Posts filed under ‘They Think We’re Idiots/We ARE Idiots’
I read something a few weeks back about how ISIS in Iraq has commandeered a huge amount of military equipment we paid for with Our Tax Dollars during the 2013 invasion. The supposed “training” of the Iraqi army George W. and Co. said they were doing was a farce and when ISIS emerged, the so-called army cut and ran, leaving billions of dollars of weapons (like humvees at $200,000 a pop) lying around. So now we’re bombing Iraq again and the the billions of dollars of military equipment we paid for are being blowing up by the people we paid to build them in the first place.
Aye yie yie. I’m sure the military industrial complex is drinking up a storm tonight but I’m SMFDH. Our tax dollars down the shit hole, again:
When President Obama announced US airstrikes in Iraq, most observers understood that the US would be bombing members of ISIS. What many did not know was that, in a twist of such bitterly symbolic irony that it could only occur in the Middle East, the US would also be bombing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of American military equipment.
Here’s why: in the decade since the 2003 US-led Iraq invasion, the US has spent a fortune training and arming the Iraqi army in the hopes of readying it to secure the country once America left. That meant arming the Iraqi army with high-tech and extremely expensive American-made guns, tanks, jeeps, artillery, and more.
But the Iraqi army has been largely a failure. When ISIS invaded northern Iraq from Syria in June, the Iraqi forces deserted or retreated en masse. Many of them abandoned their American equipment. ISIS scooped it up themselves and are now using it to rampage across Iraq, seizing whole cities, terrorizing minorities, and finally pushing into even once-secure Kurdish territory. All with shiny American military equipment.
So the US air strikes against ISIS are in part to destroy US military equipment, such as the artillery ISIS has been using against Kurdish forces.
If it weren’t for the military equipment the U.S. walked away from, ISIS wouldn’t be near as powerful and we might not be re-inserting ourselves into that country 11 years after I stood on the protest line doing what I could to stop it because I knew it would be a disaster. But, voila, here we are.
That said, guess who’s on the corporate media? The people who want to make more war.
This is good, via Act.TV/Americans United:
The GOP may be a lot of things, but “climate scientists” is not one of them. But that won’t stop them from ignoring a 97% consensus among actual scientists, along with 7 out of 10 Americans, that climate change is man-made and needs to be dealt with.
Check out this article from Caty Enders at Esquire mag: Life at The Bundy Ranch, Uncensored.
At the Bundy camp last week, pundits and politicians descended on Bunkerville, Nevada, to throw in their American flag hats with the BLM protestors. A FOX news van had been parked by the side of the road for days. Up on the ridge, militia snipers kept a trained watch as Bundy held court, and disciples from far and wide came to share their personal theories as to why the government was enforcing a court order.
But on Thursday, we witnessed a mainstream exodus from Bundy’s flank. Sean Hannity, Bundy’s biggest booster, called his racist remarks “beyond despicable,” but maintained that they should not taint the supporters who “for the right reasons saw this case as government overreach.”
Exactly how difficult was it, though, to determine pretty early on that Bundy and his followers were using the threat of force to back up some terrifyingly misguided beliefs?
During the few hours I visited last week, this was what was said.
Here’s the condensed version:
I want to be like it was growing up in the 50s too Cliven: When the United Nations was the hope of the world. When my father supported he, my mother and my two brothers (on one salary). We had great public schools and California had essentially free universities. I trick-or-treated for UNICEF when I was nine-years-old and I thought I could make a difference. When my 14-year-old self and my girlfriend swooned over 20, 24-year-olds hunks who we saw in the Roosevelt National Forest in Colorado. That would be before Reagan and his predecessors decided we didn’t need them anymore … the Forest Service caretakers or the forests.
Back in the 50s I’d drink a Dr. Pepper and it had good ol’ sugar in it instead of high fructose corn syrup and it came in a glass bottle instead of one that leached BPA into my brain.
Here’s lookin’ at you Cliven. The 50s were great in so so many ways but lots has happened since. You might want to Google it.
Check out this chart:
The top, blue line is U.S. productivity/output per hour (1945 – 2013). The bottom red line is median family real income. Look at how productivity has kept going up but incomes have leveled off and then fallen since roughly 1980. Americans have kept working — hard — but the corporatocracy, again, in roughly 1980, stopped increasing wages commensurate with that level of production. The so-called trickle down stopped at just about the same time politicians started dangling that term in front of our face, like a carrot.
Interesting ahem, coincidence? No, in retrospect, I’d call it a rather obvious distraction.
Larger version and more here.
