A WEBSITE WORTH VISITING


We found what we believe to be a tremendous website.

As most of us know, it is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate one’s way through all the hyperbole, spin, biased opinion, half-truths, no-truths and just plain B/S that has become what we now refer to as “news”.

We are not the arbiter of what “objectivity” or “truth” is or is not. However, we do read, observe and research a lot and having found this website has been a delight for us. It’s not a republican, democrat, either-wing, or any other “partisan” gathering of data. It is plainly written and allows anyone with a “reasonable” level of curiosity, education and intelligence to digest information. If you aren’t a “junkie” or if you are into the more mundane or inane thought we find ourselves exposed to each day, you might not find it as useful as we have. But as a research tool, it’s pretty good. Give it a glance this one time, see if you like it and we’ll keep you posted on our blog when we find an article we think you might enjoy.

The website is Just Facts and can be found at the following link. If you think you are up on the facts about current political thought, you might want to test yourself with the poll that Just Facts commissioned a few weeks before the recent presidential election.

http://www.justfactsdaily.com/fact-based-poll-reveals-fictions-believed-by-voters

Larry

I couldn’t agree with the author more if I wrote this article myself. Thanks for flagging this Larry ~ ByBK


State of War

Illustration by Thomas Fuchs

 

It was Tuesday morning in Phnom Penh when Barack Obama decided to dispatch Hillary Clinton to the Middle East to try to help defuse the mounting conflict in Gaza. Clinton had been traveling at Obama’s side on his swing through Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia—but now duty called, and she was off to Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Cairo. So peripatetic has Clinton been as secretary of State that it seemed perversely fitting that what was billed as her final foreign trip with her boss would be cut short this way. And while news of cease-fire talks in Gaza came hours before she touched down in the region, the sequence of events was a vivid reminder of the stature that Clinton has gained in the job: For the past four years, she has been Obama’s go-to gal in any global crisis.

 

 

Clinton’s impending departure, in other words, presents the president with a massive pair of pumps to fill—and a domestic political skirmish far less bloody than, but nearly as bloody-minded as, the one in the Mideast. At the center of this conflagration is U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, one of the prime candidates to replace Clinton, and a series of Sunday-show appearances she made after the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, in which she declined to call it a terrorist incident but instead deemed it a “spontaneous” protest that had been “hijacked” by “clusters of extremists.” For this, Rice is being flayed by John McCain, who has called her “not … very bright” and “not qualified” to be secretary of State, and pledged to do “everything in my power” to block her from the post, as well as being denounced by 97 House Republicans, who in a letter to Obama declared that Rice’s “misleading statements” about Benghazi “caused irreparable damage to her credibility both at home and around the world.”

 

 

Beyond the spectacle of gratuitous spleen-venting, does any of this Republican fulmination matter in the least—or, as the headline of a recent Maureen Dowd column in the Times put it, “Is Rice Cooked?” As a rule, your columnist avoids predictions, but in the spirit of holiday indulgence, I will make an exception here: Not only will Obama appoint Rice to succeed Clinton but she will be confirmed. And though I offer this forecast without the aid of polling averages to lend a patina of statistical certainty to the endeavor, I do believe there are at least five sound reasons to think it will come true:

 

 

1. Because every piece of available evidence suggests Obama wants her in the job. Among all his senior foreign-policy hands, Rice has always been the one with whom the president has shared both a strong personal and policy-related bond. “There’s a real similarity to the relationship between George W. Bush and the other foreign-policy Rice, in that they’re close and they share a common view of the world and America’s role in it,” says Jonathan Prince, who served as a senior adviser to Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell and who argues that Obama’s fiery defense of Rice in his postelection press conference made clear his inclination to give her State. “I don’t know how you could see the way he reacted and not think that.”

