Friday, December 12, 2008

Headlines - Friday

"I'm beginning to think that we are being led by genuinely insane people.." - Der vulgar Pigboy

Don't worry, Rush. Change (and sanity) is about 41 days away.
h/t Randy
Robert Redford is asking us to sign a petition to stop the auction of Redrock country, which will take place on December 19, and allow the highest bidders to turn vast tracts of pristine wilderness into industrial wastelands.
Says Redford:
"I hope you're as angry as I am about this blatant land grab, because we've got to stop it -- and we have to act fast. The NRDC Action Fund is mobilizing more than one million Americans in an outpouring of protest over the coming days.

Send your own message of opposition immediately. Tell the Bush
that you will not allow it to destroy one of the most beautiful places on Earth."
Please sign the petition and forward it to your friends:


"It was in this room that a prominent member of my political party said, 'You must remove troops from Iraq because it could cost us elections if you don't.' And it was in this room I looked at him and said, 'You must not understand George W. Bush.'"  - Der Monkey, on the advantages of being a heartless lame duck,   Link

"What do the Clintons have on Obama?"
Seriously, somebody asked a question that stupid? 
by Camille Paglia


I must admit to puzzled disappointment with his recycling of Clinton era veterans, who reek of déjà  vu. Surely we might have expected a better mix of fresh faces and progressive voices? Obama's team may have underestimated the labyrinthine personal interconnections and habit-worn loyalties of that cliquish crew.

As for Obama's appointment of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, what sense does that make except within parochial Democratic politics? Awarding such a prize plum to Hillary may be a sop to her aggrieved 
fan base, but what exactly are her credentials for that position?  The secretary of state should be a more reserved, unflappable character - not a drama queen... 
As Bartcop says, there's a new law, apparently, that you can't mention Hillary without mentioning the word "drama."
I'll bet this horse never questioned Kinda Sleazy's qualifications, 
but it's acceptable, no, it's the DUTY of all Lefties to harrass Hillary. 
BTW, who is Camille Paglia? All I know about her is that the vulgar Pigboy likes her. That's really all I need to know, right?
And here's another one:

"It remains a mystery to me why Obama would want to bring in the Clinton circus, which frequently features excessive spin, backstabbing, leaking and messy melodrama. Sen. Clinton is a smart woman with globetrotting experience. But as health-care czar in her husband's administration, she set back that cause by nearly two decades." - David Corn, who I used to like, getting it all wrong   Link  

Health care was set back two decades by the Republican screaming, 
"Health care is too big to fix and Hillary is a Stalinist/Leninist" and the scared-as-bunnies Democrats who agreed with them. That's how we lost the Congress in 1994, remember?

The Clintons are the only people I've ever seen who got blamed for trying.

By the way, as Sec of State Hillary will make $186,600 annually, instead of Fancy Condi's $191,300 salary.

4,837 soldiers dead and tens of thousands wounded in two quagmires, and still our national clown continues to play the fool. 
I can't stand the sight of him.

Palin can't get anything right Link
How can we miss her if she won't go away?

Sarah Palin seems to know a thing or two about Canada. The failed VP candidate said her home state and Canada have a lot in common.
"We have our love of hockey, our love of the great outdoors and hunting and fishing 
and all those things that really attract us to this northern part of our globe," said Palin.

She mentioned a more practical reason for Alaskans to know something about Canada, "... we drive through your country to get even to our own state capital."  

Now I could be wrong, and my friends Gary and Leanne that live in Alaska might know better than me, but I've been to Juneau, and the only way to get there was to fly, or take a boat or ferry.

Map Showing Location of Juneau, Alaska


From the you can't make this up files.

Whackjobs from Westboro Baptist Church (God hates fags) in Kansas want to hang a sign in the Washington State Capital that reads

"You'd better watch out, get ready to cry, You'd better go hide, I'm telling you why 'cuz Santa Claus will take you to hell. He is your favorite idol, you worship at his feet, but when you stand before your God He won't help you take the heat. So get this fact straight: you're feeling God's hate, Santa's to blame for the economy's fate, Santa Claus will take you to hell."

It would be hung along near a Nativity set, three signs mocking atheism, and an atheist sign that celebrates the winter solstice if it's approved.

