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GI's are dying for a lie -- "security situation" in Afghanistan is NOT improving in spite of U.S. "surge" and "counter-insurgency" doctrine

Claims that the "security situation" in Afghanistan is improving are a lie, a "bright, shining lie."

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/12/27-5

Confidential UN maps show a clear deterioration in security in parts of Afghanistan this year, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday, as its mission there acknowledged security in some parts had worsened.

Two United Nations maps, one showing the situation at the start of this year's fighting season in March and the other towards its end in October, highlight a particular decline in parts of the north and east, the paper said.

Kieran Dwyer, communications director of the UN mission in Afghanistan, acknowledged security had got worse in some parts, hampering its mission, although he said he had not seen the maps.

"There are parts of the country that have become increasingly difficult to operate in during 2010 due to insecurity.

"This includes the targeting of humanitarian workers and government officials whose jobs it is to deliver services to the people," he told AFP.


Check out the UN maps:



GOP has now ditched Reagan and George W. Bush

By voting down the DREAM Act on 18 December 1010, the GOP did two things.

First, the Republicans who voted down the DREAM Act made a huge mistake, both morally and politically, and deserve to pay a major price for it in 2012 and beyond. So much for the "Party of Lincoln."

Second, the GOP buried Reagan and Bush II, pissed on their graves, and walked away.

So much for the the Party of Ronald Reagan, who signed a law which "legalized 2.8 million undocumented workers."

Reagan also said proudly that people "from any corner of the world, can come to live in the United States and become an American."

And, Reagan added:
It makes one wonder about the illegal alien fuss. Are great numbers of our unemployed really victims of the illegal alien invasion or are those illegal tourists actually doing work our own people won't do? One thing is certain in this hungry world; no regulation or law should be allowed if it results in crops rotting in the fields for lack of harvesters.
In fact, the GOP is no longer the Party of George W. Bush, who said:
Latinos come to the US to seek the same dreams that have inspired millions of others: they want a better life for their children. Family values do not stop at the Rio Grande. Latinos enrich our country with faith in God, a strong ethic of work, community & responsibility. We can all learn from the strength, solidarity, & values of Latinos. Immigration is not a problem to be solved, it is the sign of a successful nation. New Americans are to be welcomed as neighbors and not to be feared as strangers.
And there you have it, folks. The GOP -- no longer the party of Lincoln, Goldwater, and William Buckley, has now ditched Reagan and Bush in favor of Palin, DeMint, Sessions, Boner, Tancredo, and Gingrich -- Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Dumber.


Have you noticed -- the Tea Party soap opera has been cancelled

It's been a little more than a month since the November 2010 election and there's a real change in the air.

No, I don't mean the fact that the Republicans will take over the House of Representatives in January.

I mean -- have you noticed the sudden complete absence of the Tea Party in the media, especially on Fox?

In the months leading up to the November 2010 election, Fox was a veritable 24/7 Tea Party telethon. Glenn Beck was holding Tea Party rallies on the Mall in D.C. Sarah Palin was flying around the country, speaking to Tea Party rallies and Fox was gushing over her latest utterances.

Tea Party candidates all but had their own shows on Fox and even the mainstream, serious media was featuring interviews with such dingbats as Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle (remember them?).

Now -- where are they? Where are the Tea Party mobs, riding around on their Scooters and PowerChairs that were paid for by Medicare, shouting about how they don't want "government medicine." Where are the interviews with Joe Miller and his merry band of dingbats?

Fox has dropped every single one of them, replacing them with GOP establishment types.

And, even worse, the Tea Party clowns who were elected to Congress have dropped all pretense of being "grass-roots" and "populist." For example:

-- What happened to the Tea Party animus against earmarks? Now, suddenly, earmarks aren't so bad after all -- every new Tea Party Congresscritter suddenly has backed off from calls to do away with earmarks.

-- And, did you notice that over a dozen of each of the newly-elected Tea Baggers has appointed a K Street lobbyist as their chief of staff? Whatever happened to that "of the people" talk from the Tea Baggers??

Looks like the Tea Party soap opera lasted about one season. Of course, as the 2012 election approaches, look for the GOP to crank up their Astroturf operation and the Tea Party will be back.



President Obama caves in to Republicans; sets the stage to destroy Social Security

The following article was copied directly from DailyKos at this link:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/12/7/926528/-Why-do-Republicans-support-a-payroll-tax-holiday

-- quote

Why do Republicans support a payroll tax holiday? Hotlist

Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:41:25 PM PST

[bumped - Barbara Morrill]


By far, the single biggest new piece of stimulus in the Obama-GOP tax deal is the temporary one year reduction of individual Social Security payroll taxes from 6.2% to 4.2%.

That one measure alone will inject $120 billion into the economy next year, and because it only applies to the first $106,000 of each taxpayer's income, the vast majority of that $120 billion will go to people who will actually spend it, in the process, strengthening the economy.

So if the payroll tax holiday will (a) stimulate the economy and (b) primarily benefit middle-income taxpayers, then why do you think Republicans are agreeing to it?

The answer to that question should figure prominently into whether you support or oppose this deal, and at least to me, there's only one answer that makes sense: Republicans see the payroll tax holiday as yet another tax trap.

Here's why it's a trap: the deal calls for the payroll tax holiday to last for just one year. That means on January 1, 2012, payroll taxes would go back up to 6.2%.

Put another way, the Republican message in 2011 will be this: "If Congress doesn't extend the payroll tax holiday, everybody's taxes are going up on January 1, 2012."

If you don't think Republicans that's exactly what Republicans will say, then you haven't been paying attention. Not only will they demand an extension of the payroll tax holiday, they'll make extending it permanently the centerpiece of their 2012 Presidential campaign.

Given that the economy is likely to still be in lousy shape shape one year from now, extending the payroll tax holiday will probably be politically popular. So there will be tremendous pressure on Democrats to extend it. The problem is, extending it would threaten Social Security. And extending it permanently would kill Social Security as we know it.

The issue isn't whether we can afford a temporary one year payroll tax holiday. We can. In fact, doing so would help the economy. But as is painfully obviously, in this political climate, there's no such thing as a "temporary" tax cut.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that cutting the employee side of the payroll tax from 6.2% to 4.2% on a permanent basis will force massive cuts in Social Security benefits. Republicans certainly understand the implications. And that's why they want this payroll tax holiday -- because it will help them undermine the entire Social Security system.

Sure, it would be wildly irresponsible to risk the entire Social Security system. But these are Republicans we're talking about. They live for this kind of stuff.

Could Democrats hold the line and refuse to extend the payroll tax cut? In theory, yes. But it would require good messaging. And you'd have to be crazy to depend on Democrats to do a good job with messaging.

So even though the payroll tax holiday would provide some short-term stimulus, in the long-run it will jeopardize the future of Social Security. It's being sold as a concession on the part of Republicans, but it's not a concession, it's a trap that Democrats should avoid.

-- end quote


Sarah Palin: STOP WHINING

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has responded to criticism surrounding a recent gaffe when she said the United States must "stand with our North Korean allies" by listing some of President Obama's misstatements.

