01/08/2012 archive

Rant of the Week: Jon Stewart

Commission Impossible

A well played game of ass kicking poker

Elected officials in America’s vaunted punditocracy object to Barack Obama’s appointment of Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Commission: Impossible – Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Chief Appointment

John Oliver reports from the House of Representatives on Senate Republicans’ tireless commitment to motherf**kery.

On This Day In History January 8

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.

January 8 is the eighth day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 357 days remaining until the end of the year (358 in leap years).

On this day in 1877, Crazy Horse and his warriors–outnumbered, low on ammunition and forced to use outdated weapons to defend themselves–fight their final losing battle against the U.S. Cavalry in Montana.

Six months earlier, in the Battle of Little Bighorn, Crazy Horse and his ally, Chief Sitting Bull, led their combined forces of Sioux and Cheyenne to a stunning victory over Lieutenant Colonel George Custer (1839-76) and his men. The Indians were resisting the U.S. government’s efforts to force them back to their reservations. After Custer and over 200 of his soldiers were killed in the conflict, later dubbed “Custer’s Last Stand,” the American public wanted revenge. As a result, the U.S. Army launched a winter campaign in 1876-77, led by General Nelson Miles (1839-1925), against the remaining hostile Indians on the Northern Plains.

On January 8, 1877, General Miles found Crazy Horse’s camp along Montana’s Tongue River. U.S. soldiers opened fire with their big wagon-mounted guns, driving the Indians from their warm tents out into a raging blizzard. Crazy Horse and his warriors managed to regroup on a ridge and return fire, but most of their ammunition was gone, and they were reduced to fighting with bows and arrows. They managed to hold off the soldiers long enough for the women and children to escape under cover of the blinding blizzard before they turned to follow them.

Though he had escaped decisive defeat, Crazy Horse realized that Miles and his well-equipped cavalry troops would eventually hunt down and destroy his cold, hungry followers. On May 6, 1877, Crazy Horse led approximately 1,100 Indians to the Red Cloud reservation near Nebraska’s Fort Robinson and surrendered. Five months later, a guard fatally stabbed him after he allegedly resisted imprisonment by Indian policemen


Attentive readers know I don’t much respect it.  To pretend to have a standard and yet not hold yourself or people you support to the same is a flat out LIE!

I don’t mince words either.

See yourself in this mirror?  Stop being an asshole then.

The evil of indefinite detention and those wanting to de-prioritze it

By Glenn Greenwald, Salon

Sunday, Jan 8, 2012 6:18 AM Eastern Standard Time

As we head into Election Year, there is an increasingly common, bizarre and self-evidently repellent tactic being employed by some Democratic partisans against those of us who insist that issues like indefinite detention (along with ongoing killing of civilians in the Muslim world) merit high priority. The argument is that to place emphasis on such issues is to harm President Obama (because he’s responsible for indefinite detention, substantial civilian deaths, and war-risking aggression) while helping competing candidates (such as Gary Johnson or Ron Paul) who vehemently oppose such policies. Thus, so goes this reasoning, to demand that issues like indefinite detention and civilian deaths be prioritized in assessing the presidential race is to subordinate the importance of other issues such as abortion, gay equality, and domestic civil rights enforcement on which Obama and the Democrats are better. Many of these commentators strongly imply, or now even outright state, that only white males are willing to argue for such a prioritization scheme because the de-prioritized issues do not affect them. See here (Megan Carpentier), here (Katha Pollitt) and here (Dylan Matthews) as three of many examples of this grotesque accusatory innuendo.

There are numerous glaring flaws with this divisive tactic. For one, it relies on a full-scale, deliberate distortion of the argument being made; demanding that issues like indefinite detention, civilian deaths and aggressive war be given high priority in the presidential race does not remotely advocate the de-prioritization of any other issues. For another, many women and ethnic and racial minorities – as well as gay Americans – are making similar arguments about the need for these issues to receive substantial attention in the election.

More important, it’s irrational in the extreme to argue that self-interest or “privilege” would cause someone to want to prioritize issues like indefinite detention and civilian causalities given that the civil liberties and anti-war advocates being so accused are extremely unlikely themselves to be affected by the abuses they protest. For the most part, it isn’t white males being indefinitely detained, rendered, and having their houses and cars exploded with drones – the victims of those policies are people like Boumediene, or Gulet Mohamed, or Jose Padilla, or Awal Gul, or Sami al-Haj, or Binyam Mohamed, or Afghan villagers, or Pakistani families, or Yemeni teenagers.

Put another way, when you spend the vast bulk of your time working against the injustices imposed almost exclusively on minorities and the marginalized – as anyone who works on these war and civil liberties issues by definition does – it’s reprehensible for someone to deploy these sorts of accusatory tactics, all in service of the shallow goal of partisan loyalty enforcement. Those who were actually driven primarily by privileged self-interest would want to de-prioritize these issues in a presidential campaign, not insist on their vital importance.

And that is this real point here: what’s so warped about those who employ this tactic for partisan ends is how easily it could be used against them, rather than by them. All of the authors of the three accusatory examples linked above (Carpentier, Pollitt, and Matthews) – as well as most of those Democrats who have now sunk to explicitly arguing that such matters are unimportant – are white and non-Muslim.

