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sad sally

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Member since: Tue Jan 31, 2006, 11:34 PM
Number of posts: 2,627

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It seems that Eddie Haskell has grown up – and he is Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney as Eddie Haskell

by Robert Parry | October 6, 2012

In the first presidential debate in 2000, Democratic nominee Al Gore famously sighed in frustration over the ill-informed comments from Republican nominee George W. Bush – and the national press corps went wild saying that Gore’s sighing proved that he was an obnoxious know-it-all. Gore also insisted on getting time to counter Bush’s misstatements, showing how pushy the Vice President was.

Obviously, other factors contributed to the debacle of Election 2000 – when Gore’s narrow victory was overturned by five Republican partisans on the U.S. Supreme Court – but one of the reasons Gore’s popular vote margin was only about 500,000 was that key journalists made Gore their whipping boy to “prove they weren’t liberal.”

So how did that work out? At the end of Bush’s know-nothing rule, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans were dead along with thousands of U.S. troops; the U.S. economy was in freefall; millions of Americans were losing their jobs and homes; the federal budget had gone from surpluses to $1 trillion-plus deficits; and serious threats to the future, like global warming, were ignored.

snip

Yeah, sure, President Obama could have been tougher, but didn’t the pundits notice that Mitt Romney was behaving like he forgot to take his Ritalin? There was a frenetic weirdness, something approaching instability, to his performance. Not to mention the repeated lying and misrepresentations.

After the debate – and before I heard the instant analysis – my primary thought had been: Do the American people really want to turn over the nuclear codes to that guy? And, as popular as the “Leave It to Beaver” show was, do they want to invite Eddie Haskell into their homes the next four or eight years?

http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/robert-parry/45902/mitt-romney-as-eddie-haskell

Some righteous Led Zepplin is playing on VH1

Jimmy Page is ON FIRE!!!!

Efforts to provide mental health care for war veterans falling short

By GREG BARNES AND JOHN RAMSEY
The Fayetteville Observer
Published: September 26, 2012

The last battle of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is being fought at home.

And in 2012, the military and the VA have done more than ever to respond to the anguish of men and women who are haunted by war.

This year, the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs rolled out promising new programs and research to identify and treat post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and other lingering effects of combat that afflict as many as one in five service members.

Myriad studies are under way. Budgets for mental health treatment programs are doubling. Thousands of new counselors have been hired.

But there is little evidence that the tide has turned in the battle. Too many service members suffering from mental health problems still are not being identified until they get into trouble. Suicides are climbing. Commanders struggle with the twin demands of monitoring the mental health of their soldiers while maintaining focus on their core mission of training for war.

http://www.stripes.com/news/special-reports/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/the-last-battle-efforts-to-provide-mental-health-care-for-war-veterans-falling-short-1.190847

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According to this article, Secretary Panetta thinks first-line leaders like lieutenants, captains, sergeants, staff sergeants, platoon sergeants and first sergeants should do more to "fix" the problem - like they don't have enough responsibility or enough to do already. How about trying 10 years or more of peace not forever wars...maybe there wouldn't be so many more broken soldiers.

More Diplomacy, Fewer Drones

Ibrahim Mothana, an activist, is a co-founder of the Watan Party and Yemen Enlightenment Debate. He is on Twitter.

UPDATED SEPTEMBER 26, 2012, 11:50 AM

Drone-striking militants to eradicate terrorism is like machine-gunning mosquitoes to cure malaria. Rather than tackling the real drivers of extremism, drone strikes create an ideal environment for Al Qaeda to grow and propagate.

Winning the hearts and minds of people is key in such unconventional warfare, yet the U.S. alienates Yemeni civilians, many of whom have lost relatives or friends in drone strikes.

Strikes in areas where government barely exists and no services are provided to citizens simply spells disaster. There is also devastating damage to an already fragile economy. Forty percent of Yemen's 23 million people live on less than $2 a day and 10 million people don't have enough food to eat. Unemployed youth living in desperate economic conditions in conflict areas often join militants. They have reached a point where seeking death becomes easier than struggling for life.

There could be short-term military gains from killing militant leaders in these strikes, but they are minuscule compared with the long-term damage caused by drones. The notion of targeting Al Qaeda’s leaders to demolish its organizational structure has been proven ineffective; new leaders spontaneously emerge in furious retaliation to the attacks.

snip

The drone program is by nature a Sisyphean struggle, no matter how many terrorists are eliminated. In Yemen, every time a drone kills civilians, young Yemenis like me who have always admired America start to see it as part of the problem, not the solution.

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/09/25/do-drone-attacks-do-more-harm-than-good/more-diplomacy-less-drones


Have you looked thru Mitt-Ann's tax returns? Being moderately poor

and with no capital gains or losses to have ever had to report, but as one who has always filed their own joint returns - even for a few years as a very small business owner - was curious to see what his looked like.

Wow! The number of pages for foreign investments. The P&L's from his "business" (Independent Artists Writers and Performers) - who knew? Oh yeah, he's a public speaker...remember the speach from the not-to-secret tapes?

Surely this Friday dump won't be the end of the questions about this candidates R MONEY, will it?

The Atlantic had a good read on it today. Here's some of it:

...(2) Romney's income mostly comes from investment funds located offshore. The tax returns of the rich are different from yours and mine. They mostly detail offshore investment holdings. As Zach Carter of the Huffington Post points out, 266 of the 379 pages of Romney's 2011 taxes are about foreign corporations and partnerships. Read that again. These funds are not set up overseas so that people like Mitt Romney can avoid taxes. These funds are set up overseas so that institutions like university endowments can avoid taxes.

Tax-exempt entities face a special tax called the unrelated business income tax (UBIT). When they own a part of a business, they have to pay UBIT on whatever income they get from it -- otherwise these businesses would have the competitive advantage of not having to pay taxes. That actually happened when some alums donated the Mueller Macaroni Company to NYU Law School back in 1948. What does this have to do with investment funds? Well, most funds -- including for private equity shops like Bain Capital -- are set up as distinct corporate entities. Big investors like university endowments would face the 35 percent UBIT on top of 15 percent capital gains taxes if these funds were set up in the United States. So they don't. They set them up in the Cayman Islands instead.

snip

The biggest revelation here is that it's good to be rich. But we already knew that from Romney's 2010 tax return. As my colleague Derek Thompson points out, Romney benefits from the preferential taxation of capital gains, from the crazy loophole that lets him count more income as capital gains, and from the best accountant money can buy. There's nothing scandalous about this -- other than the system that makes it possible. Now, there are good arguments about efficiency for keeping capital gains taxes low, as Matt Yglesias of Slate points out. But there are also good arguments about equity for not letting the super-rich pay less in taxes than the middle class.

It's almost as if we should have an election about this.

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/09/what-you-need-to-know-about-mitt-romneys-2011-tax-return/262706/


Will the real Mitt Romney please stand up? Ooops, think he did!

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Can Congress Come Out and Play?

September 15, 2012 - by Michael Winship

With just a couple of weeks left in September, members of the House and Senate hurried back to Washington after their August recess and the party conventions, ready to get some legislating done and impress their constituents before they head back home for the final stretch of their reelection campaigns.

Yes, I’m auditioning for a job at The Onion.

Members hustled back to the capital all right, not to get much accomplished for the good of the nation but to party down at events designed to scrape every last nickel of campaign contributions from the jam pots of cash held by K Street lobbyists and special interests.

The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call reported that as of this past Monday, House Democrats had 184 events scheduled through the end of the month — that’s according to a directory from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“Their GOP counterparts, according to a list from the National Republican Congressional Committee, have more than 110 breakfasts, coffees, lunches, dinners and receptions on the calendar. That doesn’t include scores more Senate fundraisers and intimate industry-focused events not logged on the official lists.”

At Politico’s “Influence” tip sheet, a Seinfeld fan dubbed this crass carnival of campaign loot “A Fundraising Festivus for Do-Nothing Congress” and proceeded to list a page and a half of events — just the tip of the cold cash iceberg.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/09/15

Libya: 4 arrested over coordinated attack against U.S.

Source: CBS/AP

(CBS/AP) BENGHAZI, Libya - The attack that killed four Americans in Libya, including the U.S. ambassador, was an organized two-part operation by heavily armed militants that included a precisely timed raid on a supposedly secret safe house just as Libyan and U.S. security forces were arriving to rescue evacuated consulate staff, a senior Libyan security official said on Thursday.

Libyan authorities have made four arrests in the investigation into the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in which the U.S. ambassador and three embassy staff were killed, the deputy interior minister said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

"Four men are in custody and we are interrogating them because they are suspected of helping instigate the events at the U.S. consulate," Wanis el-Sharef, eastern Libya's deputy interior minister, told Reuters.

He said others were being closely monitored by police to see whether they are linked to a group. He refused to elaborate.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57512441/libya-4-arrested-over-coordinated-attack-against-u.s/

The Republican candidate for president criticizes the Obama Administration, but apparently doesn't

know what the capital of the country is that he's criticicing them for, nor that it was the US consulate in that country he knows so little about that was attacked, not an embassy.

-------------------------------------------

Romney gets capital of Libya wrong in press conf criticizing Obama on foreign policy
By John Aravosis on 9/12/2012

Mitt Romney got the capital of Libya wrong in his opportunistic statement this morning criticizing the President about his handling of the attacks against the US embassy in Cairo and the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Romney referred in his statement to the "embassies" and particularly to "our embassy at Benghazi, Libya." He made the mistake three times, so it wasn't just a slip of the lip.

Any first year international relations student knows that our diplomatic offices in the capital are "embassies," and our offices in cities that are not the capital are "consulates."

This means that Romney either had no idea what the capital of Libya was when he said it was Benghazi (it's Tripoli, obviously), or he had no idea what the difference was between "embassies" and "consulates," which is so basic Diplomacy 101 that it's frightening that Mitt Romney wants to be commander in chief in four months and had no idea about the difference.

snip

Let's hope a future "President Romney," God forbid, does a fact-check before he starts bombing the wrong city.

http://www.americablog.com/2012/09/romney-gets-capital-of-libya-wrong-in.html

Why don't Rebublicans talk about the economic effects of the loss of public sector jobs?



But there is one area of job creation where President Bush clearly outshines President Obama: the public sector. Public sector employment is now down 608,000 workers since January 2009, a 2.7 percent decline. At the same point in President Bush’s term, public sector employment was up 3.7 percent. If, over the past 40 months, public sector employment had grown at the same pace as it did in President Bush’s first term, there would be 1.4 million additional people at work right now. That’d be enough to bring the unemployment rate down by nearly a full percentage point.

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/06/01/493849/obama-bush-jobs-record/

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Public employees get hammered for being public employees, but they take/took those "good paying" wages and put them back into their communities - buying goods and services, paying taxes - how many other jobs are lost by the reduction of those 608,000 workers?
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