Archive for December 21, 2010
Must watch TV:
Cliff Schecter, the author of the book, The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don’t Trust Him — and Why Independents Shouldn’t was on The Last Word with Lawrence McDonnell yesterday. Schecter said John McCain’s freak out over repealing DADT was akin to, “doing performance art for what an aneurism looks like.”
No kidding (love that description). Here’s the video.
When you hear the term “a power grab,” think: We the People won.
Case in point (the corporatist point of view): the Environmental Protection Agency’s Power Grab:
The federal goverment is ushering in 2011 with new powers that will jack up energy costs for consumers. In the name of fighting unproven climate-change theories, bureaucrats are pushing through tough new business restrictions on emissions from energy plants that light and heat homes across the country. As a result, Americans in the near future may be forced to pay a hidden tax in their electric bills or, worse, find themselves in the dark and cold.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s new rules, which take effect Jan. 2, will impose limits on carbon dioxide. The EPA’s primary targets are coal-plant operators, who will be forced to choose between retrofitting their facilities with expensive emissions-control equipment and cooling towers or shutting them down.
Let me re-write this article:
Come January 2, 2011 the federal government will usher in new energy-saving policies. While the U.S. lags far behind the rest of the world, new restrictions on emissions from energy plants will go into effect. Energy companies will try to pass the cost of the improvements on to American people but, hopefully, with future legislation, the EPA will force corporations to reduce their addiction to huge profit margins as a way to mitigate the impact.
Limits on coal-plant operators will reduce pollution, reduce the asthma rates among children, and improve the overall health of Americans, now, and in the future.
While energy companies whine about the expense of retrofitting their facilities, again, they may have to get used to less than a bazillion percent profit, which they earn on the back of already struggling Americans. The EPA aims to protect citizens, not corporations.
Just saw Chris Hayes — filling in for Keith Olbermann on Countdown — refer to Democrats as “the Dems.”
I am so sick of Democrats meekly adopting demeaning labels the GOP assigns it. Think: the “Democrat party.” It’s the Democratic party folks.
I’ll suffer the use of the term “the Dems,” as soon as it’s commonplace to refer to Republicans as “the Repubs.”
I live in Boulder, Colorado, a college town where pizza delivery drivers are a dime a dozen. (For that matter, all low-wage help is a dime a dozen because the students are desperate for work.) That said, I was pretty surprised just now to open the door to a pizza delivery driver who was at least 45-years-old.
Mr. SayItAin’tSoAlready and I have lived here for 30+ years and we have never had anyone that age deliver food to our door.
Wow, if this is true, I’ll be there: “4:45 Dylan Ratigan of MSNBC will interview Assange tomorrow, so they say.”
What a “get.”
UPDATE: Looks like this is going to happen.
The tweet of the day from Katrina vandenHeuvel:
But trying to make Obama a one term president is more important than sending that message.
(Too bad schools don’t hold drills anymore where kids have to dive under their desks to (supposedly) protect themselves from a nuclear attack. People might be a little more outraged that the GOP is holding this treaty up if they did. When you’re nine years old, those drills are terrifying. Not only that, I remember when kids were told not to eat the snow because of above-ground nuclear bomb tests. So hell yes, let’s bring those good old days back. The GOP wants to take us back to the ’50’s. Well, that was the ’50’s.)
Poor Lindsey Graham (R-SC). He’s ticked:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) lashed out at fellow Republicans Tuesday for a “capitulation … of dramatic proportions” to Democrats and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in the lame-duck Congress.
Graham said Republicans have no one to blame but themselves for allowing ratification of the New START Treaty and other legislation in the period before new lawmakers are sworn in in January.
“When it’s all going to be said and done, Harry Reid has eaten our lunch,” Graham said on Fox News radio. “This has been a capitulation in two weeks of dramatic proportions of policies that wouldn’t have passed in the new Congress.”
Republican senators have broken with the party’s leaders on several key votes in order to advance some of President Obama’s top policies during the lame-duck. GOP members defected to pass a repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and have done likewise to secure likely ratification for the START Treaty. Some Republicans might allow a health bill for 9/11 first responders to move forward, while three Republicans voted to end debate on the DREAM Act, an ultimately unsuccessful immigration bill.
Shorter: Hey, it’s okay if we Republicans say we want to cooperate and compromise but we shouldn’t actually do it!
Greg Mitchell, who has been obsessively blogging all things WikiLeaks for about two weeks, noted today:
Hypocrisy Alert: Sarah Palin in new op-ed for USA Today hits Iran by citing cables leaked by man she has attacked strongly — Julian Assange. Goes on and on about it in key opening paragraph. Two weeks ago she wrote on Facebook that he should be hunted down like Osame bin Laden, adding: “He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands.” Today: Hey, Julian, baby, thanks for the cables on Iran!
(Here’s a link to that Facebook post.)
Ah yes. So Sarah-like.
For proof we’re living in bizarre times look no further than Democrats citing a comedian in order to shame their own president into helping 9/11 first responders (makes my head spin):
In a surprisingly aggressive statement, a key New York lawmaker is demanding that President Obama take a more aggressive public and private role in prodding Congress to pass the 9/11 health bill, insisting that he “speak up and get personally involved” in getting it done.
Dem Rep. Carolyn Maloney, in a statement sent my way, seized on the emergence of Jon Stewart as the chief voice urging passage of the bill to argue that the President himself should match the energy and involvement displayed by a mere comedian. Apparently this is a widespread sentiment: Sources tell me that a number of Congressional Dems involved in pushing the bill also want Obama to play a more active role.
In the end, this is a sad commentary about a log of things, not least of which is the state of D.C. Democrats.
Look at this enchanting photograph:
(Photo: Carsten Peter, National Geographic.)
More cave photos here.
Bloggers, beware. If you happen to be contacted by “Demand Media” (which just acquired BlogBurst Network) with a too-good-to-be-true offer to spread your posts all over the internets and increase your “traffic and engagement,” do not sign up.
While the large print giveth, the small print taketh away:
In case that wasn’t clear, let me restate it: If you agree to syndicate your blog through Demand, then Demand becomes the “sole author” of your posts and “the owner of all rights whether now known or hereafter devised” in your posts. You are turning over ownership of your blog to Demand.
Seems to me officials in the Catholic church aren’t quite sure what they believe:
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix stripped a major hospital of its affiliation with the church Tuesday because of a surgery that ended a woman’s pregnancy to save her life.
Bishop Thomas Olmsted called the 2009 procedure an abortion and said St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center — recognized internationally for its neurology and neurosurgery practices — violated ethical and religious directives of the national Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“In the decision to abort, the equal dignity of mother and her baby were not both upheld,” Olmsted said at a news conference announcing the decision. “The mother had a disease that needed to be treated. But instead of treating the disease, St. Joseph’s medical staff and ethics committee decided that the healthy, 11-week-old baby should be directly killed.”
In a statement, St. Joseph’s President Linda Hunt said the hospital will comply with Olmsted’s decision, but she defended its actions.
“If we are presented with a situation in which a pregnancy threatens a woman’s life, our first priority is to save both patients. If that is not possible, we will always save the life we can save, and that is what we did in this case,” Hunt said. “Morally, ethically, and legally, we simply cannot stand by and let someone die whose life we might be able to save.”
So, would the Diocese have preferred that the hospital save the baby and let the mom die? Either way a life is lost. Or maybe the hospital should have done nothing and they both would have died? This is a horrible situation. What were the doctors to do? I’d love to know the Diocese’s answer.
the FCC — led by Obama appointee Julius Genachowski — sold out Net Neutrality and the future of free speech online.
There is so much deviousness in the new fashion of bashing public employees as high-paid pariah who are draining local, state and federal coffers. Among the most obvious:
– It detracts from the issue of how much money we are spending on defense, including two wars and 700+ military bases worldwide;
– It distracts us from thinking about what the crooks on Wall Street did to the economy;
– It denigrates people who are making a decent wage (and who have fairly good benefits) as spoiled brats and implies that their standard of living should be lowered, instead of arguing the opposite, that wages and benefits of non-government workers should be raised; and
– Government employees are, for the most part, unionized and conservatives want to destroy all unions.
But leaving aside what’s behind it all, has anyone caught the irony of this charade? That the people doing the bashing are themselves public employees?
More and more, when politicians talk about government employees – whether they are federal, state or local – it is with the kind of umbrage ordinarily aimed at Wall Street financiers and convenience store bandits.
“We can no longer live in a society where the public employees are the haves and the taxpayers who foot the bill are the have-nots,” Wisconsin’s incoming Republican Gov. Scott Walker declared this month, as he raised the idea of stripping state workers there of collective bargaining rights.
Media Matters has put together a chronology of the “misinformation” (too polite a word in my opinion) disseminated by Faux News this year. Taken month-by-month, it’s a reminder of just how crazy this year has been. For example, remember when Brit Hume urged Tiger Woods to “ditch Buddhism” so he could “make a total recovery” from his alleged sexual addiction? Or the rumor about how the Obama administration was going to give part of Arizona back to Mexico?