Archive | April, 2013

CONGRESS REDEFINED

30 Apr

“If you look  up Congress in the dictionary,” said Stewart. “You find “Do-Nothing F@#ktards who couldn’t solve a problem if it was eating them alive anus first.”

 

Jon Stewart Slams ‘F@#ktard’ Congress For Fixing Sequester Airport Delays … and Nothing Else

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THE $6 TRILLION MAN

29 Apr

HALL OF SHAME: a failure to meet your own standards of behavior

 

 

THE $6 TRILLION MAN
Johann Wagener 4-27-13

 

In the 8 years after Bush was appointed to office by 5 members of the Supreme Court he was able to accomplish some amazing things; none of which will be mentioned or put on display in the $500 million theme park they are calling a library. In addition to dodging taxes the Bushies threw this money into the creating this “hall of illusions” (Decisions Point Theater)   in another desperate attempt to rewrite history hoping that Americans are stupid enough to fall for another con job.

 

This is what President “Dubya” Bush actually accomplished and to this day is proudly proclaiming was best for the country; and this is the “bill” he left for the American people to pay.

 

  •    He turned a $236 Billion surplus into a $1.3 Trillion deficit.

 

  • ·        He oversaw the collapse of the economy which we call “the great recession” that cost taxpayers $2 Trillion; $700 Billion of which was used to bail out the people that caused the collapse by claiming that they were “too big to fail or jail.”

 

  • ·        He oversaw the worse attack on US soil in the history of the country that we know as 9/11. In addition to the loss of 4,000 lives the price tag to American taxpayers is estimated at $2 Trillion.

 

  • ·        He waged 2 wars; in Iraq and Afghanistan that will ultimately cost American tax payers   $4 to $6 Trillion.

 

  • ·        He failed to capture the real enemy; Osama bin Laden or ever acknowledge that Ronald Reagan (another GOP hero) was responsible for training and financing these terrorist that were then called “freedom fighters.”

 

 

It begins with Bush being the only President in history to be appointed to office by the Supreme Court. That is the environment in which five Republican-appointed justices essentially invented a one-time-only ruling to stop a vote recount in Florida that threatened to tip the Electoral vote to Gore. Yes, Bush v. Gore Did Steal the Election

 

When President the “decider” Bush, took office in 2001, he inherited a $236 billion budget surplus, with a projected 10-year surplus of $5.6 trillion.

 

When he ended his term, he left a $1.3 trillion deficit and a projected 10-year shortfall of $8 trillion.

 

The Bush Administration was responsible for taking the country to the brink of financial collapse and then handing the taxpayers a bill for $700 Billion to bail out Wall Street and Banks (both of which were responsible for creating the crisis).

 

Bush appointed cronies that allowed banks to skirt responsibility for the disaster by shielding them under the “too big to fail” umbrella and, Wat the same time claiming that the perpetrators were “too big to jail.”

 

One Wall Street insider, Timothy F. Geithner was appointed as U.S. Treasury Secretary in January 2009.

Timothy “Wall Street”Geithner  spearheaded the controversial $2 trillion Financial Stability Plan.  Geithner then became manager of the same TARP fund he coauthored. TARP was funded by the $700 billion bailout package approved by Congress in October 2008. TARP was used to add liquidity to failing investment and commercial banks. TARP was also used to bail out automakers, and provide mortgage assistance through the HARP program. Bush Signs $700 Billion Financial Bailout Bill. TARP was credited by the Congressional Oversight Panel as “stopping an economic panic.” However the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that TARP ended up costing taxpayers $25 billion

 

 

The Bush Economic Stimulus Package was about 1% of GDP($168 Billion) which advocates said was large enough to impact the $14 trillion economy.

 

Perhaps most important, the tax cuts weren’t balanced by a decrease in government spending. This led to $500 billion budget deficit.

 

By the time Bush left office, the Federal debt was already $10 trillion. This contributed downward pressure on the dollar, which leads to higher oil prices and inflation over the long run. Bush Economic Stimulus Package.

