CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O IS OBSESSED WITH PAUL RYAN. HE JUST CAN'T STOP TALKING ABOUT HIM. IT'S RARE FOR A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE TO SPEND TIME TALKING ABOUT THE OTHER TICKET'S V.P. CANDIDATE.
TOP FIVE REASONS BARRY O IS OBSESSED WITH PAUL RYAN
5) BARRY O'S SAGGY MOOBS (MAN BOOBS) MAKE HIM JEALOUS OF THE MORE FIT PAUL RYAN.
4) BARRY O USED TO BE THE NEW GIRL BACK IN 2007. NOW NOT ONLY DOES HE HAVE TO COMPETE WITH ZOOEY DESCHANEL FOR THAT TITLE, HE'S ALSO GOT A PRESS THAT FINDS PAUL RYAN INTERESTING.
3) BARRY O'S CAMPAIGN TESTED THIS LINE AND IT DID NOT WIN VOTERS, "PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS GOING ON ABOUT PAUL RYAN'S PECS. WELL THE TRUTH IS PAUL RYAN DID NOT BUILD HIS PECS! YOU BUILT THEM. I BUILT THEM. AND WE SHOULD ALL GET TO SEE, TOUCH AND TASTE THEM UP CLOSE. I, MYSELF, WOULD PREFER TO SUCK THE LEFT NIPPLE."
2) BARRY O CAN'T STAND THAT PAUL RYAN IS ACTUALLY THINNER. HE'S BEEN MARCHING AROUND THE WHITE HOUSE TOPLESS GRABBING HIS MOOBS AND SQUEEZING 2 INCHES OF FAT FROM EACH ONE WHILE WAILING THAT HE SHOULD TAKE A KNIFE AND CUT THEM OFF.
AND THE NUMBER ONE REASON BARRY O IS OBSESSED WITH PAUL RYAN . . .
TOLD WHITE HOUSE PLUS-SIZE SPOKESMODEL JAY CARNEY, "I WANT TO BE TAKEN BY PAUL RYAN, FISCAL STYLE, ON TOP OF THE OMB 2013 BUDGET!"
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Yesterday in Oakland some veterans were attacked in public. The attack took place at Barack Obama's Oakland campaign office and it was Barack's staff that attacked the veterans. One female volunteer had the intelligence to see how badly attacking anyone -- let alone veterans -- looked and she demanded that all campaign workers follow her to the back. Prior to that, some staff (I'm sure that's paid staff and volunteers) did attack veterans, pushed them, shoved them, attempted to grab their camera and who knows what else. And they scream and yell, "Get out of here! Get out of here!" It was an ugly look at what happens when reality walks in the door and the devoted can't take it so they attack. Everyone but the woman who called everyone to the back should be removed from the campaign. That behavior was outragous. The campaign should issue an apology for the assault on veterans. You can see the tape US News & World Reports has posted. It's not pretty. When the police use tactics like that, we are appalled. There is no excuse for campaign staff (paid or volunteer) to behave that way.
Those inside the office included Iraq Veterans Against the War's Joshua Shephard and Scott Olsen -- both of whom were also participants of Occupy Oakland. Scott, is of course, the veteran whose encounter with Oakland police resulted in a fractured skull (among other injuries) and the world was outraged. If the camera hadn't been there yesterday, how far would it have gone? Supposedly chairs were also wielded against the veterans? That's not in the video (the camera operator is knocked to the floor at one point and who knows what happened during that period). When Olson was attacked in 2011, it prompted a review by the Oakland police into their policies. Something similar needs to happen to Barack's Oakland office and Barack needs to issue a public apology to veterans. (Will he? I doubt it. He's always the first to scream at others for a supposed insult but the last to offer an apology. That was the pattern as candidate in 2007 and 2008 and it's remained the pattern -- as we saw most recently with regards to Poland.)
Veterans are not props. Politicians love to use veterans to shore up their own shoddy credentials. Those who have been happy to utilize (use) them for their campaigns should have the maturity to apologize publicly when an incident like what took place in Oakland goes down.
Joshua Shepherd: We're calling for a full pardon of Bradley Manning as well as an apology for Obama's statement that declared Bradley Manning was guilty before he faced any judicial proceedings. You know the military judicial system is not quite as fair as the civilian but it is, you know there are certain measures and a minimum level of justice and due process that is required. And the Obama administration has presided over this obliteration of that system and much to Bradley's deteriment.
Who is Bradley Manning?
Monday April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7, 2010, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported in August 2010 that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." In March, 2011, David S. Cloud (Los Angeles Times) reported that the military has added 22 additional counts to the charges including one that could be seen as "aiding the enemy" which could result in the death penalty if convicted. The Article 32 hearing took place in December. At the start of this year, there was an Article 32 hearing and, February 3, 2012, it was announced that the government would be moving forward with a court-martial. Bradley has yet to enter a plea and has neither affirmed that he is the leaker nor denied it. His court-martial was to take place next month but has been pushed back to February.
The San Jose Mercury News has a photo essay of the protest (photos by Ray Chavez). Kristin J. Bender (Oakland Tribune) reports there were sixty protesters outside and seven inside and that the protest "ended peacefully late Thursday, with a handful of arrests." World Can't Wait posts KTVU's report. Bay City News covers it here. Cedric's "Now if we can just replicate the Oakland spirit" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! OAKLAND'S GOT SPINE!" noted the protest this morning.
Outside the headquarters a woman explained, "American troops are being killed all over Asia and the Middle East. American troops suicide rate is higher right now than combat deaths. There's a reason for that."
Yesterday the Pentagon announced, "The Army released suicide data today for the month of July. During July, among active-duty soldiers, there were 26 potential suicides: one has been confirmed as suicide and 25 remain under investigation. For June, the Army reported 11 potential suicides among active-duty soldiers; since the release of that report, one case has been added for a total of 12 cases: two have been confirmed as suicides and 10 remain under investigation. For 2012, there have been 116 potential active-duty suicides: 66 have been confirmed as suicides and 50 remain under investigation. Active-duty suicide number for 2011: 165 confirmed as suicides and no cases under investigation. During July, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were 12 potential suicides (nine Army National Guard and three Army Reserve): one has been confirmed as suicide and 11 remain under investigation. For June, among that same group, the Army reported 12 potential suicides (nine Army National Guard and three Army Reserve): seven have been confirmed as suicides and five remain under investigation. The Army previously reported 10 Army National Guard and two Army Reserve cases for June."
Leon Panetta is the Secretary of Defense. July 25th, he appeared before the House Veterans Affairs Committee. From that day's snapshot:
US House Rep Mike Michaud: Quick question, and I want to read from a Veterans Service Organization letter that they actually sent to Senator [Jim] Webb just last week. And just part of it says, "The only branch of the military to show a marked improvement decreasing the number of persons taking their own life is the United States Marines. They should also be praised for their active leadership from the very top in addressing the problem and implementing the solutions. The remaining services have yet to be motivated to take any substanative action. " Secretary Panetta, I've been to Iraq and Afghanistan several times and I've looked the generals in the eye and I've asked them what are they doing personally to help the stigmatized TBI, PTSD? And the second question is: Do they need any help? I get the same answer over there as I do over here in DC: 'Everything's okay. We've got all the resources we need. We don't need any help.' But the interesting thing is someone much lesser ranked came up to me, after I asked the general that question, outside and said, "We need a lot more help." And he suggested that I talk to the clergy to find out what they are seeing happening. And I did that trip and every trip since then. And I'm finding that our service members are not getting the help that they need. And my question, particularly after looking at this letter that was sent to Senator Webb, it appears the Marines are doing a good job so why is it so different between the Marines, the Army and other branches? And can you address that?
