Friday, September 30, 2011

Death Of Anwar, Rick Perry Should Resign

Paul Krugman
"You gotta love Sarah Palin. She is now on her website asking her idiot fan base for donations for her to help make a decision about whether or not to run. She wants money now for just thinking? What a grifter." – Bill Maher
"President Obama and Bill Clinton played golf together. You know what you’d get if you crossed Obama and Clinton? Tiger Woods." – Jay Leno
"Pakistan warned the United States to stop the rhetoric against their country or 'they will lose an ally.' Pakistan could become an enemy harboring terrorists – as opposed to an ally harboring terrorists." – Jay Leno

Well, time to celebrate at the CIA and the Pentagon, as it has been confirmed that a Hellfire missile, fired from a drone in Yemen, has taken out Anwar al-Awlaki, the American citizen who was placed on the President's kill list. His crime? Making videos lecturing about how evil the US war in Iraq and Afghanistan was, aimed at English speaking Muslims: "Mr. Awlaki was a leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, regarded as the most dangerous Al Qaeda affiliate. He was considered the inspirational or operational force behind a number of major plots aimed at killing Americans in the United States in recent years, most notably the deadly assault at an American army base in Fort Hood, Texas, and attempts to bomb Times Square and a Detroit-bound jetliner.

“The death of Awlaki is a major blow to Al Qaeda’s most active operational affiliate,” President Obama said"

The only problem is that there has never been any proof that Mr Awlaki was behind any of the plots attributed to the al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, it was all guesswork and conjecture by the CIA. But, whenever  spokesman has talked about him, they have tried to link Awlaki to these events in the public mind, much the same way that Republicans are trying to link Obama with everything bad going on in our economy...

Anwar al Awlaki was a moderate speaking Muslim until 2004, when he moved to Yemen. What event occurred that turned Awlaki vehemently against his native country? He was detained in a Yemeni prison and interrogated by the CIA, then released. If my balls were hooked up to a car battery while I was being asked questions, it might leave me with some emotional scars, and maybe a few resentments towards the US intelligence community. I don't even trust my local police, and I've seen what kind of yahoos we had roaming around Asia; I doubt if the current crop of mercenaries are any better... Even in the middle of his being demonized, he sought to return to the US with his wife and children, and was willing to do some penance for his perceived crimes. Now, it doesn't matter, as he has fallen to the paranoid patriotic fantasies that right wing crazies so often have and shout about... Perhaps its time for Mr Obama to make the rest of his official hit list available to us, just so we can see which American citizen will be next... As Glenn Greenwald said in Salon: "Just think about this for a minute. Barack Obama, like George Bush before him, has claimed the authority to order American citizens murdered based solely on the unverified, uncharged, unchecked claim that they are associated with Terrorism and pose "a continuing and imminent threat to U.S. persons and interests." They're entitled to no charges, no trial, no ability to contest the accusations."

David Letterman's Top Ten Signs The Rick Perry Campaign Is In Trouble

10. Lost support from both whack jobs and nut jobs
9. At debates, he mostly goes with, 'That's what she said'
8. Downgraded from campaign bus to cheaper campaign Vespa scooter
7. He's too mitty for Newt supporters, too newty for Mitt supporters
6. His new slogan: 'C'mon!'
5. Advisers are thinking of replacing him with Luke Perry
4. Just went hiking on the border of Iraq and Iran
3. Even his wife is wearing a 'Herman Cain' button
2. Instead of 'Freedom' and 'Liberty,' his cowboy boots read 'It's' and 'Over'
1. Even Michele O'Bachmann thinks he's nuts

"If you're keeping score at home, they have now applauded executions at the Republican debate, they have cheered letting an uninsured man die, and they booed an active duty U.S. serviceman for being gay. I don’t know how you get to the right with this crowd but Ron Paul’s new campaign ad is just the Rodney King beating to the sound of children laughing." – Bill Maher
"Rick Perry did look dumb. I'm beginning to think that “Texas Miracle” was him getting out of high school." –Bill Maher

We still have a couple of weeks before the next Republican Candidate's Debate, maybe Rick Perry will get his beauty rest beforehand, and not sound so much like a drunken Sarah Palin. Or maybe its too much to ask for Rick to come out and play nice with the big boys. Or maybe Mit Romney is paying him big bucks to stand next to him and make him look good in comparison, the Great White Hopeful...

You'd think that with Rick Perry's wife being a nurse, that they'd have more sensitivity to health issues facing the citizens of Texas, or at least a sensitivity that goes beyond the well being of twelve year old girls. One in four Texans doesn't have any medical insurance, with more and more losing theirs, thanks to the recent fiddling with Medicare the state legislature performed.

My nephew drives an ambulance, and was called to a nursing home recently, to remove an 88 year old woman who had lost her Medicare benefits somehow. She had no-one to advocate or explore the situation for her, and the state was no longer paying for her nursing care, so the home wanted her put out on the street, then have the local sheriffs arrest her for fraud.

Except that the sheriffs refused to arrest an 88 year old woman, and my nephew refused to remove her. He then scoured the phonebook until he found another rest home that would accept the woman, and only then did he remove her from the evil rest home and transport her to the other. He said that he would have taken her in at his own home, if he had too. So, thank to Rick Perry and the great state of Texas, for their un-Christian-like behavior towards the elderly. Maybe that's their solution to the population problem, let the older folks die on the street. Sarah Palin let a lot of Native Alaskans die from cold and hunger the winter before she quit being Governor of Alaska; it wasn't Troopergate alone that made her quit... Too bad its been the right wing crazies that have gone out and assassinated politicians, because something really has to be done about the mess that Perry has created in Texas. It looks like the price of compassion is one Presidential election campaign...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Twelve More Years Of Putin, There's a Punchline, Somewhere, Florida Straw Poll Where I Rip Off the St Petersberg Times

Matthew Sutton

The big news out of Russia, is the happy announcement that Vladimir Putin has decided that he will become the next Russian President again, and will appoint Dmitri Medvedev as Prime Minister. Since the tenure of President has been changed from four to six years, that means that Putin will be in charge for the next twelve years, until 2024... This officially means to the Russian people that all hope has disappeared. At least with Medvedev, he gave voice to the reforms he would make, too bad they were empty promises... To be honest, I can't think of any other industries that Putin needs to own or acquire as President, so it must be for his ego, strange and twisted as it is. Of course, their still has to be an election. What if nobody showed up to vote? Would they still go ahead with an Iranian solution? Interesting to see what BS he would come up with, eh?

Maybe he has a hit list like the Obama administration, and won't rest until they're all either in prison or have been assassinated... In that spirit, I offer some of the Putin jokes that have been making the rounds:

1)  A Russian spy critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin was radioactively poisoned in a sushi restaurant. In a remarkable death-bed letter the spy accused Putin of killing him. Police recently uncovered the spy's Zagat survey form where he complained about the restaurant's "lack of ambiance" and warned diners to "stay away from the Polonium-210 Roll."
Putin maintained that there is no evidence that Alexander Litvinenko died a "violent death." He repeated his call for all Russians to get an annual radioactive flu shot and not to disagree with him in order to prevent further deaths.

2)  ― Have you heard, Putin ordered the government to stop the inflation.
     ― Well, not exactly, he ordered to have it held back...and jailed.
(It is a pun: Russian zadierzhat means both to hold back and to detain.)

3)  Stalin's ghost appears to Putin in a dream, and Putin asks for his help running the country. Stalin says,
"Round up and shoot all the democrats, and then paint the inside of the Kremlin blue."
"Why blue?" Putin asks.
"Ha!" says Stalin. "I knew you wouldn't ask me about the first part."

4)  Vladimir Putin and Dmitri Medvedev go out to a nice restaurant. The waiter approaches them and asks what they would like to eat.
"I'll have the meat." says Putin.
"Very good sir," said the waiter. "And for the vegetable?"
"He'll have the meat, too"

After the last Republican debate in Florida, there was a straw poll, which has absolutely no meaning or validity of any kind. Herman Cain won that one, and he has been gloating all afternoon. But the folks at the St Petersberg Times want you to know that the Florida straw poll does have meaning and the lessons learned were enumerated by their columnist Adam Smith - Here are 10 things we learned about the Republican Party and its field of presidential candidates:

1. The idea of Rick Perry is a lot stronger than the reality of Rick Perry.

Republicans eager for a principled, proven conservative as an alternative to Mitt Romney hoped the Texas governor would roar to the front as a forceful contrast to President Barack Obama in the general election. Instead, they saw a halting and unsteady debater who looked over his head. Florida killed his front-runner status.

2. Conservatives are as hungry as ever for a Romney alternative.

No question Herman Cain wowed voters in the Presidency 5 straw poll, but many of his backers have no expectation he will win the GOP nomination. It was a particularly conservative part of the Republican electorate voting Saturday and it sent a thunderous message of rejection to the front-runners. Romney has been campaigning in Florida for at least five years and still finished third.

3. Electability matters. Debates matter.

Even in the tea party era where conservative purism is prized, Republicans are determined to beat Obama. Throughout the Orange County Convention Center, formerly enthusiastic Perry supporters backed away, saying his debate performance left them uneasy about his ability to take on the president. While debates are dominated by talking points and rehearsed one-liners, they've also been drawing big ratings. And in Perry's case, Thursday's debate proved how they can make or break a campaign.

4. Voters demand specifics.

In this economy it's not enough to just attack Obama, offer vague promises or, as Perry did, say he'll eventually deliver an economic plan for the country. One of the things many delegates said they liked about Cain was his relentless focus on his "9-9-9" plan: 9 percent national sales tax, 9 percent flat business tax and 9 percent flat personal income tax.

5. It's too late for another viable candidate.

Despite the chatter about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie jumping into the race, Perry showed how hard it is to mount a serious campaign just four months before the voting starts. Courting major fund-raisers, developing a platform, preparing for debates and actual campaigning are extremely tough to do with so little time.

6. Perry made Romney a better candidate.

Forced by Perry's momentum to abandon his play-it-safe, inevitable nominee approach, Romney, right, is looking less like an automaton and more like a tough fighter.

7. Illegal immigration is toxic among Republican primary voters.

Not so long ago, then-Gov. Jeb Bush supported driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants and then-state Rep. Marco Rubio supported a bill to give tuition assistance to children of illegal immigrants without causing a firestorm. Those days are gone. Romney, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum bludgeoned Perry for supporting in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants in Texas.

8. Michele Bachmann is no longer relevant.

Less than 2 percent of the straw poll voters supported the Minnesota congresswoman, right, who used to be the darling of tea party activists.

9. Republicans are energized.

They may be ambivalent about the top contenders in the race, but the Presidency 5 event left no doubt that the activist base of the party is fired up and passionate about making Obama a one-term president. He is the greatest unifying force Republicans have had in years.

