Saturday, August 30, 2008

You're Out of Touch, Were Out of Time

posted by The Sailor @ 5:07 PM Permalink

The fiction:
Bush points to signs that economy is on upswing
The facts:
Study: Bankruptcies soar for senior citizens
Rate falling for those under 55 while many elderly retire with debt
The older the age group, the worse it got — people 65 and up became more than twice as likely to file during that period, and the filing rate for those 75 and older more than quadrupled.
July incomes drop by largest amount in 3 years

Personal incomes plunged in July while consumer spending slowed significantly as the impact of billions of dollars in government rebate checks began to wane.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that personal incomes fell by 0.7 percent in July, the biggest drop in nearly three years and a far larger decline than the 0.1 percent decrease that analysts had expected.
Fannie, Freddie Slip After Key Gains

When shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dropped sharply yesterday, it marked a sour end to an otherwise unusually upbeat week for the ailing giants of mortgage finance.
But yesterday Fannie's shares fell 14 percent to close at $6.84 and Freddie's fell 15 percent to $4.51, a reminder that the companies face significant tests in reviving their financial health and restoring investor confidence.

The sell-off came with news that the Bank of China reduced its exposure to Fannie and Freddie's debt by 29 percent over the past two months.
Yep, sounds like an upswing to me![/snark]

On the positive side, rich people got even richer!

Cross posted at SteveAudio


The Palin-Drone

posted by The Sailor @ 2:34 PM Permalink

Peeved? Live Evil De Veep!
(Sorry, it was the best palindrome I could come up with on short notice;-)

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Hey John? Dream another dream, this dream is over

posted by The Sailor @ 1:21 PM Permalink

"Right Now" Van Halen is pi$$ed that McCain used their song during the repub VP coronation!

Anyone else think the campaign never saw the video?

They should have gone with my suggestion, Running With the Devil!

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Friday, August 29, 2008


posted by The Vidiot @ 1:38 PM Permalink

So, way back, during the whole missing nuke thing, back in September of last year, I don't ever recall hearing about missing launch codes happening on the same base (and trust me, I read A LOT about it.)
Two officers in charge of classified launch materials for nuclear missiles stationed around Minot Air Force Base lied about destroying the materials and instead took them home.

And the Air Force has so far only been able to recover one of the two missing classified items since the July, 2005 incident.
Well, that just makes the prospect of those missing nukes just that much more scary, doesn't it?

Not that the codes missing in 2005 have much to do with missing bombs in 2007, but the fact that this sort of thing happens down there..., I mean, wow.

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And the winner is....

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:51 AM Permalink

I can't vouch for it's veracity, but Drudge (who I won't link to on principal) has leaked the name of McCain's VP choice. He's "reporting" that it's Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska. If this is true, doesn't it seem like he's trying a little too hard to woo Clinton voters?

Though, does it really matter who McCain choses? Between Obama's speech last night and the fact that the polls are close in Indiana for chrissake (a Republican hasn't lost there in several elections by less than 15 points), he doesn't have a snowball's chance, beyond of course what the media can manufacture for him.

I was sort of hoping for a McCain/Romney ticket, mostly so we could continue making fun of the house issue.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Whole World Is Watching* ...

posted by The Sailor @ 7:34 PM Permalink

... but somehow the Denver thugs cops don't seem to realize that they can't abuse do business as usual.

First up, a knockdown, drag out fight ... between an unarmed woman from the non-violent group Code Pink that think they have the right to peaceably assemble and a right to free speech and a Denver cop:
CodePink protester is slammed to the ground by police in Denver
Follow the link and notice how the cop beat her down because she didn't obey their orders quick enough while they were establishing a 'perimeter.'

Notice that after bashing her with a billy club the cops left her and several other people alone and there was no perimeter established.

Also notice she was only arrested when she started explaining to a news crew what had happened.

Next up, the rest of the constitution goes out the window:
Protesters denied access to attorneys, forced to march in leg shackles

In the letter, obtained by RAW STORY, the ACLU revealed that the police refused those arrested access to attorneys. Police did not let detainees use phones unless they posted their own bonds, and even failed to provide shoes, in one case marching a protester into court in bare feet and leg shackles, according the ACLU.

What's more, police are said to have tricked protesters into pleading guilty, by giving them the impression they had to plead guilty in order to post bond. This meant that no one was allowed to make a phone call unless they plead guilty, thus making it impossible for arrestees to even call a lawyer until admitting guilt.

Most ominously, the ACLU letter claims that protesters were told they would be "facing 'years' in jail for a conviction of a single particular charge."

"In fact, all the charges were municipal court violations that do not carry such penalties," the ACLU added in a footnote.
And finally, there is this Cops Gone Wild video of them saying a public sidewalk is private property and literally shoving a producer from ABC out into traffic and then cursing him for obstructing traffic ... but it wasn't for 2 hours until they arrested him.

The capper is the headline from ABC that blames the Democrats for the cops actions:
ABC Reporter Arrested in Denver Taking Pictures of Senators, Big Donors
Video is here.

I sense a pattern, the cops in Denver, (like cops everywhere), are willing to violate anyone's rights if they don't 'respect my authority.'[/Cartman]

They do it all the time, it's just hard to believe they do it when The Whole World Is Watching.

* The Whole World Is Watching was chanted by demonstrators during the police riot at the 1968 Dem convention.

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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If you need a break from politics

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:41 PM Permalink

Go visit It's a blog devoted to old photographs. Here's my favorite. It's from 1923, but they look like they could be walking around the East Village. Those old bathing suits look like today's outfits.

(larger image here)


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Obviously this isn't a 'Swift Boat' attack ...

posted by The Sailor @ 9:00 PM Permalink

... because it's not funded by billionaires and it's not been trumpeted by the MSM, but one would think that actual facts from a person who served with John McClain from the Naval Academy thru the 'Hanoi Hilton' should have a voice in this. From
Why I Will Not Vote for John McCain

As some of you might know, John McCain is a long-time acquaintance of mine that goes way back to our time together at the U.S. Naval Academy and as Prisoners of War in Vietnam. He is a man I respect and admire in some ways. But there are a number of reasons why I will not vote for him for President of the United States.
Please read the whole thing.

Cross posted at SteveAudio


The Goose's Gander

posted by The Vidiot @ 3:26 PM Permalink

This is from the "paper of record," the old gray lady, all the news that's fit to print, aka. The New York Times:
This is where things stand nearly three weeks after Russia invaded Georgia and radically upended ties with the West: Russian troops still occupy key areas, including the port of Poti; Moscow has recognized the independence of Georgia’s two breakaway regions; Georgia’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili, is still talking tough even though his army is routed and his country shattered.
From the outset, the very first line is WRONG. Saakashvili instigated the bombing in South Ossetia, not Russia. Russia did not invade Georgia, Georgia, for all intents and purposes, invaded Russia and Russia fought back.

And they wonder why they're losing customers to the blogs.

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Go in like bullies, exhaust your people and resources fighting a…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:48 AM Permalink

…war against a country that never, ever posed a threat to America or world peace and now, ironically, having spent America into virtually bankruptcy bushco can only mewl like kittens and make impotent and hollow threats.

See todays NYT article, "Ukraine Condemns Russian Actions." The Georgians talked smack and got the crap kicked out of them for their efforts that weren't and could not possibly be supported by our broken American military forces without resort to nukes, but Russia (and I believe China would assist them, too) could have launched a full scale nuclear attack guaranteed to obliterate us. Here are some very ironic (to me) quotes from the article:
Ukraine said on Wednesday it wanted to discuss charging Russia more for the lease of a Black Sea naval base, a move that could aggravate regional tensions already enflamed by Moscow's conflict with Georgia.

Georgia weighed its response to the Moscow-backed breakaway of two rebel Georgian regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and President Mikheil Saakashvili urged the West to stand firm in upholding international law.

"Russia clearly intended this as a blatant challenge to world order. It's now up to all of us to roll Russian aggression back. If they get away with this, they will carry on ... they will also attack other countries in the neighbourhood," he told Reuters in an interview. ["Quick! Look the other way or you might find out I started all this crap!" shouts Mikheil Saakashvili. Bill]

Russia quickly routed Georgian forces in a brief war over South Ossetia this month, the first time it has sent its forces into combat abroad since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. [Beat 'em in 13.894 seconds, a new world record and Gold medal winner! Bill]

The crisis has rattled the West and alarmed other former Soviet republics with sizeable Russian minorities, particularly Ukraine and the Baltic states. [Geez, ya think if you smack a sleeping bear he might wake up pissed? Bill]

Nogovitsyn accused NATO nations of "ratcheting up tension" in the Black Sea, but said Russia was not planning to increase its own presence there. "Now we have people flexing their muscles, demonstrating force. We can only regret that," he said.

A U.S. Coast Guard ship carrying post-war aid to Georgia arrived on the country's Black Sea coast on Wednesday, but backed down from docking in a Russian-patrolled port. [H-m-m-m, wonder why they feared landing at a Russian port? Bill]

The U.S. embassy in Tbilisi originally said the Dallas would be joined in Poti by a U.S. warship, the USS McFaul, which docked in Batumi on Sunday. But the embassy said late on Tuesday that the plan had changed. It did not say why.

"This decision was taken at the highest level of the Pentagon," a U.S. embassy spokeswoman told Reuters.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has accused the United States of shipping weapons into Georgia, a comment dismissed by the White House as "ridiculous". [Talk tough, but back down fast! Bill]

"Is Georgia torn up now?" asked another paper, Sakartvelos Respublica.

Russia says it was obliged to intervene militarily to prevent Georgian "genocide" and defend the lives of South Ossetians, many of whom are Russian citizens, after Georgia attempted on Aug. 7 to retake the rebel region by force.

While some Western governments have said Saakashvili bore at least partial responsibility for the outbreak of the conflict, there was strong and unanimous condemnation of the latest Russian move.

"Russia's action only exacerbates tensions and complicates diplomatic negotiations," U.S. President George W. Bush said. [In one of the weakest and tepid emotional statements I ever heard from Fearful Leader Bush. [Bill]

Russia's Medvedev said Tbilisi's desire to seize back the regions by force had killed all hopes for their peaceful co-existence in one state with Georgia. {which, of course, had nothing to do with Georgia attacking Russia first.
I have long maintained that Russia and Communist China would allow the West to encroach right up to some unknown boundary on a map and then join forces to end the American Empire permanently.

That time grows ever closer.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

If you were watching the DNC last night...

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:59 PM Permalink

and you were wondering why the cutaway shots were odd, well, you can chalk that up to the fact that FOX news is supplying the pool feed for the networks.

Yes, that's right folks. The FOX is guarding the hen house.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

You Might Be An Elitist If ...

posted by The Sailor @ 8:59 PM Permalink

You Might Be An Elitist If ...
You have to have your staff count how many homes you have.
You wear $500 shoes.
You were cheating on your crippled first wife with a rich girlfriend.
Your Daddy got you into the Naval Academy and you graduated at the bottom of your class.
You spend more on servants ($273,000) than most Americans spend on homes.
You think that Americans won't do hard work for $50 per hour.
Your entourage takes 9 limos to get a cup of cappuccino at Starbucks.
Of course if you were poor and brought up by a single mom and she said 'this is America, you can grow up to be President' and you believed her? Well, that's just an uppity negro. Or as McCain, Karl Rove & Co. say, an 'elitist.'

Cross posted at SteveAudio


Similarities Between the Olympics and War

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:05 PM Permalink

My mother has been watching the Olympics nonstop... not that she wanted to mind you, just that her husband is really into them. Anyway, she told me that the Russian synchronized swimming team had been really cagey about their routine, going so far as to not even have a practice or a rehearsal because they didn't want any of their new tricks revealed.

It got me thinking; what if they do the same thing with their army?
For an invading force from what used to be a military superpower, Russia's 58th Army did not look like a modern fighting unit. Victory came as a result of overwhelming numerical superiority and a textbook Soviet-style strategy based on detailed planning that leaves little room for flexibility. It was shock and awe by force of numbers, rather than by precision-guided weapons.
What if the Russians are keeping the good stuff hidden so nobody knows what they have?

Interesting thought, no?

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama's VP pick is Biden

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:38 AM Permalink

I have one word:


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Friday, August 22, 2008

"Outrage is not a policy…"

posted by Bill Arnett @ 2:21 PM Permalink

…says Strobe Talbott, who was deputy secretary of state under President Clinton and is now the president of the Brookings Institution in a NYT article titled, "U.S. Sees Much to Fear in a Hostile Russia.":
Still, although the confrontation over Georgia had been building for years, the outbreak of violence demonstrated just how abruptly the international scene can change. Now Russia is the top focus in Washington and some veteran diplomats fret about the situation spiraling out of control.

“Outrage is not a policy,” said Strobe Talbott, who was deputy secretary of state under President Clinton and is now the president of the Brookings Institution. “Worry is not a policy. Indignation is not a policy. Even though outrage, worry and indignation are all appropriate in this situation, they shouldn’t be mistaken for policy and they shouldn’t be mistaken for strategy.”
The only question I have is just when, since bush stole the 2000 elections assumed office, has America had ANY good policies or EVER made an effective strategy for dealing with ANYTHING?

Jus' wonderin'.

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Obama's citizenship.

