Category Archives: Press

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.

 

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Cartoon(s) of the Week – It’s all over. Where are we?

Kevin Siers in The Charlotte Observer:

Perhaps we can start on getting religion out of politics. What are we, the Taliban?

– and –

Clay Bennett in the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

At least we know now that America is more than old white men…

– and –

Joel Pett in The Lexington Herald-Leader:

Of course, some Republicans will probably continue their uncooperativeness. It will kill them later.

– and –

Mike Luckovich in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Of course, this may make at least one news organization reevaluate it’s strategy…

– and –

Adam Zyglis in the Buffalo News:

And now forward into the second term (thanks, in part, to General Motors.)
 

 

 

 

 

A quote for the week – I can hardly believe someone would say this…

This is a quote that was published today by Buck Banks in Pensito Review. It was headed “Now This Guy Is A Sore Loser!”

Eric Dondero

“All family and friends, even close family and friends, who I know to be Democrats are hereby dead to me. I vow never to speak to them again for the rest of my life, or have any communications with them. They are in short, the enemies of liberty. They deserve nothing less than hatred and utter contempt…. I strongly urge all other libertarians to do the same. Are you married to someone who voted for Obama, have a girlfriend who voted ‘O’. Divorce them. Break up with them without haste. Vow not to attend family functions, Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas for example, if there will be any family members in attendance who are Democrats.”

— Former Ron Paul aide Eric Dondero, asserting that the only recourse to President Obama’s re-election is “outright revolt” and therefore is launching a “personal boycott” of Democrats.

Eric Dondero blogs at LibertarianRepublican.net.

I am impressed with how much difference can be read into the American psyche. What is wrong with these people? What good is a country where everyone believes the exact same things? How woud progress ever happen? Who would have invented the goddam lightbulb?

 

Obama Wins! Romney Concedes! The world can go on!

Congratulations Mr. President!

Here are Nate Silver’s totals as of 4:30 AM in the NY Times:

 

It is a win that is smaller than 2008’s but larger than many expected!

Live Election Returns Map

The LA Times is running a live Election Returns Map which will be ongoing until the voting is over nationwide.

To keep track of it, Bookmark this page:

http://graphics.latimes.com/2012-election-results-national-map/

It will be a long while before a lot is up there (right now there is only a teeny bit of New Hampshire), but this will be a helpful track keeper.

 

How do the candidates stand on America’s energy future? Here’s a radio piece from NCR

Energy policy, defining how we use energy to power our economy and our lives, is among the most pressing issues for the next four years. In this special edition of BURN, stories about the power of one: how, in this election season, a single person, place, policy or idea can — with a boost from science — affect the nation’s search for greater energy independence.

Nate Silver has put out his Electoral College prediction…

Nate Silver, whose 538 blog has often made the best election predictions, has now put this one out on the Electoral College votes to come:

 

Nate Silver: Obama 303, Romney 235

Remember, it takes 270 Electoral Votes to win the election.  Silver puts Obama pretty far ahead.

 

 

 

The Economist endorses Obama…

This is a surprise, but The Economist, primarily a business publication, has endorsed Obama over businessman Romney. Here’s the statement:

“As a result, this election offers American voters an unedifying choice. Many of The Economist’s readers, especially those who run businesses in America, may well conclude that nothing could be worse than another four years of Mr Obama. We beg to differ. For all his businesslike intentions, Mr Romney has an economic plan that works only if you don’t believe most of what he says. That is not a convincing pitch for a chief executive. And for all his shortcomings, Mr Obama has dragged America’s economy back from the brink of disaster, and has made a decent fist of foreign policy. So this newspaper would stick with the devil it knows, and re-elect him.”

 

Here’s a new problem which will probably start appearing in storm damaged areas (and beyond)…

Here’s something to watch out for that you probably haven’t thought of: if you are shopping for a used car you  should be on the lookout for flood-damaged vehicles that often hit the market after a major storm. They may not come from your particular geographic area, but the storm actually covered a lot of ground.

In the wake Hurricane Sandy, which caused massive flooding in several Northeast and Mid-Atlantic cities in the U.S., we should consider the advice given by Edmunds.com (the Car People.)

Once owners of damaged cars settle up with their insurance companies their vehicles are sometimes refurbished and resold. An unsuspecting buyer in a state unaffected by the disaster is the prime target. Long after the seller is gone, the new owner finds it is an unreliable car. Electrical and mechanical problems can then surface, and there is no recourse against the seller.

