Saturday, July 31, 2010

Flu vaccine push already underway - first batch causes seizures in children
This year's vaccine push has begun with some curious admissions by the vaccine industry, reflected in a Reuters story ( After the usual explanatory text about how flu vaccine

"And U.S. officials said they were changing the labeling on a vaccine made by Australia's CSL Ltd (CSL.AX) because it appears to have caused a higher than usual rate of seizures in children."

Now hold on a second.

If you read between the lines here, this statement implies that: 1) Vaccines cause seizures in children. And then 2) This particular vaccines causes a higher rate of seizures in children than the usual rate of seizures in children.
manufacturers have started shipping their largest quantity of vaccines ever produced for flu season, the story prints this curious text:

God Bless Anthony Weiner for blasting out the truth!

Republicans in the House VOTED DOWN a health care bill for 9/11 First Responders, whining that the procedures in which it had been brought to a vote weren't right. (In order to avoid GOP obstructionism, the Dems in the House brought the vote through a procedure that prevented GOP members from removing or tacking onto the bill endlessly, thereby keeping a vote from ever taking place.) Having been circumvented in their usual obstructionist tactics, the GOP members voted against it, refusing to pass the bill. Republican Rep. Peter King whined on and on about the procedures, in an effort to fool the people and protect his party members. But, reminiscent of Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Rep. Anthony Weiner stormed up to the front of the chamber and BLASTED out the Truth! A memorable speech by Weiner! But because of Republican a--hole-ism, the bill didn't pass, and the 9/11 first responders still have no help coming their way. Watch the video.


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As Karoli and I already posted, Rep. Anthony Weiner ripped into the Republicans for blocking the 9-11 Responders Bill. What neither of us had earlier was Rep. Peter King's hackery on the House floor that set him off. Since Countdown covered it, I thought I'd share it here.

TPM also caught their exchange on Fox News the day after the dust up on the House floor where Anthony Weiner ripped into Pete King again.

Peter King And Anthony Weiner Shout Their Way Through A Fox News Interview (VIDEO):

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) went on an apoplectic rant on the House floor last night, and apparently he hasn't cooled off much since then.

Earlier this morning, Weiner and Rep. Peter King (R-NY) shouted and finger-pointed their way through a Fox News interview over a bill that would provide health care to rescue workers effected by the dust from the World Trade Center, which failed in the House last night.

King accused the Democrats of orchestrating a "cruel hoax" with the bill, while Weiner called it "outrageous" that Republicans would vote against it.

Weiner was furious last night that most of the "cowardly" Republicans voted against the bill and then blamed it on "procedure." Exclaimed Weiner: "You vote yes if you believe yes! You vote in favor of something if you believe it's the right thing! If you believe it's the wrong thing, you vote no!"

On America's Newsroom today, King, who is the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Homeland Security, said that "the bottom line is the Democrats control the House, and they pulled a procedural gimmick starting ten days ago, and they lost the nerve to bring it to the floor on a real vote."

He also called the whole situation a "cruel hoax," and accused the Democrats of "moral cowardice."

"They control the House," said King. "They could have passed this."

Weiner shot back: "You know for all the whining about the process, we had an up-or-down vote. Do you know what percentage of Republicans voted for it? Seven percent." Only twelve Republicans voted in favor of the bill.

"Your rant last night about the process and how bad the process was gave cover for your colleagues," said Weiner adding, "Twelve Peter? That's all you could muster?"


New credit card tricks by banks to get more $$ out of you

The banks have people who lie awake nights thinking up new ways to scam their credit card users.  Read about these new ones to circumvent the CARD ACT.  Let the User Beware!


U.S. Torture of prisoners was widespread under Cheney/Bush

Important article to read for those who want to know the truth...

EXCERPT: during the presidency of George W. Bush, tens of thousands of innocent human beings...were swept up in dragnet arrests by the invading American forces or their allies and imprisoned without legal recourse---the very opposite of what America's Founders gifted to humanity in their Constitution. None of the prisoners ever saw a real judge or jury. Torture among them was widespread. As for President Barack Obama, sworn to uphold a Constitution that does not permit torture, his failure to act forthrightly and, in particular, to ignore crimes by the CIA, an agency for which he once worked, would appear to make him guilty of subversion of that founding charter which he is legally obliged to honor. As for not taking action against the countless Pentagon operatives who tortured---including doctors and dentists and surgeons, etc.---Obama’s inaction will permit these sadists to be returned one day to practice among the general civilian population. Think about that. Think, too, about the stain on the American flag that may never be washed clean.


A Sin and a Shame by Bob Herbert
When corporations rule the world, as they do now, treacherous treatment of workers is the norm. Millions of workers have been exploited by corporations during this recession/depression, with many more being let go than was necessary. Those who were retained were kept in fear of losing their jobs, and given pay cuts and longer hours. Guess who is reaping the profits from the misery caused to the middle class? (Hint: it's not "trickling down") As Bob Herbert says in his column today,
"Many of those workers were cashiered for no reason other than outright greed by corporate managers. And that cruel, irresponsible, shortsighted policy has resulted in widespread human suffering and is doing great harm to the economy."

Increases in the productivity of American workers are supposed to go hand in hand with improvements in their standard of living. That’s how capitalism is supposed to work. That’s how the economic pie expands, and we’re all supposed to have a fair share of that expansion.

Corporations have now said the hell with that. Economists believe the nation may have emerged, technically, from the recession early in the summer of 2009. As Professor Sum writes in a new study for the labor market center, this period of economic recovery “has seen the most lopsided gains in corporate profits relative to real wages and salaries in our history.”

Worker productivity has increased dramatically, but the workers themselves have seen no gains from their increased production. It has all gone to corporate profits. This is unprecedented in the postwar years, and it is wrong.

Having taken everything for themselves, the corporations are so awash in cash they don’t know what to do with it all. Citing a recent article from Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Professor Sum noted that in July cash at the nation’s nonfinancial corporations stood at $1.84 trillion, a 27 percent increase over early 2007. Moody’s has pointed out that as a percent of total company assets, cash has reached a level not seen in the past half-century.

Executives are delighted with this ill-gotten bonanza.

Music heals -- makes brain function better

Studies show that music lessons help children learn better, faster in all areas.. Good article.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The gethuman database--worth its weight in gold



The Truth Behind the Tea Parties

This is what happens when corporations are allowed to run amok and take over the country...and the world. They support with millions of $$ the nutso right wingers who listen to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and vote against their own interests. These ignorant people are being used by the elite to further their own gains.  Remember how Reagan and other Republicans promised us that if tax cuts were given to the corporations/elite, the wealth would "trickle down" to us peons who are supporting the whole evil system with our tax dollars?  Remember how tax cuts were granted big-time to the rich? (BTW, how's that trickle-down theory working out for you? Plus, notice how Republicans today are crying out for those tax cuts to remain--and for even more tax breaks to be given to the wealthiest in the country.  Read on about the Tea Party scam, funded by right-wing megabucks:
By Don Monkerud
Seldom has so much been made about so little. Supporters claimed the Tea Party was "a nonpartisan grassroots movement," but the reality is far different. Not only was the idea supported by right-wing money and promoted by the right-wing propaganda mill, Fox News, but it also garnered very little real popular support. When asked, 18 percent of Americans replied that they identified with the Tea Party. Only 20 percent of those sent money, or about four percent of the public, while 78 percent have done nothing in support.

Essentially, the Tea Party is a new face of the same old right-wing, reactionary forces that have long been working to turn America into a more religious, racist and militaristic country with an unregulated free-enterprise system, weak government and low taxation.


Avoid Heart Attack: Take Vitamin D with Calcium Supplements

ABC NEWS Medical Page:
Calcium supplementation -- without giving vitamin D at the same time -- appears to increase the risk of myocardial infarction, a new review of past research has shown.

Among studies of patients with or at risk of osteoporosis, those who received calcium supplements were about 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who did not, Dr. Ian Reid, MD of the University of Auckland in New Zealand and colleagues reported online in BMJ.

"As calcium supplements are widely used, these modest increases in risk of cardiovascular disease might translate into a large burden of disease in the population," the researchers wrote. "A reassessment of the role of calcium supplements in the management of osteoporosis is warranted."

Paul Krugman: A Man Who Sees Clearly

For common sense and great advice to Obama (which he, of course, won't follow), read Krugman's latest column:

It starts out with a very good question: 
Why does the Obama administration keep looking for love in all the wrong places? Why does it go out of its way to alienate its friends, while wooing people who will never waver in their hatred?

...protecting consumers, ensuring that they aren’t the victims of predatory financial practices, is something voters can relate to. And choosing a high-profile consumer advocate (Elizabeth Warren) to lead the agency providing that protection — someone whose scholarship and advocacy were largely responsible for the agency’s creation — is the natural move, both substantively and politically. Meanwhile, the alternative — disappointing supporters yet again by choosing some little-known technocrat — seems like an obvious error.

The Palin Tribe: Want to See Them in the White House?

Oops.  It seems Levi Johnston, Bristol's choice for her husband-to-be (reportedly against Mommy Dearest's wishes), may have impregnated Bristol's former best friend, who is now expecting a baby.  And the Bristol/Levi on-again/off-again nuptials may be off...again.  The Palin soap opera continues...  I wonder how John McCain feels now about the show he launched when he named Sarah his running mate. Wanna guess? (Clue: His red face and clenched teeth may be a giveaway.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

EXCELLENT New Yorker article on life/death issues

It's about time a doctor wrote an article like this. Oregonians have the right idea in having passed the right-to-die law there.  I do hope California will soon have one like it.  Although this essay doesn't address euthanasia, it importantly talks about the often unnecessary prolongation of life with undue suffering of the patient.  It presents end-of-life options, other than continuing with chemo, radiation, intubated feedings, etc. that only prolong misery and suffering.  There is a natural course to life and death -- and too often the natural end course is dealt with as an enemy by the medical field.  In many cases, quality of life needs to be weighed against the cost of a little more quantity of life.
by Atul Gawande

EXCERPT: People have concerns besides simply prolonging their lives. Surveys of patients with terminal illness find that their top priorities include, in addition to avoiding suffering, being with family, having the touch of others, being mentally aware, and not becoming a burden to others. Our system of technological medical care has utterly failed to meet these needs, and the cost of this failure is measured in far more than dollars. The hard question we face, then, is not how we can afford this system’s expense. It is how we can build a health-care system that will actually help dying patients achieve what’s most important to them at the end of their lives.

Like many people, I had believed that hospice care hastens death, because patients forgo hospital treatments and are allowed high-dose narcotics to combat pain. But studies suggest otherwise. In one, researchers followed 4,493 Medicare patients with either terminal cancer or congestive heart failure. They found no difference in survival time between hospice and non-hospice patients with breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. Curiously, hospice care seemed to extend survival for some patients; those with pancreatic cancer gained an average of three weeks, those with lung cancer gained six weeks, and those with congestive heart failure gained three months
. The lesson seems almost Zen: you live longer only when you stop trying to live longer.


Jon Stewart Nails It Again re. Breitbart and Sherrod

EXCERPT: While Andrew Breitbart is responsible for posting the edited video of Shirley Sherrod on his website, the Obama administration did not take the time to obtain the full speech before calling for her resignation.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack essentially forced Sherrod to resign. Stewart joked that she had been "Vilsacked." The Agriculture Secretary apologized but at least one statement reflected a lack of contrition.

"It should have been done in a much more personal way. It should have been done with far more thought and it should have been done in far less haste," said Vilsack.

"It shouldn't have been done," Stewart said to cheers from his studio audience. "We're not angry about how you fired her. We're angry that you fired her."

"I'm sorry I hit your dog with my car. I should have smothered him with a pillow," Stewart joked.

Only five months ago, Breitbart said, "I want it to be in the history books saying I took down the institutional left."

"He didn't say I want to be in the history books as a paragon of honesty," Stewart noted. "He didn't say I would like to be in the museum of broadcasting and be known by children around the world as Arnold B. Truthington of Accuracy Lane. No, he said out loud, 'I want to bring down the institutional left.' So, if you are on the institutional left and you receive a package from him, watch the whole f**king tape!"


IMPORTANT STORY: Income of Very Richest shot up by 281% since 1979

This article is important to educate those who continue to say tax cuts for the rich are not only desirable, but necessary...  Read the article and see if you agree with them.

a recent Wall Street Journal story revealed that, over the past decade, the two highest-paid CEOs at public companies each took in over a billion dollars in compensation, while others in the top 25 received compensation in the hundreds of millions.

What makes these pay rates really "infuriating," says Hayes, is that "CEO pay is both a cause and partly a symptom of the staggering increase of inequality in this country.

Hayes cited a study recently released by the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities which shows that if you're in the bottom 20% of earners, "you're making only 16% more today than you would have in 1979." If you're in the middle fifth, you're making 25% more. "But the top fifth of earners in this country -- they're making 95% more."


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gulf between Wall Street and Main Street widens

The rich get rich and the poor get poorer -- so the old song goes, and we are living that reality now.  Waiting for corporations to have empathy with the consumers is like waiting for hell to freeze over.  The democratic republic of America is dying, and is being replaced by a plutocracy.  We can't say we weren't warned.  See video at:


A very sad new world order

The only ones escaping the pain are the rich.  This is what the Republican agenda ever since Reagan has cost us.  The burden is all on the poor and the middle class, which is fast disappearing.  And yet the Republicans want even more tax cuts, ignoring the fact that the Reagan and Bush tax cuts for the rich and outrageous corporate greed have sent us down this terrible path to the ruin of what was once a great country. We ignored Eisenhower's warning about the burgeoning military/industrial complex that was trying to take over our world.  Tragically, that is now a done deed, and we are reaping the terrible consequences. In addition, just look at the Republican obstructionists in Congress today, stubbornly unwilling to compromise on ANYthing.  Take a good look at the lack of quality in their hopeful presidential candidates, with Sarah Palin leading the pack, as creatures like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh control the ignorant dittoheads who follow their every word.  Is this what our intelligent Founders had in mind when setting up our democratic republic?  I don't think so!  Bob Herbert's NY Times column today tells the sad, sad truth:

Economic Pain
by Bob Herbert


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Uplifting Essay: Finding God after Leaving Religion

This is an essay I can really relate to.  I am glad to see more people finding true spirituality/God outside of organized religions that spawn hierarchies, authoritarian figures (ministers, priests, etc.) greed, abuse, and dogmas/creeds/rules that are meant to keep the sheep docile and controllable--and donating their hard-earned money to the already rich-beyond-dreams churches.  This is one good way (maybe the ONLY one) in which "The times, they are a'changing." 



Saturday, July 24, 2010

Beautiful Essay on Einstein's spirituality by Krista Tippett

Einstein described our perception of time as an arrow -- traversing linear and compartmentalized past, present, and future -- as a "stubbornly persistent illusion." Such language is evocative from a religious standpoint. echoes insights that run throughout Eastern and Western religions and ancient indigenous cultures.
... If past, present, and future are an illusion, as he said, none of us ever really disappear. We all leave our imprint on what is now. I have a profound sense of Einstein's imprint, and it comforts me. ...if he could listen with twenty-first-century ears, he might be intrigued by how his generous, questioning, "cosmic" religious sense is deeply kindred with the religious and spiritual yearnings of our age.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Can the Republican Party get any dumber? Stay tuned...

by William Rivers Pitt

It is tempting to begin a sentence about today's Republican Party with the words, "Just when you thought they couldn't get any dumber," but then you realize you're talking about a group that actively thwarts benefits for the unemployed while pimping tax cuts for rich people, a group that champions a political base which by and large doesn't believe dinosaurs existed because they're not in the Bible but can't stand the thought of stem cell research making people whole again, who attack the ideas and policies of the majority with vehemence but absolutely refuse to offer any of their own, and you come to the realization that you can't begin a sentence with those words, because there really is no bottom to this particular barrel. This particular breed of dumb is a lot like the oil in the Gulf of Mexico; it broadens and spreads and grows by the day, and will continue to do so until someone finally goes in and cleans it up once and for all.

Inhofe and much of GOP don't believe in global warming

More Republican Bamboozle Talk  (It's truly amazing how far down in the sand some Republicans can stick their heads)
Amid Heat Wave, Senator Inhofe Talks of Global Cooling

Thomas Peterson, chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center, says that while some people may believe that the planet is not getting warmer, data measuring a broad spectrum of indicators proves "far and away" that the planet is not in a cooling period, but is actually still in the process of heating up. Peterson pointed to data showing each of the past five decades reaching hotter temperatures than the preceding decade. 

"What I don't understand is when you see evidence, that looks at all those indicators in one place, on one figure, decrease in glaciers, I don't see how any reasonable person can look at that and not agree that the globe is warming," Peterson said. "The indicators are irrefutable."


The Whitewashing of the Bush/Cheney Record

Haven't had enough of the Bush family yet? The GOP hasn't. They're still enthralled with them. Look for Jeb Bush to appear among the GOP hopefuls in 2012, backed by the Big Money. He'll have to plow through Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich (god, what a field to choose from...) to reach the gold ring, but there are enough Bush supporters in the Republican rolls who still maintain the Bush/Cheney years were just great!   Read the following article to see how the whitewashing and finger pointing at the Dems has begun:
Addicted to Bush

by Paul Krugman


Thursday, July 22, 2010

#44, the Do-nothing President

This is one of the best analyses I've read about the Obama fiasco/waste of a presidency -- David Michael Green has it nailed, right on the head.

It seems to me that there are four options for understanding Obama's self-defeating tendency when it comes to the economic disaster he inherited. One is that he simply isn't so smart, and doesn't get the ramifications of continued unemployment at the level it's currently running. The second option is that he's just a policy bungler, who has the right intentions but makes lousy choices for trying to get there. The third possibility is that Obama recognizes this latest recession as the capstone (we hope) of a three decade long process by the economic oligarchy seeking nothing less than the downsizing of the American middle class, and he simply lacks the courage to attempt any reversal of this tsunami of wealth redistribution. The final, and scariest - but by no means least probable - explanation for Obama's behavior is that he is ultimately no less a tool in that very piracy project than was George W. Bush or Bill Clinton. (This is exactly what I have come to believe is true!)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

For truth-telling...go to this site  and read the first and third story.  The first one is about Glenn Beck, entitled Character Assassination without Due Process .  The second one is about Rachel Maddow, entitled The Sherrod Fiasco--Who's Next? Both have videos.  Very enlightening for those who are really looking for truth.

I highly recommend Rachel Maddow's daily TV report on MSNBC for anyone who would rather have truth than fiction in their political daily fare. Rachel does in-depth, well-researched reporting. For fiction lovers, FOX (FAUX) is definitely the place to go.  It's all day fiction--all the time, but Glenn Beck is particularly good at delivering his own brand of dastardly lies.  Rush Limbaugh on radio is another spinner of tales, for those who take pride in being one of his "dittoheads" (yes, he actually calls his listeners that ... and they love it. Pathetic, isn't it?)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I saw a video today of a British comedian

His name is Pat Condell, and he is up in arms about the mosque being built in New York City, as he says "just yards away from Ground Zero."  As I watched the video, some thoughts came to me about it and about our situation on this planet at this time.

I definitely agree with Condell when he says, "Any religion that endorses violence has no business calling itself spiritual."  That seems to include most, if not all, of Earth's religions.  Oops

As for the mosque being built on Ground Zero, actually it's being built two long New York City blocks away from Ground Zero -- not just a few yards away.  I think you'll agree that the Christian religion, as it is being practiced by many hatred-filled people in our country is not really representative of the true teachings of Christ.  The same thing is probably true of the Islam religion as well. Many, many Muslims are horrified at what the fanatics have done in the name of their religion.  Cat Stevens is a good representative of his religion of Islam, as a practicer of the true teachings of Mohammed before they were rewritten and taken over by those who love power and control of the people.  We see the same thing happening here in America with the takeover of Christianity a la Bush and Cheney and the rightwing fanatics who mouth every word they are told by Palin, Limbaugh and Beck.  The ignorant will always be with us, it seems.  And fundamentalist preachers in all religions will always take advantage of their ignorance.

Rather than use fear and hatred to control the minds of people, as the GOP is now doing, it would probably be better for all of us to practice Christian principles as they were really taught by Christ.  At least, some of us can start to do that.  We've all seen what fear and hatred can do on our planet -- we've seen the effects of war, over and over and over. And yet, things never seem to change because war is profitable for the elite. They don't mind sending the children of the poor and middle class to their deaths, as long as the $$ keeps pouring into their coffers.   The words of the song Where Have All the Flowers Gone ring in our ears, but we continue to ignore them:  "Oh, when will they ever learn? Oh, when will they ever learn?"

People need to be educated so they will not be controlled by every fear-mongering Limbaugh or Falwell or binLaden who comes along.  Education by experience takes forever, as we are seeing on this planet -- and sometimes it is never learned, no matter how excruciatingly painful the experience may be.  Open minds and hearts are necessary to receive truth as taught by Christ.  I read once a description of Christ as "one who was tall enough to see over all the fences people have built against each other."  He saw the Oneness that is the nature of us all and tried to convey that to the people of his time.  He was killed for it then -- and we are still killing him for it today. 

Just my own opinion....


Monday, July 19, 2010

Sarah wants to be on the GOP ticket in 2012

Oh, I hope, I hope, I hope..... And if we're really lucky, she'll pick Ann Coulter to be her vice presidential running mate.  A dream ticket come true (for the Democrats)!  Sarah coined a new word today--"refudiate."  Just think of all the vocabulary additions she can make to the lexicon created by Dubya Bush during his comedic/tragic years as President.

Palin tweeted that "peaceful Muslims" should "refudiate" the New York mosque being built near Ground Zero. This prompted plenty of retweets at her expense -- "refudiate," of course, is not a word.

After deleting the offending tweet, Palin replaced it  with another, calling on "peaceful New Yorkers" to "refute the Ground Zero mosque plan" -- although the word she was apparently looking for was "repudiate."

Then came the kicker: To quell the ribbing she was receiving on Twitter, Palin  posted another tweet: " 'Refudiate,' 'misunderestimate,' 'wee-wee'd up.' English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!"

This spawned plenty of scorn Monday in liberal blogs, as well as a new meme on Twitter,  #ShakesPalin, in which participants revamped classic Shakespeare quotes, Palin-style. Perhaps  the best came from the Cato Institute's Julian Sanchez (a.k.a.  @Normative): "To suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous liberals, or to quit halfterm, and by opposing, rake in speaking fees."   --Matt DeLong


Amazing near-death experience

This story is a fascinating one...and very uplifting.


Out of control -- government secrecy

I'm tempted to say, "So what else is new?"  Government secrecy has always been in place -- agencies designed to keep Americans and world citizens in the dark about everything are not something new....but, since 9-11, there are no doubt many more of them.  Who controls them?  No one.  They ARE out of control -- and have been, for decades!  The wealthy elite who run things on this planet, because of their greed and lust for power, have created a mess that can't be contained (the oil well spill is a perfect metaphor for the even bigger picture of the world at large).


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dick Cheney's heart: how has he lasted so long?

The health care he denies others is the very thing that keeps him living.  Well over a million dollars has been spent on keeping Cheney's heart ticking.  He's got great government health insurance.  Cheney is a heartless man who, unless he gets a heart transplant, may literally soon BE heart-less. Oh, the ironic justice of it all... Reminds me of that song in The Mikado: My object all sublime, I shall achieve in time, To let the punishment fit the crime, the punishment fit the crime...

Oil baron, draft dodger, professional paranoid, and all-around Blue Meanie, Cheney’s miraculous longevity is nothing so much as the happy product of the heavily tax-subsidized and regulated American health-care system, exhibit A in the argument for intrusive and overarching government programs to ensure the public’s health. Though the free-marketeers would argue the exact opposite—that the invention of such sci-fi devices as the LVAD are the product of unfettered capitalism—this completely ignores the reality of how such inventions are tested, monitored, and reviewed. Devices are studied in hospitals propped up by Medicaid and Medicare dollars organized by doctors funded by federal grants. Patient safety is assured by government bean-counters spread throughout windowless Washington offices via a process that is noticeable only when it fails—when, for example, a pacemaker is found to be defective, or a medication proves toxic.

Cheney is alive today despite a lifetime spent trying to deprive the needy of basic human rights such as health care. Yet his continued survival shows both the impotency of his attempts and the potency of the American health-care system, a lumbering bureaucracy no doubt, but one that blindly cares for big-hearted Joes as well as heartless Dicks.


EXCELLENT: The Good News About Mel Gibson

by Frank Rich, NY Times    And good news for all of us -- how the mighty have fallen (a well-deserved fall).


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Banks are going to gouge even more $$ out of us

We need to pay attention to new charges banks will be demanding of us...  It's not enough that they are charging usurious interest rates on credit cards and all kinds of surcharges on our bank accounts.  They are lying awake nights thinking up new ways to get our money (if we even have any left).  We'd be better off stashing it under our mattresses.


Getting closer to Doomsday for America - millions losing homes

One Million More Americans to Lose Homes in 2010 -- Where Will They Go?  How Will They Live?
by Susie Madrak

A new report predicts more than 1 million American households this year will lose their homes due to foreclosure:

Nearly 528,000 homes were foreclosed in the first six months of 2010. As lenders work through a huge backlog of borrowers behind on their mortgages, even more home repossessions could occur before the end of the year.

According to RealtyTrac, Inc., a foreclosure listing service, the number of households facing foreclosure in the first half of the year climbed 8 percent when compared to the same time frame last year. In June, 1 in every 411 households received a foreclosure filing.

The fastest growing group of foreclosures involved homeowners with good credit who took out conventional fixed-rate loans. Many of these borrowers have fallen behind in their mortgages due to unemployment or reduced income.

It takes about 15 months for a home loan to go from being 30 days late to the property being seized and sold. Between January and June of this year, about 1.7 million homeowners received a foreclosure-related warning. At the time of this writing, more than 7.3 million home loans are in some stage of delinquency. The states experiencing the highest foreclosure rates are California, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Arizona and Nevada.

As Atrios points out, the HAMP program has been worse than a failure, because it prolonged the agony for homeowners and most of them lost their homes, anyway. "All carrot and no stick," as this blogger calls it. (Which seems to sum up the adminstration's attitude toward bankers in general.)

I was in the neighborhood pizza restaurant last night, and several of the diners were talking about unemployment extensions. Like most people, they're confused about the difference between next week's vote on unemployment extension, and Tier 5 benefits -- which Congress won't touch. They're hoping "someone will do something," because the alternative is too unthinkable.

The staff is worried, too. The pizza cook is an accountant with three kids who can't find anything above minimum wage. "When I've gotten an interview, I'm going up against people with ten years' experience and MBAs -- for jobs that pay $10 an hour," he told me. "I just don't know what I'm going to do."

And the delivery guy, a former IT programmer, is worried sick about his wife, who has COPD and internal bleeding they can't locate. They've been going to the local federally-funded public health center. "The doctors there are good, but they get a little antsy when you need a specialist," he said. "My unemployment runs out in September, and she's the only steady paycheck coming into the house."

He told me he has this idea for an invention, that when he was working, he invested $1000 in getting designs made. But now? "I need another ten thousand to move forward, and there's no way in hell I can ever afford that without a job," he said.

He paused. "Let alone a house. I just don't know what we're gonna do."

And in stark contrast to the burdens carried by these decent, hard-working people, Americans who got the education and prepared themselves to be self-sufficient, stand the just plain mean denizens of Beck Nation. A friend of mine was looking in a store yesterday and told the owner she wouldn't be buying anything just yet because she was unemployed. The woman snapped, started wagging a finger in her face and told her she "shouldn't be here, you should be out looking for a job!"

"Practically snarling at me," my friend told me. "Can you imagine?" Yes, I can.

How are we ever going to bridge this divide? You just can't leave this many people without help, but the politicans are mostly spineless. What is going to happen to us?


Why I find it hard to trust western medicine these days

Brain Center at Columbia Gave Patients Impure Injections -- Study Now Halted

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cheney may need heart transplant--has no discernible pulse

But it could take years to find a donor, if ever -- there aren't that many reptilian aliens on the planet who would be willing to donate their organs to save one of their own.  Their hearts are known to be very small, black and pinched, which is no doubt why Cheney has had so much trouble adjusting to this planet.  Maybe his daughter Liz could be convinced to donate her extremely tiny, almost invisible heart to save her Dad.  (Don't hold your breath on that one, Big Dick.)

Vatican says ordaining women is a "grave crime"

This "grave crime" of women as priests will be subject to the same punishments of the church meted out for sex abuse. punishment has been given to priest sex abusers.  Girls, I think it's safe to assume this is an OK from the church to become priests, without papal punishment.  Unless, of course, they have different standards for women, and punishment for women usurping priestly duties would be swift and harsh.  Mull it over, look at the church's past history, and see what you think....


The new rules make no mention of the need for bishops to report clerical sex abuse to police, provide no canonical sanctions for bishops who cover up for abusers and do not include any "one-strike and you're out" policy for pedophile priests as demanded by some victims.

As a result, they failed to satisfy victims' advocates, who said the revised rules amounted to little more than "administrative housekeeping" of existing practice when what was needed were bold new rules threatening bishops who fail to report molester priests.

The rules cover the canonical penalties and procedures used for the most grave crimes in the church, both sacramental and moral, and double the statute of limitations applied to them. One new element included lists the attempted ordination of women as a "grave crime" subject to the same set of procedures and punishments meted out for sex abuse.


Jeb Bush to run for president in 2012?

Another Bush!  God, NO!  That would make the 2012 prophecies of End-of-the-world DISASTER come true!  Can the Republicans really be stupid enough to vote for another Bush? Take a good look at Rush Limbaugh and all his "dittoheads," who mouth his every word.  Does that answer the question?


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Here's Part I of Goodman's essay

For those who are interested in what this expert (with the wisdom acquired in 42 years with the CIA) has to say, stay tuned for Part 3 to be posted later.

Editor’s Note: This is Part I of a series by former CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman addressing the presidency and the Pentagon.

Part II will deal with President Obama’s difficult inheritance of two wars in addition to a war on terrorism as well as the legacy of presidents who contributed to the militarization of national security policy. Part III will deal with President Obama’s mishandling of this inheritance and what the Obama administration needs to do to reverse the situation:

Now the United States finds itself in a cul-de-sac, with no way out of increased military deployments and expenditures, and no evidence that President Obama has a firm hand on the national security tiller. 

A central problem for the nation is the increased power and influence of the Pentagon over the foreign and national security policies of the United States.

No president since Eisenhower has fully understood the Pentagon’s dominant position in military and security policy.  Armed with his knowledge and experience as World War II’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, Eisenhower made sure that he could not be outmaneuvered by his military advisers, particularly on such key issues as the Vietnam War and tensions with the Soviet Union.

