"All my decisions are the best." (Reuters)Mitt Romney seems to be having a little trouble identifying the right person to speak on the issue of the day. Tuesday, for instance, Romney's campaign was trying to push a claim that the Obama White House has leaked national security secrets. A press release advancing that claim quoted campaign adviser and former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman. Under secretary of defense?impressive, right? But maybe not the guy to make accusations about the seriousness of leaks:
Edelman, however, was implicated in the country's last major national security leak investigation ? the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame ? during his time in the Bush administration.Having someone who was involved in a national security leak that led to a felony conviction talk about the seriousness of vaguely alleged leaks is ... an interesting choice. Doing it the day after Romney used federal contractors to claim that the government has nothing to do with successful businesses is extra special.
Edelman served under former Vice President Dick Cheney in the 1990s. From February 2001 to June 2003, he worked as Principal Deputy Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs, where he served directly under former Cheney aide Scooter Libby. According to the Justice Department, Edelman, identified as ?Principal Deputy? in Scooter Libby?s indictment, originally suggested the idea to Libby to start leaking information about Joe Wilson?s trip to Niger.
Whether it's arrogance, carelessness, or both that leads the Romney campaign to make these picks, I do look forward to the logical next step: a Romney ad featuring Scrooge McDuck diving through a pile of gold while insisting that it's perfectly normal for a candidate to have money in Swiss banks and the Cayman Islands while refusing to release tax returns.
The Energy Report: Steve, AlphaNorth created quite a stir when it returned 160% in 2009 and 113% in 2010. But this year’s second quarter has seen negative returns. What do you attribute this to? . . . → Read More: Small-Cap Energy Stocks Have Hit Bottom: Steve Palmer
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Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, coming to a town near you soon to make you scared. (Reuters)Sens. John "Maverick" McCain and Lindsey "Huckleberry" Graham are very, very, upset and they want you to be, too. Their problem? How can we invade Iran if the defense cuts in the Budget Control Act (which McCain voted for) happen?
You remember the Budget Control Act, the result of negotiations between the White House and the Republican Congress to keep the nation from economic free fall and raise the debt ceiling. Immediately, the attack Iran crowd in the Senate?McCain and Graham bleating the loudest?announced their intention to renege on the deal. Now they've decided to take their show on the road.
The idea: Rile up military constituencies in states like Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and New Hampshire to intensify pressure on President Barack Obama and wayward lawmakers into cutting a pre-election deal to soften the blow on defense programs. [...]The tricky spot? How to come up with the revenue to offset larding up defense spending. It puts a lot of Republicans between the rock of defense contractors and the hard spot of Grover Norquist.
McCain and Graham are calling for reinforcements on their possible road trip, reaching out to some of their closest allies like Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), hoping to hit military installations in key swing states starting as early as next week. McCain said Monday more details would be announced later this week. [...]
Graham and McCain are considering whether to swing by Jacksonville, Fla., on their trip, according to Rubio, who spoke with the men about the matter. But if the senators begin to aggressively advocate new revenue to cut a deal, it could put Rubio and other Republicans in a tricky spot.
Angering Spain by seizing and nationalizing a majority of Repsol’s shares in YPF and ramping up the rhetoric over the Falkland Islands as exploration deals promise to make the territory a major oil player . . . → Read More: Things Are About to Get Much Worse for Energy Firms in Argentina – Interview with Sam Logan
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While I've gone over how the Democratic and Republican tax plans scheduled to get a vote in the Senate this week are in many ways similar, I did not identify the points of difference, which are substantial in their own way, particularly in the direction[...]
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Media Matters writes: Limbaugh: Obama's Aurora Remarks Show He's An "Egomaniac"; "Everything Has To Be About This Guy"
Every innocuous comment President Obama makes must be analyzed by Rush through his own special 'Did he really say this or that?' filter. Why, the audacity for Obama to even speak.
You know, every parent I know would have imagined the what-if scenario in the aftermath of the Aurora shootings: 'What would have happened if my kids were in the Colorado movie theater during the slaughter? ' How dare Obama do the same as any other parent?
And as far as egomaniacs go....Is there none bigger than Limbaugh?
What an imbecile.
Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
How far Right do we have to be pushed / lead ? or attempts made with that goal in mind ? before being dismissively, derisively labeled ?fringe? when we don?t follow? Personally, I?m in support of fringy-ness. No doubt in part that?s because quite a few people seem to consider me in the fringe territory (the section pejoratively, or fondly, known as the ?dirty old hippy? region), but it?s also because on our national political continuum, I actually am in status quo definition of fringe territory. Mostly that?s anywhere that isn?t safely within the comfort of the Rightly shifting Duopoly. And as the political / social Rightward slide continues, I?m thinking more and more people could find themselves in the general fringy region.
If more of us do occupy the constantly Rightly-redefined-to-fit-Corporate-purpose fringes, will we finally reach the point where there will be a revolution of some kind? An Occupy the (Left) Fringes advance, perhaps? Or, along with the Electorate in general, will we simply give up and say, ?they won,? and spend more and more of our time distracted by Duopoly games and fighting among ourselves about who we should trust the most/least to disperse the increasingly fewer ?keep them quiet? scraps thrown our way?
Looking for insight ? and honestly, probably for some distraction from 2012 boredom ? I?ve turned to a number of people, quoted below. I?d really like to hear from you, both your thoughts ? feel free to quote yourself, please ? and those of some of the people to whom you turn when you?re in need of clarity or wisdom, or maybe some sanity, or even just a laugh. I need more laughs.
