inaccurate — anything to get him through the day, anything that might work. Why not resurrect McCain’s failed attack, too? In fact, why not indiscriminately leap onto something that right-wing propagandist Matt Drudge posted on his site: a 14-year-old piece of video in which the president said, “I actually believe in redistribution at least at a certain level…” Story Continued:

· Obama pressed on failures at Univision forum – President Barack Obama on Thursday faced some of the toughest questioning of his reelection campaign to date, pressed repeatedly on his failures to achieve comprehensive immigration reform and other unmet promises from his 2008 run. The Univision presidential forum at the University of Miami here kicked off with grilling on another topic which brought mounting criticism from Republicans Thursday: The government’s decision to label as a terrorist attack the violence at the consulate in Benghazi which killed American Christopher Stevens. Asked why the United States was not better prepared, with better security at its embassies on the Sept. 11 anniversary, Obama responded by repeating the admonitions about not tolerating violence, but continued to discuss the incident in the context of the controversial video depicting scenes from the life of Mohammed. “This is obviously something that is used as excuse by some to carry out inexcusable violent acts on westerners or Americans,” Obama said, “and my number one priority is to keep our diplomats safe and our embassies safe.” Story Continued:

· Tax Credit in Doubt, Wind Power Industry Is Withering

clip_image009

Last month, Gamesa, a major maker of wind turbines, completed the first significant order of its latest innovation: a camper-size box that can capture the energy of slow winds, potentially opening up new parts of the country to wind power. “We are all really sad,” said Miguel Orobiyi, 34, who worked as a mechanical assembler at the Gamesa plant for nearly five years. “I hope they call us back because they are really, really good jobs.” Similar cutbacks are happening throughout the American wind sector, which includes hundreds of manufacturers, from multinationals that make giant windmills to smaller local manufacturers that supply specialty steel or bolts. In recent months, companies have announced almost 1,700 layoffs. At its peak in 2008 and 2009, the industry employed about 85,000 people, according to the American Wind Energy Association, the industry’s principal trade group. Story Continued:

· Republican senators decry ‘useless, worthless’ Clinton briefing on Libya Attack – Several high-level GOP senators emerged from Thursday afternoon’s classified briefing with top administration officials incensed that Obama team had offered them no new information and answered none of their questions about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the death of four Americans. “That was the most useless, worthless briefing that I have attended in a long time. Believe me, there is more written in every major and minor publication in America about what happened.” said Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Bob Corker (R-TN), emerging from the all-senators briefing that included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Adm. Sandy Winnefeld. “It was like a one-hour filibuster with absolutely not one single bit of new information being brought forth… very disappointing.” Corker said that the briefing was so poorly received by senators that it would spur Congress to push for more independent investigations about the causes of the attack, the perpetrators, the security at the consulate, and the personal security of Amb. Chris Stevens, who died in the attack. “[The briefing], if anything, built far greater distrust about what’s happening than just answering questions. It was pretty unbelievable,” said Corker. “In every event, when a serious question was asked, the answer was, ‘It’s under investigation.’ If I were them I would not have come to the Hill … I think it is going to cause folks to push for something different, because it was received so poorly.” Senate Armed Services Committee ranking Republican John McCain (R-AZ) agreed and said the briefing was indicative of the administration’s pattern of not sharing information with Congress about important national security matters. He also said the administration is maintaining its argument that the Benghazi attack was the result of militants taking advantage of protests spurred by an anti-Islam video on the Internet. Story Continued:

· Chavez Reelection in Jeopardy Because of Spending and Crime in Venezuela

clip_image011

After 14 years in power, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez faces his toughest election yet, as he deals with a strong opposition candidate and national doubts about his health. Chavez’s biggest obstacle in his re-election campaign, however, may be his own record in office. A soaring crime rate and doubts over whether the populist leader could have done more with the country’s vast oil wealth continue to hound him in the final weeks of his campaign. “It’s overwhelmingly clear that Venezuela has wasted the windfall,” said Francisco Monaldi, an economist and director of the International Center of Energy and the Environment at Caracas’ IESA business school, according to the Associated Press. “You should have had much greater economic growth, much greater reduction of poverty.”  Supporters of Chavez, however, argue that there has been progress since he took office in 1998. The infusion of around one trillion ‘petrodollars’ has allowed him to secure his support among the country’s poor through cash handouts, social programs and a number of state-run grocery stores. Story Continued:

Leave a comment

Filed under Left - Off Base, Politics from Just Right of Center - I want Balance!, Right - too Religous for me

What’s Up: September 17, 2012

To read the entire article click on the title? Enjoy as the world turns.

· US Credit Rating Cut by Egan-Jones … Again – Ratings firm Egan-Jones cut its credit rating on the U.S. government to “AA-” from “AA,” citing its opinion that quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve would hurt the U.S. economy and the country’s credit quality.

clip_image001The Fed on Thursday said it would pump $40 billion into the U.S. economy each month until it saw a sustained upturn in the weak jobs market. (Read more: Fed’s ‘QE Infinity’ — Four Things That Could Go Wrong) In its downgrade, the firm said that issuing more currency and depressing interest rates through purchasing mortgage-backed securities does little to raise the U.S.’s real gross domestic product, but reduces the value of the dollar. In turn, this increases the cost of commodities, which will pressure the profitability of businesses and increase the costs of consumers thereby reducing consumer purchasing power, the firm said. In April, Egan-Jones cuts the U.S. credit rating to “AA” from “AA+” with a negative watch, citing a lack of progress in cutting the mounting federal debt. Moody’s Investors Service currently rates the United States Aaa, Fitch rates the country AAA, and Standard & Poor’s rates the country AA-plus. All three of those ratings have a negative outlook.

· The Video Didn’t Do It – It was bad enough, two years ago, that Defense Secretary Robert Gates called fringe Florida pastor Terry Jones to ask him not to burn copies of the Koran, or last week, that chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey took his turn to call Jones to ask him to stop publicizing a YouTube video, The Innocence of Muslims. But then on Friday, White House spokesman Jay Carney told the world that the violent protests in Cairo and Ben­ghazi and elsewhere were a “response not to United States policy, and not obviously the administration or the American people,” but were “in response to a video, a film we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting.” Carney repeated the point for emphasis: “This is not a case of protests directed at the United States at large or at U.S. policy, but in response to a video that is offensive to Muslims.” Carney’s comments lie outside the range of plausible spin, even by Obama administration standards, and if his bosses believe them—as we fear they do—are simply delusional. But they are not without consequence. Nor are Gates’ and Dempsey’s phone calls. They all send the message to America’s enemies that if you kill our diplomats and lay siege to the our embassies, the first move the American government will make is to denounce. Americans. Our leaders apparently believe that the way to protect Americans from extremists and terrorists abroad is to tell other Americans to shut up. What’s next? Where does it go from here? There are more than 300 million ways in which Americans expressing themselves might give offense to those who make it their business to be offended. Maybe it’s some other film, maybe it’s a book or even just a tossed-off phrase that our enemies might seize on to galvanize support for their causes. Is the White House going to put every American crank on speed-dial so it can tell them to shut up whenever a mob gathers outside a U.S. embassy or consulate?

· LA SHERIFF: FEDS INTERVIEW CALIF. FILMMAKER – A Southern California filmmaker linked to an anti-Islamic movie inflaming protests across the Middle East was interviewed by federal probation officers at a Los Angeles sheriff’s station but was not arrested or detained, authorities said early Saturday. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, was interviewed at the station in his hometown of Cerritos, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Don Walker said. Federal officials have said they were investigating the activities of Nakoula, who has been convicted of financial crimes. If the probation department determines Nakoula violated terms of his release, a judge could send him back to prison. Walker said Nakoula traveled voluntarily in a squad car with deputies. “He went to the Cerritos station to talk with probation officers. He’s not under any arrest,” Walker said.

· ANTI-ISLAM FILMMAKER DONATED MILLION DOLLARS TO OBAMA CAMPAIGN – Blame the movie. Even though “the movie” was on YouTube for months prior to the collective indignation of thousands of Middle Eastern Islamists all coming together on the eleventh anniversary of September 11th (through wild coincidence, no doubt), we are being told by our government and our media overlords that we must blame the movie. You see, if we blame the movie for the burning of our foreign outposts and the brutal murders of four Americans (including our Libyan ambassador who was reportedly raped), we won’t blame the burners and the looters and the murderers and the rapists. You see, if we blame the movie for the Middle East burning, we won’t blames the Islamists who are doing the burning and looting and raping and murdering. Which means we won’t further connect the dots and blame Obama’s failed Middle East policy; the Obama Doctrine of backing away from the region and allowing events to unfold as America stands idly by — as the Islamists in the Muslim Brotherhood grab hold of power in Egypt, a country that was once our largest and closest ally. Blame the filmmaker. Hunt him. Out him. Demonize him. Burn the straw man! And all at the direction of a president of the United States who has sworn to uphold the Constitution, you know, the same Constitution that treasures the right of free expression and speech above all else. But no one asks … What about Bill Maher? Bill Maher? Bill Maher made a comedy/documentary called “Religulous” that’s most famous for mercilessly mocking Christianity. But what people forget is that the last twenty-minutes or so of the film make a damning case against Islam. Bill Maher made a film that mocked Islam. Oh, yes, he did. Bill Maher also contributed $1 million to a pro-Obama super PAC. And I’m sure that upon being reminded of this, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will tremble with self-righteous indignation and demand Maher take his money back. After all, if movies create the terrorists who in turn create the terrorism, what about Bill Maher?

· Carney: Protests not directed at the United States – White House press secretary Jay Carney said Friday the violent protests throughout the Middle East are not directed at the United States or U.S. policy but are a response to a YouTube video: CARNEY: We also need to understand that this is a fairly volatile situation and it is in response not to United States policy, and not to, obviously, the administration, or the American people, but it is in response to a video, a film that we have judged to be be reprehensible and disgusting. That in no way justifies any violent reaction to it, but this is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy, this is in response to a video that is offensive to Muslims. Again, this is not in any way justifying violence, and we have spoken very clearly out against that and condemned it. And the president is making sure in his conversations with leaders around the region that they are committed as hosts to diplomatic facilities to protect both personnel and buildings and other facilities that are part of the U.S. representation in those countries. The protests which began earlier this week have expanded rapidly across the Middle East on Friday. Protesters attacked the U.S. Embassies in Tunis and Sudan; Tunisian protesters smashed windows and lit fires inside the embassy compound, while gunfire could be heard. Images of a dark column of smoke over the Tunisian site have circulated on the Internet Friday. According to a page on the State Department’s website describing what an embassy is, an attack on an embassy is considered an attack on that country. “Because an embassy represents a sovereign state, any attack on an embassy is considered an attack on the country it represents,” the page reads.

· WH: ‘We’re very proud of the president’s record on foreign policy’ – White House Press Secretary Jay Carney opted not to respond to the suggestion that the embassy attacks throughout the Middle East suggest that extremists view the United States under President Obama as weak on foreign policy. “We are happy to debate — and there is certainly ample time and appropriate time to debate foreign policy approaches, this president’s record on foreign policy,” Carney told reporters during the press briefing when asked if the attacks stemmed from “perceived American weakness” that stems from Obama’s leadership. “We’re very proud of the president’s record on foreign policy and are happy to make the case at the appropriate time.” Carney emphasized instead the tragedy in Libya. “This is a time when it’s in the best interests of the country to focus on the four personnel, the four Americans that we lost in Libya and who are returning home today, and on the measures that we need to take as a nation to deal with the [ongoing unrest],” he said.

· President Obama’s ‘proud’ statements on improving US image might boomerang – President Obama has said that elevating the image of the United States around the world was one of his proudest foreign policy accomplishments, but those remarks could boomerang and hamper his re-election bid. The violence and anti-American protests throughout the Middle East are bringing fresh attacks on the president’s foreign policies as Muslim rage is intensifying in the region. The protests that have spread could undercut one of the key tenants of Obama’s foreign policy argument that he has restored the U.S. image in the Middle East. In February, Obama said, “One of the proudest things of my three years in office is helping to restore a sense of respect for America around the world, a belief that we are not just defined by the size of our military.” Three years ago in Cairo, Obama stressed his leadership would be dramatically different than former President George W. Bush’s: “I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition.”

· The Reality Behind the “Free Speech” Argument America and the Muslims – Thousands of angry Muslims demonstrated in front of American embassies and consulates in Egypt and Libya because of a newly released film that deliberately insulted and mockingly falsified the life of the prophet of Islam. The protests soon spread to Yemen, Tunisia, Sudan, Morocco, the Palestinian territories, Iraq, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, and elsewhere. Taking advantage of the chaos outside the American consulate in Benghazi, it appears that Al-Qaeda affiliates infiltrated the protesters, then attacked and firebombed the consulate building. Clearly there was no justification whatsoever for such reprehensible acts. Tragically, several innocent American officials including the U.S. ambassador in Libya died in the senseless violence that ensued. Experts believe that the violent attack was in response to the direct call by the head of Al-Qaeda, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, to avenge the killing of his deputy Abu Yahya Al-Libi who was killed by a U.S. drone attack last June. Yet, every few years the world gets tired from watching the same old inflammatory scene play out again and again. From Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses in 1989 and the Danish cartoons in 2005, to the burning of the Qur’an by a nutty Florida pastor in 2010 and the release of this highly offensive movie just days ago. According to the most credible reports, this repulsive film was written, produced, and directed by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, an extremist anti-Muslim Egyptian-American Coptic Christian in his mid-fifties. Nakoula is a felon convicted in California on bank fraud charges, for which he received a suspended 21-month sentence and was fined $790,000. According to press reports the low budget movie was filmed last year and starred sixty actors who recently released a statement stating that they were never told that the movie was about the prophet Muhammad. They also maintained that most of the offensive language was later dubbed over their images. Screened last June in a Hollywood theatre the movie was a flop that barely registered on anyone’s radar. The producer then contacted another Egyptian-American extremist Copt, Morris Sadek, 70, who for decades has led an anti-Muslim campaign in the U.S. Nakoula asked for his help in promoting and distributing the film. According to the Associated Press Sadek then contacted his friend, Florida Pastor Terry Jones, who is infamous for his calls to publicly burn the Qur’an. Even though Jones promoted the film on his website and announced that he would screen it on the anniversary of Sept. 11 as well as conduct a mock trial against the prophet Muhammad, his announcements drew very little attention from the public or the media. By early September less than 50 people had actually viewed the film’s 14-minute trailer on YouTube. Sadek, who has an extensive email list that included many Egyptian media outlets and journalists, then started promoting the Arabic version of…

