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Thursday, August 25

How to eat a dead terrorist, by Mark Morford

SF Gate:

"So deeply mesmerized was I by Nicholas Schmidle's chillingly detailed, wildly intense New Yorker piece describing nearly every gut-wrenching decision, stratagem and gunshot during the Navy SEAL's momentous takedown of Osama bin Laden on that fateful night in Abbottabad back in May, that I almost missed it.


....But amidst all the hardcore politics, grisly details and hugely cinematic spectacle, one vital detail swung by almost without notice like a thief in night-vision goggles; it was a potent flash of insight so devastating and telling I re-read the passage a few extra times to really let it soak in, to induce a deeply felt shudder and sigh.

It was this: We do this sort of thing all the time.

......The information is certainly out there. Nasty blogs abound that attempt to get the word out that America is enacting this or that horror on this or that innocent civilian, prisoner, population. The Iraq operation alone killed untold thousands of innocent civilians, women and children. General outrage quotient of the majority of Americans? Zero.

The truth remains: To the mainstream, America is all flag waving patriotism and God-sanctioned moral righteousness, and any blood or misery or harrowing "Hurt Locker"-like suffering is reserved for some faraway place most can't locate on a map. Americans remain, along with a few almost equally well-pampered allies, perhaps the most coddled, blindfolded, happily ignorant populace on earth.

And then comes the kicker: This is how we like it."





FIGHT THE RICH -- NOT THEIR WARS

2011 Dumbass Award Nominee

Sartorial Mistakes Division:



The cops caught the guy and his driver yesterday.

Wednesday, August 24

Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

Not in peninsular Florida, no. The peninsula is essentially a vast sand bar with a stone spine.

But near the town of Mineral, Virginia, you're part of the ancient Appalachian Range. The Appalachians date back to before the dinosaurs, back when Europe and North America were one big landmass. The formerly active and lively faults under the mountains are fairly quiescent.

I said "fairly." A big (7.9 or so) hit Charleston, South Carolina back in the 1880s. Some of the houses in the historic district still have huge steel bolts in them, put in there to reinforce them after the earthquake.

Near the town of Trinidad, Colorado, on the other hand, you're near a far younger range of mountains, the Rockies. Tremors are more prevalent there, as the faults and tensions are much younger and livelier.

Early yesterday a magnitude 4.3 quake hit near Trinidad, causing minor damage to buildings but no major injuries. The Rockies and the West get tremors quite a bit of the time, as the Pacific Plate keeps nuzzling up against the North American Plate like an affectionate puppy.

Yesterday afternoon a magnitude 5.8 went off a half mile under the area of Mineral, Virginia. Since the Spotsylvania Fault is ancient and part of a very dense, rocky area, its effects were felt - not merely detectable, but felt - as far west as Detroit, as far south as Atlanta and as far north as Maine and Toronto.

The epicenter of the quake was located in Rep. Eric Cantor's district. The Republican is notable mainly because he advocates cutting funding for the US Geological Survey, NOAA and the National Weather Service. Kind of looks like a false economy now, doesn't it Eric?

A nuclear power plant is near the epicenter as well, regarded as the 7th most likely to be damaged in a quake. Interestingly, its earthquake safeguards were removed back in the Nineties as a cost-cutting measure. False economy again, and Dominion Power is still set on adding a third reactor to the complex.

Anyway.

The top of the Washington Monument has a crack in it, some plaster fell off the ceilings in the Capitol, and cell phone networks were swamped as people started asking, "What the hell was that?" The 5.8 was the strongest since 1944, according to NBC, so quite a few people can probably be forgiven for acting in a panicky mob.

But the earthquakes in Trinidad and Mineral aren't the only natural phenomena, oh no siree. Hurricane Irene has spooled up to a Category 2 as it boils its way up the Bahamas. The current track shows it will probably hit between Virginia and North Carolina.

Which - imagine that! - means that H Irene might hit Erica Cantor's district.


Tuesday, August 23

This week in Science

(An oldie!)

Do it yourself seismometer! 

Click image to enRichterize!
Then print it, cut it out, assemble, set it on your desk and wait for the BIG ONE!


Gee, someone said Obama's not a liberal.


Defensible?

Monday, August 22

Stuff from the "Liberal Media"

While newspapers seem to be going the way of the Iron Horse, many remaining are owned by extreme right wingers. Such is the case with the epidemic of Graduate Readers and Viewers of Fox News writing letters to the editor of the Pittsburgh Based Tribune- Review. The “Trib” as it’s unaffectionately known  is the extreme right wing rag owned by the Scaifes. (Tribune - definition from dictionary.com is:a person who upholds or defends the rights of the people.) Try not to laugh, you may be reported!

They own a number of newspapers in the Southwestern portion of Pennsylvania having bought out most of the Gannett Papers in the early 90s. Gannett, at least around here was reasonably neutral to left leaning, publishing editorial content from both sides of the aisle. That changed during the great purge of the 90s when Republicans decided to buy everything they could to try their hand at brainwashing the public.

This area used to be quite heavily Democratic but thanks to the propaganda the Scaife’s papers have spewed over the last 20 years, that is changing, and not for the good.

When only one view is offered in whatever media is available, truth suffers. (Case in point: Right Wing Talk Radio, primarily AM, over the last 20 years by the likes of Limbaugh and Company aimed primarily at the poorly informed elderly and not too concerned, no too bright youth.)
Here are some recent letters to the editor that the mindless automaton editor of one local paper makes sure gets VERY slanted Right Wing coverage.
These writers, for the most part, are currently enrolled or recent grads of the Fox News College of Propaganda.

However, not all letters are from right wingers. One or two are published every couple of months to try to make the rest of the radical right believe just how fair and balanced they are.

