Monthly Archives: December 2011

2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 27,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Posted by on December 31, 2011 in Uncategorized


Latest 2012 Presidential Polls – 30 Dec 11 Edition

Concerning the ongoing GOTP nominating circus, a new Gallup Tracking poll of registered voters conducted 23 – 29 Dec 11 has been released and the current poll results are:

Mittens Romney 26; Newton “Benny Hill” Gingrich 24; Ronny Paul 11; Reverend Rick Perry 7; Michele “Krazy” Bachmann and Ricky “The Ric” Santorum 5 and Jon “I can’t believe it’s not butter” Huntsman 2

The GOTP clown car continues to careen wildly down the campaign trail with Mittens taking over the driving and Newton being shoved aside; Paul’s holding on in a weak third place while Reverend Perry moves up to fourth and Krazy moves back to fall in a tie at fifth with Santorum as Huntsman continues to loiter about at bottom-dwelling mud sucker status.

Romney somehow moves into the lead in Iowa as Santorum pushes up to a surprising third where a new NBC News/Marist poll of likely voters conducted 27 – 28 Dec 11 reports Romney 23; Paul 21; Santorum 15; Perry 14; Gingrich 13; Bachmann 6 and Huntsman 2

Romney holds onto his very solid lead in New Hampshire where the new CNN/Time poll of likely voters conducted 21 – 27 Dec 11 shows Mittens 44; Paul 17; Gingrich 16; Huntsman 9; Santorum 4; Bachmann 3 and Perry 2

Newton holds on In South Carolina where the latest Clemson poll of likely voters conducted 6 – 19 Dec 11 find Gingrich 38; Romney 21; Paul 10; Perry and Bachmann 5; Huntsman 3 and Santorum 2

Romney takes the lead in Florida where the new TelOpinion (R) poll of registered voters conducted on 15 – 19 Dec 11 has Romney 27; Gingrich 26; Paul 5; Perry and Bachmann 4; Huntsman and Santorum 1

In the four states with the lead off primaries – or caucuses – Romney now leads in three to Gingrich’s 1

Concerning how the GOTP “candidates stack up against the President; according to a very suspicious Rasmussen Reports poll of likely voters conducted 27 – 28 Dec 11, if the general election were held today:

President Obama 39/Romney 45

President Obama 47/Gingrich 47

Suddenly Mittens surges ahead of the President in a Rasmussen poll days before the Iowans crown their choice to lead the GOTP race, this is more than a little suspicious and as with every Rasmussen poll, where the President is concerned, should be taken with a very large grain of salt.

So, if the GOTP clown car had finally stopped spinning, and the general election was held today, and if the Rasmussen polls can be trusted (very doubtful) Mittens Romney would be the GOTP nominee, and would beat President Obama in the general election.

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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in 2012 Election


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Justin M. Whitmire

The Department of Defense announced the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

PFC Justin M. Whitmire, 20, whose home of record is listed as Easley, S.C., died 27 Dec 11 in Paktia, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered from the detonation of an improvised explosive device.

Whitmire joined the military in September 2010 as a health care specialist and was assigned to the 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, since September 2011.

Whitmire deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in July 2011.

Whitmire’s awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.

PFC Whitmire is the 1,863rd American killed in Afghanistan … Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden

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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in War on Terror



Kurt W. Kern

The Department of Defense announced the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

SPC Kurt W. Kern, 24, whose home of record is listed as McAllen, Texas, died 27 Dec 11 in Paktia, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered from the detonation of an improvised explosive device.

Kern joined the military in September 2009 as military police and was assigned to the 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, since September 2011.

Kern deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in December 2011.

Kern’s awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon.

SPC Kern is the 1,862nd American killed in Afghanistan … Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden

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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in War on Terror



Noah M. Korte

SGT Noah M. Korte of Lake Elsinore, California was killed on 27 Dec 11 in Paktika Province, Afghanistan, according to the Department of Defense. Korte died when his unit was attacked by an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade in Fort Hood, Texas.

