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Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Medicare Precarious Evolution for Doctors

In "deficit reduction" commission TARGETING social security, EYEONCITRUS.COM, Medicare Precarious Evolution for Doctors on kp40 at 311529

Senate Delays SGR Repeal Vote Until Mid-April

English: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Ser...

English: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – Medicare & You 2010, official government handbook. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once again, the Medicare reimbursement crisis has turned into an exercise in brinkmanship that physicians would rather do without. However, they may yet escape a dreaded 21% Medicare pay cut next month.

Yesterday, in a rare display of bipartisanship, the House overwhelmingly approved a bill that repeals Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for physician pay and moves the program eventually from fee-for-service to pay-for-performance. That bill, which President Barack Obama said he is eager to sign, would avert a SGR-triggered pay cut of 21% for physicians that is set for Wednesday, April 1. It also would extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for 2 more years.

Earlier today, however, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the Senate will not vote on the SGR repeal bill until after it returns from an Easter-Passover break on Monday, April 13. McConnell said the Senate would make the legislation its first order of business.

“I think there’s every reason to believe it’s going to pass the Senate by a very large majority,” Reuters quoted McConnell as saying.

The decision to schedule a vote in April, which organized medicine had anticipated as a possibility, allows the 21% pay cut technically to take effect on April 1. It will apply to claims for all services rendered after March 31. However, physicians will not experience this big axe if the Senate approves the repeal bill and the president signs it by April 14. This new deadline arises from how the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) pays Medicare claims.

By law, CMS and its claims processing contractors cannot pay clean electronic claims any sooner than 14 calendar days after receipt (29 days for hard copy claims). Accordingly, the Senate has until April 14 to approve the SGR repeal bill before CMS begins applying the 21% rate reduction to claims for services rendered on April 1 and beyond. In a best-case scenario, the Senate beats its deadline and all those April claims get paid at the rates in effect before April 1. Under the bill, Medicare rates would be frozen at their current levels until July 1, when they would bump up 0.5% for the remainder of 2015, with annual 0.5% increases from 2016 through 2019.

McConnell said he is counting on this 14-day claims processing window to spare physicians the ill effects of the 21% cut, according to Reuters.

Moans of Frustration From Organized Medicine

Congress has postponed SGR-triggered pay cuts for physicians 17 times since 2003, usually at the last minute. McConnell’s decision to let the 21% cut kick in and then undo it retroactively in mid-April set off moans of frustration in organized medicine.

The American College of Physicians said it was “greatly disappointed.”

“By not passing the bill, the Senate failed to join the House in enacting legislation to achieve historic reforms in physician payment while making other needed healthcare improvements,” American College of Physicians President David Fleming, MD, said today in a news release.

Robert Wergin, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, told Medscape Medical News he was “disappointed, but not discouraged.”

“The House vote (392 to 37) showed strong support — stronger than we anticipated — for a bill that ensures healthcare access for the elderly, the disabled, and children,” said Dr Wergin. “It’s got the right mix for a bipartisan agreement [in the Senate].”

Democrats and Republicans alike in the Senate generally agree that Medicare’s SGR formula, designed to curb spending, should be replaced. However, some Senate Democrats would like to extend the life of the Children’s Health Insurance Program for 4 years, instead of 2, and to remove language in the bill that restricts the use of federal funds for abortions. In addition, in a recent opinion-editorial piece published in Politico, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) objected to how the legislation would increase the federal deficit by $141 billion, and other fiscally conservative Senate Republicans may rally around that position as well.

Republicans Acknowledge Responsibility for National Debt

In EOC EYEONCITRUS.COM, Republicans Acknowledge Responsibility for National Debt on kp22 at 311231

 

Republicans Acknowledge the National Debt

In an historic move, at their National Convention, the GOP acknowledges that is was and is the party that is responsible for the National Debt, referring to the years of the George Bush, Cheney Administration. Citing the fact  that Bush took office when there was no National Debt and there was a surplus of over 10 billion dollars in the government coffers. It took George Bush and Cheney under six years to turn that National Surplus into a multi-trillion dollar deficit!

Clint "make my day" Eastwood talking with the American Public

The GOP feels that just because it wants to restore the same policy of George Bush, the policy that set the wheels in motion, it is no reason not to vote for them. In fact, their guest speaker, “make my day”, Clint Eastwood, who candidly, expressed the American public view of the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, in a dialogue with an empty chair that represented President Obama and the American people. In that dialogue, when the President and the American people told Clint to tell the Republican candidate to “go frack himself”, Mr. Eastwood told the President and the American public, that that was a physical impossibility.

American Public and President Obama tells Clint to tell Mitt to “GO FRACK YOURSELF”

 

An Onioniated Presentation by EYEONCITRUS.COM

U.S. Military Spending Almost Equals Rest Of The World Combined

In Black Hearted Bastards, U.S. Military Spending Almost Equals Rest Of The World Combined on kp19 at 311103


posted by: Judy Molland 1 day ago

U.S. Military Spending Almost Equals Rest Of The World Combined
The United States spends almost as much on the military as every other country in the world combined, according to Nicholas D. Kristof, writing in the The New York Times. 

America Outspends Every Other Country Worldwide Combined

Here’s what Kristof reports:

• The United States spends nearly as much on military power as every other country in the world combined, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. It says that we spend more than six times as much as the country with the next highest budget, China.

• The United States maintains troops at more than 560 bases and other sites abroad, many of them a legacy of a world war that ended 65 years ago. Do we fear that if we pull our bases from Germany, Russia might invade?

• The intelligence community is so vast that more people have “top secret” clearance than live in Washington, D.C.

• The U.S. will spend more on the war in Afghanistan this year, adjusting for inflation, than we spent on the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War combined.

Is Military Spending Untouchable?

These are shocking statistics. And while all the talk in Congress is of budget cuts, and fear over a rising national debt, apparently no one wants to make any changes with the military.

As Kristof points out, the president’s party is irrelevant: President Obama actually asked for about six percent more for the military this year than the amount allocated at the height of the Bush administration.

Meanwhile, 42% Of American Kids Live In Low-Income Homes

All this in a country where, as Care2’s Ann Bibby wrote a few days ago, 42% of American children live in low-income homes, and a fifth of those children live in poverty. And what about unemployment numbers, and the plight of the homeless in this country, a number that keeps rising?

There’s another issue here too: having a strong military is important, but so is diplomacy. And as Kristof also points out, the U.S. military now has more people in its marching bands than the State Department has in its foreign service.

The Example Of Greg Mortenson

American troops in Afghanistan believe strongly in investing in schools, rather than in bombs. They can see the example of Greg Mortenson, who believes investing in girls’ education yields huge returns and has put his faith, and his life, into building schools for girls in Afghanistan.

As of 2010, Greg Mortenson had established or significantly supported 171 schools in rural and often volatile regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, which provide education to over 64,000 children, including 54,000 girls, where few education opportunities existed before.

The Need For Balance

Providing early childhood programs, boosting support for education, and developing our diplomatic tool bag, are just a few examples of how our tax money could be spent more effectively to protect United States citizens than by ploughing so much into military spending.

A strong and safe country needs more much than a powerful military presence.

Read more: politicsafghanistanpresident obamanicholas kristofunited states military spendinggreg mortenson

 

It’s official! You’re on your own

In It's official! You're on your own, Obama-Republican plan on kp53 at 311016

 

By Michael Collins


Sunrise by geriberryng

Some of us have known this for a long time.  Some of us just found out and some will find out very soon.  There are few, if any,  elected officials who really care about our interests unless we’re one of the few thousand ultra rich who control  Congress and the White House.

The Obama-Republican tax plan was just approved in the United States Senate.  It will become law soon.  What did we lose?

The Senate put the Social Security system at risk with a 33% cut to employee payroll taxes, from 6.2% to 4.2% of wages.  Social Security is doing well with a $2.5 trillion surplus.  But this major change begins the starvation of the system.  Those who voted in favor will turn around sometime soon and say that Social Security is faltering.  Of course, their cynical actions will be at fault. They’ll conveniently avoid mentioning that.


The Obama-Republican plan keeps the tax rate on investment income (capital gains) well below the rates for income taxes and below the capital gains  rates in 2000.  Wall Street ruins the economy with their shady deals then gets more tax breaks on their shady stock deals.

The wealthiest citizens get an extension of the “temporary” Bush era tax cuts.

Employment levels by Michael Collins

We’re told that these huge tax cuts are worth it because they’ll get the economy going again by producing jobs.  We had nearly 10 years of the Bush tax cuts and guess how many new jobs have been added to the economy?  None, when you factor in population growth.

These tax cuts will cause $900 billion in lost revenues.  Supporters of these tax breaks will talk your ear off about balanced budgets.  Apparently, they see no connection between giving away $900 billion and increasing the budget deficit.

This legislation has nothing to do with new jobs or a balanced budget.  It’s all about enhancing income of those at the very top.

Heroes

Senator Bernie Sanders said he’d stop the madness.  Last Friday he stood up and spoke for hours outlining the glaring problems with the Obama-Republican program.  People thought it was a filibuster.  It wasn’t.  There was no legislation to filibuster on Friday.   Yesterday, when it really counted, Senator Sanders sat on his hands as the one sided brawl between The Money Party and the people took place on the Senate floor.  There was no filibuster.  Mighty Bernie had struck out.

But Sen. Sanders performed a valuable public service for those in charge.  He provided the appearance that there might be at least one principled Senator left who was ready to hold the line.

We need our “heroes.”  Without them, we might realize that we’re entirely on our own in the fight against the wholesale theft of the peoples’ hard work and wealth.

Before Sen. Sanders, there were the liberal Democrats in the House of Representatives.  They promised to vote against the president’s health care reform bill if it didn’t have a viable public option.  Guess what?   They sat on their hands just like Senator Sanders as health care reform became a health insurance industry bailout.

Before Sanders there was presidential candidate Obama.  He was the breath of fresh air, the sincere man for the people with the brains to pull off real “change.”  But we had to have “hope” and before that, we had to believe him.

These public figures and many more promised to correct the chaos and depravity of the Bush era.   It’s all a scam.  A new war, more bailouts for Wall Street, the continued assault on the Constitution, and lower taxes for the super rich are what we got.

One Winner Only

The appearance of a political opposition is the essential window dressing required to fool people into thinking that there’s actually more than one side that will be heard on any public issue.  There isn’t.  The ultimate winners are the great accumulations of wealth represented by that bipartisan coalition that has no permanent friends or enemies, just permanent interests – The Money Party.

Nation’s Income Gains to Top 1% by
Rebel Capitalist


The Money Party is on a roll.  From 2002 through 2007, 70% of the nation’s income growth has gone to just 1% of the population.  That 1% wants an end to Social Security, even more tax cuts, and capital gains tax rates well below the income taxes the rest of us pay.

There is no time to feel disappointed, upset, or betrayed by the big con game masquerading as democracy.  There is no reason to expect that any political leader will be honest.  For those we allow to lead, the only incentive for honesty is a fear by politicians that they’ll be tossed out of office and prosecuted for fraud if they fail to do their jobs.

The United States is still a great country because the vast majority of people are hard working, honest, and willing to live peacefully with their neighbors and, when given a chance, with the rest of the world.  The enemies of greatness and progress are the politicians and their patrons who insist on having their way on every issue, who take every thing that isn’t nailed down; and, who create fake dramas and diversions to further the distortions and censorship of the corporate media .  They will not go quietly into the night. They will employ every trick available to retain power.

An effective movement for real change should express the positive values of the vast majority.  Of fundamental importance, it requires citizens who trust elected and appointed official only while those officials prove their fidelity to the peoples’ interests and the laws of the land.  If you want heroes to do the  job, just remember all the false heroes we’ve endured.

If we’re willing to reach the end our life justified by the fight rather than the victory, informed by principals rather than personalities, we acquire an enduring wealth beyond the reach of those in charge.

END


Author’s Website: http://www.themoneyparty.org/main/

Author’s Bio: Michael Collins is a writer in the DC area who researches and comments on the corruptions of the new millennium. His articles focus on the financial manipulations of The Money Party, the abuse of power by government, and features on elections and election fraud. His articles can be found athere. His website is called The Money Party.

No new NAFTA-Letter

In EYEONCITRUS.COM, NAFTA on kp56 at 311007

Dear Editor,

Under the cover of night on Friday, President Obama announced a new NAFTA-style “free trade” deal with Korea — but it’s not all that new. It’s got all the same provisions in it that he vigorously opposed on the campaign trail when George W. Bush originally negotiated the deal. 1

With 15.1 million people currently unemployed in the United States, it is insane to extend the same NAFTAprivileges to Korea that have already ransacked America’s manufacturing sector and decimated our labor force.

President Obama is going to send this NAFTA-style Korea Free Trade deal to Congress very soon. We need to put a stop to this new NAFTA immediately, so Congress needs to hear from you now.

Sign our petition to Congress: “No New NAFTA! Don’t support another job-killing, NAFTA-style ‘free trade’ agreement with Korea.” Click here to add your name.

 

http://NoNewNAFTA.com

 

President Obama says he’s doing this to create jobs.2 As Paul Krugman points out today, it won’t. 3 But killing jobs is just the beginning of what’s wrong with the NAFTA-style Korea Free Trade deal.

Like its job-killing cousins NAFTA and CAFTA, this Korean trade deal would:

  • Allow foreign corporations to operate inside the United States under privileged international trade agreements, rather than having to obey our laws that apply to our businesses. 4
  • Prohibit us from limiting the size of banks, making us give up the right to decide what “too big to fail” is on our own shores
  • Ban the government’s ability to adopt “buy American” policies
  • Prohibit us from banning risky financial goods and services (like derivatives trading), otherwise US taxpayers will have to pay compensation to international companies for the profits they won’t be able to reap from engaging in such transactions
  • Force the United States to submit to the judgment of foreign tribunals
  • Elevate foreign corporations to equal status with the sovereign United States, empowering foreign companies with new rights to sue the U.S. government before the UN and World Bank tribunals, skirting US courts.

Think that can’t happen? To date, US taxpayers have paid out over $400 million in compensation to foreign corporations from such cases under NAFTA. And we spent million in legal costs even on cases we won, with billions more outstanding in unsettled cases. 5

This is a giveaway of American jobs and American sovereignty to foreign corporations. We need Congress to stop the Korea “free trade” deal in its tracks.

No New NAFTA: sign our petition to Congress to stop the NAFTA-style Korea Free Trade deal. Click here to sign:

 

http://NoNewNAFTA.com

 

Make no mistake – the Korea Free Trade deal is as dangerous to America as NAFTA, CAFTA, and the rest of the “free trade” deals. Thanks so much for standing up to this new NAFTA.

– Jane Hamsher

Firedoglake.com

8 Lies Republicans Want Us To Believe

In 8 Lies Republicans Want Us To Believe, Bush's last budget had a $1.416 trillion deficit. Obama's first budgetreduced that to $1.29 trillion. on kp28 at 311029


During this election campaign the American public has been inundated with lies from the Republican Party.   Some of these lies have been told and repeated for so long that they have assumed the proportions of myth, and are accepted by a great many Americans.   But they are still just Republican lies.

I have been trying to attack these lies one and a times, and have written several posts about them.   But Dave Johnson over at Campaign for America’s Futurehas combined them into one very good post.   He cuts through all the BS and exposes these mythic lies, and then tells the truth about them.   Here are those 8 lies:

1) President Obama tripled the deficit.
Reality: Bush’s last budget had a $1.416 trillion deficit. Obama’s first budgetreduced that to $1.29 trillion.
2) President Obama raised taxes, which hurt the economy.
Reality: Obama cut taxes. 40% of the “stimulus” was wasted on tax cuts which only create debt, which is why it was so much less effective than it could have been.
3) President Obama bailed out the banks.
Reality: While many people conflate the “stimulus” with the bank bailouts, the bank bailouts were requested by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson. (Paulson also wanted the bailouts to be “non-reviewable by any court or any agency.”) The bailouts passed and began before the 2008 election of President Obama.
4) The stimulus didn’t work.
Reality: The stimulus worked, but was not enough. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs.
5) Businesses will hire if they get tax cuts.
Reality: A business hires the right number of employees to meet demand. Having extra cash does not cause a business to hire, but a business that has a demand for what it does will find the money to hire. Businesses want customers, not tax cuts.
6) Health care reform costs $1 trillion.
Reality: The health care reform reduces government deficits by $138 billion.
7) Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, is “going broke,” people live longer, fewer workers per retiree, etc.
Reality: Social Security has run a surplus since it began, has a trust fund in the trillions, is completely sound for at least 25 more years and cannot legally borrow so cannot contribute to the deficit (compare that to the military budget!) Life expectancy is only longer because fewer babies die; people who reach 65 live about the same number of years as they used to.
8) Government spending takes money out of the economy.
Reality: Government is We, the People and the money it spends is on We, the People. Many people do not know that it is government that builds the roads, airports, ports, courts, schools and other things that are the soil in which business thrives. Many people think that all government spending is on “welfare” and “foreign aid” when that is only a small part of the government’s budget.

 

EDITORIAL

In baiting, EYEONCITRUS.COM, FOX NEWS on kp59 at 311008
FOX news trucks cropped

Image via Wikipedia

Dear friends,

Many of us already know that Fox News is biased — but it’s actually much worse than that. For years they have used lies, distortions, and race-baiting to divide this country. Recently, it’s gotten downright dangerous. Earlier this summer, a heavily armed man got into a gun fight with police after he was pulled over on his way to kill people at the Tides Foundation[1] — an obscure non-profit that Glenn Beck regularly demonizes on his Fox News TV show.[2]

Fox News is bad news for America — and it spreads, and is legitimized, partly through TVs in public places.

That’s why I’ve joined the TurnOffFox campaign — the first part of a larger campaign to diminish the influence of Fox. It’s about educating people about Fox and getting it turned off in stores, restaurants, and other public places.

Will you join me? It takes just a moment to declare your own household “Fox free”, and at the same time appeal to public establishments in your community to stop playing Fox. And you’ll get a FREE Turn Off Fox sticker when you do. Click here:

http://turnofffox.org/landing/?id=1918-1395849

No other news organization that’s considered legitimate consistently wages smear campaigns based on lies and race-baiting. But for years Fox News has done exactly that, and the pattern has only gotten worse since Barack Obama entered national politics.

Here are just a few examples:

A Senseless War Begins Its 10th Year …an address to the nation from President Barack Obama (as reported by Michael Moore)

In 10 year war, Afghanistan, EYEONCITRUS.COM on kp44 at 311008

A Senseless War Begins Its 10th Year …an address to the nation from President Barack Obama (as reported by Michael Moore)

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

My Fellow Americans:

Nine years ago today we invaded the nation of Afghanistan. I’d just turned 40. I had a Discman and an Oldsmobile and had gotten really into LiveJournal. That was a long time ago. It was so long ago, does anybody remember why we’re even there? I think everyone wanted to capture Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. But he got away sometime in the first month or so. He left. We stayed. Looking back now, that makes no sense.

Needing to find a new reason for the mission, we decided to overthrow the religious extremists who were running Afghanistan. Which we did. Sorta. Unlike Osama, they never left. Why not? Well, they were Afghans, it was their country. And, strangely enough, a lot of other Afghans supported them. To this day, the Taliban only have 25,000 armed fighters. Do you really think an army that tiny could control and suppress a nation of 28 million against their will? What’s wrong with this picture? WTF is really going on here?

The truth is, I can’t get an answer. My generals can’t quite tell me what our mission is. If we went in there to rout out al-Qaeda, well, they’re gone too. The CIA tells me there are 50 to 100 al-Qaeda in Afganistan!

My generals have also admitted the following to me:

1. There is no way we can defeat the Taliban. They enjoy too much popular support in the rural areas, the majority of the country.

2. Even though we’ve been there nine years, the truth is the Taliban, not us, not the Afghan government, control the country. After nine years, we’ve only completely run the Taliban out of 3% of Afghanistan.

3%!! (Just for reference, it took us only ELEVEN MONTHS after D-Day to entirely defeat the Nazis across all of Europe.)

3. Our troops and their commanders are still trying to learn the language, the culture, the customs of Afghanistan. The fact is, our troops are simply not trusted by the average people (especially after they’ve killed numerous civilians, either through recklessness or for sport).

4. The Afghan government we installed is corrupt beyond belief. The public does not trust them. President Karzai is on anti-depressants and our advisors tell us he is erratic and loopy on many days. His brother has a friendly relationship with the Taliban and is believed to be a major poppy (heroin) dealer. Heroin poppies are the #1 contributor to the Afghan economy.

The war in Afghanistan is a mess. The insurgency grows — and why wouldn’t it: foreign troops have invaded and occupied their country! The people responsible for 9/11 are no longer there. So why are we? Why are we offering up the lives of our sons and daughters every single day — for no reason anyone can define.

In fact, the only reason I can see is that this war is putting billions of profits into the pockets of defense contractors. Is that a reason to stay, so Halliburton can post a larger profit this quarter?

It is time for me to bring our troops home — right now. Not one more American needs to die. Their deaths do not make us safer and they do not bring democracy to Afghanistan.

It is not our mission to defeat the Taliban. That is the job of the Afghan people — if that is what they choose to do. There are many groups and leaders of countries in this world who are despicable. We are not going to invade 30 countries and remove their regimes. That is not our job.

I am not going to stay in Afghanistan just because we’re already there and we haven’t “won” yet. There is nothing to win. No one from Genghis Khan to Leonid Brezhnev has been able to win there. So the troops are coming home.

I refuse to participate in scaring the American people with a phony “War on Terror.” Are there terrorists? Yes. Will they strike again? Sadly, yes. But these terrorist acts are few and far between and should not dictate how we live our daily lives or make us ignore our constitutional rights. They should never distract us from what our real priorities are in making our country safe and secure: Everyone with a good job, families able to own a home and send their kids to college, universal health care that’s coordinated by your elected representative government — not by greedy, profit-hungry insurance companies. THAT would be true homeland security.

And what about Osama bin Laden? Nine years and we can’t find a 6’5″ Arab man who apparently is on dialysis? Even after offering $25 million to anyone who will tell us where he is? You don’t think someone would have taken us up on that by now?

Here’s what I know: Osama bin Laden is a multi-millionaire — and if there’s one thing I’ve learned about the rich is that they don’t live in caves for 9 years. Bin Laden is either dead or hiding out in a place where his money protects him. Or maybe he just went home.

Just like we should do. Now. My condolences to the families of all who died in this war. Most of them signed up after 9/11 and wanted to do their duty because we were attacked. But we were not attacked by a country. We were attacked by a few religious extremists. And you don’t defeat a few thugs by shipping halfway around the world thousands of armored vehicles and hundreds of thousands of soldiers. That is just sheer idiocy.

And it ends tonight.

God be with you.

I’m not a Muslim.

(End of speech, as transcribed by Michael Moore)

Bob Woodward OBAMA’S WAR

In Bob Woodward Obama's War, citrus county news, crystal river, EYEONCITRUS.COM, facade of the United States of America, floral city, homosassa, inverness, pawns of military-industrial complex,dupes, politics, power, Secret Government on kp37 at 311005

Mr. Woodward has a distinguished career of peeling back the facade of America and revealing the dirty underwear beneath, Obama’s War, was released on Sept 25, 2010. (I am currently seeking a copy of this book, and may have an audio version available to you soon.) The few reviews that I have read reveal the disintegration of the infrastructure of our government. This destruction of our Constitution has left us with the malaise that is our government today. This has happened over time and in a lot of instances, has been subtle, and in others, not so, IE. 911. Whatever form taken the end result is a imperialist, fascist government with an inner circle controlling most of what is on the national agenda today. As can be seen through a cursory reading of the reviews, it is apparent that the power in the United States today, is not with the President, nor is it with the Congress, these two branches of government have been reduced to a custodial role of maintaining the facade of what once was the Unites States of America. The real power lies with the Military-Industrial Complex whose manipulating arm, the C.I.A. set the events in motion which will best facilitate the wishes of Corporate America. The histories of these events are public record, Viet Nam, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Click here for details.

The C.I.A. has stated there are approximately 100 al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and the United State has sent 100,000 troops to rid Afghanistan of these terrorists! Oh, by the way, that’s not a misprint, one hundred is the number and the reason we are spending billions a day and losing our sons and daughters, it’s for 100 terrorists. Does this seem confusing to you?

OW’s theme? Afghanistan: should we stay — and for how long; or should we go — and how fast?

Woodward books states General David Petraeus saying that Team Obama was “fucking with the wrong guy” when he felt he had been done dirt. Oh, yes, this came after a glass of wine. Makes you wonder what the general really thinks.

In stark terms, this is a story about President Barack Obama (the commander in chief) at loggerheads with his uniform service chiefs (the alleged hired help). Obama’s chief adversaries: Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Petraeus, the onetime Iraq commander now running the show in Afghanistan.

The military brass, according to OW, are a gang of insubordinate subordinates (Surprise! Surprise!), failing to give Obama the exit plan he repeatedly requested. (Maybe the prez wasn’t polite enough? Did he say, “Please”?)

There is no mistake that the military wanted an open-ended engagement in Afghanistan and the White House didn’t – and still doesn’t.

Some highlights: retired Marine General James Jones, the president’s national security advisor, calls Obama’s political team the “campaign set,” the “mafia,” the “politburo,” and — my favorite — the “water bugs” . . . Before naming Hillary Clinton secretary of state, political aide David Axelrod asked Obama was he sure he could trust her . . . “I’m not doing ten years,” Obama told Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Clinton . . . “I’m not doing nation building,” Obama also said in OW. “And I’m not spending a trillion dollars.” (Then why did he give the impression during the presidential campaign that Afghanistan was a “good” war – as opposed to the “bad” war in Iraq?) . . . Two days after Obama was elected, one of the nation’s top spies told the president that the US had developed the capability to react to developments on the ground with greater speed than was widely realized, “They talk, we listen. They move, we observe. Given the opportunity, we react operationally.” . . . US intelligence says Afghan President Hamid Karzai is a diagnosed manic-depressive. (Is it better to have an “ally” on meds as opposed to drugs? I wonder.) . . . The CIA has a secret 3000-member-strong army in Pakistan (I knew about the secret army, but not its exact troop strength.)

The republican machinery had broken down under the weight of imperialism, the central government had become powerless, the provinces had been transformed into independent principalities under the absolute control of their governors, and the army had replaced the constitution as the means of accomplishing political goals. With a weak central government, political corruption had spiraled out of control, and the status quo had been maintained by a corrupt aristocracy, which saw no need to change a system which had made its members rich. Click here for more history of the Roman Republic

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