 

When the flood waters recede, they often leave behind damaged cars, and that’s where trouble can begin for used-car buyers. After the owners of damaged cars settle up with their insurance companies, vehicles are sometimes refurbished and resold. And sometimes, a middleman buyer intentionally hides a car’s history as a flood-damaged vehicle through a process known as “title washing” and sells it to an unsuspecting buyer in a state unaffected by the disaster. Electrical and mechanical problems then surface later — long after the seller is gone — leaving the new owner with an unreliable car and no recourse against the seller.

– edmunds.com

According to Fraud Guides, if you suspect a local car dealer is committing fraud by knowingly selling a flood car or a salvaged vehicle as a good-condition used car, contact your auto insurance company, local law enforcement agency or the National Insurance Crime Bureau at (800) TEL-NICB (835-6422).

Of course, the best advice when trying to avoid a flood-damaged vehicle is the adage you’ve heard so often: If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

 

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Election is crawling toward it’s end. I am sooo thankful.

I’ll be so glad when all this election brouhaha is over. I’ll be so depressed if Romney captures a majority of American votes… in other words, I will think so much is wrong with this country’s education policies.

Bob Englehart in the The Hartford Courant:

So how likely is it that doing tax favors for the top 1% will raise the job totals?

– and –

Kevin Siers in The Charlotte Observer:

At least Romney makes it clear who his support base won’t be…

– and –

Joel Pett in The Lexington Herald-Leader:

One day women might disable the positions of Romney and his buddies…

– and –

David Fitzsimmons in The Arizona Daily Star:

Some time accusations reverse themselves to define the accuser.

– and –

Mike Luckovich in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Foreign policy requires a lot of basic knowledge. Romney doesn’t seem to have any.

 

 

This was in the NY Times this morning and it left me horrified…

This morning’s NY Times had this article which I found both disgusting and horrifying. After talking about the anti-woman proclivities of Republican candidates today, seeing what attitudes against women can turn into can be mortifying. If you can’t stomach anything as bad as the title suggests,  avoid reading it now.

Officer Held in Plot to Cook Women and Eat Them

By

The police officer referred to the woman as Victim-1, recording details like her date of birth, height, weight and bra size. He made note of certain materials, like chloroform and rope.

And then the officer, Gilberto Valle, a six-year veteran of the New York Police Department, saved the document on his computer, titling the file “Abducting and Cooking (Victim-1): A Blueprint.”

In one of the most disturbing and unusual arrests involving a police officer, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation took Officer Valle into custody on Wednesday after they uncovered several plots to kidnap, rape, cook and eat women.

“I was thinking of tying her body onto some kind of apparatus,” he wrote to a co-conspirator in one electronic communication intercepted by law enforcement authorities. “Cook her over a low heat, keep her alive as long as possible.”

When the co-conspirator asked how big the officer’s oven was, Officer Valle replied, “Big enough to fit one of these girls if I folded their legs.”

Two law enforcement officials familiar with the inquiry said the officer’s estranged wife recently contacted the F.B.I. to report that Officer Valle, 28, viewed and kept disturbing items on his computer. The couple has a daughter, age 1.

The criminal complaint suggests that Officer Valle, who worked in the 26th Precinct in Manhattan and lives in Forest Hills, Queens, never followed through on any of the acts he is accused of discussing.

His lawyer, Julia L. Gatto, said the officer committed no crime. “At worst, this is someone who has sexual fantasies,” Ms. Gatto said at a hearing on Thursday in Federal District Court in Manhattan.

“There is no actual crossing the line from fantasy to reality,” she added.

But a federal prosecutor, Hadassa Waxman, said Mr. Valle had communicated with three co-conspirators about his plans to commit a crime, and at one point used a police car while dressed in uniform to conduct surveillance of a woman, approaching her in “an intimidating fashion.”

Magistrate Judge Henry B. Pitman ordered Officer Valle to be held without bail on charges of federal kidnapping conspiracy.

The evidence consists largely of e-mails and instant messages in which Officer Valle was “discussing plans to kidnap, rape, torture, kill, cook and eat body parts of a number of women,” according to the complaint, which describes two episodes in which Officer Valle discussed abducting women. In each case, it appears that the women knew the officer vaguely. And in at least one case, the officer used the National Crime Information Center to get information about a third woman.

In a search of the officer’s computer, federal investigators discovered “files pertaining to at least 100 women,” according to the complaint. Some of them were his classmates from high school, a law enforcement official said.

“The F.B.I. has identified and interviewed 10 of these women, each of whom has confirmed to the F.B.I. that Valle is known to her,” the complaint said.

A law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said investigators feared that Officer Valle might soon carry out one of his plots.

In February, Officer Valle offered to kidnap a woman on an unnamed person’s behalf for a price: “$5,000 and she is all yours,” the officer wrote to that person, according to the complaint.

Officer Valle appeared to be under the impression that the person he was communicating with intended to rape the woman, according to the complaint.

“She will be alive,” he wrote. “I think I would rather not get involved in the rape. You paid for her. She is all yours, and I don’t want to be tempted the next time I abduct a girl.”

While the complaint does not identify the woman in question, F.B.I. agents later learned that cellphone tracking devices indicated that Officer Valle had made or received calls on the block in Manhattan where the woman lived.

On July 19, Officer Valle sent an instant message to the co-conspirator, indicating that he was meeting with Victim-1 three days later, according to the complaint. The victim, who was interviewed in October by the F.B.I., said she had met the officer that day “at a restaurant for lunch,” according to the complaint. What happened during or after the lunch was not disclosed.

A dating profile, which a law enforcement official confirmed belonged to Officer Valle, suggested an engaging and gregarious young man. He wrote that he had attended Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens and the University of Maryland, College Park. (At the court hearing on Thursday, the officer wore a red T-shirt affiliated with the university.)

“I can find the humor in any situation,” he had written, adding that he had “an endless supply of hilarious short stories from work that can’t be made up.”

@ NY Times 2012

 

If you plan on copying posts from this blog for use on other sites…

So many people re-use the things I publish (which is something, for the most part, that I appreciate) that I thought some understanding of copyright rules are in order. I have therefore put the link to my Creative Commons License on the title bar so you can review those rules.   – Bill

Morning report on swing state polls… With afternoon update

Here are the latest polls from the battleground. These will be updated when more numbers are available:

Florida: Romney 50%, Obama 49% (Gravis)

Michigan: Obama 47%, Romney 47% (Foster McCollum)

Nevada: Obama 50%, Romney 48% (Rasmussen)

Nevada: Obama 51%, Romney 47% (Public Policy Polling)

New Hampshire: Romney 50%, Obama 48% (Rasmussen)

New Hampshire: Obama 48%, Romney 45% (Lake Research)

Ohio: Obama 49%, Romney 44% (Time)

Ohio: Obama 47%, Romney 44% (SurveyUSA)

Ohio: Obama 48%, Romney 48% (Rasmussen)

Ohio: Obama 46%, Romney 44% (Lake Resaearch)

Virginia: Obama 50%, Romney 43% (Old Dominion

University)

Virginia: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (Newsmax/Zogby)

Virginia: Obama 51%, Romney 46% (Public Policy Polling)

Wow. Four different pollsters give Ohio to Obama. The word on early voting is that it’s 2 to 1 in Obama’s favor.

Only 12 days left to the official election day.

Some words about this blog and me…

I often get e-mail from folks out there in the web world who want to know about Under The LobsterScope and why I keep it going and put a major part of each day into it. It is for that reason that I’ve decided to say a few things that will clarify my relationship with UTL and, perhaps, encourage you to get involved as a commentor.

I started this blog through another editing site, Blogspot, during the 2004 presidential election year. I did several thousand entries over five years or so and then something happened. For some reason, someone got into my blog at Blogspot and did some fairly confusing stuff leaving it impossible for me to post on. I cancelled my relationship with Blogspot and over 4000 posts ago I started UTL up again through WordPress where it remains today.

While I was interested in electoral politics (originally in Maryland before my wife and I moved to West Virginia), my biggest interest at the time – and even now, a little – was in theatre directing. I got to do a couple of musicals and some plays at local community theatres and spent a lot of time attending theatre events (one of the reasons we moved to the Shepherdstown, WV, area was to be closer to the Contemporary American Theater Festival which we attend every year.

I also have a great interest in the visual arts… Elly’s background is as a painter and visual artist. That means heading off to galleries locally, in DC and other places. Add to the visual stuff an interest in music and poetry and dance. The arts in general are very important parts of my life.

As to politics, during the past couple of years beginning with the election of Barack Obama, I have become more and more an active Democrat and have felt it is my obligation, since this is a published item read by thousands of people a week, to expose the really awful things Republicans and extreme conservatives are trying to pull off.