However, his immediate successors thoroughly bungled the decision-making process. President John F. Kennedy never understood that the Pentagon anticipated the failure of the CIA in Cuba in 1961 and expected to use its air power to finish the job. 

President Lyndon B. Johnson knew that Vietnam was a fool’s errand but failed to challenge the pleas from the Pentagon for more force and additional troops – or the strategic views of the Rostow and Bundy brothers.

By contrast, Eisenhower ignored the hysteria of the bomber and missile gaps in the 1950s, claimed by Senators Stuart Symington and Kennedy as well as by such key advisors as Paul Nitze.

Nitze had unnecessarily heightened concerns about U.S. security in National Security Council Report 68 (known as NSC-68) in the late 1940s, and he was the chief author of the overwrought Gaither Report, which called for unnecessary increases in the strategic arsenal. 

Eisenhower ignored these advocates for increased defense spending and even cut the military budget by 20 percent between 1953 and 1955 on the way to balancing the budget by 1956. Eisenhower started no wars and was willing to settle for a stalemate in ending the Korea War.

Eisenhower clashed with the military mindset from the very beginning of his presidency. He knew that his generals were wrong in proclaiming “political will” as the major factor in military victory.

A five-star general, Eisenhower would have shuddered when four-star General David Petraeus, like so many military commanders of recent decades, proclaimed last week that U.S. political will is the key factor for success in Afghanistan. 

How Much is Sufficiency?

Eisenhower knew that military demands for weaponry and resources were always based on inexplicable notions of “sufficiency,” and he made sure that Pentagon briefings on the Hill were countered by testimony from the national security bureaucracy. 

Henry A. Kissinger was one of the rare national security advisers and secretaries of state who understood Eisenhower’s point of view.

During the ratification process for the SALT I agreement in 1972, Kissinger countered conservative and military opposition to SALT and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with two questions they could never answer: What is strategic sufficiency? What would we do with strategic sufficiency if we had it?

In his Farewell Address in 1961, Eisenhower warned that the United States should not become a “garrison state,” but nearly 50 years later we have developed a garrison mentality with unprecedented military spending; continuous military deployments; hyped fears about “Islamo-terrorism” and now cyberwars; and exaggerated aspirations with regard to counterinsurgency and nation-building. 

Eisenhower understood that it was the military-industrial complex that fostered an inordinate belief in the omnipotence of American military power. Eisenhower made sure that the Pentagon and the Dulles brothers, who were in command at the State Department and the CIA, respectively, did not over-reach with the U.S. role overseas. 

Finally, although Eisenhower signed off on some aggressive, even violent, CIA operations, such as in Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, and the Congo in 1960, he did not authorize the more grandiose actions that characterized later presidencies, the likes of Kennedy’s Bay of Pigs; Johnson’s Vietnam; Reagan’s Grenada; Bush II’s Iraq; and now Obama’s Afghanistan. 

Eisenhower opposed and reversed the British-French-Israeli invasion of Egypt in 1956, and withstood criticism for not assisting the Hungarian uprising weeks later. Thirty years after the fact, President Ronald Reagan joined in criticizing Eisenhower’s restraint regarding Hungary.   

With the possible exception of President Richard Nixon, no recent president has understood the military mindset and was willing to limit the military’s influence. Democrats, such as Kennedy, Johnson and Bill Clinton as well as Republicans such as Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush deferred too readily to the military; devoted too many resources to the military; and often resorted to the use of power instead of diplomacy and statecraft.

Now President Obama has found himself in a position where the military wields far too much influence on Capitol Hill; controls too much of the depleted U.S. Treasury; and has the leading policy voice on both security and diplomatic issues. 

Obama proclaims Reinhold Niebuhr as his favorite philosopher. But he would do well to take heed of the philosophy and advice of Eisenhower, who had a far better understanding of America’s infatuation with military power.

Melvin A. Goodman, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and adjunct professor of government at Johns Hopkins University, spent 42 years with the CIA, the National War College, and the U.S. Army. His latest book is Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA.


The Military-Industrial Complex's Win

This author knows what he is talking about!

Melvin A. Goodman, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and adjunct professor of government at Johns Hopkins University, spent 42 years with the CIA, the National War College, and the U.S. Army. His latest book is Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA.

Editor’s Note: This is Part II of a series by former CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman addressing the presidency and the Pentagon.

Part I examined what President Dwight Eisenhower knew about the military as a retired five-star general and what he tried to impart to his successors. Part III will deal with President Obama’s mishandling of the military-industrial complex's power and what he should do:

This complex, according to Tom Barry of the Center for International Policy, has now “morphed into a new type of public-private partnership — one that spans military, intelligence, and homeland-security contracting — that amounts to a ‘national security complex’.”

Over the past three decades, despite the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and the end of the Cold War, U.S. presidents have done next to nothing to challenge or limit the national security complex, which continues to drain the federal treasury and block any potential political threat to the military-industrial status quo.

Through this period, reaching from Ronald Reagan to Obama, military spending has continued to increase, with the United States outspending the entire rest of the world on weapons systems.

The $708 billion defense budget for 2011 is higher than at any point in America’s post-World War II history.  It is 16 percent higher than the 1952 Korean War budget peak and 36 percent higher than the 1968 Vietnam War budget peak in constant dollars. 

Yet some Pentagon leaders see this spending level as restraint. Defense Secretary Robert Gates argues that the budget plan “rebalances” spending by emphasizing near-term challenges of counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, and stabilization operations. 

But the current budget plan makes no effort at prioritizing these near-term commitments against funding for long-term commitments.  Instead, it increases funding for both near-term and long-term programs.  Despite complaints from deficit hawks, the military-industrial hawks still rule the roost.

Overall procurement spending will rise by nearly 8 percent in the 2011 budget, covering virtually all of the equipment the services wanted. Historically, the costs to operate and maintain the U.S. military tend to grow at about 2.5 percent.  Not this year. The basic defense budget request seeks more than $200 billion, or an 8.5 percent increase, in funding for Operations and Maintenance.

Over the past three decades, the military tool also has become the leading instrument of American statecraft.  The defense budget is 13 times larger than all U.S. civilian foreign policy budgets combined, and the Defense Department’s share of U.S. security assistance has grown from 6 percent in 2002 to more than 50 percent in 2009, when Obama was inaugurated. 

There are more members of the military in marching bands than there are Foreign Service Officers, and the Defense Department spends more on fuel ($16 billion) than the State Department spends on operating costs ($13 billion).  More than half of U.S. discretionary spending is in the defense budget, and war spending only accounts for half of the increase in defense spending since 1998.

All at Fault

All U.S. presidents since 1981 have contributed to the militarization of national security policy.

President Ronald Reagan was responsible for unprecedented peacetime increases in defense spending even though the Soviet Union was in decline; he also endorsed the Goldwater-Nichols Act in 1986 that enhanced the political role of the regional commanders-in-chief (CINCs) and marginalized the State Department. 

President George H.W. Bush’s deployment of 26,000 troops (Operation Just Cause) to Panama only one month after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, indicated that the use of force would play a greater role in the new international environment, which Bush dubbed “the new world order.”

President Bill Clinton weakened the role of the State Department in implementing foreign policy, when he abolished the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and the United States Information Agency and substantially reduced funding for the Agency for International Development. 

Clinton became the first president in three decades to fail to stand up to the Pentagon on arms control, when he was unwilling to challenge the military’s opposition to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

President George W. Bush ushered in the doctrine of preemptive war in Iraq and, by declaring a counterproductive “war on terror,” assured that the Pentagon would be the leading policy agency in combating terrorism around the world. Bush’s policies of unilateralism, proclaimed at West Point in 2002, marked a radical revolution in American foreign policy.

President Bush ineffectually relied on saber-rattling against the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea.  While doing so, he abrogated the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the cornerstone of deterrence since 1972, and funded a national missile defense system that is not workable but remains the largest line item for a weapons system in the current defense budget. 

The Bush administration was also responsible for militarizing (and further politicizing) the intelligence community, which reached its nadir in 2002 when the CIA prepared a phony National Intelligence Estimate to justify the war against Iraq.

The attacks on 9/11 and the declaration of “the war on terror” brought a new dimension to the national security state: the formation of largely unaccountable security contractors, such as Blackwater, without any code of conduct, and various consulting agencies that act as intermediaries between the federal government and the defense contractors. 

The illegalities of Blackwater (now called Xe) are well known and, thanks to Tom Barry, we have a better understanding of the consulting agencies managed by former high-level officials of the Bush administration, including Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, national security adviser Stephen Hadley, directors of homeland security Michael Chertoff and Tom Ridge, and CIA director Michael Hayden.

Nearly a quarter of the federal budget is devoted to contracts to the private sector, with the new Department of Homeland Security and Office of National Intelligence serving as conduits for this money.

Private contracts are now responsible for 70 percent of the intelligence budget, and private contractors represent more than half of the employees of the new National Counterterrorism Center. The trumpeting of “cyber war” marks the next cash cow for the defense industry.

Pentagon’s Leverage

In addition to unprecedented military spending, the Pentagon has gained increased leverage over the $70 billion intelligence community as well as increased influence over the national security and foreign policies of the United States. 

With the State Department and the CIA in decline, the Pentagon’s role in intelligence, nation building, and Third World assistance grows significantly. Congressional armed services committees have become sounding boards for the Pentagon, and the increased absence of military experience on the part of congressional representatives contributes to less oversight.

Recent presidents also have retreated from the principle of meaningful civilian control over military policy. George W. Bush, for instance, identified the chief lesson from the Vietnam War as the need to avoid interference from politicians in Washington with the military commanders on the ground.

As for Obama, while deliberating whether to escalate the war in Afghanistan, he allowed himself to be blindsided by the self-serving leak of Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s recommendation for more troops, a policy also pushed by Gen. David Petraeus and one that Obama ultimately bowed to.

President Eisenhower’s warning about the military-industrial complex and the need for commanders-in-chief who actually understood – and knew how to resist – the Pentagon’s clarion calls have never been more germane.

In addition to inheriting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Obama inherited the so-called war on terror, particularly the psychology of that war, which promised a never-ending struggle against faceless Muslim insurgents and Islamic fundamentalists around the world. 

This psychology has led to a decade of wireless wiretapping, the abrogation of habeas corpus, torture and abuse, and an atmosphere of fear and anxiety, which have combined to make us less secure. 

With a justice system that defers to the national security state, a compliant Congress all but dysfunctional, and a corporate media abandoning its watchdog role, there has been little consistent criticism of the illegal excesses of the national security state. 

In the wake of 9/11, Bush brandished a belief in the necessity of American hegemony and turned increasingly to the Pentagon to enforce this global “full-spectrum dominance.”

By the time of Obama’s election in 2008, the United States was alienated from much of the world – and the new President faced a difficult choice: either chart a dramatically new (and surely harrowing) course or accept a subservient place within the entrenched military-industrial complex.  (Unfortunately for our country and the world, Obama sold us out when he aligned himself with the ruling elite and chose the cowardly second course.)


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sarah Trainwreck Strikes Again


When Palin was rolled out by McCain in 2008 it didn't take too long to notice she was woefully unprepared for even the simplest interviews. Questions such as "What do you read?" by Katie Couric were greeted with consternation; or "What is the Bush doctrine?" by Charlie Gibson just threw her for a loop, and invited numerous parodies. So you'd expect two years later, on a sympathetic network FOX News, on a subject Republicans have reduced to a check list of boilerplate talking points that Palin would be both in her element and comfortable with the subject. Unfortunately for her that turned out not to be the case at all. In the end even Bill O'Reilly looked a bit taken aback by her evasiveness and non-answers, like when a teacher gives you that "Did you even study for this test?" look.

And it's evident in their respective body language: O'Reilly quizzical, raised eyebrows, prompting her answers at times; Palin hesitant, clasping her hands together, biting her lips, as if afraid she'll make a slip-up and start parroting George Bush or pre-2010 John McCain on immigration reform.

Ellen at News Hounds captured some of the exchange like this:

O’Reilly interrupted again. “So no amnesty. But what do you do with these folks? Do you make them register with the federal government? Do you tell ‘em they have 60 days to get out of here before we put you in jail? What do you do with them?”

Now Palin had an answer. “Do we make them register with the federal government? Yes, we do.”

“And if they don’t register with the federal (government)? Say you give them 60 days to register with the federal government… Say they didn’t do it.”

"You deport ‘em," Palin said.

So O’Reilly asked what she would do with those who do register. “Then what? Do you give them green cards to work right away? What do you do with them?”

Palin obviously had no idea. “You know, there has to be that expectation that they will work and that they will contribute.” Then, she changed the subject by saying, “Bill, it makes me uncomfortable that we’re even going down that path...”

O'Reilly shot back, "You have to go down the path because it’s gonna come up."

Palin, in her condescending, schoolmarm tone, lectured, “American citizens who are here lawfully, they need to be the ones with the first shot at getting these jobs. We cannot make it easy on those who have chosen to be illegally here."

But O'Reilly was not going to be lectured by her. "They’re here and we can’t starve ‘em to death… This is where it gets very complicated, Governor."

Palin pursed her lips even tighter. Don’t tell me she wasn’t piqued. “Then we won’t complicate it any more. Let’s keep it simple and let’s say no. If you are here illegally and if you don't follow the steps... to somehow allow you to work, if you're not gonna do that, you're gonna be deported."

O’Reilly got the last word, underscoring her poor command of policy. He reiterated, “Whoever the next president is, is going to have to deal with 12 million people and that’s going to be very, very difficult."

And therein lies the rub for Sarah Palin's future political aspirations: how to avoid the vexing questions of real world problems when you're completely clueless. That the Half-term Governor has gotten this far on so little says something more than most of us ever need to know about the political process.


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Climategate Investigation: Scientists found to be reliable
I have a feeling that folks in the eastern U.S. right now, who doubted the Al Gore predictions of higher temperatures, are beginning to drop some of those doubts.  All except for the most right-wing fanatics among them, who will never change their minds because of their hatred for all things--and people--progressive/liberal.  Closed minds of the Tea Party kind can never be reached by rationality or even proven evidence.  (Just look at Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh. Now, there's a ticket for the GOP in 2012.)


Monday, July 05, 2010

Calculation for heart rate in exercising women has been wrong

Important to know: the new formula eases exercise for women...

EXCERPT:  The new study shows that for women, the number typically derived from the standard formula is far off the mark. Using the old formula of 220 minus age, a 40-year-old woman would achieve an average maximum heart rate of 180 beats per minute. That means her pulse should stay around 153 beats per minute during her workout to achieve a target heart rate of 85 percent.

But based on the new calculation, the same woman’s average maximum heart rate is 171 beats per minute, meaning her desired target heart rate is just 145 beats per minute, 8 beats a minute slower than under the old formula. Although the gap seems small on paper, it can be the difference between an exhilarating workout or a frustrating one that ends in exhaustion.


Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman -- Music of the Night

This video is like seeing Phantom of the Opera on Broadway:
No one can sing it like Michael Crawford.


Let 'em eat cake

From a Leonard Cohen song: "Looking through the paper just makes you cry. Nobody cares if the people live or die." That seems to be true of many Republicans in Congress who have voted down--TWICE--extension of unemployment benefits for those unable to find jobs in this terrible economy.

By Paul Krugman

We’re facing a coalition of the heartless, the clueless and the confused. Nothing can be done about the first group, and probably not much about the second. But maybe it’s possible to clear up some of the confusion.

By the heartless, I mean Republicans who have made the cynical calculation that blocking anything President Obama tries to do — including, or perhaps especially, anything that might alleviate the nation’s economic pain — improves their chances in the midterm elections. Don’t pretend to be shocked: you know they’re out there, and make up a large share of the G.O.P. caucus.

By the clueless I mean people like Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate for senator from Nevada, who has repeatedly insisted that the unemployed are deliberately choosing to stay jobless, so that they can keep collecting benefits.

Are Eastern Religions More Science-Friendly? Good Question.
My answer would be "Yes." This article seems to agree.

The interaction of Eastern spirituality and Western science has expanded methods of stress reduction, treatment of chronic disease, psychotherapy and other areas. But that is only part of the story. Hindu and Buddhist descriptions of higher stages of consciousness have expanded psychology's understanding of human development and inspired the formation of provocative new theories of consciousness itself. Their ancient philosophies have also influenced physicists, among them Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg and J. Robert Oppenheimer, who read from the Bhagavad Gita at a memorial service for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In his landmark TV series Cosmos, Carl Sagan called Hinduism the only religion whose time-scale for the universe matches the billions of years documented by modern science.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Little No. Korean girl guitar virtuoso

She can't be more than 7 or 8 (if that) -- she's a very gifted child. Here's the video:


Friday, July 02, 2010

I hope the Republicans keep Steele as chief of RNC

They're kind of stuck with him. If they get rid of him, it will look like racial prejudice; they have so few African-Americans in their party, as it is -- and even fewer still in leadership roles. Steele is an ideal representative for them. He so perfectly reflects the wayward, confused consciousness (and overall intelligence) of a great majority of  their party membership and its leaders.  I hope they keep him in this very public position forever.  (P.S. As a progressive Democrat, I happen to agree with Steele that we should get out of Afghanistan and should never have been there in the first place.  But even a broken clock gets the time right twice a day. Steele isn't quite as sharp or accurate as a broken clock, but in this instance he comes to the right conclusion, even though his historical references are, as usual, incorrect.)
Steele Says Get Out of Afghanistan
by Jason Sigger

From TPM, evidence that Michael Steele really has no right talking on behalf of the Republican National Committee or, in fact, any legitimate political organization that has any sense at all.

"The McChrystal incident, to me, was very comical. And I think it's a reflection of the frustration that a lot of our military leaders have with this Administration and their prosecution of the war in Afghanistan," said Steele. "Keep in mind again, federal candidates, this was a war of Obama's choosing. This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in."

Really?? Where was this guy in October 2001? Or for that matter, was he awake at any point in time between2001 and the end of 200? Really love this line also:

"Well, if [Obama is] such a student of history, has he not understood that you know that's the one thing you don't do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right, because everyone who has tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed. And there are reasons for that."

It's "never get involved in a land war in ASIA," asshole, a reference to Southeast Asia, not Central Asia. And is he seriously suggesting that the Republican position is to have our troops leave Afghanistan? as Obama's proposing to do starting in 2011? Michael Steele's spokesman later explained that Steele has also missed the numerous times where Obama has explained his strategy for Afghanistan. But hey, keep this good man at his post in the RNC. By the Republican politicians' silence, that must mean they endorse his idiotic comments. And that goes to show, once again, that the Republicans have absolutely no credibility discussing national security issues.