Saturday, January 31, 2009

Headlines - Saturday

GOP bill would eliminate middle income tax by eliminating middle class income

Washington - In response to the current economic crisis, Senate Republicans introduced a bill today that would simultaneously eliminate the income tax and the income for the so-called 'middle class,' which the senators identified as those American households earning less than $100,000 a year. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the bill "accomplished a difficult objective, difficultly." The bill may face tough opposition in the Democratic-controlled Senate, although that is unlikely due to the fact that many Democrats are known to have no fortitude of any kind. [keep reading the goodness…]


Blagojevich's 'Otter' defense in Animal House: A 'blotter' on our society

"The issue here is not whether I broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with laws against bribery and corruption; I did. (winks) But you can't hold a governor responsible for his own sick, perverted behavior. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole whole State of Illinois, including its favorite sons Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama? And if the whole State of Illinois is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of all of our states and institutions in general?  Isn't this an indictment of our entire American society?  Well, you can do what you want to me, but I'm not going to sit here and listen to you bad-mouth the United States of America! Gentlemen!"

And here's a YouTube "mix" of Blago and Otter:


h/t Dick 

Turkey's prime minister has returned home from the World Economic Forum in Davos to a warm welcome after he walked out of a televised debate on Thursday with Shimon Peres.

Before storming out, Erdogan told Shimon Peres, the Israeli president: "You are killing people."


Michael Steele, new RNC chair, with a straight face:

We're gonna bring this party to every corner, every boardroom, every neighborhood, every community and we're gonna say to friend and foe alike: We want you to be a part of this, we want you to work with us, and for those of you who wish to obstruct, get ready to get knocked over.'"

The irony is hilarious.

If you're a Republican, you should probably be disturbed that the new chairman of your party spent his last campaign pretending to be a Democrat.  If you're anyone else, you should probably be disturbed that the Republican Party's new chairman has a history of being completely dishonest and underhanded. Remember how newly-minted RNC Chair Michael Steele spent his failed 2006 Senate campaign pretending to be a Democrat?


And remember how the Steele campaign passed out a bunch of "Democratic Sample Ballots" with his name (and the name of Governor Rod Erlich, who Steele served under as Lieutenant Governor) on them instead of the actual Democratic candidates? 


And how the Steele campaign hired a bunch of homeless people from out of state to hand them out?


Chimpy surfaces at a basketball game

"Why yes, I am the one that screwed your future!"


- 3.8% GDP? No problem, just divide by four:


Sponsor an Executive:


The last Republican strongholds are mostly huddled together in the center of the nation. For the most part, they're far from the coasts, where people stubbornly insist on living in the real world. The coasts of America are godless places, where people believe in evolution, accept human-caused global warming, are pretty damned sure invading Iraq was a very expensive mistake - in more ways than one - and that the economic policies that brought us to the brink of an honest-to-goodness depression should probably be abandoned. With the exception of Alaska, America's coasts - along with most of the rest of the nation - are lost to the Satanic forces of liberalism. Woe be unto the realm.

This is what Crazyland looks like today, according to Gallup:

Gallup map
Click for fullsized map

The familiar red/blue breakdown of the states shows a whopping four red states out of fifty - Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Alaska - as solidly Republican, with Nebraska leaning. Every other state is either blue, leaning blue, or a toss up. Those red spots on that map are the only places where voters who identify themselves as Republican are the majority.

Coincidentally, the lower 3 states that vote Republican also have the highest percentage of people who believe in magic underwear. And Alaska, well they've got that Sarah Palin thing going on.

I'm just glad that I don't live in one of those red states. Oh wait ...


Minneapolis man files brutality case against officer for tasing him in 2005 - he is then killed in 2008 after being tased by the same officer

Story here.


Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has an interesting trickle down theory. According to Giuliani, the outrageous bonuses for Wall Street figures (many paid for by public funds) are a vital part of economic recovery for the average New Yorker. According to Giuliani, the relatively few super rich recipients are a major source of money for the thousands of people who serve their whims and fulfill their wishes for exotic foods, fast cars, and impeccable service. It is basically the same economic theory advanced by that pre-Friedman scholar Marie Antoinette in the eighteenth century but under Giulianiomics, we don't let the peasants actually eat the cake . . . just serve it. Story here.


First Geitner, and now Tom Daschle.  

Are there any high caliber Democrats who play by the rules and pay their taxes, or do they all just resemble what we hate about Republicans? 


"We have this thing called impeachment and it's bleeping golden and we've used it the right way." -  Illinois state Sen. James Meeks (D), mocking former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's expletive-laden words as captured by the FBI on a wiretap.


U.S. Chamber of Commerce works to kill a "Buy American" campaign because it has angered U.S. trading partners - reuters canada


Cost of barely surviving guide

The american institute for economic research released their (barely surviving) cost-of-living guide yesterday.
The Alaska Volcano Observatory said in a statement Friday volcanic tremor has increased in amplitude at Mt. Redoubt in Alaska, and 'wouldn't be surprised to see it erupt at anytime.' cnn
Too bad most Americans aren't aware of the pacific ring of fire, as science is such a bad thing to teach these days. They would understand that it's back, and it's bad. 
A military judge at Guantanamo has 'refused' President Obama's "request" to postpone or 'freeze" military commissions trials of accused illegal combatants in the US invasion, conquest, and occupation - not to mention 'rape and pillage' of Iraq.

Really. Army Judge Won't Stop War Court
Please, someone, when did obedience to the "request" of the Commander-in-Chief (in this case, it's relevant) become 'optional'? Does anybody remember how the military brass dissed the Clenis, virtually to his face?

Generals are mostly Republicans. Coincidence? You decide.
How do you spell futility?

It's spelled W-I-N-G-N-U-T.

Thus far, wingnuts have filed over a dozen lawsuits alleging that the birth certificate provided by the State of Hawaii showing that Barack Obama was born there and is thus a natural born citizen is fake. After a brief consultation with the Hawaii birth registrar on the part of each judge, each and every one of these lawsuits has been dismissed. It doesn't matter whether the judge in question was appointed by Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, or George W. Bush, every single judge has agreed that these lawsuits are so silly that they must be dismissed as frivolous lawsuits, and every appeal of that decision to higher courts has resulted in the stamp of approval to that judge's decision, whether the appeal was to the "liberal" California District court of appeals or to the "conservative" Washington D.C. court of appeals or to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has twice refused to hear any appeal from lower courts.

And now I hear, from World Nut Daily, that yet *another* lawsuit has been filed, against Congress this time claiming that Congress didn't verify President Obama's citizenship before accepting the electoral college's vote. At some point you'd think that the wingnuts would get it through their thick stubborn heads that if 12 out of 12 judges look at the available evidence and conclude that Barack Obama meets the natural born citizen standard set in the Constitution, well, maybe Obama is a natural born citizen. But every time one of these judges hands down his decision, they just cluck and squawk and start pecking bugs off the ground and pretend they're too stupid and bird-brained to understand what they were just told.

Oh wait...

Check out this cartoon by right-wing 'humorist' Glenn McCoy (hat-tip to Deeky over at Shakesville):

Pretty terrible - don't you think? I sure as hell do. I mean – just look at the messages here – a shifty-eyed President Obama ushers a (white) woman in the latter stages of pregnancy in to see a mob-like executioner with blood on his clothes hulking next to a cash register. A nearby news stand proclaims Gitmo will be closed while the erstwhile 'fetus' asks "Couldn't you just waterboard me instead?"

Nice, huh? Believe me when I say this kind of thing will get worse as we go along. The right wing is only beginning its assault on America (and President Obama). For the next 8 years we will be inundated with bullshit like this. I don't even know where to begin to register my discontent, but emailing that moron McCoy (a former Playboy cartoonist, wouldn't you just know it) might be a start: 
I've been noting with interest the change in coverage of the California Octoplets and their mother over the last few days. On Wednesday morning, all the morning chirp shows recruited other parents of large numbers of multiples to kvell over the still-unusual birth and muse on what's involved in doing diapers for five or more babies at the same time. Up until yesterday, the media meme on this birth was that it was a wonderful thing, a blessing, a miracle. Because everyone loves babies, right? Isn't that the weapon that the fetophile forces in this country use, even to the point of suggesting that Barack Obama's mother would have aborted him if she could have in an ad that a Catholic group actually wanted to run during the Super Bowl? After all, it's all about the BayBeez, isn't it?

Well, yes -- until the mother turns out to already have six children, be apparently unmarried, living with her parents who have already declared bankruptcy in a 2 or 3 bedroom house - and the topper is that she is apparently an Iraqi. 

That sound you hear is that of wingnuts' heads exploding. For what do you do when you're a pro-fetus conservatives who thinks we should turn Iraq into a sheet of glass when presented with something like this?
Keep reading:

Not surprisingly, the White House has no comment on this one: President Obama's half-brother George Obama has been arrested in Nairobi for possession of marijuana. Read it at Political Ticker



Well, color me surprised! People who drive Hummers receive almost five times as many traffic tickets as the average driver, according to a new study.


Senate Republicans may filibuster Obama's stimulus package

Last year, the Roadblock Republicans of the 110th Congress set the all-time filibuster record. Forcing 104 cloture votes by October 2008, the Senate's GOP MINORITY easily eclipsed the old mark of 61 filibusters. And now, fresh on the heels of "elated" and "celebrating, House Republicans' refusal to provide a single vote in support of President Obama's $825 economic recovery package, Senate Republicans are now suggesting they will filibuster the stimulus bill.

That's the word from Think Progress:


What country would do this?

For the first time, TSA Behavior Detection Officers, who are trained to observe characteristics indicating a person is about to engage in wrongdoing, will patrol the Super Bowl. TSA will also deploy their Visible Intermodal Protection and Response (VIPER) teams and additional National TSA resources.

In plain English:

For the first time Sunday, federal behavior-detection officers will team with local police to use a controversial technique on people heading to a major event, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says. The officers usually work in airports.

A flagged person gets a casual interview from an officer who determines if he or she should be formally questioned or arrested.

Welcome to the New America.


Dear sweet Jesus, shoot me now:

SAO PAULO — General Motors plans to invest $1 billion in Brazil to avoid the kind of problems the U.S. automaker is facing in its home market, said the beleaguered car maker.

According to the president of GM Brazil-Mercosur, Jaime Ardila, the funding will come from the package of financial aid that the manufacturer will receive from the U.S. government and will be used to "complete the renovation of the line of products up to 2012."

"It wouldn't be logical to withdraw the investment from where we're growing, and our goal is to protect investments in emerging markets," he said in a statement published by the business daily Gazeta Mercantil.

Good thing we bailed them out.


As you know, there's a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Contributions may be made to Doctors Without Borders (US) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) (International).

Contributions may also be made through the American Red Cross International Response Fund (US), remember to designate the contribution "for Gaza", 1-800-REDCROSS (English) or 1-80… (Spanish) or online at

Contributions may also be made through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and the Magen David Adom (MDA).


I think we need a reminder of "the most famous [Arizona] Cardinal" that won't be playing in the Super Bowl tomorrow, when his team takes on the Pittsburgh Steelers:


I speak, of course, of Corporal Pat Tillman, who left the NFL after 9/11 to serve in the Army Rangers. Tillman was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. For months after his death, he was used as a propaganda tool to glorify Bush's failed wars. The exposure of the truth behind Tillman's death has since turned him into a symbol of the duplicity of the Bush Administration, the fight for the truth, and the futility of the war itself.

The New York Times writes that Tillman will not be forgotten this weekend. Soldiers will watch the game "from a U.S.O. center in Afghanistan that bears Tillman's name and was built with money donated by the N.F.L. in his memory." Tillman's jersey, emblazoned with his number 40, is the best selling item on the team's website. "It's great," said former Arizona quarterback Jake Plummer, who was Tillman's college and Cardinals teammate and a close friend. "But in the grand scheme of things, it all kind of stinks because he's not around."


Bush's Chief of Staff, Andy Card, goes on the Michael Medved show to say:

"And yes, I'm disappointed to see the casual, laissez faire, short sleeves, no shirt and tie, no jacket, kind of locker room experience that seems to be taking place in this White House and the Oval Office."

Here's Andy, being all respectful at the White House: 



As you no doubt heard, last week former Republican House majority leader Dick Armey set off a firestorm when he responded to an argument by editor Joan Walsh with the sexist comment, "I'm so damn glad that you can never be my wife." Appearing on Mike Gallagher's radio show today, Faux News host Chris Wallace said this:

GALLAGHER: Now, now, feminists are very angry that he said, "I'm glad you couldn't be my wife." I mean…

WALLACE: It's pretty funny actually.

GALLAGHER: It's hysterical. Do you know how many times a week I say, "thank God I don't have to wake up next to her." I mean some of these callers, these shrews that call.


Of for the love of God, just throw his ass in jail already!

House Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers has agreed to a request from Karl Rove's lawyer to delay the deadline by which Rove must appear in response to a subpoena from his committee.

I'd like to know what Karl Rove has on this guy.


Passing through razor-wire cordons and police checkpoints, Iraqi voters Saturday took another step in the nation's quest for stability in provincial elections that were carried off without major violence:

Having 1 million dead and 4 million are displaced cuts down the odds of violence a little, I would think.  




Friday, January 30, 2009

Headlines - Friday

Hilarious complaint letter to Virgin Airlines:
September 2003: "A year from now, I'll be very surprised if there is not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush." 
Iraq unveils statue dedicated to man who threw shoe at President Bush:
Happy, Richard?
Defense officials say suicide among U.S. soldiers increased again last year and is at a nearly three-decade high. And the final count will likely be considerably higher than that because more than a dozen other suspicious deaths are still being investigated and could also turn out to be self-inflicted.


On the front lines in Iraq, U.S. troops can scan someone's eye or finger to try to determine if he is a potential enemy or has been connected to a terror attack.;_ylt=AuJaUlxYtBQVFEg3V8yoZhYD5gcF


4,236 soldiers killed in Iraq; 644 in Afghanistan.

Troops might eventually be leaving Iraq, but we'll just be using UAV's instead.

Maybe the same guys that are operating the ones over by Pakistan could be in charge of these too, because that's working out so well.


Scooter Libby
Israel is outraged that Spain is opening a probe against National Infrastructures Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer and six other current or former Israeli officials over a 2002 bombing in Gaza that killed one Hamas militant and 14 other people, inluding nine children. 
Al Qaeda couldn't shut down the American International School in Gaza, and neither could Hamas militants. But the Israelis finally pulled it off for them. After American-built bombers flattened the school, bulldozers and tanks moved in to destroy the basketball court and the jungle gym.
Hey, I just had a great idea. Lets a bunch of us rent some IOF uniforms and pretend like we are a bunch of sadistic bastards. I'm going to wear one of those cool green water bottle hats. Then lets go to one of those peaceful Stand with Us rallies supporting Apartheid Israel and teach the participants what Apartheid Israel is really all about. Bring your guns and rubber bullets, tear gas, hand grenades, skunk juice and of course your Palestinian beating sticks.
I think people have had ample time to prepare for this, but still ....
Republicans blocked a bill that would have delayed switching over to digital tv until from February 17 until June 12 - per Obama's request:

155 Republicans voted against the delay and 22 voted for it.

236 Democrats voted for it and 13 against.

Why do Republicans hate the elderly? 

Why "Bibi" the co-butcher of New York is licking his murderous chops
When the nineteen infamous hijackers were planning their murderous enterprise on 9/11 they were being observed. Observed and perhaps assisted by an army of Mossad spies dispatched by none other than Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Apartheid Israel at the time. The job would be finished however by war criminal Ariel (Jews control the United States) Sharon his co-butcher. You can find a copy of a report prepared by our Drug Enforcement Agency about Netanyahu's spies leaked to the press but largely ignored by it here:
Ambassador Susan E. Rice, US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, called for an investigation into possible war crimes committed by Israel in the recent Gaza fighting. While correctly noting such violations by Hamas, Rice noted that there are now credible accounts that need to be investigated. The question is now whether the Administration will apply the same standard to the investigation and prosecution of war crimes that are now clearly identified in the Bush Administration involving an official torture program.
Obama pictures and McCain pictures 
If the Republicans are going to withhold their votes even though they got concessions, then we should pull those concessions back. Nancy Pelosi needs to listen to her fellow House members on this one.
Democrats had been willing to give Republicans the business tax cuts and other provisions they wanted in the stimulus. That is, up until every single one voted against the bill on the House floor Wednesday. Now, in both the House and the Senate, angry members are lobbying Democratic leaders to yank those tax breaks back. 

The White House, meanwhile, has a
different kind of punishment in store - using the GOP's no vote against them in the next election.
It's a new age of bipartisanship. Republicans and Democrats are putting the good of the nation above politics and are working together to make the hard choices it takes to get America back on track. Hope oozes up from the cracks in the sidewalks in Washington DC and buildings are festooned with balloons bearing the words "unity" and "cooperation."

Yup, it's a new post-partisan day in the nation's capital - so long as you don't count all of those Republicans who aren't putting the good of the nation above politics...

Pair of GOP vipers Obama thinks he can work with - both voted no on SCHIP last night
SCHIP finally passes - after last minute barrage of silly obstructionist amendments from the party of greed and selfishness:
Kudos to my very own senator, Orrin Hatch, who who demanded a clause be included that fetuses are eligible.
Comedian Rush Limbaugh has written an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (which I refuse to read) advising President Obama to blithely indulge in the Two Santas strategem. Really.
I'm sure it's great advice, coming from a man that is praying Obama fails.
Child witches wage war on Sister Sarah
Dr. Kevin "Coach" Collins
MENSA Member

Dear Dr. Collins, 

There is nothing more exciting than watching a great detective unravel a deep dark mystery. That's how I felt as I read about your investigation of the Palin church arson.

No doubt your conclusion is correct. It must have been a murder attempt carried our by hired assassins from out of state. Your logic is impeccable. As you note, the phone and alarm lines were reportedly cut - surely, no one from Wasila has the mental acuity needed to operate a tool as complex as a wire cutter.

But who are these assassins? Are they Obama-voting infildels from Seattle, Denver, Charlotte or some other piece of faux America? Or are they part of a more sinister group--perhaps one with international origins.
And speaking of witches ....

The ACLU is suing Union Public School Independent District No. 9 of Oklahoma. The reason is bizarre: administrators at the school have harrassed and violated the civil rights of a young woman named Brandi Blackbear because — and I'm a bit ashamed to admit this can go on in my country — they accused her of witchcraft. They say she used a magic spell to make one of her teachers sick. In retaliation, she has been subjected to searches and public humiliation, and the school has banned the wearing of non-Christian paraphernalia.

I'm pretty sure this is the 21st century, not the 17th. Though you would have a tough time noticing it if you relied on religious attitudes to tell.


Dear Gov. Palin,

Thank you for creating SarahPAC. I'm very excited by your recent efforts to recruit "real" Americans to run for office. Thanks to such pioneers as you and Joe the Plumber, ignorance has moved beyond being simply bliss and is now the new cool. I'm glad you're capitalizing on it.

Least surprising headline: Rove Says That He Will Defy Congress and That Bush Lawyers Told Him Not to Cooperate in the Final Days of the Administration:


This might take some getting used to: 

That's a picture of President Barack Obama after signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act yesterday. It's now a law that tells corporations and the courts to not be dicks when it comes to women (and others) suing for pay discrimination. That's Lilly Ledbetter, who was royally screwed by the Supreme Court despite earning 40% less than male counterparts at Goodyear, receiving the pen from Obama. Most of the Republicans in Congress voted against it. This photo presents some cognitive dissonance. We're used to a president sitting there and smiling as he signs a law that forces children to watch as Halliburton employees slash the throats of puppies or whatever cruel legislation was placed in front of the barely sentient George W. Bush. This Obama fella, he's signing something that is good for average people. Weird. 


The Obama administration has authorized $20 million in emergency aid for relief missions in the Gaza Strip following the Israeli offensive that killed nearly 1,300 Palestinians and caused $2 billion in damage. The support comes after the United Nations asked for $613 million for the area hard-hit by the three-week conflict. The funds will be directed to food, medical care, shelter and other infrastructure advancements. Read it at Associated Press



Reuters is reporting that President Obama is considering choosing New Hampshire Republican Senator Judd Gregg to be his Secretary of Commerce.

If the speculation is true and Gregg accepts, Democratic NH Governor John Lynch would get to fill the seat. This means, of course, that once Norm Coleman acknowledges defeat and Senator Al Franken is sworn in, the Dems would reach super-majority status and render meaningless the entire Republican Party. The best part: Obama would score some useful "bipartisan" points, even after getting slapped in the face by the entire GOP House caucus. How's that for some brilliant political maneuvering? This is defintely one to keep an eye on.


The Colbert Report Word: The Audacity of Nope:

Last night - last night's party line vote was a great start for the 111th Congress. But these hard times demand an even larger meaningless gesture. That is why I am calling on every Republican who voted against this bill to put no money where your mouth is. Refuse to accept a single penny of the eight hundred billion dollars for your Congressional district.

Think of it like a hunger strike. Then - then just sit back and watch in glee as the Democrats face the wrath of their constituents suffering as the eight hundred billion dollars tears through their districts like a force five cash-o-cane.

It won't be easy but you are fighting for a principle. If we can't have a perfect bill to stimulate the economy you'd rather have no economy at all. And that's the Word.

And I'll go a step further and say that NO Republican voter should benefit. Period.


"It's his fault for being a vegetarian homo"

NYDN: Employer being sued for gay/vegetarian taunts


While Chimpy fiddled and the coal industry obstructed

The oceans are becoming more acidic.

Does anybody not understand that if we kill the oceans that it is pretty much "game over" for us as a civilization, if not as a species?


Taxes and Fairness: 


House Republicans Stand Up for American Taxpayers at
This Time of Economic Hardship by Spending a Long

Earlier today, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) said he is "undecided" on whether to support President Obama's recovery plan. Another "undecided" Democratic senator is Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND). "I'd have a very hard time voting for what came over from the House," he said today on Fox News, echoing conservative talking points:

CONRAD: [T]here are other areas of the package that are really very questionable in terms of whether they'd stimulate the economy. Some of the programs that are given money only have ten percent spend-out in the next two years. … There's very little done in this package to help housing. Very little done to help the financial sector.

Paging Mr. Conrad: the recovery package is not intended to fix the troubled housing sector (which should be done with TARP funds), but instead is focused on energy, science and technology, health care, education, infrastructure, and targeted tax cuts for struggling families.


Today Walnuts went on Faux News and said "that one" shouldn't have made critical remarks about Limbaugh

"I don't know why he would do that. Mr. Limbaugh is a voice of a significant portion of our conservative movement in America. He has a very wide viewing audience. He is entitled to his views, and he has a lot of people who listen very carefully to him. I don't know why that the President would take him on. He's part of the political landscape, and he plays a role."


Exxon Mobil sets record with $45.2 billion profit for 2008 even as its fourth-quarter earnings fell 33% from a year ago.

The previous record (also held by Exxon) was set in 2007 for $40.6 billion. 


Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) says should Karl Rove continue to ignore another Congressional subpoena, the House of Representatives will "presumably" hold him in contempt, and throw his fat ass in jail.

Fun fact: Rove went on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News Factor Wednesday, and Loofah Man offered him a "place to hide out."


It was only after his parents heard that boys
with unpopular names are more likely to
break the law that Mr. and Mrs. Yoo decided
to name their son John, instead of Screw.


Well this is just sick. Shame on her and her doctor:

Single mother of octuplets that already had 6 children and lives with her parents may have used a sperm donor for in vitro and is bankrupt:

Looks like you and me get to pay for another bailout. 


        The Sleepwalker dreamed that if his party would only
        explain its 'core values', it could regain majority status
        in Washington. If he ever awakens, he might discover
         that it's precisely because the people understand his
           party's 'core values' that it has been consigned to
                minority status for the foreseeable future.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Headlines - Thursday

Save Polar Bears from loss of arctic sea ice!
From RFK Jr.
Let the new Interior Secretary know you care deeply about saving the polar bear. Remind him that the American people expect our government agencies to protect our country's wildlife - not sacrifice them for corporate profits. Together, we can reverse eight years of relentless attacks on the polar bear - and finally give these magnificent Arctic creatures a fighting chance at survival.

Just do it.
Pretty awesome NFL Fantasy players:
The Stimulus package passed in the House 244-188.

The Republicans got what they wanted, from tax cuts to reduced infrastructure investment to the removal of the American One Child Act of 2009 to - and this is especially important - uncounted hours on TV and endless inches in newspapers and magazines decrying the Democrats' hedonistic, tax-and-spend ways - and NOT ONE OF THEM VOTED FOR IT.

The following Blue Dog Democrats voted against it too: 

Allen Boyd - FL, Bobby Bright - AL, Jim Cooper - TN, Brad Ellsworth - IN, Parker Griffith - AL, Paul Kanjorski - PA, Frank Kratovil - MD, Walt Minnick -ID, Collin Peterson - MN, Heath Shuler - NC, Gene Taylor - MS


I hope Obama had fun at the cocktail party last night.

The president should go on TV and explain to the American people that this stimulus package will get passed either with or without Republican help, and remind everyone that he extended his hand to the GOP only to have them bite his finger. And then he should go back to the bill and take out every single concession that was made to House leadership. Scratch that - add everything that was taken out to appease the Republicans, take out everything that was added to appease the Republicans, and then add more stuff that Republicans didn't want to show them just how little juice they've actually got. Boehner and his thugs need a reality check.

If we get zero votes, they get zero input. Simple as that. 

Krugman: "Aren't you glad that Obama watered it down and added ineffective tax cuts, so as to win bipartisan support?"

That said, the bill is overladen with pork:


h/t Leanne:

Clint Eastwood


Declared Florida candidate for 2010 Doug Tudor, who spent most of his adult life serving the country in the military, seems pretty offended by Limbaugh:

"I think the newly elected junior senator from Minnesota said it best: Rush Limbaugh is a big, fat idiot. It speaks volumes that Rush continues as the mouthpiece of the Republican Party, even as the party implodes into electoral insignificance in most parts of the country. It also reveals the true values of the GOP in that this convicted drug addict, serial racist, gay-bashing closet case, and insulter of our troops, continues to have such a messianic hold on the party rank-and-file. Screw Rush Limbaugh and the dittoheads he continues to ride in on."

Hopefully Doug won't go all weak-kneed and apologize like this guy did. 
There's only one side to this story
It's easy to look at a new Rasmussen poll and think that the United States is no longer a nation of laws. In that poll, 54% think war crimes weren't committed by the Bush administration. Worse, only 25% do. 70% believe "it would be bad for the United States if the former president and senior administration officials were brought to trial for war crimes," with even 54% of Democrats agreeing.

But these are the results of a population kept in ignorance. The media, with their stupid "two sides to every story" reporting, felt the need to pretend that no one really knows what torture actually is. Congress, spineless throughout the Bush's two terms -- even when his approvals were in the tank -- got the vapors and fell into a faint every time someone mentioned holding any Bushie accountable for anything.
It was just a little male bonding

Pastor Brady Boyd
New Life Church

Dear Pastor Boyd, 

It looks like you're in a bit of a spot. People are now learning that at the very moment your church leaders were declaring that Pastor Ted Haggard's act of supposed sin was an isolated incident involving a single manwhore, they were buying the silence 
of another of his conquests.


Bernie Madoff stole $50 billion and he's still in his penthouse


Roy Brown, 54, is a homeless man who said that he was hungry and needed a place to live when he walked the Capitol One bank in Shreveport, Louisiana in December 2007 and stole a single $100 bill. The next day, he turned himself into police, apologized, and said that he was not raised to do such things. After he pleaded guilty, the Shreveport judge then sentenced him to 15 years in prison. In the meantime, former AIG executive Christian Milton defrauded customers of more than $500 million and was just sentenced to 4 years.

Story here.


The United States is facing a worsening recession, an expanding war in Afghanistan, and global warming. Yet, New York Republican Rep. Peter King believes that one of the more pressing matters for Congress should be to require that all cell phones make a click or sound when taking a picture. It is the basis for his "Camera Phone Predator Alert Act" to protect the unwary from the unscrupulous.


Pedophiles and holocaust deniers are welcome, but .... 

Father Geoffrey Farrow, the Fresno priest who came out against Prop 8 during Mass and was suspended for following his conscience by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is still being hounded by the church:

Link: Authorities are applying a legal theory in an apparently novel way. One federal law enforcement source said prosecutors are seeking to use a federal statute that makes it illegal to "scheme . . . to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services."

In this case, the victims would be parishioners who relied on Mahony and other church leaders to keep their children safe from predatory priests, the source said.  

After the thousands of child rapes, after the decades of "priest rape" headlines, after the billions of dollars paid to buy the victim's silence,
who in their right mind would trust a priest with their male children?


Stingray migration - thanks, Rachel 



Through rain or snow or sleet or hail, but not through a recession 

Postal Service may cut one day of mail delivery:


Government officials seeking to revamp the U.S. financial bailout have discussed spending another $1- $2 trillion to help restore banks to health: 


By almost any measure, 2008 was a complete disaster for Wall Street — except, that is, when the bonuses arrived: $18.4 for the year.   

And the remodeling that's going on: You can't even make this crap up. Spongers


Salmonella in peanut butter leads to one of the biggest product recalls ever:


web page buttonMullen: using force against Iran is still an option!

web page button4,236 soldiers killed in Iraq; 644 in Afghanistan.

web page buttonIsrael continues to attack Gaza, but insists it isn't violating the ceasefire: 

web page buttonNATO spokesman James Appathurai told reporters today that the international forces were responsible for killing 97 Afghan civilians in 2008 based on what he referred to as their "new tracking system."

One needs only to recall two incidents: The August US air strike in Herat which killed 90 civilians and the November killings of 37 civilians when the United States attacked a wedding party in Kandahar, before it becomes readily apparent that NATO is missing a few people.

web page buttonLoophole in Executive Order to close "black sites" doesn't really close them:

web page buttonObama lawyers set to defend John Yoo, the author of the torture memos:


How George Bush protected me from lightning:


Although the chorus of ignoramus global warming doubters continues unabated, the news from the fact-based community is very bleak: scientists have confirmed that the Antarctic is warming significantly, its ice sheets melting far more rapidly than expected, a trend that will most likely kill off the Emperor penguins much as the established trend in the Arctic is doing in the polar bears.

