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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 69,763

Journal Archives

I support President Obama, But....

Civilian Deaths Due to Drones Are Not Many, Obama Says

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Monday defended the use of drones to strike suspected terrorists in Pakistan and elsewhere, saying the clandestine program was “kept on a very tight leash” and enabled the United States to use “pinpoint” targeting to avoid more intrusive military action.

Mr. Obama, in an unusually candid public discussion of the Central Intelligence Agency’s covert program, said the drone strikes had not inflicted huge civilian casualties. “We are very careful in terms of how it’s been applied,” he said. “It is important for everybody to understand that this thing is kept on a very tight leash.”



Investigation Finds U.S. Drones Strike Pakistan Every Four Days,
Killing 775 Civilians Since 2004


Dear Oakland Mayor Quan, you do not need to call me, here is MY response to YOUR demands

Dear Oakland Mayor Quan, you do not need to call me, here is MY response to YOUR demands


No, Mayor Quan, I will not denounce OccupyOakland as a whole for the actions of a few unlawful individuals, but I will denounce the Oakland Mayor's office and the Oakland Police Department for totally bungling the police response to Occupy Oakland every step of the way. The moment the Oakland PD fires tear gas at a crowd they are in the wrong, no matter what the circumstances. I will not condemn the people of Oakland for being tear gassed and beaten at random in their own streets. I will instead condemn the Mayor and Police Leadership of Oakland for allowing the people of Oakland to be tear gassed and beaten at random in their own streets.

But there is one way you can take responsibility for what has happened in the streets of Oakland under your tenure as Mayor, Madame Quan. Resign. Immediately.

Until then, there can be no negotiations, there can be no demand to meet, because just like the OccupyOakland protests it appears the city of Oakland has no leaders either, and therefore, I nor anyone else can meet your demands.

Because the beatings can not be allowed to continue until morale improves.

Peace and love to all,

Jesse LaGreca

the rest:

The safe and orderly demolition of the Right is our generation's Moon shot.


Some choose to go to the Moon. Some choose to believe that the purpose of government in a representative democracy is to take up the greatest educational, environmental and economic burdens and challenges that we face as a nation, and that rational people contending in the public arena is the best way to thrash out our differing priorities.

And some choose to believe the Earth is 9,000 years old. That any collective action taken on behalf "We The People..." is evil. That any government beyond sending them Social Security checks and cutting their taxes is evil. That rationality is elitist. That facts are irrelevant. That any opposition to their disastrous superstitions and paranoia is evil. That compromise is evil.

For the former, there is now no greater cultural imperative than insuring the electoral extinction of the latter.

The safe and orderly demolition of the Right is our generation's Moon shot.


Newt Almost Kills a Hog (careful, graphic)

The Inner Quest of Newt Gingrich
by Gail Sheehy
Vanity Fair September 1995

“One day, Newt says to me, ‘I need to be the one to kill the hog. It’s only right, just morally.’”

Carter showed Newt how to use a Walther P-38, a W.W. II German pistol. “I said, ‘Put some corn in your left hand. When the pig comes over to get it, put the pistol against his head and shoot him between his eyes.’”

“So the pig comes over and he starts eating,” says Carter. “Newt flinches as the round hits the pig on the side of the head and ricochets down.” But the shot only stunned the hog and sent it fleeing back into the pen. “Newt keeps trying to get this pig to come back to him. Newt’s getting madder and madder. I said to him, ‘You just shot the son of a bitch in the head, Newt, why do you think he’s gonna come to you?’”

Carter recalls urging his comrade-in-arms, “‘You gotta get in there, in the hogpen, and go get him.’ But Newt wouldn’t do it. So I ended up going in the pen and killing the hog.”

the rest:

Liberals don't hate conservatives. They just think they're stupid.

The Myth of the American Political Intelligence Gap
By Tom Junod
at 4:10PM

Conservatives hate liberals, because they know that liberals think they're smarter than them.

Liberals know that conservatives hate them and can't figure out why, because they don't hate conservatives in return.

Conservatives believe that liberals hate them, because it's easier to feel despised than patronized. And so in addition to hating liberals, they think liberals are liars.

This is the unspoken dynamic of American politics. It pervades blogs on both left and the right, accounting for the fantasies of victimization underlying most conservative discourse and for the strange liberal habit of offending while trying to appease. It explains why conservatives aren't lying when they say they have no problem with Barack Obama being black; their real problem is with Barack Obama being black and smart.


Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/liberals-smarter-than-conservatives-6649182#ixzz1l4cSRzXl

A MESSAGE FROM AL GORE - From Antarctica to Bangladesh: The story of rising seas


The ice on land is melting at a faster rate and large ice sheets are moving toward the ocean more rapidly. As a result, sea levels are rising worldwide. Most of the world’s ice is contained in Antarctica – more than 90 percent. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which lies south of the Peninsula, contains enough water to raise sea levels worldwide by more than 20 feet. Part of the ice sheet, the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, is among the many in Antarctica that are shrinking at an accelerating rate. This has direct consequences for low-lying coastal and island communities all over the world – and for their in.


Even wealthier countries are not immune to the impacts. In the United States, for example, particularly vulnerable areas are: Miami Beach, the Chesapeake region, coastal Louisiana, and coastal Texas. In some of these areas, the land is sinking even as the oceans rise. This will have implications that extend right up to the steps of our nation’s Capitol. A recent study found that sea level rise of only a tenth of a meter would lead to $2 billion in property damage and affect almost 68,000 people in Washington, D.C. In addition, the enhanced threat of storm surges was illustrated last year when tropical storm Irene led to warnings that the New York City subway system and tunnels into the city could be flooded.

But the most vulnerable regions lie in developing countries, where populations are still rising fast and there is little money to shore up infrastructure. The cities most threatened by sea level rise are places like Calcutta and Mumbai in India; Guangzhou, China; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. And of course, there are more than a few low-lying island nations – like the Maldives – that are already in imminent danger.

Then there is Bangladesh. A one-meter sea level rise – which could happen as soon as 2050 according to some Antarctic specialists – could result in between 22 and 35 million people in Bangladesh relocating from the areas in which they now live and work. Two-thirds of this nation is less than five meters above sea level. For the nation’s 142 million people packed into a small space, climate change poses a nearly unimaginable challenge. The threat of sea level rise is not simply flooding, but saltwater intrusion that hurts the production of rice, the country’s staple crop. Increased damage to rice farmers could soon put 20 million farmers out of work and force them into crowded cities.

the rest:

All Voters Deserve To Be Treated The Way Nevada Treated Casino Billionarie Sheldon Adelson

All Voters Deserve To Be Treated The Way Nevada Treated Casino Billionarie Sheldon Adelson
By Ian Millhiser on Jan 31, 2012 at 4:00 pm
In the current election cycle, Adelson and his wife have already spent $10 million to buy the White House for Newt Gingrich.


A special non-Sabbath voting session for observant Jews and Seventh Day Adventists in the GOP primaries will be held Saturday evening at an educational center built by Sheldon Adelson, who backs Newt Gingrich, and challengers are upset.


Much about this arrangement is shady — including the fact that this special caucus is being held at a center owned by Adelson — but there should be no doubt about one thing: Sheldon Adelson is an American citizen and he has the same right to vote that any other American enjoys. Nevada did exactly the right thing by ensuring that Adelson will not have to choose between exercising his most fundamental right or obeying the tenets of his faith.

The same cannot be said, however, for the hundreds of GOP lawmakers who have spent the last few years devising more and more creative ways to make it harder for people who do not own billions of dollars worth of casino investments to vote. It is wrong to deny reasonable accommodations to religious voters, but it is no less wrong to enact Voter ID laws that target minorities, students and low-income voters for disenfranchisement. Or to prevent voters from registering. Or to enact laws that restrict early voting and thus make it harder for people who cannot get off work on election day to vote.

America cannot have one set of rules for billionaires and another for everyone else. All Americans deserve the same access to the polls that Sheldon Adelson enjoys.

the rest:
plus links:

Death Match, RomBot vs. The ZomBewt (Toles toon)

ROMNEY Was "Betting AGAINST America" With His Swiss Bank Account

Posted at 02:57 PM ET, 01/31/2012
About that Swiss bank account....
By Greg Sargent

The Boston Globe has a must-read profile of R. Bradford Malt, the Boston lawyer who is the trustee responsible for overseeing and ministering Mitt Romney’s extensive fortune.
Buried in the profile is, I think, the most illuminating explanation yet of the management of Romney’s politically-dicey holdings, including that now-infamous Swiss bank account:

In 2007, as Romney prepared his first run for president, Malt sold stock in dozens of potentially controversial companies, including casino operators, tobacco growers, and firms with ties to Iran. Last year, after Romney pushed for tougher trade sanctions against China, Malt dumped a number of Chinese holdings. He recently shed a money market mutual fund that had invested in government-backed mortgage companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are blamed for exacerbating the housing bust.

In early 2010, as Romney advanced toward a second presidential campaign, Malt decided to close the $3 million UBS account he set up in Switzerland seven years earlier, realizing it could become a political issue. In 2009, the US government sued UBS to obtain the names of thousands of Americans who secretly held billions of dollars in Swiss accounts.

Malt said he opened the Swiss account not to hide assets, but to diversify Romney’s investments into foreign currencies. If the value of the dollar declined, for example, a rise in the Swiss franc might offset it. The account, Malt stressed, was listed on Romney’s 2010 tax return and Romney paid taxes on the interest, just as he pays taxes on all the earnings from other foreign investments.


Romney, your "Cousin, Twice Removed"

If the candidate were a member of your family, who would he be, Hart asked. Gingrich came first, drawing comparisons to a grandfather, a father, a favorite uncle.

Then came Romney’s turn and far more distant associations: “neighbor,” “cousin” “twice removed.” “Richer than the rest of us, so he wouldn’t come to our events,” said Christine, 38. “The dad who’s never home,” added Chris, 27, and the group’s chief supporter of Ron Paul.

Hart offered another scenario: Imagine the candidate at an airline ticket counter, badly needing to catch a flight. Five people are in line ahead of him, and only one ticket remains. What would the candidate do?

Romney, the group said, would try to buy his way to the front.

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