10. Florida matters.

Three times the winner of the state party's straw poll has gone on to win the nomination. Cain will likely break that streak, but Florida demonstrated once again what an unpredictable and important political battleground it is. Cain may still be a long shot for the nomination, but the straw poll inflicted major damage to Perry, who campaigned harder than anyone.

Adam C. Smith can be reached at


Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Two Mahmouds, US Boring Protests, Ted Haggard To Swap With Gary Busey

Ehud Olmert
Nicholas Kristoff
Dana Milbank
"Congress' approval rating has dropped to 12 percent. The other 88 percent are withholding judgment until Congress actually does something." – Jay Leno
"World leaders are here for the U.N. General Assembly. Today Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad went up to Central Park and arrested hikers. The Italian Prime Minister is also here. So good luck getting a hooker." – David Letterman
"Nobody likes hiking more than I do, but it seems to me that if you have an atlas, you can find many places to go hiking – that aren't Iraq or Korea." – David Letterman

"All the world leaders at the United Nations agree on one thing: Superman has got to do more." – David Letterman

David Letterman's "Top Ten Items On The United Nations General Assembly Agenda"

10. Screw with the Swedes
9. Recap highlights from last night's 'Two and a Half Men'
8. Goodbye, Euro. Hello, Chuck E. Cheese tokens
7. Pass resolution that Steve Carell 'was robbed' at the Emmys
6. Gently break it to the Russians that they've been writing their Rs backwards all these years
5. Finally nail down which one's Uruguay and which one's Paraguay
4. Pitch sitcom about Greece and United States called 'Two Broke Countries'
3. Do whatever China says
2. Congratulate whatever country came up with the 'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' books, because those were awesome
1. Debate whether to renew the Letterman fatwa

Two things that happen every year that are as predictable as a tsunami hitting Japan: South Korean students rioting and the US walking out of Ahmadinejad's speech at the UN. Unfortunately, he mixes up crazy theories with the good ones, from the NY Times: "Iran’s president delivered a bombastic anti-Western tirade at his General Assembly speech on Thursday, blaming the United States, Israel and Europe for the global recession and a litany of other ills. The speech provoked what has become a ritual large-scale walkout of delegations led by the United States.

The president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said poverty, homelessness and denial of basic rights were traceable to “greed for materialism in the United States and Europe.” The US and Europe, just about any country that had investments with AIG or Goldman Sachs, pretty much is responsible for the global recession. Poverty, homelessness, and denial of basic rights can be attributed to "greed for materialism." In Iran, poverty, homelessness, and denial of basic rights can be traced to conservative clerics and the Republican Guards... The American delegation and their friends showed how unimaginative they are by walking out. they could have stayed and thrown their shoes. They could have snuck up on Ahmadinejad and given him a cream pie in the face. They could have brought their boomboxes and blasted Aerosmith and Van Halen over and over again... if it was good enough to torture Noriega, it's good enough for Iran.

Someone needs to sponsor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Benjamin Netanyahu, take them to Disneyland. Let them ride together on a few rollercoasters and other rides, next thing you know they are BFF's, buying each other hot dogs and cotton candy. We could also invite the loneliest man in the Middle East, Mahmoud Abbas, to make it an axis of evil... Disneyland is the one thing that all lost little boys and dictators yearn for, from Kruschev on through Qaddafi. In fact, that is probably where the US went wrong in the Palestinian peace process; we didn't offer to hold the talks at Disneyland. Now it is too late, and those grumpy old men are going to try and embarrass us in front of the rest of the world by asking to be recognized as a state, which should have been done in 1948...

Tonight is yet another Republican debate, this time its broadcast from Florida. In addition to gang-jumping on Willard Romney, they will announce that Meg Whitman will take over as CEO at Hewlett-Packard. The decision proves how dysfunctional the HP board of directors really is, because Meg won't do much better than Carly Fiorina did, it's some weird game of one-upmanship among the West Coast conservatives... Hoping to dilute both Rick Perry's and Michele Bachmann's appeal, Mr Romney suggested that it would be exciting if Sarah Palin joined the race. He figures that he'd have a better chance against her, with two books out now that are critical of her career and family. I'm sure that someone is writing something about Rick and Michele, but so far the hit pieces have all been shorter, magazine length articles. I guess their lives aren't long and eventful enough for a book yet... I enjoy these debates because you never know what Ron Paul is going to say, too bad we couldn't add his son as an honorary debater... The debates need to add Louisiana's Buddy Roehmer, who also is a candidate, and maybe those 13 other Texans that filed their papers as candidates, whoever they are...

I still can't believe this is true: our own Ted Haggard is filming a reality television session of Wife Swap, with Gary Busey, as reported in Reuters: "Disgraced pastor Ted Haggard and actor Gary Busey will trade partners in an upcoming episode of "Celebrity Wife Swap," a spokeswoman for the show said on Thursday.

Haggard's participation in the episode comes five years after a stunning fall from grace for the former president of the National Association of Evangelicals. He was exiled from the Colorado-based New Life mega-church he founded after admitting "sexual immorality" and buying methamphetamines from a male masseur.

The air date for the episode on ABC starring Haggard and Busey has not been determined, but the two men will swap partners, said Brooke Fisher, a spokeswoman for the show.

Haggard's wife Gayle has written a book about her husband's gay sex scandal titled "Why I Stayed." Busey's longtime girlfriend is actress Steffanie Sampson, and while the two are not married they have a son together who was born last year.

Busey is best known for starring in 1978 film "The Buddy Holly Story" and he also recently had a recurring role on the HBO television show "Entourage." Apparently, Mr Busey is also a lay pastor with Promise Keepers, so the show felt that they were evenly matched on the spiritual level, if not the craziness dept. Comments to the article mainly asked why Mr Haggard's wife stays with him since he seems to hate her so... Anyway, this will certainly piss of the super conservative evangelists here in town; I know that my local paper has already written a couple of opinion pieces against it and published a score of mean spirited letters. As they say, it's must see TV...

Back to Iran, at least they finally released those stupid hikers, after receiving a million dollars in ransom. They were flown to Oman, where their friends and family were waiting. I wonder how much of the proceeds from the book they will write will go to the government of Oman as payback? Someone in our state department owes them, bigtime.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pakistan Wins In Suicide Bomb Race, Euro Bank Failures, UN Meeting This Friday!

Dana Milbank
Paul Krugman
"At the cusp of the 2012 race, we have a classic cultural collision between a skinny Eastern egghead lawyer who’s inept in Washington gunfights and a pistol-totin’, lethal-injectin’, square-shouldered cowboy who has no patience for book learnin’." - Maureen Dowd
"The occupational hazard of democracy is know-nothing voters. It shouldn’t be know-nothing candidates." - Maureen Dowd

I begin with some random facts culled from the weekend. The first is from the Asian Times. With all of the media's attention to the suicide bombings over the past few years, you'd think that Iraq or Afghanistan has a lock on bitter and disillusioned people, and you'd be wrong. The winner, is: "Pakistan suffered one suicide bombing before 9/11 - and 4,808 deaths in 303 attacks since." Pakistanis should spend less time worrying whether Westerners like or dislike them so much, and more time wondering why they hate each other...

Another congressional study report, released last Friday, put a conservative estimate the amount of money wasted during the last 10 years hiring third party contractors at $60 billion. We sent 260,000 non-military individuals to Iraq and Afghanistan at a cost of $206 billion. That's almost a billion dollars per person. No wonder why everyone and their second cousin has been trying to set up shop in Washington DC and Virginia, it's been the only section creating jobs... There has been almost no oversight or accounting where the money goes, so stealing and bribery has become the normal way that Americans do business, just ask your elected Republican representative...

It's estimated that 750,000 people will die in Somalia from starvation, most of them children. The saddest thing is that most of these people are beyond saving, their bodies have shut down past the point of being able to be revived without serious damage... For those who feel that the less government there is the better we all off will be, then consider Somalia. The US could easily be devolving into a feral state, ruled by religious extremist warlords, more concerned over getting a buck than saving anyone besides themselves. The Buddha asked what is the price of compassion, one that we should constantly be asking ourselves...

There are 47 major banks in europe that are on the brink of bankruptcy, they might be considered too big to fail. There is less regulation than here in the US, because most governments are run by right wing conservatives. Loans to banks exceed their deposits by 6 percent, with French banks running at 19 percent, and Greek banks over 32 percent. The financial institutions that sell credit insurance are in a lot of trouble if those banks went belly up, creating another crisis similar to what Goldman Sachs and AIG created here for us. And, to further reciprocate the love, it will affect our banking system also... We have had 80 banks go bankrupt since 2009, but they weren't big enough, so we let them fail.

In 1947 the UN OK'd the partitioning of the land of Palestine, creating the nation of Israel. It was assumed that both partitions would organize themselves, then apply for admission as separate memberships. Israel did just that, applying in 1948. In two days the Palestinian Authority is finally getting around to applying, with the US threatening to veto. This will signal the end of US influence in the Middle East, especially if Turkey and Egypt bond as economic partners. Saudi Arabia has already said that it would seek to punish or lessen US interests if we vetoed, the first thing would be to kick out all of the CIA contractors in Yemen. So be careful what you ask for, or deny to others, another lesson from the Buddha, the Bible, and the Koran...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Will Iran Ever Set Free The Timberland Two? Will Mahmoud And Hillary Ever Become BFF's?

Jennifer Rubin
David Ignatius
"Michele Bachmann is for people who find Sarah Palin too intellectual. She is pure. She is always completely fact-free. She said the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly until they got rid of slavery. So from now on Thomas Jefferson’s slaves will be known as friends with benefits." – Bill Maher, on Jay Leno
"President Obama described himself as an eternal optimist. He then explained that he's the kind of person that sees the country as 'half employed.'" – Conan O'Brien

"A man wearing an Obama mask robbed a bank. Either that or Obama has an exciting new plan to reduce the deficit." – Conan O'Brien

The two US hikers who were recently sentenced to eight years jail time for spying in Iran have been used as a political football for the past two years. The three factors punting them around the field have been the religious ayatollahs, the military Revolutionary Guard, and the current government of friends and cronies surrounding the President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. When Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal were about to be sentenced, Mr Ahmadinejad tried to use his influence to get a light sentencing, with an eye of eventually releasing them "on humanitarian ground." The ayatollahs pretty much control the judiciary, and didn't appreciate his meddling, hence the eight year sentence.

Two days ago, Anne Curry asked him about the fate of the two hikers. Ahmahdinejad replied that they would probably be released by Thursday. This was assumed to be a stunt to create some instant goodwill for his annual pilgrimage to New York City and the UN general assembly. Today, the Iranian judiciary denied that they would be released anytime soon, that reports were still under review. One possibility under review was that the hikers would be released if a $500,000 bribe per person was given to the judiciary.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring, or if Shane and Joshua will ever see the sky outside of an Iranian jail cell for awhile? Will it take sending someone like Bill Clinton to Tehran to razzle dazzle the rubes, or will the hardliners mellow out once Ahmadinejad leaves the country? Perhaps Mahmoud will ask for asylum after giving his speech to the UN, or he might become the new BFF of the US State Dept, and together the two of them will solve the Syrian problem and the Palestinian situation. It may not be that far-fetched because Ahmadinejad is actually considered a moderate in Iran, A moderate who cheats at elections, but that is just age-old tradition, doesn't everyone in Asia and Africa cheat at elections?
Surrounded by enemies at home, he could easily turn to an outside source for n ally.

As for the two hikers, I don't believe that they were actual spies, just very stupid young men. what gives any weight to the spy story, is that the four young people were living in Damascus, trying to make a living that included independent journalism. They decided to fly to Turkey and to travel into Iraqi Kurdestan. The Kurds had been advertising for tourists to see "the other Iraq," and even made commercials that aired on CNN. Near the Iranian border was a famous waterfall and picnic spot that our intrepid hikers decided to visit. The fourth member of their group was sick and decided to stay at the hotel they were staying in during that fateful day. Despite signs posted at the hotel to beware and not go over the border, three of our hikers did just that while exploring the paths above the waterfall. Whether they were tricked across the border or not depends on whom you wish to believe...

The hot ticket next week won't be the next Republican debate, rather it will be the General Assembly of the UN. I keep getting conflicting stories if Mahmoud Abbas will petition the Security Council for recognition or not. The US and Israel don't want this to happen, and I've read that neither does Hamas, though they haven't given any coherent reason. So, the Security council route may have been nixed, but admitting Palestine as an observing nation to the General Assembly will most assuredly happen.

Protests and rioting is expected to happen in Gaza, Jordan, and possibly Egypt and Turkey. Israel already has allowed riot gear to be sold to the Palestinian Authority, and what a distraction it all will make, so that the world might ignore the monsoon flooding now happening in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, with the horrible loss of life being revisited on the region...

Also, next week the new book on Sarah Palin will be published by Joe McGuinness, called The Rogue. It's already drawing press and criticism from people who haven't read it. Joe dishes dirt on affairs, scandals, and a whole lot more that he obtained while living next door to the Palins in Wasilla, Alaska. And the best part is that it wasn't ghost-written...

“People around here don’t give a shit about Sarah anymore. They’re burned out on all her drama.”

— current Wasilla Mayor Verne Rupright, from THE ROGUE, by Joe McGinniss.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Making It Past 9/11

Turki al-Faisal
Benny Morris
"Earlier this evening President Obama gave his big jobs speech. So what we had tonight was a guy whose job nobody approves of, giving a speech about jobs that don't exist, to people who don't have any jobs. So it's a real positive, uplifting..." –Jay Leno

"According to the latest L.A. Times poll, 75% of Californians believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. And 60% of Californians are so disillusioned, they're thinking about moving back to Mexico." –Jay Leno

"I don't get why everyone is hung up about getting jobs. Isn't it better to stay up until 4:00 in the morning watching reruns of 'Sanford and Son?'" –Jimmy Kimmel

Prince Turki al-Faisal was the Saudi ambassador to the US during the Bush administrations, and is telling the US to sit up and pay attention to the Palestinian effort to get recognition as a state through the UN. either come up with a better plan to get both sides back into negotiation, or step aside and let European allies and members of the Arab League flex their influence. No disrespect, but we may lose Saudi Arabia as an ally in the Middle East, including Iraq. It does seem like Obama has lost his will to fight injustice, after his spat with Israel's Netanyu and the grinding wear and tear of the conservatives here at home. It remains to be seen if Hamas can keep the more radical elements from shooting rockets into Israel on Friday nights, and learn to play with the big boys... It also remains to be seen if Israel can stop pissing off its neighbors. They might end up making a few bombing raids on Iran, just to relieve its frustration...

On September 10, visitors to New York City were welcomed by the sight of armed men stalking the streets, looking for trouble, the fabled threat from al-Qaeda. We no longer have to tell you what the threat is, we can give a vague reference and then flood the streets with cops, like any other military dictatorship... Get used to seeing sights like this, as we devolve further towards becoming a third-world country...

 I made it through 9/11 without getting too depressed. I didn't watch any of the memorial shows made for television with their watered down facts and recurring visions of those planes hitting the twin towers. I turned off the sound on my TV set and watched football while also reading a book. Polls have said that about 1/3 of the American population doesn't believe in the official version of 9/11 events, that questions and conspiracy theories still float through the aether, no matter how often pundits try to debunk and discredit them. The families of the 9/11 victims posed 400 questions for the 9/11 commission to investigate and answer; it looked at about 20 of them. Here is a link to the top 40 questions that were ignored by the 9/11 commission. Most are very common questions, like how did the government come up with the names of the 19 terrorists? A simple disclosure of information could resolve so much, especially when it came up with the list really quickly. Unfortunately, we cannot go to the families and check any of the information about the named terrorists, because their families, their uncles and cousins are no longer among the living, thanks to Saudi intelligence... Here are the questions about the financial transactions that were made, and asking who made them and who profited from them? :

"Insider Trading
a. Unknown speculators allegedly used foreknowledge of the Sept. 11th events to profiteer on many markets internationally - including but not limited to "put options" placed to short-sell the two airlines, WTC tenants, and WTC re-insurance companies in Chicago and London.
b. In addition, suspicious monetary transactions worth hundreds of millions were conducted through offices at the Twin Towers during the actual attacks.
c. Initial reports on these trades were suppressed and forgotten, and only years later did the 9/11 Commission and SEC provide a partial, but untenable explanation for only a small number of transactions (covering only the airline put options through the Chicago Board of Exchange)."

What bothered me the most is how, through the media, we keep trying to re-write the script of history, that events happened in this order, and the meanings we carried away are these... And enjoy your loss of privacy rights and that freedom thingy that the tea parties keep harping on... So much of the grieving was a private affair, that it seemed sacrilegious to film it:

I hope that Barack Obama can get his mojo back and start leading the country once again, despite the major efforts to discredit his every thought and utterance. Maybe he will end up his term paraphrasing old ideas from the GOP, using their own words as the Gorgon's head to deflect the slings and arrows... It would be a shame if our election of Barack Obama, which was done in a spasm of hope and inspiration, ends up without meaning, leaving an empty, grey-haired, cynical shell of a human being. The process in Washington DC is cruel and chews up ideals like crunchy granola for breakfast...

Friday, September 9, 2011

GOP Debate and Obama's Speech

Richard Clarke
Gail Collins
Eugene Robinson
"The oil industry said if they were allowed to drill more, they could create over a million new jobs. Of course most of those jobs would be cleaning oil off ducks." – Conan O'Brien
"The Republican debate was on earlier tonight. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting and sexual dysfunction." – David Letterman
"Sunday is the 10th anniversary of 9/11, which means it can only be another 5 years before we discover Saddam Hussein’s WMDs." – Stephen Colbert

David Letterman's "Top Ten Ways The United States Postal Service Can Turn Things Around"

10. Change name to UPS
9. Invent a stamp that licks back
8. Add wacky sound effects for mailboxes
7. Alter mail trucks to look like Millennium Falcon from 'Star Wars'
6. If your letter isn't delivered in 30 minutes or less, it's free
5. Bedazzled uniforms
4. New hit reality show: 'Real Mailmen of New Jersey'
3. Customers can now pay with gas or grass
2. Take the Packers and give three and a half tomorrow night
1. Ten cent surcharge to deliver my hate mail — you'll make millions

I kind of feel like a piƱata here at the party."

The weeks dramatic events are over, and my sense of cynicism for the political process is still intact. The Republican candidates debate yesterday did not inspire. There were more fakes and dodging answering questions than the Packer's running backs and wide receivers, even from the so-called straight shooter, Ron Paul. From now on, the debates should be conducted by the reporters from Univision, who care about getting an actual answer from the two-faced SOB's on stage. To get rid of the stupid and softball questions, we should start including a mixture of professionals from different fields. Instead of letting economic issues be summarized as: more tax cuts will solve everything, why not have an economist like Paul Krugman or Bruce Bartlett probe Mit's or Michele's policies and plans...

The consensus among the press and pundits is that Mit Romney and Rick Perry have emerged as the front-runners, and the rest are a bunch of whiny losers. But if either one becomes the Republican candidate, it will gurantee that Barack Obama will win re-election. The ugly truth is that Mit won't win because he is a Mormon. Despite the large amount of "I Am A Mormon" propaganda being put out, if Mormonism is scrutinized on the national level, folks will find out what a crock of crazy fiction that old con man Joseph smith assembled... Rick Perry, who used to be a Democrat, is unbelievable as a tea party fanatic, so he is an opportunist. He is the reason that Texas may swing Democratic in the next election, or so my family members from Austin tell me...

One of the highlights for me was when Michele Bachmann claimed that she could bring gasoline prices down to $2 per gallon. I guess she's become a tea party socialist, because the only way a president can affect gas prices is to socialize all of the oil companies. Rick and Mit will grant many more offshore drilling permits, but that just allows the oil companies to bring more oil to be sold on the world market, we don't even get to bid first. There hasn't been a new oil refinery built in the US in over 20 years, and we are running at 3/4 capacity. The ability to refine oil into gas has nothing to do with the price you pay at the pump. If it were, prices should have gone down to 35 cents per gallon, not well over $3...

The GOP was wise enough to not schedule a rebuttal after Obama's speech on job creation policies, but they did let individual congressmen grouse and bitch and moan. They have a negative enough image as the party that doesn't care about the middle class and poor folks, purposely letting our economy sink into another depression for the sake of trying to win another election. Besides, no-one has successfully described how a tax cut can create more jobs, unless you are dealing with imaginary numbers, where two negatives create a positive... Since half of Obama's jobs plan consists of ideas that are Republican retreads, it's safe to say that something will get passed before the end of the year. If Obama was really serious beyond using this evening for a re-election speech, he should have had legislation ready to go, that would be introduced in Congress tomorrow morning, to show that he is really a decision maker... The only thing that could ruin Obama's re-election is if there weren't any jobs created during the next few months and we sink back into a recession, like the rest of the world...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Will Perry Be A No-Show? UN Running Out Of Food As Somalian Famine Spreads

Joe Nocera
Mike Lofgren
"I read Dick Cheney's book. I don’t want to ruin it for anybody, but in the final chapter he kills Harry Potter. If you want the book, in the bookstore go past the self-help section. It’s in the self-serving section." – Jay Leno

"Michele Bachmann is publishing her memoir. Why can't we pray that away?" – David Letterman

"The CIA is hoping Moammar Gadhafi's weapons don't fall into the wrong hands. Weren't they already in the wrong hands?" – David Letterman

If you do nothing else, read the link at the top to Mike Lofgren's article in Mike is a 26 year veteran, writing on national security issues from the GOP's perspective. He got sooooo tired of the cynical way that politics is manipulated from the conservative side, that he retired and penned this article. If you have read my blog over the past couple of years, none of his revelations will come as a surprise to you. From my perspective, it's always nice to have my opinions validated by others...

