05/02/2011 archive

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Syria protesters given surrender ultimatum


13 mins ago

DAMASCUS (AFP) – The Syrian authorities on Monday set a deadline of 15 days for people who had committed “unlawful acts” to surrender, as 180 people were rounded up in the latest wave of arrests.

The ultimatum came as activists planned fresh anti-government demonstrations following the deaths of dozens of people in weekend protests.

In a statement, the interior ministry told “citizens who have participated in or committed unlawful acts such as bearing arms, attacking security or spreading lies to surrender by May 15 and hand their weapons in to the competent authorities.”

Oh. Canada?

Canada kinda kicks off their election today eh?, and I’m hesitant to speak about it since I don’t know much aboot Canada except they have great beer and it’s called back bacon (and it’s not ham, eh?).

Scott Harper is reliably reported to be a right wing asshole of the Reagan variety (it is Canada, eh?), but his Conservative Party is likely to be the leading party at the polls (Palimentary districts are called ‘Ridings‘ and there are 308 of them).

Victory in each seat is a first past the post plurality and for years and years the Liberal Party (think of them like Third Way Democrats) have been the opposition party.  This year that will change.

The NDP is pretty sure to eclispe the Liberals by dozens of seats

There’s a slim possibility the New Democratic Party (Social Democrats) and the Bloc Quebecois (those cheese eating French secessionists) will be able to put together a majority.  Far more likely is that the so-called Liberals form a majority with the Conservatives (who’d a thunk?) BUT it’s also probably the end of the Liberal Party as a force in Canadian politics.

It’s not just the UK Liberal Democrats austerity thing that kills them, it’s because there are fiddly little advantages to being the #2 party like appearing second on ballots which will advantage the NDP the next time around whether the Liberals sell out or not.

Some links-

308 the Canadian 538, eh?

Random Thoughts: The Death of bin Laden

So Osama bin Laden is dead and buried at sea. I’m sure there will be those who will not accept any evidence of that, even if they were standing there when it happened. Such are the conspiracy theory skeptics.

What amazes me is that the DNA testing confirming the body was indeed bin Laden was done so quickly, within hours. Yet, death row prisoners are often denied that testing to prove their innocence. One would think that an honest judicial system would ant to be sure they had the right person, the key word being honest. In NYC, the remains of the 9/11 victims still are unidentified after 10 years. Around the country rape kits go untested and the rapists go free because of statute of limitations in many states.

This comment from TalkLeft fairly sums up my thoughts on the events of the last 24 hours:

1.     There is one less evil person in the world; that’s not a bad thing, but if I removed one eyedropper of water from a full bathtub, would it look any different?

2.     Are we now officially an eye-for-an-eye society now, where when we kill someone who killed others, “justice” has been done?  It appears so, which is both offensive and frightening.  I am troubled by the expression of this sentiment from the president, who is supposed to be a defender of the Constitution.

3.     The real legacy of Osama bin Laden may not lie in the numbers of deaths he was responsible for, but in the erosion of freedoms, the loss of privacy and the perversion of our system of justice, which I do not believe will ever be restored.

4.     Dancing in the streets in front of the White House to celebrate the killing of bin Laden is a scene I could have done without; a candlelit vigil in memory of all the lives lost and lives affected would have been a more fitting way to mark the occasion – in my opinion.

5.     “Now is not the time to let down our guard” is the watchword of the day, just as I expected it would be; bin Laden’s death is not the end of anything, just another data point on a spectrum that continues to move away from strengthening and protecting our individual rights.  Who will the new Face of Evil be, and what will we have to give up in that fight?

6.     Lots of questions about Pakistan: how could Osama have been hiding in plain sight of the Pakistani equivalent of West Point?  Is their intelligence that bad, have they been paid to look the other way – or worse – and what will the repercussions be, if any?

Finally, I said last night that for me, this is anticlimactic; bin Laden’s death is never going to see the restoration of all that we have lost as Americans.

That being said, I am not so jaded and cynical that I don’t understand that this may have brought some kind of closure to those who lost loved ones in the many bin Laden-engineered attacks both here and around the world, and it isn’t my intention to try to deny that to them; we all have to handle this in our own way – we all feel what we feel for our own reasons.  

