Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blogger Was Really Bloggered That Time!

The people at Blogger seem to have difficulty with the concept of testing software before you deploy it. For a couple of days there, nobody in the world could post to their Blogger blog, it was impossible to comment, and recent comments that had already been posted were lost.

I heard about the problem before it actually got to us, and copied and saved comments on the most recent posts. Looking this morning, it appears that comments on only one post were actually lost in the "upgrade." It's not pretty but I pasted the lost comments back in a comment under my name.

We are supposed to shrug our shoulders and accept that it's a free service and you get what you pay for.


Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

There are comments still missing from the "Does it Matter if Torture 'Works'" thread. Theresa's last comment there was a cut and paste of this interview Bill O'Reilly conducted of George Bush's speechwriter, Marc Thiessen. Here's my reply to Theresa.

Did you really cite former President Bush's White House speech writer interview by Bill O'Reilly as your rebuttal to Sen. John McCain's Senate speech and editorial of what current CIA Director Leon Panetta told him, and what GITMO interrogator Mark Fallon, and former military interrogator Matthew Alexander have said about how the intelligence that lead to bin Laden was gathered?

Now I'll add another GITMO interrogator, Col. Steven Kleinman's comments so you can read what another actual interrogator, not a speech writing spin doctor has to say about the interrogation of our enemies.

Tell us Theresa, who do you suspect of being more of a spinner, Senators, CIA Directors, and security personnel who work for the CIA and military or a former White House speech writer?

And can you tell us Theresa, do White House speech writers get top secret clearance like military and CIA interrogators, Senators and CIA Directors do?

No wonder you are confused, you rely on FOX News, which delivers all right wing spin, all the time.

In the days after the covert plan President Obama approved resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, the old Bush guard, who have been trying to rewrite the history of the Bush Presidency since the US economy started sliding into the Great Recession, hit the media circuit again trying to rewrite the chapter about the history of Bush's failure to capture bin Laden as he said he would, dead or alive.

One of the best, and at time funniest videos documenting this attempt to rewrite the bin Laden chapter of Bush's legacy was put together by the Daily Show's Jon Stewart, who ran a segment last week showing Bush's old guard fanning out to all the media outlets to gloss over Bush's failures and to minimize Obama's successes as Stewart lamented the fact that Obama sent only one man, National Security Advisor, Tom Donilon, as a counterbalance to make his case at the same media outlets. Stewart's segment shows clips of Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Doug Feith, John Yoo, David Addington, and Dana Perino, among other Bushies hitting the media circuit trying to rewrite Bush's history of failure to get bin Laden and his Mission Accomplished "chest pounding."

Watch for more Bushies to continue to hit the media circuit to try to puff up Bush and tear down Obama.

May 15, 2011 3:40 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Need to hit the pause button.
Boss is in town and I have a very busy week.

Will respond this coming weekend.


May 16, 2011 1:02 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Okie-dokie, T. Good luck with the boss.

In the meantime, I hope you are still in agreement that big companies should pay their fair share of taxes. Apparently some in the GOP are sliding on their pledge to reign in oil subsidies/tax breaks for hugely profitable oil companies and I hope you GOPers are letting these flip floppers know that we are all going to have to share some sacrifice to lower the deficit.

"Republicans Who Opposed Oil Subsidies Are Now Hedging On Repeal

WASHINGTON -- Democrats trying to get political mileage out of their push to repeal multi-billion dollar subsidies to the thriving oil and gas industry are reminding balky Republicans that many of them have backed the idea before.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) office released a video mash-up Friday showing several of those Republicans speaking out against the subsidies that Democrats want to cut. Under the bill, the $21 billion saved would be used to pay down the deficit.

The star of the video is House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who late last month refused to defend the subsidies in an ABC News interview. His one explicit statement -- that the big oil companies don’t need to get oil depletion allowances -- wasn’t exactly a concession, however, as they haven’t received those allowances since 1975. Boehner's staff quickly walked back his comments.

Watch the video:

But other Republicans featured in the video may have more explaining to do. The video shows a clip of Sen. Susan Collins of Maine arguing against subsidies on the Senate floor in 2008. A contemporaneous press release from the senator suggests using some of the proceeds for alternative energy...."

May 16, 2011 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

"....And Sen. John Thune of South Dakota is shown in April 2006 declaring, "If, in fact, [oil companies] are making such enormous profits, then perhaps they don't need the support and the tax incentives that are given to them by the American taxpayer."

Another is Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk, who voted for repealing subsidies as a member of the House in 2007, and recently stuck by the idea.

The oil subsidies were the subject of a contentious Senate hearing on Thursday. Democrats show no sign of backing off the issue, which they consider a political winner. But a solid voting Republican block -- supported by a few "oil patch" Democrats -- means the subsidies appear safe in this Congress.

The Democrats' video leaves out a number of other GOP senators who have also backed repealing subsidies in the past -- and whose support could make passage of the repeal a close vote, at least in the Senate. A majority of the House is all but certain to oppose such a measure.

Besides Collins, Kirk and Thune, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) also voted for an energy bill in 2007 that would have repealed some $22 billion in subsidies to pay for clean energy innovations. The oil subsidy portion of that bill was stripped before it passed the Senate.

Sen. Collins' spokesman Kevin Kelley was happy to note the senator's previous support for repealing subsidies, but said she was still reviewing the new proposal.

"While eliminating or reducing these tax breaks may be good tax policy and help with deficit reduction, the Democrats’ proposal will have no impact on the price that consumers pay at the pump," Kelley wrote in an email. "By contrast, Senator Collins’ work with Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Maria Cantwell to curb excessive speculation in the energy futures market would have an impact on oil prices."

A spokeswoman for Sen. Murkowski emphasized that her boss only voted for ending the oil subsidies once, in a procedural move, expecting she would try to stop the repeal later.

"Sen. Murkowski does not support singling out oil and gas companies for increased taxes," she added.

A spokeswoman for Hatch had a similar response, saying he only voted 'Yes" to the procedural vote, a 59 to 40 cloture vote that fell one short of the 60 needed to advance the bill. He does not support the Democrats' new repeal effort, she said.

The other senators' offices did not respond to email requests seeking to learn whether they would still favor repealing oil industry subsidies.

The industry is estimated to have earned some $1 trillion in profits over the last decade."

May 16, 2011 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In the meantime, I hope you are still in agreement that big companies should pay their fair share of taxes."

I'm not.

They shouldn't pay anything at all.

That way, they have more money to pay dividends, on which their shareholders will pay tax.

Double taxing an industry vital to our national security is a real loser.

America is already losing big-time because we have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.

Lowering it would bring a boom in employment stateside as corporations come back to the land of the free.

May 16, 2011 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bump President Obama received after the killing of Osama bin Laden more than two weeks ago in Pakistan has vanished completely, according to the latest Gallup Tracking poll released Monday.

Obama's approval rating is now at 46 percent, equal to his approval rating in the last tracking poll conducted before Obama addressed Americans late on May 1 and informed them of bin Laden's death. Forty-four percent of Americans now disapprove of the job Obama is doing as president.

According to the Gallup poll, Obama's approval rating crested at 52 percent after the bin Laden killing. His disapproval rating never fell lower than 40 percent.

Obama's bounce is smaller in magnitude and shorter in duration than the bumps enjoyed by other presidents over the past 70 years. For example, George W. Bush received a 15-point bump after the capture of Saddam Hussein in 2003 -- a bounce that lasted seven weeks.

The poll also comes the same day as Gallup announced that three in four Americans "name some type of economic issue as the 'most important problem' facing the country today -- the highest net mentions of the economy in two years. Those numbers, combined with Obama's fleeting boost, suggest the economy remains -- by far -- the dominant issue of the 2012 presidential campaign.

May 16, 2011 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wealthy businessman Donald Trump announced Monday that he won’t seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, bringing an end to the circus-like speculation that had surrounded the reality star’s political future in recent months.

“I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election,” Trump said in a statement. “Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector.”

Trump’s decision brings to an end a political roller coaster ride on which the flamboyant celebrity pushed the debate over whether President Obama was born in the United States into the public eye, rose as high as second place in polling on the 2012 race and was on the receiving end of a fusillade of jokes from the president during last month’s White House Correspondents Dinner.

Trump’s hand was likely forced by NBC’s decision to renew the “Celebrity Apprentice” for another season. That meant that Trump had to choose between his interest in presidential politics and his career as a reality television star. He, not surprisingly, chose the latter.

Trump is the second candidate in three days to take a pass on the 2012 Republican presidential race. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee announced his decision not to run on his eponymous television show Saturday night. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is expected to make a final decision on whether to run by the end of the month.

Trump has been here before. In 1999, Trump appeared to be an all-but-certain candidate for the Reform Party presidential nomination before bowing out. In 2008, Trump’s name was also floated as a potential candidate.

His flirtation with the race this time had all the indications of a publicity ploy rather than a serious endeavor — beginning with Trump’s decision to focus almost exclusively on the already-settled debate over Obama’s U.S. citizenship.

When Obama released his long form birth certificate last month, Trump — on a trip to the early primary state of New Hampshire — touted his victory; “I’m very proud of myself because I’ve accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish,” he said.

Even that self-proclaimed “success”, however, belied mounting evidence that whatever support the idea of a Trump candidacy had engendered had begun to fade. Polling suggested that vast swaths of the electorate did not think Trump had the right experience to be president or shared their values.

And, he was publicly flogged by President Obama and “Saturday Night Live” star Seth Meyers at last month’s White House Correspondents Dinner — a roasting that Trump took with a stony-faced glare even as the assembled crowd roared with laughter.

Amid that chaos, there was evidence that Trump was seriously considering a run. He huddled with a handful of well regarded campaign consultants — including pollster John McLaughlin — to discuss the prospect of running and had trips scheduled to South Carolina later this week and Iowa next month.

Trump’s decision not to run is likely to be greeted by a sigh of relief by most Republican party strategists who viewed Trump as a major distraction for the more serious contenders for the nomination.

May 16, 2011 5:09 PM  
Anonymous snickerin' said...


May 16, 2011 7:50 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

WaPo reports:
McCain camp laughs off Santorum torture comments
By Greg Sargent

"By now you may have heard that Rick Santorum has now responded to John McCain’s claim that torture didn’t lead to Bin Laden’s death by insisting that on the subject of torture, McCain has no idea what he’s talking about:

"Everything I’ve read shows that we would not have gotten this information as to who this man was if it had not been gotten information from people who were subject to enhanced interrogation. And so this idea that we didn’t ask that question while Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was being waterboarded, he doesn’t understand how enhanced interrogation works. I mean, you break somebody, and after they’re broken, they become cooperative. And that’s when we got this information. And one thing led to another, and led to another, and that’s how we ended up with bin Laden."

McCain, of course, has direct experience of this process. He has even written that he did not become cooperative under “enhanced interrogation” at all, and in fact gave his tormentors false information to get them to stop.

So I asked McCain spokesperson Brooke Buchanan for a response to Santorum. She emailed a one word reply:


This exchange perfectly captures how unmoored from reality the debate over torture has become. One of the primary practical arguments against torture — as opposed to moral ones — is that it produces unreliable information. That’s a case that McCain’s personal story has left him very well equipped to make. But some on the right are so heavily invested in their own fantasy version of torture — or are just reflexively defending it because they can’t fathom a world in which Bush doesn’t get credit for killing Bin Laden — that McCain’s actual experience of it simply doesn’t figure into the debate in any way."

Santorum has fallen for the same falsehood as Theissen, namely that torture softens up detainees so they become "cooperative" and give good intelligence information to their tormentors. Of course neither Santorum nor Theissen knows what he's talking about or has any first-hand experience with torture like John McCain.

Salon adds a passage from McCain's memoir:

"Once my condition had stabilized, my interrogators resumed their work. Demands for military information were accompanied by threats to terminate my medical treatment if I did not cooperate. Eventually, I gave them my ship’s name and squadron number, and confirmed that my target had been the power plant. Pressed for more useful information, I gave the names of the Green Bay Packers offensive line, and said they were members of my squadron. When asked to identify future targets, I simply recited the names of a number of North Vietnamese cities that had already been bombed.

I was occasionally beaten when I declined to give any more information. The beatings were of short duration, because I let out a hair-raising scream whenever they occurred."

And Salon adds:

In one four-day period, McCain says he was beaten "every two to three hours," and his arm was broken and ribs cracked. So if nothing else, this is a man who can be said to know how enhanced interrogation works. (Santorum, as far as I can tell, has never been tortured, nor did he serve in the military.)

Khalid Sheik Mohammed, like McCain, also gave bad information after being tortured -- a point that McCain himself made in a recent [WaPo] Op-Ed.

May 17, 2011 5:50 PM  
Anonymous He's not kidding said...

Newt Gingrich is a sort of unusual figure in American public life in that quoting him accurately is sometimes considered to be a kind of smear. For example, about fifteen years ago Gingrich delivered a speech in which he explained that eliminating Medicare immediately isn’t “politically smart” or “the right way to go through a transition” so the program should be killed off by creating an adverse selection death spiral that leads it to “wither on the vine” and die. Ever since then, people who don’t think Medicare should die have been quoting this statement and Beltway elites have been whining that it’s unfair.

Then on Sunday, Gingrich showed amazing consistency by arguing that this exactly the problem with the current House GOP plan to kill off Medicare. He called it too radical and politically unsound, and underscored his preference for a more gradualist approach. This got him in trouble with the wingnuts, so now Newt is pre-warning everyone that “any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood“

May 18, 2011 3:38 PM  

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