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The White House ignored the State Dept’s warnings on Syria for Years

It looks like the gloves are off.  Josh Rogin at The DailyBeast reports the following this afternoon:

Throughout 2011 and well into 2012, President Obama’s White House barred Hillary Clinton’s State Department from even talking directly to the moderate Syrian rebels. This was only one of several ways the Obama team kept the Clinton team from doing more in Syria, back before the revolution was hijacked by ISIS and spread into Iraq.

The policy feud has flared up again in recent weeks, with Clinton decrying Obama’s Syria policy, Obama’s inner circle hitting back, and the president himselfcalling criticism of his Syria moves “horseshit.” Obama and his former secretary of state promised to patch things up at a social gathering on Wednesday. But the rift is deep, and years in the making.

Clinton and her senior staff warned the White House multiple times before she left office that the Syrian civil war was getting worse, that working with the civilian opposition was not enough, and that the extremists were gaining ground. The United States needed to engage directly with the Free Syrian Army, they argued; the loose conglomeration of armed rebel groups was more moderate than the Islamic forces—and begging for help from the United States. According to several administration officials who were there, her State Department also warned the White House that Iraq could fall victim to the growing instability in Syria. It was all part of a State Department plea to the president to pursue a different policy.

“The State Department warned as early as 2012 that extremists in eastern Syria would link up with extremists in Iraq. We warned in 2012 that Iraq and Syria would become one conflict,” said former U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford. “We highlighted the competition between rebel groups on the ground, and we warned if we didn’t help the moderates, the extremists would gain.”

But the warnings, which also came from other senior officials—including then-CIA chief David Petraeus and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta—fell on deaf ears. Obama’s small circle of White House foreign policy advisers resisted efforts to make connections with rebel fighters on the ground until 2013, when the administration began to train and equip a few select vetted brigades. For many who worked on Syria policy inside the administration, it was too little, too late.

Look, guys, I hate to sound like a broken record, really I do.  Do you think it gives me any pleasure to point out that lack of planning, principle and follow through that has characterized the Obama administration for the last six years?  Hell, no.  I have to live in this country too and at my age, there’s no other country in the world that’s going to accept me as an immigrant.  (Though if there is anyone in New Zealand who wants to sponsor me, I’m all ears. )

I can understand the White House’s embarrassment and desire to keep all this dissension under wraps.  But I don’t appreciate the PR campaign they have unleashed against the former SOS simply because she chooses to reveal her difficulties with the White House.

On the other hand, maybe Hillary will learn to be more sympathetic towards people like Edward Snowden.

One can only hope.

What will be her next act?

Hillary said goodbye to the State Department yesterday.  While there will be endless speculation of her running in 2016, I think it would be a mistake to table our anger and disappointment over what is happening now in order to focus on a savior in four years.  I’m going to continue to pay attention to what’s going on in the present and assume that she isn’t going to run.

What will she do now?  No clue but there are very few women with the authority mojo of Hillary Clinton.  What the country desperately needs right now is to see a woman who has the riveting attention grabbing power of a man.  Someone who can be linked to from multiple blogs and op/ed pages with regularity.  Someone who shows up in the Plumline all the fricking time based on what she says and knowing that what she says comes from a place of experience, knowledge and doing her homework.  We need a powerful voice that comes from a woman but does not come from a “feminine” point of view, if you get my drift.

So, if I were her and the New York Times offered me a gig on the op/ed page, I’d probably take it.  I mean, among all the other things I had planned before breakfast.

Just sayin’.

Here’s the State Department farewell:

Obama White House Pinning the Blame on Hillary

Yep, all her fault.  According to a security person in Tripoli from the Utah National Guard, the embassy (unclear which one) asked for more security and that request was denied by the State department.  Hillary says the truth will all come out, we need to be patient.  But this is an election year and patience is not a virtue.  The Republicans want to pin the responsibility for the embassy attack in Benghazi on Obama and Obama wants to pin the responsibility on Hillary.

