Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Headlines - Wednesday August 1

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So, the Republicans flipped out at the USDA for urging its employees to celebrate Meatless Mondays.

I'm not surprised. The GOP "is" all about special interests, and farming in America is one of the biggest special interests around. So naturally, the Republican party would yet again find a way to help kill more Americans sooner. Too bad we don't have a national system to guarantee good health insurance.
Ryan Grim and Sam Stein have the story over at HuffPo:
A month or so ago, he said, a person who had invested with Bain Capital called his office.

"Harry, he didn't pay any taxes for 10 years," Reid recounted the person as saying.

"He didn't pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that's true? Well, I'm not certain," said Reid. "But obviously he can't release those tax returns. How would it look?

"You guys have said his wealth is $250 million," Reid went on. "Not a chance in the world. It's a lot more than that. I mean, you do pretty well if you don't pay taxes for 10 years when you're making millions and millions of dollars."

Oh, boo-hoo! BP investors will not be heartened by the unexpectedly severe loss Europe's second-largest oil company experienced over the three-month period that ended June 30, as the company had already been lacking performance-wise lately. BP reported a loss of $1.4 billion, which it chalked up to a delayed Alaska project, the United States' taking advantage of its shale gas assets, and $4.8 billion in write-downs on some of their refineries. "This is a very, very disappointing set of results; they missed across all fronts by a wide margin," said one London oil analyst. BP's CEO, Bob Dudley, is struggling to perform under the weight of problems he inherited from predecessor Tony Hayward after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

More at the NYT.


This is one of the most horrifying situations I've ever seen. (Warning: the photos at the link are quite gruesome.) And a military commander stopped a probe to protect his own standing? Organizational politics to an insane degree:

An explosive Congressional investigation revealed horrific new details this week about a U.S. funded military hospital in Afghanistan that kept patients in "Auschwitz-like" conditions.

The investigation also revealed that Lt. General William B. Caldwell, then commander of the $11.2 billion dollar a year Afghan training program, tried to block the probe and ordered a cover-up.

There are currently two ongoing investigations looking into the Dawood Military Hospital abuses: one centered around the Military Whistleblower Protection Act, the other concerned with Caldwell's politically-motivated decision to delay investigations into the hospital until after the 2010 elections.

What follows is a very disturbing look inside the Dawood National Military Hospital. It was compiled with sworn eye-witness testimony from the three U.S. Army colonels who blew the whistle on the scandal, as well as never-before published photos obtained by BuzzFeed.

The photos and corresponding descriptions were collected by U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan.


Gore Vidal has passed away at age 86.

Besides being a gifted writer of novels, screen plays, and essays, Mr. Vidal was an unparalleled and fearless wit. Listening to him take on Norman Mailer and William Buckley remains a treat for me.

Mr. Vidal also was a champion of the people and the Constitution. He fought as hard against the illegal Iraq War as anyone I know–probably harder–and drew lightening for it. My guess is that his last regret was not outliving Dick Cheney.

RIP, Gore Vidal. You will be missed. (And thanks for all the words.)



Walton Henry Butler charged with hate crime

Florida man charged with hate crime says he 'only shot a n*gger'


Five will get you ten that he votes republican, if he bothers to vote (personally I hope he doesn't). A man in Tennessee - who apparently lost the genetic lottery in a big, big way if his mugshot is any indication - is in jail after beating up his girlfriend after seeing a picture of Mitt Romney on her Facebook page and accusing her of having an affair with him.


Rep. King Goes Birther: Floats Theory That Obama's Parents Telegrammed Fake Hawaii Birth Announcement


From Fucker Carlson's site:


GOP Senators Celebrate 'Meat Monday' After USDA's 'Meatless Monday' Mishap


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