The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ed Schultz, Santorum; The point?







Yes, I sat last Thursday and watched the '24/7 coverage hungry' MSNBC Host, Ed Schultz, as he sat through a Rick Santorum Town-Hall meeting and a posting meeting interview. 

The need to break-away from MSNBC's solely Left leaning political coverage is real, but I wonder about the relevance of Schultz's segment. Do Progressives need re-enforcement regarding our political preference? Are conservatives going to spend even one minute watching the Ed Show. If there are conservative watching his show, they are the ones who consistently vote 5% on his daily cell surveys, or they are watching as a monitoring entity.  The state of mind of any conservative Ed Schultz interviewed (in the segments below) has about as much relevance to me as listening to Dick Cheney speak about national defense or integrity in US Politics. These are the very same people who elected G. W. Bush and Dick Cheney. But, I suppose even MSNBC has to capitalize on the 'hot items' in the-political realm, so "I get it".

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A Test of Presidential Viability

There is only one question that should be asked of each and every presidential candidate to verify their viability - given a Congress that is intensely divided along political lines and assuming there is no super-majority, how are you going to obtain the 60 votes in the Senate that are needed to bring any bill to the floor?
It baffles me that this question hasn't been asked yet.  And if it has, please link me to the article(s) for I would love to read the responses.  Most importantly is to not let the candidate tap-dance around the question with generalities and bs.  An important question necessitates a real answer...even if it's a complex answer that takes charts and diagrams to explain.  Heck, I'll take a detailed 30 minute response that covers A-to-Z rather than the typical "I'm a natural-born leader!"

Can anyone here answer that question? How would YOU get 10-15 Senators from the opposition party to vote with you??

(by the way, I do recognize that President Obama fails this test miserably.  Hell, he couldn't get 60 votes in the Senate when 60 Democrats held Senate seats!  Pathetic...) StumbleUpon

Friday, December 30, 2011

General Petraeus received a recommendation to resign!


Petraeus Almost Quit Over Afghan Drawdown
He was upset about Obama's decision to draw-down after the Afghan Surge.

If you even followed any of many writings related to Iraq and Afghanistan, you found a consistent sentiment regarding military minds. I have never read, nor heard, of a General who actually felt 'standing-down' was acceptable as a strategy.  For that matter, they will not recommend standing-down even after the strategy or initiative has run its course. I may have spoken a bit prematurely, I remember General McClellan of the Union Army in the Civil War stood-down when Lincoln wanted a major show of force.  If my memory serves me correctly, McClellan was the only general who recognized that war is not always a game of "Chinese Checkers".  Chinese Checkers may be the only board game I have played (many years ago) that involved holding territory forever.  Even, the cerebral game of Chess involves winning the game via strategy. Once accomplished, "Game-Over".
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Vice-President Hillary Clinton?




I think I like this.
My political prediction for 2012 (based on absolutely no inside information): Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden swap places. Biden becomes Secretary of State — a position he’s apparently coveted for years. And Hillary Clinton, Vice President.
So the Democratic ticket for 2012 is Obama-Clinton.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Congressional wealth and income disparity




Get elected to Congress become a Beverly Hillbilly!


As reported by MSNBC and based on an article from the Washington Post w/ Bloomberg website, the US Congress has become the land of Jed Clampett, Granny, Ellie Mae and Jethro (The Beverly Hillbillies). Once elected to office a Congressional Representative, with a few reelections, rest assured of riches. The Washington Post article, includes information about the growing income disparity between average Americans and the people we vote into the House and Senate of the US Congress.

On December 26, Peter Whoriskey published the article   which craftily depicts how a steel worker left his shift one day and told his wife he was running for Congress. After winning an election and entering the congress in 1975, (and many years later) Myers 'slice of life' increased materially to the point of the following quote.

“My mother and I used to joke we were like the Beverly Hillbillies when we rolled into McLean, and we really were,” said Michele Myers, the congressman’s daughter, now 46. “My dad was driving this awful lime-green Ford Maverick, and I bought my clothes at Kmart.
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Who is Ron Paul?



Most do not know; those who know are dangerous!
Sam Stein in my opinion is a journalist, writer and political analyst that gets my attention when I am in one of my 'half-listening' modes.  A state of being that often accompanies my day based on writing and other activities (hobbies for one). There are only a few regular contributors to daily news shows who draw my attention; Stein is at the top of that list. Stein is both perspicacious and topically authoritative.
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Rick Perry’s Elusive Search For a Brain


Cross posted from www.mariopiperni.com

Rick Perry wins the Idiot Quote of the Week award.
“Every barrel of oil that comes out of those sands in Canada is a barrel of oil that we don’t have to buy from a foreign source.”
The fact that anyone could take this dumbass to be a serious presidential candidate is a reflection of how low the bar has been set for politicians in the Republican party.  You can thank George W. and his enablers in the conservative media for that one.
Scarecrow: I haven’t got a brain… only straw.
Dorothy: How can you talk if you haven’t got a brain?
Scarecrow: I don’t know… But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking… don’t they?
Dorothy: Yes, I guess you’re right.
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How the GOP wins in 2012!

