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Archive for May 6th, 2011

George Washington, Brewer Patriot

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 6th, 2011 4:47 am by HL

George Washington, Brewer Patriot
George Washington’s recipe for making beer has been brewed by the Coney Island Brewing company and will be sampled at the New York Public Library, which holds the document on which he wrote it as a member of the Virginia militia in 1757. The beer’s been called Fortitude’s Founding Father Brew

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 6th, 2011 4:46 am by HL

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
New Deal, meet Same old Story

pic via Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com at flickr.com

How’s the GOP House doing on prioritizing that?

The House of Representatives approved a measure on Wednesday to broaden a ban on federal funding of abortion and deny tax breaks for health plans that include abortion services.

Well, it does redefine rape, yes it’s really offensive and disgusting to do so, but maybe there’s jobs in that, at least in the dictionaries industry?

How about the Republican Presidential Candidates displaying themselves (like mandrills) last night?

The five men on the stage in Greenville: Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, former Godfathers Pizza CEO and radio talk show host Herman Cain and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

So, four out of five are unemployed. That’s inspiring.

Late Late Night FDL: Slow Blues
James CottonSlow Blues.

James CottonSlow Blues.

What’s on your mind?

International Terrorism

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 6th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

International Terrorism

By Kap, Spain

Related Entries

Mike Causey: Would Shutdown Have Led to Bin Laden’s Escape?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 6th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Mike Causey: Would Shutdown Have Led to Bin Laden’s Escape?
What would the take-down of Osama bin Laden, one of the most successful-ever U.S. intelligence/military operations, have been like if the government had been in a shutdown mode, running on half power?

First Republican Presidential Debate Pulled Off Course
GREENVILLE, S.C. — It may have been the moment when former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson extended his riff about how his reality TV show…

David Murray: Vital Speeches Editor Searches Phoenix Garage, and Finds Us
I can’t put my finger on why — or maybe I don’t dare to — but I did think of these surprisingly sharp, surprisingly soon postwar words during the mindless chants this week in baseball parks of U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.

Janet Walsh: Americans Value Moms, But Policies Don’t
If the average American will spend $141 on Mother’s Day gifts, is it really so hard to imagine joining the ranks of almost all other countries by guaranteeing paid family leave under law?

Ignoring Facts, Right-Wing Media Rushes To Congratulate Bush On Bin Laden’s Death

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 6th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Ignoring Facts, Right-Wing Media Rushes To Congratulate Bush On Bin Laden’s Death

Media conservatives are insisting that George W. Bush deserves as much credit as President Obama for the death of Osama Bin Laden, if not more. However, making this argument means ignoring what the Bush administration itself reportedly called its “gravest error” — not capturing bin Laden at Tora Bora in 2001 — and Bush’s 2002 statement that he was “not concerned” about bin Laden.

Conservative Media Credits Bush For Death Of Bin Laden

Hannity: “There Was No Way This Would Have Happened, But For The Policies Of George W. Bush.” [Fox News, Hannity, 5/4/11, via Nexis]

Karl Rove: “Important Policy Decisions Made Under Bush” Made Bin Laden’s Death Possible. [Fox News, Hannity, 5/3/11, via Nexis]

Washington Times’ Brett Decker: “Bin Laden’s Death Is More Mr. Bush’s Victory Than Mr. Obama’s.” [The Washington Times, 5/2/11]

Fox’s Bolling: “Thank GWB For This Not BHO!” From a May 2 post on Fox Business host Eric Bolling’s Twitter feed:

[Twitter, 5/2/11]

Bolling later posted a follow-up “correction” on Twitter, writing: “correction.. thank The men and women who risked and lost their lives and GWB…not BHO.” [Twitter; 5/2/11]

But It Was Obama Who Made Finding Bin Laden A Top Priority …

Obama: “Shortly After Taking Office, I Directed … The Director Of The CIA To Make The Killing Or Capture Of Bin Laden The Top Priority.” From the speech Obama delivered on May 1, announcing the death of Osama Bin Laden:

OBAMA: And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network. [WhiteHouse.gov, 5/2/11]

CNN In 2008: Obama “Wants To Renew The U.S. Committing To Finding … Bin Laden.” From a November 12, 2008, article on CNN.com:

President-elect Barack Obama wants to renew the U.S. commitment to finding al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, according to his national security advisers.

The Obama team believes the Bush administration has downplayed the importance of catching the FBI’s most-wanted terrorist because it has not been able to find him.

“We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority,” Obama said during the presidential debate on October 7. [CNN.com, 11/12/08]

… And Not Bush

Bush In 2002: “I Truly Am Not Concerned About” Bin Laden. From a March 14, 2002, Reuters article titled, “Bin Laden not a concern: Bush”:

After focusing on bin Laden in the weeks immediately after more than 3,000 people died when hijackers piloted passenger jets into the Pentagon, New York’s World Trade Center and a Pennsylvania field, Bush now rarely mentions bin Laden by name.

“I don’t know where he is … deep in my heart I know the man is on the run, if he’s alive at all,” Bush said.

Bush said lately he “hadn’t heard much” from bin Laden. In the past, the Islamic dissident the Taliban sheltered in Afghanistan has been seen on tape.

The president dismissed the idea that bin Laden is “at the centre of any command structure.”

“I truly am not that concerned about him … I was concerned about him when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban.” [Reuters, 3/14/02, accessed via Nexis]

NY Times: In 2006, CIA Closed The Unit Dedicated To Hunting Bin Laden. From a July 4, 2006, New York Times article:

 The Central Intelligence Agency has closed a unit that for a decade had the mission of hunting Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants, intelligence officials confirmed Monday.

The unit, known as Alec Station, was disbanded late last year and its analysts reassigned within the C.I.A. Counterterrorist Center, the officials said.

The decision is a milestone for the agency, which formed the unit before Osama bin Laden became a household name and bolstered its ranks after the Sept. 11 attacks, when President Bush pledged to bring Mr. bin Laden to justice “dead or alive.”

The realignment reflects a view that Al Qaeda is no longer as hierarchical as it once was, intelligence officials said, and a growing concern about Qaeda-inspired groups that have begun carrying out attacks independent of Mr. bin Laden and his top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri. [The New York Times, 7/4/06]

And It Was Obama Who Brought Bin Laden To Justice

Obama: “The United States Has Conducted An Operation That Killed Osama Bin Laden.” From the speech Obama delivered on May 1, announcing the death of Osama Bin Laden:

Good evening.  Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.


Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden.  It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground.  I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan.  And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability.  No Americans were harmed.  They took care to avoid civilian casualties.  After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body. [WhiteHouse.gov, 5/2/11

Whereas Bush Made The “Gravest Error” In Failing To Hunt Bin Laden In Tora Bora

Washington Post: Bush Administration Concluded That “Failure To Commit U.S. Ground Troops To Hunt” Bin Laden “Was Its Gravest Error In The War Against Al Qaeda.” From an April 17, 2002, Washington Post article:

The Bush administration has concluded that Osama bin Laden was present during the battle for Tora Bora late last year and that failure to commit U.S. ground troops to hunt him was its gravest error in the war against al Qaeda, according to civilian and military officials with first-hand knowledge.

Intelligence officials have assembled what they believe to be decisive evidence, from contemporary and subsequent interrogations and intercepted communications, that bin Laden began the battle of Tora Bora inside the cave complex along Afghanistan’s mountainous eastern border. Though there remains a remote chance that he died there, the intelligence community is persuaded that bin Laden slipped away in the first 10 days of December. [The Washington Post, 4/17/02]

NYT: Bush Administration Denied Brigadier General’s Request For More Troops In Tora Bora. From a September 11, 2005, New York Times article:

The American bombardment of Tora Bora, which had been going on for a month, yielded to saturation airstrikes on Nov. 30 in anticipation of the ground war. Hundreds of civilians died that weekend, along with a number of Afghan fighters, according to Hajji Zaman, who had already dispatched tribal elders from the region to plead with bin Laden’s commanders to abandon Tora Bora. Three days later, on Dec. 3, in one of the war’s more shambolic moments, Hazarat Ali announced that the ground offensive would begin. Word quickly spread through the villages and towns, and hundreds of ill-prepared men rushed to the mountain’s base. The timing of the call to war was so unexpected that Hajji Zahir, one of its three lead commanders, told journalists at the time that he nearly slept through it.

