Saturday, April 05, 2008
Posted by Amanda Terkel, Think Progress
Last night on his CNN Headline News show, right-wing pundit Glenn Beck hosted global warming skeptic Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK). Beck allowed Inhofe to rant about how — with “all the liberals” running the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works — he was forced to sit through hearings on “that nice white fuzzy polar bear.”
Inhofe argued that the polar bear population isn’t endangered. “[I]f anything, it’s an overpopulation problem,” said Inhofe. Beck then jumped in and claimed that, in fact, the extinction of polar bears may be a good thing:
They eat people! For the love of Pete, they’re big, angry bears. They eat people. Not that I say we go out and kill all of them, but I mean, it doesn’t seem to be a problem here. Senator, I can’t take the — I can’t take the lies anymore..........
what would one think the u.s. government would do about this organization? WELL YOU SILLY GOOSES, THEY'D RENEW THE CONTRACT!
Blackwater Iraq contract to be renewed
From Elise Labott
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The State Department will renew its contract with Blackwater to provide security in Iraq, Greg Starr, acting assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, said Friday. No provisions have been added to the contract, Starr said, but Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice ordered several changes to procedure after a September incident in which Blackwater guards shot and killed 17 people, including women and children.
The incident placed the operations of Blackwater and other security firms under scrutiny in Iraq, where an estimated 25,000 private contractors protect diplomats, reconstruction workers and government officials. Under a provision instituted in the early days of the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, security contractors have immunity from Iraqi law.
The five-year State Department contract, which began in 2006, must be renewed every year and is up for renewal next month. Starr said, in effect, Blackwater's contract will roll over for another year...........
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Flute master Zamfir surprises press corps
BUCHAREST, Romania (CNN) — It wasn't exactly a typical last day at the NATO summit - at least not for some members of the White House press corps.
As President Bush and other world leaders gathered behind closed doors for private meetings, journalists monitoring the events from a nearby hotel were paid an unexpected visit from an American cult figure - Zamfir, master of the pan flute.
For those who may not remember, Gheorghe Zamfir is probably best known for the late 80s/early 90s commercials that aired on CNN.
(As several colleagues have said, Zamfir paid their salaries for a long time.) But Zamfir is a true musical maestro, with a host of Hollywood movie credits, including performing for the soundtracks of Kill Bill and the Karate Kid. (Who can forget those musical montages of Daniel Larusso training for the big tournament? That pan flute was Zamfir.)
How the Romanian musician came to visit the workspace is a story in itself. Basically, he's a friend of a friend of a local Romanian working for a U.S. television network. He planned to stop by the workspace for just a brief visit to say hello, but quickly had the press corps buzzing with excitement. I asked him afterwards what he thought when he walked in and received … well, a rock star's reception.
"Shocked. When I met them, I wasn't, no words in my mouth. What's happened with me?" Zamfir said...................
a video to PROVE it (warning - he REALLY gets down and gets funky)
we all know iraq was NEVER capable of attacking us. we also know iraq had NOTHING to do with 9/11.
what we don't know is if king george and his court knew 9/11 was going to happen prior to it happening. we also know we no longer have rights. we no longer have a constitution. we no longer have LAWS to protect us
Top Democrats demand Attorney General explain remarks about pre-9/11 phone call
(Update - Department of Justice responds to Mukasey controversy over 9/11 comments)
A letter has been sent by leaders of the House Judiciary Committee to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, demanding that he explain a recent public statement that federal authorities failed to intercept a call from suspected terrorists in Afghanistan prior to the 9/11 attacks, when doing so could have prevented the attacks from taking place.
Mukasey blamed that failure on a lack of the sort of warrantless wiretapping authority that the administration has now called on Congress to provide. However, there has never been any previous mention of such a call, and the Judiciary Committee letter -- signed by Chairman John Conyers and two subcommittee chairs -- points out that the law that existed at the time would have allowed the call to be intercepted immediately, with permission granted retroactively by the FISA court..........
Feith: We invaded Iraq because we were afraid they'd attack us
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
During an interview to be broadcast on 60 Minutes this Sunday, former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Doug Feith was asked why the US chose to go after Saddam Hussein instead of Osama bin Laden.
CBS's Steve Kroft asked Feith, "Why was the decision made to go after him after 9/11? Because we knew even then, he didn't have anything to do with it."
"What we did after 9/11 was to look broadly at the international terrorism network from which the next attack on the United States might come," Feith replied, "and we did not focus narrowly only on the people who were specifically responsible for 9/11. Our main goal was preventing the next attack."..........
it would be funny if shite like this didn't cost TONS OF MONEY (studies i mean)
Terrorism Study Drops a Bombshell on Boise
By Lyndsey Layton and Ashley SurdinWashington Post Staff Writers
Quick: Name the Western U.S. city most vulnerable to a terrorist attack. Is it Los Angeles, with its crowded roads that make quick escape impossible? San Francisco and its iconic bridge? Or Seattle with its Space Needle and busy port?
Try Boise, Idaho, with its, um, potatoes.
A new study funded largely by the Department of Homeland Security ranked 132 American cities according to vulnerability to terrorist attacks. Boise was the only city in the western half of the country to make the top 10.
