“...It’s very, very easy to talk to fireflies.” ~Dr. Sara LewisSo it is. [h/t Jules Siegel]
[More posts daily at The Detroit News]
Blogging to the highest common denominator
“...It’s very, very easy to talk to fireflies.” ~Dr. Sara LewisSo it is. [h/t Jules Siegel]
Mr. Coleman stepped outside his home just a short while ago to give his news conference. He indicated that he and Mr. Franken had a positive, personal talk and he told the Democrat that being senator was the “best job he’ll ever have.”Guessing either Pawlenty told the GOP he wasn't going to buck the polls and intended to certify or else the RNC decided they sank enough millions into a losing battle.
The Republican’s statement began this way: “Ours is a government of laws, not men and women. The Supreme Court of Minnesota has spoken and I respect its decision and will abide by the result. It’s time for Minnesota to come together under the leaders it has chosen and move forward. I join all Minnesotans in congratulating our newest United States Senator – Al Franken.”
Ha! ||RT: @GregMitch: Norm Coleman: Now I'll have to chance to take that trip I've long planned--hiking the Appalachian Trail.[hat tip HoneyBearKelly]
So here is my plan for a tea party of our own. This year, from after Thanksgiving until 2 January, I want everyone who wants to signify that they support any liberal or dirty hippy position to do the following things to show your support for the cause:I think he may be on to something here...
1.) Put up a large evergreen in your living room and dress it up with lots of ornaments.
2.) Drink egg nog.
3.) Place candles in your window.
4.) Take the day off on the 24th or 25th of December, and spend it with your family.
5.) Sing little ditties and songs (we can even call them “carols”).
6.) Buy gifts for your friends and loved ones.
I have a lot more ideas about how we can really show our solidarity. I’m tentatively thinking about adopting the reindeer as our mascot, and maybe making mistletoe our official plant life, but I’m open to ideas. What do you think?
“Objectively speaking, the fraud here was staggering,” Judge Chin said. “It spanned more than 20 years.”But I do have a quibble with the prosecution's characterization of it as "one of the biggest investment frauds in Wall Street history."
And more names of women were coming in over the transom. The total was at three and counting.The piece doesn't delve any further into that revelation. And what about the woman at Guido's Bar in Argentina that he was allegedly seen with several times over the past few months? The owner described her as a dirty blonde with green eyes. It's difficult not to speculate.
“Women?!” Davis responded, sounding incredulous. “Women?!”
The circle of reporters who actually did the work of following up on the People Magazine picture of Obama in his trunks includes only myself and Dana Milbank of The Washington Post.As Nico said in the clip. Pathetic. Seriously pathetic.
We cornered Obama outside the Senate radio-TV gallery after a press conference. Milbank asked a few leading questions and we both wrote columns based on his reply that ran the next day. Between the Chicago Sun-Times running the Obama photo on the front page hyping my column and the reach of The Washington Post, the attention inspired other outlets to do derivative feature stories. Of course, it also made great gab for the cable news shows.
PITNEY: Yeah, I did, but I wanted to use this opportunity to ask you a question directly from an Iranian. We solicited questions last night from people who are still courageous enough to be communicating online, and one of them wanted to ask you this: Under which conditions would you accept the election of [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad? And if you do accept it without any significant changes in the conditions there, isn't that a betrayal of the -- of what the demonstrators there are working towards?Contrast this to the questions posed by the "serious" press. "Eyerollers like, did you speak out on Iran because of Lindsay Graham and John McCain (CBS News's Chip Reid) or (Fox News's Major Garrett) What took you so long?" And of course the equally "serious" matter of Obama's smoking habit.
It's too bad both sides could not have found a way to save White House Watch. The Post will lose a valued voice, even with its diminished audience. And Froomkin will lose the benefit of The Post's prestige and reach. ...With his loyal followers, he'll survive. So will The Post.Ha! I've got news for Andy. The WaPo is quickly losing its prestige and I wouldn't bet the farm that it will survive for that much longer. Not as long as they elevate their stenographers and regular neo-cons to star status and dump the honest voices from the roster. If they wanted to ensure their survival they should have dumped Fred.
The U.S. envoy for Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, told The Associated Press that eradication programs weren't working...I still have a lot of other problems with our Af/Pak policies but at least on this issue, it looks like they finally got it right. Hell, I could have written that statement. Come to think of it, I did -- too many times to count.
