Thursday, February 26, 2009

Headlines - Thursday


We all have to tighten our belts. And, to start, John Boehner has to cut back on the bronzer. John Boehner is from Cincinnati. He works in Washington, D.C. It's February. Why the hell is he this color?! Are you playing the part of the loyal opposition, or Othello?- Bill Maher

The Doughy Pantload frets for his party's future
Last night, President Obama said we must improve our high school dropout rate, because:
It's not just quitting on yourself, it's quitting on your country – and this country needs and values the talents of every American.
Why, that just set Jonah Goldberg's ears to a-pricklin' as he teased out the nuance here:
What to make of that? On the one hand, it shows one of Obama's great strengths and innovations as a liberal that he can invoke patriotism in a way that doesn't seem affected. On the other hand, why is it okay to question the patriotism of high school drop-outs when it's just about the worst thing in the world to question the patriotism of people in other circumstances?
Clearly, such goals worry Jonah. For is you take away future high school dropouts, where will future Republicans come from? After all, that seemed to be the target audience for Bobby Jindal's big breakout response last night--well, actually an audience of high school dropouts might've been a bit more sophisticated than Jindal's target audience
GM has posted a $9.6 billion fourth-quarter loss - $30.9 billion for 2008:
New jobless claims rose more than expected last week and the number of laid-off Americans continuing to receive unemployment benefits topped 5.1 million, fresh evidence the recession is increasingly forcing employers to shed jobs.

The Labor Department said Thursday that first-time requests for unemployment benefits jumped to 667,000 from the previous week's figure of 631,000. Analysts had expected a slight drop in claims.

The 667,000 new claims are the most since October 1982, though the labor force has grown by about half since then.
Asked for a "final thought" on the president's speech last night, conservative columnist George WIll chose to focus on the fact that Obama was able to wrap his arms around another man, in friendship. "I don't know when men started to hug each other, but hug they do, and look at that," he said.

Yeah, look at that...

Jesus' General
Playing God

I understand that pilonidal cysts are a big problem, and they've kept many a young patriot from serving his country, but couldn't we have tested treatments on tomatoes or something? Was there really a need for scientists to tamper with God's creation and create such a hideous beast as the Rushkey pictured above.

Wait, I think I see the image of the Virgin Mary in there...No, it's just Joe the Plumber.

So-called liberal media skews Obama approval ratings - downward
Here's the headline from CNN: 68% Give Obama Speech a Thumbs-Up

Hmmm…so if 68 percent liked it, then I guess 32 percent didn't, right? Wrong. Actually, almost everyone liked it.

Sixty-eight percent of speech-watchers questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey had a very positive reaction, with 24 percent indicating that they had a somewhat positive response and 8 percent indicating that they had a negative reaction.

Hold on, 68 percent were very positive, while another 24 percent were somewhat positive? So 92 percent were positive? But the headline says only 68 percent gave the speech a "thumbs-up."

In fact, only 8 percent gave it a thumbs-down. But wait, there's more.

Eighty-five percent of those polled said the president's speech made them more optimistic about the direction the country is headed in over the next few years, with 11 percent indicating that the speech made them more pessimistic.

Eighty-two percent of speech-watchers say they support the economic plan Obama outlined in his prime-time address, with 17 percent opposing the proposal.

Yes, 85 percent said the speech made them feel more optimistic and 82 percent say they support it. And yet, we were told that only 68 percent give it a "thumbs-up."

If that was the liberal media, I guess we can expect this headline from FOX:

Just Over Half of Americans Like Obama Plan


If you miss the 90's and stories about Clenis, you're going to love the Obama years

Newsmax alerts us to the fact that Michelle Obama is accepting fashion freebies: 


REPUBLICAN mayor sends hilarious not-racist White House 'n watermelon joke

The mayor of a tiny Republican hamlet in Southern California's Orange County — just across the 605 from Long Beach — thought it was super funny to send around a picture of the White House surrounded by a watermelon garden, because gosh, the watermelon is simply a very funny thing, in almost any setting. Watermelons! The very word is fun, and certainly not racist. There was also a caption on the funny picture, of watermelons surrounding the White House: "No Easter Egg Hunt this year." Ha ha, because Muslims don't celebrate Easter, right? MORE

Grose said he didn't mean to offend anyone, and was unaware of the racial stereotype that black people like watermelons.


Researchers solve mystery of deep-sea fish with tubular eyes and transparent head:
Krugman on Jindal: The intellectual incoherence is stunning. Basically, the political philosophy of the GOP right now seems to consist of snickering at stuff that they think sounds funny. The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead.

Already missing the adulation of his fans, Dubya decides to don his preznental superhero dive-bomber action jacket and wow the little folks down at the corner store.

[C]ustomers arriving for an organic gardening class — and even store employees — were surprised Saturday when the [former Boy King] showed up to, um, shop. According to the store, Bush walked in around 11 a.m. wearing his presidentin' outfit: a bomber jacket with the presidential seal on the left breast and his name on the right. Accompanied by a small Secret Service detail, Bush signed autographs and posed for photos.


That Bush-Cheney legacy is going to be a mean one for years. And there's likely to de a drip-drip-drip disclosure of all the damage done. For instance, on Tuesday there was news that the Bush administration screwed nursing homes residents. Bloomberg reports:

The Bush administration shut off a source of information last fall about abuse and neglect in long- term care facilities that people suing nursing homes consider crucial to their cases.

The change that affects the $144 billion nursing-home industry occurred with no public notice or attention, perhaps because of the array of last-minute rules that President George W. Bush's appointees rushed out before leaving Washington last month.

"This is pretty stunning," said Mark Kosieradzki, a plaintiff attorney in Plymouth, Minnesota. "Nobody was told. It was just done."

The rule designates state inspectors and Medicare and Medicaid contractors as federal employees, a group usually shielded from providing evidence for either side in private litigation.

The restrictions affect about 16,000 nursing facilities in the U.S. and 3 million residents. The practical effect is to force litigants to go to greater lengths, including seeking court orders, to get inspection reports or depositions for cases they are pursuing or defending.

Wonder who asked for this rule change? Could it have been…the nursing home industry? This was truly a harsh move, making it harder for abused nursing home residents to gather information on the institutions in which they live. Big hat tip to Bloomberg for a fine piece of investigative reporting that uncovered a telling example of the Bush administration's compassionate conservatism.

A lawyer for Guantanamo detainees says that inmate abuse has increased since December because guards are trying to administer their share of beatings before Obama shuts the whole nasty operation down. [Reuters]
Always-wrong columnist maintains perfect record
World's greatest political mind... oh excuse me, neocon hack Bill Kristol thinks Obama didn't mention "war" enough during his address to congress, or even try all that hard to scare the bejeebus out of America by mentioning the possibility of another 9/11.

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Your morality is 0% in line with that of the bible.

Damn you heathen! Your book learnin' has done warped your mind. You shall not be invited next time I sacrifice a goat.

Do You Have Biblical Morals?

Joe the Plumber/journalist/digital tv educator/economist/tax evader to attend this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to address young conservatives as a panelist: 
John Boehner explains that while America is a "center-right country," voters often "don't see us as the center-right party. I think we have to be more effective in how we communicate our principles". See, it's not the policies – it's never the policies – it's just that they're not communicated well enough.

"We have a tougher job than our friends across the aisle. They've been offering Americans a free lunch for the last 80 years, rather successfully. Those of us that believe in a smaller, more accountable government, we have a tougher time making our principles relevant to the American people."

Yes, the Democrats have been offering a free lunch and the Republicans have been offering a shit sandwich.

And not even a free shit sandwich.

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