Friday, October 21, 2011

Headlines - Friday October 21


Greenpeace called on Tokyo to toughen radiation screening and food labelling rules on Thursday after it said low levels of radiation had been detected in seafood sold at Japanese stores.

The environmental pressure group said it tested 60 seafood samples bought at stores in eastern Japan operated by five major supermarket chains and found 34 of them with radioactive caesium-134 and caesium-137.



If God doesn't do bad things to mess you up, why do Christians buy insurance against "Acts of God" instead of "Acts of Satan"?


Wisco: Gaddafi's American Friends



The Few, the proud, the wingnuts - Guess what, fellow hobos? The poorest amongst us live in Mississippi, followed by all the rest of the Bible Belt. (US Census - fair warning! It's a PDF. Go to page 3 to see the startling graphic)


In a surprise to absolutely no one, an AP analysis of a South Carolina voter ID bill shows it would hit blacks the hardest. It's like I always say, look out when a Republican tells you they want change -- all it means is that they want to change something back to the way it was when it sucked.



The Family Research Council is asking its followers to pray that God smites some sense into the "street people, Hollywood celebrities and progressive publicity seekers camping out on Wall Street."

May God quell the anger of this sad collage of people, stirred up by radical ideologues, encouraged by the press and even misguided officials, and cause it to fizzle. May it backfire as some experts predict, and may God send believers to bring Good News to these people and lead many to faith and peace in Christ! (Ps 2:1 ff; 76:1-12; Pr 29:8-16; Hos 4:6; Mt 5:21-22; Mk 6:34; Jn 10:10-16; Jas 1:20)

FRC also wants to you to pray that Americans continue to be deprived of health care. SRSLY.


As you may be aware, the Bush-era No Child Left Behind policy has been a colossal failure. The policy was unfunded after being implemented by the Bush Administration and hasn't resulted in any tangible improvements in education. In many cases it has even made things worse.

The Obama Administration has vowed to revise the law, a revision the previous administration ironically failed to complete, but revisions to the law have been caught up in committees and hearings with wingnuts like Senator Rand Paul jamming wrenches into the cogwheels of congress.

Rand Paul's original objection to further debate of the revisions to the No Child Left Behind law was that he hadn't had time to read it yet, but as ThinkProgress guest blogger Jeremy Ayers notes, Paul revealed his true reasoning after the committee hearing ended.

There's no provision in the Constitution for the federal government to be involved [in education] period. This was part of the Republican platform from nearly 30 years, that we didn't believe in federal control, we wanted to leave local control.

Oh. There's no provision in the constitution for the federal government to be involved in education.

The ghosts of 2010 continue to haunt us while Senator Rand Paul, who sits on the senate education committee, doesn't even believe in, well, education.

The question begs to be asked — If you don't believe in government, why the hell are you part of the government?


I thought Republicans hated big government?

Under a new law passed in July, the state of Louisiana now prohibits the use of cash for all second-hand sales such as the buying and selling of used goods. The law also requires obtaining personal information of customers.

Needless to say, Louisiana is a deeply-red, Republican-controlled state, and they've just implemented a law that represents a massive intrusion of government into private business.


By a margin of 68 to 27, Americans support implementing a surtax on millionaires to pay for a new jobs bill.

When Eric Cantor or John Boehner say "The American people don't support raising taxes," keep in mind that they're only referring to the 30-percenters in their base. The same people who think George Bush was a great president.


CAIN: No! I don't believe a woman should have an abortion. Does that help to clear it up?

STOSSEL: Even if she is raped.

CAIN: Even if she is raped or she is the victim of incest because there are other options. We must protect the sanctity of life and I have always believed that. Real clear.

Clearly, not only is the man an idiot but he's also a heartless bastard if he truly believes that a rape victim should be forced to continue a pregnancy against her wishes.

But there is a better explanation as to why a Cain or Palin are able to spout the nonsense they do on a daily basis.  The idea is expressed brilliantly in this comment from a Think Progress reader:

This is just a simple matter of Cain's buzz-phrase dispenser being out of calibration. Both the "pro-life from conception" and the "the government shouldn't get involved" buzz-phrases are staples in the GOP buzz-phrase library, but savvy politicians are careful to keep them separate.

Poor Herman — he's learned the buzz-phrases, but hasn't really learned what they mean, so he just spews them randomly.


Turns out yesterday's bizarre escaped animal incident in Zanesville, Ohio (east of Columbus) where dozens of exotic animals were put down after they were released into the Ohio countryside before their owner apparently committed suicide?  Yeah, you can hang that one on Gov. John Kasich's neck too.

The tragedy exposes the dangers of wildlife trafficking, in which private collectors actively trade in exotic animals all over the states "in a vibrant and poorly regulated market." According to the Humane Society, Ohio has long been "the center of the exotic-auction industry." Ohio's former Gov. Ted Strickland (D) attempted to "crack down" on the market by issuing an executive order that banned new private ownership of exotic animals. Issued on Jan. 6, 2011, it was one of his last acts as governor and lasted 90 days. His replacement, GOP Gov. John Kasich let it expire. Only now, after the bloodbath, does Kasich see it as "a problem."

Kasich's team called the measure "unenforceable."  Only one problem:  parts of that executive order were very much enforceable, including the provision that could have prevented this awful event.

If Kasich had extended the emergency ban, "the state would have had the authority to remove [the owner's] animals" as the owner, 62-year old Tommy Thompson, had been convicted of animal cruelty. Thompson shot himself after releasing the animals yesterday.

So yeah, way to go, Republicans.  You could have done the right thing, you could have stopped this mess, instead Kasich said "NO BIGGIE LOL" and let the order and the power the state had that could have prevented this from happening expire.  If he wasn't the most hated Governor in the land, this one pretty much seals it.



Jurassicpork: Nothing Like Keeping it in the Family


NPR: Nice.Polite.Republicans - Mealy-mouthed NPR has fired Lisa Simeone for participating in Occupy Wall Street. Simeone is not an NPR employee. She did it on her own Time. She's not a news reporter. She hosts the opera program, which is not NPR-produced. Some conservative stooges spotted her and thought they could score some points with their masters. (War Is A Crime)


Nation Building - Notable confirmed bachelor and belle of the ball, Senatorette Miss Lindsey Graham wants to spend big bucks on infrastructure. In Libya. To get at their oil. It should be noted for the record that Miss Lindsey voted in lock-step with all his sorority sisters against all infrastructure spending here in the United States. (TPM)
Looks like #RWNJ @MarcoRubio made up a pleasing lie about his "Cuban exile parents." "Rubio has been claiming for years that his family joined an exodus from Cuba in 1959 after the revolution led by Fidel Castro. In a 2010 campaign ad, for instance, he referred to himself as the "son of Cuban exiles." ... But naturalization papers and other official records show that his parents arrived in the United States in 1956, well before Castro took power. And they returned to Cuba several times after Castro declared the island a socialist state. ... His parents waited 15 years to seek naturalization."
Both sides of Congress want foreign drug lords to buy U.S. foreclosures
Oh, you look like a FINE addition to the American Housing Economy!
The serious proposals for fixing "the housing crisis" in this country have so far amounted to a) Alan Greenspan suggesting the federal government burn down the millions of vacant foreclosures across America and b) an actual government program that allowed Goldman Sachs to buy foreclosures in bulk for pennies on the dollar and then rent those same houses back to the financially ruined people who were evicted by the banks. But now there's a new plan hatched by a Democrat and Republican in the Senate: Let any foreigner have a three-year residency visa as long as they spend half-a-million dollars, cash only, on some U.S. real estate. This proposal is foolproof. READ MORE »

How much of this shit are Americans going to take from these GOP clowns? "Nine days after President Obama's $447 billion jobs package was blocked in the U.S. Senate, a key plank of the plan that would provide $35 billion to states to hire teachers and first responders suffered the same fate late Thursday. ... The vote represented the legislative angle of a broad political strategy by Democrats designed to convince voters they are pushing popular job creation bills but are being thwarted by Republican opposition. ... Indeed, all 47 Republicans voted against allowing the bill to proceed to a full debate, arguing temporary stimulus dollars for state government would do little to help the bolster the private sector. ... Republicans also opposed a new 0.5 percent surtax on millionaires to pay for the aid, as Democrats proposed. They contended inclusion of a tax increase signaled that the vote had been intended as a campaign tool and not a serious effort to find bipartisan agreement on ways Washington could spur job growth."


Bon The Geek at Zandar's place:

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri prisoners have raised more than 50 tons of vegetables and fruit that have been given to food pantries around the state.

The Department of Corrections says this year's harvest was significantly higher than last year's, when the agency donated 29 tons of produce through its Restorative Justice Garden Program.

Under the program, all the seeds and plants are donated to the Corrections Department, which then donates all the resulting food to local pantries.

Everyone wins. Hungry people get a boost, and prisoners get a chance to contribute and do a good thing. This is the type of solution we should be looking for, where we take a resource not being used and give it a purpose that helps everyone involved.

Good job, guys.


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