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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 47,689

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Shorter DiFi: The Torture Report Started in Response to Michael Hayden’s Lie

I gotta hand it to Dianne Feinstein: the closest she comes to calling Michael Hayden a shriveled impotent old man in response to his suggestions she’s a hysterical female is when (at 6 minutes) she says calling women emotional is “an old male fallback position.”

Far more interesting, though, is the description she offers for the genesis of the report. It arose in response to Hayden’s damage control after CIA’s destruction of the torture tapes became public.

In December (2007)–the 11th–Director Hayden appeared before our committee and said he would allow members and/or staff to review operational cables which he said were just as good.


The genesis of the report was back with the videotape and back under then Chairman Rockefeller, who assigned staff, staff studied the operational cables, came back, reported to us, we took a look at that and said — both sides — we should move ahead and do a full study

And while she doesn’t say it, she makes clear that Hayden lied in this damage control, when he said the “operational cables were just as good” as the torture tapes.


PETA proposes vegan restaurant in Jeffrey Dahmer’s childhood home

An animal-welfare organization is trying to capitalize on the notoriety of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s childhood home by suggesting it might turn the house into a vegan restaurant.

Ingrid E. Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, sent a letter dated Friday to the realty agent who has listed the Bath Township house for sale. In the letter, she asked about the listing and proposed making the house a vegan restaurant “to respond to the past with something positive.”

Newkirk likened the way animals are slaughtered, processed and consumed to the way Dahmer treated his victims.

“We are always looking for ways to draw attention to the violence inherent in the production of meat, eggs, and milk — which involve processes that would shock all but the most hard-hearted person,” Newkirk wrote in the letter to Richard Lubinski of Stouffer Realty. “Dahmer’s old house gives us a way to evoke sympathy for these victims and to suggest that a life-affirming diet can change everything.”



Untaxed U.S. corporate profits held overseas top $2.1 trillion: study

(Reuters) - Foreign profits held overseas by U.S. corporations to avoid taxes at home nearly doubled from 2008 to 2013 to top $2.1 trillion, said a private research firm's report, prompting a call for reform by the Senate's top tax law writer. ...

Under U.S. law, corporations do not have to pay income tax on most of their overseas profits until they are brought into the United States. These earnings can be held offshore for years if they are classified as indefinitely invested abroad.

Research firm Audit Analytics said in a report issued last week that the total of such earnings was up 93 percent from 2008 to 2013, citing federal financial filings for companies listed in the Russell 1000 index of U.S. corporations.

Conglomerate General Electric Co had the biggest pile of earnings stored abroad, at $110 billion, the firm said. ... Next were software maker Microsoft Corp, with $76.4 billion; drugmakers Pfizer Inc, with $69 billion, and Merck & Co Inc, with $57.1 billion; and high-tech group Apple Inc, with $54.4 billion, it said.


Ben Stein: "The wealthy are actually good for democracy-The poor are jealous, lazy drunks"

The wealthy are actually good for democracy, Stein argued.

“We want for there to be a high number of rich people who function as a brake on government just as the nobles did on the crown in long ago England,” he said.

On the other hand, Stein argued, poor people dragged down society with their slovenly habits and appearance.

“My humble observation is that most long-term poverty is caused by self-sabotage by individuals,” he argued. “Drug use. Drunkenness. Having children without a family structure. Gambling. Poor work habits. Disastrously unfortunate appearance. Above all, and counted in the preceding list, psychological problems (very much including basic laziness) cause people to be unemployed, have poor or no work habits, and enter and stay in poverty.”


the rest:

"Koch Brothers Received Millions In Obamacare Subsidies"

Charles and David Koch may have spent millions of dollars opposing President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, but that didn’t stop them from benefiting from the law. The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Koch Industries received $1.4 million in subsidies from a $5 billion program established by the Affordable Care Act to help employers and states maintain coverage for individuals 55 and older who are not yet eligible for Medicare.

ThinkProgress first noticed that Koch applied for the program in August of 2010, along with other critics of the law, including state-run programs in Texas and more than a dozen members of the board of directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has spent millions to support Republican causes.

Ironically, in 2011, House Republicans issued a press release characterizing the early retiree grants as “a $5 billion bailout fund for state governments, Fortune 500 companies, and Hollywood unions.” “Like many provisions and accounting gimmicks in the health care law, it has largely escaped public scrutiny because of the sheer volume of programs and spending crammed into the law without scrutiny or Congressional oversight,” the Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee wrote a year after Koch and other prominent funders applied and received grants from the program.


You Don't Have to Be a Racist to Practice Racism

ED KILGORE – APRIL 9, 2014, 6:03 AM EDT2676

Nothing, but nothing, enrages conservatives more than being accused of racism.

Yes, a whole wing of modern conservatism is rooted in the southern white struggle against civil rights. Yes, Republican politicians perpetually appeal to resentment of the beneficiaries of the “welfare state,” commonly (if mistakenly) understood as people of color. Yes, nearly all conservative political actors and writers treat minority grievances as an illegitimate projection of past injustices far past their point of relevance. Yes, in nearly every state where the GOP has the power and incentive to do so, their legislators are systematically seeking to make it harder for minorities to vote. Yes, the tea party movement has a foundational myth that the housing and financial crises which touched off the Great Recession were the product of loans made to uncreditworthy minority folk via the Community Reinvestment Act at the behest of the “black radical” group ACORN. And yes, the centrist technocrat Barack Obama has often been subjected to classic racist stereotypes in day-to-day conservative agitprop, as an alleged beneficiary of affirmative action, as a shiftless vacation-taker, as a boon companion to (and even a husband of) black radicals, and yes, as a Kenyan with a “neocolonial” outlook.

Since we cannot peer into souls and because it is entirely possible to favor conservative policy positions with no racial animus whatsoever, none of this evidence, of course, means that it is accurate to describe any particular individual conservative as a racist. Some Republicans frankly argue that the heavy Democratic voting proclivities of African-Americans, Asian-Americans and (to a somewhat lesser extent) Hispanic-Americans all but force GOPers to promote policies everyone knows have a disproportionate impact on minorities; why shouldn’t Republicans tend to their own bleached constituencies insofar as people of color won’t give their views a fair shake? More popular still is the theory (particularly beloved by the small tribe of African-American conservatives, but also alluded to by big-time figures like Paul Ryan and Rand Paul) that the Right’s deep sympathy for minority Americans requires a fight to “liberate” them from the Democratic Party “plantation,” where they are confined via dependence on government largesse (National Review’s Kevin Williamson has even argued that the welfare state was a conscious successor to Jim Crow).

And so, protestations of pure motives accompany even the most suspect of policies and messages — and intensify the conservative cries of “unfair!” and “race card!” when the r-word is attributed to their words and deeds if not their thoughts. It has reached the point where the very idea of racism — other than the “racism” of liberals playing the “race card” — has been delegitimized on the right.


The reality a lot of us naturally want to avoid is the distemper and polarization in our political discourse is not simply the product of name-calling or rhetorical hubris or bad faith. Some of it has to do with genuine and very large differences of opinion about government, culture, and, yes, race. So much as I would like to find common ground with conservatives, and much as I know many of them have fine (subjective) motives: when I see racism, I’m going to call it what it is. Just avoiding the subject is not just bad politics: it is (subjectively, for me) an evasion and a lie.


Rand's Obamacare stats: 9.3 million new insureds, and counting

Source: LA TIMES

The long-awaited Rand Corp. study of Obamacare's effect on health insurance coverage was released Tuesday and confirmed the numbers that had been telegraphed for more than a week: At least 9.3 million more Americans have health insurance now than in September 2013, virtually all of them as a result of the law.

That's a net figure, accommodating all those who lost their individual health insurance because of cancellations. The Rand study confirms other surveys that placed the number of people who lost their old insurance and did not or could not replace it -- the focus of an enormous volume of anti-Obamacare rhetoric -- at less than 1 million. The Rand experts call this a "very small" number, less than 1% of the U.S. population age 18 to 64.

The Rand study was eagerly anticipated in part because of the dearth of hard information from other sources, including the federal and state governments, which are still compiling their statistics and may not have a full slate for months.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-rand-20140408,0,6208659.column#axzz2yKgE9woE

Mitch McConnell Compares ‘Obsession’ With Closing Gender Pay Gap To Blowing ‘A Few Kisses’

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) honored Equal Pay Day — a day that symbolizes the amount of time it takes women to earn what men make in a year — by accusing Democrats and President Obama of a “never-ending political road show” that merely blows “a few kisses” to their voter base.

“Instead of focusing on jobs, he launched into another confusing attack on the left’s latest bizarre obsession,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “Just think about that. The percentage of Americans in the workforce is at an almost four-decade low, and Democrats chose to ignore serious job-creation ideas so they could blow a few kisses to their powerful pals on the left.”



More than a few kisses-
here you go Mitch:

Women represent nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers. 22% percent of minimum wage workers are women of color.More than three-quarters of women earning the minimum wage are 20 or older, and do not have a spouse’s income to rely on.70% of restaurant servers (the largest group of tipped minimum wage worker) are women – and their poverty rate is nearly 3 times higher than the rate for the workforce as a whole.

Women represent 76% of the low-wage workforce, defined as the ten largest low-paying occupations. Women of color are 37% of the low-wage workforce.

4.8 million working mothers would get a raise if the minimum wage was increased. Increasing the minimum wage would boost annual earnings by $5,700 – enough to pull a family of three out of poverty

More, plus links:

Al Sharpton On FBI Work: I'm Not A Rat, 'I'm A Cat'

“Rats are usually people that were with other rats," Sharpton said, as quoted by the Observer. "I was not and am not a rat, because I wasn’t with the rats. I’m a cat. I chase rats.”

He argued The Smoking Gun's story was old news already disclosed in his 1996 book. As Sharpton's story goes, he went to police once he started receiving death threats for his activism, and then began taping interactions with mafia bosses.

Sharpton also said he wasn't surprised that the report dropped right before his National Action Network's annual summit, which both New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and President Barack Obama were expected to attend.

“We’re used to the attacks,” he said, as quoted by the Observer. “The only thing I was embarrassed by was those old, fat pictures. Could y’all use tomorrow’s cover, the new slim (ones)?”

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