10/29/2010 archive

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 EU treads uncharted waters to defend single currency

by Claire Rosemberg, AFP

2 hrs 26 mins ago

BRUSSELS (AFP) – The European Union faced a new round of risky treaty change on Friday after its leaders agreed to embark on landmark reforms designed to fend off another financial crisis by shoring up the euro.

Less than a year after turning a page on a decade of fraught negotiations and failed referendums that ushered in the Lisbon Treaty, the bloc’s 27 leaders agreed to rewrite the rule-book in talks that dragged into the wee hours.

It was the price to pay to avoid a repeat of this year’s Greek turmoil.

when the veils grow thin….


(all pictures are of carved pumpkins & may be clicked on to see larger)

(a soundtrack while you read…)

Sunday is Hallowe’en, a night for children to dress up & go Trick-or-Treating.

But this holiday has its origins waaaay back, back before the written word, in pagan times.

Republican Candidates Too Crazy for Bob Barr

LOL It looks like the Tea Party backed candidates are too nuts for Conservative, Libertarian Bob Barr. Barr, former conservative congressman and 2008 libertarian presidential candidate, endorsed Sen. Russ Feingold, (D-WI) for re-election over his Tea Party backed opponent, Ron Johnson.

What I look for in Washington are folks in the Senate and the House who put the Constitution first. Not the “R” or the “D”, not partisan politics but the Constitution. And what you have in Russ, and I have worked closely with him over a number of years to try to rein in the Patriot Act, to try to rein in the government surveillance and so forth – this is a man who understands the Constitution, who supports and fights sometimes against his own party to defend the Constitution in the Congress of the United States in ways that are much more consistent and much more proactive than a lot of Republicans

Barr also attacked the Republican Senate candidate, Ken Buck, who is running against incumbent Democrat, Michael Bennett.

Who says that Republicans don’t criticize Republicans?

As David Weigel notes:

If Russ Feingold loses his Senate seat, it will hit Democrats harder than almost any other 2010 setback coming their way on Tuesday. . . .

If Feingold leaves the Senate, there is no storm-the-barricades opponent of war on terror spying, or advocate of campaign finance reform. There are Democrats who’ll go along with it, but there’s no one else who relishes casting a lone vote or has the media profile to attempt it and get the press to care about it. . . .

If you can’t vote for Russ Feingold at least send him $5 or whatever you can afford. We need him in the Senate.

Donate for Russ @ Act Blue

Heckuva Job, Mr. Obama…

This past Wednesday “Barack Obama was a guest on The Daily Show, thereby becoming the first sitting president to appear as Jon Stewart’s guest. (In July, Obama became the first sitting president ever to appear on The View.) In the half-hour-long interview, Stewart quizzed his grizzled guest about health-care reform, the financial crisis, and the midterm elections.”

“Stewart’s most combative query concerned National Economic Council director Larry Summers-in particular, Obama’s hiring thereof. ‘We can’t expect different results with the same people,’ Stewart said, referring to Summers’s previous stint as treasury secretary under Bill Clinton. He continued, ‘Larry Summers … that seems like the exact same person.’ Obama, inadvertently quoting his imminently quotable predecessor, replied, ‘Larry Summers did a heckuva job.’ Stewart, somewhat shocked, advised him, ‘You don’t wanna use that phrase…'”

This morning at GRITtv Laura Flanders talked with journalist and Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer, who reminds that “Summers was the chief architect of Clinton-era policies that created the economic crisis in the first place, and that Obama’s appointment of him to get us out of it was never going to result in anything but more money being thrown at Wall Street.”

An Obit For Our Hopes – GRITtv, October 29, 2010

It’s no wonder that there is now so much irrepressible enthusiasm among the liberals and independents and progressives who tipped the balance in the democrats favor in 2006 and in 2008 to get out and vote for democrats in the 2010 midterm elections.

Daily Features

Attentive readers will notice new buttons on the right labeled Daily Features.  It highlights the work of mishima, TheMomCat, and I.

It’s something of an experiment, I’d expect our readership to be using a scroll mouse or the keyboard or window buttons to scroll through all of our recent content, but perhaps you have a particular favorite and want to catch up.  If you find it useful, my grand concept for future development is to add a section highlighting our weekly regular contributions and move it all out of the way of our Twitter feed.

Now it gets more meta

If you examine my body of work you’ll know I’m a nut about scheduled blogging.  Not because I like being a nag, but because it’s a convenience to the reader.  When TheMomCat and I created this blog I resolved to myself that I’d just let things set themselves up organically.  What has developed is that we put up about 8 diaries between 6 am and 8 pm on the even hours.

Translator is a regular contributor, but not daily.  He usually submits his work after 8 pm on Fridays (Popular Culture) and Sundays (Pique the Geek), though he does post at other times.  mishima posts Random Japan on Saturdays at 4 pm.  TheMomCat posts Health and Fitness News Saturdays at 2 pm.  I post Monday Business Edition on… wait for it… Monday mornings and The Week In Review on Sunday mornings when I’m not distracted by Sports blogging.

Because you may think this blog is about politics, but it’s really about Formula One and Le Tour.

Our other contributors are more muse driven, and that’s ok.  What’s important to understand is we have an aggressive promotion policy to compliment our usual content.  If you have something you’d care to draw our attention to, please do.

Soapblox blogs can run 24/7/365.

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: Divided We Fail

Barring a huge upset, Republicans will take control of at least one house of Congress next week. How worried should we be by that prospect?

Not very, say some pundits. After all, the last time Republicans controlled Congress while a Democrat lived in the White House was the period from the beginning of 1995 to the end of 2000. And people remember that era as a good time, a time of rapid job creation and responsible budgets. Can we hope for a similar experience now?

No, we can’t. This is going to be terrible. In fact, future historians will probably look back at the 2010 election as a catastrophe for America, one that condemned the nation to years of political chaos and economic weakness.

New York Times Editorial: No Justification

Two years ago, when a splintered Supreme Court approved lethal injection as a means of execution in Baze v. Rees, Justice John Paul Stevens made a prophecy. Instead of ending the controversy, he said, the ruling would raise questions “about the justification for the death penalty itself.” Since then, evidence has continued to mount, showing the huge injustice of the death penalty – and the particular barbarism of this form of execution.

n the case of Jeffrey Landrigan, convicted of murder and executed by Arizona on Tuesday, the system failed him at almost every level, most disturbingly at the Supreme Court. In a 5-to-4 vote, the court’s conservative majority allowed the execution to proceed based on a stark misrepresentation.

Of the 35 states that allow the death penalty, all now execute by lethal injection. Most use a sequence of drugs that is supposed to provide a painless death, but when it is administered incorrectly it causes agony that amounts to torture. Veterinarians say the method doesn’t meet the standard for euthanizing animals.

Nicholas D. Kristoff: End the War on Pot

I dropped in on a marijuana shop here that proudly boasted that it sells “31 flavors.” It also offered a loyalty program. For every 10 purchases of pot – supposedly for medical uses – you get one free packet.

“There are five of these shops within a three-block radius,” explained the proprietor, Edward J. Kim. He brimmed with pride at his inventory and sounded like any small businessman as he complained about onerous government regulation. Like, well, state and federal laws.

But those burdensome regulations are already evaporating in California, where anyone who can fake a headache already can buy pot. Now there’s a significant chance that on Tuesday, California voters will choose to go further and broadly legalize marijuana.

Robert Reich: Halliburton and the Upcoming Election

Next Tuesday Americans will be deciding whether to hand over even more of our government to corporations that have been plundering America — such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Wellpoint insurance, Massey Energy, and Halliburton, the giant oil services company.

Not every large corporation is irresponsible, of course, but plunderers that get away with it gain a competitive advantage over the more responsible, and thereby lead a race to the bottom.

Case in point: The staff of the presidential commission investigating the BP oil spill has just revealed that Halliburton executives knew the cement it was using to seal BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil well was likely to be unstable but didn’t tell BP or act on the information.

Keep Fear Alive

So tomorrow is Jon and Stephen’s big show and almost every estimate says that they’re going to blow Glenn Beck out of the water on crowd size.

Which is unsurprising to me because this whole ‘silent majority’ thing is bullshit.  Republicans represent the 24% of the most racist, reactionary, and ignorant Americans and the ‘Tea Party’ is it’s most fascist, Bircher, paranoid, delusional fringe.

Except for the .01%ers, the plutocrats who run it.

But they run the Democratic Party too, you can’t kid yourself, and their performance with historic majorities has been horrible.

You know, from an “electoral victory” kind of standpoint.

If you can’t fucking summon enough enthusiasm from your party base because your policies suck you deserve to lose your phony baloney jobs you miserable failures at the one thing you’re supposed to be good at- politics!

I have no sympathy at all for anyone who’s going to lose a prime Capitol Hill parking spot for their BMW.

You are watching the meltdown of the elites.  Our “best” and most prestigious Universities have produced a generation of morons who are simply not good at their jobs.

We need to fire them.

I’d like to draw your attention to this excellent diary by Translator about the melt down at a local party event in Kentucky.  My local runs projects way more complicated 6 times a year with a skeleton crew.

It is not rocket science.  If this is the best a “community organizer” can do…

On This Day in History: October 29

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

October 29 is the 302nd day of the year (303rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 63 days remaining until the end of the year.


On this day in 1787, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni” makes its debut in Prague at the Estates Theater. It is an opera in two acts with the music by Mozart and with an Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It is about a “young, arrogant, sexually prolific nobleman who abuses and outrages everyone else in the cast, until he encounters something he cannot kill, beat up, dodge, or outwit.” The opera is sometimes characterized as comic because it combines comedy, drama and the supernatural. It is among the top 20 operas performed in North America.

Morning Shinbun Friday October 29

Friday’s Headlines:

Jon Stewart’s ‘Daily Show’ has exploded beyond its humble late-night comedy roots


Yes we can, Obama said. But can he?

Tests showed unstable cement in gulf oil well before explosion


Angela Merkel struggles to win support for EU bailout rules at Brussels summit

Russia’s hungry bears dig up graves

Middle East

Iran will be back in the frame

Hezbollah urges Hariri case boycott


Hopes fade for Indonesian tsunami survivors

Afghan warlord’s private army trained in Australia


Hero of ‘Hotel Rwanda’ is declared enemy of the state

Somalia’s Shebab executes two girls for ‘spying’

Bill Clinton Urged Florida Democrat to Quit Senate Bid


Published: October 28, 2010

WASHINGTON – Former President Bill Clinton last week almost succeeded in persuading Kendrick B. Meek, the Democratic nominee for the Senate in Florida, to drop out of the three-way race – but Mr. Meek changed his mind at the last minute, a spokesman for Mr. Clinton said Thursday evening.  

Matt McKenna, Mr. Clinton’s spokesman, said the former president had concluded that Mr. Meek’s candidacy was struggling and was urging him to drop out and endorse Charlie Crist, the state’s Republican governor, who is running for the Senate as an independent.

My Democratic Blowout Party 20101028

I went to the Democratic Hoedown this evening (Thursday) in Richmond, KY.  Most all of the candidates were there, and the sheriff even gave me a chicken wing.  Folks have asked me to comment on it, so we shall start with that.

I guess that it is just rural Kentucky, but it was horrible.  No people speaking, no one identifying herself or himself as a candidate.  I did see Conway and our county executive, but they did not talk, at least as long as I stayed.

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