Palin made the mistake on conservative host Glenn Beck's radio program. Beck corrected Palin's mistake moments later and Palin went on to identify South Korea correctly. But the gaffe fueled a wave of criticism from Palin's detractors. In response, Palin took to her Facebook page and cited a number of President Obama's gaffes.

In the post titled "A Thanksgiving Message to All 57 states," Palin lines up Obama's misspeaks in paragraph form -- including one in which the president mistakenly said there were 57 states. Each gaffe is linked to a YouTube video.

"Of course, the paragraph above is based on a series of misstatements and verbal gaffes made by Barack Obama (I didn't have enough time to do one for Joe Biden)," writes Palin. "Obviously, I would have been...impressed if the media showed some consistency on this issue."

Got that? Palin made a slip of the tongue.

Now, let's admit that it may not have been a slip of the tongue. After all, McCain's people tell us that, as they prepped her for her VP debates, she was not aware that there had been a war in Korea and she had no clue as to the differences between N and S Korea.

However, just for the sake of argument, let's say she made a simple slip of the tongue.

She took a little shit for it. Then, what did she do?

Whine, whine, whine.

Instead of shaking it off, chuckling at it, and moving on, she took a day to compile a list of Obama's gaffes complete with YouTube links, then she posted a long list to her Facebook page that is essentially a "poor, poor, pitiful me" -- "Everybody hates me, no one loves me, I think I'll sit in the dirt and eat worms!!"

Her performance in this affair should show everyone exactly what this airheaded ditz is made of -- NOTHING.

Palin needs to understand something: If you put on the pads and step out onto the field, and a big-ass defensive lineman knocks you on your ass, you have two choices:

1. Get up and get back into your stance, or,
2. Quit.

Note that WHINE, WHINE, WHINE is not a choice.

But that's what she wants to do. She wants to throw stones, hide behind Fox and Facebook -- but let someone return fire -- and it's poor, poor, pitiful me.

Memo to Sarah: Get in the game or get in the stands.

Senate Republicans are the reason you are being groped and fondled at the airport

That's right, folks. Senate Republicans are the reason you are being
groped and fondled at the airport or being required to go through the full-body scanner.

In the “Aircraft Passenger Whole-Body Imaging Limitations Act of
2009” -- HR 2027 -- the U.S. House of Representatives passed
legislation that said:

"Whole-body imaging technology may not be used as the sole or primary
method of screening a passenger under this section. Whole-body imaging
technology may not be used to screen a passenger ... unless another
method of screening, such as metal detection, demonstrates cause for
preventing such passenger from boarding an aircraft."

Got that? The House passed legislation that said you can be
subjected to full-body scan ONLY if something else -- e.g., metal
detector, something funny in your carry-on baggage, etc. -- causes an
alert.

However, Senate Republicans did what they did to all legislation from
the House -- they blocked it because they did not want to pass
anything proposed by the Obama administration.

So -- if you are forced to go through the full body scanner, or, be
groped and fondled, thank the Republicans.

Southern History is repeating itself -- moonlight, magnolias, the Lost Cause

The Old Redneck was born in the piney woods of SW Mississippi in 1944. He was born a Southerner, a Baptist, and a Democrat. Later, he learned to read.

He is still a Southerner and a Democrat.

For some years now, Old Redneck has been deeply conflicted concerning the course of his beloved South. He has swung wildly from pessimistic to optimistic. Now, he is profoundly pessimistic.

In 1927, William Faulkner -- a contemporary of my grandfather -- submitted to his publisher a novel that he titled "Flags in the Dust," a chronicle of the deterioration of the Sartoris family from a grand old planter family through three generations to dust. The damnyankees at his publisher, not understanding the South, severely cut the manuscript and published it in shortened version as "Sartoris." Faulkner later paid for the full manuscript to be published and today "Flags in the Dust" can be found through sellers of old books. The Old Redneck has a signed first edition thereof that cost damn near six months pay.

In "Flags In the Dust" Faulkner described the ethos of the Southerner when he wrote this, one of the most magnificient sentences in the English language:

"Then together they spent the afternoon going quietly and unhurriedly about the grazing meadows and the planting or harvesting fields and the peaceful woodlands in their dreaming seasonal mutations -- the man on his horse and the ticked setter gravely beside him, while the descending evening of their lives drew toward its peaceful close upon the kind land that had bred them both." - - William Faulkner, Flags In The Dust

The Old Redneck was born in 1944. As I was growing up in Mississippi in the 1950's, when someone spoke about "the war," they were NOT talking about WW II -- which had ended only a few years before -- or the unknown war in Korea that was going on. No, they were talking about the Civil War.

My great-great-grandfather owned slaves -- over 100 according to the 1860 slave census of Wilkinson County, MS. My great-grandfather was a senior official in the county KKK. I grew up working in my grandfather's cotton gin and listening to tales told by Aunt Kitty -- born a slave, now living out her last years in a little house behind my grandparents' home.

At age 14, I had an epiphany while working in Granddad's general store. One day, a little black girl came into the store. She was around 9-10 years old, dressed in rags, leading two younger children by the hands. They were dressed each in a single old T-shirt -- that's it. I recognized them as the children of a local sharecropped who "traded" with Granddad. She had in her hand a dime. I was working behind the meat counter. She asked for "A nickel's worth of pepper sausage and six soda crackers." We sold crackers each. Pepper sausage was salami that came in long tubes which we sliced depending upon the order. I sliced six thin slices of salami, weighing them to ensure they came to a "nickel's worth." Those six slices of salami and six crackers were the only thing these three children had to eat all day. God only knows where she got the dime.

A few days later, the scene was repeated almost exactly. Only it was an 11-year-old white boy with his baby sister in tow and a dime in his hand. They purchased 10 cents worth of cheese and crackers and sat on the concrete steps in front of the store and slowly ate what to me would have been but a snack.

And suddenly it hit me: There is no difference between the poor whites and the poor blacks. They both are wretchedly poor. Both suffer from malnutrition. Both drop out of school to work fields that long ago played out from too much of the same crop. Both drag cotton sacks behind them in August, picking cotton until their fingers bleed, hoping they can get a bale an acre and pay what they owe the landowner for rent and furnish. (What is "furnish?" Here.)

To this day -- I am now 66 -- I marvel at the ability of the white power structure to keep poor whites and poor blacks from joining forces against them. As I grew older and continued my education I realized that the true split in the South was NOT between black and white, but between rich and poor. Elite and working class. Sartoris and Snopes.

But white Southern politicians kept themselves in power by telling the white masses that the black man wanted their jobs, their land, and their women. And the white masses fell for it.

As a college student in Alabama in the 1960's, I marched in the crowd behind John Lewis and Martin Luther King in Selma and Montgomery and Birmingham. For this, I was threatened with expulsion by the Dean of Students of the small Alabama liberal arts college I attended -- and graduated from.

After graduation, I served 30 years in the Army, returning to my beloved South from time to time where I witnessed the agony of my grandparents and parents, friends, and relatives as they struggled with the changes wrought in the '60's.

After one visit home, I was optimistic that white and black in the South would move forward together. On the next visit, I wondered if anything had changed from slavery.

When Ronald Reagan chose Philadelphia, Mississippi, to make his first speech as a Presidential candidate, I knew the South was marching backward and was being led by the Republican Party in its retreat into the Lost Cause and magnolias and crinolines -- the never-never world of "So Red The Rose" and "Gone With the Wind."