Ballot Box


Huffington Post POLITICS has published an article based on a Reuters report of a study performed by the Center for the Study of the American Electorate at American University. The results of the study is frightening but probably not surprising to most people. The bottom-line of the study: young voters will forsake the electoral process in 2012.   Less voters always means a win for the GOP. Clear evidence of such was the onslaught of Tea party activity that led to the 2010 congressional and state-wide results. Thus, a House of Representative which has turned into a chamber of Tea Party dominate horrors and a Senate that is barely holding its nose above the waterline of sanity. 

Director of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, Curtis Gans, wrote Curtis Gans, director of the center. 
"The election is likely to offer a minimum of hope and a maximum of televised invective - likely between the perception of a failed president and a party of failed ideas magnified by an unprecedented level of scurrilous and vitriolic and often ad hominem television advertising,"

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14 year sentence: A victim of his upbringing and his life



Jacques guilty in church fire case
             Michael Jacques, I am not a racist"!
Last Friday Huffington Post-Black Voices reported on the Thursday, December 22 sentencing of an arsonist who was convicted this past April.  The arson was perpetrated against a church with a black congregation.  Why is that a notable conviction and sentencing?Well, November 4, 2008, election results came in, President Elect Obama took the stage in Chicago, and Michael Jacques and a few others acted-out there angst with the election results.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ron Paul: In the closet!


Ron Paul, yes, Ron Paul!

I have written much about Ron Paul and to a slightly lesser degree Rand Paul.  Both people bother me to an indescribable level. Their libertarian state's rights view are enough to frighten off most people with progressive social views.  Their closet bigotry cloaked in 'property rights' rhetoric is dangerous.  How about a little dose of property rights. Jamie Hein Property owner racist


If I am to accept the Paul's affection for property owners over the rights of people who might be victims of discrimination, afraid I have to side with US Law.  The Paul's can cloak their affinity for their constituency which wants life returned to the days of Jim Crow(or worse), but   they really should come clean and run publicly and proudly. 

The following video segment from MSNBC, Now w/Alex Wagner, adroitly covers issues surrounding Paul's past. 

 Ron Paul  "Paul-Bearers" and a quick analysis. (please excuse the 15 second commercial that proceeds the linked video)

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Massachusetts: Warren Vs. Brown Circa 2012 Super PAC O.K. Corral



Warren Vs. Brown


Karl Rove has gone on record for his non-support for all current GOP presidential candidates with an exception for Mitt Romney.  Romney's careful, non-confrontational, and "take no firm position" campaign will lead to his eventual nomination as the GOP candidate for 2012.  Rove, the most prolific and effective GOP operative of our time, has turned to working on winning critical seats in Congress, especially the US Senate. The Democrats retained a four (4) seat majority in the Senate while losing the House to the Tea Party in the 2010 elections.  GOP strategist will focus on the Senate, as the 2012 presidential race is politically Obama's to lose.  An Obama win (in 2012), a majority GOP victory in the House and a Rove, delivered Senate would make for good GOP lame-ducking of the president.  The Party could continue to pursue its 'corporatist' human services dismantling of the federal government.

Rove is using his Super PACs to work on defeating Elizabeth Warren who is running against Scott Brown. Brown won the Massachusetts Senate seat vacated by the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy.  The seat is a 'choice' seat and  Scott is running  a distant pace behind the capable and passionate progressive Warren.

As we look at how Rove is molding and shaping strategy to fulfill the agenda for the political Right, I thought it might be useful to take a peek at how one major conservative 'cash cow' influences the GOP.  David Koch and his brother Charles have stated that they would spend billions to unseat President Obama. What they do not speak about publicly is their willingness to spend equally on state and local politics.  Now, for a look at one Koch's political background and agenda. As you review the following excerpt, you will recognize many current GOP talking-points.

