Monday, September 28, 2009

Headlines - Monday

Israel gets trillions of dollars from us to supposedly defend itself, and yet Bibi Whatayahoo told our Congresscritters that now is the time to act to halt the Iranian nuclear program.
Juan Cole:
American and Western discussions of what to do about Iran almost completely ignore Iraq. But no economic sanctions can effectively be placed on Iran without Iraqi support. A gasoline embargo would fail completely if Iraqis smuggled gasoline to Iran (which they certainly would, both for economic and religious reasons). Jalal Talabani, the president of Iraq, said Saturday that new sanctions on Iran "would not work" and that Iraq would never allow its airspace to be used for an aggressive attack on Iran "by any country" (he's looking at you, Israel and US).

Somehow I don't think this is what Bush was going for when he invaded Iraq.

That didn't take long. 

A Superior Court Judge in Massachusetts has thrown out the request by the Republicans to enjoin the appointment of Paul Kirk as interim Senator to hold Kennedy's seat until the special election slated for January.  No word yet if he used the phrase "whiny-assed titty babies" in his opinion.  

The Republicans objected to Governor Deval Patrick declaring an emergency so as to give the appointment immediate effect.  Because having the people of Massachusetts have a full complement of senators during the health care debate is no where near as important as was the issue of the boating speed limit in Charlton, which Willard had found to be an emergency during his stint in office.


First They Came For ACORN

First Big Business, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Lou Dobbs, the Religious Right, the Wall Street Journal, Mitch McConnell, and Karl Rove came for ACORN, and the Democrats did not speak out - because they were not ACORN.

The question that is never asked

What is the difference between someone old enough to choose Medicare Coverage and everyone else? Why should everyone *under* the age of 65 live in fear of health care costs, job loss, private insurance recission and loss? Is there some magical bar, some fairy dust, that prevents us from admitting that American Citizens have precisely identical health care needs from cradle to grave-and that they should, of course, have the exactly same set of rights to meet those needs through a national co-insurance pool based on taxes levied evenly, and (for preference) progressively on all salaried employees and employers?

I've never understood the willingness of the average person and the average journalist to pretend that categories like "over 65" and "under 65" reflect anything other than historical accident. We're all citizens. We are all human. We all have health care needs. My grandparents aren't more needy than I, or more worthy than I, and its not even clear that they have paid more into the system than I have. I have been astounded, absolutely astounded, at the inability of our pundits and our representatives to simply ask the most basic question: What's the difference between me and someone older than me, from a legal or moral point of view, that enables the Government to assume responsibility for ensuring proper medical care for someone of age X + and not for me or my children?

Atrios links to this new poll showing that the public, in general, would be interested in expanding Medicare downwards to include lots more people.
But here's the stunner: In the very same poll, respondents were asked whether they favored a Medicare-like public option for everyone. The right-wingers were out there in roughly the same numbers that they registered in answering the other questions: 26 percent of respondents said they opposed the public option. But a whopping 65 supported it.

Despite the piss poor job of our elected leadership the people actually get it. What's good for our elderly parents is, in fact, good for all of us.

Billions spent and 850 soldiers killed that we know of .....
NATO and the US have decided to side with current Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai in his quest to continue to be President of Afghanistan, despite very mean-spirited gossip about how the election was maybe a sham. Washington Post

Putting your investments where your dinner is - combine poisonous factory-farm tomatoes with disgraced investment banker Bernard Madoff. Then throw in a stock market disaster that cost investors their life savings. You may have the recipe for a revolution. 


Not sure what to think of this:

What if James Dean had lived? Astonishing new advert gives the original rebel a cause - and takes film critics by storm
The profanity has yet to be coined to describe this obscenity.  "A Virginia anti-abortion activist has sent a scathing letter to the church of slain Wichita abortion provider George Tiller, telling pastors they "brought damnation" onto themselves for failing to rebuke the "babykilling." The Rev. Donald Spitz, a longtime advocate of the belief that killing abortion doctors is an act of justifiable homicide, said he also mailed a letter to College Hill United Methodist Church, which offered its larger sanctuary to Tiller's family for his funeral. Tiller was shot to death in his church on May 31 while serving as an usher. Scott Roeder of Kansas City awaits a Jan. 11 trial on a charge of first-degree murder. Spitz, who is the head of Pro-Life Virginia, runs a Web site called the Army of God. He has praised Roeder's actions and calls him a "true American hero."
Dispatch from Glennbeckistan
This is your country when a political party sanctions hate in the name of white privilege:
Derrick Thomas was on his bike with home in his sights, returning about 1 a.m. Wednesday from hanging out with his girlfriend and cousin in Brooklyn Park.

Before he knew to be terrified, Thomas, who has autism, found himself flying over his handlebars and writhing on his back on the concrete. Standing over him, he said, were three men armed with an ax, brass knuckles and a gun.

They beat and kicked the 18-year-old while screaming a racial epithet, and they ordered him to strip naked, he told police. Then they robbed him of everything he had, including his Air Jordans, blue jeans and shirt. Police said Thomas has a mental capacity of someone 8 to 10 years old.

"They were saying stuff like, 'We hate the president; we're gonna kill the president, his wife and his kids,'" Thomas recalled from his front stoop Friday, his left eye puffy and discolored. "They said every black person that comes through our park, we're gonna kick their butt. We don't like black people, period."
Any questions?
Bullets and barbecue: SC candidate raffles off AK-47, offers target practice at campaign rally.
This is your country as envisioned by Republicans.
I guess she should have "gotten an option like charity."

Ted Rall gets the flu and tries to fill a prescription for Tamiflu. A real horror story.

This is not an ordinary flu, in spite of stories like this trying to convince you otherwise. Please take this seriously


The torturer's daughter
Liz Cheney is laying the groundwork for a run for office.

It could be that she wants to be in a position to prevent Dick Cheney from being tried for his crimes. Maybe she is being a good daughter, like
Gudrun Himmler Burwitz.

Or maybe she really does believe that torturing people makes this country safer.

No such thing as police abuse! They only Tase people for their own good.


The wingers love them some Constitution, except for the parts they don't like - like the Census. Then it's a big-brother-New-World-Order-black-helicopter-conspiracy-theorist wet dream. The Constitution directs that every ten years, a census be taken. It determines the amount of funding a community receives from federal and state governments, and it determines congressional representation. It is also used for the purpose of districting decisions that affect a person's representation at the local and state level, and directs the decisions a community makes.


Gee. What a surprise.

On CNN yesterday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged that closing the military prison at Guantanamo Bay will take longer than the Obama administration planned. "I think it has proven more complicated than anticipated," said Gates, who said that he had pushed for the deadline of January 2010.


In any other industry, this sort of thing would prompt a RICO investigation A 3,495% markup on the cost of the same drugs that patients take at home when they are administered in a hospital setting is unjustifiable and ought to be classified as Medicare fraud.


Ahmadinejad and the nuclear enrichment plant of doom

Obama on the evidence of Iran's secret nuclear facility: "This was the work product of three intelligence agencies, not just one." Well, if it's three whole intelligence agencies, then it must be true. (I think he means the CIA, MI6 and French intelligence). "They checked over this work in a painstaking fashion." Seems to me I've heard this sort of thing before.

The most unlikely part of this story? That the US supposedly for years possessed intel that would have advanced Dick Cheney's agenda, but failed to leak it.

Senators Bayh, Kyl and Lieberman issued a
statement accusing Iran of a "consistent pattern of deceit, concealment and bad faith," because if there are three things Joe Lieberman hates, they're deceit, concealment and bad faith. "Until Iran proves otherwise, we must assume the worst about its nuclear intentions and activities -- and act accordingly." Can't let the smoking gun come in the form of a mushroom cloud.

Update: Barack Obama demanded that Iran turn over blueprints to its underground ex-secret nuclear hideaway, and threatened to take away the US's gas and oil investment money. Iran responded by test-firing a bunch of short-range missiles and then claiming they were medium-range missiles. Sassy/grim! New York Times
The Boston Globe reports that bank lobbyists, who earlier this year killed mortgage cramdown legislation, are funneling millions of dollars to Congress and hiring a number of former congressional and White House staffers as lobbyists in an effort to defeat proposed regulations. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), one of the chief negotiators in talks on new legislation, has responded to bank lobbyists hiring one of his committee's former aides by barring his staff from talking to him.


More than half of the 2,737 lobbyists "hired to promote the interests of drug companies, insurers, hospitals, health professionals, industry groups and business organizations" used to "work for the government they're trying to influence."

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