Today, I feel now that the South continues its march backward led by demagogues cut from the same cloth as Theodore Bilbo, Strom Thurmond, the Kingfish, Orville Faubus, and Lester Maddox -- all of whom appealed to the most base instincts of humanity.

From this vantage point, the Old Redneck looks at the lunacy that now grips his beloved South -- Rick Perry; Bobby Jindal; Bob McDonnell and his Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli; Haley Barbour; and the barbaric horde of legislators who support them. These demagogues prey on today's white masses who are fuming over high unemployment, an influx of "Mexicans," a black man in the White House, and Sharia Law, all of which is fueled by Fox, Beck, Limbaugh and the usual suspects.

In my native Mississippi, the schools are still segregated. The public schools are all black. White kids attend "academies," most of the "Christian academies." I made the mistake last year of referring to the "academy" attended by my cousin's children as a "private school" and I heard the most tortured explanation possible of why this is not really a "private school" and, well, it really is open to everyone. But it's lily-white.

I doubt if any Kossacks are familiar with Charles S. Sydnor. He is a premier Southern historian whose intellectual and personal journey sounds a warning for today's South. Here is his story.

Charles Sackett Sydnor

Charles Sackett Sydnor, Southern historian, was born 21 July 1898 in Augusta, Georgia. His father, a prominent Presbyterian minister, modeled the virtues of elite leadership which would in time inform the son’s scholarly themes. In the course of a tortuous intellectual quest, Sydnor progressed from his peer’s neo-Confederate apologetics to more insightful interpretations of the South’s social dynamics.

In 1918, Sydnor graduated from Virginia’s Hampden-Sydney College and five years later earned his Ph.D. in history from Johns-Hopkins University. Following a brief tenure at his alma mater, he chaired the University of Mississippi’s Department of History from 1925 to 1936 and then taught at North Carolina’s Duke University from 1936 to 1954. One of his generation’s premier historians, he was elected president of the Southern Historical Association in 1939 and appointed Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University in 1950.

Sydnor’s Mississippi years proved critical to his intellectual development.

His early historical works evidenced a comfortable scholar little inclined to challenge contemporary social values.

Sydnor’s textbook Mississippi History (1930) was replete with the Negrophobic, anti-Yankee tone typical of southern school literature of the period and his more substantial Slavery in Mississippi (1933) projected a paternalistic image of the peculiar institution.

Governor Theodore Bilbo’s attacks upon the University of Mississippi in 1930 altered Sydnor’s perspectives. A fiery leader of the state’s downtrodden masses, the governor challenged the school’s aristocratic traditions, firing its president and about one-fourth of its faculty. Appalled, Sydnor developed a keen sensitivity to the struggles between the South’s intransigent elites and the restive under classes which found voice in the demagogic Bilbo.

Influenced by these events, Sydnor produced his Gentleman of the Old Natchez Region: Benjamin L. C. Wailes (1938), finding in his subject an individual congenial to his own values. Admiring Wailes’s promotion of education and cultural uplift in frontier Mississippi, Sydnor also appreciated his courageous stand for the Union in 1861. Just as Wailes had stood up to “reckless and unprincipled politicians” bent on secession, Sydnor determined to critique the roguish leaders of his own South. No longer confident of academic freedom at the University of Mississippi, he departed for Duke University’s more friendly environs.

Sydnor emerged from Mississippi a substantial scholar whose historical writings mirrored his growing concern that modern southern politicians and the system which bred them failed to serve the nation in general and the South in particular. In 1948, his The Development of Southern Sectionalism, 1819-1848 decried the qualitative decline of southern leadership from the nationalism of Washington and Jefferson to the unbending sectionalism of John C. Calhoun.

Sydnor’s historical writings had come to mirror his concerns with modern-day southern politics. Personally alarmed by the state-rights, segregationist rhetoric of South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond, Sydnor turned next to an exploration of what he considered the more sagacious political traditions of colonial Virginia. His Gentlemen Freeholders: Political Practices in Washington’s Virginia (1952) was a thinly veiled allegory suggesting that Virginia’s cultured, well-educated elites combined the best of aristocracy and democracy to produce a political climate far superior to the destructive partisanship characteristic of the modern South.

On 26 February 1954, Sydnor spoke before the Mississippi Historical Society meeting in Biloxi. It was his unintended valedictory, hours later he was struck by a fatal heart attack, succumbing on 2 March.

Months before, Sydnor had written with disdain that the current “fad for displaying Confederate caps and flags” and appealing to “the ancient shibboleths of states’ rights, of race, and of Southern tradition” bode ill for his native region. Prepared as remarks before Louisiana State University’s Walter Lynwood Fleming Lectures, they were never uttered. Death had stilled his call for Southern moderation.

Read that last paragraph again:

Months before, Sydnor had written with disdain that the current “fad for displaying Confederate caps and flags” and appealing to “the ancient shibboleths of states’ rights, of race, and of Southern tradition” bode ill for his native region. Prepared as remarks before Louisiana State University’s Walter Lynwood Fleming Lectures, they were never uttered. Death had stilled his call for Southern moderation.

That was 1954.

And today . . .

"I've seed de first en de last. . . . I seed de beginnin, en now I sees de endin." Dilsey to Frony in Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury, April Eighth, 1928

Republicans are turning the USofA into a third-world banana republic where a few people control all the wealth

Republicans, starting with Ronald Reagan, have put into place economic and tax policies that have turned the US into a third-world banana republic where the few people at the top control most of the wealth and the rest of us are left with the droppings.

Here are clips from some editorials of 18 November 2010 that illustrate my point.



But there is also a larger question: What kind of a country do we aspire to be? Would we really want to be the kind of plutocracy where the richest 1 percent possesses more net worth than the bottom 90 percent?

Oops! That’s already us. That’s already us. The top 1 percent of Americans owns 34 percent of America’s private net worth, according to figures compiled by the Economic Policy Institute in Washington. The bottom 90 percent owns just 29 percent.

That also means that the top 10 percent control more than 70 percent of Americans’ total net worth.




The tycoons can relax. Two White House economic officials told me this week that fixing the carried-interest loophole is probably dead, for this Congress and the next. It was hard enough to beat the big guys. But once they successfully hid under the cover of the little guys, it was impossible.

That political legerdemain is making America more unequal every year, and the polls show people are mad as hell at Wall Street and Washington, both. And yet the popular chorus continues: Save the tax breaks for the rich.




LA Times


Washington is poised to stop providing extended unemployment benefits despite the huge number of laid-off workers, the paucity of job openings, the high rate of underemployment in every sector of the economy and stubbornly slow economic growth. That's because Republicans in the Senate insist that, unlike the hefty tax cuts they covet for the wealthy, the comparatively slender subsidies for the unemployed must not be financed with borrowed money. This penuriousness is not just hypocritical, it's bad economics.



Here's a message for any rightwinger who happens by this site

After The 8 Years Of The Bush/Cheney Disaster, Now You Get Mad?

You didn't get mad when Bush gave the rich over 5 trillion dollars in tax breaks, and wiped out the middle class, while waging two wars that have cost over $800 million and counting, thus ensuring we would go deeper into debt to pay for them.

