The Last Of The Millenniums

Just because it always has been, doesn't mean it always will be

Archive for the day “December 14, 2012”

On the Second Day Of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me…….

second day of christmas


“Oh Charles. Two Turtle Doves. More birds.”

“Yes my dear. Showing my love for you has taken wings”.

“?”

This year, as last, two Turtle Doves will cost $125.00.

•Partridge, $15; last year: same

•Pear tree, $189.99; last year: 169.99

•Two turtle doves, $125; last year: same

Total costs of Two Days Of Christmas is now $329.99 and again does not include shipping and handling and care and feeding.

 

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What is wrong with the Republican Party – ‘Obama ‘May Decide To Go Blow Up Small Countries’ For Fun, Norquist Predicts’

grover4

Please keep listening to people like this Republicans.

The unelected ‘leaders’ of your Republican Party.

He and others like him are why you lost the last election and why you are so uninfrmed.

‘It is noteworthy that Norquist says “we” when referring to the Congressional Republicans. This would seem to conflict with his group’s frequent claim that it is a “a non-partisan coalition of taxpayers and taxpayer groups who oppose all tax increases.”

‘Although a growing number Republicans are distancing themselves from the Americans for Tax Reform anti-tax pledge, Grover Norquist is confident that Congressional Republicans will force massive cuts to government programs, rather than accept any tax increases’.

‘On Thursday, he vowed to stymie President Obama’s agenda so much that the administration will have nothing left to do but launch an unnecessary war’.

NORQUIST: “We got lots of things Obama claims to be for, and we will make — we, the Republicans in the House and Senate — will make him actually make those spending restraints, in order to get the continuing resolution out [for] a week, two weeks, a month. Obama will be on a very short leash, fiscally speaking, over the next four years. He’s not gonna have any fun at all. He may decide to go blow up small countries he can’t pronounce because it won’t be any fun to be here, because he won’t be able to spend the kind of cash he was hoping to”.
From : http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/12/13/1327631/norquist-obama-may-decide-to-go-blow-up-small-countries/?mobile=nc

 

Why America Is Failing – ‘Speaker Boehner Doesn’t Understand The Debt Ceiling, But Takes It Hostage Anyway’

debt ceiling

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) :

“Do you think there is any chance that Senator Reid or then-Senator Obama would have done that? Zero. Congress is never going to give up our ability to control the purse. And the fact is that the debt limit ought to be used to bring fiscal sanity to Washington D.C”.

‘The debt ceiling does not restrict spending in any way; it merely ensures that the U.S. will actually pay for spending that Congress has already authorized’.

‘As the Government Accountability Office explained, “The debt limit does not control or limit the ability of the federal government to run deficits or incur obligations. Rather, it is a limit on the ability to pay obligations already incurred.”

“We’ve already voted on spending and revenue, and so the debt ceiling is just a confirmation of what we voted on,” said Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)’

‘But Boehner’s fundamental misunderstanding of the debt ceiling (or his willingness to publicly lie about what it does) did not stop him from taking it hostage and threatening to use it to impose his version of “fiscal sanity.”

‘Last year’s debt ceiling debacle ultimately will cost taxpayers $18.9 billion due to the elevated interest rates on U.S. debt issued during that period’.
From : http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/12/13/1330251/boehner-debt-ceiling-understand/

Blog Running – Why America Is Failing – ‘A memo to journalists on the fiscal cliff’

rep. hold debt ceiling hostage

My own personal view is that between the failure of our ‘press’ in actually informing the public, the public’s apathy and the money in politics that goes beyond ‘influence’ to just ‘buying’ politicians and legislation, we as a Country are on a road to failure.

Politicans tell us what we want to hear (or hope to hear) rather then telling us the truth.

And we believe them.

The bottom line in this op-ed is are you content to say take a cut in your medicare so that a CEO of a corporation can pay less in taxes?

Great, Great piece over at Hullabaloo by David Atkins :

‘Reporting on the fiscal cliff tends to follow a standard pattern: negotiations toward an agreement are considered “progress” and “moving forward.” Negotiations away from an agreement are considered “stalled” or a “step back.” The argument is presented as a negotiation in which both sides are encouraged “to give something up”, with tax increases being the sacred cow on the Republican side and benefits the sticking point on the Democratic side’.

‘So the public gets fed a constant line about Democrats and Republicans being too childish to act in the best interests of the nation to “move forward” toward a deal’.

‘Taken completely out of context, that sort of reporting might be excusable. In context, however, it’s a travesty’.

‘The crucial context here is income inequality. Corporate profits and income inequality are at record highs while median incomes are abysmally low. Unemployment is still ridiculously high given the glut of cash held in corporate coffers. The minimum wage hasn’t been indexed to inflation in years. Median income in the United States is at its lowest point since 1969. The stock market sits above 13,100 as of this writing, a statistic considered good news to those with investments, but outrageous and offensive to working people struggling to get by given the unemployment and underemployment rate’.

‘Any story about who should “sacrifice” given these realities must contain this context, or the journalist tells a gross lie of omission. When the poor and elderly on fixed incomes are asked to give up needed benefits in exchange for pittance tax increases on the wealthy, it’s not a fair trade. It’s not even close to a fair trade’.

‘Good journalism tells the truth by providing context. The journalist needn’t even dwell on whether deficit cutting is even an intelligent move given economic conditions. The journalist need only provide the barest glimmer of the record-setting economic realities at play’.
From : http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/a-memo-to-journalists-on-fiscal-cliff.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

 

What is wrong with the Republican Party – ‘Steve King: I Don’t Know What Happened In Benghazi But It’s Worse Than Watergate’

steve king

Stupidity on steroids.

On October 18, 2012 –

October 18: “Rep. Peter King undercuts two right-wing talking points on Benghazi, both acknowledging that Obama referred to Benghazi as an “act of terror” in his Sept. 12 speech and that he “didn’t expect” Obama to have the full story the day after the attack”.

December 13, 2012 –

‘Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has no idea what happened in Benghazi but he does know that it’s worse than Watergate and the Iran-Contra scandal times 10’.

“I believe that it’s a lot bigger than Watergate, and if you link Watergate and Iran-Contra together and multiply it times maybe 10 or so, you’re going to get in the zone where Benghazi is,” Mr. King said. “I don’t think the public has any idea, and I tell you, I don’t either, of the chronology of the events — what took place, and who was where doing what and why”.
From : http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/12/13/1328721/steve-king-benghazi-watergate/?mobile=nc

Google can be your friend Rep. Steve King………

September 11, 2012: Protests take place at the U.S. embassy in Cairo. The anger was reportedly sparked by a video, purported to be the trailer of a full-length movie, called “The Innocence of Muslims,” that portrayed Islam in a highly negative and derogatory light. This demonstration will soon spread to other cities throughout the Middle East, including Khartoum, Sanaa and Tunis.

September 11: Dozens of armed militants launch an attack on an American diplomatic outpost in the Libyan city Benghazi.

September 11: Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign issues a statement condemning the Obama administration’s response to the global protests:

ROMNEY: “I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”

September 12: Initial reports surface that Ambassador Chris Stevens has been killed, along with other American citizens. The story of how continues to shift throughout day as details emerge.

September 12: In the immediate aftermath of news of Ambassador Stevens’ death, Republicans criticized the Romney campaign’s statement. But the campaign stuck to its attack. When asked about the statement, Romney foreign policy advisor Richard Williamson, replied, “It was accurate.”

September 12: The New York Times reports that “[f]ighters involved in the assault…said in interviews during the battle that they were moved to attack the mission by anger over a 14-minute, American-made video that depicted the Prophet Muhammad, Islam’s founder, as a villainous, homosexual and child-molesting buffoon.” The Times continues to stand by its story.

September 12: President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton give remarks on the death of Ambassador Stevens and others. Both pledge justice against the perpetrators of the attacks. In his speech, Obama refers to the attack as an “act of terror”:

OBAMA: No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.

September 13: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says during a press briefing and a later press gaggle that the protests around the world were due to reaction to the video. In the gaggle, Carney made clear he didn’t want to speculate in light of the ongoing investigation. His remarks were later taken to mean that the Benghazi attack was based on video.

September 13: President Obama, at a campaign rally in Denver, CO, reiterates the previous day’s statement, referring to the events in Benghazi as an act of terror:

OBAMA: So what I want all of you to know is that we are going to bring those who killed our fellow Americans to justice. I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished. It will not dim the light of the values that we proudly present to the rest of the world. No act of violence shakes the resolve of the United States of America.

September 16: United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice goes on all five major Sunday news shows to explain current administration thinking on the Benghazi attack. During her statements, Rice says that the attacks were in part a response to the anti-Islam video that had spurred protests across the region. But, contrary to the popular narrative, Rice did not give a definitive answer as to what exactly took place in Benghazi, for example, in her appearance on ABC’s This Week:

RICE: [O]ur current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous — not a premeditated — response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.

We believe that folks in Benghazi, a small number of people came to the embassy to — or to the consulate, rather, to replicate the sort of challenge that was posed in Cairo. And then as that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons, weapons that as you know in — in the wake of the revolution in Libya are — are quite common and accessible. And it then evolved from there.

We’ll wait to see exactly what the investigation finally confirms, but that’s the best information we have at present.

September 19: National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen calls the assault in Benghazi an “opportunistic attack” in testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. “I would say yes, they were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy,” he said.

September 19: CNN reports that Ambassador Stevens remained concerned about security in Libya in the months before his death. CNN’s reporting is later revealed to be based on finding Stevens’ personal journal in the Benghazi site’s wreckage.

September 20: CBS reports that Libyan witnesses maintain that there were no protests immediately prior to the attack on the outpost in Benghazi. The statement contradicts Rice’s statements on the Sunday morning shows that the attack was sparked by the Cairo protest against the anti-Muslim video.

September 20: Fox News begins pushing the idea that the administration’s shift in narrative on the Benghazi attack is a “cover-up,” first on Sean Hannity’s show, then elsewhere.

September 21: Clinton appoints an independent panel, led by veteran diplomat Thomas Pickering, to investigate potential failures in the State Department’s procedures in Benghazi.

September 21: Citizens in Benghazi protest against the militias based in their city, culminating in the expulsion of the Ansar al-Sharia militia — the group suspected of the attack that killed Ambassador Stevens — from their headquarters.

September 24: President Obama speaks before the U.N. General Assembly on the need to protect freedom of speech. Right-wing commentators later criticize the President for focusing on the video rather than terrorism.

September 26: The Daily Beast reports that some U.S. intelligence officials had “strong indications” that the Benghazi attack was perpetrated by al-Qaeda affiliated groups just 24 hours after the assault — providing fuel to the “cover up” narrative.

October 18: Mary Commanday, the mother of slain U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, tells CBS News that she doesn’t believe blaming the government for her son’s death is appropriate. “I don’t think it’s productive to lay blame on people.”

October 18: Rep. Peter King undercuts two right-wing talking points on Benghazi, both acknowledging that Obama referred to Benghazi as an “act of terror” in his Sept. 12 speech and that he “didn’t expect” Obama to have the full story the day after the attack.

October 18: In a new account, the Wall Street Journal reports that newly gained data cast doubt over the talking points the intelligence community had provided to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice while she was making her Sept. 16 appearances on several Sunday morning news shows:

Despite their growing uncertainty, intelligence officials didn’t feel they had enough conclusive, new information to revise their assessment. Ms. Rice wasn’t warned of their new doubts before she went on the air the next morning and spoke of the attacks being spurred by demonstrations, intelligence officials acknowledged.

More information casting doubt on the protest element came in on Sunday morning, around the time that Ms. Rice was completing her TV appearances, the officials said. She began taping the shows early Sunday morning. By the time intelligence analysts began to realize “there’s enough here to build a body of evidence that there probably were not protests, those things were already recorded and she [Ms. Rice] was already out there,” a senior intelligence official said.

The Obama administration would be hammered for weeks on Rice’s statements.

October 18: Ahmed Abu Khattab — a leader in the Ansar al-Sharia militia suspected by the Libyan and U.S. governments of taking part in the attack — meets with Reuters and New York Times reporters in Benghazi. During their interview, he indicates that, while he did not take part in the attack, it was in response to the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ video.

October 19: Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera and Peter Doocy both report that the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ video may have had something to do with the Benghazi assault. Their statements are the first on Fox News to veer from the narrative attacking the administration’s early statements.

October 20: The LA Times and Washington Post both publish articles critical of a simplified narrative surrounding Benghazi. In the former, intelligence officials are quoted as saying that the Sept. 11 assault was spontaneous, was not ordered by al Qaeda, and was in response to the video. In the latter, columnist David Ignatius confirms that the CIA provided the talking points for the administration and Congress on their initial beliefs regarding causes of the Benghazi attack, including that it stemmed from a protest.

October 21: Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in a CNN interview praised Romney’s response to the attack in Benghazi, saying that it closely mirrored Ronald Reagan’s to the Iranian hostage crisis. He is wrong on both counts.

October 22: The Wall Street Journal reports that President Obama was told in his daily intelligence briefing for over a week that the attack in Benghazi grew out of a protest. The lag tracks with earlier reporting indicating a delay in the intelligence community revising earlier assessments of the causes of the attack.

October 22: President Obama once again addresses Libya at the final presidential debate, saying, “with respect to Libya, as I indicated in the last debate, when we received that phone call, I immediately made sure that, number one, that we did everything we could to secure those Americans who were still in harm’s way.”

October 24 and 25: Reuters reports on a State Department email which said that Ansar Al-Sharia claimed responsibility for the Benghazi assault on its Facebook page. Fox News host Greta Van Susteren says the email proves the Obama administration lied about what they knew after the attack. But Aaron Zelin, an expert on terrorist groups, discredits the theory, “Zelin, who said his RSS feed sends him any new statement from the group, provided CNN with a copy of [his RSS] feed. It shows no Facebook update between September 8 and September 12, when a posting late that afternoon first referenced the attack.”

October 26: Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera begs Fox News to “stop this politicizing” of the Benghazi attack.

October 26: Fox News, citing anonymous sources, says the CIA staff in Benghazi was told to “stand down” and to not provide help to the U.S. diplomatic mission there. The story, which the L.A. Times would later discredit, inspires bizarre right-wing theories.
From : http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/10/15/1014241/timline-benghazi-attack/?mobile=nc

The December 21, 2012 Watch – The ‘missed it by that much’ Edition – ‘Game Over – Quakes, asteroids, mass extinction — when the end comes, will it come from below, above or within’?

20122

Just heard there is going to be a ‘Walking Dead’ marathon on AMC on New Years Eve and Day.

Of course that’s after Dec. 21 but then so is the asteroid Apophis. That’s in 2029.

Close only counts in Horseshoes, Hand grenades and Theromnuclear devices.

Not in the ‘end of the World’.

‘The ancient Mayans, who knew what they were doing sky-wise, kept a long-form calendar based on the movement of the planets’.

‘The calendar stops abruptly at the date December 21, 2012, the winter solstice, as if they couldn’t be bothered to track out the remaining days because there would be none’.

‘With that in mind, I visit NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena to seek wisdom from Don Yeomans, director of the Near-Earth Object Program’.

‘I ask him what the probability is that a large asteroid will hit Earth and kill us all’.

“Slim to none,” says Yeomans, who has been studying comets and asteroids for more than 40 years’.

‘For instance, there’s a big chance (“About 3 percent,” says Yeomans, “which is huge!”) we’ll get hit by the asteroid Apophis, – on April 13, 2029’.
From : http://www.december212012.com/articles/end/game_over.htm

 

Blog Running – What is wrong with the Republican Party – ‘How much longer can Republicans ignore public opinion’?

rep ignore public opinion

A great piece by Greg Sargent over at WaPo.

‘That isn’t meant as a rhetorical question. I’d genuinely like to know whether Republicans are grappling with it, and how’.

‘That’s because the GOP finds itself trapped in a contradiction that will require that question to be dealt with sooner or later’.

‘The new Pew poll drives this home. It confirms again that Dems hold the middle ground in the fiscal cliff battle’.

‘But it goes further’.

‘Majorities broadly sees the Democratic Party as in line with their priorities on many issues and with their basic sense of how government should solve our problems’.

‘The Pew poll finds Dems with significant leads on many other domestic issues, like education, energy, health care, and Social Security’.

‘And Republicans are so dedicated to seeing deep (and unpopular) entitlement cuts that they are preparing a showdown over the debt ceiling to achieve them’.

‘By 53-33, Americans see the GOP as “more extreme in its positions,” while Dems are seen as more willing to work with the other party by 53-37’.

‘Fifty five percent say Obama is seriously trying to work with Republicans, while 32 percent say GOPers are trying to work with the President’.

‘There’s rising support for the Dem solution to the fiscal mess — a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts — which is now up to 74 percent’.

‘Big majorities oppose specific spending cuts — such as cuts to education and infrastructure — and oppose raising the retirement age on entitlements’.

‘Some of the party’s most sacred principles lead to positions that are deeply unpopular’.

‘At the same time, many individual GOP lawmakers have clear incentives to continue to hold those positions’.

‘They come from safe districts where majorities agree with them, and standing behind them earns praise from conservative interest groups and media’.

‘Yet those positions — and their underlying principles — are damaging the party as a whole. Regular association with them may be increasingly damaging the party’s “brand” — Republicans lost the election in part because they were seen as patrons of the wealthy — and they constrain the party from reaching the compromise with Dems the public overwhelmingly wants, hurting its overall image further still’.

‘Yet individual GOP lawmakers continue to have strong incentives to stick with an increasingly unpopular overall posture’:

‘That we should sooner cut deeply into cherished government programs that benefit millions and millions of Americans in order to avoid raising tax rates on the top 2 percent’.
From : http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2012/12/13/how-much-longer-can-republicans-ignore-public-opinion/

 

Why America Is Failing – ‘Voters Throw Bums In While Holding Congress in Disdain’

congress ratings

‘Nine in 10 members of the U.S. House and Senate who sought new terms in office this year were successful, improving their record for re-election even as public approval of Congress sank to all-time lows’.

‘The BGOV Barometer shows that 90 percent of House members and 91 percent of senators who sought re-election in 2012 were successful, exceeding the incumbent re-election rates of 2010, when 85 percent of House members and 84 percent of senators seeking re-election were successful’.

‘For senators, this year’s re-election percentage was the highest since 2004’.

‘Voters were more likely to return their own representatives to office even though the public had a dim view of the legislative branch as a whole’.

‘Congress had a 21 percent approval rating on Oct. 15-16 after reaching all-time lows of 10 percent in February and August, according to Gallup polls’.

‘Just 10 percent of Americans said that members of Congress have high or very high honesty and ethical standards, according to Gallup data for Nov. 26-29’.
From : http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-13/voters-throw-bums-in-while-disdaining-congress-bgov-barometer.html

 

What is wrong with the Republican Party – ‘GOP Threatens To Hold Disaster Relief Hostage To Spending Cuts — Again’

disaster spending

I can not find ANYWHERE that Eric Cantor or the Republicans DEMANDED offsetting spending cuts when we ‘borrowed’ to invade Afghanistan. Or when we invaded Irag.

So when we INVADE other Countries – it’s ok to ‘borrow’.

But if the citizens of OUR Nation need help – we have to cut spending in other social programs.

Wonderful ‘values’ you have.

‘A day after Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) called disaster relief
for Hurricane Sandy “wasteful spending,” Reps. Cynthia Lummis
(R-WY), Steve King (R-IA), Raul Labrador (R-ID), and Jeff Landry
(R-LA), all from the more conservative wing of the House GOP,
told The Hill that they will demand offsets for disaster
spending’:

‘Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), who sits on the Appropriations
Committee, said she will need to see offsets on Wednesday as did
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho)’.

“We have these emergencies every year and we should prepare for
that in our budget,” Labrador said.

“No pun intended, we should have a rainy day fund,” Rep. Jeff
Landry (R-La.) said.

‘Since the GOP took over the House in 2010, it has routinely
made such demands’.

‘House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) promised to block
disaster funding in the wake of tornadoes that devastated
Missouri, an earthquake that hit his own state, and Hurricane
Irene’.

‘House Republicans also cut disaster relief funding in a 2011
spending measure and cut it this year to preserve military
spending’.

‘The GOP also reneged on a deal it struck with Democrats to make
emergency disaster relief funding easier in the future’.

Update
‘Politico reports that other Republicans, like Sen. Tom Coburn
(R-OK), want spending offsets for disaster relief’:

“This country can’t continue spending money that they don’t
have,” said Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). “So rather than go borrow
the money, we ought to say, ‘What’s a lower priority than
helping the people of Sandy?’ And that’s how we ought to do it.”

‘Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) told Politico, “Anything needs to be
offset right now.”

‘And Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) added, “If you look at what we’ve
pushed for in the past, it’s to properly fund for disasters and
when we fund for disasters, we also control spending in other
places. We can’t give up our desire to control spending on any
front.”
From :
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/12/13/1327511/gop-threaten
s-to-hold-disaster-relief-hostage-to-spending-cuts-again/

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