Thursday, March 3, 2011

Headlines - Thursday March 3

More volunteers for the Taliban!
NATO apologizes for killing 9 Afghan children.
No matter how many clinics NATO sets up or how many schools are opened, the relatives of the dead children aren't going to be in a forgiving mood.

There is a rule in the military about screwing up: "A thousand `attaboys' are wiped out by a single `you dumb shit'." This is a serious dumbshit. We do not have the troops in-country that it would take to pacify it if the locals don't want us there. The Soviets, who were just next door and who had 115,000 soldiers there and who had far, far looser rules of engagement (including dropping hundreds of thousands of
butterfly mines) and the Afghans ground them down.

This war is in its tenth year. If anyone can rationally project a ending that does not result in Harmid Karzai either fleeing the country (with several billions squirreled away) or dangling from a lamp post in downtown Kabul, I'd be interested in reading about it.
Define "irony"
Der Popenfuhrer's latest proclamation:

Jews, as a whole, are not responsible for killing Jesus.

Guess it takes a Jew-killer to know a Jew-killer, amirite?


Jesus' General: Whipping it out for compelled childbirth


"I'm not the world's most sensitive guy, but it does me good to see conservatives whine about DOMA. D-D-D-DOMA."

Proving once again that spending cuts have nothing to do with budgetary concerns and everything to do with promoting rightwingnuttery, Rep. Steve King (IA), on why Planned Parenthood needs to be defunded: 

"Planned Parenthood," King said gravely, "is invested in promiscuity."
The christian Taliban
Tea Party-backed Kentucky state GOP Rep. Mike Harmon wants to make it legal for Christian students to bully gay kids about their sexuality. And he's filed an amendment to a pending anti-bullying bill that says so.
A wee bit hypocritical, and actually almost funny. Basically they're being forced to acknowledge the useful purpose a lot of undocumented aliens serve in our economy.
Amid a number of bills filed in Texas that address the issue of illegal immigration, one, proposed by Republican state Rep. Debbie Riddle, stands out.

As proposed, House Bill 1202 would create tough state punishments for those who "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly" hire an unauthorized immigrant. Violators could face up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

But it is an exception included in the bill that is drawing attention. Those who hire unauthorized immigrants would be in violation of the law -- unless they are hiring a maid, a lawn caretaker or another houseworker.
About that fetal testimony in Ohio ...

The fetal test has come and gone with a quiet flop. They didn't actually have a 5-week pregnant woman to test, and it failed to work for a 9 week fetus.

Two young mothers were given ultrasounds in a packed room at the Statehouse as part of a House committee meeting Wednesday. The heartbeat of a fetus at 15 weeks gestation was easily detected. The heartbeat in a fetus of nine weeks gestation was difficult to detect.

But have no fear! The technology will inevitably improve, and they'll be able to detect heartbeats earlier and earlier. And then they'll figure out how to test for expression of heart-specific proteins, and we'll be able to recognize its presence before it begins to beat. And then some brilliant ideologue will notice that the genes for heart specification are present at fertilization and before, and we'll be right down to defending every sperm as containing the germ of a beating heart, and deserving of love and protection and reverence, exactly as god intended.

And the heartbeats of women can be ignored again, also as god intended. Shut up, lady! I hear your heart pounding, and the Lord demands your silence!


It might be the right decision but it sure doesn't seem right.

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount attention-getting, anti-gay protests outside military funerals.

The court voted 8-1 in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. The decision upheld an appeals court ruling that threw out a $5 million judgment to the father of a dead Marine who sued church members after they picketed his son's funeral.

The "it isn't right to do it but they have a right to do it" refrain just doesn't cut it anymore. I would think that in a civilized society, hate crimes of the type that has evil-doers carrying signs at a funeral reading "Thank God for dead soldiers," "You're Going to Hell," and "God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11," could be and should be deemed illegal.

Canada, Australia, France, Denmark, UK, Sweden and a number of other countries have strong hate speech legislation and no one could honestly make the claim that their citizens are any less free than Americans. Yes, I understand the significance of the 1st Amendment and the importance of free speech.  I also understand that laws of good intent can be hijacked by hatemongers who threaten, abuse and insult in acts of psychological terrorism. Why should their actions be any less a crime than physical terrorism?

Assuming that the Court arrived at the only conclusion they could have given an honest interpretation of the Constitution, then it might be time to consider amending the 1st Amendment.  No parent of a young man or woman who has sacrificed their life while a member of the military should ever be forced to put up with the abuse and hate displayed by the deranged members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

Anyway, the important takeaway is that it is now legal to say "God Hates Fags" and "God Hates Soldiers" in public, but private citizen Sarah Palin is not allowed to say "God" at all.


He really is a bigoted ass. Playing the birther card and the race, and religion, card all simultaneously. Huck today:

And I have said many times, publicly, that I do think he has a different worldview and I think it is, in part, molded out of a very different experience. Most of us grew up going to Boy Scout meetings and, you know, our communities were filled with Rotary Clubs, not madrassas.

With all due respect to Arkansans, Huckabee's worldview, as compared to those of us who grew up in the north, was growing up in communities filled with the Ku Klux Klan.

In Arkansas and elsewhere, the Klan opposed bootleggers, and in 1922, two hundred Klan members set fire to saloons in Union County. The national Klan office was finally established in Dallas, Texas, but Little Rock, Arkansas was the home of the Women of the Ku Klux Klan. The first head of this auxiliary was a former president of the Arkansas WCTU.

If the man is going to throw stones, let's throw stones.

And exactly what part of Huckabee's worldview
made him soft on rape?


Some news for teabaggers ...

From Athenae:


Do you think it'll help?

That you were on their side, I mean. That you did their dirty work. That you ran around with signs and your little "Don't Tread on Me" flags and all the other stupid shit you carry, in support of an agenda that has not a whit to do with you. Do you think that will protect you when it all goes down?

Do you think your corporate masters will hate you less? Do you think you'll be rewarded for not rocking the boat? Do you think you'll get bonus points because you cheered their speeches and railed against their enemies? Do you think they'll remember you, what a good boy you were, and say hey, while I'm raining down eternal hellfire on these other damned souls, let's give that one an umbrella?

Do you think they'll even remember your name? You goddamn fool.


Like lemmings to the sea. They've been sold an "American Dream" that is supposed to be served on a silver platter once the US becomes ideologically pure. Instead they're gonna get a shit sandwich like the rest of us. Goebbels sold Germany that line of shit too.

The New York Times is having a hard time figuring out why the right wing is making teachers scapegoats. I'm sure ED has a nuanced take on this at his new blog, but I'll blunder in and take a crack at it.

If you have a political movement that energizes some of the most ignorant members of society by telling them tall tales, I'm just going to guess that those ignoramuses don't know enough to give a shit about the quality of teachers. And, if they're anything like the snowbilly grifter they worship, they also resent the teachers in their past who tried to tell them they're wrong.

Add into the mix a group of elites who will educate their children at private schools or "centers of excellence" in their walled burboclaves, and you've got a movement that's more than happy to throw teachers under the bus. The majority of them can't appreciate a good education, and the rest of them don't expect the public school system to provide one to their children.



So a few months after swearing he would not become a lobbyist, Chris Dodd has announced he will become a lobbyist.

This shouldn't surprise anyone, and in fairness, what actual skill set do any of these clowns have? After thirty years of doing nothing but schmoozing, eating finger food, and bullshitting, lobbying might be all most of them are able to do…


Jobless claims at nearly 3-year low of 368,000.


The Obama Administration approved the first deepwater drilling well permit for the Gulf of Mexico, 11 months after the BP oil disaster.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement announced Monday that it issued a permit to Noble Energy Inc. to continue work on its Santiago well about 70 miles southeast of Venice, La. Drilling will resume nearly one year after BP's blowout created the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.


"Noble Energy," as it turns out, is not accurate. In fact, BP holds the largest stake in the well approved today.


So to recap, BP owns twice as much a stake in this well as Noble Energy, and yet the announcement of the permit says that Noble Energy received it. Noble operates the well, but BP is the biggest stakeholder, and as such could be the biggest voice in making key decisions about cost and safety.


But suffice to say this - the team that brought you millions of gallons of oil a day spilling into the Gulf, is back drilling in the Gulf. We'll see if they learned anything.

I'd say both parties have learned very big lessons here: BP that it can destroy an entire ocean ecosystem and get away with it, and the Obama administration that you can never punch hippies hard enough.


Bradley Manning charged with 'aiding the enemy,' other sumb things

The sadistic smile of The Enemy

Private First Class Bradley Manning faces twenty-two "new" charges, including "aiding the enemy" and probably "complaining too much about being tortured, what a weenie." (Army people refused to identify the "enemy" Manning is allegedly aiding. Surprise!) Brad Manning is still in solitary confinement at the Quantico Marine Fun Palace, so we're sure that these new Aiding Lord Voldemort charges are music to his ears, if his American interrogators haven't cut his ears off yet, which we suspect is probably Standard Operating Procedure at most military rape prisons these days. "So it goes." [NYT/CNN]


End the Suicide Watch: Bristol Palin's Book Is Entitled 'Not Afraid of Life'

How babies are made.

What do you call a book-length "book" about a dumb, bored teenager getting knocked up in a rural Arctic wasteland? Not Afraid of Life. Not Afraid of Life is the title of Bristol Palin's book. What was that? You're not buying this book because you're expecting it to be shallow and poorly written and about a person who hasn't accomplished anything besides getting pregnant and who doesn't at all concern you? Sounds like you're afraid of life! Why are you so afraid of life? Are you afraid raising a baby will be hard? Don't be. When you have a baby, people magically appear out of thin air who will give you public speaking contracts just for having a baby and will probably pay for babysitting fees too. And all the meth you and your baby need.

According to the release, the 20-year-old daughter of Sarah Palin writes about her childhood in Alaska, "coming of age amid the media and political frenzy surrounding her mother's political rise," faith, life as a single mom and her public relationship with her former fiancé and the father of her child, Levi Johnston. She also recounts the "highs and lows" of competing on last season's "Dancing With the Stars" and the criticism she faced as a contestant.

So this is an instructional manual on how to become a famous teen mother. Just get pregnant, wait for your insane mother to be plucked from obscurity to be a major political party's candidate for vice president of the United States, and enjoy your opportunity to be dumb in front of millions of Americans. [Politico Click via VF Daily]


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