You didn't get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate Energy policy and push us to invade Iraq.

You didn't get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.

You didn't get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.

You didn't get mad when we invaded a country that posed no threat to us.

You didn't get mad when we spent over $800 billion (and counting) on said illegal war.

You didn't get mad when Bush borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined.

You didn't get mad when over 10 billion dollars in cash just disappeared in Iraq.

You didn't get mad when you found out we were torturing people illegally.

You didn't get mad when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing policies that shipped 6 million American jobs out of the country.

You didn't get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.

You didn't get mad when Bush didn't catch Bin Laden and finally said he wasn't concerned about bin Laden.

You didn't get mad when Bush rang up 10 trillion dollars in combined budget and current account deficits.

You didn't get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

You didn't get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.

You didn't get mad with the worst 8 years of job creations in several decades.

You didn't get mad when over 200,000 US Citizens lost their lives because they had no health insurance to pay for needed medical care.

You didn't get mad when lack of oversight of the financial markets caused US Citizens to lose 12 trillion dollars in investments, retirement, and home values.

But -- You finally got mad when a black man was elected President and decided that people in America deserve the right to see a doctor if they are sick.

Just exactly what kind of fool are you??



Is it possible for President Obama to GROW A PAIR OF BALLS?????

Today, 3 November, I watched in horror and disgust as President Obama held his first press conference after the 2 November election in which Republicans destroyed the Democratic majority in the House and almost took the Senate.

Obama's performance at the press conference was disgusting. He showed no fight. He said he wants to "work with Republicans." He claimed he "finally" gets it -- it's the economy.

Mr. President: WAKE THE FUCK UP, FOOL

Maybe you want to work WITH the Republicans -- but they want to work ON you.

Two years ago Jim DeMent said the GOP wanted to destroy your presidency, last night they came close, and they have not changed that goal. WAKE THE FUCK UP, FOOL.

Obama then compared himself to Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. The problem is that he is neither Reagan nor Clinton and this is 20-goddam-10, not 1984 or 1994.

If Barack Obama believes the Republicans will work with him, I have some beachfront property in Arizona he might be interested in.

The Republicans HATE Barack Obama. Those good old white boys were SHOCKED that an African American won that office. That is why they are aligned, together to destroy this presidency and send Obama home in 2012.

Barack Obama acted like he just GOT IT, that it was the economy and the joblessness. This alone is un-fucking-believable.

And as if that was not enough, up came Harry Reid, perhaps the dumbest, most spineless piece of shit to ever put on a necktie.

I heard something from Harry Reid about "open to tweaking health care", and "the Republicans may have a point about the new health care being a burden on small business" from Obama.

Then I threw up.

It seems they still have not grasped the lesson.

When you look weak, people vote you out of office.

Responding to the GOP House victory with a meek and wavering tone is not leadership. It’s cowardice.

And I think this gets to the crux of why we can't maintain power very long. Do you think the GOP would ever admit the talking points of the Democrats? Not in a million years. You look WEAK when you do that, and the electorate picks up on that like wolves honing in on a sick moose.

People want you to stand for something. You need to be consistent. Shout your values to the sky, and if you lose, you lose acting and believing in those principles.

Last night and early this morning I was proud to be a Democrat. After hearing the responses of our "leaders," I'm embarrassed and sickened. It was then that I realized our problem is that we do not have a leader who can stand tall and not waver. It's that simple.

Mr. President, this is what the public wants, listen carefully:

STOP THE FORECLOSURES AND STABILIZE THE HOUSING MARKET

FIX SMALL BUSINESS LENDING SO THEY CAN CREATE JOBS.

EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

LET THE BUSH TAX CUTS EXPIRE IN ORDER TO FIX THE DEFICIT

CREATE JOBS ANYWAY YOU CAN AND IGNORE THE NOISE FROM THE RIGHT. THEY WANT TO IMPEACH YOU.

Sadly, I'm not counting on President Obama to do anything different.

We need to start the process of dumping him and finding a 2012 candidate with balls. Like Hillary Clinton.

Questions for Republicans

Questions:

What was the average monthly private sector job growth in 2008, the final year of the Bush presidency, and what has it been so far in 2010?

What was the Federal deficit for the last fiscal year of the Bush presidency, and what was it for the first full fiscal year of the Obama presidency?

What was the stock market at on the last day of the Bush presidency? What is it at today?

Which party's candidate for speaker will campaign this weekend with a Nazi reenactor who dressed up in a SS uniform?

Answers:

In 2008, we lost an average of 317,250 private sector jobs per month. In 2010, we have gained an average of 95,888 private sector jobs per month. That's a difference of nearly five million jobs between Bush's last year in office and President Obama's second year.http://www.bls.gov/data/#employment

In FY2009, which began on September 1, 2008 and represents the Bush Administration's final budget, the budget deficit was $1.416 trillion. In FY2010, the first budget of the Obama Administration, the budget deficit was $1.291 trillion, a decline of $125 billion. (Source) Yes, that means President Obama has cut the deficit -- there's a long way to go, but we're in better shape now than we were under Bush and the GOP.http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/119xx/doc11936/SeptemberMBR.pdf

On Bush's final day in office, the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 closed at 7,949, 1,440, and 805, respectively. Today, as of 10:15AM Pacific, they are at 11,108, 2,512, and 1,183. That means since President Obama took office, the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 have increased 40%, 74%, and 47%, respectively.

The Republican Party, whose candidate for speaker, John Boehner, will campaign with Nazi re-enactor Rich Iott this weekend.
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/10/27/914229/-Boehner-scheduled-to-campaign-with-Nazi-re-enactor

Sen. Jim DeMint (R, SC) re-writes the Constitution, says he and he alone will decide what the Senate will consider


Sen. Jim DeMint (Asshole-SC) has announced that he and he alone will decide what bills will be voted on by the Senate:


-- quote
Sen. Jim DeMint warned his colleagues Monday night that he would place a hold on all legislation that has not been “hot-lined” by the chamber or has not been cleared by his office before the close of business Tuesday. Although the South Carolina Republican has objected for years to the hot-lining of legislation until his staff at the Republican Steering Committee has reviewed it, DeMint’s threat to essentially shut down legislation in the chamber is remarkable. [...]

[I]n a terse e-mail sent to all 100 Senate chiefs of staff Monday evening, Steering Committee Chief of Staff Bret Bernhardt warned that DeMint would place a hold on any legislation that had not been hot-lined or been cleared by his office before the close of business Tuesday. [...]

Democratic and Republican aides alike were stunned, arguing that DeMint had essentially made a unilateral decision to end legislative activity in the Senate.
-- end quote


“Hot-lining” is a process by which the two Senate leaders poll their caucuses to see if anyone objects to passing a bill. If no one raises an objection, than the bill is fast-tracked for passage. DeMint apparently plans to honor his existing promises to allow legislation to be hot-lined, but he has told the entire Senate that they have until close of business today to get his approval for other legislation or else he will block that bill — even if it enjoys overwhelming support.

