PRESIDENTS NOW WAGE WAR TOO EASILY
THE PREZ WHO STARTED IT ALL: Late 1940s President
"Give 'em Hell" Harry Truman - the first undeclared war-wager.
By Ed Gauthier
Stuck In A M*A*S*H* Unit
With Dr. Hawkeye Pierce
(CNS) -- The U.S. was recently told by the United Nations to jump over and attack Libya, and the U.S. said, "How high?"
Not surprisingly, President Barack Obama sending American fighting forces to interfere in Libya on March 19 via a new version of a "no fly zone" has many prominent political icons wondering, which is no small feat in light of all the other crazy things happening in the last year or so. They have observed with disgust that Obama failed to provide an adequate explanation for making this choice, for starters.
"Lots of confusion," said Republican Tea Party twit Sarah Palin. "What is the mission here in Libya?" Yes, you just read correctly - Palin actually made some sense for once.
A number of prominent Democrats have also scratched their heads as to why the President entered this fight when Congress was not sufficiently consulted.
Sen. James Webb, D-Virginia, and a Vietnam veteran, said, "This isn't the way our system is supposed to work."
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, called the attack an "impeachable offense."
Hopefully, aside from the obvious mission of stealing Libya's oil, the US will also grab that $147 million in gold that the Dhafi one has hoarded up somewhere. At this point, they might as well now go for the whole enchilada!
But how did this happen so quickly and easily? Especially in the case of a foreign country that never attacked America, and in view of the fact that we're busy with several wars already. Surely US Presidents still have to plan and debate such things for many months, and then take it to Congress, do they not? Well, more increasingly, they indeed do not.
Presidents have become far too used to employing military force at their own behest, with few voices demanding democratic consent, and this goes back to the time of Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon in the 1960s doing end runs around Congress, and even before. So when did this insanity start?
Well, shortly after World War II, Congress delegated authority to the President (who at that time was FDR's successor Harry Truman) to start military operations by no longer insisting on an official declaration of war. But it gets worse:
Ever since Truman first used this agreement to send "police action" troops to Korea in 1950, with congressional acquiescence but without a declaration of war, his successors have become more and more comfortable repeating this practice - even to the point of not protesting much when the President didn't even get that initial acquiescence.
However, it must be noted that Truman was a wartime President, so at that time military decisions were never expected to be made by any President during peacetime. Would that some solid "wartime only" language had been added to that Truman era authority delegated by Congress, but sadly they instead left that part wide open.
But if that wasn't bad enough, around that same post WWII period, Truman experienced a huge expansion of his executive powers that increased the institutional resources available to them to analyze information, debate policy and even conduct covert warfare - that's because the National Security Council was created in 1947, which gave the President in-house counsel and expertise on national security decisions, paving the way for Presidents to do much more without Congress.
Another major change came in 1973 with the end of the draft, a measure put out there by Nixon when he was trying to placate the public during the vietnam War in order to get the spotlight off his guilt in the Watergate scandal. change was the end of the draft. In 1940 Congress had passed a permanent draft that remained on the books until Nixon killed it 43 years later.
It was a system that drew from a broad portion of the population, which forced the President to pay close attention to public opinion when going to war and to justify the decision, since many middle-class families, and voters, would feel the cost of war as their sons went abroad. The opposition to the draft played a central role in the anti-war movement in the 1960s.
But after the draft was dismantled during the Nixon era, the government instead relied on a professional volunteer army that was far more removed from the daily life of many middle-class Americans. So now the President could send troops into conflict without prompting most of the country to worry about whether members of their families would have to fight abroad. To add to that, the government can no longer call on the nation to pay for the financial costs of war.
This was an essential element to wartime politics up through Vietnam. During World War I, Congress expanded the progressive income tax and taxed corporate profits. During World War II, the government adopted a system of withholding taxes from paychecks and vastly increased the number of Americans paying income taxes from four million to 44 million. During the Korean War, taxes were raised and during Vietnam, President Lyndon Johnson, in a politically dangerous move, even got Congress to pass a tax surcharge in 1968. But today, no one is asked to sacrifice to pay for war.
The conservative movement shifted public debate to the right, and tax increases became much harder to accomplish even in times of war. During President George W. Bush's administration, for example, Congress cut taxes. As former Majority Leader Tom DeLay once said, "Nothing in the face of war is more important than cutting taxes."
As with the draft, lowering the obligations required of citizens during wartime has made it politically easier for Presidents to enter into conflicts. Strategically, the nation has also tended to fight wars that are different than the massive ground troop operations of World War I, Korea, World War II and Vietnam.
