Archives for: April 2009
Holy Hopping "C" on a Pogo Stick
I don't know if you guys have seen Condi admitting that she was part of the conspiracy, yet, but check out this from Faux News:
Obama made one other argument Wednesday night, pulled from World War II.
"When London was being bombed to smithereens, had 200 or so detainees," he said. "And Churchill said, 'We don't torture.'"
Even though the British, Obama added, were being subjected to unimaginable risk. But as it turns out, his account is not true. British records show they used the equivalent of enhanced interrogation techniques, such as sleep deprivation and exposure to cold water, among other things, to successfully extract information from captured German spies.
Did you know that the US signed the UN convention against torture in 1988? While your here/God Reagan was President? Forty-some years after WWII ended?
I Like Him
For my friends overseas, who may have forgotten just how "fair and balanced" Faux news really is...
...anybody who can drive the wingers this crazy can't be all bad. ;->
Smile When You Say That!
At his 100th-day town hall meeting in St. Louis Wednesday, President Barack Obama took direct aim at the anti-tax “tea party” demonstrations that have cropped up over the last month and took a veiled shot at the Fox News Channel, the cable news network closely associated with the protests.
Asked about fiscal discipline and entitlements reform, Obama seemed to be repressing a smile as he jabbed critics of his spending plans.
"Those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I'm not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around", Obama said, “let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we are going to stabilize Social Security.”
“But,” Obama continued, “let's not play games and pretend that the reason [for the deficit] is because of the Recovery Act."
Add It To The List
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, April 28 (Reuters) - The Obama administration said on Tuesday it rolled back a Bush-era rule excusing oil and gas companies in polar bear habitat from special reviews designed to ensure they are not harming the animals.
The Alaska energy industry said the move could slow exploration and production activity in the state. Environmental groups applauded the decision as an important step protecting threatened species.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said they rescinded the Endangered Species Act regulation issued in December by the Bush administration, which eliminated the long-standing "Section 7 consultation" requirement for special scrutiny of any proposed activities that might harm a listed species.
"By rolling back this 11th hour regulation, we are ensuring that threatened and endangered species continue to receive the full protection of the law," Salazar said.
Astronomers take virtual plunge into black hole
I'm bookmarking this so I can watch the video when I'm not at work.
Simulation shows what an "infaller" might see inside a supermassive black hole
Pretty cool stuff.
This Just Came To Me
It's like a light bulb went off, or something. It's all so clear to me, now.
Anything Obama and the current congress want to do is OK. We should never question our government. If you dispute this you aren't worthy of being an American, because...
Is It Just Me?
...or is this funny?
Update: 360+ same-sex couples apply for marriage licenses; most in Polk (pronounced "poke") County.
Swine Flu and Factory Farms
Or what I've learned today are called, "confined animal feeding operations," or CAFOs . The term most used right now is the factory farm, turning livestock production more into just that; a production and not a farm. It's merely to up the profits and usually means horrible living conditions for animals and awful working conditions for low wage workers.
Well, David Kirby makes a connection that seems obvious to me, Swine Flu Outbreak -- Nature Biting Back at Industrial Animal Production? but of course it's better to hold judgment until there's evidence, right?
Follow this link...
Rick Perry is an Idiot
Less than two weeks after raising the prospect of seceding from the union, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling on the federal government to come to his state's aid in the midst of the swine flu outbreak.
(Found on Huffpo)
The Gloves Are Coming Off
Two articles on Huffpo (Yeah, I know, whatta) illustrate how tired
Obama is we all are of "the party of no" and their sometime "blue dog" enablers.
In a meeting with House Republicans at the White House Thursday, President Obama reminded the minority that the last time he reached out to them, they reacted with zero votes -- twice -- for his stimulus package. And then he reminded them again. And again. And again.
America Is Just Like An Emerging Market,
America may be more like an emerging market than we realize.
That is the analysis by an increasingly vocal and influential professor at MIT, Simon Johnson. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Simon Johnson, the former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, just like the emerging markets he has spent his life studying, the U.S. has created a system whereby Wall Street "oligarchs" have monopolized and cannibalized the economy. At the same time, Washington regulators have been rendered ineffective, seduced by their aura of wealth and power.
Johnson's solution is, in part, to use anti-trust laws to break up these too-big-to-fail institutions, and for regulators to intensify their oversight of the smaller banks that result.
Sounds about right, to me.
Theme Music for the Bush White House
Houston, We Have A Solution
One for the Texans who post here...
The Correct Framing
Being interviewed on Countdown, she asks a simple question with massive impact:
"If these torture techniques were really for the good of our country and were OK, THEN WHERE WERE YOU when the soldiers in a COMBAT ZONE carrying out YOUR ORDERS were prosecuted?!? How DARE YOU speak up now to defend yourself when you wouldn't defend those on the front line!"
Is Corporate Farming Really All That Bad?
PARKERSBURG, IA—Forty-eight-year-old local farmer Eli Ridley is a real pretty-boy looker who still has all 10 of his digits, sources reported Monday.
Mr. Hollywood movie star, who apparently has never once gotten his hand stuck inside a grain auger or had a ring finger pulped by a carelessly swung sledgehammer, reportedly gets the goo-goo eyes from all the waitresses at Tyler's Diner whenever he comes in to buy a cup of coffee.
"I bet it only takes him about 30 seconds to tie up his boots in the morning," said farmer Ted Barrow, gesturing with his gnarled finger-nubs. "Just look at him. Always wavin' at people and shakin' their hands without them recoiling in disgust. What a sissy."
According to locals, Ridley is so in love with his precious little fingers that he never removes the safety guards from dangerous machinery, and always thinks to shut off the PTO shafts before dismounting from his tractor. Parkersburg's very own Brad Pitt also takes his precious time and lets his combine head come to a complete stop whenever he needs to pull a rock out of it.
God forbid something happen to his 10 darling, milk-white babies, sources said.
More at the link.
Could It Be Working?
Somehow, at this point, I doubt it. We'll see.
WASHINGTON — Pressure mounted on President Obama on Monday for more thorough investigation into harsh interrogations of terrorism suspects under the Bush administration, even as he tried to reassure the Central Intelligence Agency that it would not be blamed for following legal advice.
Mr. Obama said it was time to admit “mistakes” and “move forward.” But there were signs that he might not be able to avoid a protracted inquiry into the use of interrogation techniques that the president’s top aides and many critics say crossed the line into torture.
And while Mr. Obama vowed not to prosecute C.I.A. officers for acting on legal advice, on Monday aides did not rule out legal sanctions for the Bush lawyers who developed the legal basis for the use of the techniques.
Word of the Day
Main Entry: im·pu·ni·ty Listen to the pronunciation of impunity
Etymology: Middle French or Latin; Middle French impunité, from Latin impunitat-, impunitas, from impune without punishment, from in- + poena punishment — more at pain
Definition: exemption or freedom from punishment, harm, or loss
Useage: "The Bush administration committed war crimes with impunity."
The Rude Pundit Weighs In
3. Just because you change the definition for yourself, it doesn't meant the definition's been changed.
9. No, fuckers on the right, this ain't as bad Saddam Hussein or Torquemada ... slitting the throat of your victim after you've raped them is worse than stopping after the rape. But, you know, you still did the rape.
Another Way Bush Put Us Behind The Rest of the World
BRITISH scientists have developed the world’s first stem cell therapy to cure the most common cause of blindness. Surgeons predict it will become a routine, one-hour procedure that will be generally available in six or seven years’ time.
The treatment involves replacing a layer of degenerated cells with new ones created from embryonic stem cells. It was pioneered by scientists and surgeons from the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London and Moorfields eye hospital.
This week Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical research company, will announce its financial backing to bring the therapy to patients.
The treatment will tackle age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of blindness. It affects more than 500,000 Britons and the number is forecast to increase significantly as people live longer. The disease involves the loss of eye cells.
While the British were working to cure blindness, we were pandering to fundie nutbags.
Demand Accountability for Torture
In response to an ACLU lawsuit, the Justice Department just released four key memos about the Bush administration's illegal torture program.
To restore America's commitment to human rights, we must demand a thorough criminal investigation.
Tell Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate the detainee abuse.
If you can't do anything else, take the few minutes to fill out a form letter and, this time, don't just look the other way when someone is torturing in your name.
Who Teabagged Whom?
It was rainy up and down the east coast, yesterday. That's being cited as a reason for low turnout. IOW, we're to believe that rain is all it takes to dampen the "patriotism" of people who were astro-turfed to complain that the middle-class tax cut they received this year isn't big enough.
If you saw a sign that said "don't send us our stimulus checks" please post it, otherwise I'll have to believe the minuscule crowds of round mouthed teabaggees weren't protesting spending, only tax increases on wealthy people like the defacto leader of the GOP, "Boss" Limaugh, and his irascible second in command Gleen "crybaby" Beck.
Speaking of "crybaby"...
A Few More Notes Regarding the Tea Party Protests:
1. This doesn't seem quite right: The "Teabag Obama" blog offers "Proper Teabagging Instructions." And there's about ten things wrong there.
2. The same blog, which is just a damned funny read, says, helpfully and with no sense of irony, "Teabagging is for everyone." The Rude Pundit agrees. Sweet Jesus, he agrees.
3. The list of suggested signs for the events contains this call to violence: "Tea Party Today: Tar and Feathers Tomorrow."
4. Some of the truly awesome signs that have actually been held at various anti-tax protests.
Limbaugh's Dirty Little Secret of Radio "Success"
Ever wonder why Rush "Boss" Limbaugh's syndicated radio show is all over the place like the proverbial cheap suit?
If you do much driving in rural areas -- e.g. between cities -- "Boss" Limbaugh's bloviations are often the only thing you can pick up on a car radio. Hey, that's what CD players are for.
Did Rush accrue hundreds of local radio affiliates across the country because his political views are mainstream? That's obviously not it. OK, so why IS his show so "popular?" Why do hundreds of stations around the country carry his show, the most widely syndicated talkfest in the country?
First drive: Chevy Volt test
I've only read the first page of this, but I'm very interested in having 2 cars from now on; an electric and a gas powered, so I'm bookmarking it this way to read it later.
Just in case Fox and those nutty right-wingers don't know that it's a verb.
Compare and Contrast
Democratic response to national security:
President Barack Obama's "no drama" handling of the Indian Ocean hostage crisis proved a big win for his administration in its first critical national security test.
(Of course, AP stays true to their extremely biased form and buries it behind some "bad news".)
Analysis: Obama beats first national security test
By JENNIFER LOVEN – 12 hours ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy is showing only glimmers of life and two costly wars remain in the balance, but President Barack Obama's "no drama" handling of the Indian Ocean hostage crisis proved a big win for his administration in its first critical national security test.
Obama puppy nominee faces uphill battle in Senate
The nomination of Bo, the puppy tapped yesterday to be the Obama family pet, was called into question today as several GOP senators vowed to filibuster the animal's confirmation.
Charlie Brooker on the American News Media.
(I picked this up on Kos. Seriously funny. Especially his take on
Faux News the GOP's private news channel.)
Obama releases Reagan records
This is in my top 10. Undoing Bush's first executive order, hiding Saint Ronnie's records of lawlessness and abuse of executive power.
And we're not even 3 months in, yet.
Black Sites Shut Down
The US has stopped running its global network of secret prisons, CIA director Leon Panetta has announced.
"CIA no longer operates detention facilities or black sites," Mr Panetta said in a letter to staff. Remaining sites would be decommissioned, he said.
The "black sites" were used to detain terrorism suspects, some of whom were subjected to interrogation methods described by many as torture.
President Obama vowed to shut down the facilities shortly after taking office.
Now that's what I'm talking about...
A Thing of Beauty
(I saw this on Olbermann, tonight.)
Wherein Roger Ebert rips the Loofa Man a new one...
To: Bill O'Reilly
From: Roger Ebert
Dear Bill: Thanks for including the Chicago Sun-Times on your exclusive list of newspapers on your "Hall of Shame." To be in an O'Reilly Hall of Fame would be a cruel blow to any newspaper. It would place us in the favor of a man who turns red and starts screaming when anyone disagrees with him. My grade-school teacher, wise Sister Nathan, would have called in your parents and recommended counseling with Father Hogben.
Rush admitted it, yesterday
LIMBAUGH: We're going to go to Chicago. This is Charles. Charles, thank you for waiting and for calling. Great to have you here. Hello.
CALLER: Thanks, Rush. Rush, listen, I voted Republican, and I didn't -- really didn't want to see Obama get in office. But, you know, Rush, you're one reason to blame for this election, for the Republicans losing.
First of all, you kept harping about voting for Hillary. The second big issue is the -- was the torture issue. I'm a veteran. We're not supposed to be torturing these people. This is not Nazi Germany, Red China, or North Korea. There's other ways of interrogating people, and you kept harping about it -- "It's OK," or "It's not really torture." And it was just more than waterboarding. Some of these prisoners were killed under torture.
"The Fourth Rail"
It's said that Social Security is "the third rail of politics", comparing it to that electrified strip of track that means instant death to anyone who touches it. As a recent example, as bad as his handling of Katrina and war was, it could be argued that Bush's attempt to dismantle SS was the beginning of the end for him as a "popular" President.
In a country full of paranoiacs it seems that military spending, which amounts to 50 cents of every tax dollar collected, more than the next 20 nations combined, and having become unsustainable to the point that it can be argued to be antithetical to "national security", is an equally electrifying topic.
Flyover of breaking ice shelf
A vast ice shelf, which covers an area of about 15,000 square kilometres (6,000 sq miles) is set to break off from the Antarctic Peninsula.
David Vaughan, from the British Antarctic Survey, says "it is hanging on by a thread".
Scientists report in the journal Nature that the continent is warming up in step with the global average.
Is the Worst Over?
No state has been harder hit by the housing bust than California.
It has piled up more foreclosures and has endured among the worst home-price declines. The median price of a single-family home sold in February was $247,590, down 41% from 12 months earlier, according to the California Association of Realtors (CAR).
But there are signs that California's housing market may be coming out of this tailspin: Sales volume is increasing, investors are returning and inventory is shrinking.
As an April Fool’s joke, Car and Driver magazine posted a made-up story on its website claiming that “President Obama had ordered Chevrolet and Dodge out of NASCAR after the 2009 season.” The magazine “pulled the fake story” after it “turned into a sizzling Internet topic,” especially on anti-Obama right-wing websites.
As Media Matters notes, one person who took the joking claim seriously was Ann Coulter. In her Human Events column yesterday, Coulter wrote:
If Obama can tell GM and Chrysler that their participation in NASCAR is an “unnecessary expenditure,” isn’t having public schools force students to follow Muslim rituals, recite Islamic prayers and plan “jihads” also an “unnecessary expenditure”? Are all those school condom purchases considered “necessary expenditures”?
Schuster vs Campbell
Check out this video of David Schuster gutting and filleting John Campbell over the GOP "budget".
Boston Tobacco Party
The cigarette excise tax that tobacco companies must pay the federal government rose Wednesday by 61.6 cents per pack, or $6.16 per carton. The tax now comes to about $10.10 per carton, or $1.01 per pack.
Screw it. Until the taxes are raised on: twinkies, potato chips, soda, alcohol, driving without seat belts, polluting the water with heat (power plants) or chemicals (farms and factories), polluting the air with SO2 and CO2, marijuana, gasoline, cheap crap from China, telephone tech service from India, incandescent light bulbs...
...or anything else you can find a group of people that don't like it...
I'm not going to pay this "sin tax".
Breaking! Cheney Indicted!
I wish that was funny...