I don’t know how many of you have to read this kind of tripe in your papers. I’m especially fond of the recurring “liberal media” theme these less than grade school educated Fox Viewers continually exhibit.
Enjoy…if you can.  This is the future of America.

Reliving history

Monday, August 22, 2011
Both sides of the political aisle have rewritten history. The Democrats turned FDR from the flawed power-hungry man he was into a god that pulled our country out of the Great Depression. What a pile of rubbish! Obama will probably use a few of FDR's tricks next year.
The Great Depression started in 1929 under Republican Herbert Hoover. During the election of 1932. FDR stated he would end the Depression. He won. The Depression hung on. In the beginning of 1936, a presidential election year, the economy seemed to improve. There were more jobs and money around. Things were looking better. FDR was re-elected.
All FDR had done was greatly increase government-created jobs in 1936. In 1937, he slashed government spending to pre-1936 levels and the economy collapsed into an even deeper depression.
Also, he directed most of the increased spending toward not solidly Democrat-controlled states. He was attempting to buy votes. It worked.
He did the same thing in the 1940 presidential election. It worked again. Some voters never learn.
In 2009, President Obama needed the stimulus package immediately to save our country from ruin. He had "shovel ready" jobs lined up. Most people do not realize that not all of that money has been spent yet.
2012 is a presidential election year. I predict that the held-back stimulus funds will be used to temporarily bolster the economy next year. Of course, the funds will truly be spent then and the economy will slump again in 2013. But if Obama gets re-elected, Democrats will consider it money well spent.
 

Kathleen Bollinger
Fawn Township
 

Can't wait for 2012

President Obama is using a taxpayer-funded, million-dollar bus to campaign for his 2012 re-election.
The audience may change but his message remains the same: higher taxes for all who pay taxes.
In the 2 1/2 years that Obama has been in office, our unemployment rate has remained above 9 percent, the housing market has tanked, the stock market is at new lows and our nation's credit rating has just been downgraded. Obama's excuse for his lack of leadership: former President Bush, the House of Representatives and, recently, the Tea Party. This president takes responsibility for nothing. It's always someone else's fault. Thank God, we only have another year and a half to put up with his nonsense.
When President Obama's party had complete control of Congress for the first two years of his term, what did he accomplished except passing an unpopular health care bill that may be unconstitutional? Where are all the jobs that his stimulus spending was suppose to create? The only beneficiaries have been teacher pension plans and public service unions.
Since President Obama took office, we have seen gasoline prices rise to $4 a gallon. We have seen him bypass Congress and appoint "czars" to fill critical positions. The president does this while the liberal news media looks the other way and pretends that this is normal operating procedure. Where are the cries of "It's the economy, stupid" that the elder President Bush endured? President Obama has taught Americans a valuable lesson: don't elect a community organizer to do a president's job.
Rudy Gagliardi


Tea party folks

Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The tea party came about in response to the out-of-control, bloated, oversized government. But according to recent comments from Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and former Democrat presidential adviser David Axelrod, the tea party people are fundamentalist, gun-totin' red-neck bigots — just a bunch of NASCAR-lovin' retards.
Actually, the tea party folks are people like you and me who are actually appalled at the size of our debt and appalled that our government is growing faster than our economy.
People like Kerry and Axelrod would have you believe the tea party folks are truly radical people with radical ideas. You know, radicals who believe in less government, less spending, fewer taxes and less regulation -- less everything from our supersized government. These are not progressive ideas. FDR was one of our first presidents to pass off big government and big spending as progressive -- code language for a more-caring, more-enlightened government.
But thanks to these tea party types, we are in the beginning stages at dismantling progressive thought and big government.
Many think we do not have much time to do this and they're right. We have exactly 16 months.
 

George Wesolosky
Freeport

If anyone can make sense of this next one, I'd really appreciate your perspective. A number of people have read this and are totally flummoxed by the less than obvious perception and depth of the author. However, this letter typifies the education of the Right Winger and Fox Viewer.


Are you a liberal?

Regarding the recent letters trying to define "liberal" and "conservative," and borrowing from comedian Jeff Foxworthy, here are a few of my observations:
• If you think it's OK to pick and choose which clauses in our Constitution are actually binding, you might be a liberal.
• If you think there actually is a "separation of church and state" clause in the Constitution and that religious people are our greatest threat, you might be a liberal.
• If you think pregnancy is a disease and should be controlled by government funding of birth control and abortion, or if you think parents should be notified if their teenage daughter wants her ears pierced but not if she wants an abortion, you might be a liberal.
• If you think people should go to work and submit to random drug testing so money can be taken away from them and given to people who don't go to work and don't have to submit to any drug testing, you might be a liberal.
• If you think the government has its own stash of money and it doesn't have to take it away from someone else to give it to you, you might be a liberal.
• If you are among those who want to change the traditional Judeo-Christian face and values of this country, but think it's the rest of the country that is radical, you might be a liberal.
 

Bob McBride
West Deer

And here is the token left wing letter of the last couple of months.

Tea party moms

Sunday, August 21, 2011
If you've ever had a child play a team sport, then you know this soccer mom: the "pitbull with lipstick."
She's the one screaming at the coach because her kid can't just play, but has to be the star -- the kid who has to take center stage despite not knowing the game's fundamentals or rules of sportsmanship.
This soccer mom has to get her way and doesn't care if she's the cause and effect of the loss. She walks away swearing that if everyone had just listened to her, the team would have won.
Come to think of it, terrible soccer moms are just like the tea party. Both have the same lack of honor — just self-interest — and the "How do I win?" mentality.
Our representatives take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution and do what is right for the country and the people, not just themselves and a few cronies.
Take a moment and think. Then get out and vote. It counts.
 