Before 9/11, the U.S. focused on short and limited wars, often against much weaker nations, where the emphasis was on the use of air power rather than ground troops. The U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983 boosted the morale of American foreign policymakers and bolstered public opinion about the military, despite the extremely limited nature of the operation.
More significantly, Operation Desert Storm (1990-1991) came complete with a huge build up and dramatic rhetoric, followed by the U.S. driving Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait quickly and without suffering many casualties. Even though the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq required substantial commitments of ground forces and lasted for long periods of time, the confidence from the success of Operation Desert Storm has continued.
And in case you thought that all of the above boring history hadn't greased the wheels enough for war-mongering Presidents - during peacetime or otherwise - let's not forget the sheeple-herding media! Since cable news began in the late 1970s, much of the effect of any military operation on the public mind has greatly diminished.
The mass fragmentation of the visual and print media gave Americans far more choices about what to focus their attention on and when. Anyone who wanted to watch TV news in the 1960s would mainly have been forced to rely only on nightly reports about Vietnam on the three major networks. But now they can choose to focus 24/7 on all kinds of semi-scripted reality shows and dozens of other topics on hundreds of channels.
The competition among media outlets for limited audiences also creates immense pressure to find the next big story. Following an initial period of saturation, when every outlet jumps on a story such as Libya, there is a tendency to quickly move on. Therefore, much earlier military operations such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan can become almost invisible to the media eye.
Congress has retained considerable power to cause Presidents political problems after troops have been sent abroad, if they ever decided to use it. This would be done through hearings and threats of funding cuts, as well as by legislators taking their case to the media, but although they've rattled a few sabers over the years, they've done virtually nothing to cause any real roadblocks.
And so Obama's decision fits into a long-standing pattern, one that people should find very troubling, of war becoming far too easy to start, though not necessarily easy to win. In fact, there has been no large scale "victory" declared by the US since WWII.
You know, WWII... just shortly before Congress delegated authority to the President to start military operations without any declaration of war. Coincidence? I think not!
LIBYA? KA-BOOM-YA! The USS Barry (as in Barry Sataro?) launches a
Tomahawk tomato at Libya March 19 in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn.
This was just one of about 110 cruise missiles fired from assorted U.S.
and British ships and subs, targeting about 20 totally awesome anti-
aircraft and radical radar sites along Libya's Mediterranean coast.
Odyssey Dawn - I think that was a stripper I once dated back in the 1980s!* * *Recommended reading: PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION.
Contains a new foreword by Texe Marrs. Yes, it turned out it was a compilation of similar-themed works, but ultimately it is NOT fiction. Much of what's going on today in the middle east is predicted in that book. Need I say more? No, but you know I soon will, anyway.(Boato Photo: Getty Images)
'EARL' CO-STAR NAMES HIS DIET METHOD
(Getty Images)MY NAME IS SKINNY?
Ain't this sidekick a kick in the side!
Shadow of his former self: My Name Is Earl actor Ethan Suplee,
pictured left in October and right in April 2002, has lost a staggering 200lbs.
By Daily Mail Staff
Former My Name Is Earl star Ethan Suplee has quietly lost a staggering 200lb over the last 11 years.
And now the 34-year-old has revealed his weight loss secret.
The American actor apparently avoided fad diets and surgeries, instead turning to exercise to transform his body.
'I ride road bikes,' he told TMZ. 'I wear Spandex and everything.'
Suplee's gradual weight loss has been apparent for several years, but when he stepped on the red carpet last October to promote his film Unstoppable, there was no denying there had been a significant transformation.
Swapping the baggy tracksuits of old for a slimline pinstripe suit, he looked incredible.
His decision to transform his body stemmed from a bet he made with director Kevin Smith that he would lose more weight than him in ten years after filming comedy hit Mallrats.
Ethan won the bet.
The funny man got his first big break into acting when he landed a role in Smith's black comedy, alongside his fellow My Name Is Earl cast mate, Jason Lee.
He then went on to appear in two more Smith films, Chasing Amy and Dogma.
The New York-born actor has also starred in American History X, Remember The Titans, and Boy Meets World, and played Johnny Depp's drug dealing partner and pal Tuna in the hit film, Blow.
In My Name Is Earl he played Earl's younger brother Randy Hicky.
The show also starred actress Jaime Pressly who played Joy, the trailer trash ex-wife of the main character Earl.
The television comedy ended in May 2009 after running for four seasons.____________________________READ MORE____________________________Editor's Note:
But it's not just all about exercise, of course.
As far back as the spring of 2006, Suplee also told IGN Movies
"There are certain aspects and parameters of my diet that I won't break no matter what, like eating bread. I haven't had bread in over three years. It'll be four years in August.