 

 

Rice has a number of other factors weighing on her side. Unlike John Kerry, the likeliest alternative, she has vocal champions inside the White House—in particular Valerie Jarrett. At the same time, few believe that Obama would want to have a less diverse Cabinet in his second term than he did in his first one, which means at least one of the Big Four departments being presided over by a woman. With Eric Holder now indicating that he will stay on as attorney general and current chief of staff Jack Lew likely taking over for Tim Geithner at Treasury, that leaves only State and Defense to fill—and a paucity of obviously qualified females to run the latter. Hence Rice at State with either Kerry, Rhode Island senator Jack Reed, or former senator Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon would seem a logical outcome.

 

 

2. Because Rice is manifestly qualified for the job.

 

 

Though the résumé she would bring to the job is not nearly as accomplished as Clinton’s, the comparison is more than a bit unfair to a woman seventeen years younger. Over the course of the past two decades, she has been a rising celestial body in the Democratic foreign-policy firmament, serving on the staff of Hillary’s husband’s national-security council and as his assistant secretary of State for African affairs. As U.N. ambassador, she has sometimes ruffled feathers with her bluntness, but at the same time earned high marks for her tangible achievements: helping to secure unprecedented U.N. sanctions resolutions against Iran and North Korea and playing a pivotal role in persuading a wary Obama to intervene militarily in Libya.

 

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3. Because nothing she did with respect to Benghazi disqualifies her from the job. There remain many valid, pertinent, pressing questions about the Obama administration’s conduct in the weeks leading up to and the days following the September 11 attack that cost the lives of four Americans, including that of Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Given Stevens’s early warnings about how the consulate was unprepared for such an assault, why wasn’t more done to secure it? Why was help so slow to arrive when the diplomats who were pinned down there called for it during the siege? And why did intelligence officials, who now acknowledge that they believed the attack was a terrorist incident from day one, water down the talking points Rice was given before her appearances on the Sunday shows—changing a reference to Al Qaeda to the vaguer “extremists,” for instance?

 

 

But none of this has anything to do with Rice, who on the shows was doing nothing more and nothing less than conveying the information that had been declassified and that she was authorized to impart. Had Rice decided on her own accord to go off-script and reveal what she had learned from the still-classified portions of her intelligence briefings at the time, is there any doubt that many of the same Republican lawmakers pummeling her now as unfit to be secretary of State would be using that transgression to reach the same conclusion?

 

 

4. Because McCain is being a jackass—and Obama is sick of it. Arguably more than any other national figure, the senior senator from Arizona is driven in every aspect of his public behavior by personal pique. In the wake of the 2000 Republican nomination fight, when he believed Bush and his campaign had defeated him by nefarious means, McCain lunged to the center and became one of the sharpest thorns in the side of the new president from his own party. In the wake of the 2008 election, when he was soundly thumped by a Democratic challenger whom he regarded as a neophyte and a pretender whose experience and valor were no match for his own, McCain immediately shed all traces of mavericky independence and became one of Obama’s fiercest critics from the right.

 

 

Now into McCain’s crosshairs has come Rice, who routinely stripped the bark off him four years ago as one of Obama’s most quotable surrogates. (“His tendency is to shoot first and ask questions later; it is dangerous, and we can’t afford four more years of this reckless foreign policy” is just one vintage example of the form.) No one who knows McCain believes he has forgotten these brickbats or that they are not a substantial part of what is motivating him now. Nor does anyone close to Obama not suspect that, after four years of McCain’s truculence, he’s had quite enough of it, thanks, and is indeed sorta spoiling for a fight.

 

 

5. Because if McCain insists on pressing that fight, Obama will win. With 55 Democratic votes in the Senate now, the administration is all but assured of having a majority to confirm Rice if Obama puts her name forward. The only way to halt her nomination would be by waging a filibuster, and even that effort might not prove fruitful—since if Democrats were to remain united, only five GOP defectors would be necessary to shut it down, and in the current environment of Republican soul-searching, finding those five votes might not be all that hard.

