Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Republicans Lose New York Election Due to Medicare Cuts.

Democrat, Kathy Hochul (left) has won a special election in a district of upstate New York. It is a district that has only elected two Democrats since World War II. The hot issue that swung the district was the Republican plan to end Medicare, as we know it, and replace it with a voucher program. It is a program that would throw soon-to-be retirees into the whims of the private insurance market; and at a time in their lives when medical costs begin to add up. The controversial Republican plan seeks to phase out Medicare benefits for future generations, too.

Predictably, Republicans are trying to blame the loss on a Tea Party candidate, who they say, stole votes from the Republican candidate. However, the Republican candidate would still have lost, even if you gave all the Tea Party votes to the Republican. So, this is merely Republicans trying to polish a turd. A majority of Republicans in the House of Representatives voted for the plan to end Medicare, as we know it, and they will have to defend that plan in the 2012 elections. It's a big challenge for them because an over-whelming majority of Americans oppose the Republican plans.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chrysler Pays Back Government Loans.

(Photo Credit: Rebecca Cook/Reuters.com)

(Reuters) - Chrysler Group LLC on Tuesday paid back $7.6 billion in U.S. and Canadian government loans from its 2009 bailout. The repayment puts Chrysler on firmer financial ground and draws it closer to Fiat, two goals investors and bankers have said would make Chrysler more attractive in an initial public offering that could come this year or next. The automaker said it repaid the original loans in full, more than six years ahead of schedule. Under the original terms, Chrysler had until 2017 to repay the debt.

This is a big day for America, our manufacturing industry, unemployment and faith in our government. President Obama deserves a lot of credit for saving jobs, and this vital industry for the an entire region of America--the mid-west. It is a notable success in an era marked by jobs being mercilessly shipped overseas, which has been a direct result of Republican free trade policies. The president was tirelessly criticized by Republicans for reaching out to save the jobs of countless workers in the Mid-West via these loans; as well as part dealers around the country who rely upon a domestic auto industry.

Yet, Obama's decision was a wise decision for America. It was a gutsy call in the face of some withering attacks from his opponents on the conservative side of the aisle. Think of all the jobs that would have been added to our already large unemployment lines had President Obama not had the foresight to act. It is decisions like this (and the call to take out Osama) that show Obama knows how to make the tough decisions in an era that is anything but stable. He has been a calming, yet strong leader in uncertain times. If he's not deserving of re-election, then I'd hate to see the alternative!!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Newt Gingrich Dissed By Iowa Voter.

Newt Gingrich was the guy who led the Clinton impeachment while having his own sexual affair with another woman. Not exactly a vessel of morals. Now, he's crawled back out from under his rock to run for president. He's just not serious. He said would should have helped the humanitarian situation in Libya, but as soon as Obama went go on it, Gingrich switched to oppose him!! But, wait, there's more!!

He came out in 1993 in support of a mandate to buy health care by invoking the Republican ideal of personal responsibility. However, when Obama decided to build off of what Romney did in Massachusetts, and come up with a health care plan involving a mandate; suddenly Newt Gingrich was against it. But, now, he's gone too far, even for his fellow conservatives. He dared to oppose the Paul Ryan Republican budget plan for 2012, which turns Medicare into a private voucher system that wouldn't cover enough for seniors medical demands. Well, not long after, he ended up in the vital electoral state of Iowa and got an ear-full from a fellow Republican:
It's still too early to say, but if the Republican field for 2012 continues to look like this then President Obama will be a two-term president. Vote Obama in 2012!!

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Expand the Afghan War to End it???

