Arab Spring…..

The Arab Spring (Arabic: الثورات العربية‎; literally the Arabic Rebellions or the Arab Revolutions) is a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests that has been taking place in the Arab world since 18 December 2010. Prior to this period, Sudan was the only Arab country to have successfully overthrown dictatorial regimes, in 1964 and again in 1985. To date, there have been revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt; a civil war in Libya; civil uprisings in BahrainSyria, and Yemen; major protests in Algeria,Iraq,Jordan,Morocco, and Oman, as well as on the borders of Israel; and minor protests in KuwaitLebanon,MauritaniaSaudi Arabia,Sudan, andWestern Sahara. The protests have shared techniques of civil resistance in sustained campaigns involving strikes, demonstrations, marches and rallies, as well as the use ofsocial media, such as FacebookTwitter, and YouTube, to organize, communicate, and raise awareness in the face of state attempts at repression and internet censorship.Many demonstrations have also met violent responses from authorities, as well as from pro-government militias and counter-demonstrators. The slogan of the demonstrators in the Arab world has been Ash-sha`b yurid isqat an-nizam (“The people want to bring down the regime”).…..

From Wiki……

Photo Source….finchannel.com

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David Petraeus wins confirmation for CIA Head 94 to zip……

With the confirmation a solider moves on to another assignment…

He gets his own ……

General Petraeus has been operating in the rarefied air of the top of the US national security apparatus….

He will now operate on that level as more of a equal….

He will have big shoes to fill….

Leon Panetta came to the CIA with just two staff people….

He relied on the CIA troops…

And what I hear they accepted him as one of their own…..

Panetta was a politician that worked for business and as Chief of Staff in the White House…

He was good…

Quiet…..but there….

 

Petraeus will surely bring a cadre of solider’s and civilians that know the chain of command….

They will have to pinch themselves to stop automatically getting up in the morning and reaching for a uniform….

 

During his confirmation hearing the ‘General’ (as he will inevitably be called)  related that in the modern Army senior staff isn’t unreachable from the troops..

The Army has extensive social media links….

And the General assured the Senator’s questioning him that he will continue the practice at the CIA….

I hope he ment that…

As do the Senators….

I wish him the best….

He’s gonna needed it…..

“I don’t believe that in my life, which has been blessed to know many outstanding military leaders of all branches of service, that I have ever quite encountered a military leader — or a civilian leader, for that matter — with the combination of charisma and intellect that Gen. Petraeus possesses,” McCain said on the floor shortly before the vote, noting that he rarely speaks about nominees but that Petraeus’s nomination to the CIA was an extraordinary circumstance.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who McCain noted has served under Petraeus as a JAG officer, said the commander’s tactics and strategy in both Afghanistan and Iraq will be a model for future generations.

“To the president: You have chosen wisely,” he said. Petraeus, he added, “will have the chance to take the fight to the enemy in a different way.”

Petraeus’s easy confirmation was expected. The Senate intelligence committee unanimously approved his confirmation earlier this week.

The 58-year-old takes over for Leon Panetta, who’ll replace Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Gates’s last day is Thursday. Panetta himself sailed through his confirmation with a 100-0 Senate vote. Petraeus is scheduled to begin at the CIA in September. Until then, Deputy Director Michael Morell will serve as interim chief.

More…..

Photo Source….huffingtonpost.com

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Kansas tries hard to outlaw abortions by regs…Planned Parenthood gets license anyways…

The state set up stringent rules and regulations for the three sites in the state that perform the procedures….

All today media reports have declared that there won’t be ANY procedures done due the speed in which the reg’s were put in to effect…

Planned Parenthood HAS come into compliance….

The toughest state in the nation against abortion continues to offer that option…..

Kansas avoided becoming the first state in the country without an abortion provider by granting Planned Parenthood a license Thursday to continue performing abortions under new regulations being challenged in federal court.

The new rules from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment tell abortion providers what drugs and equipment they must have on hand, how big some of their rooms must be and the specific temperatures allowed in procedure and recovery rooms. The department is imposing them under a new licensing law that takes effect Friday.

The licensing law is part of an unprecedented surge of anti-abortion legislation that has advanced through Republican-controlled legislatures in many states. Collectively, the measures create an array of new obstacles _ legal, financial and psychological _ for women seeking abortions and doctors performing them.

Peter Brownlie, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said Thursday the clinic had received the license after initially being denied.

“It confirms what we knew all along, that we provide high-quality health care,” Brownlie said. “We’re glad to be able to keep meeting the needs of our patients.”