"Eradication is a waste of money," Holbrooke said... [...]
"The farmers are not our enemy, they're just growing a crop to make a living," he said. "It's the drug system. So the U.S. policy was driving people into the hands of the Taliban."
"We're essentially phasing out our support for crop eradication and using the money to work on interdiction, rule of law, alternate crops," he told the AP. At the same time, Washington is upgrading its support of agriculture programs.
"There is a very small chance any Republicans will vote for this health-care plan. They were against Medicare and Medicaid [created in the 1960s]. They voted against children's health insurance.Politicians. You never know when they're going to do something good. I also see Arlen Specter came out for the public option but with the way he's flipped back and forth on every issue since he joined the Democrats, I'm not counting on his vote just yet.
"We have a moral choice. This is a classic case of the good guys versus the bad guys. I know it is not political for me to say that," Rockefeller added.
"But do you want to be non-partisan and get nothing? Or do you want to be partisan and end up with a good health- care plan? That is the choice."
Labels: health care
Carlos Soto, the owner of Guido's Bar, says he's seen Sanford and Maria Belen Chapur there several times over the last few months -- most recently last week.So much for "spending the week crying in Argentina," unless they were tears of joy. I wish this was the end of it but sadly, I feel sure we'll be hearing every purient detail for at least another week. Meanwhile, I've already seen two different descriptions of the mysterious Maria. That can't be good.
Soto says they were "all over each other" last week in his bar, "kissing, holding hands and drinking wine."
Three U.S. senators said Thursday they will introduce legislation funding a package of assistance to help get around the Tehran regime's information block.Not helping... The question isn't why are the three amigos so stupid. It's why is the media giving them a microphone? Did they all miss the memo? McCain lost the election precisely because of idiot grandstanding like this.
"The Iranian government recognizes that Internet is a threat to its stranglehold over society and is trying to impose its repressive controls over it," Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said. "The legislation would authorize funds to ensure that Iranians have the hardware, software and other tools to evade the censorship and surveillance of the regime online."
McCain joined fellow Sens. Joe Lieberman, D-Connecticut, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, at a news conference to announce the legislation, which they said is an effort to support the Iranian people.
Internet postings on June 2 and 3 proclaimed “outrage” over the June 2, 2009, handgun decision by Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer, of the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, further stating, among other things: “Let me be the first to say this plainly: These Judges deserve to be killed.” The postings included photographs, phone numbers, work address and room numbers of these judges, along with a photo of the building in which they work and a map of its location.More at the link. I'm all for free speech, even abhorent speech, but Turner crossed the line into criminal incitement as far as I can see. It's about time they started holding these guys responsible, particularly in light of the spate of nutcase murders that gestated in the petri dish of their vile rantings.
"But I said 'no' I wanted to do something exotic," Sanford said "... It's a great city."He also said he has been to the city twice before, "most recently about a year and half ago during a Commerce Department trip." He says he "was alone on the trip" and declined to give any details on his "exotic" activities other than noting he enjoyed ride along the coastline.
According to the UN's International Organization for Migration, young women from the Dominican Republic began arriving to Argentina in unprecedented numbers in the 1990s. And they're still coming. [...]Just saying...
Yet it's clear these young women and girls are being brought in to feed the prostitution trade. In a country of mostly fair skinned residents, they are considered exotic.
We're five months away from the worst presidency in our history, heading in the opposite direction, thank Christ, Allah, whoever, or no one. But objects in the mirror are closer than they appear, motherfuckers. This ain't apologia and it ain't deluded belief. Just like we can yell that Democrats who oppose Obama's policies are forgetting that people who voted for the man knew what they were getting, so can we say to the jittery on the left that, despite the fact that getting fucked over is a very real possibility, we need to remember that we who voted for him also did so on the basis of trusting his judgment.Read the whole thing. [h/t Honey Bear Kelly]
The high-profile the administration is giving the left-leaning outlet is a nice case of symbiosis, not entirely unlike the Bush Administration's close ties to Fox, though the president's signal that he'd been briefed on the question in advance was particularly unusual.As if nobody might have figured out on their own that Nico was covering the protests 24/7. And because keeping the politicians at arm's length is so important to journalistic integrity. Right. By the way Ben, does Jon Martin still work for your publication?
