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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 08:39 AM
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Nation Horrified To Learn About War in Afghanistan While Reading Up on Petraeus Sex Scandal


Nation Horrified To Learn About War In Afghanistan While Reading Up On Petraeus Sex Scandal
NOVEMBER 13, 2012 | ISSUE 48•46

Sources: Petraeus Knew About Affair For More Than A Year
WASHINGTON—As they scoured the Internet for more juicy details about former CIA director David Petraeus’ affair with biographer Paula Broadwell, Americans were reportedly horrified today upon learning that a protracted, bloody war involving U.S. forces is currently raging in the nation of Afghanistan. “Oh my God, this is terrible,” Allie Lipscomb, 29, said after accidentally stumbling on an article about the war while she tried to ascertain details about what specific sexual acts Petraeus and Broadwell might have engaged in. “According to this, 2,000 American troops have died, 18,000 have been wounded, and more than 20,000 civilians have been killed. Jesus Christ. And it’s been happening for, like, 11 years.” Sources confirmed that after reading a few paragraphs about the brutal war, the nation quickly became distracted by a headline about Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash’s alleged sexual abuse of a 16-year-old boy.

Secession Petitions Gain Supporters - Fast

Source: ABC News

Secession Petitions Gain Supporter -- Fast

Chris Good
15 minutes ago

Call it the confederacy of petitioners, except the petitions have now spread beyond the South.

In the days since President Obama secured re-election, a wave of petitions from states in almost every region of the country has hit WhiteHouse.gov calling for secession from the union.

At the White House site We the People, visitors can submit petitions on a range of "important" issues facing the country, and the White House promises to review them and issue a response once they reach a certain "signature threshold."

But some loopholes in the procedure allow the White House to get out of that commitment, as ABC's Sarah Parnass recently reported.

- snip -

The states with the most signatures were:

Texas - 77,090 signatures Louisiana - 29,309 signatures Florida - 22,873 signatures Georgia - 21,783 signatures Alabama - 21,183 signatures

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/m/blogEntry?id=17709698

Thom Hartmann: The Oligarchs Don't Understand Economic Collapse Happens When They Get All the Money


Thomhartmann.com / By Thom Hartmann, Sam Sacks

Danger Ahead: The Oligarchs Don't Understand That Economic Collapse Happens When They Get All the Money

The corporate masters seem to have forgotten they depend on working people for their own survival.

November 12, 2012

Let’s face it, if your opponent in Monopoly scoops up Boardwalk, Park Place, North Carolina Avenue, Pacific Avenue, both utilities, and the four railroads – that’s game over.

The other players, all of whom have been relegated to mere consumers instead of property owners, will slowly go bankrupt having to pay higher and higher costs for rent and services, utilities, and transportation. Eventually, one player has all the money and the losers have to clean up the board game and put it away.

But let’s assume the Monopoly game doesn’t end there. Let’s assume the broke players keep rolling the dice and keep going around the board. They essentially keep living their lives desperate and broke, using their credit cards and home lines of credit to stay in the game. Maybe they end up in jail. If they’re lucky, they land on Baltic Avenue and can afford to stay a night in the slums.

Meanwhile, the oligarch who owns everything can no longer collect any income. The other players can’t afford to pay rent, they can’t pay utilities, and they can’t ride on the railroads. Eventually, without consumers spending money, the Monopoly oligarch goes broke, too. His properties and businesses disappear and suddenly everyone is broke!

That’s what Monopoly’s version of economic collapse looks like. And it’s very similar to what global economic collapse in the real world looks like, too.

Now put the Monopoly game board away and consider this: Researchers in Zurich, Switzerland have found that there are roughly 43,000 transnational corporations that dominate the global economy. Of those, there are about 1,300 companies that control 80% of all the global revenues for all the transnational corporations on the planet. Now let’s take it a step further. Of those 1,300 core companies, only 147 companies, which all happen to own each other in some way, control 40% - or nearly half – of all the wealth in the entire transnational corporate network. That means 1% of transnationals own 40% of all the world’s business wealth.

In other words, the global 1% has its own 1%.


Kyrsten Sinema Becomes First Openly Bisexual Member of Congress

Source: ABC News

First Openly Bisexual Member of Congress Elected

Alyssa Newcomb
3 minutes ago

After a hard-fought race in a newly formed Arizona congressional district, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema was declared the winner today, becoming the first openly bisexual member of Congress.