"I haven't had refined sugar, rice, pasta, anything like that."_________________________
First posted by Daily Mail Staff: 3/25/11
How My Name Is Earl Star Ethan Suplee Lost An Incredible 200lbs
GEN. CLARK EXPOSES MIDDLE EAST PLOT
WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON: Four years ago, a very brave
General proved that more than one Clark can be a Superman.
By Ed Gauthier
U.S. 4 star General Wesley Clark (Ret.) explained to Amy Goodman of Democracy Now on March 2, 2007 (see video) that the Bush Administration planned to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran (2007 up to 2012).
What happened with Tunisia and then Egypt? (They must have been bonuses.)
You usually don't think of any General as being the average whistle-blower, but that's just what happened in 2007. There was little reaction from it at the time, but now that recent events have reflected what he said back then, Clark's shocking comments - once labeled as mere hyperbole - are back in the spotlight and being taken seriously.
Also, regarding 9/11, in a video interview on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos for March 5, 2006, Clark said, "I think when you look at this country, right now, we need a 2-party system that works. We need Congress to do its job. We need real investigation of some of the abuses of authority that are apparently going on at the Executive branch. ... We've never finished the investigation of 9/11 and whether the administration actually misused the intelligence information it had.
"The evidence seems pretty clear to me. I've seen that for a long time."
Gen. Clark's courage in revealing this material is to be soundly commended. Sure, Truthers and other similar folks have been insisting since the last quarter of the 20th century that the main factor motivating US troop movements throughout the middle east has been greed for oil.
But this is one of those rare times when an actual General - and a highly respected one at that - has ever publicly agreed with such a position, and was shown to be 100% correct. Plus he also doesn't buy the phony baloney commission report on 9/11.
Bravo, Gen. Clark!* * *Now for all you newbies out there, just how credible is Gen. Clark? Very. Here's just a little of his background: He's a former Commanding General of U.S. European Command, which included all American military activities in the 89 countries and territories of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Additionally, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), which granted him overall command of NATO military forces in Europe 1997 - 2001.
Awarded Bronze Star, Silver Star, and Purple Heart for his service in Viet Nam and numerous subsequent medals and citations. Graduated valedictorian of his class at West Point. Presidential candidate in 2008, and on and on. For more, go to Wikipedia and bring your reading glasses!
LAND HO! .XXX DOMAINS OKAYED
ADULTS HORNLY: It's not your dot com's online porn, anymore!OR:
WEB RED LIGHT DISTRICT
GIVEN THE GREEN LIGHT
By Ed Gauthier
Triple X doms, anyone?
Well, this week most people observed St. Patrick's Day as usual, but just 24 hours later the online version of the porn industry was given something else to celebrate: .XXX - their own adult top-level domain (TLD) name address.
After almost 19 years of debate, ICANN finally approved its introduction Friday. Interested parties can reserve domains through its sponsor, ICM Registry. These new .XXX domains will cost at least $60 to register once they become available, which is expected to be anytime after May 1, when the second fiscal business quarter (Q2) begins.
At the end of the first week after ICANN's long-awaited announcement, the number of reservations is already surpassing a quarter million domain names. However, those who might wish to enter the x-rated game at this point should bear in mind that it's not quite the "landrush" situation it may initially appear to be.
That's because owners of already existing TLD names (.com, .net, .org, etc.) are able to automatically go to the head of the line, which means new participants will be forced to gather whatever unspoken-for crumbs are left after the stampede. In other words, the chances of some unknown party grabbing the domain sex.xxx from the current owners of sex.com are absolutely zero.
With the introduction of this TLD is the inclusion of Rights Protection Mechanisms, which lets adult (and non-adult) companies block their trademarks from being registered. Apple, for example, can (and will) reserve apple.xxx and ipad.xxx. These locked pages won't forward to apple.com either; they'll simply point to a non-porny holding page. However, any such companies wanting to block domains will have to pay a one-time fee per domain.
By the way, the .XXX TLD wasn't championed only by the porn industry. A large reason behind .XXX's introduction is that it will make adult websites very easy to identify, creating an official internet "red light district," as it were, which is very helpful for any groups or individuals in general society who wish to avoid bumping into adult content.
On the downside for those who deal in and/or seek such material, though, is that such "sex site segregation" allows for very easy blocking of and by ISPs, by other companies and institutions - or pro-censorship conservative governments.
In fact, it's already been suggested that unless popular search engines like Google change their ranking algorithms to bias in the new TLD, at first the majority of web-surfers probably won't even notice most new domains, unless they're looking for them, based on their old .com presence. After that, it will be strictly up to the .XXX- related sites themselves to gain more notice and seek their own level.
The only "problem" (depending if you're pro or anti-porn) with this is that it will no doubt require the .XXX sites to present even "dirtier" fare than ever before, to gain the attention they need in order to keep meeting their financial goals. So it will be a whole new contest of obscenity laws versus capital gains. Should be interesting, to say the least!
LIKE I ALWAYS TELL COMEDIANS: Don't work blue -
unless you're gonna get plenty of green!UPDATE:
(3/25/11) Yes, not only did those naughty little .XXX reservations pass a quarter million at the end of the first week, but they went on to pass a half million by the end of the second week. So it won't be any shock in a couple more weeks to hear that it went over the million mark. It's like that saying, which I just made up today:"The more society witnesses a war and destruction rut,
the more it welcomes the distraction of smut!"
DAVIS: 'BUS LAZY BLACKS'
SO THERE ARE NO RACISTS IN THE TEA PARTY, HUH?
How many non-whites are invited to this little do, anyway?
(CNS) - - NEW YORK - - Is it a Tea Party or a lynching party?
Tea Party-backed House Congressional candidate Jack Davis has New York's GOP brass spinning in full reverse, trying to disassociate themselves from racist remarks he made in recent interviews this week.
Davis shocked local Republican leaders when he made suggestions including one that Latino farmworkers should be deported - and that African-Americans from the inner city should be bused to farm country to pick the crops.
Several sources who were in the Feb. 20 endorsement interview with Davis confirmed his comments, which echo those he made to the Tonawanda News in 2008, when he said: "We have a huge unemployment problem with black youth in our cities. Put them on buses, take them out there [to the farms] and pay them a decent wage; they will work."
When Davis repeated those sentiments in the recent interview, the Republican leaders - who later delivered the party endorsement for the vacant seat in the 26th Congressional District to Assemblywoman Jane L. Corwin of Clarence - said they couldn't believe what they were hearing.
"I was thunderstruck," said Amherst GOP Chairman Marshall Wood. "Maybe in 1860 that might have been seen by some as an appropriate comment, but not now."
Davis is running in the special election to replace disgraced GOP Rep. Chris "Craigslist" Lee. He's run unsuccessfully for the U.S. House three times as a Democrat, but is now running for the GOP/Tea Party side.
Well, he's really off to a wild start this time around, isn't he, folks? He's certainly got his buddy Lee beat in the "disgraced" department, already!
OBAMA'S GUN CONTROL COLUMN
GUNS ARE BAD: But a half dozen wars at the same time are okay?PRESIDENT OBAMA: WE MUST SEEK
AGREEMENT ON GUN REFORMS
By President Barack Obama
Special To The Arizona Daily Star
It's been more than two months since the tragedy in Tucson stunned the nation. It was a moment when we came together as one people to mourn and to pray for those we lost. And in the attack's turbulent wake, Americans by and large rightly refrained from finger-pointing, assigning blame or playing politics with other people's pain.
But one clear and terrible fact remains. A man our Army rejected as unfit for service; a man one of our colleges deemed too unstable for studies; a man apparently bent on violence, was able to walk into a store and buy a gun.
He used it to murder six people and wound 13 others. And if not for the heroism of bystanders and a brilliant surgical team, it would have been far worse.
But since that day, we have lost perhaps another 2,000 members of our American family to gun violence. Thousands more have been wounded. We lose the same number of young people to guns every day and a half as we did at Columbine, and every four days as we did at Virginia Tech.
Every single day, America is robbed of more futures. It has awful consequences for our society. And as a society, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to put a stop to it.
Now, like the majority of Americans, I believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. And the courts have settled that as the law of the land. In this country, we have a strong tradition of gun ownership that's handed from generation to generation.
Hunting and shooting are part of our national heritage. And, in fact, my administration has not curtailed the rights of gun owners - it has expanded them, including allowing people to carry their guns in national parks and wildlife refuges.
The fact is, almost all gun owners in America are highly responsible. They're our friends and neighbors. They buy their guns legally and use them safely, whether for hunting or target shooting, collection or protection. And that's something that gun-safety advocates need to accept. Likewise, advocates for gun owners should accept the awful reality that gun violence affects Americans everywhere, whether on the streets of Chicago or at a supermarket in Tucson.
I know that every time we try to talk about guns, it can reinforce stark divides. People shout at one another, which makes it impossible to listen. We mire ourselves in stalemate, which makes it impossible to get to where we need to go as a country.
However, I believe that if common sense prevails, we can get beyond wedge issues and stale political debates to find a sensible, intelligent way to make the United States of America a safer, stronger place.
I'm willing to bet that responsible, law-abiding gun owners agree that we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few - dangerous criminals and fugitives, for example - from getting their hands on a gun in the first place.