Koch was the Libertarian Party's vice-presidential candidate in the 1980 presidential election, sharing the party ticket with presidential candidate Ed Clark. The Clark–Koch ticket promising to abolish Social Security, theFederal Reserve Boardwelfareminimum-wage laws, corporate taxes, all price supports and subsidies for agriculture and business, and U.S. Federal agencies including the SEC, EPA, ICC, FTC, OSHA, FBI, CIA, and DOE.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Gringrich’s Veracity: First divorce not as he claims




Ever wonder why so many Republicans are averse to New Gingrich as a candidate for the GOP nomination:? The answer should come easily; Gingrich is a ‘serial liar’ with no credible foundation in any area of his life.  Yes, of course, many politicians  exaggerate, use hyperbole or flat-out lie.  Gingrich suffers from each of those stated  human failings.

Gingrich is well noted for being a second tier ‘flip-flopper’ behind the front running ‘flip-flopper” Mitt Romney. But, flip-flopping aside, what about the flat-out lies related to Fannie Mae and $1.3 Million in earnings from that organization?  Ah, but there is newly related information which casts convincing doubt on Gingrich’s ability to ever speak truthfully.

I will remind the reader that Gingrich has a history of misrepresentation while in Congress that led to his leaving the Speakership and paying $300,000 in ethics fines.
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Bank of America/Countrywide a metastasizing cancer

Executive bonuses and discriminatory lending, the legacy of a top 1 % corporation











                                  
The Washington Post, January 2010, reported (the article posted date appears as a typographical error)
Bank of America Corp. gave Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan a $9.05 million bonus for his first year as leader of the largest U.S. lender by assets, less than the company awarded to its investment banking head.
Ever wonder how the 1 % corporations in America contribute to the welfare of the nation?   Bank of America (BAC) is a classic and most exemplary example of 1% (er) greed and malfeasance.

IN 2007 through early 2009, The federal government looked to reverse our dying banking industry through the a series of bailouts. The bailouts in some cases were a form of loan. Many "bailout" corporations have paid back their bailout/loan with interest.  Some have paid principle and interest but immediately embarked on the same business models and com[compensation practices which led to the need for bailouts. Bank of America is s sterling example. The nation's largest bank is pictured in the following charts as having received the second largest amount of bailout funds.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Why is Christmas Day on the 25th December? -- Christmas Customs and Traditions -- whychristmas?com

A little something for Christmas celebrations from WhyChristmas.com.  The following is an interesting read. I do not feel in any way the linked site includes verbiage aimed at poo-pooing Christmas Day as a day of reverence unparalleled in the Roman Calendar.

In fact a visit to the site yields quite a contrary effect.

So when was Jesus Born?

There's a strong and practical reason why Jesus might not have been born in the winter, but in the spring or the autumn! It can get very cold in the winter and it's unlikely that the shepherds would have been keeping sheep out on the hills (as those hills can get quite a lot of snow sometimes!).

Information enriches and it need not spoil a wonderful time of year.


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2011 ending with GOP (Ism) gone bad!


I just sat through a segment of MSNBC's Hardball. Chris Matthews had two conservatives on camera spewing Right-Wing taking-points and looking generally stupid.

As the segment ended Matthews asked each  who they supported for their parties nomination to run for President. A noted "Tea Party' blowhard (spokesman) from the Dallas area answered, "Ronald Reagan." The Tea Party spokesman had just railed about how Obama has spent 4 trillion while raising the deficit. While the data in the follow chart ends in 2010, the chart exposes the asinine arguments that so emanate from Tea Party spokespeople. parties 

Time series of U.S. federal debt overlaid with partisan affiliation of the White House and the Congress



Obstructionist Optics
Solidarity!
Speaker John Boehner holds a news conference at the Capitol in Washington with Republican House members after a vote to block a Senate bill to extend the payroll tax break for an additional two months on Dec. 20, 2011., Tom Williams, CQ Roll Call / Getty Images





















Loneliness

How could a political party allow itself to self imploded into a mere mockery of its past (self alleged) greatness?  

The election of Barack Obama certainly precipitated the current state of GOP disarray.  Actually the election of any Democrat in 2008 would have brought-on heightened levels of malcontent from the Right. Obama's election generated outright frothing accompanied by demented-delirium never before seen in US politics.  The level of angst that would lead to public proclamations such as this....



Even if McConnell, Boehner and Cantor thought of any areas of compromise with the Democratic President, McConnell (to his supporters at the Heritage Foundation) placed an obstructionist stake in the arena.

All in all, does anyone ever stop to think of America with John McCain and Sarah Palin in the top two position of federal governance.

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Facebook's Social Apps are always watching

Facebook Is Tracking Your Every Move on the Web; Here's How to Stop It

A few weeks back Facebook announced new Open Graph-enabled social web apps. After an initial read from concern users of Facebook I filed the issue in the 'no-biggie' file.