Sinema, a former state senator, joins at least five openly gay Democrats who were elected to House seats, and Tammy Baldwin, who became the first openly gay candidate elected to the Senate.

"We've made history, and we're proud of that," Sinema told ABCNews.com today. "But what I am interested in is making history by making things better for the people of Arizona's 9th Congressional District."

Sinema, 36, had a razor-thin lead on Election Night against her opponent, Tea Party candidate Vernon Parker, but she ultimately pulled ahead, finishing with a 6,000-vote edge over the Republican, the Associated Press reported today.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/m/blogEntry?id=17701623

NBCPolitics: Republicans Got Crushed on The Issues, Too


Republicans got crushed on the issues, too

By NBC's Mark Murray

For all the talk about how Mitt Romney and the Republicans lost when it came to demographics, the turnout, and the tactics, the exit polls also show that they lost when it came to the issues.
For years, the GOP has branded itself as the party that supports low taxes (especially for the wealthy) and opposes abortion and gay marriage.

But according to the exit polls from last week’s presidential election, a combined 60% said that tax rates should increase either for everyone or for those making more than $250,000. Just 35% said the tax rates shouldn’t increase for anyone.

What’s more, 59% said that abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

And by a 49%-to-46% margin, voters said that their states should legally recognize same-sex marriage.


Tom Tomorrow: Their Own Reality

Daily Kos Link: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/12/1159692/-Their-own-reality?detail=hide

(Bonus Points this week for original Star Trek reference...)

Paul Krugman: "Deficit-Scolds Never Really About Deficit, But About Shredding Social Safety Net"


Hawks and Hypocrites
Published: November 11, 2012

Back in 2010, self-styled deficit hawks — better described as deficit scolds — took over much of our political discourse. At a time of mass unemployment and record-low borrowing costs, a time when economic theory said we needed more, not less, deficit spending, the scolds convinced most of our political class that deficits rather than jobs should be our top economic priority. And now that the election is over, they’re trying to pick up where they left off.

They should be told to go away.

It’s not just the fact that the deficit scolds have been wrong about everything so far. Recent events have also demonstrated clearly what was already apparent to careful observers: the deficit-scold movement was never really about the deficit. Instead, it was about using deficit fears to shred the social safety net. And letting that happen wouldn’t just be bad policy; it would be a betrayal of the Americans who just re-elected a health-reformer president and voted in some of the most progressive senators ever.

About the hypocrisy of the hawks: as I said, it has been evident for years. Consider the early-2011 award for “fiscal responsibility” that three of the leading deficit-scold organizations gave to none other than Paul Ryan. Then as now, Mr. Ryan’s alleged plans to reduce the deficit were obvious flimflam, since he was proposing huge tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations while refusing to specify how these cuts would be offset. But in the eyes of the deficit scolds, his plan to dismantle Medicare and his savage cuts to Medicaid apparently qualified him as a fiscal icon.

- snip -

And then there’s the matter of the “fiscal cliff.”

Contrary to the way it’s often portrayed, the looming prospect of spending cuts and tax increases isn’t a fiscal crisis. It is, instead, a political crisis brought on by the G.O.P.’s attempt to take the economy hostage. And just to be clear, the danger for next year is not that the deficit will be too large but that it will be too small, and hence plunge America back into recession.


Nate Silver's Best & Worst Polls of 2012: Gallup Did TERRIBLE


November 10, 2012, 8:38 PM
Which Polls Fared Best (and Worst) in the 2012 Presidential Race


As Americans’ modes of communication change, the techniques that produce the most accurate polls seems to be changing as well. In last Tuesday’s presidential election, a number of polling firms that conduct their surveys online had strong results. Some telephone polls also performed well. But others, especially those that called only landlines only or took other methodological shortcuts, performed poorly and showed a more Republican-leaning electorate than the one that actually turned out.

- snip -

Several polling firms got notably poor results, on the other hand. For the second consecutive election — the same was true in 2010 — Rasmussen Reports polls had a statistical bias toward Republicans, overestimating Mr. Romney’s performance by about four percentage points, on average. Polls by American Research Group and Mason-Dixon also largely missed the mark. Mason-Dixon might be given a pass since it has a decent track record over the longer term, while American Research Group has long been unreliable.