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:20 AM Permalink

Here's all I have to say about the lawsuit filed in Philadelphia charging that Obama was born in Kenya and his birth was registered in Hawaii so he's not eligible to president:

Don't you think this issue would've been raised and used ad naseum during the primaries by the Clintons, the most powerful, mischievous and quite frankly, dirty-ball playing political machine in the United States? Don't you think that if Hillary had sniffed just a whiff of that sort of thing, she'd have gleefully rolled around in it and then promptly spread the news to everyone who would listen to her, which, at the time, was EVERYBODY? Hmmmm? Do ya?

See for yourself. Here's a link to all the high res scans you would want of Obama's birth certificate.

'Nuff said.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

It doesn't matter who votes that counts.It's who counts the votes

posted by The Sailor @ 8:20 PM Permalink

Ohio Voting Machines Contained Programming Error That Dropped Votes

The problem was identified after complaints from Ohio elections officials following the March primary there, but the logic error that is the root of the problem has been part of the software for 10 years, said Chris Riggall, a spokesman for Premier Election Solutions, formerly known as Diebold.
Well, if Diebold say it's true it must be true.

But wait, if you call now there's more!
Sarasota told of new voting machine glitch

Sarasota County’s new voting machines have a programming glitch that could cause votes to be lost on Election Day, the company [Diebold] that makes the system says.
So Diebold admitted the problem has been happening for 10 years.

Hmm, Florida, Ohio, what do those states have in common? ... ... ... Oh yeah, I remember, they decided the last 2 elections for the pResident!

And if you act now Bushco will also certify elections in countries we occupy!
Iraqi elections official fears fair vote in jeopardy

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Clap three times!

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:20 PM Permalink

Anyone who believes the new report (here) out by the "powers that be" stating that Building 7 wasn't brought down by explosives, going so far as to call the cause of the collapse a 'new phenomenon', should just join this tribe.


I can only find one fault with this video.

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:13 PM Permalink

Instead of calling it "Mainstream Media", he should've called it "Corporate-owned Media." Other than that, it's perfect.

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Headline: U.S. demands Russia leave Georgia "now"

posted by Bill Arnett @ 2:19 PM Permalink

…I think the Russian response was, "Hey, we're leaving Georgia every bit as fast or faster than you are leaving a country that never attacked you or killed any of your soldiers as Georgia has done to us."

Irony. It's a beautiful thang.

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When are people going to realize that we've already won…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:28 PM Permalink

…in Iraq. It was pronounced over, fini, done, "Mission Accomplished" by bush on the deck of that aircraft carrier lo so many years ago, so there is no more war to win or lose in Iraq.

All they are dickering around with now are the terms of the OCCUPATION of this sovereign and free state and wrapping up the deals that will make Big Oil even more fabulously wealthy than they are now.

So I'm sick as hell of hearing anyone, especially McLame, criticizing Obama by saying he would rather lose a war that has already been won in favor of winning an election. He just simply wants to stop spending over $10 million dollars a month on this stupid and probably illegal occupation.

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What's the most useless thing on Hannah Lieberman?

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:45 PM Permalink


(Thank you. Thank you. You've been great. I'm here every week.)

But seriously, where did this guy come from?
U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman said Thursday that he wants to see Russia kicked out of the Group of Eight "for a while" and denied entry into the World Trade Organization as punishment for its actions in Georgia.
What, may I ask, did Russia do wrong? Even CNN's Jack Cafferty knows that Saakashvili started it. Saakashvili decided that he could take over South Ossetia, at SOMEbody's behest to be sure, but he did it. He's the one that killed the Russian peacekeepers and threatened a Russian protectorate. Shouldn't Saakashvili be booted from NATO consideration? Shouldn't Saakashvili have to pay some price for HIS barbaric behavoir?

But I guess that like Columbia, Georgia may be a bitch, but it's OUR bitch.

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posted by The Vidiot @ 10:49 AM Permalink

You know you own too many house when you can't remember how many houses you own.
Days after he cracked that being rich in the U.S. meant earning at least $5 million a year, Republican presidential candidate John McCain acknowledged that he wasn't sure how many houses he and his wealthy wife actually own.
Or, from another POV: you know you're suffering from Alzheimer's if you can't remember how many houses you own.

Either way, it's bad.

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Polling Problems

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:47 AM Permalink

So, yesterday, everyone was in a tizzy over the one gallup poll that showed McCain with a national lead over Obama. Kos explained it well:
At the same time, a new Q-poll has Obama up five, Gallup has him up three (after being tied a couple of days ago), Ras has him up two, as does Bloomberg/Times.
So, it's really no big whoop. But of course, of all those polls, the corporate-owned media only reported that one Zogby poll. (And Zogby, I might add, has had a rather spotty history.)

And today, the story line is all about McCain "closing the gap" with Obama in the national polls.

Now, I ask you, wouldn't it be just as easy to say "Obama maintains national lead"?

Of course it would, but that wouldn't manufacture the much-needed horse race now would it.

Aren't we all a little tired of being manipulated by all of this crap?

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wherefore Liberty?…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:44 AM Permalink

…Where has it gone? How did we allow ourselves to have our phones, computers, bank records, medical records and more made so easy for the government to access without cause? Where was the outrage at bush having the Pentagon and NSA turn our most powerful spy satellites inward against innocent citizens? Why is the idea of a "terrorist" watch list with several hundreds of thousands of names on it, rendering it useless, seemingly okay?

Now more spying upon our citizens is happening again at our borders where the government is tracking the movements of American citizens accused of nothing.:
The federal government has been using its system of border checkpoints to greatly expand a database on travelers entering the country by collecting information on all U.S. citizens crossing by land, compiling data that will be stored for 15 years and may be used in criminal and intelligence investigations.

Officials say the Border Crossing Information system, disclosed last month by the Department of Homeland Security in a Federal Register notice, is part of a broader effort to guard against terrorist threats. It also reflects the growing number of government systems containing personal information on Americans that can be shared for a broad range of law enforcement and intelligence purposes, some of which are exempt from some Privacy Act protections.[…]

The data could be used beyond determining whether a person may enter the United States. For instance, information may be shared with foreign agencies when relevant to their hiring or contracting decisions.[…]

"This database is, in a sense, worse than a watch list," [Greg Nojeim, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology] said. "At least in the watch-list scenario, there's some reason why the name got on the list. Here, the only thing a person does to come to the attention of DHS is to lawfully cross the border. The theory of this data collection is: Track everyone -- just in case."
"Track everyone -- just in case."

Where do I go to have a GPS chip implanted -- if they haven't already installed one.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another useless rumination

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:30 PM Permalink

Early on in my life, I worked in a lab doing cardiac research and that job required the beating hearts of rats, which meant I had to guillotine them and cut them open before their hearts stopped beating. Then, I moved on to cancer research. That job required me to harvest antibodies from the peritoneal cavities of little white mice, which meant I had to euthanize them and then suck the fluid out of their guts with a large-gauge needle. At some point during the that job, I had a dream that I was strapped to a gurney and a buxom white mouse in a nursing uniform - complete with little paper hat - wheeled me into an office where a lab rat, using a pointer and crudely drawn picture of a human body, was telling me what experiment he was going to perform on me.

Upon waking, I decided I should change my career path.

This picture brought that all back.

Only in my dream, he was A LOT larger.


And my nomination for the stupidest headline of the day…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 3:21 PM Permalink

… comes from WaPo
FBI Tries to Bolster Case Against Anthrax Suspect
Pardon me, but didn't their "suspect" finally break under the pressure of years of accusations and commit suicide?

S-o-o-o-o, doesn't that obviously mean that they have no case to "bolster," and why do they want to spend a few million more taxpayer dollars on what should be a closed case?

Maybe they're not so confident that they caused the right guy to commit suicide?

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A great paraphrased quote from todays NYT Editorial…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 2:58 PM Permalink

…which, while speaking of Mr. Musharraf makes this statement, one just as easily appropriate to bushco and our elections:
The first challenge is to choose a new civilian president, free from any taint of corruption or complicity with past dictatorships. The presidency must also be stripped of the special dictatorial powers that [Mr. bush] seized for himself, including the power to suspend civil liberties and rule by decree.
Amazingly prescient. And sad that an American President has so much in common with despots.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

A now another side of the story.

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:10 PM Permalink

On Fox news of all places, a 12 year old girl says that the trouble was started by the Georgians.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Drill Here, Drill Now!?

posted by The Sailor @ 11:36 PM Permalink

U.S. oil firms seek drilling access, but exports soar

The White House said it was against requiring U.S. oil products to stay at home.

"Forbidding exports of U.S. petroleum reduces the incentive for domestic suppliers to produce, and could potentially lead to higher prices if U.S. production or refining declined," said White House spokesman Scott Stanzel.

The 1.6 million barrels a day in record petroleum exports represented 9 percent of total U.S. refining capacity of 17.6 million barrels a day.

However, with refiners operating at 85 percent of capacity during the January-April period, the shipments represented a much a larger share of total U.S. oil products produced.

The exports were also equal to half the 3.2 million barrels of gasoline, diesel fuel and other petroleum products the United States imported each day over the 4-month period.
Ummm, maybe I'm missing something here but it seems we can reduce our dependency by half on foreign oil by just not exporting ours!?


Cross posted at SteveAudio

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One of the cynical statements ever made…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:57 PM Permalink

…by anyone comes from, of course, John McInsane:
"In The 21st Century Nations Don't Invade Other Nations"
I think the sublime ridiculousness of this statement speaks for itself.

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The view from Tblisi

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:52 PM Permalink

I have a freind who works for a media company in Tblisi, Georgia. She sent the following update, though, to be honest, she works for 'the man' and she's firmly enveloped by the system. I happen to not believe the Georgian government would be stupid enough to bomb the Russian barracks and that both sides are behaving badly. But that's just me. (Pardon the bad formatting. I copied it from an email)

Will try to send a better update later, but, essentially, what's belowis truly the situation on the ground about 90 minutes from here. Weresome shots on television today that had one very energetic Georgian TVreporter quizzing Russian soldiers about why they had forks and other knickknacks sticking out of their pockets. Plus, a really lovely interview with a senior officer who said they were blowing up Georgian ammunition dumps b/c they're "trophies." The Georgian reporter, cleverly playing dumb, came back with "Oh, you mean a war trophy?" Yes, the guy said. "So you're saying this is a war, not a peace keeping operation?"which is what Moscow has claimed. He just came back with a laugh, and asked if he's aware of the rules of war.

There were also some compelling shots that showed that the Russian army REALLY aspires to the highest levels of intelligence in their infantry.The standard line about why they were doing what they were doing was "An order is an order," or one Dumbo-looking character coming out with"Everything's decided there [Moscow] -- big blank look -- you know how many generals they have there?" Wowwwwwwww, generals! Impressive! And here I am some robotic schmuck with no brain of my own.

Several reporters have been shot or shot at; and these soldiers, when the patience started to run out, threatened to shoot this intrepid Georgian reporter as well. Granted, they're not smart enough to put two and two together, so sometimes their stupidity works against them. Like when they told this reporter to step back from a car that was carrying some Georgian official (it seemed) from Gori in it, and then, not understanding Georgian, proceeded to allow a conversation to ensue about how bad the situation was there. Or there was the little dialogue with one Russian soldier about why he had a gold fork sticking out of his uniform pocket. Another video posted on YouTube shows them looting a Georgian barracks and one guy going wild about the fact that the living conditions are better than what they have. As WWII, Chechnya, etc. have shown, that's standard behavior for these people -- don't try to
get something better for yourself; just destroy what the other person has. Really, a high quality of serviceman they've got there.

They're the same brute, stupid faces we used to see on TV in Moscow from Chechnya.

So, please, please don't give any credence to anything that comes out of Moscow. The Georgian govt can get caught up in propaganda as well, but this stuff is real, on-the-ground. And given the reports of raping, killings, lootings (despite the fact that, as everyone knows who's been there, South Ossetia is dirt poor), and even a beheading (alleged by the North Caucasian irregulars that are with the Russians; sometimes by the Ossetian separatists; sometimes by the Russians themselves) that are coming in from displaced persons, it's most likely far, far worse. If Human Rights Watch, usually a strong critic of this govt, is giving them credit, then, yes, more likely than not, that's what's going on.

All right, not sure why felt the need to ramble on this, but it really makes me insanely angry. There's a US military evaluation team coming to town "soon," and I sure as hell hope that they pick up the pace with their assistance to help the armed forces get their act back together again.

"Georgia's always on my mind…"

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:19 PM Permalink

…I watched the most embarrassing display of political arrogance, stupidity, and sheer whining by condi rice and President Mikheil Saakashvili, who, after invading South Ossetia, which remains loyal to Russia along with Abkhazia, got his ass stomped and stomped hard by the overwhelming force brought to bear by the Russian army.

Of course, the American media is portraying this event as an illegal invasion by Russia, and all the neocon chicken hawks, bush, cheney, rice, gates, kristol and others are making demands that Russia withdraw, all the while knowing that our armed forces have been broken and depleted so badly by bushco's attempt to establish an American Empire surrounding Russia that we cannot possibly enter into an armed conflict with Russia with any expectation of winning.

condi rice in particular keeps whining that, "…it's not 1968 anymore and such actions cannot be tolerated." She's right, it ain't 1968 anymore when we were still a great superpower and the old Soviet Union was on its way to spending itself into bankruptcy trying to keep up in the arms race with America.

Now the situation has been completely reversed and it is Russia that has regained superpower status while watching America spend itself into bankruptcy under the stewardship of the worst American president and sleaziest world leader ever, g.w. bush, who has asininely ignored every statement made by Russian leaders who have repeatedly warned that bushco's reckless policies and actions to establish an American Empire would not go unchallenged.

Saakashvili was foolish enough to be encouraged by the neocons to attack a provence loyal to Russia and one that Russia would inevitably defend with sufficient force to bring Georgia to its knees. Saakashvili rightly believes that the West, and America in particular, have betrayed him and destroyed any chance of himself being thought of as a great leader.

I deplore war, and I feel great sorrow for all the Georgians now suffering from this event, but unfortunately they have only their own leader to blame.

And Russia hardly needs to fear America anymore. Every threat being made, every demand, is meaningless, for we are no longer a superpower with the means or ability to enforce them. Every penny bushco can beg, borrow, or steal is being sucked into the black holes of Iraq and Afghanistan and the entire world now knows America is a paper tiger.

Good job, bushy.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Stupid Headline of the Day

posted by The Sailor @ 6:59 PM Permalink

Obama Accused of Rarely Reaching Out to GOP

"If there's one public official who has consistently put his country ahead of his party, working across party lines to get things done in Washington, it is John McCain," Lieberman said in an interview with ABC News. "It's not Barack Obama, with all respect."
"Sen. Obama has no record that I can see of taking on positions that are held by a lot of people within his own party," Lieberman said. "John McCain does that all the time.
Actually McCain voted with Bush, (when McCain's bothered to show up), 95% to 100% of the time.

And Obama has a solid record of voting for bipartisan bills and co-authoring them with Republican Senators Lugar and Coburn when the bills make sense.

But most importantly, why would a Democratic Senator and candidate for president 'reach out' to the very rethuglicans who got us into these economic, immoral and deadly morasses that have been the trademark of Bushco when the whole point of this election is to decide between John McCain advocating 4 more years of demonstrably failed policies and Barack Obama advocating the return to American ideals?

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Git mo' Justice

posted by The Sailor @ 3:42 PM Permalink

So Hamdan, 'worst of the worst', the 'sexiest prosecution' that was ordered just in time for the election cycle, the 1st man to be rushed to trial in Gitmo ... gets 5 months. (Not that Bushco will actually let him go, even if they applauded the 'fair trial.')

In a trial where the prosecution gets to present 'evidence' obtained thru torture, gets to use secret evidence the defense can't see, has a jury of 6 US Military officers, (out of a pool of 13), and only has to have a two thirds majority for a guilty verdict finds Hamdan guilty ... and hands down a 5 month sentence.

[snark]Woo-hoo, the system works![/snark]

Aside from that, this little tidbit regarding the Hamdan verdict stood out to me:
Defense lawyers said that ever since Hamdan was designated in July 2003 to face one of the very first trials, he had been separated from other detainees, in virtual solitary confinement with long periods of no sunshine.

Prosecutors and prison camps officials say there is no such thing as solitary confinement at Guantánamo.
"no such thing as solitary confinement at Guantánamo." WTF!? USA: Guantánamo Bay - New report shows 80% of detainees in solitary confinement

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

A little perspective

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:33 AM Permalink

Do you realize there's a war going on between Russia and Georgia?
Georgia's parliament Saturday approved a request by President Mikhail
Saakashvili's to impose a "state of war," as the conflict between Georgia and
Russia escalated, Georgian officials said.

And what prompted this declaration? Seems that some Russian peacekeepers were killed in the separatist republic of South Ossetia, so Russia has retaliated. But why would Georgia do that? I mean, that's a highly provocative thing to do. Would you poke a big, giant man-eating bear like Russia? No, you wouldn't. That would be dumb. But, that's what happened. So now, at least 1,500 are dead in Ossetia and Russia is knee deep in a conflagration.

So who benefits from this turn of events? Well, if the US wanted to start a war with Iran, everybody knows that Russia now has a stake in that country due to it's recent contracts and that attacking Iran would be like attacking Russia, for all intents and purposes.

However, now that Russia is tied up in a war with Georgia, it makes it more difficult for them to intercede. The route that they would've used to help Iran is not available to them at the moment. Now, if you combine THAT with the ships that are heading to the Gulf, and Condi's recent wink and nod to Israel, well, I'm not resting comfortably. How about you?

Then again, you probably have no idea what's going on or at least the context of it. Why? Because it's been all about Edwards' trysts and the Beijing Olympics for that last 48 hours.

I need a hurricane and I'm not talking weather.

Update: More perspective. A blog from Ossetia.


Friday, August 08, 2008

Little boxes made of ticky tacky

posted by The Sailor @ 3:11 PM Permalink

U.S. segregates violent Iraqi prisoners in crates

The U.S. military is segregating violent Iraqi prisoners in wooden crates that in some cases are not much bigger than the prisoners.

The military released photos of what it calls "segregation boxes" used in Iraq.

Three grainy black-and-white photos show the rudimentary structures of wood and mesh. Some of the boxes are as small as 3 feet by 3 feet by 6 feet tall, according to military officials.
The can't lie down or sit down and they're held in little boxes for up to 12 hours in 100+ degree heat.

Boss Kean would be proud.

"We don't torture", yeah, right.

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Oh, boy! A circus to distract the masses!

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:52 PM Permalink

I hope that more people like me - a lot more - don't abandon any principles they may hold against slavery, domination, jailing dissidents, and government censorship to be entertained by what I believe is the greatest fraud ever, the Olympic games being held in Communist China, one of the most repressive governments on earth (with the U.S sliding down that same slippery slope to absolute despotism and catching up quickly).

I know that I just can't watch pageantry and sporting competitions while being aware of the slave labor used to build the site or without thinking of the thousands of people forced from their homes so the site could be built, and the tens of thousands more restricted to areas out of the sight of the yellow dog news readers who will definitely abandon their principles to cover this event.

I am ashamed, but not surprised, that bush would attend these games and by extension ratify the actions of the Red Chinese Communist government. After all, bush is the biggest dog turd and unprincipled president America has ever had and he must pay homage to the financiers of America. He is, after all, their whippin' boy and we are their biggest debtor.

So while the networks try to sell us wall-to-wall, 24/7 coverage of this shameful event I guarantee you I won't watch any of it for any longer than it takes me to grab the remote and flip to networks not covering the "games."

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I'm supposed to be on vacation

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:01 PM Permalink

but here I am, in New Orleans, just perusing the morning news and I see this:
The build up of naval forces in the Gulf will be one of the largest
multi-national naval armadas since the First and Second Gulf Wars. The intent is
to create a US/EU naval blockade (which is an Act of War under international
law) around Iran (with supporting air and land elements) to prevent the shipment
of benzene and certain other refined oil products headed to Iranian ports.
Great. Just great.

It would be BY FAR the dumbest thing EVER if there's a war with Iran. Why can't these people see that? I don't think they're stupid. I know they don't particularly car about us, the 'proles, but even for them, it would be baaaaaad.

Not even a Parkview Bakery po boy and an Abita Beer will take my mind of this.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

"Guilty as ordered" says the NYT…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:22 PM Permalink

editorial today:
Now that was a real nail-biter. The court designed by the White House and its Congressional enablers to guarantee convictions of high-profile detainees in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — using evidence obtained by torture and secret evidence as desired — has held its first trial. It produced ... a guilty verdict.{…}

Col. Morris Davis, the former chief prosecutor in Guantánamo, put the trial in a disturbing light. He testified that he was informed by his superiors that only guilty verdicts would be tolerated. He also said that he was told to bring high-profile cases quickly to help Republicans score a pre-election public relations coup.[…]

[…] in a democracy, trials must be governed by fair rules, and judges must be guided by the law and the evidence, not pressure from the government. The military commission system, which falls far short of these standards, is a stain on the United States.
Boy howdy, how filled with false pride must all Republicans be, all those god-fearin', church goin', family values, rule of law, bible-thumpin', holy rollin', better-than-thou genuine throwbacks to the days of torture with thumbscrews, truncheon carrying fighters in the war against human kindness, forgiveness, and all the other things they preach from their sweat-covered, old, obviously well-read on Sundays bibles that purport to teach them the milk of human kindness that instead turns out diseased, maladjusted, 'warriors for Christ', holding forth their only true values as a shield before them while they relentlessly invade, conquer, conduct genocide such as not seen in centuries, displacing millions of innocent people so they can drill for the only god they truly worship: OIL, drillin' oil for money, money, money, money no matter how many millions must die horrible deaths now and in the future as innocent children have their arms and legs blown off or are outright killed from picking up the brightly colored bomblets from cluster bombs that all those church-going Republicans like to use to cause misery for decades, and to kill the ones they missed with their direct bombing, artillery fire, hellfire rockets, and napalm.

Nice people, those religious right Republicans. I hope for their sake that they are wrong about a just god bent on justice or they will all find themselves burning in the hell to which they so confidently claim to send those different than them.

And in the meantime, tens of thousands of uncharged Afghan and Iraqi citizens rot in dismal prisons under who-knows-what deplorable conditions awaiting the same rigged fate of justice dispensed by the least just country in the world: America.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Military Assaults

posted by The Sailor @ 5:21 PM Permalink

Sexual assault in military 'jaw-dropping,' lawmaker says

[Rep. Jane Harman, D-California] said Thursday that her "jaw dropped" when military doctors told her that four in 10 women at a veterans hospital reported being sexually assaulted while in the military.

A government report indicates that the numbers could be even higher.
"My jaw dropped when the doctors told me that 41 percent of the female veterans seen there say they were victims of sexual assault while serving in the military"
But when it came time for the military to defend itself, the panel was told that the Pentagon's top official on sexual abuse, Dr. Kaye Whitley, was ordered not to show up despite a subpoena.
"The Defense Department appears to be willfully and blatantly advising Dr. Whitley not to comply with a duly authorized congressional subpoena," Tierney said.
Here's more from Colonel Ann Wright:
Rep. Elijah Cummings joined Rep. Waxman in speaking of cover-ups. Cummings raised the cases of military women who had been sexually assaulted before dying in “non-combat incidents.” He spoke specifically about Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson, who was found beaten and dead of a gunshot wound at Balad Air Base, Iraq, in a burning tent owned by the contractor KBR. Her parents suspected that Johnson had been murdered and that the homicide was being covered up by the Army, which deemed the death a suicide. Cummings also spoke of Army Pfc. Tina Priest, who was raped at Taji, Iraq, and found dead 10 days later of a gunshot wound. After her family had measurements taken of her arms and of the angle of the bullet and found that she could not have pulled the trigger of her M-16 with her finger, the Army said she had pulled the trigger by using her toe.
Lt. Gen. Rochelle, the Army chief of personnel, reported the little known statistic that 12 percent of reported rapes in the military are of male military personnel.

[Representative Christopher Shays (R - CT)] said he had no confidence in DoD or the military services and their policies of prevention of sexual assault, and asked how recruiting will fare when young women learn that one in three women is sexually assaulted and when young men find out that one in 10 men is raped while in the military.
Leave it to a republican to be mainly concerned about how rape and sexual assault will affect recruiting.

Of course the rape and sexual assaults are not just confined to the military ... (maybe confined is the wrong term considering the incredibly low rate of prosecutions and even lower rate of jail time)... the American mercenary companies in Iraq have enjoyed complete immunity from any prosecution in Iraq, including rapes of fellow Americans.

They could have been prosecuted, it's American on American crime after all, but the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense refused to do so.

The most notorious and publicized rape by a DoD civilian sub-contractor has been Jamie Leigh Jones who was employed by KBR and was only able to report her rape by a cell phone given to her by a sympathetic KBR guard holding her captive in a shipping container.

And now that KBR thinks the heat has died down what is their reaction?
Iraq contractor bans cell phones for 'safety and security'

According to an e-mail obtained by CNN, the company issued the order to all KBR employees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait
In the e-mail, employees are ordered to stop using their cell phones as of 8 a.m. Saturday and turn them in to the company's human resources department.

"Any individual using a personal cell phone will be disciplined," the e-mail says. "Termination is an option of discipline. The cell phone will be confiscated."

A KBR employee, who asked to remain anonymous, said he was "not aware of any security breaches involving the use of cell phones" and that employees were not given any reason for the order.
"KBR has a communication system, but as with any system it does fail and we can only communicate with another installation by use of the cell phones," he said. "We pay for this use with our own funds."
So according to a male KBR employee this policy makes all KBR employees less safe, and they're willing to pay for this safety on their own dime.

I wonder what KBR employees would pay not to be raped? And I really wonder what KBR would earn if their employees can't report being raped. Golly, their shareholders must really be upset that KBR only made $48 million last quarter instead of the $140 million they made in the first quarter.

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Can they do this?

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:11 PM Permalink

I mean, the alleged "anthrax" guy is dead. He can't defend himself and here they are releasing all the evidence against him.


What does it mean?

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:57 PM Permalink

Looking at the list of the Nielson Top 20 TV shows, I realize I must be out of lockstep with the rest of the American public. How else to account for the fact that not only do I not watch any of them (except for maybe 60 Minutes and only when I feel like annoying the crap out of myself) but I have no idea what most of the shows on that list are even about.

What the hell is Flashpoint? Or Old Christine? Was there a New Christine at one point? Wipeout? There's really a show called Wipeout? Is that about surfers or something?

Actually, it probably explains a lot.


Another headline shaming America is found on…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:25 PM Permalink

The Huffington Post this morning:
Before he goes to the Olympics he will condemn their policies on human rights?

Why not before, while he's there, after he leaves, and every chance he gets?

Because the world would be relentlessly laughing at gw bush for having the audacity to speak about human rights after the genocide he ordered to be carried out to systematically gain control of all that Iraqi oil and doing everything possible to suppress the rights we American formerly enjoyed in a free society by doing his best to see that we are no longer going to have a free society?

I guess once you get that kind of reputation it's kind of hard to speak about human rights with any authority.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Rarely does something this administration does leave me speechless.

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:42 PM Permalink

But, it's happened.
Some detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba will likely never be released because of the danger they pose, and those tried and acquitted will still be subject to continued detention as enemy combatants, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday.
Found guilty? Stay at gitmo. Acquitted? Stay at gitmo.


There's something really ironic about this.

posted by The Vidiot @ 3:35 PM Permalink

But I can't put my finger on it. Seems they lost a laptop that had all the applications on it for the airport fast-pass program. You know, the one where you can get into the express lane at the airport and avoid having to feel like a criminal. They've since found it, but who knows where it's been and what was done to it.

Ooo, it's like an itch I can't scratch. The irony is there. I just can't seem to locate it...

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The Anthrax Hoax

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:59 PM Permalink

I'll sum things up so you don't have to.

OK, so, when the Anthrax thing first happened, the war hawks were quick to blame it on Iraq as yet another fabricated cause to bomb that country. Then, the FBI started to chase this Hatfill guy around until they were blue in the face. They couldn't pin it on him, try as the might. In fact, he ended up suing them and winning $5.2 million against the FBI. So, then, the FBI started doing heavy pressure investigations of Ft. Detrick anthrax researchers and I guess they settled on the Ivins guy, maybe because he was "weak", who knows.

But the story gets weirder. The woman who filed the restraining order on him has her own history of issues that compromises her. And while some in the media continue to frame Ivins, others are saying, hey, wait a minute and co-workers and friends say he's not the one. His suicide is quite convenient, no?

There is a prime suspect, by the way, just not one the FBI is willing to pursue.

Read Justin Raimondo's article on it. It's way more detailed than mine, but this is it in a nutshell.

I guess my whole thing is, it's been seven freakin' years and they can't seem to find the guy who did it? But heaven forbid some senior citizen should crack a joke about assassinating George Bush and his house will be swarming with S.W.A.T. teams within minutes. Go figure.


These are my people.

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:35 PM Permalink

The family that character portrays together, stays together.

Well, almost. Here are some pictures from this year's Comic Convention in LA. Not that I would dress up for it mind you... well, maybe I could be talked into dressing as Aeryn Sun from Farscape, but only if Mr. Vidiot would go as John Crichton.

Anyway, for better or worse, I can pretty much name all of the characters they were trying to portray. There's even an Oompa Loompa!

See, I told you I was a dork.


Things you should've already known

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:31 AM Permalink

You should've known that this administration (or any for that matter) are willing to do anything to get what they want.
A new book by the author Ron Suskind claims that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein.

Suskind writes in “The Way of the World,” to be published Tuesday, that the alleged forgery – adamantly denied by the White House – was designed to portray a false link between Hussein’s regime and al Qaeda as a justification for the Iraq war.

The author also claims that the Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official “that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.”
Also, you should've known that the DEA will do anything to maintain the mythical war on drugs. Here's a story about a picture that has been circulating from a raid on a medical marijuana dispensary:
The next day, Tim King of gave wider distribution to the story, writing, "Are members of a disputed mercenary killer group now working with the DEA? A photo from the LA Times shows proof of one of two things; either Blackwater members are now working for the Bush White House's Drug Enforcement Agency, or this semi-illegitimate band of rogue federal cops have worse discipline than any of us ever imagined."
(The picture was notable because the supposed 'DEA agent' had a healthy soul patch on his chin, which isn't really standard DEA facial hair.)


Monday, August 04, 2008

Plastic, Fantastic ... Man?

posted by The Sailor @ 1:40 PM Permalink

From a US study on Phthalates in 2005:
The Rochester team, who examined 134 boys, found women with higher levels of phthalate-related chemicals in their blood were more likely to give birth to boys with undescended, or small testicles, small penises, or a shorter distance than usual between the genitals and anus.

It did not take exceptional levels of exposure to produce an effect - abnormalities were found in women exposed to levels below those found in a quarter of US women.
And fast forward to today:
Lawmakers Agree to Ban Toxins in Children's Items

Congressional negotiators agreed yesterday to a ban on a family of toxins found in children's products, handing a major victory to parents and health experts who have been clamoring for the government to remove harmful chemicals from toys.
Phthalates make plastics softer and more durable and also are added to perfumes, lotions, shampoos and other items. They are so ubiquitous that in one 1999 study, the Food and Drug Administration found traces in all of its 1,000 subjects.

The measure had wide support in the Senate, but it bogged down in the House, where the chemical industry waged a costly battle to defeat it. The campaign was led by Exxon Mobil, which manufacturers diisononyl phthalate, or DINP, the phthalate most frequently found in children's toys. The company spent a chunk of its $22 million lobbying budget in the past 18 months to try to prevent any ban.
"Chemical additives should not be placed in products that can impact health adversely until they are tested and found to be benign," [Sen. Dianne Feinstein] said.
"There is no scientific basis for Congress to restrict phthalates from toys and children's products. With over 50 years of research, phthalates are among the most thoroughly studied products in the world, and have been reviewed by multiple regulatory bodies in the U.S. and Europe," [Sharon Kneiss, a vice president of the American Chemistry Council, a chemical industry lobbying group] said.

Exxon Mobil contended that banning phthalates may inadvertently expose children to greater risks, because manufacturers will be forced to use substitute chemicals that may be even more hazardous.
The industry's position was repeated by Keith Hennessey, director of Bush's Economic Policy Council, who wrote to the Senate saying that a ban could hurt children.
OK, a couple of points here:
1) Why is Bush's Economic Policy Counsel weighing in on a public health concern?
2) Why is Bush's EPC parroting the exact same line that Exxon is?
3) Why is the the American Chemistry Council lying about the safety record of these chemicals considering the fact that Europe has already banned them?
4) Why is Exxon threatening to use even more dangerous chemicals to our children's health if these are banned, especially considering many alternatives already exist?
5) Why aren't chemical additives tested BEFORE they are put in children's toys?

The answer is simple: Bush, (who threatens a veto for this legislation), and all the Republicans who voted against this bill, are hypocrites. They claim to be about family values and Christian morals, but they consistently put their profits over their prophets. The next time some concern troll cries "but what about the children!?" ask them what is in their baby's toys.

For more information please follow the actual links to scientific studies.

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

A Vestigial Body

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:36 AM Permalink

Really. The administration will be out office in in less than six months (barring any conspiratorial occurances), they've already been at it for seven and half years, and NOW they get around to this?:
The President will no longer be able to change published executive orders in secret if a bill introduced to the Senate Thursday becomes law.
Like Bush will even sign that law, or, better, if he does, he'd just add a signing statement.

So, like, whateverrrr.


Friday, August 01, 2008

And we are homeless, homeless; Moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake

posted by The Sailor @ 5:18 PM Permalink

This would be good news, if 'twere true:
Chronic homeless population down 15%, U.S. says
But of course it's not true, it just reflects Bushco's redefining of 'chronically homeless':
In general, a chronically homeless person is an unaccompanied disabled individual who has been continuously homeless for over one year.
So to be 'chronically homeless' you also have to be disabled and without a family.

Bushco also redefined 'homeless', ignoring the law that already defines 'homeless.'
Bushco Law:
This is the third annual national HUD count, and in previous years, some cities had been counting families who were living two families to an apartment, for example, or those living in RVs, as homeless. This year, they weren't. This count, say the report's authors, is the most successful to date in tallying only those who were actually in shelters or on the streets — the official HUD definition of a homeless person.
Actually, if you go on the HUD website, their official definition is the same one that is established in federal law:
§11302. General definition of homeless individual
(a) In general
For purposes of this chapter, the term “homeless” or “homeless individual or homeless person” includes—

1. an individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and

2. an individual who has a primary nighttime residence that is —

1. a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations (including welfare hotels, congregate shelters, and transitional housing for the mentally ill);

2. an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or

3. a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
That's pretty clear, and it's the only definition of 'homeless' on the HUD site. (Why can I Google something in 2 minutes that Time's reporters can't find in a month of research?[/rhetorical question])

And the Federal definition of homeless is pretty accurate, if it's not your home you are staying at, you are homeless.

Having been homeless a couple of times I can tell you it's really great to have family and friends that put you up until you can get back on your feet. But I was just a single guy and even then I sometimes wore out my welcome. I can't imagine what would have been my welcome if I'd had a wife and children.

And I really don't want to imagine what my life would have been like if I had no other place to go except a homeless shelter, or more probably an underpass or less elegant accommodation because all THE HOMELESS SHELTERS ARE FULL!

And it's just going to get worse. Between the record home foreclosures, bank failures, high unemployment and food & gas prices we're in for a bumpy ride for years after Bush and his minions are gone.

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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The ever-continuing story of a narcotics turtle…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:12 PM Permalink

…whose very existence could not be previously revealed. I found out about this amazing creature from a staff member of The Turtle Squad, a super secret division of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), who requested and received anonymity because his position as chief turtle wrangler would be jeopardized were I to reveal that he, Billy Bob "BB" Jones, revealed this information to me.

This secret turtle squad has been years in the creation of this program, the training of the turtles complicated by their (the turtles) inability to move at more than a few hundred feet an hour, limiting their usefulness in large forested areas of the country.

However, as BB my anonymous informant described the first successful use of trained turtles I knew it was time for this program to be exposed as these turtles, armed only with FBI National Security letters, have been and are infiltrating fields of green, pot that is, with no regard to privacy and the Fourth Amendment providing that there shall be no unreasonable searches and seizures of property.

"In many cases this is the only manner in which we can get operatives in 'under the radar' to gather evidence," said my source.

From the NYT comes more detail:
The hero of this little crime drama has a brain about the size of a raisin, so of course she has no idea what happened. She's a reptile -- but who cares? There's a drug suspect in custody, so let's credit her with the arrest.

Her name is Turtle No. 72.

Ken Ferebee, a National Park Service researcher, has been monitoring Turtle No. 72 for seven years, occasionally venturing into the woods to see her. Since Turtle No. 72's purpose in life is limited pretty much to finding a berry or bug to nibble on, there's no telling where in her roughly 50-acre range she might wander on a given day.

A few weeks ago, her little turtle brain guided her to a sun-splashed clearing deep in the woods.

He saw Turtle No. 72 in the clearing and moved toward her.

"But as I'm walking, I could see a patch of bare soil that didn't look quite right. And when I got closer, I could tell it had been cleared and some plants had been planted. They looked like they'd been grown somewhere else and then actually replanted in the park."

Suspicious vegetation -- about 10 plants, some four feet tall.

"I could tell they were marijuana plants," said Ferebee, 46. "I've seen pictures of the leaves before. I've actually seen marijuana plants before, too. . . . And I was a little surprised to see them right there. They've been found in the park before, but it's been a long time."

He said, "I called the police to come see, because I knew they'd be interested in that."

A Park Police spokesman, Sgt. Robert Lachance, said yesterday that investigators covertly watched the pot patch from time to time until the alleged grower, a Montgomery County resident, showed up to tend to the plants. The suspect, Isiah Johnson, 19, of 2300 block of Washington Avenue in Chevy Chase, was arrested Wednesday and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
It is crystal clear that a powerful new weapon to fight drug crime is now on the scene, and that's Turtle 72, relentlessly cruising it's fifty acre territory in search of the newest and most dangerous strains of pot ever created, 5,000,000,000,000 times more potent than any weed ever before discovered.

Unfortunately Turtle 72 ingested so much of the pot that it was last seen flying north, in the direction of Canada, meaning that its years of training were essentially wasted. Turtle 73 is now being trained and should be ready for operation as early as 2012, the end of Barack Obama's first term in office.

The bush maladministration vehemently denies any knowledge of Turtle 72 or the Reptilian Defense Force being trained for use in Columbia in the hopes that the search for cocoa plants will speed up search times.

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My favorite quote today comes from E.J. Dionne's…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:38 AM Permalink

…editorial in the regarding the chickensh*t campaign being run by John McCain, the insane clown killer, titled,"English Lessons for McCain" where he wraps it up saying:
Voters are in a mood to give the status quo a swift kick. Instead of offering puerile ads trashing Obama, McCain should show how he'd be the change we've been waiting for.
Hear, hear! And I mean that literally as I don't think I have heard anything from McSlain except the same old attack ads, devoid of substance, empty of promise for hope of restoring Americas greatness, indeed, lacking any substance on even something as simple as uplifting his fellow citizens, and putting the truth out there for consideration by all and for comparisons with the views and values of his opponent, Barack Obama.

This latest round of equine excrement accusing Obama of having played the "race card' is just the most recent insult to the intelligence of our citizens.

Just as my remarking on the fact that I am caucasian in no way means I am a racist, Barack pointing out that he's black and being accused of being racist for it is ludicrous.

But what do you expect of race-baiting, biased, prejudiced, hateful and truly racist old white men, who sell-out every "principal" they ever claimed to honor just to win an election, and that are still in charge of a vanishing and ever more irrelevant political party, the GOP?

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