08/12/2010 archive

Evening Edition

Notice what’s missing today?

News about Deepwater Horizon and BP.

The 3 pieces that are too short to quote indicate-

Oh, and this one from Dan Froomkin at the Huffington Post

And this from Think Progress

(h/t AmericaBlog for the leads)

I’ll update this later with more news, right now I’m working on Prime Time.

59 Top Story Final.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Brazil’s pampered pets get best hospitals money can buy

by Marc Burleigh, AFP

Thu Aug 12, 1:50 pm ET

SAO PAULO (AFP) – When Pierre’s regular check-up revealed his kidneys were struggling and he needed dialysis, there was no question what to do.

His owner, Cibele Dominigues, admitted the little white terrier for weeks of costly treatment in Veterinarian Hospital Dr. Hato, an ultra-modern animal clinic in Sao Paulo that boasts it is the best and most sophisticated in South America.

There he had access to a dialysis machine, a round-the-clock staff of attendants and a level of care that would be out of reach for most of Brazil’s human population.

Judge Will Lift Stay on Same Sex Marriage on August 18: Up Date x 2 with Video

Judge Vaughn Walker rules today that the stay he issued on his ruling that Prop 8 banning of gay marriage was unconstitutional, will be permanently lifted on August 18. At that time, all districts will cease to enforce Prop 8 and allow all to register to marry.

Order on Motion to stay (warning pdf file)

The clerk is DIRECTED to enter judgment forthwith. That judgment shall be STAYED until August 18, 2010 at 5 PM PDT at which time defendants and all persons under their control or supervision shall cease to apply or enforce Proposition 8. (vrwlc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/12/2010)

There was also a question of the standing of the proponents to appeal this stay and the ruling since this is a state law and the state of California has decided not to pursue an appeal.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

In fairness

Perhaps you think I was unduly harsh to Rachel last night since she came up with this-

Well, I don’t think so at all.  I think it’s a pattern with this administration and I think her ‘special’ interest depends on who’s ox is gored.

The comment section is for you to tell me how wrong I am in that assessment, but the real purpose of this diary is to experiment with MSNBC embeds since Google (and therefore YouTube) has gone evil on Net Netrality and to point out these excellent posts on AmericaBlog (h/t for the Maddow video)-

Please, please, please. Interview an actual liberal as to why they’re upset before just assuming why they’re upset.

by John Aravosis (DC) on 8/11/2010 11:30:00 PM

(It’s a fallacy t)hat the President has passed the bulk of his agenda because he has passed a number of bills that bear the title of his agenda. It’s really not the same thing. While a rose may smell as sweet under any other name, legislation is judged by its substance not by its title. Health Care Reform was a serious disappointment because the President simply didn’t try to push for what he promised during the campaign. Just because he passed a bill is not sufficient reason for praise. We wanted him to at least try to pass the bill he promised us during the campaign. And he not only didn’t get it passed, he didn’t try to get it passed.

Dear Ruth Marcus, how was George Bush so effective when he didn’t have 60 votes in the Senate?

by John Aravosis (DC) on 8/12/2010 03:43:00 AM

I just find all this “woe is us” talk — about how we don’t have 60 votes in the Senate, and that being the reason that Obama fails to fight for so much of what he promised — to be incredibly naive.

Punting the Pundits

Punting the Punditsis 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.

Paul Krugman: Social Security Madness

Has the Washington Post gone mad asks Dean Baker, reading the Post’s latest editorial on Social Security. The answer is no: it has been mad all along.

Dean points out, correctly, that the Post’s argument here is: “In the future, Social Security might have to cut benefits. To prevent these possible future benefit cuts, we must cut future benefits.”

But this isn’t new – the same argument was rolled out in 2005.

Dean Baker: Has the Washington Post Gone Mad?

Confused readers may wonder based on its lead editorial complaining that supporters of Social Security: “pursue a maddening  strategy of minimizing the existence of any problem and accusing those who seek solutions of trying to destroy Social Security.”

The piece begins by telling readers that: “THIS YEAR, for the first time since 1983, Social Security will pay out more in benefits than it receives from payroll taxes — $41 billion. This development is not an emergency, but it is a warning sign (emphasis in original).” It certainly is a warning sign. The falloff in Social Security tax revenue is a warning that the economy is seriously depressed due to the collapse of the housing bubble. Double digit unemployment leads to all sorts of problems, including the strains that it places on pension funds like Social Security.

In a sane newspaper the next sentence would be pointing out the urgent need to get back to full employment. Instead the Post tells readers:

“Too soon, this year’s anomaly will become the norm. By 2037, all the Social Security reserves will have been drained and the income flowing into the program will only be enough to pay 75 percent of scheduled benefits. If that sounds tolerable, consider that two-thirds of seniors rely on Social Security as their main source of income. The average annual benefit is $14,000. Those who care most about avoiding such painful cuts ought to be working on ways to bolster the program’s finances — and soon, when the necessary changes will be less drastic than if action is postponed.”

A Mote Of Dust Suspended In A Sunbeam

The Pale Blue Dot

Carl Sagan


On This Day in History: August 12

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

On this day in 1990, fossil hunter Susan Hendrickson discovers three huge bones jutting out of a cliff near Faith, South Dakota. They turn out to be part of the largest-ever Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever discovered, a 65 million-year-old specimen dubbed Sue, after its discoverer.

Amazingly, Sue’s skeleton was over 90 percent complete, and the bones were extremely well-preserved. Hendrickson’s employer, the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, paid $5,000 to the land owner, Maurice Williams, for the right to excavate the dinosaur skeleton, which was cleaned and transported to the company headquarters in Hill City. The institute’s president, Peter Larson, announced plans to build a non-profit museum to display Sue along with other fossils of the Cretaceous period.

The Travesty of Omar Khadr

Carolyn Rosenberg of the Miami Herald, reporting from Guantanamo on the trial of Oamar Kadr the “child soldier” captured in Afghanistan Tweets

Omar Khadr’s military judge just ruled that ALL of his confessions from Afghanistan to #Guantanamo will go to trial. None suppressed.


If you haven’t heard of Omar Kadr, he is a Canadian citizen and the youngest prisoner held in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp by the United States, has been frequently referred to as a child soldier and the only Western citizen remaining in Guantanamo. The Canadian Government has refused to seek extradition or repatriation despite the urgings of Amnesty International, UNICEF, the Canadian Bar Association and other prominent organizations. In 2009, it was revealed that the Canadian government had spent over $1.3 million to ensure Khadr remained in Guantanamo. Canada failed Kadr by refusing to admit that he was a juvenile and his repeated claims that he was abused. n April 2009, the Federal Court of Canada ruled that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms made it obligatory for the government to immediately demand Khadr’s return. After a hearing before the Court of Appeals produced the same result, the government announced they would argue their case before the Supreme Court of Canada. In January 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that Khadr’s constitutional rights had clearly been violated, but it stopped short of ordering the government to seek his return to Canada.

Khadr was the only person charged under the 2006 Military Commissions Act who did not boycott the Guantanamo proceedings. Canadian authorities also determined that Khadr had little knowledge of his father’s alleged activities, since “he was out playing or simply not interested”.

Jeralyn E. Merritt at TalkLeft has been following Omar’s tragic incarceration most extensively since 2006.

Up Date: Adam Serwer at The American Prospect commented on the The Weirdness Of The Charges Against Omar Khadr:

side from the obvious moral issues with trying someone for an alleged crime committed on a battlefield when they weren’t old enough to drive, vote, drink alcohol, or consent to sex in the United States, there’s the additional weirdness of trying the killing as a “war crime.” Human-rights groups say  no one has ever before been tried for a war crime merely for the act of killing the other side’s soldiers in combat, but the government maintains that Khadr is an “unprivileged enemy belligerent,” so the charge is appropriate.

It’s a really weird argument. By trying Khadr in a military commission, they’re essentially making him a soldier, but they’re saying the reason his alleged killing of Speer was a war crime is because he’s not a soldier. If Khadr killed Speer, that’s certainly a crime. But a war crime?

(emphasis mine)

Gibbs Inserts Foot Deeper into His Mouth

Well, if we on the Left had expected a contrite Robert Gibbs today, I hope everyone wasn’t too disappointed because today MR. Gibbs stood by his criticism of us and said he expects us to get out and vote in the Fall.

Speaking publicly for the first time since he disparaged the “professional left,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said he stands by his comments, has no plans to resign and that he fully expects progressive voters to go to the polls in 2010.

“I don’t plan on leaving and there is no truth to the rumor that I’ve added an inflatable exit to my office,” the press secretary said during Wednesday’s briefing, referencing the recent incident in which a Jet Blue flight attendant bolted his plane in frustration.

Taking the podium after a day off to tend to a sore throat, Gibbs said he has not reached out to any Democrats to discuss his remarks, in which he chastised liberals for wanting to “eliminate the Pentagon” and pursue Canadian-style health care reform. Nor, he added, has he talked to the president about the matter.

Does he stand by the comments? “Yes,” he replied.

Jane Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald appeared on the Dylan Ratigan Show to discuss Gibbs’ dissing of the “professional left”

Prime Time

Well, we found out how Rachel handled it.  Didn’t mention it at all that I noticed.  Maybe tonight.

Now that Keith did a special comment.

I’ll not mention Steven Seagal night on AMC because of all the inarticulate ‘action heros’ out there he’s just about the most inarticulate which would be ok if the action weren’t also derivative and boring.

But you can say the same about Schwarzenegger, Stallone, and Willis.

Yup.  When I’m highlighting Man v. Food the pickings are pretty slim, but I’ve already posted the Dr. Strangelove video this week so I’ll spare you.


Dave still in repeats.  Jon has Laura Linney, Stephen David Finkel.  Alton does baklava (not the most interesting thing to do with phyllo dough, but tasty).

Home Is Where the Hate Is introduces Sergeant Hatred as a major character.  Though this episode follows last night’s, they’re not showing entirely in sequence so I can only imagine that they’re building up to a premier or something.

I am not going to sit on my ass as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life. I’m going to take a stand. I’m going to defend it. Right or wrong, I’m going to defend it.

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