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Old 02-18-2010, 05:42 AM   #556
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How the World Works: The Rich Got Richer, and paid less taxes - Salon.com

How the World Works - Salon.com

Tax Rates for Top 400 Earners Fall as Income Soars, IRS Data


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Quoted from NYT:
The annual top 400 report was first made public by the Clinton administration, but the George W. Bush administration shut down access to the report. Its release was resumed a year ago when President Obama took office.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:12 AM   #557
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In Blow to Taliban, 2 More Senior Leaders Are Arrested

By DEXTER FILKINS
KABUL, Afghanistan — Two senior Taliban leaders have been arrested in recent days inside Pakistan, officials said Thursday, as American and Pakistani intelligence agents continued to press their offensive against the group’s leadership after the capture of the insurgency’s military commander last month.

Afghan officials said the Taliban’s “shadow governors” for two provinces in northern Afghanistan had been detained in Pakistan by officials there. Mullah Abdul Salam, the Taliban’s leader in Kunduz, was detained in the Pakistani city of Faisalabad, and Mullah Mir Mohammed of Baghlan Province was also captured in an undisclosed Pakistani city, they said.

The arrests come on the heels of the capture of Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s military commander and the deputy to Mullah Muhammad Omar, the movement’s founder. Mr. Baradar was arrested in a joint operation by the C.I.A. and the ISI, Pakistan’s military intelligence agency.

The arrests were made by Pakistani officials, the Afghans said, but it seemed probable that C.I.A. officers accompanied them, as they did in the arrest of Mr. Baradar. Pakistani officials declined to comment.

Together, the three arrests mark the most significant blow to the Taliban’s leadership since the American-backed war began eight years ago. They also demonstrate the extent to which the Taliban’s senior leaders have been able to use Pakistan as a sanctuary to plan and mount attacks in Afghanistan.

A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the arrest of the two shadow governors was unrelated to Mullah Baradar's capture. Even so, Mohammed Omar, the governor of Kunduz Province, said in an interview that the two Taliban governors maintained a close working relationship with Mullah Baradar.

“Mullah Salam and Mullah Mohammed were the most merciless individuals,” said Gen. Razaq Yaqoobi, police chief of Kunduz Province. “Most of the terror, executions and other crimes committed in northern Afghanistan were on their orders.”

The arrests—all three in Pakistan — demonstrate a greater level of cooperation by Pakistan in hunting leaders of the Afghan Taliban than in the entire eight years of war. American officials have complained bitterly since 2001 that the Pakistanis, while claiming to be American allies—and accepting American aid—were simultaneously providing sanctuary and assistance to Taliban fighters and leaders who were battling the Americans across the border.

In conversations with American officials, Pakistani officials would often claim not to know about the existence of the “Quetta Shura,” the name given to the council of senior Taliban leaders that used the Pakistani city of Quetta as a sanctuary for years. It was the Quetta Shura — also known as the Supreme Council—that Mr. Baradar presided over.

It is still far from clear, but senior commanders in Afghanistan say they believe that the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies, led by Gens. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Ahmed Shuja Pasha, may finally be coming around to the belief that the Taliban — in Pakistan and Afghanistan — constitute a threat to the existence of the Pakistani state.

“I believe that General Kayani and his leaders have come to the conclusion that they want us to succeed,” a senior NATO officer in Kabul said.

Word of the arrests of the shadow governors came as American, Afghan and British forces continue to press ahead with their largest military operation to date, in the Afghan agricultural town of Marja. Earlier this month, on the eve of the Marja invasion, Afghan officials also detained Marja’s shadow governor as he tried to flee the country.

The Taliban figures are commonly referred to as “shadow governors” because their identities are secret and because they mirror the legitimate governors appointed by the Afghan government. The Taliban’s shadow governors oversee all military and political operations in a given area.

The immediate impact of the arrests of the two Taliban governors was unclear. In the short term, it could probably be expected to hurt the Taliban's operations somewhat and possibly demoralize their rank-and-file fighters. But probably not for long; in the past the Taliban have proved capable of quickly replacing their killed or captured leaders.

Even before the arrests in Pakistan, the American and Afghan military and intelligence services appeared to have been enjoying a run of success against Taliban leaders inside Afghanistan.

The senior NATO officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said American forces had detained or killed “three or four” Taliban provincial governors in the past several weeks, including the Taliban’s shadow governor for Laghman Province.

Another NATO officer, also speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Mullah Zakhir, the Taliban’s military commander for southern Afghanistan, had been ordered back to Pakistan at the around the time of the Marja offensive.

Indeed, the capture of two Taliban governors inside Pakistan may reflect the greater level of insecurity that all Taliban leaders are feeling inside Afghanistan at the moment.

“The Taliban are feeling a new level of pain,” the senior NATO officer said.

In Blow to Taliban, 2 More Senior Leaders Are Arrested - NYTimes.com
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:10 PM   #558
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lets be sure give them their civil rights, a cell w a goose down pillow, blankie, rug and a koran.


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Old 02-18-2010, 03:11 PM   #559
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never mind.
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:34 PM   #560
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abcnews.com

Dick Cheney: 'Barack Obama is a One-Term President'

Former Vice President, Scott Brown Make Surprise Appearance at CPAC to Rally Conservatives

By HUMA KHAN

Feb. 18, 2010—

Former Vice President Dick Cheney rallied conservative activists today during a brief yet surprise appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

"I think 2010 will be a phenomenal year for the conservative cause and I think Barack Obama is a one-term president," Cheney said to a standing ovation.

He walked out to applause, chants of "Cheney" and a standing ovation as he appeared after daughter Liz Cheney's speech.

"A welcome like that is almost enough to make me want to run for office," Cheney said, laughing. "But I'm not going to do it."

The newly minted senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown, also made a surprise appearance to introduce former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

"One Democrat said, 'There was no way in hell a Republican was going to get elected to the seat once held by Ted Kennedy.' Well, here I am," said Brown, who received a hero's welcome. "We collectively absolutely have changed the course of politics in America."

Romney, who is the frontrunner for the GOP 2012 nomination in the eyes of many Republicans, made a line-by-line attack against Obama and his agenda.

"President Obama's self-proclaimed B+ will go down in history as the biggest exaggeration since Al Gore's invention of the Internet," Romney said, referring to the president's assessment of his first year in office. "This president will not deserve the credit he will undoubtedly claim. He has prolonged the recession, expanded the pain of unemployment, and added to the burden of debt we will leave future generations.

"President Obama, [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi, [Majority Leader] Harry Reid and their team have failed the American people, and that is why their majority will be out the door," added Romney, whose conference appearance will be followed by a two-month-long book tour where he will attempt to build his case against Obama.

The former governor had high praises for former president George W. Bush, who has been relatively quiet since stepping out of office, unlike Cheney, who has emerged as a leading critic of the Obama administration. Romney today argued that history will judge Bush kinder than he is portrayed now.

"When it comes to pinning blame, pin the tail on the donkeys [Democrats]," Romney said.
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Old 02-18-2010, 04:39 PM   #561
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abcnews.com

Dick Cheney: 'Barack Obama is a One-Term President'

Former Vice President, Scott Brown Make Surprise Appearance at CPAC to Rally Conservatives

By HUMA KHAN

Feb. 18, 2010—

Former Vice President Dick Cheney rallied conservative activists today during a brief yet surprise appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

"I think 2010 will be a phenomenal year for the conservative cause and I think Barack Obama is a one-term president," Cheney said to a standing ovation.

He walked out to applause, chants of "Cheney" and a standing ovation as he appeared after daughter Liz Cheney's speech.

"A welcome like that is almost enough to make me want to run for office," Cheney said, laughing. "But I'm not going to do it."

The newly minted senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown, also made a surprise appearance to introduce former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

"One Democrat said, 'There was no way in hell a Republican was going to get elected to the seat once held by Ted Kennedy.' Well, here I am," said Brown, who received a hero's welcome. "We collectively absolutely have changed the course of politics in America."

Romney, who is the frontrunner for the GOP 2012 nomination in the eyes of many Republicans, made a line-by-line attack against Obama and his agenda.

"President Obama's self-proclaimed B+ will go down in history as the biggest exaggeration since Al Gore's invention of the Internet," Romney said, referring to the president's assessment of his first year in office. "This president will not deserve the credit he will undoubtedly claim. He has prolonged the recession, expanded the pain of unemployment, and added to the burden of debt we will leave future generations.

"President Obama, [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi, [Majority Leader] Harry Reid and their team have failed the American people, and that is why their majority will be out the door," added Romney, whose conference appearance will be followed by a two-month-long book tour where he will attempt to build his case against Obama.

The former governor had high praises for former president George W. Bush, who has been relatively quiet since stepping out of office, unlike Cheney, who has emerged as a leading critic of the Obama administration. Romney today argued that history will judge Bush kinder than he is portrayed now.

"When it comes to pinning blame, pin the tail on the donkeys [Democrats]," Romney said.
This is just a sick joke.

Dick Cheney, possibly the most disliked public figure in America now and while he was in office, and someone who it has been proven, governed with a reckless disregard for the law, has no credibility in anything he says about Obama. This is a guy who is still out there flat out lying about a sitting President making the country more dangerous.Brennan: Cheney may be 'ignorant' of terror facts - POLITICO Live - POLITICO.com

He will be a "one term President." Maybe Cheney hopes that, but there is no way that anyone on either side can say that with certainty almost 3 years out. In case Cheney was counting, Obama got alot more votes than he or Bush ever did, so it is pretty bold to call him a 1 term President only a year in.

Scott Brown: Does anyone still think he is an independent minded reformer committed to doing what's best regardless of party? CPAC, front and center. Shouldn't Brown be brushing up on his knowledge of the issues facing the Senate/meeting his colleagues/talking to MA captains of industry, education leaders and state officials about their needs/learning his way around the committees he is assigned to? He wants to replace Ted Kennedy, but what he does not realize is that, despite his many personal shortcomings, he worked his ass off each and every day for the State. He would be on the phone with companies convincing them to locate in MA, he would be in constant touch with state officials clarifying federal laws, disbursement of federal funding, etc. Ted Kennedy did not get 60-70% of the vote every time based on his name and family history, he got it because he worked his ass off and earned it. He would not have had all those Brown voters behind him if he was as much of a left wing nut as Rush always claimed either. He had more of an independent streak than Brown has shown so far.

This guy has been on a month long victory lap that has only stopped long enough to press the "no" button on a perfectly good, mainstream nominee, Craig Becker.

Mitt Romney: Look at this guy when he ran to the left of Ted Kennedy in 1994 and look at him now, it tells you so many things.

1.)He has no principles or values whatsoever. He has changed his position on every issue of any consequence based on the office he was running for and the trends in the Republican Party. Kerry, the "flip flopper" has always had the same principles and is the same person he was when he first got elected DA in 1978. Romney is completely unrecognizable in many ways from what he was in 1994.

1994 Mitt accuses Kennedy of not doing enough for gay rights, 2002 Mitt sends out a mailer to the gay community expressing his friendship, 2010 Mitt says gays are destroying our families.

1994 Mitt applauds Clinton for seeking to raise the minimum wage, applauds the family and medical leave act and vigorously denies Kennedy accusations that he will be a loyal Republican foot soldier. He even tells us he was not a registered Republican in the Reagan/Bush 41 years! 2002 Mitt proposes raising the minimum wage and indexing for inflation. 2007-today, Mitt strongly opposes any minimum wage increase. 1994 Mitt would never change from being pro choice as a matter of principle, he even has a family member who died from an illegal abortion. He attacks Kennedy for being pro life at one time. 2002 Mitt, all pro choice, all the time. 2010, abortion is the biggest evil in the history of mankind, therefore, the practice should return to the back alleys.

