Sunday, August 30, 2009

Headlines - Sunday

Ted Kennedy will be the subject on all the talk shows today except on Fox, where Dick Cheney is the only guest.
If we weren't bogged down in two wars, handing out money to failed banks and to Israel, maybe we could help. 
Swine flu spreading at 'unbelievable' rate - and 40 percent of the fatalities are young adults in good health: 
adolf hitler
h/t Dick
Japanese and South Korean automakers registered the biggest market share gains in the U.S. government's "cash for clunkers" program that ended this week with bankruptcy related inventory shortages hurting General Motors Co GM.UL and Chrysler.
                Activia gives me the shits just like Glenn Beck does.
According to a report in the Saturday edition of the Independent, top US commander in Afghanistan General McChrystal will request another 20,000 troops for the war effort in Afghanistan, on top of the escalation already provided by (anti-war) President Obama, when he issues his new "plan" for the nation.
There, I Fixed It is another niche blog that catalogues odd fixes for common everyday problems.
Jacob Weisberg asks: Who's really pulling the plug on Grandma?

It's not preposterous to imagine laws that would try to save money by encouraging the inconvenient elderly to make a timely exit. After all, that's been Republican policy for years.

It was Sen. Grassley himself who rammed the GOP's most astonishing pro-death policy through the Senate in 2001. The estate-tax revision he championed reduces the estate tax to zero next year. But when the law expires at year's end, the tax will jump back up to its previous level of 55 percent. Grassley's exploding offer has an entirely foreseen if unintended consequence: It's going to encourage those whose parents and grandparents are worth anything more than a million bucks to get them dead by midnight on Dec. 31, 2010. This would be a great plot for a P.D. James novel if it weren't an actual piece of legislation.

irony6.jpg image by swiftian
Chevron's using solar power ... to drill for oil.
U.S. is 15 years behind South Korea in Internet speed (also behind 27 other countries)
Check your speeds here.
Mine suck.

Perfect incremental health care reform analogy:

Years ago, as the story goes, Britain's Parliament faced a difficult choice. On the European continent drivers use the right lanes, while the English remained on the left. But tunnels and fast ferries were bringing cars and drivers back and forth ever more frequently. Liberals in Parliament thought it time to change lanes. Conservatives resisted; after all, Brits had been driving on the left since William the Conquerer's charriot. Parliament's compromise was to move from the left to right lanes -- but incrementally, on a voluntary basis. Truckers first.

On health care there is another compelling problem, the left lane is forming a huge sinkhole and soon there won't be a road. Fixing it now is a national imperative.


George Bush Sr. was the only living president that refused to attend Senator Kennedy's funeral. 


"Well now, isn't that special?"

"Most CIA officers don't have much money and could go into debt to hire a good lawyer...." (to defend them against accusations of sodomizing, waterboarding, and/or killing detainees), so CIA Director Leon Panetta says his agency (which is really us, the taxpayers) will pay for their defense attorneys.


Secret camps and guillotines? Groups make birthers look sane:


You've been played

It's all worked perfectly for them, hasn't it, these three decades of Republican dominance? They've wanted to dismantle programs that help anyone other than corporations, and now their latest hero, George W. Bush, put us in eight short years into a position in which the New Deal and the Great Society will have to be dismantled, because there's no money to pay for them. The middle-class is going to scream bloody murder at paying more taxes, partially because they are struggling themselves, but also because they were told by Ronald Reagan and others that if they just worked hard enough, they too could enter the Kingdom of Rich Men, when said Kings knew full well that they had no intention of letting even the hardest-working schmoe into their little club. These men begrudge even the existence of a middle class, and so they set out to dismantle it -- and have largely succeeded.



According to an article in Think Progress, Texas is once again on the cutting edge:

At present, the Texas Nationalist Movement has a petition with 1 Million signatures directly calling for a vote of secession….

The organization's petition echoes language used by other "tenther" activists who believe that everything from Social Security to Medicare to the federal highway system violates the Tenth Amendment. According to the petition, Texas officials must either "immediately move for the restoration of the complete and unadulterated Sovereignty of Texas, explicitly adhering to the 10th Amendment wording of the U.S. Constitution," or "move immediately for complete Secession from the United States of America." In light of Texas Gov. Rick Perry's recent expression of support for Texas secession, the petition could receive a friendly hearing.


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I love those Google Adsense generated ads. They always seem to go awry.


In an interview with Fox to be aired today, Cheney says that he's okay with CIA interrogators having used torture techniques beyond those authorized by the Justice Dept, calling them "good policy... properly carried out. It worked very, very well." Don't know if Chris Wallace asked him specifically if the creative use of power tools and threats to rape detainees' mothers were good policy, properly carried out (I'm gonna guess not), but he did get Cheney to say that he was aware of the use of waterboarding, though "not specifically in any one particular case, but as a general policy that we had approved."

But here's my favorite example of Cheney being Cheney: he said Obama should have personally stepped in to quash Attorney General Holder's decision to hold any inquiry at all: "The president of the United States is the chief law enforcement officer in the land. I think he's trying to duck the responsibility for what's going on here. And I think it's wrong." So Cheney wants no investigation of the torture he was responsible for, but it's Obama who's ducking his responsibility. And it's Obama's job as chief law enforcement officer to ensure that the law is not enforced.


The Washington Post goes pro-torture. 

More from Marcy Wheeler:


4,336 soldiers killed in Iraq; 807 in Afghanistan (177 this year and we still have 4 months to go).

Coalition Military Fatalities By Year

Year US Other Total
2009 177 125 302
2008 155 139 294
2007 117 115 232
2006 98 93 191
2005 99 32 131
2004 52 7 59
2003 48 9 57
2002 49 20 69
2001 12 0 12
Total 807 540 1347

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