My Tweet of the Day:
This morning I came across this:
ALEC Plans Massive Environmental Attack for 2014
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has a big year ahead of them, as they attempt to dismantle a slew of environmental protections from state to state. More specifically, the corporate front group is hoping to pass dirty energy friendly legislation to ease the rules for electric utilities.
From state to state, ALEC is drafting legislation that would cut renewable energy, increase dependence on coal and dismantle energy efficiency standards.
And then I remembered reading about this a few days ago:
[Colorado's "Democratic"] Governor Hickenlooper has chosen Glenn Vaad, a former state representative from Weld County, as the newest of the three-member Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Mr. Vaad is no friend of clean energy for Colorado—his voting record allied primarily with the fossil fuel industry at the expense of Colorado’s clean energy economy. Mr. Vaad is also a former high-ranking member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a powerful corporate lobbying group whose members include Koch Industries and others pushing state legislatures to turn back the clock on adoption of renewable energy in Colorado and elsewhere.
If a so-called Democratic governor is appointing “former high-ranking” members of ALEC to state boards — any board — we’re doomed. Seriously. It illustrates the fact that this isn’t about Republicans versus Democrats anymore — they’re all being corrupted — it’s about the corporatocracy and the monied class against the rest of us.
Got that? Earlier this month, Republicans refused to extend unemployment insurance to more than a million Americans because they’re lazy a++holes and if we coddle them they’ll just keep on keepin’ on sucking the tit of the American taxpayer.
Dear god of the universe: If only we really did have a liberal media here in the U.S., they’d be screaming about this: <—- <—-:
And if we had Democrats here in the U.S. who made some serious noise, who had guts and a willingness to stand up to the corporatocarcy (thank you Justice Roberts and your ruling on Citizens United), We the People might stand a chance…
From the Tea Party News Network:
Sanity? Yeah. Right. It’d say this is more about making us more insane if anything. A&E had a teachable moment here:
Teabaggers claim this is all about free speech and that silencing Phil Robertson goes against the First Amendment of the Constitution. Problem is, as is so often the case, they’ve apparently never read the one itty bitty sentence that comprises that amendment; they’re misinterpreting something that’s really, really clear and simple:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Translation: The First Amendment is about our government — as in Congress (hello, see above) — not passing any laws “abridging the freedom of speech.” It isn’t about being able to say whatever the hell you want or to yell “fire” in a movie theater.
Stupid is the new cool.
The official name of “Obamacare” is the Affordable Care Act or ACA. That said, it’s about time a pollster asked this question:
29 percent of the public supports Obamacare compared with 22 percent who support ACA. Forty-six percent oppose Obamacare and 37 percent oppose ACA. So putting Obama in the name raises the positives and the negatives. Gender and partisanship are responsible for the differences. Men, independents and Republicans are more negative on Obamacare than ACA. Young people, Democrats, nonwhites and women are more positive on Obamacare.
OMG. Now they’re really insulting our intelligence:
NBC’s “Today” is turning to newborns for a programming stunt this week. Dubbed #BornTODAY, the stunt features correspondents and camera crews in maternity wards across the country tuning in as babies are being born, in some cases live, on-air.
I think “BoredTODAY” would be a better title.
Last night Barack Obama told us to watch the videos of people dying in Syria after being gassed by President Assad and he said if the United States doesn’t lead in the area of humanitarianism — as it supposedly always has — who will.
What a bunch of crap.
Show me another country who’s launched significant
humanitarian military actions roughly every 40 months over the last 40 years starting in 1964 with the invasion of Vietnam, veterans of which we’re still caring for and victims of which are still suffering from birth defects from our use of the chemical weapon, Agent Orange.
I’m listening to a “liberal” radio talk show and the people who are calling in are astonished to learn that the United States isn’t the beacon on the big high hill they’ve been led to believe. I mean, they’re as bad as this guy.
Beyond what we did in Vietnam, below is the reality. Oh, and how about we start wars every couple centuries instead of every 40 months for god’s sake:
- 1965-1973: Cambodia. We dropped more bombs on the tiny country than had been used in all of World War II.
- 1965: Dominican Republic. President Johnson sent 22,000 troops to prevent communists from taking over.
- 1983: Grenada. In the comically named Operation Urgent Fury, we invaded the tiny island nation to stop the commies.
- 1986: Libya. After two Americans are among those killed in a terrorist bombing of a disco in Germany, President Reagan ordered the bombing of facilities controlled by Muammar Gaddafi.
- 1989: Panama. In Operation Just Cause, we invaded the country and deposed its leader, Manuel Noriega.
- 1991: Kuwait/Iraq. Operation Desert Storm.
- 1992-1995: Somalia. Operation Restore Hope. Didn’t end well.