 

Bin Laden Determined to Attack inside the United States

 

 9/11 happened on Bush’s watch partly because he and his people ignored warnings that the US was going to be attacked.  President Bush was given an intelligence briefing, entitled Bin Laden Determined to Attack inside the United States just weeks before the September 11 attacks, it emerged yesterday. Details of the August 6 briefing in 2001, which warned of terrorist preparations being made for hijackings on American soil, surfaced in testimony given by the US national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, to a commission of inquiry studying the September 11 attacks. Bush told of hijack warning weeks before 9/11

In addition to the loss of life the 9/11 attack carried a big price tag. Counting the value of lives lost as well as property damage and lost production of goods and services, losses already exceed $100 billion. Including the loss in stock market wealth — the market’s own estimate arising from expectations of lower corporate profits and higher discount rates for economic volatility — the price tag approaches $2 trillion

 

Among the big-ticket items: 

The loss of four civilian aircraft valued at $385 million.
The destruction of major buildings in the World Trade Center with a replacement cost of from $3 billion to $4.5 billion.
Damage to a portion of the Pentagon: up to $1 billion
Cleanup costs: $1.3 billion
Property and infrastructure damage: $10 billion to $13 billion
Federal emergency funds (heightened airport security, sky marshals, government takeover of airport security, retrofitting aircraft with anti-terrorist devices, cost of operations in Afghanistan): $40 billion.
Direct job losses amounted to 83,000, with $17 billion in lost wages. 
The amount of damaged or unrecoverable property hit $21.8 billion
Losses to the city of New York (lost jobs, lost taxes, damage to infrastructure, cleaning): $95 billion.
Losses to the insurance industry: $40 billion
Loss of air traffic revenue: $10 billion

 

The total cost of the 2 Bush wars?

 

As the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan winds down, a recent report by Harvard Kennedy School lecturer Linda J. Bilmes ’80 predicts that the aggregate cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will fall between $4 and $6 trillion. The U.S. has already incurred $2 trillion in direct costs for the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, which began in 2001 and 2003, respectively. In the report, Bilmes claims that the “single largest accrued liability” of the wars is the projected future cost of providing medical care and benefits to the approximately 2.5 million Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. Read the report here

 

  • A tally of all of the war’s dead — including soldiers, militants, police, contractors, journalists, humanitarian workers and civilians — shows that at least 330,000 people have died due to direct war violence.
  • Indirect deaths from the wars, including those related to malnutrition, damaged health infrastructure, and environmental degradation, must also be tallied.  In previous wars, these deaths have far outnumbered deaths from combat and that is likely the case here as well.
  • 200,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting at the hands of all parties to the conflict, and more will die in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan as the violence continues. But most observers acknowledge that the number of civilians killed has been undercounted. The true number of civilian dead may be much larger when an adequate assessment is made.
  • While we know how many US soldiers have died in the wars (over 6,600), what is startling is what we don’t know about the levels of injury and illness in those who have returned from the wars.  New disability claims continue to pour into the VA, with over 750,000 disability claims already approved.[2] Many deaths and injuries among US contractors have not been identified. 

Something else that you won’t find in the Bush library are letters from those he victimized; promising them college educations, and great jobs, that wrought nothing more than body bags, flag draped coffins that were hidden from Americans, and thousands of maimed men and women who’s live have been destroyed; Here’s part of what one veteran wrote;

 

From Young’s letter, published on TruthDig:

I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.

 

Young goes on to attack the “cowardice” of Bush and Cheney for avoiding military service themselves, and to encourage them to “stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.” (Read Young’s entire letter here.)

 

Bin Laden “made in the USA”.

 

As absurd as it sounds, the actual enemy; Osama Bin Laden and his band of angry terrorists were “made in the USA”. Bin Laden was a formidable foe because he was taught by the best–the U.S. government. Both he and the Taliban in Afghanistan that protected him were products of the 10-year-long, U.S.-backed war against the ex-USSR occupation of Afghanistan. After Russian troops invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the U.S. trained Bin Laden and thousands of other Arab men. Back then, President Ronald Reagan liked to call bin Laden and his cohorts “freedom fighters.”  After the USSR was forced out of Afghanistan in 1989, the CIA-trained “freedom fighters” split into rival factions that fought a civil war during the 1990s. With help from the CIA and U.S. ally Saudi Arabia, the small Taliban militia group emerged out of the chaos, taking over the government in 1996.

