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Friday, May 17, 2013

The genius of George Bush just keeps on giving in Iraq: The combustible situation, underpinned by mistakes of the decade-long U.S. occupation that enshrined sectarianism, has been aggravated by Maliki’s increasingly authoritarian policies.




Sectarianism in Iraq stoked by Syrian war


By Abigail Hauslohner, Published: May 16 
BAGHDAD — A recent tide of sectarian tensions that erupted into the worst violence seen in Iraq in five years is testing the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose ability to contain the crisis could hinge on a conflict raging beyond his control in Syria.
The prospect of a regional power shift driven by the bloody civil war next door, where a mostly Sunni rebel movement is struggling to topple the Shiite-dominated regime, has emboldened Iraq’s Sunni minority to challenge its own Shiite government and amplified fears within Maliki’s administration that Iraq may soon be swept up in a Sectarian bombings and assassinations targeting both Sunnis and Shiites increased last month after government forces raided a Sunni protest camp in northern Iraq, killing more than 40 people. Bombings continued Wednesday and Thursday, leaving more than 30 people dead in Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad.
Meanwhile, Iraq’s embittered Sunnis say the successes of the Syrian rebels have given them the confidence to challenge what they call worsening government discrimination and abuse against the minority that once ruled this country under Saddam Hussein.
Iraq’s Sunnis have been staging a growing wave of anti-government demonstrations in Sunni-majority provinces across the country for five months, raising tensions that some say could reignite the civil war that peaked in 2006. The combustible situation, underpinned by what critics call mistakes of the decade-long U.S. occupation that enshrined sectarianism, has been aggravated by Maliki’s increasingly authoritarian policies, analysts say.
The government has labeled the protest movement a project of Hussein’s former Baath Party and of al-Qaeda, an allegation denied by Sunni participants, who say they represent a cross section of Iraqi society.
They list among their key grievances laws and practices codified under U.S. occupation that bar former Baathists from participating in public life and authorize the use of secret informants — many of them originally cultivated by the U.S. military — whom human rights groups say Maliki uses to target Sunnis.
But the April 23 assault on the Sunni camp in Hawijah, coupled with increasingly antagonistic rhetoric from clerics and political leaders on both sides, has injected an ominous militant tone into what had been a largely peaceful protest movement. Last month, tribal leaders in the Sunni heartland of Anbar province announced the formation of a “tribal army” to protect demonstrators; residents say the force has drawn heavily from jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State of Iraq.
Meanwhile, at least two powerful Shiite militia leaders have rallied followers to crush the protest movement, which they, like the government, say is dominated by terrorists. On Thursday, government forces raided the home of a leading protest leader in Ramadi.
Some government officials and Sunni tribal leaders have made conciliatory gestures to pull Iraq back from the brink of a sectarian war, the kind that destroyed families and divided neighborhoods less than a decade ago. A parliamentary committee launched an investigation of the Hawijah raid, and several prominent Shiite officials called it a mistake. Last week, a group of Sunni sheiks in Anbar sent aid to flood victims in Shiite-majority areas of Iraq’s south.

89 comments:

  1. A series of bombings have killed at least 26 people across in Kirkuk and Baghdad among other Iraqi cities.

    In the northern city of Kirkuk, a suicide bomber attacked a mosque on Thursday, leaving at least 12 people dead.

    Car bombs also exploded in several mainly Shia neighbourhoods in the capital Baghdad, killing at least 14 people, including a seven-year-old child.

    A senior police officer in Kirkuk said a suicide bomber tried to enter al-Zahraa mosque, but was prevented by police from doing so. He detonated an explosives-rigged belt near the entrance instead.

    The blast wounded 40 people in addition to the fatalities, officials said.

    Relatives of victims from violence the day earlier had come to the mosque to receive condolences. Bombings had killed 10 people and wounded 17 in the city on Wednesday.

    Earlier on Thursday, a spate of bomb blasts in the country killed at least 14 people and wounded more than 30 others.

    In one attack, a car bomb in the Sadr City area of Baghdad killed six people and wounded 17, while another in Kamaliyah in the capital's east killed three and wounded nine, according to security and medical officials.

    'Sectarian hatred'

    In another incident on Thursday, assailants killed the brother of a Sunni Muslim member of parliament in the Bayaa area of south Baghdad, officials said.

    In Iraq's north, a suicide bomber driving an explosives-rigged vehicle killed two soldiers and wounded three in Mosul, while a car bomb wounded two police officers.

    The attacks came as Nouri al-Maliki, Iraqi prime minister, blamed sectarianism for the surge in violence in Iraq.

    "The bloodshed ... is a result of sectarian hatred," he said in televised remarks. "These crimes are a natural result of the sectarian mindset."

    Tensions are festering between the government of Maliki, and members of the country's Sunni minority who accuse authorities of targeting their community, including through wrongful detentions and accusations of involvement in violence.

    Protests broke out in Sunni areas of Iraq almost five months ago.

    Violence in Iraq has fallen from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks are still common, killing more than 200 people in each of the first four months of this year.

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    1. Violence in Iraq has fallen from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks are still common, killing more than 200 people in each of the first four months of this year.

      How can that be? Islam is peaceful, and besides, there are no more American troops in Iraq.

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    2. maybe they are running out of ammo and have to use pressure cookers now?

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  2. Why bother to care? We learned nothing from Libya and keep meddling in the conflict in Syria. We have no business there. Is Obama remaining cautious enough to keep us out? He had better.


    © afp
    At a joint news conference after talks in Washington on Thursday, US President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) called on Syria’s Bashar al-Assad to end the country’s bloody civil war by stepping down.
    By News Wires

    US President Barack Obama and Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted on Thursday that Syria's Bashar al-Assad must quit power as part of moves to end Syria's bloody civil war.

    The leaders met in Washington amid a flurry of shuttle diplomacy between world and regional powers, amid maneuvering ahead of a planned international conference that Washington and Moscow have proposed to halt the violence.

    At a joint White House news conference, the Turkish and US leaders restated their position, but Obama admitted: "There is no magic formula for dealing with an extraordinarily violent and difficult situation like Syria's."

    The talks came a day before another key player, Russian President Vladimir Putin, was to meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and one day after UN members voted to condemn an "escalation" by Assad's forces.

    And even as Obama and Erdogan were meeting, Israeli officials told AFP that John Brennan, director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, had arrived in Israel for talks on the Syrian crisis.

    Obama has made strenuous efforts to court the Turkish leader but, while they agree that Assad must be ousted, there are signs of frustration in Ankara at Obama's cautious approach towards the Syrian rebels.

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    1. Obama has made strenuous efforts to court the Turkish leader...

      I don't blame him, knowing what Michelle is like.

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  3. Noof Assi seems happy enough. If I understood her correctly, she is happy to be able to express herself freely.

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    1. They love us Bob. How could they not?

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    2. Some of them should, the ingrates. The Kurds, and the Shia.

      The Kurds may think well of us, I don't really know.

      They are unable to see anything except through their religious lens.

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    3. .

      Damn their eyes, the ingrates.

      Our efforts killed a few hundred thousand of them and turned millions of them into refugees and this is the thanks we get.

      .

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    4. the actual death rate caused directly by the USA is hard to calculate.

      however it is clear, the numbers killed by saddam and or the Iranians and or each other? Is far greater than we ever did.

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    5. .

      the actual death rate caused directly by the USA is hard to calculate.

      True enough. But then so is the death rate caused directly by Saddam. As for the Iran/Iraq war, surely you do not want to bring up the parts played by the U.S. and Israel in that little scuffle.

      however it is clear, the numbers killed by saddam and or the Iranians and or each other? Is far greater than we ever did.

      The Iran/Iraq war was over for 15 years when we invaded Iraq. We are not talking ancient history here. The largest estimate I have ever seen as to how many people Saddam was responsible for killing was 100,000 and that was over 23 years. He was actually condemned to death for killing 149 people.

      The estimates for the dead resulting from our invading Iraq range from about 150,000 to 800,000. The number of refugees created range from 2 million to 4 millions. And that was in 10 years, less than half the time Saddam had.

      Besides, you are not actually trying to argue that we did a 'good' thing in Iraq because we actually killed less people than Saddam did are you? I suspect you would find many of the people in Iraq that we 'helped', that would sorely disagree with you, or at least among those that are still alive. But, as Bob would say, they are probably just ingrates.

      .


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    6. quirk: True enough. But then so is the death rate caused directly by Saddam. As for the Iran/Iraq war, surely you do not want to bring up the parts played by the U.S. and Israel in that little scuffle.


      That little scuffle really had nothing to do with Israel, America? it was in it's interest to keep to vipers fighting each other.


      Quirk: The Iran/Iraq war was over for 15 years when we invaded Iraq. We are not talking ancient history here. The largest estimate I have ever seen as to how many people Saddam was responsible for killing was 100,000 and that was over 23 years. He was actually condemned to death for killing 149 people.


      Answer:
      The current kill count is estimated to be over one million people, approaching closer to being two million killed. Which would mean on average, 80,000 plus lives were taken a year, for each of the 23 years Saddam Hussein was in power over Iraq. The murders tallied were those killed by Suddam Hussein himself, under his order or killed because of him. Saddam Hussein's entire kill count is unknown due to the fact he buried bodies in many unknown grave sites. We can only guess or estimate how many people he killed but no one really knows for sure and he did not even know how many people he had killed. Out of the mass graves that were discovered following the US occupation of Iraq in 2003, suggest that the total combined figure for Kurds, Shias and dissidents alone that were killed could be as high as 300,000.

      http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_people_did_Saddam_kill

      How many people did Saddam kill





      quirk: The estimates for the dead resulting from our invading Iraq range from about 150,000 to 800,000. The number of refugees created range from 2 million to 4 millions. And that was in 10 years, less than half the time Saddam had.



      Refugees aint part of the discussion please.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War


      Source Casualties Time period
      Associated Press 110,600 violent deaths March 2003 to April 2009
      Costs of War Project 176,000–189,000 violent deaths including 134,000 civilians[1][2][3]
      March 2003 to February 2013

      now there are others that claim higher, but typically it's not accurate. Just like the jenin massacre of hundreds turned out to be about 45...




      quirk: Besides, you are not actually trying to argue that we did a 'good' thing in Iraq because we actually killed less people than Saddam did are you? I suspect you would find many of the people in Iraq that we 'helped', that would sorely disagree with you, or at least among those that are still alive. But, as Bob would say, they are probably just ingrates.


      I arguing that point. However I would argue that aside from israel America has the best lack of civilian deaths in war around. Certainly much better than France, Russia, China or more...

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    7. .

      That little scuffle really had nothing to do with Israel, America? it was in it's interest to keep to vipers fighting each other.

      During the first couple of years of the war, 50-80% of the arms purchased by Iran came from Israel. Israel also facilitated the U.S.' Iran Contra weapons deal with Iran. During the war, Israel bombed Iraq's nuclear facility.

      You are right about the aims of American foreign policy. Helping out Iran first so that there was no quick win by Iraq and then helping Iraq later with intelligenge even though most were aware that both Iraq and Iran were using chemical weapons.

      The Answer: How many people did Saddam kill

      You cite numbers from the Iran/Iraq war as if they were all the result of Saddam Hussein and not Iran also. Yet, the two countries had been fighting over borders for years and prior to the war the Ayatollah called on the Iraqi Shia to rise up and takeover. Saddam was also concerned about the spread of the Islamic revolution. It can be argued Saddam used the same rationale that Israel did when she launched her attack in 1967, a defensive war.

      That being said, there is no doubt that Hussein was a bod boy. However, where I find the inconsistency with your statements is that the numbers you state for Saddam are estimated numbers; yet, the numbers you cited below are for the most part 'official' numbers provided by the new Iraqi government and the U.S. Other NGO's have 'estimated' that those numbers respresent only 20% of the actual death toll.


      Refugees aint part of the discussion please.


      The original issue raised by Bob was that the Iraqi's were ingrates for not jumping up and down for all the great things we did for them during our 10 year occupation. In response, the response you commented on, I cited a couple of those great things including the refugees.


      now there are others that claim higher, but typically it's not accurate. Just like the jenin massacre of hundreds turned out to be about 45...


      You cite numbers from WIKI and I have addressed these before above. They are primarily actual body count numbers. Then, without following the links further, you cite that most of the other estimates are typically 'not accurate'. And how do you know that? Well they disagree with the lower numbers.

      If you follow the links, you will see other views on the death counts. The following one is also a WIKI article titled Casualties of the Iraqi War

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War


      I arguing that point. However I would argue that aside from israel America has the best lack of civilian deaths in war around. Certainly much better than France, Russia, China or more...


      Yet, despite that, given that Saddam, the reason we gave for the invasion, was captured in 2003, the same year we invaded, we remained another 9 years and it was during that period that about 100,0000 Iraqis (using the lowest numbers you provide) died and 2 to 4 million more were turned into refugees.

      The fact that they don't like us very much?

      Bob says they are ingrates.

      And you say, what...? "Well, gee, that's not so bad. I mean relatively speaking."

      .

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  4. WASHINGTON — Russia has sent advanced antiship cruise missiles to Syria, a move that illustrates the depth of its support for the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad, American officials said Thursday.

    Russia has previously provided a version of the missiles, called Yakhonts, to Syria. But those delivered recently are outfitted with an advanced radar that makes them more effective, according to American officials who are familiar with classified intelligence reports and would only discuss the shipment on the basis of anonymity.

    Unlike Scud and other longer-range surface-to-surface missiles that the Assad government has used against opposition forces, the Yakhont antiship missile system provides the Syrian military a formidable weapon to counter any effort by international forces to reinforce Syrian opposition fighters by imposing a naval embargo, establishing a no-fly zone or carrying out limited airstrikes.
    “It enables the regime to deter foreign forces looking to supply the opposition from the sea, or from undertaking a more active role if a no-fly zone or shipping embargo were to be declared at some point,” said Nick Brown, editor in chief of IHS Jane’s International Defense Review. “It’s a real ship killer.”

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    1. Good for Russia, maybe that will deter America from heeding McCain's drum beat for an air war over Syria, harbinger of boots on the ground.

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    2. That cooling pad thingy works great Teresita. Fixed my problem. Thank you.

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  5. The Chinese have a secret plan to destroy the Iranian economy

    NCRI - Iran imported $53 billion worth of goods in the last Persian calendar year - with around $7 billion coming from China, the latest official statistics have revealed.

    The figures also showed that China and the United Arab Emirates were the biggest importers to the regime.

    China’s market share reached approximately $7.155 billion, constituting around 3,539,000 tonnes of goods according to official figures - but that is said to be only a part of the true figure.

    Imports' Association head Mohammad Hossein Barkhordar said: "In the last Iranian year, $8.161 billion worth of goods were imported from China.

    "Most of these goods were parts and raw materials, which compares to $7.443 billion worth of Chinese imports in 2012."

    China is paying for 70% of its oil from Iran with goods - flooding the regime with cheap Chinese imports, Iranian MP Seyed Sharif Hosseini has revealed.

    He said in March that China had paid for oil 30% in cash and settled the remaining 70% of the bill with imported goods.

    Many officials have since complained of the glut of poor quality Chinese products on sale in the regime, which are often also hazardous to consumers.

    Hosseini, whose remarks were published in parliament’s website on March 23, said that Iran's cooperation with Russia and China had 'bilateral benefits' but the relationships had triggered some criticism.

    He said: "There is also some criticism of Russia and China's method of engaging with Iran."

    Many economists in Iran have protested the entry of low quality products from China, insisting that the imports are destroying production in Iran.

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    1. Those Iranian economists are right. Look at our textile and shoe industries here.

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    2. Maybe Iran can close the Strait of Hormuz and keep that shit from coming in. We'll just burn our shale oil.

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  6. After flattening Obama, Jon Stewart takes on Rumsfeld, Cheney for trying to flatten Obama -

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/05/16/jon_stewart_rips_rumsfeld__cheney_for_trying_to_pile_on_obama.html

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  7. More from the Crap Cannon?

    The CIA chief has made an unexpected visit to Israel to meet senior political and military figures to discuss the deteriorating security situation in neighbouring Syria.

    John Brennan, who took up his post two months ago, met the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, defence minister, Moshe Ya'alon, military chief of staff, Benny Gantz, and Mossad chief, Tamir Pardo, according to reports in Israel media.

    The unannounced meetings followed two Israeli air strikes on weapons stores near Damascus a fortnight ago. Israel has repeatedly warned it will take action to prevent advanced or chemical weapons being transferred to the Syrian regime's Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, or falling into the hands of jihadist groups fighting alongside the Syrian opposition.

    According to a report in the Israeli paper Yedioth Ahronoth, the visit stemmed from "the American fear of escalation in the region against the backdrop of [Hezbollah leader Hassan] Nasrallah's threats to act against Israel in the Golan Heights and the American sense that Israel is disappointed by the ineffectuality of the Obama administration with regard to the ongoing deterioration in Syria.

    "It is assessed that Brennan was sent to Israel to co-ordinate a joint policy between the two countries and prevent Israel from taking action on its own in Syria."

    The Syrian government has warned it will retaliate against further military action by Israel, which would risk embroiling the US ally in a regional conflict.

    Two shells landed in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights this week. An unknown Palestinian group, the Abdul Qader al-Husseini brigades, said it had fired the missiles, which, if true, would make it the first time Israeli-controlled territory had been targeted. "We are avenging all our martyrs that we lost in our war with the Zionist enemy," the brigades said.

    Three observers with Undof, the UN peacekeeping force in the Golan, were abducted by Syrian opposition forces and later released on Wednesday, the third such incident in the past two months.

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    1. Sounds like the Rebels, the Palestinians (fake nationalistic people) and the Syrian regular army all want to kill Jews/Israelis.

      I hope that Israel shoots back and kills them 1st.

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    2. The Syrian government has warned it will retaliate against further military action by Israel, which would risk embroiling the US ally in a regional conflict.

      Make my day, Assad. Get Israel to take out all the air assets you are using to hang on for dear life in your existential civil war.

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    3. Which came 1st?

      the ARMING of Hezbollah or the taking out of new and more powerful arms to Hezbollah by syria/iran?

      inquiring minds want to know

      Delete
  8. Saddam Hussein could still be in power had he not:
    1. invaded Kuwait
    2. gassed Kurds
    3. bribed half the world with "Oil for Food"
    4. harbored al-Qaeada and other terrorists

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    1. And Bambi's mother would still be alive if Bambi had busted a cap in that hunter's ass. Fantasy football is fun.

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  9. Well, anoni, Saddam never harbored aQ.

    Other terrorists, perhaps.

    Guess it would depend upon one's definition of terrorist.
    Oil for Food, there you go, blaming the victim, again.

    Saddam gassed tens of thousands of Iranians, why is that not on your list?
    Saddam gassed the Shiites, why is that not on your list?

    The English and French gassed the Germans, but then, they're adults.
    Developed international laws and standards for war and such.

    The Israeli violated those,\Invaded Eygpt, Lebanon and Syria.
    Utilized chemical weapons in Lebanon, so why no invasion, there?

    Why the differing standards for differing nations?

    Could George Washington have been right.

    We know that hit;er was wrong ...
    Despite quot's protestations.

    But the father of our country, who says he was wrong?

    When the evidence of his wisdom is squarely in your face.

    “... nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded;” …

    “The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave”…

    “It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest”….

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    1. Notice when Rat cant argue he distracts:


      We know that hit;er was wrong ...
      Despite quot's protestations.



      Typical.

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  10. Rat accused Israel of: Utilized chemical weapons in Lebanon, so why no invasion, there?


    Israel used Phosphorus weapons which cause chemical burns and the Red Cross and human rights groups argue they should be treated as chemical weapons.


