Thursday, November 27, 2008

Headlines - Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving!
How science super-sized your turkey dinner:
It's that time of year when many of us find ourselves sitting at a table with wingnut, Faux News watchers, bless their hearts, who are full of "facts" about how the liberals are ruining the country. While it would be wonderful to talk about how amazing it is that we have our first black president, I am quite sure that tomorrow's dinner in NH will focus on how he is the antichrist himself and the most liberal Muslim in the Senate.... ever.

Then we'll probably hear about how the northern autoworkers make $70/hour (they don't) and how good it is that southern autoworkers make a pittance with no health insurance and that's why the relatives only buy foreign cars because it's the American way to exploit those who make slave wages...

I agreed to put up with the catholic, conservative, homophobic, right wing that is my son's father's side of the family for Thanksgiving as long as Christmas is spent with liberal people of my choice who are mostly not my relatives. I did that last year and it worked out fantastically.

My plan of non-attack for tomorrow is to start drinking heavily upon arrival in New Hampshire and sit with the children. I vow to keep my mouth shut for the most part except that I promised myself to interject that "I like Hillary" when her name comes up just to make things interesting.

What kind of thanksgiving do you expect tomorrow? How will you deal with wingnuts?
From 23/6:
President-elect Obama won by 8 million votes.

President Bush is probably
drinking again.

Many media conservatives
are furious with President Bush.

Experts say that Al Qaeda's recent video shows that the
terrorists are afraid of President-elect Obama.

President-elect Obama is
cocky enough to think he can pull this "economic miracle" shit off.

The "socialist" takeover of America's banks
happened on Bush's watch.

The "Democratic" Senate has been working with a one vote majority, and that vote is Joe Lieberman. If they get to the "Magic 60," that sixtieth vote is still
Joe Lieberman.

The majority of rich Americans voted to
have their wealth spread.

President Obama will probably only get to
replace liberal judges on the Supreme Court.

Cheer up, the GOP still owns the "
racist belt!":

Trivia for the day - h/t Jeff:
FYI, here's some info:
National Debt, pre-Bailout   $12,000,000,000,000
Cost of bailout-total    $10,000,000,000,000
2009 and 2010 National Debt    $2,000,000,000,000
Total National Debt 2010    $24,000,000,000,000
Number of Americans with jobs : 150,000,000
Debt per working American: $80,000
Debt per working couple: $160,000   
Current Treasury Interest rate  3%
Each person's annual interest on debt is $5,000 per year.  Put in a principal payment and it's double that.
File these figures away so when the Republicons really start playing the blame game, you'll remember where things stood before Obama took office. And remember, there are 55 days left for the numbers to get even worse.
The Onion: Bush pardons Scooter Libby in giant turkey costume:
Another one: Californians gather to celebrate annual wildfire tradition:
Maybe one of the reasons the Iraqis keep delaying the vote on SOFA is because the Bushies have "withheld the official English translation." This is also helpful in that it keeps the American people unaware of the details. The possible public dispute McClatchy refers to might arise from the intention of the Americans to interpret the words of the SOFA entirely differently than the Iraqis. For example, the Iraqis only think that the US is prohibited from attacking Iran from Iraqi soil.
Update: They did approve it afterall: Iraq's parliament approved Thursday a security pact with the United States that lets American troops stay in the country for three more years.
Afghan president Hamid Karzai wishes he could shoot down US planes bombing villages.
Reminder: around 3.5 billion U.S. dollars have been earmarked for reviving the wrecked air force in post-Taliban Afghanistan.
bin Laden's driver heading home.
US troops killed while on humanitarian mission in Iraq:
Joe Klein at his best: Bush's Last Days.
George Bush: Clueless to the bitter end

George and Laura recently sent Jewish community leaders invitations to a Hanukkah reception at the White House next month. But as the New York Post reports, the invitations "raised more than a few eyebrows" because the image on them was that of a "Clydesdale horse hauling a Christmas fir along the snow-dappled drive to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave."