 

The U.S. backed the hard-line Islamists of the Taliban because they thought the group would be able to provide stability for big business. But then the Taliban began to shelter bin Laden and other Islamist movements that the U.S. opposed. Like Iraq’s Saddam Hussein before them, Bin Laden and the Taliban transformed from U.S. allies to enemies.

 

Yes, the 9/11 terrorists were members of an Al-Qaeda terrorist cell but just one of a “global” network none of which have a central headquarters in any specific country.

 

No, the 9/11 terrorists were not Afghan or Iraqi nor did they have any direct affiliation with the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11.

 

Al qaeda formed in 1988 after a meeting between Osama Bin Laden, leaders of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Abdullah Azzam. This is in contrast to the Taliban’s’ extremist ideology which is an innovative form of Islam in combination with Pashtun tribal codes with Deobandi interpretations. While the Taliban were restricted to a particular region, the al qaeda had no boundaries. Read more: Difference Between Taliban and Al qaeda qaeda 

 

As for the hijackers themselves, Terry McDermott, the author of “Perfect Soldiers,” who explores the paths of these central hijackers, believes that they were surprisingly unremarkable men. Mohamed Atta, the leader of the hijackers, did not come from an especially religious family, but led a sheltered life in Egypt until moving to Germany.

 

In contrast to the serious Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, from the United Arab Emirates, was more laid back, though he grew up with a stricter Islamic upbringing, and often sang and laughed about the joy of being a martyr. Al-Shehhi soon became Atta’s shadow after they met, and the two took flight lessons together. Al-Shehhi would eventually follow Atta to death, piloting a plane into the South Tower of the World Trade Center shortly after Atta flew his into the North Tower.

 

The pilot of Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania, was a Lebanese named Ziad Jarrah. Jarrah was apparently the most jovial of the group. After taking flight lessons in the United States in preparation for his mission, he returned to Germany to see his girlfriend. While there, he reportedly almost changed his mind about going through with the plan.

 

The man who allegedly convinced Jarrah to go through with it was Ramzi bin al-Shibh, another member of the original Hamburg cell, who, had he been approved for a visa, would have become the fourth pilot. Instead, that job went to a Saudi named Hani Hanjour, who was already a licensed pilot in the United States. Hanjour joined Al Qaeda after failing to get a job, eventually flying Flight 77 into the Pentagon. Who were the September 11 hijackers? They definitely were not Iraqis or Afghans.

 

The Bush battle cry was “let’s get them over there, before they come over here” but he went to all the wrong places.

 

In fact, since the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center and Pentagon 11 years ago, 19 people have died in terrorist attacks in the United States that were motivated by ideologies that have nothing to do with the ideas of Osama bin Laden, but rather were the victims of terrorists motivated by extreme anti-government views or virulent anti-Semitic/neo-Nazi views.

 

Jihadist terrorists, on the other hand, have killed 17 people, according to data compiled by the New America Foundation from thousands of news reports and court documents. (“Jihadist” terrorists are defined in this database as those associated with or motivated by al Qaeda, or its affiliates or like-minded groups.)

 

There have been 10 deadly attacks in the United States by nonjihadist extremists since 9/11 compared to just four by jihadists. (One of those incidents was at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009 in which 13 were killed.)  11 years after 9/11: Who are the terrorists?

 

None of these historical facts will be found in the Bush Library. No one will dishonor him for his great (but tragic) accomplishments because the Bushies are hell bent on burying the truth under a $500 million pile of BS, hoping that Americans are too dumb to notice!

 

God save America!

AUSTERITY SUCKS

25 Apr

THE BOOKS WERE COOKED

Johann Wagener 4-24-13

 

It turns out that austerity policies in times of financial hardship is counter productive to recovery. Except for the 1% who hoard the wealth needed for the 99% to recover.

 

In a “David and Goliath” story the truth was exposed by a graduate student who knew how to read Excel spread sheets.

