Archive for June 25, 2012
I bought a Rubbermaid container today that I’m going to use for frozen juice, iced tea and the like. When I got home I noticed that there were two packets of Kool-Aid inside. I haven’t seen a packet of Kool-Aid in years so I thought I’d check out the ingredients. I thought I’d see a ton of sugar, but no. The first ingredient was Citric Acid, the second was Maltodextrin (a faux sweetener like Sweet’N Low) and the third was salt. SALT!?
This is a photo of the back of the packet:
Corporate food producers use two tactics to make food palatable. One is to add sugar. One is to add salt. Looks like Kool-Aid does both.
Ugh. What a nutritionally useless (and potentially harmful) drink.
Here’s a short post you’ve got to read: 5 Signs of a Radical Change in U.S. Politics. This is the conclusion:
Underscoring the point, a Bloomberg poll of 21 constitutional scholars found that 19 of them believe the individual mandate is constitutional, but only eight said they expected the Supreme Court to rule that way. The headline nicely conveys the reality of the current Court: “Obama Health Law Seen Valid, Scholars Expect Rejection.”
How would you characterize a legal system that knowledgeable observers assume will not follow the law and instead will advance a particular party-faction agenda? That’s how we used to talk about the Chinese courts when I was living there. Now it’s how law professors are describing the Supreme Court of the John Roberts era.
When the Supreme Court of the United States doesn’t rule according to legal precedent but according to the political positions of the individual justices, we’re in a world of trouble.
Check out this photo of screenshots of MSNBC, CNN and Fox immediately after the Supreme Court’s decision on Arizona’s immigration law was announced today. As you probably know, SCOTUS struck down three of the four main provisions in that law, hardly a win for Arizona. But, as always, Fox is forever trying to save face on behalf of conservatives:
Fact is, the Supreme Court upheld a part, not parts, plural, of the Arizona law.
This is yet another example of how watching Fox will actually make you dumber than if you didn’t watch any news at all.
Not only is this about a darling baby rhino, but it’s about good news too:
A rare Sumatran rhino has given birth at an Indonesian sanctuary, encouraging researchers concerned for the species’ survival, officials said.
A baby male rhino was born to Ratu, a 12-year-old Sumatran rhino living at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Indonesia’s Way Kambas National Park, the International Rhino Foundation reported Monday.
With fewer than 200 Sumatran rhinos living in Indonesia and Malaysia, it is one of the world’s most endangered species. Their survival is threatened by loss of its tropical forest habitat and hunting pressure from poachers, who kill rhinos for their valuable horns, conservationists said.
“We are overjoyed that Ratu delivered a healthy calf and are cautiously optimistic that the calf will continue to thrive,” Susie Ellis, the foundation’s executive director, said.
Here’s a video of the little guy playing in water. So cute! Listen to his little squeaks.
Bravo! Fingers crossed that everything goes well.
CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison said he has no affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan, despite old photos that surfaced showing him wearing a robe and hood.
He wore the costume to a Halloween party around 25 years ago, long before he took office.
“I don’t deny it wasn’t stupid, looking back now, but there again I say what 21- or 22-year-old in this world hasn’t made some stupid mistakes?” Garrison told Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer, who obtained the photos from a source who wished to remain anonymous.
Check out the photo:
Someone put an awful lot of effort into putting these “costumes” together if indeed they were for Halloween, which I don’t believe for a minute. I mean, it’s not like they’re sheets with a hole torn in them for the neck opening. They have sleeves, what looks like a nice turned-in “hem” around the neck and those hoods. Those hoods weren’t slapped together either.
This weekend, Pennsylvania Republican House Leader Mike Turzai (R-PA) finally admitted what so many have speculated: Voter identification efforts are meant to suppress Democratic votes in this year’s election.
At the Republican State Committee meeting, Turzai took the stage and let slip the truth about why Republicans are so insistent on voter identification efforts — it will win Romney the election, he said:
“We are focused on making sure that we meet our obligations that we’ve talked about for years,” said Turzai in a speech to committee members Saturday. He mentioned the law among a laundry list of accomplishments made by the GOP-run legislature.
“Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”
So, Turzai has essentially come clean as to what these new “voter ID” laws are all about, i.e., rigging elections in favor of Republicans. So patriotic.
The media is abuzz today about the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning much of Arizona’s immigration law. I think the more important decision, which isn’t getting near the attention the AZ ruling is, is its decision regarding Montana prohibiting the implementation of Citizen’s United.
This is what Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) had to say about that:
The Supreme Court on Monday reaffirmed its disastrous 2010 ruling that lifted limits on corporate spending to influence elections. Justices reversed the Montana Supreme Court and struck down a state law. ”The U.S. Supreme Court’s absurd 5-4 ruling two years ago in Citizens United was a major blow to American democratic traditions. Sadly, despite all of the evidence that Americans see every day, the court continues to believe that its decision makes sense,” Sanders said.
“In recent weeks, multi-billionaires such as the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson have made it clear that, as a result of the Citizens United decision, they intend to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to buy this election for candidates who support the super-wealthy. This is not democracy. This is plutocracy. And that is why we must overturn Citizens United if we are serious about maintaining the foundations of American democracy.
“I intend to work as hard as I can for a constitutional amendment to overturn this disastrous Supreme Court decision.
“In his famous speech at Gettysburg during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln talked about America as a country ‘of the people, by the people and for the people.’ Today, as a result of the Supreme Court’s refusal to reconsider its decision in Citizens United, we are rapidly moving toward a nation of the super-rich, by the super-rich and for the super-rich. That is not what America is supposed to be about. This Supreme Court decision must be overturned.”
Absolutely. And, with this ruling, the SCOTUS signaled that they aren’t having any second thoughts about their original ruling two years ago which, in my opinion, will destroy what’s left of our democracy.
Here is an article charting the history of soda and the serving size of soda drinks. This chart is included:
The one on the left, the biggest of the big gulps, is 128 ounces. That’s 8 pounds!
UPDATE: Thanks to commenter JC for pennies, I stand corrected. The huge serving is 128 LIQUID ounces which is different than dry ounces, so that big, big, big, big gulp is a gallon’s worth. Still…
An Op-ed by Jimmy Carter that appeared in yesterday’s New York Times has got to be one of the most scathing criticisms of a sitting president by a former president ever written. And they belong to the same party no less:
A Cruel and Unusual Record
THE United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights.
Revelations that top officials are targeting people to be assassinated abroad, including American citizens, are only the most recent, disturbing proof of how far our nation’s violation of human rights has extended. This development began after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and has been sanctioned and escalated by bipartisan executive and legislative actions, without dissent from the general public. As a result, our country can no longer speak with moral authority on these critical issues.
In addition to American citizens’ being targeted for assassination or indefinite detention, recent laws have canceled the restraints in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to allow unprecedented violations of our rights to privacy through warrantless wiretapping and government mining of our electronic communications. Popular state laws permit detaining individuals because of their appearance, where they worship or with whom they associate.
Despite an arbitrary rule that any man killed by drones is declared an enemy terrorist, the death of nearby innocent women and children is accepted as inevitable. After more than 30 airstrikes on civilian homes this year in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai has demanded that such attacks end, but the practice continues in areas of Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen that are not in any war zone. We don’t know how many hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed in these attacks, each one approved by the highest authorities in Washington. This would have been unthinkable in previous times.
I remember those “previous times” when these new laws and tactics would have been unthinkable. In my opinion they still are and Obama, a lawyer and “Constitutional scholar,” has a worse record on these issues than George W. Bush. It’s shameful and a tragic turn of events.