05/13/2012 archive

Rant of the Week: Stephen Colbert

ThreatDown – Interdimensional Black People, Gay Strokes & Manipulative Sicko Monkeys

Minorities use black hole time travel for revenge, strokes suddenly turn people gay, and a zoo is nothing but monkey prison.

Whatever you do Do Not GoogleGay Tail Spin“.

On This Day In History May 13

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 13 is the 133rd day of the year (134th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 232 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1846, the United States declared war on Mexico in a dispute over Texas. The U.S. Congress overwhelmingly votes in favor of President James K. Polk‘s request.

The Mexican-American War (or Mexican War) was an armed conflict between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848 in the wake of the 1845 U.S. annexation of Texas, which Mexico considered part of its territory despite the 1836 Texas Revolution.

Origins of the war

The Mexican government had long warned the United States that annexation would mean war. Because the Mexican congress had refused to recognize Texan independence, Mexico saw Texas as a rebellious territory that would be retaken. Britain and France, which recognized the independence of Texas, repeatedly tried to dissuade Mexico from declaring war. When Texas joined the U.S. as a state in 1845, the Mexican government broke diplomatic relations with the U.S.

The Texan claim to the Rio Grande boundary had been omitted from the annexation resolution to help secure passage after the annexation treaty failed in the Senate. President Polk claimed the Rio Grande boundary, and this provoked a dispute with Mexico. In June 1845, Polk sent General Zachary Taylor to Texas, and by October 3,500 Americans were on the Nueces River, prepared to defend Texas from a Mexican invasion. Polk wanted to protect the border and also coveted the continent clear to the Pacific Ocean. Polk had instructed the Pacific naval squadron to seize the California ports if Mexico declared war while staying on good terms with the inhabitants. At the same time he wrote to Thomas Larkin, the American consul in Monterey, disclaiming American ambitions but offering to support independence from Mexico or voluntary accession to the U.S., and warning that a British or French takeover would be opposed.

To end another war-scare (Fifty-Four Forty or Fight) with Britain over Oregon Country, Polk signed the Oregon Treaty dividing the territory, angering northern Democrats who felt he was prioritizing Southern expansion over Northern expansion.

In the winter of 1845-46, the federally commissioned explorer John C. Fremont and a group of armed men appeared in California. After telling the Mexican governor and Larkin he was merely buying supplies on the way to Oregon, he instead entered the populated area of California and visited Santa Cruz and the Salinas Valley, explaining he had been looking for a seaside home for his mother. The Mexican authorities became alarmed and ordered him to leave. Fremont responded by building a fort on Gavilan Peak and raising the American flag. Larkin sent word that his actions were counterproductive. Fremont left California in March but returned to California and assisted the Bear Flag Revolt in Sonoma, where many American immigrants stated that they were playing “the Texas game” and declared California’s independence from Mexico.

On November 10, 1845, Polk sent John Slidell, a secret representative, to Mexico City with an offer of $25 million ($632,500,000 today) for the Rio Grande border in Texas and Mexico’s provinces of Alta California and Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico. U.S. expansionists wanted California to thwart British ambitions in the area and to gain a port on the Pacific Ocean. Polk authorized Slidell to forgive the $3 million ($76 million today) owed to U.S. citizens for damages caused by the Mexican War of Independence and pay another $25 to $30 million ($633 million to $759 million today) in exchange for the two territories.

Mexico was not inclined nor able to negotiate. In 1846 alone, the presidency changed hands four times, the war ministry six times, and the finance ministry sixteen times. However, Mexican public opinion and all political factions agreed that selling the territories to the United States would tarnish the national honor. Mexicans who opposed direct conflict with the United States, including President José Joaquin de Herrera, were viewed as traitors. Military opponents of de Herrera, supported by populist newspapers, considered Slidell’s presence in Mexico City an insult. When de Herrera considered receiving Slidell to settle the problem of Texas annexation peacefully, he was accused of treason and deposed. After a more nationalistic government under General Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga came to power, it publicly reaffirmed Mexico’s claim to Texas; Slidell, convinced that Mexico should be “chastised”, returned to the U.S.

