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kpete

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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 45,122

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'American Sniper' Is Almost Too Dumb to Criticize - Almost. - By Matt Taibbi

Taibbi nails it as usual.

'American Sniper' Is Almost Too Dumb to Criticize

Almost.


By Matt Taibbi | January 21, 2015


..........

Forrest Gump pulled in over half a billion and won Best Picture. So what exactly should we have expected from American Sniper?

............................

The thing is, the mere act of trying to make a typically Hollywoodian one-note fairy tale set in the middle of the insane moral morass that is/was the Iraq occupation is both dumber and more arrogant than anything George Bush or even Dick Cheney ever tried.

No one expected 20 minutes of backstory about the failed WMD search, Abu Ghraib, or the myriad other American atrocities and quick-trigger bombings that helped fuel the rise of ISIL and other groups.

But to turn the Iraq war into a saccharine, almost PG-rated two-hour cinematic diversion about a killing machine with a heart of gold (is there any film theme more perfectly 2015-America than that?) who slowly, very slowly, starts to feel bad after shooting enough women and children – Gump notwithstanding, that was a hard one to see coming.


.........

The really dangerous part of this film is that it turns into a referendum on the character of a single soldier. It's an unwinnable argument in either direction. We end up talking about Chris Kyle and his dilemmas, and not about the Rumsfelds and Cheneys and other officials up the chain who put Kyle and his high-powered rifle on rooftops in Iraq and asked him to shoot women and children.

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Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/american-sniper-is-almost-too-dumb-to-criticize-20150121#ixzz3PYbXdQoA


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“WITHIN OUR MEANS,” SEN. ERNST’S KIN TOOK OVER $460,000 IN FARM SUBSIDIES

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The truth about her family’s farm roots and living within one’s means, however, is more complex. Relatives of Ernst (née: Culver), based in Red Oak, Iowa (population: 5,568) have received over $460,000 in farm subsidies between 1995 and 2009. Ernst’s father, Richard Culver, was given $14,705 in conservation payments and $23,690 in commodity subsidies by the federal government–with all but twelve dollars allocated for corn support. Richard’s brother, Dallas Culver, benefited from $367,141 in federal agricultural aid, with over $250,000 geared toward corn subsidies. And the brothers’ late grandfather Harold Culver received $57,479 from Washington—again, mostly corn subsidies—between 1995 and 2001. He passed away in January 2003.

The Sentinel cross-referenced the Environmental Working Group farm subsidy database with open source information to verify the Culvers’ interest in the Department of Agriculture’s crop support program.

Sen. Ernst’s family’s financial interest notably came up once during her campaign. In October, Salon reported that Richard’s construction company was awarded $215,665 in contracts from the Montgomery County government in 2009 and 2010, while Ernst was the body’s auditor. The bids won by Culver included Federal Emergency Management Agency projects worth $204,794.

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Ernst’s office did not respond to emailed questions about whether her families past financial benefit from farm subsidies impact her views on the role of government in agriculture.

..............

The benefit accrued to Ernst’s family does, however, undermine her claims that her family “lived within her means” and that she is committed to cutting pork–swine testicle extrication past notwithstanding.


https://www.districtsentinel.com/despite-campaigning-pork-cutting-family-living-within-means-sen-ernsts-kin-took-460000-farm-subsidies/

Joni Ernst Says She Used To Wear Bucket on Head for No Apparent Reason

Borowitz Report
BOROWITZ REPORT

JANUARY 21, 2015
Joni Ernst Says She Used To Wear Bucket on Head for No Apparent Reason
BY ANDY BOROWITZ

..............

“I’d be walking outside our house and see a bucket lying there, and I’d say to myself, ‘That’s a perfectly good bucket, I think I’ll put it on my head,’ ” she said. “It wasn’t because I needed a hat or anything. I must have had, oh gosh, a half-dozen hats or so. I just wanted to wear a bucket.”


Ernst said that during her youth, she was known for poking a hole in a large piece of corrugated cardboard and wearing it as a poncho.

“I can’t for the life of me tell you why I did that,” she said. “I just liked the look of it, I guess. Nobody paid much attention to it. People sure don’t notice your cardboard poncho when you’re wearing a bucket on your head.”

When asked why she was sharing these stories, Sen. Ernst considered her answer carefully. “I think people like to get to know their representatives in Washington as people,” she said. “And it helps to know that one of them used to wear buckets on her head, corrugated cardboard ponchos, and scuba flippers instead of gloves. Did I tell you I used to wear scuba flippers instead of gloves? To this day I’ll be darned if I know why I did that.”


http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/joni-ernst-says-used-wear-bucket-head-apparent-reason

Rude Pundit Advice: Do what Obama did: "Hold out your hand, but lead with your middle finger"

1/21/2015

The State of the Union Is "Shove Your Midterm Victory"




Obama sauntered out, slapped all the dicks like Moe with a bunch of Curlies, and told them to shove their fellatio dreams up their pathetic asses.




Honestly, the most astonishing parts of the evening (other than babbling head of hair Joni Ernst oddly talking about how poor her family was because of Ronald Reagan) were the times when Republicans chose to sit on their hands and not join the cheering. Obama said, "This Congress still needs to pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work." Crickets chirped from the right because, what? They don't think women should get paid the same as men? And, most infuriating was the Republican quiet when he said, "Let’s pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more than 30 times as many jobs per year (as the Keystone XL pipeline), and make this country stronger for decades to come." During his next campaign, someone should run an ad with John Boehner sitting there still and silent when, in the district next to his in Ohio, a highway exit bridge collapsed just the day before. It's like Boehner is mired in the pile of shit that is conservative ideology, and it's hardened to where he couldn't move.

In the end, Obama was teeing things up for 2016. "Here's all this great shit we did," he proclaimed. "Now don't fuck it all up." He said that the nation has reached a baseline from which it can actually build and not just recover. Now, if, in 2016, Democrats run on the actual accomplishments and not the Republican fever fantasies of them, they can win. But Obama has to be careful. As the New York Times advised, "Resist his instinct to follow the false promise of compromise. Give-and-take is part of the legislative process, but trade-offs amounting to Republican legislative triumphs are unacceptable. Gridlock seems almost foreordained over the next two years. Mr. Obama should do nothing to confuse the voters as to where the responsibility lies." Maybe, just maybe, one or two GOP members thought about working with the President. And you can bet they were immediately threatened with a primary opponent.

Yes, Republicans were not happy that Obama didn't acknowledge their magnificent victory in 2014. Why should he? To be gracious? To be kind? Put it this way: Every time Obama has said he would work with Republicans, they have whined that he didn't work with them simply because he didn't adopt their position. You can't be gracious to motherfuckers. What you can do is what Obama did: Hold out your hand, but lead with your middle finger.

- See more at: http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/#sthash.gPHBWoVf.dpuf

Al Gore Is Looking Pretty Damn Good!

The Guardian front page, Thursday 22 January 2015:

:large


Republican Senators Finally Admit That Climate Change Is Not a Hoax
But they still insist that humans don't have anything to do with it

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120825/senates-keystone-amendment-admits-climate-change-real

Frivolous wars are like drugs.

Hollande fails to learn from Bush
By Ramzy Baroud

..........

As if nothing has been learnt until now, Hollande seems to be borrowing the same costly policies that were implemented by former US President George W. Bush after the deadly attacks of September 11. He too struck violently and thoughtlessly and at the urging of powerful neoconservative groups; he carried out pre-conceived policies to assure America's dominance in the name of fighting "terror". These policies backfired, none of the US strategic objectives were achieved, and the "New Middle East" which the US administration so desperately coveted, became a breeding ground for the same "terrorism" that the Americans allegedly fought.

Prior to Bush's misadventures in the Middle East, al-Qaeda seemed to have been a distant reality that had been heard of, but unseen. A decade after the US invasion of Iraq, al-Qaeda penetrated the Middle East and North Africa, hatching into numerous groups, sub-groups and al-Qaeda-inspired groups. In fact, al-Qaeda-turned-Islamic State (IS) is now redefining borders, carving a "state" of its own that occupies massive swathes of land in Syria and Iraq.

