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Total number of comments: 65 (since 2013-11-28 14:43:01)

Charley James

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  • US sent CIA Director as Ambassador to Tehran after CIA overthrew Iran's Democratic gov't (US now Complaining about Hostage-Taker Amb.)
    • Not only is the US refusal to grant a visa a slap in the face of Iran, but it contravenes the treaty between the US and UN signed when the organization was created and sited in New York: Basically, America agreed to grant visa's to any accredited diplomat or government leader heading to the UN on official business.

      But, then, the US also signed treaties banning torture and agreeing to prosecute anyone approving or engaging in it and yet George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld and a whole raft of neo-con war pornographers still walk the earth as free men.

      So much for US respecting its treaties.

      So much for American "exceptionalism," where we hold ourselves to a higher standard than the rest of the world.

      And, as an aside, this is another example of why Congress should not be legislating foreign policy.

  • The Iran Breakthrough TV News is Ignoring: Uranium Stockpile falls below amount Needed for Bomb
    • This doesn't surprise me one bit: US media, especially cable news, often ignores stories that don't fit the preconceived notion of what is "important" - or, more often, fit the Inside the Beltway narrative, especially when it comes to the Middle East.

  • Bill Nye Science Guy to Debate GOP Rep Gohmert on Gravity
    • "Nye turned to Gregory. 'How can you call yourself a journalist? This is a carnival with a bearded lady exhibit!'"

      You described perfectly what Meet The Press has become with David Gregory, who commits journalism malpractice every week. At his Esquire political blog, Charles Pierce calls MTP "Disco Dave's Disco Dance Party."

      Sadly, the offerings on ABC and CBS are just as offensive. Fortunately, there's Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC each weekend.

  • Gatesgate: Why Obama was right to Distrust his Generals on Afghanistan
    • I'd distrust the Pentagon, too, if I were living in The White House. After all, commanding officers had been lying to presidents going all the way back to Korea (MacArthur) and Viet Nam (Westmoreland).

      Bob Gates built his "career" on lies and manipulation. Both of his field field generals, Petreaus and McChrystal were schemers who didn't actually believe in civilian command of the armed forces - at least based on their public actions and statements.

      (Remember that, at one point, Pres. Obama was attending a climate change conference in Europe and summoned Gen. Petreaus from Afghanistan to the airport in Amsterdam where he got a full-blown dressing down about his insubordination in a meeting aboard a parked Air Force One.)

      As a stale holdover from his days as a cold war warrior, Mr. Gates can be forgiven for spending the last 15 years trying to find another monolithic "enemy" to battle. What cannot be excused is his refusal to see a nuanced, multi-tiered world which saw things in a light more subtle than "you're with us or you're against us."

      As a footnote, what is particularly galling is that David Petreaus is now earning his living advising other governments on "security." He was in Ottawa yesterday meeting with Foreign Minister John Baird discussing the Middle East and Canada's Afghan policy.

  • India Flap derives from America's Gulag Practices and Far-Right Supreme Court
    • We've been living with the loss of our democracy for some 50 or more years. Why is anyone surprised when something like the subject of this post happens?

      We began to lose our democracy when Lyndon Johnson buffaloed Congress and the country with the Gulf of Tonkin sham. We tried to get it back by kicking Nixon out onto the street but then Jimmy Carter decided deregulation was a good idea so, whoa, Nelly, you could see democracy trying to bolt for the door as corporations started to take control. St. Ronnie the Dim helped the process by waging war on the middle class - a war that's lasted far longer than Afghanistan, and has been much more effective.

      Bush The Elder was so removed from America he didn't know grocery store cashiers were being replaced by scanners, Uncle Billy Bob Clinton triangulated his way into removing the last of the meaningful controls on banks and the financial services industry, and helped finalize Reagan's hatred of the poor and working poor by taking away a key support. Bush The Younger stripped away the last pretenses of an American democracy by lying to Congress and the public about a war, driving us deeply into debt by cutting the taxes of people who could afford to pay a lot more, and he got the (un)PATRIOT Act passed through a combination of more lies, fear mongering and deceit. Sadly, the current president spent the first three or four years of his tenure hoping against all evidence that Republicans would actually act like grown-ups rather than trying to help us reclaim our birthright.

      We no longer lived in a democracy when Ray Kelly took over New York's corrupt police department and turned it into a private army, allowing it to stop-and-frisk innocent people for no reason and, for good measure, opened up his own spy operations in the US and other countries.

      We lost our democracy when Republican-controlled state legislatures passed 'Jim Crow'-type laws making it difficult if not impossible for minorities, the elderly and other people likely to elect Democrats to vote, and the Roberts Court thought that was just fine,.

      We lost our democracy when that same court came up with the novel legal concept that corporations are people, and thus could shovel as much money as they want into political campaigns to buy the most-compliant sycophants they could find.

      We lost our democracy when We the People stopped caring, when we lost faith in government, and government cared less about whether we had any faith in it.

  • The Mandela Problem of the AWM Wing of the GOP
    • As Charlie Pierce wrote at his Esquire blog on Friday after Rick Santorum and Bill O'Reilly likened Nelson Mandela's lifelong struggle against apartheid to fighting Obamacare, the idiots on the right can have Ronald Reagan - in fact, they deserve him - but they cannot have Nelson Mandela. Not after Reagan labelled Mr. Mandela a "terrorist" and fought imposing sanctions on South Africa.

      In fact, in watching the Canadian news channel of the CBC on line, I saw former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney talking about the huge fight he had with both Pres. Reagan and Margaret Thatcher over sanctions (Canada led the Commonwealth and the world in isolating the South African government). Although couched in the niceties of diplomacy, he had very harsh things to say about both of them - and was especially unkind to St. Ronnie the Dim.

  • Greenwald to BBC: Journalists must investigate the Powerful in Gov't since they Lie to the People (BBC Surprised)
    • Bravo to Mr. Greenwald for standing up to David Sackett, who regularly tries to shout over guests on Hardtalk who attempt to actually express a view based on facts that run counter to the perceived wisdom of what Paul Krugman calls "very serious people."

      But this behavior isn't limited to BBC. For example, yesterday the CBC in Canada reported that in the Snowden documents it was learned that during a G8/G20 summit in Toronto in 2010, the NSA set up a command post at the American Embassy in Ottawa to spy on leaders attending the meeting. Yet there wasn't one mention of this in the New York Times, supposedly America's newspaper of record. The NSA did this with the connivance of Canada's own security apparatus, including CSEC and CSIS. By the way, Canadian law prohibits spying on anyone inside Canada and bars the government from outsourcing such spying to others such as the NSA.