Earlier this week, I noticed a reference to a "Friend" who is less active on Facebook Feeds.   On Wednesday of this week, I noticed another "Friend's" name who rarely posts information that works its way to my account.  In both cases, I received information as to certain articles the "Friends" had just read. Well, I thought, would the friend like me knowing their reading choices, preferences, or song preferences.  There-in lies the central issue.

Do I really want anyone who is listed as a "Friend" to know what I read while online (In certain sites)? The answer for me: no not really.

Apparently the new Facebook Open-Graphic Apps created a buzz worthy of investigation.  The following link does a good job of explaining the issue. But, first an excerpt from the article.

......by using these apps, just reading an article, listening to a song, or watching a video, you're sending information to Facebook which can then be automatically shared with your friends or added to your profile, and Facebook doesn't ask for your permission to do it.

Oh, yes, I damned sure downloaded and installed each security measure.

Update: Nic Cubrilovic has posted an update to his story after discussing the matter with Facebook engineers. They have agreed to make changes to the way their cookies are stored and handled so your account information is not present when you log out of Facebook.
However, while Facebook has changed its cookie-handling process, the cookies are still retained and not deleted after logout, and do not expire. They remove your account information when you log out, but they still contain some non-personal data about your browser and the system you're using. Nic still recommends you clear your Facebook cookies after every session, and we still suggest that if you're concerned, that you do the same, and try one of the extensions above, or Priv3 or Firefox to protect yourself.
I'm Just Sayin! 
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You’ll Never Hear About It On Fox News



You knew that the boys and girl vying to become the Republican presidential nominee next year were lying through their teeth but you may not have known by how much.
If you had to guess whether President George W. Bush or President Barack Obama cut taxes more in his first term, which one would you choose? Probably President Bush, right? After all, the “the Bush tax cuts” were massive. And President Obama is the one calling for the expiration of some of those tax cuts. He’s also pushing for more revenue as we try to address our long-term fiscal imbalance.
Given all that, you could be forgiven for guessing that President Bush is the bigger tax cutter. But you’d actually be wrong. By the end of his first term, President Obama will have signed into law a series of tax cuts that, taken together, exceed the value of those signed into law by President Bush.
By 2012, bills signed into law by President Obama will have reduced tax revenues by about $900 billion, or 1.5 percent of GDP. And if he gets his way, and Congress passes another $250 billion in cuts, the total of all Obama tax cuts will rise to about 2 percent of GDP. That’s close to twice as big as the tax cut tally at the close of President Bush’s first term.
In graphic form, here’s what it looks like.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ron Paul: leading the pack?



....and slipping into the same after-life as Cain, Bachmann, and Gingrich.




When the covers are pulled back, the real person is revealed. In 1994, Dr. Ron Paul sat for an interview that ran on CSPAN.




An interview comment.

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An Unfair Life?

All too often we hear the mantra - "life is unfair".  Personally I've grown tired of people throwing the phrase out there as they look down their nose at the poor, the unlucky, the screwed, the destitute and the fucked.  This scenario plays out in many ways, but typically ends the same:  "You lost your job because your company outsourced it to India?  Too bad.  Life's just not fair.  Deal with it.";  "Can't get out from the debt of your student loans?  Maybe you shouldn't have majored in Art!  Life's unfair kid."; "You can't get health care insurance because you have diabetes?  Sounds like your problem.  Life just isn't fair."; "Lost your house because a bank illegally foreclosed on it?  Life is in no way fair buddy.  Learn to live with it."

The first thought that crosses my mind is, simply:  Why is life unfair?

The second thought typically comes quickly afterwards:  If life is unfair, why is that okay?

In thinking about it, I just don't believe that life is unfair.  Rather, it makes a lot more sense when you shine a light and see that it is a cop-out that the well-to-do have formulated for themselves.  How can I get out of helping others who are more destitute than myself AND also quell this damn guilt?  Ahh!  Life is UNFAIR!  Ding!

The phrase becomes quite convenient in that light.  Why actually DO something when you can just pop that beauty out, pin it to their forehead, and walk away?  And this answers the second question -  it's not okay.  But we've been beaten down to the point that we think it is.  Truly, that is a sad revelation.

So I've devised a way to counter anyone who spews the entire "life is unfair" argument...

It's a nice, warm sunny day as you are driving home from the store with your wife and son when you come to a red light and stop.  At that moment, 2 men come up to your car and before you can drive away, they subdue you, then kidnap your wife and son.

Question - Do you call the cops?

