Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Taliban Falters

The Associated Press: US, Afghans repel attack against major base: "US and Afghan troops repelled an attack Wednesday on one of the biggest NATO bases in eastern Afghanistan by militants who used a suicide car bomb, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons in a failed attempt to breach the ..."

June Is Most Deadly Month

Afghanistan casualties: Record casualties for Western troops as Gen. Petraeus takes over - "...At least 102 coalition troops were killed in June in Afghanistan, according to the independent website, far surpassing the previous monthly record of 76 military fatalities in August 2009..."

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

FIFA Feeling Ref Heat

The Associated Press: Blatter says FIFA to reopen debate on technology

"JOHANNESBURG — With pressure for video replay mounting after two blatant missed calls at the World Cup, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said soccer's governing body will reopen the issue after the tournament.

Blatter said Tuesday that FIFA deplores "when you see the evidence of refereeing mistakes." It would be "a nonsense" not to consider changes, he said..."

The Great Fiddler Dies

Sen. Robert Byrd dies at 92 - Los Angeles Times

"Reporting from Washington — Robert Carlyle Byrd, the West Virginia Democrat who was often called the conscience of the Senate for his devotion to the system of constitutional checks and balances and the prerogatives of power, died early Monday. He was 92.

Byrd, who served longer and cast more congressional votes than any other member of Congress in U.S. history since taking office in January 1959, died at Inova Hospital in Fairfax, Va., a family spokesman said..."

Update: On his radio show today Huckabee Halftruth said he figured Sen,Byrd was right lobbying God to move the Pearly Gates to West Virginia. I betcha there's quite a few West Virginians who will say they're already there.

Cold War Redux

Russia Says US Spy Allegations 'Groundless' | Europe | English

"Russia's Foreign Ministry says allegations of a Russian spy ring in the United States are "groundless" and "unseemly."

A statement released by Russia's Foreign Ministry voiced regret that the arrests of 10 alleged spies in the United States came as President Barack Obama had moved to "reset" relations with Moscow..."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

New Hope For Sweeties

New type of diabetes drug drops weight as well as blood sugar » Tech Jackal: "A new type of oral diabetes medication has just passed phase three clinical trials with very promising results. This new type of medication known as Dapagliflozin, is a glucose-sodium transporter2 inhibitor, a new way to treat Type II Diabetes..."

Palin Complains

The Associated Press: Palin decries 'Dumpster divers' at Calif. campus

O Flogs NKorea

BBC News - President Barack Obama berates North Korea over Cheonan: "US President Barack Obama has said North Korea must be "held to account" for the sinking of a South Korean warship..."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Palin, Sowell, And The Nazis

The Plum Line - Sarah Palin tells followers to read article comparing BP escrow fund to Nazism

"...There's been something of a split over the escrow fund between GOP elected leaders, who have mostly refrained from criticizing it, and conservative opinion-makers, who have compared it to some of the worst acts of tyranny in human history. Here you can see Palin, a celebrity quasi-candidate, throwing her lot in with the lurid interpretation favored by conservative thought leaders.

In response to Palin's reading recommendation, Jake Tapper Tweeted a good question for Palin: "Respectfully, are you comfortable w/ his references to Hitler and the Reichstag? "

Obviously, she is."

Supreme Mixture

Elena Kagan: Would she turn Supreme Court into We the People? -

"...If Ms. Kagan is confirmed after US Senate hearings scheduled to start June 28, then the court will have certain demographics represented in numbers that 50 years ago would have seemed unimaginable: three women, three Jews, six Roman Catholics. Kagan's confirmation also would mean that, for the first time, the court would be left without any white Protestant males, who until 1993, commanded a majority of the court.

Yet as commentators, court watchers, and interest groups remind us, a cast of nine characters made up of two religions, three races, one sexual orientation, and an all-Ivy-League pedigree are hardly avatars of the nation's self-image..."

New Sheriff, New Laws - Petraeus to Modify Afghanistan Rules of Engagement, Source Says

"A military source close to Gen. David Petraeus says one of the first things the general will do when he takes over in Afghanistan is to modify the controversial rules of engagement to make it easier for U.S. troops to engage in combat with the enemy.

Troops on the ground and some military commanders have said the strict rules -- aimed at preventing civilian casualties -- have effectively forced the troops to fight with one hand tied behind their backs..."

But weren't these rules imposed by Obama?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cooking With Gen. McChrystal

When you realize something you cooked up is not working, how do you get out of the kitchen without taking the blame for the burned cornbread? Unless you have an imaginary friend to blame for your failure, the next best option is get the boss angry and then have him throw you out of the kitchen. That way you get to play the victim and pin your failure on someone else. (And coincidentally, prove your point about the boss being a boob.)

I'm not saying that's what happened here, but I'm sure Gen. McChrystal is familiar with old school transactional analysis and since there are so few thinkers left today (as opposed to reacters -- 'bots of both the Left and Right persuasion), a clever man could easily pull off this ploy with none of the Villagers noticing and few of the general population getting it either.

You might even find a high profile meat puppet. Who knows.

Gates advocated keeping McChrystal, source says - "Defense Secretary Robert Gates backed keeping Gen. Stanley McChrystal on the job because he was vital to the war effort in Afghanistan, but Gates was overruled, a senior Pentagon official told CNN's Barbara Starr..."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

General Flap

The End of Afghanistan UPDATE : NO QUARTER: "UPDATE–Having read the article, “The Runaway General,” it is clear that this is a hit piece on McChrystal and, most importantly of all, McChrystal did not, REPEAT DID NOT, trash Obama or anyone in direct conversation with the journalist. Instead, all of the unsavory quotes come second and third hand and are filtered through people on McChrystal’s staff. McChrystal’s only lapse in judgment was allowing the Rolling Stone reporter access to his staff and allowing his staff to talk to the man. Nonetheless, this ends up tarnishing McChrystal. The members of his staff should be ashamed of themselves. They failed their Boss and walked him into an ambush..."

Liberal Hell

He ain't no Jon Swift but Brooks is pretty good here.

Op-Ed Columnist - Faustus Makes a Deal -

"...Bitterly and too late, Dr. Faustus saw that liberals can’t have their way and still win elections in places like North Carolina, Ohio and Missouri. Bitterly and too late, Dr. Faustus recognized that economic policies are about values. If your policies undermine personal responsibility by separating the link between effort and reward, voters will punish you for it.

Bitterly and too late, Dr. Faustus acknowledged that after a period of overconsumption, Americans now see debt as the primary threat to their well-being. Dr. Faust and his fellow liberals may see themselves as the champions of the little guy, but in the new age of austerity, many voters see them as protectors of the special interests, as the guardians of the unaffordable promises.

Republicans have their own problems. They’ve begun over-reading their ideological mandate without the usual intervening step of actually winning an election. But the big story is that liberals have failed to create a governing center-left majority. If they can’t do it in circumstances like these, when will they ever?

Dr. Faustus fell back into despair. His soul will spend all eternity trapped in Glenn Beck’s microphone."

Insurance Industry Quaking In Boots?

Uh, not so much, after it is their pet who's barking. Obama warns insurance companies not to unnecessarily raise costs: "President Obama met with the chief executives of more than a dozen major insurance companies at the White House on Tuesday to caution them against using new requirements in the recently enacted health-care reform legislation as a pretext to substantially raise premiums..."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Solar Sailing

Japan Space Program Shines with Hayabusa, IKAROS Success - TIME

"The country that invented the Walkman may be back on track to burnish its image as a technological pioneer. Right now, more than 4.7 million miles from Earth, is a revolutionary spacecraft that could be the future of interstellar travel. Japan's space program, JAXA, confirmed on June 10 they had successfully unfurled the world's first solar sail — a spacecraft that uses the velocity of sunlight to propel it. Then, just three days later, Japan announced what could be an even more impressive accomplishment: a spacecraft that left Earth seven years ago had returned home. Before brilliantly burning up over Australia, the ship ejected a soccer-ball-sized pod — a modest container that may contain the first fragments of an asteroid ever brought to earth and provide clues about the origins of our planet. Not bad for a spacecraft running three years behind schedule and without three of its four engines..."

Birth Right Debate

Immigration law debate now includes children - | News, Sports, Jobs, Ohio, Community Information - The Marietta Times

'Emboldened by the recent passage of the nation's toughest law against illegal immigration, the Arizona politician who sponsored the measure now says he wants to deny U.S. citizenship to children born in this country to undocumented parents.