The 29-year-old Korte was married to Kristi Korte, according to Noah Korte’s Facebook page. The couple have two young children. One of the last messages he wrote on Facebook was to his family:

“To my beautiful wife and kids, daddy loves you very much, so be good and take care of mommy while I’m away.”

Korte attended California Lutheran High School. He was a supporter of the Surfrider Foundation, the National Rifle Association, and Soldiers’ Angels.

SGT Korte is the 1,861st American killed in Afghanistan … Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden

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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in War on Terror



Joseph J. Altmann

Army SSG Joseph J. Altmann’s plans and dreams were coming together: He married in February, re-enlisted in October for another four years of service and expected to return by this March from a deployment in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, his father, John, said.

His wife, Nikki, planned to quit her Texas-based job with a charter air transport company serving armed forces personnel when Altmann ended this deployment, his father said Tuesday. Then the young couple could live together and start a family.

But the couple’s plans abruptly ended on Christmas Day.

Altmann, 27, died Sunday of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit in Kunar province, a mountainous region in northeastern Afghanistan. His parents were notified around 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

“Christmas will never be the same in the Altmann home,” his father said. “He will be sadly missed.”

The family is “devastated,” even though they knew the risks Altmann faced by re-enlisting, his mother, Janice, said.

“As a mother, you worry about your child no matter what they do,” she said, “but we talked about it, and we supported his decision 110%.”

Late Tuesday, Nikki Altmann was to accompany her husband’s parents on a flight from Minneapolis to Dover, Del. Joseph Altmann’s body was scheduled to arrive there Wednesday from Afghanistan and will be flown to Wisconsin later in the week.

Altmann, a combat medic and Marshfield native, previously served two tours of duty in Iraq.

He is the 29th Wisconsin resident to die while serving in Afghanistan and the 10th this year.

He was a 2003 graduate of Columbus Catholic High School in Marshfield, where he played multiple sports.

“He was not a superstar,” his father said. “He just played his heart out.” That was his son’s approach to life, he said.

Altmann was a popular student who enjoyed getting together with friends, his mother said.

“He just lit up a room,” she said. “He was always bright and bubbly, always in a good mood.”

After trying college for a year, Joseph Altmann decided to enlist in the Army.

“He wanted to be a medic,” his father said. “He loved to do it.”

The family was not surprised he became a medic. Altmann’s grandfather, Jim, had nicknamed him “the surgeon” because he was always the first one in their hunting group to offer to dress a deer, and his work showed “surgical” skills, his father said.

“Joe really, really loved the job he was doing,” his mother said. “He was so proud to stand next to the men he served with.”

Altmann was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks in Hawaii.

Services are pending at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Marshfield. Visitation likely will be held at Columbus Catholic High School, John Altmann said.

SSG Altmann is the 1,860th American killed in Afghanistan … Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Posted by on December 28, 2011 in War on Terror



Romney says Gingrich campaign’s a sitcom?

According to the Associated Press (AP), Republican Tea Party (GOTP) perpetual presidential bridesmaid, Mittens Romney is comparing Newton Gingrich’s campaign to the 1950’s sitcom, “I Love Lucy”.

Mittens mewed about Newton during a stop in New Hampshire, knocking the former House speaker for likening his trouble getting onto Virginia’s primary ballot to attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

“I think he compared that to … what was it, Pearl Harbor? I think it’s more like Lucille Ball at the chocolate factory,” Mittens mewed, referring to the episode where the homemaker Lucy switches places with her husband for a day and is humorously overwhelmed as chocolates fly past her on an assembly line. “You’ve got to get it organized.”