Everett Ream
Tarentum


Saturday, August 20

Wednesday, August 17

So a few farm kids get hurt or die...

From kos:

There appear to be certain jobs on farms that some believe are too dangerous for children or even teenagers. So the Labor Department has proposed, but not yet released(?) details of a bill to update child labor laws that haven't been updated in 40 years for these kids. And for some foolish reason, these proposed "rules" are supposed to be reviewed within 90 days then opened for public comment.

Funny thing. They were proposed 9 months ago and have yet to be looked at by the White House. 

'Observers are confused in part because the changes would have minimal economic impact.
"We've been trying to figure out who's opposed to these rules," said Celeste Monforton, a former Department of Labor safety official and blogger writing about workplace safety issues. "Is it part of this administration's concerns about regulations and how they're perceived? I have not been able to discern that."'

Changes in regulations to improve safety? Let's take a closer look and not rush into anything.
Changes to try to gut Social Security, Medicare, cut spending to fix a mythical debt ceiling problem, increase illegal surveillance on Americans, kill the USPS and its unions? We'll get right on that!

Who is responsible for the delay? Whomever it is, he's standing behind an opaque glass window.



Tuesday, August 16

First it was Nancy...

Maybe the problem ISN'T  with Barry...


@markknoller: Asked about working with Congress, Pres Obama says democracy has always be "a messy business" & is not for the "faint of heart."

2@markknoller: Pres Obama likens it to his marriage: I let Michelle have 90% of what she wants – but I have to insist on getting 10%.

Monday, August 15

A solution to the Social Security/Medicare Problem?


While the most straight forward solution to fixing Social Security would be so simple that even grade schoolers could see it (but not politicians or the wealthy) once explained the situation, would be to raise the limit taxing SS from the $106,000 to infinity, those of us living in a real world know we ain’t got a snowball’s chance in Boehner’s Tanning bed of that happening. With that in mind, I’d like to propose something more drastic but eminently more fair.

The big corporations have gotten every tax break possible over the last 11 years, well, maybe not EVERY break. And we keep hearing how if we just gave business more tax breaks, they would happily create more jobs. It hasn’t worked that way because right down to it, the base instinct of business in America (and it’s spreading to Europe) is greed.

Corporations have had every opportunity to create jobs through massive tax cuts the Republicans instituted since 2001 yet more and more jobs have disappeared. Many of these jobs are no longer provided by corporations in the United States. Rather than taking the tax breaks given them and creating new, decent paying American jobs, they’ve willingly chosen to take the money and run…to other countries. There, they pay pennies for work that Americans used to do. Work that still makes handsome profits for corporations. Yet they charge Americans here as though those jobs were still being paid at American Rates. The result is extreme profits.

Now we have an invented crisis involving Social Security, much like the mirage created over the debt ceiling. There’s still a hell of a lot of money in the SS Trust Fund and the greedy are licking their chops over how to get it and make the public think government and business really is looking out for their best interests while pilfering the Fund.

Woe will happen unless we strengthen SS! How? By killing it of course. Or making sure those in power can give as much of that money to their friends as possible. So what do we do?

Well, we have 14 million unemployed in this country. The “normal” unemployment rate is said to be something like 4%. If we have 150 million people working and 4% or 6 million are always looking for work, that means 8 million are jobless mainly because the government today simply wants them unemployed. Harsh? Yep! But probably true.

Of the 8 million jobless, various studies have provided data that upwards of 5 to 6 million jobs have been lost since 1998 due to outsourcing. The University of California at Berkely (those liberal bastards) did a study that suggested nearly 14 million jobs will be outsourced by 2015. But let’s look at the approximate 6 million already lost and how those affect this mythical Social Security Problem.

I’m going to make a presumption that those jobs all paid minimum wage. I know that’s not the case. AIG said in 2002 that over 600,000 professional and management positions went across the ponds. But for the sake of this rant, let’s stick with just 7 bucks an hour.

Until this year, employers paid 6.2% of a paycheck for their share of the SS Fund. The employee paid 4.2%. That’s 10.4% out of an employee’s paycheck he or she expects to go to the SS Fund. But if the job isn’t there because it’s gone overseas, the fund doesn’t get the money. However, the corporation still gets its profits...AND its tax breaks!

By the way, screw the tax holiday. It’s only helping the corporations and screwing the SS recipients. Thanks Barry.

Now that 10.4% adds up pretty fast. At minimum wage it's around 73 cents per hour, $5.82 per 8 hour day,$29.12 per 40 hour work week and about $1500 per work year. All at minimum wage paid into the SS Fund. If those 6 million jobs stayed in the U.S., the Fund would take in about 9 billion extra dollars a year! And that’s just at minimum wage.

What this means is corporations have cost the Social Security Fund over 80 billion dollars since 2002 (at minimum wage). But they’ve gotten nearly a trillion in tax cuts during the same period. Plus what they saved by NOT paying into Social Security. Nice exchange…for them!

So how about we charge corporations the 10.4% SS Tax of the going American Rate for every job they outsource? It’s quite fair. They get to keep their tax breaks and the Fund gets billions more per year. Of course, those who got paid 50, 80, a hundred K per year would cause business to contribute more and it’s entirely possible the Fund could gain well over 20 to 30 billion per year or an additional 270 billion dollars since 2002 from SS Tax that the corporations have screwed the workers out of. Projecting that over the next ten years of the tax cuts SS could add maybe 400 billion dollars to it just from the fee to corporations for outsourcing U.S. jobs.

All of the previous numbers only account for 6 million. Since there are 8 million unemployed, add 25 % to that amount and you get much more money for the Fund.

We also have a supposed Medicare crunch. Guess how much more Medicare would get if we levied the 2.9% Medicare Tax on the corporations who outsourced jobs while getting big tax breaks? An extra $420 per year per employee or about 2 and one half billion dollars more per year. That’s about 25 billion more in the Medicare coffers for seniors just since 2002 and realistically maybe as much as 75 billion. And by 2020 that could increase 10 times to 700 billion. Coincidental number? Maybe.

Again, the numbers for Medicare are only for 6 million. Another 25% could be added to the total money collected for the Medicare Funding.

So the answer is simple. If Congress is really concerned about saving Social Security and Medicare, make them pass a law that forces corporations pay the SS and Medicare Tax for each American Job at fair rates they outsource in order to keep their tax breaks. Otherwise cut the tax breaks and give that money to the Social Security and Medicare Funds.

Then Santa will show up Christmas Day and the Easter Bunny will deliver us chocolate eggs right after that!
I wonder how many 'Murikans out there feel this way or would make this choice?
A thousand? Hundred thousand? A Million?
It's your life. Spend it wisely.

Sunday, August 14

Iowa


The Iowa straw poll is now history, and now that the dust and bits of straw and chaff have died down a bit I will stand back and take a look.

What I find is pretty damned bad, albeit predictable.

Mad-Eye Michelle Bachmann came in first, pretty much neck-and-neck with Ron Paul. Now, the Iowa straw poll really doesn't mean all that much in terms of figuring out who the eventual GOP nominee might be. Based on the people who show up and actually vote in the poll, it's more a test of how crazy the candidate might be. Based on this, Bachmann and Paul lap the rest of the field.

Coming in a sick third was Tim Pawlenty, who dropped out this afternoon. A queasy staff, piss-poor funding and a general lack of enthusiasm did T-Paw in.

For the rest of him, I will let the late Sir Ian Richardson as Francis Urquhart recite Pawlenty's eulogy:



So, there were eight, and now there are eight again, since Secessionist Governor of Texas Rick "Big Boy's Hair" Perry decided to listen to the voices in his head and start running for the Presidency. Perry is a decidedly scary reactionary buttfucker, and has some potential.

The rest of the field includes McCotter, Santorum, Gingrich, Cain, Romney and (as far as I know) Rosalie the Flatulent Spaniel. The true tests will come in about six months, when the actual caucuses and primaries begin to winnow out the chaff.

And believe you me, there's a lot of chaff to winnow.

Thursday, August 11

Violence free revolution?

There's a lot of talk about revolution going around. Let's face it. There's no way today's couch potato(e) slothful, American Idol /Survivor/Dancing With The Stars slobs will put their jobs let alone lives on the line.
No one wants to get shot and the politicians and especially the corporations understand this.
Oh, there may be an isolated incident that doesn't involve anyone of consequence (no CEOs, Banksters, politicians, etc.). A couple of postal, Mikki D's, or Mall Workers...that's ok.
But rather than looking at violence, how about a boycott?

Yeah, I know. They don't work. Well, they did get Beck fired. But it's hard keep something like that up on a major basis.So...why not pick out one product nationwide or local and stop buying it? Maybe like we did to Beck's advertisers. Just one from one corporation...at a time. One that is outsourced. Maybe a bunch of local boycotts nationwide would work better, no?

This goes for advertisers and TV Stations, too.

The kicker is to do this against the mid size businesses because you'll never get anyone to stop killing themselves at McDonalds. Leave small business alone...for now. But if enough mid size companies are hit, and they start to lose profits, the investors will get pissed. And they can put pressure on their local Representatives, who still aren't totally estranged from small and medium business in their districts.

Once a dent has been made in one corporation, start up on another, then another.

Imagine if that traitorous AARP lost even 15% of it's members? Would that get someone's attention? It would for my business.

Violence free revolution. It's safer than guns. The hours are great and you can do it from the comfort of your Bark-o-lounger or comfy chair or couch. Wouldn't really take that much effort of people's part. And really isn't that much of a sacrifice. Any ideas?

And, by the way, stop over at :moonseller and check it out.

If a couple of other posters here can have sites, I figure I might as well try, too.

If it works, great. If not, no big deal.

Introducing your Super-Male Committee of 12 -- Only 1 is a woman -- Story from ThinkProgress




The committee members are: Sens. Murray, Max Baucus (D-MT), John Kerry (D-MA), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Rob Portman (R-OH), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Reps. Clyburn, Becerra, Van Hollen, Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Fred Upton (R-MI) and Dave Camp (R-MI).


and -- of course -- my little addendum...




Picture via THE 545 PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL OF AMERICA'S WOES

(Uncle Sam Theatre)


***Don't forget to read Charley Reese's THE 545 PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL OF AMERICA's WOES at the link***

What I Take Away From The Debt "Crisis" Circle Jerk

1. President Obama is not particularly good at arguing from a position of strength. He was in a position to flog the Republicans unmercifully for running the economy and the nation into a ditch, but instead frittered it away, again in search of a pipe-dream illusion of bipartisanship. News flash, Barry: Ever since you were elected, these people have sworn - in public, with the cameras rolling - to say No at every opportunity and destroy you and your Presidency. It's too late now, but you should have started flogging them on January 21st, 2009.

2. The Democratic Leader of the Senate, Senator Harry Reid, was supposedly a boxer when he was younger. You can't prove it from the way he fights in the Senate - he acts like someone's old granny with severe arthritis. That's actually an insult to grannies; my late maternal grandmother was a mean little Irish lady who talked down a guy with a gun years ago.