DeMint can get away with this stunt because the Senate’s rules are ripe for abuse. Unless all 100 senators agree to begin and end debate on a bill without objection, the dissenting senators can force up to 60 hours of uninterrupted debate before a final vote can take place. Thus, a small number of senators can grind the Senate to a near-complete halt.

As of last August, 372 bills had passed the House, many of them unanimously, but have yet to receive a vote in the Senate. At 60 hours per bill, it would require over two and a half years to vote on these bills, and that’s assuming the Senate works around the clock and on weekdays, weekends and holidays. In other words, there is simply not enough time to get more than a fraction of the Senate’s business done if a minority is determined to do everything they can to block progress.

DeMint’s decision to force his colleagues to seek his personal approval before he will allow a vote to take place is a new escalation in the right’s already-unprecedented game of obstruction. Filibusters and holds happen — and they happen a whole lot more now than they used to — but placing a hold on every single pending bill shows unmistakably that the GOP has no interest in governing.


GOP says: Only white people are Americans

African-Americans make up 13 percent of the US population.

Hispanics make up 15 percent of the US population.

Asians make up 4.5 percent of the US population

Other non-white make up less than 2 percent.

White people of European origin make up the remainder of the US population -- around 65 percent.

At least, that's according to the US Census Bureau:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States

However, that's NOT the case according to the Republican Party.

On Thursday, 23 September, the GOP released their "Pledge With America." The "Pledge" was released at a hardware store in Sterling, VA, with the likes of John Boehner and Eric Cantor standing in an almost-empty parking lot behind a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire.

The "Pledge" was a slick booklet, 21 pages long, complete with photographs.

Check out the photos in the GOP "Pledge" booklet and tell me what the GOP thinks "real Americans" look like:
http://www.jackandjillpolitics.com/2010/09/a-vanilla-scented-pledge-to-america-the-gops-whites-only-vision-for-america/

No wonder they want to "take our country back."

GOP Believes Americans are Stupid

. . . and in the case of the people who vote for them, they may be right.

After watching the GOP in action for years, I can conclude only that the GOP believes the American public to be complete ignoramusses. After listening to John "Tan In A Can" Boehner this morning, I can reach no other conclusion.


Here are two points that lead me, finally, to this conclusion.


The Republicans will release today a 21-page (or so) document that they hope will lead people to vote for them in 2010 and beyond -- similar to their 1994 "Contract On America." If you haven't read the document, it's available all over the 'net -- just ignore the misspellings.


The centerpiece of this document is their promise to "repeal Obamacare."


Let's examine this claim and see just how fucking stupid this pledge is.


IN THE FIRST PLACE several provisions of health care reform take effect today. Let's look at just one of these -- the provision that allows children to remain on their parents' health insurance until age 26. Take a typical situation:


-- Previously, kids were tossed off their parents' policies at age 18, or, at 21 under certain circumstances.

-- So -- kid is 18, goes to college, is dropped from parents' policy but is able to get health insurance through the college -- a common situation.

-- Four or five years later, kid graduates from college and the school health insurance ends. -- BUT -- because of the evil "Obamacare," the kid can get back on the parents' insurance while looking for a job.

-- Suppose this young person graduates from college, loses school insurance, is picked up on parents' policy, and can't find a job. No problem -- he/she is on the parents' policy for a few more years.


NOW, ARE YOU TELLING ME THAT THE REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO THIS FAMILY AND SAY "FUCK YOU, DROP THAT KID OFF YOUR POLICY!! Oh, and vote for me because I saved you from Obamacare!!!"


Sure they are.


IN THE SECOND PLACE IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR "OBAMACARE" TO BE REPEALED. Read the Constituion, you dolts!!!


In order to repeal the law, the House and Senate must BOTH PASS THE SAME REPEAL LEGISLATION. The Republicans must have enough votes in both houses to pass repeal legislation. Not gonna happen. But say they do.


Then, the President must sign the legislation. Or veto it. And guess what President Obama will do to the repeal legislation??


However, Congress can override the veto WITH 2/3 VOTE OF BOTH HOUSES and there is no way the GOP will have -- now or ever -- a 2/3 majority in both houses.


Repeal is dead. It's a non-starter. Not gonna happen.


So, if it's dead, and the GOP knows it's dead, why are they making repeal their centerpiece?? If many of the provisions of health care reform that take effect today are popular -- and they are, 60-70 percent of people support many of the provisions -- how can the Republicans think they'll jerk these away from families?


BECAUSE REPUBLICANS BELIEVE THEIR VOTERS ARE TOO GODDAM STUPID TO FIGURE OUT THAT THEIR PLEDGE OF REPEAL WILL NOT WORK AND IS A TERRIBLE IDEA.


And they may be right.

This week in Republican science as taught by Christine O'Donnell

Christine O'Donnell is the gift that keeps giving.

She deserves her own bullet point list of craziness.

Here are this week's Christine O'Donnell science lessons:.

-- Mice/human hybrids have fully functioning human brains
http://www.examiner.com/science-policy-in-austin/christine-o-donnell-of-mice-and-men

-- Carbon 14 dating was falsified by igneous volcanic extrusions
http://www.examiner.com/science-policy-in-austin/christine-o-donnell-is-deeply-confused-on-geology-and-science

-- There is good evidence the universe is about 6000 years old
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/9/16/902443/-DE-Sen:-ODonnell,-in-her-own-words

Why do I hear the theme music from The Twilight Zone playing in the background?

And this woman wants to be a U.S. Senator.

Christine O'Donnell: Fraud, crook, liar, dumb, or -- all of the above?

We report, you decide.

This is the change the tea baggers want to bring to DC???

Christine O'Donnell is the Republican candidate for United States Senate in Delaware. This is Ms. O'Donnell's third campaign for the Senate in five years. After reviewing her background, I am left to wonder: Is Christine O'Donnell stupid, crooked, a liar, or, is she all of the above??

Ms. O'Donnell has drawn intense criticism for a multitude of questionable financial issues that most notably include using campaign funds for personal expenses. Her former campaign manager accused her of using campaign donations for rent, among other things. Ms. O'Donnell acknowledged doing so, but said the rent expenditures were justified because her townhouse is also her campaign headquarters. Records show that Ms. O'Donnell has no steady income and earned only $5,800 last year.
http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20100911/NEWS02/9110350/1006/NEWS

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42141.html


Ms. O'Donnell's financial woes don't stop there. In March 2010, the IRS filed a lien against Ms O'Donnell for more than $11,000 in unpaid income taxes and fees. She claims there was a computer glitch and has since paid an undisclosed amount to settle the issue. In 2008, she was sued by her mortgage company for not making payments since October 2007. While the house was in foreclosure, Ms. O'Donnell sold it to her then -boyfriend. She said she sold the house in order to fund her campaign and denied that she was ever sued by her mortgage company despite court records showing otherwise. http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20100911/NEWS02/9110350/1006/NEWS


Other questions about Ms. O'Donnell's honesty and integrity abound. For example, Ms. O'Donnell's has provided varying accounts about her educational background. During her 2006 and 2008 Senate campaigns Ms. O'Donnell touted a degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University. During this campaign, however, her website stated merely that she attended FDU. This month, 17 years after she attended college, an FDU spokesman confirmed Ms. O'Donnell finally earned her degree after completing a course requirement just this summer. FDU sued Ms. O'Donnell in 1994, citing unpaid tuition bills.
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/41750.html


Additionally, Ms. O'Donnell falsely claimed she had carried two of the three counties in Delaware during her 2008 Senate campaign against former Sen. Joe Biden. When confronted about the statements by a radio host this September, she denied making that claim. The radio host then played audio of her at a rally making the statement. In response, she claimed to have clarified her remarks by stating she meant she tied Sen. Biden in those counties; that, too, was a lie. http://www.delawaregop.com/NewsBack.aspx?guid=3f74fb09-e8c3-4bd6-90c7-c845f85eab7b

http://www.wgmd.com/?p=9496

What did Crazy Aunt Sarah say ?!?!?!

