Monday, August 30, 2010

Mondays Child is fair of face

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I second her statement

Comrade Misfit who has made a simple and accurate assessment of the Kabul Quagmire. I am in 100% agreement.

Great Big Republican Lie of the Day

But my experience is that when people have been given the responsibility of governing, they rise to the occasion.
John Cornyn R-TX, trying to convince voters that even bat shit crazy Republicans can govern, ignoring solid evidence since 1980 that no Republican is capable of governing.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A song for Obama and Rahmbo and the rest

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Time to go away again

I will be travelling until after Labor Day. I might blog some if anything big should occur, otherwise I have left a few things to pop up from time to time for fun. Get out there and enjoy the end of summer.

It takes a thief

To, uh, be a thief and if he is a national of one of our client states, he is probably CIA as well.
The aide to President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan at the center of a politically sensitive corruption investigation is being paid by the Central Intelligence Agency, according to Afghan and American officials.

Mohammed Zia Salehi, the chief of administration for the National Security Council, appears to have been on the payroll for many years, according to officials in Kabul and Washington. It is unclear exactly what Mr. Salehi does in exchange for his money, whether providing information to the spy agency, advancing American views inside the presidential palace, or both.

Mr. Salehi’s relationship with the C.I.A. underscores deep contradictions at the heart of the Obama administration’s policy in Afghanistan, with American officials simultaneously demanding that Mr. Karzai root out the corruption that pervades his government while sometimes subsidizing the very people suspected of perpetrating it.

Mr. Salehi was arrested in July and released after Mr. Karzai intervened. There has been no suggestion that Mr. Salehi’s ties to the C.I.A. played a role in his release; rather, officials say, it is the fear that Mr. Salehi knows about corrupt dealings inside the Karzai administration.
Maybe I'm being picky, but I still don't see any good reason to waste American lives and treasure in that shithole.

Tell us what you're going to do!

Tonight Ed puts his finger on what the base wants to know.

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Your Dylan Dally Moment

Dylan shows us how well the Republican plans for education are working.

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A Public Service Announcement

Congratulations to the GOP Senate primary winner in Florida

How farkin' Florida can you get?

Good Time Music Blogging

Does that come with a side of antibiotics?

From the pen of Pat Oliphant

click pic to big

And back in Iraq

To get the attention back on themselves, a group of attacks, 13 in all, were executed across the country.
In one of the broadest assaults on Iraq’s security forces, insurgents unleashed a wave of roadside mines and a more than a dozen car bombings across Iraq on Wednesday, killing dozens, toppling a police station in the capital and sowing chaos and confusion among the soldiers and police officers who responded.

The withering two-hour assault in 13 towns and cities, from southernmost Basra to restive Mosul in the north, was as symbolic as it was deadly, coming a week before the United States declares the end of combat operations here. Wednesday was seemingly the insurgents’ reply: Despite suggestions otherwise, they proved their ability to launch coordinated attacks virtually anywhere in Iraq, capitalizing on the government’s dysfunction and perceptions of American vulnerability.

For weeks, there had been sense of inevitability to the assaults, which killed at least 51 people, many of them police officers. From the American military to residents here, virtually everyone seemed to expect insurgents to seek to demonstrate their prowess as the United States brings its number of troops below 50,000 here. But the anticipation did little to prepare security forces for the breadth of the assault. Iraqi soldiers and police officers brawled at the site of the biggest bombing in Baghdad, and residents heckled them for their impotence in stopping a blast that cut like a scythe through the neighborhood.
Rather than stay, this is one more reason why the US should engage a full and complete withdrawal. As long as the government thinks they have us to fall back on, this will never end.

Major Garrett causes minor stir

He has decided to leave Fux News and resume a career in real journalism.

What's on your T-shirt

Jon Stewart helps Dr Laura regain her 1st amendment rights.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Hurt Talker
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John McCain wins tough primary

And the DNC has a few words for the winner.
Today, the Republican party of Arizona nominated for Senate JD Hayworth in the shell of a politician that was once John McCain,” said DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan. “The complete takeover of the Republican party by the Tea Party has included taking over the soul of a Senator who was once the face of comprehensive immigration reform and who now would just build the ‘danged fence;’ a man who once reveled in being a maverick and who now is a rubber stamp for the extreme rightwing; a man whose name was synonymous with campaign finance reform and who now barely registers a notice when the law that bears his name was gutted by the Supreme Court to favor corporate America. So, we congratulate JD Hayworth on his nomination tonight.

Teabaggers leery of Glenda's DC rally

Or as some have put, the Beckapalooza. And their feelings are justified as, so far, it appears to be little more than a glorification of Glenda with help from the Wasilla Winky Dink and support from Fox News.
At least one tea party group rejected Beck’s entreaties to assist with the march, concluding he was offering little in return for its organizational know-how and credibility, while giving preferential treatment to FreedomWorks, which is paying to sponsor Beck’s radio show. The group’s leader, who requested anonymity to avoid antagonizing Beck, said, “All he’s doing is trying to use us to promote himself.” [...]

“I call it ‘Beckapalooza,’ because it seems to be all about Beck,” said Andrew Ian Dodge, the Maine state coordinator for Tea Party Patriots
Never have the words of Abraham Lincoln been more true.
It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time;
you can even fool some of the people all of the time;
but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

Mayor Bloomberg continues his righteous stand

The mayor of New York City once again spoke out against the the forces of hate and evil to defend Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg continued to offer full-throated support for the proposed Islamic center near ground zero Tuesday night, defending the project’s leader, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, during an Iftar dinner he hosted at Gracie Mansion.

“Rauf, who is now overseas promoting America and American values, has been put under a media microscope,” Bloomberg said, before quoting Rauf’s speech at a 2003 memorial service for slain journalist Daniel Pearl, during which Rauf declared “I am a Jew.”

“We in New York are Jews and Christians and Muslims, and we always have been,” Bloomberg’s remarks continued. “And above all of that, we are Americans, each with an equal right to worship and pray where we choose.”

Bloomberg also seemed to echo former President George W. Bush, rejecting the idea that the United States is engaged in ideological conflict with the wider Muslim world.

“Islam did not attack the World Trade Center — Al Qaeda did,” Bloomberg warned. “To implicate all of Islam for the actions of a few who twisted a great religion is unfair and un-American. Today we are not at war with Islam — we are at war with Al Qaeda and other extremists who hate freedom.”

In another noteworthy passage, Bloomberg invoked the memory of JFK’s Catholicism. “In 1960, many Americans feared that John F. Kennedy would impose papal law on America,” the mayor said. “But through his example, he taught us that piety to a minority religion is no obstacle to patriotism. It is a lesson that needs updating today, and it is our responsibility to accept the challenge."
We must stand in support of Mayor Bloomberg against the hatemongering of the Republican Party, Fox News, Newt Gingrich, Sara Palin, teabaggers and other Know-Nothings. It is the only right thing for an American to do.

Send a thank you to Hizzoner.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bluesday Music Blogging

Some long ago stuff from Blues Boy King

Your Dylan Dally Moment

Tonight Cenk rips into Glenda to the amusement of Dylan.

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A Public Service Announcement

From the DNC

At last, the truth about Mitch the Chin

And Cobert has the scoop.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Losing His Religion
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R.I.P. Nancy Dolman

Our sincere condolences to Martin Short and his family on the death of his wife of 30 years.

Quote of the Day

We are handing al Qaeda a propaganda coup, an absolute propaganda coup," with the Islamic-center controversy.
Evan Kohlmann, an independent terrorism consultant at Flashpoint Partners, noting how, once again the never right wing seems to be acting in well coordinated tandem with al-Qaeda.

Evil or Stupid

Jon Stewart examines the connections between Fox News and terrorist funding and tells you the truth that Rupert Murdoch doesn't want you to know.

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Something else not good to eat

While not as large as the DeCoster Salmonella egg recall, there has been a recall of deli meat products sold through Wal-Mart.
Zemco Industries in Buffalo, New York, has recalled approximately 380,000 pounds of deli meat that may be contaminated with bacteria that can cause a potentially fatal disease, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Monday.

The products were distributed to Wal-Marts nationwide, according to the USDA's website.

The meats may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, which was discovered in a retail sample collected by inspectors in Georgia. The USDA has received no reports of illnesses associated with the meats.

Upon learning of the voluntary recall, Wal-Mart immediately told its stores to remove the meat from their shelves, the company said in a statement.
The specific products subject to recall are:
-- 25.5-pound cases of "Marketside Grab and Go Sandwiches BLACK FOREST HAM With Natural Juices Coated with Caramel Color" with the number 17800 1300.

-- 28.49-pound cases of "Marketside Grab and Go Sandwiches HOT HAM, HARD SALAMI, PEPPERONI, SANDWICH PEPPERS" with the number 17803 1300.

-- 32.67-pound cases of "Marketside Grab and Go Sandwiches VIRGINIA BRAND HAM With Natural Juices, MADE IN NEW YORK, FULLY COOKED BACON, SANDWICH PICKLES, SANDWICH PEPPERS" with the number 17804 1300.

-- 25.5-pound cases of "Marketside Grab and Go Sandwiches ANGUS ROAST BEEF Coated with Caramel Color" with the number 17805 1300.

The meats were produced on dates ranging from June 18 to July 2, 2010. The "Use By" dates range from August 20 to September 10, 2010.
They should be returned to the store for refund.

If we leace it up to him

The Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway will probably keep his Marines in Afghanistan forever to prove that they have a useful function.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway says it will probably be a "few years" before Afghanistan will be secure enough for the Marines to leave.

The Marines have been at the forefront of America's toughest fights in the Taliban strongholds of Marjah and Kandahar.

Conway told reporters Tuesday that while "some American unit somewhere in Afghanistan" will likely turn over combat duties to Afghan forces in 2011, they probably won't be Marines.
The General prefers useless fighting in the Kabul Quagmire to political infighting in the Pentagon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Your Two Minute Ed

Ed speaks with Alan Grayson and Grayson speaks truth.

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Your Dylan Dally Moment

Wherein Dylan expounds on rightwing nutjobs to Cliff Mays dismay

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It all adds up




Stop the War on Prayer

Ron Paul did not pass on the smart gene to Rand

This lapse may have been visible to many people as Rand tries to run his campaign over every bump in the road he can see. It becomes patently obvious with the latest statement from his father Ron Paul.
Are Ron and Rand Paul on opposite sides of the Cordoba House debate? Rand, running for Senate in Kentucky, has taken the standard GOP line on the project -- namely, it's up to New York officials to decide the project's fate, but personally he's against it. And now, in an extremely strongly-worded statement posted to his movement's website Friday, father Ron ripped into opponents of the Cordoba House project, saying that the rhetoric taking on the plan is clearly "all about hate and Islamaphobia."
Ron had some very sharp critiques of the hate mongers that Rand, once upon a time would have paid attention to.
The outcry over the building of the mosque, near ground zero, implies that Islam alone was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. According to those who are condemning the building of the mosque, the nineteen suicide terrorists on 9/11 spoke for all Muslims. This is like blaming all Christians for the wars of aggression and occupation because some Christians supported the neo-conservative's aggressive wars...

It is repeatedly said that 64% of the people, after listening to the political demagogues, don't want the mosque to be built. What would we do if 75% of the people insist that no more Catholic churches be built in New York City? The point being is that majorities can become oppressors of minority rights as well as individual dictators. Statistics of support is irrelevant when it comes to the purpose of government in a free society--protecting liberty...

In my opinion it has come from the neo-conservatives who demand continual war in the Middle East and Central Asia and are compelled to constantly justify it.

They never miss a chance to use hatred toward Muslims to rally support for the ill conceived preventative wars. A select quote from soldiers from in Afghanistan and Iraq expressing concern over the mosque is pure propaganda and an affront to their bravery and sacrifice.
You may agree with Ron Paul today and disagree with him tomorrow, but he always stands on his principles. That is something that Rand would do well to emulate, if he has any principles.

Quote of the Day

Anybody who has such a fear or contempt of somebody else that they would deny them the opportunity to pray, or establish a place to pray, that's a real problem I think to God and clearly it's a problem in our nation.
Rev. Jim Forbes, Director of the Healing of the Nations Foundation, speaking out against the supporters of bin Laden who are attacking the Park 51 cultural center.

A legend makes an appearence

While no one is quite sure which sewer it came from, there is no doubt that a 2 foot alligator was caught in Queens on Sunday.
“It was about two feet long,” Ms. Hackett, a novelist, said. “It was like the urban legend washes up from the sewer and says, ‘What the heck am I doing here?’ and hides under a Datsun.”

The Police Department’s emergency service unit arrived and used a pole to hook and cage the animal and take it to the local precinct station house, said James Duffy, a police spokesman. The police also called Animal Care and Control of New York City to come get the animal.

“We’re not sure if it’s an alligator or a crocodile because we’re not zoologists,” Officer Duffy said. “No one knows where it came from, if it came from the sewer or not.” He called the creature “tiny and harmless.”

“No one had to come and wrestle with it,” he said. “It’s not big enough to eat a dog — maybe a mouse.”

Later on Sunday, Richard Gentles, a spokesman for Animal Care and Control, said the animal was indeed an alligator. Where it came from is unknown.
In a city with alligators in the sewers, one has to wonder why the Republicans are all worried about a cultural center. They must be from out of town, the GOP that is.

Another great reason to get the hell out of Afghanistan

From the New York Times:
When American and Pakistani agents captured Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s operational commander, in the chaotic port city of Karachi last January, both countries hailed the arrest as a breakthrough in their often difficult partnership in fighting terrorism.

But the arrest of Mr. Baradar, the second-ranking Taliban leader after Mullah Muhammad Omar, came with a beguiling twist: both American and Pakistani officials claimed that Mr. Baradar’s capture had been a lucky break. It was only days later, the officials said, that they finally figured out who they had.

Now, seven months later, Pakistani officials are telling a very different story. They say they set out to capture Mr. Baradar, and used the C.I.A. to help them do it, because they wanted to shut down secret peace talks that Mr. Baradar had been conducting with the Afghan government that excluded Pakistan, the Taliban’s longtime backer.

In the weeks after Mr. Baradar’s capture, Pakistani security officials detained as many as 23 Taliban leaders, many of whom had been enjoying the protection of the Pakistani government for years. The talks came to an end.
We have no idea who our friends are or if we even have any friends in that part of the world.

Paul Krugman vs BushTaxCutZilla

Today, in his never ending battle against the multi-headed hydra of Republican Hypocrisy, Dr. Krugman goes after the tax cut head. This one should be a no-brainer, it is easy to explain and 69% of the country wants at least the top level tax cuts to expire. There is, however, an Ethiopian in the fuel supply. All the members of the Senate and a goodly number in the House fall into that bracket and are most likely to appreciate if all the tax cuts are extended.
How can this kind of giveaway be justified at a time when politicians claim to care about budget deficits? Well, history is repeating itself. The original campaign for the Bush tax cuts relied on deception and dishonesty. In fact, my first suspicions that we were being misled into invading Iraq were based on the resemblance between the campaign for war and the campaign for tax cuts the previous year. And sure enough, that same trademark deception and dishonesty is being deployed on behalf of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

So, for example, we’re told that it’s all about helping small business; but only a tiny fraction of small-business owners would receive any tax break at all. And how many small-business owners do you know making several million a year?

Or we’re told that it’s about helping the economy recover. But it’s hard to think of a less cost-effective way to help the economy than giving money to people who already have plenty, and aren’t likely to spend a windfall.

No, this has nothing to do with sound economic policy. Instead, as I said, it’s about a dysfunctional and corrupt political culture, in which Congress won’t take action to revive the economy, pleads poverty when it comes to protecting the jobs of schoolteachers and firefighters, but declares cost no object when it comes to sparing the already wealthy even the slightest financial inconvenience.
The enemy falls easily but like the original hydra, when you cut off one head another grows back. And there is the menace of the enemy within. This fight, which looks the easiest, may well be the hardest to win.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A little Connie tonight

I am not a serious person

As Tom Tomorrow so ably illustrates.

Why Franklin Graham is a hatemongering asshole

Unlike his father who was merely a deluded Methodist. Juan Cole looks at the ideas of Frank the Crank and shows why President Obama is not and never has been a Muslim.
Graham as usual is not only hateful but also plain wrong. The Talmudic rule that one is a Jew by virtue of having a Jewish mother has been responsible for imagining the Jewish people as a race as well as a religion. (They are not actually a race, of course, and most Jewish women are descended from a Gentile ancestor).

But Muslims are not a race even in the imagining, but rather a world-religion to which belong people of virtually every ethnic group in the world. Thus, unlike in Judaism, one is not born a Muslim. Rather, children of Muslim parents who embrace Islam typically recite the confession of faith around puberty and undertake to fulfill the obligations of Islamic law at that time. Until that time, they are not mukallaf or obliged to perform the rituals of the religion. Franklin’s allegation would imply that children are Muslim by birth and have to fast the month of Ramadan when they are 5. It is ridiculous.
And Dr. Cole takes the next step and explains the twisted reasons behind attempts to paint the President as a Muslim.
Those Americans who insist on seeing Obama as a Muslim are ‘othering’ him, and probably are using religion as a proxy for race. Since the Civil Rights movement, it has been unacceptable in the United States for a public figure to engage openly in racist discourse, as shock jocks Dr. Laura and Don Imus discovered. But apparently it is still all right to be a religious bigot, so Islam is being scapegoated by the Republican Party, as its ability openly to play on racial fears is being increasingly constrained. (Even if a majority of Republicans in Louisiana once voted for Klan figure David Duke, in most of the country sounding like Duke is a distinct political liability).
Hate and dishonesty, the heart and soul of Conservative Republicans.

A citizen of the United States of DERP!

From the pen of Ben Sargent

That's mighty white of Mitch the Chin

With a growing portion of the populace convinced that President Obama is a Muslim, political observers and reporters have begun asking just how such information could be so widely disseminated. On Sunday, their ears perked a bit when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would only go so far as to take Obama "at this word" that he was a Christian.

"The president says he's a Christian. I take him at his word," McConnell told Meet the Press host David Gregory.
He has to take Obama's word on the matter because Mitch himself, has no clue as to what a christian is.

Brand new BFF's

Thanks to the latest Fox attack on our Constitution.

Read it and weep.

Everybody says its OK

But thanks to everybody else having a lot of good lawyers, the commercial fishermen in the Gulf are set to have the liability for any crap in the seafood they catch fall solely upon them.
The US government, and even President Obama himself, have said that Gulf seafood is safe to eat in the wake of the massive BP oil spill.

But an admission from the federal government that it hasn't been testing Gulf seafood for toxic heavy metals, and news that fishermen are being forced to sign waivers making them liable for toxins in their catch, suggest not everyone is convinced of the safety of Gulf seafood.

Louisiana fishermen's activist Kindra Arnesen says dock owners are asking fishermen to sign waivers that put the full responsibility for toxins found in the catch on the fishermen themselves.
If God had meant fishermen to be free of liability he would have given them a slew of high powered attorneys.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Another voice of reason

Speaking out against the campaign of Osama bin Laden's running dogs to vilify the Park 51 project. This time it is Frank Rich who is trying to make some sense to people whose whole argument amounts to saying I know they are right but I think they are wrong.
THE “ground zero mosque,” as you may well know by now, is not at ground zero. It’s not a mosque but an Islamic cultural center containing a prayer room. It’s not going to determine President Obama’s political future or the elections of 2010 or 2012. Still, the battle that has broken out over this project in Lower Manhattan — on the “hallowed ground” of a shuttered Burlington Coat Factory store one block from the New York Dolls Gentlemen’s Club — will prove eventful all the same. And the consequences will be far more profound than any midterm election results or any of the grand debates now raging 24/7 over the parameters of tolerance, religious freedom, and the real estate gospel of location, location, location.

Here’s what’s been lost in all the screaming. The prime movers in the campaign against the “ground zero mosque” just happen to be among the last cheerleaders for America’s nine-year war in Afghanistan. The wrecking ball they’re wielding is not merely pounding Park51, as the project is known, but is demolishing America’s already frail support for that war, which is dedicated to nation-building in a nation whose most conspicuous asset besides opium is actual mosques.

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

You’d think that American hawks invested in the Afghanistan “surge” would not act against their own professed interests. But they couldn’t stop themselves from placing cynical domestic politics over country. The ginned-up rage over the “ground zero mosque” was not motivated by a serious desire to protect America from the real threat of terrorists lurking at home and abroad — a threat this furor has in all likelihood exacerbated — but by the potential short-term rewards of winning votes by pandering to fear during an election season.
Short term always beats long term because when the long term consequences arise you just gin up some new lies and fear mongering to cover it up.

Maybe Arizona should amend SB 1070

To include bikers. They are easier to identify.

Three American Originals

Ricky Lee, Dr John and a Cole Porter tune.

Dick Cavett is genuinely ashamed of us

And he looks at the reasons for that shame, the anti muslim rage being stirred up around the Park 51 project. It is appalling and repugnant and as with so much of the never rightwing hate, disconnected from reality. Mr Cavett pinpoints one tragic result that may cost us dearly in the future.
Our goal in at least one of our Middle East wars is to rebuild a government in our own image — with democracy for all. Instead, we are rebuilding ourselves in the image of those who detest us. I hate to see my country — and it’s a hell of a good one — endorse what we purport to hate, besmirching what distinguishes us from countries where persecution rules.
From Newticles to Sister Sarah to Rush Limbaugh and down to the level of Pam Geller, they are all fighting bin Ladens fight for him.

Quote of the Day

Banking should be a $100,000 a year job! You shouldn't get to take home billions just because you bet the right way on a bunch of credit default swaps, when you don't even have any capital and bet with some grandmother's savings you lying fuck!
Dylan Ratigan, expressing his feelings about the banking industry in an AlterNet profile.

Meg Whitman promises to continue attack on the Constitution

Because, as a Republican she is compelled to hate America for its freedoms. Any day now California is going to catch up to Texas and get its very own Loonie Louie Gohmert.

Not exactly "Mission Accomplished"

But then again the Onion has developed a habit of straying from its home in satire into the realm of reality lately. Need proof? Look at their piece on the withdrawal of US "combat troops" from Iraq.
Addressing troops at Andrews Air Force Base Tuesday, President Barack Obama claimed victory in Iraq, saying that formal combat operations in the region would end Aug. 31, and that the United States had emerged from the seven-year war triumphant, kind of.

"For nearly a decade, our mission in Iraq has been to root out those who would choose violence over peace, to create a stable Iraqi government, and to transfer power to an incorruptible civilian police force," Obama said. "And, in a manner of speaking, we sort of did some of that, right? More or less?"

"Granted, this is not the definitive, World War II–like victory most of us expected," Obama continued. "But there's a military triumph in there somewhere, I swear. You just have to look at it from the right angles."

Obama also noted that during the war more Iraqi insurgents died than American troops, which, he admitted, isn't necessarily the best way to determine a war's victor, but is nonetheless still preferable to the other way around.

"By the end of this month, victory, to a certain extent, will be ours, and we can finally welcome our troops back home," Obama concluded. "That is unless they are one of the 50,000 U.S. soldiers who will have to stay in the region for the foreseeable future."
See what I mean.

BP told to preserve BOP

With the current plan to replace the current failed BOP with a new, more capable BOP, the Coast Guard has specifically and publicly told BP to preserve the BOP for examination and as evidence. Expect BP to lose the BOP in ten, nine, eight....

Will your car need a Breathalyzer someday?

Not for you, but to check the emissions. The latest news from Scotland is that those canny fellows have found a way to make something useful from distillery waste.
Using samples from the Glenkinchie Distillery in East Lothian, researchers at Edinburgh Napier University have developed a method of producing biofuel from two main by-products of the whisky distilling process – "pot ale", the liquid from the copper stills, and "draff", the spent grains.

Copious quantities of both waste products are produced by the £4bn whisky industry each year, and the scientists say there is real potential for the biofuel, to be available at local garage forecourts alongside traditional fuels. It can be used in conventional cars without adapting their engines. The team also said it could be used to fuel planes and as the basis for chemicals such as acetone, an important solvent.

The new method developed by the team produces butanol, which gives 30% more power output than the traditional biofuel ethanol. It is based on a 100-year-old process that was originally developed to produce butanol and acetone by fermenting sugar. The team has adapted this to use whiskey by-products as a starting point and has filed for a patent to cover the new method. It plans to create a spin-out company to commercialise the invention.
Will we now have to drink more whisky to save the world?

Our profit is more important than your death

This might well be the motto of much of corporate America who constantly maintain the idea that our only value is to their bottom line. If the increase to that bottom line is greater from our death than from our life, so be it. You might think that one industry that would buck the trend would be the medical device industry. You would be wrong, possibly dead wrong.
Experts and standards groups have advocated since 1996 that tubes for different functions be made incompatible — just as different nozzles at gas stations prevent drivers from using the wrong fuel.

But action has been delayed by resistance from the medical-device industry and an approval process at the Food and Drug Administration that can discourage safety-related changes.

Advocates in California got legislation passed in 2008 that would have mandated that feeding tubes no longer be compatible with tubes that go into the skin or veins by 2011. But in 2009, AdvaMed, the manufacturers’ trade association, successfully pushed legislation to delay the bill’s effects until 2013 and 2014 or until the international standards group reaches a decision.
This la-de-da attitude has been assisted by an underfunded FDA that through the Bush years never saw a problem until the bodies started piling up. Some are now making the push for these simple devices to reach a level of standardization common to most other industries.

History doesn't lie, Republicans do

And Paul Krugman, writing on Trouthout, illustrates another fantasy being pushed by the nerver right wing to try and cover up the results of their disastrous fiscal policies.
Recently, I’ve also noticed a peculiar argument surfacing here and there — the assertion that people like me are exaggerating the current financial difficulties in the United States, and that things were actually worse in the 1970s and 1980s. I wonder where that’s coming from — these views are oddly similar to those disseminated on talk radio.

The simple truth is that this recession really was the big one. Catherine Rampell, who edits the Economix blog on The New York Times Web site, recently offered an updated chart comparing this recession and others since 1970. The data show that since December 2007, when the current downturn began, the economy has lost about 5.4 percent of its nonfarm payroll jobs. Compared to declines in employment during other recessions since 1970, this one is indeed No. 1.
Read the truth and it shall set you free. And we hope you will be smart enough to vote yourself free of Republican domination in November.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mercenaries tagged for $42 Million fine

The Blackwater Mercenary Company, now know as Xe, has helped out Uncle Sam by reaching an agreement on a bunch of the crimes its people committed.
The private security company formerly called Blackwater Worldwide, long plagued by accusations of impropriety, has reached an agreement with the State Department for the company to pay $42 million in fines for hundreds of violations of United States export control regulations.

The violations included illegal weapons exports to Afghanistan, making unauthorized proposals to train troops in south Sudan and providing sniper training for Taiwanese police officers, according to company and government officials familiar with the deal.

The settlement, which has not yet been publicly announced, follows lengthy talks between Blackwater, now called Xe Services, and the State Department that dealt with the violations as an administrative matter, allowing the firm to avoid criminal charges.
Hundreds of violations. In a 3 strikes and your out state that would be a whole lot of life sentences. And this does not even begin to cover the full extent of the mercenaries criminality.
The settlement with the State Department does not resolve other legal troubles still facing Blackwater and its former executives and other personnel. Those include the indictments of five former executives, including Blackwater’s former president, on weapons and obstruction charges; a federal investigation into evidence that Blackwater officials sought to bribe Iraqi government officials; and the arrest of two former Blackwater guards on federal murder charges stemming from the killing of two Afghans last year.
But this is a favored corporation of the elites. Besides remember that bit at the end of the quote.
But by paying fines rather than facing criminal charges on the export violations, Blackwater will be able to continue to obtain government contracts.
So if you are unemployed because there are no jobs out there, you are a bum, a drunk, a hobo and probably a drug addict, you entitlement queen. But if you are corporation, don't worry about those laws you broke, it's business as usual.

Your Two Minute Cenk

Cenk puts Glenda in her place.

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They miss the point entirely

Within days of the release of a poll showing that 18% of Americans will swallow any kind of bullshit fed them, Franklin Graham, the devil spawn of Billy Graham, serves up another heaping helping of recycled bull feed.
Franklin Graham, the Christian evangelist and son of Billy Graham, offered an explanation for the suspicions that some people have about President Obama's religion, during an appearance Thursday night on CNN.