Labels: health care
Shouldn’t there be one party that unambiguously supports cutting the military budget? A party that is straight-up in favor of gun control, gay marriage, higher taxes on the rich, universal healthcare, legalizing pot, and steep, direct taxing of polluters? These aren’t radical ideas. A majority of Americans are either already for them or would be if they were properly argued and defended. What we need is an actual progressive party to represent the millions of Americans who aren’t being served by the Democrats, because bottom line: Democrats are the new Republicans.This is amusing in that sick GOP sort of way. Wingnuts plot for mandatory English use while standing under a misspelled banner.
Labels: health care
I’m not that worried about the issue of costs. Yes, the Congressional Budget Office’s preliminary cost estimates for Senate plans were higher than expected, and caused considerable consternation last week. But the fundamental fact is that we can afford universal health insurance — even those high estimates were less than the $1.8 trillion cost of the Bush tax cuts. ...Well worth reading in full.
The real risk is that health care reform will be undermined by “centrist” Democratic senators who either prevent the passage of a bill or insist on watering down key elements of reform. I use scare quotes around “centrist,” by the way, because if the center means the position held by most Americans, the self-proclaimed centrists are in fact way out in right field.
In Arkansas — Senator Lincoln should take note — Blue Cross Blue Shield has 75 percent of the market. [...]And Reuters has some revealing numbers on the struggle to pay for health insurance.
Here is a clue to the Arkansas problem — and the national one, too. From 2000 to 2007, the median earnings of Arkansas workers rose only 12 percent, from $20,328 to $22,692. Health insurance premiums for the average working Arkansas family rose over the same period by 66 percent.
*25 percent of households have trouble payingIt's getting so bad out there that even GOP pollsters are finding Republicans and so-called moderate Independents are supporting a public option.
*40 percent expect to delay care this summer
*Baby boomers hardest hit
People born before 1946 were the least likely to delay care, probably because most can take part in Medicare, the federal health insurance plan for the elderly, the researchers found.
Labels: health care
The new American commander in Afghanistan said he would sharply restrict the use of airstrikes here, in an effort to reduce the civilian deaths that he said were undermining the American-led mission. [...]Of course, the official line has always been that we only drop aerial bombs when the troops are in trouble, so I'm not sure I see what the big shift is here.
“When we shoot into a compound, that should only be for the protection of our forces,” he said. “I want everyone to understand that.”
Labels: my life
Demonstrations in the wake of Iran's presidential election are a sign that country's dissidents want the U.S. to get involved in the disputed contest, Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) asserted Monday.Not sure if the reference to the aspirations of the American people is a typo or whether Bond really said that, as if our aspirations make a wit of difference to the Iranians. O'Brien posts it without any other context or comment. Needless to say, it pushed my cranky button. I left this comment.
Bond, the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, pushed back against President Obama's claim that the election is not a U.S. issue, and urged the administration to speak out more forcefully in favor of Iranian dissidents.
"We didn't have anything to do with this uprising; we're not trying to tell them who they should select," Bond said on CNBC Monday morning. "But when they have such obvious election fraud and the violence with which they are dealing with…the way they've done it is unacceptable."
"They want us, they are appealing to us to recognize it," We need to recognize the legitimate aspirations of the American people."
I wouldn't be so irritated by your giving a forum to this useless blather if you at least noted at the end that Mr. Bond offered no actual evidence of anyone of significance asking for US meddling.If this was an isolated instance, I wouldn't have bothered to say anything, but I'm really sick of the media treating every blessed moronic utterance coming from the GOP as having some earth shaking importance. I'm bloody tired of "horserace journalism." It's lazy and it's not helpful. As an aside, I will give the Hill some props though for allowing comments without registration.
And as an aside, one wonders what Mr. Bond's reaction would have been if say, Iran's Supreme Leader had publicly stated that US anti-war demonstrations are a sign that Americans want Iran to get involved in our domestic disputes.
Labels: health care
Empowered by new information technology, chastened by the apocalyptic conflicts of the last few years, determined to shift course away from civilizational warfare, the people of many countries are grasping for a new order and a new peace. It will not be easy; and it will not be short. But it is the only path worth taking.They set a high bar for activism and all citizens of the world who wish to break the yoke of corporate driven imperialism that currently strangles civil society for self-serving political ends would do well to follow their lead. [graphic]
And these Iranians are now leading the rest of us.
The two cases handed down yesterday are just two new additions to the trend observed by Jeffrey Toobin, “in every major case since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff.” That’s conservative jurisprudence in a nutshell.The Bush legacy that will haunt us for generations.
In the same NBC/WSJ poll, only 33 percent of respondents said they thought the president's health care plan, to the extent they knew of it, was a "good idea;" 32 percent said it was a bad idea.That's wrong. It's not Obama's failure to sell the public option so much as it is a failure of the media to explain it. The numbers make it clear that the average voter who isn't obsessed 24/7 with following politics simply doesn't know the details of the plan. This is obviously because the media is too effin' busy reporting the politics of the negotiations instead of the particulars of the proposals. Which is supposed to be -- you know -- their job. Yet they profess to wonder why young people go to the internets and comedy shows for their information? Brings up the perennial question -- are they stupid or just lazy?
In short: the administration has yet to complete the sale. An additional 30 percent of the public had no opinion of Obama's proposal for reform. But when read a description of the general outline -- requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, an employer mandate, tax credits for lower income families to buy coverage, and tax increases on wealthier Americans to pay for it - the number of respondents in support rose to 55 percent.
As I mentioned in my previous email, today made it very clear that the dynamics of the movement are constantly evolving. From the first march where the only focus was on Mousavi/ people’s vote to Mousavi, today’s slogans touched on issues of freedom/justice/innocent people dying for a just cause. The posters of Mousavi of day one have given way to posters expressing deeper themes, and the deeper problems that exist in this country. “Democracy does not equal Dead Student”, “Stop Killing Us”, “We are not rioters”, “Silence is not acceptance”, “The key to victory: Calmness, Hope and Patience”.If only we weren't so disgustingly complacent here, we could challenge the corruption in our own system too and very probably win. Sadly, Americans don't seem to put much value on the greater good as long they feel personally secure. In a way it's too bad we ousted the GOPers. If they were still in power, the country would be so thoroughly screwed up that it might have driven those who are now still comfortably off, into the streets too.
But here’s the good news for you newsroom managers wringing your hands over new technologies and the loss of younger audiences: Because the Internet so values calling bullshit, you are sitting on an as-yet largely untapped gold mine. I still believe that no one is fundamentally more capable of first-rate bullshit-calling than a well-informed beat reporter - whatever their beat. We just need to get the editors, or the corporate culture, or the self-censorship – or whatever it is – out of the way.Got fired today from the WaPo. His column is practically the only reason I haven't boycotted WaPo entirely for publishing Hiatt's lame editorials, along with the KKK of the wingnut right, Kristol, Kagan and Krauthammer. And there are plenty more dissembling neo-cons to add to that list.
I’m terribly disappointed. I was told that it had been determined that my White House Watch blog wasn’t "working" anymore. But from what I could tell, it was still working very well. I also thought White House Watch was a great fit with The Washington Post brand, and what its readers reasonably expect from the Post online.With apologies to Greg Sargent and Ezra Klein who recently joined the WaPo enterprise, this is too egregious to let pass. I'm boycotting. The WaPo will not get another link from me. I'll still read Greg and Ezra, and the occasional Dionne column but I'm not going to click on their other insipid columnists and they will be my last choice for any news coverage. I urge everyone to do the same. A major drop in traffic is the only way to send a message.
As I’ve written elsewhere, I think that the future success of our business depends on journalists enthusiastically pursuing accountability and calling it like they see it. That’s what I tried to do every day. Now I guess I'll have to try to do it someplace else.
Labels: health care
Since April, when it was disclosed that the intercepts of some private communications of Americans went beyond legal limits in late 2008 and early 2009, several Congressional committees have been investigating. Those inquiries have led to concerns in Congress about the agency’s ability to collect and read domestic e-mail messages of Americans on a widespread basis, officials said. Supporting that conclusion is the account of a former N.S.A. analyst who, in a series of interviews, described being trained in 2005 for a program in which the agency routinely examined large volumes of Americans’ e-mail messages without court warrants. Two intelligence officials confirmed that the program was still in operation.Of course, by 02 I realized that even though I had no Google presence, they were already tracking us through our various transactions and there was no where left to hide from government surveillance short of moving to a deserted island. Still, this is over the top. I was really hoping it would be curbed under Obama. Yet another false hope.
The Obama administration is fighting to block access to names of visitors to the White House, taking up the Bush administration argument that a president doesn't have to reveal who comes calling to influence policy decisions.This is exactly what we voted against. And we already had this argument with Bush. He lost in court -- twice. Yet the Secret Service is denying requests for public information on the same damn grounds that the president needs to be able to have secret meetings that can't be divulged without compromising national security.
"After almost eight years of captivity, each step of Khelil Mamut's freedom is a little overwhelming.It reminds me of what it felt like when I was finally free of my abusive first husband. The wonderment of freedom to make your own choices without fear is hard to describe, but there's nothing else like it.
The ocean, which he could hear only on windy days when the waves crashed beyond Guantanamo's razor wire rimmed fence, is now something he can wade into. People call him by his name, not 278, his internee serial number.
Then there was the horse he saw while walking one of the island trails on Thursday, the day he and three other Chinese citizens of the Muslim Uighur minority arrived in Bermuda. The animal made him stop suddenly, just to stare.
Liberal Hand-wringing and BackpeddlingTo be fair, he didn't write the title. He was riffing off another critic's comment, but he consistently criticizes Krugman as a failed economist. I believe he's the same guy who told me he had to lay off his independent contractor because of tax consequences that don't take effect until 2011. But he has all the answers...
We real economists, those of us who work in the real world, own businesses, make a payroll, and produce tangible things in life, and teach on the side, habitually laugh at Krugman and his "economics". Only an ivory tower economist and newspaper pundit would think that more spending and more debt, are needed to cure us of......spending and debt. Idiot.
Oh wait, I guess Libby Spencer believes this as well. Who would think that two people so ignorant could actually exist in the world.
MTCicero, Clinton Twp, MI
What the tape doesn't show is striking: At no point did the officers interact with the undercovers, nor did the brothers appear to be involved in a drug deal with anyone else. Adding insult to injury, an outside camera taped the undercovers literally dancing down the street.The cops that arrested them were indicted six months later, for drug dealing and multiple other charges and the brothers are bringing a wrongful arrest suit against them that I hope they win.
Four nonprofit groups devoted to investigative journalism will have their work distributed by The Associated Press, The A.P. will announce on Saturday, greatly expanding their potential audience and helping newspapers fill the gap left by their own shrinking resources.It strikes me as a good thing. I'm most familiar with ProPublica and they've done some great work. It would be good to see it distributed more widely.
Starting on July 1, the A.P. will deliver work by the Center for Public Integrity, the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and ProPublica to the 1,500 American newspapers that are A.P. members, which will be free to publish the material.
To begin with, the new military command working in conjunction with the NSA will be developing systems to snoop with more sophistication on domestic emails and internet usage. Because of the howls of outrage when the Bush program to do the same came to light, the Obama administration has decided to gamble on more openness when it comes to invading our rights to privacy. To accomplish this, they're framing the issue as a matter of national security.One can't help but remember Obama's betrayal on the FISA vote and his upholding of immunity for the telecoms. I guess all that speculation at the time that he was just playing 11th dimensional chess and was really going to work to dismantle these programs once he got in office were a bit too optimistic. Looks like the only ones that got played was us. What a drag.
Farris, 47, arrived at the coffeehouse in a taxi, police said. An undercover officer gave him an envelope containing $480 in exchange for methamphetamine and ecstasy tablets, which turned out to be fake, authorities said. Farris was arrested at 3:40 p.m.I'm guessing his defense is going to be that he was conducting his own sting by using fake drugs and was surely going to turn the buyer into the police. But of course, the real story is much more likely that he was just scamming the buyer and looking to make a quick buck. Scratch any zealot and you almost always find a self-serving money grubber.
Farris was arraigned Friday on charges of selling a substance that he alleged was drugs. He is being held on $106,500 bail and could not be reached for comment.
U.S. analysts find it "not credible" that challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi would have lost the balloting in his hometown or that a third candidate, Mehdi Karoubi, would have received less than 1 percent of the total vote, a senior U.S. officials told FOX News.Makes me wonder if they use touch screen balloting. In any event, I'm thinking the outcome isn't as significant to US interests as the reaction of the Iranian people will be. I'm already seeing some reports of protests in the streets. This story, as they say, is still developing. Much more commentary, as always, at Memorandum.