Could someone please translate this latest Palinism into English ???

http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2010/09/palins_latest_wtf_statement.php


"This Statue of Liberty was gifted to us by foreign leaders,
really as a warning to us, it was a warning to us to stay unique and to stay exceptional from other countries. Certainly not to go down the path of other countries that adopted socialist policies," Palin said to cheers from the crowd.


Uh-h-h-h-h -- do you suppose Crazy Sarah understands that the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France ?

You know -- France -- the nation they keep telling us is exactly the kind of Euro-socialist system we have to avoid?

Quick Sarah, tell us what it says on the Statue of Liberty. You might have read it in all those newspapers you read. And -- can you see the Statue of Liberty from your front porch?

Why did Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck not show up at "ground zero" on 9-11??

On 9-11-2010 Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck gathered for an event in Alaska to which tickets cost $225 each.

Alaska, you will note, is about as far away from "ground zero" as you can go and still be in the USofA.

So -- why did these two superpatriots run away from "ground zero?" Could it be that they couldn't charge admission there and the almighty $$$ is more important to them than anything else???

"Sheriff Joe" is a piece of shit

Goddam good -- about time.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_ARIZONA_SHERIFF_LAWSUIT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

-- quote
The U.S. Justice Department sued Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Thursday,saying the Arizona lawman refused for more than a year to turn overrecords in an investigation into allegations his departmentdiscriminates against Hispanics.

The lawsuit calls Arpaio and his office's defiance "unprecedented,"and said the federal government has been trying since March 2009 toget officials to comply with its probe of alleged discrimination,unconstitutional searches and seizures, and jail policies thatdiscriminate against people with limited English skills

Arpaio had been given until Aug. 17 to hand over documents the federalgovernment first asked for 15 months ago.
-- end quote

I can't believe the feds let him stall for 17 months.
Arpaio has compiled a long record of notorious abuses, like this one:

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2009-10-22/news/pregnant-latina-says-she-was-forced-to-give-birth-to-her-baby-in-shackles-after-one-of-arpaio-s-deputies-racially-profiled-her/

-- quote
During her second night behind bars, the bleeding started. On themorning of October 14, she felt contractions. Her hands and feetshackled, she was in labor and ushered into a paramedic's van by adetention officer who restrained her to the stretcher.

"That's not necessary," the paramedic told the officer.

"It's my job," the officer responded. The guard was a Latina.

She thought she would be released from the shackles once she arrivedat the hospital, but she wasn't.

The officer chained her ankle to one leg of the hospital bed.

A nurse requested that she be freed to get a urine sample. But theofficer suggested instead that her bed be dragged over to thebathroom.

Later she was changed from her jail uniform into a hospital gown.

"The officer chained me by the feet and the hands to the bed," shesaid. "And that's how my daughter was born."
-- end quote

Arpaio is trash.

And while he remains obsessed with immigrants, hisactual record is a disaster:

http://americasvoiceonline.org/blog/entry/new_report_sheriff_joe_arpaios_notorious_record/

-- quote

* Violent crime rates are up in Arpaio’s jurisdiction while they havefallen throughout the rest of Arizona.

* Arpaio has failed to serve over 40,000 felony warrants. Arpaio issuspected of misspending $50 million in taxpayer funds and has refusedto turn over records for an investigation.

* Over 2,700 lawsuits have been filed against Arpaio and he’s beeninvestigated by the FBI and the U.S. Departments of Justice and Labor.

* Evidence exists that Arpaio forced an undocumented mother to givebirth while handcuffed to a bed.

-- end quote

And all of this for what?

For a jihad against immigrants that is based on lies and fear mongering?

When the governor of Arizona claims there are beheadings in the Arizona desert despite all evidence to thecontrary, when McCain claims his state is a lawless haven for villainyand scum, and when busboys, maids, and landscapers are blamed fordrug-related violence on the borders, you know immigrant bashers have lost their minds.

But what about all those jobs those immigrants are stealing from goodAmericans?

Turns out they aren't.

http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/08/30/how-increased-immigration-would-help-fix-the-economy/

-- quote

Statistical analysis of state-level data shows that immigrants expandthe economy’s productive capacity by stimulating investment and promoting specialization. This produces efficiency gains and boosts income per worker. At the same time, evidence is scant that immigrants diminish the employment opportunities of U.S.-born workers [...]

Over the long run, a net inflow of immigrants equal to 1% of employment increases income per worker by 0.6% to 0.9%. This implies that total immigration to the United States from 1990 to 2007 was associated with a 6.6% to 9.9% increase in real income per worker. That equals an increase of about $5,100 in the yearly income of the average U.S. worker in constant 2005 dollars. Such a gain equals 20%to 25% of the total real increase in average yearly income per worker registered in the United States between 1990 and 2007.

-- end quote

Let's hope the feds slap Sheriff Joe in a pink cell with lots of Mexican guys as cellmates.

Rand Paul at Baylor: "lewd, crude, and grossly sacrilegious."

Here you go, folks -- Rand Paul in action.

GQ has the story http://www.gq.com/blogs/the-q/2010/08/gq-exclusive-rand-pauls-crazy-college-days-hint-theres-a-secret-society-involved.html

-- quote

What's truly interesting about Rand Paul and Baylor is not the issue of whether or not he graduated; it's what he did at Baylor during the two-and-a-half years he spent there. As I discovered in the course ofreporting a story about Paul for GQ, he wasn't your typical Baylor student.

Baylor seemed like a natural fit for someone like Paul. Located inWaco, it's the world's largest Baptist University and has a long history of educating the children of prominent Texas conservative politicos. As the son of Houston-area Congressman Ron Paul, young Rand—or Randy, as he was known back then—appeared to be following in that tradition. But when Paul showed up in Waco, he didn't conform to type. According to several of his former Baylor classmates, he became a member of a secret society called the NoZe Brotherhood, which was a refuge for atypical Baylor students. "You could have taken 90 percent of the liberal thinkers at Baylor and found them in this small group,"recalls Marc Burckhardt, one of Paul's former NoZe Brothers. Sort of across between Yale's Skull & Bones and Harvard's Lampoon, the NoZe existed to torment the Baylor administration, which it accomplished through pranks and its satirical newspaper The Rope. The group especially enjoyed tweaking the school's religiosity. "We aspired to blasphemy," says John Green, another of Paul's former NoZe Brothers.

