Daily Archive: 09/29/2011

Sep 29 2011

Breaking: “We Need $12 Trillion Or All These Kids Die”

The Onion hit a nerve with the Capital Police in Washington, DC today as it broke its latest political satirical story via Twitter:

BREAKING: Witnesses reporting screams and gunfire heard inside Capitol building.

BREAKING: Capitol building being evacuated. 12 children held hostage by group of armed congressmen. #CongressHostage

Arlington gun shop confirms Rep. @EricCantor bought 6 semi-automatic handguns, 3 rifles & 600 clips of ammo last month #CongressHostage

Extra demands include transport to Dulles airport with fueled-up private jet waiting on runway. McCain expected to fly it. #CongressHostage

Obama on bullhorn: “John, I know you can hear me in there. Please, you don’t need to do this.” #CongressHostage

Typical of most “very serious” bureaucracies the US Capitol Police released a statement to the press that gave the tweets and the story credibility as reported by the “very serious” Politico:

It has come to our attention that recent twitter feeds are reporting false information concerning current conditions at the U.S. Capitol. Conditions at the U.S. Capitol are currently normal. There is no credibility to these stories or the twitter feeds. The U.S. Capitol Police are currently investigating the reporting.

Of course Talking Points Memo, in need of some “very serious” news for today, ran with the story on their front page and, of course no one would talk to their reporter:

When contacted by TPM, Sgt. Schneider declined to comment on what the Capitol Police might be doing to investigate the matter, saying that the police do not discuss the preliminary stages of a law enforcement investigation.

The Onion has not immediately responded to TPM’s request for comment.

Anyway, according to the latest Tweets from The Onion, the 4 PM deadline has passed and, as is typical of this Congress:

UPDATE: Hostage Negotiation Talks Stall In Congress #CongressHostage

This hostage situation could go on for months or years. We’ll keep you updated on what the “very serious” people in our Nation’s Capitol are doing to end this stand off.

h/t Talking Points Memo DC for the screen shot of The Onion‘s Front Page

Sep 29 2011

Olbermann and Moulitsas on Kurtz and Ailes

Sep 29 2011

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”.

Gail Collins: Happy Tidings From the Hill

In our never-ending battle to bring you good news from the world of politics, let’s focus today on the fact that Congress appears to have reached a deal to keep the government operating for seven more weeks.

Think of all the things you’ll be able to do in October if there’s a government. Camp out in a national park! Mail a letter! Fly to Omaha without fear that your plane will crash into a plane flying to Sioux Falls because of a lack of air traffic controllers! Wage war in Afghanistan!

Life doesn’t get any better than that.

New York Times Editorial: Killing the Recovery

The world has barely dug out of recession and the global economy is again slowing dangerously. Most leaders seem eager to make things even worse.

Instead of looking for ways to reignite growth, Europe’s leaders – and Republicans on Capitol Hill – are determined to slash public spending. Europe’s fixation on austerity is also compounding its debt crisis, bringing the Continent even closer to the brink. Meanwhile, China’s government, which is struggling to contain inflation without letting its currency rise, has been trying to slow domestic demand, allowing its trade surplus to balloon.

Each of these policies is wrong. In combination, they are likely to tip the world into a deep recession.

Marc Weisbrot: [The Eurozone: A Crisis of Policy, Not Debt

The European authorities’ doctrinaire decision to use debt issues to force austerity on Greece made the situation so much worse

Three months ago, I wrote here about the risks that the European authorities were posing to the US economy and asked what the US government was going to do about it. It was clear at that time that “the Troika” – the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – was once again playing a dangerous game of brinksmanship at that time with the government of Greece. They were trying to force the Greek parliament to adopt measures that would further shrink the Greek economy and therefore make both their economic situation and their debt problem worse, while inflicting more pain on the Greek electorate. The threat from the Troika was putting the whole European financial system at risk, since it raised the prospect of a chaotic, unilateral Greek default.

