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Friday, November 11, 2011

Random Stats on Active Duty Personnel


TOTAL ACTIVE DUTY TROOPS WORLDWIDE - 1,434,312

AFGHANISTAN - 111,700

IRAQ- 91,700

AFLOAT WORLDWIDE - 101,656

ASHORE - 1,332,656

TOTAL ARMY - 571,108
TOTAL AIR FORCE - 333,729
TOTAL NAVY - 328,648
TOTAL MARINES - 200,827

EUROPE
Germany - 54,198
Italy - 10,771
United Kingdom - 9,346

EAST ASIA/PACIFIC
Japan - 40,178
Philippines - 182
Korea (no statistics)
Afloat - 12,858

NORTH AFRICA/NEAR EAST
Bahrain - 1,894
Afloat - 5,065

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
Djibouti - 334

WESTERN HEMISPHERE
Cuba (Guantanamo) - 881
Honduras - 358

UNITED STATES AND TERRITORIES - 1,226,638 (incl. 83,316 afloat)

WOMEN SERVING - 207,308  
Generals - 1
Lt. Generals - 5
Vice Admiral - 1
Major Generals - 19
Rear Admirals - 9          

http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/MILITARY/rg1109f.pdf

Thursday, November 10, 2011

If It Falls Like a Patty and Smells Like a Patty...

"I believe the government is to blame for the recession
 and I'd like your vote"

Propaganda is bullshit someone wants you to believe in order to advance their agenda. The point of propaganda is to obfuscate the truth. If people believe the truth, then the snakes hawking the propaganda don’t stand a chance so propaganda is always hopefully something that people prefer to believe over the truth.

When it comes to propaganda about the Great Recession of ’08 no one does it better than the good old Grand Old Party. The “Party of the Establishment” would not be doing its job if they let greedy tycoons take the blame for turning our economy into a cesspool  so they have been doing what comes natural to them; they blame the people with less money.

It is not even worth the effort of embedding this video so I will just place the link here of deadbeat dad/Tea Party conservative Joe Walsh (R) Illinois meeting with constituents and tirading over the fact (propaganda) that the recession was caused by the government which FORCED banks to make loans to people who could not afford them.

I term Walsh’s bullshit as propaganda because it is just cover for the well-heeled people that were actually responsible for the subprime mess that was the root of the economic collapse. Walsh himself may not even be able to lay out the complete Republican line if asked, but I can and here it is. The Republican strategy is to scapegoat the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) for causing the recession. The point of the CRA which was passed in 1977 was to encourage inner city banks to make loans in inner city areas where they take deposits. Foreclosures, on the other hand are a crisis of the suburbs and not the inner city. Furthermore, the CRA had no authority to FORCE banks to do anything.

Much of this information can be retrieved here by the CRA. It may be biased, but it is the most concise layout of information on the topic I have seen. I have yet to hear of a single banker claiming on the record to have been FORCED into making bad loans. The House of Representatives with its Republican majority has not held a single hearing on how banks were FORCED to make shitty loans to people who were not worthy. I am inviting them to do so right now, but it’s not going to happen. Whatever crappy loans that were made were not at the will of the CRA, or the government, but at the will of the banks themselves. If I am wrong, please correct me with actual facts. Anyone.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Not Takin' Debate

"Bullshit! Get your bullshit! Hot steamy smelly bullshit!"

Less than 24 hours after an Election Day whose results hinted at an out of touch Republican party, the 2012 GOP hopefuls took the stage in Michigan to stay a course that continues to alienate them from the rest of America. Ten minutes of the debate was all I needed to see before I rubbed my hands together with glee and turned it off. Those ten minutes were filled with the types of misconception and attempts at mischaracterization that will help Republicans lose in a year from now.

Focusing on economic issues, the troupe maligned the Occupy Wall Street action as “anti-capitalist.” They tried, within the time allotted to praise the market against all the anti-market forces out there as many times as they could. The Gingrinch went so far as to say Occupy should be grateful because if it wasn’t for corporations, they wouldn’t have a park to protest in. Profound.

Where Gingy, and the rest miss the point is that the Occupy movement is not an attempt to bring down the free exchange of goods and services for money. It is a protest against the fraud and abuse committed by financial companies that crippled the economy. They did it with impunity and with bonuses while average people lost their retirements. The crash happened because of a standard that allows the most powerful to get away with far more than what the average American can. That dynamic is partly responsible for an ever-increasing disparity in income that is retarding the expansion and financial power of the middle class. That is what is happening and that is what most Americans are mad about.

Instead of acknowledging the occurrence of fraud and abuse, Team Dubya trumpeted the need  to let business do what business wants. According to them, that’s what makes us all successful. As far as the recession, well that was caused when the government forced banks to make loans to irresponsible borrowers as they tell it. The recession was the government’s fault. End of story. The reason why our growth is sluggish is because Obama invented uncertainty. Before Obama, there was no such thing as uncertainty and all businesses did was plan on making money. Now, because of this new thing we call uncertainty that has never been a part of every business cycle, businesses are paralyzed, powerless, and afraid to do anything.

By hauling the water they have on their backs, these Republicans are essentially cheering the actual fraud and abuse that tanked the economy.  They also took as many shots as they could at the idea of regulation. So when a firm wants to reduce any uncertainty on their part in their transactions by selling crap to their clients and then betting against that crap, that should be okay according to our GOP hopefuls.  

There was a period where the American public was far more accepting of Republican distortion and general BS. They ate up the idea that Republicans were stronger on national security. They ate up the idea that the deficit was not important when Republicans ran it up. They ate up the idea that the deficit was the most important thing ever when Democrats ran it up. They ate up the idea that what was good for big business was good for everyone else. It got to the point where Republicans began thinking they could get away with whatever political arguments they wanted, no matter how ridiculous (abortions are 90% of what Planned Parenthood does, death panels, voter fraud committed by voters is rampant). Perhaps their arguments had to evolve into such inanity before people began to wake up.

Here’s a question they should have asked in the debate tonight: “What happens to a bunch of peddlers in a marketplace when everyone stops buying their shit?”

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Daley News

This post is about White House personnel, but I will try to make it as funny as possible.


In October 2010, White House Chief of Staff/Junkyard Dog Rahm Emanuel split to run for mayor of Chicago. Emanuel probably made more enemies on the left for calling liberal activists fucking retarded to their faces in a White House meeting. Emanuel's departure was concurrent with the 2010 election season when Republicans were expected to and did make gains in Congress. Obama's choice to replace Emanuel was staffer Pete Rouse who was quite capable and well-known in Congress, but Rouse reportedly turned the job down after agreeing to serve as interim Chief of Staff while a replacement could be found. Then Obama did something weird. He hired this guy. 


William Daley was the brother of the man Rahm Emanuel left to replace. Sounds like backwoods sex, though Daley was not a previous Obamanista in spite of his Chicago pedigree. One reason cited for choosing Daley was that Obama wanted to patch things up with the business community. Never mind the fact that his economic team was made up of a good number of pro-bidnis people. Let's not forget Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner who was practically CitiBank's man in Washington. When Obama told Geithner to restructure CitiBank, the discussion might have gone something like this:
"Restructure CitiBank."
"We puncture sins of plank?"
"Restructure CitiBank!"
"Green luster is a crank?"
"Restructure CitiBank!"
"Read Oscar's Swiss franc?"
"Forget it."
"Whatever you say boss."


Point being, Obama didn't need any more business insiders. What he needed was someone who fitted the job description who could be a competent congressional liaison. That is not to say that Daley could not grow into the job, but it was not his specialty and going into a "shellacking" at the polls was not the time to shift course to an unknown quantity. Presidents in jeopardy are often told that new blood is good to shake things up. Could be, but maybe not ANY old new blood.


Daley can't be blamed for everything bad that has happened, but his legions of nonfans go as high as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who has described Daley as ham-fisted. It took a year after the 2010 elections for the White House to talk about jobs. And Obama is still on the outs with the business community (though he has raised more Wall Street money in this election cycle than all the Republican presidential candidates combined, shhhhhhh). This could all be related to why it was just announced that "some" of Daley's duties would be relinquished back to Pete Rouse. Hallelujah.  The White House is spinning it as an efficiency move on the part of Daley. Yeah right. In other words, Daley agreed that things would work more efficiently if he was no longer doing them. 


Daley had originally planned to stay through the rest of this term and he probably will do so. Only now he'll be spending more time on Facebook, or LinkedIn, or some secret social network for the ultra-exclusive like OnePercentertainment. Exactly what Pete Rouse can do at this point is probably limited with a Tea Bag beholden House and stalemated Senate. Bringing back a little team spirit and coordination to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue would be a welcome change. 



Saturday, November 5, 2011

Political Roundup for Early November 2011

German Chancellor Angela Merkel enduring awkward PDA
from her second consecutive U.S. president.
One Year to Go until the next presidential election and people who resent the Obama presidency are convinced that he will lose. They cite his poll numbers believing that approval ratings in the 40s is the kiss of death a year before the election. I've told several of them that they are stuck in a snapshot. They are prognosticating under the assumption that everything will be frozen for the next year - that basically, there will be no campaign. Of course what they want is to forego the entire part of the election where each side stacks up their arguments against the other because that's what Obama is good at. They also make the mistake in thinking that the people who are simply "disappointed" with Obama hate Obama just as much as they do. Misery loves company. So Americans are disappointed. There's a shocker. The Squishy Center, those politically independent vacillators who are now disappointed with the president are game for flitting back into his column once the race starts. The disappointment quotient in politics is never a fixed factor. Obama lives to appeal to the Center and he does it well. He knows how and when to turn it on. Finally, Approval ratings in the 40s (49% in a recent poll) does not reflect a mandate for removal. 49% in the midst of a crap economy should scare any Republican that is not delusional. 


"Mitt Romney's Core" is the attack buzzword/phrase the Obama people are looking to put on the lips of as many voters as possible. The idea is that Mitt Romney, being a fast-talking opportunist whose mind changes more than a runway model has no core. It should not take much for "Mitt Romney's Core" to catch on seeing how Romney's biggest obstacle is that people see him as "inauthentic" which would make a poor buzzword as it has too many syllables.


Sarah Palin's Silence of late has been a breath of fresh air. Has the unofficial darling of the unofficial Tea Party realized her capacity? For someone who clawed on to what relevance she could as long as she could, she may be using what clout she has left for a 2 a.m. slot on Tuesday morning at the Republican Convention. She doesn't seem to have the gas left to be the kingmaker she aspired to be at one point. While tea sympathy seems to be spread among a few Republican candidates who are actually in the race, Herman Cain seems to have seduced the lion's share of the Koch-suckers. He is clearly luckier in politics than he is in love. In the unlikely event Cain gets the Republican nomination, he definitely won't need Sarah Palin. She doesn't have anything he lacks. If Cain does not get the nomination, it raises a series of questions. First, will Cain have the know-how to deal and deliver his base of support to the eventual nominee. Second, how will Cain's sexual harassing ways effect his standing. Third, who is Sarah Palin again?

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