Friday, May 06, 2011

Nobody Asked Me, But...

1) And now, as a public service to those of my readers who have difficulty with their hearing, I will repeat the top story of the day aided by the Headmaster of the New York School for the Hard of Hearing, Actor212.
Our top story today: Osama bin Laden is still dead.
2) Along that lines, it looks like a couple of New Yorkers yesterday did what only New Yorkers could do: tried to steal the spotlight.
3) As if this week could get any better for President Obama...wait, it just did!
4) Because all of the world's financial problems have been solved, the Wall Street Journal has turned to giving dating advice.
6) I heard there was something on last night about Republicans running for some office, but since the Obama re-election looks like a lock...I watched pro wrestling instead. I hate knowing ahead of time the outcome of an event.
7) Now that bin Laden is dead, whither Pakistan?
8) They are dropping like flies over at FOX News...
9) I have to be honest: when Obama's health care reform included an individual mandate to purchase health insurance, I was surprised the Republicans got their panties in a knot over it. Isn't this precisely the kind of micro-managed intervention they specialize in?
Um, yea. It is.
10) Another reason President William Jefferson Clinton will go down in history as Teh. Greatest. President. Ever.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Memo To Self



And that's really all you need to know about this story.

Now, THET'S Renyooable Annergee!


If True, Weird Yet Fascinating




Proving Einstein Was No Rocket Scientist

Actually, he was. I just thought that headline would grab your attention.

Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

It's not like adolescents need an excuse to stay in Mom's basement all night...


Mr Bernanke, we bailed their asses out. Why shouldn't we make sure we don't have to do it again?

Most Disturbing

I knew this was happening, but I never really thought about the implications until just now.
We're going to hit the debt ceiling in the middle of this month, but the Fed has some accounting tricks it can pull to buy us a few weeks.
This, however, ought to make you madder'n hell:

The Treasury estimates that it can avoid a crisis until early August with few if any lasting consequences by spending about $100 billion in cash that it keeps on deposit with the Federal Reserve, the nation’s central bank, and by temporarily suspending $232 billion in special-purpose borrowing programs so it can instead borrow money to finance general operations.

Emphasis added.

That's us. Borrowing, AT INTEREST, money we've lent to American banks, INTEREST-FREE!

Don't they, you know, owe us?


The Motherlode!



Prince Charles visited the White House yesterday and also was introduced to several wounded Marines at the British embassy in DC yesterday.
OK, all fine and dandy. He's doing the proud father victory lap, but seriously, what was the wife of this Marine thinking?

On The One Hand...

Y'know, I'm not sure how I feel about President Obama's decision not to release the photos of Osama bin Laden taken after the raid.
On the one hand, Part of me wants my bloodlust fulfilled. I want to see the pictures so I can be sure that it was him. I want the pictures released because I want to mitigate the conspiracy theorists to the smallest possible number. I want the photos released because we documented Saddam Hussein's execution in such detail, and bin Laden ought to be at least as important.
On the other hand, maybe we ought to be above that. Maybe we ought to try to patch our trust of the people we elect, at least a little. This isn't Abu Ghraib, after all. We know what happened. Desanitizing it might only prove to desensitize us to war and casualties. Maybe it would inflame the Arab street, the same way burning a Quran or drawing caricatures of Muhammad did.
Since I'm of two minds, I want to trust the man I voted for to do what he feels is the right thing.

I Think We Have A Winner

I may have found a new writer to admire: Conor Freidersdorf
I can't say I disagree with his assessment: the WaPo article he cites may indeed be the stupidest article this year. I would nominate it for the Pulls-itser Prize in a heartbeat.
*making mental note: Pulls-Itser one's ever done a parody of the Pulitzer Prize before...this might be worth looking into*

