Daily Archive: 01/11/2011

Jan 11 2011

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

Now with 50 Top Stories.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Biden says US may stay in Afghanistan after 2014

by Katherine Haddon, AFP

2 hrs 9 mins ago

KABUL (AFP) – US Vice President Joe Biden stressed Tuesday that his country’s troops could stay in Afghanistan after 2014 if Afghans want them to, on day two of a surprise visit to the war-torn nation.

Speaking after talks with President Hamid Karzai in Kabul, Biden said: “We’re not leaving if you (Afghans) don’t want us to leave”.

But he also emphasised that the planned handover of responsibility for security from international troops to Afghan forces in four years, agreed at a NATO summit in November, was on track.

Jan 11 2011

WikiLeaks’ Assange “happy about today’s outcome” After Extradition Hearing

Following his initial extradition hearing today in Belmarsh Magistrates Court, London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said he was “happy about today’s outcome” and “said the skeleton argument he and his legal team hastily produced over Christmas will be made publicly available later” reports the UK Guardian in an article published this morning.

This outlines “some important issues which will be gone into in detail on 6 and 7 February”, he said, according to the Guardian.

“I would also like to say that our work with WikiLeaks continues unabated and we are stepping up our publishing for matters relating to ‘cablegate’ and other materials. This will shortly be occurring through our newspaper partners around the world, big and small newspapers and some human rights organisations.”

In today’s 10-minute session, Assange’s QC, Geoffrey Robertson, said all legal preparations are in place for a full two-day extradition hearing next month.

District judge Nicholas Evans released Assange, who spoke only to confirm his name, age and address, on conditional bail. Assange, who wore a dark suit and light-coloured shirt, listented intently as he sat behind a glass screen at the top security court.

Judge Evans also modified the terms of his bail to allow him to stay at the Frontline Club in Paddington on February 6th and 7th so he will not have far to travel for the full two-day extradition hearing in February.

His bail terms had previously required him to stay at at the home of Vaughan Smith, founder of The FrontLine Club – the journalists’ club in London where Assange had stayed before his arrest in December – since he was originally granted bail on December 16, 2010.

Assange appeared outside the court today with a public statement and was videoed by Euronews:

Jan 11 2011

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Robert Kuttner: Zero Hour for Social Security

As I have previously warned–and I hope I’m wrong–President Obama seems on the verge of needlessly cutting America’s most valued social program and the one that best differentiates Republicans from Democrats. This is part of a vain effort to appease deficit hawks in his own party and on Wall Street, as well as Republicans who are utter hypocrites when it comes to deficits–increasing them as long as the purpose is tax cuts but then turning around and demanding program cuts in order to reduce the deficits they created.

All the choreography is in place for the president to embrace Social Security cuts in his upcoming State of the Union address.

Cutting Social Security is financially needless–the program is in sound shape for the next 27 years. It has nothing to do with the current deficit. It will be solvent indefinitely if we can get some wage growth going again. Failing that, we should raise the lid on income taxed, so that millionaires pay the same rate as regular people. For more detail, see ourfiscalsecurity.org.

Chris Hedges: Even Lost Wars Make Corporations Rich

Power does not rest with the electorate. It does not reside with either of the two major political parties. It is not represented by the press. It is not arbitrated by a judiciary that protects us from predators. Power rests with corporations. And corporations gain very lucrative profits from war, even wars we have no chance of winning. All polite appeals to the formal systems of power will not end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We must physically obstruct the war machine or accept a role as its accomplice.

The moratorium on anti-war protests in 2004 was designed to help elect the Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry. It was a foolish and humiliating concession. Kerry snapped to salute like a windup doll when he was nominated. He talked endlessly about victory in Iraq. He assured the country that he would not have withdrawn from Fallujah. And by the time George W. Bush was elected for another term the anti-war movement had lost its momentum. The effort to return Congress to Democratic control in 2006 and end the war in Iraq became another sad lesson in incredulity. The Democratic Party, once in the majority, funded and expanded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Barack Obama in 2008 proved to be yet another advertising gimmick for the corporate and military elite. All our efforts to work within the political process to stop these wars have been abject and miserable failures. And while we wasted our time, tens of thousands of Iraqi, Afghan and Pakistani civilians, as well as U.S. soldiers and Marines, were traumatized, maimed and killed.

Bob Herbert: A Flood Tide of Murder

By all means, condemn the hateful rhetoric that has poured so much poison into our political discourse. The crazies don’t kill in a vacuum, and the vilest of our political leaders and commentators deserve to be called to account for their demagoguery and the danger that comes with it. But that’s the easy part.

If we want to reverse the flood tide of killing in this country, we’ll have to do a hell of a lot more than bad-mouth a few sorry politicians and lame-brained talking heads. We need to face up to the fact that this is an insanely violent society. The vitriol that has become an integral part of our political rhetoric, most egregiously from the right, is just one of the myriad contributing factors in a society saturated in blood.

According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, more than a million people have been killed with guns in the United States since 1968, when Robert Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were killed. That figure includes suicides and accidental deaths. But homicides, deliberate killings, are a perennial scourge, and not just with guns.

Jan 11 2011

On This Day in History January 11

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

January 11 is the 11th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 354 days remaining until the end of the year (355 in leap years).

On January 11, 1908, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt declares the massive Grand Canyon in northwestern Arizona a national monument.

Though Native Americans lived in the area as early as the 13th century, the first European sighting of the canyon wasn’t until 1540, by members of an expedition headed by the Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado. Because of its remote and inaccessible location, several centuries passed before North American settlers really explored the canyon. In 1869, geologist John Wesley Powell led a group of 10 men in the first difficult journey down the rapids of the Colorado River and along the length of the 277-mile gorge in four rowboats.

By the end of the 19th century, the Grand Canyon was attracting thousands of tourists each year. One famous visitor was President Theodore Roosevelt, a New Yorker with a particular affection for the American West. After becoming president in 1901 after the assassination of President William McKinley, Roosevelt made environmental conservation a major part of his presidency. After establishing the National Wildlife Refuge to protect the country’s animals, fish and birds, Roosevelt turned his attention to federal regulation of public lands. Though a region could be given national park status–indicating that all private development on that land was illegal–only by an act of Congress, Roosevelt cut down on red tape by beginning a new presidential practice of granting a similar “national monument” designation to some of the West’s greatest treasures.

Grand Canyon National Park became a national park in 1919. So famous is this landmark to modern Americans that it seems surprising that it took more than thirty years for it to become a national park. President Theodore Roosevelt visited the rim in 1903 and exclaimed: “The Grand Canyon fills me with awe. It is beyond comparison–beyond description; absolutely unparalleled throughout the wide world …. Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is. Do nothing to mar its grandeur, sublimity and loveliness. You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is to keep it for your children, your children’s children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see.”

Despite Roosevelt’s enthusiasm and his strong interest in preserving land for public use, the Grand Canyon was not immediately designated as a national park. The first bill to create Grand Canyon National Park had been introduced in 1882 and again in 1883 and 1886 by Senator Benjamin Harrison. As President, Harrison established the Grand Canyon Forest Reserve in 1893. Theodore Roosevelt created the Grand Canyon Game Preserve by proclamation in 1906 and Grand Canyon National Monument in 1908. Senate bills to establish a national park were introduced and defeated in 1910 and 1911; the Grand Canyon National Park Act was finally signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. The National Park Service, which had been established in 1916, assumed administration of the park.

The creation of the park was an early success of the environmental conservation movement; its National Park status may have helped thwart proposals to dam the Colorado River within its boundaries. (Lack of this fame may have enabled Glen Canyon Dam to be built upriver, flooding Glen Canyon and creating Lake Powell.) In 1975, the former Marble Canyon National Monument, which followed the Colorado River northeast from the Grand Canyon to Lee’s Ferry, was made part of Grand Canyon National Park. In 1979, UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site.

The Grand Canyon itself, including its extensive system of tributary canyons, is valued for the combination of large size, depth, and the exposed layering of colorful rocks dating back to Precambrian times. It was created through the incision of the Colorado River and its tributaries after the Colorado Plateau was uplifted and the Colorado River system developed along its present path.

Jan 11 2011

Six In The Morning

Don’t worry the media in the U.S. and its political leaders won’t allow this to happen as they enjoy conflict too much  



Spirit of unity after Arizona slayings may be fleeting

Reporting from Washington and Phoenix – Silence fell in Washington on Monday as President Obama, members of Congress and hundreds of officials bowed their heads in the wake of Arizona’s mass shooting and promised a new spirit of comity that harkened back to the days after the terrorist attacks of 2001.

“Harsh words are offered from both sides,” said Rep. David Dreier (R-San Dimas). “I hope this tragedy will play a role in diminishing some of the strident statements that we have heard.”

Jan 11 2011

Prime Time

PBS has a biography of U.S. Grant.  Other premiers.  College Throwball Championship.

Oh, fascinating. Twenty particles of space dust per cubic meter, 52 ultraviolet radiation spikes, and a class-2 comet. Well, this is certainly worthy of our attention.

Later-

Dave hosts Bill Cosby and the Black Keys.  Jon has Denis Leary (those interviews always suck), Stephen Fen Montaigne.  Alton does Meringue and Banana Pudding.  Conan hosts Donald Glover and Guster.

I suppose I’ll be watching the BCS game so there might be periodic updates below.

Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings