Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Headlines - Wednesday February 23

"This is what I mean by my constant insistence on 'moderation' in government. Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid," - president Eisenhower, as a counterpoint to FDR.


Sarah Palin Has Secret 'Lou Sarah' Facebook Account To Praise Other Sarah Palin Facebook Account.


OMG, has growing a spine become contagious?

INDIANAPOLIS—House Democratic lawmakers in Indiana have begun a de facto walkout in an effort to block a Republican-backed bill that would restrict private-sector union rights.

Republicans arrived at the statehouse Tuesday morning to find no Democrats present, as protesters applauding the walkout could be heard inside the chamber.

Catch the wave!


Stunning Wisconsin Protest Videos, With Arcade Fire


Digby on Jon Stewart's shitty coverage of the situation in Wisconsin.


Well this makes it all worthwhile ....

Afghan women and public interest groups are opposing an effort of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to take over all of the shelters for abused and battered women. You may recall Karzai's earlier feminist agenda when he initially support the legalization of rape. The new move is viewed as a way for the government to satisfy hardliners in blocking access to some women to shelters. The government is also expected to close some shelters entirely.


Pat Robertson performs a mass faith healing. Dead babies?


It's the Inequality, Stupid - Eight charts that explain everything that's wrong with America.


Half-Term Governor Sarah Palin: "I Hate This Damn Job!"
GOP Governors Get Big 'Obamacare' Grants

They're not embarrassed.

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration on Tuesday issued more than $45 million in new grants to various states for the implementation of the president's health care law -- some of which went to governors hostile both to the White House and the law itself.[...]

The states that requested (and were granted money) include Florida ($4.2 million), whose governor, Rick Scott, has been an outspoken critique of the president's health care package; Mississippi ($1.3 million), whose governor, Haley Barbour, is a potential 2012 candidate; and Minnesota ($13.4 million), whose former governor, potential presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, has challenged health care's constitutionality.

That's right.

Obamacare is unconstitutional! Government takeover! Nazis! Communist Nazis!

Now gimme gimme gimme!

political pictures - REGRETS
Republicon amnesia

Robert Reich reminds us about Scott Walker's priorities for Wisconsin:

Before Wisconsin's budget went bust, Governor Walker signed $117 million in corporate tax breaks. Wisconsin's immediate budge shortfall is $137 million. That's his pretext for socking it to Wisconsin's public unions.

The Republicans are doing this all across the board. Cut taxes for people who won't invest the windfall in jobs, while also cutting jobs and benefits for everyone else. Starve the people, feed the rich. That's all they know. And what's the endgame? Driving back into that metaphorical ditch the president's always talking about. What makes it worse is they're simultaneously cutting the budgets for the SEC and the new Consumer Protection Bureau. Completely and totally irresponsible. It's the same shit they were pulling for years and they're doing it again.


NASA reports Gulf-based evaporation is creating "oil rain," which is precisely what you think it is.

[T]hey showed up as if they had almost a millimeter of oil in the cloud. And these hydrocarbon-laden clouds – when they reach land – would in fact rain oil.

Leifer thinks this oil rain is an unprecedented oil spill phenomenon – a combination of the Gulf's high humidity and the columns of thick smoke from burning oil. A lot of things about the BP blowout made it unlike other oil spills.

Last week, the House passed a bill to bar Planned Parenthood from all federal funding for any purpose whatsoever. That means no funding to Planned Parenthood health centers for birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, HIV testing, and other essential care. Find out how your representative voted, and then send him or her a message. We have to let legislators know that we are watching as they make decisions that could have massive and devastating effects on women's health.
Political Pictures - David Cameron, Egypt, London
Check out this harpy skank on Fox: Gretchen Carlson To Muslim Cleric: Have You Done Acts Of Terrorism?


He's all yours, Chicago. Good luck with that.

Since the GOP is so hell-bent on having a government wide fire sale (everything must go!), including even the President's teleprompter, and the President is offering to cut 50% of LIHEAP (a program used to stop northerners from freezing to death in the middle of winter), we all must surely agree that fringe programs like "abstinence-only education" and the "faith based initiative" should be defunded as well?

After all, freezing to death pretty much assures abstinence, ad infinitum.
Alternate Brain:
Not far off:

On Saturday night, when Mother Jones staffers tweeted a report that riot police might soon sweep demonstrators out of the Wisconsin capitol building—something that didn't end up happening—one Twitter user sent out a chilling public response: "Use live ammunition."

From my own Twitter account, I confronted the user, JCCentCom. He tweeted back that the demonstrators were "political enemies" and "thugs" who were "physically threatening legally elected officials." In response to such behavior, he said, "You're damned right I advocate deadly force." He later called me a "typical leftist," adding, "liberals hate police."

Only later did we realize that JCCentCom was a deputy attorney general for the state of Indiana.

Gotta love these conservative assholes. Piss 'em off and you see their true colors come out.
Somehow Wonkette missed Richard Dreyfuss at CPAC, unfortunately. He was there to promote The Dreyfuss Initiative, some sort of effort to improve civics education in public schools. Human Events got him to sit down for an interview about his political views, and, well, the man seems to be drunk and a little belligerent. But we can't really fault him for that. Being drunk is pretty much the only way to get through CPAC. Nice hat, Mr. Holland! READ MORE »
Fixer on the Somali pirate ordeal.
Walker gets punk'd 

Scott Walker isn't talking to Democrats, but he will take a call from "David Koch". Unfortunately, this "Koch" was the Buffalo Beast:

Koch: We'll back you any way we can. What we were thinking about the crowd was, uh, was planting some troublemakers.

Walker: You know, well, the only problem with that —because we thought about that. The problem—the, my only gut reaction to that is right now the lawmakers I've talked to have just completely had it with them, the public is not really fond of this […]

Walker: [...] I went on "Morning Joe" this morning. I like it because I just like being combative with those guys, but, uh. You know they're off the deep end.

Koch: Joe—Joe's a good guy. He's one of us.

Walker: Yeah, he's all right. He was fair to me…[bashes NY Senator Chuck Schumer, who was also on the program.]

Koch: Beautiful; beautiful. You gotta love that Mika Brzezinski; she's a real piece of ass.

Walker: Oh yeah.

Morning awesomeness: The Beast punks Walker.
Wonder what the NYT ombudsman will say 

I'm sure that you, like me, are eagerly awaiting the apologia from the NY Times ombudsman about how the paper should have paid more attention to the ties between Koch and the tea party revolution and wingnut governors like Scott Walker.

I'm sure it will be coming any day now.


Yesterday, 5200 people arrived at the Ohio Statehouse from all around the state, and found the doors locked.

The State Highway Patrol limited access to the Statehouse today as thousands of protesters stood outside in the cold, many angry they could not get inside to register their opposition to a bill that would eliminate collective bargaining for state employees.

Unless the members of the State Highway Patrol have gone rogue and are occupying the statehouse, someone gave them an order to lock the doors. Presumably, Ohio Department of Public Safety Director and Kasich appointee Thomas Charles did.

Since the statehouse is huge, and the building was all but empty, I'm wondering why Governor Kasich's appointee kept 5200 constituents standing out in 26 degree cold with no objections from the bold and brave lawmakers who make up the conservative caucus.

With a SWAT vehicle stationed across Third Street from the Statehouse and heavy security across the grounds, the patrol allowed only about 750 inside the Capitol. Seats were placed in the Atrium so the protesters could listen to the scheduled testimony of about 15 opponents to the bill at a Senate committee hearing.

Nothing says "lively debate" like a SWAT vehicle and a heavy police presence. Janitors, teachers, firefighters and clerks are, of course, terrifying. Maybe that was the reason for the lock-out. If they had been able to feel their hands and feet they may have rioted.

If you live in Ohio, call Governor Kasich and ask him if he was aware that 5200 people traveled to their statehouse and were locked out by his appointee, until Democratic lawmakers intervened and threatened an injunction.

(614) 466-3555 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (614) 466-3555      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Governor Kasich may not be the best contact, as he told CNN yesterday that SB5 is "not my bill". The buck stops elsewhere.

In the alternative, try this potted plant, Shannon Jones.

She's the conservative lawmaker who put her name on SB5, but couldn't find her voice yesterday to stand up and object when dissenters were locked out. Call her up and ask if she's (now) ready to defend her work.

Shannon Jones®
614 466 9737


Going to war with fools

The recent memoir of Rumsfeld comes with its own document dump. Searching through the pile Alexis Madrigal over at The Atlantic found this gem:

Rumsfeld memo_4-7-03

These are the musings of one of the key fools who took us into a needless war, squandered a surplus and created mountain ranges of debt. Back when the above memo was written there were were other fools celebrating Rumsfeld as a genus and the Iraq War as necessary. Now many of these same fools argue that we should follow their advice about the best way to clean up the massive shit pile their last round of deciding and cheer leading left behind.

How anybody takes any modern Conservative as serious about anything is beyond me. And yet, they do.

The only thing these so-called conservatives are good at is the next con, but that seems to be more than enough for the gullible—especially beltway focused media. So it goes.


"Keep looking, dammit!  Michele Bachmann assured me the solution to our financial problems was in Glenn Beck's ass, and all we had to do was find it and pull it out!"


"All I have to do, Mike, is open my mouth and Orrin lapses into a coma.  Is that just a Utah thing, a Mormon thing, or what?"


Americablog is taking donations to buy supplies for the protesters in Wisconsin.

Here's where you can go to
donate. Or you can donate through this site set up by the Teaching Assistants' Association. Please give if you can. This is what they're up against. This too.


Conscientious objection - ripping off the rest of us?

Shortly after Michael Izbicki, now 25, graduated from the Naval Academy in 2008, he decided that his Christian beliefs would not permit him to take part in war.
And yet, even though he had qualms about continuing to serve, he went to John Hopkins University on our nickel and earned a master's degree in computer engineering.

Maybe he's sincere in his beliefs. But what I see is that he received a fully-paid education, was awarded undergraduate and graduate diplomas, and he walked away from that and may not have to pay anything back. Military educations are not free; instead of student loans, graduates pay the government back by full-time service. Izbicki should be made to pay for his education, either by cash or by labor.
Photo of the Day! The board at Ians Pizza keeping track of all the countries that have ordered food for protesters -- You know Scott Walker is fucked when they are digging deep in Haiti, of all places, to buy pizza for the public employees picketing the state capital in Madison-freakin'-Wisconsin!
Wisconsin Governor's Google Results Not Looking Too Good These Days
Arizona Fully Recovers From Giffords Shooting, Honoring 'Official State Gun'

Know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em.

According to Frank Bailey's leaked tell-all book, Sarah Palin's inner circle didn't believe she had a chance at getting the vice-presidential nomination in 2008. That didn't mean they didn't think she was right for high executive office; in fact, they worked with and fed information to a college student who ran a Palin-for-president website, and one of her advisors wrote in an e-mail that a McCain-Palin ticket would mop the floor with an Obama-Kathleen Sebelius ticket. But Palin didn't support John McCain. In the 2008 primaries, her heart was with down-home Mike Huckabee and his popcorn-popper squirrel cuisine. According to the book, Palin voted for Huckabee in the Alaska primary and later supported him to be the McCain ticket's vice presidential nominee. READ MORE »


What a surprise! It seems that one of the more popular ways for Rushthuglicans to accomplish what they want is by taking hostages:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Mubarak Walker warns that state employees could start receiving layoff notices as early as next week if a bill eliminating collective bargaining rights isn't passed soon. Walker said Tuesday in a statement to The Associated Press that the layoffs wouldn't take effect immediately. He didn't say which workers would be targeted.
The right wingers keep saying that the reason they had to give all those tax cuts to big corporations and the rich (which broke the budget) was because it would stimulate the economy and create jobs. Now he's willing to eliminate jobs just to get his way.
Let us know how THAT works out, Hosni.


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