Friday, February 18, 2011

Headlines - Friday February 18











We'll call it the Calhoun Doubloon

TPM reports that Senator Jim DeMint, bringing the crazy as only he can, made a speech to the Federalist Society in which he, among other things, attacked the notion that President Obama (or any president) is the leader of the United States.  

There is so much wonderfulness packed into this short article I hardly know where to start.  For instance, I enjoyed this:   Americans are "on our knees in front of China for credit," DeMint told the mostly conservative attendees feasting on fried rice and fortune cookies at Tony Chang's restaurant in the Chinatown section of D.C.  (No indication of whether the assembled audience got on their knees for said fortune cookies.)  [It seems to me that when we are paying the Chinese 3.5% interest for a ten year bond, we really aren't exactly on our knees -- they're the ones who seem a bit desperate.]

But this was my favorite:  

 "The best hope we have right now is what you see Rick Scott doing in Florida" as well as "folks saying we're going to get out of Medicare" and "folks developing alternative currencies-- the federal government doesn't like that," DeMint.

Yeah, Senator, it's called counterfeiting and it's a crime.  Do not develop alternative currencies at home my friends.

I assume as well that when DeMinted talks about "folks saying we're getting out of Medicare," he is actually talking about states trying opt out of Medicaid, the latter program, which is for the poor, being run jointly by the feds and the states, the former being for the elderly and disabled and run exclusively by the federal government.   I am unaware of any trend of people getting out of Medicare. 

In the end, DeMint pronounces himself a big fan of "liberation:"

America's problems can be fixed with a "liberation solution," DeMint said, endorsing the elimination of the Department of Education.  "What we need in a Presidential candidate, a Senate candidate, a congressional candidate, are people who are out there selling freedom, selling liberation solutions," DeMint said.

Does this guy have to walk around with a post-it note to remind him to breathe?  Because he strikes me as too dumb to live. 


Remember that whole Korean free trade deal?

President Obama is adding his two cents to the showdown taking shape in Wisconsin, where Republican Gov. Scott Walker has proposed a state budget that would strip public employees of most collective bargaining rights. And while Obama says that fiscal "adjustments" are needed, he also says that from what he has heard the bill "seems like more of an assault on unions."

Pick a side and stick with it, dude. I know how tough that is for you, but give it a shot.


Wisco: A Drastic Solution for a Phony Crisis.


This needs to be sent to every gasbag in DC because they are getting the Wisconsin story very wrong, mostly from interviewing GOP ideologues and listening to uniformed Democrats.

The bottom line is that the governor manufactured a so-called crisis for the purpose of breaking the unions. Rotten, thieving, pieces of shit, all of 'em. I'm tired of seeing my country raped for the benefit of a small few. 

Republicans hate people who work for a living. And if you work for any sort of government entity and you voted for a Republican: You, Gentle Reader, are a fool 

It shouldn't be about left and right anymore, it should be us against them. 


In an example of unparalleled hubris, Iraqi officials are demanding that the United States apologize and pay $1 billion for the damage done to the city. Officials are complaining that the blast walls installed by the U.S. to protect the public are ugly and that Humvees and vehicles have caused damage in patrolling the city and fighting insurgents.

I can't say I blame them.


Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minnesota, has come up with an easy way to say $100 million: end military sponsorships of NASCAR. Most people might be a bit surprised to learn that we are spending $100 million for NASCAR endorsements, but that cost is quite modest when you consider that the military is willing to spend almost $500,000 for a flyover of a closed football stadium.
Continue reading 'Congresswomen Moves To Stop Military From Spending $100 Million in NASCAR Endorsements'


Feeling better now about the TSA? NBC:

Port Authority police busted two Transportation Safety Administration employees for allegedly stealing tens of thousands of dollars from checked baggage at John F. Kennedy Airport, reports.

Comar Persad, 36, and Davon Webb, 30, are expected to each face three felony charges — grand larceny, conspiracy and possession of stolen property — and one misdemeanor charge of official misconduct, authorities said. Persad and Webb have also admitted to other thefts of up to $160,000, the New York Daily News reported.

Police say $39,980 has been recovered in connection with the investigation.


Matt Taibbi on the 'unjailables' of Wall Street.


Ronald Dumsfeld is above the law and Jose Padilla is beneath it

by Anne Laurie

Per the Washington Post, "Judge throws out Padilla suit over alleged torture":

CHARLESTON, S.C.—A federal judge on Thursday threw out a lawsuit brought by a man convicted of plotting terrorism and who alleged he was tortured at a Navy brig in South Carolina, saying a trial would create "an international spectacle."

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel ruled Jose Padilla, arrested as an enemy combatant, had no right to sue for constitutional violations and that the defendants in the case enjoyed qualified immunity.

Padilla claimed he was illegally detained as an enemy combatant and then held in a brig near Charleston where he was tortured. His lawsuit named government and brig officials, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Padilla alleged he was tortured by being kept in darkness and isolation, deprived of sleep and religious materials, and kept from family and attorneys

"A trial on the merits would be an international spectacle with Padilla, a convicted terrorist, summoning America's present and former leaders to a federal courthouse to answer his charges," [Gergel] wrote.

Wizner [litigation director for the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation] said the court has ruled "that Donald Rumsfeld is above the law and Jose Padilla is beneath it."

But he warned "if the law does not protect Jose Padilla, it protects none of us, and the executive branch can simply label citizens enemies of the state and strip them of all rights—including the absolute right not to be tortured."

I can remember when the American judicial system at least pretended that the shanda fur die goyim, the source of disgrace in front of our global neighbors, was grabbing and torturing people on suspicion of thought crimes… and then not even having the basic decency to admit that those people (even the ones guilty of, at a minimum, bad thoughts and violent intentions) might be entitled to a public airing of their grievances.

But, hey, Donald Rumsfeld's memoirs are getting distinctly unfriendly reviews, which some of the Media Village Idiots would no doubt argue means he's suffered just as badly as some off-white slum kid condemned to a Supermax facility.


"Obama's birth certificate is distracting. It gets annoying.
Let's stick with what really matters:  breast feeding!"


Republican lawmaker wants to eliminate funding for Obama's Teleprompter.


Hypocritical Pot Calls Pot Hypocrite - Paul Ryan, the GOP Brain Trust, slams President Carebear for not accepting any of the deficit commission's recommendations. Paul Ryan was on the deficit commission and voted against it. (Political Wire)


Wisconsin's Legislature's Democrats have fled the state (sort of like when Texas' Legislature's Democrats fled the state, only to have Tom Delay hunt them down from aircraft like, well, Mooselini ®), to avoid a vote on the stripping people of collective bargaining rights.

Governor sends cops after them.


Libyan security forces killed at least twenty-four protesters during yesterday's Day of Rage, according to Human Rights Watch. (HRW has also confirmed that Moammar Gadhafi "likes it in the cornhole.") Demonstrations were held in Tripoli as well as several other cities, with some protests continuing into Friday morning. And in a hilarious attempt to conceal his overwhelming douchiness, Gadhafi is "doubling the salaries of state employees and releasing 110 accused Islamic militants." Hooray/kill him anyway! [VOA/NYT]


Because nothing creates jobs, overhauls the tax system, cures drug addiction and eliminates domestic abuse and poverty like forcing children to recite the pledge of allegiance.

The Herald:

With no discussion, the state Senate approved a bill Thursday to require each school in the state to set aside time each school day for students to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

Senate Bill 15, which sponsor Sen. Vernie McGaha, R-Russell Springs, calls the Kentucky School Patriot Act, now goes to the House for its consideration. Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, cast the only vote against it.

The bill was put on the fast track in the Republican-led Senate. The Senate Education Committee approved it earlier in the day.

Under the bill, students who don't want to participate in the pledge "may quietly stand or remain seated, but shall respect the rights of those pupils electing to participate."

Current state law permits schools to establish a policy for students to recite the pledge, but does not specifically require schools to set aside time to do so.

As someone who recited the pledge every single day of my elementary and secondary school career, let me assure you that it did not so much as slow down by a second my maturation into a Dirty. Fucking. Hippie.

It did, however, give me a big head start on deep insight into political cynicism.

There is one and only one actual American and Kentucky patriot in the Kentucky Senate, and her name is Kathy Stein.


Tell me how THIS isn't class war being waged by the haves on the have nots:

For poor people on food stamps in Arizona: A state legislator has introduced a bill that would color food stamp cards bright orange. The stated reason is to "prevent fraud", but the veil comes off pretty quickly:

"If that does concern people that they have a bright orange card, I hope they go get a better education or better jobs and stop using that card," he said.

Yeah, shaming people is a fine motivation for them to go out and get jobs that aren't there.



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