Friday, April 30, 2010

Ahnold Goes For Ocare

Schwarzenegger embraces federal healthcare legislation - : "Bucking many in his own party, the Republican governor directs his administration to begin implementing the new system in California..."

Banning Ethnic Studies - Arizona Legislature Passes Bill Banning Ethnic Studies Programs: "...After making national headlines for a new law on illegal immigrants, the Arizona Legislature passed a bill Thursday that would ban ethnic studies programs in the state that critics say currently advocate separatism and racial preferences.

The bill, which passed 32-26 in the state House, had been approved by the Senate a day earlier. It now goes to Gov. Jan Brewer for her signature..."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Daily Raps Apple

The text of Stewart's remarks about Apple can be found at the link. Perhaps, the one good thing that will come out of this Big Business fiasco is exposing Apple for the evil entity it actually is.

The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart Bags on Apple Over Gizmodo Warrant | News | The Mac Observer

"...Mr. Stewart was referring to a search warrant that local law enforcement officials executed about a week ago at the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen in Santa Clara, California. Officials impounded computers, an iPhone, bank records and more as part of what appears to be a criminal investigation into Gizmodo’s purchase of a fourth generation iPhone prototype that an Apple engineer lost in a bar.

Gizmodo and its parent company, Gawker Media, along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, claim that the warrant was invalid because California law protects journalists from search warrants.

There has also been concern over Apple’s involvement on the advisory board for the local police task force that investigates computer-related crimes. Participating on the advisory board, just as many other Silicon Valley tech companies do, doesn’t mean a company has the power to use the task force as their own little army to kick in doors and take computers — even a company as big as Apple..."

Welcome To The Bus Undercarriage

...there are quite a few of us under here, so you will have plenty of good company.

Analysis: Crist decision sets up entertaining, unpredictable race - "Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's decision to abandon the Republican Party and run for Senate as an independent, expected to be made official at a St. Petersburg campaign event Thursday, marks a stunning turnaround for a politician who just over a year ago was heralded as one of the GOP's brightest young talents..."

Military To Fight Spill

Hmm. During Katrina they could do nothing but now they can help? What has changed?

BBC News - US military joins Gulf of Mexico oil spill effort:

" BP's Doug Suttles and Rear Admiral Mary Landry gave an update on the crisis [saying that]

The US military has joined efforts to stop an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico as fears rise about its scale.

Five times as much oil as previously thought could be leaking from the well beneath where a rig exploded and sank last week, US officials said earlier.

The slick is 45 miles (72km) by 105 miles (169km) - almost the size of Jamaica - and heading for the US coast.

A third leak has been discovered, and a fire-fighting expert said the disaster may become the biggest oil spill ever..."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Arizona Counterpoint

arizona immigration law: what’s more inconvenient, showing i.d. or being kidnapped? : NO QUARTER:

"If 70% of Arizonians support the Immigration bill, which means they are willing to show their identification if asked, what’s the problem? Who doesn’t carry identification all the time, anyway? I never leave home without my DL. And from what I understand of the law, the Police can’t profile, or just stop anyone without probable cause or legal contact. It is a secondary offense. Kind of like the seat belt laws in some states – you can’t be pulled over for not wearing a seat belt, but if you are pulled over for speeding or something, and you aren’t wearing the belt, you can get a ticket. The bill also targets those who hire illegal immigrant day laborers or knowingly transport them.

Many people are outraged about the bill, saying this infringes on the rights of all legal citizens, and is reminiscent of Nazi Germany. But I ask, are the rights of citizens in Arizona being more infringed upon by carrying the burden of 460,000 illegal immigrants, and living with dangerously high crime rates, or by showing ID if asked? (Personally, this seems like a good bill in this day and age of terrorism, as well…how many terrorists from 9/11 were here on expired visas?)..."

Lady Macbeth On White House Years

Laura Bush Claims in New Book She and President Were Poisoned - ABC News :"Two years after moving out of the White House, former first lady Laura Bush opens up in a new book, taking aim at her husband's Democratic critics, talking about a deadly teenage car accident and her suspicions that she and her husband may have been poisoned at a summit in Germany..."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Amazing GOP Hitler Figthers

“The Republicans are the ones who liberated Europe in World War II.” « The Confluence

"I never knew that! Isn’t it fascinating to learn new historical facts? I’ll bet Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was President of the United States during WWII, would be awfully surprised too, if he were still alive.

My dad served in WWII, and he wasn’t a Republican, but he was in the Pacific. I guess all the Republicans were busy liberating Europe.

Kristia Cavere, 31, a resident of Tuxedo, New York, is a new rising star in the Know Nothing Republican Party. She’s a candidate for the House in the 19th Congressional District of New York..."

This is so crazy I'm not sure if I'm being spoofed or not.

The Hef Saves The Sign

Hugh Hefner Saves the Hollywood Sign - Good Deeds, Hugh Hefner :

GOP Batting True

Republicans Block Debate on Regulatory Reform - Bank Investment Consultant

Monday, April 26, 2010

Florida Hotel Caters To Racists

My bold---British family tells US hotel they 'do not want to deal with black staff' - Telegraph: "...Michael McDonnell, the waiter's lawyer, said that nine other staff members at the hotel have said they were told the British family did not want to be served by blacks or anyone with an accent..."

Hmmm. Miami. The South. Southern accents... sorta. Does that count?

Cartoon Caves To Terrorists

After Warning, ‘South Park’ Episode Is Altered -

Midterm Worries

Obama and Democrats appeal to new voters in midterms

"President Obama is declaring his stake in the November midterm elections, as his Democratic Party prepares to announce an ambitious strategy to appeal to independent voters in its quest to maintain control of Congress.

Obama plans to issue a call-to-action video message to his supporters on Monday. Democratic officials called the video the first in a series of personal efforts designed to rekindle the grass-roots momentum that propelled Obama to the presidency -- this time, in a way that will benefit his party's congressional and gubernatorial candidates..."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

DNA Rights And Wrongs

Indian Tribe Wins Fight to Limit Research of Its DNA -

"...Acknowledging a desire to “remedy the wrong that was done,” the university’s Board of Regents on Tuesday agreed to pay $700,000 to 41 of the tribe’s members, return the blood samples and provide other forms of assistance to the impoverished Havasupai — a settlement that legal experts said was significant because it implied that the rights of research subjects can be violated when they are not fully informed about how their DNA might be used.

The case raised the question of whether scientists had taken advantage of a vulnerable population, and it created an image problem for a university eager to cast itself as a center for American Indian studies..."

More Local Obamagasm

Is progressive Asheville Obama’s vision for America? / The Christian Science Monitor -

Uh, no. I didn't drive over to herald his coming.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Socialist Benjamin

Know-Nothing Watch - Swampland -

"The anti-Obama forces, it seems clear, are rooted in classic American know-nothing populism--nativist, isolationist, paranoid. Today's Exhibit A is from the Drudge Report, in which the newly designed $100 bill is slagged for, as the headline has it, "looking European." Drudge links to this report from Bloomberg, which describes the reasons for the new look:

The new look, aimed at thwarting counterfeiters, has several new security features, including a “3-D Security Ribbon” and an image of a bell on the front of the note that, when tilted, changes in color from copper to green. The reverse side of the bill includes a new vignette of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

But...reasons? Rationality? Greater security against counterfeiters? Feh! It looks like a freakin' Euro, which means it must be a precursor of socialism. That Obama is one sneaky crypto-muslim..."

Porn Payback

SEC porn scandal: Political payback for fraud suit against Goldman Sachs?

"The reemergence of a Securities and Exchange Commission porn scandal may be political payback for the agency's fraud suit against Goldman Sachs, some officials suspect.

News of salacious Internet sex surfing by dozens of SEC supervisors actually broke months ago, but it got new life after the commission's April 16 vote to act against the financial powerhouse.

GOP lawmakers have loudly slammed the decision, government sources noted..."

Not Right Enough

Will: Requiem for 'Responsible' Republicans - George F. Will -

"...No Democratic presidential candidate has carried Utah since Lyndon Johnson in the anti-Goldwater landslide of 1964. In 1968 normality was restored as the Democratic nominee, Hubert Humphrey, won 37 percent of the vote. Since then, the average GOP margin of victory has been 34.5 points. In 1992 Bill Clinton finished third in Utah with 25 percent, behind Ross Perot's 27 percent. In 2008 Barack Obama did better than any Democrat since Humphrey—with 35 percent. Utah has not elected a Democratic senator since 1958.

It will not elect one this year. And it might not give Bob Bennett a third term. The grandson of a president of the Mormon church and son of a four-term senator, Bennett is conservative enough to have earned an A grade from the National Rifle Association, a 98 percent rating from the Chamber of Commerce, and 84 percent from the American Conservative Union (ACU). He is, however, 76, an incumbent, and running third. The leading candidate is attorney Mike Lee, 38, who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito when Alito was on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Lee's theme is Washington's indifference to constitutional limits..."

Enemy Of My Enemy

Anti-U.S. cleric offers Iraq government help after attacks

"Anti-U.S. Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr offered to help the Iraqi government maintain security after bomb attacks against Shi'ites killed 56 people in Baghdad in an apparent backlash by Sunni insurgents.

Sadr's offer of the use of his paramilitary Mehdi Army late Friday was made at a sensitive time for Iraq following a March election that produced no clear winner and left a power vacuum for insurgents to exploit..."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pinging The Gaydar

Lindsey Graham Gay? Conservative Group ALIPAC Demands Senator 'Admit Homosexuality':

"William Gheen, head of the conservative, anti-"amnesty," anti-illegal immigration group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), spoke at a Greenville, S.C. Tea Party rally this weekend and called for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to "come out of that log cabin closet."