Formula One: Catalunya

Ok, on the Irony Board (like that?  I just made it up) this doesn’t sir pass (look, another punny) Colin Powell, Village Liar defending his UN/WMD speech, but Schumacher didn’t even bother to go out in Q3 so he could save tires.

Or you could call it the courage of his convictions.

Does it sound early to you?  I actually kind of hate the European starts more because I have to get up instead of going to bed late and it interrupts my nightmares about people behaving in un-professional manners.

Like you’ve never had one.

Any who today’s grid is full of surprises and it’s likely to end the same way because Circuit de Catalunya is not renowned for passing opportunity which is good for Lewis except for Team McLaren’s history of abject failure when in positions of advantage.

Remind you of anybody?

Oh man, more coffee- let’s bury the lede not praise it.  Hamilton starts from the back because of a fueling violation.

Formula One: Hamilton stripped of pole for Spanish Grand Prix

Daily Times, A New Voice For A New Pakistan

Sunday, May 13, 2012

“A team member had put an insufficient quantity of fuel into the car thereby resulting in the car having to be stopped on the circuit in order to be able to provide the required amount for sampling purposes,” a statement said. “As the amount of fuel put into the car is under the complete control of the competitor the stewards cannot accept this as a case of force majeure. “The stewards determined this is a breach of article 6.6.2 of the FIA Formula One technical regulations and the competitor is accordingly excluded from the results of the qualifying session,” the FIA statement read. “The competitor is however allowed to start the race from the back of the grid.” No driver has won in 21 years of the Spanish Grand Prix being held in Barcelona from lower than third place on the grid. A McLaren spokesman said the team accepted “the stewards did not agree with our interpretation of force majeure. Our aim is now to maximise the points we can score tomorrow.”

Force Majeure.

Scrambled tables below-

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

U.S. May Scrap Costly Efforts to Train Iraqi Police



Published: May 13, 2012

BAGHDAD – In the face of spiraling costs and Iraqi officials who say they never wanted it in the first place, the State Department has slashed – and may jettison entirely by the end of the year – a multibillion-dollar police training program that was to have been the centerpiece of a hugely expanded civilian mission here.

What was originally envisioned as a training cadre of about 350 American law enforcement officers was quickly scaled back to 190 and then to 100. The latest restructuring calls for 50 advisers, but most experts and even some State Department officials say even they may be withdrawn by the end of this year.

The training effort, which began in October and has already cost $500 million, was conceived of as the largest component of a mission billed as the most ambitious American aid effort since the Marshall Plan.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Peru’s coffee growers turn carbon traders to save their farms from climate change

Greece: A nation on the brink

Mugabe to act on factions with new politburo

Nepal’s mystery language on the verge of extinction

Brazil, Venezuela, and Mexico: three ways to nationalize oil

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”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

Up with Chris Hayes: The guest list had not been announced at the time this diary was published.

The Melissa Harris-Perry Show: The guest list had not been announced at the time this diary was published.

This Week with George Stephanopolis: This Week’s guests Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), debate President Obama’s historic shift in support of same-sex marriage; and the roundtable debates all the week’s politics, with Republican strategist Mary Matalin, former New York governor and host of Current TV’s “ViewpointEliot Spitzer, Faith and Freedom Coalition founder and chairman Ralph Reed, Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen, and Politico senior political reporter Maggie Haberman.

Let’s hope that the George & his panel hold bigoted lying Reed’s feet to the fire like Chris Matthews did.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are former Solicitor General and opponent of California’s anti gay marriage Prop 8, Ted Olson; Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA) will discuss same sex marriage and the President’s announcement. A panel with Tony Perkins, the former head of the Christian Coalition; Clay Aiken, singer and winner of American Idol ; Evan Wolfson, the founder and president of Freedom to Marry; and Mark McKinnon, Newsweek Contributor will debate LGBT issues and marriage equality. Also, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) on the latest alleged terrorist threat. In honor of mother’s day, four moms talk about the women’s vote and Campaign 2012: Former White House Communications Director for Pres. Obama Anita Dunn; Conservative strategist Bay Buchanan; the Washington Post‘s Melinda Henneberger and CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Norah O’Donnell.

Bay Buchanan wrote a book, prepared for the hype.

The Chris Matthews Show: This week’s guests are Gloria Borger, CNN

Senior Political Analyst; Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Beast Editor, The Dish; Howard Fineman, The Huffington Post Senior Political Editor; and Nia-Malika Henderson, The Washington Post National Political Reporter

Meet the Press with David Gregory: JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon joins MTP for an exclusive interview after his company announced a market-shaking $2 billion trading loss; the head of the Republican party, Reince Priebus, joins us for an overview of the campaign and a preview of the battle ahead; Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) joins MTP exclusively to respond to Jamie Dimon and make his case for why more government oversight could have prevented JPMorgan Chase’s loss; the co-anchor of CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Andrew Ross Sorkin joins us to help to break it all down.

The roundtable weighs in: Lt. Governor of California Gavin Newsom; Chairman of the American Conservative Union Al Cardenas; Washington Post columnists Kathleen Parker and Jonathan Capehart; and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Sen. Dick Durban (D- IL) and Sen John Cornyn (R-TX) discuss the Senate elections; Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper weighs in with an up date on his push for  Civil Unions in his state; Tony Perkins and Gary Bauer will judge Mitt Romney’s evangelical tightrope; and more om fear and terror with Homeland Security Chairman Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Congressman Peter King (R-NY).

Mothers’ Day breakfast order: French Toast, crisp bacon and Mimosas. Happy Mothers’ Day

Mothers’ Day

Reposted from May 8, 2011

Mothers’ Day was officially established as a holiday in the United States by Pres. Woodrow Wilson on May 9, 1914.

The earliest call for the establishment of Mother’s Day in the US came in 1870 with the “The Mother’s Day Proclamation” written by Julia Howe, a prominent American abolitionist, social activist, and poet. It was a pacifist reaction to the US Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. It was Ms. Howe’s belief that women had a responsibility to shape society at a political level.

Arise, then, women of this day!

Arise all women who have hearts,

Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears

Say firmly:

“We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,

Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage,

For caresses and applause.

Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn

All that we have been able to teach them of

charity, mercy and patience.

“We women of one country

Will be too tender of those of another country

To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with

Our own. It says, “Disarm, Disarm!”

The sword of murder is not the balance of justice!

Blood does not wipe out dishonor

Nor violence indicate possession.

As men have of ten forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war.

Let women now leave all that may be left of home

For a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means

Whereby the great human family can live in peace,

Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,

But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask

That a general congress of women without limit of nationality

May be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient

And at the earliest period consistent with its objects

To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,

The amicable settlement of international questions.

The great and general interests of peace.

Originally published as part of a series on History at Docudharma.

Happy Mother’s Day

A DocuDharma now on The Stars Hollow Gazette

clip flowerI tease my mother by calling her Emily after Emily Gilmore both because overall my family reminds me very much of the Gilmores and because she’s never met a brand name she didn’t like whereas I’m perfectly content to buy generic.

I thank her among many things for a thorough grounding in the domestic and other arts.

Mom teaches first grade and is actually famous in a quiet sort of way.  The kind parents brag about and angle their kids for though she’s won national awards too.  Of course I owe everything I know about educating to her and among my own peers I’m considered an asskicking trainer.

She also insisted we learn to perform routine self maintenance, little things like laundry and ironing, machine and hand mending. basic cooking.  Of course she always indulged us with trips to museums and zoos, made sure we got library cards, did the usual bus driver thing to swim practice, had this huge second career as a Brownie/Girl Scout Leader for my sister.

At one point when I was old enough for it to make an impression she took her Masters of Fine Arts in Art of all things, so I know a little Art History with Far Eastern.  I understand how to bang out a copper pot and make silver rings because she took me to class once or twice.  She liked stained glass so much that she and dad made several pieces (you use a soldering iron and can cut yourself pretty bad so it’s a macho thing too).  They also did silk screening which taught me a lot about layout and graphic arts.

But she always liked fabric arts and in addition to a framed three dimensional piece in the living room, there are Afghans and rugs and scarves and pot holders and wash cloths and hats and quilts and dolls.

And the training kits and manuals for her mentorship programs, and the adaptations and costumes for the annual first and fifth grade play.  Did I mention she plays 3 instruments, though mostly piano?

She touch types too.

So to Emily, a woman of accomplishment and refinement, Happy Mother’s Day.

DocuDharma Digest