Interesting.  I probably wouldn’t have done it this way because I’ve read various accounts of who requested what for which embassy and who turned it down or didn’t ask for it or decided it wasn’t in their strategic long term interests.  Ambassador Chris Stevens was convinced that local Libyan security should be used when possible, if I recall correctly. It may have cost him his life in the end but from recent accounts, a few extra American military people, which is what was requested, wouldn’t have made a big difference.  The attack on the embassy was a full on assault with heavy fire and mortars. Whether the State department shares some of the blame for this disaster is something we will all find out eventually and the responsible parties will have to answer for it, including Hillary if she is at fault.  I want to hear all of the facts first.

Frankly, I would LOVE for Hillary to have to testify before Congress on the matter.  The sooner the better.  She’s not the headbanded lawyer with the missing box of billing records anymore.  Does either side really want to call Hillary to Capital Hill?  Think about that for awhile.  Let it soak in.  I’m not sure which campaign has the most to lose in that scenario but let us remember what James Carville once said of Hillary, “If Hillary gave Barack Obama one of her balls, they’d each have two.”

Craig Crawford has this to say on the matter:

President Obama’s team seems close to provoking a feud with the Clintons. The White House seems to be shifting blame to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Benghazi fiasco.

First, Vice President Joe Biden says in his debate “we” weren’t told U.S. diplomats asked for more security in Benghazi before the violence there. Then, White House press secretary Jay Carney explains that Biden meant only the White House had not been told, and in a telling remark says the matter was “handled by security professionals at the State Department.”

I can understand why Biden, who wants to run for president again, would relish a chance to undermine Hillary, who might also run again. But at a moment when Obama is relying so much on Bill Clinton for support does he really want to let this play out?

Well, considering that Obama owes his presidency to Wall Street and that the culture of smartness doesn’t do long term thinking, I think we can assume that they haven’t actually played that scenario out and are still under the impression that they can humiliate Hillary without consequences.

But don’t be surprised to find that the Republicans have sized up the situation and predicted the opposition’s likely reaction.

Get the popcorn.

It bears repeating that…

… fundamentalists do not respect secular authority.  They do not recognize the government of man as legitimate, only the government of God.  It’s something to keep in mind while watching how the State Department and Obama’s foreign policy team deal with the attack on US embassies in the Middle East.  It’s unlikely that secular authorities in those countries could use too much force without provoking even more backlash and is why Hillary Clinton has been careful to not put too much emphasis on the governmental authorities to handle it.  The responsible authorities and reasonable people that must use persuasion to bring some order to the chaos are the religious leaders.

It’s a tricky situation.  Whoever made and released that video knew what they were doing.

Roger Ebert is also pondering what I’m pondering.  Here is his post on the subject of inflammatory films and their mysterious makers.

Sorrow and Strength

The Secretary of State’s remarks at the transfer of remains of 4 State department employees stationed in Libya:

Thursday: Analysis comes trickling in

According to Dan Balz at WaPo, Ohio may be key to Obama’s reelection.  He won’t necessarily lose the presidency if he loses Ohio.  It’s just that no one since Jack Kennedy has been able to pull it off.  Obama apparently has a problem with white working class and older voters.  I don’t suppose it has anything to do with telling Appalachia to go F%^ itself in 2008 or that Pennsylvania voters were bitter, narrow minded racists.  Still, a lot of them probably ended up voting for him in 2008 because he ran as a Democrat and the 2008 financial crash scared the bejeesus out of them.  So, I’m betting that a lot of them are none too thrilled that he turned out not to be a Democrat after all.