- 1994: Haiti. President Clinton sent 20,000 troops to restore the government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
- 1995: Bosnia. US and NATO forces intervene in the civil war with a large bombing campaign.
- 1999: Kosovo. We bomb the Serbians to help the Kosovars.
- 2001: Afghanistan. Still going!
- 2003: Iraq.
- 2011: Libya.
- 2013: Syria
What’s up is down, what’s down is up:
The decision by the University of Denver to honor former President George W. Bush at a DU fundraiser has been controversial for months. Now, with Bush scheduled to speak at downtown Denver event this evening, a group of concerned students and alumni, among others, are planning a protest and press conference in advance of the get-together, with one organizer expressing fears that the money collected will be used to promote an agenda that flies in the face of the university’s values.
This event is happening just down the road as I post this.
Talk about rewriting history: George W. Bush is being honored as having improved the human condition? Really? Estimates range from 109,032 to 1,033,000 dead in the Iraq war he lied us into.
It would be one thing if “E! News” did this but when the supposed “real” news outlets do it it’s pretty disgusting. In short, get ready to get played:
Here we go again.
More than three years ahead of the 2016 election, Donald Trump is already hinting at a presidential run, and the media — though certain this time around that he can’t be serious — are covering it anyway.
Dubbed a “sideshow” by NBC’s Chuck Todd and a “serial presidential campaign explorer” by CBS News, Trump is being accused by the press of engaging in yet another publicity stunt. “Folks,” the NBC News political team flatly declared this week, “he isn’t going to run.”
But don’t for one second think that means an end to Trump coverage. And lots of it.
Even as reporters suggest that Trump should not be taken seriously, many media organizations continue to cover him as a potential legitimate candidate, as they did in 2012. The reason for that is something Trump, the executive producer and host of NBC’s “The Apprentice,” is very familiar with: ratings.
A jury Friday awarded an Oregon woman $18.6 million after she spent two years unsuccessfully trying to get Equifax Information Services to fix major mistakes on her credit report.
The judgement [sic], likely to be appealed, appears to be one of the largest awarded to a consumer in a case against one of the nation’s major credit bureaus.
Julie Miller of Marion County, who was awarded $18.4 million in punitive and $180,000 in compensatory damages, contacted Equifax eight times between 2009 and 2011 in an effort to correct inaccuracies, including erroneous accounts and collection attempts, as well as a wrong Social Security number and birthday. Yet over and over, the lawsuit alleged, the Atlanta-based company failed to correct its mistakes.
A Federal Trade Commission study earlier this year of 1,001 consumers who reviewed 2,968 of their credit reports found 21 percent contained errors.
There’s some fury from the jury in this judgment. Oh, and it’s “likely to be appealed?” You bet it is. Equifax has lawyers on staff who do nothing but. No way will Equifax pay the sum the jury ordered. (They don’t believe in that quaint saying: The jury has spoken.)
Too bad there aren’t really high “statutory fines”* for screwing over We the People like Equifax did here, kinda like there are really low “statutory fines” for companies like Halliburton who destroy evidence and get an imperceptable slap on the pinky.
* Nobody’s advocating for We the People anymore because the folks who make the laws and decide what the “statutory fines” should be are owned by gosh, golly, gee: the corporatocarcy!
Woohoo. USA! USA! USA!
I don’t think I’ve read a more perfect couple of sentences, ones that encapsulate what Republicans across the country are doing to women, than these:
If my vagina was a gun, you would stand for its rights. You would ride on a bus and fight all the fights.
If my vagina was a gun, you would treat it with care. You wouldn’t spill all its secrets, because, well, why go there?
If my vagina was a gun you’d say what it holds is private. From cold dead hands we could pry; you surely would riot.
If my vagina was a gun its rights would all be protected. No matter the body count or the children affected.
If my vagina was a gun I could bypass security. Concealed carry laws would ensure I had purity.
If my vagina was a gun, I wouldn’t have to beg you. I could hunt this great land and do all the things that men do.
My Tweet of the Day on a day when it is revealed that Barack Obama spies on more people than any president, ever, in the history of the United States:
This happened today under Constitutional lawyer, community organizer Barack Obama’s watch:
The US government is collecting the phone records of millions of US customers of Verizon under a top secret court order.
Read the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order here.
And there’s this: NSA collecting phone records of millions of Americans daily.
I’m a kid of the 60s and 70s and this would have been shocking and totally unacceptable back then. The government wouldn’t have dared do it.
There was a time when — even the president — needed a warrant to get phone records. It’s appalling that We the People have let our government run so amuck.
Can’t wait for congressional Democrats to stand up for us on this. (Yeah. Right. I’m cracking myself up.)
