Friday, December 31, 2010

It's Their Fault!

NYC mayor to probe claims that workers delayed snow cleanup -

"Four days after a monster blizzard blanketed much of the northeastern U.S., New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he will investigate whether sanitation workers intentionally delayed cleanup efforts over frustrations regarding citywide budget cuts..."

Anymore, blaming the troops always works, just ask the school teachers.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Thursday: overslept « The Confluence: "...I don’t know who the hell E.J. has been talking to but from a practical, non-abstract, working class POV, this president has been an abject failure. You don’t have to be a liberal to realize that but liberals have every reason to have expected better than this. I don’t believe in the self-esteem movement where everyone gets a gold star for trying. I believe you have no right to think you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread until you’ve proven yourself. Republicans aren’t becoming suddenly sexy again because regular Americans are crazy about conservatism . There are two reasons why Republicans are winning: 1.) Americans don’t buy the boosterism of the current administration. No one believes in Recovery Summer or Recovery Fall or Recovery Winter or whatever nonsense they’re spouting this week. They’re believing their lying eyes. and 2.) When your base stays home in disgust, that leaves the Fox News viewers who have been emotionalized by Glenn Beck and abortion as the motivated voters who actually go to the polls..."

Miller Lies Again

Judith Miller, Delusional Liar : NO QUARTER: "...Facts are stubborn things. Judith Miller clearly hopes no one actually goes back and looks at the documentary evidence. She was being fed info about Valerie, a covert CIA officer, almost a month before Joe Wilson’s op-ed appeared in the New York Times by one of Dick Cheney’s closest advisors. Scooter was not free lancing. He was acting on behalf of Dick Cheney. Fair Game tells the story of the White House trying to destroy the Wilson family because Joe Wilson dared to speak out about what he knew. This much I know, Fair Game is a more accurate reporting of history then anything Judith Miller has ever written. I encourage you to see the movie."

O'Donnel Probed

Christine O'Donnell Denies Money Misuse, 'Expects More' Accusations - ABC News: "Former Tea Party Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell defended herself today against a report that the federal government was investigating her for misuse of campaign funds, saying the investigation was politically motivated..."

Political motivation? Nah. Your opponents want to keep you in politics as long as possible, ma'am.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Simply Left BehindThe Non-Rapturist's Guide To The Galaxy: An Abject Lesson: "...Well, to sum up my point in a nutshell, we asked for lower taxes, we got lower taxes, and here's the price we pay. Mayor Bloomberg has been at the forefront of cutting property taxes, business income taxes, lowering city revenues as far as he possibly can, and cutting services to compensate. 300 Department of Sanitation drivers were 'retired' during this recent budget slashing to help cover the shortfall. That's 150 snowplows that could have been on the street..."

Dead Bin

WEINER: Osama bin Laden is dead - Washington Times:

"...Al Qaeda wants America and the world to believe bin Laden is still alive. His image is a specter of the horrors of Sept. 11, helping build public support for everything from troop surges a globe away to warrantless wiretaps at home.

But the image of bin Laden is getting moldy, and there's little reason for his ghost to scare anyone anymore. If al Qaeda wants America to believe bin Laden is alive, it should put up or shut up.

Here's a challenge to al Qaeda: Send a new video that can be analyzed properly. Otherwise, we'll take it all as a big scam, al Qaeda's version of "Saturday Night Live." Otherwise, you betcha, he's dead."

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Hillbillying Of Palin

Let's get this straight--- Sarah Palin is not from the South, nor does she have anything remotely approaching a Southern accent. So why does this post insist on dropping the g's in all of Palin's quotes? Well, it is obvious, isn't it? It's the Vile Left trying to denigrate Palin by conflating her accent with that of the gun loving bitter-clingers. Anymore, I have no use for Palin but this tactic is unacceptable-- we real hillbillies object.

Sarah Palin sneers at 'conservationists who write me nasty letters': A 'Sarah Palin's Alaska' review | Ken Tucker's TV |

"Sarah Palin visited a logging camp, picked up a chainsaw, and helped cut down a tree during this week’s Sarah Palin’s Alaska. Later, after playing a spirited game of “Eskimo bingo” with some loggers’ families, Palin sneered at “conservationists [who] write me nasty letters because I support [logging], usin’ their pretty little pencils and their pretty little stationery, not realizin,’ where do you think your pencil and your stationery comes from? It came from a tree that was harvested!”..."

Remember Iraq?

Right Wing Still Delusional on Iraq : NO QUARTER:

"...The war in Iraq has not made the United States better off and it certainly has not promoted stability in the Middle East. This feckless policy resulted in the deaths of 4748 of our soldiers and marines, wounded more than 30,000, cost hundreds of billions of dollars, led to an increase in international terrorism in 2003 and 2004, and spread Iranian influence and power throughout the region.

The notion that Iraq is undergoing a “national reconciliation” is Alice in Wonderland territory. You think Iraq today is friendlier towards Israel that it was under Saddam? Hell no. You think Iraq is friendlier towards Iran today than it was under Saddam? Hell, yes. And that makes the Middle East better off?

Good save us from these rightwing loons."

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Legal Escape

A Solitary Jailhouse Lawyer Argues His Way Out of Prison - "For most of those 15 years, Mr. Collins, who maintained his innocence, knew the only way his wardrobe would change was if he did something that's indescribably rare. He'd have to lawyer himself out of jail..."

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Gov v. Birthers

Hawaii’s Governor Seeks to Silence ‘Birthers’ -

"Gov. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, who befriended President Obama’s parents when they were university students here, has been in office for less than three weeks. But he is so incensed over “birthers” — the conspiracy theorists who assert that Mr. Obama was born in Kenya and was thus not eligible to become president — that he is seeking ways to change state policy to allow him to release additional proof that the president was born in Honolulu in 1961..."

Remember The Big Lie-- "if you repeat a thing long enough and loud enough, people, no matter how outrageous the claim, will begin to regard it as truth"--- attributed to various Nazis if I remember correctly.

Where It Is Tuff Being A Christian

AFP: Iraqis defy threats to pack massacre church on Xmas: "Hundreds of Christians packed Baghdad's Our Lady of Salvation church for Christmas on Saturday, defying threats of attacks less than two months after militants massacred worshippers and priests there..."

Friday, December 24, 2010

Great Xmas VidTunes

Joe Cannon has posted a wonderful series of Christmas YouTubes over at his place: Cannonfire.

The Daily Uh-Oh: Pope Edition

Pope’s child porn 'normal' claim sparks outrage among victims - World news, News - "Victims of clerical sex abuse have reacted furiously to Pope Benedict's claim yesterday that paedophilia wasn't considered an “absolute evil” as recently as the 1970s..."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pension Warning

Alabama Town’s Failed Pension Is Warning to Cities and States - "This struggling small city on the outskirts of Mobile was warned for years that if it did nothing, its pension fund would run out of money by 2009. Right on schedule, its fund ran dry..."

9/11 Conspiracy Windfall

If .1 of 1% of what is alleged here can be proved in court, then hangings will happen. GORDON DUFF: GOV. JESSE VENTURA PROVES 9/11 COVER-UP, WILL AMERICA’S GOVERNMENT FALL? : Veterans Today:

Palin vs. Boner

John Boehner Defends Tax Cut Deal From Sarah Palin's Criticism: "Future Speaker of the House John Boehner offered a rebuttal to Sarah Palin's earlier condemnation of the $858 billion tax cut legislation on Friday. The agreement is a "worthy" deal based on the balance of power, Boehner said, and one that accomplished the primary goal of preventing an expiration of the Bush tax cuts early next year..."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Banks Robbing

Banks Accused of Illegally Breaking Into Homes -

When Mimi Ash arrived at her mountain chalet here for a weekend ski trip, she discovered that someone had broken into the home and changed the locks.

When she finally got into the house, it was empty. All of her possessions were gone: furniture, her son’s ski medals, winter clothes and family photos. Also missing was a wooden box, its top inscribed with the words “Together Forever,” that contained the ashes of her late husband, Robert.

The culprit, Ms. Ash soon learned, was not a burglar but her bank. According to a federal lawsuit filed in October by Ms. Ash, Bank of America had wrongfully foreclosed on her house and thrown out her belongings, without alerting Ms. Ash beforehand..."