Vast Left, in an FB comment at an American Extremists post: ?Liberals, this November the choice is clear: vote for the candidate who more-subtly opposes your values.?
Marketing with finesse, not just bombast, is indeed noteworthy, and Vast Left?s American Extremists comics are excellent at calling attention to antics on the liberal / progressive side, from subtle to heavy left-handed.
Emma Goldman: ?No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution… revolution is but thought carried into action.?
Which, of course, is one big reason the Electeds and the Elites for whom they work really don?t want to hear what anyone who doesn?t agree with them is thinking.
Cornel West: ?King?s response to our crisis can be put in one word: revolution. A revolution in our priorities, a reevaluation of our values, a reinvigoration of our public life and a fundamental transformation of our way of thinking and living that promotes a transfer of power from oligarchs and plutocrats to everyday people and ordinary citizens.?
Excellent. And have you ever noticed how quickly and often the attempt is made to turn the use of a word like ?oligarchy? or ?plutocracy? into something bad about the person using them? It?s a classic ?change the subject and make this something negative about the person with whom I disagree, rather than what that person is talking about? kind of tactic.
Audre Lorde: ?Without community, there is no liberation.? And, ?Revolution is not a onetime event.?
Yep. Revolution (or just changes) toward liberation, is a process, and it absolutely requires people working together, supporting each other. So, of course, efforts from Electeds and Elites are to divide us.
Abbie Hoffman: ?The only way to support a revolution is to make your own.?
We each have to figure out what ?making it our own? means, if we choose to be supportive, but without ?making it our own,? it remains an abstraction.
Gore Vidal: ?Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.?
For an example, see: Elections 2012.
Alice Walker: ?Activism is my rent for living on this planet.?
And no doubt I?m late on rent. Again.
Albert Einstein: ?The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don?t do anything about it.?
I think that?s another ?Rent is Past Due? notice.
Martina Navratilova: ?Just go out there and do what you have to do.?
Okay, that sounds like it comes from a (in this case, world class) athlete, but Navratilova has been an off the tennis court activist for many years. And thinking about this statement, what comes to mind is that ?doing what you have to do? includes few, relatively speaking, ?big wins.? When those do come, it?s because ?what you have to do? is keep at it, day after day, election after election.
Jane Wagner: ?Our ability to delude ourselves may be an important survival tool.?
In the (relatively thinking) short-term, Wagner is probably right. But eventually, delusion fails, and damn, there?s reality, staring us Right, and Left, in the face.
National security threat... or national diversion?
Ultimately it's up to the voters in MN-6 to remove Michele Bachmann. This year they're probably thinking carefully about throwing their support to Jim Graves. I'm sure people in St. Cloud, the biggest city in the district, and a place where Bachmann is extremely unpopular, are scratching their heads. But even in Bachmann strongholds, like Hennepin, Sherbourne and Wright counties, people have to be wondering why even conservative Republicans like John McCain (R-AZ), John Boehner (R-OH), former Bachmann campaign manager Ed Rollins, and now Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) are going out of their way to distance themselves from Bachmann and denounce her vile McCarthyism. (Eric Cantor and Scott Brown have now chimed in as well.)
Neo-Nazis and other deranged right-wing sociopaths and their media outlets like Glenn Beck, Dana Loesch, Limbaugh and the American Thinker are further damaging her with their equally insane defense of her outrageous Islamophobia. Many people think Bachmann should resign. That's not going to happen. Like I said, that'll be up to the voters in MN-6. On the other hand, John Boehner can do the right thing and get this psychopath off the Intelligence Committee. America's national security is already compromised enough because of the connections between House Armed Services Committee chairman Buck McKeon and Organized Crime figure Sheldon Adelson and his shady dealings with Israel and China. This week People for the American Way lent voice to the growing chorus of Americans demanding that Boner remove Bachmann from her sensitive committee post.
People For the American Way is calling on House Speaker John Boehner to remove Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and two other members from their seats on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence after a series of irresponsible allegations against U.S. government employees.
Intelligence Committee members Bachmann, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland and Rep. Thomas Rooney were among the five Republican representatives to sign a letter to federal agencies baselessly alleging that a number of public servants, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?s aide Huma Abedin, have ties to the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. The letter relied largely on phony information peddled by anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney
Last week, Speaker Boehner called the accusations ?pretty dangerous,? but refused to say whether he?d remove Bachmann and the others from the Intelligence Committee. Abedin has reportedly been placed under police protection after receiving a threat over the weekend.
?Michele Bachmann has never been a model of responsibility, but this latest attack is one step too far,? said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. ?Members of the House Intelligence Committee are entrusted with classified information that affects the safety and security of all Americans. That information should not be in the hands of anyone with such a disregard for honesty, misunderstanding of national security, and lack of respect for her fellow public servants.
?Speaker Boehner was right to call out Rep. Bachmann?s dangerous and irresponsible rhetoric. Now he should act on those words.?
Mitt Romney owes all US Olympics athletes an apology.AP quotes Romney talking to the 2002 Olympic athletes:"You Olympians, however, know you didn't get here solely on your own power," Romney said after congratulating the athletes. "For most of you, loving parents, sisters or brothers, encouraged your hopes, coaches guided, communities built venues in order to organize competitions. All...