 

 

For the sake of argument, however, imagine the contrary scenario. Imagine that ­McCain does decide to filibuster and that enough of his party rallies around his cause. Imagine the White House and Senate Democrats standing firm, demanding an actual filibuster instead of simply folding at the threat of one, as has become common practice. Imagine McCain and his colleagues compelled to take to the well of the Senate to read the phone book all night long—a bunch of old white guys standing in the way of the ascension of a young, talented, guilty-of-nothing ­African-American woman in order to score cheap political points in a fight that, eventually, they would be all but certain to lose. Imagine how that will help resuscitate the Republican brand. Imagine.

 

 

It’ll never happen, I hear you say—and you’re right, and that’s the point. Which is why I estimate there is a 79.4357 percent probability that Susan Rice will be confirmed early next year as secretary of State, and the vote won’t even be close. Just remember: You read it here first—and Nate Silver ain’t got nothing on me.

Click the link below to read the full article:

State of War.

DOES MRS. ROMNEY KNOW SOMETHING THE ELECTORATE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN”


 

On September 28, in Reno, NV, CBS News reported that Mrs. Romney said, “You know, I think my biggest concern, obviously, would just be for his mental well-being. I have all the confidence in the world in his ability, in his decisiveness and his leadership skills, in his understanding of the economy, in his understanding of what’s missing right now in the economy – you know, pieces that are missing to get this jumpstarted, she continued. “So for me I think it would just be the emotional part of it.”

When I read her remarks, two questions came to mind: (1) Does she know something about her husband that the electorate needed to know?; (2) Why did not President Obama’s campaign staff make an issue of her comments? If Michelle Obama had made exactly the same comment about President Obama, Fox, CNN, Rush, Sean, Laura, Ann, Drudge, Krauthammer, Rove, Beck, O’Riley, Palin, David, Pat, Morning Joe, CNBC and the rest of that vile and odious pack would still be trying to make hay. Yet, other than the brief mention on CBS news that evening, I never heard mention of Mrs. Romney’s comment.

Then another thought came to me: Who owns the media??

Two links follow. The first is a link to the CBS Report of Mrs. Romney’s comment.

The second is a link to a picture of a rather disheveled and unkempt Mr. Romney (formerly referred to as “Governor” by the media, or “The Candidate”) purportedly pumping his own gas after the Secret Service detail returned to other duties.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57522815/ann-romney-if-elected-mental-well-being-mitts-biggest-challenge/

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/romney-pumping-gas-photo-151702638–election.html

Larry

 

AFTER ALL IS SAID AND DONE WILL OBAMACARE BECOME THE TEST VEHICLE FOR A “SINGLE PAYER” SYSTEM?


One of the early arguments in the media and in the congressional debates held before the passing of the Obamacare legislation had to do with whether or not there would be a “single payer” system A single payer is a funding mechanism that would collect all payments for medical fees and services and then pay providers for all services through a single source. In nations which use a single payer model, this single source that accepts the fees and makes the payments is the government and that seems to be much of the opposition to the single payer option with Obamacare.

According to a Washington Post article written by Dan Eggen and published on June 6, 2009, “Many Republicans see the movement (for a single payer option) as evidence that Democrats are setting the country on the path to “government_run health care,” as they describe it. Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, an advocacy group bankrolled by ousted Columbia/HCA chief Rick Scott, unveiled a $1.2 million ad campaign that portrays Democratic plans as a “bulldozer” aimed at eliminating private insurance companies.”

Whether their characterization of “single payer” is or is not correct seems to depend on which political universe you reside in and to whom you turn for political news and information.

[The name Rick Scott may be familiar to you. According to Wikipedia, “In 1987, at age 34, he co_founded Columbia Hospital Corporation with two business partners; this merged with Hospital Corporation of America in 1989 to form Columbia/HCA and eventually became the largest private for_profit health care company in the U.S. He resigned as Chief Executive of Columbia/HCA in 1997 amid a controversy over the company’s business and Medicare billing practices; the company ultimately admitted to FOURTEEN FELONIES and agreed to pay the federal government over $600 million; Scott was not implicated. Scott later became a venture capitalist.”]