Apple Sucks: Reason 99

ROI: Why iPads Make Lousy Christmas Gifts - "...OK, I admit it: I've been wrong about Apple stock lately. After correctly turning bullish at $85 two years ago, I turned cautious waaay too early. My mistake? This isn't a technology company. It's a luxury brand, like Hermès or Tiffany. And it's wooed customers so they'll pay almost anything for its products. Last Christmas, Apple's gross margins were 41%. That's incredible. It's good for Apple, good for stockholders—but not so good for shoppers. Me, I don't want to support someone else's 60% markups with my own dollars. Generally speaking, the smarter move is to invest in the Tiffanys of the world—and shop at the Wal-Marts..."

And 100: "...OK, I already knew about the fans. Last summer, three-quarters of the people standing in line so they could buy the new iPhone the moment it went on sale already owned an iPhone. But now it's the company, too. Look at how it reacted last spring, when a Silicon Valley blogger scooped an early iPhone 4: Next thing he knew he was being handcuffed on his lawn in front of his wife while police ransacked his house. And think of Steve Jobs, complaining that news coverage of the iPhone 4's troubled aerial had been "blown so out of proportion that it's incredible." Hmmm, out-of-proportion media coverage—you sure you want to go there, Steve? This is the guy marketing a new telephone under the slogan "This changes everything. Again." Maybe this stuff shouldn't matter to me, but I have to confess it's turning me off."

GOP Still Blocking 9/11 Bill

Senate Dems Blast Republicans Over Their Concerns With 9/11 Health Bill -

"With the lame-duck session nearing an increasingly bitter end, Senate Democrats are now accusing Republicans of abandoning 9/11 heroes because of their concerns with a bill that would pay for the health care of the first responders to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lobbed that accusation Wednesday in a broadside against the Republicans he says are trying to stall a final vote by 'running out the clock' on the lame-duck session..."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On GOP Hissy Fits

John McCain & Lindsey Graham: The Mean Girls of the U.S. Senate: "I have a theory about human social evolution: life doesn't progress much after high school. This week, I can thank John McCain and Lindsey Graham for providing empirical data that supports this hypothesis..."

Home Deduction Doomed?

Tax deduction for mortgage interest could be on the chopping block - Los Angeles Times:

"...Much the same has been true for millions of Americans up and down the income scale. Perhaps the most sacred of all the sacred cows in the tax code, the home mortgage deduction has long been seen as crucial to a major element of the American dream — owning your own home.

It has also been a boon to home builders, construction workers, the financial services industry and local governments that benefited from fatter real estate tax revenue.

But nearly a century after coming into existence, the mortgage deduction may face a day of reckoning. Although out of the spotlight while the lame-duck Congress thrashes to an end, the mortgage deduction issue is likely to resurface next year when the new Congress — including a lot more deficit-hawk Republicans — takes over.

In part, the hoary deduction has a target on its back as a result of policymakers rethinking the whole issue of homeownership. In the wake of the havoc that followed the latest housing bust — a calamity that still shadows the U.S. economy and will for years to come — it's no longer so clear that near-universal homeownership should be a paramount goal..."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Comment Of The Day

WikiLeaks cables detail Fidel Castro's doomed love for Obama | World news | The Guardian:

18 December 2010 11:10AM

"...If only Al Gore hadn't caved in when Bush cheated his way to power, we could be living in an entirely different world.."

The Triumph Of Bad Ideas

When Zombies Win -

"When historians look back at 2008-10, what will puzzle them most, I believe, is the strange triumph of failed ideas. Free-market fundamentalists have been wrong about everything — yet they now dominate the political scene more thoroughly than ever.

How did that happen? How, after runaway banks brought the economy to its knees, did we end up with Ron Paul, who says “I don’t think we need regulators,” about to take over a key House panel overseeing the Fed? How, after the experiences of the Clinton and Bush administrations — the first raised taxes and presided over spectacular job growth; the second cut taxes and presided over anemic growth even before the crisis — did we end up with bipartisan agreement on even more tax cuts?..."

Carter Stirs Gay Pot

A Gay Commander in Chief - Ready or Not? -

"Jimmy Carter is putting the out in outspokenness.

In an interview with, the former president was asked, “Is the country ready for a gay president?”

Even as John McCain and other ossified Republicans were staging last-minute maneuvers to torpedo the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal, the 86-year-old Carter was envisioning a grander civil rights victory..."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fox News Finally Right

Shepard Smith Unloads On Blockers Of 9/11 Responders Bill: 'How Do They Sleep At Night?' (VIDEO):

"Shepard Smith excoriated the Senators who are holding up the so-called 'Zadroga Bill' to assist 9/11 first responders who suffer from medical problems as a result of their time at Ground Zero. The bill, which provides $7 billion for the responders, passed the House but is being held up by Republicans in the Senate.

Speaking to Fox News colleague Chris Wallace on Friday, Smith asked, 'How do they sleep at night after this vote on Ground Zero first responders from 9/11? Are they going to get that done, or are we going to leave these American heroes out there to twist in the wind?'..."

O Will Fight The Rich

Biden says he and Obama will fight wealthy tax cuts in 2012 - The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency: "Vice President Joe Biden said today that he and President Obama will fight to end the 'morally troubling' yet newly renewed tax cuts for rich Americans in the re-election year of 2012..."

I understand he's also selling beach front property in South Dakota.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Screwing You Per Page

Mobile Carriers Dream of Charging per Page | Epicenter |

"...The idea? Make it possible for your wireless provider to monitor everything you do online and charge you extra for using Facebook, Skype or Netflix. For instance, in the seventh slide of the above PowerPoint, a Vodafone user would be charged two cents per MB for using Facebook, three euros a month to use Skype and $0.50 monthly for a speed-limited version of YouTube. But traffic to Vodafone’s services would be free, allowing the mobile carrier to create video services that could undercut NetFlix on price.

In short, you’d have a hard time creating a better graphic of the future that net neutrality advocates warn will be imminent if the federal government does not apply fairness rules to the mobile internet. A court struck down an earlier set of fairness rules in the spring, but it was never clear if those rules applied to wireless carriers..."

Don't you just love how private enterprise horns in on public property (the Internet) and then wants to charge us for using our service? Maybe Verizon will buy the rights to a National Park then start charging admission or Wall Street will get their hands on Social Security and start charging us a monthly transaction fee. Do not ever give an inch to these evil, greedy bastards.

Rail Gun Coming

Navy Working on New Super Rail Gun:

"The world's most powerful gun is one step closer to becoming the super-weapon of the future.

The Navy on Friday demonstrated a record-setting 33-megajoule shot from its developmental electromagnetic rail gun, a weapon that will be able to shoot farther than conventional guns. This weapon of the future could someday go on U.S. Navy ships, but for right now, it's a science and technology project..."

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Lie Of The Year

"Government Takeover" of Health Care Called "Lie of the Year" - Political Hotsheet - CBS News:

"...The claim that the health care overhaul bill reflects a "government takeover of healthcare" has won the "lie of the year" award from the fact-checking website

The Pulitzer Prize winning website, which is associated with the St. Petersburg Times, noted in announcing the award that "it is inaccurate to call the plan a government takeover because it relies largely on the existing system of health coverage provided by employers..."

Flogging The Big O--Again

How Oprah's Book Club Gets Dickens—and Literature—All Wrong | The New Republic:

"...Now imagine this scenario somewhat differently. Your 16 year old announces that her English class will be reading Great Expectations. Fabulous, you think. A real piece of literature, a break from the Twilight nonsense and the watering down of education. “What will you discuss?” you ask your child. “Oh, we don’t know yet,” she says. “My teacher has never read it before. In fact, she’s never read any Dickens. She just thought it would be fun to read this with a cup of tea in hand!” My guess is that you would be annoyed.

And yet, Oprah does just that, only it’s worse: She has asked millions of people to follow her into some of the more difficult prose to come out of the nineteenth century—prose she knows nothing about. Put simply, a TV host whose maxim is to “live your best life” is not an adequate guide through the complicated syntax of Dickens, not because she lacks the intelligence—she is quite clearly a woman of savvy—but because her readings of the texts are so one-dimensional.

Oprah’s approach to her Book Club is all about herself. Her recent announcement contained not a word of reasoning or insightfulness about Dickens’s work; instead, she explained her reason for picking two of his novels by shouting, in a lame attempt at literary humor, “Cause it’s the best of times!” Just as she deems her “favorite things” worthy of an annual consumer-fest, she happily pushes to her audience of millions whatever books she herself wants to read..."

Royal Head

Scientists ID head of France's King Henry IV - Technology & science - Science - --that's good to know; I was concerned.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why Reform Is Opposed

Opposition to Health Law Is Steeped in Tradition - David Leonhardt -

"...Today, the supposed threat to free enterprise is a law that’s broader, if less radical, than Medicare: the bill Congress passed this year to create a system of privately run health insurance for everyone. On Monday, a federal judge ruled part of the law to be unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court will probably need to settle the matter in the end.

We’ve lived through a version of this story before, and not just with Medicare. Nearly every time this country has expanded its social safety net or tried to guarantee civil rights, passionate opposition has followed.

The opposition stems from the tension between two competing traditions in the American economy. One is the laissez-faire tradition that celebrates individuality and risk-taking. The other is the progressive tradition that says people have a right to a minimum standard of living — time off from work, education and the like..."

I have a simpler explanation: fear.

Hypocritical GOPerism

GOP rips $1.1 trillion spending bill -

"...Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, called the GOP hypocritical, noting that a large number of the earmarks in the bill had been previously requested by Republican members. Durbin also said the legislation had been set at $1.1 trillion in order to satisfy McConnell's demands.

This is 'the very same number' the Republican leader insisted upon, Durbin said. 'You can't have it both ways.'

South Carolina GOP Sen. Jim DeMint, a leading voice of the Tea Party movement, has said he and other conservatives may force the massive bill to be read out loud before it can be debated in order to ensure that everyone knows all the provisions it contains.

Reading the bill could take 50 hours... "

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

BP Sued

Justice Department Sues BP Over Gulf Oil Spill - "The U.S. Justice Department filed a civil oil-spill lawsuit Wednesday against a BP PLC unit and several other companies, the federal government's first major legal action in the Gulf of Mexico disaster..."

Screwing The Little Guy--Again

Executives keep health perks while workers' benefits are cut -

"Though millions of workers face rising health insurance costs and dwindling benefits in 2011, many CEOs will retain employer-paid medical plans and health benefits worth thousands of dollars.

Hundreds of top corporate managers get medical benefits and supplemental coverage far beyond what's offered to rank-and-file employees. Benefits include 'executive' physicals and reimbursements for out-of-pocket costs, deductibles and co-payments, according to corporate filings..."

No Gay Marines

Top Marine says repeal of gay ban could add casualties: "The Marine Corps' top general suggested Tuesday that allowing gays to serve openly in the military could result in more casualties because their presence on the battlefield would pose 'a distraction...'"

Okay, the bullets are flying, you're pinned down but you see a way out, but before you dash to safety, you stop to contemplate the sexual preferences of the guy laying down cover fire? Someone's gonna hafta explain this one to me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stewart Slams GOP Over 9-11 Vote

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Flogging The Big O

The Sad Tale of Oprah Winfrey and her farewell Victory Tour while millions of americans suffer foreclosure fraud.. Daily PUMA:

"...Has there ever been a television personality with the reputation and clout of Oprah Winfrey who has frittered away their final year in daytime programming by focusing on their own narcissistic journey, when the country and her audience needed her to protect them from predatory banking practices that have been surfacing at an alarming pace?

Oprah Winfrey could have used her television show to expose the dastardly deeds of her own business acquaintances, such as those of Jamie Dimon, but instead we are treated to a trail of Oprah's tears as guests tell her how much she has meant to them...meanwhile, TEN THOUSAND homes are foreclosed upon every day in the United States, and many of them are not being fairly treated..."

Monday, December 13, 2010

GOPers Say Dems Won

National Review: Tax Fight On The Right? : NPR:

"Extending the tax rates, of course, garners near-universal acclaim. But Republicans view other parts of the deal, such as the temporary payroll-tax deduction, the $56 billion toward jobless benefits, and myriad Obama-favored tax credits, as hold-your-nose compromises.

For an example of the grumbling, see Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who wrote in a Twitter message Friday that he has 'serious concerns.' Nevertheless, he will support the agreement because 'Americans can't afford tax increases...'"

Obama Reagan Commonality?

Was Ronald Reagan a secret snitch? - Los Angeles Times:

Worm Still Eating Iran Nukes - Stuxnet Worm Still Out of Control at Iran's Nuclear Sites, Experts Say:

"Iran's nuclear program is still in chaos despite its leaders' adamant claim that they have contained the computer worm that attacked their facilities, cybersecurity experts in the United States and Europe say...

...And Iran’s anti-worm effort may have had another setback. In Tehran, men on motorcycles attacked two leading nuclear scientists on their way to work. Using magnetic bombs, the motorcyclists pulled alongside their cars and attached the devices.

One scientist was wounded and the other killed. Confirmed reports say that the murdered scientist was in charge of dealing with the Stuxnet virus at the nuclear plants."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bite Me,Bloomberg

Bloomberg Says Obama's Democratic Base Should `Suck It Up' on Tax-Cut Deal - Bloomberg:

"President Barack Obama should tell Democrats angered by his compromises with Republicans on extending tax cuts to “suck it up,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Obama “can’t just sit there and depend on ideology” because “leadership is about doing the possible, not sitting around and waiting for the perfect,” Bloomberg said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press...”

The Base has been sucking it up ever since Teh Precious became The One. Enuf.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Go Bernie! Go!

Bernie Sanders Filibuster: Senator Stalls Tax Cut Deal:

"...Sanders kicked off the debate on the bill with a two-hour stand in opposition to the tax cut deal before handing over the lectern to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and then Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.).

'How can I get by on one house?' Sanders said. 'I need five houses, ten houses! I need three jet planes to take me all over the world! Sorry, American people. We've got the money, we've got the power, we've got the lobbyists here and on Wall Street. Tough luck. That's the world, get used to it. Rich get richer. Middle class shrinks...'"

Lest We Forget:Tricky Dick Edition

On Nixon Tapes, Disparaging Remarks About Ethnic Groups - " Richard M. Nixon made disparaging remarks about Jews, blacks, Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans in a series of extended conversations with top aides and his personal secretary, recorded in the Oval Office 16 months before he resigned as president. "

Crazies Outnumbered At Edwards Funeral

More than 1,200 at Edwards funeral; protest fizzles -

"...Other public mourners included as many 150 supporters who gathered a few blocks away from the church for a counter-demonstration against a group of picketers from the controversial Westboro Baptist Church.

The Kansas-based congregation is known for its extremist opposition against homosexuals, Jews and other groups and regularly holds protests at funerals for fallen U.S. service members, saying the war's dead are God's punishment for the country tolerating gays and lesbians.

In the end, only five Westboro congregants showed for the protest, which took place in a cold, steady rain..."

Friday, December 10, 2010

GOP Says "No" To 9-11 Heroes

9/11 responders bill defeated by Senate GOP filibuster - "Senate Democrats failed Thursday to win a procedural vote to open debate on a bill that would provide medical benefits and compensation for emergency workers who were first on the scene of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The motion for cloture, or to begin debate, needed 60 votes to pass due to a Republican filibuster, but fell short at 57-42 in favor..."

Return Of The Walrus Hack

If you need to be reminded of Skippy Shrub, read this--Barack Obama is a bigger danger than WikiLeaks | John Bolton | Comment is free | The Guardian:

DADT Problems Coming

Gates sees problems if Senate blocks repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell' -

"Failing to repeal the law prohibiting openly gay and lesbian people from serving in the military leaves the services vulnerable to the possibility the courts will order an immediate and likely chaotic end to the policy, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters Friday.

Gates, speaking aboard an aircraft as he traveled in the Middle East, said that 'my greatest worry will be that we are at the mercy of the courts and all of the lack of predictability that that entails...'"

A Sliver Of Katrina Justice

Guilty verdict in post-Katrina death -

"In a case that could have widespread repercussions on how law enforcement agents deal with disasters, three former and current police officers were found guilty Thursday in the shooting death of a man and the coverup in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

A federal jury took three days to reach guilty verdicts on three of the five officers indicted in the shooting, burning and coverup of the death of 31-year-old Henry Glover..."