The highly controversial measure has sparked debate across the nation, with the basic question being: "Should U.S. citizenship be a birth right?..."'

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Comment Of The Day: Hillary Edition

Hillary to the Rescue? Again? : NO QUARTER

"Can you hear it in the wind?

Suddenly, this is the word on everyone’s lips — Hillary!

Sally Quinn of WaPo, the grande dame of all that is socially correct, who called Hillary ‘a tortured person who doesn’t know what she wants,’ who accused her of all manner of evil over the years, now wants Hillary and Biden to change places. Quinn says “Hillary Clinton should be Obama’s vice president” and opines…"

Long but good comment; read the rest at the link.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Love For BP And Gang

Mitchell Bard: GOP Leaders Play Games While Oil Pours Into the Gulf

"...It would seem that things are pretty straight forward, if you put politics aside. But when do we ever put politics aside in this country anymore? So we get Rush Limbaugh blaming the Sierra Club, Sarah Palin blaming environmentalists, Republicans trying to pin the disaster on President Obama (with the nonsensical and illogical Katrina-BP comparisons), and a parade of leaders (most, but not all, Republicans) standing up for BP (like John Boehner, parroting the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, saying tax payers should help BP pay for the cleanup). We have also experienced a line of politicians (again, mostly Republicans, but not all, including Democrat Mary Landrieu) saying that despite the oil disaster in the Gulf, we should keep drilling. Rep. John Culberson, a Republican from Texas, wrote a letter to President Obama opposing the moratorium on off-shore drilling, saying that the BP spill was nothing but a "statistical anomaly" since only "0.001 percent spilled" in the past. I wonder if Culberson would also argue that the nuclear reactors in Chrenobyl are safe, since they operated fine for nearly a decade with only one incident..."

Telecomm Boo-Hooing

Remember Al Franken's "Lying Liars?" Here we have Whining Whiners and the Whines They Whine. Or liars if you prefer. The Broadband Providers Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks - PCWorld Business Center

"...AT&T senior vice president for external and legislative affairs Jim Cicconi commented on the FCC NOI to say "It will create investment uncertainty at a time when certainty is most needed. It will no doubt damage jobs in a period of far-too-high unemployment. It will also undermine the FCC's own goals for the National Broadband Plan."

Really? No, seriously. Because, if that is true, we need to know about it. We need the facts to be a part of this open dialog so we can consider the full ramifications of altering the scope of FCC authority over broadband service providers. So, if you can actually back that alarmist statement up, please contribute those facts to the process.

In a statement issued from the FCC following Thursday's vote, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski notes, "It's not hard to understand why companies subject to an agency's oversight would prefer no oversight at all if they had the chance.

That is true. However, the United States has been experiencing the painful effects of reduced or failed oversight--the collapse of Wall Street, the ongoing BP oil spill fiasco--so you'll have to forgive us for not trusting the altruistic intentions of corporate America.

What is the broadband industry afraid of? It's a public debate, not an FCC directive. The point of the NOI is to provide an opportunity for all parties to weigh in. Instead of whining and complaining about the audacity of the FCC for moving the discussion forward, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, or any other interested party, should participate in the democratic process to determine the best solution..."

Will AZ Challenge SC?

...the current champ of "Nuttiest Political State"... Sharron Angle Campaign Blasts "Idiot" Reporter - Political Hotsheet - CBS News

"...Angle appears to be concerned about what might be called a Rand Paul effect - a critical focus on her positions in the wake of a primary victory that thrusts a candidate onto the national stage. She traveled to Washington this week to meet with Republicans but would not answer questions from national reporters, opting instead to do a small number of interviews with conservative media outlets..."

