Friday, January 13, 2012

Headlines - Friday January 13

Newt's going for the jugular with this one.
Loggers in Brazil captured an eight-year-old girl from one of the Amazon's last uncontacted tribes and burned her alive as part of a campaign to force the indigenous population from its land, reports claimed on Tuesday night.
And now I must burn my copy of "Blade Runner: The Director's Cut".

Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly's latest book Killing Lincoln has been optioned by producer/directors Ridley Scott and Tony Scott. The Scotts will produce a two-hour documentary for National Geographic Channel based on the book, which O'Reilly co-wrote with Martin Dugard. O'Reilly will also serve as an executive producer of the documentary.


"Are you fucking kidding me?"


The insanely stupid, it burns! 

That the New York Times public editor even has to ASK the question is a fucking sad commentary on the state of affairs in journamalism today:

I'm looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge "facts" that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.

HOLY SHIT, ARE YOU SERIOUS? What the hell do you think journalists are SUPPOSED to do?

This comment sums it up for me:

On a related note, withholding information about potential misdeeds of an Administration because reporting on such might influence the outcome of an election is getting the whole point of having a free press exactly backwards. Congratulations, New York Times, on contributing to the dysfunctional politics of the last 20 years.

When a powerful person lies in public or directly to a journalist's face, that is a noteworthy event. Also known as news. It might be worth writing about.

Not enough facepalm in the world for this.


The Kenyan Usurper Hawaiian Devil Baby Barack Obama is proposing a tax break for American companies who hire actual Americans! In America! And he's proposing ending the tax break for off-shoring manufacturing. (And yes, there is one.) Now let's see him fight for that. Hahaha. Sigh. (NYTimes)



Turley: Justice According To Thomas: Dissent in Case Overturning Murder Conviction Highlights The Twisted Jurisprudence of Clarence Thomas


A survey by the Southern Baptist Convention shows that 73% of Protestant pastors reject the concept of evolution — even when asked if they believe God used evolution to create humans. Forty-six percent maintained that the Earth is only roughly 6000 years old despite tests showing rocks that are millions of years old.
Continue reading 'Two-Thirds of Polled Pastors Reject Evolution'


Indiana Republicans Introduce Bill To Allow 'The Lord's Prayer' To Be Required By Schools

And this: Indiana Senate Bill Would Give School Boards The Power To Force Teachers To Teach Creationism As Science


The Pope's hate speech

In case you missed the story, Pope Benedict made headlines this week by doing what it is popes do best – putting the irrational fear of God into his followers.

The pope made some of his strongest comments against gay marriage in a new year address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Vatican in which he touched on some economic and social issues facing the world today.

He told diplomats from nearly 180 countries that the education of children needed proper "settings" and that "pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman."

"This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself," he said.

Of all the things which could actually bring an end to human existence (e.g. nuclear war, global warming, a Rick Perry presidency), the Pope picks on same-sex marriage. It's right out of a Rick Santorum stump speech. Scary stuff but how exactly would same-sex marriage end life as we know it?


Wash Post: The Obama administration has decided to remove two of the four U.S. Army brigades remaining in Europe as part of a broader effort to cut $487 billion from the Pentagon's budget over the next decade, said senior U.S. officials.


Planting of GM alfalfa approved, again

About this decision, Grayson adds:

Translation? GM alfalfa is free to blow around and contaminate ("cross-pollinate") the fields of organic alfalfa ("other commercial crops") that feed our nation's organic dairy cows. USDA doesn't have to worry about it. But you do[.]

Not to mention that Monsanto will then attempt to sue the non-Monsanto farmers for "using" Monsanto seed.

And not to mention that these GM crops are
losing their pest resistance.

Which makes you wonder what these farmers are paying Monsanto to do. Sorry, I forget myself — The farmers are paying Monsanto for the right to make Monsanto rich. Monsanto loots the farmers; Monsanto CEOs loot Monsanto. Can't be Top 0.1% without the money.


Yes, I'm bringing it up again - this is your tax dollars at work, people....

US soldiers changing hearts and minds by urinating on dead Muslims

Everybody supporting the troops a lot? Here they are "finishing the job," with the primary job being "killing Muslims everywhere" and the finish being "ritually urinating on the bloodied bodies." Afghanistan, the war that keeps on giving!

These soldiers are apparently part of a Marine assassination/sniper unit, but it's okay because they are "a small group of U.S. individuals." Look, it's only four Marines in uniform pissing on the corpses of the people they just killed. Simmer down! It's not like there are five U.S. Marines pictured in this particular video doing what is surely a normal, everyday American thing of urinating on dead victims of our Imperial Wars.

Let's see, any other important excuses from the U.S. occupation army in Kabul? Yes, this: The Marines in the video "apparently are no longer serving in Afghanistan."

So, hooray! They're probably back in the United States shooting national park rangers and murder-suiciding their entire families — just normal American stuff, for freedom.

The next terrorism attack is going to be spectacular, isn't it? Might want to avoid cities or towns or being American for the next couple of decades. [CNN/Guardian]

Gawker's take on this:

A video emerges showing US Marines pissing on three Taliban corpses in Afghanistan. The outrage machine grinds into motion. The media bestirs itself from its slumber. Americans momentarily pay attention to the war in Afghanistan again. Politicians rush to add their names to the chorus of identical statements. All inflamed over the least bad thing that soldiers do in war.

Do you know what is worse than having your dead body urinated upon? Being killed. Being shot. Being bombed. Having your limbs blown off. Having your house incinerated by a drone-fired missile that you don't see until it explodes. Having your children blown up in their beds. Having your spouse killed. Having your hometown destroyed. Being displaced. Becoming a refugee. Having your entire life destroyed as a consequence of political forces far, far beyond your control.
And we as a nation could not be more bored by the unceasing industrial strength violence being carried out in our names in nations where none of us will travel, or vacation, or think about much at all as long as sports and American Idol and Downton Abbey are on TV. We skim past those stories of the latest bombing or drone strike or gunfight or civilian massacre. We joke about the personal foibles or funny accents or minor gaffes of the politicians who hold it in their power to stop war, but won't. We're bored and petulant and self-absorbed until that video of some soldier pissing on dead bodies comes along, at which point we can have an outrage contest and feel good about ourselves for being more outraged than the next completely uninvolved person, for a day or two, until the big game comes on.


Hate is not a family value

And those of us who understand that now have an excuse to buy more Girl Scout cookies.

On the one hand: Yes, this is a blatant attempt at attention-grabbing by a handful of sad authoritarians using children as puppets for their twisted agenda. On the other hand: Generally, I feel about GS cookies the way Homer Simpson feels about beer. And besides, congratulations to the Girl Scouts for not folding to the whims of these nasty little people!


universe sun reporting.jpg


GOP War on the IRS Costs U.S. Billions


Frothy was for it before he was against it

We've discussed this before: Rick Santorum is a fraud on nearly all of his major issues:

  • The Santorums had a life-saving abortion that he would deny others.
  • Frothy warned big-haired, Jeebus-loving adulterer and all around GOP sex-lizard, the sheep with a secret sorrow, Senator John Ensign that the cuckolded husband of his mistress was about to go public, thus allowing Ensign to get a jump on damage control. So family values are a joke.
  • Terri Schiavo — Frothy notably flew to Florida in a Walmart corporate jet to do some grandstanding, and oh, while he was there did some fundraising. So much for dignity of life.

Anyway, given Frothy's absolute moral failings and ethical lapses (he was on the top ten list of most corrupt politicians at the time of his 16 point loss in his re-election campaign), Frothy has managed to control his brand to be the squeaky clean Xristian in the room.

But going back to the first point, on the sanctity of life crap, Frothy and Karen used to be pro-choice once upon a time. Like when she was shacking up with her 40-plus-years-her-senior lover before meeting the scold she would end up marrying. (Dr. Allen actually delivered Karen, which is kinda creepy when you think about it.) Oh, yeah: he also operated Pittsburg's first Abortion Clinic, and presumably he and Karen practiced contraception.

Says the good doctor:

"When she moved out to go be with Rick, she told me I'd like him, that he was pro-choice and a humanist," said Allen, an elderly but vibrant man, during a brief conversation on the porch of his Pittsburgh row home. "But I don't think there's a humanist bone in that man's body."

Anyway, the article is full of stuff that needs to be broadcast more widely and has citations to original source material. It's a great read.


OK, it's official: Israel has a death wish. It's Suicide by Political Stupidity. "Israel's Supreme Court has upheld a controversial law that bans most Palestinians who marry Israelis from obtaining either citizenship or residency in the country. In a six-five ruling, the court agreed that Palestinians who gain Israeli citizenship through marriage pose a security threat. Parliament passed the law in 2003, at the height of the second Palestinian uprising, a time when fighters from the West Bank frequently entered Israel to carry out deadly attacks. The law is believed to have prevented thousands of Palestinians from living with their spouses. Civil rights groups had argued that Israel's Basic Laws, the country's de facto constitution, grant all citizens the right to family life. They also say that few Palestinian spouses of Israelis have ever been involved in violence. "It is a dark day for the protection of human rights and for the Israeli Supreme Court," lawyers Dan Yakir and Oded Feller, from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) said in a statement. ACRI was one of three rights groups that had appealed to the Supreme Court over the law."


Missouri republicans contiue their hateful assault on poor people. "The ATM-like cards used for food stamps would have to include a photo identifying the cardholder under a bill proposed by a Lee's Summit Republican. ... State Sen. Will Kraus defended the bill in committee, arguing it is an attempt to prevent fraud. Last year, as part of a bill mandating that federal welfare recipients be subject to drug testing in order to keep their benefits, lawmakers included a provision requiring a photo on the cards used to access payments. ... Kraus said his bill is the next logical step. The bill would mandate a card with a photo be issued to everyone in a household older than 16 who is receiving the benefits. ... "Without a photo ID, recipients can sell their food stamp card to someone else, who can then turn around and use the benefits for their personal use," Kraus said. ... There also would be costs associated with training, notification and acquiring new equipment. ... Democratic Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal of University City questioned the need for such a bill and asked for figures about just how frequent cases of fraud occur that might be prevented by a photo ID. ... Kraus said that figure would be difficult to determine, but pointed to his own experience where he said he witnessed someone committing this type of fraud. ... "It's just hard for me to consider voting for this bill based solely on your one experience," Chappelle-Nadal said. "If we're going to do this, we need to get empirical evidence.""


The housing crisis is the first item on the agenda of new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau head Richard Cordray as the agency released guidelines for how it will regulate the mortgage lending industry this week. It also launched its first investigation, a probe into kickbacks paid to a private mortgage lender.


Nearly 40 people were arrested protesting the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and indefinite detention outside the gates of the White House yesterday. The protesters were from the grassroots group Witness Against Torture, which is calling for the closure of the prison camp.


Republicans mad about debt ceiling increase they already agreed to

Here's an amusing tale of woe from the dysfunctional family of mutants running the federal government: Barack Obama mentioned in the waning days of 2011 that he needed permission to raise the debt ceiling once again, as outlined and wholly foreseen by the debt agreement reached after a lot of tearful hate sex with Congress in August, but congressional leaders asked him to wait to make the request since HELLO, ON VACATION and wanted a chance to formally vote on it instead of just letting the request receive a standard automatic approval after fifteen days without a response. Obama agreed to wait to prove that he unlike everyone else in America has decided to Respect Congress or whatever, mostly we are guessing because of all the Republican sobbing over his recess appointments, and so now John Boehner's thank-you-for-waiting greeting card for Obama has arrived in the form of a whiny statement scolding the President for asking for a thing both parties agreed to months ago. READ MORE »


Survey: Illegal Corporate Campaign Contributions Up 400%


Mario: What do North Korea and Indiana have in common?

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