Sunday, November 21, 2010

Headlines - Sunday November 21

                                               Woo hoo! The Pope says condoms are okay for male prostitutes!
In 2006, a corroded pipeline leaked 200,000 gallons of oil on to the tundra in the worst leak in the history of the North Slope. The company was sentenced to three years' probation and ordered to pay $20m (£12.5m) in criminal penalties and restitution.

The leak in 2009 occurred when a pipeline at the BP-operated Lisburne oil field burst, leaking nearly 46,000 gallons of crude and oily water near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

After roughly 165 days of low-temperature warnings, BP found ice in the pipe. Fifteen days later, operators discovered the rupture.

Investigators said BP operators had "failed to respond to the alarms and failed to investigate or troubleshoot the cause of the alarms" and argued that BP should have known better, as it had suffered a similar ruptures in other frozen pipelines as far back as 2001.
A pastor who said Facebook was a 'portal to infidelity' has admitted to having threesome sex with his wife and a male church assistant.

From a 'recommended read' by William Rivers Pitt on Things To Hate In Politics:

One cannot swing one's dead cat by the tail these days without striking something that makes me want to give up on this tepid reporting job and take up firebombing. Barring that, the only other reasonable solution would seem to be undertaking a deep and profound heroin habit. Just shoot up and float away, leave all this mad and awful noise behind and go chase the dragon for a bit. Why not? Thanks to our Afghanistan adventure, there is a glut of the stuff on the world market. It makes perfect sense, in a way; where is the fun in enduring a massive global economic and political meltdown and rampant joblessness without an ample, cheap supply of good smack?

Heroin is bad for you, I know. But so is politics. These days, both are equally poisonous to the body and soul.

What was it Mick Jagger said? "I'll be in my basement room, with a needle and a spoon..."

He gets it all outta his system and comes to his senses:

Hunter S. Thompson once said, "One of the basic rules of politics is Action Moves Away from the Center. The middle of the road is only popular when nothing is happening." Well, there is plenty going on today, and the middle of the road is now good only for long yellow stripes. Yes, I hate, with depth and passion, and have much cause to do so. But if those protesters at the Bush Library teach us anything, it is that hate must be channeled if it is to have any real effect. Theirs was an eloquent protest, and ours must be the same.

No retreat, the man once said. No surrender.

"They" want us to forget about politics. They want us not to vote. They want us to STFU. Then they win.

Yes, the whole political process should take place behind closed doors and we should be spoon-fed only what they want us to know by official 'press' releases. It ain't just the Repugs either:

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), this week called on the FCC to shut down Fox News and MSNBC. The senior senator from WV said, "There's a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to Fox News and MSNBC, 'Off. Out. End. Goodbye'. It would be a big favor to political discourse; to our ability to do our work here in Congress; and the American People, to talk with each other and have some faith in their government, and more importantly, in their future."

That would be the end of that pesky 1st Amendment and the end of our nation. As messy as our politics is, it has to be closely watched and kept in the open or we're done.
They've already voted against extending unemployment benefits (258 for, 154 against. Procedurally, a two-thirds majority was needed to pass this measure of emergency spending. And the breakdown by party was predictable: 11 Democrats voted against, 21 Republicans for. Some 237 Democrats voted for, 143 Republicans against.). Let's see how they do for the other 1%.
Republicans are sabotaging America 

Steve Benen:

NONE DARE CALL IT SABOTAGE.... Consider a thought experiment. Imagine you actively disliked the United States, and wanted to deliberately undermine its economy. What kind of positions would you take to do the most damage?

You might start with rejecting the advice of economists and oppose any kind of stimulus investments. You'd also want to cut spending and take money out of the economy, while blocking funds to states and municipalities, forcing them to lay off more workers. You'd no doubt want to cut off stimulative unemployment benefits, and identify the single most effective jobs program of the last two years (the TANF Emergency Fund) so you could kill it.

You might then take steps to stop the Federal Reserve from trying to lower the unemployment rate. You'd also no doubt want to create massive economic uncertainty by vowing to gut the national health care system, promising to re-write the rules overseeing the financial industry, vowing re-write business regulations in general, considering a government shutdown, and even weighing the possibly of sending the United States into default.

You might want to cover your tracks a bit, and say you have an economic plan that would help -- a tax policy that's already been tried -- but you'd do so knowing that such a plan has already proven not to work.

Does any of this sound familiar?


For months in 2009, conservatives debated amongst themselves about whether it's acceptable to actively root against President Obama as he dealt with a variety of pressing emergencies. Led by Rush Limbaugh and others, the right generally seemed to agree that there was nothing wrong with rooting against our leaders' success, even in a time of crisis.

But we're talking about a significantly different dynamic now. This general approach has shifted from hoping conditions don't improve to taking steps to ensure conditions don't improve. We've gone from Republicans rooting for failure to Republicans trying to guarantee failure.


But Jon's benefit-of-the-doubt approach would be more persuasive if (a) the same Republicans weren't rejecting ideas they used to support; and (b) GOP leaders weren't boasting publicly about prioritizing Obama's destruction above all else, including the health of the country.

Indeed, we can even go a little further with this and note that apparent sabotage isn't limited to economic policy. Why would Republican senators, without reason or explanation, oppose a nuclear arms treaty that advances U.S. national security interests? When the treaty enjoys support from the GOP elder statesmen and the Pentagon, and is only opposed by Iran, North Korea, and Senate Republicans, it leads to questions about the party's intentions that give one pause.

Outrageous and unprecedented, yet the response is practically non-existent, as Kevin Drum explains:

But here's what's really remarkable: virtually no one in any position of authority has picked up on this since Collender first suggested it. On the Republican side, practically everyone from the party leaders on down is thoroughly convinced that Barack Obama is one or more of: a socialist, an appeaser, a Chicago thug, a racist, a would-be killer of grandmas, and a president who wants to undermine everything that makes America great because he's ashamed of his country. This is just standard rhetoric from Fox New pundits, radio show hosts, rank-and-file members of Congress, and party poobahs. It's hardly even noteworthy anymore.

But the mirror image of that - Democrats saying the Republicans are deliberately sabotaging economic recovery - is virtually invisible. Krugman finally said it yesterday, but that's it among high-profile liberal leaders. For the most part they're just not willing to go there. This, in a nutshell, is the difference between the conservative noise machine and the liberal noise machine. One is noisy, the other is....restrained. We'll see if that changes now that Krugman has brought his cannons to bear.

Fuck restraint. Why make Krugman do all the work? Tell everyone you know: republicans are sabotaging the country.

There's a word for that, and we all know what it is.


This would be an epic battle royale

Via Tengrain:

Ol' Battleaxe Bar Bush hopes Sarah Palin will "stay in Alaska."

Can't have her winkin' and "youbetcha"-in' and "mama grizzlyin'" her way past ol' Jeb in 2012, can we?

Go watch the video.



"That last tweet by @SarhPalinUSA sums up in 140 characters why this person should never be allowed any authority over any police force ever." David Frum via Twitter remarking on Palin's tweet in which she wonders if it's illegal for the press to publish excerpts of her book

UPDATE: Palin wins. Constitution loses.

NEW YORK — A federal judge on Saturday ordered Gawker Media to pull leaked pages of Sarah Palin's forthcoming book "America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag" from its blog.

The injunction prohibits Gawker from "continuing to distribute, publish or otherwise transmit pages from the book" pending a hearing on Nov. 30.

Whenever you hear her screeching about loving the Constitution or (misinterpreting) the First Amendment or how we should pass tort reform, just remember this episode. Pathetic.


Some good news for a change.

Dozens of America's wealthiest taxpayers… have appealed to President Obama not to renew the Bush tax cuts for anyone earning more than $1 million a year. Calling themselves "Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength," the 40-plus signers today launched a website and a campaign that they hope will draw support from others who agree that fiscal responsibility should begin with those who can best afford it — as their letter to Obama explains:

We are writing to urge you to stand firm against those who would put politics ahead of their country.

For the fiscal health of our nation and the well-being of our fellow citizens, we ask that you allow tax cuts on incomes over $1,000,000 to expire at the end of this year as scheduled.

We make this request as loyal citizens who now or in the past earned an income of $1,000,000 per year or more.

We have done very well over the last several years. Now, during our nation's moment of need, we are eager to do our fair share. We don't need more tax cuts, and we understand that cutting our taxes will increase the deficit and the debt burden carried by other taxpayers. The country needs to meet its financial obligations in a just and responsible way.

Letting tax cuts for incomes over $1,000,000 expire, is an important step in that direction.

This is probably where the tax cut issue is headed.  If Dems offer to up the cut off point at somewhere around a million instead of the $250K now proposed, it'll be difficult for Republicans to justify their resistance to even their own base.

But then again, we're talking teabaggers and fools, so maybe not.


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