Friday, October 30, 2009
And what in the name of Allah does Joe Wilson know about Africa? Ok, let’s ignore the fact that he served as foreign service officer in several countries in Africa, he was an Ambassador in Africa and he was in charge of Africa at the National Security Council. Just because he followed the issue of uranium exports from Niger and their possible use in nuclear proliferation does not qualify Joe Wilson to do anything but drink green tea..."
Clinton’s willingness to hear out the tirades and try to explain the U.S. point of view won her respect, said Mohsin, who was among leading editors invited to air their opinions.
“Whether the charm offensive works,” she added, “will depend on how consistent America’s commitment is to impact peoples’ livelihood...”"
Thursday, October 29, 2009
“If this is the best we can do, then it is time to ask ourselves whether the two-party system is truly capable of representing the American people or whether the system has been so compromised by special interests that we can’t even protect the health of our own people. This is a moment of truth for the Democratic Party. Will we stand for the people or the insurance companies?”..."
'Fat people are fair game for everyone,' says Ms Coupe, who weighs 22 stone (139kg). 'Yes, I've had beer cans thrown at me by youngsters, but the abuse doesn't just come from the obvious places.
'The normal rules about behaviour, respect and common courtesy don't apply to us...'"
Since this is another club that I don't want to be a member of, I can speak to this with some authority. I took crap from people in a K-12 environment-- I certainly don't put up with it today, though it rarely happens anymore. Still, from Jay Leno talking about our asses to airlines charging extra, yeah, it does seem that it is ok to make any sort of stupid comment about people's weight. The only time in my civilian life when my weight was reasonable was during a period of a few years when I ran upwards of thirty miles a week. That, folks, takes a tremendous amount of time, and no it is not as simple as "don't eat," which is rather akin to telling a smoker to quit smoking by not breathing. Trust me-- no one wants to be fat but until a magic bullet is found society is just going to have to tolerate us.
We're seeing that now, as one member after another expresses doubts, concerns and reservations about the health care bill, all of which entitles them to special hand-holding and extra media attention..."
I'm sure some people will complain that O should've left the photographers behind, and maybe they are right. But I wonder, did either of the Presidents Bush ever meet the body of a warrior in such a fashion? And, yes, that is the way you truly understand the cost of war. Next step, attend a funeral.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Ford Fusion beats Camry, Accord in reliability rating | Detroit Free Press | Freep.com: "Ford Motor Co. has secured its position as the only domestic automaker with world-class reliability, according to a report released today by Consumer Reports at a lunch event in Detroit hosted by the Automotive Press Association..."
"It must have seemed so perfect. An obscure blogger unearths some pages of President Obama's college thesis. The report supposedly comes from big-time journalist Joe Klein of Time magazine. And the thesis has some real gems: like Obama's disdain for the Constitution. The whole thing was nothing more than a satirical post on a humor blog. But Rush Limbaugh, who quoted from the supposed thesis on his radio show, sure wasn't laughing. Here's how it went down..."
When the whole rotten experiment suddenly failed, eventually bringing to an end not just Moscow’s Warsaw Pact client governments but the proxy civil wars it fought in the Third World, instead of engaging in overdue self-criticism many commentators clung to shopworn shibboleths..."
"Republicans chafing over Obama’s continued finger pointing at the failings of the Bush Administration need to look in the mirror and check their own glass house. Why? Because 9-11 happened because of Bill Clinton.
Now I do not believe that. But when you try to discuss the failures of the Bush Administration in taking action that might have prevented 9-11 there are many on the right who insist this was Bill Clinton’s fault and Bush was just an innocent by-stander.
So I don’t want to hear any crocodile tears from Republicans and Conservatives about Obama refusing to accept responsibility for the mess he inherited from Bush. If it is good for the goose it is good for the gander..."
Monday, October 26, 2009
"...I’m baffled that anyone is surprised. He told us loud and clear that helping the insurance companies was his priority. When he was an Illinois’ State Senator working on that state’s attempt at expanding coverage, this was the contribution he was proud of:
“We radically changed [the health care bill] in response to concerns that were raised by the insurance industry.” (Obama, 2004/05/19, report from Sep. 23, 2007)"
Sunday, October 25, 2009
'Even a cursory examination of the data suggests that in these challenging economic times, compensation for bank employees has become unmoored from the banks' financial performance,' the report said..."
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
The Media Can Legally Lie: "...According to Akre and Wilson, the station was initially very excited about the series. But within a week, Fox executives and their attorneys wanted the reporters to use statements from Monsanto representatives that the reporters knew were false and to make other revisions to the story that were in direct conflict with the facts. Fox editors then tried to force Akre and Wilson to continue to produce the distorted story. When they refused and threatened to report Fox's actions to the FCC, they were both fired.(Project Censored #12 1997)
Akre and Wilson sued the Fox station and on August 18, 2000, a Florida jury unanimously decided that Akre was wrongfully fired by Fox Television when she refused to broadcast (in the jury's words) “a false, distorted or slanted story” about the widespread use of BGH in dairy cows. They further maintained that she deserved protection under Florida's whistle blower law. Akre was awarded a $425,000 settlement. Inexplicably, however, the court decided that Steve Wilson, her partner in the case, was ruled not wronged by the same actions taken by FOX..."
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Is there another McVeigh out there?
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
"...FRANKEN: I think we disagree on whether health care reform, the health care reform that we’re talking about in Congress now should pass. You said that the way we’re going will increase bankruptcies. I want to ask you, how many medical bankruptcies because of medical crises were there last year in Switzerland?
FURCHTGOTT-ROTT: I don’t have that number in front of me, but I can find out and get back to you.
FRANKEN: I can tell you how many it was. It’s zero. Do you know how many medical bankruptcies there were last year in France?
FURCHTGOTT-ROTT: I don’t have that number, but I can get back to you if I like.
FRANKEN: Yeah, the number is zero. Do you know how many were in Germany?..."
The closest thing to Main Street stimulus has been "Cash For Clunkers." How about some "Cash For Public Works" or "Cash For Teacher's Aides?" Or "Cash For Manufacturing Jobs?"
In the comments for this post, Alessandro Machi outlined a darn good idea methinks:
"It's actually simpler than that. Just waive all interest rate charges on EXISTING consumer credit card debt for anybody who is trying to pay down their credit card debt. (however the banks can't waive interest and then have someone run up even more credit card debt that they will never pay off)
This would instantly divert 15-25 billion dollars a month into local economies. The local economies would be strengthened not by bailouts and stimulus packages, but by one person's paycheck stretching farther.
The banks would not lose out as their customer default rates would shrink almost overnight. As people had more of their paycheck money to spend, they in turn could stimulate their own local economies through their own sweat equity.
This in turn means as this additional 15-25 billion dollars a month goes into local economies the people who are then being paid to do jobs or services could start to pay off their loans. It really is that simple."
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Then again, maybe it is politics...
"We've seen some fancy applications for Microsoft's Surface, the touchable, strokable, caressable computing device/big-ass table, but not a single one has made us twitter in nerdy glee like Surfacescapes. Created by a team at Carnegie Mellon University, it's an implementation of Dungeons & Dragons in 3D, something that has of course been done dozens and dozens of times before, but this is different. Way different. It brilliantly brings the tabletop style of play to Surface, with players moving real figurines over virtual battlefields, rolling virtual d20s and d6s to deal real damage against digital dire wolves and the like, opponents who can move and attack automatically. Sure, it takes some of the imagination out of the experience, but it'll also make re-rolling your character a heck of a lot easier -- not to mention eliminating the dungeonmaster's folder of magic, mystery, and crudely drawn maps..."
[Via Microsoft Surface Blog]
Monday, October 19, 2009
Almost needless to say, all of these things are categorically false. The “death panels” falsehood, for example, was invented by serial misinformer Betsy McCaughey (financed by the right-wing Manhattan Institute with money from tobacco giant Philip Morris), amplified by Sarah Palin, and then broadcast day and night by Fox News. And so it goes, day after day..."
The first paragraph above contains the core worrying point in the entire debacle-- most people cannot discern the difference between fantasy and reality. Lord help us when V returns. Or can you imagine the chaos Special Bulletin would make today, especially if it were broadcast by Fox?
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Recent "Media Tell The Truth" rallies all seem to say that Fox is the only truthful media outlet. The reality is that there is no truthful media outlet. Fox is a GOP operation; MSNBC is a Democratic leaning outlet; CNN speaks for corporate America. The networks all have their focus, too, and most of that is in service to their owner overlords.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Obama Threatens Insurers’ Anti-Trust Exemption - NYTimes.com: "...In unusually harsh terms, Mr. Obama cast insurance companies as obstacles to change interested only in preserving their own “profits and bonuses” and willing to “bend the truth or break it” to stop his drive to remake the nation’s health care system. The president used his weekly radio and Internet address to push back against industry assertions that legislation will drive up premiums.
“It’s smoke and mirrors,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s bogus. And it’s all too familiar. Every time we get close to passing reform, the insurance companies produce these phony studies as a prescription and say, ‘Take one of these, and call us in a decade.’ Well, not this time...”"
Let us hope not. The only way American manufacturing can become competitive again is for the public to underwrite health care the way it is done in most of the industrialized world.
And we need manufacturing and agriculture and the high tech industries to provide a tax base for everyone.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Preet Bharara, the United States attorney, said the charges were “a wake-up call for Wall Street.”
But prosecutors said on Friday that he had profited not from his trading genius but from his Rolodex, and they arrested him on charges of conspiracy and securities fraud in what they called the biggest insider trading scheme ever involving a hedge fund..."
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Of course, the GOP, during the reign of Bush The Lesser, never engaged in that sort of behavior-- other than creating their own reality, much like Obama, where they happened to tread.
The reports cover only a small portion of the $787 billion package: spending on infrastructure and social programs being carried out by contractors. Those companies had been awarded around $16 billion, of which they had spent $2 billion by the beginning of this month..."
YouTube - iRobot's Soft Morphing Blob 'Bot Takes Its First Steps
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
But what all these critics always miss is that the President can’t change the law that forces gays in uniform to cover-up their sexuality. Only Congress can.
It’s the members of Congress, not the President, who are ignoring the growing sentiment in America to end discrimination against lesbians homosexuals in the U.S. military..."
The comment thread at the post displays an, er, ungay bias.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.
And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise..."
"In the health care reform debate, where playing nice has been the rule, a scathing insurance industry report looked to critics Monday like a grenade aimed at scuttling progress in Congress.
But it also looked to some like too little, too late.
Not only did the report land many months into the debate — with Democrats on the cusp of passing bills through five committees — it infuriated some of the very people the industry group hoped to influence.
Monday, October 12, 2009
"...And another thing. The country is “closely divided”? Barack Obama won the election by 192 electoral votes, Democrats control both Houses of Congress, have a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, and the opposition Republicans have been utterly decimated, and are floundering in the polls.
This is closely divided? This is an environment in which Democrats are going to have to recognize that the president is going to have to break his promises?
Maybe it’s time for some White House advisers to get out of their pajamas and read a newspaper once in a while. They might find out that we actually won the election (and that the blogs - and the gay community - played a key role in that victory).
This governing from a position of weakness and fear “thing” is getting old, fast..."
the olympic police are also clandestinely observing any olympic protests. protesters are paid a visit by undercover rcmp olympic security forces. not only are protesters paid a visit, friends and relatives of protesters are also paid a visit. once again, i'm not making this up..."
Sunday, October 11, 2009
"Last year's Republican nominee for president predicted that Sarah Palin will remain a "formidable force'' in the GOP, despite criticisms that the former vice presidential candidate lacked the substance and policy knowledge needed for national office..."
Saturday, October 10, 2009
'They're doing what they always do, descending on Congress, using every bit of influence they have to maintain the status quo that has maximized their profits at the expense of American consumers, despite the fact that recently a whole bunch of those same American consumers bailed them out as a consequence of the bad decisions that they made,' Obama said Friday at a White House gathering of key lawmakers, administration officials and other supporters..."
If he keeps talking like that, I may get excited. Or not.
Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. bought Hummer in a $150 million deal, according to several people familiar with the deal. Under the terms, GM will continue to manufacture the vehicles until no later than 2012, when Tengzhong will take over production..."
Friday, October 09, 2009
“Something has happened here that we all agree with the Taliban and Iran about, and that is he doesn’t deserve the award.” -R. Limbaugh.
But the latest national telephone survey shows that 83% now view government ethics and corruption as very important, placing it just ahead of the economy on a list of 10 key electoral issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports. Eighty-two percent (82%) of voters see the economy as very important..."
You can't clean-up the pig pen if the hogs are still in the lot.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Al Franken Keeps His Promise « The Confluence: "...Well, the first piece of legislation Al worked on was not on behalf of Goldman Sachs, or Haliburton, or Wall Street. It was for veterans, and it was aimed at making service dogs more affordable for wounded veterans..."
We would have been much better off if McCain had won. As long as conservative propagandists can pretend that unregulated laissez faire is an untried ideal, we will never have a return to Keynesian sanity. Since 1980, this nation has remained in psychic thrall to the ideas and ideals of Milton Friedman. We've been hypnotized. Four years of Depression with a Republican in the White House might have forced us, finally, to snap out of our trance. Instead, we're going to get four years of Depression under Barack Obama -- a sell-out whose tepid half-measures have been ludicrously branded 'socialist...'"
Ethics Committee to Expand Investigation Into Rangel Allegations - Political News - FOXNews.com: "The House Ethics Committee voted unanimously on Thursday to expand its probe of Rep. Charlie Rangel, D.-N.Y., chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee who is at the center of an investigation into a long and stinging list of alleged wrongdoing..."
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Is Hollywood really a hotbed of support for Roman Polanski? | The Big Picture | Los Angeles Times:
"...There's only one problem: All of those filmmakers, along with Harvey Weinstein, live far, far away from Hollywood and, with occasional exceptions, make their movies outside of Hollywood as well. If you look up the rest of the names on the best-known petition in circulation, it is filled with the names of foreign filmmakers, writers and actors -- including the likes of Pedro Almodovar, Wong Kar Wai, Alfonso Cuaron, Isabelle Adjani and Salman Rushdie -- who also rarely set foot in Hollywood. If critics like Teachout want to claim that high-brow artists and writers have rushed to Polanski's defense, fair enough. But to say that Hollywood is in his corner, as part of a political argument that Hollywood is a liberal elite woefully ignorant of mainstream values, is just hogwash.
There's no petition going around with the names of the real Hollywood elite -- A-list filmmakers and studio chiefs like Steven Spielberg, Alan Horn, James Cameron, Amy Pascal, Jerry Bruckheimer, Brian Grazer, Tom Rothman, J.J. Abrams, John Lasseter or Michael Bay -- because the real Hollywood elite isn't supporting Polanski. In fact, they haven't offered the slightest hint of backing for Polanski. It's only European and New York-based artists, who clearly see the world in a very different light than the real Hollywood elite..."
A close-up of the document reveals he was previously known as Sabourjian – a Jewish name meaning cloth weaver..."
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Asked whether it was 'more important' to 'prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means taking military action' or to 'avoid military conflict, even if Iran may develop nuclear weapons,' 61 percent chose the first option, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press..."
Let's rephrase this poll a bit: "Would you sacrifice your son or daughter to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons?" If you can't truthfully answer "yes," then you have no business offering an opinion on the subject. (Read the various news reports of the Panama Canal treaty way back when for a primer on nonsense, weapons, and invasions.)
In the 41 sentences of her remarks, Michelle Obama used some form of the personal pronouns 'I' or 'me' 44 times. Her husband was, comparatively, a shrinking violet, using those pronouns only 26 times in 48 sentences. Still, 70 times in 89 sentences conveyed the message that somehow their fascinating selves were what made, or should have made, Chicago's case compelling..."
Monday, October 05, 2009
Is there some kind of rule in Medicare that says doctors can't charge more? If so, I'd like to know where. All of my medical people have no problem charging more than what my insurance covers, so is Medicare different somehow? Oh, and that "cost of treatment"-- how is that figured and who figures that and what sort of profit margin is built into that calculation?
Sunday, October 04, 2009
'I know it wasn't rape-rape,' Goldberg said. 'Initially he was charged with rape, and then pled guilty to having sex with a minor.' On Wednesday, Goldberg said that she was not defending Polanski but rather trying to clarify the precise charge he pleaded to..."
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Remember when Republicans accused Democrats of rooting against America?
Judging from the volume of exultant Tweets and press releases from Republicans today -- you'd think they'd won a doubleheader, what with Chicago losing the Olympics and the unemployment numbers rising unexpectedly..."
Friday, October 02, 2009
Sure, Schmidt was trying to be derogatory when he said her nomination as the GOP's presidential candidate in 2012 would be 'catastrophic' for the party..."
Sheriff Robert Holland said the teenagers filmed the stunt and put the video on YouTube. Federal investigators involved in the case have since taken the clip down."
They were attempting to burn a stone fire tower.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
The freshman congressman said the statement, which he made in brief remarks Tuesday night on the House floor, was triggered after he read an article by Harvard scientists claiming 44,000 Americans die every year because of a lack of health insurance..."
The 'Chinatown' director, 76, was arrested in Switzerland on Sunday at the request of the United States for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977. He had fled the United States on the eve of his sentencing in 1978, fearing a 50-year jail term.
'There are concerns over the absolutely incredible media lynching to which Roman Polanski was subjected 30 years ago,' Mitterrand told a news conference in Paris..."
On Huckleberry Half-Truth's (Mike Huckabee) radio show this morning, he quoted a survey of French citizens which said the overwhelming majority of French wanted Roman the Child Rapist put away, pointing out that the elites everywhere are out of touch with the thinking of the less powerful.
Update: The French Government has dropped its opposition to the U.S. concerning Polanski.