"I think the president's problem is that he was born a Muslim, his father was a Muslim. The seed of Islam is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother. He was born a Muslim, his father gave him an Islamic name," Graham told John King. "Now it's obvious that the president has renounced the prophet Mohammed and he has renounced Islam and he has accepted Jesus Christ. That's what he says he has done, I cannot say that he hasn't. So I just have to believe that the president is what he has said."

For the record, Obama's father was Barack Hussein Obama, who gave the future president his own name. President Obama has written that his father, who he rarely ever saw, was raised a Muslim but was in practice an atheist.
Now Frank the Crank's remarks are meant to be an attack on the President, but as any real American should say on reading them, "What does that have to do with the price of rice in China?" It is irrelevant to the man and the office. There is no law in this great country of ours that would disqualify a man from being President or any other elective office because of his religion, even a Teabagger is eligible. It may offend the hateful dogma of a man who wraps his bilious spew in the Bible, but the Bible is not the law of America or its people. Dear Franlin, for the good of this country, please eat shit and die.

Want to let the Bush Tax Cuts expire

Bloomberg has a list of the various lobbying groups that are opposing any efforts to get the deficit under control. They include National Association of Wholesaler- Distributors, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, managing the Tax Relief Coalition, the National Federation of Independent Business and the National Association of Manufacturers. They will be lobbying hard to keep their wealthy members and friends from paying their fair share of support for the government. If necessary they will probably have their members even lay off employees to make their specious point that letting profligate tax cuts expire will hurt jobs. Make some noise with your congressmoop if you can but it sure looks like we are all well fucked.

In the interest of Faired and Balanceness

I present two views of the $1 Million News Corp (Fox) donation to the Republicans.

Stuart Carlson

Tony Auth

click a pic to big

A new American anthem

Some of the visuals are dated but the song by James McMurtry isn't.

CabbageMallets bedsores are bothering him again

And so he has filled his latest column with some extra hate and spite today. You can find it on your own.

Greg Sargent writing in The Plum Line shreds CabbageMallets malice with ease.
Here's the thing: If you believe that it is "provocative" to put a center devoted to the study of all of Islam near the site of the attacks, then you are inescapably legitimizing the idea that all of Islam is somehow responsible for, or should be vaguely associated with, those attacks. If you don't believe that -- if you believe that the attacks were carried out by a group that perverted Islam and wasn't genuinely acting on its behalf -- then you wouldn't have any reason to see the building of a project nearby devoted to studying Islam as "provocative."

Claiming that the attacks were carried out "in the name" of Islam is a transparent way to dodge that simple truth. It's a way for Krauthammer to make an argument premised inescapably on the idea that all of Islam should be somehow conflated with the attacks while claiming he isn't doing that at all.

Opponents of the project point out that majorities believe building the project is insenstive to the families of 9/11 victims. No one is arguing that there aren't enormous sensitivities surrounding this. As the events of the past few weeks have shown, the scars of 9/11 are far from healed. No one is arguing that the feelings of the 9/11 families shouldn't be taken into account as we weigh what to do here.

But not all 9/11 families oppose the center. Some are in support of it, even though they suffered through the same tragedy that those opposing the project did. And the question here is not whether the wounds of 9/11 should be weighed as a factor. Rather, it's whether those senstitivities should ultimately dictate our position on whether the center should proceed.
Good arguements to make if Charlie and his crowd had any regard for facts and truth.

Hedge funds and speculators plan to reduce price of gas about $0.15

After Labor Day, of course. Unless something happens that makes them think they can drive up the price some more.

If you accept a settlement from BP

Which will probably be a low ball figure conjured up before all your losses are known, you won't be able to sue BP or any of the other malefactors of Great Oil. However you may well get the money quickly. Still, we can probably expect 75% of BP's $20 Billion fund to go to the lawyers.

And in other news, BP's clever static kill screwed things up so much that the relief well's final closure has been delayed to after Labor Day. Trust the Brits to screw things up.

Public Service Announcement

Is FOX News a terrorist command center?

Jon Stewart doesn't know but...

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Ms. Rudi Giuliani trying to claw her wayback to relevancy

Surprisingly slow on the uptake, Ms Rudi is now popping off about the Park 51 community center, on the wrong side as usual. The only answer to Ms. Rudi is that if he could use the NYC Emergency Center as a sin pen to pork his fuck buddies, the Sufis can use the space at 51 Park to build a cultural center.

Like a scary campfire tale

Paul Krugman tells the tale of a mysterious cult demanding obedience to unnatural practices leading up to their calls for human sacrifice.It sounds strange and spooky because it is strange that their calls go against all reality and spooky because otherwise sensible people have succumbed to this sinister cult worship.

Oh hell! Just go read his column.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A photo trail of the neighborhood

Daryl Lang has a blog and he lives in the City and works in Lower Manhattan. He is angry, as we all should be, at the outside hate mongers stirring up their bilious lies about his neighbors and co-workers and the area they work in. He has posted a photographic tour of the "hallowed ground". While there click through to his previous post and to the feedback he has received, seems there are some people who just won't stop hating.

EXTRA: The dancers at New York Dolls and The Pussycat Lounge are cool with the center and you should be, too.

Would you pay $80 for a roll of toilet paper?

For that price it had better be a smooth as silk and gentler than an angel's kiss. But that is just one problem in the latest in a string of international games financial scandals. This time it is in India that is enjoying an 8-fold increase in the cost of the upcoming Commonwealth Games over the estimates, with no concomitant increase in quality of work or product.
Allegations of corruption and mismanagement are overtaking a tournament that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said would “signal to the world that India is rapidly marching ahead with confidence.” The Economic Times newspaper, citing internal documents, said organizers bought $80 rolls of toilet paper, $61 soap dispensers and $125 first-aid kits.