2.) In 1994, he came across as a smart person who answers questions thoughtfully and from his experience as a businessman and outsider, refraining from talking points and certainly not spouting absurd myths to throw red meat to the base.

Look at him now: The amount of lying just in that article is mind blowing. It is a widely discredited right wing myth that Al Gore ever claimed to have invented the internet. What he actually said was that he "took the initiative in creating the internet," which is mostly true, as the Gore sponsored Telecommunications Act of 1991 laid the groundwork for the establishment of widely accessible browsers.

The saddest lie from Romney comes on the economy. Here is a guy who has an MBA and was a co founder of one of the most successful venture capital firms ever. He knows damn well that Obama has not prolonged the recession or expanded the pain of unemployment, in fact, all objective evidence says his actions have stopped the bleeding much quicker than would have been the case otherwise. He knows economic history-how remarkable it was for a recession that took down the financial system to turn around to a recovery in the summer of 2009. He knows unemployment ALWAYS keeps rising after recessions, and that the recession was too deep and severe for Obama or anyone to have been able to snap their fingers and reverse it upon taking office.

This is a perfect example of how highly educated, smart Republican politicians have decided that the way to win elections is to play to the knuckle dragging idiot masses. You have Palin running around saying being clueless is a virtue, something that makes her more like the average citizen. The Republicans have decided to be the party of stupid people, and now even their educated politicians are playing the same game.

No one can tell me with a straight face that Mitt Romney does not know Obama has done the absolute best he could have done given what he inherited with the economy. He also knows damn well who has run up all the debt we have now through their chosen policies and who was left with no choice but to add to it to avoid another Depression.

Romney is also in possession of a juris doctorate degree. So there is also no way that he is unaware of our history of trying terrorists in Article III courts under both parties. He has chosen to be willfully ignorant of the facts.

Obama is getting raked over the coals and being ridiculed as a
lecturer for talking to the American voting public like adults. God forbid he do that. Romney is the perfect example of how the Republican Party has calculated that being stupid and appealing to stupid people is a winning formula. I guess it is, when I take that basic Pew current events quiz, easy as hell, but then I am told I was in the 2% of Americans who answered every question right. Little things, like who is the Senate majority leader and what is the unemployment, approximately. It is a winning formula when people think Obama is a socialist and that Judge Judy is a Supreme Court Justice. It is a winning formula when more Americans go to Super Bowl parades than vote in their State's Governor's election, etc.

It has been widely written about by mainstream people:

Amazon.com: Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free (9780767926140): Charles P. Pierce: Books

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/14/op...4friedman.html

"Pin the blame on the donkey" that is his strategy, and he and Palin are the front runners? Where is Mitt's plan for spending cuts to pay for his tax cuts? His plan for financial regulatory reform? Education? Health care? Reducing the budget deficit?

Bush is responsible for almost the entire mess we face today, no way around that. Obama has simply pointed this out but also acknowledged where Democrats went wrong in the 1990s. His focus has been on dealing with the situation at hand and trying to move forward with the best policies possible, learning from past mistakes. Obama has been trying to fix this through stimulus, regulatory reform, small business credit, health care reform, pay as you go, bipartisan deficit panel etc and as far as I can tell, all the Republicans are interested in doing is opposing him at all costs and then lying about his policies for political gain. Where have they shown any concern for a.)getting us out of this mess or b.)making sure it does not happen again? They have no leg to stand on.

We truly get the leaders we deserve in this country.
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Old 02-18-2010, 04:48 PM   #562
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It doesn't surprise me at all that Scott Brown went to CPAC-or said that the stimulus bill hasn't created one job.

He's a "Scott Brown Republican"
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:04 PM   #563
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lets be sure give them their civil rights, a cell w a goose down pillow, blankie, rug and a koran.


<>
Dave, you're a good guy. I still think that.

But come on, that was a whole article talking about the Taliban feeling a "new level of pain" and validating the increased focus Obama and Biden have put on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region, something Biden has long been advocating. It is the most tangible progress since 2001.

All you have to respond to that is the long refuted claim that Obama is somehow coddling these people? These 2 governors will be coming nowhere near the US or our court system, but if they were, do you think they would have a good time in the supermax prison in Colorado? In fact, though the right would kick and scream if they were brought back here, they will probably be released in some deal with the Pakistanis for cooperation. The shoe bomber and the under wear bomber will be gone for life. Affording them the procedural rights does not in any way go easy on them, change our case against them, or change the fact that they'll spend the rest of their lives in jail unable to harm anyone else.

Have a look please, no plans to mirandize or coddle battlefield terrorists:

PolitiFact | GOP claims Obama has ordered FBI to read Miranda Rights to terrorist detainees captured on the battlefield
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:10 PM   #564
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It doesn't surprise me at all that Scott Brown went to CPAC-or said that the stimulus bill hasn't created one job.

He's a "Scott Brown Republican"
Emphasis on "Scott Brown." LOL.

I actually met him just before he was sworn in. His campaign was having (another) party at the place next to the gym I go to and he came into the gym to talk to people. I walk in and there is Scott Brown standing at the desk, in shock that the attractive, tight bodied 22 year old brunette working there has not "seen him on TV." I walked up and said to her: "Kathleen, you did not know this guy is a move star." He laughed and shook my hand, I wished him best of luck and went on my way to the treadmill. He was nice enough, but he reminded me of the mirrorball man kissing the mirror as Desire starts.

Scott Brown is obsessed with himself, which is only one thing he has in common with his friend Romney. The other is both have reached the highest office they will ever attain.
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:56 PM   #565
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lets be sure give them their civil rights, a cell w a goose down pillow, blankie, rug and a koran.


<>


yes, that's right exactly. maybe you can be the fluffer.
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:58 PM   #566
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This is just a sick joke.

Dick Cheney, possibly the most disliked public figure in America now


he's also an admitted war criminal and should be brought to The Hague.

and he's hoping for a terrorist attack so that he can try to wring some validation from the death of innocent Americans.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:21 PM   #567
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44 - Poll limns provisions of a more limited health-care reform bill

This is only the latest on the topic. This shows 2 things:

1.)The American people are listening to the screaming nuts on this- the death panel, socialism, cut your medicare b.s. is what people actually think is in the bill.

2.)Obama missed, squandered, screwed up royally, however you want to put it, in rolling this out and not aggressively making clear and defending the specific provisions of the bill.

It's sad, and now they have chaos on their hands and a much more difficult time getting through something that is centrist in nature and overwhelmingly popular because it is governed by past perceptions. Horrible PR work for a team that did so well in the campaign.

Obama also needs to get more personally involved(he is starting with the panel next week) and let these Congress people know how it is going to be. They are talking about bringing back the public option, something that will go nowhere in delivering reform or cost reduction and has already been demonized beyond recognition by the right. It is time for Obama to drive the nail down hard into the public option coffin. It is just not necessary, and was never in his original plan or the plan he modeled it after, Kerry's in 2004.
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:56 PM   #568
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His biggest failure so far has been allowing Republicans to mislead, exaggerate, and lie about every aspect of his presidency. There's no doubt about it.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:09 PM   #569
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His biggest failure so far has been allowing Republicans to mislead, exaggerate, and lie about every aspect of his presidency. There's no doubt about it.


they do seem to be getting it together, slowly. and Obama plays chess while the rest play checkers. i just hope too much hasn't been lost.
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:08 AM   #570
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Obama needs to fire Rahm Emanuel, it's that simple.

And he should get Carville or one of those Clinton bulldogs in there as his C.o.S.

Unfortunately because Palin is calling for this, it won't happen.

But it's the right move.
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