On a map, it was little more than a mile from the bottom of the White Mountains to the first tier of the Qaeda caves, but the snow was thick and the slopes were steep and, for the Afghan fighters, it was a three-hour climb. They were ambushed nearly as soon as they arrived. The battle lasted for only 10 minutes before bin Laden’s fighters disappeared up the slope and the Afghans limped away. Over the coming days, a pattern would emerge: the Afghans would strike, then retreat. On some occasions, a cave would change hands twice in one day. It was only on the third day of the battle that the three dozen Special Forces troops arrived. But their mission was strictly limited to assisting and advising and calling in air strikes, according to the orders of Gen. Tommy Franks, the head of U.S. Central Command, who was running the war from his headquarters in Tampa, Fla.

Even after the arrival of the Special Forces, the Afghan militias were making little headway in their efforts to assault the Qaeda caves – largely as a result of heavier resistance than they had expected – despite having launched simultaneous attacks from the east, west and north. They had sent none of their forces to the south, where the highest peaks of the White Mountains are bisected by the border with Pakistan. The commanders, according to news reports, argued vehemently among themselves on what the conditions on the southern side of the mountain were: some insisted it was uncrossable, closed in by snow; other commanders were far less sure.

By now, the Taliban’s stronghold in Kandahar had fallen or, more correctly, had been abandoned by the soldiers of the regime. The Taliban retreat from Kandahar was emblematic of the war. None of Afghanistan’s cities had been won by force alone. Taliban fighters, after intense bombing, had simply made strategic withdrawals. A number of American officers were now convinced that this was about to happen at Tora Bora, too.

One of them was Brig. Gen. James N. Mattis, the commander of some 4,000 marines who had arrived in the Afghan theater by now. Mattis, along with another officer with whom I spoke, was convinced that with these numbers he could have surrounded and sealed off bin Laden’s lair, as well as deployed troops to the most sensitive portions of the largely unpatrolled border with Pakistan. He argued strongly that he should be permitted to proceed to the Tora Bora caves. The general was turned down. An American intelligence official told me that the Bush administration later concluded that the refusal of Centcom to dispatch the marines – along with their failure to commit U.S. ground forces to Afghanistan generally – was the gravest error of the war. [The New York Times, 9/11/05]

New Satellite Photos Show Bin Laden Compound, Downed Helicopter

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 6th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

New Satellite Photos Show Bin Laden Compound, Downed Helicopter
Images taken just hours after the special forces raid that killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden capture the heavily fortified compound, as well as a downed U.S. helicopter. The images, published by GeoEye, were collected by the IKONOS satellite…

Presented By:

NRA Drops Law Firm For Backing Out Of DOMA Defense
The National Rifle Association is dropping the law firm King & Spalding as an outside counsel due to its decision to withdraw from representing House Republicans in support of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)….

Donald Trump’s Guide to Business Ethics

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 6th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Donald Trump’s Guide to Business Ethics
This was mostly finished before bin Laden was killed and wiped ‘The Donald’ off the Big Media radar. But I thought I’d post it anyway, before this pompous fraud descends to the obscurity he ‘richly’ deserves.

No Respect for Roemer

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 6th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

No Respect for Roemer
Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer (R) paid the $25,000 fee to appear in last night’s Republican presidential debate “but was still rejected by Fox News and the South Carolina GOP because he had not registered 1 percent approval in recent polls,” the Huffington Post reports.

Boehner Skipped GOP Debate
Didn’t watch last night’s Republican presidential debate? Neither did the highest-ranking Republican in the country, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).