Shorter: Let our Discover card nickle and dime you to death while you try to stay afloat during a job loss. We’ll pretend to be your friend but in the end, we’ll own you:
I’m junking out — looking for flat brainwaves tonight — watching “19 Kids and Counting.”
What a mistake.
The Duggars are touring Japan.
Dad “Jim Bob” (along with his wife and their 19 kids) is trying to find his way to a hotel. He’s having a hard time getting directions and he’s frustrated and irritated that “nobody speaks English.”
(Just sayin': If someone from Japan plopped down in the middle of Little Rock, Arkansas (near where the Duggars live) how many people would speak Japanese?)
He’s trying to be polite. When people don’t know what he’s saying (i.e., they don’t speak English), he thanks them anyway by saying, “Gracias.”
Jim Bob you’re embarrassing. How about taking the time to learn how to say THANK YOU in the native tongue of the country you visit next time around? Is that too much to ask while you complain about nobody knowing English?
(For those who don’t get the “Ugly American” reference, here’s more on that.)
Apropos of this, there’s this:
Fla. Medicaid Privatization Plans Moving Forward
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Federal health officials said Wednesday they expect to approve Florida’s request to privatize Medicaid statewide as long as the state resolves several outstanding issues, including hiring an independent entity to monitor the process and having a robust plan to measure the quality of patient care in the controversial program.
Rick Scott, Florida’s Tea Party Governor, the guy who’s moving this along should be in prison. If you’ve got time, read this: Rick Scott’s Dirtiest Deeds.
I predict Scott will privatize Medicaid in Florida right into the hands of his hospital chain / insurance company buddies and three, four years from now the “Medicare” system in Florida will be a corrupt mess. And people will have died as a result, including Tea Partiers who voted for this narcissistic monster.
Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, John Bolton, Lindsay Graham and Erick Erickson Praise Obama’s Drone Plan/Kill list
They’re all warmongers so if they love it, I don’t!
To wild GOP crowd cheers, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachman vehemently defend Obama’s assassination policy.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will offer a resolution next week commending President Barack Obama’s use of drones and the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.
We no longer have to transport ourselves to a magical alternate reality to ponder what a love child between Richard Nixon and Dick Cheney would look like. Given a Justice Department memo obtained by NBC News, we can conclude that child would look like none other than President Barack Obama.
“Just kill the terrorists before they kill us.” Land of the free and home of the brave? No. When I saw folks tearing up at the Super Bowl over those words I gagged.
We’re a scared bunch of sheeple. We stood by while almost 60,000 Americans were killed in Vietnam because our leaders told us the commies were coming to get us. Ten years ago yesterday, Colin Powell lied his face off in front of the United Nations Security Council and as a result, we invaded Iraq because they (I’m gagging again) supposedly had WMD and were ready to send a mushroom cloud over the U.S.
None of that was true.
Yet, again, we’re so scared of the lies we’ve told ourselves, all in the name of kill them before they kill us.
Defense spending — our tax dollars! — has doubled since 2001.
Ten years ago there was no such thing as the Department of Homeland Security but now we’re dumping untold billions dollars into that agency because it’s supposedly keeping us “safe.
And now we have drones — millions going to defense contractors for their new toys that we’re paying for — AGAIN, out of our tax dollars that — and President Obama’s kill list predicated on his supposed authority to kill Americans without their Constitutional right to be charged and tried by a jury of their piers.
They tell us these drone strikes are keeping us safe. But they aren’t: “Drone attacks are doing nothing but inciting more hatred” say Pakistani protesters. Google it yourself. There’s a whole bunch of info out there about how drone attacks are actually making us less after
So when will be again become the land of the free and the HOME OF THE BRAVE and when will we stop being scared little people who sacrifice their future for defense contractors and politicians who want to enrich them?
The corporatocracy (this time as in the NRA and its buddies, the corporate media) win again:
On the day of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., we published a chart showing the Sisyphean nature of the national gun control discussion. In the immediate aftermath of a shooting, such as the one that took place in Aurora, Colo., mentions of the term “gun control” spike in the news media. In a matter of days, that discussion all but disappears.
This time was supposed to be different. “It is hard to believe this will not be a watershed moment when we start to talk about, deal with and even perhaps legislate on guns,” ABC News’s Z. Byron Wolf wrote. He was one among many in the media who believed the momentum for gun control legislation was strong enough to turn the tide on a familiar pattern.
Blame it on the fiscal cliff, blame it on Christmas, blame it on our ability to forget, but the national discussion about gun control has once again ebbed. Mentions of the term “gun control” on television, in newspapers, and in online media are down to pre-Sandy Hook levels, according to the Nexis database.