 

An economic report that has been used frequently to justify austerity measures in the U.S. and Europe has one flagrant flaw: an Excel error

The 2010 report by prominent U.S. economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff, titled “Growth In A Time Of Debt,” argues that national economies whose public debt rises above 90 percent of GDP are doomed to stagnate.

 

But when a team of economists at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst tried to duplicate the study using the spreadsheet that Reinhart and Rogoff used, they soon saw that the rationale for austerity relied on significant errors. For instance, five countries—Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, and Denmark—were mistakenly excluded from the Excel calculations.

 

As Mark Gongloff points out, the coding error, as well as numerous other questionable aspects of the research, changes the report’s findings significantly:

 

The most important error appears to be a failure to include years of data that showed Australia, Canada and New Zealand enjoying high economic growth and high debt at the same time. Including all the years of data boosts New Zealand’s average economic growth rate under high debt to 2.58 percent, from negative 7.6 percent. Given the small amount of data used in Reinhart and Rogoff’s study, this has a huge impact on the overall findings.

 

The Excel Spreadsheet Error That Justified Global Austerity – In These Times

 

For those of us who can’t; which includes most Republicans in Congress, Stephen Colbert does an excellent job in laying it out for us;

 

 

 

BOSTON BOMB FEST

25 Apr

2 BOMBS – 2 BOMBERS

Johann Wagener 4-24-13


Even though 1 innocent death is one death too many the reaction this single attack is mind boggling. The world is fraught with bombings on a daily basis, claiming thousands of victims; men, women, and children.

SUICIDE BOMBS AND SUICIDE BOMBERS – World Topics | Facts and Details

 

The news media pays little, if any, attention to these attacks, even in the countries they occur. when it happens in the USA all hell breaks loose in covering what, on a global level, is a minor incident. Two men, 2 homemade bombs, 1 pistol resulting in fatalities and injuries none the less, but to warrant the reaction it received?

 

A major American city is shut down and invaded by an army of law enforcement agencies with enough technology and armament to invade a small country. Then there’s another army of media hounds in satellite trucks, armed with mikes and cameras, bloviating ad nauseum about details as minor as dogs barking in a 24/7 non stop cycle that chokes the airways. At least until the next event someone sprinkles catnip on.

 

After a week of non-stop mass media and law enforcement attention her’s what we end up with;

Even though the Tsarnaev brothers made a violent dash from police, allegedly tossing homemade bombs as they fled, police told ABC News they so far have recovered only a single, semi-automatic handgun from the two men now accused of carrying off the Boston Marathon bombing.

The gun, presumably wielded by the older of the two brothers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was recovered by police at the shoot-out scene in Watertown, Mass., and is now with the Massachusetts State Police. Sources told ABC News that no guns were recovered from the boat where 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was eventually apprehended after a stand-off with police.

Single Gun Recovered From Accused Boston Bombers

A $500 MILLION THEME PARK

24 Apr

OXY-MORON a combination of contradictory or incongruous words or elements 

A $500 MILLION LIBRARY?
Johann Wagener 4-22-13 

 
It looks like a theme park as much as it is a library,” according to Lou Dubose, co-author of “Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush’s America.” Dubose points out the library also includes freedom tower, a freedom plaza, a decision points library, the bullhorn Bush used to talk to first responders from ground zero, and even Saddam Hussein’s pistol.

All of our presidents leave a library behind to hold what they believe to be their “accomplishments” while in office. It’s also where they try to rewrite history by flaunting the positives while barely mentioning the negatives. 

Nixon, for example could boast about his detente with China while playing down Watergate. 

LBJ went all out in two very opposing wars; one against poverty and one against the Vietnamese. One worth fighting, the other a lost cause. 

Clinton balanced the budget but got more attention for his peccadilloes with Monica L. 

When it comes to Bush there is almost nothing worth mentioning on the positive side while his negatives soar; 

· His policies created the Great Recession 

· He started (and could not win) 2 wars 

· He authorized torture in violation of the Geneva Convention 

· He ignored warnings of the 9/11 attack

 

Omission accomplished: President Bush uses library to try to rewrite history — MSNBC

According to the library’s official website, it will be ”a results-oriented institute that will have an effect on our country and, we think, on the world,” focusing on areas including economic growth, human freedom, and education reform. But it’s tough to say what results can be gleaned from the legacy of the president who turned a budget surplus into a deficit, left us into a major recession, permitted the use of “enhanced interrogation” techniques, and instituted the “No Child Left Behind” education policy that is widely criticized even by Republicans today.