"We, The People" Abdicate

Every so often, maybe every two or three years, I'm asked by at least one person why I haven't run for office. "You'd make a great Congressman/Senator/President," they'll say.
I suppose it's true: I am pretty bright, can communicate well, have a large measure of compassion, and geet the human condition without being a soppy bleeding heart. My passion in life is to make connections that other people miss, to understand why something happens, which is the first step in making sure it does or does not happen again, as the case may be. 
There are plenty of reasons why I have not. I suck at fundraising, for one thing. I never ask for money, even if I could, absent the occasional ad to sell my photographs or to hawk a book or my writing, or what have you. 
But here's the real reason I haven't and probably never will run.
I'm human. 
I'm no better than you or you or him or her, at the end of the day. That immediately disqualifies me from public office. It shouldn't, but it does. And I think you can trace the roots of many of the problems that beset this nation to that inarguable fact. 
We the people insist our politicians be better than we are. Under all the glue-huffing about Teabaggers and elitists and egghead liberals, we want our politicians to be smarter, handsomer, richer, better hung (or have bigger breasts), more articulate and goshdarnit! more moral than we could ever hope to be. 
We've created a fantasy class. In exchange, under the assumption of superiority, we've handed these people the keys to the bar and told them to lock up after we've gone to sleep. 
We're asleep. The bar's still open. 
Politicians are human, but we expect them to be superhuman. Do you see a disconnect here? If a politician betrays even the slightest humanity, we ridicule him or her.
I'm not talking about morons like Bachmann or Palin or Trump (who claims to be different from politicians, but I perceive that difference in the same way that malaria is different from a bad cold). Or even George W. Bush, who's reach exceeded his grasp and we all paid a heavy price for it. 
I'm talking about how anytime anyone pokes his or her head above the foxhole, shots get fired, yet we expect them to leap up and take more ground, to lead us. 
Take any Presidential candidate of the past twenty years, including the ones who won (absenting Bush). John Kerry by all rights could have won (and in many lights did win) the 2004 election: a decorated war veteran, long-serving Senator, a brilliant policy man, but brought down hard by a smear campaign that any American in his or her right mind would have laughed off as ridiculous if they had read it in a novel. 
Clinton won, twice, but only because he had a core of support that anybody but Bush had to win, and Ross Perot was too scary to conceive of voting for (yet, tell me you didn't think some of what Perot espoused had some interest). 
In all these elections, the issues favored Democrats: in 1992, we were in a mild recession and had twelve years of Reagan/Bush scandals. In 1996, Clinton was beseiged by know-nothing Gingrichites hellbent on destroying liberal America and jerking the country rightward. In 2004, Bush hadn't created a single job during his administration, had allowed 9/11 to take place and had the lowest approval rating of any President running for re-election, ever.
Look at what happens: candidates can't win on issues, because those issues get swamped in the muck of the campaign. Money is flung, and after the Citizens Uniteddecision, more money will be flung at candidates, smearing them personally and ignoring the issues in favor of scare tactical talking points. 
All because a guy is human. 
And we the people have allowed this to happen, because we eat up Clinton's affairs or Obama's birth certificate or Palin's pregnancies.
No. Worse. We allow a small but loud minority to dominate the discussion. We presume that, because they're so loud and so "grass-rootsy" that somehow they've earned their say. 
Notice that there's a corollary, an unwelcome development about this: because issues stop mattering, politicians stop caring about issues. This creates a vacuum, into which other, very human desires, rush.
Power. Greed. Politics no longer becomes about who does the best job of governing but about who can grab hold of and control power the longest.
In 1964 and 1965, when the Civil Rights, Economic Opportunity , and Social Security Acts were passed, they were passed by a coalition of Republicans and Democrats, mostly liberals, who wanted to do good. They saw injustice across this land. They saw that 12% of the populace was suffering mercilessly at the hands of people who wanted nothing to do with them for no other reason than they were different. They worked together to change that.
Could that happen now? No. Not because there are no longer any mountains to climb and conquer, but because it's not about governance, it's about power. 
And neither side is winning.  