According to Gheen, being gay is "a secret that Lindsey Graham has..."

Space Bird Launches

Willie Ley are you watching?

Air Force launches X-37B space plane | Military Tech - CNET News:
"With the launch Thursday of the X-37B spacecraft aboard an Atlas V rocket, the U.S. Air Force is taking a page from NASA's space shuttle program..."

Local Obamagasm

Obamas weekend vacation in Asheville -

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The VAT Con Continues

VAT is not the same as “soaking the rich” « The Confluence:

"Barack Obama is suggesting the Value Added Tax (VAT) as a revenue option for those of us just livin’ it up on our stagnant salaries. Yep, we just have tons and tons of disposable income, what with gas at $3.00/gallon and excise taxes on our frugal health bennies and our kids’ college funds running on empty.

How many times do we have to go through this with our cowardly and craven politicians? We want you to SOAK THE RICH. That is what you were elected to do in 2008. We are sick of squabbling over the shrinking slice of pie that the bonus class is throwing us. The day after Goldman-Sachs announced it’s whopping $3+ billion quarterly profit using money that we, the taxpayers, gave it through TARP, is not a good time to bring up the idea of a VAT. If the country is broke, Mr. Obama, perhaps you should stop asking the vast majority of rules playing and responsible taxpayers to pony up. Stop looking down the food chain at the plankton. Look upwards towards the sharks if you need to recover the money..."

The Conservative Con Men continue to yak about flat taxes, VATs, etc. Many otherwise sane people (and some not so sane) fall for these tax ruses. Flat taxes sound good until someone starts capping them so the guy buying the $30k pick-up ends up paying the same tax as the guy buying the $10m corporate jet. Scams all. Social Security? I can fix it tomorrow. Eliminate the cap.

Bad Anti-Virus

Glad I uninstalled it from my newest computer before it had time to run amok. McAfee antivirus program goes berserk, freezes PCs - Yahoo! News

Praying For Prayer

Is it the National Day of Pray Our Way Only now? - Faith & Reason

"All those Tea Partiers marching under the take-back-our-government banner make me wonder...

Might we soon see believers marching against the self-appointed prayer "bosses." Their banners would insist that their prayers -- Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or free-lance spiritual petitions to a higher power or whomever -- matter, too.

The National Day of Prayer coming up makes me think these things. It seems to set holier-than-thou elbows flying as various groups claim "ownership" of the decades old tradition.

Now that Focus on the Family Founder James Dobson and his Women of Faith founder wife Shirley no longer filter access to the official White House observation through their conservative Christian lens (only traditionalists get the microphone), they've moved their event to the streets and co-opted the name, stamping "official site" on the big eagle on the home page..."

Birthers Gain Official Status - Arizona House OKs Bill Requiring Presidential Candidates to Provide Birth Certificate
"- The Arizona House approved a bill Wednesday that would require presidential candidates to show his or her birth certificate in order to be on the state's ballot.

The House approved the measure on a 31-29 vote after four Republicans joined all of the Democrats in opposing it. The measure still faces a Senate vote..."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hawaii Birther Bill

Bill would shun Obama birth certificate requests: "Hawaii lawmakers are moving closer to passing a measure allowing the state to ignore repeated requests for President Barack Obama's birth certificate. ..."

This bill should be defeated.

Great Econ News

GM to invest $257 million in Detroit, Kansas plants | | Detroit Free Press:

"General Motors CEO Ed Whitacre said today that he expects the U.S. government to recoup its entire investment in the automaker.

Before a cheering crowd in its Chevrolet Malibu plant in Kansas City, Kan., General Motors CEO Ed Whitacre confirmed today that the company has paid off $5.8 billion in loans owed to the U.S. and Canadian governments five years ahead of schedule.

Talking to reporters after the announcement, Whitacre said he expects GM's initial public offering to be valuable enough for the U.S. government, a 60.1% shareholder in the automaker, to earn back more than $40 billion in equity..."

New Supreme By June

Obama to Name Supreme Court Justice By End of May | USA | English

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jesus And The Feminine

Op-Ed Columnist - A Church Mary Can Love -

"...That story comes to mind as the Vatican wrestles with the consequences of a patriarchal premodern mind-set: scandal, cover-up and the clumsiest self-defense since Watergate. That’s what happens with old boys’ clubs.

It wasn’t inevitable that the Catholic Church would grow so addicted to male domination, celibacy and rigid hierarchies. Jesus himself focused on the needy rather than dogma, and went out of his way to engage women and treat them with respect.

The first-century church was inclusive and democratic, even including a proto-feminist wing and texts. The Gospel of Philip, a Gnostic text from the third century, declares of Mary Magdalene: “She is the one the Savior loved more than all the disciples.” Likewise, the Gospel of Mary (from the early second century) suggests that Jesus entrusted Mary Magdalene to instruct the disciples on his religious teachings..."

PETA Heads Will Explode

Supreme Court strikes down animal cruelty law | Reuters: "The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a U.S. law that makes it a crime to sell videos of animals being tortured or killed violated constitutional free-speech rights..."

Palin Agonistes

Sarah Palin's ignorant imperialism. - By William Saletan - Slate Magazine: "Sarah Palin thinks Barack Obama is a wimp. She's been going around to Tea Party rallies, invoking the spirit of revolutionary Boston and castigating Obama for failing to exalt American power and punish our adversaries. She seems blissfully unaware that the imperial arrogance she's preaching isn't how the American founders behaved. It's how the British behaved, and why they lost. Palin represents everything the original Tea Party was against..."

Iranian Quakery

BBC News - Iranian cleric 'blames quakes on promiscuous women' ...and you thought Jerry Falwell was dead.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Squashing Initiative

Five Destructive Company HR Policies - BusinessWeek: "...Overwritten or heavy-handed policy manuals hurt your business in three ways. First, they take your employees out of the realm known to sports psychologists as The Zone—the most productive mental place to be. It's the arena where staffers can push your agenda in a fully engaged, minimally distracted way. Bad policies force an employee to stop and look up a rule or consult a manager, slowing down the action. Second, policies are expensive to disseminate and costly to administer. Third and most destructive, policies speak loudly about CEOs' trust in themselves and their management teams. Where trust abounds, policies are few. In organizations where trust exists, leaders have confidence in themselves to hire and manage team members without minute-to-minute supervision. In fear-filled environments, policies rule the day..."

Who Do You Trust?

Or "Whom Do You Trust" (Johnny Carson's daytime show was called "Who Do You Trust" and there were many and mighty debates over the "who" "whom" question.) Actually, I'd say I trust about 90% of the bureacracy but only about 10% of the politicians-- that's where the trust issue lies. I certainly trust the military to defend me, but I don't trust either political party and very few of their members. So is it really the government, or is it politicians and political parties? Well, it's an AP story so I can't give you a good quote to work off of. The Associated Press: Poll: 4 out of 5 Americans don't trust Washington

Sunday, April 18, 2010

UnSocialist O

A Real Socialist Explains Why Obama Isn’t One of Them… : NO QUARTER

"...And here is where CNN shares a doozy and my second favorite line of the entire article. According to Mr. Wharton:

“He’s the president whose main goal is to protect the wealth of the richest 5 percent of Americans.”

Ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding !!!! Bingo! You win the prize. Corporate bailouts. Crony capitalism. “Too big to fail policies” that encourage Wall Street thugs who have been reckless to continue said behavior knowing they will get bailed out when they fail again. A health insurance plan to benefit Big Insurance and Big Phrma, bailing out mis-managed car companies…"

Headline Of The Week

The SEC harpoons the Vampire Squid « The Confluence

Supreme Decision

Obama's choice : Buffalo News Editorials : The Buffalo News:

"...The challenge for President Obama will be to replace Stevens with a justice who will maintain his center-left positions without alienating enough Republicans to instigate a successful filibuster. The Supreme Court needs to have a full complement of justices when it begins its new term in October. To leave it with only eight justices invites stalemate and confusion.

If Republicans are wise — not always a sure thing with the current crop — they will unsheath the weapon of filibuster only if Obama nominates someone who is truly far outside the mainstream of judicial thought. Not only would they risk denying the nation a full court, but they would invite two conclusions, neither flattering: that they are holding up consideration in hopes of having more Republican senators after the November elections, and that they truly are nothing more than the party of "no." (They may be that, anyway, but they don't want to call attention to it in the run-up to the midterm elections.)..."

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Anger Danger

Experts: Angry rhetoric protected, but can be disturbing -
"Letting disgruntled citizens vent is important to national security, experts say, but some messages emanating from angry Americans in recent weeks have pressed the boundaries of free speech.

Politicians have reported slurs as well as threatening letters and phone calls. Congressmen have reported vandalism to their offices. One said he was spit on. Another said his brother's gas line was cut after a Tea Party member posted his address online..."


UPDATE 1-Obama pushes bank reform, lashes out at Republicans | Reuters
"U.S. President Barack Obama accused opposition Republicans on Saturday of spreading misinformation about a Democratic bill that aims to tighten oversight of Wall Street banks and their practices..."

Friday, April 16, 2010

Praying Heads Will Explode

Federal judge strikes down National Day of Prayer statute - "A federal judge on Thursday struck down the federal statute that established the National Day of Prayer, ruling that it violates the constitutional ban on government-backed religion..."

Volcano Bail-Out Coming?

Air Travel Chaos Sends Businesses Scrambling -
"Businesses around Europe were scrambling to make contingency plans Friday as a cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland kept airports closed, while insurance companies were hoping to avoid having to cover any losses.

