Saturday, October 31, 2009

Caturday made special

Because of Phila of Bouphonia's hope blog.... and a picture of a cat.

Not just a cat. A large cat. A photoshopped fluffy mound of fur cat.


Friday, October 30, 2009

If you watch Jon Stewart on the Daily Show

Thank him and his team for interviewing Baltzer and Barghouti:
This past Wednesday, The Daily Show aired an interview with Anna Baltzer, a Jewish American peace activist and author of Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories, and Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, a leading figure in the Palestinian democratic and nonviolent movement for peace.
They are getting a lot of hate mail over this.

One on one

With whales. Fantastic photos!

Run! Dear god, RUN!

h/t to Watertiger of Dependable Renegade.

Killing the oceans

Bedraggled dead seabirds tangled in sea wrack on this remote, wild beach are just some of more than 8,000 birds killed since just after Labor Day, scientists estimate. The death toll — which might eventually pass 10,000 — is from a mysterious algae bloom still off the coast that has scientists and researchers worried and mystified.

"I think it's scary. We have no record of anything like this in the past 30 years, and no one knows why it is happening," said Julia Parrish, associate director of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences at the University of Washington. "We are not used to big natural disasters, but this is one of them."

Up and down Washington's coast, scientists are reporting the longest lasting and largest harmful algae bloom ever recorded here, and the largest recorded mass mortality of seabirds ever in Washington waters. "It's bigger than an oil spill," Parrish said.

And in the Mediterranean:

And in Australia.

Don't forget Alaska's blob nor the Gulf of Mexico's dead zone, the plastic-filled gyres in the Pacific, the deep sea creatures and fish.

Global warming, rapid climate change... call it what you will. Our oceans are slowly boiling to death.

In this economy

Be prepared for all kinds of hungry trick or treaters....


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Signs of the time

Learning how to trade:
Barter for the Services You Need:

Ms. Tominaro advertised her bartering proposals on Craigslist. Recently, a carpenter she found on the site helped deliver some wood she purchased and will lay her floors down within the next few weeks. In return, he will vacation in the Hunter Mountain house with his family in the winter for a weekend.

Another option is joining a barter trade exchange. The exchange allows members to earn "trade dollars" by performing a service for other members, and then use those dollars for a service or product for themselves.

Some exchanges charge annual membership fees; others charge based on the cash value of each transaction. They also send users monthly statements and record all transactions in the annual 1099-B tax forms.

Whether you're doing a direct trade of products or trading services through a barter exchange, the Internal Revenue Service requires that you treat barter income -- what you receive on your end of the transaction -- as any business activity, so you must report it on your tax return.

You may be subject to income tax, self-employment tax or excise tax depending on the form of bartering and the size of the transaction. Keep records of each transaction and use the 1099-B form to report the activity on your tax return.

The party of oink

The Onion gets it:
Obama's Declaration Of Swine Flu Emergency Prompts Pro-Swine-Flu Republican Response

Happy Halloween!

Carve your face!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

That's not a nice thing to say about Georgie Bush!!

Even if it is true:
Limbaugh said: "People are finally standing up to this little boy, this little man-child president, whose primary -- I think his primary job, if you will, in life has been leisure."
Wait a minute.... Rush is talking about Obama?

Well, now Rush is just being jealous.....

Defoxing America

By fumigating the media:

Making money by denying care

Health insurance will win when you lose:
Altadena resident Mike Freas was twice rejected for health coverage by Anthem Blue Cross because of a preexisting condition, forcing him into a costly state-run program intended to serve as the insurer of last resort for people turned away by the private sector.

Yet now he finds himself in the strange position of sending Anthem a check for about $500 each month. Why? Because it turns out that Anthem Blue Cross also quietly serves as the administrator of the state insurance plan.

"Isn't that a conflict of interest?" Freas, 53, wanted to know. "By rejecting people for coverage who might cost them some money, but then running the state-subsidized program that these people have to go to, aren't they having their cake and eating it too?"

It sure looks that way.

"This is what happens when public programs get privatized," said Jerry Flanagan, who oversees healthcare issues for Consumer Watchdog, the Santa Monica advocacy group. "Insurers get a fee even after they issue people a denial."
Huffington Post Investigative Fund is asking for personal stories of denying claims:
Amid all the loud arguments about the proper role for government and private companies in American health care, one point often seems lost: Exactly how well – or badly – are private insurers handling claims in the existing system? Daniellle Ivory is uncovering some answers. But we also need you to help us investigate...
Rape victims are denied insurance:
Turner took preventative anti-HIV drugs to avoid the risk of contracting the disease; she sought counseling to deal with the fears she developed after her attack and for that she was punished with nearly three years sans health insurance – all because she took the necessary steps to take care of herself after suffering a heinous and inhumane attack. As Turner puts it, "I was punished for doing the right thing to take care of myself and my livelihood."

Denying rape victims health insurance is wholly unjust and will only further discourage victims from reporting crimes and seeking the medical attention they need. Fortunately, women like Turner are raising awareness about this injustice by sharing their stories and bringing the issue to the forefront.

You can do you part too by telling Congress we need health reform that works for women! Stand with millions of women across America who face discrimination and send your letter today!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


David Kurtz of TPM:

House Democrats have been loud and proud on how robust a public option they were going to pass, but in the last few days, starting with reports in The Hill and Politico last week, there have been rumblings that Nancy Pelosi doesn't have the votes she thought she had, or at least projected herself as having.

Today our old colleague Greg Sargent reports that the latest whip count shows more than 50 potential Democratic defectors on the robust public option -- far more than the 38 Dems she can afford to lose and still pass the bill with zero GOP support. That may explain the noises Majority Leader Steny Hoyer was making this morning about a less robust public option being able to garner a lot more votes, suggesting one possible route to a securing a majority.

And here is Harry Reid asking for backup....

Update: And the White House has some health care reform videos to choose from.

We really did have monsters

Long ago:
The 7.8ft (2.4m) skull of the predator, which lived 150 million years ago, could belong to one of the largest pliosaurs ever found, and could measure up to 52.48ft (16m).


Pliosaurs are a short-necked form of plesiosaur, a group of giant aquatic reptiles that dominated the oceans during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. They had immensely powerful jaws and a huge set of razor-sharp teeth.

Richard Forrest, a palaeontologist and plesiosaur expert said that the T-Rex was a "kitten" compared to the pliosaur.

"One of the things that is very clear from looking at this specimen is just how powerful this animal was," he said.

"If we look at the lower jaw this is the point at which the muscles attach and then you've got the great beam coming forward – that bone is roughly the strength of steel, so think of the strength of a steel girder that size.

"So it was an enormously powerful biting machine. These things were big enough and powerful enough to bite a small car in half.

"It would take a human in one gulp. It would take T-Rex in one gulp. Compared to this beast T-Rex was a kitten."

And so it begins

Australians conflicted over whether to spend money preserving the coastline or beating a retreat to higher ground because of the rising oceans.

The Tuvalu Islands are already preparing for the worst.... but take a look at the Environmental Vulnerability Index and see how many countries are in danger.

We're going to have a lot of climate refugees in the not so far off future.

It has always been about oil, hasn't it?

Even the torture and death of innocents doesn't get in the way:

This will be where our next few wars will be.

h/t to Errington Thompson of Where's the Outrage? for the video.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thereby proving his point

In one.

Compare and contrast



And now:



Newt for president in 2012?


Oh, do. Please!

Unpack your survival gear

The world isn't ending in 2012....
"News is spreading quickly here that scientists writing in a popular science periodical (Dutch) have debunked the 2012 date (google translation linked) featuring so prominently in doomsday predictions/speculation across the web. On 2012-12-21, the sun will appear where you would normally be able to see the 'galactic equator' of the Milky Way; an occurrence deemed special because it happens 'only' once every 25.800 years, on the winter solstice. However, even if you ignore the fact that there is no actual galactic equator, just an observed one, and that the visual effect is pretty much the same for an entire decade surrounding that date, there are major problems with the way the Maya Calendar is being read by doomsday prophets."
Isn't that always what happens? You misread your Mayan calendar and everything gets out of whack....

Past nightmares to haunt your Halloween

Eight years of this guy:


And this undead torture-loving guy:


And don't forget this moron:


And I wish we could forget this creep:


But then Halloween dress-up time passes:


And we all wake up to a big mess the day after:


And get back to work:


The Guys from Government Sachs

Robert Scheer:
The people I want to know more about are the superrich who expect to be rewarded for their failures, like the folks at Goldman Sachs who will receive $16.71 billion in bonuses—an average of $530,000 per employee—this year after their company did as much as any to bring the world economy to the brink of disaster.

“The Guys from Government Sachs” is what The New York Times once called them in recognition of their chokehold on the federal government. Their power is marked by the two treasury secretaries who led the fight to legally enable and then reward Wall Street for its obscene excesses. Why wasn’t there a CNN stakeout at the homes of former Goldman-execs-turned-treasury-chiefs Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson aimed at finding out how they feel about the almost $7 billion profit that Goldman Sachs made in the last two quarters in the wake of the government’s bailout of the firm?

They were both deeply involved last fall, along with Rubin protégé and current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, then head of the New York Fed, in saving Goldman as archrival Lehman Brothers was forced to go belly up. As opposed to Lehman, Goldman was allowed to change its status and become a commercial bank qualifying for Federal Reserve and TARP funding. Goldman received $10 billion in immediate bailout funds, and we are supposed to be grateful that the company has paid it back in return for an end to any pretense of government control over its executive compensation. The additional cool $12.9 billion that Goldman received from the government as a pass-through from the bailout of AIG to cover Goldman’s toxic paper is money the investment bank has no intention of ever paying back.
Read the rest. Nothing that you didn't know, but seeing it nicely condensed is always ... mindboggling.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Only 14 members in this church

So what better to bring in new members but by a good old-fashioned book burning?

I love the overalls... means he's a true heartlander, right?

h/t to mf of Monkeyfister.

Thank you, sir, for your service to our nation

Your patriotism, and your love of your sons. All of them.

h/t to JJ of Unrepentant Old Hippie

Let them talk

And then do just the opposite:
A group of conservative foreign policy advocates—including a bevy of neoconservatives—this week sent President Barack Obama a letter urging him to stand firm in Afghanistan and vowing their support for him (on Afghanistan) if he did so. The letter was organized by the Foreign Policy Initiative, a think tank put together by leading neoconservatives Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, and signers included the pair and such neocon stalwarts as David Frum, Max Boot, Robert Kagan, John Podhoretz, Clifford May, Danielle Pletka, Randy Scheunemann, Dan Senor, and Gary Schmitt. But two high-profile right-wingers also added their names: Sarah Palin and Karl Rove.

The letter is reminiscent of the neocons' efforts before the Iraq War to whip up support for US military action against Saddam Hussein, an effort promoted by Kristol's think tank of the time—the Project for a New American Century.
We've had eight years of the neocon agenda and look what a mess they've left our country and the world in! So WHY ON EARTH are we giving Bill Kristol and these doofuses air time? Why? They are absolutely the LAST PEOPLE in the world to be taking advice from!

Why we have bulimia and anorexia in this country

While other countries have people dying of starvation. We are told to want more, buy more, eat more, yet blame ourselves for wanting too much, buying too much, eating too much. Instant beauty is being promised when you buy just a few packs of cream, makeup, diet food, clothes....

We are being sold an unattainable lie.

(*edited for clarity)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Finally taking evil doers to task

Jeremy Scahill reports:
Judge Refuses to Dismiss War Crimes Case Against Blackwater
On Wednesday, a federal judge rejected a series of arguments by lawyers for the mercenary firm formerly known as Blackwater seeking to dismiss five high-stakes war crimes cases brought by Iraqi victims against both the company and its owner, Erik Prince. At the same time, Judge TS Ellis III sent the Iraqis' lawyers back to the legal drawing board to amend and refile their cases, saying that the Iraqi plaintiffs need to provide more specific details on the alleged crimes before a final decision can be made on whether or not the lawsuits will proceed.
And Rep. Grayson tells it like he sees it... what we've all been thinking for eight long bloody years.

I agree with Grayson:


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Net Neutrality

Sign the petition:
Net neutrality is the cornerstone of innovation, free speech and democracy on the Internet. Please propose and enact strong net neutrality rules to ensure that the Internet is free from blocking, censorship and discrimination.

Compare and contrast

These headlines on the same day:

  • Losing their lifeline - 7,000 a day As the Senate debates whether to extend unemployment benefits, more than 200,000 jobless Americans are set to see their checks stop in October.
And how about this little gem?
  • Saudis redefine chutzpah: After decades of overpricing, and with trillions of dollars in future revenues, they want aid if world cuts oil use in climate deal
But look at what a little adroit diplomacy will get you:

Marc Ambinder asked, "Has Sen. John Kerry ever had as good a press cycle?"
Indeed, most of the stories devoted to Kerry have the exact same analysis: Kerry was reluctantly thrust into the role of negotiator. Kerry developed Karzai's trust. Kerry had the diplomatic skills that current ambassador Karl Eikenberry lacked. Kerry's importuning proved to be the turning point. Oh, and it compares favorably to Kerry's brokering of a dialog between the U.S. and Syria earlier in the year.

The Boston Globe called it a "triumph" for Kerry -- his biggest accomplishment since the presidential race. The Wall Street Journal, along with many other publications, noted that Kerry used his own experience in 2004 to establish a better bond with Karzai.

And in case there are any doubts, these developments do not point to tensions between Kerry and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Just the opposite -- David Rogers reported that the two worked together on this: "Clinton, as secretary of state, helped clear the way with a long call to Karzai but also gave Kerry the room to run. And the result -- Karzai's agreement to hold a runoff election next month -- was a joint triumph for the onetime rivals."

Have I mentioned lately how nice it is to have grown-ups in positions of governmental authority again?

And President Obama does a good thing:
  • WASHINGTON President Barack Obama on Thursday signed into law a measure designed to keep funding for veterans' medical care steady amid future budget negotiations.
While EX-Vice President Dick Cheney shoots his mouth off and gets a reaction:
  • Retired General Paul Eaton, senior adviser to the National Security Network, has hit back hard at Dick Cheney a day after the former vice president criticized the Obama administration again for "dithering while America's armed forces are in danger." In a speech Wednesday night, Cheney said, "President Obama now seems afraid to make a decision, and unable to provide his commander on the ground with the troops he needs to complete his mission." In an NSN press release, Eaton empties his chamber:
    The record is clear: Dick Cheney and the Bush administration were incompetent war fighters. They ignored Afghanistan for 7 years with a crude approach to counter-insurgency warfare best illustrated by: 1. Deny it. 2. Ignore it. 3. Bomb it. While our intelligence agencies called the region the greatest threat to America, the Bush White House under-resourced our military efforts, shifted attention to Iraq, and failed to bring to justice the masterminds of September 11.

Wash your hands!

This doc says it better:

h/t to Steve Bates in comments.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Diaper Dave won't say interracial marriage is ok...

'Depends', he shoulda said....

It's WTF Wednesday!

Approach with caution!


  • Holy shit!
    DURHAM — The U.S. military is not just fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, America’s most renowned investigative journalist says.

    The army is also “in a war against the White House — and they feel they have [President] Obama boxed in,” Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh told several hundred people in Duke University’s Page Auditorium on Tuesday night. “They think he’s weak and the wrong color. Yes, there’s racism in the Pentagon. We may not like to think that, but it’s true and we all know it.”

    In a speech on Obama’s foreign policy, Hersh, who uncovered the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War and torture at Abu Ghraib prison during the Iraqi war, said many military leaders want Obama to fail.

    “A lot of people in the Pentagon would like to see him get into trouble,” he said. By leaking information that the commanding officer in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, says the war would be lost without an additional 40,000 American troops, top brass have put Obama in a no-win situation, Hersh contended.
  • Media Matters explains with facts and links how Fox News actually isn't like other news organizations.... because some people are completely baffled how repeating propaganda isn't actually like... you know... reporting.

You know....I wouldn't mind having a comedian as president...

No, not this guy:



The beginning of the end of civility

In political debates.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

You first, Newt.

Let's see you dump your government funded health care.
Gingrich Calls On The Country To ‘Rise Up’ To ‘Repeal’ Health Care Reform If It Passes
Not that it would make me change my mind about supporting the public option. I'd just like you to experience one of those health fairs they are having around the country for the uninsured.

Making a master race

By denying health care to imperfect babies? Or ones they just don't like? This baby will get no health coverage because she's underweight. Remember the baby who was too heavy?

Apparently our health insurance companies are now involved in eugenics.... and that's okay with Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats?


Like father...

Like daughter:


Call MSNBC cowards for not having the Cheneys on, but run wildly away from invitations to appear... and run to Fox News instead.

Just who is the coward here?

One way to try to prevent education from working

Is to deny that knowledge is both liberal and liberating. Cease questioning! Stop realizing there are more ways than one to find a solution! Stop it!

Because it's been very handy that stupid people obediently follow leaders like sheep....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

"Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without"

Starting with your fresh fruit and veggies:
Timothy Jones of the University of Arizona studies food loss; he told CBC radio that 50 percent of the food in America, with a value of a hundred billion dollars, is just wasted. It rots in the field when prices are low and farmers don't bother picking it; it is thrown out from supermarkets because it doesn't look perfect or has been on the shelves too long; huge amounts of it are thrown out at fast-food restaurants that leave cooked food on the steam trays or under the heat lamps and throw it away after specified times.

In the home, Americans waste 14 percent of their food purchases, including leftovers and stale dated products. Jones estimates that the average family of four tosses out close to $ 600 per year in fruit, meat, vegetables, and other unidentifiable substances at the bottom of the crisper drawer.
h/t to Megan of Care2 Make a Difference.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The essence of a Compassionate Conservative's Health Care Plan


I do, you can't, so I won't let you.

Texas politicians tie themselves in knots trying to prevent the divorce of a married gay couple.

Sanctity of Marriage!! Family Values!! Grandstanding!! Hate Speech!!


Will we be destroyed by a pandemic?


Safety concerns over the H1N1 flu shots. Poor little ferrets were tested with the shots first. (They survived.)

Mike Goldman in comments shared a YouTube that discusses the fears over the shots.

CDC's website on H1N1.

More on the H1N1 by

I haven't yet made up my mind, but there are plenty of fears to deal with on both sides of the argument.

Monday, October 12, 2009


But funny!

Wingnuts yell at an elementary school

For daring to let their children sing about Obama.

Tiny Tim would recognize this place

And Charles Dickens would be horrified that we haven't come any farther after more than one hundred years....
The New Debtors’ Prisons

Blog sprinkles


Omg. The laughter and the jokes echo to the hills. The youtubes of this will be priceless.
How this could be a surprise to anyone is bizarre. That anyone could assume otherwise is just plain stupid.
  • Monsanto faces investigation!!:
The Justice Department is investigating whether Monsanto Co. violated antitrust rules in trying to expand its dominance of the market for genetically engineered crops.

Monsanto has provided interviews and documents to the Justice Department, company spokesman Lee Quarles said. He said the department has questioned Monsanto about its marketing tactics in the biotech seed industry, which have become a target of criticism.

Quarles said Monsanto has done nothing illegal and is cooperating with the department.

"We definitely stand behind our business," he said.

At issue is how the world's largest seed company sells and licenses its patented genes. Monsanto has licensing agreements with seed companies that let those companies insert Monsanto genes into about 96 percent of U.S. soybean crops and 80 percent of all corn crops.

Monsanto's rivals allege that the company uses the licensing agreements to squeeze competitors and control smaller seed companies — an allegation Monsanto denies.
Maybe now the poor angry farmers and consumers around the world who have been so badly used and bullied by Monsanto will get their say.

Thank god there are people like Rep. Marcy Kaptur in our government!! The transcript of their talk.

  • Susie Madrak of Suburban Guerrilla tells the story of a 4 month old baby being denied insurance because he is too fat.

"Some claim somehow that the recovery package isn't working by simply pointing to continued job losses. I consider this peculiar, especially from those who favored the policies that actually caused the recession to begin with," EPI President Lawrence Mishel said in testimony to Congress on October 8, where he proposed a five-part strategy for creating and preserving jobs, and stressed that the causes of today’s high unemployment pre-date President Obama.

"I consider President Obama to be in the situation of having inherited a burning apartment building. He proceeded to gather all the available fire trucks and douse the fires in half the floors. Yet his critics complain that the other floors are still on fire. Even worse, those critics are the ones who started the fire. And they want to withdraw the fire trucks."

Damn these here YouTubes! Proving to liars they have lied:

If they could speak...

h/t to Tengrain of Mock, Paper, Scissors.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What else could he be doing?

Dick Armey grabs for power?

While the energy of the anti-tax and anti-Big Government tea party movement may yet haunt Democrats in 2010, the first order of business appears to be remaking the Republican Party.

Whether it’s the loose confederation of Washington-oriented groups that have played an organizational role or the state-level activists who are channeling grass-roots anger into action back home, tea party forces are confronting the Republican establishment by backing insurgent conservatives and generating their own candidates — even if it means taking on GOP incumbents.

“We will be a headache for anyone who believes the Constitution of the United States … isn’t to be protected,” said Dick Armey, chairman of the anti-tax and limited government advocacy group FreedomWorks, which helped plan and promote the tea parties, town hall protests and the September ‘Taxpayer March’ in Washington. “If you can’t take it seriously, we will look for places of other employment for you.”

“We’re not a partisan organization, and I think many Republicans are disappointed we are not,” added Armey, a former GOP congressman.

Remember Rachel Maddow told us what Dick Armey actually is...

Friday, October 09, 2009

The mother of all hissy fits


Temper tantrums galore.

Update: And more.

Watch Bill Moyers tonight!

Arianna Huffington:
Bill Moyers' show is always illuminating, but tonight's is one that no one should miss. When I spoke to Bill yesterday he described it as "a moment of truth-telling that could ignite the public's passion for Wall Street reforms that have been strangled in the crib by the big banks and their bought-and-paid-for politicians."

What was that statistic?

When you have easy access to guns, you're in more danger of your own guns being used against you than not?

LEBANON, Pa. -- Police in Pennsylvania Dutch country plan to release additional details about a suburban mother who last year shocked other parents by openly carrying a loaded handgun at her daughter's youth soccer game and this week was found shot dead with her husband in an apparent murder-suicide.

Meleanie Hain and Scott Hain were found dead Wednesday inside their home in Lebanon, a small city 80 miles west of Philadelphia. Their three children were unharmed.

Cover your cough, please.


The Google tracking of the flu, scary map and graph. And the usual common sense instructions:

Fight influenza

CDC urges you to take these steps to protect yourself and others from the flu:

  1. Get vaccinated against flu.
  2. Wash hands often, cover your cough.
  3. Take antiviral drugs if your doctor recommends them.

This flu season could be worse than prior years. A new flu virus called 2009 H1N1 is spreading worldwide. Take these 3 steps to protect against the new flu, too.

I'm sorry, but our schedules don't match.

I'm very busy. I have to wash my hair. Relatives are coming over. My mom says no.
Sarah Palin stands ready to stump for the Republican gubernatorial candidates running in the two most closely-watched campaigns in the country this fall, but neither seems to want her help.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Tell us again why we are in Afghanistan?

Robert Scheer:
It’s time to declare victory and begin to get out rather than descend deeper into an intractable civil war that we neither comprehend nor in the end will care much about. Terrorists of various stripes will still exist as they have throughout history, but the ones we are most concerned about have proved mighty capable of relocating to less hostile environments, including sunny San Diego and southern Florida, where the 9/11 hijackers had no trouble fitting in.