      When confronted by reporters, the head of CSEC dodged and weaved but refused to deny the report, in effect lying in precisely the way that Mr. Greenwald said on the show (www.cbc.ca/news/politics/top-spy-won-t-answer-questions-about-g20-surveillance-1.2444004).

      We're grown accustomed to governments lying about 'most everything in connection with this story. But people should expect more from supposed "journalists" such as Mr. Sackett, who seems to want to be a government spokesman more than he wants to be a reporter pursuing truth.

  • Pope Francis: Why are Deaths of the Homeless not a Headline but a 2-point Dow Jones rise is? (Germanos)
    • It's nice to see that the arguments made by enlightened people ranging from Dr. Paul Krugman to the Occupy movement are being heard. Now, if only Rep. Paul Ryan - who professes to be a good Catholic boy - and the rest of the Republican Party would pay attention.

  • Another Reason to Divest: Global outrage at dirty Coal threatens Investors' Profits
    • Up in Canada, the berm of a coal slurry pit gave way earlier this week, causing a massive amount of toxin-laden goop to flow into the Athabasca River - and is now some 30 miles downstream. After three weeks of dithering, the province finally ordered the coal company to clean up its mess. While complying with the government order, the coal company continues to maintain that the sludge, which includes tasty morsels of all manner of known carcinogens, is safe to drink.

      The coal industry is even less moral than the oil industry.

  • Planet Tahrir: The Coming Mass Demonstrations against Climate Change (Klare)
    • The incipient roots of such protests are being seen in North America, as well.

      Beyond halting the Keystone death funnel in the US, in Canada aboriginal tribes have been protesting plans to introduce large scale fracking in eastern provinces while another tribe in British Columbia has stopped a proposed pipeline from Alberta to the pristine British Columbia coast where it would be hauled by tankers to Japan and China.

      Under both Canadian law and its Constitution, aboriginal tribes have absolute control over tribal lands. The Conservative government of Stephen Harper - which all but denies climate change is a manmade problem, and nothing much to worry about - tried pulling a fast one by attempting to circumvent tribal councils in issuing permits. Likewise, a proposed plan to build a pipeline that would ship filthy tar sands oil from Alberta to a refinery on the east coast is running into opposition, not just from aboriginal people but ordinary citizens.

      Meanwhile, the Harper government is fighting a rear guard action against the European Union, which plans to label tar sands bitumen as being so polluting importing it would subject the oil to a polluter's tax.

      Meanwhile, the CBC network in Canada filed a FOIA-like request with Ottawa and obtained previously-secret government reports that document the enormous number of pipeline leaks and spills over recent years across the country. Basically, every pipeline has spewed toxins into the ground and water, ranging from a few litres to tens of thousands of gallons.

      As Charlie Pierce at Esquire notes regularly at his blog, there are two realities about our reliance on fossil fuels: All pipelines leak and all oil companies lie about it. That's not simply hyperbole; it is a fact of life.

      Yet we have a Congress that's dominated by a coalition of climate change deniers such as Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, members who are beholden to polluting industries for huge campaign contributions, and well-heeled lobbyists who ply their treachery in the halls of House and Senate office buildings to weaken what little environmental regulation there is.

      One of the few things that my approaching dotage makes me glad about is that I won't live to see the havoc wreaked on the planet, and since my ex-wife and I never had children I don't have any off-spring or grandkids who will suffer under what is to become of our planet.

  • American Writers are Self-Censoring to Avoid NSA Scrutiny (McCauley)
    • I have a lot to say about this disturbing item but doing so would likely subject me to surveillance and harassment by what was once the world's beacon of freedom.

  • Ban Coal: Super Cyclone half the Size of India driven by warming Waters
    • Big Coal has as much of a hold on politicians as does the oil industry, and until their grip is pried off of the necks of Senators and Congressmen nothing will be done to restrict the use of coal here or in other nations. Alas, as Bill Moyers discusses this week, our Supreme Court - which has never met a powerful business interest it doesn't worship - is unlikely to let stand the last shards of restrictions on the ability of money to buy elections.

      At least Pres. Obama stopped talking about "clean coal" because there is no such thing.

      Meanwhile, our environment is being destroyed and with it, mankind's ability to survive.

      Thus, it's appalling to watch the entire Canadian government - which comes as close as it can to denying climate change without sounding like the tinfoil hat crowd - is trying to shove its anti-environment policies down the necks of Americans.

      Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver seems to spend more time in Washington and New York than he does in Ottawa in an effort to get the Keystone XL death funnel approved. Sounding more like Harold Hill than a minister of the Crown, Mr. Oliver simply lies about the polluting effects of drilling and refining Albert's tar sands, blithely ignoring scientific warnings about the problems it will cause. Last week, he managed to trick 165 US executives into writing a letter to The White House proclaiming the pipeline's virtues even as a massive leak in North Dakota ruined a farmer's ability to grow wheat for perhaps a decade.

      When will the madness end?

  • Is Iran out of the US War Queue? The Twilight of the Hawks
    • It's disingenuous for you to write "The Congressional refusal to authorize a strike on Syria is the writing on the wall here." The simple fact is that Republicans - long the war party in America - would oppose giving cute puppies to orphan children if doing so was proposed by this president. After all, he's not only a Democrat but black, as well, and I'm not sure which angers the GOP more.

      No doubt this week's Sunday network gabfests will see John "Grandpa Simpson" McCain and Lindsey "Uncle Wiggly" Graham spouting fact-free nonsense about the dangers Iran poses to, well, the dancing shadows that exist only in their mind. Worse, hosts such as David Gregory - NBC's constant embarrassment to journalism (followed by Chuck Todd in second place) - will let them spew their lies unchallenged and so much of America will remain uninformed.

      As for AIPAC, I'm not sure who it represents anymore given than more than half of American Jews - including me - disagree with the policies it advocates. I see it as being as dangerous and detached from reality as the NRA, and it's time for Congress to stop listening to it.

  • Is Iran Ready to do a Deal with Obama over its Nuclear Program?
    • Dexter Filkins wrote a brilliant piece in the current New Yorker (www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/09/30/130930fa_fact_filkins?mbid=social_retweet%3Fmbid%3Dsocial_retweet) on how Qassam Suleimani - who Carlie Pierce at Esquire described as "the Zelig of Middle East spookdom" - was quietly working with the Americans before and during the Afghan invasion until David Frum put the useless, meaningless and inflammatory "Axis of Evil" phrase in George Bush's mouth.