Laura Bush's spokesperson said that detail had just "slipped through the cracks." So did everything else, like defending the Constitution, governing sensibly, and understanding just what it is that a president is supposed to do.


Habeas Schmabeas

Constitutional tomfoolery is afoot. The world is alight with talk of emoluments and essential oils. And Clinton. (Just google "emoluments" and "Clinton" and see.)

In case you didn't know before today, "emolument" is a word powdered wig types used way back when instead of "paycheck." Maybe because back then senators got paid in livestock instead of money.

It seems Obama appointing Clinton Secretary of State would be unconstitutional. Because of emoluments.

The problem is, Article I, Section 6 of the U.S. Constitution says a senator who has voted a pay increase for a job like Secretary of State can't then serve as Secretary of State. I guess to keep them from voting a big fat raise for a job they're eyeing in the future. Kind of presumptuous, if you ask me. Does anyone really think Clinton's (or anyone else who approved the pay increase) grand plan was to vote for the emoluments, then lose the primary, then sneak her way into that (presumably now) high-paying job as Secretary of State? Okay, maybe people do think that.

It's wonderful to know there are those fine, brave folks out there willing to stand up to our incoming president, and they won't let him make mockery of the rule of law in this country. Just imagine what would happen if our president tried to suspend habeas corpus on a whim or something.


Mumbai: Steve Benen has the overnight update.


The fact that Joe Lieberman supported McCain in the presidential election is well-known. However, the Washington Post reports today that Lieberman was also supporting at least four Republican lawmakers. His Reuniting our Country PAC gave $5,000 to Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) and another $5,000 to Rep. Peter King (R-NY) in October. He wrote an op-ed in the St. Pioneer Press defending Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), and publicly endorsed and contributed to the re-election of Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). More recently, Lieberman has said that he fears "America will not survive" if Democrats receive a filibuster-proof majority.

If he keeps this up, he'll soon be the Dems Majority Leader.


Fox News has not been allowed to ask a question at any of the four press conferences that Barack Obama has held since winning the election.


This is just scary. Indonesian politicians are moving forward with tagging HIV/AIDS patients with RFID chips.

During Thanksgiving Week, when absolutely no one is paying any attention at all, Henry "The Money Shovel" Paulson finally noticed who was at the bottom of the pecking order - the ones who could save the economy from sinking out of sight - and decided it might be a good idea to bail them out, too.

The Federal Reserve and the Treasury announced $800 billion in new lending programs on Tuesday, sending a message that they would print as much money as needed to revive the nation's crippled banking system.

So of course he picked a week when visibility was high and everyone would know about it and fears would calm and worried homeowners on the brink of foreclosure would breathe a sigh of relief.



Morford: Change and gratitude

How the hell can you be thankful in a time of fear and meltdown?


Two Cows - h/t Dick: 

You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbour.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and gives you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and sells you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and shoots you.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both, misplaces one, milks the other, and then allows the milk to sour.

You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.

You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.
The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company.  The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.
You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release.
The public then buys your bull.
You have two cows.
You turn them loose so they can be free to do as they please. 

You have two cows.
You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. Later, you hire a consultant to analyze why the cow has dropped dead.

You have two cows.
You go on strike, organize a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.

You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create a clever cow cartoon image called 'Cowkimon' and market it worldwide.

You have two cows.
You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

You have two cows, but you don't know where they are.
You decide to have lunch.

You have two cows.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
You count them again and learn you have 2 cows.
You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you.
You milk them and sell the milk.
You charge the owners for storing them.

You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity. You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

You have two cows.
You worship them.

You have two cows.
Both are mad.

Everyone thinks you have lots of cows.
You tell them that you have none. No one believes you, so they bomb the shit out of you and invade your country.
You still have no cows, but at least you now have 'Democracy'....and far fewer people who need milk.

You have two cows.
Business seems pretty good.
You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.
You have two cows.
They are quickly killed in a crossfire.
You must now seek other ways to fertilize your poppy fields.
You have 2 cows.
You're not sure why.
You have 2000 cows.
Your cows are endlessly producing manure...but very little milk.
You have two cows.
You register them to multiple precincts.

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