Archive for April, 2011
Follow the happenings at tonight’s White House Correspondents Dinner, a gathering of lobbyists, elected officials (they’re supposed to represent us, no?) and elite media — the people who tell us what we should think and believe, as if they have any idea – on Twitter at #nerdprom and/or at #WHCD.
Remember back in the fall when Republicans everywhere were screaming that Priority #1 was to create jobs, jobs, jobs?
Well folks, take heart. Republicans in the Texas House Ways and Means Committee are ah, tackling that issue head on:
The Texas House Ways and Means Committee has approved a tax break for those who want to buy yachts costing $250,000 or more.
In a vote late Thursday, the committee approved a bill by Houston Republican Rep. John Davis. The proposed law would cap the maximum sales tax the state would collect on the sale of a personal boat.
Davis says the measure is needed because Florida has a similar law and boat buyers are going there to make their purchases. The measure passed on an 8-3 vote along party lines.
Democrats are outraged at the proposed tax break at a time when the state must cut $27 billion in state services from the budget.
You think there’s a class divide now? Just wait.
More of that ol’ reliable Republican consistency reflected in our Tweet of the Day:
70% of the services provided by Planned Parenthood consist of (1) providing contraceptives (@ 35%) and (2) testing for and treating STDs (@35%).
Yet Indiana Governor, Mitch Daniels, is set to sign a bill that will “cut off all government funding for Planned Parenthood.”
What a dumb thing to do. The intended consequences will potentially be devastating not only for individuals but for the state as a whole. But hey, when you’re pandering to the Tea Party and the
American Taliban religious right, you’ve gotta do dumb things because apparently it’s just too much hard to explain to people why what they want is bad for your state.
Insulting Jews around the world, Sarah Palin wore a Star of David the other night on Fox:
Remember when President Obama said his would be the most transparent administration ever?
Two-plus years on, I guess they’re still working on that:
Phil Bronstein, a contributing editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, revealed in his column “Bronstein at Large” today that Chronicle reporter Carla Marinucci has been dismissed from the White House Press Correspondents’ Association’s pool of Bay Area print journalists. She was dropped from the pool because of a video she posted last week of protesters at a fundraiser for President Obama.
Buried in Bronstein’s column is the fact that the White House did arguably have legitimate reasons for dismissing Marinucci from the press pool:
The White House Press Correspondents’ Association pool reporting guidelines warn about “no hoarding” of information and also say, “pool reports must be filed before any online story or blog.” While uploading her video probably was the best way to file her report, Carla may have technically busted the letter of that law.
Still, Bronstein points out that the dismissal was a decision handed down by the administration of a president who was elected on promises of transparency and commending whistleblowers. Bronstein makes much of the fact that the Obama campaign prided itself on being plugged in to new technology and is paradoxically punishing a reporter for using technology. The larger issue, however, appears to be that transparency sticking point.
When candidates make promises we have every right to hold them to those promises and if they break them, to hold them accountable for breaking them.
Enough already with people who radically change after they take office. I’m sick of it.
Let me at this puppy so I can kiss his darling face!
Here’s a stunning factoid that says it all about the decline of the newspaper business:
Aaron Kushner will make an formal offer within the next several weeks for the New England Media Group, the New York Times Co. division that includes the Boston Globe, Boston.com, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and Telegram.com.
In 1993, the New York Times bought the Boston Globe for $1.1 Billion.
I watched a bit of the royal wedding today – enough to catch some of the hats the female guests wore to the service — and when this one passed by,
This would be Princess Beatrice, the daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson.
Forget the fashion police. This thing should be confiscated by the fashion army and destroyed. Immediately.
Remember the firefighters — FDNY — who walked into the ashes of the twin towers on 9/11? Remember how everyone thought of them as heros?
Ten years on, they’re fighting mad because the politicians who kissed their ass back then are trying to destroy them now:
The International Association of Fire Fighters has grown into a political powerhouse in the Nation’s Capitol and in state houses, county and city halls across the country.
Over the past decade, the symbolism of our profession and the image of our fire fighters and paramedics decked out in this union’s trademark gold and black have become one of the most sought after endorsements in politics at every level. We have grown what was a modest federal Political Action Committee (PAC) into one of the top federal PACs in the nation.
Last election cycle, FIREPAC was in the top 1.1 percent of the more than 7,100 federally registered PACs in terms of dollars raised and was the 10th largest PAC in candidate contributions. It was also one of the most bi-partisan PACs.
In total, we spent close to $15 million in the last election cycle on behalf of federal candidates and both political parties, helping to elect those who support us and defeat those who oppose us.
But the attacks launched at our members since the November 2010 elections have changed the landscape.
Extreme right-wing conservative and so-called Tea Party politicians are coming after fire fighters, paramedics and all public workers with a vengeance across the United States. They are attempting to take away basic American rights like collective bargaining and your right to negotiate for a good quality of life for your families. They are working to eliminate your pensions and retirement security. They want to silence your voice by gagging you with legislation they call Paycheck Protection. They are taking away the long-held right of dues deductions from paychecks to try to weaken the finances of our union. They want to hurt all unions and drive down wages and benefits with Right-to-Work laws.
Not only are extremist Republicans trying to destroy us — too few Democrats are standing up and fighting for us.
Over the past two years, politicians from both parties have failed to address our issues in Washington, DC. Now, anti-labor members of Congress and their allies are championing measures that would undermine pension security, tax employer-sponsored health benefits, force newly hired fire fighters into Social Security and attack federal fire fighters. And with no pro-fire fighter legislation likely to be advanced in the 112th Congress – it’s time to take a stand.
Bravo. I am so on their side.
Forest for the trees: This would be Chris Matthews tonight on Hardball:
I was stunned so many were pushing the birther angle today.
That, after Chris Matthews and MSNBC pushed the birther angle all day.
Are we throwing millions of our “homeland security” tax dollars down a rat hole? I think so.
We pay for body scanners at airports and big bad toys for the FBI and the CIA but we haven’t gotten our act together when it comes to this?
More than 200 people suspected of ties to terrorism bought guns in the U.S. last year legally, FBI figures show.
The 247 people who were allowed to buy weapons did so after going through required background checks as required by federal law.
It is not illegal for people listed on the government’s terror watch list to buy weapons. For years, that has bothered Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who is trying again to change the law to keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists.
Gosh. I wonder if the NRA has its hand in this (ah, yeah).
Food crumpets for thought — our tweet of the day, from Doug Sanders of Canada’s, The Globe and Mail:
It is so, so telling that this news has not been part of the coverage of the terrible tornadoes in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia yesterday:
A nuclear power plant in Alabama that lost power after violent thunderstorms and tornadoes on Wednesday will be down for days and possibly weeks but the backup power systems worked as designed to prevent a partial meltdown like the disaster in Japan.
The Browns Ferry nuclear power plant, one of the biggest in the country, provides power to 2.6 million homes. It has three reactors that are similar in design to the Fukushima Daiichi reactors crippled by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11.
“The reactors will remain shut until we have restored the reliability of the transmission system,” said Ray Golden, spokesman for the Tennessee Valley Authority, which owns and operates the 3,274-megawatt Alabama plant.
One, the corporate-owned media doesn’t want to “scare” people and two, the powers that be want us to continue to believe that nuclear power is safe and “clean.”
If those generators had failed, we’d be looking at our own Fukushima right here in the good ol’ USA.
Exxon Mobil Corp. said Thursday that its first-quarter profit climbed 69% to almost $11 billon, beating Wall Street estimates, as $100-a-barrel crude prices boosted the oil company’s bottom line to levels not seen since 2008.
For the quarter, Exxon Mobil’s profit rose to $10.65 billion, or $2.14 a share, from $6.3 billion, or $1.33 a share, in the year-ago period.
Stop and take that in: $10.65 in the first quarter. $10.65 BILLION in THREE MONTHS.
One last thing and then I’m done with this: Donald Trump inherited millions of
Cable “news” is unwatchable today. Nothing but Donald Trump/birther stuff (oh, and now they’re taking The Donald’s lead and moving on to questioning Obama’s college credentials).
(HEAR ME SCREAMING?)
Are we to believe the legitimacy of Obama’s birth certificate is the most important thing on the planet?
This is historian Douglas Brinkley “moments ago” on CNN:
We don’t have to blame “the media” for dealing with this issue. We have to blame NBC Entertainment. They need to dump Trump from his primetime news show. He’s a poison toad on the airwaves. What corporate sponsor is going to be buying ad time for Donald Trump’s show. Any company that goes into Trump and is willing to pay is going to find consumer boycott like they’ve never seen before. If you are going to do what Trump did and go after the President of the United States in such a grotesque and disingenuous way you better cough up the goods. Today the Obama administration has shown what a charlatan Donald Trump really is.
It would be great if NBC did fire Trump but I think the blame for the last few weeks of this insanity can be spread all across the media, including “progressive” radio. Everyone involved should be ashamed.
It’s an interesting bout of coincidence, Fox News’ recent obsession with President Obama’s birth certificate. The sudden obsession that produced more than 50 birther segments on Fox News in recent months.
Have you heard about the movie, “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1?” Have you seen it? I haven’t but I’ve read some pretty darn bad reviews.
Actually, forget the reviews. Last weekend the movie was rated #18 countrywide in terms of the money it took in at the box office. The week before that it was #14. So one can assume audiences aren’t flocking to it via word-of-mouth recommendations.
All-in-all, the evidence would suggest it’s a flop.
Now the producer is having second thoughts about producing parts 2 and 3 and as is so typical of the wingers, the fact that Part 1 didn’t fly is everybody’s fault but his:
Twelve days after opening “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1,” the producer of the Ayn Rand adaptation said Tuesday that he is reconsidering his plans to make Parts 2 and 3 because of scathing reviews and flagging box office returns for the film.
“Critics, you won,” said John Aglialoro, the businessman who spent 18 years and more than $20 million of his own money to make, distribute and market “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1,” which covers the first third of Rand’s dystopian novel. “I’m having deep second thoughts on why I should do Part 2.”
Tweet of the day:
I say the new national emergency will be WHERE ARE OBAMA’S COLLEGE TRANSCRIPTS?
The White House released the “long form” version of President Obama’s birth certificate today. A few minutes ago, the President came out and said it’s time the media stop listening to “carnival barkers” (here’s lookin’ at you Donald) and concentrate on the serious issues facing the country.
Yes, the “news” media is a national embarrassment but it ain’t gonna happen. I give it oh, roughly 90-minutes before the wingers find something “wrong” with this new version and the whole “controversy” will start anew.
Wow. This is interesting — via ScienceDaily:
It’s like a scene out of a sci-fi movie — thousands, possibly millions, of king crabs are marching through icy, deep-sea waters and up the Antarctic slope.
“They are coming from the deep, somewhere between 6,000 to 9,000 feet down,” said James McClintock, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham Endowed Professor of Polar and Marine Biology.
Shell-crushing crabs haven’t been in Antarctica, Earth’s southernmost continent, for hundreds or thousands, if not millions, of years, McClintock said. “They have trouble regulating magnesium ions in their body fluids and get kind of drunk at low temperatures.”
But something has changed, and these crustaceans are poised to move by the droves up the slope and onto the shelf that surrounds Antarctica. McClintock and other marine researchers interested in the continent are sounding alarms because the vulnerable ecosystem could be wiped out, he said.
Antarctic clams, snails and brittle stars, because of adaptation to their environment, have soft shells and have never had to fight shell-crushing predators. “You can take an Antarctic clam and crush it with your hands,” McClintock said. They could be the main prey for these crabs, he said.
Loss of unique mollusks could jeopardize organisms with disease-fighting compounds, McClintock said. Sea squirts, for example, produce an agent that fights skin cancer. If the crabs eat them, it could bring McClintock’s research with that organism to a halt.
“Something has changed?” Sounds like something has changed in a monumental way. I’m thinking climate change.
P.S. Think about it. U.S. cable “news” organizations repeat three or four stories over and over day after day 24/7 while interesting and relevant stories like this are ignored.
We are SO dumbed down.
Does Pat Buchanan own a piece of 30 Rock or NBC? Seriously. Why is he a regular on MSNBC? When I see him there I turn the channel.
He was an advisor to Richard Nixon for God’s sake. Someone, anyone, please, please, please tell me what he brings to the conversation and what MSNBC sees in him. What’s with his lock on being on their air?
Otoolefan sent today’s Tweet of the Day:
Dinosaur is right. A fossilized dinosaur.
Here’s the quote of the day from the Seattle-based blog, PubliCola and an article featuring two Democrats, one who is still a “believer” and one who isn’t. The quote below is from Former Democratic State Rep. Brendan Williams, who is the disappointed, had-it-up-to-here non-believer.
Yeah, he’s better than Donald Trump. But we’re no longer an aspirational party under Obama. We just measure ourselves against Republicans (we’re better than Paul Ryan!), and not against our own ideals.
Exactly. When Democrats get to the point of saying they’re better than Paul Ryan for God’s sake, they aren’t Democrats anymore. They’ve let themselves be dragged somewhere toward where Republicans were back in the 90′s.
Last week Republican Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was hecked at a town hall meeting during which he was trying to explain the Republicans’ radical budget proposals and after he said “we do tax the top” income earners.
Fast forward to today, and look at what is “above the fold” on Fox News’ home page right now:
Click on the photo and you go to this article: Liberals Try to Rekindle Town Hall Fury That Inflamed Health Care Debate.
Democratic lawmakers and their liberal supporters are trying to ignite a storm of protest at town hall meetings being held by Republicans during the current congressional recess that they hope will give them momentum going into the 2012 presidential election season.
The GOP-led House this month approved Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to cut $6.2 trillion from federal spending over 10 years and balance the budget by 2030 in part by making the elderly pay more for their Medicare. It would also cut the top income-tax rate for both individuals and corporations from 35 percent to 25 percent.
It’s official. The name of Keith Olbermann’s new show on CurrentTV will be — drum roll please — Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Yep. That’s right. Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
It will debut on Monday, June 20, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. ET. It will re-air nightly at 11:00 p.m. ET and again at 2:00 a.m. ET.
I’m bummed because, at the second tier on Comcast, we don’t get CurrentTV and it pisses me off no end that I would have to subscribe to the higher tier to get one freakin’ channel. As of today, I’m not going to do it.
I’m hoping Olbermann/CurrentTV will post substantial clips on their website(s).
Just caught the tail end of a segment on “Morning Joe.” They’re in London, of course, covering the royal wedding. Joe asked one of their reporters what he had coming up today and the guy said he did a piece on the Windsors, so people would know what Kate Middleton’s “in-laws are like.”
Joe asked the guy (sorry, I didn’t catch his name) how long the Windsors have been in power. He didn’t know.
I gather the piece is going to be all that in-depth.
(Filed under “Dumbed Down.”)
I spent a good part of the day today going through old papers and files — a (long overdue) spring cleaning thing – and lo and behold, I came across this drawing.
Per the note my mother wrote on the back, I was 7-years-old when I drew it (that would be 51 years ago) and it is of my paternal grandmother.
I like it. (Yeah, she went overboard on the blush.)
Just saw a segment on CNN’s John King featuring Arizona Governor Jan Brewer captioned: “More Moderate Than Advertised?”
Let me out of this fucking asylum.
I’ll put up video as soon as I can.
Oh. BTW. Gotta love that “liberal media” huh?