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Biden Bites Back, Drones Kill, Pot Gains: Five Reads Friday

| October 12, 2012

Malarkey.


Biden-Ryan: an impressive draw: “The event saw the incumbent, Joe Biden, score points for passion, clarity (most of the time) and a strange, hybrid sort of scrappy, fist-flailing elder statesman’s condescension that (much of the time) was pretty effective. Correctly judging that his main role as a presidential understudy was to savage the other side’s principal, rather than his counterpart across the debate table, Mr Biden lobbed repeated mud pies at the absent Mitt Romney. At one point, dragging the debate back to Mr Romney’s secretly-recorded remarks dismissing 47% of the population as feckless welfare dependents, Mr Biden accused the Republican nominee of insulting the entire extended Biden family, starting with his parents. [...] On balance, too, Mr Biden was better than Mr Ryan at casting key arguments in brutally simple terms, as when he ended a long discussion about the wisdom of announcing a timetable for American troops to leave Afghanistan with the warning to the government in Kabul: “step up, step up, we’re leaving.” In a discussion about Medicare health coverage for pensioners, Mr Biden looked directly into the camera and asked watching retirees to trust their instincts, and ask themselves which party was more likely to defend Medicare entitlements. It was not pretty or clever, but it was probably effective.” From the Economist. Watch the full debate here.

The Obama administration drone war on civilians: In the United States, the dominant narrative about the use of drones in Pakistan is of a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the US safer by enabling “targeted killing” of terrorists, with minimal downsides or collateral impacts. This narrative is false. Following nine months of intensive research—including two investigations in Pakistan, more than 130 interviews with victims, witnesses, and experts, and review of thousands of pages of documentation and media reporting—this report presents evidence of the damaging and counterproductive effects of current US drone strike policies. Based on extensive interviews with Pakistanis living in the regions directly affected, as well as humanitarian and medical workers, this report provides new and firsthand testimony about the negative impacts US policies are having on the civilians living under drones. Real threats to US security and to Pakistani civilians exist in the Pakistani border areas now targeted by drones. It is crucial that the US be able to protect itself from terrorist threats, and that the great harm caused by terrorists to Pakistani civilians be addressed. However, in light of significant evidence of harmful impacts to Pakistani civilians and to US interests, current policies to address terrorism through targeted killings and drone strikes must be carefully re-evaluated. It is essential that public debate about US policies take the negative effects of current policies into account.” From livingunderdrones.org. Read the full report here, and watch:


Marijuana and the law: “Voters in three states — Washington, Oregon and Colorado — will decide on Election Day whether to take marijuana out of the black market shadows and put it under the daylight of state licensing and supervision. Each proposal has problems and pluses. But Washington’s is the one most likely to pass, judging from the polls. In a twist of time that any aging baby boomer can appreciate, this measure has the full backing of what used to be called the Establishment. And if, on Nov. 6, a state finally says no to one of the most counterproductive prohibitions in the nation’s history, it will be because the two sides in this continuing sham of Wile E. Coyote versus Road Runner have essentially switched. That’s right: those on the front lines of the endless drug war, the police and prosecutors, are now citing futility and common sense on behalf of legalization — at least in this state. And many of those who now profit from the unregulated medical marijuana industry, and the larger, organized crime gangs that control the illegal wholesale scene, are against legalization. The opposition to accessible pot in this state is led by a medical marijuana clinic. Go figure.” Tim Egan in the Times.

European Union wins Nobel Peace Prize despite debt crises: “The European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize today for its historic role in uniting the continent in an award meant as a morale boost for the bloc as it struggles to resolve its debt crisis. The EU has been a key in transforming Europe “from a continent of wars to a continent of peace,” Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said in announcing the award in Oslo. “This is a message to Europe to do everything they can to secure what they’ve achieved and move forward,” Jagland said, saying it was a reminder of what would be lost “if the union is allowed to collapse”. He praised the 27-nation EU for rebuilding after World War Two and for its role in spreading stability after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall. The prize, worth $1.2 million, will be presented in Oslo on 10 December. The decision by the five-member panel, led by Jagland who is also Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, was unanimous. The EU won from a field of 231 candidates including Russian dissidents and religious leaders working for Muslim-Christian reconciliation. But the EU is mired in crisis with strains on the euro, the common currency shared by 17 nations. The prize was a surprise given the EU’s current woes.” From the UK Independent.

How to Catch a Monster Wave: The Psychology of Big Wave Surfing: “Drawing from roughly 30 hours of interviews with Long, his parents, and the surfers and photographers who’ve worked with him, the film reveals the calculated risk and passion that go into the sport. “You look at a [surf photo in a] magazine, you look at 1/2,000 of a second of a moment of what happened on a lifelong pursuit to get there,” Todd Glaser, a staff photographer at Surfer Magazine, explains. What isn’t captured in the shot is a surfer’s dedication to physical training, grueling travel, and studying the weather patterns that create the waves of a lifetime. [...] Sine Qua Non runs long but the stories are epic indeed. The team recounts an incredibly daring (or just plain stupid) mission to surf Cortes Bank, 100 miles from dry land, in the small window between two storms. Long also describes a near-death experience at the hazardous surf spot Maverick’s that brings home just how close to the edge the sport can get. “It can easily be seen as selfish (and a lot of people do): ‘Why are you going out there risking your life for your own personal satisfaction?’ You’ve got people who care about you. Some people have family,” Long concedes. “Surfing big waves just becomes part of your heart and soul and who you are.” From the Atlantic. Watch:

Flagler County Jail Bookings, Oct. 11-12, 2012

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14 Responses for “Biden Bites Back, Drones Kill, Pot Gains: Five Reads Friday”

  1. Dorothea says:

    I listened to the pundits commenting after the VP debate. Oddly, the pundits found that in the Presidential debates, Romney’s interuptions, rudeness, grimaces, and general motor-mouthed answers, were examples of strong leadership qualities and in the VP debate, when VP Joe Biden did the same, thought the opposite.

    I do think the moderator did an excellent job. But the pundits need to get out of the style mode and start checking the substance mode, where Ryan was not only limited, but tried to bluff (fib) his way through his lack of substance. Here’s just one example of Ryan’s lack of substantial knowledge:

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/oct/12/paul-ryan/paul-ryan-said-obama-was-nyc-same-say-bibi-dissed-/

    When it came to foreign policy, Biden wiped the floor with Ryan.

    • johnny taxpayer says:

      Hmm… I watched both debates and I don’t recall Romney groaning or laughing awkwardly. I think must commentators, even democrats felt Biden came across as an arrogant prick at times, and he was very, very lose with facts. But then again nobody really expects anything else from Uncle Joe which no doubt why the Obama campaign has kept him locked up the past 5 weeks.

      But in the end Biden did better than expected, he managed to keep his foot out of his mouth for most of the 90 mins and didn’t further hurt his master’s campaign. So I can see why most of the President’s supporters would be happy with the outcome considering they were probably on pins and needles all night waiting for the next “Put y’all back in chains” gaff. But can we really consider that a gaff? After all Uncle Joe said last night “I always mean what I say”. I guess the fact he made it through the debate is a “BFD” to the Obama campaign. Now back in your closet Uncle Joe, we’ll let you out after the election, if you good boy.

  2. Magnolia says:

    Call me old fashioned, but watching that veep debate I couldn’t help but wonder what is so damned funny about people dying overseas?

    Maybe that’s the problem here, that Washington doesn’t understand that normal folks don’t think ANY of this is funny.

    Completely inappropriate behavior in a debate.

  3. Dorothea says:

    @johnny taxpayer

    Unlike the rudeness with which Romney in the Presidential debate interrupted the moderator, Biden interrupted only Paul Ryan, who would have rambled on forever with his litany of untruths. There was a direct correlation to every Biden grimace and each of Ryan’s lies. The majority of Obama supporters gave Biden a thumb’s up on his debate performance. Perhaps they were glad to see someone who behaved more like a Republican, i.e., in your words, “an arrogant prick.”

  4. Anon says:

    Joe Biden opened up a can of wup azz on Mr. Forcible.

    He would do the same for and expose Mr. Chameleon if given the opportunity.

  5. roco says:

    As usual Biden looked like the village IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Magnolia says:

    First we have an administration that claims they did not know about Operation Fast and Furious and now the veep is trying to convince us they did not know the Libyan Ambassador had been begging for more security for months. On the anniversary of 911?

    They are either lying or too incompetent to be President and Vice President.

  7. JW says:

    Politics are nasty and ugly and lots of scare tactics are used on uninformed voters to sway them to one side or another. A sad state of America. I think both choices stink, but what are you going to do? Read their stance, check the facts and look back on past voting records. If you can spend a little time doing that you might be an informed voter. But I think most folks do not do this, so they vote not really knowing the full extent of who or what they just voted for. A side note, seems like America is getting dumber every year. Just look at our kids going to school today compared to 25 years ago. Third world countries that have a GDP less than the state of Florida score higher on math and english (Their second language) then our own kids can these days. I know I am rambling but I am sick and tired of all the BS on both sides. Fix America, get us back on track, out of debt and back to working together as a team. Enough of the bipartisan “Bills” that never pass. Lets “hope” that “change” truly happens someday.

  8. Dorothea says:

    @Magnolia

    I have to fact-check something I have already fact-checked and posted. But here we go again.

    1. After an exhaustive hearing (witchhunt) by Darrell Issa, there was no evidence found that the administration was aware or involved in Operation Fast and Furious.

    2. The request for additional secuity was made months before attack, but these requests are frequently made by the more than 200 embassies around the world. It’s not likely that the administration knew about the request for addiional security. According to a witness at Issa’s latest witchhunt (hearing), the attack was so overwhelming that additional security would not have helped. It’s truly a shame that this terrible tragedy has been crafted into another witchunt at a time when the country should pull together.

    3. Issa’s hearing are targeting the Obama Administration and are purely politically motivated. Why no investigation of Republican alledged wrongdoing like Newscorp?

    I am posting a few websites for you to read. I routinely read through the news, right, left, and in between. May I suggest that you broaden your horizens about what is true, not true, and the truth stretched.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/oct/12/paul-ryan/biden-sympathized-and-wouldnt-second-guess-forced-/

    http://grist.org/politics/in-vp-debate-ryan-complains-of-green-pork-and-fact-checkers-swat-him-down/

    “Fact-check: True.

    Republicans in the House spent more than a year on a circus-show investigation into funding of Solyndra and found not a single shred of wrongdoing.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/12/politics/fact-check-benghazi-security/index.html

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/07/02/2875074/issas-pointless-inquisition.html

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/fact-check-the-vice-presidential-debate-between-biden-and-ryan-20121011

    http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/oct/11/fact-check-biden-v-ryan/

    • Magnolia says:

      @Dorothea: I was referring to the fact that this President is not aware of anything going on under his watch.

      Four people died, the first US Ambassador in over 30 years, and he blamed it on a stupid movie that nobody watched.

      He is an incompetent boob.

  9. Karma says:

    @Dorthea
    There is a lack of knowledge as you put it, and then there is straight up lying.
    Why don’t you fact check Biden’s voting record on BOTH wars…Looks like his hand was on the credit card too.
    http://freebeacon.com/biden-claims-he-voted-against-afghanistan-iraq-wars/

  10. forwardthinker says:

    Please Romney supporters… all you do is gripe and show your ignorance in so many ways. You spout a bunch of non facts, trying to sound like you know what you’re talking about. It is people like you who have made it so easy for the likes of R/R to say whatever sounds good at the time. Why is it so important that someone laugh at out and out lies, than the lies themselves. You and your ilk will suffer if those two get into office, unfortunately along with the rest of us who understand what they are trying to do to us. Give us all a break and think deeply once in a while instead of just repeating a bunch of BS that you heard someone else say.

  11. Dorothea says:

    @Karma

    Actually, I did check this point and Biden was not lying. Biden voted against putting the cost of the wars on the credit card and was in favor of paying for the wars with tax money. Read this excerpt from Slate and you will understand what I mean.

    “So on one level, Biden’s point here is that Republicans are huge hypocrites on the subject of debt. Absolutely true. But what’s this about wars on the credit card? I heard some snark about this to the effect that Biden voted for the wars too. And so he did. But he also opposed the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, and this kind of rhetoric was common from Democrats at the time. The party was split on the war in Iraq, but united on the principle that taxes should be higher to offset war spending.”

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/10/15/joe_biden_wars_on_a_credit_card_bush_was_right_to_borrow_the_money.html

  12. Shaun Morefield says:

    Well it happens to me all the time. Waking up like I dont want to do anything but watch tv or eat.. Thanks for sharing this motivating tips

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