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kpete

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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 63,262

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Occupy: Just Do It!

More Than 50 Occupy Wall Street Protesters Arrested In Manhattan

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"Jesus came into the world. There was not room for him in the inn. So once again, today there is no room for people who are struggling for the poor, as we say for the 99 percent,” said Father Paul Mayer, who was arrested during yesterday’s protest.

“I think that in order to be able to exercise our first amendment freedom of assembly, we have to actually do it. And if that means that we can't obtain the permits necessary to do so, then we need to just do it anyway,” said Jessie LeGreca, a protester.

Trinity Church has allowed protestors to use its meeting rooms and offices but has so far refused to let them take over the lot.

http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/152735/more-than-50-occupy-wall-street-protesters-arrested-in-manhattan

Self-Adoration Reaches Newt Heights

OP-ED COLUMNIST
Self-Adoration Reaches Newt Heights
By FRANK BRUNI
Published: December 17, 2011


................ You have to take another politician’s ego, double it, and add cheese and a side of fries to get to Gingrich. An especially heaping, unhealthy diet of self-regard slogs through his veins.

..................

Gingrich isn’t the answer: he’s hot-headed and truculent. And while Obama sees himself (with justification) as historic, Gingrich sees himself as epic. If Obama is The One, Gingrich is The Plus-Size One.

Lately he has been on less bloated behavior, and by lately I mean the few weeks since he emerged as the Republican frontrunner du jour. If you watched the debate Thursday, you could sense, from the clench of his jaw, that he wasn’t merely biting his tongue but making an unhappy meal of it.

Still, Gingrich the Grandiloquent sneaked through. Asked about his stated resolve to rein in federal courts, he said that “just like Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and F.D.R., I would be prepared to take on the judiciary.” The company he keeps!

............

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/18/opinion/sunday/bruni-newt-gingrichs-self-adoration.html?_r=1

How the GOP stole America

SUN DEC 18, 2011 AT 06:00 AM PST
How the GOP stole America
byMark Sumner


..................................

If you listen to the news, you might think went on a we spending spree. You might think we shoved fresh billions into social programs, or gave fat pay raises to government workers, or that there's been some huge expansion of the government bureaucracy. That's not quite what happened.



President Bush said Saturday that the most important number in the budget he sends to Congress next week is the $5.6 trillion surplus it projects over the next 10 years.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/02/24/national/main274334.shtml


That's not some alternate universe. It's not ancient history. That's the United States just a decade ago. So what happened? Well, we didn't hand out huge new benefits, or fix all our crumbling roads and bridges, or address the failing National Parks. Emptying the national pocketbook was a lot easier than that. We gave it away.

We gave away $1.5 trillion in income tax cuts, and here's the fun part. Over one trillion of that went to the top 5%. Less than 2% of Americans pocketed more than all the rest put together. Another bit of fun: the extensions that have already been made to the cuts will double the cost, with the payout being just as lopsided.


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It's easy to scream about a Balanced Budget Amendment, but a decade ago we had a balanced budget. Heck, we had a surplus, one that was produced by small but real increases in the top tax rate. It's not the Constitution that changed since then. Nobody slipped in an amendment that forced the government into the red. Given the opportunity, the Republicans did everything they could to make sure that the United States not only doesn't have a balanced budget, but can't attain one because the one tool that can make it all work is the one they will not allow. Again, not a secret. What part of "government is the problem" did you not understand?

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the rest:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/12/18/1046522/-How-the-GOP-stole-America?via=blog_1

Photo: NYPD knees, takes down credentialed photojournalist for multiple wire services and papers




Reached by phone, Kelly said that at the time, he was scurrying over to the site of an arrest when the beefier of two officers blindsided him with a knee to the ribs. The picture was taken in the moments immediately thereafter.

"What did you do that for? I'm press," Kelly recalled saying.

"Sorry. I didn't realize you were press," he said the officer replied. As you can see in the picture, he was carrying two cameras and was wearing his credentials over his coat around his neck.

Kelly said he has encountered some general obstruction while on assignment since: "The thing that annoys me the most is, you say, 'Hey look, I'm press!' And it doesn't seem to matter at all."

more:
http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/media/2011/12/4660939/photo-dramatizes-conflict-between-photojournalists-and-nypd
via:
http://www.americablog.com/2011/12/photo-nypd-knees-takes-down.html

Senator Al Franken: Why I Voted Against the National Defense Authorization Act

Al FrankenU.S. Senator, Minnesota

Why I Voted Against the National Defense Authorization Act

................

With this defense authorization act, Congress will, for the first time in 60 years, authorize the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without charge or trial, according to its advocates. This would be the first time that Congress has deviated from President Nixon's Non-Detention Act. And what we are talking about here is that Americans could be subjected to life imprisonment without ever being charged, tried, or convicted of a crime, without ever having an opportunity to prove their innocence to a judge or a jury of their peers. And without the government ever having to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

I think that denigrates the very foundations of this country. It denigrates the Bill of Rights. It denigrates what our Founders intended when they created a civilian, non-military justice system for trying and punishing people for crimes committed on U.S. soil. Our Founders were fearful of the military--and they purposely created a system of checks and balances to ensure we did not become a country under military rule. This bill undermines that core principle, which is why I could not support it.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, and this wasn't the way to mark its birthday.

the rest:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/al-franken/why-i-voted-against-the-n_b_1154327.html?ref=homepage

WHO WON IRAQ? ANSWER: ANYONE WHO STAYED OUT

THE WAR NERD: WHO WON IRAQ? ANSWER: ANYONE WHO STAYED OUT



But let’s take the question seriously for a second here: who won in Iraq? To answer it, you have to start with a close-up of the region, then change magnification to look at the world picture. At a regional level the big winner is obvious: Iran. In fact, Iran wins so big in this war that I’ve already said that Dick Cheney’s DNA should be checked out by a reputable lab, because he has to be a Persian mole. My theory is that they took a fiery young Revolutionary Guard from the slums of Tehran, dipped him in a vat of lye to get that pale, pasty Anglo skin, zapped his scalp for that authentic bald CEO look, squirted a quart of cholesterol into his arteries so he’d develop classic American cardiac disease, and parachuted him into the outskirts of some Wyoming town. And that’s how our VP was born again, a half-frozen zombie with sagebrush twigs in his jumpsuit, stumbling into the first all-night coffee shop in Casper talking American with a Persian accent: “Hello my friends! Er, I mean, hello my fellow Americans! Coffee? I will have coffee at once, indeed, and is not free enterprise a glorious thing? Say, O brethren of the frosty tundra, what do you say we finish our donuts and march on Baghdad now, this very moment, to remove the Baathist abomination Saddam?”

.......................

So the likely winner of a war like this is an up-n-coming world economic power that has been investing in its own economy while we blow a trillion — yep, a trillion — dollars on nothing. Not hard to figure out who the likely suspects are here.

The answer to “Who won Iraq?” is Iran in the short run, and in the long run, China and India.
While we flounder around in the Dust Bowl, they’ve been running up their reserves, putting the money into infrastructure and bullion. The moment you wait for in a setup like this is the inevitable alliance between the regional winner and the global winners. And voila, it’s already happened: In February Iran and India signed a pipeline deal sending Iranian oil to the exploding Indian market, bypassing Bush’s Saudi/U.S. petro-outpost. If it weren’t for Pakistan, the pipeline would already be in place. And as you might have guessed, Iran and India are talking about how easily the pipeline can be looped over the Himalayas to China — an overland route invulnerable to U.S. sea power.

http://exiledonline.com/the-war-nerd-who-won-iraq-answer-anyone-who-stayed-out/

A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pq8iyhMFLYE

Merry Xmas From Batman



Great Gifts, Good American Jobs: Your Holiday Guide to Union-Made Products & Services
http://americanrightsatwork.org/blog/2011/12/13/gifts-holiday-guide-american-jobs-union-made/

FBI Considered a Sting on Newt in 1997

Way back in 1997, when Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House and married to his second wife, the FBI considered launching a sting operation over an alleged bribe.

The case was originally brought to the FBI and federal prosecutors by a convicted arms dealer, perfectly named Sarkis Soghanalian, who claimed that Marianne Gingrich (Newt's then-wife) said in 1995 during a meeting in Paris that she could provide legislative favors through her husband.

Soghanalian, who was convicted — and served two years — for conspiring to sell U.S. helicopters to Iraq, took Marianne up on her offer. He told her that he wanted Newt's help to get the Iraqi arms embargo lifted, so he could collect an outstanding $80 million debt from Saddam Hussein.... Daily Intel

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2011/12/fbi-considered-a-sting-on-newt-in-1997.html

Just Beautiful!

Incredible Views From The New World Trade Center





MORE:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/incredible-views-from-the-new-world-trade-center
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