Archive for September 27, 2010

“I Like Talking About People Who Don’t Have Any Power”

That would be my favorite recent quote.

–  Stephen Colbert last Friday

September 27, 2010 at 9:59 PM Leave a comment

Tweet of the Evening

September 27, 2010 at 9:37 PM 1 comment

Joe Biden: “Buck Up”

Joe Biden told us to “buck up” tonight on Lawrence O’Donnell’s new MSNBC show, the “Last Word.” (I’ll post a link ASAP.)

(O’Donnell smiled and nodded and seemed to agree with Biden.  God.  The guy — O’Donnell — is SO in the loop — and I don’t mean that in a good way.)

Kind of reminds me of the billionaire vice-chairman of Berkshire-Hathaway telling us to “suck it in and cope”  last week.

September 27, 2010 at 9:31 PM 1 comment

Obama Dismisses His Base Base

When the patient, wise and politically savvy Peter Daou writes a post titled: Liberal Bloggers Are Bringing Down the Obama Presidency, you know it’s time for Obama to stop whining and to listen.

This is serious stuff.

Barack.  Joe.  Pull your head out of it.

September 27, 2010 at 9:02 PM 1 comment

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell Thinks Fox News is So Nice

Lawrence O’Donnell’s new show debuted on MSNBC tonight.  Why MSNBC hired him, I don’t know.  The guy seems to be an accidental “political commentator” who slid along in life, getting a lot of breaks, for who knows why.

I have no idea what they see in him.

One of the first things he did on his debut day was to praise Fox News’ Greta VanSusteren:

(The top tweet reads:  “Beautiful bottle of wine arrived from the Queen of 10pm.  Thanks @Gretawire.  Since I don’t drink, the staff will be opening at 11pm.”)

Hey, Larry.  Has it occurred to you that the “Queen of 10pm” might have ulterior motives in sending you that bottle of wine?

Bad start corporate media guy.

They should have hired Cenk UygurRatings soared when he subbed for Dylan Ratigan.

September 27, 2010 at 7:58 PM 1 comment

Newsmax v. MoveOn.Org

Whether a comparison between Newsmax and MoveOn is fair or not, I think it’s interesting to note — “enthusiasm gap-wise” — that I’ve received five emails from Newsmax today — today alone — while I haven’t received a single email from MoveOn since September 22.

September 27, 2010 at 6:01 PM Leave a comment

The Obama Administration’s Election Strategy: Yell at the Base

Do they really — REALLY? — think that yelling at, and trying to humiliate the base is the way to go?

At a fundraiser in Manchester, NH, today, Vice President Biden urged Democrats to “remind our base constituency to stop whining and get out there and look at the alternatives. This President has done an incredible job. He’s kept his promises.”

No.  He.  Hasn’t.  Joe. Oh, and there’s this and this too (and that’s in just the last ten days).

These guys are so out of touch it’s scary.  They need therapy.

I mean, Republicans actually do stuff their base wants them to do.  Democrats?  They do what Republicans let them do and then they expect their base to think they’re awesome.

September 27, 2010 at 5:13 PM Leave a comment

U.S. Plans $4 Billion Weapons Sale to Iraq — Yes, Iraq

Insofar as Iraq is still a mess and it doesn’t have a stable government yet for God’s sake, my jaw dropped when I saw this:  US Plans $4bn in Weapons Sales to Iraq.

The Obama administration has unveiled plans for more than $4bn in weapons sales to Iraq, including 18 F-16 aircraft, as part of a push for the Middle Eastern state to take full charge of its own security.

The authorisation has to be coordinated with Congress but is unlikely to be seriously opposed

In a formal notification the administration said the $4.2bn sale, which in addition to the F16s includes Sidewinder missiles, laser-guided bombs and advanced airborne reconnaissance equipment, would make Iraq “a more valuable partner in an important area of the world as well as supporting Iraq’s legitimate needs for its own self-defence.”

The Pentagon published the announcement on Monday, but had already formally notified Congress on September 15.

