Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Headlines - Wednesday

Some newspaper readers in Sapulpa are upset by what wasn't in the paper.

The Sapulpa Daily Herald did not report that Barack Obama won the Presidential election in its Wednesday edition.

It was missing in my local paper too. Funny, that.

The Ministry of Fear - Wisco
Normally, I'd just laugh it off. After the election of Barack Obama, the right was pretty much guaranteed to lose their freakin' minds. Never ones who lean toward moderation -- despite the adopted title of "conservative" -- the American right could be relied on to react to last Tuesday's undeniable electoral defeat with a renewed call to lunacy. And, being modern American Republicans, this madness manifests itself in feverish paranoia. The fear monger turns to fear because he's fearful himself -- fear is all he knows, so it's the only tool in his toolbox. Never mind that it didn't work at all during the election campaign and resulted in further losses for the party, attacks based on fear are what Republicans turn to.

And since the fear is seldom rational, the reasons given for the fear turn out to be lies. Typical of this fear-based politics are the right wing blowhards in the media. "I fear [this] is the guy that has these radical associations 20 years ago," Sean Hannity told his audience last week. Obama, cast as a terrorist before the election, is still a terrorist today.

"The Obama recession is in full swing, ladies and gentlemen," Rush Limbaugh blustered into his microphone Thursday. "Stocks are dying, which is a precursor of things to come. This is an Obama recession. Might turn into a depression." That's right, he's not even sworn in yet and the economy is all Obama's fault. And don't worry, the sheep will fall for it, ridiculous as it is. They always do.
James Rainey writes in the L.A. Times, "[Limbaugh] also assures us that the Democrat welcomes 'economic chaos' because it gives him 'greater opportunity for expanded government.' In a time when the nation calls out for cool leadership and rational discussion, Limbaugh stirs the caldron, a tendency he proved in a particularly grotesque way last week when he accused Obama's party of plotting a government takeover of 401(k) retirement plans." Of course, there is no such plan.

But people who treat Limbaugh and Hannity as gospel are either stupid, crazy, or both already. Their bobbleheaded audiences agree with every word as a matter of principle. They're the people who think you get to choose what's true, the people who come to belief without any evidence, the people who buy anything that lines up with what they want to be true. Of course, I've just defined chumps. Limbaugh and Hannity may have some influence of their audience, but their audience won't influence very many.

None of this is really new. Go to
Media Matters and go back through their archives -- you'll find similar claims going back to when the site was founded in 2004. Right wing media lies in an attempt to get their audience to crap their pants. It's what they do and it shouldn't surprise anyone.

But the stupidity and paranoia and lies don't end there. If it were only right wing media, we could dismiss it as preaching to the choir. But this attempt to get people to fear their new president goes much farther.

Associated Press:

A Republican congressman from Georgia said Monday he fears that President-elect Obama will establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist dictatorship.

"It may sound a bit crazy and off base, but the thing is, he's the one who proposed this national security force," Rep. Paul Broun said of Obama in an interview Monday with The Associated Press. "I'm just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may - may not, I hope not - but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism."

Broun cited a July speech by Obama that has circulated on the Internet in which the then-Democratic presidential candidate called for a civilian force to take some of the national security burden off the military.

"That's exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it's exactly what the Soviet Union did," Broun said. "When he's proposing to have a national security force that's answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he's showing me signs of being Marxist."
"The Obama transition team declined to comment on Broun's remarks," AP reports. "But spokesman Tommy Vietor said Obama was referring in the speech to a proposal for a civilian reserve corps that could handle postwar reconstruction efforts such as rebuilding infrastructure -- an idea endorsed by the Bush administration."

"We can't be lulled into complacency," Broun said. "You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I'm not comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I'm saying is there is the potential of going down that road."

Actually, Hitler wasn't elected. He was appointed. Kind like the guy in the White House right now, who originally won the presidency in a lawsuit. And, yes, you are comparing Barack Obama to Adolph Hitler, clearly and unquestionably. That kind of makes you a horse's ass, Paul.

