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Gender: Male
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 19,326

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HuffPo: 10 ways to Trim Budget Without New Income Taxes or Entitlement Cuts

Fiscal Cliff: 10 ways Obama, Congress Could Trim Without New Income Taxes, Entitlement Cuts

WASHINGTON -- Just about every policy lawmakers are considering for a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff would involve either raising individual income taxes, or cutting benefits in Medicare and Social Security. But there are a host of other avenues available for reducing the federal budget deficit that are rarely talked about, despite their mathematical merit.

There's an old axiom in the investment business that applies to the federal government, as well: You have to spend money to make money. Paradoxically, the U.S. fiscal position would likely be better off if the government simply spent more money. When the economy is booming, government spending can easily be wasteful. But when the economy is not meeting its capacity, the government needs to step in to give it a boost, according to several schools of economic thought. At a time when there are more than four job applicants for every job opening, the economy is clearly not meeting the demand for work, and the government can productively step in by spending money to hire people and get things back on track. By boosting long-term economic growth through short-term spending, the government could actually ease the deficit by ponying up money right now.

That's probably not going to happen, because most lawmakers and think-tankers in Washington are more interested in cutting various social insurance programs than in stabilizing the nation's fiscal position. Nevertheless, even if the government abandons the "spend more" approach, there are at least 10 ways to cut the deficit without raising income taxes or slashing important programs for senior citizens.


Oregon's Woodstock (1970). Or, where have all the good Republicans gone?

What our nation sorely needs is more Republicans like Dwight Eisenhower, Wayne Morse,
Mark Hatfield, and Oregon's Governor in 1970, Tom McCall. These men had remarkable
leadership qualities. For example, check this out:

Here's OR's Republican Gov. Tom McCall's 15-minute speech, announcing Vortex
One, a state-sanctioned but grass-roots free 3-day hippy love-in musik festival. The "public
purpose" being conspicuously served by the festival, was to avert the specter of violent
confrontation between two antithetically political foes: The Dick Nixon himself was
scheduled to give a pro-war pep talk to the American Legion (a very conservative RW pro-
military group of Viet Nam War Hawks), and the SDS-affiliated "People's Army Jamboree"
(anti-establishment, anti-military activists openly advocating "world revolution". McCall
just lays out what the "issue" is (high likelihood of violent confrontation), and announces
what he is doing about it -- hand the peaceniks an olive branch. It was truly a masterful
move, despite the fact of an occasional helicopter and the barely visible National Guard
presence on the surrounding hilltops.

Here are two video clips of the actual event, the second one being an amazing 30-minute
historical OPB documentary with lots of actually footage (warning: some nudity)

Link to OPB "Vortex 1" documentary:

Yes, I was actually there, with my first wife. We had one of those old Army tents, canvas
that was super-heavy, and we had to walk in from our parking place for about 2 miles.
There was all kinds of misfits thrown together in the revelry, from Hippies to Hell's Angels,
plenty of nudity, drugs, free delicious food, first rate bands playing music virtually 24/7.

Vortex 1 was the ONLY state-sponsored rock festival in U.S. history, and it was very wise,
logistically adroit and highly effective public policy-in-action, being masterfully executed
ahead of the game, so as to shape events. i.e.. aside from some nasty initial skermishes
between protesters and police, there were NO other significant violent confrontations
in Portland that weekend.

Anonymous Didn't "Elect Obama", but may have saved OH from Rove's hackers

This story is admittedly just a string of conjectures at this point, but it has
gotten legs (as evidenced by the number of posts/sources/stories listed below);
and in a sense is still "breaking" as information dribbles out via the InterWebs.

I find it interesting how some on DU seem absolutely horrified at the prospect
that there is any truth to Anon's claim re: hacking into ORCA, etc. to foil Rove's
evil plan to steal OH by insuring that votes in OH were counted and reported

It's almost as if these folks believe:
A) that KKKarl Rove would never ever stoop to doing such a dastardly deed,
B) that somehow Rove didn't have the deepest pockets in the known Universe
in 2012 to fucking BUY the very best hackers on the planet,
C) that the Republican-owned "private" corporations don't really OWN voting and vote-
counting in much of the USA.
D) all or several of the above.

Rather than a shit-storm of acrimony and name-calling, I'm hoping that saner DU
heads will prevail, and that we can "take away" from this incident an unwavering
determination to insure that the integrity of voting and vote-counting is restored,
via getting rid of e-voting altogether and replace it with a totally transparent and
verifiable PUBLIC system of voting and vote-counting where PAPER BALLOTS are
used, much like they have in Canada.

Obama himself said "we need to fix that", referring specifically to the exceedingly
long lines at the polls, and by inference to voter suppression and electronic vote-rigging.
I'm speaking up on this, in full-throated support of Obama doing just that.

True, bama didn't even need OH to win this particular election, because it was
a freaking landslide nationwide; but this story about OH is incredibly important
and timely precisely because NOW we DO have some breathing room, NOW we
have sufficient time and public support to REALLY fix our electoral system. With
or without Anonymous, it doesn't matter: what matters is that our system is SO
corrupt, and SO broken that it can now easily be SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER,
i.e. whoever can pony up the most money to hire the best hackers in the world.

In a way, this fact is why the Anonymous story is so intriguing and so hopeful;
and is why I'm so interested in following it and learning from it. I'd like to hereby
encourage those who take umbrage at the very notion that e-voting is susceptible
to hacking, much less that Rove has hacked it, much less that Anon. intervened
to "save OH for Obama". .. I'd like to encourage you to please stop besmirching
and belittling people who have a legitimate interest in this story, and who want to
keep DU peeps who share that interest, informed about it.

Thank you. That is all.

LINKS to related stories, reports, etc.

Today's story on TRUTH-OUT: "Anonymous, Karl Rove and 2012 Election Fix?"

The Wonkette story that is frequently referenced on this topic

Fascinating glimpses behind the FOX curtain on election night.

Interesting post on e-security website about OH, Anon, and Rove on election night.

Yet another report on an e-security website about Anon's claims.

Rachael Maddow report on vote-rigging in 2012 Primary to elect Mittens

DU OPs on the subject:

Thom Hartmann jumps on "Anon. foils Rove's e-Vote rigging in OH"

Here are some other posts on DU regarding this fascinating and ongoing
inquiry as to WTF Happened In OHIO.

Chicago Tribune re: Patraeus, Benghazi and "CIA talking points"

There's a back-story here, that will undoubtedly be dribbling out over the next few
days, or weeks.

The CIA has come under intense scrutiny for providing the White House and other administration officials with talking points that led them to say the Benghazi attack was a result of a film protest, not a militant terror attack. It has become clear that the CIA was aware the attack was distinct from the film protests roiling across other parts of the Muslim world.

Lest anyone here be saddened by the sudden departure of Gen. Betrayus from CIA

This story broke today, announcing Gen. Petaeus's abrupt resignation from heading up the CIA,
due to some elicit "affair" he is having, not uncommon in Republican circles, but clearly something
the head of the CIA should avoid at all costs. I do not mourn this turn of events. On the contrary,
I am unashamedly relieved and happy about it, for the following reasons.

In actuality, this man was a GWBush Bag-man on steroids, who "supervised" some of the most corrupt
and criminal activities during the Iraq bloodbath in its heyday... he actively refused to allow Col. Ted
Westhusing to do his job, i.e. to shed light on the corruption by private "contractors" skimming
butt-loads of defense dollars, helping create the deficit we are now attempting to come to terms with,
nearly a decade later. In June 2005, Col. Westhusing turned up with a bullet in his head for doing his
job, which was deemed a "suicide" to the creepy shagrin of anyone who knew Westhusing, a truly
honorable man just trying to do his fucking job, who then turns up suspiciously dead.

This from The Nation in 2011.

General Petraeus's Link to a Troubling Suicide in Iraq: The Ted Westhusing Story
Greg Mitchell on June 27, 2011 - 9:40 AM ET

The scourge of suicides among American troops and reservists in Iraq and Afghanistan remains a serious and seriously underreported problem. Last month they hit a new high in the US Army, despite intensive new efforts to prevent them. One of the few high-profile cases emerged six years ago this month, and it involves a much-admired Army colonel and ethicist named Ted Westhusing—who, in his suicide note, pointed a finger at a then little-known US general named David Petraeus.

Westhusing’s widow, asked by a friend what killed this West Point scholar, replied simply: “Iraq.”

Before putting a bullet through his head, Westhusing had been deeply disturbed by abuses carried out by American contractors in Iraq, including allegations that they had witnessed or even participated in the murder of Iraqis. His suicide note included claims that his two commanders, Lt. Gen. Petraeus and Maj. Gen. Josephy Fil, tolerated a mission based on “corruption, human rights abuses and liars. I am sullied—no more. I didn’t volunteer to support corrupt, money grubbing contractors, nor work for commanders only interested in themselves.” One of those commanders: the future leader of American forces in Iraq, and then Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus.

Westhusing, 44, had been found dead in a trailer at a military base near the Baghdad airport in June 2005, a single gunshot wound to the head. At the time, he was the highest-ranking officer to die in Iraq. The Army concluded that he committed suicide with his service pistol and found his charges against the commanders unfounded. Petraeus and Fil would later attend Westhusing’s memorial service back in the United States.

I feel our country is much safer and better off with this man removed as far as possible
from the key levers of power wielded by the CIA. I have no shame about feeling happy
and a huge sense of relief about this turn of events.

But maybe that's just me.

Did ANON UN-hack the vote?

This would explain all the last minute GOP back-tracking,
with Rove going on FOX with hair ablaze saying "THIS
CAN NOT BE RIGHT...???" .. outing himself in the process.

My pet theory of the day is that Anon quietly shined some
rays of light deep into the opaque murky e-voting circuitry,
behind the scenes, where only the world's best hackers go ..
and simply made sure that the vote-counting was accurate
and true.

This pre-election YouTube video by Anon seems to suggest
that something like this was going on behind the scenes.

A Few Awesome Toons re: Obama's big win

YES! big win for The 99% ... there's some new hand-writing on The Wall St.

One HUGE reason Obama won tonight: People who STAYED in long lines to vote

THANK YOU!!!! If you'd given up, and just gone home because of the 2-7 hour waits,
Obama may not have won this. Seriously, THANK YOU!! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL !!

Break-in at Washington State Democratic Hdqrs.

According to reports from Seattle, the Washington state Democrats said someone broke into their campaign headquarters Monday night. Brian M. Rosenthal, a Seattle Times reporter, wrote on Twitter that the office was the state headquarters for President Obama’s and Washington state gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee’s campaigns.

KIRO 7 news channel reports that the Seattle Police are on the scene investigating the break-in, but that it was too early for any further details.

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