FiveThirtyEight did not use polls by the firm Pharos Research Group in its analysis, since the details of the polling firm are sketchy and since the principal of the firm, Steven Leuchtman, was unable to answer due-diligence questions when contacted by FiveThirtyEight, such as which call centers he was using to conduct the polls. The firm’s polls turned out to be inaccurate, and to have a Democratic bias.

It was one of the best-known polling firms, however, that had among the worst results. In late October, Gallup consistently showed Mr. Romney ahead by about six percentage points among likely voters, far different from the average of other surveys. Gallup’s final poll of the election, which had Mr. Romney up by one point, was slightly better, but still identified the wrong winner in the election. Gallup has now had three poor elections in a row. In 2008, their polls overestimated Mr. Obama’s performance, while in 2010, they overestimated how well Republicans would do in the race for the United States House.


Concert for Sandy Relief, '12-12-12,' Being Planned by Same People Behind Historic 9/11 Benefit

Source: NY Daily News

Concert for Sandy Relief, called '12-12-12,' being planned by same people behind historic 9/11 benefit show

'The Concert for New York,' which raised over $35 million, was called one of the greatest moments in rock 'n roll history. Performers then included Paul McCartney, Jay-Z and The Who. Now the same group wants to help Hurricane Sandy victims.


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2012, 3:14 PM

The same people who organized “The Concert For New York” - the historic, star-packed show at Madison Square Garden that benefitted victims from that pivotal tragedy in 2001 - will assemble a similar fund-raising event for “Sandy” victims, to be held Dec. 12th at the same venue.

Madison Square Garden, along with Clear Channel, and the Weinstein Company, will produce the show, to be called “12-12-12 (A Concert For Sandy Relief)."

While they have yet to name the acts who will appear, in 2001 they featured stars as looming as Paul McCartney, Jay-Z, The Who, Elton John, Eric Clapton and dozens more.

That show, which Rolling Stone Magazine listed among the 50 moments that changed rock ‘n roll, raised over $35 million for its cause.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music-arts/star-studded-show-planned-sandy-relief-article-1.1199570#commentpostform

Hmm. In Light of Petraeus Resignation, Interesting Advice Column Letter from NYT Back in July

Letter in the @NYTimes advice column - interesting in light of Petraeus’ resignation http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/magazine/a-message-from-beyond.html … (Second from the top.)


From Chuck Klosterman's ethics advice column:



My wife is having an affair with a government executive. His role is to manage a project whose progress is seen worldwide as a demonstration of American leadership. (This might seem hyperbolic, but it is not an exaggeration.) I have met with him on several occasions, and he has been gracious. (I doubt if he is aware of my knowledge.) I have watched the affair intensify over the last year, and I have also benefited from his generosity. He is engaged in work that I am passionate about and is absolutely the right person for the job. I strongly feel that exposing the affair will create a major distraction that would adversely impact the success of an important effort. My issue: Should I acknowledge this affair and finally force closure? Should I suffer in silence for the next year or two for a project I feel must succeed? Should I be “true to my heart” and walk away from the entire miserable situation and put the episode behind me? NAME WITHHELD

Don’t expose the affair in any high-profile way. It would be different if this man’s project was promoting some (contextually hypocritical) family-values platform, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The only motive for exposing the relationship would be to humiliate him and your wife, and that’s never a good reason for doing anything. This is between you and your spouse. You should tell her you want to separate, just as you would if she were sleeping with the mailman. The idea of “suffering in silence” for the good of the project is illogical. How would the quiet divorce of this man’s mistress hurt an international leadership initiative? He’d probably be relieved.

The fact that you’re willing to accept your wife’s infidelity for some greater political good is beyond honorable. In fact, it’s so over-the-top honorable that I’m not sure I believe your motives are real. Part of me wonders why you’re even posing this question, particularly in a column that is printed in The New York Times.

Your dilemma is intriguing, but I don’t see how it’s ambiguous. Your wife is having an affair with a person you happen to respect. Why would that last detail change the way you respond to her cheating? Do you admire this man so much that you haven’t asked your wife why she keeps having sex with him? I halfway suspect you’re writing this letter because you want specific people to read this column and deduce who is involved and what’s really going on behind closed doors (without actually addressing the conflict in person). That’s not ethical, either.

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