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The Ecstasy of War

Frivolous wars are like drugs. They may start with the intention of achieving a fleeting sense of ecstasy, but with time they become a lethal escape from reality. Like drugs, a warlord is dependent on war and can only be sustained and validated by it. Hollande is a warlord in the western sense, what Americans refer to as "a war president".

But as Bush's notorious legacy has proven, while war-induced fear and vain patriotism may keep a leader in office long enough, the terrible consequences of unchecked violence shall be felt for many years to come.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-01-210115.html

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired..."

:large

GOP Plan To Secure The Border & Militarize Disneyland!

GOP Plan To Secure The Border: Militarize Disneyland!
1/21/15 2:01pm


Hey, everyone! Republicans in the House are taking up immigration as only Republicans can. You know what that means, right? Repeat after me: First we secure our borders.

Because no immigration until we've taken care of that first. And wait till you see what they've got in mind.

In the words of Rep. McCaul, HR 399 will allow the Department of Defense “to transfer assets from theatre of war and redeploy them to the Southwest border.” See McCaul press release Jan. 15, 2015.

War assets and other enforcement tools authorized by Congress could be deployed within 100 miles of the southern border, encompassing cities like San Diego, Tucson, El Paso and Brownsville (8 CFR 287.1). This 100-mile-zone is home to 15 million people and includes Disneyland, national parks, and tourist beaches.

Specifically, the bill authorizes Department of Defense to allocate aviation assets to Customs and Border Protection (Sec. 7). Other war assets are transferred under the Department of Defense 1033 Program.

The bill requires near-constant drone surveillance even though a recent DHS report has proven the drone program to be costly and ineffective (Sec. 9).

It also authorizes and reimburses states to deploy the deploy the National Guard (Sec. 17).


http://crooksandliars.com/2015/01/gop-plan-secure-border-militarize
http://soboco.org/the-secure-our-borders-first-act-impact-of-hr-399-on-our-communities/

Mickey will greet Disneyland visitors in fatigues, armed with an AK-47?


asking Jesus...

The Golden Age of Black Ops -Special Ops Missions Already in 105 Countries in 2015

The Golden Age of Black Ops
Special Ops Missions Already in 105 Countries in 2015
By Nick Turse

In the dead of night, they swept in aboard V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. Landing in a remote region of one of the most volatile countries on the planet, they raided a village and soon found themselves in a life-or-death firefight. It was the second time in two weeks that elite U.S. Navy SEALs had attempted to rescue American photojournalist Luke Somers. And it was the second time they failed.

On December 6, 2014, approximately 36 of America’s top commandos, heavily armed, operating with intelligence from satellites, drones, and high-tech eavesdropping, outfitted with night vision goggles, and backed up by elite Yemeni troops, went toe-to-toe with about six militants from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. When it was over, Somers was dead, along with Pierre Korkie, a South African teacher due to be set free the next day. Eight civilians were also killed by the commandos, according to local reports. Most of the militants escaped.

That blood-soaked episode was, depending on your vantage point, an ignominious end to a year that saw U.S. Special Operations forces deployed at near record levels, or an inauspicious beginning to a new year already on track to reach similar heights, if not exceed them.

During the fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2014, U.S. Special Operations forces (SOF) deployed to 133 countries -- roughly 70% of the nations on the planet -- according to Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bockholt, a public affairs officer with U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). This capped a three-year span in which the country’s most elite forces were active in more than 150 different countries around the world, conducting missions ranging from kill/capture night raids to training exercises. And this year could be a record-breaker. Only a day before the failed raid that ended Luke Somers life -- just 66 days into fiscal 2015 -- America’s most elite troops had already set foot in 105 nations, approximately 80% of 2014’s total.





MORE:
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175945/tomgram%3A_nick_turse%2C_a_shadow_war_in_150_countries/#more
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