GOTP officials in Virginia announced over the weekend that Gingrich had failed to submit enough signatures to get on the ballot for the state’s March 6 primary. In a post on Facebook, campaign manager Michael Krull compared the situation to the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

Wow, really? So, GOTP officials are the Japanese attacking Pearl Harbor because the yokels on the Gingrich campaign can’t get their collective acts together? How pathetic. What this demonstrates is how flat footed Newton’s team really is; he never seriously expected to be in a position to be challenging Mittens for the nomination and the three ring circus he calls a campaign is proof positive of that with Gingrich wearing the red nose and big floppy shoes. If the Newt campaign resembles any kind of TV show however it’s not “I Love Lucy”, it’s “Benny Hill”.

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Posted by on December 28, 2011 in 2012 Election


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Perry says if you get raped and become pregnant, too bad …

Republican Tea Party (GOTP) presidential wannabe Reverend Rick Perry’s shifting his opposition to abortion, saying he opposes it even after rape or incest.

Previously, the Reverend believed abortion was acceptable in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is at risk. Now that he’s fallen dismally behind in the polls, he says abortion in all forms should be prohibited.

Perry told a pastor who asked him about his views that, in his words, “you’re seeing a transformation.”

And it’s a transformation out of the necessity to sellout to the far-right evangelicals in hopes of picking up primary votes.

Perry says he recently watched former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s documentary about abortion. He says he met a woman in the film and that she told him she was the result of rape and that her life has worth.

Perry says that encounter led him to rethink his position.

Very interesting, so every woman who is ever raped should never have the option of terminating the pregnancy? This is the America of today’s GOTP; it’s an America where evangelical Christian Shariah law prevails; if you’re a woman and you vote Republican in 2012, and you get raped and can’t have an abortion, blame yourself.

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Posted by on December 27, 2011 in 2012 Election


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Mikayla A. Bragg

A female Mark Morris High School graduate was shot and killed Wednesday in a guard tower in Afghanistan, according to the soldier’s stepmother. U.S. Army Specialist Mikayla Anne Bragg is Cowlitz County’s first casualty in a combat zone since the Vietnam War, according to Daily News archives.

Bragg, 21, was scheduled to leave Afghanistan around Christmas and return to the United States on Jan. 6, stepmother Amber Bragg of Longview said Thursday.

Army officials have not yet confirmed the death or released any information about the incident. Bragg’s father, Steve Bragg, flew to the U.S. Air Force base in Dover, Del., to identify her remains, her stepmother said, adding that the Army is planning to conduct an autopsy.

Bragg enlisted right after she graduated high school in 2008, Amber Bragg said.

Family members said Bragg was deployed from Fort Knox in Kentucky to Afghanistan in August. She graduated basic training at Fort Sill in Lawton, Okla., and she was classified as a sharpshooter because of her accuracy with a rifle.

According to her Facebook page, Bragg’s primary duties were as a motor transport operator for the Third Brigade Combat Team, First Infantry Division.

Bragg will be buried in Longview but the family has not set a date for the funeral.

About 1,700 U.S. military personnel have been killed in the war in Afghanistan since it started in 2001.

Survivors include mother Sheyanne Baker of Shelton, Wash., sister Kandyce Bragg of Shelton, half-brother Allen Davids, currently serving in Iraq with the U.S. Army, and half-siblings Joseph Bragg and Ariel, Darien and Julian DeForge.

Mikayla Bragg joined the Army to earn money to pay for college and she hoped to go into a field helping people or animals, Amber Bragg said, adding “She’s always been a kind-hearted person. She’s always gone out of her way to help out other people in whatever way she could.”

Best friend Tiffany Holst, 21, remembers Bragg, who loved “goofy kid movies” like “Finding Nemo” and “The Spongebob SquarePants Movie,” would always cry when Bambi’s mother died when watching the Disney film.

“She was always like that,” Holst said. “She loved animals.”

The Bragg family recently moved to a different home in Longview, which Amber Bragg said resulted in a slight delay in the family being notified by the Army. Once family members were informed in their front yard, Amber Bragg recalled a man working for a tree service across the street noticed something was wrong and offered to help without giving his name.

