Sunday, February 28, 2010

Headlines - Sunday

h/t Dick

Thank you, Senator Bunning for missing a basketball game to single-handedly hold up a 30-day extension of unemployment and health benefits to millions of Americans because you were "trying to make a point to the people of the United States" (which, apparently, is "tough shit").

You sir, are a douchebag. 

'I'm trying to make a point to the people of the United States and it's this: tough shit!'
Funny how Jim Bunning didn't care about deficits when he introduced a bill authorizing George W. Bush to invade Iraq based on a bunch of trumped-up horseshit. He didn't care about deficits when voting for the Bush tax cuts. But when it comes to help for Americans who need it, he's on the wrong side every single time:
* 2005 -- Voted WITH the credit-card industry on the bankruptcy bill.

* 2005 -- Voted WITH oil companies by giving them more tax breaks.

* 2006 -- Voted FOR higher deficits by extending the Bush Tax Cuts.

* 2007 -- Voted AGAINST children by opposing S-CHIP.

* 2008 -- Voted AGAINST helping people facing foreclosure.

* 2009 -- Voted AGAINST women by opposing the Ledbetter Act.

* 2009 -- Voted AGAINST children again by opposing S-CHIP.

* 2010 -- Voted AGAINST reducing the debt by opposing the Debt Commission.

Kentucky, the state which for some bizarre reason sends this guy back to the Senate every six years, has the 4th lowest per capita income. Only Mississippi, West Virginia, and Arkansas are worse off. More than one in ten Kentucky workers is unemployed. And yet Jim Bunning opposes help for his own constituents (if you want to assume that the citizens of Kentucky are still his constituents, which is doubtful).

the New York Times noted yesterday, Bunning didn't care about the impact of unemployment compensation on deficits while George W. Bush was in the White House. His "come to Jesus" moment on deficits seems to have miraculously coincided with the inauguration of a Democratic President:
Senator Bunning once cared about the unemployed. When the benefit was due to expire in November, he joined a unanimous vote to extend it until the end of February. "Kentucky has been hit hard by the current economic downturn," he said at the time. It still is, but Mr. Bunning refused to consider the extension unless it was paid for with funds from the fiscal stimulus plan. For years, Mr. Bunning didn't seem to have a problem with blowing up the deficit for the Iraq war and tax cuts. Now he's a deficit hawk when it comes to average Americans.

This is the cancer that has infected the Republican Party. For them ideology trumps everything. If it takes destroying the country to regain power, they're perfectly willing to do so, even if what they end up presiding over is a hollowed-out, burnt-out shell of a nation. It's ALL about ideology. It's ALL about power.

Once a government official becomes entrenched, he controls his own message, because voters simply do not pay attention to what their so-called representatives in Washington are actually doing. We can shrug our shoulders at the Kentuckyans who seem to think that electing someone who votes against their interests every time won't be relevant once they get invited into the Club of the Rich that Ronnie Reagan told them they could get into if they Just Work Hard Enough (never noting that most of those in the Club of the Rich got there through inherited money or by being nothing but middlemen), or at the New Jerseyans who still think they're voting for Marge Roukema even though it says "Scott Garrett" on the ballot -- except that their delusion affects us all.
Money for killing foreigners, but none for us. 
Look Who Took Money From Toyota - by Leonard Pitts Jr.

We the people.

Those are, of course, the first words of the preamble to the U.S. Constitution. ``We the people of the United States . . .''

It doesn't say anything about corporations.

So count me among those mystified by January's Supreme Court decision to sweep away decades of established law limiting the amount of money corporations can inject into political campaigns. The court ruled, 5-4, that corporations enjoy the same right to free speech as persons do. Speech being defined as writing large checks to political candidates.

The ruling raised the very real specter that our next president will be sponsored, not elected -- a chilling prospect to those of us who already wondered how a legislator beholden to a corporation for his office can be truly expected to put the people first.

This week's congressional hearings only heighten the concern. Lawmakers are investigating the recent recalls over safety defects that have besmirched the reputation of the Toyota company. We are indebted to The Washington Post for publishing an analysis of legislators' financial ties to the automaker. It turns out, according to The Post, that of the 125 members of Congress on the committees investigating Toyota, over 40 percent have accepted campaign donations totaling $135,673 from the company in the last 10 years.

Keep reading:


Keep it classy, NY Post!

Ha, that's funny! Get it? SEE YA? Blind governor?


Teh Cuda to headline NRA meeting as aide quits

SportingclaysPalin This is a natural, of course. The moose-huntin', duck-shootin', he-woman of the deep Alaska wilderness (or as HuffPost's Paul Slansky would have it, this "preternaturally ignorant, demagogic harpy whose entire platform turned out to be unearned umbrage") fits the gun-totin' brain eaters org like a surgical glove at a procto exam. 

"Governor Palin is one of the most requested speakers in America today," Wayne LaPierre, NRA's executive director, told CNN. "She's an outdoorsman, hunter and a steadfast supporter of our Second Amendment freedom. We are pleased to have a fellow NRA member speak at our 139th annual meeting in Charlotte this May."

Keep reading:


When Glenn Richardson stepped down as speaker of the Georgia House in a sex scandal with a lobbyist, it was widely denounced as another politician who ran on "family-values" while living la vida loca. Voters of Paulding Country, however, quickly replaced him with another Republican running on family values, Rep. Daniel Stout. Stout, however, may be a bit too close to family: he was divorced 10 years ago after his wife accused him of having an affair with her mother while she was pregnant with his child.


Saudi cleric defends marriage of 9-year old girl and blasts human rights treaties as the work of atheists and fornicators. 


A study from the London School of Economics and Political Science has concluded that folks who identity themselves as liberals and atheists tend to have a slightly higher IQ than the general population. A higher IQ is also predictive of "sexual exclusivity" among men, but not women.



The Goalposts of Misery Keep Moving

Not long ago a sustained unemployment rate of 8% would have been deemed horrifying and unacceptable, and one can be dammed sure that if a Republican president tried to sustain it as part of normal reality the liberal netroots would be constantly up in arms about it, official logos made for the opposition groups that would spring up winking on websites everywhere. Yet with this Democratic President Obama here we are at a steady 10%, oh well, liberal, suck on it, we've got a Republican worried about inflation to get appointed to the Fed.1

With leadership like this one imagines a 15% rate before Democratic President Obama would eventually decide a crisis really had arrived for the little people, why, maybe $600 billion annually for Defense and a war in Afghanistan could be a bad idea in times like these. Ya think? The saintly Atrios thinks the unemployment metric is useless, it means nothing to these people, and he's certainly got a point, everyone knows the best way to make an American administration skip those $4,000 a night Hawaii vacations to get the job done is to have a stock market crash. Or a big bank failure.


Climate change denialists = climate change liars

The denialists are at it again in the comments, parroting the latest lie.

UEA CRU's Dr Phil Jones agrees there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995.

Wow. You'd think they'd realize that twisting the words of a scientist around 180° from what they actually said is a very bad strategy — it would be like trying to claim that I'd decided evolution was false. This is no exception. Deltoid has a wonderfully clear quote:

This led to a Daily Mail headline reading: "Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995."

Since I've advocated a more explicit use of the word "lie", I'll go ahead and follow my own advice: that Daily Mail headline is a lie. Phil Jones did not say there had been no global warming since 1995; he said the opposite. He said the world had been warming at 0.12°C per decade since 1995. However, over that time frame, he could not quite rule out at the traditional 95% confidence level that the warming since 1995 had not been a random fluke.

Anyone who has even a passing high-school familiarity with statistics should understand the difference between these two statements. At a longer time interval, say 30 or 50 or 100 years, Mr Jones could obviously demonstrate that global warming is a statistically significant trend. In the interview he stated that the warming since 1975 is statistically significant. Everyone, even climate-change sceptics, agrees that the earth has experienced a warming trend since the late 19th century. But if you take any short sample out of that trend (say, 1930-45 or 1960-75), you might not be able to guarantee that the particular warming observed in those years was not a statistical fluke. This is a simple truth about statistics: if you measure just ten children, the relationship between age and height might be a fluke. But obviously the fact remains that older children tend to be taller than younger ones, and if you measure 100 of them, you'll find the relationship quite statistically significant indeed.

What's truly infuriating about this episode of journalistic malpractice is that, once again, it illustrates the reasons why the East Anglia scientists adopted an adversarial attitude towards information management with regard to outsiders and the media. They were afraid that any data they allowed to be characterised by non-climate scientists would be vulnerable to propagandistic distortion. And they were right.





BREAKING! Robertson claims "God even angrier with Chile than Haiti"

Citing what he described as the "the persecution of a great hero who rid their land of Godless communists" as a possible cause, prominent TV evangelist and amateur seismologist Pat Robertson today argued that the 8.8 magnitude of the earthquake that struck Chile early this morning should serve as a warning to the population that "God is even angrier with them than he is with the people of Haiti."

Keep reading:



Hmmmmm. There's a story brewing about some shady dealings with Big Oil and SarahPac over at Palingates. Sarah's old Twitter account "AKGovSarahPalin" has been deleted, but after she resigned, Palingates made a complete PDF-copy of it.

And get yourself a Sarah Palin bobblehead doll while they last.

Bobbles McDingBat is already a bobblehead, so the doll is anatomically correct.



Great. After already having compromised THREE TIMES Obama is ready to compromise on health care reform AGAIN with the GOP if they are serious.

I want a president that isn't a pussy.

And speaking of pussies:

At the NAACP Image Awards on Friday night, a former special adviser to President Obama turned the other cheek to Glenn Beck.

The adviser, Van Jones, has long been criticized by the popular Fox News talk show host, who called him a "communist-anarchist radical," among other things. Beck's attacks are widely believed to have been at least partly responsible for Jones' removal from his post with the Obama administration.

"Last thing I want to say is this: To my fellow countryman, Mr. Glenn Beck. I see you, and I love you, brother. I love you, and you cannot do anything about it. I love you, and you cannot do anything about it. Let's be one country! Let's be one country! Let's get the job done!"


"....Germany has atoned. Young Germans know of their nation's dreadful crimes. But young Japanese are taught nothing of their nation's guilt."

A horrendous story from the BBC of one man's tale of being a prisoner of war during WWII in Asia. Horrific.


Republicon Rep. Trent Franks: 'African Americans were better off under slavery."

Meanwhile, Republicon Steve King sings the praises of lobbyists.


Hate-filled Right wing slams White House for meeting with atheist 'hate groups'

Officials from the Justice and Health and Human Services departments (not President Obama) met Friday with representatives of the Secular Coalition for America, an umbrella group that includes American Atheists and the Council for Secular Humanism.

"It is one thing for Administration to meet with groups of varying viewpoints, but it is quite another for a senior official to sit down with activists representing some of the most hate-filled, anti-religious groups in the nation," said Council Nedd, chairman of the religious advocacy group In God We Trust.

Since when are ethical humanists a hate group? Could you die? Is this not hilarious?



The Wingnuts have got their panties all bunched up over the new logo from the Pentagon's Missile Defense folks:

It seems they think it looks like a mashup of the Obama Campaign logo and the Islamic crescent.

Apparently the design work was done in 2007 and 2008, under the last president. But that's not stopped the Wingnut Noise Machine before, and it won't this time.

Charles Pierce is just as thrilled to read the praises of Newt Gingrich as I am…

I think that the Parson Meacham over at Newsweek may have set the Sucking Up To Vicious Idiots bar so high that in response, Time may blow out an ACL trying to get over it. How else to explain publishing, this brimming swine-trough of lies, phony history, pious nonsense, and disingenuous twaddle promoted by the single most duplicitous piece of pond-scum ever to be burped up along the Potomac? Newt Gingrich on the blessings of bipartisanship? Why not Newt Gingrich on how to support your wives in time of illness? There has to have been someone in the upper echelons of Time who said, "Look, folks, before we all go get lunch at 21, how's about we talk again about printing something that is the exact equivalent of publishing a treatise on thoracic surgery written by Charlie Manson?"

Was everybody there drunk? Stoned? Out of town early for the weekend?

The persistence of the notion of Newt Gingrich, Political Genius, or of Newt Gingrich, Transformational Figure—or, in fact, any notion save that of Newt Gingrich, Opportunistic Hack–is going to puzzle scholars for centuries. Anyway, here's a little something from last week, proving that he's still a blight and that Time needs editors who aren't so easily conned out of their money.

Cosmologist Sean Carroll gives an entertaining and thought-provoking talk about the nature of time, the origin of entropy, and how what happened before the Big Bang might be responsible for the arrow of time we observe today. (Don't miss Part 2 of this talk)


Friday, February 26, 2010

Headlines - Saturday

Carly Simon Youre So Vain David Geffen
Carly Simon finally reveals who the song "You're So Vain" is about.  
Former Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis, who retired at the end of last year, took a package of stock and benefits valued at $83 million with him when he left, the Wall Street Journal reports.
"The Senate is holding their Blackwater hearing today but honestly the only way Congress would stop giving Blackwater money is if it started registering black people to vote." Adam Serwer Link
Joe Conason: Propaganda meets professor at the health summit
The Republicans brought standard propaganda to Blair House -- where the president confronted them with basic facts
"The health insurance industry is the shark that swims just below the water and you don't see that shark until you feel the teeth of that shark...This is the way they operate. Nobody has any oversight over them. They're not under any anti-trust rules. They can do what they want...This is a rapacious industry that does what it wants."  Jay Rockefeller, on-off-on-off friend to the poor and middle class, Link
'Some day, lad, all this will be yours."
Hey, GOP voter, you're a moron
If you missed the big bipartisan healthcare summit, then you didn't really miss big bipartisan healthcare summit. If there's one word that sums up the seven hour marathon discussion, it's "predictable" -- either that or "dull." Take your pick. For their part, the GOP chose "predictable," with the Republican National Committee sending out the following email the night before the summit:

Dear XXXX,

Get a brain, morans!After pledging to listen to Republican ideas at this Thursday's photo op- er, "bipartisan health care summit," President Obama has decided to stick with the Senate Democrats' health care legislation, a bill that Americans have already rejected as a massive restructuring of our economy that is a short walk down the road to government run health care. He's rejected alternative methods of tackling our health insurance crisis before hearing them. He's betrayed the American people's trust.

President Obama's liberal allies on Capitol Hill are going to try to jam this unwanted monstrosity of a bill down your throat. But you're not powerless. You can stop the march of liberalism by signing this petition urging President Obama and his allies to join with Republican leaders to start over on health care reform.

It's time to do away with bills crafted in the dead of night behind closed doors by a team of statist liberals. Instead, we must develop sensible bipartisan legislation that respects individual rights and the Constitution of the United States. It is more important now than ever to send a clear unambiguous message to Washington. Sign the petition today to make your voice heard!


The GOP Action Team
If you've ever wondered what the definition of "bad faith" might be, there ya go. Wonder no more.
PZ Meyers: Where's my invitation? 

Hey, I just checked my mailbox for a fancy gilt envelope, but no joy. I was hoping to hear from the Pope.

The Pontifical Council for Culture has announced that it is creating a foundation to focus on relations with atheists and agnostics.

See? They should be calling me any minute now…oh, wait.

The president of the Council announced the initiative on Wednesday as a response to Pope Benedict's call to "renew dialogue with men and women who don't believe but want to move towards God."

Well, I'm out. That's like putting out a call for healthy men and women who want to move towards degenerative neurological disease.

More from PZ: They're All Nuts.


Mocking the uninsured

.Can it get more disgusting than this?

At the health care summit, Democrat Louise Slaughter was making a case for the plight of the uninsured and brought up a story about a woman who was forced to wear her dead sister's dentures because she lacked the means to purchase her own.  Here's how the scum in wingnuttia responded.

Pigboy Limbaugh

"You know I'm getting so many people — this Louise Slaughter comment on the dentures? I'm getting so many people — this is big. I mean, that gets a one-time mention for a laugh, but there are people out there that think this is huge because it's so stupid. I mean, for example, well, what's wrong with using a dead person's teeth? Aren't the Democrats big into recycling? Save the planet? And so what? So if you don't have any teeth, so what? What's applesauce for? Isn't that why they make applesauce?"

Glenn Beck

"I am wearing George Washington's dentures right now. I'm wearing his teeth right now. I just like wearing dead people's teeth. But in America — I'm sorry, I didn't know that that was — I've read the Constitution before. I didn't see that you had a right to teeth."

"The environmentalists should be all over Slaughter. 'How dare you say that?' My gosh, they're just recycling. They're just reusing."

When it comes to the point where mocking the uninsured is acceptable fodder for conservatives, you know you've reached dirt bottom in this debate.

As for Pigboy and Beck, they make it so easy to despise them.  And what does it say for Republicans and teabaggers when Limbaugh and Beck are their main respective spokesmen?


Why not take another six or twelve weeks? 

Is anyone else starting to have night-terrors after reading this same wishy-washy opening sentence in at least thirty articles every week for the past year? "White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the president would make an announcement next week about the 'way forward' on health care, following the bipartisan meeting Thursday that made clear there was little room for bipartisan compromise." God, the White House sucks. How about no more Presidential Announcements or other agonizing talky until the bill gets passed? WHATEVER, it's naptime. WSJ


Headlines - Friday

ABC News will cut between 300 and 400 staffers. Many affected employees plan to get out of journalism entirely. They've already sent their resumes over to Fox. 
US military spied on Planned Parenthood, civilian phone calls.
Iceberg the size of Luxembourg breaks off Antarctica.
"I may have just helped save Obama's presidency. How? By winning a drawn-out fight to make torture acceptable." Bush bastard John Yoo Link
Gene Lyons: When Democrats take power, paranoia blooms
Ignorant, frightened people are notoriously easy to fool. Enter Glenn Beck and a host of other fast-talkers
If they had intellectual curiosity, they wouldn't be Republicans
"In 2010 and 2012, public leaders need to have intellectual curiosity." - Jeb Bush, when asked about Palin's future Link  
Ha ha.

Isn't that precious?

Jeb Bush says the GOP needs to stop electing MORONS!

I wonder if his brain-dead brother feels the same way?



World Nut Daily was forced to admit that the infamous "Birthplace of Barack Obama" sign in Kenya is a photoshopped hoax when the man who took the original photo of the sign (which is actually in Oman) came forward. The best part is what the Arabic script on the faked sign really says.



The Senate on Wednesday extended for a year key provisions of the nation's counterterrorism surveillance law that are scheduled to expire at the end of the month. 


The Cost of Doing Business

Remember, Wellpoint's need to jack up rates on its individual policyholders in California is all about "medical cost inflation", and the fault of hospitals, drug companies, and costly members. It has nothing to do with the millions in executive compensation they pay, or the lavish executive retreats they have for these hard-working folks. And yet there still were enough excess profits from the California operation to send over $4 billion back to the corporate parent company in Indiana since 2004.

Yet those GOP governors feel the market should be left alone to dictate prices, and object to the government having any role in rate increases at all.

Update: Looks like the moribund Jerry Brown campaign just found an issue.


children playing with a gun


South Duh-kota, hang your head in shame (alongside Utah) 

The South Dakota senate has been wrestling over an important resolution, HCR 1009. Here's the original text. It will look rather familiar to anyone who has seen creationist bills roll through a legislature.


Meanwhile, having fixed all the problems in California: 

The state assembly passed a resolution Thursday that would establish the first week of March as "cuss free week" throughout the state. If approved by the senate next week, the measure would take effect immediately.

The resolution includes no enforcement mechanism and is simply meant to promote greater harmony and connectedness, said assemblyman Anthony Portantino, a Democrat from La Canada Flintridge and co-author of the measure.-

Great f**king idea, asshats.
GOP Rep. Dean Heller claims extending unemployment benefits is creating 'hobos.'

Intel bill pulled over torture provision 
House Republicans charged Democrats with trying to sneak a provision into the intelligence authorization bill that would establish criminal punishment for CIA agents and other intelligence officials who engage in "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" during interrogations.
Seriously, who would object to that? Wait, don't tell me. Rhymes with Shmepublicans?

Damn those ethical types who refuse to allow interrogators to murder, destroy lives, inflict pain, and damage psyches!

The provision, previously not vetted in committee, applied to "any officer or employee of the intelligence community" who during interrogations engages in beatings, infliction of pain or forced sexual acts. The bill said the acts covered by the provision would include inducing hypothermia, conducting mock executions or "depriving the [detainee] of necessary food, water, sleep, or medical care."

The language gave Congress the discretion to determine what the terms mean, and it would have imposed punishments of up to 15 years in prison, and in some cases, life sentences if a detainee died as a result of the interrogation.

Republicans criticized the language and the way it was introduced.

I find it so amusing that, when the Rushpublics are in power, procedural tricks, sneaky late night changes, and secret meetings are perfectly acceptable.

If the Dems try to throw something into a bill, fugettaboutit:

"I'm hearing from Republicans that we are somehow sacrificing our national security" through this bill, said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). She said the language underscores existing law and enhances national security.

Because Reyes included it in his manager's amendment, Republicans were not able to try to strike it from the bill before passage. The only recourse they had was to try to excise it during the House-Senate conference. The Senate version does not contain similar language.

"If you think it's a socialist plot, then please drop out of the federal employees health program." Sen.Richard Durbin (D-IL), to Republican lawmakers at yesterday's health care reform summit.
Anyone see any dropouts? No?

I didn't think so.
h/t Dick
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) threatens to block unemployment insurance extension.
Whose dustbin will this end up in? 
It's good to remind ourselves of this now and again.
Officials puzzle over millions of dollars leaving Afghanistan by plane for Dubai. At least we don't need the money in this country.
More than George Bush got for starting an illegal war and ordering torture

The House ethics committee has "admonished" Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) "for improperly accepting reimbursement for trips to the Caribbean in 2007 and 2008 and has ordered him to repay the costs of the trip." The panel is still looking into whether Rangel improperly used federal resources for "a college center to be named after him and incomplete financial disclosures that omitted some income and assets."


lake_nobody_cares.jpg Lake Nobody Cares image by craptastic13

The Department of Defense "abruptly" suspended a program last week that gave military spouses grants of up to $6,000 for college or career training. The program became so popular that it "nearly exhausted" its budget, leading to the suspension. About 98,000 military spouses had enrolled, while 38,000 more had applied.

Sarah Palin wanted you to watch ladies' hockey yesterday. Did you?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Headlines - Thursday

How Did Insurance Companies Become Inviolate?

Reading Matt Taibbi and the absurdity of the Obama administration trying to reform healthcare without repealing health insurance anti-trust exemption a plain fact forever clicked into place: nobody represented the little people in this outrage called reform, so the little people can expect little or nothing to change for the better when this Lucy-kabuki-summitry-insanity is finally over.

Single Payer? The one solution the rest of the industrialized world uses that could make such a difference for everyone? Surely you jest, liberal. Public Option? Mandates were campaigned against but suddenly here they are1, and after a cruel tease to the Democratic base the public option was finally dropped, God forbid competition could enter this hell of a forced market. Anti-trust? A year after starting a pathetic attempt will fail, according to Taibbi. Transparency and fairness? Right from the git-go of this torturous nightmare big pharma and Billy Tauzin got a secret deal so the drug industry got all kinds of breaks and protection. Did a group for the little people get a secret deal for all kinds of benefits at the end? Right.

Leaving aside the unforgivable potential electoral disaster this represents (one can endlessly debate the intelligence of the electorate, fine, but every single citizen in the Republic is going to instantly see how the little people got shafted and un-rescued when this nightmare is finally over) and the mystifying phenomena of a candidate promising Hope™ and Change® delivering nothing of the sort on both counts, just how in the hell did the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries get to be such all-powerful inviolate badass political power centers, the chump wannabee representatives of Congress mere pipsqueaks in their pockets? Keep reading:


Olbermann: 'My father asked me to kill him'


Even the devil is afraid of Dick Cheney

Emperor Palpitation suffered a mild "heart" attack Monday when he complained of chest pains and was hospitalized, his office said Tuesday. He underwent a catheterization of fresh puppy blood and returned to his fortified bunker Wednesday morning. Dammit.


Bush: Crist 'unforgivable' on stimulus support - Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told the conservative publication NewsMax in an on-camera interview that he considers Gov. Charlie Crist's support for last year's stimulus bill "unforgivable."
Jeb Bush: The only governor to have all three of his children obtain police records while he was in office.
By Madeleine Begun Kane

"The stim bill was bad. Voted no,
Cuz it won't the economy grow."
That's the GOP rant
As they privately chant,
"Now give me more stimulus dough."
Adding to the number of criminals
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) briefed members of Congress from both political parties numerous times about the agency's interrogation and detention programs, several prominent human rights groups said Monday.
Just when you thought that the proverbial fat lady was about to launch into an aria over the final withdrawal of US military forces in Iraq, the US military announced that it is drawing up contingency plans to delay the withdrawal.
The most trusted name in news

CNN Headline: "Poll: Dems should take first step to bridge divide"

First sentence of article: "Two-thirds of Americans think that the Republicans in Congress are not doing enough to cooperate with President Obama, poll suggests."

Update: people are fucking stupid.

Thanks for nothing!
Doctors' Group: Obama Plan Leaves Millions Uninsured, Boosts Private Insurers - by Physicians for National Health Program

WASHINGTON - President Obama's health care proposal, preserving as it does a central role for the for-profit, private health insurance industry, is incapable of achieving the kind of universal, comprehensive and affordable reform the country needs, a spokesman for a national doctors' group said Wednesday.

"Regrettably, the president's proposal is built on some of the worst aspects of the Senate bill," said Dr. Quentin Young, national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program, an organization of 17,000 doctors who support single-payer, Medicare-for-All approach to reform. Young's statement comes on the eve of the president's bipartisan summit in Washington.

"For example, the president's proposal would ship hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to the private health insurance industry in the form of subsidies," Young said. "And to help finance this, it would impose a new tax on health benefits of workers, especially those in high-cost states.

Meghan Stapleton, Top Palin Aide, Resigns to Spend
More Time with a 'Saint' and a 'Precious Miracle'
I guess life with the Grifter Family Circus finally got to her.
But on the bright side, Mooselini will be able to handle The Facebook and The Twitter by herself. Hilarity ensues!

Banking and Healthcare: Reform in Name Only:


Good riddance: GM's deal to sell its Hummer brand to a Chinese automaker fell through Wednesday and the company said it now plans to shut down the brand. 


Where is the Kevin Rudd of the Mediterranean?  The Bob Barker of Bluefin?

Japan flips off CITES over sushi

Not surprising, but irritating nonetheless – heading of CITES at the pass, Japan says they'll buy and eat the last damn bluefin tuna regardless of scientific research and world opinion.


Watch out Carrie Prejean, Miss Beverly Hills 2010 is even homophobier than thou - notes biblical penalty for gays is death:



Was Cheney's Heart Attack Triggered by Stress Over DOJ Finding That He Lied about Torture Intel?
More faith-based evil 

Cults are all about control, and small children must be very hard to control.

The leader of a religious cult was "outraged" when a 1-year-old boy did not say "Amen" before a meal and ordered her followers to deprive him of food and water until he died, a Baltimore prosecutor told jurors Monday.

Another horrifying detail: the mother of the boy went along with the punishment and watched him waste away…all because she wanted to be accepted as a member of the cult.


'The Republican party is the wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry'

The Republicans did not like it when Rep. Anthony Weiner called them out during the debate on the antitrust bill. But, he's right. Even if his words had to be stricken from the record, they live on:
Angela Braly, Chairman and CEO of Wellpoint, presides over a corporation which, in 2008, awarded 39 executives over $1 million each in compensation and spent $27 million on 'executive retreats'. Defending her company's recent premium increases of up to 39%, Ms. Braly insists that she is on the side of the consumer. So was Vlad the Impaler.
Dear Sarah: Say it is so, run for president
Leonard Pitts in the Miami Herald:

Dear Sarah Palin:

I hear you're pondering a run for the White House in 2012. Last week, you told Fox news it would be ``absurd'' to rule it out.

I'm writing to ask that you rule it in. I very badly want you to run for -- and win -- the Republican nomination for the presidency.

I know you're waiting for the punch line. Maybe you figure I think you'd be a weak candidate who would pave the way for President Obama's easy re-election.

That's not it. No, I want you to run because I believe a Palin candidacy would force upon this country a desperately needed moment of truth. It would require us to finally decide what kind of America we want to be.

Mrs. Palin, you are an avatar of the shameless hypocrisy and cognitive disconnection that have driven our politics for the last decade, a process of stupidification creeping like kudzu over our national life.

No, you represent the latest iteration of an anti-intellectualism that periodically rises in the American character. There is, historically and persistently, a belief in us that y'all just can't trust nobody who acts too smart or talks too good -- in other words, somebody whose "general persona'' indicates they may have once cracked a book or had a thought. Americans tend to believe common sense the exclusive province of humble folks without sheepskins on the wall or big words in their vocabularies.

More to the point, something is wrong when we celebrate mental mediocrity like yours under the misapprehension that competence or, God forbid, intelligence, makes a person one of those "elites" -- that's a curse word now -- lacking authenticity, compassion and common sense.

So no, this is not a clash of ideologies, but a clash between intelligence and its opposite. And I am tired of being asked to pretend stupid is a virtue. That's why I'd welcome the moment of truth your campaign would bring. It would force us to decide once and for all whether we are permanently committed to the path of ignorance, of birthers, truthers and tea party incoherence you represent, or whether we will at last turn back from the cliff toward which we race.

If the latter, wonderful, God bless America. If the former, well, some of us can finally quit hoping the nation will return to its senses and plan accordingly. Either way, we need to know, and your candidacy would tell us. If you love this country, Mrs. Palin, you can do it no greater service.

Run, Sarah, run.

Ya got balls, Lenny. If Plan A prevails, all's right with the world. Plan B? Look out Canuckistan, here we come, eh?
Dispatch from the "Figure that out all by yourself, Einstein?" file
Gee...who'd a thunk that when you have mass layoffs combined with a disappearing job base, it has public health consequences.
Dr. Gallo is assuming, of course, that lessening or eliminating the effects of job loss is what the people who run the government (particularly the Reublican Party) and corporations (is there really a difference?) want. I think that diminishing life expectancy is exactly the desired goal. It reduces retirement and health care expenses, so what's not to like, when the only thing that matters is the bottom line? If you're going to systematically destroy the middle class, you want to make damn sure they aren't around to pick up the torches and pitchforks.
Grinding veeerrry slowly
The Federal wheels of justice are about to grind their way through the New Orleans Police Department on various Federal charges associated with the alleged murderous acts allegedly committed by police officers after Hurricane Katrina.
A retired police lieutenant was charged Wednesday with obstruction of justice, the first charge in a wide-ranging federal inquiry into whether police misconduct led to civilian deaths in the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina.
Next up for a slow grinding will be the New York Federal Reserve and Goldman Sachs, for it is becoming clearer and clearer that Goldman Sachs's bloody fingeprints are all over the collapse of AIG and Societe Generale.
When a congressional panel convened a hearing on the government rescue of American International Group Inc. in January, the public scolding of Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner got the most attention. ...

A potentially more important development slipped by with less notice, Bloomberg Markets reports in its April issue. Representative Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, placed into the hearing record a five-page document itemizing the mortgage securities on which banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Societe Generale SA had bought $62.1 billion in credit-default swaps from AIG.
Goldman Sachs, among others, allegedly created a class of extremely toxic securities and then, allegedly knowing full well that the securities were garbage, insured them with AIG.

Ron Beasley is right: This would be just like taking out an insurance policy on someone, then having them whacked and collecting on the insurance policy. Only instead of killing one person, these bespoke-suit-wearing grifters threw millions of people out of work and were instrumental in shuttering thousands of businesses.

And they continue to live their lives, unmolested in any way. This is indeed a curious world we live in.
Funny Pictures of Cats With Captions
This is a really good idea and I hope people sign on.

"Nearly half of the Arizona Legislature wants to force President Barack Obama to show his birth certificate to state officials if he runs for re-election. All 40 co-sponsors are Republicans, comprising 75 percent of the GOP caucus. Two of them have since resigned to run for Congress."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Headlines - Wednesday


"We don't get our rights from Congress or the President, we get them from God." - Glenn Beck 

So Glenn, why did God wait until 1919 to give American women rights?

Why did God wait until 1965 to give Black Americans rights?

Why is God refusing to give his gay sons and daughters rights?


The Scarlet Child

Del. Bob Marshall
Virginia House of Delegates

Del. Marshall,

As a biblical literalist, I applaud you for your courageous declaration that God punishes wicked women by giving their babies birth defects. It's about time someone told the truth about the handicapped--far from being "special," they are punishments, very visible punisments--little scarlet babies announcing to the world that their mothers are adultresses and murderers, .

But are you ready to confront such women and denounce them for their sins? Is that not the purpose of a scarlet letter? How will these women understand the gravity of their crimes if they are not made to despise themselves for prompting the Lord to curse them with a special-needs child?

What about Sarah Palin? Have you spoken with her? What was her sin?

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot


vertical crop growing system
A new vertical method for growing crops which claims to use less land and only 5% of the water usually needed is being piloted at a Devon zoo.
Slam Dunk Argument for Dealing with Global Warming
Strap in, because we're going to do some thinking here. Cruising through my RSS feeds last night, I came across this video posted in Peter Rothberg's blog at The Nation. "It's the best argument I've seen yet for taking immediate action on climate change," Rothberg writes. "The logic would seem undeniable even for the denialists."
After several weeks of sightings, the Central Park coyote has been caught on tape as he played on the frozen surface of The Pond. Photos here. Video here. Nobody knows how he got onto the island, but he's not the first - in 2006 another coyote died shortly after being captured in the park.
All Heterosexual Men Are Pedophiles!

Delaware pediatrician Dr. Earl Bradley has been charged with 471 counts of molesting over 100 girls in his practice, providing blatant proof that heterosexual men are all inherent molesters who should not be trusted around children.
Prosecutors expect to add more counts to a lengthy indictment against a Delaware pediatrician charged with serial molestation of 103 children as investigators urge former patients and parents to come forward. A grand jury returned a 160-page indictment Monday against Dr. Earl Bradley of Lewes with 471 counts of sexual crimes. The case has shocked the close-knit coastal community of Lewes and the central Delaware town of Milford, where Bradley closed an office in 2005 after police investigated him. Bradley's attorney, Eugene Maurer, said he would seek to move the trial out of Sussex County. But he said the "real battleground" in the case will be Bradley's mental state, not what is seen on videotapes seized from Bradley's home and office or alleged in the indictment.

The American people need to rise up and demand that heterosexual men be banned from any job that provides access to our nation's vulnerable children!
ron paul and rudy giuliani
A new report from the Center for Responsive Politics estimates that this year's midterm elections will cost at least $3.7 billion -- about 30% more than four years ago.

Major caveat: The estimate does not include how much money could come directly from corporations, unions, trade associations or other interest groups stemming from the recent
Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited contributions.

But we can't afford health care reform.
Science over stupidity - Mario Piperni 

No one better represents the idiot side of the Republican party than James Inhofe. His incessant lies, distortions and complete misrepresentation of climate change science places him alone in a special class of ignoramuses. Here's his latest bit of insanity.

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) today asked the Obama administration to investigate what he called "the greatest scientific scandal of our generation" — the actions of climate scientists revealed by the Climategate Files, and the subsequent admissions by the editors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).

Senator Inhofe also called for former Vice President Al Gore to be called back to the Senate to testify.

"In [Gore's] science fiction movie, every assertion has been rebutted," Inhofe said. He believes Vice President Gore should defend himself and his movie before Congress.

Just prior to a hearing at 10:00 a.m. EST, Senator Inhofe released a minority staff report from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, of which he is ranking member. Senator Inhofe is asking the Department of Justice to investigate whether there has been research misconduct or criminal actions by the scientists involved, including Dr. Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University and Dr. James Hansen of Columbia University and the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Science.

Real Climate does a nice job of dismissing the IPCC criticism with an approach that an Inhofe could never possibly ever understand.  They use logic, truth and science.

Steven Chu, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist who currently runs the Department of Energy, gives his thoughts on the matter.

"…the main findings of IPCC over the years, have they been seriously cast in doubt? No. I think that if one research group didn't understand some tree ring data and they chose to admit part of that data. In all honesty they should have thrown out the whole data set. But science has a wonderful way of self-correcting on things like that. What the public doesn't understand is that as you go forward there will be these things and they will self correct."


"If you look at the climate skeptics, I would have to say honestly, what standard are they being held to? It's very asymmetric. They get to say anything they want. In the end, the core of science is deeply self checking."

Salon's Andrew Leonard sums it up nicely.

At this point, you just to have to choose your reality. I will choose Steven Chu and endlessly self-checking, self-correcting science over James Inhofe every single day.

Yep. It's really a simple case of science over stupidity.


I've never seen a bunch of more hopeless, cynical, feckless, and criminally useless people than the Senate Democrats. And I think Glenn Greenwald is probably absolutely right:


"Well, Dick, when the history books are written,
you will doubtlessly be remembered for setting a
new Guinness World Record as the meanest mofo
who ever survived five heart attacks."
A sad joke - by John Cole

Not to go even more emo on you, but has anyone anywhere commented on the sad joke that is the $15 billion dollar jobs bill? I mean, it makes my unmentionables all tingly that a couple of Republicans joined with the Democrats to vote for it, but $15 billion is what the rocket scientists in the Senate think will get people back to work? Less than $300 million a state?

What is fifteen billion? A couple weeks of unemployment benefits? Not to go all Everett Dirksen and everything, but we ***LOST*** almost that much in Iraq, and no one flinched. But $15 billion is going to remedy job losses of tens of thousands every month on top of millions of lost job over the past two years? Isn't that less than California's budget deficit? And the only way it was going to get substantially bigger was to lard it up with pointless tax cuts?

I think when history looks back on the leadership of this country for the past twenty years, it is not going to judge it kindly. Small men with small ideas. And when the Republicans win the House and make significant gains in the Senate, Democrats will have no one to blame but themselves.

Only $15 billion for jobs, but Wall Street's going to get $20 billion in freaking bonuses. WHEN ARE PEOPLE GOING TO GET MAD ABOUT THIS? 

$20 billion for Wall Street bonuses. 

That's a lot of quality health care for a lot of Americans right there. After all, most of the profits generate by Wall Street were from taxpayer money. There is a serious problem with priorities among the political class of America. They're every bit as guilty as Wall Street. If this is the best they can do, it's no wonder people are so tuned out of this sorry excuse for a system. Elections happen and parties change but somehow it's always the same.


He's off his meds:

WASHINGTON — For Scott Brown, the tea party appears to be over.

Literally overnight, the fledgling Republican senator who ended Democrats' filibuster-proof majority by winning a special election in Massachusetts has gone from being the darling of America's conservative activists to being their goat.
Looks like some of Teddy's essence rubbed off when he took the old man's seat. His career as a Republican is already circling the bowl. Good on him by the way.
Evangelical christian tax fraud
All the cool kids are doing it, at least when they are not out hiking the ol' Appalachian Trail:
A group of ministers has sent a complaint to the Internal Revenue Service saying that a town house on Capitol Hill that provides inexpensive lodging and meals for conservative Christian members of Congress is not a church and should no longer be granted the tax-exempt status afforded a house of worship.
By the logic of the C Street bunch, if you go down into a room in your basement and pray there, that room is a "church" for tax purposes.

The group involved in sponsoring the C Steet GOP frat house is one of the groups which fall under the umbrella designation of "the Christian Taliban".
"Government spending does not create a single job"
That is the mantra of the GOP. Which does not explain why governors from both parties are pushing for Boeing to get the new Air Force tanker contract and why Sen. Shelby is pressing to have the tanker contract awarded to Airbus (which promised to build the final assembly plant in al-Abama).

Since government spending creates no jobs,
a point which Shelby has stated, one has to wonder why he is so interested in seeing a foreign corporation get a huge defense contract.
Jim Gibbons has lived sexless life for 15 years


Oh look it's some gross news about the gross governor of Nevada, one Jim Gibbons, who once disgusted his state of hookers and gambling addicts by assaulting a waitress! According to a legal deposition, Jim Gibbons has not gotten laid by a lady since nineteen hundred and ninety-five. MORE »


Yesterday, the Obama administration posted its health care proposal on the White House website. The summit is Thursday. And, although the GOPers have been trashing the Democratic health care legislation for months, they've never really proposed one of their own. Today, Dan Pfeiffer, the White House Communications Director, offered the GOPer a prime spot to show their plan -- the White House website.

Ha ha ha! The Republican's don't have a plan for health care or anything else. Finally, someone is calling them on it.


Fox Nooze scrambles to discredit CPAC presidential poll after Ron Paul wins

Fox Noise prior to CPAC: "This is where the next President will be anointed!"

Fox Noise after Ron Paul wins the CPAC poll: "These things are
way unscientific. It's really more about bragging rights, anyway. Somebody freeped the poll. There's nothing to see here, move along."

CPAC participants voted for Paul as their favored candidate by some 31 percent, giving him the largest margin of victory in recent years. Fudge-packing dog-abuser Mitt Romney, who has won the vote over the last three years, was the runner-up with 22 percent. Disasta from Alaska Sarah Palin was third with seven percent.
One or two points above "Other" and "Can't Decide".