If you truly believe that life IS unfair, you would actually not call the cops.  Rather, you would say to yourself:  "well mack, life is unfair.  Yeah the wife is gone, but there's plenty of other fish in the sea.  And, yeah, kiddo is gone too, but I have the ability to create another.  And, really, this was bound to happen sooner or later.  Life is just unfair like that.  And at least you came out of it unharmed.  So, naw, no need to call the cops.  It's just time to drive on home and see what my ex-girlfriend is up to."

If you believe that, I have a friendly tiger to sell you.

This is how the situation would go down in reality - Mr. Life Is Unfair would first probably wreck his car [if not downright maim/kill innocent bystanders] in an attempt to chase down the perps.  As smoke billows up to the sky from the crashed car, he'll continue the pursuit on foot.  When that becomes futile, he will call the cops, then the FBI, and Homeland Security, and anyone else he can think of who might help rectify the situation.

Morever, he would probably pull out a tire iron and beat your ass bloody if you dared to mention to him at that moment that, hey fella, just let it roll off your back man, afterall life is unfair!

Why would he act this way?  That answer is obvious - the bad thing happened to HIM.  And it wasn't a minor bad thing, such as the grocery store being out of his favorite type of hot tea.  Nope.  This was a major, big-time bad thing.  And there isn't a band aid large enough to cover the wound.  All of a sudden, life being unfair isn't good enough.  He wants results and resolution.  He wants someone to tell him that it will be okay.  He wants a hug, a good one.

And when his wife is found tortured, raped and dead in an alley dumpster, and his son found dead next to her, Mr. Life Is Unfair will probably not want to go to work that day.  Or the next.  Or perhaps for the rest of that month.  In the end, he might not have known it initially, but he'll know it then that it's a damn good thing he has short-term disability he can tap into.

Moral of the story - the next time someone tells you to just deal because life is unfair, ask them if they would call the cops if their wife was kidnapped...and then school them when they say "Yes, of course I would!" StumbleUpon

Congress’ Unfolding Tragicomedy



Cross posted from Mario Piperni dot com



You would be forgiven if you did not know whether you should laugh or cry at the farce unfolding in Congress these days.  The latest is Republicans’ handling of the payroll tax cut extension which passed in the Senate but is being blocked by House Republicans – a performance so botched and ugly that it drew the wrath of the Wall Street Journal’s conservative editorial board.


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Matt Damon: Hollywood’s Sexiest Mr. Nice Guy. Dillusioned!


Matt Damon


Matt Damon continues his onslaught of President Obama.  He joins many on the Left who feel President Obama took a turn towards centrism after taking office in 2009.  I have to ask, was his centrism a big surprise? Evidence of candidate Obama's innate comfort with his centrism (near moderate progressivism) was clearly apparent to the discerning observer during the 2004 Democratic Convention.  He also often referred to past presidents like Abe Lincoln and Ronald Reagan (for different reasons). Neither of which was dogmatic in their beliefs, but both presidents pursued major issues in a dogmatic way.  Reagan's Cold War and Lincoln's preserving the Union are prime examples. Reagan parted greatly from his mantra of fiscally conservative and Lincoln's pursuit for ridding the nation of slavery was, despite his contempt for those held in bondage.
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Rovian Political Theater 101


Cross Posted from MarioPiperni dot Com 


You can always count on spinmeister Karl Rove – a man who never heard a good lie about Democrats he didn’t love – to find a way for Republicans to salvage a losing position.  Facing the real possibility of Republicans being blamed for failing to extend payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits for millions, Rove has devised a way out for his party.  And it all has to do with what he calls “political theater.”
“I think the Wall Street Journal editorial hit it right on the nail, the question now is how do Republicans get out of it.”
[...]
“There’s only one way out of it. Is to stay in Washington, wait until President Obama gets on an airplane and heads for Hawaii, and then hold a session in the House, vote the two month extension and use the opportunity to beat up on the now long absent Democrats and Harry Reid and the absent president and say look – this is going to not be good for the companies that have to write the paychecks…”
“Use it for political theater and then vote the two month extension and get out of town.”
“The only way to win it is to sit there and ruin their own Christmases and wait until the president heads off to Hawaii for his, and then lambast the Democrats for having abdicated their responsibility of passing a year-long tax cut.”
And it’s done! Republicans can go from losers to winners and all it takes is a little deceit, some smoke, a couple of mirrors and a calculating Rovian mind to put it all together.  Republicans must make sure they make no mention of the part that had Dems settling on a temporary two month extension of the payroll tax cuts because Mitch McConnell and friends in the Senate were obstructing every chance of making it a twelve month deal. After all, there’s no point messing up a good storyline with truth and facts.
Don’t you just love the smell of politics in the morning?  Rove does.





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