Government spending for the Commonwealth Games has overrun a 2003 estimate of $500 million by more than nine-fold. The Games have been criticized as the most expensive ever by the Comptroller and Auditor General agency and opposition parties in a nation where the World Bank says 828 million people live on less than $2 a day.

“The publicity that we have received, and how the world is looking at us, is in a negative fashion,” said Randhir Singh, vice chairman of the organizing committee of the Commonwealth Games 2010. “That brings me great shame.”

Singh declined to comment to Bloomberg News on the newspaper reports. Lalit Bhanot, secretary general of the organizing committee, said the reports were “inaccurate and mischievous.” He declined to elaborate.
Apparently the main contractors were the firm of Gupta, Hanky & Panky Ltd.

Your Two Minute Cenk

Rep. Alan Grayson introduces us to Monty Python's Lying Circus

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When you attack The Cordoba House

You are riding with bin Laden. Every time that shithead Gingrich opens his mouth Osama gets another 100 recruits. You don't have to take my word for it,read about it from someone who knows.

Sen Al Franken, True American

From TPM:
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) is slamming conservative opposition to the Muslim community center project near Ground Zero in New York City -- the city where he formerly resided for many years -- calling the attacks against it "one of the most disgraceful things that I've heard."

Franken made the remarks during an appearance in Springfield, Illinois, the State Journal-Register reports, at an event for Democratic county chairmen. Franken also alluded to the unfamiliarity with New York City that many people actually have in regard to this story. "I don't know how many of you have been to New York, but if a building is two blocks away from anything, you can't see it," said Franken.

"They (Republicans) do this every two years. They try to find a wedge issue, and they try to work it."
See how easy it is to call a liar a liar.

Some subdued music

Why they came

From the pen of Ben Sargent

click pic to big

Can you say double dip?

I know you don't want to, but the economic news sucks so bad that it would take a miracle to prevent a return of the Great Bush Depression.

About that Democratic Senatorial primary in Florida

Gail Collins takes a look at the race and focuses on one of the candidates, Jeff Greene. Well, more like she focuses on the source of most of his bad press, his 145 yacht which seems to be the center of a lot of bad stories, but never when Jeff is aboard.
Clearly, the Summerwind has a life of its own, cruising around the globe, burning 50 gallons of fuel an hour, throwing orgies for B-list celebrities while Greene is home reading. It played host to Lindsay Lohan, who Greene claims he’s barely met. It took Mike Tyson on a Black Sea cruise that culminated in a drug-and-sex romp in Amsterdam, but Greene was only around for the part where they visited an 11th-century monastery in Ukraine.
Does the yacht send out its own invitations or do we have to know Mr Greene?

Is there anything safe to eat anymore?

That question may be somewhat over the top, but with product safety recalls extending through the food chain from beef to chicken to vegetables and now to eggs is does seem fair.
An Iowa company on Wednesday broadened a nationwide recall of its eggs to 380 million after some of its facilities were linked to an outbreak of salmonella that has sickened hundreds of people across the country.
And, as the New York Times reveals today, the source of the problem is well known to regulators.
The company behind the recall, Wright County Egg, of Galt, Iowa, is owned by Jack DeCoster, who has had run-ins with regulators over poor or unsafe working conditions, environmental violations, the harassment of workers and the hiring of illegal immigrants.

In 1997, one of his companies agreed to pay a $2 million fine by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for violations in the workplace and worker housing. Officials said workers were forced to handle manure and dead chickens with their bare hands and to live in trailers infested with rats. The labor secretary in the Clinton administration, Robert B. Reich, called Mr. DeCoster’s operation “an agricultural sweatshop.”

Mr. DeCoster’s facilities have also been periodically raided by immigration officials. In 2003, Mr. DeCoster pleaded guilty to charges of knowingly hiring immigrants who were in the country illegally and he paid more than $2 million as part of a federal settlement.

Mr. DeCoster was also charged by Iowa authorities in the 1990s with violations of environmental rules governing hog manure runoff.
How big a fine will he pay this time to continue business as usual?

Obama to remove Bush restrictions

On travel to Cuba and economic assistance. This is still not the complete removal of all the ridiculous Republican laws and rules in the way of travel but it does ease some of the more recent stupidities decreed by W.

Turnabout is fair play

And one bull tries for a ringside seat without a ticket.

The concept needs a little work

People growing commercial quantities of marijuana out in the wild take precautions to guard their investment. Normally this takes the form of human guards or guard dogs and even booby traps. One pair of Canadian growers tried another approach.
Police said Wednesday they were astonished to find at least 14 wild black bears guarding an illegal marijuana growing operation after a recent raid on the property in westernmost Canada.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Fred Mansveld said police believe two growers arrested in the raid had used dog food to lure the animals onto the remote property in southeastern British Columbia, to deter marijuana thieves.

"They were tame, they just sat around watching... at one point one of the bears climbed onto the hood of a police car, sat there for a bit and then jumped off," said Mansveld.

He said the officers involved in the July 30 raid were all familiar with wild animals, and while wary, were not afraid of the bears once they realized the animals were not aggressive.
Guard bears don't work and it is harmful to the bears. Now being used to food from humans, they will probably be shot as a nuisance when they seek out other humans to feed them.

Bitch fight in Rightwingistan

Noted gender curiosity Ann Coulter was attacked by World Not Daily for speaking date with gay Republicans. Ann strikes back at editor, calling him a publicity whore (wha! wha! what!?). The rest of the world eagerly scrambles for ringside seats.

Hey, getcha' popcorn, heah!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Say your on patrol

And one of the evil (and I DO mean evil) ambushers takes aim at your junk. If you have been watching BBC news you could save the family jewels from elimination. The BBC has a video demonstration here.

h/t Wonkette

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Tonight it's jobs, jobs, jobs.

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Maybe he's making amends for Bush v Gore

But Ted Olson is turning out to be a stand up guy, first with Prop H8te and now with Park 51.

Then again maybe he just believes the rule of law trumps a ginned up nontroversy every day of the week.

Plastic Surgeon to the Stars dies

From CNN:
He lived up in Malibu on a tiny street and he was texting while driving and he accidentally went over the cliff.

From the pen of Tony Auth & Mike Lukovich

Great White Hunter

The Nooge displays his manly manliness at his manliest.
Rocker and celebrity hunter Ted Nugent will have to pay a $1,750 fine after pleading no contest in California to baiting a deer and not having a properly signed hunting tag.

California Department of Fish and Game spokesman Patrick Foy says game wardens saw Nugent kill an immature buck on a February episode of his Outdoor Channel TV show "Spirit of the Wild."

Investigators found that the deer had been eating bait called "C'mere Deer." Baiting wildlife is illegal in California.
Great White Trash.

The Lost World of Loonie Louie Gohmert

As presented by Jon Stewart

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Are you unemployed?

And tired of Republicans calling you lazy, drug addled drunkards? Had enough of the Republicans holding up your unemployment benefits for cheap political purposes? Well then Working America is looking for you to become part of a new political force for November.
Working America, a community-organizing affiliate of the AFL-CIO, launched a campaign on Wednesday to organize and motivate hundreds of thousands of unemployed workers to head to the polls in the November elections.

The organization is starting with 100,000 of its own members who are currently out of work. But the list of contacts could wind up being "several hundred thousand" of the nearly 15 million unemployed, said Karen Nussbaum, director of Working America. In Ohio alone, Nussbaum said, Working America has a list of 38,000 unemployed workers who are registered to vote -- a major bloc that could tip the scale of the governor's race as well as elections to the House or the Senate.

"In an election year that is incredibly volatile where we have no idea, really, what turnout's going to look like, where we have no idea what the real appeal of right-wing candidates is going to be, and where we're not sure what kind of information people are going to get about the key issue, which is jobs, this becomes a more influential group," said Nussbaum.
This is a direct effort to organize those most directly affected by Republican policies and obstruction. When you are looking for work, you still have some time on your hands, what better way to put it to good use? For those who are pissed off at the Democrats, just remember, if you eliminate Republicans you give the Democrats a chance to grow into the sunlight.

Pelosi shows Reid how it is done

From Politico:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday said she supports an investigation of groups opposing the building of a mosque near ground zero in New York.

Pelosi told San Francisco’s KCBS radio that “there is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some.”

“I join those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque being funded,” she said. “How is this being ginned up?”

Republicans have signaled that they will try to turn the mosque into a campaign issue, and nearly all of the leading national Republicans have weighed in against the mosque's construction.
Good for you, Ms Nancy!

UPDATE: Pelosi doesn't really want an investigation, but she did get the never-right wingers all twitchy at the thought.

Poor Mary Cheney

She still can't figure out if she hates herself or not. With a father like hers, it is hard to imagine she has much self respect.

Glenda's feelings hurt by mean old Jon Stewart

When Jon Stewart on the Daily Show used Glenda's own words to show that she was, in the polite parlance of cable TV, a fucking liar and a hypocrite, he hit much too close to the sweet thing. Glenda and her butthole buddy Stu lashed out at Stewart calling him a mean old man and hoping he would just go away and let Glenda play with her dolls in peace. Of course, this is all a paraphrase but the meaning in accurate. With luck, Glenda will be sucking on the barrel of a gun within the next year.

A curious divide

A new Siena poll among New Yorkers shows that
63 percent of New York voters surveyed oppose the project, with 27 That compares with 64 percent opposed and 28 percent in favor two weeks earlier, results that are within the polls' sampling margins.
Given the full court press the Republicans have been applying to this "nontroversy" that is not unexpected but the answer to the second question is.
In a new question, the latest poll found that many New Yorkers believe the project is protected by the Constitution, even if they oppose the plan.

Nearly two-thirds of voters, 64 percent, say the developers have a constitutional right to build the mosque. Twenty-eight percent say they do not.
So the developers have a right to build even if folks don't like it. Perhaps the next poll should ask the question, "Do you believe this is a local issue and none of your damn business?".

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A campaign song for Rand Paul

Ran across this the other day and I just had to post it. I hope the good Dr. agrees with me.

Your 6 years of W T F !!!

From McClatchy:
An emotionally ill detainee still being held at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was first recommended for release by the Pentagon in 2004, according to a federal judge whose ruling ordering that the man be freed was made public this week.

Despite the Pentagon's recommendation, it wasn't until 2007 that the Bush administration adopted the military assessment and put Adnan Abdul Latif, now about 34, on an approved transfer list. By then, however, the issue of transferring prisoners to Yemen, Osama bin Laden's ancestral homeland, was mired in a diplomatic standoff over whether the Arabian Peninsula nation could provide security assurances and rehabilitate suspected radicalized Guantanamo detainees.

U.S. District Court Judge Henry Kennedy disclosed the timeline in a heavily censored 28-page ruling made public on Monday night that ordered Latif set free. Latif is the 38th Guantanamo captive to be found by a federal judge to be illegally detained at the remote U.S. Navy base.

Kennedy first ordered the Obama administration to arrange for Latif's release "forthwith'' on July 21. But a Justice Department spokesman, Dean Boyd, said government lawyers were still deciding Tuesday night whether to appeal to a higher court.

"Why they continue to defend holding him is unfathomable," said David Remes, Latif's free-of-charge attorney.
The power of a fully aroused bureaucracy. The dude is in there, therefore the dude shall abide.

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