This is just crazy.  It doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination to picture those aircraft being used against us one day.

September 27, 2010 at 4:08 PM Leave a comment

Los Angeles Breaks Heat Record — 113º There This Afternoon

Wow.  Probably pretty hard to find a climate change skeptic in L.A. today:

Los Angeles, California,  has broken the all-time record high temperature of  112F with a temperature of 113F at 12:15pm PDT.  Their temperature could rise more through the afternoon.

Today is the hottest day in L.A.’s history.

September 27, 2010 at 3:52 PM Leave a comment

Democrat Makes Ad Touting His Bush Voting Record

Earl Palmeroy is a Democrat running for Congress in North Dakota.

Who’d have thought that less than two years after the despised George W. Bush slithered out of Washington, someone would crow about siding with him and that that person would be a Democrat!

What’s up is down.  What’s down is up.

September 27, 2010 at 3:29 PM 1 comment

Obama’s Monsanto-Owned USDA Violates the Law, Allows GMO Beets

This is enough to turn your face beet red:

In August, a coalition of environmental groups and organic seed growers won an important court decision when a federal judge determined that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) had wrongly allowed commercial sugar beet growers to seed their fields with seeds genetically modified to survive applications of Roundup, an herbicide produced by Monsanto. The judge soundly rebuked the USDA for failing to undertake environmental studies required by law.

Less than a month later, the Center for Food Safety, Organic Seed Alliance, High Mowing Organic Seeds, and the Sierra Club find themselves back in court. In an attempt to make an end-run around the ruling, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who, like many Obama appointees, has a long track record of being friendly with Monsanto, announced that the USDA would issue permits for GMO sugar beets to be planted—provided farmers not allow them to flower and produce seed.

The judge had found that the GE sugar beets, which can cross-pollinate table beets and Swiss chard, may contaminate organic and conventional crops and threaten those farmers’ livelihoods.

Explaining that the USDA wanted to create an environment where all types of farmers could grow all types of crops, Vilsack said, “The steps we have outlined today not only respond to the concerns of producers while complying with the court’s ruling, but also further USDA’s continuing efforts to enable coexistence among conventional, organic, and biotechnology production systems.”

“USDA has become a rogue agency in its regulation of biotech crops. Despite numerous court opinions, congressional mandates and federal investigations, it continues to act illegally,” said Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety, in a release. “The agency and Secretary Vilsack seem to see their mission as defending Monsanto’s bottom line rather than protecting farmers and consumers.”

Paul Achitoff an attorney for the plaintiffs , added, “USDA’s persistent refusal to comply with environmental laws in the face of one court decision after another is remarkable.  This is yet another instance of USDA serving Monsanto’s interests at the expense of the public interest, without regard to the rule of law.”

Unfortunately, as was shown time and time again during the Bush years, if you have the President on your side, you can ignore the rule of law.

And what’s the winger rallying cry?  Obama’s “unfriendly to business?”  I wish.

September 27, 2010 at 2:57 PM Leave a comment

Obama’s Debt Commission: Give to the Rich, Take From the Poor

I’m getting madder and madder:

Republicans on President Obama’s fiscal commission, which is tasked with coming up with ways to reduce the deficit, have privately argued in official meetings that the panel should recommend further corporate and capital gains tax cuts as part of its mandate.

Thus far, the working group meetings have focused on discretionary and mandatory spending — and reports suggest two things very clearly: Republicans and some Democrats on the committee are willing to recommend benefit cuts to popular programs, including  Social Security and, possibly, Medicare.

Obama, August, 2008:

Sen. Barack Obama’s, D-Ill., top economic advisors announced on Thursday that he is seeking to raise the capital gains tax rate from 15 percent to 20 percent for those Americans making more than $250,000 per year.

Obama today:

You can’t sit it [the election] out,” said Obama. “You can’t suddenly just check in once every ten years or so on an exciting presidential election and then not pay attention during big midterm elections where we have a real big choice between Democrats and Republicans…. That is a big choice. That has big consequences. So even though this may not be as exciting as a presidential election it is going to make a huge difference in terms of whether we are going to be able to move our agenda forward over the next couple years.”

