Friday, March 11, 2011

Headlines - Friday March 11

That's just great, but Congress doesn't give a shi* what we think.
Dahr Jamail: Gulf Spill Sickness Wrecking Lives
Nearly a year after the oil disaster began, Gulf Coast residents are sick, and dying from BP's toxic chemicals.
Who's under the bus today? - President Carebear has added bullying to his long list of passionate concerns that include being a fierce advocate for gay rights, and marching with unions if they come under attack. Do bullies have a lobby? (1600 Report) 

Preznit Hopey-Changey talks about bullying. It's bad, he says. Lots of people agree it's bad, he says. Missing, however, from all that wishy-washy feel good talk in his speech is anything that even vaguely smells of effective action. Coat drives and values education aren't going to change the fact that there are some children who are just plain mean and vicious, and who will viciously bully anybody who they feel they can get away with bullying, just because they can.

I'll listen to Obama speak about bullying once he starts dealing effectively with the Republican bullies that have been bullying him ever since his election. His strategy thus far for dealing with Republican bullies appears to be to surrender and meekly hand over his lunch money, then mouth wishy-washy platitudes about hope and change. Yeah right. Like that's ever worked to stop bullies from bullying...


political pictures - John McCain
Even Congressman Barton laughed when he told the joke about how ExxonMobil would go out of business without taxpayer subsidies.
I wonder how many Republicans will be campaigning on this in 2012:
The House GOP's budget, which passed last month, takes a hatchet to programs for disabled kids and Special Olympics athletes. The proposed cuts could force the closure of at least one Special Olympics program, which is funded through the Department of Education. Dubbed Project UNIFY, the program serves more than 750,000 students in 43 states and draws from techniques used in Special Olympics training for activities in public schools.
The program includes sports teams that pair disabled athletes with nondisabled athletes; developmental activities for young children with disabilities; and anti-discrimination programs to combat bullying in schools. Special Olympics president and CEO Tim Shriver has said the program is at the forefront of a national movement to fight bias against the disabled and, in a recent interview on MSNBC, he denounced the GOP cuts: "It wasn't a haircut—it was a guillotine job for the programs for health and education for children with special needs."
Wisco: Wisconsin fight not over by a long shot.
As cities and states shutdown basic programs and sell off parks and lands due to a lack of money, Israel will ask the U.S. for $20 billion in additional military aid. This is being supported by various members of Congress and the Administration, who continue to spend wildly abroad while demanding cuts in education, the environment, and other programs at home.
political pictures - Riot Zone
Tea Party-backed GOP lawmakers in Arizona have introduced bills that would create alliances with other states in order to defy the federal government. Ironically (or maybe not so, since we're talking about teabaggers), the federal government would have to approve the alliances.
The lawmakers behind the bills cite the Tenth Amendment, which stipulates that the federal government cannot issue laws on subjects not explicitly mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. And since the Constitution never mentions environmental protection, health insurance, etc...all those federal laws are therefore illegal.
Rarely is the question asked
The number of schools labeled as "failing" under the nation's No Child Left Behind Act could skyrocket dramatically this year, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Wednesday.

The Department of Education estimates the percentage of schools not meeting yearly targets for their students' proficiency in math and reading could jump from 37 to 82 percent as states raise standards in attempts to satisfy the law's mandates.

The 2002 law requires states to set targets aimed at having all students proficient in math and reading by 2014, a standard now viewed as wildly unrealistic.

"No Child Left Behind is broken and we need to fix it now," Duncan said in a statement. "This law has created a thousand ways for schools to fail and very few ways to help them succeed."

Of course most people who have experience in education have been saying the law is broken from the time it was implemented under former President Bush. And given the newly expected rate of failure, perhaps we shouldn't be having a firesale in cuts to education across the country?

Education, like infrastructure, should be an area where we can find bipartisan agreement, but I will be very impressed if improvements to the law can be made without certain freshman congressmen adding amendments to it that require teaching creationism alongside evolution, or teaching children the risks of getting an abortion.

I wonder if teacher's unions would have more pull if the kids they taught weren't failing....
Vindication for NPR
Ron Schiller from NPR was right about xenophobic tea party Republicans.
In particular, Pew finds that the only group to think Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence are conservative Republicans and Tea Partiers. Both groups overwhelmingly endorse this view, with two thirds of each agreeing with it.

By contrast, not even moderate Republicans as a group believe this: 46 percent support this view, while 47 percent oppose it. This view is also opposed by independents (38-44) and the broader public at large (40-42).

Nope. They're not racist. Not at all. NPR deserves to lose its funding because of, you know, telling the truth.


ThinkProgress reports that, despite Pete King's Islamophobia, non-Muslim terrorism is a bigger issue within America's borders -- by nearly double.

Yet as a January 2011 terrorism statistics report — compiled using publicly available data from the FBI and other crime agencies — from the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) shows, terrorism by Muslim Americans has only accounted for a minority of terror plots since 9/11. Since the attacks on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, Muslims have been involved in 45 domestic terrorist plots. Meanwhile, non-Muslims have been involved in 80 terrorist plots.

In fact, right-wing extremist and white supremacist attacks plots alone outnumber plots by Muslims, with both groups being involved in 63 terror plots, 18 more plots than Muslim Americans have been involved in.

But, you know, the 9/11 attacks were visual spectacles, so math and facts become irrelevant within the lizard brain of a frightened poopy-pants wingnut. And there are the odds, too. Don't forget Nate Silver's calculation: your odds of dying in an airborne terror attack are 1 on 10,000,000. In other words, your chances of dying in a 9/11 style attack are nearly zero.

So, in light of the math, Pete King is investigating and demonizing Muslim-Americans because he has bigotry and phobia issues. He should probably seek a good therapist and a prescription for Lorazepam, and shut the hell up.

political pictures - Jimmy McMillan
The massive earthquake in Japan has caused a tsunami that is hitting Hawaii now. Watch live coverage from Hawaii here. More from the Hawaii Civil Defense Web site.

Remember how Bobby Jindal mocked volcano monitoring, then flights all over Europe were grounded after the Icelandic volcano?

House republicans want to cut Pacific tsunami funding out of the budget.


Way to go ...
We kill nine boys last week and this week we go kill the president's cousin:

A relative of Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been mistakenly killed by Nato troops in southern Afghanistan, officials say.

Yar Muhammad Khan was at his home in Dand district near Kandahar city when he was shot dead in an overnight raid.


Yep, that was helpful. Winning hearts and minds ... yer doin' it wrong ...
A lot of folks have been calling for another party to counter the rightward dash of both the Dems and the Repugs. Fine. I present it here FYI. I'll bide my time and just watch for a while. If it turns out to be as fucked up as or turns into a portside Teabagger Party, I'll pass, thank you.

Chances are it'll never go anywhere. Lefties and independents simply ain't as lockstep goose-steppers as the Dead End Quarter.

He's not usually my favorite but Jeff Golberg nails the recent NPR "scandal":

What is horrible about this is that an NPR executive has lost his job (and his next job, apparently) after falling victim to a truly pernicious sting operation run by a morally-deranged individual. Schiller is being punished (everyone at NPR named Schiller is being punished, in fact) for saying a couple of dumbass things in private, and nodding in agreement to another set of dumbass statements. How about we turn this story around, and assert that these types of sting operations are what is morally egregious here; that humans often say stupid things; and that a person's life should not be destroyed for making the sort of statements made in the Schiller entrapment.

These James O'Keefe "stings" make me sick. I can't believe I am living in a society where this nonsense has an important place in our national dialogue.

Update: NPR Emails Show CEO Refusing Donation from Phony O'Keefe Group


Fascist Michigan
I am not using the work "fascist" lightly. I am using it in the sense that the governor of the state of Michigan is seeking the power to disenfranchise local voters, dismiss elected officials, dissolve local government and turn over operation of cities, towns, and school districts to people who are accountable only to him.

And while the governor of Michigan is abolishing local democracy, he will give more tax breaks to corporations.

Wisconsin was only the beginning.

Heil GOP!
But Muslims hate ham radio!
IRA Terrorist Peter King Now Wants To Take America's Amateur Radio Band
It's funny because Ham Radio people are all nutty conspiracy Tea Party old dudes.
Chris Christie Responds To Rampant Speculation He Is 'Hot and Sexy'
Why would Peter King let known Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison testify during his hearings about how all Muslims are terrorists? What a dumb move. All Ellison had to do was tell a simple truth about Muslim Americans, and the whole spectacle was ruined. READ MORE »

Seems like somebody is full of shit:

Senator Rand Paul's toilets don't work, and he blames the Department of Energy.

At a hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Thursday, Mr. Paul lambasted Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency at the Energy Department, telling her that the department's "hypocrisy" and "busybody nature" has "restricted choices" for consumers rather than made life better for them.

"You don't care about the consumer really," Mr. Paul said. "Frankly, my toilets don't work in my house, and I blame you."

The reason Congressman Paul's toilet is backed up is due to the fact that he and his fellow Republicans have been trying to flush the entire country down the toilet.
Call Joe the Plumber, already.
And go fuck yourself.



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