Monday, December 29, 2008

Headlines - Monday

I'm still on the road, but I can't stay away from the trainwreck that is the news. And today's wreck is especially bad.
Israel has been bombing Gaza for the last few days (using weapons we've given them), with no regard for the safety of civilians, launching air strikes, for example, on crowded cities just as schools were letting out.


It is the bloodiest assault on Gaza since the 1967 war, with at least 200 dead so far. This bombing campaign is in "retaliation" (remember, Israel's actions are always responses to the wickedness of others) for a series of rocket attacks that killed, um, no Israelis.

Here is the response issued by Condi Rice, verbatim:
The United States strongly condemns the repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and holds Hamas responsible for breaking the ceasefire and for the renewal of violence in Gaza. The ceasefire should be restored immediately. The United States calls on all concerned to address the urgent humanitarian needs of the innocent people of Gaza.

You'll note the absence of a call for Israel to "address" the urgent humanitarian needs of the innocent people of Gaza by not creating those urgent humanitarian needs through bombs and blockades (blockades which will, by the way, prevent anyone from responding to Condi's call to address the urgent etc).

And Barack Obama, in his first failure of international leadership, had a spokesmodel say that he was "closely monitoring global events." It is, literally, the very least he can do.

The spokesmodel also muttered something about there being only one president at a time, which evidently precludes Obama from responding publicly to this slaughter as a, you know, human being.

Did I mention they're using weapons WE GAVE THEM?


Shooter says he has no idea why no one likes him:
I know why. It's because you're a dick.

On Monday, toxic coal sludge burst through a retention wall in eastern Tennessee, causing massive property and environmental damage. Federal studies have shown that coal ash contains "significant quantities of heavy metals like arsenic, lead and selenium, which can cause cancer and neurological problems." The incident — already being called the "largest environmental disaster of its kind in the United States" — may now be even worse than originally anticipated. Tennessee Valley Authority officials "initially said that about 1.7 million cubic yards of wet coal ash had spilled" in the disaster. Yesterday, however, they "released the results of an aerial survey that showed the actual amount was 5.4 million cubic yards, or enough to flood more than 3,000 acres one foot deep."


For his Christmas greeting this year, RNC (party of Hoover) chair candidate Chip Saltsman sent out a CD of the "Barack the Magic Negro" song. Saltsman's Christmas message:

"I look forward to working together in the New Year," Saltsman wrote. "Please enjoy the enclosed CD by my friend Paul Shanklin of the Rush Limbaugh Show."

Saltsman is refusing to apologize, telling CNN: "I think most people recognize political satire when they see it. I think RNC members understand that."

Yeah, it's freaking hilarious.

The Party of Hoover is tromping down the road to being a party of wannabee segregationists in the Old South. If they continue down that dark path, they very well may become the Whigs of the 21st. Century.


Wall Street Faces Worst Yearly Drop Since 1931We're number 1!


So besides the tainted toys, the tainted milk, the tainted pet food, the tainted food products, the tainted pharmaceuticals, the tainted furniture, the generally low quality products and now the tainted drywall, what's not to love about Made in China products being sold to the west? On the positive side, they've been kind enough to buy US debt in exchange for the US purchasing their junk.


States prepare for fire sales

Best. Economy. Ever. The world is so jealous of the American way which is why they hate us.

Massachusetts lawmakers are considering putting the Massachusetts Turnpike in private hands. That could bring in upfront money to help with a $1.4 billion deficit, while also saving on highway operating costs.


The unfortunate milestone of 1 billion hungry is in sight for 2009.


I'm sure Bristol Palin could have told them that abstinence pledges don't work (and hey, where IS the blessed event anyway? Wasn't Baby Johnston supposed to have made an appearance around the 19th of December?):

Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence and are significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do, according to a study released today.

The new analysis of data from a large federal survey found that more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage regardless of whether they had taken a "virginity pledge," but that the percentage who took precautions against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases was 10 points lower for pledgers than for non-pledgers.

"Taking a pledge doesn't seem to make any difference at all in any sexual behavior," said Janet E. Rosenbaum of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, whose report appears in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics. "But it does seem to make a difference in condom use and other forms of birth control that is quite striking."

This should surprise no one. Abstinence pledges do nothing but perpetuate the "swept away" doctrine of pseudo-acceptable female sexuality -- that if you're prepared to have sex responsibly, you're a slut, but it's "forgivable" if you were simply "swept away" by the moment.

If conservatives want to cut pork programs that don't work, they might start with the $176 billion blown on this ridiculous program.


These people are delusional psychos....

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that despite President Bush's low approval ratings, people will soon "start to thank this president for what he's done."

When you find yourself in custody in a foreign land and charged with crimes against humanity, Condi, maybe that thought will comfort you.

But you'd be better off proclaiming a belief in Santa Claus or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. For the idea that people will thank Bush has about as much chance of coming true as finding yourself face-to-face with the real FSM. Unless you go through a
quantum mirror, that is.

Next up ....

With President Bush's time in office rapidly coming to an end, his loyal supporters are working overtime to spin his legacy positively. In an interview with the Telegraph, Bush's former UN ambassador, John Bolton, claims that "in 100 years," people won't remember two of the biggest stains on Bush's record, Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib:

"In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, he was strong and decisive and that was critical for both the country and for the Western world," believes John Bolton. "In 100 years people aren't going to remember Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib, they're going to remember 9/11 and Bush's reaction to it."

Bolton's claim that history will forget Bush's human rights abuses is similar to State Department spokesman Sean McCormack's claim that in 50 years no one will remember the shoe-hurling Iraqi journalist.

And Turd Blossom weighs in by insisting that the legacy of President Bush will fare well in the eyes of historians in the years to come.

And finally, the Lauratron 3000 fronts the the Bush Legacy of Delusion Tour in an interview on Fox.

She says that she realized just how much power she wielded when a woman at a cosmetic counter in a department store thanked her for talking on the radio about the plight of women in Afghanistan. This is how people in power stay in touch with the common folk when they can no longer converse with cabbies, the fount of all wisdom, as Thomas Friedman will tell you.

She said that the hurler of the Shoes of Death, Muntadar al-Zeidi, having been beaten and tortured and facing a long prison sentence, should not be spared any punishment the free Iraqis dish out. She said, "....but I know that if Saddam Hussein had been there, the man wouldn't have been released." Laura? I'll guarantee you that if your husband hadn't invaded his country and seen to it that he was executed before he could talk, Saddam wouldn't have given a crap if someone threw shoes at your crap weasel husband. 

She complained that Bush got blamed for Katrina, and blamed it on the press ("Do I think the press is fair? No, absolutely not." Except for her interviewer, Chris Wallace, she added): "There was a — the reporting was — ended up being not really factual, but many, many people heard the first reporting, and that's what they think happened, that 10,000 people died". And only 1,800 did, so it's all good. They died while her husband played the guitar, ate birthday cake with McCain, and played cowboy at his fake ranch, but she failed to mention that.

She summed up George's inner core: "And I think that the — his inner core and his belief in freedom — and that means not just freedom from tyranny, but freedom from disease and freedom from illiteracy — is what really is the basic of American values, and that's what I think he's shown the whole time he's been president." Yeah, other countries really enjoy disease and illiteracy. Because they lack the basic of American values.


Dave Barry's summation of 2008 is here.


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