CBS News spotted Boehner at a streakhosue in Washington enjoying a bottle of Cabernet and a couple of cigarettes. He said he would “read about it tomorrow, adding, “There’s more time for people to get in.”

Voter Hotline Connects to Phone Sex Line
The Indiana secretary of state’s office sent out a press release earlier this week identifying a toll-free “Hoosier Voter Hotline” for questions on voting. However, the Elkhart Truth reports the number was actually incorrect and connected callers to a phone sex line.

The Oil Company Gusher

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 6th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

The Oil Company Gusher
Exxon-Mobil’s first quarter earnings of $10.7 billion are up 69 percent from last year. That’s the most profit the company has earned since the third quarter of 2008 — perhaps not coincidentally, around the time when gas prices last reached…

Bin Laden Dead
After the relentless pounding of Tora Bora caves and tunnels and hiding space by a massive American assault, US military personnel went to body after body punching a special device into the various cadavers found to do field-based testing of…

GRAPH: An Average CEO At America?s Big Corporations Earns 200 Times The Salary Of A Navy SEAL

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 6th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

GRAPH: An Average CEO At America?s Big Corporations Earns 200 Times The Salary Of A Navy SEAL

After the killing of Osama Bin Laden at a compound in a suburb of Islamabad, Pakistan, much of the nation’s focus has turned to the men in our military who were responsible for the raid. The combat team that attacked Bin Laden’s compound was composed of an elite unit of Navy SEALS.

As economist Dean Baker points out, ABC News did a feature story about the SEALs to highlight the sacrifices those enlisted in the unit make. ABC compared their base salaries of $54,000 a year to the average annual salary for teachers. Baker notes that perhaps their salaries should be compared to Wall Street CEOs who earn tens of millions of dollars:

In the wake of their successful assault on Osama Bin Laden’s hideout, ABC News did a short feature on the Navy Seals. The report tells us that the people who hold this highly demanding and dangerous get paid about $54,000 a year. It then adds that:

“The base salary level [of Navy Seals] is comparable to the average annual salary for teachers in the U.S., which was $55,350 for the 2009-2010 school year, according to the Digest of Education Statistics.’ That is one possible comparison. There are other possible reference points. For example, the CEOs of Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan both pocket around $20 million a year.

Baker’s query poses an interesting question. What would the numbers look like if the base salary of a Navy SEAL — who risk their very lives in their day-to-day work — was compared to the compensation of the CEOs of some of America’s wealthiest corporations? Data from the AFL-CIO’s Executive Pay Watch finds that the average 2010 CEO compensation at an S&P 500 company was $11,358,445. ThinkProgress has demonstrated this gap in compensation visually:

It’s important to note that the gap between executive compensation and average worker compensation has exploded over the past few decades. CEOs at America’s largest companies now earn 343 times more than the typical worker. In 1970, the average CEO earned 28 times as much as the typical worker.

Group At South Carolina GOP Debate Warns ?Public Schools Harm Children?

Tonight marks the first debate of the 2012 Republican presidential primary and while only the field’s “B-list” will attend, the conservative fringe is seizing the opportunity to advertise its agenda. ThinkProgress’ Scott Keyes is on the ground and spotted this booth — just 20 feet from the ball room hosting speeches — sponsored by Frontline Miniseries Inc./Exodus Mandate Project, which sports a sign warning that “Public Schools Harm Children”:

On its website, the Exodus Mandate Project explains its mission is to “encourage and assist Christian families to leave government schools for the Promised Land of Christian schools or home schooling.” A flyer at the debate portrays a “public school victim.” The organization also publishes several books, including one called, “How to Become a Millionaire in Christian Education,” which promises to teach readers “How to oppose entrenched evil in this world without resorting to politics or guns.” The organization reflects a growing movement on the right against public education, with demands for eliminating the Department of Education and calls for greater Christian education, like potential presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s desire that “all Americans would be forced, forced — at gun point no less” to learn from radical historical David Barton.