BP Yatchting

From the Department of Let Them Eat Cake, BP CEO Tony "I Love The Little Man" Hayward was forced, due to presumed exhaustion from dealing with Congress and enraged shrimpers, to attend a rather tony boat race. To be fair, his boat was racing, presumably without him at the helm, much like his company. The Associated Press: As oil spews in Gulf, BP chief at UK yacht race

Friday, June 18, 2010


Reporters clash with Coast Guard, BP security - Yahoo! News

"...Even more recently, reporter Bigad Shaban of CBS affiliate WWL in New Orleans accompanied U.S. David Vitter (R-La.) on a tour of spill-affected areas Monday. They stopped off at the Fort Jackson Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Buras, La., but Shaban and his cameraman were denied entry. Coast Guard officials told the men that their presence would "hurt" the wildlife being treated there. Vitter attempted to intervene, but according to Shaban's account of the incident on Shaban's Twitter feed, Coast Guard officials asked to speak to Vitter "in private." According to Shaban, Vitter commented, "I'm no wildlife expert, but that's BS."

When contacted by Yahoo! News for comment on these incidents, BP spokesman Mark Proegler told us that "there have been restrictions placed on photography in the wildlife area because we've been told that it could do harm" to the animals. When we asked about the incident involving Talon Security in Grand Isle, Proegler said: "We are not trying to prevent media access in any area, but we've heard about some incidents and we've gone back and shared our stance on this with Talon." Proegler also said that "we can't force our contractors to work with media if they choose not to."

Evil FCC Opposition

FCC Broadband Plan Prompts GOP, Industry Backlash | News & Opinion |

"Thursday's broadband proceeding at the Federal Communications Commission has prompted another congressional challenge.

Shortly after the commission announced a public comment period on its "third way" to regulate broadband, Rep. Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican, said he would soon introduce a bill that would reform the FCC and guard against unnecessary taxation and regulation of the Internet and other media services.."

Oily Pols And Money

Tricky Balance for Politicians From Oil States -

"The outburst by Representative Joe L. Barton of Texas in support of BP underscored the potential peril for lawmakers forced to respond to crises involving industries vital to their regions, and whose bountiful donations finance their political campaigns.

Democrats continued to make use of Mr. Barton’s apology to BP, using it to portray Republicans as beholden to big oil. Mr. Barton, the senior Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, worked as a consultant to Atlantic Richfield Oil and Gas Company before being elected to Congress. He has long been one of the top beneficiaries of campaign donations from big energy companies, cornerstones of the Texas economy..."

AZ Nuttery Continues - Arizona Attorney General Says He Won't Defend State's Immigration Law

Thursday, June 17, 2010

O Progress Report

Someone(s) must be off. Way off. « The Confluence

"...In the 18 months since he took the White House, President Obama has managed to reinvigorate this useless and worthless GOP, the opposition party that was on its deathbed, has deflated his own base, has alienated independents, hasn’t made any friends among Republicans although he has embraced many parts of George Bush’s horrendous policies while watering down or staying away from anything remotely Progressive. When he took power, the Democratic Party look as strong as it has ever been. The Party seemed poised to keep power for generations to come. Now, the question about the upcoming election is how bad a beating are the Democrats going to take in November..."

O Border Problem

Obama Gives Away Part Of Arizona? **Open Thread** : NO QUARTER

James Joyce And Ma Bell

Op-Ed Contributor - The ‘Learning Knights’ of Bell Telephone -

Special Break For NRA

Groups oppose NRA exemption in campaign bill | Reuters: "Forty-five public interest groups expressed opposition on Wednesday to a Democratic bill requiring greater disclosure in campaign financing, saying an exemption for the powerful National Rifle Association was unjust..."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lest We Forget: Oil Spill Edition II

Simply Left BehindThe Non-Rapturist's Guide To The Galaxy: If Man Can Walk On The Moon...

"...That it wasn't contained is the real story here, one the media refuses to tell honestly. Obama's popularity has wrongly taken a hit here. It was the Bush administration that approved the license, it was the Bush administration cronies that allowed BP to dummy up inspections and set their own rules, and it was the Bush administration that, yet again, killed that region of the nation. BP, and if the testimony before Congress is any indication no oil company, should not have been allowed to drill without a massive contingency plan for the worst case scenario..."

Speaking Of The Spill

The Morning After the Oval Office Speech: Obama is toast, now what are the rest of us going to do? « The Confluence

Remember Senator Clinton.