Every time I read a story like that, this song pops into my head:

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace


John 'Let the Eagle's Soar' Ashcroft is "stunned" that people think detainees deserve due process:

I'm stunned that anyone cares what John Ashcroft thinks.


Today's lesson in traditional values from the heartland

Here's a fine, upstanding public servant from Idaho:

An email that compares Michelle Obama to a black widow spider is circulating the Internet.

"The female has a very wide backside, is Black, and has a red hour glass shaped marking on her belly. You can find this spider in Closets, Wood piles, Under beds, And soon... THE WHITE HOUSE!!!!!!

Following the comments is a photograph of Michelle Obama wearing a red and black dress....

The full text of the e-mail can be found here.

Rule, when he's not circulating hateful e-mails, is a sponsor of the God and Country Festival of the Treasure Valley, a celebration of "the precepts on which our country was founded: individual rights, belief in God, a representative form of government guided by an assemblage of laws created by elected individuals, sanctity of human life, and all other rights outlined in the Constitution and its supporting documents ... an evangelistic event that tells people the good news of God's love and salvation with a purpose of honoring our military and public servants (ie., police, fire and rescue) as well as honoring our country." 


I'm not sure it tells anything we don't already know, but the Levin-run Senate Armed Services Committee report on detainee abuse is now out (pdf exec summary). And it deserves some press attention.

It confirms that senior administration officials authorized torture.

Specifically, they authorized the "SERE" techniques - which had been originally used decades ago to train American troops to withstand Communist torture - to be used on detainees. In other words, they used illegal medieval methods designed to obtain false confessions, and made them the centerpiece of our intelligence-gathering. In this respect, Abu Ghraib was the sick poisoned fruit of a very rotten tree.

The Committee concluded that the authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques by senior officials was both a direct cause of detainee abuse and conveyed the message that it was okay to mistreat and degrade detainees in U.S. custody.

In short, war crimes.


The Virgin Mary has been spotted in the MRI of a woman's brain. It's for sale on eBay if you're interested.


WASHINGTON—In an unexpected judicial turnaround, the Supreme Court this week reversed its 2000 ruling in the landmark case of Bush v. Gore, stripping George W. Bush of his earlier political victory, and declaring Albert Arnold Gore the 43rd president of the United States of America.

The court, which called its original decision to halt manual recounts in Florida "a ruling made in haste," voted unanimously on Wednesday in favor of the 2000 Democratic nominee.


Arlen Sphincter is gearing up for a fight over the Eric Holder nomination. The joke is that Specter has "concerns" over Holder's role in the Marc Rich pardon - that'd be the same Marc Rich pardon whose leading advocate was Irve "Scooter" Libby, about whom no one ever had concerns. Funny how that works. Josh Marshall says: "Arlen Specter never stops breaking new ground in the contest of political opportunism poseurish chest-thumping." And Republicans will never stop pretending that the Marc Rich pardon was a million times worse than dozens of other pardons by Republican presidents, and "reasonable" Democrats will never stop falling for it. Marc Rich wasn't given a free pass on anything, he was merely relieved of one over-the-top charge that appears to have been politically motivated and made no sense.



The Bush economic miracle continues to devastate America

Among the large employers announcing layoffs this week were Dow Chemical, 3M, Anheuser-Busch, National Public Radio and the National Football League. The bankster-induced financial crisis and housing collapse "have sharply reduced household wealth as stock prices and home values have declined" and this has led, inevitably, to consumers and businesses cutting back on spending. And the foreclosure crisis is going to get much worse.

U.S. foreclosure filings climbed 28 percent in November from a year earlier and a brewing "storm" of new defaults and job losses may force 1 million homeowners from their properties next year, RealtyTrac Inc. said.

A total of 259,085 properties got a default notice, were warned of a pending auction or were foreclosed on last month, the seller of default data said in a report today. That's the fewest since June. Filings fell 7 percent from October as state laws and lender programs designed to delay the foreclosure process allowed delinquent borrowers to stay in their homes.

States with the worst problems: Nevada, Florida, California, Michigan, Georgia (where many voters are so obsessed with hatred and bigotry and their own abject ignorance that they just re-elected one of the authors of their suffering, someone who ran on a platform of "more of the same"), Ohio, Illinois, Virginia and Texas. Utah and Idaho also had startlingly high rates of foreclosure filings but... well, Mormons plan to become gods and go live on another planet anyway.