It was a bright moment in an otherwise tragic day, she said.

“He brought us dinner for our family and brought us a gift card to help out with whatever we needed. You don’t see that anymore,” she said.

In the living room of the Braggs’ Highlands neighborhood home, framed photos of the children cover the walls. Next to the kitchen doorway, “Kayla” — as her friends and family called her — is at a high school formal dance in a red gown, posing with her date in a tuxedo and top hat.

Family and friends said she had a unique presence, once sporting a mohawk haircut and sometimes wearing skirts with jeans underneath.

“She definitely had her own style,” said Denae Smith, who once worked with Bragg at the Walgreen’s drug store along Ocean Beach Highway. “She was the one with the crazy hair and crazy makeup. I wouldn’t call her gothed out, but she was definitely wild.”

Beneath Bragg’s dark-clad exterior and distinctive makeup choices, Smith said her kindness always came through.

A certain cranky customer once entered the store looking for batteries and brought Smith to tears after a few days on the job. Smith said it was Bragg who tried to joke around and cheer her up after helping the customer.

“She made everybody laugh,” her friend Holst said. “She was sweet and caring.”

She also was a young woman with typical desires and doubts. Bragg was excited to join the military for the adventure and better pay, but was afraid to leave her family behind and dreaded the thought of being deployed.

“But she was strong. …  And she liked the bases,” Holst said. “She liked looking at all the guys. She didn’t like wearing her uniform because it made her look like a guy.”

Holst exchanged messages with Bragg via Facebook seven hours before she died, and the two talked about men in their lives and how they looked forward to seeing each other when Bragg returned.

Tiffany’s mother, Linda Wheeler, reminisced how much Bragg changed as she transformed from a meek 12-year-old girl she first met into an outgoing woman.

“You would’ve had to have met her to know Mikayla,” said Wheeler. “We watched her grow up into a mature, wonderful woman. She was a heck of a character, she would always help people smile. And she’d always let you know if you were doing something you weren’t supposed to be doing. … She died a hero in my eyes.”

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Posted by on December 26, 2011 in War on Terror



Democrats are Nazis?

A Florida Republican congressman who likened Democrats’ opinion shaping to the efforts of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels has lamely attempted defending his comments even as criticism has continued mounting..

Republican Tea Party (GOTP) Congressman Allen (Walter E. Kurtz) West from Florida made the Nazi reference a few weeks ago when asked about Congress’ approval ratings and the blame the public has apparently assigned to Republicans.

“If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat Party because they have an incredible propaganda machine,” West said, according to Politico, the Arlington, Va.-based news organization that first reported the comments.

Goebbels was Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister.

West, who represents a South Florida district containing an influential Jewish constituency and a sizeable population of Holocaust survivors, told reporters, in his remarks at the Capitol, he was comparing Democrats to Nazi propaganda, not the Nazis themselves, but that did little to quell controversy.

Ah yes, because comparing Democrats to Nazi propaganda was OK?

“Congressman West needs to immediately apologize for insulting the memories of the millions who lost their lives during the Holocaust,” said Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Comparing political differences today to the worst Nazi propagandist diminishes what happened to millions of Jewish families during the Second World War. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that Congressman West has made this type of hateful remark that makes a mockery of what millions of Jewish families suffered.”

West (Kurtz), defended his latest remarks, saying through a spokeswoman that twisting his comments was “a perfect example” of what he was talking about.

“Congressman West was referring to the `lies, deception and manipulation’ coming from the Democrat propaganda machine and comparing that to the same misinformation coming from Goebbels during World War II,” spokeswoman Angela Sachitano said.

West is a loose cannon and a lunatic – he’s a frightened little man trying to make excuses as to why his – and the Tea Party’s – “popularity” is beginning to wane; hope he’s enjoyed his short stint in Congress; crazy is no longer in vogue.


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Posted by on December 26, 2011 in Lunatics


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