Sunday, January 31, 2010

Headlines - Sunday

Oh good. Obama's Justice Department just cleared the Bush bastards that ordered the torture. 
 
Anybody still think Obama and Rahm are secretly planning to wrap up all the Smirky-Darth criminals in a couple of years, after dems win health care and jobs and capntrade and DADT and the deficit and EFCA and everybody has a pony?

Anybody?  Bueller?    

att107399.jpg
 
###
 
Morford: Why are you so terribly disappointing?
 
###
 
Give voters a chance to stick it to the rich and look what happens.  
 
###
 
 
"Ha ha! Dad's got bed head!"
 
### 
 
Rip Torn's bank robbery arrest seals his reputation for "most drunk prolific old actor alive"
 
 
###
 
Pickle Smokers & Creatures

The TSA has launched an investigation of employees at their Orlando field office after learning of an office board game being played to mock gays, women and minorities.
The board, resembling the TV game show "Jeopardy," includes categories such as "pickle smokers," "our gang" and "creatures," which sources said were names used by managers for gay men, African-Americans and lesbians. A photograph of the board was sent to CNN. The Transportation Security Administration confirmed the investigation in a written statement but did not elaborate on when the board was in use, where it was displayed or how it was used. "Following a referral from DHS Office of the Inspector General, TSA's Office of Inspection is conducting an ongoing investigation at the Orlando Field office," the statement said.

It's unclear how the game was played or whether the various categories represented points scored for singling out the targeted groups to harass them with extra security screening procedures. Everybody feel safer now?

###
 
Frank Rich in the NYT on the SOTU and where Obama goes from here.
 
###
 
What prompted this move? 
The Obama administration is accelerating the deployment of new defenses against possible Iranian missile attacks in the Persian Gulf, placing special ships off the Iranian coast and antimissile systems in at least four Arab countries, according to administration and military officials.
I wonder what prompted this move and the publicity around it.

About the only thing that is missing is Seymour Hersh's 53rd warning that war with Iran is imminent.  
 
###
 
CBS allows Focus on the Family anti-choice ad during the Super Bowl, but bans gay dating site ad.
 
###
 
Despicable and inexcusable. "The US military has stopped evacuating Haitian earthquake victims to the US in a reported dispute over medical costs. Flights stopped on Wednesday because some hospitals were reluctant to take patients from Haiti, a US military official told the New York Times. A doctor in the quake zone warned 100 of his patients would die in the next 48 hours unless they were airlifted. Meanwhile, only women will be allowed to collect food from new UN distribution sites in Haiti's capital. Hundreds of patients with spinal injuries, burns and other wounds have been evacuated to the US since the 12 January quake that killed up to 200,000 people."
 
###
 
On Wednesday, Down with Tyranny brought us some excellent news that strains credulity: the U.S. Senate did the correct, liberal thing on the deficit.

How often does one see the Senate's leading Fascist and only Socialist join together in a highly contentious and high profile vote? If you were watching yesterday, you did. The Senate rejected Obama's somewhat squirrelly hopes for a deficit reduction commission. Needing 60 votes to avoid a filibuster, the bill only drew 53. Liberals like Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley, Sherrod Brown, Daniel Akaka, Sheldon Whitehouse, Chris Dodd, Roland Burris, Tom Udall, Maria Cantwell, Frank Lautenberg, Ben Cardin and Jack Reed opposed it because they knew it was a way for conservatives to gut Social Security and Medicare without leaving their bloody fingerprints at the crime scene. Meanwhile, arch obstructionists like DeMint, Sam Brownback, Jeff Sessions, Chuck Grassley, the two lunatic fringe maniacs from Oklahoma, John McCain, Jon Kyl, John Ensign, Miss McConnell and Richard Burr were afraid it might lead to higher taxes on their wealthy backers.

In the end it was a coalition of 23 mostly progressive Democrats and 23 mostly extreme right Republicans voting to kill the proposal-- for opposite reasons-- while corporate shills from both parties backed it. Obama is determined to push ahead with an advisory panel within the Executive Branch tasked with coming up with the same crappy proposals the bipartisan anti-working family Establishment is demanding. Remember, it is accepted wisdom Inside the Beltway that Republicans are allowed to run up gargantuan deficits with tax cuts for the wealthy and unfunded wars which can then be left for Democrats to clean up and get blamed for, helping elect Republicans who will run up more deficits for all the wrong reasons.


The post is accompanied by the following chart, which Matt Yglesias designed and explained back in June 2009.

Yglesias:

David Leonhardt has a nice article breaking down the sources of the growth in the budget deficit. Since Leonhardt works for The New York Times rather than USA Today, they didn't see fit to illustrate his article with a pie chart, but I made one myself.

- "The first category - the business cycle - accounts for 37 percent of the $2 trillion swing."

- Second, Bush-era legislation "like his tax cuts and the Medicare prescription drug benefit, [that] not only continue to cost the government but have also increased interest payments on the national debt."

- Third, "Obama's main contribution to the deficit is his extension of several Bush policies, like the Iraq war and tax cuts for households making less than $250,000 [...] 20 percent of the swing."