Bill McKibben: The Keystone Pipeline Revolt: Why Mass Arrests are Just the Beginning

Inside the growing movement to shut down the environmentally devastating tar-sands project

{}After two decades of scientists gravely explaining to politicians that global warming is by far the biggest crisis our planet has ever faced, and politicians nodding politely (or, in the case of the Tea Party, shaking their heads in disbelief), it was time to actually do something about it that went beyond reading books, attending lectures, lobbying congressmen or writing letters to the editor. With Texas on fire and Vermont drowning under record rainfall, it wasn’t just our bodies on the line.

The Keystone XL pipeline wraps up every kind of environmental devastation in one 1,700-mile-long disaster. At its source, in the tar sands of Alberta, the mining of this oil-rich bitumen has already destroyed vast swaths of boreal forest and native land – think mountaintop removal, but without the mountain. The biggest machines on earth scrape away the woods and dig down to the oily sand beneath – so far they’ve only got three percent of the oil, but they’ve already moved more soil than the Great Wall of China, the Suez Canal, the Aswan Dam and the Pyramid of Cheops combined. The new pipeline – the biggest hose into this reservoir – will increase the rate of extraction, and it will carry that oily sand over some of the most sensitive land on the continent, including the Ogallala aquifer, source of freshwater for the plains. A much smaller precursor pipeline spilled 14 times in the past year.

Arun Gupta: The Revolution Begins at Home: An Open Letter to Join the Wall Street Occupation

What is occurring on Wall Street right now is truly remarkable. For over 10 days, in the sanctum of the great cathedral of global capitalism, the dispossessed have liberated territory from the financial overlords and their police army.

They have created a unique opportunity to shift the tides of history in the tradition of other great peaceful occupations from the sit-down strikes of the 1930s to the lunch-counter sit-ins of the 1960s to the democratic uprisings across the Arab world and Europe today.

While the Wall Street occupation is growing, it needs an all-out commitment from everyone who cheered the Egyptians in Tahrir Square, said “We are all Wisconsin,” and stood in solidarity with the Greeks and Spaniards. This is a movement for anyone who lacks a job, housing or healthcare, or thinks they have no future.

E. J. Dionne, Jr.: Why They Hate Warren Buffett

Maybe only a really, really rich guy can credibly make the case for why the wealthy should be asked to pay more in taxes. You can’t accuse a big capitalist of “class warfare.” That’s why the right wing despises Warren Buffett and is trying so hard to shut him up.

Militant conservatives are effective because they are absolutely shameless. Many of the same people who think the rich should be free to spend unlimited sums influencing our politics without having to disclose anything are now asking Buffett to make his tax returns public. I guess if you’re indifferent to consistency, you have a lot of freedom of action.

Jim Hightower: The GOP Congress Hates (Except When It Loves) Federal Spending

“You saw the House act,” Rep. Eric Cantor snapped to a reporter last Friday. Yeah, act like a petulant 4-year-old!

The majority leader of the GOP-controlled House has long been a whiney ideological brat who stamps his tiny feet in peevish anger whenever he can’t get his way on legislation. In this particular incident, Cantor tried to pretend that the House had approved more federal aid for thousands of Americans who’ve been devastated by natural disasters this summer. However, he had sabotaged his own “act” by slipping a poison pill into it.

You see, “federal aid” is a four-letter word to right-wing ideologues like Eric, so for weeks he had stalled the emergency funding that hard-hit families desperately need. Cantor and his fellow anti-government dogmatists in the House turned a straightforward humanitarian bill into their political football, insisting that any increase in funds must first be wholly paid for by cutting spending on other public needs. His ploy has become known as the “Cantor Doctrine” – budget purity first, people’s needs last.

Sep 29 2011

Occupy Wall St. Livestream: Day 13

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

OccupyWallStreet

The resistance continues at Liberty Square, with free pizza 😉

Keith Olbermann interviewed Matt Taibbi of Rolling about the movement and the lack of media attention.

Occupy Wall St. may be gaining strength but it’s not without its critics on the left. Many have applauded the movements support of the 99% in the lower rings of the ladder who will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption if the 1% on the top but the group had indeed yet to articulate any specific demands. While it may be performing a crucial roll in helpng to educate the uninformed abouthow they have been victimized by Wall St. and the “To Big To Fail” banks, the deliberate, almost lack of organization, the self-styles leaderless resistance movement and its refusal to articulate demands, could both hamper its growth and slow its being taken as seriously as it would like to be.

Glenn Greenwald also weighed in on the reasons for the scorn for the protest:

It’s unsurprising that establishment media outlets have been condescending, dismissive and scornful of the ongoing protests on Wall Street.  Any entity that declares itself an adversary of prevailing institutional power is going to be viewed with hostility by establishment-serving institutions and their loyalists.  That’s just the nature of protests that take place outside approved channels, an inevitable by-product of disruptive dissent: those who are most vested in safeguarding and legitimizing establishment prerogatives (which, by definition, includes establishment media outlets) are going to be hostile to those challenges.  As the virtually universal disdain in these same circles for WikiLeaks (and, before that, for the Iraq War protests) demonstrated: the more effectively adversarial it is, the more establishment hostility it’s going to provoke.

Nor is it surprising that much of the most vocal criticisms of the Wall Street protests has come from some self-identified progressives, who one might think would be instinctively sympathetic to the substantive message of the protesters.  In an excellent analysis entitled “Why Establishment Media & the Power Elite Loathe Occupy Wall Street,” Kevin Gosztola chronicles how many of the most scornful criticisms have come from Democratic partisans who — like the politicians to whom they devote their fealty — feign populist opposition to Wall Street for political gain.

One of the chief complaints, besides the “leaderless” and lack of a list of specific demands, that has been heard coming from the left is attire, as Kevin Gosztola noted in his FDL article:

Liberals have shown scorn, too, suggesting the occupation is not a “Main Street production” or that the protesters aren’t dressed properly and should wear suits cause the civil rights movement would not have won if they hadn’t worn decent clothing.

Even the liberal Mother Jones was critical:

Liberals have shown scorn, too, suggesting the occupation is not a “Main Street production” or that the protesters aren’t dressed properly and should wear suits cause the civil rights movement would not have won if they hadn’t worn decent clothing.

Both articles, Greenwald’s and Gosztola’s, need to be read in full to understand not just the reasons that the media is ignoring this movement but why and how Occupy Wall St. happened and continues.

Occupy Wall St. Is now spreading across the country:

‘Occupy Wall Street’ protest slowly spreads across the United States

The protest spread to other cities over the weekend.

A small group of “Occupy Los Angeles” demonstrators marched through the streets of downtown Los Angeles on Saturday to show their support for the protesters in New York City.

“Corporate interests seem to be controlling both parties,” one protester told LAActivist.com. “The ‘little man,’ the ‘American every man,’ just isn’t getting their voice heard. When you need $35,000 to donate to a campaign to get your voice heard, to have a meeting, that’s not democracy.”

“Occupy Los Angeles” protesters plan to begin a demonstration at City Hall on October 1. The “Occupy Los Angeles” Facebook page had nearly 2,000 likes as of Tuesday afternoon.

Another demonstration popped up in Chicago over the weekend. Around 20 “Occupy Chicago” protesters gathered at Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, on Friday and then marched to the Federal Reserve Bank. Some protesters have remained camped out in front of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and the organizers said the “occupation” had grown from 4 people to about 50.

Other “occupation” protests are being planned for Detroit, Denver, Cleveland, Boston, Phoenix, Seattle, Kansas City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. The site occupytogether.org has been set up in hopes of coordinating the protests.

I have a message for the the so-called “Left”:

Get off your butts and get behind this movement because unless you are part of the 1%, they are YOU.

Sep 29 2011

On This Day In History September 29

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 29 is the 272nd day of the year (273rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 93 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1547, Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, is born this day near Madrid.

Cervantes led an adventurous life and achieved much popular success, but he nevertheless struggled financially throughout his life. Little is know about his childhood, except that he was a favorite student of Madrid humanist Juan Lopez, and that his father was an apothecary.

In 1569, Cervantes was living in Rome and working for a future cardinal. Shortly thereafter, he enlisted in the Spanish fleet to fight against the Turks. At the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, he took three bullets and suffered permanent damage to his left hand. Later, he was stationed at Palermo and Naples. On the way home to Madrid in 1575, he and his brother Roderigo were captured by Barbary pirates and held captive in Algiers. Cervantes was ransomed after five years of captivity and returned to Madrid, where he began writing. Although his records indicate he wrote 20 to 30 plays, only two survive. In 1585, he published a romance. During this time, he married a woman 18 years younger than he was and had an illegitimate daughter, whom he raised in his household. He worked as a tax collector and as a requisitioner of supplies for the navy, but was jailed for irregularities in his accounting. Some historians believe he formulated the idea for Don Quixote while in jail.

In 1604, he received the license to publish Don Quixote. Although the book began as a satire of chivalric epics, it was far more complex than a simple satire. The book blended traditional genres to create a sad portrait of a penniless man striving to live by the ideals of the past. The book was a huge success and brought Cervantes literary respect and position, but did not generate much money. He wrote dramas and short stories until a phony sequel, penned by another writer, prompted him to write Don Quixote, Part II in 1615.

Cervantes died in Madrid on April 23, 1616. In honor of the date on which both Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare died, UNESCO established April 23 as the International Day of the Book. (Shakespeare and Cervantes, however, did not actually die on the same day, as the April 23 date for Shakespeare is Julian calendar (Old Style) and the April 23 date for Cervantes is Gregorian calendar (New Style) as those were the calendars in effect in England and in Spain, respectively, at that time. The Gregorian calendar was then ten days ahead of the Julian.)  

Sep 29 2011

My Little Town 20110928. Ma’s Garden Part III of II

Those of you that read this regular series know that I am from Hackett, Arkansas, just a mile of so from the Oklahoma border, and just about 10 miles south of the Arkansas River.  It was a redneck sort of place, and just zoom onto my previous posts to understand a bit about it.

Yes, I know that this is sort of an odd title, but it occurs to me that I wrote about what she grew and how we preserved it, but not about how we ate it.

Perhaps this shall clear it up a bit.  We ate lots of fresh things from the garden, and for the most part, except for the turnips and the green beans, they were pretty good.  Notice that I never grow any of those in my garden, because just to grow things for historical reasons does not feed me.

Now we shall examine, in no particular order, how we ate what Ma grew.  I shall even include the green beans and turnips!

Sep 29 2011

Countdown with Keith Olbermann: Worst Persons 9.27.2011

Worst Persons – UC Berkeley Republicans, an Obama heckler and Joe Arpaio

Find out why the College Republicans at UC Berkeley are WORSE; the heckler at President Obama’s fundraiser in Los Angeles is WORSER; and Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., is the WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD for Sept. 27, 2011.

Sep 29 2011

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

Now with 39 Stories.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 France refuses extradition of Rwanda widow

By Etienne Fontaine, AFP

4 hrs ago

A French appeals court on Wednesday rejected a Rwandan request to extradite alleged mass-killing mastermind Agathe Habyarimana, widow of the Rwandan president whose death sparked the 1994 genocide.

Juvenal Habyarimana’s widow, who has lived in France for over 15 years, was accused of genocide and crimes against humanity for her alleged role in the massacre of 800,000 people, mostly minority Tutsis, in just 100 days.

“I’m relieved, I’ve always had faith in the French justice system,” Habyarimana said after the judge’s decision.