But Bush has a plan to distract everyone from the more negative aspects of his legacy. As one Bush acquaintance told the National Journal, “He’s convinced his achievement in keeping the country safe after 9/11 will get the attention it deserves as the years roll on,” which is why the library’s signature exhibit will be “a 17-foot, two-ton twisted piece of steel from the World Trade Center.” (It’s a strange quirk of historical memory–almost a form of intellectual jujitsu–that Bush has successfully branded himself as the leader who kept us safe, when in fact he’s the president who disregarded an August 2001 memo warning that Osama bin Laden was planning an attack on America.)

It’s not the first time Bush has used 9/11 imagery for his political gain. He outraged 9/11 widows and firefighters in 2004 when he ran a campaign ad with 9/11 pictures.

 
$500 million on a building housing trophies of failures may play well in Texas but there’s not much there to benefit anyone other than Bush and the neo-cons that pulled his strings. 

it’s your country stupid!

24 Apr

AMERICA IN ICU

Johann Wagener 4-23-13

In 2008, Rick Shenkman, the Editor-in-Chief of the History News Network, published a book entitled Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth about the American Voter. In it he demonstrated, among other things, that most Americans were: (1) ignorant about major international events, (2) knew little about how their own government runs and who runs it, (3) were nonetheless willing to accept government positions and policies even though a moderate amount of critical thought suggested they were bad for the country, and (4) were readily swayed by stereotyping, simplistic solutions, irrational fears and public relations babble.
Why Americans Are So Ignorant

 

 

The Americans that make the most noise are the one’s that get the attention. 

 

The angry white guys who dominate the Republican Party in Congress represent all the angry white men in America who cannot accept what they’ve lost forever—namely the exclusive right to take all the best jobs, run everything, make all the decisions and, oh yes, keep everybody who doesn’t look, act and talk the way they do out of the good old boys club. Anger rules the day

 

The anger is fueled by the gun industry which makes an enormous profit from fear and paranoi

 

In the battle for reducing gun violence in America, Tom Diaz, author of The Last Gun: How Changes in the Gun Industry Are Killing Americans and What It Will Take to Stop It, points to the culture wars of white male gun owners and the firearms industry, which tends to stay lurking in the background, signing the checks.

A toxic cocktail of guns and anger

 

This paranoia gone wild distracts Americans from what the real dangers to our country are;

 

Too many Americans are unaware of the extreme disparities that have been caused by the unregulated profit incentive of capitalism. Our winner-take-all system is flailing away at once-healthy parts of society, leaving them like withered limbs on a trembling body, even as the relative few who benefit promote the illusion of opportunity and prosperity for all. Concerned citizens armed with facts are not fooled. Instead, the more they learn the angrier they get. And as in revolutions of the past, discontent leads to change.How Capitalism is Dismembering America

 

 

The “sucking’ sound is your is your country dying;

 

Recent revelations of hidden money by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) have embarrassed governments, large and small, and exposed many rich businesses and individuals. They used places like Lichtenstein, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Switzerland and, of course, Cyprus. Those countries’ private banks wanted the money much as their governments wanted the revenue benefits of hidden money inflows. The rich around the world took advantage of those banks’ services to launder money with some illegality attached to it, to evade or avoid taxes, to hide business deals from government scrutiny, and so on.

 

 

Reasonable estimates, based on ICIJ and other reports, suggest that many trillions of dollars sit in such hidden money accounts. It follows that debates in most countries about rates of taxation are missing the point. Many among the rich long ago found ways to avoid taxes, whatever the rates. They just needed and used that one “loophole” in the tax law that allows them to hide their money (or “offshore” it) in either personal or corporate accounts or both. The Vampires among us

CHRISTIAN BIGOTRY

21 Apr

CHRISTIAN BIGOTRY.