Several of you have also noted that I often expose dangerous things being done by religious organizations. As you probably know I am a non-believer… an atheist, a humanist… and cannot understand how people with developed intellectual capacity can believe this stuff. I have no problem exposing things that might make readers see what I see. I am, however, as opposed to pushing my atheism on others as I am of them pushing their religious beliefs on me.

Now that my current age and health keeps me in the house most of the days of the week, I have much time to read other web sites, magazines and other publications, many of which I quote or comment on in the blog. On an average day I do at least 5 posts.

I have established some regular features in this blog that I hope you enjoy. Cartoon(s) of the Week is the one people think of first when I talk about regular features. I have been interested in editorial cartoons for many years. During the current election I have regularly been posting poll results which I see by the search term roundups many of you are looking for. And, of course, there is my regular posting of celebrity obituaries.

If there is any kind of post I do that you would like to see become a regular feature, just let me know and it’s likely to happen.

– Bill

 

A Quote for the Day – On the success of Obama

This was released in the new issue of The New Yorker as its Editors announced their endorsement for Barack Obama:

“The President has achieved a run of ambitious legislative, social, and foreign-policy successes that relieved a large measure of the human suffering and national shame inflicted by the Bush Administration. Obama has renewed the honor of the office he holds.”

– Editors of The New Yorker

You can read the whole endorsement right HERE.

 

Cartoon(s) of the Week – OK, the campaign is almost over but Romney has made an impression…

Adam Zyglis in The Buffalo News:

And Monday night we’ll hear his foreign policy ideas…

– and –

David Fitzsimmons in the Arizona Daily Star:

Then again, Romney seems to present the Voter’s Right To Choose.

– and –

David Horsey in the L. A. Times:

Is there anything Romney won’t switch positions on?

– and –

Pat Bagley in the Salt Lake Tribune

Winning and Losing causes great party differences…

– and –

Matt Bors in the Portland Mercury:

And he keeps up his attempt to get women’s votes…

 

 

Some National Poll results for this morning:

Here are the latest national polls of the presidential race:

Hartford Courant/UConn: Obama 48%, Romney 45%

Public Policy Polling: Obama 48%, Romney 47%

Rasmussen: Obama 48%, Romney 48%

OK… very close on the National front. First time I’ve seen a polling result from my long lost home state, Connecticut (I say “long lost”, but I mean “very much missed.”)

 

Update on Battleground State Polls…

Here’s the afternoon update. Hey, Obama comes in ahead in Florida. Didn’t I say that would happen the other Day? And what do you think votes by women will do? Nothing, apparently, in North Carolina.

Colorado: Obama 50%, Romney 47% (Public Policy Polling)

Florida: Obama 47%, Romney 44% (Newsmax/Zogby)

Michigan: Obama 52%, Romney 46% (EPIC-MRA)

Michigan: Obama 44%, Romney 41% (Denno Research)

North Carolina: Romney 52%, Obama 46% (Rasmussen)

Ohio: Obama 49%, Romney 48% (Rasmussen)

Virginia: Obama 49%, Romney 48% (Public Policy Polling)

Here’s a sign of the new embodiment of journalism…

Newsweek will discontinue it’s printed edition  with the December 31st Issue. All of Newsweek’s information and branded publications will be on line after that, making it the leading news publication to make its entire presence on the web.

The all digital format is being adopted after more than 80 years in print. Newsweek Global, as the all-digital publication will be named, will be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context. It will be a paid subscription site (like the NY Times) and will be available on both tablets and the Web, with select content available on its current bl9g, The Daily Beast. The Daily Beast, which depends on Newsweek’s editorial content, now attracts more than 15 million visitors a month.

Tina Brown is the editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and Newsweek. Baba Shetty is CEO of The Newsweek Daily Beast Co.

 

Quote of the Day – Say… isn’t George Will a Republican?

Certainly, this is a fascinating statement from a famous conservative columnist:

“I think there was a winner in the sense that Barack Obama not only gained ground he lost but he cauterized some wounds that he inflicted on himself by seeming too diffident and disengaged.

“It was a very good fight. I have seen every presidential debate in American history since the floor of Nixon and Kennedy in 1960. This was immeasurably the best.

“I think as a tactical measure tonight, the president did very well.” 

And we’re seeing more Republicans come out of the woodwork with a different view of the President. Very interesting.