It’s one thing to subvert the dominant paradigm locally.  There were some thought provoking referendum items on ballots yesterday and since the debt ceiling debacle in August, voters are starting to get a more complete picture of what the Republican party is all about.  Well, except for Virginia.  But if the presidential contest comes down to Romney vs Obama, it may be much tougher to call it a victory in advance for the Democrats.  If voters want a “change election” and they’re not happy with Obama’s performance so far and they see moderate Mitt as a the guy to send a message to Democrats to clean up their act, well, it would be a shame.  Because the legislative races could sweep Democrats into power again and to be saddled with Mitt would just be another missed opportunity.

There are a couple of  things I would like to point out to the Obama contingent: 1.) You may have perfectly good reasons for opposing Hillary Clinton.  You haven’t persuaded me that they’re really *good* reasons, but I will accept that you have them.  But you are just a tiny but vocal contingent and unfortunately, according to pollsters, Hillary is still wildly popular among the dirty, unwashed, insufficiently educated voters you look down on- to your detriment.  Just because YOU don’t like her, doesn’t mean the rest of the country cares a flying f%^& what you think.  You can take your chances with Obama or reassess your candidates.  Sherrod Brown also looks promising. 2.) The idea that the African-American community will have a riot and abandon the party if Obama isn’t renominated is speculative at best, bordering on racist at worst.  That attitude presumes that economically stressed people will put their racial preferences before their economic preferences even though the performance of the person up for reelection, and who has blown them off for 4 years, has been poor and made their lives miserable.  One thing I think Obama Democrats are overlooking is that half the African-American community is female.  With Clinton running, African-American females can’t lose.  Identity politics could work here as well.  I would vote for her because she’s the better candidate but we can’t overlook the fact that the double X thing is even more historic than the absence of some silly mutation that causes less melanin to be produced in the skin.  3.) You could always go with a primary.  True, primaries are expensive but maybe *this* time, you could allow full participation of your base.  And while in normal election years primaries haven’t worked in the incumbent’s favor, the last three years have been anything but ordinary.  This is a different economic environment than anything we’ve seen since the Great Depression and as we know, organisms that fail to adapt to their environment, don’t make it to pass on their political philosophy to the next generation.  But even more importantly, having a primary could reenergize the country and suck the air right out of the Republicans’ offensive.  That is, if you have the right people primarying.  You would have to get candidates who could make a strong case for an FDR style New Deal set of programs.  It could be a way of arguing against the same old bipartisan shtick that Democrats like Obama have been peddling for the past decade.

Just some ideas since the poll numbers don’t appear to bode well for Obama next year and the signs that the party is starting to realize that are all over the place.

***************************

Oh, look, Washingtonian Magazine says that the State Department is one of the top 50 best workplaces.  Fancy that.  I wonder why that is?  Back in the Bush years, career diplomats were quitting all over the place and emailing some very critical “good-bye cruel world” resignation letters.  Remember?  What could have possibly changed…?  No, no, don’t tell me.  From the CNN report:

The State Department made the list based on a survey of Federal News Radio listeners and in consultation with the non-partisan, non-profit Partnership for Public Service.

Hillary Clinton’s State Department has 44,362 employees and they can take advantage of perks including a student-loan repayment program, a transit subsidy, and a wide array of courses through the Foreign Service Institute, Washingtonian Magazine says.

“We’re making history every day when we come to work. That’s pretty amazing,” Gilberto TorresVela, an economic officer in the Office of Cuban Affairs, tells the magazine. “State’s employees feel that their work makes a difference in foreign affairs, helping to make the world more secure,” the article says.

What did Jon Favreau say about working for Hillary once upon a time?  I can’t remember.  But I do remember Tina Fey saying “bitches get stuff done”.

***************************

Coming to a workplace near you:  Your company lays you off.  A new company comes to town and hires you as a contractor working for less pay and fewer benefits and sends you to work – at the company that just laid you off.  This is how we treat our STEM graduates who worked for Lilly.  And the contracting company is going to skim some profits off of this arrangement with Lilly, at workers’ expense.  I’m amazed at how many people in the comment thread are talking about unionizing.  You never would have heard that kind of talk from chemists a few years ago.  But the American Chemical Society has been conspicuously absent while its professional members have been getting the axe and watching their compensation packages get decimated.  Something has to be done.

