Tuesday, August 31, 2010

GOP Leading In Poll

GOP Takes Big Lead in Generic House Poll - Political Hotsheet - CBS News: "A set of new polls suggests Republicans are in a position to make significant gains in this November's midterm elections.

A Gallup poll released yesterday showed that voters would choose an unnamed Republican over an unnamed Democrat by 51 percent to 41 percent. The 10-point margin is the largest lead Republicans have held in Gallup's generic ballot since Gallup began surveying voters on the question in 1942..."

Language And Perception

Fascinating article. Check it out here-- Does Your Language Shape How You Think? - NYTimes.com: "...Of course, all this does not mean that speakers of Spanish or French or German fail to understand that inanimate objects do not really have biological sex — a German woman rarely mistakes her husband for a hat, and Spanish men are not known to confuse a bed with what might be lying in it. Nonetheless, once gender connotations have been imposed on impressionable young minds, they lead those with a gendered mother tongue to see the inanimate world through lenses tinted with associations and emotional responses that English speakers — stuck in their monochrome desert of “its” — are entirely oblivious to. Did the opposite genders of “bridge” in German and Spanish, for example, have an effect on the design of bridges in Spain and Germany? Do the emotional maps imposed by a gender system have higher-level behavioral consequences for our everyday life? Do they shape tastes, fashions, habits and preferences in the societies concerned? At the current state of our knowledge about the brain, this is not something that can be easily measured in a psychology lab. But it would be surprising if they didn’t..."

Monday, August 30, 2010

O Flogs GOP

Obama rips GOP for blocking business aid bill - CNN.com: "President Barack Obama blasted Senate Republicans on Monday for blocking a small business assistance bill, calling their opposition 'pure partisan politics...'"

The Nice Bigot Syndrome

Even when they try to be nice, the bigotry appears in the headline. Don't use the "H word" then tell us how wonderful we are on the one hand, then with your next breath tell us we wouldn't be that way without divine inspiration from flatlanders. Chicago, home of the infamous Camp Douglas and Obama, has no place to condescend from. Keep it up and you'll be hearing banjo music. Old South: Asheville is not what you'd call Old South - chicagotribune.com:

Saturday, August 28, 2010

More Beckery

What do I think about Glenn Beck? | Coffee Party:

"...The game that Mr. Beck plays is so obvious, isn't it? He prances and dances around the line of what is responsible, what is inappropriate, and, yes, even what may be 'racist.' His hope is that the entire nation will notice, that some will condemn him, and others will defend him. If so, he becomes the center of attention, his ratings go up, and his devout followers are thrilled to have another reason to be angry at the rest of the country. I don't see any winners in this game other than Mr. Beck and his corporate sponsors.

If you have the energy for active citizenship in this crucial period in American history, consider volunteering for a non-partisan organization that is trying to help fellow Americans cope with tough economic times, and/or trying to unite our country rather than divide it."

The Roots Of The Money Tree

The billionaire Koch brothers’ war against Obama : The New Yorker:

"...One dignitary was conspicuously absent from the gala: the event’s third honorary co-chair, Michelle Obama. Her office said that a scheduling conflict had prevented her from attending. Yet had the First Lady shared the stage with Koch it might have created an awkward tableau. In Washington, Koch is best known as part of a family that has repeatedly funded stealth attacks on the federal government, and on the Obama Administration in particular.

With his brother Charles, who is seventy-four, David Koch owns virtually all of Koch Industries, a conglomerate, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, whose annual revenues are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars. The company has grown spectacularly since their father, Fred, died, in 1967, and the brothers took charge. The Kochs operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and control some four thousand miles of pipeline. Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products. Forbes ranks it as the second-largest private company in the country, after Cargill, and its consistent profitability has made David and Charles Koch—who, years ago, bought out two other brothers—among the richest men in America. Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett..."

Rally Beck

Glenn Beck says Washington rally's purpose is to help lead America out of the darkness: "

"Glenn Beck may be losing he eyesight, but he says he wants to lead America out of the "darkness."

The fiery conservative Fox talk show host addressed his followers Friday night at the Kennedy Center on the eve of his rally at the Lincoln Memorial, which falls on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream speech."

Despite criticism, Beck maintains the event is not political, though former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is scheduled to speak..."

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Burning Years Redux

Children abused, killed as witches in Nigeria - CNN.com:

The GOP Deficit

Estimates Say Fewer Jobs, Larger Deficits if Republicans Were in Charge - Newsweek: "..The final piece of the puzzle is the Bush tax cuts. Obama wants to extend them for the 95 percent of taxpayers making less than $250,000 a year; Republicans want to extend them for everybody. How will these extensions affect the deficit? Glad you asked. According to data compiled by The Washington Post, 'the Democratic proposal would add about $3 trillion to the deficit during the next decade, while the GOP plan would cost $3.7 trillion.' That brings the total Obama deficit to $3.784 trillion over 10 years, and its GOP counterpart to—drumroll, please—$4.155 trillion."

Terminating Unions

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Public Pensions and Our Fiscal Future - WSJ.com:

"...Reforming government employee compensation and benefits won't close this year's deficit. It will, however, protect the next generation of Californians from overwhelming burdens. The same is true with respect to the other reform I'm demanding—the establishment of a rainy-day fund so that legislators can't spend temporary revenue windfalls.

All of these reforms must be in place before I will sign a budget.

I am under no illusion about the difficulty of my task. Government-employee unions are the most powerful political forces in our state and largely control Democratic legislators. But for the future of our state, no task is more important..."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Illegals Murdered

Mexico Killings Show Migrants' Plight - WSJ.com:

"This week's massacre of 72 Central and South American migrants in Mexico highlights a paradox the government here doesn't like to talk about: While it complains about the treatment of its own undocumented workers in the U.S., Mexico can be a far worse place to be an illegal migrant.

Mexican soldiers on Thursday fanned out near a remote ranch about 90 miles from the U.S. border where 58 men and 14 women from Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador and Brazil were bound, blindfolded, lined up against a wall and executed..."

About That Community Center

A Personal Rant on the Mosque “Controversy”: A Prequel to the Thursday News « The Confluence:

"...For any lurkers out there who are shaking their heads right now: arguing that a mosque should not be built or should be moved to a “more sensitive” location *is* quite simply xenophobia and Islamophobia. That is the kind of thinking that led to the interment of Japanese-Americans during WWII and the McCarthy era antic-communist hysteria and the ensuing blacklisting of thousands of American citizen. Our system was set up to protect minority groups from this kind of hatred and the actions that might follow from it.

Any objections to building a mosque in Manhattan should have been filed with the government of New York City back in 2009 when the project was publicly studied and then approved. This phony controversy that has been ginned up by Pamela Geller and Fox News is disgusting, in my opinion. I know the other TC writers agree with me on this. We have been extremely discouraged by some of the comments we have seen here at TC. At the same, we are proud of and grateful to our regular commenters who have helped to beat down the surge of xenophobic trolls.

Even Thomas Friedman, Mike Barnicle, and Joe Scarborough agree! This topic has been covered heavily on Morning Joe this week, and I’ve seen a few of these discussions. I totally agree with Scarborough statement (paraphrasing) that *we won’t interfere with your ability to build a mosque in New York City if you won’t interfere with our ability to build a Baptist church in Florida..."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Faux News: Stupid Or Evil?

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Flabby Thinking

Op-Ed Columnist - A Case of Mental Courage - NYTimes.com:

"...There’s a seller’s market in ideologies that gives people a chance to feel victimized. There’s a rigidity to political debate. Issues like tax cuts and the size of government, which should be shaped by circumstances (often it’s good to cut taxes; sometimes it’s necessary to raise them), are now treated as inflexible tests of tribal purity.

To use a fancy word, there’s a metacognition deficit. Very few in public life habitually step back and think about the weakness in their own thinking and what they should do to compensate. A few people I interview do this regularly (in fact, Larry Summers is one). But it is rare. The rigors of combat discourage it.

Of the problems that afflict the country, this is the underlying one..."

Katrina Looters

After Katrina, Cops Given OK to Shoot Looters - CBS News: "In the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina, an order circulated among New Orleans police authorizing officers to shoot looters, according to present and former members of the department..."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spite For The 9/11 Face

Op-Ed Columnist - How Fox Betrayed Petraeus - NYTimes.com: "...So virulent is the Islamophobic hysteria of the neocon and Fox News right — abetted by the useful idiocy of the Anti-Defamation League, Harry Reid and other cowed Democrats — that it has also rendered Gen. David Petraeus’s last-ditch counterinsurgency strategy for fighting the war inoperative. How do you win Muslim hearts and minds in Kandahar when you are calling Muslims every filthy name in the book in New York? ..."

Fake Conservatives

Kristol: Obama Not A Muslim - Swampland - TIME.com: "...The cynical desecration of traditional conservative principles is a hallmark of the damage that people like Kristol have done to American political discourse and to a philosophical movement that, in its best, most sophisticated--and yes, ultimately, elitist--form, has plenty of value to contribute to our current policy discussions. Here are some conservative principles I admire: Foreign policy realism, budget discipline and a belief in (carefully regulated) markets as the best vehicles for delivering prosperity and even some forms of government services. The best conservatism has a healthy respect for complexity and a deep skepticism about the perfectability of human nature. Kristol's superficial cant is somewhat different: it combines a deep addiction to oversimplification with an even deeper cynicism about the exploitability of human nature. This brand of radicalism--bellicose crusades abroad, riotous tax-cutting and cronyism at home and a mean-spirited nativist populism--has been a sad but witting perversion of a valuable tradition.

The mosque controversy shows that many people who claim to lead the conservative movement do not believe in freedom of religion or private property; it also demonstrates that they are not conservatives, in any meaningful sense of the word, at all..."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Doctors Shafting Teachers

"A plan to cut reimbursement rates to doctors who care for the poor and disabled has led to a tussle between Gov. Bev Perdue and North Carolina physicians.

In the current state budget, Perdue and the legislature agreed that Medicaid reimbursement rates would be reduced by $26.6 million or 1.35 percent, if the state found it necessary to close a gap in federal Medicaid funding.

Perdue's office says the cut is now necessary. The doctors say the state has access to plenty of federal money and could use a $300 million federal education windfall to avoid cutting the rates.

Perdue's office pitches the debate as one between teachers' wallets and doctors' incomes.

'Are they suggesting that we take designated education money away from teachers and pay them instead?' said Chrissy Pearson, a spokeswoman for Perdue, a Democrat. 'The state is in the business of trying to protect essential services in a very tough recession. We hope these providers will join us in understanding that we're trying very hard to find a middle ground between slashing services and balancing a budget.'

Doctors groups say Medicaid rates are already low and that reducing them further will force doctors to accept fewer Medicaid patients..."

Lest We Forget: Tax Cuttery Edition

Op-Ed Columnist - Bush Tax Cuts - Now That’s Rich - NYTimes.com: "

"...And there’s a real chance that Republicans will get what they want. That’s a demonstration, if anyone needed one, that our political culture has become not just dysfunctional but deeply corrupt.

What’s at stake here? According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, making all of the Bush tax cuts permanent, as opposed to following the Obama proposal, would cost the federal government $680 billion in revenue over the next 10 years. For the sake of comparison, it took months of hard negotiations to get Congressional approval for a mere $26 billion in desperately needed aid to state and local governments.

And where would this $680 billion go? Nearly all of it would go to the richest 1 percent of Americans, people with incomes of more than $500,000 a year. But that’s the least of it: the policy center’s estimates say that the majority of the tax cuts would go to the richest one-tenth of 1 percent. Take a group of 1,000 randomly selected Americans, and pick the one with the highest income; he’s going to get the majority of that group’s tax break. And the average tax break for those lucky few — the poorest members of the group have annual incomes of more than $2 million, and the average member makes more than $7 million a year — would be $3 million over the course of the next decade.

How can this kind of giveaway be justified at a time when politicians claim to care about budget deficits? Well, history is repeating itself. The original campaign for the Bush tax cuts relied on deception and dishonesty. In fact, my first suspicions that we were being misled into invading Iraq were based on the resemblance between the campaign for war and the campaign for tax cuts the previous year. And sure enough, that same trademark deception and dishonesty is being deployed on behalf of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans..."

Can O Turn It Around?

10 things Obama must do in 10 weeks - CNN.com: "(CNN) -- President Obama is facing criticism that his message has gone off track at a crucial time for his party and administration. With the midterm elections just 10 weeks away, the president's approval ratings are at their lowest. Analysts are predicting big wins for Republicans in November.

Ten weeks is an eternity in politics, and Republican and Democratic strategists say there are some key things Obama can do in the final stretch to restore the confidence of the American people and minimize expected losses for his party..."

New Holiday Pushed

Don't shoot the messenger.

Not Doing Good

The Case Against Corporate Social Responsibility - WSJ.com: "...Very simply, in cases where private profits and public interests are aligned, the idea of corporate social responsibility is irrelevant: Companies that simply do everything they can to boost profits will end up increasing social welfare. In circumstances in which profits and social welfare are in direct opposition, an appeal to corporate social responsibility will almost always be ineffective, because executives are unlikely to act voluntarily in the public interest and against shareholder interests.

Irrelevant or ineffective, take your pick. But it's worse than that. The danger is that a focus on social responsibility will delay or discourage more-effective measures to enhance social welfare in those cases where profits and the public good are at odds. As society looks to companies to address these problems, the real solutions may be ignored..."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Twenty Somethings

We heard all this back in the 70's, along with dire predictions of an impending Ice Age. What Is It About 20-Somethings? - NYTimes.com:

Another Management Fad Coming?

The End of Management - WSJ.com: "Business guru Peter Drucker called management 'the most important innovation of the 20th century.' It was well-justified praise. Techniques for running large corporations, pioneered by men like Alfred Sloan of General Motors and refined at a bevy of elite business schools, helped fuel a century of unprecedented global prosperity.

But can this great 20th century innovation survive and thrive in the 21st? Evidence suggests: Probably not. 'Modern' management is nearing its existential moment...'"

Saturday, August 21, 2010

From Newton's Third Law Department

Sweden drops Assange rape charge - Europe - Al Jazeera English:

"Swedish prosecutors have cancelled an arrest warrant issued for Julian Assange, the founder of controversial whistleblower website Wikileaks (sic).

The warrant was issued following a sexual assault complaint against him.

But on Saturday, as international media outlets were beginning to pick up the story, Eva Finne, Sweden's chief prosecutor, announced that Assange was no longer wanted..."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Back To Bush

Democrats' Midterm Message: "Move Forward" With us -- or go Back to Bush - Political Hotsheet - CBS News: "The Democratic National Committee is out with a new ad that neatly encapsulates Democrats' message to voters for the midterm elections. The argument? Either 'move forward' with us, or 'go back to the same Republican policies that got us into this mess...'"

Tea Baggers Tea Leaves

My bold here-- Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe: A Tea Party Manifesto - WSJ.com: "...By definition, government is the means by which citizens are forced to do that which they would not do voluntarily. Like pay high taxes. Or redistribute tax dollars to bail out the broken, bloated pension systems of state government employees. Or purchase, by federal mandate, a government-defined health-insurance plan that is unaffordable, unnecessary or unwanted..."

In North Carolina, where the employees fund a good bit of the pension system via involuntary payroll deduction, the State has, on multiple occasions raided the employees pension fund to balance the budget. In essence, since the lawmakers refused to raise taxes, the employees were forced to balance the budget for tax cuts. That, apparently, is the Holy Grail of the Tea Party-- getting access to employee pension funds and then the grandest prize-- Social Security. Tax cuts, to get the economy revving, naturally, could be funded from all those bloated pension systems that the employees paid for via deductions and taxes.

And that's what's in the tea leaves.

Oil Returns

Scientists find oil plume persists: "Scientists say they have mapped a 35-kilometre-long underwater plume of oil that spewed from BP's ruptured Gulf of Mexico well, apparently challenging US government assertions that most of the oil has disappeared..."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

French Expulsions

Are the French Roma Deportations A Sign of Growing Xenophobia? - TIME: "France has begun the first of 700 deportations of Roma, the so-called 'gypsies,' to Romania and Bulgaria, all part of its controversial crackdown on communities officials hold responsible for criminal activity. The expulsions are set to be completed by the end of the month. Also affected by the law-and-order push are the nomadic 'travelers' group the Roma are a sub-set of; delinquents and their families in France's troubled suburban housing projects; and human traffickers and the illegal immigrants they smuggle to France..."

Radioactive Moscow

EVACUATE NOW!: This is Not a Drill : Veterans Today: "

"...Two US Air Force C130s just flew into Moscow. Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab, or one of the seven other nuclear weapons labs in the US, are more than likely involved. Ask yourself this. What on earth could
have scared the Russian nuke forces enough to call in their old hated Cold War foe – the US Air Force – for help?

There is a simple way to let the people of the world know what is going on with airborne Chernobyl and Mayak data. We paid for all the data, anyway, whether Russian, American or European Union Data.

Free the Data. Release it to the InterNet all over the world and let people decide for themselves which country is safe enough for their families to live in.

If you are planning a trip to Europe or Russia – don’t go. If you are already there – leave..."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Muslim v. Amish Tweeting

@park51 - Ben Smith - POLITICO.com: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Winning The Big War

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: How to Win the Clash of Civilizations - WSJ.com: "...But divide and rule cannot be our only policy. We need to recognize the extent to which the advance of radical Islam is the result of an active propaganda campaign. According to a CIA report written in 2003, the Saudis invested at least $2 billion a year over a 30-year period to spread their brand of fundamentalist Islam. The Western response in promoting our own civilization was negligible.

Our civilization is not indestructible: It needs to be actively defended. This was perhaps Huntington's most important insight. The first step towards winning this clash of civilizations is to understand how the other side is waging it—and to rid ourselves of the One World illusion..."


Is Portugal's Liberal Drug Policy a Model for US?: "Ten years ago, Portugal had some 100,000 heroin addicts -- about 1 percent of its entire population. HIV infections from injecting drugs were among the highest in Europe.

Now the addict count has been cut nearly in half. HIV infections from drug use have fallen more than 90 percent. And the policy shift responsible for such a dramatic improvement in Portuguese life is something U.S. lawmakers -- watching an escalating drug war on their southern border -- might consider worthy of some attention: decriminalization..."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Daily Uh-Oh: Reactor Edition

'Israel has days to strike Bushehr': "Israel has only mere days to launch an attack on Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor if Russia makes good on its plan to deliver fuel there this weekend, former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton warned Tuesday..."

Bad Google & Evil Verizon

Dems Bag on Google, Verizon Net Neutrality Plan | News | The Mac Observer: "Four members of the U.S. House of Representatives are openly speaking out against the proposed guidelines Google and Verizon recently unveiled to regulate Internet

neutrality. The Congress members see the proposal as bad for consumers, and a move away from the open flow of data over the Internet.

Jay Inslee (D, Washington), Ed Markey (D, Massachusetts), Anna Eshoo (D, California) and Mike Doyle (D, Pennsylvania) shared their concerns with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in a letter that’s available at Representative Inslee’s Web site..."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Barbarians Still Abound

TODAYonline | Breaking News | Taliban stone young couple to death for adultery in northern Afghanistan, officials say: "Taliban militants in northern Afghanistan have stoned a young couple to death for adultery, which a rights group said was the first confirmed use of the punishment here since the hardline Islamist regime was ousted in 2001..."

Nasty Call-Signing

FOXNews.com - EXCLUSIVE: Navy Air Force Inspector General Under Investigation After Dismissing Anti-Gay Harassment Complaint: "...Call signs can be used in official military correspondence and in radio calls, and the names often get printed onto clothing and can follow someone throughout their career.

Crowston – who would not disclose his sexual orientation – says his commanding and executive officers were in the room and participated in the group vote, picking “Romo’s Bitch...”

I thought we were past this kind of behavior but then I remembered Tailhook.

SS Math

Op-Ed Columnist - Attacking Social Security - NYTimes.com: "...But the program is under attack, with some Democrats as well as nearly all Republicans joining the assault. Rumor has it that President Obama’s deficit commission may call for deep benefit cuts, in particular a sharp rise in the retirement age.

Social Security’s attackers claim that they’re concerned about the program’s financial future. But their math doesn’t add up, and their hostility isn’t really about dollars and cents. Instead, it’s about ideology and posturing. And underneath it all is ignorance of or indifference to the realities of life for many Americans..."

The Return Of The King

Burger King to come back to Kandahar | World news | The Guardian: "General David Petraeus hinted that he might reverse former commander's decision to remove fast food chains from air base..."

On The Higher E$d Fiscal Crisis

Op-Ed Contributor - Universities Are Heading Toward Academic Bankruptcy - NYTimes.com

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Baraque Obama

Via Out of Order.

Tone Deaf Leadership From On-High

Obama, Stupid is as Stupid Does : NO QUARTER: "...August is a slow month so, with a media starved for political grist, any faux pas or gaffe can become chum in the water attracting the sharks. Leave it to Barack and Michelle to really step in it. Meechelle Antoinette’s jaunt to Spain got things rolling. Their drive by in the Gulf completely eclipsed by Barack’s pandering to Muslims. And they are headed to Martha’s Vineyard to frolic with the wealthy while 60 million Americans are without a job or only working part time.

That my friends, is pure, unadulterated stupid."

Fast Grow Fish

Genetically engineered salmon under FDA consideration - Los Angeles Times: "With a global population pressing against food supplies and vast areas of the ocean swept clean of fish, tiny AquaBounty Technologies Inc. of Waltham, Mass., says it can help feed the world.

The firm has developed genetically engineered salmon that reach market weight in half the usual time. What's more, it hopes to avoid the pollution, disease and other problems associated with saltwater fish farms by having its salmon raised in inland facilities..."

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bad Liberal Physics

Conservapedia: E=mc2 Is A Liberal Conspiracy | TPMMuckraker: "To many conservatives, almost everything is a secret liberal plot: from fluoride in the water to medicare reimbursements for end-of-life planning with your doctor to efforts to teach evolution in schools. But Conservapedia founder and Eagle Forum University instructor Andy Schlafly -- Phyllis Schlafly's son -- has found one more liberal plot: the theory of relativity... "

...proving yet again of the well-know liberal bias of facts.

The Truth About The GOP From The GOP

Reagan insider: GOP destroyed economy Paul B. Farrell - MarketWatch: "'How my G.O.P. destroyed the U.S. economy.' Yes, that is exactly what David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan's director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed piece, 'Four Deformations of the Apocalypse...'"

New Super-Sleeper Cells

Gohmert Continues to Push ‘Terror Babies’ Debate on 14th Amendment « The Washington Independent: "Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) reasserted his claim last night that Al Qaeda may be sending women to the U.S. to birth a contingent of future terrorists credentialed with American passports.

Gohmert argued with host Anderson Cooper, who asked him to provide proof to back up his claims about the phenomenon. He said “the evidence abounds” but failed to produce a source for his information, other than an anonymous former FBI agent..."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Convention Debacle

A COUP, THROUGH and THROUGH : NO QUARTER: "The Democratic National Committee Services Corporation, disguised as the DNC, installed Barack Obama into the Office of President of the United States of America by committing massive election fraud that played out uniquely during each of these 3 (three) phases of the 2008 Presidential election cycle in relation to the company’s August 2008 Presidential Nominating Convention: 1) pre-Convention; 2) Convention; and 3) post-Convention. The fraud committed both before and after the Convention has been dissected in several articles previously posted here on the “jbjd” blog..."

Steering The Ship Of State

The Confluence: "...If Dubya/Cheney had the country’s rudder headed the wrong direction, than Obama’s leading us rudderless. This vacuum is why so many ridiculous right wing memes are taking hold..."

Palin Flames

Sarah Palin Stops By The “Worst Governor Ever” Sign - Swampland - TIME.com

Killing The Innocent

Junk science? Another inmate on death row fights to disprove arson - CNN.com:

..."The board's announcement raises a frightening question: Could the state of Texas have executed an innocent man?

Like Willingham, Dougherty has maintained his innocence from the start. He is trying to prove he isn't responsible for the flames that engulfed his house and that he is also the victim of flawed arson science.

'We have an innocent man on death row who has been languishing there, and there is absolutely no evidence that a crime occurred,' said his attorney, David Fryman. 'We've been trying our best to right that wrong.'

Todd Willingham said he was innocent but was executed in February 2004 for the arson murders of his three kids.

Dougherty and his attorneys at Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, are waiting on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to decide whether to hear his petition for post-conviction relief filed in 2006. A crucial element of the appeal is the reports of two arson investigators who have re-examined the evidence and found no conclusive indicators of arson..."

Blago Jury Problem

The Associated Press: Blagojevich jurors tell judge they are stalled:

Monday, August 09, 2010

Leadership Disconnect

Peggy Noonan: America Is at Risk of Boiling Over - WSJ.com: "...But do our political leaders have any sense of what people are feeling deep down? They don't act as if they do. I think their detachment from how normal people think is more dangerous and disturbing than it has been in the past. I started noticing in the 1980s the growing gulf between the country's thought leaders, as they're called—the political and media class, the universities—and those living what for lack of a better word we'll call normal lives on the ground in America. The two groups were agitated by different things, concerned about different things, had different focuses, different world views.

But I've never seen the gap wider than it is now. I think it is a chasm. In Washington they don't seem to be looking around and thinking, Hmmm, this nation is in trouble, it needs help. They're thinking something else. I'm not sure they understand the American Dream itself needs a boost, needs encouragement and protection. They don't seem to know or have a sense of the mood of the country..."

9/11 Responder Bill Coming Back?

FOXNews.com - King Calls for Dems to Bring Back Sept. 11 Responders Bill After Floor Fight: "Republican Rep. Peter King is calling on House Democrats to bring back for a vote the $7.4 billion aid bill for Sept. 11 rescue workers, just over a week after he and fellow New York Rep. Anthony Weiner clashed over the legislation on the House floor.

Weiner, a Democrat, and King both support the package. But tempers flared when only 12 House Republicans voted for it and the bill tanked. Weiner, shouting on the House floor, blamed Republicans for the bill's failure and criticized King for not doing more to gain the support of his colleagues..."

Sunday, August 08, 2010

This Is Not Irony

Rush helps us understand-- Democrats: The Party of Racism:

Taliban Claim Disputed

Doctor killed on Afghanistan aid mission was not religious, say family | World news | guardian.co.uk: "The family of the British doctor shot dead by gunmen in Afghanistan, today rejected Taliban claims that she was preaching Christianity to Muslims, saying she was not religious at all..."

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Lying About SS Shortfalls

Social Security: The myth of the Social Security system's financial shortfall - latimes.com: "...This year and next, the program's costs will exceed its take from the payroll tax and income tax on benefits. That's an artifact of the recession, and it's expected to reverse from 2012 through 2014. The difference is covered by the program's other income source — interest on the Treasury bonds in the Social Security trust fund.

That brings us back to this supposed $41-billion 'shortfall,' which exists only if you decide not to count interest due of about $118 billion.."

Cuban Gloom'n Doom

Fidel Castro at Cuban parliament: Nuclear war is near - Cuba - MiamiHerald.com: "Cuba's Fidel Castro Saturday participated in his first government function since he nearly died in 2006, hammering away at his apocalyptic forecast of nuclear war and urging President Barack Obama to avert it..."

Friday, August 06, 2010

Digg Undug And Unburied

Digg investigates claims of conservative 'censorship' | Technology | guardian.co.uk: "The popular link-sharing website Digg is investigating claims that a group of the site's 'influential conservative' members are systematically downgrading thousands of stories deemed to be 'liberal'.

Online magazine AlterNet claimed to have uncovered a group of Digg members – dubbed 'Digg Patriots' – who have 'censored hundreds of users, dozens of websites, and thousands of stories' from the site. Alternet alleged that the Digg Patriots, thought to number nearly 100 members, are 'able to bury over 90% of articles by certain users and websites submitted within 1-3 hours'..."

Kagan School Troubled

Diversity Debate Engulfs Hunter High in Manhattan - NYTimes.com: "With one of its alumnae, Elena Kagan, poised for confirmation as a justice on the United States Supreme Court, it should be a triumphant season for Hunter College High School, a New York City public school for the intellectually gifted.

But instead, the school is in turmoil, ..."

Stewart Hits 9/11 Homer

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Political Bankruptcy

Op-Ed Contributor - Four Deformations of the Apocalypse - NYTimes.com: "IF there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. The nation’s public debt — if honestly reckoned to include municipal bonds and the $7 trillion of new deficits baked into the cake through 2015 — will soon reach $18 trillion. That’s a Greece-scale 120 percent of gross domestic product, and fairly screams out for austerity and sacrifice. It is therefore unseemly for the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, to insist that the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase..."

From The Pot 'n Kettle Department

The Rightist piety in this post is eye scalding. Dorothy Rabinowitz: Liberal Piety and the Memory of 9/11 - WSJ.com:

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Daily Uh-Oh: Middle East Edition

Does the Middle East Face an Israel-Lebanon Regional War? - TIME: "...Viewed in a wider context, however, each of those events could be signs of why many in the Middle East believe that despite the outward calm, the region may be on the brink of another catastrophic war..."

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Investor Revolt

It's about time this started happening.

Occidental Petroleum faces battle with investors over executive pay | Business | The Guardian: "Occidental Petroleum is facing an investor revolt over levels of executive pay, including that of chief executive Ray Irani. Photograph: Reed Saxon/AP

One of America's highest-paid corporate bosses, the Occidental Petroleum chief executive Ray Irani, is facing a rebellion over his multimillion-dollar salary from two maverick investment funds, in a sign of mounting impatience in US business circles over boardroom pay and bonuses..."

No Birthing Citizens

McConnell Echoes Kyl's Call for Hearings on Birthright Citizenship - Political Hotsheet - CBS News: "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is the latest high-profile Republican to say Congress should reconsider the guarantee of birthright citizenship provided by the 14th Amendment, in light of the current debate over immigration reform.

'I think we ought to take a look at it -- hold hearings, listen to the experts on it,' McConnell said to the Hill on Monday. 'I haven't made a final decision about it, but that's something that we clearly need to look at. Regardless of how you feel about the various aspects of immigration reform, I don't think anybody thinks that's something they're comfortable with...'"

Monday, August 02, 2010

Good News For The Lazy

Lying in at the weekend boosts your brain power, study shows - Telegraph: "Scientists have discovered that an extra dose of sleep is more than just a luxury - it provides an essential boost to brain power ahead of the working week.

Those who return to work on Monday morning refreshed from a long lie-in the day before perform better than those who spent less time in bed at the weekend, research has found..."

More Upsets Coming?

Is an Upset Brewing in Colorado Senate Race? - Washington Wire - WSJ: "The Colorado Democrat is now running nearly even against primary foe, former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, who has turned a 17-point gap in June to a three-point advantage in the latest polling ahead of next Tuesday’s primary..."

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Iran Plans

From The No-Kidding School Of Military Preparedness-- FOXNews.com - U.S. Has Iran Attack Plan, Mullen Says: "The United States military has a plan to attack Iran in order to prevent the country from developing a nuclear weapon, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff revealed Sunday.

Adm. Mike Mullen, the top-ranking U.S. military officer, said a military strike would have severe downsides -- but so would a nuclear-armed Iran. He described the challenge as a choice between two very bad options..."