Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Headlines - Tuesday February 8

Funny Valentine's Day Ecard: I promise to give a less embarrassing performance this Valentine's Day than musical performers did at the Super Bowl.
Thanks again, John McCain

You doddering, arrogant, pathetic douche.


Fox News Geography: Egypt Has Moved Again


Previously, you will remember, Egypt was Iraq. That Sharia sure gets around, eh?

Oh, and then Glenn became his favorite Dungeons & Dragons toy. Millions and millions of people saw this show and took it seriously.

The sorcerer's apprentice. Wait, no, that's too good of a movie to compare this guy to.

This is the nation's most popular think tank. It will be back making laws soon. [Salon/Simon Maloy]


The Professor looks at the recent run-up in food prices and and the various explanations — it's the speculators, it's the general commodity boom, it's the Federal Reserve (seriously, that's the right-wing meme du jour) — and comes to an unshakable conclusion. It's the planet.



Robert Parry: Ronald Reagan, Enabler of Atrocities


We already have "trained and organized volunteers" to call on when emergencies strike. They're called the National Guard. Google it. "In a nod to extremism, Montana state Rep. Wendy Warburton (R) is introducing a bill to bring the militia movement into the mainstream by creating what she dubs "home guards" to provide services in case major emergencies. Reflecting her belief that "Montana needs an armed paramilitary group of volunteers," Warburton has introduced a bill that would create a militia force "to fill the gap between community service organizations" like a neighborhood watch programs and the National Guard "to provide the state and its local communities with the ability to call upon trained and organized volunteers" when necessary. Not only would the "home guard" be allowed to manage its own identity and its ranks, but the state will pay for the damage it causes."



Wisco: Auction House Democracy


Relative to the situation in Egypt, today Canada's National Post recaps some of the world's most notorious despots whose regimes were propped up by the United States.

"Lots of countries have client states. But, American exceptionalism, its adherence and promotion of supposed democratic values, that's always also been a part of its foreign policy," says Alexander Cooley, a political scientist at New York's Barnard College and author of Base Politics: Democratic Change and the U.S. Military Overseas. "So there's always existed a public tension between the two when you talk about clients and support for clients because American officials have always publicly advocated this kind of transformative values agenda, whereas China and Russia don't do that." And yet the reality is every one of these countries, and more, relies on Washington's willingness to contradict itself. They know only the U.S. can afford to buy stability in the Middle East to keep the canals open, and the oil cheap and ready, by propping up Mr. Mubarak, the Saudis and Pakistan — even if it means enduring accusations of blatant hypocrisy for cozying up to some pretty nasty SOBs.

Lots more at the link.


Riding mower of the apocalypse spotted in Cairo

J Matt Barber
Heterosexual Lifestyle Activist

Mr. Barber,

I saw your tweet about the appearance of Revelation's pale horseman in Cairo. I've looked at the video, and I have to disagree with the salacious description of the figure as an "erect rider atop a horse in Medieval-like barding."

First of all, it's not a rider on a horse. Take a close look at it. It's obviously a guy on a riding mower, and the supposed erection is nothing more than his arm reaching for the steering wheel.

Still, it's an important sign from God that the end days are at hand. If you enlarge the video, you'll see that the name "Joe" appears in fiery greenish tones beneath the riding mower. That means this ghostly figure is "Joe the Mower," the second Regular Guy of the Apocalypse (the first being Joe the Plumber). Soon, he'll be followed by the rest of the Village People Regular Guys of the Apocalypse, "Joe the Cattle Inseminator" and "Joe the Coffee Shop Ranter," and then the tribulations begin.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot




"What is absolutely true is I think in this country, there's no reason why, if you get sick you should go bankrupt. The notion that that's a radical principle, I don't think the majority of people would agree with you." President Obama to Bill O'Reilly on Sunday

This president is very smart.

It's remarkable how "wealth redistribution," which O'Reilly was asking about, is so astonishing to the far-right all of a sudden. The American economy is built around wealth redistribution. Everyone's tax money is tossed into the mix together and it pays for everything from the very rich defense contractor, to the tax breaks for corporations and rich people, to social services for the very poor. A certain level of "socialism" is baked into the system here. The fact that the far-right is so kerfuffled by it show how ass-backwards and misinformed they are.


Oh delicious irony. You can't make this stuff up.

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Republican governors said they may ask the federal government to run the exchanges where residents will buy medical insurance in 2014 under the new health-care law, unless they're given more flexibility.

States rights! States rights! Wait... what?

They want to give up the power to run their own exchanges to the diabolical federal government? Why?

Twenty-one Republicans sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today asking that they be given greater sway to set benefit rules, decide which insurers are allowed to sell plans on their exchanges and force residents who would otherwise be covered by Medicaid to buy their own insurance.

"decide which insurers are allowed to sell plans on their exchanges"

To me that sounds like they want the ability to create a government-sanctioned monopoly of their choosing, with spots on the exchange probably going to the highest bidder (aka biggest campaign contributor).

The governors also claim that adding more people to Medicaid rolls will simply cause their budgets to explode without a plan to make up for the cost. My suggestion would be to stop cutting taxes like they're a weed in your garden. Teabagger Governor Rick Scott is currently proposing cutting corporate income taxes from 5% to 3.5% Somehow I doubt cutting taxes even further will suddenly give states a windfall with which to patch their budget holes.

At some point, reality is going to hit home for the Republicans and the math isn't going to add up. Who wants to bet the first state to attempt declaring bankruptcy is a red state? Additionally, what are the chances that state is a net receiver of tax dollars? And who is going to be asked to bail them out? The evil federal government.


We've all seen the misspelled, barely readable signs of the Tea Party claiming they've been "taxed enough already" or "taxed to death." We've also seen a cable news network and corporate media culture constantly propagate the notion that corporations aren't hiring because their taxes are just so high! They just can't take it! Too bad for them its all bullshit.

WASHINGTON – Taxes too high? Actually, as a share of the nation's economy, Uncle Sam's take this year will be the lowest since 1950, when the Korean War was just getting under way.

And for the third straight year, American families and businesses will pay less in federal taxes than they did under former President George W. Bush, thanks to a weak economy and a growing number of tax breaks for the wealthy and poor alike.

Income tax payments this year will be nearly 13 percent lower than they were in 2008, the last full year of the Bush presidency. Corporate taxes will be lower by a third, according to projections by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

"Taxed to death! No taxation without representation! America FUCK YEAH!"

I'd like to go ahead and put this crazy, crazy idea out there and just suggest that you need healthy jobs to create a tax base, to pay income taxes, to reduce the deficit, and pay down the national debt. Ya' know, something you learn in high school level economics classes. The Republican solution, on the other hand, is to cut taxes even further and cut thousands of well-paying federal jobs.


As usual, more great stuff from Margaret and Helen here and here.


The atheist secret weapon.


It's astonishing how regressive Republicans can be. Would you believe the Minnesota Republicans think women are worth less than men, and are willing to pass legislation legalizing that view?

Minnesota Republicans have introduced legislation that would repeal the 1984 Local Government Pay Equity Act (LGPEA), which directs local governments to ensure that women are paid the same as men. While local governments say reporting requirements are costly, equal rights groups say the law needs to stay intact in order to ensure fair pay, especially for women of color.

HF7/SF159 would repeal a laundry list of mandates on local governments — including regulations on part-time police officers, agricultural programs for low-income farmers and grants for libraries — but buried in the bill is a full repeal of the LGPEA.

Republicans have lately grown very fond of tossing descriptive rhetoric into the titles of their legislation. I would propose calling this one the "Buy Female Slaves Cheap Act", except that I'm worried that such a label would make the Republicans stampede to favor it.

Deeper in the article, it mentions that Minnesota was the first state to pass pay equity laws. Once upon a time, we would have been proud of that.


Egyptian Revolution: "I Will Die Today"

We live on a planet where almost 2 billion of its inhabitants live and die under the rule of dictators, a group of which there is no shortage.  Foreign Policy estimates there are at least 40 dictators in the world today.

…the cost of all that despotism has been stultifying. Millions of lives have been lost, economies have collapsed, and whole states have failed under brutal repression. And what has made it worse is that the world is in denial. The end of the Cold War was also supposed to be the "End of History" — when democracy swept the world and repression went the way of the dinosaurs. Instead, Freedom House reports that only 60 percent of the world's countries are democratic — far more than the 28 percent in 1950, but still not much more than a majority. And many of those aren't real democracies at all, ruled instead by despots in disguise while the world takes their freedom for granted. As for the rest, they're just left to languish.

I'm one of those who has always taken his freedom for granted. I've never lived under an oppressive regime and I do not know what it feels like to march in protest to rid myself of a dictator who has ruthlessly suppressed my rights.

It is with that thought in mind that I watched the video below shot by a young Egyptian.  It's gone viral but if you haven't yet seen it, do so.  You'll find it difficult to not be moved by it.


Cockfight Killing

DELANO, Calif. — A California man attending a cockfight has died after being stabbed in the leg by a bird that had a knife attached to its own limb.

The Kern County coroner says 35-year-old Jose Luis Ochoa was declared dead at a hospital about two hours after he suffered the injury in neighboring Tulare County on Jan. 30.

An autopsy concluded Ochoa died of an accidental "sharp force injury" to his right calf.

Sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt says it's unclear if a delay in seeking medical attention contributed to Ochoa's death. Tulare officials are investigating, and no arrests were made at the cockfight.

Cockfighting is a sport, illegal in the United States, in which specially bred roosters are put into a ring and encouraged to fight until one is incapacitated or killed.

No comment.


Glenn Greenwald has a great piece this morning about how the US media can look at Egypt without noticing the similarities:


Be sure to Demand Aljazeera English on your cable or satellite TV system. Click here then scroll down to the blue Demand Aljazeera in the USA box. Just type in your zip code to send an email to your TV provider.


Sarah Palin: Don't trust the people of Egypt!


Dear Florida,

If you thought you were f**ked before, wait until your new governor gets done with you.

More on this from Think Progress:

Scott already presides over a state with one of the most regressive tax systems in the country. The average tax rate on a low-income individual in Florida is 13.5 percent, while the average tax rate on the someone in the richest one percent of Floridians is a paltry 2.6 percent. Instead of finding new sources of revenue, Scott decided to cut into services designed to help those who are already bearing the burden of financing the state, while lavishing tax breaks on corporations.


The next GOP scandal?


GOP lawmaker: Time to 'empty the clip' on illegal immigration.


Improvisation, Baby! Check out the clever ways that street protesters came up with to protect their heads from rock-throwing Mubarek thugs.
Keith Olbermann to join Al Gore's adult entertainment channel?

He's already got the p0rno 'stache!

Keith Olbermann is expected to announce his new teevee home base sometime today, and many teevee experts believe he will join Current TV, the "public affairs channel" that Al Gore invented to help spread liberal Sharia. And now that Keith isn't oppressed by the MSNBC Corporate Yoke, he can finally tell the news the way it's meant to be told: in the nude, as a CNN hologram. Will Keith's teevee groupies follow him to this obscure television station? And how many Al Gore carbon credits does it cost to purchase an episode of Countdown with Naked Keith Olbermann, on Pay-Per-View? [NYT]


Me me meeee!!!!

The most persecuted American since Jesus, former half term Governess $arah Failin Mooselini® bails on military family fundraiser because....the Giffords shooting is still all about HER:

A press release posted on the sponsoring organization's Facebook page reads, "Due to an onslaught of personal attacks against Gov. Palin and others associated with her appearance, it is with deep sadness and disappointment that, in the best interest of all, we cancel the event for safety concerns."
The press release goes on to say that no direct threats were made against Palin, nor were any made against members of the organization's staff, but in light of the shooting rampage in Arizona last month, the negative rhetoric "raises concern for her safety and the safety of others despite the call for civility in America."
Oh, and then there is this:
The cancellation of the speaking engagement frees Palin to attend the NBC/Politico Republican presidential primary debate at the Reagan Presidential Library in California, also scheduled for May 2.
That such a balloon head has been the center of the corporate medias attention for over 4 years should tell you how fucked we are as a country.

Early on Reagan 100 Day,
Bristol was wearing the
red-topped cowboy boots.

Later that day, Bristol had to surrender
them to her mother,

so that Sarah could go horseback riding,
Leaders of US Chamber awarded themselves record compensation while slashing American jobs.

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