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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 44,191

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Breaking: Dow Jones Industrial Average hits 18,000 for the first time - @WSJ

Source: Wall Street Journal / Reuters

@BreakingNews: RT @breakingmoney: Dow Jones Industrial Average hits 18,000 for the first time - @WSJbreakingnews http://t.co/rqzhT09NUJ/s/HpLq

Dow breaks through 18,000 after GDP report

Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:46am EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks opened higher on Tuesday, with both the Dow and S&P 500 setting new intraday records after an unexpectedly strong report on economic growth.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) rose 54.55 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,013.99, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 6.51 points, or 0.31 percent, to 2,085.05 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 10.58 points, or 0.22 percent, to 4,792.00.

Read more: http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0K10YW20141223

TOM TOMORROW: Year In Review 2014 - Part One

DAILY KOS LINK: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/22/1352770/-Cartoon-Year-in-review-part-one

"Blaming Prominent Black Leaders for Racism..."

"...is like blaming Gloria Steinem for patriarchy. You can, but shut the fuck up you stupid asshole."

- Seen on Facebook

Obama Vows to 'Do Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo: CNN Interview

Source: Reuters

Obama vows 'do everything I can' to close Guantanamo: CNN interview

Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:06am EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. president Barack Obama said in a TV interview set for broadcast on Sunday that he will do "everything I can" to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after four Afghan detainees held there were sent home.

Obama promised to shut the internationally condemned prison when he took office nearly six years ago, saying it was damaging America's image around the world. But he has been unable to do so, partly because of obstacles posed by the U.S. Congress.

"I'm going to be doing everything I can to close it," Obama said on CNN's "State of the Union with Candy Crowley," program in an interview taped on Friday.

"It is something that continues to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world, the fact that these folks are being held," he said.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0JZ0FY20141221

Final Craig Ferguson Show is on now...

Off to a cool start.

WikiLeaks Reveals CIA Admitted Drone Strikes Counterproductive

Source: Reader Supported News

WikiLeaks Reveals CIA Admitted Drone Strikes Counterproductive

By TeleSUR
19 December 14

Controversial U.S. drone strikes may be helping rather than hindering the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to a leaked CIA document released by Wikileaks Thursday.

The CIA document appears to be a 2009 internal review of the agency’s "High Value Target" (HVT) assassination program.

The HVT program selected specific insurgent figures for targeted assassination, often by drone strikes.

Despite the report’s secret publication in 2009, drone strikes increased.

Independent estimates suggest U.S. forces have conducted more than 1,000 drone strikes over Afghanistan since invading the country over a decade ago. Human rights groups say hundreds of civilians have been killed or maimed by drones, and that the strikes are widely unpopular on the ground.

Read more: http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/27585-focus-wikileaks-reveals-cia-admitted-drone-strikes-counterproductive

VIDEO: Stephen Colbert Sings With Every Celebrity You Can Think Of On Final Colbert Report

(Almost) none of them right-wingers.


Stephen Colbert sings with every celebrity you can think of on the final Colbert Report

Updated by Alex Abad-Santos on December 19, 2014, 12:16 a.m. ET

The Colbert Report's final episode wasn't particularly eventful for the first 23 minutes or so. Then, Stephen Colbert started singing "We'll Meet Again", brought out Jon Stewart, and then guest after guest, after guest joined in. Like a snowball speeding down a mountain, the number of guests singing along got bigger and bigger.

Our unofficial, possibly never to be completed guest list:

Kareem Abdul-Jabar
JJ Abrams
Alan Alda
Christiane Amanpour
Jon Batiste
Big Bird
Cory Booker
Tom Brokaw
Ken Burns
Bill Clinton
Andy Cohen
Francis Collins
Cookie Monster
Bob Costas
Katie Couric
Bryan Cranston
Mark Cuban
Jeff Daniels
Bill DeBlasio
James Franco
Thomas Friedman
Vince Gilligan
Doris Kearns Goodwin
David Gregory
Terry Gross
Mike Huckabee
Arianna Huffington
Dean Kamen
Toby Keith
Henry Kissinger
Nicholas Kristof
Paul Krugman
Alexi Lalas
Cyndi Lauper
George Lucas
Yo Yo Ma
Barry Manilow
Tim Meadows
Willie Nelson
Randy Newman
Grover Norquist
Eleanor Holmes Norton
Ric Ocasek
Keith Olbermann
Mandy Patinkin
Stone Phillips
Samantha Power
Pussy Riot
Charlie Rose
Dan Savage
Shane Smith
Eliot Spitzer
Gloria Steinem
Jon Stewart
Patrick Stewart
Michael Stipe
Andrew Sullivan
Matt Taibbi
Jeff Tweedy
Neil Degrasse Tyson
Sam Waterston
Elijah Wood






All the cameos in Stephen Colbert's musical finale — in gif form

Updated by Alex Abad-Santos on December 19, 2014, 1:14 a.m. ET @alex_abads alex@vox.com

Bill Clinton on the last episode of The Colbert Report Comedy Central

Stephen Colbert wrapped up The Colbert Report in the grandest fashion: a musical number. It wasn't just any musical number, it involved politicians, celebrities, scientists, dragons, and even Bill Clinton. Like a Russian nesting doll, each shot revealed more and more celebrities.

It began with Jon Stewart:

Watch Stephen Colbert's Greatest Bravest Moment - The 2006 WH Correspondent's Dinner


MAY 2 2006 6:23 PM
Dinner Theater
Why Stephen Colbert didn't bomb in D.C.