"To be honest, we're a little bit surprised," said Adam Park, a spokesman for Boise, a landlocked city of 200,000 where the big event this weekend is a Professional Bull Riders invitational. .......
Friday, April 04, 2008
who listens to this shite? who reads this shite? you know, i really don't think ann bloodclot and flush limburger believe themselves (now come on, how the hell COULD they possibly???????). i think they're out for a buck and the only way they can get that buck (AND attention mind you) is to make complete id-jits and asswipes of themselves. at that, they EXCEL
Limbaugh: "[A] lot of these feminists and women ... think they're owed" a Clinton win; "they've had two or three abortions"
On the April 1 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh said of a potential Hillary Clinton presidency, "[Y]ou have to understand the mindset of a lot of these feminists and women. They think they're owed this -- just like Obama supporters think they're owed this." Limbaugh continued: "These women have paid their dues. They've been married two or three times; they've had two or three abortions; they've done everything that feminism asked them to do. They have cut men out of their lives; they have devoted themselves to causes and careers. And this -- the candidacy of Hillary Clinton -- is the culmination of all of these women's efforts." He further stated: "And if it gets stolen from them, in their minds -- not actually stolen, but if the country or if the Democrat [sic] Party rejects this wonderfully great, lying woman in exchange for a rookie, radical black guy who can't tell the time of day, they are going to be so miffed. They are going to be so upset."
Limbaugh went on to claim: "[T]his is what the Democrat Party has sown ... The blacks one part of the constituency, the women another part. And both of them think they're owed this by the party, and if whoever doesn't get this -- the Hillary side, the Obama side -- they're going to think the party screwed them." .........
Ann Coulter Sort of Compares Obama's First Book to Hitler's 'Mein Kampf'
By Dave Astor
NEW YORK In her latest column, conservative firebrand Ann Coulter sort of compares Barack Obama's first book to Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf."The piece, posted starting last night on Coulter's Web site, is headlined "Obama's Dimestore 'Mein Kampf.'" Coulter says of the Democratic candidate's "Dreams From My Father" autobiography: "Has anybody read this book? Inasmuch as the book reveals Obama to be a flabbergasting lunatic, I gather the answer is no. Obama is about to be our next president: You might want to take a peek. If only people had read 'Mein Kampf.'"The weekly Universal Press Syndicate columnist goes on to slam Obama for the complaints about racism he included in his 1995 book. "Forget Rev. Jeremiah Wright -- Wright is Booker T. Washington compared to this guy," Coulter concludes.Back in 2005, Coulter was among the many conservatives criticizing U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) for using a Nazi comparison when discussing America's treatment of Guantanamo prisoners.......
to the office of the army deputy chief of staff for 'intelligence' - guess what? there ARE gay people in the military. always have been always will be. what? a gay person cannot be awarded the purple heart? a gay person cannot F**KING DIE FOR THEIR COUNTRY? are you embarrassed? you SHOULD be. not because of major roger's sexual orientation. BECAUSE HE WAS KILLED IN AN UNJUST, IMMORAL AND ILLEGAL WAR. (how can one think someones sexual orientation is immoral and NOT the war in iraq? i just don't understand)
US Military Scrubs Deceased Gay Soldier's Wiki Entry
Posted by Pam Spaulding, Pam's House Blend
Man, how sick is this? The recloseting by the media and the military of Maj. Alan Rogers, who served in Iraq and was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and a second Bronze Star was bad enough, but now someone at the Pentagon decided that even Rogers Wikipedia entry needs to be de-gayed. (Washington Blade):
The user on Monday redacted details about Rogers that appeared on the online encyclopedia site. Information that was deleted included Rogers' sexual orientation; the soldier's participation in American Veterans for Equal Rights, a group that works to change military policy toward gays; and the fact that Rogers' death helped bring the U.S. military's casualty toll in Iraq to 4,000.
Rob Pilaud, a patent agent and a friend of Rogers who attended the soldier's funeral, restored the information to the Wikipedia article the next day. Pilaud was among Rogers' friends who created the Wikipedia page.
The anonymous poster also provided the following comment in the "discussion" section about the article:
"Alan's life was not about his sexual orientation but rather about the body of work he performed ministering to others and helping the defense of the country," the poster wrote. "Quit trying to press an agenda that Alan wouldn't have wanted made public just to suit your own ends."
The IP address attached to the deletion of the details and the posted comments is 126.96.36.199. The address belongs to a computer from the office of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (G-2) at the Pentagon. The office is headed by Lt. Gen. John Kimmons, who was present at Rogers' funeral and presented the flag from Rogers' coffin to his cousin, Cathy Long.
The Army's public affairs office did not return a call seeking comment.........
i never thought i'd say this but a shout out to micky d's!
American Family Association takes aim at McDonald's
Upset over the election of a senior executive of the fast food giant McDonald's to the Board of Directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association is calling upon his organization's members to take action. Wildmon is asking his ranks to call their local McDonald's franchises to ask why the company is "using its size and resources to promote the homosexual agenda" and to use the AFA's online action center to send company Chairman Andrew J. McKenna an email. (On the AFA page, McKenna is misidentified as the company's President.)
Last month, Richard Ellis, VP of Communications for McDonald's USA, was elected to the NGLCC board and said he was "thrilled to join the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce team and ready to get to work." McDonald's is also listed as a Chamber corporate partner.
"With publicity stunts like this, you have to begin to wonder if the entire staff at the American Family Association was in a coma the last decade when corporate America rocketed towards equality," Human Rights Campaign spokesman Brad Luna told PageOneQ today. McDonald's scored an 85% rating from the HRC Equality Index.......
Rove calls Siegelman accuser a 'complete lunatic'
WASHINGTON -- Karl Rove says a one-time Republican campaign worker who has accused him of dirty tricks against a former Alabama governor is a "complete lunatic," and he calls CBS a "shoddy operation" for airing her allegations.
In an interview with GQ magazine, President Bush's former political guru says he has never met Jill Simpson, an Alabama attorney and GOP campaign volunteer who has claimed that Rove tried to sabotage Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman's career.
CBS says it stands behind the "60 Minutes" program from February in which Simpson said Rove asked her to find evidence that Siegelman was cheating on his wife. Rove declined to respond to her allegations on the program.
Simpson, who has given sworn testimony to congressional investigators, has claimed she overheard conversations among Republicans suggesting that Rove pushed the Justice Department to go after Siegelman, who was convicted on corruption charges in 2006.............
from THEIR war crimes and crimes against humanity
Another KBR Rape Case
Editor's Note: Lisa Smith is a pseudonym used on request. Additional reporting by Te-Ping Chen. Research support provided by the Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute
It was an early January morning in 2008 when 42-year-old Lisa Smith*, a paramedic for a defense contractor in southern Iraq, woke up to find her entire room shaking. The shipping container that served as her living quarters was reverberating from nearby rocket attacks, and she was jolted awake to discover an awful reality. "Right then my whole life was turned upside down," she says.
What follows is the story she told me in a lengthy, painful on-the-record interview, conducted in a lawyer's office in Houston, Texas, while she was back from Iraq on a brief leave. That dawn, naked, covered in blood and feces, bleeding from her anus, she found a US soldier she did not know lying naked in the bed next to her: his gun lay on the floor beside the bed, she could not rouse him and all she could remember of the night before was screaming and screaming as the soldier anally penetrated her while a colleague who worked for defense contractor KBR held her hand--but instead of helping her, as she had hoped, he jammed his penis in her mouth.
Over the next few weeks Smith would be told to keep quiet about the incident by a KBR supervisor. The camp's military liaison officer also told her not to speak about what had happened, she says. And she would follow these instructions. "Because then, all of a sudden, if you've done exactly what you've been instructed not to do--tell somebody--then you're in danger," Smith says. ........
Air America's Randi Rhodes said suspended for calling Clinton, Ferraro 'whores'
Air America has allegedly suspended talk radio host Randi Rhodes after she made scathing statements off-air about Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and former Democratic vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro.
"What a whore Geraldine Ferraro is! She's such a fucking whore!" Rhodes remarked. "Hillary is a big fucking whore, too" to a mixed audience reaction. "You know why she's a big fucking whore? Because her deal is always, 'Read the fine print, asshole!'"
A video of Rhodes' remarks appears below.
"Air America has suspended on-air host Randi Rhodes for making inappropriate statements about prominent figures, including Senator Hillary Clinton, at a recent public appearance on behalf of Air America in San Francisco which was sponsored by an Air America affiliate station," according to a statement by Air America released to the Huffington Post............
Kennedy and Levin Want New Report on Iraq Released
By Karen DeYoung Washington Post Staff Writer
A new intelligence report on the situation in Iraq is "essential" to upcoming debates on the war, and its judgments should be publicly released, Sens. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) and Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) said yesterday in a letter to the head of the nation's intelligence agencies.
Levin and Kennedy asked Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell to release an unclassified summary of the latest National Intelligence Estimate before Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Ryan C. Crocker, the ambassador to Iraq, testify April 8 before the Senate Armed Services Committee, which Levin chairs.
Without the NIE, Levin and Kennedy wrote, "Congress and the American people will not have the essential information needed for an informed public debate." The document, an update of two previous assessments publicly released last year, was completed and delivered to Congress on Tuesday.
Several lawmakers familiar with its conclusions declined to provide specifics but said it contained little information beyond public accounts of recent events in Iraq. "The stuff that was positive, they emphasized. The negative, they stated, but deemphasized," said Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.). Biden chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which was briefed on the intelligence estimate early this week. ......
Thursday, April 03, 2008
when i read this, i was literally SPEECHLESS
(make sure to click on the links throughout this story)
In Bush’s Justice Dept, Being Gay Is "Even Worse Than Being a Democrat"
Posted by Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger Report
About a year ago, we learned in jaw-dropping detail about the questions asked of those seeking employment at Bush’s Justice Department. Thanks to Alberto Gonzales and Monica Goodling — remember them? — job applicants for civil service jobs were quizzed with all kind of personal questions that the DoJ couldn’t legally ask. This went well beyond just isolating registered Democrats as inherently untrustworthy — though Goodling did that, too — and included one applicant being asked, “Have you ever cheated on your wife?”
But what about all of those Justice Department employees who were already on staff when Goodling & Co. got there? It was too late to ask them personal questions during their interviews. How, then, could they ensure that DoJ employees were pure by conservative Republican standards?
Apparently, they found ways. (via Paul Kiel)
The Justice Department’s inspector general is investigating whether a career attorney in the department was dismissed from her job because of rumors that she is a lesbian. The case grew out of a larger inquiry into the firings of U.S. attorneys and politicization at Justice under former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Several people interviewed by the inspector general’s staff described the case to NPR and said they came away with the impression that the Attorney General’s office decided not to renew Leslie Hagen’s contract because of the talk about her sexual orientation. Hagen received the highest possible ratings for her work as liaison between the Justice Department and the U.S. attorneys’ committee on Native American issues. Her final job evaluation lists five categories for supervisors to rank her performance. For each category, a neat X fills the box marked, “Outstanding.” And at the bottom of the page, under “overall rating level,” she also got the top mark: Outstanding.
The form is dated February 1, 2007. Several months before that evaluation, Hagen was told her contract would not be renewed........
By Noah Shachtman
Vice President Dick Cheney opposed the signing ratification of a treaty banning the use chemical weapons, a recently unearthed letter shows.
183 countries pledged never to "develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile or retain chemical weapons, or transfer, directly or indirectly, chemical weapons to anyone" under the Chemical Weapons Convention, put into effect in 1997.
But in a letter dated April 8, 1997, then Halliburton-CEO Cheney told Sen. Jesse Helms, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, that it would be a mistake for America to join the Convention. "Those nations most likely to comply with the Chemical Weapons Convention are not likely to ever constitute a military threat to the United States. The governments we should be concerned about are likely to cheat on the CWC, even if they do participate," reads the letter, published by the Federation of American Scientists.
The CWC was ratified by the Senate that same month. And since then, Albania, Libya, Russia, the United States, and India have declared over 71,000 metric tons of chemical weapon stockpiles, and destroyed about a third of them. Under the terms of the agreement, the United States and Russia are supposed to eliminate the rest of their supplies of chemical weapons by 2012. But that looks unlikely -- the U.S. government figures it will get the job done by 2017.......
this is a lengthy article. worth the read
The White House
The Green Light
by Phillippe Sands
The abuse, rising to the level of torture, of those captured and detained in the war on terror is a defining feature of the presidency of George W. Bush. Its military beginnings, however, lie not in Abu Ghraib, as is commonly thought, or in the “rendition” of prisoners to other countries for questioning, but in the treatment of the very first prisoners at Guantánamo. Starting in late 2002 a detainee bearing the number 063 was tortured over a period of more than seven weeks. In his story lies the answer to a crucial question: How was the decision made to let the U.S. military start using coercive interrogations at Guantánamo?
The Bush administration has always taken refuge behind a “trickle up” explanation: that is, the decision was generated by military commanders and interrogators on the ground. This explanation is false. The origins lie in actions taken at the very highest levels of the administration—by some of the most senior personal advisers to the president, the vice president, and the secretary of defense. At the heart of the matter stand several political appointees—lawyers—who, it can be argued, broke their ethical codes of conduct and took themselves into a zone of international criminality, where formal investigation is now a very real option. This is the story of how the torture at Guantánamo began, and how it spread. ........
Pentagon Papers leaker calls Iraq invasion 'supreme war crime'
The man who leaked secret documents about the US war in Vietnam has a name for the invasion of Iraq.
"Supreme war crime."
He also has appellations for President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney: "domestic enemies of the Constitution" and "war criminals."
Speaking at a church in San Francisco Saturday, Daniel Ellsberg bemoaned the Administration's war and Iraq and cautioned about the dangers of a future war in Iran, according to a report in the local Golden Gate Express.
Ellsberg leaked a sheaf of documents that would become known as the "Pentagon Papers" in 1971, a secret history of the war in Vietnam in which the Pentagon conceded the war was unlikely to be won. At the time, Ellsberg worked as a Pentagon consultant.
Ellsberg used his talk this weekend to focus on how he feels the Administration has drifted from the constitution, the Express said. He attacked Congress, too, saying its 2002 authorization of force for the war was unconstitutional..........
Centers Tap Into Personal DatabasesState Groups Were Formed After 9/11
By Robert O'Harrow Jr.Washington Post Staff Writer
Intelligence centers run by states across the country have access to personal information about millions of Americans, including unlisted cellphone numbers, insurance claims, driver's license photographs and credit reports, according to a document obtained by The Washington Post.
One center also has access to top-secret data systems at the CIA, the document shows, though it's not clear what information those systems contain.
Dozens of the organizations known as fusion centers were created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to identify potential threats and improve the way information is shared. The centers use law enforcement analysts and sophisticated computer systems to compile, or fuse, disparate tips and clues and pass along the refined information to other agencies. They are expected to play important roles in national information-sharing networks that link local, state and federal authorities and enable them to automatically sift their storehouses of records for patterns and clues.
Though officials have publicly discussed the fusion centers' importance to national security, they have generally declined to elaborate on the centers' activities. But a document that lists resources used by the fusion centers shows how a dozen of the organizations in the northeastern United States rely far more on access to commercial and government databases than had previously been disclosed.
Those details have come to light at a time of debate about domestic intelligence efforts, including eavesdropping and data-aggregation programs at the National Security Agency, and whether the government has enough protections in place to prevent abuses.
The list of information resources was part of a survey conducted last year, officials familiar with the effort said. It shows that, like most police agencies, the fusion centers have subscriptions to private information-broker services that keep records about Americans' locations, financial holdings, associates, relatives, firearms licenses and the like........
Contracts for Body Armor Filled Without Initial Tests
Inspections Skipped in 13 Of 28 Deals, Report Finds
By Dana Hedgpeth Washington Post Staff Writer
Government auditors said yesterday that nearly half of 28 contracts to manufacture body armor for Army soldiers were completed without the gear ever going through an initial test.
Nearly $3 billion worth of body armor did not go through early inspections known as "first article testing," or FAT, that are performed before major production to ensure that a company can meet the contract's requirements and to catch any defects, according to a report by the Defense Department's inspector general. Contracting officials say the initial testing is done to save time and money.
"Army contracting officials did not require or perform FAT for 13 of the 28 Army contracts and orders reviewed," the report said. As a result, the Defense Department "has no assurance" that the equipment produced under the 13 contracts "met the required standards," the report said.
Officials with the inspector general's office said its auditors did not test the armor or look for flaws after it was made and put into use. The Army manager who oversees the body armor program told Defense Department officials that "the Army has no evidence of deaths that can be attributed to defective body armor." .....
i almost cried out)
It Might Be a Recession, Fed Chief Tells Congress Bernanke, Using a Word Rarely Uttered by Top Officials, Lays Out a Litany of Economic Problems
By Neil Irwin and Renae Merle Washington Post Staff Writers
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke acknowledged yesterday for the first time that the United States may be in a recession, projecting that the economy could shrink during the first half of this year. "It now appears likely that real gross domestic product will not grow much, if at all, over the first half of 2008 and may contract slightly," Bernanke told the congressional Joint Economic Committee. In response to a question, he said "a recession is possible" -- a rare use of the word "recession" by a Fed chairman. Fed leaders traditionally worry about giving markets a reason for pessimism. Bernanke's comments marked a notable shift in tone, reflecting continuing soft economic data and a view that the breakdown in financial markets poses a rising threat to the overall economy. Just over a month ago, Bernanke said he expected "sluggish economic activity" but did not mention a possible contraction. .........
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Matthews on Obama: "[T]his gets very ethnic, but the fact that he's good at basketball doesn't surprise anybody"
Summary: On Hardball, discussing Sen. Barack Obama's bowling performance at a campaign stop, Chris Matthews said to MSNBC political analyst Michelle Bernard, "You know, Michelle -- and this gets very ethnic, but the fact that he's good at basketball doesn't surprise anybody, but the fact that he's that terrible at bowling does make you wonder." While showing the video of Obama's bowling, Matthews asserted, "[I]t isn't the most macho form there."
On the March 31 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, discussing Sen. Barack Obama's bowling performance at a March 29 campaign stop at Pleasant Valley Lanes in Altoona, Pennsylvania, MSNBC political analyst Howard Fineman asserted, "[I]f you can't do something like that, you shouldn't do it. He should have stuck to shooting hoops -- which he's very, very good at, by the way, and which translates racially, too, especially during the NCAA basketball tournament. Don't do something you've never tried before in front of a national television audience, OK?" Addressing MSNBC political analyst Michelle Bernard, host Chris Matthews responded, "You know, Michelle -- and this gets very ethnic, but the fact that he's good at basketball doesn't surprise anybody, but the fact that he's that terrible at bowling does make you wonder." While showing the video of Obama's bowling, Matthews asserted, "[I]t isn't the most macho form there." ............
Retail giant drops controversial injured worker claim
Wal-Mart is dropping an effort to collect over $400,000 in health care reimbursement from a former employee who is confined to a southeast Missouri nursing home since she suffered brain damage in a traffic accident.
The world's largest retailer said Tuesday in a letter to the family of Deborah Shank it will not seek to collect money the Shanks won in an injury lawsuit against a trucking company for the accident.
Wal-Mart's top executive for human resources, Pat Curran, wrote that Shank's extraordinary situation had made the company re-examine its stance.
Deborah's husband Jim Shank welcomed the news. Family lawyer Maurice Graham of St. Louis said Wal-Mart deserves credit for doing the right thing.
"It's a good day for the Shank family," Jim Shank said in a statement.
Wal-Mart has been roundly criticized in newspaper editorials, on cable news shows and by its union foes for its claim to the funds, which it made in a lawsuit upheld by a federal appeals court.........
(original posting talk about scummy)
do you know what that means? i do. let's just say you're a heartless, souless, evil monster and that doesn't bother you. doesn't the thought of the united states of america NOT being able to protect itself SCARE YOU?
Heavy Troop Deployments Are Called Major Risk
Readiness Is Dangerously Low, Army Chief Says
By Ann Scott TysonWashington Post Staff Writer
Senior Army and Marine Corps leaders said yesterday that the increase of more than 30,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan has put unsustainable levels of stress on U.S. ground forces and has put their readiness to fight other conflicts at the lowest level in years.
In a stark assessment a week before Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, is to testify on the war's progress, Gen. Richard A. Cody, the Army's vice chief of staff, said that the heavy deployments are inflicting "incredible stress" on soldiers and families and that they pose "a significant risk" to the nation's all-volunteer military.
"When the five-brigade surge went in . . . that took all the stroke out of the shock absorbers for the United States Army," Cody testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee's readiness panel. .........
• Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could.
• If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation • It is really mortifying, sir, when a woman possessed of a common share of understanding considers the difference of education between the male and female sex, even in those families where education is attended to... Nay why should your sex wish for such a disparity in those whom they one day intend for companions and associates. Pardon me, sir, if I cannot help sometimes suspecting that this neglect arises in some measure from an ungenerous jealousy of rivals near the throne. )
we built and formed this country because we wanted to be free. we wanted to be fair. we wanted our own laws and government. we wanted HONESTY and FAIRNESS and EQUALITY. we wanted JUSTICE.
john and abigail are rolling in their graves
Memo: Laws Didn't Apply to Interrogators
Justice Dept. Official in 2003 Said President's Wartime Authority Trumped Many Statutes
By Dan Eggen and Josh WhiteWashington Post Staff Writers
The Justice Department sent a legal memorandum to the Pentagon in 2003 asserting that federal laws prohibiting assault, maiming and other crimes did not apply to military interrogators who questioned al-Qaeda captives because the president's ultimate authority as commander in chief overrode such statutes. The 81-page memo, which was declassified and released publicly yesterday, argues that poking, slapping or shoving detainees would not give rise to criminal liability. The document also appears to defend the use of mind-altering drugs that do not produce "an extreme effect" calculated to "cause a profound disruption of the senses or personality."
Although the existence of the memo has long been known, its contents had not been previously disclosed.
Nine months after it was issued, Justice Department officials told the Defense Department to stop relying on it. But its reasoning provided the legal foundation for the Defense Department's use of aggressive interrogation practices at a crucial time, as captives poured into military jails from Afghanistan and U.S. forces prepared to invade Iraq. ...............................
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
Loyalty to My Country
By Bill Richardson
My recent endorsement of Barack Obama for president has been the subject of much discussion and consternation -- particularly among supporters of Hillary Clinton. Led by political commentator James Carville, who makes a living by being confrontational and provocative, Clinton supporters have speculated about events surrounding this endorsement and engaged in personal attacks and insults.
While I certainly will not stoop to the low level of Mr. Carville, I feel compelled to defend myself against character assassination and baseless allegations.
Carville has made it very clear that this is a personal attack -- driven by his own sense of what constitutes loyalty. It is this kind of political venom that I anticipated from certain Clinton supporters and I campaigned against in my own run for president. .........
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Film director Jules Dassin dies
American film director Jules Dassin has died in an Athens hospital after a short illness, at the age of 96.
Blacklisted in Hollywood after WWII, he went to Europe where he married the late Greek actress and later culture minister Melina Mercouri.
She starred in Mr Dassin's most famous film, Never on Sunday.
After her death in 1994, Mr Dassin fought to realise her main goal: the return of the Parthenon, or Elgin, marbles from Britain to Greece.
A spokesman for Hygeia hospital in Athens said Mr Dassin had been admitted for treatment two weeks ago.
"Greece grieves the loss of a rare human being, an important creator and a true friend," Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said in a statement. ..............
never on sunday
(question: this mall was in AMERICA, right? it wasn't in cuba, right? it wasn't in north korea, right? it wasn't in saudi arabia, right?)
80-Year-Old Church Deacon Arrested for Refusing to Remove His Anti-War T-Shirt
Posted by GottaLaff , Cliff Schecter's Blog
He's 80, but he was wearing the wrong tee shirt. One must never wear the wrong tee shirt. That's just unacceptable. Especially if one is at the mall:
An 80-year-old church deacon was removed from the Smith Haven Mall yesterday in a wheelchair and arrested by police for refusing to remove a T-shirt protesting the Iraq War.
Police said that Don Zirkel, of Bethpage, was disturbing shoppers at the Lake Grove mall with his T-shirt, which had what they described as "graphic anti-war images." Zirkel, a deacon at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Wyandanch, said his shirt had the death tolls of American military personnel and Iraqis - 4,000 and 1 million - and the words "Dead" and "Enough." The shirt also has three blotches resembling blood splatters.
That is disturbing! Especially if you're one of the 4,000 Americans or 1,000,000 Iraqis who died.
Police said in a release last night that Zirkel was handing out anti-war pamphlets to mallgoers and that mall security told him to stop and turn his shirt inside out. Zirkel refused to turn his shirt inside out and wouldn't leave, police said. Security placed him on "civilian arrest" and called police. When police arrived, Zirkel passively resisted attempts to bring him to a police car, the release said.
Good lord, he sounds dangerous. Hide the kids!.........
faux 'news' is loved!
America's No. 1 Fox News Democrat Ed Rendell strikes again
Ed Rendell, by way of Michael Calderone at the Politico:
"I think during this entire primary coverage, starting in Iowa and up to the present -- FOX has done the fairest job, and remained the most objective of all the cable networks. You hate both of our candidates. No, I’m only kidding. But you actually have done a very balanced job of reporting the news, and some of the other stations are just caught up with Senator Obama, who is a great guy, but Senator Obama can do no wrong, and Senator Clinton can do no right.”