The warming-driven acidification of the oceans is now demonstrably adversely affecting coral growth, a horrible development as coral reefs are critical to nurturing grounds for numerous oceanic species (including many already depleted commercial fish).


Amazing blog post about a typical shopping day in Alaska.

If this is true, Leanne, I'm sending you some stuff you can resell. And speaking of Alaska...

Sarah Palin said she will attend an exclusive club dinner in Washington this weekend because it will offer her an audience with President Obama.

Doesn't she have like 5 kids and a new grandchild to take care of?


A report that says NSF [National Science Foundation] employees have been spending significant amounts of company time on smut sites and in other explicit pursuits. Who says science isn't fun? Republican Chuck Grassley is on the case.

Who can blame them? It isn't as if they were actually allowed to do "scientific" things for the last 8 years.


Nicholas Kristof wants an investigation into  torture, secret detention and wiretapping, by the Bush administration, saying:

President Obama is resisting calls for an investigation into torture and other abuses during the Bush years, so the chance to learn from our mistakes is slipping away.

Mr. Obama understandably wants to focus on economic recovery rather than a dissection of the past. Why fritter political capital on an inquest that would antagonize Republicans and imperil our economy and his agenda?

But as George Santayana, the eminent Harvard philosopher wrote: "Those who forget history are destined to repeat it."

Obama needs to appoint a special prosecutor and he needs to do it now. That way he and Congress can pretend to care about the Rule of Law while continuing to clean up the mess they were left because of the crimes.  


Number of unemployed hits 4.8 million - and remember, this doesn't count the ones that got moved to part time or whose benefits have run out:  


Oh this is just awesome! Congress just gave itself a $5,000 pay raise!

And this is awesomer: AIG to pay $450 million in bonuses to the people who lost $34 billion!

When will the rioting begin?


AT&T is celebrating Data Privacy Day, after handing every single one of us over to the NSA



Here's a story sure to bring a smile to your face: Iraq Won't Grant Blackwater a License.

I hope Erik Prince has plans to travel to countries that actually prosecute mercenaries and their corporate employers for war crimes. Now that would be a truly happy ending to the ugly, mendacious and murderous Blackwater saga. 


If the stimulus plan passes the Senate, the first effects would come in the form of $275 in tax cuts, reducing money withheld from workers' paychecks, and in unemployment benefits and food stamps, which would immediately be increased. Read it at The New York Times

I guess self employed people that aren't unemployed and/or on welfare will get screwed again.


Israel is shooting at everything that moves

Along with today's air strikes on Gaza which AFP report "wounded 18 Palestinians including 11 schoolchildren and a pregnant woman," there are also reports that yesterday Israeli troops fired "warning shots" at a group of diplomats, including the French consul-general.

The diplomats did finally get to leave Gaza and were not hit.

Gazans were not so lucky during the recent attacks – and as more is learned about the orders given to Israeli soldiers, more questions are raised about war crimes:

"Fire on anything that moves in Zeitoun" – that was the order handed down to Israeli troops in the Givati Shaked battalion, who reduced the eastern Gaza City suburb to little more than rubble in a matter of days.




Saddlebacking: sad•dle•back•ing \ˈsa-dəl-ˈba-kiŋ\ vb [fr. Saddleback Church] (2009): the phenomenon of Christian teens engaging in unprotected anal sex in order to preserve their virginities

After attending the Purity Ball, Heather and Bill saddlebacked all night because she's saving herself for marriage.


Last night on Fox News, host Bill O'Reilly and former comedian Dennis Miller announced a new "business partnership." "We're opening a theme park: Waterboard World," O'Reilly said. Funnyman Miller explained how the park would help in efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions:

MILLER: You know, I had a caller on my show, Bill today, the radio show, a guy named A.J. from Milwaukee. He had the best take on this. He said change the public relations of waterboarding, say that people are emitting too much CO2 and when you pour water down their nose, it cuts into their CO2 exhalation.

O'REILLY: So it's better for the planet.

MILLER: You can call it greenboarding. And we could sell it. Greenboarding! There you go!

Miller concluded the segment by singing to the tune of the Beach Boys' "Surfin' USA," — "If everybody had a cheesecloth across the USA."


Oh look. Condi's upset with those accusing Bush of racism in the wake of Katrina. Maybe if she hadn't been busy buying up all those shoes at Ferragamo or taking in Spamalot she would have noticed.