In 2010 Rick Scott was elected governor of Florida. At times, Americans have a short memory.

I agree!


REPUBLICAN senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham devoted an appearance at the Washington Ideas Forum on Wednesday to vowing to filibuster if Susan Rice, the current UN ambassador, is nominated to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.

http://www.economist.com/node/21566630

REPUBLICAN senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham devoted an appearance at the Washington Ideas Forum on Wednesday to vowing to filibuster if Susan Rice, the current UN ambassador, is nominated to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. They’re apparently ticked off over her statements on talk shows on September 15th about the Benghazi attacks. Barack Obama got pretty incensed about this at his press conference later in the day, and Kevin Drum argues he was right to be incensed. As Mr Drum says, everything Ms Rice said on September 15th was in fact the judgment at that moment of American intelligence agencies, and she relayed that judgment accurately. The only thing that was even arguably wrong in those intelligence assessments was the claim that there had been a copycat protest over those anti-Muslim YouTube videos in Benghazi; intelligence agencies didn’t start calling this into question until some time later. “Berating Rice, who had nothing to do with Benghazi aside from representing the administration on these talk shows, is nuts,” Mr Drum writes. “The intelligence community was wrong about one relatively unimportant fact, and Rice passed along that mistake. That’s it. There’s no coverup, no conspiracy, no incompetence, no scandal.”

This is absolutely right as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough. At the most fundamental level, the reason it is absurd to suspect the existence of a “cover-up” over the Benghazi attack is that such a cover-up could not have had any conceivable goal. Back to the beginning: the underlying accusation about Benghazi is that the Obama administration deliberately mischaracterised the terrorist attack there as having grown out of a spontaneous demonstration because that would be less politically damaging. Such a cover-up would have made no sense because the attack would not have been less politically damaging had it grown out of a spontaneous demonstration. The attack on the Benghazi compound would not have been any less politically difficult for the administration if it had grown out of a riot, nor would any normal voter have expected it to be less politically damaging, nor would any normal campaign strategist have expected any normal voter to have expected it to be less politically damaging. Had Susan Rice gone on the talk shows on September 15th and inaccurately stated that the attackers had been wearing green pants, when in fact their pants had been red, there would be no reason to suspect this to be part of a political “cover-up”, because no American voters could conceivably have cared either way.

Look, back in 2009 when I was based in Hanoi I spent an hour or so at the Hoa Lo Prison Museum (formerly the POW camp known as the Hanoi Hilton) trailing John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Amy Klobuchar, who were on an official visit. At some point Mr Graham made a joke about his experiences farming chickens, at which Mr McCain did not laugh. If I separately asked each of them about that incident I have no doubt there would be differences in their recollections, and then I could run around accusing Mr Graham or Mr McCain of trying to engage in a political cover-up of the chicken-farming joke incident at the Hoa Lo Prison Museum. The correct way to assess the validity of such an accusation would not be to start investigating who knew what about the chicken-farming joke, and when did they know it. The correct response would be to dismiss it out of hand, because nobody cares whether or not Lindsey Graham made a joke about chicken farming at the Hoa Lo Prison Museum, so nobody would cover it up. The Obama administration could not rationally have believed it would have derived any benefit from inaccurately claiming the attack on the Benghazi consulate grew out of a demonstration; why on earth would they engage in a cover-up of something that makes no difference?

Obviously there’s a huge temptation to turn any incident that could reflect badly on the opposition’s government, such as the killing of an ambassador in a terrorist attack, into some kind of scandal. But this attempt is just absurd. The strategy here has been to shout “Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi!” until the public begins to think there’s something fishy going on with Benghazi, and then move on to targeting administration figures because…Benghazi! If this actually works, we are all still in kindergarten.

By Susan Rice, The Economist

submitted ByBK