Archive for January 5, 2011
The righties are freaking out because Ed Schultz called the GOP “bastards” today and it took him — gasp — all of “a few minutes” to apologize.
Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly and Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh and Neil Boortz (to name but a few) have said far worse (do the Google thing) and they’ve never apologized.
So, yo, righties, you’ve got it pretty freakin’ good if it only took Ed “a few minutes.”
Who knew: Grover Norquist, a darling of the conservative movement, is married to a woman who “is [a] born Muslim” and who is the former director of the Islamic Free Market Institute which “is an Islamic outreach group.“
Wow. Now that’s interesting.
This info came to me today while I was surfing, probably because the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) — that wild and crazy group whose annual conference is always a whole lotta fun — is going ever more insane and turning against one of the (to date) insanest amongst them — Norquist.
I’m posting this because my God, it’s another example of the shameless hypocrisy of the right.
I got my hair cut yesterday and as I was leaving my hairdresser gave me a trial size bottle of “Hempz” Herbal Moisturizer. One of the herbs in it is Cannabis Sativa seed oil.
Only in Boulder.
(I like it. It soaks right in, it isn’t greasy and I love the scent. Very clean.)
Here is a horrible report about what it’s like to be a pig at a Virginia factory farm that produces Smithfield hams:
- Female breeding pigs were crammed inside “gestation crates” so small the animals could barely move for virtually their entire lives. The animals engaged in stereotypic behaviors such as biting the bars of crates, indicating poor well-being in the extreme confinement conditions. Some had bitten their bars so incessantly that blood from their mouths coated the fronts of their crates. The breeding pigs also suffered injuries from sharp crate protrusions and open pressure sores that developed from their unyielding confinement.
- The investigator never saw a veterinarian at the operation. A barn manager told the investigator to ignore a pig with a basketball-sized abscess on her neck, and then cut the abscess open with an unsterilized razor.
- Employees jabbed a lame pig’s neck and back with gate rods to force her to move.
- Three times, the investigator informed employees that a pig was thrown into a dumpster alive. The animal had been shot in the forehead with a captive bolt gun, which is designed to render an animal unconscious, and was thrown in the dumpster still alive and breathing.
- Employees mishandled piglets and tossed them into carts.
- Some piglets prematurely born in gestation crates fell through the slats into the manure pits..
Watch the video (at the link above — bottom of the page) if you can stand it. I couldn’t
Oh, and Paula Deen is a (or the) spokeswoman for Smithfield. Boycott her.
Oh my God. It has literally been a matter of hours since the new Republican/Tea Party gang landed in Washington and here they are — dropping their campaign pledges faster than they can unpack their bags. This morning they announced that their promise to cut $100 billion from the budget wasn’t workable and now we hear that Tea Party candidate, Utah Senator Mike Lee said last night on CNN that he understands “the logic” of a health insurance mandate (but he wants to leave the issue up to the states).
Meanwhile, this was Lee during the campaign:
“Every possible means must be applied within Congress as well as through the application of the Constitution and the law to stop full implementation of this legislation,” his campaign website said, adding, “Health care reform must never give the government the authority to force Americans to buy health insurance.”
Time to get out the popcorn, settle in, and watch the show.
40,000 crabs washed ashore in England today and 100 tons (tons!) of fish washed ashore in Brazil last Thursday. (More here.)
This is getting kind of scary.
Lots of shooting going on today:
When John Kasich is sworn in as Ohio’s 69th governor on Jan. 10, he will be surrounded by family and friends, his running mate Mary Taylor, and other public officials.
But the governor-elect will not allow a reporter or news photographer to document the moment in state history. He is also limiting reporters’ access to inaugural events billed as public events, citing security issues and the need to accommodate many “stakeholder” groups.
Since being elected, Kasich has voiced his frustrations with media requests for information about his Cabinet members and with Ohio’s transparency laws.
At a news conference naming Ohio Inspector General Tom Charles to Director of Public Safety, Kasich complained about questions about whether Charles’ appointment poses a possible conflict of interest since his wife and son work for the State Highway Patrol.
Kasich will allow just a single reporter to cover the swearing-in of his Cabinet and the signing of executive orders Monday afternoon. The event takes place in the relatively small State Room at the Capitol, which makes it difficult to fit a large gaggle of reporters. But limiting the press pool to such events also insulates officials from a volley of questions.
Wow, love that transparency, huh?
When someone starts restricting the press, they’ve got something to hide. Period.
UPDATE: Florida’s new GOP Governor Rick Scott is playing the same game:
Tuesday’s inauguration of Florida Gov. Rick Scott was a gift that kept on giving. Notable for its lack of austerity at a time where other newly-minted lawmakers are avoiding showy displays of pomp in deference to their constituents’ overall lack of economic health, the Scott inaugural “rivaled that of a presidential event, with the press having to cope with limited access,” according to Steve Bousquet, reporting for the Miami Herald.
Well, well, well, imagine that: Almost to the second that Republicans are sworn, they stop telling the lie about how they are going to cut $100 billion from the budget:
Many people knowledgeable about the federal budget said House Republicans could not keep their campaign promise to cut $100 billion from domestic spending in a single year. Now it appears that Republicans agree.
As they prepare to take power on Wednesday, Republican leaders are scaling back that number by as much as half, aides say, because the current fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, will be nearly half over before spending cuts could become law.
Ah, duh. They didn’t know that months ago while they were lying to voters?
So, Dick Cheney might need a new heart.
Oh, the irony.
Oh, the Karma.
Now, however, family members and friends paint a portrait of a man less focused on the day-to-day back-and-forth in Washington and one more interested in documenting his years of service in a memoir and navigating life with his new pump.
Mr. Cheney’s heart will never beat at full strength again, doctors say. His new mechanical pump, a partial artificial heart known as a ventricular assist device, leaves patients without a pulse because it pushes blood continuously instead of mimicking the heart’s own beat. Most pulse-less patients feel nothing unusual, but the devices do pose significant risks of infection. They are implanted as a last resort either for permanent use or as a bridge to transplant until a donor heart can be found. Mr. Cheney, who has participated in some of the nation’s toughest decisions for decades, now faces a crucial one of his own: whether to seek a full heart transplant.
It is a decision he will most likely be forced to make within months. He is old enough that soon he will no longer qualify for a transplant, doctors say. And while it is possible for some patients with Mr. Cheney’s device to live for years, the long-term prospects remain unknown.
This is the 4th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
This ruling came down on Monday:
The California Supreme Court ruled Monday that police can search the cell phone of a person who’s been arrested — including text messages — without obtaining a warrant, and use that data as evidence.
The ruling opens up disturbing possibilities, such as broad, warrantless searches of e-mails, documents and contacts on smart phones, tablet computers, and perhaps even laptop computers, according to legal expert Mark Rasch.
Guess I missed something along the way. I could have sworn the 4th Amendment was one of our most cherished.
This is The Big News this morning:
The Obama administration will remove a brand-new Medicare policy that had reignited the “death panel” debate from last year’s healthcare fight.
The provision to be eliminated would have covered end-of-life consultations as part of annual wellness examinations created by the new healthcare reform law, according to a report.
More on what a crock it is to call end-of-life care discussions, “death panels,” here.
It is infuriating and just plain sad that the Obama administration has caved on this. End of life care discussions are so beneficial to patients, their families and their doctors. Both of my parents had end of life care discussions in advance of getting sick with the illnesses that ended up killing them and my brother and I and their doctors knew in advance what their wishes were. And my parents knew we knew so they were confident we would carry out their wishes, which we did.
End of life care discussions bring peace to a family because the oh-so-difficult discussion — about death — is had before the family is in crisis and in the midst of dealing with a life-threatening illness.
It is both infuriating and deeply sad that the Obama administration reversed itself on this; that it didn’t take the time to explain the provision to the American people because it is such a good thing. It is the right thing to do to pay doctors to have these discussions with their patients.
I wish they’d fought and done the right thing, not the politically expedient thing.