Archive for February 18, 2011

Obama Kisses the Ass of Potential Silicone Valley Corporate Donors

This is President Obama having dinner last night in Silicon Valley with some of the people who own and run the world:

Per the White House’s official announcement, the guest were:

  • John Doerr, partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
  • Carol Bartz, president and CEO, Yahoo!
  • John Chambers, CEO and chairman, Cisco Systems
  • Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter
  • Larry Ellison, co-founder and CEO, Oracle
  • Reed Hastings, CEO, NetFlix
  • John Hennessy, president, Stanford University
  • Steve Jobs, chairman and CEO, Apple
  • Art Levinson, chairman and former CEO, Genentech
  • Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO, Google
  • Steve Westly, managing partner and founder, Westly Group
  • Mark Zuckerberg, founder, president and CEO, Facebook

The White House also released this statement, trying to mute the corportocracy-ness of the thing:

The meeting is a part of our ongoing dialogue with the business community on how we can work together to win the future, strengthen our economy, support entrepreneurship, increasing our exports, and get the American people back to work. The President and the business leaders will discuss our shared goal of promoting American innovation, and discuss his commitment to new investments in research and development, education and clean energy.”

Yeah.  Right.

I could string my last 20 posts together and paint a picture of Republicans and Democrats playing to the powers that be, despite the fact that they’re supposed to represent We the People.

Tragically, that ain’t the way this country, or the world, works anymore.

February 18, 2011 at 9:46 PM Leave a comment

Arrogant D.C.’ers: Walk on This Knee For a Lifetime

I have a 62-year-old friend who has been a letter carrier for decades.

He underwent surgery yesterday to replace one of his knees.

(Image via.)

I suggested he send his old knee — blood, cartilage and all — to Washington — to the people who want to extend the retirement age to 70-something.

Maybe they can use it — after they’ve walked 100,000 miles on the job.

February 18, 2011 at 9:14 PM Leave a comment

Scott Walker – Owned by the Koch Brothers

This is the most popular hit on Facebook tonight — you may have seen it — but in an effort to spread the word, check out:  Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — Funded by the Koch Brothers.

Walker’s owned by two old billionaire trust fund kids

who inherited their money from daddy and never worked a day in their life.

This is all about protecting their wealth folks and if you want to protest against union workers, they’ll be happy you did.

February 18, 2011 at 8:54 PM Leave a comment

7 Billion People on Our Planet

Take a sec and check out this interactive National Geographic map about what’s going on with our planet insofar as it’s loaded with 7 billion people.

There’s lots of suffering there, and it’s only going to get worse.

While the conflicts going on in Bahrain and Madison are hugely significant, they pale in comparison to the gigantic global issues we face over water and food shortages, climate change and over population.

I love my darling 2-1/2 year old neighbor Noah but I fear for what his life will be like when he’s 30, 40 or 50 years old.

Here’s a screenshot from the first page.

Eight years after I was born, the world population was 3 billion:

 

February 18, 2011 at 8:26 PM Leave a comment

Make the Supreme Court Answer to Ethics Laws

Why isn’t the Supreme Court subject to ethics laws? How did “they” rig the system so they weren’t?  The common thought, apparently, was that Supreme Court justices were so honorable, pure and good they could be trusted.

Wish it were so:

The Code of Conduct for United States Judges provides that in almost all circumstances, “a judge should not personally participate in fund-raising activities.” Yet, because the Justices of the Supreme Court have exempted themselves from this Code, conservative Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito have all participated in high-dollar fundraisers for right-wing political causes. In response to this unethical — but technically legal — conduct by these three justices, Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT) is pushing a bill that would end the Supreme Court’s immunity to federal ethics laws:

After learning about outrageous actions by Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, Congressman Chris Murphy (CT-5) is working on legislation to end conflicts of interest at the nation’s highest court.  In the midst of the Citizens United case, Thomas and Scalia were hosted by the infamous Koch brothers, who funded many of the attacks ads this fall, at lavish retreats intended to discuss their radical agenda and plot political strategy on issues like the Citizens United case. . . .

Murphy’s bill will:

  • apply the Judicial Conference’s Code of Conduct, which applies to all other federal judges, to Supreme Court justices.  This would allow the public to access more timely and detailed information when an outside group wants to have a justice participate in a conference, such as the funders of the conference;
  • require the justices to simply publicly disclose their reasoning behind a recusal when they withdraw from a case;
  • require the Court to develop a process for parties to a case before the Court to request a decision from the Court, or a panel of the Court, regarding the potential conflict of interest of a particular Justice.

Murphy’s bill would make Scalia, Thomas and Alito’s fundraising activities unambiguously illegal. Yet, while ending the justices’ ethics immunity would be an important step towards restoring the wall between the Supreme Court and partisan politics, there is some reason to fear that the three conservatives would simply flout the law.

[...]

…Justice Alito has simply dismissed his own profligate right-wing fundraising as “not important.”

The partisan actions of these wingnut justices have destroyed the notion that the Supreme Court is impartial which is absolutely essential.  We all must trust we can go before the Court and receive a fair hearing.

Please support Rep. Murphy’s bill.

February 18, 2011 at 7:45 PM Leave a comment

Peaceful Protesters in Bahrain Shot in Cold Blood

(Via.)

The United States gave Bahrain $19 million for weaponry in 2010.  Bahrain wants $19.45 million this year.

We probably paid for that tank and those bullets.  You know, to “spread democracy around the world.”

February 18, 2011 at 6:44 PM Leave a comment

My Favorite Wisconsin Protest Sign

(Via.)

February 18, 2011 at 5:53 PM Leave a comment

The Crazy Wingnut Message About Unions

Tweet of the day:

 

 

February 18, 2011 at 5:18 PM Leave a comment

Breitbart and the Tea Partiers Heading to Madison Tomorrow

Oh gawd.  Pray things don’t turn violent:

After several days of union protests in Madison, Wisconsin, opposing Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to end collective bargaining rights for many state employees, tea party activists are mobilizing their own foot soldiers to converge on Madison on Saturday, February 19. Tea partiers are arranging for buses to the state Capitol, with the help of a local talk radio host. They’re promising a massive counter-demonstration to all those angry teachers. And this effort is being spearheaded by the conservative group American Majority, which has been training activists to become candidates at the state level.

American Majority has set up an “I Stand with Scott Walker Rally” Facebook page to spread the word, and by 1 o’clock Friday, 1100 people had replied and said they were planning to descend on Madison. And if they and others do flock to the state capital, Madison could well become a media circus. Conservative provocateur Andrew Breitbart will be headlining the tea party rally, along with Gateway Pundit blogger Jim Hoft, who recently scoffed at the Egyptian pro-democracy uprising. (Hoft also blamed CBS News reporter Lara Logan’s “liberal belief system” for her sexual assault in Egypt.) Recently added: potential GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain. And there may also be a cameo appearance by Joe “The Plumber” Wurtzelbacher, who tweeted Friday morning that he was headed to Madison to “do some interviews.”

More.

The protesters who are there now must not let this crowd goad them into violence because that is exactly what the right wing wants.  They want to be able to say the pro-union people are irrational and violent so they can then brush them and their concerns aside while simultaneously painting them as scary people.

Not only that, but this could be a winger wet dream:  Americans fighting Americans — so we’re distracted from what’s really going on which is corpoartions and the rich are taking over and they’re screwing us all.

February 18, 2011 at 4:44 PM Leave a comment

Must Watch Video of a Democratic Representative Shredding GOPer

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) dressing down a Republican last night on the House floor who trivialized her abortion procedure and ripping him to shreds for not concentrating on creating jobs.  It.  Is.  Beautiful.  We need more speeches like this from Democrats.

February 18, 2011 at 11:01 AM Leave a comment

Potential Massacre in Bahrain

Bahrain:

BREAKING: Twitter is blowing up right now with reports that Bahrain authorities are firing into a crowd of thousands that is assembled for the funeral of those killed in yesterday’s crackdown.

This could be a massacre underway.

UPDATE:  This is really happening, folks.  From Twitter user Muiz:“Hospitals not reporting wounds to body or arms, almost all are to the chest & head – live ammo from the ground & air”

From Al Jazeera English’s Evan C. Hill: “Our correspondent in #Bahrain reports live ammo, not birdshot, not rubber bullets, being used on protesters. #feb17.

Original post: My list of top Bahrain Twitter users reacted with horror to yesterday’s police raid on Pearl Square.  Hundreds of protesters were peacefully assembled there, when in the middle of the night and without warning, police shot up the place.  Five people were killed. Scores injured.  Nicholas Kristof reports that doctors were beaten who tried to help the injured.

More…

Nicholas Kristoff is on the scene.  Follow his tweets at the link above.

February 18, 2011 at 10:34 AM Leave a comment

Hibernating Bears Studied in Unprecedented Detail

Cool study:

The bears occasionally rose to "fluff" their bedding material

 

Five bears have been the subject of the most detailed hibernation study ever undertaken in animals of their size.

Researchers reporting at the AAAS meeting in Washington say the bears’ metabolism drops to just 25% of its normal level – much more than their drop in body temperature would suggest.

The bears remain in a state of reduced metabolism even weeks after awakening.

The research may in time inspire new techniques that could prove useful in emergency medicine.

Hibernation is widely held to be a means for animals to reduce their energy use during the coldest seasons.

The body temperatures of small mammals drop to near-freezing levels, with metabolism dropping in some cases to just 2% of normal rates.

But such small creatures also rise from their slumber briefly and repeatedly during the hibernation season, at a substantial energy cost.

Biologists have found that the reduction of temperature and metabolism in these creatures follows a neat relationship – metabolism dropping by half for each 10C drop in temperature.

More here.

February 18, 2011 at 10:26 AM Leave a comment


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