- Fourth, "About 7 percent comes from the stimulus bill that Mr. Obama signed in February."

- Fifth, "only 3 percent comes from Mr. Obama's agenda on health care, education, energy and other areas."

In other words, the very high deficits are not Obama's fault according to any normal way of assessing political blame. That said, large deficits aren't a moral failing that we need to hold someone accountable for. Rather, they're a potential future practical problem that will have to be solved.


Potential future problem.  You wanna know how to prevent deficits from becoming a future problem?  Pass legislation that will expand the economy and create jobs: strong health care reform, massive infrastructure stimulus, massive subsidies for renewable energy, restoring Clinton-era tax rates, slashing the trillions in waste at the Pentagon.

Hey, look:  all the things that will create jobs, revive the economy and eliminate the deficit are liberal policies!

No shit.

 

 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Headlines - Saturday

 
Others will do ...
What we refuse to:

International arrest warrants have been requested for George W. Bush, Richard (Dick) Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condoleeza Rice and Alberto Gonzales at the International Criminal Court, The Hague, Netherlands.

Professor of Law Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois College of Law in Champain, United States of America, has issued a Complaint with the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court against the above-mentioned for their practice of "extraordinary rendition" (forced disappearance of persons and subsequent torture) in Iraq and for criminal policy which constitutes Crimes against Humanity in violation of the Rome Statute which set up the ICC.

...
It would be nice if we took out our own trash.
###
 
Hitler responds to the new iPad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQnT0zp8Ya4
 
###
 
Orrin Hatch's War On Integrity 

Orrin Hatch threatens to disrupt Democratic agenda if Democrats actually try to follow through with their agenda 

The Republicans have already decided to obstruct the entire Democratic agenda, so what's the incentive to play nice in return? Hatch is a liar. He's complaining that the Democrats better not use the reconciliation process for passing health care reform when Hatch repeatedly supported using reconciliation when the Republicans were in power. Someone official, in the Senate and the White House, needs to step up and call Orrin Hatch a liar. Now. This is how the Republicans win the spin wars. They lie with impunity, they accuse us of doing what they've already done, and Democrats sit back and take it, until the public just assumes it's true. Let's see some leadership from both the Congress and the White House. 

It would be a real tragedy if the Republicans decided to stop working with the Democrats. Wait, what?

We'll know he is serious if he threatens to reunite the singing Senators if the Dems use reconciliation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqbGfWngzCk&feature=player_embedded
 
###

15 Cute Animals That Will Cause You Horrible Harm.

###

###
 
The murderer of Dr George Tiller has been convicted and now faces a life sentence. The Kansas jury didn't take long at all — it was an open-and-shut case of pre-planned assassination and terrorism.

Thank you, Kansans. 

###
 
Murray Hill - a corporation for Congress.
 
###
 
 
###
 
Fireworks At Obama Q&A With House GOP. Obama was impressive. He was on the offense and didn't back down. That's the President we need to see. He looked like a leader -- a very smart leader.
 
The sons of bitches wouldn't even applaud when he reported that the economy had grown 6% - the most since 2003.
 
Why do they hate America?
 
Deep thought: If Mike Pence really is regarded as one of the deep thinkers for the GOP, I'm beginning to understand why they refused to admit Terri Schiavo was brain-dead.
 
And here's another serious Republican thinker: Judd Gregg.
 
###
 
A few (OK, maybe not so few) words about the Edwards debacle: http://brilliantatbreakfast.blogspot.com/2010/01/few-ok-maybe-not-so-few-words-about.html
 
###
 
Third world nation
 
 
###
 
Obama orders Justice Department to consider alternative sites for terror trial

Attorney General Eric Holder suffered an embarrassing setback yesterday when the White House ordered the Justice Department to find another location for the trial of the 9/11 suspects. If true, this would be a troubling intervention of the White House into a pending criminal case and seems to follow political pressure on the venue for the trial.

Read more.

###

Tim Tebow Super Bowl ad may be based on falsehood, power lawyer alleges 

His mom "chose" not to have an abortion in a country in which abortion was illegal anyway, according to attorney Gloria Allred.

###

The White House just posted the transcript for the entire meeting.

###

The party of no

Guess how many fiscally responsible Republicans voted for the pay-as-you-go budgeting rules. No, go ahead, guess.

###

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) won't let partisanship get in the way of her autograph collection

Screen shot 2010-01-29 at 5.07.41 PM

Friday, January 29, 2010

Headlines - Friday

He trained would-be spies?
 
One of four men arrested Tuesday for attempting to interfere with the telephones at the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu previously helped run a U.S. intelligence-funded program to train would-be American spies, Declassified has learned.
 
###
 
###
 
Another "unfortunate incident" in Afghanistan
 
Mohammad Yonus, the imam of the Paktia Kowt Mosque in the Afghan capital city of Kabul, was killed by NATO troops while sitting in his car. The nationality of the troops has not yet been made public.
 
