Monday, May 31, 2010
"Oh, things are heating up down in Arizona. Like they weren’t already hot enough. Governor Brewer is demonstrating in no uncertain terms that she is a force to be reckoned with, as this article highlights, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Abruptly Suspends State’s Attorney General From Illegal Immigrant Law Defense.
Hold the phone for a second – just what IS the job of the State Attorney General if not to uphold the laws of the state? Just asking. Perhaps that’s what Gov. Brewer wants to know, too:..."
Sunday, May 30, 2010
"College students today are less likely to "get" the emotions of others than their counterparts 20 and 30 years ago, a new review study suggests.
Specifically, today's students scored 40 percent lower on a measure of empathy than their elders did..."
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Right Now - Sarah Palin's strange, unprofessional and paranoid grudge
"...Politicians don't have veto power over who gets to write about them, or how they research their stories, as long as they're within the bounds of the law. It's incredibly irresponsible for them to sic their fans on journalists they don't like. And that's what Palin is doing here -- she has already inspired Glenn Beck to accuse McGinniss of "stalking" Palin and issuing a threat to boycott his publisher.
This is really the ultimate example of the way Palin manipulates the press and inverts the relationship between reporters and politicians, turning the former into "stalkers," and the latter -- as long as they're Republicans or members of her family -- into saints whom no one can criticize. No one in the media should reward Palin for this irresponsible and pathetic bullying."
Friday, May 28, 2010
"...Many reasons, but this one goes unmentioned: Environmental chic has driven us out there. As production from the shallower Gulf of Mexico wells declines, we go deep (1,000 feet and more) and ultra deep (5,000 feet and more), in part because environmentalists have succeeded in rendering the Pacific and nearly all the Atlantic coast off-limits to oil production. (President Obama's tentative, selective opening of some Atlantic and offshore Alaska sites is now dead.) And of course, in the safest of all places, on land, we've had a 30-year ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge..."
"Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced a proposal in the Senate this week that would make it a crime -- punishable with up to six months in prison -- to make inaccurate or misleading statements about one's military service record.
The Stolen Valor Act from Hatch comes one week after Democratic candidate for Senate in Connecticut Richard Blumenthal was exposed as having misstated his service record during the Vietnam War..."
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Op-Ed Columnist - Sister Margaret’s Choice - NYTimes.com
'...“In this tragic case, the treatment necessary to save the mother’s life required the termination of an 11-week pregnancy,” the hospital said in a statement. “This decision was made after consultation with the patient, her family, her physicians, and in consultation with the Ethics Committee.”
Sister Margaret was a member of that committee. She declined to discuss the episode with me, but the bishop of Phoenix, Thomas Olmstead, ruled that Sister Margaret was “automatically excommunicated” because she assented to an abortion.
“The mother’s life cannot be preferred over the child’s,” the bishop’s communication office elaborated in a statement.
Let us just note that the Roman Catholic hierarchy suspended priests who abused children and in some cases defrocked them but did not normally excommunicate them, so they remained able to take the sacrament..."'
"...Consorting with the industry intensified once two oilmen took over the White House. Dick Cheney, Duke of Halliburton — responsible for the cementing of the calamitous well, now under investigation — had his aides conspire with BP America and other oil companies to draw up an energy policy.
As when derivatives experts had to help unravel the derivatives debacle, now the White House is dependent on BP to find a solution to the horror it created. The financial crisis and the oil spill are both man-made disasters brought on by hubris and avarice.
With poignant scenes of oil-soaked birds and out-of-work fishermen on TV, the White House is still scrambling to get on top of this latest catastrophe. The laconic president is once more giving too much deference and trust to rapacious corporate scoundrels and failing to swiftly grasp and articulate the alarm of Americans.
One West Wing official admits that, even with all the crises they were juggling, they should have acted more urgently to re-examine the dark legacy of Cheney in the Energy and Interior Departments..."
"...Engineers have stopped the flow of oil and gas into the Gulf of Mexico from a gushing BP well, the federal government's top oil-spill commander, U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, said Thursday morning.
The "top kill" effort, launched Wednesday afternoon by industry and government engineers, had pumped enough drilling fluid to block oil and gas spewing from the well, Allen said. The pressure from the well was very low, he said, but persisting..."
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
'...The ideas will be gathered into legislation that Republicans could start introducing as early as next week, Boehner said. Or, they might bundle it all together in September as say a Contract With America, er, bundle of legislation that reflects the will of the people Republican base and introduce it as a blueprint for what they could do if reelected by some miracle they regained the majority in the last month before Congress leaves for the year at the end of October. Boehner and every other House GOP leader swore that elections are NOT, NOT, NOT why they're doing this. “This effort has nothing to do with elections,” Boehner said. “People are angry and the Democrats are clearly not listening. Well, we are.” Also, this was paid for by taxpayers' money so, legally, they can't say it has anything to do with elections."
'...And Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee suggested that the administration had been less than sincere in trying to seek a bipartisan deal on the financial regulatory overhaul, which was passed last week with just four Republican votes.
“To come in on the Tuesday after it all occurred and to now talk about seven or eight items he wants to do in a bipartisan way, I just asked him how he could reconcile that duplicity,” Mr. Corker said. “I was very aware that we were props today as we move into an election cycle...”'
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The MSNBC anchor, once so enamored with Barack Obama that he admitted a campaign speech sent a thrill up his leg, has now told Jay Leno that Obama scares him..."
Monday, May 24, 2010
"...There are growing concerns among Republicans about the party’s get-out-the-vote operation and whether it can translate their advantage over Democrats in grass-roots enthusiasm into turnout on Election Day. They are also still trying to get a fix on how to run against President Obama, who, polls suggest, remains relatively well-liked by voters, even as support for his agenda has waned..."
"Why isn’t President Obama mobilizing every possible resource to deal with the mess that BP has made in the Gulf of Mexico? What the HELL is going on here? Now is the time for action, not “just words.” I’m getting sick and tired of seeing photos of dead and dying sea birds and pools of oil ruining irreplaceable marshlands..."
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Well, of course it has! There can be no progress without bans.
"...Several changes include sidelining Thomas Jefferson, who favoured separation of church and state, while introducing a new focus on the "significant contributions" of pro-slavery Confederate leaders during the civil war.
The new curriculum asserts that "the right to keep and bear arms" is an important element of a democratic society. Study of Sir Isaac Newton is dropped in favour of examining scientific advances through military technology.
There is also a suggestion that the anti-communist witch-hunt by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s may have been justified..."
Rand Paul Calls Obama Stance on BP ‘Un-American’ - NYTimes.com
'A day after he was forced to explain remarks he had made suggesting he was not fully supportive of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, Mr. Paul set off yet another round of Twitter, cable television and e-mail chatter by lambasting President Obama and his aides for insisting that BP be held accountable — and pay — for the oil spill cleanup and damage.
“What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of, ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP,’ ” Mr. Paul said, referring to a remark by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar about the oil company. “I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business. I’ve heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think it’s part of this sort of blame-game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault instead of the fact that sometimes accidents happen...”'
Friday, May 21, 2010
"Congressman Tom McClintock Representing The 4th District of California
I rise to take strong exception to the speech of the President of Mexico while in this chamber today.
The Mexican government has made it very clear for many years that it holds American sovereignty in contempt and President Calderon's behavior as a guest of the Congress confirms and underscores this attitude.
It is highly inappropriate for the President of Mexico to lecture Americans on American immigration policy, just as it would be for Americans to lecture Mexico on its laws."
Scientists create a living organism - CNN.com
"Scientists have turned inanimate chemicals into a living organism in an experiment that raises profound questions about the essence of life.
Craig Venter, the U.S. genomics pioneer, announced on Thursday that scientists at his laboratories in Maryland and California had succeeded in their 15-year project to make the world's first "synthetic cells" -- bacteria called Mycoplasma mycoides..."
Thursday, May 20, 2010
"Mexican President Felipe Calderon has been ripping into Arizona's immigration law as he tours Washington -- while appearing to disregard the way his own country cracks down on immigrants along Mexico's southern border.
Mexico repeatedly has been cited by human rights groups for abusing or turning a blind eye to the abuse of migrants from Central America. Until recently, Mexican law made illegal immigration a criminal offense -- anyone arrested for the violation could be fined, imprisoned for up to two years and deported. Mexican lawmakers changed that in 2008 to make illegal immigration a civil violation like it is in the United States, but their law still reads an awful lot like Arizona's..."
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
"...For Democrats, the case against Specter was encapsulated by an ad that showed Specter being praised by... George W. Bush in 2004, and showing Specter saying his party switch would enable him to win re-election.
Those images, coupled with a devastating tag line "Specter changed parties to save one job -- his, not yours" said it all. Memo to Democrats -- if you are running in a primary, and your opponent can link you to George W. bush, Sarah Palin, and Clarence Thomas, you are n trouble..."
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
"Indiana Republican Rep. Mark Souder announced Tuesday he would resign from Congress, effective Friday, because he had an affair with a staffer.
Souder said in a statement provided by his office that he has "sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff..."
Monday, May 17, 2010
"It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good, and the crisis in Greece is making some people — people who opposed health care reform and are itching for an excuse to dismantle Social Security — very, very happy. Everywhere you look there are editorials and commentaries, some posing as objective reporting, asserting that Greece today will be America tomorrow unless we abandon all that nonsense about taking care of those in need.
The truth, however, is that America isn’t Greece — and, in any case, the message from Greece isn’t what these people would have you believe..."
Remember Silent Spring, DDT, and endangered eagles? We're on the food chain now.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
"...Write this down: Gun-free zones are a felon's playground. Ban gun-free zones now. Join the NRA.
Good people don't want the rapist to succeed. We want him dead. We don't want our homes invaded. We want invaders dead. We don't like carjackers. We like them dead. We don't like armed robbers. We like them dead.
We have examined all the evidence we could possibly need to know that calling 911 is a joke unless, of course, the cops bring a dustpan and a mop to clean up the dead monster we just shot while protecting our families..."
Saturday, May 15, 2010
"...The "lawyers" of Law & Order restore our national innocence indeed; they make the law a well-meaning guardian, not a blind machine. In one episode from Law & Order's golden years, an outraged citizen belabors the long-suffering Det. Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) for not solving a crime faster. Briscoe patiently responds, "Even though you are a taxpayer, you know, we don't actually work for you personally."
But we all know they did."
"...protect consumers from deceptive practices that helped contribute to the economic crisis.
"You'll be empowered with the clear and concise information you need to make the choices that are best for you," Mr. Obama said of the bill. He added, "We'll help stop predatory practices, and curb unscrupulous lenders, helping secure your family's financial future."
His remarks come as Democrats and Republicans have sparred in Congress over the financial bill, with particular bitter fighting revolving around consumer-protection provisions..."
Friday, May 14, 2010
"What do Joe Sestak, Bill Halter and Colleen Hanabusa have in common? The left loves them. This is yet another reason Democrats are in trouble this fall.
Given the obsessive coverage of the Republican "civil war," you may not realize Democrats are also feuding. Angry and disappointed that their president and Congress has not done more, the party's liberal base is throwing itself into the primaries, pushing the party to the left even as the country moves right..."
The voters wanted some leftward balance for the far right swing of recent years but what they got was more of the same-- the players changed but the politics still remained in the far right corner. Obama is a DINO, as are most of the Congress; maybe what Democrats want to elect are Democrats-- for a change (pun intended).
Thursday, May 13, 2010
"Some of the news media had its shorts in a knot today as they breathlessly reported that a man was arrested in Egypt, after flying from NYC, with guns, knives and a sword in his checked luggage. I repeat, CHECKED luggage. FOX in particular had a case of the vapors over this. How in the world could someone carry something like that in their checked luggage.
Well, for starters, they pose no threat when they are in a checked bag. Unless the passenger in question could climb into the hold during the flight and rummage thru the luggage containers he would not have access to the weapons. So what’s the problem? If he did not declare the guns in advance he was guilty of transporting a firearm illegally. But that act posed no threat whatsoever to the flight. But why pass up a chance to scare the public by hyping a non-event? Fox was beating this drum early on..."
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
"Who didn't suspect it? Working overtime, according to a long-term study, may do a number on the ticker.
The finding, which was published in the European Heart Journal, found that rates of angina, nonfatal heart attacks and death from heart-related conditions was 60 percent higher in people who worked at least three hours beyond "the normal, seven-hour day" compared with those who didn't work that amount of overtime.
We won't quibble about the "normal seven-hour day" bit. We'll go on to explain that the data came from the Whitehall II study, a long-term investigation into the health of more than 10,000 London office workers who've been tracked since 1985. This particular study looked at 6,014 of these men and women, tracking their health for an average of 11 years..."
I worked between a 60 and 80 hour week for 33 years. Is that why I had a quad bypass? Or was it all that running and exercising?
"Representative Alan Mollohan, a West Virginia Democrat seeking his 15th term in the U.S. House, lost yesterday’s primary to an opponent who tapped into this election year’s anti-incumbent mood.
State Senator Mike Oliverio won the Democratic nomination for a House seat that covers the northern third of West Virginia, with 56 percent of the vote to Mollohan’s 44 percent, the Associated Press said..."
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Herschel telescope finds 'impossible' star so massive it would dwarf our sun
Sunday, May 09, 2010
"U.S. troops marched through Red Square for the first time in a Victory Day parade on Sunday as Russia celebrated the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II.
U.S. troops marched through Red Square for the first time in a Victory Day parade on Sunday as Russia celebrated the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II.
It was a scene cut from Russia's Cold War nightmares: 71 Americans in dark blue dress uniforms carried the U.S. flag over the cobblestones, past the mausoleum of Vladimir Lenin and the towers of the Kremlin wall to salute Russian leaders.
French, British and Polish soldiers also took part in the parade in a tribute to the role the Allies played in what Russia called the Great Patriotic War. Under clear skies, the reviewing stands were packed with Russian officials, foreign dignitaries and hundreds of aging war veterans..."
"Utah incumbent Sen. Robert Bennett lost his bid for a fourth term Saturday when delegates voted him out of the Republican primary.
Bennett finished third in the second-round of voting in Salt Lake City Saturday, scoring just 26% of the vote..."
Saturday, May 08, 2010
' As Russians prepare to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany this weekend, an event hallowed here as the unalloyed triumph of good over evil, a major question still looms: What should be done about Stalin?
The passionate debate over Stalin, wartime hero or murderous tyrant, flared Friday when President Dmitri A. Medvedev lashed out against his legacy.
“Stalin committed massive crimes against his own people,” Mr. Medvedev said in remarks released Friday. “Despite how hard he worked and the successes achieved under his leadership, what he did to his own people cannot be forgiven...”'
'...But the fundamental issue here is whether wearing the American flag, with all its freight, is the same as yelling "fire" in a crowded theater.
I don't think anyone has made that case.
We went through a national debate 40 years ago when people burned the flag to protest the Vietnam War. As free speech advocate Peter Scheer points out, the law that protected the desecration of the flag also protects wearing it.
You can't simply say there's a possibility of hard feelings or that anger could erupt. You need a threat of riot. And in retrospect, Morgan Hill school administrators have acknowledged the right to wear the flag, saying the incident was "extremely unfortunate..."'
Friday, May 07, 2010
"Sarah Palin's recent endorsement of Carly Fiorina for California's Senate race could create a nearly all-female line-up for the state's upcoming elections. If Fiorina wins the Republican primary, which Palin's endorsement makes more likely, she would go head-to-head with Barbara Boxer, the Democratic incumbent. Meanwhile, Republican rookie Meg Whitman will be battling longtime attorney general Jerry Brown for the governor's mansion..."
I like it, though I hope the "right" women win. (And by "right" I mean the most left-leaning.)
Thursday, May 06, 2010
"...That kind of wholesale lying about assets, and other eye-popping cases that are surfacing in the news media here, points to the staggering breadth of tax dodging that has long been a way of life here.
Such evasion has played a significant role in Greece’s debt crisis, and as the country struggles to get its financial house in order, it is going after tax cheats as never before.
Various studies, including one by the Federation of Greek Industries last year, have estimated that the government may be losing as much as $30 billion a year to tax evasion — a figure that would have gone a long way to solving its debt problems..."
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Col. Allen West delivered a powerful smackdown to candidate Obama during the primaries when Obama was doing all of the race-baiting ("not the face you are used to see on the dollar bill," etc. etc.):
"My advice to Senator Obama is to run as a Man and Leader, and the American people will evaluate you as such, not as a victim. This is a Presidential race, based solely on a capacity to lead the United States of America. It is not about skin tone…however, perhaps we should come to expect these immature statements.
It also seems rather humorous that the Presidential candidate who was supposed to be such a "uniter" and transcend race is the one talking about it the most. If Senator Obama was confident in his abilities and character, he would not need to create a crutch for failure. Senator Obama has just tipped his hand, any criticism of him and his policies will be directly attributed to racism. I congratulate Senator Obama for taking race relations in America back some 30 years."
I think candidate West said it all. Considering West made this statement two years ago, look at how prescient it was... "
"Net neutrality regulations are likely to be slapped on broadband providers after all.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski will announce details of the plan on Thursday, a senior agency official said. The purpose is to circumvent a recent federal appeals court ruling saying the FCC had no legal authority to punish Comcast for throttling some BitTorrent transfers.Stung by the recent unanimous ruling, Genachowski will outline a "third way" to implement Net neutrality regulations, the official said in a statement..."
"A Pakistani-American man arrested in the failed Times Square car bombing has admitted his role in the attempted attack and said he received explosives training in Pakistan, the authorities said Tuesday..."
Is it just me or does it seem like, lately, the terrorists have been giving it up awfully easily? Is it just their fatalism or are they wanting to be caught so they can laze around in prison, amidst delusions of heroism, for the rest of their miserable lives? They all seemed to be relieved to be in custody. Hmmm.
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
"Obese kids are 63 percent more likely to be bullied than their average-weight classmates, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics. Researchers looked at 821 kids in third, fifth, and sixth grades living across the U.S. and found that parents and teachers were more likely to report bullying than the children being bullied, HealthDay reports. While 25 percent of study kids reported being bullied, teachers said 34 percent had been. Mothers put the number even higher at 45 percent. University of Michigan researcher and study author Julie Lumeng says parents and pediatricians need to be on alert if caring for an overweight child, since bullying may be difficult for kids to bring up, HealthDay reports..."
'Senator Arlen Specter's record on gay rights is threatening to undermine his re-election bid as Republicans continue attempts to turn the campaign into a referendum on gay marriage and the military's ban on open gay service – dicey issues for the Pennsylvania Republican-turned Democrat.
Specter has disavowed many of his previous positions on gay rights, prompting accusations from fellow Democratic rival Pennsylvania Republican Joe Sestak that the 80-year-old senator is not “honest” or “loyal.”...'
Monday, May 03, 2010
"...The crowd that wants Latinos to show their papers if there’s a “reasonable suspicion” of illegality is often the same crowd still demanding that the president produce a document proving his own citizenship. Lest there be any doubt of that confluence, Rush Limbaugh hammered the point home after Obama criticized Arizona’s action. “I can understand Obama being touchy on the subject of producing your papers,” he said. “Maybe he’s afraid somebody’s going to ask him for his.” Or, as Glenn Beck chimed in about the president last week: “What has he said that sounds like American?”
To the “Take Back America” right, the illegitimate Obama is Illegal Alien No. 1. It’s no surprise that of the 35 members of the Arizona House who voted for the immigration law (the entire Republican caucus), 31 voted soon after for another new law that would require all presidential candidates to produce birth certificates to qualify for inclusion on the state’s 2012 ballot. With the whole country now watching Arizona, that “birther” bill was abruptly yanked Thursday..."
Sunday, May 02, 2010
"...A systematic review published Tuesday of more than 300 international studies dating back 20 years found that when police crack down on drug users and dealers, the result is almost always an increase in violence, say researchers at the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy, a nonprofit group based in Britain
When communities get tough on drug crime, that drives up the black market profits, prompting fierce battles to control the lucrative trade, their study says. And when powerful and successful drug bosses are taken out, it's all too common for more brutal and less sophisticated criminals to step in..."
"...One of the things that's missing in politics today is people that will run on a platform and then go to Washington, D.C., and actually carry it out," he said. "And I think with Charlie Crist, we don't know what that platform is and we never will. You are never going to be able to hold him accountable to anything, because his opinions are going to change based upon what the polling tells him or his political convenience tells him."
Crist, though, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he made the decision to leave the GOP -- just one month after pledging to stay in the party -- after "a lot of listening on my part."
He said the "primary" section of the Republican Party had rejected him and that Florida residents encouraged him to run as an independent. Asked whether he planned to caucus with Senate Democrats or Republicans should he win, Crist would not answer..."
"...Negative views like this are part of the embedded narrative of Tea Party coverage. But the storyline suffered a tectonic shift when an April 12 CBS News/New York Times poll of self-identified Tea Partiers found that they were not illiterate rednecks, but tend to be older, better educated, higher income, married people. They make up 18 percent of the population, compared with 20 percent who self-identified as somewhat or very liberal.
The Tea Partiers do not incite violence; they are salt-of-the-earth middle Americans who are desperately worried about the misguided policies and wrongheaded vision being promoted by President Obama and his congressional allies. Contrast them with the younger, less educated, lower income, angry, racially motivated mob that turned out in Phoenix. The Tequila Party and gangsters like them represent the core and the pride of the liberal base. If an angry, shouting mob throwing bottles at police is the face of contemporary liberalism, it's no wonder Americans are turning against them in droves."
"...He walked with a limp, had a cane, wore a white fedora and had a hoop earring in his right ear.
When asked if he was proud of his actions, he said: “Of course, man. I’m a veteran. What do you think?”
The vendor said that he had served during the Vietnam War and had been selling wares on the street for about 20 years.
“I don’t have too much of a choice, nobody’s giving me a job,” he said.
He said that he was reluctant to speak with members of the media because they had twisted his words when they interviewed him in recent years..."
Saturday, May 01, 2010
"Corporations will gain even more influence over American politics and government this year, President Obama said Saturday, unless Congress acts quickly to stop campaign spending by big government contractors and to force corporate donors to reveal who they are in broadcast campaign ads.
"The American people have a right to know when some group like "Citizens for a Better Future' is actually funded by 'Corporations for Weaker Oversight'," Obama said during his weekly radio address..."