The continued grounding of most flights in northern Europe was forcing suppliers to seek alternative delivery routes for high-value components and perishables like flowers and food that are usually moved by air..."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Greed, Fear, And You

Simply Left Behind-- The Non-Rapturist's Guide To The Galaxy: Capitalist Fools
"...Think about it. According to theory, capitalism is advanced through the "enlightened" self-interest of individuals (I'll get back to the enlightened bit later). Translation: greed. Greed is good in capitalism. Indeed, if capitalism can be said to have any morality, that morality is based in greed.

But greed is based in fear, just as nearly every negative emotion is. Greed is about the fear that you will not have enough, never have enough and therefore must always have more.

Ask anyone who was mixed up in the junk bond bubble of the Reagan years or the dot-com bubble of the Clinton/Bush years or the real estate bubble of the Bush years: it was not about having enough, it was about having more. From the homeowners who foolishly bit into a mortgage they could never possibly handle to the bankers who lent that money knowing full well those borrowers couldn't afford the mortgage to the stockholders who demanded higher earnings every quarter from the bankers who lent the money to the people who couldn't afford it, to the governments who gladly accepted the property and income taxes due on the money that the shareholders demanded by higher each quarter from the bankers who lent the money to people who couldn't afford it, all of this monumental folly was based in greed..."

SOS Clinton Ahead In Polls

Silly Hillary Diehards growing in number « The Confluence: "...And a new CNN/Opinion Research Poll has just revealed that even today Americans like that other Democrat more and dislike that other Democrat less than they do the incumbent Democratic president.

That other Democrat is, of course, Hillary Clinton, who fought and scratched her way mightily but unsuccessfully through those bitter, belligerent Democratic primaries and caucuses of 2008. The former first lady and current secretary of State professes no intra-mural interest in challenging her White House boss, as she must as long as she’s an administration team member.

The published CNN article focused on an Obama matchup with Sarah Palin. But within the data were Favorable/Unfavorable ratings for numerous prominent politicians of both parties. Here are the surprising new poll numbers for Clinton:

61% now think favorably of the former senator and only 35% unfavorably, both numbers improved from the 56% and 40% she had during the Democratic National Convention in late August of 2008..."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Studying The Confederacy

Why we should study Confederate history -
"...One constant has been the importance of the Civil War. It remains as the most important era of American history, a time when America withstood its biggest challenges to a constitutional democracy which then was still viewed as an experiment in a new form of government. The crucible of war defined the nation as we know it today, as we became "indivisible" and "with liberty and justice for all" for the first time..."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Big O Black-Balling Bio - Tell-All Author Claims Oprah's Influence Led to Media Blackballing:"An unauthorized tell-all biography of media mogul Oprah Winfrey contains details so shocking, the author claims she has been blackballed from appearing on most major media outlets..."

Too Big To Fail Bill

McConnell Faults Democratic Plan to Overhaul Financial Rules - " The Democratic proposal to overhaul financial regulations would perpetuate government bailouts of big Wall Street banks rather than end them, the Senate’s Republican leader said on Tuesday.

In a floor speech, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, signaled the approach his party will take in seeking to revise — or even block — legislation that is a legislative priority for the Obama administration.

“This bill not only allows for taxpayer-funded bailouts of Wall Street banks; it institutionalizes them,” Mr. McConnell said..."

Monday, April 12, 2010

No Supreme Hillary

44 - Hillary Clinton not a candidate for Supreme Court: "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is not under consideration as a Supreme Court nominee, the White House said Monday.

"The president thinks Secretary Clinton is doing an excellent job as Secretary of State and wants her to remain in that position," White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said..."

Papal Comparisons

Op-Ed Columnist - John Paul II and Benedict XVI - The Better Pope? - "... So the high-flying John Paul let scandals spread beneath his feet, and the uncharismatic Ratzinger was left to clean them up. This pattern extends to other fraught issues that the last pope tended to avoid — the debasement of the Catholic liturgy, or the rise of Islam in once-Christian Europe. And it extends to the caliber of the church’s bishops, where Benedict’s appointments are widely viewed as an improvement over the choices John Paul made. It isn’t a coincidence that some of the most forthright ecclesiastical responses to the abuse scandal have come from friends and protégés of the current pope..."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lest We Forget: Vets And The Economy

If you think things are bad now... -

"...With that, the president of the United States, Herbert Hoover, fearing that radicals had infiltrated the veterans, ordered the Army to take over the involuntary evacuation.

And this country was confronted with the news that the Army was moving against the old soldiers.

At the highest level of the Army assigned to the task were men who would later become extraordinarily famous. Gen. Douglas MacArthur was in command; Maj. Dwight D. Eisenhower was the go-between with the local police force; Maj. George Patton was in charge of the cavalry.

Bayonets were drawn; tanks and soldiers on horseback advanced into the crowds; acrid gas was unleashed on the protesting veterans; the makeshift camps were torn down. Even though President Hoover didn't want it to happen, MacArthur sent his troops across a bridge to the site of the veterans' main living quarters. A fire broke out; it was never determined with certainty who set it, but there it was: the American veterans' cobbled-together homes in flames, as the Army drove them out.

There was no television back then; it is almost impossible to fathom what would have happened if the country had been able to see, live, the military moving relentlessly against former members of the military who were asking for the means to survive..."

About Stevens Replacement

Replacing Justice Stevens on high court is not just a matter of ideology

"...In his time on the court, so lengthy that one advocacy group has compiled a list of the greatest opinions Stevens wrote while in his 80s, the justice has left a liberal imprint. He embraced affirmative action (after first questioning it); declared a belief that the death penalty is unconstitutional (after first voting to restore it); and supported protections for gays.

He also defended abortion rights and opposed the notion that the Second Amendment guarantees a right to personal gun ownership.

It is questionable whether Obama, in the current political climate, could replace Stevens with a nominee who shares such strong opinions, even if that were the president's inclination. His nomination of Sonia Sotomayor last year made history but was not based on ideology. His appointments of lower-court judges, with a few notable exceptions, are more middle-of-the-road than the left would like..."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Civil War Again

Bob McDonnell's Civil War -- and ours - War Room -

The Civil War is another thing you cannot have a contrarian position about without being called a racist.

No Libs For GOP

GOP Tries to Head off Liberal Stevens Replacement - ABC News: "Republicans are promising a "whale of fight" during the congressional election campaign if President Barack Obama picks too liberal a nominee to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens..."

So if O names a conservative will all Democrats run unopposed?

Friday, April 09, 2010

Who Will Win The Fall?

MORRIS: GOP will win House, Senate -"...Stanley Greenberg and James Carville claim that the Republican Party has peaked too soon. Stanley Greenberg and James Carville claim that the Republican Party has peaked too soon. Incredibly, Greenberg says that “when we look back on this, we’re going to say Massachusetts is when 1994 happened.” Stan’s only claim to expertise in the 1994 elections, of course, is that he’s the guy who blew it for the Democrats. Right after that, President Clinton fired both of the flawed consultants and never brought them back again..."

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Artists Ogle Google Pie

Artists’ Lawsuit Demands Piece of Google Books Pie | Threat Level |
"...For the most part, Google, the Author’s Guild, and other writers’ and publishing groups have agreed to allow Google to scan their works, sell them on the internet and have them pop up in search results. The rights holders get 67 percent of the take, and Google the remainder.

Mopsik said photographers and illustrators want a piece of the money pie.

“Our situation is pretty much identical to the authors,” he said..."

More Crossfire Misfires

My bold--Op-Ed Columnist - Can CNN Be Saved? -"But not the “Crossfire” of 2004. CNN overreacted to Jon Stewart’s jeremiad, but he wasn’t entirely wrong. The show was years removed from its Michael Kinsley/Pat Buchanan glory days, and its liberal hosts at the time, Begala and James Carville, really were Democratic Party hacks. (The conservatives, Carlson and Robert Novak, were much more independent-minded, but the constant need to rebut partisan talking points took its toll on them as well.)"...

Humph. Methinks somebody either is a GOP operative or has highly flexible definitions of partisanship. Novak was the Prince of Darkness, a walking, talking mouthpiece for all things Bush; his rebut to every argument was "Bush Basher! Bush Basher!" And Tucker Carlson? He dressed up the Republican agenda in stylish yuppie dweebness but it was still the same old antebellum South that routinely spews from the GOP right.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Rescuers Still Hurting

Breathing problems persist in September 11 rescuers | Reuters "Rescue workers who responded to the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001, continued to have diminished lung capacity seven years after the attack, researchers reported on Wednesday..."

Comment Of The Day

Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn: Don’t Be “Biased By Fox News” - Swampland -
"and I can't wait for "The Daily Show" !!!

I've been hearing explosions here in Oklahoma! I went to find out what it was and determined it was Fox News disciple's heads exploding ALL OVER OUR STATE!
Our Senator called out Fox News? Tom Coburn? Hell has frozen over, indeed. I guess he wants to ensure he isn't blamed when one of Fox News slack jawed viewers does something violent urged on by Glenn Beck having them believe it is up to them to save our nation from communism / socialism or some other threat, like gay marriage..., to our Democracy?

Read more: ..."

Cell Tower In Your House

AT and T to Offer at-Home Mini-Towers for Improved Cell Signal -

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


What's Wrong With Forensic Science - Sharon Begley - "...If this had been a TV show in which forensic science solves murders through bite marks, footprints, even sand grains (a match between the grit on a suspect's shoe and the beach where the victim was killed!), that would have been the end of it. In real life, the convicted man was innocent, as DNA analysis revealed (he was freed in 2008). It was no aberration. According to the Innocence Project, of the 252 DNA exonerations since 1989, half the convictions were based at least partly on 'unvalidated or improper forensic science.' The surprise is that the rate isn't higher: a 2009 report by the National Academy of Sciences found that, in contrast to DNA matching, 'for many other forensic disciplines—such as fingerprint and toolmark analysis—no studies have been conducted' to determine how many shoes, teeth, fibers, sand grains, or anything else 'share the same or similar features' and so might be linked to the wrong person. As a result, invalid forensic science 'may have' helped convict innocent people..."

McCain And Extremes

McCain the Maverick Fights for His Soul: Margolick - "...In contrast to Palin's chirpiness, McCain's subsequent remarks sounded ragged—he got the date of the fall election wrong, for starters—and belligerent, far less pleasing to the crowd, some of whom began drifting off. (Anyone watching via computer could see the size of the online audience dwindle the longer McCain spoke.) But the old warrior, who has not faced a proper homegrown challenge since 1982, had snapped back into fighting form. Even a man who can't applaud quite properly can still form a fist. The unlikely spectacle of a party's most recent standard-bearer—and, despite Palin's popularity among the tea-party types, still its titular leader—facing such a challenge is yet another sign of the polarized state of American politics and the narrowing bandwidth of its parties, one that McCain acceded to, and then intensified, by picking Palin. 'The extremes tend to punish any deviation from party orthodoxy,' said Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, who blamed such rigidity in part for his own decision to retire..."

Peodphile Priests And Bears

BBC News - Does Catholic celibacy contribute to child sex abuse?: "With the Roman Catholic Church facing a series of paedophilia scandals, some observers have begun to ask whether the tradition of celibacy in the priesthood has contributed to child abuse..." And does a bear go in the woods?

Monday, April 05, 2010

Exercise Equals Healthy Babies

Better Birth Weight for Babies of Exercisers - Well Blog - "Regular exercise during pregnancy doesn’t change a mother’s body weight but does lead to a small reduction in the baby’s weight, a new study shows.

The findings are important because larger birth size is associated with higher risk for childhood obesity..."

Dems Holding In CA

California unions wait in governor race spending - " California labor unions want to level the playing field of campaign funding with billionaire Republican candidate for governor Meg Whitman who has already spent tens of millions of dollars -- but so far they have kept their ammunition dry.

Democrat Jerry Brown has also avoided expensive TV advertising early in a race that is likely to hit a spending record for non-presidential elections. The primaries, which will decide the party nominees, are in June and the election itself in November..."

Bailout Perspective

Looting Main Street : Rolling Stone: "If you want to know what life in the Third World is like, just ask Lisa Pack, an administrative assistant who works in the roads and transportation department in Jefferson County, Alabama. Pack got rudely introduced to life in post-crisis America last August, when word came down that she and 1,000 of her fellow public employees would have to take a little unpaid vacation for a while. The county, it turned out, was more than $5 billion in debt — meaning that courthouses, jails and sheriff's precincts had to be closed so that Wall Street banks could be paid..."

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Someone Missed The Bush Administration

My bold--Reform Care, Not Freedom | "We have lost part of our freedom, an event that has not happened in our lifetime. Last month, the Democrats in Congress, at the insistence of the Obama administration, passed a Health Care Reform Bill that will deprive us of the freedom of choice when it comes to health care..."

Really? How about searching without warrants? How about arrest and incarceration without warrant or trial? How about that Patriot Act? Now, that's what a real loss of freedom looks like. How about the Second Prohibition-- the one against pot ? How about the draft of the 60's and 80's? The health care reforms to me simply represent more taxes, a power the government obviously has. So if a loss of freedom is what you are howling about, how about screaming about a freedom that really matters-- like having an unmonitored telephone conversation?

Better Econ News

Increase in March Employment Shows U.S. Recovery Is Broadening - BusinessWeek: "Employment in March grew by the most in three years, representing a turning point for the labor market that will help broaden the U.S. economy as it recovers from the deepest recession in seven decades..."

Saturday, April 03, 2010

More Rich Getting Richer

Editorial - Hedge Funds Make Hay -

"Riding high on the bank bailout, hedge fund managers posted record paydays in 2009, according to an annual survey by AR: Absolute Return +Alpha magazine.

Leading the pack, David Tepper of Appaloosa Management made $4 billion, in part by betting successfully that the government would bail out the big banks. John Paulson, of Paulson & Company, made $2.3 billion by buying back bank stocks he shorted in 2008. And a year after his fund received $200 million in the bailout of the American International Group, Kenneth Griffin of the Citadel Investment Group made $900 million..."

Public Option Simplified

Saturday Morning Musings on Corporate Control and Internet Freedom « The Confluence

"...Politicians are in the same boat as corporations–no wonder they have joined forces with big business in their joint efforts to control us and keep us consuming all the crap they want us to buy from them! The health care reform debacle is certainly a case in point. Most Americans want a single payer health plan–just expand Medicare to everyone and be done with it. Medicare already covers 40% of Americans, why not all of us? Medicare has very low overhead, so why should we have to buy insurance from corporations with 30% overhead?

It makes no sense, but the politicians tell us not to believe the obvious evidence that Medicare for all would be the best plan for the American people. They are going to do their best to try to convince us that we want to be forced to buy crap insurance from whomever they tell us to buy it from and that it was a fair trade-off for women to lose their reproductive freedom so that approximately 25 million more people can have crap health insurance that probably won’t provide the health care they actually need..."

Doctor Refuses Dem Patients

Doctor tells Obama supporters: Go elsewhere for health care - Orlando Sentinel: " A doctor who considers the national health-care overhaul to be bad medicine for the country posted a sign on his office door telling patients who voted for President Barack Obama to seek care "elsewhere..."

Hmmm. Let's divide the country into two warring camps, with neither serving nor helping the other. Wonder who would yell "Uncle" first? Wonder if we'd have a country when it was all over.

Friday, April 02, 2010

GOPer To GOPer

Off the Reservation: Republican Party (1856 - 2010) | Long Island Press

"...Republicans are shouting and spitting like a bunch of [expletive deleted] hyenas as they clamor for face time in the media. They’re filling our inboxes, vandalizing our social networking profiles and polluting the airwaves with venomous messages rebuking the Obama Administration over health care. HEALTH CARE! My fellow Republicans are tearing this nation apart over providing medical care for those less fortunate. Not bank bailouts, war, or wasteful pork spending— Health care. Really?

The behavior among elected Republicans and the dimwitted TV pundits who are whipping America into an absolute frenzy is the worst thing about this bill and has led me to question my long-standing affiliation with the Republican Party. For a moment, I thought it was me; that maybe I had changed and lost touch with Republicanism. So, in seeking to refresh my recollection of what this party stands for, I logged onto the GOP home page..."

GOP's Suicidal Delusion

Matt Drudge and the Republican delusion - The Hill's Pundits Blog: "... Recently a Gallup poll, of course highlighted on Drudge, found that Obama's numbers had (then) turned more unfavorable than favorable. This has (now) dramatically changed, unreported by Drudge, with Obama's favorables now well above his unfavorables. The generic Democratic vote is leading the generic Republican vote in the last Gallup congressional election survey.The healthcare bill has passed and the president's polls have moved up. Democratic numbers have crept up. Media focus on right-wing death threats is alienating political independents and motivating the Democratic base. But readers of Matt Drudge, listeners to Rush Limbaugh and viewers of Glenn Beck are being fed a false dose of Republican triumphalism and a megaphone for what a majority of voters might see as extremism that is both delusional and politically damaging to Republicans. ..."

Real 3D?

Sharp Bets on Small 3D Screens - "Sharp Corp. will start producing small, three-dimensional liquid crystal displays by September that don't require special glasses, betting that most portable digital devices will eventually be 3D capable, a company executive said Friday..."


President Obama dishes out sarcasm on health care pessimism, telling critics to wait and see

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Why Of The Polls

Polls: It just Ain’t Pretty « The Confluence: "...There’s a new USA-Gallup Poll out and the numbers aren’t pretty for any one. However, the Republicans who ran the country into several unnecessary wars, got the country attacked by having an executive branch more concerned about vacations in Texas than reading national security reports, creatively destroyed parts of the constitution, and held what amounted to an opportunity in the VP’s office for the oil companies to collude themselves into record profits, have what looks like freedom from political wilderness. I’m not sure who is more surprised. Them or the Democrats. I’m not. They always hold their base. President Obama has betrayed the the Democratic base by playing bipartisanship with his friends’ interests vs every one else..."

Area 51 Bribes, Dirty Tricks

Local News | Area 51 vets break silence: Sorry, but no space aliens or UFOs | Seattle Times Newspaper: "...On one occasion, he remembers, when the first jets were being tested at what Muroc Army Air Field, later renamed Edwards Air Force Base, a test pilot put on a gorilla mask and flew upside down beside a private pilot.

'Well, when this guy went back, telling reporters, 'I saw a plane that didn't have a propeller and being flown by a monkey,' well, they laughed at this guy — and it got where the guys would see [test pilots] and they didn't dare report it because everybody'd laugh at them,' says Barnes.

Noce says he quite liked working at Area 51..."

The article contains a bit about hush payments to witnesses and then the above little set-up. I'm glad they all got a good laugh out of this little stunt. Too bad they didn't think about the consequences to the people on the receiving end of these stunts. Not only was this one unnecessary, it was cruel. Practical jokes can be fun for all if you're on the receiving end and you find out what the joke is. It becomes decidedly unfunny if the joke causes you physical harm or, in this case, makes you doubt your sanity. But I guess all is fair in the name of national security.

Good Econ News

Manufacturing sector grows at fastest rate since 2004 - Apr. 1, 2010: "Manufacturing activity grew for the eighth straight month in March, at the fastest rates since July 2004, according to a report Thursday..."