So, if I read this correctly, Fox News Democrat Rendell is endorsing objective reporting like the bogus Fox story that Obama was educated in a madrassa in Indonesia, because it wasn't Hillary bashing. Even one of Fox's star reporters blasted Fox's lack of "objectivity" on Obama recently. Since FNC's also been critical of Clinton lately, is Rendell calling them "objective" because they run biased stories bashing BOTH Democratic candidates?.........
let's let congress continue to investigate steroids in mlb and ignore rape in the military.
Rapists in the ranks
Sexual assaults are frequent, and frequently ignored, in the armed services
By Jane Harman
The stories are shocking in their simplicity and brutality: A female military recruit is pinned down at knifepoint and raped repeatedly in her own barracks. Her attackers hid their faces but she identified them by their uniforms; they were her fellow soldiers. During a routine gynecological exam, a female soldier is attacked and raped by her military physician. Yet another young soldier, still adapting to life in a war zone, is raped by her commanding officer. Afraid for her standing in her unit, she feels she has nowhere to turn.These are true stories, and, sadly, not isolated incidents. Women serving in the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq. The scope of the problem was brought into acute focus for me during a visit to the West Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center, where I met with female veterans and their doctors. My jaw dropped when the doctors told me that 41% of female veterans seen at the clinic say they were victims of sexual assault while in the military, and 29% report being raped during their military service. They spoke of their continued terror, feelings of helplessness and the downward spirals many of their lives have since taken.Numbers reported by the Department of Defense show a sickening pattern. In 2006, 2,947 sexual assaults were reported -- 73% more than in 2004. The DOD's newest report, released this month, indicates that 2,688 reports were made in 2007, but a recent shift from calendar-year reporting to fiscal-year reporting makes comparisons with data from previous years much more difficult. ..........
Block in Baghdad Mourns Its Own
Sudden U.S. Gunfire Claims Child, Her Grandfather and a Neighbor, Residents Say
By Sudarsan Raghavan Washington Post Foreign Service
BAGHDAD, March 31 -- Abdul Qader, his chest and leg wrapped in white bandages, began to cry -- not out of pain, but loss. He remembered seeing the American Humvees, then a hail of bullets. He remembered seeing his close friend and neighbor, Abbas Ramadan, shot as he clutched his 2-year-old granddaughter, blood oozing from her head. Abdul Qader ran and ran until he collapsed from the bullets that pierced his own body.
He's gone. He was so kind," said Abdul Qader, crumbling. "I am not crying because of my wounds. I am crying because of my friend. He was like a brother."
Abdul Qader's suffering is part of the human toll of the worst violence in months in Iraq. At least 400 people, from the southern city of Basra to the capital, Baghdad, were killed over six days, including many civilians, according to Iraqi police and other officials. Countless more were injured, joining thousands of Iraqis whose lives have been shattered by five years of conflict. ............
Monday, March 31, 2008
watch it TOMORROW (TUESDAY) on pbs frontline
FRONTLINE presents BAD VOODOO'S WAR Tuesday, April 1, 2008, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS
"Here we are. It's about 2:30 in the morning on the 2nd of October. We have been on the road for a while. ... Wasn't too excited to get this change of mission. The stretch of road between Anaconda and Speicher, known as IED Alley, it's probably one of the worst stretches of road in theater."-Sfc. Toby Nunn, during his second Iraq deployment, to his personal mini-DV camera
FRONTLINE goes to war in Iraq with a band of California-based National Guard soldiers who call themselves the "Bad Voodoo Platoon" to tell their very personal story in Bad Voodoo's War, airing Tuesday, April 1, 2008, at 9 P.M. ET (check local listings). To record their war, from private reflections to real-time footage of improvised explosive device (IED) attacks on the ground, director Deborah Scranton (The War Tapes) creates a "virtual embed," supplying cameras to the soldiers of the Bad Voodoo Platoon and working with them to shape an intimate portrait that reveals the hard grind of their war. Says Scranton: "What compels me is telling a story from the inside out, to crawl inside their world with them to see what it looks like, feels like and smells like. It's really important to give soldiers the chance to press their own record button on this war."
GIs Turn Filmmakers in Bad Voodoo's War
By Noah Shachtman
Deborah Scranton didn't have to go to war to shoot her latest documentary about Iraq. Instead, she gave hand-held, high-def cameras to soldiers in the Bad Voodoo platoon, and let them handle this "virtual embed" themselves. The result, Bad Voodoo's War, airs Tuesday night on PBS' Frontline.
Scranton first used the technique in 2006 in The War Tapes, which followed three soldiers from Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion of the 172nd Infantry Regiment during the rise of Anbar province's Sunni insurgency. Troops and critics almost universally agree it was the clearest, most honest window into the Iraq conflict ever recorded.
But Scranton, in many ways, got lucky, her first time around. She not only found three remarkably compelling and articulate lead characters in Charlie Company, but that trio was involved in some of the heaviest fighting of the war -- Anbar province in 2004. Which meant The War Tapes could draw on both human drama and house-to-house combat.
On her second virtual embed, Scranton got dealt a tougher hand. The Bad Voodoo platoon of the 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment handles security for convoys moving from Kuwait to Iraq. And running trucks in 2007 isn't nearly as action-packed as hunting insurgents in Fallujah in 2004. So Scranton had to burrow deeper into the psychological drama for Bad Voodoo's War. And she had to show that this slow-motion style of conflict can scar its combatants, too.......
Bush Gives Out Wrong Number for Home Owner Help Hotline
Posted by Amanda Terkel, Think Progress
Yesterday, President Bush visited Novadebt, a credit counseling service in New Jersey, to promote his Hope Now Alliance, which is intended to help homeowners facing foreclosure. But while there, Bush gave out the wrong toll-free number (despite a large sign with the correct number hanging behind him).
Danny Cerchiaro, a homeowner attending Bush’s speech, “whispered” the correct number “in Bush’s ear” after the speech. Bush then quickly returned to the lectern and recited the correct number:
There are hundreds of thousands of homeowners like Theresa and Danny who can benefit from calling HOPE NOW. And so one of my purposes is to make it clear there is a place where you can get counseling. And I want my fellow citizens, if you’re worried about your home, to call this number: 188-995-HOPE [sic]. Let me repeat that again: 188-995-HOPE. […]
Thank you all very much.
Danny just told me I’ve got to get the number right — 1-888-995-HOPE.........
take that sally kern - you giant steamin' pile
Out On A Limb - The Gay Agenda
Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 14:33:28 PM EDT
Let's face up to it once and for all. There is a "Gay Agenda." You know it and so do I. Shall I spell it out for you? Here is what I see as "The Gay Agenda." You may feel free to add to it or to discuss what I ought to subtract from it. But I think it is all pretty obvious.
Dagon :: Out On A Limb - The Gay Agenda
The LGBT Community in the United States of America wants:
1. We want, in a few generations, for gay, lesbian, and transsexual kids studying history to wonder why we even needed anti-discrimination laws in the old days. Of course transsexuals and homosexuals are natural and normal and accepted by society. What was the big deal?
2. We want the rights and responsibilities of marriage available to all American families, even same sex couples. We want it in every state and at the federal level. As a stepping stone we will accept civil unions or domestic partnerships that grant our families all the rights and responsibilities of marriage, but only as a stepping stone. These place our families in a second class, which is unacceptable. Of course, making the states and the federal government responsible only for civil unions or domestic partnerships and leaving "marriage" to religious bodies is another acceptable avenue of resolution.
3. We want to be allowed to work without fear of discrimination. We want a fair hiring process, a fair promotion process, and to work without fear of being fired for our sexual orientation. We want to be free from constructive discharge where employers force one to quit. We want an end to the wage disparity between heterosexuals and homosexuals where homosexuals earn an average 14% to 20% less than similarly situated heterosexuals. We want an end to the wage disparity faced by lesbians and all women in the USA where lesbians and all women earn an average of 76 cents to each dollar earned by a man. ............
perhaps instead of pouring OUR money into pakistan (and goddess only knows which south amerian countries) why not pour it into US?
With Utility Bills Up, Aid Programs Feel the Heat
By Mary OttoWashington Post Staff Writer
It's early morning in Annapolis when the line starts forming. At 9 a.m., two dozen people are huddled in the March chill.
Once a month, the Light House Shelter for the Homeless helps with electric and gas bills. These days, not only the poor, but members of the struggling middle class are clutching power company shut-off notices as they seek help. The line includes an accountant, a health-care worker in her scrubs and a real estate agent.
Shelter director Crystal Brownlee listens to each person's plea in the privacy of her tiny office. Many of the bills are hundreds of dollars in arrears. She can offer each person about $100.
"What I can give them can't touch what they really need," Brownlee said. ...............
Sunday, March 30, 2008
These creatures see dusty duty:
Obscure cousins of the Glass Flowers depict denizens of the deep
By Alvin Powell
Where its live counterparts - poisonous colonies of creatures called siphonophores - drift in a salty sea, the glass model is sailing in a sea of time, bringing ancient craftsmanship to the present.
The man-of-war is just one of about 360 glass animals housed at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology. They were created in the late 1800s by the father and son team of Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka, creators of the Harvard Botanical Museum's famous Glass Flowers. ...........
more stories like this
Sure there are small sea slugs, prickly sea cucumbers, a floating jellyfish and an octopus -- tentacles curled around his red and yellow body.
But these creatures aren't just behind glass -- they are glass.
The creatures were created more than a century ago by a father and son who made incredibly accurate models in a time before scientists had the Internet, video or even color photography to aid their research.
"It's incredible," said Chris Roberts, a graduate engineering student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as he walked through the displays. "I don't know how they could have had that control with melted glass."
The "Sea Creatures in Glass" exhibit is the first time the museum has displayed part of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology's collection of more than 400 animals made in the mid-1800s by German artists Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka. But for years, the natural history museum has shown an even larger collection of their work, the thousands of models of glass flowers Harvard commissioned.........
(bonus, the second video is the song sung dans francais - don't know by who though)
i love you toy - r i p!!!