Sunday, October 31, 2010

Headlines - Sunday October 31

Funny Halloween Ecard: Thank God my Clarence Thomas costume is relevant again.
The Brand Spanking New Patriotic Corporate Motto: Let Them Eat Cake
U.S. companies are hoarding almost $1 trillion in cash but are unlikely to spend on expanding their business and hiring new employees due to continuing uncertainty about the strength of the economy, Moody's Investors Service said on Tuesday.
The Republican War on Reality:
Wisco: The White Party.

FRC's Tony Perkins: Our Hate Speech Deserves To Be Heard On NPR

"This week another group that demands the celebration of homosexuality called on National Public Radio to exclude the viewpoint of Family Research Council and other conservatives because we 'have nothing productive to bring to the table.'

"We are all agreed that every suicide by a 'gay'-identified teenager is a tragedy. And there are not two sides to the issue of bullying--we are all agreed that no one deserves to be bullied and that bullies should be punished. But there most certainly are two sides to the claims that orthodox theology and pro-family public policies are to blame for such bullying and such suicides, and the media has an obligation to air both sides, not just attacks by homosexual activists. In their definition of tolerance, the truth that would prevent a young person entering into homosexuality, or that change is possible for those seeking to leave the homosexual lifestyle, must be silenced." - Family Research Council head Tony Perkins.

CNBC: Goldman Sachs reviewing early bonus payments. 

Infamous race-baiter Andrew Breitbart is going to provide election night commentary for the Mouse Network. I wonder when the Food Network is going to have Lucretia Borgia's Home Cookin'?


More of this please.


Another reason to avoid McDonald's

They're instructing their employees who to vote for.

Along with their recent paychecks, employees received a pamphlet from their employer on company letter head that stated "as the election season is here, we wanted you to know which candidates will help our business grow in the future." While pointing out that the vote is the employee's "personal decision," the pamphlet explicitly states, "if the right people are elected we will be able to continue with raises and benefits at or above our present levels. If others are elected we will not".

Thank you, Supreme Court. Freedom of speech courtesy of the Citizen's United decision.


New rule: if you believe that only God knows the age of the earth, then you have no right to be the governor of anything.

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell, Sarah Palin's successor, appeared stumped by a question about the age of the earth Thursday, choosing not to answer a multiple choice question regarding the matter during a gubernatorial debate.

"Only God knows," Parnell responded, when asked if the earth was more accurately described as "6,000″ or "six billion" years old.

Democratic candidate Ethan Berkowitz wasted no time, telling the moderator, "I'll go with six billion."

Parnell's answer did not go over without some skepticism, however. One person in the recording can be heard laughing, and another asks, "you really don't wanna answer that?"

"I really don't know," Parnell then said. "For either one of us to do it is quite speculative."

No you moron, the age of the earth is not speculative.  It has been scientifically determined to be 4.54 billion years…and it's not negotiable no matter what you think the Bible claims. This is not a matter of science versus religion.  It's a matter of informed versus stupid.

The anti-science party strikes again.

What Pelosi accomplished
Kerry Eleveld at the Advocate makes a good point:
I would be remiss if I did not mention that Nancy Pelosi could very possibly lose her post as speaker of the House if the Democrats get pummeled next Tuesday. She may not have scheduled all the LGBT votes the community would have hoped for, but Pelosi hammered home hate-crimes legislation early on and steamrolled "don't ask, don't tell" with 39 votes to spare. From a broader perspective, she near seamlessly pushed through Democrats' agenda, stocking the Senate with more than 400 bills that never saw the light of day. Quite frankly, Speaker Pelosi delivered the change Obama promised more ably than the White House could either message or capitalize on those achievements.

If the House Democrats are ousted on election night, it will be a true irony that the single most effective legislator of the 111th Congress will be rewarded with a demotion.
Well over 200,000 attended Stewart/Colbert rally.

If you missed it, you can watch the whole thing here Look for the little girl dressed as a princess with the sign that says "I'm taking my tea party back!"

The wretched mind of the American authoritarian
Glenn Greenwald on the mentality of Doughy Pantload Goldberg and others. A 'recommended read':

Decadent governments often spawn a decadent citizenry. A 22-year-old Nebraska resident was arrested yesterday for waterboarding his girlfriend as she was tied to a couch, because he wanted to know if she was cheating on him with another man; I wonder where he learned that? There are less dramatic though no less nauseating examples of this dynamic. In The Chicago Tribune today, there is an Op-Ed from Jonah Goldberg -- the supreme, living embodiment of a cowardly war cheerleader -- headlined: "Why is Assange still alive?"

There are multiple common threads here: the cavalier call for people's deaths, the demand for ultimate punishments without a shred of due process, the belief that the U.S. is entitled to do whatever it wants anywhere in the world without the slightest constraints, a wholesale rejection of basic Western liberties such as due process and a free press, the desire for the President to act as unconstrained monarch, and a bloodthirsty frenzy that has led all of them to cheerlead for brutal, criminal wars of aggression for a full decade without getting anywhere near the violence they cheer on, etc. But that's to be expected. We lived for eight years under a President who essentially asserted all of those powers and more, and now have a one who has embraced most of them and added some new ones, including the right to order even American citizens, far from any battlefield, assassinated without a shred of due process. Given that, it would be irrational to expect a citizenry other than the one that is being molded with this mentality.
As our pal Badtux put it so simply and succinctly in a comment yesterday. "we are disappearing into a vortex of suck".
Cat Stevens Attends Rally to Restore Sanity
Yusuf Islam Attends March to Keep Fear Alive

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Headlines - Thursday October 28

Abused & arrested for being Democrat at Eric Cantor event:
The Ginny Thomas effect

The fascist assclown who thinks it's perfectly all right to stomp on a woman's head? The one who claimed he had to step on her head because he has a bad back? Well, now he also thinks she owes HIM an apology.

I'm kind of not kidding about emigrating.


F**k these people
A coalition of the nation's leading anti-gay Christian activists have issued a joint statement denouncing any attempt to teach Christian children that it's wrong to beat gay kids.
The Onion perfectly satirizes the Democratic campaign strategy.
WASHINGTON—Conceding almost certain Republican gains in next month's crucial midterm elections, Democratic lawmakers vowed Tuesday not to give up without making one final push to ensure their party runs away from every major legislative victory of the past two years.

Party leaders told reporters that regardless of the ultimate outcome, they would do everything in their power from now until the polls closed to distance themselves from their hard-won passage of a historic health care overhaul, the toughest financial regulations since the 1930s, and a stimulus package most economists now credit with preventing a second Great Depression.

I laughed and laughed whilst reading this. Then the depression drifted in.

funny pictures of cats with captions
These are the words of Clint McCance, a school board member in the Midland school district of Arkansas. He was a little bit annoyed that people in his school were wearing purple in remembrance of students who had been bullied into suicide.

Being a fag doesn't give you the right to ruin the rest of our lives. If you get easily offended by being called a fag then don't tell anyone you are a fag. Keep that shit to yourself. It pisses me off though that we make a special purple fag day for them. I like that fags cant procreate. I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other aids and die.

Huh. This is the kind of person Arkansans elect to run their schools? And he hasn't been tossed off the board yet? How…interesting.

There's a facebook page calling for his firing as well as an online petition. If you want to get more personal (but polite!), it's easy to find the contact information for the school district. They already have a disclaimer on their web page, but I don't think that's a sufficient response to such flaming bigotry.


I'm happy to report that the entire cast of clowns at Fox News read their talking points memo for the day – the one that dealt with what President Obama really really meant when he said:

Finally we got this car up on level ground. And, yes, it's a little beat up.  It needs to go to the body shop. It's got some dents; it needs a tune-up.  But it's pointing in the right direction. And now we've got the Republicans tapping us on the shoulder, saying, we want the keys back.

You can't have the keys back. You don't know how to drive. You can ride with us if you want, but you got to sit in the backseat. We're going to put middle-class America in the front seat.  We're looking out for them.

If you thought that the car analogy meant that the citizenry should be wary of letting Republicans retake control of the economy – yes, the economy they effectively smashed into the ground – then you obviously have not been watching Fox.


So is this the back of the bus kind of analogy? Is that where — is that where the enemies go now, in the back? Because I'm just wondering.


Why can't I sit in the front seat? Why can't I sit in the front seat, Mr. President? Why am I sitting in the back seat? Why are you saying you have to punish your enemies? Are we looking to settle old scores, here? Is that what's happening, Mr. President? Because I'm just wondering. It sounds like there is a time to settle old scores, which sounds to me like you're inciting people.


"talk about sit in the back of the bus…I wonder if I, as a talk show host and a conservative commentator made such a reference."

Dana Perino in response to Hannity:

"[You] would be fired."

Fox analyst Peter Johnson:

"…a peculiar and strange and haunting and really backward reference that we're seeing by the president and what we're really seeing is a reference to the notion of being in the back of the bus, and that's a matter of sad American history, embarrassing American history."

Stuart Varney:

"when I looked at that, being foreign born, I know the association that that was bringing to the public mind … It's unpresidential."

They're a creative bunch of asses if nothing else.  Actually, I think the President is being much too kind in asking Republicans to sit in the back seat of the car.  The trunk would be a more fitting place for the bums.


David Neiwert makes the argument that the midterm election is less a referendum on Barack Obama than it is one on Fox News.  The money quote:

But it's obvious that we don't really have a Republican Party anymore. It's now a wholly owned subsidiary of Fox News. And that's who this election is really about.

I'm not sure I'd go that far but it is not hard to imagine how worse a shape the Republican Party would be in were it not for the ceaseless effort bullshit on the part of Fox.   If not for Fox, where would Sarah Palin get to bleat her nonsense each day?  Where would conservative candidates who refuse to speak to their local media get to voice their thoughts unchallenged?  Where would the Tea Party be if not for Fox who has been cheerleading the astroturf movement from day one?

Really.  Who would champion the causes of bigotry, homophobia, Islamophobia and overall hate if not for Fox and its cabal of delusional hatemongers?  And most important, where would the unwashed masses of fools turn to for their daily fill of head-spinning lies and misinformation if not for the yeoman's work done by Fox News?

Maybe it's not the Fox election but Neiwert is dead on the money with this line.

The entire narrative of this coming election has been dictated by Fox. Is it any wonder that the conventional wisdom now perfectly reflects what Fox has been dictating?

Nope. It's no wonder at all.

funny pictures-Baby come back...
Americans really are dumb sometimes
New CBS/NYT poll. A few odd results.
Republicans hold six-point lead among likely voters in generic House ballot, 46-40.
Democrats are viewed more positively than Republicans. Forty-six percent view Democrats favorably, while 48 percent view them unfavorably. Forty-one percent view Republicans favorably, and 52 percent view them unfavorably."
Seems a bit contradictory. Then there's this:
Forty-seven percent of likely voters want the health care law to be repealed. Forty-three percent want it to stand as it is.
People are morons. The next question should have been: And what is in the health care law that you want repealed? I'll bet none of them had a clue. They simply listened to the GOP misinformation, and the lack of sufficient response from Obama and the Democrats, and concluded the law nationalized our health care and thus will make it "bad," you know, like France (where health care is actually better than here and 1/10th the price) 
More dangerous than Islamists ...
Michael makes the best point about why you should vote on Tuesday:


I think that's exactly right. The Ken Bucks and Christine O'Donnells and Sharron Angles of the Republican Party, the "Taliban wing" of the GOP that more and more is taking over the party, are profoundly dangerous and deeply anti-American, and it's not enough just to laugh at them for being stupid. They pose a threat to American democracy, and to America itself, and to the very idea of "America," that, in a way, far exceeds, is far more nefarious than, and is far more likely to succeed than the threat posed by Islamic jihadism.

These assholes want to turn this country into Iran. I know most of the Dems suck, but they're far better than this clown show.

Arizona Executes Inmate With Drug Not Approved by the FDA
When Brian Williams or David Gregory interviews the President, it's all about finding the "Gotcha!" moment that can be played in an endless loop on Morning Joe and the Today show and the following night's evening news. It's not about discussing policy, it's about rumor and setting traps and about "Some people say...".

Not one major network talking head with a reputation as a journalist has conducted an interview with Barack Obama that is as substantive as this one:
104 Republicons in Congress want to privatize Social Security.
Snappin' the thug life.

Christine O'Donnell went on a local conservative radio show yesterday to talk about her campaign. After finishing this interview, that campaign told the radio station it would "crush" it if it didn't turn over the videotape of what transpired, though it's kind of hard to destroy an interview that was broadcast live on the air and online, so now the campaign is apologizing and now says it doesn't need to kill anyone to get these tapes, thank you. So why did O'Donnell want the video of this interview? It seemed to be a control thing, based on their anger that that THEY WERE NOT told about the video cameras around the studio. But actually, looking at the video, perhaps they didn't want people to see Christine snapping her fingers to one of her staffers to come over and threaten the radio host for being mean to her. CHRISTINE ONLY DOES INTERVIEWS WILL PEOPLE WHO ARE WILLING TO GIGGLE WITH HER, BRO.

The video doesn't seem to appear here, even though it should. (Hmm, almost like someone used witchcraft on this Web page.) But you can download it there directly from the code if you want to (you don't).

So what was so bad about this interview? For one, Christine O'Donnell uses a Trig slur at the 10-minute mark, calling people "low-income disables."

But the real funny part begins at the 11:30 mark, when things begin to get heated because this conservative talk show host is actually asking her hard questions. O'Donnell angrily snaps her fingers to get her goon by her side. This man seems to stare menacingly at the host for the rest of the interview, at times having a word with the host off-mic and at times seeming to write down threats for the host on a pad of Post-It notes.

Is this the same guy who later threatened the radio station? We don't know, but these radio people who HAD THE GALL to ask Christine actual questions shouldn't be surprised if they wake up at the bottom of an ocean of Post-Its with angry swears scribbled on them. [WDEL via Weigel]


His friendships with lobbyists are just so BEAUTIFUL, bros.
Washington Post Blows All Its John Boehner Boner Puns In One Profile.
WikiLeaks documents confirm Pentagon knew of civilian death toll and torture in Iraq.
War criminals:

WASHINGTON — Some of the country's largest emitters of heat-trapping gases, including businesses that publicly support efforts to curb global warming, don't want the public knowing exactly how much they pollute.

Oil producers and refiners, along with manufacturers of steel, aluminum and even home appliances, are fighting a proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency that would make the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that companies release – and the underlying data businesses use to calculate the amounts – available online.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Headlines - Wednesday October 27

Conason: Why the right hates NPR.
Rebecca Solnit: Invasion of the Democracy Crushers
Debate in the rightwing blogosphere: pro - or anti-head stomping?
What fun! Here's Wisconsin Republican senatorial candidate Ron Johnson receiving an award for his tireless work on behalf America's most downtrodden minority -- gazillionaires.


Russian military could be drawn back into Afghanistan

Nato officials explore joint initiatives ahead of landmark alliance summit, which is to include President Medvedev
Does this seem like a good idea to anyone at all? Is it really smart to partner with the other superpower that occupied the country and helped create the backlash that inspired Al Qaeda and the Taliban? Really?

You know, if we join up with the Japanese and invade China we might really be on to something. Why create new enemies when you can just pull the scabs off other country's old grievances and use them instead?
"When it comes to voting, when we only have two choices, you got to grow up and realize there's a big difference between a disappointing friend and a deadly enemy. Of course the Democrats are disappointing. That's what makes them Democrats. If they were any more frustrating they'd be your relatives. But in this country they are all that stands between you and darkest night. You know why their symbol is the letter 'D'? Because it's a grade that means good enough, but just barely. You know why the Republican symbol is 'R'? Because it's the noise a pirate makes when he robs you and feeds you to a shark." - Bill Maher

The Real Reason Obama Has Let Us All Down
On the night he won, I too shed a little tear; but the people weeping today are those having their homes repossessed
Somebody identified one of the thugs who stomped on the MoveOn protester's head last night, and he's a charmer.
Slaggie ie Gilamonster: Gay Marriage Will Bring The End Of Religious Freedom

"We are already seeing the engine of state power being used to exclude traditional religious believers, especially from posts of cultural power – in the U.S. for example, graduate schools are now kicking out counseling students who say they cannot help gay couples maintain their relationships. They are willing to refer politely such couples to others – but that's not good enough. 'Discriminators' cannot be marriage counselors. In England, courts are beginning to rule that Christians cannot foster or adopt children – because they might be gay and that might be bad for them. (Never mind the abundance of evidence that religion is in fact good for children).

"The gay rights movement believe that 'sexual minorities' are the new minorities, that gay is like black and people, culture and government should respond to any distinctions or objection in exactly the same way we respond to racism. That's the model. They say it because they believe. Believe them!" -
Mrs. Maggie Srivastav, speaking to the Australian Conservative, who failed to note Maggie's usage of her maiden name because she fears shocking Christianists with her still unseen Hindu husband.

SLAGGIE FACT CHECK: The British example cited is about the singular case of one English couple refused additional foster children in 2007 because of their rabid anti-gay activism.

Watch this video about solar roadways.
An integrity deficit
The new Transparency International world corruption rankings are out and as usual those two shining beacons of transformative democracy at gunpoint - Iraq and Afghanistan - come in the bottom three rankings.

But what's making the news is the assessment that the good old U.S.A. has slipped outside the top 20 of least corrupt nations to No. 22.

Nancy Boswell, president of TI in the United States, said lending practices in the subprime crisis, the disclosure of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme and rows over political funding had all rattled public faith about prevailing ethics in America.

"We're not talking about corruption in the sense of breaking the law," she said. "We're talking about a sense that the system is corrupted by these practices. There's an integrity deficit."

Various financial scandals at state and city level had encouraged the impression that the regulatory oversight was weak and that influence could be bought, she added.

Just wait until next year, when the buying of the Tea Party by big corporate money and the current foreclosures scandal get added to the rankings.

Over at FDL, Jim White points out that the mainstream doesn't particularly want to talk about this bit of news today, with the NY Times ignoring the story completely and the Washinton Post burying the lede to talk about Russia instead. Gawker has a bit of snark urging us to celebrate.

It's party time, people. Responsible/lame people might say, "Party time? But we are all sad and worried." That didn't stop the rich people on the Titanic from drinking champagne and using poor people as lifeboats. Just sayin'.

Rich people are always the ones that benefit from corruption, never the poor.

Herbert: The Corrosion of America
Meghan: "It's one thing to be angry; it's another when anger is the main force that binds a group together."

Is she talking about the Tea Party movement, a movement that has no coherent focus other than being pissed that Democrats are temporarily, and to a limited extent, in charge of our political system, and that people of different faiths and skin tones might get some of their tax dollars?

Nah, she's talking about lefty bloggers

Well, naturally.  We have nothing in common except anger, other than [insert long list of goals that everyone from Kevin Drum to Jane Hamsher can agree on].

For one of the New Elites, she sure is dumb.


No wonder he doesn't want to talk about his past with the media. 

If teabaggers are so interested in cleaning up government, they could start by not electing known liars to the Senate.


Ken Buck doesn't understand the First Amendment either:


"Hey, guys, mind if I lay these props down for a minute?  My arm's really tired!"


Principled conservatives react

No one could have predicted:

NPR received a bomb threat Monday, five days after its decision to fire news analyst Juan Williams sparked a hugely negative reaction.

Sources at the news organization said the threat was received via U.S. mail and was immediately turned over to local police and the FBI. The organization did not publicly disclose the threat or release details, on the advice of law enforcement officials.

The letter didn't reference the Williams firing specifically, but people at NPR, who spoke about it on the condition of anonymity, said the timing and tone suggested it was sent after Williams's widely publicized termination.

Until recently, I'd been confident that teabaggers were mostly too old to engage in any serious terrorist activity. I still hope that's true, but I'm starting to wonder.


The campaign you aren't watching but should be. Last year, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled unanimously to allow same sex marriage in Iowa. This year, Iowans will vote on whether to keep or boot three of the seven justices who decided that case -- and the campaign has attracted hundreds of thousands of dollars from national anti-gay groups. ... In Iowa, judges are appointed, not elected. But at the end of every judge's term, he or she goes up for "retention," meaning the populace votes whether to keep them around or throw them out. ... The National Organization for Marriage, the American Family Association and the Family Research Council have seized on the chance to "fire" three of the justices, including Chief Justice Marsha Ternus, and are spending money -- more than $700,000 so far -- asking people to vote against retention. The campaign has also drawn cash from those who support gay marriage, and the justices themselves; the overwhelming majority of independent expenditures in the state, in fact, have been directed at the judicial retention race."


This is insane. "US House and Senate candidates have surpassed fundraising records for the mid-term elections and are now nearing the $2bn (£1.2bn) spending mark, with elections just one week away. The projection by Public Campaign Action Fund, a watchdog group, breaks down to $4m for each seat at stake. Meanwhile, ex-President Bill Clinton is visiting Illinois in the hope of preventing Republican gains there. President Barack Obama will join him on Saturday to rally Democratic voters."


The New York Times reports that opponents of ObamaCare have spent $108 million since March to advertise against it, more than six times the amount that supporters have spent.

They Shall Overcome
RedState still angry it's still' not alloweds to make a racial slur about Obama

As soon as we see a black person in a position of power, we all immediately turn to utter a racial slur about this person, right? You guys know what we're talking about! Black people are scary! YET, RedState has apparently had to go years without saying such a thing towards the president of the United States, who is a black guy. That is a very impressive amount of willpower for people who hold racism so dear! RedState definitely deserves a Medal of Honor for this (as long as that black guy doesn't get his grubby socialist fingers all over it). However, RedState blogger Dave Poff has determined that Obama recently said a racial slur himself, so now all the RedStaters are Free At Last to type racial slurs about Obama on the Internet. Hooray! READ MORE »

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Headlines - Tuesday October 26

No pollution in their back yard...not when they can put it in ours for just a few pieces of silver. "Some of Europe's top polluters are funding the political campaigns of Tea Party candidates and others in the United States who deny global warming, according to a report by Climate Action Network Europe. ... The twelve page report (.pdf) is based on information recently published by the Open Secrets database. ... The European companies singled out as major polluters in the report are Lafarge, GDF-SUEZ, EON, BP, BASF, BAYER, Solvay and Arcelor Mittal. ... Combined, these companies donated $107,200 to climate change deniers running for Senate seats. In addition, "their total support for senators blocking climate change legislation in the US amounts to $240,200, which is almost 80% of their total spendings in 2010 Senate race," the report says."
Great piece from David Corn, looking at what went wrong for the Obama administration that the voters are so angry.
An ugly scene took place outside the Kentucky Senatorial debate Monday night as what appeared to be a supporter of Republican candidate Rand Paul was captured by a local news affiliate literally stomping the head of a member of the progressive-activist organization
The prospect of doing to Floridians what he had done to an Iraqi captive
seemed to give Allen West a sense of meaning and purpose he had been lacking.

Religion kills "A BABY boy was killed when 12 people leapt off a second-floor balcony - to "get away from the Devil". ... Eight people, including several children, were hurt, some seriously. Police are trying to get to the bottom of the bizarre tragedy. ... Survivors of the mass plunge from a flat in a Paris suburb said the incident began in the early hours of the morning when a dad got out of bed naked to feed his crying baby. ... They said the man's wife saw him moving around and started screaming that she had seen the Devil. ... The man was then stabbed in the hand by his wife's sister and thrown out through the door of the flat. ... But when he tried to get back in, the other people inside grabbed their children and jumped off the 20-foot balcony. ... A spokeswoman for the local prosecutor's office said: "Panic erupted.""

It's not the sexual harassment, it's the lying
Remember when Republicans insisted that their vendetta against Bill Clinton wasn't about his affair, it was about him lying about it under oath in a legal proceeding? Earl Ofari Hutchinson makes a compelling case for the impeachment of Justice Clarence Thomas, under the same kind of perjury claim.
Jill: Conspiracy theories, Paul Wellstone, and the thuggishness of the right.

This way-over-the-top ad is for Colorado's retrograde ballot measure 62, which would declare legal personhood the moment the sperm and the egg meet, and essentially force a Xristian Xrazy world-view on the citizens of that state and completely take away choice for women. It really opens the door to all sorts of issues that theocrats love. Women who terminate a pregnancy would be prosecuted for murder, and of course, so would the doctor. Presumably crossing state lines to have an abortion would be problematic, too. It's very draconian.


Wow. Bob Dudley has achieved what we thought impossible...he makes us miss Tony Hayward. "BP's new chief executive said on Monday that its rivals and the media had helped cause a climate of fear during the summer when the oil giant's blown-out Gulf of Mexico well caused the worst ever oil spill in the United States. ... The comments by the chief executive, Bob Dudley, represented the latest volley in BP's battle to rebuild its battered reputation by taking a harder line with those who had attributed the disaster to a safety culture at BP that, they said, put cost-saving before safety. ... In an address to the annual conference of a British business lobbying group, the CBI, Mr. Dudley said there had been "a great rush to judgment by a fair number of observers before the full facts could possibly be known, even from some in our industry."


Fox news viewship plunges 21%
Massive Crowd of 5 Birthers Had a Rally On the Mall This Weekend.

Healing lazy scooter-bound Teabaggers with a single touch.

Sure, when you see Christine O'Donnell talking in debates about not knowing any Supreme Court cases or any current members of the Senate, you think, "There's at least a 50% chance this woman is Jesus Christ incarnate." But you didn't think she'd actually admit it. Well, THINK AGAIN. In an interview with The 700 Club airing tomorrow, O'Donnell reveals that she actually died once but then rose from the dead when God wanted her to represent Delaware in the U.S. Senate. "If I didn't believe that there were [sic] a cause greater than myself worth fighting for, if I didn't believe that it takes a complete dying of self to make things right in this election cycle, I would not be running, and when you die to yourself, you rely on a power greater than yourself," she said, referring to the power of emerging out of a funeral cave as a zombie-Jesus Senate candidate. READ MORE »

Mainstream Media Still Ignoring the ABSENCE of Press Coverage of a Dead Aide Found In A Republican's Office Nine Years Ago
Jury selection began Monday in the murder trial of a man accused of killing federal intern Chandra Levy nearly a decade ago, a case that derailed a California Congressman (Gary Condit) career and generated headlines around the world.


Forward this link everywhere!

Then again, we exist in a counter-factual America where objective reality is a conspiracy and facts are considered "liberal math."

But we have to try, dammit. Go!


If you're into economics, you will waste a significant portion of your day here:

The Economics of Seinfeld

Using these clips (as well as clips from other television shows or movies) makes economic concepts come alive, making them more real for students. Ultimately, students will start seeing economics everywhere – in other TV shows, in popular music, and most importantly, in their own lives.

I wonder what they'll do with "mulva?"

ht Sullivan

Jon Stewart takes on NPR and Fox.

How dare anyone suggest that teabaggers are a small-minded lot of bigoted scum. Unfair.

This weekend, Tea Party Nation (TPN) sent an email in support of Lynne Torgerson, who is running against Rep. Keith Ellison in Minnesota. In the email, TPN lists the reasons Ellison should be "retired." Among them: "He is the only Muslim member of congress."

The email:

There are a lot of liberals who need to be retired this year, but there are few I can think of more deserving than Keith Ellison. Ellison is one of the most radical members of congress. He has a ZERO rating from the American Conservative Union. He is the only Muslim member of congress. He supports the Counsel for American Islamic Relations, HAMAS and has helped congress send millions of tax to terrorists in Gaza.

May I suggest that teabaggers are for the most part a small-minded lot of bigoted scum?

(For the record, there is a second Muslim in Congress: Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana.  Shhh. Don't tell anyone.)


Here's what Americans have to look forward to after the midterms compliments of Mitch McConnell and his retrograde GOP cohorts.

"[W]e need to treat this election as the first step in retaking the government. We need to say to everyone on Election Day, 'Those of you who helped make this a good day, you need to go out and help us finish the job.' [...]

The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president…. Our single biggest political goal is to give our nominee for president the maximum opportunity to be successful."

Steve Benen explains the implications of McConnell's statement.

This comes, by the way, on the heels of several other high-profile Republicans admitting last week that they have no intention of compromising with the White House on anything.

The obvious takeaway here is that GOP leaders have literally no interest in actually solving problems or passing legislation. None. But the larger truth is that President Obama, who's spoken a bit lately about the need for "humility," needs to realize that Republican obstinacy and extremist tactics aren't going to get better after the midterms; they're going to get worse.

McConnell and his cohorts have made abundantly clear that Americans' welfare and the nation's future pale in comparison to the Republican quest for power. The president stands in the way. If he's not prepared for what they intend to bring, the showdown isn't going to go well.

Republicans have done little to attempt to mask their do-nothing political strategy so none of this should be a surprise to anyone.  As Republican Senator John Thune put it last March.

"Throwing grenades is easier than catching them."

Yes it is and Republicans have been consistent in displaying a complete lack of concern for the collateral damage caused by their grenades.  Namely, the well-being of an entire nation.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Headlines - Monday October 25

Brett Favre for open fly jeans:

Frank Rich asks what happened to change we can believe in.

The reasons for his failure to reap credit for any economic accomplishments are a catechism by now: the dark cloud cast by undiminished unemployment, the relentless disinformation campaign of his political opponents, and the White House's surprising ineptitude at selling its own achievements. But the most relentless drag on a chief executive who promised change we can believe in is even more ominous. It's the country's fatalistic sense that the stacked economic order that gave us the Great Recession remains not just in place but more entrenched and powerful than ever.

Yes, it is the economy stupid.  But as Rich points out,  just as stupid is the Democrats failure at putting out the word on their accomplishments.  Unfortunately, public opinion often tends to get based not on the merits of an issue but instead on which side screams out loudest.  Perception and not facts determines the worthiness of anything these days.  And as I've noted before, the bigger and more effective megaphone is painted red, not blue.

So while ninety-five percent of Americans have seen a tax cut over the last eighteen months, a Times/CBS News poll indicates that only 8 percent of Americans are aware of this little fact.  The health care act, the stimulus bill, the bailouts and Wall Street reform, while not perfect by any measure, have all reaped benefits which Democrats could be heralding in a more effective way.  To call them inept in the art of messaging would be an understatement.

In tough economic times, there is no way to prevent the party in power from getting roughed up at election time regardless of blame.  It's just the way it is.  What is avoidable though is for the governing power to remain silent on their accomplishments while giving their opposition free rein to mold public opinion.  Dumb.


If you're not sick to death of discussing NPR, here are a couple of smart takes on NPR's role in journalism.

James Fallows points out why NPR is one of the few remaining media outlets that cares about reporting, the truth and getting it right:

NPR, whatever its failings, is one of the few current inheritors of the tradition of the ambitious, first-rate news organization. When people talk about the "decline of the press," in practice they mean that fewer and fewer newspapers, news magazine, and broadcast networks can afford to try to gather information. The LA Times, the Washington Post, CBS News—they once had people stationed all around the world. Now they work mainly from headquarters—last year the Post closed all its domestic bureaus outside Washington—and let's not even think about poor Newsweek and US News.

[...]It has reporters at state houses and in war zones. At last count, it has something like 17 foreign bureaus and 16 domestic. In much of the country, especially away from the coasts, it's a major source of local information and news. It claims that its total audience is some 27 million people a week; with all allowances for counting differences, it reaches a lot more people than Fox does. (Eg, a recent report put O'Reilly's usual audience at around 3.3 million.) [...]

And Jay Rosen looks more closely at NPR's straitjacket definition of "news analyst", using Cokie Roberts as an example.

Analysis as Cokie Roberts practices it means performing this savvy script upon the week's events. She speculates on what voters are likely to do, or seem to be saying. (Listen to a typical example.) She discerns political motive in statements that pretend to be about public purpose. She calls upon Washington history to show us how we've heard it all before. She chuckles at the openly inauthentic. She serves up audible eyerolls when someone says that it's time to get the country moving again or the money out of politics. Hundreds of sentences of hers start with, "Well, if you believe the polls…."

That's a little too much voice for "straight reporting," as professional journalists understand it. But it's a lot less voice than Look: here's what I, Cokie Roberts, establishment Democrat, Washington insider and amateur feminist historian think… The idea is to give her enough room to permit crap detection without losing the political protection that the View From Nowhere affords NPR.



If anyone can survive this, he can. "A Nepalese Sherpa who is famous in mountaineering circles for climbing Mount Everest 19 times has gone missing on another Himalayan peak. Chhewang Nima was struck by an avalanche near the summit of Mount Baruntse, his climbing agency said. He was fixing ropes at an elevation of 7,045 metres (23,114 feet) while guiding a private expedition trying to reach the 7,129 metre peak. A helicopter will join the search for him on Monday if high winds die down. The other climbers searched for Mr Nima after the accident on Saturday but were unable to find him."


Vast stretches of oil still contaminate the Gulf.


We confess to being stumped How the hell did abortion become the final arbiter of electability? And how can the people who scream the loudest about freedom and liberty and tyranical government simultaneously hold the position in their minds that says living, breathing, American females have no provenance over their own bodies.


The Washington Post reports that companies that received federal bailout money, including some that still owe money to the government, are giving generously to political candidates with vigor. "Most of those donations are going to Republican candidates."


Iraqis laugh and laugh at Wikileaks so-called 'leaks'

American forces have been indiscriminately killing and torturing and pillaging? Iraqis cannot even feign surprise.

Oh no, WikiLeaks has released 400,000 pages from the US Army's Secret Iraqi Death And Torture Scrapbook! Julian Assange is un-American for putting these documents on his website — mostly because Julian Assange is Australian. Anyway, how does the average, Joe Six Pack Iraqi feel about this historic leak, which shows that Iraqi civilians are routinely tortured/slaughtered by Coalition Forces? "The documents, which were released too late to be in Saturday newspapers in Iraq, attracted less attention than expected among ordinary Iraqis, with many of them saying they're unsurprised by any accounts of abuse by either Americans or Iraqis." Meanwhile, in These United States: 400,000 documents, and almost none of them have pictures? Um, America will wait for someone to upload a MTV WikiLeaks Mashup. (Enya vs Julian Assange. So good.) [McClatchy]


Karzai is receiving cash from Iran. Not sure why, just thought you should know, though! [BBC]


Andrew Sullivan


Image via Mark Shea:

It's easy as pie to generalize to millions of people the crimes of a few. We Catholics have had it done to us. And we can have it done to us again. So we should be bloody cautious about insane schemes to do it to 18 million fellow citizens.

The grotesque excuse "But the the first amendment is dead, and Islam killed it. There is no 'freedom of speech' or 'freedom of religion' with the threat of Muslim violence hanging over your head" is rubbish. Cancelling the rights of 307 million people because you are, by your own admission, afraid is neither patriotism, nor courage, nor Christian fortitude. It is cowardice. And it is extra-special cowardice when you are ready to cancel your most precious national heritage because you are afraid of a speck.


Christine O'Donnell Confesses To Using Campaign Money For Personal Expenses

Teabagger loon, "ex-gay" advocate, and not-a-witch Christine O'Donnell has admitted that she's been illegally using campaign donations to pay her rent.
[O'Donnell] acknowledges using campaign money to pay part of the rent on her current town house. Her attorney maintains someone with the Federal Election Commission approved the arrangement, although the commission's rules say candidates can't use campaign money for their mortgage or rent "even if part of the residence is being used by the campaign."

The watchdog group Citizens For Ethics in Washington responds: "Ms. O'Donnell has spent years embezzling money from her campaign to cover her personal expenses. Republicans and Democrats don't agree on much these days, but both sides should agree on one point: thieves belong in jail not the United States Senate."

Americans are pissed about the deficit. They're pissed about jobs. They're pissed about taxes. So pissed that they're willing to support totally incompetent nincompoop wingnuts in next week's midterm.

Here's the thing. The Democrats cut the deficit. They created more private sector jobs than all of the Bush years combined. And the Democrats did it all while cutting taxes. The problem is, no one knows about it:

In a troubling sign for Democrats as they head into the midterm elections, their signature tax cut of the past two years, which decreased income taxes by up to $400 a year for individuals and $800 for married couples, has gone largely unnoticed.

In a New York Times/CBS News Poll last month, fewer than one in 10 respondents knew that the Obama administration had lowered taxes for most Americans. Half of those polled said they thought that their taxes had stayed the same, a third thought that their taxes had gone up, and about a tenth said they did not know. As Thom Tillis, a Republican state representative, put it as the dinner wound down here, "This was the tax cut that fell in the woods — nobody heard it."

Actually, the tax cut was, by design, hard to notice. Faced with evidence that people were more likely to save than spend the tax rebate checks they received during the Bush administration, the Obama administration decided to take a different tack: it arranged for less tax money to be withheld from people's paychecks.

But whatever. 

Uh, Democrats? What's your problem? Sell, sell, SELL!

Skippy's environmental news stories Sunday.
Morford: Sympathy for the wretched politician.


A group of three Republican candidates have spent nearly a quarter-billion dollars on statewide campaigns this cycle, overshadowing even the heavyweight independent groups commonly considered the biggest financial players of the 2010 elections.

The trio of Meg Whitman in California, Rick Scott in Florida and Linda McMahon in Connecticut together have burned through more money than the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Crossroads and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees have pledged to spend — combined.

Whitman has spent $163 million of her own money, Scott is in for $60 million of his family fortune while McMahon has thrown out $41.5 million.  The good news is that all three are currently behind or tied in the polls.

You can't buy love (well, most of the time anyway) but you sure as hell can try.


H/t Dick:

Krugman: Falling Into the Chasm

Dowd: Supremely Bad Judgment

On Wikileaks:

If we can learn anything from this dismal record it should be just how far we've gone over to the darker side of our individual and collective psyches, how easy the transition was for us all, and how quickly feelings of hostility and apathy have displaced our better angels. 
One can only guess how deeply we will descend into this nightmarish abyss as the neo-conservatives and christianists are once more presented with the mantle of absolute power in Washington, but my feeling is that we have but begun a very long and hellish journey.
I truly pity us all.