      Basically, the Filkins article describes how Iran, through Mr. Suleimani, was helping the US with intelligence and other information about al Qaeda and the Taliban after 9/11, holding regular meetings with Ryan Crocker at the US Embassy in Kabul until The White House lumped iran, Iraq and North Korea together. Although Mr. Suleimani was no do-gooder, he was Tehran's vehicle to attempt to begin a normalization process until the neo-con's cut him off at the knees.

      Hopefully, this time around the US will be a bit more subtle - and accurate - in its assessment of the intentions of the Iranians. It's about time that AIPAC and Jerusalem stop dictating American policy in the region, which I say as both an American and a Jew.

  • The Hubris of the Syria Interventionists
    • How anyone at the AEI can still show their faces in public after the disaster they unleashed on Afghanistan and Iraq is beyond me. The Danielle Pletka's of the neocon right ought to be hiding in shame, preferably under a rock.

      After all, Iraq worked out so well for everyone: Thousands of Americans were killed and tens of thousands wounded for life, all in vain and a vainglorious folly based on the 935 documented lies told by the Bush administration to justify 10 nightmarish years. And if that wasn't horrific enough, tens of thousands of Iraqi's were killed, hundreds of thousands wounded and millions were displaced. For what?

      What is in the DNA of not just Ms. Pletka but people such as John McCain and Lindsay Graham that makes them think we still live in a 1945 world where America stood strong while the rest of the world was reeling from the effects of war, and so we thought we could kind of do what we wanted? That myth was damaged by the Korean War and should have been dealt a death blow by Viet Nam. And Afghanistan. And Iraq.

      Even more astounding is that George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz, and Jay Bybee, and John Yu still walk the Earth as free men, rather than languishing in a cell in The Hague which is where they belong.

  • Climate Change Activism as a Nonviolent Movement without Leaders (McKibben)
    • While everything you say is true in terms of how the pro-environmentalists - broadly defined, including everyone from Keystone opponents to anti-frackers and those opposing the oil and gas industry - have been able to create small, local groups, the fact is that the entire movement has been hobbled from the lack of a few galvanizing figures.

      Al Gore could have served such a role but he compromised himself through everything from his energy inefficient home and flying around in private jets to selling Current TV to Arab oil money. Thus, the former Vice President became a too-easy target for climate change deniers, and too easy to dismiss by people who might be concerned but are not actively involved.

      One of the shortcomings of the Occupy movement was its lack of leadership which led to a lack of focus and thus its own demise just as it was getting many people to start thinking differently about Wall St. and the financial industry.

      Besides providing focus, if the environment movement had a Dr. King, a John Lewis, an Andrew Young, and other recognizable, nationally prominent figures, several things would likely happen. One is that they'd have the ability to speak to - and for - the tens of millions of people who don't really think about the consequences of what we're doing to the planet. Through his words and deeds, Dr. King did that for America.

      Second, such a person would give the movement access to the political corridors of power, in Washington and in states. Shortly after Lyndon Johnson became president, Dr. King met with him at The White House and laid out what he wanted from the new president. Johnson said, "I agree with everything you said and want. Now you have to go out and get the country make me do it."

      Finally, when such a leader - or a group of them - is attacked by politicians, executives and other deniers, it would let ordinary people see that the "other side" is resorting to bizarre and unwarranted measures, and begin to think that if the CEO of Exxon is against so-and-so, then so-and-so might have some valid points. For instance, Canada's leading environmentalist, David Suzuki, was called "a crackpot" recently by the Conservative government's environment minister, Joe Oliver. Friends living in The Great White North said that because Suzuki holds such enormous respect and credibility amongst Canadians, the mere fact that he was attacked by a Crown minister who has no genuine concern for the environment told many people that maybe they should listen more closely to Suzuki and less to government propaganda.

      So, yes, it's terrific that so many people have been able to organize themselves around local issues and needs. But a national leader would help drive the direction and discussion while not taking anything away from local groups. When Dr. King was alive, he provided a voice yet did not distract from local civil rights groups focusing specifically on local issues, whether it was voting rights in the South or red-lining in the North.

  • Where is our Amsterdam? Lavabits, Snowden & Wikileaks Censorship recall age of Absolutism
    • Ladar Levison is a true American hero, and bravo to him for shuttering his company rather than give in to the extra-Constitutional fishing expeditions of our own Stasi, the FBI.

      When the (un)PATRIOT Act was first passed, countless brave librarians across the country posted signs warning people who came into the library to read what they wanted that they were in danger of having the information they sought be monitored by the FBI.

      There has yet to be a Supreme Court challenge to the provisions of that particularly hideous law that stripped us of our 1st Amendment protections. Alas, the current court is dominated by people such as Anton Scalia, who has yet to meet a police power he didn't like. I doubt very much that if Mr. Levison's case reaches the high court that the justices will defend the First with the same vigor as they defended the Second Amendment.

      As in the 1950s, America's true patriots are not those seeking to destroy the country's principles in order to protect it; rather, they are the people who are brave enough - Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden come to mind - to stand up against the tyranny of the so-called righteous.

  • Top Reasons John McCain and Lindsey Graham have no Credibility for Egypt Talks
    • Sending John McCain to broker peace in Egypt is like having Grandpa Simpson be a panellist on child rearing. It's simply a bad idea from the get-go.

  • The Business of America is Spying on America (Engelhardt)
    • Again, art imitates - or, in at least one case - precedes life.

      In 2012, John Le Carre published "A Delicate Truth" in which a private espionage company, acting on behalf of a junior foreign minister of the British government, launches an abortive mission in Gibraltar to capture and then subject to extraordinary rendition for the Americans a supposed al Qaeda paymaster. It all goes bollocks - there never was such a person and he wasn't on Gibraltar. But when a high-ranking civil servant tries exposing the plot and the minister, after the contractor tries unsuccessfully to buy him off, the whistleblower is beaten, captured and arrested by his own government.

      Le Carre (David Cornwell in real life) started writing the book in 2009 or 2010, long before anyone heard of Bradley Manning or Edward Snowden. But the plot becomes increasingly and plausibly disturbing as we see a parade of almost-daily news stories about how Washington is intent on destroying - perhaps literally - anyone brave enough to tell Americans what is being done in our name.

      When did this become acceptable behavior? Why isn't there a hue and cry in Congress, the news media, the public? I am amazed at how many Americans, including members of Congress who should know better, who are so loud in their defense of the Second Amendment care not one whit about the Fourth.

      We are through the looking glass, and there's no way to get back to the other side.

  • Top Ten Ways the Beltway Press will treat Gen. Cartwright differently from Snowden
    • Ever since the advent of alternative media back in the 1960s, so-called "real journalists" have poo-poo'd the work done by reporters who didn't wear suits and have ink-stained fingers.

      So it's not surprising that today we have the spectacle of David Gregory - who embarrasses the profession every Sunday morning - finger-pointing at a Glenn Greenwald but not a David Sanger. The hypocrisy is astounding.

  • The Other Face of Gov't Surveillance: Informers, Saboteurs and Entrapment Artists (Gitlin)
    • If the reality of our surveillance state were not so terrifying, this stuff would read like a story line featuring Dale Dribble, Hank's crazy neighbor on the old animated series "King of the Hill."

      Back in the late 60s and early 70s, I became a target because I was a reporter in San Francisco after being approached by two different entities to spy for them on anti-war activities I was covering. The FBI and Naval Intelligence each made a clumsy approach, and I rebuffed their people with impunity. In those days, it was easy to tell my phone was being tapped because of the primitive technology: If I tried making two quick calls in a row, it'd take a while for the dial tone to appear; there'd be weird clicks on the line; once, I actually heard whoever was listening coughing.

      Alas, now, it's all done digitally and, anyway, the NSA is collecting and storing everything so it can be listened to at someone's leisure.

      What is amazing is that while "fusion center cops" waste their time chasing non-threats such as green grannies who are concerned about toxic industrial sludge moving through proposed tar sands pipelines, actual threats such as the Tsarnov's and the Times Square Bomber went undetected.

      German citizens are rightly concerned about the NSA collecting all of their messages; after all, they have first hand experience with what this does to a society thanks to fun groups such as the Stasi and the Gestapo. Why aren't Americans more worried?

  • Egypt's Morsi Provokes Anger, Astonishment with appointment of Governor from former Terrorist Group
    • Who would have thought that Muhammad Morsi would turn out to be the Mitt Romney of Egyptian politics?

  • Obama Isolated at G8 on Arms for Syrian Rebels
    • Pres. Obama made a hideous mistake when, several months ago, he said proof of chemical weapons being used would cross "red line." Now, he's backed himself into a corner and is a victim of violating the first rule of handling an international crisis: Don't commit to an action until you absolutely have to.

      You can write Canada off the list of nations that will support the US: Yesterday, while on a visit to France, PM Steven Harper said arms should not be sent to the rebels, which is the first sensible statement Mr. Harper has made on anything since becoming PM in 2005 or 2006.

  • NSA Leads come from others' police work, not from data mining: the case of Headley (Rotella)
    • So once again, it seems that a senior intelligence official lied to Congress - and the American public - with his bloated claims about the supposed "benefits" of sweeping up everyone's e-mails, phone calls, text messages and web viewing habits.

      I've decided to apply Judge Judy's rule about how she knows a teenager is lying: Their lips are moving and sound is coming out is also applicable to the heads of the NSA, CIA, DIA, DEA and who-knows what other spy clusters exist out there.

      No, I am not a libertarian - their political, social and economic ideas are repulsive - but I am a staunch believer in the 1st and 4th Amendments. The news revealed over the past week or so have led me to decide to rejoin the ACLU, which I cannot really afford to do right now, because its lawsuit against the federal government to stop PRISM and other such programs such as BLARNEY must be successful.

      And here I grew up thinking I lived in the land of the free.

  • Top Ten Ways the US Government will Smear, Slight Whistleblower Edward Snowden
    • The government is to blame for this sorry state of affairs but so are "We, the people" which, lest we forget, is the foundation of our Constitution.

      We've let one administration after another get away with doing this stuff "for our own good" with barely a murmur of discontent from the body politic, nary a protest, hardly a pane of glass being broken. Where is our outrage? Where is our long, hot summer?

      Millions of people get themselves all worked up over nothing more than a right wing wet dream that claims the government is coming to take their guns - which isn't happening, isn't planned, isn't anything more than a wacko conspiracy theory gone amuck.

      But when the government can spend undeclared billions to track granny's calls to her family and a maiden aunt's e-mails to her eight year old nephew, no one says a word.

      Why do "We, the people" get so worked up over the 2nd Amendment, which isn't under any threat, and care not one whit for the 4th - which is being knocked down faster than a trailer park in a tornado?

  • Defiant Erdogan Risks Turkish Economy, as Unions enter the Fray
    • This morning's Globe and Mail carries an insightful piece from Turkey by Adnan Khan (www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/in-turkey-erdogan-gets-a-wake-up-call/article12319833/) in which he writes that the protests started as a demonstration against the AKP's pro-development, pro-business policies and are morphing into something much larger. Khan's point is that Mr. Erdogan's arrogant, out-of-touch and over-blown reaction has created a much larger movement.

      Mr. Khan isn't saying anything that differs markedly from Dr. Cole's observations but his is an interesting take. He concludes his piece by writing, "Turkey’s rapid rise under single-party rule has produced a leadership that feels free to do as it pleases. Those days, however, may be coming to an end."

  • Top Ten Michele Bachmann Goofs on the Middle East
    • As Charlie Pierce over at Esquire's political blog wrote yesterday about Michelle Bachmann's retirement, "There's one nut the squirrels won't get."

      Minnesota has produced some genuinely goofy politicians over the years. When I was a kid growing up in Minneapolis, it had a Congressman named Walter Judd who was an early model of Rep. Bachmann; he was prone to making all sorts of wackadoodle remarks about "threats" to the US that existed only in his mind. Then there was Jesse Ventura, the previous winner of the They Can't Really Be This Unbalanced award, but Ms. Bachmann was truly the nuttiest. In the days before Fox News, right wing bloggers and other idiots like Ann Coulter or Michelle Malkin, Drudge and Red State, she would have served a term, maybe two, and no one outside of her district would ever have heard of her.

      May she return to the obscurity she so richly deserves. The only downside of her going home to Stillwater MN is that she will be free to spend time helping her equally goofy hubby cure the gay.

  • Rafsanjani's Exclusion from Iran's Presidential Race a Sign of Creeping Totalitarianism
    • The Guardian Council sounds like the Republican Party: Litmus tests, a penchant for theocratic and absolute control, a damning of past statements taken out of context, an intolerance for diversity of opinion. It strikes me that members of the American Taliban, ranging from Michelle Bachmann to Sen. James Inhofe, and from the American Family Council to ALEC and Grover Norquist, among others, would feel right at home in the corridors of Iranian power.

      The issues may be different but the underlying philosophy is identical.

      That there should be so many similarities between power and politics in Persia and one of America's two main political parties is deeply disturbing, troubling almost beyond words.

