Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Headlines - Wednesday

Rewarding bad behavior - Volume 938,730
Michael Jeffries, Abercrombie & Fitch
The five most overpaid CEOs
Despite last year's financial tumult, these five CEOs are still sitting pretty. Here is the Corporate Library's list of the "Highest Paid Worst Performers" of 2008. 
Obama decides Karzai gets to stay in power despite fraud:
Other public option dies too!
The Baucus caucus

Our dear friends in the Senate Finance Committee have voted down the Schumer/Cantwell "less cool but still cool" public option amendment as well, 13-10 (Dems voting no: Baucus, Conrad, Lincoln), so there will officially (we think?) not be a public option in the Senate Finance Committee bill. SURPRISE. MORE »

The Healthcare debate refocused
Over at The Altantic's business blog, writer Derek Thompson asks, "Is Today the Public Option's Last Chance?" See, members of the Senate Finance Committee are expected to force an up or down vote on a government-run health insurance option -- and that vote may not turn out well for backers.

But is it "do or die" time for a public option? Probably not. There are several bills in both chambers of congress and only one doesn't include a public option. Max Baucus' Finance Committee bill is the black sheep here. There are four other bills -- three in the House and one in the Senate -- meaning that 80% of all healthcare legislation includes the option. If the Finance Committee votes down a public option, it will most definitely not be dead. A lot of people will try to pretend that it is, but you won't be able to accuse those people of being too forthright.
Keep reading:
Foods too big to finish, like this seven-pound breakfast burrito and an incredible twenty-pound burger.
Watch a big UCLA squirrel help a little UCLA squirrel over a wall.
Ten percent of world's major species at threat:
Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Russ Feingold (D-WI), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) announced today that they will introduce the Retroactive Immunity Repeal Act, which eliminates retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies that allegedly participated in President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program.
Google Earth meets climate change in 3D 

Google is using its Google Earth mapping tool to simulate on a 3d map of the world the predicted effects of climate change until the year 2100.

Using data provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the search giant created new layers for Google Earth showing the range of expected temperature and precipitation changes under different global emissions scenarios that could occur throughout the century. - Syndney Morning Herald


Is our military learning?


The Guardian:

Twenty-five million more children will go hungry by the middle of this century as climate change leads to food shortages and soaring prices for staples such as rice, wheat, maize and soya beans, a report says today.

If global warming goes unchecked, all regions of the world will be affected, but the most vulnerable – south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa – will be hit hardest by failing crop yields, according to the report, prepared by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) for the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

The children of 2050 will have fewer calories to eat than those in 2000, the report says, and the effect would be to wipe out decades of progress in reducing child malnutrition.


Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and John Kerry (D-MA) will unveil global warming legislation today that would require a 20 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. The bill would go even further than House legislation passed in June, which required a 17 percent decrease. Joe Romm says it is "environmentally, economically and politically stronger" than its House counterpart.

Jesus Christ. Eight years wasted under Bush doing nothing and now we may cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20% in 10 freaking years?


With Florida rapidly becoming the Ground Zero of Glennbeckistan, I have to wonder how the hell Alan Grayson got elected. You gotta love this guy:


This column, a disguised call for a military coup, is nothing short of treason and/or sedition. 


Ex-Bushies face lawsuits

Oh plz oh plz oh plz oh plz...

In lawsuits stemming from law enforcement and intelligence efforts after the Sept. 11 attacks, three federal courts have left open the possibility that former Attorney General John Ashcroft and former Justice Department official John Yoo may be held personally liable.

In two cases, judges appointed by Republican presidents have refused at an early stage to dismiss lawsuits that were filed against Ashcroft and Yoo. In a third case, the full federal appeals court in New York is reconsidering an earlier decision by three of its members to toss out a lawsuit by a man who was changing planes in the United States when he was mistaken for a terrorist and sent to Syria, where he claims he was tortured.

Pic by GeeGee.


image by R.J. Matson 

Americablog: Republicans ignored Afghanistan under Bush, now want "high stakes" hearings

There are many, many hypocritical things that Republicans do. But, when they play politics with national security, it's beyond hypocritical, it's despicable. For almost eight years, including those six when Republicans controlled the House and Senate, the GOP ignored the war in Afghanistan, just like George Bush did. They dutifully — and without question — followed Bush into the war in Iraq. And, they let Afghanistan fester. It was national security negligence on the part of the GOP. Now, that Bush is gone, Republicans are pretending to care about the Afghanistan war:

Republicans want to make the idea of a high stakes congressional hearing with Gen. Stanley McChrystal look inevitable.

On Monday, Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, became the latest GOP lawmaker to call on the top U.S. general in Afghanistan to come to Capitol Hill to testify about the need for more troops.

Kit Bond and his colleagues weren't screeching about hearings on Afghanistan when Bush was president. FOX News wasn't in a frenzy about that war either. They were all complicit in Bush's failure. But, now they think there's a political reason to talk Afghanistan. Really, they're sick. They don't care about the underlying policy, just the politics.


Last night, filmmaker Michael Moore sent a message to leading Democrats blocking health care reform: "I want to offer a personal pledge. I — and a lot of other people — have every intention of removing you from Congress in the next election if you stand in the way of health care legislation that the people want."


Chamber of Commerce rewrites history: "We've never questioned the science behind global warming"


Rightwing panel agrees Obama is the 'first Muslim American President'

At the How to Take Back America conference last weekend, attended by several Republican lawmakers, former Reagan official and prominent neoconservative Frank Gaffney, right-wing historian Bill Federer, and Christian activist Walid Shoebat hosted a panel on "How to understand Islam." An attendee of the panel asked the three speakers if they would consider President Obama a Christian or a Muslim, given his "roots." While Gaffney gave a now familiar response linking Obama to the Muslim Brotherhood, Federer and Shoebat provided new theories, which elicited praise from the crowd:


Sarah Failin's memoir "Going Full Retard Rogue" will be out November 17th, hopefully followed by the sequel "Going Away."



Glenn Beck draws biggest hometown protest evar

Pig of the hour tearfully receives key to the city in an invitation-only private event, while demonstrators march in Norman Rockwell-like Free Speech Zones.

Protesters started gathering outside the building more than two hours before Beck's 7:30 p.m. appearance. By the time he spoke inside the building, some 800 people were gathered outside - some from as far away as Oregon.

It was the
largest protest in living memory in the town of Mount Vernon.

Culture of Corruption

In a report which will surprise nobody, repulsive goons Glenn Beck and Sean insHannity have devoted thousands of hours to blasting ACORN – all the while 'virtually ignoring major corruption scandals.' You know, the ones involving rethuglicans. Ones they HAVEN'T labeled as 'D'.--

Media Matters for America reviewed the coverage each host has provided on his respective television programs to a selection of well-documented political scandals and instances of corruption by companies that have received thousands of times more money from the government than ACORN has. Our findings show that both hosts have been obsessed with ACORN, devoting a massively disproportionate amount of attention to the story in comparison to their coverage of controversies involving military contractors that have received billions of dollars in federal contracts and instances of Republican corruption at the highest levels of the U.S. government.

Key findings:

  • ACORN: 1,502
  • Disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH): 62
  • Blackwater/Xe: 4
  • Halliburton/KBR: 43
  • "This is clear-cut, unadulterated, taxpayer-funded corruption! I'm asking you -- demand a full investigation from your representatives of everybody -- all the way to the top, everybody in government, all the way to the top, in your cities, and in our nation!!!"

    Oops - Analysis finds holes in US Iran story: US may have pretended to know about facility

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