08/13/2010 archive

Gulf Recovery in Editorial Cartoons – Helping the Helpless

Crossposted at Daily Kos and Docudharma

John Sherffius

John Sherffius, Comics.com (Boulder Daily Camera)

NOTE: Please Read This

There are another dozen or so editorial cartoons posted here in the comments section.  Check them out.

Yes, They Are Derranged: “Terror Babies”

If you thought that Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin were off the wall and out of the ball park with inane ideas, catch this interview with GOP Congressman Louis Gohmert (R-TX) by Anderson Cooper (full transcript below):

Protecting Women’s Right to Choose Treatment

In March of 2009, a working mother with two toddlers, Samantha Burton, was 25 weeks pregnant and showing signs of miscarrying. When she told her doctor that it would be impossible for her to comply with his order of complete best rest for as long as 15 weeks and that she would seek a second opinion. When she tried to leave the Tallahassee where she had gone voluntarily, the hospital went to court, obtaining a court oder forcing her to remain in the hospital and submit to anything to preserve the life and health of unborn child.

The Florida ACLU intervened on her behalf to strike down the court order that rendered her powerless to make her own medical decisions. The a three judge panel rules that the order set a dangerous precedent and over turned the order but not before MS. Burton was forced to undergo a C-Section and gave birth to a still born. Ms. Burton and the ACLU decided to pursue the case to protect other women from the abuse of a woman’s right to make medical decisions about her health care.

Yesterday, Florida District Court of Appeal ruled that the rights of a pregnant woman were violated when she was forced to remain hospitalized against her will after disagreeing with a hospital’s recommended treatment.

As Marcy Wheeler said at FDL

So if you’re a pregnant woman, you now have the radical right to choose your own doctor and have a say in your treatmetn, even if a judge thinks he knows better. Radical!!

Kind of crazy, all this rights-upholding going on. It might just lead you to believe we were in the United States or something.

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.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Deductible Me
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Dean Baker: Fun With Paul Ryan and the Washington Post

The Washington Post really really hates Social Security. They hate Medicare almost as much. Therefore they are willing to give its critics space to say almost anything against the program (the real cause of September 11th) no matter how much they have to twist reality to make their case.

Today, Republican Representative Paul Ryan stepped up to the plate. The Post felt the need to give him an oped column after Paul Krugman cruelly subjected Mr. Ryan’s “Roadmap for America’s Future” to a serious analysis last week. This violated the long accepted practice in elite Washington circles of not holding proponents of Social Security and Medicare cuts/privatization accountable for the things they say. It is therefore understandable the Post would quickly give a coveted oped slot to Mr. Ryan to make amends for such a grevious breach of protocol.

The rest of us may not have the power to invent the facts that would be needed to push our policies, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun.


Ryan concludes by telling readers that his proposal is “my sincere attempt to break the political paralysis on entitlement reform, to show that this challenge can be met – mathematically and politically – and to challenge those who disagree with my proposal to offer their own.”

In the forgiving spirit of Friday the 13th, I will not count the reference to sincerity as an inaccuracy. The 20 inaccuracies and 4 references to raiding Medicare can speak for themselves. Of course to the seniors who would be unable to afford decent health care if Mr. Ryan’s plan became law, his sincerity won’t make any difference.

But, I am happy to offer my own test of Mr. Ryan’s sincerity. How about giving Medicare beneficiaries the option to buy into the more efficient health care systems in Europe, Japan, and Canada. The beneficiaries and the taxpayers will split the savings. This leaves the current system intact for those who like it, while offering seniors who opt to go elsewhere for their health care the opportunity to pocket tens of thousands of dollars while saving taxpayers money as well. What’s wrong with giving people a choice, Mr. Ryan?

Obama White House Enshrining Bush-Era Policies

The ACLU has issued a report on national security, Establishing a New Normal. It is an 18 month review that examines Pres. Obama’s record on national security and civil liberties. The report finds that while the President has some steps to curb torture, the CIA secret prisons and the release of the Bush administrations torture memos, according to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU:

“President Obama began his presidency with a bang, signing executive orders that placed the power of the presidency behind the restoration of the rule of law and gave meaning to the president’s stated view that America must lead with its values. “Unfortunately, since that time, the administration has displayed a decidedly mixed record resulting, on a range of issues, in the very real danger that the Obama administration will institutionalize some of the most troublesome policies of the previous administration – in essence, creating a troubling ‘new normal.’ We strongly urge the president to shift course and renew his commitment to the fundamental values that are the very foundation of our nation’s strength and security.”

While the Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, was attacking the Left and Liberals for comparing President Obama’s polices to George W. Bush’s, the reality is we and the “professional left” aren’t wrong. This isn’t going to go away just because the Obama loyalists want us to shut up and vote.

This is a 30 minute video from Democracy Now. The last part is an interview with Jameel Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU. Take the time to watch.

On This Day in History: August 13

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

August 13 is the 225th day of the year (226th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 140 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1521, the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan falls to Cortes:

After a three-month siege, Spanish forces under Hernan Cortes capture Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire. Cortes’ men leveled the city and captured Cuauhtemoc, the Aztec emperor.

Tenochtitlan was founded in 1325 A.D. by a wandering tribe of hunters and gatherers on islands in Lake Texcoco, near the present site of Mexico City. In only one century, this civilization grew into the Aztec empire, largely because of its advanced system of agriculture. The empire came to dominate central Mexico and by the ascendance of Montezuma II in 1502 had reached its greatest extent, extending as far south as perhaps modern-day Nicaragua. At the time, the empire was held together primarily by Aztec military strength, and Montezuma II set about establishing a bureaucracy, creating provinces that would pay tribute to the imperial capital of Tenochtitlan. The conquered peoples resented the Aztec demands for tribute and victims for the religious sacrifices, but the Aztec military kept rebellion at bay.

After the conquest

Cortes subsequently directed the systematic destruction and leveling of the city and its rebuilding, despite opposition, with a central area designated for Spanish use (the traza). The outer Indian section, now dubbed San Juan Tenochtitlan, continued to be governed by the previous indigenous elite and was divided into the same subdivisions as before.


Some of the remaining ruins of Tenochtitlan’s main temple, the Templo Mayor, were uncovered during the construction of a metro line in the 1970s. A small portion has been excavated and is now open to visitors. Mexico City’s Zócalo, the Plaza de la Constitución, is located at the location of Tenochtitlan’s original central plaza and market, and many of the original calzadas still correspond to modern streets in the city. The Aztec sun stone was located in the ruins. This stone is 4 meters in diameter and weighs over 20 tonnes. It was once located half way up the great pyramid. This sculpture was made around 1470 CE under the rule of King Axayacatl, the predecessor of Tizoc, and is said to tell the Aztec history and prophecy for the future.

Bite Me Ben

Paralysis at the Fed

By PAUL KRUGMAN, The New York Times

Published: August 12, 2010

Ten years ago, one of America’s leading economists delivered a stinging critique of the Bank of Japan, Japan’s equivalent of the Federal Reserve, titled “Japanese Monetary Policy: A Case of Self-Induced Paralysis?” With only a few changes in wording, the critique applies to the Fed today.

At the time, the Bank of Japan faced a situation broadly similar to that facing the Fed now. The economy was deeply depressed and showed few signs of improvement, and one might have expected the bank to take forceful action. But short-term interest rates – the usual tool of monetary policy – were near zero and could go no lower. And the Bank of Japan used that fact as an excuse to do no more.

That was malfeasance, declared the eminent U.S. economist: “Far from being powerless, the Bank of Japan could achieve a great deal if it were willing to abandon its excessive caution and its defensive response to criticism.” He rebuked officials hiding “behind minor institutional or technical difficulties in order to avoid taking action.”

Who was that tough-talking economist? Ben Bernanke, now the chairman of the Federal Reserve. So why is the Bernanke Fed being just as passive now as the Bank of Japan was a decade ago?

Prime Time

Keith, Rachel and plenty of them.  More repeats from Dave.  We have Boys.

I have beefs with Alton’s treatment of lobster, there is no reason at all to snoot the Roe and Tomalley or do anything other than steam it and serve with butter and lemon.  He does have a good technique for extracting the minor claw meat.


On Jon Arcade Fire perform.  This is the first time I remember live musical guests.  I don’t think it worked for SCTV (and I like The Tubes) and I don’t think it works for Jon OR Stephen.

Oh, he has Chuck Close.

Alton does spices.  The Buddy System- Tim-Tom and Kevin.

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