  • PBS and the Koch Brother Scandal (plus "Koch Brothers Exposed")
    • David Koch is a major funder of one of PBS' stellar shows, "Nature," which is a sad ironic joke in and of itself. (I think it's Nature but it might be Nova; I can't recall which at the moment but it's still early in the morning.) But whether it's the NewsHour (which Paul Krugman refers to as the 'Noose Our') and its refusal to call out guests who mouth patently untrue talking points or, now, not airing a documentary on the Koch's, PBS is becoming a mere shadow of its once great former self.

      The decision uncovered by Jane Meyer's "New Yorker" article indeed reveals how Big Right is succeeding in slowly killing off independent thought in the US. Attacks on funding of public broadcasting is the most obvious symptom but it is pervasive throughout our political, economic and cultural life.

  • Pot and Partying: Top Ten Signs the Tsarnaev Brothers Weren't Pious Muslims
    • The Tsarnaev brothers showed every sign of being a pair of - to use their uncle's word - losers who were as much part of a terrorist movement as is my Golden Retriever.

      They didn't even have the foresight to plan an escape, which they could have easily done between the Monday afternoon bombing and the Wednesday night shoot-out. When they finally did decide to get out of Dodge, they couldn't because they'd taken their car in for repairs on Tuesday, did not get money and - after they high jacked the SUV, had no idea how ATMs worked.

      All of which makes me incredibly suspicious of Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelley's assertion earlier this week that New York was their next "target." They had no target because they had no plan. I suspect the NYPD gussied up the story to make them seem more ominous. For one thing, wise people now assume that whatever Ray Kelly and the NYPD say, the exact opposite is true.

      When I was a kid, yahoo's like the Tsarnaev brothers would have been called "mad bombers" and I still think that's what they were and not part of some global al Qaeda plot.

  • Bush and the American Right Wing: Top Ten Ways they are Like the Children of an Alcoholic
    • All of yesterday's fawning over George W. Bush, who led the worst and most destructive presidency in American history, made me want to wretch. Did the parade of non-entities on CNN live on another planet between 2001 and 2009? As Charles Pierce wrote at his Esquire blog, "the Creation Museum is more honest in its crackpot interpretation of history than another manure locker that happens to be opening today. And the courtier media is preparing once again to disgrace itself in the kind of epic fashion it has not displayed since rolling over" for igniting a war that lasted eight years, took nearly 200,000 lives, cost more than $2-trillion and caused untold economic and emotional devastation for the Iraqi people.

      At the library opening, Bush actually had the gall to claim, "We liberated nations from dictatorship."

      The idiot still believes his own nonsense. Why is he opening a "library" instead of languishing in a cell at The Hague or Ft. Leavenworth?

  • Rep. Peter King Calls on FBI to put him under Close Surveillance and Profile Redheads
    • Bravo! Rep. Peter King not only embarrasses himself on a daily basis, he is a major disgrace to the US House (which is going some; there are lots of competitors for the title of Most Disgraceful Representative) and to the nation as a whole.

  • Dear Rightwing Catholic Islamophobes: Pope Francis just washed the feet of a Poor Muslim
    • Such un-Christian Catholics seem to dominate the church in America, evidenced by how not just Pope Benedict but a large number of American Bishops attacked Sister Simone Campbell and her "Nuns on the Bus" tour of America that sought to highlight the problems of poverty and hunger. The Catholic hierarchy tried to paint what the Sisters were doing as a throwback to "liberation theology," which in many people's minds conjures up mental images of Che Guevara and shiftless hippies - a deliberate attempt, I'd say, to denigrate efforts designed to show the church as the hypocritical institution it has become.

      Paul Ryan and his ilk not only despise the poor, they seem to believe that everyone including the American government (as well as the Catholic Church) should despise them, as well. From what I've read of Christian theology - which, admittedly, isn't a lot - this is a very un-Christain attitude.

  • Vaccinations are not Harming our Children, but Coal sure is!
    • The three-eyed fish that swim in the infested river next to the Monty Burns' nuclear power plant in Springfield is - like many things on "The Simpsons'" - a caricature of what we are doing to ourselves.

      Despite the TV commercials, there's no such thing as "clean" coal any more than there's "safe" fracking and "responsible" oil tar exploration and piping. How many independent studies are needed before people recognize that we are making ourselves sick in the short-term and fouling the planet long-term?

      What astounds me is how many people are willing to believe nonsense from Lurlene in Alabama on the intertube machine about vaccinating children but not to scientists with no ax to grind about how we are facilitating illnesses and climate change through our own stupidity.

  • Israeli Right: Obama Undermined Netanyahu, Endangers Israel with Call for Palestinian State
    • History seems to have forgotten that Winston Churchill foresaw the deadly standoff between Israeli's and Palestinians as far back as the 1920s when he urged that the Balfour declaration include a requirement for a Palestinian state alongside a Jewish state. His reasoning was pragmatic, at the time: Arabs helped Britain against Germany in World War I and he felt England owed them something. But Churchill was opposed by the Foreign Office and by the British Cabinet, and the call never survived to the final draft.

      Beyond feeling that Britain owed a debt to Arabs, he also saw the likelihood of a conflict with the Jews if the question of a Palestinian state were not resolved up-front.

      Now we are paying the price.

      As an American Jew, I've regrettably come to wash my hands of Israel and have even less use for its soulless cheerleaders in Washington. To inflict on Palestinians the same sort of unconscionable repression as has been wreaked on Jews for centuries is reprehensible and inexcusable. Have we learned nothing from our own experience? Have we no understanding of how history will judge Israel's behavior?

      The right wing nutjobs in Israel are as misguided and self-deceiving as the right wing nutjobs in the US. They are acting worse than the Taliban and should be ashamed.

  • Venezuela and the Middle East after Chavez
    • Like many populist "revolutionary" leaders, Hugo Chavez was a mass of contradictions brought on, in part, by a lack of extensive education, in part by his own zeal and, partly, by a lack of critical thinking about the cause he espoused.

      That said, on occasion he was quite clever in poking a stick in the American eye occasionally. As one example, back in the early 'Oughts the northeast US was having a terribly cold winter and many people in New England found themselves struggling to pay for heating oil. Through Citgo, which is owned by the Venezuelan government, Mr. Chavez offered the United States free heating oil for distribution to poor people who were cold. The Bush Administration turned down the offer cold, so to speak.

      So Mr. Chavez repeated the offer to governors in the affected states, and several of them accepted. A large number of Americans were kept warm that winter thanks to Venezuela and despite George W. Bush.