More…..


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Herman Cain is going to Iowa for a visit……

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain will campaign this weekend in Winterset, birthplace of actor John Wayne.

John Wayne keeps popping up in Iowa news about the GOP presidential campaigns. In May, The Des Moines Register reported that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is not running, is “seen by some Iowa Republicans as a beefy, Jersey version of John Wayne who demands unflinching reform.”Cain, an Atlanta native and former chief executive of the Godfather’s Pizza chain, will also hit one of the pizza restaurants in Iowa…….More....

Photo Source….asianconservatives.com

 

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How’s Keith Olbermann doing?

Alright I guess…..

The Hollywood Reporter (emphasis mine):

Keith Olbermann’s Countdown on Current finished the week ahead of CNN in news’ target demographic of 25-54-year-olds. According to Nielsen, Countdown averaged 131,000 viewers in the demo for the week ending June 24, while CNN’s In the Arena pulled in 117,000 demo viewers.

Arena host Eliot Spitzer was on vacation last week. And CNN beat Current in total viewers in the 8 p.m. hour averaging 379,000 viewers to Current’ 354,000. Countdown did trend down after its June 20 premiere, which drew 179,000 viewers in the demo. But the ratings nevertheless are a victory for the network, which averaged 30,000 viewers in primetime for the first quarter 2011. And Current is in nearly 40 percent fewer homes than CNN.

That last line is the key here. Not only is Current not available in as many homes, it’s also harder to find than CNN. But over time, with a programming lineup anchored by Keith Olbermann, as viewers demand access and availability to Current, they’re going to get it. And the ratings will continue to climb. We’re at the early stages of something really big. And it’s off to a strong start.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNrZ8XKVguA

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates steps down…Again….

The guy they like to write…..

Has served under 8 Presidents….

Recently as CIA Director and  Defense Secretary….

He has done good at a impossible job…..

On his watch the US has been handling military actions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and places unknown…..

He has handled scandals in care to veterans, cost overruns, and General’s that found themselves quoted to much…..

I’m not surprised he’s going due to the fact that the man looked REAL tired the last time I saw him up on the Hill getting beat up on Libya and Afghanistan….

Except for Marine One and C-27J decisions…..

I think he did a pretty darn good job….

He’ll try to retire …..

But someone’s gonna offer him another job….

I wonder what his wife will say?

Secretary Gates Awarded Medal of Freedom

On his last day as Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates received surprise honors during a farewell ceremony at the Pentagon. “Bob, this is not in the program but I would ask you to please stand,” said President Obama. “The highest honor I can bestow on a civilian is the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It speaks to the values we cherish as a people and the ideals we strive for as a nation,” he continued, presenting Gates with the prestigious award.

“It is a big surprise. But we should have known a couple of months ago you’d get pretty good at this covert ops stuff,” joked Gates following the President’s presentation.

 

After a series of farewell events, including a dinner hosted by President Obama and the First Lady at the White House Thursday evening, Secretary Gates will end his four decade-long civil service career. “Becky, we’re really going home this time,” he said turning toward his wife during Thursday’s outdoor ceremony. Former CIA Director, Leon Panetta will assume the duties of Secretary of Defense following Gates’ retirement.

…..More from the John King USA Blog….

 

 

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New York Governor trying to turn the Empire state into a natural gas producer?

That’s one way to solve your budget problems…..

The concern will be contamination of the ground water used in the process…

Cuomo is on a roll….

New York as a Natural Gas producing state???

Stay tuned for more…..

 

The Cuomo administration is expected to lift what has been, in effect, a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, a controversial technology used to extract natural gas from shale, people briefed on the administration’s discussions said.

***

Drilling for natural gas has been promoted as a way to reduce dependence on imported energy, even as it burns more cleanly than coal…..More.

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Talkandpolitics reviews yesterday’s presser by Obama….

So timid.. but a step in the right direction.

Good on paper – timid on delivery.

A couple of afterthoughts from yesterday’s presser:

  • Content was good. Centrist, obvious facts about the disease of greed and theft that is plaguing America.
  • Good focus on where the problem lies. The 1% wants everything – at all cost.
  • A timid, but ok delivery. Very defensive in pointing out simple things that 70-80% of the country are supportive of.
  • Finally using the bully pulpit – it’s a strong tool. The people elected him to lead and make choices, so folks listen.

Now for some problems:

  • Way too careful and scared.
  • You can’t appeal to reason – if the others want different things.
  • He has the support, he has the formal power – but he’s uncomfortable with confrontation. At this point, that is a personal trait that in part could spark another financial crises, and add a few more years in the slump.
  • Take-away impressions in terms of the pending deadlines – he’ll cave to half-way solutions and postpone the bigger fights of reversing theft from the people and corruption in government.

But somehow, even if he seemed uncomfortable with the format, and somewhat forced – the presidential office is strong – so the process was probably moved a little bit towards improvement yesterday. Maybe not this summer, but a small step towards calling out this handful of people playing with the country and suffering the diseases of greed. At the expense of everybody……

Talkandpolitics….

 

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Senate Majority Leader backs the President…Cancels Senate July 4th recess…

The House isn’t in session right now….

Read the Today in Congress post’s here at the Dog…..

President Obama IS correct….

For all the bullshit House GOPer’s are throwing back at the Democrats…

The fact is…

They are not even around should the White House and Boehner be able to cut a deal….

Obama IS at work…

And the House GOPer’s ARE paying lip service to the Debt Ceiling issue….

 

The move follows President Obama’s challenge to Congress during a news conference Wednesday to skip its summer recesses until lawmakers reach an agreement to raise the national debt limit.

 

The Senate’s action puts pressure on the House to cancel its recess, scheduled for the week of July 18.

House lawmakers are scheduled to be in session next week, having spent the past week at home meeting with constituents during a pre-July 4 recess.

Reid said senators should work on legislation to create more jobs throughout the country at a time the national unemployment rate is above 9 percent.

“There’s still so much to do to put Americans back to work, to cut our deficit and [get] our economy back to work,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “It is really important that we do this. That moment is too important, the obstacle is too steep and the time too short to waste even a moment.”……More..

 

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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest…6/30/11…

By David Nir

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by David Nir
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Senate:

• NJ-Sen: For the fourth time in three years, John Crowley has gotten close to seeking statewide office, only to bail at the last moment. He was talked up extensively in 2009 for a possible gubernatorial run, and in 2008, he almost decided to run against Sen. Frank Lautenberg — twice. Now the Republican biotech exec has decided he wants no part of a race against Sen. Bob Menendez. What’s particularly odd about this latest scene in Crowley’s Hamlet act is the fact that he left his post as chairman and CEO of Amicus Therapeutics in April, which augured toward a run — but now he’s going to go back to his old jobs at the company.

• OH-Sen: Republican Treasurer Josh Mandel, who has been spending a lot of time pretending like he’s not running for Senate, picked up his second big endorsement from a major conservative interest in recent days: The Club for Growth announced they’re backing him, following Jim DeMint’s earlier move.

• TX-Sen: GOP Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who’s taken his sweet time (and can afford to) about announcing a run for higher office, looks like he might be finally getting ready to take the plunge. In an email to supporters, Dewhurst wrote that after the legislative session, “we will have exciting news to share with you about what we will do next.” The special session ended yesterday, so presumably he plans to say something soon.

• WI-Sen: Republican freshman Ron Johnson has been reeeeal cute about this whole “deferred compensation” scheme he rigged up. RoJo spent $9 million of his own money in his successful Senate race last year… and then got a $10 million paycheck from his former plastics company, Pacur, just before getting sworn in earlier this year. Pressed on the odd timing and similar amounts by TPM, Johnson refused to give an answer. If it turns out that this arrangement was just a charade to make Johnson’s bank account whole, it could constitute an illegal corporate donation. I suspect Johnson can stonewall this one into oblivion, given how toothless Congressional ethics investigations tend to be, but the amounts here are so eye-popping that maybe there’s hope.

Continue reading Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest…6/30/11…

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Rep. Bachmann reveals she had a miscarriage….

I’m sorry that she went thru that….

No women should….

That being said….

Why would she announce that at THIS time?

I hope it wasn’t to push her husband’s Medicaid story off the front pages…..

Bachmann: I Became ‘Committed To Life’ After Miscarriage

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)

During a campaign stop in South Carolina, Michele Bachmann said that her dedication to the pro-life cause, as well as her experience of serving as a foster parent for a total of 23 children, were rooted in a miscarriage she had years ago.

“After our second was born, we became pregnant with a third baby,” Bachmann told an audience of 400,CNNreports. “It was an unexpected baby, but of course we were delighted to have this child. The child was coming along and we ended up losing our child. And it was devastating to both of us, as you can imagine if any of you have lost a child.”

