Archive for May, 2012
The United States has plenty of money for war but clean drinking water? Maybe not:
Newark city officials are scrambling to keep the doors open on their water treatment plant after funds for the facility, which treats 80 million gallons of water for 500,000 residents in and around Newark, run out today.
According to a letter from the State Comptroller’s office, Mayor Cory Booker’s administration botched an application with the state earlier this year for a three-year, professional services contract to treat the water. City officials wanted to give the $16 million contract to the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation without public bidding or a public hearing.
The comptroller’s office said no.
“The city has failed to submit any documentation demonstrating that it has satisfied the mandatory legal requirements to award this contract to the NWCDC,” said comptroller attorney Robert Shane, referring to the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation, which runs the city’s water supply and treatment facility.
Following the February letter from the Comptroller, the city instituted an emergency contract to keep the plant open for three months. That contract runs out today, but city officials say not to worry.
“The City is taking the necessary steps to ensure that water treatment continues,” Newark business administrator Julien Neals said in an email to The Star-Ledger, adding that facility employees and city hall staffers “are working together to extend the service. The residents can be assured that water treatment will continue without interruption.”
What are we? Udupi?
Here is Udupi:
Democrats, having cozied up to corporations almost as much as Republicans, have backed themselves into a corner when it comes to illustrating the differences between the parties. They can’t do it:
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick ended up defending Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Thursday during TV appearances in which the Democratic politician was supposed to be serving as a surrogate for President Barack Obama. Patrick, who has a history of ethically questionable connections to financial firms, applauded Boston-based Bain Capital, implicitly criticizing the Obama campaign’s attacks on Romney’s record at the private equity firm.
Patrick is the second Obama surrogate with strong ties to the financial industry to defend Bain, following in the footsteps of Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker, who ignited a week of outrage from Democratic Party strategists for describing the Obama campaign’s slams against Romney’s Bain work as “nauseating.”
Patrick, who followed Romney as governor of the Bay State, praised Bain in two separate TV appearances on Thursday.
“I’ve got a lot of friends there,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” calling Bain “a perfectly fine company” with “a role to play in the private economy.”
“I think the Bain strategy has been distorted in some of the public discussions,” said Patrick. “I think the issue isn’t about Bain. I think it’s about whether [Romney has] accomplished, in either his public or private life, the kinds of things he wants to accomplish for the United States.”
The governor reiterated his position on CNN’s “Starting Point,” declaring, “It’s never been about Bain.”
Given what Deval said today (and his corporate-ass-kissing past (read the rest of the article)) and what Cory Booker said last week, will this be the year the two parties essentially merge, unable to point to significant differences because their aren’t all that many and because they’re both in bed with the corporatocracy?
It’s looking like it.
As of about a year ago, my town (Boulder, Colorado) has a bike-share program called B-cycle:
Boulder B-cycle is our community’s nonprofit bike-sharing system. B-cycles are magic bikes that are always ready to ride, where and when you need them. When you want to cruise to happy hour, run errands, or take a refreshing spin along the Boulder Creek Path, B-cycles are there for you. Choose from 24-hour or 7-day access or Annual Membership and take an unlimited number of trips during your access period! Keep all your trips under one hour and you’ll never pay any usage fees.
It’s a great program. Everyone loves it, especially tourists.
Writing about D.C.’s bike-share program in the Washington Times, I can tell Charles Hurt would hate Boulder’s B-cycle as much as he hates the bike share program in his own town:
Unlike Sarah Palin or Tina Fey, or whoever it was, I really can see Russia from my front porch. Or, at least, I can see broken-down socialism.
That is because across the street from my house on Capitol Hill is a loud, clanging “Capital Bikeshare” docking station. It is one of the locking ports for those fat, red communal bicycles you see peddled all over town by commune enthusiasts. (Say that fast, and it sounds like you are saying “commun-ists.”)
For the urban environmental warrior (who, curiously, chooses to live in a densely populated concrete city), the benefits of the communal bike program are endless.
Having people pedal around on these bikes, they say, means fewer people riding pollution-emitting city buses and fewer cars clogging the roads. And healthy riders means less of a burden on socialized medicine. These people get very excited talking about all the upsides.
Oh, and the smugness with which these pedaling heroes pump away! I have seen proud drivers of Priuses look away in shame as they ease by in their bio-electric and sometimes spontaneously combustible vehicles.
This communal bike program is a success from their tingling toes through their throbbing hearts all the way to bright, gleaming faces. It makes them feel so good!
But of course, there are problems and rather than offer solutions, Hurt whines like a little kid:
So, what happens is, these noble warriors ride their bikes to work in the morning, only to discover that so has everybody else. And all the docking stations are filled up. So they have to wander around in search of a place to dock their bike so they can get to work.
This leads to another problem where all the bikes end up in a concentration of places. So at the end of the day, a belching environment-killing truck must come around and redistribute the bikes.
You get the idea.
Those poor, sour wingers. They’re having a terrible time as they’re pulled, kicking and screaming, into a future they so desperately want to keep from happening.
How do they do this? From the Sunlight Foundation:
Today we’re proud to unveil Politwoops, the only comprehensive collection of deleted tweets by U.S. politicians. From minor typos to major gaffes, Politwoops is now there to offer a searchable window into what they hoped you didn’t see.
The project follows the official Twitter accounts of members of Congress, President Obama and the slew of presidential candidates to track whenever they delete a Tweet and record the elapsed time before removal. The growing collection of more than 3,000 tweets in the past six months includes screenshots of included links and has individual pages for each politician. The Politwoops archive serves as an illuminating rough draft of how politicians and campaigns hone their social media messaging and amend their record. The collection includes previously-reported episodes like Senator Chuck Grassley’s hacked account and other deletions that slipped by unnoticed, like Representative Jeff Miller tweeting a link to a Facebook poll asking, “Was Obama born in the United States?”
I scrolled through two or three pages on Politiwoops (love the name) and what struck me was that none of the deleted tweets were particularly offensive or potentially embarrassing, such as containing misspellings or profanity. But I can see how if one spent enough time on the site patterns would begin to emerge.
Anyway, I just thought I’d let you all know, Politiwoops is out there. Fun place to spend some time on a very (very) rainy day.
The American Taliban in action:
The pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Seneca, Kansas says President Barack Obama has gone too far in supporting same sex marriage and it’s time for the U.S. government to begin killing gay men and lesbians.
“Terrorists are dangerous, the economy is a real and present danger,” Pastor Curtis Knapp told his congregation on Sunday. “But there is simply nothing other than the holocaust of the unborn which imperils the safety of our country or places our people in jeopardy as does the leader of the Western world publicly raising his fist at the heavens and declaring that the bedrock institution of society, ordained of God and meant to be protected by the state, is little more than a convention of convenience with the children of Sodom to transform the meaning of something, which is precious to Jesus Christ, and a living picture of his love for the church into a legally protected justification for perversion and a vehicle of hatred aimed directly at that love.”
Knapp went on to read from Leviticus 20: “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death.”
“They should be put to death,” Knapp declared. “‘Oh, so you’re saying we should go out and start killing them, no?’ — I’m saying the government should. They won’t, but they should.”
Listen to Paster Knapp talk about the “Curse of Homosexuality” here.
I refer to Knapp as the American Taliban not in jest. The Taliban kills homosexuals too.
The “No Globe:”
The single greatest threat to the climate comes from burning coal but despite this a whole new fleet of dirty coal-fired power stations are on the verge of being built in the UK (the first for 30 years). The snow globe was designed for Ctrl.Alt.Shift in anticipation of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.
Here we go folks. Imagine being raped, going to a hospital and being treated like this:
An Oklahoma mother brought her daughter to a local hospital after she was raped only to be turned away and refused help by a doctor, purportedly because the hospital lacked the staff to properly process the victim’s claims and injuries. Welcome to the reality of processing sexual assault crimes in GOP-land.
The woman and her daughter were reportedly turned away because the hospital did not have any nurses who conduct rape exams on staff. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) are specially trained professionals who deal only with the delicate process of conducting rape exams. The SANE program is coordinated through the YWCA and is a collaboration with local law enforcement, the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office and public health officials. The collaborative effort is designed to ensure evidence is properly collected and stored without re-traumatizing the victim and ensuring the most effective prosecution of the perpetrator possible.
In this case the doctor involved refused to conduct any exam, nor would he dispense any emergency contraception. The hospital issued a statement grounding those decisions in the need to coordinate through the SANE program. It could also be that this doctor had a moral objection to treating rape victims and dispensing emergency contraception, and thanks to abusive expanses of the conscience-clause by the right, simply refused to deal with her. Either way it’s a lose-lose for rape victims who now face the prospect of looking for treatment after an assault only to be turned away because of a lack of resources or because of religious objections.