  • Austerity and the threat to Democracy, in the US, Europe and the Middle East
    • It is odd that the IMF is still urging austerity on nations since it has published two major studies in the last six or seven months by its chief economist that demonstrate austerity has the opposite effect of what its proponents say will happen. Mainly, the IMF now argues, government austerity budgets kill economic growth when a country is struggling to come out of a recession.

      The best living example of this is Britain, where David Cameron's pain plan is about to create an almost-unheard of triple dipped recession.

      In a Saturday blog post titled "Self-Destructive Europe," Dr. Paul Krugman shows - again - how austerity forced on troubled nations by Germany coupled with contractionary fiscal policies in others is causing massive economic problems right across the Continent. (link to krugman.blogs.nytimes.com)

      Egypt has enough problems without the government deliberately forcing more difficulties on its people. That Secretary Kerry is in Cairo urging support of such a foolish policy is beyond belief.

  • After Benedict: Religions have to Democratize if they are to Survive
    • Excellent points, Dr. Cole. When I watched a snippet of CNN's coverage yesterday morning, I wanted to throw my coffee mug at the screen as Christiane Amenpour fawned all over a parade of clerics praising Benedict for his so-called "teachings," but who never mentioned the disgusting scandals. One guest even rattled off Benedict's "four great speeches" including the one in Germany where he managed to insult all of the world's Moslems and Jews in under an hour, and throw the spirit of brotherly love back 1,000 years.

      Protestants are no better. Evangelicals in America are, for the most part, no more than zealous political bigots who wrap themselves in what they pretend is Jesus' cloak.

      Likewise, far too many of my brethren, Jews in the US and elsewhere, see nothing wrong with inflicting a version of ethnic cleansing on Palestinians, forgetting how and why Israel came into existence.

      Those Moslem clerics who have perverted the teachings of Mohammed to attempt to radicalize the religion they inherited are as guilty of bad faith as any priest in the Inquisition.

      The world is better off for seeing the back of him. May Benedict soon be joined in exile by people such as the Archbishop of Canterbury, those who run the religious right in the United States, the radical Moslem clerics, and the prime minister of Israel. There may have been a time when religion served sort of a useful purpose, but that time has long since ended.

  • Minimum Wage: Beggaring Workers does not Help Employment (Infographics)
    • There have been countless independent (i.e., non-partisan) studies over the decades that prove conclusively raising the minimum wage does not have a negative impact on employment. Right wing (read: Republican) claims to the contrary are pure bullpuckey, to use Rachel Maddow's term.

      When he was alive, Sen. Ted Kennedy often asked aloud,
      "What do Republicans have against working people?"

  • Top Ten Republican Myths on Benghazi that Justify Hillary Clinton's Anger
    • Your comment is largely preposterous on its face.

      What plausible and possible reason would the American ambassador have to "coordinate the recruitment by Saudi Arabia of Islamic fighters from North Africa and Libya"? It's not only against American policy, it is against US law. Unlike George Bush and Dick Cheney, the Obama administration does not violate the law.

      Why would Amb. Stevens go to Benghazi to meet with the Turkish Ambassador? Or vice versa. It would have been easier, simpler and safer for them to meet in Tripoli.

      Assuming for a moment that the US is providing arms to Syrian rebels, moving the weapons is a clandestine operations the CIA and DoD know how to do very well. It is not something a career diplomat is trained to handle and, in any event, even if he knew about such shipments (which he might not have) there's no way he would jeopardize his diplomatic standing in a still-volatile country by overseeing arms deals and shipments. The secret world does not work that way, and the State Dept. - which provides diplomatic cover to spies and operatives uneasily at best - would not allow its ambassador to be so closely involved.

      So, yes, it is plausible that he was out meeting various power holders and brokers; that's Stevens' job, as is checking in on how USAID money is being spent.

      Sheesh!

    • Sen. Ron Johnson demonstrated why the United States Senate no longer deserves to be called "the world's greatest deliberative body." Republicans at both the Senate and House hearings had no more interest in actually discussing how and why the Benghazi tragedy occured than is my Golden Retriever. All they were interested in was mouthing talking points and trying to damage the reputation of an amazingly effective Secretary of State.

      Sen. Rand Paul was just as disgusting as Sen. Johnson, as were the parcel full of GOP know-nothings on the House side in the afternoon. How did these yokels manage to get themselves elected, let alone appointed to foreign relations committees?

      Listening to them, they sounded like high school drop-outs who would be more comfortable hanging out with Honey Boo Boo's mother than on Capitol Hill.

  • Netanyahu Emerges Weakened, But Most under Israeli Apartheid were Disenfranchised
    • In today's context, it is entirely possible for a government to follow neo-liberal economic policies and fascist political ideals. It's not an either-or proposition.

      While Mr. Netanyaho pursued a Romney-like fiscal policy, which has has crippled Israel's economy, his treatment of the Palentinians - and Arabs who live inside Israel - is a disgrace. Between depriving them of the ability to earn a living to siezing their property for expanded settlements, the Prime Minister is doing to Arabs and Palestinians what he-who-must-not-be-named did to Jews. The only difference between Israel's government today and Germany's in the 1930s and 1940s is the lack of gas chambers. But an argument can be made that Gaza is not much more than a modern version of a very large Warsaw ghetto.

    • I've been reading Martin Gilbert's fascinating 2007 book, "Churchill and the Jews." What I learned for the first time is that, going all the way back to the Balfour Declaration in the early days of the 20th century, the British government (including Churchill, a major supporter of a Jewish homeland in Palestine) insisted on what, today, we call a two state solution.

      As reprehensible as Mr. Netanyahu's apartheid policies are, he and a segment of Israel's voters have lost sight of one of the conditions of their country's creation: That Palestinians are entitled to their own secure home as much as Jews are entitled.

      As an American Jew, I have no sympathy - or tolerance - left any more for the government of Israel, nor for the way organizations such as AIPAC work to manipulate Congress and public opinion. Dr. Gilbert's book simply confirmed to me that the current government in Israel is as nasty and dark as many of the governments people fled to reach Israel.

  • Cole : "The Syrian Regime Will Likely Fall, but it Could Take Time" (WorldView Show)
  • 8,775 Firearm Murders a Year in US, Equiv. of 290 in UK
    • @ Fed Up - Yes, it is disgusting but so is the Pentagon killing people by remote control or whatever Blackwater is now called killing people as they walk down a street. In any event, the same video games and movies are available in Britain. The real reason why so many Americans kill each other is simple: We have an unholy obsession with guns, and a Supreme Court that did not understand 18th Century grammar and punctuation rules when it ruled on a gun control case in the 21st Century. The Founders would be appalled.