Misleading Cop Stories

There are several stories out that make it sound like the cop (you know, the Seattle cop) was assaulting a helpless young girl over a jaywalking violation, The video is everywhere so watch for yourself. One thing is obvious, the cop didn't punch the girl because she was jaywalking. Seattle cop punches woman in face during routine jaywalking stop (VIDEO)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Firing Teachers

There is another way, but it is not part of the continuing need for all things American to be managed from the top down.

Teacher Layoffs - Swampland -

"I'm generally in favor of President Obama's efforts to prevent massive layoffs of public employees at the state and local level. But--you knew a "but" was coming, right?--there have to be some strings attached. I'm not sure Charles Lane is right that this isn't as bad as it seems. The pain won't be distributed equally. The districts that will be hit the hardest will be the poorest districts, which don't have the lush property tax base of the suburbs. And so, what to do? Which strings to attach?..."

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Daily Uh-Oh: Strange Bedfellows Edition

Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites - Times Online

"Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defences to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities, The Times can reveal.

In the week that the UN Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran, defence sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran..."

All About Jack

Thorough, fascinating interview-- Kevorkian: 'I have no regrets' -

Dem Loses Cool - N.C. Congressman Apologizes for Physical Confrontation With Man in Washington: "Rep. Bob Etheridge, a Democrat, is seen in an amateur video grabbing the wrist and neck of an unidentified man after he approached the congressman and asked if he supported the "Obama agenda."

SC Green Weirdness Continues

Still No Election Paperwork From Alvin Greene - Politics - The Atlantic
"Alvin Greene still has filed no paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, meaning it's still tough to know who, if anyone, he's working with.

The 32-year-old unemployed Army veteran, who won the nomination to challenge Sen. Jim DeMint (R) last week with over 100,000 votes, paid $10,000 to file for candidacy in South Carolina, and he's still saying he paid that out of his own pocket. Greene is still giving strange interviews, which are difficult to watch. In this one, CNN's Don Lemon asks him if he's okay.

Greene is only required to file financial disclosures with the FEC if he's raised or spent over $5,000 (the $10,000 filing fee doesn't apply toward that), and it's unclear whether or not he has. "There's very little to no evidence that he actually did any campaigning. If there was, we haven't seen it," South Carolina Democratic Party spokesman Keiana Page said..."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Carville Is Right

Louisiana demands justice, not charity -

"...While it is important to note that both BP's and the administration's tepid responses to this catastrophe are unacceptable, it is also essential that the rest of the country understand that this feeling of neglect has festered amongst South Louisianians for generations. It's just one damned thing after another, so the anger rising out of the Gulf is not new.

For too long, the federal government and industry alike have simultaneously abused and neglected, patronized and plundered, and now polluted the people of Louisiana. And our plight now is a national emergency..."

Fiorina's Boxer Locks Dilemma

Fiorina looks to shift focus away from Barbara Boxer's hair - San Jose Mercury News

" Looking to shift the focus of her nascent general- election campaign for Senate away from Barbara Boxer's hair and back to the economy, Carly Fiorina today deployed the age-old non-apology apology strategy: She said she regretted creating an unfortunate situation but stopped short of apologizing for mocking the Democratic senator's locks..."

Too late. The perm's already set in this do.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lest We Forget: Regulation Edition

The Obvious Strategy « The Confluence

"I’m not going to deny that much of the problems that we are experiencing now are the direct result of eight years of Bush/Cheney abuse of laws, regulations, and the public trust. It would be really crazy for any one to deny that cutting taxes while waging two wars is abnormal and bad policy. It is also obvious that they followed the Reagan dogma of ‘starving the beast’ to the point that nearly every government regulator is understaffed, underfunded and demoralized. Each of these agencies have also been stacked with cronies that are less competent in the job responsibilities than their party loyalties and their belief that an unfettered corporation is a corporation that acts in the public trust. (Something that any student coming out of Microeconomics 101 should be able to argue against using any number of industries most notably the oil or finance industries where monopoly tendencies have been a historical reality.)..."

Iranian Opposition Still Active

One year later, Iran's opposition remains quiet force -

"- Nima has felt the force of a club come crashing down on his body in three separate beatings by Islamic security forces over the past year.

Azadeh repeatedly has tossed herself in the throes of mass protests through the streets of Tehran, engaging in the now well-known, cat-and-mouse game of people versus brute force.

Ehsan and Kianoosh refused to keep silent, speaking out until the only choice left was to leave their country. "It was like losing a piece of my body," said Ehsan..."

Wasting The Big Dog's Talents - Rejuvenated Bill Clinton Takes Aim at Tea Party Darling Sharron Angle: "Bubba is back and now he's got a Tea Party favorite in his crosshairs..."

Friday, June 11, 2010

More SC Oddity

The curious case of Alvin Greene, surprise Senate candidate -

"A cashier's check with the line "Alvin M. Greene for Senate" hand-scrawled at the top started the Army veteran's rise to political victory in South Carolina.

The check for $10,400 went to the state's Democratic Party. It was the fee to enter the primary for one of South Carolina's US Senate seats..."

And the rest is weird history...

Unreadiness Report

Peggy Noonan: 'We Are Totally Unprepared' -

"The most important overlooked story of the past few weeks was overlooked because it was not surprising. Also because no one really wants to notice it. The weight of 9/11 and all its implications is so much on our minds that it's never on our mind.

I speak of the report from the Inspector General of the Justice Department, issued in late May, saying the department is not prepared to ensure public safety in the days or weeks after a terrorist attack in which nuclear, biological or chemical weapons are used..."

Another Dribble Of Good Gulf News

BP to nearly double siphoning in July-Coast Guard | Reuters: "BP will seek to nearly double its oil collection capacity by mid-July, the top U.S. official overseeing the Gulf of Mexico spill cleanup effort said on Friday..."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The 90% Factor

On Anti-Incumbency - Swampland - "...There's not really one definitive answer. The mood in this cycle is unusual, with new forces for ideological purism, widespread economic angst and a rapidly changing role for the federal government stirring the waters. But it's worth keeping in mind tomorrow as A1 ledes and cable chyrons pack results into neat little packages that roughly 90% of incumbents will likely be keeping their jobs come November."

Errors At Arlington

Defense officials disclose mismanagement at Arlington National Cemetery -

"The Army has misidentified the graves of some of the war dead buried in Arlington National Cemetery, and in least one case buried the body of one service member on top of another, Defense officials disclosed Thursday..."

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

More Free Rides For The Rich

Estate Tax Dormant, Billionaire’s Bequest Is Tax-Free -

"A Texas pipeline tycoon who died two months ago may become the first American billionaire allowed to pass his fortune to his children and grandchildren tax-free..."

Got Milk?

Saudi Clerics Advocate Adult Breast-Feeding - AOL News

" Women in Saudi Arabia should give their breast milk to male colleagues and acquaintances in order to avoid breaking strict Islamic law forbidding mixing between the sexes, two powerful Saudi clerics have said. They are at odds, however, over precisely how the milk should be conveyed.

A fatwa issued recently about adult breast-feeding to establish "maternal relations" and preclude the possibility of sexual contact has resulted in a week's worth of newspaper headlines in Saudi Arabia. Some have found the debate so bizarre that they're calling for stricter regulations about how and when fatwas should be issued. .."

Dutch Voters Fed-Up? - Dutch voters set to give right victory in national vote dominated by economy, immigration

" Voters appeared likely to shift the Netherlands to the right in national elections Wednesday dominated by concerns over the rising national debt and discontent over immigration.

The conservative VVD party under leader Mark Rutte holds a solid lead in opinion surveys, running on a deficit-busting, tough-on-immigration platform. The overtly anti-Islam Freedom Party of Geert Wilders, which wants a ban on all immigration from nonwestern countries, also appears set to book large gains, perhaps doubling its current strength in parliament..."

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Blame Game - Obama Tells Graduating Class, 'Don't Make Excuses,' Drawing GOP Taunts

"...Senate Republicans reacted quickly to the speech, sending out a "best-of" list of instances in which Obama was "looking around for someone to blame."

The quotes showed Obama using Bush as a scapegoat for everything from the deficit to America's image abroad.Obama over the past 17 months has selectively blamed the Bush administration for the big problems he now faces..."

George Bush did not cause the Gulf oil leak. But that's about all he didn't do.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Bush Admits Torture

The Democrats best friend has respawned-- Bush's Glib Waterboarding Admission Sparks Outrage: "George W. Bush's casual acknowledgment Wednesday that he had Khalid Sheikh Mohammed waterboarded -- and would do it again -- has horrified some former military and intelligence officials who argue that the former president doesn't seem to understand the gravity of what he is admitting..."

O Too Cool

Op-Ed Columnist - Don’t Get Mad, Mr. President. Get Even. -

"...Unlike his unflappable temperament, his lingering failings should and could be corrected. And they must be if his presidency is not just to rise above the 24/7 Spill-cam but to credibly seize the narrative that Americans have craved ever since he was elected during the most punishing economic downturn of our lifetime. We still want to believe that Obama is on our side, willing to fight those bad corporate actors who cut corners and gambled recklessly while regulators slept, Congress raked in contributions, and we got stuck with the wreckage and the bills. But his leadership style keeps sowing confusion about his loyalties, puncturing holes in the powerful tale he could tell. His most conspicuous flaw is his unshakeable confidence in the collective management brilliance of the best and the brightest he selected for his White House team — “his abiding faith in the judgment of experts,” as Joshua Green of The Atlantic has put it..."

Slow Grinding Wheels Of Justice

Seven Union Carbide employees convicted over 1984 Bhopal gas disaster - Times Online : "An Indian court found seven people guilty of negligence today for failing to prevent a gas leak in the city of Bhopal that killed thousands of people in 1984 in one of the world’s worst industrial accidents..."

Flogging Tea People

Read the rest at the link. Simply Left BehindThe Non-Rapturist's Guide To The Galaxy: A La Recherche Du Temps Perot: "The Teabaggers are a blip on the radar. Poorly conceived, ill-timed and ultimately as all movements born of anger, doomed to fizzle out..."

Thomas Not Talking Now

Helen Thomas agrees to bow out as commencement speaker at Walt Whitman High: "Veteran journalist Helen Thomas agreed Sunday not to appear as commencement speaker at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, after she was captured on videotape saying that Jews should leave Israel and go "home" to countries like Germany and Poland..."

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Supporting The Devil

Sarah Palin Says 'Trust The Oil Industry' In Aftermath Of 'Tragic' Spill: "Sarah Palin urged the country to "trust the oil industry" and to continue to pursue offshore drilling initiatives in light of the Gulf Coast oil spill when delivering a speech in Missouri over the weekend..."

Bullock G.I. Choice

U.S. troops: Sandra Bullock is our number one girl

"A rebounding Sandra Bullock made a surprise appearance at Spike TV's "Guys Choice" event Saturday night.

Spike says the stunner received a standing ovation at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, Calif., when she accepted the "Troops Choice" Award for Entertainer of The Year..."

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Chilling The First

Does the Constitution really protect a right to "academic freedom"? - By Dahlia Lithwick and Richard Schragger - Slate Magazine

'Last week the University of Virginia decided to fight a sweeping subpoena served upon the institution in late April. State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli subpoenaed documents in connection with five grants awarded to Michael Mann—a former UVA climate-change scientist who now teaches at Penn State. Cuccinelli is using a state fraud statute to demand thousands of e-mails between Mann and climate-change scientists around the world. The request was both broad and unprecedented. So the university filed a petition to quash the subpoena on various grounds. Academics across the country have raised alarms, signing petitions and urging Cuccinelli to back off, claiming that this novel use of prosecutorial power to investigate climate science in the academy constitutes a threat to free inquiry. (Disclosure: Richard Schragger was the principal author of such a letter from the UVA law faculty.) These letters and petitions often invoke the First Amendment and quote the U.S. Supreme Court to assert that the Constitution protects "academic freedom."...'

You can parse any legal argument you wish but in the end the effect will be the same-- a chilling effect on academic inquiry, for which we will all be the poorer. Of course, this could be a conservative wet dream-- a mechanism for turning higher education into Texas.

The Pitiful PC Debate

Ballmer's iPad Diss: 'It's Just Another PC' -- InformationWeek: "The big difference between Apple's new tablet and general purpose computers is that the iPad can't do as much, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says..."

Friday, June 04, 2010

Comment Of The Day: Teachers Edition

Mickey Kaus is a goat-f**king moron « The Confluence

"...There are lots of things we could (and should) do to improve our schools.

But far too often “reform” means “cut teacher pay and eliminate tenure.”

In a perfect world:

Schools should double as daycare, but not by making teachers work more. We have the schools, we should be using them 7am-6pm m-f, all year round except for holidays.

Teachers should focus on teaching the basics between 9-3 pm, then we should re-fund arts, music, and athletics, and hire people to teach and supervise the kids mornings and afternoons. The 9-3 time period would be mandatory, but the 7-9 and 3-7 time periods would be optional (but free.)

We could expand student teaching and use the optional time for them to gain experience.

Teachers of core subjects (k-5) should work in teams, with each teacher focusing on a specialty. With 4 teachers rotating you could have 1 teacher focusing on math, another on reading, one on writing and another on social studies. Leave the kids in the same class and rotate the teachers.

I could go on and on . .."

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The Return Of The Grammar Gremlin

Can the major networks no long afford a grammar checker, or is everyone they hire borderline illiterate? It's bad enough when you have people saying "I seen the robber the run around the corner," or when the crawl at the bottom of the screen says "Its' now illegal to smoke" or the "stock marker broke it's self imposed ceiling" (two mistakes there).

Tonight I saw TNT's little annoying screen popper-upper (something I would ban if I were King) saying that TNT had "More Movie Less Commercials." Grrrrrrrr! Of course, this error is repeated endlessly in checkout lines all over the English speaking world. Can you say "Ten Items Or Less?" Yep, you can, if you want to be illiterate. If the quantity can be counted, then use a form of "few." If the quantity cannot be discretely counted, then use a form of "less." If everyone would do that, there would be fewer communication mistakes and less confusion.

p.s. If you want to defend allowing illiterates to determine the fate of the language, go ahead. Don't expect me to endorse the idea.

Flogging Israel

Daniel Henninger: Beating Up on Israel -

"The ease with which the world's governments condemned Israel over the flotilla incident has been something to behold. The Jerusalem-based correspondent for the Toronto Globe and Mail could not help but notice: "The speed and intensity with which governments around the world condemned the Israeli behavior appear unprecedented." Why?

For starters, denouncing Israel for something like this is convenient for leaders who have failed repeatedly to do anything about more important and difficult problems such as Iran, North Korea or sovereign debt. Also, lesser nations learn by example: The Obama administration's unrestrained criticism of the Israeli government in March over East Jerusalem settlements lowered the threshold for teeing off on Israel..."

Stupid Gender Firing

Woman: Bank fired me for being sexy - U.S. business-

'..."It's not a crime to be beautiful or dress well, but if you ask 33-year-old Debrahlee Lorenzana they both can cost you your job.

"They pulled me aside and said I could not wear pencil skirts, turtlenecks, I cannot wear business suits that were fitted. Basically they said it drew too much attention," says Lorenzana...'

What Kind Of "Green Drilling" Is OK?

Sure: Sarah Palin Blames, Let’s See, Environmentalists for Gulf Spill | VF Daily | Vanity Fair

'... Though Krauthammer, unlike Palin, admits that hey, B.P. is also to blame, neither mentions that environmentalists have not pushed for drilling in deeper, more dangerous waters—in fact, they protested against drilling in deep and shallow waters. Daily Kos says the same thing, only angrier, for such is The Daily Kos Way. “Sarah, maybe you missed the memo, but us ‘extreme greenies’ are opposed to ALL drilling. We are opposed to any energy that ruins our lands and soils our waters. We are for alternative energy, and funding new technologies to replace oil in America...”'

On The Gore Divorce

Gore Split Defies Odds - ABC News : "...Others have remarked on the irony of the Clinton marriage outlasting the Gores', but Brooks said she is not surprised..."

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Great Breast Cancer News

U.S.-Developed Vaccine 'Could Eliminate' Breast Cancer - Cancer -

"U.S. scientists developed a vaccine that could prevent breast cancer and save the lives of millions of women, Sky News reported Monday.

The treatment was tested on mice and showed "overwhelmingly favorable results...”

No. 3 Goes Down

Third-Ranking al-Qaida Leader Killed in Pakistan | USA | English
"Al-Qaida says its third-ranking leader has been killed in Pakistan, in what would be a major blow to the terrorist network. The terrorist network announced the death of Mustafa Abu al-Yazid in a message posted on the Internet..."