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So where are we with General Petraeus?

What on earth is happening when an American who has been trusted as much as General Petraeus has his little love affair exposed (which doesn’t seem to have effected his CIA leadership at all) and feels the need to resign?

This article is from Truthdig… I’m putting it all here:

How the David Petraeus-Paula Broadwell Affair Was Uncovered

 

AP/Cliff Owen
Former CIA Director David Petraeus.

Modern technology apparently cost ex-CIA Director David Petraeus his job. The retired general’s affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell was discovered by the FBI while it was investigating harassing emails she sent to Jill Kelley, a 37-year-old woman who serves as an unpaid social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla. A former associate of Petraeus says he and Kelley are just friends.

After news of the FBI investigation that uncovered the affair, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stepped in and asked Petraeus to resign.

The Associated Press:

Clapper was told by the Justice Department of the Petraeus investigation at about 5 p.m. on Election Day, and then called Petraeus and urged him to resign, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.

…Concerned that the emails he exchanged with Broadwell raised the possibility of a security breach, the FBI brought the matter up with Petraeus directly, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation.

Petraeus decided to quit, though he was breaking no laws by having an affair, officials said.

Read more

In the wake of Petraeus’ resignation, members of Congress are asking for more information about the investigation, including why they weren’t alerted sooner and whether the probe had any impact on national security.

Now here are my thoughts. Given the world situation, why in hell are we letting a man with this amount of military and foreign policy and management experience leave this job over a little penis stimulation? You can’t tell me that the Congressfolk who would sit over his situation if he hadn’t resigned haven’t been involved in the same kind of stuff.

If I were Obama, I would have, at least temporarily, refused Petraeus’ resignation and let him go ahead with his testimony about Libya (which he should do anyway, whether he has resigned or not.)

If we really let him go we are more stupid than I already think.

 

What is it about Republicans and Rape?

Tom Smith is running for Senate against Democratic Sen. Bob Casey in Pennsylvania. When the Akin/Ryan/Rape business came up he was interviewed by Mark Scolforo of the Associated Press. Catch this:

SCOLFORO: How would you tell a daughter or a granddaughter who, God forbid, would be the victim of a rape, to keep the child against her own will? Do you have a way to explain that?

SMITH: I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to.. she chose the way I thought. No don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.

SCOLFORO: Similar how?

SMITH: Uh, having a baby out of wedlock.

SCOLFORO: That’s similar to rape?

SMITH: No, no, no, but… put yourself in a father’s situation, yes. It is similar. But, back to the original, I’m pro-life, period.

Perhaps Republicans have no real idea what Rape is… a violent and immoral crime. For the state to have control of a woman’s decisions related to the use of her body is equally as violent, whether psychologically or physically, and just as criminally immoral.

At least we know now that birth out of wedlock is “similar” to rape.

I hope you Pennsylvania folks keep a very good Senator that you are lucky to have… Bob Casey.

(Special thanks to Wonkette for the transcript.)

The announcement is out… Romney has picked Ryan

It’s official. Mitt Romney‘s choice for vice president will be Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. It was announced this morning that Ryan, a more conservative Republican then Mitt, will be the candidate for vice president on the Romney ticket.

Ryan is considered to be much more conservative than Romney. Known for several new budget proposals and changes in Medicare, Ryan is probably the candidate that the Democrats are most happy to have running with Mitt. The fact that Mitt is not nearly as conservative as Ryan will be The cause of potential changes in his campaign.

The choice is interesting since Romney has not actually been nominated yet. This will all occur during the Republican convention. It does, however, make Romney appear more Republican then he has in the last few weeks. He appears to be doing this because it will make the members of his party be more supportive than they have been.

I am looking forward to traveling to Wisconsin for my son Buddy’s wedding In Milwaukee next week, and I’m looking forward to hearing what Wisconsinites have to say about their congressman being on the Republican ticket. I’ll be reporting that information here on Under The LobsterScope.

Comedy Writer and Saturday Night Live Alum Tom Davis has Died

 

From the L.A. Times:

Franken & Davis on SNL

Davis died Thursday at his home in Hudson, N.Y., his wife, Mimi Raleigh, told the Associated Press. He had throat and neck cancer.

Classmates while growing up in Minneapolis, Davis and Franken developed stand-up routines in Minnesota and Los Angeles before landing the gig on “Saturday Night Live.” They wrote and performed on the show, creating the Coneheads characters and skits featuring Bill Murray‘s Nick the Lounge Singer.

As performers, Davis was the quiet one, overshadowed by the flashier Franken, who is now a Democratic senator from Minnesota. Davis told the AP in 2009: “If we were Sonny and Cher, he would be Cher.” The two had a falling out in 1990 but later reconciled.

Davis stayed with “SNL” from its first season until 1980, then returned for another run from 1985 to 1994 and again in 2002-03. He was among the “SNL” writers who shared Emmy Awards in 1976, ’77 and ’89. He won another writing Emmy in 1978 for a Paul Simon variety show.

 

Two Quotes: What do Republicans think of Romney’s tax release stance?

“There is no whining in politics. Stop demanding an apology, release your tax returns.”

GOP strategist John Weaver, calling on Mitt Romney to disclose his tax returns.

 

“If you have things to hide, then maybe you’re doing things wrong. I think you ought to be willing to release everything to the American people.”

– Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R), calling on Mitt Romney to release his tax returns.

Hey, Mitt… how about the returns for 2000, 2001 and 2002? Do they show your income from Bain Capital?

(Thanks to Taegan Goddard.)

The story behind the image: Napalm girl at age 49…

Took this article from The Guardian. Read the whole thing HERE.

A clip:

 

She will always be naked after blobs of sticky napalm melted through her clothes and layers of skin like jellied lava.

She will always be a victim without a name.

It only took a second for Associated Press photographer Huynh Cong “Nick” Ut to snap the iconic black-and-white image 40 years ago. It communicated the horrors of the Vietnam War in a way words could never describe, helping to end one of the most divisive wars in American history.

But beneath the photo lies a lesser-known story. It’s the tale of a dying child brought together by chance with a young photographer. A moment captured in the chaos of war that would be both her savior and her curse on a journey to understand life’s plan for her.

“I really wanted to escape from that little girl,” says Kim Phuc, now 49. “But it seems to me that the picture didn’t let me go.”

—–

The whole story is a long and revealing one, and quite worth reading. We are all familiar with the Pulitzer Prize winning photograph, but the story of what came after is an important human one. Go HERE.

Quote of the Day – Obama at the Center… Where did the Republicans go?

“I think it’s important to remember that the positions I’m taking now on the budget and a host of other issues, if we had been having this discussion 20 years ago, or even 15 years ago, would have been considered squarely centrist positions. What’s changed is the center of the Republican Party.”

- President Obama

Official photographic portrait of US President...

The President spoke at an Associated Press luncheon yesterday and reminded campaign journalists about the false-equivalence fallacy:

“I think that there is often times the impulse to suggest that if the two parties are disagreeing, then they’re equally at fault and the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and an equivalence is presented — which reinforces I think people’s cynicism about Washington generally.”

Note that Obama changed his position on the mandate policy, but remember that the mandate was a conservative idea, embraced by Republican policymakers for years.

Obama went from supporting a single-payer plan during the 2008 campaign to supporting a plan designed by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts and backed by moderate Republicans throughout the ’90s.

Does this strike you as Obama moving to the left? As the Republicans look to tear down the plan they had previously recommended, who is really moving away from the center?

The end seems near in Libya:

The leader de facto of Libya, Muammar al-Gaddafi.

Gadhafi

This from McClatchy News Service:

Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi’s regime appeared near collapse Sunday with the reported capture of his son and the surrender of his personal guard to rebel forces, Libyan officials and NATO said.

With NATO bombings paving the way, rebel forces swiftly closed in on Tripoli and by late Sunday were in control of large swaths of the capital. Live television footage showed crowds of opposition fighters in Tripoli unfurling the rebel tricolor flag and smashing Gadhafi portraits. Young men stomped on a large tapestry of the leader as they flashed victory signs.

Gadhafi made a brief audio statement on Libyan TV, sounding desperate as he called on individual tribes and cities to rise up and defend Tripoli. He pleaded with Libyans to “take weapons” and prevent the destruction of “beautiful Tripoli.”

OK…Harold Camping got it wrong… but he has a new date for the Rapture…

I guess he didn’t raise enough to add to his blessed $72 million bucks. better get in line with him now  and send in your money) so you make it up to heaven when it really happens. But do it before October 21st.

Here are his comments:

Got it? Now get back to work.

Saw this on HuffPo this morning – will this effect Haley Barbour’s campaign possibilities?

"At his press conference today, Governor ...

Haley Barbour

As people gear up to enter the Republican Presidential Primary, all kinds of past facts start coming forward. One example is Haley Barbour‘s career as a lobbyist.

I’ll give you a clip here, but there are plenty of details in the article:

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is embracing his background as one of Washington’s top lobbyists, saying his powers of persuasion would be an asset if he wins the White House.
But an Associated Press review of lobbying by the powerhouse firm Barbour helped found before his first campaign for governor shows that he represented clients on issues and interests that could provide his Republican primary opponents ample ammunition and raise eyebrows among some Republican voters.
Barbour Griffith & Rogers Inc., which Barbour helped establish in 1991, represented foreign governments on trade and immigration issues, advocated for a fuel additives association that was working in opposition to the ethanol industry dear to Iowa voters, and helped a number of universities get federal funding through a tactic that is anathema to cut-spending conservatives.
The governor’s work at the firm could open him to attacks by fellow Republicans on several fronts…
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Last Friday the Press Sued Scott Walker to Release E-Mails Which He Claims Support his Actions…

Great Seal of the state of Wisconsin

… and, in violation of “Wisconsin Open Records Law and Wis. Stat. § 19.37(1) by withholding the requested email messages and delaying granting access to the email messages,” the Governor has, so far, refused.

This from The Isthmus’ Daily Page:

clipped from www.thedailypage.com
Isthmus newspaper and the Wisconsin Associated Press today filed a lawsuit against Gov. Scott Walker over his office’s failure to respond to open records requests regarding emails received by his office.
“The governor said he had gotten more than 8,000 emails as of Feb. 17, with ‘the majority’ urging him to ‘stay firm’ on his budget repair bill,” says Isthmus News Editor Bill Lueders. “We’re just trying to see these largely supportive responses.”
Isthmus made its request by hand-delivered letter on Feb. 18, a day after Walker referred to these 8,000 emails and about an hour before he held another press conference saying the number had since swelled to 19,000, again mostly positive.
The Associated Press, through reporter Todd Richmond, emailed its request for the referenced 8,000 emails on Feb. 18.
As of today, the governor’s office and his legal counsel have not responded to these requests for records, or provided information on their status.
blog it

So now we wait to see what comes next. Can this criminal Governor do anything to justify his refusal to preserve the negotiating rights of his working citizens? Will the people in Wisconsin further stimulate the workers of the whole country to take a stand against the rich bankers and Wall Street robbers who have made billions while the average Joe has lost job, home and future?

Have a nice Monday.

On the 1,515th Valentine’s Day we are looking at a lot less love for working classes…

On the 1,515th Valentine’s Day we are looking at a lot less love for working classes…Obama is getting ready to put in his budget cut proposals and it looks like the folks who are going to be asked to hold their breaths and take the biggest cuts are those of us on the bottom.

This from the Associated Press:

Less than two months after signing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans into law, President Barack Obama proposed a spending plan to Congress that cuts funding to programs that assist the working poor, help the needy heat their homes, and expand access to graduate-level education, undermining the kind of community-based organizations that helped Obama launch his political career in Chicago.

Now here is what I want to know…since the Tax Cut deal Obama supported and got through is going to give us a $1.6 Trillion deficit, and our Federal Revenues will be greatly reduced because of the cut, what will keep us functioning? Part of the budget proposal swings more responsibility to the States:

“To help employers keep workers on the job, the Budget will encourage States to expand use of short-time compensation… Also known as work-sharing, this voluntary employer program helps firms retain workers by reducing employees’ weekly hours instead of laying them off. Workers with reduced hours receive a partial unemployment check to supplement their reduced paycheck.”


From what I understand, however, the States don’t have a big income source either. I look at West Virginia especially. We are one of 45 States who are not going to make our State Budget this year. Very few of the funds from the Recovery Act are available after August 2011.

I have an idea… let’s bring back some of the taxes on the top 2% of our citizens and write of this problem once and for all. I’m not opposed to taking my cut here as long as those rich types get their incomes cut, too.

More Than 1,000 Dead Birds Fall From The Sky

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
BEEBE, Ark. — Environmental service workers finished picking up the carcasses on Sunday of about 2,000 red-winged blackbirds that fell dead from the sky in a central Arkansas town.
The birds had fallen Friday night over a 1-mile area of Beebe, and an aerial survey indicated that no other dead birds were found outside of that area. The workers from U.S. Environmental Services started the cleanup Saturday.
Mike Robertson, the mayor in Beebe, told The Associated Press the last dead bird was removed about 11 a.m. Sunday in the town about 40 miles northeast of Little Rock. He said 12 to 15 workers, hired by the city to do the cleanup, wore environmental-protection suits for the task.

Robertson said the workers wore the suits as a matter of routine and not out of fear that the birds might be contaminated. He said speculation on the cause is not focusing on disease or poisoning.
Bird Government Testing, Lightning Or Poison? What Caused Birds To Fall Dead In Arkansas?

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Wow…it’s like an old Twilight Zone Episode.
Any thoughts?

I am more and more depressed with the idea of Republicans taking over the House…

…so I am reprinting this article from gawker.com because it made me feel better:
clipped from gawker.com

Dog Gives Birth to 17 Puppies, All Survive, Are Cute

A dog in Germany gave birth to 17 healthy puppies! They were bottle-fed because “their mother’s nipples could have never coped with the demand,” which is a set of words I never expected to read in an AP article.

Send an email to Max Read, the author of this post, at max@gawker.com.

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What IS it about dogs that cheers up the gloomiest thoughts? I notice that Chevrolet is selling trucks with a TV commercial called “A Chevy and a Dog”, with retrievers being the lure to get buyers into the showroom.

Color-Coded Terror Alerts To Be Dropped By Department Of Homeland Security

Oh well… I guess we are eventually going to get back to where we used to be… something to give Thanks for…
There’s more to this AP article at HuffPo:
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
Goodbye danger defined as yellow, orange and red. The Homeland Security Department is looking to scrap the five-tiered color-coded terror warning system in favor of a streamlined one with as few as two alerts. The post-9/11, Bush-era system has been criticized as too vague to be useful in communicating the terror threat to the public, either ignored or the butt of jokes.
One option under consideration is to go to two threat levels instead of five: elevated and imminent. When the threat level would change to imminent under the new model, government officials would be expected to be as specific as possible in describing the threat without jeopardizing national security. And an imminent threat would not last longer than a week, meaning the public wouldn’t see a consistently high and ambiguous threat level.
 

The current system was one of the Bush administration’s most visible anti-terrorism programs.

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Why you didn’t see Christine O’Donnell on the Sunday Talking heads…

…and you are probably not likely to in the future.

This clip from Talking Points Memo:

clipped from tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com
Christine O’Donnell, the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate from Delaware, had been set to appear on CBS‘ “Face the Nation” and “Fox News Sunday” tomorrow, but has scrapped both appearances to attend campaign events, including a picnic, the AP reported.

O’Donnell’s planned appearance on the Sunday shows would have put her in the position of answering tough questions about her track record of attention-grabbing statements on pre-marital sex, Joe Biden allegedly tapping her phone and her own dabbling in witchcraft.

The cancellations, just four days after her stunning win in the Delaware GOP primary, comes on the heels of O’Donnell’s positive reception at the Values Voters Summit on Friday.
The “Fox News Sunday” website was still promoting O’Donnell’s appearance as of Saturday afternoon. Karl Rove — who had been critical of O’Donnell’s “nutty” views but later backed the candidate — was also scheduled to be on the program.
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