Now that Osama bin Laden is dead, we should declare victory and leave Afghanistan. After ten long years, too many dead and oceans of money wasted, some still stubbornly say American should accelerate the war. This from ex-CIA official, Bruce Riedel:
It is fantasy to think we can target these terrorist networks in Pakistan without a base nearby in Afghanistan. The Arabian Sea is too far away. Cruise missiles don't work. We need Afghanistan for both drone operations and commando raids. Of course, Pakistani duplicity means we can't rely on them to disrupt al Qaeda. As the intelligence community examines bin Laden's laptop and other gear, the extent of that duplicity will become clearer. Well-informed Pakistani press accounts hint it will point very high into the army command. So, Bin Laden's demise is a victory, but the end of this conflict is not yet in sight. It is tempting to declare mission accomplished and run for the exit, but we know from bitter experience that pretending victory is at hand is a terrible delusion.
TPJ: The hawks never stop dreaming and planning war, do they? It's been ten years now, too many dead, trillions spent and there's no end in sight??? This "expert" seems to be suggesting an endless war and occupation of Afghanistan. He may as well have said we need to make it the next U.S. state!! Of course al-Qaeda will re-group but so do cockroaches. It doesn't mean we need a standing army of hundreds of thousands that requires buckets of money!! Other experts state that al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan have been whittled down to only a small group of hardcore fighters. In addition, much of al-Qaeda has splintered throughout the world, so unless we plan on declaring war on the countries who have these pockets then we should be leery of continuing this fight in Afghanistan.

As for Pakistan, is he suggesting we go to war with them, too? It sounds like it. If (according to his logic) we must stay in Afghanistan to fight the enablers of al-Qaeda in Pakistan then he's essentially saying we should be fighting a war with Pakistan, too!! If he's not suggesting we declare war on Pakistan then how are we supposed to stem the tide of the supposed masses of al-Qaeda streaming through Pakistan into Afghanistan? That makes no sense. I think it's better to withdrawal the vast majority of U.S. forces but keep a few bases just for drone attacks on specific, top leaders within al-Qaeda. We don't need to keep a ground force of hundreds of thousands anymore.

What's the point of killing these supposed hordes of al-Qaeda streaming through from Pakistan, if Pakistan is harboring them in the first place??? Thus, why, we should just declare victory and go home (except for some special forces and drones) because unless we are willing to declare war on Pakistan (which is stupid to even consider) then it's pointless to stay. Just fighting them in Afghanistan isn't going to end this so-called "resurgence" and Pakistan won't allow any more commando raids without striking back. The last thing we want is a war with the nuclear armed Pakistan. I also think we should use some of the money that we would have spent on ground forces to beef up first responders here at home.

They say the best offense is a good defense. I trust our CIA, FBI, police and other intelligence agencies to stop attacks here; they've had a good track record, so far. Besides, we'll never stop every, single, attack. To think otherwise is a denial of the imperfection of this world. If we can reduce them to small attacks on a very, very rare occasion then I think that's the best we can hope for without occupying the world.

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Libyan Rebels Take Key Town of Misurata. Seek to Reopen Airport.

Photo Credit: C.J. Chivers/The New York Times

Rebels in the contested western city of Misurata appeared close to seizing control of the airport from forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi on Wednesday, advancing on the sprawling facility in scores of trucks and battling pockets of Qaddafi soldiers holed up in terminal buildings.

TPJ: Taking and holding the key airport town in that North African country is a momentous victory, as Misurata has been surrounded and besieged by Gaddafi forces for months. And, if the airport can be held, fixed and maintained then airlifts can occur to bring in much needed humanitarian supplies and gasoline for maintaining their just cause of democratic freedom. If they can hold Misurata, then Tripoli and Gaddafi's base will soon be in sight, and hopefully, victory will soon follow. If the rebels and NATO forces can keep up the attacks then it's possible we could see an end to the majority of hostilities by the end of the summer.

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Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Rise of the Osama bin Laden Conspiracies.

Article quoted by Josh Dzieza for The Daily Beast:

Birthers who claimed President Obama was not born in the U.S. have moved on to another wild conspiracy theory: that Osama bin Laden was not really killed last Sunday—or was killed to shut him up, and then quickly buried at sea.

TPJ: The "Deathers" who have graduated from "Birthers" are like vultures. The death of Osama gives the "Birthers" a new conspiracy nut-land for them to play in. Wake up and smell the reality!! For a developed country, we sure have a lot of dumb and gullible people. If Osama isn't dead and his compound wasn't raided, then where did the "treasure trove" of information they captured from his compound come from?

These people will never believe our president is legitimate because it's easier for them to believe that, than believe that a man who doesn't look like any of our previous presidents, nor has an European based name, could be our president. They see him as a reminder that their, "white bread" "Leave it to Beaver" world is dissipating. So, they are clinging to the memories of that period in an attempt to deny the new face of America.

Some of it is race related but I don't think a lot of the racist thinking is even conscious, and that is another reason why I think people are trying to find some other reason to make him illegitimate. They don't want to admit to themselves that maybe they have problems with his race. Thus, instead of admitting that they need to change, they try and pin all kinds of false charges to Obama, so they don't have to change and adapt.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Quote Debunking the Myth that Water Boarding Led to Finding Osama bin Laden.

To those who think water-boarding was what got us the information to Osama's location, consider this quote: "The bottom line is this: If we had some kind of smoking-gun intelligence from water-boarding in 2003, we would have taken out Osama bin Laden in 2003,” said Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council" (see longer post yesterday on this topic).

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Did Water-Boarding Gain Information Leading to Osama bin Laden?

Water-boarding Khalid Shaikh Mohammad (who was the principle architect of 9/11) isn't what got us the name of the courier who then led us to Bin Laden. The intelligence officers who were at Guantanamo Bay military prison say that it wasn't until long after water-boarding (torture) stopped that KSM started talking.

The name of the courier came only after they captured other detainees, who told intelligence officials. When the interrogators asked KSM about that couriers name, he denied knowing the name!! It was his denial that made intelligence officials suspicious; because if all the underlings were talking about this courier, then there must be something to it. Water-boarding had nothing to do with learning the identity of the courier.

Donald Rumsfeld himself, the Secretary of Defense under W. Bush said that waterboarding had nothing to do with the evidence that lead to finding Osama bin Laden:

"The United States Department of Defense did not do waterboarding for interrogation purposes to anyone. It is true that some information that came from normal interrogation approaches at Guantanamo did lead to information that was beneficial in this instance. But it was not harsh treatment and it was not waterboarding."

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Monday, May 02, 2011

Obama vs. Bush on Osama bin Laden.

"I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him [Osama bin Laden]." ~ President George W. Bush (March 13, 2002)

Of course, I would never say that Bush didn't want Osama brought to justice or that he didn't try. However, it was obvious that he was trying to deflect attention from his administration's failure by trying to say Osama wasn't important any longer. He was too obsessed with Iraq and taking out Saddam Hussein, who didn't have anything to do with the attacks on the U.S. by al-Qaeda on September 11th 2001.

"If the United States has al Qaeda, (Osama) bin Laden, top-level lieutenants in our sights, and if Pakistan is unable or unwilling to act, then we should take them out." ~President Barack Obama (September 26, 2008).

Handsome B. Wonderful: The vast majority of the credit for the death of Osama bin Laden goes to our military, and especially our special forces. However, President Obama deserves credit, as well, for getting the job done that the previous administration couldn't. He made getting Osama a campaign pledge in the 2008 election and last night he was able to fulfill that promise. It will also help insulate him from charges (in his upcoming re-election) by Republicans that he isn't a strong president to protect America. This will be one of the defining accomplishments of his presidency.

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Sunday, May 01, 2011

Obama Got Osama!!!

Obama and our kick ass military got Osama!! Osama bin Laden is dead, and it was a Democrat who got it done. Who's weak on terror now, Republicans??? Bush couldn't do it while gallivanting off in the sands of Iraq but it was the first African-American president in the country's history to take down the baddest badman in the first half of the 21st century. So, do you still wanna talk about his birth certificate, asshole??? We not only killed his ass but also have custody of his body for DNA tests.

It's gonna suck for a Republican presidential candidate in 2012 to try and frame Obama as a president weak on terrorism. Think about it, Obama has used more drone attacks than Bush, and in the end, Obama got the job done. This will have a massive, psychological blow to the Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters. I'm sure it's given our brave men and women a huge sense of victory and accomplishment. So, let's declare victory in Afghanistan and BRING THEM HOME!!!