Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Headlines - Tuesday May 31

CNN: In light of the disaster in Japan, German government votes to get rid of their nuclear power plants by 2022.
Not us. We're building new ones.
And speaking of Japan ....

It would be hard to imagine: in this country.....

A group of more than 200 Japanese pensioners is volunteering to tackle the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima power station.

The "Skilled Veterans Corps", as they call themselves, is made up of retired engineers and other professionals, all over the age of sixty.

One of the group, Yasuteru Yamada, told the BBC's Roland Buerk that they should be facing the dangers of radiation, not the young.

That, to me, sets a rather high bar for patriotism.
Now if only they'd stop whaling.
Right after the IAEA reported that carbon output hits record high .....

Most people who dig motorcycling talk about the freedom of the open road, the wind in their hair and the versatility of traveling on two wheels. Palin, on the other hand, loves the exhaust fumes — the aspect of riding that no one else likes. At all. In fact, the exhaust fumes are the most objectionable aspect of any motor vehicle, other than, you know, crashing. But okay. We know why she said that. To snark at liberals and environmentalists. Sarah Palin has this unique ability to be ditzy while also snarking at liberals. All at once.


Only in America ...
The KKK protesting Westboro Baptist. I guess there are some things even those racist low lifes can't cotton to:

Washington (CNN) -- Protesting members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church were met with an unlikely group of counterprotesters Monday at Arlington Cemetery.

Hours before President Barack Obama led the nation's Memorial Day observances at the Tomb of the Unknowns, three members of the Westboro Baptist Church were challenged by others who disagreed with them -- including members claiming to be from the Ku Klux Klan.

If you're not rich and conservative, you're basically in the Republicans' crosshairs. As Gord pointed out yesterday, they're screwing the troops any way they can. They're also taking great pleasure in fucking over the poor people in the aftermath of natural disasters (In case the Rethugs have forgotten, these are the people who vote Republican).

hits it on the head:


Eric Cantor apparently comes from the kind of family that will not spend the money to get their dog spayed only to later go on to drown the resulting puppies. Sure it is somewhat motivated by being cheap and short-[sighted], but mostly for the thrill of possibly killing puppies.


I'm beginning to believe that qualification to be part of the Republican leadership is you have to be a psychopath/sociopath. Where taxing the rich and defense spending are off the table, yet people who've had their lives wiped out are held hostage to conservative ideology, there can be no other explanation.

If they weren't sick, they wouldn't be able to sleep at night.
Republicans Propose Replacing Social Security with Groupons
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – Presenting what he called a revolutionary plan to slash the nation's mountain of debt, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) today proposed eliminating the Social Security program in its entirety and replacing it with Groupons.

"Instead of waiting each month for a check from Social Security, America's elderly will receive valuable Groupons for everything they need, from Ramen noodles to cat food to caskets," Mr. Ryan said in an appearance on Fox News.

Adding that Groupons would also help provide for elders' medical needs, the congressman illustrated his point by holding up a Groupon offering 30 percent off on open-heart surgery in Cincinnati.

Moving on from Social Security, Mr. Ryan also proposed replacing Medicare with a new program in which seniors are shot at by Predator drones.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, appearing alongside Rep. Ryan, offered these words of praise for the Wisconsin congressman: "Preachers like Harold Camping go around predicting the end of the world, but it's guys like Paul Ryan who do the hard work of making it happen."

There are always reasons for force:

The Pentagon has concluded that computer sabotage coming from another country can constitute an act of war, a finding that for the first time opens the door for the U.S. to respond using traditional military force.

The Pentagon's first formal cyber strategy, unclassified portions of which are expected to become public next month, represents an early attempt to grapple with a changing world in which a hacker could pose as significant a threat to U.S. nuclear reactors, subways or pipelines as a hostile country's military.

In part, the Pentagon intends its plan as a warning to potential adversaries of the consequences of attacking the U.S. in this way. "If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks," said a military official.

Wonder how the usuals suspects will fare in the market this morning (General Dynamics, etc.).


The fact that a clown like Walter Russell Mead is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations tells you everything you need to know about the decline of our so-called civilization:

The existence of Israel means that the God of the Bible is still watching out for the well-being of the human race. For many American Christians who are nothing like fundamentalists, the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land and their creation of a successful, democratic state after two thousand years of oppression and exile is a clear sign that the religion of the Bible can be trusted….

Also too, I'm tired of hearing people whose favored policies would ultimately destroy Israel describe themselves as "pro-Israel".

Pig rides hog
Here's a report of what happened when Mooselini crashed a rally:

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Part-time Governor and full-time Grifter Sarah Palin arrived on a Harley-Davidson at the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally, which is meant to honor military veterans, but instead became a photo-op for the Borealis Narcissus.

Artie Muller, national executive director of Rolling Thunder, said Palin was welcome to attend the event like any other American. "We're all here for a reason. She's just like anybody else," he said.

Palin was hardly like anyone else at the event, however, cruising into the lot with a police escort 45 minutes before starting time and eventually taking a place near the front of the line, which snaked for miles through the mammoth lot.

Nice job, Mooselini. Arrive late and go to the front of the line.

UPDATE 1: From Oliver Willis' blog:

Mooselini has crib notes on her palm again.




Jill: It's a Sarah Palin world, we just are allowed to live in it...for now
We knew Roger Ailes was paranoid, but we had no idea he was this paranoid. In a profile of the Fox News chief and former Nixon operative in Rolling Stone, Tim Dickinson paints a portrait of a man who is as paranoid as he is cynical, who lives in constant fear of al Qaeda and "the gays." His paranoia is so severe that he works from a second-floor, hyper-secure and "bomb proofed" office.
Fox News: Did Shameless Obama Chew Gum At Joplin Memorial?
Barack Obama has committed a lot of crimes such as being born, according to people who don't like black men, but he finally went too far at this memorial for the people who got killed by the tornado. According to Fox News, the president sort of looked like he was moving his jaw in a way that could mean he was either chewing gum or trying to get his ears to pop after a flight or maybe he had something stuck in his teeth, who knows. In any case, why did they even let this guy in a church?

Says the Fox News website as an introduction to this Zapruder clip for our time:

Seen at the last seconds of this video clip it appears as though President Obama was chewing gum. What do you think?

John Merline: Conservative Media Bias Exposed?
Weiner Gate

Andrew Breitbart is investigating the most serious issues. Not the economy or the climate crisis or even the hostilities in Syria. Nope — Breitbart is delving into whether or not Anthony Weiner tried to send a pseudo-crotch-shot via Twitter. And it's overtaken his entire Big Government website.

Just like Dylan Ratigan said, Breitbart is obviously a "sharpshooter who's good," a "smart man," and "an incredibly passionate and effective man."

Of course, once Weiner has been publicly disgraced, you can expect Breitbart to admit that it was a hacker who sent the photo and not Weiner himself. If not, an investigation will reveal this. And Breitbart will either ignore it, or he'll suggest the investigation was rigged, or he'll admit it — just like he admitted to the ACORN fakery — and laugh about how great it was to report about "Weiner's weiner." Har-har.

What a hero.


Afghan leader warns NATO not to become "occupying force"

Good. Can we please leave now?


Although job growth is slowly returning to the economy, the new jobs that are created come with lower wages. National "pay figures on rank-and-file workers, who hold 80% of nongovernmental jobs, show a steady rise in earnings from the mid 1990s through 2009 — and then a significant drop the past two years."


Monday, May 30, 2011

Headlines - Monday May 30

Funny Memorial Day Ecard: I can think of no better way to honor our fallen Civil War Union soldiers than by reminding Confederate flag-wavers that our current president is black.

NATO attack helicopters launched missiles at a pair of homes in the Helmand Province yesterday, destroying both homes and killing large numbers of innocent civilians inside. Among the slain were two women and 12 children, some as young as two years of age. Six other civilians were also wounded.


So-called "Afghan Security Guards" are instructed, "Do not kill or torture detained personnel." For good measure, if someone's taken captive, "immediately turn over to U.S., Coalition or [Afghan forces]." Should they kill someone who poses a threat, there is to be "no booby-trapping, burning [or] mutilation" of their corpses.


In a speech which also included insistences that he is still concerned about the struggling US economy, President Barack Obama declared total support for pro-democracy rallies across the Middle East and North Africa. We must keep pouring money into the meat grinder in spite of the fact that our own country is going to hell.

4,454 soldiers killed in Iraq; 1,595 in Afghanistan.


In the past two months, the United States has experienced a year's worth of tornadoes. Might something possibly be amiss with our climate?


This Week In (tax free) Holy Crimes

Over the last seven days...

Wisconsin: Pastor David E. Radtke charged with sexual assault on a 16 year-old student.
Georgia: Pastor David Pope charged with child molestation.
Wisconsin: Father Michael Nowak charged with making obscene phone calls to underage girls.
Kentucky: Pastor Jeremy Caraway charged with child rape.
Arizona: Two Mormon bishops will not be charged for failing to report a church member who confessed to child molestation.
Missouri: Father Shawn Ratigan pleads not guilty to taking pornographic photos of young girls.
Nevada: Pastor Raymond Mosely charged with compelling a four year-old to touch his genitals.
Michigan: Pastor Christopher Settlemoir sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexual assault on a minor.
Delaware: Father James O'Neill has confessed to molesting a pre-teen boy hundreds of times over several years. The victim, now 43, has settled a lawsuit with the Diocese of Wilmington.
West Virginia: Pastor Matthew Jarrell kills himself in jail after being charged with rape.
New York: The ultra-Orthodox Agudath Israel of America has ruled that rabbis must first be consulted before notifying police about child molestation.
Louisiana: Youth Pastor Angelo Golatt indicted on multiple counts of molesting children as young as nine years old.

This Week's Winner
Netherlands: An Dutch Catholic priest identified as Father Van B. has admitted to serving on the board of directors of a group lobbying for the legalization of pedophilia. The priest's superior says that he was aware of Father Van B's involvement with the group. The church is said to be investigating.


Of course Sarah Palin could defeat President Obama in a presidential election says John McCain, but she may decide not to.

How convenient is that?

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has no doubt that his former running mate Sarah Palin can defeat President Barack Obama in 2012 if she decides to run.

"Can she win the Republican nomination and can she beat Barack Obama?" Fox News' Chris Wallace asked McCain Sunday.

"Of course she can — she can," McCain insisted. "Now whether she will or not, whether she'll even run or not, I don't know."

"A lot of things happen in campaigns, Chris. I was written off a couple of times and was able to come back. It will be a roller coaster ride for all of them before we finally arrive at our nominee. But she certainly is a major factor. And I believe that she can be very competitive," he added.

John McCain was able to come back and lose thanks, in part, to Sarah Palin.

Let us not forget that President Obama defeated John McCain in electoral votes by 320 to 141. I have no doubt that John McCain would have lost even if he had chosen someone else as a running mate, but it wouldn't have been as glaring of a loss.

Mister McGoo should feel free to keep going though! You're doing great!


Ocean acidification is latest manifestation of global warming.


Remember, climate change doesn't exist - even if drought has affected more than 34 million people (and animals) in China. 


Craig Turner: How to stop cats pissing on your car


"You know, Peace Dove, if the United States of America wasn't always warring with somebody, it might decide that Memorial Day is just too tragic to be celebrated as  a holiday."


Nice to know the D.C. park police are protecting us from Dancers of Mass Destruction.

The guy on the ground is lucky these cops let him live.

Just in case you thought anything would be different just because the president has a "D" after his name.

All this in the shadow of a statue of a man who said this:

"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. "

More here.


Meanwhile, in news NOT related to Sarah Palin's bus tour (and there is some, though you'd never know it from the teevee), Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant may be in more trouble:

I don't know about you, but my days of eating wild Pacific salmon are over.


A very good reason to pursue alternative sources of energy

That is this: The Saudis don't want us to.
Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal said Sunday that he wants oil prices to drop so that the United States and Europe don't accelerate efforts to wean themselves off his country's supply. ... "We don't want the West to go and find alternatives, because, clearly, the higher the price of oil goes, the more they have incentives to go and find alternatives," said Talal, who is listed by Forbes as the 26th richest man in the world.
That is pretty blinding obvious. Does anyone not understand that if it wasn't for the oil under its sands, that Saudi Arabia would be one of the poorest countries on the planet, if it even was a country? The only other revenue generator they would have would be the annual hajj.

If we had any sense in this country, we'd make it a nearly Apollo Lunar landing style push to develop alternative sources of energy that don't involve yanking dead dinosaur materials from the Earth. But good luck with that. The Democrats are spineless and the Republicans are in the thrall of the oil companies.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Headlines - Sunday May 29

Jarring Disconnect: If Joblessness and Hopelessness Undermine Democracy in the Middle East, What About Here at Home?

Governor Rick Scott of Florida attended a budget-signing ceremony at a retirement village on Wednesday where he signed into law a self-described "jobs budget" which may lead to the elimination of as many as 4,500 state employees by cutting $615 million dollars from the state budget while also lowering taxes on corporations.

That's not all though.

Governor Rick Scott and his henchmen were hoping to enjoy a protest-free environment during their ritualistic killing of jobs and livelihoods, so what did they do? — They escorted political-persons-of-interest from the event.

In his speech Thursday, Scott omitted many of the serious-sounding programs he cut: homeless veterans, meals for poor seniors, a council for deafness, a children's hospital, cancer research, public radio, whooping-cough vaccines for poor mothers, or aid for the paralyzed. [...]

Members of The Villages Democratic Club were barred from the budget signing by Scott staffers who said the outdoor event in The Villages town square was "private." Other staffers and Republican operatives scoured the crowd and had Sumter County sheriff's deputies remove those with anti-Scott signs or liberal-looking pins and buttons. They escorted more than a dozen people off the property.

Unfortunately for Rick Scott, the fascist-like removal of "liberal-looking" persons from the event was not enough to escape criticism, as several Republican members of the Florida State Senate expressed their own reservations concerning Rick Scott's motives and priorities.

In response to the ceremonious signing of Scott's "jobs budget," Democratic House Leader Ron Saunders said "If he means the 'jobs budget' is killing jobs, then it's an accurate title."


Matt Taibbi discusses McClatchy's Wikileak analysis on how the Saudis warned the US numerous times that speculators had a great deal to do with the high oil prices of 2008 and they worried that the speculators could devastate the oil market. The Saudis reported that although they increased production upon the request of the US, there weren't any takers on the market because the market was already saturated.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al Naimi even told U.S. Ambassador Ford Fraker that the kingdom would have difficulty finding customers for the additional crude, according to an account laid out in a confidential State Department cable dated Sept. 28, 2008,

"Saudi Arabia can't just put crude out on the market," the cable quotes Naimi as saying. Instead, Naimi suggested, "speculators bore significant responsibility for the sharp increase in oil prices in the last few years," according to the cable.

One of the reasons that the spikes in oil are true problem for the Saudis is that it could render the US market a "dead-zone" according to this 2010 cable which delineates the concerns of how climate change and energy usage will change the US market.

Prince Abdulaziz said it is important for Saudi Arabia to think through whether the United States is becoming a mature market, like Europe ("which has been dead for years" as an energy market). It is also unclear what role the USG will create for biofuels; Prince Abdulaziz noted that in 2009, the U.S. for the first time consumed more ethanol domestically than Saudi oil....Prince Abdulaziz said that Saudi Arabia needs to know what role the U.S. will be willing to have Saudi Arabia play. He asked, in effect, if we will "green" Saudi Arabia out of the U.S. market.

The cable had some other fascinating points including the fact that Saudi Arabia would like to become the Saudi Arabia of solar energy, but needs a stable oil market until they have a chance to transform their economy.

The Saudis are right that the financial speculators are playing with fire when they game the world commodity markets, because they are creating significant uncertainty that can destroy economies and companies (think airlines) throughout the world. The US should be doing more to rein them.

The question about whether "greening" of the US market cuts out the Saudi oil market leads to an even more interesting question. Could the oil shocks of 2011 lead to such "greening" of the US market that it damages the domestic oil producers too? Perhaps that explains the Republican actions over the last few days as they not only double down on how to help big oil, but also why they are demanding cutting the clean car program to fund disaster relief in the Midwest. We might just be watching the final scenes where the unregulated financial market makes the knockout punch to big-oil because they really can't have it both ways. And they are both too greedy to stop their marauding.



The House Committee on Rules blocked an amendment from going to vote on Wednesday that would have allowed military rape victims to access abortion care through their government-provided health plans.

Earlier this week, Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) and five other House Democrats submitted an amendment to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that would reverse the current policy of denying abortion coverage to military women who are raped and become pregnant during their service. As the bill currently stands, servicewomen have to pay out of pocket for an expensive abortion procedure unless they can prove that their lives are in danger.


But hey, at least the House managed to pass a bill banning federal funding of medical programs that teach doctors how to perform abortions.

So is this family values or culture of life? Maybe both? N.C. House budget eliminates program for teen moms
Hundreds of Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip arrived here by the busload on Saturday to pass through the reopened border into Egypt, taking the first tangible steps out of a four-year Israeli blockade.

"I feel this is the start of freedom," said Hasna el-Ryes, 45, a Gaza resident waiting to cross into Egypt so she could travel to visit sons studying in Britain. "You can't imagine how much we have suffered." http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/world/middleeast/29egypt.html?_r=1&hp


If it actually comes to a vote, it'll be the most exciting one since the 1948 vote on partitioning Palestine - the vote that led directly to the birth of Israel. "The Arab League has said it backs seeking UN recognition for a Palestinian state, as Qatar proposed at a meeting that the Middle East peace process be suspended until Israel was "ready" for talks. At a meeting of an Arab monitoring committee chaired by Qatar, the Arab League said in a statement it "supports the appeal to the UN asking that Palestine, within the 1967 borders, becomes a full-fledged state" of the international organisation. The Arab League's statement on Saturday came soon after Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, reiterated his determination to seek the recognition at the world diplomatic body unless Israel begins negotiations on "substantial basis"."
Hackers launched a "significant and tenacious" cyber attack on Lockheed Martin, a major defense contractor holding highly sensitive information, but its secrets remained safe, the company said Saturday.
Check out the before and after shots of Joplin, MO.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Headlines - Saturday May 28

The Rude Pundit just wants to get this straight: Texas Gov. Rick Perry wants to run for president of the nation he talked about seceding from. Isn't that like declaring you're straight before you f**k a bunch of guys?
Matthew Daly: 'Tornado Alley' Nuclear Reactor Not Fully Twister-Proof
For some people, the right to discriminate is sacred:
Following up on their threat, Catholic Charities of Rockford, IL, have voluntarily ended all their adoption and foster care services rather than comply with the civil unions law that will take effect next week. In doing so, the organization terminated $7.5 million in state contracts, fired 58 workers, and likely displaced 350 foster children.
Baby-mill operator Bachmann-the-Nut plans to announce her presidential ambitions in June in Iowa. We look forward to The Nut debating Mooselini. Than you Jeebus for this gift! (MN Public Radio)
Wisco: Republicans and homegrown terrorism

Mitch McConnell has confirmed, beyond any doubt, what we knew all along — that the GOP is hell-bent on cutting social programs even if doing so is unnecessary.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says substantial Medicare cuts must be part of a spending and deficit cut package to get his support to raise the debt limit. [...]

"To get my vote, for me, it's going to take short term [cuts, via spending caps]… Both medium and long-term, entitlements.," McConnell said. "Medicare will be part of the solution."

To clarify, I asked "[If] [the Biden group] comes up with big cuts, trillions of dollars worth of cuts, but without substantially addressing Medicare, it won't get your vote?"

"Correct," McConnell said.

You can't put it into terms any clearer than that.

Mitch McConnell is plainly saying that yes, Republicans want to cut Medicare even if plenty of savings are found elsewhere.

Are you listening, Seniors?


Good. This is where it has to start.


Do not go gentle under that good bus

Gin and Tacos asks and answers:

Even among the unpopular solutions, why would they propose something like Medicare cuts – let's be honest, even the GOP knows this is political suicide – before tax increases, defense spending cuts, and so on?

The answer is pretty obvious: because when the chips are down, they will stab you in the back at the drop of the hat. They don't care about you, regardless of party. You are not important. They would rather try to ram Medicare reform down your throat than to bite the Pentagon and Wall Street hands that feed them or raise taxes on their own income bracket. The choice between cutting Social Security and lifting the payroll tax cap (without which Social Security would be solvent in perpetuity) is no choice at all. The default solution is always, always to throw you under the bus.

Here's the thing though: in most cases, Very Serious People don't benefit much from fucking over the poor and middle-class. Some of them get wingnut welfare gigs for serving as mouth-pieces for David Koch, but most don't. Increasing the highest marginal rate by 4 percent isn't going to put David Von Drehle in the poor house. Fiscal austerity is bad for the economy and that doesn't help Fred Hiatt's 401K anymore than it helps anyone else's. What's really in it for billionaire Pete Peterson to end Social Security? Why is he doing it? How much better can he eat? What could he buy that he can't already afford? (The future, Mr. Gittes?)

Part of it might be that everything is relative, that it's not enough for the rich to prosper, they must also be allowed to watch the middle-class starve. It might be that there's a powerful Village omerta at work, that Richard Cohen would rather live with declining pageview and investments than rat out his cohorts. Or maybe they honestly believe that destroying the middle-class is the right thing to do—they don't want to do it, they feel they owe it to us.

We already knew that David Brooks cares more about comity among elites than safety and health among the general population. But I didn't know until this day that he thought that World War I—which killed a particularly high proportion of English elites—was a big bipartisan success. Maybe it too was the right thing to do.

I've said before that fiscal austerity is the new Iraq War, unsupported by facts and data, but unquestionably a worthy, morally serious undertaking that only a hippie could oppose. Maybe that's wrong, maybe fiscal austerity is the new World War I.

Speaking the truth about austerity isn't "class warfare", it's a battle against the kind of insanity that destroys civilization and benefits no one.


After months of a laser like focus on capture and control of every uterus in America, the Republican Party decided to pretend to talk about jobs with a word salad garnished with pretty pictures. Nothing in it was new. In fact it was just a re-tossing of the same "tax-cuts solve everything" talking points that have become the Golden Calf of wingutopia.

Look at it and marvel at how silly it is:

Lame and silly GOP Jobs Plan

It is being widely mocked. Last night Rachel Maddow had some fun with it. Steve Benen, Paul Krugman, Ezra Klein and many, many others are pointing out that it is a bad joke—devoid of any new ideas. It is a plan that will explode the debt while killing jobs. It is a plan that has been tried over and over again and one that has failed every time. The last time it was tried was in the Bush years and the economy has yet to recover.

And yet, this is all they have to offer. The shock is that anybody treats this as a "serious" document. I know that IOKIYAR is the rule for media coverage, but the way some folks treat these stale word salads as "ideas" is really getting silly.

This should be mocked and anybody who defends it should be celebrated as a fool.


While the bankers sleep soundly in their beds, the Feds are going after people who download shit


The Vatican sees more action ...

…than most clubs south of Market:

(GENOA) — The latest sex-abuse case to rock the Catholic Church is unfolding in the archdiocese of an influential Italian Cardinal who has been working with Pope Benedict XVI on reforms to respond to prior scandals of pedophile priests.

Father Riccardo Seppia, a 51-year-old parish priest in the village of Sastri Ponente, near Genoa, was arrested last Friday, May 13, on pedophilia and drug charges. Investigators say that in tapped mobile-phone conversations, Seppia asked a Moroccan drug dealer to arrange sexual encounters with young and vulnerable boys.

I do not want 16-year-old boys but younger. Fourteen-year-olds are O.K. Look for needy boys who have family issues.

Sounds like a shopping list to me. But wait, there's more:

The priest is charged with having attempted to kiss and touch an underage altar boy and of having exchanged cocaine for sexual intercourse with boys over 18… In the tapped phone conversations, the drug dealer contacted the boys and gave their phone numbers to the priest, who paid them with cocaine or 50 euros each time for sexual intercourse.

Cash and carry? Anyway, I don't have a category for this stuff, and I don't think I want one.



Part time governor and full-time grifter Sarah Palin has released an ad for her bus tour featuring some of her army of orcs and dorks putting stickers on her bus while she tosses a word salad featuring the Constitution and St. Ronnie who has given you freedoms, or something, so you should give her money to come to your state. I think that's what this was about, but it was hard to hear her screeches because I was so dazzled by the shiny.


A judge appointed to the federal bench by Ronald Reagan has struck down the ban on corporations contributing directly to candidates for office.

A federal court in Alexandria, Va. on Thursday struck down a federal ban on corporate campaign contributions, in a case with potentially dramatic ramifications for a campaign finance regulatory system under siege by legal and regulatory attacks.

The ruling, from the U.S. District Court for Eastern Virginia, piggybacked on a January 2010 Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that allowed corporations to spend money on ads supporting or opposing candidates.

Citizens United stopped short of allowing corporations to give directly to candidates, but it did find that corporations are entitled to free speech rights.

District Judge James Cacheris ruled that, based on Citizens United, corporations should be allowed to contribute directly to candidates' campaigns."If human beings can make direct campaign contributions ... and if, in Citizens United's interpretation ... corporations and human beings are entitled to equal political speech rights, then corporations must also be able to contribute within (the federal) limits," Cacheris wrote in a 52-page decision.

We really are well and truly fucked.


Republican science

To Stop Climate Change, GOP Suggests Clearing World's Rainforests

Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher is a senior member on the House Committee on Science, so it's no surprise that he's … uh, insane? This is Rep. Rohrabacher's big idea about how to fix the Global Warming crisis: "Is there some thought being given to subsidizing the clearing of rain forests in order for some countries to eliminate that production of greenhouse gases?"



Three months after voting to eliminate funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) now says he's outraged that the EPA isn't doing more to protect the health of residents in his district. Barletta is insisting that the agency pay special attention to an area in Pittson, PA, after one resident alleged that a tunnel near a Superfund site gave him cancer. The EPA held an open house and information session to address the concerns of residents in the area, but said it did not plan to conduct further testing. This outraged Barletta, who called their decision "unacceptable": http://thinkprogress.org/2011/05/27/barletta-epa/


Senate Republicans will prevent the Senate from recessing next week in order to halt President Obama's ability to make temporary recess appointments:

President Barack Obama won't be able to make any executive recess appointments when senators are home next week for the Memorial Day recess – including Elizabeth Warren, Obama's pick to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The Senate will be in "pro forma session" because Republicans are threatening to block adjournment, Senate leadership aides said. A senator who lives in nearby Virginia or Maryland will be asked to briefly open and close the session on those days, during which time no business will be conducted.

It's difficult to read this move as anything other than an attempt to squelch the new consumer protection agency before it even gets off the ground. Earlier this month, all but two of the Senate's Republicans joined a letter announcing they would not confirm anyone President Obama nominates to run the CFPB, even if Obama nominates a Republican. Congressional Republicans' attempt to prevent Obama from making a recess appointment is a transparent attempt to prevent the president from ensuring that this essential office has the personnel in place that it needs to operate.

In the end, this kind of gamesmanship is nothing less than an end run around American democracy. The Constitution provides that the law creating the CFPB can be repealed if both houses of Congress and the president agree to repeal it — and not simply because the minority party in the Senate decides to throw a tantrum.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Headlines - Friday May 27

Time Magazine reports:
The latest sex-abuse case to rock the Catholic Church is unfolding in the archdiocese of an influential Italian Cardinal who has been working with Pope Benedict XVI on reforms to respond to prior scandals of pedophile priests. Father Riccardo Seppia, a 51-year-old parish priest in the village of Sastri Ponente, near Genoa, was arrested last Friday, May 13, on pedophilia and drug charges. Investigators say that in tapped mobile-phone conversations, Seppia asked a Moroccan drug dealer to arrange sexual encounters with young and vulnerable boys. "I do not want 16-year-old boys but younger. Fourteen-year-olds are O.K. Look for needy boys who have family issues," he allegedly said. Genoa Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, who is the head of the Italian Bishops Conference, had been working with Benedict to establish a tough new worldwide policy, released this week, on how bishops should handle accusations of priestly sex abuse.
As always, you can't make it up.

"We don't need to rewrite the Constitution of the United States of America, we need to reread the Constitution and enforce the Constitution," Cain said. "And I know that there are some people that are not going to do that, so for the benefit of those that are not going to read it because they don't want us to go by the Constitution, there's a little section in there that talks about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Herman Cain, (R-Extra Cheese) mixing up the Constitution with the Declaration of Independence.



U.S. House Votes To Defund Medical Schools That Teach Abortion

The U.S. House has approved an amendment defunding medical schools that teach doctors how to perform abortions. The measure was sponsored by GOP Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC), whom you may recall for claiming that the murder of Matthew Shepard was a hoax.
The North Carolina Republican's proposal was offered as an amendment to a bill that puts funding restrictions on a teaching program in President Barack Obama's health care act. The amendment passed 234-182, over the objections of some Democrats who said it would prevent medical residents from learning a basic procedure in women's health care. The bill must still be considered by the Senate.

Huh. Healthcare reform is working the way it was supposed to, too. "Provisions in the new U.S. healthcare reform law meant to add people to insurance rolls appear to be working, figures from companies and a recent study show. ... One of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act allowed young adults who are not full-time students to remain on their parents' insurance plans until they are 26 years old. This has resulted in a pick-up of 600,000 additional people with coverage in the first quarter of the year, Forbes Magazine reported Monday. ... The figure comes from insurance companies. Wellpoint, which has 34 million customers, covered 280,000 additional people at the end of the first quarter, while Aetna added almost 100,000. ... Among companies that gained in the number of people they insured, Kaiser Permanente added 90,000, while Highmark added 72,000. ... Adding young people to the number of insured customers is a big benefit to everyone else, because young people do not get sick as often or for as long a period as older customers. As a result, insurance companies made record profits in the first quarter."
Get a crucifix or something!
Screwing the poor is a religion with these assholes, it really is. 

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has apparently revised his previous viewpoint that "deficits don't matter," as he is now saying it's "time to get serious" about the nation's fiscal problems.

Following his keynote address at the KPMG Global Energy Institute conference in Houston, Cheney issued a resounding endorsement of Republican budget-wizard Paul Ryan and his plans to kill Medicare.

"I worship the ground the Paul Ryan walks on," Cheney said Wednesday at a Houston event hosted by the KPMG Global Energy Institute. "I think he's an enormously talented individual and he's trying to do the right thing. And he deserves the support, all the support we can provide him."

"We need to get serious about dealing with [our] debt problem," the former vice president explained.

Video here 

Short of being endorsed by the Four Horsemen, an endorsement from Dick Cheney is the next best thing.

While an endorsement by the Fifth Horsemen himself may shore up support among longtime, self-identified Republicans, I can't see it helping among the rest of the voting population. And if I'm Paul Ryan right now, I have to be questioning whether or not I should welcome the kiss of death.


With friends "like" these... Rep. Patrick McHenry may be regretting calling Elizabeth Warren a liar -- and that open Facebook posting policy he has. About 15,000 people have "liked" him on his fan page to post angry demands that he apologize.


House passes disgraceful defense bill.

Oh, and we'll have our rights curtailed for another 4 years

'Hi there, I wrote the Constitution!'


I loathe this woman.

RIP America.


Paul Krugman believes that this recession is so deep and will last so long that it will be another depression. He wonders why nobody in the Congress or the Administration seems to give a shit about it.


Atheist shadenfreude of the year

Have I mentioned lately that electing freakazoids to public office is not just evil but stupid?

And really, really expensive?

Media Czech nails it:

What happens when two Kentucky counties fight a 12-year battle to save souls by posting Jesus Rules and wind up owing $456,881 to the Godless ACLU when they fail?

Well, they fight over who's going to pay the bill, that's what.


I love it when fundies fight among themselves about who's going to get the bill for their ridiculous and unnecessary PR scam.

Ken Ham and Steve Beshear, this is the Ghost of Christmas Future!

I don't expect the Flintstone Truther Park to ever actually get built, but that doesn't mean there's not a huge opportunity here for the first atheist organization with some volunteer lawyers on its board.  


You know your party has gone off the rails on the crazy train when an Alabama republican switches parties because he's put off by making teachers into villains and the cause of all societies ills. "Chalk up another Democratic win this week: Alabama State Rep. Daniel Boman, who entered the legislature as a Republican in November, is switching parties to become a Democrat after he says the GOP went too far in attacking teachers in the state. ... It's just the latest example of mainline Republicans turning on their party following the November sweep which put them in control of the House. "

Eric Cantor - American sociopath
Oh for god's sake, can you even imagine?
Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't just bang his housekeepers all the time, while he was married to a woman apparently living in the same house. Arnold also had "CHP Dignitary Protection Services" officers deliver hot young club girls to the Hyatt in Sacramento where he lived while governatin' and fornicatin'.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) defended his involvement in the cover up of disgraced former Sen. John Ensign's (R-NV) affair, telling CSPAN yesterday that he was "proud" of the way he handled the situation. Coburn's name was mentioned repeatedly in the Senate Ethics Committee's damning 75-page report on the scandal, saying Coburn acted as a go-between to try to keep Ensign's mistress quiet.


Senate Republicans are using a procedural move to prevent Obama from being able to make recess appointments next week when the chamber is out for Memorial Day recess. The Senate will be in a "pro forma session" during which no business will be conducted, but it blocks Obama from appointing Elizabeth Warren to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


It may seem like Sarah Palin's suddenly resurrected candidacy is catching the fancy of Republican voters again, since the latest Gallup poll shows her only a couple of percentage points behind the clear leader, Mitt Romney -- but well ahead of everyone else.

Or at least, everyone else except the clear leader -- Anybody Else?

Mitt Romney (17%) and Sarah Palin (15%) now lead a smaller field of potential Republican presidential candidates in rank-and-file Republicans' preferences for the party's 2012 nominee. Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Herman Cain essentially tie for third, with Cain registering 8% support in his initial inclusion in Gallup "trial heat" polling. Notably, 22% of Republicans do not have a preference at this point.

That's right, the clear leader in the Republican race, with 22 percent of the vote, is "None/No opinion."

Somewhere out there is a handsome young Reagan-in-waiting who just needs to be found, no doubt. That seems to be what Republicans are waiting for, anyway.


As reported earlier, Ed Schultz found himself in some hot water for calling right wing radio host and Fox pundit Laura Ingraham a "right wing slut" on his radio show this Tuesday. Schultz apologized tonight during the intro to his nightly television show on MSNBC.

MSNBC has suspended Schultz for one week without pay for the incident.

While I cannot and do not condone the kind of sexist remark made by Schultz and there is no excuse for what he said, someone let me know when anyone on right wing radio or over at Fox ever gets some time off or apologizes for the kind of sexist or racist remarks we hear out of their mouths on a weekly basis, will you?


h/t Dick:
China's Interest in Farmland Makes Brazil Uneasy
Efforts to undermine new consumer agency amateurish, dangerous

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Headlines - Thursday May 25

Please sign and share this - unless you are against consumer protection.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and 19 conservative senators asked House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to "block President Obama from making recess appointments for the remainder of his presidency" by requesting that he reject any resolution allowing the Senate to recess for more than three days.
The Republican Holy Bible here.
Obama was in Ireland. He thought about buying a four-leaf clover for good luck, and then he looked at the field of Republican candidates and decided it wasn't necessary. - Jimmy Fallon
Wow, God Wrote The Constitution. Who Knew?
America's kids will be learning about the U.S. Constitution this coming school year with help from a decidedly conservative Idaho publishing house, if a tea party group gets its way... they'd like the teachers to use material from the Malta, Idaho-based National Center for Constitutional Studies, which promotes the Constitution as a divinely-inspired document.
Will it be called "birth of  an abomination"?

Oh, holy f**king shit. Sarah Palin has made. A. Documentary. About herself.

Behold The Undefeated, Palin's top secret film project that will debut in Iowa next month.

Like any good grifter, Palin was able to trick someone else into paying for this elaborate dystopian propaganda. Conservative filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon, according to RealClearPolitics, "insisted upon taking complete control and financing it himself — to the tune of $1 million."


To convey Bannon's view of the pathology behind Palin-hatred, the film begins with a fast-paced sequence of clips showing some of the prominent celebrities who have used sexist, derogatory and generally vicious language to describe her.

Rosie O'Donnell, Matt Damon, Bill Maher, David Letterman, and Howard Stern all have brief cameos before comedian Louis C.K. goes off on a particularly ugly anti-Palin riff.

"The Undefeated"? Um, didn't she lose in 2008?


Palin Aide Pens "Scathing" Tell-All


Language Advice For Christianists

From the Desiring God site of Pastor John Piper:
Except in a sentence like this one, I don't think we should use the term "gay marriage" or "same-sex marriage." I think in our everyday discourse, we should say "so-called gay marriage" or "so-called same sex marriage." I would encourage politicians, pastors, and people to adopt this simple habit. The reason is that in God's eyes, there simply is no such thing as so-called "gay marriage." It does not exist. It cannot be made to exist by desires or decisions or language or laws. God ordained marriage with the words: "A man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). Marriage is the union of a man and a woman in a lifelong covenant as husband and wife.
Going by Piper's logic, Newt Gingrich is on his third "so-called marriage."


You can go right ahead and keep blaming aWol for all of our problems because they are his fault, and we have proof to back it up...with a chart! "The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has updated and refined a widely cited chart, laying out the origins of the country's current fiscal trajectory. And as before, the lion's share of the problem comes from ongoing George W. Bush-era policies -- particularly deficit-financed tax cuts, which eliminated Clinton-era surpluses and left the Treasury poised for a huge hit when the financial crisis and economic downturn further eroded federal revenues. ... By the end of the decade, CBPP projects that, on the current trajectory, the Bush tax cuts, exacerbated by the economic downturn, combined with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will account for the significant majority of public debt as a share of GDP. ... Without those factors, and without the need for stimulus measures under President Obama, CBPP projects that the debt-to-GDP ratio would have dropped under both Presidents Bush and Obama."


NOM isn't very happy with this week's edition of ABC's What Would You Do?, which showed Texas diner patrons coming to the defense of a two-mom family.
We can expect a lot more of this from the MSM. Let's note first of all that the behavior of the "waitress" in this setup up is outrageous. No boss, and no customers would tolerate it. Not even in the "conservative" towns of Texas. Good news for American common sense. The insidious propaganda point from ABC News is the suggestion that millions of good Americans who believe marriage means a man and a woman because children ought to have moms and dads, would or are behaving like this. Shame on ABC. Be prepared for lot more prejudiced stereotyping of decent and honorable Americans down the road by powerful elites.
Netanyahu acting like a wingnut

Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a Joint Session of Congress yesterday and continues to deliberately mislead the world about the president's position on borders.

"Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967," Netanyahu said, prompting a big standing ovation.

Later he added: "Israel on the 1967 lines would be only 9 miles wide. So much for defensible borders."

As Netanyahu himself pointed out, the President has not called on Israel to return to the exact 1967 borders. The President has said that a peace agreement should be "based on 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps."

Yeah, so Netanyahu knows that's not what the president said, but he's playing along with the cynical Republicans and their predictably irrational kneejerk reaction to the president's remarks — remarks which echo former presidents Clinton and Bush, by the way.

My patience for the over-the-top intransigence of the current Israeli government is wearing very, very thin. And this game being played by Netanyahu is inexcusable.

Adding… Not surprised to read this:

President Obama got 25 standing ovations from Congress during his 2011 State of the Union address. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got 29 today.

Congress is pathetic.


40 Republican US senators vote to kill Medicare.

And the House refuses to vote on abortion coverage for military rape victims


Patrick McHenry is a dick for calling Elizabeth Warren a liar. Tell him so here.


Eyes wide shut and running with scissors…


No, Israel ain't making these decisions any more. "Egypt will permanently open its Rafah border crossing starting from Saturday, the country's official news agency reported, easing a four-year blockade on the Gaza Strip. The news agency MENA said on Wednesday that Egypt's new military rulers set the date for the opening of the crossing as part of efforts "to end the status of the Palestinian division and achieve national reconciliation". It said the Rafah border crossing would be opened permanently starting on Saturday from 9am to 9pm every day except Fridays and holidays. "Sources in national security told Al Jazeera that the military intended to open up the border," our correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from the capital, Cairo, said. "A senior member of Hamas visiting Egypt has also confirmed that they have been notified that military will open the border," he said. Al Jazeera's Nicole Johnston, reporting from Gaza, said, "It comes with no surprise, people of Gaza and Egypt have been waiting for the news for the last few weeks." However, it will not be a full opening as there will be some conditions on exit."


Look, a flying dick!

This should play well in Missouri next year: House majority leader Eric Cantor (R-Meanie) has blocked federal disaster-relief help for Joplin, where an incredible storm and tornado killed at least 122 people and leveled much of the town. Police and firefighters and ambulance workers are still pulling victims from the rubble, and the Republican House is saying no help for these people from the federal government unless a bunch of programs the Republicans hate (all of them, except for defense industry no-bid contracts) are de-funded. Why not just wear monster masks and go around scaring babies, too? READ MORE »


Cliff Schecter: I don't think "life" means what the right thinks it means.


We couldn't dream of accusing Congress members of taking advantage of their position. They're just lucky