09/28/2010 archive


March 31, 1968

There is division in the American house now. There is divisiveness among us all tonight. And holding the trust that is mine, as President of all the people, I cannot disregard the peril to the progress of the American people and the hope and the prospect of peace for all peoples.

So, I would ask all Americans, whatever their personal interests or concern, to guard against divisiveness and all its ugly consequences.

Fifty-two months and 10 days ago, in a moment of tragedy and trauma, the duties of this office fell upon me. I asked then for your help and God’s, that we might continue America on its course, binding up our wounds, healing our history, moving forward in new unity, to clear the American agenda and to keep the American commitment for all of our people.

United we have kept that commitment. United we have enlarged that commitment.

Through all time to come, I think America will be a stronger nation, a more just society, and a land of greater opportunity and fulfillment because of what we have all done together in these years of unparalleled achievement.

Our reward will come in the life of freedom, peace, and hope that our children will enjoy through ages ahead.

What we won when all of our people united just must not now be lost in suspicion, distrust, selfishness, and politics among any of our people.

Believing this as I do, I have concluded that I should not permit the Presidency to become involved in the partisan divisions that are developing in this political year.

With America’s sons in the fields far away, with America’s future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world’s hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office–the Presidency of your country.

Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.

But let men everywhere know, however, that a strong, a confident, and a vigilant America stands ready tonight to seek an honorable peace–and stands ready tonight to defend an honored cause–whatever the price, whatever the burden, whatever the sacrifice that duty may require.

Thank you for listening.

Obama Seeks to Bridge Enthusiasm Gap with More Threats and Insults

By: David Dayen, Tuesday September 28, 2010 9:06 am

Hectoring the Base: It’s Not About GOTV, It’s About Laying the Blame

By: Jane Hamsher Tuesday September 28, 2010 9:49 am  

People Need To Buck Up

The biggest mistake I see many make when trying to sell the Democrats is to call the prospects stupid, and tell them buying the product is the only way they can stop being stupid, apparently thinking the prospects will immediately reach for their wallets and say “where do I sign”?

Of course, that result only happens in salespeople’s dreams – and is the reason 90 percent of people who go into sales never make any money at the job.

There is also a (real life) tried and true technique in sales and marketing that the democrats could try: the top sales producers in any industry constantly critique themselves and ask themselves “If I’m not getting the results I want to get, what am I doing to get the results I am getting?

Instead of asking themselves what they are doing to produce the results they are getting (dropping support) – and they are producing those results whether they want to or not – Democrats and their supporters are taking the easy route of blaming the voters (their prospects) and treating the voters as if they are stupid.

Obama: Democratic voter apathy ‘inexcusable’:

WASHINGTON – Admonishing his own party, President Barack Obama says it would be “inexcusable” and “irresponsible” for unenthusiastic Democratic voters to sit out the midterm elections, warning that the consequences could be a squandered agenda for years.

“People need to shake off this lethargy. People need to buck up,” Obama told Rolling Stone in an interview to be published Friday. The president told Democrats that making change happen is hard and “if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren’t serious in the first place.”

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.

Glenn Greenwald: The Obama administration’s war on privacy

In early August, two dictatorial (and U.S.-allied) Gulf states — Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — announced a ban on the use of Blackberries because, as the BBC put it, “(b)oth nations are unhappy that they are unable to monitor such communications via the handsets.”  Those two governments demand the power to intercept and monitor every single form of communication.  No human interaction may take place beyond their prying ears.  Since Blackberry communication data are sent directly to servers in Canada and the company which operates Blackberry — Research in Motion — refused to turn the data over to those governments, “authorities [] decided to ban Blackberry services rather than continue to allow an uncontrolled and unmonitored flow of electronic information within their borders.”  That’s the core mindset of the Omnipotent Surveillance State:  above all else, what is strictly prohibited is the ability of citizens to communicate in private; we can’t have any “uncontrolled and unmonitored flow of electronic information.” . . . .

Anyone who thinks that is hyperbole should simply read two articles today describing efforts of the Obama administration to obliterate remaining vestiges of privacy.  The first is this New York Times article by Charlie Savage, which describes how the Obama administration will propose new legislation to mandate that the U.S. Government have access to all forms of communications, “including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct ‘peer to peer’ messaging like Skype.”  In other words, the U.S. Government is taking exactly the position of the UAE and the Saudis:  no communications are permitted to be beyond the surveillance reach of U.S. authorities.

The new law would not expand the Government’s legal authority to eavesdrop — that’s unnecessary, since post-9/11 legislation has dramatically expanded those authorities — but would require all communications, including ones over the Internet, to be built so as to enable the U.S. Government to intercept and monitor them at any time when the law permits.  In other words, Internet services could legally exist only insofar as there would be no such thing as truly private communications; all must contain a “back door” to enable government officials to eavesdrop. . . . .

In other words, the Obama administration is demanding exactly that which the UAE demanded:  full, unfettered access to all communications.

(my emphasis)

Dean Baker: Are the Politicians Stealing Your Social Security?

That’s the question that people should be asking their current or would be representatives in Congress. With the huge baby boom cohort at the edge of retirement, there are few issues that will matter more directly to the people who will vote in the November elections. . . .

he threat to cut Social Security should be taken seriously right now since two of the would be cutters are former Sen. Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the co-chairs of President Obama’s deficit commission. Key figures in the Congressional leadership of both parties have also indicated an interest in cutting Social Security.

This is especially outrageous, since the fact that the baby boom cohort is ill prepared for retirement is a direct result of economic mismanagement by both the Clinton and Bush administrations. The economic leadership of the last two decades set the economy on a course of bubble-driven growth that was bound to end in a disaster like the one we are currently experiencing. Now, these very same people (all of whom still have their jobs) are targeting the one asset the baby boomers have left: the Social Security benefits that they paid for throughout their working career.

Ding Dong?

And why it doesn’t matter.

You cursed brat! Look what you’ve done! I’m melting! melting! Oh, what a world! What a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness? Oooooh, look out! I’m going! Oooooh! Ooooooh!

The flying monkeys Villagers are all atwitter (and when aren’t they now days?  140 characters seems more than sufficient to capture their “wisdom”) about the upcoming unceremonious kicking out on his ass departure Mayoral campaign of Rahm Emanuel.  Jane Hamsher’s take at Firedog Lake is here.

So, Orzag, Summers, and now Emanuel.  Who’s next?

How about Axelrod?

It’s really hard to read this piece by Noam Scheiber at The New Republic any other way.  It reminds me of the hagiographies of Rahm we were seeing a month or two ago.

Should we celebrate like Munchkins?

While I do love me some heads on pikes and I think each one richly deserved (Scheiber’s obsequious beat sweetening butt kissing not withstanding), I think I’ll hold off for the moment and not just because Doughnut Holes are just as fattening as Doughnuts however much Homer pretends otherwise.

There is absolutely no indication this White House intends to stop hippie punching or change course (h/t Corrente).

We have a saying in the Corleones- a fish rots from the head down.

Roubini, “Nothing Has Fundamentally Changed”

This is the man that Obama needs to put on speed dial.

Global Economy Will Suffer More Financial Crises in Next 10 Years: Roubini

The global economy will suffer a “couple of financial crises over the next 10 years” as financial reforms are not going in the right direction and not enough is being done, warned Nouriel Roubini, chairman at Roubini Global Economics.

“Nothing has changed fundamentally. When the regulatory reform was passed by the U.S. Congress, my view is too little, too late,” Roubini told CNBC Monday on the sidelines of the World Capital Markets Symposium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Roubini said even if the world economy doesn’t slip into a double-dip, the effects will still be felt.

“We are already in a situation which is going to feel like a recession, (even) if we are not in one,” he said.

“And if the economic data surprise on the down side, we are going to have a correction of the stock markets, widening of credit spreads, increased volatility, increase risk aversion, then it leads to a shock for the real economy.”

On This Day in History: September 28

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

September 28 is the 271st day of the year (272nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 94 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1928, the antibiotic Penicillin was discovered. It’s discovery is attributed to Scottish scientist and Nobel laureate Alexander Fleming in 1928. He showed that, if Penicillium notatum  was grown in the appropriate substrate, it would exude a substance with antibiotic properties, which he dubbed penicillin. This serendipitous  observation began the modern era of antibiotic discovery. The development of penicillin for use as a medicine is attributed to the Australian Nobel laureate Howard Walter Florey together with the German Nobel laureate Ernst Chain and the English biochemist Norman Heatley.

However, several others reported the bacteriostatic effects of Penicillium earlier than Fleming. The use of bread with a blue mould (presumably penicillium) as a means of treating suppurating wounds was a staple of folk medicine in Europe since the Middle Ages. The first published reference appears in the publication of the Royal Society in 1875, by John Tyndall. Ernest Duchesne documented it in an 1897 paper, which was not accepted by the Institut Pasteur because of his youth. In March 2000, doctors at the San Juan de Dios Hospital in San José, Costa Rica published the manuscripts of the Costa Rican scientist and medical doctor Clodomiro (Clorito) Picado Twight (1887-1944). They reported Picado’s observations on the inhibitory actions of fungi of the genus Penicillium between 1915 and 1927. Picado reported his discovery to the Paris Academy of Sciences, yet did not patent it, even though his investigations started years before Fleming’s. Joseph Lister was experimenting with penicillum in 1871 for his Aseptic surgery. He found that it weakened the microbes but then he dismissed the fungi.

Fleming recounted that the date of his discovery of penicillin was on the morning of Friday, September 28, 1928. It was a fortuitous accident: in his laboratory in the basement of St. Mary’s Hospital in London (now part of Imperial College), Fleming noticed a petri dish containing Staphylococcus plate culture he had mistakenly left open, which was contaminated by blue-green mould, which had formed a visible growth. There was a halo of inhibited bacterial growth around the mould. Fleming concluded that the mould was releasing a substance that was repressing the growth and lysing the bacteria. He grew a pure culture and discovered that it was a Penicillium mould, now known to be Penicillium notatum. Charles Thom, an American specialist working at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was the acknowledged expert, and Fleming referred the matter to him. Fleming coined the term “penicillin” to describe the filtrate of a broth culture of the Penicillium mould. Even in these early stages, penicillin was found to be most effective against Gram-positive bacteria, and ineffective against Gram-negative organisms and fungi. He expressed initial optimism that penicillin would be a useful disinfectant, being highly potent with minimal toxicity compared to antiseptics of the day, and noted its laboratory value in the isolation of “Bacillus influenzae” (now Haemophilus influenzae). After further experiments, Fleming was convinced that penicillin could not last long enough in the human body to kill pathogenic bacteria, and stopped studying it after 1931. He restarted clinical trials in 1934, and continued to try to get someone to purify it until 1940.

Morning Shinbun Tuesday September 28

Tuesday’s Headlines:

C.I.A. Steps Up Drone Attacks in Pakistan to Thwart Taliban

Aliens have landed … in the headlines


New ‘Super Pacs’ bringing millions into campaigns

Immigration has grown more complicated


Poet forced to pulp book after row with her family

Kosovo president resigns over breach of constitution

Middle East

Has the West declared cyber war on Iran?

Hezbollah looks to Hariri for payback


Taliban leaders met with Afghan government

Kim’s son, 27, now a 4-star general


South Sudan to arm militias against Uganda rebels

Angolan interior minister fired over ‘illegal extradition’

Latin America

Mayor stoned to death in drug-plagued Mexican state

Prime Time

More broadcast premiers hardly worth watching (unless you’re a fan and then you don’t need my help).  Packers @ Bears.  Have I mentioned I’m only half troll?  You’ll need something to watch at 10 (and at 1).  I recommend King of the Hill, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and Squidbillies.


Dave hosts Katherine Heigl, Daniel Dae Kim, and Runner Runner.  Jon has BillO, Stephen Ken Burns.  Alton does Tortillas x 2.

BoondocksThe Fried Chicken Flu.

My dreams are all dead and buried.

Sometimes I wish the Sun would just explode.

When God comes and calls me to His Kingdom,

I’ll take all you sons of bitches when I go.

Hodeoooooooooo!  Don’t touch the trim!

Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 North Korean leader names son as general: official media

by Simon Martin, AFP

1 hr 39 mins ago

SEOUL (AFP) – North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has appointed his youngest son as a four-star general, the communist state’s official media said Tuesday in its first mention of the young man widely seen as heir apparent.

The announcement comes hours before the scheduled opening of the biggest ruling party meeting for 30 years. The conference is expected to anoint the son Kim Jong-Un as eventual successor to the ailing 68-year-old leader.

The North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) also said the leader’s sister Kim Kyong-Hui was appointed a four-star general along with Choe Ryong-Hae, a longtime aide to the Kim dynasty.

Different from Luke Russert how?