09/25/2011 archive

Rant of the Week: Lewis Black

Back in Black – Threats to America’s Children

Lewis Black takes a look at good and bad arsenic and wonders what makes Chaz Bono more controversial than a bunch of criminals and freaks.

I don’t know if letting your kids watch Chaz Bono will turn them into transsexuals, but I’m pretty sure letting them watch Keith Ablow will turn them into ass holes.”

On This Day In History September 25

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.

September 25 is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 97 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1789, the Bill of Rights passes Congress.

The first Congress of the United States approves 12 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and sends them to the states for ratification. The amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, were designed to protect the basic rights of U.S. citizens, guaranteeing the freedom of speech, press, assembly, and exercise of religion; the right to fair legal procedure and to bear arms; and that powers not delegated to the federal government were reserved for the states and the people.

The Bill of Rights is the name by which the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are known. They were introduced by James Madison to the First United States Congress in 1789 as a series of articles, and came into effect on December 15, 1791, when they had been ratified by three-fourths of the States. An agreement to create the Bill of Rights helped to secure ratification of the Constitution itself. Thomas Jefferson was a supporter of the Bill of Rights.

The Bill of Rights prohibits Congress from making any law respecting any establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, guarantees free speech, free press, free assembly and association and the right to petition government for redress, forbids infringement of “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms…”, and prohibits the federal government from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. In federal criminal cases, it requires indictment by a grand jury for any capital or “infamous crime”, guarantees a speedy, public trial with an impartial jury composed of members of the state or judicial district in which the crime occurred, and prohibits double jeopardy. In addition, the Bill of Rights states that “the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people,” and reserves all powers not specifically granted to the federal government to the people or the States. Most of these restrictions were later applied to the states by a series of decisions applying the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868, after the American Civil War.

The question of including a Bill of Rights in the body of the Constitution was discussed at the Philadelphia Convention on September 12, 1787. George Mason “wished the plan [the Constitution] had been prefaced with a Bill of Rights.” Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts “concurred in the idea & moved for a Committee to prepare a Bill of Rights.” Mr Sherman argued against a Bill of Rights stating that the “State Declarations of Rights are not repealed by this Constitution.” Mason then stated “The Laws of the U. S. are to be paramount to State Bills of Rights.” The motion was defeated with 10-Nays, 1-Absent, and No-Yeas.

Madison proposed the Bill of Rights while ideological conflict between Federalists and anti-Federalists, dating from the 1787 Philadelphia Convention, threatened the final ratification of the new national Constitution. It largely responded to the Constitution’s influential opponents, including prominent Founding Fathers, who argued that the Constitution should not be ratified because it failed to protect the fundamental principles of human liberty. The Bill was influenced by George Mason’s 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights, the 1689 English Bill of Rights, works of the Age of Enlightenment pertaining to natural rights, and earlier English political documents such as Magna Carta (1215).

Two other articles were proposed to the States; only the last ten articles were ratified contemporaneously. They correspond to the First through Tenth Amendments to the Constitution. The proposed first Article, dealing with the number and apportionment of U.S. Representatives, never became part of the Constitution. The second Article, limiting the power of Congress to increase the salaries of its members, was ratified two centuries later as the 27th Amendment. Though they are incorporated into Madison’s document known as the “Bill of Rights”, neither article established protection of a right. For that reason, and also because the term had been applied to the first ten amendments long before the 27th Amendment was ratified, the term “Bill of Rights” in modern U.S. usage means only the ten amendments ratified in 1791.

The Bill of Rights plays a key role in American law and government, and remains a vital symbol of the freedoms and culture of the nation. One of the first fourteen copies of the Bill of Rights is on public display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Occupy Wall St. Day 8 with Livestream


The resistance continues at Liberty Square, with free pizza 😉

A Message From Occupied Wall Street (Day Eight)

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

If you wait long enough, they will come but not necessarily to join you.

Glenn Greenwald Tweets the media hypocrisy

The corrupting effects of journalistic “objectivity” and Occupy Wall Street: http://is.gd/QuxYmY Paging @jayrosen_nyu

America’s future rallies near Wall Street- Lend them an ear!

t’s hard to walk in lower Manhattan without noticing a dense police presence. At first a passerby is likely to think that the NYPD is there to protect the 9-11 Memorial, but soon they’ll realize that it’s something else. There’s a protest happening nearby.

A few blocks away  there are about 1000 young people assembled- they’re playing instruments, dancing happily and carrying signs that say things like The American Dream is a Pyramid Scheme, Stop Wall Street Greed, Americans Against Bankster Parasites and so on…

“We’re peacefully protesting economic injustice,” says seventeen year old Lucas Vazquez, “We don’t believe that politicians from either party are going to make things better for us.”

The “we” he’s referring to is a movement that goes by names like “General Assembly” and  “Occupy Wall Street”.  Vazquez says its aim is to create a participatory democracy.

Should Blacks Answer Obama’s Call To March By Joining ‘Occupy Wall Street’?

N A ROUSING SPEECH delivered at the 41st Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference, President Obama urged African Americans to keep the faith as African Americans struggle against a 17 percent unemployment rate and 40 percent poverty rate for their children.


Obama said he was “going to press on for the sake of all those families who are struggling right now… [but] I expect all of you to march with me and press on. Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying. We are going to press on.”

As it happens the most potent protest to occur in recent decades is occurring at this moment in New York where ‘Occupy Wall Street’ is calling attention to the U.S.’s “corporate greed and corrupt politics.” Eighty protesters were arrested Saturday.

‘Occupy Wall Street’ Protesters Regroup at Liberty Plaza With Pizza, Tales of Battle

The Observer arrived at Liberty Plaza-the site of the camps, kitchen and “media tent” holding up the backend of the “Occupy Wall Street” protest that has been going for six days-just after 3:30 p.m.

Today’s march, which started on Wall St. and headed up to Washington Square Park and then to Union Square-was winding its way back, having lost a few dozen good men to police custody, a.k.a. an out-of-service MTA bus. A protester, Josh Lewis, is tweeting from zipties on the bus, which he reports made its way eventually to 1 Police Plaza.

If you can’t be there in person: DONATE

Fake News

Better than anything you’ll see from the talking heads up their asses.

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

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.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with Christiane Amanpour: This week White House advisor David Plouffe will discuss the president’s job plan.

George Will, former Obama economic adviser and University of Chicago professor Austan Goolsbee, top investment manager PIMCO CEO Mohamed El-Erian, and Chrystia Freeland of Thompson Reuters debate whether the world is on the cusp of a double-dip recession.

Republican strategist Mary Matalin, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile and ABC News Political Director Amy Walter join George Will to debate which GOP candidate came out on top and whether any of them has what it takes to challenge President Obama.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: This Sunday DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and

RNC Chair Reince Priebus join Bob to debate the state of the Obama presidency and the economy.

The Chris Matthews Show: This week’s guests Helene Cooper, The New York Times White House Correspondent, Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Beast Editor, The Dish,

Gloria Borger, CNN Senior Political Analyst and Michael Gerson, The Washington Post Columnist will discuss:

Obama wants to repeal the Bush era tax cuts for those making more than $250K

Is Perry losing steam? Was Thursday’s debate a turning point for Romney?

Meet the Press with David Gregory: Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and NYC MAyor Michael Bloombreg are guests.

Former Secretary of Education, William Bennett; former Secretary of Health and Human Services and current president of the University of Miami, Donna Shalala;   PBS’s Tavis Smiley; and the CEO of the Special Olympics, Tim Shriver will discuss eduation.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: White House senior adviser, David Plouffe is making the morning rounds.

Democratic Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander ()R-TN) will discuss the latest funding hostage situation.

Indiana’s Republican Governor Mitch Daniels will discuss the Republican 2012 field of candidates.

USA Today’s Washington bureau chief Susan Page and TIME Magazine’s deputy bureau chief, Michael Crowley will join the conversation about the latest poll that shows a majority of Americans blame President Obama for the country’s teetering economy.

William Rivers Pitt: Class Warfare My Ass

I have been saying this for years upon years, but it bears repeating: the most awesome, fearsome, and effective weapon in the arsenal of the modern Republican Party is their total, utter and complete lack of shame.

That weapon – the ability to say or do anything, literally anything, even as it flies in the face of on-the-record comments made just the day before, or contradicts thousands of votes cast in congresses past – is the equivalent of a battlefield-deployed tactical nuclear weapon. It clears the field, but good, and if everything is ashes in the aftermath, so be it. So long as effective spin makes the news cycle, it’s a victory for them, and screw the people who get hurt.

Rachel Lewis: Wall Street Vampires

Vampires. Thieves of the night. As sunlight is said to be deadly to them, these mythical creatures venture out to drain the blood from their innocent victims only when it is dark outside.  Judging by the reactions of Wall Street to Public Citizen’s attempt to shine a light on their industry, it seems sunlight kills more than vampires though. Lady Liberty can’t help but wonder if the Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan et al crew are trying to audition for the next season of True Blood . . . or, more likely, they have something to hide.

Remember that big gas price spike back in 2008? Well, Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program, didn’t buy the reasons offered for it then, and he didn’t buy it this spring either when he spoke with then-MSNBC’s Cenk Uygur for a segment properly entitled, “Rigged Game.” Uygur’s first question, “Is it possible that speculators are driving up the gas prices?” Slocum’s reply-“Absolutely.” At the time President Barack Obama, responding to the media frenzy over gas prices, announced the formation of a task force to look into what was driving the increase. Slocum explained to me that this was many months ago and so far, “not a peep” has been heard from this investigative team.

Dave johnston: Conservatives Say It Out Loud: They Hate Democracy

The roots of today’s toxic conservative movement lie in Ayn Rand’s teaching that wealthy “producers” — now called “job creators” — should be left alone by the government, namely the rest of us. The rest of us are “freeloaders,” “moochers,” “leeches” and “parasites” who feed off these producers and who shouldn’t be allowed to make decisions to collect taxes from them or regulate them or interfere in most other ways. The Randians hate democracy, and say so, declaring that “collectivism” sacrifices individual rights to majority wishes.

Maureen Dowd: Fed Up With the Author of ‘Fed Up!’?

IN a flash, Rick Perry has gone from Republican front-runner to cycling domestique, riding in front of the pack and taking all the wind – or in this case, hot air – to allow the team leader to pedal in the slipstream.

In the debate on Thursday night in Florida, as Perry grew more Pinteresque, lapsing into long, paralyzed pauses, Mitt Romney grew less statuesque, breaking his marble mold and showing a new sarcastic streak.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Americans’ divide over global warming getting deeper

Despite onslaught of science, resistance to the idea seems to be hardening


Tucked between treatises on algae and prehistoric turquoise beads, the study on page 460 of a long-ago issue of the U.S. journal Science drew little attention.

“I don’t think there were any newspaper articles about it or anything like that,” the author recalls.

But the headline on the 1975 report was bold: “Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?” And this article that coined the term may have marked the last time a mention of “global warming” didn’t set off an instant outcry of angry denial.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Meltdown fears for euro as G20 makes plans for Athens to default on debt

Wave of riots over China land grabs

Bitter battle for Gaddafi’s hometown

Israel ponders response to Palestinian U.N. statehood bid

Ry Cooder takes on the bankers

F1: Singapore

I’m tired of tires, but there’s nothing much else to write about unless you’re willing to join in the premature Vettel celebration.

While Hamilton blames a fueling problem for his unexpected absence from the last laps of Q3, others speculate it was due to his blow out at the end of Q2 which frosted a complete set of Super Softs leaving him with just one new and his qualifying tires.  Other drivers are defensive of the tire saving practices which have parked teams and sucked out the drama.

At Singapore you have to hope for the unexpected like rain or wrecks because the track itself is among the most impossible and boring on the circuit.  Next year is the last in the contract and it may get moved or dropped.  As I noted yesterday it has a history of that so maybe there’s a chance of something interesting happening.

Other than that it is completely…

Well, dictable I guess.  You have only to look at the Starting Grid in the pretty tables below.

Speed coverage starts at 7:30 am.  Repeat at 3 pm.

DocuDharma Digest

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Evening Edition

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Now with 46 stories.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 German shot dead in Afghanistan: local officials

By Usman Sharifi, AFP

2 hrs 43 mins ago

A German tourist was shot dead by armed motorcyclists while travelling in central Afghanistan Saturday, local officials said.

The man was killed alongside an Afghan companion in the usually stable central Afghan province of Ghor.

The incident came in the same month that two German nationals were found dead after apparently going climbing in mountains north of the Afghan capital Kabul.