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Off With Their Heads!
Author: BobR    Date: 03/18/2009 12:38:49

The economic news since before the election last year has been mostly bad. Numerous well-known companies have shuttered permanently or come close to it. Auto companies are teetering on the edge. Yet one previously little-known company has captured the imagination and the ire of the nation: AIG. The big story is the bonuses, but the sideshow is noteworthy on its own.
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67 comments (Latest Comment: 03/19/2009 02:06:05 by TriSec)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/17/2009 10:48:32

Good Morning.

Today is our 2,190th day in Iraq. As you are aware, March 19 marks the 6th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. It is "Evacuation Day" here in Boston.

We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from Iraq and Afghanistan, courtesy of antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4259
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4120
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3798
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3401
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 30

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 318
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 666
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 444
Journalists - Iraq: 139
Contractor Deaths - Iraq: 1264

We find this morning's cost of war passing through:

$ 605, 501, 900, 000 .00

Turning to our friends at IAVA....do you "tweet"? IAVA director Paul Rieckhoff does, and if you followed him yesterday, he had quite a whirlwind day.

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65 comments (Latest Comment: 03/18/2009 03:32:21 by Mondobubba)

Author: Raine    Date: 03/16/2009 12:48:49

In psychology, psychological projection (or projection bias) is a defense mechanism where a person's personal attributes, unacceptable or unwanted thoughts, and/or emotions are ascribed onto another person or people. In politics, it's called GOP tactics. It's been around for a while, but it is starting to become tiresome in it's psychopathy.
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98 comments (Latest Comment: 03/17/2009 02:49:59 by Mondobubba)

Nothing about Finances!
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 03/15/2009 13:42:11

Yes, Velveeta is sick to death of the dearth of money she has, the fact that she must do her taxes this week, and all the bad news that continues to boil over on the TV, radio and interwebs. Sheesh! The Washington Post is cutting its daily financial section while the celebrity Web site TMZ and TV shows like "Extra" and "Inside Edition" are expanding theirs! I wasn't even aware these gossip shows had any coverage not related to Britney, Lindsay, Paris and missing white women. Guess I'll have to tune into "The Soup" with Joel McHale to see how my stocks are doing.

Anyway, I am sick of money talk; falling DOW's, rich CEO's bilking me out of money, and auto makers that are going under because no one can afford to buy, much less drive, their copious behemoth Hummers, and they can't figure out what the problem is.

So instead I present you with some non money news!
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21 comments (Latest Comment: 03/16/2009 00:55:25 by TriSec)

Who's got the painting?
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/14/2009 13:03:07

Morning, folks! Going to be a 'homer' today. (like that's new. )

I might be overly proud of my city's role in the birth of this nation, and it's ongoing role in the sciences and liberal politics, but there's a part of Boston that often gets overlooked. We're not called the "Athens of America" for nothing, and our art and cultural institutions stand second to none. (waits for clamour to die down).

One of the more quirkier museums in the city is the Isabella Stuart Gardner museum. In order to understand the museum, you should probably know a little more about Ms. Gardner.

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18 comments (Latest Comment: 03/15/2009 13:18:24 by trojanrabbit)

Losing Our Religion
Author: BobR    Date: 03/13/2009 12:35:26

In the beginning, there was nothing. The world was a huge mysterious place with seemingly random phenomena that scared and awed mankind. Science didn't exist yet, so mankind did what men do on a Sat night at the local bar when they're trying to pick up women - they bullshitted their way through an explanation. Thus - religion was born.

Okay, perhaps that was a bit harsh. More than likely, the best minds of the times tried to make sense of things like the movement of the sun, moon and stars, earthquakes and volcanoes, and killing storms by attaching a "rational" explanation: the Gods are angry with us. Early leaders quickly saw how this could be harnessed for power, and the civic leaders and the religious leaders quickly became closely aligned and - in some cases - identical.
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53 comments (Latest Comment: 03/14/2009 04:59:23 by livingonli)

Author: Raine    Date: 03/12/2009 12:33:20

I have no problems with earmarks. There I said it. I actually like them. And yes, that would mean I that I may actually disagree with the President on this issue. I am getting very sick and tired of the Republicans whining about earmarks like they are some sort of cancer on our democracy. Like everything else, they have turned earmarks into the extreme.

I am all for fiscal responsibility and I am for responsible spending. I am, however, even more in favor of our representatives securing money for their constituents. For the most part, this is what earmarks do. It's simply a provision that directs approved funds to be spent on specific projects in the States.
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86 comments (Latest Comment: 03/13/2009 01:45:31 by livingonli)

A Bad Sign of the Times
Author: BobR    Date: 03/11/2009 12:34:02

In 1999, the world was horrified when two students in Columbine, Colorado went on a killing spree at their high school. It inspired numerous discussions of youth alienation, gun control, and our culture (targeting musicians like Marilyn Manson). It inspired Micheal Moore to make a movie. It even had some schools banning long black jackets, as if THAT would prevent this sort of thing in the future.

What was once horrifying and unique has almost become commonplace today, which is itself horrifying in its own right. What makes people kill others (sometimes their own families) before killing themselves? Are they exacting their last bit of revenge before they go? Are they afraid of going alone? Why are we seeing this more and more lately?
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49 comments (Latest Comment: 03/12/2009 06:51:53 by Scoopster)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/10/2009 10:50:00

Good Morning.

Today is our 2,183rd day in Iraq.

We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from Iraq and Afghanistan, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4256
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4117
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3795
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3398
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 27

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 318
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 661
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 434
Journalists - Iraq: 136
Contractor Deaths - Iraq: 1264

We find this morning's cost of war passing through:

$ 603, 540, 900, 000.00

Here at "Ask a Vet", we tend to focus almost exclusively on the War in Iraq. Often, even we overlook what's happening in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world, as the magnitude of what we have done in the Middle East tends to dwarf everything else.

Today, I want to take a brief look at a group of persons that has been under-reported by everyone...the Iraqi civilian.

In every war since the beginning of time, there's two casualty lists; the soldiers that fight, and the civilians that suffer. Often, the non-military person simply 'gets in the way' and pays the ultimate price. Modern militaries are quite adept at something called "battlefield recovery", and the United States Marine Corps and the Israeli Army famously have a policy of leaving no one behind in times of war.

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50 comments (Latest Comment: 03/11/2009 06:34:27 by livingonli)

Promises promises.
Author: Raine    Date: 03/09/2009 12:51:27

It is a bit hard to comprehend what has been happening, but things are actually getting done-- or being undone -- just as we were promised during those two long campaign years.

In less than 2 months we have seen SCHIP funding passed, the Gag Rule lifted, Stem Cell research Returned, Gitmo was ordered closed, the Iraq War was given a withdrawal date, President Obama stopped torture, the DOJ is on it's way to functioning the way it is supposed to, The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay act was passed, there will be no more medical marijuana raids, he is reversing many environmental rules, money has been put back into higher education --- oh the list can go on. He has even said that the era of no bid contracts is ending. (It's something I admit I did not hear about in the campaign, but was thrilled to hear last week) You can track them here. The Budget, Health care and credit cards are next and if recent history is any indicator, we may be pleasantly surprised.
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73 comments (Latest Comment: 03/10/2009 22:41:17 by MMB)

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