By Troy Patterson

So, I'm sitting there watching the online video of Stephen Colbert's performance at Saturday night's White House Correspondents' Association dinner. Colbert looked excellent in his tux, and he was doing his usual shtick—playing a know-it-all know-nothing of the Bill O'Reilly school—with the usual aplomb. And just as Colbert is making his segue into a pre-taped skit documenting his "audition" for Tony Snow's new job—"I think I would have made a fabulous press secretary. I have nothing but contempt for these people"—there's an audience shot capturing the face of my ex-girlfriend. She's a D.C. lawyer who loves the silliness of Monty Python, who used to read The Nation in the bath, and who, I think, named her new dog after Howard Dean. In other words, she ought to have been cracking up at Colbert's absurdist satire and meaningful snark. Instead, as the comedian aimed vicious blows at the president, I mostly read nervous concern in her eyes. The air in that room must have had a weird and very rare charge.

The night's best reaction shots confirmed this. Here's a jiggling Justice Scalia giggling like a schoolgirl. Here's a military man not quite disciplined enough to stifle his grin at a crack—decent but not first-rate—on the Secretary of Defense: "See who we've got here tonight. Gen. Moseley, Air Force Chief of Staff. Gen. Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They still support Rumsfeld. Right, you guys aren't retired yet, right?" In the immediate wake of Colbert's most brutal line ("I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares."), the president of the United States wore, on his peeved lips, an expression that you usually see only in the instant before a bar fight. But half a minute later, when the topic turned to the First Marriage ("Obviously loves his wife, calls her his better half. And polls show America does, too"), the president had regained his composure and was the picture of jolliness. Not so the trio of Washington wives the camera next cut to. Their faces showed varying degrees of disgust, and it looked like all three of them were trying to hide under their shawls.

Who did they think they were getting, Mark Russell? (Actually, they may not have known who they were getting; the emcee was clueless enough, when introducing the headliner, to pronounce the final T in The Colbert Report. Square.) You hire a good political satirist, you get good political satire, which is necessarily dangerous. So, when the Washington Post's "Reliable Source" column speaks of the "consensus" that the routine "fell flat" and New York Daily News gossip—and "Reliable Source" alumnus—Lloyd Grove writes that Colbert "bombed badly," they are offering meaningless reportage. Pop Dadaist that he is, Colbert wasn't bombing so much as freaking his audience out for his own enjoyment.

Colbert deserves to be judged on his own terms: He shouldn't haven't stolen one good joke from his own show ("Next time, look it up in your gut") and another from Jon Stewart's Oscar intro ("McClellan, of course, eager to retire. Really felt like he needed to spend more time with Andrew Card's children."). The "audition tape" segment was at least 90 seconds too long, although the Colbert rapport with Helen Thomas was good enough that the two ought to be considering a sitcom. In general, though, he was brilliant—perfectly daffy and gutsy, as in the line that earned what seemed to be the crowd's biggest laugh. Colbert spoke of interviewing Jesse Jackson: "You can ask him anything, but he's going to say what he wants, at the pace that he wants. It's like boxing a glacier. Enjoy that metaphor, by the way, because your grandchildren will have no idea what a glacier is."


U.S. TV Provides Ample Platform For American Torturers, But None to Their Victims



@ggreenwald TODAY AT 9:34 AM

Ever since the torture report was released last week, U.S. television outlets have endlessly featured American torturers and torture proponents. But there was one group that was almost never heard from: the victims of their torture, not even the ones recognized by the U.S. Government itself as innocent, not even the family members of the ones they tortured to death. Whether by design (most likely) or effect, this inexcusable omission radically distorts coverage.

Whenever America is forced to confront its heinous acts, the central strategy is to disappear the victims, render them invisible. That’s what robs them of their humanity: it’s the process of dehumanization. That, in turns, is what enables American elites first to support atrocities, and then, when forced to reckon with them, tell themselves that - despite some isolated and well-intentioned bad acts – they are still really good, elevated, noble, admirable people. It’s hardly surprising, then, that a Washington Post/ABC News poll released this morning found that a large majority of Americans believe torture is justified even when you call it “torture.” Not having to think about actual human victims makes it easy to justify any sort of crime.

That’s the process by which the reliably repellent Tom Friedman seized on the torture report to celebrate America’s unique greatness. “We are a beacon of opportunity and freedom, and also [] these foreigners know in their bones that we do things differently from other big powers in history,” the beloved-by-DC columnist wrote after reading about forced rectal feeding and freezing detainees to death. For the opinion-making class, even America’s savage torture is proof of its superiority and inherent Goodness: “this act of self-examination is not only what keeps our society as a whole healthy, it’s what keeps us a model that others want to emulate, partner with and immigrate to.” Friedman, who himself unleashed one of the most (literally) psychotic defenses of the Iraq War, ended his torture discussion by approvingly quoting John McCain on America’s enduring moral superiority: “Even in the worst of times, ‘we are always Americans, and different, stronger, and better than those who would destroy us.’”

This self-glorifying ritual can be sustained only by completely suppressing America’s victims. If you don’t hear from the human beings who are tortured, it’s easy to pretend nothing truly terrible happened. That’s how the War on Terror generally has been “reported” for 13 years and counting: by completely silencing those whose lives are destroyed or ended by U.S. crimes. That’s how the illusion gets sustained.

- snip -

It would be incredibly easy, and incredibly effective, for U.S. television outlets to interview America’s torture victims. There is certainly no shortage of them. Groups such as the ACLU, Center for Constitutional Rights, Reprieve, and CAGE UK represent many of them. Many are incredibly smart and eloquent, and have spent years contemplating what happened to them and navigating the aftermath on their lives.


TOM TOMORROW: Tortured Logic

DAILY KOS LINK: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/15/1351734/-Cartoon-Tortured-logic

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