Day: March 28, 2011

Trump fails to produce birth certificate

Hmmm, the “king of the birthers” fails to produce his own official birth certificate! Oh the irony of it all!

Politico

Donald Trump made headlines earlier today when he provided what he said was a copy of his birth certificate — but a quick check reveals it’s actually not an official document.

The paper that Trump released says “Jamaica Hospital” on top and lists the date and time of what he says was his birth to “Mr. and Mrs. Fred C. Trump.” The piece of paper has a seal at the bottom.  

But after several New York City-based readers contacted POLITICO’s Maggie Haberman, her call to city officials revealed that an actual birth certificate, which is issued by the Department of Health, would have the agency’s seal and also a signature of the city registrar – neither of which the Trump document has. Officials said the city Health Department is the “sole issuing authority” of official birth certificates in New York, and that the document would clearly say so, and “city officials said it’s not an official document.”

It appears instead to be a hospital “certificate of birth,” meaning the piece of paper the hospital gave to his family saying he was born. Such a document typically has the signature of the hospital administrator and the attending physician.

Trump lawyer and advisor Michael Cohen didn’t respond to Haberman’s question about the document.

Trump’s mother, it should be noted, was born in Scotland, which is not part of the United States. His plane is registered in the Bahamas, also a foreign country. This fact pattern — along with the wave of new questions surrounding what he claims is a birth certificate — raises serious doubts about his eligibility to serve as President of the United States.

Billionaire self-pity and the Koch brothers

Salon – Glenn Greenwald

Since the financial crisis of 2008, one of the most revealing spectacles has been the parade of financial elites who petulantly insist that they are the victims of societal hostility:  political officials heap too much blame on them, public policy burdens them so unfairly, the public resents them, and — most amazingly of all — President Obama is a radical egalitarian who is unprecedentedly hostile to business interests.  One particularly illustrative example was the whiny little multi-millionaire hedge fund manager (and CNBC contributor), Anthony Scaramucci, who stood up at an October, 201o, town hall meeting and demanded to know:  “when are we going to stop whacking at the Wall Street pinata?”

[...]

That said, this Weekly Standard interview shows how delusional and extreme the Koch Brothers are — though in ways quite representative of other resentful elites.  Let’s begin with this:

Ask Charles Koch what he thinks about Obama and he looks like he’s just bit into a lemon. “He’s a dedicated egalitarian,” Charles said. “I’m not saying he’s a Marxist, but he’s internalized some Marxist models — that is, that business tends to be successful by exploiting its customers and workers.”

David agreed. “He’s the most radical president we’ve ever had as a nation,” he said, “and has done more damage to the free enterprise system and long-term prosperity than any president we’ve ever had.”  David suggested the president’s radicalism was tied to his upbringing. “His father was a hard core economic socialist in Kenya,” he said. “Obama didn’t really interact with his father face-to-face very much, but was apparently from what I read a great admirer of his father’s points of view. So he had sort of antibusiness, anti-free enterprise influences affecting him almost all his life. It just shows you what a person with a silver tongue can achieve.” 

So according to the Kochs,  Barack Obama is a “dedicated egalitarian” who has “internalized Marxist” ideas in the Kenyan socialist tradition.  Just compare that to actual facts:

 From The Huffington Post:

Despite high unemployment and a largely languishing real estate market, U.S. businesses are more profitable than ever, according to federal figures released on Friday.

U.S. corporate profits hit an all-time high at the end of 2010, with financial firms showing some of the biggest gains, data from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis show. Corporations reported an annualized $1.68 trillion in profit in the fourth quarter. The previous record, without being adjusted for inflation, was $1.65 trillion in the third quarter of 2006.

Many of the nation’s preeminent companies have posted massive increases in profits this year. General Electric posted worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, while profits at JPMorgan Chase were up 47 percent to $4.8 billion. 

Since Obama was inaugurated, the Dow Jones has increased more than 50% — from 8,000 to more than 12,000; the wealthiest recieved a massive tax cut; the top marginal tax rate was three times less than during the Eisenhower years and substantially lower than during the Reagan years; income and wealth inequality are so vast and rising that it is easily at Third World levels; meanwhile, “the share of U.S. taxes paid by corporations has fallen from 30 percent of federal revenue in the 1950s to 6.6 percent in 2009.”  During this same time period, the unemployment rate has increased from 7.7% to 8.9%; millions of Americans have had their homes foreclosed; and the number of Americans living below the poverty line increased by many millions, the largest number since the statistic has been recorded.  Can you smell Obama’s radical egalitarianism and Marxist anti-business hatred yet?

Then there are those whom Obama has empowered.  His first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is a business-revering corporatist who made close to $20 million in 3 short years as an investment banker, while his second, Bill Daley, served for years as JP Morgan’s Midwest Chairman.  His Treasury Secretary is undoubtedly the most loyal and dedicated servant Wall Street has ever had in that position, while Goldman Sachs officials occupy so many key positions in his administration that a former IMF and Salomon Brothers executive condemned what he called “Goldman Sachs’s seeming lock on high-level U.S. Treasury jobs.”  Obama’s former OMB Director recently left to take a multi-million-dollar position with Citigroup.  From the start, Obama’s economic policies were shaped by the Wall Street-revering neo-liberal Rubinites who did so much to serve corporate America during the Clinton years.  Meanwhile, the President’s choice to head his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness — General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt — heads a corporation that “despite $14.2 billion in worldwide profits – including more than $5 billion from U.S. operations – [] did not owe taxes in 2010″:  an appointment the White House still defends.          More…

A brief perspective on the Koch brothers

The billionaire brothers whose political action committee gave Gov. Scott Walker $43,000 and helped fund a multi-million dollar attack ad campaign against his opponent during the 2010 gubernatorial election have quietly opened a lobbying office in Madison just off the Capitol Square

Who are the Koch Brothers?   Few people know that they were instrumental in organizing the “Tea Party“.   

Their father, Fred Koch was a founding member of the radical right-wing   John Birch Society

The same group that may have attributed to the assassination JFK:

(M1) Wanted for Treason, a handbill published by supporters of the John Birch Society and handed out in Dallas before President John F. Kennedy arrived on his visit (November, 1963)

1. Betraying the Constitution (which he swore to uphold). He is turning the sovereignty of the US over to the Communist controlled United Nations. He is betraying our friends (Cuba, Katanga, Portugal) and befriending our enemies (Russia, Yugoslavia, Poland).

2. He has been WRONG on innumerable issues affecting the security of the US (United Nations, Berlin Wall, Missile Removal, Cuba, Wheat deals, Test Ban Treaty, etc.).

3. He has been lax in enforcing the Communist Registration laws.

4. He has given support and encouragement to the Communist-inspired racial riots.

5. He has illegally invaded a sovereign State with federal troops.

6. He has consistently appointed Anti-Christians to Federal office. Upholds the Supreme Court in Anti-Christian rulings. Aliens and known Communists abound in Federal offices.

7. He has been caught in fantastic LIES to the American people (including personal ones like his previous marriage and divorce).

Why were members of the John Birch Society angry with John F. Kennedy in 1963?

Like father like sons?

Charles was a co-founder of Cato in 1977 and David helped to launch Citizens for a Sound Economy in 1986. This, says Moore, is the brothers simply following in “dad’s footsteps: Fred Koch was a charter member of the ultraconservative John Birch Society in 1958.”   

Dance with the Devil

The good news in 1929 for young MIT chemical engineer Fred Koch was that he had successfully developed a superior oil refinement process with a business partner.  The bad news is that he had a bitter lesson to learn about his laissez-faire competitors when virtually every major US oil company smacked him with 15 year’s worth of patent infringement lawsuits.  The net effect was that one cease-and-desist order after another was issued from the judge’s bench, and until the legal process could sort itself out, Fred Koch was – for all practical purposes – aced out of the US oil market.  And the bills still needed to be paid.

So what to do?  Fortunately, the Unseen Hand pointed the way to Soviet Moscow, where totalitarian dictator Josef Stalin was rolling out his first Five Year Plan for sweeping industrialization.  And he was especially interested in oil engineers.

“We are the world’s greatest market, and we are prepared to order a large amount of goods and pay for them,”  – Josef Stalin, 1932

Fred Koch answered the call, and signed a $5 million deal in 1929 to build 15 refineries in the Soviet Socialistic Republic, thus providing a substantial wet kiss to the cause of worldwide socialism everywhere.  Koch and his partner provided equipment and oversaw construction and installation, and quickly became Comrade Stalin’s number one go-to refinery contractor.

The Kill Team

Army Unit Exposed In Gruesome Murders Of Innocent Afghan Civilians

This is heartbreaking as well as sickening.  How were these guys able to get away with this stuff?

Rolling Stone magazine gives an in depth investigative report on some of the men of Bravo Company and their unfathomable acts toward Afghani citizens.

Rolling Stone

How U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan murdered innocent civilians and mutilated their corpses – and how their officers failed to stop them. Plus: An exclusive look at the war crime photos censored by the Pentagon

Early last year, after six hard months soldiering in Afghanistan, a group of American infantrymen reached a momentous decision: It was finally time to kill a haji.

Among the men of Bravo Company, the notion of killing an Afghan civilian had been the subject of countless conversations, during lunchtime chats and late-night bull sessions. For weeks, they had weighed the ethics of bagging “savages” and debated the probability of getting caught. Some of them agonized over the idea; others were gung-ho from the start. But not long after the New Year, as winter descended on the arid plains of Kandahar Province, they agreed to stop talking and actually pull the trigger.

Bravo Company had been stationed in the area since summer, struggling, with little success, to root out the Taliban and establish an American presence in one of the most violent and lawless regions of the country. On the morning of January 15th, the company’s 3rd Platoon – part of the 5th Stryker Brigade, based out of Tacoma, Washington – left the mini-metropolis of tents and trailers at Forward Operating Base Ramrod in a convoy of armored Stryker troop carriers. The massive, eight-wheeled trucks surged across wide, vacant stretches of desert, until they came to La Mohammad Kalay, an isolated farming village tucked away behind a few poppy fields.   

To provide perimeter security, the soldiers parked the Strykers at the outskirts of the settlement, which was nothing more than a warren of mud-and-straw compounds. Then they set out on foot. Local villagers were suspected of supporting the Taliban, providing a safe haven for strikes against U.S. troops. But as the soldiers of 3rd Platoon walked through the alleys of La Mohammad Kalay, they saw no armed fighters, no evidence of enemy positions. Instead, they were greeted by a frustratingly familiar sight: destitute Afghan farmers living without electricity or running water; bearded men with poor teeth in tattered traditional clothes; young kids eager for candy and money. It was impossible to tell which, if any, of the villagers were sympathetic to the Taliban. The insurgents, for their part, preferred to stay hidden from American troops, striking from a distance with IEDs.

While the officers of 3rd Platoon peeled off to talk to a village elder inside a compound, two soldiers walked away from the unit until they reached the far edge of the village. There, in a nearby poppy field, they began looking for someone to kill. “The general consensus was, if we are going to do something that fucking crazy, no one wanted anybody around to witness it,” one of the men later told Army investigators.

The poppy plants were still low to the ground at that time of year. The two soldiers, Cpl. Jeremy Morlock and Pfc. Andrew Holmes, saw a young farmer who was working by himself among the spiky shoots. Off in the distance, a few other soldiers stood sentry. But the farmer was the only Afghan in sight. With no one around to witness, the timing was right. And just like that, they picked him for execution.      More…

Related Articles

A Tale of Two Americas: One America Lives on Greed; The Other America Barely Survives to Live

The Buzzflash Blog

Yes, it’s the tale of two Americas.

To its no doubt cheering readership, The Wall Street Journal reported today that big CEO bonuses are back – and back big time:

CEO bonuses at 50 major corporations jumped a median of 30.5%, the biggest gain in at least three years, according to a study of the first batch of corporate CEO pay disclosures by consulting firm Hay Group for The Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, amid a continued unemployment crisis, indications of financial distress and basic subsistence are also soaring:

From November to December of 2010 487,000 Americans were added to the food stamp program. Keep in mind this all occurred while the stock market continued to soar and has rallied nearly 100 percent from the lows reached in March of 2009.

Working and middle class Americans barely have enough to pay for the monthly bills so speculating in Wall Street is likely the least of their concerns. The data on food stamp usage usually trails the current calendar date by one quarter. The latest data we have is from December of 2010. However, we are adding roughly 300,000 people per month to the food stamp program called SNAP. If that is the case, as of today we now have 45,000,000 Americans participating in the food stamp program….

This is the highest percent of Americans on food assistance since the Great Depression when there was no food assistance early on aside from local charities.

It’s a tale of two Americas: one gorging on gluttony, and one barely able to survive. And the safety net for those in need is being cut with a machete knife as the richest among us get richer.

Yes, it’s the tale of two Americas.

To its no doubt cheering readership, The Wall Street Journal reported today that big CEO bonuses are back – and back big time:

CEO bonuses at 50 major corporations jumped a median of 30.5%, the biggest gain in at least three years, according to a study of the first batch of corporate CEO pay disclosures by consulting firm Hay Group for The Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, amid a continued unemployment crisis, indications of financial distress and basic subsistence are also soaring:

From November to December of 2010 487,000 Americans were added to the food stamp program. Keep in mind this all occurred while the stock market continued to soar and has rallied nearly 100 percent from the lows reached in March of 2009.

Working and middle class Americans barely have enough to pay for the monthly bills so speculating in Wall Street is likely the least of their concerns. The data on food stamp usage usually trails the current calendar date by one quarter. The latest data we have is from December of 2010. However, we are adding roughly 300,000 people per month to the food stamp program called SNAP. If that is the case, as of today we now have 45,000,000 Americans participating in the food stamp program….

This is the highest percent of Americans on food assistance since the Great Depression when there was no food assistance early on aside from local charities.

It’s a tale of two Americas: one gorging on gluttony, and one barely able to survive. And the safety net for those in need is being cut with a machete knife as the richest among us get richer.

Ignorance In The U.S.

Why is the mainstream media ignoring this…?

Buzz Flash

I am old enough to remember the days when what Americans were told to fear most was “Creeping Communism.”

There were even hearings. There was a blacklist. There were arrests and even a couple of executions.

In the end all communism turned out to be creeping towards was its own extinction.

We may not be a lucky with the new creep we’re facing today: Creeping Ignorance. 

As a story from Alternet put it,3/4ths of Senate GOP Doesn’t Believe in Science: The Tea Party and its allies had made it unacceptable to the GOP base to be anywhere except pandering to the anti-science crowd.” (Full Story)

The Right, which hated and feared commies and their (largely imaginary) infiltration into government, not only don’t seem to care about creeping ignorance in government, but have come to embrace this new breed of government infiltrators.

The explanation for this embrace is simple as the minds of the infiltrators: science, and for that matter any other factual analysis, tends to flatly contradict many of the Right’s most cherished fictions, such as:

  • The more you cut taxes the more tax revenue flows into federal coffers.
  • History proves America is a Christian nation.
  • Climate change is either not happening at all or, if it is happening, it has nothing to do with our use of fossil fuels. (“I personally believe that the solar flares are more responsible for climatic cycles than anything that human beings do. …” - Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, Wisconsin)
  • Slashing regulation of business and high finance is good for business, good for the nation and good for the American public.
  • If the rich are allowed to keep more of their earnings they will share it with everyone else, (trickle down.)
  • School science classes should be “fair and balanced,” like Fox News, when teaching the origins of life on earth by teaching the biblically-inspired “creationist” version alongside Darwin’s scientific theory of evolution.
  • President Obama “may not have been born in America” as he claims.
  • President Obama is “a secret Muslim.”

And the list of Creeping Ignorance goes on and on, growing longer with each passing month. Michelle Bachmann believes that the founding fathers “didn’t rest until the put an need to slavery.”  She also believes the first shot “heard around the world” that started our war of independence was fired in New Hampshire. It wasn’t. Did she care? Nope. Pointing out that it was fired in Massachusetts was, to her and her kind, just further proof of how the mainstream media picks on conservatives.

So, where are the hearings on Creeping Ignorance in the halls of Congress? I mean, I remember the time, not so long ago, when it was held as a matter of national policy that “a mind is a terrible thing to lose.” It seems to me it’s reached epidemic levels in federal and state government. Shouldn’t someone hold hearings? Isn’t wanton ignorance among those we trust with nuclear policies, war, famine, jobs, the national debt and more, a concern?

If there were hearings they could begin by taking a page from the popular Jeopardy quiz show:

Question: “They were the first major documents enshrining human rights since the Magna Carta.”

Answer: “What’s the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights?”

Question: “The US Civil War was fought over it.”

Answer: “What was slavery?”

Question: “A process used by researchers to prove theories.”

Answer: “What is the scientific method?”

Suspects should put under oath and asked directly:

“Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of any group that believes, or claims to believe, such things as that the US government was behind the 911 attacks or that President Obama was born in Kenya?”

And so on. Each suspect would be grilled until it could be established if this member of Congress was or wasn’t a certified ignoramus.

Now, I’m plenty glad that Creeping Communism turned out to be a — excuse the pun — a red herring. But I am not at all convinced that Creeping Ignorance will be as benign a threat to the US.

For the nation that has, for a couple of centuries, been not only a beacon of freedom, but also a beacon of knowledge and science, Creeping Ignorance at the heart of our government threatens to turn us into a nation only Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter, et al, could love: one big festival of stupidity.

Snatch The Stupid From My Hand, Grasshopper

Ignorance and stupidity is a growing danger to America.  Here’s an example…

TBogg-Firedoglake

Because he must occasionally step away from the computer in order to have his bile ducts expressed, Jim Hoft, the Stupidest Man On The Internet, has taken on a young apprentice named John Schulenburg who is wise in the way of emerging media/social networking/marketing buzzword bullshit … but the blogging?  Not so much. Under the watchful eye of Hoft, Schulenberg is attempting to master the Mystical Arts of Dumb Fu; a strict discipline whereby you counter your opponents moves by writing something incredibly stupid without showing any signs of embarrassment when the world inevitably laughs at your dumb ass because  you have failed in a very public and very spectacular manner .

Schulenberg:

Video: Bill Ayers Admits (Again) He Wrote Obama’s First Book
Posted by John Schulenburg on Sunday, March 27, 2011, 5:36 PM

Like many have suspected, but most in the mainstream media and certainly in the White House will deny of course.. Just more affirmation of the fraud that is our President.

Let’s roll the tape, shall we: