Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Headlines - Tuesday

"To love democracy and to love the Earth is to be a radical now." Joel Kupperman at the G20 summit Link
A Palestinian boy kicks a football outside damaged homes in northern Gaza in January 2009.
Hmmm. UN report accuses Israel of war crimes.
"Clinton recounted that he once pulled aside Alan Simpson, the senior Republican senator, to ask him whether he really believed that the president had done something terrible in Whitewater. Simpson's response: "Oh, hell no. But our goal is to make people think you did, so we can pay you Democrats back for Iran-contra." Taylor Branch, author of the new "tell all" Clinton book Link  

Too bad Democrats can't be counted on to stand with their president. 


Global recession apparently hitting PR professionals the hardest

The Vatican's new official defense makes you wonder who thought it would be a good idea to revive the story. Only about one in twenty priests touched children in their private parts!

Protip: when, say, a political candidate admits he had sex with "between 1 and 5" farm animals, you can discard one through four.


The Limits of Charisma - by Howard Fineman Link

If ubiquity were the measure of a presidency, Obama would already be on Mount Rushmore. But of course it is not. Despite his many words and television appearances, our elegant and eloquent president remains more an emblem of change than an agent of it. He's a man with an endless, worthy to-do list but, as yet, no boxes checked "done." This is a problem that style will not fix. Unless Obama learns to rely less on charm, rhetoric, and good intentions and more on picking his spots and winning in political combat, he's not going to be reelected, let alone enshrined in South Dakota.

The president's problem isn't that he is too visible; it's the lack of content in what he says in interviews. Obama can seem a mite too impressed with his own aura, as if his presence on the stage is the Answer. There is, at times, a self-referential (even self-reverential) tone in his big speeches. They are heavily salted with the words "I" and "my." (He used the former 11 times in the first few paragraphs of his address to the U.N. last week.) Obama is a historic figure, but that is the beginning, not the end, of the story.

There is only so much political mileage that can still be had by his reminding the world that he is not George W. Bush. It was the winning theme of the 2008 campaign, but that race ended nearly a year ago. The ex-president is now more ex than ever, yet the current president, who vowed to look forward, is still reaching back to Bush as bogeyman. 

I hate to agree with Howard Fineman, but yes, Obama thinks a speech always cures everything.
When Obama does give a speech, it's always the same damn speech.

That last speech he gave on health care?
He got no bounce at all from that - why did he think he would?
He repeats the same old arguments that haven't worked so far.
He's still trying to reason with insane drunks.

He seems to think (I can only guess) that if he reaches his hand out to the sons of bitches often enough,
they will eventually shake it instead of biting it for the 200th time in a row.

Does Obama have a learning disability? 



William Safire dead at 79
He's playing cards in Hell with Nixon, Helms and Russert Link

Safire went to work for Nixon's first, unsuccessful presidential bid. He rejoined the Nixon team in 1968, when Nixon won the White House, and became one of the administration's top speechwriters. P
erhaps his best-known line in that job was Agnew's denunciation of journalists as "nattering nabobs of negativism." But Safire left the administration to join that nattering club in 1973, when he left the Nixon bastards to join the Whore Times.

His often-pugnacious voice - he once denounced then-first lady Hillary Clinton as a "congenital liar" - held down the right flank of the Times' op-ed page for more than three decades.  

Well, of course this right-wing loon ran the Whore Times's Op-Ed page for 30 years. You can't get a big-time publishing job without those reich-wing credentials.

But isn't it funny how the sons of bitches twist history?
Tell me, Mr Safire, how many thousands of soldiers died because of Hillary's lies?
None, of course, but the bastards always give their own a pass while attacking the innocent.

Bill Clinton diddled an intern, so he's a bad man.
The Bush Fuhrer killed a million Iraqi's and 4500 soldiers and he's "a good Christian man."

Too bad we're in a party that refuses to fight back or even list the goddamn facts.



This picture of the Horsehead Nebula is the 2009 winning entry for astronomy photo of the year.


4,346 soldiers killed in Iraq; 850 in Afghanistan (220 of which have been this year already)


Q. What do you get when you take a man and then remove all common sense, critical thinking skills and moral compass?

A. Dan Riehl.

Riehl, as you may know, has speculated that Bill Sparkman, the murdered Census worker in Kentucky, was possibly murdered because someone found out that he was a child predator.  This is because he was a substitute teacher, Boy Scout leader and Census worker, and because he had an adoptive son.

It's pretty disturbing how Riehl managed to connect these completely irrelevant items so quickly into a portrait of a child predator. What's funny about it, though, is the defense he offered for jumping to such a conclusion:

Before any more people start going bonkers that I'm accusing Sparkman of anything, take a breath. I've done a fair amount of crime blogging mixed in with politics over time. One doesn't rule anything in or out without some firm answers. People feel free to speculate about Meth labs and pot fields but none have been reported in the area, yet.

Well then. If Riehl's been doing some "crime blogging" then he obviously knows what he's talking about. And he's totally correct to equate his speculation with that of meth labs and pot farms, because it's so unlikely to find a meth lab or a pot farm in a rural area. Everyone knows that both meth and marijuana are produced and consumed mainly in America's urban cores.


Unemployment: 6 to 1 and rising, so where's Main Street's bailout? http://casadelogo.typepad.com/factesque/2009/09/unemployment-6-to-1-and-rising-so-wheres-main-streets-bailout-bucks.html


Can you imagine what would have happened had someone put a Facebook poll like this up when Commander Codpiece was president?


New doubts over Hitler's death after tests on Hitler's skull reveal it did NOT belong to Hitler. In other news, ZOMBIE HITLER!!!!!

Adolf Hitler may not have shot himself dead and perhaps did not even die in his bunker, it emerged yesterday. A skull fragment believed for decades to be the Nazi leader's has turned out to be that of a woman under 40 after DNA analysis.
And Obama is now president... hmmm....

Sorry. Channelling freetards again.

And in a related story ....
Conservative activist explains how to recognize living under nazism
Can we please stop treating these people as if their insane ravings are simply "an alternate view"?
G20 world leader to Obama: "We don't understand it. You're trying to make sure everybody has health care and they're putting a Hitler mustache on you - I don't - that doesn't make sense to me. Explain that to me."

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the New West. You know - morons."

Another Republican Revolution?

Republicans are going to take over. It's inevitable. People aren't happy with congress and this means that, since Democrats are in control of both chambers, we're in for a big, big change. It's a lead pipe cinch. A sure bet. No contest. The republican base is excited, the Democratic base is disappointed. The pendulum has begun to swing.

At least, that seems to be what a lot of people think. Democrats better watch out, a lot of pundits are saying, because 2010 could be 1994 all over again. You wait and see. Republicans, with their tea bags and Hitler mustaches are on the march!

Of course, you know what I think of the analytic and prognosticative powers of the punditry - for the most part, they don't exist. Still, you get stories like this, from Reuters: 



Obama is ACORN you idiot Democrat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBDfVUf0fkw&feature=player_embedded


In this new book, Speechless: Tales of a White House Survivor, Matt Latimer has an interesting insight into the presidency of George W. Bush. When author J.K. Rowling was proposed as a recipient for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Bush nixed the idea because Rowling's Harry Potter series "encouraged witchcraft." While many of us may be unaware of the outbreak of witchcraft, this was no doubt contained in one of those biblically laced briefing books of the President. What is strange is that the President already honored another author of pure fiction — CIA Director George Tenet — for producing false evidence to justify the invasion of Iraq. It must simply be the genre. 

Keep reading: http://jonathanturley.org/2009/09/28/muggle-rebellion-bush-white-house-blocked-award-to-j-k-rowling-due-to-her-connection-to-witchcraft/#more-15378


A political brawl rocked the California Republican Party state convention in Indian Springs this weekend. On the griddle was Meg Whitman, former former eBay exec and current candidate for governor. The issue was Whitman's failure to vote, or even register, for the first 28 years she was eligible. Making matters worse, she often did not bother to vote after she finally registered.


Dorgan's amendment would let cheaper drugs from Canada come into the US, so people like you and me would no longer have to pay a 300% to 500% mark-up on the prescription drugs we buy. The administration scotched this possibility in their secret deal they made with Big Pharma, that was subsequently exposed. It will be interesting to see which politicians vote to have you pay three to five times as much for your prescriptions simply because American pharmaceutical companies have a monopoloy in our market. One could almost call that a prescription drug tax, since it's simply a mark-up that you're paying. Will our members of Congress vote to sustain the 300% Prescription Drug Tax? Stay tuned.

Income gap widens between the haves and the have nots during recession
The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans — those making more than $138,000 each year — earned 11.4 times the roughly $12,000 made by those living near or below the poverty line in 2008, according to newly released census figures. That ratio was an increase from 11.2 in 2007 and the previous high of 11.22 in 2003.
Paul Krugman in an op-ed on climate change.
850 Mostly Blind, Pale Creatures Discovered Underground: http://www.livescience.com/animals/090928-new-species-underground.html
Get your religion out of MY health care. If you don't like abortions, don't have one. 

well-duh.jpg image by cchiarizio
Texas schools move away from abstinence-only education: we don't think it's working: http://thinkprogress.org/2009/09/28/texas-contraception/
100 greatest viral videos of all time condensed here.

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