Tomorrow is the Republican candidates debate from California. It's the one that Obama was forced to postpone his speech to Congress on jobs policy. Fox News probably will not air it because it's sponsored by MSNBC. It will be the first time that Rick Perry has participated in a candidate's forum and debate, so we will see if he can hack it on the national level, and if his fellow poseurs turn and attack him like the weasels they are. They might draw straws, rigging it so that just Michele Bachmann gets to rip into Mr Perry. A good drinking game would be that everyone has to take a shot whenever something mean and derogatory is said during the debate, but that might leave you staggering and incoherent after the first 10 minutes... I'm checking my schedule to make sure there isn't a re-run of Hawaii 5-0 or Storage Wars...

There is nothing more heart-wrenching than watching a country starving to death from famine conditions. It's usually black or dark-skinned countries that suffer the most, because of lack of a sufficient amount of food and aid. The UN is having a hard time keeping food in reserve for the coming monsoon season, which previously affected Pakistan, India, and China. The cost of basic food staples has tripled this year alone. Today, the UN announced that the famine that has affected Somalia is spreading across the country, and about half of the population cannot get enough to eat, most of them children: "... officials warning that 750,000 people could die in the next few months unless aid efforts were scaled up. A combination of drought, war, restrictions on aid groups and years of chaos have pushed four million Somalis — more than half the population — into “crisis,” according to the United Nations. Agricultural production is just a quarter of what it normally is, and food prices continue to soar."
“We can’t give an exact figure, but we can say tens of thousands of people have died over the last three to four months, over half of whom are children. That translates into hundreds a day.”
Somalia hasn't had a functioning government for over 30 years, and is among the poorest. what little resources are ripped off, and then we have pirates, not to mention radical Islamic extremist rebels who have taken over half of the country. The rebels weren't letting the UN or Red Cross distribute food in their areas; now they let them in and take most of the foodstuff. That the UN sees this as an acceptable way to do business tells a lot.

Another sad fact is that you never hear about the Red Crescent or Islamic nations coming to the rescue of their darker brothers in religion. Look at the plight of Palestinian refugees, who were forced out of Israel and into camps in Lebanon and Syria 60 and 30 years ago. Many of those camps are still there. without plumbing, running water, or electricity. Both Lebanon and syria have refused to give citizenship or the same rights that their citizens enjoy to the refugees, nor has any economic help been given to the elderly and infirm. The refugees are also a sticking point in Israeli - Palestinian negotiations, with Israel not wanting to let them return to Israel, especially after all this time... No matter what results from Palestine being recognized by the UN, or the Arab Spring turns out in Syria and Lebanon, these poor refugees will get the short end of the stick. Allah may be compassionate, but his believers may not...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Saif In Charge, Let's Give Greece To Israel, Another Crazed Conservative

Paul Krugman
"If you like light summer reading, Dick Cheney's memoir came out at midnight . In Washington, D.C. this is like a 'Harry Potter' book coming out. There were long lines of bald old men outside bookstores, putting electrodes on each other's nipples." – Craig Ferguson

"Reviewers say Cheney's book shows a new sensitive side and reaches out to his former enemies. Ha ha! No, he goes after his enemies like they're lawyers on a quail hunt. He blasted Rumsfeld and Colin Powell and even President Bush's dog Barney. He says, 'That dirty bastard was leaving dirt bombs all over the White House, and so was Barney.'" – Craig Ferguson

Well, let's see who hates each other right now... A family spokesman for the Qaddafi family called reporters, saying that NATO should negotiate with the family over ruling Libya, or there will be guerilla warfare similar to what has happened in Iraq for the last 10 years. This has been interpreted as eldest son Saif al-Islam jockeying for some kind of position in the next government, or at least secure his personal fortune so he will be able to spend it freely. Anyway, there is a narrow window of opportunity being offered, or else...
"Within even a few weeks, a few months, even a couple of years, we will have Libya back."

The UN released a report on the Israeli raid and subsequent deaths of nine Turkish citizens, when a peace flotilla attempted to broach the blockade of Gaza. The report said that the Israeli blockade is within its rights and is legal, but that the Israeli marines used excessive force. Ever since this incident occurred, turkey has wanted an apology from Israel, but the Netanyahu administration has said that it only apologizes to Egypt, and not to Turkey. Turkey had criticized Israel earlier for its military raid into Gaza, so nowIsrael will only show contempt towards their former friend. Today, Turkey withdrew all staff from Israel in protest...

Israel's philosophy is to be the meanest, toughest hombre in this one-horse town, always over-react to discourage future acts of defiance. It's an understandable attitude if you are etching out territory in a hostile environment. Which is why I have a solution for both Israel and the Middle East and the current European economic problems:

The richer nations in the European Union, which means Germany, see themselves as having to pay for the problems their poorer brethren have gotten themselves into. They refer to those problem nation-states as "the olive zone." To ease their pain, they could give these olive producing countries to Israel, and Israel could get out of the Middle East. We'd have to make up certain myths about how Greece was really the home of the Jews, due to a mistake in cartography by early mapmakers, or some such story... Not as unbelievable as the myth that a bunch of white people of Eastern European ancestry actually had ethnic roots in Palestine... History is what you make it, and myths only have strength as long as people believe them...

Other countries not on speaking terms are Iran and Russia. A few years ago Iran bought and paid for some Russian missiles, because Iran could only figure out how to build short-range ones. Russia got caught trying to sneak some of those missiles in a ship carrying lumber, and concocted a wild story that the ship was hijacked by disgruntled homegrown criminals or terrorists or patriots, take your pick. Benjamin Netanyahu then flew to Moscowand asked Dmitri Medvedev not to deliver the missiles, which he agreed to.

Now Iran is suing Russia for breach of contract in international court, and it remains to be seen if it will get the rest of the missiles. Russia says it will have to wait until international sanctions have been lifted, we are merely pawns in this and there are no refunds... The Ayatollah just can't get no respect...

From Russia, With Love

Ahh, me. If there is anyone left who wonders why the Republican Party is bereft of morals and in a dissolute stage, they only have to go to the World Net Daily website. there you can find writers such as: "Conservative columnist Matthew Vadum is just going to come right out and say it: registering the poor to vote is un-American and "like handing out burglary tools to criminals."

"It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country -- which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote," Vadum, the author of a book published by World Net Daily that attacks the now-defunct community organizing group ACORN, writes in a column for the American Thinker.

"Encouraging those who burden society to participate in elections isn't about helping the poor," Vadum writes. "It's about helping the poor to help themselves to others' money. It's about raw so-called social justice. It's about moving America ever farther away from the small-government ideals of the Founding Fathers." (From TPM)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

China Finds Jose Cuervo, Michele and Sarah, Smarter Than A Sixth Grader?

Ayad Allawi
Robert Kennedy
"Let Libya be engulfed in flames," - M Qaddafi

It looks like neither the US or the EU will be leading the way out of the current global economic crisis. Major European banks, yep, those that are considered "too big to fail," are still lobbying for more relaxed regulations, along with their American counterparts. To counter the pressure, citizen groups have suggested that the first $26 million of each banking loss come out of the CEO's paycheck... It was revealed yesterday that over 25 top US companies pay their CEO's more than they pay in income tax. The kicker is, most of these CEO's aren't smarter or more talented than you or me; the biggest decision the CEO of General Mills has had to make was determining the amount of sugar to put on your kids cereals...

So, the marketing of upscale goods is on an upswing in China and Asia, especially those parts that get US economic aid. Asia Times reports that: "China is second only to the United States for sales of Mercedes, Jaguars, Land Rovers and similar up-market cars while branded luxury bags, shoes and similar affluent appurtenances are selling so well that many of their makers are listing on the Hong Kong Exchange to tap local enthusiasm." Tequila companies have opened marketing offices in Shanghai. The bad part to this is having a nation think that Jose Cuervo is top notch tequila. The good part is that the Chinese can't produce a cheap tequila knockoff...

A recent report from the bi-partisan Wartime Contracting Commission said that the process of giving contracts to third party companies in a war zone is fraught with waste, abuse, and fraud, almost on the level of FEMA contracts to Rosemary Barbour... I've been posting this for over a year now, it's good to have it officially validated. The commission goes on to say that these types of abuses will continue on indefinitely into whatever war zone we interject ourselves, unless Congress acts quickly to change to contracting laws. There isn't any way to oversee the projects paid for, or trace the flow of the money to see where it goes, so a lot of it ends up in the Kabul Bank or Dick Cheney's trust account at Halliburton, or ends up paying for some retired general's farm in Virginia... Some of the money goes to fund our enemies in Afghanistan, we are the insurgents second largest funding source after the heroin poppy. Afghan warlords threaten violence to a subcontractor unless they are paid for protection, causing the subcontractor to ask for a few million more. Or, you can just fly in pallets of $100 bills in cash, like Paul Bremer did in Iraq, then pretend that he didn't recall where it all went... Or, it could be worse, if they were administered by the UN; then they'd be trading more than food for sex...

Michele Bachmann will be coming out with her memoirs in November. I believe that is also when Sarah Palin's next book is due, Tea Party for Dummies... I don't know why we consider someone an author who has used a ghost writer to actually write their book. Talking into a tape recorder for five hours makes you resemble Barbara Cartland more than an actual writer. We need a new section in the library and on bookshelves for these fake books, perhaps Revisionist History?

I'm waiting to see both Michele and Sarah together, where they are asked easy questions about history, geography, and foreign policy, if only they'd sign on to the next season of Who's Smarter Than a Sixth Grader?, or to revise it for the current political scene, Who's Smarter Than a Texas High Schooler? Texas has one of the highest drop out rates in the country, which is sad because the Texas school system does a poor job of educating their kids, anyway. When my sister's grandkids were going to school here in Colorado, they were having a hard time and getting C's and D's. When they went back to Texas, they didn't have to worry much about homework, and are cruising through with A's and B's... I think one reason that Rick Perry has jumped into the national spotlight is because the stagelights are growing dim for him in Texas. People are tired of the way he does business and his mean, bragging personal style. Hey Rick, you used federal stimulus money to balance your state budget how many times???

"Why should I go and do something like that? But the Lord says, 'Be submissive wives; you are to be submissive to your husbands." -Rep Michele Bachmann

"Well what I want them to know is just like, John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That's the kind of spirit that I have, too" -Rep Michele Bachmann

"I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out: Are they pro-America or anti-America?" -Rep. Michelle Bachmann

"He who warned, uh, the British that they weren't gonna be takin' away our arms, uh, by ringing those bells, and um, makin' sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed." -Sarah Palin

"But obviously, we've got to stand with our North Korean allies." --Sarah Palin

"We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada. And I think now, isn't that ironic?" --Sarah Palin