  • Alex Jones, Gun control, and White Terrorism
    • The FBI has arrested people and charged them with terrorism for doing or saying a lot less than Alex Jones' comments on CNN. Remember that poor, confused old man in Florida the Bush administration made a big deal out of arresting for supposedly "plotting" an attack when all it turned out he did was try to scam an informer out of a few pair of boots? When will Jones get busted? Oh, wait: He's white and wears decent clothes.

      I am bloody well disgusted with yahoo's - from the NRA members of Congress to people such ss Jones to the crazies who show up at parking lot gun sales - claiming their right to walk around with military style assault weapons. We would not even be having this discussion if five men on the Supreme Court did not understand 18th Century grammar and punctuation and so misapplied it to the 21st Century.

      The second amendment calls for a "well regulated militia," which is what an army was called in the 1700s. A well regulated militia is a corps of discimplined troops led by officers. It is not jerks like Alex Jones buying an assault weapon in a parking lot behind Costco and then toting it around in public on a whim.

  • As Jews, with our own Painful History of Oppression... [South African Jewish Statement on Palestinians]
    • Bravo! As an American Jew who opposes the "support Israel at all cost" attitude of AIPAC, SAJBD and SAZF and other Jewish-based groups, I applaud the courage of the South Africans. To not call out the Israeli government on its policy of apartheid against the Palestinians, a policy that is the very same crime that has been commited against Jews for so many centuries, it is time to bring sanity and reason to play.

  • Climate Negotiations falter at Doha as CO2 Emissions Push Earth toward 1400-year Storms
    • CO2 levels set new record highs last year: Levels went up by 3.2%. Although the US was down slightly by 1.7% - no doubt due to the lingering effects of the Great Recession - Japan rose as it shut down nuclear power plants.

      And climate scientists report that sea levels rose 60% faster between 1990 and 2010 than they'd predicted.

      As the permafrost continues to deteriorate, the naturally-occuring CO2 levels trapped in the soil will be released into the atmosphere, as well. Once it is released, it cannot be recaptured.

      Yet the US continues to dither and Republicans still don't believe there's a problem.

      I'm glad I don't have oceanfront property.

  • Palestinian Legal strategy against Israel: The Real Prize is Europe
    • A long-overdue step by the UN, and America betrayed its own heritage by voting against the Palestinians. This is a case of the marginalized AIPAC lobby being more important than a simple case of human rights.

      Yes, there are "terrorists" in Gaza. But I wonder how many of us, people who are otherwise peaceful and law abiding, would start lobbing rockets if we were imprisoned in a tiny sliver of land with no way in or out, and the basic necessities of our life were controlled by a foreign government that refused to act rationally.

      As for the bizarre Facebook page about Bar Rafaeli, someone posted a comment at it stating, "Bar Refaeli prefers the life of civilians over generals' wars. Don't we all?"

      Isreal, it is time for you to start acting like a civilized nation.

  • Top Ten Myths about Israeli Attack on Gaza
    • As an American Jew, it angers me to have to say this but every day, in every way, Israel makes me ashamed of my heritage. On a few occasions, I received unsolicited e-mails from AIPAC and sent them back with an angry note attached.

      Under what stretch of anyone's imagination can people still maintain that Israel represents American values and interests in the Middle East? The attacks on Gaza are inexcuseable, and the US should be telling Bibi to back off.

      Well, Netanyahu wanted a war, any war, in the worst way. Since Shelley Adelson's hand picked candidate for president didn't win and Pres. Obama is going to keep Israel in check for another four years, I guess Bibi figured that he might as well pick on the Palestinians again.

      What a nightmare.

  • Top Ten Wish List Progressives should Press on President Obama
    • It was a bit disturbing last night - well, early this morning - to hear the president talk of finding common ground with Republicans; that he heard the electorate. Excuse me? First of all, he won and won big. And find common ground on what? They made it very clear starting with his inauguration in 2009 that they had no intention of cooperating on anything.

      Still, if the GOP remains as idologically driven as it has been, then the President and Democrats can push an agenda that will return America to the people from the plutocrats. Come 2014, it can use Republican obstruction to rout them from Congress.

      I hope that when the President gets some rest from what must have been an exhausting three month campaign, he will see that his strive for finding the center didn't work and what the country needs is for him to be a strong voice for genuine change.

  • Republicans Tip world off to covert CIA Role in Libya
    • Can you imagine how Congressional Republicans and Fox News would be screaming had a Democrat, as opposed to that all-but-certifiable whack job Darrell Issa, had released information about the work of a CIA station in, say, Tikrit during the Iraq war as opposed to Benghazi?

      Whether or not the State Dept. had an official consulate in Benghazi is almost irrevelant. What is relevant is that Mitt Romney and the GOP have tried desperately to politicize this event when [a] they don't know what they are talking about, [b] they're disrupting an ongoing US intelligence operation and [c] there are more appropriate forums for Congress to review and discuss what America is doing around the world - covertly or openly.

      The most damaging thing about Rep. Issa's revelation is that it distorts what the US may - or may not - have been doing in Bengghazi at the time of the attack.

  • Mourdock, Rape as a Gift of God, and Islamic Sharia
    • The American Taliban - which is what the extreme Christian fundamentalists are, in fact - would have everyone follow their doctrine or be stoned. Oh, they deny it and they might not institute public floggings. But they are just as ferocious in their flagrant distortion of Jesus' supposed teachings as the Taliban is of Mohammed's lessons.

      How did this happen in America?

      We've always been plagued by a few religious nutjobs from time to time but what we are seeing today in the United States is unprecedented. Some of the crazies actually run for president - yes, I'm speaking to you, Michelle Bachmann - and the Republican Party took her seriously for a while.

      We are a far distance from what Thomas Jefferson thought Americans would be: He predicted that most would end up atheists or, at worst, Unitarians.

  • Romney's Major Flip-Flops in the Third Debate
    • I counted 20 outright Romney lies during the debate, including the contradictions or flip-flops you cite here, but he was lieing so often and with such impunity that I probably missed a whole bunch. He is the most dishonest man to ever seek the presidency - outdoing even Nixon - and is trying to show that he can win with a combination of lots of dark money and a total disregard for the truth.

  • SNL Spoof of Second Presidential Debate (Video)
    • It was funniest when dealing with Mitt and Tagg's reaction to being called out as liars by the president. By actual count, Mitt Romney has lied 856 times since January; in contrast, George W. Bush lied a documented 935 times about Iraq. Romney is giving Bush a run for his money. (www.ukprogressive.co.uk/hard-to-believe-romney-lies-like-bush/article20560.html)

  • Top Ten Republican Myths about Obama and Iran
    • No doubt Iran's putative "nukes" will be raised in tonight's debate. Hopefully, Pres. Obama will slap down both the question and Romney by pointing out that as recently as this weekend, Haaratz (sp?) was reporting that the Mossad and CIA agree that Iran has made no decision regarding building a nuclear weapon.