So this is it, this is the next four years. While everyone else is trying to get something done, the Republicans will be in permanent campaign mode. And Republican campaigns -- as we've been so recently reminded -- are smear campaigns. Every hour of every day will be spent making stuff up to make the president look dangerous. If that's not good for the nation, so what? They don't serve the nation, they serve the GOP. Having lost using this strategy, they plan to continue it. They're terrified, they have to do something, and fear is all they know.
Update: the speech the wackjob is referring to is here - and at 16:32 of the video:

"And we're going to grow our Foreign Service, open consulates that have been shuttered, and double the size of the Peace Corps by 2011 to renew our diplomacy. We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded."
A Japanese brain test.

1. Click on 'Start'
2. Wait for the countdown- 3, 2, 1.
3. Memorize the number's position on 
the screen, and then click the circle from the smallest 
number to the biggest number. Remember, click on the 
numbers in ascending order.
4. At the end of game, the computer will tell you the age of your 
John Hinderacker, arguably the most influential conservative blogger in the country ...
Obama thinks he is a good talker, but he is often undisciplined when he speaks. He needs to understand that as President, his words will be scrutinized and will have impact whether he intends it or not. In this regard, President Bush is an excellent model; Obama should take a lesson from his example. Bush never gets sloppy when he is speaking publicly. He chooses his words with care and precision, which is why his style sometimes seems halting. In the eight years he has been President, it is remarkable how few gaffes or verbal blunders he has committed. If Obama doesn't raise his standards, he will exceed Bush's total before he is inaugurated.
Whatever this guy is smoking, I don't want any. What a Palin.
Palin: 1. An applicant lacking even basic job skills 2. Someone supremely un-self-aware or lacking any relative sense of what he/she does or doesn't know.
Nancy Greggs: Explain it again - but - real s-l-o-w
… 'cause I'm having a R-E-A-L problem understanding the concept.

And that leads me to believe that one of two things is going on here: (1) I am extremely slow on the up-take, or (2) you are not making any sense.

I appreciate the whole our guy lost thing – a circumstance that, by its very nature, is bound to incite anger, encourage a desire for revenge, and lead otherwise decent and intelligent people to glut themselves on sour grapes to the point of losing all common sense – along with their sense of perspective.

But what I am still struggling to understand is this whole anti-Christ thingy that's been attributed to Democrats and liberals for decades, an epithet now squarely aimed at our president-elect, Barack Obama, with a vengeance that I seem to remember – and please, correct me if I am wrong – was once His and His alone – or so sayeth, or speaketh, or whatevereth the Lord God Almighty (who some pseudo-Christians might still vaguely recall from some sermon they heard in a land long ago and faraway, in the time before Jesus and his teachings became available in the Xtreme DVD edition, complete with extras, out-takes, and behind-the-scenes footage never before aired in the churches of the nation) might have said, at one time or another, when the MSM wasn't there to report it.
Yep, still strugglin' here – struggling to understand how speaking up for middle-class workers and their right to a decent wage is an affront to the Sermon on the Mount (and if you haven't checked it out lately, it's worth a second read).

Still struggling to understand how promoting affordable healthcare for every American is a direct slap-in-the-face to the Nazarene, who pointed out that we are our brother's keeper – and whether we'd applied for the job or not, it was expected that we'd at least give the idea some serious thought – and maybe even a little bit of effort.

Still strugglin' here – trying to comprehend how the same people who claim to love The Man (ya know, the one who admonished His followers that as they do to the least among them, so they do unto Him) can't get their heads around the concept of feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless as something good Christians do and not as something you can slap the label of socialism on and dismiss out-of-hand, just because you're looking for a loophole to crawl through without parting with a dime (and I'll be damned if the right-wingers aren't danglin' that loophole – which has a strong resemblance to a noose – in front of every last greedy soul still lookin' for a legal argument to present on Judgment Day.)