On a lighter note, this IT guy, trying to find a safe place from the chaos, fled to the hills with his lap top for some peace and quiet in Abbottabad, when he was disturbed from sleep by helicopters hovering near by and began Tweeting. Unbeknown to him, he was Tweeting the biggest news since Bush declared “Mission Accomplished” thus making Sohaib Ather, “the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid”. He is now a much sought after media darling and has over 66,000 followers on Twitter. Nice job, Sohaib.

*Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1am (is a rare event).

*Go away helicopter – before I take out my giant swatter.

*A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope its not the start of something nasty.

*All silent after the blast, but a friend heard it 6km away too … the helicopter is gone too.

*Seems like my giant swatter worked!

*The few people online at this time of the night are saying one of the copters was not Pakistani …

*Moving to Abbottabad was part of the ‘being safe’ strategy.

*Since Taleban (probably) don’t have helicopters, and since they’re saying it was not “ours”, must be a complicated situation #abbottabad

*Osama Bin Laden killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan. ISI has confirmed it. Uh oh, there goes the neighborhood.

*Uh oh, now I’m the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it.

I apologize for reporting the operation ‘unwittingly/unknowingly’ – had I known about it, I would have tweeted about it ‘wittingly’ I swear.

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.” Jessica Dovey, student, University of Pennsylvania

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”

Paul Krugman: Springtime for Bankers

Last year the G.O.P. pulled off two spectacular examples of bait-and-switch campaigning. Medicare, where the same people who screamed about death panels are now trying to dismantle the whole program, was the most obvious. But the same thing

happened with regard to financial reform.

As you may recall, Republicans ran hard against bank bailouts. Among other things, they managed to convince a plurality of voters that the deeply unpopular bailout legislation proposed and passed by the Bush administration was enacted on President Obama’s watch.

And now they’re doing everything they can to ensure that there will be even bigger bailouts in years to come.

Katrina vanden Heuvel: With Osama bin Laden Dead, It’s Time to End the War on Terror

In a dramatic, yet sober, Sunday night address to the American people, President Obama announced the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden. He reminded us of the horror, the grief, the tragedy and senseless slaughter of September 11, 2001. He reminded us of how, in those grim days, “we reaffirmed our unity as one American family…and our resolve to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice.”

The President spoke of how the capture and killing of bin Laden was the “most significant effort to date in our efforts to defeat Al-Qaeda. ” And he reaffirmed that this country will never wage a war against Islam. For that reason, Obama said, bin Laden’s “demise should be welcomed by all those who welcome peace and human dignity.”

His call to Americans to remember what unifies us, to remember that “justice has been done,” is a defining opening to seize. It is time to end the “global war on terror” we have lived with for this last decade. It is time to stop defining the post 9/11 struggle against stateless terrorists a “war.” And it is time to bring an end to the senseless war in Afghanistan that has cost this nation so much in lives and money.

E.J. Dionne Jr.: The GOP’s debt-ceiling silliness

Starting this week, the talk in our nation’s capital will be dominated by whether Congress should raise the debt ceiling – as if we have any choice but to pay off our obligations. It will be a colossally foolish and self-destructive battle, another sign of how fanaticism and ideological obsession are rendering our country ungovernable.

Republicans, joined, it seems, by some terrified Democrats, are trying to use the debt-limit vote to force cuts in spending that they could not win on the merits. If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, the government could face the possibility of defaulting. Even if default doesn’t happen, global markets could punish us by demanding higher interest rates on our debt.

The New York Times Editorial: The Economy Slows

The economy still needs help and, specifically, a sustained focus on jobs and income. Instead, policy makers are gearing up for deep spending cuts, ignoring the damage they are likely to cause. Last quarter, cutbacks by governments at all levels took a chunk out of overall growth. If cuts of similar or greater magnitude become the norm, the slow economic pace of the first quarter also could very well become the norm. It’s nice to believe slowing growth is transitory. But as long as spending, jobs and incomes are at risk and policy priorities are skewed, it’s hard to believe in a turnaround.

Peter Dreier: Banks Should Pay for Foreclosures

The epidemic of foreclosures that began in 2008 has been devastating America’s families, communities and the state economy.

Nowhere is this more true than in California, where one in five U.S. foreclosures has taken place. Since 2008, more than 1.2 million Californians have lost their homes, and the number is expected to exceed 2 million by the end of next year. More than a third of California homeowners with a mortgage already owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

Too Soon To Tell

There’s an apocryphal story about how someone asked Mao whether the invention of fire had been a good or bad thing for the Chinese people.

His answer?  “Too soon to tell.”

In like manner I respond to the news of Bin Laden’s death.

Is he dead yet?  I’ve read some unsupported reports that he was buried at sea which, if true, will only lead to Hitler in Argentina exile theories and Elvis sightings.  How involved was Pakistan in protecting him if he was finally found in a villa 500 yards from the 15th tee at the officers’ golf course on the main military base in Islamabad?  Is it just co-incidence that this happened on the 8th anniversary of ‘Mission Accomplished’ and trashed the last 10 minutes of Celebrity Apprentice?

Too soon to tell.

Details that answer those questions may emerge in time, but to me the far more important question is- will the U.S. accept yes for an answer?

For the last 10 years we’ve gutted our Constitution, imprisoned innocents indefinitely without due process, tortured, murdered, and started wars of aggression all ‘in pursuit’ of Boogey Man Bin Ladin.

Now that he’s ‘dead’ will we stop?

Too soon to tell.

Monday Business Edition

Monday Business Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Business

1 Japan passes 4 trillion yen disaster relief budget

by David Watkins, AFP

Mon May 2, 3:57 am ET

TOKYO (AFP) – Japan’s parliament on Monday passed an emergency 4 trillion yen ($49 billion) relief budget to help fund reconstruction after the deadly March 11 earthquake and tsunami devastated northeastern regions.

Ruling and opposition lawmakers put aside their differences in an effort to launch efforts to rebuild the country’s quake-hit northeast as quickly as possible.

But analysts warned the passing of the budget will not ease pressure on under-fire Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who has faced criticism over the government’s handling of the crisis and the subsequent nuclear emergency.

On This Day In History May 2

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.

Click on images to enlarge

May 2 is the 122nd day of the year (123rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 243 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 2011, Osama bin Laden, the head of Al Qaeda and mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, died . He was killed in an attack on the compound where he was hiding outside the Pakistan capital of Islamabad. U.S. President Barack Obama announced on national television that bin Laden had been killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan by American military forces and that his body was in U.S. custody.

Mayor Bloomberg hopes bin Laden death comforts victims

The killing of Osama bin Laden does not lessen the suffering that New Yorkers and Americans experienced at his hands, but it is a critically important victory for our nation — and a tribute to the millions of men and women in our armed forces and elsewhere who have fought so hard for our nation. New Yorkers have waited nearly 10 years for this news. It is my hope that it will bring some closure and comfort to all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.

It has been reported that bin Laden’s body is being treated with respect to Islamic tradition.

Six In The Morning

Osama bin Laden killed in US raid on Pakistan hideout

‘Justice done’ and body buried at sea, says US, after al-Qaida leader is killed by special forces at Abbottabad compound

Declan Walsh in Abbottabad, Ewen MacAskill in Washington and Jason Burke in New Delhi

guardian.co.uk, Monday 2 May 2011 10.15 BST

Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the 11 September 2001 attacks and the world’s most wanted man, has been killed in a US operation in north-western Pakistan, Barack Obama has announced.

“Justice has been done,” the US president said in a statement that America has been waiting a decade to hear. A US official said Bin Laden had already been buried at sea.

US special forces launched a helicopter-borne assault on a closely guarded compound in Abbottabad, 30 miles north-east of Islamabad, on Sunday night, Obama and US officials said.

DocuDharma Digest

Regular Features-

Featured Essays for May 1, 2011-


Osama bin Laden is Dead: Up Date

Osama bin Laden dead: officials

US president expected to announce that al-Qaeda leader has died and that US is in possession of the body

It is being reported that he was killed by the CIA  in Islamabad, Pakistan at a mansion where he was staying. The reports are also stating that the US has his body. All of this is still unconfirmed.Now confirmed that bin Laden is dead and his body is in the custody of the US and being treated with respect to Islamic tradition.

Osama Bin Laden Dead, Obama Announces

Osama Bin Laden is dead, President Obama announced Sunday night, in a televised address to the nation. His death was the result of a U.S. operation launched today in Abbottabad, Pakistan, against a compound where bin Laden was believed to be hiding, according to U.S. intelligence. After a firefight, a small team of American forces killed bin Laden and took possession of his body, the president said.

The announcement that Obama would speak came at 9:45 p.m., less than an hour before he was initially scheduled to go on the air. The unusual hour, and the fact that the White House gave no details about the topic, set off a flurry of speculation.

Officials long believed bin Laden, the most wanted man in the world, was hiding in a mountainous region along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Load more