Sunday, January 31, 2010

Powerless In Appalachia

No, I'm not talking about gun-clinging votes; I'm being literal. Therefore, expect sporadic blogging, not that anyone will notice.

We have been without power since 4:56 Friday afternoon. The storm dumped a foot of snow on us between 2:00 pm, when the first flakes fell, and midnight. At shortly after midnight I did my last check and there was 14 inches on top of a deck rail. After midnight, the snow turned to ice/freezing rain so by morning we had about 8 inches of snow and two inches of ice.

Trees cracked, popped, and exploded all night under the weight of the snow, but still it was nowhere nearly as bad as the Great Blizzard of '93. (Right, Crusty?) I've spent the last hour or so on the tractor scrapping the driveway, though I know we'll still have a glaze of impassable black ice in the morning. The Domestic Supervisor is out walking the fence line. We have a monumental clean-up job ahead, and, oh yeah, the basement is flooded.

But to borrow from the last scene of Full Metal Jacket-- we are still alive.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Good Fat

BBC News - Overweight elderly 'live longer'

Warmer Slower Because...

Slowdown in Warming Tied to Less Water Vapor - "Climatologists have puzzled over why global average temperatures have stayed roughly flat in the past decade, despite a long-term warming trend. New research suggests that lower levels of water vapor in the stratosphere may partly explain the anomaly..."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Offering The Dove's Wing

Obama reaches out to GOP, says 'I want the Republicans off the sidelines' - Of course what he's going to get in return is a stump; the only real question is which joint was eaten off- wrist, elbow, or shoulder.

"I'm Not Bush!"

Bush’s Third Term | Cato @ Liberty: "With President Obama’s repeated attempts to draw distinctions between himself from his predecessor—and a widespread belief that he and Bush are polar opposites in nearly every way—it’s actually startling how similar the two men are. And if the policies match the rhetoric, it’s going to be another very long 4-8 years filled with ever more government intrusion and red ink..."

Well, there were a bunch of us who saw that Obama was exactly Bush III, not JFK II, so the above ain't exactly news but the post does contain a nifty quote comparison matrix.

UnActivist Court Activates

Justice Alito mouths 'not true' when Obama blasts Supreme Court ruling in State of the Union address: "...In response to this criticism of their recent ruling, Justice Samuel Alito shook his head and appeared to mouth 'Not true...'" It takes a true neocon to bend the First Amendment into businesses being people, and claim to be a strict conservative constructionist and not an at all a "legislating from the bench" type jurist; I'll believe that when I see a corporation on trial for murder

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wishin' 'N Hopin'


Some Bad Things About The, Er, iPad

I resisted the temptation to use the name the author of this post used-- 8 Things That Suck About the iPad - apple ipad - Gizmodo.

Is Avatar The Greatest?

The 20 Most Populat Movies of all Time

Keep NASA Funding!

Carl has a great post advocating for the Space Program. Read it here: Simply Left Behind: Where No Man Has Gone Before...: The Non-Rapturist's Guide To The Galaxy

Leadership From Upper Left Coast

2010 Special Election Results - Breaking News, Local News, Local Weather, Local Sports: "Oregon voters have given their approval to measures that boost taxes on businesses and the wealthiest Oregonians.

Voters in today's election approved Measure 66 and Measure 67.

Measure 66 raises the tax on household incomes at and above $250,000, and $125,000 for individual filers..."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bugger Bust

From the "End Does Not Justify The Means" Department of "The Hall Of Conservative Excuse Making"---
Filmmaker Behind ACORN Stings Arrested For Attempted Bugging Of Landrieu's Office | TPMMuckraker

Comment Of The Day

"The Obama conundrum: Is there a "there" there?"--Cannonfire: "If everyone tells you how wonderful you are, brilliant, sparkling, the 'one we have been waiting for', is it so difficult to understand why you would begin to think that you are as terrific as they say?

Obama thinks of himself as a can of Febreeze. Spray him around long enough and people will be convinced he brought sunshine and freshness into the room just by his presence.

I mean, how much 'real work' would you bother to do if you had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize within the first week of office? How much effort would you put into the job at hand if before you even finished everybody told you how great it was?

I see him much like the character played by Robert Morse 'How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying', staring into the mirror and singing 'I believe in you!

posted by Anonymous Anonymous : 8:42 PM'"

The Big Sleep Studied

'Evidence of Afterlife' Author Long on Religion, Science - TIME

Fox Bush Whining Game - 'Blame Bush' Strategy Wears Thin as Obama Enters Second Year

Really? It's not wearing thin with me. And it surely didn't wear thin with the GOPers during the Raygun Reign when every problem was blamed on Jimmy Carter-- constantly. Little Skippy The Wonder Shrub and his caustic enablers had no problem blaming Bill Clinton for everything-- including 9/11. Well, everything but that huge budget surplus Skippy pissed away on wars and tax breaks for billionaires. Of course, Obama doesn't mind blaming Clinton either. Quit whining, GOP; it makes you look like Conan O'Brien.

No Face Hiding In France

France moves toward partial burqa ban - "Paris, France (CNN) -- French lawmakers Tuesday recommended a partial ban on any veils that cover the face -- including the burqa, the full-body covering worn by some Muslim women.

The ban on the 'voile integrale' -- which literally means 'total veil' -- would apply in public places like hospitals and schools, and on public transport, a French parliamentary commission announced..."

Monday, January 25, 2010

Comment Of The Day

palin: tabloid-magazine cover girl who climbed out of her igloo : NO QUARTER: "Rabble Rouser Rev. Amy--
No doubt, Ani - I think there is a LOT of jealousy when it comes to Palin. How else to explain liberals bashing someone who signed a law giving GLB state employees the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts? Or a woman who supports the Morning After Pill and birth control? Who know what it means to raise a special needs child, or to have a daughter get pregnant too young? How can this NOT resonate with a large number of people in this country?

One of the other smears the Dems did was to claim she had no college education (they did the same to McCain, apparently not realizing just what the Naval Academy is - shocking). There is evidence of it above in the Community college comment, though it was a positive one. Nothing against community colleges one bit, but Palin does have a BA..."

Good-Bye To A Fine (Non-Political) Blog

Cognitive Daily Closes Shop after a Fantastic Five-Year Run : Cognitive Daily

WSJ Says Leno Is Hitler

Wow, some over-the-top crap on the Leno/Conan fiasco. We're supposed to feel sorry for O'Brien and his $32 million golden parachute. Sorry. No can do. NBC Will Regret Appeasing Leno -

Common Sense Finally Prevails In Downloading Case

Judge Slashes Music Sharing Fine -- File Sharing -- InformationWeek: "The $1.92 million fine levied against Jammie Thomas-Rasset for illegally downloading music was cut to $54,000..."

Gates Sees No Quick Fix For Economy

Bill Gates Says U.S. Economy Needs 'Years of Digging Out' - IT Management from eWeek: "Microsoft Co-founder Bill Gates appeared on the Jan. 25 edition of ABC’s 'Good Morning America' to talk about the U.S. economy and his charitable works. Gates told viewers that the economy needs several years to recover and that taxpayers can expect to pay more in the coming months..."

The Blame Game

"The difference between the parties"--Cannonfire: "...Granted, Obama is, in fact, a very conservative president -- at least, he has been so far -- but much of the country nevertheless considers him a socialist, and they believe that socialism has caused our ruin. There is something in our national make-up which leads us to blame the Democrat while excusing the Republican, even when the Democrat more or less is a Republican.

Who says there's no difference between the parties? Dems are much better at playing the scapegoat."

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What Not To Wear: O Edition

See the pix at the link. Pundit & Pundette: What not to wear to a Medal of Honor award ceremony

The Poor Goose And The Rich Gander

Are there any Sane Republicans in South Carolina? « The Confluence: "...I wish I could talk to Lt. Gov. Bauer. I’d like to ask him if the bankers who got bailed out by the government to the tune of trillions of dollars should give something back for the help they got. Should they be drug tested too? Should we find out how their kids are performing in school and whether the bankers attend PTA meetings and parent-teacher conferences? Or should we maybe ask the bankers to help out some poor people? Should we do something to “break the cycle” of greed and corruption that the bankers have engaged in?"

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Unions The Blame For All Of CA's Troubles

Steven Greenhut: Public Employee Unions Are Sinking California - "...To do that California needs to take on its public employee unions.

Approximately 85% of the state's 235,000 employees (not including higher education employees) are unionized. As the governor noted during his $83 billion budget roll-out, over the past decade pension costs for public employees increased 2,000%. State revenues increased only 24% over the same period. A Schwarzenegger adviser wrote in the San Jose Mercury News in the past few days that, 'This year alone, $3 billion was diverted to pension costs from other programs.' There are now more than 15,000 government retirees statewide who receive pensions that exceed $100,000 a year, according to the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility.

Many of these retirees are former police officers, firefighters, and prison guards who can retire at age 50 with a pension that equals 90% of their final year's pay. The pensions for these (and all other retirees) increase each year with inflation and are guaranteed by taxpayers forever—regardless of what happens in the economy or whether the state's pensions funds have been fully funded (which they haven't been)..."

Ah, yes, how the power-brokers long for those halcyon days of no-bank bailouts, no corporate welfare, well, er,uh, not so much. Revised sentence: "Ah, yes, how the power-brokers long those halycon days of slavery." Gee, I wonder why the California public employees don't just do the right thing and work for nothing? Then they'd be just like all the public employees in the South and other non-union duchies-- subject to political whim and denied a fair wage while they watch the various societal parasites rake in billions of unearned wealth.

The GOP And The Tiger

Republicans Strain to Ride Tea Party Tiger - "As they look to make gains in statehouses and Congress this year, Republicans are trying to harness the Tea Party energy that helped make an unknown named Scott Brown the senator-elect from Massachusetts.

But it may not be easy, as one Republican in Colorado learned the hard way..."

O Supreme Complaint

Obama Assails Supreme Court Ruling On Political Advertising -
"U.S. President Barack Obama used his weekly radio address on Saturday to assail a Supreme Court ruling this week clearing the way for corporations to spend freely on political advertisements, calling it a big victory for special interests and "devastating to the public interest." He added that his administration is working with Congress to develop a bipartisan legislative solution to override the ruling..."

Friday, January 22, 2010

SOS Flogs China And We Like It

Hillary Clinton Channels FDR in Internet Freedom Speech « The Confluence: "Some people call us Hillary Die Hards like that’s a *bad* thing. But there’s a reason we supported her for president of the US. She leads from her principles.

That’s it. The whole shebang. We didn’t think she was perfect or transformative or a magical change agent. We figured that she’d piss us off occasionally. But in general, there’s a bedrock foundation of belief and commitment to her values and we can pretty much predict what side she’s going to come down on an issue.

That’s why the speech she gave yesterday at the Newseum in Washington came as no surprise to me..."

Another Reason To Move To California

Calif. court rejects limits on medical marijuana | Reuters: "The California Supreme Court on Thursday rejected limits on medical marijuana imposed by state lawmakers, finding that people with prescriptions for pot can have and grow all they need for personal use..."

China Rumbles

It's an AP story so I can't use any of their precious words. China warns U.S. over Clinton’s criticism - Security-

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fat Prejudice Kills

The surprising reason why being overweight isn't healthy -

Conan Baby Snit Fit

NBC Confirms Deal; Conan O'Brien Taunts With Bugatti Stunt - ABC News: "...O'Brien, who will host his last episode of 'The Tonight Show' on Friday, cheerfully claimed that featuring the car and the classic song on the show would cost NBC a total of $1.5 million..."

Maybe the baggy pants crowd finds this behavior funny, I certainly don't. If you just want to screw NBC, couldn't you "waste" their money by sending it to Haiti?

Blaming Obama - 5 Things Obama Can't Blame On Bush how many other things can he blame on Bush? Answer: a bunch.

Somebody Gets It

The lesson of Massachusetts? Anger - "...As employers have come to regard their employees as little more than another fixed expense, layoffs have become a routine tool for manicuring quarterly profits. Thus, even those lucky enough to have full-time jobs have little security in their current positions -- in which, as the current productivity numbers show, they're forced to work ever harder for less -- and none about their future, including retirement. This shift of economic risk onto the backs of the middle class has allowed the top 5% of income earners to amass a share of the country's wealth unmatched for a century.

There's the real source of the country's anger."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Stomach Turning Clap-Trap - America Betrayed President Bush

The Daily Uh-Oh

Nevermore? Mystery visitor misses Poe’s birthday - TODAY: Book news
"A mysterious visitor who each year leaves roses and cognac at the grave of Edgar Allan Poe on the writer's birthday failed to show early Tuesday, breaking with a ritual that began more than 60 years ago...."

The End Of A War

US waves white flag in disastrous 'war on drugs' - Americas, World - The Independent
"After 40 years of defeat and failure, America's "war on drugs" is being buried in the same fashion as it was born – amid bloodshed, confusion, corruption and scandal. US agents are being pulled from South America; Washington is putting its narcotics policy under review, and a newly confident region is no longer prepared to swallow its fatal Prohibition error. Indeed, after the expenditure of billions of dollars and the violent deaths of tens of thousands of people, a suitable epitaph for America's longest "war" may well be the plan, in Bolivia, for every family to be given the right to grow coca in its own backyard..."

The No Party Returns

Republicans criticize bipartisan US debt panel | Reuters

"Republican lawmakers on Wednesday blasted Democratic plans to set up a bipartisan debt-reduction commission, underlining the political challenges that face any effort to get the U.S. budget under control.

Riding high after unexpectedly picking up a U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts on Tuesday, key Republicans said they would not support a White House task force that would consider tax hikes, spending cuts and other unpopular measures to bring down budget deficits to a manageable level.

"It's a nothing-burger," said Republican Senator Judd Gregg, even though he has proposed a similar measure..."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Don't Overcook The Crow

Peter Daou: Liberal Bloggers to Obama and Dems: We Told You So

"...It took more than half a decade, countless American and Iraqi deaths in a war based on lies, a sinking economy and the drowning of an American city to finally kill Bush-Cheney-Rove's dream of a conservative realignment.

Democrats, controlling the White House and both houses of Congress, have managed to kill their own dream of dominance in 12 months.

How did it happen?..."

I hope the GOP doesn't start thinking that all those liberal Democrats voted for them and against health care reform.

Irony Thy Name Is Gunsight

BBC News - Gunsights' biblical references concern US and UK forces: "Coded references to biblical passages are inscribed on gunsights widely used by the US and British military in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has emerged.

The markings include "2COR4:6" and "JN8:12", relating to verses in the books of Corinthians II and John..."

More Climate Blunders

From the "Are You Going To Believe Your Lying Eyes" Department-- World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown - Times Online: "A WARNING that climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 is likely to be retracted after a series of scientific blunders by the United Nations body that issued it.

Two years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. A central claim was the world's glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035..."

Why Their Heads Are Pointy

Professor Is a Label That Leans to the Left -

"...These types of occupational reputations affect people’s career aspirations,” he added in a telephone interview from his office at the University of British Columbia. Mr. Fosse, his co-author, is a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard.

The academic profession “has acquired such a strong reputation for liberalism and secularism that over the last 35 years few politically or religiously conservative students, but many liberal and secular ones, have formed the aspiration to become professors,” they write in the paper, “Why Are Professors Liberal?” That is especially true of their own field, sociology, which has become associated with “the study of race, class and gender inequality — a set of concerns especially important to liberals..."

Environment Loses To Shipping

Michigan request denied in Great Lakes carp case | Reuters

More Bush Era Crimes

FBI got 2,000 phone records with fake terrorism emergencies: report / The Christian Science Monitor - "The Federal Bureau of Investigation used false terrorism emergencies to illegally collect more than 2,000 phone records between 2002 and 2006. A series of e-mails and memos obtained by The Washington Post details how FBI officials violated their own procedures and strained their communication analysis unit with non-urgent requests. In many instances, approval was granted after records had been collected to justify the FBI’s actions..."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Piling On Leno

Heavens knows I've levelled a ton of criticism at Leno for his Obama fluffing, though he was no less guilty than the rest of the late night comics, all of whom have and continue to give the Precious a free ride. But, I'm sorry; I don't find O'Brien, Letterman, or Kimmel anywhere near as funny or clever as the "low brow" Leno show. Stewart is as funny and Colbert is close, but the rest are also runs. Why Some Comics Aren't Laughing at Jay Leno (Essay) - Speakeasy - WSJ

Google Praised

Google Sends Right Message to China’s Police State: David Pauly - BusinessWeek: "Here’s hoping Google Inc. makes good on its threat to quit China.

It’s time someone in the U.S. stopped coddling the Chinese police state. The American government can’t, or won’t.

Though Google is late coming around as an advocate of free speech in China, it still deserves applause. The company said last week it would stop censoring its Chinese search engine,, as the communist government dictates -- and might even close the business..."

Someone Has A Devilish Compact

The 'Devil' Writes Pat Robertson A Letter - The Two-Way - Breaking News, Analysis Blog : NPR
"The Minneapolis Star-Tribune published a letter from Satan to evangelist Pat Robertson, responding to his comment that Haiti's persistent troubles, including the earthquake, are due to a pact the nation made with Mephistopheles..."

No Bee-Keeper Suits In France?

The French may ban the burqa, and I'm with them on this issue. For a thorough discussion follow this link: Guerres de culture « The Confluence

Plastic Bottle Killer Concerns

An old internet legend has apparently come true-- this one has been kicking around emails for years--In Reversal, U.S. Expresses Concern Over Additive to Plastics - "In a shift of position, the Food and Drug Administration is expressing concerns about possible health risks from bisphenol-A, or BPA, a widely used component of plastic bottles and food packaging that it declared safe in 2008..."

NASA Not Immune To Coke

Cocaine discovery prompts investigation by NASA -

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Inexcusable Hospital Behavior

Patients demand: 'Give us our damned data' - "For five days as herehavior husband lay in his hospital bed suffering from kidney cancer, Regina Holliday begged doctors and nurses for his medical records, and for five days she never received them.

On the sixth day, her husband needed to be transferred to another hospital -- without his complete medical records.

'When Fred arrived at the second hospital, they couldn't give him any pain medication because they didn't know what drugs he already had in his system, and they didn't want to overdose him,' says Holliday, who lives in Washington. 'For six hours he was in pain, panicking, while I ran back to the first hospital and got the rest of the records.'

Despite a federal law requiring hospitals and doctors to release medical records to patients who ask for them, patients are reporting they have a hard time accessing them leading to complications like the ones the Holliday family experienced..."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Coakley Finds Chink In Brown's Armor

Coakley: Scott Brown doesn't pay for health care for workers - Local News Updates - The Boston Globe: "Democratic US Senate candidate Martha Coakley today highlighted her differences with her opponent, Republican Scott Brown, on health insurance reform by saying that Brown does not pay for health insurance for his campaign workers, while she does.

“We already knew that Scott Brown didn’t want to make health insurance more affordable for Massachusetts families and businesses. Now we learn that he won’t even make health insurance available for his own staff. If he won’t stand up for the people he employs, how could we ever trust him to stand up for us?' Coakley said in a statement..."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Boostin' Bill

Mass. Senate candidate looks for boost from 'rock star' Bill Clinton - Local News Updates - The Boston Globe: "With a new poll suggesting the race for the US Senate in Massachusetts is too close to call, Democrat Martha Coakley is hoping for a boost today from former President Bill Clinton, who is headlining a rally in downtown Boston..."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Later Doomsday

'Doomsday Clock' Moves Away From Midnight but Only by 1 Minute - ABC News: "A group of international scientists this morning announced that they are moving the hands of the symbolic 'Doomsday Clock' away from midnight -- or the figurative apocalypse -- but only by one minute.

The clock, which is maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, was designed to reflect how close civilization is to 'catastrophic destruction.' First set at seven minutes to midnight, the clock has been moved only 18 times since its creation in 1947..."

Haiti Gets Aid Faster Than New Orleans

BBC News - US rushes troops to Haiti earthquake zone: "The US is sending up to 3,500 soldiers and 2,200 marines to Haiti to help rescue efforts in the wake of the devastating earthquake..." Remember Katrina? Remember wondering where the military choppers were when people were drowning on rooftops?

Rudy Gets Fruity

NYC - A Giuliani Lapse About Bush Recalls a Prayer on 9/11 - "...The former mayor suffered a bout of foot-in-mouth disease when he said during a television interview that “we had no domestic attacks under Bush.” Could it be that Mr. 9/11 forgot about 9/11? Not a chance. In short order, Mr. Giuliani apologized for his lapse. He said that he usually adds the words “since Sept. 11” when describing America as having been attack-free on President Bush’s watch.

Actually, even that statement is of dubious accuracy — unless one discounts post-9/11, Bush-in-the-White-House moments like the anthrax attacks, the airplane shoe bomber, the lethal assault on an El Al ticket counter in Los Angeles and, for that matter, the D.C. sniper shootings that killed 10 people and terrorized Washington and its environs..."

The Daily Uh-Oh

Watertown Daily Times | Amish families exempt from insurance mandate: "Federal health care reform will require most Northern New Yorkers — but not all, it turns out — to carry health insurance or risk a fine.

Hundreds of Amish families in the region are likely to be free from that requirement..."

O Warned By GOPer

Whether it's Jesse Helms warning Bill Clinton to stay out of North Carolina or Scott Brown telling Obama he can't have an opinion on the Massachusetts Senate race, various GOPers and wannabes are always telling Democratic presidents that they can't be involved in any of the local issues. I don't recall anyone telling Reagan or the Bushes they must stay away, though that might have been a good idea in some cases. - GOP Candidate Warns Obama to 'Stay Away' From Massachusetts Senate Race: "...Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown issued a stern warning to President Obama, cautioning him to 'stay away' from Massachusetts as he battles Democratic rival Martha Coakley in a heated race, the Boston Herald reported.

'He should stay away and let Martha and I discuss the issues one on one,' Brown told the Herald. 'The machine is coming out of the woodwork to get her elected. They're bringing in outsiders, and we don't need them...'"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wall Street Befuddled By Anger

Dana Milbank - 'Sorry' still seems to be the hardest word on Wall Street - "Goldman Sachs Chairman Lloyd Blankfein still doesn't get it.

Unemployment is at 10 percent and Americans are suffering because of the meltdown he and his colleagues helped create. But Blankfein's firm, generously bailed out by taxpayers, has already returned to its ways of greed.

Next week, Goldman, the most powerful firm on Wall Street, will report its bonuses for 2009, and through the first nine months of the year it had set aside nearly $17 billion for compensation -- roughly on par with 2007, when Blankfein was paid a record $68 million as his firm led the country off an economic cliff..."

Will China Lose Its Competitive Edge?

The loss of Google will ultimately be very bad for China, but will keep the U.S. and others in a more competitive position in the world economy. China faces backlash from 'netizens' if Google leaves -

Pick An Agrieved Party

BBC News - Turkey threatens diplomatic action over Israel 'snub'

Happy Daze

Perhaps a lack of tax revenue will do what common sense could never get done. Marijuana legalization gets OK from California legislative committee - Politics AP - "Assemblyman Tom Ammiano emerged Tuesday from a victorious committee vote to legalize marijuana proclaiming history was in the making.

It didn't matter that his bill was dead on non-arrival. A separate Assembly health committee won't take up the bill this week, meaning it will miss a legislative deadline for reaching the Assembly floor..."

Palin Shrinks

Her new job is not going to help her win my vote. Sarah Palin Makes Fox News Debut, Slams Obama, Critics - ABC News

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Praise For Sen.Clinton

A Couple of Brave Souls Dare to Praise Hillary Clinton « The Confluence: "...Scarborough goes on to enumerate the many times Hillary fought back during the 2008 primaries, and finishes with this high praise for Hillary’s character:

Character is rarely revealed in its sharpest contrast after a glorious victory. Instead, you find out what a person is made of after they sustain a soul crushing defeat. In her long, tortured march toward Denver, Hillary Clinton showed more character, more resilience, and more true grit than any presidential candidate I can recall.

And in that losing cause, Secretary Clinton served as a great example of character not only for my young daughter, but for us all. It is that type of strength that we need in our leaders now more than ever.

Thank you Peter and Joe for being unafraid to stand up to the slick, slimy Villagers and their ugly, envious, bile-ridden media courtiers. I salute you both!"

Bombing Muddle In Iran

Bomb Blast Kills Physics Professor in Tehran -

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Biggest Threat To America

Op-Ed Columnist - The Other Plot to Wreck America - "THERE may not be a person in America without a strong opinion about what coulda, shoulda been done to prevent the underwear bomber from boarding that Christmas flight to Detroit. In the years since 9/11, we’ve all become counterterrorists. But in the 16 months since that other calamity in downtown New York — the crash precipitated by the 9/15 failure of Lehman Brothers — most of us are still ignorant about what Warren Buffett called the “financial weapons of mass destruction” that wrecked our economy. Fluent as we are in Al Qaeda and body scanners, when it comes to synthetic C.D.O.’s and credit-default swaps, not so much..."

Flogging Dead Eye Dick

Is Dick Cheney a Sadist? | "...In fact, if we examine the nature of the policies promoted by former Vice President Cheney, we find a common thread: whether it’s torture, the wish to selectively —which many believe means entirely— abolish habeas corpus, arbitrary detention, snap bombing raids, invasions of whole countries based on deliberately manipulated intelligence, the common thread is a sadistic bloodlust. It is as if Mr. Cheney cannot find it in himself to put democracy ahead of the lust for a violent, unhinged response. He equates the use of brute force to “strength” and considers military action the most intelligent response in every case.

The pro-violence approach espoused by Cheney is not only cited, by both captured terrorists and the intelligence community, as a primary motivator for terrorist recruiting, it also belies a near total inability to think clearly on matters of national security. Whereas Cheney would have us believe he is serious because he is obsessed with carrying out violent acts and dehumanizing those suspected of involvement in terrorist plots, that obsession shows he is not serious about crafting the smartest solution to the problem. He is serious only about developing elaborate vehicles for sadistic behavior, using national security as an excuse..."

Reid Should Go, Says The Party Of Bush

...and Gingrich and the Diaper Boy and the Page Poker and the Oxy Addict and... well, I don't have that many words. Thanks for the advice. Now go Cheney yourself. GOP chief: Reid should step down as Senate leader -

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Relax And Live Longer - Reduce Stress, Extend Your Life, Thanks to DNA's 'Life-Expectancy' Gene: "We've heard for years about the benefits of reducing stress, and how we should make time for activities like meditation, yoga, and plain old relaxation. Now scientific evidence suggests that one of those benefits may actually be a longer life..."

International Silly Stuff

US denies any plane entered Venezuelan airspace - "The United States is denying a claim by President Hugo Chavez that a U.S. military plane entered Venezuelan airspace.

Chavez said the plane was met by his military's F-16s and escorted out of Venezuelan airspace..."

HC Pot 'n Kettle - GOP Senate Candidate Accuses Dems of Disregarding Voters to Pass Health Bill--- nope, the GOP has never ignored the will of the voter.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Fixing US

Interest article...How America Can Rise Again - The Atlantic (January/February 2010): "Is America going to hell? After a year of economic calamity that many fear has sent us into irreversible decline, the author finds reassurance in the peculiarly American cycle of crisis and renewal, and in the continuing strength of the forces that have made the country great: our university system, our receptiveness to immigration, our culture of innovation. In most significant ways, the U.S. remains the envy of the world. But here’s the alarming problem: our governing system is old and broken and dysfunctional. Fixing it—without resorting to a constitutional convention or a coup—is the key to securing the nation’s future..."

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Blowing Your Mind

I can't even ride a bike like this in my imagination: click for video.

From The "No Kidding" Department

Risky Business « The Confluence: "Well, it’s another one of those studies where the results are hardly surprising but I wonder if the conclusions will lead to any concrete change in policy. Three highly respected IMF economists have found a correlation between a bank’s poor performance, its risky lending practices and lavish, high dollar lobbying..."

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Assessing Intel Errors In Afghanistan

Musings on the State of the CIA : NO QUARTER: "...Folks, this is amateur hour. CIA leaders share the part of the blame in my book. They are not demanding a functional, solid cover. They are not setting a high bar for operational tradecraft. It is shoddy and sloppy and, when people die in the line of duty, their deaths end up exposing their surviving colleagues to greater risk. But Presidents also are to blame. Obama’s public statement was a rookie mistake. I don’t think he was intentionally trying to hurt the CIA but his intent does not matter. That damage was done. In fact, the White House has been regularly leaking over the course of the last year about the successes of CIA drone strikes in Pakistan. So much for covert and clandestine. This White House knows only politics and personal survival.

Don’t kid yourself that things were better under Bush and Cheney. Those two, but especially Cheney, spent a lot of time browbeating CIA officers for not kow towing to the White House vision of reality. When CIA initially reported there was no basis to the claim that Iraq bought yellowcake uranium and was crafting a bomb the White House insisted the CIA was wrong and told them to keep looking. When Gary Berntsen asked urgently for reinforcements to corner Osama Bin Laden he was denied because the Bush White House was too busy prepping to go to war in Iraq. When the CIA Chief of Station in Iraq warned of an emerging insurgency he was fired after pressure from Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld who insisted we were only facing a few dead enders. ..."

Bad News For Quitters

Study finds quitting smoking raises diabetes risk | Reuters

Are Holograms Next?

ESPN to unveil 3-D television network in 2010 - ESPN: "Sports broadcasting will enter a new dimension in 2010 ... the third dimension, as ESPN will unveil the industry's first 3-D network..."

Reagan Blinders Holding Tight

No. Their wrong ways began with Reagan when they learned that saying one thing and doing another was exactly how to hoodwink the voters. GOP Chief - Republicans 'Screwed Up' After Reagan -

Monday, January 04, 2010

Polling Bias

Are The Chilling Numbers For Dems Due To Pollster Bias At Rasmussen?

"...The first thing to note is that there are a lot of different ways in which a polling firm might be biased. Rasmussen is most frequently accused of bias because their results are thought to lean toward Republican candidates. Just to pick a random example, for instance, Rasmussen has embattled Democrat Blanche Lincoln down by margins ranging between 4 and 7 points against three potential Republican opponents in her 2010 Senate race, whereas two other polling firms (neither of which, incidentally, are themselves free of partisan ties) have Lincoln ahead against these opponents by margins ranging from 1 to 16 points. Does this mean that Rasmussen is biased?..."

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Cheney Gets Flogged

Obama adviser says Cheney is wrong in criticism - "'...I'm very disappointed in the vice president's comments,' Brennan said, described himself as neither a Democrat or Republican. 'Either the vice president is willfully mischaracterizing this president's position both in terms of the language he uses and the actions he's taken, he's ignorant of the facts.

'And in either case it doesn't speak well of what the vice president is doing. The clear evidence is that this president has been very, very strong. In his inaugural address he said we're at war with this international network of terrorists. We continue to say that we're at war with al-Qaida...'"

I will defend Obama here, but don't misread that into believing I support him. Deadeye Darth Dick The Man Who Murders Birds And Shoots Lawyers In The Face is completely irrelevant in the rational world. Most of the blame for the current situation is the fault of Dick and Skippy who completely ignored the warnings from the Clinton Administration since they were more concerned with enriching the rich, not that Obama is not in favor of enriching the rich. We heard virtually no complaints back in the day of Reed the Shoe Bomber so Dick why don't you just bugger off somewhere?

Crotch Bombing Blame Game

Blame game won't stop terrorism - "...The blame game will continue. That's how national security politics works. But while the fights are taking place, we must make certain that the government sets up some kind of independent review to better understand what went wrong. The review must be global and involve allied nations who participate in the international campaign against terrorist threats. Let's do it before the terrorists get it right.

Nothing should be excluded from consideration, from the failures of U.S. officials to respond to evidence to the flaws in the system that Obama inherited. We need a comprehensive understanding of what happened so we can improve the system and make sure that innocent travelers are kept safe from the ravages of terrorism."

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Party Switching

On the Hill - Time May Be Ripe for Party-Switching, but Its Risks Are Apparent - "...Mr. Forbes’s experience is not uncommon. About one-third of the 16 United States representatives who switched since 1980 lost the next election for either their House seat or another office. Others, however, have become influential and admired members of their new party.

Party-switchers have fared better in the Senate, though Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who defected to the Democrats after his vote for the economic stimulus bill proved unpopular back home, is facing re-election challenges from both the right and the left..."

Clinton-Obama Flashback

The “screaming woman” who confronted Jane Hamsher on C-Span wasn’t actually screaming « The Confluence: "...She assumes that everyone who followed the primary battles focused on candidates as personalities rather than looking closely at their characters, policy goals, and personal accomplishments. She could not be more wrong. Most of us didn’t support Hillary Clinton for her personality. I actually began the primaries as an “anyone but Hillary” voter. But her performances in the debates convinced me she was the best candidate. It wasn’t about her personality or about her husband, and it wasn’t about her gender–although I admit I would have liked to see a woman President in my lifetime. I supported Clinton because she showed herself to be smart, knowledgeable, and most of all issue-oriented.

Obama, on the other hand, was all about Obama. He never was specific about issues, he never demonstrated any commitment to Democratic ideology. He admired Ronald Reagan, for heaven’s sake! He cozied up to fundamentalist preachers their anti-abortion, homophobic followers. Most damning of all, it became obvious from his many comments about and to Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin that Obama was a misogynist through and through..."

Friday, January 01, 2010

Russia Will Save Us

Russia plans asteroid-defence space mission to Apophis • The Register: "Russia may deploy defensive spacecraft against the Apophis asteroid, which is almost certainly not going to hit the Earth, according to remarks by the head of the country's space agency..."

Now That The Barn Has Burned Down - Democratic Panel Wants Superdelegates Stripped of 'Super' Powers: "Looking to avoid a repeat of the prolonged and bitter 2008 primary battle, a Democratic Party panel has recommended that the first-in-the-nation contests be pushed back in the calendar and that so-called 'superdelegates' be stripped of their 'super' powers..."

Good Guys Becoming Suicidal

Iranian Opposition Leader Sends New Warning | Middle East | English: "Top Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi is warning Tehran's government it will not be able to put down the reform movement by force, and says he is not afraid to become a martyr..."

Other Moore Controversey

David Petraeus says hostage Peter Moore was 'certainly' held in Iran | World news | "General David Petraeus, the head of US Central Command, today confirmed a US intelligence assessment which said the freed British hostage Peter Moore was 'certainly' held in Iran for at least some of his 31 months in captivity.

As reports said Moore was on his way back to Britain from Iraq, Petraeus told a press conference in Baghdad: 'I am on the record as having said that our intelligence assessment is that he certainly spent part of the time, at the very least, in Iran...'"