Jesse Jackson Jr is not the only one who has lawyered up since Blago's arrest on Tuesday. Jesse Jackson Sr has done so too.

Given the fact that Blago claimed last week that he was first approached by an emissary of JJJ with a monetary deal for the senate seat before the election, and given the high likelihood that the Feds taped the meeting between JJJ and Blago on Monday, I'd say the Reverend's lawyering up is very ominous indeed.



According to the esteemed statistical clearinghouse USA Today, North Dakota is the most corrupt state in the union. However, one arrives at this metric by dividing the number of political corruption convictions in the past ten years by the number of residents. Thus, low-population states with normal-sized governments are disproportionately "corrupt," as evidenced by the shameful badge of corruption affixed to neighboring South Dakota and Montana. Meanwhile, the truly corrupt states emerge a shade better, because they never bother to arrest, or god forbid convict, their political criminals. Instead, they elect them.

North Dakota tops analysis of corruption.


Here's some courtroom sketch of that Blaggy guy, Illinois mafioso Rod Blagojevich, suffering under the burden of this incredible hair monster:

After he's executed, Homer will get his hair.

Here's a quick tip for voters on the lookout for "clean" candidates: If they have hair like this, in 2008, they are a complete criminal. No exceptions.


According to the Associated Press, Cardinal Jorge Medina interrupted mass to criticize Madonna for causing "crazy enthusiasm" and "impure thoughts" on her first concert visit to Chile. The mass was a tribute to late dictator Pinochet, who oversaw the deaths of some 3,200 dissidents during his 1973-1990 rule.


Well, the House, much to no one's surprise, passed the Bush/Pelosi version of the automaker bail-out bill last night. The amount has been cut from $35B to $24B to $15B to a final (?) $14B.
The Senate, however, has abandoned efforts to give automakers any money, as Senate Republicans refused to support a bill endorsed by the White House and Congressional Democrats.


Republicans spent the last eight years like drunken sailors on their first shore leave after years at sea. They wantonly drained the treasury of billions and billions of dollars on harebrained schemes to induce "birthpangs of democracy" around the world, chasing phantom enemies and enriching their defense contractor contributors. They created a lobbying culture so corrupt it finally collapsed of its own weight. They deregulated the financial industry so thoroughly that it created an elaborate ponzi scheme that has just about destroyed the world economy.

They have no standing to lecture anyone about responsibility, fiscal or otherwise, and no right to obstruct the cure for the problem they created.

Bipartisanship is awesome!

And since Republicons are so worried about taxpayer money these days, I wonder if they'll start checking into the $9 billion dollars just vanished in the black hole of Iraq?

Nearly $9 billion of money spent on Iraqi reconstruction is unaccounted for because of inefficiencies and bad management, according to a watchdog report published Sunday. An inspector general's report said the U.S.-led administration that ran Iraq until June 2004 is unable to account for the funds.

An inspector general's report said the U.S.-led administration that ran Iraq until June 2004 is unable to account for the funds.

"Severe inefficiencies and poor management" by the Coalition Provisional Authority has left auditors with no guarantee the money was properly used," the report said.

These knuckleheads are going to let the auto companies go down in flames, but never lifted a finger when it came to funding Bush's war. For war, there is never enough funding for conservatives, but to help Americans ... Nada.

Reacting to the news that Republicans blocked the bailout, [s]tocks tumbled around the world and the dollar slumped…threatening to deepen the global recession.

Congress questions use of bail-out funds:


Pot meet kettle: The Bush White House finds Rod Blagojevich's actions and behavior "astounding." 

H/t Dick:
You were wondering why Paulson was soooo eager to deal all those hundreds of billions with such haste to his cronies in the banking business?  Because they knew about this...and we didn't.  They intend to grab for all they can before the real catastrophe envelops us all.  And when the treasury has been emptied and there is nothing left of us but chaos and street riots they will all simply leave the country for their gated estates and cash hoards in foreign lands...guarded by the Knights Exemplar of Blackwater.
And you thought the first seven and a half years were bad.

However corrupt Blagojevich may be, this will probably dwarf it:
Bernard L. Madoff, a legend among Wall Street traders, was arrested on Thursday morning by federal agents and charged with criminal securities fraud stemming from his company's money management business.

According to the complaint, Mr. Madoff advised colleagues at the firm on Wednesday that his investment advisory business was "all just one big lie" that was "basically, a giant Ponzi scheme" that, by his estimate, had lost $50 billion over many years.

How many lives did this guy ruin?

And, just to save the media some time - how does this damage the Obama administration, how long has he known Madoff, will Obama release any staff contact with the guy, and and will important questions about his relationship with Madoff be "censored" at There, Halperin and Drudge and Jessica Yellin - I did your work for you.


Bush attacks protected species

Polar Bears

The Interior Department yesterday finalized rules changing the way it administers the Endangered Species Act, enabling other government agencies to decide on their own whether a project would harm an imperiled species without an independent scientific review.


John Boehner gives scandal-ridden Don Young's committee seat to scandal-ridden Doc Hastings:


The House Select Committee on Global Warming held a hearing today on Bush's last-minute attempts to weaken environmental regulations. Chairman Ed Markey (D-MA) commented on EPA head Stephen Johnson's refusal to appear before Congress and recalled that, in the first six years of the Bush administration, neither Johnson nor his predecessor ever appeared before the House Energy and Commerce committee, even though it has legislative jurisdiction over the EPA. Markey then joked, "It was the most successful witness protection program in the history of the United States."


Howie Kurtz is at it again. Yesterday he discussed President-elect Obama and the Blagojevich scandal:

"I will say this: Barack Obama could have expressed a bit more disgust."

Yeah, he didn't get his underpants all bunched up like you sanctimonious idiots. Whatever. To make matters worse, the bloviating douchenozzle managed to contradict himself at least three times in his own column, and that was before I stopped reading in revulsion. 

And this from Time magazine: 'Can Obama Escape the Taint of Blagojevich?'

I mean really. For the love of criminey. Though both the U.S. Attorney and the article itself stated 'there was no evidence of wrongdoing' by President-elect Obama or his campaign, that hasn't stopped weasels like him - or
the AP's Donut Lady Liz Sidoti, or Campbell Brown who says, "Obama's response insufficient in governor scandal.", or the RNC chair who says Obama "should immediately disclose any and all communications his transition team has had with the governor's office along with any Service Employees International Union officials involved in the matter.", or the Politico who's got "7 Blago questions for Obama."  - from hyperventilating and misleading the public. 


We're winning! 

Just another typical day in a Typical Indiana Market.
A suicide bomber killed at least 46 people and wounded around 100 on Thursday in a crowded restaurant near Iraq's ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk, shattering the calm during a major Muslim holiday, police said.
That war was awesome, I'm sooooo glad we won it.

No regrets, many mistakes Gene Lyons Link

Bush told Charlie Gibson, "Saddam Hussein was unwilling to let the inspectors go in to determine whether or not the U.N. resolutions were being upheld." Bush has been peddling this brazen falsehood for years.  It's even possible he's come to believe it. 

In reality, Iraq produced a 12,000-page document on Dec. 7, 2002, explaining the destruction of its chemical and biological weapons. Despite some foot-dragging, Saddam then allowed U.N. inspectors to travel at will inside Iraq searching for forbidden weapons. The inspectors remained until March 2003 when Bush ordered them out ahead of his "shock and awe" bombing campaign.

The U.N. inspectors' activities were broadcast on TV daily for weeks. The same kinds of easily  manipulated patriots doubtless infuriated by this column were then focusing their ire on chief arms inspector Hans Blix.

All conveniently forgotten by Bush, his followers and our intrepid press corps, no longer so much covering for a failed president as for themselves.  

As always, Gene Lyons is 100% right.

I remember that shit Jay Leno doing Mr Magoo jokes about Hans Blix, claiming that Iraq was wall-to-wall WMDs but Blix was just to damn stupid and blind (Mr Magoo) to find them.

And the Butcher of Baghdad gets away with his never-ending litany of lies because the networks the weekly magazines, the cable news Nazis and talk radio continue to spin their pro-Bush lies. 

Thankfully, we have SOME honest journalists like Gene Lyons.


Morford: Hello Poetic Justice: Link



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