3. Republican Speaker John Boner - er, Boehner - claimed victory, saying that he got 98% of what he wanted. Since he got 98% of what he wanted, he can also own the fallout from the debt agreement. And his Party, in both houses, shares in that stupid declaration. Way to go, you fucking Oompa-Loompah.

4. We can pretty much ignore Standard and Poors, even after their mystical downgrade of our credit rating from AAA to AA+. We have to recall, folks, that these were the scumbags who assured us on a stack of Korans that the mortgage derivatives and securities swaps and other pieces of paper with strange cabalistic designs on them were actually AAA-rated, solid gold and crusted with diamonds. S&P and Moodys all needed to be rounded up and shuffled off in manacles to Gitmo as economic terrorists.

5. As long as the Republican Party continues to totally and utterly fail to face reality when it comes to raising revenue (and the Democratic Party is more than happy to drop trou and bend over for them) the economy will remain in a ditch. Chances are excellent that our troubles will exacerbate the queasiness of the economies throughout the rest of the world.

6. In the Great 2011 Debt Crisis Circle Jerk, the targets of the bukkake were all of us.

Tuesday, August 9

How far we've come:

In the 1980s we had Reagan for a president, and Johnny Cash and Bob Hope for entertainers.
Today, we have Obama for a president, no Cash, and no Hope.

GOOD GRIEF! Charlie Brown is hitting the road Jack

From Death and Taxes

and here's the video via rawstory




AND, dear goddess above, via The Heretic over at manarewescrewed -- Lucky Sperm?




(I think I'm in the middle of a dream. I better go back to bed)

Monday, August 8

Tomgram: A Secret War in 120 Countries - The Pentagon’s New Power Elite, By Nick Turse

This article was written August 3rd:


Tomgram: Nick Turse, Uncovering the Military's Secret Military

Somewhere on this planet an American commando is carrying out a mission. Now, say that 70 times and you’re done... for the day. Without the knowledge of the American public, a secret force within the U.S. military is undertaking operations in a majority of the world’s countries. This new Pentagon power elite is waging a global war whose size and scope has never been revealed, until now.

After a U.S. Navy SEAL put a bullet in Osama bin Laden’s chest and another in his head, one of the most secretive black-ops units in the American military suddenly found its mission in the public spotlight. It was atypical. While it’s well known that U.S. Special Operations forces are deployed in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, and it’s increasingly apparent that such units operate in murkier conflict zones like Yemen and Somalia, the full extent of their worldwide war has remained deeply in the shadows.
continue reading



no dots to connect here, right?

I wonder how far Mr. Obama will be "permitted" to go with his defense spending cuts.

From Aljazeera News Aug 4th: US cautioned on defence spending cuts --
Leon Panetta says potential second round of reductions could do "real damage" to national security.



I'm sure you are all as sickened as I am watching the pictures of these Navy Seals come out one by one today.

The Lives of Elite U.S. Soldiers Become Public

The Department of Defense has yet to release the names of the 30 U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan this weekend in the single deadliest helicopter crash of the Afghanistan war. But as the families of service members are notified of the tragic event, a growing profile of the elite soldiers killed in the crash is becoming public knowledge as the families speak with local media. Of the 30 soldiers killed, 22 were Navy SEALs and most were members of SEAL Team 6, the unit responsible for killing Osama bin Laden in May (though none of the fallen soldiers participated in the Abbottabad raid, according to the military). Up until now, none of the names of members of SEAL Team 6 have been declassified. According to National Journal's Marc Ambinder, when members of the elite unit die, the Defense Department often issues a cover story—"generally, they were killed in training accidents in eastern Afghanistan. That’s the code." But the details of the helicopter crash have become public and the families of the soldiers are speaking out.


HOW LONG IS THIS INSANITY GOING TO CONTINUE?

In the memory of these fallen soldiers, END. THIS. NOW.

Anyone up for another trip to Washington October 6th?


Stop the Machine! Create a New World!


October 2011 is the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan and the beginning of the 2012 federal austerity budget. It is time to light the spark that sets off a true democratic, nonviolent transition to a world in which people are freed to create just and sustainable solutions.

We call on people of conscience and courage—all who seek peace, economic justice, human rights and a healthy environment—to join together in Washington, D.C., beginning on Oct. 6, 2011, in nonviolent resistance similar to the Arab Spring and the Midwest awakening.

Forty-seven years ago, Mario Savio, an activist student at Berkeley, said, "There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can't take part. You can't even passively take part. And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all."


Take the pledge and sign up to attend here. Let America know you are coming to make history and a new world!

"I pledge that if any U.S. troops, contractors, or mercenaries remain in Afghanistan on Thursday, October 6, 2011, as that criminal occupation goes into its 11th year, I will commit to being in Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., with others on that day with the intention of making it our Tahrir Square, Cairo, our Madison, Wisconsin, where we will NONVIOLENTLY resist the corporate machine to demand that our resources are invested in human needs and environmental protection instead of war and exploitation. We can do this together. We will be the beginning ."



FIGHT THE RICH, NOT THEIR WARS

Sunday, August 7

Al Gore on Why America Needs a Non-Violent Tahrir Square,

from current tv here's the videos:





h/t to reader anotherbozo


Thank you Al!

NOTE: IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY IN THE COMMENTS - PLEASE REFRAIN FROM LEAVING ONE - THANK YOU VERY MUCH

Great comment from Grace at the ifactory - riots, revolution, and how social media is leading to social change:

I remember years ago reading an article which stated that the personal computer would level hierarchies. This statement stuck in my mind for years and it has proven to be one of the most potent precursors to what is happening today. Indeed, the personal computer has done more for democracy than any politician could!
The comment below is so true and it reminds of when I attended a seminar 20 years ago when the speaker informed the crowd that civilian journalism was coming and it would take a huge dent out of the broadcasting industry.
Love this comment….
“The digital effects of the social media explosion are now real-world effects. Social media is a powerful tool to get a message across, and it may very well be helping to make our world a safer, more communicative place. So to all those who are using your Facebook profile to figure out where the party’s at, your Youtube account to upload baby videos, or your Twitter page to announce how you “Forgot how awesome Mountain Dew is lol #soawesome” I say this:
I sympathize. I get it. I do those things too, but there are people in the world who are taking the spark of social media and lighting the fires of positive social change. Isn’t it time we looked into making a little more out of our social media lifestyle?”



After years of berating my kids about "The Face Book" I've decided to open one up.



Shortly, I will be asking them to bomb all of their hundreds and hundreds of "friends" with my page. (they're in their twenties -- time for them to start paying attention)



We've been screaming our fingers off here at Blondesense for years. We had it ALL figured out a long time ago. THANK YOU DARK WRAITH!! I'm tired - my shoulder is frozen, and I can't squeeze my mouse anymore. It's deja vu (ON STEROIDS!) all over again

As Corporate Profits Rise, Workers’ Income Decline, by Floyd Norris

NYTimes - Aug. 5, 2011 THESE are the worst of times for workers, and the best of times for companies. At least that is one way to read the newly revised national economic statistics.

Tip-o-the-hat to digby

Why Obama Played the Tea Party Game, by Felix Pace

From Counterpunch -Why Obama Played the Tea Party Game

via a "friend"

As pundits and the American People digest the Debt-Budget Deal many have concluded that the White House miscalculated or simply blew it. John Stewart and others suggested that the President could have avoided the entire scenario by simply conditioning renewal of the Bush tax cuts on raising the debt ceiling. Others say the White House should have demanded a clean debt ceiling bill. Either of those explanations requires assuming that the Obama White House is naïve or stupid or both.

Don’t believe it. President Obama and his advisors were playing a different game. They decided they could use a debt crisis created by Republicans to push through cuts to Social Security and Medicare in a manner that would provide the President with plausible deniability. In other words, Obama could claim “They made me do it!” while achieving what his Wall Street backers want – maintaining Global Capital’s police force on the backs of working folks, the middle class and the poor.

Most readers will be familiar with Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine and her book of the same name. Klein describes Disaster Capitalism: how Global Capital – operating through governments, the International Monetary Fund and other international institutions - uses political crises to impose structural economic and government changes which invariably function to transfer wealth from workers and the middle classes to international banks and capitalists. We have seen this strategy migrate from the Global South – the so-called “Developing World” – to the North; workers in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Great Britain are now also paying the price. When one strips away the rhetoric, it becomes clear that the Obama Administration has brought the same approach home to America.

Why this has happened

At the close of World War Two the United States controlled 60% of global wealth. It was an artifact of war - the productive capacities of Europe and much of East Asia had been destroyed. Led by Europe and Japan, the destroyed infrastructure would be rebuilt, economies would rise again, global wealth would be redistributed and the United States would once again face fierce competition.

The architects of post-war US government policy recognized that the US could not control 60% of global wealth forever. The US would help Europe and East Asia rebuild their economies because global capital demanded stability and needed places to invest. And that would inevitably lead to a redistribution of global wealth. Under those circumstances - and as expressed by George Kenan, one of its chief architects - the raison d’etre of American foreign and economic policy during the second half of the 20th century would be to maintain the wealth gap – to delay as long as possible the inevitable redistribution of global wealth.

We are now in the 21st century. The US no longer controls 60% of global wealth and capital has abandoned its national character. As a consequence of trade agreements, capital is free to move over most of the globe in search of higher profits. But while capital has become international, the United States military continues to function as capital’s chief global cop.

The difference is that the US no longer controls enough of the world’s wealth to maintain both the empire’s cop function - a world safe for Global Capital - and the US standard of living, i.e. the American Dream. Something has to change: either the empire will be scaled back or some Americans will have to sustain a cut in living standard.

Global Capital needs the empire but it does not want to pay for it. Wealthy Americans also refuse to bear the burden. That necessitates transferring the cost of empire to US workers, the poor and middle class. Obama is committed to maintaining the empire and its police force – the US Military.

While he would prefer that rich American’s share the burden, when push comes to shove he will sacrifice fairness to the interests of his Wall Street backers. Obama is the instrument by which Global Capital hopes to secure cuts in Social Security and Medicare necessary if working, poor and middle class folks are going to be made to pay for the empire.

One indication of global capital’s agenda is what President Obama and Congress have done with the military budget. While claiming that he wants to end wars which have produced 15-25% of US debt and which do not make Americans safe or secure, Obama has escalated one war and begun yet another military adventure (Libya). While claiming that he wants to cut military spending, Obama actually requested a $26 billion increase in military spending for the 2012 fiscal year. The Republican House recently approved a $17 billion increase. The debt/budget deal ostensibly cuts $350 billion from military budgets over the next ten years. However, automatic increases for inflation could offset the entire amount. The US Military – global capitalism’s global cop – is unlikely to sustain real and substantial budget cuts.

The Obama Presidency is Global Capital’s creation and he is their man. The Obama White House has now delivered part of what Global Capital demanded: the debt/budget deal will shift more of the economic burden of empire from corporations and their owners (aka the rich or monied interests) to working people and the poor. Obama has not yet been able to raid Social Security and Medicare. But the Debt/Budget Deal holds within it the means to that end as well. Through it Social Security and Medicare can be cut and most in Congress can claim they did not vote for those cuts. I can almost hear Nancy Pelosi rhetorically wringer her hands on camera now.

How much abuse will Americans take?

The Democratic Party and the Republican Party have become instruments of Global Capital. That is the inevitable consequence when corporate “speech” is unfettered, information is controlled by global corporations and elections can be bought and sold. US progressives are demoralized and fractious; we have no unifying analysis and no unified program. Progressive Democrats can’t even manage a “Dump Obama” movement.

All over the world regular folks are rebelling. From England and Greece to Egypt and the Middle East – even in Israel - workers, middle class folks and the poor have taken to the streets and are demanding changes which would have the effect of limiting the economic and political dominance of Global Capital.

It is too early to tell whether the popular revolts popping up around the globe will lead to real change. The opponent – Global Capital – is well organized and powerful. The popular movements for change, on the other hand, are new, fragile and linkages among them are rudimentary or non-existent. Unlike Global Capital, organized labor remains primarily national; labor lacks strong, unified and international programs to challenge capital’s global dominance.

Will the emerging revolts be sustained? Will they link across borders? And how will everyday Americans react? Will working, poor and middle class Americans continue to absorb raids on their wealth and welfare? Can they continue to be persuaded to vote against their own interest? Will they continue to vote for the candidates Wall Street chooses?

How much abuse will the American People take before we rise up?

Felice Pace is a writer and activist in northern California. He holds a degree in economics from Yale University.

Come on "Holywood" - WTF? Jennifer, Cameron (?Ryan & Jason?)

Hubby and I just started a date-night thing. We recently saw Bad Teacher and Horrible Bosses. A few laughs, but REALLY Jennifer and Cameron -- I know everybody needs to make a buck -- are you REALLY that desperate?? I'm so pissed I gave up a few of mine to see these two movies. I'm REALLY starting to lose all respect for you.

AND Ryan & Jason -- I'm afraid to see your new one - The Change Up, cause you both are two of my favorites. My mom just went yesterday and told me it was the first movie she and the aunties walked out of -- AND the cinema even gave them back their money.

Saturday, August 6

"THE MONKEYSPHERE" by David Wong. It will explain EVERYTHING that is going on today

What Is The Monkeysphere?

What do monkeys have to do with war, oppression, crime, racism and even e-mail spam? You'll see that all of the random ass-headed cruelty of the world will suddenly make perfect sense once we go Inside the Monkeysphere.
"What the Hell is the Monkeysphere?"
First, picture a monkey. A monkey dressed like a little pirate, if that helps you. We'll call him Slappy.
Imagine you have Slappy as a pet. Imagine a personality for him. Maybe you and he have little pirate monkey adventures and maybe even join up to fight crime. Think how sad you'd be if Slappy died.

Now, imagine you get four more monkeys. We'll call them Tito, Bubbles, Marcel and ShitTosser. Imagine personalities for each of them now. Maybe one is aggressive, one is affectionate, one is quiet, the other just throws shit all the time. But they're all your personal monkey friends.

Now imagine a hundred monkeys.

Not so easy now, is it?

So how many monkeys would you have to own before you couldn't remember their names? At what point, in your mind, do your beloved pets become just a faceless sea of monkey? Even though each one is every bit the monkey Slappy was, there's a certain point where you will no longer really care if one of them dies.

So how many monkeys would it take before you stopped caring?
That's not a rhetorical question. We actually know the number.
continue reading...



It's time to consider taking everything back to the local level, grow up, and get things done.

THE STATUS QUO HAS TO GO --

PLEASE READ AS MUCH AS YOU CAN FROM CHARLES HUGH SMITH -- right here at his blog -- PLENTY OF REALISTIC WAYS TO GET THINGS BACK ON TRACK AGAIN


thank you





Twelve Bar Blues -- WHAT IS THE SUPER COMMITTEE OF TWELVE ALL ABOUT? Is this Constitutional???





No one wants to be on the debt super committee -- ?


LA TIMES: Congressional deficit committee faces a rough road -
Lawmakers are reluctant to volunteer for what most predict will be a thankless job, though lobbyists are already gearing up to pounce.
--

WTF?

I DO! I DO! I DO! -- oh oh me me -- pick me!


I sure hope an outsider gets to be on this committee




Humans are naturally aggressive (negative vs. affirmative)
(the sweathogs debate the debate team)

Friday, August 5

Unbelievers! Beggers! Ingrates! Accept... be thankful, and...

BE GONE!

I wonder who will be picked to lead us to the promised land?

Feel free to offer your suggestions 
to replace these wise ones,
with the new, even wiser!


Significant solar storm headed to Earth Friday

Damn! It's going to be cloudy tonight -- there's a chance "auroras could be seen as far south as Pennsylvania"

Here's the story from washingtonpost's capitol weather gang

and here's another one (with great pics) from spaceweather


ONE DOWN, TWO TO GO: As predicted by analysts at the GSFC Space Weather Lab, the first of three CMEs produced by the recent spate of flare activity reached Earth during the late hours of August 4th. The impact was weak and is not expected to produce strong geomagnetic storms. Two more CMEs are still on the way and, as described below, they may have merged into a single cloud that could produce significant storming when they reach Earth on August 5th at 10:00 UT (plus or minus 7 hours). A new model of all 3 CMEs is now available; stay tuned for updates.

STRONG SOLAR ACTIVITY: On August 4th, active sunspot 1261 unleashed a strong solar flare, the third in as many days. The blast, which registered M9.3 on the Richter Scale of Flares, hurled a bright coronal mass ejection (CME) almost directly toward Earth. Click on the image to view a movie of the expanding cloud recorded by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory:




SPOTTED SUNSETS: During the recent years of deep solar minimum, observers of the sunset grew accustomed to a blank solar disk. News flash: The sunspots are back. "The sunset conditions of August 2nd were just right to show the massive sunspots AR1260, AR1261 and AR1263 to the casual observer who happened to glance at the sun for a brief few moments," reports Stephen W. Ramsden of Atlanta, Georgia. "You could even see the penumbra with the naked eye!" He had a camera handy and snapped this picture:

"The size and broiling movement of these sunspots just boggles the mind," he says. "You could fit every planet in the solar system with all of the known asteroids neatly inside the largest group...wow!"


UPDATE from spaceweather

GEOMAGNETIC STORM IN PROGRESS: A major geomagnetic storm is in progress following the impact of a CME on August 5th around 1800 UT. Sky watchers at all latitudes should be alert for auroras after nightfall. Tip: the best hours for aurora sightings are usually around local midnight. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Reports of Northern Lights are coming in from many European countries including Germany, Denmark, Scotland and the Netherlands.

Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab say that the CME impact may have strongly compressed Earth's magnetic field, directly exposing satellites in geosynchronous orbit to solar wind plasma. Stay tuned for updates on this aspect of the storm.




Reuters finally has the story up. says auroras may be seen as far south as Minnesota and Wisconsin.

(Reuters) - Three large explosions from the Sun over the past few days have prompted U.S. government scientists to caution users of satellite, telecommunications and electric equipment to prepare for possible disruptions over the next few days.


and from International Business Times: More Solar Storms to Hit Earth in Coming Years

Thursday, August 4

Happy Birthday Mr. President Obama

NO -- I'm not going to post that video - although It would be pretty amusing to make a similar marilyn rendition with - oh I don't know -- maybe Biden in a blond wig doing a birthday jig!


His good friend, and class act Jennifer Hudson --well known for her performance "And I am Telling You I Am Not Going" (Hmmm.....) -- serenaded him at the birthday celebration bash in Chicago.




The dailymail has all the pics here (where was michelle? -- oh puhleeze)

Here's my video B-day message: I would like to see some shimmy, shake, and LOTS OF KICKING ASS after the celebrations are over Mr. President.

Take it away Sally O'Mally...


I'M FIFTY!!



Life/Happiness Begins at 50!

Bill Maher on the Ed Show - Aug. 3rd -- LETS SHOW SOME ANGER MR. PRESIDENT

WHAT MR. MAHER SAID -- Outstanding interview with Michael Dyson


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

JOBS OR BUST -- Obama's Upcoming Bus Tour

JOBS JOBS JOBS JOBS JOBS -- Our new buzzword for 2012!!





He'll be putting the pedal to the medal Aug. 15-17 touring the midwest. Here's the story from thehill:
The economy and 2012 loom over Obama’s bus tour of the Midwest

The trip might help explain why the Secret Service purchased two armored buses for its fleet earlier this year. The protective agency told The Hill it planned to use the buses during the presidential campaign — with one bus designated for the Republican nominee — and also for large entourages of visiting dignitaries.





("my house of cards!" -- too perfect)


HOW STUPID DOES THIS OLIGARCHY THINK WE ARE???? -- obviously... VERY, considering Mr. Obama's "Jobs Czar" is General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt. Yeah Yeah I know Mr. Immelt's "we need more small business lending and less regulation" chant is what we all want, but me thinks it's just more lip service. Is Mr. Immelt going to break up GE into small little companies and get AMEX to lend them money to bring back all those jobs Mr. Immelt sent to China?

In 2008, GE CEO Jeff Immelt called China the company’s “second home market”. Today, it might appear the Communist country led by a military dictatorship is General Electric’s new ‘first home’.


This is borderline abusive here folks.

Just throw us in front of the bus right now and get this over with.



(EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle "Stripes")
aka "BO-50 URBAN INSULT VEHICLE"



I can't stop imagining myself steering one of those luxury liners full speed down Wall Street.




Wednesday, August 3

Very interesting at around the 8:25 portion!
But I'm sure it will fall on deaf-e-cate full ears.

"la-la-la-la...I can't hear you!", said the O-pologist!

RACHAEL! RACHAEL! RACHAEL!..I'm happy that your happy that your back from a nice vacation - WAY TO SAY IT GIRLFRIEND!!!

Watch her in action here


CityLightsLover over at dailykos gives her a fine welcome back -- Thank you CityLights:


Rachel's back tonight;
Rachel's back tonight!!
I'm nearly as excited as Navin R. Johnson was about phone books.
(insert steve martin video!!)


Let's welcome back Miss Rachel with some SPARK! I bet this "lady of the evening" got paid in Long Johns. HA! :D The Animal Conspiracy Theory rears its ugly rear. Finally, to those of you with a bucket list, don't forget to add this journey!



On with The Rachel Maddow Show!

continue reading here

The Great Debt Ceiling Debate – The Epic Conclusion by dochollywood over at havoconthehill

ok folks, put your diapers on again...



for The Great Debt Ceiling Debate – The Epic Conclusion

Posted on August 3, 2011 by docho11ywood


*****READ THIS ONE FIRST IF YOU DID NOT READ THE POST BELOW YET*******







"If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane"
JB

Tuesday, August 2

The Great Debt Ceiling Debate

Here's the link to Havoc on the Hill

Tip 'o the hat to a reader at TheBigPicture and Business Insider:

"Comedy is tragedy plus time," Alan Alda's character says in Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors."
With the Senate finally voting this afternoon to raise the debt ceiling, enough time has probably elapsed for us to start laughing about the absurdist tragedy that played out in Washington D.C. over the last couple months.

Havoconthehill.com is here to help.

Check out this online comic that shows how the debt ceiling fight played out