Sunday, April 3, 2011

Headlines - Sunday April 3

US Embassy in Baghdad to Double Staff
The US Embassy in Baghdad, already the largest in the world, is expected to double its staff after American forces pull out of the country later this year.
President Obama wants most federal vehicles to be greener by 2015. Exceptions are "Certain specialized vehicles including those with law enforcement and security specifications." This includes the presidential limo, which is the worst thing ever!

Keep in mind that the presidential limo is basically a tank on a truck frame and you get why fuel efficiency shouldn't be a priority. Also keep in mind that, had Obama decided to replace the prez's tank with a fuel efficient car, these same wingnuts would be complaining about that, too. It's all about being reactionary.

Science bites climate skeptics in the ass on the House floor 

If you're a climate hawk, or even a climate hobbyist, this graph should look familiar -- it's the warming trend over the last 100-odd years. Except the guy who busted this out at the House climate science hearing yesterday was brought in by the Republicans to debunk global warming. (The black line is his data.) Haha, whoops!

This graph is the result of physicist Richard Muller's project to get maximally accurate temperature data. Climate change deniers assumed that his skepticism about existing temperature data meant he was on their side (well, that and he's also been spreading misinformation about the "Climategate" emails). The Kochs were so convinced of this that they donated $150,000 to his lab -- which makes it all the more delightful that Muller is now all "thanks, suckers, here's the same data everyone else already had." (Okay, he put it like this: "We see a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported by the other groups. … I believe that some of the most worrisome biases are less of a problem than I had previously thought." But you know what he meant.)

Muller was one of the only scientists the Republicans brought in -- among their five experts were an economist, a lawyer, and a professor of marketing. But hey, when there are so few scientists who are actually on your side, you have to go with what you've got. And evidently, even that doesn't always work.


This is why Americans are so pissed off

In 2010, salaries increased for both workers and CEOs. Good news, right? Not when you look at the disparity between how much salaries increased:

At a time most employees can barely remember their last substantial raise, median CEO pay jumped 27% in 2010 as the executives' compensation started working its way back to prerecession levels, a USA TODAY analysis of data from GovernanceMetrics International found. Workers in private industry, meanwhile, saw their compensation grow just 2.1% in the 12 months ended December 2010, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But we should definitely give those CEOs a tax cut, and take away benefits from the workers. That makes sense.


They aren't even trying to hide it any more. Hell, they're flaunting their bigotry and hostilities. "As Minnesota's state senate debates a public school funding bill that would remove funding from integration programs in the major cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul and Duluth and shift it to a statewide literacy drive, one freshman Republican has been particularly blunt in his opinions. ... "I watched Minneapolis get destroyed," Sen. Dan Hall stated on Thursday, "so I not only didn't want my kids in the school system, I took them out of Minneapolis because they ruined our neighborhoods with integration and [de]segregation." ... "My best friends are minority, they think integration in foolish," Hall insisted. "It's a ploy to get more money. ... It's disrespectful to tell my friends, my minority friends that they can't make it without extra special help." ... Hall's statements appeared to confirm the worst fears of Democratic supporters of the integration program. "I fear what we see here the is the politics of envy and division and protecting our own," Sen. Scott Dibblef (DFL-Minneapolis) stated, "not the 'one Minnesota' we hearken back to." ... "We have been doing integration aid for decades, and to say that within one year we should dismantle that for a brand-new process seems to me short-sighted," said Sen. John Harrington (DFL-St. Paul). "Have we really made the decision that desegregation and integration isn't a laudable goal for our schools?""


The Guardian: Mass killing in Ivory Coast as fighting continues. But we're going to turn a blind eye to what's going on there, as we're busy in the countries with oil.


Rewarding bad behavior: volume 489,305

Hasn't everyone else also seen a pay raise like this? By gosh, he's such a leader and deserves every penny for managing to drive earnings down even after free money handed out by the taxpayers who are funding the bank recovery. Who says capitalism is dead in America? Good work, when you can get it.


Rewarding bad behavior: volume 489,306

Transocean Execs Get Bonuses after 'Best Year in Safety,' Despite Gulf Oil Disaster.

One thing's for sure, these dudes have some big brass ones to make this kind of claim, despite the fact that eleven people died when the Deepwater Horizon exploded, including nine Transocean employees. Talk about utterly shameless sociopaths...

Which brings up the real reason Libertopia is a hellish nightmare... in Libertopia, sociopaths who enjoy killing for profit or fun or both come out on top, because they lack the slightest bit of human empathy and thus have no problem making the decision to pull the trigger and watch people die. And that's where we are right now -- with the most venal, evil sociopaths on the planet in charge of many of our most powerful institutions. In a better world, they would all be working menial jobs under court supervision to make sure their sociopathic tendencies didn't turn them into serial killers or something. In today's world, though, they become serial killers... but because they use a corporate structure to do their killing, do so with impunity.


Why are we fighting a war in a land where innocent people are beheaded because some fool in the United States burned a copy of the Koran?


New Civil War erupts, led by super rich, GOP - Commentary: 'Shock Doctrine,' Reaganomics trigger explosive class war.


Driftglass rips the curtain aside and exposes the Reagan legacy.

Money quote:

Reagan was the first mountain of coke the Right piled onto the national coffee table; the first, chilly bottles of champagne bought with stolen credit cards being popped. Reagan was the promise that the peak moment of frenzied, stomping, tribal, rage-drunk Wingnut Worldfuck -- the moment when everything was beautiful, and everyone was gonna get laid -- could be made to last forever and ever if they all just clap-clap-clapped loud enough, hated hard enough, and all agreed to never under any circumstances look back at the ruin they were leaving in their wake.


Before you vote GOP for governor, look around.


States rushing to see which can humiliate and destroy women most horrifically.


We don't know what's going on here, but it stinks like a whorehouse at low tide. "Israel has called on the UN to cancel a report that said it possibly committed war crimes during its 2008-2009 military offensive in Gaza. The report's author, South African judge Richard Goldstone, said on Friday that new accounts indicated Israel had not deliberately targeted civilians. He said that if he had known what he knew now, "the Goldstone Report would have been a different document". Israel's prime minister said the remark meant the report "should be buried". Operation Cast Lead was launched in response to repeated rocket attacks on Israeli territory by militants in Gaza. Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed, including hundreds of civilians, as well as 13 Israelis."
I have a new Palestinian friend, who I recently asked if he ever thought there would be peace between Israel and Palestine. His reply was, "No, because Israel's definition of peace is complete obliteration of our people."
These people are evil, pure and simple. And we finance them.

Eveyone surprised by this, stand on your head. "The Bush administration was so intent on keeping Guantanamo detainees off U.S. soil and away from U.S. courts that it secretly tried to negotiate deals with Latin American countries to provide "life-saving" medical procedures rather than fly ill terrorist suspects to the U.S. for treatment, a recently released State Department cable shows. ... The U.S. offered to transport, guard and pay for medical procedures for any captive the Pentagon couldn't treat at the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba, according to the cable, which was made public by the WikiLeaks website. One by one, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Panama and Mexico declined. ... The secret effort is spelled out in a Sept. 17, 2007, cable from then assistant secretary of state Thomas Shannon to the U.S. embassies in those four countries. Shannon is now the U.S. ambassador in Brazil. ... At the time, the Defense Department was holding about 330 captives at Guantanamo, not quite twice the number that are there today. They included alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and two other men whom the CIA waterboarded at its secret prison sites. ... The cable, which was posted on the WikiLeaks website March 14, draws back the curtain on contingency planning at Guantanamo, but also contradicts something the prison camp's hospital staff has been telling visitors for years -- that the U.S. can dispatch any specialist necessary to make sure the captives in Cuba get first-class treatment."

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