Monday, November 30, 2009

Headlines - Monday

Mike Huckabee granted clemency to the suspect in quadruple cop killer case in Washington state. 
Lest you forget, he has a history of clemency gone wrong. Remember this previous Huckabee clemency
Huckabee basically helped secure the guy's release because the convict had raped a distant relative of Bill Clinton - and being a distant relative of Bill Clinton, the right-wing attack machine said the woman who was raped wasn't credible (even though the guy was convicted), and they demanded that the rapist be set free because, after all, he only raped a Clinton. Well, it seems that Governor Huckabee agreed. He set the rapist free, and then the guy molested and murdered another woman. But even better? Huckabee now denies that he had anything to do with the release of the rapist/murderer. Funny, then why did Huckabee meet with the parole board on behalf of the rapist/murderer?
More on the cop killer story
Republicans haven't campaigned on "law and order" for a long time. It's hard to do that when you are the party of Jack Abramoff and trumped-up wars. But I can see where, if one is safely ensconced in wingnut talk television, that it might be preferable to having to explain to those people who in 1988 responded to the Willie Horton ads just why TWO people you released from prison went on to commit more heinous crimes.

The convergence of new and old media has some problems. Perhaps mixing a live "Tweet" and a static billboard is a bad idea?

Tiny magnetic discs just a millionth of a metre in diameter could be used to used to kill cancer cells, according to a study published on Sunday.

Laboratory tests found the so-called "nanodiscs", around 60 billionths of a metre thick, could be used to disrupt the membranes of cancer cells, causing them to self-destruct.

The discs are made from an iron-nickel alloy, which move when subjected to a magnetic field, damaging the cancer cells, the report published in Nature Materials said
Not news:
Donald Rumsfeld blamed for failing to kill cornered Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden was cornered and within reach of US troops in the Afghanistan mountains of Tora Bora in late 2001 when America's military leaders made the costly decision not to attack the terror leader with the massive force at their disposal, according to a US Senate report: 
The Family Behind Gay Genocide
Can we call them Nazis now?

The politically connected conservative religious group in Washington, DC, known as "The Family" made infamous in the United States recently by the sex scandal of one of its members, Senator Ensign, seemed creepy but also essentially harmless. Sort of a Religious Right version of The Addams Family. Good for a laugh, even if that laugh was a nervous one.

Well, today, I'm no longer willing to consider The Family, it's members and its agenda as quite so harmless, because it appears to be the driving force behind laws meant to execute homosexuals in Uganda:

Pie charts usually add up to 100, unless they're Fox pie charts.
Oh the fiscal hypocrisy!
WASHINGTON - A day before he is scheduled to announce a new strategy in Afghanistan, President Obama is under increasing pressure to explain how his administration intends to pay the rising costs of military operations in Afghanistan, which average about $3.6 billion per month.

Both Republicans and Democrats pressed the issue yesterday, previewing the political minefield that Obama will face when he addresses the nation from West Point tomorrow. Key Republicans said they intend to support him on his expected plan to send more troops, but called on him to curb domestic spending on items they oppose.
You didn't see any of those "key Republicans" uttering a peep between 2000 and 2009 about the cost of the wars or fretting about how to pay for either the wars or the costs of caring for wounded veterans for the next 90 years. Nope, they were silent as church mice as George W. Bush became the first president to wholly fund two wars on the national credit cards. No special war taxes or excise taxes or even war bond drives. No calls to conserve resources, none of that "share the cost" shit from ol' Chimpy, it was "go shopping and have a good time, America, for the end of Days is coming anyway, so who cares about that long-term deficit shit."

But now, oh, see the GOP wail about the cost and how "it must be paid for" by cutting social services in the middle of a severe recession. The health care debate is not going to get put aside, as Sen. Lugar wants. Putting aside the health care debate means killing it, and that is what the Senators from the Health Insurance Industry party of Hoover want to do. 

Much to their credit, the NYTimes has run an article on the social safety net, specifically foodstamps, and some shocking things are revealed:

  • 1 in 4 kids are being fed on some sort of assistance program — that's 25% for the math challenged.
  • 1 in 8 adults are being fed by some sort of assistance program, and like tracking unemployment, that works out to be 12.5% of all Americans
  • And of course, the interactive map shows that the Red States are the highest percentage of beneficiaries of these programs (ironically while their GOP representatives continue to work to dismantle the programs…)
  • The Heritage Foundation thinks that giving starving people food is incentive for them to remain, unmarried and unproductive and on the dole. Good Xristians, them.
  • And most shocking of all are the comments on the article, which fall pretty consistently into the social Darwinism category of, "let them starve." (At least as of this writing…)

The selfishness and pride of people who would deny help to those who need it, never cease to astonish me. 

The good news is that 

not everyone's doing poorly. In fact, the Masters of the Universe are back to their old free-spending ways, thanks to the massive government bailout funded by our tax dollars:

Conspicuous consumption is making a comeback on Wall Street. But no one wants to admit they're doing it.As traders and investment bankers near the finish line of what looks like a boom year for pay, some are spending money like the financial crisis never happened. From $15,000-a-week Caribbean getaways to art auctions to $200,000 platinum wristwatches that automatically adjust for leap years, signs of the good life are returning.

"What we're seeing in the last four to eight weeks is a fairly substantial uptick" in demand for extravagant purchases as Wall Street employees grow more confident that the market's steep rebound so far in 2009 will soon bring them fat bonuses, says David Arnold, senior vice president at Robb Report, a magazine targeted at the super-wealthy.

Isn't that heartwarming? We can be glad that someone's doing well, even if it's at our expense!



…except that Hunter Thompson was a real writer, who wrote about real issues with real style. You write about hair extensions and tell us you are a bad ass because you once had a rub-on tattoo and your booze-heiress mom once went to a Harley-Davidson biker rally with other Malcolm Forbes marketing department-types.


UK Iraq war inquiry: Blair was told Iraq war was illegal, decided on war in 2002:


4,367 soldiers killed in Iraq, 928 in Afghanistan.


The Pope has a solution to Catholicism's most pressing problems: bring back the Latin Mass.

40 years of the new Mass have brought chaos and banality into the most visible and outward sign of the church. Benedict XVI wants a return to order and meaning. So, it seems, does the next generation of Catholics.

And in other news, an Indonesian government minister is blaming the people's immorality for the disasters that have struck Indonesia.

More order, meaning, morality and obedience. It sounds like the solution to all mankind's problems.



Consumer Reports' latest test of fresh, whole broilers bought in 22 states reveals that two-thirds of birds tested harbored salmonella and/or campylobacter, the leading bacterial causes of food-borne disease. The report reveals that organic "air-chilled" broilers were among the cleanest and that Perdue was found to be the cleanest of the brand-name chicken. Tyson and Foster Farms chickens were found to be the most contaminated. The report is available, free online (note, you have to click through the side bars to the left of the story) and in the January 2010 issue of the magazine.


Even though a Bush-era request to conduct blanket searches of computer files was rebuked by judges, the Obama administration is now pushing to have the decision reversed, according to court documents filed the week of Thanksgiving.

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