 

President Wins Endorsement From Winston-Salem Journal

Here’s a great piece by

There are certain rules in the universe. The sun rises in the east, the moon controls the tides, Seattle can’t keep an NBA team…. and the Winston-Salem Journal endorses the Republican candidate for President of the United States.

Today, the universe just shifted, with the Winston-Salem Journal‘s glowing endorsement of President Obama in his re-election bid. From foreign policy to the economy, the Journal finds Obama the better candidate. They find him strong on defense, capable on education, wise on healthcare. They find Romney weak, inconsistent, and dismissive of the population at large.

In North Carolina? Wow! I’m impressed.

 

Cynthia Huntington is a Finalist for a National Book Award

When the list of National Book Award nominees was revealed, I was pleased to see my old friend Cynthia Huntington nominated for her poetry book, Heavenly Bodies. Cynthia was a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown for two years while I was Director there in the 70s. I have kept an eye on her work for some time.

Heavenly Bodies, by Cynthia Huntington

Published by the Southern Illinois University Press, Heavenly Bodies has been described as a blistering collection of lyric poems, which give an intimate view of the sexual revolution and rebellion in a time before the rise of feminism. Heavenly Bodies is a testament to the duality of sex, the twin seductiveness and horror of drug addiction, and the social, political, and personal dramas of America in the 1960s.

Echoing throughout are some of the most famous—and infamous—voices of the times: Joan Baez and Charles Manson, Frank Zappa and Betty Friedan. Jinns and aliens beckon while cities burn and revolutionaries thunder for change.

Cynthia Huntington is the author of four books of poetry, including The Radiant (winner of the Levis Prize), The Fish-Wife, and We Have Gone to the Beach, as well as a prose memoir, The Salt House. A former New Hampshire State Poet Laureate, she is professor of English at Dartmouth College, where she serves as senior faculty in creative writing. She served as chair of the poetry jury for the Pulitzer Prizes for 2006.

I congratulate Cynthia sincerely for her current achievement and look forward to reading Heavenly Bodies (and perhaps pass it on to John Case for his Monday morning poetry program.)

Todays update of swing state polls:

 

Latest Swing State Polls

Here are the latest polls from the battleground states, updated as needed:

Colorado: Obama 49%, Romney 48% (Rasmussen)

Iowa: Obama 49%, Romney 47% (Rasmussen)

Michigan: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (Foster McCollum)

Michigan: Obama 48%, Romney 45% (EPIC-MRA)

Pennsylvania: Obama 47%, Romney 45% (Susquehanna)

Obama is pulling out to the front again, even on the Rasmussen olls in Iowa and Colorado. Rasmussen, as you know, is a primarily Republican pollster.

 

Ex-Lax for Mitt

 

I’m passing this on from walthe310 at Bell Book Candle:

Mitt‘s lies are full of S—T.

That is a characterization of the content of his speeches, not of his person. To dramatize how Obama supporters view Mitt’s words, I propose that each of us mail a sample of Ex-Lax or equal to Mitt at this address:

Romney for President
P. O. Box 149756
Boston, Massachusetts 02114-9756

If you agree that this a good idea, please reblog this message so that as many people as possible see it.

What a good idea! The press is being informed about this and the more who participate, the more fun we will all have. At the same time, make a cash equivalent donation to Obama’s campaign at www.barackobama.com.

When you send Mitt his present, write “EX-LAX for Mitt” on the outside of the package so that even if they don’t open it at the Romney campaign they will know what it is.  🙂

 

 

Curious about the public’s opinion of who really won the debate?

It seems that a couple of days of review by NBC using a new tool called ForSight, which is used to gauge public opinion in new media, that there is a sustained backlash against the punditry who had called the debate for Romney. The tool works by evaluating comments in social media.  According to results: if Romney “won”, he did so by lying, whereas Obama had won on substance.

Here’s the report:

The immediate consensus that Mitt Romney won Wednesday’s presidential debate has eroded significantly as fact-checkers have weighed in and supporters of President Barack Obama have fought back, according to NBCPolitics’ computer-assisted analysis of more than 1.3 million post-debate comments on social media.

The analysis suggests that as debate over a news event continues unmediated over time, the impact of the conventional wisdom of journalists and partisan commentators can be mitigated…

By Friday morning, the counterargument that Obama had actually won on substance had taken root, with online sentiment now favoring the president.

 

The stats from the evaluation:

The race isn’t over yet. Romney is not ahead in the public mind. I’m curious to see how the VP debate and the next two presidential debates go down.