      Furthermore, as Dr. Cole has written about frequently, there is a fatwa in existence in Iran banning the country from developing a nuclear weapon.

      No doubt Romney will also raise the issue of the US response to the days of the Green Revolution in Iran; Paul Ryan brought it up again the other day. The fact is that leaders of the protest cautioned both the US and EU from doing anything to help, indicating that such support could jeapordize support inside Iran by giving the regime an excuse to blame outside forces on causing trouble.

      As for Hizbullah, it's always struck me that its formation and strength has been the result of Israeli policies rather than because of any circumstances inside Lebanon. If Washington and the EU would stand up to Israeli and demand it reach a peace deal with its neighbors - especially the Palestinians - the country would have little choise. But the region would quiet down considerably, including any desire Iran might have to build an A-bomb.

      Finally, as was reported elsewhere last week (mostly in Europe), the tough sanctions on Iran are hurting mostly the Iranian people rather than the government. It was the same thing with Cuba for decades: US sanctions did nothing to change government policy but made life miserable for the Cuban people.

  • Calm Muslim Berates Violent Muslims for Defaming Islam and being Suckers
    • As usual, it was left to Jon Stewart to smack down the right wing generally and Fox News specifically on how they are speaking of the unrest in the Middle East. In a bit with John Oliver "live in Cairo," they put the whole thing in perspective.

      Islam, they said, at 1,400 years old is like an unruly teenager. When Christiainity was 1,400 years old, it was conducting the Inquisition and burning women as witches because they were left-handed. And Jusiaism? "At 1,400, Jews were doing a lot of begatting," Stewart, himself Jewish, noted.

  • Tax Deadbeat Romney Calls Working People Leeches
    • This morning, Paul Krugman described Romney as "a candidate who despises half the country."

      The man is an insensitive doofus. He's also incorrect. Oh, and there were at least three years during the past 12 when Romney paid no income tax himself. (Harry Reid got the number of years wrong but not the facts.) Yes, Romney paid tax on his so-called "investment income" in those years but no income tax so does that mean he is voting for Pres. Obama?.

      Just as bad, the Mother Jones video also shows Romney stating emphatically that a two-state solution and peace is "almost unthinkable" even though in July he said publicly, "I believe in a two-state solution."

      This is all very ugly. The man is a not just a tax cheat and a liar but he is two-faced and a nasty (insert your term here because Dr. Cole's filter won't let me use any of my own terms).

  • Top Myths about Iran's Nuclear Enrichment Program
    • What is especially dumbfounding is that Netanyahu never gets called on any of his palaver about Iran when he's interviewed by US reporters. For example - and I cite is only because it is the best (or worst) example - David Gregory at NBC has yet to confront the Israeli Prime Minister, or any other neo-con who shows up on Meet The Press demanding war now, war forever, on statements they make. Poor Tim Russert must be spinning in his grave.

  • Romney Jumps the Shark: Libya, Egypt and the Butterfly Effect
    • Thanks to his uninformed yet smug news conference Monday about the Libya and Egupt attacks, I finally put my finger on what it is about the Republican who would be president that is so bothersome: There is something fundamentally untouched about Willard "Mitt" Romney, something offensively virginal.

      The few lines in his face that supporters might confuse for life experience are actually the lines of an overindulged child who has never been beaten and tear gassed by the police at a peaceful demonstration, or been locked away in a precinct house and denied the use of a toilet, and certainly not chained to the floor of a huge Air Force transport flying him hooded to a secret prison in a remote corner of a Caribbean island where the government providing the free flight hopes the world will forget about him.

      "Overindulged child" puts Romney in perspective. He's a man who never had to decide whether to pay the electric company or the rent, or balance whether buying a piece of fruit today means he might not have enough cash to refill a prescription next week. He has no idea what the word "struggle" means and he lets everyone else know it.

      Romney gives off a kind of full-of-himself belief that being nimble and clever and lucky – very lucky, starting with the accident of birth that found him being swaddled by a talented father – transcends the reality of any sort of human suffering.

  • The Collapse of the Climate Change Contrarians and the End of Coal
    • Dr. Muller's findings, published earlier this year by his Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) study group, confirms very specific evidence found a few years ago by scientists studying ice cores in the Antarctic. The rapid rise in CO2 began at precisely the moment man started burning large quantities of coal for industrial use.

      The repeated studies and cnsistent results of some 5,000 scientists working independently and all over the globe leave only Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, US Senator James Inhofe, Mitt Romney, the Koch Bros., and maybe Orly Taitz - well, she's as rational as the rest of the deniers - as about the only people who still refuse to accept that climate change is here, it's real and it's going to kill the earth as we know it.

      As an aside, I didn't realize that more people are now employed in green industries than work in coal. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Is Michele Bachmann an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood?
    • Michelle Bachmann has two problems that she's trying to fix with her caterwauling. First, the media stopped paying attention to her so she came up with some nutty comment about the Muslim Brotherhood to get on Fox - and, by extension, picking up some other media attention. Second, and more important I suspect, is that she is in danger of losing her seat following redistricting the last census. A big chunk of the new 6th district includes a much more rational (read: Democratic) piece of the Twin Cities. In the past, she's only had to contend with some semi-rural rednecks who would vote for Donald Duck if he ran as a Republican.

  • Top Five Reasons Israel is Losing the Public Relations Battle
    • As an American Jew, Israel embarasses me on a daily basis, and has for years. Its treatment of the Palentinian people, whether in Gaza, on the West Bank or in the illegal settlements, is a stain on the mark of Judiasm and Jewish people everywhere.

      When I am called an "anti-Semitic Jew" by acquaintances, I remind them that what the Israeli government is doing to the Palestinians is precisely what Jews have suffered for centuries. Have we, as a people, learned nothing?

  • Ghoul's Glossary
    • As "Vanity Fair's" extensive article yesterday revealed, Mitt Romney made his fortune - at least, the part of it he didn't inherit - first by pillaging companies and leaving thousands without bemefits, pensions and jobs, followed by using shady tax gimmicks to circumvent tax laws.

      What he did to build his fortune may not have been illegal - "Vanity Fair" makes that clear - but it is immoral, amoral, unethical and totally unseemly for a man who wants to be president. Never in the history of this nation has someone so void of character sought the highest office in the land - with the possible exception of Warren G. Harding.

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