· Is Washington Deaf As Well as Criminal? Stumbling Towards Nuclear War? – The morons who rule the American sheeple are not only dumb and blind, they are deaf as well. The ears of the American “superpower” only work when the Israeli Prime Minister, the crazed Netanyahu, speaks. Then Washington hears everything and rushes to comply. Israel is a tiny insignificant state, created by the careless British and the stupid Americans. It has no power except what its American protector provides. Yet, despite Israel’s insignificance, it rules Washington. When a resolution introduced by the Israel Lobby is delivered to Congress, it passes unanimously. If Israel wants war, Israel gets its wish. When Israel commits war crimes against Palestinians and Lebanon and is damned by the hundred plus UN resolutions passed against Israel’s criminal actions, the US bails Israel out of trouble with its veto. The power that tiny Israel exercises over the “world’s only superpower” is unique in history. Tens of millions of “Christians” bow down to this power, reinforcing it, moved by the exhortations of their “Christian” ministers. Netanyahu lusts for war against Iran. He strikes out against all who oppose his war lust. Recently, he called Israel’s top generals “pussies” for warning against a war with Iran. He regards former Israeli prime ministers and former heads of the Israeli intelligence service as traitors for opposing his determination to attack Iran. He has denounced America’s servile president Obama and America’s top military leader for being “soft on Iran.” The latest poll in Israel shows that a solid majority of the Israelis are opposed to an Israeli attack on Iran. But Netanyahu is uninterested in the opinion of Israeli citizens. He has Washington watching his back, so he is war mad. It is a mystery why Israelis put Netanyahu in public office instead of in an insane asylum. Netanyahu is not alone. He has the American neoconservatives in his corner. The American neoconservatives are as crazed as Netanyahu. They believe in nuclear war and are itching to nuke some Muslim country and then get on to nuking Russia and China. It is amazing that no more than two or three dozen people have the fate of the entire world in their hands. The Democratic Party is helpless before them. The Republican Party is their vehicle. The Russians, watching Netanyahu push Washington toward dangerous confrontations keep raising their voices about the danger of nuclear war. On May 17 Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned the West against launching “hasty wars,” which could result “although I do not want to scare anyone” in “the use of a nuclear weapon.” On November 30 of last year the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia warned of nuclear war with NATO. General Nikolai Makarov said that NATO’s eastward expansion meant that the risk of Russia coming into conflict with NATO had “risen sharply.” General Makarov said, “I do not rule out local and regional armed conflicts developing into a large-scale war, including using nuclear weapons.” Here is Russian president Medvedev (currently the prime minister) describing the steps toward nuclear war that Russia has taken pushed by the crazed warmongers in Washington wallowing in their insane hubris: With regard to the American missile bases on Russia’s borders, “I have made the following decisions. First, I am instructing the Defense Ministry to immediately put the missile attack early warning radar station in Kaliningrad on combat alert. Second, protective cover of Russia’s strategic nuclear weapons will be reinforced as a priority measure under the program to develop our air and space defenses. Third, the new strategic ballistic missiles commissioned by the Strategic Missile Forces and the Navy will be equipped with advanced missile defense penetration systems and new highly-effective warheads. Fourth, I have instructed the Armed Forces to draw up measures for disabling missile defense system data and guidance systems. These measures will be adequate, effective, and low-cost. Fifth, if the above measures prove insufficient, the Russian Federation will deploy modern offensive weapon systems in the west and south of the country, ensuring our ability to take out any part of the US missile defense system in Europe. One step in this process will be to deploy Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad Region. Other measures to counter the European missile defense system will be drawn up and implemented as necessary. Furthermore, if the situation continues to develop not to Russia’s favor, we reserve the right to discontinue further disarmament and arms control measures.” Russian president Vladimir Putin has said, as politely as possible, that the US seeks to enslave the world, that the US seeks vassals, not allies, that the US seeks to rule the world and that the US is a parasite on the world economy. It would be difficult for an informed person to take exception with Putin’s statements. Putin told the politicians in Washington and Western and Eastern European capitals that surrounding Russia with anti-ballistic missiles “raises the specter of nuclear war in Europe.” Putin said that the Russian response is to point nuclear armed cruise missiles, which cannot be intercepted by anti-ballistic missiles, at the US missile bases and at European capitals. The American move, Putin said, “could trigger nuclear war.” Putin has been trying to wake up the American puppet states in Europe at least since February 13, 2007. At the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy, Putin said that the unipolar world that Washington was striving to achieve under its banner, “is a world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within.”

· Why Bondholders Can’t – and Shouldn’t – be Paid Wall Street’s War on the Cities – The pace of Wall Street’s war against the 99% is quickening in preparation for the kill. Having demonized public employees for being scheduled to receive pensions on their lifetime employment service, bondholders are insisting on getting the money instead. It is the same austerity philosophy that has been forced on Greece and Spain – and the same that is prompting President Obama and Mitt Romney to urge scaling back Social Security and Medicare. Unlike the U.S. federal government, most states and cities have constitutions that prevent them from running budget deficits. This means that when they cut property taxes, they either must borrow from the wealthy, or cut back employment and public services. For many years they borrowed, paying tax-exempt interest to wealthy bondholders. But carrying charges on these have mounted to a point where they now look risky as the economy sinks into debt deflation. Cities are defaulting from California to Alabama. They cannot reverse course and restore taxes on property owners without causing more mortgage defaults and abandonments. Something has to give – so cities are scaling back public spending, downsizing their school systems and police forces, and selling off their assets to pay bondholders. This has become the main cause of America’s rising unemployment, helping drive down consumer demand in a Keynesian nightmare. Less obvious are the devastating cuts occurring in health care, job training and other services, while tuition rates for public colleges and “participation fees” at high schools are soaring. School systems are crumbling like our roads as teachers are jettisoned on a scale not seen since the Great Depression. Yet Wall Street strategists view this state and local budget squeeze as a godsend. As Rahm Emanuel has put matters, a crisis is too good an opportunity to waste – and the fiscal crisis gives creditors financial leverage to push through anti-labor policies and privatization grabs. The ground is being prepared for a neoliberal “cure”: cutting back pensions and health care, defaulting on pension promises to labor, and selling off the public sector, letting the new proprietors to put up tollbooths on everything from roads to schools. The new term of the moment is “rent extraction.”

· A Nationwide Epidemic The Big Lie About Police Brutality – Police brutality is in the news, thanks to the widespread availability of amateur video and the omnipresence of security cameras. We’ve seen scene after scene of police beating the crap out of, and even shooting and killing unarmed or minimally dangerous students, women, old men and crazy people, many of them after they have been handcuffed and checked for weapons. The police brass, and leading politicians who oversee the departments involved, nearly always have the same answer: This is not the norm, these are isolated incidents, police violence is not on the rise. Rarely is an abusive or murderous officer punished or even administratively disciplined for documented crimes. The thing is, of course, it is on the rise. Just as the exonerations of supposed murders and rapists are only those where there was DNA available to prove their innocence, while many more are also clearly wrongly facing death or long prison sentences, the scenes of brutality we’re seeing on the videos are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg too. What is different is that we’re seeing these things at all. It used to be that getting videos of police brutality was very rare — like the taping of the notorious police assault on the prone body of Rodney King by Los Angeles cops during a traffic stop. It just happened that someone with a video camera was at the scene when it occurred. Nowadays everyone with a cellphone is a potential videographer, so we’re seeing more of what really goes on when police make their arrests. Just check out the latest video of LAPD officers body slamming a 5’4″ nurse (two times!) who had the audacity to get out of her car when they stopped her for talking on her cell phone while driving (this particular video was taken by a surveillance camera at a store focused on the parking lot where police had followed the woman’s car). Note that one of the burly cops slamming this small handcuffed woman to the ground and later fist-bumping to celebrate with his younger partner holds the rank of commander — he’s a 20-year veteran of the LAPD.

· Libyans See al Qaeda Hand in Embassy Attack – The head of Libya’s new national congress has blamed al Qaeda-linked militants for planning Tuesday’s deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, raising further questions about the motive behind the mayhem that killed four Americans. U.S. officials told The Wall Street Journal on Friday that they are investigating indications that a local group of Libyan militants, Ansar al Sharia, held a series of conversations Tuesday with al Qaeda extremists about the assault that day on the consulate, in the first sign of possible coordination in the attack between local fighters and the global terrorist movement. The statement from Mohamed Al-Magarief, broadcast Friday during an interview the Arabic broadcaster al-Jazeera, is the first time that a Libyan official has implicated the global terrorist organization in the chaotic events that raised tensions throughout the Middle East. Mr. Magarief didn’t say how far in advance the attack had been planned. He said, however, that he believes the militants went to the consulate with violence in mind.

· Israeli Foreign Ministry: U.S. ignored Arab radicalization – Foreign Ministry official on signs of ‘radicalization’ in Arab world: ‘We knew what was happening, but the Americans preferred to find excuses.’ For months before the most recent attacks on U.S. embassies in North African states, Foreign Ministry and U.S. State Department officials had been arguing over developments in these countries. Senior figures in Jerusalem claimed that Washington was burying its head in the sand and ignoring the increasing radicalization in states such as Tunisia and Egypt. The Obama administration, which since the beginning of the Arab Spring has aided, directly or indirectly, the forces that brought down the dictatorial regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Lybia, now finds itself in a position of helplessness. The attack on the consulate in Benghazi, in which the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, was killed, and the storming of the U.S. embassies in Tunis, Sanaa and Cairo, proved the great hostility to the United States and the unwillingness of these country’s new leaders to challenge domestic public opinion. Senior Foreign Ministry officials say their conversations with their Washington counterparts have focused on what Jerusalem terms “radicalizing trends” against not only Israel but also against the United States and the West in general. One of the most recent such meetings took place a week ago, during a visit to Jerusalem by the acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, A. Elizabeth Jones. “The Americans were constantly trying to supply explanations and excuses for events in the post-revolution Arab states, and simply ignored the problems,” one senior Israeli official said, adding, “In practice the administration’s ability to affect events in the Arab world has decreased immensely.”

· Armada of British naval power massing in the Gulf as Israel prepares an Iran strike – An armada of US and British naval power is massing in the Persian Gulf in the belief that Israel is considering a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s covert nuclear weapons program. Battleships, aircraft carriers, minesweepers and submarines from 25 nations are converging on the strategically important Strait of Hormuz in an unprecedented show of force as Israel and Iran move towards the brink of war. Western leaders are convinced that Iran will retaliate to any attack by attempting to mine or blockade the shipping lane through which passes around 18 million barrels of oil every day, approximately 35 per cent of the world’s petroleum traded by sea. A blockade would have a catastrophic effect on the fragile economies of Britain, Europe the United States and Japan, all of which rely heavily on oil and gas supplies from the Gulf. The Strait of Hormuz is one of the world’s most congested international waterways. It is only 21 miles wide at its narrowest point and is bordered by the Iranian coast to the north and the United Arab Emirates to the south. In preparation for any pre-emptive or retaliatory action by Iran, warships from more than 25 countries, including the United States, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, will today begin an annual 12-day exercise.

· Loveland school seizes rosary beads from student, says they’re ‘gang symbol’ – A student is questioning whether his faith or his fashion is under fire at his high school in Loveland. Thompson Valley High School officials have confiscated his rosary beads twice since school started three weeks ago. And he says they never told him, or his family, why. “They tell me I can’t wear them,” says Manuel Vigil, showing us an identical rosary to the one seized by his school. The junior says he wears rosary beads to protect himself from harm. But his school district thinks the religious necklace will harm students. “That’s typically not what we want for a safe environment for school,” says Thompson Valley School District spokesperson Margaret Crespo. The district says they can be affiliated with gangs, and disrupt learning. “Are you in a gang? I ask Vigil. ‘No. I’m not in a gang,’ he says. You’re a good student? ‘I’m a good student,’” he says. The 16-year-old says he and his family are strong Catholics. “I use them for prayer. I feel safe when I have them on.” The district says it gave Vigil options before seizing the beads. “We’ve given you two opportunities to take it off or to put it inside your shirt. That’s not something you’re interested in doing. You’re not giving us an alternative than to remove it,” Crespo says Vigil was told. But Vigil says he only got a demand. “If he would have given me that option, I would have put it in my shirt,” he says. Vigil’s classmates agree putting a bad label on a good symbol is wrong. “If it’s for religious reasons he should be allowed to wear it. We have religious tolerance in this country,” says a freshman student Jack. “It’s a necklace. Girls wear necklaces all the time and they never get them taken away,” says junior Rachel.

· clip_image003

· clip_image004

·

Leave a comment

Filed under Left - Off Base, Politics from Just Right of Center - I want Balance!, Right - too Religous for me

What’s Up: September 14, 2012

If you want to read the entire article click on the title. Enjoy as the world turns.

· Cleverest Remark on DNC and Clinton – Yesterday, the DNC had to pretend it had a 2/3 vote to assert that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and for the inclusion of the phrase, “God-given gifts” into their national platform, because three attempts to vote couldn’t bring it. Whether it was the “God” language or the “Jerusalem” language they resisted more is hard to say. But the nays seem to have it it. And then, of course, the mob boo’ed, jeered and hissed. Later, Bill Clinton came out and did what Bill Clinton does better than almost anyone. This morning, appeared on my Facebook wall the cleverest remark about it all: “So, after they denied God three times, the cock crowed; what next?”

· Obama the demigod comes down to Earth – It began, like the Obama presidency itself, with the loftiest of hopes and the greatest of expectations. The Democratic National Convention was to have opened here Monday with a festival at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, where, convention officials said, some 100,000 people would participate in a Labor Day festival that demonstrated the party’s openness and inclusion. After a couple of nights at the Time Warner Cable Arena, the convention was to have closed with President Obama’s acceptance speech at the Bank of America Stadium, where convention officials were planning to squeeze nearly 6,000 seats onto the field to expand the stadium’s capacity beyond its usual 74,000. But the speedway event was canceled — ostensibly because of logistical problems but more likely because convention fundraising was running low. Then the Democrats canceled the stadium event in favor of the smaller arena — ostensibly because of “severe thunderstorm” concerns but more likely because they couldn’t be sure enough people would come to fill the stadium. In fact, the forecast hadn’t called for severe weather, and conditions were fine Thursday night. The change caused thousands to be turned away, and the crush of crowds at the arena led authorities at one point to lock down the building for a second straight night – leaving some delegates on the street while lobbyists enjoyed the proceedings inside. It was quite a comedown from that heady night in Denver four years ago when Obama accepted the nomination in front of about 80,000 at Invesco Field. The candidate, on a stage set resembling a Greek temple, spoke about remaking the nation and the world.

· Obama: ‘You’ll Love Me Even More’ – AUDIENCE MEMBER: “We love you, Obama!”

THE PRESIDENT: “I love you back. But let me tell you the fourth thing — you’ll love me even more. (Laughter.) “Fourth, my plan would reduce our deficit without sticking it to the middle class. Independent analysis has shown that my plan would cut deficits by $4 trillion. And I’ve already worked with the Republicans in Congress to cut a trillion dollars’ worth of spending, because those of us who care about what government can do to help people give them a ladder up. “

· Gun Sales Surge: An Obama Bounce? – The gun business is booming. The question is, why? Smith & Wesson stock Friday was zooming, thanks to a stellar earnings report. The firearms maker also boosted its outlook for the rest of the year. Because of the strong business, its backlog of orders more than doubled from the same quarter last year, the company is concentrating on boosting production and building inventory.

“We are underserving the market at this moment, we all know that, and that’s a great opportunity going forward for us,” CEO James Debney said in a conference call with analysts. And another gun maker, Sturm, Ruger & Co., also hit a milestone of sorts in terms of meeting consumer demand. It produced its one-millionth gun of the year…well ahead of last year’s pace. “It took us nearly all of 2011 to build one million firearms, but in 2012 we accomplished it on August 15th,” said Ruger President and CEO Mike Fifer in a statement. What’s driving the demand that has gun makers cranking up production? Speculation has focused on fears of a coming regulatory crackdown on gun ownership. Liberal administrations tend to be anti-gun and so, the thinking goes, an Obama re-election would set the stage for stricter gun purchasing requirements. Hence, people are buying now in anticipation of difficulty later.

clip_image002

· clip_image004

· Pelosi denies muting Obama on phone call – House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is denying one of the juiciest stories in Bob Woodward’s new book — that she once muted President Obama during a conference call. In “The Price of Politics,” Woodward reports that Pelosi pressed the mute button on a speakerphone as Obama spoke to congressional allies about efforts to pass the 2009 stimulus. The book, which hits bookstores Tuesday, also says that Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have often been impatient with Obama (and vice-versa). Woodward writes about the 2009 conference call: “Warming to his subject, he (Obama) continued with an uplifting speech. Pelosi reached over and pressed the mute button. They could hear Obama, but now he couldn’t hear them. The president continued speaking, his disembodied voice filling the room, and the two leaders got back to the hard numbers.”

· Ohio Dem accuses Jewish Republican of being “candidate of the big lie” – Senator Sherrod Brown’s campaign issued a new attack ad Friday against his rival, Republican Josh Mandel. In it, the Ohio Democrat accuses Mandel of using the “big lie” strategy in his campaign. The term “big lie” was coined by Adolf Hitler and is commonly associated with Nazi propaganda. Mandel is Jewish. The ad states: “Josh Mandel: He has become the candidate of the big lie.” It cites a Columbus Dispatch columnist as the source for the quote. It argues that Mandel has made numerous false statements about his career as state treasurer, among other distortions. Brown’s ad does not specifically mention Nazis, but the term “big lie” is still closely identified with them. Earlier this week, John Burton, chairman of the California delegation to the Democrats’ Charlotte convention, was criticized when he compared Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan to the Nazis and referenced the “big lie.”

