Sunday, February 13, 2011

Headlines - Sunday February 13

Crazy quote of the day:
"In our nation, in our time, the friends of freedom have an assignment, as great as those of the 1860s, or the 1940s, or the long twilight of the Cold War. As in those days, the American project is menaced by a survival-level threat. I refer, of course, to the debts our nation has amassed for itself over decades of indulgence. It is the new Red Menace, this time consisting of ink." Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels at CPAC

Red-baiting aside, Daniels was Bush's budget director. That's right, budget director for the administration that was responsible for turning budget surpluses into record budget deficits. [Face/desk] The utter lack of self-awareness is staggering.

Here's Captain Kirk reciting the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution.
Super-cool biology news of the week. "Unique hedgehog-like mammals have been filmed using their quills to communicate. A BBC film crew captured footage of the streaked tenrecs in the eastern rainforests of Madagascar. By rubbing together specialised quills on their backs, the tenrecs made high pitch ultrasound calls to each other in the forest undergrowth. The footage is the first of a mammal communicating in this way, a technique called "stridulation". The lowland streaked tenrec (Hemicentetes semispinosus) resembles both a hedgehog and a shrew with black and yellow stripes, and is found only in Madagascar. A film crew hoping to feature these visually striking animals in the BBC series Madagascar faced a number of challenges. As eaters of invertebrates, particularly earthworms, the best time of year to film the tenrecs was the rainy season. The time of day also played a considerable role. "They're active during the day and during the night but they hide a lot so it can be difficult," said local conservation expert Dr Rainer Dolch who assisted the crew in their search."
Mubarak offered asylum by Steve Martin, in a condo made of stone-a
By Don Davis

King Mu-barak  (King Mu-barak)
Now when he was an old man,
He never thought he'd see
People stand in line, to see the tyrant leave

(King Mu-barak) Abusive power junkie
Junkie Mu-barak) Egyptian backs now shed their monkey
Born along the Nile,
Now he's in Exile (King Mubarak).


h/t Dick
Krugman: Eat the Future
Paraphrasing Tom Waits, the future's not around to defend itself. That makes it a terribly easy target. 

Quite frankly, who isn't retiring with a deal like this these days? With the booming economy and the world's best banks running like well oil machines, it seems like this should be the minimum for anyone. But what about his gold watch?
Kevin Drum at MoJo on FOXProp and Miss Becky:

As I've said before, lots of Glenn Beck listeners aren't in on the joke. Unlike Roger Ailes, Jonah Goldberg, and every staffer at the Heritage Foundation happy hour, they don't realize that the Fox News Channel puts this man on the air fully understanding that large parts of his program are uninformed nonsense mixed with brazen bullshit.

....Conjure in your mind a retired grandfather. He served in World War II, voted twice for Ronald Reagan, and supports the Tea Party. Awhile back, he started watching Glenn Beck....

Actually, we don't have to conjure this. Richmond Ramsey has done it for us. I've mentioned before that lots of Fox viewers have the channel on all day long, basically as background noise, and Ramsey says he's noticed this too. His piece is called "Fox Geezer Syndrome":

....Then I flew out for a visit, and observed that their television was on all day long, even if no one was watching it. What channel was playing? Fox. Spending a few days in the company of the channel—especially Glenn Beck—it all became clear to me. If Fox was the window through which I saw the wider world, for hours every day, I'd be perpetually pissed off too.

....Back home, I mentioned to a friend over beers how much Fox my mom and dad watched, and how angry they now were about politics. "Yours too?!" he said. "I've noticed the same thing with mine. They weren't always like this, but since they retired, they've gotten into Fox, and you can't even talk to them anymore without hearing them read the riot act about Obama."

Speaking as a not-so-rare exception, getting older does not necessarily mean getting wiser.

David Cotrone recounts a conversation with a soldier:

In Baghdad, Mark has stood in a morgue packed with bodies, the smell of decay in his nose, blood on his boots. He's turned right while the Humvee behind him turned left, the latter then obliterated by a bomb. He's laughed at this matter of chance, thinking it could have been him, wasn't he lucky? (All he could do was laugh, grieve for twenty minutes at the memorial service, strap on his gun, head back out into the streets, stay focused.) He's been shot at by children who were given fifty dollars to shoot at American soldiers. He's seen a baby being eaten by a dog on the side of the road. ...

He's given five dollars to children for picking up the trash on the street, for helping. He's seen these children shot in the head by insurgents, left on the street as if they were symbols. He's put these sights and memories somewhere deep within his mind, a place he calls his File Cabinet. Months later, the File Cabinet has been opened, kicked over, not even sleeping pills or anti-depressants able to close it or right it up. He's tried to be "a callus." He's tried to forget. He's walked over dead bodies. He's been covered in dust, even after showering, nothing but dust. He's felt responsible. He's tried to justify giving those children money, getting them killed, all for picking up trash.


He needs to be impeached

I'm sure this is just a mark of what a serious person Clarence Thomas is:

A week from Tuesday, when the Supreme Court returns from its midwinter break and hears arguments in two criminal cases, it will have been five years since Justice Clarence Thomas has spoken during a court argument.

If he is true to form, Justice Thomas will spend the arguments as he always does: leaning back in his chair, staring at the ceiling, rubbing his eyes, whispering to Justice Stephen G. Breyer, consulting papers and looking a little irritated and a little bored. He will ask no questions.

In the past 40 years, no other justice has gone an entire term, much less five, without speaking at least once during arguments, according to Timothy R. Johnson, a professor of political science at the University of Minnesota.


A writer at Daily Dish recently wrote:

One of the most thoughtful right-leaning talk radio hosts is Dennis Prager..

Library Grape chronicles some of the thoughtful things Prager said recently:

If you love liberty, you must target the left and put its totalitarian tendencies in your cross hairs. We must shoot down political correctness and wage a crusade for truth and liberty. All those ladies and gentlemen who cherish personal and societal freedom must fight like great Indian chiefs, braving secondhand smoke if need be, in affirming a masculinity that has been under relentless attack. And yes, we must even endure the taunts of our foes and, at the appropriate time of the year, wish fellow Americans a "Merry Christmas."

Prager doesn't think evolution should be taught in schools and is unsure of global warming is taking place.

But I'm a glib, condescending asshole when I ask conservatives if they believe in evolution and believe that global temperatures have risen over the past 30 years.


Ronald Reagan 'Forever' Stamp Said to Be Losing Touch with Reality TV, Beginning to Forget What It's Worth


Jill: There is no hope for a country populated by morons


""I'll tell you why [religion is] not a scam, in my opinion. Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can't explain that. You can't explain why the tide goes in."

More here.

I've been sort of waiting for this, ever since the Irish Loudmouth spewed his "the tide goes in, the tide goes out" as a proof that his version of God exists.

I'll let the scientists go after BillO on the point that he is trying to prove the existence of God using facts that are known to any kid who had a fifth-grade module in science.

This is my point: O'Reilly is demonstrating that he has no faith. Faith is something that people believe without any evidence to show for it. If you have faith in Your Dear and Fluffy Lord's existence, then you do not need a shred of evidence or proof that He/She/It/They exist.

Faith is.

If you have a need to offer proof that your particular deity exists, then you are tacitly conceding that you are open to the point that said deity may not exist.


FBI can obtain phone records without oversight, Justice Dept memo claims

And the change just keeps on happening!


Ten years seems unnecessarily harsh to us. "On Friday, December 19, 2008, Tim DeChristopher participated in a public auction. As the Bush administration moved to auction off 77 parcels of federal land totaling 150,000 acres for oil and gas drilling, DeChristopher, a student at the University of Utah at the time, bid $1.7 million for 14 parcels totaling 22,000 acres of land, although he did not have the funds to pay for it. ... A federal grand jury indicted him at the behest of the Bureau of Land Management, which was selling the land. He was arrested that day and charged in April 2009 with two counts of felony: 1) making a false statement to the federal government; and 2) violating the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act, which establishes a competitive bidding process for oil and gas leases. ... If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a $75,000 fine. His legal defense team is Patrick Shea and Ronald J. Yengrich. His trial is currently set for Monday, February 28, 2011."

And yet the war criminals, banksters and corporate criminals not only walk free but receive bailouts.


How many sides of his mouth does Orrin Hatch have to talk out of, anyway? We count at least four in this weeks republican response to the President's weekly address.

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