There is a continued need for effective international police work to thwart the efforts of a widely dispersed al-Qaida network, but putting resources into that effort does not satisfy the need of the military establishment for a conventional field of battle. That is the significance of Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s leaked report calling for a massive counterinsurgency campaign to make everything right about life in Afghanistan, down to the governance of the most forlorn village. The general’s report aims not at eliminating al-Qaida, which he concedes is barely existent in the country, but rather at creating an Afghan society that is more to his own liking.

It is a prescription, as the Russians and others before them learned, for war without end. That might satisfy the marketing needs of the defense industry and the career hopes of select military and political aspirants, but it has nothing to do with fighting terrorism. In the end, it would seem that some of our leaders need the Afghanistan battleground more than the terrorists do.

Tweeting is against the law? And owning Curious George toys?

A social worker from New York City was arrested last week while in Pittsburgh to participate in the G-20 protests, then subjected to an FBI raid this week at his home—all for using Twitter. Elliot Madison faces charges of hindering apprehension or prosecution, criminal use of a communication facility and possession of instruments of crime. He was posting to a Twitter feed (or tweeting, as it is called) publicly available information about police activities around the G-20 protests, including information about where police had been ordered to disperse protesters.


Madison, his wife and housemates were roused from sleep during the weekend when the Joint Terrorism Task Force swept into their house, keeping them handcuffed for hours, searching the house and removing computers and other property from everyone in the house. Madison said the FBI “for 16 hours, proceeded to take everything, from plush toys to kitchen magnets and lots of books ... they took Curious George stuffed animals.
What the fuck is going on?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Senator Al Franken!!!

Update: His speech on the floor:

Gee... homegrown terrorists.

I wonder what the Republicans will do to these guys? Gitmo? Torture? Declaring them unlawful combatants? Or maybe just let the judicial system take care of it?

Police received a call just before midnight about a suspicious car with weapons on the backseat, he said. Police surrounded the car, a Mercedes, and pulled the two men out. A bomb squad detonated the pipe bomb.

The men, John Iannucci, 38, of Branford, Conn., and Jessup Bowllinger, 27, of New Haven, were charged with the manufacture of bombs, illegal possession of explosives, illegally transporting explosives and having a shotgun in a vehicle. Bowllinger was also charged with criminal possession of a firearm. The two are being held on $500,000 bond each, said New Haven Police spokesman Officer Joe Avery, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is also investigating.

The New Haven Register has reported that one of the men was arrested earlier this year for making a bomb, and his case is still pending in Superior Court.

Avery could not confirm the report.

In February, that man was allegedly driving when a homemade bomb exploded, injuring his hands and torso. Police searched his home and found equipment for modifying smoke bombs and arrested him in March.

Late update: Court records show that a John Iannucci, also born in 1970, is facing charges for the illegal manufacture of bombs and explosives. His pre-trial is set for Oct. 22. He has plead not guilty to the charges.

For those who use Blogger

You may have hit a 2000 limit on your labels. I found I could not post even though I went back and tossed many unique labels out of my list. So for the moment, I will post with known labels rather than unknown known labels because I do not know if my unknown known labels will post.

Only known video of Anne Frank

From this site.

Monday, October 05, 2009

You have got to be joking.

Really. Domestic violence is a pre-existing condition.
WASHINGTON -- Eight states and the District of Columbia don't have laws that specifically bar insurance companies from using domestic violence as a pre-existing condition to deny health coverage, according to a study from the National Women's Law Center. The states are Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming. The study by the nonpartisan, nonprofit center focused on individual coverage, not group coverage.
How do these people sleep at night?

Update 10/8: dday at Hullabaloo tells a story.

Plan B

The wingnuts flip out in comments.

Dare suggest that producing energy consuming meat such as cattle could be harming the planet? Save the planet, eat less meat apparently is a latte-drinking tree-hugging sandal-wearing Nazicommiesocialistic idea.

Dare attack Palin, the hope of the GOP base?
Palin, Limbaugh, Beck … now it’s Republicans seeing the downside. Some moderate conservatives see danger in the vociferous right, especially among broadcast pot-stirrers. They want to advance the GOP by changing the tone.
Arguing if one would vote for a military man in 2012 or not...

Proving Krugman right in the comments thread of his article: The Politics of Spite.
But more important, the episode illustrated an essential truth about the state of American politics: at this point, the guiding principle of one of our nation’s two great political parties is spite pure and simple. If Republicans think something might be good for the president, they’re against it — whether or not it’s good for America.

To be sure, while celebrating America’s rebuff by the Olympic Committee was puerile, it didn’t do any real harm. But the same principle of spite has determined Republican positions on more serious matters, with potentially serious consequences — in particular, in the debate over health care reform.
I can remember when Democrats and Republicans had very civil discussions over the ways to run the government. We needed both sides to balance each other out, to keep both sides in check, to keep us open to new ideas but also to keep us on an even keel.

Not any longer. To quote Krugman again:
The only difference now is that the G.O.P. is in a weaker position, having lost control not just of Congress but, to a large extent, of the terms of debate. The public no longer buys conservative ideology the way it used to; the old attacks on Big Government and paeans to the magic of the marketplace have lost their resonance. Yet conservatives retain their belief that they, and only they, should govern.

The result has been a cynical, ends-justify-the-means approach. Hastening the day when the rightful governing party returns to power is all that matters, so the G.O.P. will seize any club at hand with which to beat the current administration.

It’s an ugly picture. But it’s the truth. And it’s a truth anyone trying to find solutions to America’s real problems has to understand.
Update: Criticizing Justice Sotomayor ... just because.

Wouldn't that take out the entire New Testament?

Conservative Bible Project Cuts Out Liberal Passages

This means


It's time for the top ten conservative idiots!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

And we wonder why Iran feels hostile.....

On Fox News Sunday today, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested that military action against Iran -- while a "last resort" -- is a possibility, and perhaps an eventual necessity.
Shorter Graham: Screw diplomacy and the Obama administration! We want Iran to be cowering on its knees before our clearly God given might! (Ignore the mess in Iraq and Afghanistan...)

Friday, October 02, 2009



Face cheers as nose is cut off

Conservatives cheer as Chicago is not being chosen for the Olympics. THAT will show'im!

What is wrong with these people?

Diplomacy! What an amazing new invention!

Actually talking to people!

Glenn Greenwald's headline:
Iran: More accomplished in one day of negotiations than in 8 years of threats
In some undisclosed secure location, Cheney is twirling his mustaches in frustration. The war with Iran is getting further and further from his grasp....


Thursday, October 01, 2009

Diaper Dave!

What they intended all along the case of the "sick," "creepy" second-graders signing up for duty in the "Hitler Youth," predictably, after much breathless snooping, the name of the offending elementary school was indentified and its phone number was posted online. And just as predictably, threats of violence began to pour in.

According to a Fox News online report:

The tension at B. Bernice Young Elementary School escalated to such a degree Thursday that the school was placed temporarily on lockdown after its principal received death threats over a YouTube video that showed nearly 20 children being taught songs lauding the president, though back-to-school night events continuing as planned Thursday night at the school.

Ironically, the Fox report was quickly scrubbed, and any mention of looming right-wing mob violence was edited out of the news story. Editors at Fox News can erase all the unseemly mentions of death threats they want, but when right-wing mobs online are whipped into a frenzy and sent out to attack private citizens, they always leave a mark.

They are egging the nutcases on, urging wingnut gun owners to take on the government, begging somebody to do something dramatic.

It's a given that some poor slob somewhere will do something ugly and deadly.

Then the Right Wing Smear Machine will run away, just as they did after Dr. Tiller was murdered. They will declare their hands are clean. They will pretend to be horrified by what has happened. They will shed crocodile tears while picking out their next target and starting the whole process over again.

It's what they do.