In 1978, the Baylor administration became so fed up with the NoZe thatit suspended the group from campus for being, in the words of Baylor's president at the time, "lewd, crude, and grossly sacrilegious." DuringPaul's three years at Baylor, according to former NoZe Brothers, if the administration discovered a student was a member of the NoZe, thepunishment was automatic expulsion.

-- end quote

I wonder how folks in Kentucky would feel about their senate candidate being a member of a group banned from Baylor for being "lewd, crude,and grossly sacrilegious". Now Paul was at Baylor from 1981-1984, so while the group was banned before he got there - the were still active as a secret society and still up to the same shenanigans.

While this isn't Bobby Jindal's exorcisms, and a lot can be written off to being a stupid college kid high on dope and alcohol -

-- quote

The strangest episode of Paul's time at Baylor occurred one afternoonin 1983 (although memories about all of these events areunderstandably a bit hazy, so the date might be slightly off), when heand a NoZe brother paid a visit to a female student who was one ofPaul's teammates on the Baylor swim team. According to this woman, whorequested anonymity because of her current job as a clinical psychologist, "He and Randy came to my house, they knocked on my door,and then they blindfolded me, tied me up, and put me in their car. They took me to their apartment and tried to force me to take bong hits. They'd been smoking pot." After the woman refused to smoke with them, Paul and his friend put her back in their car and drove to the countryside outside of Waco, where they stopped near a creek. "They told me their god was 'Aqua Buddha' and that I needed to bow down and worship him," the woman recalls. "They blindfolded me and made me bowdown to 'Aqua Buddha' in the creek. I had to say, 'I worship you Aqua Buddha, I worship you.' At Baylor, there were people actively going around trying to save you and we had to go to chapel, so worshiping idols was a big no-no."

-- end quote

Rand Paul obviously doesn't hold organized religion in much of any regard.

Can you pick out Rand Paul in the photo:
http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j51/shoelessrye/rope-thumb-464x306-79341.png

The NoZe Brotherhood does exist at least to the point they have a wikipedia entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_NoZe_Brotherhood ..and an official webpage - http://www.thenoze.org/index.php . . . and even have a facebook page of members which of course is set to private.

G. W. Bush made 77 trips to Crawford, TX, for 490 days, at $226,072 per trip!!

Rightwingers are going berserk because President Obama goes out to Andrews AFB, MD, to play golf then shoots hoops at the White House.

Meanwhile, let's review a few FACTS: Bush Made 77 Trips to Crawford TX at $226,072 a Pop!!

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/6/2/738037/-Bush-Made-77-Trips-to-Crawford-TX-at-$226,072-a-Pop

At a bare minimum, for the flights alone, Bush's 77 vacation trips to Crawford cost us $226,072 per trip. That's $17,407,544 so he could ride his bicycle in the woods and clear brush for the cameras.

Try to google the cost of the Bush's 77 trips to Crawford TX on Air Force One and the information is nowhere to be found. Because it was never reported. I had to calculate the costs myself.

At a bare minimum, for the flights alone, Bush's 77 vacation trips to Crawford cost us $226,072 per trip. That's $17,407,544 so he could ride his bicycle in the woods and clear brush for the cameras.

http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20060316113550-47530.pdf
The minimum cost per trip to Crawford TX is $226,072. That's just the estimated cost of flying Air Force One round trip - about two hours of flight time each way at $56,518 per hour.

http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20060316113550-47530.pdf
THE COST OF PRESIDENTIAL AND VICE PRESIDENTIAL POLITICAL TRAVEL PREPARED FOR REP. HENRY A.WAXMAN
This report assumes that flight operating costs are $56,518 per hour for Air Force One and $14,552 per hour for Air Force Two. These figures are based on the per hour cost figures cited by GAO for fiscal year 2000, adjusted for inflation.7
According to the Congressional Research Service, the President’s domestic travel also involves the use of accompanying cargo planes.8 This report assumes one cargo plane accompanies the President on each trip at an operating cost per hour of $6,960. This figure is based on the per-hour cost cited by GAO for fiscal year 2000 for the C-17 cargo plane, adjusted for inflation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prairie_Chapel_Ranch
The distance from Crawford to Washington DC is 1295 miles.

http://www.history.com/content/air-force-one/inside-air-force-one.
TODAY'S AIR FORCE ONE
Speed: 630 miles per hour

http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/01/16/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry4728085.shtml
George W. Bush is today making his final visit to Camp David as president.

He will likely miss the place: According to CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller, today's trip marks Mr. Bush's 149th visit to the presidential retreat. The planned three-day stay, during which the president is being joined by family and former and current aides, will bring his total time spent at Camp David to all or part of 487 days.

Yes, that's 487 days. And Camp David is not even where the president has spent the most time when not at the White House: Knoller reports that Mr. Bush has made 77 visits to his ranch in Crawford during his presidency, and spent all or part of 490 days there.

Fox "news" lies -- again

Is Fox capable of telling the truth? Probably not.

One of their latest lies is the claim that President Obama has "given a large swath of Arizon back to Mexico."

Lie.

http://mediamatters.org/blog/201006160058

-- quote

As we pointed out, Fox Nation used the preposterous headline "Obama Gives Back Major Strip of AZ to Mexico" in trumpeting a Fox News report about a closure of land in a national wildlife refuge in Arizona:

In the June 15 report, America Live guest host Shannon Bream says, "A massive stretch of Arizona now off limits to Americans. Critics say the administration is, in effect, giving a major strip of the Southwest back to Mexico."


There are a few problems with this: A representative of the refuge told Media Matters that the "massive stretch" of land is about five miles square, it's been closed since 2006, and it obviously hasn't been given back to Mexico.

Bonnie Swarbrick, who is the public information officer for the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona, said that the area in the refuge bordering Mexico was "closed in 2006 during the construction of a vehicle barrier." (That would have been more than two years before Obama even took office). Work on the vehicle barrier progressed into the construction of a 12-foot fence along the part of the refuge that borders Mexico, which is about seven miles long. The area has been kept closed "to allow the Border Patrol to do their work," she said.

Swarbrick added that the small strip of land that is closed makes up "less than 0.03 percent" of the refuge and said that the rest of the reserve is still open to the public. [UPDATE: A subsequent press release from the Fish and Wildlife Service made clear that the closed land makes up about 3 percent of the refuge.]

As for the Fox Nation headline, Swarbrick called it "totally false" and said the notion that America had given the land back to Mexico is "ludicrous."

-- end quote

Catherine Crabill: Dumb as a post

The Old Redneck lives in Northumberland County, VA, in Virginia's 1st Congressional District and in the 99th District of the Virginia General Assembly's House of Delegates.

There's an active "Tea Party" in our area whose hero is a batshit-crazy woman named Catherine Crabill. Never mind that Crabill and her husband left Arizona one step ahead of the law -- she raves about all the Tea Party's favorite bullshit and they just love her.

I'm not going into detail about this loon -- Google "Catherine Crabill" and read about her.

However, around 11:00 PM, 20 June 2010, I wandered over to her blog to see her latest ravings. I was not disappointed.