Yonus was reportedly in his car with his three sons waiting for his other son to arrive. A NATO convoy saw the parked car and decided it was a "threatening vehicle," opening fire and killing Yonus. His sons were not injured in the shooting.
 
###
 
I don't give a f**k about the Taliban. I want affordable health care and my country fixed
 
Al Jazeera has learnt that a plan is being considered to pay up to $1bn to Taliban fighters to persuade them to lay down their arms.
 
###
 
 
###
 
"A new poll finds Fox News as the only network that more people say they trust than distrust. Here are the trust/don't trust spreads: Fox 49 to 37,  CNN 39 to 41,  NBC 35 to 44,  CBS 32 to 46, and ABC 31 to 46. Analysis: 'These numbers suggest quite a shift in what Americans want from their news.  A generation ago Walter Cronkite was the most trusted man in the country because of his neutrality.  Now people trust Fox the most precisely because of its lack of neutrality. It says a lot about where journalism is headed.'"  - Political Wire, Link 
You mean the average American, the one who can't find Texas on a f-ing map, is stupid?
 
Who knew?
 
Gee, it's almost like talking stupid gives them an advantage.
 
 
###
 
WTF happened?   
How did we lose everything in one year? Link
 
Excerpt:
What's happened is that, true to form, Democrats can't seem to get out of their own way. Unlike the right, the party leadership, from Obama on down, is comprised of a bunch of spineless, visionless, disorganized, pseudo-intellectual sailors sinking in a sea of their own delusion and denial. 
 
Obama's health-care reform bill is just about dead all because of one new Republican Senator. According to Harry Reid, no super-majority, no reform. That's it. 
 
Despite owning the White House, a 78 seat edge in the House and a 59-41 majority in the Senate, health-care is dead because of Scott Brown.  How lame can Democrats be? 
 
Should we bother to answer that question?
 
When the GOP feared losing Texas, it rushed into action and Tom DeLay redrew the lines to give the GOP more votes in order to win. Democrats lose one Senate seat and its whole agenda is thrown into a coma. 
 
The Democrats are rudderless, drama queens with contemptible timidity.
Obama is our rudder, but he can't seem to find the water with his oar.
Could somebody show the president where the water is - please?
 
###
###
 
Until it links the Midwest, it's a nonstarter. "US President Barack Obama has repeated a vow to improve the economy, as he sought to boost confidence a day after his first State of the Union speech. During a visit to Florida, Mr Obama said: "We're not going to rest until we've rebuilt an economy in which... businesses are hiring again." He also announced $8bn (£5bn) in grants for high-speed rail developments. Mr Obama said he wanted to get Americans working on the country's infrastructure. The White House says that the high-speed rail projects will create or save thousands of jobs in engineering, manufacturing, planning and maintenance."
 
### 
 
 
###
###
 
Meet the WHY yacht.
 
###
 
Newsflash: Republicans aren't on your side
 
The State of the Union is always a big deal in politics. Unless there's a presidential election, it's generally the event of the year. And this one went pretty well (Read the transcript here or view the video here). Whether it's a good speech or a bad speech, it's always the most important speech ever, picked apart by pundits and encoded into spin by opponents and other pundits.
 
Initial reactions in the chamber itself are usually limited to displays of disapproval through withholding applause, not rising to your feet when the other party does, slow claps, head shaking, slouching, etc. Rep. Joe Wilson was apparently locked in a steamer trunk like Houdini, since he managed to refrain from voicing his opinion this time around.
 
###
PETA wants to take Punxsutawney Phil away from Gobbler's Knob and give the little guy a dignified retirement at an animal sanctuary. In his place, you guessed it: A robot groundhog. Gemma Vaughan, PETA's animals in entertainment specialist, fired off a letter to groundhog club president William Deeley this week, asking for his promise that the group will forgo the use of real rodents in future Groundhog Day celebrations. Little Phil, Vaughan wrote, is a pretty unhappy fellow, "forced to be on display year round at the local library and is denied the ability to prepare for and enter yearly hibernation." Groundhogs are typically shy creatures, Vaughan goes on to explain, and they can become easily upset when confronted by throngs of people, loud noises and camera flashes.
 
I used to care about PETA, but then I read this.
 
###
 
Fox News Twitter fail
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tea Baggers Want Palin to Quit For-Profit Tea Bagger Convention
 
logo-tepra-baprg-convention
 
Quitting is what Sarah Palin does best, but will she heed entreaties from her tea bagger fan base and reneg on her speaking engagement at the National Tea Party Convention at Opryland in Nashville next weekend? http://www.pensitoreview.com/2010/01/28/tea-baggers-want-palin-to-quit-for-profit-tea-bagger-convention/
 
### 
 
Gayle Haggard, wife of meth-snorting fan of gay prostitutes Ted Haggard has just had a press conference in which she announces that Ted Haggard is completely heterosexual…to which I can only reply with this song:
 
Mrs Haggard also says "Our sexuality is conditioned, and we can be conditioned in any number of ways," which I think is partly true, but I also think is a bit disturbing. It can't be a boost to Gayle Haggard's self-esteem to think that her husband needed the Clockwork Orange treatment in order to find her sexually attractive, and to stop his eye from wandering to the willowy young man with needle tracks in his arm living on a street corner in the bad part of town.
 