I'm willing to bet they don't think that using a gun and using common sense are incompatible ideas - that we should check someone's criminal record before he can check out at a gun seller; that an unbalanced man shouldn't be able to buy a gun so easily; that there's room for us to have reasonable laws that uphold liberty, ensure citizen safety and are fully compatible with a robust Second Amendment.
That's why our focus right now should be on sound and effective steps that will actually keep those irresponsible, law-breaking few from getting their hands on a gun in the first place.
• First, we should begin by enforcing laws that are already on the books. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System is the filter that's supposed to stop the wrong people from getting their hands on a gun. Bipartisan legislation four years ago was supposed to strengthen this system, but it hasn't been properly implemented. It relies on data supplied by states - but that data is often incomplete and inadequate. We must do better.
• Second, we should in fact reward the states that provide the best data - and therefore do the most to protect our citizens.
• Third, we should make the system faster and nimbler. We should provide an instant, accurate, comprehensive and consistent system for background checks to sellers who want to do the right thing, and make sure that criminals can't escape it.
Porous background checks are bad for police officers, for law-abiding citizens and for the sellers themselves. If we're serious about keeping guns away from someone who's made up his mind to kill, then we can't allow a situation where a responsible seller denies him a weapon at one store, but he effortlessly buys the same gun someplace else.
Clearly, there's more we can do to prevent gun violence. But I want this to at least be the beginning of a new discussion on how we can keep America safe for all our people.
I know some aren't interested in participating. Some will say that anything short of the most sweeping anti-gun legislation is a capitulation to the gun lobby. Others will predictably cast any discussion as the opening salvo in a wild-eyed scheme to take away everybody's guns. And such hyperbole will become the fodder for overheated fundraising letters.
But I have more faith in the American people than that. Most gun-control advocates know that most gun owners are responsible citizens. Most gun owners know that the word "commonsense" isn't a code word for "confiscation." And none of us should be willing to remain passive in the face of violence or resigned to watching helplessly as another rampage unfolds on television.
As long as those whose lives are shattered by gun violence don't get to look away and move on, neither can we.
We owe the victims of the tragedy in Tucson and the countless unheralded tragedies each year nothing less than our best efforts - to seek consensus, to prevent future bloodshed, to forge a nation worthy of our children's futures.Copyright © 2011 Arizona Daily Star
All Rights Reserved
Originally published 3/13/11
JAPAN HIT BY 9.0 QUAKE
SHAKEN TO THE (NUCLEAR) CORE:
The thing was rated between 8.9 and 9.1,
so we're splitting the difference.
(CNS) - - TOKYO, JAPAN - - A huge earthquake near the magnitude of 9.0 hit Japan yesterday.
Looks like that solar flare from the sun hit right on time as predicted, possibly causing this quake. First reports are that dozens are already dead or missing, and that toll is expected to rise quickly.
The quake shook buildings in the capital, cutting off electricity for most of the country, shutting down the mobile phone network and severely disrupted landline telephone service.
Bullet trains, commuter trains and subways were also all shut down, according to the East Japan Railway Co.
Although power outages did not extend to central Tokyo, elevator services were disrupted in many buildings, in most cases intentionally shut down as a precaution.
It is worth mentioning that many alternative news sources question the timing of this, since the US does have H.A.R.P. weather control and earthquake creation tools, and the quake happened on the exact day - 3/11 - of the nine and a half year anniversary of 9/11 (which most agree was an inside job, used as an excuse to attack Iraq).
It would certainly be excellent timing, since it would merely look like that predicted solar flare caused the quake, providing the perfect cover.UPDATE 1:
A volcano soonafter erupted, killing hundreds.UPDATE 2:
Then a tsunami hit, flooding the coast and killing thousands.UPDATE 3:
Then four out of their six nearest nuclear reactors started melting down, and they lost control of them. The Japan death toll from this whole combined mess is reportedly expected to be between 6,000 and 10,000 people. And now the radioactive dust from the reactor meltdowns is starting to be blown in the jet stream towards the west coast of the US, due to arrive in the Southern California area this Thursday, March 18, the day after St. Patrick's Day. _________________________Editor's Note:
Okay, wait a minute - whoah! Hold it! It has to be admitted that for the first time ever, even this mighty blog cannot hope to handle all the complicated elements weighing in almost daily on this story, which has grown G-I-G-A-N-T-I-C!
Therefore, we urge all readers to check the rest of the many internet news services out there, to get all the details of what has shaped up to very possibly be THE DISASTER OF THE CENTURY.
We don't want any reader to miss out on any of the vital facts concerning this developing nightmare of horrendous proportions. Personally, I'm just listening to the Alex Jones Show on Infowars.com
. If we're still here in a couple weeks, then we all survived. Thank you, and good luck!UPDATE 1:
(4/16/11) Today a nuclear industry official said that Japan will likely need two to three more months to bring an end to the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.UPDATE 2:
(5/23/11) This week it was confirmed that Japan nuke authorities had repeatedly lied, and that in reality only a few days after the disaster, enough fuel rods had burned out that three out of the four Fukushima reactors had in effect totally melted down. Radioactive sludge has also been discovered as far as Tokyo.
GOP'S NET NEUTRALITY WHINING
FREE (ONLINE) SPEECH? FORGET IT! Majority Leader
Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., says the House will "move forward in
coming weeks" on an anti-net neutrality resolution.
By Todd Shields
The House voted to nullify a rule barring Internet-service providers such as AT&T Inc. from interfering with subscribers' Web traffic, sending the measure on for more votes in Congress.
The House subcommittee on communications and technology on Wednesday advanced a resolution of disapproval on a 15-8 vote. All the "yes" votes came from Republicans, who say the regulation passed by the Federal Communications Commission is unnecessary, and all the "no" votes were from Democrats, who say a rule is needed to keep companies from limiting online competition.
The FCC passed its so-called net-neutrality rule in December on a 3-2 Democrat-led vote. It bars service providers from blocking or slowing Web content sent to homes and businesses, while allowing mobile-phone companies to put limits on traffic.
The House resolution would wipe out the regulation, and prevent the agency from passing similar rules. To succeed, it needs to be approved by the Energy and Commerce Committee, then pass the House, the Democrat-controlled Senate and be signed by President Obama, who supported the FCC's action. The House intends to move forward "in coming weeks," Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican, said Tuesday.
The resolution "is an exercise in futility," Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., said in an e-mailed statement. "It is a foregone conclusion that the other body will not pass it, and the President certainly will not sign it."-----------------------------------------------------------------© 2011 Todd Shields
Read rest of article here.
(Original headline: House panel votes to void FCC net-neutrality rule)-----------------------------------------------------------------IRRITATED EDITOR'S COMMENT: Yep, the business-bought Repubs are at it again, crying like the sore losers they are, this time about the Net Neutrality rules passed by the FCC last December. The political corporate clones are trying to "dissapprove" it, after their recent lame try at "defunding," which had no effect. Heavily-funded or not, it's still the FCC law of the land and it ain't gonna change - so just sit down and get used to it, you GOP jerks!
It'll never pass (and we already knew only Repubs disapproved of it, which is exactly how the vote went, so they certainly plowed no fresh ground there), so it won't do the Republicans one bit of good. It's yet another example of a total waste of time, just like their "symbolic" attempted "Obama healthcare repeal" nonsense.
Hey, how about trying something NEW, that might actually make it all the way into a LAW, guys? In other words, how about DOING your actual job? After all, that's why you were elected. And if you don't, good luck getting elected next time!
'STARVE THE BEAST' PLAN EXPLAINED
FROM THE HEART, MAN: Politics makes strange bedfellows, and since
the Reagan era those bedfellows have usually been corporate creeps.
By Ed Gauthier
President Of The
Thom Hartmann Fanclub
I love talk show pundit Thom Hartmann, even though I never did figure out why he has a useless h in his first name, and a redundant n in his last name.
But he's just the best, and he should be featured here (and everywhere) more often than he is.
Anyway, according to Hartmann today, in Wisconsin the "starve the beast" strategy has almost completely been carried out.
The story behind the ongoing labor protests goes back more than three decades, a few years after Republiscum Tricky Dick Nixon had left the white house, and fellow Republiscum Ronnie Raygun was entering it for the first time.
And what is that whole "beast" deal, exactly? Hartmann outlined it yesterday on his webcast The Big Picture, telling us in plain terms that what's really
going on has been going on for a very long time.
So click on the YouTube thingie above, and check it out!
GOOGLE SKY HIDES NIBIRU IMAGES
TOP (SPACE) SECRET: Google's alleged censorship certainly
gives a whole new meaning to the term "Forbidden Planet"!Well, it looks like Nibiru/Planet X/brown dwarf/ELEnin (it goes by those names, and even more) may be getting closer and affecting our planet sooner than originally thought.
If anything happened, it was supposed to be in 2012. But now they're talking about a few things related to it happening this year as part of the planetary buildup. Maybe that dang thing's on steroids!
Yesterday was the day when we were finally going to learn our fate. Yes, March 4 was the day we were supposed to see Nibiru break through the solar ecliptic plain.