Go to this link and read her claim that " Obama got his own private armed forces in the Health Care Bill. " To prove this loony claim, she quotes at length from one section of the health care bill passed by Congress earlier this year. Here's the link:

http://www.catherinecrabill.com/catherine_crabill_for_del/page/2/

This woman is absolutely clueless. What this section of the bill does is establish a reserve officer corps for the public health service that will be available for call-up during national medical emergencies.

Apparently she doesn't understand what a commissioned officer is because she seems to be all worked up about the provisions of the bill that state the President will appoint these reserve Public Health Service officers.

Jesus Christ but she is stupid -- ALL commissioned officers of all federal services are appointed by the President and approved by the Congress -- this includes commissioned officers of the Army, navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. I'm a retired Army officer; I pulled out my framed commission from back when I was commissioned in 1967 -- sure enough, it reads: "The President of the United States of America, reposing special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, and abilities of (my name) I do hereby appoint him (rank) in the United States Army etc., etc., etc."

Of course, I don't doubt that her Tea Party friends -- being as ignorant as she is -- will eat up this bullshit.

Makes my head hurt to think about it.

Eric Cantor (R, VA): Lying sack of shit

Last year House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced the formation of the National Council for a New America, which he described as a group that would:

http://republicanwhip.house.gov/newsroom/2009/04/national-council-for-a-new-america-formed.html

... engage with and empower the American people to develop innovative solutions
that meet the serious challenges confronting our country. It is the right time
to begin a thoughtful conversation about the future of this country.

And after a year of watching Republicans do anything but offer solutions or engage in thoughtful debate, the group has been "suspended" because, believe it or not, Democrats were mean to them:
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/05/06/cantor-council-suspended/



Cantor aides explained that the group has been “suspended” one year after its
splashy launch in part because of the intense negative attention it received
from the Democratic campaign committees and other groups after its
introduction. [...]

Cantor spokesman John Murray said despite 5,000 positive news hits, the “relentless attacks from the left” became overwhelming to the whip office soon after its launch.

BULLFUCKINGSHIT.

The facts of the matter are Cantor's group wasn't relentlessly attacked by the left -- EVERY ATTACK AGAINST CANTOR'S STILLBORN GROUP CAME FROM THE FAR RIGHT:

Tony Perkins:

http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=WU09E03&f=PG07J01



In another step away from its conservative roots, Republican members of the
House unveiled The National Council for a New America in hopes of recasting the
Party's ailing identity. The effort only underscores the Republicans' present
identity crisis, as the GOP leadership kicked off the campaign devoid of the
values that once caused voters to identify with the party.

The group's priorities, which were unveiled at a pizza parlor press
conference, include the economy, health care, education, energy, and national
security. Notice anything conspicuously absent? Former Gov. Jeb Bush explained
the values void by saying it was time for the GOP to give up its "nostalgia" for
Reagan-era ideas and look forward to new "relevant" ideas. [...]

Turning away from those fundamental truths would be a death knell for
the GOP as little would be left to distinguish the Republicans from the
Democrats.




Mike Hickabee


http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/republican-party/fresh-gop-infighting-first-shots-fired-in-2012-primary/

In a fresh round of GOP infighting over the soul of the battered party,
Mike Huckabee just took a shot at a host of potential primary rivals,
disparaging Eric Cantor’s new group to revive the GOP, the National Council for
a New America, and the high-profile Republicans that make up the group’s "panel
of experts." [...]

"It is a sad day when our party comes to the point where we think it is
necessary to form a `listening group’ to find out what Americans think we should
be fighting for," Huckabee said. "Our problem is not lack of `experts,’ but too
many of them and not enough attention to the hard working people in our
communities that aren’t connected to the Beltway, but to the heartland."

And through a spokesman, Cantor folded:

"Eric reached out to Governor Huckabee, appreciates his efforts as a leader in our nation and he looks forward to remaining in close communication with all leaders," Dayspring told me, adding that social issues would be a focus of Cantor’s group: "All
issues, all topics, and all ideas will be included in the dialogue that the
National Council for a New America will have."




And -- Rush Limbaugh:

http://www.dailykostv.com/w/001287/


Here’s a brief timeline:

Thursday, April 30: Cantor announces a Republican listening tour,
saying the
GOP needs to “begin a conversation with the American people.”

Saturday,
May 2: Cantor says Republicans must “get back to listening to
the people.”

Monday, May 4: Rush Limbaugh smacks down Cantor’s project,
saying
“we do not need a listening tour.”

Wednesday, May 6: Cantor caves,
saying “really, this is not a listening
tour.”

And there you have it, folks -- proof that Eric Cantor (R, VA) is a lying
sack of shit. He formed a "group;" radical rightwingers who make up
the Republican "base" attacked his group; the group folded; and Cantor blamed
Democrats for his failure.

Rightwing Lie Machine is lying about the Obama's law licenses

As we all know, the rightwing lie machine has been spewing out the lie that the Obama's were forced to surrender their Illinois law licenses and therefore, neither of them is an attorney.

THIS CLAIM IS A LIE.

For the full story, read Snopes:
http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/lawlicenses.asp


For the short version: Attorneys are licensed by states. An attorney passes the state bar exam and is issued a license to practice law in that state. Some states have reciprocity -- my daughter, for example, passed the Virginia bar exam (which, with NY is one of two most difficult in the nation) -- with her VA license, she was also admitted to the MD and DC bars. She completed an 8-hour professional education course and was admitted to the federal bar.

To practice law, an attorney must keep his/her license current, which requires paying fees and agreeing to do certain things -- continued professional education, pro bono work, represent indigent people, and the like.

It is not unusual for an attorney who finds other work to let his/her license go inactive so he/she is not subject to various state bar requirements. In fact, the Old Redneck has three neighbors who are attorneys -- I asked them about the status of their law licenses:
-- One lives across the road, works from home, his license is active.
-- One lives in Richmond, his wife lives down the road, he is here on weekends; his license is active.
-- One is a former Asst SECNAV for Research, Development, and Acquisition, now working as consultant with General Dynamics. He's a Harvard Law grad, passed the VA bar, never practiced law, his license has been inactive for decades.

The guy who lives across the road, who works from a law office in his home, told me that he stays in touch with a dozen or so people who graduated from law school with him and at least half of those are inactive because they don't practice law and don't want to pay the VA bar dues of $350 a year plus $150 for a practice membership plus meet the continuing education requirements.

The rightwing lie machine claims that the Obamas' law licenses have been hidden from public view. LIE. Here they are:
http://www.snopes.com/politics/graphics/baracklicense.jpg


http://www.snopes.com/politics/graphics/michellelicense.jpg


The rightwing lie machine also claims that Michelle Obama was subject to disciplinary action as an attorney. ANOTHER LIE. Prior to 1999, Illinois required an attorney to petition the court to let their license go inactive and that's what she did.
http://web.archive.org/web/20080102005754/http://www.iardc.org/rule770inactivestatus.html

The rightwing lie machine claims that the Obama's have "hidden" information about their law licenses. Again, ANOTHER LIE. If you check their licenses online, you find that their business address and phone are "not available online" -- well, no shit -- because their law licenses are inactive, they are not eligible to practice law in Illinois, so, they have no address or phone where they don't practice law.

If they ever want to activate their law licenses, all they do is pay the state a small fee and they are back in business.

Did you expect the truth from the rightwing lie machine?