Sunday, January 4, 2009

Headlines - Sunday

Former U.S.-installed Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has denounced the policies of President George W. Bush as an "utter failure" that gave rise to the sectarian venom that ravaged his country.
Recall the video that bin Laden released in 2004, where he announced plans to continue a "policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy."
US national debt is projected to jump by as much as $2 trillion this year.
And speaking of $2 trillion, 2 trillion tons of ice from Greenland, the Antarctic and the North Poll have disappered since 2003. 
Clearly, more studies need to be done on climate change.
Oh wait. Here's one:

A new report by the US Geological Survey:

The United States faces the possibility of much more rapid climate change by the end of the century than previous studies have suggested, according to a new report led by the U.S. Geological Survey.


Researchers see 'evolution in reverse' as hunters kill off prized animals with the biggest antlers and pelts.


NY Jets seek to 'reverse' fortunes in hiring new coach: Benjamin Button

"We feel that Ben can reverse our long losing tradition by reversing our usual late-season collapses. This way, we'll start the schedule by losing, but then finish with a winning streak, as our legs get younger by the end of the season."

"I wish president-elect Obama the best of luck, but according to scriptures, even the Messiah couldn't fix the mess I'm leaving him."

23/6: Radical Obama acting like he won the election

According to the Washington Post, right-wingers are angry with Obama for...not being right-wing. It seems they're upset that Obama isn't appointing the same people John McCain would have appointed if he had won. As the Post put it, "conservatives fear that some of these Obama transition advisers are too far left on the political spectrum and are a sign of radical policies to come."

What are the signs of "radicalism" that Obama is showing? He's filling regulatory positions with people who want regulate industry -- instead of the industry-stooge-hack-lobbyists who have filled the positions during the Bush years.

And in the area of civil rights, it's even worse -- Obama has people on his transition advisory team who are, get this, gay and, gulp, non-white.

To conservative tool Roger Clegg, this is "disturbing." Roger is also "has some fears about a return to racial quotas." Why? Because Obama had the radical gall to put the president of the NAACP on his civil rights advisory team.

So all those emails from our grandparents were right - Obama really is a radical hellbent on destroy America with gays, blacks, and extremists who believe corporations should follow some rules.

But back to the matter at hand - conservatives who are in stunned disbelief that Obama isn't following the usual rules of an election whereby right-wing hacks get to have all the administration jobs even if they don't win the election. How are they to deal with Obama's brazen and outrageous decision to implement the policies the public voted for?

Here's our suggestion for how right-wingers can cope with the unfairness of Obama's appointments...


Teenaged Bristol Palin, who just gave birth, warns against teenage pregnancy.

And in other Palin news (h/t Gary)...

A Mat-Su drug investigator and the union representing Alaska State Troopers are alleging political meddling in the Sherry Johnston drug case, including a delay in serving the search warrant because of the November election.

Surely this was written in jest. I just can't believe an arrest that could hurt Sarah Palin would be delayed for political reasons. 


One of the victims of the Madoff ponzi scheme is the International Olympic Committee - and they could lose $5 million.


A case in Elizabeth, New Jersey is raising some difficult questions about the limits of liability for injuries to emergency personnel. Emilio Vasquez, 19, a homeless man from Guatemala, is charged with breaking in a home and starting a fire to stay warm. The fire got out of control and the fire department was called. Firefighter Gary Stephens was one of those responding, but was killed when a fire truck backed into him. Vasquez has been charged with his murder.


The cheese is back.


Super cool: Aurora Borealis as seen from space.


How we used to do it

From a New York Times
article about the history of Wall Street:

William Duer worked under [Alexander] Hamilton at the Treasury Department and used his insider's information to collude with others in speculating on government bonds. When that scheme went bust, ruining many investors, "there was no bailout," [historian Steve] Fraser said. "Instead, because the collapse of his insider-trading scam produced an immediate local depression, the populace of New York was outraged. They chased Duer through the streets right here where we're standing, and would have probably disemboweled him had they caught him."

Why don't we have mobs anymore with the gumption to do something like this? What's wrong with this country?

Today's financial sleazebags know with absolute certainty that they're not going to be threatened by anything like this. They also know that they're never going to wind up utterly destitute, and they're unlikely to find themselves in any institution worse than a country-club prison. (Duer eventually went to debtor's prison and
died there.)

I'm not recommending this as a structural reform, but is it possible that, as a temporary corrective, an angry, murderous, class-enraged mob or two might do this country a world of good?


Overcompensating for some severe personal shortcomings, the rapper known as DMX (who built his bad-ass image by filling his videos with four-wheelers, motorcycles and pit bulls), can't use dogs to pump up his ego anymore because of the cruelty charges that he has plead guilty to. See ya, DMX; hope you enjoy your 90 days in the Arizona pokey - as much as your dogs enjoyed their time in prison.







Speaking of animal cruelty, the dogs confiscated from NFL player Michael Vick are discussed in the cover story in the December 29, 2008 issue of Sports Illustrated by Jim Gorant, "The Healing Touch: What happened to Michael Vick's dogs?" What happened was that they were rescued, rehabbed, and many rehomed, others had to go to sanctuaries, others are struggling to trust humans again after being so abused.

There's a wonderful photo gallery of people with the rehabbed Vick dogs on the site.


Even now as George Bush is almost walking out the door, his administration appears poised to allow a regulation that would make it easy for subdivisions full of housing to be built around your National Forests and turn them into highways. Yes, land that was set aside for public use 100 years ago and for which hundreds of millions Americans have enjoyed since they first landed on these shores are now being dropped into the bucket of housing commerce. Ansel Adams and Teddy Roosevelt would not be pleased one bit, nor will millions of American outdoorsmen and women, often those who were part of the old Republican base, the hunters, as well as those who enjoy the pristine and unspoiled beauty of the National Forests. Go read the whole thing for more details.


These were signed with love by Israeli girls and sent to Lebanon in 2006:

Israeli girls sign gifts for Lebanese

Now, Israel ground forces have entered Gaza

Artillery fired illuminating rounds, sending streaks of bright light drifting down over Gaza's densely packed neighborhoods. Gunbattles could be heard, as troops crossed the border into Gaza, marching single file. They were backed by helicopter gunships and tanks.

"Gaza will not be paved with flowers for you, it will be paved with fire and hell," Hamas warned Israeli forces. Spokesman Ismail Radwan said in a televised speech Gaza will "become a graveyard" for Israeli soldiers.

Just so you know, Israel is using using American-made weapons that were purchased with cash we gave them.

If the attack on Gaza is a test-run for Iran's nuclear sites, we may be witnessing Israel's initiation of full-scale war with Iran. That would certainly make as much sense as the current stated rationale for invading Gaza.

Three thousand Afghans rallied on Friday against the Israeli attack on Gaza, burning Olmert and George Bush in effigy, chanting death to Israel and death to infidels, and demanding that the 30,000 US troops in Afghanistan leave. 

And thousands protested in London.

New York's billionaire mayor Bloomberg heads to Israel to show his support for zionists amid their bloody incursion into Gaza. Oh, and he took NY Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and NY Rep. Gary Ackerman too.  


Today's Washington Post examines the relationship between the incoming Obama administration and the Vatican. Seems there was just a lovefest between the Catholic hierarchy and the Bush administration.

There's supposed to be a separation of church and state, and I wish there wasn't a relationship period.

###, says that Al Franken's lead over Coleman has gone from 49 to 225. 


Let's tour America's toxic waste: what's in your neighborhood?

Operation "polish up this turd" continues

The AP has a painful article to read on your president's personality. Shortened version: he doesn't like people to be late, he mangles words, he cries a lot and he likes to exercise. But, the conclusion is classic:

His time will soon be his own.

"I will leave the presidency with my head held high," Bush says.

And he will leave behind a lot to remember.

Indeed, he will. Like millions of corpses and lives destroyed.

Everything a schoolchild in the year 2110 will need to know about the Presidency of George W. Bush can be expressed in a simple eight word sentence:

"He was the worst president in American history."

Breaking news: George Bush is, in fact, a cretin.


GOP demands say on stimulus package

Obama will benefit from a bigger Democratic majority in both houses of the new Congress that convenes Tuesday, but leading GOP lawmakers declare they have had little say and warned yesterday that they will use their power to sidetrack any stimulus bill until they are satisfied.

Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the top Republican in the Senate, said in a statement yesterday that he agrees with Obama that jump-starting the economy "is job one." But he insisted that "every dollar needs to be spent wisely and not wasted in the rush to get it spent."

Well why the hell not? It's not as though there is going to be any price to be paid for by the POH (Party of Hoover) for dragging down any plan to turn the economy around; pissing off Harry Reid is possibly the least politically dangerous thing to do that there is.

Funny how, after turning a blind eye to the gross fraud, waste and abuse that has been rampant in Iraq, now the POH is concerned about budget waste.

What a bunch of disgusting hypocrites.


Whatever happend to "live free or die"?

You can own a machine gun in New Hampshire, but you can't get a fish pedicure. 

There seems to be zero evidence for the proposition that a fish pedicure is harmful in any way, so it would seem that the regulators are acting on the "we're outlawing it because we think it is icky" principle.

Which, when you drill down to it, is the same argument against gay marriage.


Deep thought on lowered expectations

In case anybody missed this little trivial nuance, there were no foreign/terrorist attacks on Der Amerikkan homeland in the seven years before 9/11 either.

Just sayin'

But 9-11 was and still is the fault of the Clenis.


4,221 soldiers killed in Iraq; 630 in Afghanistan. 


Here's an interesting piece on a Madoff statue theft: 

The copper statue was reported stolen from Madoff's $9.2 million mansion on Dec. 22 - about a week after the Wall Street money man was accused of scamming investors in a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

The statue does not appear to have any damage, and police are continuing to investigate the incident.

Frick said he was not aware of the 2004 German movie The Edukators, in which anti-capitalist activists break into the homes of rich people, move furniture around and leave notes that say "the days of plenty are over."

The activists kidnap a rich businessman, have ideological discussions about money and politics, and then let him go, possibly teaching him a lesson on ethics and morality.

"Interesting," Frick said when told of the film.

I see the potential for a lot of very interesting political theater in this new era...


Obama continues his famous "message discipline" on the subject of Gaza, by not saying a flipping word. Remember, when he attempts to adopt a position of moral superiority in order to lecture, say, China or Zimbabwe about human rights, that his silence at this time demonstrates clearly that his adherence to humanitarianism, like that of Bush and every other president, is purely instrumental.

George Bush, however, has finally made a statement of his own, in the form of tomorrow's weekly
radio address.

He got right to the most important issue in analyzing any event in the Middle East: who started it. "This recent outburst of violence was instigated by Hamas". They did so with "a barrage of rockets and mortars that deliberately targeted innocent Israelis." He didn't get around to mentioning the rather more numerous Israeli rockets or whom they might be targeting. (Also, what mortars?)

He did say that "Regrettably, Palestinian civilians have been killed in recent days." Somehow, it's always the passive voice when Palestinians "have been killed," isn't it? He put the blame for these deaths on "Hamas terrorists" who, "as part of their strategy" (8 years as commander in chief and he still doesn't know the difference between strategy and tactics), "often hide within the civilian population, which puts innocent Palestinians at risk." Some of them were "hiding" within their own homes, the sneaky so and sos.

He claims that "The United States is deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation facing the Palestinian people," which seems a dubious proposition, and mentions the decline of Gazan living standards, without mentioning the Israeli blockade. Rather, "By spending its resources on rocket launchers instead of roads and schools, Hamas has demonstrated that it has no intention of serving the Palestinian people."
Imagine, if you can, what it would be like to have a government that prioritized rocket launchers over roads and schools.

Bush does offer words of reassurance, words that have never failed to be followed by swift action and positive results: "Secretary Rice is actively engaged in diplomacy."



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