The funny thing is that this attempt at “in-sourcing” may not be as money saving for Lilly as the outsourcing they were doing to China and India.  We knew the outsourcing wasn’t cost effective because it’s hard to keep track of the work and proprietary information half a world away. In-sourcing will have its own set of problems because they’ve taken the scientists who used to be invested in their projects as problem solvers and reduced their participation to hands on workers who perform a series of tasks for a specified amount of money.  The problem with producing new drugs isn’t that American STEM workers don’t produce.  The problem is that the management hasn’t got a clue about how to do research to make conditions conducive to the discovery of new drugs.  Here’s a hint: you can’t do good research with a “flexible” staff.  You need to hire people who are willing to go above and beyond what you ask of them, who will stay late to watch a reaction, who will come in on their days off to count cells and start new passages, who are willing to read more papers on new methods.  If you take their expertise and try to break it down into little “just in time” bits, not only will you start running into IP issues, necessitating information roadblocks to keep the contract workers from looking at the sciency stuff that makes their work interesting, what you will get is someone who doesn’t feel invested in the project or the company.  They’re too busy trying to make ends meet for their families and feeling resentment that they’ve spent so much time slaving away at hard subjects in college just so they could be treated as no better than some high school dropout assembly line worker for about the same pay.  At 5:00pm, they’re out of there.

Businesses in Indiana where this is going on are going to take a hit when those same workers have their salaries drastically reduced.  They will be buying less in the way of goods and services.  And let’s not forget that if the work is only contract, there’s no way these workers can safely plan for the future.  That means fewer homeowners, more renters, fewer people invested in their communities, more of the “paradox of thrift”.  It could also mean fewer people with health insurance if contract workers have to pay for it themselves with reduced salaries.  And that’s going to come back to bite taxpayers in the butt when those same workers suck up precious public health dollars when they get sick.  Those are the same STEM workers who were paying a lot of state taxes and helping other people.  Now, they become a burden on the state.  Everybody loses in this arrangement except the new middleman overseers.

We’re not talking about high school dropouts here.  This is the way we treat STEM workers.  And if there are readers out there who are entertaining the idea that STEM workers shouldn’t feel entitled to a healthy salary, I suggest they try it themselves.  Go check out the requirements for a BS degree in Chemistry or Biology or engineering.  We are laying these people off in droves.  The ones that aren’t forced into early retirement are cooling their jets while the industry tries to cut corners every way it can, reducing the output of research as a result and creating a vicious circle of more layoffs.  The industry MBAs did this to themselves.  Let’s stop blaming STEM graduates for being at the mercy of some cost saving management fad.  If I hear one more politician parroting the business community’s lies about how they don’t have enough STEM graduates so they can use it as an excuse to import more cheap H1B visa holders instead of treating their current crop of labrats with respect and dignity, I’m going to get a posse of laid off  chemists together to occupy their Manhattan offices.  Do you hear me, Bill Clinton??

Meanwhile, contracting continues apace with nurses aides and home healthcare assistants taking a blow to their salaries.  Here’s a typical story.  Substitute “chemist” for “nurse’s aide” and “Lilly” for “hospital” and the result is converging for both sets of workers:

In June, one of the state workers at the Grand Rapids home, Emilie Perttu, 24, reluctantly left her job and took a nurse’s aide position at a hospital for a quarter less than she was making. Ms. Perttu, a single mother of two, started at the veterans’ home as a contract worker for J2S before becoming a state worker last year. She said that after Michigan’s governor, Rick Snyder, cited the outsourcing plans in his budget for 2012 and 2013, she feared losing her job or having her wages sharply reduced.

The lower wage, she says, has left her strained to cover $675 a month in rent, along with basics like food and child care. So Ms. Perttu collects $400 monthly in food stamps and child care assistance, programs administered by the state but largely financed by the federal government. She has not been able to buy winter coats for her children, she said, and often avoids calls from credit card bill collectors.

For those of you who think your virtue has kept you employed through this recession, don’t get comfy.  Once you, the worker, are mandated by law to carry your own health insurance with no competition from a public option or low cost health plan, the companies you work for will feel no obligation to keep you on the payroll.  They can lay you off and hire you back as a contractor.  Your health insurance becomes *your* problem.  This is what you get when you hire a president and Congress that are scared to address cost control, business run amok and hyperbolic TV bloviators who call them socialists.

**************************************

And THIS, was the one thing that ended Rick Perry’s presidential aspirations last night:

It wasn’t all of the stupid s%^& he has been saying up until this point.  No, it was Perry having a “senior moment”.  In fact, if he had just said, “Sean, I was thinking so fast I lost my train of thought. Did that ever happen to you?  Can you come back to me on that one?”  The crowd would have totally understood his.  Republican voters aren’t all concerned with whether the dude is perfect.  On the contrary, if he’s just a regular average guy like themselves who occasionally makes mistakes, they are cool with that.  He’s human.  There were many good reasons to reject Perry up to this point.  Mostly it’s all the stupid s%^& that comes out of his mouth when his brain is working optimally.  Making a big deal out of a brain freeze *might* just be overkill.  It could revive his standing slightly.  Republicans might begin to “feel his pain”.  You don’t want that.  On the other hand, if Fox News starts proclaiming the Perry era over, that’s a different problem.

*******************************

I think we can see the Republicans strategy for defeating the 99%.  It starts with Karl Rove’s sudden interest in the Massachusett’s Senator’s race between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown.  Rove has seen the mojo emanating from Warren.  The attempts to paint her as a Harvard elite liberal have failed and she seems to have tapped into a deep vein of discontent among the peasants.  They are getting all righteously indignant and look like they might start revolting.  We can’t have that.  So, we will bombard her from now until election day.  It will be unrelenting.  It will be like 3 weeks before the election from now until November 2012.  We’ll keep her so busy defending herself that she will run out of money and will have to keep tapping the proles for more.  And more.  Because no matter how much money she has, we always make her spend more.  Her supporters will get sick of the constant begging.  And that’s why the Citizens United ruling was so outrageous:

This video is a little irritating in its “I’m going to talk really sloooowly for you because you don’t seem to be getting it” approach to its target audience (hint: it’s not us).  They could have been snappier and put in a little more humor.  But after you’ve seen it, it’s hard to say you don’t understand what the problem is:

*******************************

And I am introducing The Plum Line metric today.  The Plum Line is described as “a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant — what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.”  I’d say that is a pretty accurate description.  A couple of times per day, Greg Sargent posts a compilation of blog posts from around the web.  It is probably safe to assume that these are the writers that Sargent feels are the more authoritative and “serious” voices from online journals and the blogosphere.  But how many are women?  And what will the numbers tell us?  I don’t know yet but a blogger like Sargent who writes for the Washington Post is going to refer to people who have access to information or powerbrokers.  So, The Plum Line Metric may give us an indication of how much access and potential influence women have to shape political opinions “with a liberal slant”.

Today’s Plum Line Metric:

Happy Hour Round Up:

Number of citations: 12

Number of male writers cited: 12

Number of female writers cited: 0

In a perfect world, women should represent half of the writers cited since 1.)they represent half of the population as a whole, 2.)there is no shortage of female bloggers and writers on the internet and, 3.)presumably, they have opinions about how the world should be run that is not identical, but may be complementary  to the conventional wisdom of liberal male opinionmakers. So, ideally, the ratio of females cited to males cited should be close to or equal to 1.  Does anyone want to argue that allowing one half of the population to assume the responsibility for speaking for the other half of the population will actually express the full range of issues and priorities that that other half feels are important?  Right.  Moving on.  Since the goal is to eventually reach 1 and we are at less than 1 now, let’s put the number of females cited in the numerator and the number of males cited in the denominator. We could use male citations/ female citations, which would be an indication of how many male voices we listen to per female voices, but we run up against the possibility of division by zero and mathematics hasn’t been able to get around that problem yet.