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Picketing Crazies Return

Controversial church to picket Edwards funeral - U.S. news - Life -

"A church that pickets funerals to protest what it calls American immorality says its members will be picketing the service this Saturday for Elizabeth Edwards, who died of breast cancer on Tuesday.

Based in Topeka, Kan., the Westboro Baptist Church said it would be outside the Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh, N.C., during the funeral for the former wife of one-time vice presidential candidate John Edwards..."

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Daily Uh-Oh: WikiLeaks UFO Edition

Wikileaks: new diplomatic cables 'contain UFO details', says Julian Assange - Telegraph:

"The 39 year-old Australian, who is wanted by Interpol over a charge of rape and sexual assault in Sweden, said there were some references to extraterrestrial life in yet-to-be-published confidential files obtained from the American government.

He did not disclose what information was contained in the diplomatic memos obtained by the whistleblowing website. It also remains unclear when they will be published..."

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Fighting Fox

Media Matters, the watchdog group that loves to hate Fox News:

"...Tides chief executive and founder, Drummond Pike, has endorsed Media Matters' campaign.

'Every sponsor of every Fox show should be put on notice that this insanity is being underwritten by [advertisers],' Brock says. He adds: 'If Beck isn't stopped, I think we'll have another Oklahoma City [bombing] in this country...'"

Piling On The Debt

Bush tax cut deal and surprise stimulus - what they cost - Dec. 7, 2010: "The compromise on the Bush tax cuts announced Monday night between President Obama and Republicans could cost between $600 billion and $800 billion if ultimately signed into law -- no sure thing given opposition from many Democrats..."

And where are the deficit hawks?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Bailing Out The World

Hat tip to Simply Left Behind...

Sen. Bernie Sanders: A Real Jaw Dropper at the Federal Reserve:

"...After years of stonewalling by the Fed, the American people are finally learning the incredible and jaw-dropping details of the Fed's multi-trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street and corporate America. As a result of this disclosure, other members of Congress and I will be taking a very extensive look at all aspects of how the Federal Reserve functions and how we can make our financial institutions more responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans and small businesses.

What have we learned so far from the disclosure of more than 21,000 transactions? We have learned that the $700 billion Wall Street bailout signed into law by President George W. Bush turned out to be pocket change compared to the trillions and trillions of dollars in near-zero interest loans and other financial arrangements the Federal Reserve doled out to every major financial institution in this country. Among those are Goldman Sachs, which received nearly $600 billion; Morgan Stanley, which received nearly $2 trillion; Citigroup, which received $1.8 trillion; Bear Stearns, which received nearly $1 trillion, and Merrill Lynch, which received some $1.5 trillion in short term loans from the Fed.

We also learned that the Fed's multi-trillion bailout was not limited to Wall Street and big banks, but that some of the largest corporations in this country also received a very substantial bailout. Among those are General Electric, McDonald's, Caterpillar, Harley Davidson, Toyota and Verizon.

Perhaps most surprising is the huge sum that went to bail out foreign private banks and corporations including two European megabanks -- Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse -- which were the largest beneficiaries of the Fed's purchase of mortgage-backed securities

Deutsche Bank, a German lender, sold the Fed more than $290 billion worth of mortgage securities. Credit Suisse, a Swiss bank, sold the Fed more than $287 billion in mortgage bonds...."

Lest We Forget:Clinton Edition

Monday: The Awakening is Very Rude « The Confluence: "...Last night’s Virtually Speaking featured two bloggers who sounded like they got the Lazy Mary treatment. After a week of outrages, the left blogosphere is waking up to the very real scenario that they picked the worng guy. Very wrong. Marcy Wheeler (aka emptywheel) and Stuart Zechman are finally outraged. They have reached the stage of outrage and righteous indignation that we felt in 2008 when Obama and the DNC decided that votes for Hillary Clinton from the big states did not count (or if you were living in MI or FL, counted for half a person). Doesn’t feel so good, does it guys? And he doesn’t have to listen to you. Nope..."

Sunday, December 05, 2010

GOP Too Far Gone?

ThinkProgress » Former Republican Sen. Warns GOP May ‘Have Gone So Far Overboard That We Are Beyond Redemption’: "In an age when far-right tea party activists have taken over the Republican Party and demanded lockstep allegiance, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) has been one of the few GOP lawmakers to step out of line. In particular, Lugar, the ranking GOP member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has blasted his own party for relentlessly blocking ratification of the New START nuclear arms treaty with Russia, calling on his fellow GOP senators to “do your duty for your country” and complete the pact..."

From The "No Kidding" Department

GOP tax cut ultimatum: Principled or 'temper tantrum?' - CNN: "...Readers accused Republicans of being more interested in paying back campaign donors than helping lower-income Americans in hard times."

Losing Mortgage Deductions

I'm not convinced but the post does present some interesting arguments. 3 reasons why the mortgage tax break isn't a break - Fortune Finance:

Friday, December 03, 2010

Good Advice For Media

CNN Regrets Not Asking John McCain A Follow-Up Question:

"...This is just an idea I had, CNN, but maybe you all should consider this tactic: when an interviewee says something that gives you the WTF-face, you could maybe deviate from your scripted questions, pause and ask said interviewee, 'I'm sorry, but what did you mean when you said that thing you said, just a few seconds ago, on our teevee show?'

Obviously, the downside here is that you really steal away from your exclusive online post-game lamentation of the terrible interview you just conducted..."

Moms Saying "No"

Frazzled Moms Push Back Against Volunteering - "Around the country there are a number of altruistic, devoted and totally burned-out mothers just like Ms. Lentzner who are becoming emboldened to push back against the relentless requests from their children’s schools for their time. What started out as an admirable civic gesture somehow snowballed into an inability to say no to any committee assignment or project request, and spiraled into night, weekend and after-school commitments, middle-of-the-night e-mail exchanges, as well as frozen dinners, takeout pizza and baby sitters at home..."

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

No More Loud Ads

Well, Hush My Mouth: Congress Is Moving Against LOUD Ads -

"Couch potatoes of America, listen up. Congress may be just days away from turning down the volume on ear-splitting TV.

The Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation, or CALM, Act follows rules set last year by a United Nations body in Switzerland on how to measure and clip broadcast volumes. The U.S. bill, inspired by decades of consumer complaints, should finally ban TV ads that blare louder than the programs they interrupt..."

I wonder if the GOP will block this legislation.

Blocking For The Rich

First Read - GOP to block all bills until tax cuts are addressed: "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced this morning that Republicans will block any legislation from coming to the Senate floor until two key economic issues are addressed: funding the government (the “continuing resolution” which must pass to prevent a government shutdown) and the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts..."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Israel v. US Airline Security

Israel’s Flight of Aviation Security Fantasy : NO QUARTER: "...El Al, Israel’s national carrier, reported spending $107,828,000 on security in 2009 for the 1.9 million passengers it carried. That works out to about $56.75 per passenger. The United States, by contrast, spent $5.33 billion on aviation security in fiscal 2010, and the air travel system handled 769.6 million passengers in 2009 (a low year), according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. That amounts to $6.93 per passenger..."

SkyNet Brings Iran Nukes Down

There's awesome, and there's awesome.  Read this post and be impressed. - Mystery Surrounds Cyber Missile That Crippled Iran's Nuclear Weapons Ambitions:

"In the 20th century, this would have been a job for James Bond.

The mission: Infiltrate the highly advanced, securely guarded enemy headquarters where scientists in the clutches of an evil master are secretly building a weapon that can destroy the world. Then render that weapon harmless and escape undetected.

But in the 21st century, Bond doesn't get the call. Instead, the job is handled by a suave and very sophisticated secret computer worm, a jumble of code called Stuxnet, which in the last year has not only crippled Iran's nuclear program but has caused a major rethinking of computer security around the globe..."

O's Bad Moves

Why Does Barack Obama Want to Cut the Salaries of Federal Employees? - Newsweek:

"President Obama is often blamed for not reaching out to Republicans. In truth, as Monday morning's announcement that Obama wants to cut the pay of all federal employees illustrates, he has the opposite problem. Obama frequently proposes essentially Republican policies, which makes it impossible for him to use those ideas to buy Republican votes for bipartisan legislation.

When legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions was being negotiated in the Senate Obama undermined the bargaining process by simply unilaterally opening up new areas for offshore oil drilling. Increased drilling was supposed to be one of the things Democrats gave to Republicans in a comprehensive energy reform bill as an inducement to vote for it. Republicans hardly applauded Obama for the move, and the average swing voter seems not to have given the Democrats any credit for it in the recent election. In fact, the BP oil spill turned the drilling decision into a potential liability for Democrats..."

China Irked Over War Games

China Protests U.S.-South Korea Exercises - "Beijing on Friday lodged its first official protest of a joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise planned for Sunday, even as the aircraft carrier USS George Washington steamed toward the region..."

Latest On Military Gay Policy

Source: Most service members surveyed don't care about DADT repeal -

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fixing The Federal Black Hole

A budget proposal I like--Simply Left BehindThe Non-Rapturist's Guide To The Galaxy: Budget Holes And A Shovel:

Kudos For South Korea

EDITORIAL - Too steep a price | The Philippine Star Opinion:

"...The wounds of conflict in Yeonpyeong are still too fresh to discuss a revival of negotiations. Some observers have pointed out that North Korea tends to do its worst when a new leader is set to assume power. In this case, Kim is reportedly preparing to turn over power to one of his sons, and a show of North Korean military might could give the succession an aura of strength.

South Korea’s defense minister resigned following the attack, and President Lee Myung-bak has vowed to make the North “pay the price” – but for future attacks. This could be seen as an indication that the South will be provoked into a full-scale war only with utmost reluctance. This is as it should be; Seoul deserves commendation for this difficult balancing act. The price of war is too steep and everyone stands to lose..."

TSA: Follow The Money

And find the fear.

The Real Threat to America -

"... I don’t doubt the patriotism of the Americans involved in keeping the country safe, nor do I discount the threat, but I am sure of this: The unfettered growth of the Department of Homeland Security and the T.S.A. represent a greater long-term threat to the prosperity, character and wellbeing of the United States than a few madmen in the valleys of Waziristan or the voids of Yemen.

America is a nation of openness, boldness and risk-taking. Close this nation, cow it, constrict it and you unravel its magic.

There are now about 400 full-body scanners, set to grow to 1,000 next year. One of the people pushing them most energetically is Michael Chertoff, the former Secretary of Homeland Security.

He’s the co-founder and managing principal of the Chertoff Group, which provides security advice. One of its clients is California-based Rapiscan Systems, part of the OSI Systems corporation, that makes many of the “whole body” scanners being installed...."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

As California Goes?

California's ailing Republicans: A dying breed?:

"Republicans are relishing the coming of a new day on Capitol Hill. But across the country in California, the party of Nixon and Reagan is drifting toward obscurity.

The latest sign of imperiled health: In a year Republicans notched big victories in Congress, governor's offices and statehouses around the nation, California Democrats made a clean sweep of eight statewide contests on Nov. 2. Democrats padded their majority in the Legislature, where the party controls both chambers and no congressional seats changed parties..."

START:Politics As Usual

Senators show that politics, not policy, is holding up START treaty -

"The Republican senator who opposes ratification this year of a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia made clear Sunday that politics, not policy, is the main issue.

Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl told NBC's 'Meet the Press' program that the Senate won't have enough time in December's 'lame-duck' session to properly consider the so-called START Treaty with Russia..."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bomb Screener Israeli Style

Got this in an email from a bud--

"The Israelis are developing an airport security device that eliminates the privacy concerns that come with full-body scanners at the airports.

It’s a booth you can step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on you. They see this as a win-win for everyone, with none of this crap about racial profiling. It also would eliminate the costs of a long and expensive trial. Justice would be swift. Case closed!

You're in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion. Shortly thereafter an announcement comes over the PA system:

'Attention standby passengers — we now have a seat available on flight number XXXX. Shalom!' "...

If only...

You Are In Charge Of You

Paying for Retirement Is Now Your Own Problem - Newsweek:

"You’ve heard of the Social Security crisis. And you’ve probably heard that the pensions promised to state employees are terribly underfunded. And maybe you’ve even heard that most Americans don’t have enough money in their 401(k)s.

Too often, these are three separate conversations. They shouldn’t be. We don’t just have a Social Security problem or a 401(k) problem. We have a retirement-security problem. And when we look at one or another piece in isolation—as most of the deficit-reduction proposals do—we run the risk of making it much worse. To be more specific, we run the risk of continuing the great risk shift of the last decades of the 20th century, in which uncertainty that was once borne by employers and the government has increasingly been shunted onto individuals..."

South Protests North

Angry protests over Korea shelling - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English:

"South Korean protesters demanding a harder line against neighbouring North Korea have on Saturday scuffled with police outside the defence ministry in the capital, Seoul..."

I wonder if they still want the US to go home.

Security Success

Oregon Teen Arrested in Plot to Bomb Holiday Event - "A Somali-born teenager attempting to detonate what he believed was a car bomb in a packed downtown Portland Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Friday night was arrested by authorities, who had spent nearly six months tracking him and setting up a sting operation, officials in Oregon said..."

Friday, November 26, 2010

HuffPo O'Truman Delusions

Ari Emanuel: Forget the Carter Comparisons, Obama Is Following in the Footsteps of Harry Truman -- and That's a Very Good Thing:

Sharks In Congressional Waters

There Will Be Blood -

"...Some explanation: There’s a legal limit to federal debt, which must be raised periodically if the government keeps running deficits; the limit will be reached again this spring. And since nobody, not even the hawkiest of deficit hawks, thinks the budget can be balanced immediately, the debt limit must be raised to avoid a government shutdown. But Republicans will probably try to blackmail the president into policy concessions by, in effect, holding the government hostage; they’ve done it before.

Now, you might think that the prospect of this kind of standoff, which might deny many Americans essential services, wreak havoc in financial markets and undermine America’s role in the world, would worry all men of good will. But no, Mr. Simpson “can’t wait.” And he’s what passes, these days, for a reasonable Republican..."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Return Of The Multiverse

Have we found the universe that existed before the Big Bang?: "...Sir Roger Penrose, one of the most renowned physicists of the last fifty years, takes issue with this view. He points out that the universe was apparently born in a very low state of entropy, meaning a very high degree of order initially existed, and this is what made the complex matter we see all around us (and are composed of) possible in the first place. His objection is that the Big Bang model can't explain why such a low entropy state existed, and he believes he has a solution - that the universe is just one of many in a cyclical chain, with each Big Bang starting up a new universe in place of the one before..."

No TSA For Pols

From the "Here's Another Reason I Hate The Government" Department--TSA: Some Gov't Officials to Skip Airport Security - TSA - Fox Nation:

"...Cabinet secretaries, top congressional leaders and an exclusive group of senior U.S. officials are exempt from toughened new airport screening procedures when they fly commercially with government-approved federal security details.

Aviation security officials would not name those who can skip the controversial screening, but other officials said those VIPs range from top officials like Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and FBI Director Robert Mueller to congressional leaders like incoming House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who avoided security before a recent flight from Washington's Reagan National Airport..."

Dr. Frankenstein Avoids The Monster

President Obama to Barbara Walters: 'I Don't Think About Sarah Palin' - ABC News: "In an exclusive interview with Barbara Walters from the White House, President Barack Obama says he's not giving much thought to the 2012 election, but is focusing instead on being 'the best possible president.' And, he said, he certainly isn't focused on a potential challenge from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin..."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

No TSA In The War

Mr. President, Who Is Terrorizing Whom? : NO QUARTER:

"...A US Army Staff Sergeant, now serving in Afghanistan, points out that he is not allowed to do these invasive, Enhanced Pat-Downs on women and children while conducting searches of local nationals over in Afghanistan, even when involved with security tasks within his Infantry company. Something that would probably save lives.


To avoid offending the Afghan people. To avoid presenting the US government as oppressors. To avoid feeding the Taliban’s hatred. And yet, according to you Mr President these enhanced pat-downs are not only acceptable but necessary for the American traveling public..."

Biggest Eye In Sky

U.S. military says they've launched largest spy satellite – This Just In - Blogs:

"The U.S. military launched what is billed as its largest-ever spy satellite on Sunday.

A Delta IV Heavy rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 5:58 p.m. on Sunday, carrying what an Air Force press release called a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

While the Air Force did not give further detail on the mission, Bruce Carlson, director of the NRO, said in a September 13 speech that his agency would be putting “the largest satellite in the world” aboard a Delta rocket for a launch from Cape Canaveral this fall..."

A Crack In The TSA Wall

Administration to Seek Balance in Airport Screening - "Caught between complaints that airport screening has become too intrusive and threats of new terror attacks on aviation, the chief of the Transportation Security Administration said on Monday that the agency would consider changes to its new security measures if it found that the measures went too far..."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Remembering The Obots

Anglachel's Journal: Krugman Agrees: "...What infuriates me about this situation is that the people who were the most rabid Obama supporters, racing around intimidating anyone who opposed The Precious, spreading lies about HRC, gaming caucuses and rigging votes, justified their actions be claiming that HRC was just a front for right-wing interests and would run an administration identical to the one Obama is running now, whereas he would be the reincarnation of the pantheon of Democratic greats all rolled into one. These are often the same people who failed to vote for Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004, again claiming that there was 'no difference' between them and Bush, that they weren't liberal enough, etc. Gore in particular was singled out for this kind of treatment..."

Will Gay Disputes Wreck The TP?

The Coming Tea Party Civil War | Mother Jones: "In the months leading up to the midterm congressional elections, the tea party movement managed to tamp down on its internal divisions in pursuit of a shared goal of defeating Democrats. But with the elections over, the movement's fault lines are starting to show, and tensions between the tea party's social conservative and libertarian wings are poised to explode into an all-out civil war..."

Little Bush Love For Palin

Barbara Bush hopes Sarah Palin stays in Alaska - The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Catholic Condoms Okayed

The Pope drops Catholic ban on condoms in historic shift - Telegraph:

"After decades of fierce opposition to the use of all contraception, the pontiff will end the Church's absolute ban on the use of condoms.

He will say that it is acceptable to use a prophylactic when the sole intention is to 'reduce the risk of infection' from Aids..."

Dollars For Farmers

VOA | US Senate Approves Billions for Black Farmers, Native Americans | USA | English: "The U.S. Senate has unanimously approved a combined $4.55 billion in settlements to black farmers and Native Americans, ending years of litigation on charges of racial bias and mismanagement..."

Friday, November 19, 2010

New Physics Principle?

Scientists Convert Information Into 'Demonic' Energy -

When Good Men Don't Lie

16 of the Dumbest Things Americans Believe -- And the Right-Wing Lies Behind Them | Media and Culture | AlterNet: "...Revisiting Wilson's foolish tirade underscores the state of our upside-down political world. Wilson shouted “you lie” in the face of truth, but President Obama is hesitant to speak up when he’s being slandered with bald, glaring untruths. The dark irony will continue as the Republicans take over the House this winter and the rumors and insinuations from extremist right-wing pundits keep circulating. It feels like no one with a loud enough megaphone has the courage to call a spade a spade, or more accurately a lie a lie..."

Paul Hammers TSA

'Don't touch my junk' passenger sparks revolt against airport searches | World news |

"...On Thursday, Congressman Ron Paul introduced legislation to counter what he called the 'calamity' of airport security. It proposes barring the government from doing what ordinary citizens would not be allowed to do to strangers – photographing them naked or touching their private parts.

'If we can't take nude photos of people why do we allow the government to do it? We would go to jail,' he said. 'Something has to be done. Everybody's fed up. The people are fed up. The pilots are fed up. I'm fed up. What we're putting up with at the airport is so symbolic of us just not standing up and saying enough is enough. I know the American people are starting to wake up but our government, those in charge, Congress, are doing nothing...'"

Thursday, November 18, 2010

TSA Abuse Video

This is a rather long and absolutely infuriating video, via NO QUARTER:

TSA Goes Way Too Far

Airport staff 'exposed woman's breasts, laughed' | The Australian:
"A WOMAN is suing over an incident where airport staff allegedly pulled down her top and joked about her breasts in public view.

The 23-year-old traveller, from Amarillo, US, is suing the US Government for the emotional distressed she says the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents caused..."

Lost Liberal Angst

What the Midterms Meant: Thunder from the Left - TIME: "For 34-year-old Adam Green, the midterm elections were not a repudiation of liberalism but a rejection of Barack Obama's accommodating style. 'The only way to get the Republicans to the table,' he says, 'is to punch them in the face real hard on one issue...'"


Benefit Failure For Jobless

UPDATE 1-Jobless benefits extension fails in US House | Reuters:
"An effort to continue assistance for millions of jobless people who will see their benefits run out in coming weeks failed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.

By a vote of 258 to 154, the proposal to extend jobless benefits for three months fell short of the two-thirds margin needed to pass the House under special rules that limit debate..."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Meeting Spin Wars

GOP Decision to Cancel White House Meeting Brings Talk of Gamesmanship - "Whether it was a political delay tactic or a scheduling mishap, Republicans are finding themselves in a PR battle to explain their canceling on President Obama's announced meeting Thursday with congressional leaders..."

Shuler Loses Pelosi Challenge

House Democrats Re-Elect Pelosi as Their Leader - "...Officials said that Ms. Pelosi defeated Representative Heath Shuler of North Carolina in an internal party vote, 150 to 43. Mr. Shuler acknowledged before the vote that he had no chance of winning, but he wanted to give disgruntled Democrats a chance to register their opposition to Ms. Pelosi’s leadership anyway..."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

GOP Says No To Earmarks?

In sudden reversal, GOP leader McConnell will back ban on earmarks: "In an abrupt reversal, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday endorsed a moratorium on earmarks that GOP conservatives are seeking to send a signal that the Republican Party is serious about curbing federal spending..."

Yeah, well, we'll see how long that lasts.

Murky Disses Palin

Murkowski Says Palin Lacks "Intellectual Curiosity" -

'...Dispatched in the Republican primary by Joe Miller, a protégé of Ms. Palin, Ms. Murkowski is on the verge of an historic upset, having emerged as the new vote leader after running a write-in campaign to keep her seat.

And she’s taking aim at her nemesis.

I just do not think that she has those leadership qualities, that intellectual curiosity that allows for building good and great policies,” Ms. Murkowski told Katie Couric during an interview on CBS. “You know, she was my governor for two years, for just about two years there, and I don’t think that she enjoyed governing...”'

Neither trait slowed George Bush down, much to our detriment.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Koppel On KO

Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news: "To witness Keith Olbermann - the most opinionated among MSNBC's left-leaning, Fox-baiting, money-generating hosts - suspended even briefly last week for making financial contributions to Democratic political candidates seemed like a whimsical, arcane holdover from a long-gone era of television journalism, when the networks considered the collection and dissemination of substantive and unbiased news to be a public trust..."

Beck Jumps Shark?

Glenn Beck Slammed for 'Horrific' Remarks About George Soros and Holocaust: "Jewish leaders have condemned Glenn Beck for comments he made on Fox News accusing billionaire philanthropist George Soros -- a Jew -- of being complicit with the Holocaust as a child in Nazi-occupied Hungary..."

The Wreck

35 years ago this week « The Confluence:

Bad Times For Charlie

Ethics hearing: Rep. Charles Rangel walks out of hearing - "The long-awaited congressional ethics hearing for New York Rep. Charles Rangel proceeded without him Monday morning after the Harlem Democrat walked out of the proceeding, saying he did not have legal representation..."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Paying For Health Care

The rain falls on the just and unjust alike « The Confluence:

"...We pay twice as much for health care as the other industrialized nations. At some point we’re gonna have to consider not just WHAT we’re willing to pay for but also HOW MUCH we’re willing pay for EVERYTHING, including routine care.

We can’t control M&M costs without addressing the entire health care market. And the best way to do that is a little thing called “single-payer.” While medical professionals deserve to be well compensated, “for-profit” health care makes as much sense as “for-profit” police and fire departments..."


My bold in the following snippet. American Narcissus | The Weekly Standard: '"...There are lots of times when you get the sense that Obama views the powers of the presidency as little more than a shadow of his own person. When he journeyed to Copenhagen in October 2009 to pitch Chicago’s bid for the Olympics, his speech to the IOC was about—you guessed it: “Nearly one year ago, on a clear November night,” he told the committee, “people from every corner of the world gathered in the city of Chicago or in front of their televisions to watch the results of .  .  . ” and away he went. A short while later he was back in Copenhagen for the climate change summit. When things looked darkest, he personally commandeered the meeting to broker a “deal.” Which turned out to be worthless. In January 2010, Obama met with nervous Democratic congressmen to assure them that he wasn’t driving the party off a cliff. Confronted with worries that 2010 could be a worse off-year election than 1994, Obama explained to the professional politicians, “Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me...”'

God help us, we do.

The Daily Uh-Oh: Nazi Edition

Nazis Were Given ‘Safe Haven’ in U.S., Report Says - "A secret history of the United States government’s Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a “safe haven” in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II, and it details decades of clashes, often hidden, with other nations over war criminals here and abroad..."

Shuler v. Pelosi

On Politics: Heath Shuler concedes he can't beat Pelosi - Game On!: Covering the Latest Sports News: "Former NFL quarterback Heath Shuler can read a scoreboard and knows when the game is lost. But that doesn't mean he'll stop playing..."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

About That 1%

Robert Reich (Obama's First Stand):

"...On the other hand, giving the top 1 percent a two-year extension would cost the Treasury $130 billion over two years, thereby blowing a giant hole in efforts to get the deficit under control.

Alternatively, $130 billion would be enough to rehire every teacher, firefighter, and police officer laid off over the last two years and save the jobs of all of them now on the chopping block. Not only are these people critical to our security and the future of our children but, unlike the top 1 percent, they could be expected to spend all of their earnings and thereby stimulate the economy..."

Leakers Pursued

Robert Gates orders leak probe - Gordon Lubold -

"Defense Secretary Robert Gates is opening an investigation to determine who in the Defense Department leaked information to The Washington Post that showed a majority of the military would not object if the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy were lifted.

Gates is angry that two unnamed officials cited in the Post article have “selectively revealed aspects of the draft findings” of the Pentagon’s Working Group, according to a statement released late Friday afternoon by Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell..."

Women's Rights Key To Wins

Was abortion a wave-stopper for Democrats in 2010? - Alexander Burns -

"While almost nothing went right for Democratic candidates this fall, one issue turned out to be a winner in some of the closest Senate races in the nation: abortion.

By branding Republican challengers as outside the cultural mainstream on the issue, Democrats managed to hold on to at least a slice of the political center by courting and winning over moderate women in a handful of key states..."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Flaming TLC

“Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” on TLC, review : The New Yorker: "...TLC’s approach to programming is, in a nominal way, educational; if you don’t know any little people, or kids whose legs are fused, or families with nineteen children, you don’t really know what their lives are like. The shows are extremely invasive, though; TLC’s programming is all about babies, weddings, and families in extremis, and yet there’s something inhumane at the center of it all. It panders to our curiosity, allowing us to gawk at its subjects for as long as they are willing to be gawked at—which may be longer than is good for them. When it comes to Palin specifically, there is the fundamental problem that some of us don’t want to see or hear any more of her than we have to. And there are those whose objections have a physiological basis as well as an ideological one: the pitch and timbre of her voice, the rhythms of her speech, her syntax, and the way she coats acid and incoherence with cheery musical inflections join together in a sickening synergy that distresses the listener, triggering a fight-or-flight reaction. When Palin talks, my whole being wails, like Nancy Kerrigan after Tonya Harding’s ex-husband kneecapped her: “Why? Why? Why?”..."

The Learning Channel don't do much teachin' no more. It's mostly gawking.

O Grows A (Temporary?) Set

Obama: Extend tax cuts for middle class, not the wealthy - The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency:

"President Obama said today his top priority is to extend the George W. Bush tax cuts for middle class Americans, and he will talk with Republicans next week about what to do with the tax rates for wealthier Americans.

'I continue to believe that extending permanently the upper-income tax cuts would be a mistake and that we can't afford it,' Obama told reporters at the G-20 summit in Seoul, South Korea. 'And my hope is, is that somewhere in between there we can find some sort of solution...'"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Great Rant

Be sure and read the comment thread and behold the filleting of a "righteous" ranter. I love a good rant « The Confluence:

Fox And Palin

Murdoch Speaks: Fox Civil War Deepens | Media Matters for America: "...What is clear as this story develops is: MSNBC execs are wringing their hands over and trying to kill their marquee host, Keith Olbermann for some piddling personal donations -- after having just a few weeks ago announced a new openly progressive branding campaign -- 'Lean Forward' -- for the increasingly competitive cable network, that success brought to them in the first place by Olbermann's talents as a broadcaster (MSNBC is 'beating the shit' out of CNN too). Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch is swiftly maneuvering, promoting his top stars, issuing new commands to his troops with a partisan political end game in mind: 'With any kind of a Republican candidate ... Obama will find it impossible to win' re-election. For now, it looks like Murdoch's preferred candidate is Sarah Barracuda. What will Karl Rove and Company do about that? Stay tuned."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why Would The GOP Want Anyone Other Than O?

Deficit Advisers Back Sweeping Cuts -

"...Among the controversial proposals, the plan in its current form would end or cap a wide range of breaks relied on by the middle class, including the deduction for home-mortgage interest. It would tax capital gains and dividends at the higher rates now levied on wage income. To compensate, one version of the plan would dramatically lower and simplify individual rates, to 9%, 15% and 24%.

For businesses, the plan would significantly lower the corporate tax rate—from a current top rate of 35% to as low as 26%—but also eliminate a number of deductions. It would make permanent the research and development tax credit. Overall, the plan would cut the federal deficit by $3.8 trillion by 2020..."

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Bush Torture Truth

British deny George Bush's claims that torture helped foil terror plots | World news | The Guardian:

"British officials said today there was no evidence to support claims by George Bush, the former US president, that information extracted by 'waterboarding' saved British lives by foiling attacks on Heathrow airport and Canary Wharf. In his memoirs, Bush said the practice – condemned by Downing Street as torture – was used in CIA interrogations of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on the US..."

Monday, November 08, 2010

The Legend In His Own Mind Tour Continues

Back in the public eye, Bush as assured as ever -

"...The book's excerpts and the interviews offer new insight into Bush's presidency, but show a familiar certainty and self-assuredness about the decisions he made.

On the decision to launch a war with Iraq, Bush expressed no hesitation when asked if he would make the same choice again, knowing all that he knows today..."

Bad Omens

The Fed - Doing It Again -

"...It’s true that things aren’t as bad as they were during the worst of the Depression. But that’s not saying much. And as in the 1930s, every proposal to do something to improve the situation is met with a firestorm of opposition and criticism. As a result, by the time the actual policy emerges, it’s watered down to such an extent that it’s almost guaranteed to fail.

We’ve already seen this happen with fiscal policy: fearing opposition in Congress, the Obama administration offered an inadequate plan, only to see the plan weakened further in the Senate. In the end, the small rise in federal spending was effectively offset by cuts at the state and local level, so that there was no real stimulus to the economy.

Now the same thing is happening to monetary policy..."

O Faulted By Germans

The World from Berlin: 'Obama Comes Across as Cold, Arrogant and Elitist' - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International: "It was a failure of historic proportions. With US President Barack Obama's Democrats having lost control of the House, there seems little hope for progress during his two remaining years, say German commentators. Obama himself, they say, bears much of the blame..."

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Repeal Without Repeal

Republicans Look at Budget Maneuvers to Prevent Spending on New Health Law -

"The Republican in line to lead the House Budget Committee acknowledged Sunday that the GOP is unlikely to get a repeal of a Democratic-backed health care law because President Obama can veto it, but said House Republicans will move forward on a vote anyway.

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said Republicans have some opportunities to slow the advance of the Democratic plan by defunding actual rollouts, but acknowledged the president would have to sign that legislation..."

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Other O Suspended For Politicking

Rachel Maddow on suspended Keith Olbermann: MSNBC should reinstate him:
"...Olbermann was suspended without pay Friday for making donations to three Democratic candidates in this week's mid-term elections..."


Friday, November 05, 2010

The Onion Speaks

American Public Gets Exactly What It Deserves For 112th Straight Election | The Onion - America's Finest News Source: "Dismayed by the fact that over the past 24 months they have not experienced the immediate short-term personal gain they had hoped for, Americans went to the polls Tuesday and, for the 112th consecutive time, elected the candidates they deserve. 'It's my duty,' Reading, PA resident Bethany Albertson said as she cast her ballot and joined the staggering majority of citizens who, like every single previous generation of voters, will reap exactly what they have sown. 'I haven't seen much difference in my paycheck, and we need a voice for change in our government.' Exit polls indicated most voters will be content with what they've got coming to them as long as they see sharp reductions in taxes, health care costs, home foreclosures, economic regulation, unemployment, and the national debt by the time the 112th Congress is halfway through its first legislative session."


Jeff Tollefson's pix...

Palin Fires Back

GOP Leaders: Sarah Palin Must be Stopped - Political Hotsheet - CBS News:

"...She also lit into those quoted, telling Greta Van Susteren they "want to lead the nation and run the world" and yet "they're not brave enough to put their name in an article." She called them "the GOP the establishment -- the self-proclaimed elite" and added that "if they would man up and if they would, you know, make these claims against me, then I can debate them."

UPDATE: Palin has now sarcastically referred to Politico and other detractors "puppy-kicking, chain-smoking porn producers" in an email to the Daily Caller..."

The Great Liberal Sigh

David A. Love: Americans, Your Country Isn't So Great:

"...The United States is at the bottom of the barrel. We don't live well. Since the 1970s, the bottom 90 percent has experienced income stagnation, while the top 1 percent has seen its wealth skyrocket. In America, two-thirds of income gains in recent years went to the top 1 percent. The gap between rich and poor hasn't been so great since 1928, right before the first Great Depression, with the top 20 percent controlling 84 percent of the wealth. In Sweden, the top 20 percent owns 36 percent. Canada and Western Europe all have greater social mobility than the so-called 'land of opportunity,' and with far more generous benefits, over a month of vacation, real universal health care -- you get the picture. If the citizens of all of these advanced nations are living better than Americans, then what is so special about America?

And yet, this recent election is a testament to this country's proclivity -- with help from the bottom 90 percent -- to keep things the way they are, if not worsen them. Some people vote with the oligarchy against their own interests because they simply lack the proper information. There's lots of blame to go around..."

Bush & Lauer

Kanye says he understands George Bush's 'disgust' -

..."Bush: 'Yes. My record was strong, I felt, when it came to race relations and giving people a chance. And it was a disgusting moment.'

Lauer: 'I wonder if some people are going to read that, now that you've written it, and they might give you some heat for that. And the reason is this '

Bush [interrupting]: 'Don't care.'

Lauer: 'Well, here's the reason. You're not saying that the worst moment in your presidency was watching the misery in Louisiana. You're saying it was when someone insulted you because of that.'

Bush: 'No, and I also make it clear that the misery in Louisiana affected me deeply as well. There's a lot of tough moments in the book. And it was a disgusting moment, pure and simple...'"

This exchange speaks volumes about Skippy.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Dump O

Thursday: What we’re up against because the “Creative Class” just *had* to have its way « The Confluence:

"...I don’t care how the party gets Obama not to run in 2012. They can persuade him to give it up voluntarily like LBJ did, or they can start secretly funding Hillary for a primary win. But something has to be done to get him out of the White House and put a strong contender in his place.

The creative class will take us all down unless we strike back and tell them in no uncertain terms that we are not putting up with their $#@% anymore. Tuesday was the first blow. And we will continue to pound on them until they get the message. No candidate that has their support will ever have mine unless he/she embraces the working class. I don’t see that happening. So, the party is at a stalemate. The vast majority of us are held hostage by a tiny group of snobs who think very well of themselves and not of you.

So be it. The Democrats will be the Washington Generals to the Republican Globe Trotters until a new team comes along..."

"Saving" Social Security

How Reid Machine Held Off Upstart Conservative -

"...The Reid campaign waited until the day after the primary to pounce, releasing a press release that told voters Ms. Angle had a 'radical' notion to do away with Social Security.

Ms. Angle had in fact spoken frequently of 'phasing out' social security. During the general election campaign she sought to moderate that position, explaining that she wanted to 'save' the popular program by amending it, but Mr. Reid continued efforts to remind voters even as late as Tuesday afternoon of her earlier position.

While Ms. Angle seemed to have all the momentum in an election year that favored tea party fervor and the Republican party, her missteps became too numerous to overcome. Eventually, Ms. Angle's campaign couldn't risk putting her in front of television cameras for fear that she might say something damaging..."

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A TP Negative

The Tea Party Giveth ... - "...But in the Senate, the Tea Parties’ critics can claim some vindication — and more of it than I expected. The conservative grassroots can take credit, in one sense or another, for the victories of Rand Paul, Ron Johnson (who got his start as a speaker at Tea Party rallies) and Marco Rubio. But the inevitable defeat of Christine O’Donnell was accompanied by Harry Reid’s unexpectedly easy win over Sharron Angle, and — according to the Denver Post, at least — Michael Bennet’s hair’s-breadth victory over Ken Buck in Colorado. All of those should have been winnable seats for Republicans, and with different candidates they might have been. But in each case, the Tea Parties got the nominees they wanted, and in each case they went down to defeat. Meanwhile, more establishment-ish Republicans were cleaning up: Dan Coats won in Indiana, Rob Portman won in Ohio, Mark Kirk won in Illinois, and Lisa Murkowski’s write-in campaign in Alaska seems poised to keep her in the Senate..."

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The New Constitution

The Tea Party Constitution Versus the Thomas Jefferson Constitution | The Nation:

"...If O'Donnell, Johnson and their Tea'd-Off compatriots were even minimally serious about adhering to the founding document, they would all be thoughtful critics of the undeclared wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, ardent foes of the Patriot Act and steady opponents of free trade deals that remove the authority of Congress to represent and serve the interests of American workers, farmers and communities. But then they would be Russ Feingold, and it goes against the Tea Party narrative—at least as it has been framed by the movement's corporate paymasters and messaging consultants—to regard a progressive Democrat as the most ardent defender of the American experiment.

So it should be understood that O'Donnell, Miller, Angle, Buck, Johnson and the rest of the Tea Partisans who might be senators are not talking about the Constitution as it was written or as the founders intended it. Rather, they are talking about the Constitution as they would like to see it rewritten and reinterpreted—with the help of the most activist Supreme Court in American history. While their intents are radical, their prospects must be seen in light of the fact that Chief Justice John Roberts and his conservative majority have already reinterpreted the First Amendment's free speech protection in a manner that extends the natural rights that the founders reserved for human beings to multinational corporations..."

Monday, November 01, 2010

About The Rally

Peter Clothier: The Rally: "...The news reports on television, as I wrote above, had little relationship to the experience I've described. The same with this morning's papers. The media have portrayed this as a light-hearted entertainment event with a handful of stars and two well-known comedians. But as I see it, the rally was only in small part about what was happening on the stage. The vast majority of us had no idea what was happening there, anyway. No. The rally was about showing up. It was about the people who showed up in vast numbers to be counted. And to judge from media reports thus far, we were discounted. It was also about the mood and spirit of these vast numbers of people, whose signs--and whose behavior in highly adverse circumstances--reflected the civility that has been missing in this year's political discourse. It was about an aspect of the American character that is too often ignored--and which the media seems determined to continue to ignore: a mutual tolerance and compassion, a great space in which we all agree on that is right, and just, and needed for our common humanity..."

Booze Worse Than Junk

Alcohol Is More Lethal Than Heroin, Study Finds : NPR:

"Alcohol is more dangerous than illegal drugs like heroin and crack cocaine, according to a new study.

British experts evaluated substances including alcohol, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and marijuana, ranking them based on how destructive they are to the individual who takes them and to society as a whole..."

The Unloved GOP

Barbour: We Know Voters Don't Love Republicans - The Early Show - CBS News:

"The chairman of the Republican Governors Association said that while he expects big wins for his party on Election Day, he understands it is not because voters love the GOP more than the Democrats.

Appearing on CBS' 'The Early Show' this morning, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour said that tomorrow's voting represents a referendum on the policies of President Obama..."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Irony Overdrive--Not Our Problem?

China's military expansion and assertive trade policies: "HANOI: China's military expansion and assertive trade policies have set off jitters across Asia, prompting many of its neighbours to rekindle old alliances and cultivate new ones to better defend their interests against the rising superpower..."

Stewart, Colbert Rally Draws Crowd

Stewart, Colbert preside over lighthearted, star-studded rally - CNN:

"Assisted by a colorful cast of characters, Comedy Central funnymen Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert held a raucous rally on the National Mall Saturday in typical fashion before a cheering throng of supporters.

Amidst all the hilarity, however, the 'Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear' carried a message about Americans turning their backs on hate and working together to make the world a better place..."