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Old 2013-05-10, 16:38   Link #1021
Xellos-_^
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
. Hopefully we all know better now.
have you heard the chicken-hawks calling for US action in Syria?
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Old 2013-05-10, 16:41   Link #1022
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They aren't the only ones calling for US action in Syria. Israel and Turkey are as well.
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Old 2013-05-10, 16:57   Link #1023
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Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
have you heard the chicken-hawks calling for US action in Syria?
It's a bit different now, though. With Afghanistan and Iraq there was a clear idea that we were going to go in and give the people a democracy. Nation-building was a clear goal. Compare that with Libya, where we provided military assistance to the uprising against a dictator but didn't stick around to craft a government for the people. We were arguably "freeing people who want to be free," and then allowed them to choose their own destiny.

I haven't heard of anyone desiring to treat Syria differently from Libya. The only reason why Syria is such a big issue now is because the terrorist groups began aiding the "oppressed people" side before we did. There's suffering, there are innocents being killed, and we have people who are rising up against a dictator, but nobody in our government wants to be seen as working alongside terror groups that are calling for our destruction.
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Old 2013-05-10, 20:23   Link #1024
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And so...



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The Republican inquisition over the attacks against Americans in Benghazi has never really gone away, but it appears as though in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing and the House Oversight Committee's Benghazi hearings this week there are renewed psycho-histrionics over Benghazi.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-ce...b_3246847.html

Case in point, Republicans really do not have clean hands with parading around Benghazi. There's a crap ton more similar incidents before.
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Old 2013-05-10, 22:15   Link #1025
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Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
And so...





http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-ce...b_3246847.html

Case in point, Republicans really do not have clean hands with parading around Benghazi. There's a crap ton more similar incidents before.
That's the problem (and one not addressed by the flag wavers and flash bomb apologists). The same kind of incidents are timelined back ten years (security insufficient at a given point in time, bad guys capitalize on it, boom) --- but not a bleeping word of outrage or even "eh?" was uttered by these same pathetic clowns.

So Issa and the other idiots just look like either morons or hypocrites - actually both at the same time because they can't even do this sort of undermining competently.
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Old 2013-05-10, 22:30   Link #1026
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
That's the problem (and one not addressed by the flag wavers and flash bomb apologists). The same kind of incidents are timelined back ten years (security insufficient at a given point in time, bad guys capitalize on it, boom) --- but not a bleeping word of outrage or even "eh?" was uttered by these same pathetic clowns.

So Issa and the other idiots just look like either morons or hypocrites - actually both at the same time because they can't even do this sort of undermining competently.
Republicans rewriting history. Nothing new on that front.
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Old 2013-05-10, 23:20   Link #1027
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
That's the problem (and one not addressed by the flag wavers and flash bomb apologists). The same kind of incidents are timelined back ten years (security insufficient at a given point in time, bad guys capitalize on it, boom) --- but not a bleeping word of outrage or even "eh?" was uttered by these same pathetic clowns.
There wasn't even much outrage, when that stuff was "Breaking News". If anything, most of it went under the radar -- primarily because of the Iraq War.
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Old 2013-05-11, 01:24   Link #1028
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I don't know about this. It's certainly possible that someone in the government was thinking along the lines that you've mentioned, but I have a hard time believing that it represented the administration's efforts because it seems pretty out of touch with reality.

Case in point, those who voted for the Democrats - at least, those who I know (and I know many more of those than I do Republicans) - didn't care about the "war on terror." Most of us (I'm grouped in with this one) thought the entire idea of the "war on terror" was pretty stupid. Terror isn't a country or a person, so how do you win a war on it? It was a term that was coined under President Bush and most of the Democratic voters really didn't care about it. They simply wanted us to withdraw our troops, and while Obama moved much more slowly than people wanted on it, that's what he did.


This line of reasoning doesn't work out. People didn't really care about what sparked the initial violence. Whether it was a sudden flash-mob over a video or whether it was a carefully planned attack in response to American actions, an American embassy was attacked. Why was an American embassy attacked, instead of some other country's embassy? It's because of the foreign policy we've taken over the past few years.

In other words, people already knew that our foreign policy was making us very unpopular in the Muslim world, and Democrats blamed former President Bush for that foreign policy (even if Obama didn't radically deviate from it). Trying to pin the embassy flare-up on a video would not have altered that view. As far as voters were concerned, Obama was safe. The motive that you've described doesn't really fit, unless you want to believe that Obama's team was really out of touch with American citizens. If you do believe that, practically every political analyst disagrees with you, as I've read nothing but praise and grudging admiration for how Obama's campaign operated.

You are partly correct, as far as (committed Obama) voters were concerned, Obama was safe. The motive that I've described doesn't really fit (their commitment), even if they now know they were lied to by President Obama in his desperation of the moment (it does not matter to them). The voters Obama was concern with were the ~5% to ~10% that would have cost him the election because of a failure to act and because of the admission of foreign policy failure.

I think you are out of touch with the Obama Administration.

Nuland wrote that the changes did not “resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership.”

Nuland works for the White House.
Her "building" is the White House.
Her "Leadership" is President Obama.
The White House Leadership is President Obama.

The motive that I've described fits, because Obama's team was concerned the swing voters would be upset that dereliction of duty would not ring clear with American citizens.

If the Obama Administration was not fearful, why did they even intervene in the revisions of the memo's (one time or twelve times)?








Quote:
When it became clear last fall that the CIA's now discredited Benghazi talking points were flawed, the White House said repeatedly the documents were put together almost entirely by the intelligence community, but White House documents reviewed by Congress suggest a different story.

ABC News has obtained 12 different versions of the talking points that show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely by the CIA to the final version distributed to Congress and to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice before she appeared on five talk shows the Sunday after that attack

White House emails reviewed by ABC News suggest the edits were made with extensive input from the State Department. The edits included requests from the State Department that references to the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia be deleted as well references to CIA warnings about terrorist threats in Benghazi in the months preceding the attack.

That would appear to directly contradict what White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said about the talking points in November.

"Those talking points originated from the intelligence community. They reflect the IC's best assessments of what they thought had happened," Carney told reporters at the White House press briefing on November 28, 2012. "The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions were changing the word 'consulate' to 'diplomatic facility' because 'consulate' was inaccurate."

Summaries of White House and State Department emails - some of which were first published by Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard - show that the State Department had extensive input into the editing of the talking points.

State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland raised specific objections to this paragraph drafted by the CIA in its earlier versions of the talking points:

"The Agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al-Qa'ida in Benghazi and eastern Libya. These noted that, since April, there have been at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador's convoy. We cannot rule out the individuals has previously surveilled the U.S. facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks."

In an email to officials at the White House and the intelligence agencies, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland took issue with including that information because it "could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either? Concerned …"

The paragraph was entirely deleted.

Like the final version used by Ambassador Rice on the Sunday shows, the CIA's first drafts said the attack appeared to have been "spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo" but the CIA version went on to say, "That being said, we do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qa'ida participated in the attack." The draft went on to specifically name the al Qaeda-affiliated group named Ansar al-Sharia.

Once again, Nuland objected to naming the terrorist groups because "we don't want to prejudice the investigation."

In response, an NSC staffer coordinating the review of the talking points wrote back to Nuland, "The FBI did not have major concerns with the points and offered only a couple minor suggestions."

After the talking points were edited slightly to address Nuland's concerns, she responded that changes did not go far enough.

"These changes don't resolve all of my issues or those of my buildings leadership," Nuland wrote.

In an email dated 9/14/12 at 9:34 p.m. - three days after the attack and two days before Ambassador Rice appeared on the Sunday shows - Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes wrote an email saying the State Department's concerns needed to be addressed.

"We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don't want to undermine the FBI investigation. We thus will work through the talking points tomorrow morning at the Deputies Committee meeting."

After that meeting, which took place Saturday morning at the White House, the CIA drafted the final version of the talking points - deleting all references to al Qaeda and to the security warnings in Benghazi prior to the attack.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said none of this contradicts what he said about the talking points because ultimately all versions were actually written and signed-off by the CIA.

"The CIA drafted these talking points and redrafted these talking points," Carney said. "The fact that there are inputs is always the case in a process like this, but the only edits made by anyone here at the White House were stylistic and nonsubstantive. They corrected the description of the building or the facility in Benghazi from consulate to diplomatic facility and the like. And ultimately, this all has been discussed and reviewed and provided in enormous levels of detail by the administration to Congressional investigators, and the attempt to politicize the talking points, again, is part of an effort to, you know, chase after what isn't the substance here."
Quote:
UPDATE: A source familiar with the White House emails on the Benghazi talking point revisions say that State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland was raising two concerns about the CIA's first version of talking points, which were going to be sent to Congress: 1) The talking points went further than what she was allowed to say about the attack during her state department briefings; and, 2) she believed the CIA was attempting to exonerate itself at the State Department's expense by suggesting CIA warnings about the security situation were ignored.

In one email, Nuland asked, why are we suggest Congress "start making assertions to the media [about the al Qaeda connection] that we ourselves are not making because we don't want to prejudice the investigation?"

One other point: The significant edits - deleting references to al Qaeda and the CIA's warnings - came after a White House meeting on the Saturday before Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on five Sunday shows. Nuland, a 30-year foreign service veteran who has served under Democratic and Republican Secretaries of State, was not at that meeting and played no direct role in preparing Rice for her interviews.
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Old 2013-05-11, 01:26   Link #1029
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Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
They aren't the only ones calling for US action in Syria. Israel and Turkey are as well.
They are having cold feet about USAF NOT coming to flatten Assad's home and allowing his shit to spill over.

I would say "listen to the Turks" since they are the only sensible ones in the Mideast.
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Old 2013-05-11, 13:39   Link #1030
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Originally Posted by flying ^ View Post
You are partly correct, as far as (committed Obama) voters were concerned, Obama was safe. The motive that I've described doesn't really fit (their commitment), even if they now know they were lied to by President Obama in his desperation of the moment (it does not matter to them). The voters Obama was concern with were the ~5% to ~10% that would have cost him the election because of a failure to act and because of the admission of foreign policy failure.

I think you are out of touch with the Obama Administration.
It's possible that I am out of touch with the Obama administration, but I think that you might be out of touch with the rest of America if you really think that this issue alone would have cost Obama the election. Let me put this another way: would you really care whether the attack was the result of a planned terrorist response as opposed to general discontent with America? Does anyone else on this forum care? I don't think that anyone is fooling themselves into thinking that our actions have made Muslims in the Middle East love us.

Did the administration drop the ball in terms of providing security to the embassy? Sure. But things get murky there, because members of Congress were cutting funding to embassy security in the days leading up to this as well. How much freedom and ability did the executive branch have in light of that? People who want to hang Obama with this issue are being ridiculous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flying ^ View Post
If the Obama Administration was not fearful, why did they even intervene in the revisions of the memo's (one time or twelve times)?
I see two major reasons listed in all of the leaked emails:

1) They didn't want to give members of Congress something to criticize them over. I see this as a sad reflection of how polarized and nasty our politics have become. However, this point is only mentioned once, and as we can see, Congress took what they could get and went on a criticism spree anyway.

2) The investigation into what groups or individuals were behind the attacks was on-going. They didn't want to state names that would either let the perpetrators know that we were onto them or that would cause investigators to feel biased toward certain groups. This point comes up two or three times. It has nothing to do with voters, and it is completely valid.
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Old 2013-05-11, 14:56   Link #1031
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Automation and technological development has resulted in a job shift and the creation of new jobs. Much of the financial sector seems to be involved with shipping jobs overseas or finding new ways to force people to do more for less.
I am okay with this(tm). Competitive and comparative advantages in labor costs also make certain jobs and tasks in certain countries obsolete. You don't need to blame bankers for that, you can blame every corporation for doing what it's supposed to do. Jobs shifted overseas -> cheaper products -> consumers benefit. Who's fault is it that consumers consume beyond their means? Someone strangle Visa (NYSE:V) or Mastercard (NYSE:MA)?

As for the financial system not providing value, well, fractional reserve currency banking is a "technology" .. now whether people can use it properly or it ends up "destroying us all" (ala. nuclear weapons) is something else altogether.

All-in-all, I'm not saying there aren't certain crooks or horrible individuals in this sector, but to paint an entire industry segment as "providing no value" shows a distinct lack of desire to understand the business fundamentals of the current financial system and simple pitchfork and torch waving. It sure is easy and stress relieving though..
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Old 2013-05-11, 15:06   Link #1032
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Originally Posted by willx View Post
I am okay with this(tm). Competitive and comparative advantages in labor costs also make certain jobs and tasks in certain countries obsolete. You don't need to blame bankers for that, you can blame every corporation for doing what it's supposed to do. Jobs shifted overseas -> cheaper products -> consumers benefit. Who's fault is it that consumers consume beyond their means? Someone strangle Visa (NYSE:V) or Mastercard (NYSE:MA)?

As for the financial system not providing value, well, fractional reserve currency banking is a "technology" .. now whether people can use it properly or it ends up "destroying us all" (ala. nuclear weapons) is something else altogether.

All-in-all, I'm not saying there aren't certain crooks or horrible individuals in this sector, but to paint an entire industry segment as "providing no value" shows a distinct lack of desire to understand the business fundamentals of the current financial system and simple pitchfork and torch waving. It sure is easy and stress relieving though..
You malign nuclear weapons. So far, they've been used in tests and to end WW2. As a side effect they've caused a few cancers. They haven't had an effect comparable to, say, the subprime crisis.
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Old 2013-05-11, 15:14   Link #1033
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
You malign nuclear weapons. So far, they've been used in tests and to end WW2. As a side effect they've caused a few cancers. They haven't had an effect comparable to, say, the subprime crisis.
The real impact of the nuke were not about the one used ( even thought than I Hiroshima and Nagasaki are kind of big ) but about the menace of the use of them.
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Old 2013-05-11, 15:22   Link #1034
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Whether that was good or bad is debatable. We haven't had a WW3, have we?
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Old 2013-05-11, 15:48   Link #1035
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You malign nuclear weapons. So far, they've been used in tests and to end WW2. As a side effect they've caused a few cancers. They haven't had an effect comparable to, say, the subprime crisis.
You misunderstand me, I'm comparing the technology of "reserve currency banking" to "nuclear power" -- it's a technology, depends how you use it.
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Old 2013-05-11, 17:04   Link #1036
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You misunderstand me, I'm comparing the technology of "reserve currency banking" to "nuclear power" -- it's a technology, depends how you use it.
There is hardly anything to compare when the technology of the subprime crisis is largely psychological (Ben Gay 3 anyone?) while nuclear weapons are.......well nuclear weapons. Vaporising everyone out of existence by dissociating every single molecule within the blast radius.

The technology for RCB leaves more room for suffering than nuclear weapons - people get scared of anything related to investment, money flow loses viscosity, funding decreases due to lack of confidence in capital markets......everyone loses. Drop a nuclear weapon and most people don't have to worry; one can't worry if he/she is dead.
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Old 2013-05-11, 18:00   Link #1037
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Jobs shifted overseas -> cheaper products -> consumers benefit. Who's fault is it that consumers consume beyond their means?
Consumers benefit as long as they're making money to spend. This doesn't necessarily have to do with spending beyond one's means, either. The cost of living is a factor that few people have any control over. "Move somewhere cheaper" only works when there's a job in the location that you'd like to move to.

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You don't need to blame bankers for that, you can blame every corporation for doing what it's supposed to do.
People blame them for the growing disparity between management and worker salaries. They cut jobs at home, either sending them overseas or expecting everyone else to do double-duty for little to no extra pay, and meanwhile their own salaries rise. The management class always made more than the average worker, but the point is best illustrated by numbers. Back in the 1980's, average managerial pay (using the CEO as an indicator) was about 40 times that of the average worker's pay. Today, it's a bit over 350 times that of the average worker's pay. Is that what corporations are supposed to do - consolidate wealth at the top? Corporations aren't charities, but that strikes me as looting. Getting "more for your money" out of workers can be attributed to efficiency, but not this.
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Old 2013-05-11, 18:11   Link #1038
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^ Not sure where you get your numbers from but the majority of that excess compensation is based primarily on incentive compensation. IE. Share price increases, share buybacks and aggregate returns to shareholders. Look at the CEO salaries since 2007/2008. Look at cash vs. incentive pay. Look at clawbacks etc?

From the perspective of a company shareholder, what do you want? A company to continue to operate in areas where manufacturing costs are higher do you want them to shift labour overseas? If your job was to manage millions or billions of other people's investments -- which do you prefer? Remember, much of the investment money in the markets these days are from CalPERS and other pension funds and other people's retirement savings. Fund managers influence boards that have oversight on these companies. You speak of works being worked harder, being forced to be more efficient .. worker productivity in the U.S. is stagnant. Just look at the numbers. Cold, uncaring numbers.
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Old 2013-05-11, 18:16   Link #1039
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The artifact of corporation has been tweaked. It isn't a "win-win" instrument, it now functions as wealth extraction by the descendents of the 'robber baron' class who occupy the executive ranks and the board of directors in a marvelous incestual bramble bush. Any analysis of history shows the concentration of wealth into a smaller and smaller group destabilizes a civilization. "Legally extracting an organism's nutrients until it dies" really isn't smart but nonetheless ... well, let's just say the pitchforks and guillotines have come out before in human history when there were no checks and balances on wealth concentration.

Those numbers on CEO/worker compensation are accepted by all sides of the discussion. They're not "one side's computation". They're also only US numbers. CEOs in other countries make far less in comparison compared to their workers. A well-regulated playing field would control and mitigate a lot of these destabilizing forces and corporations would still make "the maximum legal profit" -- it just wouldn't so totally screw the employees, the customers, and the shareholders as it has evolved to now. Where do you get your idea that "production in the US is stagnant"? It has more than doubled in the last 20 years.
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Old 2013-05-11, 18:54   Link #1040
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The 350 times number includes all salaries, bonuses, incentives, etc. but only compares that to average hourly pay. It doesn't include the typical workers benefits, pension or any other items. It also doesn't factor in that they work a hell of a lot more than 40 hours a week. I even found the news article that talks about it: http://moneymorning.com/2013/04/19/c...erage-workers/

The number is probably closer to 100-200 times, which is still absurdly high, but not unexpected. How much do most professionals make? I know even highly paid white collar workers make like 30-50 times the $20/hr rate being quoted here. Some in excess of 100 times. So how much should they make?

I'm not sure how to approach your statements about "robber barons" and "the artifact of the corporation" -- simply because that shows strong emotional responses and I feel nothing about this emotionally. I look at the world and see what is and why. You look at the world and see how (you think) it should be and ask why not.
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