Today’s Plum Line Metric is 0/12 = 0.

This metric is not meant to be a slap down of Greg Sargent.  He just happens to have an easy to count compilation at the end of the day. We could also include the Morning Post from The Plum Line.  But let’s just stick to the Happy Hour compilation for now and I’ll update it with a cumulative ratio as well.  Maybe we can plot it on a graph.  We could even go back through the archives for a couple of years to see if there have been any trends or changes.  Suggestions are welcome.

**********************************

Two things about Joe Paterno.  1.) He’s 84 years old.  Even if he hadn’t been fired, he should have been made an emeritus years ago.  My god, the man was prematurely decomposing.  It would have been better if he hadn’t gotten fired but 2.) He knew that a member of his staff was a relapsed child molester and covered it up.  No number of national championships can make that acceptable.  None whatsoever:

Yet it was Mr. Paterno who remained the public face of the university. He met with his team Wednesday in a gathering that players described as emotional. Stephon Morris, a junior cornerback, said Paterno was near tears when he told the team he was leaving. “I’ve never seen Coach Paterno like that in my life,” Mr. Morris said. Still, Mr. Paterno’s talk was not all about the turmoil. Mr. Morris said Mr. Paterno’s main message was “Beat Nebraska,” referring to Penn State’s next opponent. When he left, his players gave him a standing ovation.

Yeah, cry me a river.  As one of the signs in the accompanying slide show says, “Joe Paterno is NOT a victim”.  Well, that’s the last time that student will get season tickets.

There are causes that are worth rioting and smashing car windows.  Firing Joe Paterno for abetting a creep who was seen having anal sex with a 10 year old in the Nittany Lions locker room showers is not one of them.

BTW, I lived in “Happy Valley” when I got my first job after graduation.  For a former University of Pittsburgh student, football season up there was almost unbearable.  Well, there’s nothing much else to do in State College but still, they took it to ridiculous extremes even by obsessed fan standards.  Fall weekends were a perfect excuse to get the f%^& out of town and hang out in more sophisticated and cultured venues- like Harrisburg.  Yeah, that’s how bad it was.

Thursday: Saddle point

Do you get the idea that we have reached some kind of turning point?  Is there nowhere to go but up or are we sliding sideways into oblivion?  Will the public finally see what the Republicans really are once they take over the House during the mother of all recessions or has the preincubation of visions of GlennBeckistan done its job?  Will the masters of the corporate universe take a look at the balance sheets and finally realize that outsourcing is wasting the valuable productivity time of their remaining employees or will they keep forcing us into smaller workspaces with fewer resources to show that their beautiful management theories work in spite of all of the ugly facts?

Take the 2012 primary, for example.  Yesterday, Matt Bai in the NYTimes just idly speculated whether it was time for the Democrats to consider alternatives.  Predictably, Matt Bai, being from that tiny but vocal minority of the Democratic party that thinks it’s swell for non-viable personal favorites to run instead of people who actually like to practice politics has floated Howard Dean’s name to the top of the list.  Whatever.  The intellectual masturbation post of Bai’s generated 805 comments before the discussion was cut off (soooo not fair for those of us at work).  Russ Feingold also got some attention.  I have nothing against Feingold but he strikes me as a bit of an enigma.  You get the idea that he votes on principle but his principles are a bit quirky for everyday consumption.  I’m not sure the average Joe will *get* Feingold and, unless you’re living in Iran, the votes of the average Joe are still sort of necessary.  Hillary’s name is floated by many, many people who regret voting for Obama.  LOTS of regrets.

Over at Naked Capitalism, there are hints of another Black Swan event on the near horizon. It turns out that when Obama cut his deal, the nitwit forgot to get a guarantee on raising the debt ceiling from the Republicans.  Since the government will run out of money sometime during the first quarter of next year, we can probably look forward to a government shut down.  (Oh, no they woo-ent.  Oh yes, they would.)  Then there’s some stuff about municipal bonds that will be phased out next year, putting some big states at risk of insolvency.  It’s just so thrilling it makes me squirm with anticipation.  The speculation is that these moves are designed to put a huge amount of pressure on a fragile economic system and that Americans will cut loose their public service unions and slit their throats in order to avoid a major collapse of the global financial system.

If I were the president, I’d call the Republicans global terrorists and have them arrested for pulling that shit on us.  But that’s just me because I’m uncouth and rude while also being sanctimonious and pure.  Picture Joan of Arc with a beer gut.  Come on, Barry, you and Versailles have me all confused.  I have no idea what I’m supposed to be.  Just tell me this, am I still a virgin?

And then there are those annoying liberal Democrats who insist on sticking to their core principles.  Like Al Franken, who has the chutzpah to quote the New Testament and he’s not even a Christian.

(see this link for the rest of Franken’s excellent shellacking of the president and the Republicans)

Ehhhh, what does he know.  Today’s Christians don’t mess around with the New Testament.  I mean, if you read THAT side of the bible, you’d think that Jesus was a fricking Liberal or something.  And Franken keeps bringing up carpenters for some reason.  Jesus was a carpenter.  Of course, if Jesus were alive today, he would have just lost his pension to some greedy con artists on Wall Street who sold his pension fund a bunch of worthless tranches.   Good thing he was the Son of God or he’d be eating catfood.

(Hey, did you know that the Atheists community is the biggest contributor to Kiva?  Who knew?  They beat the pants off the Christians.)

But Obama, who kind of implies that everyone should have a faith or they’re worthless human beings, is a different kind of Christian.  You know, the kind that likes to court Evangelicals for political gain but thinks that it’s gauche to get all wrapped up in values and principles.  They would just get in the way of his “accomplishments”.   Jeez, Barry, why don’t you just take up needlepoint or some charming ideas for a painted table or something?

Anyway, Al’s suggestion that you help out someone in need for the holiday season is a pretty good idea.  Why not buy a disadvantaged kid you don’t know a present for Christmas?  (Or, I’m 1/8 Jewish so I’m entitled to one day of Hannukah, right? )  Your workplace may be sponsoring such an opportunity, like mine has for years now.  Take advantage of it and you will make a kid happy for the day.

Podcast for the day: On yesterday’s Fresh Air, Terry Gross interviewd David Sanger of the NYTimes regarding the Wikileaks document dump from the State Department.  Count how many times they mention Hillary’s name.  It’s pretty hilarious.  They keep dancing around the subject of how well the State Department is doing these days and how forceful its response has been to Iran.  They even go so far as saying that the Iranian sanctions are nothing like what Barry had in mind when he was running for president.  They make a passing reference to Hillary calling him *naive* but are careful not to credit her with the harsher sanctions.

It is becoming more clear to me that if the Republicans are allowed to botch the country into third world status, it will be because Whole Foods Nation progressives just can’t get their heads out of their asses.  They would rather let the country die, die, die! before they let some “Blue dog” {{snort!}}, war hawk, triangulating, DLC loving, New Democrat like Hillary Clinton inflict her steely resolve and competence on Washington DC.

So, if we all end up poor and yoked to our billionaire masters of the universe, don’t blame it on Republicans.  Blame it on the self described “creative class” Democrats who want to replace Barack Obama with candidates who are not capable of winning or running the White House.  Yeah, that oughta learn them lousy Republicans.  Take that.

Ok, sports fans, I’m off to buy a Visa check card for Christmas for a 14 year old girl I don’t know.

Go and do likewise.

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