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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 51,726

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"We live in constant fear of upsetting the WH (White House)."


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration set a record again for censoring government files or outright denying access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.

The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn't find documents and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy.

It also acknowledged in nearly 1 in 3 cases that its initial decisions to withhold or censor records were improper under the law — but only when it was challenged.

Its backlog of unanswered requests at year's end grew remarkably by 55 percent to more than 200,000. It also cut by 375, or about 9 percent, the number of full-time employees across government paid to look for records. That was the fewest number of employees working on the issue in five years.


The Big Dick School of American Patriotism

Published on
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
by TomDispatch
The Big Dick School of American Patriotism
America's new military mystique and what we make of it

byNan Levinson

Let’s face it: we live in a state of pervasive national security anxiety. There are various possible responses to this low-grade fever that saps resolve, but first we have to face the basis for that anxiety -- what I’ve come to think of as the Big Dick School of Patriotism, or (since anything having to do with our present version of national security, even a critique of it, has to have an acronym) the BDSP.

The BDSP is based on a bedrock belief in how America should work: that the only strength that really matters is military and that a great country is one with the capacity to beat the bejesus out of everyone else. Think of it as a military version of 50 Shades of Grey, with the same frisson of control and submission (for the American citizen) and the assumption that a good portion of the world is ripe to be bullied.

These days, no one in America directly takes on the military. Not the president, who just requested $534 billion for the new Pentagon budget, plus an additional $51 billion for supplemental war funding. Not Congress, where the range of debate over an “authorization” of war in Iraq and Syria goes from “hawks,” who want assurances that we’ll blow ISIS to oblivion by any means, to “doves,” who want assurances that there will be no “boots on the ground” while we blow ISIS into oblivion. Certainly not the courts, which, among other things, have consistently refused to let military objectors invoke their right to disobey illegal orders. And not American citizens who are now well trained to spend their time thanking their all-volunteer warriors for their sacrifices before turning back to the business of everyday life.

It seems to matter little to anyone that, since 9/11, what is supposed to be the greatest fighting force in the world has been stymied by modestly armed insurgencies -- in response to which we keep buying our military yet newer props like the wildly overpriced, over-touted, and underachieving F-35 fighter plane, and sending them back to clean up the very messes they helped produce not so long before. There never seem to be any consequences to this repetitive course of action. Well, none if you don’t count the squandering of whatever political capital this country had after 9/11, or the way a million or so veterans injured in Iraq and Afghanistan will require costly care for the rest of their lives, or the billions spent on war rather than the environment, infrastructure, education, or (fill in your favorite civic need here).



Now - Cotton and McCain-already siding with Netanyahu on abandoning the 2-state solution

Senate Republicans who welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's attack on President Barack Obama's efforts to strike a nuclear deal with Iran are dismissing his about-face on support for a Palestinian state, a central under-pinning of U.S. policy.

"I think to some degree that's just a statement of fact. There is not going to be a Palestinian State in the short-term because there is not a serious interlocutor on the Palestinian side," Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton said Tuesday during a breakfast with Bloomberg News. "Hamas is still in control of Gaza, Israel had to fight a weeks-long war last summer because they were shooting rockets and mortars and missiles from Gaza into Israel's territory. So I think it's simply a statement of fact for the time being that there's not going to be a Palestinian state."


Cotton and other Republicans said Netanyahu's position merely reflects the situation in the region.

Arizona Senator John McCain, who said he has "always favored'' a two-state solution, defended Netanyahu's right to change his mind.


LAT: By running such a cynical campaign, Netanyahu has guaranteed that his credibility is in tatters


It's not the place of a newspaper in Los Angeles to tell Israelis how to vote.
But now that the election is over, we don't mind saying that
we were hoping for the end of the counterproductive Netanyahu era in Israeli politics.


Idiots dancing around celebrating a disaster, a triumph of idiocy over reason

a well articulated comment from:

The path that Israel is on is unsustainable.

This was the night that it really sunk in that the state of Israel may cease to exist, and catastrophically so, in my lifetime. I'm numb. I'm literally numb inside. I can't come with any way of telling myself that shit is going to just get worse and worse and worse until something that can't be fixed breaks. The fact that people are actually batshit enough to be happy about this, like they won something and good things are ahead, just amps up the insanity and stupidity.

It's like watching people cheering on the massive and unrelenting tsunami rolling towards them on the beach that they are dancing around throwing confetti on.

