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Christmas Presents
Author: BobR    Date: 12/23/2011 13:43:36

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the House
Not a creature was stirring, not even a louse
(apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

As Congress desperately tries to get home for the holidays, the reality that they were out of time to be dicks apparently overwhelmed John Boehner and crew. After the Senate overwhelmingly passed a rare bi-partisan bill to extend payroll tax cuts, Boehner initially said "No - it's not enough". This, after fighting the extension of the payroll tax cuts for months (it seems tax cuts initiated by Republicans = Good; tax cuts initiated by President Obama = Bad). Perhaps they realized that if they didn't, there would be a whole bunch of unhappy constituents in January when their paychecks suddenly dropped.
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70 comments (Latest Comment: 12/24/2011 03:45:03 by Raine)

Hard Deck!
Author: Raine    Date: 12/22/2011 13:48:16

I've hit the hard deck here.

In the meantime, please enjoy this:
Kotuby drove back to Del Ray only to find Obama was picking up three large pizzas from a restaurant near her home. She couldn’t get to her house because the street was blocked. She asked the Secret Service if they would let her pass.

“They let me in and I got my camera and walked down to the pizzeria,” she said.

Kotuby then waited for the president with a crowd of people at the corner of Mt. Vernon and East Del Ray avenues.

“He recognized us and asked ‘Are you following me?’” Kotuby said.

She asked the president if he minded posing for a photo with her kids. Obama then leaned across a line of caution tape, put an arm around each of Kotuby’s kids and posed for a photo.

“He worked the whole line,” Del Ray resident Liz Chadderdon said of Obama’s stop in Del Ray. “Then he just picked up a box and left.”

Obama's order included three large pizzas—one with pepperoni and sausage, one with onions and green peppers and one supreme.

“I had no idea he was coming here,” Del Ray Pizzeria chef Eric Reid said. “I got a call from someone asking why he was being patted down to come in [the restaurant].”
Yeah... I know I said it yesterday, but I still think it is cool as all get out.
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88 comments (Latest Comment: 12/23/2011 01:38:40 by wickedpam)

The Truth is Out There
Author: BobR    Date: 12/21/2011 13:42:58

It was Mark Twain who said "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes". With the internet, that is more true than ever, as would-be journalists try to out-scoop each other posting "news" items they find without taking a moment to verify their veracity.

Thus we get the recent Jon Bon Jovi death hoax. That one was easy enough to fact-check, and in fact was debunked within hours. It's when other stories break (and I do mean "stories") - particularly involving politics - that those who want to believe them will - even when the truth finally does get its shoes on and make an appearance.
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82 comments (Latest Comment: 12/23/2011 02:46:38 by Raine)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 12/20/2011 11:20:14

Good Morning.

Today is our 3,714th day in Afghanistan.

We'll start this morning as we always do; with a final accounting of the numbers from Iraq, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4484
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4345
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3625
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 255
Since Operation New Dawn: 66

And although the cost of war continues to run for both conflicts, as of this morning the Iraq number was passing through:

$ 807, 740, 220, 000 .00

I expect it will be quite some time, indeed if we ever know, what the final cost of the Iraq war was to the United States.

I had contemplated simply posting a list of the war dead today, but there are some things to ponder after leaving Iraq. But there is a list of casualties you may want to spend some time looking over.
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43 comments (Latest Comment: 12/21/2011 00:49:08 by BobR)

Author: Raine    Date: 12/19/2011 13:25:57

I will not be writing about much today -- simply for one reason.I have a very dear friend in town for the night, and well -- you know what happens when dear friends come to casa de Bob and Raine...

So what is happening out there today?
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41 comments (Latest Comment: 12/20/2011 03:00:29 by Will in Chicago)

Philosophy of F*** You.
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 12/18/2011 14:07:41

I am done with the monster of “we,” the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame. And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. This god, this one word: “I.” ~~~ Ayn Rand, selfish bitch

In this festive holiday season in which we celebrate as a people of many diverse religions and spiritual beliefs (or none) why don't we take a look-see at one of America's most prominent God haters?

Usually, Velveeta does her annual "Twas the Night Before..." poem, but I only just now realized that this is the last Sunday before the Holy Day, and there is not enough coffee in Columbia to wake me up sufficiently to write poetry this early, so we'll have to save that for the actual day. I'm sure you are giddy with anticipation.
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2 comments (Latest Comment: 12/18/2011 20:19:13 by BobR)

The Christmas Special
Author: TriSec    Date: 12/17/2011 12:49:29

Good Morning!

It's just one week to go; is all your shopping done?

In between trips to the mall, if you have any time at all, perhaps you still watch one or two of the annual programs that appear at this time of year. I'm sure that like Christmas music, we all have our favorites, and some others that make us run screaming from the room looking for eye-bleach.
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4 comments (Latest Comment: 12/18/2011 14:04:07 by BobR)

Going Off the Rails on a Crazy Train
Author: BobR    Date: 12/16/2011 13:41:25

I am truly glad that I don't have to do this for a living. If I did, I would've had to watch the circus side-show that called itself a Republican debate last night, instead of watching the Falcons kick the collective ass of the Jacksonville Jaguars. I went to bed happy, albeit a bit ignorant of the craziness that occurred in Des Moines.

Of course - a crazy carnival-like atmosphere has been the overriding impression of this Republican race. None of the contenders seem the least bit presidential (neither did George W. Bush, but that's another story). What has stood out is how Republicans in this race (and those in Congress, plus those that support them) seem to have gone completely off the rails.
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63 comments (Latest Comment: 12/17/2011 07:15:28 by livingonli)

NDAA and the Withdrawn Veto.
Author: Raine    Date: 12/15/2011 16:53:03

I'm going to try to lay this out to the very best of my understanding about the President withdrawing his threat to Veto the NDAA.

From the National Journal, regarding the hotly debated National Defense Authorization Act:
The bill requires military custody for suspects linked to al-Qaida or its affiliates, even if they are captured in the U.S., with an exemption for American citizens and lawful resident aliens. House and Senate leaders made some changes during conference committee to assuage the administration’s concerns, adding “assurances” it would not affect existing criminal enforcement and national security waivers of the FBI or any other domestic law enforcement agency. They also gave the president the authority to waive the military-detention provisions.
I post this article because many good people are out there claiming that the President has been given the authorization to detain any United States citizens indefinitely.
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48 comments (Latest Comment: 12/16/2011 22:54:20 by Raine)

Consider the Implications
Author: BobR    Date: 12/14/2011 13:59:54

I've been intensely active in politics for years now. I've had my share of discussions with people of various stripes. I've learned that keeping it cordial and sticking to the facts is the best approach. Sometimes snark is unavoidable, but trying to keep it level-headed will often reveal surprising things about the other person's viewpoint.

Sometimes those surprises can be scary. In particular, a small segment of those on the Left have a peculiar notion about how to bring about a Progressive Utopia. Their "plan" (such as it is) is not to beat Republicans and work to replace moderate Democrats with more progressive ones - it's to let the Republicans win, so that they'll drive the country into such a deep hole (in all respects) that revolution will be unavoidable.

In other words - they think we need to burn the village to save it.
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46 comments (Latest Comment: 12/15/2011 01:57:24 by Raine)

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