I didn't notice anything - did you? But then, I claim to be no expert on planetary pulsations. To me, weather out here in California has only two main speeds: raining, or not raining. Everything else is negotiable and not a deal breaker. Ya gotta love it.
Anyway, the online guy below appears to have an angle on it. It's taken from usmessageboard.com - watch the sky, you folks with telescopes. Better still, watch out for rising seas etc.That kinda stuff is pretty hard not to notice, anyway, isn't it?
From:Terral ...mail.com)Sent:Tue 2/15/11 11:05 AMTo: firstname.lastname@example.org;
WFLA News Tip Line:
My name is Terral ... writing to report that a brown dwarf with 3 moons is currently located between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars set to break through the solar ecliptic plane on March 4, 2011. A multi-planetary/Solar alignment will take place on March 15, 2011, when the Earth passes through the gravity trough/trench connecting the Sun to the approaching brown dwarf. The coordinates of the brown dwarf are 5h 53m 27s -6 10' 58 in the Constellation Leo. The NASA orbit diagram/chart for the comet Elenin shows the tracking data for the incoming brown dwarf that will pass 22.3 million miles from the Earth on October 17, 2011. Google has blacked out Google Sky images of this exact location, which you can read about in my USMB posting here:
Google Is Deliberately Hiding Nibiru Images @ 5h 53m 27s -6 10' 58
That post has pictures of the inbound brown dwarf and multiple moons. Follow the link to my Brown Dwarf Timeline here:
The Planet X/Nibiru/ELEnin Brown Dwarf Timeline
The first Gov link in that post shows you the NASA tracking data for the incoming brown dwarf, but cleverly disguised as a harmless comet.
JPL Small-Body Database Browser
The data says the brown dwarf will break through the solar ecliptic plane into the northern hemisphere on March 4, 2011, when the earth change 'events' will begin to escalate out of control. In that event, people must evacuate the coasts in anticipation of severe rogue tides and tidal waves associated with the anticipated March 15, 2011 'pole shift event.' The magnetic shift since 2004 is actually magnetic pole migration in response to the gravity well, massive magnetism and polarity of the approaching brown dwarf that orbits near the sun just once every 3600 years. I realize that this News Tip seems outrageous, but this is what all the evidence in my investigation is saying and the people have a right to see the evidence and decide for themselves. In other words, this is the very reason the Tip Line was created in the first place and pushing this under the carpet makes WFLA part of a very big Global Conspiracy to hide 'the truth' like Google. This is what Google is hiding:
Now you tell me why the only place on Google Sky that is blacked out just happens to be the same exact location of the recently-discovered ELEnin Comet? Your meteorologists are smart people. Have them look these things up. I am not saying this is doomsday, but the people had better be prepared:
100 miles from coasts.
200 feet above sea level.
away from fault zones.
away from volcanoes.
away from Yellowstone.
away from New Madrid Fault Zone.
away from Mississippi River Valley from Louisiana to Michigan.
Peoples have survived Nibiru for hundreds of thousands of years, but they were prepared. You have been given sufficient information to get the warning out, or to shove this News Story under the rug.
USMB* * * * Wow, and we thought the ECONOMY was the main thing to sweat about!
SHOCKER: BAILOUTS WORKED!?
$$$: Those rotten old bankster fat cats actually p-p-paid it b-b-back?Like most folks, I assumed that once those greedy banks got
all that money, we'd never see any of it again. Oops! My bad!
Well, I must say that's certainly a nice way to start the month!
By Jim Puzzanghera,
Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON, D.C. - - Almost three years after a series of government bailouts began, what many feared would be a deep black hole for taxpayer money isn't looking nearly so dark.
The brighter picture is highlighted by the outlook for the bailouts' centerpiece — the $700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program.
"It's turning out to cost one heck of a lot less than what we all thought at the beginning," said Ted Kaufman, a former U.S. senator from Delaware who heads the congressionally appointed panel overseeing TARP.
In mid-2009, the program was projected to lose as much as $341 billion. That's been reduced to $25 billion — partly because of the controversial decision to pump much of the TARP money into banks instead of launching a large-scale purchase of securities backed by toxic subprime mortgages.
There is now broad agreement that the bailouts worked, stabilizing the financial system and preventing an even deeper crisis.
Still, many people are worried about the long-term effects of the government actions. They said that in demonstrating a belief that some companies were too big to fail, the government set a dangerous precedent, opening the door to future crises.
Those critics also said that hundreds of billions of dollars in bailout money from TARP, the Treasury and the Federal Reserve will not come back, mainly because of the rising tab for seized housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which combined have consumed $150 billion in taxpayer money so far.
"We're not going to recoup those losses," said Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee monitoring the bailouts. "It's extraordinary, just absolutely extraordinary."
Fannie and Freddie, which the Obama administration recently proposed to shut down, are the main reason most recent estimates of losses for all the various bailout efforts range from $238 billion to $380 billion.
But Treasury officials think those estimates might be too high. They said the total cost of all the financial interventions is likely to be less than $140 billion, or 1% of the United State's $14-trillion annual economic output.
That's less expensive than the federal losses from the savings and loan crisis in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which cost an estimated 2.4% of the nation's annual economic output at the time, according to a study by the International Monetary Fund.
In the recent recession, the federal government intervened with "overwhelming force and speed," said Timothy Massad, TARP's acting manager.
"We stopped the panic," he said. "We were then able to recapitalize the system very quickly with private capital … get the credit markets working again, and that laid the foundation for an economic recovery."
Government intervention in the financial system expanded rapidly after the Federal Reserve decided in March 2008 to provide a $30-billion line of credit to engineer the sale of investment bank Bear Stearns Cos.
Hundreds of billions of dollars from TARP, the U.S. Treasury and the Fed were funneled into banks, Wall Street financial institutions and the auto industry as the recession deepened and as the credit crisis and a pile of soon-worthless securities threatened the worldwide financial structure.
The bleak prospects for recouping taxpayer funds, though, began to improve even though jobs evaporated and unemployment rates soared.
Banks have paid back close to all of the $245 billion they received, and the Treasury Department estimates that interest and dividends on those cash infusions ultimately will give taxpayers a $20-billion profit.
Last year's highly successful stock offering by General Motors Co. means losses from its rescue, along with losses from rescuing fellow automaker Chrysler and the two companies' financing arms, are projected to be $19 billion — much less than what was anticipated when the government pumped about $80 billion into the auto industry.
And a rise in the stock price of worldwide insurer American International Group Inc. as it sells many of its assets has reduced the estimated taxpayer cost to $14 billion on financial aid totaling about $125 billion. The New York company has vowed to pay it all back.
The decision by former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson in fall 2008 to shift TARP from its original mission kept the government from taking ownership of hundreds of billions of dollars in securities backed by bad mortgages.
"It was clear in the fall that you didn't have time for that because the crisis was too great and moving too quickly," Massad said.
If money had not been pumped directly into the largest banks, he said, "I think you then would have been presiding over a collapse of the financial system and potentially a second Great Depression."
On top of that, taxpayers would have been saddled for years with bad assets.
A study last year by Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, and Alan Blinder, a Princeton economist and former Fed governor, concluded that TARP "has been a substantial success."
Zandi said the cash injections were necessary to stem the marketwide panic. Because TARP funds were not used to make large-scale purchases of toxic assets, which were riskier investments that it would have had to hold longer, the program was able to recover much of its money sooner.
"It's a question for the ages whether they did the right thing," TARP overseer Kaufman said.
The Treasury Department launched a much smaller initiative in 2009 to buy toxic assets through public-private partnerships. But that program came after the financial system had stabilized, and it spent only about $15 billion in TARP money. The program is projected to lose about $2 billion.
The toxic assets held by Fannie and Freddie are leading to such huge losses that their bailouts could cost as much as $363 billion through 2013 — but only if there is a deep, second housing recession, according to projections last year by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie.
A stronger housing recovery could mean Fannie and Freddie would need only about $71 billion more, the report said. Zandi said it's possible those bailouts also could cost less than anticipated.
"The script on Fannie and Freddie is still being written," he said. "We could end up saying Fannie and Freddie didn't cost us all that much either."
But the bailouts have been deeply unpopular. Critics point to them as a symbol of costly overreach and as proof that the government thought some companies were too big to fail.
In a Newsweek poll last fall, 63% of respondents said the government's actions to rescue the banking and financial system were bad for the country.
But some of that anger appears to be fueled by misconception, Kaufman said. He cited a Bloomberg poll last fall in which 60% of respondents said they thought most of the TARP money would not be recovered.
A good chunk of the money never was spent. Just $410 billion was distributed. And because the program formally ended last year and only its existing initiatives can continue to be funded, it will not spend more than $475 billion.
Massad said Treasury officials understand why the program has been so reviled, but added that the public should focus on the bottom line.
"We did what we had to do, it worked better than people thought, and it's been far cheaper than people thought it would be," he said.* * * * *Story Copyright © 2011 Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
Originally published on 2/28/11 with the headline
"Bailouts Are Shaping Up To Be Cheaper Than Expected"* * * * *
Typical toon from October 2008, the bailout's first foreboding month.
Seemed right on the "money"... at the time. Glad I was wrong - for once.