Secretary Leon Panetta: You know -- Obviously, there's no silver bullet here. I wish there were to try to deal with suicide prevention. We-we have a new suicide prevention office that's trying to look at programs to try to address this terrible epedemic. I mean, we are looking. If you look at just the numbers, recent total are you've got about 104 confirmed and 102 pending investigation in 2012. The total of this is high, almost 206. That's nearly one a day. That is an epedemic. Something is wrong. Part of this is people are inhibited because they don't want to get the care that they probably need. So that's part of the problem, trying to get the help that's necessary. Two, to give them access to the kind of care that they need. But three -- and, again, I stress this because I see this in a number of other areas, dealing with good discipline and good order and, uh, trying to make sure that our troops are responding to the challenges -- it is the leadership in the field. It's the platoon commander. It's the platoon sergeant. It's the company commander. It's the company sergeant. The ability to look at their people, to see these problems. To get ahead of it and to be able to ensure that when you spot the problems, you're moving that individual to the kind of-of assistance that they need in order to prevent it. The Marines stay in close touch with their people. That's probably one of the reasons that the Marines are doing a good job. But what we're stressing in the other services is to try to develop that-that training of the command. So that they two are able to respond to these kinds of challenges.
US House Rep Mac Thornberry also raised the issue of suicides, noting Time magazine's recent cover story (July 23rd issue), Mark Thompson &; Nancy Gibbs' "One A Day: Every day, one U.S. soldier commits suicide. Why the military can't defeat its most insidious enemy." He raised the issue of "33% of all military suicides have never deployed overseas at all and 43% had deployed once." Panetta confirmed that statistic from the article was accurate. Panetta argued that suicide is on the rise "in the larger society" and that this is reflected within the military.
Today Rebecca Ruiz (NBC News) emphasizes this point on the latest suspected suicides, "Bruce Shahbaz, a medical analyst on the Army's Suicide Prevention Task Force, told Time that experts did notice the deaths of non-commissioned officers outnumbered those of junior enlisted members for the first time since 2001." Mark Thompson (Time magazine) adds, "The Army has been fighting suicides when they were occurring at the rate of nearly one a day -- in fact, that was the cover line on a Time story last month into the vexing problem of soldiers killing themselves after a decade of war. But July's 38 likely suicides spread over the month's 31 days works out to almost 1.25 suicides a day." For service members in need, there is Military One Source which does include a crisis hotline 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). There is also online counseling.
But Military One Source doesn't always work for service members as yesterday's report by David Martin (CBS Evening News) noted utilizing a talk Rebecca Morrsion gave in June at the annual DoD and VA suicide conference in which she spoke of her husband Capt Ian Morrison taking his own life, how he went to two different clinics but received no help and how he then dialed Military One Source, "He was on hold with Military One Source for over an hour before he hung up." Greg Jaffe (Washington Post) quotes mental health social worker and the wife of a Marine who took his own life seven years ago Kim Ruocco stating, "The military really is trying hard. But we need more money, more resources, and we need to make mental health care a higher priority. There are still too many gaps in care and too long of waits for soldiers seeking care."
Justin Moyer (Washington Post) reports on a University of Utah study entitled "Reasons for Suicide Attempts in a Clinical Sample of Active Duty Soldiers." The paper argues, "Explicit skills training in alternative behaviors that serve an emotion regulation function (e.g. mindfulness, relaxation, cognitive restructuring) could replace the use of suicidal behaviors for this same purpose." Katie Drummond (Forbes) notes, " Analysts suspect that as troops draw-down from combat zones overseas, more veteran soldiers -- many of whom have been deploying consistently since the dawn of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- are struggling to reintegrate into civilian life."
Jamie Crawford (CNN) quotes the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen Lloyd Austin, "Suicide is the toughest enemy I have faced in my 37 years in the Army. And it's an enemy that's killing not just Soldiers, but tens of thousands of Americans every year. That said, I do believe suicide is preventable. To combat it effectively will require sophisticated solutions aimed at helping individuals to build resiliency and strengthen their life coping skills."