Archive for March, 2011
Radiation has been found in milk in the United States:
Low levels of iodine-131 have been detected in radioactive milk samples from Spokane, Wash., and at a dairy in San Luis Obispo County, Calif. But the amounts are so low that they pose no health risk, report the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] and the US Food and Drug Administration.
Minuscule? The EPA can’t be trusted. The 9/11 rescuers know that: 9/11 Toxic Dust: Official Who Knowingly Lied Refuses to Testify:
In August 2003 it was revealed that the Government ordered the EPA to give the public misleading information , telling New Yorkers on September 12 it was safe to breathe when reliable information on air quality was not available and Asbestos levels were known to be three times higher than national standards.
Further documents were obtained by CBS news last September, revealing that Lower Manhattan was reopened a few weeks following the attack even though the air was not safe.
The two devastating memos, written by the U.S. and local governments, show they knew. They knew the toxic soup created at Ground Zero was a deadly health hazard. Yet they sent workers into the pit and people back into their homes.
“Not only did they know it was unsafe, they didn’t heed the words of more experienced people that worked for the city and E.P.A.,” said Joel Kupferman, with the group Environmental Justice Project.
An EPA wistleblower, Dr. Cate Jenkins then wrote a letter to Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and other members of the New York congressional delegation blasting the EPA for hiding dangerous toxins from Ground Zero workers in the aftermath of 9/11.
And there’s this: EPA Mislead Public on 9/11 Pollution.
Don’t. Drink. Milk.
Chances are — 10-or-so years from now — akin to 9/11 — we’ll find out that the EPA lied to us about this too.
Hey. When the corportocracy owns the government, that’s what happens.
Workers who have been fighting to bring the reactors under control at Japan’s strick [sic] nuclear plant expect to die from radiation sickness, according to the mother of one of the men.
The so-called Fukushima 50, the group of around 300 technicians, soldiers and firemen who work in shifts of 50, have been exposed repeatedly to dangerously high radioactive levels as they attempt to avert a nuclear disaster.
The mother of one of the men has admitted that the group have discussed their situation and have accepted that death is a strong possibility.
“My son and his colleagues have discussed it at length and they have committed themselves to die if necessary in the long-term.”
We owe them a debt of gratitude, to say the least.
Man-oh-man, I love this:
It’s safe to assume that the greatest line cut comeuppance in the history of civilization took place at Coulson’s News Center in Albany last Friday, when an unidentified jerk weaseled ahead of winner Mike Barth and bought a lottery ticket. Barth was reaching for a candy bar when the inconsiderate P.O.S. reached over his shoulder to cut the line and bought the next lottery ticket. “I thought about saying something but decided to just let it slide,” Barth tells the NY Post. “I bought the next ticket—the winning ticket!” The jackpot was worth $319 million, which Barth will share with six coworkers at the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal.
Quote of the day:
Exactly. This is so reminiscent of the first days and weeks of the Vietnam war.
The Tea Party is holding a rally in D.C. today. More on that here.
Poor things. Looks like they’re having a bit of an enthusiasm gap:
This is a:
I am so angry at what His Highness, King Obama is doing with regard to Libya, I’m shaking. He is unrecognizable to me in terms of the man I voted for — the man of the people, the constitutional lawyer.
Read this article: Clinton to Congress: Obama Would Ignore Your War Resolutions. It is mind-blowing what Obama’s doing.
The White House would forge ahead with military action in Libya even if Congress passed a resolution constraining the mission, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a classified briefing to House members Wednesday afternoon.
…Clinton plainly admitted the administration would ignore any and all attempts by Congress to shackle President Obama’s power as commander in chief to make military and wartime decisions. In doing so, he would follow a long line of Presidents who have ignored the act since its passage, deeming it an unconstitutional encroachment on executive power.
The War Powers Act of 1973, passed in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, puts limits on the ability of the President to send American troops into combat areas without congressional approval. Under the act, the President can only send combat troops into battle or into areas where ”imminent” hostilities are likely, for 60 days without either a declaration of war by Congress or a specific congressional mandate.
The President can extend the time the troops are in the combat area for 30 extra days, without Congressional approval, for a total of 90 days. After that, is unchartered territory. The act does not specifically say what Congress could do if the President turns a blind eye to Congress and refuses to have his role as commander-in-chief constrained, as Presidents have routinely done.
I don’t care if past presidents have “routinely” ignored Congress when it comes to the War Powers Act (congress is complicit in this whole thing too, for allowing that to happen), it has got to stop.
More of that “change we can believe in,” heh?
Did you see last night’s segment on The Ed Show featuring Ed Schultz and Jeremy Scahill? Scahill was on to talk about Libya and he emphasized the US’s hypocrisy in trying to oust Qaddafi while supporting the murderous president of Yemen. He also warned of the slippery slope we’re going down in getting involved in a Libyan civil war — warning about the potential cost in both dollars and lives — all issues that need to be discussed.
Schultz, on the other hand, took an if-our-guy-does-it-it’s-OK position and said he “trusts the president.” He trusts the president? Obama has broken several promises in just two weeks — not to mention the promise to close Guantanamo, get us out of Iraq and repeal DADT — like we’ll be there days, not weeks and there will be no “boots” on the ground. So why would Schultz “trust” him?
Not only that, Schultz seems to justify his position based on seeking revenge for PanAm 109.
Given this, I would imagine there’s some confusion amongst the Libyan people about what the United States is thinking:
My domain name is registered through GoDaddy.com, which is making me sick tonight:
In a video blog he posted on March 14, Go Daddy Founder and CEO Bob Parsons shoots and kills an elephant while he’s on vacation in Africa.
“Each year I go to Zimbabwe and hunt problem elephant,” Parsons writes. “It’s one of the most benefecial [sic] and rewarding things I do.”
Hunting Problem Elephant – My 2011 Vacation is basically a gruesome, 4-minute elephant snuff film. Parsons guns down a bull elephant and then poses beside the carcass. The next morning, dozens of villagers – all wearing Go Daddy hats – are shown butchering the fallen beast.
“Bulls do not return to fields. Crops are saved. Team leaves to find another farmer in need of help,” the end title reads.
While Parsons fancies himself a hero, the fact is there are many more humane, gun-free ways to keep elephants away from crops.
Conservationists and farmers have been working together to create harmless elephant-shooing devices, such as chili-infused string fences, beehives on poles, and people standing guard to bang bamboo sticks, ring cowbells and shine spotlights on the elephants when they approach the crops at night.
Go Daddy is a very successful web-hosting company. Tell Parsons his business acumen could be put to good use finding ways to spare the farmers’ crops that would also spare the elephants’ lives.
Here’s the video if you can stand to watch it. I.e., killing elephants is one of the “most beneficial and rewarding things I do,” per Mr. GoDaddy.
“Problem elephants” are “problems” because people are living on their land asshole.
Please pay homage to the dead elephant by looking into his glazed eyes in the pix above. He died as as result of human barbarism.
Geezus. Judge Judy
is trending at #10 — worldwide — WORLDWIDE! — on Twitter:
Apparently she was “rushed to hospital after feeling ill during taping of show.”
Filed under Dumbed Down.
Not surprising but we’re in Libya far deeper than we were led to believe less than two weeks ago:
President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, government officials told Reuters on Wednesday.
Obama signed the order, known as a presidential “finding”, within the last two or three weeks, according to four U.S. government sources familiar with the matter.
If the next step is that we supply the “rebels” with arms, well, we might as well get used to owning the place because once Qaddafi’s gone, there’s nation building to do.
What a mistake.
My God. If she weren’t such a professional victim, I’d almost be embarrassed for her:
Sarah Palin launched a lengthy attack on The Daily Caller via Facebook on Wednesday in which she slammed the conservative-leaning news organization for not featuring her quotes prominently enough.
Read the whole article. As it was, the Daily Caller gave Palin special treatment, but it wasn’t enough.
This seems so simple to me: Cut taxes without cutting services, you create a deficit. Raise taxes, and you have money to do what you need to do. Period.
The U.S. has been on a tax cutting binge for thirty years and here we are:
In his new budget proposal, Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich calls for extending a generous 21 percent cut in state income taxes. The measure was originally part of a sweeping 2005 tax overhaul that abolished the state corporate income tax and phased out a business property tax.
The tax cuts were supposed to stimulate Ohio’s economy and create jobs. But that never happened once the economy tanked. Instead, the changes ended up costing Ohio more than $2 billion a year in lost tax revenue; money that would go a long way toward closing the state’s $8 billion budget gap for fiscal year 2012.
“At least half of our current budget problem is a direct result of the tax changes we made in 2005. A lot of people don’t want to hear that, but that’s the reality. Much of our pain is self-inflicted,” said Zach Schiller, research director at Policy Matters Ohio, a liberal government-research group in Cleveland.
Schiller’s lament is by no means unique. Across the country, taxpayers jarred by cuts to government jobs and services are reassessing the risks and costs of a variety of tax reductions, exemptions and credits, and the ideology that drives them. States cut taxes in hopes of spurring economic growth, but in state after state, it hasn’t worked.
We were told that if we cut taxes on the “job creators,” they’d create jobs, but they haven’t. We’ve been waiting for decades. It didn’t work. That economic model, if you can call it that, is totally flawed.
Maybe we’re finally — finally! — coming to see that. If so, hallelujah!
Come the end of April, “the royal wedding” will be inescapable:
As Prince William and Catherine Middleton prepare to walk down the red-carpeted aisle of Westminster Abbey on April 29, all the major broadcast and cable networks are betting big with coverage — and hoping to rake in the advertising dollars that will come with large viewerships. Even niche players are fighting to make the wedding fit their programming. Take The Weather Channel — yes, The Weather Channel. It will start broadcasting from London on April 25, with additional reports on the “natural splendor of the royal couple’s new home, the North Wales island of Anglesey.” The quote, intended without humor, comes directly from a press release that was sent out earlier this week by parent NBC Universal, which details how the broadcaster’s channels plan to cover this wedding almost as extensively as the Olympics.
Remember the Gerber baby?
Voila. This is the new Gerber, the Wall Street how-can-we-rip-people-off-beginning-at-birth version: The “Gerber Life Insurance Company:
They want our itty-bitty babies to be indebted to them from birth.
Oy. Just saw an ad for my local “CBS4 Morning News” (Denver).
They want me to watch because they’ve got a new daily feature: The “word of the day!”
So, they want me to sit through an hour-long show that cycles through the same three “news” stories and the weather and traffic every ten minutes so I can learn a new word? As if there aren’t other, less painful and boring ways of learning new words?
I don’t think so.
It seems to me that one of the obvious contradictions and hypocrisies of Obama’s — and NATO’s — decision to create a no-fly zone over Libya (and possibly send in ground troops), is that it begs the question of why we aren’t doing the same in other countries whose rulers are killing their people.
Like the Ivory Coast:
Some 30,000 people are trapped in a church compound in Ivory Coast as fighting worsens in the west of the country, a missionary has told the BBC.
The priest at a Roman Catholic mission in Duekoue said people had been arriving there with gunshot wounds.
Forces loyal to UN-backed President-elect Alassane Ouattara are on the offensive on several fronts against the army loyal to President Laurent Gbagbo.
Mr Gbagbo refuses to stand down despite the UN saying he lost November’s poll.
The UN has accused pro-Gbagbo forces of shooting at civilians in the country’s largest city, Abidjan, on Monday, killing at least 10 people.
It said a group of Gbagbo supporters had burnt another man alive in the city.
Some one million people have fled the violence – mostly in Abidjan – the UN says.
I think we’ve set a terrible precedent in Libya. What stops the people in the Ivory Coast from hoping — expecting even — that we will swoop in and rescue them? They have every right to hope and think we will — given Libya – but understandably, they will be tremendously resentful if we don’t. And how do we explain it if we don’t?
The “humanitarian intervention” standard should apply to all countries.
IMHO, we’re digging ourselves a huge hole.
It’s break time folks.
Look at this collection of homemade colored eggs. Love the creativity and and all the colors!
The picture is via Epicurious which is having an egg decorating contest.
Check out this headline running right now (3:53 p.m. EDT) at the WashingtonPost.com (bottom right hand corner): “Obama speech on Libya doesn’t satisfy all critics.”
(FYI – here’s the article you go to if you click on that headline.)
Since when is it humanly possible for a president to “satisfy all critics?”
Calling all news and media junkies:
The political movement that drove a busload of freshman lawmakers into office last fall will be revving up small-government feelings again this Thursday.
The Tea Party Patriots want to encourage Congress to keep pressing the pedal down on budget cuts with a noon rally on Capitol Hill.
“Members of Congress have abandoned their service to the people by passing continuing resolutions instead of cutting the $100 billion budget,” said Tea Party Patriot representatives Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin.
Tea Party notables Michelle Backman and Mike Pence will be on hand to ratchet up support. The gathering will take place at the Robert A. Taft Memorial, northwest of the Capitol building.
Let’s pay attention to the “news” on the “liberal media” Thursday and watch for coverage of this event, bearing in mind that when 80,000 to 100,000 people gathered in Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday, March 5 there was literally no coverage on either MSNBC, CNN or Fox. No, I didn’t watch all day but I flipped around throughout the afternoon and didn’t see a thing.
If the “liberal media” lands on Thursday’s rally and gives it many minutes or even hours of coverage, especially if there are only a few hundred people there, be prepared to be pissed.
Oh geez. This guy is going to make Michele Bachmann look sane:
Roy Moore, the former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice who lost his job after erecting a monument of the Ten Commandments outside the state’s courthouse, plans to announce in mid-April that he is setting up a presidential exploratory committee, an aide told CBS News.
The aide, Zachery Michael, said Moore’s platform will be focused on repealing the health care overhaul law, replacing the progressive income tax with a flat tax and bringing “commonsense solutions” on immigration and border control.
Michael said Moore is entering the fray because “we’re just seeing the same type of politicians run for president.” He said Moore is someone “who can connect with over 300 million Americans across the country, which is something we’ve been lacking with today’s leaders across society.”
Michael said Moore should not be thought of simply as a culture warrior, arguing that he has been a strong advocate for limited government.
“He not only stood up for his faith, he stood up against the tyranny of government,” he said.
Radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant has been detected in Glasgow, Scotland:
Low levels of radioactive iodine believed to be from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan have been detected in air samples in Glasgow.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said the concentration of iodine found was “extremely low” and “not of concern for the public”.
Another week or so and it will have circled the globe.
In his speech tonight about America’s third invasion/war in ten years — the one on Libya — President Obama talked about our “national interest.”
Gee. Can’t say I remember him talking about the people who are undermining our “national interest” here, at home, which, IMHO, is as urgent as what’s going on in Libya:
••• Michigan’s Republican Governor — Rick Snyder Proposed ‘financial emergency’ bill an affront to democracy.
I could go on. I hope you get the idea. Google John Kasich (Ohio), Donald Trump (R-$$$), Scott Walker (Wisconsin), Michelle Bachmann, Paul LePage (Maine), Jan Brewer (Arizona), Newt, Chris Christie (New Jersey), and Haley Barbour (Mississippi) to name a few.
Talk about a threat to our “national interest.” Check that crowd out.
Obama: When I think about a threat to our “national interest,” I think about the likes of the people mentioned above.
It seems to what they’re doing is way more urgent — in terms of a threat — than Libya is.
(Oh, and don’t forget — corporations don’t pay taxes anymore (to speak of). Seems to me that’s a bit of a problem too.)
I’m watching Obama’s speech about Libya — he’s standing in front of a bank of American flags as is de rigueur these days
– and while I’m open to what he has to say, it’s hitting me that I am so tired of speeches about going to war.
Three times in ten years.
Quickie: Wipe that smile off your face Don: GOP Rep. Don Young Tells Town Hall He Opposes War In Afghanistan One Week After He Votes Against Ending It
I think it’s great when people — politicians included — grown and evolve and learn and yes, change their mind if need be but a huge leap like this over the course of one week? No. That’s not what this is. This is disgusting.
Remember last week’s New York Times article about GE “collecting tax benefits of $3.2 billion from the American government for 2010, after making $14.2 billion in profits?”
[P]robably the most entertaining part of the story was the historical context:
In the mid-1980s, President Ronald Reagan overhauled the tax system after learning that G.E. — a company for which he had once worked as a commercial pitchman — was among dozens of corporations that had used accounting gamesmanship to avoid paying any taxes.
“I didn’t realize things had gotten that far out of line,” Mr. Reagan told the Treasury secretary, Donald T. Regan, according to Mr. Regan’s 1988 memoir. The president supported a change that closed loopholes and required G.E. to pay a far higher effective rate, up to 32.5 percent.
And how is our current Marxist-socialist leader handling the corporate tax situation, which has seen corporate tax revenue dwindle “from 30 percent of all federal revenue in the mid-1950s to 6.6 percent in 2009″?
President Obama has said he is considering an overhaul of the corporate tax system, with an eye to lowering the top rate, ending some tax subsidies and loopholes and generating the same amount of revenue. He has designated G.E.’s chief executive, Jeffrey R. Immelt, as his liaison to the business community and as the chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, and it is expected to discuss corporate taxes.
I saw John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco on 60 Minutes last night, whining about how high the U.S. corporate tax rate is — guys like Chambers never talk about the loopholes that let them avoid taxes altogether, like GE did — and he actually had the balls to say: “All we’re asking for is a level playing field.”
A level playing field? Duck yourself Chambers. Pay 15% in taxes and then you’ll be level with me and most other Americans..
I swear, these guys have convinced Obama they’re hurting. I never thought I’d say it but, in this case, we need another crazed liberal socialist like Reagan.
Awe. Yes, this cute little dog (love his eyes) is begging — bad dog — but as politely as he can. You can just feel him holding himself back. He wants a bite of pizza something fierce.
A skyscraper climber who calls himself “Spiderman” has begun to climb the side of the world’s tallest tower in Dubai.
Before he began his climb up the 828m Burj Khalifa on Monday, Frenchman Alain Robert said he expected the climb to take about six or seven hours.
As night fell, a row of powerful spotlights shone on the side of the tower as he climbed. Unlike on many previous climbs, the 48-year-old climber is using a rope and harness to comply with organisers’ requirements.
An ambulance, with a stretcher at the ready, was parked alongside other emergency vehicles at the Burj’s base.
Robert has climbed more than 70 skyscrapers, including the Empire State Building, Chicago’s Willis Tower and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, according to his website.
Here are more pictures and here’s one of them showing the tower. Wow.
UPDATE: He did it:
Waving down from more than half a mile (800 meters) in the air, a French skyscraper climber successfully scaled the world’s tallest building Monday, even navigating the tapered spire that extends beyond the top floors of the Dubai structure.
That was fast…about three hours.
This headline just about sums it up as to life in the United States, circa 2011: After Paying Zero Income Taxes, GE Plans To Ask Its Union Workers To Make Wage And Benefits Concessions.
Last week, the New York Times reported that, despite making $14.2 billion in profits, General Electric, the largest corporation in the United States, paid zero U.S. taxes in 2010 and actually received tax credits of $3.2 billion dollars. The article noted that GE’s tax avoidance team is comprised of “former officials not just from the Treasury, but also from the I.R.S. and virtually all the tax-writing committees in Congress.”
After not paying any taxes and making huge profits, ThinkProgress has learned that General Electric is expected to ask its nearly 15,000 unionized employees in the United States to make major concessions.
This year, 14 unions representing more than 15,000 workers will negotiate a new master contract with General Electric. Among the major concessions GE has signaled that it will ask of union workers is the elimination of a defined contribution benefit pension for new employees, a move the company has already implemented for its non-union salaried employees. Likewise, GE is signaling to the union that it will ask for the elimination of current health insurance plans in favor of lower quality health saving accounts, a move the company has already implemented for non-union salaried employees as well.
In addition, General Electric may ask some workers for a wage freeze…
The reason the righties are vilifying unions is in part so their buddies in high places can do what GE wants to do here and the public (hopefully) won’t care because damn those union workers. They’re overpaid spoiled brats. Thing is, if this story comes to the fore in the “liberal media,” they’ll leave out a critical fact – the part about GE paying zero taxes and getting a $3.2 billion dollar credit (which means our tax dollars made up the difference).
It’ll be all about the supposedly coddled union workers.
Quickie: Wanna halve the budget? Don’t cut Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security or the EPA:
Instead, do nothing. Nothing: “Just let the Bush tax cuts expire in 2012, as they’re currently scheduled to do.”