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Welcome! "What's Happenin'?" is a casual community diary (a daily series, 8:30 AM Eastern on weekdays, 10 AM on weekends and holidays) where we hang out and talk about the goings on here and everywhere.  

We chat about our lives, our health, our families, our social circles, our pets, etc.   We welcome links to your writings here on dkos or elsewhere, posts of pictures, music, etc.  

Just about anything goes, but attacks and pie fights are not welcome here.  This is a community diary and a friendly, peaceful, supportive place for people to interact.  

This diary series is produced by the Team DFH group but anyone who wants to join in peaceful interaction is very welcome.


Good Morning! Happy President's Day!


Drop in any time of day or night to say hello.


A Few Quotes for This Morning

What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

No man will ever bring out of the Presidency the reputation which carries him into it.  ~Thomas Jefferson, letter, 1796

Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so.  ~Gore Vidal

The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal - that you can gather votes like box tops - is... the ultimate indignity to the democratic process.  ~Adlai Stevenson, speech, Democratic National Convention, 18 August 1956

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  ~John F. Kennedy

America did not invent human rights.  In a very real sense... human rights invented America.  ~Jimmy Carter

Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.  ~John F. Kennedy

Conformity is that jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.  ~John F. Kennedy

The basic problems facing the world today are not susceptible to a military solution.  ~John F. Kennedy

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower, first inaugural address, 20 January 1953

Here in America we are descended in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine.  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower, address, Columbia University, 31 May 1954




News

The delicate war dance continues...

Iran Raid Seen as a Huge Task for Israeli Jets

WASHINGTON — Should Israel decide to launch a strike on Iran, its pilots would have to fly more than 1,000 miles across unfriendly airspace, refuel in the air en route, fight off Iran’s air defenses, attack multiple underground sites simultaneously — and use at least 100 planes.

That is the assessment of American defense officials and military analysts close to the Pentagon, who say that an Israeli attack meant to set back Iran’s nuclear program would be a huge and highly complex operation. They describe it as far different from Israel’s “surgical” strikes on a nuclear reactor in Syria in 2007 and Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981.

“All the pundits who talk about ‘Oh, yeah, bomb Iran,’ it ain’t going to be that easy,” said Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, who retired last year as the Air Force’s top intelligence official and who planned the American air campaigns in 2001 in Afghanistan and in the 1991 Gulf War.

I wish I could say I was surprised by this...
U.S. Super-Sizing Afghan Jail It Promised to Abandon

There once was a plan to turn over the main U.S. detention center in Afghanistan to control of the Afghans in 2011. That’s out the window. Instead, the military is offering millions to vastly expand the center’s inmate intake.

Specifically, $35 million will fund expansions necessary to house “approximately 2,000 detainees” at the Detention Facility at Parwan on the outskirts of Bagram Air Field, an hour’s drive from Kabul. The Army Corps of Engineers wants to expand “detainee housing, guard towers, administrative facility and Vehicle/Personnel Access Control Gates, security surveillance and restricted access systems,” according to a recent solicitation. A Turkey-based company received the contract in late January.

This wasn’t supposed to happen. As far back as summer 2010, senior military officials in charge of the detention center boasted to Danger Room outright that by January 2012, they wouldn’t be running the square-mile sized prison. They considered handing the detention center to the Afghans a mark of their own success at fostering a culture of law and order within the Afghan government.

We're taking such good care of the earth. /snark And here come the high gas prices!
BP idles large Washington state refinery after fire

HOUSTON/SEATTLE (Reuters) - BP Plc idled production at its Cherry Point refinery in Washington state on Saturday, a day after a large fire broke out near the core crude oil unit of the third-largest plant on the West Coast.

The sole crude distillation unit, or CDU, at the 225,000 barrel-per-day refinery was shut following the one-hour blaze on Friday, said BP spokesman Scott Dean. All other units have been idled in warm standby mode ready for a quick restart while the CDU is being examined and plans made for restoring production.

Dean said there was no estimate available for how long it would take to restart the CDU and return production to normal. Refinery workers will have to determine the extent of damage from the blaze, a process expected to take up the weekend.

Indeed...
America’s last hope: A strong labor movement

The fate of the labor movement is the fate of American democracy. Without a strong countervailing force like organized labor, corporations and wealthy elites advancing their own interests are able to exert undue influence over the political system, as we’ve seen in every major policy debate of recent years.

Yet the American labor movement is in crisis and is the weakest it’s been in 100 years. That truism has been a progressive mantra since the Clinton administration. However, union density has continued to decline from roughly 16 percent in 1995 to 11.8 percent of all workers and just 6.9 percent of workers in the private sector. Unionized workers in the public sector now make up the majority of the labor movement for the first time in history, which is precisely why — a la Wisconsin and 14 other states — they have been targeted by the right for all out destruction.

The urgency is striking. Instead of being fundamentally discredited, the oligarchs and plutocrats who crashed our economy are raking in record profits and acting even more aggressively to bury the American labor movement once and for all. Over the last year, several labor leaders have told me that they believe unions have only about five more years left if they don’t figure out some kind of breakthrough strategy.

If you really want to get pissed off today, here's your story...
NYPD monitored Muslim students all over Northeast

One autumn morning in Buffalo, N.Y., a college student named Adeela Khan logged into her email and found a message announcing an upcoming Islamic conference in Toronto.

Khan clicked "forward," sent it to a group of fellow Muslims at the University at Buffalo, and promptly forgot about it.

But that simple act on Nov. 9, 2006, was enough to arouse the suspicion of an intelligence analyst at the New York Police Department, 300 miles away, who combed through her post and put her name in an official report. Marked "SECRET" in large red letters, the document went all the way to Commissioner Raymond Kelly's office.

Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/...

Fun Facts for President's Day!
Which President Grew Pot? 9 Shocking Things You Might Not Know About U.S. Presidents

February 19, 2012  |  It's President's Day and just like every year, lists ranking the legacy of the 44 U.S. presidents proliferate. But we thought it would be fun to show you the wild side of the White House.








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