The wingnuts will be cheering, right up until the moment that everything shits the bed in the region and they realize that they are fucked by not taking wiser steps in past days.

It is, frankly, sickeningly delusional to see anyone who considers themselves a friend of Israel going around thinking that Netanyahu and his ilk winning is not just a good thing for the continued existence of the state of Israel, but insuring it.

If a person wanted Israel to be a pariah state?

This was their dream outcome.

If a person want Israel to be doomed to devolving into an isolated and fitfully reactionary apartheid state?

This was their night.

If a person wanted the relationship between the US and Israel to finally and undeniably become just another vapid and toxic part of the Right's stupid and savage Culture Wars along with the most backwards bigots opposing gay rights and abortion?

Bully for them.

I feel like somebody I care deeply about, who has a crippling addiction to drugs and alcohol they need to deal with or die, just made the decision to to on the biggest and maybe the last big bender of their lives.

I can do nothing but watch in horror.

I have to say. I saw a few commentators here crowing about this turn of events. Why? Simply because their liberal frenemies online were unhappy about it. Idiots dancing around celebrating a disaster, a triumph of idiocy over reason, because it made them feel good to see people they dislike upset.

This is like cheering Jenny McCarthy being put in charge of vaccine distribution and oversight, because somebody who gets on your nerves online is annoyed by it.

Somewhere George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are laughing their asses off, because that is exactly what makes them tick. Reducing everything to the level of internet trolling as triumph.

There comes a point in time when you cannot change course. You went so far, and now you don't have the food, or water, or fuel to go back. So. You go on to your ruin in the wastelands delusionally telling yourself whatever bullshit lies you have to tell yourself so you don't have a nervous breakdown and start screaming in horror at what you have done to fuck yourself.

Netanyahu is a kindred spirit to global climate change denialists, flat-Earthers, and people who only value Israel as a tool to bring about the second coming of Christ, the Rapture, and the end of days.

THAT is an existential threat. That is what an existential threat to an experiment looks like in real time.

Like Florida will not be spared the fatally far rising new tide because it might elect a fool who says its cannot be real or happening, right up until he drowns, Israel will not be spared the Hell that awaits it by following a delusional fanatic towards disaster while he screams that the pathway to ruin is the only way to go. Trust me. We will be rewarded for digging a deep, deep hole, and tossing ourselves in.

I'm upset because I think Netanyahu is sending Israel towards a date with the dustbin of history, like a sick and twisted grand march into the sea as if it is a parade of glory.

This path is unsustainable.

I would go so far as to say it is suicidal for Israel.

Jesus. Hearing anybody cheering and dancing around as a nation marches off a cliff just makes me want to scream.

The idea that stupid myopic people are so enamored by who this terrible outcome may piss off or upset, be they Rightwingers or longtime I/P diary brawlers rubbing it in like they won something right here, in its wake just makes it all the more absurd to me. A nation may very well be on the pathway to its final end because of this racist, vile, dead-enders gambit having an effect on changing course.

Nobody is happier about Netanyahu pulling anything out at the last minute that people who want to see Israel cease to exist.

by LeftHandedMan on Wed Mar 18, 2015 at 12:13:35 AM PDT

President Barack Obama still believes in Palestinian statehood — even if Netanyahu no longer does.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration admonished Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's political party on Wednesday, accusing it of using anti-Arab rhetoric ahead of Israel's election. A spokesman said President Barack Obama still believes in Palestinian statehood — even if Netanyahu no longer does.

In its first public response to Netanyahu's triumph in the election, the spokesman said the White House was "deeply concerned" about divisive language emanating from Netanyahu's Likud Party. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the party had sought to marginalize Israel's minority Arab community, an apparent reference to social media posts the Likud distributed that warned Israelis about the danger of high turnout by Arab voters.

"These are views the administration intends to convey directly to the Israelis," Earnest said.

And while Earnest said Obama would be calling Netanyahu to congratulate him on his victory, he acknowledged the U.S. would have to re-evaluate the best way to bring about a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — a cornerstone of U.S. Mideast policy for years. In a veer to the right just before the election, ***Netanyahu reversed his former position and said he now opposes the creation of a separate Palestinian state.

***LIAR: http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Text-of-PM-Binyamin-Netanyahus-speech-to-the-US-Congress


James O'Keefe Insider Says He Plotted To Incite Violence Against Police, Blame Protesters

Activist allegedly tried to bait protesters with ‘kill cops’ script

A controversial conservative activist is being accused of trying to incite anti-police protesters by saying, “I wish I could kill some of these cops,” to provoke them into making outrageous statements.

A former top staffer with Project Veritas, Richard Valdes, said the incident occurred in January, when an undercover operative assigned to infiltrate the protest groups was given a script that included the startling comment.

Valdes said he was fired by the group’s founder, James O’Keefe, for not following through on the bizarre assignment.

Valdes said Veritas assigned a Muslim undercover agent pretending to be anti-cop to attend protest meetings and utter the following statement: “Sometimes, I wish I could just kill some of these cops. Don’t you just wish we could have one of the cops right here in the middle of our group?”



PLAYBOY: Dick Cheney Says Obama Is Playing The ‘Race Card’ To Excuse His "Worst-Ever" Presidency

Said Cheney: “I look at Barack Obama and I see the worst president of my lifetime, without question. I used to have significant criticism of Jimmy Carter, but compared to Barack Obama and the damage he is doing to the nation — it’s a tragedy.”

Cheney with boobs here:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said that President Barack Obama was “playing the race card” to excuse criticism of his record as president:

“I think they’re playing the race card, in my view. Certainly we haven’t given up—nor should we give up—the right to criticize an administration and public officials. To say that we criticize, or that I criticize, Barack Obama or Eric Holder because of race, I just think it’s obviously not true,” Cheney said in a wide-ranging interview with Playboy magazine released on Tuesday. “My view of it is the criticism is merited because of performance—or lack of performance, because of incompetence. It hasn’t got anything to do with race.”

Cheney likewise thought that the protests in Ferguson and the Black Lives Matter movement that stemmed from it had been wrongly linked to race. “Well , what I see is disturbing. It’s always a tragedy when there is a death involved and so forth. But it seems to me it’s a clear-cut case that the officer did what he had to do to defend himself. He was perfectly within his authorities to take action … And I’ve been disappointed, I guess, in the Obama administration’s response. I think there should have been more people who were ready to stand up and say, ‘Look, the evidence is pretty overwhelming. The grand jury has reviewed it thoroughly. Here’s what we know. This is what happened.’ And that we should not sort of throw it all over on the burden of race, or racial inequality or racial discrimination, as being responsible for this particular event,” Cheney said.

“I don’t think it is about race. I think it is about an individual who conducted himself in a manner that was almost guaranteed to provoke an officer trying to do his duty,” Cheney concluded.

Cheney went on to say that Obama had undone some of the legacies of President George W. Bush. “His precipitous withdrawal and refusal to leave any stay-behind forces, to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqis, was a huge mistake; we are paying a price for it now. He’s having to go back in now, and the guy who campaigned on the basis of bring the boys home and get out of Iraq is now redeploying forces to Iraq,” he said.

more of the devil:


America's Worst Vice Presidents

Having served as a Congressman, White House Chief of Staff, Secretary of Defense and the CEO of oil and gas giant Halliburton, Cheney came to the White House with among the most formidable resumes of any vice president. Harnessing his intimate knowledge of the Capitol's back alleys, Cheney emerged as the bare-knuckled architect — or, in the eyes of some, the shadowy puppetmaster — behind many of the administration's most controversial policies. Cheney led the charge in calling for the invasion of Iraq, based on the misleading claim that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction; curtailed domestic civil liberties; and pressed to limit restrictions on the treatment of enemy combatants. Critics alleged he played a role in the 2003 leak that outed then CIA operative Valerie Plame; his former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice for making false statements during the investigation of the incident. The bellicose veep also swore at a colleague during a Senate class photo and, adding injury to insult, delighted his detractors by accidentally shooting a hunting partner in the face.


White House calling the shots In the months since Republicans took charge of Congress

“To the extent that Republicans on Capitol Hill are doing things, it is either putting out fires in their own camp or responding to incoming from President Obama,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in an interview.

“Most of the message of the Republican presidential candidates is a message that is a reaction or response to White House initiatives, or actions taken by the White House,” Earnest added.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Earnest said, hasn’t delivered on his promise to make government work or find areas of cooperation with Obama. The idea of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) being in control of his conference makes Earnest laugh out loud.

“Depends on the day,” he said.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/white-house-calling-the-shots-116091.html#ixzz3Uf44eT9I
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