Still tryin' – and not without a lot of effort – to comprehend how talking about diplomacy as a means to avert war, putting social safety-nets in place to catch the least among us, ensuring that an honest day's work equals an honest day's pay, encouraging dialogue rather than fingers-in-your-ears silence/ignorance, and promoting peace and understanding is anti-Christ behavior – but I am trying.

Maybe I'm the one who's got it all wrong – and I am humble enough to accept that possibility. But it seems to me that putting our trust in the guy who is willing to encourage an entire nation – if not the entire world – to walk in the other guy's shoes, and truly appreciate what he needs, is a step in the right direction.

It's kind of like walking in the Shoes of the Fisherman – who some (but apparently not all) will recall from a previously-viewed videotape that is crying out for rewinding these days.

So just walk it – and stop talkin' it down. Because what you're talking is nonsense, and the way you walk is what is ultimately going to count.

And deep down inside, you know it.
America discovers the bailout will be used to pay Wall Street bonuses: 
I fail to understand why anyone is surprised by this.
If the change President-elect Obama has promised includes a halt to America's wars of aggression and an end to the rip-off of taxpayers by powerful financial interests, what explains Obama's choice of foreign and economic policy advisors? Indeed, Obama's selection of Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff is a signal that change ended with Obama's election. The only thing different about the new administration will be the faces.

Rahm Emanuel is a supporter of Bush's invasion of Iraq. Emanuel rose to prominence in the Democratic Party as a result of his fundraising connections to AIPAC. A strong supporter of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, he comes from a terrorist family. His father was a member of Irgun, a Jewish terrorist organization that used violence to drive the British and Palestinians out of Palestine in order to create the Jewish state. During the 1991 Gulf War, Rahm Emanuel volunteered to serve in the Israel Defense Forces. He was a member of the Freddie Mac board of
directors and received $231,655 in directors fees in 2001.

Women in the military are twice as likely to be raped as their civilian counterparts. They are more likely to be raped than killed in active duty. In a West La VA Healthcare center, it was reported that 41% of women said they were sexually assaulted while in the military and 29% said that they were raped.
At least they get their rape kits paid for. Oh wait...
The Pentagon's Military Health System for active duty members TRICARE does not pay for rape kits.
Speaking of douchebags, read The New Trough by the fabulous Naomi Klein for everything you wanted to know about how private contractors cashed in on the bailout.
Say thanks. to Howard Dean for The 50-State Strategy.

It seemed obvious at the time, didn't it? That if we wanted to win and win big, we had to compete is more than a handful of states? That if we wanted to get a Democractic agenda accomplished we would need Democrats not just in traditionally Democratic areas but everywhere? That if we were to truly reflect the desires of America as people truly believed, we would have to represent our viewpoints everywhere? It seemed obvious. To me, to you, to all the other DFH's on the blogs and on the streets. Not so much to the cocktail-party set.

Democratic voters in Alabama and Arkansas deserve to hear from Democratic candidates, even if their states don't vote for Democratic presidents. For that matter, Republican votes in Illinois deserve to hear from Republican candidates, even if this state's so blue it's almost black. We owe ourselves the argument, everywhere, all the time. How else do we learn? How else do we grow? How else do we get better as a country? And we are better as a country than we were four years ago, for the simple reason that our voices, all our voices, are being heard loud and clear.


It is hard to know where to begin with this case. A woman goes to a dentist for a breast reduction and is shocked that he botched the job. The unnamed woman is suing dental surgeon Thomas Laney of Seattle for a surgery done on her when she was 15 years old. Laney has faced a series of 10 malpractice lawsuits, including one alleging a wrongful death.

The woman, now 18, was a high school athlete who needed the reduction so not to hamper her ability to play sports.

The family's expert has detailed how Laney violated "the standard of care" by allegedly mismarking the woman's breasts post-op and by placing her nipples "cross-eyed" and left her with deformed breasts.

The obvious question is why oral surgeon's are doing breast surgery in Washington. Under the common law, they will be held to the standard of a proper cosmetic surgeon in these lawsuits. The board will have to address his license and training problems. I must confess, however, some curiosity as to how a family could decided to take their daughter for major surgery by a dentist. Did they also ask him to re-build their car engine? In most states such surgery outside of your specialty would be a potential criminal act.

Story here.


The incredibly silly undercard to the current Republican battle royale:


Obama's funny. Here he is roasting Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel in 2005: 


Stop what you're doing and lock your doors

"I'm like, OK, God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I'm like, don't let me miss the open door," [Gov. Sarah] Palin said in an interview with Fox News on Monday. "And if there is an open door in '12 or four years later, and if it is something that is going to be good for my family, for my state, for my nation, an opportunity for me, then I'll plow through that door."

On second thought, just brick over the opening. We can't take any chances.


Joe the Plumber was on welfare at least twice

Here's another dim bulb the McCain campaign did not vet before trotting him out. But like Sarah Palin, Joe Wurzelbacher — who, let's recall, is not a plumber, and who lied to Obama when he said he was going to buy a plumbing business — will remain a Dittohead icon for the foreseeable future.

In this video, he says that his family living on welfare was not socialism because they had paid into the system. Sorry, Joe, or whatever your name is, welfare is socialism.


Pentagon restricts access to coverage of troops' reaction to Obama win 

Stars and Stripes

On a night like no other when America's open and democratic virtues were put on worldwide display, an ill-advised policy within the Department of Defense proclaimed to servicemembers and the news media alike: "No you can't." What a servicemember and a journalist couldn't do, the policy drafters ordered, was engage in conversation on a military base as the returns from a momentous election rolled in.

Somewhere along the line, DoD has lost sight of what our military is supposed to do, namely fight in the defense of the American people and the Constitution, not the Bush admininistration.  


Maybe it's time to yank the tax-exempt status for all religious organizations. Think of the money we could raise on the Catholic Church's holdings.

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops told his fellow prelates Monday that while they should "rejoice" at the election of an African-American president, they should confront him over his support for abortion rights.

Abortion is not the only issue on which the bishops plan to challenge the president-elect. Over the weekend, aides to Mr. Obama said he was considering overturning President Bush's directive that banned most research on embryonic stem cells. Cardinal George said
the bishops would "be in conversation" with Mr. Obama on this matter, too.

After eight years of a Republican president who invoked Catholic language to cement his anti-abortion platform, the bishops are now confronting an incoming Democratic administration that has championed abortion rights.

In the closing months of the presidential race, several Catholic bishops skirted close to endorsing the Republican candidate for president, Senator John McCain, by proclaiming that Catholics could not in good conscience vote for a candidate who favored abortion rights. 

It's time for all you priests, preachers, witch doctors, whatever, to STFU and pay more attention ministering to the souls of your flock than trying to wield political power. A lot of folks have had it with the mess the "moral majority" has made of the place in the last decade.

I'm tired of a buncha thieves, pedophiles, and snake oil salesman telling me how to be 'moral' or what a consenting adult can do with their own body. If I had my way, the churches, temples, mosques, and medicine huts would be paying their fair share instead of sucking on the public teat.


Salon catches up with some of the also-rans, has-beens and future standouts from the 2008 election cycle. Here are a couple:

Sarah Palin appointed herself leader of a rebel faction of the Republican Party, exchanged her signature up-do for side buns, and now tours the country, appearing at state fairs as a CNN hologram and imploring, "Help me, Karl Rove, you're my only hope," to wildly enthusiastic crowds. She is a spokesmodel for Neiman Marcus.

After his loss to Barack Obama, John McCain wrote three best-selling tell-all books apologizing for abandoning his principles and dedicated his life to overturning Proposition 8. In a barefoot service on the beach at Malibu officiated by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and witnessed by Nancy Pelosi, McCain married Joe Lieberman. A year later, the major motion picture "Maverick Hearts," based on the McCain-Leiberman love story, won the best picture Oscar, along with a shared best actor prize for its stars, Clint Eastwood and Wallace Shawn.