Haters Be Hatin'

What is it with conservatives and hating the middle classes?
You'd think the very people who make this country work, the people who buy stuff and pay taxes and do the grunt work so that large corporations can pay those huge salaries to the CEO and huge dividends and bonuses to the boards of directors would be a little bit better appreciated.
That said, he's not entirely without merit. We can raise tax revenues without raising tax rates by getting rid of some questionable offsets. We should take a close look at deductions and tax credits to see what we can trim.
For example, the tax credit for fuel efficient cars made sense when gas was only a buck and a half. We wanted to encourage purchases of hybrids, say, in order to combat carbon emissions and to boost oil conservation.
At $3 a gallon (permanently) and $4 and $5 a gallon in spikes, this credit makes less sense.
And perhaps a deduction for mortgage interest is less appealing after the past three years' debacle in the mortgage markets. Our per capita home ownership percentage in 2007 was the highest its ever been, in part because we relaxed the rules on the deductions for selling a home (it used to be limited to $250K, once a lifetime) and in part because the mortgage interest deduction helped people take out mortgages larger than they could afford.
But I make this counter-proposal: before we start harming the citizens of the country, I propose we raise tax revenues by LOWERING rates.
Nope, I didn't suddenly become a conservative free-mouseketeer. I didn't channel Ayn Rand. Bear with me for a second.
Let's say you have a firm that rakes in a million dollars a year. A good pre-tax return for that company would be somewhere around 6%, or about $60,000. That's after the company deducts costs and expenses, including costs and expenses that if an individual deducted, would get him called onto the carpet at his local IRS office for a scolding and a session of check-writing.
The current net tax rate is about 35% (if that even gets paid, which it does not but should. Remember, this is after all the legitimate deductions have been had). So take that $60,000 and you get $21,000 in tax revenues.
Now, here's the elegance: knowing that this company has an effective tax rate of 21% of revenues, we lower the corporate rate to 20%, but tax gross revenues.
The extra thousand bucks? That's the easy part and in fact may end up making the government a profit over the current system. By forcing companies to wend their revenues thru multiple layers of expenses and write-offs, the IRS spends mucho dinero (Cinco de Mayo, si?) on audit and enforcement. I would bet large money that the percentage spent on code enforcement and evasion investigations exceeds 5% of annual government corporate income tax revenues.
And if it does not, we can adjust the tax rates higher to cover this, but look at what happens: corporate tax liabilities do not increase a dime (they actually get lower), they spend less on CPAs to work out tax avoidance schemes, we get incrementally more revenue, and corporations are now free to spend the remaining 80% of their income in whatever way they see fit: cost of sales, higher salaries, hell, they can buy 80% worth of bubble wrap secure in the knowledge that some IRS agent isn't going to question the validity with respect to how the business operated that year.
In exchange, we drop every stinking subsidy (goodbye corn! So long oil exploration!) and credit the Corporatocracy enjoys, and turn them into true American citizens, with all the rights AND RESPONSIBILITIES of you and me.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


Projections call for a max planetary population somewhere in the 9 billion range before we really start feeling the enormous pressure of resource strain.

The New Corporate Uniform At AT&T Includes Wife-Beater T-Shirts

"Our customers had it coming to them. Hell, they AKSED for it!"

Like The Lady Said...

...if catnip was for humans, it would be illegal.

Republi-douches Double Down

When the Defense Secretary in charge of running Bush's war says good ol' fashioned police work, and not torture, elicited bin Laden's whereabouts, you might want to consider folding up your tents quietly and hope no one sees you slinking off.


It's an interesting meme conservatives got here. If a company bids for a Federal contract, then yes, it ought to disclose what it's campaign contributions have been so people can see if there's a quid pro quo.
But nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno, this is about extorting campaign contributions!

Here's Hoping He Takes The Hint

Turkey to Qaddafi: "You're fired!"
This is the same Turkey who's expressed anxiety over NATO's contnued presence in Libya.

Maybe They Could Pay For It With Oil Revenues

One of the wealthiest states in the union and one of the lowest taxed states. Let them eat crude.

So How Evil Was Bin Laden, Anyway?

When the Dalai Lama says it's OK that you've been killed, you must be pretty evil.

Must Be Pretty Lonely, Out There On The Hustings

Poor Tim Pawlenty. He's like the guy who shows up to the party two hours too early because he didn't read the invitation right, and then is calling all his friends telling them to show up early just because.

And Another Thing....

It took ten years to get Osama bin Laden.
It will take nearly five MORE years to repair the physical damage he did.
Thank you REPUBLICAN Governor George Pataki...

You Can't Spell "Hypocrisy" Without G-O-P

So you may recall that one of the big knocks the Republicans had agaisnt healthcare reform was the mandate that compelled Americans to buy health insurance.
Right. Americans are free to do as they want and no one is going to tell US we have to wear motorcycle helmets or buy "insurance" or register our guns or...
Well, except for, you know, the Republicans...

I Never Thought I'd See The Day

Astute friends of Simply Left Behind will recall that I was once part of the writing team involved in the parody site "Little Green Fascists," which was an attempt to parody "Little Green Footballs."
A hard task, I know, because the crazy was strong with that one.
And yet...I find myself linking to them today. They found a story so obnoxious, so....outre, they couldn't take anymore.


Really, W? Obama magnanimously invites you to help celebrate the execution of the man YOU said had to be caught, dead or alive, and you turn him down?
I wish, I sincerely wish, I could travel back in time to September 13, 2001 with a copy of this story, so you'd get a clear picture of what a buffoon you truly are, have been, and always will be. While you stand up there, spouting your nonsense thru the bullhorn of history's judgement, I would sidle up to you, and show you how humilated you become.
I doubt it would make a whit of difference to your overblown ego-trip that somehow you were a warrior, that you mattered in the annals of history, but just knowing that I did all that I could to prevent the catastrophe that was the next eight years of your administration would be enough. And if history crushed you under its wheels anyway? I could sleep at night.

Surly, You Jest!

I've noticed something, both about myself and about people I've interacted with over the past two days.
We're all pretty troubled and surly.
As it seems to be a fairly universal theme, bridging the gap between conservatives and liberals, men and women, coastal and heartland folks, I suspect there's something more than just a general malaise at work here. It can't be the weather, altho some of the country is getting hammered pretty hard, but not all of us.
As best as I can figure, it's the letdown after Osama bin Laden was killed.
Yea, I know, sounds silly. After all, this was the Big Cheese, the guy we should have gotten years ago, put on trial and convicted (because it's pretty clear he was guilty), and had a national celebration.
We did have that celebration in absentia, of course: crowds lined Times Square and Ground Zero. The nationally televised baseball game showed the Philadelphia fans (ironically, with the game in the 9th, 1-1) laughing and shouting "U!S!A! U!S!A! U!S!A!" A short explosion, a release of the strain of a decade (and more, for those of us paying attention since at least 1993), a firework of elation.
Despite the initial joyous reaction, I wonder if there isn't a hangover at play here. What's really changed? We'll still line up at airport security, take our shoes off, and carry no more than 3 oz of shampoo in our carry-on bags. We'll still be asked to "See Something, Say Something." We'll still hear how our President is a Muslim pretender (despite having killed three high profile Muslims in one week.) We'll still see cops and Guardsmen on the streets, automatic weapons in hand. We'll still be reminded nearly daily that we are at war with East Asia, I mean, Oceania.
It will be sanitzed for your comfort, of course, just as the administration wrings its hands over releasing a photograph of bin Laden's dead body.
Is it that things won't change? Al Qaeda, when the towers were attacked, numbered about 200. Now it's in the tens of thousands. I expect that number to explode as both the global economic meltdown wends its ways thru the poorer quarters of the world and as a mythology about Osama bin Laden is gilded and passed on. We're still in danger, lest anyone believe otherwise, and maybe at heart that is what bothers us most.
Is it the uncertainty, knowing that we might be a little safer, but perhaps not? Is it just a "that's all there was?" moment that sees us as a nation, embued in the media and in our mythology with crescendic endings, hearing about the death of the "monster" and realizing, at last, that he was just a man?
Rightly, he was the embodiment of the enemy we face, the public image of a network of people who would see us harmed for the sake of their beliefs. And wrongly, he was the embodiment of the enemy we face, for he was much less than that enemy.
In our simplistic worldview, perhaps we hoped that eliminating him eliminated Al Qaeda, but we also knew better. In a reverse-Pandora's Box scenario, those hopes have now been liberated, and Pandora has only trapped depair within.
Perhaps despair is too strong a word. Resignation fits better, I think.
I wanted to see bin Laden standing in the dock, preferably here in New York. I wanted to hear what he had to say, live and without the assistance of a video camera to remove him one level from other humans.
I want to see Khalid Sheik-Mohammed, too, right here in my city, the city he so wounded, the city that still has struggles in its return to its pinnacle. I reinforce my call for the Obama administration to bring him here for trial, especially now that the only man whose trial would have done justice to the crimes committed has been killed with extreme prejudice.
President Obama said "Justice is done." True. But it was an easy justice, a cowboy's justice, the kind of justice that you do when you don't have recourse to a court. I'm against war, against the death penalty, for precisely that reason. We are a better nation than this, even if recent evidence suggests we've slid back a hundred years into a dingy past of economic slavery, intolerance and injustice.
I want America back. And that's why I'm surly.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Ironically, He's Right

Julain Assange has hit the nail on the head:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange blasted Facebook, calling it the "most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented," Russia Today reported Tuesday.

Assange, who is currently fighting extradition to Sweden from the U.K., claimed on the Russian news channel that the social networking site was used by the U.S. government to spy on its citizens.

"Here we have the world's most comprehensive database about people -- their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations and the communications with each other, their relatives -- all sitting within the United States, all accessible to U.S. intelligence," he said. "Facebook, Google, Yahoo -- all these major U.S. organizations have built-in interfaces for U.S. intelligence."

Assange added, "It's not a matter of serving a subpoena. They have an interface that they have developed for U.S. intelligence to use."

I say "ironically" because one of the stated aims of Facebook was to create an open flow of information for people, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg fancies himself a hacker. Both seem antithetical to the uses that Facebook has taken on in terms of stalking both by individuals as well as by government. Much sport has been had with married men posting their affairs on Facebook and finding themselves facing (pun intended) the music in divorce court, or the drunk college kid losing her job because her friends posted photos of her drunk and in her panties.

And yet, behind all these sardonic come-uppances is a chilling thought: what information about you does Facebook have that you aren't even aware they're using nearly indiscriminately?

For every crisis when Facebook posts a new privacy policy, forcing you to go and reset your profile settings...which many people can't be bothered many dozens of secret little deals is Facebook cutting with advertisers and governments in order for the bigger picture, Facebook's success, to be realized?

Assange is not wrong here. It only makes sense in this era of technoia that governments try to keep tabs on us all.

Just So We're Crystal Clear On This

Torture. Had. Nothing. To. Do. With. The Capture. Of. Osama bin Laden

Errrrrrrrrrrrr, Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.... just keep pedalling that Big Wheel, Susie, and one day you'll get into the big girl X-Games...

So....Obama = Harry Potter...

...and Osama bin Laden = Voledmort.

Useful Idiot

One can only hope Donald Trump takes this personally
What a service the fuck could do for our nation.

Cap And Frayed


The Shit Will Hit The Fan

Get ready. Here it comes.

Identity Crisis

There was a fair amount of discussion over the unlikelihood that DNA testing could be done in under 24 hours to establish bin Laden's identity.

OMG! Our Corporations Are Overtaxed!

Um, no, they aren't

Topping out at 35 percent, America’s official corporate income tax rate trails that of only Japan, at 39.5 percent, which has said it plans to lower its rate. It is nearly triple Ireland’s and 10 percentage points higher than in Denmark, Austria or China. To help companies here stay competitive, many executives say, Congress should lower it.

But by taking advantage of myriad breaks and loopholes that other countries generally do not offer, United States corporations pay only slightly more on average than their counterparts in other industrial countries. And some American corporations use aggressive strategies to pay less — often far less — than their competitors abroad and at home. A Government Accountability Office study released in 2008 found that 55 percent of United States companies paid no federal income taxes during at least one year in a seven-year period it studied.

The paradox of the United States tax code — high rates with a bounty of subsidies, shelters and special breaks — has made American multinationals “world leaders in tax avoidance,” according to Edward D. Kleinbard, a professor at the University of Southern California who was head of the Congressional joint committee on taxes. This has profound implications for businesses, the economy and the federal budget.

The answer is obvious: lower a little, simplify a lot and force US companies to pay taxes here at home and stop expatriating jobs and revenues.


I Hope This Picture Doesnt't Come To Haunt Us

Ain't Got A Problem With It

Sure, it would have been nice to parade his head on a pike around Ground Zero and the Pentagon and have a drunken orgy with rashers of bacon and 72 hookers.
What would it have accomplished? Some sort of closure? How? It's not bin Laden the man, it's just a bag of bones. He wouldn't feel the wrath of Americans. Now, had he been brought back to America to stand trial, then I would have loved to seen him publicly humiliated, perp-walked like Bernie Madoff, forced to deal with Americans face-to-face.
Imagine his days in Leavenworth, serving prison in perpetuity, married to Bruno the father-raper.
No, the best thing we could have done was give him an ignominious and anonymous burial, the more anonymous the better. He'll be martyred by those who would martyr him anyway. There's no need to give them a focus for their anger.
Yes, it makes proving his death more difficult and therefore will give rise to any number of conspiracy theories. So what? There's prima facie evidence that we got him, we got him now, and we got him the way Obama said we did. He hasn't been on ice for five or six years, he hasn't been posting fake tapes all this time.
That evidence? Al Qaeda is pissed. If he had actually been dead all this time and Al Qaeda had been making tapes up, then they simply would have issued a new tape (perhaps one where bin Laden mocks America and taunts us), "proving" he wasn't dead.
They didn't. They won't. This one took them as much by surprise as their attacks on us. In their silence they speak truth. The people who won't listen to that are like the Birthers: they simply won't ever listen.

Killing Two Birds With One Shot

The raid and subsequent killing of Osama bin Laden will echo for years, if not decades, to come:

Since the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, al Qaeda has spawned affiliated groups in the Middle East and North Africa and inspired attacks by so-called home-grown militants in Europe and the United States.

But White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan said bin Laden's death was the latest in a series of U.S. operations that have delivered "severe body blows" to al Qaeda's central network in Pakistan and Afghanistan over the past year.

"We're going to try to take advantage of this opportunity we have now with the death of al Qaeda's leader, bin Laden, to ensure that we're able to destroy that organization," Brennan told NBC's Today show. "We're determined to do so and we believe we can."

It's not like this is unexpected. Once the "Global War On Terror" became extant, we all knew this was not going to just be Afghanistan, Iraq, two and done. Sadly, it seems that no matter what, we'll be fighting this war indefinitely. Oceania will no longer be our enemy, East Asia will. Or the other way around. Or not. Maybe. Maybe not.

It is interesting that the two nations most responsible for the terrible attacks on September 11 2001, Pakistan (whose ISI likely funneled money to the attackers and which certainly knew it was harboring bin Laden) and the Sauds (15 of the 19 hijackers, yadayadayada), remained unpunished and indeed, rewarded for their assistance in these attacks, however indirect it may have been.

So likely, our further development of this war on terror will involve at least these two nations, probably Yemen as well as any number of UAE states which seem to provide either funding or havens for Al Qaeda.

And while I can applaud dismantling that which we effectively created in Al Qaeda, I can't help but wonder what pops up in its place. Right now, there doesn't seem to be an organization capable of picking up the slack, employing the resources and manpower that Al Qaeda managed to harness, albeit briefly.

That doesn't mean we're safe. Indeed, small-scale attacks have always been the greater source of danger to the average American because those actually require vigilance on the part of all people, not just law enforcement. This would be fine except Americans have the attention span of a gnat (quick...what was the big story before the birth certificate release last week?) and would insist on the abrogation of the rights of the people they suspect.

The police already effectively have that power and it's already abused regularly nationwide. I'm pretty sure the last thing I want is untrained vigilantes roaming around with that kind of freedom.

There's also the school of thought, as noted yesterday, that home-grown jihadists may take bin Laden's death as a signal to initiate whatever plots they were working on, a sort of "terrorist deadman switch" having been activated. If bin Laden was alive, then bigger plots were in the works, so stay below the radar. Now that he's not, start spraying.

There's yet another possibility: a group or groups we hadn't even considered could have been working with the remnants of Al Qaeda all along, trying to forge an alliance that would pick up where 9/11 left off. These groups could conceivably have the funding and manpower necessary to continue the attacks and so long as Al Qaeda remains in play, we might have a lead on these activities ahead of time. We've spent ten years and who knows how much money to infiltrate Al Qaeda and to provide intel.

We squash Al Qaeda, we squash those efforts.


Oh. The other bird killing bin Laden kills?

Donald's Trump candidacy.

You see, it's forced him out of the brush and as Saturday's Correspondents' Dinner showed, the man does not have the strength to run a campaign.


Monday, May 02, 2011

Nobody Asked Me, But...

Special "GotHim BinLaden" Edition
1) So...trillions of tax dollars, two unnecessary wars, and ten long years, and it turns out, the guy was hiding in a gated community.
2) Was it worth roughly $6,000 for each of you and your family for this? Was it worth the five thousand or so American lives? Or the half million Iraqis and Afghanis?
3) The Pakistani government, particularly the military, comes off looking awfully bad in all this. Bush was too quick to accept Musharaff's assistance so gladly. We had no business treating him as an ally.
4) I think when history has its say, one of the reasons Bush refused to even look for Bin Laden (and to obstruct any legitimate attempts to capture or kill him) was out of fealty to the Saudi royal family. It's hard to stand tall against an enemy when your dad is in a business partnership (Carlyle) with his uncle. It took someone with the stones to stand up to the House of Saud and say "Screw you, we're taking him out."
5) Bin Laden dies knowing he accomplished what he set out to do: destroy America. For fifteen years, he carefully dissected the weaknesses of our "democracy" and our capitalist economy. He demonstrated the fear will trump (pun intended) principles every time. He managed to reveal that America can torture with the best of tyrannies, that America can oppress its people economically, that America can take a thriving economy and turn it into a bankruptcy, and that America will elect the weakest possible leaders if given half a chance and a immoral faction whose lust for power overwhelms their patriotism. Allah could not have handed him a better adversary than George W. Bush, a man so morally corrupt and politically inept that he managed to take a moment that could have united the entire world, including the Arabic street, behind him and make that same world ridicule him and hate us.
6) They didn't hate us for our freedom, Mr.Bush: they hated you for being an idiot and us for electing you twice.
7) President Obama, the two-term President. Get used to that. The public perception, as wrong-headed as it will be, is that Osama bin Laden = terrorism. That means, perceptually, Obama won the war on terror. That makes economic news and unemployment take a back seat. Indeed, if anything, it may jump start the economy. Good news has a way of doing that.
8) Sarah Palin is irrelevant. Michelle Bachmann is irrelevant. Donald Trump is irrelevant (and how much did Obama savor the thought of jumping ugly during Trump's preccious iddle teebee pwogwam?)
9) If Obama's White House is smart, and I suspect they may be smarter than I give them credit for, now is the time to press hard for a budget deal and a debt ceiling deal. Boener and the Teabaggers will have a hard time arguing with the guy who just took out the guy no one else could.
10) This is not, by any means, closure. It's soothing, to be sure, and encouraging, but closure will be when all accountable have been held accountable, including a former President.