    However MOST of the world when saying "chemical weapons" mean: A chemical weapon (CW) is a device that uses chemicals formulated to inflict death or harm to human beings. They may be classified as weapons of mass destruction though are separate from biological weapons (diseases), nuclear weapons and radiological weapons (which use radioactive decay of elements). Chemical weapons can be widely dispersed in gas, liquid and solid forms and may easily afflict others than the intended targets. Nerve gas and tear gas are two modern examples.
    Lethal unitary chemical agents and munitions are extremely volatile and constitute a class of hazardous chemical weapons stockpiled by many nations. (Unitary agents are effective on their own and require no mixing with other agents.) The most dangerous of these are nerve agents GA, GB, and VX, and vesicant (blister) agents which are formulations of sulfur mustard such as H, HT, and HD. All are liquids at normal room temperature, but become gaseous when released. Widely used during the First World War, the effects of so-called mustard gas, phosgene gas and others caused lung searing, blindness, death and maiming. In addition, the gas was unreliable because of wind dispersion and often drifted back into the user's own lines. The public was so horrified by the results and the military so unimpressed that the complete elimination of this class of weapon was widely supported after the war. Large modern stockpiles continue to exist, though usually only as a precaution against use by an aggressor. Progress is still being made to fulfill its eradication through international law.


    Sloppy language as usual by General Rodent.

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    1. US has seen Syria chemical weapons evidence, says Obama

      Barack Obama says all diplomatic and military options are still availableContinue reading the main story
      Syria conflict

      'Chemical attack'
      No easy answers
      Israel's 'red line'
      Obama's options
      President Barack Obama has said the US has seen evidence of chemical weapons being used in Syria.

      However, speaking after meeting Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he insisted it was important to get more specific details about alleged chemical attacks.

      Earlier, residents of a north Syrian town told a BBC reporter how government forces had dropped poisonous gas canisters on them from helicopters.

      The government has repeatedly denied claims it has used chemical agents.

      It is unclear why the well-armed regime would deploy chemical weapons, which are illegal under international law.


      This refers not to Phosphorus weapons but rather NERVE gas. ie chemical weapons.

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    2. Not sloppy, at all.

      We can begin with CS gas, which is a chemical agent that is regularly used by the IDF.
      Accurate in the reporting.

      Redline becomes the issue, another name for proliferation?

      Nerve-gas Production

      Confirmation that the Israel Institute for Biological Research near Tel Aviv was receiving the components of nerve gas weapons came after El Al Flight LY 1862 crashed just outside Amsterdam on October 4, 1992. In April 1998 again Israel denied there had been dangerous chemicals on board, but in Oct 1998 it was revealed that the plane was carrying 10 tons of chemicals used in the most dangerous of the known nerve gases, Sarin. The shipment from Solkatronic Chemicals of Morrisville, Pennsylvania to IIBR was under US Department of Commerce licence, contrary to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to which the US, but not Israel, is party.

      The IIBR facility has been involved in "an extensive effort to identify practical methods of synthesis for nerve gases (such as tabun, sarin, and VX) and other organophosphorus and fluorine compounds."[11] In a 4 October 1998 interview with The London Sunday Times, a former IIBR biologist said "There is hardly a single known or unknown form of chemical or biological weapon ... which is not manufactured at the institute."

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    3. Why do the Israeli need Sarin gas capabilities?

      In addition to their nuclear capacities.

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    4. The owning of weapons is not the same as using the weapons. Nor is it the ISSUE

      Sloppy specious arguments are made by those who lack substance.

      When you cant win a discussion, change the discussion.

      wiggle wiggle wiggle

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    5. Perhaps they want to be able to reply in kind to a use by others, a step in between a conventional response and using nukes, General Bunk.

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    6. .

      Earlier, residents of a north Syrian town told a BBC reporter how government forces had dropped poisonous gas canisters on them from helicopters.

      Yet, experts when viewing the container indicated it looked merely like a standard tear gas canister. In the same town, the rebels showed people they say were hit with the chemical weapons including one women who was unconscious and appeared to be seriously ill. When the news agency, ABC I think although it could have been the BBC, asked for urine and blood samples they were given them, but when they tested them, there was zero evidence of chemical weapons exposure.

      .

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    7. Bob, I think the best approach to General Bunk is to simply refute his specific point of nonsense

      Then not allow him to change to argument and or discussion.

      "Those that cannot argue a point, change the point to argue"

      Delete
    8. When the news agency, ABC I think although it could have been the BBC, asked for urine and blood samples they were given them, but when they tested them, there was zero evidence of chemical weapons exposure.

      But the usual suspects jumped RIGHT on this little piece of Sunni agitprop to get Obama to go to war in Syria.

      Delete
    9. Documented Use of Nerve Gas

      At least eight nerve gas attacks were reported as having been carried out on Palestinian civilian populations, starting in Gaza (Khan Younis and adjacent Gharbi refugee camps) on the 12th February 2001, continuing until the end of March, 2001.

      Israeli soldiers reported having coming under fire from Palestinians and responded by shelling and machine-gunning Khan Younis, a town then under strict Israeli blockade, the barrage continuing well into the night. The firing drove people inside where closed windows and doors appear to have offered little protection.

      The next morning found an estimated 300 Palestinians newly homeless.[2] and that afternoon the new gas canisters rolled into the streets, courtyards, and houses of both Khan Younis city and the Gharbi refugee camp in Gaza.

      This first attack led to forty people being admitted to Al-Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis "in an odd state of hysteria and nervous breakdown", suffering from "fainting and spasms." Sixteen of them had to be transferred to the intensive care unit. Doctors "reported the Israeli use of gas that appeared to cause convulsions."(dead link) At the Gharbi refugee camp thirty-two people "were treated for serious injuries" following exposure to the gas. Dr. Salakh Shami at Al-Amal Hospital reported that the hospital received "about 130 patients suffering from gas inhalation from February 12."

      Around 3 weeks later on March 2, similar attacks were reported in the West Bank, beginning with the town of Al-Bireh.

      No analysis of the Hebrew-labelled containers has been published, but "irreversible binding" of acetylcholinesterase is the most likely explanation for the recurrent and persistent symptoms experienced by the Palestinian victims. The hand-sized gas canisters lobbed produced a staged release of colored smoke and a strangely attractive fragrance without the immediately irritating effects of tear gas (of which many refugees, particularly in Khan Yhounis, are very familiar).

      Of the known nerve gases, tabun is the most likely candidate - even if not, it was likely a potent anticholinesterase poison belonging to this family of organophosphate nerve poisons. Eyewitness testimony and news reports indicate that this gas was deliberately released into the homes, schoolyards, and streets of occupied Palestine, where the presence of civilian men, women, and children was a certainty. A film called "Gaza Strip" included the nerve gas allegations and claimed that "nearly 200 Palestinians" had been left hospitalized in Khan Younis alone. The film-maker discussed the content of his film and answered objections in Sept 2002 and gave an interview about it in 2003.

      From the film:
      "The people we saw in the hospital, were mainly young people, exhibiting neurological manifestations: with hypertonic and choreoathetotic crisis in their limbs, spasms causing the body to stiffen, or worse: to go rigid in an arc position. This was followed by episodes of muscle relaxation: Nearly complete paralysis of the limbs, with hypertonia and also digestive pains like cramps and colics, and behavioral distresses; periods of extreme excitation, that kind of trouble." - Dr. Helen Bruzau - Medecins Sans Frontieres

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    10. The Forward publishes today an eye-opening follow-up to the Jawaher Abu Rahme story. It seems that the IDF’s own doctors published a study in an academic journal noting that the type of CS gas used in the Bilin demonstrations could be lethal:

      A 2003 article published by four Israeli army doctors in Archives of Toxicology noted that CS gas…causes tearing and burning for about 15 to 30 minutes, and this is lessened if people are moved into fresh air. The army has insisted on the safety of CS beyond these immediate effects. But the Israeli army doctors’ article noted, “At high concentrations, enclosed spaces, or prolonged exposures, severe side effects may occur and human deaths…have been reported.”

      A 2009 article in the British Medical Journal came to similar conclusions, noting that tear gas is “not a gas at all, but a toxic chemical irritant.”

      Instead of examining the circumstances under which the IDF prepared and conducted its teargas barrage on unarmed Palestinian protestors to determine whether something might have led this particular incident to be more lethal than others, the IDF obfuscates by insinuating that Abu Rahme really died of cancer or asthma or that she wasn’t even at the protest (she was in fact 150 feet away near her home, but the massive flow of teargas engulfed her and her mother).

      Delete
    11. teargas aint chemical weapons asshole

      Delete
    12. from sarin, to phosphorus now to teargas

      wiggle wiggle wiggle

      Delete
    13. CS is a chemical weapon, dimwit.

      At some levels, it is lethal.
      At lower levels, it is a non-lethal weapon.

      Obviously you have never attended a chemical weapons course in the US military.
      If you had, you know better than to be speaking out your ass.

      I never mentioned willie peter, you did that yourself, dimwit.

      There is no wiggle, the Israeli employ chemical weapons as a matter of course.
      It is part of their doctrine.
      You supported nonlethal Israeli chemical weaponry, just the other day. Squirting that stinking CHEMICAL concoction at those stinking Palestinians.

      Years of development of that chemical weapons system.

      Delete
    14. You do realize there are nonlethal weapons, in the whirled, do you not, quot>

      Delete
    15. Despite what the US Justice Department might tell you, not all weapons are Weapons of Mass Destruction.

      That does not make those that are not, any less a weapon.

      Your limited ESL skills are beginning to show, again.

      Delete
  11. >>>Democrat Baucus warns: More to come out on IRS scandal

    May 17, 2013 | 10:34 am
    78Comments 82 Share on print Share on email

    Senior Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, who recently slapped Obamacare as a "train wreck," believes that the IRS scandal is just beginning and that "a lot more" damaging information will be revealed, likely at congressional hearings.

    "I have a hunch that a lot more is going to come out, frankly," Baucus, whose pending retirement seems to have freed him up to speak bluntly, told Bloomberg Government's "Capitol Gains" TV show.

    "It's broader than the current focus. And I think it's important that we have the hearings, and I think that will encourage other information to come out that has not yet come out. I suspect that we will learn more in the next several days, maybe the next couple three weeks which adds more context to all of this," added Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.<<<

    Max, who called ObamaCare a 'trainwreck' after being a big supporter of it, has seen the writing on the wall, and has headed for the exits, declining to defend his Montana Senate seat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Max, who called ObamaCare a 'trainwreck' after being a big supporter of it, has seen the writing on the wall, and has headed for the exits, declining to defend his Montana Senate seat.

      The same bitch who targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny by the IRS has been placed in charge of Obamacare for a job well done.

      Delete
  12. Egyptian security close Gaza border crossing

    In response to the abduction of 7 members of the Egyptian security forces by Islamist gunmen, Egyptian police-officers lock & block the gates at the border crossing to Gaza.

    In the meantime, hundreds of Palestinians are stranded on both sides.


    you remember Gaza? that strip of land that so many misinformed CLAIM that Israel controls?

    Well it seems that Egypt, the historic holder and owner of the strip is pissed off. No, not because you can get a bucket of KFC for 30 bucks in 3 hours delivered in anywhere in the Gaza strip direct from the KFC in Egypt. But for other reasons.


    http://www.israelandstuff.com/egyptian-security-close-gaza-border-crossing


    In response to the abduction of 7 members of the Egyptian security forces by Islamist gunmen, Egyptian police-officers lock & block the gates at the border crossing to Gaza.

    In the meantime, hundreds of Palestinians are stranded on both sides.

    By Reuters



    Now that's entertainment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the meantime, hundreds of Palestinians are stranded on both sides.

      And on the 65th Anniversary of the "Catastrophe" too.

      Delete
    2. Just think of the reality IF the arabs in 1948 accepted the idea of 2 states for 2 peoples.

      But then again, that is not what happened. The arabs rejected the idea.

      Now 65 years later?

      The arab world (collectively) has an actual nabka on their hands.

      the Jews have as MUCH right to have their tiny little state as the arabs have their right to have 21 states.

      The collective arab world controls 899/900th of the entire middle east. Israel is 1/900th of the middle east and boasts 20% arab population INSIDE of her as citizens.

      And to top it off? tiny Israel's GNP is greater than the 21 nations of the arab world combined.

      Maybe ALlah is trying to tell the arab world something?

      Like learn to LIKE your younger step brother?

      Delete
  13. Preakness -

    Orb, Goldencents, Mylute, Governor Charlie -



    no order except Orb wins

    ReplyDelete
  14. My favorite crook Charlie Rangel is pissed.

    See Charlie in high dudgeon here - (video of Charlie in high dudgeon)


    Rangel: ‘This Is Wrong to Abuse the Tax System’

    FLASHBACK: Rangel censured for not paying taxes on 17 years of rental income...

    http://freebeacon.com/rangel-this-is-wrong-to-abuse-the-tax-system/

    BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
    May 17, 2013 10:49 am

    Rep. Charlie Rangel (D., N.Y.), who was notably censured for not paying 17 years worth of taxes on rental income from a Dominican Republic villa he owned, said Friday morning, “This is wrong to abuse the tax system.”

    Rangel also filed years worth of misleading financial disclosure reports that did not fully disclose his assets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (no jail time for Charlie)

      Delete
    2. What is so truly and absolutely wonderful about Charlie is that he is absolutely shameless.

      He knows, I know it, you know it, everybody knows it - and he is always in such an upbeat mood.

      Shame is a concept utterly lacking in Charlie - and he seems so completely forgivable because of it.

      Delete
  15. Who would have guessed?


    NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

    In the digital age up-to-the-minute updates are a click and a touch away. But a new study says all of our gadgets and all of this multitasking aren't necessarily good -- and may actually be making us dumber. The same devices that connect us and keep us plugged in have obvious drawbacks.

    A new study from Carnegie Mellon, first reported on yahoo.com, attempts to analyze the impact of juggling email, texts, and social media on your brain while you're at work. People who were told they might be interrupted but were left alone had a surprising result.

    Dr. Ezriel Kornel, a neurosurgeon, says it is not surprising that people who were interrupted even if they knew they'd be interrupted performed poorly during the experiment.

    Peter Shankman, a marketing and advertising consultant, says companies have taken notice of potential distracted employees.



    Read more: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/22265626/study-downside-of-digital-multitasking#ixzz2TZckaa7T

    ReplyDelete
  16. SS300

    Syria: Time for Israel to reassess

    May 15, 2013, 6:34 pm

    http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/syria-time-for-israel-to-reassess/

    Things are getting complicated, the risks rise, the future uncertain.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  18. John Hofmeister doesn’t call it ‘peak oil,’ instead he calls it the ‘energy abyss,’ the point at which the global economy ceases to grow because the oil industry can no longer meet demand.

    Hofmeister is the former president of Shell Oil, the same Shell Oil that is preparing to drill the deepest hole yet drilled to reach oil and gas 200 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico in 9,500 feet (2,900m) of water, surpassing the working depth of Shell’s Perdido rig, also located out in the Gulf and producing around 100,000 barrels a day. The cost of that rig: $3 billion.



    ABOVE PHOTO: Shell Arctic oil rig Kullak runs aground during storm, contributing to the company's decision to cancel offshore operations for 2013 season

    In his 2010 book, Why We Hate The Oil Companies, Straight talk from an energy insider, he wrote the following:

    “It’s inevitable. The industry that produces oil can’t produce enough, unless the world doesn’t grow. It’s possible that we will have such expensive oil that we will stymie growth. How many people will suffer? How many poor will become poorer, while rich become richer because we have failed rational tests of creating alternative competitive fuels? We have a choice to condemn ourselves to an energy abyss in the name of the status quo and lack of enlightened leadership, or we can choose to develop alternatives.

    Why aren’t we more thoughtful about the future? Why don’t we begin the journey towards a range of alternatives that delivers increased national security, increased economic security, and multiple choice for consumers?

    I think in this regard, we are missing in the whole construct, a meaningful voice of government as an intermediary and an enabler to a better future when it comes to fuel choice. The US has been crippled for 7 years by high-priced fuel; the government has done nothing to speak of to address the issue.”

    While Hofmeister’s last statement may not be entirely true - the Obama Administration has placed a priority on improving the fuel economy of automobiles and promoting . . . . . . .

    The Energy Abyss

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Middle-class families have gotten some relief at the pump this spring due to declining gasoline prices. AAA reported that U.S. drivers paid an average of $3.55 per gallon of gasoline in April, the least expensive average for this month since 2010. Gasoline prices are now almost 35 cents lower than they were one year ago, when gasoline cost an average of $3.89 per gallon.

      Despite lower prices at the pump, the biggest publicly traded oil companies in the world have raked in billions of dollars in profit over the past three months. According to their earnings reports released today, the big five oil companies—BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell—earned a combined $30.2 billion during the first quarter of 2013, or $331 million per day.
      ...
      Nearly one-third of these profits were used to repurchase companies’ stock, which only serves to pad the pockets of senior executives and the largest shareholders. The big five oil companies are also sitting on $82 billion in cash reserves, according to reports from the Securities and Exchange Commission for each company.

      Delete
    2. meanwhile, fellow oil giant ExxonMobil’s most recent spill dumped 500,000 gallons of tar sands crude oil near Mayflower, Arkansas, in late March 2013. The spill forced the evacuation of two dozen homes, and a massive cleanup is currently underway. Because this tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, is classified under the Superfund law as “diluted bitumen,” this and similar kinds of oil are exempt from the 8-cents-per-barrel fee that conventional oil must pay into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. This fund, created under Superfund in 1980 and paid for by levying this tax on oil companies, pays for the oil-spill cleanup should a mishap occur. Exxon gets to avoid it.

      This terrible oil-pipeline spill spewed tar sands oil similar to the oil that could be transported through the Keystone XL pipeline if it is approved by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.
      Pipeline discharges are a common event. NPR reported that,
      “Federal data show that on average over the past decade, nearly 3.5 million gallons of oil spilled from pipelines each year.” If Keystone XL moves forward, not only will Big Oil profit from its operation, it could eventually add to this spill tally.

      Delete
    3. John Hofmeister doesn’t call it ‘peak oil,’ instead he calls it the ‘energy abyss,’ the point at which the global economy ceases to grow because the oil industry can no longer meet demand.

      Really? Oil consumption in 2013 is expected to exceed 90 million barrels per day, which represents greater than a 5% growth in consumption from the average level of 2008, or about 4.6 million barrels per day of consumption growth. And Peakers claim we peaked in 2005.

      Delete
    4. The biggest three publicly owned U.S. oil companies—ExxonMobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips—also paid relatively low federal effective tax rates in 2011. Reuters reported that their tax payments were “a far cry from the 35 percent top corporate tax rate.” It estimated that ExxonMobil’s effective federal tax rate in 2011 was 13 percent, Chevron’s was 19 percent, and ConocoPhillips’s was 18 percent.
      ...
      The oil and gas industry gave more than $70 million in federal campaign contributions during the 2012 cycle, with a whopping 90 percent going to Republican candidates. The big five oil companies spent nearly $50 million on lobbying Congress in 2012, or more than one-third of the entire oil and gas industry’s expenditures. A major goal of these political activities is to retain special tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, which add up to $40 billion over a decade. Despite ranking as some of the most profitable companies in the world, the big five oil companies receive $2.4 billion in tax breaks from Congress each year, according to the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. U.S. taxpayers should no longer foot the bill for antiquated, 100-year-old fossil-fuel subsidies that, upon conception, were meant to help a then-fledgling industry grow.

      Big Oil argues that it needs these tax breaks for oil exploration and development. Yet the big five oil companies produced 2 percent less oil in the first quarter of 2013, according to their recent financial statements, compared to the same time last year. These companies each have several hundred idle offshore leases that could produce oil if they were to be developed, according to an analysis for Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA). Instead, these companies leave the leases undeveloped while sitting on billions of dollars of cash reserves.

      Delete
    5. The Barky Administration has refused (so far) to build the pipeline from Canada.

      >> improving the fuel economy of automobiles and promoting . . . . . . .<< a great increase in the number of avoidable deaths on our highways.

      Tin can cars = wooden caskets


      Delete
    6. No, Teresita, "Oil" Consumption will not be 90 Million bbl/day. That includes 2 Million bbl/day biofuels (brought online since 2005,) bitumen from Canada, Plant natural gas liquids (usually just used for power in the refineries, themselves, Refinery Gain (propane, etc.,) turkey guts, refined into biodiesel, and all manner of other non-petroleum products.

      Delete
  19. I'm getting old...

    I got out of bed and had chest pains...

    I looked down and realized I was standing on my nipples.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Group asked by IRS about the content of their prayers -

    >>>During a House Ways and Means Committee hearing today, Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., grilled outgoing IRS commissioner Steven Miller about the IRS targeting a pro-life group in Iowa.

    “Their question, specifically asked from the IRS to the Coalition for Life of Iowa: ‘Please detail the content of the members of your organization’s prayers,’" Schock declared.

    “Would that be an inappropriate question to a 501 c3 applicant?” asked Schock. “The content of one’s prayers?”

    “It pains me to say I can’t speak to that one either,” Miller replied.

    After Schock pressed him further, Miller explained that although he couldn't comment on the specific case, it would "surprise him" if that question was asked.

    The report stems from the Thomas More Society, a national public interest law firm for religious liberty.


    From their report:


    Coalition for Life of Iowa found itself in the IRS’s crosshairs when the group applied for tax exempt status in October 2008. Nearly ten months of interrogation about the group’s opposition to Planned Parenthood included a demand by a Ms. Richards from the IRS’ Cincinnati office unlawfully insisted that all board members sign a sworn declaration promising not to picket/protest Planned Parenthood. Further questioning by the IRS requested detailed information about the content of the group’s prayer meetings, educational seminars, and signs their members hold outside Planned Parenthood.<<<


    Really? Isn't this something!

    The government wants to know, not only about your health and finances through BarkyCare, but even the content of your prayers.

    While Rufus would have no problem answering this, most people would find that a little intrusive, even if they don't pray, wouldn't you think?

    I would like to know, turning the tables, the contents of Barky's prayers.

    How about you?

    This country has gone nuts.

    ReplyDelete
  21. The worldwide rate of conventional crude oil production peaked at the end of 2004, and has remained between 72 and 74 million barrels per day (mbpd) ever since. The subsequent tripling of oil prices did not bring new oil to market–a classic signal of peak oil. Oil discovery is in long-term decline, and the world has reached the point at which new drilling has failed to overcome the depletion of mature fields.

    Adding natural gas liquids, biofuels, synthetic liquid fuel made from tar sands, and other unconventional liquids to conventional crude brings the current “all liquids” total to about 86 mbpd. Unconventional liquids have been responsible for nearly all of the growth in world “oil” production since 2005.

    The world has reached a “bumpy plateau” in production, as shown in the following chart.


    http://aspousa.org/peak-oil-reference/peak-oil-data/

    ReplyDelete
  22. Savage: Obama's forest of tyrannies needs to be chopped down now

    Nice phrase by Michael Savage - forest of tyrannies

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it is good. Dark forest, impenetrable, fearsome, tyrannical....I think it's good.

      Want to share the content of your prayers?

      Being a Libertarian, and active at it, you are on the hit list being written up there in a dark place in the forest of tyrannies, and it may be demanded of you one of these days.

      Delete
    2. Back at the end of the better days of old, back when the realm was still honestly run, and your prayers were private, and men doffed their hats to ladies, and hoping could still lead to something, there arose in the forest a monster of tyranny slouching towards civilization.....

      Delete
    3. A stand of tyrannies
      A thicket of tyrannies
      A felony of tyrannies
      A louse of tyrannies
      A barrier of tyrannies
      A blade of tyrannies

      Delete
    4. A tangle of tyrannies.

      Nothing brilliant about a forest of tyrannies

      Delete
  23. Lingering high oil and gasoline prices contributed to another quarter of huge profits for the big five oil companies: BP plc, Chevron Corp, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil Corp, and the Royal Dutch Shell Group. They earned a combined $28 billion in the third quarter of 2012, reaping more than $90 billion in profits through the first three quarters of the year. (see Table 1) As they did last year, the “big five” are on track to easily exceed $100 billion in profits this year.
    ...
    What makes this figure all the more staggering is that these companies actually produced less oil in 2012 compared to 2011. The big five oil companies’ total oil production in the third quarter was 5 percent—or 400,000 barrels per day—lower than in the third quarter of 2011.

    And despite such impressive profits, U.S. taxpayers are still subsidizing these companies. In 2012 the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that these big five oil companies would receive $2.4 billion in special tax breaks. The three U.S. oil companies among this cohort—Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and ExxonMobil—also pay a relatively low effective federal tax rate. Reuters reports that in 2011 these three companies paid 19 percent, 18 percent, and 13 percent effective federal tax rate, respectively. These oil companies’ tax rates, Reuters concluded, are “a far cry from the 35 percent top corporate tax rate.”

    So what benefits do these profits produce? Do they create new jobs, as those advocating for the tax breaks and lower corporate tax rates would lead us to believe? Not exactly. Between 2005 and 2010—the last year for which data is available—the “big five” reduced their workforce by 11,200 employees, according to a report by the Democratic staff of the House Natural Resources Committee. And the profits certainly haven’t been used as a buffer to lower gas prices, which are still hovering around $3.50, according to the American Automobile Association. Instead, the companies used these enormous profits on some other activities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For starters, these companies continue to use massive profits to enrich their top executives and largest shareholders by repurchasing their own stock. The big five oil companies spent nearly one-quarter of their third-quarter profits buying back their own stock. These companies are also sitting on $70.7 billion in cash reserves—money not invested in searching for new sources of energy.

      But the “big five” did spend lots of money on Capitol Hill in 2012, investing heavily to protect their special tax breaks. Since 2011 they have spent more than $100 million lobbying Congress to protect low tax rates and block pollution controls and safeguards for public health.

      In addition to lobbying Congress, the big five oil companies have directly contributed $6.7 million to federal candidates and political parties with 78 percent going to Republicans and 22 percent to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

      We also know that these companies have been funneling money into super PACs and political advocacy organizations to broadcast ads that oppose President Obama and his clean energy agenda and promote the companies’ tax breaks. Last month, for example, Chevron made the single-largest corporate donation since the Supreme Court opened the floodgates for corporate money in elections in its Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision. The company invested $2.5 million in the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC for House Republicans.

      This relatively modest investment in lobbying, elections, and politics by oil companies has paid off handsomely. In addition to maintaining their special tax breaks, the FY 2013 budget passed by the house would provide an additional new tax cut of more than $2 billion annually for these same companies in the fiscal year beginning this past October. Overall, the House of Representatives voted 109 times this Congress to enrich oil companies, according to a study by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA). This is a return on investment that would make Donald Trump jealous.

      If the story of huge profits, stock buybacks, cash reserves, lobbying, and campaign dollars by big oil companies sounds familiar, that’s because it is. The “big five” rake in billions of dollars due to high oil and gasoline prices, all while receiving special tax breaks and producing less oil.

      It’s a story that will be rebroadcast again and again until Congress begins to reform this industry, starting with ending their $2.4 billion in special tax breaks.

      Delete
    2. God Bless Big Oil

      They actually do something, like get me from here to there without a horse.

      Delete
    3. End massive tax breaks and gigantic subsidies to Big Green now!!

      End insider lobbying by Big Green now!!

      Build the pipeline now!!

      Delete
  24. Pickering subpoenaed - going to be pickled by House Committee

    I like Issa!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pickled Pickering Picked A Peck Of Purple Peppers

      (should have asked Shillary at least one question)

      Delete
  25. Obama administration going with the idiot narrative on #Benghazi.

    By: Moe Lane (Diary) | May 17th, 2013 at 12:30 PM | 15

    RESIZE: AAA

    No, seriously, this is the angle that they’re going to run with:

    “We’re portrayed by Republicans as either being lying or idiots,” said one Obama administration official who was part of the Benghazi response. “It’s actually closer to us being idiots.”

    Personally, I take the position that the administration needs to embrace the healing power of ‘and,’ here. But as the philosopher once put it: men must paddle before they can swim.

    The entire article is one of those profiles in candor you get when the principals are all speaking anonymously, but this part here on the FEST situation is particularly interesting:

    The Foreign Emergency Support Team known as “FEST” is described as “the US Government’s only interagency, on-call, short-notice team poised to respond to terrorist incidents worldwide.” It even boasts hostage-negotiating expertise. With U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens reported missing shortly after the Benghazi attacks began, Washington officials were operating under a possible hostage scenario at the outset. Yet deployment of the counterterrorism experts on the FEST was ruled out from the start. That decision became a source of great internal dissent and the cause of puzzlement to some outsiders.

    Thursday, an administration official who was part of the Benghazi response told CBS News: “I wish we’d sent it.”

    The designated scapegoat for that decision will apparently be Patrick Kennedy, Hillary Clinton’s former deputy*: he’s listed by name as being the guy who (outside of channels) nixed the idea to use the FEST team. All this despite that: FEST was ready to go; loudly considers it part of their job description to go; and “could have helped pave the way for the FBI to get into Benghazi much faster than the three weeks it ultimately took.” Reading between the lines… well, we all know that a political staffer of Kennedy’s status would be highly unlikely to push a policy position unless he knew that his boss agreed with him. Or else it was really his boss’s policy position in the first place.

    Well, Kennedy’s not the first person to sacrifice a career to the greater glory of the Clintons…

    ReplyDelete
  26. MOSCOW — A throng of thousands led by priests in black robes surged through police cordons in downtown Tbilisi, Georgia, on Friday and attacked a group of about 50 gay rights demonstrators.

    Carrying banners reading “No to mental genocide” and “No to gays,” the masses of mostly young men began by hurling rocks and eggs at the gay rights demonstrators.

    The police pushed most of the demonstrators onto yellow minibuses to evacuate them from the scene, but, the attackers swarmed the buses, trying to break the windows with metal gratings, trash cans, rocks and even fists.

    At least 12 people were reported hospitalized, including three police officers and eight or nine of the gay rights marchers.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Report on England's Libertarian -

    Smiling Scourge of Europe's Elite

    Britain's leading euroskeptic on immigration, the EU and his plans for the future

    >>> Nigel Farage looks particularly pleased as we sit down to lunch in an Italian restaurant near the European Parliament here in the capital of Europe. "Italy is my favorite European country," he declares impishly.

    Mr. Farage, leader of the U.K. Independence Party, scourge of the EU's elite and member of the European Parliament, could be forgiven for thinking that at long last, history is moving his way. His party took 23% of the votes in county elections earlier this month, leaving Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats, at 14%, in the dust.<<<

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323716304578480692872640324.html

    .......


    Researchers suggest Victorian-era people more intelligent modern-day counterparts

    >>>(Phys.org) —In a new study, a European research team suggests that the average intelligence level of Victorian-era people was higher than that of modern-day people. They base their controversial assertion on reaction times (RT) to visual stimuli given as tests to people from the late 1800s to modern times—the faster the reaction time, they say, the smarter the person.<<<


    Interesting, but probably untrue.


    >>>The claims by the European team will undoubtedly be viewed as controversial—after all, no one has proved that reaction times truly are an accurate measure of intelligence. Nor does the data suggest that those researchers testing people for their reaction times chose their subjects at random, or even in fact, performed the tests in the same way as everyone else. There's also the consideration of the Flynn effect, where other researchers have found average intelligence levels rising since the WW II.<<<

    http://phys.org/news/2013-05-victorian-era-people-intelligent-modern-day-counterparts.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Facts So Romantic On Matter

      How We Could Find Alien Life Soon—and Why We Probably Won’t

      Posted By Lee Billings on May 15, 2013

      http://nautil.us/blog/how-we-could-find-alien-life-soonand-why-we-probably-wont


      >>>:Not Seeing Stars: Unlike most exoplanets we’ve seen, these four planets orbiting star HR 8799 have been directly spotted, rather than inferred from data about the star. Researchers accomplished this by blocking out the star’s extremely bright light, as seen in the middle of the image.<<<


      Nifty pic of planets and a star with its light blocked out.

      Delete
  28. Blasts Kill Dozens of Iraqis as Sectarian Tensions Boil
    By DURAID ADNAN
    Published: May 17, 2013


    BAGHDAD — At least 66 people were killed in bomb blasts in Iraq on Friday, officials said, making it one of the bloodiest days this year as the country struggles to contain spiraling sectarian violence.

    Victims of a bombing in Baquba, Iraq, the capital of Diyala Province, on Friday. Officials said 40 people were killed in two blasts.

    Two bombs exploded in Baquba, the capital of Diyala Province, a turbulent region whose population is a mix of Sunni and Shiite Muslims. One of the bombs exploded at the edge of a bridge near a Sunni mosque where worshipers had gathered for Friday Prayer. Within minutes, after a crowd of people ran to help the wounded, another bomb exploded in their midst. Officials said 40 people were killed and 46 were wounded in the two blasts.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Retrospective

    Petraeus: Occupation Could Last for Decades

    The good news, according to the United States’ main military man in Iraq, Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, is that American troops have succeeded in taking hold of two main insurgent hot spots, Ramadi and Baquba. The bad news: Petraeus is speculating that the situation in Iraq will get worse before it gets better—and that U.S. forces might need to stay there for many years.

    Posted on Jul 9, 2007

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Decades is what it would take to really change those countries, maybe more. Have to let the old group die off, work with the youth.

      Would that work?

      ?

      We don't have the patience.

      Delete
  31. Well, it was Friday, the day intelligent Iraqis stay home.

    >>near a Sunni mosque where worshipers had gathered for Friday Prayer<<

    How many times have we read something similar?

    >>Within minutes, after a crowd of people ran to help the wounded, another bomb exploded in their midst<<

    And this too. One would think sooner or later a connection would be made.

    ReplyDelete