Monday, September 26, 2011

Headlines - Monday September 26


At least 30 Iraqis were killed and 116 more were wounded in the latest attacks, which include a major bombing in Karbala.


If global warming continues as expected, it is estimated that almost a third of all flora and fauna species worldwide could become extinct. Scientists from the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (Biodiversität und Klima Forschungszentrum, BiK-F) and the SENCKENBERG Gesellschaft für Naturkunde discovered that the proportion of actual biodiversity loss should quite clearly be revised upwards: by 2080, more than 80 % of genetic diversity within species may disappear in certain groups of organisms, according to researchers in the title story of the journal Nature Climate Change. The study is the first world-wide to quantify the loss of biological diversity on the basis of genetic diversity.



Who wouldn't want to play Blackwater's video game


Robert Redford: Punching Back at Big Oil
Google Goes Red
Google, whose top executives have long been a bottomless cup of campaign coffee for Democrats, is finally entering its bipartisan phase, theatrically hiring Republican operatives and broadcasting the news through insider Washington publications, pumping air into a K Street tech bubble.
As Palestinians Push to Restart Negotiations, US Quietly Supplies Israel With Bunker-Busting Bombs
Is Daniel Gordon even his real name?
Fugitive Rhode Island Rep. Blames Crimes On Fake Iraq War Service
Pictured: Daniel Gordon speaking with reporters.
Rhode Island GOP lawmaker Daniel Gordon Jr. was last heard from a week ago when the Rhode Island State Police discovered that he is a wanted fugitive in the state of Massachusetts who also turns out to be a prickly violent criminal with a two decade-long rap sheet more extensive than, eh, let's say "the complete works of Shakespeare," give or take a few hundred words. This tragic idiot also turns out to be a third-tier con artist whose foolproof response to journalists asking about his criminal misadventures was an epic fiction blaming PTSD he says he sustained while serving in Iraq during the first Gulf War, 'cause the Mooslims blew up his leg. He would love to show you the proof, but also very tragically, uh, a massive house fire sadly destroyed all the evidence! The Department of Defense has no record of any of this either, because they hate freedom.

Here is the hilarious tale of Gordon lying over and over, badly, to an AP reporter:

On Friday, Gordon insisted that his service record is incomplete. He said he couldn't provide evidence of his time in Iraq because many of his photos and keepsakes from his service were destroyed in a house fire when he was living in Fall River, Mass., in 2005.

"I'm disappointed that the DOD didn't provide you with a full and accurate record," he told the AP on Friday. "I don't know what else to tell you."

Records obtained from the Marine Corps show Gordon joined the Marines on June 4, 1987, and served at bases in South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington and California, and spent six months with an aviation unit at a Marine Corps air station in Japan.

The records show no deployments to the Middle East. Maj. Shawn Haney, a public affairs officer with the Marines, said Gordon's file would indicate any time spent in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain or Iraq during the Gulf War.

Gordon told reporters this week that his right leg was struck by shrapnel "eight miles south of Baghdad" in February 1991. He said his unit was based in Bahrain.

"I can assure you, I was there," he said Wednesday.

Gordon's record lists two awards, one for his time stationed in Japan. The other, the National Defense Service Medal, was given to all personnel on active duty at the time of the Gulf War, regardless of where they served.

Gordon said he received the Southwest Asia Service Medal, an award given to members of the armed services deployed to the Middle East for the Gulf War. The award is not listed in his file. Asked if he would present the medal publicly, Gordon said it wouldn't do any good because they are easily found at pawn shops.

GAH! The socialist pawn shop cabal strikes again. [AP]


Sounds like quite a few people who expected "change" aren't seeing it.NY Times:
As Rick Perry is now learning, you get sent to Tea Party Hell not for your sins, but for the few decent things you have said and done in your life.


It cannot be said enough: David Gregory has never met a Republican meme that he didn't embrace with full force. For a guy who doesn't believe it's his job to ask follw up questions to fact check a guest, he sure does love coming back and back again to a narrative that Republicans put out without context or veracity.


Worldwide, the number of obese now outpaces the number living with chronic hunger and famine as a global public health threat. "Obese people now outnumber the hungry globally, but hardship for the undernourished is increasing amid a growing food crisis, the International Federation of the Red Cross warned on Thursday. ... The Geneva-based humanitarian group focused on nutrition in its annual World Disasters Report, released in New Delhi, seeking to highlight the disparity between rich and poor, as well problems caused by a recent spike in prices. ... In statistics used to underline the unequal access to food, the IFRC stressed there were 1.5 billion people suffering obesity worldwide last year, while 925 million were undernourished. ... "If the free interplay of market forces has produced an outcome where 15% of humanity are hungry while 20% are overweight, something has gone wrong somewhere," secretary general Bekele Geleta said in a statement. ... Asia-Pacific director Jagan Chapagain called it a "double-edged scandal" at a press conference in the Indian capital, adding that "excess nutrition now kills more than hunger"."
Wall Street: The cops went after the wrong people.
You know, the titans of arbitrage and other speculative financial alchemy could easily calm the seas by taking a few lousy percentage points in their top marginal tax rate. They won't. Who do you think will spray protesters after they break public safety unions in the interest of accumulating an even higher proportion of wealth? Just asking.  
Yes it is.
Dream On; Torture Nation Edition
From a piece by Ariel Dorfman:
Dick Cheney, it has been said, fears that "somebody will Pinochet him." ... If Cheney really loved his country, he would demand that a grand jury be convened, he would want a world where the schoolchildren of tomorrow, his own grandchildren and great-grandchildren, can truly pledge that there will be justice for all.

He would want to clear his name and never more see it even remotely associated with Pinochet, that thief, that traitor, that man who tortured his own people and lives on only in the annals of villainy.
You should read the entire piece, it won't take long.

But this is the thing: Dorfman is truly wrong about the "justice for all" part.
Cheney believes in Richard Nixon's concept of the law and the presidency, which is: "If the President does it, it is legal."[1] That is why Cheney all but ordered Bush to pardon Scooter Libby.[2]

Cheney was an elected tyrant. He probably will not live long enough to be tried for his crimes, at least not in a court of law. But in the judgment of history, he will be named for what he was: A brutal war criminal.

And we, the citizens of the United States, will go down as this generation's version of the "good little germans" who closed our eyes and ears to the crimes being committed in our names and did nothing about it.

Cheney stained the honor of this country. His eagerness to pervert the material witness statutes into tools for holding people in detention without access to counsel or the courts and his advocacy for the use of torture stained the honor of this country. It gave moral cover to other brutal regimes who tortured their own people.

But that stain on our national honor need not have been permanent. We, the people, the citizens of this country, by not demanding that Cheney be held to account for his crimes, have made Cheney's stain irrevocable.

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