“At that moment, we didn’t think of ourselves as overly career-minded or overly materialistic but when we lost that child, it changed us, and it changed us forever,” she further added. “We made a commitment that no matter how many children were brought into our life, we would receive them because we are committed to life.”

Please read some of the commenets to the TPM piece….The news has gone over like a lead ballon….

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Morning Roundup for June 30, 2011…Red Racing Horses…

By: BostonPatriot

PresidentBachmann: In a speech on abortion, Bachmann stunned a South Carolina crowd by revealing that a miscarriage she suffered in the 1980’s forever forged her pro-life views. This is the first time she’s mentioned this personal tragedy, and one of the only times she has made a gendered remark while on the campaign trail. In other words, Bachmann has not often played up the storyline that she would be the first female President, as Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin have done in the past. 

Obama: That McClatchey-Marist poll, which had ugly numbers for Obama on the economy and negative overall approvals, still can’t produce a Republican lead, as the President leads Romney 46-42, Rudy 49-41, and Bachmann 49-37.

Pawlenty: T-Paw is betting the farm (yeah, corny joke) on Iowa, budgeting $1.75M on the Ames Straw Poll despite downplaying expectations heading into that contest (Tuesday’s reports of the straw poll’s demise were greatly exaggerated.) Mitt Romney followed a similar pattern in 2008, spending millions to in fact win the straw poll, but lost to Ames runner-up Mike Huckabee in the only poll that mattered.

Perry: As Perry continues to mull the race, here’s a bit of good news for him: a poll of self-described “Tea Party members” has the Texan in the lead at 20%, with Romney a surprise second at 17, Palin at 16 and Bachmann at 12. Coupled with a pass from Palin, Perry could consolidate Tea Party support just by entering. It’s interesting that Bachmann gets a smaller-than-expected share of her total support from Tea Partiers

Romney: Mitt met with seven Senators while in town for some fundraising events, and the group really runs the spectrum of the GOP caucus: members of the old guard (Hatch, Cochran); staunch conservatives (Sessions, Lee); and Main Street-types (Corker, Brown, Risch), who are Romney’s bread and butter.

Better Halves: Had enough of Michelle? Get to know Ann, Mary, Anita, Mary Kaye, and Callista, among others. (And Todd and Marcus, while you’re at it.) Read the article from The Hill to learn who goes with who.

Jewish Americans: Has Obama’s treatment of Israel caused him to bleed support with the normally solid-D Jewish voting bloc? It’s hard to tell, as the lack of comprehensive surveys of Jewish voters leads us to rely on anecdotal evidence, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Republicans do better with Jews in 2012 than in 2008. McCain outperformed Bush in a handful of significantly Jewish districts in New York and Florida, and Republicans captured FL-22 last year. This fall’s NY-09 special may be an indicator of things to come.

Polling: If Rick Perry were to enter the race, he would quickly become a third horse in what is currently a Romney-Bachmann race. A new Fox Poll has the three in front, at Romney 18, Perry 15, and Bachmann 11. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but it’s another bad poll for Tim Pawlenty (3%), whose window to emerge as the anti-Romney is rapidly closing.

Veepstakes: Quinnipiac polled Virginia and found what in 2011 a rarity: an overwhelmingly popular governor in a purple state: Bob McDonnell, at 55-26. With some models seeing Virginia as the 270th vote, McDonnell may find himself a popular man this time next year. He loses out on the title of “most popular governor,” however: Andrew Cuomo’s at 64/19…...More…

 

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Today in Congress….6/30/11

By David Waldman @Daily Kos….

Recapping yesterday’s action:

The House is not in session this week.

The Senate was able to wrap up its scheduled work on S. 679, the Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act, and the companion resolution, S. Res. 116. With a unanimous consent agreement already in place locking in votes on these measures, there wasn’t much opportunity for Ron Johnson (R-WI) to carry through on yesterday’s threat to shut down the Senate by objecting to unanimous consent requests.

Looking ahead to today:

Today’s business is likewise locked down by unanimous consent, and in any case, it’s a vote on the nomination of General David Petraeus to be Director of the CIA, so it’s not likely too many Senators would want to get in the way of that even if they could. But they can’t now, so it doesn’t matter.

On the other hand, there’s nothing else scheduled for the day, and that may well be because they’re unlikely to be able to get anything else done. Though it should be said that that’s not a condition very much different from what existed before Johnson’s petulant threat.

