Sunday, December 4, 2011

Headlines - Sunday December 4

A Nation Of Bloggers Weeps In Their Pajamas As Herman Cain Quits
With Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul refusing to take part in the War On Xmas/Donald Trump clown show, Herman's departure is greatly endangering 2012′s comedy potential. 999 4EVR!

The New York Times reports on this tragedy:

An unapologetic and defiant Herman Cain suspended his presidential campaign on Saturday, pledging that he "would not go away" even as he abandoned hope of winning the Republican nomination in the face of escalating accusations of sexual misconduct.

"As of today, with a lot of prayer and soul searching, I am suspending my presidential campaign," Mr. Cain said at a rally here, surrounded by supporters chanting his name. "Because of the continued distractions, the continued hurt caused on me and my family, not because we are not fighters. Not because I'm not a fighter."

So you may look like a lover, but you're a fighter? Sorry, you are still guilty of practicing your love too much, Herman. Godfathers of crappy pizza are fine in America. Godfathers of Love? Not so much.

But he will not be silenced! Cain announced that he would start, uh, a new website. Will it be better than his new website yesterday, with the clip-art ladies? [NYT/CBS NEWS]

From The Mayor Of Troy, Michigan 

We say "queer." Why can't the mayor of Troy, Michigan? The conundrum of intent and context versus reclamation rolls on.
On Friday evening, Daniels said her Facebook posting "may not have been the most appropriate language." "But I was not even considering running for mayor at that time. I was speaking for myself," she said. "It's my personal belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. I love people, but I want to acknowledge my First Amendment right to speak freely. I know that as mayor, I represent all of the people in this city." Linda Kajma, 60, a 37-year Troy resident who said she voted for Daniels' opponent in the Nov. 8 election, said she was upset by the comment. She passed herself off as a Christian and a person of integrity during the campaign, and now the real Janice is showing her colors," Kajma said.

The far-right is flipping its shpadoinkle (this article was linked from Drudge) over the president's forthcoming holiday vacation in Hawaii — you know, his home state. Right-wing talk radio is all over this, too.

Fact: at this point in their first terms, both Reagan and Bush 43 spent many more days on vacation than President Obama. Double for Reagan and triple for Bush. As of August, 2011:

So far, President Obama has taken 61 vacation days after 31 months in office. At this point in their presidencies, George W. Bush had spent 180 days at his ranch where his staff often joined him for meetings. And Ronald Reagan had taken 112 vacation days at his ranch.

Conservatives are also implying that we're in an employment slump, therefore President Obama ought to show some solidarity and get to work. Oh, you mean like George W. Bush who spent 180 days on vacation — three times as many days as President Obama — some of that time while terrorists were planning to fly planes into Manhattan and Washington landmarks, some of that time while we were engaged in two wars, and some of that time while we were in a recession.

Not surprisingly, the glaring disparity between how Bush and Reagan vacations are ignored while Obama vacations are a major trespass smacks of the old racist stereotype of African-Americans being lazy and shiftless.


Shock! Outrage! The collapse and subsequent default of the solar-cell manufacturer Solyndra, while bad, is otherwise just a blip on the radar.

That's at least the conclusion of a new independent report from Bloomberg Government analyzing the $16.1 billion Department of Energy's loan program, which appears to further vindicate Energy Secretary Chu and the rest of the Department of Energy, who have said all along that they did due-diligence on Solyndra and all other energy companies that received loan guarantees. [...]

As of America's support of the industry, the Bloomberg report finds that to begin with, the DOE's loan guarantee program has been wildly misinterpreted: The government isn't handing out loans — or money of any sort — as some Republican lawmakers have characterized it. Rather, the program is designed to hand out loan guarantees, that is, conditional agreements to pay back a private lender if a borrower, in this case, a clean energy startup company, defaults. [...]

Furthermore, the DOE "was appropriated $2.47 billion" to cover failures such as Solyndra, more than enough to pay for the cost of that loan, and a few others, too.

And it's worth noting that Solyndra was but a drop in the bucket of the overall loan program portfolio: Only 3 percent of the total $16.1 billion, which itself is only "1.7 percent of the federal government's guarantee commitments across all agencies," according to the Williams.

While $535 million, which is roughly only a quarter of the cost of the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium, is a lot of money, it's hardly enough to be a great cause for concern if you keep things in perspective.

Viewed from a distance, it's further proof that the Republicans will latch on to any little thing they can find to justify a witch-hunt while living under an administration that falls far short of the kind of failure we became accustomed to during previous administrations.

Cash for clunkers worked. Detroit has been resurrected. Solar power is cheaper now than it has ever been. There are few genuine failures and many success stories.

For the Republicans, Solyndra was an early Christmas scandal present that turned out to be nothing more than a lump of coal.


The 2012 Obama campaign is underway. Here are some of the president's accomplishments as delivered by the president:

"Change is the first bill I signed into law — a law that says you get an equal day's work — somebody who puts in an equal day's work should get equal day's pay."

"Change is the decision we made to rescue the auto company from collapse, even when some politicians were saying we should let Detroit go bankrupt."

"Change is the decision we made to stop waiting for Congress to do something about our addiction to oil and finally raise fuel-efficiency standards for the first time in 30 years."

"Change is health care reform that we passed after a century of trying."

"Change is" is a nice call-back of "Change We Can Believe In" while adding the bragging layer we've been looking for.


L.A. poised to be the first major U.S. city to call for end to "corporate personhood"


Panetta to Israel: 'Get to the damn table'

On this matter, Panetta is 100% right. The US needs to stop sending mixed messages and force this issue because with each year, it just gets harder and more complicated. Al Jazeera:

"We understand the concerns of Israel, we understand the concerns of the Palestinians.

"If they sit at a table and work through those concerns and the United States can be of assistance in that process, then I think you have the beginning of what could be a process that could lead to a peace agreement.

"But if they aren't there, if they aren't at the table, this will never happen. So first and foremost get to the damn table."


Heads in the Sand: As climate-change science moves in one direction, Republicans in Congress are moving in another. Why?


The breakthrough that will free you from your electric company

This is the holy grail of energy to me.  Batteries with super storage capacity are the one thing needed to make individual power generation off the grid a reality.

Right now, no matter how much energy you generate with solar panels, windmills, etc., you can't use it directly yourself. It can only go through the grid to your electric company, which then gives you credit on your electric bill.  Some home energy producers in California and other sunny places have literally years of energy use credits banked with their electric companies.

That's because battery technology has never permitted long-term storage of energy from any source.

Until now.


Scientists at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California announced last week that they've developed the initial technology for a battery with a lifespan of nearly 100-times that of a conventional lithium ion battery.

Using a nanoparticle of copper, copper hexacyanoferrate, the scientists developed a battery electrode that survived 40,000 cycles of charging and discharging, compared to 400 cycles for a lithium-ion electrode. Even after 40,000 charges, the battery still managed to retain 80-percent of its original charge capacity, according to Stanford.

The researchers believe their technology will provide an enormous boost to the wind and solar energy sectors, allowing far larger quantities of excess clean energy to be generated and stored for later usage than can be attained today.

"That is a breakthrough performance - a battery that will keep running for tens of thousands of cycles and never fail," said Yi Cui, an associate professor at Stanford who worked on the project with colleague Robert Huggins and graduate student Colin Wessells, in a release from the university.

It's not ready for retail sale yet, but this is a huge step forward, and a huge Fuck You to the renewable energy deniers.


Muslims compared to cockroaches at St. Louis ACT! for America event | St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Tim Townsend attended an anti-Muslim event hosted by ACT! for America this week where he witnessed the following remark. "They're everywhere," one woman in the audience whispered to her friend. "They're like cockroaches." Townsend concludes, "Unfortunately for American Muslims, we are about to enter a presidential election year, during which groups like ACT! for America and the Clarion Fund have historically spread anti-Islam messages that promote fear of 'the other.'" As we explained in Fear, Inc., the hate group ACT!, founded by Islamophobe Brigitte Gabriel, has a budget of nearly $1 million and comprises over 550 chapters and 170,000 members worldwide.


In just her first year in office, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) has proven to be one of the most socially conservative members of Congress, and today she demonstrated just how intolerant she is of people who do not share her beliefs. In an interview, she and the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins were condemning the Air Force Academy for creating an outdoor worship space that accommodates "Earth-based" religions. Hartzler said she believes that her rabidly conservative brand of Christianity is "the main religion in our country" and condemned any attempt to accommodate "fringe religions":

PERKINS: Do you see this as a part of a growing trend that we see that there is really kind of a marginalization of Christianity and almost a promotion of other forms of, I would have to say, fringe religions?

HARTZLER: I agree, I think so. Christianity is the main religion in our country and as a policy for the Department of Defense we need to defend the practice of religion but we do not have to obligate taxpayer funds to facilitate or accommodate it or pay for it.

PERKINS: Is it the government's role to try to put all religions on the same plane?

HARTZLER: No, it's not their role at all. Their role is to facilitate basic policy for our country and to not to try to lift up one religion over the other. They should be defending the basic rights that we have, that freedom of religion here, and certainly not facilitating or accommodating fringe religions. It's crazy.

Hartzler seems to believe it's OK if the government accommodates her fringe brand of Christianity, as she has pursued legislative options to discriminate against same-sex couples in the military and applauded Speaker John Boehner for defending the Defense of Marriage Act using taxpayer funds. Perhaps she should spend some time with the First Amendment so she better understands how it's unconstitutional both to establish her religious belief as law and to prevent others from the free exercise of their own beliefs.


Jackass NYPD pigs throw protesters in jail and eat all their food

Ha ha, it still takes four fat, sweaty Sheriffs of Nottingham to subdue every Robin Hood.

New York City cops arrested eight protesters dressed in Robin Hood garb during a joint OWS-World Aids Day march demanding a Financial Transaction Tax on Wall Street to help restore the $10 million in HIV/AIDS services funding that Michael "I eat ground up poor people for breakfast" Bloomberg cut last year, but it wasn't the Robin Hoods who got to do any stealing! Supporters sent the protesters a couple large pizzas to tide them over in jail, which the greedy precinct officers of Nottingham promptly confiscated and gobbled up for themselves. As any four-year-old who has seen the Disney version of Robin Hood can tell you, that is not how the movie is supposed to go. READ MORE »

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