I don’t employ or endorse that wretched reasoning, but those who do – such as the authors of the above-linked accusations – should have it applied to them and their own political priorities; they deserve to reap what they are sowing.

Name That Moon For 2012

Mark the dates on your calendar, grab your favorite beverage and a friend or two and go outside, look up and breath.

How 2012’s Full Moons Got Their Strange Names

The start of 2012 brings with it a new year of skywatching, and lunar enthusiasts are gearing up for a stunning lineup of full moons. But, where does the tradition of full moon names come from?

Full moon names date back to Native Americans of a few hundred years ago, of what is now the northern and eastern United States. To keep track of the changing seasons, these tribes gave distinctive names to each recurring full moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred.

  • Jan. 9, 2:30 a.m. EST — Full Wolf Moon, Old Moon
  • Feb. 7, 4:54 p.m. EST — Full Snow Moon or Full Hunger Moon
  • Mar. 8, 4:39 a.m. EST — Full Worm Moon, also known as the Full Crow Moon, Full Crust Moon of the Full Sap Moon
  • Apr. 6, 10:21 a.m. EDT — Full Pink Moon. Other names for this month’s moon were the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Full Fish Moon
  • May 5, 11:35 p.m. EDT — Full Flower Moon, Full Corn Planting Moon or the Milk Moon
  • Jun. 4, 7:12 a.m. EDT — Full Strawberry Moon or the Rose Moon. A partial eclipse of the moon will be visible chiefly favoring those living around the Pacific Rim. Observers in Japan and Australia
  • Jul. 3, 2:52 p.m. EDT —Full Buck Moon, Full Thunder Moon or the Full Hay Moon.
  • Aug. 1, 11:27 p.m. EDT –Full Sturgeon Moon or Full Red Moon because when the moon rises, it appears reddish through sultry haze.
  • Aug. 31, 9:58 a.m. EDT –Full Corn Moon.  This is the second time the moon turns full in a calendar month, so it is also popularly known as a “Blue Moon.”
  • Sep. 29, 11:19 p.m. EDT –Full Harvest Moon. raditionally, this designation goes to the full moon that occurs closest to the Autumnal (Fall) Equinox.
  • Oct. 29, 3:49 a.m. EDT – Full Hunter’s Moon.
  • Nov. 28, 9:46 a.m. EST –Full Beaver Moon.
  • Dec. 28, 5:21 a.m. EST — Full Cold Moon.
  • h/t Hecate

    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:

    Up with Chris Hayes:The site is finally listing the guests. Sunday morning’s guests are Lin-Manuel Miranda, a composer and lyricist who will perform a highly anticipated work-in-progress and panel guests: Irin Carmon is a staff writer for Salon.com, Elise Jordan is a former speechwriter for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Maria Teresa Kumar is executive director of VotoLatino.org and an MSNBC contributor and Jay Smooth is the host of New York’s longest running hip-hop radio show, WBAI-FM’s “Underground Railroad”.

    This Week with George Stephanopoulos: George is back with guests Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod, Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod, former Arkansas governor and Fox News contributor, Obama campaign adviser Mike Huckabee and panel guests ABC’s George Will, Republican strategist Mary Matalin, ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile and ABC News senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper

    Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Sunday’s guests are Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), and GOP front runner in the New Hampshire primary, George Romney

    The Chris Matthews Show: This week’s guests Andrea Mitchell, NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, John Heilemann, New York Magazine National Political Correspondent, Nia-Malika Henderson, The Washington Post National Political Reporter and Howard Fineman, The Huffington Post Senior Political Editor

    Meet the Press with David Gregory:”Lurch” will be moderating the last GOP debate before the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday.

    State of the Union with Candy Crowley:Ms. Crowley’s guests are Romney supporter John Sununu, Gingrich adviser Bob Walker and GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman.

    Six In The Morning

    On Sunday

    Blacks in New Orleans cry foul over French Quarter curfew

    The City Council says stricter rules are meant to protect kids, but critics accuse members of wanting to keep low-income blacks out of sight of tourists.

    By Richard Fausset, Los Angeles Times

    Reporting from Atlanta– From a distance, it seemed like common sense: an ordinance meant to keep children away from an open-air night-life zone with more than 350 places to buy booze, an abundance of strip joints and a 300-year-old reputation for iniquity.

    But last week, as the New Orleans City Council approved a strict curfew for youths 16 and younger in the French Quarter, it sparked an incendiary debate that laid bare some of the tensions over race and police priorities that the Louisiana city – which suffers from the nation’s highest per capita murder rate – is struggling to resolve as it navigates its post-Hurricane Katrina future.

    Sunday’s Headlines:

    Syria unrest: Arab League to discuss observer mission

    Cambodia’s lost temple, reclaimed from the jungle after 800 years

    Burma’s opposition prepares for the unexpected after Aung San Suu Kyi agrees to contest elections

    Men of steel revive the heart of Gotham

    ANC centenary draws praise from African leaders

    Malaria: A Tropical Killer Whose Days Are Numbered

    For Intrigue, Malaria Drug Gets the Prize

    WHO: Malaria

    Malaria Vaccine

    malaria mosquito

    Altering Mosquito DNA

    MSF: Malaria

    MSF on World Malaria Day: Improving treatment for severe malaria

    Nothing But Nets Campaign

    No More Malaria