Now, normally, you could probably expect business to wrap up for the week after this vote, since they’ve had an Independence Day recess scheduled for next week. But having been chastised by President Obama in yesterday’s press conference for recessing while the debt ceiling issue still looms, Congressional leaders may be reconsidering. Disastrous for me! I was looking forward to the time off.

Today’s floor and committee schedules appear below ….

Continue Reading…..

 

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Mark Halperin** calls President Obama a “dick” on Morning Joe….Update…Halperin suspended..

Yep…..

It’s gotten down to this….

Talking heads calling the President names because he won’t rollover….*

Screw the Halperin!


The first time President Obama steps to the Republican’s

They get all shitty….

I watched several shows yesterday where GOP talking heads where indignant…

F*#K’m…

They are so used Obama NOT getting in there shit that now they are ….’Offended”?

Grow up….

The President has stepped to the Republicans…

What are they gonna do?

They ran this into a hole…

Now the President has stepped on their necks….

Lets see how this plays…

It’s about time!

Pundits: If GOP destroys America, it’ll be because Obama was a dick

By Jed Lewison @Daily Kos….

NYT:

Mr. Obama did not lay down a “red line” beyond which he would refuse to negotiate. But he repeatedly dared Congressional Republicans to side with oil companies, hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners against the interests of the elderly, schoolchildren and the middle class. His tone throughout was defiant.The question is whether Mr. Obama’s pointed remarks about his Congressional adversaries will help jump-start the stalled debt negotiations, or will have the effect of backing each side further into a corner even as the Aug. 2 deadline for raising the nation’s borrowing capacity nears.

So apparently the only thing standing in the way of getting a deal done is whether or not Republicans have their feelings hurt by what President Obama said in a press conference? Sorry, but if Republicans are really that sensitive, then their problems are far, far bigger than anything President Obama may or may not say.

Meanwhile, Mark Halperin says Obama was a “dick” yesterday. Yes, that’s a direct quote from the “civil” MSNBC show, Morning Joe. (Morning Joe blamed it on a producer forgetting to bleep out Halperin.)

But whatever the New York Times or Mark Halperin might say, the reality is that Republicans need to take responsibility for their own actions. They may not like it when President Obama tells them the truth. And pundits like Mark Halperin might think it makes him an asshole, or even a dick. But they can all go fuck themselves if they think that’s a legitimate excuse for Republicans to not do their jobs.

Time to grow up, children.

Join the discussion in LaurenMonica’s diary, Mark Halperin just called Obama “a dick” on Morning Joe.

Update….Halperin has been suspended indefinitely by MSNBC for his name calling….

* The original post listed Halperin as a former GOP staff member…That is incorrect…

**…..The Dog has had Mark Halperin ‘s name spelled incorrectly since the original post…

It has been corrected…I apologize for the error in spelling…

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What is the right cost of the Afghan and Iraqi Wars?

Seems the President has rolled out a low figure of  $1 Trillion…..

But several recent outside reports move that figure several times that ……

The figure is pegged at $3 to $7 Trillion…..

No wonder that damn Economy can’t get moving…….

The price tag for military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq since the 9/11 attacks is somewhere between $3.7 and $4.4 trillion, according to a new report released today. The staggering figure is nearly four times higher than the U.S. government estimate. Just last week, President Barack Obama pegged the cost over the last decade at $1 trillion.

The new estimated cost provided by a research project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies, is also much higher than most previous attempts to quantify the operations.

A March 2011 Congressional Research Service report estimated the war funding at $1.4 trillion through 2012 and the Congressional Budget Office pegged the cost from 2001 through 2021 at an estimated $1.8 trillion, according to Reuters.

A 2008 report by economists Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, however, put the estimated combined cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars between $5 and $7 trillion….More.


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Does Michelle Bachmann have a Medicaid payment problem?

Being in the spotlight brings up all sorts of things…..

Will she be able to just keep going?

Unlike the a Democrat accused of anything?

Or will here husband’s action cause a media drag?

Michele Bachmann Defends Medicaid Payments To Husband’s Clinic

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)

 

Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is pushing back against charges of hypocrisy over Medicaid payments her husband collected for his therapy practice.

Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, runs a Christian counseling agency that has come under scrutiny in the past for its strong religious ties. The Los Angeles Times noted this week that it had received about $30,000 in public funds since 2007, partly federal, to help prepare staff to properly deal with mentally ill patients. On Tuesday, NBC revealed an additional $137,000 in Medicaid payments since 2005, which they said contradicted Rep. Bachmann’s claim that her husband only received a training grant that went to employees.

 

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