Alaska figures out why every election outcome was horribly confusing

Remember how convicted criminal-senator Ted Stevens of Alaska finagled his way into an election night lead despite every poll showing him down by 4,750%, due to those seven (7) crimes? Well the Alaska elections board has found a few hidden ballots that might change the score. But not many ballots, just THIRTY PERCENT OF THEM. You know, thirty percent, as in "one-third." Countin' starts tomorrow at high noon or some other time of the day. [ADN, Brad Blog]


The Daily Douche:


Peru answers the call for the First Puppy:


The CIA is worried that Obama won't get their backs if things go wrong.

"I was with a group of intelligence officers today," Roger Cressey, a counterterrorism official in the Clinton White House, said on MSNBC Thursday night, "and I think the most important thing for the president to say is, 'We've got your back.' That 'we want you to take risks — risks that conform with our law and our values as a country.'

"What the intelligence community is afraid of more than anything is the game of 'Gotcha,'" Cressey said. "Which is, if they make a mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, the White House doesn't support them, they're left out to dry, and Congress crushes them. And then you get into that risk-averse mentality, which we saw for awhile. So that is what they want. They want support, so they know that the president is going to be behind them. But also that he's going to lead them."

I agree with Digby on this one.

On torture, there can be no more blurring of definitions. There is plenty of scholarship that shows that there are better ways of obtaining reliable intelligence. Torture is not only immoral, it's lazy and counterproductive --- and is likely used most often out of some misplaced notion that being known to be brutal and ruthless is helpful to America's reputation.

That is wrong. The CIA needs to know up front that Obama will not have their back if they engage in torture --- and that the torture legal framework under Bush is no longer operative in any way. There really is no other choice on this and I expect that he will do it. He knows very well that his foreign policy will be in complete shambles the minute it is leaked --- and it will be --- that the Obama administration has sanctioned torture, either through commission or omission. His great opportunity across the world to prove that America has changed will be lost.


Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have said they do not object to rights for same-sex couples, as long as those rights do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family.

Now, gay-rights activists and at least five Utah legislators are asking the Church to demonstrate its conviction by turning that statement into several new laws:


There was a fire in the FBI's building today.

Anyone want to bet against the idea that when anyone files a Freedom of Information Act request for FBI records for the next dozen years, the response will be: "Sorry, those records were destroyed in a fire."



Maybe it'll take this time:

Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has announced an immediate ceasefire in the Darfur region of western Sudan.

He also said his government would start disarming militias and restrict the use of weapons among armed forces.

However, rebels fighting in the region did not take part in negotiations and have not agreed to the ceasefire.

Previous ceasefires have failed, but Mr Bashir has recently come under mounting pressure after an international court issued a warrant for his arrest.


Boston Globe: Obama puts leash on lobbyists for transition.


Brave New Films: Lieberman must go once and for all:



Speaking before a roomful of academics in Chicago yesterday, U.S. News and World Report's Michael Barone claimed that "the liberal media attacked" Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) during the presidential campaign because "she did not abort her Down syndrome baby." "They wanted her to kill that child. … I'm talking about my media colleagues with whom I've worked for 35 years," Barone said. Politico reports that "[a]bout 500 people were in the room, and some walked out." Barone did not dispute his remarks, saying he "was attempting to be humorous and, as many in public do, went over the line."

I'd say.


The popular war preznit has regained his footing... oh, I'm sorry, Mr Broder, make that 'the aWol Disaster Monkey's newest poll numbers show he is even more unpopular than Richard Nixon ever was.'

Belief that the country is heading in the right direction is at an all-time low:

16 percent of those questioned in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday say things are going well in the country today. That's an all-time low. Eighty-three percent say things are going badly, which is an all-time high.

But relief that the country is heading in a left direction is at an all-time high:

So far, Obama seems to be meeting the public's high expectations. Two-thirds of all Americans have a positive view of what he has done since he was elected president, and three-quarters think he will do a good job as president.

Then there are the hate-radio troglodytes and freerepers:

"I've been racking my brain to find methods of openly, actively, and legally opposing this tyrant in the making. Any suggestions?"


American Express now asking for $3.5 billion:


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