So, on to the next massacre.
Here’s a link to the people-press.org poll cited.
So, Romney-leaning seniors are keen on preserving their benefits but not on cutting the deficit, yet they’re leaning Romney because why exactly? Romney’s VP has risen to the top of the GOP heap on his supposed miracle budget that slashes $700 billion in Medicare benefits in order to cut the deficit.
So, I’m trying to wrap my head around this. Why are Romney-leaning seniors leaning Romney if they want to preserve their benefits? Because all they’re seeing are propagandistic campaign ads (thanks to the Republicans on the Supreme Court and the Citizens United ruling) and the fact that so-called-news organizations don’t do news — as in facts — as inform us — anymore.
Heading into this new week I’m already exhausted because all the attention in the US media is on Wednesday night’s second presidential debate. Nobody knows what will happen of course. It’s all about speculation. Predictions. What ifs. Could be. This or that.
We’re watching talking heads justify their own existence and their own paychecks.
A friend of mine had some simple advice for me last week: Don’t watch any of the debates so you can…sleep.
I’m thinking she’s right.
And another thing: So much is going on in the world but in order to save/make money, the MSM has laid off their foreign correspondents and the campaign is all they’ve got.
So, here we are. The Debates. That’s it.
If only we could train them to to think we care about real news.
In a sane world, Condoleezza Rice would be in The Hague.
What is it with the Romney/Ryan ticket? The murky money of Romney/Ryan is becoming the defining narrative about the Republican ticket.
Paul Ryan and his wife inherited between $1 – 5 million in 2010 and whoopsie daisy, he forgot to disclose it for two years. You’d almost think it was on purpose, well, some people do think that, since Ryan didn’t remember it until he was being vetted by the Romney campaign.
Hey, at least Paul Ryan provided some tax returns when he interviewed for the VP slot. That’s more than some people will do. But it doesn’t look so great that Mr. Ryan forgot to disclose an income producing trust worth between 1 – 5 million dollars.
As he was being vetted, Mr. Ryan pulled a Romney and retroactively amended his disclosures on June 6, 2012 in order to include one of the couple’s largest assets — the $1 – 5 million income producing trust Janna Ryan inherited from her mother.
The omission was classified as an “inadvertent omission.” The average American probably couldn’t justify forgetting about a trust earning, according to USA Today, “between $15,001 and $50,000 in 2010, and between $100,001 and $1 million last year.”
An “inadvertent omission?” Yeah, right. What an insult. Ryan has the same arrogant attitude the Romneys have as he looks down and talks down to We the Little People as if we’re idiots.
We need to be hyper-aware not to be seduced by the word “reform.” When Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan use it — which I suspect they will, ad nauseam for the next three moths — it means destroy-as-we-know-it.
“60 Minutes”: Romney, Ryan answer critics of Medicare position
“What Paul Ryan and I have talked about is saving Medicare, is providing people greater choice in Medicare, making sure it’s there for current seniors. No changes, by the way, for current seniors, or those nearing retirement. But looking for young people down the road and saying, “We’re going to give you a bigger choice.” In America, the nature of this country has been giving people more freedom, more choices. That’s how we make Medicare work down the road.”
Ryan added, “My mom is a Medicare senior in Florida. Our point is we need to preserve their benefits, because government made promises to them that they’ve organized their retirements around. In order to make sure we can do that, you must reform it for those of us who are younger. And we think these reforms are good reforms. That have bipartisan origins. They started from the Clinton commission in the late ’90s.”
Instead of doing a he said, she said interview about their “position” on Medicare, wouldn’t it be great if 60 Minutes actually read Ryan’s plan and told us in a factual way what it says? I mean, it’s right there in black and white. Maybe the “critics” are right!
Ann Romney said this this morning in an interview with ABCNews:
Ann Romney stood firmly by her husband’s commitment to release only two years of tax returns in an interview airing Thursday, saying the information already disclosed was plenty of transparency for the presumptive GOP nominee.
“There are so many things that will be open again for more attack, and you just give more material for more attack, and that’s the answer. We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and about how we live our life,” Mrs. Romney said on ABC.
“You know, you should really look at where Mitt has led his life, and where he’s been financially,” Mrs. Romney said. “He’s a very generous person. We give 10% of our income to our church every year. Do you think that is the kind of person who is trying to hide things, or do things? No. He is so good about it.”
You people? YOU PEOPLE? They really do look down on us.
Oh, and as for giving 10% of their income to their church — as if they’re giving to charity — I’m pretty sure Mormons are required to give 10%.
Shameful how much airtime Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and their daughter Suri are getting: