Saturday, June 27, 2009

Headlines - Saturday

Dick T's corner:
U.S. swine flu cases may have hit 1 million.
Krugman: What I was afraid of.
Lobbyists on a roll: gutting reform on banking, energy and health care. 
And speaking of energy, Utah's very own senators are forming a new western caucus to cheer on relaxing government's grasp of resources and lands in the wide-open swaths in the West. 
Thank God the Supreme Court still has one — ONE!!! — purveyor of decency. You'd expect those leftwing pansies on the Court to fall for that liberal hogwash about "Constitutional rights."
Krugman: Not Enough Audacity:
Palestinian Violence Overstated, Jewish Violence Understated:
Naomi Klein calls for boycott of Israel:
When it comes to health care reform, who can you trust? John Kerry?
Let me start by listing the half dozen top recipients of legalized bribes -so-called campaign donations - from the Insurance Giants who have spent so lavishly to keep Congress from enacting robust, workable health care reform:

John McCain (R-AZ)- $2,885,602 ($8,712,461)
Chris Dodd (D-CT)- $2,202,046 ($1,437,265)
John Kerry (D-MA)- $1,395,617 ($8,162,141)
Ben Nelson (D-NE)- $1,210,299 ($1,015,266)
Max Baucus (D-NE)- $1,182,613 ($2,853,781)
Arlen Specter (R-D-PA)- $1,037,205 ($4,048,133)

The dollar figures in parenthesis, in case anyone is interested, is how much the Medical-Industrial Complex "donated" to these fine gentlemen. Kerry doesn't even need the money. He's the richest member of Congress. With a fortune of at least $231 million, only Congressmembers Jane Harman, who like Kerry, married wealth and Darrell Issa, a successful burglar and car thief, come anywhere close. And the next wealthiest member of the Senate is a Rockefeller worth only a third of what Kerry reports.

I don't trust rich people to do the right thing for ordinary working families when push comes to shove. I have a gut feeling that senators who come from working families - like Bernie Sanders and Jeff Merkley - are more likely to understand what it's like to be desperate and poor in America. There has never been a moment I really trusted John Kerry. Better than a Republican? Of course. But really trustworthy for working families. Not to my mind.
Keep reading:
The Iranian government has continued its crackdown on protests, including the arrest of dozens of university professors for merely meeting with opposition leader Hossein Mousavi. Senior cleric Ayatollah Ahmed Khatami has called for the execution of some protesters and harsh treatment of all leaders of the protests.

At Friday's sermon at Tehran University, Khatami called for blood in the name of the almighty. He told supporters: Anybody who fights against the Islamic system or the leader of Islamic society, fight him until complete destruction. . . Anyone who takes up arms to fight with the people, they are worthy of execution . . . We ask that the judiciary confront the leaders of the protests, leaders of the violations, and those who are supported by the United States and Israel strongly, and without mercy to provide a lesson for all."

Khatami left no question that to protest the Iranian government is to be "at war with God." In the meantime, Mousavi has been isolated as the government arrests his staff and supporters. He appears to be backing away a bit under the pressure of shootings, beatings, and arrests.

Story here.


Morford: Michael Jackson vs the News:


Religious people are the best people 

The world has another example of justice by extremists using Sharia law. In Mogadishu, Somalia, an Islamic court held a public ceremony where the hands and feet of weeping thieves were cut off in front of hundreds of onlookers.

The Sharia court is part of the dominant Islamic group al-Shabab. Each thief had one foot and one hand cut off with a long knife in keeping with the dictates of the Koran.
They were convicted of such crimes as stealing a cellphone.

The group is trying to replace the more moderate Sufi Islamic tradition with Wahabi Islam from our ally Saudi Arabia, which uses beheadings and amputations.

Story here.


A video of a "gay exorcism" has outraged the public as a teen is shown writhing on the ground as members of the Manifested Glory Ministries Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut drive out "homosexual demons." Church leaders can be heard screaming at the "homosexual demons" "Right now I command you to leave!"

Video and story here.


Dominion = license to kill?

In the very beginning of the Judeo-Christian bible, God allegedly grants humanity

"…dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

And so it came to pass.  And speaking of creeping things that doth creepeth, it seems the creeps have inherited the Earth, creeps that seem intent to stomp every creeping thing over which they have dominion into extinction (and don't forget the permanent snuffing the fowl of the air).

You're probably wondering why I've decided to bum you out tonight.  I'm blue because of these new bummer tidbits, the massive die-off and looming extinction of nine species of shark due to the charming practice of 'finning' the poor critters for shark-fin soup while tossing the still alive but mutilated shark back into the ocean to effectively die slowly from blood loss and asphyxiation.

I can't tell you how depressed I get knowing that over the course of my lifetime I've watched the biggest species die-off since the disappearance of the dinosaurs.  Except for a few modest successes (think a few species of whales, wolves, American bison), people world-wide seem driven to destroy as many habitats and species as rapidly as possible, whether through global warming, deforestation, desertification, strip mining, urban sprawl, polluting and increasing the acidity of fresh and salt water, overfishing, poaching and just polluting the air and land in general.  Is the game to see how many of them we can take with us before our fossil fuel runs out and civilization collapses?

In the case of creatures like pelagic sharks or other deepsea fish, we're looking at the classic tragedy of the commons writ large.  Unless some modern day, environmentally-motivated Captain Nemo decides to take matters into his own hands, it's pretty much all she wrote for these poor creatures.  Wouldn't hurt to have some more (and less gentle) Bruno Mansers on land as well.

There might be a bit more hope for the poor vaquita which recently lost funds for protection due to the economic downturn.  Rather than watch it follow the Yangtse River Dolphin, perhaps a campaign funded by private donations run by a group such as the WWF could make up the shortfall?

The only thing that depresses me more than the actual mass extinction event underway is how people seem to care so little about it.


Depressing news, a new world record – there are now 1 billion hungry people in the world, about 1 out of every 7 people.  Lester Brown of the WorldWatch Institute warns how food shortages are leading to failed states and a threat to the overall world order.

Venal senators from the Midwest just don't get it – they insist on porking out the current energy bill with subsidies for corn farmers, diverting food from the plates of the world poor into the gas tanks of the rich's SUVs.


Sanford and Ensign's pals: that Hitler had some really good ideas:


It's very kind of this home school football league to provide their list of priorities.


I would guess that #3 is very, very far down the list.


Here we go, Friday dump time:

The Obama administration, fearing a battle with Congress that could stall plans to close Guantanamo, has drafted an executive order that would reassert presidential authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely, according to three senior government officials with knowledge of White House deliberations.

Such an order would embrace claims by former president George W. Bush that certain people can be detained without trial for long periods under the laws of war. Obama advisers are concerned that bypassing Congress could place the president on weaker footing before the courts and anger key supporters, the officials said. 



Iraq declares victory over U.S. 

NYTimes: Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has taken to calling the withdrawal of American combat troops from Iraq's cities by next Tuesday a "great victory," a repulsion of foreign occupiers he compares to the rebellion against British troops in 1920. The day itself has been declared a national holiday, though it is not yet clear whether Iraq will hold the "feast and festivals" he recently promised.  

I guess our leaving frees up some space for Exxon and Shell to move in and set up camp. 


City Council member Monica Conyers, wife of powerful Democratic congressman John Conyers, pleaded guilty Friday to accepting cash bribes in exchange for supporting a sludge contract with a Houston company.


Sanford compares his lady friend to Bathsheba and himself to that old testament king, David (not the gay one).

I have been doing a lot of soul searching on that front. What I find interesting is the story of David, and the way in which he fell mightily, he fell in very very significant ways. But then picked up the pieces and built from there.

– Mark Sanford

As you bible scholars may recall, King David rapes Bathsheba, knocks her up, and kills off her husband. Not exactly a stellar, Christian record there, Sanford, but if the shoe fits…


Guess who's getting rich off of Cap & Trade?


The Sahara Desert is crossing the Mediterranean, according to Italian environmental protection group Legambiente which warns that the livelihoods of 6.5 million people living along its shores could be at risk.


In a 219-to-212 vote last evening, the House passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which will "for the first time put a price on carbon emissions" in the U.S. In the final minutes of the debate, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) threatened to obstruct the bill by reading 300 pages of amendments, but eventually relented and read only a few sentences from selected portions. 

44 Democrats voted against the legislation.


Yesterday on Fox Business, anchor David Asman hosted a round table dedicated to smearing the Waxman-Markey clean energy economy legislation. The discussion, including Fox Business' Cody Willard and the Heritage Foundation's David Kreutzer, lacked a single proponent of the bill. Concluding the segment, Asman asked Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) — an opponent not just of clean energy legislation, but of green jobs in general — if the bill would pass the House. He responded with a morbid comparison:

ASMAN: Congressman Bishop is there any chance at all that this thing won't pass tomorrow?

BISHOP: Well there's hope, we'll see if — I mean you guys covered a national tragedy today, let's hope we don't give you a tragedy tomorrow as well.


4,316 soldiers killed in Iraq; 713 in Afghanistan - that we know of.


When the first sentence of the article reads like this, you know it's gonna be good.

A former mayor found sitting naked and holding a beer at a Rabun County campsite told police he wasn't the same naked man seen walking around earlier.


No comments: