Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Headlines - Wednesday March 30

Wonkette: Hey, That Obama Address Sounded a Lot Like Bush Declaring War
Eating Local Food: The Movement, Locavores and More
You have to go back to the Scopes monkey trial to find a time when conservatives were as willingly scientifically stupid as they are now in their tea party days. It's really quite stunning.
The Rich Get Richer While Nurses, Teachers, and Firefighters Get Trounced.
Why is nobody talking about this? According to leading military scientist Dr. Sarah Palin, this conflict could very well be a squirmish, which just sounds awful
At this point, supply-side economics could hardly be a bigger failure
Scissors cutting moneyCut taxes and you create jobs. Cut taxes and you create jobs. Cut taxes and you create jobs...

Say it over and over and it becomes true. Never mind that supply-side reasoning sets basic economics on its head and argues that it's not demand that drives employment, it's low taxation. Cut taxes, create jobs, end of story. It helps that the argument behind supply-side economics almost seems logical; if taxes are lower, businesses can afford to hire more. I say "almost logical" because that's the problem -- it fails to consider history and the facts, considering instead the world the way supply-siders wish it was. It isn't rational.
Right Wing Watch reports that today Tea Party Nation emailed its followers with a warning that the "uniquely American culture" of WASPs is in danger of extinction. Because shameful white women are having fewer children. Also: Too many brown people! Also also: GAYS.
What is keeping America's fertility rate up are immigrants - both legal and illegal. There are those in America who are continuously attacking the family, bent on redefining marriage and have established anti-family government programs. This has led to downward pressure on our national total fertility rate. All of these actions are done in the name of various causes such as: reducing unwanted pregnancies, delaying child bearing to further career goals and even promoting childlessness and promoting adoption as a better option. Child bearing has become something distasteful to many women, an unwanted and painful experience to be avoided rather than embraced. All of these programs, ideals and ideologies are doing one thing and one thing only - reducing America core TFR to the point of no return. The White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) population in America is headed for extinction and with it our economy, well-being and survival as a uniquely America culture. This county is dying not because it is aging, it is dying because of infertility as public policy.
REMINDER: Tony Perkins Is A Racist

I mentioned Family Research Council leader Tony Perkins' racist history and affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan a couple of years ago, but this bears repeating for those that missed it.
In 1996, while managing the U.S. Senate campaign of Woody Jenkins against Mary Landrieu, Perkins paid $82,500 to use the mailing list of former Klan chieftain David Duke. The campaign was fined $3,000 (reduced from $82,500) after Perkins and Jenkins filed false disclosure forms in a bid to hide their link to Duke. Five years later, on May 17, 2001, Perkins gave a speech to the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a white supremacist group that has described black people as a "retrograde species of humanity." Perkins claimed not to know the group's ideology at the time, but it had been widely publicized in Louisiana and the nation, because in 1999 — two years before Perkins' speech to the CCC — Republican House Speaker Trent Lott had been embroiled in a national scandal over his ties to the group. GOP chairman Jim Nicholson then urged Republicans to avoid the CCC because of its "racist views." The Duke incident surfaced again in local press in 2002, when Perkins ran for the Republican nomination for the Senate, dooming his campaign to a fourth-place finish in the primaries.
This is the same man now regularly invited to make anti-gay testimonies before Congress. This is the same man now regularly invited to spew his bigotry on national news networks. This is the same man who almost every day emails his millions of followers about the evil of homosexuality.

One of the mantras of congressional Republicans over the past two years has been to ask, "Where are the jobs?" House GOP leader John Boehner (OH) made this into a theme of the campaign last fall. As then-GOP chairman Michael Steele summarized the argument: "Americans are still asking, 'Where are the jobs?' ... Washington Democrats still have no answers." ... This afternoon, Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and other progressives took to the floor of the House of Representatives to turn this question back on their Republican colleagues. Ellison and the others asked where all the jobs-creation legislation was, excoriating their conservative colleagues for focusing on legislation like terminating the HAMP program, which would do nothing to create jobs. ... At one point, Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL) took to the floor to respond to the progressives. She attacked the HAMP program, urging her colleagues to end it, and signaled that she would oppose progressive amendments to the GOP's bill for ending the mortgage modification program. Then, she incredulously told her colleagues to stop talking about jobs and focus rather on the substance of the amendments."

While the Democrats continue to compromise and capitulate, Eric Cantor and the Republicans aren't negotiating. No more continuing resolutions -- they want their cuts or the government will shut down.

"I mean I want to see a long term CR here. We've got bigger things to deal with. Time is up here," Cantor said. "A short-term CR without long-term commitment is unacceptable."

To translate -- Congress will not pass a stopgap again unless there's an agreement in place for a solution that funds the government through September.

So, fine, there are going to be budget cuts. But the Democrats can either minimize those cuts or they can give Cantor what he wants. The Republicans will win this -- and, in a way, they already have. They're getting their spending cuts. It's just a matter of how much. And who will lose? Everyone else.

Where is it?!?!?!
Donald Trump puts forward unofficial birth certificate (what's he hiding?)

Nice try, Kenyan.

Because cartoon rich person Donald Trump constantly needs new attention for his fake presidential run, he's recently decided he's a birther. Sure thing, Donald Trump. How brave of you to take time off from your important job fake-firing and fake-hiring former celebrities to shed light on this pivotal fake issue. But once the "Trump is birther" news cycle ended, he needed to up the ante. So he released his birth certificate to Newsmax yesterday. Except this yellow alleged hospital document is not an actual birth certificate from the New York City Department of Health. So why does Trump refuse to release a real, certified, long-form birth certificate? What is he hiding? Where was he really born? READ MORE »


Calling Boehner's bluff

It's going to come down to this -- 87 Teabagger freshmen in the House who are willing to go down with the sinking ship as political martyrs if we don't cut nutritional aid to pregnant women and their abortion bills aren't signed into law soon.

WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats on Tuesday posed an ultimatum to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on the budget: Bring your tea party "extremists" in line or prepare for a government shutdown come April 8.

On a conference call with reporters, Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Thomas Carper (D-DE) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) took turns excoriating Boehner for what they depicted as the House GOP leadership's capitulation to the 87 House freshmen threatening to scuttle any deal with insufficiently high spending cuts.

"Our problem is that we see now that Speaker Boehner is yielding to the extremes of his party, basically saying he's not going to negotiate, take it or leave it," Cardin said, insisting that Democrats were eager to compromise and cede ground to reach a deal.

I may not like it, and you may not like it when Democrats say they are "eager to compromise" but they are still the adults in the room and right now they are calling Boehner's leadership bluff. And don't be fooled, this really does put Boehner in a tough position. If he brings the Teabaggers in line, they will seek revenge on him. If he doesn't, he will be seen as uncompromising and it may very well be him who is blamed for a government shutdown. Gingrich anyone?

If there's one thing the polls all show right now, it's that Americans want compromise. I don't agree with "Americans" in this instance, but that's the base which the current discourse is being waged upon.

The radioactive core in a reactor at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant appears to have melted through the bottom of its containment vessel and on to a concrete floor, and the EPA is measuring radiation levels in our rain water.
So much ...
For "handing over responsibility":

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is engaged in a fierce debate over whether to supply weapons to the rebels in Libya, senior officials said on Tuesday, with some fearful that providing arms would deepen American involvement in a civil war and that some fighters may have links to Al Qaeda.

We're still paying for our interference in Afghanistan in the '80s when we armed the "freedom fighters" against the Soviets. How long will we pay for this?
Will Durst: Sarah Palin visited Jerusalem's Wailing Wall, and was very excited because whaling is a big industry around Alaska.
Making Taxpayers for Christ
In the World According to Man-On-Dog, if it weren't for all them dirty sluts not doing their part of the American tax structure, there'd be no problems with Social Security revenues today.
55 people were murdered and at least 95 injured in Tikrit, Home of Saddam Hussein. (But at least we are freedom-bombing Libya, amiright?) [McClatchy]
How to assure you win an election in a small town 
You can now buy your very own Diebold Accu-Vote voting machine on eBay.

They have ten of 'em. That ought to do it.

Brad Friedman, who followed up with the seller to get to the source of these beauties:
The seller tells The BRAD BLOG the systems, more than 100 of them, come from Van Wert County, Ohio! And from a state like Ohio, you know the machines work just as they are supposed to! Get yours now and become the life of the party!
Nearly two-thirds of US companies pay no income tax. So when teachers, firefighters and policemen are being fed a line about "shared sacrifice," it really means "shared sacrifice" among other teachers, firefighters and policemen.
So there is no penalty for prosecutorial misconduct? They can railroad anyone to Death Row and get away with it. Welcome to Gilead. "In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, who contended that his office should not have to pay a $14 million judgment awarded to former death row inmate John Thompson, who was wrongfully convicted of murder when prosecutors withheld evidence. ... At a news conference wtih Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, Cannizzaro said the opinion "removes a dark cloud of uncertainty that was hanging over the district attorney's office when I arrived here in 2008." ... Cannizzaro noted that the judgment, which he estimated had grown to about $20 million with interest over the past four years, would have effectively shuttered the DA's office. ... The court's opinion was written by Justice Clarence Thomas, who was joined by John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy. At issue was whether the DA's office could be held liable for the actions of a couple of prosecutors who admittedly hid some blood evidence favorable to Thompson in an armed robbery case before taking him to trial for the 1984 murder of hotel executive Ray Liuzza during an Uptown stickup. ... Prosecutors typically enjoy immunity from such lawsuits, but a jury in 2007 sided with Thompson, who sued the DA's office for railroading him into death row via the purposely bungled robbery case. Then-District Attorney Eddie Jordan defended the civil case in federal court, but the Thompson prosecution was overseen by longtime Orleans Parish DA Harry Connick. ... The decision by Thomas concluded that the DA's office could not be held responsible for failing to train prosecutors about their obligation to turn over exculpatory evidence based on a single case.  It means that Thompson will not collect his award."
Scott Walker Ignores Court Orders, War Against Normal People Continues

Scott Walker is Above the Law

People who aren't billionaires experienced a rare "hopeful" sensation (haha, remember that word, "Hope"? Before it was removed from the Oxford English Dictionary and replaced with "OMG"?) last week, after an activist judge legislating from the bench ruled that Scott Walker's Gilded Age labor bill was total garbage. Scott Walker's goon squad just cold-ignored this ruling, of course! And now this same hippie judge has made another Koch-block ruling against Wisconsin's famous collective bargaining plan. Not a problem, though! Wisconsin's Assistant Attorney General Steven Means still says "the legislation 'absolutely' is still in effect." See? That's how Democracy works. [TPM]


Whoops. "A BP employee lost a laptop containing personal data belonging to thousands of Louisiana residents who filed claims for compensation after the Gulf oil spill, a company spokesman said Tuesday. ... BP spokesman Curtis Thomas said the oil giant on Monday mailed out letters to roughly 13,000 people whose data was stored on the computer, notifying them about the potential data security breach and offering to pay for their credit to be monitored. The company also reported the missing laptop to law enforcement, he said. ... The laptop was password-protected, but the information was not encrypted, Thomas said. ... The data included a spreadsheet of claimants' names, Social Security numbers, phone numbers and addresses. But Thomas said the company doesn't have any evidence that claimants' personal information has been misused."


William Rivers Pitt: The New American Dream


I flipping knew it was eventually going to come to this.


People helping people

House GOP kills program that stopped 600,000 foreclosures

Better built than most new tract homes!

The U.S. economy will continue to be terrible, as far as jobs and housing and state tax revenues, as long as the Housing Crisis continues. And, based on today's news and basically all housing news for several years now, the collapse of the Housing Bubble is an ongoing catastrophe — with prices still falling, terrible loans still "resetting," 9% unemployment sending ever more families into default, 14 million homeowners "underwater," 3 million foreclosures last year and another 3 million foreclosures expected this year. How might the House Republicans help America "get back to work" or whatever? By eliminating the four federal programs that have helped 1.5 million homeowners temporarily reset their mortgages and 600,000 permanently modify their loans to more affordable amounts. READ MORE »


Afghan President Hamid Karzai has condemned the actions of the five American soldiers charged with the murder of three unarmed Afghan men. Karzai, in his first public comments on the soldiers: "They killed our youth for entertainment. They killed our elders for entertainment."


Rep Sean Duffy complains about his $174,000 salary.


Meanwhile, in Japan: The president of TEPCO has been hospitalized with a nasty case of "hypertension." Hypertension has also seeped into Japan's water supply, soil, and produce. And with a half-life of approximately 25,000 years, this hypertension is here to stay! [AP]

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