· White House draft cyber order promotes voluntary critical infrastructure protections – The White House so far has failed to get a bill passed by both houses of Congress to improve the cybersecurity of the nation’s critical infrastructure, so they want to take an alternative approach. The administration has created a draft executive order detailing how, within its authority, it would improve the information assurance of the nation’s critical infrastructure, such as the power grid and financial industries. The draft EO includes eight sections, including the requirement to develop a way for industry to submit threat and vulnerability data to the government. The draft EO, which Federal News Radio viewed a draft copy of, closely follows the second version of comprehensive cyber legislation introduced by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in July. The draft order gives agencies several deadlines to meet, either by writing reports or creating and implementing frameworks. For instance, 90 days after the EO is signed by President Barack Obama, the cybersecurity council — led by the Homeland Security Department secretary — must develop a report to determine which agencies should regulate which parts of the critical infrastructure. The creation of the council is in section 2 of the draft EO. Under earlier cyber bills, DHS would take the lead in regulation and that concerned some lawmakers and experts. It was a major sticking point in moving forward with a vote on a comprehensive bill. “An executive order is one of a number of measures we’re considering as we look to implement the President’s direction to do absolutely everything we can to better protect our nation against today’s cyber threats,” said a National Security Council spokeswoman in an email statement. “We are not going to comment on ongoing internal deliberations.”

· clip_image006

· Chicago teachers strike for first time in 25 years – Striking teachers marched across the city on Monday as some parents chafed at the disruption and school officials scrambled to find places for displaced students to spend their day. About 26,000 teachers and support staff went on strike — the Chicago’s first since 1987 — after contract talks broke down late Sunday. The key issues: salaries and benefits, job security and teacher evaluation systems. Talks resumed Monday. “I do believe that we are down to the last few issues,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday at Maranatha Church, which is offering activities to students. “This is, in my view, a strike of choice, and it’s the wrong choice for our children.” The remaining issues, he said, are teacher evaluations and job security. “Stay at the table, finish it for our children,” he said. Emily Lee, 31, a mother of two public school students, had a message for striking teachers: “Get back to work. The city is broke, children are getting murdered in the streets and education is the answer.”

clip_image008

· Gallup, Rasmussen: Obama up by 5 points – A pair of daily tracking polls Monday give President Obama 5-point advantages over Mitt Romney, maintaining leads in the wake of last week’s Democratic convention. Gallup has Obama up 49%-44%. The Rasmussen daily tracking poll puts Obama ahead, 50%-45%.

· Bike-lane Cultural Revolution pokes along in some cities – Portland, Ore., can seem like paradise to bikers in other parts of the country with less well-developed cycling infrastructure. Though American cities are slowly making way for bicycles, the battle in many areas is hard-fought on both sides. Many drivers feel bikes take precious space on already bursting streets. Cyclists say they are subject to abuse and even attack when they claim their equal right to the roads. Andrea Trabelsi, 29, of Newark, Del., commutes by bicycle a few times a month to her job north of Wilmington, Del. It takes her about an hour to ride 10 miles, mostly on congested roads. She doesn’t recommend it to the faint of heart. “There are some jerks out there that will get right up behind you and show their annoyance at you,” Trabelsi says. It’s an attitude Matt Holloway, 43, owner of Henry’s Bicycle Shop near Newark, Del., is familiar with. “Some people don’t think bikes should be on the roads, they should be on the sidewalks,” Holloway says. “They need to educate our younger drivers.”

· FBI’s Sinister New $1 Billion Project Will Track Everyone By Their Face – How would you feel if the government could easily track your movements by automatically identifying your face on images captured by the ever-growing network of CCTV of cameras in America? The FBI is will be able to do just that soon, with its one-billion-dollar Next Generation Identification program. The FBI has been pursuing their new people identification project for years now, working with both Lockheed Martin Transportation and Security Solutions and IBM. The Bureau argues that the project’s goal “is to reduce terrorist and criminal activities by improving and expanding biometric identification and criminal history information services through research, evaluation, and implementation of advanced technology.” That’s all good in my book, although I have my doubts about its actual efficacy for new criminals. But, while modernizing the networking between local, state and federal agencies to speed up the identification of criminals through new fingerprint analysis and databases is great, there are other biometric parameters that may be easily abused. Chief among them: facial identification. With this system, the FBI and its collaborating administrations would be able to apply facial identification to any image source. Using a much more sophisticated version of the technology found in Facebook or iPhoto, law enforcement agents would be able to quickly go through catalogs of mug shots, images of tattoos or even street photos in search of specific individuals. And of course, that includes an expansive network of CCTV cameras that dot landscapes and street corners across the country.

· Soft on Wall Street, Dems weak on corporate crime – Among the many falsehoods pushed at last week’s Democratic Convention is that this is the party of the people, unafraid to hold Corporate America responsible for its many ills. Judging by the records of the last two Democratic administrations, just the opposite appears to be true. Certainly, President Obama and, to some extent, Bill Clinton like to talk a good game in terms of class warfare, but under both men, real corporate crime-fighting has been at best a side issue — despite the immense amounts of white-collar fraud their administrations faced. In fact, neither Obama nor Clinton can hold a candle to the corporate crime-fighting record of George W. Bush, that supposed lapdog for large corporate interests. Consider: As we near the four-year anniversary of the financial crisis, not a single Wall Street fat cat has been charged with violations of securities laws in connection with the 2008 collapse. Then we have the outlandish case of MF Global, the brokerage firm run into the ground nearly a year ago by Obama’s pal and campaign-cash bundler, Jon Corzine. It isn’t just that the former Goldman Sachs CEO and New Jersey governor took outsized trading risks that destroyed the firm; his firm appears to have misused and lost $1.6 billion in customer funds in the process. Under securities laws, those customer funds were supposed to be kept sacrosanct — yet not a single MF Global employee, much less Corzine, has been charged in the matter by the Obama Justice Department or the Securities and Exchange Commission. For obvious reasons, Clinton’s putrid record on corporate crime went unmentioned as he rewrote history during his speech.

· Brad Pitt: Why my mother is wrong about Barack Obama and gay marriage – Brad Pitt’s mother, Jane, threw her support behind Mitt Romney earlier this year, criticizing Barack Obama for his liberal views on same-sex marriage. However, the Hollywood star tells Mandrake that the American president retains his vote. “I am an Obama supporter and I’m backing his election campaign,” Pitt says at a screening of his forthcoming film Killing Them Softly, at the Mayfair Hotel in London. “Gay marriage is inevitable. The next generation, they get it. It is just a matter of time before it becomes a reality.” Jane Pitt called on Christian voters to accept the Republican Romney, who is a Mormon. She said she would be happy to vote for a “family man with high morals” who shares “Christian conviction” on homosexuality over the likes of Obama. The star of Ocean’s Eleven said in 2006 said that he would not marry Angelina Jolie until America allowed same-sex unions. Pitt and Jolie announced their engagement in April. The following month, Obama declared his support for homosexual marriage.

· Inside story of Obama’s struggle to keep Congress from controlling outcome of debt ceiling crisis – President Obama summoned the top four congressional leaders to the White House on Saturday morning, July 23, 2011. The night before, House Speaker John A. Boehner had withdrawn from negotiations to raise the $14 trillion federal debt limit and save the government from a catastrophic default. “Nobody wanted to be there,” Boehner later recalled. “The president’s still pissed.” They had about 10 days left before the government would run out of money. Given the global importance of U.S. Treasury securities, failing to extend the debt limit could trigger a worldwide economic meltdown. Boehner said he believed that he and the others — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — had a plan. He told Obama: We think we can work this out. Give us a little more time. We’ll come back to you. We are not going to negotiate this with you. Obama objected, saying that he couldn’t be left out of the process. “I’ve got to sign this bill,” he reminded the leaders as they sat in the Cabinet Room off the Oval Office. “Mr. President,” Boehner challenged, “as I read the Constitution, the Congress writes the laws. You get to decide if you want to sign them.” Reid, the most powerful Democrat on Capitol Hill, spoke up. The congressional leaders want to speak privately, he said. Give us some time. This was it. Congress was taking over. The leaders were asking the president to leave the meeting he had called in the White House. Fine, Obama said. Talk. Knock yourselves out. There is no pride of authorship here, just do it — if you can. How did it feel, I asked the president in an interview on July 11, 2012, to be voted off the island in his own house? “I’m not concerned about protocol,” he said. His concern was “an end run around the White House.” Before the meeting, without telling Obama, the four leaders had tentatively agreed on the framework of a deal. The congressional plan guaranteed that the debt limit would have to be revisited during the 2012 presidential campaign, and Obama was insisting that any agreement would have to take the country through the election. Around 10 p.m., Obama called Boehner, who was at dinner with friends. I am not going to sign a bill that requires me to deal with the debt ceiling a second time before the election, the president told him. He was furious. Listen,” Boehner said he told Obama, “I understand it. All right? But you’re not going to have a choice. We’ve got an agreement.”

· Why is Obama skipping more than half of his daily intelligence meetings? – President Obama is touting his foreign policy experience on the campaign trail, but startling new statistics suggest that national security has not necessarily been the personal priority the president makes it out to be. It turns out that more than half the time, the commander in chief does not attend his daily intelligence meeting. The Government Accountability Institute, a new conservative investigative research organization, examined President Obama’s schedule from the day he took office until mid-June 2012, to see how often he attended his Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) — the meeting at which he is briefed on the most critical intelligence threats to the country. During his first 1,225 days in office, Obama attended his PDB just 536 times — or 43.8 percent of the time. During 2011 and the first half of 2012, his attendance became even less frequent — falling to just over 38 percent. By contrast, Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush almost never missed his daily intelligence meeting. The speaker recalled, “He was moaning and groaning and whining and demanding. threatening. . . . He was pretty desperate.” Obama again said he would veto such a bill. We’re too close to default to reopen the talks, Boehner said. Congress is going to move forward on its own.

· Panetta: Navy SEAL writer should be punished – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is suggesting some kind of punishment for the retired Navy SEAL who wrote a book about the Osama bin Laden military operation. “I think we have to take steps to make clear to him and to the American people that we’re not going to accept this kind of behavior,” Panetta said today on CBS This Morning. Panetta said that “people who are part of that operation — who commit themselves to the promise that they will not reveal the sensitive operations and not publish anything without bringing it through the Pentagon, so that we can ensure that it doesn’t reveal sensitive information — when they fail to do that, we have got to make sure that they stand by the promise they made to this country.” Written under the pseudonym Mark Owen, the book details the nighttime raid into Pakistan that killed bin Laden in May 2011. Panetta said people do have a right to know about this operation, and that’s why “the president spoke to the American people when that operation happened. And, yes, you know, they have a right to know that there were those that put their lives on the line in order to conduct that operation.’

· Cairo protesters scale U.S. Embassy wall, remove flag

clip_image009 Egyptian demonstrators climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo today and pulled down the American flag to protest a film they say is insulting to the prophet Mohammad. CNN reports that U.S. security guards fired a volley of warning shots as the crowd gathered outside the embassy walls. CNN adds that the embassy had been expecting a demonstration and cleared all diplomatic personnel earlier from the facility.

· The Deafness Before the Storm – IT was perhaps the most famous presidential briefing in history. On Aug. 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, Al Qaeda. That morning’s “presidential daily brief” — the top-secret document prepared by America’s intelligence agencies — featured the now-infamous heading: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” A few weeks later, on 9/11, Al Qaeda accomplished that goal. On April 10, 2004, the Bush White House declassified that daily brief — and only that daily brief — in response to pressure from the 9/11 Commission, which was investigating the events leading to the attack. Administration officials dismissed the document’s significance, saying that, despite the jaw-dropping headline, it was only an assessment of Al Qaeda’s history, not a warning of the impending attack. While some critics considered that claim absurd, a close reading of the brief showed that the argument had some validity.

· German Court Won’t Delay Bailout Fund Ruling – Germany’s Constitutional Court said on Tuesday it would not postpone its long-awaited ruling on the legality of the euro zone’s bailout fund, despite a last-minute legal challenge by a Eurosceptic lawmaker. The court said it would go ahead with Wednesday’s ruling on the legality of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the fiscal compact for budget discipline, whose implementation has been delayed for months by the German judges. The Constitutional Court issued a brief statement saying the ruling at 10 am on Wednesday “will go ahead as scheduled”, meaning conservative lawmaker Peter Gauweiler’s last-minute challenge would not cause further delays.

clip_image010The court in Karlsruhe did not go into the merits of his complaint, lodged at the weekend after the European Central Bank announced its plans for unlimited purchases of bonds of crisis-hit euro states to reduce their borrowing costs. He argues that Germany should not ratify the ESM until the ECB rows back on the bond-buying plan which he sees as a threat to the German budget. The constitutional court should therefore possibly postpone its decision on the fund, he said.

· Chicago Teachers Challenge Emanuel With Walkout – Chicago teachers struck today, closing classrooms for about 400,000 students and prompting Mayor Rahm Emanuel to stop raising money for President Barack Obama’s re-election so he may devote time to settling the city’s first walkout in 25 years. Months of tension erupted into open hostility last night when Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, called the work stoppage in the nation’s third-largest district. The teachers’ contract expired in June, and negotiations broke down over health benefits and job security. About 5 p.m., thousands of strike supporters gathered at school headquarters in the Loop business district waving placards and chanting; talks with the union, which represents 26,000 teachers and other workers, continued.

· Teachers Union Boss: ‘We’re Still Kilometers Apart’ – With negotiators for the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Public Schools focusing almost entirely on a new teacher evaluation system on Tuesday, CTU President Karen Lewis sounded doubtful that a deal to end the ongoing teachers’ strike would be done within the next day. “We have been working hard on evaluations all day. There has not been as much movement as we would hope,” Lewis said shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday. “There’s been – let’s put it this way, centimeters, and we’re still kilometers apart.” CTU teachers have been on strike since Monday, and have been negotiating with the Emanuel administration on a daily basis, with no deal in sight.

· clip_image012

· President Obama’s Campaign Trashes ‘2016: Obama’s America’ – Perhaps the president was hoping 2016: Obama’s America would come and go unnoticed like so many other political documentaries. But seven weeks after its opening, the film is still going strong, prompting Barack Obama to finally respond, which he has done through a lengthy entry at his campaign’s website that calls the movie “a deliberate distortion” of his “record and world view.” The entry at BarackObama.com quotes from several negative reviews of the film and claims Dinesh D’Souza, who stars in the film based on his book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage, has a “long history of attempting to add a veneer of intellectual respectability to fringe theories, conspiratorial fear-mongering and flat-out falsehoods.” The entry is dated Sept. 5, just ahead of the weekend in which 2016: Obama’s America became the second-highest-grossing political documentary in history, behind only Fahrenheit 9/11, and the sixth-biggest documentary of any kind. The movie has earned $26 million domestically since opening July 13.

· White House Got Some Say Over Journalist’s Obama Story – Vanity Fair writer Michael Lewis agreed to allow the White House to approve the quotations he used from President Barack Obama in his story about the president in this month’s magazine. “Like other journalists who write about Washington and presidential politics, Mr. Lewis said that he had to submit to the widespread but rarely disclosed practice of quote approval,” reports the New York Times. During a discussion at Lincoln Center on Monday night with Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair, Mr. Lewis volunteered to the audience that as a condition of cooperating with his story, the White House insisted on signing off on the quotes that would appear. Mr. Lewis said that ultimately the White House disallowed very little of what he asked to use. And he described having access to the president that was unusually unfettered. About 95 percent of what he witnessed was on the record, he said.

· MSNBC host: ‘Who’s More Dangerous, the Supreme Leader in Tehran or Netanyahu?’ – “Morning Joe” host Mike Barnicle asked Joe Klein if Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is more dangerous Wednesday morning. MIKE BARNICLE: Who is the more dangerous player on the world stage right now, the supreme leader in Tehran or Bibi Netanyahu? (UNCLEAR): Don’t answer that. JOE KLEIN: It’s not Netanyahu. the supreme leader is a fascist. and he right now is causing great pain to his people in a way that Bibi Netanyahu never would. DONNY DEUTSCH: I understand the point of your question, but that was a silly question. SCARBOROUGH: That was a clown question, bro. LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: One point we know with Netanyahu, as Joe can tell you, anybody’s who’s been in the room with Netanyahu, you don’t have to be with him long to know that there’s only one way, only one way, to get along with him and that is to agree with every single word he says, which Mitt Romney apparently does.

· US ambassador to Libya killed in Benghazi attack – The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three embassy staff were killed in an attack on the Benghazi consulate and a safe house refuge, stormed by Islamist gunmen blaming America for a film they said insulted the Prophet Mohammad. Gunmen attacked and set fire to the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi, the cradle of last year’s U.S.-backed uprising against Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year rule. Another assault was mounted on the U.S. embassy in Cairo. U.S. President Barack Obama branded it an “outrageous attack” and ordered increased security at U.S. diplomatic posts worldwide. Violence also threatened to spread to other Muslim countries. By nightfall on Wednesday, 24 hours after the attacks in Egypt and Libya, police were firing teargas at angry demonstrators outside the U.S. embassy in Tunisia. The attacks could alter U.S. attitudes towards the wave of revolutions across the Arab world, which toppled secularist authoritarian leaders in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, bringing Islamists to power. The violence could influence a close-fought U.S. presidential election, in which Obama’s challenger Mitt Romney has accused him of not defending U.S. interests robustly enough.

· How the media turned Obama’s foreign policy bungle into a Romney gaffe – We’re still learning more details about the events leading up to and surrounding the attacks by Islamic radicals on the U.S. consulate in Libya and embassy in Egypt, but the media has already agreed on one thing: Mitt Romney is the political loser. “Unless the Romney campaign has gamed this crisis out in some manner completely invisible to the Gang of 500, his doubling down on criticism of the President for the statement coming out of Cairo is likely to be seen as one of the most craven and ill-advised tactical moves in this entire campaign,” opined Time’s Mark Halperin. That instant conventional wisdom is a pretty fortunate turn of events for Obama, given that it diverted focus from his administration’s bungled handling of the entire situation and the failure of his broader foreign policy posture. When President Obama came into his office, he vowed to repair the damage to the U.S. image abroad that was done by the Bush administration. In April 2009, less than three months into his presidency, he boasted to the Turkish government of having ordered the closure of Guantanamo Bay and prohibited the use of torture. “The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history,” he went on, referring to the legacies of slavery, segregation and the treatment of Native Americans. In June, Obama delivered a speech in Cairo in which he called for “a new beginning” between the U.S. and the Muslim world. Taken together, such instances became known in conservative circles as the “apology tour.” Though fact checkers have pointed out that Obama never literally issued an apology, it’s clear that Obama was trying to make a break with the past. Especially in the Middle East, he wanted to send the signal that his approach would be more conciliatory and sensitive to Islamic values than what preceded it. Yet, on Tuesday, the breach of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Sept. 11 and replacement of the American flag with one resembling the flag of al Qaeda represented an example of the type of anti-American sentiment that Obama’s more conciliatory posture was meant to quell. Later, we learned that an American ambassador had been killed in an attack in Libya, along with three other diplomats.

· Egypt to take legal action in US against Prophet film makers – Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi asked the Egyptian embassy in Washington to take legal action in the United States against makers of a film attacking the Muslim Prophet Mohammad, the official state news agency said on Wednesday. Morsi had requested the mission take “all legal measures”, the MENA agency said, without giving further details on what that might involve. (Reuters)

· Libya commemorates 9/11 – When President Obama intervened in Libya last year, he claimed that “it’s in our national interest to act” to remove a tyrant who — in response to Bush’s invasion of Iraq — had just given up his weapons of mass destruction and pledged to be America’s BFF. Apparently Gadhafi neglected to also tell Obama, “I’ve got your back.” Obama said: “We must stand alongside those who believe in the same core principles that have guided us through many storms … our support for a set of universal rights, including the freedom for people to express themselves and choose their leaders; our support for the governments that are ultimately responsive to the aspirations of the people.” The Libyan mob was the equivalent of our founding fathers! (If you overlook the part about it being a murderous Islamic mob.) Meanwhile, Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit, said: “The people we are fighting for in Libya, the backbone of that movement, are former mujahedeen from around the world.” We are “enabling people who may not be formally aligned with al-Qaida but who want the same things to grasp ever closer to power.”

· Humiliation and Rage in Libya – Al-Nass (The People), and other television channels of “Satellite Salafism,” broadcast news of a year old mediocre film trailer about the life of the Prophet Mohammad, made by an Israeli-Californian and championed by a Florida-based Christian pastor. Across the waters, radicals spurred each other on. The reactions in Cairo and Benghazi were swift. Crowds formed in front of the US embassy in Egypt and the US consulate in Libya, storming them, and, in Benghazi, a rocket-fired grenade – it seems – killed four US officials, including the US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens. The crowds in both Cairo and Benghazi included not only radical Islamists, but also groups such as Egypt’s Ultras, the soccer fan club that played an important role in the 2011 revolution. The media has concentrated on the presence of bearded men and black flags to paint these protests as the work of Salafis, and to point the finger at Ansar al-Shariah and other fringe groups. The black flag (the banner of the eagle) does not, of course, belong solely to al-Qaeda or even to Islamic radicalism. It has become a commonplace symbol used by those who want a more robust Islamic presence in the public sphere as well as by those who want to live under an Islamic theocracy. Both claim the flag, so its presence is not conclusive about the currents that took part in this, and other such events. It will take time to fully understand the roots of such violent acts, after careful forensic reporting on those who came to the protests. Nevertheless, some preliminary observations can be made regarding the ongoing social convulsions, at least in the Libyan case.

· White House clarifies Obama’s statement that Egypt is not an ‘ally’ – President Barack Obama didn’t intend to signal any change in the U.S.-Egypt relationship last night when he said Egypt is not an “ally,” the White House told The Cable today. In an interview with Telemundo Wednesday night, Obama said that the U.S. relationship with the new Egyptian government was a “work in progress,” and emphasized that the United States is counting on the government of Egypt to better protect the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, which was attacked by protesters on Sept. 11. “I don’t think that we would consider them an ally, but we don’t consider them an enemy,” Obama said. “They’re a new government that is trying to find its way. They were democratically elected. I think that we are going to have to see how they respond to this incident.” That comment had Egypt watchers scratching their heads, especially since technically, Egypt was designated as a Major Non-NATO Ally in 1989 when Congress first passed the law creating that status, which gives them special privileges in cooperating with the United States, especially in the security and technology arenas. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor told The Cable Thursday that the administration is not signaling a change in that status. “I think folks are reading way too much into this,” Vietor said. “‘Ally’ is a legal term of art. We don’t have a mutual defense treaty with Egypt like we do with our NATO allies. But as the president has said, Egypt is longstanding and close partner of the United States, and we have built on that foundation by supporting Egypt’s transition to democracy and working with the new government.” Vietor referred to Obama’s Wednesday phone call with Mohamed Morsy, during which Obama pressed the Egyptian president to ensure the safety and protection of U.S. personnel and facilities in Egypt. Morsy agreed to do so, according to a White House statement on the phone call. “The President said that he rejects efforts to denigrate Islam, but underscored that there is never any justification for violence against innocents and acts that endanger American personnel and facilities,” the statement said. “President Morsi expressed his condolences for the tragic loss of American life in Libya and emphasized that Egypt would honor its obligation to ensure the safety of American personnel.”

· Fed Pulls Trigger, to Buy Mortgages in Effort to Lower Rates

clip_image013 The Federal Reserve fulfilled expectations of more stimulus for the faltering economy, taking aim now at driving down mortgage rates until an improvement in unemployment that the central bank says will be a problem for several years. The Fed said it will buy $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities per month in an attempt to foster a nascent recovery in the real estate market. The purchases will be open-ended, meaning that they will continue until the Fed is satisfied that economic conditions, primarily in unemployment, improve. “There’s strong hints that they’ll do Treasury is next,” Joe LaVorgna, chief economist at Deutsche Bank Advisors, said in a phone interview from London. “They’re pulling out all the stops to try to get this economy to gain some traction and, most important, to get unemployment down.” The stock market, which had been slightly positive prior to the decision, shortly after 12:30 p.m., surged while bond yields, particularly farther out on the curve, jumped higher. Gold and other metals gained at least 1 percent across the board while the dollar slid against most global currencies. Enacting the third leg of quantitative easing, or QE3, will take the Fed’s money creation past the $3 trillion level since it began the process in 2008.

· Man behind anti-Islam film reportedly is Egyptian-born ex-con – Federal authorities have concluded that a 55-year-old Egypt-born Coptic Christian man living in the Los Angeles area was the key figure behind the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims,” blamed for sparking riots and protests in the Middle East, the Associated Press reported Thursday, quoting an unidentified U.S. law enforcement official. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who the AP said is on probation after being convicted of financial crimes, also was twice sentenced to jail after being found guilty of intent to manufacture methamphetamine in the late 1990s, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office told NBC News. Court records show that Nakoula also was convicted on federal fraud charges in Los Angeles in 2010. As part of the conditions of his probation, Nakoula was barred from using “any online service at any location” without the prior approval of his probation officer, according to a copy of court records in the case. Federal law enforcement officials are investigating whether Nakoula violated his probation on federal fraud charges in his efforts to promote the movie, an official has confirmed to NBC News.

· Jimmy Carter Corrects Obama – President Carter spoke to Drake University in Des Moines and was asked if he agrees with what Obama said about Egypt: Carter: “Egypt is an ally of the US, we know Egypt well.” President Obama had earlier stated during an interview: Obama: ‘You know, I don’t think that we would consider them an ally, but we do not consider them an enemy.‘ Carter went on to talk about Egypt’s new President, Carter says he knows him well and has met with him. Carter said Egypt’s president is dedicated to peace and truly a democratic government.

· Social Security and Disability Payments Hit Annual Records—With Month Left in FY – By the end of August, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Treasury, the federal government had already paid out record annual amounts in both Social Security and disability benefits during fiscal 2012—even though there was still a month left in the year. In fiscal 2011–which ended on Sept. 30, 2011—the federal government paid a total of $591.492 billion in benefits from the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement (MTS) for September 2011. Through just the end of August of this year, according to the MTS, the federal government had paid $594.643 in benefits from the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund. That means the government had paid $3.151 billion more in Social Security benefits in just the first eleven months of this fiscal year than it paid in all of fiscal 2011. The $591.492 billion in Social Security benefits the government paid out last year was, up until then, the most the most the government had ever been paid in Social Security benefits in any fiscal year since the Social Security program started paying benefits in 1940.

· ‘Whose Democratic Party?’ – A new advertisement scheduled to run in Florida makes the case that President Obama has pushed the Democratic Party to embrace anti-Israel policies, according to a copy of the ad obtained by the Free Beacon. In the coming days, the Emergency Committee for Israel, a pro-Israel advocacy organization, will release an ad entitled, “Whose Democratic Party?” The spot, which will air during Sunday’s football game between the Miami Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders in what is being described as a “significant ad buy,” accuses Obama of leading his party to weaken the U.S.-Israel alliance. Coming on the heels of the Democrat’s controversial omission and contentious reinsertion of language in the party platform declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the ECI ad asks voters: “Is this still your Democratic Party?” Following footage of DNC delegates vociferously booing the pro-Israel declaration, the ad reminds viewers in the critical swing state that the Obama administration has on multiple occasions refused to state that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. ECI Executive Director Noah Pollak told the Free Beacon that ECI wants Democratic voters to ask themselves if they are comfortable with the party’s direction under Obama.

· Revealed: inside story of US envoy’s assassination – The killings of the US ambassador to Libya and three of his staff were likely to have been the result of a serious and continuing security breach, The Independent can reveal. American officials believe the attack was planned, but Chris Stevens had been back in the country only a short while and the details of his visit to Benghazi, where he and his staff died, were meant to be confidential. The US administration is now facing a crisis in Libya. Sensitive documents have gone missing from the consulate in Benghazi and the supposedly secret location of the “safe house” in the city, where the staff had retreated, came under sustained mortar attack. Other such refuges across the country are no longer deemed “safe”. Some of the missing papers from the consulate are said to list names of Libyans who are working with Americans, putting them potentially at risk from extremist groups, while some of the other documents are said to relate to oil contracts. According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and “lockdown”, under which movement is severely restricted. Mr. Stevens had been on a visit to Germany, Austria and Sweden and had just returned to Libya when the Benghazi trip took place with the US embassy’s security staff deciding that the trip could be undertaken safely. Eight Americans, some from the military, were wounded in the attack which claimed the lives of Mr. Stevens, Sean Smith, an information officer, and two US Marines. All staff from Benghazi have now been moved to the capital, Tripoli, and those whose work is deemed to be non-essential may be flown out of Libya.

· Teamsters leader compares GOP to Cambodian dictator – Teamsters President James Hoffa on Thursday compared the Republican Party to genocidal Cambodian leader Pol Pot and likened the tea party to the John Birch Society. In remarks before the National Press Club, the fiery Detroit-born leader in his fourth term of running the 1.4-million member union also said the future of organized labor is at stake. He said the GOP at its national convention in Tampa, Fla., two weeks ago didn’t talk about “what they really believe in” or highlight former leaders like President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. “The Republicans are rewriting history,” Hoffa said, saying the party is ignoring Bush’s eight years in office. “There is no eight years. There was no recession. There were no wars. Nothing ever happened during those eight years.” The GOP wants to suggest “history began” with President Barack Obama and ignores all of the problems before 2009. “We’re starting from Day One. It’s like Pol Pot — basically starts the Day One, the new calendars.” Pol Pot led the Khmer Rouge which was responsible for the deaths of about 2 million people in Cambodia. Hoffa said the GOP has become “the far, far right.”

· Why You’re a Lot Poorer Than You Thought You Were – You’re a lot poorer than you thought you were. According to a report by Sentier Research “real median annual household income… has fallen by 4.8 percent since the ‘economic recovery’ began in June 2009.” That’s worse than the 2.6 percent decline that took place during the recession itself. (between July 2007 to June 2009) All told–from the beginning of the slump in 2007 until today–median household income has dropped an eye watering 7.2 percent. (“Changes in Household Income During the Economic Recovery: June 2009 to June 2012″, Sentier Research) Like I said, you’re a lot poorer than you thought you were. The Sentier Research report comes on the heels of a similar report from the Fed which was released in June showing that middle class families saw a nearly 40 percent decline in their net worth between the years 2007 to 2010. The Fed’s 80-page tri-annual Survey of Consumer Finances, points to the Great Recession as the putative cause of the overall decline in wealth, but the Fed’s lopsided policies could be as easily blamed. Low interest rates, lax lending standards and outright fraud generated asset-price bubbles that wiped out 2 decades of economic gains for working people in the US.

· How Mitt Dodged the Draft – May 1966. Mitt Romney is just finishing his first—and only—year at Stanford. I’m a 32-year-old ex-Strategic Air Command navigator and intelligence officer, now an associate professor in Stanford’s English Department and something of an anti-Vietnam War activist. About a quarter of a million young American men are already being abducted each year to fight the rapidly-escalating Vietnam War. Many college students, however, are protected by their 2S student deferments, which blatantly discriminate against all those millions of other young men unable to afford college. As if this privileging of the relatively privileged were not sufficient, an outcry about “inequity” arises from administrations of some elite universities. Since the 2S deferment is contingent on relatively high class rank (meaning, of course, academic class rank), they argue that this unfairly discriminates against some of the “best” students, i. e., all those attending schools like Stanford. A man in the bottom quarter at an elite university might end up being drafted, even though he might be more “intelligent” than a man in the top quarter of some state college. To address such claims of injustice, the Selective Service was rolling out that month the College Qualification Test, a.k.a. the Selective Service Examination, an “objective” assessment of each test taker’s verbal and mathematical skills, to be used by local draft boards, together with college grades and class rank, to determine who was entitled to that precious 2S deferment and who should be shipped off to Vietnam. But this deferment test actually spotlighted the true inequities of the draft. It also offered an opportunity for direct action against the war itself, right on the college campus.

· clip_image015

· State Department sets up 24-hour monitoring team for embassy crisis – The State Department has gone into full-blown crisis mode, organizing a round-the-clock effort to coordinate the U.S. government’s response to the expanding attacks on U.S. embassies in the Middle East and North Africa. “The State Department has stood up a 24-hr. monitoring team to insure appropriate coordination of information and our response. In addition, our consular team is working with missions around the world to protect American citizens and issue appropriate public warden information,” a senior State Department official told reporters Friday afternoon. “We have been monitoring events in the Middle East and North Africa intensively today, and working with our personnel and missions overseas and host governments to strengthen security in all locations and to respond effectively where protests have turned violent,” the official said. The official noted that U.S. embassies in Libya and Yemen have been reinforced with Marine FAST teams and noted that other unspecified measures are being taken to strengthen embassy security around the region. The State Department is working with the governments in Tunisia and Sudan to increase security at the U.S. embassies there as well, the official said. The U.S. Embassy in Tunis was breached by rioters who replaced the American flag with the black banner of al Qaeda. According to Tunisian state television, at least three Tunisians died when security forces open fire in an effort to disperse the crowd; another rioter was killed in Sudan, Reuters reported. “The secretary, other department principals, and our ambassadors and charges in the field have been in constant contact with regional leaders, and we appreciate the many public statements that leaders have made in recent days condemning the attack in Benghazi, denouncing violence and calling for calm,” the official said. The White House said in a memorandum to Congress Friday that the Marine FAST teams will be there are long as they are needed but will be limited to the mission of protecting U.S. assets and personnel. “Although these security forces are equipped for combat, these movements have been undertaken solely for the purpose of protecting American citizens and property. These security forces will remain in Libya and in Yemen until the security situation becomes such that they are no longer needed,” the White House memorandum stated.

· Mob Gathers Outside U.S. Embassy in London – Photos and video from the Twitter feed of Phil Han, a reporter and producer in CNN, who is outside the U.S. embassy in London where a mob has gathered and burned the American flag:

· Stephanie Cutter Uses Communist Propaganda Outlet to Hit Romney (Updated: DNC Too) – Must read:China’s Xinhua slams Romney for making his money off Chinese companies before running for pres. China’s Xinhua is the state’s Communist propaganda outlet. “Xinhua is subordinate to the State Council and reports to the Communist Party of China’s Propaganda and Public Information Departments,” according to Wikipedia.

Leave a comment

Filed under Left - Off Base, Politics from Just Right of Center - I want Balance!, Right - too Religous for me

What’s Up: August 31, 2012

* Obama has millions of fake Twitter followers – President Obama’s Twitter account has 18.8 million followers — but more than half of them really don’t exist, according to reports. A new Web tool has determined that 70% of Obama’s crowd includes “fake followers,” The New York Times reports in a story about how Twitter followers can be purchased. “The practice has become so widespread that StatusPeople, a social media management company in London, released a Web tool last month called the Fake Follower Check that it says can ascertain how many fake followers you and your friends have,” the Times reports. “Fake accounts tend to follow a lot of people but have few followers,” said Rob Waller, a founder of StatusPeople. “We then combine that with a few other metrics to confirm the account is fake.” Notes the Times: If accurate, the number of fake followers out there is surprising. According to the StatusPeople tool, 71 percent of Lady Gaga’s nearly 29 million followers are “fake” or “inactive.” So are 70 percent of President Obama’s nearly 19 million followers.

– Why is this news? The man has been fake since arriving on the political scene in Illinois.

* Deportation statistics said to be inflated – The Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is charging that the Obama administration has “falsified” deportation records to artificially boost numbers — a move critics of the Homeland Security Department have long suspected. Rep. Lamar Smith, the Texan who runs the committee, said the Obama administration has for the past several years been mixing some Border Patrol apprehensions with the deportation statistics from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency chiefly responsible for interior enforcement and for deporting aliens. His investigation found that when the Border Patrol numbers are subtracted, deportations actually have gone down every year since Mr. Obama first took office in 2009, dropping from about 395,000 that year to about 330,000 in 2011. And 2012 is shaping up to have even fewer deportations once the Border Patrol figures are subtracted, the committee said. It is dishonest to count illegal immigrants apprehended by the Border Patrol along the border as ICE removals,” Mr. Smith said. “These ‘removals’ from the Border Patrol program do not subject the illegal immigrant to any penalties or bars for returning to the U.S. This means a single illegal immigrant can show up at the border and be removed numerous times in a single year — and counted each time as a removal.

– What part of the US Government has credibility?

* Gawker Publishes Bain Documents – Gossip website Gawker has published what it says are previously confidential financial documents concerning 21 investment funds and other entities – including some located offshore – that Mitt Romney has invested in. The documents – many of them financial statements or investor letters – provide a window into the underlying holdings of some of these high-end investment vehicles, which previously were opaque to the public. In his official financial disclosures, Mr. Romney has listed his ownership of stakes in funds managed by Bain Capital and other firms, but has said that the managers of these funds declined to provide information about their underlying holdings because they were confidential. The accompanying article also suggests that the documents show some of the funds were engaged in arrangements in recent years that were aimed at avoiding a U.S. withholding tax on corporate dividends being paid to the funds. The transactions, often involving swaps, would effectively change the character of the payments from a dividend to some other type of income that wasn’t subject to the withholding. Many offshore hedge funds engaged in similar deals for years, known collectively as “total return equity swap dividend withholding tax avoidance transactions,” according to tax experts. After a probe, Congress finally brought an end to the practice in a 2010 law that greatly expanded the reach of withholding on dividends and dividend substitutes.

* Motor City Mayor Gives Obama Mixed Reviews – Detroit Mayor Dave Bing gave Barack Obama mixed reviews as president in his first term when asked about it during taping of “Michigan Matters.” “I don’t give grades, but it’s been mixed,” said Bing, 68, a Democrat who runs a city with an 80 percent African American population on the weekly CBS 62 show. He added Obama came in amid high expectations but some issues now dogging him and his effort to win re-election against Michigan native son and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney aren’t all of his doing. “He inherited a mess, just as I did,” Bing said of Obama. “The areas he has been good at are in healthcare, autos and education,” Bing said. When pressed on how Obama has treated his city, Bing said: “Certain departments have been helpful like HUD and Transportation and Labor.” Of Vice President Joe Biden who was in Detroit on Wednesday and talked to Bing during his campaign visit, he said, “Joe was a few years ahead of me (at Syracuse University where they both attended college). I didn’t know him then. But over several years we have connected and built a good relationship.” Bing, who played basketball at Syracuse and with the Detroit Pistons, is an NBA All-Star and was voted one of the 50 greatest players of all time. Obama made mention of Bing’s career during a 2009 campaign visit to suburban Warren where the mayor was among those sitting in the audience. “My game’s a little like Dave Bing’s, except I don’t have the jump shot or the speed or the ball handling skills or the endurance. I also don’t have the Afro — don’t think I forgot that Dave. I remember!” Obama said at the time. Since taking keys to the White House, Obama has visited Michigan 11 times.

* The Republican’s Curse:

clip_image002

* Jarrett Towers, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett’s real-estate investment jumped in value between 2010 and 2011, documents show. Senior White House adviser and long-time Obama confidant Valerie Jarrett’s role in a number of controversial Chicago housing developments has garnered her investments worth millions of dollars while highlighting the administration’s extensive business ties to presidential donors. Before joining the Obama administration in 2009, Jarrett was president and chief executive officer of the Habitat Company, a real estate development firm founded by major Democratic donor Daniel Levin. Before that, she served three years as commissioner of the Chicago Department of Planning and Development under Mayor Richard Daley. Jarrett currently owns an 11-percent equity interest in Kingsbury Plaza, a 46-story luxury apartment complex developed by Habitat between 2005 and 2007 at a cost of more than $100 million. She valued the investment at between $1 million and $5 million on her 2011 financial disclosure form, up from $250,001 in 2010. A Jarrett spokesman told the Washington Times that the investment was “a direct result of her 13 years working for Habitat.” Cook County records show the Kingsbury property is worth around $27.2 million, but thanks to a series of legal appeals beginning in 2003, the land and building are assessed at a much lower value for tax purposes. Since 2008, the property has been designated a “special commercial structure” and is taxed at a value of just $6.8 million, or 25 percent of the actual value.

– It is advantageous to be politically connected in Chicago. Who cares if the lower income blacks are killing each other at a record pace? Just as long as the politically connected blacks get their financial benefits and prosperity are free.

* German minister rejects more time for Greece – BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s economy minister has rejected calls for Greece to get more time to implement economic reforms, saying in an interview Sunday that Athens needs to respect the bailout deal reached with its international creditors. Philipp Roesler’s comments to ZDF public television come after a visit by Greece’s prime minister to Berlin on Friday, during which Antonis Samaras told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that his country needs ‘‘time to breathe’’ before it can make all the budget cuts and reforms demanded as part of its €240 billion ($300 billion) bailout packages. ‘‘What the Greeks have asked for, half a year or two years, that’s not doable,’’ said Roesler, who is also the vice chancellor in Angela Merkel’s coalition government. He added that ‘‘time is always money’’ and all parties had agreed that additional funds for Greece weren’t up for debate. Roesler, the leader of Germany’s pro-business Free Democratic Party, has long taken a hard line on Greece. Last month, he caused an outcry in Greece by suggesting the idea of the country leaving the 17-nation Eurozone had ‘‘lost its horror.’’

* UVA Declines Obama Campaign Request – A University of Virginia spokeswoman says President Barack Obama will not be at the university when he comes to Charlottesville on Wednesday. In a statement released Friday, it was confirmed that the university declined the president’s request to speak at UVA. UVA says the Obama campaign requested the use of one of two outdoor venues – the Amphitheater or the Harrison-Small Library plaza. The university declined the request for a number of reasons including class cancellations, which UVA estimates could be more than 186 classes on the second day of school. The other main reason is they would have to take on the full cost of security, and because of university policy and their federal and state tax exempt status, they would have to offer the same opportunity to the other candidate so as not to show favor for either candidate. Virginia’s top Democrat is playing down the snub. While stopping in Albemarle County, Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Brian Moran told NBC29, “We’re proud that he’s coming. We’re very excited that he’s coming to Charlottesville, regardless of where in Charlottesville. Charlottesville is known for the University of Virginia, so I don’t think that’s going to be missed on anyone.”

* SUSPECT IN MARYLAND SCHOOL SHOOTING IN CUSTODY – PERRY HALL, Md. (AP) — Police say a suspect is in custody after the shooting of a student on the first day of classes at a high school near Baltimore. Baltimore County police say the Perry Hall High School student was flown to a hospital after being shot Monday morning. Police say a suspect was taken into custody after the shooting but did not provide additional details. WJZ-TV showed video of a shirtless male with his hands behind his back being put into a police cruiser. The school was evacuated and students were taken to nearby Perry Hall Shopping Center. Parents can meet them there.

* 17 Afghans beheaded in insurgent attack on party – KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Insurgents beheaded 17 civilians in a Taliban-controlled area of southern Afghanistan, apparently because they attended a dance party that flouted the extreme brand of Islam embraced by the militants, officials said Monday. The killings, in a district where U.S. Marines have battled the Taliban for years, were a reminder of how much power the insurgent group still wields in the south — particularly as international forces draw down and hand areas over to Afghan forces. The victims were part of a large group that had gathered late Sunday in Helmand province’s Musa Qala district for a celebration involving music and dancing, said district government chief Neyamatullah Khan. He said the Taliban slaughtered them to show their disapproval of the event.

* Scientists Successfully ‘Hack’ Brain To Obtain Private Data – BERKELEY, Calif. (CBS Seattle) – It sounds like something out of the movie “Johnny Mnemonic,” but scientists have successfully been able to “hack” a brain with a device that’s easily available on the open market. Researchers from the University of California and University of Oxford in Geneva figured out a way to pluck sensitive information from a person’s head, such as PIN numbers and bank information. The scientists took an off-the-shelf Emotiv brain-computer interface, a device that costs around $299, which allows users to interact with their computers by thought. The scientists then sat their subjects in front of a computer screen and showed them images of banks, people, and PIN numbers. They then tracked the readings coming off of the brain, specifically the P300 signal. The P300 signal is typically given off when a person recognizes something meaningful, such as someone or something they interact with on a regular basis.

* Obama should pray that China overtakes US – Fellow Financial Times columnist Niall Ferguson has received some fierce criticism for a piece he wrote in Newsweek, under the provocative headline: “Hit the road, Barack”. Among various complaints, critics cried foul over a graph showing that the International Monetary Fund predicts that, on current trends, China will overtake the US to have the world’s largest economy in 2017. They have a point. Nobody disputes this claim (in a chart headed “A nation losing ground”). But this event would be no indictment of US economic policy under President Obama, or his predecessors. China has four times the population of the US; parity would mean that Americans were still on average four times richer. Indeed, US business and the US economy desperately need China to keep growing. Mr Obama need not be embarrassed when China’s economy overtakes that of the US; but he should lose a lot of sleep over any suggestion that China might fail to do so. On that basis, China should be causing sleepless nights in the White House. The latest flash estimates for China’s purchasing manager data, designed so that 50 should be the dividing line between expansion and recession, are now at a nine-month low of 47.8.

* Jeb Bush to Obama: Stop blaming my brother – Jeb Bush says it’s time for President Obama to stop blaming his brother for the nation’s problems. “I mean, look, the guy (Obama) was dealt a difficult hand, no question about it,” Bush said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “But he’s had three years. His policies have failed.” Obama rarely mentions Bush by name on the campaign trail. But the president does say that Republican Mitt Romney is seeking to revive the economic policies that led to the financial meltdown of 2008, George W. Bush’s last year in office. On NBC, Jeb Bush said perhaps Obama should “offer some fresh new solutions to the problems that we face,” but he added: “That’s not going to happen between now and Election Day.”

* The Demonization of President Obama Must End – Every once in a while, you have to feel sorry for Mitt Romney. One of his surrogates during his unsuccessful 2008 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination was Dr. John Willke, the controversial doctor who inspired Missouri Congressman Todd Akin’s now infamous belief that a raped woman is unlikely to become pregnant. Moreover, the good doctor is inconveniently sticking to his guns. A woman being raped, he told the New York Times last week, “is frightened, tight, and so on. And sperm, if deposited in her vagina, are less likely to be able to fertilize. The tubes are spastic.” According to the Times, Dr. Michael Greene, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School, dismisses Willke’s theories as “just nuts.” Another 2008 Romney supporter was Joe Arpaio, the Arizona sheriff charged by the U.S. Justice Department with discrimination and racial profiling who is also one of the foremost proponents of the equally wacky proposition that President Obama was not born in Hawaii, is therefore not a naturally born U.S. citizen, and consequently is ineligible to serve as president. Arpaio believes the president’s birth certificate to be a forgery, and it appears that nothing under the sun can convince him otherwise. There are lots more birthers out there, including most prominently Donald Trump, all driven by an irrational animus toward the president. Understandably, Governor Romney does not want to needlessly antagonize them. They, too, may well be nuts, but a vote is a vote irrespective of the citizen’s IQ or emotional equilibrium. By Menachem Rosensaft, Professor of law and son of Holocaust Survivors.

* The Case Obama Needs Progressives to Make Against Republican Convention Attacks – At this week’s Republican National Convention, speakers will likely repeat an argument for firing President Obama that Paul Ryan first made on the day he was named Mitt Romney’s running mate: “In his first 2 years, with his party in complete control of Washington, he passed nearly every item on his agenda. But that didn’t make things better.” Mitt Romney also made this argument, saying Obama’s plan has “been executed over the last three and a half years. It hasn’t worked.” For those who follow politics closely, this argument is easily debunked. Republicans blocked the seating of Senator Al Franken for the first half-year of Obama’s presidency and took Ted Kennedy’s seat half a year later. They used the Senate filibuster to deny Americans the opportunity to see Obama’s proposals enacted on jobs, pay equity for women, the Dream Act, climate change, and according to the Associated Press, an “astonishing” number of other issues. By Adam Green, Co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

* Mitt’s Big Secret, by DAVE LINDORFF – A lot of theories have been put forward to try and explain why Romney has allowed his campaign to become bedeviled by charges of tax dodging, but what if what he is hiding is felonious tax fraud? Okay, so he’s taken the legal option of delaying filing his 2011 taxes, which every taxpayer is entitled to do without penalty and without having to give any explanation until October 15 this year (I agree it’s a little weird when a super-rich guy who pays accountants by the dozen does this, but hey). The nagging question though is why he hasn’t just responded to the demand that he release two years of tax returns like John McCain did in 2008 by simply releasing his 2009 tax filing, along with the 2010 return he already released? The answer may well be that 2009 was the year that the Treasury Department decided to offer an amnesty from prosecution for tax fraud to any of the tens of thousands of millionaires who were known or suspected to have illegally hidden income abroad in the Cayman Islands or in Swiss banks — a felony, but one that people thought they’d never be caught at. That year alone, some nearly 30,000 people, many of them no doubt prominent in society, politics and business, and customers of the finest accounting firms, reportedly voluntarily came forward to the IRS to admit that they had hidden some of the estimated $100 billion in income that crooked rich Americans have for years been secreting away in banks overseas. Under the terms of the program, they were able to just report their fraud, pay the taxes, penalties and interest on the money and then walk away Scott free, with no charges and with their returns kept confidential by the agency.

– This is what the liberals contend is the reason why Romney is not releasing his past tax returns. We know how Romney made his money. How did a community organizer make up to $10-12 Million in his estate? Has anyone asked Obama how he amassed his fortune?

* Delusions and Disappointments, Meet Barack Obama, by ROB URIE – Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential pick, Paul Ryan, as with himself, is an uninformed opportunist who was born into wealth and privilege and whose proposed policies aim to perpetuate that privilege at the expense of the rest of the population with whom he nominally shares a national identity. Barack Obama is a cynical opportunist who serves the interests of wealth and privilege and whose policies more effectively promote those interests than Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan could ever hope to. Those circling the wagons to get Mr. Obama re-elected should spend a bit of time getting to know their guy. At the highest level Mr. Obama codified, through both continuation of, and failure to prosecute, the worst of the Bush / Cheney administration’s war crimes, domestic crimes, civil intrusions and economic policies. When Mr. Obama entered office he had the opportunity to repudiate these crimes and restore the illusion that America has ever been a civilized nation. America’s global torture prisons have been moved out of sight but not out of fact. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq remain illegal wars of aggression undertaken to boost the fortunes of multi-national oil companies and the slaughter-for-profit military industry. The war in Afghanistan has been expanded under Mr. Obama and the war in Iraq was only ended against his wishes by Bush era treaties. And U.S. foreign policy remains the preeminent force of repression and unjust order. Mr. Obama’s recently disclosed ‘kill lists’ suggest an unhinged monarch, fully divorced from legal accountability and history, carrying out vendettas against unproven enemies with fevered impunity (if he doesn’t have to show evidence, he doesn’t have to have evidence). With Americans now openly subject to murder at the whim of whoever occupies the Oval Office, the long, inglorious history of domestic power politics carried out through strategic assassination finds a home on our shores. (One need only recall the Bush / Cheney hilarity at putting Ted Kennedy and other prominent Democrats on lists of suspected terrorists used by airlines to imagine where this abuse of power can lead).

– Not all of us have the understanding of what happened that this guy claims to have happened. Does the Counter Punch have a fact checker on their staff?

* Ten Reasons I’m Not with Barack by RUSSELL MOKHIBER, – Just got an e-mail from Barack Obama.

“Russell – I have one question for you,” Barack writes.

“If you’re with me in this election, will you say it right now?”

I’m not with you, Barack. And I’ll say it right now – I’m not with you, Barack.

Here are ten reasons.

Number ten: Single payer. As a young politician, you said you were for single payer national health insurance. Then when you became President, you were against it and worked to keep the insurance companies in the game. Result – 123 dead a day from lack of health insurance.

Number nine: Kill list. You said you were against detention without trial, but you are okay with killing without trial? And according to the New York Times, you personally pick the candidates for execution. Result: Shredded Constitution.

Number eight: Minimum wage. During the 2008 campaign, you promised to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour. When you became President, you didn’t lift a finger to do anything about it. Result: Unchecked poverty.

Number seven: Corporate crime. It’s been four years since the financial crisis crippled the American economy. And still, not a single prosecution of a high ranking Wall Street executive or major financial firm. Fraud played a major part in the meltdown. Yet, your Justice Department, led by corporate lawyers, hasn’t gotten the job done. Result: No justice.

Number six: Israel/Palestine. Instead of standing up to Romney and Netanyahu, you buckled. Or as Tom Friedman put it, you shut down the peace process. Result: No peace.

Number five: Energy. Instead of pursuing a 25 year plan to get us off fossil fuels, you accepted the fossil fuel industry’s mantra of – we need it all – oil, coal, nuclear, alternatives. Result: Ongoing addiction.

Number four: Taxes. Instead of getting behind a Wall Street speculation tax and reversing our regressive tax structure, you surrendered to the top one percent. Result: Increasing poverty.

Number three: Money in politics. Instead of campaigning against the moneyed interests, you swim with them, in the cesspool of American politics. Result: Democracy in decline.

Number two: Military industrial complex. You push Republicans in the Congress to increase military spending. As a percentage of GDP, military spending under your administration has been higher than it was during any year of the George W. Bush administration. Result: Obama Bush.

Number one: Capitulation. You never had it. You folded from the get go. Or as your former Harvard Law Professor Roberto Unger put it – You “evoked a politics of hand holding – but no one changes the world without a struggle.” Result: Wasteland.

Last month, Unger said that you “must be defeated in the coming election.” I agree. Anything less sends the wrong message.

– The conclusions reached may not be through logical sequential thinking but when the liberals are giving ten reasons not to vote for Obama something is wrong in Paradise. Perhaps we need to understand why they reach the conclusions they do to understand why they do what they do?

* TAMPA—Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has a message for Ron Paul supporters who say they feel “disrespected” by the Republican Party’s delegate allocation process: You lost, move on. “I don’t think they’ve been disrespected,” Huckabee told a gaggle of reporters as we walked through the convention center here near the Tampa Bay Times Forum. “Elections are about—you get numbers. I lost four years ago, and I didn’t feel disrespected as much as I felt defeated. You have to accept that the voters make a choice and the voters made a choice.” Paul supporters, who embarked on an aggressive effort to secure delegates in several states during the Republican primaries, argue that Mitt Romney’s campaign strong-armed the party into limiting Paul delegates at the convention.

* Ann Romney: ‘This Man Will Lift Up America!’ – “Tonight I want to talk to you from my heart about our hearts. “I want to talk not about what divides us, but what holds us together as an American family. I want to talk to you tonight about that one great thing that unites us, that one thing that brings us our greatest joy when times are good, and the deepest solace in our dark hours. “Tonight I want to talk to you about love. “Mitt’s dad never graduated from college. Instead, he became a carpenter. “He worked hard, and he became the head of a car company, and then the governor of Michigan. “When Mitt and I met and fell in love, we were determined not to let anything stand in the way of our life together. “I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a ‘storybook marriage.’ Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS or Breast Cancer. “A storybook marriage? No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage. “At every turn in his life, this man I met at a high school dance, has helped lift up others. He did it with the Olympics, when many wanted to give up. “This is the man America needs. “This is the man who will wake up every day with the determination to solve the problems that others say can’t be solved, to fix what others say is beyond repair. This is the man who will work harder than anyone so that we can work a little less hard.

* SEAL book raises questions about bin Laden’s death – A firsthand account of the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden contradicts previous accounts by administration officials, raising questions as to whether the terror mastermind presented a clear threat when SEALs first fired upon him. Bin Laden apparently was shot in the head when he looked out of his bedroom door into the top-floor hallway of his compound as SEALs rushed up a narrow stairwell in his direction, according to former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen in “No Easy Day.” The book is to be published next week by Penguin Group (USA)’s Dutton imprint. Mr. Bissonnette says he was directly behind a point man going up the stairs in the pitch-black hallway. Near the top, he said, he heard two shots, but the book doesn’t make it clear who fired them. He wrote that the point man had seen a man peeking out of a door on the right side of the hallway. The author writes that the man ducked back into his bedroom and the SEALs followed, only to find the man crumpled on the floor in a pool of blood with a hole visible on the right side of his head and two women wailing over his body. Once they wiped the blood off his face, they were certain it was bin Laden. Mr. Bissonnette says the point man pulled the two women out of the way and shoved them into a corner. He and the other SEALs trained their guns’ laser sights on bin Laden’s still-twitching body, shooting him several times until he lay motionless. The SEALs later found two weapons stored by the doorway, untouched, the author said. Administration officials briefing reporters in the days after the May 2011 raid in Pakistan said the SEALs shot bin Laden only after he ducked back into the bedroom because they assumed he might be reaching for a weapon.

– It appears that the Seal Team does not think the current administration has the country’s best interests at the foremost of thoughts. This book should be a good read.

* Mia Love, GOP’s African American Mormon Candidate, Rocks RNC – Mia Love had only two minutes to speak yesterday. Her time slot was during the 7p hour when most delegates are still milling around the hall and not paying much attention. But she managed to do what many of the later bigger name speakers failed to do: energize the hall and bring the delegates to their feet. That’s why there’s a lot of talk about Mia Love today. She is the African American (and Mormon) Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah. And she has a good shot of becoming the first black woman Republican elected to Congress if she can beat Utah Democrat Rep. Jim Matheson. Her speech last night focused on the American Dream attained by her parents, who emigrated from Haiti with “ten dollars in their pocket.”

clip_image004

President Obama’s version of America is a divided one — pitting us against each other based on our income level, gender, and social status. His policies have failed! We are not better off than we were 4 years ago, and no rhetoric, bumper sticker, or campaign ad can change that. Mr. President I am here to tell you we are not buying what you are selling in 2012. The American Dream is our story. It is a story of human struggle, standing up and striving for more. It’s been told for over 200 years with small steps and giant leaps; from a woman on a bus to a man with a dream; and the bravery of the greatest generation, to the entrepreneurs of today. This is our story. This is the America we know because we built it.

* Sick: Wikipedia entry calls Mia Love ‘dirty, worthless whore’ and ‘House Nigger’ – Tuesday night after rising GOP star Mia Love brought down the house with her inspiring convention speech, the stomach-turning Left labeled the black conservative a “token” and an “Aunt Tom.” Meanwhile, revoltingly racist, woman-hating Wikipedia vandals were hard at work updating her entry with disgusting slurs like “House Nigger” and “dirty, worthless whore.” The page called her a “total sell-out to the Right Wing Hate machine and the greedy bigots who control the GOP.”

– There are always people that will take others down to make them feel better. It is sad that Wikipedia allows this to happen. It is a lack of personal integrity.

* France opens enquiry into claims of Arafat poisoning – French prosecutors have opened a murder enquiry into Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s 2004 death near Paris following claims he may have died of polonium poisoning, sources told AFP Tuesday. The probe comes after Arafat’s family launched legal action in France last month following reports the veteran Palestinian leader may have died from radioactive polonium. Arafat’s widow Suha and his daughter Zawra lodged a murder complaint on July 31 in the Paris suburb of Nanterre. Arafat died at age 75 at a military hospital near Paris in 2004. “A judicial murder enquiry has been opened, as expected following the complaint from Mrs. Arafat,” a source close to the matter told AFP. Confirming the enquiry, Pierre-Olivier Sur, a lawyer for Arafat’s widow and daughter, said they were “happy” at the decision but would not comment further “so as to leave the judges to lead all investigations necessary to find the truth.”

* Condoleezza Rice: America’s voice ‘muted’ in world affairs – Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the voice of the United States in world affairs “has been muted” under President Obama, creating a chaotic and dangerous security environment. Miss Rice, who speaks Wednesday night to the Republican National Convention, sought to tout Mitt Romney’s foreign policy credentials. She told “CBS This Morning” that Mr. Romney “would understand American exceptionalism and would not be afraid to lead from the front.” The election is about “the future of American leadership” in the world, she said, and U.S. policy on Syria has been ineffective. Asked what she thinks Mr. Obama has done wrong, the former Bush administration official said Washington has been losing influence around the world because Mr. Obama repeatedly has demanded that Syrian President Bashar Assad step aside and nothing has happened.

* Ryan Readies His Message for Voters – Vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan will take the stage on Wednesday evening at the Republican National Convention, bringing his message about the need to drastically shrink the size of the federal government and overhaul the social safety net to a prime-time audience. The House Budget Committee chairman, who has delivered a much needed shot of energy to the campaign since being named as Mitt Romney’s running mate earlier this month, is likely to spell out his vision of the role of government, drawing sharp contrast with that of the Obama administration. Mr. Ryan is a superstar among conservative activists of the Republican Party, but many Democrats were cheered by Mr. Romney’s decision to add him to the ticket as they think they can make political gains on the back of Mr. Ryan’s plan to radically reduce domestic spending programs. His plan would give people under the age of 55 the option of receiving federal subsidies to purchase health insurance in the private marketplace when they become seniors rather than rely on the Medicare program. It would also give block grants to states to provide health-care coverage for poor people, shaking up the federal Medicaid program.

* Armstrong Not Backing Down, Saying He is Still the Champ – Lance Armstrong introduced himself as a seven-time Tour de France champion at a cancer conference in Montreal on Wednesday. “My name is Lance Armstrong. I am a cancer survivor,” he said to open his speech to the World Cancer Congress. “I’m a father of five. And yes, I won the Tour de France seven times.” Armstrong announced last week he would no longer challenge the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s drug charges against him. USADA threw out his competitive victories dating to 1998, which would include all seven Tour wins. Armstrong, who has maintained his innocence, focused on his experience as a cancer survivor and the work of his charitable foundation. He added he refuses to be distracted from the fight against cancer.

* South Texas mayor killed in apparent donkey attack – The mayor of the South Texas town of Hollywood Park has died after apparently being attacked by a 500-pound donkey on his ranch, according to The Associated Press. The body of Mayor William “Bill” Bohlke, 65, was found Monday night during a search by Atascosa County Sheriff’s deputies and relatives, according to the sheriff’s office. Chief Deputy David Soward told the AP on Wednesday that Bohlke apparently was attacked on Monday morning by an aggressive male donkey on his ranch. A written statement from the family, published on the Hollywood Park town website, said Bohlke suffered “a fatal injury while taking care of his prized cow herd near Pleasanton.”

– There is no end to what Texas Politicos will do to get there name noticed.

* California moves closer to banning ‘gay cure’ therapy for teens – California has moved one step closer to becoming the first state in the nation to ban “gay cure” therapy for teens. The Democratic-controlled state Assembly on Tuesday voted 52-22 to approve a bill that would prohibit licensed therapists from providing so-called “sexual orientation change efforts” to children under 18. The bill now goes to the Senate, which approved an earlier version in May, for concurrence on amendments. The Senate must act no later than midnight Friday for the bill to be sent to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. Brown, a Democrat, has not indicated whether he will sign the measure. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, says treatments that attempt to change a gay kid into a straight kid are harmful and amount to “psychological abuse of children.” “These non-scientific efforts have led in some cases to patients later committing suicide, as well as severe mental and physical anguish,” Lieu said in a press release hailing the vote. Ricardo Lara, an openly gay Democratic assemblyman from Los Angeles County, said the bill would protect “the next generation of Californians.” “And some of those are sissy boys,” Lara said, Reuters reported. “And some of those sissy boys grow up to be Assembly members. And some of those sissy boys need help. And we are here to stand with those sissy boys.”

* IN ABC WEBCAST, YAHOO NEWS CHIEF SAYS ROMNEYS ‘HAPPY TO HAVE A PARTY WHEN BLACK PEOPLE DROWN’

* Yahoo editor fired over anti-Romney joke – David Chalian, the Yahoo News Washington Bureau chief, has been fired after getting caught claiming that “they” — Mitt Romney and his fellow Republicans — “are happy to have a party with black people drowning.” The implication: that Republicans’ decision to continue with their convention despite the hurricane hitting New Orleans means they don’t care about black people. Chalian’s words were first caught by the conservative media criticism site Newsbusters. Yahoo! has released a statement apologizing for the comment and announcing that Chalian had been terminated. “David Chalian’s statement was inappropriate and does not represent the views of Yahoo!. He has been terminated effective immediately. We have already reached out to the Romney campaign, and we apologize to Mitt Romney, his staff, their supporters and anyone who was offended.”

* SEAL tells 60 Minutes book is for honor, not politics – A retired Navy SEAL who was present at the killing of Osama bin Laden tells Scott Pelley in a 60 Minutes interview that his book about the raid is not a political statement, rather it is timed to commemorate the 9/11 attack and give credit to the hundreds of people whose work made the mission a success. The former SEAL Team 6 member, who uses the pseudonym Mark Owen, will appear in his first interview on 60 Minutes, Sunday Sept. 9 at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT. He calls himself Mark Owen. That’s not his real name. We’ve disguised him and will keep his name confidential for his own safety. Owen was on the helicopter that crashed in bin Laden’s compound. He was the second man in the room when bin Laden was shot, he took the photographs of the body that were never released. But Owen told us the story is not about him — it’s the story of hundreds of Americans who spent years gathering intelligence, planning and training of the SEALs, Owen says, “We just took care of the last 40 minutes.” We built what we believe is the most accurate model of bin Laden’s compound ever constructed. Owen told us, before the mission, a full size replica of the compound was built in the United States for training and there was a dress rehearsal for the top brass including the chairman of the joint chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen, and Admiral Eric Olsen, head of Special Operations Command. Owen’s book was to be released on the anniversary of 9/11, but the release has been moved up to next week. There’s been criticism that the book is timed to influence the election. Mark Owen: My worry from the beginning is, you know, it’s a political season. This book is not political whatsoever. It doesn’t bad mouth either party, and we specifically chose September 11th to keep it out of the politics. You know, if these– crazies on either side of the aisle want to make it political, shame on them. This is a book about September 11th, and it needs to rest on September 11th. Not be brought into the political arena, because this– this has nothing to do with politics.

* FEDERAL COURT REJECTS TEXAS VOTER ID LAW – A federal court has ruled against a Texas law that would require voters to present photo IDs to election officials before being allowed to cast ballots in November. A three-judge panel in Washington ruled Thursday that the law imposes “strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor” and noted that racial minorities in Texas are more likely to live in poverty. The decision involves an increasingly contentious political issue: a push, largely by Republican-controlled legislatures and governor’s offices, to impose strict identification requirements on voters. The ruling comes in the same week that South Carolina’s strict photo ID law is on trial in front of another three-judge panel in the same federal courthouse. A court ruling in the South Carolina case is expected in time for the November election.

* Armed bystander stops stabbing outside school – SAN ANTONIO – A woman is in critical condition after she was stabbed outside her child’s school Tuesday morning. The attack happened around 10:00 a.m. Tuesday outside the Bonham Academy on St. Mary’s Street. Teresa Barron, 38, had just dropped off her child at the school when the child’s father showed up, and the two got into an argument. The child’s father, 38-year-old Roberto Barron allegedly then stabbed the woman several times in the upper body and neck area. Police say a bystander who happened to be a concealed handgun license holder pulled his weapon and ordered Barron to drop the knife. Barron surrendered and was taken into custody by the bystander and a school district officer. The woman was taken to San Antonio Military Medical Center. Barron was arrested for aggravated assault, and is in jail on a $150,000 bond.

* Obama Honored Fallen SEALs By Sending Their Parents a Form Letter Signed By Electric Pen – On August 6, 2011, 30 US service members were killed when a CH-47 Chinook helicopter they were being transported in crashed in Wardak province, Afghanistan. It was the deadliest single loss for U.S. forces in the decade-long war in Afghanistan. 17 members of the elite Navy SEALs were killed in the crash. Yesterday, Karen and Billy Vaughn, parents of Aaron Carson Vaughn, spoke at the Defending the Defenders forum sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots outside the RNC Convention in Tampa. Karen brought a copy of the form letter they were sent following their son’s death. It’s a form letter. It was signed by an electric pen. That’s not all. Karen Vaughn reached out to the parents of the other SEALs killed in that crash. Their letters were all the same. Form letters – signed by an electric pen.

– It seems that no matter what Obama does there are people that want to make sure it is known that he is not respecting them as humans that have sacrificed for our beloved country.

* clip_image006

* Obama bounced into announcing visit to storm-ravaged Louisiana after Romney shows him up with surprise visit – President Barack Obama was today forced to announce he will fly to storm-hit Louisiana on Monday – hours after Mitt Romney beat him to the punch by deciding to head there this afternoon. After it emerged that Obama was still taking time to fit in a campaign stop in Cleveland, Ohio before checking out how clean-up operations are proceeding in the Bayou state, the Obama campaign abruptly cancelled that event. ‘In light of the President’s travel to Louisiana to meet with local officials and view ongoing response and recovery efforts to Hurricane Isaac, President Obama will no longer travel to Cleveland, Ohio on Monday, September 3,’ the campaign said in a terse statement. Romney had changed his schedule to head to an affected town outside New Orleans while Obama, who has yet to visit the Tropical Storm Isaac zone, headed off to Texas to campaign. Seven years ago, President George W. Bush was lambasted for inaction and incompetence in dealing with Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans and much of the Mississippi and Louisiana gulf coast. Romney’s last-minute trip to New Orleans came as his wife Ann told CNN that swing women voters in particular had told her that ‘it’s time for the grown-up to come, the man that’s going to take this very seriously and the future of our children very, very seriously’.

* ISRAELI PAPER DETAILS ALLEGED TENSE CONFRONTATION BETWEEN NETANYAHU AND U.S. AMBASSADOR OVER OBAMA’S IRAN POLICY: ‘LIGHTNING AND SPARKS FLEW’ – Two new signs point to the deepening rift between the Obama administration and the Israeli government over how to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons efforts: a reported confrontation between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the U.S. ambassador to Israel and a statement by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey that he doesn’t want to be “complicit” in an Israeli strike on Iran. The Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot headlined its Friday paper “The Confrontation” with a photo of Netanyahu on one side and President Obama alongside U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, on the other. Veteran diplomatic correspondent Shimon Schiffer reports that during a private meeting last week, Netanyahu very undiplomatically attacked Obama and his advisers over what he views as their ineffective Iran policy. The incident took place when Republican congressman and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers visited Netanyahu’s office for an Iran briefing, accompanied by the U.S. ambassador to Israel. Schiffer reports (translated via hard copy by The Blaze in Israel): Netanyahu, according to a source who participated in the meeting, was particularly surly and stressed. At the start of the meeting, he opened with a sharp attack on the Obama administration which according to him has not done enough on the Iranian issue. “Instead of effectively pressuring Iran, Obama and his people are pressuring us not to attack the nuclear facilities,” he said, and then moved on to a harsh criticism of the administration’s pronouncements indicating there is still room for diplomacy. “The time has run out,” he said resolutely.

* Dems Giving Away Tickets to Obama’s Speech – Dunwoody Democrats have a chance to see President Barack Obama’s acceptance speech in person at next week’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC. The DeKalb Democratic Party sent out this message Thursday night. DO YOU WANT TO GO TO CHARLOTTE AND BE THERE IN PERSON FOR THE PRESIDENTS”S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH? In Atlanta: Manuel’s Tavern, 602 N Highland Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30307 In Macon: Bibb County Democratic Party, 835 Forsyth St. Suite A, Macon GA 31201 Here’s the rules: Everyone who is at Manuel’s Tavern or the Bibb County Democratic Party by noon is eligible for two tickets. Arrive early if you want, but it won’t give you a better chance to win. Just be there by 12 noon! If less than 50 people arrive, everyone will get a pair! If more than 50 folks arrive, we will do a random drawing to determine our winners. There is no cost involved. We’re not selling the tickets, we’re giving them away. Since we’re not selling tickets, you can’t sell them either! If you sell your tickets to someone else, they will be deactivated. For planning purposes, we expect that President Obama will speak at 8pm on Thursday. To insure that you are in your seat for the speech, you should arrive at the stadium that afternoon. There will be strict security at the event. Your trip to Charlotte to see the President’s historic speech begins tomorrow.

* Clinton staying as far away from Charlotte as physically possible – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as a sitting administration official, does not have any role at the Democratic National Convention next week in Charlotte. But she seems to gone out of her way to avoid the festivities, as she is traveling this week and next to the Cook Islands, Indonesia, China, Timor-Leste, Brunei, and Russia. “The Cook Islands this year are the hosts of one of the most important institutions of the Pacific called the Pacific Island Forum,” a senior State Department official said Thursday. “It’s a group that meets yearly with a number of working groups. It’s been in existence almost half a century; it’s very significant.”

* Newsflash: Obama can’t take a joke. But we already knew that. – For four long years we’ve waited, hoped and prayed that some young comic would break free of the politically correct demands of The State and mock Obama the way all presidents and all people in power should be mocked. But for four long years (with a few exceptions) all we’ve seen instead are cowardly toadies of The State: Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, David Letterman, Chris Rock, the cast of “Saturday Night Live.” Since Obama won the presidency, comedy has pretty much gone straight to hell as our Entertainment Overlords morphed into pathetic lapdogs to The State; begging for scraps of attention and affection from Obama, and in the process becoming stale, lazy, dull, predictable, painfully unfunny, and like a needy poodle — more than a little annoying. Who would’ve ever thought that one of the men who would display enough backbone and “edge” to finally take it to Obama with wicked mockery on about 30 million live television screens would be 82 year-old Clint Eastwood?

Leave a comment

Filed under Left - Off Base, Politics from Just Right of Center - I want Balance!, Right - too Religous for me

What’s Up: August 24, 2012?

As the world turns there is a constant state of flux in our America lives. Here is the latest from this past week.

* Friday morning on Fox and Friends Geraldo Rivera wondered out loud if Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano has let a “lesbian cabal” engage in a “same sex takeover” of the Department.

clip_image002* Wikileaks rebel Julian Assange remained holed up in a stuffy room at the Ecuadorian embassy today surrounded by dozens of police officers waiting to pounce. The fugitive has just a sunlamp, a running machine and internet connection in the threadbare room inside the ground-floor apartment in Knightsbridge. The curtains are almost always closed to prevent people looking in. And a short walk down the worn corridor he can find a small water dispenser. Without sunlight or fresh air, friends fear that he is slowly verging towards depression. Only recently has a blow-up bed been swapped for a proper mattress. One step outside the building and the whistleblower will be arrested by one of around 40 officers, who remained on guard today. Three police vans remained parked around the building this morning. They have a watch on all possible exits and stand ready to act if crowds get out of control. Some 30 policemen were posted outside the building, while there were believed to be more inside. It is said that they are standing on stairwells and blocking the lift, which could be used to take Mr Assange to the roof of the building to a helicopter. Inside the embassy, senior police are understood to be having tense discussions with embassy officials on how to resolve the situation.

* A couple of handfuls of walnuts a day can make a man’s sperm stronger, faster and prettier, researchers said — and it’s possible the nuts could provide a natural solution for some men with fertility problems. Tests on healthy, young men — none of whom were infertile — showed walnuts perked up their sperm considerably. Dr. Wendie Robbins and UCLA researchers want to test men with fertility problems next.

* WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange used the balcony of Ecuador’s London embassy on Sunday to berate the United States for threatening freedom of expression and called on U.S. President Barack Obama to end what he called a witch-hunt against WikiLeaks. “As WikiLeaks stands under threat, so does the freedom of expression and the health of all of our societies,” Assange said, dressed in a maroon tie and blue shirt. “I ask President Obama to do the right thing: the United States must renounce its witch-hunt against WikiLeaks,” he said in a 10-minute speech which he ended with two thumbs up to the world’s media.

clip_image004

– It appears that if you release documents that a foreign country classifies secret it must be for the good of the mainstream media according to Assange. Another way of saying that since I think you are doing the wrong thing that you need to conform to my way of thinking and do what I say. Sounds a bit like a child wanting to get his/her own way with its parents and avoid being punished. Even a criminal feels he is on the same level as Obama and telling him to back off the whistleblowers.

* Newsweek’s Niall Ferguson: Obama’s Gotta Go. Yet the question confronting the country nearly four years later is not who was the better candidate four years ago. It is whether the winner has delivered on his promises. And the sad truth is that he has not.

clip_image006

In his inaugural address, Obama promised “not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.” He promised to “build the roads and bridges, the electric grids, and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.” He promised to “restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.” And he promised to “transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.” Unfortunately the president’s scorecard on every single one of those bold pledges is pitiful. In an unguarded moment earlier this year, the president commented that the private sector of the economy was “doing fine.” Certainly, the stock market is well up (by 74 percent) relative to the close on Inauguration Day 2009. But the total number of private-sector jobs is still 4.3 million below the January 2008 peak. Meanwhile, since 2008, a staggering 3.6 million Americans have been added to Social Security’s disability insurance program. This is one of many ways unemployment is being concealed.

– The Liberals are bad-mouthing Niall Ferguson saying that he has always been wrong and will continue to be wrong.

* Politico 44, By JENNIFER EPSTEIN | 7/12/12 12:22 PM EDT

Mitt Romney either lied in federal filings that show he worked at Bain Capital through 2002 and could be guilty of a felony, or has lied to the American people in saying he left the company in 1999, the Obama campaign is arguing in light of news reports on the firm’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

* Real Clear Politics, 8/20/2012 – Obama: “Nobody Accused Mr. Romney of Being A Felon”

Nancy Cordes, CBS: Are you comfortable with the tone being set with your campaign? Have you asked them to change their tone when it comes to defining Mr. Romney?

clip_image008

President Obama: Well, first of all I am not sure that all of those characterizations that you laid out there were accurate. For example, nobody accused Mr. Romney of being a felon. And, I think that what is absolutely true is if you watch me on the campaign trail, here’s what I’m talking about. I’m talking about how to put Americans back to work.

* DENVER — The Newland family didn’t spend 50 years building a business here for the plaudits, but when a Denver City Council member moved to recognize them with an anniversary proclamation, the clan was flattered. So it came as a disappointment last week when the Newlands learned that the council decided to cancel the honor, especially when they found out the reason: Their successful legal challenge against the Obama health care reform’s birth control, sterilization and abortion mandates. “When the ruling came down from Judge Kane’s courtroom, we got a call from the councilwoman, who said that due to the controversial nature of what we were engaged in, it wasn’t appropriate for her to honor us as she’d originally planned,” said William Newland, who co-owns Hercules Industries with his three siblings. District Judge John Kane granted the company’s request for a temporary injunction July 27 against the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employers provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception, regardless of their religious beliefs.

* Downing Street has said Britain is still committed to seeking a diplomatic solution with Ecuador in the standoff over the proposed extradition to Sweden of Julian Assange. But British diplomats in the Ecuadorean capital, Quito, and in other regional capitals have communicated the message that David Cameron is adamant Assange will not be granted safe passage. They say Britain is under a legal obligation to extradite Assange to Sweden to face allegations of sexual misconduct.

* In a book set for publication Tuesday, a politics and government professor at The Citadel claims President Obama’s 2009 health care reform law was, in part, a union-driven effort to organize 21 million health care workers. In ”Shadowbosses: Government Unions Control America and Rob Taxpayers Blind,” Mallory Factor describes a December 9, 2008 memo from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare president Dennis Rivera to the Obama-Biden transition team. Read more:

http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/19/book-obamacare-law-designed-to-unionize-21-million-health-care-workers/#ixzz247hVPDML

* For the first time, criminal charges have been pressed against a German rabbi for performing circumcisions, a Jewish weekly reported on Tuesday. A doctor from Hesse filed a criminal complaint against Rabbi David Goldberg, who serves in the community of Hof, in Upper Franconia (northern Bavaria), according to the Juedische Allgemeine weekly newspaper. The chief prosecutor of Hof confirmed that charges had been filed against the rabbi. The charges are based on the controversial decision of a Cologne district court, which ruled in June that circumcisions for religious reasons constitute illegal bodily harm to newborn babies.

* The Labor Department paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal stimulus funds to a public relations firm to run more than 100 commercials touting the Obama administration’s “green training” job efforts on two popular MSNBC cable shows, records show. The commercials ran on MSNBC on shows hosted by Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann in 2009, but the contract didn’t report any jobs created, according to records recently reviewed by The Washington Times.

* NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — A police official says two hecklers were removed but not charged with a crime after President Barack Obama was briefly interrupted during a campaign rally at a Las Vegas-area high school. Clark County School District Police Chief James Ketsaa said Wednesday the hecklers were escorted off school property and released during the president’s campaign rally for about 2,000 people in North Las Vegas. At least one of the hecklers drew the president’s attention before authorities hustled him out of the school as the crowd chanted, “Four more Years.” Obama said, “That young man probably needed a good teacher,” as the shouting subsided.

* Willie Geist, MSNBC: What would you say to that same person that said, ‘Well, that hasn’t worked for four years? I haven’t had the job over time; it’s time for a change.’

Stephanie Cutter, Obama deputy campaign manager: Well, I think that worker probably has a good understanding of what’s happened over the past four years in terms of the president coming in and seeing 800,000 jobs lost on the day that the president was being sworn in, and seeing the president moving pretty quickly to stem the losses, to turn the economy around, and over the past, you know, 27 months we’ve created 4.5 million private sector jobs. That’s more jobs than in the Bush recovery, in the Reagan recovery, there’s obviously more we need to do, and as I said to Mika at the at beginning of the program, I think that unemployed worker probably sees one person in this race trying to move the country forward and that’s the president.

– It sounds like Cutter is still blaming George W. Bush for Obama’s problems while not being entirely truthful with the Mainstream Media.

* The Democrats continue with the doom and gloom of the Republicans if they take control. They do not recognize that they have taken the economy to a depth not seen since pre-WWII.

clip_image010

* Earlier this week, Senator Al Franken of Minnesota joined Vice President Joe Biden for a campaign event in Minnesota. “Biden got plenty of support from Minnesota Democrats,” PostBulletin.com reports. “Sen. Al Franken praised Obama for pushing the health care law, saying it will help more seniors get help paying for prescriptions and will ensure Medicare’s solvency for an additional eight years.” But before Franken was a senator he was a writer on the TV show Saturday Night Live. Then, he famously joked about raping CBS reporter Lesley Stahl. As New York magazine reported in 1995, from a writing session that the reporter sat in on: Franken: “And, ‘I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then, when Lesley’s passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her.’ Or, ‘That’s why you never see Lesley until February.’ Or, ‘When she passes out, I put her in various positions and take pictures of her.’” With the national conversation now turning to women’s issues as a result of the bizarre and offensive comments by Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin over the weekend, it seems a bit odd that Vice President Biden would take the stage with Franken, considering his own lack of sensitivity to the horrors of rape.

* KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In an effort to explain his stance on abortion, Representative Todd Akin, the Republican Senate nominee from Missouri, provoked ire across the political spectrum on Sunday by saying that in instances of what he called “legitimate rape,” women’s bodies somehow blocked an unwanted pregnancy.

– The problem with this issue is that the Republicans have serious issues with the majority of the people and their social stance. Most of the women don’t want the government to decide what is best for their bodies. It is an individual choice not one the government should choose for them. Yet we continue to see abortion and other social issues that the government should not be involved on the Republican Platform. Then the Democrats make a major issue with the Mainstream Media’s assistance. Will the Republicans ever learn?

clip_image012

* At a Planned Parenthood luncheon in San Jose California yesterday, Sen. Barbara Boxer launched a full bore attack on Republicans, after Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin made his comments about “legitimate rape.” “There is a war against women, and Romney and Ryan — if they are elected — would become its top generals,” Boxer said calling Akin’s comments a “direct outgrowth” of the extreme positions on abortion held by Republicans. “Where’s the outrage by Mitt Romney?” Boxer asked, “There is a sickness out there in the Republican Party, and I’m not kidding. Maybe they don’t like their moms or their first wives; I don’t know what it is.”

* LUBBOCK (CBSDFW.COM) – Reactions continue after a Texas leader issued a public warning for what he calls a ‘civil war’ and possible invasion of United Nations troops if President Barack Obama is re-elected. Lubbock County Judge Tom Head is convinced that Mr. Obama winning a second term would lead to a revolt by the American people and he’s is pushing a tax increase for the district attorney’s office and the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office. He says the money is needed to “beef up” its resources in case President Obama wins the November election.

clip_image013

On Thursday, KRLD News Radio 1080 spoke with both Republican and Democrat officials in Lubbock County, regarding the judge’s recent comments to a local Fox television station.

“We certainly don’t agree with the President and a lot of his policies, but I don’t see any U.N. troops coming to invade Texas anytime soon,” said Lubbock County Republican spokesperson Carl Tepper. The Democrats in Lubbock aren’t laughing. “It’s ridiculous. It’s very embarrassing for us here in Lubbock,” Commissioner Gilbert Flores said frustrated. When asked if the Judge should resign over his comments Mr. Flores said, “I don’t know if it will do any good if he resigns or not. I will be very honest with you, this is West Texas, and this is hard core anti-Obama/Tea Party.” Flores continued, “Most of these people here are not anti-Obama, President of the United States, they are anti-Obama the black man.” The republican judge said that he himself will meet the enemy; “in front of their armored personnel carriers” to tell them they are not welcome, and has the county sheriff to back him up. “I don’t want U.N. troops in Lubbock County,” he said. Tom Head, a graduate of Highland Park High School, has been a county judge since 1999.

* Reuters publishes a teleprompter moment for Obama. His critics will say this unfortunate photo reveals a deeper problem with his presidency — that he’s just a walking teleprompter A Reuter’s photographer captured a shot of Barack Obama with his face obscured by a teleprompter during a campaign event at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday. The Drudge Report suggested that the shot was ‘rude.’ At the very least, it’s been raising eyebrows.

clip_image015

– The question remains, “Is it Obama’s best side?”

* Younger voters, angry with the lack of jobs and a stalled economy that’s cut their entertainment budget and forced many to live with mom and dad, are expected to flock to the polls in even greater numbers than 2008 when President Obama’s inspirational message of hope and change drew millions to the polls. While 51 percent of Millennials age 18-29 voted in the 2008 election, 76 percent plan to vote this fall, according to a new poll from the influential group Generation Opportunity, a 50 percent jump. While the group did not ask who younger voters prefer in the presidential race, they are inspired no more and are clearly driven by anger over the economy and the fact that they might not have lives as good as their parents. The poll of 1,003 adults aged 18-29 was conducted at the end of July. It has an error margin of plus-or-minus 3.1 percent.

* Energy loan watchdog an Obama donor. WASHINGTON (AP) — A veteran Wall Street executive who performed an independent review that exonerated the Obama administration’s program of loans to energy companies contributed $52,500 to re-elect President Barack Obama in the months since completing his work, according to an Associated Press review of campaign records. The executive defended the integrity of his conclusions and said he decided to donate to Obama after his work was finished. The campaign contributions to Obama started just weeks after Herbert M. Allison Jr., in congressional testimony in March, minimized concerns that the Energy Department was at high risk in more than $23 billion in federal loans awarded to green energy firms. Two weeks later, Allison began giving to the Obama campaign. His contributions to Obama and the Democratic National Committee totaled $52,500 by last month. Allison previously was the former head of the government’s mass purchase of toxic Wall Street assets.

* President Barack Obama is holding on to his lead in Ohio, but he now faces tighter races in Florida and Wisconsin, a Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll out Thursday shows. Voters in all three battleground states give favorable ratings to Paul Ryan, but Ryan’s Medicare plan is opposed by majorities of voters. Obama is viewed as better at handling Medicare than Mitt Romney in all three states, the poll shows. Here’s how the new poll of likely voters compares to earlier Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times polls:

Ohio: Obama is at 50 percent, which is what the poll on Aug. 1 showed, compared to Romney’s 44 percent in both polls.

Florida: Obama has slipped to 49 percent from 51 percent in the Aug. 1 poll, while Romney is now at 46 percent compared to 45 percent in the Aug. 1 poll.

Wisconsin: Obama has dropped to 49 percent from the 51 percent he had in an Aug. 8 poll, and Romney has inched up to 47 percent from 45 percent in the Aug. 8 poll.

* After 14 years at National Public Radio, Andrea Seabrook left in July and, to hear her talk about her experience covering Capitol Hill, it’s clear that she had one takeaway: It’s damn frustrating. “I realized that there is a part of covering Congress, if you’re doing daily coverage, that is actually sort of colluding with the politicians themselves because so much of what I was doing was actually recording and playing what they say or repeating what they say,” Seabrook told POLITICO. “And I feel like the real story of Congress right now is very much removed from any of that, from the sort of theater of the policy debate in Congress, and it has become such a complete theater that none of it is real. I feel like I am, as a reporter in the Capitol, lied to every day, all day. There is so little genuine discussion going on with the reporters. To me, as a reporter, everything is spin.”

* The gold standard has returned to mainstream US politics for the first time in 30 years, with a “gold commission” set to become part of official Republican Party policy. Drafts of the party platform, which it will adopt at a convention in Tampa Bay, Florida, next week. The Party Platform will call for an audit of Federal Reserve monetary policy and a commission to look at restoring the link between the dollar and gold.

clip_image016

– This may be a folly for Republicans as this policy will be very difficult to install and even more arduous to maintain. It does imply fiscal conservative focus. Can Congress live with fiscal liability? The Federal Reserve does need to be accountable to someone. But who in the government is capable of being watchdog.

* Immigration agents file suit against Napolitano over ‘amnesty’ program. Ten federal immigration agents have filed suit against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano claiming recent directives are forcing them to break the law and ignore their duties when it comes to deporting illegal immigrants. The suit was filed Thursday in Texas federal court by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. It challenges recent directives allowing some illegal immigrants — particularly non-felons and those who came to the U.S. as children — to stay and, in some cases, get work permits.

* NH Sheriff Candidate Would Use Deadly Force To Stop Abortions

clip_image017

MANCHESTER, NH (CBS) – A man running for sheriff in New Hampshire says if he is elected, he will arrest anyone involved in an abortion in his county. Frank Szabo set off a firestorm with the comments. People on all sides of the political spectrum have condemned the statements, but Szabo stands by them. He says it’s the sheriff’s job to protect every citizen – even the unborn. Szabo is running as a Republican for Hillsborough County Sheriff. But he injected a new issue in the debate when he sent out a press release saying he would arrest anyone performing an abortion.

– It appears that the Republican social agenda is taking the next step and violating what is a legal right according to the US Supreme Court. Is this a sane and practical approach?

* Obama Supporter Suggests Anti-Mormon Whisper Campaign: The Obama campaign released its much-anticipated Dashboard platform last May. It was touted as a potentially revolutionary organizing tool that would connect supporters, and merge online activism with real-life grassroots campaigning. It can also be used as a platform to launch whispering campaigns, as one user proved this week. On Monday, a “team member” named Laurence De Palma, who lists his location as East Nashville, presented volunteers with some talking points to convince Southern Christian voters they shouldn’t vote for a Mormon. The message was available under “Resources” and tagged “persuasion.”

– Perhaps our religious freedom is not what the Democrats feel they should allow the Mormons. The Muslims get their rights protected and encouraged by Obama. Why are the Mormons being singled out?

* TSA Rifles Through Bags, Conducts Pat Downs At Paul Ryan Event – For some time we have been warning that the TSA is systematically moving beyond the nation’s airports and conducting operations on the streets of America.

The latest example of this kind of activity occurred at an event organized by Mitt Romney’s GOP running mate Paul Ryan this past weekend in The Villages, Florida. The Shark Tank blog reports that TSA officers showed up alongside Secret Service and the local Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, and proceeded to do what they do like no one else does. “A big WTF is in order here.” the blog notes, adding “We heard that the TSA was going to expand its ummm, ‘reach,’ but to assist in political campaigns is quite the jump in broadening their ‘transportation security horizons.’” “I counted no less than (6) TSA agents alongside the usual uniformed Secret Service detail-not to be confused with the ‘Men In Black’ looking agents.” blogger Javier Manjarres notes, with a picture of the agents in action (below).

* Rangel on Biden’s ‘Chains’ Comment: ‘You Bet Your Life It Was Stupid’ – After Vice President Joe Biden infamously told an audience that Mitt Romney is “going to unchain Wall Street,” and concluded they are “going to put y’all back in chains,” Mr. Romney’s campaign cried foul. This was an obvious and unfair allusion to slavery, Mr. Romney’s surrogates argued. Well, count veteran Congressman Charlie Rangel among Mr. Biden’s critics on the Democratic side of the aisle. “The Vice President said he’s going to put “y’all in chains,” Mr. Rangel told The Perez Notes in a recent free-wheeling interview. “Was he talking about slavery? You bet your ass he was. Was he using the vernacular? Yes, he was. Did he think it was cute? Yes, he did. Was it something stupid to say? You bet your life it was stupid.” “It was something that if a black had said it, we would have been laughing, because we would know deep down, they may be beating the hell out of us but they ain’t thinking about putting us into any chains,” he added. Republicans have called on Mr. Biden to apologize, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon.

– Somehow with Mainstream Media this “foot in the mouth” did not gain staying power. Was this “foot in the mouth” comment better or worse than Rep. Akin’s “foot in the mouth” comment?

* Fired worker kills boss at Empire State Building, wounds 9 others before cop shoots him – A fired worker stalked his boss down a Midtown street, shot him dead and then turned his weapon on police officers — and in the ensuing gun battle he was killed and nine pedestrians were struck, some by cop bullets, Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said today. The 9 a.m. mayhem sent commuters and tourists in a panicked scramble from the jam-packed intersection of 34th Street and Fifth Avenue. Bloomberg identified the shooter as Jeffrey Johnson, 53, who had been fired a year ago from Hazan Imports at 10 W. 33rd Street, around the corner from the scene.

* Analysis: Brotherhood taking total control of Egypt – With rise of Morsy, a new dictatorship may be replacing the old while world persists in looking for signs of pragmatism. Having gotten rid of the army old guard, he replaced them with his own men – officers belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood or known sympathizers. Then he turned his attention to the media, replacing 50 editors working for the government’s extensive and influential press empire – including Al- Ahram, Al-Akhbar, Al-Gomhuria. He is now busy appointing new governors to the 27 regions of the country.

* Lance Armstrong stripped of seven Tour de France titles, given lifetime ban from Olympic sports as he drops appeal of doping charges Disgraced cyclist will no longer fight charges he led sophisticated doping conspiracy, will not have to hear former teammates testify against him, but now leaves himself vulnerable. Armstrong announced Thursday night that he would disregard a midnight deadline the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency had given him to challenge the results of USADA’s two-year investigation of his legendary cycling teams, a probe that determined Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions.

– This is a clear case of personal vendetta against someone that had dominated the bicycling racing and the Tour de France. Every drug test the man took was passed. Yet to have people claim without proof that he used dope was not taken to court last year for the simple reason that it did not stand the test of convincing evidence to convict. Yet USADA chief executive officer Travis Tygart feels he is justified to take down an icon on innuendo alone. Their claim is that he has a test result that indicates drug use from a time period long after his racing career was over. There is something wrong with USADA to take this step. Armstrong has not failed a drug test. This is nonsense as Armstrong has stated.

Leave a comment

Filed under Left - Off Base, Politics from Just Right of Center - I want Balance!, Right - too Religous for me