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Gender: Female
Hometown: Upstate NY
Home country: USA
Current location: Houston Area TX
Member since: Mon Nov 10, 2003, 05:30 PM
Number of posts: 135,060

Journal Archives

U.N. to invade Texas? "Ridiculous," says world body

(Reuters) - Maybe President Barack Obama should just settle it in a gun duel with a Texas judge, instead of calling on the United Nations to invade the state.

The United Nations scoffed on Friday at claims by a judge in Lubbock County, Texas, that U.N. troops could invade the southern U.S. state to settle a possible civil war, which the judge warned could be sparked if Obama is re-elected in November.

"It's absolutely ridiculous," said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman, Martin Nesirky, when asked if the United Nations had any plans to invade Texas.

He later added: "No one, not even the United Nations, would ever mess with Texas."

He was responding to comments from Tom Head, a county judge in Lubbock who told a local Fox News station on Monday that taxes needed to be raised so the county could prepare for contingencies if Obama was re-elected for a second term.

more: http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/08/25/un-texas-duel-idINDEE87O00X20120825

Tea Baggers/Radical right threatens to blow Mitt Romney off course as Republicans gather in Tampa

Some of them believe Barack Obama was born in Kenya. Others want to force raped women who become pregnant to have their child. There are those who vilify Obama as a socialist and want to do away with most of the federal government. A fair few doubt the theory of evolution or hold that gays can be "cured".

As Mitt Romney arrives at the Republican national convention in Tampa, Florida, where he will be nominated to run for president, he faces the difficult task of dealing with a party base that has become one of the most radical in recent American history.

Convulsed by the rise of the anti-government Tea Party and dominated by socially conservative Christians, the Republican party has continued to move right in recent years. That means the carefully laid plans for a Tampa convention aimed at introducing a voter-friendly version of Romney could easily be upset by the party's more extreme elements.

"They don't want anyone to look behind the curtain," said Professor Shaun Bowler, a political scientist at the University of California, Riverside. "You want the party base to turn up, give money and keep quiet. But it is hard to keep them quiet." However, the curtain has already been lifted to some degree.

more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/25/republican-convention-romney-radical-right

New OFA Ad: America Doesn't Need a Birther-in-Chief


[Adelson's]Sands' ties to Macau gambling figure draw scrutiny

Source: Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO/MACAU | Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:28pm EDT
(Reuters) - Las Vegas Sands (LVS.N) allowed a man identified by the U.S. Senate as an organized crime figure to move a $100,000 gambling credit from a Las Vegas casino to one of its Macau casinos, according to documents that emerged in the wake of a lawsuit filed by a former Sands employee.

The cooperation with an alleged crime boss could draw the attention of Nevada gambling regulators, who are charged with stopping casinos from bringing "disrepute" on the state, at a time when Sands is the focus of several government investigations.

Sands, controlled by billionaire and prominent Republican party donor Sheldon Adelson, is under investigation by U.S. and Nevada regulators for payments that raised bribery concerns under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Evidence in a wrongful termination lawsuit by a former Sands China chief executive spurred the probes.

An internal list of customer accounts reviewed by Reuters shows a $100,000 credit moved from Sands' Venetian Las Vegas to the Sands Macao on January 31, 2009, for Charles Heung Wah Keung.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/24/us-casinos-sands-macau-idUSBRE87N15620120824

Nice pal, Rmoney!

Mitt Romney Financial Disclosure Probe Sought By SEIU, Ethics Groups

WASHINGTON -- A group of civic watchdogs and the Service Employees International Union have asked the U.S. Office of Government Ethics to examine Mitt Romney's financial disclosures, ratcheting up scrutiny of the Republican presidential candidate's finances.

The group wrote in a letter to the ethics office that the review is warranted because of concerns that Romney's disclosures "are not in compliance" with federal regulations:

"As you know, the Act requires candidates for federal office to disclose their financial holdings so that the public can identify potential conflicts of interest and personal economic priorities of federal officials and candidates. However, candidate Romney has refused to disclose most of his stock holdings. This lack of disclosure undermines public confidence in government, denies voters the facts they need to make an informed decision in the 2012 presidential election, and violates both the spirit and the letter of the law."
Romney faces serious questions about tax returns he has released and pressure to produce more of those returns. Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) has proposed legislation that would require presidential candidates to release 10 years worth of tax returns and other financial data.

more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/24/romney-financial-disclosure-seiu-ethics_n_1828442.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

Four Laughable Explanations for Mitt Romney's Birther Joke

"No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate," he quips. "They know that this is the place that we were born and raised." Without using our powers of telepathy to read Romney's mind, it sounds like a classic example of the guy saying something that offends people without knowing why it would. Here's why: Romney's a white guy who grew up in Michigan, whereas Barack Obama's a black guy who spent some formative years in Indonesia.

It's a simple story. Romney made a joke that relies on a debunked conspiracy theory about the president -- a theory especially popular with people who don't like blacks and foreigners. Romney's crowd cheered. He probably opened up a pre-convention worm-can that he didn't mean to open. This, I think, is why we're already seeing the comment spun away. The four biggest spins:

It's just a joke. Well, sure, but who's the joke for? Since the summer of 2008, false rumors have circulated online, alleging that Barack Obama's pregnant teenage mother flew to Kenya -- or something like that -- and gave birth to a kid who wasn't eligible for the presidency. Starting that year, activists started filing lawsuits, full of false information, aiming to get Obama kicked off of presidential ballots. In 2009, somewhat surprisingly, the conspiracy theory became even more popular -- more lawsuits, members of Congress proposing legislation to require birth certificates from candidates, endless rumors at sites like WorldNetDaily that encouraged people to support soldiers who refused to serve under Obama. Even through this year, Donald Trump has continued pushing the theory and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has convened a "cold case posse" that produced evidence -- all bogus -- that the birth certificate is forged. Romney's been endorsed by both those guys.

It's fair play because Obama lowered the tone of the campaign by joking about Seamus. Okay. Mitt Romney once put his dog in a kennel on the roof of his car and drove to Canada. But Barack Obama wasn't actually born in Kenya. Spot the difference? I completely see the comparison between the Seamus story and Obama's story of eating "dog meat" in Indonesia. Both of those things are embarrassing and they happened.

more: http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2012/08/24/four_laughable_explanations_for_mitt_romney_s_birther_joke.html

Romney comment echoes Pres Obama's 'Romney Hood' criticism that big businesses are avoiding taxes

Mitt Romney, echoing Obama critique, says big businesses ‘doing fine’ thanks to offshore tax shelters
Romney approving comment echoes President Obama's 'Romney Hood' criticism that big businesses are avoiding taxes by 'hiding' wealth in offshore tax havens.

HOPKINS, Minn. - Creating a potential headache for his campaign, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said big businesses in the U.S. were “doing fine” in part because they get advantages from offshore tax havens.

His comments echoed similar assertions about the state of big business by President Barack Obama which Romney has criticized. They’re also a reminder that the GOP candidate has kept some of his personal fortune in low tax foreign accounts.

“Big business is doing fine in many places,” Romney said during a campaign fundraiser Thursday. “They get the loans they need, they can deal with all the regulation. They know how to find ways to get through the tax code, save money by putting various things in the places where there are low tax havens around the world for their businesses.”

Romney’s assertions resembled Obama’s declaration earlier this summer that the “private sector is doing fine.” Romney and other Republicans pounced on the president’s comments and cast them as an indication that he was out of touch with the nation’s economic struggles.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/mitt-romney-echoing-obama-critique-big-businesses-fine-thanks-offshore-tax-shelters-article-1.1143567#ixzz24Ts5v9Dz

GOP: The anti-woman warriors

According to conservative commentators, the notion of a Republican war on women is a figment of Democrats’ imaginations — a manufactured “false narrative” according to Michelle Malkin, “contrived” says Laura Ingraham. In fact, Republicans allege Democrats are the ones going after women’s rights and freedoms. “We can’t have a war on women,” Ann Coulter recently said, “because the Democrats have won that war between Teddy Kennedy, Bill Clinton and Anthony Weiner.”

But Democrats are merely accurately describing to the American people the hostile and putative policies pushed by Republicans. As I said recently on Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, Republicans want to tell women who are raped that they have to have the baby of their rapist. That’s not exactly a war on rapists.

Despite the fact that our nation is climbing out of an historic recession and struggling with still-too-high unemployment and other serious challenges, the Republican leaders of the current, 112th Congress have declared passing anti-choice legislation a “top priority.” In fact, the third bill introduced in the Republican House of Representatives was not a jobs bill or a bill to reign in foreclosures but legislation to ban federal funding of abortions. Overall, the current Republican House has held eight votes on choice issues — the highest number since 2000.

And remember last summer when Republicans refused to pay our nation’s overdue bills, threatened to shut down our government altogether and sparked a downgrade of America’s credit rating? Republicans only agreed to raise the debt ceiling by attaching an amendment to prohibit public funding for abortion services in Washington, D.C.


FACT CHECK: The Start of Romney’s Convention Re-Invention

FACT CHECK: The Start of Romney’s Convention Re-Invention
August 24, 2012

FACT CHECK: The Start of Romney’s Convention Re-Invention

In Friday’s Wall Street Journal, Mitt Romney began his attempt at a convention re-invention. But we already know that Mitt Romney’s tenure as a corporate buyout specialist was not about creating jobs, it was about creating profits for himself and his investors, no matter the cost to workers, companies, or communities.

In several cases that he doesn’t list in the Journal, Romney’s firm loaded companies with debt in order to pay itself millions in fees and dividends, and then walked away with a profit while the companies were forced into bankruptcy, putting workers jobs, benefits and pensions at risk. Some of his companies were even outsourcing pioneers, shipping jobs to Mexico, India, and China. Now he’s promised to bring that same economic philosophy to the White House – a philosophy that is focused on turning a quick profit for investors, not a philosophy that would help grow America’s economy over the long term, create jobs, or strengthen the middle class.

Here’s some of what Mitt Romney wrote in his op-ed, and why his attempt to re-invent himself 70 days before an election with stakes this high just won’t work:

1. What Romney wrote: “Staples is one of many businesses we helped create and expand at Bain Capital, a firm that my colleagues and I built. The firm succeeded by growing and fixing companies.”

The Truth About The Myth Of Staples As Bain Capital’s Business Model: While Romney pretends that he made his fortune at Bain Capital from small investments in companies like Staples, the truth is that Staples was one of the smallest deals that Bain Capital did during Romney’s years with the firm. Under Romney, Bain Capital made more than 70 percent of its gain from just 10 deals, and four of those companies went bankrupt. A separate analysis even showed that Romney and his partners made $400 million from just four companies that they loaded up with debt, driving them into bankruptcy.1

2. What Romney wrote: “That was true of companies… we helped turn around, like the Brookstone retailer and the contact-lens maker Wesley Jessen.”

The Truth About Making Millions At Wesley-Jessen By Cutting Hundreds Of Jobs: Romney and his partners bought Wesley-Jessen with the agreement that 430 jobs would immediately be cut. They then went out and acquired another company by loading Wesley-Jessen with debt and cut 123 jobs and shortly thereafter closed a San Diego plant, cutting another 300 jobs and moving production to Puerto Rico. While Romney and his partners may have found this deal successful, communities and hundreds of workers lost.2

more: http://www.barackobama.com/press/release/fact-check-the-start-of-romneys-convention-re-invention

The Crackpot Caucus

August 23, 2012, 9:45 PM5
The Crackpot Caucus

The tutorial in 8th grade biology that Republicans got after one of their members of Congress went public with something from the wackosphere was instructive, and not just because it offered female anatomy lessons to those who get their science from the Bible.

Take a look around key committees of the House and you’ll find a governing body stocked with crackpots whose views on major issues are as removed from reality as Missouri’s Representative Todd Akin’s take on the sperm-killing powers of a woman who’s been raped.

On matters of basic science and peer-reviewed knowledge, from evolution to climate change to elementary fiscal math, many Republicans in power cling to a level of ignorance that would get their ears boxed even in a medieval classroom. Congress incubates and insulates these knuckle-draggers.

Let’s take a quick tour of the crazies in the House. Their war on critical thinking explains a lot about why the United States is laughed at on the global stage, and why no real solutions to our problems emerge from that broken legislative body.

Clockwise, from top left: Seth Perlman/Associated Press; Manuel Balce Ceneta, via Associated Press; Stephen Morton, via Getty Images; Daniel Acker for The New York Times; Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, via Associated Press; Paul Morigi, via Getty Images for Ovation
Clockwise, from top left: Representatives John Shimkus of Illinois, Joe Barton of Texas, Jack Kingston of Georgia, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Todd Akin of Missouri and Paul Broun of Georgia

We’re currently experiencing the worst drought in 60 years, a siege of wildfires, and the hottest temperatures since records were kept. But to Republicans in Congress, it’s all a big hoax. The chairman of a subcommittee that oversees issues related to climate change, Representative John Shimkus of Illinois is — you guessed it — a climate-change denier.

At a 2009 hearing, Shimkus said not to worry about a fatally dyspeptic planet: the biblical signs have yet to properly align. “The earth will end only when God declares it to be over,” he said, and then he went on to quote Genesis at some length. It’s worth repeating: This guy is the chairman.

more: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/the-crackpot-caucus/
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