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This week Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hirsch published, in the London Review of Books, a story casting substantial doubts on the Obama administration's various (and changing) stories about how Osama bin Laden came to be killed by Navy Seal Team Six.  The administration and some media outlets denounced Hirsch and denied the accuracy of his story.  But other parts of the media, including the New York Times, corroborated significant parts, but not all, of Hirsch's reporting.  

Who to believe?  Of one thing we can be sure.  We the voters and taxpayers are not permitted to know the underlying facts.  That's all secret, and only available to a few selected Mandarins within the government.

That the actual voters can't be trusted with the facts necessary to evaluate the actions of our government is a pattern.  Join me below to discuss.

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Abu Zubaydah is the Rosetta Stone to the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture of detainees.  Abu Zubaydah was the most important early Al Qaeda captive.  Originally, he was questioned by FBI interrogators using rapport-building techniques.  He cooperated with the FBI, and he was a wealth of information about Al Qaeda's personnel, organization and tactics.  He generated more intelligence reports than any other captive after 9/11.  But, after the FBI was successful in obtaining mountains of intelligence from Abu Zubaydah, the CIA took him over, entirely cut out the FBI, and subjected him to torture - 187 different times, by contractors who literally had never conducted an interrogation before in their lives.  Why?  What was the CIA trying to achieve?  

The only plausible explanation is below the fold.

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As bad as last night was, it could have been worse.  If it weren't for Sarah Palin's endorsement of Tea Party crazies, it's likely that we'd have at best a 50-50 Senate (and be reliant on Joe Lieberman), and maybe worse.

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Ayn Rand, the sometime philospher and perhaps the most prominent atheist in the history of American arts and letters, has (some years after her death in 1982) taken over the Republican party.  Rand is the intellectual founder of modern Libertarianism - the movement that spawned GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul and then sparked the "Tea Party" movement.  Yesterday in Kentucky, Ron Paul's son won an overwhelming victory in the GOP Senate primary.  Ron Paul's intellectual debt to Ayn Rand is expressed in the fact that he named his son "Rand Paul".  But how many GOP regulars understand that the central tenet of Rand's so-called philosophy of Objectivism is an absolute rejection of any belief in God or the Judeo-Christian concept of altruism?

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Today the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to issue a release directing all public companies to disclose whether global climate change, and the legislation and regulations designed to respond to climate change, will affect the results and operations of those companies.  Seems like a fairly straight-forward investor protection measure - isn't the SEC supposed to require public companies to disclose all material risks?  The punchline is that before the SEC could issue the release, Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent the SEC an angry letter opposing the release, because they fear it will lend support to efforts to pass cap-and-trade legislation.  So the two Republican members of the SEC (supposedly an independent agency), voted against the release.

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Many of you will not remember Maryland's Sen. Mac Mathias.  Mac was a Republican - and he was (perhaps with Lowell Weiker) one of the most reliably liberal Senators in the U.S. Senate.  The Washington Post reports that he died today at age 87.  Liberal Republican?  WTF?  Actually at one time, in the 1960's and 1970's, it wasn't that uncommon.  More below the fold.

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Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 06:23 PM PST

Army-Navy, and Healthcare

by BurlingameDad

Today I watched the Army-Navy football game, one of the great spectacles of American sports.  What jarred me back to reality was the story of Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs.  Dobbs is a great quarterback, who has lead Navy to a 9-4 record and a bowl game.  Earlier this year he ran for over 100 yards in a win against Notre Dame, sealing the fate of Notre Dame's coach, the evil Charlie Weis.  The game announcers today explained why Dobbs went to the Naval Academy.  Dobbs grew up poor in Douglasville, Ga.  At age 17, a multi-sport high school athletic star - Dobbs had never in his life been to a dentist.  He went to Navy because it seemed like a good way to get health care.

Sometimes you hear the tea-party types talk about how they don't think Obama, the Democrats or the left love America.  To which my response is - how can you say you love America, but you're willing to settle for a status quo where a child 17 years old can have never even once visited a dentist?  What kind of America is that where the men and women who defend our nation can be allowed to grow up in poverty like that?  Did I mention that Dobbs' ambition is to be President?  More power to him.


Today the New York Times shared with us Sam Brownback's "What I Think About Evolution" (  Aside from reminding us of the etymology of the word "cretin", this article creates opportunities for a whole new Republican school curriculum.  Let's start the new curriculum with "What I Think About Mathematics" by Sam Brownback (after the jump).

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Let's inventory just how America is doing on national security after nearly six years of the Republican administration and Republican Congress.
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