###
 
The saddest story Jeremy Scahill has ever written: Blackwater's Youngest Victim.
 
###
 
 We are so screwed - economics edition
 
That is basically the central point of Paul Krugman's column today in the NY Times.

You should read the entire piece. But if you don't want to take the time, here is the conclusion:
We're paralyzed in the face of mass unemployment and out-of-control health care costs. Don't blame Mr. Obama. There's only so much one man can do, even if he sits in the White House. Blame our political culture instead, a culture that rewards hypocrisy and irresponsibility rather than serious efforts to solve America's problems. And blame the filibuster, under which 41 senators can make the country ungovernable, if they choose — and they have so chosen.

I'm sorry to say this, but the state of the union — not the speech, but the thing itself — isn't looking very good.
###
 
Actions speak louder than SOTU, Carebear
 
The Hill tells us…

A day after bashing lobbyists, President Barack Obama's administration has invited K Street insiders to join private briefings on a range of topics addressed in Wednesday's State of the Union.

The Treasury Department on Thursday morning invited selected individuals to "a series of conference calls with senior Obama administration officials to discuss key aspects of the State of the Union address."

How nice of Timmy Geithner to call his friends in for coffee and pastries, and insider information. Old habits are hard to break, eh Timmy?

### 
 
Tea Baggers are our canary in the coal mine.
 
###
 
Corporation runs for Maryland Congressional seat to protest SCOTUS campaign finance decision.
 
murraryhill3
 
###
 
Helicopter Ben gets another 4 years.
 
Fun fact: 30 votes is the largest number of votes ever cast against a federal reserve chair nominee.
 
###
 
Tony Blair insisted in front of an Official Panel that he was not George W. Bush's lapdog or poodle or whatever, despite all evidence to the contrary. New York Times
 
###
 
Wonkette: Bachmann drops out of crumbling tea party convention
 

"They kept waiting to shoot me until they saw the whites of my eyes. Well, I sure fooled them, and that's why I'm still here today!"

 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Headlines - Thursday

Curling up like a frightened armadillo not included

Senate Dems' unveil their new strategy: make opponents go on record on issues such as Prez Obama's citizenship status, the constitutionality of health care, whether Social Security and Medicare represent socialism, and if America should be run by a black Islamosocialofascistic commie who loves Hitler.

 
WTF?
 
Somewhere there's a list of Americans who, the President has determined, can be killed with no due process.
 
###
 
 
###
 
Marc Perkel:
 
End welfare for the rich

If President Obama and the Democrats really wanted to do something about the deficit 
they should have eliminated the Bush tax cuts for the rich in 2009 when they took power 
rather that to let them run for an additional two years. 

It seems when it comes to tax cuts for the rich, bailing out millionaires, bailing out banks, 
bailing out insurance companies and big corporations, there's no limit to the spending. 
But when it comes to helping out the middle class and the poor there's no money left. 

We still have the Bush economy where the poor are paying welfare to the rich. 

### 

 
###
 
Um, no.

You're a paid Breitbart flunky/G. Gordon Liddy wannabe who is about learn what "prison bitch" really means.

Salt Lake City GOP Cancels Keynote Speech By Inspirational Speaker ACORN Pimp James O'Keefe: The Salt Lake County Republicans scrubbed their website of promotional material about O'Keefe's speech soon after announcement of his arrest. The website had noted that the Republicans planned to be inspired by O'Keefe's work exposing "unethical behavior."

Bonus: it wasn't just the Senator's office they tried to bug. It was the main phone system of the federal building in downtown New Orleans, which includes

The Federal Public Defender
Hyatt Regency-New Orleans
Senator Mary L Landrieu
United States Government Courts: Clerk's Office
US General Services Administration
US Pretrial Services
US Probation & Parole Office
US Secret Services

Bwwwahahahahaha! Best comment from the web:

I guess his next project will be "Exposing the Homosexual Agenda in the Federal Prison System."

Bonus flashback: 31 House Representatives honor a domestic terrorist:

"Rep. Pete Olson today introduced a resolution in honor of Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe III for their diligent investigative journalism exposing the fraudulent and potentially illegal activities of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now or ACORN."

Hee! Well, now they can honor him for exposing the fraudulent and illegal activities of conservatards, right? Not bloody likely:

"[Y]et today, in light of these deplorable and illegal attacks on the office of a United States senator by their champion, Republicans have not offered a single iota of disgust, a whisper of indignation or even a hint of outrage."

As par for the course, O'Keefe's boss Andrew Not-So-Breitbart disavowed all knowledge. From Talking Points Memo (mostly):

Once we heard that O'Keefe got clipped, we wondered whether this was another job for Andrew Breitbart who published O'Keefe's ACORN videos. We just got hold of him and he responded: "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Eeeeeeeeeee eeeeee eeeeeeeeee!!!!1!, adding,"Liberal conspiracy!!1!!" and "I need to find information on this. I'm out of the loop on this. I will make my determination then on when to comment."

I bet. A hysterical headline from Think Progress made me lol:

"Fox News Devastated Over Arrest Of ACORN Pimp, Says The Story Probably Needs 'A Lot Of Context'"

Right. Rule of law! Rule of law!

###

So Obama said he didn't like TARP last night, but thought it was necessary. This led Chris Matthews to say, "I forgot he was black tonight, for an hour." Ha ha, well hopefully he remembers now. America's future depends on him knowing this. Think Progress
 
###

Sorry, Sandy. No soup for you.

You should have thought twice before casting your vote in Bush v. Gore:

WASHINGTON— Justice Sandra Day O'Connor did not sound happy on Tuesday about the Supreme Court's big campaign finance decision last week. It repudiated a major part of a ruling Justice O'Connor helped write before her retirement from the court in 2006, and it complicated her recent efforts to do away with judicial elections.

I can't even BEGIN to tell you how you fucked up this country. There's no telling how long it will take -- if ever -- to repair the damage. So suck on your little ego bruising, Sandy, because the people who don't have the luxury of jobs for life are the ones paying for your stupidity. Sui generis, my ass. 

###

Spending freeze? I thought Obama won the election

John Maynard KeynesInfluential economist John Maynard Keynes once said about economic stimulus, "The government should pay people to dig holes in the ground and then fill them up." This was a facetious comment, but one that's haunted Keynesian economics ever since. Conservatives use that quote, along with the left's long adherence to Keynesian economic principles, as proof of the folly of "tax and spend liberals." Give money to the government and they'll just waste it with pointless spending.

But what Keynes actually meant was that when the only entity providing jobs is the government -- i.e., a recession or depression -- then the government should find ways to provide more jobs. It doesn't make much difference what those jobs are, since the idea is to inject money into the economy. In a country like the United States, where infrastructure has always been a non-priority, you're not going to have any trouble finding holes to fill. We've got bridges falling down, trains failing to run, and levees giving out. No one will ever have to dig holes to to be filled, but in the hypothetical case that this is the only job available, then that's the job that should be provided.

Keep reading: http://griperblade.blogspot.com/2010/01/spending-freeze-i-thought-obama-won.html

###

Head Haitian voodoo priest objects to scientologists and others proselytizing through aid activities.

###

Remember when Samuel Alito's wife cried and cried during his confirmation hearing because the Judiciary Committee was trying to determine if he'd be a partisan hack?

Well last night when President Obama called out the Supreme Court for their horrible vote in favor of corporations last week, Sammy Stem Cell Alito pulled a Joe Wilson and shook his head and mouthed the words, "not true."

Highly inappropriate for Alito to do this. The Supremes are not supposed to respond to anything, lest it show bias.

Wow. He really is partisan hack.

The video is here

###

Halliburton Asks Supreme Court to Block Rape Trial

The military contractor Halliburton has petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling in an attempt to block a former Halliburton employee's lawsuit alleging she was raped by her co-workers in Iraq. Jamie Leigh Jones sued Halliburton and its former subsidiary KBR over claims she was drugged and gang-raped by co-workers in Baghdad. Jones also accused the company of keeping her in a shipping container without food or water for at least twenty-four hours after the alleged crime took place. Halliburton says the contract signed by Jones and other workers requires claims to be settled through arbitration, not trial.

###

Bank of America CEO to receive 19% pay raise.

###

Forget about yet another empty speech, listen to a real American patriot who left us today: http://brilliantatbreakfast.blogspot.com/2010/01/forget-about-yet-another-empty-speech.html 

###

If President Obama is serious about controlling spending, he can't exempt the Pentagon. In announcing a three-year spending freeze, he exempted all security-related funding. This exemption applies to the budgets of the Pentagon, Department of Homeland Security, foreign aid and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Because the budgets of these agencies, particularly that of the Pentagon, are responsible for a large and increasing share of the discretionary portion of the federal budget, the president's spending freeze will have a marginal effect: http://thinkprogress.org/2010/01/27/spending-defense-freeze/

###

Hey hey: Ford announced its first profitable quarter since 2005. This is George W. Bush's adult-onset economic boom! Wall Street Journal
 
###

A new survey by NBC and the Wall St Journal shows that more people blame repuglicans than any other group for the country's clusterfuc*kathon:

When it comes to dealing with the problems facing America, who do you blame in not finding solutions to those problems?

The do-nothing obstructionist Republicans in Congress: 48%
The lily-livered Democrats in Congress: 41%
President Obama: 27%
Yes, the "resurgent" republicans.


 
###
 
Rethug family values
 
Mooselini spawn Bristol Palin is demanding $1750 per month child support and sole custody of her 1 year old son from Levi Johnston, who "is a part of the family ... I think he needs to know that he is loved and he has the most beautiful child and this can all work out for good." Uh, yeah

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Headlines - Wednesday

Forgive me if I've already posted this - it's a big deal to me:

Utah senator Allen Christensen (R-North Ogden):

has proposed a bill that would require state wildlife officials to destroy or remove all wild wolves that wander into Utah even in areas where they are protected as an endangered species.

Wolves belong in Utah. While wolves are protected under the Endangered Species Act in most of the state, the area where most of Utah's wolf sightings have occurred (east of I-84 and north of I-80) falls outside the federal protection zone and puts wolves at real risk.

If the state legislature passes this bill and allows wolves to be killed in this important wildlife corridor, it will be a huge step backwards for wolf recovery in the American West and a disaster for anyone who wants to see these magnificent animals return to their rightful home in Utah.

Senator Christensen summed up the legislation he's proposing by saying, "This bill simply says any wolf within Utah will be captured and killed. We don't want any of them here."

We need your help to stop this dangerous bill before it's too late. If you're outraged at Senator Christensen's statement, please fill out the form below to let your state legislators know that Senator Christensen doesn't speak for you and that you support wolves in Utah.

 
###
 
War, Inc.
 
Anti-war president Barack Obama wants to freeze discretionary spending for 3 years - except of course for the military, because there's no limit when it comes to killing people. He's going to keep spending like crazy, plus is going to ask for another $14.2 billion to train Afghanistan's army and police over the next two years. 
 
Officials reportedly plan to announce a massive "Peace and Reintegration Trust Fund" containing hundreds of millions of dollars to pay off low and middle level Taliban fighters. The funds will come from the United States, Britain and Japan.
 
Monday in Iraq: 54 Iraqis killed, 106 Wounded; Chemical Ali Executed.
 
Greenwald: The Sanctity of Military Spending
 
###
 
World's Glaciers Continue to Melt at Historic Rates - Latest figures show the world's glaciers are continuing to melt so fast that many will disappear by the middle of this century
 
###
 
Krugman: Obama Liquidates Himself
 
###
 
George Monbiot: Bounties for War Criminals: We Should Not 'Move On' from Mass Murder
 
###
 
Bwahahahaha! Teabuggers busted...
 
The douchemook who went undercover to bust ACORN . . . just got busted:

Alleging a plot to wiretap Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in the Hale Boggs Federal Building in downtown New Orleans, the FBI arrested four people Monday, including James O'Keefe, a conservative filmmaker whose undercover videos at ACORN field offices severely damaged the advocacy group's credibility.

Also arrested were Joseph Basel, Stan Dai and Robert Flanagan, all 24. Flanagan is the son of William Flanagan, who is the acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, the office confirmed. All four were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony.

Let me guess: ACORN is behind this.

###

In October, Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) and 31 Republican co-sponsors offered a resolution praising Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe for their "investigation in the fraudulent and illegal practices and misuse of taxpayer dollars" by ACORN. In light of O'Keefe's arrest for allegedly attempting to wiretap Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) office in New Orleans, ThinkProgress contacted Olson's office for comment and received a statement that further praised O'Keefe's ACORN work, but also offered mild criticism of the allegations:

Individuals who lawfully expose wrongful activities by an entity like ACORN receiving federal tax dollars should be praised. However, if recent events conclude that any laws were broken in the incident in Senator Landrieu's office – that is not something I condone. Citizens have an important role in helping to expose waste and/or fraud when their tax dollars are being spent, but it must be done in a lawful manner.

James O'Keefe and Stan Dai

###

How to Squander the Presidency in One Year: http://www.commondreams.org/print/51968.
 
###
 
UnitedHealth Takes Next Step in the War Against Its Patients

With the remarkable -and remarkably profitable - success of United Health Ins Corp's piratical policies, and clearly completely unafraid of any political or legal blowback thanks to its equally successful program of buying Senators with campaign contributions, one of the nation's worst and most predatory health insurance corpos has just upped the ante by threatening hospitals with ruin if they don't cave in to a patently ridiculous demand.

###

The Media Double Standard

Back during the '08 presidential campaign, my take was that then-President Bush had set the bar so low that anyone who took the White House and managed not to put out the sun would be considered a great success. It was sort of tongue-in-cheek, but also somewhat serious. After all, the media cut Bush a lot of slack, reporting obvious crimes as "controversies" and treating the completely unnecessary invasion of Iraq with zero skepticism and 100% orgasmic glee. You'd think that a media so fawning toward the previous president would measure the current one by the same yardstick.

But this hasn't been the case. All the excitement that had previously been reserved for the bombing of innocent people for no good reason has now been applied to Obama's approval ratings and a special election in Massachusetts that didn't go the way the pressident's party would've liked. A mere one year in, cable news has all but declared the Obama presidency a failure.

###

Does the president have a telediction?

###

Zsa Zsa's Hubby To Run For CA Gov!

Well, this will certainly spice things up.

Prince Mr. Zsa Zsa wants an open border with Mexico, legalized marijuana, and the overturn of Prop 8. He's believes marriage "can only be between a man and woman" but says Prop 8 is unconstitutional and that gays have the right "to be as miserable as the rest of us." Here's his site.
 
###

Women's rights groups have joined the call for CBS to cancel the planned Super Bowl anti-abortion ad from Tebow and Focus On The Family.

''An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year -- an event designed to bring Americans together.''

###

How many seven year olds do you know who could pull this off and be so selfless? You can still click through to his site here to donate more. Wow.

He's no Wyclef Jean or George Clooney, but that hasn't stopped seven-year-old Charlie Simpson from raising more than £136,000 ($220,000) for the Haiti earthquake.

Simpson from Fulham, west London had hoped to raise just £500 for UNICEF's earthquake appeal by cycling eight kilometers (five miles)around a local park.

"My name is Charlie Simpson. I want to do a sponsored bike ride for Haiti because there was a big earthquake and loads of people have lost their lives," said Simpson on his JustGiving page, a fundraising site which launched his efforts.

###

Mighty Wind

Despite a crippling recession and tight credit markets, the American wind power industry grew at a blistering pace in 2009, adding 39 percent more capacity. The country is close to the point where 2 percent of its electricity will come from wind turbines.
...
Good news.

The American Wind Energy Association, in its annual report to be released on Tuesday, said the amount of capacity added last year, 9,900 megawatts, was the largest on record, and was 18 percent above the capacity added in 2008, also a banner year.

The group said the growth of wind power was helped by the federal stimulus package that passed a year ago, which extended a tax credit and provided other investment incentives for the industry.
...

Give Barry credit where it's due. The stimulus is starting to work but you know the fiscal scolds won't allow another, something the alternative energy folks could use. We'll see what he has to say tonight.

Now, with all the hot air being wasted in Washington, if we put a wind farm on the Potomac ...

###

Group Receives 'Tsunami of Vile Hate' After ABC Exposé on U.S. Military 'Jesus Rifles'

If the subject of the religious right's massive infiltration of the military in which I proudly served disturbs you as much as it disturbs me, go read BradBlog, links at site.

One excerpt from an email from a US soldier:

Nothing in my first 2 deployments prepared me for what happened with the Trijicon ACOG gun sights during my 3rd deployment to Afghanistan. I will never forget the day it occurred. It was morning and there was a mandatory formation of several companies. A very senior NCO was yelling at us which is not that unusual. He asked a private what it was that he (the private) was holding in his hand and the private said it was his "weapon" several times to which the senior NCO replied "and what ELSE is it"?

Finally, the senior NCO said that the private's rifle was also something else; that because of the biblical quote on the ACOG gunsight it had been "spiritually transformed into the Fire Arm of Jesus Christ" and that we would be expected to kill every "haji" we could find with it. He said that if we were to run out of ammo, then the rifle would become the "spiritually transformed club of Jesus Christ" and that we should "bust open the head of every haji we find with it.'" He said that Uncle Sam had seen fit not to give us a "pussy 'Jewzzi' (combination of the word 'Jew' and Israeli made weapon 'Uzi') but the "fire arm of Jesus Christ" and made specific mention of the biblical quotes on our gun sights.
Go and read the rest.
 
###

I'm sure this won't affect Bill O'Reilly's desire to kidnap and waterboard Nancy Pelosi one bit

If you don't know what the title of this post refers to, here you go:
During a recent stop of the Bold & Fresh Tour with fellow Fox News personality Glenn Beck, right-wing talker Bill O'Reilly couldn't help but to spin a hypothetical.

In his fantasy world where Obama hires him as a presidential adviser, O'Reilly explained the first thing he'd do is lavishly decorate his office. Thing two would be having the CIA director kidnap top Democrats and "waterboard" Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

He was, of course, "joking" during the Jan. 23 appearance. The audience roared with laughter, even as O'Reilly had cautioned, "Don't tell anyone I said this, please."

Yes, because advocating abduction and torture of a public official, especially a female one, is such a laff riot. Ladies and gentlemen, meet your teabaggers.
Keep reading:
http://brilliantatbreakfast.blogspot.com/2010/01/im-sure-this-wont-affect-bill-oreillys.html
 
###
 
They've got theirs and they don't want you to have any
 
The Sioux City Journal reports that Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN) are teaming up to introduce a "Declaration of Health Care Independence."

 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Headlines - Tuesday

The Onion pens an op ed by Rush Limbaugh. It's pretty vicious.
 
###
 
While Rush may be one of the most listened to individuals, a look at the numbers shows some interesting things.

In Fresno, Rush typically has 9-11% of the 25-54 year old Average Quarter Hour radio audience, 
which is more than any of the other 75 plus radio signals reaching the Fresno market.  However if you look at the inverse of that number, you'll see that Rush has about 90% of the radio audience that does NOT listen to him.

Also. here is a set of typical ratings  numbers.

Age group      Percent listening to Rush
12-17                  0.05
18-34                  3.6
25-54                  10.1
45-54                  13.3
50-64                  18.3
55-64                  19.5
65-74                  22.0
75+                     31.8

Meaning the closer you are to senility or death, the more likely you listen to Rush.  

It's like religion - as you get older, you get more scared so you look for someone who can constantly reassure you about the things you know deep down aren't true.

###
 
Reposted - thanks, Lucy:

I just stumbled across this 1997 Ronald Bailey (yes, it's in Reason, but it's good) article on neoconservatives' attitudes towards evolution. It's probably the first thing I've ever read about neoconservatism that made sense to me, in terms of explaining motivations.

Not all neocons purport to reject evolution, but "intellectual giants" Irving Kristol and Robert Bork have explicitly questioned it, for example. The idea, as Bradley (correctly, IHMO) explains it is that evolution undermines faith in traditional religion which is problematic for those wishing to preserve the social order. The article is long, though, necessarily so—I will attempt to weave the main argument together in an extended excerpt: 

 
###
 
                                          Recently-Declassified Photograph #17
                                      Transfer on John Roberts' Favorite T-Shirt
 
###
 
So the President went on ABC with Diane Sawyer saying "I'd rather be a really good one-term President than a mediocre 2-term President."

Lemmie ask ya something, pal. If you were a one-term President, what would follow you? The Dems wouldn't primary you. A 3rd Party candidate couldn't win, but would throw the election to the Republicans.

So, in four years you'll be able to say "It's been fun" and walk off into the sunset while a Republican dismantles all the "really good" stuff you've done? This is, of course, assuming your next 3 years go better than this first one.

You know, I'd like a President who has a vision past the first 4 years; someone with a 'master plan' of where he wants the nation to go over the next 50. I don't want a guy, a year in, to be accepting the fact he might not win a second term. Instead, I'd like him to get on the stick and do what he promised to do; at the very least, give it a wholehearted attempt.
 
###
 
Brutal column today from Bob Herbert at the NY Times on Obama's credibility.
 
###
 
 
###
 
 
###
 
Doug J: I've been mostly ignoring the teabagger convention, but now I feel outraged on the teabaggers' behalf:
 
The convention, to be held in Nashville in early February, made a splash by attracting big-name politicians. (Former Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech.) But some groups have criticized the cost — $549 per ticket and a $9.95 fee, plus hotel and airfare — as out of reach for the average tea partier. And they have balked at Ms. Palin's speaking fee, which news reports have put at $100,000, a figure that organizers will not confirm or deny.
 
To put that in terms you limousine liberals can understand, that $9.95 fee is like the $20 supplement for foie gras on a $160 prix fixe menu.
 
How could the organizers not know that $550 plus a $10 fee would piss even the most gullible 'baggers off?
 
In a strange way, I think this answers that question.
 
###
 
 
###
 
Kiss Your Democracy Goodbye
 
From the WaPo:
A new report warns that al-Qaeda has not abandoned its goal of attacking the United States with a chemical, biological or even nuclear weapon.

The report, by a former senior CIA official who led the agency's hunt for weapons of mass destruction, portrays al-Qaeda's leaders as determined and patient, willing to wait for years to acquire the kind of weapons that could inflict widespread casualties.
If that happens, the Right will complete their push to gut the Bill of Rights once and for all. They came pretty close after 9-11, but they didn't make it.
 
###
 
The Republican Party is seeking input and money from GOP voters — seemingly under the guise of the U.S. Census Bureau.
 
###
 
Corporations are people too: http://griperblade.blogspot.com/2010/01/corporations-are-people-too.html
 
###
 
mailman
 
###
 
Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel calls liberal strategy 'fucking retarded.'
 
###
 
 
###
 
Democrats consider dropping insurance ban on pre-existing conditions.
 
###

Paul Harvey, FBI Tool 

usatoday.com

Excerpt:
He was an FBI target whose network bosses fretted about whether he should be fired.

Paul Harvey's FBI file shows how his relationship with the bureau evolved from perp to pen pal. 
The file illuminates how the FBI cultivated one of the nation's most perverted horse molesters by not only providing flattery from its most prominent officials but also by secretly putting words in his mouth.

Harvey frequently gave the FBI advance copies of his scripts and columns, seeking information and advice.  The FBI obliged, even writing portions of Harvey's commentaries for him.  

I always knew he was a crooked bastard and a liar in a party of liars.

###

"I'm not going to have sex (She means AGAIN) until I'm married. I can guarantee it... I just think it's a goal to have and I think other women should have that goal."  Bristol, lying to OprahLink
 
###
 
 
###
 
Can we get some leadership here?
 
As the healthcare reform fight goes all haywire, Democrats are surprisingly united. Not in the recognition that 45,000 people will die without coverage this year and the next and the next unless something is done. And not in the fighting the leading cause of bankruptcy -- medical bills -- in America. No, Democrats are all lined up in blaming the special election in Massachussets for derailing healthcare reform. The media has joined in, coming just short of saying that Republicans, with a 41 seat minority, now control Washington. Barely short, because the consensus position is that Democrats have to do what Republicans say now. See, they have 41 seats and the founders envisioned a nation where the side with the fewest votes wins... I guess. Call it "bass-ackward democracy."
 
###
 
Sunday Loon Watch: How many different ways can the GOP say "no"?
 
###
 
 
                                             "How many days did you say it was before Thanksgiving?"