Hey, I wish I was the kind of person who only checked in “once every ten years or so.”  If I were, I would probably still be pretty darn excited about Obama.  Problem is, I’ve been paying attention and that’s why I’m not.

September 27, 2010 at 2:46 PM Leave a comment

Tweet of the Day

Heads up:

September 27, 2010 at 2:30 PM 1 comment

Alan Grayson Demolishes Daniel Webster — American Taliban

Jesus, Alan Grayson’s opponent down in Florida is a nut, disguising himself as a “true patriot” as is so often the case with that crowd.  The guy wants to impose his radical Christian values on the rest of us which, as we know, is what the Taliban does with its extreme version of Islam.  But hooray for Grayson.  As usual, he doesn’t pull any punches.  Here’s his new campaign ad:

I don’t agree with Grayson on everything but I love him because he’s a fighter and he doesn’t back down (I’m lookin’ at you Obama).

Democrats should put together a national version of this and air it everywhere.

September 27, 2010 at 1:10 PM Leave a comment

Bad News For the Planet

Republicans should be ashamed and the rest of us should be furious:  19 out of 20 GOP senate nominees think climate change is inconclusive or just plain BS.

Unless Democrats can recover lost ground, it appears likely that the 2010 elections will produce the biggest crop of freshman Republican senators since the 11 who arrived in 1994, and possibly even the 16 who were part of Ronald Reagan’s landslide in 1980. Across a wide range of issues, the potential GOP Senate class of 2010 leans right even when compared with those earlier groups — some contenders hold positions on the far frontier of modern American politics. Next year could bring to Washington the most consistently, and even militantly, conservative class of new senators in at least the past half-century.

[...]

Nineteen of the 20 Republican Senate nominees who have expressed an opinion on the widespread scientific consensus that greenhouse gases are altering the world’s climate have declared the science either inconclusive or dead wrong, often in vitriolic terms. (Kirk is the only exception.) Ron Johnson, a business owner who won his party’s nomination in Wisconsin, says that accumulating carbon dioxide emissions are a less likely cause of any climate change than “sunspot activity or something just in the geologic eons of time where we have changes in the climate.”

All 18 GOP candidates who have taken a position support expanded drilling for oil and gas on public lands. All 19 who have taken a position want to expand construction of nuclear power plants.

These candidates don’t doubt climate change because they have spent time talking to scientists and studying the issue.  They say they doubt it because that’s one of the requirements of being a Republican these days.

What a way to run a government.

September 27, 2010 at 1:00 PM Leave a comment

Mind-Bending

Thinking about things that have to do with space and time — you know, “simple” stuff like such-and-such a planet is 23,000 light years away — makes my brain want to explode.   Simultaneously, I find it interesting and a new theory about our universe makes thinking about light years seem easy:

Radical New Theory:  Our Universe May be the Interior of a Black Hole Existing in Another Universe.

“Our own Universe may be the interior of a black hole existing in another universe.” In a remarkable paper about the nature of space and the origin of time, Nikodem Poplawski, a physicist at Indiana University, suggests that a small change to the theory of gravity implies that our universe inherited its arrow of time from the black hole in which it was born.

Poplawski says that the idea that black holes are the cosmic mothers of new universes is a natural consequence of a simple new assumption about the nature of spacetime. Poplawski points out that the standard derivation of general relativity takes no account of the intrinsic momentum of spin half particles. However there is another version of the theory, called the Einstein-Cartan-Kibble-Sciama theory of gravity, which does.

Wow.  That gives us something to think about during our morning commute.

September 27, 2010 at 11:37 AM Leave a comment

Good Morning

It’s a good morning because I woke up to an email a friend sent me that included the pictures below.

This is the Buffalo Bill Dam on the Shoshoni River at Cody, Wyoming.  Those bump-like things are bighorn sheep walking across the face of it.

Amazing.

(H/t NA.)

September 27, 2010 at 8:00 AM 3 comments


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