Friday, June 26, 2009

Headlines - Friday

Whatever your opinion of Michael Jackson was, his passing today at age 50 is an occasion to remember the words of John Donne:

"No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee."
(Wonkette has the best tribute to MJ.)
Least shocking news of the day: our good friends the Saudis funded 9/11
Documents gathered by lawyers for the families of Sept. 11 victims provide new evidence of extensive financial support for Al Qaeda and other extremist groups by members of the Saudi royal family, but the material may never find its way into court because of legal and diplomatic obstacles.

Limbaugh the Druggie strikes again. According to him it's not a big deal if Mark "Argentina Offshore drill" Sanford missed father's day with his sons, because, guess what, Obama went to play golf and quote "Obama abandoned his family on Father's Day to go play golf".

Unless Obama left DC to play golf overseas, I really don't see how Obama playing golf on Father's day is similar to Sanford going to Argentina.

And this, h/t Jake

Most fun way to "go Galt" EVER! - and it's all the Democrats fault!

Well, now I get it: according to Rush Limbaugh, Mark Sanford was "going Galt" - horizontally.

[Sanford] had just tried to fight the stimulus money coming to South Carolina. He didn't want any part of it. He lost the battle. He said, 'What the hell. I mean, I'm -- the federal government's taking over -- what the hell, I want to enjoy life.'...

I'm not [kidding]. My first thought was he said, 'To hell with this. The Democrats are destroying the country. We can't do anything to stop it. I gave everything I had to stop it here in South Carolina.' ... Folks, there are a lot of people looking at life and saying, 'screw it.' They're saying, 'screw it.' Before Obama takes away their money, before Obama takes away their house, or the economy takes away their house, there are people who are saying, "To hell with all this.... I'm just going to try to enjoy it as much as I can.'

(Audio here.)


h/t Laura

CNN: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is visiting Alaska National Guard troops in Kosovo, her office said Thursday to inspect the troops and ascertain how the experience in Kosovo will better prepare these service members for missions within Alaska and future deployments overseas."



Sanford On Sin

Here's Mark in 1998 on Bill Clinton's cheating: "I think it would be much better for the country and for him personally (to resign). I come from the business side. If you had a chairman or president in the business world facing these allegations, he'd be gone."

Here's Mark in 1998 on ex-GOP Rep. Bill Livingston, who revealed that he strayed from his marriage: "The bottom line, though, is he still lied. He lied under a different oath, and that is the oath to his wife. So it's got to be taken very, very seriously."

And Mark has fought to have the Ten Commandments publicly displayed. Quick refresher:
Commandment No. 7: You shall not commit adultery 

Marriage is between a man and a woman........... and a woman in Argentina. And gay people are threatening that?









Well, folks, it's like this. Jesus had planned to return someday fairly soon, but when He saw what His erstwhile disciples had devolved into, He had second thoughts and said, "First of all, stop capitalizing pronouns whose antecedent is me! That really gets on my nerves! Second of all, if I ever decide to return one of these days, many of you who now so vociferously claim to be my disciples aren't going to be happy. Instead, you're going to weep and gnash your teeth when I say to you, 'I cast ye into outer darkness for being such Billy Grahams on the outside and
such feculent chamberpots on the inside!'"


The next time you hear about civilian casualties in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, remember that each one has a face, some quite beautiful.

And who could forget this from National Geographic?

Death toll on the rise in Iraq.

Pakistan asks US to stop drone attacks after we killed at least 80 that were attending a funeral.


Sen. Rockefeller (D-WV) ...

On Thursday, Rockefeller admitted he expects little bipartisan support.

There is a very small chance any Republicans will vote for this health-care plan. They were against Medicare and Medicaid [created in the 1960s]. They voted against children's health insurance.

"We have a moral choice. This is a classic case of the good guys versus the bad guys. I know it is not political for me to say that," Rockefeller added.

"But do you want to be non-partisan and get nothing? Or do you want to be partisan and end up with a good health- care plan? That is the choice."


Did top political appointees in the Bush Justice Department leak about an investigation of then-Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ) to swing the 2006 election in Renzi's favor and blow up a wiretap on Renzi in the process? Murray Waas reports.


R.I.P., Farrah Fawcett


h/t Jake: I Need A Hero:

Be sure to check out their version of Thriller too - thanks, Nancy!


This is a heck of an interesting project by NPR - during the markup of the health care reform bill in the Senate on June 17, one of their photographers snapped a picture of everyone in the audience. 99.9% of the time the cameras point in the other direction, at the lawmakers. This one points in arguably the right direction, at the lobbyists and stakeholders who will be just as responsible, if not more so, for the final shape of the bill. And they've asked people to help them identify the faces in the picture. So far there are a number of named lobbyists whose firms have earned millions from health care industry clients over the past year.

If anyone can help NPR ferret out these names by emailing to dollarpolitics-at-npr-dot-org or on the ubiquitous Twitter @DollarPolitics. We have an odd system in this country where the people who often write our bills are anonymous while the people who take their orders are well-known. We should maybe reverse that process and add some accountability into the mix at the same time.



The Germans have been finding a lot of amazing pieces of history recently but this one is really something. Click through to see the photo of this beautiful flute.

A bird-bone flute unearthed in a German cave was carved some 35,000 years ago and is the oldest handcrafted musical instrument yet discovered, archaeologists say, offering the latest evidence that early modern humans in Europe had established a complex and creative culture.


Dell and HP agree to Beijing spying request - what absolutely pathetic, gutless cowards.


C Street:


In case you missed it, here's The Daily Show's Jason Jones comparing Iranians' extensive knowledge of American history, geography and political system to the lack of American knowledge of Iran. It didn't go great for us:


Michele Bachmann warns of link between census and Japanese internment:

Fact: Census questions on race have been asked since 1790


Despite a veto threat from the White House and against the wishes of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Congress (who gets lots of money from the defense industry) yesterday "moved forward with plans to build more Lockheed Martin F-22 fighter jets."


Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) "became at least the third Republican" to announce that he will vote against Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Flashback: here's Mr. Brownback holding up a picture of an embryo drawn by a 7-year-old girl. Relaying a conversation with the girl's mother, Brownback said the embryo was asking the Senate, "Are you going to kill me?"

Sam Brownback on Senate floor


Not that it will come as a surprise to anyone with half a grain of sense and half an hour spent in the coal fields, but coal mining costs coalfield communities more in early deaths than it benefits in jobs.

That's right: $47 billion lost in just the last decade.  How much has been lost since coal mining began in earnest 100 years ago?

And that's $47 billion in the last decade just in the cost of early deaths. That doesn't count the economic cost of roads destroyed by overweight coal trucks, house foundations shattered by blasting, forests of valuable hardwood bulldozed and burned, wells poisoned by mine leaching, irreplaceable sources of fresh water buried under mine waste.

No, no surprise and not rocket science.  But yet more proof that anyone - especially a bought-off Lieutenant Governor seeking a Senate seat - who dares to mention coal as anything but an abomination to be eliminated at any cost is a liar who thinks you're stupid.


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